The weather outside is actually frightful and Stiles has no-one to share the irony with. Everyone standing behind him in the line for the six thirty flight out to Los Angeles looks indignant and tired. Even the dude in the Santa hat surrounded by a dozen kids seems as though he’s lost his holiday cheer.
“So,” he rubs his temples. “You’re telling me you don’t know when we’re going to be able to take off, but that you’re really sorry and have a Merry Christmas?”
The girl’s reindeer ears seem to actually droop with her apologetic expression.
“We are very sorry, Mr Stilinski; it’s just with the snow getting thicker—”
“Don’t worry,” he says softly, thinking about how many calls he’s going to have to make. “It’s not your fault.” He smiles briefly at her and heads dejectedly into the half empty waiting area.
They’re the last flight of the evening and the airport is tiny; he’s pretty sure he’s been in bigger coffee shops. The snow is falling fast and he’s sure as hell not going to try and persuade them to make a plane fly in that kind of weather.
Stiles may or may not have issues with flying as it is. He gets that they stay up via science and magic, he really does; doesn’t mean he trusts it all that much.
Half an hour later and he’s called his dad to tell him not to expect him home any time soon, and is trying to persuade his best friend not to hire a snow plough to come and collect him.
“Scott, bro’ I told you, the second the weather is safe to fly in you know I’m out of here. I can’t make the plane fly though, whatever your personal thoughts on me being Superman are.”
Stiles shifts in his seat, half watching the snow currently blowing up a storm through the wide, shiny windows of the airport and half focused on listening to his best friend’s erratic breathing as he talks himself into a panic. Someone sits down next to him and instinctively he folds his legs up to give them some space.
He’s considerate like that.
“She’s not giving birth now, dude, I’ll be there. Oh my god, your child is not the next Jesus; Allison’s not due till the thirtieth. Scott—Scott—I’m hanging up now. Aw no, you hang up. No you, you.” He grins at their ability to still be idiots at twenty five. “On three?”
The person sitting next to him shifts and mutters, “Christ, one of you hang up,” and Stiles turns to glare at him. He’s about to say something about the nature of personal, private calls and of other people minding their own business, but words sort of fly out into the blizzard when he gets an eyeful of the guy’s profile.
The guy starts and he snaps his head round to look at Stiles, “Excuse me?”
“Scott, I gotta go, I think I’m about to be murdered.”
Stiles snaps his phone shut on Scott’s yell of, “Wait, what if she gives birth at church?!” and holds up both his hands in supplication. “Dude.”
“How do you know my name?”
“Uh, we went to school together? Stiles Stilinski, I was a couple of years below you, but I played lacrosse junior year with you. You once gave me a bruise like, this big,” he widens his hands right across his ribs to emphasize his point.
Derek’s eyes follow the movement and then flick back up to his face, “Stilinski… The Sheriff’s kid?”
“You got me arrested once.”
“I—whoa, awkward that you remember that. Look, it wasn’t my fault.”
“You called them from my own house.”
“I thought you were going to kill Scott.”
Derek’s face scrunches up, "The kid who now thinks his baby is gonna be Jesus? What a tragic loss to society that would have been.”
“So you don’t deny you were trying to kill him?”
“I wasn’t going to kill him,” Derek rolls his eyes. “It was better I fuck with him than let Jackson actually hurt him.”
Derek crooks a grin at him and it’s like Stiles is sixteen and crushing madly, ridiculously on the hot older senior he could never have. “So I’ve been told before.”
This time it’s Stiles who rolls his eyes but he can’t retort because his damned Blackberry starts buzzing in his pocket. “Gah!” He slides low into the seat and pulls out the cursed piece of plastic as Derek goes back to glaring moodily at the paper. Of course he actually read the financial section. Stiles tugs off his glasses and shoves them in his pocket.
“Danny! How in the hell are you?”
“Stiles, why have I just been informed by Lydia you’re leaving Michigan a day early?”
Stiles groans, cursing the day he realised his own damn staff were in cahoots to never let him do anything privately and not firing them all on the spot.
“Well, you won’t believe this but long story short I was trying to leave and now I’m stuck in the tiniest, dankest airport that ever was and oh hey, you’ll never guess who’s sitting next to me!”
Derek turns to shoot him what Stiles can only assume is his attempt at a pleading look and Stiles falters when Danny asks who in an exasperated tone.
“Uh, Lady Gaga,” he says vaguely, still staring at Derek in confusion. Derek purses his lips together as if he’s annoyed at being interchanged for the Queen of all things fabulous and looks away. Stiles clears his throat. “Anyway man, what’s up?”
“Stiles, don’t act like this isn’t a big deal. You weren’t finished there.”
“Look Danny, I know this project’s important, I do, but I just wanna go home. I don’t— Look, let’s talk this over when I‘m less fried, man.”
There’s a beat and then Danny sighs. Stiles can just picture him sitting in his heavenly office (somehow so much more comfortable and more stylish than Stiles’ because Erica is an evil, evil person who refuses to let Stiles have nice things), pinching the bridge of his nose. Erica’s probably listening in, tapping a pen against her desk and sighing over Stiles and his inability to do anything right.
“You said this is what you wanted.”
“Yeah, I know,” he glances surreptitiously at Derek, whose eyes are firmly on the paper and then swallows, tugging at his tie. “Can we please talk about this when I’m home?”
“Do you promise not to avoid me and spend all your time playing video games in Scott and Allison’s den?”
“I can’t promise I won’t spend some time doing that.”
“Hard to believe you’re in control of an extremely large, successful company.”
Stiles grins. “You know me, big fan of being a living embodiment of all things ironic.”
Beside him Derek snorts and Stiles resists the urge to nudge the guy in the ribs.
“Fine,” Danny says finally. Stiles punches the air enthusiastically. “But, we’re talking this through tomorrow.”
“Sometimes I think you guys forget I’m technically your boss,” Stiles says crossly.
Danny laughs, somewhat hysterically as if he’s thinking the same thing and possibly wishing it weren’t true and then hangs up. Bastard. If he weren’t Stiles’ favourite person he would totally fire him.
He glances over to where the dude in the Santa hat is trying to distract a little girl from getting antsy and crying all over her stressed mother. To his left an old couple are sitting, seemingly content, holding hands and watching the snow fall. Stiles shifts feeling suddenly, desperately, lonely and glances at Derek.
“So, you going home for Christmas?”
“Yes,” Derek says shortly, folding the paper to examine the sports and then scoffing and waving the whole thing at him. “You want this?”
Stiles shakes his head. “Nah, I’m good, thanks,” he waves his phone at Derek. “Constant news feed straight here.”
“It’s never as well written online.”
“Oh I see, you’re one of those people.”
Derek raises an eyebrow at him and Stiles wiggles his own back. “Stuck in the twentieth century types, you know,” he waves his hands around. “Oooh, the internet is bad for your health and mmm newspapers just smell nice and feel special between your fingers.”
“That’s a pretty big leap from my offering you the paper.”
Stiles grins, “You were weird at school too; it wasn’t that much of a leap.”
“I was weird?” Derek retorts, “You’re the one who still wears odd socks.”
Caught by surprise, Stiles glances down at his socks and smiles fondly. “Yeah, I couldn’t decide which pair I liked more. Besides, it’s good luck.”
Derek glances out into the snow and then back to where they’re sitting waiting on a flight that’s already delayed by an hour and a half. “Uh huh.”
“Your optimism is delightful.”
“Yours is annoying.”
Stiles smiles down at his phone and then they both look up when the lady from the tiny gift shop comes over and informs them she’s closing in a few minutes. He leaps up and follows her back over, grabbing at as much random candy as he can.
“You’re not allowed to continue sitting by me if you eat all that and then throw up,” Derek informs him as he passes by to consider the pitiful book collection.
“Pfft please, I have a stomach of steel,” Stiles says, patting his shirt fondly.
Derek glances at where his hand is and then slowly back up at Stiles in a considering fashion. Stiles feels his mouth go dry and swallows slowly. “I’m gonna go—buy these.”
He can feel Derek watching him walk away and it takes everything in his power not to casually strip off all his clothes and throw himself at the guy.
They collapse back into their chairs and Stiles groans as he checks the tiny old tv screen above them still showing their flight as DELAYED.
“How will Santa know to deliver my presents here?”
Derek snorts. “I’m sure he’ll find a way. Besides, if you’re still anything like you were back in high school you’re certainly not on his nice list.”
“Hey, I was gem, shut up.”
“Pretty sure there was never a time I walked past Harris’ classroom and you weren’t in there doing detention.”
Stiles files away the fact Derek noticed him at all and glowers at him.
“You’re not exactly a peach yourself, you know.”
“But, I don’t actually believe in Santa so I know I’m getting presents; from real people.”
“Maybe they’ll all decide this was the year you didn’t deserve any.”
“Maybe,” Derek says soberly and then looks away, staring at his hands moodily.
So Stiles is officially the worst at killing the mood. He fidgets in his seat and glances around; the old couple are snoozing quietly next to each other and the little girl who looked like she was going to cry is passed out in her mother’s lap. He wonders if he could catch some shut eye, but this might be the one and only time he’s ever alone with Derek Hale and he needs to use that to his advantage.
“You wanna play snap?”
Derek turns to look at him in bewilderment and Stiles waves the playing cards he snagged at the till at him. “I can’t play poker for shit, but I’m damn quick when it comes to snap.”
“You want to play snap,” Derek says slowly.
“Yeah. Come on, like you don’t want to? Look, they’re even Star Wars themed—coolest pack of cards ever actually,” he muses as he looks down at Han Solo’s face.
“Fine,” Derek says wearily. “It’s not like we could be doing something productive with our time.”
Stiles raises an eyebrow and inclines his head, “In an airport with very little reception and no decent tv? Hey man, if you can find something better we could be doing I’m all ears.”
Derek’s ears actually pink up a little at that and Stiles wonders what he’s thinking. He shuffles the cards deftly, tossing them between his hands and watches Derek watch him avidly.
He splits the pack and passes half to Derek, “You know how to play, right?”
“No, I was never five years old.”
“Now that I would believe.”
Stiles grins at him and then feels his eyes widen as Derek loosens his tie suddenly. The bare, tanned skin of his throat is tantalising and Stiles wants to lean forward and lick it all over. He clears his own throat and looks away. When he turns his gaze back to Derek he’s pretty sure the guy’s smirking and he narrows his eyes, oh two can play at that game.
Casually, he pulls his glasses back out of his pocket, sliding off his jacket and throwing it on the seat next to him. He sits down on the floor right in front of Derek, crossing his legs and slips on his glasses before looking back up at Derek expectantly. Derek’s staring at him and Stiles tilts his head innocently.
“You—nothing,” Derek says finally and then turns to stand up and shuck his own jacket. Stiles can’t even avoid looking at his ass and doesn’t try.
Derek sits down next to him with an exaggerated wide smile, “Ready?” He cocks an eyebrow and flips his own cards easily around in one hand.
Stiles drags his eyes from watching Derek’s fingers and licks his lips, “Go.”
He slams down his first card and its total chaos as Derek’s just as quick. With each card he can feel himself leaning closer and closer to the floor when Derek yells. “Snap!”
Stiles jerks his head back. “Fucker!”
Derek grins, teeth white and the way his whole face lights up with it is spellbinding. Stiles wants to lean forward and wrap his hands around Derek’s tie, use it to reel him in and kiss the grin right off.
Instead, he drags the cards in again and shuffles. “So, you happy to be going home?”
Derek shrugs, scratching idly at his scruff. “Looking forward to seeing my sister and my mom; not so much my uncle.”
“I told him I was done with the family business last week, ‘s’why I’ve been in Michigan, tying up loose ends around the office up here.”
“Not having fun anymore?”
Derek lifts his eyebrows. “Are you?”
Stiles ponders the question. He thinks about the dream he had when he was fifteen, thinks about how hard he fucking worked to make it a reality and how fun and awesome it was to start with. Then he thinks about the way his stomach drops when the phone rings and the fact he doesn’t see his dad for months on end. He thinks about lonely hotel rooms and meetings with guys ten, fifteen years older than him all looking overworked and exhausted before they’ve even hit fifty.
He thinks about the fact he’s about to be a godfather and the only excuse he might have for missing the birth is the fact he was out here dealing with an expansion he doesn’t need but that the shareholders want.
“No,” he says finally. “And, I think my second in command might know that.”
“You don’t ever look like you’re having fun,” Derek says softly.
Stiles glances at him in surprise, “What?”
“I see you around occasionally, at parties and luncheons,” Derek’s lips curl on a smirk. “You wore some ridiculous red suit to Kitsch’s Christmas Do last year and he couldn’t shut up about it all night.”
Stiles laughs remembering. “Yeah, that old man cannot take a joke. I was being a modern Santa.”
“You looked happier then,” Derek muses.
“Dude, I can’t believe you never came and said hi, you acted like you barely remembered me!”
“I didn’t want to.”
Stiles clutches his chest, tugging at his tie, suddenly feeling nervous and upset and tries to play it off. “Ouch, why not?”
“I didn’t know if you’d remember me.”
Well that’s just, fucking adorable. He can’t imagine Derek being nervous about anything.
“Are you serious?” he pushes his glasses back up his nose and raises an eyebrow. “Of course I would’ve remembered you.”
“I’m not very good at the whole meet and greet thing in general. If you’d not known who the fuck I was then I don’t—I just don’t like feeling awkward.”
“How the hell do you get by in our world?”
Derek smirks, “I fake it.”
The whole pack of cards almost flies out of Stiles’ hands, “Well, I wouldn’t have wanted you to do that with me.”
“Oh, I don’t think I’d have had that problem,” Derek says quietly, eyes boring into Stiles’.
Stiles lets him take the pack from his limp hands and tries to remember how to breathe as Derek gives him half back.
He nods wordlessly.
An hour later and Derek is painstakingly trying to teach him how to play poker. Stiles knows how; he’s been playing with his dad since he was a kid and swindling friends out of money for years. But people always seem to believe him when he says he’s shit at it and it never fails to work in his favour.
He’s planning on it working for him here too.
The airport is quiet, the only attendant desk closed and the lights dimmed. It’s past eleven and their flight has been delayed by five hours so far. Stiles has discovered the bathroom’s excessive, colourful graffiti and that the coffee machine doesn’t like him very much.
Derek managed to make it work but wouldn’t tell him how.
Apparently, Derek is still a bastard like that.
“Oh my god, it’s so hot in here,” Stiles groans. He whips his tie off and wraps it around his head.
Derek lifts an eyebrow in amusement and then splays his cards out. “Royal Flush.”
“Fuck.” Stiles tosses his own set down on the floor. “I’m too hot to concentrate.”
“You could always strip down to your boxers but I don’t think the rest of the airport would appreciate it.”
“Ha ha.” Stiles glowers at him and then pauses. “The rest? As in yourself not included.”
“No,” Derek’s face flushes pink and he gathers all the cards up, snaps them together and flips them as a pack from hand to hand. It’s ridiculously sexy. “I count as part of the airport at large.”
“Hmm, sure.” Stiles feels his lips quirk into a smile and grabs at the pack. “One more game? You wanna raise the stakes?”
“From the five bucks you had in your pocket and your last pack of skittles?” Derek raises his eyebrows. “Let’s not get too crazy.”
“Fine, keys to my Porsche and you can have my tie.”
“Not that you’re going to win but what do you get in return?”
Stiles squints at him and then grins. “You can punch Jackson Whittemore in the face for me when we’re home.”
Derek snorts. “Done.”
He wins, easily; Derek has so many tells Stiles has a list a mile long in his head already.
Derek looks shell-shocked and Stiles shrugs. “Guess you were a good teacher after all.”
“Or you cheated.” Derek takes the cards from him. “I’m dealing.”
“I am offended dude, and you’re still punching Jackson for me.”
“Why can’t you just do it?”
“Because he scares me,” Stiles pouts, jutting out his bottom lip in an exaggerated fashion.
Derek’s eyes flick to his mouth and he clears his throat. “Liar.”
“Fine, I’d just find it endlessly amusing man, that guy’s had it coming for years. Plus, you know; it would actually hurt him coming from you. Me, the one time I punched him I got a hairline fracture and a lecture from my dad about my fist positioning. I think he was more pissed I made a shitty punch than the fact I hit someone, to be honest. He tried to look angry but I reckon everyone secretly thinks Jackson deserves a face full of pain.”
“A face full of pain.”
“Yep,” Stiles digs his fingers into the knuckles of his right hand. “You can still feel the chip a little bit if you push hard enough.” He sticks his hand out and hesitantly, Derek runs his fingers along his knuckles. There was nothing sexual about the way Stiles was thinking ten seconds preciously but Derek’s fingertips running up and down his skin is quickly making the air vanish from the room.
He swallows and pulls his hand back. “War scars,” he winks at Derek. “I am officially a badass.”
Derek huffs a laugh and rolls up his shirt sleeve to show him an impressive scar curved along his inner elbow. “Shark bite.”
“No way,” Stiles reaches to touch it and Derek’s arm breaks out into goose bumps as he tracks the scar. “Seriously. Seriously.”
“Nah,” Derek sits back and rests his hands behind him. “Cut it on a jagged piece of sheet metal at one of the factories last year. Bled all over the floor and my secretary fainted.”
Stiles is distracted by the way Derek’s fitted shirt stretches across his chest in his new seating position and by the fact his shoulders are so broad and wide and his forearms are peeking out from his rolled sleeves and—
“The shark story is cooler.” He says suddenly, trying to get his thoughts under control. “Unless you like, gallantly carried her from the scene whilst still bleeding and managed to walk through some smoke while you were at it.”
Derek laughs, tipping his head back and it’s like fucking porn is being acted out in front of him here. He’s going to die.
“She’s fifty six; I think she’d be horrified if I tried to lift her anywhere.”
Mmmm, Derek could lift Stiles up though. He really could.
He clears his throat and flips a card up in the air.
“So, ten grand, all in?”
“Ten grand? What, you just got it lying around?”
Stiles shrugs. “Yeah, give it to your favourite charity; I already do that.”
“How do you know I’m going to win?”
“I don’t; you can see it or raise.”
“Twenty five; use it to buy a plane so that next time we don’t get stuck in a damn airport for seven hours.”
“Hey man, I have found this whole evening a delight and I feel offended you don’t feel the same way. Thirty.”
“I didn’t say I hadn’t enjoyed the company, thirty five.”
“Fifty! And, you have to use your words, Derek. I can’t read your mind you know.”
Derek narrows his eyes, “You’ve been playing me.”
“’Scuse me?” His hands slip as he flips the cards and he looks up at Derek owlishly in an attempt of innocence.
“You’ve been losing, ridiculously badly, and suddenly you’re confident enough to bet fifty grand? Totally trying to con me.”
“I would never,” he says quickly.
Derek grabs the pack off him and shuffles. “Play like you obviously can, all bets are out, I win you have to walk across the floor on your hands. And, every time you can’t make it to the other side you have to tell me something you’ve never told anyone else.”
It’s hands down the most creative bet Stiles has ever heard. And Erica comes up with some extremely inventive ones when she’s drunk.
“Fine,” he says finally. “But if I win you have to say ‘Stiles Stilinski is a god’ into my phone recorder and I’ma set it as my ringtone.”
Derek stares at him for a moment and then grins, shaking his head at him. “Okay, fine.”
Derek fucking wipes the floor with him.
Stiles sits back in horror when they finish. “What the hell?!"
“You think you’re the only one who can play someone?” Derek’s stretching his legs out in front of him looking smug and he nods at the open space of the airport. “Go on.”
“Would you have made me record that message?”
“Well—no, of course not. Oh my god— ok, fine, yes.” He scowls standing and un-tucking his shirt. He kicks off his shoes and aims them both at Derek; who bats them away easily.
“Wait,” Derek beckons him forward and instinctively Stiles walks towards him.
“What, you gonna tie my hands together or something to make it even harder?”
Derek’s eyebrows shoot into his hairline and Stiles snickers to himself before feeling the smirk on his face die as Derek reaches towards him and slowly takes his glasses off. He’s suddenly breathless with how intimate the gesture is. He can smell the faint hint of Derek’s aftershave, see where the grain of his stubble ends on his neck and Derek’s eyes are warm, intense, as they study him.
“Right,” he says after a minute or an hour— who knows— and the moment’s gone. Derek steps away, folds his glasses up and pops them in his shirt pocket.
“Good luck,” he says smirking and resting his arms against the chairs, settling in on the floor.
“I hate you.”
“Hate is such a strong word.”
“Yeah, and I’m feeling it right now.”
“Put it all in your arms then.”
“Oh, someone’s funny.”
Stiles stomps over to the far wall of the airport where the trolleys are lined up. He’s so relieved theirs was the only flight left and that there are thirty people in the seating area tops, all of whom are asleep bar Derek.
He also can’t help but think this is the most fun he’s had in forever. Who knew Derek Hale with his permanent scowl and terrifying glares (and this is the dude at seventeen who knows how much scarier that special thing he used to do with his eyebrows has gotten over the years) would be hilarious, and fun, and all kinds of Stiles’ type. He’s always thought Derek was hot, ridiculously so. But he never actually thought there was any humour or even personality under the sexy cheekbones and permanent bed hair.
He was so wrong and now he’s kind of screwed.
“I hope you appreciate this.”
“Oh, I will,” Derek says easily before gesturing with a hand. “Come on, stop procrastinating, get on your hands.”
“That sounded filthy, just so you know.”
Derek flushes and glares at him. It’s not nearly as terrifying when his cheeks are pink.
Stiles sighs and bends to push himself up into a wobbly handstand.
“Yes!” He yells before his legs flail and he collapses in a heap.
He hears the click of a camera and rolls over to see Derek holding up his phone.
“Don’t mind me, first fact please.”
“Something I’ve never told anyone?”
“Yep, and I’ll know if you’re lying.”
“How though, how will you actually know.”
Derek shrugs. “You’re easy to read.”
Stiles squirms and thinks for a second. “Uhhhh, it was me that trod on Finstock’s megaphone back in ninth grade.”
Derek’s laughter is loud and outrageously adorable, seriously, Stiles is outraged at its audacity to be so damn adorable.
“I can’t believe you let Greenberg take the fall for that.”
“Dude, I was fourteen and Coach scared the shit out of me.”
“He made Greenberg do suicides for months, poor kid.”
“Yeah, but he hated me more; he would have made me do awful things Derek, seriously awful things.”
“What a shame you didn’t ever confess and bulk up enough to be able to manage walking across a hallway on your hands.” Derek lifts his hand. “Come on, Stiles, a bet’s a bet.”
He gets a third of the way and starts cheering before losing his balance once again and confessing he didn’t like the way Scott’s mom cut his hair for years before he was old enough to go to a barbers by himself.
When he falls at the halfway line he tells Derek he once tried to run away to New York just to piss his dad off but found himself feeling guilty half an hour in and went home and made dinner instead.
He collapses twice more and announces he hates going to sleep in the dark but he makes himself anyway and that he didn’t tell Scott he was bi until was nineteen but he told Danny when he was sixteen and Scott still doesn’t know he wasn’t the first to know. Derek raises an eyebrow and Stiles shrugs, feeling the burn in his shoulders. “Danny kind of got it; Scott would’ve wanted to be supportive but like, not had a clue where to start. It would have been nice and all, but I needed realistic help, not constantly being reassured I was loved and all that crap.”
“I told my mom when I was seventeen and she told me she’d known for years,” Derek says softly.
“Moms do tend to know that kind of shit before we do, right,” Stiles says wistfully thinking of his own mother and how much he misses her. “I miss my mom.” He glances at Derek and waves a hand. “That’s not a secret, I just do.”
“My dad left when I was eleven; it’s not the same, I know, but—being without that person is,” Derek exhales sharply. “It’s tough.”
“Yeah, it really is.”
“I ran into him once in Chicago,” Derek clucks his tongue in disdain and then looks at him very seriously. “I’m sorry that there a shit people out there when the good ones are gone.”
Stiles smiles wobbly at him and then rolls up onto his hands and knees. “She’d have gone on and on about you and your magic coloured eyes, man.”
Derek stares at him in surprise. “My what.”
“Magic you know,” Stiles waves a dusty hand at him. “Ever changing and multi coloured.”
“I have magic eyes,” Derek says faintly.
“Yep,” Stiles groans as he flips up onto his hands again. “But that doesn’t make you any less evil right now.”
On his sixth attempt he gets two feet from their seats and just, gives in. “I can’t—I’m dying. It’s impossible.”
Derek sniffs and stands abruptly before pulling off his shirt altogether and dropping onto his hands and fucking waltzing away from Stiles right across to the wall at the far end.
Stiles can feel his mouth hanging open. Derek drops back onto his feet grinning and saunters back over, tugging at his undershirt. “Wasn’t that hard at all.”
“Witchcraft,” Stiles says pointing an accusing finger at him. “How—”
“You concentrate too much on keeping your legs up; it distracts you.”
“My legs,” Stiles echoes as Derek’s eyes linger on said legs. “Sure.”
There’s suddenly a crackling overhead and for a second Stiles feels hope burst across his chest; are they finally getting their flight?
No they are not.
It’s an invitation for them to check themselves in at the motel attached to the airport with apologies about a lack of available rooms.
Stiles glances at Derek and sees him looking straight back before hunching his shoulders. “Could get some shut eye, catch some zzs,” he says aiming for casual.
Derek nods. “It’s unlikely we’ll be flying out tonight anyway.”
Stiles groans and squints at his phone. Wordlessly Derek passes him his glasses and Stiles nods his appreciation; he’s not blind but it’s dark and he’s tired and yeah he just, needs them right now to try and focus on something that isn’t Derek’s hands or his eyes or his whole secretly awesome self.
Midnight. It’s officially Christmas Eve and they’re stuck in an airport. His whole entire crazy ass life. Then he looks back over to where Derek is pulling his jacket on and sees the strip of skin between his pants and his shirt appear as he stretches up, the way his shirt is wrinkled beyond saving because he’s been walking across his hands in an airport and sitting on the dirty floor playing cards with Stiles all night and decides it could be a lot worse.
“One bed; are they serious?”
So, it could be worse. It really is so much worse.
Stiles drops his laptop bag inside the door and wants to bury his head in his hands. He cannot get into the same bed as Derek; he’ll wake up humping the poor guy.
Derek hums as he hangs his jacket on the back of the shitty grey chair before walking back towards him.
“You wanna toss a coin?”
“So, that you can trick me and I end up on the floor?”
“You think I’d do that?”
“I know you, you’re a wily one, man.”
Derek smirks and is suddenly very close, leaning towards Stiles before reaching behind him and tugging his hand from the door handle.
“I promise I don’t kick.”
“Well I do, and I sing apparently, and bite,” Stiles adds; remembering Scott shoving him away frantically when they were eleven and screeching about his arm bleeding and that he was dying. Stiles had been having a very vivid dream about wrestling a sheep.
He tosses his glasses somewhere on the bedside table and then looks back at Derek expectantly.
“What do you reckon?”
Derek tilts his head to one side just, looking at him again and Stiles doesn’t think he’ll ever get used to the kind of laser like scrutiny of his gaze. It makes him feel warm from head to toe.
“Not so keen on the singing, but I can live with the biting,” and then abruptly Derek yanks on his tie and pulls him in to kiss him.
Stiles lets out a noise of surprise before grabbing at Derek’s shirt and crushing the material between his fingers, pulling Derek as close as possible. Stiles groans as Derek lets his weight fall into him, his whole body arching into Stiles’ as they kiss like they’ve been starving for it. Stiles opens his mouth wide, lets Derek slide his tongue inside and push against his own demanding, claiming, oh so deliciously. They slip to the side and Stiles feels his back hit the desk, the lamp clattering to the floor and Stiles laughs because they’re totally going to destroy the motel room and it’s going to be so fucking hot. Derek kisses his smile, licks along his teeth and then presses kisses along his jaw, hands divesting him of his shirt and impatiently tugging at his undershirt.
“Tell me you want this,” Derek says against his skin and Stiles feels his toes curl at Derek’s lips against his neck.
“Are you kidding me?”
“Then hell yeah, you know I do.”
Derek makes a noise in the back of his throat before hauling him up, hands burning as they grip Stiles’ hips and leaving hot brands against the bone. Stiles has one hand in Derek’s hair, tugging on it and the other trails up his back and under his shirt. Derek cups his face and tilts it so he can bite at his chin before kissing him deeply again, sucking on his tongue and then biting at his lower lip.
“God, always knew you’d be ridiculous in the bedroom,” Stiles mutters as Derek drops his head to run his tongue around one of his nipples.
Derek bites down on the nub and then looks up at him. “You thought about this?” he asks hoarsely.
“Mmmm,” Stiles shifts so that he’s sitting on the desk; shoving away the brochures and notepad laid out for guest use and wrapping his legs around Derek’s waist, pulling him close again. “All the way through from tenth grade. You never did?”
“I didn’t say that,” Derek murmurs easily, helping Stiles rid him of his own shirt and seeming to shiver slightly as Stiles runs his hands along broad shoulders and then trails them down his arms. He leans in and noses at Stiles neck. “Thought about waiting till you were in a detention by yourself and fucking you across one of the desks quite a lot.”
Stiles groans, bites down on his bottom lip. “You did not.”
“And, in various places on school property that would have gotten me shot by your dad.”
“I was sixteen!”
“Yeah, and you were mouthy back then, too.” Derek drops to knees in front of Stiles and Stiles groans, tips his head back. He cannot watch this happen. He won’t last ten seconds.
Derek’s hands slide up his legs, curling over his knees and then pushing his thighs apart.
“Thought about fucking you in that red suit of yours last year, pretty much any time I saw you, really.” He looks up at Stiles through his lashes as he leans forward and licks a slow strip up the outline of Stiles’ cock against his boxer briefs. “Thought about what you’d taste like.”
“You—you totally did not give off an impression implying that when we were reunited this afternoon.”
“You caught me off guard,” Derek says huskily, biting at the elastic band of his underwear and letting it go with a snap. “I’m better at admiring from afar.”
Stiles wheezes out a laugh as Derek skims his fingers round his back, pulling him to the edge of the desk and then making him lift his hips to help remove his boxers. “Better that way with me anyway. From far away I’m okay, but up close way too much.”
Derek’s breath ghosts over his cock as it springs free finally and he hums, presses a kiss to the tip. “I prefer you close up. Thought about fucking you in the goddamn airport bathroom earlier too.”
“Christ, why didn’t you?”
“I told you,” Derek bites at his inner thigh as he wraps a hand around the base of Stiles’ cock and uses the other one to draw indistinct patterns across his hip bone. “I’m socially awkward,” he says before sucking Stiles into his mouth.
Stiles’ laugh dies in his throat and he shoves a fist in his mouth and grabs at Derek shoulder with the other. “Nng fuck, Derek.”
Derek pulls off with an obscene sounding pop and flashes a grin at him. “Later.” Before he ducks his head back down, pushing his tongue into the slit of his cock and then stretching his lips around him and drawing him back into his mouth. Stiles can feel his orgasm building in the base of his spine, it feels like his skin’s been on fire for hours, like he’s been on edge and zinging with every touch, every breathless moment and he cracks his eyes open to watch Derek’s dark head slowly bob up and down in time with the swirling of his tongue.
The guy knows how to give really good head.
He grabs at Derek’s hair and then lets go again thinking it might not be polite, but Derek growls around his cock, the vibrations shooting right through him and lifts a hand to place his own back where they were. Then he opens his mouth wider, relaxes his jaw and looks up at Stiles expectantly. Stiles swallows a gasp and lifts an eyebrow. “You sure?”
Derek rolls his eyes and slides forward again and Stiles can’t help but lift his hips up and slam into that hot, wet, perfect mouth now he has permission. He tangles his fingers in soft hair and bites his lip to keep from shouting out and Derek just fucking takes it. Eyes fixed on him as Stiles’ cock slips in and out of his mouth. Stiles wants to savour the memory forever because this is once in a lifetime, this is unthinkable. And then suddenly he’s seizing up, can feel his toes curling and sparks of pleasure shooting all around him and he knows he’s going to come, tugs on Derek’s hair to warn him but Derek doesn’t move, shoulders stubborn against his hands as he pushes the tip of one finger further back and teases against his hole. Stiles cries out and stills before coming right down Derek’s throat. The pleasure’s so bright it’s almost painful and he scrunches up his eyes, mouth wide in a silent oh as his limbs give out on him and he flops back against the wall.
Derek stands slowly; shedding his pants and Stiles makes grabby hands at him. “Just gimme two seconds and I’ll help.”
Derek grins and leans in to kiss him, slow and sweet and a total contrast to the Derek who was so determined to suck his brains out through his dick a minute ago. Stiles arches into it, hands skimming across Derek’s abs and then lower, slipping under his boxers and clutching at his ass. Derek moans and sucks in a breath, hips rocketing forward to jerk against Stiles’ own.
Stiles pushes the underwear out of the way, watches Derek step out of them, completely at ease. Stiles knows he's staring, but he can't help himself. He'd been so busy being attacked by Derek’s mouth he hadn’t really taken in how gloriously fit Derek is. He should have guessed considering the handstands and the shoulders and the fact Derek was obsessed with weight training when they were still in high school but still. He makes an appreciative sound as he splays his hands out round Derek’s muscled thighs, pulls him in and lowers his mouth to kiss across Derek’s chest. Derek drops his head back and Stiles uses the opportunity to lick at the base of his throat the way he’s wanted to all day. Derek tastes like sweat and earth and a little like you only ever can when you’re travelling. But, he still tastes good and Stiles... really wants to taste him all over.
“You’re ridiculous,” he says faintly.
Derek hums and finds his mouth again, “You’re incredible,” he murmurs against Stiles lips before kissing him soundly.
Stiles smiles against it before yelping when Derek suddenly slides his hands under his ass and carries him the short distance from the desk to the bed.
“Warn a guy next time, sheesh!”
“I like the element of surprise.”
“Yeah, but mmff—” Derek doesn’t let him finish as he kisses him again. Stiles likes kissing, he really does. It always seems like guys aren’t supposed to enjoy it but it’s honestly more intimate and personal to him than almost anything else. You don’t have to kiss someone to fuck them. You don’t have to kiss someone to let them cop a feel or drop to their knees in a bathroom stall. Kissing is honest, up close and personal, you learn a lot from the way someone kisses you. Derek kisses like he seems to do everything else, all intense and passionate, and utterly focused on Stiles. It makes him feel breathless and heady and it makes him want it all the time.
He stretches and enjoys the way Derek’s body fits against his, the weight of Derek pressing him into the mattress and the feel of their legs tangling together.
Derek lifts his head up and looks down at him suddenly, “Do you ever stop thinking?”
“I can hear your brain.”
“Now that would be talent, man. Plus, it would have saved us a whole lot of trouble in the airport, we could have played strip poker and I could’ve gotten you naked like, three hours faster.”
Derek grins, “Or, I could have gotten you naked and scarred the whole airport.”
“I think we’ve established that you’re lying when you imply you think I’m not all kinds of sexy, dude,” he says easily, scraping his nails against the base of Derek’s skull and then digging them into his shoulders. “You totally wanted a piece of this all along.”
“Yeah, I did,” Derek says softly and there’s a seriousness in his tone to match the fierce expression in his eyes.
Stiles grinds up into him and smiles, nips at his jawline. “Then get it already, we don’t have all night.”
“Actually,” Derek takes both his hands and pushes them up over their heads to twine them at the headboard. “Seeing as there’s snow still falling I think we might.”
“Whatever will we do with ourselves?”
“Could watch a movie if you like,” Derek suggests, leaving one of his hands wrapped around Stiles’, pinning them tightly and trailing the other one down his side. “Or sleep? You mentioned needing some zzs, I believe?”
“I could sleep,” Stiles replies, letting his legs fall open even as they’re talking. Derek makes a pleased noise as he strokes his hand over Stiles’ balls and then traces circles round Stiles’ hole. Stiles keens, rocking into it. “Ohm okay, no sleeping.”
“Sure? You do look a little worn out.”
“Oh, fuck you.”
“Some other time,” and then Derek’s rolling away from him completely and Stiles is watching him go in surprise.
“Uh, what. Come back here.”
Derek’s digging through his carry-on bag and then scowling at it. Stiles stares at Derek’s ass because, well, he can.
“You get a sudden urge to go trekking through the snow or something?”
Derek glances at him over his shoulder and oh, that look is smouldering. “I don’t carry lube around, particularly when I’m going through airport security. Do you?”
“Oh,” Stiles’ face falls. “No, I guess not. Just use whatever they’ve got in the bathroom.”
“Derek,” he whines before shuffling down the bed and wrapping a hand around his cock. “I will do this by myself if you don’t get back here soon; fuck the fancy stuff, if it’s not spit I’m sure I’ll live.” Derek’s eyes are following his hand twisting slowly on his cock and he nods, hypnotized.
“Derek,” Stiles snaps his fingers and it earns him a fully-fledged growl before Derek stalks into the bathroom and throws a tie at Stiles’ head.
“I really don’t remember you being this bossy in high school,” he complains as he drops back onto the bed and Stiles immediately clambers on top of him, straddling his legs.
“That’s probably because your memories of me are shaded with adoration and confusion and dirty fantasies. The real version of me was bossy as hell,” Stiles squeezes lotion out onto his fingers and sits up slightly, Derek’s fingers gripping at his waist. “Still am,” he gasps out as he tests out pushing in one finger carefully. Derek’s holding him up off his thighs and staring at where Stiles’ finger is disappearing into his body with utter fascination.
“Oh fuck,” Stiles groans, eyes fluttering closed. It’s uncomfortable as hell and he can feel his thighs begin to protest.
In one swift movement Derek’s flipping them, spreading Stiles’ legs again and sliding his own hand down to join his own. “You okay?”
“Yeah,” Stiles moans when Derek’s other hand runs across his chest and then curls around his dick. “It’s just been a while.”
“How much of a while?”
“I— uh—I don’t know.”
“Like a year, eighteen months? I don’t really screw around.”
Derek makes a noise in the back of his throat and slowly he dips his head to suck a bruise into the juncture where his neck meets his shoulder.
Stiles keeps his eyes open, focused on the way Derek’s hair is slick with sweat, falling gently onto his forehead in places, the way his eyelashes sweep against his cheekbones as he looks down between them, his whole body tense with concentration.
It starts to feel good around the time Derek adds a second finger and crooks in just the right way and Stiles sees stars. “Oh, yeah, there, do that again.”
“Have you got—”
“Yeah,” Stiles bats at Derek’s chest and Derek lets him sit up. He hops off the bed and grabs his bag. “It’s for like, emergencies,” he says when he pulls out his one and only condom. He’s had it about five months but hey, it’ll still work.
Derek slips out of bed and runs his hands across Stiles’ ribs, “Could just do it here.”
Stiles pushes out a hand to lean against the wall, can't help but whine as Derek slots up behinds him, hard cock just brushing against his entrance.
“Really rather watch the show if I’m honest.”
Derek growls and bites against the back of his neck before spinning him and pressing him up against the door again. It seems to be a thing for him.
“You’re going to be the death of me.”
“Not a bad way to go.”
“Probably not the worst way I could think of.”
Stiles laughs and Derek swallows it down, pulling him back towards the bed and rolling them so that he’s completely covering Stiles.
“God, damn,” Stiles groans out as Derek wraps a hand back around his cock and jerks it slowly. Stiles has never been so hard in his life, never been so desperately in need of someone and he really, really wants Derek to fuck him into the mattress.
Derek bites down on his shoulder and Stiles realises he said that last part out loud.
“Come on,” he says crossly. “I just gave you an actual written invitation, you want it in blood, too?”
“Gross,” Derek wrinkles his nose up, “You’re so bossy, seriously.”
He pulls at Stiles’ legs, wrapping them around his waist and then lining himself up.
“Please, you like it, ohh,” Stiles digs his fingers into Derek’s arms as he feels Derek sink into him achingly slowly, before bottoming out and going still.
Derek’s biting his bottom lip, eyes scrunched up as he shifts his hips experimentally. Stiles feels his cock twitch against his stomach, something about how fucking intimate this all is getting to him more than anything else. He runs a hand across Derek’s jaw and Derek leans into it and then opens his eyes. Stiles is blown away by how intense they are and he stretches up to kiss him, once, twice, before dropping back on the bed and reaching for the headboard, grinning.
“Come on, I’m all in Hale, bets are off, fuck me.”
Derek arches an eyebrow at him and then pulls almost all the way out before slamming back in and oh yeah, fuck, this is going to be sweet.
Stiles rocks his hips up to meet Derek’s thrusts, letting out a string of curses as Derek fucking pounds into him. He sets up an almost reckless rhythm, driving into Stiles like he’s on a mission and Stiles is all for it, really he is. Derek twists his hips suddenly and hits gold as Stiles sees bright, white, light behind his eyes and lets out a shout.
“Shit, yeah, there, Derek.”
He digs his heels into Derek’s back, urging him on. His hands are slipping in the sweat on Derek’s shoulder blade and he reaches up to tug Derek close so he can mash their lips together, kissing him with bruising force.
“No idea how long I have wanted to do this for,” Derek mutters, pressing his forehead against Stiles cheek and when they pull apart, both of them breathless with exertion.
“Think you already, oh, made that pretty clear.”
“You just have no idea how hot you are, do you?”
“Me? Have you looked in the mirror lately?”
Derek hunches up his shoulders in a shrug before sliding a slick hand between them and pulling on Stiles’ cock. “Got nothing on you.”
“We— are on very different pages there, my friend,” Stiles gasps out.
“I like my page, view’s good,” Derek pushes himself up on one hand so he can sink into him at a better angle and Stiles whines again. It's just so good.
“How are you still forming words?”
“You are too, must be—doing something wrong,” Derek’s pace is relentless, hammering into him wildly and Stiles laughs, barely able to hold on.
“No, trust me, all well. Oh god, god, god.”
“Oh ha, like no-one has ever used that joke before ever.”
Derek rolls his eyes and then twists his wrist at the same time as he’s pushing into Stiles. The head board slams against the wall and Stiles allows himself a second of glee to tick that particular box on his checklist before Derek’s licking at his adam’s apple, and then over the bruise he made earlier. He clamps his teeth around it and Stiles’ orgasm slams through him so hard he’s caught off guard. He yells in shock and he feels his whole body fizzing with it, waves of endless pleasure sparking through him.
Derek makes a pleased noise and then pulls Stiles into his lap, fucking up into him with total abandon. Stiles wraps his arms around his neck, clinging on, too wrung out to do anything but mutter encouragement and pepper any skin within reach with kisses. Derek tips his face up to look at him and Stiles leans down, pulls at his lower lip with his teeth before mouthing against his ear.
“Come on Derek, just fucking do it, fucking come.”
“So—bossy,” Derek groans before stilling and then letting out a noise more animal than anything else and biting down on Stiles’ shoulder as he comes.
Stiles falls back against the sheets, legs still wrapped tight around Derek so that he collapses on top of him. For a minute they’re quiet, Derek’s running his hands along Stiles’ sides and Stiles sighs happily, eyes dropping.
“It should totally snow more often,” he says drowsily.
He feels Derek’s grin against his neck before he pulls out slowly.
“Nah,” Stiles rolls over and grabs at a stray pillow, yanking off the pillowcase and using it to wipe himself down. “Do it the morning.”
“You’re gross,” Derek says, even as his arm is sliding round Stiles’ middle, pulling him close.
Stiles flicks his nose. “And you just had the best sex ever courtesy of me so shut up.”
“Oh, I don’t know if it was the best sex ever—”
“I think we could beat it tomorrow.”
“Well, you’re on.
Stiles groans when his phone starts buzzing at an ungodly hour of the morning. Derek’s face is buried in his neck and his arm tightens around his waist but otherwise he doesn’t move.
He twists as much as he can and fumbles to find his phone. Derek sighs and reaches over to his side of the bed and shoves the phone in his face. “Your people are up too early.”
“Tell me about it,” Stiles grumbles, sinking back down into the covers and settling against Derek’s shoulder as he flips his cell open. “’Lo?”
“Stiles! The damn airline have been trying to get in touch with your room for half an hour—your flight goes out in forty minutes!”
He jerks up and looks around the room to where the motel phone is on the floor amongst the things that fell via their destruction of the desk last night. It’s off the hook.
“Oh my god, Derek,” he yells as he falls out of bed. “Derek, our flight is leaving!” He hangs up on Danny calling him a moron and looks around the room for his shirt.
Derek’s up and searching for his pants in seconds. Stiles takes a second to appreciate his bed hair and silently mourn the fact Derek is putting clothes on instead of walking around naked all the time. Forever. In Stiles’ bedroom.
Sex with Derek clearly makes him a little stupid because this was a weird one night stand between old acquaintances right?
“Stiles, you’re not putting on any clothes which, though I appreciate the view, they won’t let you on the plane like that.”
Stiles snaps to and yanks on his shirt. “Do you know where my tie is?”
Derek’s eyes dart around and then he drops to the floor and pulls the tie from under the bed. He wraps around Stiles’ neck, tying it easily and Stiles tries not to think about how familiar the gesture is, how much he could get used to it and tries to savour it for what it is.
Then Derek hands him his glasses and yanks open the door. “Come on, there’s no way I’m sitting next to that crying kid from yesterday.”
“Your compassion knows no bounds,” Stiles retorts drily.
“I can’t feel you up under those stupid tiny flight blankets when there are kids around, Stiles.”
Stiles stops in the doorway and Derek turns in the corridor to look at him impatiently. “What?”
“You want—I didn’t know if—”
Derek hesitates, knuckles suddenly going white where he’s gripping his bag. “You don’t— I thought maybe—”
“No I do! I mean I think I do? If you’re asking what I think you’re asking?”
Stiles huffs and grabs for Derek’s hand. “Come on, we can be emotionally constipated on the plane. Then you can feel me up.”
Derek’s smile is sudden and blinding and then they’re making out in the motel hallway.
They end up with ten minutes to leg it back through the airport.
No one can ever say with all honesty that giving a blow job in a plane bathroom is easy. It’s nearly impossible. Stiles would have given up in thirty seconds if Derek’s hands hadn’t been flexing in his hair and he hadn’t been making the most profound noises.
As he falls asleep on Derek’s shoulder Stiles decides getting god knows what on his pants was worth it.
“So.” They’re standing at the doors to Beacon Hills airport and twenty fours ago Stiles would have been all kinds of excited to be home, now he sort of feels like he has a lead weight in his stomach.
“So,” Derek echoes, hands deep in his pockets. He looks absolutely debauched with his hair everywhere, a bite-mark that matches Stiles teeth peeking out from his shirt collar and his suit loose and dirty. Stiles probably doesn’t look any better seeing as Derek has stubble and rubbed it all over his face last night.
“You uh, I mean,” Stiles chews on his lip, Derek tracks the movement but doesn’t close the distance between them like Stiles wants him to. “You need a ride? Scott’s picking me up.”
Derek smiles, slow and almost wistful. “Nah, my sister’ll be here eventually.”
“Okay well, it was nice seeing you again?” Derek raises his eyebrows at him and Stiles rolls his eyes. “Okay okay! It was fucking ridiculous and surreal and awesome. Better?”
“Yeah, ditto,” Derek says teasingly, but his lips are curving up into one of those beautiful, fond smiles Stiles is starting to adore. “Stiles—”
“Stiles!” Scott bursts in through the automatic doors and throws himself into Stiles. “You made it! Dude, we were so worried!”
Stiles laughs, pats his friend on the back and takes a second to breathe him in, everything about him familiar and homelike. He turns to re-introduce Scott to Derek, grinning as he thinks of Derek’s reaction to the kid who was convinced his baby was gonna be the next Jesus, and Derek’s gone. Just fucking vanished.
Stiles does not want to find him and kick his ass; he is totally above being ditched at the airport and then pouting about it. Besides it’s not like he and Derek were going home together, why would he even bother waiting around?
He lets Scott talk about excitedly about the baby all the way home and it’s nice, it’s all so nice. The scenery hasn’t changed, Scott’s stupid, terrible old Volvo hasn’t changed and his dad hasn’t changed as he comes out of the house, appraising Stiles as he does so.
“You get in a wrestling match with a thorn bush?”
Stiles claps both his hands to his scratched up cheeks and laughs awkwardly, “Long story.”
The Sheriff hums and then ushers them both inside for lunch.
Stiles spends the rest of Christmas Eve trying and failing not to think about Derek and trying but succeeding to avoid Danny’s calls.
Erica knocks on the door around five and jabs a hand at the hickey on his neck the second she opens it. “This is why you weren’t answering your phone to Danny? He’s going nuts, you know.”
“I fell,” he says, scowling and slapping a hand over the mark. For some reason he wants to keep it private, it’s something between himself and Derek and, whatever they were.
Erica smirks at him and then tosses her hair. “So, home again. Fabulous.” She shoves her bag at him and then leans up to kiss his cheek. “You look tired.”
“I always look tired,” he grouses and then waves her bag at her. “And, when did I agree to carry this?”
“Honey, you will always be the number one man in my life, therefore, you will always have to carry my bags.”
“That… does not seem fair at all.”
“Too bad I couldn’t like dick, right?”
“How you get away with talking so obscenely to your boss is a miracle.”
“Good thing you’re my boss,” she says with a wicked grin as she sashays into the house and up to the spare room. It’s pretty much officially her room these days.
“Na uh, you’re fired!”
On Christmas Day he and his dad don’t move from the sofa except to get more turkey and watch all three Lord Of The Rings movies. It’s tradition. Erica reluctantly goes to see her parents for the day then she and Stiles get blindingly drunk and fall asleep on the floor. The Sheriff takes a photograph and sets it as his background screensaver; Lydia taught him how the last time she was home.
It’s not exactly what you’d call a classic Christmas special but it works for them and when Stiles wakes up dry mouthed and uncomfortable with Erica’s hair in his mouth he feels better than he has in months.
He spends an hour staring at Derek’s Facebook page (he has one photograph; eight friends; and one notification announcing Derek Hale has no idea why he has this stupid thing, liked by Laura Hale and someone called Isaac Lahey he vaguely remembers from Derek’s year at school). Then like the dork he is, he saves the photograph into a folder Erica will never take a second glance at and shuts his computer. It’s a nice photograph as well, one someone’s clearly taken of Derek caught off guard and almost smiling as he sits at a table for what looks like a wedding with his shirt un-tucked and his tie loosened, eyes straight to the camera.
Stiles knows how those eyes look approximately three centimetres from his face and it’s not fair he doesn’t have photographic evidence of them. Stupid magic eyes.
He wants to talk to Derek more than anything which feels, completely ridiculous, seeing as before yesterday he hadn’t spoken to the guy in over five years but still, he really sort of misses him.
“I got it,” Stiles hollers as he jogs down to answer the doorbell that's just rung. He yanks open the door grinning and then feels him mouth drop open when he sees Derek surrounded by his family and the McCalls.
“Stiles,” he says smirking before stepping into the house and placing a bottle of expensive looking red wine into his hands and discreetly running a hand across his chest. “Merry Christmas,” he adds casually as he heads down the hall.
“Stiles, honey!” Melissa McCall kisses his cheek and then tugs at it. “You’re not getting enough vitamin C; you’re too pale.”
“I’m—just a little confused,” he says slowly. “I didn’t know we were having so many guests over.”
“Oh, your father invited us last week,” says Mrs Hale and oh god he was having sex with her son forty eight hours ago. Stiles flushes from head to toe just thinking about it and gives her what he hopes is a welcoming smile.
“He didn’t mention it! Fortunately we’ve got a pretty big dining table.”
“Is the food ready yet?” Erica appears at the top of the stairs and there’s a distinct sound of clattering from the living room as Derek re-appears and everyone at the door turns to stare up at Erica. Who is wearing a towel. And nothing else. In Stiles’ house.
Derek looks, well, he looks kind of pissed off which Stiles can’t help but find quite nice because even though they haven’t said anything about becoming a something or whatever it’s always good to know someone’s getting jealous over you.
It might actually be a first for Stiles. He thinks back and tries to decide if Scott and his dog Casper wrestling with each other for Stiles’ attention counts.
The glare Derek’s levelling in Erica’s direction is way better than the one Scott sent his triumphant puppy and Stiles decides this one definitely counts.
“Erica!” He exclaims finally. “You showered.”
“Duh,” she says rolling her eyes before disappearing again.
“Honestly,” he says laughing awkwardly but not finding any other words as the whole party turn to look at him. “This could actually not get any worse,” he mutters under his breath and flees to the dining room.
He gets about three seconds of panicking done before Derek appears at the dining room door and slowly pushes it to, “You need any help?” he asks curtly.
“She’s not my girlfriend,” Stiles blurts out.
Derek looks surprised and then marginally relieved before schooling his expression into a neutral one again, “Okay.”
“Look. I don’t know what you’re thinking or feeling or even like, I don’t know maybe you have a girlfriend or a boyfriend, or both! Hey, no judgement. But I kind of don’t want you to think I have one? Like, I’m not a hundred per cent on why, but I think I don’t want you to think I’m that kind of guy? And I’m also still sort of replaying that whole night in my head over and over and really it’s the kind of tape you don’t ever want to lose and—”
Derek’s getting closer and closer to him and then he’s pulling the wine Stiles is still clutching from his hands and placing it on the table before backing him up against the liquor cabinet and kissing the hell out of him.
Stiles sighs into it contentedly, fingers clutching at the leather jacket Derek’s swapped in for his suit one; he would complain about how unfair it is that apparently nothing looks bad on Derek but really, he’s not feeling put out here.
Derek chest rumbles against his own as he groans and presses closer, hands almost desperate as they search for skin beneath Stiles’ sweater.
“God,” Stiles breathes out and Derek ducks his head to seek out a bruise he left at the base of Stiles’ throat and sucks on it. The zing of pain makes him shudder and winds his arms around Derek’s neck, shifting his hips to push against Derek’s.
“—Yeah, I think they’re in here I’ll just—” Erica swings open the door and smirks when they slowly turn towards her, still tangled together. “Oh,” she kinks an eyebrow at Derek. “You’re either very charming or Stiles has been keeping me in the dark about something.”
“Go away,” Stiles says crossly.
“Can’t,” she shoots back. “Danny and Lydia are on their way, your dad’s deputies just arrived and twenty five people are going to be eating round that table in two minutes, including your dad.” She pauses before she leaves and flicks her brown eyes over Derek. Derek actually leans back into Stiles and Stiles hides his grin.
“Fine, hurt him and die,” she adds before darting out the door.
Stiles buries his face in his hands. “Oh my god, I’m sorry. This is a nightmare. Why did you agree to come? You have to have better things to be doing on the day after Christmas than spending it here.”
“Nope,” Derek says softly adjusting his sweater for him.
“Apparently,” Derek replies drily before kissing him briefly and leaving the room.
Lydia and Danny fly in the front door seconds later, both with phones attached to their ears and looking stressed. Stiles internally winces wondering if he gives off that vibe every day. They’re twenty five years old, Lydia’s getting married in the spring and Danny’s not at home enough to walk his own dog, this isn’t the life he thinks they all want.
He wants it to change but he doesn’t know how to tell them everything they’ve worked for is nothing to him anymore. He still loves what they created but, he has way too much money to know what to do with and no time to come home and eat a Christmas lunch without someone emailing him about numbers.
Dinner is loud and messy with the Sheriff at the head of the table smiling fondly at everyone. Traditionally, they invite over the McCalls, some of the Sheriff’s department, and apparently anyone else his father takes a fancy to, the day after Christmas to eat turkey sandwiches and cold piles of leftover vegetables.
Derek hooks his foot around Stiles’ ankle and they spend most of the evening playing footsie. He feels sixteen again.
Scott barely takes his eyes off Allison and they leave fairly soon after dinner, Allison apologetic but sleepy. Mrs McCall stays to open a bottle of Port with his dad, Deputy Saldana, Deputy Cage and Mrs Hale.
Danny falls asleep in the armchair he’s always claimed as his own, seconds after sitting down in it and even Lydia seems disinclined to check her phone for messages by the time they’ve finished swapping presents. She keeps glancing down at her engagement ring and flushes pink every time someone comments on it. Laura Hale, terrifying, knowing, eyes just a little too sharp when she looks at Stiles, asks about her fiancée and Lydia’s off talking about Boyd and his antique glass shop.
Stiles can’t even remember how they met but he remembers a drunkenly slurred conversation where he warned the guy never to hurt Lydia or he’d have him killed. He’s still not sure if Boyd knows it was a joke. Well, he’s pretty sure it was a joke. He does love his friends something fierce.
Derek pushes his rook forward suddenly and Stiles is drawn back to the game of chess they’re playing. “Checkmate.”
“What? No!” Stiles stares down at the board in horror. “You cheated!”
“I wasn’t looking.”
“I know,” Derek says, the firelight dancing in his eyes and making his whole face look warm and inviting. Stiles wants to lean over and kiss the hell out of him. He settles for peering down at the board, eyes sweeping over the pieces.
“I can save this.”
“No, you suck at chess, accept it and move on.”
“No uh, my granddad taught me how to beat someone in three moves, I rock at chess.”
Derek stands and stretches; Stiles watches his tee shirt pull against his stomach muscles and remembers how they taste.
“We better get going,” Derek says softly, eyes fixed on Stiles as he lifts his head from blatantly checking Derek out.
“You gotta go already?” He hadn’t thought he’d even have this time with Derek but it’s still not enough; it feels like it’s never going to be enough now.
Derek nods, flipping his phone open. “My uncle wants us all home to announce his new prodigy.”
Stiles swallows. “You mean now it’s not you?”
“Are you—” Stiles wants to reach out and touch his arm and thinks better of it. “I hope it goes okay,” he says finally.
Derek crooks a smile at him and then glances round the room, Lydia and Erica have disappeared—presumably to talk about bridesmaids dresses; Danny’s totally out and they’re alone but for the fire. “Stiles—”
“Whatever you’re going to ask, just yes.”
“What if I was going to ask you to do cartwheels all around your house?”
“Then I would find it fitting to your previous strange and creative requests, but try my best?”
Derek’s smile is wider this time, less rigid and more open. “You’re so weird,” he says fondly.
“Says the guy who just suggested I go do some cartwheels in the snow?”
“Stiles, just,” Derek shoots a hand out and it clamps round his wrist. “Are you free tomorrow?”
“I—kind of? I have to go over some papers with Danny and I promised I’d call the Chicago office and check in, I think that’ll be most of the morning, but maybe after four?”
Derek lets out a breath and nods. “You wanna do something?”
“Like a date?”
“Sure,” Derek’s eyes crinkle at the corner with his smile and then reels Stiles in to kiss him briefly. “Call me.”
“I don’t have your number?”
“Yeah, you do.” And then he’s out of the room and Danny’s blinking awake, swearing about the European stock exchange. Stiles is left standing by the fire, wondering about his whole damn life.
Derek’s number is saved in his phone and when he texts Stiles back to confirm a meeting point his message tone is Derek’s voice saying Stiles Stilinski is an idiot who can’t do a handstand to save his life but gives really good head. Stiles changes it because he cannot have that going off in public, but it makes him grin for an hour and he texts Derek telling him he’s a nerd.
He’s late to meet Derek at the movies and though Derek doesn’t seem to mind Stiles catches him shooting thoughtful looks his way all up the queue to buy tickets.
“So who’s your favourite Bond?” he asks as they make their way inside the auditorium.
“Dalton,” Derek replies automatically.
“Moore, duh. Who was yours?”
“Connery, we’re clearly doomed,” Stiles says with a grin.
Derek snorts and grabs the popcorn off him, eating a handful and then licking his fingers clean. Stiles watches him do it and then glares when he sees Derek smirking. “Really? In the middle of the afternoon? In public? You have a problem, my friend.”
“I didn’t wanna miss any of the sugar.”
Stiles digs into his ice cream and shoves the spoon against the inside of his cheek just to watch Derek’s eyes widen.
“Yeah, we’re apparently fifteen now,” he says when he pulls it back out with a pop.
“Works for me,” Derek replies before practically pulling him out of his seat to kiss him for half the movie.
They get asked to leave.
Stiles gets asked to leave the one and only movie theatre in Beacon Hills where all of the ushers know exactly who his father is.
“I hope you’re happy,” he mutters, adjusting his jeans as they head out into the evening.
Derek pulls a face a sorry but not sorry face, practically vibrating with glee. “Yep. I can’t help it if you’re loud.”
“Me? You’re the one who was saying my name like a damn prayer in there.”
“Stiles,” Derek’s leaning him up against the wall outside the movie theatre and Stiles blinks across at him.
“Come home with me.”
“Is your mom home?”
“No, but if you prefer we can go to your place where you dad will be.”
“Fuck, we really are sixteen again. Okay; yours it is.”
Derek looks relieved and Stiles wonders why the hell the guy was nervous. He’s Stiles. He’s unlikely to say no to anything Derek asks ever again.
“I missed all this the first time round,” he comments as Derek laces their hands together and walks them towards the car.
“Dating, fooling around, getting kicked out of the movie theatre.”
“I cannot believe you and Scott never did that.”
“We did try once, but he was terrible at French kissing so never again.”
Derek’s grip tightens on his hand and Stiles laughs. “I’m messing with you, dude, I have never put my tongue anywhere near Scott.”
“Thank god, and I meant the movie theatre part, dumbass.”
“I know, stop looking like I kicked your puppy.”
“You stop,” Derek mutters before swinging the passenger door open for him and stalking round to his side. Not before kissing him twice more.
Scott calls at five in the morning and Stiles has really got to stop waking up in Derek’s arms when he can’t stay there. The guy’s like a Christmas present Stiles wants to take forever to unwrap. With his tongue.
“You okay, man?”
“The baby! Stiles, the baby’s coming!”
He shoots out of bed, grabbing the nearest shirt he can reach. “Okay, okay, where are you?”
“The hospital, we just got here. Stiles, you have to come, now.”
“Okay, dude, don’t worry, relax, I’m on my way.”
Derek rolls over, scrubbing a hand across his face. It's adorable. Really, he should just be illegal with the adorableness and the sexiness and the smart, stupid goofy perfectness.
“Allison’s baby, Derek, Allison’s having her baby, shit, shit. I’m gonna be an uncle.” He stops and clutches at Derek’s dresser, heaving in a breath. “Scott’s gonna be a dad.”
It’s like it hasn’t sunk in for the whole nine months. He hasn’t been here to see it happening. He’s barely touched Allison’s growing bump, hasn’t quizzed Scott on what he’s been reading.
“Oh my god, what if Scott accidentally sits on the baby, Derek? Shit, I haven’t done anything to help him, shit, he sounded so freaked out. What the hell do I do?!”
Derek yanks on a shirt, and Stiles notices that it’s his and that he’s wearing Derek’s which makes them both look kind of ridiculous, but he can’t bring himself to care. Derek’s shirt actually smells nice, like Derek and laundry detergent and it’s soft against his hands.
“First, brush your teeth.”
“What? No, I don’t have time for that! I have to go to the hospital; dental hygiene can wait!”
Derek looks pointedly at the bed, and then back at Stiles and Stiles dashes into the en suite. “Do you have a spare toothbrush?”
He scrubs at his teeth hurriedly and then darts back into the bedroom to find Derek wearing jeans and pulling on his jacket.
“What are you doing?”
Derek rolls his eyes. “You are not quick in the mornings, are you, Stilinski? You don’t have a car, here.”
“Oh, shit, fuck, right, you don’t mind?”
“No,” Derek says easily before leaning over to kiss him and shove him out of the bedroom. “You’re lucky you’re pretty.”
Chloe McCall is seven pounds six ounces and a perfect ball of pink fluff. Stiles can’t stop taking pictures of her. His dad arrives at eleven, straight from work and beams, clapping Scott on the shoulder and kissing Allison’s cheek. Melissa keeps bursting into tears but no one minds because Allison and Scott keep doing the same thing.
At one, Stiles’ phone start getting irritating.
By three, he’s got thirty missed calls and listened to four increasingly stressed sounding voicemails from Danny with a terse congratulations to be passed on to Scott and Allison when he realizes where Stiles must be.
Derek’s is the only text Stiles replies to all day and it’s to gratefully agree to a ride home at five.
“Don’t stay away for too long this time, man,” Scott says as they pull apart when Stiles is getting ready to leave.
Stiles juts his chin at the baby in Allison’s arms and grins. “Like anyone could stop me.”
Scott scrunches up his face and fixes him with a serious look. “Dude, I know this year’s been crazy for us both, but actually I think a lot of things could stop you.”
Stiles stares at him, arms hanging limply by his sides. “I’m—I’m trying,” he says faintly, voice breaking suddenly and Scott smiles, pats his arm.
“I know you are bro’, I just don’t want you to feel like you’re missing your life.”
To most people Stiles already lives the life. He’s got the cars, he’s got the money, he’s even got the fabulous blonde bombshell for his arm (though Erica would castrate him if she even thought he was thinking of trying to date her), she’s still blonde and fabulous and on his side though. But to Scott, to his dad and to everyone here, the life is home, with his family, having dates with stupidly hot nerds who get up in the middle of the night to drive you to the hospital with no complaints.
Stiles is so fucking lost.
“I can’t tell Danny to stop everything, man.”
Scott shrugs. “Then don’t, just, come home more. You looked better this time, you know, like you’ve been eating right or something. Did you take those vitamins my mom suggested?”
Stiles can’t help but grin at him and opens the door, blowing one last kiss to Allison. “Nah, it wasn’t the vitamins.”
Derek’s waiting for him in the parking lot, casually leaning against the car and Stiles feels his heart clench. He absolutely cannot be feeling that way yet. It’s so dangerous. He’s going to end up utterly heartbroken if he’s not careful.
He smiles anyway, clamps down on the butterflies he gets when Derek smiles back and shows him a picture of the new baby.
“I hope she gets her mother’s jawline,” Derek says thoughtfully. Stiles barks out a laugh and punches him on the shoulder to defend his friend’s honour. Derek hunches up his arm, full on grinning before pushing him up against the car and kissing him.
Apparently, Derek likes kissing Stiles as much as Stiles likes kissing Derek.
“So, what are you doing next Tuesday,” Derek asks when they pull apart.
“Hmmm? Oh, I’ll be in Detroit all week; we gotta get contractors in to look at the structure of the new office building and Erica’s arranged interviews with the best in the area.”
Derek slowly drops his hands from where they’re cupping Stiles’ jaw. “Oh, yeah,” he steps away. “I forgot you had work.”
“I’ll be back after that!” Stiles says brightly. “No, wait, no I have a—”
“Stiles,” Derek interrupts him, kisses his hand and then heads round to the driver’s side. “Don’t worry about it.”
Stiles does worry about it.
He worries about Derek finding someone else while he’s gone. Someone who lives in the area and likes to read the news from a paper or someone who can actually walk on their hands. He worries about his dad’s cholesterol and whether or not he’s looking after himself.
He worries about Lydia trying to determine if her wedding dress will fit from online viewings and when the last time she saw Boyd was.
He worries about Danny and the way he looked ten years younger the second he was asleep in the grey squishy armchair.
He worries about Scott freaking out in the middle of the night when Chloe’s a month old or two, and Allison’s asleep and he won’t want to wake her; and he’s supposed to be able to call his best friend... But, Stiles is in Singapore and no use to him, thousands of miles away.
He worries he’s not looking after his people the way he’s supposed to.
At six am on the thirty first he climbs out of the window of his bedroom (so as not to wake his dad) and drives out to Derek’s place.
He’s supposed to be packing, but he never really bothered taking anything out of his suitcase in the first place. Erica’s already taken a flight back to New York and Stiles is scheduled on one for later.
Derek’s sitting on the porch when he gets there, still wearing Stiles’ shirt from earlier and reading a battered copy of The Fourth Hand. He looks up when he sees Stiles get out, pushes thick rimmed glasses not so different to Stiles’ up his nose and stands.
“You’re out early.”
“I didn’t go to bed.” Stiles barrels into Derek's chest suddenly, arms wrapping round him like an octopus. “I don’t know what I’m doing anymore.”
Derek’s tense in his arms for a second, before slowly he places one hand at the nape of Stiles’ neck and the other on his shoulders. “You know where I am when you come home,” he says finally.
Stiles nods, and then straightens up, kisses him once, twice, like before. Derek’s eyes soften like he remembers.
“See you around,” Stiles whispers. Even though he knows he won’t. That Derek won’t be at any more luncheons, that he missed his chance to see him at one and now he’ll forever be looking and not seeing him. Derek won’t be at any parties or around to drag him to the movies or play chess with him or anything.
Derek’s home now. And Stiles isn’t. Stiles has been a fucking nomad since he was about seventeen. He doesn’t know how to stop.
“Yeah,” Derek says quietly. “See you.”
He gets one foot in the airport and shakes his head. “No.”
Danny pauses from shouting down the phone beside him and frowns. “What?”
“Dude, look at us.”
“I’m twenty five and I’ve seen more hotels than most people see in a lifetime. I spent more time on the phone to a dude in Hong Kong this year than I did with my best friend. I might possibly have just chosen to expand into something I don’t want over awesome sex for the rest of my life. I won’t know unless I have time to find out and I— need time! I can’t do this.”
Danny snaps his phone shut and stares at him, wide eyed, “You don’t want this?”
“No! Do you? Do you really want any more money, man? You never gave a shit about that before, we don’t need it right?”
“I know, Stiles, I thought this was what you wanted. I don’t give a fuck if we go back to working out of your basement.”
Stiles breaks out into a smile and claps him on the shoulder, “I love you, man.”
Danny rolls his eyes but cuffs him round the neck fondly, “Yeah, same. Erica said she thought you might be having a change of heart soon, anyway,” he adds with a smirk.
“I don’t—that girl is a liar and nothing she ever says is true.”
“She’s run your life for over five years, Stiles, I think she knows you pretty well. And I think she’s right,” Danny adds, squinting at him. “You didn’t stop giving Derek Hale come fuck me eyes all through dinner last week.”
“That’s—beside the point! I did not have an existential crisis over Derek Hale and his impossible hotness, you know.”
“I wouldn’t blame you,” Danny says casually, adjusting his own bag. “He is pretty hot.”
“It wasn’t about Derek!” His heart skitters in his chest when he suddenly realises Derek thinks he’s just left, possibly for weeks, and it’s New Year’s Eve.
“Oh my god, what if he hooks up with someone else tonight?”
“I don’t think—”
“I gotta go! I gotta—shit, tell Erica I’m sorry! Hey, hey!” He skids outside and yells at the nearest cab. “Can you get me back to Beacon Hills in twenty minutes?”
The cab driver snorts and Stiles waves all the money he has in his wallet at him. “You can keep all the change.”
They pull into town in fifteen and Stiles leaps from the cab. He has no fucking idea where Derek is.
As casually as he can he texts Derek wishing him a Happy New Year, avoids adding please don’t have sex with anyone else before tomorrow and asks instead what he’s up to.
To his surprise Derek calls him back. “Shouldn’t you be on a plane right now?”
“I—I didn’t get on the plane.”
Derek huffs. “Kind of defeats the purpose of flying somewhere.”
“I’m not going, I mean, I’m standing in the middle of town right now.”
He hears Derek suck in a surprised breath. “What?”
“I don’t wanna go. I don’t care about any of it, well I do, you know, I like my company. But I don’t like that it’s becoming less and less mine and I don’t like that I might miss my god daughter growing up or my dad eating right or, or maybe going on stuff like dates with you.”
A car door slams and then the line is quiet for a second.
“Stiles, what are you asking me?”
“I don’t know I mean, fuck, I really like you. You can be a total jerk but you’re also stupidly fucking sweet, and no one else beats me at poker, man, I mean no one. And you like John Irving and you’re adorable when you’re sleepy Derek, like, all kinds of adorable. So I just thought maybe we could skip work for a while, I heard you’re free anyway, and maybe take a break? Have a lot of awesome, mind blowing sex and—”
“Oh, right... Okay then?”
“Stiles,” he can hear Derek almost laughing. “You’re an idiot but I don’t walk on my hands for just anyone, you know.”
“God, was that your attempt at courtship?”
“Shut up, no, just. I really think you should come over tomorrow and I can tell you all the things I like about you, map some of them out with my tongue.”
Stiles sets off at a jog through town because no, that is so happening tonight. He could not feel like more of a crazy person, either. There are car horns beeping at him and he knows he looks insane but fuck it, it’s New Year’s Eve, hopefully everybody looks insane and he’s just blending in.
“Where are you?”
“Going home, traffic’s shit and I’m stuck on main street, why?”
“I told you, I came back into town and I’m so not going home without you. How far down are you?”
“What do you mean?”
“You’re stuck on main street, just tell me how far down you are. Are you closer to the bank or the sheriff’s department.”
“The bank—Stiles what are you—”
“Derek!” Stiles yells and weaves through traffic when he sees Derek’s Camaro idling between a shitty old Civic and a green Comet.
Derek gets out of the car, and he’s wearing the same tie from the night in the airport and holding his phone to his ear looking all kinds of hot and confused. Stiles dodges a suddenly moving cab before practically vaulting himself into Derek’s arms and kissing him.
Derek drops his phone to catch him, one hand winding round his waist and the other grabbing at his hair, scraping against the back of his neck, clutching at him everywhere he can. The bells are going nuts from the church and people are cheering and there are fucking fireworks going off but Stiles doesn’t care how cliché it all is because when he pulls back to look at Derek he’s smiling at Stiles fondly.
“You’re a fucking loon,” he says.
“Happy New Year to you, too.”
A year later, tanned and more relaxed than he’s ever been in his life Stiles drops his canvas bag on the floor and tugs at the tie around his eyes. “Seriously, Derek? I know where we are.”
Derek’s hands slide round his waist, stroking up and down, “That’s not the point.”
“The point is, you are secretly a romantic nerd.”
“Takes one to know one.”
“Who is also twelve years old.”
“Shut up,” and then Derek’s kissing him and Stiles reaches up to pull off the tie, tossing it on the ground and peeking round Derek’s shoulder as Derek kisses behind his ear.
“Oh, Derek.” The motel room itself hasn’t changed at all but Derek’s obviously had someone change the sheets, light a bunch of candles and there’s a pack of playing cards on the desk.
Stiles beams at him. “You’re something sweet, you know that?”
“Mmmm,” Derek pushes him towards the bed. “So are you, now take your pants off. Our flight home’s in four hours.”