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No Such Thing as Fate

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 Seven days until the Big Day 

When Allison had started preparations for the wedding months ago, it had felt like she had all the time in the world.  In between Pack business, court dates and working on cases, she’d arranged the times for the ceremonies, talked to different caterers and hired a decent DJ to entertain the guests. With the help of Lydia, Kira, Erica and Cora she’d found the perfect wedding dress and the boys had helped Scott find the perfect tuxedo for himself.

But now it was down to a week, and everything was starting to feel last minute. Like ordering the flowers, which she had finally done over the weekend. But she wasn’t worried about the decorations because she knew Cora and Erica would make the best flower arrangements she could imagine while Lydia and Kira would make sure the Hale house was appropriately transformed for the reception. What worried her though, was the cake. Or the potential lack of one. She’d kept putting off the order until last month when she and Scott had finally visited Pastry is an Art and discussed the design with the pastry chef.

She’d been relieved to get another thing crossed off her list, but that didn’t last long as Mary-Ann called earlier last week to inform her they wouldn’t be able to fulfill the order and will get their money back the same day. After a mildly panicked call to her fiancé, they visited the other bakery in town. She dialed the Violet’s Bake Shop number for the thousandth time in the last hour and listened to it ring and ring, until it went to voice mail. “Why aren’t they picking up?”

“Maybe they have a lot of work at the moment,” Scott called out from the bathroom.

Allison made a noise of frustration. “It’s not possible for everyone in the damn bakery to be too busy to pick up the phone, Scott. I have a bad feeling about this.”

Scott poked his head around the doorframe of the bathroom, shaving cream lathered over half his face, and frowned in concern. It was extremely rare for Allison to curse. “I know we both have work today and tomorrow, but I’ll ask Stiles to stop by when he’s free to see how things are going.”

“No, Scott, don’t do that. We’ve taken enough advantage of him already. He’s helped so much and with so many things, I don’t want to bother him unless it’s an emergency. Besides, his exams are right before the wedding and you know that he’s freaking out about them.”

That was true, the dates for his best friend’s med school exams had come out two months ago and one of the exams was on the day before the wedding. “But you’re stressed too, and I don’t like that,” he said, torn between bothering Stiles to ease her worry and leaving him alone to study in peace.

Allison smiled softly and closed the distance between them. She rubbed their noses together and got shaving cream smeared on her face, but she didn’t care. No matter how many years passed, she was sure it would always amaze her, the compassion and empathy Scott carried in his heart. “I love you so much you know.”

The concern disappeared from Scott’s face and adoration lit up his features. “I love you too.”

It was these tender moments that they would treasure forever, no matter what happened or where life took them.

The insistent beeping of an alarm made them both sigh in resignation and Allison stepped back to continue dressing and to let Scott finish shaving. After getting carried away a couple of mornings, they had agreed to set up an alarm to remind them that they did have to go to work on time, no matter how much they would like to stay home and just snuggle.

“You have to wash your face before going out, you know,” Scott said in amusement once he emerged from the bathroom, clean shaven and hair brushed.

“I already did that, silly,” she replied as she did the last button of her red blouse and tucked it into her dress pants.

Her fiancé just chuckled and shook his head. “What about that shaving cream you have on your nose?” he asked cheekily.

“Oh,” Allison murmured and smiled sheepishly. “Yeah, I should probably clean that off, huh?”

They finished getting ready and left their apartment, sharing a kiss in the elevator before parting ways to their respective rides. Allison slid into the driver’s side of her car while Scott straddled his motorbike and prepared to kick start it. He turned to look back once the engine was rumbling and saw her watching him in the rear view mirror with a smile on her face. Smiling back, he waved and waited for her to go, before putting on his helmet and heading in the opposite direction.

 Six days until the Big Day 

Scott had called Stiles in the end, under the pretense of checking up on his studying, but he had quickly confessed the real reason when pressured. And this was why Stiles was on his way to Violet’s Bake Shop, after reassuring Scott that he didn’t mind going out, not at all, because he was going crazy from revising for the upcoming written exam, and no, he was not going to fail if he took a walk for a couple of hours.

Violet’s Bake Shop was the only bakery in town at the moment, because Pastry is an Art had closed literally a week earlier due to urgent renovations, and Mary-Ann had been forced to drop all future orders so they could fix up the whole place as soon as possible. Aunt Violet’s bakery was on Stiles’ side of town, but while his house was on the outskirts of Beacon Hills, the bakery was closer to downtown. It was a leisurely half-hour walk, but Stiles wasn’t in a hurry and he’d walked that distance many times together with his mom and when he helped out in the bakery in high school. During that summer not only did he get all his knowledge for making pastries under Aunt Violet’s patient guidance, but he also found out why the whole town adored her. She was such a kind woman, always willing to help out and take care of everyone around her, no matter if they were related or not.

It felt good to go out, after staying cooped up in his room for the last couple of days. The weather was pleasantly warm with the sun shining brightly in the sky and the fragrance of the blooming trees floating with the quiet wind. He loved watching the trees as they slowly woke up from the heavy winter slumber and become lush and green once again.

Before he knew it, Stiles rounded the corner leading to Aunt Violet’s bakery and was surprised to find the front door locked. He peered through the windows, but couldn’t see anything; there were no lights on and no movement inside.

“This is not good,” he murmured to himself and rounded the building to try the back door, only to find that it was also locked. “This is definitely not good.”

 Five days until the Big Day 

Instead of telling Scott or Allison, Stiles called an urgent Pack meeting.

“Did you call the bakeries in the towns around us?” Kira asked with a frown.

Lydia huffed slightly at the obvious question. “Of course he has. If there had been another available bakery, he would have already placed the order and not called a meeting.”

Kira just shrugged, not taking offence from the redhead’s dry tone.

“Well, what are we going to do?” Erica asked. “There has to be a cake at the wedding.” She was sprawled against Boyd on the couch, one hand reaching up to curl easily around the back of his neck. They had been together since freshman year of university, when Boyd had finally gathered his courage to ask her out on a real date. For all the years they had known each other before then, both had been too afraid to give in to their feelings, worried that things might not work out. But that was not the case, not at all, they were so good for each other and brought out the best in one another.

Derek remained silent as they debated what could be done. He was watching Stiles, who was biting his lip in hesitation. After a few moments the rest of them quieted, and Derek smiled encouragingly at the young med student.

Stiles squared his shoulders, obviously having made his decision on the matter. “I will make the cake.”

Seven pairs of eyes fixed on him. Stiles felt his gut clench at the scrutiny, but held his ground. “Maybe it’s not going to be perfect, because obviously I’m not a professional baker, and it’s been a long time since I worked with fondant or flat-icing for that matter, but I know I can bake that cake and make it amazing for Scott and Allison. I’ll just need some help to do that.”  

He had half-expected an objection, but no one protested or tried to stop him for any reason, and Stiles smiled in satisfaction. “We just have to keep this from our dear love doves and everything should be fine.”

“You know, that may be easier said than done,” Cora reminded from her comfy sprawl in a beanbag on the floor. “Allison is the best lawyer in Beacon County for a reason and Scott’s not that oblivious, but whatever.”

She had a point, but it wasn’t like they had much of a choice. They only had to keep the secret for a few days. Allison was stressed enough because of the wedding preparations and some big family lawsuit. The last thing she needed was to find out that both bakeries in Beacon Hills had closed seemingly out of the blue and dropped all orders for the foreseeable future. Not to mention Scott would be devastated if there was no cake, and Stiles refused to let that happen.

 Four days until the Big Day 

The Pack collectively decided that the Hale siblings would be tasked with helping Stiles to make the cake. The Alpha agreed silently but the rest of them had to ruthlessly shut down each of Cora’s excuses with an inarguable counterpoint.

“You’re the one who went to that art course, and everyone has seen your paintings, so it’s logical that you should make the design.”

“Painting portraits is totally different from drawing flowers and butterflies or whatever,” the younger Hale grumbled, but the real objection had left her tone.

Derek eventually broke in with a firm, “You’ll do fine, Cora. I know that.” And really what else could she do? Everyone believed in her, and Derek’s encouragement was all the support she really needed.

While Derek and Stiles went shopping to buy all the necessary ingredients and a new decorating tip set, as the one Stiles had was too old and worn out to do a good enough job, Cora began sketching the design of the cake.

It’s been a while since she had spent any time in the apartment for a reason that wasn’t Pack related, but she didn’t mind. This had been her home for a few years after returning to Beacon Hills and their family home was still in ruins. Besides everyone had agreed that the loft would be the best place for them to work. The Hale house was out of the question, because Lydia and Kira had already started on decorating the place for the wedding and there was no way they would let Stiles accidentally mess up all their hard work. The loft, on the other hand, was only used for Pack meetings and it was spacious enough, unlike the Stilinski house with its small kitchen.

“Hey, how’s it going?” Stiles asked as he and Derek returned and headed straight to the kitchen area to dispose of the groceries they had bought.

Cora stretched out on the coach after putting the sketch pad and pencils down on the coffee table. “I’m almost done, actually. I just need to put in a few finishing touches, but I would love to have a cup of coffee right about now.”

Derek hummed in agreement and set about preparing a cup for everyone while Stiles took a look at the draft.

The sketch was just perfect. Cora’s design was simple but elegant and he traced a finger over the delicately painted flowers and the cleverly woven arrows between them. “Wolfsbane and arrows, huh?” Stiles asked with a smile.

“It fits, right? I thought it was a good idea and, well, we all know what they mean to us and to them as well.” Cora said, a hint of insecurity in her tone.

Derek leaned over Stiles’ shoulder to take a look while the coffee was brewing, and smiled at his sister. “It’s perfect, Cora. You’ve done a great job.”

Cora preened under the praise and her whole face positively lit up. She might put on a brave face and act tough, but they knew that she still sought approval, whether it was from the Sheriff for the work she did as a deputy or from the Pack. She still needed the support.

“Let’s just hope I’ll do your design justice. You’ve set the bar quite high,” Stiles said as he went to check on the coffee and pour everyone a cup. “I’m going to make a small cake today and practice decorating it while you two taste and critique.”

Cora snorted indelicately and Derek rolled his eyes. “I don’t think you need any more critics, knowing how hard you are on yourself, Stiles. What you will need is encouragement,” Derek countered as he took the cup offered to him.

The younger man just shrugged without arguing because the Alpha had a point, after all. The worst critic anyone could have was themselves.

 Three days until the Big Day 

The closer the Big Day came, the more jittery Stiles got. He had spent the whole day yesterday practicing piping on the mini cake he had made and harassing the Hales to give him their honest opinion, because no matter how many time they reassured him that the fondant looked even and smooth, and the flowers were beautiful and the arrows were straight, he just wasn’t completely convinced. In the end, Cora had thrown her hands up in defeat before sending photos out to the rest of the Pack to get their opinions as well.

Is he still being stubborn about this not being perfect? Smack him, Cora, to get some sense in that mulish head of his. – was Lydia’s reply to the pictures, and Stiles could clearly see her rolling her eyes at him in annoyance.

Did Stiles really do that?! Well, now I know where to get my wedding cake ;) – Erica proclaimed, and there was a simple thumbs up from Boyd.

Kira was positively amazed and gushed incoherently in a couple of texts, and while Isaac was more reserved, it was obvious that he was also impressed.

“Are you convinced now, or should I send the picture to everyone at the station and the hospital?” Cora had asked, and then snatched her phone back when Stiles finished reading the messages.

There had been a faint red hue coloring his cheeks and he shook his head. “Nah, that’s more than enough, I think,” he croaked out before clearing his throat and sighing in relief.

“Glad we got that out of the way then,” Derek had deadpanned with his arms crossed over his chest as he leaned against the counter in the kitchen.

Now that there were only three days until the wedding and two days until his first exam, Stiles decided to divide his time between baking, decorating and studying. When the Hales left for work, brushing imaginary lint of their uniforms and bickering about their current case all the way out the front door, Stiles sighed in relief and settled down for some studying. He still had a hard time focusing when other people were around, though the entire Pack was nowhere near as bad as the dorms had been his first term before he moved back home. It was true that he had gotten much better at coping with his ADD and he rarely took Adderall these days, but that didn’t mean he was cured or didn’t have the condition, he had just learned different methods and techniques to deal with it.

Taking out his iPod and headphones to listen to some music while reading, Stiles opened his textbook to the chapter on anatomy and curled up on the couch.

He spent a couple of hours going over his notes until his mind started wandering and he decided it was time to take a break. Putting away his books for the moment, he stretched out as he got up and felt his shoulders pop at relieving the tension from sitting still for a prolonged period.

Swaying his hips a little to the beat of “Just One Yesterday” by Fall Out Boy, he hummed the lyrics as he pulled out the piping bags with the colored frosting from the fridge and found the different tips in the cupboard above the sink.

It was easy to get lost in the motion of drawing the petals of the wolfsbane and the arrows woven in between on the clean counter surface. He alternated between holding the bag at different angles and got familiar with what happened when he put in too much pressure on the container or squeezed a bit harder, changed the tips and drew the decoration again.

Stiles was so focused on the task at hand that he didn’t realize Derek had returned until he finally looked up from painting the last petal and saw a small smile on his Alpha’s face. “How long have you been standing there?”

“Not long, just a few minutes,” the deputy answered as he came around the counter and stood close to Stiles, looking at the variety of flowers. “I like this one, it’s smooth and delicate, and all the petals are detailed and spot on.”

Stiles smiled in agreement. “Yeah, I think I’ll use this tip for the flowers and that one for the arrows.” He held up the bag of frosting which currently had the tip for the flowers and pointed to the second one, set aside from all the others.

He didn’t expect his phone to start ringing at that moment or his reaction to it. In other words the younger man accidentally squeezed the piping bag in his surprise and a few spurts of purple frosting splattered over Derek’s uniform. “Oh fuck, sorry!” Stiles dropped the container on the counter and turned around to grab a towel to try to clean up the mess he’d made.

“Stiles, it’s okay,” Derek said as he took the towel from Stiles’ hands. “Leave it, I’ve got a spare shirt at the station.”

“I’m very sorry, Derek, I’ll pay the bill for the dry cleaning,” Stiles apologized as his phone continued ringing.

“Don’t be ridiculous, it’s fine,” the Alpha reassured as he finished wiping up as much of the frosting as he could. “Aren’t you going to answer the phone?”

Instead of arguing further, Stiles fished out his phone from his pocket and saw Scott’s name with the ridiculous picture of them from his best friend’s birthday on the display. “It’s Scott. Crap, I totally forgot to call him back the other day after going to the bakery.”

Taking a deep breath to calm his suddenly pounding heart, Stiles pressed the answer button, “Hey, Scotty. How’s it going?”

“Good, good. I’m starting to get excited and nervous the closer the Big Day is,” Scott answered, and the emotions he mentioned were clear in his voice. “What happened with the bakery? Did you manage to find Aunt Violet?”

“Yeah! Yeah, I did, sorry I didn’t call you the other day after going there, but I started studying as soon as I got home and lost track of time.”

“Hey, man, it’s no big deal, I know you’re stressing over those exams and studying your ass off,” Scott said in understanding before asking what had happened at the bakery because Allison had passed by the shop the other day and it had been closed.

“Ah, yeah, I went by Aunt Violet’s house and she said that they were closed because of some family celebrations, but the cake will be done for the wedding and delivered on time. So tell Allison she has nothing to worry about.” Stiles prayed to every God that would listen to him at that moment that Scott wouldn’t hear the lie in his voice. There really was nothing to worry about, just the cake wouldn’t be made by Aunt Violet or any of her daughters, but by Stiles himself.

“That’s great! I’ll tell Ally that everything is under control and she’s been stressing over nothing."

“Yeah, man, be sure to do that.” Stiles looked towards Derek and the relief was plain on his face. “I gotta go, Scott, there’s still a lot of notes I have to go over.”

“Of course, just don’t forget to take a break from time to time, okay?”

Stiles promised that he would and ended the call after saying goodbye. He slumped back against the sink and sighed a little shakily. “That was a close one. I just hope he hasn’t picked up on the fact that something’s not right.”

Derek hummed in agreement and for a few moments no one said anything. “Well, I better get back to work.”

The younger man nodded and looked up just in time to see him scooping up some frosting from the counter. “Don’t you dare do that to my Batman t-shirt, Hale,” he warned, but that did nothing to deter the older man.

In the end he got a purple hand print on his back as he was trying to run away, and Derek’s laughter as he left for work again.

“This isn’t over, Derek!”

 Two days until the Big Day

Stiles hated the last day before an exam, because usually on that day all his insecurities and doubts were the worst and hardest to battle. Not to mention that half his thoughts were focused on the day after the exam and the celebration that would come. And the cake that he would be making. He just wanted tomorrow to come faster so he could be done with the written exam and then worry if he would pass to the practical one.

 One day until the Big Day

Allison woke up early despite the fact that she had the day off, as well as the following two weeks for the upcoming honeymoon, and instinctively reached across the bed. She frowned when her fingers didn’t find her fiancé’s body on the other side of the bed. Opening her eyes slightly, she stared at the vacant spot beside her and blinked a few times in confusion before she remembered that she was at her father’s house and what day it was.

Excitement overtook her and she was awake in an instant, ready to start the day. There was so much she had to do, yet instead of leaping out of bed, she reached over to the bedside table for her phone.

She knew Scott wasn’t a morning person, especially at 7 AM, but that wasn’t enough to stop her from calling him.

On the third ring, his voice greeted her with a sleepy ‘Hello’.

“Hey, sleepyhead, how are you?”

“Still sleeping, love, why are you up so early?” she heard him say over the sound of rustling sheets.

Allison huffed in amusement as she pictured him pulling the covers over his head. “You know that morning people do exist and I am one of them.”

Scott hummed in agreement. “Yeah, and you know I’m not one of those kind of people.”

Allison laughed softly and smiled. “True, true, but that doesn’t change the fact that you should get up soon.”

Her fiancé grumbled something about snoozing for a few more minutes and they lapsed into silence.

“Ally? Is it Friday today?” Scott asked suddenly and she grinned.

“Hmm, I don’t know, Scott, it’s quite possible that today is Friday,” she replied cheekily and couldn’t hold back the excitement from her voice.

“Oh my God, it’s Friday!”

Judging by the sounds, Allison imagined Scott trying to jump out of bed only to successfully tangle the sheets around his feet and end up half on the bed, half sprawled on the floor.

“Scott, are you okay? Scott?”

“Yeah, yeah,” he said breathily once he found his phone. “I got tangled up in the sheets.”

She laughed and shook her head. “Yeah, I imagined that.”

Scott coughed a little in embarrassment as he tried in vain to calm his racing heart. “I thought this week would never end, but now it’s Friday and tomorrow…” he trailed off because he couldn’t find the right words to express all the emotions warring inside his chest.

“I know, Scott, I feel the same,” she replied softly.

“So I guess I’ll see you tomorrow then?”

Allison felt a pang of sadness at the quiet insecurity in his voice, but she understood. They had gone through so much in the past years; protecting the town, growing as a Pack, falling in and out of love, only to find each other again. She understood his uncertainty because she also felt it, but not for a second did she doubt her feelings for him or his feelings for her and that was why she said firmly, “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Scott felt the knot loosen its grip on his chest and took in a relieved breath. He hadn’t even realized that he was waiting with bated breath for her answer. “Good, that’s great.”

They chatted for a few more minutes, until Chris poked his head inside Allison’s room to check up on her and remind her that Lydia would be there soon to pick her up for her appointment at the beauty salon. After saying their goodbyes reluctantly, the young couple started getting ready for the day ahead and preparing for tomorrow.

-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-

Stiles stumbled clumsily into the loft around noon and his eyes zeroed in on the couch. Right now that was his goal, to reach that god-sent piece of furniture and just crash on it for a couple of hours. The exam had been grueling and a true torture written on paper. As much as he wanted to be positive that he had passed, he couldn’t help but doubt that. The itch to check his answers in his notebook was almost unbearable but he had left it at home on purpose. It would be better for his sanity if he didn’t have the opportunity to prove to himself in advance that he had failed. Besides, there were other important things to think about and do once he took a power nap.

That was his last thought before he drifted off in the land of dreams, until seemingly barely a moment later there was a hand shaking his shoulder and trying to pull him away from the comfort of sleep.

“Stiles? Wake up, Stiles.” The voice that accompanied the shaking was familiar and there was something comforting in it, but that didn’t change the fact that Stiles wanted to remain in that warm sleepy cocoon for just a few minutes more.

“Go ‘way,” he grumbled as he swatted at the hand on his shoulder.

A huff of amusement was heard before that wicked hand started tickling his ribs mercilessly and Stiles tried in vain to curl up to escape the torture.

“Okay, stop. Stop! I’m up now, geez.” Opening his eyes to glare at the person who interrupted his blissful nap, Stiles was greeted with the sight of Derek looming over him. “You’re an evil person,” he deadpanned, and got a roll of the eyes in response.

“Don’t you have something to make? Something for tomorrow? Like a cake maybe?”

Stiles blinked in confusion for a few seconds before a metaphorical bulb lit up in his mind. “Oh my God, how could I forget? What time is it?” he asked frantically as he jumped up from the coach and nearly collided with Derek in his haste to get to the kitchen.

“Whoa, it’s okay. It’s barely 2 in the afternoon, Stiles, you’ll have plenty of time to make the cake,” Derek reassured as he followed the younger man into the kitchen.

“Don’t think it’s going to be that easy, buddy. That’s a 3 tier cake we’re talking about. I have to mix the batter first, which will take some time, and the baking will take around 45 minutes. Then I have to let it cool so I can ice it and put the fondant and then finish piping the decorations tomorrow,” Stiles countered as he washed his hands and pulled the towel from the rack to dry them.

The Alpha was silent for a minute but then took Stiles’ place at the sink and washed his hands as well. “I guess that means you’ll have an assistant baker. Just tell me what to do and how to do it.”

Stiles stared at him as if he had grown a second head and Derek scowled at him. “What? Just because I’m not that great of a cook doesn’t mean that I can’t follow directions.”

“Fair enough. I’d be crazy to refuse the help,” Stiles conceded, and went about gathering all the necessary ingredients to start the baking.

He was grateful that he had met up with Scott after finishing the exam and spent some time with him, accompanying him to the hairdresser where they’d met up with Isaac and Boyd. His best friend had been disappointed when Stiles had said that he’d be busy the rest of the day and that they couldn’t spend more time together but understood that the young med student would need to get some rest after the exam.

Now Stiles and Derek could work in peace without worrying that the groom or bride would barge into the loft and find out who exactly was making their wedding cake. The rest of the Pack would make sure they were properly entertained the whole day.

The Big Day 

The wedding couldn’t have been more perfect. As Stiles was standing by the altar, he almost managed to hold back the tears of happiness, but a couple of drops did escape his eyes. And who could blame him? His best friend was beaming with barely contained exhilaration as Allison was fairly floating down the aisle, eager to take her place next to him.

When it came time to exchange the wedding bands, Stiles pretended to have lost them, just like in the movies, but the priest wasn’t impressed with his antics and scolded him curtly. 

The final part of the celebration, the reception at the Hale house was grand, leaving all guests charmed by the event. Lydia accepted all compliments regarding the decorations with a smug smirk, while Kira was more bashful and met every compliment with a gracious thanks.

The whole day passed in a blur of excitement and happiness, as the newlyweds opened a new chapter in their lives and began their journey together. Scott and Allison were in the center of attention the whole time as they received congratulations and gifts while greeting everyone that had come. Only when it was time to cut the cake did the focus shift slightly away from them.

The staff from the catering company wheeled in the cake to the center of the dining hall and everyone gathered around to see it and take pictures. Allison gripped Scott’s hand tightly in hers as she took in all the details and decorations.

It was a 3 tier cake and the fondant was a soft pearl shade, enhancing the color of the wolfsbane flowers winding around it. There were arrows woven around the leaves of the petals and a scattering of paw prints here and there. On top of the cake was a small sugar-made bouquet with a single arrow through the middle.

Scott looked at his wife with a brilliant smile on his face and tugged her toward where his best man and friend was watching from the sidelines. Stiles noticed them coming towards him and smiled a little uncertainly.

“The cake is beautiful, Stiles,” Allison said as soon as they reached him. “It’s absolutely magnificent. I almost can’t believe that you made it, but I’ve seen the cakes you made for Melissa and John’s birthdays.”

Stiles rubbed the back of his head and smiled bashfully. “Well, I did my best.”

“You’ve done more than your best, buddy,” Scott objected as he glanced back towards the cake.

“Thank you,” Stiles replied before frowning slightly. “Wait, how did you know that I made it?”

The newlyweds shared a knowing look and Scott answered, “Ally got a call a little after we spoke the other day from Aunt Violet to apologize that they wouldn’t be able to make the order and we’ll get a refund. That’s when I figured it out.”

Stiles laughed and shook his head. “Ah, so it wasn’t really a secret after all.”

“Nope,” Allison said with a grin and hugged him tightly, placing a kiss on his cheek. “Thank you for making our wedding cake, Stiles.”

“You’re welcome.” Stiles pulled back only to be enveloped in a hug from his best friend as well. “Besides, if I hadn’t, Scotty here would have been devastated, and we can’t have that, can we?”

“Oh no, absolutely not,” she agreed solemnly.

The couple went back to the center table when the DJ called their names to remind them it was time to cut the cake. With their fingers intertwined over the knife, they cut the first piece to share.

-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-

Derek sat back in his chair as he placed the now empty plate on the table. The cake had been so delicious it was almost unreal and he hoped he could get his hands on another piece.

“I am never going to buy a cake ever again,” Cora proclaimed as she ate the last forkful from her plate. “This is insanely good.”

“Yeah, it’s amazing,” her brother agreed as his eyes found the one responsible for the mouthwatering dessert.

Stiles was talking to Erica and Boyd, telling them how he decided to improvise a little and add the paw prints at the last minute. He’d asked for Derek’s opinion after cutting out a few shapes and placing them on the cake and they had both agreed that it fit with the rest of the decorations.

Another slow, melodic song started and Erica’s face lit up. She gushed that it was one of her favorite ballads, and Stiles pulled back to let the couple dance.

“Why don’t you ask him to dance with you?” Cora asked her brother, following his line of sight.

Derek looked at her sharply and just shook his head.

She sighed in frustration at his stubbornness. “I don’t know what’s holding you back, but it’s clear as day that you both have feelings for each other, and it’s high time you act on them. You know he’s not going to wait forever, right?”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“Oh, give me a break. All those looks you share, the way you fight and still care for each other despite all the disagreements you have, that’s something, you know. And it could be so much better if you just give it a chance.”

Her brother looked away and his eyes involuntarily found Stiles again. He was looking back at him and a soft smile crossed his features when he noticed Derek returning the look.

Maybe Cora was right. Maybe it was time to let his guard down and open up his heart. Maybe it would hurt him in the end, but he’d rather give them a chance than wonder for the rest of his life what would have happened.

“Thanks, Cora,” he said as he stood up.

She grinned at him. “Go get your man, bro, and tell him that I want a cake just for myself.”

Derek laughed with a shake of his head but didn’t disagree. She would definitely deserve it. When he looked back towards Stiles, the younger man was no longer there. The Alpha scanned the crowd, found him heading out the door to the porch, and followed.

“The cake was amazing,” Derek said once he was outside. The fresh air was welcome after staying inside with so many people for so long.

“Thank you,” Stiles replied with a smile. “And thank you for helping me make it.”

Derek returned the smile and stepped closer to the other man. “Any time.”

They lapsed into silence for a few moments, listening to the sounds of the ongoing celebration inside the house.

“Would you like to dance with me?” Derek asked suddenly after taking a quick breath.

A soft look overcame Stiles’ features with a relieved glint in his eyes that seem to say, ‘finally’

“I would love to dance with you, Derek.” Stiles took his hand, ready to lead him back inside.

“Let’s stay here?”

Stiles agreed quietly and closed the remaining distance between them. They wound their hands around each other and started swaying to a beat only they could hear.

“We’re not even dancing to the song,” Derek said in amusement, but didn’t try to follow the fast-paced music coming from the speakers indoors.

“Since when have we followed the rhythm?” Stiles retorted, and Derek had to agree. They had always followed a rhythm of their own.

-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-

Allison nudged her husband and pointed in the direction of the balcony. They watched from their table as their Alpha followed Stiles outside and shared a knowing look.

The DJ announced that the next song was dedicated to the young couple and as the first cords of Angel Eyes by Taxicab Racers were heard, Scott stood up and extended his hand to his wife.

“Allison-”

“Yes, I would love to dance with you,” she interrupted him, just like the first time, and Scott grinned happily.

How could time pass so quickly when you wanted it to stop and stay in a particular moment forever? If only that was possible, Scott and Allison would turn back time and freeze it in that moment in the church after they had said ‘I do’. Because in that very moment the bond between them had become eternal and no matter what happened it would never break.

As they were swaying off beat to the same song as when Scott first confessed his feelings for her at the formal dance in high school, he remembered Allison’s words from so many years ago. “There’s no such thing as fate, Scott.” Now he believed her words, because fate didn’t define their lives. They determined their own lives and they chose each other. Nothing else mattered, not fate, destiny or even God, only they.