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say hey if you’re gay

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Derek wakes with a wicked pounding in his head. His mouth feels parched, the taste on his tongue stale, his throat kind of itchy. He doesn’t remember getting home or into bed, but there’s a glass of water on his nightstand. Carefully, he sits up, groaning at the feeling of sickness pulling at his stomach. He sits for a moment, blinking against the spot dancing in his vision, before he reaches for the glass. As soon as the liquid hits his tongue, he opens his mouth letting it drain back into the glass.

It’s vodka. He guesses it might be his friends’ payback for doing this to them each time he brought their drunk asses home. Derek’s annoyed, but he can’t help the tiny smirk stealing its way across his lips. He knows it’s a dick move, but the gleeful satisfaction he gets when his phone pings with incoming messages bitching about the prank is well worth it.

He had it coming, so it’s fine.

Derek drags himself out of bed, changes into a clean pair of boxers, and a shirt as he looks for his phone. He finds it in the back pocket of the jeans he had on last night, with a new sticker on the back of the cover, reading, #stanfordgetnaked. He doesn’t know how or when exactly he acquired it, or what it even means, but he kind of likes it. Getting naked is always a good idea, if you ask him.

When he opens the door to his room, the smell of pizza hits his nose. Derek sighs happily. Grease always helps curing his hangovers, plus, it means he doesn’t have to order and wait for at least half an hour to get his hands on food.

It’s quiet in the apartment, and Derek briefly wonders if Laura and Cora are out or just quietly nursing their own hangovers. He gathers it’s the latter, considering the heavenly scent of pizza. One of them had probably gotten up earlier and already ordered for all of them. It happened sometimes. Although Derek would, around witnesses, always swear that he hates going out and partying with his sisters, he actually enjoys it. They are, against all odds, quite fun to be around. He will not be caught admitting it out loud, though.

He’s watching Erica’s Instagram stories from last night as he steps into the open kitchen, letting his nose guide him towards the food. The last story is a picture of him, with the imprint of Erica’s trademark red lipstick high on his cheek and a ridiculous amount of glitter in his hair. He can’t even remember what happened there.

Absently, he grabs a slice of pizza from one of the boxes, thinking about grabbing a coffee as well. Derek holds on to the pizza slice with his mouth as he turns around to power up the machine, and glances up.

There are five pairs of eyes trained on him, all with different levels of confusion and amusement in them. He freezes mid-movement, staring back at them. Cora’s sitting among them, the most shit-eating grin stretched over her face as she raises her eyebrows at him.

“Hey,” somebody says, and Derek’s eyes flick toward the source. The slice of pizza almost drops out of his mouth, before he remembers it’s there and puts it down.

It’s Stiles. Of course it’s him, of course he’s here. He smirks at Derek, and it does things to him. He’s too hungover for this.

“What—” His voice comes out croaky.

Stiles’ smirk widens a bit, and Cora looks like she might just die from trying—and failing—to contain gleeful laughter.

“Study group,” she tells him. “Remember? I told you, like, five times.”

“Right,” Derek mutters, scrubs a hand over his face. Glitter flitters out of his beard, and his hand comes away covered in it as well. He barely manages to hold in a groan.

He decides against coffee, grabs his slice, croaks out a hoarse “Sorry” before he trods back to his room with as much bravado as he can muster.

It’s only when he crosses the big mirror they have hanging on the wall in the hallway that he realizes his entire head is covered in glitter. Erica’s lipstick is still on his cheek, he’s wearing Batman boxers, and the shirt that says, say hey if you’re gay on the front.

He doesn’t leave the room for the remainder of the day and manages to push this particular moment out of his mind until both Laura and Cora practically fall through his door, laughing like hyenas at his mortification.

Because, of course, Cora’s told Laura all about it.

* * *

Derek is way too tired to be out right now; the exhaustion and desperation of finishing his paper on time still cling to him. Damn procrastination. He’s pretty sure he is in extremely desperate need of a shower and a good night’s (most likely night’s and day’s) sleep, and he’s most definitely unfit to be seen in public. At least that’s what Laura said to him when she dragged him out to go grocery shopping anyway.

Derek’s on auto-pilot pushing the cart through the aisles while his sisters flit through the store collecting the shit they need. He can’t muster the cognitive effort to pay any attention to anything.

“You look like you’ve been swallowed by that one Greek sea monster, you know, the hellmouth thing, and managed to fight your way back out of it but lost several years doing it.”

Derek would’ve ignored the comment—possibly even missed it—if it hadn’t been a familiar voice saying it. He turns to spot Stiles stepping up next to him, balancing five packages of pop tarts and lots of plain yogurt. Derek has half a mind telling him that he’s literally a sight for sore eyes but his sisters have a habit of eavesdropping just to tease him later.

“Hellmouth thing”, Derek repeats dumbly. Of course his brain gets stuck on this. “You mean Charybdis.”

Stiles purses his lips and grins at him. Derek can feel heat rising into his cheeks. He can practically hear Laura calling him a nerd.

“You knew that, didn’t you?” he asks.

Stiles blinks at him, grin turning into a sheepish smile. He scuffs his foot against the floor. “Yeah. Thought I’d tone down the nerd to, you know, not be such a nerd.” He shrugs.

“There’s nothing wrong with being a nerd,” Derek finds himself saying, oddly charmed and half indignant.

“It’s not as long as you talk to people who get your references,” Stiles says, his grin returning. “I should’ve known with you, though, what with the Batman underwear.”

Derek’s mind goes blank for a second and he casts a hasty glance down himself to make sure he didn’t forget to put on pants in his state of mind. He looks back up when he hears Stiles laughing. Stiles almost drops his stuff he laughs so hard, and Derek snorts watching him struggle to balance it.

“I was actually talking about the other day,” Stiles clarifies, and Derek thinks he’s seeing a touch of red creeping into Stiles’ cheeks.

And yeah. Of course Derek’s worst nightmare would come to haunt him again. His horror seems to show on his face, because Stiles says, “Hey, I’m not judging. I have the exact same pair.”

“Really?” Derek’s brain whites out for a second trying to compute the image of Stiles in a pair of Batman boxers. “I’d love to see them.”

It’s out faster than he can even process it, his filter apparently completely disabled, and Stiles looks at him with a stunned expression on his face.

“I mean, no, I know what they look like, obviously. If it’s the same pair. What I meant is—is I’d love to see you in them—”

He might as well just pretend to faint to get out of this situation. He entirely blames Laura for this, because he clearly is in no state of mind to be communicating with any form of living being, least of all Stiles, who seemingly has the ability to momentarily disarm Derek’s filter by just being there.

The thing is, Derek has game. He does, he knows this. Being tired doesn’t affect it. He dazzles people when he emerges out of his room looking like he’s been lost in the woods for ten days (Erica’s words), yet, when Stiles is around, Derek’s filter goes offline and his language center takes over. It results in No Game. None whatsoever.

As it is, Stiles watches him with a mixture of second-hand embarrassment and incredible fondness on his face, biting his bottom lip. There’s a moment of—on Derek’s side—mortified silence before Stiles frees up a hand from the stuff he’s carrying. Derek watches enthralled and entirely speechless as Stiles reaches down and pulls the waistband of his boxers out from under his sweatpants, revealing the Batman logo.

Derek only manages to tear his eyes away when Stiles swears under his breath as his stack begins to sway dangerously in his grasp. The quiet smack of the waistband snapping back into place against Stiles’ skin as he lets go of it to stabilize his pile of groceries, creates a tantalizing echo in Derek’s head.

Before Derek can react in any way, Stiles leans forward. “By the way,” he says quietly into the narrow space between them. “Hey.”

Derek blinks at him, dazed and confused. He hears one of his sisters calling for him. “I gotta go,” is all he manages out, and wheels the cart into the direction the voice came from, unable to process what just happened.

He’s still trying to wrap his head around what happened at the store later that night when Laura tells him to put his shirt in the laundry.

“Seriously, Derek, have you seen it? It looks like a toddler’s shirt after lunch.”

He looks down his front, peels the shirt away from his chest (it does look like it could use a washing cycle) and picks at the stain on the Y from hey. His mind wanders back to Stiles, to him showing Derek his boxers.

Huh. Maybe Derek does have game when he’s around Stiles after all.

* * *

Derek checks his watch again, making sure it didn’t stop or he somehow got the time wrong. He said he’d be there in fifteen minutes, and now he’s been waiting for his sisters for ten already. They went out partying at someone’s house while Derek declined to go. He spent the entire day at home in his underwear, binge watching Netflix and eating junk food. Going out also would’ve meant to take a shower beforehand and he found that was too much effort.

As it is, he agreed to pick up his sisters who are nowhere to be seen despite the fact that Laura had received and read his message that he’d be there. He’s leaning against the side of the car, waiting outside the house. He considered going in and looking for them, but again: effort. Derek figures he’ll wait another fifteen minutes before he returns home, with or without his sisters.

He’s checking his phone for messages from either Laura or Cora when he hears a familiar voice hollering his name. Derek looks up to see Stiles tripping his way across the front lawn of the house in his direction, closely followed by Scott, who looks half amused and half worried. Stiles comes to stand in front of Derek, swaying considerably.

“Hey, Derek. Hey, hey, Derek, hey,” he says, cracks a huge grin. There’s confetti stuck in his hair, he has something on his cheek that looks like a temporary tattoo of a unicorn, and there’s winged eyeliner on one his right lid. “Hey. Hey, hey, hey, Derek.”

“Hi, Stiles,” Derek answers with a smile of his own, and steadies Stiles, when he leans in and loses balance, as if the ground he’s standing on became unsteady. Stiles’s grin grows a little wider, and Derek feels incredibly warm despite the crisp air outside.

He casts a look over Stiles’ shoulder at Scott whose worried expression has disappeared. Stiles follows Derek’s gaze but whips around so fast he trips. Scott’s on him faster than Derek can even react, obviously trained in catching Stiles’ falls. Stiles smiles dopily up at his best friend, petting his biceps as Scott heaves him back up on his feet.

“Sorry,” Scott says. He doesn’t sound annoyed or exasperated, but incredibly fond. “He’s had a lot to drink.”

Derek smirks. “I didn’t notice.”

Scott grins at him while Stiles is continuously petting his arm, apparently entirely enraptured by it.

“You here to pick up your sisters?” Scott asks.

“Yeah,” Derek says, casting a quick glance at the watch on his phone. “They should know I’m here but they haven’t come out yet. You the designated driver for your group today?”

Stiles’ attention drifts from Scott’s biceps to his face and he starts gently poking at his cheek.

“I am,” Scott confirms, still holding on to Stiles who now looks as if he’s leaning his entire weight against his best friend. “We’re about to leave. I actually wanted to buckle Stiles in first before I got the others but then he saw you.”

“Sorry.”

Scott shrugs with a smile, adjusting his grip on Stiles. “Nah, it’s cool, man. Would you mind keeping an eye on him, though? I’ll go in and get the others, and your sisters.”

“Sure,” Derek says. “Thanks.”

“It’s not a problem,” Scott answers, grabbing Stiles by the sides and pushing him gently upright and into Derek’s direction. “I have to warn you, though, he’s really, really touchy-feely when he’s drunk.”

Stiles sighs deeply as he leans into Derek, his eyes fixed on Scott, though. “S’otty, you sooooo pretty,” he says dreamily and forms a heart with his hands. Derek bites his lip to keep from laughing.

“Case in point,” Scott says with a laugh. “Thanks, buddy. You’re very pretty, too.”

“Awwwwww.” Stiles sounds absolutely enamoured, looking like he’s out of his mind with delight. He reaches out and plants a smacking kiss on Scott’s cheek.

“Okay, you stay with Derek. I’ll be right back,” Scott says to Stiles. “Alright?”

Stiles’ eyes light up suddenly as he turns around to look at Derek. “Derek? Oooh, yes, I’ll stay with Derek.”

Scott gives them a thumbs up and then jogs across the lawn back to the house. Stiles slumps against him, and Derek wraps an arm around his waist to hold him steady. Derek finds he is unsurprised by how unbothered he is to have Stiles being all up in his space like that when usually, Derek’s not a fan of people occupying his personal bubble so much. Yet Stiles is a comfortable weight against his front, his arms snaking around Derek’s back.

Stiles snaps his head up suddenly, as if he’d fallen asleep for a couple of seconds and woke up with a start. He stares at Derek intently.

“What colour are your eyes?” he asks, grabbing Derek’s face with both his hands and draws closer until their noses are almost touching. Derek feels his heart speeding up, the heat of Stiles’ fingers seeping into his skin. He’s close enough to count Stiles’ eyelashes. The proximity makes his head spin with something he can’t quite pinpoint.

“Hazel,” he finally manages to answer. The intensity of Stiles’ stare has left his mouth dry.

Stiles shakes his head, squints a little. “No,” he says resolutely. “‘s not hazel. ‘s beautiful.”

“I don’t think beautiful is a colour, Stiles,” Derek points out.

Stiles seems confused for a moment. He frowns. “Pretty?”

“Not a colour, either.”

The frown deepens. And then suddenly he smiles bright. It’s as if the sun cracks through dark storm clouds, and Derek has to swallow, and blink a couple of times.

“Rainbow,” Stiles says, nodding, and boops Derek’s nose.

Derek finds himself smiling fondly. He can’t bring himself to point out that rainbow, technically, isn’t a colour either. Stiles seems to happy with his answer, and besides, a rainbow seems to have enough colours to encompass his needs. He starts petting Derek’s beard, eyes focusing on his hands as he does so.

“Your beard is so soft,” Stiles observes, voice sounding like he’s found something he’s never seen before. “Mmmmmhhh.”

Derek’s pretty sure he’s never been as charmed by a drunken person as he is now. But that might be because it’s Stiles, and he’s always charmed by Stiles. Apparently, even when he’s drunk off his ass and thinks pretty is a valid eye colour.

Derek spots his sisters coming towards them while Stiles continues to pet his beard. He sees their shit-eating smirks, and doesn’t even care because Stiles is still leaning against him, huffing little breaths against his face, his fingers leaving tingling sensations on his skin.

“Stiles ‘n’ Derek sittin’ ‘n a tree,” Laura crows, words slurring.

“Get in the car,” he tells them. They don’t even argue, just slide into the backseat and continue to caw once inside. It’s gonna be one hell of a ride home. Derek just hopes they’re drunk enough to have a blackout tomorrow, so he doesn’t have to go through this twice.

Scott comes over with Allison and Lydia in two. Both of them are giggling, eyes bright, and they’re holding on to each other. They’re in no better shape than Laura and Cora.

“Stiles,” Scott says gently, tapping Stiles on the shoulder. “Buddy.”

Stiles tears his eyes away from Derek’s face and looks over.

“We gotta go.”

“‘s so soft,” Stiles says with an irritated look on his face, turns back to Derek, and sighs contentedly.

Scott throws Derek an amused look. Allison coos, and slaps a hand over her mouth while Lydia’s biting her lip.

Derek carefully peels Stiles’ hands from his face, unwilling, but he also doesn’t want to make Scott and the other wait for too long. Stiles doesn’t seem to happy about not touching Derek anymore, but he doesn’t protest, just lets Derek guide his hands down.

He straightens, blinks a couple of times, and then he leans back into Derek. “Derek’s the prettiest, but don’t tell him I said that.”

Derek guesses he tried for a whisper but missed that by a mile. He raises his brows. “I’m the prettiest?” he asks, unable to keep the smile out of his voice, off his face; the warm, bubbly feeling away. He’s tingling all over, it’s ridiculous.

Stiles leans away with a confused look on his face. His eyes sweep over Derek. “Oh. Sorry.”

He turns away, wraps an arm around Scott’s shoulder, and says, “Derek’s the prettiest,” and Scott purses his lips to hide a grin. “Don’t tell him I told you.”

Scott pats Stiles’ hand, sends an amused grin Derek’s way, and promises, “I won’t, buddy. Let’s go.”

Stiles’s head lols back and he looks over at Derek, another bright smile appearing on his face. “Hey, Derek. Hey. Hey. Derek, hey.”

“Good night,” Derek says. He can’t stop the fond smile tugging at the corners of his mouth, helpless at the sight of Stiles’ beaming face. “Get home safe.”

* * *

Derek’s almost a little embarrassed that he spots Stiles the second he steps foot into the coffee shop. He’s sitting to the left, at one of the tables along the window front, sprawled in one of the cozy armchairs. His hair is a mess, but then again, that’s not new. Derek’s still not sure if that particular style is intentional or accidental. Either way, it makes Derek want to card his fingers through it, maybe pull a little… Derek stops that train of thought before it takes him somewhere he shouldn’t be in public.

Derek gets up to the counter to order and decides to get two drinks. Stiles looks like he’s waiting for someone; Derek might as well keep him company while he does.

Stiles’ gaze flicks up from his phone as soon as Derek places the cup in front of him on the table. A smile spreads across his face, warm and blinding, the early afternoon sun reflecting in his eyes; making them look luminous.

“Hey, Derek,” Stiles says, squinting a little against the light. Derek swallows at the way his heart trips.

“Hi,” he says. His hands are suddenly sweating. “Recover well from last weekend?”

Stiles cheeks flush, and he bites his lip dropping his phone into his lap. He clears his throat, sitting up straight, and Derek can’t help the grin from showing. Apparently, Stiles remembers what happened, or he had been told by Scott. Either way, Derek revels in the pretty blush on Stiles’ face, even though it’s probably embarrassment.

“You waiting for someone?” Derek asks before Stiles can answer.

“Actually…”

Someone clears their throat next to Derek at the same time as Stiles starts speaking. Another cup of coffee gets placed in front of Stiles, and Derek looks at the man standing next to him, putting a second cup down.

“My dad,” Stiles finishes, gaze flicking between him and his father. “Derek, that’s my dad. Dad, Derek.”

Derek’s slide over to Stiles, and if his hands have been sweating before it’s nothing compared to now, and there’s a lump in his throat he can’t explain why it’s there. Stiles’ father is a sheriff, Derek remembers him talking about it when he explained why he’d gone into criminology.

As it is, the Sheriff is holding out his hand to Derek, and Derek takes it out of ingrained polite reflex, but he winces when he realizes how sweaty his hands are. Great, he thinks, that is exactly the first impression he’d wanna give.

“Sheriff,” Derek manages to out past the lump in his throat.

Stiles’ dad barks out a laugh sitting down opposite Stiles. “Please,” he says. “I’m here for personal reasons and not in official capacities. Mr. Stilinski is fine.”

Stiles snorts, holding one of the cups between both hands and staring at his father over the rim. “Since when are you ‘Mr. Stilinski’ to any of my friends?”

Derek watches them exchange looks. Stiles rolls his eyes in response to the glance his father sends his way, but doesn’t comment any further. However, there’s another blush creeping up his cheeks.

“Sit, Derek,” Mr. Stilinski says, gesturing to the free armchair.

“Actually, Dad,” Stiles begins as he sits up straight, a little coffee sloshing over the rim of the cup. “I think Derek’s busy.”

Mr. Stilinski raises a brow, looks from Stiles to Derek with an expectant expression on his face. “Are you, Derek?”

Except it doesn’t sound like much of a question. Derek can feel his flight response wanting to kick in, but something in Mr. Stilinski’s gaze fixes him firmly in place. Maybe he’s just too scared to run.

“I thought so,” Mr. Stilinski says when Derek doesn’t respond. He takes a sip from his cup, a small smile tugging at the corner of his mouth. “Sit,” he adds, setting his cup down.

Derek sits down so fast, it’s almost as if his legs gave out under him. He feels hot all over, and this time it’s not because Stiles is looking at him; it’s not the good kind of hot. It’s the terrified kind of hot, and Mr. Stilinski has this look on his face like he knows exactly how Derek’s feeling.

“So, Derek,” Mr. Stilinski starts. There’s a knock from beneath the table, disturbing the cups a little, and Stiles curses. The smirk on Stiles’ father’s face looks way too smug. “Your name’s occasionally come up,” he continues conversationally. Derek casts a glance at Stiles who’s incredibly red in the face, and is sliding deeper down the armchair. Meanwhile, Derek’s brain gets hung up on the fact that Stiles talks to his father about him.

“What is it that you do, again?”

Derek tries to clear his throat. “I’m in law school, sir.”

Mr. Stilinski nods, and Derek imagines he sees something like approval flashing over his face. “Ambitious.”

“I’d say it’s spite,” Derek says before he can process what he’s doing. Mr. Stilinski raises his brows in question. Derek sighs internally. He continues to make a stellar first impression. Stiles will probably never talk to him again. If only because his dad thinks he’s a total idiot and doesn’t want it to rub off on his son. “My older sister is also in law school here, and she’s been goading me since we were little. At this point it’s just us trying to outdo each other.”

Derek feels incredibly childish admitting this to Stiles’ father, his ears are burning, as is his face, and he tries to hide it by burying his face in his cup.

Mr. Stilinski laughs, though, kindly. Derek looks up in surprises, chances a quick glance at Stiles who’s hiding a fond smile behind his cup.

“Who’s on top of things right now?” Mr. Stilinski asks, uncontained amusement hiding in the crinkles of his eyes.

“Well,” Derek starts, adjusts his position on the armchair. “I feel like Laura’s always on top of things and at least one step ahead of me, but I would never say that to her face.”

Mr. Stilinski chuckles. “Stiles’ mother was very competitive, too,” he says, his eyes settling on Stiles, and there’s so much love and pride in them that Derek has to look away and leave this moment to them.

“So, Derek,” Mr. Stilinski starts again. “You any good in the kitchen?”

Dad,” Stiles says which his father completely ignores. Derek glances between them. “You don’t have to answer that, Derek.”

“Why not?” Mr. Stilinski asks, not taking his eyes off Derek. “It’s just a question.”

Derek’s getting interrogated, he realizes, and suddenly he feels like everything he says is, somehow, the wrong thing to say.

“Um, I’m not much of a cook,” he says carefully. “But I bake.”

Mr. Stilinski claps his hands like he’s just won something. “Perfect.”

This shouldn’t feel like Derek’s achieved some sort of victory, but it does, and Derek is ridiculously relieved. Stiles rolls his eyes hard, takes a sip from his cup and mumbles something Derek doesn’t catch.

Two hands clamp down on his shoulders from behind. “Here you are,” Laura says. Derek takes a deep breath and closes his eyes. This can’t be good. “I was wondering what happened to you.”

There’s so much glee in her voice, Derek already knows she’s not going to let him live this down.

“Hi, I’m Laura,” she says, sticking a hand out to Stiles’ father. “Derek’s sister.”

Mr. Stilinski takes her hand, smirking. “Noah,” he answers. “Stiles’ father.”

Stiles groans. Out of the corner of his eyes, Derek can see that he’s leaning back in his armchair and covering his face with his hands.

“Oh, it’s so nice to meet you,” Laura says, delight colouring her voice. “You’re a sheriff, right? Stiles mentioned it a couple of times. Said that’s why he’s studying criminology.”

Derek sees Mr. Stilinski raise his brows and look at Stiles. There’s some sort of silent communication happening between them that Derek can’t read, but Stiles looks as if he’s daring his father to say something.

“You know Stiles, too?” he asks curiously.

Laura waves it off. “He asked me if I could help him with one of his classes that I’d taken before, too. But then something came up on short notice, and I sent Derek instead.” She ruffles his hair. “He’s a much better teacher than I am, anyway.”

As much shit as Laura gives him, she’s never shy of complimenting him and praising him in front of others, too. He relaxes a bit, leans into her side, and she wraps an arm around his shoulders. Mr. Stilinski is looking at him intently, and Derek practically wills himself not to flush under his scrutiny.

“I’m so sorry to interrupt you,” Laura says and smacks her forehead. “I’ve actually just wanted to see where my baby bro disappeared to. He was supposed to get coffee for us.”

No will power in the world would’ve saved Derek from this one. He’s pretty sure his flush could power the coffee shop alone. Stiles has the same scrutinizing look on his face as his father, and Derek can very clearly see the family resemblance. That facial expression in particular is uncanny.

“Derek always gets sidetracked by Stiles,” Laura adds with mirth in her voice. It’s not unkind, though, she’s not trying to make fun of or humiliate him. Mr. Stilinski is grinning fondly, and Stiles’ blush, Derek thinks as he looks at him, matches his own.

“You’re not interrupting anything,” Mr. Stilinski says. “You’re welcome to stay.”

Somehow, that sounds dangerous.

“Dad, I’m sure Laura and Derek had better plans for today than to sit here with us and listen to your boring stories,” Stiles says suddenly. “Besides, I thought you were here to spend time with me?” It sounds almost petulant.

Laura laughs. “We’re gonna leave you to it. It was very nice meeting you, Noah.”

Stiles’ dad gets up as Laura stands. “Likewise,” he says, shaking her hand again. “You, too, Derek,” he says, again looking at Derek with a stripping sort of scrutiny that has Derek wanting to run for the hills.

“Mr. Stilinski,” Derek croaks out, shaking his hand. It’s sweaty again. Or possibly still.

As they’re leaving the shop, Laura asks, “On a scale from one to Death Would Be Merciful, how embarrassed are you that you met your crush’s dad while wearing your say hey if you’re gay shirt?”

Derek exhales closing his eyes. He’d rather not think about that. Laura lets out a quiet, sympathetic laugh and pats his shoulder.

* * *

Someone bumps into Derek while he’s standing in the cafeteria, contemplating which of the unhealthy options he’s gonna go with today. He’s about to give the person a piece of his mind when he realizes it’s Stiles. A very hassled looking Stiles whose entire face transforms into pure happiness as he looks at Derek.

“Hey.”

Derek smiles, unable to stop himself. “You okay?”

“Yeah, yeah,” Stiles says. He’s going for pizza and whips around to eye the deserts across the room. “Your magnetic pull was too strong to resist,” he adds turning around, waggling his eyebrows.

Derek feels his face heat. He ducks his head, grabs the first meal he can get his hands on and continues down. Stiles follows him, tongue sticking out between his teeth. He looks way too fond, and Derek’s hands are growing sweaty again. He should have that checked out, it can’t be normal.

“Wait for me,” Stiles instructs and dashes away to the desert aisle. Derek is just sort of to dumbstruck to do anything but as Stiles said. He watches Stiles flit around, collecting his food—which is quite a lot—and just waits. There’s apparently a smile on his which Derek only realizes because there’s a guy in his line of sight that smiles back at him, probably thinking Derek’s paying him any attention. Derek scowls at him, and the guy’s face falls.

Stiles comes bounding back to him. “I’m good to go,” he informs Derek and wiggles his tray for good measure.

“How are you not a diabetic?” Derek wonders as their looking for place, eyeballing all the processed sugar on Stiles’ tray.

“Scott continues to drag me to lacrosse practice,” Stiles simpers, shrugging, and slides onto a chair. “Not that I need it. I got great metabolism.”

Derek eyes him doubtfully. He shakes his head, huffing out a laugh. “So, how’d the day with your dad go after you chased Laura and me off?”

Stiles is already chewing a bite from some candy bar, as he narrows his eyes at Derek, pausing mid-chew. “What do you mean, ‘chased off’? Trust me, I was doing you a favour. He would’ve just kept on going interrogating you.”

Derek frowns, and Stiles nods. “Uh huh. Trust me. He would’ve made you give up your deepest, darkest secrets. I’ve seen it happen.”

Derek scoffs. “And which deep, dark secret did you give up?”

“Please,” Stiles says with a raised brow. “I’m immune. I build up immunity over the years, carefully cultivated it, and now it just bounces right off.”

“What did he ask you?”

“Whether I’m sleeping with both you and Laura.”

Derek chokes on his fry. “What’d you say?” he manages out between heaving coughs.

Stiles smirks. “I said I aim high,” he replies, and the wink he sends Derek’s way can only be described as indecent.

Derek’s pretty sure he’s on the brink of death.

Stiles lets out a delighted laugh. “Chill, dude. I’m obviously kidding.” He rolls his eyes, takes a bite from his pizza.

“By the way,” Stiles says a minute later, strictly staring at the label of another candy bar. “We never settled what colour your eyes are.”

Derek raises his brows. Stiles remembers. “I recall you decided on ‘rainbow’.”

Stiles flushes. It’s delicious.

“Rainbow’s not a colour,” he points out.

“You seemed pretty convinced. I didn’t wanna argue.”

Stiles is silent for a beat. “Well, I mean, technically I’m not wrong.”

Derek can’t help the snort.

“What? Somewhere in there I’m pretty sure is also the colour of your eyes,” Stiles huffs, staring at Derek with narrowed eyes. “Which are ridiculous, by the way, to state for the record. Nobody has eyes like that.”

“Obviously, I do.”

Stiles rolls his eyes, again, but it’s fond, almost bashful. Which is a paradox in itself. “Well, pretty much all of you is ridiculous, so.”

“We can’t all be so perfectly put together like you are,” Derek says around a bite, and smirks when Stiles throws him a look.

“Ha ha.”

Derek’s smirk grows a little. “You have ridiculous eyes, too.”

Stiles stills and stares at him for a moment. The colour is back in his cheeks, he opens his mouth and closes it, repeats the process a couple of times, until he finally huffs. “They’re brown.”

Derek shrugs. “Mine are hazel.”

“They’re magical,” Stiles mutters, biting heartily into his bar.

“What?”

“What?”

Derek looks at him, at his big Bambi eyes and the innocent expression on his face, and wonders, not for the first time, if his mind is making stuff up. Stiles blinks and Derek shifts, casting his eyes down. He thinks about asking him out, or about just ravishing him on the spot—Derek’s not that picky in that regard—but he never does. He knows he wouldn’t handle it well if Stiles said no. Stiles’s flirty with everyone, he has this way of smirking and winking and just generally wrapping people around his little finger with such ease that has Derek’s head spinning.

He flirts with Derek. Derek’s not that obtuse not to realize that but it doesn’t necessarily mean anything. So, Derek just keeps not pushing, keeps not asking, keeps not ravishing. He’ll live. He gets to be around Stiles. It’s fine.

* * *

Derek wakes with a start, jerks upright and immediately regrets it. The world is spinning fast, his stomach lurches dangerously, and there’s a stale taste on his tongue that tells him he’s had too much tequila last night. He groans as he flops back down and takes a couple of deep breaths to get his stomach under control. It takes a moment for him to not feel like he’s gonna projectile vomit all over the bed, and by the time his gut calms, he realizes he’s not in his bed.

He sits back up, stomach rioting again, and looks around. It’s a tiny, crammed bedroom he doesn’t recognize. There are piles of books on the desk, loose sheets upon loose sheets haphazardly spread over a laptop that’s quietly whirring; clothes strewn around, empty cans of energy drinks, and there’s a sad plant that looks like it’s a hairwidth away from death on the window sill.

It smells—

Derek squeezes his eyes shut und presses the balls of his hands into his eye sockets. He prays to every deity he can think of that he’s not where he thinks he is.

Except, if there’s some sort of higher power guiding his way, it’s laughing in his face and probably enjoying his misery way too much.

Derek slowly gets out of bed. He can hear faint cluttering outside the door. When he looks down at himself, he’s wearing his boxers and a shirt. His pants, he discovers, are the only thing that are neatly folded on the desk chair. There’s a glass of water on the nightstand—it really is water, he tries—and Derek’s heart is doing its damndest to beat out of his chest.

He puts on his pants before he pads outside.

Stiles puttering around the kitchen, wearing sweatpants and a ratty shirt that is so worn out it’s almost see-through. He’s humming to some song he’s listening to over his earplugs, flipping a pancake. It’s so domestic, and Derek’s so close to popping a boner over it, it’s almost kind of embarrassing.

He clears his throat, and Stiles looks over his shoulder. As soon as he spots Derek, a blinding smile stretches across his face. He pulls the plugs out of his ears, waving Derek closer.

“Hey,” he says softly. “Sit. Breakfast’s almost ready.”

Derek sits on one of the chairs Stiles points to, too dumbstruck to do anything else. He watches Stiles prepare the pancakes and idly wonders how the hell he got here.

He can’t remember. Laura, Cora and Erica convinced him to go out last night, some frat party; one of those that’s a little too loud, a little too crowded, a little too wild, and a little too loose. Something must’ve happened for him to wake up in Stiles’ bed, and god, Derek hopes they didn’t have sex. Because if they had, he doesn’t know anymore, and he doesn’t want to live in a world in which he did have sex with Stiles but can’t remember it. That, and of course the fact that it most likely would’ve meant that Stiles took advantage of him, which Derek can’t really believe but—

“Dude,” Stiles says, looking at him with huge eyes.

Derek blinks. He said all that out loud. Someone mercy kill him. Now. Derek squeezes his eyes shut again.

“Derek, hey,” Stiles tries. “Relax. Nothing happened. You were pretty out of it.”

“No kidding,” Derek replies. He takes a deep breath and looks up at Stiles, who is now smirking at him. It’s not a good sign.

“You were pretending to be an octopus. I mean, literally. You wrapped yourself around me and you wouldn’t let go, and basically, that’s how you ended up here. I swear, man, dragging you here was an exercise all on its own.”

Derek pinches the bridge of his nose. Maybe if he concentrates hard enough he can teleport himself to a lonely island, never to be seen again.

“I’m sorry,” Derek says miserably. Of all the ways he pictured he would hold on to Stiles, this wasn’t it. And—he just rambled about having sex with him. Derek drops his head into his hands, feeling like he’d shot right past rock bottom and into a pitch black bottomless pit that plays the best-of compilation of the worst moments in his life, on repeat, forever.

Stiles places a plate in front of him, by the sound of it, and then there’s a hand in Derek’s hair, fingers slowly dragging over his scalp.

“You have absolutely nothing to be sorry for,” Stiles says, his tone gentle and fond. Derek looks back up at him to find Stiles smiling warmly at him, with a sort of admiration that has Derek’s heart beating faster.

“I didn’t want to make you feel uncomfortable,” Derek says. He stares up at Stiles with wide eyes. Part of him can’t quite believe Stiles’ fingers are still in his hair, softly carding through it.

“You didn’t,” Stiles answers. He quirks an eyebrow, looking quizzical. “Why would you think that?”

“Because we’re—I mean, we don’t—and you…”

“Are you having a stroke?” Stiles asks. He momentarily pauses his hand, frowning down at Derek. “Smile. I need to see.”

Derek can’t help the eye roll. “Don’t be ridiculous. I talked about having sex with you when—look, I didn’t mean to say that I’m, like, fantasizing or anything. It’s not—I’m not—we’re not—”

“Are you going through declinations now?” Stiles is smirking again.

Derek scowls at him, feels heat rising into his cheeks. This is so not how this is supposed to go. This is not how he pictured waking up having Stiles around.

“Derek,” Stiles says. He sighs, turns off the stove, and proceeds to pull the other chair closer, so he can sit next to Derek. “You never made me feel uncomfortable, okay? Never. And once we’ve eaten and you’ve sobered up, we can have all the sex. I mean it. All of it.”

Derek stares at him, dumbfounded. His brain is tried to process what’s happening until Stiles said they could have sex. Now, it’s like his entire world came to a screeching halt, and he feels a little like someone is shaking a Magic 8 Ball, except it’s his head, and nothing makes sense.

Stiles grabs his hand, twining their fingers together, and Derek looks down. He watches with rapt attention how Stiles’ thumb sweeps over the skin of his knuckles.

When Derek doesn’t say anything, Stiles clears his throat. Derek glances up, spots the worried expression on his beautiful face.

“Okay, you’re starting to freak me out there,” Stiles says, huffing out a nervous little laugh. “Maybe I read this wrong. See, I thought I was imagining you being into me until last night.”

“What.”

Stiles is biting his lip, and lets go of Derek’s hand, self-conscious now. Derek grabs it, though, before he can pull back entirely, squeezing gently.

“Well, I mean, you know. I flirted, and I’m pretty sure you flirted back, but nothing ever came of it, so I thought you’re just—” Stiles shrugs, scuffing his foot against the floor. “And then last night, you were all over me. You know, when I dragged you home, you were serenading me all the way over here. I figured, drunks and children tell the truth, so… I mean, I understand if it’s not what you want.”

“I serenaded you?” Derek’s voice feels—and sounds—hoarse and squeaky at the same time.

Stiles smirks again, but it’s fond. “Yeah.”

Derek’s silent for a beat. “Wait, you—you were into me?”

“Still am,” Stiles says, ducking his head.

Derek blinks. His head is spinning again, but this time it’s not the alcohol. “You mean—why didn’t you say anything?”

Stiles snorts. “Please. I’ve been hey-ing you since forever. You just never did anything about it. How was I supposed to know?”

Hey-ing?” Derek scowls at him.

Stiles sighs, exasperated, but still fond. He affectionately flicks Derek’s chest. Derek looks down, stares at the shirt he’s wearing and—oh.

Oh. But this is just—this doesn’t mean that you’re—”

Stiles rolls his eyes. He lets go of Derek’s hand, grabs his face with both of his, and fixes at him with the softest look in his eyes. “It meant, Derek, please use your dumb rainbow eyes and fucking see that hugeass crush I have on you.”

Derek can’t help the smile from pulling at his mouth. “Noted.”

Stiles kisses him, slowly, sweetly, and it’s such a rush to the head, Derek has to close his eyes for a moment after. He turns his head a little, kisses the inside of Stiles’ hand, unable to stop himself from smiling all the way through.

“Derek?”

“Hm?”

“Hey.”

Derek smiles, heart lurching. “Hey.”