Thursdays are Stiles’ favorite day. Thursdays are when Stiles steps away from Pack dynamics and the supernatural world to hang out with his babcia. His babcia is his favorite person in the entire world. She’s seventy, wears a shawl around her shoulders every day despite the weather, and speaks to him in a mixture of English and Polish. Stiles only met her a few years ago, when she finally moved from Poland after his dziadek died. She and her sister got a little apartment in San Francisco above a Polish restaurant and traded recipes and baked goods for cheap rent.
Babcia moved to Beacon Hills last year after her sister died to be closer to her son and grandson. Stiles was okay with this, and so was the sheriff as long as she got her own place and didn’t ask to live with them. “I just can’t have her in my house all the time,” the sheriff had told Stiles. “You say my heart’s bad now, if I had to live with her, I’m pretty sure it would explode.”
So, Babcia lives in a small apartment halfway between Beacon Hills and Beacon City, and Stiles picks her up every Thursday and takes her to bingo. It’s been their tradition for a year now.
As they drive to the lodge on this particular Thursday, Stiles keeps looking over at the passenger side nervously. His babcia has that look on her face, the one that says she’s up to no good and Stiles is definitely going to suffer for it. She is a Stilinski, after all; it’s in their blood. When Stiles takes his eyes off the road to glance at her again, she’s still smiling at him in her creepy, old lady way.
“Out with it,” Stiles says. “What’s got you grinning like that? You’re starting to creep me out.”
His babcia just huffs , her mouth forming a hard line. “Why do you do that, Garnuszek? So rude, that mouth so disrespectful.”
“Hey, I am so not disrespectful. I respect you, really.” She gives him a flat look. “I’m taking you to bingo, aren’t I? Come on, Babcia, you know you’re my favorite girl.” He turns to grin at her, reaching out to rub her shawl-covered shoulder. She harrumphs, unimpressed. “Plus, we talked about the first name thing. It’s Stiles, remember?”
“I’ll never understand why your parents changed it. Garnuszek is good Polish name. Strong name, for a strong boy.”
Stiles rolls his eyes. It’s a familiar argument that mirrors the one where she yells at the sheriff in Polish for changing his first name from his given Polish one to John. At least his dad had a normal Polish name; Garnuszek was just plain weird, in America or Poland.
That look suddenly returns to her eyes. “What? You’re still grinning.”
“There’s a new boy at the lodge. He calls out the numbers twice a week. He’s been there for three weeks now. Very tall, dark hair. Very…” she trails off in frustration like she does when she can’t quite figure out the English word. She starts gesticulating wildly with her hands, “przystojny!”
“I don’t know what that means, Babcia.” Stiles knows bits of Polish, mostly enough to get around if he ever went to Poland, exchange pleasantries, and compliment dinner. He understands a tad bit more, but this word is unfamiliar.
She rolls her eyes. “You should have learned Polish as little boy. Full Polish grandson, never been to Poland, doesn’t know Polish…”
“Here we go again,” Stiles groans, rolling his head around in irritation as she starts rambling in Polish. This is yet another familiar argument, because apparently, his babcia disagrees with how American the sheriff raised Stiles. His dad was born in the United States, and his parents had decided to put him through American schools. After he graduated and joined the military, they moved back to Poland and didn’t return to the states until when Babcia moved to San Francisco. But the sheriff had grown up fluent in both Polish and English, and had visited Poland every summer until he enlisted.
His mother had also been full-blooded Polish, but her parents were second generation immigrants, so she’d known less Polish and only gone to Poland twice in her lifetime. His dad and mom used to joke that Babcialoved her even though she thought his mom wasn’t Polish enough.
Stiles was always supposed to visit Poland and spend the summer with his paternal grandparents the year of his tenth birthday, but that had been the last thing on his and his dad’s minds that year.
His babcia grabs his arm and points to her face, then his. “Przystojny!” She cups Stiles’ cheek with a wrinkled hand, then touches his nose, lips, and the corners of his eyes. “Przystojny.”
“Cute?” Stiles guesses, mainly because she was talking about a guy, not because he had a clue about what she was doing. She nods, but moves her hand to encourage him to go on. “Hot? Gorgeous? Attractive? Handsome?”
“Tak! Handsome. The boy is very handsome. You will like him.”
She lifts her chin defiantly. “I am very proud you are my wnuk.”
Stiles sighs, though a smile tugs at his mouth. “I know. But that doesn’t mean you should try and set me up with every cute guy you see at the supermarket or at bingo!”
Babcia slaps him across the back of his head. Stiles yelps. “You want boyfriend, I find you boyfriend,” she says, thumping her chest.
Stiles sighs again. “Fine. Just don’t embarrass me, okay? Cause like, just because the guy is cute and you approve doesn’t mean he’s into guys or is going to like me, too.”
She grunts but nods.
Stiles follows his babcia into the lodge where she plays bingo five nights a week, Thursdays with Stiles. Scott and Lydia had laughed at him when they found out he played bingo with senior citizens once a week, but Stiles loves the old people. They’re hilarious and have the best stories. Plus, it’s nice to be among people who don’t have a clue about the supernatural. It’s nice to listen to them complain about politics, the weather, music, and the general degeneration of America. Keeps things interesting since most weekends Stiles is out with the Pack, either training or taking care of a threat, and if it’s a special day and they’re lucky, the Pack can go see a movie or grab a pizza like normal teenagers.
A bunch of people wave and speak as they walk through the hall. He talks to Greenberg’s grandfather for a moment, then gets a hug from Danny’s grandmother. After a few more greetings, Stiles takes his usual spot beside his babcia at the front table, six bingo cards set out in front of him. His babcia has at least twice that.
They’re talking about how to program her DVR when someone comes up behind them. Stiles absently glances to the side, then does a double take. “Derek?” Stiles exclaims, because yes, that is Derek standing beside him, glaring at him, leather jacket and all. “What are you doing here?”
“I was going to ask you the same thing.”
“You know this boy, Garnuszek?” Babcia asks, looking between the two. Stiles glares at her as Derek looks at her curiously.
“That’s your name?” Derek asks, turning back to him.
Stiles groans as he puts his face into his hands. His babcia, though, stares up at Derek and says, “Nothing wrong with his name. Why do you make him ashamed of his given name?”
Derek’s mouth falls open in surprise, and Stiles isn’t sure he’s ever seen Derek look so nervous as he scrambles for words. “It’s just, Stiles is, he’s never…” Derek exhales through his nose in frustration. “It’s a fine name.”
“I know this!” she exclaims. “I help pick it out. It was his mother’s father’s name. Means ‘little pot’ in English. I call Garnuszek as little boy, my little tea pot.”
Derek’s trying to fight a smile, and Stiles, well, Stiles wants the floor to open up and swallow him whole. “Your name means ‘little pot’?” Derek asks, way too gleeful at this whole new revelation.
“Tell Scott, and I make your life miserable. Like, purple flower miserable,” Stiles threatens, trying to get the meaning across with his eyebrows, though Derek seems unfazed.
Derek just smirks and turns to his babcia. “I’m Derek, it was nice meeting you.” Then, he turns and walks up to the stage at the front of the room and sits down. Stiles has his head cradled in his hands, generally hating his life and maybe his babcia, when he hears Derek calls out, “B-2.” Stiles’ head shoots up, and then his mouth drops.
“Not now, Garnuszek. Bingo.”
Stiles picks up his marker as Derek calls out “I-29.”
Stiles can barely think during bingo. Mainly because it’s Derek, the same Derek who’s been quasi-Pack, who Stiles has patched up more times than he can count, who works alongside Scott and his dad on cases, and who Stiles may or may not have been crushing on hard for the last six months or so. Derek is calling out bingo numbers.
He starts to text Scott, but realizes he’s not sure he wants to make fun of Derek for working bingo at the local lodge. And maybe just for now, Stiles wants to keep this to himself. He wants to enjoy that only he gets this rare glimpse into Derek’s real life. Even after knowing him for a couple of years, Derek is still extremely secretive and aloof. So, instead, Stiles surreptitiously watches Derek as he pulls out numbers and then leans towards the microphone to call them out. He’s taken off his jacket and is in a navy Henley that keeps drawing Stiles’ attention. Stiles decided a long time ago that Derek in Henleys should be illegal, because wow, but it was only lately that Stiles has felt the urge to run his hands over the soft cotton, feel the dip and swell of the muscles beneath his hands.
Stiles is openly staring at Derek’s profile, daydreaming about how the scratch of his beard would feel against his cheeks, when Derek turns and catches his eyes. He holds them until Stiles turns away with a blush.
Around the ninth game, Stiles realizes he’s ultimately twisted because this whole thing is incredibly hot. Derek willingly spending his free time with a bunch of senior citizens for some reason makes Stiles feel all warm and tingly in ways he’s not used to (mainly because Stiles is used to feeling tingly down south, not around his chest area. It’s kinda weirding him out). He really needs bingo to be over like, right now.
After the games finish, his babcia leaves him to collect the cards while she visits with her friends. Stiles is returning the cards and markers to the large plastic bins when Derek walks up to him. “I didn’t know you had a grandmother.”
Stiles drops his materials with a thunk before turning to Derek, rolling his eyes. “Dude, everyone has a grandmother.”
Derek frowns. “That’s not what I meant.”
Stiles sighs and shrugs. “That’s my babcia. She lived in Poland until a few years ago. She moved to Beacon Hills last year.”
Derek looks confused. “She’s been here a year? Why haven’t I heard about her?”
Stiles studies Derek for a moment, unsure what to do with that comment. “Because mostly you communicate in grunts and eyebrow signals. Plus, it’s not like we sit around and discuss our days, which we totally can start if you want, might be a change from always listening to Scott’s boring ones. It just never crossed my mind to say, ‘Hey Derek, my little old Polish granny just moved into town’ while in the middle of fighting baddies.”
Derek rolls his eyes. “Your dad has mentioned his mother a few times, I just didn’t know she lived around here.”
“Yeah, we play bingo every Thursday, and she comes over for Sunday dinner, sometimes Monday if we’re otherwise occupied on Sundays. She drives dad crazy because she’s always criticizing his life choices.” Stiles laughs.
“Must be nice,” Derek says, looking longingly at where Stiles’ babcia is talking with three other people. Stiles is once again hit with how lonely it must be for Derek sometimes. Cora’s still in South America, and Peter is god knows where. Even though Isaac returned from France sometime last year and he and Derek seemed to work out their issues, it’s not like they’re best friends by any definition. Stiles is pretty sure Derek spends all his time alone.
“Were you close to your grandparents?” Stiles asks. “I didn’t know my dziadek, my dad’s dad. He died when I was small. My mom’s parents lived in the states and died when I was a kid. So, really, it’s just babcia, and even with her I barely knew her until a few years ago.”
Derek turns back to Stiles, and hesitates. Stiles is about to tell him to forget he asked about his grandparents until Derek says, “Yes, I was close to my grandparents, especially to my grandmother. They, um, they died in the fire, too.”
They share a quiet moment. Stiles feels like he just got handed a treasured piece of information, and he adds it to the nearly empty box labeled Derek in his head.
Then Derek smirks. “So, your name.” He lifts his brows and crosses his arms. “Little pot, really?”
Stiles groans. “Dude, please don’t tell anyone. I’m literally humiliated right now, and that look you’ve got on your face isn’t a good one.”
“How do you say it again? I need to practice it.”
“You’re an ass,” Stiles snaps, and Derek just gives him a shit-eating grin. “Forgive me for not having a boring name like Derek Hale.”
Derek shrugs, then turns and walks away. Over his shoulder, he says, “I won’t tell anyone.” He pauses. “Little pot.”
No more crush. Stiles totally hates that guy.
“He’s very przystojny, is he not? This Derek?” his babcia asks when they’re on their way back to her apartment.
“Oh, he’s definitely handsome,” Stiles agrees.
“Good. You date him.”
Stiles snorts. “Doesn’t work that way.”
“Sure, it does. You like him, he likes you, you both are przystojny.” She shrugs. “Simple.”
“First, I’m totally not handsome.” That earns him a slap on the back of the head. “Really with the head slaps, Babcia?”
“How dare you say you are not przystojny? You are a Stilinski! You have pale skin and beautiful eyes. You are bardzo przystojny.”
“You’re like required to think that. You’re my babcia.”
“Babcia knows best.”
“Okay, if we go with your totally wrong and deluded idea that I am handsome, it doesn’t mean Derek likes me.”
“But you like him,” she says knowingly.
“I don’t like him.”
She slaps his head again. “Don’t lie to your elders.”
“It’s not like he likes me, so it doesn’t matter.” Stiles shifts uncomfortably.
“The boy likes you,” Babcia states. Stiles just grunts. “You know him, how?”
“We’ve known him for awhile. He sometimes works with dad on stuff.”
Babcia makes a noise in her throat. “How old is this boy?”
Stiles shrugs. “Like twenty four or something?”
She hums in approval. “Not too old. Good. Six years is good difference. Your dziadekwas seven years older than me. Was good.”
“Doesn’t matter. It’s not going to happen with him. So, you might want to try to find me a guy at the grocery store or something.”
“Oh, kochany wnusiu.” She reaches over, takes his hand, and squeezes.
Stiles doesn’t know why he’s nervous about Saturday training. It’s not like Derek shows up to every training session, and even if he does, it’s not like he’s going to tell everyone his name. Maybe Stiles should tell the Pack his name, just to get it over with. But he kinda likes that no one knows his name. (And maybe he likes that now Derek knows his name.)
It’s not that he’s embarrassed so much as just avoiding the awkward questions: “That’s your name? How do you say that? How do you spell that? Why would anyone name their kid that?” And those were the nice ones. Stiles had gone to school with his first name in kindergarten, but after Stiles had come home crying because the kids made fun of him because of his name (among other things), his mother decided he should go by Stiles. It had been her nickname for him, anyway.
Stiles is practicing sword fighting with Kira using two long wooden poles when Derek walks into the clearing. Stiles loses his concentration as his eyes track Derek’s movements through the trees and fails to block a blow, which results in Kira hitting him in the side with her weapon.
Stiles yelps in pain as he drops to the ground holding his side, and Kira drops her pole and exclaims, “Oh my god! I am so sorry. I didn’t break anything, did I? I hope I didn’t break anything.”
“No,” Stiles wheezes, his side throbbing. He’s on his knees, eyes squeezed shut because he might cry otherwise. “It’s all good.”
“What happened?” Stiles hears Scott ask, and as Kira explains, someone drops beside him. A hand presses against him, and then the pain starts to lessen. Stiles feels some of the overwhelming throbbing decrease until he’s able to open his eyes. He’s surprised to find Derek crouching beside him, pinched frown on his face, black trailing through his veins.
“Stiles, are you okay?” Scott asks, and Stiles tears his eyes away from Derek’s and tries to tamp down the flare of emotions. He’s already lightheaded enough from the sudden absence of pain. Kira’s fidgeting behind Scott, chewing on her lip and looking like she’s ready to take her katana and run.
“I’m fine,” Stiles says, trying to push himself into a standing position. Those hands are on him again, and Stiles shoots a look at Derek. “I can do it.” Derek’s frown deepens as he steps away. Scott’s immediately there, lifting Stiles’ shirt to look at the already bruising skin.
“Stiles, I’m so sorry,” Kira says, about to cry.
“It’s okay, just bruised. It’s good.” He shrugs, and she looks a bit relieved.
Stiles takes his bruised side as a good indication that he should sit out the remainder of the training session. He watches as Isaac and Liam spar with Scott looking on, then turns his eyes to Kira, Lydia, and Derek working on some human versus wolf offensive maneuver. The longer Stiles sits there, the more his side hurts. He wonders if perhaps Kira did actually injure him, and then realizes it’s not even close to the worst injury he’s had. But wow, his side really freaking hurts.
After Kira and Lydia fail to take Derek down yet again, Derek leaves them to some one on one sparring and crosses the clearing to drop beside Stiles. “How’s the side?”
Stiles shrugs. “Hurts. Probably won’t be comfortable to move for the next week, so lacrosse practice is gonna suck. Good thing I’m still on the bench.” He watches as Lydia dances around with Kira in graceful movements, the practice daggers they have in each hand making soft clacking noises when they meet. “Obviously, sword wielding is not my forte.”
The edge of Derek’s mouth quirks, and Stiles feels a small flare of triumph.
“I think I’m more of a behind the scenes kind of guy,” Stiles continues, “or the run in head first with no plan of attack variety. Every weapon seems to be a failure for me.”
“You’ll find your niche,” Derek says. “Maybe.”
Stiles pushes him playfully, and Derek cracks a smile. Then, he stands. “Put some ice on it,” he instructs. “Little pot.”
“I hate you!” Stiles yells at Derek’s back as he walks away.
Stiles will deny it if anyone asks him, but he absolutely dresses up a little for bingo on Thursday. He still hasn’t told Scott that Derek read the numbers the previous week, because when they saw Derek on Saturday and he didn’t mention it, who was Stiles to spill Derek’s secret? Besides, Derek had blackmail on him, so Stiles had a reason to stay on Derek’s good side.
His babcia gives him a knowing look when he picks her up. She rakes her eyes down his form, which is only different in that Stiles is wearing nicer, tighter jeans and a cardigan over his t-shirt instead of an old hoodie. “Not a word,” he says as they walk to the Jeep, and she mimes zipping her mouth.
When they enter the lodge, they make their usual rounds of greetings. Danny’s there tonight with his grandmother, and they share the front table with Stiles. Danny sits beside him and spreads out his bingo cards in front of him, ten in comparison to Stiles’ six. Apparently, Stiles is the least serious bingo player in the entire lodge.
“I didn’t know your cousin Miguel is the new bingo guy,” Danny smirks.
“What cousin?” Babcia leans forward, interrupting them. “Garnuszek does not have a cousin named Miguel, yes?”
Because Danny’s been playing bingo with his grandma every few weeks over the last year, he learned Stiles’ real name a long time ago. Danny hadn’t made fun of him; he’d given him a sympathetic smile and said, “Wait till you hear my grandmother call me by my real name.” And they’d made a secret pact that day to take each other’s secret to the grave.
Now, Danny’s smirking at him. “Never thought he was your cousin,” he whispers, elbowing Stiles in the side.
“He’s a…friend,” Stiles says, and Danny looks at him like he absolutely does not believe that.
“Who is Miguel?” Babcia asks. “I think he is confused. The bingo boy is Derek. We met him last week. Very nice. Garnuszek thinks so, too.”
“Babcia!” Stiles groans as Danny mutters, “I bet you do.”
Stiles punches him.
Derek comes by the table a few minutes later on his way to the stage. “Derek! So nice to see you again!” Babcia stands up and yanks Derek’s face down to her height, all four foot ten of it, and then kisses both his cheeks.
“Hello.” Derek straightens, rubbing his cheeks and staring at her like he’s afraid of her.
“You call my numbers this week, yes?” she asks with a sly grin. “I want to win bingo. Garnuszek and I never win. Always lose.”
“I’ll try my best,” Derek says, glancing over at Stiles. His eyes fall over to Danny, and he scowls.
“Hi Miguel,” Danny says with a wide smile.
Derek looks at him in confusion, and Stiles rolls his eyes. “Danny, this is Derek. Derek, this is Danny.”
Derek gives Danny a clipped nod, and then turns to Stiles. “How’s your side?”
“What’s wrong with your side?” Babcia asks. She leans around Derek to look at Stiles. “Did you get hurt?”
“It’s fine, Babcia.” He stares at Derek. “It’s fine.”
“How does Derek know about your side? When did you two see each other?”
“He showed up when I was hanging with Scott this weekend,” Stiles sighs. “It’s nothing. Everything is a-okay.” Truth is, his side has a long, wide black bruise on it that makes it uncomfortable to move certain ways or breath too deeply, but he didn’t feel like explaining that to his babcia. Derek gives him an imploring look, and Stiles says a bit more quietly, “It’s fine.”
Derek nods, then makes his way to the stage.
Afterwards, Babcia disappears while Stiles is putting the materials away. So, he makes his way around the room and collects materials from others so they don’t have to walk all the way to the far front corner. They pat his back and a few of the old ladies give him kisses on his cheek.
“You’re quite popular,” Derek says when he meets Stiles at the front by the plastic containers. “They love you.”
“They love Danny, too, but everyone loves Danny, so…” Stiles shrugs. “They like that young people are coming to bingo, I guess. Some of them keep trying to set me up with their granddaughters.”
“That’s nice of them.”
Stiles makes a face. “Not really. I’m not really interested in dating random people’s granddaughters. Some of them live like a hundred miles away.” He smirks at Derek. “Just wait, they’ll start trying to set you up with their granddaughters soon. Or they may try to set you up with themselves.”
Derek huffs and straightens a bit. “What makes you think they haven’t already done that?”
“Oh, excuse me, Mr. Pride Wolf. How dare I not believe all the bingo ladies aren’t throwing themselves and their granddaughters at you in droves.”
Derek huffs through his nose. “That’s not what I meant.”
“Admit it, I totally hurt your pride.”
“Hey,” Stiles says suddenly, looking past Derek’s shoulder into the room. “Have you seen my babcia? She has like disappeared.” Derek shrugs. “There is no telling where that woman has gotten off to. She will stick her nose into anything, whether it belongs there or not.”
“Sounds like someone I know,” Derek drawls.
Stiles scoffs. “Are you talking about moi?”
Derek looks around. “See any other nosy busybodies around?”
“As a matter of face, big guy, I do. There’s Mrs. Gregg over there who – “
“Want to help me carry these into the storage room?” Derek asks, pointing to the bingo supplies and effectively cutting of Stiles’ ramble.
Stiles shrugs. “Sure. Beats sitting around until Babcia reappears.” He grabs one of the plastic containers while Derek grabs one in each arm. “Show off,” he mutters, and Derek just smirks at him.
They carry all the containers with markers and cards into a small closet down a back hallway, then Stiles just tags along when Derek puts away the cage and balls. Out in the hallway, Derek stops in front of Stiles, causing Stiles to stumble into him.
“Hey, you need to learn how to walk because – “
“Let me see your side.”
Derek glowers at him, so Stiles sighs and lifts his shirt to reveal his bruise. Derek frowns as he touches it lightly. Stiles tries to suppress the shiver that runs through his body, but he’s pretty sure he fails.
“That’s a nasty bruise,” Derek states.
“It’s fine,” Stiles says a little more breathlessly than he should. But Derek’s fingers are still on him, and oh god, it’s doing all sorts of things it shouldn’t to him.
But then Derek’s fingers are gone and Stiles can breathe again.
“Put some ice on it, it’ll help,” Derek says, and he doesn’t quite meet Stiles’ eyes. Stiles nods and then they’re walking back into the main room.
“Garnuszek,” Babcia says when Stiles and Derek walk through the door. She looks between them, pleased as pie. Stiles hopes Derek doesn’t catch the look in her eye. “I am ready to leave now.”
“Okay.” He turns to Derek and gives him an awkward wave. “See you later.”
When they’re on the way to the car, Stiles looks over at her. “You totally did that on purpose, didn’t you?”
”Tak!” She nods her head and starts speaking in Polish. Then she says, “You boys need my help.”
“I really don’t.”
“Ucisz się!” She slaps his head. “I will try to make Derek your chłopak.”
Stiles sighs as they arrive at the Jeep. “Babcia, please, no.”
“The boy likes you. He likes you a lot.”
“He doesn’t, believe me.”
She frowns at him when they get settled in the car. “You will not try with Derek, so I try for you.”
“I don’t want Derek as my boyfriend, okay?” Stiles yells. “So, we’re dropping it! Rozumiesz?”
His babcia stares out the window and doesn’t speak the entire ride home. Stiles feels guilty, but he knows how she gets. If he doesn’t put a nail in this, she’ll go overboard, and Stiles will end up humiliated and probably heartbroken. He’d rather just keep things the way they are now.
For once, Stiles is a-okay with warming the bench during the lacrosse game Friday night. His side still hurts and only intensifies when he runs and starts panting. Therefore, Stiles is gladly enjoying the game from his front row seat.
But of course, his dad and Babcia are in the stands, and when Stiles glances over his shoulder, he finds them looking at him hopefully. Stiles shrugs, and his dad gives him a thumbs up. As he turns back towards the game, he wishes that his starting position was a more regular arrangement, and didn’t just happen whenever his dad had to work. Seems his dad always catches him warming the bench instead of out on the field.
Finstock yells all his commentary at Stiles throughout the game, which Stiles finds amusing even if he does feel like he’s losing hearing in his left ear because of it. But the lacrosse team does well, Scott, Kira, Liam, and Danny working well together and scoring over and over. The four of them are nearly unbeatable.
At half-time, Scott and Danny drop on either side of him, Kira and Liam on the other side of Scott. They’re sweaty and chugging sports drinks, and Stiles uses the opportunity to give them a pep talk. Danny rolls his eyes, and Scott throws his damp arm around his shoulders. “Gross, dude,” Stiles says, half-heartedly shoving at Scott’s arm.
Stiles notices Kira twisted around towards the crowd, waving enthusiastically at someone. He throws a cursory glance over his shoulder and is shocked to see Derek and Isaac sitting in the stands. He’s even more shocked to see Derek waving back at her and smiling.
Stiles says, “I didn’t know Isaac was coming.” But what he really means is, “I didn’t know Derek was sitting there watching me warm the bench.”
The others turn and wave at their friends as Danny jokes, “Your boyfriend came to see you play.” Stiles shoves him.
“Huh?” Scott asks, and Stiles shakes his head.
“Uh-huh,” Danny says, chugging the rest of his bottle. Stiles sets the death glare on him.
“What’s Danny talking about?” Scott asks.
“Not important. So, that play while ago, just wow, Scott!” Scott is effectively distracted, and rambles for the next few minutes about the game. When Finstock gathers them around for a team pep talk, Stiles lets his eyes drift back into the stands. Derek and Isaac are no longer there; he can’t decide if that flare is relief or disappointment. But as his eyes continue to lazily scan the crowd, Stiles finds Derek and Isaac again in different seats.
And Derek is sitting next to his babcia.
Stiles may start overreacting a bit, if Scott and Liam’s confused glances towards him mean anything. He just shrugs, and Scott raises a questioning eyebrow, but Stiles shakes his head.
Because he is definitely okay. There is nothing to worry about. Except that Derek is sitting next to his babcia, which can only mean bad things. His mind is only able to conjure so many possibilities of ways she can ruin his life, and yeah, he’s so screwed.
When the third quarter starts, Stiles stealthily looks back into the crowd. Derek and Babcia are in what appears to be a deep conversation, while Isaac and his dad talk beside them. Stiles wishes not for the first time he had werewolf hearing just so he can discover how bad his babcia is humiliating him.
Then, Derek turns towards him and Stiles can’t look away fast enough, so he’s forced to lock eyes with Derek. After a few beats, Derek gives him a small smile and a wave, and Stiles returns it. Of course, Babcia sees this, and gives Stiles a triumphant nod.
Stiles turns back to the game, his ears burning in embarrassment.
Beacon Hills wins, and Stiles leaves the locker room with Scott, Danny, and Liam later after they’ve showered and changed. Stiles finds his family talking to Melissa, Derek, and Isaac in the parking lot just outside the gym. Their attention turns towards the boys as they burst through the gym doors loudly. Melissa hugs Scott tightly, and the sheriff approaches Stiles and lays a hand on his shoulder. “Maybe next game, huh, kiddo?”
Stiles shrugs. “Keep those pipe dreams alive, Pops.” The sheriff sighs.
After Danny and Liam leave, Danny giving Stiles a knowing smirk as he claps him on the shoulder, Stiles adjusts his lacrosse bag and turns back towards the others. Derek’s watching him with a scowl.
“He-ey,” Stiles says awkwardly, because the sheriff and Melissa are talking with Scott and Isaac with Babcia looking on. Derek’s standing slightly off to the side, apart from the group. “Fancy seeing you here.”
“Isaac wanted to show his support,” Derek responds. He glances over to where Isaac and Scott are joking. “I think he misses the team.” Stiles nods, still unable to understand Isaac’s decision to just not return to school when he moved back to Beacon Hills. But, who was Stiles to judge anyone’s choices? They’ve all dealt with what they’ve been through in different ways. Apparently a year in France was more helpful than high school could ever be.
“Let me guess, you were just in the stands because it beats lurking in the shadows?” Stiles gives him a cheeky grin, and Derek rolls his eyes.
“I like lacrosse.”
“You like high school lacrosse?” Stiles asks dubiously.
Derek frowns. “Isaac asked me to come along.”
“Because there’s just no way you’d want to come along otherwise, to watch your Pack-not-Pack-mates play lacrosse. Too cool for that.”
Derek huffs heavily through his nose. “I never said that.”
“Wait, what?” Stiles pauses and stares at Derek. “You really wanted to watch us?” Derek shrugs, and Stiles’ face breaks out into a grin. He slaps Derek’s arm. “You totally are a softy, ohmigod. You wanted to come watch us play! I guess it does beat lurking in the locker rooms.” Stiles throws his head back and laughs, which draws the attention of the others.
“There is no way Derek said something that funny,” Isaac says.
“Oh, definitely not,” Stiles says, sobering. Derek glares at him, and Stiles winks.
“I’m hungry, come on!” Scott yells, leading the way towards the cars.
“Up for some food?” the sheriff asks Stiles as they start moving. “I told Melissa we’d come, too, when she asked.” Stiles nods.
“Derek comes too,” Babcia states. When Derek starts to protest, she says, “Nie! I invite you.” She slips her arm through Derek’s. “I want to hear more about you. You tell me more over fried potatoes.”
Derek looks at Stiles helplessly, and Stiles just snickers.
They end up at iHop, seated at a large table in the back of the restaurant. Stiles thinks that’s probably for the best since they are loud. He somehow ends up between Scott and his babcia, with Derek across from him.Babcia insisted. Because she’s evil.
Because now Stiles has no choice but to look at Derek during their meal, and for some reason, every time his and Derek’s eyes meet, he blushes.
“I thought you play lacrosse,” Babcia asks Stiles after they get their food.
“Uh, I do?” he replies in confusion before shoving a bite of omelet into his mouth.
“No, you did not play tonight. I have been to many games, you never play.”
“He plays sometimes,” Scott says helpfully. “We have a big team.”
She frowns. “You are captain, you let him play!”
“Er, I do, sometimes? I’m not really in control of that,” Scott says. “Coach controls the lineup.”
Babcia shakes her head. “That man, you let Babcia talk to him, then you play.”
Scott snorts and Stiles sighs. “No, you don’t get to talk to Finstock.”
“I don’t think the world is ready for that,” Scott says. “But I would so watch your babcia go up against Finstock.”
“I want to see you play before you go,” she says. “Maybe you practice more. Then you play.”
Stiles doesn’t respond, just concentrates on his food. A moment later, he feels something nudge his foot under the table, and he looks first to Scott, who’s talking to Isaac. When his eyes land on Derek, Derek gives him a small, encouraging smile, and wow, it’s like ten thousand butterflies opened up in Stiles’ chest.
He turns back to his eggs, biting on his lip to hide his smile.
A few moments later, his phone vibrates, and when he glances at the screen, he sees a text from Derek. Confused, he opens it. At least she didn’t call you by your name, little pot.
Stiles chuckles quietly and slips his phone back into his pocket. When he glances back up, Derek’s studying the syrup containers, the tips of his ears pink.
“So, misiek,” Babcia starts, causing Stiles to almost choke on his water. He looks sharply at his babcia, who doesn’t seem to care that she just called Derek a big teddy bear. Derek’s looking at Stiles, one quizzical eyebrow raised, but Stiles shoves his mouth full of hash browns. “Tell me of your family.”
“Babcia!” Stiles hisses. She turns to Stiles and glares.
Stiles looks between her and Derek nervously, but Derek says, “It’s okay, Stiles.”
“It’s not okay. You can’t ask him that question, Babcia.” Stiles shakes his head over and over.
She mutters something in Polish before turning to Derek. “This is a simple question, tak?”
He scratches his beard lightly as he says, “They died.” Babcia nods and waits for him to continue. “My sister lives in South America.”
“Tell me of your family, then tell me of your sister.”
Surprisingly, Derek starts talking. It’s more than Stiles has ever heard him say about his family before, and he tries not to be obvious about how eagerly he’s eating this up. He takes each detail about Derek’s mother, father, Laura, and Cora and files them away into the Derek box inside his head. Stiles wonders if it’s easier talking to Babcia. If maybe she reminds Derek of his own grandmother and somehow puts him at ease. And Babcia just listens attentively, pulling her shawl around her shoulders more tightly as her French fries grow cold, eyes never leaving Derek.
Stiles moves his foot around until he bumps against Derek. There’s less finesse than when Derek did it, but Stiles nudges Derek’s ankle and calf, returning the gesture from earlier, hoping that Derek finds a bit of comfort in it instead of thinking Stiles is weird. Derek turns and holds Stiles’ eyes for a moment as he pushes back against Stiles’ foot beneath the table, and Stiles can feel the pressure all the way up into his throat. Then, Derek focuses back on Babcia, but doesn’t move his foot. Stiles doesn’t move his, either.
When they arrive at their usual table next Thursday, Stiles is disappointed to see Jim, the usual number caller, up on stage instead of Derek. He starts to think that maybe things had gotten too much for Derek. Maybe their sorta game of footsie under that table had been too much, or Babcia asking invasive questions about his past. Maybe that moment in the storage room had freaked him out. Derek had barely even looked at him at training on Saturday. Maybe Derek had changed nights just so he didn’t have to see Stiles at bingo.
“Garnuszek! Move over! I brought a guest.” Stiles stands and turns to see his babcia dragging Derek towards them. She’s got her arm hooked through his again like she doesn’t realize Derek exudes a constant aura of DON’T TOUCH ME. Babcia somehow ignored the grumpy eyebrows and muscles and did what she wanted. Derek probably wants zero to do with Stiles right now, and here she is, forcing him to sit with them. Stiles really hopes Derek doesn’t get the urge to claw and gnaw on his grandmother, because that would make things really awkward.
He shakes his head, trying to clear his spiraling thoughts. “You play bingo?” he asks stupidly.
His babcia hits him on the back of the head. “That is no way to talk to our guest.” Stiles rubs his head as Derek tries to hide his smile. She points to the chair between her and Stiles, and Derek immediately sits down. “Can you bingo?” she asks.
“Babcia, that is literally what I just asked him.” She glares at Stiles, and he shuts his mouth and rolls his eyes.
“Yes, ma’am. I used to play with my grandmother.”
“I didn’t know that!” Stiles says, leaning towards Derek. “I bet you were adorable, little Derek playing bingo with his grandma.” He grins, and Derek scowls at him.
“Prove you can play,” Babcia says, looking at him like she doesn’t believe he can actually play the game. Stiles wants to disappear. He’s pretty sure his grandmother sees this as some kind of test for dating her grandson. He just hopes Derek doesn’t see through her and just thinks she’s some weird old lady.
Derek nods, and goes to pick up their game materials. He returns with a huge stack of cards. Stiles takes his usual six, and his babcia takes her huge stack. Derek lays probably twenty cards out in front of him.
“No way, dude,” Stiles says, shaking his head. “Not even you can cover that many cards.”
Derek turns towards him and lifts his brow. “Want to bet?”
“Fine, let’s see what you can do, big guy.”
Derek, well, Derek is a fierce bingo player. He might be more serious than half of the people in this room, which is saying something. Stiles forgets about his own cards as he watches Derek’s hand stamping cards in whirl of motion each time a number is called.
“Bingo!” Derek calls, and Stiles stares at him. They never win bingo.
Babcia nods in approval after Derek is declared the winner for the round.
The next Thursday, Derek’s already sitting at the table when Stiles arrives. “Didn’t get enough last week?”
Derek shrugs. “I like playing bingo.”
Stiles stares at him and realizes how much an enigma Derek Hale is. He never would have thought that Derek, of all people, would like bingo. “So, is bingo like a wolf thing? The moon give you the urge to stamp cards?”
Derek looks at him like he’s stupid. “My grandmother loved bingo and used to take me, Laura, and Cora all the time. I always liked it more than my sisters. Yes, she was a wolf, but no, it’s not because she was a wolf that she liked it.”
“Just checking,” Stiles says as he takes the seat beside Derek. Babcia is conveniently immersed in conversation somewhere else, leaving Derek and Stiles alone. “Wolves do weird things, dude.”
“Yes, heightened senses, increased strength, unexplained desire to play bingo,” Derek says flatly.
“That was, oh my god, Derek, that was a joke.” Stiles smiles and nudges Derek’s arm with his shoulder.
Derek continues like Stiles hadn’t spoken. “My grandma always told me she liked bingo because it was a game of chance, which meant she didn’t have an unfair advantage.” He shrugs. “My grandmother was odd.”
“I think all the Hales were odd,” Stiles says. Derek gives him a small smile that makes Stiles’ insides flutter.
“My grandpa, on the other hand, liked to go to Vegas a little too much,” Derek shares. “He and Peter used to spend weekends in Vegas, and they’d come back with ridiculous amounts of money.”
“Now I know how you got that Hale fortune.”
Derek smiles. “That’s definitely one way.” His eyes are trained on the cards, and he laughs to himself and says, “Once, Peter got thrown out of a casino and beaten so badly. My grandfather was there with him, and just laughed afterwards. His number one rule was never get caught.”
“You and your family are so bizarre,” Stiles says. Derek lifts his eyes, and Stiles stumbles over his next words. “You’re always surprising me.” They stare at each other for a few moments, and Stiles keeps telling himself to look away, but he just can’t. There’s a look in Derek’s eyes he’s never seen before, and he regrets it when someone walks behind them and jostles Derek’s chair, ruining the moment.
“So,” he says in an effort to dispel the awkwardness, “I thought you were calling out numbers now.”
“I do that on Mondays and Wednesdays,” Derek explains. “I just filled in for Jim.”
Stiles nods as his babcia takes her seat. “Hello, misiek,” she says as she places an affectionate hand on Derek’s forearm. Stiles grins.
“What?” Derek asks, leaning towards Stiles. Stiles’ babcia gives Stiles a knowing look.
“Dude,” Stiles whispers, “She just called you a teddy bear.” He laughs again as Derek’s ears pink. Babcia reaches around Derek to slap the back of Stiles’ head. Derek snickers, and Babcia slaps the back of his head. Derek immediately looks chagrinned, and Stiles, well, Stiles thinks it’s adorable.
“Bet you I’ll get a bingo before you,” Stiles says as he sets up his cards.
“Nope.” Derek only has ten cards tonight.
“You’re probably right. I think I’m a bingo jinx,” Stiles says. “Babcia wins when I’m not here, but she has yet to win once when I’ve come with her.”
“Maybe you are a jinx,” Derek teases.
Derek laughs, and Stiles doesn’t miss his babcia’s look of approval. He rolls his eyes.
After a few games, Stiles excuses himself to the bathroom, and when he returns, Derek and his babcia are deep in conversation. “This can’t be good,” Stiles says, dropping into his seat.
“I do not know why Garnuszek has no manners.” She shakes her head.
“What were you two talking about?” Stiles asks Derek, but Derek just raises an eyebrow and gives him an annoying smile. “Fine, keep your secrets. See if I care.”
None of them get bingo this time, but Derek buys them sodas and popcorn, and they end up having a great time. Stiles can’t help watching Derek with his babcia; the way Derek just naturally falls into conversation with her, the way they seamlessly get along, makes him feel warm all over. His brain wanders during one of the games until he’s imagining bringing Derek home at Thanksgiving and Christmas, including him in some of their Stilinski special holiday traditions, showing Derek their sauerkraut rock and teaching him the recipe. At one point, Derek turns to him and gives him an odd look, and Stiles wonders what he’s reeking of. He wonders if ridiculous schmoopy hope and longing has a scent.
In the Jeep on the way home, Babcia is suspiciously quiet.
“What is it?” Stiles asks, glancing over at her.
“You like him,” she states.
He sighs. “We’ve already established this.”
“You like him a lot. I see how you look at him, how he looks at you. Why is he not your chłopak?”
Stiles flexes his fingers on the steering wheel, trying to figure out how to put it. “He doesn’t see me like you think he does. We…are just acquaintances with mutual friends.”
“Nie,” she declares, shaking her head. “You two are not. More than that, I see it with my own two eyes.” She points to her face, where a pair of thick glasses sit.
“Not that I doubt your eyesight, but no. It’s wishful thinking.”
“ Kochany wnusiu,” she says, reaching over to grab his hand. She holds it between her own smaller ones. “He is a nice boy, I think you two would be good. He is polite, strong, and przystojny. He would make you very szczęśliwy.”
Stiles frowns, frustrated that his babcia could get him so sad and hopeful at the same time. “It’s complicated with Derek,” he says.
Babcia shakes her head. “You make it difficult when it is simple.”
“Things are never simple,” Stiles says quietly.
Babcia makes to slap the back of Stiles’ head, but caresses his hair instead. She speaks to him in Polish, and he has no clue what she’s saying, but it comforts him anyway.
The Pack doesn’t train on Saturday, and the supernatural seems to be on a break. So, they take the opportunity to go for pizza and a movie.
Scott calls Isaac, who brings Derek along. Stiles isn’t surprised to see him there, and it feels natural when Derek takes the chair beside him at the restaurant and orders them a large double pepperoni to share.
At the movies, Stiles stands in line with Scott and Kira, gesticulating wildly as he tells a story. As Kira and Scott approach the counter, Derek steps up beside him in line, holding two large drinks, two boxes of candy, and a large tub of popcorn.
“Dude, thirsty much?” Stiles asks as he waits for his turn to order. Derek rolls his eyes, his head following, as he pushes a cup against Stiles’ chest.
“Cherry Dr. Pepper, right?” Derek asks, “with two squirts of lime juice and a dash of grape?”
Stiles just blinks at him. “How did you…even I can barely remember this combination.”
Derek just shrugs. “You ordered it last time we went to the movies.”
“That was like six months ago.” Stiles takes the cup and sips from the straw. The weird concoction is perfect. When he opens his eyes, he can tell that Derek’s trying very hard not to look pleased. His eyes fall to the candy Derek’s holding. “Tell me those Raisinets are mine, and you can have all my secrets.”
Derek holds the box out, and Stiles grabs it excitedly. “I don’t understand your obsession with Raisinets,” Derek mutters as they step out of line and make their way towards the theater.
“I thought you’d approve. Candy fruit and all that.”
“Raisins shouldn’t be allowed in candy.” Derek scrunches his nose up, and Stiles laughs.
“I didn’t know you hated raisins.”
“They’re just so…gross,” Derek says, and Stiles laughs even louder because really, Derek is ridiculous.
They sit beside each other in the theater, sandwiched between Isaac and Scott. Stiles steals Derek’s Sour Patch Kids – “Really? Could you be any more ironic? Sour Patch Kids for Sour Wolf” – and shamelessly eats Derek’s popcorn.
He’s pretty sure Derek bought it for the two of them anyway, since he holds it on his knee angled at Stiles during the entire film. And when Stiles finishes his own drink, Derek doesn’t say anything when Stiles drinks most of his.
Derek’s at bingo Thursday night, and it didn’t even occur to Stiles he wouldn’t be. As soon as they enter the hall, Derek catches their scent and spots them immediately. He gives them a tentative smile, and Derek’s awkwardness makes Stiles feels tingly all over. “See Garnuszek,” Babcia whispers as they walk, “the boy likes you.” Stiles blushes and really hopes Derek didn’t catch that with his werewolf hearing.
Having Derek waiting at his table, with two large sodas and a homemade brownie from Mrs. Peterson for him and Stiles to share, a coffee for Babcia, and a stack of bingo cards, feels right in a way that things rarely feel for Stiles.
All the way through bingo, Derek whispers lame jokes to Stiles – “B-4 the dawn of time! I’ll take the I-23 out of this town” – and Stiles laughs because he likes seeing Derek like this, relaxed and smiling, his defenses down. He wonders if the others have seen him like this, if he’s like this when he hangs out with Isaac, or if maybe Stiles is special. He thinks maybe this was how Derek used to be, back before his life fell apart, and maybe he’s learning to live again.
Well, if one can call playing bingo with the elderly living. Baby steps, Stiles thinks.
When the game is over and they’ve put away the supplies, his babcia goes to talk with some of her friends and Derek ends up flocked by a group of the more flirtatious ladies, so Stiles steps outside and starts playing a game on his phone. Derek comes outside and sits beside him a few minutes later.
“Finally get away?” Stiles smirks without lifting his eyes from the phone. “They were on you like vultures.”
“That’s a disturbing comparison,” Derek says, “but oddly accurate.”
Stiles shoots Derek a smug smile as he pockets his phone.
“I’ve enjoyed playing bingo with you the last few weeks. I really like your,” Derek hesitates and then says, “babcia.”
Stiles smiles. “I do, too. She’s nifty, even if she’s maddening.”
“Must be a Stilinski trait.” Stiles frowns, but Derek’s smirking and has a playful glint in his eyes, and Stiles pretty much loses all train of thought.
“She likes you,” Stiles says. “It’s not everyone she calls misiek.”
“She invited me to dinner on Sunday,” Derek says.
Stiles groans. “Dude, I’m sorry. You totally don’t have to. I mean, she’s an awesome cook, if you like sausage and stuff, but you totally don’t have to come. She won’t be offended.”
Derek looks at his hands in his lap. “What if I want to come?” he asks quietly.
Derek lifts his head and meets Stiles’ eyes. “I told her I’d only come if it was okay with you.”
“Why?” Stiles fails to understand what’s going on right now.
Derek rolls his eyes, but he looks almost fond. “I am only going to come to your house for dinner if you want me there.”
“Oh.” Stiles tries to think of something to say, then says, “Like want you how?”
Derek huffs out a frustrated sigh and leans forward to brush his lips against Stiles’ gently. Oh, oh.
Stiles kisses Derek back, light hesitant kisses that feel like questions but also full of promise. When Derek finally pulls away, Stiles just stares at him open-mouthed. Derek smiles and kisses the corner of his mouth.
“Would you like me to come to dinner?” Derek asks.
Stiles nods. “I would very much like you to come to dinner.” He grins at Derek, who’s smiling widely, before grabbing Derek around the neck and pulling him into another kiss.
They’re still sitting on the concrete bench, kissing, when his babcia finally comes outside. They break apart when she slaps them both on the back of the head. “Idioci.”
“Um, Derek’s coming over for dinner,” Stiles says, and his babcia purses her lips. “And taking me out tomorrow night.”
“Oh, I am?” Derek asks, and Stiles nods. “Fine.”
In the Jeep on the way back to her apartment, Babcia just stares at him with a smug grin.
“What?” Stiles finally asks.
“See? Babcia knows best.”
“You’re never going to let me live this down, are you?”
She shakes her head. “You name your first dziecię after me.”
If he wasn’t driving down the road, he’d bang his head on the steering wheel. Repeatedly. “It’s one date.”
“And a całus. More than one całus.” She gives Stiles a sly grin and then makes kissey faces in his direction.
“That’s what you’ve been hoping for, you scheming minx. This is all your fault.”
His dad has the late shift Friday night, so Stiles doesn’t have to worry about explaining Derek or the fact that apparently they’re dating now. He decides not to obsess about what to wear, because once you’ve seen someone covered in blood and the insides of a ghoul, there’s really no way to impress them anymore. So, Stiles puts on a nice t-shirt, his skinny jeans, and his favorite hoodie.
When Stiles opens the door and finds Derek on the other side, he feels jittery like he’s never been on a date or seen Derek before. Well, to be fair, Stiles realizes this is the most traditional date he’s ever been on. Derek has come to his house to pick him up, and as Stiles eyes him, notices that Derek’s dressed up. Actually, Derek is wearing the simple clothes as always – tight jeans, charcoal gray sweater that hugs just right – but there’s something about the colors, the fit, the way Derek holds himself that makes it seem like he’s dressed up for the occasion.
“Hi,” Derek says shyly as he stands on Stiles’ front porch.
“Hi.” Stiles bites his lip, smiling and not moving from the doorway. He’s been through so much with Derek, has known him for so long, but something about this feels different, like there’s a different Derek standing on the porch, looking nervous and unsure.
“I, uh, I brought you something.” For the first time, Stiles notices Derek’s hands behind his back. “I didn’t think flowers would be quite right – “
“What? You don’t think you can bring me flowers? You don’t think I’d enjoy some nice roses or lilies to brighten up my bedroom?”
Derek rolls his eyes, but a smile plays around his lips. “Fine, I’ll bring flowers next time.”
“Birds of paradise, or orchid, or ooh, black roses. Something exotic.”
“Stiles,” Derek sighs, finally bringing his hands from behind him. Clutched in his fingers is a roll of Sweettarts. “Here.”
Stiles steps onto the porch, pulling the door closed behind him. “You brought me candy.”
“Real candy, not fake candy.”
Stiles grabs the roll of candy, but Derek doesn’t let it go. He tugs it closer to him, taking Stiles’ wrist and wrapping Stiles’ arm around his waist as he pulls Stiles flush against him. For a second he just looks at Stiles, his eyes scanning over Stiles’ face like he’s never really looked at him before. It makes Stiles blush, and his instinct is to shy away from the attention, but there’s something about Derek’s expression that keeps him still. Stiles has never seen Derek look at someone – or anything, really – like he’s looking at Stiles in that moment. Then, he’s leaning down and pressing his lips oh so gently against Stiles’.
The kiss is brief and light, but when Derek pulls away, Stiles feels lightheaded. Derek’s cheeks are pink, his eyes bright, and Stiles wants to keep kissing him to see how flush he can make him.
“Come on,” Derek says, stepping away and taking Stiles’ hand. Stiles pouts slightly because standing on the porch and kissing all night is okay with him, and Derek ducks his face to hide his blush. “You get to choose the restaurant.”
Stiles chooses a burrito place in Beacon City since it was a first date and he wanted to keep it casual. Plus, dude, burritos. Stiles watches in fascination as Derek cuts his burrito open like a baked potato and eats it with a fork. “What?” Derek asks when he notices Stiles staring.
“Who eats burritos with a fork?” Stiles points to the half burrito in his hand. “This is the proper way to eat a burrito.”
“There is no proper way. It’s a burrito,” Derek says with a scowl.
“You’re doing it wrong,” Stiles shakes his head, and Derek deliberately takes a huge bite of food with his fork.
They make awkward small talk at first, about the weather, baseball, and movies, which turns into a huge debate about which movies could be considered cinema and which actors do and do not suck. Derek refills their drinks for them twice, and they’ve long eaten all the chips, salsa, and cheese dip on the table.
Stiles finds it increasingly difficult not to just lean across the table every single minute to kiss Derek. He wants to kiss the drop of queso from his chin. He wants to kiss the corner of his mouth when it quirks after Stiles makes a really bad joke. Stiles wants to kiss Derek over and over to get him to shut up when he starts talking about how Jean Claude Van Damme movies are the greatest. Then he wants to kiss him because he has terrible taste in movies.
There’s a constant thrumming under his skin he’s never felt before. It’s different than being horny and just wanting to have sex because he could. This feels unfamiliar, a need down into his bones to just touch. It’s frightens him and excites him at the same time. Somehow, he makes it through dinner without kissing Derek, but they do end up holding hands across the table as they talk, Derek’s thumb rubbing constantly over Stiles’ skin. Stiles keeps yanking Derek’s arm as he gesticulates while he talks, but Stiles keeps a firm grip on Derek’s hand because he refuses to let go.
By the time Stiles gets up to use the restroom, they’ve been sitting at the restaurant for over three hours. Stiles can’t believe they had gotten lost in superficial conversation for that long without realizing it. The thought makes him smile.
Back in Derek’s car, they head towards Beacon Hills, but it’s not even eleven, and Stiles is not quite ready for the date to be over just yet. He casually asks, “So, like, do you wanna make out for awhile?”
Derek turns towards him, eyebrow raised, before turning off on a side road and driving to a secluded spot behind a shopping center closed for the night. They crawl into the backseat of the Camaro, which is roomier than Stiles had thought it’d be, but still cramped for two tall, grown men. That’s okay, because that means Stiles has to straddle Derek, who’s leaning at an angle against the side of the car with his legs stretched out.
“If I’d have known we were gonna be doing this,” Derek manages to say between fervent kisses, “I’d have driven the SUV.”
Stiles shakes his head as his mouth latches on to Derek’s neck. “Nope,” he says, then sucks a bruise into Derek’s skin that fades the moment he removes his mouth. “This car is so much hotter.”
Derek rolls his eyes, but he guides Stiles’ mouth back towards his own as his fingers slide into Stiles’ hair. And Stiles never thought having someone scratch at his scalp could be a turn on, but he’s all but moaning into Derek’s mouth as Derek’s fingers gently rub against his head and neck.
Stiles is rutting shamelessly against Derek’s thigh, and he can feel Derek’s erection trapped within the confines of those ridiculously tight jeans. He knows where this is going, and it’s going there fast, so he pulls back and takes a deep breath. Derek glances up at him, brows furrowed in worry. He cups Stiles’ cheek, and Stiles leans into the touch.
“I, uh…” He bites his lips as he tries to decide, and Derek’s face falls slack as he patiently waits for Stiles to continue. His hand slides to Stiles’ neck, and he presses circles into the taut chords in Stiles’ neck. “Look, I’m not a virgin, and you’re not a virgin.” Derek nods, face carefully blank. “And like, I’m totally down with rubbing off on each other. I’m even shameless enough to not care about riding home in come soaked jeans.”
“But you want to take it slow?” Derek asks. Stiles nods, bites his lip nervously. Derek tugs gently on his neck, pulling his face down until it’s inches from his own. “Did you ever think maybe I wanted to take it slow, too?”
“No, not really.”
Derek smiles, and Stiles’ entire brain explodes. “I don’t want to screw this up,” Derek whispers against Stiles’ mouth.
“Me, either.” Stiles pecks him quickly on the lips. “But the kissing I’m totally down with.”
Stiles grins as he enthusiastically recaptures Derek’s mouth.
“Wait, what?” the sheriff asks. He’s sitting at the dining room table, staring at Stiles like he’s insane. Babcia is in the kitchen, humming to herself as she cooks dinner.
“Derek is coming over for dinner,” Stiles repeats slowly. “Because we’re kinda dating.”
“Since when are you two dating?” the sheriff exclaims. “I saw him Wednesday, and he sure as hell didn’t say anything about dating you.”
“That’s because it happened Thursday night,” Stiles replies.
Babcia chooses that moment to stand beside Stiles, where he’s leaning on the doorframe. “Derek is a good boy. I get them together.” She looks up at Stiles proudly. “I told Garnuszek I would get him a chłopak, and I did.”
Stiles rolls his eyes as the sheriff stares at them. “You set my son up with Derek?”
Babcia takes a few steps forward and points her finger. “He is my wnuk, Janisław, I can get him chłopak if I want!”
“Derek?” the sheriff yells again. That sets Babcia off, and she and his dad start arguing loudly in Polish. Stiles sighs. Dinner is going to be fun, no doubt. Poor Derek; he’s not sure Derek is ready for the hot mess that is his family. Stiles leaves them to the yelling and goes to check on the sausage.
By the time that Derek shows up, the sheriff and Babcia have stopped yelling, and the sheriff has poured himself a glass of whiskey. Stiles would say something, but he’s not pressing his luck today.
Stiles opens the door when Derek knocks, and Derek sweeps his eyes behind Stiles as he inhales before looking back at him with a questioning lift to his brow. Stiles rolls his eyes, and Derek steps forward to kiss him lightly on the lips.
Of course, the sheriff picks that moment to step into the living room, and Derek immediately takes two steps backwards. “Hello, sheriff.”
“Hi, Derek.” He looks between them, but the look on his face isn’t exactly disapproving. It’s more resigned approval.
“Um, I brought a pie?” Derek says it like a question instead of a statement as he lifts the object in his hand.
“What kind?” the sheriff asks.
Stiles can’t decide whether to curl into a ball and die of embarrassment or watch gleefully as Derek squirms under the sheriff’s gaze. He’s never seen Derek answer everything with questions before. It’s kind of hilarious.
”Misiek!” Babciaexclaims as she comes from the kitchen. Derek’s already bending to her height as she approaches, and she kisses both of his cheeks. “So good to see you.” She nods, then runs a wrinkled hand down the sleeve of his shirt. “You look very przystojny, does he not, Garnuszek?”
“Very,” Stiles says, feeling his cheeks heat.
“I’m guessing that’s a good thing?” Derek asks, looking between them.
“Very good.” Babcia grabs his arm and leads him towards the kitchen. “Come, I show you the sausage. You like sausage, tak?”
“Um, it’s okay.”
Babcia mutters something in Polish, then says, “You date Garnuszek, you must like sausage.”
Stiles chokes and splutters at the comment, and the sheriff groans as he drags his hand down his face. Derek glances over his shoulder, obviously trying not to laugh, and Babcia doesn’t even notice the double entendre.
“I brought a pie,” Derek says lamely when they get into the kitchen. Babcia looks at it, then up at Derek.
“Store bought is not good, but you tried.”
She nods her head as Stiles yells, “BABCIA!”
Babcia puts the pie into the refrigerator and then pats Derek’s bicep. “I teach you to make pie. Special recipe, from Garnuszek’s great great grandmother. I teach you how to cook like good Polish boy, so you can cook for Garnuszek.”
Babcia starts explaining things to Derek, and Stiles shakes his head as he and his father watch them, shoulder to shoulder. “I have such a new respect for you and Mom now,” Stiles says. “I can just imagine what she was like when you brought Mom home.”
“She loved your mother, even though she gave her a hard time,” the sheriff recalls fondly. There’s a soft smile on his face. “Everyone loved your mother. But your babcia, she made your mom learn every recipe she knew. Then your mom taught your babcia a few recipes from her family. They loved to cook together.” Stiles glances over at his father, and there’s that familiar bittersweet look on his face: the joy of happy memories, the sadness that she’s gone.
Stiles lays a hand on the sheriff’s shoulder and squeezes.
“I’m okay with it, you know,” the sheriff says as Babcia shoves a pan into Derek’s hands. He stares at it in fear, like he’s afraid it’s going to attack him right on the spot. “I’ve gotten to know him quite well over the last few years. He’s a good man.”
“I know. Babcia seems to think so, too.”
“You’ll learn, son, that your babcia has an annoying habit of being right.” The sheriff laughs before going to set the table, and Stiles joins Derek in the kitchen, trying not to laugh at the flour on his cheek. Instead, he leans forward and kisses it away.
After dinner, which wasn’t as terrifying as Stiles would have imagined, Derek and Stiles retreat onto the front porch and curl up together on the swing. Stiles’ feet are on the bench beside him, so Derek’s gently pushing them with his feet.
“I’m sorry about babcia,” Stiles says. His head is on Derek’s shoulder, with Derek’s arm around him. He feels full and warm, and if he didn’t want to stay focused on Derek, he’d fall right asleep. “She can be quite overwhelming.”
“It was a lot of fun,” Derek admits. “It’s been awhile since I’ve…” he pauses, and then more quietly he says, “It’s been awhile since I’ve felt like part of a family.”
Stiles turns his face up and kisses the underside of Derek’s jaw. “Oh, believe me, you don’t have to worry about that with Babcia. I think she’s in love with you. She told me we have to name our first born after her.”
Derek snorts, and then leans down to kiss Stiles’ temple. “Little pot,” Derek murmurs affectionately.
Stiles groans. “You two are totally going to team up against me, aren’t you?”
“Oh yeah.” Stiles pinches Derek’s side, and Derek thumps his neck playfully. “Teach me how to say it, your name.”
Stiles pulls back so he can look into Derek’s face. “Really?”
Derek nods. “It’s your name. I want to be able to say it.”
“You’re not gonna start calling me Garnuszek, are you?”
Derek shakes his head. “Nope. Maybe when we’re alone. I like your name.”
“That’s because it’s not your name.”
“Teach me how to say it.”
“Fine.” Stiles says his name slowly, Derek repeating it after him. It takes a few tries, but soon, Derek has it perfect.
“I like the way it rolls on my tongue,” Derek says. “Garnuszek.” He kisses along Stiles’ hairline, leaving a tingling sensation behind. “I like that I’m the only one who knows.” Derek leans forward and kisses Stiles slowly, his tongue tracing the outline of Stiles’ lips before it slides inside. Stiles figures he will never get tired of this feeling, the slight uptick in his heart when Derek touches him, the way it flutters when they kiss. And Stiles definitely will never get tired of the way his name sounds on Derek’s lips.
He figures maybe he won’t have to get tired of these feelings, that maybe his babcia knows something he doesn’t. He’s willing to believe her, anyway.