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Up and Coming

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Up and Coming

When Stiles was young he used to think that elevators and escalators were the same thing.

This probably stemmed from the fact that his hometown of Beacon Hills was severely lacking buildings with either, so he didn’t really have any experience to go by. In fact, the hospital was the place young Stiles first came across an elevator. He had been thrilled and was completely convinced it was a magic box. It closed one place and opened another—how could it not be magic?

”Mom! Mom, do we get to go in the escalator today?”

He loved to press the button for the floor and would pout terribly if anyone else did it instead of him. His father once suffered his glare for four hours after accidentally hitting the button before Stiles could.

His mother was much more accommodating when it came to the magic escalator box, and would frown at anyone who tried to correct her son when he confused the two ascension-machine names, as he almost always did.

Elevator just wasn’t as fun of a word as escalator.

“Yeah!” his mom replied with a bright smile. “We get to go to the very top today!”

Stiles didn’t know what she meant by the very top, because the magic box could take you anywhere, depending on what button you pushed, but he didn’t care what it meant as long as his mom was smiling. He asked to go with her for checkups anytime he could just for the elevator and the way his mom would hold his hand when the doors closed and tell him to be careful, because they were moving at super-sonic speeds, even though Stiles might not be able to feel it. He looked at her with wide eyes, mouth open in shocked awe before frowning seriously and nodding.

“I can feel it.”

A few years later, when Stiles was a little bit older and his mother was more than a little bit sicker and stayed inside the hospital more than out, Stiles still liked riding in the hospital elevator, because it meant he got to visit her. He was visiting one day with his father, telling his mom about what he and Scott had gotten up to in school that day while his father talked to a very serious looking doctor. After a while his dad told him that it was time to go. His mother smiled at him and ruffled his hair, wishing him luck in his journey in the escalator.

When he stepped inside and went to reach for the button that took him to the first floor, his father’s hand shot out and pressed it quickly, without even looking. Stiles glared up at his dad, but his glare faded quickly when he saw the way his dad was looking down at him, sad and older than Stiles had ever seen him look before.

“Stiles, you’re too old to call it an escalator anymore. This is an elevator, and it just takes you up and down to the floor you need to go to. There’s nothing magical about it.”

Stiles never called an elevator an escalator once after that.

The elevator in the building Stiles works is smaller than the hospital elevator. Probably because no one is wheeling gurneys or a fleet of wheelchairs into it—at least not that he has seen. It would probably uncomfortably and illegally fit about ten people, though Stiles has only ever seen it carry four, and that was cozy enough.

The building is actually large enough to require two elevators but Stiles never uses the one on the right, which has a propensity for breaking down at least once a week. He learned that on his first day, and although it had only been stuck for about five minute, the man stuck in the elevator with him was gassing it up so badly that by the time he managed to get out he had to borrow Scott’s inhaler to get breathable air back into his lungs.

So, Stiles sticks to the left elevator which has never broken down on him once and usually has far less occupancy than the right (apparently no one else is bothered by the constant breaking down).

It’s a very normal elevator; not fancy with velvet walls and a chandelier hanging from the ceiling like in the nice hotels down in L.A. It’s practical, with thin carpet on the floor in an abstract pattern that surprisingly looks like it gets cleaned on a semi-regular basis; boring metal on the doors and two of the walls, mirror on the wall opposite the doors; and exactly ten round, glowing buttons (two for the parking levels underground and eight for the floors).

Stiles works on floor seven where he and his childhood friend set up a video game company right out of college. It was mostly his idea, because if he left any thinking up to Scott that would probably result in the both of them having jobs as “Allison’s Boys,” which is not something she would ever call them, but is a phrase Stiles has heard Scott utter on more than one drunken occasion.

Allison is Scott’s girlfriend who also works with them in the game development. She is good at creating the characters and making sure their game play is realistic. Along with her there’s also the graphics coding prodigy Danny Mahealani, without whom Stiles is confident they never would have managed to finish even one level of their first game. And last but certainly not least, Lydia Martin, another saving grace to their company that Stiles isn’t sure what he would do without. She is a genius coder, brilliant designer, and usually handles a lot of the more technical financial and legal issues that Stiles only complains about and Scott would just stare at blankly.

Lydia would be absolutely perfect in Stiles’ books if she just weren’t dating the complete douche-wad Jackson Whittemore who works at Wolf Architecture on the floor below.

The company that happens to by headed by the only other person in the building who refuses use the right elevator: Derek Hale.

 

Derek has little to no feelings about elevators. He’s found them to be a convenient way to get quickly from floor to floor, and that’s about it.

There was an elevator in the house he lived in growing up. But not one like this, with buttons and mechanics and pulleys; it was just a box you could cram yourself into if you were small enough and pull a rope to move up or down. It went from the cellar all the way to the attic, and Derek probably only used it twice in his whole life, both times to escape from his older sister Laura and her friends who wanted to smear makeup all over his face or something else horribly embarrassing. It wasn’t even really an elevator—just a pulley box or whatever it was called like a bunch of old houses have and no one bothers putting into new houses because they aren’t actually useful and are kind of dangerous when you think about it.

Not that Derek does think about it, because that stupid little elevator burned up with everything else anyway so what did it matter?

Derek takes the left elevator for the same reason Stiles does; the idea of getting trapped in a metal box for any extended period of time does not appealing sound. Not to mention the kid who always winds up riding in the elevator with him, Stiles Stilinkski of Firestarter Studios, the video game company who’s base of operation was on the floor above Derek’s, isn’t actually too bad to look at.

Which was the first thought that went through his mind the first day Stiles slapped a hand violently between the nearly closed elevator doors and heaved himself inside, panting like he’d just run ten miles and pressing the button for the 7th floor. The second thought that went through Derek’s mind was, “is this kid always this annoying?” Because as soon as Stiles managed to catch his breath he turned to Derek scowling and asking loudly,

“You couldn’t hold the door, dude? I was yelling from, like, across the lobby.”

Derek only scowled back at him, already regretting thinking this stupid kid was even the slightest bit attractive (upon closer inspection he had a weird-shaped nose and a distracting splatter of moles across his face).

“There’s another elevator, you know,” he barked, looking straight ahead and wishing this damn thing didn’t move so slow. How were they only at the 3rd floor by now?

The kid made a disgruntled noise of indignation but didn’t say anything else, thankfully, until the doors finally opened on the 6th floor and Derek stepped out, hoping to never again have to share that abnormally long elevator ride with such a rude kid again.

…and if he went straight to his office computer and checked to see what company had recently moved into the space on the floor above, learning that it was a video game company founded and run by the very kid he’d just had that unfortunate encounter with, there was no one the wiser.

 

“You’ll never believe the grump I just had to ride up in the elevator with,” Stiles exclaimed, dumping his backpack onto his desk, which happened to be settled right next to Scott’s in the corner of the floor with the best view from the windows. They hadn’t set up the floor like an office, with cubicles or offices blocking everyone from each other; it was mostly two rooms, one with desks and computers for the actual game developing and coding, and another with a huge couch and even huger TV to “test” the products and competitors games. There was a bathroom and break (coffee) room too, and the room with most of the desks was only divided by classy Japanese paper screens that Stiles ordered off amazon when they were first setting up. They each had different classic Japanese-style images of old video games on the paper and they were totally awesome and actually made Stiles feel like he was working at a professional gaming company instead of just a group of kids dicking around playing video games all day—which was most definitely what Scott thought their job was.

“Not the fart guy again!” Scott cringed with a sympathetic yet reasonably grossed-out expression.

“No,” Stiles replied, and Scott exhaled in relief. “Some stuffy businessman who couldn’t be bothered to hold the freakin’ door. He got off on the floor below but he spent the whole ride up glaring at the wall like it had personally offended his angry eyebrows.”

“Can eyebrows really be angry?” Scott asked, clearly amused by Stiles’ horrible elevator experience, and just as he was about to tell Scott that this guy could probably kill a man with just those eyebrows, Lydia poked her head around the corner of his Legend of Zelda screen to interrupt brusquely,

“This guy wouldn’t happen to have a jaw chiseled from marble and peppered with the most lickable-looking 4 o’clock shadow in existence, would he?”

Stiles eyed her like she was insane for half a second while beside him Scott seemed like he was still trying to decipher what lickable-looking 4 o’clock shadow would even look like. Unfortunately, Stiles already knew.

“I wouldn’t exactly say chiseled, but yes, his jaw was moderately impressive. I’m not even going to touch the lickable stubble thing.”

She smirked at him as she walked around the corner and leaned on the edge of his desk.

“That was definitely Derek Hale. He’s in charge of Wolf Architecture on the floor below. I met him when I was visiting—“

“Right, right,” Stiles said, rolling his eyes. “I almost forgot your precious Jackson works right below us. It’s no wonder that jerk-wad’s the boss if idiots like Jackson are working for him.”

“Hey!” She snapped, slapping Stiles hard enough on the side of his head to make him squeak and Scott laugh. “Don’t forget Jackson’s the one who found us this nice space to set up. There was no where else in town this nice.”

“Yeah, fine. The point is, this Derek guy is a huge jerk and knows nothing about proper elevator etiquette.”

Lydia raised an eyebrow at him skeptically and he threw his hands up to emphasize his amount of done-ness with his friend’s lack of elevator knowledge.

“You’re supposed to hold the door!”

Lydia didn’t appear convinced, just shrugged and replied blithely,

“Whatever you say, boss.”

“Does no one understand this?”

“Don’t think so, Stiles.”

“Oh, not you too, Scott! Alright, fine. If I’m ever in an elevator and you’re running to catch it I’m just gonna press the ‘door close’ button, see how you like that!”

“I just use the right one. It’s never broken down on me before.”

“Just you wait,” Stiles warned him, but Scott only laughed and dragged him into the gaming room for a meeting to mock up ideas for their first video game. By noon Stiles had forgotten all about Derek Hale’s eyebrows and his shitty elevator etiquette.

 

Derek, because his life is like that, didn’t get his wish to never share the elevator with Stiles Stilinski again.

The next day, literally the very next day, as he was walking into the building lobby having a serious discussion about finances with Erica he saw the left elevator doors start to close, then suddenly open back up just in time for them to both slip inside. Distracted, Derek muttered a quick, “thanks,” before noticing whom it was that stopped the door. He did a totally tiny and not at all noticeable double take, pausing in his conversation to narrow his eyes at the way the kid from the day before was pointedly not looking in his direction and smirking at the wall in front of him.

Derek growled lowly under his breath and Erica raised a blond, manicured eyebrow at him.

“Floor six, right?” another kid, about the same age as cocky-annoying-smirky-kid who Derek only noticed when he spoke up and pointed to the button with a six on it, asked.

“Yeah,” he said, probably a little growlier than he intended, because Erica gave him another look. The ride up was silent besides the low hum of the elevator music (Derek suspected a piano version of Strange Magic), and from the corner of his eye he could see that the kid’s smirk stayed in place until he and Erica stepped out onto their floor.

Erica eyed him suspiciously all the way through the main hallway until he cleared his throat and started up the conversation they’d been having before entering the elevator.

He definitely did not think about how Stiles (because he’d learned his name through google the day before and how was he supposed to forget a name like Stiles?) had looked hot as hell when he smirked.

 

“Damn, you were right about the eyebrows.”

“Told you.”

“I thought he was gonna bite me when I asked about the floor.”

“See! World class grump.”

“Definitely. I wouldn’t wanna be trapped alone in a room with him, either.”

Never,” Stiles agreed, cursing inside his head.

Derek totally did have lickable-looking 4 o’clock shadow.

 

After the second encounter, elevator rides with obnoxious-but-hot Stiles became common. They usually arrived at work at the same time, and often by themselves. After the first time he and Stiles stood side by side, both acting as though the right elevator didn’t even exist while waiting on the left to reach them, Derek realized that Stiles didn’t trust the other one either and found himself respecting Stiles the smallest bit—if only for his intelligent choice in elevator.

Holding the door became a practice that both participated in, and although Stiles never smirked at him again after the first time, he did always look pleasantly surprised whenever Derek waited for him before letting the doors close.

Almost 6 months passed this way. Countless elevator rides up to their respective floors (they almost never shared the ride down, either because Stiles stayed later or left earlier, Derek couldn’t be sure) as they shared the torture of the shitty elevator music in almost companionable (though oddly tense at times) silence.

Over the months and elevator rides, Derek actually learned a lot about Stiles Stilinski (not because he was paying any extra attention or anything—he just noticed or innocently overheard). He learns that Stiles’ father is the sheriff and has a bad diet that causes Stiles an awful lot of stress. Scott is the name of the boy Stiles sometimes comes to work with; they are childhood friends and he is apparently way too obsessed with his girlfriend, who seems to work with them at the video game company too (there was some stuff about the desks Stiles had bought not being able to support the weight of two people at once, but Derek had been pointedly not listening to that particular conversation). He alternates between riding his bike and driving a crappy old jeep to work, usually depending on the weather. Stiles is definitely a DC, and always wears a different superhero t-shirt on Mondays that matches his Batman backpack he seems to never leave home without. Even though he does love video games, he enjoys outdoor sports as well, though is clumsy enough to injure himself almost every time he tries to play. In high school, he’d had a totally shaved head (Derek still can’t really picture that one). He was salutatorian of his graduating class and quoted to the entire auditorium in Klingon during his speech (Derek has to admire his audacity just a little).

Stiles is bi.

That particular bit of information slipped through when Stiles had once ridden up in the elevator with another boy who probably worked with him too. They’d been having a conversation and didn’t bother stopping when stepping inside the elevator. The other boy thought Stiles needed to get out more and offered to take him to this club he knew about.

“The guys will be all over you, I swear. Or the girls, whatever. This club has both. Just let Lydia pick out what you wear, okay?”

Derek may have snorted quietly under his breath at that, but he was pretty sure he covered it with a cough.

“I totally suck at the clubbing thing, you know that,” Stiles replied.

He didn’t appear to bothered by it, though, because he rolled his eyes and the other boy shook his head and sighed exasperatedly. Derek got the idea that Stiles was sort of a workaholic.

He tried not to think about Stiles’ interest in guys, because it didn’t really matter anyway. It always seemed to come back to him at random times, though, like a brain bug he just couldn’t squash.

Somehow, the only conversation they actually had with each other after all this time sharing their left elevator lasted about four seconds and made Derek feel like a total idiot for being his usual bristly self.

“God, this song sucks,” Stiles exclaimed one day as an elevator rendition of Gangnam Style played over the old, crackly speakers.

“No, shit,” Derek had growled back, and then spent the entire rest of the ride (and day) even quieter and broodier than usual.

After that he had pretty much given up on ever talking to Stiles like a normal human—not that that stopped the tiny flame of hope that burst in his chest every time Stiles slid into the elevator beside him and pressed Derek’s floor for him without even thinking twice.

 

So, Stiles’ attraction to Derek didn’t actually ever go away like Stiles had originally assumed that it would. He spent the duration of pretty much every elevator ride they shared (and there had been so, so many) both trying to pluck up the courage to talk to him while at the same time trying to convince himself what a horrible idea it would be to even try to flirt because a) he was incredibly bad at it and b) there was no way a serious, successful hunk like Derek would look once at him, let alone twice.

And yet—there was the door holding, and the way he pushed Stiles’ floor’s button for him if his hands were full of coffee and breakfast donuts for his team, and the almost suffocating tension that filled that tiny metal box they shared nearly every day that Stiles sort of thought he’d invented until he went in the next day and felt it pressing in on him again. Despite all that, Stiles was still sure the risk of trying to start up a conversation with Derek did not outweigh the possible benefits. Stiles was not known to be particularly brave (he was probably a Ravenclaw, Scott definitely a Gryffindor).

He didn’t really want to mess up their ritual, either. Leave it to him to make Derek awkward enough that he starts showing up to work just a few minutes earlier in order to avoid the weird kid who won’t ride in the right elevator (though he knows that Derek won’t either).

There was the one time Stiles’ brain-to-mouth filter (which was constantly getting him in trouble on an almost daily basis) failed him and he blurted out some pointless comment about the elevator music. Derek had growled at him. It was horrifying, and also really goddam hot and shut Stiles up for the rest of the ride, and pretty much every ride following that incident. He resigned himself to jacking off to Derek and imagining him growling Stiles’ name the same way he’d growled that day because he’s almost positive that’s all he’s ever going to get.

Derek has a girlfriend anyway, Stiles is pretty sure. Sometimes he’ll come into work with a pretty blond who doesn’t mind throwing herself all over him in the elevator, teasing him about something or other and there’s just no way they aren’t together; she’s totally in his league, whereas Stiles so totally not. It’s usually pretty awkward whenever Derek’s girlfriend is in the elevator with them—she’s even tried to talk to Stiles a few times, asking him what his name is, what he does on the seventh floor, things like that. Stiles has never gotten a chance to reply, though, because every time she does Derek distracts her with something, scowling angrily until they reach their floor. Stiles just assumed that he’s one of those extra-protective boyfriend types.

He tries not to think about how weird it is that even after all this time sharing the left elevator they have never been properly introduced. Derek probably doesn’t even know his name (because he’s not a huge creeper like Stiles is and doesn’t have a Lydia spilling any and all information about her boyfriend’s boss on the floor below—if he asks nicely, that is).

Stiles actually kind of knows a lot about Derek by now. He knows that Derek had always wanted to be an architect, but got a late start at college because he quit high school after his whole family was in some freak accidental fire that left him almost completely on his own besides an older sister who apparently raised him. Stiles looked a little closer at Derek after learning this, because if he knew anything about losing people it was that it left some scars that never quite healed. He’d gotten his GED a few years later and went straight to college where he met most of the people who worked with him in Wolf Architecture. He had a pretty good amount of money from the insurance after the fire and, according to Lydia, really knew what to do with it, which was how he had the money to start up his company in the first place. They worked on a wide variety of projects; from houses to parks to aquariums, some were high-class and others were modest. Stiles might have visited a few of the places Wolf Architecture designed on his days off, but he’s pretty sure only he knows that. Derek’s sister is apparently really nosy and really bossy, as Stiles has heard Derek arguing with her on the phone at least six times. Each time was a task trying to keep himself from laughing because there was just something really funny about a guy as intimidating as Derek being pushed around like “Laura” apparently excelled at.

Derek worked out most mornings before coming into work, which surprised Stiles not at all judging by how built he looked underneath his button up and tie. He didn’t usually wear a suit jacket, except on days when he was meeting with potential clients. He drinks smoothies instead of coffee (Stiles doesn’t understand this), never brings his lunch from home, apparently has permanent 4 o’clock shadow (Stiles still isn’t going there), and has one of the nicest fucking cars Stiles has ever seen.

So, yeah… Stiles might be a little bit obsessed. Obsessed enough to even design the main goddam character for their first video game after Derek. No, seriously.

They had spent about the first month of planning just trying to come up with a good idea; it was a horribly frustrating month. The amount of ideas tossed out were enough to drive him absolutely crazy when none of them sounded quite good enough and no one could agree and Stiles had been this close to conceding to making Lydia’s shopping mall RPG when Scott of all people tossed out the idea of a werewolf-themed fighting game with a complex storyline and team-building gameplay.

Everyone had almost instantly been onboard and they started story and character development right away. The story was basically this; you started out as one of the two main characters: the brother or the sister werewolf. The story then unfolded from there and along the way you could choose certain characters to join your team, or Pack, and fight the hunters and enemy werewolves who were trying to wipe you out. You had to be really careful who you let into your pack, though, because a few of the characters who joined would betray you later on—it made the game more complex that way.

Once the story was finished and half of the characters were designed they still had yet to come up with a conclusive design for the brother and sister main characters. Stiles had the epiphany while riding up in the elevator with Derek and will forever feel guilty about using him as inspiration without even asking (or ever saying thank you). He designed the main character after Derek, except instead of a suit and tie he wore a leather jacket and had red eyes. The character’s name was Sourwolf, because each character had a pretty gruesome backstory and his was that he and the woman he loved fell into a vat of acid—he lived because he was a werewolf, but she was human and she died and he had a permanent sour disposition afterwards. After his design was finished his sister was easy. They looked very similar except that her eyes were yellow and her hair longer. She wore a leather jacket to match his and her name was Splitwolf because her backstory was basically that one day some hunters cut her in half to try and kill her but didn’t finish the job so she tied herself back together but never healed properly and can still split her entire body into two halves and fight with both separately. Stiles thinks she’s a pretty sick character (but Sourwolf is totally his favorite).

Once the game was finished and released it took all of Stiles’ self-control not to at least show it to Derek one day in the elevator. He was too proud of it for words, and he felt like Derek helped, sort of. They probably never would have finished the game if he hadn’t been able to come up with a good main character like Sourwolf.

But, he reminded himself every time he started to open his mouth, if he told Derek, who was still pretty much a stranger, that he had designed a video game character after him, Derek would most likely be extremely creeped out and/or think that Stiles was super pathetic—either way he definitely wouldn’t continue riding in the elevator with him, and Stiles didn’t want to give that up. Sometimes it was the best part of his day.

He finds himself talking about Derek to Scott and Danny sometimes without even realizing it. Scott still thinks Stiles is just afraid of Derek and sharing the elevator with him; Danny knows full well why Stiles can’t stop thinking about him.

He doesn’t talk to Allison or Lydia about Derek (besides the rare questions at Lydia every now and again) because girls don’t get the whole “hopeless crush” thing. They just pester you and tell you to make a move, make a fucking move, Stilinski, what harm will it do just to start up some fucking conversation?

A lot of harm, Stiles is sure.

He’s perfectly content to just admire Derek from afar, or, you know, a-near, considering they share a small, enclosed space together briefly almost every day. Sure, he’d kind of like to get to know Derek face-to-face (he’d also kind of like to get to know Derek’s face. With his mouth), but the moment never seems right, and then the elevator stops and Derek gets out and the doors close and Stiles thinks, “maybe tomorrow,” even though he knows tomorrow will be exactly the same.

Unless fate (or a shitty fucking elevator) has anything to say about it.

 

It’s Derek’s birthday and he’s running late. He’d zoned out at the gym this morning, dreading whatever birthday surprise Erica and Isaac had concocted and only realized the time when his sister called to wish him a happy birthday. He takes the fastest shower ever and skips his breakfast smoothie, driving his car about as fast as it was made to be driven (but far too fast for the streets he’s driving it on) in order to make it in time for his morning meeting with, well, Stiles. What can he say? He’s not going to miss out on their elevator ride on his birthday of all days—it’s kind of the best part of his day sometimes.

“Shit!” he curses, glancing at his watch as he stomps across the parking lot towards the front door of his building—he can almost see the two elevators sitting side by side through the glass doors. When he throws the doors open and bolts inside the security guard at the front desk gives him a reprimanding look that he ignores completely because all he can see are the doors of the left elevator that are closing.

 

Stiles has been holding the elevator doors for about ten minutes by now. Around five minutes he started getting a little nervous and at ten minutes he’s to the point of giving up. He sighs, trying to come up with some plausible reason that Derek wouldn’t have made it today. He doesn’t press the ‘door close’ button, just waits for the doors to close on their own. When they finally start to do just that he sighs again and reaches to press the button for his floor—stopping just as he sees from the corner of his eye someone flinging the lobby doors open and sprinting straight for him.

His hand jumps out between the closing doors just in time and they spring back open as Derek skids to a halt in front of the elevator, waiting for the doors to open enough so that he can slide inside. He avoids Stiles gaze as he shifts his briefcase from one hand to the other and says breathlessly,

“Thanks.”

Stiles swallows, pressing floor six before Derek can get a chance and replying as the elevator doors start to close, locking them inside their familiar metal box,

“No problem. Wasn’t sure you were gonna make it.”

“Was running late,” Derek grumbles back as the elevator lifts up and they start moving. Stiles thinks this must be the twilight zone or something, because he’s actually having a sort-of-conversation with Derek and woah, maybe he can even introduce himself if he gets the chance.

He tries to think of something else to say before the silence becomes too final and he loses his oppotunity again. Say something witty! his brain provides, helpfully. No, something that’s relatable!

“Uh,” he bleats out eloquently. “Well, I wouldn’t want to make you take the other elevator.”

Derek glances at him, something unreadable in his expression, and the sounds of the elevator moving are even louder than the tune pumping out over the speakers. He clears his throat to add over the noise,

“You know, because the other one—“

A horrible, loud, metal crunching sound interrupts him and the elevator stops moving, causing both he and Derek to wobble slightly on their feet.

“—gets stuck,” he finishes lamely, with a tiny squeak, catching Derek’s wide-eyed gaze before they both turn to the light above the door that shows what floor they’re on. It’s stopped at the number 3.

Neither of them say a word, or breathe, or even think for a whole minute, as though expecting to just start moving again like nothing happened. When that decidedly does not happen, Stiles decides it’s probably best to address the situation.

“We’ve stopped moving.”

“You think?”

“I thought that was only supposed to happen to the right elevator!”

“It is,” Derek grits out between clenched teeth.

“Fuck,” Stiles replies for lack of anything better to say.

“Fuck,” Derek agrees.

 

It’s Derek’s birthday and he’s stuck in an elevator.

How is this his life?

“Shouldn’t we try to, like, press some buttons or something?” Stiles offers weakly, and Derek just barely manages to not rolls his eyes.

“Go ahead,” he replies, motioning to the display of buttons to the right of the elevator doors. The buttons for floors six and seven are still lit up brighter than the rest from where they’d pushed them earlier. Stiles hesitates, eyeing the buttons wearily before shrugging and pressing the button for floor six again.

Nothing happens.

He tries floor seven then floor three, and finally floor one, each time causing exactly… nothing to happen. Derek sighs. He hadn’t actually expected anything to happen.

“Well what’s your plan then, genius?” Stiles retorts, throwing his arms in the air and stepping away from the wall of buttons.

Derek doesn’t really have a plan. He is still kind of hoping the elevator will just pull itself together and start moving again without them having to do anything at all, but honestly that isn’t a great plan. At least Stiles is attempting to do something about their sudden lack of upwards motion. He glances around the elevator and back at the buttons, noticing the red emergency call button and looks from it to Stiles, who looks back and makes a face.

“Ugh, that’s gonna made a loud noise, isn’t it?”

“Probably,” Derek concedes.

“Well, go ahead. I have a feeling if we don’t do anything no one’s gonna notice we’re here. I still can’t believe this thing stuck—I feel betrayed!”

“Should I push it?” Derek asks, pointing to the red button again, and although Stiles doesn’t look too happy about it, he nods.

He reaches out tentatively and presses the button. There isn’t actually a loud noise, and both he and Stiles relax slightly, unsure if anything actually happened at all. Then, a minute or so later a voice comes over the speakers and fills the small metal room, starling Stiles into squawking. Derek totally didn’t jump when he heard the voice and if he did, no one can prove it.

“Oooooh, man! Are you guys stuck?”

He groans and realizes that Stiles groaned right along with him. It’s Finstock’s voice that came out of the speakers; he’s the building manager and notoriously a gigantic idiot. Derek so doesn’t want to be dealing with this right now.

“Yes,” Stiles answers, staring somewhere up at the ceiling where it sounds like Finstock’s voice is coming from. “I thought only the right—“

“Woah, hey there! Sorry Stilinski but I can’t hear a word you’re saying. I can see you though, camera up at the right—wave!”

Instead of waving, both of them find the camera and glare into it.

“Alright, great. Now, I may not be able to hear you but, in case you guys didn’t know this I am an amateur lip-reader, so if you have anything to say, I should be able to figure it out if you give me a minute or a few.”

Derek hears Stiles mumble something like, “Oh, I’ve got something to say, alright,” but then he sighs and faces the camera, mouthing clearly as he speaks aloud,

“What. Do. We. Do?”

”What? What are you—hold on, gimme a minute. What do we you? OH! Right, what do you DO? Oh man, there’s nothing you guys can do. You’ve just gotta stay in there for a little while until I can figure this out. The other elevator breaks down all the time but we can usually get it going again in a couple minutes. I dunno about this one though. You guys are stuck between floors 3 and 4 so you can’t even push the doors open and climb out—you are reeeeeeally stuck! I’ll be back in a minute. Just stay there—ha! Who am I kidding? You’re not going anywhere.”

And then the speakers shut off and the elevator music starts up again.

Derek thinks he feels a headache starting up too.

 

Stiles doesn’t even know what to think right now.

He’s trapped in an elevator with the guy he’s been crushing on for months. If that’s not torture, Stiles doesn’t know what is.

He’s not done being pissed at the elevator itself, either! Damn thing, leading him on for all these months, playing the good little elevator that never gets stuck, luring him into a false sense of security! This elevator is a huge dick and Stiles is seriously considering taking the stairs after this shit.

Except not really at all because he’s on the seventh fucking floor and that’s just too many stairs, there’s no fucking way. Plus that would mean no more Derek, and he’s not having that either—it’d be like taking drugs away from a drug addict without warning. He can’t quit Derek Hale cold turkey; he’d need a mourning period or something.

He sighs and takes his phone out of his pocket, texting Scott to let him know he’ll most likely be late. Good thing he doesn’t work at a serious company.

Stuck in the elevator. Probably be late.

He gets a reply about a second later.

WHAT? Wait… which elevator?

Stiles grinds his teeth and probably jabs the screen too hard when he texts back,

You know which elevator, Scott. Don’t even say it.

HA! XD hahahahaha omg I’m so telling Allison! Wait, is scary eyebrows in there with you?

…yes.

NO WAY! Dude, I’m sorry but this is the funniest shit ever! Lol.

I hate you. I’m getting a new best friend.

Scott doesn’t even bother texting him back, which probably means he’s left to go tell the rest of the team about Stiles’ predicament. This is confirmed about a minute later when his phone buzzes with three more texts.

Allison:

This is what you get for only taking that left elevator. Lol.

Lydia:

I couldn’t have come up with a better scenario if I’d planned it myself. Don’t waste this opportunity you moron, fucking talk to him. Hope Derek doesn’t eat you! …Or maybe I do. ;)

Danny:

Dude. BONE HIM.

Stiles replies with a mass text to all of them, including Scott, that reads:

As soon as this elevator is fixed I’m gonna come up there and kick all your asses. I hate you all. <3

He doesn’t know why he bothers with the heart at the end. They don’t deserve it. He sighs, pockets his phone, and glances over at Derek who is glaring at his own phone as if he’s just had a similar text-convo with his coworkers. But Stiles thinks that’s probably not the case. His conversation most likely had more angry cursing about being stuck in the elevator with the annoying weird kid from the floor above. Stiles imagines that Derek seriously wishes he had missed the elevator right about now.

Just then, Finstock’s voice comes out over the speakers again and they both turn their heads towards the camera, hoping for good news.

”How’s it going in there, guys? Alright I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that it’s the elevator repairman’s day off.”

Stiles groans out loud because really? Derek looks like he wants to hit his head against the metal walls. Repeatedly. They wait for the good news, and the speakers are quiet for a minute, then Finstock talks again, sounding not even the least bit upset.

”I don’t actually have any good news.”

“Are you kidding me?”

“Seriously?”

”Woah, you guys don’t have to get so down about it! I called a different repairman, I am so on top of this it’s ridiculous! He’ll be here in a couple of hours.”

Okay, no. Stiles definitely did not, could not have heard that correctly.

“What.” He says right at the camera so there’s no way Finstock could miss it.

”What? Oh, yeah, you guys are really stuck. Hope you weren’t doing anything important today, cause it’s gonna be a while. I can turn the elevator music up, if you want?”

“NO!” Both Stiles and Derek shout at the same time. Stiles takes a deep breath, trying to come to terms with the situation.

He’s stuck in an elevator. For an undeterminable amount of time. With Derek Hale, god of Stiles’ wet dreams and generally scary, unapproachable grump.

If he has to listen to this shitty elevator music for several hours, he’s gonna fucking kill himself.

“Can. You. Turn. The. Music. Off?” he asks at the camera, pointing to the set of speakers that plays the music and not the ones that Finstock’s been using to talk to them. Stiles isn’t sure why there are two sets of speakers, but right now he doesn’t really care. It takes Finstock a minute to figure out what Stiles said, and he grows increasingly agitated at Finstock’s shitty attempts at lip-reading, all culminating when he finally figures it out and goes,

”Oh! Turn the music off. No, sorry, can’t do. See, if I turn yours off it would turn the other elevator’s music off too and people would complain.”

Really.

People would complain about no elevator music but not about an elevator—two elevators—that stop working periodically and trap people inside?

He frowns and points to the other speakers, making a breaking motion and mouthing clearly,

“Then. Can. I. Break. It?”

He’s sort of joking, but also sort of not. The music fucking sucks, there are no two ways about it. He thinks he can hear the elevator version of Katy Perry’s E.T. right now and no, just no.

”Don’t you touch those speakers! You break ‘em, you pay for ‘em, Stilinski!”

Stiles drops his hand, glaring at the camera and mumbling below his breath. Then, there is suddenly a smashing sound and he spins around to find Derek holding the broken speakers that he just ripped from the corner of the elevator wall. He’s looking at Stiles like he’s worried Stiles is going to freak out on him, and for at least 2 minutes Stiles can’t say anything at all.

Then, a grin breaks over his face and he breathes in awe,

“That was awesome!”

Derek almost sort of smiles back.

 

It must take Finstock a minute to process what Derek just did, too, because when he comes over the speaker again he sounds as shocked as Stiles looked.

”Seriously, Hale? I wasn’t kidding. You’re paying for those!”

“Worth it,” Derek growls and drops the broken speakers to the carpeted floor. Stiles gives a slightly hysterical giggle and then Finstock is talking again.

”Hey! You guys are still stuck in there, alright! There’s nothing I can do, you’ll just have to wait it out. I’m gonna be watching you guys to make sure you don’t break anything else, and if you do you’re paying for that too!”

The speakers click off and Derek is breathing a little heavier than he was a minute ago. There’s adrenaline racing through his veins; he’s not really sure what made him do it; it was kind of an impulse. Stiles had threatened it, and the music really did suck, and it wasn’t like he couldn’t afford it, and his hands moved without even thinking.

It was worth it to see the look of shocked amazement on Stiles’ face.

Stiles. Who he’s stuck in this elevator with for possibly several hours. Stiles, who he has kind of been a tiny bit attracted to since the very first time he met him. Stiles, who doesn’t even know his name. Stiles, who is currently taking out his phone to call his coworkers and let them know he’s going to be late indefinitely.

Not a bad idea, actually. Derek sighs and takes out his phone, dialing Boyd, because he’s the most reasonable of all the kids who work for him. It’s just his fucking luck that Erica picks up.

“Really, Derek?”

“Erica,” Derek replies through clenched teeth.

“You were that desperate to avoid your birthday surprise that you got yourself trapped in an elevator?”

Fuck. Isaac must have told her.

He hears Stiles talking to someone on the phone, then he stops abruptly and says, “Wait, dude, I’ve got to go. Text you later.”

“I’m gonna be in here for another couple of hours, it seems,” he sighs into the phone.

He thinks that Erica says something mean and sarcastic back, but he doesn’t really hear her because Stiles is turned to him with wide eyes and goes,

Dude.

He hangs up, because he doesn’t really have anything more to say to Erica, and gives Stiles a confused look, one eyebrow raised.

“It’s your birthday,” Stiles says slowly. Derek winces.

“Oh. Yeah.”

Stiles blinks at him, a look of pure horror on his face. Derek wonders if he can physically make a facial expression that isn’t way over-the-top.

“I’m so fucking sorry, dude. I thought I had it bad but you—you’re stuck in an elevator on your birthday!

Derek shrugs. It doesn’t really matter; it’s not like he was looking forward to celebrating anyway. He glances at Stiles who is still staring at him like he’s got the worst luck ever. He feels his heart rate quicken and murmurs before he can stop himself,

“Company could be worse…”

This shocks Stiles so much that he blinks about fifty times, staring at Derek like he couldn’t possibly have heard him correctly. Derek swallows, wondering if maybe he should have just kept quiet like they always do when they’re stuffed inside this elevator together.

Then, Stiles gets some kind of determined look on his face and holds out his hand, eyes bright and serious.

“Stiles.”

Derek probably shows way too much surprise on his face when he looks at the hand Stiles has outstretched. He takes it gingerly and shakes. He’s probably totally making up the zing of electricity he feels shoot up his arm where they touch. Stiles looks awkward when Derek drops his hand, glancing around the elevator until he focuses somewhere near the ground and says,

“I, uh, guess since we’re going to be in here together for a while, and we’ve never been properly introduced, I, uh—Stiles. My name is Stiles, and I work for a tiny video game company on the—“

“Seventh floor?” Derek offers, a little amused. Stiles grins and nods and Derek isn’t sure how he ever thought that Stiles’ upturned nose was anything but ridiculously adorable.

“Stiles,” Derek says, trying to make it seem like it’s the first time he’s heard it. “Nice to finally meet you. I’m Derek. Derek Hale.”

 

Yeah, Stiles knows. God, does he know.

“Derek, huh?” he says, hoping that it sounds more sincere than it feels. “Good name. Classic.”

Derek rolls his eyes.

“Well it’s not Stiles or anything.”

“Ha,” Stiles fake laughs, amazed at how well their first real conversation is going and wondering if he can keep this up for the rest of the time they’ll have to share in here. “Stiles isn’t actually my real name.”

“Shocking.”

“Yeaaah, thanks. I try.”

“So, what is?” Derek asks, leaning against one of the elevator walls.

“What is what?” Stiles replies, playing dumb as he mirrors Derek on the opposite wall.

“Your real name,” Derek says flatly.

“Oh, uh, something old and awful and a billion times worse than Stiles, trust me.”

Derek just looks at him for a moment; Stiles can’t tell if he’s annoyed or amused, then he shrugs and looks away.

“If you say so.”

“Oh, I definitely say so.” Stiles swallows, wondering how they could have already managed to run the conversation into the ground, when he remembers that it’s Derek’s birthday and he’s stuck in an elevator with Stiles, and there is no way Stiles is going to just let him sit there in silence on his birthday. He plops himself down onto the ground and starts digging around in his trusty backpack.

“What are you doing?” Derek asks.

“Getting comfortable. We’re gonna be in here for a while, dude.”

He sees Derek look skeptically at the carpeted floor then slide himself down to sit beside Stiles. He’s glad it’s just the two of them stuck in here; for a few reasons, obviously, but right now because they have plenty of room. He’s also glad there are no pregnant women in here with them—he thinks he saw a show where that happened once. They’d had to deliver the baby in the elevator and Stiles was totally sure that would scar him for life. Also he’d never be able to ride in the left elevator again. Ever.

He’s still reaching around in his backpack until his hand finally curls around the first object he needs and he pulls it out, tossing it gently to the carpeted floor between Derek’s leg and his knee.

“Okay, I’ve got PSP,” he pulls something else from inside the backpack and it lands right beside the first, “3DS, classic Gameboy color, because it’s still my favorite handheld system, and of course: cell phone apps.”

He holds his smartphone up and waves it at Derek who is only staring blankly at the items he’s managed to pull from the backpack. Stiles rolls his eyes, trying not to feel self-conscious just because it’s Derek fucking Hale that he’s talking to.

“Yeah, I know, I’m the geek that carries four portable game systems around in his backpack all the time—but with all of these we shouldn’t run out of entertainment for hours! I mean, I could play Temple Run all day if there weren’t so many other awesome games to try out.”

Derek’s blank look only gets blanker as he replies dully,

“Temple what?”

Stiles’ mouth drops open, probably in a comically wide manner, but he doesn’t even notice, or care.

“You don’t know what Temple Run is? How is that even possible?”

Derek just shrugs.

“Here, give me your phone,” Stiles demands impatiently, holding his hand out, palm up. He needs to fix this right away. Derek rolls his eyes as he fishes through his pocket and drops his phone unceremoniously in Stiles’ outreached hand. Stiles hands it back to him in less than 2 minutes and there’s a brand new app on his screen that he frowns at before looking back up at Stiles who only grins encouragingly and says,

“Do you know that you don’t have, like, any apps on your phone? What do you even do?”

“I make phone calls,” Derek replies shortly.

“Your battery is almost dead, too, see,” Stiles points to the battery in the right corner of the screen then starts digging in his backpack again, pulling out a white charger before glancing around the elevator looking for an outlet. “Aha!” he crows triumphantly when he spots one just behind Derek and, completely without thinking this through, leans his entire body over Derek’s to reach the socket and plug in the charger.

He can feel Derek tense up and instantly wishes he had thought about this more carefully. He tries to move back as quickly as possible but the damage is already done. Stiles can feel Derek’s eyes on him but he can’t meet them because he’s probably already flushing from that tiny amount of contact. He clears his throat awkwardly and holds out one end of the charger so Derek can plug his phone into it.

“Uh, here you go.” Derek takes it without a word and Stiles hears the familiar sound of the phone starting to charge. He swallows and fiddles with the edge of his jeans.

“So,” Derek sighs after a horrible minute of utter silence. “Are you going to tell me how to play this stupid game?”

Stiles’ irritation at Derek calling Temple Run a stupid game instantly overtakes the earlier awkwardness and he holds his own phone up so Derek can see to visually demonstrate the game.

“Wait, I don’t understand. Where’s the temple?”

“You run out of it at the beginning, see?”

“Okay, but why?”

“Because you stole some magic thing and now there’s these cursed monkey things chasing you and trying to kill you.”

“That’s so dumb. Why did you steal it?”

“Wha—I don’t—I don’t know! You just did! Why are you questioning Temple Run?

“It doesn’t make any sense! Where are you running to?”

“You aren’t running anywhere, you just keep running!”

“Then what is the point?”

“To run the farthest without dying! And to get the coins so you can unlock the other characters!”

“You mean those little diamond things?”

 

Stiles sighs long-sufferingly and Derek has to work very, very hard to keep his smile from being so obviously plastered across his face. Who knew it would be this much fun messing with this kid?

The game was kind of dumb though. Why would you play a game that didn’t even have a point?

He allows Stiles to explain it to him again, then talk him through the controls and watch as he starts running for the first time. He tries not to let him self become too distracted by Stiles’ fingers, which are slim and flexible, thumb flicking easily across his screen, and Derek can just imagine what it would feel like to have those fingers wrapped around his—no! No, no, no. No. Keep it together, Hale, you’re stuck in the elevator with him for probably a lot longer and this could get awkward fast if you start fantasizing about his fucking fingers.

Though, he is bi, Derek’s brain reminds him unhelpfully and he instantly loses focus in the game. When he dies Stiles groans loudly and tells him,

“You jumped when you should have slid, man!”

“It was going too fast, I didn’t have time!”

Stiles smirks at him and Derek curses because despite all of his grumbling, once he played the game it was actually pretty fun.

“Don’t worry,” Stiles nods. “You’ll get better.”

They continue playing Temple Run on their separate phones for a while; Derek has already unlocked one character, when Stiles mumbles without looking up from his own screen,

“Sooo… your birthday.”

“Yeah,” Derek says, flicking his finger to turn to the left. He likes turning left better than turning right. He wondered vaguely if that has anything to do with the elevator.

“How old are?”

“Twenty-eight,” Derek grimaces; he was already older than all of his workers, it’s not like they needed a special excuse to call him “old man,” which Erica already does on a daily basis. He seriously isn’t too upset about missing out on even more of that.

“Cool. Sorry, again. You know, about being stuck in here on your birthday. I’m sure you’d much rather be up there eating cake with your girlfriend.”

Derek runs off the side of the wall he’d been on, dying so he can look away from the game and stare at Stiles like he’s insane.

What girlfriend?” he asks, and Stiles looks up from his phone as well, swallowing nervously and waving his hand in a general upwards direction.

“Y—you know, the blond who’s always riding up in the elevator with you.”

“Erica is not my girlfriend,” Derek asserts firmly. Never. Never ever, ever, ever, ever.

“Oh,” Stiles squeaks, looking like he wishes he could just disappear into the floor. “Sorry, dude, I just assumed—“

“I’m not dating anyone,” Derek cuts him off, cursing internally at his unending rudeness. He doesn’t say anything for a minute and it’s horribly silent in the elevator—without even any bad music to distract them from each other. Then, he clears his throat and returns his gaze to his game, adding off-handedly,

“You’re probably right about the cake though.”

He doesn’t think Stiles is going to say anything, but then he goes, “Yeah?” and Derek thinks he can even hear a smile on his lips when he says it.

“Yeah. They get me one every year. And it’s always vanilla even though I tell them every year that I like chocolate.”

Stiles laughs. Derek decides it’s worth it just to ask, because he’s terrible curious, and when is going to get another chance like this anyway?

“Do you have a—are you dating anyone?”

Stiles laughs again and Derek glances up from the game for half a second to watch the way Stiles throws his entire head back when he laughs, arching his neck in a way that really, really makes Derek want to run his tongue along it—no, stop, stop it.

“No,” Stiles chuckles. “Danny is always trying to set me up with someone but they’re never—they’re never my type.”

What is your type Derek thinks, but somehow manages not to voice aloud.

“I pretty much haven’t dated since college.”

“Me neither,” Derek replies somewhat darkly. One-night stands and flighty hookups didn’t count. He just couldn’t connect with anyone, didn’t ever seem to find anyone truly interesting since Kate, the girl who ripped his heart out and stomped on it in his junior year of college. He realizes that Stiles probably doesn’t have anything to say to that, and asks hastily,

“Is Danny the tall, buff kid who rides up with you sometimes?”

“Yeah. He’s awesome. I met him through Lydia, who’s dating—“

“Jackson, right. I almost forgot that Jackson was dating someone who works above us.” He hadn’t forgotten at all. “He’s always sneaking up there on breaks—“

“For booty calls,” Stiles finishes for him, and Derek sees him roll his eyes. It’s just then that he realizes that neither of them are playing anymore, Stiles’ phone resting precariously on his knee. “That’s what they are—just don’t tell Lydia I called it that. She hit me once when I said that and she’s got some serious fingernails.”

“I think I can keep it to myself,” Derek replies with a small smile.

“What happens in the left elevator stays in the left elevator, right?” Stiles grins back, and now Derek is having some seriously dirty thoughts about the amount of things that could happen in this left elevator between he and Stiles. He clears his throat and nods to the security camera in the corner.

“Not if Finstock is watching.”

Stiles grimaces and is about to reply when the speaker comes on and Finstock’s scratchy voice filters into the small metal box.

“Heeey guys, how are you doing?”

“Speak of the devil,” Stiles mutters, catching Derek’s eye before they both turn to look at the camera.

“It’s been an hour and half and you haven’t killed each other! Congrats!”

Derek is surprised; he hadn’t thought it had been that long. That stupid Temple Run game really does make time fly—or maybe it was talking to Stiles that did it.

“Still no good news,” Finstock says over the speaker. ”The elevator repair guy called me back and said that his schedule was packed today—apparently it’s the day for broken elevators, who knew? Anyway, he’ll be here eventually, but don’t expect anything anytime soon. Hope you guys don’t have to piss!”

And then the speaker shut off, leaving the two of them with that brilliant thought to float around in the air until Stiles sighs and says gratefully,

“I dunno why I decided to skip on coffee this morning but I’m damn glad I did.”

Derek nods. “I didn’t get a smoothie today either. I guess if there was a day to get stuck in here, this was it.”

“Yeah,” Stiles laughs, then frowns slightly. “I am getting kind of hungry though.”

Derek hadn’t been thinking about it, but as soon as Stiles said it he realizes that he is hungry too. If he had made it to the office he probably would have stolen one of the donuts Isaac brings into work every day (how the kid doesn’t weigh 500 pounds Derek will never know), but now he’s screwed—until Stiles pulls something out of his backpack and offers it to Derek questioningly.

“You like ham, right?”

“You keep sandwiches in your backpack?” Derek asks, eyeing the plastic-wrapped sandwich skeptically. Stiles rolls his eyes.

“It’s my lunch, dumbass. Just take it.” Derek takes it cautiously and asks before unwrapping,

“What about you?”

“I always bring two lunches. I feed Scott too—that’s my best friend—otherwise he’d eat instant ramen for lunch every day.”

Derek nods as Stiles pulls a second sandwich from his backpack and starts taking the plastic off. He mimics him until a corner is free from the plastic and he takes a small bite. It’s actually pretty good.

“This isn’t bad,” he says, taking another bite.

“Thanks. I’ve been making lunches for years, so it’s sort of a habit.”

“Didn’t like cafeteria food?” Derek asks, smirking.

“No, I never made lunches for me. They were for my dad. If I didn’t make him a lunch he’d use it as an excuse to go out to eat at the local diner, which his cholesterol does not need.”

“What about now? You can’t still make his lunches for him right?”

“No,” Stiles grins. “I made a deal with Scott’s mom. She still lives close enough to drop lunches off at the sheriff station—where my dad works—and in exchange I make lunches for Scott. It was my idea,” he adds proudly.

“I usually go out to eat,” Derek admits sheepishly.

Stiles rolls his eyes and takes a huge bite of his sandwich. Derek hides his smile behind his and hopes Stiles can’t see it.

 

“What else have you got in there?” Derek asks after he’s finished the sandwich and Stiles offers him a bag of fritos and a coke. He refuses the coke and reminds Stiles with his expressive eyebrows the fact that they are stuck in this elevator indefinitely and it’s worth a little dehydration to not have to pee into a bottle. Stiles leaves his coke alone too.

“Pretty much everything,” Stiles nods honestly. “Video games, snacks, first-aid kit, travel-sized calendar my dad got me for Christmas that I never use—all the important stuff, you know.”

“Everything you need for an emergency situation,” Derek replies, smirking. Stiles grins back, just a little surprised to learn that Derek has a pretty decent sense of humor. Every time they’d ridden up in the elevator before it seemed like Derek was one of those hot, aloof types who rarely smiles because smiles are for the weak—but Stiles is learning all kinds of things about Derek today, like how he doesn’t have a girlfriend, and he thinks Stiles’ ham sandwiches are pretty good, and how his eyes are like, a billion different colors even in the crappy elevator lights.

His stubble is just as lickable as it was on the first day he’d rode up with him, and isn’t that just fucking great?

After they eat Stiles offers to show Derek some of the games on his other gaming systems. Derek agrees with a gruff, “there’s not really anything else to do,” which Stiles will totally take because, hey, he’s not wrong. They talk about as much as they play; about their coworkers and their jobs. Derek tells him some of the places Wolf Architecture has designed and Stiles tries to act surprised when he says that he’s been there and it’s a really cool place.

Derek asks him about some of the games they’ve developed and Stiles still can’t bring himself to tell Derek about Sourwolf, so instead starts describing the app game they’re in the beginning stages of developing. It’s a puzzle and word-based game that they’ve already managed to sneak hilarious video game jokes and easter eggs into and they’re barely on the third level. Derek says it sounds interesting, and actually seems sincere.

“If you can beat my high score on Temple Run by the time we release it I’ll let you download it for free.”

“Shake on it,” Derek smiles, reaching out his hand which Stiles takes and shakes, smiling right along with him. Derek’s grip is strong, his hands warm and big and Stiles is totally not thinking about big hands meaning big—and now Stiles is totally not looking towards Derek’s crotch, oh god, Stiles you giant fucking pervert stop, stop, stop it now!

“So, uh,” he clears his throat, looking around the elevator, looking anywhere but Derek, “say, hypothetically, nobody ever comes to fix the elevator.”

“What do you mean?” Derek asks, scowling.

“Say the elevator repair guy forgets about us or something.”

“He won’t.”

“But what if?” Stiles emphasizes, gesturing wildly with his hands. “What if we’re stuck here like, all day and night, and we have to find our own way out.”

“That won’t happen,” Derek rolls his eyes.

“You’re really bad at hypotheticals, dude, has anyone ever told you that? Just humor me. What would we do?”

“I don’t know,” he replies helpfully. Stiles gives him a withering look and points up to the ceiling.

“I think we would try to go through the trap door thingy up there.”

“How do you know there’s a trap door?” Derek asks, squinting at the metallic ceiling above them. “I don’t see one.”

“There’s always one! Every time someone needs to get out of an elevator in the movies there’s always a trap door at the top they climb through or something! Haven’t you ever seen Mission Impossible? Or Toy Story 2?”

Derek huffs, clearly not convinced, but then he rolls his eyes and decides to play along.

“Okay, say we went through the trapdoor. Then what?”

“Then we would climb up to the next floor and force the doors open!”

“I think that’s a lot more difficult than you imagine it is.”

“Whatever. I’ll leave your ass in here to rot, then!” Derek smiles and shakes his head. Suddenly something occurs to Stiles, and he says curiously, “You know… I just realized that I have no idea who works on the fourth floor! I know the clowns are on the third floor, but I’ve never seen anyone going up to the fourth.”

Stiles’ isn’t making stuff up; there is actually a clown school on the third floor. He kept seeing them heading up in the right elevator and asked one day. They are actually the only other business that Stiles’ knows works in the building besides Derek’s.

“They’re the most secretive floor,” Derek agrees, “but I know what they do.”

“What is it” Stiles asks cautiously because Derek is making it sound like they do something sketchy up on the fourth floor. Oh, man, what if they’re secret agents?

“They’re a phone sex hotline’s home base.”

Stiles’ mouth drops open and his eyebrows shoot up into his hairline.

“I’m sorry—what?”

“There’s no one there actually having phone sex up there. They just connect the callers with the phone sex workers and monitor the calls.”

“The phone sex calls?”

“Yeah.”

“I can’t believe there’s a phone sex business sitting right below me all this time and I never knew!” He pauses, feeling a little devious. “Have you ever called?”

“What? No!” Derek looks so appalled by the very idea that Stiles falls over laughing, just trying to imagine Derek having phone sex with some random stranger. It just doesn’t compute—and then his brain throws out the idea of Derek having phone sex with him and he shuts that down before it can get any hotter in this little elevator than it already is. Derek had taken his tie off and unbuttoned his shirt almost an hour ago; Stiles had thrown his flannel in his backpack soon after.

“What about the other floors?” He asks to distract himself. “Do you know every company that works here?”

“Pretty much,” Derek replies, still eyeing Stiles cautiously, like he’s not sure if Stiles believes that he’s never called the sex hotline before. Stiles bites his lip to keep from laughing again.

“Who’s on the second floor?” he asks, because the first floor is mostly just the lobby and the offices for the hotel managers and security guards and things.

“The second floor is reserved for whichever republican is running for any government position at the time. You haven’t been here for election season; it gets insane. Even the left elevator is crowded. But they get off at the second floor so thankfully you only have to put up with them for a minute of two.”

“That bad, huh?’

“Worse. You know the fart guy who’s always going up to floor five?”

Stiles cringes. Yes, yes he does know.

“Yeah, like half of them are more guys like that. The rest of them are okay, though. I think there’s a judge running for the county seat right now, but it’s a really small election so there aren’t too many people down there.”

“Great, now I’m really not looking forward to election season.”

“Maybe we can get here earlier and beat them to the left elevator,” Derek offers, and Stiles heart flutters for some stupid reason. Derek is just mentioning it because he knows Stiles doesn’t take the right elevator, but there’s something about the way he says “we” that makes Stile hopeful that their elevator rides together in the future might not be as quiet as they were before. This day kind of just keeps getting better and better. Derek glances at the buttons beside the doors, nodding to floors three.

“Three is the clowns, and four is the phone sex hotline. Five,” he says, smiling at Stiles like he knows Stiles will like this one, “Is the R&D department for a certain company that likes to keep their identity a secret.”

“Research and development? You mean they’ve got like, a laboratory up there? Is that safe?”

“The company makes ice cream,” Derek rolls his eyes, and Stiles bounces up and down on the floor.

“Oh my god, that’s where the chocolaty smell comes from if I open some of the windows around noon! I’ve always wondered! What company is it? I wanna taste some!”

“Like I said, they’re very secretive,” Derek replies, but there’s something in his expression that makes Stiles narrow his eyes and go,

“But you know, don’t you?”

Derek grins cheekily, eyes devious. He doesn’t say anything aloud but mouths across the elevator, Ben and Jerry’s.

“No way.”

Derek nods.

“Awesome. So what about the eighth floor?”

 

Derek raises an eyebrow at Stiles.

“You don’t know?” he asks, already loving the look of curious confusion on Stiles’ face.

“Know… what?”

“About the death on the eighth floor?”

Stiles eyes go wide as coins and his mouth hangs open in that way that has already started driving Derek crazy, and they’ve only been stuck in here for—actually, they’ve been stuck in here for about 3 and half hours by now. Derek hasn’t felt bored once, and it’s not because of the video games.

“What happened?” Stiles breathes.

“There used to be a toy designing company on the eighth floor. They had this series of little dolls that all had boyfriend dolls that went with them. They were sold in pairs, called the “eternal love” series or something.”

“I think I remember those!” Stiles whisper-shouts. Derek nods solemnly.

“There was a girl who worked there who was in love with the company’s boss—a woman. She confessed and the boss scoffed at her, told her she believed in traditional relationships.”

“The woman should have seen that coming, with the dolls!” Stiles exclaims.

“Well, she didn’t, and she was horribly depressed after, not to mention the boss fired her. The day she came to the building to collect her things and saw the boss flirting with one of the guys who worked there. She broke down, pried the right elevator doors open and flung herself down the elevator shaft and died.”

Stiles is slowly shaking his head, eyes wide and locked up and over to their right where Derek had just described the woman fell.

“The right elevator,” he says lowly. “I’ll bet that’s why it breaks down all the time…”

“Because her ghost still haunts the place where she died,” Derek nods, trying to keep himself together, but his façade is slowly slipping away. He starts snorting, mouth turning up into a smile, and Stiles stares at him nervously for a moment before he realizes that Derek is laughing and he exclaims,

“OH MY GOD YOU FILTHY LIAR!”

Derek laughs and laughs and laughs, remembering the way Stiles eyes had been so wide and panicked, thinking about the ghost of the elevator, the girl who died the floor above his. He feels Stiles smack a hand across his shoulder.

“I can’t believe I bought that. You are the worst!

“I can’t believe you bought it either,” Derek admits, mimicking Stiles voice to add, “I think I remember those! Really? Because I made them up.”

He cackles again at Stiles’s fuming expression, the way his hands are crossed and he’s staring angrily at the wall. Derek feels like it’s been years since he’s laughed this hard.

“So who’s on the eighth floor, then, smartass?”

“Nobody,” Derek shrugs, still slightly chuckling. “There hasn’t been anyone up there since I’ve worked here.”

“So it could be true,” Stiles declares, pointing a finger at him. “There could have been a death up there and that’s why no one will work up there and maybe that is why the right elevator won’t work.”

“Yeah, right. I’m sure it’s the ghosts, not the ancient wires and mechanics because these stupid things are as old as the building itself.”

“Hey, don’t talk about old elevators when we’re stuck in one. You’re gonna jinx us!”

“Are you really that superstitious?”

“Hey, you don’t wanna go messing around with the supernatural, okay. They will fuck you up.”

Stiles’ cheeks are still flushed from his embarrassment at being tricked, his eyes bright with energy as he tries explaining to Derek that he and his best friend Scott once went looking for a dead body in the woods and he swears up and down that something was following them the whole time, something ghostly that sent chills down the back of his neck.

“Was it cold outside?” Derek asks, smirking. Stiles doesn’t answer him and Derek laughs quietly to himself until Stiles turns around to face him fully and holds his hands out.

“Put your hands like this.”

Derek eyes Stiles’ outstretched hands skeptically before sighing and turning his body to face Stiles, placing his hands out the way the younger man was demonstrating.

“What now?”

Stiles grins at him, then places his own hand palm-up below Derek’s so their palms are barely touching. Derek inhales sharply and tries to ignore the soft warmth of Stiles’ hands on his. Then, before he can figure out what’s happening, Stiles flips his hands over and slaps the tops of both of Derek’s hands. Derek stares at Stiles like he’s crazy. Stiles giggles and places his hands back below Derek’s, apologizing cheerfully,

“Sorry. I just wanted to get you once for that fucking ghost story. Okay, have you ever played this before?”

“Played what?” Derek asks, ignoring the strangeness of two fully-grown men sitting on the floor of an elevator with their hands touching. He feels like he can ignore a lot of strangeness when it comes to Stiles.

“Okay, so you know what I did a minute ago?”

“…slap my hands?”

“Yeah. I’m going to try and do it again. You try to move your hands out of the way before I can flip my hands around and slap yours. Got it?”

“I guess so. What’s the—“

“Don’t ask me what the point is, Derek. Just go with it.”

Derek huffs but bites his tongue, tensing his hands in preparation to move them out of the way. He hates to admit it but he’s actually pretty competitive, no matter what the game.

He waits, hands tensed, watching Stiles’ hands below his for any movement. He barely breathes, and he can’t hear Stiles’ breathing either. He waits and waits and waits, until finally he exhales and asks,

“What are you waiting for?”

“It’s part of the game,” Stiles replies, not taking his eyes off of their hands. “You have to be patient and wait for just the right moment.”

He strikes right when he says the word “just.” Derek hadn’t seen it coming; his tone hadn’t changed in the slightest but then he just flipped his hands around and smacked the top of Derek’s hands hard enough to sting, but not too much. When Derek looks up Stiles is smirking at him. It reminds Derek of all those months ago when Stiles had smirked after holding the door. Derek had been so annoyed by the smirking brat he was sharing the elevator with—even more so because the kid was really attractive when he smirked the very way he is doing right now.

“Let’s try again,” he demands, placing his hands out. Stiles shrugs and puts his hands back below Derek’s. Derek isn’t going to be distracted this time.

“You know, I thought you were a such a brat when you first started using this elevator,” he admits, partially hoping to distract Stiles, but also curious as to what Stiles will think of that.

Stiles laughs, his fingers twitching slightly below Derek’s. They bump against the inside of his wrists and even though it’s light and not even anything at all, it makes Derek’s heartbeat spike. Damn this kid and his fucking sexy fingers!

“I thought you were a total jerk. I went up and complained to Scott about you. I think I called you a grump, actually.”

“A grump? What does that even mean?”

“You know, like a scowling, non-door-holding, sour—“ he flips his hands and Derek is just a smidge too slow; Stiles catches his fingers, talking easily the entire time. “—puss, and then you came in the next day and I held the door and you spent the entire ride up glaring at nothing. It was hilarious.”

“I hold the door now,” Derek counters, almost managing to dodge Stiles’ hands this time. He curses and replaces his hands. Stiles’ fingers touch his wrists lightly again and the next second his hands are smacked fully across the back—he didn’t even have a chance of moving them.

“Yeah, you do hold it now. I take back everything I said. Derek Hale is no grump! Here, why don’t you try? Because you’re obviously never going to win this way.”

Stiles’ switches his hands so they’re palm-down and Derek rolls his eyes, placing his hands, facing up, below Stiles’. He doesn’t try to catch Stiles’ right away. He waits like Stiles’ had at first.

“You’re not such a brat, either,” he admits honestly.

“So you’re saying this isn’t totally the worst birthday you’ve ever had?”

“Not by a long shot,” Derek tells him.

“Oh, good. Because I was—Oh, nice try!—worried. Hey, hopefully there’s still some of that vanilla cake left for you. You know, if we ever manage to get out of here.”

Derek is actually starting to think it would be okay if they never do. He flips his hands again, as fast as he can manage, and barely touches Stiles’ fingertips.

“Hey! Look at that! All it takes is some practice. Like with Temple Run. You’re getting pretty good last time I checked.”

“Yeah,” Derek grows, smiling despite himself and flipping his hands again only to miss spectacularly and slap his own legs. “I’ll bet I could even beat you by now.”

“Ha! I don’t think so buddy. I’ll have you know that I am the reining Temple Run champion of floor seven!”

Derek misses again and when Stiles replaces his hands and let’s Derek place his gently underneath his palms, he says slyly,

“But if you’re so confident, how about we have a little Temple Run contest? Whoever can stay alive the longest wins.”

“Yeah? And what do you get if you win?” Derek asks, because there’s a good chance that Stiles will win, anyway. Stiles makes a thoughtful humming noise for a moment, though he’s still paying enough attention to dodge Derek’s hands again, then says,

“If I win, I get a slice of your birthday cake. You know, when someone eventually gets this thing working again. I actually like vanilla.”

“Okay,” Derek agrees. “Then if I win, I get to kiss you.”

The sound of the “smack” when Derek’s palms hit the back of Stiles’ hands echoes through the tiny metal room. Surprised, Derek looks up to see that Stiles isn’t even looking at their hands, but is staring at Derek with wide eyes and a slightly open mouth.

Derek wonders if maybe it wasn’t a good idea to make his “prize” kissing Stiles, but he honestly couldn’t think of anything he wanted to do more in that moment. It isn’t that it just “slipped out” or anything. It was more like Derek had been thinking about kissing Stiles ever since the elevator broke down, and Stiles just happened to offer him the perfect opportunity to put the idea in the air, so to speak. He swallows, eyes uncertain, and Stiles blinks at him without moving.

“Stiles?” he asks. “Uh, if you don’t want me to, I can just—“

“No!” Stiles finally snaps out his daze, eyes still wide and face flushed in a way that makes Derek want to screw the whole contest and kiss him right there. “I mean, um, that’s f—fine. Right, so, if I win I get to have some cake. And if you win you can, uh, kiss me. Sounds fair.”

He nods, looking away from Derek and picking up his phone. Derek thinks he sees him take a deep breath but he isn’t sure. Derek reaches in his pocket for his own phone and takes it out, opening the Temple Run app and waiting for Stiles to explain any further rules. He turns to the younger man and finds him staring blankly at his phone. Suddenly Stiles shakes his head and turns to Derek, looking determined.

“Okay,” he says, moving closer to Derek and holding his phone out in his right hand. “To make sure there’s no cheating, we should sit side-by-side. That way we’ll be able to tell if someone’s restarting.”

Stiles moves even closer, so the right side of his body is pressed against Derek’s left. He crosses his legs and looks over at Derek, holding his phone out in a way that makes Derek hold his out too, so they’re side by side.

“We’ll start at the same time.” Derek nods. He brings up the main screen and sees Stiles do the same on his phone. “Aaaand, go!” he presses start and his little character runs from the temple with evils monkeys hot on his heels. Derek chances a brief glance over at Stiles’ screen and sees the same thing, then he focuses back on his game with a concentration that he is determined not to let waver. He wants to win.

It’s completely silent in the elevator for at least five minutes as the two of them play. They’d both put their phones on silent mode when they first started playing. Derek’s been doing good so far, not even any close calls or stumbles. He sort of wonders how Stiles is doing, but doesn’t dare glance over even for a second.

“So,” Stiles begins, but Derek cuts him off.

“Don’t try and distract me.”

“I—what? I wasn’t trying to distract you. Geez, you can’t run and talk at the same time?”

“I’m trying to win,” Derek replies, smirking though he knows Stiles can’t see it.

“You—oh, I. Um. Trying to win so you can… kiss me, right?”

Derek doesn’t think Stiles is actually trying to distract him. He hears genuine curiosity in his voice, so Derek will play along—but he’s definitely not going to lose.

“That’s the plan.”

It’s quiet for a while again, aside from the silent sound of fingers swiping across phone screens. Then, Stiles asks lightly,

“So, uh, why did you choose that as your prize?”

“Honestly?” Derek asks, and he can feel how tense Stiles’ body is pressed against his. He tries not to smirk too much because it would probably distract him.

“Yeah, sure, honestly.”

“Because I’ve been wanting to kiss you for a while.”

“Shit!” Stiles curses, and Derek barely keeps himself from glancing away from his screen. He catches himself just in time, and it’s a good thing, because the game is getting harder; he’s already had a few near-misses and he doesn’t want to take anymore chances.

“What? Did you die?”

“No, I—I just stumbled. Still alive. How long, exactly?”

“How long what?”

Derek.

“A couple months, I guess.”

“Really?” Stiles replies, his voice higher than usual. Derek decides he ought to just go ahead and go out on a limb, and says calmly,

“Actually, I want to do a lot more to you than just kiss you.”

There’s quiet, a lot of quiet; it goes on for a few minutes and amazingly, Derek manages not to die. And then from the corner of his eye Derek sees Stiles drop his phone to the floor. He quickly pauses his own game and glances over to where Stiles is staring and blushing at the carpet and his phone that’s lying there with the screen showing how he died.

“I lost,” Stiles mutters weakly, swallowing. He glances up at Derek, licking his lips in a way that Derek is pretty sure is only subconscious, but does crazy things to his heart rate anyway.

“Told you I was getting good.”

Stiles nods, turning to face Derek like he had when he’d held out his hands to play the slap game, except this time he’s much closer, and his eyes are lidded and staring at Derek in a way that makes Derek want to take him, take him until he can’t even talk anymore.

“You won fair and square,” he says, licking his lips again.

Derek doesn’t think it’s subconscious anymore.

“I guess I did,” he mutters, leaning towards Stiles, blatantly ogling Stiles’ mouth.

He watches the way Stiles’ tongue flicks out of his mouth, wets his lips before dipping back inside. It’s mesmerizing and he leans in further. Stiles closes his eyes, lifting his chin as Derek presses in closer and closer until his lips are just barely touching Stiles’.

He kisses Stiles slow and soft, just a gentle brush of lips on lips, and then he pulls away. Stiles’ eyes flutter half open and for a second they just stare at each other, neither breathing nor neither moving.

Then, they both lean in again, meeting in the middle desperately, moans already sticking in their throats as their hands find each other and hold on tightly. Their lips don’t want to fit together at first; it’s just slopping, messy pressing of mouths until Stiles bites at Derek’s bottom lip and they finally line up, fitting together like a goddam dream.

Stiles flicks his tongue out, licking a hot line just beneath Derek’s mouth to the corner of his lips, ending with a shuddered sigh. He murmurs against Derek’s chin,

So lickable.”

“What?”

“Nothing,” Stiles grins, kissing and kissing light little pecks against Derek’s lips, the younger man’s lips just as plump and soft and hot as Derek thought they would be. Stiles tilts his head, tongue sliding past Derek’s teeth and along the roof of his mouth. His mind reels because for some reason, Derek just hadn’t imagined that Stiles would be this good of a kisser.

He’d pictured sloppy, frantic lips and too much tongue but when Stiles slows down, capturing Derek’s top lip between his and sucking lightly Derek wonders if he can even compete.

 

Kissing Derek is like woah and holy shit and help, I’m gonna cum in my pants before I even get them off all at the same fucking time. Lydia had been right about the stubble, of course she had, and Stiles just wants to rub his face and tongue against it until he’s got beard-burn enough to sting, but he doesn’t think Derek would appreciate that much so he just allows himself one tiny lick and focuses the rest of his energy on kissing—which he could probably do with Derek all day long if Derek would let him.

He’s pulling out all the stops, using every trick in the book ever taught to him by more experienced lovers to kiss Derek. Partly because he wants to impress Derek, duh, but also just because kissing Derek is too good for words and kisses like this deserve the best.

Derek doesn’t seem to mind, either, because he presses back into Stiles’ mouth with as much, if not more, enthusiasm than Stiles can manage. He’s all teeth when he kisses; canines biting at Stiles lips and dragging against his tongue when he licks along them before finding Derek’s tongue and tasting it and tasting it. Stiles shouldn’t find it so hot when Derek bites it lightly, just enough for him to pull back into his own mouth so Derek can chase it back with his tongue, tasting inside Stiles’ mouth the same way Stiles had been tasting his.

How the hell they were playing the fucking hand slap game nearly 15 minutes ago Stiles will never know.

And, Jesus, Derek had actually said that he’d been wanting to kiss Stiles for months a few minutes ago. Which is, like, the most insane thing Stiles has ever heard, because he’s been wanting to kiss Derek for months too, which means they could have been kissing all this time and Stiles is such a total idiot. But Derek kind of is, too, so it’s really just splitting hairs at this point. This point being when Stiles fists his hands into Derek’s shirt, probably wrinkling the hell out of it in order to pull him closer and practically inhale his lips, maybe fuse them together so they’re never not kissing again.

And Derek’s hands, Oh, god, Derek’s hands slide up and grasp the back of Stiles’ neck and his head, pulling him in closer too so Derek can growl into Stiles mouth, low and filthy, and Stiles is not going to get out of this elevator alive (at the very least he’s not going to get out of this elevator without coming, most likely in his pants).

Derek uses his whole body to push Stiles back, to crowd him down as he slides a thumb around to stroke at Stiles’ cheek, pulling away from a kiss to start marking Stiles’ chin and the top of his neck.

Stiles’ flails his hands out behind him to steady himself as Derek continues advancing on him, using his body to lean over Stiles’ and press him into the floor. One of his hands connects with his backpack and he sends it flying, spilling half of its contents across the carpet. It’s enough of a distraction that they both stop what they’re doing and look over to where the bag fell open. Stiles feels his stomach drop out of the bottom of the elevator and probably land someone near the lowest parking garage.

Oh my god this isn’t happening,” Stiles drops Derek’s shirt and uses both hands to cover his burning face because there’s no way he can look Derek in the eyes now.

Not when about five condoms and a tiny bottle of lube had just flown out of his backpack and are now lying, completely and totally out in the open on the elevator floor.

Of all the fucking things to accidentally get thrown out of his backpack—those were at the fucking bottom of the bag, Stiles’ knows they were! It’s just a testament to his eternal bad luck that they somehow managed to be the things that he pushed out of the bag when he hit it with his spastic hands.

Derek doesn’t say anything; he doesn’t even move. Stiles groans and keeps his face covered as he mutters weakly,

“Those are just in there for—“

“—emergencies?” Derek offers, sounding half amused and half obnoxiously pleased. Stiles swallows thickly.

“Yeah?” he squeaks.

“Hm,” Derek hums, and Stiles drops one of his hands to see Derek staring thoughtfully at the objects strewn on the floor. “Have you ever used them?”

Holy fucking shit, he did not just ask that.

“I—uh, well—“ fuck. “Yes. I mean the lube, yes. The condoms not—not in a while.”

Derek turns a sly grin his way; he’s still leaned over Stiles, crowding his space and making Stiles sweat because body heat is pouring off of him in waves. His lips are already swollen and bruised and Stiles’ heart rate spikes because holy shit, he did that!

“Do you want to?”

Stiles’ eyes dart up from Derek’s mouth to his eyes and a shock flashes through his skin because there’s something like uncertainty hanging there. And his hair is spiked up in odd directions and Stiles just wants to claw his fingers through it and mess it up even more, wants to make Derek moan and feel him grinding against Stiles. There’s a moment of thick, unsure silence and then,

Holy shit, yes!

“Good,” Derek says lowly and then they’re kissing again, dirtier and messier and better than before. Derek’s hands slide down and hold just below his armpits, fingers hot through the cotton of his t-shirt and Stiles tangles his in Derek’s hair, pushing there mouths together desperately. Stiles spreads his legs and Derek fits his waist between them, moving his body in languid rolls. Stiles gasps away from Derek’s lips to choke breathlessly,

“I didn’t—fuck—spill my backpack on purpose.”

“Wouldn’t have—“ he lets Stiles interrupt with a biting kiss, “—cared if you had. Fuck, Stiles!

Hands slide further down Stiles’ chest to his waist and below. He sucks in a hot breath of air right from Derek’s mouth when Derek’s fingers catch the hem of his shirt and heft it up, up, awkwardly pulling Stiles’ insane limbs and head out of the clothe and flinging it over in the corner. Stiles skin tingles so hot as Derek latches his mouth onto a place just above his collar bone and he and Stiles work together to try and remove the older man’s shirt as well.

“AH!” Stiles shouts, throwing his head back when Derek bites and it goes straight down to his already very interested dick. His eyes barely flit open and he sees the metallic ceiling of the elevator, and then he goes totally and completely still.

“Derek, Derek, oh, my god stop, Derek the camera!”

Derek’s head snaps around so quickly that Stiles’ thinks he gets whiplash. They both stare up at the tiny recording device in the top corner of the small room; neither of them even breathes. Stiles isn’t sure what they’re waiting for, but nothing happens, and Derek—eyes still trained dangerously on the camera—says seriously,

“I’ll take care of it.”

He stands and steps over to the corner, reaching up. For a moment Stiles thinks he’s going to break it like he broke the speakers but instead he just—turns it facing the wall.

“You can move it?” Stiles asks incredulously as Derek leans down over him again, trapping him between the floor and the hot hardness of Derek’s insane body.

“Yeah. Why, did you want me to break it?” Derek grins.

“It was kind of hot,” Stiles admits honestly, shrugging.

“I can think of something hotter,” Derek murmurs, pressing their lips together. Stiles moans and fists his hands in Derek’s shirt that is obnoxiously still on Derek’s body.

“Your shirt, seriously, needed to be off like 20 minutes ago,” Stiles exclaims against the scruff of Derek’s chin. Derek chuckles, backing off Stiles slightly to roll his shirt up and over his head—much more elegantly than Stiles had. The whole fucking act looks like it’s from a really good porno and it’s all Stiles can do when Derek leans back over him, all skin and tanned muscles, not to drool down his chin like the idiot he really is.

The air is hot and thick and makes it difficult for Stiles to breathe—which is not good at all considering it’s already nearly impossible for him to remember to breathe in the first place with Derek’s teeth scraping against the long line of his neck. He shivers, making a horrible, unnatural sound at the back of his throat, hands fisting into Derek’s hair again as he arches his back and Derek moves his mouth lower.

Stiles is so unbelievably hard it’s embarrassing. Like, if there was any blood at all left in his brain it would be fueling thoughts about how awfully embarrassing the dripping dick inside his underwear is. Then, Derek bucks against him, growling a low sound just above Stiles’ nipple. It presses their hips together for a minuscule second and Stiles feels something huge and hot and hard rub against him; it takes him at least a full minute to realize that thing he felt is Derek’s cock, oh my fucking god!

And now he’s picturing it—holding it in his hands and taking it in his mouth, Jesus Christ, feeling it inside him. Oh, Stiles is so not going to last long if that thing ever makes it out of Derek’s pants.

“Shit, shit, shit, shit,” he chants when he feels Derek’s tongue lick a line across his ribs. Hands on either side of his hips hold him steady as Derek’s tongue and mouth inch closer and closer to the line of his pants. A part of his mind informs him that he is definitely going to have stubble burn and the idea makes his heart skip a beat. He’s going to have physical proof that Derek fucking Hale licked his stomach and that’s awesome because he’s having a hard time believing that this is actually happening and it’s happening right goddam now.

Derek reaches the line of Stiles pants and pauses. Stiles shifts slightly, hoping to maybe give Derek an easier angle at which to remove his jeans because the thought of Derek’s mouth so close to his dick is not doing anything to quell his erection and Stiles is starting to feel impatient.

“Stand up,” Derek says, voice husky and sexy in a way that Stiles’ could probably never be.

“What.”

“Stand up,” Derek repeats, more insistent this time, looking up at Stiles from around his belly button. Stiles swallows and tries to bend his legs and stand; it doesn’t really work out.

“What if I can’t?” he huffs out pathetically.

Derek just smirks, leaning back on his knees to give Stiles the room to push himself bodily off the carpet. He leans on shaky legs against the side of the elevator; the metal is cold against his bare skin. Just as he’s about to smartly ask Derek what he wants next, he feels Derek’s hands curl around his waist, fingers digging into his back pockets as he licks along Stiles’ happy trail.

“Holyfuckingshitfuck,” Stiles exhales and feels Derek grin against his stomach, fingers sliding around to unbutton the top of his jeans and rip open the zipper. Stiles’ hands, that he’d had clenched against the cool wall, jump up and wind into Derek’s hair again, pulling enough to make Derek growl and rip Stiles’ jeans to his knees in a flash. Stiles’ legs almost give out on him but Derek’s grip on his upper thighs tightens enough to keep him standing. He can’t look down because he’s pretty sure the sight of Derek on his knees with his face pressing into Stiles’ crotch will make him shoot off like a rocket and it’s just not time for that yet.

Derek’s thumbs curl around his thighs and rub up inside the leg holes of his (batman) boxers. Stiles’ shudders out Derek’s name, tightening his grip on Derek’s hair. Derek answers by pressing his lips over the bulge beneath the fabric, mouthing at Stiles’ cock. Stiles feels his tongue through the cotton and spazzes, slamming his head back against the wall to stop from jerking his hips harder against Derek’s mouth. He faintly hears Derek mutter something but then Derek pulls the elastic of his boxers over the leaking tip of his cock, letting them fall where his pants are.

Stiles’ lets out a tiny hysterical giggle because his brain is trying to get him to make an ill-advised comment about Derek makin’ the panties drop. Luckily the next moment Derek wraps his hand around Stiles’ cock and he loses complete access to the word-formulating part of his brain.

Derek’s grip is gentle, his hand hot and big; he strokes Stiles slowly, slow enough to drive Stiles insane so that he bucks his hips to get more friction, more movement against Derek’s hand. He shudders visibly when Derek moves his hand from Stiles’ dick to cup his balls, fondling them softly before licking the shining, wet tip of Stiles’ cock with the length of his tongue.

Stiles makes a sound that is not human and Derek licks him again, just underneath the head of his cock. His tongue is hot and wet and awful and wonderful and Stiles is probably pulling on Derek’s hair hard enough to hurt but Derek doesn’t seem to mind because he wraps his mouth around Stiles and sucks him in.

“Oh, god, oh god, oh god, ohgodohgodohgod,” Stiles gasps in time to the movement of Derek’s mouth on him and the way he allows Stiles to press his hips up gently, fucking his mouth as Derek’s fingers dig into the flesh of his ass. He whimpers horribly when a wave of pleasure hits him hard, not enough for him to come but so close that he bites his tongue to keep focused. Focused on Derek’s mouth hot around his cock, and the earlier promise of more.

He chances a glance down at Derek and almost comes right then. Derek’s eyes are on his face, his cheeks flushed and hollowing out whenever he sucks in making his jaw look, if possible, even more like it’s carved out of marble. His lips are wet and glistening with spit and precome, wrapped tight around Stiles’ dick, oh, holy fuck, Stiles’ dick, Derek Hale is sucking Stiles’ dick!

“Derek,” he groans, hands coming around to grip the sides of Derek’s face tightly and pulling up. “Up, here, now. Like, right now!”

His mouth slides’ wetly off of Stiles’ dick and he lets Stiles pull him off the floor as Stiles bends down to meet him in the middle with a wet, sloppy kiss. He catches Stiles’ gaze when he pulls away and there is a question in his eyes but before Stiles can give him an answer Stiles sinks to his knees and uses fumbling fingers to open up the top of Derek’s pants.

“Stiles!” Derek hisses, surprised and turned on.

Stiles doesn’t waste time; he has Derek’s boring black boxer briefs around his ankles in a flash, reveling in the small gasp that escapes between Derek’s clenched teeth as he folds his hands around the back of Stiles’ head encouragingly. Stiles doesn’t really need encouragement, because the moment he sees Derek’s cock he knows he wants it in his mouth and wraps his lips around the length, taking it as deep as he can before moving back up and doing it again.

Jesus,Stiles, your mouth!” Derek says, hips thrusting in time against Stiles’ lips. He moans around Derek’s length, sliding his mouth off all the way so that he can lick the tip and mutter breathlessly,

“Your cock is fucking perfect. Derek, shit, I want you to fuck me so bad.”

“I won’t be able to if you keep doing that,” Derek replies gruffly, voice a mess of low baritone and lust. Stiles takes a sharp breath in through his nose and then Derek is pulling him up just like he’d done a few moments before, quickly turning to press Stiles against the cool mirror of the back wall. He kisses Stiles, tongue fucking into his mouth as he grinds their cocks together. Stiles throws his head back and lifts one leg to wrap around Derek’s thigh, fingers clawing at Derek’s back as Derek bites at his lower lip and then is gone.

Stiles nearly loses his balance and blinks dazed eyes open to see Derek quickly pick up two condoms and the lube from the floor. He comes back over to Stiles and hands him the condoms.

“You take care of that, I’ll take care of this?” he asks, raising the lube to clarify. Stiles looks down at the two wrapped Trojans in his hand then back up at Derek.

“Why do we need two?”

Derek rolls his eyes, but his mouth quirks up in a small smile.

“We’re not getting cum all over the elevator, Stiles.”

“Ah,” Stiles replies eloquently, dropping his eyes to the packages in his hands and attempting to concentrate on opening them instead of letting his eyes wander to Derek’s glistening (seriously, glistening?) abs. He hears the cap of the lube pop open when he gets the first wrapper open, pulling the condom out and rolling it down over himself. Just as he opens the other one he feels Derek’s hand slide between his cheeks and cold, slippery fingers press against his hole.

He jumps and nearly drops the other condom. Derek pulls back a bit, adding hastily,

“Sorry. It’s probably cold. Can you—“ he adjusts his fingers slightly and the sensation of it goes straight to Stiles’ cock; god, it’s been forever since he’s been fucked. “—can you spread your legs some more?”

He steps out of one of the crumpled pants legs that are still around his ankles, widening his stance so that Derek can gently press two fingers in at once. Stiles squeaks, nearly dropping the second condom again, and Derek stills. When he moves his fingers again it’s slow and gentle, but it still burns a little. Stiles tries to relax, focusing on the condom he still has to slide over Derek.

As soon as he looks at Derek’s cock he’s filled with a burning desire to have that inside him right now, oh my god and he clenches up. Derek’s fingers twitch and he catches Stiles’ eye, raising one eyebrow silently.

“Sorry,” Stiles says quickly, looking away as he fits the condom over the tip of Derek’s dick. “I’ll just, uh, do this.”

He starts rolling it down, slowly because he doesn’t want it to break before they even get started, and feels Derek take in a sharp breath, his fingers sinking deeper into Stiles’ ass, spreading and widening him gently. Stiles fights the urge to moan by biting his lip, rolling the bottom of the condom to the base of Derek’s cock. Derek apparently takes that as a good excuse to slide a third finger into Stiles, pushing them deep and slicking him up. Stiles starts to lose his balance again but catches himself by grabbing a hold of Derek’s arms. The moans are only muffled by his lips and this time it’s Derek who grabs a hold of his leg and hoists it up to curl around his waist.

Stiles curses and throws his head back as Derek’s fingers move in and out, slick and making a wet noise as they spread him. He pushes them in deep and Stiles almost screams.

“There, oh god, there, Derek!”

Stiles isn’t sure if he’s going to make it out of this elevator alive.

 

It is Derek’s birthday and Stiles is going to be the fucking death of him. The way his back arches against the wall and he bites his lips to keep from screaming but can never stop it anyway. His skin that is so soft every time Derek grinds their cocks together. The splattering of moles all across his body that makes Derek want to stop and catalogue each and every one with his tongue, the way—fuck—the way he’s clenched so tight and hot around Derek’s fingers as he works him open.

“There, oh god, there, Derek!”

Derek growls low in his throat, bending to kiss Stiles’ obscenely parted mouth as he drops his leg and slides his fingers out. He lets Stiles deepen the kiss for a moment before he takes a half-step back and says,

“Turn around.”

He watches as Stiles swallows and uncoordinatedly turns around, planting his hands on the mirror and spreading his legs invitingly. He glances in the mirror back at Derek and Derek is on him in a second, pressing his cock in the line between Stiles’ ass cheeks. Stiles sucks in a sharp breath, grinding back against Derek before laughing breathlessly,

“I can’t fucking believe we’re doing this in the elevator.”

Derek grins, hand sliding along the inside of Stiles’ hip, pulling his waist back so that he can get a better angle as his other hand spreads Stiles’ cheeks to see his hole, wet and slick with lube. He has the insane desire to just bend down and lick it, lick inside Stiles’ until he squirms and gasps and comes just from Derek’s tongue inside him—but he hopes there will be another time for that.

“I’m going to fuck you now,” he says into Stiles’ ear, pressing his tip against the younger man’s entrance. All Stiles does in reply is cant his ass back and moan like he’s fucking begging for it.

That’s all Derek can take, and he nudges his hips forward just enough to push the tip inside. He feels Stiles’ clench, sees the pain in the way his shoulders bunch. He reaches around and strokes Stiles’ cock until he’s panting and fogging up the mirror in front of them and Stiles gasps demandingly,

“Fuck! Derek, just—just do it. I can take it, okay, I fucking swear!”

Derek doesn’t question him and presses inside again, harder this time, pulling out as soon as he does to create something of a rhythm, to let Stiles get used to it quickly instead of letting the pain linger. Stiles doesn’t say anything for a moment, and Derek thrust a few more times, trying not to get caught up in the insane, hot, wet, perfect feeling of being inside Stiles because he thinks he could do this forever and never get bored. After a minute he hears Stiles moan quietly and he thrusts harder; Stiles lets out a choked gasp, eyes flying open as his hands claw at the mirror. Derek thrusts hard again and moans even louder, moving his hips back to meet Derek’s.

“Fuck, fuck, so good,” he groans, and Derek places his hands firmly on either side of Stiles’ waist, holding him tightly so that he can push in deeper, encouraged by the sounds Stiles is making and the way he can’t seem to keep still, impaling himself harder on Derek with every thrust.

Derek knows he’s not going to last long, not with the way Stiles is clenched around him, his skin blazing hot beneath Derek’s fingers. Not the way his voice echoes around the tiny metal room and fills Derek’s ears and his head with nothing but Stiles, Stiles, Stiles.

“Stiles,” he growls, teeth pressed against the skin connecting Stiles’ neck to his shoulder. Stiles keeps chanting curses, throwing his name in like a prayer every few words; Derek reaches a hand around and strokes him. It throws Stiles rhythm off so badly that he nearly falls over.

“Not—oh, oh, Derek, fuck—gonna last—“ he pants, and Derek promptly pulls all the way out, grabbing one of Stiles’ shoulders and flipping him around so they’re chest to chest. He lines his cock up with Stiles’ hole again and presses in. Stiles lets out a high mewling cry and digs his fingernails into Derek’s back.

And that’s when the speakers come on.

 

Hey! What the hell? Okay, which one of you broke the camera! I will find out, you don’t want to test me, guys!

This is so not happening.

Stiles is literally stuck between a wall and a hard place (said hard place being Derek fucking Hale’s gorgeous, sweaty, unclothed body) with Derek’s cock in his ass and god damn Finstock decides it’s the perfect time to interrupt. If someone could just kill him now, Stiles would be eternally grateful.

As soon as the speakers came on both he and Derek froze, locking eyes and waiting for the other hat to drop. Stiles tries not to think about the huge fucking cock that’s practically twitching in his ass because if he thinks about he probably won’t be able to stop himself from shifting his hips down to continue the fucking amazing friction they’re been getting up to just a moment before. He starts reciting pi in his head as Finstock goes on,

I have good news, which you don’t deserve because you broke my camera, but whatever. The elevator repairman is here! And he’s—

Stiles doesn’t hear the rest, because Derek starts thrusting as soon as Finstock announces that the repairman is here. Stiles arches his back and lets out a surprised gasp, clenching painfully around Derek’s dick.

“Ohmygod Derek, what are you doing?” he asks breathlessly, his voice jumping with every quick, hard thrust. It makes him instantly remember how close he was to coming only just a moment ago.

“I’m going to come inside you,” Derek answers into Stiles’ ear, and suddenly there is nothing but Derek, and the rhythm of their hips. Stiles tilts his head to capture Derek’s lips, moaning like a porn star against them when Derek’s cock brushes against his prostate and he sees white.

Derek doesn’t stop thrusting, harder and faster than he had before, like he’s determined to finish—and to kill Stiles while doing it—before the elevator is fixed. He reaches up and grips Stiles’ cock in his hand, stroking it in random, jerking hand movements as he thrusts and thrusts and thrusts so much that Stiles can’t think any more. He knows he’s probably screaming and gasping Derek’s name with every movement of his hips but all he can feel is Derek inside him and the hand wrapped around him, pushing him closer and closer to coming with every second.

“Feel so good,” Derek mumbles breathlessly against Stiles’ neck. “Stiles, fuck!”

The mirror is still cool against his back but Derek is hot, the hottest thing Stiles had ever felt and he’s buried deep inside Stiles, pressing against his prostate with every sharp, manic thrust. Stiles is gasping for breath, desperate for the sensation coiling in his gut to be released. Derek’s breath is against his cheek, his body tensed and ready and oh, oh, god, Stiles doesn’t ever want it to stop!

Something shifts and Derek loses pace but strokes Stiles cock faster, and Stiles is so close he can’t even hear what Derek is moaning into his ear.

“Stiles, we’re moving, fuck—“ he thrusts deep and Stiles arches against him. “I’m so close, shit—“

“Derek, Derek, I’m gonna come, I’m—

 

Derek straightens his tie, hand wrapped firmly around the handle of his briefcase. The elevator is silent and motionless until the metal doors slowly begin to creak open, revealing the main hallway of the sixth floor—Wolf Architecture. Isaac pokes his head around the corner of his office, grins at Derek and then calls down the hall to the others. Derek takes a deep breath and steps through the doors.

When he’s through them he turns around to see Stiles staring at him, face flushed, lips swollen and standing a little bit funny. It just makes Derek want to fuck him all over again. Instead, he just clears his throat.

“Um,” Stiles says, voice still absolutely wrecked. He sighs, looking at Derek with a small smile. “Happy birthday, Derek.”

“Thanks,” Derek replies softly, and watches as Stiles drops his gaze and the doors start to close. Stiles gives him one more tiny smile before the doors shut and something in Derek’s chest feels like it’s shattered.

He realizes as soon as he hears the elevator start to move that he’s an idiot. He shouldn’t have let those doors close.

 

Stiles has been waiting inside the elevator for at least 15 minutes. He would never bother waiting this long on a regular day, but after what happened yesterday…

He and Derek came at almost the same time, and by then they were already at floor four. Stiles had never put clothes on faster than he had yesterday. How the hell Derek managed to tie his tie in like, point 5 seconds Stiles doesn’t think he will ever know.

When Derek exited the elevator he had turned around to look at Stiles, but he didn’t say anything. Stiles tried to say something too, but nothing came out and he wound up mumbling happy birthday instead.

Then the doors closed, and Derek just stared, and Stiles felt like the biggest idiot in the world that he thought for even a second that outside of their little elevator Derek would want to have anything to do with him.

And yet, here he is, standing inside the damned left elevator for fifteen minutes, repeatedly pressing the ‘door open’ button just in case Derek is running late. Finstock walks by and eyes the way he’s holding down the ‘door open’ button, saying smartly,

“You know, that’s probably why it broke down in the first place.”

Stiles just glares at him and throws him the finger when he turns around.

“You or Hale still owe me some new speakers, Stilinski!”

Stiles grumbles and eyes the door to the building lobby. It starts to open and he leans forward, only to see the daytime security guard walk over and trade places with the nighttime one. He sighs and eyes the button for floor six. Another five minutes won’t hurt.

He’s getting antsy. If Derek doesn’t want anything to do with him anymore that’s fine (well not fine, but manageable), but he can at least be a man about it and say it to Stiles’ face instead of avoiding him like Stiles is now convinced he is doing purposefully. Stiles exhales an angry breath, mutters “asshole” to himself and presses the button for his floor, glaring at the metal wall the entire time.

As the elevator starts to move he focuses on being pissed and not, repeat, not remembering what he was doing the last time he was in this elevator. He eyes the door wearily when the light at the top shines 3, dreading what he would do if he were stuck in this stupid thing another day in a row, this time without any hunky distraction.

hunky, asshole distraction, his brain corrects helpfully.

But the elevator keeps moving past floor three until he’s at floor four. He remembers Derek explaining to him about the phone sex company and when he’s passing the fifth floor he sniffs to see if he can smell some of the ice cream experiments supposedly going on passed the doors. He smiles faintly, remembering the totally made up horror story Derek had tried to tell him about the eighth floor and then carefully schools his features because he had not thought Derek was funny or hot or charming or any other positive adjective and that is that!

Which is just when he notices that the elevator is slowing down too early to be stopping at his floor. He looks up at the floor number as it lands on six and stays there, the elevator grinding to a halt. His eyes get wide and he stares at the doors.

No one ever uses the elevators to go down this early in the morning. There is no good reason he should be stopped at this floor, oh god, Stiles really doesn’t want to be stopped at this floor! The doors start to open and he curses silently to himself, hand reaching out to press the ‘door close’ button before he has to face the place where, just yesterday, Derek decided that he wasn’t good enough to ride up in the fucking elevator with anymore.

His hand stops just inches from the button because someone is standing just on the other side of the doors.

With cake.

“Hi,” Derek says, face blank, a huge piece of vanilla sitting on a thin paper plate in his hand. Stiles isn’t really sure what to say to that, so he replies lamely,

“Hey.”

Derek glances to the side, scowling, then looks back at Stiles, holding out the cake to him as though the act itself causes him physical pain.

“I saved you a piece.”

Stiles looks from the cake to Derek, then from Derek to the cake and back to Derek.

“But I didn’t beat you in Temple Run,” he explains slowly.

Derek sighs, half rolling his eyes.

“I was going to give you a piece anyway.”

And in that second, it clicks. Derek is his magic escalator, and no one--no one—will tell him otherwise. Without even thinking he reaches across the threshold of the elevator doors, grabbing Derek with both hands by his collar and dragging him inside their—his and Derek’s—stupid magic box.

He kisses him and it’s the best and worst kiss they shared, all at once. It’s sloppy and crazy and too much and just right and Stiles never wants it to end. Derek’s hands come up and hold the sides of his face (the cake lay forgotten on the ground), tilting his head and pressing their lips harder together. When he finally has to pull away he keeps his lips close to Derek’s and murmurs breathlessly,

“I ran off the cliff on purpose. You were never going to beat me at that game, Derek.”

Stiles can feel Derek’s smile against his lips as he kisses him again and replies,

“It’s okay. I was going to kiss you anyway.”

Faintly, Stiles hears the elevator doors close and he kisses Derek again, soft and slow this time, humming against Derek’s lips and wondering what it would really take to make the elevator break down again.

“I’m glad I held the door,” he says.

“Me too,” Derek replies.

Maybe the world needs a few more shitty elevators, he decides. Derek definitely agrees.