Autumn. Just the word was enough to make Stiles smile. True, living in northern California meant they didn’t get as drastic a change in seasons as other places, but the leaves still fell from the trees, and the temperatures began to drop. People began to dress warmer, and for Stiles this meant he finally had a chance to really showcase the wonder that was his hoodie collection. Simply put - there was much to love about this time of year.
When he was younger, going back to school was what he looked forward to the most about autumn. Even though the weather didn’t start to change until late September, the start of school after Labor Day seemed to herald the change of seasons. New pencils, notebooks, a backpack, and the untapped potential of a new teacher that would inevitably be pulling their hair out in frustration over Stiles before fall break. Those were the good old days.
Being a recent college graduate, autumn didn’t mean back to school for the first time in many years. As a relatively new employee of the Beacon Hills Sheriff Department, it did mean he was still up and on his way to the coffee shop first thing in the morning. It was here, on this beautiful, crisp fall morning that Stiles was reminded of the one thing he loathed about the season: Pumpkin spice flavored everything. No, he would firmly tell the barista, he didn’t want to try a pumpkin spice latte, thank you very much.
Waiting in line for his first caffeine dose of the day, he ruminated on why people had decided everything needed to be gourd-flavored for an entire season. He was pretty sure he’d seen it all. Some pumpkin-flavored desserts weren’t too questionable; he was totally on board with a slice of pumpkin pie after Thanksgiving dinner, and he’d even tried a pumpkin-chocolate chip cookie once that wasn’t half bad. But pumpkin spice flavored potato chips? Pumpkin spice flavored yogurt? And the most offensive to date, pumpkin spice beer? Who the fuck was thinking this shit up? And why? God, the horror.
At his desk at work, which he just decided to declare a pumpkin-free zone, thank you very much, he sipped at his coffee (bold, a splash of caramel) while he went over his pile of unfinished paperwork. He looked up when Derek Hale walked in and took a seat at his desk next to his, because who wouldn’t, and sneered when he saw the coffee in his hand. It looked suspiciously festive, topped with whipped cream and a dash of sprinkles in orange, yellow, and brown.
“What?” Derek demanded, his voice gruff.
“Your coffee,” Stiles said.
“It’s pumpkin-spice flavored, isn’t it?”
The expression on Derek’s face implied Stiles was causing him physical pain. “Yes. And?”
“It offends me.”
“It offends you.”
“Why are you repeating everything I say?”
“Honestly? I’m hoping it’ll help me make sense of your words. I feel like I’m missing something.” He scratched at his stubbled jaw and said, “Or maybe this is just another bad dream where you talk nonsense and won’t shut up.”
Stiles grinned, slapping a hand one his leg. “You dream of me? I knew it. I knew it’d just be a matter of time before you realized we had chemistry and you stop fighting it. Does this mean you’ll go out with me this weekend?”
Eyebrows raised, Derek reached for his coffee, sucked up a gulp through the straw and put it back on his desk. “You missed the part where I said it was a bad dream, Stilinski.”
“Nope, too late,” Stiles said. “You admitted to dreaming about me. It’s clear I’m finally making it past your defenses.”
“You’re ridiculous,” Derek said, taking another long drink of his coffee.
“Perhaps,” Stiles agreed, shuddering a bit at Derek’s obvious enjoyment of his pumpkin monstrosity. “But I’ll wear you down eventually.”
Licking a stray bit of whipped cream from his top lip, Derek said, “You do realize you’ve never actually asked me out, right?”
It was both good and bad that the sheriff walked through the station right at that moment. Good, because it saved Stiles having to verbalize his painful realization that yes, he never had actually asked Derek out in the few months he’d been on the job, only hinted at it, or implied Derek would object somehow. It was bad because his father had heard the tail end of his and Derek’s conversation and rolled his eyes at the both of them.
“Hale,” the sheriff greeted with a nod before turning his attention to Stiles. “Son, please don’t make me have to bring back the sexual harassment training program. People come from the state, there’s lectures, a movie and role play, for Pete’s sake,” he said. “It’s painful, so painful, and I’ll make you clean the toilets the week after the chili cook off.”
“Dad! God, that's…” Stiles grimaced. “We’re fine, there’s nothing to see here. I was merely pointing out to the good officer that his taste in coffee is revolting. And hey, did you bring donuts? Way to make a Monday better.”
The sheriff grinned and held out the boxes to Stiles. “Yeah, go put them in the break room for me? I couldn’t resist stopping by the bakery when I saw the sign out front. They were having a special on pumpkin spice donuts.”
Stiles could feel his right eyelid twitching. “Et tu, Dad?” He shook his head. “What’s next?”
His father smirked at the reminder of Stiles’ dislike of pumpkin-flavored products. “I hear maintenance switched out the air fresheners over the weekend. Pumpkin spice.”
“This has become a hostile work environment,” Stiles grumped. “I’ll be in the break room if anyone needs me, not eating a donut.”
He was pouting in the breakroom as he set out the boxes of tainted donuts when Derek walked in, closed the door behind him, and locked it. He advanced on Stiles, his hands in fists by his side, and a determined look in his eyes.
“Please don’t hurt me!” Stiles ogled Derek’s bulging biceps while simultaneously stepping backwards. “If this is about what I said about your gross coffee, I apologize! I’m sure you’re still a good person even if you drink pure nastiness!”
Firmly in Stiles’ personal space, Derek pushed him against the wall with just his body, his hands coming to rest on either side of Stiles’ head. “Stop talking,” Derek said pleadingly. “Please. Just for two seconds, that’s all I ask.”
Derek’s lips thankfully cut off anything else Stiles might have said, though he certainly did attempt to speak. That only made it easier for Derek to slip his tongue past Stiles’ lips and deepen the kiss, turning it from playful and teasing to wet and dirty. Mindful that they were at work, however, Derek pulled back, grinning smugly. “Go out with me on Friday.”
Stiles stared up in awe as he licked his lips.
“Fuck me, I was wrong.”
Clearly disappointed, Derek frowned. “Oh. Well. You don’t have to. I thought-”
“No! No, it’s not that,” Stiles said with a reassuring smile for Derek. “It’s just - I fucking love pumpkin spice lattes.”