Okay, so the brownies were meant to be a gesture of affection. Everyone loves chocolate, right? And the way to a werewolf’s heart definitely had to be food, the sweet kind especially that didn’t require picking out bits of fur of a snared rabbit from one’s teeth afterward. That’s how his mom won over his dad. With brownies. Not rabbits. How was Stiles supposed to know that Derek was the only werewolf on the freaking planet who somehow had an allergy to nuts? Because werewolves were supposed to be immune to that kind of shit, right?
Which is exactly what he says to Isaac when he gets to the Hale house, expecting to hear rave reviews regarding his baba’s secret brownie recipe (the secret is finely crushed nuts added to the batter) only to find Derek holed up in one of the back rooms he’s using as a bedroom and refusing to come out.
Isaac shrugs. “He said it was a freak genetic anomaly.”
“It can’t be that bad, though, right?” Stiles insists. “I mean, werewolves heal. Even those with allergies.”
Isaac shrugs again and Stiles thinks he’s going to have to have a talk with Isaac about spending so much time with Scott because even their shrugs are starting to look the same.
“I wouldn’t go in there,” Isaac warns as Stiles stalks bravely to the room with the intention of entering it.
Stiles huffs at him then pushes open the door to where Derek is hiding like a pouty wolf. Really, it can’t be that bad.
He finds Derek burrowed under covers on a mattress in the corner.
“Go away,” Derek growl-mumbles from under the covers.
Stiles puffs out a sigh. “Come on, Derek. It can’t be that bad.” He pulls stubbornly at the covers shrouding Derek. “You gotta be healing already. Don’t be such a ba—holy crap!” Stiles takes a hasty step back and almost falls to the floor but somehow manages to right himself. “Those are hives,” he says needlessly, finding himself unable to stop staring. “Big, huge, gigantic, freaking hives. All over your face.”
Derek grumbles something ominously and pulls the covers back over his head.
Stiles can take a hint. He backs carefully and quietly out of the room. Isaac is leaning against the wall, hands in pockets, eyebrows raised.
“Dude,” Stiles says. “Derek’s got hives!” He waves his hand about his face dramatically. “Like big, freakin’ werewolf-weird hives.”
“I told you not to go in there,” Isaac says and Stiles swears he hears the beta wolf tsk. And, really, what kind of a werewolf tsks?
Yeah, thinks Stiles. He had brought an alpha werewolf down with his nuts.
Wow. Didn’t that sound way hotter in theory.
He definitely should have gone with the snared rabbit.
He’d made a CD for Lydia once. When he was twelve and had started to realize his infatuation with the strawberry blonde girl-goddess wasn’t going to go away anytime soon. Stiles had put all his favourite songs on it, which were mostly from barely known indie bands whose song lyrics had deep meaning and shit. Lydia had hated it. But she’d at least listened to the first couple of songs.
“Oh hey, what’s this?” Stiles says stealthily casual as he takes up his spot as shotgun in Derek’s camaro.
Derek frowns at the CD Stiles has picked up off the console and shrugs like he has no idea how the disc got there. And why should he? Stiles is S-M-double O-smooth.
“Pop it in,” Derek tells him brusquely as he pulls the car out from the curb and merges it onto the street.
Stiles does as he’s told, leaning forward and sliding the CD into the car’s dashboard player. He coughs, effectively stifling the sudden nervous laughter that seems to have bubbled up then settles back into the cushy leather seat.
He expects to hear Death Cab For Cutie’s ‘This Charming Man’, the deep meaning song he’d chosen to lead with. Instead, what he hears is a scratchy whining noise that is definitely not supposed to be there.
“Something’s wrong with it,” Derek says flatly, casting a scowl at the player. “Eject it.”
Stiles pushes the eject button. He hears the whirling of the player’s mechanism but the disc doesn’t spit out. He pushes the eject button again. Still nothing but a whirling grating sound that suggests the CD is stuck.
Stiles goes to hit eject again but Derek slaps his hand away then pounds his fist on the eject button. The CD flies out of the player like a demon exorcised and lands on the console between them. Before Stiles can even react, Derek snatches it up, crumbles it in his big hand, powers down his window and tosses it out.
Stiles gapes at him. “Nice. Littering. You littered,” he chastises. “You’re a litter wolf now.”
“So not cool, dude.”
“You know what I should do? I should report you,” Stiles tells him, reaching into his jeans pocket and plucking out his cell phone. “Consider it my civic duty to report you,” he continues, tapping random buttons that are probably not the number to the Report Littering! hotline. “For litt--”
And there goes his cell phone out the window.
Stiles gapes again, this time wide-eyed and speechless for a full minute. Because freaking werewolves, man, with sour dispositions.
“You have serious anger issues,” Stiles accuses, crossing his arms against his chest with a huff.
Derek raises an eyebrow.
“Like Ted Bundy anger issues.”
The eyebrow goes a notch higher.
“You’re so buying me a new phone,” Stiles tells him, jabbing a finger into Derek’s hard and sculpted bicep. This was the third cell phone to meet its end in a month. His dad was going to kill him.
Derek’s eyebrow drops back down into a scowl.
The ride back to the Hale house is pretty much silent after that. Stiles, however, maintains an internal dialogue that consists mostly of curse words and mutterings about grumpy sourwolves and good plans gone awry.
Three instructional websites, four YouTube how-to videos, and twenty-six practice hours later and his origami wolf is destroyed in a millisecond when Boyd hops up onto the charred but still standing counter in the Hale house kitchen, a slice of pizza in each hand, and crushes the paper art with his wolfy ass.
Yeah. How did Stiles’ life become such a clusterfuck?
He is still contemplating his clusterfuck of a life when, later, he watches Derek rake a big arm across the counter top, clearing the remnants of the pizza dinner straight into the trash bin, tossing the crushed paper wolf out along with the rest of the garbage. He thinks it definitely says something about his life and his acceptance of it that he barely even cringes.
“Where’s your skates?”
Derek cocks a confused eyebrow. “My skates?”
“Yeah,” Stiles says, gesturing widely at the ice rink just beyond. “For skating.”
Derek narrows his eyes suspiciously. “Your text said to meet at the arena for a pack thing.” He casts a quick look around. “Where are the others?”
Stiles sighs. “Yeah. They couldn’t make it,” he lies, and takes a moment to feel smug that he’s lied enough in the past year that his heartbeat barely even blips. He so wishes he could take a lie detector test right now because he would totally beat it.
Derek raises both eyebrows this time and Stile hopes he isn’t going to make a big suspicious werewolf deal about it. “So there’s no pack thing then? Which means I can go home and--”
“What? Go home?” This is not in Stiles’ plan. “So you can go back to sharpening your claws and practising your growl or whatever it is that alpha werewolves do in their spare time. No, Derek,” he says firmly. “You’re here. So you might as well skate with, uh, me.”
Stiles tries not to gulp while Derek stares at him for a long moment. He absolutely does not let out a breath when Derek shrugs as if to say ‘why not’. So they get Derek fitted with a pair of rental skates and Derek follows Stiles to the rink where, luckily, only a dozen or so people are already skating.
The plan is back in motion.
Stiles is not sure what he had expected but Derek being an awkward baby deer on ice, flailing and falling and flailing and falling some more, was definitely not in his top ten list of contenders.
Wow. And Stiles thought Derek was good at everything. Clearly inviting a werewolf to go skating was so not a good plan.
“How can you not know how to skate?” Stiles expresses incredulously as he assists a battered but already healing (thank fuck) Derek off the ice rink to the safety (both Derek’s and everyone else’s) of the nearest seating surface.
Derek directs a murderous scowl at him, pushing Stiles away roughly as he sinks down on the bench. “Never needed to,” he grits out through seriously clenched teeth and Stiles can practically see the steam rolling off him.
That he’s embarrassed and angry is only reaffirmed when Derek yanks off the skates and hurls them fiercely at the sideboards, the blades of the skates wedging rather dramatically into the wood.
Stiles lets out a high-pitched squeak then frowns. “Yeah. There goes any chance of getting my rental deposit back,” he remarks dryly.
Derek growls ominously while shooting him alpha eye-daggers and mutters, “Just get my damn boots, Stiles.”
Stiles had asked Derek to come over under the pretence (well it was only half-pretence) of needing to share vital information about forest faeries he had come across during a random google search of supernatural beings. (What does it say about his life that he was even doing random google searches of this nature?)
Which is why Derek is currently sitting on the end of his bed, listening as Stiles gestures wildly while he talks. The gesturing is, of course, normal for him but Stiles also hopes to use it as a mild distraction as he stealthily rolls his desk chair closer and closer.
Thinking his best approach is to catch Derek off-guard, he leans forward in the chair mid-sentence. His eyes are focused on the target – Derek’s mouth – and there’s less than two feet to close between them.
But just as Stiles plunges forward to claim his prize, Derek leans back, shifting the target. Stiles falls ungracefully from the chair and face-plants into the carpet.
He pops up quickly.
“Are you kidding me,” Stiles expresses, running a hand over his hair. Derek is staring at him, his eyebrow cocked in disbelief at Stiles’ show of awkward clumsiness. Stiles slaps a hand to his forehead. “You know what?” he says. “I give up. You,” he points a frustrated finger at Derek, “are not an easy sourwolf to woo!”
Derek’s eyebrows furrow. “To what?”
“Woo, Derek!” Stiles all but shouts. “To seek the affection of with the intent to romance,” he defines. Not because he thinks that Derek doesn’t know what ‘woo’ means but because he’s frustrated beyond other words, okay? “The brownies, the CD, the origami wolf, going skating, this...” He throws his arms up to emphasize his exasperation. “All of it ended in complete disaster. ”
“Oh, so that’s what this was,” Derek says, standing and reaching into his jeans pocket. He pulls out the flattened and squashed paper wolf. “Origami?”
He looks amused (and maybe even a little impressed) and if Stiles wasn’t so frustrated over what an epic fail he was at wooing a certain sourwolf, he might have appreciated that Derek had apparently not only salvaged but had kept the origami wolf Stiles had made for him. Instead, he just runs a hand over his hair and blows out a heavy sigh.
He doesn’t even have time to attempt to stifle the squawk when Derek hooks an arm smoothly around him, pulling Stiles flush to his body, puts a hand on the back of his neck, and kisses him.
It’s soft and warm and slow, and it sends delicious shivers down Stiles’ spine and makes the rest of his body want oh so much.
“Should’ve just went with that in the first place,” Derek tells him when he finally pulls back, allowing Stiles to catch his breath. He still looks amused but Stiles can see want and lust in his usual neutral to grumpy expression. “Instead of trying to kill me with nuts in brown--”
“It’s my baba’s recipe!” Stiles huffs defensively. “And werewolves shouldn’t even have allergies!”
“It’s a genetic anomaly,” Derek grumbles.
Stiles is tempted to cut him some slack but he’s still having nightmares about those hives, so. “Warn a guy next time, will ya?” he says. “Because those hives were--” Stiles shudders just thinking about them.
Derek chuckles then holds up the mutilated paper wolf. “Can you make me another one of these?” he asks and – god – he’s looking at Stiles from under his eyelashes and Stiles’ knees are going very, very weak.
Stiles clears his throat and attempts to maintain his footing. “It’ll take me, like, another ten hours but, sure,” he agrees. He still has the instructional videos bookmarked. He can totally origami up another wolf.
“And you backed up that CD, right?” Derek says, his look still sexy and coy.
Stiles shrugs nonchalantly. “Think so.” Of course, he had backed up the CD. He has learned quickly over the past year that everything in his life requires backup.
Derek’s look now becomes less sexy and coy. “But no skating,” he states firmly. “Ever again.”
Stiles huffs out a laugh. “Definitely not. I have no desire to repeat that particular disaster.”
“And no brownies with nu--”
“Yeah, yeah - no nuts,” Stiles says, waving his arms around. He gives Derek a coy (and hopefully sexy) look of his own. “Can we get back to kissing now?” he asks impatiently.
Derek grins and moves in closer to Stiles. “Yeah,” he says a little breathlessly and Stiles’ own breath catches. “I think it’s safe to do that.”