“I think the new guy in my Folklore class is an alien,” Stiles says, spearing a chicken nugget on the end of his fork and shoving it in his mouth before nodding over at the subject in question.
Scott’s gaze follows his across the crowded cafeteria, unsure who exactly he’s supposed to be looking at until he sees the broad-shouldered, artfully stubbled guy helping himself to a large portion of lettuce at the salad bar.
It’s no wonder the guy has caught Stiles’s attention enough for Stiles to form conspiracy theories around him; objectively speaking, he is exactly Stiles’s type.
“You mean Derek Hale?” Scott says, tilting his head to one side as he considers the oversized leather jacket Derek is wearing-- despite the fact it’s about ninety degrees out-- and the lack of sweat on his brow. “Yeah,” he agrees after a moment. “I guess that would make sense.”
From what Scott knows of him, Derek is kind of other-worldly. He’s athletic and intelligent and efficient, and rumour has it he has an eidetic memory. If you think about it, these are all qualities that would be desirable in an extraterrestrial visitor who wants to integrate into human society.
“How do you know his name?” Stiles asks, narrowing his eyes suspiciously.
Scott shrugs, hiding a small smirk behind his sandwich.
“We have to trade gym slots for our group training sessions sometimes.”
Stiles gives him a blank look at that, which could mean either that he hasn’t progressed to the actual stalking stage of his obsession with Derek yet, or just that he wants Scott to think he hasn’t. Scott is inclined to suspect the latter.
“You know,” he prompts, playing along regardless. Sometimes it’s easier just to humour Stiles. “He’s captain of the basketball team, and I have to arrange to trade gym slots with him when people can’t make it to our sessions because he’s the only other captain who isn’t a total dick about it.”
Stiles’s expression darkens.
“Of course he is.”
Scott watches Derek as he carries his salad-laden tray over to an empty table and sits down, apparently unbothered about the fact he’s sitting alone at lunch.
“Hey, speaking of training,” Scott says. “Are you still gonna come to lacrosse try-outs next week? I think you’ve got a pretty good chance of making first line this semester if you--”
“Yeah yeah, sport is life, whatever,” Stiles says, waving him off. “Listen, Scottie. I’m going to conduct an alien investigation.” He lowers his voice and leans forward over the table as he speaks, as if this is a secret that should be treated as a matter of national security. “See how he reacts to stuff in class, keep track of any suspicious mannerisms he has.”
Scott raises an eyebrow at him.
“Suspicious mannerisms?” he repeats.
“Yeah, like if he scratches a lot and stuff like that.”
“Since when is scratching an indication that someone is an alien?”
“Well, Scott, he has to wear human skin for long periods of time without any breaks,” Stiles points out flatly, as if this is in some way an obvious conclusion that Scott should have reached on his own. “It might not fit properly, or maybe it would feel uncomfortable or something.”
“Right,” Scott agrees, and resolutely decides to stay out of this.
Alien Investigation, Day One.
Subject (DH) appeared to be confused when I sat beside him in our morning lecture and introduced myself. There was an unnecessarily long pause after I asked him his current whereabouts. I suspect there were some language difficulties as it was quite obvious from the title he wrote down (in computer-like print) in his notebook he knew that he was in a lecture. I asked a couple of more questions during the pause, so as not to make his blunder obvious and embarrassing. Subject remained confused and somewhat shocked. Perhaps he was waiting for directions from his mothership. Finally managed to get answers some minutes later, though he appeared very reluctant to speak. When I asked if he wanted to consume his lunch with me, however, the subject turned red and began to scowl and refused to reply. Seems he was not in full control of his body and/or facial expression at the time.
Obviously I have found several holes in his Human Interaction training. Overall he seems very unused to basic human customs, such as good manners and speaking when spoken to. Will pursue these leads further tomorrow.
“Hello,” Stiles says, taking the empty seat next to Derek in the library and depositing his books in front of him with a loud thump. “How's it going?”
Derek startles, and the perfect letter ‘a’ he was forming in the middle of a perfect paragraph of perfect letters ends up looking more like an ant-sized car crash.
“Um,” he replies carefully, expression vaguely panicked. “Good, I guess?”
“I'm Stiles Stilinski,” Stiles continues, pulling his books out of his bag and dumping it on the floor before he grabs Derek’s hand and shakes it. “It’s really nice to meet you.”
Derek blinks back at him.
“I know your name,” he says. “You told me it yesterday.”
Stiles shrugs. “I thought you might have forgotten it, though.” He gets out one of his Econ textbooks and begins to casually flick through the pages until he finds one that looks suitably complex. Derek seems to make more mistakes when Stiles focuses too much attention on him, like he knows that Stiles is onto him. “But I guess you must have my name stored away somewhere, right?” he continues, not looking up from the large diagram about inflation. “Do you have, like, a memory bank or something?”
“Uh, well, I have a memory.” Derek scratches the back of his neck. “We all do. Right?”
“You all do, do you?” Stiles smiles smugly, looking shrewd.
“Do you have something in your eye?” Derek asks, effectively derailing the conversation before Stiles can ask him any questions that hit too close to home.
His expression knits into one of concern, which looks considerably more genuine than some of the strange faces he was making yesterday; he must have practiced a little after class yesterday.
“What?” Stiles blinks hard, wondering if Derek has enhanced vision or something, but there’s no tell-tale sting under his eyelid. “No. Nothing in my eye. Why?”
“You keep squinting.”
“Actually, I'm looking shrewd,” Stiles informs him generously. “It's a human expression that you may not be familiar with. I think we should date.”
Now it’s Derek’s turn to ask “What?”
His voice goes just a little bit squeaky at the end, like a broken cash machine. Stiles mentally notes down the discrepancy in his usually-level tone as a sign of bugs in the programming.
“We should date because I think you're cute and I want to get to know you,” he elaborates, making another mental note about Derek's complete incapability to find any kind of appropriate response.
Finally, it looks like he's found an alarming hole in Derek’s knowledge with this blitz attack. Dating is clearly something the aliens never suspected Derek would get roped into, something no one thought to prepare Derek for. Maybe they're unaware of just how good looking Derek's human form is.
This might just be Stiles’s way in for exposing him.
Alien Investigation, Day Eight.
Derek agreed to get lunch with me today. I suspect the delay in his response from when I initially asked him out and him officially agreeing to go out with me is due to emergency training he had to undergo at his mothership before he was allowed to attempt ‘dating.’ Though the results gathered may have been more genuine had Derek agreed five days ago instead of now, this is nonetheless a great opportunity for investigation. By acting out a courtship I will be able to observe the subject at close quarters for long periods of time. He's going to give himself away sooner or later-- he's already slipping up far more than he ought to. Not a very successful alien.
This plan depends, however, on the subject (DH) understanding the ritual of human courtship. As it is, he mostly seems confused. Whatever training they put him through up on his spaceship seem only to have confused him further. I think it might be a good idea to introduce him to the idea gently.
Derek finds his friends sitting at a table in the library. Erica is chewing on the end of her pen as she glares down at her stats work. Boyd is engrossed in a bulky-looking Victorian romance novel that Derek-- along with the rest of the twenty-first century-- has never heard of. Isaac is studying his cuticles like they hold the meaning of life.
“Someone left a print-out of a Wikipedia article on courtship under my door,” he says.
Boyd raises an eyebrow at him over the top of his book. “I'm sorry?”
“It’s highlighted and annotated with personalised comments,” he elaborates, waving the stack of paper at them so they can see the bright pink lines that cover the page and the messy scrawl in the margins.
Isaac snorts, snatching the papers out of the air before Derek can stop him. His eyes scan the page quickly before they catch on something particularly ridiculous. “Oh, here's a good one,” he drawls. “The term ‘woo’ carries a very different connotation in The Sims™, a popular life simulation game that may or may not have been employed as part of your education about the human world. In the game, the word ‘Woohoo’ is used as a euphemism for sex. This is not a human term and does not exist outside of the game. Euphemism often plays a large part of human flirtation, however, which often plays a large part in courtship. You may want to look up the term double entendre in your memory bank as preliminary research.”
Erica’s expression goes from amused to judgemental the more Isaac reads.
“Stiles sent you that,” she says. “And you're still gonna get lunch with him?”
Derek feels his cheeks heat.
“The article was technically sent to me anonymously,” he says, a note too defensive. “It might not have been him.”
“Sure.” Boyd rolls his eyes. “It wasn’t him. There’s another weirdo running around convinced you’re not human and trying to date you.”
Erica snickers. “You better bring some tinfoil to lunch. I hear they’re recruiting.”
“He's just kind of weird,” Derek says. “He's not, like, paranoid or delusional or anything.”
“On second thoughts, maybe you should take some holy water with you too,” Boyd adds. “And some garlic. And a wooden steak. Cover all the bases, right?”
“Fuck you,” Derek says lovingly, taking the papers back from Isaac and swatting the top of Boyd’s head with them on his way out of the library.
“Not delusional,” Erica mutters, shaking her head. “The guy thinks Derek is something not human and Derek calls it ‘kind of weird’. I mean, this dude, whatever his name is--”
“Stiles,” Isaac supplies.
“Stiles is cute and all, but he seems to be more than just weird . In fact, if I had to put money on who was an alien masquerading as a human, I'd go for him.”
“Don’t think Derek cares,” Boyd says, turning over a page in his book. “And, if you think about it, who are we to judge true love’s course?”
“This is a movie theatre,” Stiles says, waving the hand that isn’t twined with Derek’s at the large sign with the titles of the movies showing tonight listed on it. “It's a place where humans go for dates. It's also a great place for sneakily making out. Do you know what making out is? Oh yeah, I sent you the article about it, right?”
“You did,” Derek confirms warily. “It was creepy.”
“I suppose it sounds strange, when you're unused to it,” Stiles says thoughtfully. “It's pretty nice, though. Do you have your ticket? You need it to get inside.”
“I--” Derek hesitates for a moment, then sighs. “Yes, I do. Stiles, look, I-- you know I'm not an idiot or anything, right?”
“Of course I know that!” Stiles looks horrified at the implication, and follows up by saying, “I suppose only the most intelligent get chosen to go,” which was, in truth, not at all reassuring.
“Don't be coy.” Stiles purses his lips reproachfully. “Okay, so this next part is where we buy drinks and popcorn. Since I asked you out I’ll pay for both of us this time, but next time you should buy for me, right? It's a gesture.”
“Sure,” Derek replies, bewildered. “But you know, I could--”
“No, no, no,” Stiles’s fingers wrap around Derek’s wrist where he’s reaching for his wallet. “I want you to ease into it. If you do too much too soon you might get overwhelmed and want to break up with me.”
Derek feels himself frown.
“I don’t want to break up with you.”
Stiles beams at him, towing him towards the queue for snacks, and Derek quietly thinks to himself that it’s easy to forgive him for his eccentricities when he smiles like that.
He doesn't really know what Stiles means when he refers to Derek as “one of Them”, or when he makes a point to explain to him how to pay for his coffee with human money, or when he inquiries whether or not the moon really is as dusty as it looks in the pictures. In truth, he doesn't know if Stiles is entirely normal.
He does know that Stiles is the most interesting person he’s ever met, and that he’s crazy pretty (even if this also meant pretty crazy).
Derek also knows that he really wants to kiss Stiles at some point in the near future, and maybe rub his nose along the constellation of freckles on Stiles's cheek, and that this might just be the perfect chance. They have been sort of dating for almost three weeks, after all, and Stiles chose them seats right at the back of a pretty shitty movie that will probably only have about ten other people watching it, and he sent Derek that article, and--
Derek has got a good feeling about this date, is all.
They get to halfway through the movie before Derek starts to think he’s misread the situation. He’s nervous as fuck, and Stiles has been laughing at nothing in particular and staring fixedly at the screen for the entire time. He's yet to make any sort of move towards Derek at all.
He’s just starting to wonder if he'd got this whole thing wrong, that it’s Stiles who doesn’t really understand dating, or that dating might mean something completely different to Stiles's inner-monologue, when Stiles reaches into his lap to take some more popcorn and says casually, “This would be the part where one of us would kiss the other. It's kind of good form to wait until halfway through the movie the first time, right, because otherwise you make it kind of obvious that you only came to--”
Derek twists in his seat so quickly he dislodges the bucket of popcorn and leans across the space between him and Stiles, interrupting him with a quick kiss.
Stiles doesn't respond at first, and Derek is about to sink back into his seat to die of embarrassment, possibly, when Stiles leans forward and kisses him. Derek sighs with relief, bringing his hands up to cup Stiles's face and almost losing his balance in the process. There’s some awkward shuffling, and Stiles accidentally elbows him in the face once, trying to get his arm around his neck, but Derek doesn't actually care all that much because he’s kissing Stiles .
“This part of your Human Interaction training must have been really good,” Stiles says eventually, breathlessly, and Derek buries his face in Stiles’s shoulder and groans.
“Stiles, please-- oh my god, please, just stop talking.”
Stiles presses a light kiss against Derek’s forehead.
“You know, that wasn't as slimy as I thought it would be, either. I think we should do it again, though. Just to make sure I haven't remembered wrong, or--”
With a put-upon sigh, Derek leans up and kisses him quiet.
Alien Investigation, Day Thirty.
Investigation has taken an interesting turn. Think I'd better stick close to Derek, to monitor his behaviour as much as possible. Learning new things every day.
It would be a shame to waste the opportunity.
“Did you know that your friend is following my friend around all over the place with what looks suspiciously like hearts in his eyes?” Isaac asks, leaning casually against the bench where Scott is starting a dissection.
Scott spares him a sideways grin.
“He thinks he's conducting an undercover investigation to expose Derek as an alien.”
Isaac snorts. “You mean they’re dating.”
“It’s an undercover investigation,” Scott repeats, poking at the frog on his desk with the tip of his scalpel. He makes a face, not quite able to bring himself to pierce the flesh. “He takes investigative matters very seriously.”
Isaac shoots a judgemental look out of the window, where Derek and Stiles are sitting under a tree together. Derek is eating his lunch while Stiles threads daisies through the spikes of Derek’s hair.
“That looks really serious,” he says, making a face. “Jesus. Derek is in love with him.”
“Yeah,” Scott agrees, putting down the scalpel so he can wipe his hands on his pants. The professor is doing the rounds on the other side of the classroom. He can get away with not cutting the frog open for a few minutes yet. “I know he is. And, you know. Stiles is pretty hopelessly in love with him too.” He watches as Stiles tries to push a flower into Derek’s beard, laughing when Derek playfully snaps at his fingers. “They'll figure it out eventually.”
Isaac shrugs and picks up the scalpel, spinning it around in one hand like the blade means nothing. “Stiles knows there's no such thing as extra-terrestrial visitors, though, right?” he asks.
Stiles might be cute, and Derek might be ridiculously into him, but Isaac isn't about to let his best friend date a total lunatic.
“He might not always seem it, but Stiles is a smart guy,” Scott says, which isn't really an answer, but for now it's the best he's got.
Stiles still hasn't officially dropped the Derek-is-an-alien campaign, nor has he officially revoked his claims that Derek isn't human, but it's been a couple of weeks since he last brought it up. Scott figures that in itself counts as progress.
Scott's professor is only two tables away from Scott now, and just snapped at someone for wasting too much time. He reaches for the scalpel, determined to do at least look like he's being productive, but Isaac flicks it down and cuts a perfect line down the middle of the frog before he can take it.
"Your friend is weird," Isaac says, as if conducting a perfect dissection in a matter of seconds is nothing.
Scott blinks back at him. “Um. Yeah."
Isaac scratches his nose absently.
Scott tries not to think about Stiles's theory on aliens wearing human suits.
"He just gets caught up in his own imagination sometimes,” he says, shrugging.
Alien Investigation, Day One Hundred.
Derek and I celebrated our three month anniversary at the planetarium yesterday. It was pretty interesting. Derek didn't seem to know any more about space than anyone else there-- and why would anyone expect him to? Derek isn't an alien. I never seriously believed he was.
I have recently realised, however, that the investigation of Derek-- which was a joke , okay-- blinded me to who the alien at our college really is. I don’t want to make any rash allegations, of course, but I can’t help but notice that Derek's friend Isaac has really big eyes. And white teeth. And perfect hair.
That’s pretty suspicious, right?