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Stiles and Scott spend Friday and Saturday nights cruising through town. All the kids do it. Jackson in his Porsche, the Twins on their bikes, Greenburg in his truck. The girls usually sit shotgun, or park in front of the closed auto parts store and sit on their car trunks to watch the guys drive by.

Except Malia. Malia drives down the strip, her girlfriend Kira sitting shotgun, and races any joker who dares to rev their engine near her. Her dad owns the best auto shop in town, and rumor is she could take an engine apart before she could read. And if any guy calls her baby or sexy or something else demeaning? She burns their non-existent dicks off with the heat from her tires. And then punches them for good measure.

Malia terrifies Stiles. He stays as far away from her as he can. She’s wild. And crazy. Everyone knows that.

Stiles knows everyone who cruises on Friday and Saturday nights. He can pick out the sophomores, the juniors, the seniors, and the already graduated. The sophomores stay in clusters because most of them have just gotten their licenses, the juniors are the most chill because they’ve been doing this for awhile and still have time left, the seniors speed down the strip like they own it, and the already graduated hang around and talk about their glory days.

Stiles and Scott are juniors, which means they cruise around, confident and cool. Except, they’re totally not. Stiles and Scott are definitely not cool. They don’t have their own cruising posse, a caravan they ride around with, taking corners too fast and yelling out the windows at each other.

They have Liam and Mason, two freshmen who sit in the back and complain about the choice of music.

“This is what I’m talking about,” Stiles says, popping his favorite CD into the player. He cranks up the volume as Scott starts bobbing his head.

“This sucks!” Liam yells from the back seat.

“I can’t hear you over all this awesome,” Stiles yells over his shoulder.

“Think you could choose something from this decade perhaps?” Liam whines. “Or even this century? I mean, who in the hell even listens to CDs anymore?”

Stiles turns to Scott, who’s banging his head and playing the air drums. “Please explain to me why we bring them along again.” Scott just laughs.

They’re cruising down Hill Street, through the center of Beacon Hills, when Scott gets distracted. He hangs out of the window, staring after a car they just passed going the other way. “Turn around,” he yells.

“What? Why?” Stiles asks, making an abrupt U-turn in the middle of the road. The car behind him blows its horn, and Stiles throws his arm out of the window to give the other driver the finger.

“I saw a girl.”

Liam and Mason collectively groan in the backseat. Scott sees a lot of girls. But so does Liam, so Stiles doesn’t know what he’s groaning about. Every Friday and Saturday night, Stiles speeds after cars containing girls Liam and Scott find attractive. Mason has a crush on Danny, and following Jackson and Danny in Jackson’s Porsche is the closest Stiles gets to being part of a caravan. Mason also has the hots for Brett, a kid from some fancy private school the next county over, who sometimes shows up in his lame lowrider with the fancy rims. Liam and Brett hate each other’s guts, and have gotten into two fights this year already.

Stiles only has eyes for Lydia Martin. She used to ride shotgun in Jackson’s Porsche, but they broke up, and she hasn’t been around lately. Stiles has mourned her absence on the strip.

“That car,” Scott says, pointing to a blue Toyota idling at a red light. “Pull up beside it.”

Stiles switches into the outer lane and pulls up beside the Toyota. The windows in the other car are down, and Stiles can hear lame top 40 pop hits blaring from the speakers. The driver is unfamiliar, a beautiful brunette with dimples and pale skin. Sitting beside her in the passenger side is Lydia. “Lydia, love of my life!” Stiles yells over the music.

Lydia rolls her eyes, and the brunette hits the gas as the light turns green.

“Follow them!” Scott yells urgently, hands flailing towards the windshield, where they can see the Toyota’s taillights growing smaller.

Stiles hits the gas, spinning his wheels and downshifting as the Jeep sputters. It finally gets going, and Stiles weaves around a few cars to catch up. The Toyota makes a left through a traffic light, and the Jeep’s wheels squeal as Stiles takes the turn fast and sharp through a more-red-than-yellow light.

The Toyota pulls over into a parallel parking place on a side street, so Stiles slows beside it.

“Stiles, what do you want?” Lydia asks, stretching over the brunette so she can talk to them through the driver’s side window.

“Introduce us to your friend,” Stiles says. “This is Scott, by the way. Really awesome, quality dude.” Scott turns and glares at him before turning back to the girls.

“I’m Allison,” the brunette says, smiling with those dimples and tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. Stiles can tell from the set of Scott’s shoulders that he is already in love. As they flirt, Stiles glances out of the windshield, tapping the rhythm to the song on the radio on the steering wheel, as a shiny black car turns onto the road up ahead.

Stiles perks up. The car is nice, nicer than any of the cars they drive, except Jackson of course. But Jackson’s a douche, so it doesn’t count. The black car is unfamiliar, because Stiles knows every car that cruises through these streets and he definitely would have remembered this car. As the car approaches, Stiles can tell it’s a Camaro. He watches as the car draws closer, and holy hell.

“Mason, are you seeing this?”

“Oh yeah,” Mason says from the backseat.

The driver is gorgeous. Dark hair, scruff, and his eyes. Even in the dim light of the streetlights, Stiles can tell they’re brilliant. The guy catches Stiles’ eye, and they hold each other’s gaze until Stiles has to turn his head and watch the Camaro drive away. Stiles stares at the taillights as it idles at the red light before turning right.

“Dude,” Stiles says.

“Dude,” Mason agrees.

“I’m literally in hell,” Liam grumbles, slumping down in his seat and sticking his earbuds in his ears. “I better get some fucking food before the night is out. And not any of that McDonald’s bullshit.”

“I’ll feed you, don’t worry,” Stiles says. He glances at Scott, still leaning out the window and talking to Allison, and at Lydia popping gum as she scrolls boredly through her phone. “Sorry, buddy,” Stiles says, hitting the gas and making another U-turn. “It’s my turn to score.”

“What is wrong with you?” Scott exclaims, turning back towards where Allison’s car is still parked. “I was talking!”

“You got her name, you flirted,” Stiles points out as he takes the right at the next street without slowing. Scott and Liam are thrown against the wall of the car, and Mason tumbles into Liam’s lap. “Don’t give it up too easy. Make her chase you, Scotty.”

“I hate you so much right now,” Scott grumbles.

“Not as much as I hate everyone right now,” Liam says, the perfect example of overdramatic teenage angst. Stiles rolls his eyes.

“What are we even doing?” Scott asks.

“Following the Camaro,” Mason responds. He’s moved forward so his head is between the seats, nearly as excited as Stiles is.

“I saw him first,” Stiles says.

“Bullshit you did.”

“You’re a fetus, you don’t get to play with the big boys.”

“Do you even listen to yourself talk?” Liam asks.

“Shut up and go back to your emo rock.”

“’S not emo,” Liam mutters. Stiles turns up The Clash and focuses on finding the black Camaro. They pass a lot of familiar cars, but cannot seem to catch up to the Camaro.

“I swear to god,” Stiles says, “if I never see that guy again, I will kill all three of you.”

They drive back and forth along the strip waiting for any glimpse of the other car. After about half an hour, a car starts riding his ass, then flashing its lights and blowing its horn. Stiles glances in the rearview mirror as Mason and Liam twist around. “Hey, it’s that Allison chick,” Liam says.

“What?” Scott perks up and turns around to look out the back glass. “Dude, pull over.”

“No.”

“I swear, I will jump out of this moving car,” Scott says.

“You go ahead and do that,” Stiles says. When Stiles slows down at a red light, Allison pulls beside them and starts talking to Scott. They stay idling at the light after it turns green, don’t move until cars come up behind them.

Stiles doesn’t see the black Camaro again.

*

The next night, Stiles is on a mission to find that car.

“Allison and Lydia are at the Dairy Freeze,” Scott says as he reads a text from his phone. Stiles rolls his eyes and drives to the Dairy Freeze.

The parking lot is packed, the line at the window long. Stiles shoves money at Liam and Mason and sends them off to get ice cream while he leans against the side of the Jeep. Scott’s talking to Allison, and Stiles is trying to get the nerve to talk to Lydia. She’s blowing bubbles with her gum, looking around in boredom.

Just as Stiles finally gets the balls to go talk to her, the unmistakable roar of two motorcycles drowns out everything. The motorcycles zip along the road in front of the Dairy Freeze before entering the parking lot. They split, and one of them parks dangerously close in front of Lydia. Lydia doesn’t even flinch, just pops another bubble.

Aiden pulls off his helmet and grins at Lydia. Stiles writes that off as a lost cause. He can’t compete with the muscle head twin and his crotch rocket.

Stiles has decided as soon as Liam and Mason get back with his ice cream, he’s bolting. This sucks, and he’d rather be driving than standing around doing nothing anyway.

A few minutes later, the black Camaro pulls into the parking lot of the Dairy Freeze. Stiles looks around for a wingman, but Scott is engrossed in Allison and Liam and Mason are standing in line. So, Stiles stands there, trying to look cool, as the Camaro parks. The guy gets out, and Stiles isn’t prepared for the hotness. He’s wearing a black leather jacket, tight jeans on impossibly long legs, and Stiles wants to climb him like a tree. He’s wearing aviators like a douche despite the fact that it’s dusk, but for some reason, Stiles thinks it’s the sexiest thing he’s ever seen. Stiles may have some major issues right now.

The guy looks like he could be older than them, but then he takes off his sunglasses and glances Stiles’ way. Stiles notices that his face looks younger, despite the scruff, and Stiles refuses to break eye contact with him. He doesn’t think he could if he wanted to, is pretty sure he’s frozen right there on the spot.

A large guy comes up and whispers something in the guy’s ear, and he turns his head, effectively breaking whatever that intense staring contest was. Stiles watches as a blonde in short shorts and a tight tank top jumps on the other guy’s back, a guy with curly hair trailing behind them.

Stiles has got to find out who that guy is.

“Here,” Liam says as he comes back and hands Stiles an ice cream cone. Liam joins Stiles against the side of the Jeep. They stare out at the parking lot without speaking. Stiles eats his ice cream slowly as he watches the hot guy interact with his friends. The blonde is obviously the outgoing one in the group, though the curly-haired guy laughs with her often. Hot guy and the large guy are obviously the too-cool-for-school ones who are standing by with mild indifference.

“You’re acting like a creeper,” Liam says. “Stop staring.”

“Am not.”

“Whatever.”

Hot guy walks back towards his car after they get their food. He’s sucking on a straw (Milkshake? Really?) when he glances at Stiles. They stare at each other for a few beats before he gets into his shiny, fancy car and cranks the engine. It rumbles loudly, and Stiles rolls his eyes at the display despite being slightly turned on. The Camaro peels out of the parking lot.

Stiles feels like an idiot, standing by his busted up Jeep and eating an ice cream cone like a little kid.

*

“His name is Derek Hale,” Scott tells him when they pass the Camaro the next weekend.

“What? How do you know?”

“Allison goes to North Beacon. He goes to North Beacon, too. He’s a senior.”

Stiles glances at Scott, who looks pleased to be able to provide the information. “Did you ask her?”

“Yeah.”

Stiles groans. “Oh god, now he’s totally gonna know I’m into him.”

“I don’t think Allison would tell him.”

“But she’ll tell Lydia, who’ll tell anyone.”

“I don’t really think Lydia cares who you think is hot.”

“Stop trying to be logical with me, Scott!” Stiles exclaims. “This is a crisis.”

“Chill out and drive down the strip like normal,” Scott says.

So, Stiles cruises. He’s playing The Cars tonight, trying to get into the mood. Liam and Mason are arguing about something in the backseat, and Scott is smiling dopily as he texts.

“Allison shouldn’t text and drive,” Stiles tells him.

“Lydia’s driving tonight,” Scott replies distractedly. A few minutes later, Stiles sees a green VW bug zip down the street going the opposite way. Stiles makes a U-turn and follows after them. When they pull up at a red light, Lydia and Allison both are staring, waiting on them.

“Took you long enough,” Lydia says. Both girls are eating Twizzlers. “Though I’m surprised that thing you call a vehicle can still make it down the strip.”

“Don’t you dare knock my baby,” Stiles says indignantly out the passenger side window. He runs his hand along the dashboard. “She didn’t mean it, baby.”

Lydia rolls her eyes before popping a Twizzler in her mouth. She puts the car in park then leans the top half of her body out of the window. Stiles’ mouth hangs open as Lydia stares at Scott expectantly. When Scott doesn’t move, Lydia raises her eyebrows in a challenge, the tiny rope of candy a sweet sweet temptation. Stiles kinda loves and hates Scott right now.

“Dude,” Stiles says, hitting Scott’s arm. “I think she wants you to take it.”

Scott reaches his hand out the window, but Lydia turns her head so he can’t touch it.

“Use your mouth,” Mason says.

“This is so not fucking fair,” Liam gripes. “Why am I always in the backseat? I get shotgun next time.”

“Shut up,” Stiles and Mason say at the same time. Stiles is watching with rapt attention as Scott leans out of the window. Stiles knows he will have to put his mouth so close to Lydia’s to bite the Twizzler that they’ll basically be kissing, and how has this never happened before? Being the driver sucks. Scott always gets all the girls. Scott awkwardly bites the part of the Twizzler sticking out of Lydia’s mouth, and Lydia immediately slides back into the driver’s seat, chewing her half as she and Allison giggle. The boys are still staring at them when Lydia hits the gas and shoots through the empty intersection, ignoring the red light.

“What just happened?” Mason asks.

“I don’t know,” Stiles says, “but it was awesome.”

“Oh god,” Scott groans. “What if Allison is mad? What if she thinks I don’t like her anymore?” He grabs his cell phone and starts furiously texting. Stiles rolls his eyes and starts driving.

Everyone is at Taco Bell, so Stiles goes where the party is, so to speak. He pulls into the busy parking lot. There’s a line of cars along the lot facing the road, people perched on the trunks or sitting on lowered tailgates. Almost every space in the parking lot is filled, so Stiles parks the Jeep back behind the restaurant, which is like Cruising Siberia. Stiles doesn’t really care too much. He’s not here for the cool parking spots; he’s here for some cheap tacos. When he opens the door, he’s immediately hit by the cacophony of the parking lot. At least four different songs are blaring at top volume, deep bass rattling the frame of at least two of the cars.

Stiles walks behind Scott as they enter the Taco Bell, where Allison and Lydia are waiting for them at a table. Allison is eating an order of nachos, but Lydia is only sipping from a straw. The four guys decide to buy a party pack of tacos before joining the girls. Stiles immediately shoves a taco in his mouth while Scott makes doe eyes at Allison. Stiles catches Mason’s eyes, and he’s rolling them dramatically. Stiles snorts, then almost chokes on a piece of lettuce.

Liam’s slapping his back and he’s coughing when he glances at the door. Then Stiles almost chokes again. It’s Hot Guy – Derek. He’s with the same kids as before, but this time there’s an additional person, a shorter dark haired girl who’s glaring angrily at everyone around her. Hot Guy – Derek – of course looks at him, while he’s still hacking and trying to breathe. He knows he’s red-faced and he’s pretty sure he has a piece of lettuce in his nose.

Derek turns away, and Stiles finally gets control of his breathing. “How awful do I look?” he asks Liam.

“You look like you just failed at running a marathon after getting pounded in the face with a lacrosse stick and cried about it,” Liam replies.

“Shit.” Stiles rubs his eyes and sighs. Then, he eats another taco. Tacos make everything better.

He ignores Derek and his friends, and totally pretends not to watch them in the window’s reflection as they take a booth on the other side of the restaurant.

After Stiles downs more tacos than one teenage boy should, he goes to the bathroom. He glances in the mirror. Well, at least his face isn’t red anymore. That has to count for something.

He’s standing at a urinal, taking a piss, when the door opens behind him. He doesn’t pay any attention to it until he hears it close and no footsteps. He glances over his shoulder just as the door opens again, and he sees dark hair and a black leather jacket walking back through the door.

Stiles drops his head into his free hand. Great. Just great. This just got awkward.

When the group makes their way outside, Lydia walks towards Jackson and Danny, and Allison follows, which means Scott follows, so Stiles and Liam reluctantly follow. Mason’s eyeing Danny, so he doesn’t seem to be complaining.

“Left and right testicle!” Jackson greets as they approach.

“Fuck you too,” Stiles says with a smile. Jackson looks like he’s about to punch Stiles, and Danny rolls his eyes.

“You guys going to the race?” Danny asks Mason when he makes his way over.

“What race?” Mason asks.

Danny looks over at Jackson with a smirk. “Jackson went off running his mouth that he could beat Malia. So she told him to put his trust fund where his mouth is. They’re racing at 11.”

“You challenged Malia?” Scott gawks.

“You’re a fucking dumbass,” Stiles laughs. “But boy am I gonna love watching her blow you away.”

Jackson makes towards Stiles, but Danny grabs his arm. “Dude, really?”

“Shut the fuck up, Stilinski. Your piece of shit Jeep will barely make it out of this parking lot.”

“And that’s why I’m not the one challenging Malia.” Stiles shrugs and shoves his hands in his pockets.

Stiles is leaning against the back of Jackson’s Porsche, which Jackson had stopped trying to shove him off of fifteen minutes ago, when Derek and his friends exit the restaurant. When Derek glances over at him, staring for a beat too long to be casual, Stiles is pretty sure he’s imagining it. He watches as Derek climbs into his Camaro with the curly-haired guy taking shotgun. The big guy and the blonde get into an El Camino, while the small angry girl gets into tricked out red BMW. The Camaro backs out of the parking place first, followed by the El Camino, then the BMW.

The cars drive around the building, slowly cruising through the parking lot. Half the people standing around watch them, the other half don’t turn from their conversation. Stiles can’t take his eyes off Derek’s car. When the Camaro slowly rolls past him, the curly-haired guy is leaning back and facing forward, but Derek is looking out of the passenger side window, staring directly at Stiles.

Maybe it’s the atmosphere, maybe it’s leaning on Jackson’s expensive car, or maybe it’s the tacos, but Stiles gets a burst of courage and smirks, then raises his hand in a little wave. The Camaro’s gone too fast to see Derek’s reaction, but the blonde is leering at him and blows him a kiss. Stiles lowers his hand and frowns. When the Camaro leaves the parking lot, the tires squeal and it shoots down the street in a blur, followed by the El Camino and the BMW.

“What was that?” Liam asks.

“Hell if I know,” Stiles replies, frowning after their taillights.

*

At 10:30, Stiles drives out of the city and finds a parking spot at the end of a long line of cars in the grass. The race is being held on a secluded country road where there are no streetlights, no houses, nothing but long stretches of empty road and some pretty wicked turns. The course loops around through other roads, feeding back onto this road half a mile back from the starting line. Stiles has watched numerous street races through here; it’s one of the common locations used by everyone.

Scott finds Allison and Lydia near the front of the race. Lydia’s talking to the muscle twin, and Danny’s talking to the other, so Stiles and Mason frown sourly at the whole scene. “This fucking sucks,” Mason grumbles.

“Jackson better crash his car is all I’m saying,” Stiles adds.

“Rooting for Malia then?” an unfamiliar female voice comes from the other side of Stiles. Stiles whips his head around, and he’s face to face with the blonde and her ample breasts. He tries to respond, but he gets distracted. Kill him, okay? The blonde’s got nice tits.

“Erica,” a voice growls, and that shakes Stiles from his boob-induced trance. He lifts his eyes, cheeks coloring. The blonde – Erica, he’s guessing – is watching him with a feral grin. Right beside her, of course, is Derek. Who is scowling at him. Obviously for checking out his friend’s boobs.

Stiles wants to kick himself, and maybe let Jackson run over him with his car. So smooth, he thinks.

Then, he remembers Erica said something to him. “Er, as long as it’s not Jackson.”

Erica snorts and leans back into the large guy, who has appeared behind her. He wraps two large arms around her that Stiles is pretty sure could squish his head like a grape. What the hell do they feed the kids at North Beacon?

“We’re rooting for Malia, too,” Erica says as she leans back against the other guy, further into his embrace. “I’m Erica, this is Boyd, and Derek.” Derek is scowling at him, and Stiles’ heart sinks to his feet. Maybe Mason will have better luck than him.

Stiles lifts his hand in a pathetic little wave. “Stiles.” He feels flush with embarrassment and thinks that he might volunteer to let Jackson run over him with his Porsche.

Everyone starts whooping and hollering, so Derek and his friends stop staring at him, thankfully. The headlights of Malia’s classic Shelby Mustang cut through the night as the grumble of her engine grows louder. She stops her car in the middle of the road, obviously not giving a fuck as she flings the door open. She gets out of the car, wearing short American flag cut offs and a white t-shirt, and Kira exits the passenger side with a wide, sweet smile like her girlfriend doesn’t look like she’s about to kick everyone’s ass.

“Where’s that punk ass, Jackson?” Malia yells.

Jackson walks down the road with his usual cocky swagger, a sneer on his perfectly chiseled features, and Stiles is pretty sure Malia growls at him. Or at least she looks like she growled at him.

“I think it’s real cute you think you can beat me in that,” Jackson says derisively as he nods his head at Malia’s car.

“If your driving is half as good as your bullshit, this might be an actual race,” she says.

Jackson’s face twists into something ugly. “I’m going to blow you away.”

“Bring it on.”

Danielle, a girl from school who always officiates these things, steps up between them. She explains the rules, that it’s a basic race around the usual course, no trying to kill each other, and the first one back wins.

Malia gives Jackson the finger and he curses at her before they go to their cars. Kira kisses Malia for luck and then she gets into the cab, driving to the starting line as she waits for Jackson.

Stiles has a decent spot right on the sidelines, so he got to witness all the prerace excitement. He’s trying to decide if Malia will beat Jackson by like two minutes or if Jackson won’t even finish the race because he like crashes into a hay bale or something when someone steps up beside him. He does a double take when he realizes that it’s Derek.

Stiles opens his mouth a couple of times, trying to figure out what to say, but nothing comes out.

Derek’s the one who finally speaks. “I thought you’d be rooting for your friend.”

Stiles gapes and makes a few unattractive noises. “Friend?” he squawks, waving his arms around. “Jackson? I hate that guy. I’d root for a cockroach over Jackson. Or a zombie. Or a zombie cockroach.” The corner of Derek’s mouth twitches, but he doesn’t smile. “Whatever made you think that guy was my friend?”

“Saw you leaning against his car earlier.”

“Oh. That. Yeah, it’s one of those obnoxious things where a friend of a friend of a friend is stupid enough to actually be friends with Jackson, and I get dragged into his presence against my will.”

“For what it’s worth, I’m not rooting for him either.”

“Good,” Stiles declares. “I’d have to reconsider standing next to you, and I definitely couldn’t talk to you if you were.”

One side of Derek’s mouth lifts into a half-smile. “That’d be too bad.”

Stiles jerks back in surprise. Did he just - was Derek flirting with him?

No, there was no way this hot guy was flirting with Stiles. There were other, hotter guys around who were interested in dudes, like Mason and Danny and Ethan. But Derek was standing next to him, watching Jackson and Malia idling at the starting line.

Stiles is trying to figure out what to say back to him when Danielle steps up between the cars, holding a long scarf in her hand. She lifts her arm, counts down, and then slices her hand down through the air. Both cars shoot forward down the road with an explosion of sound, neck and neck as they gain speed. Everyone runs into the road to watch the taillights until both cars take a sharp right and they disappear.

Stiles glances around, his friends nowhere in sight but Derek is still standing beside him. Derek’s got his hands shoved into the pockets of his leather jacket, and he’s staring at the sky.

“You go to Beacon Hills, right?” Derek asks, turning towards him. Stiles can’t help but stare at his eyes, because wow. They are beautiful. And he wants to kick himself in the nuts just for thinking that thought.

“Yep,” he replies, popping the “p.” “Good ol’ Beacon Hills. And you go to North Beacon?” Derek nods.

They stand there awkwardly, the seconds ticking on in excruciating silence, until Stiles blurts, “Why are you here?” his brain obviously no longer working. Could he be anymore rude or awkward? “I mean,” he backpedals, “you don’t go to Beacon Hills, and they’re both from Beacon Hills, and like I know illegal street races are quality entertainment and all, but I’m not sure why you’d want to watch one with random people.”

Derek quirks a brow and looks amused. “Malia is my cousin.”

Stiles slaps the Derek’s chest with the back of his hand. “Shut the front door. Really?” Derek chuckles and nods. “Dude, she is fucking terrifying. She once threatened to squeeze my nuts off.”

“Sounds like her.”

They lapse back into silence, and Stiles desperately tries to find something to talk about. Why isn’t he better at this talking and flirting thing? His dad always said he could talk the paint off of a fence post, but a hot dude who may be interested in him is right in front of him and he can’t think of anything to say.

Stiles doesn’t have to worry about coming up with anything to say, because at that moment, Scott comes running up to him, grinning from ear to ear. “She said yes! Can you believe it?”

“What?” Stiles asks as Scott excitedly jumps up and down, holding his arm.

“I asked Allison on a date and she said yes!”

“That’s great, dude.” Stiles grins at him and then glances at Derek. Scott finally realizes they aren’t alone, and looks at Derek too.

“Oh. Hey.”

“Hello.”

Scott shoots at look at Stiles, and Stiles shrugs. Hell if he knows why Derek is standing there.

The loud roar of two engines rumbles through the night, and a chorus of cheers begins down at the far end of the line. Derek glances at Stiles and grins, and Stiles feels butterflies in his stomach. He literally doesn’t care about this stupid race. He just cares about Derek Hale and the fact that he is smiling at him.

They join the rest of the crowd watching as the cars approach. Derek stands behind Stiles, his chest pressing against Stiles’ arm. Stiles moves back slightly to push more into Derek’s space.

Stiles is trying to figure out just how much muscle Derek has in his body as the Mustang flies across the finish line. Cheers erupt from the crowd, and the Porsche crosses is too many seconds later.

Stiles manages to see Jackson climb out of his car in a diva fit before he turns around. Derek’s right there, standing too close. The rest of the crowd melts away, and Stiles feels like he’s in one of those teen movies where music starts playing around the main romantic couple. Derek holds his gaze for a moment, Stiles once again thinking about how beautiful his eyes are, before Derek’s sweeping his eyes over Stiles’ face and settling on his mouth. Stiles licks his lips, and he swears Derek’s nostrils flare.

Stiles’ heart is pounding in his chest, his entire body tingling even though he’s not even touching Derek, and he has just about gotten the courage to maybe kiss Derek when they’re interrupted.

“There you are!” the dark angry girl exclaims, grabbing Derek’s arm. “We’ve been looking for you everywhere.” She glares at Stiles. “Who the fuck are you?”

Stiles reels in surprise and stumbles back a few steps.

Derek sighs and rolls his eyes. “Why are you so rude? This is Stiles. Stiles, this is my rude sister, Cora.”

Cora rolls her eyes this time. “Fine. Nice to meet you and all that shit. Whatever. Look, everyone’s with Malia. She’s threatening to punch Jackson, and Isaac and Kira are trying to talk her out of it, though I don’t know why.” She storms away, pulling Derek along after her.

Derek glances back at Stiles over his shoulder before he disappears in the crowd.

Stiles doesn’t even care that Jackson is about to get punched in the face by a girl. That’s how freaking epic this night was.

*

The school week sucks. Stiles just wants to take his shitty Jeep out onto the strip and ride around in circles until he catches sight of that black Camaro.

Friday night, Scott has a date with Allison, so it’s just Stiles, Liam, and Mason. Liam calls shotgun, so he’s staring out of the window as Stiles and Mason sing along to 90s rap. Stiles keeps his eyes peeled for any sign of the Camaro, but by 9 p.m., he gives up.

“Regulators” comes up on the playlist, and Mason shouts from the back. “Whoo!” he yells, slapping the seat, “This is my jam!” Stiles turns up the volume until you can tell just how busted up his speakers are, the deep bass beats rattling, tinny, and flat. He and Mason sing the song with their parts, because somehow it’s become a thing for Stiles to sing Warren G’s part while Mason sings Nate Dogg’s. If Scott were here, he’d be singing along with Stiles just as enthusiastically.

“They got guns to my head,” Stiles sing-raps, “I think I’m going down, I can’t believe this happening in my own home town…”

Liam is in his seat, bobbing his head and looking for once like he doesn’t want to burn down the whole town or kick somebody’s ass just for existing. Stiles slaps Liam’s arm and grins. Liam rolls his eyes like sharing the same air with Stiles annoys him, but he can’t keep the smile off his face. “I glance at the cut and I see my homey Nate.”

On cue, Mason drops in with, “Sixteen in the clip and one in hole…”

Once the song ends, Stiles turns down the volume knob and says, “We should start a rap group!”

Mason laughs at Stiles, but says, “Yeah okay, the two least gangsta dudes in all of Beacon Hills trying to rap.”

“We could do it, dude,” Stiles insists. “We could call ourselves Oreo.”

“Oreo?!”

“Yeah, because I’m white and you’re black.”

Liam glances over at him. “That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard.”

“Shut up, you’re mad because you didn’t think of it first and I’m stealing your best friend to be AWESOME.” Liam rolls his eyes and Mason just laughs.

“Turn around,” Liam says suddenly, and Stiles glances at him in confusion before making a U-turn in the middle of the street. “Slow down.” Stiles taps the brake and follows Liam’s line of sight to two girls sitting on the trunk of red car in the auto parts store parking lot. “Drive through the parking lot.”

“Been shotgun for a few hours and already found a girl,” Mason says. “I get shotgun tomorrow.”

“Shut up,” Liam snaps as Stiles turns into the parking lot. He drives slowly past the girls, then around the back of the store. “Stop in front of them. I wanna talk to her.”

“Seriously?” Liam glares at him over his shoulder, so Stiles shrugs and figures if Liam wants to strike out, he’ll share the popcorn and front row seat with Mason.

Stiles continues around the front of building, stopping abruptly in front of the red car and causing them to lurch forward. Liam gives him an exaggerated look of disbelief, and Stiles shoots him a shit-eating grin. Grumbling, Liam rolls down the window and speaks to the girl. Surprisingly, she doesn’t shoot him down automatically and instead talks to him.

Stiles glances out at the road, looking for any signs of Derek in the cars that go by. He sees Jackson’s Porsche, Greenberg’s truck, and even the twins’ bikes, but no Derek. “Hey!” one of the girls yells, and then Liam slaps Stiles’ arm. He turns to look at them. The other girl bends over like she’s trying to get a better view into the Jeep. “I know you.”

Stiles looks around and then points to his chest. The girl rolls her eyes, and duh. He doesn’t know how he was so blind before. “You’re Derek’s sister!”

“I have an actual name, fuck face.”

“Well, that’s not my name, so I guess…” Stiles trails off when Cora glares at him.

“This piece of shit yours?” Cora asks.

“Hey! You can insult me all you want, but don’t talk about my baby!”

Cora huffs and crosses her arms.

Liam and the other girl, Hayden, are talking, Mason in the backseat texting on his phone, and Stiles tapping the steering wheel to the beat of “Regulators” when a car pulls into the parking lot. A black El Camino followed by…a black Camaro.

Derek.

“Fuck,” Stiles mutters, suddenly nervous. Mason glances up from his phone, though Liam doesn’t stop talking.

“That’s your guy, isn’t it?” Mason asks quietly.

“Not my guy,” Stiles replies as the cars pull into two adjacent parking places. Erica pops out of the passenger side of the El Camino in a bikini top and jean cut offs, and Boyd gets out of the driver’s side. The curly-haired guy gets out of Derek’s car, but Derek is still sitting behind the wheel. Stiles’ heart is jackrabbiting in his chest, but he’s distracted from freaking out about Derek getting out of the car when Erica saunters over to his window.

“Why, hello there,” Erica says, leaning her forearms on the window sill and grinning. “What are you doing here?”

Stiles waves his hand erratically behind him in the direction of Liam. “Being a wingman for my buddy. Mostly because he’s too young to drive and can’t cart himself around to hit on chicks. So, I guess I’m the enabler.”

Erica laughs and leans over to glance through the other window. “Seems like he’s doing okay. Hayden isn’t easily impressed, but I think your friend has her interested.”

“Great,” Mason grumbles from the backseat. “If I end up being the only single dude in this Jeep, then I will go fucking nuts.”

Erica eyes Stiles with interest. “And who have you snagged, Stiles?”

“No one!” Stiles rushes. “I mean, not that I don’t have tons of guys and girls wanting this, I mean, come on.” Stiles waves a hand along his torso. “Quality merchandise right here.”

“You’re cute,” Erica says. “Hey Derek,” she yells, and Stiles glances over to where Derek is standing beside Cora and the curly-haired guy. Tonight he’s wearing form-fitting jeans and a navy Henley that hugs his biceps. “Isn’t Stiles cute?” Derek rolls his eyes and then glares before going back to talking with Cora.

Stiles feels like his entire world is crashing down around him. He thought Derek had been flirting with him last weekend, and maybe had wanted to kiss him. But that’s obviously not true. Derek doesn’t think he’s cute, and he’s ignoring Stiles like he doesn’t exist. He hasn’t even acknowledged Stiles’ presence.

This fucking sucks, and Stiles doesn’t want to be here.

Erica makes small talk with him for a few more minutes before leaning in and giving him a big kiss on the cheek. “See you around, cutie.” Stiles frowns after her as she goes to join her friends, Boyd easily wrapping an arm around her shoulders. Derek, of course, doesn’t look his way.

“Liam,” Stiles interrupts. Liam glares at him over his shoulder. “Dude, get her number or get out. I’m tired of sitting here.”

“But – “

“Decide, Liam!” Stiles exclaims. “Give it to her or make her wait! I don’t care either way, I just want a fucking milkshake.”

“Hell yeah!” Mason exclaims. “That’s what I’m talking about.”

Liam gets out of the Jeep, and Mason immediately climbs over the seats and settles into the passenger side. Liam doesn’t even look back as he goes over to join Hayden.

And well, Stiles absolutely doesn’t look at Derek as he hits the gas pedal and drives towards the parking lot exit, not even stopping as he speeds onto the street.

“Man, Stiles, what happened back there?” Mason asks as Stiles speeds down the strip faster than he should. He’s just…done. Stupid Derek and his stupid scruff and stupid car and stupid everything.

“Nothing,” Stiles says as he makes his way towards McDonalds. “Abso-freaking-lutely nothing.”

They’re back on the street, Stiles now listening to The Cure and sucking down his chocolate milkshake, when a car zooms past him. Stiles glances at it, and really? “That fucker,” Stiles mutters as he watches the Camaro’s taillights growing smaller as the El Camino and BMW drive past him.

“Hey, Liam’s in that car.” Mason points to the BMW.

“Yay for him,” Stiles says sarcastically.

But then, the Camaro comes towards him in the other lane, slowing just enough so that Derek can catch Stiles’ gaze and hold it as he goes past.

What the hell is wrong with this guy?

A few minutes later, a car starts riding his ass, but Stiles can’t get a good look at it in the rearview mirror, though he has a sneaking suspicion who it is. Mason twists around and looks out the back. “Yep. It’s that Derek guy.”

“What the hell is his problem?” Stiles says as he changes lanes. Derek immediately changes lanes and drives behind him. So, Stiles changes lanes again, and Derek follows. Frustrated, Stiles makes a sharp U-turn and starts driving the other way. Derek doesn’t miss a beat and pulls the Camaro into a graceful U-turn before he’s catching up with Stiles again.

Stiles hits a red light and slows to a stop. Derek darts over into the other lane and pulls along the passenger side of the Jeep. Stiles shouts through the open windows, “What the hell, dude?”

The volume of the music inside of Derek’s car gets louder, some classic rock song, and Derek brings a hand to his ear. He shrugs and shakes his head, mouthing “What?” and then “Can’t hear you.”

Stiles frowns and Derek smirks. Stiles doesn’t care that the light is red; he slams on the gas pedal, tires squeeling as he shoots through the intersection and away from Derek. Of course, Derek runs the red light too, immediately getting behind Stiles again. Stiles decides to stop fighting it.

He drives along the strip, back and forth over the same few miles with a few side street detours, singing 90s alternative with Mason, for the next couple of hours. Derek follows right behind him the entire time. Sometimes he darts back and forth between the lanes to see if Derek will follow him, and without fail, Derek always changes lanes, almost like he can read Stiles’ mind before he does it.

Around 11:45, Stiles makes his way away from the main drag in town so he can drop Mason off before midnight. Derek follows him until the turn off for one of the state roads. Just before the turn, Derek starts flashing his lights and blowing his horn. Stiles starts to slow down, but then Derek takes a left onto the state road with one final honk of his horn.

“What was that?” Mason asks.

“Hell if I know.”

But Stiles can’t quite keep the grin off his face, because he’s pretty sure Derek just spent the whole night chasing him.

*

On Saturday night, Scott is back sitting shotgun, and Stiles likes it much better. No offense, but the freshies need to stay in the back where they belong.

After driving around for awhile and listening to 90s alternative, Stiles spots Lydia’s green VW bug zipping down the road. Then a few minutes later, to his surprise, she’s riding his ass and flashing her lights at him.

“What does she want?” Stiles asks. “Has Allison said anything?” Scott checks his phone and shakes his head, so Stiles pulls into the Taco Bell parking lot, which is already full even though it’s a little after seven. He doesn’t find a parking spot, so he just idles, blocking in two cars.

“Man, I want tacos,” Liam says, hitting the back of Scott’s seat. “Let me out.”

“Don’t be too long,” Stiles says as Mason follows Liam out of the Jeep.

Lydia pulls up beside him, the passenger side window rolling down as she leans across the seat to talk to him through the window. “Are you going to the Dive?”

Stiles glances at Scott, who shrugs. He asks Lydia, “What’s the Dive?”

She rolls her eyes. “Honestly, do you two know anything? It’s the old house-turned-club all the kids at North Beacon go to.”

“How are we supposed to know that? We don’t go to North Beacon.”

She ignores him and says, “Allison’s going to be there. And I hear Derek Hale shows up sometimes.” Lydia’s mouth curls into a smile as Stiles’ mouth drops open.

He splutters and waves his hands around. “We – we don’t care about that. Not at all, nope.” He shakes his head back and forth, and Lydia rolls her eyes.

“You can follow me. Cora said it’s difficult to find.”

Stiles groans. “We have to wait for Liam and Mason.”

Lydia frowns. “I guess I’ll wait for a few minutes.” Then, the Bug takes off around the corner, faster than Stiles thinks is safe in a crowded parking lot. But it’s not like he’s going to tell Lydia that.

“Where are they?” Stiles asks after a few minutes, while Scott texts on his phone. He drums his fingers on the windowsill, but then gets distracted when he sees the black Camaro enter the parking lot, followed by the El Camino and red BMW.

Stiles slaps Scott’s arm. “Dude, Derek is here.” Stiles goes to put the Jeep into gear so he can find a parking place, but he’s having trouble getting it going. Derek drives by him, completely ignoring him by looking straight ahead. Isaac is of course sitting in the front seat and doesn’t glance his way, but Erica is leaning out of the passenger side of Boyd’s El Camino, sucking on a lollipop suggestively as she stares straight at Stiles. She lifts her hand and waves. Cora slows down beside the idling Jeep, Hayden resting her arms against the passenger side windowsill. “Where’s Liam?”

“Getting tacos like a punk,” Stiles replies, flicking his hand towards the building. She doesn’t respond before Cora drives off, the engine growling loud and angry.

Finally, Stiles gets the Jeep into gear and finds a parking place in the back next to a dumpster. The parking place sucks and really reflects his social standing, but he doesn’t care as he throws the door open and clambers out of the Jeep.

“I thought we were going to that Dive place!” Scott says as he catches up to Stiles. “I told Allison I’d meet her there.”

“Then catch a ride with Lydia,” Stiles replies. “Derek’s here, not at the Dive, so here is where I need to be.”

As they walk alongside the building, they notice people are gathering around and yelling up ahead. He glances at Scott before jogging to see what the commotion is.

“You’re a scrawny, talentless pussy,” a deep voice yells.

“You’re a trashy skank,” Liam’s voice rings out.

Stiles pushes his way to the front, not without multiple people shoving him and cursing at him. He doesn’t care though as he stumbles and tries to get a better view. Finally, he gets close enough that between people’s heads, he can see Liam and Brett standing only a few feet apart. Brett is smirking down at Liam, whose hands are balled into fists, his teeth bared like an animal.

Calmly, Brett says, “I’m gonna destroy you.”

“Fuck fuck,” Stiles says. “This is bad.” He yells Liam’s name seconds before Liam yells and launches himself at Brett. Brett stumbles backwards, temporarily stunned as Liam gets in the first punch. When Brett punches Liam, all hell breaks loose.

People start yelling, chanting “Fight! Fight!” over and over. Stiles looks for Scott in between getting pushed around, until he finally gets pissed off and pushes someone back. Of course, that person is a large guy who looks like he’s the linebacker for some college football team, and he’s three times Stiles’ side.

“The fuck you think you’re doing, kid?”

“Definitely not trying to be a human football or punching bag,” Stiles replies, and the guy’s face clouds with anger.

Stiles backs up, the yells and chanting escalating around him, when someone yanks him to the side. He loses his footing from the momentum and stumbles into a solid body.

“Are you trying to get yourself killed?”

Stiles glances up, and yep, that’s Derek’s body he’s leaning against. And Derek’s hand holding his arm. And Derek’s face only inches from his own. Derek raises his brows pointedly when Stiles doesn’t respond. With a secure grip still on Stiles’ arm, Derek starts leading Stiles away, but Stiles pulls out of his grasp.

“I can’t leave! That’s my friend back there getting his ass kicked!”

Derek rolls his eyes and changes direction to walk back towards the mass. Cora calls after him, “What are you doing? I don’t care that he’s Hayden’s new boyfriend or whatever. Fuck that guy! The cops are gonna be here any minute!” Derek doesn’t slow but walks around the group of people, Stiles trying to keep up.

“Your friend is the small one, right?”

“Yeah,” Stiles says. “What are you gonna do? Bust through the crowd and break up the fight like some roided up crazy person?”

Derek stops and Stiles runs into his back. “That’s the plan.”

“But you’ll – “ Stiles stops talking, the sound of sirens from down the street growing louder. “Fuck, fuck. Not good. Not good. My dad’s going to kill me!”

Derek looks around quickly, and then grabs Stiles’ hand and starts running. “Come on, my car’s right here.”

“But I can’t just leave Scott and Liam,” Stiles protests, though it’s weak at best and he follows Derek anyway. It’s really hard to think when his hand is wrapped in Derek’s larger, warm one.

“Fine. Stay here and get arrested,” Derek snaps, but he grips Stiles’ hand tighter and doesn’t let go until they separate at the back of the car. Everyone is hopping into cars and leaving as fast as they can. Derek slides into the front seat of the Camaro as Stiles sees Lydia driving past with Scott in the front seat. Well, at least Scott is getting out of dodge.

Stiles drops into the passenger seat and doesn’t manage to get the door closed before Derek’s throwing the car into reverse, sending them both flying forward, then slamming on the brakes and jerking them both around, his tires squealing as he hits the gas and changes gears to fly out of the exit. Stiles twists in his seat and catches the lights of the squad cars cresting the hill before they turn into the parking lot.

“Shit!” Stiles runs a hand through his hair. “My Jeep is still there. And Liam! There is no way my dad’s going to believe that I wasn’t there.”

“Maybe he won’t find out.”

Stiles snorts. “Dude, my dad’s the sheriff. It’s his job to find out what I do.”

Derek glances at him as he shifts gears. “Your dad is Sheriff Stilinski?”

“You know my dad??”

Derek shrugs. “He knows my mom, so I know of him. I think I met him once a few years ago.”

“Small world.”

Now that Stiles’ adrenaline is crashing down, it finally dawns on him that he is alone, in car, with Derek. And that Derek kinda sorta held his hand. He turns his head to get a good look at Derek. He’s wearing form-fitting jeans and a grey Henley. Stiles has to stuff his hands under his legs so he doesn’t do something stupid like reach over and run his hand down Derek’s bicep or scratch his fingers through his beard.

“Thanks for,” Stiles pulls his hand out from beneath his leg to gesture around the car, “this. Helping me get out of there. Though I feel like an ass just leaving Liam.”

“If he’s stupid enough to get into a fight at a Taco Bell, he deserves whatever the cops’ give him.”

“You’re probably right.” Stiles taps his hand against his leg nervously. “What happened to Isaac? I think I stole his seat.”

Derek shrugs. “Don’t know. Don’t care.”

“Wow, some friend you are.”

“He’s probably with Boyd and Erica or Cora. I assume he’s smart enough to jump into someone’s car, at least.”

Stiles laughs and digs his phone out of his pocket. “What do you know about the Dive?” There are two messages on his phone. One from his dad demanding to know where he is, and one from Scott, demanding pretty much the same thing.

“Why?”

Stiles taps out a text to his dad, telling him he’s with a friend. Which is mostly the truth. “Lydia said she was meeting Allison there, and Scott texted that that’s where they’re headed.”

“Okay.” Derek changes lanes and makes the next turn to backtrack slightly before getting on the highway.

“What is it? Lydia said it’s like a club? But for North Beacon?”

“It’s an old house that people sneak into to party. It’s become such a thing that people have set up lights and a sound system. It’s not bad if you just wanna dance and sneak some liquor or weed.”

“Huh,” Stiles says, eyeing Derek closely. “I wouldn’t peg you as the dancing, alcohol, weed type.”

“What type would you say I am, then?”

“The hot type,” Stiles blurts, immediately covering his face with his hands. “I mean, you are – shit. No! You’re not shit, but - ” Stiles stops talking and digging himself into a deeper hole. When he hears the quiet sound of laughter, he peeks out through his fingers. Derek is still chuckling, his face open and smiling. And god, with that smile, he is hot.

“I didn’t mean that,” Stiles says. “Not that you’re not hot, because obviously you are, but, I, er…Don’t listen to anything I say.”

Derek glances over at Stiles for a few moments before turning back to the road. “I think you’re the cute, annoying type.”

Stiles sighs and crosses his arms over his chest petulantly, but Derek reaches over and tugs Stiles’ arm loose. When Stiles gives in, Derek slides his hand along his skin, letting his hand rest on Stiles’ forearm. He drags his thumb across Stiles’ skin, sending tingling sensations all the way up his arm, and Stiles can only stare at where Derek is touching him.

Finally, Derek says, “I hear cute and annoying goes really well with hot.”

“I think you may have heard incorrectly.”

Derek shoots Stiles a quick look again. When he’s facing the road again, he squeezes Stiles’ arm. “Nope. It’s the truth. Cute definitely goes with hot.”

*

Stiles babbles all the way to the Dive and asks Derek all sorts of questions.

“What grade are you in? Do you play any sports? What’s it like going to North Beacon? What’s your favorite type of music? What about food?”

Derek goes along with it and doesn’t seem to get annoyed, answering all Stiles’ questions and a few times asking questions and offering conversation in return.

“What do you mean you play lacrosse? Lacrosse sucks. Basketball’s the best. Have you seen that band in concert? I went to see them with my older sister Laura a few months ago.”

Stiles is actually surprised by how easily he can talk to Derek. Most people ignore him (See: Danny, Lydia, most of the Beacon Hills student population) or find him obnoxious (see: Liam, Jackson, Lydia, most of the Beacon Hills student population), but Derek doesn’t seem to mind Stiles’ ramblings, even when he gets distracted and starts talking about the history of basketball and lacrosse. Even more surprising is when Derek chimes in and corrects some of Stiles’ facts about the origins of basketball, and they end up in a lively debate as Stiles checks wikipedia.

By the time they get to the Dive, Stiles is pretty much head over heels for Derek. And not just because of his tight pants and scruff.

As Derek drives down the driveway and looks for a parking spot, Stiles says, “This place is a dump.”

“What were you expecting? The Ritz Carlton?”

“That’s the best you could come up with? Lame, Derek,” Stiles says as he eyes the derelict shack. Lydia called it a house, but even in the dark, it looks like it barely passed as a house fifty years ago. It’s longer than it is wide, and through the broken windows, Stiles can hear heavy bass beats and see the flash of green and purple lights.

Derek pulls over on the shoulder of the driveway and puts the car into park. He walks right beside Stiles, so close that their arms are brushing. Stiles’ heart is pounding, and in a random surge of courage, he extends his fingers so they drag across Derek’s as they walk. A moment later, Derek’s fingers brush against his, their fingers tangling but neither of them quite pushing enough to entwine their hands.

Stiles glances at the ground ahead of him as he walks, grinning as Derek’s fingers brush against his skin.

Derek opens the front door and waits for Stiles to enter first, and Stiles wasn’t quite prepared for what he sees. The room, which he assumes used to be a living room, is packed with people. There’s a DJ set up in the corner of the room, and the lights fade from purple to green to blue. The heavy scent of spilled beer and stale weed is on the air.

He leans over and shouts in Derek’s ear, “What the fuck is this place?” Derek just shrugs, a small amused smile on his face. “It’s like the fucking Love Shack.”

Derek leans close and says, “That’s reserved for the back room and the yard.”

Stiles splutters and pulls back to stare at Derek, who lifts his brows and shrugs. “I’d ask how you know that, but I don’t want to know.”

A girl saunters up to them, dark-haired and pretty. She completely ignores Stiles as she places her hands on Derek’s chest and slides them higher, standing on her tiptoes to press a light kiss to Derek’s lips.

Stiles, well, Stiles wants to crawl into one of the many holes in this house and die. He turns and walks away, further into the house. He may be a glutton for punishment (he had to be to think Derek was interested in him in the first place), but he draws the line at watching his crush make out with someone. It shouldn’t sting as much as it does, and he ignores the ache in his chest. He steps into the next room, where he immediately spots Lydia dancing with Aiden, and Scott dancing with Allison nearby. But then he spies Mason dancing with…Isaac?

He stands and gapes at them for a few minutes before striding up to them and grabbing Mason’s shoulder to spin him around.

“Stiles! Hey!” Mason grins, his teeth glowing green under the lights. “You know Isaac, right?”

“Yeah, hey,” Stiles gives Isaac a little wave. “What happened to Liam?”

“Last I heard, your dad and his deputies took him and Brett down to the station. I jumped into Danny’s car and rode here with him and Ethan.” Mason scowls at that, and Stiles grimaces in sympathy. “But then Isaac came up and talked to me.”

“I came here with Derek,” Stiles says, though now he feels kinda like an idiot because of the whole thing. “My dad’s gonna kill me because my Jeep is still there.”

“Here you are,” Derek says, stepping into the space between Stiles and Isaac. Stiles tries to reign in his disappointment and frustration. Obviously, whatever had occurred between them in the car meant nothing – at least to Derek. Derek claps Isaac on the shoulder. “Glad you’re okay.”

Isaac eyes Stiles dubiously. “Yes, I see you were so worried about my safety.” Stiles swears that Derek looks embarrassed. Isaac smirks.

Derek turns towards Stiles. “Where’d you go? When I looked over, you had disappeared.”

Stiles doesn’t hide his irritation. “Well, I figured some girl coming up and kissing you was a pretty clear signal. I don’t tend to hang around where I’m not wanted.”

“Who was kissing you?” Isaac asks.

“Fucking Jennifer,” Derek replies in exasperation.

“Fuck her.”

“Wait, who’s Jennifer?” Mason asks.

“Derek’s ex,” Isaac explains. “It didn’t end pretty.”

“And now she won’t accept that it’s over.”

Well, Stiles guesses that explains what happened, but Stiles is still a bit miffed. He can be immature and hang on to his emotions if he wants to. Derek reaches out and grabs Stiles’ wrist, tugging him towards the group of people. “Dance with me.”

Stiles considers not going just on principle. But Derek’s walking backwards, his fingers circling Stiles’ wrist, as he watches him. The lights make Derek’s skin look like it glows, causing him look otherworldly. Stiles sighs and allows Derek to tug him closer.

The song is some techno house remix of an 80s song, and Derek starts moving back and forth to the rhythm. Stiles, well, Stiles can’t dance. He looks like a spastic freak flailing his arms about when he tries, so he kinda just stands there for a moment trying to figure out where to put his hands. He glances around and decides that Derek’s hips may be the safest spot. Except for the, you know, putting his hands on Derek’s hip part.

After a deep breath, Stiles reaches forward tentatively and places his hands on Derek’s hips. Derek takes a step forward, smiling as he lifts his hands and rests them on Stiles’ biceps.

They dance like this for a long time. The songs change and they adjust the rhythm of their bodies to the tempo, and after awhile they end up slightly closer to each other, but their bodies still don’t touch. Slowly, Derek’s hands slide higher and his arms finally end up circled around Stiles’ neck, and Stiles’ arms end up circled around Derek’s waist.

Stiles has never stared at another person’s face for so long. He traces his eyes over Derek’s features, noting the thickness of his eyebrows, the slope of his nose, the curve of his lips, the way the colored lights flash in his eyes. Stiles wants to lean forward and kiss him, but he doesn’t, isn’t sure how to push past this moment they’ve wrapped themselves in. Eventually, they end up temple to temple, the course scruff on Derek’s cheeks rough against Stiles’ skin.

They don’t part until Mason taps him on the shoulder to let him know that Danny was leaving, and he and Scott were catching a ride back to Beacon Hills with him. Stiles takes a few steps back, refusing to let go just yet. He and Derek stare at one another, neither speaking, held loosely in each other’s arms as they wait for the other to make the move.

Finally, Stiles pulls out of Derek’s arms and hurries out of the room without looking back. Sitting in the back seat of Danny’s car as he listens to his friends talk, Stiles stares out the window, the touch of Derek’s fingers against the back of his neck still lingering on his skin.

*

His dad gives him a hard time about Liam’s fight, but he doesn’t ground him, just tells Stiles that he better not get into any fights. Liam doesn’t get arrested or anything, but he is grounded for the foreseeable future and his stepdad is threatening to move them far away or send him to a reform school.

So, like the good friends they are, they go out Friday night without him, Mason is the only one in the backseat, and no one complains about the music. They text Liam every few minutes though, until he’s replying in angry caps and threatening to kick their asses, too.

They meet Allison and Lydia at West Hills Drive-In Diner. Stiles pulls the Jeep into the parking place beside Allison’s car, Mason sticking his head between the seats so he can read the menu over Stiles’ shoulder. The West Hills Drive-In is a relic straight out of 1965, with menus that would be retro if they weren’t original. The speaker is rusted, and Stiles doesn’t even know how it still works.

Scott goes to join Allison in her car, which means Mason climbs into the front seat. “Hey Lydia,” Stiles calls out the window. “Wanna come eat with us?” Lydia looks at him like he asked her to wear knock-offs and Lydia goes to sit at a table. “Fine,” Stiles yells out the window. “You won’t get to enjoy the awesomeness of the Jeep or share any of these tasty tasty dishes!”

Lydia ignores him and scrolls through her phone.

“Want to share some chili cheese fries?” Stiles asks Mason. “They make the best here. Chili cheese fries and curly fries.”

“Holy shit!” Mason exclaims, slapping his arm and not responding. “That’s Isaac.” Stiles twists around just in time to see the black Camaro drive through the parking lot and pull into the parking spot beside him. Because of the angle of the cars and the menu sign, Stiles can’t get a good look at Derek. “Stiles, please let me borrow the Jeep.”

“What?” Stiles exclaims. “No one borrows my baby. Besides, you’re like three years old.”

“Fifteen, dick face,” Mason responds. “And I don’t want to drive it. I want to eat in it. With Isaac.”

“You want to sexile me from my own car?!”

“Isaac doesn’t have a car, and I don’t have a car, and there’s no way Derek is going to let us use his car.”

“But you think I’m going to let you use my Jeep?”

“We’re not going to have sex in it! So, yes.” Mason folds his hands and gives Stiles his best puppy eyes. Stiles is made of steel. That tactic won’t work, no matter how cute Mason is. “From one gay brother to another. Help me out, man. He’s so cute. I mean, did you see those curls? And those cheekbones? And the scarves? And – “

“Okay!” Stiles exclaims, pushing the door open and getting out of the car. “Just stop waxing poetically about him before I vomit.”

“Thank you, buddy, I owe you one.”

Stiles grumbles the entire way to Derek’s car. He goes to the driver’s side and bends down slightly so he can look across the car to Isaac. “Mason sexiled me out of my own Jeep for you. So, go be with the boy. Don’t make me have done this in vain, Isaac.”

Derek and Isaac share a look, and when Isaac gives Derek an unsure smile, Derek pushes his arm playfully. Isaac ducks his head in embarrassment as he grabs the door handle. Stiles looks around, trying to figure out what he’s going to do while Mason is on his quasi-date with Isaac. He starts for the tables and figures he can sit across from Lydia and eat chili cheese fries when Derek calls out to him.

“What are you doing now?” Stiles turns around quickly, hands waving around in the least graceful and attractive way possible. “Wanna grab some food?”

Stiles points to the car. “With you? In your car?” Even though he’s wearing aviators, Stiles can tell Derek rolls his eyes by the way his head moves. He looks all cool and mysterious, scowling as he casually sits in driver’s seat.

“Depends,” Stiles finally says. “You buying?”

Derek grins. “If you want.”

“I’m getting all the curly fries I want,” Stiles tells him as he tamps down the flare of excitement in his belly. He takes a few deep breaths as he walks to the passenger side of the Camaro. Don’t be a loser, Stiles says to himself. Don’t be a dweeb. Play it cool.

By the time he’s grabbing the door handle and dropping into the seat, he’s a veritable bundle of nerves. Derek’s still looking cool and calm, the aviators now sitting in the small console. Derek gives him a small smile before turning to the menu. That smile, coupled with his hasty turn and his red-tipped ears, causes Stiles to think that maybe Derek isn’t so calm and cool as he’s letting on.

But Stiles hardly thinks he’s a reason to get nervous, so he thinks he’s probably making stuff up.

“What do you want?” Derek asks over his shoulder. “Besides curly fries?”

“Do I need anything else?”

Derek shoots him a flat look, and Stiles huffs and leans forward to study the menu. It’s more so he can get closer to Derek than to look at the menu, because he’s pretty sure he’s had the menu memorized for years. But leaning this close and pretending to ponder the menu puts him close enough to Derek that he can smell the light scent of cologne on his skin, and feel Derek’s muscled arm pressed against his chest.

“Cheeseburger,” Stiles finally says, reluctantly moving back to his side of the car. Derek orders himself a cheeseburger too, though he gets crinkle fries instead of curly fries. Stiles decided against the chili cheese fries as soon as he got into the car with Derek. Nothing is less sexy than chili cheese fries.

While Derek finishes talking to the voice in the speaker, Stiles starts poking around the car. It’s pretty clean, aside from an empty water bottle in the drink holder. He lifts up the middle console and peeks inside – CDs, a GPS, an old iPod – and then opens the glove box.

“What are you doing?” Derek asks.

Stiles shrugs. “Looking. Snooping. Investigating. Cop’s son, remember?”

“So, you decide to look in my glove box? Looking for evidence of what exactly?”

Stiles shrugs again and he slams the glove box shut. Nothing interesting in there, just some papers. “Don’t know. You may be an ax murdering teenage werewolf who drives a flashy car.”

“And you think my glove box would reveal that?”

“Why not?”

“You’re ridiculous.”

“You’re the one buying me dinner, dude.”

Stiles glances up at Derek, who’s smirking. “Maybe I like ridiculous.”

“Obviously. You’re friends with Erica.” This causes Derek to laugh out loud, which Stiles takes as a win. He opens the middle console again and grabs the iPod. “Dude, why do you still have an iPod? No one has one of these anymore. Though, Liam always makes fun of me for my CDs, so maybe I can’t say much.”

“That’s more obsolete than an iPod.”

“Apparently, we’re both technological dinosaurs, and we’re not even out of high school.”

“I like my iPod,” Derek says. “I don’t like to use my phone for everything.”

Stiles settles back in the seat as the iPod boots up. “Okay, time to check out your music and see if you’re deemed worthy.”

“Oh god, are you a music snob?” Derek groans.

Stiles glances up from the screen. “Not particularly, but I feel like there’s a story there.”

“My sister, Laura, is a huge music snob. One of those people who stops liking bands if more than five people figure out who they are or they go mainstream. It’s pretty obnoxious. I just like what I like.”

“Spoken like a true music troglodyte.” Stiles shakes his head as he scrolls through Derek’s music. It’s pretty generic, what he guesses is on every teenager’s iPod – you know, if they still had them. “Oh fuck yeah!” Stiles exclaims. “Give me your aux cord.”

“What did you find?” Derek asks dubiously as he pulls the cord from the console. Stiles hooks up the iPod and hits play, the distinctive synth sounds of the beginning of Journey’s “Separate Ways” filling the car.

“You have the greatest hits of Journey on here, dude,” Stiles says, sitting the iPod in the console. “I love Journey.”

“I do, too,” Derek replies, smiling bashfully. And damn. Stiles thought that Derek was hot with all his hotness, but this? The unsure, shy smile and the way he’s kinda looking down at his lap uncertainly? That is possibly the most attractive thing Stiles has ever seen. Somehow, it softens Derek’s edges and makes him more real than that cool guy persona. Stiles feels like he could just reach out and touch him, that he’d be warm and soft and tender.

Stiles pulls his bottom lip between his teeth as he watches Derek, until Derek shyly lifts his eyes and looks at Stiles. Stiles smiles, and Derek smiles back, and Stiles’ stomach explodes into ten thousand tiny butterflies.

Naturally, Stiles has to ignore the moment and start belting Journey. He even does a serious head bob and bangs his hands to the beat on the dashboard. Derek starts singing along too, and Stiles glances at him in surprise. He knows all the words, and honestly, that just makes Stiles like him more. He’s got weird kinks, okay? And Derek Hale, irrefutably the hottest senior at North Beacon High, singing every word to a Journey song off-key? Abso-freaking-lutely a turn on for Stiles.

They’re rocking out to “Don’t Stop Believing” (and god, can Stiles just marry this guy already? His own friends won’t belt Journey with him, and Derek’s outdoing Stiles with his enthusiasm) when the diner worker brings their tray to the car. She gives them an odd look, and Stiles is pretty sure she’s not the only one since they’re singing at the top of their lungs with the windows down, but he doesn’t care. Everyone can give them weird looks all they want. This literally might be the best night of his life.

Stiles turns down the volume as Derek pays the girl, smiling at the thought of Derek paying for his dinner. Omg I think this is kind of a date! Stiles thinks as the smell of greasy perfection reaches his nose.

“Thanks,” Stiles says as Derek hands him the two cardboard boats containing the cheeseburger and fries. He ignores the cheeseburger as he grabs multiple curly fries and shoves them in his mouth. He glances at Derek’s food, and with his mouth full, says, “Crinkle fries pale in comparison.”

“I like crinkle fries.”

Stiles swallows. “Of course you do.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Derek asks before biting into one.

“You listen to music on an iPod, eat crinkle fries, listen to Journey,” Stiles says, studying Derek as he pauses to eat another curly fry, “I’m starting to think you’re not nearly as cool as you pretend.”

“I never said I was cool.”

“Dude, you drive a Camaro and wear aviators around. Even at night, like you’re doing some weird homage to Corey Hart. You want someone to think you’re cool.”

Derek just shrugs nonchalantly and looks slightly embarrassed as he takes a bite of his hamburger.

“Here, lame-o,” Stiles says, holding out his container of fries, “eat a curly fry.”

“I have my own fries!”

Stiles reaches over and grabs three crinkle fries and shoves them in his mouth. “And I stole some of them. Now, eat better fries.” Derek rolls his eyes but grabs a small curly fry. “No, no. Get a bigger one!”

“Why? Is bigger better?”

“Not necessarily, but – oh shit, did you just make a dirty joke?” Stiles laughs delightedly, and Derek looks pleased with himself even if he’s blushing. Of course, Stiles has to point it out. “You’re blushing! That’s so cute!” He reaches forward and touches Derek’s cheek, and Derek turns his head, pushing into Stiles’ palm. Derek’s eyes are bright and intense, and Stiles holds his hand against Derek’s cheek as they stare into each other’s eyes.

“Our fries are gonna get cold,” Stiles finally blurts, because he’s obviously bad at this romantic stuff. “And cold fries are disgusting.” Derek nods awkwardly, and Stiles lets his hand drop.

He grabs his fries and shoves the container at Derek. “No, seriously, take a big one.” Stiles waggles his eyebrows and Derek sighs. “Or multiple.” He grabs a few, and Stiles beams at him.

They eat in silence, the only sounds coming from Derek’s iPod. Stiles starts humming eventually, enjoying the playlist of 80s music. When he glances out of the Camaro’s small windows towards his Jeep, he doesn’t see Mason or Isaac in the front seat, which means they’ve obviously migrated to the back. Well, at least someone is getting some.

“So,” Derek says as they gather up their trash. “There’s a race tonight. Want to ride over there?”

“Who’s racing?”

Derek rubs his hands along his thighs. “Not sure exactly. I think there’s going to be a lot of people. Cora, Boyd, Malia, Jackson, Aiden, Danny…”

“So like, everyone,” Stiles replies. “Yeah, I mean, I’ll have to drag Mason and Isaac out of my Jeep, but if you can wait a few minutes, I’ll follow you.”

“I was, uh, hoping you could maybe ride with me?” Derek looks at him hopefully, and Stiles just kinda gapes. Derek wants him to ride with him. Out to the races. Like, this literally could mean true love. Or maybe at least some major crushing that could leave to some lip action.

“Yes,” Stiles responds, nodding his head emphatically. “Absolutely yes.” Derek chuckles and cranks the car, the engine rumbling to life beneath them. It basically purrs, the hum smooth unlike his Jeep. “I should probably tell Mason.”

Derek glances over. “I think they’re a little preoccupied.”

Stiles groans. “Are they still making out? I swear, nobody better get lucky in that Jeep before me, I’m just saying.” Derek laughs quietly, and Stiles says, “You know, I should probably be embarrassed about admitting to you that I haven’t gotten lucky, but I’m too irritated that I’m not even the first person to get kissed in my Jeep!”

“Isaac!” Derek yells out the window, and after a few seconds, yells his name again. A few moments later, Isaac sticks his head between the seats, his hair sticking up everywhere. “I’m going out to the races with Stiles.”

“And?” Isaac replies, clearly not interested. Stiles can tell Derek rolls his eyes from the movement of his head.

“How you gonna get home?” Isaac shrugs.

Stiles jerks forward, pushing in between Derek and the steering wheel. He can’t see Isaac now for the menu sign. “Mason! Don’t you dare have any kind of sex in my Jeep! Keep it pure, Mason! Make him wait for him! Put a ring on it, even!”

“Dude!” Mason pops up in the back window and yells, “I’m not going to hook up in your nasty ass Jeep!”

Stiles scoffs. “Apparently it’s not too nasty for you and Isaac to suck face in the back!” Stiles points his finger. “No sex in the champagne room or Stiles’ Jeep, kapiche?“

“We got it, guys,” Isaac says. “Have fun.” He smirks and then disappears into the back of the Jeep.

Derek reverses out of the parking spot and then drives out of the parking lot. “I hope the diner people don’t like tow my Jeep,” Stiles says, twisting in his seat to watch the Jeep until it’s out of view. “Like, if Mason just abandons it or something.”

“No one’s gonna tow your car,” Derek says. “Forget about them and relax.”

“Easy for you to say,” Stiles crosses his arms. “You’ve got your car.”

“True.” Derek reaches over and places his hand on Stiles’ shoulder and then slides it up to cup the back of his neck. “But you’re here with me.”

Stiles stares at Derek with wide-eyes – and then he laughs. Derek drops his hand and looks humiliated, and Stiles tries to control himself, but it’s just so funny. “No, no,” Stiles says through his laughter, reaching over and touching Derek’s forearm. “I’m sorry. I’m not laughing at you – “ Derek turns to glare at him, though his cheeks and ears are bright pink and Stiles thinks it’s kind of adorable – “Well, okay I am laughing at you, but not why you think.”

“Oh? Then why are you laughing at me exactly?” Derek says, nearly growling, and that almost sets Stiles off again. It’s like since he started he can’t stop.

“Look, you’re ridiculously hot and you give off this cool guy persona that almost seems other worldly or like out of 80s teen movie, but dude, you have less game than I do, and that is just hilarious.”

“What? Like flirting through curly fries is any smoother?”

Stiles throws his hands up. “I never claimed to be smooth. I am the anti-smooth. I am rough and wrinkled and totally lame.” Then, feeling bold, Stiles wraps his hand around Derek’s wrist, his thumb brushing against the back of Derek’s hand. “I think your lack of game is totally working, though.”

Derek rolls his eyes. “It would work on you.”

Stiles grins. Derek takes his hand off the steering wheel and turns his hand over so Stiles can slip his hand into Derek’s waiting one. Stiles slides his fingers through Derek’s and grips his hand.

They hold each other’s hands and sing along to bad 80s music all the way out of town.

*

There aren’t as many people on the road as there was the last time Stiles was out here. Mainly, it just seems to be the people racing and a few spectators. Derek pulls his car into the grass field being used for a parking lot, and ends up beside Boyd’s El Camino.

Everyone is standing around a bonfire further out in the field. Derek and Stiles walk close together, no longer holding hands, but the backs of their hands brushing against one another. Stiles subtly glances over at Derek, only to find Derek watching him. They both give each other shy smiles before looking ahead.

They join Boyd and Erica, and Erica wraps Stiles a huge hug. “Want some candy?” she asks, slipping a finger under the candy necklace hanging around her neck. Stiles stares at it, and the low-cut of her tank top, and is trying to make himself speak when she says, “And don’t say no because Derek is standing there. Boyd’s right there too, and I don’t care.”

Stiles lifts his eyes, where she’s blinking at him innocently. “Yeah, that’s comforting,” he grumbles as he reaches for the necklace.

Erica bats his hand away. “Ah-ah! You have to eat the candy off a candy necklace.”

“I’m not doing that.”

Erica smirks. “Scared it’ll be too much for you?”

Stiles rolls his eyes as he leans in, because he never can back down from a challenge. He tries to grab the candy without touching her, but there’s no way, so he gives in and ends up dragging his lips and teeth against her skin. After he bites the candy off, he stands up, his face burning. Erica grins and pats his cheek.

“Good boy.” Then, she unwraps a candy necklace from her wrist and pulls it over Stiles’ head. “Now you’ve got one. Don’t waste it.”

Stiles immediately lifts the candy to his mouth and bites off three beads.

Erica turns to Derek. “You love candy necklaces, don’t you, Derek?” Derek glowers at her, but she isn’t fazed by his withering stare. “I bet if you ask nicely, Stiles will let you have some.”

Stiles’ heart starts hammering in his chest, and he doesn’t know what to do. Like, does he offer up his neck like Derek’s some hot teenage candy necklace-eating vampire, or does he play it cool and laugh it off. He doesn’t know, so he turns to Derek, who looks as panicked and unsure as he does.

Stiles gives Derek a nervous, awkward smile. “I’m thinking candy necklaces are even lamer than curly fries.”

Derek barks out a surprised laugh, and it dispels some of the tension. Then, Derek grabs Stiles’ arm and pulls him close, causing Stiles to stumble a bit into Derek’s chest. Stiles braces himself on Derek’s shoulders and looks into his face. Derek’s smiling at him, part bravado and part nerves, and it makes Stiles feel better.

“You okay with this?” Derek whispers.

Stiles rolls his eyes, hard. “What do you think, big guy? I wouldn’t put on a freaking candy necklace for just anyone.”

Derek smiles, softer and more genuine, before leaning forward. Stiles angles his head to give Derek better access, and he feels Derek’s hot breath against his skin for a few moments. Just that causes Stiles’ body to tingle, all his blood flowing south. Then, Derek moves to grab the candy beads, but he doesn’t use the same care Stiles did with Erica. Stiles has to bite his lip to stop from moaning aloud when Derek drags his lips and tongue against Stiles’ neck. He pulls the necklace into his mouth, sucking on the candy and Stiles’ neck for a few moments before biting on the candy, his lips pressing against the oversensitive skin. Then, Derek raises up and watches Stiles, his eyes bright as he chews.

Stiles’ tongue darts out to lick his lips, and Derek’s eyes track the movement. He’s got a semi now and feeling pretty awkward since they’re standing around people. Though, he honestly had forgotten anyone was around.

Voices start cheering, and Stiles glances over as Danny, Jackson, and Ethan walk towards their vehicles while everyone else starts for the edge of the road. Erica glances over her shoulder and says, “They’re about to race. Come on! Get your cute butts moving!”

“We’ll be there in a minute,” Derek replies, his voice huskier than Stiles has heard it. Good, Stiles wasn’t the only one affected by this.

Derek slides his arms all the way around Stiles’ waist and smiles. “That was only slightly awkward,” he says.

“The your friends watching thing definitely, but not the you doing that thing with your mouth thing,” Stiles rambles.

“Definitely not,” Derek says. “Sorry about Erica.”

“You haven’t met my friends, so just wait.”

Derek smiles and leans forward slightly. He hesitates, eyes scanning over Stiles’ face as he gauges his reaction. Stiles rolls his eyes and closes the distance between them, finally kissing Derek. And well, Stiles is pretty sure there is nothing in this world greater than kissing Derek.

*

Of course, Jackson wins the race, the douche. Not that Stiles watches or really cares. He was much more distracted by Derek’s lips. They’re much more interesting than anything Jackson could ever do.

Malia, who had arrived after the cars took off, is sitting on the back of her car with her arm around Kira and flips Jackson off when he walks past. He curls his lip and shoots her a dirty look, but otherwise ignores her.

Derek and Stiles stand on the side of the road and watch as Malia, Aiden, and Cora line up at the starting line. Danielle waves the scarf and the three of them take off.

“We’re up next,” Derek says. “I want you to ride with me.”

“Is that safe?”

“I’m not planning on crashing the car,” he responds flatly. “Besides, Kira rides with Malia, Erica’s gonna be with Boyd, and Hayden’s with Cora.”

Stiles steps closer. Lowering his voice, he says, “You just want to show off for me, don’t you?”

“Has anyone ever told you you’re an asshole?”

“All the time.” He grabs Derek’s hand and pulls him towards the car. “Come on, stud.”

By the time they start driving to the road, Malia is crossing the finish line, followed closely by Cora and then Aiden.

“Bet Aiden loves being beaten by two girls,” Stiles says gleefully. “The dick.”

“Big fan of Aiden, then?” Derek asks as he turns onto the road.

“He dates the girl I used to have a huge crush on,” Stiles explains, “which means I hate him on principle. And his brother, Ethan, has been cock-blocking Mason with Danny for awhile, so I just hate those guys.”

Derek glances over at Stiles and grins. “Well, can’t say I’m too upset. Seems to have worked out okay for me and Isaac in the end.”

Stiles rolls his eyes, but he grins. “Lame,” he says fondly as reaches over and squeezes Derek’s arm.

Derek stops at the starting line, in the middle with Boyd on his left. Stiles twists around to see who’s racing beside him, and when he sees the car, his mouth drops open. “Allison?”

Allison pulls to a stop beside Stiles, and when she glances over, she waves at him with a smile. Then, he gapes even more. “Scott?” he yells.

Scot leans forward and looks around Allison. “Stiles? What are you doing here?”

Stiles points over his shoulder with his thumb. “I’m here with Derek. Dude, Allison, I didn’t know you raced! How badass is that?”

“Allison always races with us,” Derek supplies from behind him. She’s gives him a devious, dimpled smile.

“It’s so hot,” Scott says, and literally has hearts in his eyes as he looks at her.

“Scotty, how cool is this?” Stiles exclaims. “Sitting shotgun during a race!”

“I know, right?!” Scott yells back.

“Are you two done pissing yourselves?” Derek asks. “Danielle’s gonna punch you if you don’t get it together soon.”

Stiles glances out the windshield where Danielle is glaring at him with a hand on her hip. Stiles throws his hands up in supplication. “Sorry, sorry. Whenever you’re ready, ma’am.”

Danielle starts the countdown, and Derek grips the steering wheel and gearshift tightly. Stiles glances towards Boyd’s car, and Erica blows him a kiss and winks. Then, Danielle drops the scarf and Stiles gets thrown back against the seat as Derek hits the accelerator.

“Oh my god!” he yells, scrabbling at the console and ceiling as Derek shifts gears. He glances over at the speedometer, the numbers climbing quickly, and Stiles is pretty sure his Jeep couldn’t dream of getting this fast. His stomach is alternately in his throat and on the floor, and Derek is of course calm and collected as he concentrates on the road.

They approach the first turn, and Derek hits the brake and does something with the shifter as he spins the wheel, slinging Stiles to the side. They take the turn first, and Stiles twists around to see that, surprisingly, it’s Allison behind them, Boyd right on her tail.

“Holy shit,” Stiles yells as Derek shifts gears again and goes even faster. “You’re over 100! My dad would kill me if he knew what I was doing!”

Derek quirks a smile. And yes, Derek with one hand wrapped around the steering wheel, the other gripping the gear shift, his entire body tense with concentration, his face focused, jaw clenched, may just be the hottest thing Stiles has ever seen. (Seriously? How does Derek keep doing things that Stiles thinks is hot? The guy is ridiculous. Really.)

Allison comes up beside them, threatening to overtake them. Stiles waves at Scott excitedly, who waves back and gives him two thumbs up. Seriously, this is the coolest thing they have ever done! This totally beats cruising down the strip.

As Allison almost clears them and gains the lead, Stiles shouts, “Don’t let her win! Scott will never let me live it down!”

Derek speeds up, inching past Allison slowly and gaining the lead. Then, out of nowhere, Boyd overtakes them on the other side, Erica flipping them off with both hands as they pass.

Boyd crosses the finish line first, a car length in front of Derek, who crosses only seconds before Allison. Stiles thinks it was pretty close and that they could beat them next time, so he tells Derek. Derek just laughs as he slows to a stop.

“That. Was. Awesome!” Stiles says, fist pumping the air as Derek turns off the engine. He twists in his seat. “Do I get to drive next time?”

“No.”

“Oh, come on! You can teach me. It’ll be awesome!”

“Not a chance.”

“Spoil sport,” Stiles grumps, but then Derek grins and leans forward to kiss him. Stiles thinks he’ll let Derek win the argument – for now.

*

Later, Derek and Stiles end up stretched out in the back of Boyd’s El Camino while Boyd drives around country roads. It’s quiet and relaxing, and Derek’s got his arm around Stiles’ shoulder and Stiles thinks Derek’s chest makes a really good pillow. Erica’s voice floats out of the open windows as she sings along to the radio, a pleasant song on the warm air. There are so many stars overhead, so Stiles rambles about constellations as Derek runs his hand through his hair.

When they get back, Derek and Stiles leave them all in the field. They have plans, plans which can only be carried out away from groups of people. So, Derek drives to the nearby Beacon Hills Preserve and pulls onto a road hidden from view. “How do you even know this is here?”

“I live in the Preserve,” Derek explains. “I’ve explored almost all these woods.” He stops the car far enough down the path that they’re hidden from the main road.

Derek shuts off the engine and sits there, unmoving. Now that they’re here, alone, in the dark, it’s kinda awkward.

“We can just talk,” Stiles suggests quietly. “I’m okay with that. I’m not opposed to getting to know you a little bit better.”

Derek glances over at him gratefully. “I think I’d like that.”

They talk about basketball and lacrosse for awhile, then discover a mutual love of baseball, though Derek is a Giants fan and Stiles is a diehard Mets fan. They’ve just finished an argument about baseball, agreeing to disagree (“Even though you’re still wrong, Derek!”), when Derek says, “Maybe we can move into the backseat now.”

Stiles doesn’t hesitate, but plunges headfirst between the seats. And of course, gets stuck. He yelps and flails around as he tries to get through the seats as Derek opens the door and lets the seat forward. Stiles pulls himself through and plops onto the back seat.

“Smooth,” Derek says, rolling his eyes.

“I am the king of smooth,” Stiles grins as he pushes himself up. Derek sits beside him and closes the door, then looks around the car nervously. “You don’t do this very often, do you?” Derek shakes his head. “What about kissy-face Jennifer?”

“We just made out a lot. She wanted to have sex, but I didn’t really want to.”

Stiles’ eyes go wide. “I hope you don’t think – “

Derek rolls his eyes. “I’m not going to fuck you in the back of my car.”

“At least not tonight,” Stiles points out. “I deserve at least a meal in an actual restaurant before that.”

“Impossible standards,” Derek jokes.

“I’m a classy guy,” Stiles says, scooting closer to Derek. “I mean, I’m okay if there is some touching under the clothes, though.”

Derek swallows and nods, his eyes wide and bright. “Yeah me, too.”

Stiles’ face scrunches in thought as he studies Derek. “You’ve never done this, have you?” Derek shakes his head. “Huh,” Stiles says, grinning as he leans closer. “Who knew?” He pauses right above Derek’s lips and says, “I haven’t either.”

“I kinda figured,” Derek whispers.

“Okay. Just full disclosure.”

“Shut up and kiss me.”

Stiles can only comply. He leans forward and presses his lips against Derek’s, Derek’s mouth opening easily underneath his. Honestly, Stiles would be happy to do this all night. Derek is a really good kisser. Not that Stiles has a lot of practice, what with a few kisses with Heather that summer before tenth grade and Jimmy from computer camp the summer before ninth grade, but he knows that even if he’d kissed all of Beacon Hills High, nothing would compare to kissing Derek.

Derek’s scruff is rough against his hand and lips and cheek, and he makes these small noises that make Stiles want to crawl into his lap. Maybe he can’t be mad at Scott for how he waxes poetically about Allison, because he’s pretty sure he’s going to be waxing poetically about Derek for awhile.

Derek is tentative and reserved, so it’s a good thing Stiles isn’t. He touches Derek’s face, biceps, and hips, wanting to feel any part of Derek he can. The moment Stiles slips his hand beneath Derek’s Henley, Derek moans softly, and Stiles just wants to keep touching the warm, soft skin. One day, he wants to explore that skin in painstaking detail. So, he keeps running his fingers over it until he gets bold enough to drag his fingers across the crotch of Derek’s jeans. And yes, Derek is hard, because of him. He has to hold himself back from doing a fist pump right there.

Derek follows Stiles’ lead and starts rubbing him through his khakis, and Stiles can’t concentrate on kissing Derek anymore. The feeling of someone else’s hand on his cock is too much for him. “I think we should take this under the pants,” Stiles says, pausing to moan as Derek hits a particular sensitive spot. “I don’t want to come in my pants.”

Derek kisses his way from the edge of Stiles’ jaw down, stopping to nip and suck at a sensitive spot on Stiles’ neck. “Okay,” Derek says against his skin, and Stiles shivers.

He hurriedly undoes his fly and pushes down his boxers, and oh my god, that is Derek’s cock sticking up just above the waist of his jeans. “Best night ever,” Stiles whispers, Derek chuckling before Stiles wraps his hand around Derek’s cock. Then Derek’s not chuckling, but moaning.

Stiles is watching the way Derek’s cock looks in his hand, the dark line of hair leading to the thick patch of his groin, the contracting of his ab muscles, until Derek grabs his cock, and then Stiles barely thinks anymore. Somehow, he keeps his hand moving on Derek’s cock, and Derek kisses him again, and he’s mentally patting himself on the back for his ability to do multiple things at one time instead of just falling apart in Derek’s hands.

Stiles moans loudly into Derek’s mouth when he comes, Derek sliding his fist along his cock until Stiles relaxes. Derek continues kissing him, Stiles’ hand stilled on Derek’s cock, until Stiles is able to think enough again to move his hand. Derek’s hand is still on his cock, which honestly is doing nothing to stop him from recovering rather quickly, but Stiles prioritizes. Getting Derek off is the first order of business.

Derek makes a quiet grunt-moaning sound when he comes, his eyes closed and dark lashes fanned out just beneath his eyes. There’s a slightly pink tint to his cheeks, and Stiles thinks Derek’s the most beautiful guy he’s ever seen.

Stiles kisses him gently, and Derek slides his fingers in Stiles’ hair to bring him closer. Derek finds them a few fast food napkins to wipe off as much come as they can, and then they put their clothes back on and sit in the back of the Camaro, arms wrapped around one another as they lazily kiss.

“Hey,” Derek says as he pulls away. Stiles can’t help but drop a kiss on his nose, which makes Derek smile. “I have a basketball game next Friday. I wouldn’t hate it if you were there.”

“Hmm,” Stiles says, tapping his chin, “I guess I can make it. But only if you come to my next lacrosse game.”

Derek wrinkles his nose. “But lacrosse sucks.”

Stiles sits up indignantly, and says, “I’ll have you know – mfph!” Derek cuts him off by kissing him.

“I’ll be there,” Derek whispers against his mouth in between kisses, and Stiles does fist pump this time.

*

The next night, the Jeep is parked backwards in the circle of cars surrounding the bonfire in the field. Stiles is sitting in the back with the door open, leaning against Derek’s chest from between his legs, and Dereks’ got his arms held loosely around Stiles. Mason and Isaac are sitting on the back of the Camaro, holding hands. Stiles told Derek he was going to have to learn to share the Camaro with the Jeep, and then they told Mason and Isaac to find their own car.

Stiles drowsily listens to Danny, Scott, and Jackson talking about lacrosse, Aiden and Ethan giving them shit, and thinks that this is so much better than cruising down the strip. Sitting around a bonfire barrel on the back of their cars with his friends is freaking awesome.

But that doesn’t stop him from yelling excitedly when Allison suggests they all go cruising, and then he and Derek argue for ten whole minutes about who was going to drive the other through town. And when they park at the auto parts store, they argue for five more before enthusiastically kissing (which turns into an extension of the argument since they seem to want to use the kissing to win).

Eventually, they decide to switch off riding shotgun for the other, but tonight, Derek rides shotgun in the Jeep and makes fun of his CD collection, though he finds the Journey CD in Stiles’ glove box and plays it.

Stiles holds Derek’s hand as they sing along to the radio, driving behind Boyd and Erica, Allison and Scott following them.

Stiles thinks things have turned out pretty neat. He got a caravan, and he got a boyfriend. Not much more he could think to ask for. Except maybe some tacos. Or curly fries.

-fin