Stiles has a new neighbor.
Stiles is, of course, instantly curious. So, like any other sane and otherwise-not insane person would do, he decides to go over there and formally introduce himself.
Even though the new guy looks like a serial killer–he even dresses in all gray and blacks and gels his hair like a greaser–Stiles goes over to his house anyway, because he's a good neighbor–or maybe he's just nosy and likes to know just what he's getting out of this new neighborship. The guy doesn't seem like a hardcore partier or anything (if anything he looks like someone who raids parties just to destroy them) but Stiles is nothing if not efficient and on-guard.
Ms. Finkle moved out about a year ago, and the house looks like it's been deserted for decades more. It's two stories and falling apart, with the roof almost collapsed in and everything, but it's one of Stiles' favorites on the street. Apparently, it was something that caught Mr. New Neighbor's eye too.
Stiles doesn't know what that says about Mr. New Neighbor's taste, though.
Stiles has a long and sordid history for liking eclectic things. And by eclectic he totally means weird and borderline disturbing.
So, with this in mind, he barges over to his new neighbors house, freshly baked cookies and all–because who doesn’t love cookies?–and knocks on his door. He has 911 already dialed on his cell phone in case anything sketchy happens, and there’s a knife strapped to his ankle (but that’s really always there; growing up with a sheriff as a father has proved to be somewhat helpful in self defense), so he’s not really nervous until the guy actually answers the door.
The guy is seriously pretty up close. Like ‘should not be real, should just be figment of imagination’ pretty. Maybe even ‘you were definitely genetically engineered in a lab and are the odd experiment gone right’ pretty. Definitely 'you should not be in a boring town like Beacon Hills and instead should live inside Stiles' TV' pretty.
Stiles is sure he’s never seen someone this ridiculously good looking up close.
The guy is looking at him annoyed with his grey-hazel eyes, eyebrows perched high on his face like he’s wondering what exactly Stiles is doing on his porch. And yeah, okay, Stiles can understand that.
“Hey there,” Stiles says, more like chokes , but he doesn’t think anyone’s keeping track of that. Not really. “I know you just moved in and all, so I thought I would introduce myself. I live next door, like, to your left, and my name is Stiles. So, yeah, hi, and welcome, and here, I’m just going to shove cookies in your face because this is a lot more awkward than it usually is–” And then he literally throws them in the guy’s face, because even if his baking talent is absolutely out of this world, Stiles’ social skills aren’t around hot people, and this guy is definitely hot people. Or person.
So basically, Stiles is screwed.
It’s like a light flicker goes off or something. The guy instantaneously drops his tough guy routine–maybe this is his way of establishing dominance in the neighborhood or something (weird, but kind of understandable), or maybe he's a huge fan of junk food and sweet smiles (normal, but also the most likely) and kind of smiles dorkily at him, teeth kind of skewered in a way that has always been somewhat of a soft spot for him. Stiles’ heart melts even more, but before he can turn into a pile of mush and other disgustingly sweet things on the ground, the guy holds out his hand. “I’m Derek,” he says. “Thank you for the cookies.”
Stiles literally sputters, because it’s not like Beacon Hills is famous for attractive people or anything. They only have Lydia, and Jackson, and Danny, and Allison, and well, okay, Stiles too–not Scott, though, definitely not Scott, that would be like hitting on his brother or something.
“You’re welcome,” Stiles says, and then blushes, running a hand along the back of his neck. “It’s sort of my thing.”
“Baking?” Derek asks with a quirked eyebrow, “or do you make a habit of visiting all of your new neighbors like this?”
Stiles flushes even redder, and curses his pale skin. Derek doesn’t seem to mind, though, or maybe he doesn’t notice. Derek doesn’t seem like the kind of guy that would be malicious about that sort of thing–well, he used to seem like the kind of guy that would do that, but Stiles is 89.5% positive that he found his one weak spot.
Of course it was through his stomach.
“Uh, honestly? A little bit of both.”
“What kind of cookies are these anyway?” Derek asks, and Stiles can’t be sure, because he and Derek have only just met, but it looks like there’s disappointment coloring his face. Like the fact that Stiles has done this before for other neighbors bothers him, like maybe he wants to be the only one Stiles brings cookies to.
Stiles is more than willing to rearrange that.
“Well, there’s chocolate chip and peanut butter–not separate , but mixed–and then there’s some snickerdoodles, cookie brownies, and I believe I put in some strawberry raspberry in there, too.”
Derek blinks. “That’s quite a list there,” he says.
Stiles shrugs. “Well, my mom always taught me to be a gentleman, so.”
“Bet you say that to all of the guys,” Derek says, but there’s nothing accusatory about it.
“No,” Stiles says, and then blushes, “only the pretty ones,” he forces out, because he will hate himself if he doesn’t. He’s usually not this much of a social trainwreck, but there’s something about Derek that’s bringing out the worst in him–and it’s not just because Derek’s attractive, because Stiles has always been good at reading people, at digging beyond the surface emotions and seeing what’s underneath . Scott says it’s because he’s gifted.
It’s just because he pays attention, because he cares. It’s not hard to find what’s there when you actually look .
Derek makes this adorable face, like he’s trying to hold in a smile, and then ducks his head like he thinks he failed (and he totally did, but Stiles wasn’t going to actually tell him that).
Stiles almost expects him to say something corny, but he doesn’t, he just looks up at Stiles with this half smile on his face, gestures oddly with the cookies and says, “thank you for these.”
“No problem, man,” Stiles says.
He’s pretty sure he would bake the entire world for Derek.
And he’s never said that for anyone.
Not even Lydia.
“See you around,” Derek says, with one last wave, and then he’s gone, disappearing into that skeleton of a house, and maybe Stiles should have laid out all of the health issues and liabilities that the house actually has –he’s pretty sure the house has ghosts and he can’t let Derek go unprotected up against that, he just wouldn’t be able to live with himself.
But Stiles lets him go, because he’s a horrible person, or maybe he just thinks it’s slightly creepy to be hanging around the new neighbors house without any reason to be there, but he turns around and goes to his house anyway.
Stiles bakes Derek some more cookies.
He lasts two days without doing anything before he has to pop into his kitchen and make some more.
He spent the last two days fighting with his father over the phone about his father’s impending health issues (“Just because I have a high risk for high blood pressure Stiles doesn’t mean that I need to give up my fucking curly fries,” His dad had said, and to that Stiles had said, “Heart attack,” and had hung up. His dad didn’t get the curly fries), catching up with Scott while he was away at college, and cleaning up around the house because he’s been lazy lately and there’s only so many red cups he can look at without feeling like his house is a neverending fratboy party.
Baking started as a thing he did with his mom. It wasn’t something they would do occasionally, but rather something they did every weekend. It started when Stiles was six, when he was upset because his father was angry about not being able to make his kindergarten bake sale one weekend because of work, so his mom stayed up with him until eleven that night and baked him twenty extra cookies just for his dad. They ended up surprising him at work, with an audience and everything (there may or may not have been clapping).
Stiles remembers that night clearly because he had gotten extra kisses and hugs.
Those were a rarity from his dad. Even then.
Now it’s more of a thing he does because to relieve stress, or to welcome new people to the neighborhood–though that doesn’t happen too often, because it’s a quiet neighborhood that’s networked knit tight. It’s hard to penetrate and no one rarely ever leaves.
Stiles is kind of in love with it.
But, anyway, so he started baking because of his mom, and now he supposes he’s kind of baking for Derek, too, because Derek is who is receiving these cookies. He’s baking M&M and chocolate chip with peanut butter, and there’s even some devil’s foodcake thrown in, because no one can have enough chocolate (and even though Derek’s built like a tank, Stiles didn’t miss the way he was eyeing those brownies, particularly the chocolate part).
Stiles likes to play on indulgence, really.
So he bakes, and bakes, and bakes until his fingers hurt and there’s burns covering his hands because he’s careless and doesn’t know how to use baking mittens. His kitchen smells like cookiedough and burning flesh, but Stiles loves it anyway. But on the contrary, his kitchen kind of looks like a grenade or bomb went off–there’s chocolate chips and peanut butter clusters hanging off of his walls, and cookiedough is somehow smeared on his counters and cabinents, and then there’s the whole vanilla extract incident in the corner that he is refusing to think about right now.
He throws all of the cookies once they’re cooled down enough in to Tupperware containers and waits until he sees Derek’s car in the driveway to head on over–it would’ve been too embarrassing to go there and have to sit on his doorstep like a pathetic little puppy.
Stiles trips on his way over to Derek’s, right outside of the window where Derek can most definitely see him, and knocks on the door before he can lose his nerve.
Derek answers almost immediately with a smirk on his face.
Yeah, he totally saw him.
“I brought you more cookies,” Stiles says, strained, because if he doesn’t say it now, he probably won’t ever say it, and there’s only so long two men can stare at eachother before it gets uncomfortable, even if they’re mercilessly gay for each other.
Not that Stiles and Derek are.
Nope. Because that would be weird, and incredibly fictitious.
“You brought me more cookies,” Derek says.
Stiles nods, he did, he so did, and now he’s kind of starting to regret it because Derek’s just staring at them, not even making a move to grab them. It’s making Stiles nervous, and Stiles nervous is never a good thing–he gets rambly and jumpy and sort of Taylor-Swift-emotional; it’s just - not a pretty picture.
Derek smiles at him again, like all he needed was confirmation that there wasn’t some magically murderous herb in there that would render Derek, you know, dead . Stiles wishes Derek came with a manual, even after only two interactions with the guy and Stiles is feeling more confused than usual.
And Stiles, Stiles doesn’t do confused.
“I may–” Stiles pauses, because he’s not actually going to do it. He can’t stand there and ask Derek out because what if Derek isn’t gay ? What if he’s just this nice neighbor that melts at the sight of cookies and has no interest whatsoever in dick with a capital D?
“You may?” Derek prompts.
Stiles sighs, and then totally goes for broke, wincing as he does, “I may have also come here for another reason,” Stiles says, licking his lips.
He may be somewhat uncertain because of the glint from the sun, but he thinks Derek follows the movement with his eyes.
Nevermind that the sun isn’t even out right now because it’s hidden by rainclouds.
“What’s the reason?” Derek asks, curiously.
Stiles clears his throat, because this is important shit and his voice will probably crack anyway, but maybe Derek will be sympathetic to that. “Well, okay, I know we’ve only had two conversations with each other, and you’re new to this neighborhood, so I definitely don’t want to corner you–cornering is bad, man, I don’t want to do that, so like, just punch me in the face with your fists of magnificence if that happens, or you know, don’t, because I’m 95.9% sure that I actually like my face arranged the way it is– anyway , what I’m trying to say is–”
“Stiles,” Derek says, and if Stiles is hearing him right, he sounds sort of fond.
Stiles definitely doesn’t blush. “Uh, what I’m trying to say is ,” he laughs self-deprecatingly, and adds, “I was wondering–am wondering, whatever–if you would be totally opposed to the idea of maybe, sort of, uh–shit, man, this is not going how I wanted it to–”
“ Stiles .”
“Christ, okay–what I’m trying to say is, will you go on a date with me? Or something? And if you’re totally straight and definitely not into dick then seriously ignore I said that and we will go on a brodate, a bro-for-all, where I will help you score chicks and we will bond over cheap beer and greasy food while watching baseball.”
“Or football. Or whatever extremely heterosexual men watch together because fuck if I know.”
“You’re an idiot,” Derek says.
“So, you don’t even want to be my friend?” And yeah, he’s a little disappointed by that.
Derek sighs. “No, you moron, I’ll go on a date with you.”
“Well Jesus , if you really feel that strongly about me–wait, what?”
“I said, I’ll go on a date with you.”
Stiles kind of grins dorky and huge at Derek, because what . How is this his life? “Really?”
“No.” But there’s a smile on his face, and he’s clutching the cookies to his chest like they mean something, and that’s totally an open floodgate for Stiles to later mean something, too.
“Wait,” Derek says, just as Stiles is about to turn away to go back to his house.
“Do you do this for all the new neighbors?” Derek asks again.
Stiles smiles, “no,” he says, somewhat sheepishly. “Only you.”