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Little Kid Crush

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Derek first meets the kid at the mall. He’s got chubby cheeks, a tiny ski-jump nose, and huge eyes that seem even bigger with the fat tears rolling down his cheeks. Because of course Derek happens to be the one to find a kid who’s lost his mother when he’s just trying to quickly buy a new charger for his mom’s blackberry after he and Laura accidentally broke the last one.

And Mom said to be back home in half an hour tops. No distractions.

Derek sighs and crouches down next to the crying kid, because apparently he has a fucking goodie-two-shoes streak. He just hopes his mom will believe his story later and not do her “you’re giving me excuses” eyebrow raise.

“Hey,” he says softly, and the kid stops crying for a moment, blinking tears from his eyes and looking over at Derek warily. “Are you alright?”

“’m not supposed to talk to strangers,” the kid sniffles, but he doesn’t try to run away from Derek, just continues staring at him curiously. “My dad said so.”

“Uh huh,” Derek replies. “And where is your dad?”

The crying starts again.

“Hey, hey,” Derek says, trying for soothing, but he’s pretty sure he just sounds awkward instead. Carefully, he wraps an arm around the kid, trying to comfort him. “It’s alright. I’ll help you find him.”

Slowly, the kid stops crying, sobs devolving into tiny sniffles again as he clings to Derek, getting tears and snot all over the front of Derek’s shirt. At least he’ll have proof for his mom now, he supposes.

“What’s your name?” Derek asks, wiping the last of the tears off the kid’s face with his sleeve.

“’tiles,” the kid mumbles, and Derek frowns, wondering if he heard correctly.

“Tiles?” Derek repeats.

Stiles,” the kid repeats, pouting at Derek slightly, defiant even though his eyes are still puffy and red and his cheeks tear-stained.

“Alright, Stiles,” Derek says, grimacing internally about how much harder this will be when he doesn’t even know the kid’s actual name. “I’m Derek. Let’s go find your dad, yeah?”

Stiles gives him a jerky little nod and clings to Derek’s hand as Derek leads him through the mall, heading over to the information booth. Thankfully, Beacon Hills is small enough that its shopping mall isn’t too large, so hopefully they’ll be able to find Stiles’ dad quickly enough.

“Excuse me?” Derek says, trying to get the attention of the bored looking teenager girl at the information booth. “Uh, this kid’s lost his dad.”

“Name?” the girl asks, peering over the top of the counter at Stiles, who narrows his eyes at her and hides behind Derek’s leg. It’s almost cute.

“He says it’s Stiles,” Derek answers.

The girl gives him a dubious look, but picks up the radio/microphone next to her, clicking it on. The cheery top twenty pop hits playing through the speaker system shut off.

“Would a parent missing a young child named Stiles please come to the information desk?” she announces.

Before she can even put down the microphone again, Derek sees a harried-looking man run through a gaggle of shoppers, making a beeline for the desk.

“DAD!” Stiles screeches, loud enough to make Derek wince, before letting go of Derek’s leg to launch himself at the approaching figure.

“Stiles! I was so worried,” the man says, sweeping Stiles up into his arms, even though Stiles looks like he’s about six or so and therefore can’t be that light, weight wise. “I told you not to wander off!”

“’m sorry,” Stiles mumbles, his face buried against his dad’s neck. “But Derek found me, so ’s okay, right?”

“You’re going to give me a heart attack one of these days,” Stiles’ dad mutters, rubbing soothing circles on Stiles’ back. Derek’s about to try to excuse himself from the reunion quietly, when Stiles’ dad turns to him and says, “You’re Derek?”

“Uh, yes, sir,” Derek says, a little stiffly.

“Talia’s son?” Stiles’ dad asks, making Derek blink in surprise.

“Yes, sir,” he answers. “You know my mom?”

“Sheriff Stilinski,” Stiles’ dad introduces himself, shifting Stiles’ weight slightly so he can extend a hand for Derek to shake. “I see your mom at the station sometimes.”

“Oh,” Derek replies, awkwardly shaking the sheriff’s hand. It makes sense, he supposes, considering his mother is a forensic psychiatrist.

“Thank you for helping my son,” the sheriff says, smiling at Derek, who tries not to blush. “I know he can be a handful.”

“It was nothing,” Derek mutters, but he can feel the tips of his ears going pink. “I’m glad I could help.”

“Tell your mother she should be proud of having such a kind and humble kid,” the sheriff continues, and Derek’s certain that his entire face is as red as a tomato now.

“Thanks,” he manages.

“Alright, well I think it’s time we get you home, buddy,” the sheriff says, turning to look at Stiles. “Say goodbye to Derek, now.”

Stiles’ eyes go wide and he squirms in the sheriff’s arms until he gets put back down on the ground, before rushing over to hug Derek around the waist. Derek freezes for a moment, not quite sure what to do with Stiles clinging to him, but he settles on ruffling Stiles’ hair, hoping it’s more comforting than awkward.

“Thank you, Derek,” Stiles says, his voice a little muffled against Derek’s stomach.

“Anytime,” Derek replies.

He gets home half an hour late and nearly forget the charger.

---

Ever since the mall incident, Derek seems to have gained himself a new admirer: namely, Stiles Stilinski, tiny ball of inexhaustible energy.

“DEREK!” Stiles screeches, the first time after the incident that Derek comes with his mom to pick up Cora at the elementary school.

“Hi, Stiles,” Derek says awkwardly as Stiles races towards him, dragging another boy who must be about the same age as him along with him.

“Scott! This is Derek, who I was telling you about,” Stiles says excitedly, beaming at his friend, who gives Derek a long, considering look.

“I thought he’d be… bigger,” Scott says, wrinkling his nose at Derek, and Derek has to remind himself why it’s mean to glare at small children.

“I’m bigger than you,” Derek replies, because hey, he’s still a middle schooler.

“Stiles is my best friend,” Scott announces, his expression stubborn. “You have to find your own.”

“I already have my own best friend,” Derek says slowly, a little amused. “His name’s Boyd.”

“So you don’t want to be Stiles’ best friend?” Scott asks, tone still suspicious. “That’s stupid.”

“Scottiiiiiiiiie,” Stiles whines, tugging at Scott’s arm.

“Well, it is,” Scott harrumphs.

“Derek!” Derek hears his mom call from somewhere behind him and turns to see his mother sticking her head out of the front window of the car, Cora already buckled into the back seat and trying to peer out too.

“I have to go,” Derek says, but pauses for a second before ruffling Stiles’ short buzzed hair. Stiles looks up at him with big, wide bambi eyes and grins. “I’ll see later, okay?”

“Okay!” Stiles chirps, but Scott is already tugging him off in the opposite direction.

Derek has to bite back a smile at their antics, but figures that he’s not going to have to worry about tiny Scott’s friend-stealing worries too much. After all, it’s not like he’s going to be seeing Stiles very much.

---

Derek is wrong.

Stiles becomes something of a fixture in his life. Beacon Hills is a relatively small town, and Derek becomes accustomed to hearing a small voice screech, “DEREK!” whenever he’s out and about.

“DEREK!” now nine-year-old Stiles yells, clinging to Derek’s waist like an overlarge octopus as he waits in line at the local ice cream parlor.

“Hi, Stiles,” Derek sighs, ruffling Stiles’ hair. Next to him, Boyd snickers. Not that he has much room to talk – Derek knows how many clingy younger siblings Boyd has.

“Did you know that pineapples grown on the ground?” Stiles exclaims excitedly, looking up at Derek with wide eyes. “Well, not on the ground, but like bushes? But they don’t grow in trees!”

“No, I didn’t know that,” Derek replies. He’s going to look it up when he gets home, though. Stiles may be a font of random information, but he still hasn’t quite mastered the art of filtering fiction from fact.

“Scott’s mom eats pineapple on pizza,” Stiles says, wrinkling his nose. “It’s so weird.”

“Hey, I like pineapple on pizza,” Derek protests. “It’s tasty.”

“Pizza is for pepperoni,” Stiles announces firmly, pouting slightly. “And pineapple is for…” He frowns for a moment. “Pineapple upside-down cake!”

“Have you even tried pineapple on pizza?” Derek asks.

“No!” Stiles exclaims, sticking out his tongue. “It’s gross!”

“Well how do you know it’s gross if you haven’t tried it?” Derek counters, arching an eyebrow at Stiles, who goes silent for a moment, his brow furrowed in thought.

“Hey, don’t let Derek fool you, kid,” Boyd butts in, grinning – probably at Derek’s expense. “I’ve been trying to get him to try chocolate covered potato chips for years and he refuses.”

“That’s because – ” Derek starts, but cuts himself off.

Well, shit.

“But chocolate covered potato chips are the BEST!” Stiles yells, looking at Derek with a slightly betrayed looking expression.

“How about this,” Boyd says, grinning like the sadist he is. Some best friend. “You try pineapple on pizza, if Derek agrees to try chocolate covered potato chips.”

Derek glares at Boyd and hopes that Stiles will be too disgusted by the mere thought of pineapple on pizza to go through with Boyd’s suggestion. Stiles frowns for a moment, thinking.

“Okay,” he finally says, much to Derek’s dismay. “Because Derek needs to eat chocolate covered potato chips.”

“I haven’t agreed to this, you know,” Derek grumbles.

“I agreed for you,” Boyd says with a smirk.

“Stiles!” a woman calls from the other end of the ice cream shop. “I have your ice cream!”

“Yaaaaaay!” Stiles exclaims, abandoning Derek in favor of ice cream. Not that Derek can blame him, really.

“I hate you,” Derek grumbles, glaring at Boyd. “Why are we friends?”

“Because if you wanted to be friends with anyone else, you’d actually have to talk with more than just your eyebrows,” Boyd snorts, and Derek scowls, but concedes the point. “Well, except for that kid who’s latched onto you. I’m pretty sure he could talk enough for both of you.”

“He’s not really a friend,” Derek protests. “He’s like nine. He’s more like a kid brother.”

“Alright, alright,” Boyd says. “I’m still going to make you stick to that chocolate covered potato chip deal, though.

“He’ll forget in an hour,” Derek replies, nodding over to Stiles, whose face is already covered in chocolate ice cream.

“Yeah, but I won’t,” Boyd says, smirking.

Derek glares and makes Boyd pay for both of their ice creams.

(And, a week later, when he’s forced to eat a chocolate covered potato chip, he refuses to admit he likes it. Even though Boyd and Stiles were right about the taste.)

---

Stiles mellows a little as he gets older, but that doesn’t mean his energy diminishes any – it just means that instead of yelling at Derek across the parking lot, he rattles off questions and random facts at a mile a minute whenever they run into each other.

(Thanks to Stiles, Derek now knows that sloths are green because algae grows on them, every human has a unique tongue-print, and that the first documented use of the word “condom” was in 1666.)

But, of course, all good things must come to an end.

“College is stupid,” Stiles, now twelve, announces at Derek’s graduation party, moping in one corner of the living room with a plate piled high with sugar cookies. “Why can’t you just stay here?”

“It’s not like I’m leaving forever,” Derek says, stealing one of Stiles’ cookies, and it really says something about his emotional state that Stiles doesn’t even try to stop him. “I’ll still see you at holidays and during the summer, and maybe some long weekends.”

“Yeah, but I used to have you, like, three-hundred and sixty-five days a year,” Stiles whines, and Derek tries to not find it endearing. “And college takes up around one-hundred and sixty days a year! And then there’s weekends, when you’ll be there, but not – ”

Stiles,” Derek sighs, interrupting him. “You’ll be fine. And you have Scott.”

“I had him before,” Stiles grumbles, like there’s any hole in Stiles’ life that Scott, his best-friend-for-life, couldn’t fill.

“Yeah, and you’ve still got him, okay?” Derek says, trying to be the mature one in this situation, even though he can already tell he’ll miss Stiles tagging along after him and nipping at his heels. “You’ve still got me, too. I’ll just be a little further away than before.”

He ruffles Stiles’ buzzed hair, and Stiles makes an annoyed sound, batting his hand away, even though Derek can feel him leaning into the touch automatically. Stiles may be sprouting up quickly, but he’s still quite a bit shorter than Derek, and Derek’s determined to savor it while it lasts. Knowing how tall the sheriff is, Stiles will probably be catching up soon.

“You better call me,” Stiles finally replies, his lips turning down into something akin to a pout. “Like, at least once a week.”

“Yeah, Mom,” Derek sighs, and Stiles smacks him lightly on the shoulder. “Alright, alright, I will.”

“Good,” Stiles says, and then lunges forward to hug Derek, catching him off guard. “’m gonna miss you.”

“Yeah,” Derek replies, patting Stiles on the back. “I’ll miss you, too.”

Stiles takes a long time to let go.

---

Stiles calls religiously for about a month, but then drops off the map altogether. Derek figures he just got bored – he’s a middle schooler now; he doesn’t have that long of an attention span – but then in a phone conversation with his mother, he finds out the real reason.

Namely, that Claudia Stilinski is in the hospital with some sort of brain cancer with a name that sounds scary enough without Derek hearing the “most likely fatal” that comes after it.

He calls Stiles five times, and each of them go to voice mail. He leaves a message the final time, expressing his condolences and telling Stiles to call him back, but Stiles never does. Derek doesn’t see Stiles when he comes back to Beacon Hills for Thanksgiving, either; it seems like Stiles is determined to be left alone (by Derek, at least).

They don’t see each other again properly for a long time.

---

Derek moves to New York after college, to do graduate work at Columbia. He likes the city, likes his work, and is comfortably settled, three years into his PhD, when it happens.

“Derek?” the Starbucks barista blurts out when Derek gives his name for his order. “Derek Hale?”

“Do I know you?” Derek asks, frowning. The kid at the cashier doesn’t strike him as familiar, with messy brown bed-head hair and bulky hipster glasses. He’s attractive, though, and definitely Derek’s type. He winces internally and hopes this isn’t about to turn into an awkward ‘don’t you remember that amazing night we spent together?’ sort of conversation.

“Oh, I’m, uh, Stiles?” the kid says tentatively. “Stilinski?”

Derek stares for a moment. Because he knows it’s been a long time since he saw Stiles, but this is – how can this be Stiles? Stiles, the overly energetic kid with a buzz cut who followed Derek around like a kid brother for years.

He definitely does not look like a kid brother now.

“I mean, it’s been a long time, so I totally get if you don’t remember,” Stiles babbles on, finally something familiar for Derek to latch onto. “I was just this annoying kid, and – ”

“I remember you,” Derek blurts out. “You got lost in the mall – ”

“And I cried all over you, yeah,” Stiles mumbles, his cheeks going pink.

“You’ve…” Gotten really hot. “Changed.”

“I mean, I grew my hair out,” Stiles says, running a hand through his hair. Derek absolutely does not think about what it would feel like to tangle his fingers in it. He’s known Stiles since he was six – this is so wrong.

Stiles bites his plump, red lower lip. Yeah, Derek is definitely going to hell.

Derek opens his mouth to say – well, to say something, but before he can get any words out he hears someone clear their throat pointedly behind him.

“I should…” Derek says awkwardly, nodding towards the line gathering behind him.

“Right,” Stiles replies. “I get off shift at nine. If you wanted to talk more, that is – you know, catch up and – but you’re probably busy – ”

“I’ll be there,” Derek interrupts, and Stiles blinks at him for a moment, clearly surprised, before his face breaks out into a grin.

“I’ll see you then,” Stiles says.

So Derek gets some papers graded for the American history course he’s TA-ing, trying to bide his time, before finally making his way back to the coffee shop, arriving at nine pm on the dot.

“Hey,” Stiles says as he comes out of the back room, a backpack slung over his shoulder. “Where to? Because I’ve been in this Starbucks for waaaay too long now, and I need a change in scenery, stat.”

Derek pauses for a moment.

“My apartment is nearby,” he finally says, hoping that he’ll have enough control during their conversation to not spend the entire time focused on the fact that there’s a bed in his apartment. He knows it’s not unreasonable for Stiles to have changed so much in the seven years since they saw each other last, but it’s still such a jarring change, seeing Stiles so grown up and attractive.

“Sounds great,” Stiles says, beaming. “Lead the way.”

The walk isn’t far and the few blocks go by quickly, before Derek is leading Stiles up a worn set of stairs to his loft. He regrets bringing Stiles here for a moment, when he realizes that he hadn’t tidied up at all – he doesn’t exactly get visitors often – but Stiles just flops down on the couch, making himself at home. It’s so Stiles that it makes Derek relax a little. Even though he’s changed so much outwardly, it’s nice to know that he’s still relatively the same on the inside.

“Nice place you’ve got here,” Stiles says, peering around the loft.

“Thanks,” Derek replies, a little awkwardly. “Do you want anything to drink, or…?”

“Dude, stop acting like we’re strangers,” Stiles huffs – although Derek’s mind is protesting that they kind of are. Stiles was twelve the last time Derek saw him. “So, how’d you end up here in New York?”

“I’m getting my PhD in history at Columbia,” Derek answers, sitting down in the chair across from Stiles, his beat-up coffee table comfortably between them. “You?”

“Oh wow,” Stiles says, whistling lowly. “I’m over at NYU, actually. Small world, huh?”

Derek tries not to think about how when they were younger, there’s no way he wouldn’t know something as important as this about Stiles. But, well, times change.

“Yeah,” Derek says softly.

They fall into silence for a moment. It’s awkward, and a little tense as Derek tries to think of something else to say, to continue to conversation.

“I’m sorry,” Stiles says suddenly, breaking the silence. “That we lost contact, I mean. It was my fault.”

“Stiles,” Derek replies gently. “You were twelve and had just lost your mother. It’s understandable.”

“But afterwards I didn’t – I didn’t try to contact you or – ” Stiles protests.

“And neither did I,” Derek counters, arching an eyebrow at Stiles. “Communication is a two way street, you know.”

Stiles pauses for a moment.

“I got your voice mail, you know,” he finally says. “When you heard about my mom.”

“Stiles – ” Derek starts, because this wasn’t supposed to be a painful conversation. He hadn’t wanted to dredge up old, hurtful memories.

“I listened to it about a million times,” Stiles blurts out. “It… helped. I’m not good at talking about the important shit, you know? So just being able to listen without having to say anything… just – I’m trying to say thanks.”

“You don’t have to thank me for that,” Derek replies.

“But I want to,” Stiles says, looking at Derek with big, whiskey brown eyes that still remind Derek of bambi as much as they ever did. “So yeah, thanks.”

There’s another lull in the conversation.

“Actually, I take back what I said earlier,” Stiles announces. “I could use a drink. Do you have, like, whiskey or something?”

“You’re nineteen,” Derek replies, trying to keep his tone stern.

“So?” Stiles asks, turning his wide, innocent eyes on Derek. Manipulative as ever, it looks like.

Derek gets the whiskey.

---

Derek becomes something of a regular at the Starbucks where Stiles works. He claims it’s because it’s the closet coffee shop to his apartment – which is, actually, the truth – but, well, Stiles’ presence may also have something to do with it.

Not that he enjoys watching as customers snap their orders at Stiles, or flirt with him like he’s their last chance at sex, ever. Part of him wants to say it’s the overprotective pseudo-brother in him that’s making him annoyed, but the part of him that also wants to flirt with Stiles argues otherwise.

“Oh my god, seriously?” Stiles groans, plopping himself down across the table from Derek and making him look up from his papers. “Do people honestly think they’re going to get a discount if they flirt enough?”

Derek can’t quite hold back a small snort.

“I know, right?” Stiles sighs, exasperated.

“I wasn’t – I mean – ” Derek replies, awkwardly. “I don’t think they’re flirting for a discount.”

Stiles blinks at him, uncomprehending.

“They’d probably rather have your number,” Derek clarifies.

Stiles bursts out laughing. He laughs for almost a minute straight, tears in his eyes as he doubles over the table.

“Oh my god,” he says when he finally catches his breath again. “That’s – I mean, have you seen me? And, like, my weird nose, and too many moles, and nerdy glasses?”

“Aren’t glasses in right now?” Derek retorts, quirking an eyebrow at Stiles, who rolls his eyes.

“Only if you’re hot enough to pull them off,” Stiles huffs, fiddling with his own glasses.

“I think all the people flirting with you is an indication that you’re hot enough,” Derek says, staring down at the paper he’s grading and trying not to blush.

“You think I’m hot?” Stiles blurts out.

“Objectively,” Derek adds, even though there’s really nothing objective about it. “You were a weird kid, but you’ve grown into it, I suppose.”

“Shut up,” Stiles grumbles, kicking Derek under the table.

“You told me the entire history of the condom when you were twelve,” Derek says dryly. “You were a weird kid.”

“I could tell you the entire history of circumcision now, too,” Stiles replies with a smirk.

“I think I’ll pass,” Derek says, trying not to blush. He really doesn’t need to think about Stiles and dicks at the same time.

“Seriously, though, you honestly think I’m attractive?” Stiles presses, looking at Derek with those wide brown bambi eyes.

“Yes, Stiles,” Derek sighs. “Why is that so hard for you to believe? I’m sure people have told you so before, or at least expressed their interest in you.”

“I mean, not really,” Stiles says, shrugging. He picks at a scuff mark on the table with his thumb. “It’s not like I’ve never, you know, had sex before, but it’s always been a ‘we’re both a little tipsy and you’re convenient’ sort of thing.”

“Well, you’re attractive,” Derek says. “Congratulations.”

“Wow Derek, any more praise and I might think you’re hitting on me,” Stiles replies dryly. “Might want to reign in your compliments here.”

“I take it back,” Derek snorts. “You should wear a paper bag over your head at all times.”

“You know what, for that I’m stealing the rest of your coffee,” Stiles grumbles, snatching Derek’s mug.

Derek watches on in amusement as Stiles takes a large swig of coffee before making a face and spitting it back out into the mug.

“Why didn’t you warn me it was cold?” Stiles whines, sticking out his tongue in disgust.

“You’re the one who insisted on stealing my coffee,” Derek replies. “It’s your own fault.”

“You suck,” Stiles grumbles, glaring at Derek, but there’s no heat behind it.

“You wish,” Derek quips, a little pleased when the comeback makes Stiles’ cheeks go red.

“My break’s about up,” Stiles says, checking his watch.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to take up all your time,” Derek replies, frowning.

“No, it’s cool,” Stiles answers with a small smile. “I probably would have just spent the entire time texting Scott otherwise.”

“I guess I’ll see you later, then,” Derek says.

“I’m holding you to that,” Stiles replies with a grin.

Derek tries not to stare after him as he walks away, and mostly fails.

---

Derek’s a little drunk. Stiles is, too, he suspects, if the flush of his cheeks is anything to go by, and Derek feels like he should probably regret it – letting Stiles into his alcohol stash again – but Stiles just looks too cute like this, tipsy and relaxed as he lounges on Derek’s couch.

“You know,” Stiles starts, his voice a little slurred. “You know, when I was a kid I had the – the biggest crush on you. Like, I was practically doodling ‘Mr. Stiles Hale’ in my notebooks, I was so smitten.”

“Yeah?” Derek breathes, trying not to focus too hard on the past tense.

“Mmmhmm,” Stiles replies, looking over at Derek with half-lidded eyes. “I had this plan where I was gonna have, like, a magical growth spurt in high school and become all attractive, and then you’d fall for me.”

“Well, I’m sorry I wasn’t there for it,” Derek says, his eyes dragging slowly over Stiles’ body.

“No, but I mean, like,” Stiles whines, “like not you finding me objectively attractive, but you wanting to – to – ”

“To what, Stiles?” Derek asks, and Stiles steels his expression before dragging himself up off the couch. He staggers for a moment – maybe a little drunker than Derek thought – but manages to make his way around the coffee table to crawl into Derek’s lap.

“To do this,” Stiles mumbles, and then presses his lips to Derek’s.

Derek freezes for a split second, indecisive, but then he pushes back against Stiles’ lips, moaning against Stiles’ mouth. Stiles opens his mouth, and this time Derek doesn’t hesitate to lick inside, his hands going to Stiles’ hips as Stiles’ own hands tangle in Derek’s shirt.

He isn’t sure how long they kiss, how long he spends nipping at Stiles’ lips and moaning into his mouth. Eventually the urgency subsides, though, even with Derek hard in his jeans with how Stiles is pressed up against him.

“’m tired,” Stiles mumbles when they finally pull apart, head dipping forward to rest his face against Derek’s neck. “Is this a dream?”

“No,” Derek murmurs, bringing up a hand to run his fingers through Stiles’ hair, an odd reminder of when he used to ruffle Stiles’ hair when it was buzzed short. “We should sleep, though.”

“I dunno – ” Stiles starts.

Sleep,” Derek emphasizes. “Nothing else.”

“M’kay,” Stiles mumbles, breath hot against Derek’s neck.

Derek just barely manages to muster the strength to carry Stiles over to the bed, before face-planting into it after him.

---

When Derek wakes up, Stiles is still lying next to him, snoring softly. He can’t help but take a moment to admire the way the sunlight dapples Stiles’ pale skin, his eyelashes dark against his cheeks. He’s more than attractive now – he’s beautiful in a way Derek hasn’t seen in someone in a long time.

Stiles makes a small noise, and then his eyes open, eyelashes fluttering. He squints at Derek for a second, but then grimaces and squeezes his eyes shut again.

“Sunlight,” he groans. “Turn it off.”

“Sorry, but turning off the sun isn’t one of my many talents,” Derek snorts, lips quirking up into a small smile.

“Asshole,” Stiles grumbles, turning to bury his face in one of Derek’s pillows.

“Apparently you’re into that,” Derek teases, watching as Stiles suddenly goes stock still.

“Did I really…?” Stiles finally asks, tentatively peeking over at Derek, his cheeks a little pink.

“What, kiss me or tell me you used to write ‘Mr. Stiles Hale’ in your notebooks?” Derek replies, smirking slightly.

“Oh my god,” Stiles moans, burying his face back into the pillow. “I said I wanted to write that, not that I actually did! Can we please just call this drunken shenanigans and forget about it?”

“I don’t know,” Derek drawls. “Mr. Stiles Hale has a nice ring to it.”

For a moment, Derek thinks Stiles stops breathing.

“Of course, I think getting married right now would be rushing things a little,” Derek continues, voice soft. “Dating first might be a good idea.”

Stiles turns to look at Derek again, his mouth falling open and his whiskey brown eyes widening.

“You mean – with me – ?” Stiles asks.

“If you’re still interested,” Derek adds, wondering if maybe Stiles’ drunken ramblings last night were just that – drunken ramblings with no real intent behind them.

“Am I interested?” Stiles exclaims. “Of course I am, you idiot! I just want to make sure you’re interested!”

“I don’t save just any kid I find lost in the mall,” Derek says with a teasing smirk, and Stiles scowls and hits him lightly in the arm.

“Asshole,” he mutters, but he scooches a little closer to press himself up against Derek’s chest.

“You’re the one who wants to marry me,” Derek replies, wrapping an arm around Stiles and holding him tight.

“You’re never going to let me live that down, are you,” Stiles groans, burying his face in Derek’s chest.

“Regretting this already?” Derek asks. “I already know all of your embarrassing childhood stories, you know.”

“Yeah, well I know all of yours, so we’re even,” Stiles retorts. “We’re a match made in heaven.”

“Yeah,” Derek says, his expression softening slightly. “Yeah, we are.”

---

When they get married, they change their last name to Stilinski-Hale. It’s close enough.