"Dude, your birthday is in like, a month," Scott said. "What do you want?"
"Sex, mostly?" Stiles replied.
"Um," Scott said.
"Not from you, dude," Stiles said. "Allison would kill me. Literally. Also you only like girls."
"Yeah," Scott said, nodding, and Stiles can tell that Scott isn't going to ask who Stiles does want sex from, because he's probably already figured that out. "So, um, invite them to your party."
"Done," Stiles replied, because like Derek isn't coming.
"And you should, I dunno, bake for them?"
Stiles squints at him. "Really?"
"Those scones you made me for my birthday? If I were at all into dudes I would totally have fucked you for those, or at least kissed you, even if I didn't even know you."
"Totally." Scott tapped him on the chest with his lacrosse stick. "Do it."
Stiles went home that very night and made a batch of his mother's chocolate chip cookies, because who didn't like chocolate chip cookies, seriously. He left four on a plate for his father because he wasn't that much of a jerk. He packed the rest in one of the many tins they had in the back of the pantry, leftover from extended relatives sending them cookies and fruitcakes every year—blue with deer running across it, like a sweater pattern. Very manly. He put a card inside—none of this secret admirer bullshit; he was working against a deadline here—just signed, "if you want more of this, ask Stiles" and left it on Derek's front porch.
Two days later, at pack meeting, he was vaguely surprised to see the mostly-full tin sitting out on the living room table. They were gone by the end of the meeting, of course, because teenage werewolves, and even Allison and Lydia had a few. Though he did see Derek eat one in the course of the evening.
After, Derek was cleaning out the tin and Stiles took a deep breath and said, "So, you didn't like them?"
"No, I did," Derek said. "You thought I could eat an entire batch of cookies in a few days?"
Stiles gestured at the empty tin.
Derek shrugged. "Guess I don't have that much of a sweet tooth," he said.
Which, Stiles could work with that.
He went for biscuits next, because they were like scones except without the sugar, mostly. The recipe was authentic enough—that guy on Good Eats was from Atlanta—and hey, it's not like Derek was from Alabama and had anything to compare them to. He made a half dozen, which he then split and filled with the best ham and cheddar he could afford, and used his key to leave them on Derek's kitchen counter.
The tin was back on his porch that night.
Encouraged, he embarked on straight-up cheddar biscuits with chives, baking a few and then par-baking the rest and putting them into a freezer bag. Only when Stiles got to Derek's house he was home, which wasn't often true in the middle of the day.
"Oh, hey," Stiles said. "Um, so I made you these? They're good with eggs."
"Thanks," Derek said, taking a bite of one of the baked ones and waving Stiles inside. "Good."
"Cool," he replied. Too pleased to trust himself to look at Derek without having a giant dopey smile on his face, he turned away to throw the rest in the freezer. "You can just pop them in the oven for a few minutes when you want them. I put instructions in the bag."
"I can handle that." Then suddenly, in the way Derek blurted out things he'd been thinking about for a while, he said, "You should have your birthday here."
"You think so?" Stiles said, and looked around the room. They'd done a pretty good job over the summer of spiffing the place up, putting in real wiring and plumbing and a proper kitchen. Most of the second floor was unfinished walls and mattresses on the floor, but that was really good enough for a party that, let's face it, was really only going to be pack anyway. "Okay."
"Good," Derek said, nodding and taking another of the freshly-baked biscuits.
Stiles hopped up on the counter. "You know," he said, "when I was a kid I always wanted to have a make-your-own pizza party. Mom made pizza for us sometimes. But she got sick before I was old enough to really do that."
"We can do that here," Derek said.
"Yeah?" Stiles asked. "I can make the dough; I still have the recipe."
Derek scowled. "You shouldn't be cooking on your birthday," he said.
"Who else is going to?" Stiles asked, cocking his head.
"Then you should let me help," he said, "and make me a shopping list."
"No, no," Stiles said. "That way lies disaster. I'm coming with you."
They met up at the grocery store the day before, after Stiles gets out of school. What he wasn't prepared for was how domestic it would feel, walking down supermarket aisles with Derek by his side, looking at lists and discussing tiny frozen meatballs versus plain hamburger topping. Or how comfortable that domesticity would feel. He was glad they were in two cars, as loading the Camaro with groceries and then getting into the passenger seat would have been a little too much for Stiles to handle without putting his hand on Derek's thigh as they drove back to the house, and they were so not there yet.
"I brought my hand mixer," Stiles said when they were done putting the food away. "Though it's easier to just make the dough by hand. Where are those mixing bowls?"
"Actually," Derek said, pulling a box out from the closet and setting it on the counter, "I got you this."
"This" being a stand-up mixer with a dough hook. Stiles just stared.
"You should do your baking here from now on," Derek said. "You have a key."
"Sure," Stiles said, pulling it out of the box and running his hand over it. It's black, unsurprisingly, and gleams with the promise of everything he might make with it.
"I, um, I got the meat grinder attachment too," Derek said. "The woman at Macy's said we could make our own sausage."
Stiles laughed at that. "You gonna catch rabbit and deer?" he asked. "Venison sausage for the next time we have pizza?"
"Shut up," Derek said. "Happy birthday, anyway."
"Thanks," Stiles said, and he really wanted to kiss Derek now. Like, really. But he kept it together, figured he'd collect on all this tomorrow.
They cooked for a few hours, making dough and chopping up toppings, working in companionable silence interrupted only by Derek's questions or Stiles's instructions, hip hop from Derek's iPod coming out of the little set up in the kitchen. They ended the night making one test pizza on the new pizza stone Derek had also bought. Stiles had to smile to himself about the juicy commission that Macy's housewares saleswoman must have made, but it's worth it for the satisfying crunch of the baked crust.
Stiles hopped it out of there to make it home before curfew. When he walked in the door his dad was sitting at a table covered in paperwork.
"So," he said, "you and Derek were grocery shopping together? Anything I should know?"
"Um, no?" Stiles replied, feeling strangely embarrassed and annoyed with himself not to remember how things get around in a town as small as Beacon Hills. "Pizza party tomorrow, had to get ready."
His father nodded.
"You could come," Stiles said. "I mean, to have pizza. If you want."
"No, no," he said, waving his hand. "Breakfast is fine." He looks at Stiles over his glasses. "But you know I'm only agreeing to this because it keeps all you kids in one place where I can find you and not off in the woods someplace."
"I know," Stiles said, because it was practically a Beacon Hills tradition to go out camping with your buddies for your eighteenth; that was the only way Stiles had been able to sell the overnight at Derek's.
"So go on," he said. "Pancakes in the morning. And bacon. I deserve it. Your mom nearly broke my hand getting you out."
"I know," Stiles said, smiling, because it was an oft-told story, or at least had been when he was little. He held up the grocery bag he'd brought back from Derek's. "I got you sausage, too."
He smiled. "You're a good kid," he said. Then, looking back down at his work, he sighed. "Can't call you that too much longer."
Stiles didn't know what to say to that, so he just gave his dad a pat on the shoulder and ran upstairs.
And in the morning there were pancakes, giant piles of them, with syrup and bacon and sausage and a few eggs, and his dad got him new tires and more money on account at the shop for whatever needed to be overhauled so Stiles could take the jeep to college. Which really was almost like getting him a new car, seriously. It was kind of amazing.
Stiles spent the rest of the day very slowly digesting and poking at the internet before changing and heading to Derek's a little early. Scott and Allison were already there, though, and Isaac pretty much lived there, so it was like the party has already started. Derek had gotten the beer, cases of the stuff, so they took the food out of the fridge to make room for it. The others arrived not long after that, though Jackson was the only one that noticed the new kitchen equipment. Turned out he had surprisingly strong opinions about sausage-making.
The pizza was a hit, like it wouldn't be, though the drunker they got the weirder the topping combinations. None too weird to actually eat, but definitely some too weird to try again. Scott brought out an ice cream cake decorated with a picture of the jeep, and there were trick candles but Stiles wasn't too worried about that because he was almost sure whatever he would have wished for was going to happen anyway. Maybe had already happened, kind of.
They lit a few firecrackers out back, later, and it was nice not having to worry about neighbors when the music got loud and they all decided to sing along to Muse or whatever. Around 2am people finally started drifting upstairs two or three at a time. Scott and Allison were back together but as for the others, Stiles decided he didn't need to know.
Derek was in the kitchen cleaning when Stiles came inside. "I think we can leave that," he said.
"You shouldn't be doing any of it," Derek replied. "You've done enough."
"It's not my birthday anymore," Stiles said, shrugging.
"So you're just eighteen now?" Derek asked.
"All around the world," Stiles replied.
"Good," Derek said, and then finally, finally he was crowding Stiles into the counter and kissing him.
"You didn't have to bake me stuff, you know," he said after a bit. "I was just waiting."
"I wanted to," Stiles said.
"Thanks," Derek said, his eyes looking away. "It was … nice."
"Good," Stiles said. "Upstairs, please."
Derek shook his head. "You're still a little drunk"
"Mmm," Stiles said, "and I'll probably fall asleep soon, so, upstairs."
A few weeks later Lydia came over for pack meeting a bit early and found Stiles in the kitchen whipping up a quick batch of snickerdoodles.
"Oh my god," she said, watching him dump the dry ingredients down the spatter-proof chute. "He bought that for you!"
Stiles smiled and felt his cheeks heat up so maybe he was blushing, whatever. "Yeah, pretty much," he said.
"Wolves," she said, rolling her eyes. "It's like he dragged you home a deer carcass."
"Kinda, yeah," Stiles agreed. "I'm okay with that."