Stiles doesn’t really know why he’s there of all places. With his flailing limbs he’s more likely to hurt himself than anyone else in the boxing gym. Still, Derek had decided he wanted to teach Stiles how to actually throw a punch. Personally, Stiles believed the guy just wanted to show off. He could understand why Derek wanted to drag him to the gym. They had been going out for several months now, and they hadn’t really found much to have in common with each other than the fact that the sex was incredible. This was Derek’s turf. The guy was a semi-professional boxer. It ran in the family apparently. This was his attempt at them finding a common ground. Derek didn’t say much, he wasn’t much of a reader, and throwing punches was something he was good at. Receiving them too if the little sparring match in the ring was anything to go by. Stiles had amused Derek by hitting the bags a couple of times, so now he could sit back and relax as Derek trained for his upcoming matches.
“Derek, you do know that the point of blocking your face is to actually stop the punches from hitting your face, don’t you?” Peter sniped, while he was the one who was currently repeatedly hitting said face. The man, who was consequently Derek’s uncle, owned the gym and coached Derek and the other boxers there. Every win they had was directly brought back to the man who trained them, and the gym they trained at. They were also known as the Hale Wolves.
Stiles could never really be certain whether he liked or hated Peter. He had met the man before he’d even met Derek. Scott had joined the gym at the beginning of the year, finally having outgrown his regular asthma attacks. Their high school games of lacrosse were now replaced with Stiles holding a bag while Scott punched it. He very rarely made it to the gym though. The hot muscular guys with no shirts on weren’t much of a deterrent for Stiles, but aside from some lust induced fantasies, it was also a good way to knock his self-esteem. He knew he was out of shape. At college he still had Scott to drag him out of the room to go jogging, but once they graduated, Stiles was less inclined to leave his warm bed in the mornings to go and exercise of all things.
So right now he was in a dead-end job, which was so boring it left him mentally and physically too exhausted to actually go and exercise. It wasn’t his passion by a long shot, but he had failed to pass the tests to go into law-enforcement like his father, and that had always been his dream. Apparently he wasn’t good at obeying rules. He had broken various laws during his teenage years, mostly by sticking his nose in things he shouldn’t have, but he hadn’t expected that to bite him in the ass several years down the road. He knew he wasn't one to stay put when he knew what he was doing was right, so maybe he wasn't the best one to uphold the law. It was difficult to figure out where to go from there though. It had completely turned the idea of what his future was going to be like upside down. He needed to pay his rent though, so he was currently working as nothing more than a glorified paperboy at some high end law firm in Beacon Hills. Scott was still working on getting a degree as a veterinarian, but boxing was a good job on the side that paid some of his bills as long as he kept winning matches for Peter.
Stiles smothered a laugh when Peter continued to taunt Derek. This was why he never could decide on how he felt about the gym owner. Peter was a cocky asshole who believed every success had come around purely because he trained his fighters, which Stiles felt was unfair considering how much work Derek and Scott put into their training, but Peter was also fond of the same sarcasm that Stiles favoured. which left him often trying not to be amused as the man bated his own nephew, while Derek only got angrier at his uncle.
Derek finally was allowed to leave the ring after thirty more minutes of going through various moves. Stiles would have complained about coming to the gym, only to be put on the side-lines after ten minutes, but Derek is sweaty, and all those muscles…well, Stiles can forgive him for making him stay. He knows that Derek is running on an endorphin rush from the work-out, and this is the moment when Stiles’ likes him best. Derek isn’t much of a talker on most days, and he is easily annoyed by Stiles’ incessant chatter about things that do not interest him. Stiles’ isn’t above admitting that he sometimes does it on purpose, just so Derek will use his very effective technique of kissing him to shut him up. It does make Stiles feel like that their relationship, which they haven’t even really clearly defined yet, is mostly just based on sex and going on dates to the movies. He likes Derek. He really does. They just have not much in common.
“Don’t tell me I have to get into the ring with your creepy uncle.” Stiles grins, darting away from Derek when the guy reaches for him. He might like the look of Derek being all happy and less clothed, but he doesn’t need to be covered in sweat.
“I wouldn’t dare to let you in the ring with me Stiles. Such a delicate face shouldn’t be bloody and bruised.” The man has come down from the ring as well, and he’s currently wiping his face and neck with a towel to get rid of the sweat. That’s the other reason why Stiles feels weird around Peter. The man isn’t even subtle about his flirting, and while he knows Peter probably does it just to piss Derek off, it still makes him feel off kilter. He can’t deny that Peter is nice to look at, even with the age difference between them, but he’s dating the man’s nephew for fucks sake.
“You would need to land a punch first.” Stiles snorts, as if found the thought of Peter even managing to get a hit in is downright idiotic. “But you’re right. I’ll leave the boxing to people with faces like yours. There isn’t much there that’s worth keeping intact.”
Peter’s answering grin makes it rather obvious he doesn’t believe even for a second that Stiles doesn’t find him attractive. Stiles hates that the man’s right. Thankfully Derek seems to have had enough of his uncle’s company, and with a last glare thrown in the man’s direction, he drags Stiles to the lockers, while Peter gives him a jaunty wave and heads to his office.
“You know, I was reading this book the other day, about a murder case from fifteen years ago and they said….” He trailed off, realising that Derek isn’t really paying attention to anything he's saying. Stiles is not even sure that the guy has heard him.
He had gone home with Derek after his practice, and the endorphins had kept the guy pretty happy. Enough for them to end up having sex on the kitchen counter, having dinner almost an hour later than they had planned. Now it has worn off though, or perhaps it’s just his interest in Stiles. He knows Derek wants to turn on the TV to watch some matches, but he’s polite enough to know that Stiles isn’t all that interested in boxing and wouldn't enjoy such a thing. Sure, he likes going to Derek and Scott their fights, but that's because he knows them. Seeing them get hurt isn’t pleasurable to watch, but he wants to support the guys. Derek is eyeing the TV remote though, while humming along with Stiles’ story, pretending to be interested.
"You can watch the game if you like." Stiles finally concedes. "I'll watch it with you. That way I might actually get it when Scott starts to talk about this stuff. He doesn't know anything about Star Wars, but he can quote boxing statistics as if it's his job." Derek is trying to be interested in his stories, so why shouldn't Stiles try to be a little more interested in Derek's life? Boxing is his career, the least Stiles can do is know who the hell it is they're talking about when discussing the real professionals. The ones that get offered deals by important brands and the likes.
"Thank you, I'll make it up to you later." Derek assures him, giving Stiles a kiss that would have probably been a little better if he hadn't reached for the remote lying on the couch behind him.
"I'll hold you to that." If Stiles doesn't lose focus halfway through the programm and falls asleep that is.
Derek really loves his sport though. Not even two minutes later he's already yelling and motioning at the TV as if the referee will actually hear his comments. Maybe that's what has Stiles' so agitated. Derek has something he looks forward to every day. Stiles is almost gleeful when he has a flat tire just so he can call in late for work, even if it's a hassle. So he tries his best and focusses on the match.
It's still gruesome to watch a guy have his teeth punched out, and he can't help but winch as the blows come raining down on the victim. He would have assumed that the victim in question, who seems to have quite a few pounds on his opponent, would have been the one landing the punches. At first there seems to be very little logic to the change of pace, until Stiles takes a better look. Spending so much time with Derek and Scott meant that some of the knowledge was rubbed off on Stiles. Moves that look like they're just random, can now be identified as combinations of various punches that have the desired effect. The smaller guy is making excellent use of his weight, along with the confusion of his opponent as the blows seem to come from everywhere at once. It's science in a very specialised way.
The spark is lit. He still finds the sport violent, and he doesn't want to be in the ring, but perhaps if he can figure out the physics of landing the right punch at the right angle, and apply it to Derek's fighting technique, he might just actually have found something that interests them both. Stiles had always enjoyed physics, and he really needed something to challenge his mind before he would be able to actually feel his braincells dying. Which would in fact happen if he went another day with just his job to occupy him.
Derek might not be all that interested in the science behind it, but Stiles was certain he would want to improve. The new season was starting in two months, but as far as Stiles could tell Derek was a fairly good boxer, but not nearly in the leagues to make it to State Championships. Scott, who had only recently started, already showed more potential. So maybe Derek wouldn't understand why a certain punch had more effect if he moved just an inch to the right, but he would be able to see the results and execute the moves.
Glancing at his boyfriend, who was now cheering along with the crowd on the screen as the smaller guy was pronounced the winner, he decided not to tell him yet. Stiles would need more data, and he would need to see if he could actually do it. Just because he had spotted something during a random match, didn't mean he could actually spot and change patterns in Derek's style. Turning his eyes back to the TV where a new match was just starting, he resolved to ask Peter for the tapes of Derek's matches the next time he was at the gym. He had some research to do.