Derek doesn’t seem too nervous about date night with the pack, which is a positive. If anything, he seems pretty excited about meeting most the pack. It’s been pretty adorable (damn, that word seems to have become a huge part of Stiles’ vocabulary lately) watching him try on different shirts and fuss over his clothes like he’s about to meet the parents or something. Stiles’ dad already loves him if only for the lunches he sends with Stiles every day with enough to share with Dad and Allison. The pack will probably need more than good food to be impressed.
“You look great,” Stiles says when Derek puts on what has to be his fifth (or is it sixth?) shirt. This time, it’s a deep red vee neck made of some soft looking expensive material that makes Stiles’ fingers itch to touch. The shirt fits him very well, the sleeves snug around his biceps, and the slight hint of chest hair at the vee such a tease. His jeans are tight and black, making his legs look even longer and his ass look delectable. Stiles makes a show of wiping his mouth, like he’s dabbing away drool, and winks. “That one’s a winner, babe.”
“Are you sure? It doesn’t look skeevy?” Derek looks down. “This is one of the shirts Uncle Peter bought me for Christmas. He’s got this irrational prejudice against Henleys because they’re too common.”
“I hate to agree with Creepy Pete, but that shirt does look amazing on you.” Stiles smiles. “However, I also happen to like you in Henleys, too, so he can suck it if he thinks you shouldn’t buy them anymore.”
“I wouldn’t suggest you tell Peter to suck it or he’s likely to interpret it as an offer.” Derek walks towards him. “And I don’t like to share.”
“Noted. I definitely don’t want to share, either.” Stiles leans up the couple of inches separating them and kisses Derek. When he pulls back from the kiss, he does a little dance and twirls. “So, how do I look?”
“Like I’m dating a college freshman?” Derek snorts. “Jeans, t-shirt with a snarky saying, plaid over shirt, and you’re wearing your glasses because you want to drive me crazy with lust all night.”
“This is a great t-shirt. Totally true. I’m not rude! I really am just saying what everyone else is thinking usually. I could always wear a beanie, too,” Stiles points out. “I’ve got a great one that Hayden knitted for me a couple of years ago.”
“Which one is Hayden?” Derek asks, his expression becoming the thoughtful ‘I’m taking mental notes so I remember all of your pack’ one.
“She’s Liam’s ex-girlfriend slash chimera who is currently doing a grad school program in South America,” he explains. “She’s coming back for a visit in December, so you’ll get to meet her then. She’s studying ecology and environmental science because she wants to save the world.”
“I look forward to meeting her, but no beanies.” Derek kisses the tip of his nose before he goes to get a belt out of the drawer. “So you’re planning to keep me around until at least December, huh?”
Stiles looks over at Derek and sees the slight smirk, but he also sees the vulnerable look in Derek’s eyes that he probably doesn’t even know is there. “Hey, day one zero six isn’t until December 26th,” he points out as he walks over to Derek. “You totally realize that I’m going to wait to make an official decision until then, don’t you? No way am I letting anyone but us win that betting pool.”
“What about unofficial decisions?” Derek arches a brow. “And you’re joking about the betting pool, I hope? My mother didn’t seriously do that.”
“Not only did she do it, but it’s even online with password protection that was totally easy to break, by the way, so you need to speak to her about getting better encryption. Danny can help with that.” Stiles shrugs. “There’s a very tidy sum at stake already, so we’ll be able to use the winnings for something fun. And, well, unofficial decisions can be kept a secret between us without ruining the betting pool, so they don’t have to wait until the last day.”
“You seriously hacked my mother’s online betting scheme she concocted regarding our courtship?” Derek shakes his head. “Just for her doing that, I totally support dragging it out until December 26th. I hadn’t realized how the days fell, in all honesty. I guess I’m glad we started the countdown when we did instead of a day earlier. I’d have hated having the final day on my birthday.”
“Yep, I sure did, and I placed a bet under Satomi’s name because she owes me and agreed when I threatened to withhold her Christmas card this year.” Stiles blinks as he realizes what Derek just said. “Hold up. Birthday? You’re a Christmas baby?” He slowly smiles. “That’s awesome.”
“It sucks. People act like it should be great, but Christmas celebrations usually overshadowed birthday ones, and none of the kids at school could ever come to a party because they were doing family shit.” Derek snorts. “Sure, I’d get more gifts when I was real young, but that ended when I got older, and a lot of people love to do the whole ‘it’s a birthday slash Christmas gift, Derek’ thing.”
“Awww. Poor baby.” Stiles leans up to brush their lips together. If things continue going well between them, he’s going to have to do something amazing to celebrate Derek’s birthday this year. It’ll be fun to help make Derek feel special. Even if he can tell he’s falling, and he knows Derek is, too, he isn’t going to make a decision, informal or otherwise, until he’s confident their relationship is strong and the whole I love you thing is natural.
“I’m too old now to really care. Birthdays stop meaning that much after twenty-one.” Derek asks, stroking his fingers down Stiles’ back and under the hem of his shirt.
“If you keep that up, we’re going to get distracted and miss trivia night,” Stiles says, ghosting his lips across the stubble on Derek’s jaw. He shaved last night, the thicker beard thinned out and replaced by carefully groomed scruff that is somehow even hotter than the beard. Stiles likes them both, but Laura had cracked mountain man Derek jokes the entire time they were looking at rental properties, so he knows Derek just got tired of the commentary from his sister. “I’m glad you didn’t shave everything off. I love your face however you want it to look, but I do enjoy feeling your scruffy jaws rub between my thighs.”
“It was getting a little too dense,” Derek murmurs, rubbing his cheek against Stiles’ neck. “I hadn’t realized just how thick until Laura started making her failed attempts at humor. I’ll let it grow out more during the winter probably, but I don’t usually go full heavy beard that often.”
“I told you already, it’s your body and your comfort levels.” Stiles smiles when Derek looks at him. “Just don’t ask me to grow a beard. Mine doesn’t look luscious and manly like yours. It makes me look like a creepy drug dealer with these patchy things on my face. Lydia’s got pictures, so I’ll show you. I make her keep them so she can remind me how awful it looks anytime I start getting facial hair envy and talk about tossing my razor. It’s a good system.”
“I want to see those pictures.” Derek huffs a laugh. “And I appreciate your awareness that I can make whatever choices about my body that I want to make. It sounds ridiculous, but I’ve dated people before who wanted me to shave my chest or wouldn’t kiss me if I wasn’t clean shaven. I mean, I get having preferences, but insisting is a lot different than asking.”
“I like your chest hair, but I’d like bare skin if you decided to shave at any time, too.” Stiles shrugs. “I like you. The packaging is damn hot, sure, but I don’t really care all that much how it looks if you’re still inside of it.”
Derek ducks his head, his ears flushing red. “You’re something else, Stiles Stilinski.”
“Yeah, I know. I’m awesome,” Stiles says matter-of-factly. He strokes his fingers through Derek’s hair, urging him to look up so he can see those pretty eyes. “We should probably head out soon. We want to get there before Laura.”
“Yeah, we should go. It won’t take her that long to shower and get ready, and the hotel she’s staying in isn’t that far from the brewery.” Derek leans in, pressing their lips together in a gentle kiss. “Do you want to drive? We can take my car.”
“That’s a pretty stupid question, babe. I love my Roscoe, but I can share my affections with Lola.” Stiles nods. “I’m totally driving.”
“My Camaro doesn’t have a name. If it did, it wouldn’t be Lola.”
“Lola’s a good name. Even Agent Coulson thinks so.” Stiles follows Derek downstairs, taking the keys when they’re tossed to him. “You’re just jealous because she told me her name and didn’t tell you.”
“Right. I’m jealous of the fact that my boyfriend hears voices speaking to him from cars,” Derek deadpans.
“Boyfriend, huh?” Stiles smirks when he sees the flush of color on Derek’s cheeks. “You’ve been spending too much time with my dad. He’s rubbing off on you with this whole labeling thing.”
“I, uh, we don’t have to---“ Derek starts to say, but Stiles interrupts him.
“Boyfriend is a reasonable choice of terminology. We can’t really go around saying mates to everyone, and there’s not going to be any husband talk until we get married—human and werewolf—so boyfriend is good.” Stiles opens the driver’s side door and winks at Derek. “For now.”
“For now,” Derek agrees, smiling slightly as he gets into the car. He looks at Stiles then looks at out the front window as they drive towards the main road.
“What? You’re smiling like you’ve got a secret.”
“If I told you, it wouldn’t be a secret, would it?”
“No, but we’re boyfriends, so there shouldn’t be secrets between us.”
“It’s not a secret. I was just thinking about word choice and informal decisions.”
“Huh.” Stiles glances at Derek then focuses on the word. “Like how?”
“Oh, just in general. How someone might say if or maybe, when they aren’t sure about something, but how they might say when or until after they’ve made a decision.”
Stiles arches a brow and tries to figure out if there’s some kind of hidden meaning in what Derek’s saying. Nothing really comes to mind right now, though. Informal decision is what he called their courtship earlier, but he can’t see how that would make Derek look this pleased. “Is this about the ‘for now’ thing?”
Derek looks at him a moment and suddenly grins, the crinkly eyed grin that Stiles can’t get enough of seeing. “Yeah. It’s about that,” he agrees, still looking a little too ‘I’ve got a secret’ for Stiles’ liking, but he knows it can’t be about anything bad since Derek seems downright happy right now. “It’s only been six days, and I’ve already wooed a ‘boyfriend’ out of you.”
“Don’t get cocky, Der.” Stiles snorts. “I still say you cheated by using an additional seven days before the countdown even began.”
“You say cheated, I say utilized the rules you put into place to my benefit.” Derek shrugs. “I think my way sounds better.”
“You would, asshole.” Stiles revs the engine and starts driving faster. “You’re just a cheating cheater who cheats.”
“No, I’m just a man who knows what I want and will use whatever loopholes in rules created by a stubborn ass are available to me in order to help aid me in my quest to get what I want.” Derek looks smug. “Or should I say who I want?”
“Yeah, way to dig it deeper with the constant pointing out that my quickly thought out plan had some holes,” Stiles drawls, giving him a look. “You know that I pride myself on my strategic abilities. That was an anomaly caused by stress and emotional duress.”
“I’m sure it was, babe.” Derek is totally humoring him, but he’s grinning and adorable so whatever.
Stiles actually lets it go, for once, and starts talking about some of the properties they checked out this afternoon with Laura. Two afternoons spent walking through rental properties has been pretty fun, surprisingly, because he and Laura get along really well, and Derek’s the perfect foil to keep them from getting into too much trouble. When they reach their destination, he parks the car and gets out, running over to open Derek’s door for him, which earns him an eye roll and soft smile.
The Hillside Brewery is a large space that opened up nearly five years ago. They make their own brews, and the owner is a transplant from Manchester, so the place has a bit of a traditional English pub feel to it. Well, traditional except for all the Manchester United and England memorabilia that’s covering most of the walls. Stiles likes the eclectic atmosphere, and the monthly trivia nights are always fun.
He’s excited to share the experience with Derek, even if it will likely mean overwhelming him with pack too soon in their relationship. Moderation is probably key for pack introductions, but Stiles doesn’t want to miss trivia night. He also wants to spend his last night off with Derek before the drudgery of the work week begins, so he’s willing to give this Derek and pack immersion thing a try.
Derek is looking around curiously when they enter the Brewery, and Stiles directs him to the bar area that covers a third of the building. “Trivia happens in the bar,” he says, scanning the area for his pack. “We usually take over anywhere from three to five tables, depending on everyone’s availability for trivia night.”
“So how does this trivia thing actually work?” Derek leans in to ask the question against Stiles’ ear because the bar’s already filling up and the volume level is high enough to be distracting.
Stiles reaches the table where Lydia’s sitting. “Hey beautiful,” he greets, kissing the offered cheek and watching as she studies Derek like he’s a new mathematical theory she needs to prove. “This is Derek. Derek, this is my step-sister, Lydia.”
“Nice to meet you,” Derek says, offering his hand across the table. Lydia looks at it then looks back at Derek before shaking his hand.
“Charmed, I’m sure.” Lydia leans forward. “What are your top subjects?”
“For trivia,” Stiles adds, wishing he’d thought to warn Derek earlier about Lydia in quiz mode.
“History. Literature. Art. Dance.” Derek shrugs. “If there’s anything about foreign travel or one of the other languages I speak, then those would be good, too.”
“What languages do you speak?” Lydia is still giving Derek the ‘I’m not impressed yet’ look.
“French, German, Spanish, and Italian. I can communicate alright in Japanese and Portuguese, but I’m nowhere near fluent in either. And Latin, of course,” he says as if speaking Latin is common. How did Stiles not know he was dating a multilingual guy who could have been whispering naughty words in foreign languages in his ear all this time? That’s like really hot.
“Fine. He can be on our team, I suppose,” Lydia decides, looking at Stiles. “What? I knew you’d whine about it so he wouldn’t be left to the plebian masses, but I can resist you easily if he’s not going to help us win.”
“Letting you play on our team is her seal of approval,” Stiles mock whispers to Derek. “Lydia isn’t impressed by pretty eyes and nice biceps. It takes a stunning brain to get her appreciation.”
“Though pretty eyes and nice biceps certainly aren’t objectionable,” Lydia adds, now actually looking Derek over with a feminine gaze. “Not bad, little bro. You could do much worse.”
“High praise,” Stiles says, feigning surprise. “Derek was just asking how the quiz thing works. He’s never played before.”
“There are teams between two and six players. Nigel, the owner of the place, stands up there with a PowerPoint presentation that has over a hundred different questions.” Lydia starts to explain before Stiles has a chance. “He asks the questions. We get points for getting the right answer. At the end of the night, the team with the most points gets free drinks. Stiles and I? We never pay for drinks.”
“What she means is that we always win,” Stiles adds just in case Derek didn’t understand. “We tied the first time we played because we were on different teams, but we quickly realized the best strategy was to play together and annihilate the competition.”
“Do you normally play with just the two of you?” Derek asks, sliding onto the stool beside Stiles.
“No, we always allow two others, at least, to play with us. It’s only fair,” Lydia says with a serene smile. “They’d never have the opportunity to enjoy free drinks otherwise. Tonight, we’ll allow you to be part of the team.”
“And Laura.” Stiles looks at Lydia and exchanges a silent conversation consisting of weird mouth movements and eyebrow talking. Lydia finally rolls her eyes, which means she’ll agree, even if it’s reluctantly.
“Our team is at the top of the board there. We’ve won 187 games during the last three years.” Lydia smirks. “Every game we’ve ever played.”
“Slytherclaw Gryffinpuff is your team?” Derek snorts. “Well, I know you two must be the Slytherclaw, so who are the Gryffinpuffs?”
“Allison and Jackson were the first two members who played with us. Now, the two rotate.” Stiles grins. “Actually, it fits you and Laura well. You’re a total RavenPuff, and she’s definitely a reckless but courageous Gryffindor.”
Lydia suddenly pokes Stiles’ in the collarbone. “I would like to register a complaint, by the way. I have heard from various pack members that they have already had the pleasure of making your new man’s acquaintance yet you failed to introduce me to him until tonight. I am expecting you to make this oversight up to me by inviting me and Jackson over for dinner next week so that I can properly interrogate your suitor because your father is blinded by food lust and cannot adequately perform his paternal duties.”
“He’s only met Dad, Allison, Scott, Malia, and Kira. That’s like a fourth of the pack.” Stiles grins. “Aly told you how good he is in the kitchen, didn’t she?”
“Perhaps.” Lydia is being coy, which means she’s totally wanting to try Derek’s food. “There might have been something about desserts that are Peanut’s new favorite things.”
“We’ve love to have you and your husband over for dinner next week,” Derek says with a charming smile that almost seems to work on Lydia. “Do you have any preferences?”
“Chocolate.” Lydia smiles slightly. “Jackson isn’t particularly fond of fish. Otherwise, your choice.” She arches a brow at Stiles. “Your man has better manners than you.”
“My boyfriend is trying to impress my evil stepsister. Of course he’s got better manners.” Stiles looks up with a smile as Liam and Mason come over with a pitcher of beer. “Hey guys.”
“Hey Stiles.” Liam grins. “Is this the mate dude? He smells like you, kind of, which is really weird.”
“Boys, meet Derek. Derek, this is Liam, and that’s Mason.” Stiles looks at the beer. “Liam, the word for the night is moderation. Don’t forget that you’ve got a test Monday, so you don’t want to get drunk tonight. You need to study tomorrow since you’re working Sunday.”
“Yes, Dad. I know. Study and test. I got it. Speaking of, is Pops coming tonight?” Liam asks, pouring a glass of beer and watching as Lydia sprinkles her special ‘werewolves can get drunk’ concoction into it. “He’s going to loan me the money to buy one of those fancy calculators to help with class.”
“Scott and Allison are supposed to be coming. Victoria and Chris are babysitting for them so they can have a proper date night.” Stiles looks at Derek, who is looking perplexed. “What?”
“Dad and Pops?” His lips twitch slightly. “You and Scott?”
“They’re my two dads,” Liam explains, leaning across the table. “When I got, you know,” he makes fangs with his fingers, “they basically became my surrogate parents. Mason’s human, but he calls them Dad and Pops, too.”
“Someone thinks they’re funny,” Stiles mutters. “They even have the classmates of the three youngest pack members, the ones still in high school, convinced that Scott and I really are their dads. It’s hilarious yet also not because I’m only two years older than the little wiseasses.”
“I guess he gets that from his dad,” Derek deadpans, earning an outraged look from Stiles and a fist bump from Liam and Mason.
“We like him. You can keep him,” Mason declares, winking at Stiles. “He definitely adds to the scenery, too.”
“Go away.” Stiles sticks his tongue out at them. “You’d better actually grab a table for you and your team before it gets too crowded.”
“I’m here! Now we can get this party started,” Laura suddenly declares as she practically jumps on Derek and Stiles. She grins. “Oh! Cuties. Who are you?” She sniffs subtly. “Wolf boy first then human.”
“Liam,” Liam says, blinking at her and looking a little too interested for Stiles’ taste. Stiles wags a finger at him and mouths ‘too old don’t even’.
“I’m Mason.” Mason reaches across the table to shake her hand and grins his charming ‘everyone loves me’ smile. “You’re beautiful.”
“Ooooh. Someone’s smooth.” Laura winks at him before smiling at Lydia. “You must be Lydia. I’ve heard nothing but positive things about Stiles’ ginger haired goddess and future world domination partner. We really need to talk about making it a threesome. You see, I, too, have plans to take over the world, and it makes more since to join forces than fight it out. Wouldn’t you agree?”
“I’ll consider it depending on your performance this evening,” Lydia says after a moment of consideration. “Stiles, is she scheming enough to be a threat?”
“Definitely. She’d be better as an asset than an enemy,” Stiles says solemnly. “We might be able to take five years off our expected time line with her added to the mix.”
“They’re not serious, right?” Derek is whispering to Liam, who just snickers instead of answering. “Stiles. Please tell me that my mate isn’t an anarchist.”
“Of course not.” Stiles smiles innocently and even flutters his eyelashes. “We prefer the term revolutionaries.”
“Stiles, don’t scare your mate,” Lydia scolds. “We like to make plans, but there are too many factors involved for the plans to ever be successful. However, we are prepared, just in case the stars align and circumstances arise that will allow us to take over.”
“Oh God. Are they talking about taking over the world again?” Danny asks as he approaches the table. He whistles as he looks at Derek. “Damn Stiles. You must have been a saint in a past life or something to get a guy like this.”
“Thanks for that vote of confidence, Danny. I really love you, too, man,” Stiles says, shaking his head as he listens to Laura and Lydia discussing the quiz night. Liam and Mason have moved to the table next to them, soon joined by Brock and Rita, two of the more recent adopted pack members. Stiles gets up and goes over to greet them, asking about high school and Coach Finstock before chatting with Mason briefly about how hot Derek is and confirming that he is indeed proportionate all over, which earns him an envious look. His smile is totally smug as he struts back to his table.
Derek’s looking slightly overwhelmed when Stiles makes it back over to his seat. Danny has taken a third table, joined by Ethan and Aiden tonight. “You okay?” he whispers to Derek.
“Lots of smells,” Derek whispers back. “They’re all protective of you, but they’re being very nice and friendly so far. So, Danny’s the ex-friend with benefits, right? Where’s Jackson? The one night stand now brother-in-law?”
“Lydia, is Jackson coming tonight?” Stiles asks, catching her eye.
“He can’t. He’s got two papers due Monday plus a test,” Lydia says, shrugging. “He is so annoyed that he can’t come glare at Derek, too. It’s rather sad.”
“We already said you two can come over for dinner next week. He can glare then,” Stiles promises.
“Oh! I smell the future man of my dreams,” Laura says, looking around curiously. “Which one is he, Stiles?”
“You must be Derek,” Jordan says, reaching out to shake Derek’s hand firmly. “I’m Jordan. I work at the station with Stiles. I’ve heard good stuff about you from John.”
“Jordan, this is Laura,” Stiles manages to squeak out from where Laura’s hugging his neck so tightly it’s difficult to speak. “Derek’s sister.”
“You smell amazing,” Laura tells him. “And you’re aesthetically pleasing. We should go for coffee some time. I want to know you.”
Jordan blinks and looks at Stiles, like Stiles can somehow explain Hurricane Laura. Stiles just shakes his head because it’s all on Jordan to figure this one out. “I’m sure making new friends is important when you’re moving to a new town,” Jordan says calmly. “Coffee is always good.”
“Oh God. They’re both pathetically awkward,” Stiles whispers in Derek’s ear, punching his thigh. “How did I not expect that?”
“Yes, it is. But would it be good with me?” Laura asks, looking at Jordan with an earnest expression on her pretty face.
“I don’t know.” Jordan shrugs a broad shoulder. “I’ll be able to answer that question after we have coffee, I suppose.”
“Sorry we’re so late. Tori forgot Binky Bear, and we had to go all the way home to get it because, otherwise, Mom might not have survived the night,” Allison says as she and Scott race to the table. “Hi Derek!”
“Hello Allison.” Derek smiles at her, and Stiles is totally smug when he hears more than one person murmur about how handsome he is. But then he keeps listening to Jordan awkwardly try to handle Laura, who is a force of nature. Oddly enough, he is actually starting to see how they might make sense, so maybe Laura’s onto something with her whole sniffing the furniture thing.
“Stiles, we want to be on your team tonight,” Scott says, leaning in to give him a hug and wet sloppy kiss on the cheek. “We have had a rough week, and we deserve free drinks.”
“Fine. We’ll do six tonight,” Lydia allows. “Derek and Laura are also joining us for tonight’s quiz.”
“Great. Nice to see you again, Derek.” Scott is grinning and nudging Stiles with his elbow. “I keep hearing amazing and awesome things about you and your adorkable self.”
“Shut your mouth or I’ll give you a numb tongue,” Stiles threatens lowly, waving his fingers as he gives his magical threat.
“This is the alpha,” Laura suddenly interrupts, looking Scott over curiously as she hands off Stiles’ shoulder. She gives Stiles a smirk before she holds out her hand. “I’m Laura, Stiles’ future baby mama.”
Scott tilts his head slightly, looking confused, then he just smiles. “That’s cool. Stiles will make a great dad, and then I can spoil his kids rotten as godfather, so I’m seeing positives to that arrangement,” he decides, shaking her hand.
“Scotty, you’re not supposed to react like a grown up,” Stiles mutters, even as Allison giggles at him and rubs his head.
“I am a grown up,” Scott points out. “Not all of us can be Peter Pan or else the world would fall apart.”
“I’ve left Neverland, Scotty. I’m afraid I’m on the adulting express,” Stiles laments, taking a sip of the beer that Aly pours and gives to him. “I have a boyfriend now, you know?”
“Seriously?” Allison punches his arm. “Why didn’t you text us immediately to let us know there were labels in play now?”
“Because we just decided like an hour ago that boyfriends seems appropriate,” Stiles tells her. “If my arm bruises, you’re filling out all the reports this weekend.”
“That’s great, buddy. I’m glad things are going well so far. I really didn’t want to have the worst case scenario happen, but I was ready, just in case,” Scott confides.
“Worst case scenario?” Stiles arches a brow. “Why wasn’t I aware of any scenarios?”
“Because we had to be sneaky,” Allison says. “But I told Scott he was being paranoid, and he pointed out that he had to be because you couldn’t be involved in the plan to be that Mad Eye voice in his ear.”
“Constant vigilance!” Half of the pack says it in unison, laughing as Stiles just rolls his eyes at them. His pack sucks! If Derek’s pack is cool, he’s totally adopting them.
“What was the worst case scenario?” Laura asks eagerly. “Derek going feral and forcing Stiles to mate? Mom pulling the whole alpha of alphas rite thing?”
“Forced mating,” Scott confirms.
“We were ready to go to war, if needed,” Lydia adds, looking at her nail polish in a bored manner. She looks up and smiles viciously. “And we were prepared to win, of course.”
“But, fortunately, Derek’s a good wooer, and Stiles isn’t being forced into anything.” Scott beams. “I knew it would be fine, but after twenty years of this one in my ear, I know I can be too trusting sometimes, so better to be prepared. Right?”
“We totally need to talk about the proper etiquette for keeping your second informed of this kind of shit,” Stiles points out. “And don’t even say it, Scotty, or I’ll buy Tori a lovely drum for her birthday.”
“Eh, it’s worth it,” Scott decides. “Now you know how I feel when you and Aly keep me in the dark.”
“Everyone, take your seats if you’re playing tonight,” Nigel says as he starts setting up.
“Man U sucks!” Some guy at a table across the bar calls out.
“I heard that!” Nigel points a finger. “Get out of my pub, ya bloody pillock!”
“That’s Nigel’s brother,” Stiles whispers to Derek. “They start off every quiz night with an argument about Man U versus Man City. It passes the time while Nigel gets things set up.”
Soon enough, the trivia contest begins. Lydia scoots closer to Stiles, and they receive decent input from the rest of their team throughout the night. Laura’s very sharp, and Derek’s just as intelligent as Stiles expects. Allison and Scott get a few good answers, too. Kira and Malia showed up halfway through, so they end up sitting out the contest, but they cheer loudly for the three pack teams. By the end, Slytherclaw Gryffinpuff is far ahead of the nearest team. Stiles is glad that it seems Derek and Laura are enjoying themselves because he feels like his pack is doing a great job trying to accept them.
There’s another round of beer for everyone after the quiz ends to celebrate another victory. It’s only Stiles’ second beer, not really that since he didn’t finish his first glass, and it’s all he plans to drink tonight because he has to go to work in the morning. Derek is relaxed and smiling, chatting with Jordan about mature thirty plus manly stuff, no doubt, and Laura’s at the other table talking to the young ‘uns.
“It’s a little odd having two non-pack people around, but not that bad,” Lydia murmurs against his ear as she moves closer to him. “You really do like him, don’t you?”
“It’s only been six days into the courtship thing,” Stiles points out. “But, yes, he’s a great guy. Too good for me, but if he wants to slum it, I’m not stupid enough to refuse.”
“Stop the self-deprecating thing. It isn’t an attractive look on you.” Lydia rests her chin on his shoulder. “You have to promise me one important thing.”
“What?” He isn’t about to make a blind promise, of course.
“If you decide to get married, I get to plan the wedding,” she says, smirking as she shoves him with her body. “Otherwise, it would probably be t-shirts and bare feet.”
“I could totally rock that,” he decides. “But, sure, I can make that promise. If there’s a wedding at some point, you can be my planner.”
“Good.” Lydia kisses his cheek, wiping the lipstick off with her thumb when she pulls back. “I’m not going dancing tonight because Jackson’s stressing about those papers. I’m heading out early so I read over them tonight in case there are any changes that might be needed. I cannot wait until he’s finished with law school. He doesn’t handle stress as well as I do.”
“Tell him we missed him tonight.” Stiles smiles. “And we’ll plan on dinner next week. Alright?”
“Sounds good.” She walks past him and says goodnight to Scott and Allison before whispering something to Derek that has his ears turning red. She waves at everyone else before leaving.
That seems to signal to everyone else that it’s getting late. Brock and Rita head out after Lydia, both of them still having curfews that they actually respect. They’re good kids. The rest of the pack pile into their vehicles to make the drive to Luna for dancing and perhaps more alcohol for those who don’t have to work in the morning. Laura rides with Jordan, both of them chatting about movies as they get into his truck.
“Well, that’s interesting,” Stiles murmurs, giving Derek a look. “She’s not a heartbreaker, is she?”
“Not at all. She likes to make friends, and she’s pretty clear about all her boundaries so no one gets led on or misconstrues anything.” Derek shrugs before getting the keys from Stiles so he can drive them to the club.
“Good. Jordan’s a great guy, and I don’t want him getting overpowered by hurricane Laura.”
“I think Jordan can hold his own. I like him.” Derek nods, smiling slightly. “I don’t know how Scott handles your pack, though. Everyone has such huge personalities, and they’re loud and very opinionated. I like the chaos, in small doses, but I don’t think I would ever be a great alpha for a pack like yours.”
Stiles laughs. “Yeah, we have quite a random assortment. Scott’s great with them, you know? Patient and understanding yet firm. He used to suck ass, at first, but he’s grown into an amazing man. I’m proud to call him my platonic life partner.” Stiles looks at Derek. “What’s your pack like? I know I’ve met them, sort of, but you don’t really talk about their personalities when you mention them texting or calling.”
“They’re assholes.” Derek huffs a laugh. “At least, that’s what Laura says. Boyd is quiet, intelligent, and a sardonic asshole. Isaac is a puppy, with sharp teeth, who is a sarcastic asshole. Erica is vibrant, dangerous, and a mischievous asshole. They don’t argue much, rarely disobey, and it calms me, being with them, unless they’re all engaged in asshole mode at the same time.”
“Yeah, you definitely wouldn’t want to try being alpha of our pack if you value calm and obedience.” Stiles snorts. “I’m looking forward to meeting them, officially. They still thinking of moving down mid-October?”
“Yeah. Erica says they want to be settled in by the middle of the month. I figure they’ll show up at the door in a few weeks. I know that it’d be sooner, but they’re respecting my arrangement with you and giving us a month to date. That way we can start our courtship without having them underfoot,” he explains. “Don’t give me that look. I know you never requested that. It’s just something I felt was necessary. My pack is extremely important to me, but so is my mate.”
“I mean, I get it, but I’ve had my pack involved from day one. I just don’t want them feeling left out or ignored,” Stiles says. “They’re welcome to come whenever they want. I know I’m important to you, and I can share the alpha part of you with your pack easy enough.”
Derek smiles. “Thank you. I might let them know over the weekend that they can down before mid-October. It’ll take them a week or so to get everything ready to move anyway.” He shrugs. “I figure I’ll rent them that two bedroom we viewed yesterday that’s only five miles from your place. It’s close to the preserve, so they’d have room to go running, and it had a couple of acres of land so no nosy neighbors right on top of them.”
“It was a good size for three people. Not too small,” Stiles recalls, thinking about the house in question. “It’s actually only a couple of blocks over from Kira and Malia’s place, too. So they’d have my pack nearby.”
“Guess that’s the one then. Now if Laura will make up her mind.” Derek pulls the car into a parking spot and turns it off. “We’re here. Now this is the place the twins own, right?”
“Yep. Luna’s theirs.” Stiles gets out of the car. “It’s an over eighteen place, mostly dancing, karaoke every Wednesday night, and local performers on Saturday nights. They do an open mic thing monthly, too. It’s pretty cool.” Stiles smiles. “Not a hook-up kind of spot in the sense of BJs in the bathroom. The twins keep that stuff out usually since they like having a classy establishment.”
“What kind of music for dancing?” Derek takes Stiles’ hand as they walk. “I actually like to dance, you know?”
“No, I didn’t know, but I’m happy to hear that news.” Stiles grins. “They play a mix of new pop, euro stuff, electronic, and even some classics sometimes. They do theme nights sometimes for like 80s or disco that can be fun because people will often dress up and just dance.”
“Mom made all of us take dance lessons when we were kids. All the ballroom stuff, and Laura demanded contemporary and hip hop to balance the waltzing and the tango.” Derek looks at Stiles. “I can’t remember most of it anymore, it’s been twenty years, but I can still keep the beat and move to the rhythm.”
“Oh God. You’re probably a Johnny Castle, and I’m more like Baby carrying the watermelon,” Stiles groans. “Your hips don’t lie, and mine shake all over the place. I mean, I love to dance, but I’m not necessarily that great at it.”
“Stiles, you know how to move your hips very well.” Derek looks around Luna when they get inside before tugging Stiles to the dance floor. “I’m sure you’re a great dancer.”
“I’m really flaily and all over the place,” Stiles warns. “I can move my hips if you want to do some real dirty dancing, but I’m warning you that I’m not any kind of ‘took dance classes as a child’ professional here.”
“Do you really think I care about that? I want to dance with you.” Derek smiles and starts moving his hips to the dance song playing. It’s got a catchy beat, and Stiles is almost hypnotized by the way Derek moves those hips. “Come on, Stiles. Nobody puts Baby in the corner, right?”
“You didn’t!” Stiles laughs as he steps closer to Derek and starts moving his hips and his feet. “Don’t tell me. One of Laura’s favorite movies?”
“Nah, my mom’s.” Derek grins as he pulls Stiles in closer. He kisses him as they dance, Derek’s mastery a hell of a lot better than ‘I don’t remember the moves now’, and Stiles’ usual happy flailing and suggestive hip movements matching up pretty well. The song changes to something slower, and Stiles deepens the kiss, getting in a little ass groping now that they’re slow dancing.
When they pull apart, Derek nuzzles Stiles’ neck, mouthing at their bite as they sway to the music. He smiles when he sees Scott and Allison dancing nearby, totally lost in their own romantic world, and, for the first time since sophomore year in high school, he watches them with understanding instead of envy. Turning his head slightly, he kisses Derek’s jaw, rubbing his cheek against the stubble as they get lost in a romantic world all their own.