Stiles is trying to make the all-important decision between pizza rolls or reheated Chinese food when his phone buzzes. It's from Derek.
Stiles rolls his eyes. He'd gotten upset at Derek a few weeks ago for his habit of climbing in through the window unannounced, and since then, Derek has been very careful to alert Stiles to his presence in the most obnoxious way possible.
"Good for you," Stiles texts back. He's leaning towards Chinese food, and then he's going to take it up to his room and watch Arrested Development and dick around on the internet, because it's Friday night, and that's what you do on Friday nights when you're single and your best friend is busying romping around in the woods with his girlfriend.
Not that Stiles can blame him. If Stiles had anyone to romp with, he would definitely be romping.
"Where are you," Derek texts a minute later.
Stiles has his hand hovering over the buttons on the microwave (he likes to try and open the door right when the timer hits 0:00), but he takes a second to text Derek back.
"...inside my house?"
The pork fried rice smells fantastic. Stiles pulls the plate out of the microwave, ready for an evening of glamorous fun, then promptly drops it when he turns around to find Derek standing in the doorway.
"What are you doing?" Derek asks, sounding impatient.
"Dude, what the fuck!" Stiles yells. There's rice all over the floor, and that was his dinner, dammit, and now he's going to have to eat pizza rolls, which -- okay, it's not like that's a hardship, exactly, but he was really looking forward to the Chinese food...
"I told you to come outside," Derek says with a frown.
"Uh, no, you didn't," Stiles retorts. "You told me you were outside. You didn't say anything about meeting you there."
"It was implied," Derek says.
"It was not!" Stiles says, grabbing a roll of paper towels off the counter and starting to sweep up the bits of rice. "I'm good at subtlety, okay, I am a master of decoding the unspoken, and there is nothing in 'I'm outside' that should have lead me to believe -- "
"Stiles." Derek sighs like Stiles is the most frustrating person he's ever encountered, which is really unfair, because Stiles is not the frustrating factor in this equation.
"And now you made me drop my dinner by being all creepy and lurky -- "
"We'll get dinner later," Derek says.
"Fine, but you have to help me clean this up before you go dragging me off on whatever stupid crisis we're dealing with now," Stiles demands.
Derek rolls his eyes, but he grabs a handful of paper towels from Stiles and helps scoop up rice until Stiles is satisfied that he can push the rest of it under the kitchen table without his dad noticing.
They get into Derek's car, and Stiles complains about how Derek always drives even though Stiles has a perfectly good car, and Derek doesn't say anything, but his little smirking face tells Stiles that Derek thinks the Jeep is a piece of crap, so of course Stiles has to defend his baby's honor, and it's the same (one-sided) argument they've had a dozen times by now, but Stiles still takes a certain kind of satisfaction in it.
A few minutes later they pull up outside the movie theater and Derek parks. Stiles has worked up a really good head of steam about Derek's terrible taste in music, so he's a little miffed when Derek cuts him off to tell him that the movie starts in five minutes.
"Wait, what movie? I thought we were... doing a stakeout or something."
Derek gives Stiles this look like that's most absurd thing he's ever heard.
"Are we just -- are we going to a movie?" Stiles asks. A little voice in the back of his head says "No shit, Sherlock." The voice sounds a lot like Derek, actually.
"You said you wanted to see this one," Derek says with a shrug.
Stiles only vaguely remembers mentioning it. They'd been doing some research at Derek's place (which Stiles has taken to calling the Bat Cave for obvious reasons), but then they'd gotten hungry, and since it's hard to get food delivered to an abandoned warehouse they'd gone to a nearby pizza place, and they'd ended up in a deep discussion about the ridiculous inaccuracies in some recent supernatural-themed movies, and that had evolved into a heated debate about CGI and special effects, which Derek had some surprisingly strong opinions on, especially for someone who claimed that there hadn't been a good sci-fi movie since the original Aliens, and okay, now that Derek has reminded him, Stiles does recall that he wanted to see this movie.
"Huh," he says. He's a little baffled, because this is like the third or fourth time that he and Derek have ended up just hanging out, without having to fight lizard monsters or get themselves shot at or anything like that. He realizes with a start that he and Derek are kind of a little bit friends now, and how weird is that?
Derek lets out a sigh like he can tell that Stiles is only just now catching on to the fact that Derek has been trying to be nice to him. Stiles squirms uncomfortably against the slick leather of the car's upholstery.
"You know," Stiles jokes (because if he has any kind of a superpower, it's the power to make an awkward situation way more awkward) "If we keep doing stuff like this people are going to think we're dating."
He regrets it immediately, because the truth is that he's been trying really hard to get rid of his whole Derek Situation (which is how he's taken to referring to the happy sexual butterflies he gets whenever Derek is around), and of course saying something like that is going to make his brain go to dirty places, which is going to make his heart rate accelerate, and of course Derek is going to notice. Actually, Stiles sort of assumes that Derek already knows about the Situation, seeing as Derek has those super senses and Stiles must be positively oozing sexual frustration at him. But Derek has had the decency not to say anything about it, and Stiles really appreciates that -- except now he's gone and stuck his foot in his mouth, and Derek is just staring at him like he can't believe Stiles is real.
"Yes," Derek says, "they probably will."
"Uh... and you're okay with that?" Stiles asks. He feels like he's probably missing something, because no matter how open-minded Derek might be, the only reason Stiles can think of that Derek would be okay with people thinking the two of them are dating is if Derek actually wanted to date him. And that would be ridiculous, because...
Stiles tries to laugh. His brain says that will defuse the tension. His brain is wrong.
"I thought you said you were good at subtlety," Derek says, narrowing his eyes suspiciously.
"Yeah, well, I thought I was," Stiles replies. The butterflies are back in full force, and Stiles would be really disappointed in himself for being so oblivious if he weren't simultaneously excited and terrified at the idea that Derek might actually be into him.
"So can we just agree that you're really not and go see the movie now? The previews have probably already started," Derek says, looking genuinely annoyed at the idea.
"I thought you said you hated previews," Stiles says. He definitely remembers that, because they'd been talking about VHS tapes that they'd loved as kids, and how they'd memorized the previews, and... wow, they discussed their childhoods together. How had Stiles not noticed what was happening here?
"I do hate previews," Derek says, "but I was going to buy popcorn before the movie started. Since you dropped your dinner."
"You made me drop my dinner," Stiles exclaims before his brain can catch up with the rest of what Derek has said. "You were going to buy me popcorn?"
"I was," Derek says, making it sound as though the chances of him ever doing anything nice for Stiles again are rapidly decreasing.
"So..." Stiles takes a deep breath. He really wasn't built for this kind of emotional or hormonal turbulence. "So is this a date?"
Derek looks so annoyed that Stiles thinks maybe he's managed to totally misinterpreted the situation.
"Yes," Derek says finally. "Now can we go?"
"Oh my God," Stiles says. "This is a date. We're on a date. We're dating."
He's aware that his voice is reaching a pitch that's dangerously prepubescent, but he kind of can't help it because oh my God, he's dating Derek Hale and he didn't even know it.
"Yes, we're dating, but only if you stop talking," Derek says. He leans across the seat, looming in close to Stiles's face, which would have been super threatening, except that apparently they're dating.
"Okay -- I will stop talking on one condition," Stiles says.
Derek quirks an eyebrow at him and Stiles steels his nerves.
"Kiss me," he says.
Something flashes through Derek's eyes, something that Stiles would normally interpret as anger or loathing, but which he suddenly realizes might actually be desire.
Before he can properly react to the idea that Derek wants him, that maybe Derek has imagined the way this could happen, Derek is leaning in and closing the gap between them. His lips are dry and warm, and he seems almost hesitant as he presses them against Stiles's. They freeze there for a moment, and then Derek angles his head to the side, and their mouths slide together like two puzzle pieces, and it sends a shock of unexpected pleasure down Stiles's arms and legs. He feels flushed and tingly all over, and as Derek brings his hand up to Stiles's neck, resting his thumb right over Stiles's pulse point, Stiles wonders if maybe Derek can feel the way Stiles's blood is rushing under his skin. This is far and away the best kiss Stiles has ever had, and they haven't even used tongue yet.
When Derek pulls away a minute later, Stiles is a little breathless and way more than a little turned on.
"Satisfied?" Derek asks in a low voice that sends shivers through Stiles's gut.
"Not really," Stiles says. "But I believe you that we're dating now."
"Good," Derek says. "Now I have a condition of my own."
"We're going to go into that theater and sit in the back row, and if the movie sucks we're going to keep doing that." Derek smirks, and then gets out of the car with way more grace than Stiles thinks he could manage, even if he weren't half hard and kind of lightheaded.
"I accept your terms!" Stiles says, scrambling out after him. "You still have to buy me popcorn though."
"Fine," Derek says. He shrugs, and his arm brushes against Stiles's as they walk towards the theater.
I'm dating Derek Hale, Stiles thinks. It sounds surreal even in his head, but Derek is warm and solid next to him, and Stiles doesn't know what better proof there could be. He just really hopes that everyone else they know is as surprised as he was about this. Otherwise he's going to be very embarrassed.