Mr. Stilinski was up first. He shuffled down the stairs, expecting to see Stiles in the kitchen or living room, but both were empty. Going back upstairs, he pounded on his son's door.
"Stiles!" Getting no response, he pushed open the door and found Stiles still in bed. "Stiles?"
Stiles grumbled something into his pillow before his eyes flew open and he shot out of bed, blood rushing to his head, making him dizzy. He had been up late wrapping the pack's gifts and texting Scott until three. He barely remembered what they'd been talking about.
"I'm up…wha—what?" he said, rubbing his face with his hands and looking over at his dad.
The Sheriff gave his son an odd look. "Just…wake up. We're having breakfast than heading out."
"Yeah, yeah." Stiles nodded and plopped down on the end of his mattress as his dad left. It had become tradition for the Stilinskis and the McCalls to spend Christmas morning together since there were just four of them. They'd open gifts and chat and Stiles and Scott would go to play whatever video game they got—they always ended up getting one for a present—and the parents would talk or do whatever parents did.
On Christmas Eve, Stiles and his dad ended up watching A Christmas Story and Stiles was given a tiny cup of eggnog with rum, which was awesome. Then the Sheriff went to bed because he had worked the whole day and Stiles proceeded to wrap gifts and text Scott.
Now that it was morning, Stiles had to get into gear for a werewolf-free Christmas morning. Well…sort of.
Ten minutes later, he was downstairs, and his dad made non-burned pancakes and Stiles told him that he and Scott were going to a party later that night.
"Party? With who?" the Sheriff asked, looking across the table.
"Scott," Stiles repeated, though he knew that wasn't what he dad was asking.
His dad gave him a 'nice try' look. "Who else?"
"Oh uh…you know, Erica, Boyd…people. I got them all gifts," Stiles pointed out around a mouthful.
"Uh-huh." The Sheriff just nodded, knowing something was up, but trusting Stiles enough not to push it. It was Christmas; he could let things slide.
Stiles rolled his eyes and made conversation while they finished eating. It didn't take long for them to head out to the car, only Stiles realized he'd grabbed Scott his 'werewolf' gift, not his 'normal' gift, and had to go exchange it while his dad patiently waited.
"What? I have to make sure I give him the right gift in front of his mom," Stiles said once they were in the car and heading to the McCalls.
His dad arched an eyebrow and glanced over at him. "In front of his mom? What kind of gifts are you getting him, Stiles?"
Stiles realized his mistake. "Uh…nothing. It's just the whole party is gunna be gag gifts and if I gave Scott his here it would ruin the whole party theme."
"Uh-huh." That was growing to be a reoccurring response.
The sun was hidden by clouds as they got out at the house, Stiles juggling all the gifts as his dad rang the doorbell. A minute later, Melissa opened the door with a smile and a "Merry Christmas" giving Mr. Stilinski a quick hug before ushering them inside.
"Merry Christmas!" Stiles said gleefully as the door shut behind him and he spotted Scott standing in the living room by the tree. It was a fake tree, but it was green and covered in cheap ornaments and tinsel. It just screamed Christmas really, with the fireplace going softly and the felt stockings hanging in front of it.
"Need help?" Scott asked, eyeing the numerous presents his best friend was trying not to drop.
"No, no," Stiles insisted, walking over to the sofa so he could let them tumble onto something soft. Then, he grabbed them and shoved them under the tree before straightening up and thanking Melissa McCall for the apple cider she handed him.
"And how are you Stiles?" she asked as they all settled into seats. It was so normal and natural by now; they'd been doing this for what, three years? On top of that, Scott and Stiles were always at each other's birthday parties the whole while growing up, so being in either person's house was like being in their own.
"Uh…" She probably meant besides being thoroughly confused with his attraction to a certain Alpha and spending most of his time running around town with werewolves. "I'm good. You know, nothing really special going on here."
She nodded over her cup of cider. "Have you made any other key copies I should know about?"
"Key copies…Stiles," the Sheriff said warningly, looking over at his son.
Stiles raised his eyebrows and shrugged his shoulders. "What? I just made a house key! Is that a crime?"
Stiles shrunk back into the seat. "Scott let me. Does that get me off the hook?"
His dad glanced over at Melissa, who just chuckled and shook her head at the antics of her son's best friend.
It wasn't long before Scott announced it was time to go through some presents. It was sort of tradition for the parents to get theirs first.
Melissa wasn't expecting much, so her eyes opened in surprise when she pulled out a soft, seafoam colored cashmere sweater. "Oh…Scott…"
"Allison picked it out," Scott said sheepishly.
She looked at him with a weird mix of pride and tears in her eyes. She knew he was saving up his money from the vet's to buy a car of his own, so she was pleasantly surprised that he had spent some actual money on a good gift for her. "Isn't that always the way? The girl buys the gift with the boy's money," she said with a smile, folding the sweater in her lap.
Scott rolled his eyes and bowed his head before nudging Stiles, who launched across the coffee table to put his gift in his dad's hands. The Sheriff carefully unwrapped it. Stiles waited impatiently, tapping his foot and chewing his bottom lip.
"Oh," he said, somewhat surprised. It wasn't anything big or totally expensive, but Stiles had obviously remembered him saying that he wouldn't mind having one while they were browsing a store a few weeks ago.
"Do you like it?" Stiles asked, leaning forward.
"You bet I do." The Sheriff popped open the cardboard box and wrenched the thing out its outrageous plastic packaging. It was a rather intense looking pair of multi-pliers, with about twenty different attachments pulled out of the handles. It even had a pair of scissors.
Stiles knew it wasn't much, but it was the little things that counted.
Next, Stiles and Scott opened the gift that their non-respective parents. They both got a video game, of which they had picked out for each other and just told their parents to wrap and call it theirs.
However, before they could jet off to Scott's room to try them out, they had to finish the gifts. Stiles got Scott one of those nifty super rubik's cube—actually Stiles wanted it more than Scott but he was running out of ideas by the time he got to his best friend's gift—and Scott got Stiles a Mets baseball cap, which he promptly pulled on. And then came the gifts from their own parental person. Stiles got a book from his dad—to be honest, he really wanted it, because it was a werewolf mythology encyclopedia thing and it was like over a thousand pages and weighed about five pounds—and Melissa gave Scott the BMX helmet he'd been wanting from before all the werewolf stuff started happening.
It was only then that they were released from their parents clutches and bolted up to Scott's room.
"When's the party?" Stiles asked as he pushed in the disk and sat back, handing Scott a controller.
"Uh…nine-ish, I think. I mean, everyone's got family things to do," Scott said as the new game whizzed to life.
Right…everyone but Isaac. Stiles frowned slightly when as Scott flicked through the game menu, thinking about the lonely now-werewolf teenager. Sure, he was happy and all when he first got the bite, but now things were settled and Stiles was sure Isaac was feeling the sting of living as a ward of the State in a little apartment by himself since he was almost seventeen and hence not a crap was given about him because he was 'close enough' to being an adult. He wondered if maybe Isaac would just spend the whole day with Derek…
"Dude, what are you doing?" Scott said, waving a hand in front of Stiles' face. "Earth to Stiles."
He blinked and pushed away Scott's hand. "What?" he grumbled.
"C'mon, it's Christmas and this is the game you wanted," Scott pointed out, waving his controller at the screen.
Stiles set his jaw and nodded, hunkering down in his seat and turning his eyes toward the screen. "Damn straight. Prepare to die, wolfboy."
Stiles never put much thought in what his dad and Scott's mom got up to while the he and Scott were upstairs. When they finally stumbled out of Scott's room, searching for something to eat, Melissa and his dad were sitting on the couch, drinking something that looked like wine from plastic cider cups even though it was the middle of the day.
Melissa made them all sandwiches, and they gathered around the TV in the living room to watch A Christmas Story—you could never see that movie too many times on Christmas, not with that one channel playing it back to back for a while twenty-four hours—and it was nice and cozy. They even stayed downstairs for a while after the movie, passing around the rubik's cube and trying to figure it out.
After almost an hour of that, the Sheriff pushed himself to his feet. "It's been nice, but I think it's time we head back." He looked pointedly down at Stiles, who was wrestling with the cube-of-immense-frustration.
"Dad," Stiles whined. If he had thought this through, he would have brought the pack's presents with him and just stayed at Scott's, but alas, he hadn't thought of that while trying to put on clothes that morning.
"C'mon." Mr. Stilinski clapped a hand on Stiles' shoulder and pulled his son to his feet.
"Well, when you put it that way," Stiles said, shrugging off his dad's hand. "Lemme get my stuff." It only took a minute or two to gather the right gifts from around the house. Then the four of them were standing in the foyer. Melissa gave the Sheriff a hug and Stiles lifted an eyebrow at Scott before launching himself at the werewolf.
"Ugh, Stiles!" Scott growled, trying to push him off.
"It's Christmas, dude!" Stiles said in defense, before stepping back and getting enveloped himself in a hug from Melissa.
"Oh it was good to see you, Stiles," she said—probably the wine talking—and Stiles, for a quick moment, was reminded of his mom.
"Yeah, you too," Stiles said, patting her with a hand—well more like the video game case that was in his hand.
She stepped back and the Stilinski's departed with numerous goodbyes and waves. Outside, Stiles snatched the keys from his dad's hand.
"Stiles," the Sheriff said, not sounding the least bit authoritative at that moment.
Stiles just rolled his eyes and walked to the driver's seat. "C'mon, let me drive! It's like not even three miles. And it's Christmas."
The Sheriff didn't argue, only shook his head and got into the car.
"So that was nice, huh, Dad?" Stiles said once he started the car and pulled out into the road. There was a rather small part of him that wondered if his dad would ever find someone else, like to be there when Stiles went off to college—as long as he didn't die thanks to this werewolf business. He wouldn't actually mind that person being Melissa McCall because she was his best friend's mom and she was totally nice.
"Better than just the two of us," he replied, leaning his head back against the headrest.
They got home in one piece and dragged in their gifs. Stiles went to drop his off in his room and pull together the ones for the party in one of those enormous plastic bags you got when you bought pillows at Target. Then it was downstairs for the Stilinski family Christmas traditions.
First came the microwaved bacon dunked in eggnog—sounded gross but tasted like heaven, and it was the only time of year Stiles let his dad eat something so unhealthy—and then came the intense game of Scrabble that Stiles always won. Which was mostly because when he got so bored the summer he was fourteen—when Scott was off at camp—that he had spent two weeks reading through the entire Oxford dictionary. But it was still tradition, so they spent a good hour and half doing that—Stiles won, of course—before they watched the original How The Grinch Stole Christmas cartoon and the beginning of ELF, because it started right after.
Stile didn't realize so much time had passed, but just as Buddy was chugging a whole soda, his phone got a text. It was from Scott.
Where r u?
Crap! He looked at the time and saw that he was late. He should have been picking up Scott by now. "Oh shit," he said, jumping up.
"What?" his dad asked
"The party. I forgot about it. I've got to go pick up Scott!" Stiles called over his shoulder as he bounded up the stairs to his room. Once inside, he debated changing his shirt but he was already late enough, so he pulled the bag of gifts downstairs and then pulled on his coat before realizing he was missing his shoes and keys and ran back up to get them. "Okay…I'll be back later."
"Wait, wait, when is later?" the Sheriff stopped him, standing and walking over with that parental look on his face.
"Uh…" It was already nine, so… "A few hours. I'll be back by midnight."
Before his dad could lecture him—or worse, ask if Derek was going to be at the party—Stiles bolted from the house and climbed into his Jeep. He put the bag in the back seat and took off toward Scott's house, stomach oddly jittery.
"How could you forget?" Scott complained, once inside. He had just a single gift with him.
"I got caught up with my dad," Stiles said. He wasn't sorry about that. He had been really neglecting his father as of late, and it was nice to spend some quality time just the two of them, doing normal, non-werewolf-or-crime-scene-related things. "Look, we'll be there in time. Does Derek even own a clock, or does he just use like the stars and moon position to tell the time?"
Scott shook his head as the Jeep roared down the deserted roads of Beacon Hills. Most people were home with their families, eating big feasts and crowding around Christmas trees. Stiles and Scott just happened to have a party planned with a handful of werewolves.
They pulled up, lights shining on Jackson's Porsche and Erica's little Toyota. Derek's Camaro was somewhere close, hidden in the shadows. Stiles battled with his noisy bag of presents—the bag was noisy, not the presents—before falling on his ass after slipping on a bit of ice and grumbling in annoyance because Scott had just laughed at him and offered no help.
The inside of the building wasn't warm, but it was bright and Stiles knew that as soon as he was surrounded by werewolves, he would no longer need his jacket.
"Stiles, Scott, up here!" Erica called from the edge of the loft, soft curls disappearing as fast as they'd appeared.
The two walked up the stairs to find that a couch had been added to the side of rug, which was where Boyd and Isaac were sitting. Erica was on the floor, resting her back on the space between them and Jackson was nearly pouting as he perched on the armrest next to Isaac. Derek was across from them, sitting on one of the cots.
"Merry Christmas!" Stiles roared, holding up his bag of gifts and shaking it like he was offering them gold—or a bag of dog treats. A chorus of the same echoed around to him as he planted himself on the floor and Scott did the same.
"You're late," Derek said from his corner, eyes on Stiles.
Stiles swallowed. "Uh…yes. I blame Scott."
"Why don't you blame you? You were the one who was late picking me up," Scott muttered.
Stiles elbowed him. "So it was my dad's fault. Look, I'm used to staying home on Christmas, I got distracted."
"Whatever," Jackson rolled his eyes.
"Can we please do the presents now?" Erica begged, eyes wide and pleading. She looked like a puppy.
Derek bowed his head, trying to hide a small smile.
"I'll take that as a yes!" She shuffled over to the small pile of wrapped gifts and pulled out hers from the bunch before sitting crosslegged and offering her gift to Jackson.
It was wrapped in neat gold paper. Jackson eyed it with apprehension.
"Just so we're clear here," Stiles broke out before Jackson even began unwrapping, "I helped pick out like…every single gift here. Just so…we're clear." Jackson glared and Stiles cleared his throat. "Continue."
Erica watched expectantly as he ripped through the paper revealing…a clear cylinder containing…lacrosse balls. Two of them to be exact.
Boyd cracked up first, then Isaac and Scott and the whole loft was snickering while Jackson tried not to look embarrassed.
"You know, in case you lose your balls and need a new pair," Erica said with a perfectly composed face.
"Heh." Jackson looked like he was about to toss the gift back to her—well more like throw them in her face—but instead he just leaned down and dropped it on the floor next to the couch. "I'll keep that in mind," he said through clenched teeth.
Stiles swore he heard Derek laugh as Erica broke out into a grin and held her hands in her lap.
"Who's next? Should I hand them out?" She picked a random gift, wrapped poorly in green, and held it up.
"That's mine," Isaac said, leaning to grab it from her and handing it over to Boyd.
Boyd, being the nice guy he was, flashed a smile and picked at the tape and pulled off the wrapping. It was a book, dwarfed by Boyd's big hands. It looked old.
"Early edition of War of the Worlds," Isaac said, wiggling slightly in his seat, and avoiding everyone's eyes. He had seen Boyd often reading science fiction books, and finding this was almost one-hundred-percent Stiles' doing.
Boyd's face showed surprise. Good surprise. "Thanks, man," he said genuinely. Isaac seemed to give a sigh of relief and mirrored the smile that was given to him.
Stiles felt sort of warm and fuzzy inside and pulled off his jacket because he had been right, he was totally burning up with all these werewolves around.
"And this?" Erica held up a small, slender box with nothing but a bow.
"Yours," Boyd said. "From me."
Stiles wondered why no one had put name tags…then again, he hadn't put any on his either. He smelled conspiracy.
Erica was already smiling as she pulled off the bow and stuck it to her hair like a child, and pulled off the top of the box. Inside was a thick cloth strap, ended in a rather beautifully carved wooden wolf charm. Her eyes lit up and she dropped the box, holding the charm in one hand to examine it. "Holy crap, this is amazing," she said gleefully, before slipping the necklace around her neck. It hung out around the top of her cleavage, of which none of them were blind to. "Thank you so much!" She pushed herself to her feet and pounced on Boyd, hugging him tightly for a moment before sitting down between him and Isaac.
"That's yours, McCall," Jackson said, slipping down to sit on the floor and pointing toward the unmistakable size of his gift.
Scott grabbed it from the pile, having an idea of what it was if Stiles was the one who picked it out. He pulled off the wrapping—it was rather fancy stuff, Mrs. Whittemore must have wrapped it—and found himself staring at the only Kids of 88 CD he didn't own. Obviously, Stiles had picked it out. "Thanks," Scott said in Jackson's direction.
There was only one more gift left. Jackson passed it to Isaac, who looked down at it discerningly. He actually glanced across the space at Derek, who was watching the whole scene with a mixture of sadness and pride. Stiles glanced over then too, but that only gave him an awfully queasy feeling in his stomach so he turned back to Isaac.
"Who's this from?" he asked, before he started.
"That would be me," Scott replied. "Though…the idea was Stiles', so like…I guess both of us."
Stiles shoved him lightly, but nodded along.
Isaac carefully pulled away the tape and then pulled off the cheesy snowflake wrapping that Stiles remembered had covered his video game from Scott's mom.
"This is…an empty picture frame," Isaac said, staring down at the clear glass and the cardboard backing.
"Don't kill me for being a complete cheeseball," Stiles shrunk away, holding his bag of presents protectively in front of him.
"It's you know…" Scott frowned, aware that this actually didn't feel as cheesy as Stiles was thinking, at least not to Scott. "For you to put a picture of the pack. Or…a total lens glare…"
"Or you could all just like…smile so big it makes your eyes close," Stiles offered with a shrug.
Derek actually laughed. It was very clear, and he stood up, walking over to the lot of them. "There's a way to not have that happen," he said, towering over all of them, standing in the place where the gifts had been piled. They all looked up at him quizzically. "Contacts? It's the only way to get an ID so…it works for photos."
"Of course, we don't all have contacts," Jackson said. In fact, werewolves didn't need them, being like superbeasts or whatever.
Derek just nodded. "Get some."
And that was that. They would put together a pack picture soon…maybe on New Years, since they didn't have anywhere else to be—well Jackson did, but he would make time for the pack because he might be a jerk but he still felt obliged to do things with them—and then it was Stiles' turn to hand out gifts.
Derek was sitting in their little circle now, and Stiles felt the back of his neck heat up because he knew exactly what all his gifts were. He pulled them all from the bag and laid them out to his left. "Uh…so I got these like…Wednesday…" He shrugged and handed the first gift to Scott on his right. Every gift was wrapped in the same exact paper he had used for Scott's and his dad's gifts. It had happy fat Santas and Rudolph sporadically on blue, surrounded by snowmen and snowflakes. And he wasn't the least bit ashamed of it. Stiles loved giving presents on Christmas.
Scott excitedly ripped through the paper and Stiles puffed out his cheeks with a breath. Scott's eyebrows furrowed as the paper fell away. "Condoms?" he looked over at Stiles, who just shrugged and let out the breath.
"There doesn't need to be any werebabies running around so…" Stiles smirked and ducked his head, searching through the pile for the next. He picked the biggest. It was soft and crinkly and he leaned forward on his knees and hand to hand it to Erica before sitting back.
She bit down on her bottom lip and laid the gift down on her lap before pulling back the wrapping like she was opening a Jiffy Pop. She instantly smiled once she saw what was inside and pulled out a t-shirt. It was black, with a cool wolf-howling-at-the-moon-with-some-cool-blue-flowers design. "Thanks, Stiles," she said, holding the soft shirt to her chest with one hand and crumpling up the paper with the other. She tossed it at Jackson, who wasn't paying attention, so it bounded off his ear and she chuckled and hid her face behind Isaac's shoulder from Jackson's glare.
"She's the girl so she gets the good gifts?" Jackson complained.
Stiles rolled his eyes and tossed Jackson his gift. "I think so, yeah," he said.
Jackson unwrapped the thin, stiff package, only to find himself looking at a bumper sticker sitting on cardboard to keep it from bending. On it said "World's Biggest Jerkface". Jackson growled out, "Stiles!" Stiles couldn't help laughing, and Derek put a hand on Jackson's shoulder before he lunged across the room to strangle the pack human.
"You don't get one," Stiles said, pointing at Isaac as he picked up the last gift. "Since the photo and everything was totally my idea." Isaac just shrugged, the look on his face saying he wasn't bothered by it. Stiles nodded and tossed the last gift up at Boyd. It was small and nearly weightless.
"Are these…?" Boyd asked, as he tore off the thin paper. He actually stared laughing at the Evergreen scented car air fresheners.
"For your non-existent car, right?" Stiles said, breaking out into a grin. "Or you could pop them into unexpected places around here."
"I can smell them enough through the plastic," Derek said, wrinkling his nose. "If you put those in my car, I swear…"
Boyd just smiled and tossed the paper at his feet.
And that was it.
Derek actually turned to look at Stiles, an expectant look on his face. "You didn't get anything for me?" he asked.
Stiles swallowed and tried to look anywhere but at Derek. Unfortunately, he was successful and he was pulled into Derek's eyes. Damn those eyes being all green and blue and crazy…beautiful. Stiles gulped. "Nope," he got out. "No one else did either."
Derek half-smiled, glancing around at his pack. It was simply enough to have a pack…a new sort of family, because Derek missed that. He had Laura for years before she had died, but he hadn't been surrounded by a pack of wolves since he was sixteen…it had been long and hard and he didn't realize he much he had missed it until now. It even took the sting out of Laura not being here.
"Right," he said, eyes landing on Stiles again.
"And uh…no one got anything for me either," Stiles noted, sounding hurt. And he was. He really wanted to get something from the pack. Not because he was selfish, but because he felt like it would just solidify that they actually liked him.
"I wouldn't say that," Derek said finally, breaking the sudden serious overcast in the room. Stiles' eyebrows actually went up and Scott scrambled to his feet and grabbed something from behind the couch.
"Uh…" Stiles eyed it because it was wrapped in red and green and it was relatively large and thin.
"Here," Scott said, not hiding his own smile as he sat back in his place and handed Stiles the gift.
Stiles already knew what it was, and wasted no time shredding the paper like a three year old and ripping off the top of the white clothing box. Inside laid his very own…leather freakin' jacket! "No…freakin'…way!" He jumped to his feet, pulling the jacket out and letting the box fall to the floor. He held it up like it was an Olympic metal and looked out over the rest of the pack, who were all sporting grins. Even Jackson was half-smiling and Derek was smiling rather softly up at him as he pulled it on.
"This is seriously the best gift ever!" he exclaimed, really lost for appropriate words.
"We knew how much you wanted one," Erica said from Isaac's shoulder. She was pressed up close to him, using his shoulder as a headrest.
"Hell yeah!" Stiles grinned and looked down at himself, hands gripping either side of the zipper. It was foolish, but this was all he really needed to feel like he was one hundred percent part of the pack. He felt like an idiot, but a happy idiot as Scott patted his leg and Boyd gave him a thumb's up and Erica told him he looked good. He finally managed to sit back down. The whole loft was sort of wafting with warm feelings between all of them, even Jackson, who was amused—and not in an asshole kind of way—over Stiles' excitement.
"You guys stay as long as you want," Derek said after a few quiet moments where everyone chattered about their gifts. He pushed himself to his feet and walked over to grab his own jacket from one of the beds and slip it on. "Stiles," he said, turning to look at the group of them.
Hearing his name, Stiles turned and swallowed, getting to his feet. "Yeah?" he said, wondering if Derek could tell that he was feeling like Bambi. He swore he would fall down if he took one step.
"C'mon." Derek tilted his head toward the exit before starting down the stairs.
Stiles stood there gaping for a moment.
"Go," Scott whispered, standing up. He didn't say anything else, just put a hand on Stiles' shoulder and pushed his best friend toward the stairs. Luckily Stiles didn't fall and managed to clamber down without incident.
Derek was waiting at the door for him.
"Where're we going?" Stiles asked, following him out into the cloudless night. The lights of the Camaro flashed and Stiles found himself getting in the passenger seat before he realized what he was doing.
"Do you want your gift or not?" Derek said from beside him. It was dark in the car, like being in a movie theatre when the lights first dim and everything is black. Stiles' heart decided to beat out a tune against his ribs that he figured even a human could hear.
"You got me something?" he squeaked as the car started down the road.
"Uh…you know, I told my dad I would be back home like…at a reasonable hour and it's like already eleven-thirty," Stiles babbled, pointing at the lit up radio screen. "And by reasonable I mean midnight. Is this gunna take long?"
"Shut up, Stiles," Derek said, though his voice wasn't threatening.
Stiles shut up, sinking down in the seat.
The car was filled with the smell of new leather.
They drove under the lights of the city…through the city, and it's nearly empty streets. Stiles was going to ask Derek if he was speeding, but he couldn't seem to formulate words, which was quite a rarity for Stiles. And Derek actually seemed like a reasonable driver. At least, with a human in the car, who could potentially get hurt if he did anything stupid. Stiles let out a sigh, a tiny part of him wondering what his life would have been like if he had gotten the Bite from Peter Hale…but then he realized that he wouldn't be the human of the pack and everything would be different.
Maybe it was the five hours light sleep, or the whiskey from the eggnog with bacon, or the fact that the Camaro drove as smooth as molasses, but Stiles almost fell asleep. He might have actually dozed off once or twice for a second before he slipped on the car door and jerked himself awake. Derek didn't say anything, and the radio was off, so the car was silent, but not that uncomfortable silence that came between most people. No, it wasn't weird at all.
The car got dark again as they drove out of the city and up the winding, tree-hugged road toward the Preserve. They didn't stop at the lot, but continued on through on non-existant roads. Stiles wondered how Derek didn't drive them right into a tree.
Finally, the bouncing stopped and Derek cut the engine.
"Oh god," Stiles said the moment he stepped out of the car. They were on that cliff with the clearing, the one that Scott and Allison usually met up to be alone together. It was possible that his heart either dropped to the ground or up to his throat, but his hands were shaking and he shoved them into his jacket pockets. "You're going to kill me right? I mean…this is like some werewolf tradition, isn't it? Kill the human under light of the Christmas moon or something?" He shivered against the cold and followed Derek to the edge. Well, not the edge but like three feet from it. It was cold and a bit breezy up here.
Derek didn't say anything. He just stayed at Stiles' right, a silent column of black and broody. Stiles' breath came out in puffs and he hunched his shoulders against the cold. A second later, he felt Derek's hand—all warm and sending manly tingles down to Stiles' toes—rest on the back of his neck. Which was completely a Derek thing, he did it to everyone. But mostly it was to stop them from saying something stupid or doing something stupid; Stiles knew from experience that Derek didn't usually touch someone so softly. He turned his head to ask what was up with Derek…
And then Derek kissed him. No really, it was just like that. Stiles was not expecting it. It was unexpected on somany levels.
It was Stiles' first kiss, and definitely not how he'd imagine it because Derek was neither strawberry blond nor a girl. Nope, his face was scratchy and his hands were rough. Hands that Stiles knew first hand could kill, but he was surprisingly not freaked out by the way Derek's fingers pressed against the back of his neck and his jaw. It didn't really matter to him that Derek's hands were in the perfect position to snap his neck because he was too busy not knowing what to do and thinking that this was the best Christmas since his mom died.
Before he could truly process, he found himself making a very ahem, manly noise in his throat because Derek's lips were gone and he wanted them back. Of course, then things sunk in and Stiles blinked and bowed his head.
"You're going to kill me now right? Like some Christmas wolf thing?" he repeated. Derek was standing close, one hand still on the back on Stiles' neck, the other back in his pocket. Stiles would have been cold if Derek wasn't a walking radiator.
"No," Derek replied simply.
Stiles took in an icy breath and looked over the view of Beacon Hills they could see from here, all extra-lit up for the holiday. "Dude, this is pretty romantic. Did you really plan this for my gift?" He looked over at Derek, who gave him a mild glare. "Because it is awesome," Stiles added.
Derek shook his head, a small but genuine smile appearing on his face.
"There we go," Stiles exclaimed. "Hey, look, the Grinch is smiling, hold the presses!"
"Ha, ha," Derek slipped back to his scowl and turned the both of them around to walk back to the car. Stiles felt oddly cold when they parted at the grill to get inside. It was totally because Derek heated him up by standing close then BAM! he was gone.
Once inside the car, Stiles fidgeted in his seat. "So...we've got to tell someone right? The pack I mean. Unless they like...know already." He frowned, pondering the thought that Scott knew this was happening before even Stiles did. He totally did. Stiles clapped a hand over his face thinking how he was a complete idiot and the pack totally knew what was going on here. There wasn't a doubt in his mind about that. "And...oh my god, what about my dad? What if I walk inside and he instantly knows I kissed a werewolf!" That was not even the biggest problem either, there was the whole...Derek-is-twenty-two-and-Stiles-is-sixteen thing...no matter that his birthday was in just a few weeks. The whole underaged thing with the Sheriffs son...oh damn.
"Stiles," Derek's voice was its usual calm tone.
Stiles turned to look at him, swallowing because he wasn't sure if he actually had the guts to ever kiss Derek again.
"It's Christmas. Worry about it tomorrow." And that was it. Derek started the car and managed to turn it around without hitting any trees and they headed all the way back to the wolf den so Stiles could get his Jeep and drive Scott home.
During the drive back, Stiles slipped his eyes shut and slid down in his seat, nestling himself against the door and crossing his arms, pressing his lips together in a line to keep an onslaught of babble from escaping them. Once or twice he cracked an eye open to catch Derek's profile under a street light.
Stiles didn't even wonder how in the holy hell this happened. How he had suddenly started liking a guy so much, especially one who was a moody grouchpotato, and how that moody grouchpotato liked him back…apparently. Stiles was pretty sure no one could force Derek to do anything so he had totally kissed him by his own free will.
Stiles hid a smile behind his jacket collar and peeked over at Derek. He swore he saw a satisfied smirky smile on the Alpha's face.
Stiles really didn't want to leave the car and kicked himself for setting a midnight curfew. He wasn't Cinderella, dammit, but the damage was done.
And all he could think about as they pulled out of town and through the spirally trees toward Derek's place where the rest of the pack was waiting, was that Stiles really, really needed to talk to Danny.