The problem with working long shifts at the restaurant was not so much his feet hurting at the end of the day, but the boring dead hours. Rarely was the place completely empty, but there were points where it just faded to nothing but a trickle of people every half an hour or so. It was in these moments that Stiles got jittery and tried to remember how much Adderall he took in case the manager stopped by to ask him about it. Most of the people he worked around seem to think that it was kind of funny, except one waiter who reminded him a little too much of Jackson.
So, to pass the time, he colored. It wasn't like he brought a coloring book to work—if he was allowed to bring something to do then he'd snag his DS or his homework—or anything, but they had place-mats and tiny packages of crayons for the kids to use. They used to have puzzles and trivia along the sides along with a tic-tac-toe board, but now they were just big pictures framed by some random, unappealing pattern.
Sometimes they hung some of the pictures up that the kids give them—usually just on the bulletin board behind the host's stand—if they seem particularly proud or if their parents frequent the restaurant. Stiles was not ashamed to admit that one of his from a few years ago is still in the upper corner. Yeah, okay, so he was fifteen at the time, but so what? It was innovative to color the frog like a poison dart frog—specifically Dendrobates azureus. Kids tried to replicate it for a while, before their place-mats switched again.
Unfortunately, some of the pictures didn't offer a huge range of creativity. 2:15 on a Tuesday and he was stuck coloring in a picture of Iron Man. Not that Iron Man wasn't cool—Tony Stark was pretty awesome, and he'd been crazy excited to see that they got some Avengers place-mats in, even if the kids did fight about who got which one—but it was a boring study. Red and yellow for the suit—they didn't have gold—and blue for the sky. They didn't have gray either, for the completely inaccurate cityscape in the background, so that would just have to wait. Unlike some people, not to name age groups, he was not making the buildings green.
Intensely involved with the mundane task of finishing his picture, because the next one in the stack was Captain America and that would be way more fun, he almost missed someone coming in. He didn't, of course, because that would have made him a really bad host. And also fired.
“Good afternoon welcome to—holy crap.” He stopped in mid-reach for the stack of menus, his eyes finding Derek's more out of unprepared necessity than conscious effort.
Derek quirked a brow. “Funny. I'm pretty sure that's not what the sign outside said.”
Stiles flushed, but the embarrassment was short-lived. Instead he leaned across the host's stand, the blue crayon woven between his fingers. “I thought we had a rule about you coming here while I'm working.”
“We don't,” Derek said, in that tone of his that heavily implied he didn't believe someone capable of being so stupid. “You just told me not to come here while you were working.”
“Yeah, and you said you wouldn't be caught dead here anyway, let alone while I was working!” Stiles spread out his arms, gawking at Derek with the most betrayal he could muster. Which was a lot, surprisingly. “Deal! That's a deal.”
“That's not a deal. That's not even close to a—”
Stiles waved his hands in front of him. “Fine, forget it. Not the point. The point: is why are you here when you said you wouldn't be caught dead here?”
Derek shrugged. “So sue me. I thought you'd want these back.”
For whatever reason, Stiles emotionally prepared himself for Derek to hold up something completely embarrassing. He didn't know why, seeing as the most he could have left over Derek's place was a t-shirt. Thankfully, Derek just held up his keyring. Stiles' eyes widened.
He snatched the keys with a speed that even Derek seemed surprised by. “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
“You know, it wouldn't hurt if you actually let someone check out those sounds before it stopped running completely,” Derek pointed out.
Stiles snorted, straightening up to shove his keys in his pocket. “Yeah, with what money?”
The smart reply he was expecting didn't come, and when he looked up he found Derek looking him over. Stiles blinked, baffled enough to look down at what he was wearing. It wasn't anything extraordinary in his estimation, a black dress shirt, black slacks, and his black non-slip shoes. Maybe Derek just had a thing for black? That would certainly explain his wardrobe.
“What?” He finally asked, exasperated. Derek's eyes flicked back up a second later, and the look in them was enough to make Stiles compulsively swallow. He didn't know why. It just felt necessary, dammit. And of course Derek would pick up on it enough to smirk. Of course he would.
“Nothing.” Derek put his hands in his pockets and took a step towards the door. Stiles swore the new angle made the smirk grow. But he also swore that Derek's eyes did another quick once over, and that would be crazy. “Nice Iron Man.”
Stiles gaped. It wasn't until his manager came by that he realized Derek was probably talking about the picture he'd been coloring.