Derek Hale realizes that the part-time job he's chosen is pretty strange considering his predicament.
That predicament being that he's been deaf since he was in a car accident when he was 15, the same car accident that killed his parents.
And the job being an Uber driver.
But, Derek himself thinks it all works out, he gets to drive in his nice-ass Camaro ("It was mine first you know!" "Yes Laura we all know, but I'd like to think the BMW you bought with your fancy lawyer money is a lot nicer!") on weekends, getting to mentally laugh at the more than slightly drunk people he sometimes picks up, and gets to rewind after a long week of working at the auto-body shop by driving around the streets of Beacon Hills all while getting paid!
So yes, Derek is aware that it may be slightly out of the ordinary to have what is essentially a modern cab driver who's deaf, and is deaf from a car-related injury. And, that he can't make small talk, but that's the best part, isn't it? Just send a simple text to the client explaining his little predicament, and *boom* No having to pretend to be interested in people's problems or their drunken ramblings, it's great!
And typically, no one truly addresses the "predicament" either. Except for the occasional drunken asshat who's too shit faced to read the text he sent and then gets pissy when he doesn't respond to them when they're talking (GOD that Whittemore guy was a douche ), but other than that it's usually tight lipped smiles, a texted or written out "thanks" with the payment, or no gratitude at all, just the fee hastily handed over and a (judging by the vibrations) slammed door.
Except tonight, tonight was weird, and it all started with a client with an even weirder name.
Stiles Jeep breaking down today is probably, no definitely the icing on top of the shit cake his week has been.
He's been late to class a total of 4 times this week, prompting glares or passive aggressive comments from a variety of Professors, he spilled a customer's iced coffee all over himself after her tripped over some spilled coffee beans that fucking Greenberg didn't bother to clean up, and last night he burnt his hand while picking up his Hot Pocket.
But now, NOW, his Jeep, his baby, his love of his life, decides to shit the bed while it's almost last call at the bar and he's slightly buzzed.
Stiles loves life, really, loves it.
And now, don't get him wrong, he knows he's being a pinch over dramatic, but really, can you blame him?
His father's the Sheriff okay, and he saw the case files of the "Cab-Driver Rapist", that only recently got caught, or the "Cabbie Serial Killer", who he's 90% sure they haven't found yet, so, basically, Beacon Hills does not currently have a good cab reputation.
Which leaves buses, but Stiles has been avoiding those things like the plague ever since he took one his senior year of high school when his car broke down for one of the first of many times, and a lovely, crazy, dirty man hit on him, saying "i'll give you a real good handy kid, right now, just in the back of the bus, for like 3 bucks, no? Well what about a good ol blow pony for 6?", until thankfully Stiles saw his stop, pepper sprayed the guy real quick, and then ran for his life into the library.
So, with a hardly suppressed shudder, and a quick call to a towing company to come and get his Jeep, Stiles makes the decision to try the much talked about Uber service.
Downloading and going on the app, Stiles fills in the information he needs.
'Easy enough' Stiles thinks to himself, nursing his beer and listening to Scott tell a story of a litter of puppies Deaton just got in.
Feeling his phone vibrate, Stiles takes it out of his pants pocket and notices that his phone is flashing a text alert from an unknown and unsaved number.
"Huh" he says to himself, opening the message, reading:
Hello, this is Derek. I'm your Uber driver for tonight.
I know most drivers probably don't text their clients, but I wanted to let you know that i'm deaf.
So, if I don't respond to you when you talk, please don't get offended
"Well that's different" Stiles says to himself, putting his phone away and nodding along to yet another story of puppies via Scott.
Stepping out of the bar, and giving slightly unsteady hugs to everyone, Stiles looks around for the...holy crap does this app say i'm supposed to be getting picked up in a black freaking Camaro?! said car.
Spotting it just a ways down the sidewalk, Stiles hesitates, not knowing the protocol for this type of thing.
Is he supposed to treat this like a cab situation and sit in the back? Or is he supposed to sit in the passenger side since that's what he technically is, a passenger?
Most likely noticing his hesitation, the driver opens the front passenger side door
'Well that answers that question' Stiles thinks to himself, getting inside and sitting down.
Then he turns to get a better look at his driver, who gives a slight wave and upturning of lips and oh.
Super. Duper. Hot.
And smiling oh god that smile oh god.
The driver must take his blank stare as a response, so with a slightly hurt look, the driver, Derek, the text said Derek, Stiles mind supplies, turns back to looking at the road, putting the car in drive, and taking off.
'Oh god why did I agree to this?' Stiles thinks to himself after 10 minutes of silent driving.
He can't deal with silence, or lack of communication, silences make him want to ramble.
And that's what this car is: silent.
And obviously, Stiles understands this, and respects it, but goddammit he can't start rambling or the poor guy is probably going to be angry or think Stiles is stupid and didn't read his text, and oh god he never even responded to that did he? Well great, that's great. At least he had his read receipts on.
Now, Derek must be magic or really good at reading people, because once glance at Stiles and he's flipping on the radio, which is so incredibly low you can't hear it, which once again, makes sense. The guy probably seldom uses this radio ever.
Shooting Derek a relieved smile, Stiles gently fiddles with the radio until its on a decent station and volume.
Ah yes, only 40 more minutes to go...GOD why did Scott have to choose a bar so far away from Stiles apartment?
After about another 15 minutes, Stiles, surprise surprise, starts getting antsy again, so he decides to try and subtly check out Derek.
God, he never knew a side profile could be so beautiful, and oh god look at those cute slightly-big ears, deaf ears, Stiles mind once again helpfully supplies.
Which prompts Stiles to wonder how long Derek's done this, and if people ever thank him.
How would they even go about it?
A handwritten note hastily scribbled on the back of a Panera Bread receipt?
A overly-exaggerated mouthing of the world thank you?
Sign language. Sign language! Yes that's it, Stiles so totally has a plan now.
He's going to teach himself how to say "thank you so much" in ASL, with the help of a little friend called Google.
Not only because Derek was gorgeous and adorable and just mmm yes, and because Stiles maybe wanted to attempt to woo him, maybe, even though the guy's like 1000 levels out of Stiles's league, BUT, also because he wondered if anyone ever attempted to do it, and because Stiles feels Derek deserves it. He doesn't know why, maybe its the aura he exudes, the feeling that he's been through a ton of shit throughout his life.
Either way, Stiles is going to do this, so, opening Google, he gets to work.
Derek hasn't regretted his deafness since the first year after the accident, before he started to gradually get used to it.
But, now, more than ever, does he regret it.
Tonight's passenger is gorgeous, like 'oh my god let me lick you and kiss you and maybe fuck you or you fuck me if you're into that', type of gorgeous.
But he's also adorable. Like, antsy, fidgit-y, Bambi-eyed adorable.
And Derek wants.
But he can't get anything, because of this lovely roadblock, and really, he's full of regret.
The only option he really has is to try and text-ask Stiles out for coffee, and then have a conversation through texts or written notes, but even then, who says Stiles is even gay? For all Derek knows Stiles could be straight as a stick and have a girlfriend. He's also supremely out of Derek's league.
But oh well, they've reached Stile's apartment by now anyways.
Turning to him to collect the fee, Derek sees Stiles hold up his index finger in the practically universal symbol of "hold on".
Then, something completely unexpected happens.
Stiles signs "thank you so much", and then hands over the money.
Actually fucking signs.
Now, Derek can tell just by the awkwardness of it that that was probably Stiles first time doing such a thing.
Which means he recently learned it.
Is that why Derek saw him watching something on his phone and making small hand gestures?
Did he seriously learn how to sign, just for Derek?!
Completely overcome with emotion he didn't even know he was keeping pent-up, Derek feels himself tear up, and keeps signing "thank you" over and over at Stiles.
Seeing the guy smile, and then slowly, and uncertainly start to lean over, arms out, Derek meets him halfway in a warm embrace.
Pulling back after a few seconds, Derek notices that Stiles has a text window open, with an unsent message typed out saying "Sorry if that was bad, I...kind of just learned it"
Returning Stiles's sheepish smile with a full-blown grin, Derek takes his own phone out, and types out "It was good, really good...i'm touched you went through the trouble for me."
"No problem, I wanted to" Stiles types out, smiling.
Hesitating, Derek decides to go for broke, typing out, "Do you want to maybe get coffee with me sometime?"
"Like a date?" Stiles types back
"Only if you want to, too" Derek types.
"Of course! Yes, i'd love too!" Stiles types out, then does what Derek can only call an adorable happy wiggle, in his seat.
Phone buzzing, Derek looks down to see its a call from Laura.
Ignoring it, Derek types out "So, that's my sister, she's probably wondering where I am, and if I'm okay...I've gotta head home."
"That's fine! I'll text you!" Stiles types, smiling.
"Okay" Derek types, pulling Stiles in for a quick hug.
Then, Derek signs "goodnight".
Stiles looks at him confused, and Derek types out "that's the sign for 'goodnight'".
"Ohhh" Stiles types, and then holds up his hands, trying to remember what Derek just did.
Smiling, Derek takes Stiles's hands, and gently, slowly, shows him how to sign it.
Smiling, Stiles looks up, and Derek notices how close they are.
Leaning in, Derek is interrupted once again by his phone vibrating.
'Fucking Laura' Derek thinks.
Moment broken, Stiles gives a shy smile, hugs Derek again, and gets out of the car.
Once he reaches his front door, Stiles turns around, and signs "goodnight"
Returning the sign, Derek smiles and drives away once Stiles gets in safely.
'A good night indeed' Derek thinks to himself, smiling.