It isn’t until afterwards when he’s sitting alone in his room that Stiles realizes exactly what he has to do.
It’s mid-October and Stiles is saving Beacon Hills, more specifically Derek Hale, from the monster of the week.
“I really think we should start some kind of punch card system or something because this is getting ridiculous.”
“Shut up, Stiles, and just help me get out of here.”
Stiles moves the debris aside looking for something long and rope-like to lower down to Derek. Aha… rebar that should work. Would have preferred rope, but beggars can’t be choosers.
“No, I’m serious,” he says while he lowers the bar into the hole. “Like get five saves and on the sixth one you owe me dinner or something.”
Derek doesn’t say anything until he’s standing at the same level as Stiles. You are welcome for that, Derek, by the way.
“How ‘bout on the sixth one, I don’t punch you in the face?”
“Are you saying you’re going to punch me now? ‘Cause I think this is number four… of my second punch card.”
Derek doesn’t say a word, just does an about-face and walks out of the abandoned warehouse they are in, which really? Why’s it always gotta be an abandoned warehouse? Why can’t the monster’s lair be a fun amusement park? Actually… on second thought, abandoned warehouse is probably better than a creepy, dark fun house.
Stiles runs out to catch up to Derek, who has already sent the rest of the pack home since the supernatural threat has been eliminated. Of course that means Stiles has to get a ride home with Derek since he had come with Scott who has now abandoned him, the bastard.
He slips into the passenger seat of the Camaro and waits in the car as Derek does his final perimeter check to make sure everything really has been taken care of. Because he’s so freaking anal.
“I’m being cautious,” Derek says as he opens the driver’s door and climbs in. Oops, apparently Stiles had said that last part out loud. Derek starts the car and takes off.
“But really, though, no to the punch cards? I really liked that one. We could have some kind of reward card system like a discount card at the grocery store? Oh! Or like depending on the day there’s some kind of special. Like today is Thursday, so I get free curly fries, but if it were Saturday, I get a free milkshake.”
“Or it’s my birthday, so you can consider it your present to me.”
Stiles whips his head to face Derek. “What?”
“I said you can consider it a gift to me. Thank you. Now shut up about it.”
“No, no, no, that is not what you said. Dude, Derek, it’s your birthday? Why didn’t you say anything?” Stiles says, his voice regretful on the last question.
Derek shrugs but keeps his eyes on the road.
“Well, um, how old are you then?” Derek remains silent, but Stiles can see the glare he’s aiming at the road that’s meant for Stiles. “What? Are you at the age when I should be asking how young you are so as not to offend your delicate sensibilities?”
“Twenty eight,” Derek mumbles.
Stiles nods. “That’s not too old. And it’s a nice even number. I hate odd numbered ages. I feel off that whole year.”
Derek quirks an eyebrow at him, and Stiles lifts a shoulder in response.
They continue in silence for a while then Stiles says, “You’re welcome. And… happy birthday.” Derek nods once in acknowledgement.
Stiles gets a tiny idea when they pass the road sign that says there’s a Wendy’s at the next exit. It’s not the ideal place, but it’s open, they have dessert-like things and a drive-thru, which is great since both he and Derek are exhausted.
“Hey, can we make a quick stop at Wendy’s? Please?”
It’s a testament to how truly tired Derek is (or that he’s stopped arguing with Stiles when it comes to anything food-related because Stiles has strong convictions) that he doesn’t say a word, just exits and pulls up to the drive-thru order post. He learned long ago to let Stiles order for himself, so he wordlessly lowers his window as the voice on the speaker asks what they would like.
Stiles leans over Derek’s lap and shouts, “Hi! Can I get two small Frostys? One chocolate, one vanilla?”
“Okay, anything else, sir?”
“That’ll be two, thirty-eight at the second window.”
Derek pulls forward and shifts to pull his wallet out, but Stiles stops him with a hand on his arm. He hands Derek a five, which he then hands to the girl at the window. She hands him back change and then the two Frostys, and he passes them all to Stiles and drives away from the window.
“Can you park over there real quick?” Stiles asks.
Derek pulls into a parking spot and shifts gears to park. Stiles stuffs his change into his pocket and then pulls out the lighter he has for werewolf/wolfsbane-related emergencies, then hands the vanilla Frosty to Derek. Derek scowls at it.
“Just take it.”
He doesn’t look happy about it, but Derek accepts the cup. With his hand now free, Stiles ignites the lighter and holds it up in front of Derek and starts singing “Happy Birthday.”
By the time he gets to “dear, Derek,” the birthday boy’s face has softened and although what his mouth is doing couldn’t be called the clinical definition of a smile, it is pretty darn close, so Stiles thinks it counts. When Stiles ends the song, Derek takes a breath and blows out the lighter’s flame. Stiles smiles as he puts it pack in his pocket and takes a spoonful of his chocolatey ice cream substitute. Derek starts to eat his vanilla one, and both of them eat in silence in the parking lot of Wendy’s.
It’s probably not the greatest way to celebrate a birthday, but it was the best Stiles could do on short-notice. Stiles makes a mental note to put Derek’s birthday into his phone calendar so he could plan something a little nicer with the pack for next year.
Once Derek is through with his Frosty, he shifts gears and pulls out of the parking lot and continues on to Stiles’s house. He stops in the driveway, but before Stiles can get out of the car, Derek grabs on to Stiles’s wrist.
“Thank you, Stiles.” He doesn’t clarify whether he means for the life-saving or the birthday Frosty, but he does look and sound sincere.
Stiles bobs his head. “No prob. Happy birthday, Derek.” Then he climbs out of the car, shuts the door, and waves goodbye (which Derek returns by raising his hand) as Derek backs out of his driveway. He stomps up the stairs to his room (he’s alone; he won’t wake anyone) and plops down on his bed.
And it’s then, after he’s kicked off his shoes and plugged Derek’s birthday in his phone, when he looks at the calendar, that he gets an idea.
The next gift-giving holiday is Christmas, and if Stiles couldn’t give Derek a great birthday present this year (because life-saving was so 2012), he was going to give him something awesome for Christmas.
Several somethings, actually.
Several secret somethings.
Man, Derek isn’t going to know what hit him.
The chill December breeze blows in through the open kitchen window in Derek’s loft. It feels good, and Derek thinks it’d feel even better while he is running in the woods. There hasn’t been a supernatural threat to the livelihood of the citizens of Beacon Hills for a few weeks now, so Derek can actually run in the woods for fun instead of for his life or someone else’s.
He finishes the last of his dishes and dries his hands on the nearby towel before he opens his front door to step out for his run.
Instead of the rough feel of his doormat below his feet, however, it is a crunching cardboard feel complete with accompanying sound.
Confused, he looks down and sees a smooshed box wrapped in now torn red and green paper on his door step. He picks it up and sniffs it, but there are too many scents for him to distinguish any one scent or person in particular. Or it’s from someone he doesn’t know. But he’s already suspicious of what’s in this package whether it’s from a stranger or not.
It’s clearly not an explosive or dangerous-when-opened type of thing since he’s already smashed it, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be harmful.
There’s a small note taped to the package in computer type that says “To: Derek, From: Your Secret Santa.” That leaves out it being a wrong address then.
“Secret Santa? What the hell?” Derek mutters to himself as he turns the package over in his hands. He is still distrustful of whatever is in this box and whoever the hell this “secret santa” is. Beacon Hills has been threat-free long enough for him to get comfortable, and really, he should have known better.
Even though he doesn’t want to, he tears off the wrapping paper and opens the box. A piece of paper flutters out, and then a small figurine tumbles after on to the ground. It’s an ornament of a small gray wolf with a scarf around its neck. It kind of reminds him of Isaac since he has such an affinity for scarves, and although he won’t admit it to anyone if they ask, the trinket is cute. Doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be suspicious of it or the giver’s intentions though.
He stoops down to pick it up and the piece of paper. He opens that to find another typed note that says, “You should get a tree to hang this on.” Well… it didn’t overtly sound like a threat.
The pack had bugged him ever since Thanksgiving to get a tree because they “needed something to put their presents under.” Stiles and Scott had been the most insistent about it, claiming that if Derek didn’t get a tree, he couldn’t get mad if they called him a Grinch.
Derek isn’t opposed to getting one, but he despises fake ones and live ones are messy and hard to keep alive. He actually has a whole box of ornaments in his closet that he and Laura had put on their own little Christmas tree in New York. Maybe that is another reason why he hasn’t gotten a tree. It’s easier to just ignore that box of ornaments and the memories it will bring up than deal with them.
He brings the tiny wolf and note back inside and sets them both on the counter of his kitchen. He doesn’t particularly want to do what some anonymous person who wrote him a note told him to do, but at the same time he knows if he did get a tree the pack would be happy, which would make him happy. Christmas is Derek’s favorite holiday, but he’s gotten so used to being miserable that he forgets there’s any other way to live.
He throws the remnants of the wrapping and box away and grabs his car keys. He takes one last look at the wolf ornament and decidedly turns and leaves his apartment. The breeze will feel just as good coming in from his open car windows while he drives, too.
When Derek arrives at the only Christmas tree lot in Beacon Hills, he looks morosely at the slim pickings of trees before him. It’s two weeks before Christmas, and many of the trees that are left are long dried out (since the lot was set up the day after Thanksgiving) and dead. He supposes technically all the trees are dead since they’ve been chopped down, but he was hoping to get one that didn’t look like it was.
He strolls along the rows of trees and scowls at each one. One is too short, one is too skinny, one is too bare, one he’s not even sure could be called a tree. The man working the lot comes up to him and smiles. Derek doesn’t really want to talk to him, but it doesn’t look like the man is going away and seems intent on him, like he was expecting him.
“You don’t want any of these,” the man says as a statement not a question, as if he knows what Derek’s thinking and is just going to accept it. But it also comes off as if he’s got some special important tree hidden in the back somewhere.
“I don’t,” Derek deadpans, and even he isn’t sure if he’s answer the man’s not-question or sarcastically asking one himself.
“You’re Derek, right?”
Derek narrows his eyes. “Who are you?” he asks threateningly and takes a menacing step towards the employee.
The employee looks frightened and slowly takes a step back before regaining his composure. “I just work here. I’m Bill,” he says as he points to his name badge that does indeed say ‘Bill.’ “I was told to expect someone with your description and that your name was Derek. It is, isn’t it?”
He still side-eyes the man suspiciously and gives him a curt nod. The other man sighs in relief and starts walking toward the back of the tent, waving for Derek to follow him.
Derek doesn’t want to follow him. But, the man hadn’t lied to him, and if Derek wants answers to who told this guy to expect him, he’s going to have to follow him to get them. And he’s going to get them whether he has to threaten this guy or not.
“How do you know who I am?” Derek asks once he’s caught up with him.
“I told you. I was expecting you. I was given a rather detailed description of you that has proven startlingly accurate, down to the intimidating stance and growly threats.” The man, Bill, Derek recalls, stops at the last row of trees.
There’s one there already wrapped up lying on the ground. Bill points to it. “This one is for you.”
Derek lifts an eyebrow. “Me.”
Bill nods. “Yup. It’s already paid for and everything. I can tie it to your car for you?”
Derek doesn’t know what to do, so he goes to his default setting. He yanks Bill forward by the shirt and gets in his face. “Who gave you my description? Is this some kind of joke? What do you want?”
Slowly Bill takes his shirt out of Derek’s grasp, and Derek lets him. This time he doesn’t look scared, like he was expecting Derek to lash out at him. It’s like the guy got lessons from Deaton. Wait. Deaton.
“Was it Deaton? Was he the one that talked to you?”
Bill gives him a puzzled look. “I don’t know a Deaton, and I can’t give you a name either. I got a phone call this morning saying I needed to save this tree. Then a little while later someone dropped off money and this note,” he pulls a piece of paper from his back pocket and hands it to Derek, “that a Derek who looks like you would be picking it up.”
Derek opens the note and skims through it; it’s another typewritten one, this time with almost a police-sketch detailed description of his looks and his car. The note warns that Derek might be confused and won’t know he’s picking up this particular tree and might threaten bodily harm. But, it clarifies, he won’t go through with it and that the author included extra money in case of any damage if he does.
“What did they look like?” Derek asks as he folds the note back up, puts it in his pocket, and steps into Bill’s personal space again.
“Look, I don’t want any trouble. I did what I was supposed to, so just go on and take your tree and we’ll call it square.”
“I’m not leaving until you give me a description. The phone call, what did the person sound like? Was it a man? A woman? Who brought you the note? What were they wearing? These are important to me, and if you don’t answer me, you’re going to regret it.”
Bill swallows audibly. “Okay! Okay. Umm… the voice on the phone was muffled, but I think it was a man? The person who delivered the note was a woman though, kind of short, older? She was wearing a blue beanie, and black coat. But that’s all I remember. She didn’t say anything; she just handed me that note and then walked away.”
Derek growls, “Walked or drove? She didn’t come in a car?”
“I couldn’t tell! I was busy with other customers.” Derek looks around the deserted tree lot. “There was a morning rush,” Bill grumbles.
“Fine,” Derek huffs. He picks up the wrapped tree and hauls it over his shoulder. “Thank you. I’ll tie it myself.”
Bill nods like he accepts that, but Derek doesn’t think he was going to offer to tie the tree to his car after Derek had scared him.
After securing the tree, Derek takes off back to the loft, thinking the whole way.
He didn’t know who the woman could have been; he doesn’t go into town enough to know who all the little old ladies are. But maybe she was literally the messenger? Someone told her to deliver the note and that was the only part she played. Whoever had been on the phone is Derek’s prime suspect, but with so little to go on, he could do nothing more but wait.
In the back of his mind, a tiny thought surfaces that so far the gifts are nice and haven’t brought him any harm. But they are still suspicious, he counters. And the way his life is, he’s learned that no matter how kind and harmless something might appear to be, it doesn’t mean it actually is. It’s sad, but it’s his life and he’s used to being on hyper alert.
As he carries the tree up the stairs to his loft, he can smell something different in the air. He slows his steps and gears himself up for the possibility that he might have to shift. The scent is a mix of spice from some kind of cologne or aftershave and sweat. It’s not strong, which means the scent has dissipated because the source of it had left a while ago. He can’t pinpoint a specific person or brand of cologne, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is from a stranger. Isaac had tried out a new aftershave once that Derek took some getting used to since it was hard to pick out Isaac under it. This could be the same thing.
The closer he gets to the landing in front of his loft, the scent changes subtly. There’s a distinctly plastic smell drifting in the air. It’s confusing until he reaches the top and sees what’s waiting for him at his door.
Another, larger present is in front of his apartment, wrapped in the same paper as the ornament that morning. Derek looks around, but there is no one. He can only hear the traffic on the street nearby and his neighbor doing the dishes. There is no one lying in wait for him, no foreboding ticking coming from the box, and as odd as it might sound, it puts him more on edge.
He cautiously approaches the box and sets the tree down, propping it up against the wall. A small white piece of paper is taped to the top of the present, and Derek yanks it off to read it.
It’s another typed up note that reads:
Thought you could use a little more decorations for the tree. If you need help, you know who to call. Even if you don’t need help, call them anyway. ~ Your Secret Santa
He stares down at the note in his hands like if he stares long enough it’ll say something new. It doesn’t of course, but he hates that whoever this santa character is knows so much about him and his moves. He had already been thinking about inviting the pack to come decorate the tree with him since they had all been nagging him about getting one. But now he almost doesn’t want to invite them. Because what if this is some kind of trap?
He slips the note in his pocket along with the other one and quickly rips open the package with his claws. There’s a few boxes of lights, some more brand new boxes of ornaments, a tree stand and skirt, and a star. At the bottom of the box are packets of hot chocolate and a bag of marshmallows that have another note on it.
This time, however, it’s a post-it note with handwriting. He grins because the mystery man has made a mistake! But, his smile fades as he realizes that the handwriting doesn’t look familiar to him, and in fact looks like someone tried really hard to make it indistinguishable from their own. The note reads:
It’s not a trap. It’s a gift. Just accept it.
Derek balks at the note. How could he not be mistrustful of some no-name person leaving mysterious boxes at his door? If this person knew him, which clearly they do, they would know its second nature, that if they hadn’t wanted him to be suspicious they would have shown their face at the start.
But maybe that’s why they wrote this note. Because they knew that Derek would think the worst, that every nice gesture would be taken as some sort of angle because nice things don’t happen to Derek. He remembers the warning in the note to the tree lot employee, about how the person knew how Derek would react, would demand answers forcefully. How the person would know that Derek would want to and should call his pack. How Derek would have to be told that he shouldn’t be apprehensive about a present.
A smile grows on Derek’s face as he pulls his keys out to open his door. As he repacks the box and brings it and the tree inside, he’s realized one of two things. One, he can accept these gifts and gestures because two, they must be from someone he knows and who knows him well enough to write those notes.
And that only leaves a select number of people, and he’s going to find out whom, even if he has to wait and hide in the bushes to catch him.
The pack does eventually help Derek decorate the tree. Well, it’s more like Isaac shows up to Derek’s loft to ask if he wants to get dinner, sees the tree and box of ornaments sitting in the corner, and calls Boyd, who brings Erica, and Scott, who brings Stiles and Allison, who brings Lydia. They order pizza and spend the night listening to Christmas music while they string lights and garland on the gratis tree Derek got from his secret santa.
Derek does his best to subtly ask them each questions about the decorations and what they were doing that morning, but none of them get him any closer to solving his mystery. After a few terse answers and confused, blank stares, he gives up and makes the hot chocolate that he’d been given.
It turns out to be a really nice evening, and everyone seems to have enjoyed themselves. His loft feels a bit homier now with the tree, something Stiles mentions too, and the smell of pine and pack that comes off of it is soothing. When he is the only one left, the rest of the pack going home to study for the last of their finals, Derek retrieves the small box from under his bed.
He blows off the dust that has gathered on the lid and ignores the tickle in his nose when the particles float into the air. Carefully, one by one, he pulls out the ornaments he had saved from him and Laura’s Christmases together. A few of them are even childhood ones that they had saved from the fire. Most of them are handmade and falling apart but they remind him of Laura and his family, so he hangs them up anyway.
After he’s emptied the box, he takes a step back to take it all in. It’s not like how he remembers Christmas trees of years past, but it’s still beautiful. There’s still a small empty spot in the front, and he almost goes to move one from the back to fill it when he remembers the wolf on the counter.
Once in place, it completes the whole picture, and it’s perfect. Silently, he’s grateful to his secret santa, and he kind of looks forward to what he might bring next. But he’ll never admit it out loud.
As the calendar counts down to Christmas, Derek receives more and more gifts from his secret santa. He usually gets at least one thing a day, but sometimes he gets more. At the start, the gifts are general: a few more decorations for the loft, some pretty hideous reindeer slippers that he only wears when he’s alone, although Stiles had caught him in them and grinned so wide Derek thought his face would break. (He of course threatened him with bodily harm if he breathed a word of their existence to anyone else.)
With every gift is another typed note, saying how he should share the cookies, or he needs to relax with the enclosed blanket. Derek has all but given up on finding out who he is. The santa is good about covering his tracks; the boxes smell different every time, and some of them are ordered online and sent to his house. The presents are either there waiting for him when he opens the door to leave or they are there when he gets back.
He’s learned to just open and accept them now. A part of him thinks he should still be weary of them, but he shoves that instinct aside. He likes them and the excitement he feels when he’s anticipating the next one despite everything in him telling him to beware. Sometimes instincts are deceiving, he tells himself, and he smiles to himself every time he finds a new package to him from his secret santa.
After a few days though, the gifts get a little more personal, things only meant for Derek, not something funny or that he can share with the pack. The notes that accompany them get a little more personal, too. Nothing revealing about the sender, unfortunately, but they are thoughtful and more meaningful.
He receives a mug that says “World’s Best Boss” only the “Boss” has been crossed out and beneath it it says “Alpha.” The note says:
It’s true. Don’t believe anyone that tells you otherwise. <3 Your Secret Santa
He pulls out a stuffed animal wolf with a baseball cap from another wrapped box, and the attached note says:
I know it’s cheesy, but I saw this and thought of you. Love, Your S.S.
With every note and every present, Derek falls a little more for his secret santa. He doesn’t fail to notice that the signatures on the notes have changed as well. It’s clearly someone that cares a great deal for him, and he desperately wants to figure out who it is so he can thank him properly.
The day before the pack’s Christmas exchange party, he signs for a delivery that ends up being a snow globe of New York City. The note on the receipt reads:
I know you said you liked winter in New York. I hope you get to go back someday. Hopefully not alone? Love, Your SS
Derek rereads the receipt a few times to make sure he’s read it right. Because after weeks of being so careful to stay hidden, his secret santa has slipped up.
It might have been intentional, but Derek knows he’s only talked about his time in New York with one other person. And he hopes he’s right about who it is because he might have already been a little bit in love with him anyway.
The day the pack is coming over to open their presents, Derek is on edge. He hasn’t received anything from his secret santa all day, and he can’t help but feel disappointed. He holds out the hope that his secret santa is waiting for that night to reveal himself, but maybe he’s got it all wrong. Maybe it’s not who he thinks it is, or maybe he wants to remain a secret?
Whatever the case, it makes Derek anxious, and when the pack arrives and still nothing has shown up at his door, he tries to suppress it and put on a smile. He knows the pack can tell, but they don’t say anything about it. Surely they’ve noticed the extra décor and items around the loft that Derek would have never bought for himself. They’ve definitely noticed how Derek’s been more cheerful recently because they’ve all commented on it.
The anxiety slowly fades though when they’ve eaten and Scott and Isaac start to pass out the gifts from under the tree to everyone else. Derek gets a small sense of pride at seeing his pack members so happy and enjoying each other as they open their presents. Each one excitedly gets up and gives him a hug when they’ve opened the gift he gave them. They do the same to each other, and Derek’s surprised it doesn’t turn into an all out hugging fest with how excited they all are.
He’s so distracted by watching everyone else that he doesn’t open his own until they all stare up at him expectantly, wrapping paper strewn around the floor from their own gifts, everything revealed and on display. They all watch him with bright eyes as he opens each of their presents to him and he’s touched by each one. He thanks them all, and they all beam at his praise.
As it gets later, the pack slowly drifts away to their own homes and family, taking their treasures with them. Scott and Stiles stick around to help Derek clean up the mess they made and put away the food. Scott is the one that notices that Derek doesn’t seem quite as happy as he had been earlier.
“Derek, what’s up?” Scott asks as he piles a few dishes into the sink for Stiles to rinse off and put in the dishwasher.
“Nothing. Why?” Derek replies, picking up the last remaining cups from the living room.
“I don’t know, you seemed really happy earlier, and now you’re… I don’t know… subdued?” Derek shrugs as he moves past Scott to put the cups in the sink. Scott nudges him in the ribs with his elbow as he says playfully, “What did you not get what you wanted for Christmas?”
Derek bites his lower lip before he answers, “Something like that.” Scott’s face falls with the serious, forlorn tone of Derek’s voice. Scott looks to Stiles for help.
Stiles pipes up next to Scott, “Well, Christmas isn’t over yet.” Derek nods and goes back to the living room to make sure he collected all the trash and discarded dishes. Stiles finishes up and he and Scott gather their things to leave.
“Thanks for helping me clean up,” Derek says while Scott tries to shove his presents into his bag.
“No problem!” Stiles replies, grinning. “It was fun. Thanks for, you know, hosting.” Stiles waves his arm only to immediately rub the back of his neck, shifting from one foot to the other. Derek can’t tell if he’s nervous or impatient. “Scott, buddy, you ready?” he calls.
“Yeah, I just… Crap!” Scott mumbles as one of his gifts falls out of his bag and lands back under the tree. He scrambles under it to retrieve it and stops.
“Are you stuck?” Derek asks, taking a few steps towards Scott because he’s still under the tree.
“No!” he replies and backs up from under the branches. He stands holding his present in one hand and a small wrapped one in the other. “Sorry, Derek. It looks like Isaac and I might have missed a present.” He shrugs apologetically and hands the small box to Derek. He pulls on Stiles’s arm to move them toward the door.
“See ya later, Derek! Merry Christmas!” Stiles says over his shoulder.
“Yeah! Merry Christmas!” Scott repeats before he and Stiles walk out and shut the door behind them.
Derek doesn’t return the sentiment because he’s too focused on the box in his hand. It is labeled to him, and he tries not to get his hopes up that it’s from the person he’d been waiting for all day. He rips off the wrapping and lifts the lid from the box.
He starts laughing, full-on belly laughing, when he sees what it is.
Inside the box is a computer-printed card that has sections in the bottom with holes in it. The top of the card proclaims it as a reward punch card, and that when the punch card is full, the holder is entitled to a free dinner of their choosing. All of the sections have been punched out.
Derek shakes his head in fondness as he takes the punch card out. There’s another note below it and he pulls it out to read it.
I still say the punch card system is a great idea. To prove it, I give you this. Merry Christmas, Sourwolf. Yours, S.S.
S.S. Secret Santa. Stiles Stilinski. And of course Derek should have made the connection when he had started signing the notes differently. All Derek can think to do now is seeing Stiles and wrapping him in a hug and taking him up on the free dinner.
He rushes to get his keys and jacket, and as he throws open the door to chase after Stiles, he freezes because the man he wanted to see is standing there in front of him, a wide grin on his face.
“I, uh, forgot my jacket,” Stiles says, his eyes locked with Derek’s.
“It’s you,” is all Derek can get out.
“Yeah… it’s me. Stiles?” he says, and in spite of the question in his tone, he hasn’t stopped smiling.
“You. You’re the secret santa.”
“Oh, uh… yeah,” he says glancing down at his feet before returning his gaze to Derek. “Surprise?” His voice sounds so small and shy, like he’s worried Derek will be disappointed in finding out who it really is.
But that is the opposite of how Derek feels. He’s ecstatic to be right about his suspicions and relieved that it’s Stiles. He just doesn’t know what to say to express that to Stiles, so he doesn’t say anything.
He pulls Stiles into a tight hug and squeezes. Stiles is tense at first but relaxes into the hug and wraps his own arms around Derek’s waist and squeezes back. Derek nuzzles into Stiles’s neck, and Stiles lets out a pleased sigh.
“Thank you,” Derek whispers into the skin on his neck. He pulls back from the hug to look at Stiles and say it again. “Thank you, Stiles.”
Stiles’s lips curl up at the corners, his arms still loosely around Derek’s waist, Derek’s around his shoulders. “You’re welcome.”
“I’m glad it was you. I had hoped…”
Stiles’s eyes widened. “Really?”
Derek nods, leaning forward to rub his nose along the bridge of Stiles’s and rest his forehead against his. “Really.”
He can feel the hot breath Stiles is letting out through his parted lips, and he can hear the fast rhythm of his heart, smell the sweetness of his breath. He closes his eyes to let the sensation, the feeling of closeness and warmth of Stiles wash over him.
“Oh god,” Stiles whispers, “Please tell me you’re going to kiss me because I can’t take this anymore.”
Derek lets out a snort but does as Stiles asks and presses his lips to Stiles’s. Stiles grip on his waist tightens, and he brings him in closer to his body. Derek breaks the kiss and holds Stiles back when he tries to chase after his lips.
Stiles lets out a pained noise. “Where are you going? Why’d you stop?”
“You’re still standing on my porch, and you’re letting all my heat out.” Stiles gives him a flat look. “And I’d like to use my punch card,” Derek adds.
“But we just ate.”
Derek shrugs and pushes Stiles further out on the porch to shut the door behind him and lock it. “Okay. No dinner. Yet… Is today’s special Frostys?”
Stiles’s brow furrows for a moment before smoothing out again. “Yes,” he beams. He holds out his hand for Derek, who takes it and links their fingers together, leading the way down the steps. “Yes, it is.”