“Stiles.” A loud grunt escaped said individual at the harsh smack to his posterior. “Up. Get up.”
A more dramatic sound escaped him when sunlight suddenly exploded behind his closed lids and he hastily yanked one of his spare pillows over and covered his head, offended that someone would dare to force him back to consciousness by stabbing at his eyes with sunlight. Rude.
“Stiles, I’m serious, I need a favour.”
“That sounds like a trap,” Stiles Stilinski muttered sleepily into both his pillows. “You know,” he continued when the man in his room made no move to leave, “you’d think I’d be used to this. My dad, coming into my room, smacking my ass to get me out of bed, waking me up at the ass crack of dawn—”
“It’s almost one.”
“—waking me up at the ass crack of one,” Stiles continued without missing a beat, “and asking for a favour. Given my life growing up with you, you’d think I’d be used to this by now. I think the reason this hits so hard now is that I specifically bought my own apartment so that you couldn’t wake me up at the ass crack of dawn—”
“Stiles, it’s almost one.”
“—so that you couldn’t wake me up at the ass crack of one.”
“Get up.” He got another hard smack to his ass. “Come on, let’s go.”
“Giving you a key was a mistake.” Stiles threw his pillow off his head and rolled over, rubbing at his face with both hands and blinking blearily at his father, who was currently going through his closet. Stiles cocked an eyebrow, and then dread filled him when he realized what that meant. His dad had a favour. He was looking through his closet.
That could only mean one thing.
“No,” he said firmly, grabbing his pillow again and using it to try and suffocate himself, hugging it tightly against his face.
“Come on, it’s almost one.”
“I said no,” Stiles whined. “Dad, come on, I’m not a kid anymore. It’s not fun, it’s fucking weird. Most of them have changed my diapers! And the other half have seen me drunk. Get Erica to go.”
“I already did.” Something landed on his chest, and based on the weight, he assumed it was a pair of pants. “Four people can’t make it, and I don’t want my deputies to show up to nobody. I managed to get three people to help out, Erica being one of them. You’re my number four.”
“Your deputies hate this as much as I do,” Stiles insisted, voice muffled by his pillow.
“My deputies enjoy this a great deal, you’re just biassed because I make you do it every now and again.”
“Try every time it happened the entirety of my teenage life. You know what normal teenagers get to do on Saturdays at one?” Stiles asked, pulling the pillow off once more and glaring down the length of his body at his father. “They sleep. They hang out with friends. They go see movies. You know what I had to do at one every Saturday? Sit awkwardly across the table from a cop and try and make small talk because you thought quack was a good idea.”
“It is a good idea. And stop calling it quack,” his father said with a sigh, turning and tossing a shirt at him. It landed on his face and Stiles made no move to grab it. “This is a good initiative, Stiles. It’s worked out well the past few years, and people enjoy being able to get to know the deputies in town. Besides, you have to admit, it’s worked out well for a lot of them.”
Stiles just groaned, because on top of this torture, he didn’t need his dad poking and prodding at him about his very single status. That was just rubbing salt in the wound. Pouring lemon juice on the cut. Rubbing chilies in his eyes.
He knew, okay! He knew he was still single! He was the single one, he was well aware of the fact that he was single, thank you very much! It wasn’t his fault all his friends had lucked out by being amazing and happening to find the loves of their lives while having coffee!
Unfair, but still not his fault.
Back when Stiles had been in high school, probably sophomore year, his father had realized that a lot of people in town, particularly the younger crowd, saw the police as ‘the bad guys.’ In an attempt to fix this, he’d created what he called C.W.A.C.
Coffee With A Cop.
Stiles had immediately started calling it ‘quack’ because that was what the letters sounded like to him. And of course, his blatant disrespect of his father’s attempts to bring together the community had gotten him volunteered as the first person to go have Coffee With A Cop. Which was unfair, because he already knew all the cops at the precinct, and it was annoying having to sit across from one of them for an hour and listen to them berate him about either his schoolwork, his extra curricular activities, how stressed he was making his father, and so on and so forth.
But, it ended up being a hit. People had volunteered like crazy for months, and people would go out on Saturdays at one for a one hour coffee with one of the many deputies. Originally it had been every Saturday so that all the deputies could get a turn, but as time passed and most people got to know all the deputies, it went down to twice a month instead.
People always ended up bailing at the last second, leaving his dad high and dry which meant Stiles had to fill in or a deputy would end up having coffee by themselves. And surprisingly, the deputies were really into the whole coffee thing, so Stiles always felt like he needed to be nice and agree to go.
And, to be fair, his dad wasn’t wrong. It had really helped with the community as a whole, seeing the deputies as real people. Not to mention all the relationships that had stemmed from it, which the sheriff liked to remind him of.
Over and over again.
But, as he’d said, the problem was most of the deputies had changed his freaking diapers. And the ones who hadn’t were people he’d gone to high school with, most of whom were already in relationships.
One of his best friends, Scott McCall, had met his now-fiancé Allison Argent during Coffee With A Cop. She’d been new in town three years ago and had joined the force. Stiles had really liked her, having hung out with her a few times because, again, sheriff’s kid, he knew all the deputies. One Coffee With A Cop later, Scott had been paired up with her, and that one coffee had turned into two. And then three. Four, five, six. And now they were engaged.
The same thing had happened with Vernon Boyd and Erica Reyes, but to be fair, everyone had seen that coming. They’d been making eyes at each other in senior year, and when they’d both gone off to university and come back looking, well, amazing, it was natural they’d gravitate back together. Boyd had joined the force mostly to work in the evidence room since he wasn’t big on the whole getting shot at thing. When Coffee With A Cop came up, Erica had basically stormed the sheriff’s office and demanded she be paired with Boyd.
They’d been married for a year, and Erica agreed to Coffee With A Cop whenever the sheriff asked for her help because she owed him for her successful relationship. Or that was what she said whenever she agreed, anyway. Stiles insisted she just liked oogling all the hot cops.
Though Stiles couldn’t find them hot, because of personal reasons. Refer to the aforementioned diapers and high school friends.
It was annoying. The hottest cop on the force was his other best friend, so that made things weird. Though maybe he’d get paired with him today and they could just shoot the shit and bitch about the latest episode of Supernatural or something.
He knew Jackson Whittemore was off-duty today, which meant he was going to be there. He always insisted he hated it and it was beneath him, but Stiles knew he secretly loved the attention and for someone as hard around the edges as Jackson, it wasn’t a bad thing to have people interacting with him for an hour. Stiles was just used to his brand of asshole, so he was immune to it, now.
“Come on, we’re gonna be late.” His dad was beside him again, pulling the shirt off his face and grabbing his arm to get him into a seated position.
“Can’t you just tell whoever it is that they get the Saturday off?” Stiles whined.
“I’ll owe you,” his father insisted. “You can make me dinner three times this month.”
“That’s a punishment, what the hell!”
“I thought you wanted to watch what I was eating,” his dad argued.
“Yeah, that doesn’t mean I want to make it!”
“Stiles.” Oh no, he was using his disappointed sheriff voice. That never boded well. “Please. I need you to do this for me. He’s new to the force, he just moved to town, and he doesn’t know anyone. He’s been having a hard time relating to the other deputies, the only one he’s really hit it off with is Parrish.”
Stiles eyed his father suspiciously, holding the shirt he’d been given. “What is he?”
When the sheriff affected an innocent look, Stiles knew full well why he never got away with anything as a child. If his ‘innocent look’ was as terrible as his father’s, no wonder he always got caught when he did bad things.
“Don’t give me that look, if he’s only making friendly with Parrish, it’s because he’s something and he’s uncomfortable around people.” Stiles crossed his arms. “So? What is he?”
His father sighed and looked to the ceiling, as if silently asking what he’d done to deserve a son like Stiles.
Evidently, he was being rewarded, Stiles was a treasure and he dared anyone to contradict that.
“He’s a Werewolf. His pack was murdered when he was a teenager, so he’s had a hard time making connections with people.”
“Wow, dad!” Stiles let out a loud scoff. “Way to lay on the guilt, Jesus Christ.”
“It’s just coffee,” he insisted. “It was last minute, and I’d thought of asking Isaac, but you know how he gets with people who are a little rough around the edges. You’re friends with Jackson—”
“Oh, great, you want me to have two assholes in my life?” Stiles demanded, throwing his hands in the air.
He got a look for that. “I just meant if anyone could help chip away at the armour around his heart, it would be you.”
Stiles let out a long-suffering groan of annoyance while falling onto his back once more, and began to kick at his blankets to get them off him. He grabbed the pants and shirt his father had picked out and got to his feet, pointing his finger at him while walking past him to the bathroom.
“This is child manipulation, is what it is. Guilting me into doing your dirty work. You started this mess, and I’m the one giving up my Saturday to help you!”
“I’ll see you for dinner.”
“You’re a child abuser!” Stiles called after him while his father headed for the front door. “Also stop breaking and entering!”
“You gave me a key.”
“Worst decision ever!”
“Thanks kiddo.” The front door shut.
Stiles let out another long-suffering groan, standing in front of the mirror and struggling not to just turn around and go back to bed. He was tired, and his dad was mean. This was unfair, he’d been planning on spending the day sitting on the couch in his sweats eating cookie dough and watching cartoons. Eventually Jackson would show up, because he always did when he had time off, and they’d dick around for a while like bros.
Scott showing up was hit or miss these days with the wedding looming, but there was always the possibility if Allison was working.
Sighing and checking the time, he hurried to get ready so he wouldn’t be late, and tried not to feel like it was unfair he kept getting guilted into quack.
He fucking hated quack.
“So, you’re the lucky bastard who got chosen,” Jackson said with a smarmy smirk when Stiles walked into the coffeeshop. He just flipped his friend off while shuffling to the seat two down from him where there was a little nametag. He knew this had to be his cop, because the table was empty, and he knew all the others so, process of elimination and all that.
Grabbing the name tag, he glanced briefly at the name before flipping it over to check his order. It was customary for the non-cop to buy the coffees, so he was hoping it wasn’t some kind of expensive atrocity. Thankfully the guy’s neat scrawl only said ‘black.’ At least that made things easy.
Putting it back down, Stiles wandered towards the till while people called greetings to him. He just grunted in response, ignoring the amused chuckles from the other jerks who knew Stiles always got roped into these things.
His only consolation was that the barista behind the counter looked as put out as he did, and Stiles had to grin at the sour look on her face.
“What’s the matter, Lyds? Someone call in sick again?”
“Another word and I’ll separate your balls from your body with my fingernails,” Lydia Martin hissed.
“You know I’m into the kinky stuff,” he argued with a playful wink. She just let out a disgusted scoff and asked for his order.
Stiles didn’t want to assume the cop would want to stay the full hour, but he felt like getting a smaller coffee would seem cheap or presumptuous. He played it safe and got a medium-sized black coffee for his new cop friend, and himself a large mint chocolate chip iced latte. Lydia looked annoyed at his order, probably because it meant she’d have to clean out the blender, but he just smiled pleasantly and winked at her when she turned to stomp off and make his order.
Lydia was another victim of parent manipulation. Her father owned the coffee shop, but he had a hard time maintaining staff because most people used it as a summer job or an after school job. No one stuck around longer than a year, which meant Lydia often got bullied into covering shifts since her father not only paid her for the shift, but also bribed her with things she wanted. New laptop, new car, vacation in the Bahamas.
Ah, to be rich. Must be nice. Stiles could barely afford his apartment on his salary, and the place was five-hundred square feet in Beacon Hills. Not like he was living in New York or anything, and he was still paying a ridiculous price for a tiny apartment.
He should’ve stayed with his dad, considering it was free rent, but then it meant he got bullied into doing things like this all the time.
Then again, he’d been living on his own for over a year and he still got bullied into these things. His father was a master manipulator. He should come with a warning label.
‘Caution: Will use his fatherly wiles and deputy’s sob stories to guilt his child into doing things he doesn’t want to do.’
At least it wasn’t a big deal, Stiles just liked to whine. Wasn’t like his dad would honestly get mad if Stiles ever put his foot down and said no for real. The only reason he—and Lydia, really—kept getting roped into these things was because they kept agreeing after some pestering.
Stiles needed to remember these things for when he had children. His father was teaching him the ways of the parent, and how to get kids to do what they wanted. It would be dangerous in the wrong hands, but thankfully his father was a good man, so the worst that happened was Stiles getting conned into having Coffee With A Cop.
“Who’s your quack date today?” Lydia asked when she brought over his two drinks. She’d skimped on the whipped cream on his iced drink, but Stiles knew she was showing her displeasure at his mocking wink. He could accept that, he was a bit of a dick.
“No idea. New guy, apparently.”
“Wait, you don’t mean Derek, do you?”
“Jesus Murphy!” Stiles almost dropped his cop’s coffee, turning to glare at Parrish angrily. “Warn a guy! Where did you even come from?”
“The door,” Parrish said with a brilliant smile.
Deputy Jordan Parrish was one of Stiles’ favourite newbies on the force. He’d been around for just over eight months, and there was a running joke that he was a puppy who’d gotten lost during soul class and ended up in a human’s body by accident. That was only made more hilarious when it came out two weeks after he’d started working at the station that he was a Hellhound.
He was the nicest, fluffiest, friendliest little Hellhound in the world, and his very presence made Stiles want to dissolve into baby talk the way he did in front of real dogs. Parrish was just adorable, and if the guy weren’t straighter than an arrow, Stiles would definitely have been interested.
But, he also liked his balls where they were, and Lydia had called dibs. He was not willing to fight Lydia on this, nevermind he didn’t have a chance given, well, Lydia. Hard to compete with that.
“So your cop is Derek today?” Parrish asked again, watching Stiles massage at his heart. “Did you piss your dad off lately?”
“I mean, I’m his son, he’s always pissed at me.” Stiles shrugged, picking up the two drinks now that his heart was beating at a normal pace again. “Dad said you guys get along, though.”
“We do, I’m just surprised.” Parrish shrugged, following Stiles back to his table. It looked like Parrish’s coffee date hadn’t shown up yet, but it was still five to one, so it made sense. People tended to show up on the dot, the deputies were just used to it and came a bit early most of the time.
“Surprised why?” Stiles asked, taking his seat and setting the other coffee across from him. He put the guy’s card overtop to keep it warm since Lydia had put it in a regular mug instead of a to-go cup.
“He didn’t want to come when your dad told him about it.” Parrish shrugged and fell into his seat sideways, still watching Stiles. He was two seats away from him, but the deputy between them was reading a book, so it was easy for them to talk around him. “Obviously, the sheriff said it wasn’t mandatory, but he’d basically said he wasn’t interested.”
“Gee, I wonder what changed,” Jackson said sarcastically.
Parrish cut him a look and Stiles cocked an eyebrow, but just shrugged and started to sip at his drink. He stopped himself a split second before sucking some of the iced goodness into his mouth and set it down. It would be rude to start without the cop here.
Every time the door opened, Stiles turned to see who it was. He recognized a majority of the people walking in, but that just meant none were his cop. Most of them went to the till, but a few were actually part of C.W.A.C. and wandered over to introduce themselves. Jackson straightened rather comically when an attractive blond who had to be only a year or so older than him wandered over and introduced himself as his coffee date for the day.
Stiles was sure he’d be hearing about that later, because the way both men were eying each other suggested Jackson’s date wasn’t straight, and Stiles already knew the blond was Jackson’s type.
Great, if even Jackson found the love of his life during quack, Stiles was never going to hear the end of it. His dad would make him go to every single one until Stiles got himself a significant other. He wasn’t interested in having Coffee With A Cop for the rest of his life.
The tables around him were starting to fill up, people chattering away. Erica was being particularly loud down at the other end of the shop and Stiles checked the time on his phone. It was two minutes past one, and his cop wasn’t there yet.
He didn’t worry about it, maybe the guy was running late. Or maybe he wasn’t sure where the coffeeshop was. Hell, maybe he was going to stand Stiles up, which was fine, he didn’t mind. He just wanted to drink his iced coffee before all the whipped cream sank into the depths of the frozen part of his beverage.
At ten after, he figured the guy wasn’t going to show. Parrish kept casting looks at him, as if making sure he wasn’t going to leave, but Stiles just shrugged and pulled his drink closer. He’d just taken his first sip when the sound of an engine roared down the street outside. None of the cops reacted to it, but a few other people looked around.
Stiles turned in his seat, still sucking through his straw, and saw a motorcycle scream down the street and come to a halt outside the coffeeshop. The guy astride it was wearing tight black jeans, a grey shirt and a leather jacket. He looked like he was all muscle, even from where Stiles was sitting, and when he took his helmet off, a whine left him.
Who the hell did this guy think he was, coming up in here while Stiles was sitting alone, looking like a loser, waiting on someone who probably wasn’t going to show? It was rude to look that attractive and see Stiles sitting there like a pathetic loser. Unfair. Rude. Life sucked.
Attractive motorcycle man raked one hand through his hair, scowl on his face while he eyed himself in one of his side mirrors. He was very obviously trying to get his hair under control, which was ridiculous because Stiles found he looked perfect with his hair just as it was.
Kicking down the stand, the guy stood and set his helmet down on the seat. Stiles figured he wasn’t going to be in the shop long because most people didn’t just leave their helmets on their bikes. Then again, Beacon Hills wasn’t exactly a cesspool of crime, so the chances of someone stealing a motorcycle helmet were slim.
It seemed to take Mr. Tall, Dark and Fuckable a while to walk into the shop. Stiles wasn’t sure what he was doing, because he was just standing beside his motorcycle staring down at his helmet. He kept running a hand through his hair, and his shoulders looked tensed. Stiles just watched him while he sucked at his drink, wondering if maybe the guy wasn’t sure about wanting coffee or not.
Eventually, Stiles felt like he was being weird for staring and turned away, still sucking at his drink. He checked the time on his phone again and figured if the cop didn’t show soon, he’d just donate his coffee to someone else and head out. He had laundry to get done, so he really wanted to head home and do that.
When the door behind him opened, he figured that meant Mr. Tall, Dark and Fuckable had finally entered the establishment. He saw Parrish smile from his table and frowned before almost choking when a voice spoke from right behind him.
“Sorry I’m late.”
Stiles whipped around and, sure enough, Mr. Tall, Dark and Fuckable was standing right behind him.
Jesus, he looked even better up close than he had through the window. His beard was perfectly manicured, his cheeks were a little pink from probably both the sun and the wind, his hair was at once perfectly styled and also wind-blown and sexy, and fuck his eyes. They were gorgeous. Stiles felt like he could get lost in them.
Actually, he was probably already lost in them. He’d stayed silent for entirely too long by now, this was embarrassing.
“Hi.” Stiles set his drink down and hastily got to his feet, wiping his one hand on his pants since it had moisture on it from his cold drink. “Hey, yeah, no problem. Figured you might have just gotten held up.”
“Something like that.” The guy was doing his best not to stare directly at Stiles. He’d look at his shoulder, then his ear, above his head, his chin. Just anywhere he could except right in the eyes. “I figured you’d have left since I was so late. I almost didn’t bother.”
“Nah, it’s cool.” Stiles offered him a grin. “It happens. I’m Stiles, by the way.”
“I know.” When Stiles cocked an eyebrow, the cop motioned up at his face briefly. “Your dad has tons of pictures of you in his office. He talks about you all the time.”
“Oh. Well I mean, I’d say that’s embarrassing, but half the coffeeshop’s changed my diapers so, you know.” Why did I just say that? Smooth. Stiles hated his lack of brain-to-mouth filter. “Anyway.” He clapped his hands together. “Uh, I got you coffee. Black, like you asked for. Sorry, it might be a little cold by now.”
“That’s okay. Thanks.”
The cop eased around Stiles and squeezed his way through two tables to get to his seat on the bench. Stiles waited for him to be seated before sitting down as well, watching the guy shift uncomfortably.
Stiles was pretty sure he saw Jackson hand money over to Parrish a few tables down, looking annoyed. Stiles figured they’d bet on whether or not he would show up. Considering he was almost fifteen minutes late by now, Stiles had honestly figured he’d been stood up.
“So, you’re Derek, then.” Stiles said with a smile.
Derek picked up the card that had been covering his drink and waved it slightly between two of his fingers, eyes on the coffee. “S’what the card says.”
Great. Another wall to smash through, Stiles thought with a sigh. It had taken him so long with Jackson, he wasn’t entirely sure he had the energy for this, but he was nothing if not stubborn. So, he just pulled his drink closer and took a huge sip. The resulting brain freeze gave him a few seconds to think and he licked his lips before motioning his new companion.
“So, Derek Hale. Let’s get to know each other. Where are you from?”
“That’s cool,” Stiles said with a grin, bringing his straw closer to his lips again. “Never been outside California. Is it nice?”
“It’s crowded, traffic is awful, crime runs rampant and the winters suck.”
Stiles paused in sipping his drink, a little unsure of how to proceed with a return like that. He ignored the money Parrish had just exchanged with Jackson. He was going to end up telling them to settle all their bets later, because it was going to get distracting really quickly.
They were just lucky that they were on the same side of the table as Derek, otherwise the man might take offense to it. Stiles didn’t know if anyone had told Derek that the cops of Beacon Hills bet on literally everything.
Someone had once bet on how many times Stiles could make his dad sigh in a single conversation. Jackson had told him he’d split the pot with him if he helped him win. Easiest seventy bucks he’d ever made, people thought too small. The highest beneath Jackson’s guess had been twelve.
Jackson had insisted Stiles could do thirty.
He’d done forty-two. People underestimated Stiles’ ability to make his dad sigh.
Stiles could tell Derek looked uncomfortable again, and figured he’d realized he’d kind of stalled the conversation. He had both hands wrapped around the cooling mug of coffee, and looked like he’d really rather be anywhere but there.
God, Stiles was such a sucker for people who looked like kicked puppies. Not that this guy looked like a kicked puppy, what with the scowling and the leather and the motorcycle and all that. But still!
“Well, makes sense you’d move away from there, then. Guess it wasn’t your speed.” Stiles offered another smile around his straw. “So why California? Any particular reason?”
“No. Just wanted to get away.”
“That’s fair. And hey, across the country, so it’s not a bad deal. You liking Beacon Hills so far?”
“It has its advantages,” Derek admitted softly, still looking down into his coffee. He seemed to realize he hadn’t had any yet and hastily picked up the mug to take a sip.
“Were you a cop in New York?”
“Yeah. Two years.”
“That’s awesome! It must be a real change going from there to here. Must be almost boring by comparison. How old are you, anyway? If you’ve been a cop for two years already, you must be, what, twenty-seven?”
Stiles snapped his fingers. “So close. I’d have made you buy me a cookie if I’d guessed correctly.”
“Are you a child?”
“I mean, mentally, sure. Physically, Twenty-three.” Stiles smirked. “Come on, who doesn’t like cookies? They’re delicious.” Stiles slapped the table. “I’m gonna get you a cookie.”
Derek finally looked up at him, mouth opening presumably to say he didn’t have to get him a cookie, but Stiles was already out of his seat. He went to the counter and ordered two of the caramel cookies the shop was famous for, waiting while Lydia heated them both up for a few seconds each, then brought them back to the table, setting one down in front of Derek and falling back into his seat.
“These are literally the best cookies you will ever eat. Seriously. You will have a tiny taste of yours, and then try and steal mine. Just know, I’m a biter. Don’t steal my cookie.”
Stiles proceeded to shove the oversized cookie into his mouth as much as he could, then took a bite out of it. The caramel was gooey and warm throughout the cookie and he sighed happily while he chewed, watching Derek stare at him. Eventually, the cop looked down at the cookie, broke a piece off, and put it into his mouth.
It was hard to read his facial expression since he seemed pretty closed off, but when he reached for another piece of cookie, Stiles took it as a win and proceeded to devour his entire cookie, licking his fingers when he was done.
“Good, right?” Stiles asked while Derek slowly picked away at his own.
“It’s not bad,” he admitted, still staring down at his cookie. “Thanks.”
“No problem.” Stiles wiped his hands on his jeans since he hadn’t grabbed any napkins, and pulled his drink back over to take another sip. “So how’ve things been since you moved to town? You like working for my dad? I promise not to tattle if the answer’s no.”
“Your dad is a good boss,” Derek said honestly. “He cares about his deputies. I think this Coffee With A Cop thing is a good idea.”
“Yeah, dad’s great about things like that. He just wants the community to recognize that cops are real people, too. This is your first one, right? Sorry you got stuck with me for it, I’ve done so many of these that I can just talk about nothing for hours on end.”
“Then talk,” Derek said, shrugging one shoulder. “I don’t mind.”
Stiles cocked an eyebrow, then grinned. “Oh, you’re gonna regret saying that.”
Letting out a laugh, Stiles leaned back in his seat, still holding his drink, and got ready for the long haul. If Derek didn’t want to speak, that was fine, Stiles could talk for the both of them. And maybe he wasn’t comfortable talking because he didn’t want to say the wrong thing. That, or he knew the others were passing money around and was trying to minimize the bets being won.
“Okay, well, let’s start with the very long and embarrassing history of Sheriff Noah John Stilinski, shall we?” Stiles grinned and was gratified when Derek managed a small smirk back.
“So I hear coffee went well.” The sheriff poked at the carrots on his plate before sighing and obediently spearing them on the tines of his fork. “Bets were high that he wasn’t going to show. Parrish made a lot of money.”
“Can’t believe you almost made me leave my house for nothing,” Stiles insisted, pointing his fork at his dad before stabbing at a hunk of potato. “He was late, too. Don’t think he wanted to come, but the guys probably told him that bets were out on him not showing and decided to make Parrish some cash.”
“He originally didn’t want to go,” his dad admitted. “When I asked, he wasn’t interested. He only told me this morning that he’d changed his mind.”
“Oh, so he’s the reason you showed up at my house at the ass crack of dawn—”
“It was almost one.”
“—at the ass crack of one to drag me out of the comfort of my bed! By the way, I want my key back.”
“Cute.” The sheriff smiled and took another bite of his food.
Stiles just fake-glared at him for a few minutes before conceding defeat and returning to his meal, asking about the man’s plans for the following day since he was off.
If he was honest, Stiles felt like coffee had gone well. Derek was quiet, and a little rough around the edges, but he was actually interesting once he got talking. They hadn’t had much time, considering his tardiness and the fact that it had taken Stiles almost half an hour to get the guy to talk to him like a normal person, but once they got rolling, it was kind of fun.
And Stiles had been wrong. So, so wrong.
He was definitely interested in having Coffee With A Cop for the rest of his life. As long as it was this cop. And the coffee was at their shared kitchen table. Wishful thinking, but Stiles was an optimistic guy.
He hadn’t wanted to pry, since it was clear that Derek wasn’t exactly comfortable with people, but Stiles hoped he at least enjoyed himself. He’d seemed a little put out when the hour was up, but he’d been late so their time had been cut down quite a bit. Not that it was a set rule that it had to end after exactly one hour or anything, but Stiles had felt like it had been enough socializing for Derek for one day.
He’d stuck around to chat with Jackson afterwards and had watched Derek climb back onto his motorcycle and drive off. His wistful sigh had been mocked fairly heavily by Jackson, but Stiles hadn’t just been sighing about the guy! He also loved the bike. It was a fucking gorgeous bike, okay!
Still, it made Stiles wonder if Derek might be lonely. After all, he’d been around for just over a month, and the only friend he seemed to have was Parrish. And Stiles knew Parrish was going to be busy soon if Lydia finally got her way, so that meant Derek would have no one to hang out with. That definitely couldn’t be fun, and Stiles felt a little bad for him.
He figured maybe he’d bully Jackson into playing nice, though wasn’t sure how well that’d go over. He’d have tried with Allison, but he’d learned enough about Derek during their coffee to determine that he didn’t like Hunters and Allison, being an ex-Hunter, was unlikely to be at the top of Derek’s Christmas card list.
“How much longer are you gonna keep quack running, anyway?” Stiles asked, shoving a too-large piece of chicken into his mouth and burning himself. He wasn’t going to show weakness in front of his father’s judgmental gaze though so he just toughed it out and chewed as fast as he could.
“Stop calling it quack,” he insisted, but without any real heat. He’d long ago lost this war, there was no point in attempting to win the battle. “And as long as people keep showing up. My deputies enjoy it, and as long as people keep wanting to have Coffee With A Cop, who am I to deny them the opportunity to meet their soulmate?”
“Hilarious.” Stiles pointed his fork at him again. “You’re hilarious. Haha. Much funny. So laugh.”
“I hear Jackson made a new friend.”
“Oh God.” Stiles dropped his utensils and flailed his arms slightly. “Yes! I get it! I’m single! You want grandbabies! I’m only twenty-three, you know.”
“I’m not getting any younger.”
“And what if I marry a dude?”
“There’s always adoption.”
Stiles groaned and bowed his head. He’d have banged it on the table, but he didn’t want to get potato on his forehead, considering where his plate was.
“You realize Jackson is like, a million times hotter than me, right? And Scott’s all adorable and puppy-like. And-and Parrish!” Stiles pointed his finger at his dad. “Parrish is still single. Get on his case! He’s older than me!”
“He’s working on it. You’re not even trying.”
“Hey! I’m trying!”
“You spend your weekends sitting on your couch watching cartoons in your pyjamas.”
“Maybe my one true love will magically fall into my lap, you don’t know!”
“I do know. It’s why you’re getting signed up for the next C.W.A.C. event the week after next.”
Stiles let out another loud groan and whined at his dad, but nothing would save him from a man determined to get his son a date. Dating was just so much work. There was the whole talking thing and getting to know them, and the occasional fighting, and having to put on real clothes and leave the house, and just ugh. So much work. Too much work.
No, Stiles was perfectly happy sitting in his jammyjams in front of the television watching Gravity Falls and sobbing into a pint of ice cream. He was an adult, dammit! With a mortgage and everything! He was allowed to do as he pleased in his own home!
“If you think I’m going to find a date at one of your quacks, you are in for a huge dose of reality,” Stiles informed his father, picking his cutlery back up and digging into his chicken once more.
“We’ll see. At least you wear real clothes when you go. Granted, I have to pick them out for you, but could be worse. I could’ve had two of you.”
“You’re a horrible parent. The worst. Just—awful.”
“Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”
Stiles fake-laughed and stabbed emphatically at his dad’s plate. “Shut up and eat your vegetables, old man.”
The sheriff just chuckled and obediently took another bite of carrot. Stiles resolutely didn’t think about quack for the remainder of the evening.
“It’s not like you’re doing anything!”
“Excuse you, I am working,” Stiles insisted, tapping a pen against his temple in thought while he stared hard at a word, cell phone cradled between his ear and shoulder. “I’m going to go insane trying to think of the correct translation for this word.”
“You barely have a job. You only work when something comes in. Stop being stingy.”
“Why don’t you go get yourself coffee,” Stiles insisted, staring unblinkingly at the word, as if it would magically translate itself if he stared hard enough. “I’m not your gopher.”
“I’ll make it worth your while.”
Stiles paused in his pen tapping, straightening slightly in his chair and narrowing his eyes suspiciously. Jackson and Stiles had been friends for years, so it was easy for the bastard to know that saying something like that would pique Stiles’ curiosity. He was nothing if not insanely curious, and his brain was starting to hurt, anyway.
The question was, did he trust Jackson? Because sometimes his friend said things like this to get something out of Stiles, and then it ended up being something ridiculously mundane. Like the time he’d told Stiles about being a weird type of hybrid Werewolf.
Stiles knew! Stiles was the one who’d told him that!
But then there was that other time where Jackson had told him about the sheriff coming to work dressed all nice-like and going out for lunch every day. Stiles had immediately thought he was dating again and he’d been thrilled about it, but it turned out he was only meeting with Scott’s mother Melissa and the dressing nice thing was a new year’s resolution.
It didn’t last long.
“Tell me first,” Stiles insisted, tossing his pen down and crossing his arms, leaning back in his chair slightly and twisting in an awkward way because of the phone still at his ear. “If it’s worthwhile information, I’ll bring you whatever you want.”
“Careful, Stilinski. It’s information you’ll really want, and I’m going to ask for more than just a coffee if you want it up front.”
“Why would you waste information this good on a coffee, then?”
“Because I really need one. Parrish and the newb are annoying the shit out of me and it’s either coffee or murder, and your dad gets mad when we murder each other.”
“It is hard to get blood out of those tan uniforms,” Stiles agreed. “Who decided tan was a good colour? Other counties have blue uniforms. Why do we have tan ones? Never made sense to me.”
“Tick tock, Stilinski.”
Stiles thought about it for a few seconds, weighing the pros and cons before letting out a sound like a dying giraffe and hanging up on Jackson. Curse him and his ability to make Stiles’ curiosity run rampart. He didn’t know what information he could potentially be getting. Did Jackson and that coffee dude hook up? Was someone at the precinct having an affair? Had Parrish finally bitten the bullet and asked Lydia out? Had his dad been cheating on his diet? Had the precinct recently had a fire drill?! Who knew?! Not Stiles! And now he wanted to know!
Eying his work, Stiles sighed and got to his feet, moving out of the teeny, tiny little side room he used as an office and heading into his bedroom to put on real clothes. Working from home meant he looked like a hobo more often than not, which explained why his dad worried about him dying alone. Stiles literally never had to leave the house, and while it got a little solitary sometimes, it was better for him this way.
He was so easily distracted that he could never work in an office, where every movement others made would have him lose his focus. Similarly, he wasn’t going to make enough if he had to work a retail job for the rest of his life. Sure, working at the bookstore in town had been fine when he was in high school, but it only paid about three-hundred bucks a month, and Stiles definitely couldn’t live off that for the rest of his life.
Luckily for him, he’d discovered early in life he had a proclivity for languages, and he was actually fluent in English, French, and Polish. He was getting there with Spanish, and was still trying to learn German. It was a work in progress, but German was hard. Still, having enough fluency in three languages made him apply on a whim to a few translation companies just to see where that would go. By the time he was in second year university, he actually had two different jobs in translation.
He’d had to drop one of them when his grades began to falter, but he’d picked it back up after graduating and was still working for both companies. It worked well having the two because sometimes one of them would be dead and he still got paid by the second, but the worst was when two deadlines loomed at the same time.
He loved his job, though. He didn’t have set hours, he just had deadlines, and if he worked on a piece with absolute focus for an entire day, he could usually get them done relatively quickly. And the faster he got pieces out, the more he got, and the more money he was offered. Stiles had already paid off his student loans and bought an apartment. It was small, and old, but it was his. This was the perfect job for him, and he loved it.
Even if Jackson kept insisting he wanted him to teach him swear words in other languages, and Scott was determined to learn French so he could woo Allison with sexy things. Stiles always suffered because Scott’s French accent was atrocious. It made babies weep.
And Stiles, too. Stiles wept like a baby. Because it was so awful.
Stiles went to grab some jeans and a random shirt and was in the process of pulling them on when it occurred to him what Jackson had said. Parrish and the newb were annoying him. The newb, presumably, was Derek.
Not that he had a chance, but Stiles didn’t think showing up in ripped jeans, a faded graphic tee and beanie would be the best impression, so he kicked the jeans off his legs and started digging through his closet for something better to wear. He ended up in a pair of nicer jeans and a blue shirt. He had to fix his hair since he’d had a hat on all day, but he felt like this was as good as he was going to get.
Heading out, he locked up and pet the cat hanging out by the window in the stairwell. It belonged to one of the other tenants in the building, though he’d never quite figured out who. Someone upstairs, at least, because the cat always disappeared up that way around dinner time.
Reaching the Jeep, he texted his dad to find out if he was working, since living in his own place made it harder to keep up with his schedule. When he received an affirmative, he figured he might as well grab coffee for a few people since he was heading there anyway.
He drove to the Martin’s coffeeshop, mostly so he could tease Lydia if she happened to be working, but it looked like the lazy bums her father had hired were actually doing their jobs for once, because there were two baristas behind the counter.
Stiles didn’t know much about Derek, so he just ordered the same thing for him as he had during quack, got Parrish a green tea latte, Jackson one of his atrocious ginger coffee concoctions, a decaf for his dad, and an assortment of cookies. Before the guy finished ringing him up, Stiles decided to grab a drink for himself, too, and just got another black coffee. He wasn’t feeling the brain freeze today, so regular coffee seemed like the better option.
Once he had all his drinks—four in a tray, one in his other hand—and the cookies—in a box under his arm—he headed back out to the Jeep, set the drinks on the floor of the passenger seat, cookies on the seat itself, and his coffee in the cupholder. He had to be slow and careful heading for the precinct, but he made it there without spilling anything, parking in one of the visitor spots that may as well have had his name on it, considering how often the Jeep ended up there.
When he entered the precinct, he instantly felt guilty because he knew all the cops in the place but had only bought four drinks. To be fair, he couldn’t afford to buy the whole precinct coffee, but he did feel guilty enough when he passed the front desk and Tara perked up that he gave her his own coffee as if that had been his plan all along. He was just lucky she liked her coffee black.
“Angel,” she said, pulling him closer and kissing his temple. He made a face at her, but she just smiled and took a sip of her drink. “You need to tell your dad he has to replace the coffee-maker.”
“He says it’s not in the budget.”
“Budget’ll get bigger if half the force quits because they don’t like the coffee.”
“I will let him know.” Stiles winked at her and continued past her. He wanted to hit Jackson’s desk last, since he owed him information, so he stopped in his dad’s office first to drop off his coffee. He perked up at the sight of the cookies, but Stiles just gave him a look before turning around and walking back out of the office.
“Favourtism,” the man called after him. Stiles just waved over his shoulder, smirking to himself.
He approached Parrish’s desk first, because now that he was there, he felt a little weird for having bought Derek a coffee. He didn’t really know him, but he just wanted him to feel included! If he was getting Parrish a coffee, it would be rude not to get Derek one!
“Special delivery,” Stiles said, putting Parrish’s drink on his desk.
“This is new,” Parrish said with a pleased smile. “Usually when Jackson bullies you into getting him coffee, it’s only for him.”
“I was feeling generous today.” Stiles put the tray with the two remaining coffees down on Parrish’s desk so he could open the box of cookies. “You get two cookies.”
“Today just got infinitely better,” Parrish informed him, looking over the cookies with interest and grabbing two of them. Stiles was glad he hadn’t taken any caramel ones, since he was curious to know if Derek would want one or if he’d just been humouring Stiles the other day. “Thanks Stiles.”
“Sure.” Stiles kept the box open and picked the tray back up. Letting out one small breath, he smiled brightly and turned to Derek’s desk right beside Parrish’s, holding out the box of cookies. “You get two.”
Derek looked up from his paperwork, staring at Stiles with big green eyes and the most adorably confused look on his face and Stiles literally wanted to pinch his cheeks. He was fucking cute in an I-could-benchpress-you-with-one-hand sort of way.
Stiles gave the box a little shake, still smiling, waiting for Derek to grab his cookies. He still looked adorably confused, but he glanced inside the box and picked out two cookies. One was double chocolate. The other was one of the caramel cookies, which Stiles was pleased about.
“I didn’t know your specific order, so I just got you another regular black coffee.” Stiles held the tray out so Derek could grab his drink. “It’s the one on the left. Don’t take Jackson’s, you’ll puke.”
“I heard that,” Jackson snapped from across the bullpen.
“You’re a Werewolf, of course you heard that,” Stiles insisted, rolling his eyes.
“You got me coffee?” Derek asked, still looking confused.
“Sure.” Stiles shrugged. “We’re basically friends now, you listened to me ramble for forty-five minutes and didn’t strangle me. That’s how friendships are made.”
Derek still didn’t look like he understood, but he finally took the offered coffee and nodded a thanks. Stiles beamed at him, then turned to head to Jackson’s desk, putting the tray down in front of him with the last coffee on it and falling into the chair beside his desk.
“Don’t I get cookies?” Jackson asked.
Stiles just cocked an eyebrow at him, pulled a cookie out, and took a bite. Jackson rolled his eyes but didn’t push it. Probably because he needed to watch his perfect figure and besides, Stiles couldn’t eat six cookies.
Well, he could, but he wouldn’t. He’d let Jackson have two when he’d eaten the ones he wanted that were left.
“So?” Stiles asked. “My payment?”
“Stingy bastard,” Jackson muttered, but he pulled a folded piece of paper from his pocket and slid it over. It looked like such a shady transaction, but no one batted an eye around them. They had long ago gotten used to situations such as this, because working in an office of Supernatural creatures who could hear everything made it difficult to have private conversations.
Whenever Stiles was around, notes were usually passed to him when he needed to be informed of things. Usually ongoing bets people wanted to know if he wanted in on. Most of the time, he said no, but sometimes they were interesting. He was currently in the bet about Parrish and Lydia hooking up. He was on the pro side, Jackson was on the other. The bet had a time limit though, and it was dangerously close to Jackson winning that pot.
Stupid Parrish and taking his time, Lydia was a treasure and he’d be lucky to have her. And she was into him! One did not simply leave Lydia Martin waiting on something she wanted. And she wanted Parrish so he had to get his shit together.
Pulling the piece of paper closer, Stiles stuck the cookie into his mouth without fully biting through it so it could hover there and unfolded the note. Jackson stole a cookie from his box while his hands were busy, but it was one of the peanut-butter ones he didn’t like and had gotten specifically for Jackson, so he didn’t worry about it.
word has it the newb’s got a crush
bet on who it is is split 50/50
“Oh yeah?” Stiles asked once he’d taken a bite of the cookie, holding it in his free hand. “Who?”
Jackson smirked and held out one hand in request. Stiles rolled his eyes and obediently held out the box of cookies for Jackson to grab another one—he’d taken the ginger molasses one, dammit, he knew Stiles liked that cookie!
Stiles slid the page back on the desk and Jackson grabbed a pen, scrawling three words before sliding it back. Stiles took another bite while glancing down and almost choked.
val or you
“I’m sorry, what?” Stiles demanded, still coughing from the cookie trying to murder him. “You’re joking.”
“Nope.” Jackson smirked taking a sip of his drink.
Stiles stared at him, then back down at the note. That was ridiculous. Derek had only had one coffee with him. If he had a crush on someone, it couldn’t be Stiles. Unless people were grasping at straws and figured, ‘Hey, Derek spoke to Stiles that one time, so it must be him.’
“What’s your bet?” Stiles asked curiously.
“Not telling.” Jackson looked infinitely pleased at the annoyed look on Stiles’ face. “Takes the fun out of it if you know.”
Stiles reached over Jackson for a pen and scribbled his own note on the page.
Does he know you guys have this bet going?
Jackson snorted and pulled the page back over.
course he does
he’s annoyed about it
but it’s an open bet so he’s dealing
That was true, at least. The one good thing about the bets in the precinct were that none of them were meant to hurt anyone. Any bet that was deemed to be borderline had to be discussed with the party it pertained to, or else the bet couldn’t proceed.
Most of the cops were pretty good about it, because a majority of them were silly things like who would actually try and eat thirty hot dogs on a dare, and who would be brave enough to steal all of Jackson’s pens, and the ever-famous how many sighs Stiles could pull out of his dad in one conversation.
The ones that risked harming someone were either nixed right off the bat, or discussed. If the party being bet on asked for a bet to be nixed, then it was done no questions asked. The fact that Derek knew there was a bet split fifty-fifty on who he had a crush on meant he either didn’t have one—in which case, pot would go to him at the deadline—or he didn’t care enough that people might know who he was crushing on.
Which definitely wasn’t Stiles. Because someone like Derek wouldn’t crush on Stiles after having met him just once.
Actually, especially after having met him just once. Stiles was an acquired taste. Like a fine wine, or aged cheese. Repeated exposure and whatnot, that was what Stiles was.
“Heard your dad’s bullying you into quack,” Jackson said, sipping at his drink and pulling the page back over so he could toss it into his shredder.
“Yeah.” Stiles sighed, munching sadly on another cookie. “I’m gonna be doing quack until dad retires, at this rate.”
“Or until you get hitched. So yeah, until your dad retires,” Jackson said. Like an asshole.
“Fuck you.” Stiles threw what was left of his cookie at him. Jackson picked it up off his desk where it’d bounced off his shirt and stuck it into his mouth, still smirking like a smarmy asshole. “I hate you.”
“You wish you hated me. Would make those wet dreams you have about me less uncomfortable.”
“I can still hate you and have wet dreams about you,” Stiles countered. “It’s called hate sex, Jackson. And it’s amazing. I’ll have you know, you give great head.”
“Of course I do,” Jackson shot back. “Who’s saying I don’t?”
“Your new boyfriend, probably.” Stiles laughed when Jackson threw a pen at him, but figured he should go before his dad got mad at him for disrupting everyone. “Anyway, I have work to get back to.”
“I’ll come by later,” Jackson said, stealing another cookie while Stiles stood. He allowed the theft, only because he was going to stop at the shop on his way home to get another coffee since he’d given his away.
“Cheapo,” Jackson shot back, but didn’t disagree so Stiles considered it a win.
He stuck the last cookie in his mouth while headed through the bullpen, waving at people on his way by, and had almost made it out to the front when someone touched his arm.
He turned back and had to bite through the cookie so he could speak, tucking food into one cheek and hoping he didn’t look like an idiot.
Derek’s eyes had shifted down to the cookie hovering beside his face and Stiles wondered if maybe he’d been about to ask if he could have it. Eventually, Derek released his arm, thanked him again for the coffee, and went back to his desk.
Stiles just shrugged and stuck the cookie back into his mouth, being sure to make a face at his dad while passing his office and smirking to himself at the offended look he got in return for taunting him with a cookie.
“Stiles, get up.”
A sound Stiles wasn’t even aware he was capable of making escaped him when his father yanked his blankets off him, and promptly followed up that injustice with opening his blinds. Because apparently, moving away didn’t stop the man from barging into his apartment whenever he pleased.
“Giving you a key was a mistake,” Stiles informed him.
“You say that every time I come over.”
“Because I remember why it was a mistake every time you come over.” Stiles rolled onto his back and groaned, rubbing at his face. “What now?”
“It’s Saturday. C.W.A.C. is on today, you’re going, remember?”
“I remember you telling me you were going to sign me up, and I remember telling you no thank you.”
“Actually, you whined like the child you are and I won.”
“Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” Stiles shot back, but allowed his father to pull him into a seated position. “You realize the only person I could possibly get with is Derek, right?”
“Rumour has it you’ve got a fifty-fifty chance.”
Stiles’ eyebrows shot up. “Dad! Are you betting?!”
His father knew about the bets, of course he did. He’d be a pretty terrible sheriff if he didn’t, so he obviously knew about them. To date, he hadn’t once bet on any of them, because he wanted to keep things professional and found them to be ridiculous. He never asked about the bets, and he never took sides. His deputies liked making them, so he just made sure nobody got hurt and moved on.
To hear him quote the bet Jackson had told him about last week was something of a shock.
“I have a vested interest,” the sheriff said with a knowing smile. “And an advantage.”
“In that you can force me into his arms?” Not that that would be a hardship or anything, because Stiles could imagine how nice those arms would feel wrapped around him, but not the point.
“In that I know something no one else knows.”
Stiles eyed him suspiciously, crossing his arms. “Do tell.”
“It’ll cost you.”
“Oh my God, you’re spending too much time with Jackson.” Stiles threw his arms up in defeat. “Fine. One cookie.”
“Two cookies and a coffee delivery once a week for the rest of the month.”
“Slave driver,” Stiles accused, but the look his dad gave him made him growl in frustration. “Fine. Fine. What do you know?”
The sheriff looked particularly smug, leaning back against Stiles’ dresser and crossing his arms. “Every time Derek walks into my office, his eyes automatically stray to the picture sitting on top of my filing cabinet before anything else. It was the exact same place he looked when he walked into my office the last time we hosted Coffee With A Cop and he said he’d changed his mind.”
Stiles stared at him. “So?”
“Stiles, the picture on my filing cabinet is a picture of you and me at your university graduation.”
Stiles’ brain short-circuited. “Wait. Wait. You think—But he doesn’t even know me!”
“He’s heard enough about you.” The sheriff shrugged. “The others talk about you all the time. And you pop in every now and then. You never spoke to him before because you didn’t know him, and he hadn’t been there for very long the last time you came in before the coffee date. Parrish says Derek was late showing up, and that he was fussing about outside, like he was nervous. Jackson thinks Derek was worried he’d set his expectations too high, and that he was right, because you’re clearly garbage.”
Stiles shrugged and nodded his agreement, because his friend wasn’t wrong. Besides, an insult from Jackson was basically a declaration of love, so he didn’t take it personally. He knew Jackson just pretended he thought Stiles was gross. Drunk Jackson sang a different tune, and Stiles and Scott had sworn to one another that they would never, ever tell him about the time he’d passed out drunk on aconite on Stiles’ couch after having attempted to rip Stiles’ clothes off.
Scott only knew because he was the one Stiles had called asking for help. A Werewolf was not easy to fight off, especially a drunk one. Apparently Jackson had feelings, even if the two of them were much too close to ever pursue anything romantic together. Didn’t stop Jackson from finding Stiles hot, apparently.
“Far as I know,” his father continued, “Derek really enjoyed coffee with you. And you even came in to bring him coffee twice since then. Word has it the people who bet on Val are regretting that bet.”
“Don’t go buying wedding invites just yet.” Stiles rolled his eyes. “It was just coffee. Doubt he can stand another hour with me.”
“Guess we’ll find out, since he’s who I paired you with again.” His dad clapped his hands once. “Come on, get dressed.”
Stiles sighed heavily and pointed at the door. His father took the hint and left his apartment, calling back that he’d see him tomorrow since he was working the night shift. Stiles just sighed and rubbed his face, though he couldn’t help the excited flutter in his stomach at the possibility that Derek truly did have a crush on him.
Crush sounded so pre-school, but it was still exciting. People didn’t get crushes on Stiles. He was that one guy everyone wanted to be friends with, but nobody wanted to date. Sure, he’d filled out since university, and he’d finally grown into his ears, and his longer hair made him look much more mature and less baby-faced, but he still couldn’t grow a beard to save his life, and his fashion sense left much to be desired.
Though he was a good person. Or he liked to think he was, anyway. He felt like he was a good person. The kind of person who agreed to go meet a new cop and help him feel less alone. The kind of person who thought about him while grabbing coffee for other people he knew. The kind of person who wanted to make Derek feel like he could have a home in Beacon Hills.
He hadn’t done any of that because he was expecting anything in return. He hadn’t done it because he’d seen how attractive Derek was. He’d done it because it was obvious Derek still wasn’t comfortable with his new life in a small town, and he wanted him to feel like he belonged. Everyone at the precinct knew the sheriff’s kid, even Parrish, who was also relatively new. It made sense that he should get to know Derek in the same way, so that he felt included. So that when people spoke about the sheriff’s kid, he knew who that was.
Unfortunately for Stiles, the sheriff’s kid came up as a topic of discussion a lot. That wasn’t at all helped by the fact that he had friends who now worked at the precinct, too.
Still, finding out Derek might actually have a crush on him was... nice. It gave him the warm fuzzies.
Sighing and shaking himself out of it, since he didn’t want to get his hopes up, Stiles went to the bathroom to get ready for the day. Once he’d finished up in there and chosen a reasonable outfit, he headed down to the Jeep while petting the cat on his way by, and climbed behind the wheel.
He made it to the coffeeshop with five minutes to spare, as was the norm, but Derek’s motorcycle was already there this time. Stiles grinned at that and climbed out, heading inside and looking around.
Derek was sitting at the same table as last time, twirling the card with his name and drink order on it in one hand. He straightened slightly when he saw Stiles, and Stiles distinctly saw Allison curse and pass money to Jackson two tables over. His friend looked smug and gave Stiles a thumbs up.
Stiles was really going to have to talk to the precinct as a whole about gambling, they were way too invested in all their bets.
“Hey,” Stiles said, moving up to the chair and patting the back of it lightly. “We meet again.”
Derek paused in flipping the card he held. “Is that bad?”
“I mean, as long as you’re not putting handcuffs on me, then no, it’s not bad.”
“Oh, I’m sure you’d love for him to put handcuffs on you, Stilinski,” Jackson said from his table, smirking like an asshole.
“Why are we friends?” Stiles demanded, turning to him. “Seriously, what made me wake up one morning and think, ‘You know what? That Jackson Whittemore guy. I like him. We should be friends.’ What was I thinking?”
“That you had good taste,” Jackson shot back without missing a beat.
“Clearly my palette has improved since then,” Stiles said immediately and Allison almost snorted coffee out of her nose. Stiles was glad she didn’t, that would’ve hurt. He looked back at Derek, waving one hand dismissively at Jackson. “Anyway, same thing? Or did you want something different this week? You still haven’t told me what you actually like, I just keep going for the black coffee because that’s what you asked for the first time.”
Derek nodded once, eyes on the card he was now tapping against the table. “I actually don’t like coffee.”
Stiles stared at him. “Then why did you order coffee? Why didn’t you tell me? I feel like a dick now!”
Derek shrugged one shoulder absently, and Stiles could see his ears turning pink while he muttered, “It was called Coffee With A Cop, I thought it had to be coffee.”
“You’re adorable, you know that?” Stiles moved around his seat and sat down, shaking his head. “It’s only called that because ‘Beverage with an Officer’ seemed too pretentious. Besides, bwao doesn’t sound as good as quack.”
Derek let out a small laugh, gaze shifting upwards. “No. I guess it doesn’t.”
“So.” Stiles drummed a quick beat on the table. “Hit me. What do you like?”
“Chocolate,” he admitted. “Surprise me.”
“Oh, them’s dangerous words.” Stiles grinned. “Anything I should know allergy-wise?”
Derek shook his head. “Not a super big fan of mint, but anything else should be fine.”
“Perfect. Be right back.”
“You know it’s not one yet,” Allison called teasingly while Stiles headed to the till.
“Don’t be jealous because my cop is getting his drink early. And a cookie. Because my cop is a kind person who isn’t an ass to me and deserves to be spoiled.” Stiles turned his nose up at his friends and almost walked into one of the display cases.
Jackson laughed so hard he almost fell out of his chair. Stiles wished he had. Wouldn’t have hurt Jackson in general, but it would’ve wounded his pride, at least.
When he got to the till, Stiles decided it was warm enough to get two iced drinks, and he perused the menu for inspiration for Derek. He ended up getting him a double-chocolate iced drink with extra whip, caramel drizzle and some mini chocolate chips. He got himself the same thing after debating for a few seconds because he didn’t want to make the barista have to clean out multiple blenders.
He got two of the caramel cookies, and also bought a brownie for good measure, because if Derek liked chocolate, Stiles was going to over-chocolate him!
He waited while the cookies and brownie were heated up, since those would be done first, and brought them back to the table, being sure to waggle the plates tauntingly at Allison and Jackson. Jackson rolled his eyes, but Allison slapped one hand to her chest and pretended to be offended. Stiles put the plates down on the table, doing so with flourish on Derek’s side.
“Your food, my liege,” he said in his best posh accent.
Derek let out a weird cough that Stiles assumed was an attempt to cover up a laugh. He considered it a win and went back to grab their drinks once they were ready. Even though they were staying in, they’d come in the usual to go cups since it was harder to put cold drinks in mugs. Stiles thanked the barista and threw some coins in the tip jar, then headed back to the table, setting Derek’s down in front of him with a straw and falling into his seat while holding his own.
“Let me know if you like it, I can switch to this next time I bring drinks to the station.”
“Thanks.” Derek pulled his straw out of its paper wrapping and took a sip of the drink, then nodded while licking his lips, eyes lowered. “It’s good.”
“Awesome.” Stiles grinned. “So, deputy Hale, if you haven’t grown bored of my blathering just yet, are you ready for another ‘Beverage with an Officer’?”
Derek rolled his eyes, but he at least looked up this time and motioned for Stiles to go for it.
“So.” Stiles clapped his hands together once after setting his drink down and picked up his cookie. “What are your thoughts on the Sony/Disney breakup?”
Stiles still wasn’t convinced Derek had a crush on him, as much as he’d like to believe it. He owed his father the promised coffees, and kept getting bullied into bringing Jackson drinks every now and then, so he dropped by the station a lot.
He always brought a drink for Parrish and Derek when they were working during his visits, but he’d also noticed Derek spending a lot more time with Valerie Clark. Their desks were beside each other, on Derek’s other side from Parrish, and a lot of the times when he walked into the bullpen and both of them were working, they would be chatting and comparing case files.
Stiles figured it was just work at first, but once he’d walked in and saw Derek laugh at something she’d said. Stiles knew then that his chances were slim to none, because Val was gorgeous and nice and female. So that was a little disappointing, but he didn’t let it deter his growing friendship with Derek. He still brought him drinks and brownies, and he still made small talk, but he didn’t have his hopes up.
On the bright side, Stiles got to share in the pot when Parrish finally asked Lydia out, so that was exciting news. He, Jackson and Allison went out drinking to celebrate and promptly spent all the money they’d won. Worth it, in Stiles’ opinion.
He found out about two more bets that were going on a few days later, one which was when Stiles would stop bringing Derek coffee which, rude, Derek was his friend, and the other being when Derek would ask Val out. The fifty-fifty crush pot was still open, because until Derek officially made a move one way or another, it couldn’t close until the deadline or one side won, but it seemed most people were on the Val train now.
Parrish and Jackson looked smug about it, because apparently the Derek asking Val out pot would immediately go to people who abstained from betting because they thought it was a bogus pot. Currently, that was just Parrish and Jackson.
And technically his dad, but he didn’t count since he never bet barring that one bet he was now going to lose.
Poor guy, he’d probably never gamble again.
When quack came up once more two weeks later, Stiles got paired up with Tara, which he was fine with since it let them catch up and chat about the movies they’d both seen lately. He never had time to really catch up with all the other deputies anymore. When he was younger and doing homework at the precinct, it was easy, but now that he was an adult and worked, he had less time to just hang out there.
Besides, he had four deadlines looming, he really needed to get on that.
He noticed Derek got paired up with the blond guy Jackson had been with a few weeks back. Neither of them seemed happy or comfortable, but they both toughed it out until the hour was up.
Tara left a few minutes early because of a call she got, so Stiles was already heading out the door before Derek and his new friend were done. He smiled and waved at him, but didn’t interrupt because he didn’t want to assume things weren’t going well. Maybe they were and he was just reading things wrong.
Heading back to the Jeep, he climbed into it and let out a grunt of discomfort at the heat of it. The weather was not being kind right now and the interior was scorching hot. He felt like the seat was burning through his pants and his ass would be red when he got home.
Rolling down one of the windows with the manual crank, he started the Jeep, listened to it splutter, and then a small pop sounded before smoke began to billow out from under the hood.
Stiles leapt out of the Jeep and hastily lifted the hood, backing away quickly to not get slammed in the face with anything that might cause him harm. He waited a few seconds before waving the smoke away, coughing slightly at the smell, and sighed. Well, nothing was on fire, but it wouldn’t be going anywhere today, that was for sure.
“Great. Another expense I don’t need.” He supposed it was a good thing he had those four pieces due.
Pulling out his phone, he called for a tow truck, then leaned back against the Jeep while texting Scott. Predictably, he was at work, which explained why Allison had shown up for quack again this week. Probably hadn’t wanted to make any wedding decisions without him. That, or she was tired of planning. Weddings sounded hard.
His dad was fishing with a few of the older officers, and Jackson was down at the station filling out paperwork. He supposed he could probably bum a ride off Allison once she was done, or just walk, but it was hot and he really didn’t want to have to walk.
The tow truck showed up as Derek and his coffee not-date walked out, and Stiles spoke to the driver—who knew him so well by now because his Jeep was falling apart—before stepping back to watch him get the Jeep sorted out so he could tow it.
Stiles could see Derek hanging out on his bike out of the corner of his eyes, sitting on it with his helmet in both hands, but making no move to put it on or start up. He just sat there watching the Jeep get tied up and then towed away.
“What happened?” Derek asked when Stiles was done staring longingly after the tow truck.
“Jeep’s old.” Stiles waved one hand dismissively. “It happens.”
“Sorry to hear that.” Derek was flipping the helmet in his hands absently. He was staring through the window into the coffeeshop, like he was waiting for something, but eventually squared his shoulders and turned back to Stiles. He didn’t look right at him, more at his shoulder, but his voice was firm when he asked, “Do you need a ride?”
“I don’t want to bother you.”
“I don’t mind. I don’t have any plans.” He held out his helmet. “As long as you’re okay with the motorcycle, I can give you a ride home.”
Stiles had never been on a motorcycle before, and the thought of it was kind of thrilling. He beamed at Derek while moving closer, taking the offered helmet, but paused before pulling it on.
“What about you?”
“Werewolf.” He shrugged. “I’m not legally obliged to wear the helmet, I just do because it’s good to set a good example. Also head injuries hurt and take longer to heal.”
“Are you sure? I don’t want to impose.”
Stiles smiled again, then wrestled the helmet on over his head. It felt weird and echo-y inside, but he wasn’t a Werewolf and definitely didn’t want his head getting bashed in. As he climbed on behind Derek, the man starting the bike, he admitted he’d never been on one before. Derek told him where to put his feet, and explained how to behave while behind him so that he wouldn’t tip the bike too far when Derek turned.
Once he nodded his understanding, he hesitated for only a moment before shifting up behind Derek and wrapping his arms around his middle. He was sure this was much more intimate than it was meant to be, but Stiles did not want to fall off the back of the motorcycle. His dad would murder him.
“No problem,” Stiles said, tightening his hold.
Derek let out a small laugh that Stiles felt vibrate through every inch of him. Or maybe that was just the motorcycle, he wasn’t sure, but either way, he knew his grip tightened even further when Derek knocked back the kickstand and started slowly backing out of the spot.
Stiles tried to stay perfectly still against him, not wanting to make him overbalance. He knew that no matter what, Derek would probably have enough strength to stop them from tipping over completely if Stiles overcompensated too much during a turn, but he’d probably get hurt and Stiles didn’t want Derek to get hurt. So he just tried to remember everything he’d been told and held on while Derek turned them around and eased them onto the road.
It was actually kind of nice, in a completely terrifying way. Not that Stiles was scared of motorcycles, it was just really jarring to recognize that he didn’t have a large metal box surrounding him if someone were to hit them.
But also really exhilarating feeling the air rushing past him and the power of the engine vibrating beneath him. Also, hugging Derek was pretty great, he wasn’t going to lie. The guy really was all muscle.
Stiles kind of wished he could rest his cheek against Derek’s back, but he settled for grinning like an idiot while looking over his shoulder while they drove.
He had to give Derek directions once they passed the precinct, since Derek actually had no idea where he lived. Which made sense, because it would be weird if he did. Stiles was yelling the directions at first, but when they stopped at a red light, Derek laughed and turned to tell him loudly over his shoulder that he could hear just fine and he didn’t need to shout.
Stiles tried not to scream over the engine going forward, he just wasn’t used to Werewolves and motorcycles. He should’ve figured, since Jackson’s muscle car was loud as shit and he still heard Stiles just fine, but it was an automatic reaction for a human to speak loudly when they couldn’t hear themselves.
When they finally reached his apartment building, Stiles felt a little unsteady when he got off the motorcycle. He realized it was because he’d been clenching his thighs around it in an attempt not to fall off so now they were going to ache like he’d done some kind of workout.
He’d definitely not done a workout, he didn’t know that his body could handle working out after all the couch-potato-ing he’d been doing since graduation. He should probably hit a gym or join a sport or something.
“Thanks for the ride,” Stiles said, struggling to get the helmet off. He finally managed, rubbing at his nose slightly while handing it back.
Derek looked amused, but also maybe a little interested, if the very slow lick of his lips was anything to go by. Like, exceptionally slow. Stiles wasn’t sure he hadn’t been staring at him in slow motion or something.
“Sure. Hope it wasn’t too scary.”
“No, it was fun,” Stiles insisted with a small smile. “Though the next time I get a ride, maybe some protection for you, too?”
Stiles didn’t realize how terrible that sounded until Derek’s eyebrows shot up and a flush crept up his neck. The second the words sank in, Stiles wanted to die and he knew his face was splotching as well.
“For your head!” Nope, that made it worse. “A helmet! For your cranium!”
“I’ll keep that in mind,” Derek said, looking far too amused, even as his ears turned pink.
Stiles wanted to go inside and die now. “Well, thanks. For the ride. On your motorcycle. The—thing. There.” Stiles motioned vaguely at the bike Derek was still sitting on. “Um, I’ll see you later. Next time I go to the station. Or the next quack. Or whatever. Yeah. Thanks. Bye!”
Turning, he rushed for the stairs, unable to believe he’d actually said those words to Derek’s face, and was halfway up to the front door of his building when Derek called after him.
“Hey Stiles?” He turned, and saw Derek flipping the helmet between his hands the same way he’d been doing back at the coffeeshop before asking if he wanted a ride. He was staring at Stiles this time, like he was psyching himself up, and finally let out a slow breath. “Would you—maybe want to go for coffee with me sometime? Outside of quack, I mean.”
Stiles stared at him for an exceptionally long time, because what?
But the bet!
Everyone was sure that Val was the winner because of how close she and Derek were lately!
“As like... a date?” Stiles asked slowly, to be sure he understood.
Derek eyed him for a second before saying, “Well, that depends.”
“Are you asking because that’s what you want it to be,” Derek began, looking a little nervous now, “or are you asking because you want to close three outstanding bets?”
Stiles didn’t care if he had to pretend he didn’t know Derek at all in public, he wanted this date like Winnie the Pooh wanted honey.
“We can keep this a secret as long as you want if you make this a date,” he blurted out.
He didn’t care if they hid this until all the bets closed, he was fine with that. He didn’t need to help Jackson make more money, the guy was loaded!
Derek seemed to relax and smiled. A true, genuine smile, like the ones Stiles had seen him give Val.
“It’s a date then,” he confirmed softly, seeming happy. “And uh, no, we don’t have to keep this a secret.” Derek let out a small laugh. “Rumour has it the sheriff is planning on taking his son out to dinner with his share of the pot. I want to help support that kind of father-son bonding.”
Stiles couldn’t help the laugh that escaped him, moving back down a few steps so he was closer to Derek. “You know my dad only wants to take me out to dinner so he can eat junk and rub it in my face, right?”
“You do tease him with cookies all the time. He deserves a treat.”
“You’re paying his hospital bills when the doctor diagnoses him with some rare and incurable disease,” Stiles warned, poking Derek hard in the chest.
The Werewolf caught his hand, squeezing it once, then leaned over and placed a chaste kiss against Stiles’ lips. It had him tingling from head to toe.
“I can live with that,” Derek breathed a literal inch from his lips.
“I thought you liked Val,” was Stiles’ brilliant response to that.
Derek didn’t seem to take offense to it, still holding Stiles’ hand in his own and keeping their faces so close together Stiles could feel every exhale against his skin.
“Val went to school with my older sister. I didn’t remember her when I first joined, but after we got talking, I realized who she was. She didn’t want me to feel uncomfortable, so she hadn’t mentioned it first. We’re just friends, nothing more.”
“Oh.” Stiles felt like he really had butterflies in his stomach now.
Because wow, Derek actually liked him! That fifty-fifty crush pot that he’d thought was more of a joke was actually true! And Stiles was the winner!
This was the best day of his life.
“So coffee?” Derek asked, pulling back once more so they weren’t quite so close. “Or some form of non-caffeinated beverage? I promise it doesn’t have to be with a cop if you don’t want it to be.”
“I’m okay if it’s with one particular cop,” Stiles admitted, feeling like he had the most ridiculous smile on his face.
“I’m free tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow is the best day of the week,” Stiles agreed.
“Doesn’t matter, it’s tomorrow, and it’s the best.”
Derek let out another small laugh, brought Stiles’ hand to his mouth and kissed it before he let it go. Stiles may or may not have swooned, he honestly wasn’t sure. Fuck was Derek smooth for someone who was clearly shy. He’d probably gotten a lot more confidence upon realizing Stiles felt the same way and damn was confident Derek hot as fuck!
“Tomorrow, then. I’ll pick you up at one, if that’s okay.”
“Yes. And please bring another helmet.” See? Stiles could use good words sometimes. When his brain was working. Which is shockingly was right now.
“See you then.” Derek smiled again.
God he had a great smile.
Stiles nodded enthusiastically while walking backwards and almost tripped up the stairs. He hastily turned around to climb them properly before Derek changed his mind over how dumb Stiles was, and had just reached the door when something occurred to him and he frowned.
He turned back to Derek, who hadn’t moved from where he’d stopped the bike, and pointed a confused finger at him.
“You said three outstanding bets,” Stiles said, confused. “Far as I know, there are only two. The one about me bringing you coffee doesn’t affect us going on a date, only the crush one and the asking Val out ones do. So what’s the third?”
Derek watched him for a long moment, one hand still holding his helmet and the other rubbing up and down his own thigh, like he was trying to wipe sweat off his palm.
“I heard the sheriff never bets,” Derek finally said, eyes locked on Stiles while he spoke. “Apparently he doesn’t see a point in it, and he doesn’t understand why the whole precinct finds it entertaining to do. Before the first quack, when I walked into his office and told him I’d changed my mind, he agreed to squeeze me in as long as the two of us made a private bet afterwards. He wanted me to go to the quack before telling me what it was. So I went, and when I got to work the next day, I went into his office, and we made a bet.”
“That being?” Stiles asked slowly, a little worried now.
“Your father is a smart man,” Derek said instead of answering. “When I walked into the office, he asked me one question. I answered in the affirmative. So we made a bet. He bet me I’d ask you out before you figured things out and asked me yourself. I insisted you’d ask me first.” Derek shrugged. “I didn’t think I could work up the nerve, but I really didn’t want to wait for the next quack to have a conversation with you. Makes sense your dad would force my hand by pairing me with someone else today. I should’ve known better than to bet against him.”
Stiles felt like the world had just tipped sideways. “Wait, dad knew?!”
“He is the sheriff,” Derek said, amused.
“So—wait, what did he say? Just ‘I noticed you staring at this picture of my son, and now that you’ve had coffee with him, what do you think’?”
“More like—‘You’re an open book, son. Did things go well with Stiles like you hoped they would’?” Derek let out another small laugh. “Like I said, your father is a smart man.”
“How could you possibly know you liked me after one coffee?” Stiles demanded.
“You came into the precinct three times before the quack since I’ve started. You were nice to everyone. You were energetic and kind. And you’re my type.” Derek shrugged. “Your dad mentioned you’re usually the person he bullies into going to quacks if he can’t find anyone else, so I figured joining at the last minute would mean you’d be the one I got paired with. When I showed up and saw you alone at the table through the window, I knew I was right and almost talked myself out of going inside.”
“So wait, you actually had a crush on me?”
“Pretty much since the first time I saw you wander into the precinct wearing plaid pyjama pants and a torn hoodie at four in the morning with coffee for Jackson.” Derek smirked. “Bedhead’s a good look for you, by the way.”
“Oh my God, who are you?” Stiles demanded, feeling himself flushing all over again. “Can you go back to being all awkward and shy?” He couldn’t believe Derek had seen him looking like that! How fucking embarrassing.
On a brighter note, at least it meant Stiles didn’t have to worry so much about what he wore anymore.
“I’ll see you tomorrow, Stiles.” Derek pulled his helmet on over his smirk, waved once, then revved his engine before slowly turning around and driving back down the street the way he’d come.
Stiles watched him for a good long while before dancing on the spot for a few seconds and opening the front door to his building. He had coffee with Derek tomorrow.
And not a quack coffee date, but a literal, actual coffee date!
“God,” Stiles groaned halfway up the flight of stairs to his apartment, whining and throwing his head back. “I got a date over quack, dad’s never gonna let me live this down.”
Seriously, the number of relationships this whole thing had started was ridiculous, his dad was probably pretty fucking proud of himself.
Stiles reached his apartment and was heading towards his little office when his phone buzzed. It occurred to him he hadn’t gotten Derek’s number, but he could do that tomorrow. They had a coffee date, after all, so he had tons of time to get his number.
And his address.
And everything else he wanted to know about Derek Hale, really.
Pulling his phone out, he checked his messages and couldn’t help the sigh that escaped him at what he saw staring back at him.
thx 4 winning me the only 2 bets ive ever made
It was followed by four thumbs-up emojis. His dad was not slick, the jerk.
Still not getting any grandbabies
theres always adoption
JC dad, put the wedding invites away!
Also Derek LITERALLY just left
What, you have surveillance on me or something?
What followed was a picture, taken from across the street so that it showed the back of Derek’s head while he was leaning forward to kiss Stiles.
jacksons already sent it 2 every 1 who bet against u demanding his $$$
Of course. Jackson. Who was meant to be doing paperwork. Scott had probably texted him about Stiles needing a ride and the jerk had seen him leave with Derek and followed.
His friends were the worst.
Don’t think you can eat whatever you want when we go to dinner, old man.
dont think u can stop me
invite ur boyfriend
This one was followed by about eight or nine winky faces. Stiles sorely regretted introducing his father to texting.
He sent back a middle finger for good measure, knowing his dad was probably howling with laughter loud enough to scare away all the fish, and put his phone away.
Stiles smiled slightly while falling into his desk chair, staring at his black computer screen and thinking about Derek’s lips against his.
At least one thing was true: he definitely wanted to have Coffee With A Cop for the rest of his life.
As long as it was a specific cop. And it didn’t have to be coffee.
Maybe his dad hadn’t had the worst idea ever making him go to all those quacks over the years.
Tomorrow was going to be very interesting.