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He was positive the elevator doors hadn’t even fully opened yet when he heard the voice, someone literally standing right in his path and instantly demanding his attention.

“Have you met the hot new guy?” Erica Reyes demanded, blocking his exit.

He gave her an unimpressed look at the question. He still had his coat on, he was holding a coffee, he’d literally just arrived at work after two weeks off, and he wasn’t even out of the elevator yet.

“Hi Erica,” he said dryly. “My vacation was great, thanks for asking. Got a lot of rest and relaxation. I missed you while I was away, you didn’t text me as much as you said you would, we should grab lunch together later.”

Erica waved his words away, still blocking his exit so that he had to reach out with his free hand to hold the doors open.

“Who cares about your vacation, all you did was watch TV, read and sleep. It’s what you always do. Have you met the hot new guy?”

“Seeing as I’m not even out of the elevator yet, what do you think?” he asked, unimpressed.

“You got coffee. He always gets coffee around this time at the same place.” She motioned the takeout cup in his hand from the little coffeehouse down in the lobby.

She still hadn’t moved. The elevator was going to start ringing soon from being forced to remain open for such an extended period of time.

Letting out a long, deep suffering sigh, he said, “No, Erica. I haven’t met the hot new guy. Why you think I’d be interested is beyond me, though. You and I have never had similar taste.”

“Oh no,” she insisted, still not moving, hands on her hips. “This guy is like-like mega hot. Everyone agrees he is smoking hot. Boyd said we could have a threesome if I convinced hot new guy. Boyd! He is like, the straightest guy I’ve ever met, and he doesn’t ever comment on how good looking people are, and even he admitted he’d be okay having a threesome with him. The guy is fucking smoking hot. I drool a little whenever he passes my desk.”

It was way too early in the morning for this. And the elevator was screeching at him now. Erica finally seemed to notice and moved aside so he could exit and begin walking down the corridor towards his cubicle.

“Just because your husband finally agreed to sleep with another man doesn’t mean the guy’s to my taste. Besides,” he set his coffee down on his desk and shrugged off his coat, looking at her, “you’re saying all this as if he’s gay.”

“He’s not gay,” she said, grinning so widely it was kind of concerning. “He’s bi-sexual. Even better, because he’d really be down for a threesome.”

He rolled his eyes, moving past Erica so he could go and hang his coat up in the closets near the entrance. He kept hoping she’d remember her work hours started before his and she was meant to be manning her boss’ phone, but apparently hot new guy was more important than her income.

“Hot people are usually assholes. Don’t you remember Jackson? He was attractive, but he was such a dick it made me want to punch him in his pretty face.”

“No, no,” Erica insisted while he grabbed a hanger from the closet and arranged his coat on it. “You don’t understand. That’s what’s so fucking amazing about him. He’s so, so, so hot, but the best part is: he’s nice!” She grabbed his arm and gave him a rough shake, almost making his jacket slide off the hanger since he’d been about to put it away. “He is the hottest guy I’ve ever seen, and Boyd agrees and isn’t jealous, but he is also the nicest guy I’ve ever seen. Like, you don’t understand, he’s the whole package. Looks and personality. Unlike you. You’re pretty on the outside, and shitty on the inside.”

Derek Hale turned to glower at her, unimpressed and moderately offended given she didn’t sound like she was joking. “Thanks, Erica.”

“Anytime.” She beamed at him, then punched him in the shoulder. “Seriously. So hot. You should find an excuse to walk past his desk later.”

“What department does he work in?” Derek closed the closet once his coat was put away and moved back towards his desk, Erica following him.

She really wanted to get fired, apparently.

“He’s a Business Analyst, so he works with management. Project Management Office. He and this other dude got hired at the same time, apparently they’re a package deal, but there was a huge fight between our company and his old one because they were trying to keep him but the bosses were willing to pay him more and let him work from home three times a week. He jumped ship, but rumour has it the other company is trying to steal him back.” She let out a content sigh, leaning against the front of Derek’s cubicle while he took a seat and booted up his computer. “I mean it, Derek. I have never seen someone that attractive in my life.”

“I’ll be sure to let Boyd know.”

“He knows, weren’t you listening? He agrees.” She sighed wistfully. “Man, he’s probably got like, a million people vying for his attention. He’s probably dating. Hell, he can probably date multiple people at the same time and none of the others would care. Having one percent of the guy is better than zero.”

“Don’t you have a job to do?” Derek asked, irritated. He’d just opened his email and had over three hundred of them. People did not pay attention to out of office replies, and it irked him. He had an entire department of colleagues, surely these people could’ve bothered them instead of bombarding him and waiting for him to come back from vacation.

He was going to be so fucking overwhelmed all day.

“Grumpy asshole,” Erica said, but obediently pulled away from his cubicle. “Lunch later? Boyd wants to grab Indian today.”

“Sure, if I don’t drown in my emails.”

“Later loser.”

Derek just grunted when she walked off, sighing and rubbing his face. After two weeks of not waking up early, it felt like his brain was melting. He was so tired he wanted to put his head down and pass out.

Business Skype popped up on his screen, but he minimized it without logging on and tried to remain conscious.

Thankfully, more colleagues were coming in now, since work officially started in ten minutes. He was almost always the first one in, but only beat out the second person by about a minute usually. People greeted him on their way by, some stopping to ask about his time off, but one thing he did notice was every single person who stopped to speak to him asked if he’d met the hot new guy.

Not a single person did not ask him about the hot new guy, which was extremely weird, and made him wonder who this guy was. The older women insisted he was a very attractive young man with a happy and energetic personality. The younger women made inappropriate comments about what they’d like to do to him—which Derek did not appreciate, because the poor guy wasn’t a piece of fucking meat.

Most of the men kept their comments to themselves, but a few of them had admitted he was attractive “if you’re into that sort of thing.” Even the ones who didn’t comment on his looks still asked Derek if he’d met him yet.

By lunch time, Derek kind of wanted to meet him. He wanted to know what all the damn fuss was about, but he also suspected the hype would have him severely disappointed. He was expecting an Adonis now, and he would probably get an Apollo, at best.

Not that Apollo wasn’t attractive in mythology, but that wasn’t the point. The point was, they’d talked him up to an Adonis, and now Derek knew he was going to be disappointed.

Erica emailed him about lunch, bitching about his Business Skype being off, and told him to come to her desk since it would allow him to walk past the hot new guy’s office. He agreed, if only because his curiosity had been piqued and he really wanted to know what everyone was talking about.

Turning the corner at one end of the short corridor, he walked down the next hallway and caught sight of the two previously empty offices at the end. One of them said “Scott McCall” and the other said “M. Stiles Stilinski.” on the plaques outside.

Neither man was at their desk, but the lack of coats or general lived-in feel suggested they probably weren’t in today. If the one hot new guy had been allowed to work from home three times a week, and he came with a partner, it stood to reason they would get the same deal.

Turning down the next corridor and heading to Erica’s cubicle, he stopped beside it, seeing her on the phone with her husband Vernon Boyd, who worked in Security. She hung up after confirming they’d meet in the lobby, then turned to grin at Derek.

“So?” she asked, waggling her eyebrows.

“So the two offices are empty.”

“What?” Her face fell. “Dammit! He was totally in this morning! Maybe he had to head to a meeting or something.” She sighed explosively. “Oh well. Tomorrow’s another day.”

“Which one is he, anyway?” Derek asked while she pulled on her cardigan. They weren’t going far, neither of them would bother with their coats, but it was still cold enough outside for the short walk to need something. Derek had a suit jacket on, so Erica had to settle for a cardigan.

“Hot new guy? Stiles.” She grinned. “There’s a betting pool on what his real name is. Starts with an M and is apparently Polish. Stiles refuses to admit what it is, but Scott’s agreed to spill the beans if someone guesses correctly. No luck so far. Pot’s pretty big, it’s at about six hundred bucks if you want in.”

“Pass.” Derek moved aside so she could lead the way out and followed behind her, hands in his pockets. “How long has he been working here, anyway?” He was hoping only a day or two, hence the excited hubbub, but Erica informed him he’d started on Derek’s first day of vacation.

That meant he’d been around for two weeks already, and people were still talking about him. He was probably going to get tired of hearing about the guy.

And he doubted he was as hot as everyone kept insisting he was.

Derek had been back at work for four days when he saw an email come in from someone who’d never touched base with him before. He frowned at seeing ‘M. Stiles Stilinski’ in his inbox, and wondered what kind of incompetent bullshit the guy was going to be asking him.

Clicking the email with a sense of trepidation, he read it over, and was pleasantly surprised. Not only was he not a total moron, he was doing something upper management had never done before. Namely: asking the people using the system about required improvements.

Good morning Derek,
My name is Stiles Stilinski, I’m one of the new PMOs for the company. Sorry to bother you, I’m sure you’re extremely busy, but I’m working on improving the system for your department and when I asked your boss who I could speak to since I want to ensure I’m discussing the upgrades with someone directly affected by them, he recommended you.
I’ve attached a spreadsheet for you, can you take a look and make comments on the various programs when time permits and return to me? No rush, I know you’re busy, but whenever you have a moment so I can get to work on your department’s upgrades would be appreciated.
Let me know if you have any questions.
Stiles Stilinski.

Derek honestly had no idea how to take the email, because it was so out of the norm for their company that he could suddenly understand why the guy’s old company had wanted to keep him. Usually whenever upgrades happened, the little guys who used the system were never consulted. It was always upper management, discussing what they thought was needed without speaking to the actual users.

This guy probably went to bat a lot, having to argue his decisions and insist on spending more money that the higher ups probably didn’t want to spend. But at the end of the day, efficiency was key, and if they’d worked so hard to steal this guy, it would be dumb not to listen to him.

Derek didn’t have time right then to work on the spreadsheet, but he flagged the email and finished up what he was doing. He ended up getting to it an hour later, working through it as fast as possible and making comments on some programs, correcting Stiles where he was wrong, and then sent the document back.

He received a response five minutes later, bracing himself for a negative reaction since most people didn’t like being corrected by the “grunt workers,” but was again pleasantly surprised.

Good afternoon Derek,
This is amazing, thank you so much! I wasn’t expecting this back from you so quickly, I was told you’re in high demand, so I really appreciate the time you took to get me these answers. And thank you for the corrections and suggestions, those are extremely helpful. I’m trying to make your life easier with the upgrades, so anything I missed or left out or misunderstood, feel free to touch base and we can discuss.
Enjoy the rest of your day!
Stiles Stilinski.

“Huh.” Derek kind of understood why everyone liked this guy, now. Sure, most of them spoke about how hot he was, but Derek knew first hand that if someone was attractive, and ended up being an amazing human being, it made them ten times more attractive than they already were.

It was why Derek himself always hovered around being a six. He was ‘pretty but shitty’ as Erica had so succinctly put it. He had a bit of a temper, absolutely zero patience for stupid people, and he’d spent a majority of his high school and college life being looked at like a piece of meat. It had turned him into a sour human being, and he tried to exude murderous intent on a regular basis so people would leave him alone.

He had to wonder how this Stiles person felt. Maybe he liked the attention and it didn’t bother him. Or maybe he was too nice to admit he hated that people always spoke about how attractive he was. Either way, Derek still hadn’t met him—in person, anyway—so he kept his opinion of him purely professional, and decided that so far, he really liked him.

Opening his Business Skype and finding Erica Reyes and Vernon Boyd, he started a three-way chat with them to let them know he’d just had his first encounter with Stiles.

Derek Hale:
Just got an email from Stiles.
Derek Hale:
Seems really nice.

Erica Reyes:
Erica Reyes:
have you met him yet?
Erica Reyes:
is he in today?!
Erica Reyes:
Erica Reyes:
oooohhhhhh my gaaaaaaaawd i would let him bend me over a tableeeeeeeeee

Vernon Boyd:
Erica, remember our chats are monitored, don’t say things like that.

Erica Reyes:
oh please
Erica Reyes:
EVERYONE is saying things like that
Erica Reyes:
heather in HR actually said she’d pay him to let her suck his dick

Derek Hale:
That’s rude.
Derek Hale:
He’s not a piece of meat.
Derek Hale:
People should be more respectful.

Erica Reyes:
i’m respectful!

Derek Hale:
You JUST said you’d let him bend you over a table!

Erica Reyes:
Erica Reyes:

Derek rolled his eyes, asked when they were going to lunch, and then closed out the chat when they’d made their plans.

He managed to get though another two hours of work before his Business Skype chirped at him again. He sighed, annoyed. He never actually had it open during working hours because people tended to harass him on it, but he’d forgotten to close it after his conversation with Erica and Boyd.

Then again, two hours was a good track record for him, usually he’d have gotten tons of messages. People probably hadn’t noticed he was logged on since he usually never was.

Checking the name that had popped up in the corner, he started slightly when he realized it was Stiles.

M. Stiles Stilinski:
Hi Derek. Sorry to bug you again, but can you clarify your comment under the use of Dynamic for your department? I’m not sure I understood and before I begin making changes to the program, I wanted to confirm with you.

Derek Hale:
Hi Stiles. No problem - we mainly use it to keep track of the problem cases and ensure if someone is away that another associate knows what’s been going on. Kind of like an internal, shared filing system, except digitally. Does that help?

M. Stiles Stilinski:
Awesome, thank you :)
M. Stiles Stilinski:
That’s perfect. Just wanted to make sure since I know Finance uses it differently and I’ll need to build out the program into two separate arms to make sure both department have the right functionality.
M. Stiles Stilinski:
Thanks for your help and sorry for the bother!

Derek Hale:
No problem.

He waited to see if Stiles had anything else to say, since most people used Business Skype to chat—himself included, he wouldn’t lie—but he received nothing further and a second later, his window advised that Stiles had closed their chat.

“Huh.” So he was nice, and a hard worker, and apparently really attractive.

Without actually planning it, Derek got up from his desk and wandered towards Erica’s. He insisted he was just taking the long way to the bathroom so he could confirm with her they were still on for lunch in half an hour, but the honest part of him knew he was going to check out Stiles’ office.

When he walked past the double offices, it was clear people were there today, coats and coffee cups present in both Scott and Stiles’ offices, as well as a laptop dock sans laptop in Stiles’, but they were both empty. Probably in a meeting with the big wigs.

Disappointed, Derek continued on his way, stopping by Erica’s desk to confirm lunch and then heading to the bathroom.

Everyone was probably wrong about Stiles’ looks, anyway. Derek was sure he was cute, but nobody could be as attractive as the entire office seemed to suggest.

It had been almost a month since Derek had returned from vacation, and he was slowly beginning to understand why everyone kept waxing poetic about Stiles. He and Derek spoke fairly regularly, but it was always professional and work-related, and Derek was kind of sort of crushing on him just for his personality.

Stiles cared so much about the “grunts” and according to Kira Yukimura down in HR, Stiles and the COO had gotten into a heated argument about the prices of some of the programs he wanted to install at the company because Stiles was adamant it would diminish the workload for the staff and the COO was bitching that it was too expensive.

Apparently, Stiles won, and all the associates in Payroll wanted to worship him because it had made their jobs a million times easier, particularly during Tax season.

It was just really nice to know there was someone out there who had everyone’s backs. Who wasn’t management, but could argue his way into a conversation and get things turned around for the better.

Stiles often messaged Derek on Business Skype, which had led to Derek keeping it open more often than not. He always asked great questions, and wanted to know the nitty gritty of Derek’s day to day so he could help improve his efficiency. One of the days, Derek had even shared his screen with him and let Stiles watch him work for about an hour.

He was sure Stiles was doing other things on the side, but he was still watching because he asked questions about some of the programs, and made notes when Derek commented on what could be improved and what was the most time consuming.

The biggest shock Derek had received was when he’d gone to lunch with Kira and Lydia Martin, HR and Payroll respectively, and had been told Stiles was in discussion with the CEO about people in the company who were severely underpaid.

He’d thought it was a nice thing for a PMO to be arguing, but hadn’t thought much of it until a few days later when he received a letter from the COO advising his salary had been bumped up by three percent. The first thing he thought of upon reading the letter was the discussion he’d had with Kira and Lydia.

He immediately opened a message with Stiles.

Derek Hale:
Thank you.

M. Stiles Stilinski:
M. Stiles Stilinski:
For what?

Derek Hale:
It’s not a well-kept secret.

He figured Stiles would know what he was talking about, and was proven correct when Stiles replied.

M. Stiles Stilinski:
M. Stiles Stilinski:
Well that’s embarrassing LOL
M. Stiles Stilinski:
I just don’t like seeing people’s hard work going unappreciated
M. Stiles Stilinski:
That’s also how you lose good people
M. Stiles Stilinski:
Efficiency and compensation are key
M. Stiles Stilinski:
They hired me to keep their key staff
M. Stiles Stilinski:
I’m helping them make sure they succeed
M. Stiles Stilinski:
And you’re key staff
M. Stiles Stilinski:
Seriously, that department would be lost without you
M. Stiles Stilinski:
Your boss couldn’t answer most of the questions I asked him my first two weeks here
M. Stiles Stilinski:
Which was hilarious to me because I was asking him legit managerial questions since I was saving the ‘grunt’ questions for someone on the floor
M. Stiles Stilinski:
But he said he delegated a lot of things to you for efficiency purposes because he often goes to meetings and the jobs wouldn’t get done
M. Stiles Stilinski:
The fact that he told me the managerial user control questions should also go to you at least shows he’s a good manager. He didn’t just make up a half-assed answer, he actually told me to ask you to make sure I got the RIGHT answers

Derek Hale:
Yeah, he’s a great boss.
Derek Hale:
But you’re really making a huge difference, you know that, right?
Derek Hale:
Payroll loves you.

M. Stiles Stilinski:
LOL yeah, I heard
M. Stiles Stilinski:
It’s my job, and even if it wasn’t, my dad raised me to fight for the little guy :)
M. Stiles Stilinski:
Not that you’re little...
M. Stiles Stilinski:
I mean, you COULD be little...
M. Stiles Stilinski:
I don’t even know where you sit.... ARE you little?

Derek snorted at that, shaking his head.

Derek Hale:
Six foot, so no

M. Stiles Stilinski:
Ooooooh~ Tall guy
M. Stiles Stilinski:
I like tall guys ;P
M. Stiles Stilinski:
They help me with all the cups in the lunch room I can’t reach |D

Derek couldn’t help but laugh at that, typing out another response, despite knowing he should be getting back to work. He wasn’t taking lunch today anyway, this could count towards his lunch break.

Derek Hale:
Short guy, then?

M. Stiles Stilinski:
Nah, I’m 5'10"

Derek Hale:
You are LITERALLY two inches shorter than me!
Derek Hale:
You can damn well reach the cups on the top shelf yourself!

M. Stiles Stilinski:
I mean, I COULD
M. Stiles Stilinski:
But where’s the fun in that? :P
M. Stiles Stilinski:
Anyway, I’ll try and stop by next time I’m in the office
M. Stiles Stilinski:
Usually have tons of meetings when I go in though, so no promises, but it’d be nice to finally meet you in person :)

Derek Hale:
Derek Hale:
Let me know, I’ll keep my busy schedule open for you.

M. Stiles Stilinski:
Oh my, I feel SUPER special now :P
M. Stiles Stilinski:
Maybe we can grab lunch or something one day
M. Stiles Stilinski:
Bleh, Scott’s calling, ttyl

Derek Hale:
You know where to find me.
Derek Hale:
And seriously, thank you.

M. Stiles Stilinski:
:) :) :)

The chat advised Stiles had closed the window and Derek leaned back in his seat, scrolling through the message and smiling a little. Stiles really was an amazing human being. Derek was willing to bet even if he didn’t think he was as hot as everyone said, he was so attracted to his personality he probably wouldn’t even care.

Not that he thought this would end up going anywhere. He was just being stupidly optimistic, at this point.

But man, did he want to meet him in person.

Erica Reyes:
HE IS HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Erica Reyes:
he doesn’t usually come in on fridays!!!!!!!
Erica Reyes:
but apparently he and the coo and ceo have a meeting
Erica Reyes:
with scott, who is the one who told me why he was in today
Erica Reyes:
Erica Reyes:

Derek Hale:
You need to cut back on the coffee.

He refused to admit to her he’d straightened in his chair at the words. It was half past nine, which meant Stiles hadn’t been scheduled to come in today and been forced into it. Derek knew from Boyd—because, Security and all—that Stiles usually always got in before most of the rest of the staff whenever he came into the office, so him coming in late meant he wasn’t originally scheduled.

Trying not to be too excited about it, he hastily got to his feet and forced himself to keep a steady pace all the way down the corridor. When he reached the offices at the end, he saw Scott’s door open with a coat and coffee, but Stiles’ was closed and there was someone sitting at the desk. It looked like he was on a conference call, speakerphone engaged which was why he had the door closed.

Derek couldn’t help the small stab of disappointment.

Sure, he was cute, but he wasn’t anything like he’d imagined. Curly black hair, a hard jaw, dark brown eyes. He kind of looked like he had a bit of a chip on his shoulder, which was completely at odds with the Stiles he’d pictured after weeks of speaking to him on Skype.

The guy behind the desk glanced up when he saw Derek through the glass. He raised his eyebrows, then lifted one hand and motioned for him to shoo.

Derek scowled, his opinion of Stiles instantly plummeting. Great. So he’d kind of been crushing on an asshole. Well, good thing he wasn’t that cute, then.

Deciding to go and bitch at Erica for setting his expectations too high, he stopped beside her cubicle and let her finish typing an email before speaking.

“So I just saw Stiles.”

She perked up instantly, grinning like a Cheshire cat. “And?”

“Well first of all, he’s kind of an asshole, since he saw me outside his office while on a call and shooed me away.”

Her eyebrows shot up. “What?”

“And second, he’s really not that attractive. I mean, yeah, he’s good looking, I’d probably have given him a once over at a bar, but he’s not as hot as all of you led me to believe.” He shrugged. “So thanks for the disappointment.”

“What are you talking about?” Erica demanded, completely dumbfounded. “Stiles would never shoo someone away! He usually grins and waves or rolls his eyes and makes grand gestures whenever he’s on a call in his office. I’ve literally seen him do pushups in there while listening to someone yell at him. And since when do you not like cheekbones? And his smile is gorgeous, Derek, what the hell? Do you have no taste?”

“Well he wasn’t smiling, and his cheekbones weren’t that pronounced. Besides, I don’t like ravens, you know this.”

Erica stared at him. “What?”

“What?” he repeated.

“Stiles is a brunet, what are you talking about?” She frowned, then got to her feet. “I think you’re confused.”

He let her walk past him and obediently followed, trying not to sigh in frustration. They headed back down the corridor towards the closed office door and Erica peeked around the corner to look through the window before sighing in relief and turning to Derek, grinning.

“That’s not Stiles, that’s Scott.”

“Pretty sure the plaque says otherwise.”

She shook her head, hands on her hips. “Scott and Stiles always do their calls together, makes life easier for them. Stiles only just got in, he probably set Scott up for their call and went to get a coffee.” Her eyes shot past Derek and a positively malicious grin overtook her features. She reached up to grip Derek’s chin and forcibly turned his head around, almost like she wanted him to do a complete one-eighty. “That is Stiles.”

Derek obediently shifted his gaze, twisting his body around to have a look at this so-called ‘hot new guy’ and instantly felt his stomach hit his feet.

“Jesus fucking Christ.”

“Right?” Erica was totally grinning.

Stiles was fucking gorgeous, good fucking Lord! Soft brown hair, bright amber-coloured eyes, a spattering of moles across his face and neck. His smile was bright and inviting, he walked with the confidence of someone who knew how to get shit done, and his hands... Jesus Christ, Derek was already in love with his hands.

He’d been wrong.

He’d been so, so wrong.

He’s expected an Apollo because everyone kept talking up an Adonis. He didn’t get an Adonis.

He got a fucking Aphrodite.

“Your mouth’s open,” Erica teased.

Derek didn’t have the ability to scowl at her, but he also knew his mouth wasn’t open. Well, kind of open. His lips were parted, but he just forced himself to lick them and press them back together, Stiles waving and calling morning greetings to a few people as he walked past them.

He was so jealous to realize Stiles walked past Erica’s desk every morning he was in the office. He probably said hi to her, too. God dammit, this was so unfair!

When he approached them, his eyes finally shifted to Derek, and he felt supremely pleased at the once-over he got. Stiles didn’t react though, he just smiled and took a sip of his coffee, glancing past Derek at Erica.

“Morning Erica.”

“Good morning Stiles,” Erica practically purred, pressing into Derek’s back and wrapping both arms around his neck from behind, chin on his shoulder. “Nice to see you in the office today.”

“Yeah, apparently there’s a heated debate about the numbers Scott and I are pushing for.” He rolled his eyes, and glanced at Derek again, inspecting every inch of his face while taking another sip of his coffee.

“Well, better for us, we love having you in the building. Have you met Derek?”

Stiles promptly spat out his coffee, coughing hard and covering his mouth with his free hand as if to stop any more liquid from escaping it, despite it being much too late. Eyes watering, they shot back to Derek, and he had to admit, Derek was insanely satisfied. Because it looked like Stiles was having the same reaction to Derek as Derek himself had had at the sight of him.

“Thought I’d come by and say hi in person,” Derek said, managing to keep his voice even.

“Hi,” Stiles managed to choke out, still staring at him. “I’d shake your hand, but uh...” He winced, and the flush working its way up his neck was the most adorable thing Derek had ever seen. He acted like someone who had no fucking idea how drop dead gorgeous he was.

“We can chat later, you’re late for a call.” Derek nodded his head towards the office.

“Right.” Stiles wiped at his mouth with his hand, wincing since it mostly just smeared coffee across his chin. “Uh, did you—lunch. We said lunch. Are you—did you want to—it’s fine if you don’t, if you’re busy or—”

“Lunch,” Derek agreed with a small smile. “Let me know when you’re free.”

Stiles nodded emphatically, inched around them, and disappeared into his office, the loud voice of the CEO carrying when the door opened, and then muffling once more when it shut.

Derek moved forward a few steps to make sure they were out of hearing range, Erica moving with him since she was still draped across his back, and then turned his head to look at her.

“Holy shit.”

“Right?!” Erica slapped him hard in the chest, then finally pulled away, grinning. “And looks to me like you two are pretty chummy. Lunch date?” She waggled her eyebrows.

Derek refused to be embarrassed. “We talk a lot on Skype. He said we should grab lunch when he was next in.”

“You lucky dog.” She slapped him in the arm this time, still grinning. “If you guys become a thing, you better remember Boyd and I want a threesome. I’m fine making it a foursome.”

“Be polite,” Derek insisted, scowling. “He probably get objectified all the time. At least I started crushing on him through Skype without any idea what he looked like.”

“And boy did you luck out.” She winked and began walking backwards towards her desk. “It’s okay, Derek. Looks like he feels he lucked out, too.”

Derek perked up slightly. “You think?”

“Honey.” She gave him a look. “He spat his coffee out. Pretty sure he thinks he hit the jackpot. Try not to ruin it with your shitty personality. A pretty face can only get you so far.”

Derek was definitely not going to blow this. He didn’t actually know what the workplace policy was for dating PMOs from his position. They weren’t technically managers, but they were higher up than his position for sure, so if things went well, he’d probably have to speak to Kira to ensure neither of them were put in an uncomfortable position.

Turning to head back for his desk, he couldn’t help but glance over his shoulder when he walked back around the corner. Stiles was standing behind Scott, who was still sitting in his chair, and he glanced up when he saw the movement. He grinned brilliantly and waved, Derek smiling and offering a wave in return until he was back around the next corner and out of sight.

When he reached his desk and unlocked his screen, he saw a new message on Skype from Stiles, and couldn’t help smiling.

M. Stiles Stilinski:
Nice to finally meet you in person :) :) :)
M. Stiles Stilinski:
Lunch at 12:30?

Derek found it amusing to think that Stiles had kicked Scott out of his chair to message him.

Derek Hale:
Sounds perfect.

M. Stiles Stilinski:
M. Stiles Stilinski:
Can’t wait :D

Derek Hale:
Me too :)

Derek was really glad he’d gotten to know Stiles before seeing him. As someone who often felt like people only liked him for his looks, he couldn’t imagine what someone like Stiles must’ve felt like. Though, really, Stiles seriously did act like someone who didn’t know how attractive he was.

Either way, whether he did know or not, this was better. Having them both know that any attraction between them had started long before a face-to-face was comforting and exciting.

Derek might have been thrilled at how attractive ‘hot new guy’ was, but he’d definitely started crushing on him for his personality.

He was looking forward to their lunch together, being able to be around Stiles in person. He was sure his energy was captivating, and Stiles’ smile could probably melt even a frigid heart like Derek’s with how bright and open it was.

Derek couldn’t wait. Lunch seemed entirely too far away.

Apparently Stiles thought so, too, because he sent another message.

M. Stiles Stilinski:
M. Stiles Stilinski:
Coffee at nine?

Derek Hale:
Coffee at nine.
Derek Hale:
Eight, if you can make it.

M. Stiles Stilinski:
Eight it is!

Derek smiled.