Stiles Stilinski is the worst person Derek has ever met in his entire life, ever.
He likes to wear dress shirts and cardigans with the sleeves pushed up to the elbows and slacks—which make his ass look infuriatingly perfect—but sometimes on Fridays Derek is subjected to the sight of Stiles in skinny jeans. It's exactly as bad as it sounds.
Stiles lets Annie stay after-school in his classroom when Derek has to work late at the station. He fellates pens during their parent-teacher conferences and he laughs at Derek's dry comments. He has a stupidly cute nose that Derek angrily daydreams about kissing. Sometimes they bitch about the other parents together and Stiles always has new stories about Annie to tell him and Derek has (reluctantly) volunteered to help with every class function since the beginning of the year.
Stiles is funny and smart and kind and is also his daughter's teacher and his boss's son. On the list of people who are off-limits, Stiles has held the top spot for as long as Derek has known him.
Since Derek is Derek, Stiles also happens to rank number one on the list of people Derek is in love with. Seriously. His life is like a bad Hallmark movie.
The worst Hallmark movie. Because Stiles is the worst.
"So, can I count on you to help me with our holiday party?" Stiles asks when Derek comes to pick Annie up on Wednesday. He's waving the sign-up sheet at him, wiggling his eyebrows, bottom lip caught in his teeth.
Derek should say no. He should. Watching Stiles suck on candy canes for a week straight is going to make everything much, much worse.
"Come on," Stiles urges softly at Derek's silence. "You're my favorite volunteer. Please?"
"Alright," Derek hears himself say. Goddammit.
Stiles triumphantly slaps the paper down in front of him and Derek writes his name down, deliberating over the space marked email for an agonizing moment before scribbling his phone number down instead. Stiles already has his email from the last three times he gave it to him. This way he has a different, quicker way to contact Derek if he needs something. That's all.
"So," he says, in a bid to distract himself from the way his palms are sweating. "What do you need me to do?"
"Mostly decorations. We might bake some cookies." He pretends to think for a moment. "I have a few outstanding parking tickets if you want to go ahead and take care of those too."
Derek snorts. "What do you need me to do that's not illegal," he amends. He shakes his head. "I am appalled that an elementary school teacher is so willing to break the law."
"Oh yeah?" Stiles says, looking up at him from under his lashes. "You gonna arrest me, Deputy?"
This is the kind of shit that makes Derek's heart jolt; makes him sway unconsciously into Stiles' space. It's not the first time he's wanted to kiss Stiles—kiss his perpetually gaping mouth, the slope of his neck, his smirk. Sometimes Derek lays awake at night wondering what those lips would feel like wrapped around his—
"Daddy, I'm ready!" Annie says suddenly and he and Stiles jump apart. Annie's watching them with a sly sort of grin on her face that makes Derek immediately suspicious. He narrows his eyes at her, but she just smiles sweetly and picks up her Ninja Turtle lunch box.
"Are you ready to go?" he asks Stiles, who suddenly seems intent on sticking the sign up sheet into his messenger bag. If he notices Derek's phone number, he doesn't say anything about it.
"Huh? Oh--yeah. As soon as I give Honey some fresh water, I'm good to go."
"Oooooh!" Annie suddenly squeals, dark eyes in puppy-dog mode. "Mr. Stiles, can I do that? Please?"
He chuckles, waving a hand towards the class rabbit's cage. "Go for it."
Derek walks with Annie over to the cage, helps her get the water out and drag a chair over so she can reach the sink. He lifts Honey out of her cage to cuddle into his chest briefly while Annie busies herself with refilling the water—drops a surreptitious kiss on her ears before settling her back inside. When he turns around Stiles is fighting a smile, so he figures he wasn't as discreet as he tried to be.
"I like bunnies," he says defensively and Stiles' eyes light up. "Shut up. Let's go, Annie."
"Guess what, Daddy?" Annie says as they leave the classroom, slipping her tiny hand into his big one. Stiles falls into step with him on his other side.
"What, Anna Banana?"
"Tommy said he hated mac n' cheese today..."
The back of Stiles' hand brushes against his own as they make their way down the hallway, and Derek tries to ignore the trickle of warmth that filters through him.
Off limits, he reminds himself firmly; repeats it like a mantra until they part ways in the parking lot.
“Santa Claus,” Derek repeats flatly. “You want me to be Santa Claus.”
“Shh,” Stiles whispers frantically, casting a furtive glance towards where Annie is obliviously cutting construction paper snowflakes. He tugs Derek further away, dipping their heads close together to murmur, “I don't want you to be Santa. You just need to dress up like him."
"It's the same thing!" Derek hisses.
“Derek,” he whines, “Come on. I bet the color red would really bring out your eyes...”
Embarrassingly, Derek blushes at that, which makes him scowl even more. He is acutely aware of The McCalls watching them from where they're taping up construction paper wreaths. “Even if I wanted to—which I don’t—I’d need a costume.”
“I have one,” Stiles says immediately. "It's too big for me, but I bet it'd fit perfectly on you."
"I'm much leaner than I look," Derek says desperately.
"Really?" Stiles says dubiously, eyebrow cocking. His gaze skates down Derek's chest, past his hips and back up, lingers at his collarbones. Derek shifts uncomfortably and Stiles clears his throat, eyes flickering away. "Well, you can at least try it on. Please? If it doesn't fit, I won't make you wear it."
He's going to say no. He is. He's going to look Stiles straight in his pleading, hopeful, disgustingly gorgeous eyes and say--
It's not a date. It's not.
Derek is just going over to Stiles' apartment to try on the Santa outfit. That's it. They're also baking cookies for the party on Monday, which means that this is a totally official volunteer-teacher business meeting. The fact that Derek has decided not to bring Annie with him has no bearing on any date-like connotations their business meeting might have because Stiles is off-limits. It's not like they're eating dinner together or something--that would be weird.
His phone vibrates with another message from Stiles (because they've been texting about the details of their business meeting since noon yesterday). It reads: I'm ordering a pizza--what's your fave topping??
Derek feels a bead of sweat form on his brow. Alright. So they're eating dinner together. Teachers and parent volunteers probably do this kind of stuff all the time. It's still not a date.
Cora laughs at him from across the room, where she's singlehandedly eating her way through their Christmas tin of variety popcorn.
"What's wrong, Daddy?" Annie asks, little face twisted in concern. "You look weird. Are you sick?"
"Yeah," Cora snorts. "Lovesick."
Derek shoots her a glare while Annie climbs onto his lap and carefully puts her cheek against his forehead--checking him for a fever the way he always does for her. It makes him smile and he wraps his arms around her tiny midsection, dipping down to blow a raspberry on her neck. She squeals at the top of her lungs and he laughs planting a big sloppy kiss on her cheek that makes her squirm to get away.
"I'm fine, sweetie," he says, letting her scramble off his lap. "Will you be good for Auntie Cora tonight?"
"Duh," she huffs.
"She better be good," Cora says, slowly setting aside the popcorn tin. "Or else...THE TICKLE MONSTER WILL GET HER!!"
Annie screams again and streaks out of the room, her giggles floating back to them from whichever room she took refuge in. Derek lets himself collapse onto the couch. "I'm a terrible father," he groans.
"Don't worry," Cora says, pelting him with a kernel. "She's too young to really be traumatized by your relationship."
"We don't have a relationship--"
"The truly terrible dads wait until their kids are in high school and then try to date the youngest blonde they can find on the staff."
"That's what Uncle Peter did," Derek deadpans. "I'm as bad as Uncle Peter."
"I just said you weren't--"
"I'm almost as bad as Uncle Peter--"
"Ugh. Get out of here! Go on your date with Stiles," Cora says, making a kissy face at him like she's back in third grade.
"It's not a date!"
Stiles opens the door in a flour covered apron that says Kiss the Cook. He has a smudge of green icing on his cheek that Derek immediately wants to lick off of him and a lopsided smile on his face.
"Hey," he says breathlessly. "Welcome to my humble abode."
"Thanks," Derek says; wipes his clammy hands on his jeans as he steps inside. It's a moderate sized apartment, with a mish-mash of furniture. Nothing really matches anything, but it gives the place a nice cozy feel. There are books stacked on some of the desks, a blanket thrown across the back of the couch, and a video game console tangled up in some wires in front of the TV. It reminds Derek of his old apartment. "Nice decorations," he says dryly, gesturing to the single Christmas-themed item in the whole apartment. It's two ceramic reindeer, arranged on his coffee table to look like one is fucking the other. "Very festive."
"Oh God," Stiles blurts, hand coming out to knock the configuration over. "Gag gift. Sorry."
His face is flushing an enticing shade of pink and Derek can't help the grin that crosses his face. "Not a big Christmas fan?" he teases.
Stiles shrugs, leading the way to his bedroom, (which Derek tries very hard not to picture himself in, even though the rumpled sheets are practically calling his name). "I used to be," he says, rummaging through his closet. "It's not really the same without my mom."
Derek winces, but before he can try to extract the foot from his mouth, Stiles is brandishing a horribly red and furry suit at him. "Ta-da! My dad used to use it, but it got too small for him--too many donuts," he confides, poking at Derek's stomach.
Derek swats his hand away and takes the monstrosity from him. "I hate you for making me do this," he grumbles, starting to yank off his Henley.
"Yeah, alright, so--so you try that on, I'll be in the--kitchen," Stiles stutters, tripping his way out of the room. He bangs his shoulder on the doorframe, but Derek graciously pretends not to notice.
When the suit is finally on, Stiles not-so-graciously laughs his ass off.
"Shut up," Derek mutters, ears red. "This is your fault."
"Dude," he says, wiping a flour covered hand down his face. "I can see your ankles."
"They're my most defining feature," Derek mutters sourly, which sends Stiles into a whole other bout of hysterics.
As Stiles suspected, the suit fits Derek around the waist, but the pants are about five inches too short and the boots don't fit. The top is stretched obscenely across his shoulders, so tight that Derek is afraid to move in case he rips the stitching. He glowers.
"Man," Stiles sighs, sobering suddenly. "I guess I seriously underestimated your muscle mass." He smiles sheepishly as the flush in Derek's ears spreads to his cheeks, but a knock on the door interrupts them. "Pizza's here," Stiles says, clearing his throat, and Derek takes the opportunity to escape back to the bedroom.
They each have a beer with dinner, which is probably not something they should technically be doing if they want to keep this in the realm of glorified parent-teacher conference, but Derek needs something a little harder than soda to distract him from the fact that he and Stiles are alone.
They are alone and it should be weird, but it isn't. It feels like a culmination of all of their interactions--like every look, every jab, every conversation and casual touch has led them here; to Stiles stealing Derek's crusts off of his plate and telling him about how Christmas was his mom's favorite holiday.
Derek offers what words he can, about his own experiences and how Christmas was a hard time in his family too, once his parents were gone. He tells Stiles how easy it was to slip into apathy about the holiday when he was on his own, but how now that he has Annie he can't imagine not celebrating it.
"Christmas is better with family," he finishes, spinning his bottle idly on the table.
"Guess that's what I'm missing," Stiles says softly, eyes flickering up to meet Derek's. "Someone to share it with."
His foot brushes Derek's underneath the table, but he can't tell if it's on purpose or not. He swallows, tries to refocus.
The only bad part of being alone with Stiles in his apartment is that it's unbearably easy to forget their respective roles. Stiles has been untouchable since Derek joined the force last year, but right now he's just a guy in striped socks, and Derek is weak. It would be so easy to lean forward and kiss him, run his hand up his arm and pull him into his lap and grind against him until they both come in their jeans.
Stiles laughs at something else Derek says and brushes his wrist with his fingertips. Derek wants.
They're in the middle of baking the last of the cookies when it happens. Their shoulders are brushing companionably as Derek rolls out the dough and Stiles tries to sneak some to pop in his mouth. Derek keeps elbowing him away, but Stiles just laughs and goes to decorate another gingerbread cookie before sneaking back over. He still has red icing on his nose from when Derek smeared it on him and called him Rudolph.
"You're going to get Salmonella," Derek threatens as Stiles triumphantly pops another piece of cookie dough in his mouth.
Stiles smirks at him. "You're such a dad."
Derek opens his mouth to retort, but his phone starts ringing in his pocket and he looks down at his flour and egg and icing covered hands in dismay. "That's probably Annie," he says, looking for somewhere to wipe down his hands.
"I can get it," Stiles tells him quietly, wiggling his fingers. Derek has no idea how Stiles' hands are cleaner than his, but they are. He nods his head without really thinking about it and Stiles sidles up close to him, slips his fingers into his front pocket to fish out his cellphone. Derek isn't breathing anymore, hasn't been since the space between them shrunk down to two inches. Stiles swallows before meeting his gaze, and he presses the speaker button without moving any further away from Derek.
"Hello?" Derek asks hoarsely, eyes flicking between Stiles' eyes and his parted lips. His breath smells like sugar.
"Daddy!" Annie calls joyously through the phone and Derek forces his eyes down to the phone, studiously ignoring the long fingers that are cradling it.
"Hi, baby. Are you going to bed?"
"Yep! Auntie Cora's gonna read me a story."
"Oh yeah? Which one?"
"I dunno," she says. "Are you having fun at Mr. Stiles' house?"
"Do you still feel lovesick?"
Derek jolts, eyes darting up to Stiles in shock as a bolt of panic shoots down his spine. "Huh?" he manages.
"I asked Auntie Cora and she said the only cure is a kiss!" she exclaims. "On the mouth. Can you believe that? Are you gonna kiss Mr. Stiles?"
Stiles' face looks almost as red as Derek's feels, and he starts trying to frantically clean his hands off on his jeans so he can take this conversation off of speaker phone. "Uh," he fumbles as he wipes. "Mr. Stiles is your, um, he's your teacher, Annie, so it wouldn't be a good idea for Daddy to kiss him."
"Because then you'd have to marry him," she finishes matter-of-factly. Stiles chokes on something.
"Daddy, it's okay if you want to marry Mr. Stiles," she says earnestly. Derek covers his face with a hand. "I won't be mad; I like Mr. Stiles."
"Thanks, honey," he murmurs. He can hear Cora talking in the background, and he prays to the universe that she's telling Annie to hang up.
"Auntie Cora says that you like Mr. Stiles even more than I do!" She says excitedly, and that's it. Game over. The universe officially hates Derek and he's going to die of embarrassment right here on Stiles' kitchen floor.
"I think it's time for bed now, okay?" he manages.
"Okay! I love you!"
"I love you too."
Stiles clicks off the phone and sets it on the counter. "So," he says, clearing his throat. Derek can't bear to look at him. Stiles rocks back on his heels. "You like me more than Annie does?"
"My sister is a compulsive liar," Derek mutters darkly.
"Oh." Stiles taps his fingers on the counter restlessly. "That's, uh. That's too bad."
Derek swallows his pride and looks up. Stiles is still flushed, but he's grinning almost bashfully, chewing on his lip. "Is it?"
"Well, yeah, I mean--" he stands up a little straighter, rubbing the back of his neck. "I don't exactly invite all of my parent volunteers to my apartment." Derek holds his breath as Stiles takes a halting step forward. "Like I said; you're my favorite."
"Stiles, you're her teacher," Derek murmurs helplessly, even as his hand comes up to grip his waist. Annie had said she was okay with it, hadn't seemed bothered by the idea at all. Could he really have this? "And you're my boss's son. I d--"
"My dad likes you more than he likes me; trust me that won't be a problem. And it's not against school code," Stiles blurts out. "I checked. Twice."
"Twice, huh?" Derek asks, feeling bold enough to run a thumb along his bottom lip. He watches hungrily as Stiles's eyes dilate. "You must really like me."
"Dude, your daughter was just talking about marriage, okay, don't think I'm gonna let you live that down anytime soon--"
Derek groans and cuts him off with a kiss, pinning him up against the counter. Stiles sighs into his mouth, brings his hands up to run through his hair and down his back, yanking him closer. Derek pulls away to kiss the corner of his mouth, his jaw, his neck and Stiles groans out loud, tugging on Derek's hair and making his hips jerk forward.
"Wanted you for so long," he gasps, pulling Derek's face back up to his own and licking desperately into his mouth. "Derek!" he says suddenly, pulling away and gripping Derek's face between his hands. "It's a Christmas Miracle."
Derek has just enough time to roll his eyes before Stiles is diving back in to seal their mouths together.
So maybe he was wrong before.
His life isn't a bad Hallmark movie. His life is one of those stupidly cheesy ones that leaves you with warm and fuzzy feelings at the end because the two people get to live happily ever after.
His life is the best Hallmark movie. Because Stiles is the best.
He grins into the kiss.