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Courtship Rituals

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When Stiles had called to ask if they could have lunch together at the station, John had agreed without hesitation. He had told Stiles that he got the order covered, secretly hoping that he would get a burger or something, but Stiles had reminded him that all the delivery places were under his thumb and no one would bring him anything Stiles hadn’t deemed healthy.

John had sighed, but he knew his son. If he said there would be no burger, then there would be no burger for John today.

“Hey Jordan, can you order from the usual place?” John had called out to his best deputy when his phone rang again and he got a cheerful “Sure,” in reply.

Jordan had ordered for the station more than once, so John didn’t even feel the need to make sure he got it right.

He could trust Jordan.

Stiles arrived just shortly before the delivery did, and Jordan brought their food in without complain.

He put everything on the table and then handed John a bag with a wink, before he rushed out again.

John frowned after him, careful to keep his eyes above the waistline and absentmindedly opened the bag.

“Is he bribing you for something?” Stiles asked him and effectively startled John out of his thoughts.

“What?” he said, and then followed Stiles gaze down to the food he held in his hands.

French fries. Jordan had somehow managed to get him french fries and John immediately cradled them protectively to his chest when he saw Stiles reaching out as if on instinct.

“You’re not going to take them from me,” John said and quickly put one in his mouth. That was one fry Stiles couldn’t steal from him.

“Why is he bribing you?” Stiles asked again, and now that question made more sense, even though John had no idea what the answer could be.

“I thought you antagonized him somehow,” John said with a frown but he also bit down on another fry.

He had really missed eating them.

“Antagonize Jordan,” Stiles snorted. “Right. I'm not even sure you can antagonize him. He’s a puppy.”

John thought back to when Jordan had lit up on fire without control, carrying dead bodies to a magical tree. How he had burned so hot that he'd melted the guns right out of those hunter’s hands. How he always just lost himself a little bit to the hellhound when it took over, giving it free reign, delighting in the strength and power it held.

How the pack refused to go into any hostile situation with Jordan at their side.

John thought maybe Stiles’ assessment wasn't the most accurate one.  

Stiles had stopped chewing on the fry he had stolen from John, and stared into space for a few seconds before he came back to himself.

It became obvious he had reached the same conclusion as John when he said: “Maybe he's just a puppy with you. Which brings me back to the bribing. What's that for?”

“He’s not a puppy, and especially not with me,” John protested and looked out of the window to watch Jordan at his desk, filing some papers.

John thought he probably shouldn’t be as mesmerized by that as he was.

But Jordan had just the most amazing hands John had ever seen, slim and big; large enough that John had had more than one impure thought about them and it was hard not to notice them.

“Oh my god,” Stiles suddenly breathed, rapidly turning his head from John to Jordan and there was a smile spreading out on his face.

“He’s totally courting you with food,” Stiles gleefully said and John snapped back.

“He’s not,” he said, on pure instinct, because it took him a second longer to parse out the meaning of what Stiles had just said.

“Why would he be courting me?” he then asked and Stiles rolled his eyes.

“Because he’s totally into you,” Stiles told him and John prayed hard that he wasn’t flushing.

“You’re wrong,” John said and forced his eyes back down to his fries.

“I’m not,” Stiles said, voice brimming with conviction. “I heard him talk to Derek a few weeks back, asking how wolves went about courting someone and food is like a major point of that. He is so courting you.”

“Food, huh?” John distractedly asked and then remembered all the times in the last two weeks Jordan had provided some kind of food for him.

It had happened more often than John would like to admit.

Plus, he had accepted everything Jordan had given him, and if he was really courting John with food, the delighted smile John always got in return suddenly made a lot more sense.

John looked back at Jordan for a second and Stiles made a strangled noise.

“You’re totally going to accept him, oh my god, this is amazing!” he almost yelled and John shushed him quickly.

“Jordan is…” John started, searching for the right words and Stiles filled in his sentence.

“Hot? Amazing? The nicest guy you ever met? So very pretty? An amazing deputy?” It was hard for Stiles to get it all out, with the way he was laughing at John. “And you are so oblivious.”

“I’m out of practice,” John protested but Stiles wouldn’t stop laughing.

“Did he take you out for dinner yet?” he wanted to know and John didn’t even need to answer, Stiles could read the answer right there on his face.

“Dad, he stealth-dated you and you didn’t even notice! You’re supposed to be the sheriff!”

John narrowed his eyes at his son.

“Is Deucalion going to pick you up for another date today?” he asked and Stiles promptly choked on a fry.

Serves him right, stealing John’s courting gift.

“It’s not a date, dad,” Stiles got out between coughs and John raised an eyebrow at him.

“He’s a werewolf, he’s been providing you with food for almost two months and he stealth-dated you and you didn’t even notice,” John smugly said, throwing Stiles words right back into his face.

Stiles stared wide-eyed at him.

“Deuc wants to date me?” he whispered and John’s face softened.

“Kid, he would be an idiot if he didn’t,” he said and then lightly kicked him. “Go talk to your wolf, I know you won’t be able to wait.”

“Only if you go talk to your hellhound,” he said, but he was already grabbing his bag and out of the door before John could say anything else.

John watched his son running out of the station and then he looked down at the fries before he made his decision.

If this went sideways it could be bad for the station, but Stiles had seemed so sure, and John just wanted him to be right about this.

“Jordan,” he called out and Jordan was at his door a few seconds later.

“Sheriff?” he questioned, gaze going to the fries and he had to suppress a smile when he saw that they were already half gone.

“Come in here, have a seat,” John said and pointed at the chair Stiles had abandoned.

“Am I in trouble?” Jordan asked, suddenly all professional and serious and John immediately shook his head.

“Not at all,” John promised him. “Stiles just said something very curious and I’m dying to know if it’s true.”

“What did he say?” Jordan wanted to know, though John could tell that he already had an idea, if the way Jordan shuffled around on his chair was any indication.

“He said you might be werewolf courting me,” John said without further preamble and Jordan flushed bright red.

“Well,” he said and then took a deep breath. “It’s not like I know if there are any hellhound courting rituals. I had to go with something.”

“And asking for a date didn’t work why?” John mildly asked, barely keeping his big grin in.

Jordan awkwardly shrugged and John laughed at that.

“I bet with the way your life went here, it didn’t even occur to you,” he said and then pushed the fries towards Jordan, who sent an alarming look at John.

“Are you rejecting them?” he asked, and there was real fear in his voice so John quickly shook his head.

“No, Jordan, I’m not. I’m sharing them. And then I’m inviting you out to dinner, because I think it’s my time to provide the food now,” John said and was rewarded with a blinding smile.

“I would like that,” Jordan said and obviously tried to dial his smile down, without much success and John couldn’t say he minded.

“It’s a date then,” he decidedly said and nudged the fries towards Jordan again.

They ended up sharing the rest of them and every time their fingers brushed felt like a promise for more.