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“What?  No.”


Stiles blinks at Scott.  “You make a convincing argument.  Hmm.  How about no.”

 “I swear, I’ll just be gone for a second.  There’s finally nobody in my line and I have to pee, like, right now.”

“So get Isaac to cover for you.”

“He wandered off to talk to Derek.”

“What the fuck is Derek doing here?”

“What is Derek ever doing here?  Hell if I know.  Please, please cover for me.  I will repay you in Call of Duty marathons and pizza.”

“Look, I don’t have a lot of pride, but what little I do have, I’d like to keep, thank you.”  Unlike Scott, who is actually doing the Potty Dance and it’s taking all of Stiles’ carefully honed deadpanning skills not to weep with laughter.

“It will literally take me two seconds.  And there’s, like, nobody around.”

Stiles rolls his eyes.  He’s going to give in, but if he’s going to do this, even for a few minutes, he wants to make Scott and his tiny raisin of a bladder sweat it out just a little.  “Fine.  Go.  And look up the word ‘literally’ while you’re gone.”

“I totally owe you, man,” Scott says, giving Stiles a half-hearted clap on the shoulder as he hobbles – no, really, hobbles – away.   Stiles sighs deeply as he takes his place on the stool.  He glances around and he can’t see Derek, but that doesn’t mean Derek can’t sniff out his humiliation.  Is humiliation even a scent?  With Stiles’ luck, it probably is, and he’s going to smell like he bathed in it like a middle schooler in Axe body spray.

Sitting on the front lines at a kissing booth is literally the last place Stiles wants to be.   It makes him think of the alpha pack with fondness.  At least they gave him a cool scar on his shoulder.  As opposed to this, which is going to scar all right, but it’s going to be the internal, years-of-therapy kind.  Especially if Derek’s loitering around here somewhere.

He’d have asked who in their right mind thought a kissing booth was a good idea for a fundraiser – this isn’t the 1950s, they’re not raising money for the sock hop – except he’s on a lacrosse team populated entirely by male models.  And Greenberg.  (Who is actually a decent human being – emphasis on human – his social skills just make Stiles look debonair by comparison.  Come to think of it, Stiles should really hang out with Greenberg more often.)  Stiles doesn’t know why they didn’t just shoot a calendar and sell that… except, okay, most of them are still underage, so that would be skirting a line even Finstock won’t go near.

And Stiles was fine counting the money while Scott did his aw-shucks charming thing and Danny and Jackson kept running tallies of their customers.  There were supposed to be separate lines for “Guys,” “Girls,” and “Equal Opportunity,” but that whole thing broke down pretty quickly and Stiles is pretty sure Danny has kissed more girls than Jackson has at this point – more people in general – and that might make this whole thing worth it.

If, that is, Stiles can get through the next few minutes without embarrassing himself.  The after-school crowd has pretty much thinned out and Finstock is in the middle of a loud and deeply confusing argument with the girls’ lacrosse coach, which is how Scott managed his escape.  If Stiles is lucky, he won’t have to deal with the shame of more than about a dozen people purposefully avoiding his line.

He’s not even worried about his skill level.  Stiles spent one glorious summer at math camp making out with this guy from Idaho for a month, it’s just that nobody knows about it.  Not even Scott knows.  It’s not the guy thing.  It’s not even the math camp thing – which was a total waste, Stiles just finished his work early and spent his time teaching everyone else how to program their graphing calculators to tell dirty jokes. 

It’s just that it’s… private.  Everybody knows everything around here, particularly since the majority of Stiles’ friends became supernatural beings.  He knows when Erica is on her period and when Isaac lost his virginity and when Jackson first clawed himself while masturbating – these people have no boundaries.   Well, except Derek.  Derek’s boundaries have boundaries, which can’t be any healthier.

So Stiles wanting to keep this one thing that’s just for him?  Comparatively very, very normal.  Plus, it’s not like anyone asks, anyway.

So he slumps down on his elbows against the folding table, watches a couple of people wander over to Jackson and Danny’s lines, and waits for it all to be over.  Then the school doors open and people start steadily trickling out into the parking lot.  Motherfuck, the detention crowd.  Stiles spins around and leaps off the stool.

And runs right into Finstock.

“Bilinski, what the hell are you doing?  Where’s McCall?”

“Uh, call of nature,” Stiles says.  And unless he went all the way back home to pee, Scott should have been back by now, the bastard.

“Well, get your ass back in that seat.”

“See, Coach, I’m not really sure that—”

“Me neither.  But you’ve got lips.  So use them for something other than yapping.”

Stiles briefly considers quitting the lacrosse team.  But that’s pretty much a daily occurrence; it’ll pass and he’d have to deal with a pissed-off coach and an even-more-pissed-off Scott, so he resigns himself to his fate and sits back down.

Over by the bike rack, he can see Scott… talking to Allison.  And even with Scott’s superhearing, it wouldn’t do Stiles any good to yell at him, because he’s got his Puppy Face on, which probably means Allison isn’t quite as okay with this whole “kissing booth” concept as she let on, which is understandable, but really fucking inconvenient for Stiles and his plummeting dignity.

More people are joining Danny and Jackson’s lines (mostly Danny’s – a small comfort).  Stiles expected to get some pitying glances but instead it’s like he’s just completely invisible, and he can’t tell if that’s better or worse.  So he just folds his arms on the table and rests his head on them so he won’t have to see people not looking at him until Scott – who now owes Stiles at least two Call of Duty all-nighters and pizza every weekend for the rest of their high school career – comes back to relieve him of his misery.

Stiles is so mentally dedicated to his own wretched plight that the hand that thwacks down on the table next to his head almost makes him fall off his stool.  He looks up to see Erica staring down at him, one eyebrow cocked.

Dammit, Derek is teaching them all the wrong things.

“Here’s my dollar, Stilinski,” she says with a smirk.  “Where’s my kiss?”

Stiles really, really wants to snark back, but at least a dozen people are staring and this is Erica actually doing him a huge favor (that she will never, ever let him forget, he’s quite aware), so he just puts on his smarmiest grin.  “Your donation is greatly appreciated.  So, what’s your preference: standard or en Francais?”

She rolls her eyes and reaches over the table to easily lift him to his feet by the front of his shirt.  He’s still reeling when she plants her lips on his.  And then keeps them there.

Someone behind her wolf-whistles (ugh, how sickeningly accurate) and Stiles can hear Jackson snort.  Stiles’ eyes are still open and so are Erica’s, and he can see the condescension there, and fuck it, if she wants a kiss, he’ll give her a kiss.

It’s awkward with the table between them and her hand still twisted in his shirt, but Stiles gets one hand around the back of her neck and tilts his head.  She parts her lips, just a little, like it’s a reflex and he teases them with just the tip of his tongue, toying at pushing deeper without actually doing it.  He lets her press her tongue against his just once, then pulls away, leaving her leaning over the table.

She’s not breathing hard, but she’s open-mouthed and staring, her bright red lipstick smeared just a bit.

“Oh,” she says.

Stiles is still looking at Erica, but he has the sense that everyone around him has gone completely still, and he wonders just how long he was kissing her.  Then he registers motion, because at least three people just moved into his line.

From Jackson’s.

Best day ever.

“Thank you for supporting the Beacon Hills High lacrosse team,” he says, trying very hard not to smirk.  He has absolutely no idea if he’s succeeding.  “Love to see you at our next home game.”

She gives him a you’ve won this round look, but because it’s Erica, she also reaches over to lift the hem of his shirt and tuck the dollar bill into the waistband of his boxers.

He doesn’t add “Have a nice day!” but that’s only because he’s grinning too hard when she finally turns and leaves.

Stiles interlaces his fingers and cracks his knuckles watching her go.  Then he turns to the next person in line – a shy-looking boy, probably a freshman – and leans in.

Stiles isn’t entirely sure how long it takes Scott to finally get his ass back to the booth, but he’s really wishing he’d brought some chapstick.   And sort of hoping Derek is watching, wherever he is.  Stiles isn’t 100% sure where that thought came from, but he’d love to see what Derek’s eyebrows would do in reaction to this unforeseen circumstance.  Apparently word got around fast, and Stiles’ line is now the longest.  He would swear he even saw Danny shoot him a jealous look once.

He’s just pulling away from a senior girl who’s been through his line three times – and holy hell, the girls are so much more aggressive than the boys, he needs a sign that says Please don’t bite the Stiles – when Scott claps him on the back.  “Nicely done, dude.”

Yes, okay, it’s turning out well, but Scott didn’t know that when he abandoned Stiles to his fate.  So Stiles loudly announces, “I don’t care if you are my best friend, no freebies.  You want a piece of this, you’re going to have to pony up the cash like everyone else.”

Scott takes a step back, flailing in a manner that has come to be known locally as “doing a Stiles.”  “Augh, no way.  I will pay you so much not to kiss me.”

Stiles is laughing so hard at Scott’s squishy look of disgust that it takes a loud ahem to get him to turn around.

And see Lydia standing in front of him with an arched eyebrow and a dollar bill.  “Still open for business?”

Stiles can immediately feel himself flush to the tips of his ears, not helped by the fact that he is sitting right next to Lydia’s boyfriend who has claws and fangs and enough money to hire a lawyer good enough let him get away with an actual murder.

“You make it sound so seedy,” Stiles manages, brain working overtime because Jackson is staring a hole in the side of his head.  Stiles doesn’t want to look over to see if he’s about to get an actual hole clawed into his head; he’s just going to have to hope that Scott has his back on this one.

Lydia sighs.  “Don’t pretend like it isn’t.”

This is not about Stiles at all; this is about Lydia fucking with Jackson.  Maybe it should bother Stiles a little more, but really, he is all on board with this plan, so he reaches out like he’s going to take Lydia’s dollar but takes her hand instead.

He locks eyes with her and gently presses his lips to her knuckles.

She blushes.  Not a lot, but it’s there, and he has witnesses.  Jackson among them.

She recovers fast, of course, a sweet grin spreading across her face.  “Nice to see there are still a few gentlemen around,” she says, just enough acid in the sugar that Jackson is up off his stool and, thankfully, stomping sulkily past Stiles. 

“McCall, you take my spot,” he grits out.

Best day ever.

Stiles is still floating on air when Erica comes back around, this time waggling a five dollar bill in front of his face.  She smirks.  “I want to see what this’ll buy me.”

“I can’t believe I left my garter belt at home,” Stiles says.  “Be careful, Erica, I might start thinking you don’t want to claw my eyes out.  Metaphorically speaking, of course.”

“Let’s see what you’ve really got, Stilinski.”

“I’m not sure if you can handle it,” he says coyly, debating whether this streak of luck he seems to be on would allow him to execute a graceful hop over the table without landing him face first in the dirt.

He opts to walk around the table.

Since the alpha pack thing (more specifically: the thing where Stiles helped rescue Erica from the alpha pack), they’ve managed to come to a truce that somehow involves a ton of flirting that they both know isn’t leading anywhere.  Erica is long over her crush on Stiles and while Stiles can say, objectively, that she’s smokin’ hot, he doesn’t quite think of her that way.  Still, it’s fun, and for some reason the awkward word vomit that appears whenever Stiles is trying to interact with someone he actually is attracted to never materializes, and he’s free to trade dirty innuendos at will.

So this five-dollar kiss is an extension of that, and Stiles is more than willing to play the game.  “Oh Erica,” he exclaims, setting a hand on her waist (because she probably won’t tear his arm off; there’s a crowd around).  “You never needed to pay for my affections.  All you had to do was ask.”

She snorts, getting a hand around the back of his neck and letting him feel the very tips of her claws against his skin.  “Shut up and give me my five dollars’ worth.”

Maybe Stiles was overly influenced by Harry Potter in his youth, but he’s always thought “snogging” was a better word for it than anything else.  “Making out” is awkward, “necking” is old-fashioned (though apparently weirdly appropriate when it comes to werewolves, if Allison’s scarf collection is any indication), but “snogging” is fun and playful and just a good time for everyone involved, Stiles and Erica definitely included.   She sucks at his swollen lower lip and he’s wondering if he could dip her without both of them ending up on the ground.

Until something behind them growls.

The way Erica backs off like she’s been shocked (ugh, bad choice of words, Stiles) momentarily has Stiles’ heart dropping, like maybe this was some kind of cruel prank.  But Erica looks terrified and is tilting her head to bare her neck and…

Oh.  Derek.


Fucking Derek.

But Derek’s not Stiles’ alpha, and the growly thing doesn’t work on him (at all, ever, unless it’s late at night or Stiles is in the shower and that’s kind of an off-label use, anyway).  At least Derek’s not wolfing out, but he looks super-pissed, like he had an extra bowl of Angry-O’s for breakfast.  And possibly lunch. 

“What the hell, man?” Stiles hisses.  “I thought we talked about lurking around the high school.  As in not doing it, because it’s creepy and weird and very easily misinterpreted.  So unless you’re here to pay for some PTA-approved smoochin’, lurk your way back home.”

Derek doesn’t say anything.  This is less than surprising.  He does, however, go for his back pocket, and if Stiles didn’t know that Derek has zero reason to carry a gun, he’d probably be flat on the ground right now.

Instead, Derek comes out with his wallet.

Before Stiles can even process what’s happening, Derek digs all the cash out, tosses it on the table without counting it, and reaches for Stiles.

Despite the deeply confusing nature of the next few seconds, Stiles manages to hold it together – mostly because Derek is holding him so tightly that he can’t really do much else.  Surprising to absolutely no one (Stiles hasn’t exactly taken a poll, but he’d bet his Jeep on it), Derek kisses angrily, his mouth pressing hard against Stiles’.  Claiming.  Fuck.

It’s the scrape of Derek’s stubble against Stiles’ already tender mouth that kicks him back into action.  The fact that Stiles has no idea what the hell is going on drops very low on his list of priorities, because Derek Hale is kissing him, very heatedly and very publicly, and whatever else it is, it’s probably not a show of support for the lacrosse team.  And fuck it, Stiles is not going to be the only one to walk away from this kiss with a boner, so he grabs Derek’s leather jacket by the lapels (he may have practiced the move in his head a few… hundred times) and kisses back for all he’s worth.

The moment he pushes back into Derek’s hold, slanting his head for a better angle, Derek makes this sound deep in his chest, like he truly hadn’t expected Stiles to kiss back and holy fuck, now Stiles has an auditory dimension to add to his fantasies.  Only later will he lament that he can’t make it his ringtone.  Right now, he’s shoving his tongue against Derek’s, no finesse at all, they’re just pushing at each other for the upper hand and it’s hotter than anything has a right to be.

He tangles his fingers in Derek’s hair and pulls, figuring he gets to play dirty if Derek does.  It earns him a hard bite on his sensitive lower lip and he can’t help but flinch a little.  He expects Derek to either bite harder or let go of him completely and, like, bound back into the woods from whence he came, but instead Derek soothes Stiles’ lips with a soft swipe of his tongue and now it’s Stiles’ turn to make a truly embarrassing noise.

Somehow they settle into a rhythm, but it’s syncopated and unpredictable and Stiles is going to have to find a new verb, because “snogging” is just not cutting it anymore, not when Derek’s got one hand splayed on his lower back and the other on his shoulder, thumb pressed against Stiles’ pulse point.  Stiles, for his part, is digging his fingers into Derek’s scalp with one hand and desperately clutching Derek’s jacket with the other to keep himself from rubbing at Derek’s chest through his shirt.  There’s a line they shouldn’t cross, and even though Stiles doesn’t know exactly where it is, he’s pretty sure that reaching into Derek’s clothes would require another kind of booth entirely.

And then it’s over, Derek’s mouth pulling away and Stiles is suddenly struck by the pesky need for oxygen that he’s ignoring.  Which is probably why he’s lightheaded.  Yeah.  So it’s a good thing Derek stays where he is for a second, because Stiles isn’t sure that, left to his own devices, he would remain entirely upright.

There’s a second, maybe two, where neither of them move, and Stiles gets a good look at Derek’s eyes – not glowing red like he’d expected, but almost solid black, just barely ringed with hazel-green-blue-octarine and blinking at him with stunning vulnerability, and Stiles just wants to hold on to him maybe forever.

Which is, of course, when Derek lets go of him, turns, and stomps away like the earth under his feet has personally offended him.

Stiles can only watch him go and call out “Thanks for supporting the Beacon Hills lacrosse team!”  Except what actually comes out of his mouth is more like “Thuh fuh muh.”  Also he might be drooling a bit?  It’s kind of hard to tell.

That’s when he looks around and realizes that everyone – Scott, Erica, Jackson, Danny, Allison, Finstock, the girls’ lacrosse coach, half his high school, a few parents, and hell, probably Mrs. Whitaker, his fourth grade math teacher – is staring at him.

Stiles takes a moment to compose himself with a few deep breaths and wipes his tingling, stubble-burned mouth on the back of his sleeve.  “Uh, big lacrosse fan,” he says, gesturing casually in the direction that Derek just stalked off.

His eyes, when they can focus, land on Scott, who says a very solemn, “Dude.”  Which pretty much sums it up, right there.

Stiles is trying to decide whether it would be in his best interest to sit down, preferably somewhere that would hide the obvious tent in his jeans, or tear after Derek as fast as humanly possible, tongue first.  Instead, he sort of just stumbles backward into the table, where Finstock is gleefully counting up the bills that Derek tossed there.

“Um, Coach,” Stiles starts, “can I…”

“You’re not going anywhere, Bilinski.  I don’t know what the hell that was, but keep it up until we get ourselves a Jumbotron.”