‘That’s stupid,’ Malia says, her arms crossed in front of her chest and frowning. She’s sitting on top of her desk, feet dangling just a couple inches from the floor. Stiles normally doesn’t allow it, but it’s after school and Malia isn’t in any trouble.
‘Well, boys don’t always do the smart thing,’ Stiles admits. He remembers when he was ten. He did a lot more than occasionally trip his crush. He remembers throwing mud and spit balls.
‘Does that mean I have to be nice to him now?’ Malia asks. She doesn’t look pleased about the prospect.
‘No. You don’t have to be nice to anyone who’s not nice to you,’ Stiles assures her. ‘If Theo is ever mean to you again, you go to a teacher okay? We’ll handle it.’
‘I can handle him myself.’ Malia balls her fists defiantly.
Stiles has trouble keeping his face stern. ‘I’m sure you can, but than you would be in trouble, too,’ he says. ‘And we don’t want that, do we?’
Malia shakes her head and Stiles smiles in relief. This is going a lot better than his conversation with Theo went.
A knock on the door makes both of them turn their heads. Laura, Malia’s mom, is standing in the doorway. Malia hops off her desk, grabs her things, and walks towards her.
‘Everything okay?’ Laura asks. She directs the question to Stiles, but it’s Malia who answers. ‘Yeah. Boys are just stupid.’
Laura raises her eyebrows, waiting for an elaboration.
‘Ten year-old boys don’t usually handle crushes well,’ Stiles explains.
‘Ah.’ Laura nods. ‘Some one’s pigtail-pulling my little girl?’
Malia looks up at her mom in confusion.
‘It’s when you like someone, but are mean to them to get their attention.’
Suddenly Malia’s face clears. She grins and says,’ Like uncle Derek and Mr Stiles!’
Stiles flushes and hide’s his face in his hand. Laura is obviously struggling not to laugh when she says,’ Exactly like that.’
‘Well, I think that’s all!’ Stiles quickly says, ushering mother and daughter out of his classroom. ‘I’ll see you tomorrow, Malia!’
Malia waves cheerfully back, holding on to her mother with her other hand. When they’re out of sight, Stiles closes the door and thumps his head against it, remembering the time he was blissfully unaware that other people knew about his crush on Derek.
The bell over the door tinkles cheerfully when Stiles enters the flower shop. He loves it here, the smells of a hundred different flowers filling the air, Derek looking cute in his dark green apron tending to the flowers so tenderly. Also, like this, when Derek’s back is turned to him, the apron string tied off on Derek’s lower back accentuates his ass. It’s good ass.
Derek turns with a smile that turns confused when he sees Stiles, because despite the fact that Stiles loves it here and that he and Derek are friends, Stiles doesn’t come here a lot.
‘Hey, I’ll be right there, okay? Just gotta finish this bouquet,’ Derek says, waving his hand at the flowers lying on the workbench behind the counter. He doesn’t turn back around, though.
‘That’s okay. I, uhm, I actually wanted to ask you something.’ Stiles steps closer, gathering his courage and taking a deep breath.
Derek’s eyebrows rise even higher with his piqued curiosity.
‘So, there’s this boy in my class who likes Malia,’ Stiles starts. ‘And, well, you know what boys are like at that age.’
Derek snorts. ‘I remember what you were like. You were always throwing mud at me!’
‘Well, you always chained your bike to mine so I had to wait an hour longer before I could go home,’ Stiles retorts. He still thinks he was very brave with the mud throwing, considering Derek was a year above him. ‘Anyway, there has been some pigtail-pulling and—’
‘She didn’t punch him, did she?’ Derek asks, although there’s more pride than worry in his voice.
‘No, but she did mention that, uhm, it was, you know, a little like us? Is it?’ Stiles’ voice has gone embarrassingly high in his nervous state and he clears his throat.
Derek looks at him, wide-eyed, for a moment, then quickly turns back to his bouquet. But not before Stiles sees colour rising to his cheeks.
‘We don’t have pigtails,’ Derek grumbles.
It’s not a denial. Not an affirmation either, but add the not-a-denial to the blush and Stiles is pretty sure. Sure enough that he vaults over the counter, more or less gracefully. Derek hears the commotion and turns around just in time to catch Stiles as he falls off the counter. Their chests collide and Derek’s hands grips Stiles’ hips tightly.
‘It’s totally like us,’ Stiles grins.
Derek’s hands spasm on his hips but don’t let go, and Derek’s eyes are firmly fixed on Stiles’ lips. He doesn’t say anything, but surges forward to press his lips against Stiles’.
Stiles’ heartbeat triples and he feels Derek’s doing the same, beating an unsteady tattoo against his chest. A warmth spreads from Stiles’ lips all through his body, making his chest feel tight and his fingers dig into Derek’s back. Derek groans low in his throat and moves his hands lower, into Stiles’ back pockets, squeezing his butt and pulling him even closer.
Stiles feels giddy and dizzy, out of breath and extremely turned on. He should probably pull back, get some air into his lungs, but with Derek nibbling softly on his bottom lip before soothing the sting with a quick flick of his tongue, Stiles thinks dying like this would be a great way to go.
They both jump back. Stiles winces when his back hits the counter and Derek curses when he puts his hand on the workbench and impales his palm on a rose thorn.
Stiles looks Derek over. He’s happy with the result. Derek looks flushed, his lips red and shiny, his hair is a mess. Huh, he hadn’t even realized he moved his hands into Derek’s hair.
Derek’s gaze is fixed on Stiles lips. Stiles feels the pull of those eyes and steps forward again.
‘Ahem!’ Cora clears her throat a little louder. ‘While I’m glad you two finally got your heads out of your asses after fifteen years, but there are flowers to be trimmed, bouquets to made. Exchange saliva on your own time.’
Cora gives both of them a pointed look, then goes back to where she was changing the water for the tulips.
Stiles quickly moves to the other side of the counter creating some distance between him and Derek.
‘Dinner, tonight, my place?’ he asks.
Derek nods, stepping forward. ‘I’ll bring wine and flowers.’
Stiles leans over the counter and grabs Derek behind the neck, pulling Derek forward to press their lips together again. He’s seriously considering climbing on top of the counter, when…
‘Hey! I will throw a bucket of water over you!’
Stiles quickly pulls away, then walks backwards to the door.
‘Put a bandage on that,’ Stiles says, pointing at Derek’s palm. ‘I’ll see you at seven?’
‘Yeah,’ Derek nods.
‘Great. Awesome. See you then.’ He waves and when he opens the door, he feels just as cheerful as that little bell.