It wasn’t like Stiles sought out to become a famous YouTuber. He liked making videos and he had a sizable number of followers, sure, but he never really thought he’d be in the caliber of the exclusive crowd that raked in tens of millions of views a pop.
It wasn’t even on purpose actually. It happened only because his apartment-mate and one of his best friends – the incredibly famous lawyer-activist-genius – Lydia Martin accidentally made a cameo in one of his videos.
Stiles was more well-known for his comedy gaming videos, which were peppered with random commentary and elaborate, far-fetched narratives and theories, as well as the frequent cameos by the sunshine personified that was his other best friend, Scott McCall. He and Scott had been in the middle of a live YouTube feed answering fans’ question when a still-sleepy Lydia came into his room and joined them that fateful day.
Lydia, dressed in a soft green sweater that was actually nicked from Scott’s closet, hovered over their shoulder.
“windowlover523 asked: ‘What is your favorite food in the entire world?’” Lydia snorted. She tapped Scott on the head and then Stiles, saying, “Strawberry milkshake for this one and curly fries for this one, which are neither healthy nor appealing nor actual food, in my opinion.”
“HEY!” They turned to her.
“I’m bored. Scoot over,” Lydia said, moving to sit between them.
Stiles pretended to be put out, but he didn’t really mind. “You can join us, but you can’t answer all the questions. We’ll take turns.”
Lydia rolled her eyes. “Fine.”
Scott, ever the sweetheart, simply smiled. “Want me to get you some tea?”
Lydia was a celebrity in her own right and she had come home straight from the airport last night after an intense two-day conference in Madrid. The sight of her looking beautiful, soft, and sleep-mussed as she joked and laughed along with Stiles and Scott was such a stark contrast to her usual sharp, fiery, put-together demeanor.
Before the day was even up, the video had seen more than a thousand views and YouTuber Stilesss Ssstilinski garnered an additional hundred followers and was even featured on various news websites. Apparently, people thought he was Lydia’s secret boyfriend – a fact that was nipped in the bud because he and Scott had often talked about their mysterious, genius, apartment-mate in previous videos.
The whole thing was incredibly terrifying, but Stiles was the type of person who rolled with the punches and he knew a lucrative opportunity when he saw one. A week after he posted that video, he launched a new show under his belt, ‘The Curly Fries Show with Stiles Stilinski’.
Stiles’ show blew up that first month. His only guest at the time was Lydia (and Scott), but her star power was enough to help him get his channel and show off the ground. Not to mention Lydia also saw this as an opportunity to give herself an image boost as being relaxed and relatable as they talked about pop culture, trends, memes, and other things people didn’t usually hear from scary, business-minded, Banshee Martin – not that she minded that title, reveled in it really, but a positive image boost wouldn’t hurt.
It was going so well that before Stiles could even begin thinking about how to expand his new venture, Lydia’s actual secret boyfriend, businessman and douchebag extraordinaire, Jackson Whittemore, solved all his problems.
Jackson was the sole heir of a fortune 500 company and had a pretty normal childhood with busy but devoted parents. Stiles wasn’t quite sure where Jackson’s asshole tendencies came from considering David and Scarlett Whittemore were actually nice, lovely people. The kindness gene probably skipped their son.
Anyway, Jackson was definitely unhappy about the rumors that kept on circling about Stiles and Lydia – it turned out people deemed Scott too adorable to be in a relationship with the terrifying woman, while Stiles seemed the right kind of goofball – so Lydia decided to kill two birds with one stone.
“I want you to interview us.”
Stiles looked up from his bucket of curly fries. “Who? What?”
Lydia made a face at him, but powered through. “Me and Jackson. You have enough comedy on your show, but it’s time to do something new with it. Hence, you get the chance to interview me and Jackson.”
“About what?” Stiles asked, still not really getting her point.
Lydia crossed her arms over her chest, looking miffed. “About our work, our life, our relationship… Stop being deliberately obtuse, Stilinski.”
“…like a talk show?”
Lydia pursed her lips. “Yes, but classier.”
“And you want… you want me to host?”
Lydia gave him a look. The ‘Duh!’ was heavily implied.
“Stiles, you have a minor degree in mass communication, ran a radio show back in university, are currently running your own YouTube channel, and can talk for hours on end. You damn well know how to host a show.”
“And you want to… reveal your relationship… with Jackson… on ‘The Curly Fries Show?’”
Lydia took a deep breath. Over the years, she had learned extreme patience in the face of Stiles’ (and Scott’s) idiocy.
“That name almost leaves nothing to be desired if it wasn’t so catchy,” she muttered, and then softened. “But I want to… talk that is, on your show.”
Stiles nodded. He knew when Lydia was being serious and when she was being serious.
“Ok, beautiful. Let me see what I can hook up.”
It was a challenge. For one thing, he had to approach this the right way, not just for his show, but also for Lydia. He had to market this without making it cheesy, embarrassing, or depreciating.
Scott, being a veterinarian, wouldn’t be of much help with this. Stiles, on the other hand, majored in graphic design and minored in mass communication. He had a vague idea, but he needed a second opinion on this.
That was why Stiles found himself riding the elevator up to the ninth floor and knocking on the door of apartment 904B. A few seconds later and it was opened.
“Do you watch talk shows?”
Derek blinked at him in confusion. “Um, not really?”
Stiles opened his mouth, paused, then closed it.
Derek looked incredibly nice today, for all it was Sunday and he was obviously just lounging around his apartment. He was in a faded Harvard tee, a pair of ratty jeans and was barefooted. His hair was mussed up, his beard a little unkempt, and he was wearing his large, square-framed glasses instead of contact lenses.
Stiles was kind of awestruck at the moment, so far gone on this man it was ridiculous.
“Stiles, are you okay?” Derek asked, tilting his head to the side.
“I’m starting my own talk show,” Stiles blurted out.
The older man looked even more confused. “Um, congratulations?”
Stiles shook his head. “No, wait. Wait. That wasn’t… What I meant to say was that I think I’m going to, but I don’t know how. Help me.” He whined at the end.
Derek rubbed his face, confused but also amused behind his glasses. “Want to talk about it?”
Stiles nodded excitedly and walked in.
Derek Hale, Stiles’ apartment building-mate and the love of his life – not that Derek knew that… yet? never? – lived at the ninth floor in the apartment previously owned by his older sister, Laura. He and Stiles met two years ago when Stiles, Scott and Lydia moved in and Stiles had tripped and buried an unsuspecting Derek under his pile of boxes. Derek suffered a bump to the head, but gallantly helped them move in and graciously accepted a week of Stiles’ frantic apologies, favors, and baked goods (bought, but still tasty). He and Stiles became best friends…
…and Stiles had loved him ever since.
How could he not? Derek was ridiculously beautiful, endearingly shy, and incredibly kind. He was gruff, but sweet when you got to know him. He was a good listener and was incredibly supportive. He was always willing to lend his creative eye and critical mind to Stiles’ designs, never called Stiles’ YouTube page a waste of time, even watched some of his videos, and was full of encouragement when Stiles first started ‘The Curly Fries Show.’
Like right now, he sat on the couch and listened patiently as Stiles rambled on about Lydia’s request and paced around and around the table holding the cardboard model of the building Derek was designing.
“Stiles, I’m an architect. I don’t know much about this,” Derek said, looking apologetic. “You should really talk to Laura or Cora or even my Mom–”
“It’s not about that, not really,” Stiles said. “I mean, your family is super famous, I know, but that’s not what I need. You’re what I need.” He paused and flushed. “I mean, um, your point of view is what I need.”
The tips of Derek’s ears were pink and his cheeks were rosy under his stubble. “Oh, um, ok?” He smiled shyly, pushing his glasses up his nose.
Stiles willed himself not to hyperventilate from sheer infatuation with the man.
“Ok, see. Derek, you’re like the most rational, straight-forward person I know. You don’t give a crap about stuff like fame and fortune and gossip – I mean, I know you do when it’s about your family and stuff – but I don’t want this to seem cheesy and just like, like… some gossip rag. You see how the paps treat your family and I don’t want to do the same to Lyds.”
Derek nodded, a soft smile appearing on his face. “Ok, then. I’ll do what I can to help.”
Three hours later, Stiles exited Derek’s apartment with sheets of notes in one hand and a Tupperware of lasagna in the other. Because to make things worse (better), Derek was also a really, really good cook, something he got from his mom, Talia.
“I’m just happy I can help,” he said, looking pleased as punch as Stiles thanked him for the umpteenth time.
“One last thing,” Stiles said before he could think it through. “You have to be there.”
Derek looked surprised, but Stiles kept on. He knew his face was already an unattractive beet-red, so what more could he hide?
“I… I would love it if you were there. I-It’ll make me feel better.”
Derek had the sweetest smile on his face as he nodded and Stiles had to quickly dart off to the elevator before he did something insane like kiss the guy.
A few days later, Derek came and he sat behind the camera with Scott and watched Stiles chat with Lydia and Jackson.
It was pleasant actually, much nicer than Stiles expected. They had a gorgeous apartment – only the best for Lydia, of course, since it was bad enough that she was living with two boys – so all they needed to do was spruce up their living room, fluff up their many, comfy, colorful throw pillows, move the lamps just the right way, and then they were set.
Lydia was adamant about not being so formal, so Stiles wore one of his plaid shirts, a white undershirt, black skinny jeans and his favorite black beanie. Lydia wore one of her nicer, simpler dresses, while Jackson wore a button-up, slacks, and loafers.
On the table, they had soda in plastic cups and had a meat lovers pizza and spaghetti delivered mid-way through the show. (Stiles found out later on that the pizza guy actually got a raise when business picked up because of his cameo on the show.)
They talked about life, work, relationships, women empowerment – with Jackson presenting a really thoughtful opinion on the value of women in the workforce – the perks of joining a paintball team, and what pop songs were their guilty pleasure.
It took three days to edit the whole thing and Stiles was so nervous about it that Derek actually had to press on Stiles’ finger on the ‘Enter’ key just to upload the damn thing.
Within forty-eight hours, ‘The Curly Fries Show with Stiles Stilinski: Episode 12 – The Banshee and Her Lizard Man’ became a trending topic on Twitter, had been shared a few hundred times on Facebook, appeared on news websites, and amassed more than a million views.
Stiles’ show became an internet sensation and before the year was up, he had a record-breaking, online, one-man celebrity talk show under his belt.
Talk about wow.
While Lydia (and occasionally Jackson) was still a staple guest on the show anytime she was available, it wasn’t long before ‘The Curly Fries Show’ started getting the attention of other people. Invitations and inquiries started pouring in from other celebrities and hopefuls who wanted to be a part of this new trend.
“I can’t believe she actually wanted to be interviewed by me,” Stiles said. “I mean, I see her on TV and stuff and now I’ll actually get the chance to interview her?” He tossed a cookie in his mouth. “I mean, if I say yes. I have a weird felling about her.”
Derek didn’t even look up from the coffee table. He was seated cross-legged on a pillow on the floor with the blueprints of his next project spread out in front of him. Stiles would gladly offer the couch, but Derek was a yogi and was actually comfortable contorting himself every which way.
(Not that Stiles had actually seen him doing his yoga thing… yet. He’d seen Derek’s pictures on his Facebook and he was determined to see all that in the flesh in this lifetime or die trying or both.)
“Marissa has always been into following trends and stuff like that,” Derek said, pushing his glasses up his nose. “It’s not surprising she’d want to get in on this.”
“Laura’s worked with her before, right? In that… what was it… That historical drama film?” Stiles asked, inspecting his next cookie made by Talia, famous restaurateur and goddess of the kitchen (and Stiles’ future mother-in-law, don’t argue).
“Yeah,” Derek said. “Laura said Marissa threw a fit on set when Laura got the nicer dress.”
“She did?” Stiles jolted up, almost falling off the couch. “I heard about that rumor. Guess I won’t invite Miss Hissy Fit then.” He rubbed his chin. “Laura did say to be careful who I invite into my show, but now I don’t know who.”
Stiles threw himself sideways onto the couch, head landing on Derek’s favorite cushion. He started scrolling through his tablet. “Scott said I invite Grumpy Cat on my show. I’m half-tempted to do just that if I don’t find someone.”
Derek tapped the end of his pencil against his chin. “You could interview those new models Mattie’s been working with,” he suggested.
Stiles squinted at him. “Who? Your brother works with, like, thousands of models, even Victoria’s Secret Models.” He rolled onto his stomach and hugged the cushion to him. Mm. It smelled deliciously like Derek.
“The ones that got on the cover of Sports Illustrated,” Derek said, rubbing his cheek. It ended up streaked with ink. “The one with the dimples and the petite Asian–”
Stiles gasped and ended up rolling right off the couch. “Allison Argent and Kira Yukimura?”
Derek grinned. “Yeah, them. Mattie was the photographer for their Vogue spread, the one that got published last month.”
Stiles felt like he was going to have a heart attack.
Derek tilted his head to the side (so adorably, in Stiles’ opinion).
“Why do you look like you’re going to have a heart attack?”
“Because I am!” He crawled over to Derek, draping himself over the man’s lap. “Derek! Do you know what this means? Scott is going to have an aneurysm!”
“Oh… Um…” Derek’s face scrunched up. “Well, I wouldn’t want that?”
Stiles poked Derek on his rock-hard abs. Later on, he’d flush at his boldness, but right now most of his brainpower was concentrated on not hyperventilating.
“Dude, Scott’s been in love with those girls since ever!” Stiles exclaimed. “He’d kiss you for the chance to meet them in person! And then kiss Mattie! And then kiss me if I get them on my show!”
“That’s a lot of kissing.” Derek grinned, amused. “But if you want to set up an interview with them, I can get their number from Mattie for you.”
Stiles felt himself feeling a bit choked up and watery around the eyes. “Derek…”
“I’ll make the call,” Derek said, running his hand through Stiles’ hair while his other hand grabbed his cellphone off the table.
“Derek…” Stiles’ voice wobbled, both from Derek’s generosity and the way his fingers massaged Stiles’ scalp.
Stiles was going to die from happiness.
Derek chuckled. “You love me, I know.”
Stiles laid his head on Derek’s thigh, flushed red with both excitement and joy.
Yeah, he loved Derek. If only Derek knew how much.
Because Derek was the best.
A few days later, Stiles and Derek were on the couch in apartment 506C watching a frenzied Scott run around the living room like a headless chicken.
Scott was muttering to himself and working up a sweat as he paced, tugging at his shirt and hair, and playing with his fingers. He’s messing up the look that took him hours to decide on and Stiles knew he was going to have a conniption once he looked in the mirror later.
Thankfully, Stiles had the forethought to call Lydia, who was in Australia with Jackson and Jackson’s bestfriend Danny on a UN goodwill trip. She had picked out a spare outfit for him just in case, as well as demanded multiple cameras around the apartment because she wanted an uncut version of the whole event, complete with Scott’s headless chicken reenactment.
“At least you’re relaxed,” Derek said, rubbing his shoulder against Stiles.
Stiles wiggled closer to him. “Trust me, dude. On a normal day, I’d be pacing along with him, but Scottie’s nervousness trumps mine by a mile so I’m actually feeling more chill right now. I’d break the popcorn out if the butter wasn’t going to get everywhere.”
Derek chuckled, ducking his head in that really adorable manner Stiles adored.
“Thanks again for this, Derek. I mean it.”
Derek smiled at him and Stiles swore his heart skipped a beat.
Half an hour later and there was a buzz from the intercom. Scott paused in the middle of his umpteenth route around the room while Stiles looked up from his thumb war with Derek – he had long fingers, but Derek had bigger, stronger, more perfect ones. Stiles was torn between competitiveness and resisting the impulse to put those fingers in his mouth (or down his pants).
“They’re here,” Scott hissed. He darted towards the mirror in the hall. “And I look like an idiot!”
Stiles let go of Derek’s hand. “Bro, Lydia picked out some extra stuff for you to wear as backup. It’s in your room.”
Scott beamed. “Bro, you’re the best! And Lydia.” He ran off.
“I know,” Stiles said, grinning. He pressed on the buzzer and sent their guests up before turning to Derek. “How do I look? Think this is okay to interview two hot models?”
Stiles knew Scott wanted to make a good impression, so he took care to look nice today to give his best friend a bit of a boost. He had on one of his nicest jeans, his cleanest Chucks, and a black button-up with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows.
Derek pushed his glasses up his nose and looked at him from head to toe. Even if he had asked, Stiles still felt himself blush a little from the scrutiny.
“I’m not fishing for compliments or anything, and I know I’m not as built as you, duh,” Stiles said, laughing awkwardly. Derek himself was in tight jeans and an even tighter blue Henley. “But I didn’t want to embarrass Scott… or myself, come to that. So I thought I’d–”
“It’s not about being built,” Derek interrupted softly. “I think you look good, Stiles. Really good.”
Stiles smiled, rubbing the back of his neck. “Thanks.”
The doorbell rang and there was a squeak from Scott’s room before he sprinted back into the living room, looking much better in his new shirt and casually messy hair.
“You want to open the door?” Stiles asked.
“No,” Scott said, looking a little green around the gills. “I think I’m going to puke.”
“Well, don’t puke on them,” Stiles said, narrowing his eyes at him.
“I’ve talked to them, Scott. They’re nice girls,” Derek said, standing up and placing a hand on his shoulder. “You like them, obviously, but I think they’ll like you too. Don’t be so nervous.”
Scott still looked like he might actually puke as Stiles opened the door.
Allison Argent and Kira Yukimura were both part of a legacy as the daughters of famous models. They had more than proven their mettle though, becoming top models in their own right and currently making waves in the industry. Stiles was actually ecstatic that Derek suggested them, because not only was it a perk for Scott, but also because the models were quite vocal on feminism, representation, and sexuality.
Kira, petite and adorable in her flowery dress, waved a hand. “Hi! I’m Kira. I can’t believe I’m finally meeting the famous Stiles!”
Beside her, Allison flashed him her famous dimples and looked cute in her denim ensemble. “Hey there. I’m Allison–”
“–and this is Silver.” Allison said. She looked apologetic. “Sorry we had to bring him along. We were supposed to leave him with a friend, but she canceled last minute. I sent a text.”
“My phone’s charging so I probably didn’t see it, but it’s fine,” Stiles said, waving his fingers at the cute dog. “I love dogs and so does my roommate. Come on in, Allison, Kira.”
Derek and Scott stood there, the former smiling shyly as usual and the latter looking nervous.
“Guess who brought a puppy?” Stiles grinned.
“A Pomsky!” Scott exclaimed, his nervousness breaking in the face of something he was familiar with: animals.
“Yeah!” Allison said. “Say hi, Silver.”
The little dog wagged its tail and barked cutely.
“You must be Stiles’ roommate,” Kira said.
“Scott,” he said, grinning. “It’s nice to meet you.”
Kira waved at Derek. “Hi, Derek, Mattie’s told us a lot about you.”
Allison giggled and winked. “Nice things I can assure you.”
“Mattie’s a jerk,” Derek said, making a face and making both women laughed.
“You recognized what breed he is?” Allison asked, turning back to Scott.
“Yeah, um, I’m a vet,” Scott said, blushing when Allison and Kira glanced at one another, smiling and obviously interested.
Stiles muffled a laugh behind his hand and gave Derek a thumbs-up.
Allison and Kira were ridiculously sweet. They let Stiles do his thing and were game about answering his questions. It wasn’t like they were anything new though. Stiles always sent his interviewees the list of questions ahead of time or so that they’re prepared or met them beforehand to prep. He only added in a new question or two depending on his guests or the flow of the interview. However, with the women’s excitable, chatty and friendly nature, Stiles actually had trouble sticking to the script.
Stiles was surprised by how relaxed they were and couldn’t help feeling a bit awed at how pretty they were in person. Models, indeed.
They were also intelligent and insightful, and they had a lot to share about skewered beauty standards, how many marshmallows they could fit in their mouths playing Chubby Bunny, and at one point tossed in the tidbit that they spent most of the day naked in their shared apartment since it was just the two of them.
Scott had to excuse himself and escaped to the kitchen on the guise of getting more snacks. Stiles had to make a mental note to edit out his snickering. Even Derek couldn’t help chuckling in amusement.
Allison shared a lot about her interest in firearms and explained the pressure the modeling industry puts on young girls, while Kira was very encouraging towards Asian models and admitted she knew how to use a katana and liked to put wasabi in people’s food if they annoyed her.
Scott was the perfect host, offering the women drinks and snacks in between takes and playing with Silver. It was obvious that Kira and Allison were ridiculously charmed and Stiles would have felt like a fourth wheel if he wasn’t a supportive best friend and didn’t have Derek there.
At the end of the day, Stiles had enough material for a two-part feature. When ‘The Curly Fries Show with Stiles Stilinski: Episode 26 – Girls Just Wanna Have Fun With Other Girls…and Puppies (Part I)’ was uploaded the day after, it earned close to five million views in a week.
Stiles particularly liked a comment Allison and Kira made on Twitter: “Thanks for having us on the show @stilesfries. We’d love to get together and play with the puppy + S again ;)”
That was a clear sign if ever Stiles saw one.
Scott passed out. Lydia went home two days early just to mock him and laugh at his face. Stiles got it all on video. He didn’t upload it though. He wasn’t that heartless.
When Derek opened the door, Stiles already knew what he was going to say with the way he grimaced and looked at Stiles apologetically. Derek looked like he hadn’t showered in a few days, his beard was longer than usual, and he had bags under his eyes behind his glasses. He was still gorgeous in Stiles’ eyes, but it was obvious Derek had seen better days.
“I’m really sorry, Stiles. I’d love to help, but I have a presentation due tomorrow and I can’t–”
“It’s not that,” Stiles shook his head. “I haven’t seen you around for a few days so I wanted to see how you were doing, and repay you for your awesomeness and putting up with my annoying ass.” He showed Derek the plastic bag of takeout he had with him. “I also have your favorite super spicy chicken burritos and I’m totally cool with just sitting in the corner and providing emotional support.”
Derek smiled, small and fond, and Stiles couldn’t help the warmth in his chest at obviously having made Derek happy.
“Thank you,” Derek said, opening the door. “And you could never be a nuisance, Stiles. You know that.” Stiles flushed. “My sisters are here, by the way. Val’s helping me with one of my models and Laura’s still sleeping away her hangover. It was one of her friends’ birthday and things got a little wild last night.”
Stiles made a face. “I don’t think I brought enough for everyone…”
Derek grinned. “We can order in for my sisters, but I’ll keep the burritos.”
The living room was a mess, with the coffee tables and floor covered in blueprints, papers, pencils, rulers, and the remains of Derek’s building model. A peek in the kitchen showed Derek’s eldest sister, Valerie, a civil engineer, with her things spread over the dining table and busy working on a new model.
“Hey, Stiles,” Valerie said, not even looking up as she glued a small building together. “Here to see Derek, eh? Maybe you’ll be able to convince him to take a shower. I tried, but I can’t exactly throw him in the tub.”
Derek flushed, face scrunching up. “Val, I have to–”
“You have to finish this. Yes, I know.” Val scoffed. “Stiles is here and he has a damn degree in graphic design. He’ll make himself useful and fix up your PowerPoint while you get in the shower, shave, and stop looking a mountain man. You’re not any good at the techie stuff anyway, so leave it to someone who knows what he’s doing.”
Val had always been the most cutting and straightforward of the Hale siblings, similar to Laura. Derek and Nathan, their youngest, were the kind, quiet and sensitive types. Matthew, the eldest, was a bit of a jerk, while the twins Cora and Cameron were like Stiles, sarcastic and mean.
Stiles knew that Derek was actually Val’s favorite sibling though, as evidenced by her willingly helping with his model, so he backed her up and pushed Derek towards the hall.
“She’s right, dude. I’ll order takeout and see what I can do for your presentation. In fact, I’m a bit insulted you didn’t ask me. It’s not like this is the first time you needed help with one of these, Derek.”
“It’s not that!” Derek protested. “I know you’re busy with your show and I didn’t want to–”
Stiles poked him in the chest. “You know I’m never too busy for you, dude.”
The words were out before Stiles could stop himself and he felt his face heat up in embarrassment, but it was true and he wouldn’t take the words back after seeing the way Derek smiled.
“Go,” he said, pushing Derek out of the room to hide his flaming face. “Go and start looking more like a human being, you idiot.”
“While you’re at it, wake Laura up,” Val shouted after him. “She gets cranky if she sleeps too long.”
Derek sighed, but flashed Stiles an appreciative smile. “Laptop’s on the desk. You know my password. I’ve got an outline there.”
Derek walked off and Stiles started bustling around the kitchen, pretending that Val didn’t just witness him acting head over heels for her brother and being overall embarrassing. By the smirk on Val’s face and the knowing look in her eyes, Stiles knew she was thinking that exact thing.
However, Val didn’t say anything, thankfully, and continued making Derek’s model.
Stiles was probably the least subtle person in the world and it wasn’t long before Derek’s entire family, Stiles’ Dad, all their friends, and all the tenants on Stiles’ and Derek’s floors figured out how far gone Stiles was for the man. It wasn’t that they were unsupportive, because if anything Stiles knew about the betting pool going on about when the two of them would hook up.
But it wasn’t about what they wanted. It was about what Derek wanted, and Stiles would die before sacrificing his friendship with Derek because of his stupid feelings.
Stiles called in some takeout and went about heating up Derek’s favorite super spicy chicken burritos. Stiles was a bit of a lightweight with the spiciness, but Derek was the opposite.
“I thought he finished his model already?” Stiles asked after tossing the plates in the microwave. “And sorry about the lack of burritos for you and Laura.”
Val waved away that last comment and moved to the sink beside him with some paint bottles for the model. “One of the higher-ups cut his vacation short and came back to work in time to make changes to the blueprints. Derek’s got his interns working on the other models and additions, but he has to do the main building himself, especially with how old school the client is.”
Stiles made a face. He wasn’t good at arts and crafts so he couldn’t help there, but he’d make sure Derek had a kickass presentation.
Derek told him once that some of his workmates and superiors looked forward to meeting with him because of his presentations. He never once took credit though, always recommending Stiles and his graphic design skills to those who asked. In fact, Derek was part of the reason Stiles had as many clients as he did.
“How are you doing, by the way?” Val asked. “Mom and Dad have been raving about one of your videos. They watched it recently, the one with the nudist painter?”
“Thanks, and they actually called me last week.” Stiles grinned, his cheeks pinking up at remembering Talia and Desmond’s endless compliments on how informative and socially-relevant that episode was. “I’m good overall. I mean, graphic designing is fun and I actually have a new client, but ‘The Curly Fries Show’ is bringing in some extra cash on the side, enough that I’ll be able to get Dad here in two months.”
“That sounds great!” Val grinned, excited. “And family dinner is a must, of course. I haven’t seen John in ages.”
Stiles nodded and felt giddy at how well his Dad got along with the Hales, enough that he and Stiles were considered family.
“What’s this I hear about John coming to NYC?” Laura piped up, walking in. She was dressed in one of Derek’s Henleys and was only in her underwear. She still looked bleary-eyed and smelled slightly of alcohol.
Stiles was used to Laura’s penchant for wearing minimum clothing and barely batted an eyelash.
“I’m bringing my Dad here for a three-week vacay.”
“Had any lucky getting him to move here?” Laura asked, scratching her stomach and pulling up the Henley. Stiles politely looked away.
“Nope. You know how he feels about the city.” He slapped Laura’s hand when she tried to grab a burrito. “He’s making the most of his retirement though. He’s been going running and fishing with this new guy he met, Chris… I didn’t really catch the last name. So at least he’s not just sitting around.”
“Is he still dating that woman from the flower shop?” Val asked.
“I think he’s dating her brother, but I’m not sure.” Stiles shuddered a little. Objectively, he knew his Dad was good-looking. Stiles had to get his good looks somewhere, right? But hearing how much game his Dad had… it was so weird.
There was the sound of padding feet and Derek walked inside the kitchen, looking more like himself with his beard trimmed and dressed in sweatpants and a slightly damp t-shirt. He had a towel on his head.
“Your Dad’s dating who–” He stopped and sputtered. “Laura! Put some pants on! We have a guest!”
Laura rolled her eyes and stretched obnoxiously. “Stiles isn’t a guest–”
Stiles snorted. “Oh. Wow. Thanks.”
Val snickered behind her hands, Laura looked smug, and Derek looked torn between being pleased at her words and embarrassed at Laura’s state of undress. Stiles laughed and tried to save Derek from this dilemma. The man was stressed enough as it was. He grabbed the plate of burritos in one hand and then Derek’s hand in the other.
“Everything’s good. Come on, Derek. We’ll get started on your presentation, Val will finish your model, and Laura will take a shower and put some pants on before the food comes. Don’t sweat it.”
Laura pouted and whined, but she relented when Val commented on how she still smelled of booze.
The rest of the day was eventful to say the least.
Stiles helped with the presentation, Derek and Val did the building models, and Laura did nothing except watch TV and lounge around in another one of Derek’s sweaters and another one of her panties. Derek tried everything short of physically stuffing her into a pair of pants to get her dressed, but Laura kept whining about it being hot and once almost kicked him in the crotch. Derek gave up, but had a minor heart attack when Laura opened the front door to answer the pizza guy. Laura didn’t mind the leering and the upside was that they got one of the pizzas for free.
It wasn’t like Stiles only invited celebrities on his show. He invited regular, everyday people as often as he could. It just so happened that sometimes famous people requested – demanded, really, but Stiles immediately rejected those douchebags – to be on his show and Stiles couldn’t really turn down the opportunity and free press.
He did turn down the chance to do guest shows, red carpet shows, radio shows and all that. The show started at the apartment and was meant to stay there, with only very, very few exceptions.
Erica Reyes ran ReView, a popular club downtown known for its ostentatious stage performances, attractive servers, and ridiculous concoctions of drinks.
Stiles himself was a frequent visitor at ReView since it first opened. He still went there occasionally to visit Erica, the drag queens, and the show performers and maybe knock back a drink or three – usually for free, the drag queens loved spoiling him – but it had been a long time since he came there to hook up a date.
“How are things going with you and that hunky architect of yours? You two had sex yet?”
Stiles flushed and jerked, almost knocking over the tripod he was setting up. You’d think he’d be used to Erica and her bluntness by now.
“And that is your business how?”
“I take it that’s a no,” Lady Savage spoke up from the makeup table where she and the others were touching up their makeup and fluffing up their feathers. They agreed to do a special production just for the show. “Well, you better make your move soon, jellybean, because I might just snap your man up if you don’t.”
“Maybe I’ll take a shot at it too.” Erica grinned.
“I’m pretty sure Boyd won’t appreciate that,” Stiles said as he checked the camera angle.
Erica scoffed. “Hale’s hot enough that Boyd won’t mind. Isn’t that right, hubbie?”
Boyd didn’t even look up from where he was seated silently at one corner poring through the club’s accounts – because Erica didn’t have the patience for any of that. A silent enigma, that was Vernon Boyd IV.
Lady Savage pursed her lips. “Then again, it’s not like we have a chance anyway. Hottie Hale’s pretty hung up on you, jellybean.” The other ladies agreed.
“That is true,” Miss Bliss said, walking in and making everybody else quiet down. Considered the ‘mother’ of all the ReView queens, she had always been the one to stop Erica and the others from picking on Stiles too much, unless she was the one making her own comments.
“You should see the way he looks at you, dewdrop.”
Stiles let out a laugh through the heat of embarrassment that stained his cheeks and neck a splotchy red. “Derek’s been here,” he held up a few fingers, “Like only four times. You guys have no idea what you’re saying.”
“Oh, dewdrop.” Miss Bliss kissed Stiles’ cheek and then thumbed away the lipstick mark. She sighed as Lady Savage and the other ladies made sounds of exasperated disbelief, Erica groaned and, to top it all off, even the usually taciturn Boyd scoffed loudly.
Stiles rubbed his face with a hand. “Can we get on with the show? Please?”
Erica, despite her tendency to be a bit of a vixen, had her kinder moments and waved her hands to get the queens in position. ReView was not going to close for just anyone, much less Stiles, so it was far easier to shoot sequences of the queens dancing before going on to interview Erica.
It went perfectly fine once everyone was in a professional mood and Stiles was ecstatic to get some really good shots for the episode, including a duet by twins Phoebe and Kiki Divine, who were the best singers of the bunch. Stiles made a face at them though when they jokingly broke out into a rendition of ‘I Won’t Say I’m In Love’ while making teasing faces and gestures his way.
After the queens, it was Erica’s turn and despite Stiles’ love for them, he was relieved that this would soon be over. He didn’t know how much more of this teasing he could take.
“We got lots of good footages! Thank you!” Stiles called out as the queens sauntered off to get ready for the club’s opening in a few hours. He accepted many head pets, cheek pinches, and air kisses as he thanked them for their hard work. Miss Bliss pressed a kiss to his forehead before she dragged Lady Savage away, who looked really close to taking another crack at Stiles’ nonexistent love life.
Stiles and Erica, with Boyd looming in the background, made themselves comfortable at one of the balconies that overlooked the club. Conversation flowed smoothly after that, with questions mostly ranging from a sneak peek into the goings on of a club and its lovely drag queens, the merits of putting umbrellas on drinks, their opinion on gender fluidity and the different sexual orientations, and which comic book characters would look great in drag.
It was during a ten-minute break that Erica finally decided to address the elephant in the room that Stiles was fervently hoping she wouldn’t.
“So…” she drawled, not even attempting casual. “Going back to your architect–”
“He’s not mine,” Stiles mumbled.
“–why haven’t you had sex with him yet?” Stiles sighed and even Boyd snorted at the direct and rather crass question. “Because, seriously, at this point, it’s gotten way past cute and all the way to just sad,” she said, nose scrunching up.
“You are so weirdly invested in my sex life. It’s unhealthy,” Stiles commented, taking a sip of his drink. “Boyd, your wife is too concerned over my sex life.”
Boyd chuckled. “She’s concerned over everybody’s sex life.”
Erica looked at Stiles as if she wanted to slap him, which she probably did, but he was saved by the timely ringing of his phone.
Stiles pulled it out. “Now who the hell is… oh.” He was torn between wincing in embarrassment and feeling ridiculously elated. He answered the call.
Erica laughed, loudly and obnoxiously. Even Boyd looked like he was biting back a laugh.
“Hey, I’m not interrupting anything, am I?”
“Nope, just Erica being incredibly annoying, like she always is.” Stiles ducked to avoid the umbrella Erica threw at him like a dart. “What’s up?”
Derek chuckled and it was like a calming balm to Stiles’ irate mood.
“Sorry, I couldn’t come help but–”
“You have your presentation, yeah, I know. Don’t worry about it. How did it go?” Stiles asked, glaring when Erica made kissy faces at him. “Were they totally impressed? They were, weren’t they?”
He could practically hear Derek’s pride and bashfulness from the phone.
“They gave us the project–”
“I knew it! Congratulations, dude!” Stiles cheered.
“–they really liked it and they even agreed with our idea to renovate that library instead of tearing it down to build a new one. Oh, and don’t call me dude.” Derek added with a laugh. “I couldn’t have done it without your help. That thing with the photos and the effects thing really helped.”
Stiles scoffed. “It’s just some transition effects, fade to white, zoom in, time lapse, panning, blah, blah. It was nothing.”
“It was not nothing,” Derek insisted and, god, Stiles’ heart was all aflutter. He’d have dived onto the bed and wriggled around like a lovesick maiden if he was at home.
“Thanks a lot for your help,” Derek was saying when Stiles clued back in.
“After you’re done there, we can celebrate,” Stiles said. “Take in that new Thai place Nathan has been raving about.”
If Stiles had to take a guess, Derek was definitely blushing as he said, “Yeah, sure, just the, um, the two of us.”
Okay, now Stiles was blushing too. “Yeah, I’ll see you at seven?”
They hung up and Stiles was immediately greeted with Erica making a face at him.
“It’s like watching a couple do couple things without even being a couple. It’s so weird.”
Stiles ignored her and turned to the camera on the tripod. “Come on. We have a few more questions before the show starts and then I still have to take some footage of the crowd and the queens performing before I go.”
“Fine, fine,” Erica said. “But just remember this, Stilinski, I get dibs as godmother of you and Hale’s firstborn.”
Stiles sputtered and flailed at Erica, until she laughed. Thankfully all jokes made at Stiles’ expense died down as the two of them turned to more important topics, such as the merits of gender neutral bathrooms, the stereotypes drag queens faced, and what Stiles’ drag queen name would be. Miss Bliss happened to pass by during this part of their conversation and the two ladies immediately agreed on the name, Selene.
(“Oh, dewdrop, think of it like Madonna or Beyonce, One name says it all,” Miss Bliss said and Erica nodded along excitedly.
Stiles didn’t know whether to be flattered, but he did make a mental note to stay as far away from ReView as was possible during the next few weeks. Erica and Lady Savage had seemed far too happy talking about doing Stiles up in a Little Red Riding Hood outfit.)
‘The Curly Fries Show with Stiles Stilinski: Episode 35 – You Can’t Keep A Good Girl Down’ was a humongous hit, so much so that ReView, which was already doing extremely well, ended up with an extended waitlist months long. Not only that, but the queens’ surprise rendition of the Little Mermaid’s ‘Kiss the Girl (Boy)’ turned into a minor hit, featuring Lady Savage as a dark-haired man and the youngest, Lilly Padd as a brown-haired man with big, brown eyes.
Stiles was mortified, but the expensive bottle of champagne and the complimentary tickets to a Mets game from Erica won him over. And no, Erica, Stiles didn’t take Derek to the game (see Facebook post featuring Stiles and his Dad).
(That was a lie. Stiles invited Derek first, but it turned out he had plans with his workmates. They did share the bottle of champagne later on, which Stiles swore never to tell Erica about.)
And Stiles was even more mortified when three sets of Little Red Riding Hood outfits ended up on his doorstep, care of the queens, Laura and Val, and… Talia Hale.
(Stiles might have given two of them to Scott to give to Kira and Allison. If he kept one, he’s the only one who knew, so shut up.)
That episode with Jordan Parrish was probably one of Stiles’ most favorite episodes, though it was also one of the most traumatizing.
Talia was actually the one to suggest the theme, which was the first – no wait, second, it all started with the Red Riding Hood outfit – in the long line of horrifying events. A conversation with one of her good friends led Talia to the idea that Stiles should invite those from the adult entertainment industry into his show. It was a good idea, though Stiles didn’t want to think about what the hell they were even talking about that they’d land on that kind of topic.
(Maybe Stiles should count all these traumatizing events.)
This led to Talia directing him to Jordan Parrish, one of the leading men from PhoeniX Studios and someone Stiles had admittedly already watched a time or two… or *ahem* twenty.
(Hey, the man was hot! Stiles was not going to apologize for that.)
They were at one of Talia’s favorite restaurants where she had invited Stiles for a lunch date. Stiles said yes, of course. He loved Talia dearly and this wasn’t the first or even the thirtieth time they went out together.
(And Stiles knew Derek liked it that Stiles got along with his family. The Hales were ridiculously crazy and some of them seemed a few curly fries short of a Happy Meal, but Stiles loved them fiercely.)
“Here’s his personal number. You should give him a call, sweetheart,” she said and handed him her cellphone. “He’s a nice young man, well-spoken, and intelligent. I think it’ll be good having him on your show.”
(Stiles was definitely going to tell Derek that his mother had the personal phone number of a well-known porn star. Derek was going to have a heart attack. Cue gleefulness.)
“I’ll see what I can do, Talia,” Stiles said, copying the number. “I’ve been thinking about something like this since I did Erica’s show. Thank you.”
“I’ll admit that Desmond and I were a bit unsure of your show at first,” Talia admitted, patting his hand. “I’m sure you understand our reservations considering the reputation attached to the Hale name. Now your show is doing very well and Desmond and I are very happy and very proud to admit that we were wrong.”
Stiles waved that away. “You had every right to be worried. I mean, Derek and I are good friends, but it was probably weird to think about how I know your family and then I’m suddenly running some sort of celebrity show. Rest assured, I won’t use Derek that way or your family.”
Talia smiled warmly and gave him a knowing look. “Derek has always had faith in you.” She graciously ignored Stiles blushing. “Anyway, I heard your Dad is coming here in a few days. I insist on lunch at the house on Thursday. Peter and the twins will be around so we’ll have a full house.”
“I’m sure Dad will love that,” Stiles said with an excited grin. “And Thursday works just fine.”
A few days later, Stiles was teary-eyed and red-nosed as he gave his Dad a big hug.
“Oof.” John chuckled and dropped his bags to give his son one of his well-loved and much-missed bear hugs. “Hey, kiddo. Missed you.”
“Missed you too,” Stiles sniffed. “How was the flight and the cab ride?” He had been feeling worried. John really wasn’t a fan of the big city.
“Meh, can’t complain,” John shrugged. “Flight was comfortable and I’m not used to all these taxi cabs so I’m just glad you got me one ahead of time.”
“Don’t hog your Dad!” Scott exclaimed as he and Lydia came out to the hall.
“Stiles, let him in!” Lydia huffed. “He had a long flight.”
“No.” Stiles whined, clinging tighter. “I’m just gonna hang all over him like this, and you’re not stopping me.”
John didn’t seem too put out and rubbed his son’s back. He turned to Lydia and Scott over Stiles’ shoulder. “Hey, Scott, Lydia. It’s wonderful to see you both.”
“Hey, Sheriff, good to see you,” Scott said, shaking his hand and helpfully grabbing the bags on the floor.
Lydia leaned up on her tiptoes to kiss his cheek. “Always good to see you, John. Come on in.” She pinched Stiles’ hip so that he’d let go, but he didn’t.
John walked inside the apartment, not having trouble dragging Stiles along. It reassured Stiles a little to see his Dad in good health. It was a relief this Chris guy he met back home was helping him work out and keep fit in his down time.
“Your boyfriend not around?” John asked, slapping Stiles on the butt.
Stiles let out a meep, more from his words than the butt slap, and stumbled back. “Derek’s not my boyfriend!”
Lydia scoffed and Scott snorted disbelievingly and Stiles made a mental note to disown them both.
“I didn’t even drop a name,” John chuckled. “How telling.”
Stiles whined. “DAD!”
“Anyway,” Lydia cut in, shooing Stiles away. “We have food ready or do you want to take a catnap first?”
“I put your bags in the guest room, John,” Scott said.
“A bath, food, and bed will be great – in that order,” John said. “Thank you, Lydia, Scott, ever the gracious hosts.”
Stiles squawked in indignation, but conversation was cut short by a knock on the door.
“Care to take a guess what’s behind door number one?” Scott grinned like a cat that caught the canary as Stiles made a face at him before opening the door.
On the other side was Derek, looking dashing and dapper in a white polo, dark slacks, and shiny black shoes. Stiles gave the three behind him a warning glance before he turned back to Derek.
Derek smiled at him and Stiles could just melt. “Hey, is your Dad finally here?”
“He’s here,” Stiles raised his voice a little as he pulled the door open, “And he, Scott and Lydia are already ganging up on me, the traitors!”
“Don’t be so dramatic, kid,” John said, chuckling. He stepped towards Derek. “Good to see you, son.”
Derek chuckled as he and John shared a tight hug and a pat on the back. The sight made Stiles’ heart flutter.
“How was the flight, sir?”
“Horrible, but I survived,” John said, making a face. “You’re looking well. Hope my kid hasn’t been giving you too much trouble.”
Derek immediately shook his head, glasses almost flying off his face. “Oh no, sir. Stiles has been great, really great.”
“I see,” John drawled, looking between the two of them. Stiles made a face at him.
“Mom hopes you two can come over for dinner on Thursday,” Derek said. “Peter’s back from his trip with his latest… er, man-friend.” He coughed and fidgeted in embarrassment as John snorted in laughter. “And the twins are back from their music video filming in Ireland. We’d love to have you guys over.”
“That sounds great. Tell Talia that Stiles and I will be right over,” John said.
Derek looked pleased and Stiles felt giddy at seeing them get along so well. He was feeling so fuzzy and warm on the inside that he ignored Scott and Lydia in the corner as they elbowed one another and whispered not-so-discreetly.
“Anyway, I have to go.” Derek gave John and Stiles apologetic looks. “I still have to get back to the office for a meeting with a client, but it was really nice seeing you.”
“Dinner?” Stiles asked as he escorted Derek to the door.
Derek grinned. “I’ll be here.” He walked out the door waving over his shoulder. “See you later.”
Stiles closed the door and tried to stop himself from looking so giddy. He wasn’t sure he succeeded.
“Not your boyfriend eh…” John turned to the other two. “I raised a genius idiot for a son.”
Stiles pouted, while Lydia nodded and Scott laughed.
John pulled his son in for one more bear hug. “I’ll take a bath and we can catch up.”
Stiles nodded. “Love you, Dad.”
“Love you too, kid.” John walked off to Stiles’ room.
During dinner that evening, Stiles had to endure a lot of hinting and teasing from his Dad, Scott and Lydia, while simultaneously making sure Derek didn’t understand a lick of what they’re saying. Seeing his Dad and friends get along so well with Derek was worth it though.
A few days later found Stiles in his apartment for a meet-and-greet with Jordan Parrish to prepare for the next episode of ‘The Curly Fries Show’. Scott was hanging out with Kira and Allison under the guise of a veterinary visit for Silver – Stiles was torn between thinking and not thinking about how hot it was that his best friend had nabbed himself two models – while Lydia was out with some of her scientists-diplomat friends. John was still sleeping in the guest room after an all-nighter watching the game on TV.
“I really can’t get over the fact that you asked me to be on your show,” Jordan said, looking really attractive in a pair of skinny jeans and a gray shirt. “I mean, my friends and I watch your videos, and we look forward to whoever you invite as a guest. I can’t believe I’ll be one of them.”
“Thanks, man.” Stiles grinned. “And trust me, it’s my pleasure. I’m really excited to film a segment with you.”
Honestly, it was a bit weird having Jordan here when Stiles had seen some of his videos before. Like, damn, he’d seen the man in the middle of a gangbang for god’s sakes – TWICE!! – but alongside his attractiveness, Jordan was a really interesting, laidback person.
Despite his youthful looks, Jordan was thirty-two and currently worked as an editor for a well-known publishing company. It was how he got to know Talia, as his company published several of her bestselling cookbooks. He was really smart, graduated in the top ten of his class, and loved traveling with forty-plus countries already under his belt.
He also never hid his job as an adult actor from his company and many of them were either accepting or in denial.
He was a smart guy who just so happened to love having sex. So sue him.
(Someone had actually tried, a narrow-minded authoress who remained unnamed on the show – but the name of whom Talia actually told Stiles later on – and who Jordan handled for a while before she found out about his other work. She dissolved their contract and ended up disappearing into the woodwork when she was unable to find an editor as good as Jordan.
Off the record, Jordan divulged that she was probably more horrified upon finding out that her supposedly straight son propositioned Jordan the first time they met.)
“I’ve had people tell me I look like that porn star or that we have the same name,” Jordan said, chuckling.
Stiles looked up from where he was taking notes. “I can imagine how hard it can be though.”
“It was definitely a challenge at first,” Jordan admitted. “I think it helps that I’m good at what I do, so they either just think I look like him or realize I’m too good not to hire. I know friends who can’t say the same about their day jobs.”
Talking to Jordan definitely had Stiles feeling so pumped up. He had released a teaser a few days ago on having Jordan as a guest and he wasn’t about to waste his segment with crass questions such as sexual positions and sex toys. No way. There was a myriad of topics they could cover from sex and sexuality, how porn affected people’s preconceived notions about sex and what a body should look like, the importance of sexual chemistry, and the stigma and discrimination attached to adult entertainment.
Stiles was actually half-contemplating inviting Erica to join Jordan sometime soon in a follow-up episode considering their strong views, when there was a ‘thud’ from the hall, startling them.
“You have company?” Jordan asked, leaning back to take a peek down the hall.
Stiles checked his watch. It was already nearing eleven. “My Dad’s here. He’s probably up and hungry.”
“Your Sheriff Dad’s here?” Jordan asked. At Stiles’ confused look, he added, “You mentioned him a few times on your show.”
“Oh, yeah. He came in from California a few days ago.” Stiles called out, “Dad, you hungry?” There was a sound from down the hall, which Stiles took as assent.
“Be back in a jiff,” he told Jordan and headed towards the kitchen.
One of the perks of living with Lydia was that she made sure the fridge was stocked with healthy foods and had a lot of ideas on easy-to-make dishes. In fifteen minutes, Stiles managed to make a mushroom and egg omelet with toast, yogurt, fresh grapes and juice. Jordan said he had a lunch meeting, but Stiles got some fruit and juice ready just in case. Lydia had drummed it into his and Scott’s head: it was important to be a good host.
Stiles walked back into the living room just as his Dad was coming in from the hall, still looking sleep-soft in sweatpants and a thin Beacon Hills Sheriff’s Department t-shirt with unkempt hair and pillow creases on his cheek. It made Stiles feel warm in his belly to have his Dad here instead of so far away.
“Hey, kiddo,” John said, stifling a yawn. “Didn’t know you had a guest. Sorry–”
“It’s no problem at all,” Jordan said hastily, standing up. He offered John a wide smile. “It’s really good to meet you. You must be Stiles’ Dad. I’m Jordan.”
“Jordan’s going to be on my show,” Stiles added.
“I see. Well, pleased to meet you, Jordan,” John said, shaking his hand with a wide grin. “John Stilinski. Call me John.”
“Good to meet you, John,” Jordan said, and Stiles couldn’t help noticing that Jordan had a blush high up his cheeks.
…Even his Dad had that look in his eye.
Stiles shook his head. He was probably just imagining things. He walked into the kitchen to pour his Dad some juice and make sure the toast is still warm. When he came back out, the two of them were already talking amiably.
“I’m a big fan of your son and I’ve seen his shows,” Jordan said. “He mentioned you were a retired Sheriff. Sounds really great.”
John nodded, running his hands through his hair. “Yeah, I retired about a year ago. It’s just me and my kid, and between him, all the gory cases, and one too many close calls, retirement seemed like the easiest choice.”
“You probably still miss all that excitement though,” Jordan said.
…this time Stiles was certainly not hallucinating when Jordan moved and shuffled forward just the tiniest bit closer to his Dad and how John not-so-subtly leaned closer, close enough for their arms to brush.
“A little, but I like the peace and quiet,” John said. He seemed almost shy as he added, “I’m not as into the big city as my son is. You?”
Jordan grinned. “I’m a city boy, but I have grandparents in the country, so I’m a bit of both. I love traveling and going out to parties, yeah, but I also like reading, running, and having a good lie-in every Sunday.”
“Sounds good,” John said, tilting his head to the side and the corner of his lip twisting up in a rakish grin.
Oh god, it was a move Stiles was very much familiar with, the same one he himself used when he was trying to chat up a hot date… or Derek… and wow, he really took after his Dad.
Stiles stumbled back to the kitchen, patting his pockets for his phone. He hit the second number on his speed dial.
“My Dad’s chatting up Jordan.”
Derek sounded adorably confused. “Who’s what who?”
“My Dad,” Stiles hissed, peeking around the doorway to see Jordan laughing, a blush high on his cheeks, and John grinning widely with a hand on Jordan’s forearm. “My Dad thinks Jordan is hot. You know, the porn star that your Mom introduced me to.”
“Hng.” Derek made a garbled noise on the phone. He hated being reminded that his Mom knew Jordan and was familiar with his works.
“It’s not as if I didn’t know that my Dad is bi,” Stiles said, ignoring Derek’s crisis. He just had to find a way to deal with it. Stiles had more pressing issues on hand. “But I do not, ever, want to see him putting the moves on someone. It’s just… ugh, Derek!”
“Um… uh…” Derek sounded just as frantic as Stiles felt. “Are you against him dating Jordan? Like, is it because of Jordan’s work? Or the age–”
Stiles rolled his eyes. “No, Derek. It’s not that.” He lowered his voice and hissed into his phone. “But I do not want proof that my Dad is having sex with anyone. Like, what if he and… here…” Stiles stammered and flailed.
“Jordan seems like a good guy,” Derek said soothingly. “And your Dad isn’t going to… er… I’m sure he knows better.”
Stiles peeked into the living room once again and paled. “Really? Because he looks about five seconds from dragging Jordan to the bedroom and I swear my brain is melting out of my ears.”
It took almost ten minutes for Derek to calm Stiles down and make him go back to the living room. It said something about how right Stiles was because not once did the two of them even notice he was gone.
“…you look just the type,” John was saying to a red-faced, bashful-looking Jordan as Stiles walked in. Stiles really didn’t want to know what that was all about and he had to cut in before more was said.
“Dad, breakfast… or well, lunch at this point.”
He pretended that he didn’t see the way the two of them jumped, like they obviously forgot his presence.
John cleared his throat and stepped back. Stiles pretended not to see him glance over at Jordan before giving Stiles a smile. “Yeah. I should eat. Thanks, son. And it was nice meeting you, Jordan. Since you’ll be working with Stiles, I guess I’ll see you… soon?”
Jordan nodded excitedly, a blush high on his cheeks. “Um, yeah. Soon.”
Stiles shooed his Dad into the kitchen and once it was safe, he rounded on Jordan. Jordan looked embarrassed, but he wasn’t dumb enough not to know what Stiles was thinking.
“Um… you see… Stiles…” Jordan stammered. “I’m sorry. I just… talking to John – er, your Dad…”
Stiles held up a finger. “What you or my Dad does in your respective personal lives are none of my business.” He shuddered, not even daring to think about his Dad’s sex life. “Seriously, my Dad can make his own decisions, so can you.”
“But I… it was so incredibly unprofessional,” Jordan said, a pinched expression on his face. “Seriously, Stiles, if you don’t want me on the show anymore, it’s o–”
“Okay. No. Stop right there.”
Jordan was still incredibly embarrassed and, as something of an expert on embarrassing situations himself, Stiles decided to ease things a bit.
“Jordan, dude, just chill,” he said soothingly. “You guys looked like you were having fun talking and stuff and like I said, your personal life, or my Dad’s come to that, has no bearing on my show. We’ve done the prep work and I know we’re going to have an amazing time. So, we’re still on with the show. No ifs, ands or buts.”
Jordan was still tense for a few moments, before his shoulders relaxed, and he smiled.
And Stiles didn’t flinch (much) when John joined him in seeing Jordan out the door, or when John insisted on being there during the filming a few days later, or when John and Jordan obviously exchanged numbers after the shoot because his Dad kept spending time on the phone with someone during his free time.
‘The Curly Fries Show with Stiles Stilinski: Episode 40 – Porn Brings Us Closer Together’ was posted on a Sunday. It proved itself to be aptly titled when it prompted several events to occur:
The webisode was featured in several news sites and he and Jordan were recognized for their progressive, informative, and appropriately humorous approach to sex and the adult entertainment industry.
Stiles was nominated, and subsequently won, Webbies’ Choice on the incredibly prestigious Webhead Awards. During his speech, which was through a homemade video as was tradition on the ceremony, he said, “Curly fries are only for the brave, so is love.” That ended up becoming Stiles’ most famous quote, and even appeared on numerous t-shirts, fanworks, and memes.
Talia and Desmond couldn’t stop singing Stiles praises, and it served to both amuse and embarrass the Hale children on their parents’ candid talks on sex and sexuality… and their reinvigorated sex life, if Derek and Laura’s constantly pained face was a sign.
And, unsurprisingly, Stiles got home one evening to hear John and Jordan getting it on in the guest bedroom.
Derek opened the door.
“I told you,” Stiles hissed. “I told you and you said, ‘Oh, John probably knows better,’ but he doesn’t.” He barged past him and went straight for Derek’s room. “Just for that, I’m taking over your bed, you jerkwad.”
Derek sighed, locked the door behind him, and got to his room in time to see Stiles dive under the covers. Derek got in as well, grabbing him around the waist.
“It’s a big bed, Stiles.”
“Shut up. You’re making me breakfast tomorrow and taking me to watch that new James Bond movie and buying me that fancy ice cream. I am traumatized for life. Traumatized I tell you!”
Derek grunted. “Fine. Now shut up. Sleep.”
Considering Stiles was close to the famous Hale family, it was just a matter of time before he gave in – or they gave in? It was confusing – and invited some of them on his show. At first, Stiles was sure he was going to have Laura or Mattie on his show. Actresses were expected guests and he had interviewed only one other photographer on his show before. He also wouldn’t mind inviting Talia – he even had ideas for a cooking segment – or maybe even Desmond, who was a bestselling fiction author, or Nathan, the youngest of the Hales, who was a baseball player.
(Someone had actually left a comment on one of his videos that he invited the ‘lesser known, not famous Hales’. Derek snorted and Val laughed so hard she was red in the face.
“Lesser known, my ass. I have a half a mind to tell them just how much I earn,” Val crowed.
Valerie and Derek actually made the most money of the Hales, being the most business savvy and the one who worked nonstop with clients overseas.)
In the end, Stiles was saddled with Kairos.
Cora tossed an M&M at him, which Stiles caught in his mouth. “Saddled with? You’re damn lucky to have us here, Stilinski.”
“A Hale on your show,” Cameron shrugged. “It would have happened eventually. Lucky you get us.”
“Hey, Stiles! Scott and I are going to finish off the last of the cake,” Isaac called in from the kitchen where he and Scott were bulldozing through the desserts Cora and Cam brought courtesy of Talia. Seriously, Stiles was getting fat because of her.
Stiles sighed, but kept on working on his video teaser. They had already filmed a quick greeting by the band and he was just editing it and adding a few effects to make sure it looked good before posting it.
Kairos was a pop rock-slash-alternative band composed of twins Cora (lead vocals, guitar) and Cameron Hale (background vocals, bass guitar, drums) and Isaac Lahey (background vocals, guitar, piano, keyboard, drums, violin…and god knows what else). They were signed under ALPHA Records, which was founded by – who else but a Hale? – their uncle and Talia’s brother, Peter.
The group came together in high school when the twins befriended Isaac, a music prodigy. Partnered with Cora’s voice and Cameron’s charisma, Kairos had been churning out number one hits and record-breaking sales for years now.
Peter liked to say it was all because of his expertise as a producer and songwriter – Stiles liked to call it his drama queen tendencies and Shakespearean prose – but no one could deny that all of them worked well together.
“How’s the editing going?” Cameron asked, chewing his grilled sandwich obnoxiously loudly by Stiles’ ear.
“It’s fine,” Stiles said half-distractedly. “I’m still thinking about the BGM.”
“How about ‘Rise to the Challenge?’” Isaac piped up as he walked into the room. “Ooh! Ooh! How about ‘Local People?’ The violin on that was hot.”
“You say that only because it’s your piece,” Cora snorted, tossing M&Ms into the air and catching them in her mouth. “I prefer the instrumental version of ‘Mildred.’”
“I like ‘Shadow,’” Cameron said and sang, “Give me the light, light, light. You are ma, ma, ma sunrise… Heal me I’m heart-sick. There ain’t no cure for my disease…”
“I think ‘Crazy’ would be good,” Derek said, stepping in from the balcony where he had been making a call.
“‘Crazy’ it is!” Stiles cheered as he continued editing. “That makes more sense. You each have a solo there. I’ll cut it that way.”
Cora and Cameron both snorted.
Cora let out a cough. Stiles was half-sure she said something along the lines of ‘whipped,’ but he didn’t no matter how tempting it was to spin his desk chair around and kick her in the shin.
He wasn’t deluded. He knew the Hale siblings were aware of Stiles’ embarrassing crush on Derek, but he certainly didn’t want to confirm or deny that to them. They were kind, if a bit kooky and a lot crazy, and Stiles didn’t want to put them in an awkward position when Derek turned Stiles down.
(Stiles wasn’t that stupid though. He knew there was probably something between them, but that was too much to hope for and Stiles’ self-preservation instincts couldn’t help kicking in.)
“You’re all good with the direction of the show, right?” Stiles asked, moving towards professionalism to combat his embarrassment.
He had a really exciting lineup for his show with Kairos. He wasn’t going to miss the chance to have them sing for his show – they already agreed to a mashup of songs, fuck yeah – but this was also a good way to give people a glimpse of what’s behind the rockstar life, let them share their love for their fans, bemoan their lack of privacy, and share the weirdest and wackiest tales from their tours all over the world, and play games.
“We’re still on for ‘Never Have I Ever,’ right?” Cora asked, grinning excitedly.
“Yes, but with pillow swings and not drinks,” Stiles said.
“Pillow swings?” Derek asked, sitting beside Stiles.
“If you did it, everyone gets to whack you with a pillow.” Stiles swung his arm to sample and almost toppled off his chair if Derek didn’t grab hold of his hip. “It’ll be fun.”
Stiles might also be contemplating putting a pile of socks, underwear, or shirts in there to make it firmer and give it more oomph, but he’d tell Derek that later when it was just them.
“I bet,” Derek said, glancing at the excited faces on Isaac and the twins. “Just be careful with the questions.”
Stiles grinned. “Already thought of that. Laura’s screening them.”
“What? Why?” Isaac yelped.
“No! Not Laura!” Cameron moaned.
Cora pouted and crossed her arms over her chest. “No fair! Laura’s bound to come up with the most embarrassing, insane questions!”
“Which is why I asked her,” Stiles said, grinning.
“You’re evil,” Derek said, chuckling.
Stiles ignored the pouting trio and turned to Derek. “I’m also torn between playing Pick One, where they pick only one of two choices, or Whose Quote Is This and revisit all of the stupid things they’ve said over the years.”
Derek thought about it. “I think you should play the quotes game. You can ask Dad and Isaac’s Mom for the really embarrassing ones they said as kids.”
Derek ended up with a couch cushion to the face courtesy of Cora, while Stiles cackled evilly and started making calls.
“This is completely unnecessary,” Derek said. He pushed his glasses higher up his nose and frowned down at the paper in his hand.
“See? Derek agrees with me! It’s stupid!” Stiles squawked and pointed a finger at the older man seated on his couch. “My show is out of the reach of producers, directors, managers, and the like, so no, I won’t do what YOUR company wants on MY show.”
Peter Hale, producer extraordinaire and actually one of Stiles’ favorite verbal sparring partners, sipped from the glass of wine in his hand. His other hand held his phone, where he had been talking to Kairos’ overprotective, obsessive, distrustful (though infuriatingly competent) manager, Jennifer Blake, who seemed to hate Stiles.
Stiles wanted to pour Peter’s wine over Jennifer’s head if he wasn’t so sure that a single bottle cost more than his one-year rent.
“Derek will agree to anything you say. He doesn’t count,” Peter said, ignoring the glare Derek sent at him and the indignant ‘Hey!’ from Stiles on his behalf.
“While ALPHA Records has limited say in the personal activities of its artists, it was the band’s decision to guest on this show as Kairos.” Peter took a swig of his drink. “I personally don’t really care all that much, and neither does the Board. Your show is good publicity, Stiles, not to mention that it is a damn good show, period. However – and seriously, don’t shoot the messenger – Miss Blake, as their manager, is perfectly entitled to worry about her charges.”
“Worry about them? Are you kidding–” Stiles snatched the piece of paper from Derek’s hand. “Blah… blah… wants to protect the company’s artists and investment – I feel like I should punch her for saying something like that – not to mention the reputation and well-being of Cora Hale, Cameron Hale, and Isaac Lahey.”
He crumpled the piece of paper into a ball with a snarl and tossed it across the room. “That’s like saying I don’t have their reputation and well-being in mind. In case that bitch is forgetting something, they’re my friends too, practically family, and I’m not going to do anything to embarrass them or–”
Suddenly, there was a warm hand cupping his nape and Stiles backed up, taking a deep breath. He could still feel anger simmering under his skin, but feeling Derek’s warmth against his side was making the red recede. He took calming breaths and pressed closer, tilting his head to the side until his nose brushed along Derek’s scruff and he could smell the other man’s clean, comforting scent.
“Not to mention Jennifer’s acting as if those three don’t know how to handle interviews,” Derek said supportively.
Peter waved a hand. “I agree, but I think this was all because she may have reacted… not quite positively to the Board after finding out that Kairos booked this gig without consulting her first.” He made a face. It wasn’t a secret he didn’t particularly like Jennifer, but one couldn’t sacrifice success for the sake of personal opinion.
“What’s there to consult?” Derek’s brow furrowed and he squeezed Stiles’ nape. “She’s acting as if Stiles isn’t like family to us and hasn’t always had our best interests at heart.”
Peter raised his wine glass to that.
Derek’s soft exhales and the vibration from his chest made the rest of Stiles’ anger disappear, and his and Peter’s words also eased the lingering doubts he didn’t realize he had felt – that the Hales did care about Stiles just as much as he loved them.
“Just tell that bitch- I mean, Jennifer that I may take it into consideration,” Stiles said, trying to go for civil. “But I’m pretty sure my answer is still no.”
“Noted,” Peter said, texting a response one-handed. “And seriously, don’t take it so hard, Stiles. Nobody expects you to do what she asks anyway. She’s just pissed off because Kairos chose you and not her.”
“True,” Derek said, his hand sliding down to rub between Stiles’ shoulder blades.
“And that I like you better than I like her.” Peter winked.
Stiles grinned while Derek chuckled and said, “Very true.”
“And that Derek chose you rather than her and her flat ass.”
“Tru– urk.” Derek choked, voice coming out strangled.
Stiles’ face heated up. It didn’t help that he suddenly realized his close proximity with Derek. Before he could flail away though, he realized something.
“Wait,” he turned to Derek, “Does that mean she tried to… with you?”
“Flat ass… Stick a hand in his pants…” Peter sing-songed.
Stiles gaped, while Derek glared briefly at his uncle before clarifying.
“She asked me out, before, a long time ago.”
“It was just last year,” Peter said, then hummed, “Shoved her boobs in his face thinking he’d see, but she wasn’t the woman for him…” He paused. “Maybe I can put that in Cameron’s solo.”
“Did you…” Stiles fidgeted, moving back a step. He noticed Derek’s fingers twitch. “Did you go out… I mean, not that it’s any of my business.” He waved his hands, ignoring the way his chest felt as if it was being squeezed tight.
“He did. He did. Oh, what a heartbreak, kid… I need to write these all down before I forget,” Peter said, standing up to rifle through the desk drawers for pen and paper.
“I did say yes to a date, once,” Derek said, hands up as if to reassure Stiles. Stiles wasn’t so sure he was feeling so reassured. “But only because I was worried she’d take it out on Kairos.”
“Chose another, not me. Oh, what a heartbreak, kid,” Peter went on, bending over a desk as he wrote.
“No, I mean, like I said, you don’t have to tell me,” Stiles said, stepping back some more when Derek started advancing on him. There was a look of panic his face, as if he was actually worried Stiles was taking this the wrong way. Stiles could understand things perfectly.
“It’s not like you need my opinion on who you date…”
“Looking at her, not me. Heartbreak’s feeling more real. I’m out the door…” Peter hummed.
Derek took hold of Stiles’ arm, firmly but gently, as if he thought Stiles was literally going to walk out the door of his own apartment.
“It was just one date, and then I realized I didn’t want to date her, not even for Kairos,” Derek said, eyes wide and beseeching behind his glasses and his cheeks tinged red underneath his stubble. “Because I don’t see her that way, not like… not like…” He stopped.
“But I won’t, because I’m still wishing…”
Stiles’ breath caught in his throat. “Not like?”
“…That you would see me.”
Derek’s face reddened even more. “Not like the way I see you.”
Everything was silent for one glorious second, and it was like the past two years of knowing Derek flashed before his eyes – getting to know him, caring about his family, and falling in love with the kind, intelligent, beautiful man.
“I think I’m looking at another platinum hit single!”
Peter’s exclamation jarred Stiles from his thoughts, and Derek too based on the startled jolt to his shoulders.
“Uh, I… you… Stiles…” Derek stammered. He was flustered, panicked, and the most gorgeous thing Stiles had ever seen in his life.
Before Stiles could say anything, there was a beeping sound in the background.
He held up a finger to Derek, motioning for him to wait, and then grabbed his iPad from the coffee table. There was an email waiting for him. It took him about a minute to scan the whole thing – well aware of Derek’s mounting nervousness and barely registering Peter’s excitement in the background – before he tossed the device on the couch and faced the love of his life.
“Come to California with me.”
Derek’s brow furrowed. “Um, what?”
Stiles took a deep breath. He wasn’t making much sense. His excitement over two facets of his life was making him jittery and about to burst.
“I got an invitation to VidCon, I would love for you to come with me, and I’ve been in love with you for almost two years now, almost to the day we met.”
Derek’s brow furrowed even more and Stiles was sorely tempted to just grab him and kiss him.
“I… Um, congratulations?”
“And?” Stiles prompted, smiling softly at the man.
He watched Derek’s shoulders loosen and his eyes shone, hopeful and excited, as he realized what Stiles had said.
“You… me… really?” he asked, taking a step forward.
“Are we talking about you coming with me to Vidcon or…” Stiles trailed off.
“Yes.” Derek shook his head. “I mean, yes, I would love to go with you and I was talking about the latter part.” He smiled shyly. “Really? You and me?”
“Really, truly, seriously,” Stiles said, unable to help the grin that stretched across his face.
In the background, Peter smirked and walked out of the room, a sheet of paper with the makings of a hit single in one hand and in the other his cellphone and recorded video. The latter he sent to all the Hales, including Nana and Popsy Hale, John, Isaac, Scott and Lydia.
‘The Curly Fries Show with Stiles Stilinski: Episode 54 – The Gruesome Threesome’ ended up being featured on Billboard.com and was used by ALPHA Records on some of Kairos’ promotional materials… with pay.
Stiles laughed at Jennifer’s face when she delivered the paycheck, and then ugly-sobbed all over it in private. He deposited half to his bank account, but still had enough to treat Scott, Lydia, Jackson, Isaac, and the Hale siblings to a movie night at the apartment complete with pizza, pasta, chicken wings, and beer…
…All the while fending off everybody’s claims of ‘finally!’ and ‘told you so!’ and sitting through everybody’s cooing and teasing about the video Peter sent.
(Thankfully it was just the confessions part. They didn’t need to know what happened after… including what happened to the very couch they were all sitting on.)
They finally stopped the hounding when Derek grabbed Stiles around the waist and kissed him in front of everybody. They cheered, whooped, and whistled loudly, and there was also the sound of cameras and what sounded like people settling their bets (if Scott’s shout of “THEY’RE KISSING!!!” down the hall to the other tenants was any indication).
Stiles didn’t mind. He was too busy with Derek’s tongue in his mouth to care anyway.
Stiles was woken up by Derek’s soft voice in his ear.
Stiles groaned, rolling over and nuzzling against Derek’s neck and… bare chest.
“Mm. Sleepy,” Stiles murmured, snuggling against the furnace that was Derek’s warm and very naked body.
Derek’s arm was firm around his back and he nuzzled Stiles’ temple with a soft kiss. “Stiles, babe. It’s time to get up.”
“Don’t wanna,” Stiles whined, sliding a leg between Derek’s. He liked the feel of their coarse leg hair rubbing together.
“You said you wanted to get up early to watch Aya Rock’s panel, remember?” Derek rubbed his back from nape to lower back. It made Stiles shiver and hitch his leg up higher until Derek cupped the swell of his ass.
“Nn. It’s only the second day. How can I already be this tired?” Stiles yawned.
“Last night probably had something to do with it,” Derek said, grinning. He turned towards Stiles fully and… oh, hello there.
“I wouldn’t a mind a repeat of last night.” Stiles purred, hand sliding down to grasp Derek’s morning wood.
Derek chuckled, pressing their bodies closer together. He rolled his hips, making Stiles groan, and leaned in to kiss him.
Being in a relationship with Derek was the best thing to ever happen in Stiles’ life, even more than creating ‘The Curly Fries Show,’ for all he loved his little slice of web heaven. Stiles had already known pretty well Derek as one of his best friends, but having him now as a boyfriend and lover was like finding out even more things about him.
Like how Derek loved doting on Stiles, even more than he did before, how much he loved cuddling, how he slept naked (to be fair, Stiles already knew that, but now he got to get up close and personal with all that nakedness), how he liked leaving marks on Stiles’ pale skin, how soft his lips were, how he looked in the throes of an orgasm… yeah, a lot of intimate, sweet, and private things.
And it felt even more amazing now because not only did he have Derek, but he also got to share his love for videos with him.
Stiles tightened his hold on Derek’s hand as he bounded forward, eager to see the sights. He had already made a circuit of the convention center yesterday, but he was still amazed at every little thing he saw, every person he met, and every celebrity he saw.
Derek followed along diligently, never letting go of Stiles’ hand, and never looking bored or tired as he let Stiles enjoy his day; though he did tease Stiles about being so starstruck by other people when they were probably even more starstruck to meet him.
Stiles brushed that off with slight embarrassment. He was just one among the over 300 Featured Creators invited to take part in this year’s Vidcon, but Derek kept insisting (rather sweetly) that Stiles was most likely the most anticipated. Attendees were asked to sign up a month in advance to meet specific Creators and Stiles was surprised when the organizers told him they were moving him to one of their bigger rooms because of the large number of fans asking to meet him.
Derek was probably prouder than Stiles was upon hearing that, and he had been nothing but supportive at every single turn as he let Stiles chat with fans and fellow YouTubers, talk his ear off about everything, and took hundreds of photos and videos.
Stiles loved him so much. Once all this was over, he was planning to take Derek to Beacon Hills to see Stiles’ hometown and spend a few days with his Dad – John just shouted ‘thank God!’ when Stiles called him (and Jordan just said ‘congratulations’ in the background, apparently he was visiting John at the time) – and then meet Claudia formally. Stiles was sure she would have loved him, may she rest in peace.
And Stiles was going to give him the blowjob to end all blowjobs and then make love (insert giddy giggling) to him a thousand times.
And finally tell Derek he loved him.
Derek was standing by the stage wings, hidden from the crowd but not from Stiles, and applauded excitedly when Stiles walked up the stage during his Vidcon panel.
Stiles had the best boyfriend in the world.
Stiles watched as the screen behind him showed his now famous logo and opening sequence – a cartoon of a bucket of curly fries set against a blue and white striped background. The bucket and its fries bounced and wiggled in time with the preppy background music before text appeared spelling out the words ‘The Curly Fries Show with Stiles Stilinski’ in cartoon script. Along the bottom appeared the words: ‘The Curly Fries Fanmeet Special – The Chef Just Got Served’.
“The Chef Just Got Served,” he said. “Well, that’s not at all ominous.”
The audience laughed and so did the panel hosts, up and coming funnywomen YouTubers BB and DD, also known as BaDaBee. From the side, Stiles also noticed Derek chuckling in amusement.
“Good day to all the curly fries-craving masses,” BB said, waving at the camera. “And good day to none other than the famous, Stiles Stilinski. We’re all happy to have you here at today’s panel and at Vidcon.”
“I’m happy to be here,” Stiles said. “And this is so weird, by the way. I’m the one being interviewed for once.”
“It’s been a long time coming. I mean, it’s high time you’re the one in the spotlight,” DD said, giving him a dimpled smile as the crowd cheered in agreement
The show was fun and entertaining with BB and DD asking a variety of questions. While Stiles was still nervous being the center of attention, the panel was never boring and being able to glance at Derek’s proud and encouraging face at the side of the stage really helped his confidence and comfort.
BB leaned forward. “Now, I’m pretty sure most of your fans know this, but for those who don’t – you started out with comedy skits with your best friend Scott, but your show really started to pick up when you featured Lydia Martin and her boyfriend, Jackson Whittemore.”
“Yes, and Lydia’s still rubbing that in my face,” Stiles said, grinning as the audience laughed.
“But during the latest episode on your show, the one-year anniversary episode with your best friend Scott McCall, Episode 69 – The Best Ride of Your Life (Pun Intended)–”
“By far the best titled episode, in my opinion,” DD said, laughing.
“–that you owed the continued success and inspiration of your show to a very special person,” BB finished.
Stiles could clearly see Derek’s blushing face in the wings. “I owe it all to my boyfriend, Derek. Though to be fair, we weren’t boyfriends at the time.” He paused as the audience erupted into excited squeals and murmurs.
He was tempted. He really was. He would love nothing more than to tell the whole world all about his hot, wonderful boyfriend, and it wasn’t like they were strictly hiding their relationship, but Derek was, and always would be, a private sort of person, and Stiles would always respect that.
And thankfully BB and DD didn’t push. It was one of Stiles’ stipulations during the panel – limited questions on his private life, especially his love life.
Stiles waved a hand. “Anyway, he’s the most encouraging person I’ve ever met. He had a lot of faith in me, and it was what pushed me to really take the show seriously, keep on doing it, and think out of the box.” He grinned. “More than a year later and here we are; here I am.”
“Sounds like a really special person indeed,” BB said, smiling.
“He is. I love him a lot.”
The words slipped out before Stiles could stop himself. As the crowd went wild, he found his gaze slipping to the side to glance at Derek. His mouth had dropped open in shock.
In that moment, Stiles was terrified. He wanted to run off stage and kiss Derek. Maybe it was too soon. Maybe Derek wasn’t ready. Maybe this wasn’t the right time or the right place.
But Derek only shrugged off the shock and smiled, beautiful and gorgeous and blushing brightly behind his glasses, a hand pressed to his warm cheeks. Despite being far away, Stiles could clearly see him mouth the words back.
“It’s like I always say,” Stiles said, his eyes trained only on the brilliant, beautiful man waiting for him after all this was over, and possibly for the rest of his life.
“Curly fries are only for the brave, so is love.”