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Win a Date with Derek Hale!

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WIN A DATE WITH DEREK HALE!!

The headline screamed from the top of the flyer held in his well manicured hand.

"Really?"

The prize in question rolled his eyes at his agent.

"Hey, you said we had to do everything we could to get attention for this project."

Derek's jaw dropped.

"I meant do a giveaway!" Derek's voice was on the verge of a whine. "Do a raffle! Win one of my jackets, or an autographed picture!"

His eyes widened as he thumped the paper.

"Do you have any idea how BADLY this could end?!"

"Der, buddy... Der bear... Chill out." His agent sighed and rubbed his hands together.

"This movie is a rom com. The angle is unique in that you are playing a bi-sexual male lead, who finds love where he least expects it."

Derek shook his head.

"Your character holds a raffle to win a date! We HAVE to do the date thing! It's perfect."

Derek took a deep sigh and groaned, slumping into his armchair.

He didn't say a word as his agent went on about things like "image", and "likability" and "Box office draw". He stared, bored, as the man gave up in exasperation, and left him sitting there.

Not that Derek didn't want to be likeable. He already was, if you cared to ask.

His last few movies still did well, never mind that the box office did less with each consecutive movie. They still were above what Derek expected his movies to make.

Combined with the other facets of career, including executive producing, writing, and occasionally directing, he had become comfortable.

Derek Hale took in his surroundings. He had accumulated quite the life for himself.

He lived in a modest, but well appointed home, four bedrooms with three and a half baths, den, office, large backyard with a pool, and a large, open kitchen.

It may have been a little much for one person, but it was more than comfortable for him. He had made a career for himself, by himself, and was happy alone.

Starting in movies as a young actor (not a child actor, thank you very damn much), he made a career out of being first the young, snappy sidekick, then the stalwart young hero.

After a brief stint doing theater, which was a first love of his, after baseball, he returned, this time as the brooding, hunky, leading man.

His box office draw doubled with his ability to take roles as the brooding, sensitive male. He also made a convincing action star, as well as an occasional villain.

Against his agent's wishes, he came out publicly as bi-sexual, to great acclaim. It had boosted both his profile, as well as his box office draw among young men, especially gay men, with disposable income.

He had tons of followers across all his social media platforms, and at least 3 times a day, he got offered body parts from all genders in his DMs. He politely declined them all.

It seemed like everyone in the world at some point wanted a piece of Derek Hale.

 

Well. Almost everyone.

 

 

"OH FUCKING HELL! TELL ME YOU DID NOT!!"

Stiles Stilinski screamed at his ex-girlfriend in horror.

Lydia Martin rolled her eyes, and folded her arms underneath her ample bust.

"Oh calm down Stiles. Do you even know how lucky you are, what kind of odds you just beat?"

"No, but I'm sure you'll tell me..." Stiles spat out bitterly.

"What even makes you THINK I would want to go out with Derek fucking Hale in the first place?"

Lydia sat next to Stiles, placing a hand on his knee.

"Look, Stiles. Maybe I'm being a bit presumptuous. But I remember when we were younger, you had the biggest crush on a young Derek Hale."

Stiles couldn't help the flush that colored his cheeks.

"You must have mistaken me for Scott. HE'S the one that's had a hard on for that douchebag since the first time we saw him on TV 15 years ago."

Lydia rolled her eyes.

 

"You WHAT?" Scott was almost apoplectic at the news that Stiles, of all people, won the contest.

"I entered that contest 100 times! How the fuck did you win?!"

Stiles rolled his eyes behind the privacy of his closed eyelids.

"I'm telling you Scott, I don't even want to go."

Scott grinned.

"Good! Then I can go! I'll go in your place! I'll be happy to! I swear I'm gonna suck the life outta his..."

"Scott! Down boy!" Stiles admonished.

"Get a grip on yourself. Or, actually, wait til I leave."

Scott laughed, putting his hands behind his head as he lay on his bed.

"It's nothing you haven't seen before Stiles."

He winked, as his old ex-boyfriend blushed.

"In fact. I'm pretty sure if you got it a bit more, you'd be wound less tightly."

Stiles shook his head.

"No, you horndog."

Scott sat up and smiled at Stiles. He reached a hand out, and took the slim, pale, familiar fingers, threading his own into them.

"Hey." He rubbed his thumb over the soft part of Stiles' hand, between the thumb and forefinger.

"You okay?"

Stiles nodded.

"Cause you know, you're a great guy. I'd be back with you in a heartbeat..."

"I chose to be single, Scotty. I don't need anyone in my life to define me. I define me. I am my own master."

"I understand, Stiles." Scott leaned in, placing a comforting arm around the guy.

"You're still my best friend. I'd do anything to make life better for you."

Stiles leaned into Scott, and smiled, but it was a smiled weighted with some sadness.

"I just don't need this. Lydia signed me up as a joke. She has this idea that it would be funny, seeing how I used to..."

"Well, that's not very kind of her. And like I said, if you want me to go in your place..."

Stiles shook his head, rising from the connection.

"They've already announced my name on national television, Facebook and Instagram, Twitter, everything."

Scott sighed.

"So they already know your face."

Stiles nodded. Scott pouted.

"Man. I was gonna suck his soul outta him."

Stiles exploded into laughter. Scott smiled, and pulled his friend closer.

"Thank you." Stiles wiped his eyes. "I needed that."

 

Derek took a look at the file that had been put together for him by his PR team.

They had pulled some pictures from social media, and some clips for him to learn more about his future date.

Not that Derek didn't trust his team. But they had a tendency of missing important details at times.

He studied what was given to him. One very handsome looking photo of a guy with wild hair, fair skin. Large brown eyes, a cute little snub nose, and soft looking lips.

Name: M. "Stiles" Stilinski, Age, 22, Location, Beacon Hills, CA.

Interests: Books, Music, Movies, Food.

"How original." Derek huffed, taking out his phone, and opening up his social media. He searched for Stiles, and pulled up his page on Instagram.

He searched through the photos for Stiles, his friends, pictures of food and sweets, and found himself somewhat charmed by the guy and his looks.

Then he got to a string of posts from about a few years ago, and his face fell. He read comments, and complaints.

This was going to suck.

 

"I'm furious at you, I want you to know that."

"Stiles. Look. Be real with me for a second."

Lydia leaned into Stiles' bedroom door frame, watching him try to pick out an outfit to wear.

"We dated for what, three years?"

Stiles nodded.

"I know I've given you shit, but really, I've known you longer than that. And I can remember a time when you were head over heels for Derek Hale."

"And then you realize why I cannot stand him now?" Stiles cut his eyes at her, as he searched for shoes.

Lydia groaned.

"Stiles. It was a movie. It was just a...." She stopped short, realizing what she was about to say.

It was no matter. Styles finished for her.

"No! It was NOT 'just a movie'..." Stiles mocked her statement with air quotes, and a derp face.

"It was not. 'The Dragon Tales' was an epic event, and it deserved a MUCH better retelling than that horrendous misdirected mismash that we were given!"

Stiles stood and rummaged through his closet looking for a shirt to go with the dark blue slacks he had grabbed.

"There was literally no reason for them to do what they did to that movie. They screwed up the story, sacrificed the continuity, COMPLETELY disregarded his sexuality..."

"Ok, Ok, Stiles, I get it."

Stiles threw his clothes over onto his bed.

"No, you don't get it. I've been in love with that book series since it came out when I was a teenager."

He changed his mind, and opted for some black jeans instead. He dug around looking for an appropriate plaid shirt to wear.

"and he goes and gets the lead, and he swears he's such a huge fan of the books, and then he stands by and lets them butcher it?"

Stiles gives up the search for a shirt, and heads over to his bed where he plops down in a huff.

"But I've decided, Lids, I'm going to totally ambush the dude. I'm going to give him SO MUCH SHIT!"

"Oh jeez, Stiles. Don't do that." Lydia pinches the bridge of her nose in exhaustion.

Stiles eyes glowed with a fiendish delight.

"I'm going to wait until they get cameras on us, then, I'm going to tell him off SO badly!"

Stiles grinned maniacally. "I'm going to humiliate him on camera for the entire world to see. He's going to hurt forever from it!"

"Shouldn't you be twirling your handlebar mustache while you tell me all this?" Lydia rolled her eyes.

"Stiles, look, if you go on this, who says there's going to be cameras?"

Stiles stood up, and pulled a red shirt from his closet and pulled it on.

"Lydia. The whole purpose of this charade is to make that cold, aloof, dickbag look like he's interested in something besides his own reflection."

He stood in front of his mirror, styling and fiddling with his unruly hair.

"He's interested. Remember he dated Braden that month? And then some time after that, he dated his co-star, Chris Argent."

"Daddy issues." Stiles grunted, adding some gel to his hair.

"Who dates a guy ten years older than themselves?"

 

Derek grumbled as he looked for something to wear. He didn't even want to go on this stupid date. He didn't like the whole dating thing.

He was the type of person who liked relationships in theory, but in execution? Well, he'd rather be executed.

Derek liked being free, unattached. Despite all of the things said about him, and he knew there were many, he agreed with some of it.

He wasn't aloof, he just preferred to keep his distance. He wanted to be involved with someone, but it would help if they were exactly like him.

How difficult was that?

He had tried. His first attempts at dating were the usual nonsense that teenage love is full of, with cheating, and broken hearts, and zero redemption.

Dating in his twenties was proving better. He had spent some time building up his mind, and body, so that his arguments were as solid as his abs and pecs.

He shuddered to think he would be thirty, soon. Well, in real life. On paper, he was still twenty five-ish, depending on the website.

Braden had been fun, to a point. The month he spent with her was a learning experience, as one would expect with a pop star/actress with only one name.

He liked her. She had been beautiful, and strong, and slightly full of herself. Not that Derek wasn't. Just that he didn't need to 'fix' anyone.

Which is why he dated his co-star Chris, which was both a great, and a terrible idea. They had grown very, very close while filming their buddy cop movie.

Long days led into long nights, and long nights usually led into one or the other's bed.

Despite the fact that he was ten years older than Derek, Chris had been a great boyfriend. A bit condescending, but great.

Okay, more than a bit condescending. Maybe a lot condescending. Maybe he was a complete dick at times.

Thankfully they had wrapped the movie before breaking up, so the most uncomfortable thing that happened was them having to "play nice" during the promo tour.

Still, even that worked out, since they had the same camaraderie in the movie, people just thought they were still in character for the interviews.

The box office was tops for that feature.

The better thing to come out of it was the landing of the lead in the "Dragon Tales" series. He had been excited because as the lead, he was playing a hero.

As "Argos", the hero, he was bold, dashing, idealistic, and he was bi-sexual. It was brilliant. Along with rescuing the girl, he romanced the guy, who was also his best friend in the film.

It was the kind of story that he had longed to see on the screen. A nuanced and skilled story which, unfortunately, had been butchered by the editors.

They had removed most of the context of the male/male love story, but left in all of the sexual tension, which struck him as wrong, if not totally awkward, seeing that it never had a resolution.

The story of him and the elf queen as his love interest was pushed, even though most of the footage they shot made no sense.

None.

Like there was even a kiss that was completely out of context for BOTH characters in the film, even though it happened in the book. It wasn't the same in the movie.

Still, the movie had become something of a cult classic, even though the studio killed all plans for a sequel. There would have been four.

 

Stiles had finally settled on his black jeans, a red shirt, with a dark red and black plaid shirt, with some comfortable black tennis shoes. He was also wearing his pin.

It was meant as a special "fuck you" to Derek Hale. When the movie was announced, Stiles was practically first in line to buy his ticket.

As part of the movie's promotion, you could get a pin collection that reflected the different Dragon Riders. His pin of choice tonight was "Hallep".

Hallep was a Dragon Rider that had become evil, and jaded, and the second book was his tale, and how be becomes blood enemies with Argos.

It was the second book, and as the second movie, it was NEVER going to happen. NOT after the reviews and reception of the first movie.

Stiles had always known he was bi-sexual, since he realized at 10, that he had a crush on his best friend, Scott, and for Lydia, who was his ideal girl, and had been since he was twelve.

The character of Argos was the first character Stiles had read in books that was a proud bi-sexual male, who made no apologies about who he loved.

Stiles felt very connected to Argos. His favorite bi-sexual hero? Portrayed by an ACTUAL bi-sexual actor? One he respected and at the time had a huge crush on? Perfection.

So when Stiles saw the movie, his heart sunk down to his stomach when they skipped all of the male/male scenes, in favor of an unintended hetero romance.

One scene in particular would have made Stiles walk out of the film, had it not been the final scene. Which they moved. Because the scene was in the beginning of the book.

And it made no sense being at the end.

Argos, and his best friend, second in command, and actual love interest, named Newt, were seated at a feast, in front of a fire. The scene was to set up the love story between them.

At the end of the scene, Argos was supposed to look at Newt, and then they were to move in, gently, and kiss. It was the spark to start the entire love story.

And what did they do? What did they fucking do?

They let the scene play out, and at the end, Argos stands, and winks at Newt then LEAVES!

Then! Then, Argos goes to the Elf Princess, Carin (later to become the Elf Queen, ha ha fucking ha, Derek Hale.), and KISSES HER, instead.

To be fair, in the books, they kiss. But her kiss is the bestowal of a great honor, and respect for her hero! It is NOT a romantic kiss!

The kiss made no sense in the context of the film. They do have a relationship, but it is a different kind, built on a mutual respect and deep, platonic affection.

Stiles adjusted his pin, so that it was hidden under the shirt. He was going to unleash his fandom at the proper moment, and savage Derek Hale.

Today, Stiles would make a promise he made years ago, and tell off that smug, series murdering jerk.

 

Derek smoothed his hair down, and checked himself out. He was dressed sexy and smart. He was excited, but also very nervous.

He had studied up on Stiles, wanting to make sure he knew his "scene partner", and walked out to his garage where his black Camaro awaited him.

Sitting in the smooth leather seats, he stretched his legs, and got comfortable.

He started the car, appreciating the hum of the engine, and scent of the wild jasmine air freshener.

As he pulled out of the garage, he gave a nod to the driver in the white van, parked in the large driveway of his house. The driver nodded back.

He pulled out onto the street, with the van following him, on his way to meet his date.

 

Stiles fidgeted in his seat. Scott was in the living room with him, Lydia having left because Stiles kept glowering at her, blaming her for everything from this date to the rise of soundcloud mumble rappers.

"What's the worst that could happen, Stiles?"

Scott sipped his lemonade, and stared out the window.

"You never know, you guys might just fall in love."

Stiles pursed his lips and flared his nostrils.

"Yeah, and I might stand up and monkeys might come flying out of my asshole."

Scott smiled at his best friend.

"Kinky. We might have to play together again, sometime."

Stiles shook his head.

"Tempting. I've seen the recent nudes."

Stiles winked, seriously considering it.

"Oh my. We have incoming."

Scott looked out the window at the sleek black Camaro pulling up to the curb. Following him was a white van, which held a trio of people operating a camera and sound equipment.

"Oh, fuck me." Stiles grunted, seeing the trio set up a mobile cam unit.

Scott's eyes widened as they moved from the crew to the subject.

"Holy. Shit."

Scott stared out the window at Derek Hale strolling up the walkway to the apartment Stiles and he had shared for a few years.

"He's like a walking wet dream."

Stiles rolled his eyes, heading toward the door.

"Scott, he's just a stupid, egotistical actor, it doesn't matter what he looks like, inside he's just a dime a dozen dickhead."

Stiles opened the door, before Derek was able to knock.

He may or may not have made a whimpering noise as he saw Derek.

Granted, pictures don't do everything to capture the true measure of a person.

No picture Stiles had EVER seen of Derek Hale had made him look THIS good.

 

The man stood there, in snug blue jeans that hugged his hips and crotch, leaving very little to the imagination. His white cotton shirt stretched over his large, tight pecs.

His arms were encased in a nice leather jacket, and a pair of mirrored shades sat on his perfect nose, and his stubble coated cheeks and jaw made Stiles WANT to feel it pressed against him.

"Is that a monkey I hear?"

Stiles snapped out of his complete and utter shock, and glared at Scott.

Worse, he heard Derek chuckle.

"Hi there, I'm Derek Hale." He extended his hand over the threshold to Stiles, who was flushed red.

"It's a pleasure to meet you."

Stiles stared in shock at the man's hand.

"Hi there." Scott leaned over, shaking Derek's hand. "I'm Stiles' room mate, Scott. I know it's not pertinent now, but I am double jointed, and have NO gag reflex."

Derek laughed, shaking Scott's hand, and winking.

"You'll have to excuse Scott." Stiles said, snapping out of his catatonic state.

"He was raised by a pack of horny wolves, and he hasn't been housebroken yet."

"Woof." Scott winked at Derek.

"We should go before he starts humping your leg."

Stiles left Scott panting at the open door, while Derek and he walked outside.

"So." Derek looked apologetically at Stiles. "They will be filming some stuff, so I hope that doesn't make you too uncomfortable."

Stiles sniffed, and shrugged.

"Whatever, I don't care."

Derek looked Stiles over.

 

Derek hadn't expected the guy to feel so.... magnetic. That's the word. Everything about Stiles was appealing. His eyes were not the simple brown he saw in the picture.

The afternoon light was picking up flecks of amber, honey, and gold, and the irises were wide and dark, and Derek felt like he wanted to swim in them.

 

Stiles had not counted on Derek being this damn hot. Still, he wasn't going to back down. And the addition of the cameras? Brilliant!

He was going to humiliate Derek Hale. On camera yet! For posterity! He was going to fucking make him regret everything.

 

"Okay, so we have the set up shot, let's take this from the top." Erica set up the shot, with Stiles standing in the door, about to "meet" Derek.

"So, Stiles, just relax, and act naturally."

Stiles could hear Scott snickering in the background at that command.

"Okay, we're rolling, Derek, take it." She commanded, checking the camera and audio levels.

"Hi there." Derek said extending his hand.

"Derek Hale, nice to meet you."

Stiles felt the warm, strong grip, and smiled.

"Hi, I'm Stiles. I guess I won this thing."

Derek grinned.

"I think maybe I'm the real winner here." he winked, and it caught Stiles completely off guard.

He blushed against his will, and he looked at the camera, feeling for a moment like Jim, from "The Office".

"Okay." Was all he could manage as a response.

Derek grinned, and stepped aside. Stiles exited the apartment, and fell into step with Derek as they walked.

"So, I was thinking we could do dinner, maybe a movie, or a show. Or whatever you feel like doing."

Derek felt oddly confused, and a little fluttery in his gut.

"Did you want to get dinner any place special?" Derek asked. "Maybe 'Express', or the 'Richards'?" he offered two of Beacon Hills top restaurants.

Stiles shook his head.

"Not really. I'm not one for really fancy food."

Derek nodded.

"Gentleman's choice then. You tell me where you want to go."

Derek opened the passenger door on the Camaro, letting Stiles slide into the seat.

Stiles relaxed into the seats, and wrinkled his nose as Derek closed the door.

"Okay Derek, we got that shot perfectly." Erica nodded. "We'll follow you for dinner."

She ushered Boyd and Isaac into the van with their equipment.

"Got it. Stiles is going to pick, and I'll text if we lose you."

They all nodded and Derek got into the car.

"Stiles, is everything okay?" He noted Stiles face.

"I don't like the smell of jasmine. Sorry."

Wait. Stiles thought. I'm not sorry, I'm trying to make things difficult for him... so I can't be...

"Sorry." Derek took the vent clip off and chucked it out of the window.

He rolled the windows down, and turned on the fan.

"Sorry, it'll cycle out in a bit."

Stiles glared at Derek.

"Thanks."

Derek felt a bit uncomfortable with Stiles response. He hoped he hadn't upset him by chucking it out the window. He was sure if he kept it in the car, Stiles would still smell it.

 

The silence in the car was broken by Derek.

"So do you have any music preferences? Can I play anything for you?"

"I doubt you would play what I would listen to." Stiles rolled his eyes.

"Okay." Derek nodded.

"I'll put on my favorites playlist then. If you don't like anything, you can skip it."

Derek adjusted his system to play a list of songs that he had culled from artists Stiles had liked on his social media.

Of course, it was a cheap move, but Derek wanted to impress, or at least make Stiles happy. Derek was going to need all the help he could get.

The first notes of Tori Amos' song "Trouble's Lament" filled the car, and Stiles' eyes lit up like crazy.

"Holy shit!" he sighed.

"Trouble needs a home girls, trouble needs a home..."

Derek sang along with the song he had heard just that afternoon. He had reviewed a bunch of songs from her playlist, and found he liked a lot of them.

"She warns me when Danger is loose behind his wheels, and he is loose behind his wheels... Don’t cry baby..."

Stiles sang the falsetto part perfectly. Derek was impressed and said so.

"I like singing." Stiles blushed. "I used to sing in the show choir in high school. And a bit in college."

"Same, in high school." Derek grinned, as he glanced at Stiles.

"I was in the school musical almost all four years."

"Really?" Stiles smirked. "The dashing lead, I'm sure." He snarked.

"Actually, no." Derek blushed.

"Freshman year, I was really geeky, and I was in 'You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown', as Linus."

Stiles smirked.

"Sophomore and Junior year, I was better, so I was in 'Grease' as Kenickie, and then I was Link in 'Hairspray'."

The song had switched over to a song Stiles knew very well.

"No one can blame you for walking away, but too much rejection, uh-huh, no love injection... Life can be easy, it's not always swell Don't tell me truth hurts, little girl, 'Cause it hurts like hell."

"You like Bowie?" Stiles asked in disbelief.

Derek nodded. "Of course. He was amazing. Dude did some of the best music ever."

Stiles nodded.

"So how come there's always such crappy music in your movies?"

Derek paused.

"Umm. I don't actually have a say in what music gets used in projects."

Stiles nodded.

"Uh huh."

"So what did you do for your senior year musical?"

"I actually didn't get to do it. After Junior year, I started work on 'Mama's Boys', so that took up all my time."

"Oh. I get that feeling you regret missing that."

"I did." Derek sighed, sadly.

"That was actually a great show." Stiles offered.

"Thank you. I had a great time on that show. I really liked my co-stars, and Vicki Carroll was a blast to work with."

Derek grinned at the memory, and Stiles found himself smiling against his will looking at his date.

"I know it is such a cliche thing to say, but it really was like working with a family."

Stiles nodded.

"I'm surprised you were on the show. Your co-stars were actually really hot." Stiles tested his first little barbs at Derek.

"They were." Derek smiled. His face seemed to hold a secret. "I still keep in touch with Bubba, from the show."

Stiles eyes widened as he looked over at Derek.

"He's a real red-head. You know?" Derek winked at Stiles, enjoying the way it flustered him.

After Bowie's "Underground", the song moved to an old sounding, soul song.

Derek had mixed a few of his own songs into the list, because why not. This was one of his favorites.

Stiles nodded along to the tempo of the rhythmic hand claps that led into, and framed the song.

"Baby.. do you understand me now... " Derek sang quietly along. "Sometimes I feel a little mad."

Stiles listened to the lyrics, the strumming guitar, and the driving melody.

"Cause I'm just a soul who's intentions are good, oh lord, please don't let me be misunderstood."

Derek sang that part right to Stiles, as they were stopped at a red light.

There was an odd sincerity in the older man's eyes that made Stiles nervous.

Derek turned the music down, and looked into Stiles' eyes.

"Have you thought of where you want to eat? Or maybe do something first, and eat later?"

They were minutes away from the bustling downtown, and Stiles was sure there'd be places to eat. Suddenly, he didn't feel hungry.

"Can we stop later? Maybe? I mean, if you're hungry now..."

Derek raised his brow.

"No, not really. I mean, we can eat whenever you want, but I'm not hungry now."

"Okay." Stiles nodded.

"Can we go someplace?"

Derek nodded.

"Just tell me where."

 

It wasn't until Stiles and Derek pulled up to the Vault, that he realized that it might be a bad idea.

The store was very busy, but it was Stiles' favorite place to buy books.

 

"This place is amazing!" Derek gasped, as he walked in to the large space.

Built from the remains of an old bank from the 1940s, the Vault opened in 2000, and had been the place to go for bibliophiles.

They sold new and used books, as well as rare, and out of print novels and tomes from everywhere.

There were two floors worth of books on literally every subject. When he was a boy, he would beg his mom to drop him off there for a day.

He spent many of his young years poring through the books on theater, music, and art. He would read biographies of queer people, trying to understand himself.

Not far from here was another place that took up his day. He planned on taking Derek there later.

Derek and Stiles wandered the shelves. Derek asked where they might have certain books, and Stiles pointed them out to him.

They spent a good amount of time in the cookbook section.

"You cook?" Stiles asked, incredulously.

Derek smirked and nodded.

"I actually enjoy cooking, very much."

"Really? I thought you would just exist on protein bars and shakes." Stiles snarked. "Or have some kind of trainer or chef prepare your stuff."

Derek felt himself flush.

"Actually, I prepare all my own meals. And my diet does require that I eat certain foods, to maintain my health and build."

"Oh?"

Derek nodded.

"But I know. I'm expected to look a certain way in movies, and TV. I understand, I signed up for it."

Stiles looked at the books on the shelf.

"So what food do you like to eat? Or, cook, I guess."

Derek opened one of the books in front of him.

"I like cooking Mediterranean food. The flavors, the colors, the smells, all amazing."

He shelved the book, and picked up another.

"To eat? I love sushi. Japanese food. Amazing cuisine."

"Oh." Stiles frowned. "Isn't that stuff all slimy?"

Derek allowed himself a chuckle.

"Not all of it, Stiles. Textures are different, yes, but there's actually sushi prepared with cooked food. Plus the more creative chefs will experiment with great ingredients."

Stiles nodded.

"What about you, Stiles? What gets your mouth watering?"

Stiles grinned. That could come across as a loaded question.

"Burgers. Chicken. Curly fries." He smiled. "Pizza, barbecue, wings."

Derek nodded.

"Good choices."

 

They wandered. Stiles was aware of the cameras tracking them, and filming them. Twice Erica asked each of them to shoot something she referred to as "B" Roll.

Stiles gamely went along with it. Still, he was getting a bit unnerved by them.

They explored the store's second floor, which held most of the store's fiction releases.

Stiles realized this may not be the best idea, when they had to pass a display that contained the Dragon Rider series, in hardcover and paperback.

Wait. Why a bad idea? He could ruin Derek right here, right now. Cameras were still rolling.

But he hadn't even gotten dinner out of it. Yet.

Maybe later. I mean, Derek deserved it. For what he did to the character. For how he ruined the movies. How he ruined Argos.

Look at him, standing there, hands on the books, like a douche. Opening up the book that he ruined with that movie.

The sacred texts! Ruined! Unresolvable!

Derek looked over at Stiles. There was something almost pained in his olive green eyes.

"Stiles... listen"

"Oh. My. Gawd!" a trio of voices erupted from behind them.

"It's Derek Hale!" A girl gasped, fanning herself.

"Ohmigodderickhaleiloveyousofuckingmuchohmigooooooooossssshhhhhh"

She got it all out in one word, moving forward.

"Can you sign this for me please?" She thrust a copy of the first Dragon Rider book into his hands.

"Sure." Derek smiled, causing the girl to squeal again.

"Can you make it out to Elizabeth?"

Derek nodded and smiled.

A guy followed Elizabeth.

"Can I take a picture with you Derek?" He asked breathlessly.

"Of course." Derek held out his hand to shake the guy's, who then pulled Derek into a hug.

Derek smiled good naturedly, as the guy got very close into Derek's personal space.

He took three pictures of them, as another guy from the trio came forward.

"Oh wow. Derek Hale. You are so damn hot."

Derek chuckled.

"Thank you. That is a great compliment."

"No one is gonna believe I was this close to you, I can barely believe I'm touching you."

The man ran his fingers over Derek's arms, and shoulders. Stiles noted Derek's smile falter for half a second. If he hadn't been looking, he would have missed it.

Derek let the other guy take the pictures.

"Oh my god, Marco. Don't hog him. Take a good one of me and him."

Stiles watched as Derek got pulled back and forth, taking pictures, signing books.

"So are you seeing anyone these days?" the shorter guy, Marco, asked Derek.

"Well, actually..." Derek started.

"Geez Marco, you don't just ask the man that." The other guy huffed, patting Derek's chest, and copping a discreet feel.

"Oh fuck off Davey, maybe he's single...."

"I'm actually, kinda on a date right now." Derek politely interrupted, moving back from them.

"Oh." The three chorused in disappointment.

"Yeah." Stiles folded his arms, suddenly very upset at the interlopers.

"Oh." The guys each looked at Stiles, then at each other.

"Well."

Stiles nodded, feeling smug.

"Hey, can you take a picture of the four of us?"

Stiles rolled his eyes, and took the taller guy's camera phone.

 

"That was fucking ridiculous." Stiles groused on the way out of the store.

After the picture, the trio had giggled and pointed back away from Derek and Stiles.

Stiles tried very hard to pretend they weren't laughing at him.

"I'm sorry you had to go through that." Derek's voice was deep and apologetic.

"ME?" Stiles gestured to them.

"Those assholes didn't even treat you like a person. They treated you... like... like..."

"Like a movie star." Derek shrugged. "Also something I realized I signed up for, really."

Stiles watched a weak smile cross Derek's lips.

"It's been happening since I was a teen. I'm kinda used to it now."

"That doesn't mean it was right." Stiles huffed, folding his arms.

"I apologize for them cutting into our night."

The snarky comment Stiles' had ready disappeared from Stiles' head before he could open his mouth to say it. Instead, concern for Derek's feelings popped up, somehow.

"You don't have to apologize. They should apologize." Stiles noticed the cameras behind him.

"I guess they got all of that."

Derek shrugged. "Wouldn't be the first time they got me in that kind of situation."

Stiles felt his stomach drop.

"Sometimes people can forget you're a person, and get a bit handsy. And if you say something, then you get painted as a jerk."

Derek still smiled, but his eyes were a bit clouded now, as if a small light had gone out of him.

Well shit. Can't unload on him now. Dude's depressed.

"Hey." Stiles gently chucked Derek's arm through his jacket.

"Let's get out of here."

 

After paying for the books Derek picked out, and signing a few autographs for the staff, and calling one of their best friends to wish him a happy birthday, they left.

Luckily, there weren't too many people who noticed, or if they noticed they didn't care, that Derek Hale was walking among them.

Stiles watched as he walked in front of him. Like a god descended from Olympus.

Or something.

Stiles shook his head out, as Derek put the books in the trunk of his car.

"Where to next?" Derek smiled at Stiles.

"Um." Stiles was caught off guard by the man's smile.

"There's this really amazing music store, a few blocks from here. If you wanna go."

Derek nodded.

"Sounds great, let's do it."

They set off in the opposite direction of the bookstore, coming out of the other side of the parking garage, and two blocks past that, arrived at "Middle Earth".

Stiles had been going to Middle Earth records just as long as he could remember. His mom used to bring him with her when she went shopping for music.

Before he was able to talk, he could sing. His mom told him he was dancing before he could walk.

"Stiles?"

"Yes." Stiles snapped out of his thoughts, feeling like they were still surrounding him, wisps of smoke in the dawn.

"Yes. Here. I love this place."

Middle Earth was always bustling. Even on the slowest days, at least two dozen people could be found in there, at any minute, shopping.

They offered all media, records, cds, tapes, movies, and posters. Derek took in the large building, and noted all the sections the music had been placed in.

Stiles immediately made a beeline for the rock section. Derek followed the spikes of the younger guys hair, and found him thumbing through the Tori Amos section.

"Looking for anything important?" Derek noted the determined look in Stiles' eyes.

"I always check to see if anyone brings in any old used stuff or imports."

Stiles flicked through the cds in the rack. Derek was intrigued by a lot of the artwork.

"A lot of the older stuff is hard to come by, so it's always a treasure to find. Especially the older imports."

Derek stood near Stiles as he heard him chanting softly.

"Have it, have it, have it, have it, have it, have it, have it, have it, have it, have it."

"You're a collector?"

Derek's voice, soft and polite in Stiles' ear, still makes him jump, almost of of his skin.

"Dude! I'm gonna have to put a bell on you."

Stiles is taken back how close Derek is. How if he wanted to, he could close the distance, just lean forward a little.

He clears his throat, nervously.

"I do. I mean, I am. And I do."

Derek nodded.

"Have you been into her long?" Stiles let his hands idle over the cds, taking a half step back from Derek.

"I recently got into her."

Stiles nodded.

"Well, I should say, got back into her music. I didn't realize that she had sang a song I liked when I was younger."

"Which one?" Stiles asked, expectantly.

Derek blushed.

"I can't think of the title, but..."

Derek pursed his lips together, and Stiles wanted to press... wait... no! Dammit Derek stop doing sexy shit!

He whistled a small hook of the song he knew, and Stiles eyes lit up, immediately.

"Cornflake Girl. I would know that whistle anywhere."

Stiles looked very pleased with himself.

He went back to flipping through the cds, and Derek heard Stiles gasp audibly.

"What is it?" He asked.

Stiles held up a copy of a cd.

"Only the most valuable copy of her rarest singles, ever." Stiles said reverently.

The extreme joy was followed by the saddest look Derek had ever seen on anyone before.

"Never mind."

Stiles swallowed at put the cd back.

Derek took a peek, and swallowed as well, then followed Stiles away to another aisle.

 

They strolled through the racks, and picked out their favorite artists. Telling each a bit about themselves in the process.

Not without some issues.

"Morrissey? Really?" Stiles rolled his eyes.

"What? He used to be really good in the 90s. Not so much now, but, really, this is a great album."

Derek waved a copy of "Your Aresenal" at Stiles.

"He's so mopey." Stiles made a drawn, frowny face. He mumbled a few words into a coherent melody.

"He does not sound like that." Derek huffed.

"It's more like this." Derek made an even sillier face, and affected a British accent to sing the same kind of nonsense Stiles did.

Despite himself, Stiles laughed.

 

Stiles heard a groan as he approached another section.

"Oh jeez no." Derek frowned.

"What?" Stiles had his hands over the Taylor Swift cds.

"That's it. This marriage is over." Derek walked past Stiles shaking his head.

"Oh come on. How can you not like Taylor Swift?"

"Because I have ears!" Derek turned, eyebrows raised.

Stiles splayed his right hand over his chest.

"How dare you, Sir."

"Look, I'm happy to help her find a key, provided she stay in it."

Stiles fumed.

"She is a talented singer, and songwriter and performer."

"And even if she had a bucket, she couldn't carry a tune. I had to watch her perform live a few times, and wow."

Derek shook his head.

"And not a good wow. Wow like 'how the fuck can you not start in tune with a song you're supposed to have written' wow."

Stiles pursed his lips.

"We'll just have to agree to disagree then."

Stiles moved on to a different rack.

 

Derek moved to a different area, checking out other music he liked.

He hated that he had obviously disappointed Stiles with his thoughts on T. Swift, but, he didn't want to tell him how personal his feelings were.

After all, she had taken away one of his favorite "friends".

"Derek." Erica popped up near him.

"Jeezuz Ree!" Derek gasped. "I need to put a bell on you."

Erica eyed him, oddly.

"Okay."

She looked over at Stiles.

"You two are supposed to be on a date."

"We are." Derek pulled a record out of the soundtrack section and began to study it.

"So, then get over there and date. We want as much coverage as possible."

Derek shot her a look.

"You'll get it. Just. Let me have a second. Here. By myself."

Erica looked at him as though she had never heard of such a thing.

"Please."

 

Stiles looked over at Erica, talking to Derek. The more she was around him, the less he liked her. He felt like she didn't give him any space.

Well, she's filming him. He thought to himself. But she could do it from a distance. He felt Derek start to look over, and he looked down immediately.

Wait. Why? He hated this dick.

Even MORE now that he knew Derek wasn't a Swiftie. How dare he.

But he did like Tori. And Bowie. And a lot of the other music he liked.

Hmmm.

Stiles felt eyes on him, and he looked up. Derek was staring back at him, over the rows of music, and for a minute, their gazes locked.

Derek looked down, not as quickly as Stiles. Was that a red tint Stiles saw on Derek's face and neck?

Stiles thought about how red Derek would turn, with embarrassment, as he read him to filth over Dragon Riders. He was going to completely...

"Stiles."

Derek was suddenly in front of him, causing the younger man to gasp, and shake.

"Will you STOP that?" Stiles growled at Derek, weakly punching the man in his pecs, which felt like cast iron.

Stiles may or may not have gotten aroused at that.

"You were staring at me, I thought you wanted me for something."

Stiles laughed nervously.

 

They walked through the movie section, each comparing notes on their favorite movies, when it happened.

"Oh god." Stiles heard a huff from behind him, and turned to see a tall teen with a bitter look on his face.

Derek had been cornered, again, by a couple of fans, who had asked him to sign a couple of copies of his movies.

Stiles was relieved as these fans were far more respectful, although the guy fan could stop flirting with Derek, thank you very much.

Derek looked up at Stiles, and winked, a silent agreement between them.

"I don't know how they can fawn over that asshole."

Stiles looked back at the guy.

"Dude, he's a nice guy." Stiles gestured toward Derek. "He doesn't have to stop and give these people his time."

"He's lucky he has fans at all."

"Dude, what is your problem?"

The teen sighed.

"He's such a gutless jerk."

"Is there a problem?"

Derek had joined them now, a surprised look on his face.

"Yeah. You fucked up one of my favorite movies, ever." The teen sneered.

"Well, I'm sorry you feel..."

"I'm sorry! You're sorry. You let them edit out one of the best queer love stories in literature, and didn't even apologize for it!"

Derek stood as the teen unloaded on him.

"I mean, you completely let us down. Not only did you let them butcher the story, you let them fuck up the book, and for what? A bigger box office? More money?"

"But I...."

"You have no idea how much the queer community supports you! We helped you HAVE a career after you came out, and THIS is how you repay us? With a straight-washed version of our best stories?"

"I didn't get a final say..."

"You had an executive producer credit." The kid pointed a finger at Derek. "You could have done something."

"The only thing that is more painful than watching straight guys tell our stories with ZERO respect for our history, is watching our own people sell out for a bigger check."

The teen stared Derek down. "You don't even deserve to be a part of the queer community."

Derek looked physically hurt by that. His eyes started to water.

Something inside Stiles snapped.

"Okay, fucko," Stiles rounded on the teen. "I know that you probably were hurt about the whole Argos thing, shit knows I was, but you know what, you have no right making him feel like shit over it."

The teen looked at Stiles.

"What are you, some groupie he's planning on banging later? Hoping to get a prize for defending him?"

Stiles stood tall.

"I don't need to. I don't expect anything from him. But you know what, he doesn't need your shit. You tearing down another queer person doesn't make you a better one."

Derek blinked his eyes, and cleared his tears.

"Stiles, you don't..."

"If you were disappointed by the way the story turned out, you should ask yourself why. It WOULD have been nice, I admit." Stiles continued at the teen.

"If you were expecting something, that's one thing, but if you didn't get it, then guess what, you can't change it. Maybe instead of complaining, just go make your own damn movie."

The teen grimaced.

"So you admit you had been let down by the movie too, why are you hanging out with him? What, did you win some kind of contest?"

"As a matter of fact I did, otherwise I wouldn't even want be here."

Stiles stopped, feeling ice run through his veins.

The teen smirked, and looked at Derek, whom Stiles suddenly couldn't face.

"Have a wonderful night." The teen snarked. "Here's hoping you don't shame us any further."

Stiles moved to hit the guy, but felt Derek's large hand on his shoulder, stopping him.

The guy snickered as he walked away.

"He's not worth it." Derek's voice was soft, and a bit hoarse.

"No one tells you, but as a movie star, you kinda sign up for that too."

Stiles dropped his head down.

"Derek... I'm... I didn't mean..."

"I understand, Stiles."

Stiles looked up, to see Erica and her crew standing nearby.

"Can you... Can you just give us, like, FIVE fucking minutes without pointing that at us...?"

 

Stiles and Derek left, empty handed, walking side by side.

"So, I guess you know how I really feel." Stiles spoke in a low, upset voice.

"I understand it, Stiles. It's not a secret. I get that from a lot of gay guys. And a lot of straight girls, come to think of it."

Stiles let a soft chuckle escape him.

"I mean, I was upset, and disappointed."

"You were enraged."

Stiles looked at Derek.

"I may or may not have tracked what you said about the movie on your social media."

Stiles covered his mouth with his hand. He was too upset to be angry.

"So you knew I was planning on giving you shit."

Derek shrugged.

"Not really, I just had a feeling this might not go well."

"Oh."

"Can I ask, then, why did you enter this contest?"

"I didn't. My ex-girlfriend did it as a joke, and I won. Completely by accident."

Derek nodded, relieved somehow at the honesty.

"Well, that's okay. I guess I deserve as much. This whole date thing wasn't my idea."

Stiles looked over at Derek, fixing his eyes on the man.

"My PR team thought it would be a great idea, to do... this, to... ummm..."

"Make you appear more like a human and less like an uptight, aloof, self-serving douche?"

Derek tapped his nose with his right forefinger.

Stiles nodded.

"So. Now what?"

"Well..." Derek sighed. "I'm not gonna lie. I'm actually enjoying spending time with you."

Stiles stared at Derek in disbelief.

"Are you fucking kidding me?"

Derek laughed.

"Well, I mean, you're not the worst person to hang out with." Derek smiled.

"I'll understand if you don't want to... Stiles. I mean... I wouldn't want to keep this up with me."

Derek shrugged. Stiles let his head fall back, and laugh.

"I mean, I'm actually kind of hungry now. Oddly enough."

Derek looked at Stiles, who now had just begun to meet Derek's eyes again.

"I kinda am too."

"Well." Derek drew a breath, and looked around. "Shall we?"

They walked down the street, stopping at a place that looked like a bar.

"Are you 21, Stiles?"

"Yeah." Stiles grinned, and nodded.

"Cause, you know, you look younger."

Stiles blushed.

"I get that a lot."

They looked at the menu posted out in the window, and the scent of the food inside got Derek's stomach growling.

"How about here?"

Stiles nodded.

"Looks like a good place."

 

They walked inside, the place had the feel of both a small restaurant, and a dive bar. The hostess recognized Derek, and seated the boys immediately in the back, in a private booth.

Quickly, and discreetly, Stiles removed his pin from under his over shirt, and tucked it deeply into his pocket.

Erica and the crew followed, much to Stiles chagrin, but he didn't say anything. He began to wonder how Derek dealt with it all.

The server appeared, and took their order. He was a cute little twink named Corey, and Stiles disliked him immediately.

Okay, that was a little harsh.

"Hello there, I'm Corey, and I'll be your server. We have some wonderful specials today. Can I start you off with anything to drink?"

Corey beamed at Derek, sliding him a menu.

"I'll be happy to get you anything you want."

There it is. Okay. Back off.

"I'll just start with a water for now."

"Two, waters." Stiles glared at the boy.

"You know, one for me, and one for him."

"Of course." Corey smiled, regarding Stiles for a moment as well.

Derek smiled over his menu.

"Stiles. Be nice, he's just being polite. He's a server. Just being nice for a big tip."

"I think he wants more than the tip, Der."

Derek grinned.

"I don't think he could handle more than the tip. If he could even fit that in."

Stiles went crimson, thinking about the implications of that. His hole twitched.

Derek winked at Stiles.

"How do you do it?"

Derek stared at Stiles, his eyes regarding the guy.

"Well, Stiles. When two guys are in love, and naked, and greased up like pigs at a county fair...."

"Not that!" Stiles growled, blushing again, picturing Derek in such a state as he described.

"Like, all the attention. The cameras on you all the time. The fawning. The asshole fans. How do you handle it all?"

Derek shrugged.

"I just got used to it. I've been at this a long time, you know."

"Doesn't it bother you?"

"Sometimes." Derek shrugged. "Like earlier. The guy at the music store. The trio at the bookstore."

Derek's eyes roamed the menu.

"Some fans can be really nice. Some forget you're a person first, and a star second."

Stiles looked over the menu. He suddenly realized he was hungrier than he thought.

"They have sushi." Stiles pointed out to Derek.

"It looks amazing." Stiles could hear Derek's smile in the reply, and it made his own heart flutter.

"And they have wings. Burgers. Lots of good stuff."

Stiles stared at Derek for a few minutes, as the man studied his menu. Something about him had changed. He seemed softer now.

"Okay, I've got water here, for two." Corey placed two full glasses, plus a large carafe of cold water between them.

"Are you ready to order? Do you need me to give you some more time?"

Derek kept his eyes on the menu.

"No, I think I know what I want."

He let his eyes dart over to Stiles, and reached out to take his hand.

Stiles felt his breath catch, and he relaxed immediately.

"I'm going to take the Loco Roll, the Dragon Roll, the Lobster Roll, and the Golden Philadelphia."

"Excellent choices." the server took notes.

"And you, sir?"

Stiles didn't miss the flirtatious look the waiter gave him now.

"Umm. The Garlic Aoli fries, and the house tots."

"Anything else?" The server nodded.

"Oh, yes, the wings, in whiskey barbecue, lemon pepper, and garlic and basil."

The server nodded, and was on his way.

Stiles looked at his hand, covered by Derek's. He met Derek's eyes, and smiled, nervously.

"I'm sorry." Derek started to withdraw his hand, only to find Stiles clutching firmly at his fingers.

The smile that crept over Derek was soft, and warm.

"I should have asked first, if I could do that."

Stiles nodded.

"Well, I would be lying if I hadn't thought about you doing it."

Derek looked down. "I kinda been wanting to do this all day."

"So." Derek sighed. "Ex-girlfriend?"

"Yeah." Stiles let a small laugh escape him. "She's a pistol."

"Familiar feeling." Derek agreed.

"Any boyfriends?"

Stiles shook his head. "Not in a while. I've just kinda been single for a bit."

"Handsome guy like you?"

Stiles rolled his eyes.

"Depending on who's looking at me I guess."

Stiles sipped his water.

"I got good friends though. Like Scott."

"The horny wolf."

Stiles nodded.

"We were boyfriends for a while."

"Why did you..." Derek paused and bit his lip.

"I'm sorry. I shouldn't be asking that..."

"It's fine." Stiles sipped again.

"We were boyfriends for years, in high school, then when we went to college, and, well, I guess we just grew apart."

Derek nodded.

"And I dated Lydia, briefly, cause she was from home, and went to the same college. I guess..."

Stiles looked at Derek.

"I'm not really good at relationships, Derek."

The older man nodded, and sipped his water.

"Well. How about we just, do this. Hangout. No pressure. No expectations."

Stiles thought about it a moment.

"What about the crew? Like they're filming us expecting us kinda... to fall in love?"

Derek shrugged.

"What if we just hang out. We can be close, and touch, but it doesn't have to mean anything. Just, kind comfort, I guess."

Stiles grinned.

"Are you serious?"

Derek nodded, taking Stiles hand.

"Does this feel okay?"

Stiles swallowed, and nodded.

"It's nice. It's nice."

He let his eyes travel up Derek's arm. He had taken off his jacket, and Stiles let his eyes travel over Dereks's arms, and chest.

Suddenly, touching and feeling Derek close to him didn't sound like a bad idea.

"Derek, about what I said, earlier."

"I understand Stiles. I know that you were disappointed. That's kind of what I wanted to talk to you about..."

"D-Train, is that you?"

A happy voice chuckled from across the booths.

A short, dark skinned man smiled brightly at Derek, and Derek returned the grin equally, squeezing Stiles' hand.

"I am sorry to interrupt." The guy smiled at both, as Derek rose from the booth.

"Just this once, I'll allow it." Derek hugged the man.

"Stiles, this is Mason, a good friend of mine..."

"Holy crap, you're Mason Hewitt!" Stiles gasped. "You're one of the most talented performers on the stage!"

Mason beamed down at Stiles.

"Thank you, it's a pleasure to meet you..."

"Stiles, Stiles Stilinski."

Mason shook Stiles' hand, and bumped gently into Derek.

"D, you should keep this guy around, he's got great taste."

"And he's an amazing singer." Derek looked at Stiles, and winked.

"How have you been, it's been what, almost two years?"

"Sadly. I'm sorry, things have been so insane lately." Derek apologized.

"Same, brother, same."

"Yeah, you have that new show premiering here in a few weeks, right?"

"Yes, indeed. You should come to the opening night! I'll get you tickets."

"Sir, you are too kind!" Derek smiled.

"Look, I'm gonna head out, but I just had to come say hi before I hit the bar later."

"Which one?"

"Dale's, it's karaoke tonight. You guys should come!"

"Well, we might, if Stiles wants."

Stiles flushed as Mason nodded.

"Is he 21?"

Derek laughed.

 

After Mason left, the server brought an enormous tray, laden with their order.

He set out everything and Stiles thanked him, again holding Derek's hand.

Derek and Stiles scooted in closer together in the corner booth.

"You know." Stiles snarked. "All this garlic is going to make kissing goodnight kinda gross."

Derek smiled, shyly.

"Well, maybe we do it now, so it's not too awkward later?"

Stiles felt his breath leave his lungs.

Derek blushed. "Unless you don't want to, or... you were joking..."

Stiles looked at Derek, and leaned in, gently. He let a finger catch Derek's chin, pulling the man closer.

He brought Derek in, and brushed his lips gently against the older man's. They were soft. Softer than they had any right to be. Stiles was suddenly aware of his own slightly chapped lips.

Derek didn't seem to mind, allowing himself to press against Stiles' mouth. He stubble was softer than Stiles expected, a pleasant sensation on his face.

The kiss was gentle, but not deep. Stiles let himself enjoy every moment of it.

They pulled apart, Derek's eyes glazed over with an almost sleepy look. As though he might be dreaming the whole thing.

"Sorry." Stiles whispered. "I should have asked first."

Derek smiled, and whispered back.

"It's okay. I wanted to do the same the moment I met you."

 

"Do you have a clear shot? This is gold." Despite Erica's calm tone and demeanor, she was as excited as she'd been in years.

"They are in clear frame." Isaac whispered back, making sure to keep them in center the entire time.

"I'm not getting full sound." Boyd griped.

"I know, but Hale refused to let us mike him."

"It's okay." Erica checked her board. "We'll have them do voice overs, and it'll all fix in the end."

"In the meantime," she looked up. "Do not lose one second of frame. This is the most human I've ever seen this dude, and it's not even a movie."

Boyd laughed.

"Calm down. This isn't going up for an academy award."

Erica smacked her boyfriend good naturedly.

"You just keep that focus, B-roll."

 

The food was amazing, and Stiles ordered a beer to have with his meal.

Derek savored the sushi, and grinned when Stiles offered him some of the tots. They were super crispy, topped with cheese, and meat, and two kinds of sauces, and green onions.

"These are amazing." Derek mumbled with his mouth full.

Derek reached for a wing, and Stiles stopped him, picking one up, and holding it to Derek's lips.

The grin on Derek's face stretched ear to ear. He opened his mouth, and took a bite of the wing, tasting the bitter, fragrant garlic, and the sweet, perky basil.

Stiles pulled the wing back, and took a bite from the other side.

"Good, huh?" He grinned at Derek.

Derek washed down his bite with some water.

"You want to try some sushi?" He asked Stiles, who wrinkled his nose a bit.

"I think that's all you."

Derek grinned.

"This is actually cooked."

Stiles pointed at a piece.

"What is that?"

"Golden Philadelphia. It's cream cheese, Salmon, and cucumber, fried in tempura batter."

"Fried?" Stiles' eyebrows raised.

"Yup. Still warm too."

Stiles reached over, and took a small piece, and popped it into his mouth. His eyes closed as the flavors melded, and spread across his tongue as he chewed.

"Oh wow, that's good."

Derek smiled, as Stiles chewed.

"This is the lobster, which is the lobster, baked, over a California roll, which is basically crab salad."

Stiles took another small piece, and had a taste, which actually made him moan.

The sound made Derek stiffen in his pants a bit.

"Okay, so maybe not all sushi is bad." Stiles washed down his last bite with some more beer.

 

They cleaned their plates, and after Stiles had another beer, they left the bar, walking much closer to each other. The place had filled up some, and as they left, Stiles was aware of people checking them out.

Derek checked his phone, and found Mason had texted him.

"Hey, wanna go watch people do karaoke?" Derek asked Stiles. He was completely unaware of when his arm had slipped around the slimmer boy's waist.

"Sure." Stiles grinned, looking over at Derek.

Derek drove them to Dale's where they dropped Mason's name, and were shown to a table near the back. An older woman was delivering a great take of Pat Benetar's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot".

"Guys! You made it!" Mason got up, hugging both Derek and Stiles.

"Come, come, join us!"

They sat at a table with Mason's friends, who he introduced.

"You drinking tonight?" He asked Derek.

"No, precious cargo tonight." Derek winked at Stiles. "Just keep the water flowing for me."

"You got it. What about you Stiles?"

Stiles looked at Derek. "I think I should do water. I've already had a few."

He leaned into Derek. He realized that he might be getting too comfortable, before pulling away, only to feel Derek's gentle touch on his back, which drew him back in.

They watched as Mason and his friends got up, and sang songs, enjoying the feel of Derek near him.

Stiles had a sad thought drift into his head.

This wouldn't exist tomorrow.

"Hey, Derek, you should go up and sing!" Mason slid the book over at his friend.

"No, Mason. Those days have long passed."

"Bullshit. You were singing in the car over here." Stiles looked up from where he was half laying on Derek in the booth.

"You heard the man." Mason nodded. "Make it a good one."

 

Derek stood up and shifted nervously. Stiles took his phone out of his pocket, and pointed it at Derek, making the man even more nervous.

Mason had ordered Stiles another two beers at the younger mans request, and Stiles was loose.

The music started, and Derek began to sing.

"There's a rock there's a rock that holds you down, down, dow-ow-ow-own, so take a chance in letting it fly, forgive me baby!
You have got, you have got to realize, that someone to took the stars in the sky
And put 'em in your... ey-ey-eyes like flying saucers and records spinning
Ey-ey-eyes I see 'em smiling and I am winning... yeah yeah

"You and I we belong as you and me-ee-ee-e-e-eee, through hurricanes, falling rocks, and falling trees, believe me baby!
I was blind as a bat but now I see-ee-ee-e-e-eee, that someone took the birds and the bees
And put 'em in your... ey-ey-eyes like flying saucers and records spinning, Ey-ey-eyes I see 'em smiling and I am winning

"Ey-ey-eyes like pennies dropping and square pegs fitting, Ey-ey-eyes if love is rabid then I am bitten, yeah yeah yeah"

Derek vocalized, and stared at Stiles, through the lens of the camera the whole time. He didn't mind Stiles filming him. This was different.

This was something that Derek felt like he'd been missing too long in his life.

"Ey-ey-eyes like flying saucers and records spinning, ey-ey-eyes I see 'em smiling and I am winning
Ey-ey-eyes the mona lisa she's ear to earin', ey-ey-eyes and cheek to chinning, and loves' beginning"

Derek bowed, as Stiles grinned, stopping his recording.

"That was epic." Stiles chuckled, as Derek leaned into him. He let his nose and lips brush Stiles' neck, watching as his date flushed.

"That was for you, of course." Derek mumbled in his ear.

"As a friend, of course."

Stiles nodded. "Of course."

"You know." Stiles grinned. "Some friends have benefits."

Derek giggled. Honest to god, he giggled.

"Well, you're drunk, so I'm gonna pretend you didn't say that."

Stiles huffed.

"I'm not as think as you drunk I am."

Derek winked at him.

 

Stiles walked up to the microphone.

"Okay, this goes out to a new friend." Stiles winked right at Derek, communicating his meaning more clearly.

The music started up, and Derek's jaw dropped.

"There's things that you guess, and things that you know, there's boys you can trust, and girls that you don't
There's little things you hide, and little things that you show, sometimes you think you're gonna get it
But you don't and that's just the way it goes"

"I swear I won't tease you, won't tell you no lies, I don't need no bible, just look in my eyes
I've waited so long baby, now that we're friends, every man's got his patience, and here's where mine ends"

"I want your sex. I want your love. I want your sex. I want your, sex."

Derek didn't know whether to laugh or cry, and his situation didn't improve, as he saw Mason and a couple of friends jump up, and pick up mikes to sing back-up.

"It's playing on my mind, it's dancing on my soul, it's taken so much time, so why don't you just let me go
I'd really like to try, oh I'd really love to know, when you tell me you're gonna regret it
Then I tell you that I love you but you still say no!"

"I swear I won't tease you, won't tell you no lies, I don't need no bible, just look in my eyes
I've waited so long baby, Out in the cold, but I can't take much more now, I'm losing control"

"I want your sex. I want your love. I want your sex. I want your, sex. Sex, OW!"

Stiles began to gyrate, and rock, keeping his eyes on Derek, who was both aroused and embarrassed by the display.

"It's natural! It's chemical (let's do it)! It's logical! Habitual (can we do it?)! It's sensual, but most of all..."

He pointed at Derek.

"Sex is something that we should do! Sex is something for me and you! Sex is natural, sex is good! Not everybody does it, but everybody should
Sex is natural, sex is fun! Sex is best when it's, one on one! One on one!"

"Sex, I'm not your father! Sex, I'm not your brother! Sex, Talk to your sister! Sex, I am a lover! Oooohhhhhh! C-c-c-c-come on"

Derek had to admit, Stiles had an amazing voice. And he moved like... well, he moved very, VERY well. Especially with his hips.

"What's your definition of dirty baby? What do you consider pornography? Don't you know I love you till it hurts me baby? Don't you think it's time you had sex with me?

"What's your definition of dirty baby? What do you call pornography? Don't you know I love you till it hurts me baby? Don't you think it's time you had sex with me?"

Stiles moved closer to Derek, winking, and slinking.

"Sex with me, sex with me, oooohhhh have sex with me. OW! C-c-c-c-come on!"

 

Stiles held his arms out to his sides, with a satisfied look on his face. He gripped the mike, and bowed left and right.

The audience went insane for Stiles. They cheered and hollered, and clapped like crazy. Stiles got hugs and cheers from Mason, and his friends.

Derek filmed Stiles getting his ovations. Stiles slid back in the booth, and snuggled into Derek.

"Too much?" He asked.

Derek laughed, and kissed Stiles on the nose.

 

They sang a few more songs, including a duet of "Islands in the Stream", which had everyone in the bar holding up the flashlights on their phones.

Stiles and Derek left he bar, arm in arm, into the chilly night.

Finally feeling the chill, Stiles shivered, and folded his arms.

"Here." Derek shrugged off his jacket, and draped it over the slender man's shoulders.

Stiles slid his arms into Derek's jacket, and inhaled its scent. The mix of leather, and Derek was divine, and Stiles wanted to commit it to memory.

They walked to the car, hand in hand. Derek opened Stiles' door, and Stiles got in, beaming at Derek as the door closed.

Derek slipped into the driver's seat, and leaned over, and kissed Stiles again, while the car warmed up.

They held hands across the Camaro's console while the playlist played a few songs.

Stiles chuckled as Derek sang along to Morrissey's "The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get".

 

Derek drove Stiles back to the apartment, and they stood outside the car.

"Have you had a good night?" Derek slipped his arms around Stiles, underneath the jacket, as they leaned against the Camaro.

Stiles nodded. He felt Derek pulling him in closer, his heart beat rapidly.

"I did, Derek. Thank you."

"About that kiss..."

Derek bit his lip.

"I mean, I think we've gotten past that whole garlic thing..." His eyes lingered over Stiles' lips, which looked so perfect, so welcoming.

Stiles leaned up, and connected to Derek. The kiss was breathless, passionate. Stiles rocked his hips into Derek, gently, feeling the older man get hard at his touch.

"Stiles..." Derek gasped into Stiles' mouth. "Stiles, are you... we shouldn't..."

Stiles lifted a finger to Derek's lips, smiling as he felt Derek's lips press against it.

Sparks of electricity seemed to pass between their eyes.

"I really like hanging out with you, Derek." Stiles mumbled against Derek's lips.

His eyes were closed, and he was warm, and for a minute, he found everything he had been missing.

Derek marveled at how Stiles fit with him perfectly. His head tucked just under his chin, and his face pressed against his chest.

No one in Derek's life seemed to fit like Stiles.

 

"That was perfect, guys."

Erica startled Derek and Stiles as they pulled apart.

Oh.

"I swear, it's like you guys forgot about the camera completely."

Derek looked at Stiles, watching as the boy sobered up quickly.

"Oh. That's right." He pulled away from Derek slowly, and took off the jacket.

"It was a wonderful night. Thank you Derek."

He swallowed thickly.

"I hope that everything works out for you."

"Stiles... wait..."

Derek watched as Stiles walked quickly up the walkway, and disappeared into his door, leaving Derek clutching his jacket.

"That footage was amazing. I figure we can set it to music, make a great video out of it."

Derek sighed, and slipped his jacket on.

He suddenly didn't care about the footage. Or the contest. Or anything.

"Do you want..."

"Whatever." Derek grumbled. "Do whatever you want I guess."

Erica paused.

"D. You alright?"

Derek shook his head and got into his car, starting it.

 

Stiles walked into the apartment, where Scott was awake, and playing a video game. He took one look at Stiles, and paused it.

He was up off the couch, and partway to Stiles, when the pale guy started to sob. Scott had his arms around him in an instant.

"Are you okay Stiles? Did he hurt you?"

Stiles shook his head through his sobs. He clutched Scott tightly, and began to let his sobs go, freely.

Scott rubbed his back.

"It's okay, Stiles. Everything's gonna be okay."

 

Derek sat in his bedroom, an open bottle of whiskey on the side table. No glass. He flipped through his phone, looking at pictures of Stiles.

Well, that had gone completely to shit.

Worse, Mason had sent him some pictures and videos he had taken through the evening.

"Never seen you this happy Der."

There was a picture of Stiles, looking up at him, and Derek looking right back at the younger guy. A soft, pleased smile was on his face.

Derek had never seen himself smile like that. Ever.

Another picture showed Stiles curled up into Derek's arms, with Derek whispering something in Stiles ear. Stiles had the happiest grin on his face.

Derek stared at it, trying to force the image of Stiles, staring him down before he left into the apartment.

Never in his life had Derek felt heartbreak so acutely. The look in Stiles' eyes before he turned away from him to leave was the most damning thing.

He took another sip, and flipped through the pictures.

Why did he let the best thing that had happened to him in a while leave, without even fighting for him?

 

Stiles opened his eyes. He was not surprised to find himself asleep in Scott's bed, wrapped in Scott's arms. He was surprised to find Scott wearing clothes.

Usually, Scott and Stiles wore little to nothing to bed. They had been friends as kids, and boyfriends in high school, so nudity was common for them in the apartment.

That Scott was in clothes gave Stiles a warm feeling. Not that he thought that Scott would ever take advantage of him.

Still, it was a kind gesture.

Stiles pulled himself, gently, from Scott's arms, and bed, and eased out of the room. He took a morning piss, and looked at his reflection in the mirror.

He wasn't hungover, but he felt slower than normal. For a moment, he thought maybe the beers had a little something extra in them, but then realized it wasn't that.

He was disappointed. He had let himself feel something yesterday, and he wasn't happy about that.

When he got back to the apartment, and fell apart in Scott's arms, he told his best friend everything that happened.

Scott held him, and comforted him, and eventually Stiles fell asleep. Scott, being Scott, put on some clothes, and put his arms around Stiles, letting his friend sleep.

After showering, and getting into some new clothes, he sat on the couch, tucked into a book.

 

"You okay man?" Scott asked, running a towel through his hair, fresh out of the shower.

"Ya." Stiles said, not taking his eyes from the book.

"You sure?"

"Ya."

"You've been on the same page for thirty minutes."

Stiles exhaled angrily, and turned the page.

"Cool. I'll be back in thirty and remind you to turn the page again."

Stiles rolled his eyes at Scott and shook his head, and focused back on his book.

 

An hour later, Scott left for work, leaving Stiles on the couch, now on the third page of the book.

"Here."

Scott handed Stiles his phone before leaving.

"Check that."

"Why?"

"Just cause."

Scott raised his brows, and ducked out of the apartment.

Stiles opened up his phone.

He knew something was wrong. He had about 50 messages, and he had absolutely no idea why.

At most, he might have 5, in a day. Danny, Lydia, and the twins might text him, but this was... a lot.

He opened up his Facebook, and gulped.

okay, so it was 500 messages.

He opened the oldest one, which was from Danny, and read.

"HOLY SHIT DUDE! HOW WAS IT???"

Stiles rolled his eyes.

"It was okay."

He went to the next message, which was just a picture of him. On the date. With Derek.

Fuck.

The caption read: "You think he could do better than you."

And that stung.

Stiles spent the majority of his day discovering all of the pictures that had been posted, about the date.

Some pictures were from the video feed, but almost all were from random people who snuck candids of them, then posted.

Fuck.

Pictures of them at the bookstore. The music store. In the parking garage. Sitting outside the music store, talking.

That one hurt. That had been a very private moment.

In the restaurant, feeding him, cuddling, trying sushi. Meeting Mason.

Shit. They didn't miss a minute.

Not even karaoke. Fuck!

Stiles watched as Derek serenaded him with "Eyes", and watched in horror as he practically threw himself at Derek with his song.

Someone had even caught them at the car, before they left.

That picture.

That picture shocked Stiles.

Stiles had never in his life, even with Scott, or Lydia, even seen them look at him, the way Derek was looking at him in the picture.

A combination of wonder, lust, joy, and appreciation. Love. It was... well, it was something... like love?

Stiles shook his head, and moved on. The pictures stopped, but Stiles still kept going back to that one shot.

He remembered that he was pretty drunk at that point, but that wasn't a drunk stare he was giving Derek.

It was a look Stiles couldn't even name.

Disgruntled, Stiles went on Instagram, only to find he had even MORE messages, most of them angry flames from jealous people.

He searched for Derek's page, and finding it, opened it up. There was a picture of the books he had bought at the Vault.

The caption read: "Learning something new, from a new inspiration."

The comments section had been turned off, and Stiles could imagine why.

He turned off his phone, and stared at the wall.

He may or may not have fallen asleep, but the next thing he knew, he was answering a knock at the door.

"Who is it?" He asked, before remembering they had a peephole.

"Stiles, it's Derek. May I come in?"

Shock and anger flew through Stiles even as his hand reached for that knob.

"Why, Derek, didn't we get enough pictures last night?"

"Stiles... that wasn't..."

"No, it wouldn't matter if it was you."

Stiles leaned back against his door. "No, the whole world decided to document the night for us."

From the other side of the door, Derek sighed, and leaned his forehead against the door.

"Stiles. Please open the door. I really want to talk to you."

"So, talk." Stiles folded his arms across his chest, leaning his back against the door.

"Tell me all about where I said I wanted our special night to turn into a TMZ hot take."

"Stiles. It was in the fine print of the contest form."

Derek heard Stiles shout an expletive that even HE was offended by, and then the sound of the deadbolt unlocking.

Stiles opened the door face screwed up with the angriest look he was able of making, which only made him look that much more adorable.

It took every ounce of self control Derek had, to not laugh at the adorable guy.

"Thank you for letting me in." Derek said, closing the door.

"Don't be. I need you in here as an accomplice to murder."

Derek gulped.

"Stiles, I hardly think..."

"I'm kidding, Derek. But I'm pretty pissed off about the whole thing."

Derek sat on the couch, staring up at Stiles.

"I understand, Stiles."

"I feel so... so... violated."

Derek sighed.

"I'm sorry Stiles. I'm upset that happened."

"So am I." Stiles walked into the kitchen.

"Do you want a soda? Water? Another promo pic of you mooning over me for your image rehab?"

Stiles entered the room, and felt his heart break. Derek was staring at him with the same look he had given the teen at the music store.

"I'm sorry." Derek got up from the sofa. "It was a mistake..."

"Der... I'm sorry, Der..."

"...to come here."

"Derek." Stiles caught Derek by the hand, and was amazed at the strength of his own grip on Derek' wrist.

Derek looked at Stiles with a mix of fear and confusion.

"What are you doing?"

Stiles looked up, panicked.

"I... um... I..."

Derek turned around, and walked toward Stiles who retreated back into the wall behind him, still holding Derek by the wrist.

"Oh god... what are you gonna do to me?"

Stiles stammered as Derek pressed him up against the wall.

"I came here to apologize to you, you little shit..."

Derek pointed a finger at Stiles, who suddenly wanted to feel that finger inside him, anywhere.

"...and I had a feeling you would be upset, but you struck me as the kind of guy who would at least be fair, and give me another chance..."

Stiles watched as Derek went off on him, mesmerized by the man's eyes, and teeth, and lips, and eyebrows, and god how good he felt pressed against him.

"...because I don't know if you saw the pictures, but jeez, I don't think I've ever seen myself look at anyone like that...

He could do it. He could close the distance, and kiss him. He wanted to. He wanted to kiss Derek Hale in the worst way.

"...don't think that I could do it Stiles. I came here because I wanted..."

Derek paused.

"What, Derek? What did you want?"

"You."

Derek's eyes softened, as he looked at Stiles. Suddenly aware that he was as close as he was. Pressed against Stiles. Stiles, who was staring at his lips...

Stiles batted his eyes. He actually batted his damn eyes.

Derek leaned down, softly kissing Stiles. He closed his eyes. He savored the feeling of Stiles, the taste of the kiss, and the heat of the younger's body.

 

They broke apart, panting.

"Is that your apology?" Stiles rasped, feeling his lips tingle, matching the tingle in his hips.

"Yes." Derek growled. "I apologize."

"Good." Stiles let his hands slide up Derek's arms.

"I feel I too must apologize." Stiles leaned forward, capturing Derek's lips in a kiss.

Derek's hands moved around Stiles, pulling him in closer, and tighter.

The only sounds made were the soft pants, whimpers, and breaths that each man took as they apologized over, and over again.

Stiles let his head fall back, and bit his lips to withhold the cries that threatened to escape, when Derek Hale licked and sucked a soft spot on his neck.

The older man nosed about his neck, traveling up to Stiles' ear.

"I... Stiles... Can I...."

Stiles nodded frantically.

"Yes. I don't care what the fuck it is, just, yes."

Derek felt a laugh bubble up, but he held back, and allowed himself to smile.

"Stiles. I want to take you out, on a real date. Just us. No cameras."

Derek pulled away, afraid to see how Stiles would react, but needing to know.

"I want to cook a meal for you. I want us to listen to music, and sing songs, for no one else but us."

Stiles let his eyes roam over Derek. Inside the dark olive pools of his eyes, Stiles saw nothing but sincerity, and a touch of fear.

He was afraid.

Derek Hale was afraid.

Of HIM.

He was afraid Stiles would reject him.

This wasn't an act. This wasn't Derek Hale the actor. This was Derek Hale, the person.

The revelation took Stiles' breath away.

He reached out, and put his hand on Derek's neck, gently pulling the man closer.

"I think I need to apologize a bit more before we do." Stiles whispered, closing in for another kiss.

 

It took Stiles five minutes to change and freshen up, while Derek waited for him in the living room.

He emerged again, in a pair of tan chinos, and a black shirt with a large white Mexican style sugar skull on it.

Derek smiled at him.

"Let's go." Stiles got his keys to lock the door, and sent Scott a text letting him know where Stiles would be.

 

They sat in the Camaro, Stiles noted that the scent had changed to something he loved.

"Pine?"

Derek blushed.

"I went back through your socials, and found a picture set you had of you camping. Said how much you loved the pines."

Derek put the car in drive.

"I hope you don't mind. I got you something. If you want to listen to it."

Stiles looked over at Derek quizzically.

"On your phone?"

"No, pop open the glove compartment."

Stiles did, and his breath caught as he saw the familiar yellow paper bag from the record store.

With shaking hands, he opened the bag, and gasped.

"You didn't."

Derek smiled, without responding.

"For real?"

From the driver's seat, Derek nodded.

"Put it on."

Derek had gone back to Middle Earth, and bought the CD Stiles had wanted. He spent some serious money too, even if Derek had the class to remove the price tag before giving it to Stiles.

Stiles carefully opened the box, and delighted at the glossy, card stock prints that came with the disc. He carefully pulled out the disc, and put it in the player.

The Camaro's sound system was amazing, and Stiles reveled in the pristine opening notes of the first song.

"Yellow bird flying, gets shot in the wing..."

Stiles closed his eyes, and listened to a quietly intense, live performance of one of his favorite songs.

"All these Little Earthquakes. Here we go again. All these Little Earthquakes. Doesn't take much to rip us into pieces."

Stiles let his hand creep over Derek's, where it lay on the gear shift.

"Thank you." He said, softly. Reverently.

"I can't believe you'd do that for me. After everything."

Derek let himself enjoy the warmth of Stiles' hand.

"Stiles. I had the most amazing night that I have had in a while."

He looked at Stiles while they idled at a stop light.

"No matter what happened, or what you think happened, I really, really found myself falling for you."

Stiles looked at Derek.

"Even if you don't feel the same way about me." Derek continued, "I think I'll always feel this way about you."

Stiles closed his eyes.

"I saw you, last night. Looking at me."

Stiles remembered Derek's face in the pictures.

"I've never seen you look like that at anyone before. In any of your movies. In any pictures I've seen of you. And I've seen them all."

Stiles felt good getting that off his chest.

A small smile cracked his lips, and then a laugh.

"Do you... do you think we can try, again?"

Derek smiled.

"That's all I want. The chance to show you me. Everything I really am, and everything that I'm not."

Stiles looked up at Derek.

"Show me."

 

Derek made dinner. Chicken breasts and quinoa, and Mediterranean style vegetables.

It was delicious. Stiles and Derek talked over food prep and over dinner.

Stiles shared about the loss of his mother when he was sixteen, and why both places they went were important to him.

Derek shared about his estrangement from his family, and his struggles to emancipate himself at a young age.

Stiles talked about living with ADHD, and Derek about his Type one Diabetes.

"Which is why I'm very involved in what I eat. I try to know what is in everything."

"Is that why there's always photos of you at the gym?" Stiles blushed, wondering after if it was okay to ask.

"Weight management is important, and helps me keep everything in check. I realize I'm lucky I can do that."

Stiles nodded.

"I used to work out, but, after my mom passed, I kinda... I kinda fell apart."

"I'm sorry. I understand how hard that must have been."

"Still is, some days." Stiles sipped his water.

Derek let his hand slide over the table, and squeezed Stiles' hand.

"I still can't get over you getting that Tori single for me."

Derek smiled.

"When I got home, I looked it up, and realized how rare that single is, and how important it would be for a collector."

Stiles blushed.

"And I don't want to hear you say that you're not worth it, or that its' too much. Truth be told I was going to get it before we left, but then...."

Derek cast his eyes down.

"I remember." Stiles squeezed Derek's hand, gently.

"And Stiles," Derek stood clearing his plate, "I understand the way you feel. I don't hold it against you, that you feel that way."

Stiles took his plate, and followed Derek into the kitchen.

"For the record, yes, at that time, I felt very betrayed. Upset. All of it. But there was a reason."

Derek rinsed the plates, and placed them in the dishwasher with the prep dishes.

"I'm listening."

Stiles sighed.

"When I was a lot younger, I knew I was bi, and I really didn't know what to do with it. A lot of people just teased me, and said I was gay, and just didn't want to come out."

Derek nodded. He knew that prejudice well.

"And it was like, I was too gay for the straights, and too straight for the gays, and it sucked just not fitting in anywhere."

Derek nodded, leaning against the sink, while he filled a teapot. When it was where he wanted it, he set it on the burner of the stove.

"Then here come Dragon Tales, and the hero is bi, and loves a man and a woman, and is a complete badass while he does. It was amazing to me."

Stiles gulped.

"Then you do the movie, and I see, my bi idol, doing a movie as a bi character, and, it was life changing for me. For the first time, I felt like I was going to be seen."

Derek prepared some tea for himself, and offered a mug to Stiles, who shook his head.

"Then, when the movie came out, and well, everything that mattered was removed, I just... I felt so betrayed. It's dumb to feel that way, I know."

"It's not Stiles. I felt exactly the same way. And I felt it more, cause it wasn't the movie I shot."

Stiles stood with his hands in his pockets, watching Derek.

"And I deeply apologize, for making you feel that way. I've heard over the years, so many people felt the same way. Most people aren't as kind as you are, in telling me."

Stiles nodded.

"Like that guy."

Derek nodded, and walked over to Stiles.

"Can I show you something?"

Stiles nodded.

 

They found themselves in Derek's study, in front of a large computer display, and editing station. Three screens were up, but only the center one was on.

Derek clicked around, and found a file which he opened.

Stiles breath caught as he image on the screen showed Derek, as Argos, at the feast with Newt. The scene was oddly framed, and Stiles could see numbers running at the bottom of the scene.

"This is something new for you, but it's something I can't ever release, under contract."

Stiles leaned on Derek's back as the scene unfolded.

The scene in the movie was only a few minutes long, but this cut showed it was ten minutes and change.

Argos and Newt flirted. They out and out flirted! Stiles felt himself swoon.

"And would that I never had done these things, our village might be saved. My family would exist."

"Were it not for fate. You saved a village from death itself. You rescued the heir to the elf queendom, and I... I remain your ever faithful servant."

Stiles felt his eyes water, ass Argos looked fondly at his friend.

"You are not my servant. You are my partner. My equal. Mine own heart before me, thou art my love."

Argos leaned forward, and the camera captured a soft, beautiful kiss.

"I will follow you anywhere." Newt whispered against Argos' lips.

"Then follow me to my chambers, tonight." Argos stood with a glimmer in his eye.

The camera lingered on Newt, who smiled softly, and blushed.

The scene faded out.

Stiles was in tears.

"That was beautiful."

Derek looked up, tears in his own eyes.

"There's more."

The next scene was in the Elf Queen's chamber, with her daughter pledging her allegiance to Argos, in exchange for his own.

It followed the book exactly, unlike in the released film.

"And you Argos. My respect and admiration of you is unparalleled. Please. Tell me that you can be mine, and part of mine court, and life."

Argos bowed.

"Regent, I would pledge mine body, mine sword and axe, even my blood. Mine heart, and very soul, those belong to Newt."

Caria leaned down, and whispered to Argos, "Then I will take my blessings, and I hope Newt receives his in great joy."

Stiles breaths shuddered, and he let out a happy laugh. Word for word, just like in the books.

Derek looked at Stiles, who now had his hand over his mouth.

"Thank you." Stiles whispered, tears filling his eyes.

"I didn't know how much I needed to see that, but..."

He looked at Derek, whose own eyes were misted over.

"Thank you." Stiles kissed Derek gently. "Thank you."

"You're welcome."

"Can I see it again?"

Derek laughed softly, and started the scenes over.

"As much as you'd like."

Derek moved back to let Stiles have his seat, only to be surprised by Stiles moving over, and sitting on Derek's lap, while he watched the clips, over and over again.

 

They retreated to the living room, where they cuddled on the couch. At some point, they had their phones out, sharing their favorite pictures from the night before.

It didn't seem so intrusive now.

"I'm sorry you had to get so many comments that were negative."

Stiles shrugged. It seemed so unimportant now.

He held his phone out from his and Derek's body, and snapped a few selfies of them cuddling on the couch.

For a moment, Stiles thought about sending it to Lydia, or Scott, or even just posting on his profiles.

In the next moment he realized, how much he wanted this to be for himself, and Derek.

 

The sun had set, and the stars were out. From the high windows in Derek's living room, he could see them, twinkling in the sky.

He tightened his arms around Stiles, enjoying the weight of the younger man pressed against him.

Derek took in the scent of Stiles, and placed a gentle kiss on the top of his head, burying his lips in the spikes of Stiles' hair.

Stiles hummed at the contact. It felt so good, and he wanted it to never end.

"Are you enjoying yourself?" Derek mumbled into Stiles' hair.

"mmhmmm." Stiles mumbled, turning himself around so he was facing Derek, resting his head on the older man's chest.

Stiles inhaled the masculine scent, nuzzling the man's pecs.

"What kind of cologne do you use?"

Derek blushed.

"I don't really. Just a bit of deodorant. My soap is sandalwood scented."

Stiles held his face to Derek's chest. He cooed at the sensation of Derek's arms folding around him.

"Do you... do you think this could work? You and I?"

Derek's voice was soft, but hopeful.

Stiles nodded.

"It might be tough, at first. But I'm willing to try if you are."

Stiles raised up on all fours, loving the way Derek kept his arms around him.

"You said, last night, that we should just have fun with it. We had a great time. Maybe that's the key. We just have a good time."

Derek stared into Stiles' eyes.

"I mean we don't have to put all the pressure in the world into making it perfect. So long as we make it work."

Derek nodded.

"I agree."

 

"No fucking way!"

Scott was enviously staring at the picture Stiles had taken of Derek and he kissing.

Lydia leaned over the counter, making sure not to tip her glass of juice over.

"Yup. That looks like Stiles. I see you haven't learned shit about kissing since we dated."

"Maybe you're not the one doing it right." Scott scoffed. "I never had any problems with his kissing."

Lydia rolled her eyes at the boys.

"Besides, if I don't know how to kiss, as some people claim, I'm sure getting some great lessons."

Stiles took a sip of his iced tea.

"Check mate." Scott chuckled.

"So it's been a good time so far?"

Stiles nodded.

A few days of bliss so far, by Stiles count. He spent most of his time at Derek's, learning how to cook, and apparently kiss, though Derek never seemed to mind Stiles' style.

Derek was currently between projects, but kept from committing to anything.

"If it's me, don't worry." Stiles let Derek know over dinner one night.

"I understand, if a project you want is going to take you a ways away."

Derek chuckled.

"Well, we kinda just started out now. I'd feel bad just up and leaving you."

Stiles pushed around some zucchini on his plate.

"I wouldn't feel that way. I have a job. I have things to take care of, and I know you do too."

He speared a piece and brought it to his lips.

"It's a partnership, right?"

Derek grinned.

"Right."

 

A month had gone by, and Derek and Stiles had already made several appearances, including Stiles' favorite, accompanying Derek throwing out the first pitch at opening day.

They each opened up their worlds, and invited the other in, sharing experiences, sharing secrets.

Stiles was incredibly nervous introducing Derek to his dad.

"Son, as long as this Hale boy treats you well..."

"Dad, I'm in my twenties."

"And as long as he treats you like you are the most precious, valuable thing to him."

"He does."

"Good. Because I own a gun..."

"and a shovel, and I'm not afraid to use either." Stiles rolled his eyes at his over protective father.

Derek showed up for dinner, and being the perfect boyfriend, brought the perfect host gift.

Stiles' dad could hardly believe his eyes.

"Is that... Is that..."

"Wonderful to meet you Sheriff." Derek extended the gift.

"I understand you are a fan of bacon."

John Stilinski gently took the glass jar, where Derek and arranged 2 dozen strips of fried bacon on skewers, the bacon wrapped to look like roses.

Stiles huffed at the gift.

"Dad, do NOT eat that much..."

"Derek, this is my son Stiles. Please, take his hand in marriage."

Derek laughed as the sheriff munched first one, then two bacon buds.

 

"Congratulations. You have my dad's approval." Stiles kissed Derek's nose as he walked his boyfriend back to the car.

"He's a wonderful man. I really loved listening to him talk about you. I'm kinda bummed you stopped him, I coulda gone all night."

"Which is precisely why I stopped him." Stiles blushed.

"Gotta leave a little mystery to me."

They stood in front of the driver's door, Derek looking bashfully at Stiles.

"Remember the other day, when we were talking about 'Dragon Tales'?"

Stiles nodded. It had taken all of his might to let Derek explain why everything had taken the dive it had in the movie.

"Well, it inspired me to look at the paperwork I have, when I optioned the rights. And I had an idea."

"Oh?"

Derek nodded.

"Well, if I were to extend the option, but transfer it to another person, then I would be able to work with that person, and be able to reboot the series."

Derek watched as Stiles began to turn his wheels.

"So, should someone want to reboot the series...." Derek leaned in, brushing his lips to Stiles'.

"Then just maybe, we can right a whole mess of wrongs..."

He let his lips travel down Stiles' neck.

"You mean... we could... start the series over... right?"

Derek made a mumbled noise in Stiles' neck, stating the affirmative.

Stiles pulled Derek's head up, and held it in front of his face with both hands.

"Do you mean to tell me, you want ME to help you start the series over again?"

The look on Stiles' face could only be described as incredulous.

"You want ME to help on this??"

Derek grinned, and nodded.

Stiles began to gasp and laugh.

"Oh my god Derek! Yes! Yes!"

Derek laughed as he leaned forward to kiss Stiles.

"I've got so many ideas! I'll be the best help I can be behind the camera!"

Derek smiled.

"Well, actually, I was also hoping you would help me in front of it too."

Stiles stared at Derek.

"As an actor? You want me to act?"

Derek nodded, laughing.

"Derek, I've never taken an acting class in my life."

"You won't need one, Stiles."

Derek kissed the boy's forehead.

"As Newt, you're going to just need to be faithful, and fall in love with me."

Stiles nodded.

"Done, and done."

Stiles pulled Derek closer and kissed him.