It was kind of ridiculous, but it totally made sense. When Derek came back to Beacon Hills after traveling the world he started renovating his building. He'd started at the ground floor, slowly turning the shell of a warehouse into affordable apartments. He moved back into the top floor loft and continued to live with the hole in the wall and the rickety spiral staircase. His bed stayed on the bottom floor next to the couch. But every day the apartments below took more shape.
Scott had come around, told Derek he was always pack, and tactfully left before things got too emotional. Stiles came around after. He came with books. And movies, and carpet book samples. He started leaving his stuff all over the place, up in Derek's loft and in a few of the apartments. He followed Derek around like a duckling.
College had changed them. Gave them all a breath of fresh air and a little perspective. They were still pack. They still came together and ran together. They still saw each other on the regular and sent each other ridiculous snaps. But there was more now. More friends, more hobbies, more responsibility. No one really noticed that Derek and Stiles had turned into DerekandStiles. It was such a seamless transition and not much of a surprise once everyone took a step back.
So five years later, Derek's started to age around the temples and Stiles is starting to age out of ADHD. That's when they finally start fixing up the loft. It's still slow going, almost like it's an after thought. Stiles is actually kind of fond of the hole in the wall. Which is why it wasn't so weird to get the so, so, cheesy 'Save the Date' wedding announcement. It's a black and white picture of Stiles and Derek, splattered with paint, wrapped around each other. Behind them there's a sloppily painted heart on the wall.
Scott hadn't even been sure he was seeing the right thing at first. It was a really nice, traditional romantic wedding announcement. Black and white, soft filter, the loving pose, and soft smiles screamed stock wedding photo. It didn't seem like them at all. Scott figured Lydia bullied them into the idea and fired off his RSVP.
Then a week later he makes his way over to Lydia's house and there's a different wedding announcement on her mantle. It's in color this time, to draw attention to the light trick. Stiles is leaning back against Derek's chest. They're standing in the woods at night, fairy lights strung above them through the trees. Stiles is using a sparkler to draw a heart in the air. Scott plucks it off the mantle and smiles down at it. "Hey," he calls for Lydia softly, "how many did you get them to take?"
She comes up behind him, shuffling along in her puppy slippers. "What do you mean?"
Scott turns to her and holds up the picture. "I got the paint one. How many did you get them to do?" He chuckles a little.
Lydia raises an eyebrow. "I didn't do anything. There's more than one?"
So Scott calls everyone he can think of that got an invite. Everyone dutifully takes a picture of their invite and shares it to Facebook. It's almost like collecting Pokemon cards. Jordan got the two of them holding their hands to their lips, eyes closed, foreheads touching. The Sheriff got one in vibrant color, both of them lying on the ground. Stiles was holding onto a bunch of fake balloons appearing to float away while Derek lay slightly below him pretending to stretch out and keep him grounded.
Melissa's is a beach scene. Derek is holding Stiles up in front of the shore during a sunset. They're silhouetted by the glowing sun and they're standing in a heart they've drawn in the sand. There's so many more. Everyone invited got a different picture. Each one of them remarkably different and completely ridiculous for the two of them. Everyone always imagined that Derek and Stiles would just run off to Vegas some day. Or have a quiet ceremony with the Justice of the Peace.
"Maybe it's suppose to be funny. Like they're making fun of stock pictures?" Kira's a little less perplexed by the whole thing. She thinks just about everything Stiles and Derek do is romantic and awe inspiring. Her invitation was of Derek and Stiles standing against a brick wall. Behind them a superhero cape was chalked out behind Stiles and a veil chalked over Derek's head.
"That could be it." Scott's taken to scrolling through the photo album whenever he has free time. "I just don't get how he got Derek to agree."
Kira's face goes soft with a smile. "He's in love." The look on her face makes Scott want to do something stupid like propose but he keeps a lid on it. He's an adult now, he can't be impulsive. He and Kira still want to be together but there's other things to consider. Future things. Family things. Like how you can't be a fox and a wolf at the same time. Does that mean they can't have kids at all, or will they all just turn out human? It wasn't a fun conversation and it put a hard stop to their relationship just as college was starting.
The two of them had dated a little but nothing serious. Nothing that would have Scott dreaming up a plan about wedding photos. He kind of wants that. For a while, after Alison especially, he thought he was done with love. Big grand love anyways. He thought he'd just settle for something. That'd he'd find someone who he loved but never someone who set his world on fire. It's like that with Kira sometimes, but it's hard. College, space, being an adult, it changed how he thought about love.
But Stiles? Stiles always loved hard. He loved Lydia. He loved Malia. He loved Derek for so, so long. He loves them all. Which so much force it's hard to believe he even has room in his heart for it all. So maybe the pictures aren't a joke at all. Maybe Stiles just really wanted a perfect wedding. Something nice after all the shit that happened in high school.
Besides the pictures themselves, the weirdest thing about the announcements were that they didn't give any real detail. Just the date. It wasn't until everyone RSVP'ed that they got a time and location. The wedding was going to be out in the preserve. The clearing that use to be the Hale house was a beautiful blanket of green grass now. There were wildflowers everywhere. The two of them hadn't bothered to clear anything. They just set up rows of white chairs and strung up fairy lights. The wedding started at noon and everyone was encouraged to come casual.
Almost everyone showed up semi-casual at least, Scott included. He wore black slacks and a nice button up, but he kept his sneakers. The two of them had decided against best men so Scott didn't have anything to coordinate with. Lydia ignored the suggestion completely and came in a lacy mint green dress that made her look more like a fairy than a banshee. Scott's not entirely sure how she managed the woods in heels.
Another weird thing about their wedding, the seats weren't split down the middle. All of the chairs were spaced evenly apart but together like they were arranged for a play. In front of the chairs a little ways was an archway made of bundled branches. By the time everyone found their way in and sat down it was obvious that no one had any idea what was suppose to happen next.
Stiles had been extremely tight lipped about the wedding. Going so far as to actually hang up the phone when Scott asked for details. He was just about to lean over and ask the Sheriff if he knew anything when he heard it.
Instead of coming down the aisle traditionally they were coming from the trees ahead of the clearing, towards the guests. The priest came first. He too was dressed casually, wearing a pair of cargo khaki's and a crisp white polo. A few moments later Stiles and Derek emerged from the trees, a couple of feet apart on either side of the archway. Both of them were shirtless and barefoot.
It wasn't odd to see Derek half dressed, even now that he'd given up on shaving his chest. He looked about the same as he did every morning when he took off for his run through the preserve. It was a bit of a shock to see Stiles that way though. It seemed like there was always at least three layers between Stiles' skin and the rest of the world. But he looked completely at ease, like he couldn't have been more comfortable in even his softest hoodie.
The two of them were smiling like idiots, staring into each other's eyes like there wasn't a clearing full of people watching them. Scott was starting to see how Stiles had roped Derek into all those photos. He was smitten. Completely over the moon for his dorky friend.
Their vows weren't traditional. Scott sort of expected that, given the rest of their set up. Instead Stiles rambled for a little about love, about the moon, and a little about their future. There was a moment after when Derek said nothing. The silence seemed so prominent in the clearing, like half the guests expected Derek to simply turn away and run. Then Derek tugged Stiles a little closer, until they were almost chest to chest, and started his own vows.
He talked a little about his past, about how dark his life seemed until Stiles came to be his light. He said a lot of things that could have been insulting, comments that made him seemed annoyed or exasperated but Scott knew better. Even if he couldn't smell the loving contentment rolling off of Derek in waves he'd see it in the way Stiles' looked back at Derek. Like every word was declaration of undying love. It made Scott a little uneasy. For him Derek and Stiles had always seemed to exist the same way. They snarked, they fought, they held each other together. He didn't see a lot of love, even when he knew it was there.
He wasn't sure everyone at the wedding could see it even now. He could hear a few people in the back muttering. Saying how the two of them wouldn't last. That it was impulsive. Or reckless. Scott knew Derek could hear it all but it didn't seem to bother him.
When the vows were over Stiles let out a big 'whoop' and threw himself forward, nearly smashing foreheads with Derek. The two of them shared a passionate kiss that lasted just a little too long for the Sheriff it seemed. The girls were enjoying it though, crying and cheering them on. Derek looks happy. His face is tucked into Stiles' neck but his body is loose. He smells like straight dopamine.
Once the two of them are able to pull apart a little Stiles whistles to draw everyone's attention. "There's food and alcohol waiting at the Sunshine Hall over on Devonson. Then if you want you can head back here around six or seven. We'll have a dance floor set up." The times are a bit stretched out. Scott knows most of the people sitting behind them won't come tonight. They're more casual acquaintances, people Stiles probably felt like he had to invite. But that pack will come.
Scott helps steady Lydia while she inches out of the aisle. Up ahead Stiles is rubbing his hands all over Derek's chest while Derek halfheartedly bats him away. The two of them are completely oblivious to the people milling around. "So what's the plan?"
Lydia straightens her dress and flips back her hair. "Derek has some clothes and shoes in his car. They're going to take some pictures out here then meet us for dinner." That's when Stiles finally makes his way over. Melissa has already rushed ahead. Her and the Sheriff are fussing over Derek, giving him a hug and handshake.
"We kind of wanted to do an all thing. Less stress you know. We'll eat for a while, then come out here for a while." Stiles does a full body wiggle then moves in to kiss Lydia on the cheek. Then he turns and opens his arms for a hug. Scott can't resist using a little supernatural strength. He's happy for them. It's not something he'd ever imagined as a teenager but things are different now. They're all different. Good different.
When they pull away Scott finally remembers to ask. He swats Stiles on the arm. "Hey man, how'd you get Derek to agree to all that stuff?" Scott leans back a little to catch sight of Derek, who's frowning just a touch. "I can't imagine him posing for all those pictures willingly."
Stiles rocks back on his heels and gives out a nervous laugh. His hand is clamped around the back of his own neck. "Oh man, you know me. Super annoying. It was way easier to just give in."
Lydia doesn't look impressed at the slightest. She rolls her eyes at both of them, kisses Stiles on the cheek, and makes her way over to Derek. Scott shrugs it off and congratulates Stiles on his marriage. They hug and make a few tentative plans for after the honeymoon. Then Scott is off, driving towards the Sunshine Hall.
It takes about two hours for Stiles and Derek to get there. Their faces are flushed pink and Derek looks like an entirely different person. It's the most relaxed Scott has ever seen him. The happiest. Stiles looks content too, settled. He's at ease even though he's in the middle of a party where he's the focus. Scott catches him every now and then, clutching Derek's hand like a ground.
When it's finally time to go back out to the preserve half the people have gone home. Neither Stiles or Derek look too bothered by it though. So the clearing, now fitted with a portable dance floor, is filled with Pack. Everyone gathers around the dance floor, under the fairy lights, and watch Stiles and Derek have their first dance. It's not really a dance. For a few seconds Derek stands with his face tucked into Stiles' neck as the rock from side to side. Then Malia skips to the next track.
Instead of being angry Stiles pushes Derek back and starts wiggling all over the place. Shimming his hips and bumping into Derek like he's drunk. Derek takes it in good humor, trying and failing to grab at Stiles' hips to keep him in place. Everyone takes it as their cue to slide onto the floor themselves.
There's a lot of bouncing around in the middle, like they're all teenagers at a party again. Scott spies his mom with Mrs. Martin and the Sheriff around the edges. The three of them are taking turns dancing with each other and taking pictures.
Towards the end of the night, when Scott notices things winding down, Derek skirts his way over and shares a dance with his mom. It's weird; to see Derek Hale smiling bashfully and spinning his mother around the edges of the dance floor. Scott wants to say something, maybe share this weird moment with Stiles, when he sees that Stiles is holding onto Mrs. Martin with a very serious expression. It looks like she's coaching him through some sort of waltz.
"It's sweet right?" Scott turns. Kira looks good. Better than good. She looks like she did during their first date. Must be the lighting.
"Yeah, I guess." Scott can't quite put into words how weird it is. He feels like he should be unsettled. He just keeps remembering how they all started, how Derek use to be. What Derek use to be to them. Seeing him now is crazy. It makes him think about how much he's changed too.
"They look really happy." Kira tucks a strand of hair behind her ear and looks out over the dancevfloor. "I can feel the love." Scott slides a little closer to her, until they're a breath apart, staring at Stiles and Derek. He can feel it too. Maybe it's not so crazy that they did all those invitations. Maybe it was another game for them or something to burn up nervous energy. If it were from anyone else Scott wouldn't have questioned it at all. Maybe that much love just makes you do weird things.
"Dance with me?" Scott tips his head towards the dance floor and hopes.
* * * *
"Why'd you lie?" Derek is sitting on the edge of his bed. They've been running around all day. Both of them are exhausted. Wedding sex is a lie made up by the media, it has to be. Derek scoots back on the bed and debates pulling off his underwear too. Stiles is already naked, brushing his teeth while sitting on the closed toilet lid. He smells like deep seated contentment.
"Hm?" Stiles hums around his toothbrush and tries to concentrate. "Bout the pictures?" He waves his toothbrush around before getting up to spit in the sink. He doesn't have werewolf hearing but he bets Derek is fighting sleep in their bedroom. Stiles rinses his mouth and scratches his stomach. Even with their wedding being almost entirely casual they were still tired. He couldn't imagine what he would feel like after Lydia's big day.
Teeth clean, Stiles shuffles into the bedroom where Derek has obviously given up on removing his underwear. They're trapped just above his knees and he doesn't look the slightest bit interested in moving anymore. Stiles snorts and leans over Derek's legs to pull his underwear the rest of the way off. He gets an appreciative hum for his efforts.
After flinging the underwear away Stiles climbs up the bed, stopping to press dry kisses here and there. He aims for a nipple and gets a mouth full of chest hair instead. He pulls back, licks his lips, then collapses on the bed, half on top of Derek. For a while the two of them just lie together, floating somewhere between sleeping and not.
"M' your husband."
"You were embarrassed. I took the heat. S'what husbands do." Derek smiles and shuffles around until he can kiss Stiles on the forehead. He asked for all those photos. He hired a professional. He got Stiles to take two. They were suppose to decide from there but it'd been so fun. And it looked so nice. They looked so happy. He couldn't resist asking for more photos. Pretty soon they had dozens of pictures of the two of them. Derek couldn't remember the last time he'd had so many pictures of himself looking happy.
Derek meant to thank him, again, for sitting through all the pictures. But he dozed off with Stiles drooling on his chest instead. He'd get to it later. He had the rest of their lives.