He calls him Tall, Dark and Brooding-- TDB for short-- in his head and nowhere else, because TDB sort of looks like the kind of guy who would shut you down hard and shut you down fast. And, in this case at least, what he looks like is right.
Five months ago TDB magically appeared in Stiles's coffee shop.
Alright, alright, it's not technically his anything. It's just, you know, a coffee shop. That Stiles like to frequent. Often. So often that other regulars know his name and the staff joke about him being one of them. But, whatever, it's a killer coffee shop, the sort of off the wall, hip place that Starbucks wishes it could be. They serve vegan chili and have mismatched chairs and this vaguely creepy mural on one wall that the owner painted when she was half drunk and there's always something funky playing on the radio and the air smells like freshly ground coffee beans and yeah. It's kind of the best coffee shop in the history of coffee shops. And Stiles, well, he sort of made it his home when he stumbled upon it two and a half years ago.
Stiles spends a good ten hours a day there, six days a week, making use of their free wireless to telecommute, which makes it as much his as anything, and so yeah. He kind of noticed when TDB burst onto the scene.
Him and everyone else in a twenty mile radius.
Seriously, sometimes Stiles thinks that the man is a plant by the owner, who is a hippie, through and through, but just business savvy enough to pay someone hot to sit on the premises and brood up a storm like a modern day James Dean, clicking away at his computer in his leather jacket with that pensive look on his face. Whether he's a plant or not, TDB brings them in like a charm. A darkly handsome charm who drinks cup after cup of tea and eats lemon bars like they are going out of style and never, ever manages to get powdered sugar all over his black on grey on black ensemble, the way that Stiles always does.
But then, Stiles is Stiles. And the universe would collapse on itself if Stiles didn't manage to make the biggest, dorkiest mess of himself at every possible opportunity.
TDB just sits there, day in and day out, type, type, typing away at whatever it is he's got going on over there and Stiles can’t help but watch him covert like. Because the guy is male model hot and Stiles, well, he's not above a little long distance lusting.
Stiles isn't the one only who is lusting, though. Not by a long shot. At least three times a day, some unlucky fool screws up their courage enough to approach TDB. And, at least three times a day, TDB coolly shuts them down. Fast and hard. Just the way Stiles decided he would way back when Stiles first spotted him.
TDB isn't a dick about it, just firm and to the point, eyebrows pulled low in a scowl as he jerks his head in a negative.
Sometimes, though, sometimes he speaks. Opens that lush mouth of his (and, really, did he need to have lips that full? Really? Because the dude wasn't hot enough already without having a perfect set of cocksucking lips as well, but, whatever. That's life, right? Always heaping something extra onto the ones that don't need it and ignoring everyone else all together) and says something dismissive in that voice of his which shouldn't be near as sexy as it is. Anyway. He usually gives a cryptic comment about having someone else in mind. Which would be intriguing in a disheartening way if Stiles believed it for a second. But he doesn't, because TDB never so much as checks his text messages while he's typing and anyone that hot with a potential love interest would get a text every now and then.
Hell. Even Stiles get texts from likely suitors every now and then.
Not that Stiles is in any way comparing himself to TDB, because yeah. TDB is about a twelve and a half on a scale of one to ten. And Stiles is about a two.
Okay, alright, no. Stiles is more like a six, maybe a seven. Kinda hot in a weedy, geeky way with his trim figure and layered comic book tees. But nowhere near the model of male perfection. Whatever, it works for him, most of the time, whereas TDB's looks aren't, what with the him not being remotely interested in anything that happens his way. Or, at least, they aren't from what Stiles can see. And Stiles can see a lot. He would have to be blind not to, since they pretty much spend roughly forty hours a week in each others company.
And by "in each others company" Stiles totally means sitting within shouting distance of each other, drinking their drinks and making no eye contact at all.
Which is weird, seeing as how all the other regulars make a point of swinging by Stiles's table whenever they come in and shooting the shit with him for a while.
But then, TDB's not the sort to shoot the shit, now is he?
"You know, he's only here when you are," Lydia says, swinging her long red hair behind her as she turns to give Stiles a knowing wink.
Stiles rolls his eyes and then makes a you-so-crazy face at her. "Just give me my coffee, or forget about being the basis for my Goddess of the Moon."
Lydia wrinkles her nose at him. "You're not going to base any goddess off of me, Stiles, moon related or otherwise." She finished pulling his shot and starts steaming the milk, her slender fingers curled around the metal knob in a way that makes Stiles skin itch to feel them-- never mind the fact that he's been strictly dickly since he was fourteen years old.
"Are you questioning my word?" he asks, slapping his hand over his heart and giving her his best wounded puppy expression.
She gives him an exasperated look. "I'm questioning your sanity, is what I'm doing," she mutters, handing over his drink with a scowl. "And, really, you should talk to him. It would make your crush a lot less obvious."
Stiles flips her the bird as he takes a sip of his blessed elixir of life.
"His name is Derek Hale. He's twenty-eight and has a couple of not-crappy urban fantasy novels under his belt. He lives with his sister in a house in the woods and he's got it just as bad for you as you've got it for him." Lydia slaps her hands on the counter and fixes Stiles with a sharp look. "Now, I'm not asking you to waltz up to his table and do a mating dance, but I am sick to death of watching you pine over someone who is actually interested in you, though lord knows why."
Stiles nearly spits out his drink. He swallows it hastily, spluttering a little as he wipes his mouth with the back of his hand. "What?" he says, blinking like a fucking owl. "What?"
Lydia sighs and shakes her head. "Go away, Stiles," she says, her voice conveying how very hopeless she thinks he is. "Go the fuck away."
And Stiles does.
Stiles might or might not spend the next few days hunting down everything that TDB-- Derek Hale-- has ever written, thank you Google. He might or might not fall headlong in love with the main character in the definitely-not-crappy urban fantasy novels that Derek apparently writes. No wonder he's always clicking and clacking away on that laptop of his. To think, he's been sitting there all these months next to an honest-to-god good writer and never even knew. How is that fair?
It's not fair. Not fair at all.
And neither is the fact that Stiles's crush seems to have multiplied by seven fold or something over night. Because having TDB-- Derek Hale-- be darkly handsome and James Dean-y wasn't enough. Oh no. He has to be clever as shit as well.
Fuck. Stiles's. Life.
Let it never be said that Stiles reacts to anything with dignity. Or decorum. Or anything like poise. Oh no. Not Stiles.
Why would he want to be any of those things when he could be flaily and ridiculous and, you know, Stiles.
So, of course, he jerks when TDB-- Derek Hale-- clears his throat while looking in Stiles's general direction. And, of course, the throat-clearing induced jerking causes him to knock over his half-full cup of coffee. And, of course, his half-full cup of coffee spills all over Stiles's laptop. Which promptly fritzes out. Of fucking course. And, no, Stiles's hadn't saved his work.
He jumps up and rushes for the napkins, then rushes back and frantically dabs at his keyboard, but it's a lost cause. It's such an epically lost cause. Stiles is alternating between muttering cuss words under his breath and frantically begging the universe not to screw him over like this and generally making an ass out of himself, so it makes perfect sense that that would be the moment when TDB-- Derek Hale-- makes his move.
His less than smooth move.
The move where he sort of slinks over to Stiles's side and then stands there awkwardly while Stiles continues to rail at the fates and the universe and his laptop for who knows how long before clearing his throat again, which, of course, makes Stiles jerk. Again. And really?
Stiles whips towards him, a baleful look on his face and says "Um, hi, can you kind of stop doing that? I've already destroyed one majorly important thing today and having you be all darkly handsome and brooding at my shoulder is only going to end in me damaging something else vital to my life. Like my brain or something. God, what are you even doing with your eyebrows right now?" he squints at TDB-- Derek Hale-- for a moment, trying to figure out if the eyebrow thing is fair or not, then gives it up with a sigh and a shake of the head. "Yeah, totally going to end in me damaging myself. So, um, could you go be sinfully attractive somewhere else for a bit? At least until I figure out if this situation is salvageable? Because focusing on anything other than you is going to be pretty much impossible if you don't."
The eyebrows twitch in a way that shouldn't be attractive, but is, and then TDB-- Derek Hale-- is smiling. No, fuck that, he's beaming, his eyes twinkling and everything, that bastard.
"No, I don't think I will," he says, his voice brimming with amusement. Stiles snorts and turns back to his laptop. "Hey, stop that. Come on, look at me, Stiles."
"Busy right now," Stiles replies, dabbing some more as he croons at the laptop.
A hand is suddenly on top of Stiles's, forcing him to still. "I'll buy you a new one," he says. "Just, stop already. I've been trying to get you to notice me for months. There's no way in hell I'm walking away now that you have."
Stiles blinks at him, his mouth falling open in what he has been told is a very unbecoming fashion. "Huh?"
TDB-- Derek Hale-- gives him another one of those smiles of his, which, honestly, ought to be illegal because damn.
"I'm Derek," he says, thumb rubbing across the back of Stiles's hand in a way that makes Stiles go all shivery inside.
"I know," Stiles replies, because he's just as cool as he ever was (hint: not very cool at all).
But Derek-- TDB, whatever-- is still smiling and his other hand is somehow cupping Stiles's jaw and, oh god, they are about two seconds from kissing and, shit, that's Derek's teeth and Derek's tongue and wow.
"Tall, Dark, and Brooding isn't the half of it," Stiles sort of gasps, mouth feeling numb and tingly. Which, honestly, anyone's would after a kiss like that.
"Shut up," Derek says a second before tugging Stiles in for another tingle inducing kiss.