"Honestly the lengths you go through for Christmas gifts is astonishing,"
"I can't believe you just used the word 'astonishing' in an every day sentence,"
"I can't believe we drove two hours in Christmas traffic for a DOLL,"
Stiles rolled his eyes and threw in an exaggerated headroll for good measure
"It's a store exclusive Derek! It isn't my fault that Beacon Hills doesn't have any specialty stores worth a crap,"
"That wasn't my point," Derek sighed, pausing for a moment in consideration
"You really take this gift stuff seriously don't you?"
"Yep," Stiles replied, popping the "p" for emphasis
"I still think it would've just been easier for everyone if you had done secret Santa," Derek shrugged
"Oh so you can show us all up by swooping in and giving everybody wiis or college tuition or something? Nice try, and you KNOW you would,"
"Hey, I said YOU should have done Secret Santa, I never said I would have participated,"
Stiles grumbled and wrinkled his nose, sinking in his seat
"Are we going home now?"
"Actually can we stop by this boutique on the way? It's on Maple Street,"
"Pleaaaaaaase Derek? I need to get something for Lydia and she is SO hard to shop for I seriously don't think there's anything in all of Beacon Hills that I could get for her at this point,"
Derek sighed and glanced at the clock on the car dashboard
"Stiles it's getting late... they're expecting it to start snowing again soon..."
"We'll be quick, I promise,"
He knew within reason that he really should just say no.. but...
"ONE more boutique,"
"Have I told you lately that you're awesome?"
"You've never told me that I'm awesome,"
"I haven't? Really? Well... consider this me officially telling you then- and not just because of the shopping, you're awesome Derek, shopping aside," Stiles said with complete sincerity
Derek swallowed and his heart absolutely did NOT flutter, don't believe the lies, it DIDN'T...
"So if you're having this much trouble, what have you gotten for her the last two years?"
They had already been at the boutique for half an hour and they were coming up pretty empty, Stiles hadn't even picked up anything yet and honestly if Derek saw one more blouse he was pretty sure he was going to ram his head into a wall
There was a reason he didn't put any care into how he dressed and despite Lydia's valiant insistence that it was lack of fashion sense it was really just because he didn't have the patience for clothes shopping- at all
"Well for the first birthday she let me come to I bought her a TV,"
Oh... yeah, it WOULD be pretty hard to outdo that-
"Then for the first Christmas we had together I bought her tickets to the ballet,"
"For her second birthday I bought her a first edition copy of The Little Mermaid,"
"For the second Christmas I bought her an original animation cell from Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer since it's her favorite Christmas movie,"
"And then for her birthday I bought her a star,"
"And you think a boutique is going to outdo all of that?"
"Well no, but after last year she said that if I keep going over board like that I wouldn't be allowed to buy her anything anymore so..."
"How did you even AFFORD all of that?"
It didn't make sense, Stiles had been a highschool student until recently and now as a private detective with his own business he had to spend more money than he was making, it was just lucky that Derek had offered to be his "assistant" and was covering most of the bills for now...
"I know a guy,"
Ofcourse, that answered it, he KNEW a guy....
"But like... I always try to do special stuff for people for gifts, it just so happens that Lydia's special stuff is extra rare and expensive,"
Derek thought back to this doll endeavor for Kira, to the motorcycle helmet he had gotten specially designed for Scott, to the exercise equipment he had been searching for for his father, and decided that he supposed Stiles had a point
"It isn't my fault that you haven't spent Christmas or your birthday here yet since knowing you,"
Derek was prepared to hear him ask the age old question- "When is your birthday?" and yet...
"Wich reminds me, just so you know, we are SO not missing your birthday this year, it's gonna be a blast so suck it up Christmas Baby!"
Part of him was a bit curious as to how Stiles knew that...
The other, more logical part of him just submitted to the fact that this was Stiles and he really shouldn't be surprised
Stiles was a bigger mystery than Bigfoot most days...
"You really don't have to do anything for my birthday Stiles, it's fine,"
"Don't argue with me, I said we're going to celebrate your birthday and I mean it, so shush,"
Derek rolled his eyes but decided to stay quiet, he had woken up early for this little adventure and he was just too tired to argue much about it now
"So do YOU have any idea what you're getting for Lydia yet?" Stiles asked after a breif pause
"I already finished my Christmas shopping,"
Stiles stopped, hand on a random bottle of perfume and mouth hanging open- atleast he had started picking things up to look at them, progress....
"Wat the- ... how? Oh my God are you one of those people who like... does all their shopping in October or Black Friday or something?"
"No and no,"
"Well Stiles, some of us actually write a list before they shop so they don't have the same problem you're having now," Derek replied with a smug smirk
Stiles glared, wrinkling his nose
"You know your smug- wait, so what did you buy for Lydia?"
"I'm not saying, I'm not telling any of you what I bought,"
"Because I know you'll just end up telling eachother; you'll tell Scott, he'll tell Kira, and she'll tell Lydia, see? None of you have any filters,"
The worst part of all this is that he's actually right...
Oh well, he supposed, it was worth a try
"I can't believe we found this!"
Derek winced slightly because shouting of any sort just wasn't pleasant on his ears
A moziac music box with Ariel's silhouette on the lid and a dancing Ariel and Eric figurine inside spinning to Fur Elise
It was perfect, Derek had to admit, it was perfect and unique and pretty and expensive, all of the things Lydia seemed to like
That, on the other hand, was NOT perfect...
"The road is closed from snow..." Derek said slowly
Glancing up from the radio, Stiles saw that yes, in fact, the road ahead was closed for snow
"Well now what?"
"Now we have to find a place to stay for the night, this is the only way back to Beacon Hills,"
Although he hated to admit it, Derek was right, they wouldn't be heading home tonight no matter how badly he wanted to, he supposed he should just be glad Derek hadn't said "I told you so"
"I'll look it up on my phone," he offered, unlocking his screen
"You have Captain Swan as your background?" Derek asked in surprise
"I'm going through some serious withdrawls here"
"Yeah that was one hell of a mid-season finale,"
Stiles let out a sigh as he flipped through his phone, pulling up the browser and starting to type in his search
"Our poor boy," he lamented after a moment
"Well yeah, I mean Hook is your favoirte right?"
"No, I like him but he isn't my favorite, why would you think he was my favorite?"
"Right, because why would the gorgeous, bearded, leather-wearing anti-hero with a heart of gold, who made mistakes early on but atonned and apologized for them and moved on to become a hero himself, who has lost everyone in his life and only wants a place to call home and who hates himself more than anyone else, and who would quite literally rather die than let someone he loves get hurt or turn dark, in a leather jacket, be your favorite?" Stiles snorted
"Coat," Derek immediately corrected
"Leather coat... not jacket...."
"Right," Stiles huffed, rolling his eyes
"I have to ask then, who IS your favorite?" he asked a second later
"Really? I really would've thought you liked Emma more,"
"No, why would you think that?"
"It seemed obvious,"
"Seriously, because why wouldn't a dead-pan snarker human who turned out to have magic in her own right and who's biggest enemy is the darkness within herself, who would do anything and everything to protect the people she cares about even if it means using the darkness she hates, who keeps trying so hard only to have her trust completely taken from her and manipulated against her wich has made her cynical and closed off, who always has a plan and tries so hard to use her power and her wit to protect people even if it just bites her in the end, in a red hoodie, be your favorite?"
"Jacket," Stiles corrected a moment later
"Jacket... not hoodie...."
The silence had no reason to turn awkward after that, but for some reason it did
"I'm telling you The 100 is the only dystopian thing I can tolerate, much less like, you know? At the very least promise me you'll think about it?"
"What about The Walking Dead?"
"What ABOUT The Walking Dead?"
"Is it? I always considered zombie apocalypse to be it's own genre,"
"Nope, it's dystopian,"
"Oh.. then it's the only non-zombie destroying thing I like and- AND the main protagonist is bi! BI Derek!"
"Bye Stiles," Derek teased, getting out of the car and waving at him
"Oh really clever," Stiles huffed, climbing out of the car quickly to follow him
"Come on Der, The 100!" he insisted as they walked towards the log cabin-esque building in front of them
"Will you watch Deadzone with me?"
"Ugh, yes, you insane nerd, I will watch your freaking psychic show that was never finished, even though it's way longer and, you know unfinished, if you watch The 100 with me,"
"If you're going to make me suffer I should make you suffer, and Deadzone didn't typically have alot of main charector deaths- wich according to YOU, is The 100's lifeblood,"
"Creatin? Is that the best you can do?"
"There's a kid over there,"
Derek glanced over his shoulder, seeing a little boy running around chasing a cat
This place seemed to be one of those warm and cozy, family bed and breakfast types, even though it was listed as a hotel, it just had that vibe to it...
"Checking in?" the receptionist asked with a smile
"Yeah, we need a room for two please," Stiles answered
"Do you have a reservation?"
"Ah... well... no..."
"Oh then I'm sorry, we're all full,"
"But it's a blizzard outside! We can't get back home!" he argued, a look of worry coming across his face
"We're sorry but there are simply no rooms available-"
Stiles groaned, clutching at his hair
"Not even ONE?"
"Well... we do have ONE.. but it only comes with the honeymoon package,"
There was a breif moment of silence before Stiles began to grin, turning around and wiggling his eyebrows at Derek
"Welp, looks like it's our lucky day BOO," Stiles smirked, putting an arm around Derek and giving him a squeeze
Derek made a face, eye twitching and mouth pressed tight
"We only JUST got back from our first honeymoon but... I don't see a reason we can't go on a second one now, right Dear-Bear?"
"Oh, I can think of a few reasons..."
"C'mon Derek," Stiles pouted
He took a breath and hung his head, clearly too tired and cold to argue, a room was a room he supposed, it wasn't like they would be forced to sleep together or show their marriage license or anything
"Great! We'll take it, what does it include?"
"Three full days and nights here at the lodge plus a free session at the spa and three free dinners at the restaurant here, now obviously since you're only staying for the two days and three nights we'll give you a discount,"
"A discount? See Derek? Our luck is already turning around!"
Derek just sighed and grabbed his wallet, having utterly given up at this point
Even with the "discount" the price tag was still high enough that it caused Stiles to squeak
He felt bad asking Derek to pay for it but Derek assured him it was no problem
In fact, he was remarkably cool with this all things considered
"You realize, don't you, that we have no spare clothes here?"
Derek had a good point....
"Well, that's what gift shops are for Derek,"
Derek was pretty sure that WASN'T wat gift shops were for but it wasn't like he had a choie in the matter
And that's how they ended up in the hotel gift shop looking for clothes
"If the snow is cleared up tommorrow do you think we can go to the real store and buy something besides t-shirts with the hotel logo on them?"
"What? No longer thrilled with the wonders of a hotel gift hop?"
"Haha, very nice, can we?"
"Depends on how much the snow has cleared up by then,"
Stiles gave a small nod and went back to looking for his size
They should atleast get sweats to sleep in after all, if nothing else, Stiles had experience sleeping in jeans and he recalled in detail that it hadn't been a GOOD experience....
"Oh man look at this Derek! Chocolate turtles!" Stiles shouted excitedly
"I love chocolate turtles, they're my favorite!"
There wasn't a single sound and Stiles frowned from where he was
Upon turning around he spotted quite a peculiar sight
Derek Hale was staring at a decorative toy carousel of all things
Well technically, Stiles supposed it wasn't really a toy, technically, it was a Christmas decoration
A beautifull carousel that played Christmas music and had a variety of animals that operated just like a real carousel
It was pretty cute but he couldn't see why Derek was so enamored with it
"You ok there Big Guy?"
Derek jerked, as if he WASN'T a werewolf who always knew very well and good when someone was talking to them
"W-What?" he squeaked
Stiles rolled his eyes, frowning a bit
"You were staring at that carousel like it held the answers to the universe,"
Derek just grunted and high-tailed it back to the nearest rack of pants
Well this just kept getting weirder and weirder...
One thing seemed clear though, Derek wanted this thing for some reason or another, and Stiles didn't care what that reason was, he didn't care that he had already bought a Christmas gift AND a birthday gift for Derek
The thing is that Derek Hale never wants anything
He never really truly wants anything
So if he wanted this Stiles was going to give it to him!
There was just one problem
One very big, very pricey problem
Just LOOKING at the price tag was making him feel sick
Wich was not, you know, great, for buying it....
But Stiles was NOT letting this go!
Once he had an idea he was hard pressed to let go of it
And he was very much attached to the idea of buying something for Derek that he really, honestly wanted
So by God he was going to get it some way or another!
"I cannot BELIEVE you talked me into this," Derek said with a sigh
"It's after a free spa Derek, you don't just give up a free spa!"
"No ofcourse not, what a sacrament," Derek replied with a deadpan expression
"So you agree!"
"I'll never agree to voluntarily having mud put on my face Stiles," he sighed back
It was too late ofcourse
They already had new faces done up, covered in green clay and cucumber slices over their eyes
They may or may not also be sitting in a tub of mud...
And by that they ofcourse definitely were
"You don't feel even a little bit good huh?"
"No, not even close,"
Stiles frowned a little, well, as much as he could with the mask in the way atleast
"I'm sorry man, I thought it'd be good,"
"It's fine, don't worry about it,"
Stiles wrinkled his nose- or tried to- and sighed
"Ok so spas incidentally are not relaxing at all and definitely not comfortable,"
"Shocking isn't it?" Derek replied in a monotone
"Well I mean yeah, it kind of goes against everything spas are known for,"
"What spas are YOU hearing about?"
Stiles grumbled something incoherent and sighed again
"How long do you think we've been here?"
"I don't know, five minutes?"
"Oh my GOD!"
"I told you we should have stayed upstairs and caught up on the iZombie episode we missed last night,"
"Yeah yeah, stupid pixies wrecking the town.... I should've listened to you..."
"Wait a minute, am I dreaming or did you just say you should have listened to me? Isn't that another way of saying that I was right?"
"Well we can't count our fingers so I guess we'll never know huh?"
Derek scoffed, rolling his head back, having lost the ability to roll his eyes under the cucumber slices
"Oh well, I guess we have to just... take it easy for a wile huh?"
"That's what the immobilizing mud bath would imply yes,"
Stiles sighed, hating the quiet, it just gave him more time to himself and quite honestly, Stiles didn't like himself well enough to be ok with that
And specifically, it gave him more time to think about this carousel thing and how hopeless it was
Christmas was next week, they would only be spending a few days here, there was no way he was going to get the money he needed for that stupid thing in time
Just when all hope seemed lost though...
"Sorry to interrupt," came from a female voice from across the room
"I was wondering if you two knew that we would be doing a version of The Newlywed Game later? We need one more couple and the prize is a hundred dollar gift card for the hotel,"
In that moment it was as if angels began to sing Hallelujah, for an answer was in sight
Even if Derek took half- wich he doubted, Derek didn't seem to care about money at all, ever, to a fault in fact- Stiles still had enough on his own to make up the difference
It was practically a Christmas mirical!
"No thanks, we-"
"We'll be tere!" Stiles shouted, and he could practically FEEL Derek glaring at him despite the cucumbers on their eyes making eye contact- and by extension glaring- impossible
"Great! We'll see you at seven in the main ball room,"
A few moments later, assumingly when Derek heard her leave, the werewolf spoke
"What were you thinking?"
"Derek hear me out-"
"Why?! What excuse could you possibly have for this level of sheer idiocy!?"
"Um... it'll be fun?"
Ok, so in the infamous Stilinski Book Of Excuses that was admittedly not the best one...
"You think that us failing at a hotel version of The Newlywed Game when we are ACTUALLY supposed to be newlyweds sounds FUN?"
"Who says we're gonna fail?"
"The laws of common sense?"
Stiles rolled his eyes, huffing
"Come on, have a little faith!"
Derek sneered, he had zero faith in anything, not that they would win, not they had fun, and not that Stiles was doing this for any reason other than to humiliate him, if he was being entirely honest
Never had he thought he would want to utter the phrase "I want out of the mud bath" more than he did in that moment
Derek did not as it so happens, have a little faith
Derek, as it turns out, was pretty upset
"Derek, seriously, why is this such a big deal?"
"Why is it such a big deal to YOU?!"
Obviously he wouldn't just TELL him... he COULDN'T just tell him....
"It's.. look, just... please!"
"You can't even give me a reason?"
"I... I could!"
Derek stood at the end of the hall, raising his eyebrows expectingly
But Stiles... he couldn't think of anything
"Right, I'm taking a shower," Derek grunted
He felt really bad about it ok?
But what is he supposed to do?
This is for Derek's happiness after all
And so he just deflates, hoping Derek will be a little more recepetive after a shower and walks over to the closet conveniently placed right in front of the bathroom door
And that's when he heard it
Faint and almost silent
Obviously not meant for human ears
Or you know, any ears...
"'Cause baby now we've got bad blood, you know it used to be mad love, so take a look what you've one, 'cause baby now we've got bad blood,"
That was Taylor Swift....
emi>"Now we've got problems, and I don't think we can solve them, you left a really deep cut, and baby now we've got bad blood"
Yep, those were Taylor Swift lyrics, a little more spoken than sang but that was his ringtone for Lydia's phone for two weeks after he broke her favorite vase so he remembered it more than any radio replays could possibly make him
Oh my God...
Derek was a total Swifty...
It was at this point in time that Stiles came up with a sure fire way to get Derek to forgive him
When Derek exited the bathroom he found himself presented with Stiles' laptop blasting "Back To December"
"I really am sorry," Stiles said sheepishly
Derek narrowed his eyes and grunted before walking to the door
Apparently Stiles' plan had failed
But HOW had it failed!?
It was fool-proof!
Stiles thought it was atleast...
Maybe it wasn't....
Maybe using Derek's apparent love for Taylor Swift against him was actually a very BAD idea...
Stiles MAY have made things worse here....
"Stiles I'm just-"
H really didn't mean for that to sound like a dog joke, he SWEARS
So, because he can't seem to do anything but keep screwing up, he naturally goes for broke and tries to save himself
"Stay... stay, stay...."
Yes, yes that was Taylor Swift, totally unintentionally he SWEARS
But if the way Derek was staring at him was any indication he's already going for an eternity's sentence in hell, well might as well go alll the way right?
"I've been loving you for quite some time, time, time,"
The murdery eyebrows seemed to be very slowly relaxing
"You think that that it's funny when I'm mad, mad, mad, so I think that it's better if we both stay"
Stiles Stilinski had officially outlived his usefullness so it was really time for someone to just put him out of his misery and shoot him
Everything was quiet
Deadly silent in fact
And then something completely unexpected happened
Something utterly strange in fact
"Don't you worry your pretty little mind, people throw rocks at thngs at things that shine, and life makes love look hard, the stakes are high, the water's rough, but this love is our's,"
Stiles stared at him in aftershock
Had... had that really just happened...?
Had Derek Hale really just sung Taylor Swift to- at- him?
There was a breif moment of silence before Stiles finally spoke again
"Um.. do you maybe want to ... come back to the room?"
Derek rubbed the back of his neck as if he had been expecting his obvious advances to go without notice ro something
It was surprisingly easy to get used to cuddling
It felt like they had been doing this for an eternity
Like they were puzzle peices who finally came together
Ofcourse eventually they had to be people about this and actually talk
"So.... earlier..... were you um... being serious?"
Stiles knew what he was asking but he wanted to be sure just in case
"Serious about what?"
There was a pause as if Derek was trying to think of if he should really say it or not
Stiles almost jumped in to fess up anyway but then Derek spoke again and it broke him a little bit
"You sang me a love song,"
There was a slight pause as Stiles tried to figure out how exactly to respond to that
"Um.... yes, yes I did,"
"Did you... did you mean any of it?"
"Yeah I... I meant all of it,"
Really, what a way to freaking confess....
There was a long silence and every second felt like there was a noose around his neck, getting tighter and tighter by the second
"You really feel that way about me?"
His voice was so small and fragile that Stiles swore, if he hadn't been looking right at him at the time, he would have thought he was talking to a small child
"Yeah," Stiles insisted suddenly gaining a much more confident air
"Yeah Der, I feel all of that, hell I feel more than that, I feel... God... I feel too much, like.. like Hannibal loving Will too much,"
There was another pause before Derek finally spoke up
"So, you'd get yourself arrested just so I would know where you were at all times?"
On some level Stiles couldn't believe he had just made that reference
But then he really shouldn't be surprised, Derek, he had found out, was as big of a nerd as he was, he just wasn't as vocal about it, wich also wasn't surprising, he wasn't vocal about much of anything
".....Yes, I wouldn't make you swallow a human ear though,"
"I should hope not," Derek teased back
"I meant it too, by the way,"
Stiles glanced at him in surprise, blinking innocently
"Why is that such a shock?"
"You like me! I mean sorry but that's kind of a huge deal!"
"I don't like you," he huffed
And for a moment Stiles deflated, until-
"I'm completely in love with you,"
Ignoring the fact that that was a tired, old, and cruel trick...
"Oh my God... so this.. this is mutual? I love you and you love me? We love eachother?"
"Um... yes," he answered slowly
"Oh my God,"
There was silence, the air still and tense
"We should kiss," Stiles finally said
"Finally," Derek smirked teasingly
The kiss was everything good in the world
About a billion times better than he ever thought it could be, and that's really saying something considering Stiles is working on three years of seriously high expectations here
It took a full five minutes before they finally came up for air
But just when Stiles thought everything was going to be kind to him, Derek just HAD to open his stupidly pretty mouth...
"So why DO you want to play this stupid game anyway?"
He should've known that life just couldn't be THAT kind to him
"I really can't tell you man, you'll see, just... gotta trust me here,"
"You sound like you're asking me to trust you with a life or death decision or something,"
"Well no but... can you just believe me when I say it's important?"
Derek sighed, looking pained, but nodded slowly
"I'll always believe you Stiles,"
Stiles swallowed, heart clenching slightly and nodding
"Thanks," he rasped out
Derek just smiled back and sighed, glancing at the clock
"We'd better get going then if we're going to make it on time,"
Stiles beamed and most certainly did NOT race him to the door like a child
They ended up winning the game easily, almost embarrassingly so, and Stiles brought Derek the carousel
He decided to give it to him when they got home
When Derek unwrapped it Stiles could swear he was going to start crying
The mood was poorly interrupted by the pinging of an email coming in but Stiles was almost glad for it
He didn't want Derek to cry if it could be helped
Not that there was anything wrong with crying- it would just make Stiles cry too
But it was ok, Derek would tell him that his weird emotional attachment to the carousel was, they'd probably cry anyway and then they would cuddle
Because Stiles' life now included cuddling with Derek Hale, on a nearly hourly basis, and THAT was the best Christmas gift Stiles had ever gotten