So the thing is, Derek kinda sucks at being a werewolf.
He can’t tell if someone’s a werewolf or not (see also: Dr. Deaton) or even a failwolf like Jackson. Like, hello, giant lizard with no scent trail? Why not just follow your suspect and see if their scent trail magically disappears instead of sticking lizard slime into them. Which, urgh. Also, yuck. Derek also can’t really tell when someone’s lying to him or, say, pretending to be catatonic while secretly going on a murder spree. He barely knows anything about the supernatural, he only explains the stuff he does know when he’s about a step away from dying, and he honestly believes that violence is a good way to teach someone the Ways of the Wolf.
Something in Stiles’ chest aches when he thinks about what Derek’s childhood must have been like.
The thing is though, no really, the thing is, Derek has no idea that he sucks at being a werewolf. He thinks he’s awesome, an apex predator, the sneakiest lurker who ever sneakily lurked. Anywhere.
And, okay, maybe he’s a little awesome. With the brooding and the eyes and the pulling Stiles out of danger even when he doesn’t really have to. And the way he keeps standing so close Stiles can smell him, warm and a bit earthy and nothing at all like Lydia but very… nice. Very nice. And the way he pats Stiles’ shoulder even though he doesn’t really like to be touched. And the way he sometimes looks at Stiles, like he can’t believe Stiles is really there, that he hasn’t run away yet.
Derek looks at Stiles like he thinks that maybe Stiles is a little awesome, too, but because he thinks he’s the sneakiest (and he’s not, Black Widow is the sneakiest, okay, Derek has nothing on Black Widow) he also thinks that Stiles doesn’t notice those looks. But Stiles notices. Boy, does Stiles notice. Stiles is The Noticer. Nothing gets past him, even when he’s drunk; not that he’s drunk right now, and anyway, most of those longing glances occur when he’s being perfectly sober. So there.
What was his point again?
“Derek sucks?” Scott asks in a hopeful voice. He’s taken the bottle away like he’s afraid Stiles might drink all of it, which, pshhhh, yeah. As if. Stiles isn’t an idiot. A not-drunk idiot is what Stiles is. Not-idiot. A not-drunk not-idiot. Yeah!
“Yeah!” Stiles says, nodding vigorously as he points at Scott. Except, wait.
“No!” Stiles says, shaking his head just as vigorously. Derek doesn’t suck, is his entire point. He’s just… alone, when he doesn’t need to be. Stiles is right here. He’s looking back. There’s mutual looking going on. Looks have been… looked.
But because Derek is such a sucky werewolf, he hasn’t noticed a single one of them.
“Please don’t,” Scott says.
“I wasn’t gonna say anything,” Stiles lies.
He’d totally suck Derek. It’d be awesome.
Maybe Stiles should tell him that. The looking clearly isn’t getting them anywhere.
“You do that,” Scott says. He’s trying to get Stiles to his feet. Stiles hadn’t been aware he’s on the floor. “First, let’s get you home.”
“To your bed,” Scott clarifies. “To sleep this off.” He shakes his head and sounds almost envious when he adds, “Man, you’re gonna have such a headache.”
“I would,” Stiles tells him, “if I was drunk. Which I’m not.”
“Sure,” Scott says and hauls Stiles up and then… stuff. Probably. Stiles is moving? And then he’s in his bed and that’s nice. He has a very nice bed. Niiiiiiice.
What a weird word.
When Stiles wakes up, he feels like his head is going to explode. He moans, drags his pillow over his head, and goes back to sleep.
When Stiles wakes up again, he’s feeling better. Also, Derek is in his room. Of course he is.
“What?” Stiles snaps. Okay, he means to snap. What comes out is more a long, whiny, “Whuuuuuuuu?”
“Did you mean it?” Derek asks, in a very agressive way. Here’s the Alpha. Hear him grrr.
“Mean what?” Stiles asks. He wants to shove his head back under the pillow. It was nice and dark there. He likes nice and dark. And quiet. Though he kinda has to pee, and something clearly died in his mouth last night and then rose again to spread its zombie stench around the graveyard of Stiles’ molars. Or something.
Instead of answering, Derek shoves his phone at Stiles. Stiles jerks back just in time to avoid a broken nose.
“Hey!” he complains as he squints at the screen.
I thnnk you’re alittle awesome. ‘d totallly suck you ff.:-*
“D’errrrrrrrm,” Stiles says.
“Did you,” Derek says, grinding out each word like he’s a mill and the world needs flour, “mean it.”
“Uh,” Stiles says.
“Well, you know,” Stiles says weakly, waving his hand at… everything, basically. “Depends on how you define awesome.”
“‘Amazing,’” Derek snaps. “How do you define it?”
And Stiles could bullshit his way out of this. He’s had years of practice. He’s a champion bullshitter. If there were Olympics for bullshitting, Stiles would represent his country.
But Derek has that look again. Like Stiles is something strange and wondrous and puzzling and… and amazing. And maybe… Maybe Stiles should stop with the bullshitting.
Just this once.
“You,” he says, helpless, his heart hammering in his throat in a way not even Derek can miss. “Just… you.”
They stare at each other. Mutual looking. Stiles is going to die.
“Oh,” Derek says faintly.
“I’m going to brush my teeth now,” Stiles tells him. He feels like he’s taking his life in his hands, but then again, he’s been doing that a lot lately. “So I don’t taste like death when you kiss me. If you want to kiss me. I mean, there could be kissing. If you want. I’m going to shut up now.”
Derek’s looking like someone hit him over the head with a shovel. A shovel made of mountain ash.
“Okay,” he says. Stiles has no idea if he means, okay, please shut up now or okay, I’m going to ravage you in the fun way once you’ve brushed your teeth, you considerate catch you.
Turns out it’s the latter.