The last thing Derek wanted in life was a soulmate -- especially one who thinks, What the fuck is that . That’s it. No question mark, no exclamation mark, nothing. Ever since the words -- the soul mark -- appeared on his inner wrist in tiny Times New Roman font, Derek was lost.
For one, he has no idea what the tone is. Is his soulmate upset when they say this to him? Are they surprised? Indignant? Who knows?
For another, this is really not the time for Derek to meet someone, okay? It’s Christmas time - one of the busiest times of the year for a florist (aside from Valentine’s Day obviously) and he’s way behind on orders.
If this whole soulmate thing is true (sadly, it is and Derek knows it deep down), then he should be meeting his any day now. The words -- supposedly the first thought your soulmate has about you -- only appear on your skin up to three days before you actually meet them.
Derek’s appeared only a day ago so he knows he’s about to meet his soulmate soon. And -- okay, it’s not like he’s not excited about it but he hasn’t had the best luck when it comes to relationships (exhibit A: Jennifer, exhibit B: Kate, exhibit C: Braeden) so he’s not holding out for his soulmate either.
And okay, maybe Laura was right. Maybe that’s what he got for trying to be in a relationship with someone who wasn’t his soulmate and maybe he should’ve just waited but really, he was in his teenage rebellion phase, okay? Derek Hale (at 16) did not take orders from the universe.
(Not that he’s any more receptive to them at 27 but still.)
He’s just about done spraying the last of the poinsettias with water when the shop’s door slams open and a man -- a very beautiful man, from what he can see -- storms in and stops in front of the lilies. He’s typing furiously into his phone, clearly checking to see if he’s looking at the right flowers or not. Apparently not because two seconds later, the guy whirls away from the lilies and stares at the hydrangeas instead, repeating the process of shifting his attention between the flowers and his phone.
Derek watches him avidly; he’s never seen anyone concentrate so hard on flowers before. Usually people come in and just ask Derek what to get their loved ones. Nobody researches flowers.
He hasn’t looked up yet from his phone but all Derek can see are the lean, muscular set of forearms and the first thought that occurs to him is, Dear lord, I want his babies .
The man runs his hand through his ragged brown hair completely ruffled (at which point, Derek starts waxing poetic about his fingers - what the fuck) and shoves his phone in his back pocket. He hasn’t seen Derek yet, attention now focused on all the different bouquets Derek has arranged artfully by the storefront so Derek takes the opportunity to tuck himself behind the front desk and wait to see what if he wants help.
( Please, oh please, want help )
The guy lets out a huffy sigh and almost growls to himself? What? Derek’s confused but he’s not one to draw attention to the fact that he’s basically been staring at a complete stranger for five minutes so he stays quiet.
At last, the guy whirls around and immediately stutters to a stop when he sees Derek. His mouth drops open and before Derek has a chance to say anything, he blurts, “What the fuck is that.”
Derek’s eyes widen at the words and almost immediately, he looks down at the forearm that bears those exact same words. By the time he looks back up, the guy is at the counter looking down at Derek’s forearm.
“Um, so that was out loud and totally didn’t mean to--,” the guy starts but before Derek can stop himself, he interrupts and blurts, “What tone is that? What the fuck is what?”
The guy looks confused now and mentally, Derek facepalms himself. Seriously, who decided Derek should be allowed to talk to other humans?
Derek sighs. “You said ‘what the fuck is that’. I don’t know what you’re talking about or in what tone. It kind of sounded rude but I’m not sure so I’d like some context.”
There. Much better. (See, Derek can communicate after all!)
The guy blinks at him and then looks down at his forearm and then back up at him. Slowly, his lips curl into a small smile.
“Your eyes. I was talking about your eyes. They’re seriously a million different colours, did you know that?”
“They’re green,” Derek counters, baffled.
The guy’s eyebrows shoot up. “Um, they are not. Right now, I’m seeing green, yes, but also some yellow and light brown and fleck of orange and blue. Like the Mets.”
“The Mets,” Derek repeats faintly. “My eyes are not the colours of the Mets.”
The guy gasps. “The Mets are amazing and you should be so glad you get to share their colours!”
“Wait. You have my words on your arm. That means I have yours,” the guy starts, his small smile turning smug.
Derek nods. “That’s usually how it works.”
“So,” he starts, leaning across the counter. “You want to have my babies?”
Derek chokes, making the guy laugh and that is a vision in and of itself because he laughs with his entire body; head thrown back, shoulders shaking, body twisting into itself. He tries to think of something to say but by the way the guy is smirking at him, Derek knows there’s nothing he can say that will make the situation any better.
“Yes,” he decides to say. “That’s what I thought when I saw you. I want to have your babies.”
Honesty is a good policy, right?
The smirk turns shy and the guy looks down at his feet, clearly trying to hide the way his cheeks turn tomato red and this -- just this simple action -- makes Derek’s heart beat even faster. Yeah, Derek decides, honesty is a very good policy.
“Well I don’t think modern science has caught up to male pregnancy and I do think we’re a few years away from babies but I’d be more open to a date?” He asks with a hesitant smile.
Derek grins. “Sure. I think I can wait a few years. In the meantime, how about coffee tomorrow night? There’s a great place just around the corner.”
“Sounds perfect,” he hums. His eyes flick down towards Derek’s lips as if he’s not sure if he should go for it or not and before he can stop himself, Derek leans forward, meeting him in the middle to make the decision for him. It’s the barest touch of lips, nothing dirty or hormonal, but a simple touch that’s still enough to shoot sparks down Derek’s body.
They pull apart and stare at each other dopily before Derek remembers why the guy was in the shop in the first place. “You were looking for flowers? Also, what’s your name? Because I’ve been calling you ‘the guy’ for the past ten minutes in my head.”
The guy does another one of his full-bodied laughs before answering, “Stiles. My name is Stiles. And before you ask, no it’s not my real name, no I won’t tell you what my real name is, and yes, my real name is that bad. As for what I’m looking for, I’m looking to send a very particular message to my dick roommate.”
The guy -- Stiles’s -- eyes flit over to Derek’s name tag before he leans over the counter again, bracing his arms on the marble countertop. “So, Derek , tell me: how do I passive aggressively say fuck you with flowers?”
This time, it’s Derek who throws his head back and laughs. “I can help you with that.”
In the end, Stiles leaves with an elegant bouquet of geraniums, foxglove, meadowsweet, yellow carnations, and orange lilies, cradled in one hand, and Derek’s phone number scrawled on a piece of paper in the other.
And Derek? Well, he’s left with another kiss, one that’s a promise of a lot more to come.
Two years later, Stiles asks Derek to marry him with a ring carefully nestled in the middle of a link pink peony. And the rest is history.