Stiles doesn’t think he and Derek are soulmates. He doesn’t. The fact that he has Derek’s name, like, tattooed on his hip since the day he was born doesn’t mean anything.
See, everyone is born with the first name of their soulmate on their skin. It’s not exactly a tattoo, more like a birthmark barely darker than the skin tone so you need to be checking for it to really see it. It helps the fact that nobody is supposed to know who is your soulmate except you. Not until you find that person who is supposed to complete you.
Stiles’ birthmark is on his left hip and it reads ‘Derek’ and when he was young he befriended all Dereks he crossed paths with just in case his soulmate was one of them. (They all weren’t.)
His dad told him this wasn’t the good way, that you’re not supposed to search your soulmate, that the mark is there only to confirm it but, well, Stiles thinks it’s bullshit. If the mark was there only for confirmation, then it would happen after you met the right person, not on the day you are born.
He stopped searching anyway. It does not work like that.
Anyway, point. Derek is not his soulmate. He can’t be.
Stiles visualized the first time he would met his soulmate. He imagined butterflies in the stomach and his breathe being taken away and maybe some eyes looking into the depth of the other's searching the meaning of life, something like that.
The first time Stiles met Derek, though, Derek showed teeth and growled at him and Stiles might admit he was scared one day, if tortured. He's pretty sure he wouldn't deal well with torture anyway.
Also Derek is the best when it comes to frustrate Stiles in ways inimaginable. And he isn't scared to do it. Damn, the guy really is frustrating and not only because of how good looking he looks in any clothes (any clothes, really) but also because he likes to use Stiles' best and only defense against him and leaves Stiles without a come back. He looks so smug when he beats Stiles with sarcasm that Stiles can't even be that mad at him, dammit.
Stiles really hates Derek and no, they are not soulmates. That's final.
"How did you know it was mom ?" Stiles asks his dad one day.
The sheriff actually stops watching the game he is currently watching to look at him and Stiles can't say he didn't wait for his dad to watch the game before asking him that so it can pass as innocent and not like a death or life question. His dad always manages to ruin his plans, he should have known better. Even though he thought this time he wouldn't, because his dad's been talking about this game since, like, a whole week.
"Why are you asking me that all of the sudden ? Did you- wait- Hale ?"
Stiles almost chokes with his own saliva and how does that even happen ?
"No, no no no no," he says quickly when he's recovered. "Me and Derek ? I mean, me and Derek Hale ? Because, hopefully, one day, there will be a me and Derek, but I don't know who this is yet, so, there. Not Derek Hale, no, come on, dad. And you say you're the sheriff ?" Stiles tries to laugh, but it sounds nervous.
He hopes his dad doesn't know he spent the day with Derek Hale, because it would be really suspicious.
It's not like they did anything special, even, for Stiles to suddenly think Derek and he are meant to be. They watched a movie and Derek let him ramble as it was playing and even snorted at some of his rambling. They made sandwiches when they happened to be both hungry. Not, like, together. They made their own sandwiches and Derek's one looked delicious. Okay, so they ended up sharing sandwiches. It's not a proposal, okay. (Derek's share of his sandwhich was so really good, Stiles will be dreaming about it.)
So, Derek was nice this afternoon. No big deal. He was wearing a soft blue t-shirt and looked happier somehow, as if comfortable clothes change a world, which, well, they do. Stiles liked that look on him. Both the clothes and the happiness.
The smile, god.
"Well, he's a good person," Stiles' dad says, bringing Stiles back into focus. "I'm just saying I'd be okay with that, even if he's a bit older."
"Well," Stiles clears his throat, "thanks, I guess ? But I was just wondering. About you and mom. How it worked."
"I just knew," his dad shrugs. "Not because of the mark, I knew even before she told me her name."
Not his soulmate, then. Not that he thought Derek could be.
"I found her," is what Scott says.
He's grinning ear to ear and Stiles feels something in his heart, a weird mix of happiness and jealousy. Where the hell does that jealousy come from ? he wonders as he shoves it away and wraps his arms around Scott in a hug.
"Dude, that's awesome !"
"I need to find a way to speak to her," Scott sighs dreamily and, what.
"You didn't talk to her ?" Stiles frowns. "How are you sure it's her ? Do you know her name ?"
Scott shakes his head. Stiles is starting to see a pattern in the research of your soulmate.
"I know it's her, okay ?" Scott insists. "She is beautiful and, dude, she has dimples and it's the most adorable thing I ever saw. And I heard her talking with her friend and she's so smart and perfect, I'm just-" There's another dreaming sigh, just there, and Stiles restrains himself to say that listening to her talking with her friend sounds a bit creepy in the stalker way.
"I believe you, buddy," Stiles claps his shoulder. "Just go for it. Talk to her."
"What if she turns me down ?" Scott does the puppy eyes thing. It's unfair how well he masterizes that.
"You're her soulmate, she won't turn you down," Stiles smiles encouragingly.
"Yeah, okay," Scott smiles back, reassured.
"Keep me updated," Stiles tells Scott few hours later when Scott leaves him.
Two days later, he receives a message from Scott. We're having coffee ! I didn't even know I like coffee ! Stiles laughs at that but doesn't reply. Instead he texts Derek.
You busy ?
His phone rings a few seconds later, which pleases Stiles. You can come over, Derek replies. Derek knows him well.
"Scott found his soulmate," Stiles tells Derek as he walks in Derek's loft without knocking.
"Do the names match ?" Derek replies from his couch.
He looked relaxed, a beer in hand and it also pleases Stiles to know Derek doesn't mind him around when he wants to relax. With a smile, Stiles flops next to him, puts his feet on the coffee table. Derek elbows him.
"Feet off," he orders.
"I don't know," Stiles finally replies, taking off his feet from the table. "I'm not even sure they checked. He's just so sure about all of that."
Derek hums in response. "This whole soulmates thing is ridiculous."
Stiles looks at him with wide eyes. "You think ?"
He feels weird suddenly, weirdly uncomfortable. He shifts on place, resists the urge to hide the name written on his hip.
Derek turns his head to look at him, lifts his eyebrows at Stiles' movement. "My parents weren't soulmates, they did just fine."
"They weren't ?"
"Mom's real soulmate died in a car accident. I don't know why dad wasn't with his. Though, when they met, it was love at first sight, you know ? It's not because somebody's name is written on you that it's..." Derek searches his words as he rubs his nape. "That it's going to be that."
Stiles stares at Derek with surprise. "I didn't know you could be with someone who wasn't your soulmate."
"It's not commun," the other shrugs, "since pretty much everyone is searching."
Stiles finds that logical.
At that moment, Scott texts him Her name fits my mark and mine hers. Stiles admires his timing. He tells Derek about it.
"That's cool for them," he mumbles before he takes a sip of his beer.
They watch a movie again. Derek gets to choose it because last time Stiles did. Stiles does as if the choice bothered him just to annoy Derek even though Derek's choice is better than good. Derek has great taste with movies, it's almost a shame they aren't soulmates.
Even though Derek said you could date someone who wasn't your soulmate.
Not that Stiles wants to date Derek.
Scott spends a lot of time with his soulmate, whose name is Allison, so Stiles finds himself pretty much alone. He doesn't hold it against Scott, though. If he had his soulmate, Stiles isn't sure he wouldn't be the same.
So he spends time with Derek instead. Well, more time with him.
He ends up meeting Derek's best friends, Erica and Boyd - who are soulmates, he feels is worth mentionning.
Why is he surrounded by soulmates ? Isn't this supposed to be a magical thing ? Hard to find ? It's true there is more couple that are soulmates than couples that aren't but, well. Life is weird, if everyone can find their soulmate but him. Not that he's actively searching.
So he meets Erica and Boyd. One afternoon, after he texts Derek to ask if he could stop by and Derek agrees, he stops by and Derek already have his friends over. Stiles almost backpedals, apologies, before Derek stops him.
"Don't be silly," he says, and it makes Stiles feels.
Erica, Stiles thinks, could quickly become his own best friend if he spends more time with her. She's just that awesome. Of course, Scott holds the first place as best friend, but she could be his honorary best friend or something.
Boyd is quieter than her, reminds him more of Derek, and he thinks that's why they all fit together.
The afternoon he spends with them and Derek is awesome, and when they're gone and it's just them both, he almost misses them.
Maybe because before they create a distraction, because they were what stopped them to be together alone- again. It's not weird, being alone with Derek, he's used to it now, but this time Stiles is highly aware of the fact.
"Do you have to go home soon ?" Derek asks, breaking the silence that installed itself after Derek closed the door behind his friends.
Stiles looks at his watch, it's past 7pm. "I don't think dad waited for me for dinner."
"I have spaghetti sauce, if you're up for pastas."
Stiles is always up for pastas. "I'm always up for pastas," he smiles.
When Derek takes the pot out of the fridge and Stiles sees that it's homemade sauce, he thinks he falls a little bit in love with him.
The problem with him and spending more time with Derek is that he can't keep lying to himself anymore.
He can't pretend that a soft Derek, wearing comfy clothes and having a bed head when he arrives at the first hour of the morning with some breakfast, isn't the sight he likes the most.
He can't pretend that getting used to Derek's apartment, his life and his friends, doesn't make him happy.
He can't pretend that after a while, he doesn't see his place in Derek's life. Not when Derek always let him his favorite side of the couch, or knows what to cook for him when he's in a bad mood, or let him fall asleep while they're watching a movie.
He can't pretend that something isn't happening, or that he feels bad for the "other Derek" who is supposedly made for him.
His dad asks him again about Derek Hale. He started to notice, he says, that he keeps sleeping there.
"It's not on purpose," Stiles replies, a bit annoyed.
They had this talk. Sure, things changed for him (or did they ? Was he really not feeling for Derek Hale before ?) but he doesn't want to talk about this.
"Maybe not," his dad agrees, "but for this to happen you have to be there a lot."
"You never said anything when I was sleeping at Scott's a lot."
"Scott's name isn't the one you have on you, son."
Stiles sighs longly, deeply at that. "Derek's not my soulmate, I told you. I'd know if he was."
"He doesn't need to be."
After his converstion with his dad, Stiles stops going at Derek's so much. It's better for him, he thinks. Maybe he's starting to have feelings for Derek but it doesn't mean Derek is having for him as well.
He doesn't know how he'd react if it was confirmed to him that Derek doesn't.
He gets a bit bored, not seeing Derek or Scott, but he watches the tv shows he needed to catch up on and watches some movies.
While watching every one of them he thinks about the comments Derek would make.
He gets the text almost a week after he decided to see Derek less.
Actually he didn't go see Derek yet, since he made that decision. He's a pretty radical guy, apparantly.
Are you ok ?
He doesn't reply right away, tells himself he'll do it late and continues to watch his movie.
One hour later, hen there's a knock on his door, he only expects his dad so he doesn't even look away from his computer when he says "Come in."
He hears the door open and then:
"Well, I guess you are ok."
He turns around at Derek's voice, heart beating a little bit quicker than normal. He's surprised, that's all.
"What are you doing here ?" he asks.
Derek is wearing is softest grey t-shirt, the one Stiles knows is his favorite, and he looks concerned. Stiles doesn't like that look on him. The t-shirt yes, but not the face.
"I didn't get news from you in a while." Derek shifts on his feet. "Your dad let me in."
Of course he did, Stiles thinks. Because his dad is a traitor.
He doesn't know what to reply to that, so he doesn't. The silence stretches until Derek takes a step and asks if he can come in. Stiles nods.
Derek sits on his desk chair and, somehow, it's weird to see him in his own room. Stiles always went at Derek's, Derek never came here before.
"You know," Derek starts speaking softly "my mom always told us soulmates were overrated. She loved hers and she was happy she got her chance with him, but she always said that with my dad, she was the happiest and the luckiest. Luckiest because it's with him she could live her life, have a family with. Happiest because they could choose each other, and they did."
"Isn't love better when you get to choose with who to share it ?" Derek continues. "I always thought it would be, and that's why I never searched for my soulmate. I didn't even care. I just want to be with someone I feel good with, someone who makes me happy. Someone who feels like home."
He stops talking then, and Stiles's heart didn't stop beating fast.
"Why are you telling me this ?"
"I've missed you this week," Derek replies with a small smile. "I love having you around."
Stiles's heart might explose right there, but before it does, Stiles takes a deep breathe and says: "The name of my soulmate is Derek."
Derek gets a confused look on his face. "But I'm not- we're not- I don't have your name on me."
"I know, but you feel like home."
After a few weeks of dating, Stiles sees the name on Derek. It's on his leg, near his ankle and it reads the name Paige. "I'm sorry Paige, this one belongs with me," he says with a smile.
Derek smiles back, kisses him.
"Hey, maybe your Paige and my Derek will get together !" he adds. Derek lifts his eyebrows at 'my Derek'. "You know what I mean. Anyway I hope they're not too sad we stole their soulmate."
Derek hums. "They should be fine. Did I tell you ? I know what happens to my dad's soulmate. Laura told me the other day."
"What happened ?"
"She did like us, choose someone else before she found him. And then he met my mom."
"How did Laura know ?"
"Apparantly she found him later," Derek explains. "They became friends."
"So we should search for our soulmates ?"
"You know it doesn't work like that."
"I really do," Stiles smiles, cuddles closer to Derek after kissing him.
The movie start and in this moment, wearing Derek's most comfiest t-shirt, he never felt more at home.