Stiles isn’t sure how exactly he’s lucky enough to be going to the beach with Lydia Martin, but he’s really, really, under no circumstance going to complain about it. She was going to be there, in a blue string bikini, covered in sand and salt water, with her hair tangling in the wind. She would turn and smile with her entire face, eyes crinkling and nose scrunching up at him. It was going to be perfect.
Of course, he wasn’t technically going with Lydia, because she was currently in the passenger seat of Jackson’s porsche, and Allison and Scott were singing badly in the back seat of his jeep and Stiles was trying really hard to ignore them.
But he was counting himself lucky. Lydia Martin. In a bikini. On the beach.
As it turns out, Stiles doesn’t even get to see that much of the bikini, because her and Jackson disappear down the shore line, Allison and Scott not far behind as they go to get ice cream. Even Danny pulls his own vanishing act and lets some guy with a camera drag him off, grinning widely and winking back at him. He’d almost be worried if Danny wasn’t a six foot tall, muscly giant.
He has terrible friends, he decides.
So he sits alone on his towel with all their crap. Because that’s what he is: Stiles Stilinski, purse watcher extraordinaire. At least he has the cooler with all the food. They’re bound to be back at some point. Popping a can open, he takes a long swig of soda and watches the surfers and the group playing soccer and the hot people walking by and the fat people walking by. A lot people are walking by, and he watches them.
Sweet loving, glorious Jesus in beach heaven, this is boring. He flops back and closes his eyes. The sun is hot on his skin. At least he’ll get a tan. Maybe Lydia will dump that douche Jackson for him then. Jackson the douchetastic douche. And maybe she’ll say yes when he asks her to prom. It’ll be perfect.
Stiles is just drifting to sleep when, just his luck, a soccer ball connects with his face.
“Fuck!” he screeches, sitting up and holding his face. He yells. Manly. Nope, he did not screech or shriek or make any other embarrassingly high-pitched noises. His eyes water and his hands come away with blood.
“Holy shit, are you okay?”
Stiles looks up through watering eyes, ready to yell, at the biggest dude he’s ever seen leaning over him, hands hovering in the air like he’s going to touch him. His words die right in this throat. Inwardly, he applauds the guy, because people tell him all the time that he can never shut up.
“Oh yeah, sure, just fine, no problem, I’m okay. No worries. It’s just a little blood, don’t worry, I’ll be great in a second.”
There’s another guy and a blonde girl now leaning over the big guys shoulders, wide-eyed, the girl clutching the soccer ball to her stomach.
“That’s bleeding really badly,” she says, wincing at him.
“Nope, nope,” Stiles babbles. “Don’t worry about me I’m good.”
The other guy turns to the blonde, “Erica, go see if Derek still carries that first aid kit with him. It should be in the beach bag.”
She nods and dashes away, baggy shirt flopping around her thin frame.
“Dude, hold your head up and pinch the bridge of your nose, okay?” the giant instructs him. “I’m really sorry about this man, I don’t know my own strength.”
“It’s cool,” Stiles sighs, tipping his head back. He can feel the blood pour down the back of his throat. “Ew, that’s nasty,” he says, voice nasally. The giant actually laughs at that. “Hey hey, no laughing at the guy whose face you just exploded. I’m Stiles, by the way.”
The guy grimaces a little, but smiles. “I’m Boyd. This is Isaac and that’s Erica with the first aid kit,” he says as the girl dashes up with the white container.
“Cool.” They shove a lot of white tissues at him, and Stiles works to wipe the blood off his face. Thankfully his nose decides to not to continue to be a grisly geiser of red and doom, and stops bleeding. “Oh man, I hope it’s not broken. I don’t feel like going to the ER.”
Boyd’s face kind of pales. “Dude, I am so sorry. I-I don’t really have any kind of insurance or anything but I’ll do whatever —”
Stiles blinks up at him. “No, dude, no problem. It was an accident, right. I mean don’t worry about it. Hey, I bet if it’s crooked, it’ll just make me look more interesting and all the girls will like it right. Unless it’s like totally smashed in then that would look pretty weird, like Voldemort of something and no one likes the snake face look.”
“What happened?” cuts through his babble and all four of them look up to see a greek god standing there in the sun, if his chiseled abs are anything to go by. Okay, maybe not a greek god, now that Stiles gets a look at his face, more like hot serial killer. Really though, those abs are sharp. He wonders if anyone has died on those things. That’s probably why he looks like he could commit homicide in broad daylight without flinching. But the guy does look rather stunning — barefoot, shirtless, and dripping with seawater, holding a surfboard.
“Derek,” Isaac shoots up to his feet. “We were playing with the soccer ball and we accidentally hit him and —”
The poor kid is cut off with a glare. Frankly, Stiles would shut up too. If looks could kill, man. The guy drops his board and crouches down in front of Stiles batting his hands away from his face. Derek has long fingers, and they’re ocean cold against Stiles’s sun-warmed skin, and he really wishes his face wasn’t broken right this second.
“Derek is a EMT,” Boyd says over the guy’s broad shoulder.
“Oh,” Stiles says. “Lovely.”
“It’s stopped bleeding, at least.” Derek says, and touches Stiles’s nose. Stiles does not flinch. At all. “It’s just a little fractured, not bad. I can take you to the ER, or you can let me set it here. It’ll have the same outcome either way. I thought I told you to be careful,” he adds, glaring back at the other kids.
“Whoa whoa,” Stiles says. The guy just growled. Do people even do that? “It was an accident, it’s not like I’m going to press any charges for it. I’m Stiles, by the way.”
Derek is looking at him no, and whoa, those are some really nice blue eyes if it weren’t for the whole I’ll-murder-you-and-then-tie-you-to-cinder-blocks-and-leave-you-for-the-fishes look he’s got going on.
“Last name, Stilinski.”
Derek’s brows arch above his eyes. He stares at him for a few more seconds, and his face goes completely blank. Stiles swallows, still leaning back on his hands while Derek leans over him. He almost looks, sad? Then the look is gone and he says, “Close your mouth and clench your teeth.”
Motherfuckshitdamnhellfuckwhygoddammityousonofabitch. Stiles doesn’t say any of that out loud. None of it. Maybe some of it from the way the guy is glaring at him. Stiles gingerly clutches his face and glares right back, though that might be a little undermined by the tears in his eyes.
Whatever. The guy surprise!set his his nose. He’s allowed to be a little upset, thank you very much.
At least he’s nice enough to tape it up a little bit and hands him a cold can of soda for his face, which apparently must be pretty bruised up. Fantastic. Hot serial killer has practically seen him cry, and Lydia will never look at him twice with this face for the rest of the weekend. Glorious.
“Well, you handled that pretty well,” Derek murmurs. “At least you didn’t bite through your tongue.”
“I know, what a tragedy that would be. My tongue does amazing things,” he says.
Boyd chokes out a laugh and coveres his mouth. Derek, Isaac, and Erica are all staring at him.
“I mean as in talking,” he yells, blushing all the way down his neck and that must look great with his bruised face. “I talk all the time, I’m a great talker, people complain about me all the time. I’m the town menace with this voice box, I’m surprised people haven’t tried to cut it out of me yet, seriously, I talk all the time.”
“I can tell.” Despite the deadpanned voice, Stiles thinks Derek’s ears are a little pink. Must be sunburn, he tells himself, because anything else would be ridiculous. So, Stiles stares at Derek’s lips, which are thin and pink and a little chapped in the wind. “Are you sure you don’t have a concussion.”
“Positive,” he murmurs, still staring. And Derek is staring back and Stiles feels the air in his lungs freeze, his heart beat pitter-pattering in his chest, a hummingbird beat. They’re both frozen in a small moment, and Derek’s close enough that Stiles can feel his breath on this face. Vaguely aware of their audience, Stiles swallows and opens his mouth to say something, anything witty and charming, that would get Derek to smile. He thinks Derek would look better, and less slasher-y with a smile.
And Stiles’s frozen moment shatters when Derek jerks away, looking off to his side. He gets up without another word, grabs his board, and walks off. The rest follow, Boyd giving him a wide-eyed look before departing.
Stiles works to get his breath back, and turns to watch them leave.
It was another girl, with long brown hair and thin hips, carrying two giant bags twice her size. “I got the hotel, finally!” she’s saying, as Derek takes one of the bags from her and they head off toward the beach exit. “It took forever, I can’t believe...”
Stiles watches their backs as they go, her voice drowned out by the ocean and the crowd. He flops back onto his towel and covers his face with his hands.
“Girlfriend, of course,” he whispers to himself. Just his luck.
It takes nearly three hours after they’ve carried their luggage into the Whittemore’s beach house for anyone to even notice his face. And, of all people, it was Jackson.
“Whoa, Stilinski, who did your face make mad?”
Stiles sneers at him. “That was the dumbest sentence ever. And for your information, my face is so irresistible that soccer balls aim themselves towards me at peak speeds. You know, to get to me faster.”
“Wow,” Jackson snorts, and takes a gulp of his douchebaggy mineral water that only douchebaggy rich people would buy because tap water is so beneath them.
“At least the EMT was hot who set my nose,” Stiles sighs to himself.
“I bet you cried like a baby.”
“Your comebacks just get snarkier and snarkier.”
“Your face is snarky.”
“Wow, good one, you showed me.”
“Children!” Lydia snaps, walking into the room. Stiles flops back on the couch, his designated sleeping area as the two bedrooms are taken up for horrible sexy times which Stiles resents. Maybe he wants sexy times too, dammit.
“What happened to your face?”
Stiles shoots back up and whirls around. But Lydia isn’t even looking at him, and is flipping idly through a magazine, looking utterly disinterested even though she asked. He lays back down, sulking.
“Soccer ball accident,” he grumbles.
Lydia doesn’t even respond.
Allison and Scott enter stage right from their room where they were no doubt sucking face like the disgustingly cute love birds they are. They’re giggling and holding onto each other. Lydia smiles a little at them, which Stiles knows she thinks no one else can see. Apparently ice queen actually thinks they’re adorable. Great. They’re gag-inducing romance actually gets more attention than Stiles’s broken face.
Though, he had to admit, they were a little cute.
“So, are we going?” Allison asks.
“Oh, let me go get my wallet!” Scott says and dashes off, where he’ll probably tear apart the room and his luggage to find it, where Stiles can see it on the counter beside Jackson’s bottle of mineral water.
“Go where?” Stiles asks, leaning over the back of the couch, instead of pointing out the wallet. Allison looks at him wide-eyed like she’s never seen him before.
“Oh my god, what happened?”
Stiles rolls his eyes. “Soccer accident.”
“You were playing soccer?”
“No,” he moans into his hands. “That’s why it’s even more embarrassing.”
She makes an abortive, comforting gesture towards him. “Do you need some medicine? My mom made me pack every drug known to man into my suitcase so I know I have something that will take the swelling down or reduce pain.”
Allison’s kind of awesome. “Nah, no worries, I’m fine,” he waves her off. “So where are we going again?”
Her face pinks a little bit, and Jackson snorts into this douchey mineral water.
“Um, well,” she mumbles, shifting from foot to foot. “We’re, uh, going on a double date.”
“Oh,” says Stiles. Oh. Great. “What about Danny?”
“He’s gone to a club with that guy he met today.”
Perfect. Not that he and Danny were the best of friends, but he knows the guy owns a x-box and that he’s pretty good at Halo, so that would have been something.
“I’m so sorry, Stiles, I didn’t even think about it.”
Stiles sigh inwardly. “Hey, no worries, I’ll just entertain myself here.”
Jackson glares at him. “Don’t touch anything.”
“Seriously, nothing. I’ll know.”
“What am I supposed to do?! Sit here in the dark all night?”
“Don’t care,” Jackson says, and herds the girls toward the door. “Don’t. Touch. Anything. Tell Scott we’re in the porche.” He slams the door.
“Asshole,” Stiles yells back and sinks down into his seat, arms crossed and glaring at the forty inch television he’s not allowed to touch. “Asshole rich kids and their asshole parents letting them say at this dumb beach house alone. I hope someone ends up pregnant.”
Scott stumbles into the room, eyes landing on his wallet. “See yah,” he says, snatching it and makes his way out the door.
Worst friends ever.
Scott sticks his head back in. “Dude, what’s with your face.”
“Oh my god!”
Stiles digs his toes down into the wet sand, watching the thin line of light at the horizon where the night sky meets the dark ocean, watches as it grows smaller and smaller until it’s sliver of silver, and thinks about the silver lining and wondering where his is right now.
At least he’s being angsty on the beach instead of Jackson’s empty house.
Dragging his feet along the shoreline, he digs out two long trenches into the beach as he walks. It's dark now and the dunes block out the bustling nightlife so that the small ocean town is a soft glow in the sky. He's far enough away that the low tide drowns out any music or noise. The cool sea breeze feels good on his bruised face, and he let's it carry his thoughts away as he makes his way down the beach. Filling his lungs with the salty air, he heaves out a heavy sigh and his chest doesn’t feel as tight any more.
"How's the face?"
Stiles does not shriek. No really, not this time. Maybe its just the overabundance of teen angst he's got going on or the fact that he seriously thinks the universe is laughing at him. Because he really does think it’s laughing rather hard right now.
Derek is sitting a good ways away, far enough that he had to raise his voice to get Stiles's attention. His figure is a dark silhouette against the beach. But he knows it’s Derek, because who else would it be? There’s a red bud of light at the end of a cigarette that burns a little brighter when Derek takes a drag. Stiles tries his best not to think about Derek’s lips wrapped around the white cylinder. It doesn’t work very well.
"Those are bad for your health, you know," Stiles says as he approaches.
The man doesn’t reply except with a soft grunt and Stiles is standing in front of him. He can barely make out the shape of Derek’s face looking up at him, but he can feel grey eyes scrutinizing him under those heavy set brows.
“So,” Stiles says, rocking back and forth on his feet. “Is this patch of sand taken or can I park it here?”
Saying nothing, Derek just shrugs and takes another long drag, so Stiles plops down beside him, and they watch the ocean together. There’s a fire on further down the beach that flickers and dances amongst the shadows like a firefly. Couples walk by every so often, but are too wrapped up in each other to notice them sitting so far up the beach from the waves. Stiles is pretty sure he sees Scott, Allison, Lydia, and Jackson, but tries not to think too hard about it. Instead, he and Derek sit in perfect silence and watch the moon rise and the stars pop out across the sky.
Stiles doesn’t feel like he needs to fill the silence. It’s wonderfully comfortable and he lays back in the sand to look at the stars. Beside him, Derek doesn’t move, but snuffs out the end of his cigarette in the dirt.
“Littering,” Siles murmurs.
Derek almost smiles, letting out a small huff of a laugh. A wide grin spreads across Stiles’s face.
“So, what do you have the board for. I hope you’re not going night surfing. I’m told that’s a good way to die.”
Derek shrugs, and says, “I had actually come back to see if you were still around.”
Sitting up, Stiles’s yell breaks the soft quiet they have going on. “Really?!” Derek cocks an eyebrow at him. “Uh, I mean, really, wow, that’s interesting, whatever could you have possibly been looking for me for?”
Stiles can see his smirk in the dark. “Just to make sure you didn’t have a concussion or anything.”
Deflating a little bit, Stiles lays back down. “Oh,” he says.
Derek snorts a little bit, and runs a hand over his surfboard. Stiles can hear the roughness of his hands over the smooth surface, but tries hard not to think about it, like he’s trying not to think about his arms or his chest. The silence is uncomfortable this time. He shifts a little in the sand.
Amazingly, Derek breaks it, quietly asking, “Have you ever been surfing?”
Stiles turns toward him, but can’t make out Derek’s expression. Shrugging, he says, “I used to, but not for a couple of years now.”
Derek inclines his head towards him, as if to tell him to go on.
“Well,” Stiles swallows. “My mom. Used to take me out and teach me a little. But, well, she can’t. Anymore.”
Derek stiffens beside him, shoulders going rigid. He cuts a dark form, blotting out the stars in the sky. “Oh,” he says and jerks into motion, rummaging around in his pockets. His face lights up with a sudden brightness as he lights another smoke. Stiles studies it in its flickering intensity, there and gone in a second, looking aged in the bright flame. Not the young guy he saw dripping with the sea that afternoon. “Oh,” he says again, and then softly. “I’m sorry for your loss.”
“It’s been a few years,” Stiles says, talking easily around the lump in his throat. “But, I haven’t really been surfing since then. I didn’t even bring my board this time.” He sighs a little, but keeps talking. “Mom used to love the beach so much. After she died... We stopped going for a long time. But one Christmas, we got in the car and drove out here and sat. After that, we came pretty regularly, and I always brought my board, even though I never went out there. This is the first time I didn’t bring it.”
Stiles swallows again, and internally curses at his tendency to babble and the stinging at the corners of his eyes. Because he said way, way too much. Has ever said that much about her? Suddenly all the words he’s ever said haven’t added up to as much as he’s said tonight.
“Oh, wow, that was utterly, horribly, pathetically depressing,” he says loudly, with a jaunty laugh. It sounds fake to his own ears, and that just makes the embarrassment even worse. “We were actually have a nice time before I fucked that up. Right? You were having a nice time, right? Well, I was at the least, and wow, look at the time, I should probably high tail it on home. Yep. I’ll see you.”
Getting to his feet, Stiles starts to make a run for it, tail between his legs and everything. But he only gets half a step away when Derek grabs his hand, and Stiles freezes. Neither of them move, and Stiles catalogues Derek’s slim fingers in between his, his cool hands, the rough finger tips and wonders if Derek plays guitar. They’re almost small in Stiles’s hands, but strong, gripping his fingers and not letting go.
Derek stands up and pulls Stiles back around to face him. This close, Stiles can see his eyes perfectly, grey-silver in the moonlight like half moons in the sky.
“Stiles,” is all he says, and he leans forward and their lips touch and Stiles’s brain short circuits.
It’s a soft brush of lips, a warm puff of breath on his face, and it makes Stiles’s chest clench and his stomach flop and his knees wobble in all the right ways. Their noses bump a little, and Stiles’s free hand trembles in the air, itching to touch where Stiles didn’t even realize he moved.
His head swims, and Derek pulls back fractionally, just far enough away to look into his eyes. Stiles swallows, and he knows his mouth is hanging open and his eyes are wide, and that probably looks horribly unattractive, but, his first kiss and his lips are tingling a little and his heart hasn’t started back yet.
“Uh, um,” he mumbles intelligently. Derek actually smirks. Smirks! Stiles is going to die. This is probably some horrible to scheme to get him alone and comfortable to take him to some abandoned house to kill him. Derek is still rocking that serial killer vibe, and yeah, Stiles is going to die.
So, he says the last thing he could ever want to say at this point, “But, your girlfriend?”
Because, who is Stiles to think that this guy wants anything to do with him? This could be some kind of sick, twisted pity thing. Pity kisses. Derek just thinks he’s sad and pathetic and maybe he’s just looking for a good time. Pity booty call. Yep, that has to be it.
Stiles’s entire thought process derails and his heart starts again in a very painful leap in his chest that Stiles almost chokes. “Uh,” he stutters. “The hot brunette with the hotel key lugging around two giant duffels even though they probably weighed three of her?”
Derek makes an almost face of disgust. “Laura? She’s my sister.”
“Oh,” Stiles says. “Your sister.”
Derek waits a beat before, “You think my sister’s hot?”
“In a completely non-creepy, I’m-thinking-of-boning-your-sister kind of way,” Stiles says. Derek’s face twists in a horrible fashion. “But more in a, fuck-my-life-I-can’t-even-hate-you-for-your-terrifically-horribly-hot-boyfriend-because-you’re-probably-perfect-for-him kind of way.”
“Ah,” Derek says, eyebrows all the way up his forehead. “Well, that’s good then.”
“Yes, very,” Stiles says, and they’re hands are still clenched together. “So, no girlfriend?”
“Skeletons in the closet?” Stiles asks. “Bodies in the basement?”
Dereks eyebrows nearly reach his hair line. “What?”
“Just checking. No other romantic attachments?”
“No.” Derek’s eyes are intense, like a heat across Stiles’s face.
“Good enough for me,” Stiles says and leans up for another kiss, this one wetter and more relaxed, and Derek puts a hand on his hip. Stiles goes through the same routine of heart stopping, stomach flopping, knee jerking, unpleasant wonderfulness. He’s not that good at it, he realizes. At all. But Derek, doesn’t comment or pause or make any noises of disgust, but just leads him through it with his lips and teeth.
The sounds of the ocean, the crash of the waves seem to fill his ears as Derek kisses him lazily. The hand at his hip drags itself up behind his back and pulls Stiles flush against him, and Stiles lets it happen. Derek takes like cigarettes and salt water.
But that’s when Stiles realizes that he’s barely known this man, a MAN, for twelve hours, and pulls away, blushing furiously. Derek lets him go, with a small smile on his face, and wow, he was right, he looks a million times better — younger — and Stiles can’t remember what exactly he was freaking out about.
“Go out with me tomorrow.”
Stiles bodily jerks back. “What?” A date? Isn’t that moving really fast. Not that they weren’t already moving fast. Wow, is Stiles really that easy? Then again, first kiss. There’s a difference between easy and desperate.
Derek gestures to the dark ocean. “Tomorrow. I have a board you can borrow.”
“Oh,” Stiles says, eyeing the sea. “It’s been a while. I don’t know —” Derek kisses him again, quickly, before pulling away. He gives him a long look, and Stiles doesn’t feel like he’s being teased or pitied anymore. Maybe they’ll figure the rest of it out later.
“I’ll see you tomorrow,” Derek says, squeezing his hand before letting go and walking down the beach without looking back. Stiles stands there, quietly, and watches as he disappears into the dark.