To hell with the supernatural; that’s what Stiles would like to say.
To hell with the supernatural and all that came with it. He didn’t want to deal with these things anymore, thank you very much. No more constant danger, no more nursing bruises every other day. Stiles couldn’t look in the mirror anymore without seeing dark circles underneath his eyes and half-healed bruises marring across his skin. He came out in only a towel once and his dad looked at him like he was seeing a ghost; Stiles hadn’t looked himself in the mirror for two days after.
To hell with the supernatural, right? Except he could never do that, not exactly. He could condemn it all he wanted in his mind but every time Stiles tried to go through with his thoughts, he got lost in grey-green eyes and ended up shutting his mouth so fast, he bit his tongue.
The blood always tasted a little bit like a warning. But Stiles had never been good at making the wise decisions.
It was all a matter of mindsets he supposed. Stiles was sorely exhausted all the time. And he was doing his best. But then sometimes he fell asleep at Derek’s loft underneath an old blanket and the man always looked a little sad when Stiles woke up again, sitting in the armchair a few feet away just watching him.
Stiles had long grown used to Derek’s stalker tendencies. He wasn’t used to feeling like Derek might actually care.
And maybe it wasn’t always the supernatural messing with his head. No, it was what came with the supernatural. The near-death experiences, the nightmares that followed him in and out of waking hours. But then there were the good things; the movie nights, the ghosting touches along the back of his neck
The occasional pair of red eyes that Stiles could’ve sworn he could see through his window when he least expected it.
But where was he? Oh yeah. To hell with the supernatural.
Or better yet, to hell with Derek Hale.
Stiles brushed a few fingers over his lips and just stared at the reflection in his bathroom mirror, wide amber eyes gazing back out at him. For the first time ever, the marks that went down his neck weren’t because of some stupid supernatural threat and Stiles felt a little woozy as he looked at them.
To hell with Derek Hale. That’s what Stiles was supposed to be thinking, right?
He dragged out his phone and gazed at it for a moment. The first time Derek had shoved it into his hand with a slight growl and the words “only for emergencies” Stiles had nearly had a heart attack. And he’d decided then that yeah, he was only ever using that for emergencies.
He didn’t have a death wish or anything.
But as Stiles scrolled to Derek’s name now, thumb hovering over the man’s name, he wondered if maybe he did. Maybe they both did. Because Derek had kissed him first, hadn’t he? Goddamit, Derek Hale had kissed him. Lips on his own, rough hands through his hair, and Stiles couldn’t even remember what they’d been fighting about.
Stiles’s thumb lingered over Derek’s name and he debated dropping it into the toilet and calling this entire thing quits. Because Stiles didn’t have the heart for this anymore, alright? He was a senior in high school feeling like he’d turned sixty years old only a couple of days ago.
He wanted to sit back, watch TV all day, and maybe live off of hard candy. Yeah, that’s something he could do.
Stiles startled so hard, he nearly did drop his phone into the toilet. He looked at himself in the mirror for a second with wide eyes, before yanking up his hoodie and nervously opening the bathroom door a crack. His dad arched a worried brow.
“You’ve been in there for over an hour, kid.”
“Oh yeah, um. I was shaving.”
“Yeah, pops! I’ve got some serious stumbling growing in these days. I think it’s coming with all these grey hairs and supernatural crazies. But you know, I’ve totally got this. Didn’t nick myself once! It’s all about the right angle of the blade.”
His dad looked at him for another long moment. It was a look Stiles was used to; as if he was trying to decide whether Stiles was pulling excuses out of his ass or he was really telling the truth. Eventually, though, the man nodded and Stiles’s nearly slumped to the ground in relief as the man turned away, waving a hand over his shoulder.
“Don’t make a mess of the sink. And I’ll be home for dinner tonight!”
“I’ll make dinner then, don’t you dare eat out!”
He didn’t get an answer but Stiles was pretty sure he was plenty threatening, thank you very much. Which brought him back to the current problem. Pulling his phone back out, Stiles clicked to Derek’s name and punched in a quick ‘We need to talk’ message.
Yeah, he was plenty threatening. Stiles had no doubts Derek would know better than to ignore him.
The entire Saturday morning passed with Derek ignoring him.
Stiles tried not to think about it, he really did. But he couldn’t concentrate for longer than five minutes on his homework, he’d paced the living room a dozen times already, and Stiles was starting to feel like he was going crazy. He was literally losing his mind. And Derek was still ignoring him.
This time, when Stiles dragged out his phone, he didn’t even bother with the texting. He scrolled to Derek’s name and punched the call button, bringing the phone to his ear.
It rang once, twice. Three times. The man didn’t answer and Stiles cursed, dialing his number again.
This time, Derek picked right up. And Stiles’s heart skipped a beat.
Nevermind, he was still pissed.
“What? What? Dude, did you not get my text, or were you just choosing to ignore it?”
“I’m kind of busy, Stiles.”
“Busy with what, asshole? Reading a book? Trying to pretend like this token human doesn’t exist? Because I’m three seconds away from coming straight over to the loft and wringing your little wolfy neck myself—”
“Stiles,” Derek said cutting him off. And he would have been a little peeved if he’d known exactly where he was going with that sentence. But to be honest, Stiles was just rambling at this point. “Just meet me at the diner in an hour and we can talk then. Okay?”
Stiles blinked dumbly at the opposite wall for a second. Because what?
“The one with the curly fries you like.”
Once more, Stiles was staring at nothing, feeling like an idiot. This was not how he’d imagined this conversation going. And he couldn’t tell if that was a bad thing or a good thing. Eventually, he shook his head and swallowed hard. “Sure.”
“... One hour, big guy.”
It felt like a lot longer than one hour.
Stiles spent most of the time pacing back and forth again. He ran a hand through his hair until it stuck up in all directions and then wondered if this was Derek’s way of saying ‘the kiss had been wrong’ or ‘it had been an accident’ and Stiles was never allowed to come back to the loft again.
He was so nervous, he nearly fell over his own feet when he looked at the clock and realized it had nearly been an hour. After fighting down a panic attack, Stiles managed to pull on fairly clean clothes, do something with his hair, and then he was stumbling out the door.
He still sat in the parking lot of the diner for longer than was probably necessary.
Derek knew he liked this place. Derek knew this place was his favorite. Of course, that could always be brushed off as the pack always coming here after their late-night ‘nearly dying’ sessions. But it wasn’t like Stiles went around proclaim what he liked best. He’d eat curly fries from anywhere thank you very much.
So was them being here a good or bad thing? Was Derek trying to be nice or was he offering some sort of comfort?
Stiles closed his eyes and just tried to breathe out. Then he pulled himself out of the car and all but stumbled inside, nervously moving to the front counter.
“Uh, I’m here to meet someone?”
The waiter looked up, raising an eyebrow, and Stiles blushed, running a hand through his hair. And probably messing it up all over again.
“Uh, sorry. He’s big and growly. Kinda looks like a serial killer on his off day?”
The waiter pressed his lips together and glanced down at the list in front of him before nodding. “Big and growly? Yeah, your boyfriend came in a few minutes ago. Two tables down and to the right.”
Stiles was pretty sure his heart skip a few beats. “He’s not my boyfriend.”
The waiter gave him a bored look in return. “Sorry.”
“Definitely not my boyfriend.”
Stiles swallowed once, twice, and then forced himself away. He was pretty sure this was a huge mistake. He so totally shouldn’t be here. Maybe he could go home and make up some kind of excuse and he and Derek could talk about all of this over the phone.
That would be easier than getting turned down in his favorite diner, that is. Stiles was never going to be able to eat here again.
Sure enough, Derek Hale was sitting two tables down and to the right. Stiles froze for a moment and grey-green eyes snapped up, locking on where he stood. They both stared at each other for a moment too long and then Stiles stumbled forward, right as Derek stood up.
The man’s face turned bright red. Slowly, he sat back down again, and Stiles slid into the booth opposite of him.
Derek made an abortive move to push the second water in front of him across the table and it nearly tipped over. Stiles yelped, Derek caught it at the last moment, and once more, an awkward silence fell over the air. Stiles chuckled nervously, even though he felt like there was a pit gradually growing larger and larger in his stomach. He wasn’t even hungry, which was a first.
“You can just say what you need to say, Derek, and I can be on my way. It’s fine.”
The man’s eyes sparked. “What?”
“Seriously,” Stiles said, smiling even though he didn’t feel it at all. “It’s fine. You can’t be seen in public with the token human, that kiss was never supposed to happen, and what are accidental angry make-out sessions supposed to mean anyway?”
Derek continued to stare like Stiles had grown horns. The man’s eyes traveled down a little lower then, focusing on Stiles’s neck, and he felt his face turn hot as he remembered the marks.
Quietly, Stiles tugged the neckline of his sweatshirt up a little higher, trying to cover them. Derek’s face did something strange.
“Stiles, why you think I asked you here?”
Stiles blinked at the man. Then he frowned, feeling his face turn even warmer. “Do I really have to go into the details, dude?”
Derek raised a brow. Stiles silently cursed everything.
“You know, you could just say it was all a mistake instead of making me say it out loud. That’s kind of a low blow, dude.”
“Stiles, that’s not—”
“I mean, I get it. I’m Stiles Stilinski, the token human of the pack. You’re Derek Hale, the unfairly hot and broody Alpha werewolf. We’re in two totally different leagues! And mine’s not great. I just… Just...” Stiles felt his stomach clenched, dropping his eyes. “Just don’t be too harsh, Derek.”
“Stiles, that’s not what I was trying to say.”
Stiles blinked back up at the man. Because he’d heard wrong, hadn’t he? He must have just heard wrong. “Uh, dude? What?”
“That’s not…” Derek turned red again and the man dropped his gaze. “I was busy before this.”
“Yeah, I noticed.”
“Because I went down to the station.”
Stiles froze. His stomach clenched and he leaned across the table, poking Derek experimentally in the face. When the man growled and batted his hand back, Stiles supposed this had to be Derek Hale. Which left so many other things unexplained.
“I talked to your father.”
Well, that was something explained. Stiles still felt like maybe he’d died or something. “You what?”
“I talked to your father, Stiles.”
“Oh my god,” Stiles said. “Was the kiss really that bad? Did you tell him everything? Did you get a restraining order? Oh my god, I’m so grounded. For the rest of my life. Derek, you could’ve just said you didn’t want to see me again or something!”
“Stiles, calm down.”
“I will not calm down!” Stiles shouted, shoving himself up. And they were getting quite a few stares now. “Dude, what the hell did you want with my dad? He’s going to kill me, literally kill me. Why am I even here?”
“Stiles, I asked him permission to date you!”
Once more, Stiles froze. He could feel people starting but for the moment, all that mattered was the man in front of him. The very real man in front of him. Slowly, he sat back down, and Derek rubbed a hand over his face.
“Stiles, I was—”
“To date me.”
Derek gave him an exasperated look and nodded. Stiles swallowed hard, grabbing his water and chugging half of it before glancing at Derek over the top again. The man just looked tired.
“Because I kissed you.”
Stiles narrowed his eyes and lowered the cup again. “That’s what this is? What, is it some kind of weird werewolf thing? You kiss a human and then you have to marry them? Because I’m totally not ready for marriage, dude.”
“Stiles, I’m not asking you to marry me.”
“Then why the hell would you want permission to date me?”
“Because I like you, idiot.”
Stiles blinked. His jaw snapped closed and he stared at the man. Then, reaching across the table, he tried to poke his face again, but Derek caught his hand before he could. Stiles stared in shock as calloused fingers intertwined with his own and then Derek Hale was holding his hand.
So, that’s not what he had expected.
Stiles still hadn’t quite figured things out when the waiter came over. It was the same man from earlier and he glanced between them before giving Stiles a judgemental look. Stiles felt his face grow hot— Derek growled— and Stiles was pretty sure he’d started dreaming at some point.
Maybe he’d passed out and never made it to the diner. Maybe none of this had ever happened at all. Or maybe Derek had ripped his throat out after accidentally kissing him and Stiles was dead right now.
He was dead. Yeah, he could roll with that.
But then he was so busy staring at the hallucination of a man in front of him, he barely realized that Derek had ordered his favorite meal and the waiter was gone. Derek raised an eyebrow at him and Stiles opened and closed his mouth a few times before snapping back to reality.
“Dude, you want to date me.”
“Like, date-date me?”
“Is there any other kind?”
Stiles narrowed his eyes. “You’re not gonna like, werewolf court me or something, are you?”
The corners of Derek’s mouth twitched. He leaned across the table and moved the collar of Stiles’s jacket down, thumb brushing over the marks. Stiles shivered and Derek leaned back with a grin. A literal grin. “I don’t know, Stiles. Do you want me to?”
“... I haven’t decided yet.”
“You just eat your curly fries,” Derek said. “And we’ll see what happens.”
Screw Derek Hale.
That’s what Stiles would like to say, right? Screw Derek Hale and his smug looks, his perfect face, his unfairly hot everything— Stiles blinked a few times and took another long drink of his water. Screw Derek Hale. Yeah, that’s what he’d like to be doing.