Derek cursed himself again for leaving without his sunglasses. They did okay at hiding who he was but add in his hood, and it was pretty easy to hide who he was. He looked up from where he was looking at the newest text from his agent to see a group of teenagers up in front of him. He looked to the left, but there was nowhere to go but the road, and that would bring more attention to him. So he looked to the right to see that there was a shop there and it was open. He ducked into the place and really hoped that the teenagers didn't follow him. Derek sighed in relief when there was no yelling with his name attached.
The shop sounded like it was mostly empty. He could hear what he thought was staff moving around behind the counter but couldn't see them. Derek waited for the person to pop up. He looked around the room like he was looking for something and then grinned before walking over to where there was a second counter area. He moved about and poured what looked like hot tea from a carafe into a cup before walking back to the first counter. Derek was glad that the guy hadn't said anything to him. He really just wanted to duck and hide in here until his security could come and get him. He walked over to what looked like his kind of book section and found one that he hadn't read that sounded interesting before he slipped over to sit down in the area close to the second counter. He could see all of the tea stuff now, so he assumed it was a book and tea shop.
Derek looked down at the book as he cracked it open; he would buy it only when his ride was closer to getting him. He didn't need to flash his card to attract any more attention to him, and he hadn't been to the bank to get out cash in a little while. Then something processed through his mind, and he looked up again. The packaging on the tea was something he had seen before and not in the stores. Derek was looking at the skyline of Beacon Hills with the Preserve behind it on the tea boxes. He reached out and picked it up. It was the tea that was made by a lady in Beacon Hills. Beacon Preserve Tea was not an original name at all, but since all of the additions and such were made there and sourced the tea from a province in China that came directly to her, she didn't need a fancy name to sell it. What was a Beacon Hills tea company doing here in San Francisco? Derek looked at the shelves, and it was the only tea there.
Derek jerked around, dropping the book and the tea at the same time as he tried not to react more than that. The man who had been at the counter was back far enough that Derek couldn't have hit him, but he still nearly tried.
"Sorry, dude, I thought that you saw me coming. You want some tea?" the guy asked.
"What's your favorite?" the guy asked as he walked around the far side of the counter to get behind it so that he didn't have to get too close to Derek.
"Whatever you have there is fine," Derek said. There wasn't a blend of tea from Beacon Preserve Tea that he didn't like.
"Caffeine or no?" Stiles asked.
Derek looked and then saw that there were indeed three different carafe things there on the counter. He could see the names. There was a hot black tea, a hot herbal, and then an iced green.
"Iced green," Derek said.
"Sure thing." The guy grabbed a large cup and added a bit of ice before looking at Derek. "Sugar?"
"No, thanks," Derek said.
The guy depressed the lever that allowed the tea to pour out, and he neatly stopped it near the top before popping on a lid that allowed it to drink out of without a straw. Derek liked cups like that. He took the cup when the guy offered it to him. He was looking at something else, so it wasn't that close to Derek, so he leaned over to grab it. He settled back, snagging his book and then putting the box of tea back. Derek took a sip of the tea and found that it was one he hadn't had before. He got up, moving around to where he could see the list of teas. He found that there were a few that he hadn't tried.
"Do you sell all of these here?"
"Yes, I have at least a limited stock of all of them. A few are bestsellers, and they are a little low while I wait for my next batch to come in."
"Pretty far to get them in here," Derek said.
"It's worth it for a bit of home."
"You are from Beacon Hills?" Derek asked, slowing down on the Beacon Hills like he was saying it for the first time.
"Born and raised. I moved here for college and just never left."
"I did the same," Derek said, and he hoped that the guy didn't realize that he was talking about Beacon Hills.
"San Francisco is a lovely city if one likes the hustle and bustle."
Derek looked at the young man, his face was dotted with moles, and his hair was slightly messy like he had been running his hands through it. He was handsome; Derek's uncle would call him pretty. Derek noticed that his eyes weren't quite meeting Derek's eyes. He moved a little, making no noise. The eyes didn't follow him at all. The door opened, and Derek looked at it, but it was just someone who had run into it, ducking away from people walking past.
"Happens all the time. That's why the chime doesn't happen until the door is three inches from the jamb."
Derek almost blurted that the guy was blind, but he stopped himself. He wouldn't know who Derek was at all from his face. His voice, maybe. If the guy watched movies. Derek wondered how he had poured both teas near perfectly without his eyes and sticking his finger into the cup as he had seen other people who couldn't see would do.
"So, you like this tea?" the man asked.
"Yes. I do." Derek had the tea shipped to him for all of the sets he worked on, and he kept a supply of it in his loft. He was a snob, but he loved the tea more than any other tea. Like at the normal shop in Beacon Hills, he saw canisters on the counter area's back wall.
"I'm glad. I love it, as well. It's about all that I drink except for water and sometimes wine." the guy smirked as he said that.
Derek looked around the shop and noticed all of the little Braille labels that were all over everything. Each of the tea canisters had it as well. He flipped over the book in his hand and found a small sticker that had raised bits on it as well. He ran his finger over it. It looked like four different letters or possibly numbers that told him the price of the item. He had to have someone to help him, Derek was sure. Hell, the place was pretty well put together. The aisles and all of the walkways were wide enough. Derek couldn't see one of the canes, but he was sure that the guy had one behind the counter. Moving around the shop was probably easy, but outside of the shop would be the harder place.
A noise from above had Derek looking. He hadn't noticed the upper area that looked like a book loft. He took a few steps back to look at it. It seemed that it was full of used books up there. At least they didn't look as new as the ones below.
"That's Dirk," the guy said.
"Dirk?" Derek asked.
"My guide dog. He's taking a nap. We did a workout before I came in for the day. He's going to be lazing about all morning."
Derek laughed when the guys' mouth crinkled into a smirk as he said it.
"Dirk is an interesting name," Derek said.
"Yes, well, I didn't get to name him. He was a puppy who washed out of the training for the K-9 unit back home. The Deputies all loved him, though, so they paid to have him trained for me. It was good."
"Who picked the name?"
"Tara, she used to help me with homework after my mother died. She is like a great older sister to me. So she named him after a book character that I had a crush on during my teenage years. He's pretty much just stuck on that name, though. He's a good dog, though."
"I can see you love him." Derek wondered how many book characters were named Dirk.
"I do, and I heard a rumor that the books were being made into a TV series, and the writer will actually be fully involved in it. I look forward to listening to it when it happens."
Derek knew right then that it was the same Dirk he had just been cast as. Derek was a little worn out jetting around the world filming, so he snagged the role as soon as it was listed. He had auditioned for it and left with it in the bag. It was filming in Beacon Hills Preserve for outdoor scenes, and interiors were all going to be at a sound stage in San Francisco, and the scripts for the entire five years of the show had been made already. Everything was set to film. Derek had signed on because it was six years of filming, and he would be pretty well set in the area for a while. Derek had secured the rights to using Beacon Hills Preserve from his parents. They were being paid well for it, and there were enough empty properties in the family name that the whole crew had places to stay that weren't hotels during the filming and enough security that they would feel good. Derek was just happy to be able to stay at home during the filming. His house, not his parents. He owned a house in Beacon Hills, even if he didn't get to stay there all that much.
"That sounds fun. You are talking about the Dirk Aurora series, yes?" Derek asked. He had read all of the trilogy used for the series long before he took the role. It hadn't been announced yet who was playing Dirk, but then Derek figured that they kept it quiet until they finally found the man to play Jeke. Derek figured that a few were pissed about Derek taking the role, but at least Derek was bisexual to Dirk's gay.
"Yes, I am."
"I heard that the actor who is going to be playing Dirk is being tapped to make new audiobooks tracks."
"That would be great. I love to read, but there are times that I like to have someone else tell me the story." The smile on the guy's face went a little misty, and Derek couldn't help but stare until the door chimed.
Derek turned to see a man enter the shop. He was dressed in a pair of scrubs with paw prints all over it.
"Stiles, is Liam here yet?"
"No, he's got his late class today. He's still about twenty minutes out. We will have time to get to my doctor's appointment, Scott, don't worry." Stiles turned toward Derek again. "Was there any more tea that you wanted?"
"Yes." Derek listed the flavors that he hadn't tried yet, begging forgiveness for buying outright from the lady who made them.
Stiles nodded his head and reached down to get boxes. He hesitated. "Bagged or loose?"
"Tins or baggies?"
"Tins," Derek said. They were more expensive, but the tins were decorated by a little shop in Beacon Hills that had teenagers who designed them. They did a lot of designs for various small businesses in Beacon Hills. Derek liked to buy them and refill them all the time for his house. When he was on set, he used the bagged tea. Now though, on set was going to be at home.
Stiles rang out Derek, his computer and card reader making more noise than most did. There were no words, though. Just noises that obviously made sense to Stiles.
"Want a refill?" Stiles asked when he handed over the receipt.
"You can go fill it. I don't mind."
Derek wasn't sure, but he thought that the look that Stiles gave him was supposed to be a little flirty.
"I'm sure I'll see you again," Stiles said.
Derek wasn't sure what to think of the words, but he figured that he would be back at some point. Derek thought that Scott knew who he was, so Derek was going to play it safe the next time he came in for tea. He would have one of his security with him at all times.
A text alerted Derek that Boyd was there. He was glad.
Despite his every intention, Derek wasn't able to go back to the shop until it was near time for him to head to Beacon Hills to start getting ready for filming. His normal care package of tea had arrived a week after he had visited the shop, and it had samples of the three teas that he had bought at Stiles' shop. He had loved all three of them, so he was glad that he had samples he could give to his security to try since the samples were always pre-bagged.
Stiles was alone in the shop. Well, except for Dirk, who was laying on a dog bed near the door. He looked up when Derek entered and woofed.
Derek was a little shocked until he realized that the door hadn't chimed.
"The alarm is broken. I've got someone coming to look at it, don't mind Dirk. He's just letting me know that someone came in." Stiles' face was pointed toward Derek with his, but his eyes were just a little off.
"That's okay," Derek said.
"Oh, you're back! I thought maybe I scared you off."
"No, work was just really busy. I wanted to stop in before I left town for work for a little while." Derek had no clue why he thought that Stiles would miss him. They hadn't interacted all that much or for very long at all. Yet, the look of happiness on Stiles' face was enough that Derek was glad that he stopped in.
"I'm glad you did. I got a new tea in. Blended just for my shop. The only place you can get it. I have it hot or iced today. Did you want to try some?"
"Yes, please. Hot with a little honey?"
"I have honey, but it's one of the bears, so you'll have to add what you want to the cup. You can pour it yourself if you want as well."
"Most of my regulars are self-serve anyway. I think they are afraid I'll burn myself."
Derek didn't want to add his own voice to that, so he just hummed.
"So, where are you going to work?"
Derek didn't want to answer that, so he busied himself, looking at the tea sign. It was a Chai with a few added flowers and strangely enough bergamot. It sounded weird, but Derek would try it. He added a little honey to the cup and filled it.
"Did you need any other tea? For the road, maybe?" Stiles asked after Derek had put the lid on his cup.
"Sure, but that can come later. Is it okay if I go up and read for a little while?"
"Of course. There is a lovely seating area up there. Watch for toys. Dirk leaves them lying up there since I don't go up there much at all. He picks them up if I head up the stairs, though."
Derek laughed, and he walked over to find a book to read before heading up to sit down. Everything was crazy, so being at home meant his agent would bug him. Out and about, though, she tended to not to.
Getting lost in words was easy for Derek, especially when he felt safe in places. He enjoyed reading, and it was his main hobby between takes at work.
Dirk woofed when people entered, and most seemed to take it in stride, saying hello to Dirk. That must be the regulars. Stiles did good business there, but no one came up to this level.
Derek listened in when he was intrigued why no one came up.
"I've got your books already pulled, Miss Johnson, and your tea is ready to go."
"Such a sweet boy," the woman said. She didn't sound too old, and when Derek looked over, he found that she wasn't much older than him. He stayed up there, though, not drawing attention to himself at all.
Derek's alarm went off to tell him that he needed to head out, and he slipped down to the ground floor to find Stiles sitting at the computer with a book in his lap. He was trailing his fingers along at a very rapid pace.
"I can feel you watching me," Stiles said, but his slips were curled in a smile.
"I've never been around someone reading Braille before. It's interesting to see how fast you read."
"Ah, yes, well, I love reading and have since I was able to understand what the paper things were that my mother looked at when I was a toddler. I've been reading Braille long enough that I am very fast with it. Ready to go?"
"Yes. I found a book, and it's book one of a series, and it's three years old. I didn't see more."
"Let me see it," Stiles said as he held out his hand. He found the Braille price sticker and then used the scanner to see what the book was. The computer read the title out loud. "Ah, we got those in this morning. I can't unbox them myself, and Liam isn't in for a few hours. If you want to buy them, I can show you which box, and you can find them, and I'll sell them to you. I had someone stop in and pick up my last two copies after reading the first."
"It's no issue. I am sure that I can find it where I am headed."
"Nah, I'd rather make the sale unless you don't want to go through the hassle."
"Then, sure, we can do that."
"Do you mind locking the door and flipping the be back in five sign?"
Derek walked over and did it. He found that Dirk was right there with him, staying close as they followed Stiles into the back of the shop. The back storeroom was very, very neat with shelves and shelves of boxes of books. Stiles touched each one and then smiled when he found the shelf he wanted.
"How is this paid out?"
"My book people ship things how I like them, and then the delivery guy matches everything up. It's a very neat and organized system. Romances are on one shelf, mysteries, crime drama/thriller, and the like. Science Fiction and fantasy are the biggest sellers, so I have more room for them. I have singles and then series. I think this is the box. It should say SciFi and series L-Z.
"Yes," Derek said.
"Cool. Pull that and open it. I'm sure you can find the books."
"How do you know that I'm not gonna steal one?" Derek asked.
"If you would do something like that, it would have been the tea, and you would have done it that first day. Scott said you were looking at a box of it as it was moved from where it should be."
"You are very trusting," Derek said.
"Nah, Dirk might seem gentle, but he knows the bad sort when he sees them. He never came down that day; he must have liked the smell of you."
Derek blushed, and he was glad that Stiles couldn't see it. He really wanted to lean over and kiss him, but he didn't. He had no clue what Stiles liked, and it wasn't something that he really wanted to get into with him leaving. Maybe after he got back to San Francisco, and he settled back down into life again here.
"Sheriff," Derek said as he exited his house. The Sheriff was standing beside his personal SUV, not a department on, even if he was dressed in his work clothes.
"Mister Hale," the Sheriff said
"It's Derek, please. What can I do for you?"
Other than the first few days where they were handling the extra crowds of people who had flocked to see filming, Derek hadn't seen the Sheriff.
"I wanted to ask a favor of you, Derek. My son is visiting, and he loves the books. He wouldn't get much out of watching your guy's film but just listening to stuff would be nice. It would be him and his dog. Just for however long, you can allow him on set. The director said that it would be up to you. He doesn't know that I'm asking. He told me not to actually."
Derek tried to remember the Sheriff's son. He had heard a good bit about him in the aftermath of the Sheriff's wife's death, but he wasn't talked about much, that Derek remembered.
"Why does he want to be here, or why did he not want me asking?"
"The asking one," Derek said.
"I have no clue. He mumbled something into his cereal this morning. I couldn't hear him, and Dirk cuddled close to him."
"Dirk?" Derek asked.
"Yeah, sorry. His guide dog. Yes, he was named for your character; that's why I wanted him to come to this. He loves the books."
Stiles was the Sheriff's son. Stiles Stilinski. He remembered now that the son had gone by Mischief since he couldn't pronounce his own name. He remembered Cora talking about kids making fun of him until Jackson had stepped in and beat the shit out of one when he was seven.
Derek figured then that Stiles had known who he was and was trying to not seem like a star-struck person. It had been released who played Dirk as soon as Derek had signed the audiobooks' final paperwork. Derek had to hand it to Stiles that he was good at acting normal.
"Yeah, I don't mind at all. He and Dirk are more than welcome on set any day that they want to be. Will you be dropping him off?"
"No, Deputy Parrish will. I'm going to surprise him. Parrish said he should be able to get him here around ten. Well, not here but out there." The Sheriff waved his hand toward the area of the Preserve that they were filming in.
"I'll have stuff ready for him when he gets here."
"Thank you, Derek. This will mean so much to him."
Derek nodded and tried to keep his mind on work that day, not that Stiles was coming to watch him, or rather listen to him.
The arrival of Deputy Parrish with Stiles and Dirk was something of a small production. The director had been shocked about it, but Derek hadn't told him why he had agreed.
"Jordan, where are we? I smell trees. Don't tell me you are finally deciding that pranking the blind guy is a good idea."
"No, Stiles, I'm not pranking you. Your father told me to bring you out here."
"Jordan," Stiles said as he opened up the back door of the cruiser. Dirk jumped out and looked around. He saw Derek and beelined for him.
"Hello, Dirk," Derek said.
"Oh, fuck. I'm going to kill him. Jordan, take me back. Please."
"Stiles," Derek said.
"Please, Jordan," Stiles said. He snapped his fingers, and Dirk reluctantly left Derek's side and headed over. The set was mostly empty since everyone was taking a small break while the next scene was set up. Derek had stayed close so that he could be here for Stiles' arrival.
"Stiles, I knew it was you. I don't mind at all, but if you truly don't want to be here, I'll make sure your father doesn't do this again."
"Stiles,' Jordan said. He was looking between Derek and Stiles, trying to figure out what was wrong. Derek could see that he was warring with himself on doing what his boss said and making Stiles feel better.
"I've got a chair all ready for you, out of the way, and here not a lot of people will get behind you. Dirk's got a soft blanket to lay on and a water bowl. Do you want to be here?"
"Yes," Stiles said."
"Good, then stay. I can take you home tonight; well, your father or a deputy can, if you don't want me to."
"I can stay all day?" Stiles asked. He looked at Jordan with a questioning look in his eyes.
"Your father didn't have a time set to pick you back up. He told me to tell you to text when you are ready to come back."
"Dirk?" Stiles asked.
Dirk woofed and rubbed into Stiles' leg before moving over to sit beside Derek and barking just the once.
"That's a sound I never thought to hear again," Peter said as he came around the edge of the cordoned-off area that they were in. He was allowed around as he was the one who had the dogs and wolves that were used as extras for the scenes they were working on.
Peter crouched, and Dirk ran over to him, acting like a puppy. "Hello, Stiles."
"Peter," Stiles said, and he was blushing.
Derek didn't like the way that Stiles was blushing or how his uncle was acting. Derek looked at the way that Peter was with Dirk, though.
"He's one of yours," Derek said.
"Of course. When I was training him, I knew he would fail out of the K-9 Unit training, but I thought he might interest the Sheriff for Stiles."
Stiles was blushing still, and Derek moved over to him.
"Take my arm, and I'll escort you to your seat. My assistant is willing and will gladly get you anything you want from the food tables. Of course, the only tea here is Preserve tea," Derek said.
Stiles laughed and slipped his hand into the crook of Derek's arm.
"Thank you. I...told Dad not to."
"It's fine. He said Dirk's name, and well, while I am sure there are other guide dogs with the name of Dirk, two in the area is a statistical improbability."
"I wasn't...fuck." Stiles sighed and paused. He looked around like it would tell him if anyone was around.
"No one else is around."
"I didn't want to be a fanboy," Stiles said.
"You have never made me feel like you were. You talked about the books, but I talk about books I like in that way."
"I know, but...You are from Beacon Hills; I never got to see you act before I lost my sight, but as soon as I realized that Derek Hale in movies was the same Derek Hale that is Cora's brother and Peter's nephew, I had to listen to everything that you did. Your voice carries a lot of emotion. More than most actors and actresses have. I don't have to rely on a descriptive track to make sure that I know what you're doing to know your emotions during a scene. When the rumors started that you were in talks about taking the Dirk role. I was fucking excited. I ranted at Scott for three days. Then you dropped the bomb about the actor who had been signed was doing audiobooks, and that wasn't a rumor I had heard before and believe me, I have heard all of the rumors, I knew that it was true, that you had got it. I knew your voice as soon as you came in."
"I like the shop. I stayed mainly because of the tea. I didn't expect to find it outside of the city. I get a package sent to me monthly and place an order to go with me when I head to sets.
"That's awesome," Stiles said.
"Yes. Mina was upset when I didn't place an order for the three new teas that I bought at your store after she sent me samples. I had to admit that I picked them up from you. I'm shocked she didn't tell you. She did tell me that the one sample she sent of your special blend could only be gotten from you. I got the sample after I was in your shop, though."
Stiles carefully sat down when Derek directed him to the chair. Stiles snapped his fingers, and Dirk rushed over from where he was still with Peter to lay on the blanket at the chair's foot. Stiles pulled off a backpack from his shoulders and laid it down.
Derek glared at Peter when it looked like he was going to come over.
"About ready, Derek?" the director called out.
"Go, I'm fine," Stiles said.
"Okay. Just remember to holler if you need anything. My assistant's name is Andy."
"There are no pictures allowed, but afterward, if you want, while I am still in my full costume, I can take a few with you. I am not sure if you use social media."
"I do. I have a few college friends that will flip. They moved on back home."
Derek laughed and looked to see that they were ready for him again.
"I gotta go, but I'll be back."
"Just focus on your job, not me. I can listen and dream."
Every time that Derek looked at Stiles, his face was happy, and his eyes closed. He looked like he was in heaven with the way that he was. Dirk watched everyone and woofed when anyone got too close to Stiles that he didn't seem to like.
During the filming of a critical scene, Derek watched As Peter came over to talk to Stiles. Stiles was blushing again, but he didn't seem to be too upset about Peter being there.
Just before five, the Sheriff pulled up. Peter's attention went to him and then back as Stiles. He said something to Stiles, and he looked over at where his father was. Derek was worried that his father was there to get him, that he had texted that he wanted to be picked up.
"Come on, Dirk." The Sheriff yelled out. Dirk waited for people to stop moving around him and rushed to the Sheriff. "I'll walk him and take care of him. You want a ride, Peter?"
"Yeah, I've already got my dogs up for the night. My last scene with them was an hour ago. I've just been around trolling my nephew," Peter said.
Derek glared at him and then nearly tripped over nothing when Peter gave the Sheriff a kiss. It wasn't a simple little kiss either. No, it was the kiss of someone who was used to doing it. Derek had heard that his uncle was dating, but his mother hadn't been too pleased. He had no clue what his mother found wrong about the elected Sheriff of Beacon County, who had an approval rating that was the highest in the damned state. She would be hard-pressed to find someone better.
Peter ran a wolf rescue out of a section of the Preserve on the city's far side. The wolves that he had working for the TV show had issues and would never be released back into the wild, but they were good to help heal up the ones brought in from where wolves were slowly being reintroduced to the wilds in California. He also helped train dogs for working jobs; Derek just hadn't known that he had beginner's training on training guide dogs.
"Ugh," Stiles said.
Derek looked at him to see that he was looking toward where his father and Peter were still close and obviously in love. He wondered how he knew what they were doing, and then he heard the whine from Dirk.
"I know, Dirk. It's so disgusting."
Derek raised his eyebrows. He had never thought that since Stiles loved the books, he would be a homophobe.
"Get a room where your son doesn't have to watch you make goo-goo eyes!" Stiles yelled.
Peter started to laugh, and the Sheriff began to blush.
"You are the one that taught Dirk to whine when we were kissing; it's your own damned fault. If you would just go out, you would have your own guy to kiss," the Sheriff said.
"I still maintain that you stole Peter from me. If I had a little more time, I would have recovered from that disastrous first kiss."
Derek saw that the staffers all around were now looking at Stiles, and there were questions on all of their faces.
"Be good for Derek," the Sheriff said as he finally got into his vehicle.
"Stiles?" Derek asked. He wasn't sure that he wanted to know, though.
"I had a crush on Peter. He was so nice to me during college. He was working weekends in San Francisco, so he checked on me for Dad since Scott was elsewhere. It was the first time that someone had actually been nice that wasn't family or Jackson."
"And who is Scott?"
"My brother. Well, as close to a brother as I can get. Melissa is his mother, and for a while, I had hoped that Dad would marry her, but they are just not good together. Anyway, one weekend, Peter brought Dad since he was off work with a broken collarbone. They came up for a weekend. The weekend before, I had kissed Peter goodbye. He let me down easy; there was something about me not understanding what I wanted and mistaking general affection for other affection. It was a shitty week. Classes were shit, and Peter's letting me down made me feel like I was a child and stupid. I was twenty-two, not just some stupid high school kid with a crush on the hot guy. I really liked him a lot, and I understand that he didn't see me that way, but I was pissed that I was given the kid brother speech."
"Kid brother speech?"
"It's what Danny, one of Jackson and mine's friends, called it. Jackson was closer to him, but he's gay, so I talked to him about things like this more. Anyway, one of Danny's little brother's always crushed on anyone that Danny was dating, swearing that they were in love and shit. I didn't like being made to feel like a little kid who didn't know what it was like to be in love."
Derek could hear the words that Stiles wasn't saying.
"I got over it, though, and he really is happy with Dad. I don't mean to bring down the mood."
"No, it's fine. The family doesn't tell me things like this. Sometimes I wonder if they are afraid I'll be upset that I missed it. Still, I have like two scenes left to shoot, and then we can see about getting dinner."
"Dinner?" Stiles asked.
"I mean, you don't have to, but I always hit Rosie's after filming. She treats me just like she used to when I was a high school kid and cocky. She also doesn't let people bother me. I can get you in and out with no issue if you are worried about Dirk not being around."
"No, he's mainly just because Dad didn't want me around San Francisco, especially with a shop without someone to protect me. I can move around Beacon Hills just fine. All of the crosswalks have the dinging signs to tell me when it's good to go and when it's not."
"Oh, that's good. So dinner?" Derek asked.
"Sure. That sounds good. I'll get something that Dad is not allowed to have and rub it in his face when I get home."
Derek stopped his run when he heard something over top of his head headphones. He pulled them out and listened again. Then he heard it. It sounded like someone was muttering and then the sound of a scream. It wasn't a scream like someone was killing someone, by more like they were frustrated. Derek wasn't sure he should get closer, but he still did.
Dark had just fallen, and since it was the weekend, there was no filming. Derek had been running for a little while, just staying at a steady pace, so he didn't wear himself out too much.
"Good damned fucking idiot!" the person yelled, and it wasn't until a few seconds later that Derek realized it was Stiles.
Derek put speed on, heading to where he could hear Stiles tromping through the Preserve. He caught up to him to find Stiles heading at least in the right direction, but Dirk wasn't with him.
"Stiles?" Derek called.
Stiles stopped moving and spun around. His eyes were wide and wild, he looked around like he could see, and Derek figured that he was trying to figure out where Derek was. Stiles at least looked fine if a little out of place in the Preserve with no Dirk.
"Who is there? If this was Adam's end goal, I would have you fucking arrested if you even touch me."
"Stiles, it's Derek. I was running and heard you scream."
"Derek?" Stiles looked like he wanted to believe it.
"Yeah, Stiles, it's me. I promise."
Stiles dropped his knees like someone had cut his strings.
"Can I call Dad?" Stiles asked.
"Sure." Derek unwrapped his phone case from his arm and pulled it from the sport strap. He handed it over and then thought better of it. "Why don't I put it on speaker?"
"He's with Peter; you can call him."
Derek didn't like Stiles being so unanimated. He was like a copy of a copy times three thousand of the normal Stiles that he was.
"Derek, I'm sorry. I need to call you back. There is an emergency and-"
"Peter," Stiles said.
"Thank the fucking heavens. Where the fuck are you? Your father is about to send out a search party. There was no need to act like a petulant child," Peter said.
Derek hung up on him. He texted his uncle that Stiles was with him and that Derek had found him wandering the Preserve without Dirk, and he had been scared. Derek looked at Stiles to see that he was crying.
"Hey, Stiles let's go back to my place," Derek said.
"No, just take me home. I'll have Parrish pick me up and put me on the bus back to San Francisco. I never should have come home." Stiles' tone wasn't good.
Derek didn't want to push, but he really didn't think that Stiles needed to be alone at the moment. Especially not with the way that Peter was acting.
"I can put you on the bus, and then I can have Andy drive everything home to you from your father's house tomorrow. You can pay me back for the ticket. I'm sure that I can at least get your phone and Dirk from your father's."
"I don't want to see Dad."
"Sure. I can have Andy get everything then. He's sitting at my house playing video games. We will go there, and I'll make sure that Peter does what I want."
"He won't mind?" Stiles asked.
"Nah, not at all. He was heading to San Francisco tomorrow anyway. He is heading in for a family dinner and coming back late Monday. It'll be fine. I promise."
"Then, sure. I'll...take you up on that, and as long as I get my wallet, I can get my bus ticket." Stiles stood up, wiping his eyes on the sleeve of the plaid shirt he was wearing before he reached out. Derek slipped his arm close, and Stiles gripped it pretty damned hard.
"Where is your cane?"
"Probably in Adam's car."
"Who is Adam?"
"My last ex. He asked me out, and I said yes. We have been friendly over texts for the last year. He missed home, and I didn't want to come back, so we broke up. I thought that maybe he had grown up. Instead, he was playing a joke on me. I never take Dirk on dates. I mean, Dirk likes Adam, but I just...I hate having to split my attention. Anyway, Adam said he wanted to talk, and he found this nice place. Only he left me there. I guess he's still pissed that I broke up with him. I don't know what the hell Peter's talking about and shit. I don't care."
Derek kept his mouth shut about Peter freaking out like that when he was scared shitless. It wasn't the best time for Peter to act like that to someone else's kid who already thinks that Peter thinks they are a toddler.
The bus station was pretty empty, and with his phone in hand and Dirk with him, Stiles looked stronger than he had in the Preserve. The bus was boarding in ten minutes, so Derek would hang around until he was on the bus. Derek wasn't sure if Andy had said what the plan was when he had gone to get Stiles' phone, wallet, and Dirk, but he didn't want the Sheriff or Peter to guilt Stiles into staying.
Derek stayed until the bus was pulling out. Once it was gone from sight, he turned around to see Peter and the Sheriff standing there. He raised an eye, and Peter looked a little shamefaced.
"Where is he?" the Sheriff asked.
"On a bus back to San Francisco. I would give him a day to calm down and not let Peter call him. That might just push him further away," Derek said.
"He..." Peter closed his mouth when Derek looked at him.
"What do you think happened?" Derek asked.
"Adam dropped off Stiles' cane and said that he had told Stiles that while the date was fun, he didn't want to open up a relationship with him again," the Sheriff said.
"I see. Well, Stiles told me that Adam wanted to talk and told him about this nice place, only he left him there, in the middle of the Preserve. Add that into Peter making him feel like a child when he let him down about his crush, and Stiles is pretty much done."
"What?" Peter asked.
"Which part are you questioning?" Derek asked.
"The child thing," Peter said.
"He said that you made him feel like he was a kid with a crush on an older kid who didn't know what love was. He felt like you treat him like a child. Add in yelling at him for someone leaving him in the Preserve. I mean, he must have trusted Adam as he went out without his phone and without Dirk. So yeah, he's pretty emotional at the moment. I would give it time. Maybe just text and start off with how sorry you are and the truth of what Adam told you. Press charges even. I mean, there has to be something with that. It's not like he could actually get back. Adam had to know he didn't have his phone."
"I will. Thank you, Derek. I don't think I can ever repay you. How did you find him?"
"He screamed. He was emotional and afraid. He thought that I was someone that Adam had sent to mess with him. It took him a few minutes to recognize my voice. He asked to call his Dad, then thought it was better to just have me call you. I think that maybe I should have just enforced calling the Sheriff."
Peter looked like shit, but Derek didn't care, really.
"I asked him to text me when he's back home. If you would like, I'll text Peter, Sir."
"How about I give you my number, son? What about this stuff?"
"My assistant is heading home tomorrow for a family meal. I've already asked him to take Stiles his things. Andy is more than willing to do that. I was going to have Peter pack it all up."
"We can do that when we get back to my place," the Sheriff said.
"Derek, tell him I'm sorry. I just...I didn't know that I had made him feel like that before, and you know how I get when one of you kids freaks me out."
"Yes, but he's not your family, at least not in his eyes. I heard him call himself a stupid kid at least once on the trip after Andy got his wallet and everything. He's anything but that; he needs to know that you don't think of him like that. Write a letter or something. Then have his father look it over and email it to him."
"Son," the Sheriff started.
"Look, I am not trying to tell you how to interact with your son, but he was going to leave without telling you. He was just going to get the fuck out of here. I can't even think of a reason why."
"I can," the Sheriff said.
"Well, I don't need to know what it is. Just...be gentle."
"My son and I need to have a good conversation. If that happens over the phone, that's fine. Just...have him call me when he's ready to talk."
"I'm not getting in the middle of this. I've done my part." Derek didn't tell them that he planned on sending a small package with Andy. Stiles had talked a few times about the things in Beacon Hills that he missed. Derek was sure that he could get a little bit of the butter that they use at the small movie theater and some of the popcorn so that Stiles could have it while sitting at home watching a movie. Derek had already started to make a list of things. He would send it with Andy so that he didn't have to send it through the mail and risk it getting damaged. Liam was the one watching the shop, and when he was in classes on Monday, the shop was going to be closed, but Derek figured that Stiles would go in so that he at least had something to do. Hell, Derek would do the same thing in his shoes.
"Of course," the Sheriff said, and he pulled Peter along with him.
Derek just hoped that Peter actually checked how he acted around Stiles.
"Hey," Stiles said as Derek entered the shop.
Dirk was lying down beside the tea counter that Stiles was sitting at. Derek was also sure that Dirk felt his human's emotions a little more than normal since both human and dog looked miserable. It had been three weeks since the debacle, and this weekend, Derek was heading back to San Francisco. The whole team had pushed, and they had finished up really early today, so Derek had made it into San Francisco before evening rush hour. Peter had tried several times to talk to Derek about it all, but Derek kept putting him off. Derek really didn't want in the middle of it and it being used against Stiles. If Stiles wanted him in the middle, that was different. Other than Derek texting to ask how he was feeling, Stiles didn't text him. Derek had hoped that after a few days, Stiles would actually start to talk back. Derek figured that he would have to bring out the big guns and start talking books to him.
"Can I get a cup of tea?" Derek asked.
Stiles' head shot up, and he had a wary smile on his face. Like he was afraid that Derek was there for anything other than his company.
"Sure, what kind did you want? Fridays are for my special blend, but I have steeper pots to make you whatever you want."
"That would be fine. I actually really like it. I was going to buy some to take back to set with me since Mina still won't let me buy any off of her and give you the money."
"I can see her doing that. So what do you want? Iced? Hot? Latte?"
"You can do lattes?" Derek asked.
"Yeah, I have a little pot. I like Chai lattes a lot. Um, I don't do well at pouring into it without the whole finger thing."
"That's fine, Stiles."
Stiles grabbed two metal pots from somewhere under the counter and then a jug of milk. Derek saw that it was whole milk; he was fine with that. He had a strict diet, but he drank a lot of milk.
"No, thank you."
"Okay." Stiles walked over to a fourth carafe and filled up a cup with hot water; he dropped a tea bag into it and then did the same with a second. He set those aside after putting a lid on them.
Derek was enjoying watching Stiles move around his little space. Everything had a spot, and he knew right where to grab for it. The pots were put onto what looked like a frother. Derek got closer so he could see what it was doing. Stiles' hands were moving near constantly as he grabbed two large travel mugs. Derek saw that they were for the store. One was very beaten up. The other was new. Derek figured that Stiles was going to give it to him. He wasn't going to not take it. He didn't like being given gifts, but he understood that others liked to give them. The travel mug was cool anyway. It was a metal one with the store logo on it, and it was rainbow-colored. Derek saw the rest of the mugs had various other Pride flags that made up the decals. He recognized that it was from the same place that did the canisters for Mina's tea shop.
"Did I grab a Pride flag?" Stiles asked as he held out the mug toward Derek.
"Cool. Unless there is a different one that you would like?"
"No, I am not the biggest fan of the colors on the bisexual flag, so I tend to go to the main one. I love purple; I am just not a fan of it with the pink and the blue. Or that it's so small most of the time. What's yours?"
"Pan," Stiles said, and he turned the mug around. "Jackson tried to get me to get a sapiosexual flag, but while yes, I like my partners smart, I don't want just someone smart. There is also the whole thing of it's a preference, not a gender."
"It has a flag?" Derek asked.
"Yes, green at the top, brown in the middle, and then blue at the bottom. All the same size. I'm more drawn to the colors of the pan flag myself."
"So you like smart people?" Derek asked.
"Not like Stephan Hawking smart, I'm not that elitist, but yes, intelligence can draw me to people. Why?"
"Nothing, just nice to know you don't go for the least common denominator."
"No, not really, I don't. It's nice, though, to have someone smart around. I had someone ask me to go to an art opening on a first date. I declined, and they still didn't understand why."
"Wow, if they wanted to do high-class hippie art and that kind of shit, they could at least take you to a place that did poetry readings. You could at least enjoy that."
"Yeah." Stiles was tapping the finger of one hand on the counter while his other was pretty still. He finished out something and uncurled a finger on his still hand.
Derek realized that he was keeping track of time by tapping out something intricate with his one hand. Derek let the silence fill the area as Stiles kept track of the time. When he uncurled his last finger, he turned on the frother and then started to get the tea bags out of the tea. The tea was dark as hell but smelled wonderful, and Derek was already looking forward to enjoying it. Stiles filled the first mug with tea and then did the same to the second. Derek looked into his, and when Stiles turned to dump, Derek caught his hand.
"I like a little less milk in my lattes," Derek said.
"Sure. Have at." Stiles moved over to the frother and stopped it and then added the second cup to it and started it again. He grabbed a spoon and held back the foam as he poured. He stopped at the exact right moment that the mug could get the lid put on it.
"How do you do that?"
"What?" Stiles asked.
"Pour things," Derek said.
"Oh, that's easy. The sound and the weight of what I am holding. I meant it's taken me a long time to get it down, but I still have accidents on occasion. I'll let you do your own," Stiles said as he waved at the frother as it stopped.
"Thanks." Derek picked it up and started to pour, he didn't mind the foam, but he liked to have it on top, not have more of it than milk. So he took the spoon that was offered.
"Fridays are slow in the afternoon; we can go up and talk if you want," Stiles said.
"We don't have to. I don't need to know anything, Stiles. It's your life. I keep on pushing Peter back when he wants to talk and even your father."
"Because I'm a middle child. Well, Cora and I are. I know what it's like to be forced to be in the middle, but I also know what it's like to have that pressure to just forgive and forget even though what happened was wrong and horrible and I didn't want to forgive, but I got pressure from Cora or even my parents to do so. Laura and I don't get along."
"I remember hearing a lot of Cora's stories about the two of your fighting a lot. And fighting with your mother. Even though she sometimes forgot that just because I was blind, I wasn't deaf. People would kind of forget that I was there. I know that she was happy when you moved here for college, and she could stop worrying about hearing you and your mother fight. Though I was also there for the epic shit fit, she threw when your mother was pissed that you had stopped after only your first degree and then got into acting."
"Yes, Spencer told me about it. He said it was hilarious as hell to see her jumping around."
"I had a good visual memory from before the accident, so I remembered what she looked like, so when I heard the jumping up and down, I just added a few years to her face, and I lost it. I laughed so hard I fell off of my seat in the lunchroom."
"She still looks like a five-year-old kid when she does that." Derek snagged Stiles' mug after putting his lid on it and bumped his elbow into Stiles' side.
Stiles reached out, took a hold of his arm, and let Derek lead him to the second floor. Dirk trotted behind, and as soon as Stiles was settled into a chair, Dirk was there at his feet, covering them up and making a barrier. "He's not dealing well with me being a little depressed. Give him a little time, and he'll stop treating you like this. You were the one who took me to the station, and I was upset, so he thinks you caused it."
"It's fine. I'm glad that he's protecting you however he can. He's a very good companion for you."
"Yeah." Stiles reached down to pet Dirk on the head. "Thank you for letting me stay that day to listen to the filming."
"It's fine. I was debating asking you to come down one weekend and revealing exactly who I was. It kind of paved the way for me to do it sooner. You were good, asking me where I was going even though I'm sure at that point you knew exactly where I was going."
"Yes, I did. I liked that you just didn't answer at all. I laughed to myself about that. So how is filming going?" Stiles asked.
"Good. We got a lot done this week, so the team got the afternoon off instead of adding in more since there were sets that weren't ready. The team is all great. If we finish early for a day, we are all allowed to relax some. I've been enjoying reading when I get home."
"I bet. I can understand why you like to read to relax. It's pretty solitary, other than your running. Dad made the comment that you do it a lot. He says that the deputies thought for a while it was someone with bad intentions in the Preserve until the older ones said you used to do it all the time. I laughed a little at it, but I guess for you, it's time away from the madness that was your house growing up and now, the madness that is the set."
"Yes," Derek said.
Stiles turned in his chair and grabbed a book. Derek wondered what it was as there were no words on the cover, but he could see that it had Braille. Derek had seen the small Braille section the last time he had been over there, but he hadn't looked at it. He was shocked by how small it was.
"Why don't you have a bigger Braille section?"
"Most of those are for visitors to the area or those who are going to be teaching kids. There is a bigger children's section down below. Most of the people who order Braille books off of me do it through orders. I know what to order when they are released, and they are kept under the counter until they come to get them. Or I mail them if they are out of the area. A good store that gets the books that they want without charging extra is a Godsend to some. I only charge for what I would sell the book for plus shipping and not the cost of special ordering since I don't get charged for that either. I make good business on that. It makes it all easier, really. So, I don't feel so alone. It's part of why I stayed here instead of going home. Dad didn't like it. He also didn't like me using my trust fund for this place."
"He's afraid I'm going to get robbed and left for dead. In my first year of being open, I had cops stopping in for tea more than I had anyone else. It must have been Dad, but they also spread the word that they liked the hot tea for the times when coffee wasn't what they wanted. I get good foot traffic during the colder months for hot tea and a lot of stop ins for iced drinks during the heat of summer. It's nice, though, to have people who like my tea and stuff and want to drink it. Even if it's not strictly my tea."
"It's good tea, and I'm glad you sell a good bit of it." Derek lifted his mug to take a sip of his latte, and he enjoyed the flavors. It was like a Chai latte and an Earl Grey one were mixed with a few extra things.
Stiles opened up the book that he had pulled down and flipped around until he found the page he wanted. Derek figured that it was the book he had been reading on for a while. Derek looked at the books that were around and found one that sounded interesting enough. It was about a girl named Feyre. He was intrigued.
Derek heard the tapping before he heard anything else. He turned to find who was coming toward him. He saw Stiles about ten feet away. Stiles was smiling as he moved around the sound stage.
"Hello," Derek said when Stiles got close.
"No one is telling me what this place is," Stiles said.
"Well, that's because I told them not to. Andy wasn't too mean, was he?"
"Andy was a perfect gentleman, Derek Hale."
Derek laughed and raised his hands. Stiles smiled at him. He was standing still, not knowing where he could go.
"Where am I?" Stiles asked.
"You'll figure that out on your own. For right now, I think that you need to head into this other room. I have snacks and tea in there."
"Our tea?" Stiles asked.
"Yes." Derek blushed when the director looked at him with a grin on his face. Everyone who was part of this knew exactly how gone on Stiles Derek was, except for Stiles himself. Stiles hadn't gone on a date since the one where Adam had left him in the middle of the Preserve for breaking things off with him. Derek knew that he was a little shy anyway but also that he was just full out afraid. He would rather just not date than to have more shit happen. Derek hoped that soon, Stiles would mention that he didn't mind going out, and Derek would ask him. He didn't want to pressure him, though.
Stiles had admitted the last time that someone asked him out after Adam's stunt, he had a panic attack. The person had been so upset that they had caused it, but they understood once Stiles had explained it later.
"So, what am I to do?" Stiles asked.
"Just listen. That's what you are going to do. There will be one gentleman in here with you. His name is Lester. Lester, this is Stiles."
"Nice to meet you, Stiles," Lester said as he looked at Derek and then down at his hand. Derek nodded. Lester held out his hand, bumping it into Stiles' hand, and Stiles shook it.
"Good handshake, nice and firm. That means you aren't afraid of me."
"Afraid of you?" Lester asked.
"There are many who treat me like glass. I don't mind shaking hands with people. Some don't, which I can understand, but I have ADHD, and that means that even before this, I missed people's hands when shaking because my mind was elsewhere. I don't mind a little help in the little custom that it is. So where am I to sit down?" Stiles asked.
"Right here," Derek said as he grabbed Stiles' hand and directed him to the chair. It was a wheeled one, and as soon as Stiles took hold of it, it moved. He grinned and held on while sitting down. He folded up his cane and found the table beside to set it on. There was also the tea there, as well as some of Stiles' favorite snacks. He found the cup that Derek had made for him already and lifted it up for a drink.
"So what will I be doing?"
"Just listening and maybe offering advice. Lester here wants this to be a good reading."
"Reading?" Stiles asked. He looked adorable when his face was confused. It made Derek want to kiss him to get rid of it, but he didn't.
Derek headed back out, pulling the door shut on the room so that no sound from Lester or Stiles would feed into the room, at least it wouldn't after Lester turned off the speakers that allowed the sound out.
"Okay, Derek, are you ready? You've got the pages up and ready to go?" Lester asked.
Derek nodded his head and looked through the glass at Stiles, who leaned forward and looked in Derek's direction. Lester said something, and Derek didn't hear it, which meant Lester had the sound off. Lester talked for a few minutes before he looked back at Derek.
"Okay, we are ready. Derek, start when I give you the command."
"You got it," Derek said.
Stiles still looked so confused. It made Derek's heart melt a little, but Stiles would understand what he was a part of as soon as Derek started to talk.
"Prologue, A Hot and Sweaty Summer."
Stiles' mouth dropped open, and he leaned over so much that Lester nearly mom armed him to make sure that he wasn't going to fall out of the chair. Derek kept on with the words that he knew by heart. He loved the prologue of the book so much. Derek had to force himself to look away from Stiles, though, and keep on going with the words on the page. It was pretty nice, just sitting there and being able to look at Stiles when he wanted.
Derek knew which parts of the books were Stiles' favorite as they made their way through it. Or at least the ones that he knew by heart. Lunch was a longer break with Derek drinking tea with honey to help his voice. He sat beside Stiles, who talked to Lester about the parts that he really liked what they had done that day. Derek could see Lester taking notes on things that were going to happen later and how he would do them if it was him.
"Sorry," Stiles said as his phone rang. The phone chirped that it was Dad so Stiles slipped away into the bathroom to talk to him.
"You are right," Lester said.
"What?" Derek asked.
"About him and books. He's a genius when it comes to using your voice."
"He loves my movies because he said that he doesn't need the descriptive track to tell him what is going on. He just has to listen, and he knows for at least my character.
"I guess Joe was telling people about listening to him when he was muttering to himself when he was on set. He has good ideas, and it's understandable why. I know that he can't be here every single day, but I would love to get him on board for this and every single set of audiobooks that I do. I don't do many for this company, but even if he would just listen to the starts and set up how I want the actors or actresses to speak. It would help a lot. Having that kind of niche would make this place huge."
"That's why I brought him. It got me thinking about it. I listened to him, talking to a customer not too long ago. They have been able to see their whole life and watched a movie with the track on and her eyes blindfolded. She said that it was kind of a let down on a few aspects, but then she watched one of mine, and she loved how much I put into the voice. It took a while to get Joe on board with that, but it was good. He loves what he hears from the few people who had seen some of the ending stuff that we have done. The first episode is done except for a few final special effects, and the test audience is very pleased with it."
"Has he listened to it?" Lester asked as he pointed at the bathroom door.
"No. When the first three are done, I'm going to have him over to my place one weekend in Beacon Hills, and we are going to watch them on my big screen."
"That's a nice date."
"No," Derek said. He shook his head.
"Derek, he's smitten with you, and I know that you are with him. Joe told me about how smitten you are with him."
"He had a very bad date not too long ago, and the last time someone asked him out, he had a panic attack. Please don't bring up dating."
"You got it. I see why you are just staying friends at the moment. Still, I would make sure to scoop him up before someone else does. He'll not stay single long."
"When I'm sure that asking him out won't send him into a panic attack, I will. He is a very good catch."
"Sorry about that," Stiles said as he came back into the little room. His hand was trailing along the wall.
Derek had seen him get up twice to head to the bathroom, so Lester must have given him good directions on how to get back to it.
"It's fine. What did your father want?"
"He and Peter are coming up next weekend for a game and wanted to know if I would go to dinner with them beforehand. I said, yes."
"That's good," Derek said.
"Yeah." Stiles was actually smiling as he said it. It was the first time Derek thought he saw a smile on Stiles' face when it came to Stiles talking about his father since the issue with the date. He looked really happy about it, so Derek was going to be happy for him.
"Ready to go again?" Lester asked.
"Yes," Derek and Stiles said at the same time.
Lester laughed and waved for Derek to head out.
"Hey, Derek," Stiles said.
Derek leaned over to look down into the main part of the shop. Stiles was in the middle of making a new carafe of tea since the small rush during the lunch hour had cleaned him nearly out of all three of his teas. Derek had offered to help, but Stiles had pushed him away, saying that Derek's day was off and he didn't need to be working. Derek found it cute.
"Yes?" Derek asked.
"Liam is closing tonight since he wants Sunday off. Wanna get dinner?" Stiles swallowed after asking it. He looked nervous as hell, which wasn't something that Derek was used to seeing on Stiles. Stiles was rarely nervous.
"Sure. Where did you want to go?"
"Um, that place with the one noodle dish that you really liked."
Derek raised his eyes on that one. If he went there, he was going to get his picture taken. If he went with Stiles, they were going to get their picture taken.
"You know the paparazzi love to sit there and take pictures, right?" Derek asked.
"Yes, yes, I know. I really want to go there with you. On a date."
"Well, a date is fine with me, Stiles. I just wanted to make sure that you understood that it's going to get out if we go there for our first date. They are not going to leave you alone."
"I am well aware of that. Your want of me hasn't exactly been all that hidden, even if I am blind, Derek. I've had months to get into this. I do want to say that I am glad that you let me have the time I need to get over what happened with Adam on that last date."
"Can I kiss you?"
"Not until I'm on break when Liam gets here."
"Well, I am going to enjoy a cup of tea and a snack. I'll be taking Dirk with me to the restaurant, so they had better not give me any issues, or I will ruin them."
"Of course, but why don't you just leave when Liam gets here?" Derek asked.
"Oh, I have a book club at four." Stiles moved away from the tea counter to head to the other counter. Derek lost sight of him, so he relaxed back a little to give his body a rest from the weird position.
"I don't remember that on any of the other Fridays."
"No, you wouldn't. It's usually on Tuesdays, but one of the ladies was out of town until last night, so we moved it to today. I didn't expect you today since you know you usually work at least until lunch on set."
"Well, we got everything wrapped last night. We are all a good group, and Joe actually listens to us about everything and lets us show him what we think should happen. Mostly we are right. There are a few times that he sees something else, and when we watch it back, we like that."
"I'm glad you guys are all getting settled into the set. The season's nearly done on the first shoot, right?"
"Yes. They have the first three episodes nearly done and ready for showing. This is the only season that we are shooting beforehand. After we will be shooting like most other TV shows."
"What are you going to be doing during the break?"
"Audiobooks. Between the show and the books, I have no other plans for acting. I might do a few bit parts on a few shows here and there in LA when I can, but no movies."
"Your fans are going to miss you."
"Well, the only fan I care about isn't," Derek said. He leaned over a little more to look at Stiles' face. Stiles was blushing and looking at the computer screen even though he couldn't read it. He huffed and dropped the letter in his hand down to the top of the counter. He pushed away and was heading to the stairs. He was mostly up to them when Derek realized that he would probably be huffed at in person. Derek settled his book down onto the table beside and drained the rest of his tea so he could follow Stiles back down when he was done doing whatever he was going to do.
Derek watched Stiles as he moved through the upper area. He loved watching him move when he was sure of where he was and what was around him. Stiles always knew where everything was in the shop. He was beautiful like that. Stiles didn't stop until he was in Derek's space, face just inches from Derek's. Derek swallowed, trying not to lean in and take a kiss.
"You can't just say shit like that, Derek," Stiles said.
"Why?" Derek asked.
"Because you make me want to do things."
Even with sight, Stiles' eyes went from Derek's eyes to his lip sand back up. Derek reached out and pulled Stiles into his lap. Stiles moved with ease, straddling Derek's lap, and he leaned into the kiss. For a first kiss, it was damned good. Derek wanted more but for it to also never stop. He just held on as Stiles turned the kiss into one with tongue. Derek pulled him just a little closer, putting everything into the kiss. He loved this. This was what he missed of having someone in his life. It wasn't the sex but the things he had with Stiles already. He was welcome in Stiles' space whenever he wanted to be. He could hide in the shop for hours and read, and Stiles didn't care. The kissing was just an added bonus. Stiles grabbed Derek's cheeks and leaned out of the kiss.
"I've wanted to do that for months," Derek said.
"Months?" Stiles asked. He settled down into Derek's lap and kept on brushing his thumbs over Derek's cheekbones.
"Yeah, since about my second time in the shop."
"Fucking hell. That long?" Stiles was grinning, though.
"Yeah, that long. I liked you from the moment I came into the shop the first time, but the kissing came a little later. I'm not upset that it took this long, though."
"Neither am I," Stiles said.
The door opened, and the chime told them that someone actually came all the way in. Dirk didn't woof at them. Derek frowned at that. He was just about to move Stiles to see what was up when there were footsteps on the stairs, and Peter was right there.
"Found him," Peter said.
"Well, tell him to get down here. It's lunch, and I'm hungry," the Sheriff said.
"I can't go out to lunch; I'm working alone."
"Liam's on his way. He got out of classes early since one was canceled. I texted him to find out what the work schedule was."
"Well, at least you didn't say you are alone here," Peter said.
"Fuck you," Derek said.
"Derek?" the Sheriff asked.
"Fucking hell," Stiles said as he laid his head on Derek's shoulder as the sound of the Sheriff coming up the steps fast echoed around the space.
"Oh, I see. Well, then five for lunch. I'll call up and update our reservation."
"Five?" Derek asked.
"We are going to the little outdoor café that has seating for dogs," the Sheriff said.
"There is a place like that in San Francisco?" Derek asked. He had been here for years, and he didn't know that. Though he could understand Stiles finding that one out.
"Let's go on a double date," Peter said.
"You are the literal worst," Stiles said.
"But you love me anyway. I'll take Noah down to the ground floor while you two get that out of your system. I'll get Dirk ready to go as well. Just don't...do anything that I wouldn't do."
"Peter, you had sex when you were a teenager in the car with me asleep in the front seat; there is almost nothing that I would do that you wouldn't."
"Really?" Stiles' eyebrows nearly met his hairline with that.
"Yes, I was a horn dog when I was in high school. Now let's go, or I am going to start singing." Peter disappeared.
Derek relaxed back down into the chair again. He looked at Stiles to see that he didn't look freaked out.
"You owe me twenty bucks, by the way," the Sheriff said.
"No, I don't. We don't know when they got together. It could have been last week."
"It wasn't last week because Joe stopped by the station and asked me to get the UST out of the set. So there is no way that Stiles was actually far enough for kissing before today."
"Fucking hell," Stiles said.
"They know that we can hear them, right?" Derek asked, his voice a whisper.
"He probably doesn't care. At least they aren't talking about you and me and starting something and trading sexual favors of some kind," Stiles said.
"This is very true."
"Let's get this over with, then we can come back?" Stiles asked.
"Yes, we can come back here. You have a book group, and I can hide away and read or go down and pester Liam."
Stiles hummed in agreement, and Derek leaned in for another kiss.
Lunch wasn't as horrible as it could have been. Every time Peter started to make a comment that was a little more adult than the space they were at warranted, Stiles would just counter with something even worse when it came to Peter and his father. Derek stayed out of it, and so did the Sheriff.
"Ready?" Derek asked as he pulled onto the street where the restaurant that Stiles wanted to go to was located.
"Yes. I am." Stiles looked at Derek with a smile on his face. He held out his hand, and Derek lifted it up to kiss it.
Dirk was in the backseat, ready to do whatever Stiles needed. Derek had already called ahead to let the restaurant know he was bringing a guide dog with him. Of course, someone had been booted out of the reservation spot that Derek was given, but he wasn't too upset. Most of the time, he never went to places like this and used who he was to get him what he wanted. However, this was something that Stiles wanted. Derek put the car in park once they were in the valet area. The kid who was doing it came around, stopping when Derek let Dirk out of the back. Dirk stayed right beside him as he walked around to help Stiles out.
"Are you sure?" Derek asked. He wanted to be sure that Stiles was ready for this.
"Yes." Stiles slipped his hand into Derek's and let himself be tugged up. Dirk moved right around to where he was at Stiles' other side.
It only took one person yelling Derek's name for the flashes to start.
"You are lucky you can't see this," Derek said.
"Oh, I can see just enough of the flashes."
Derek remembered that Stiles' vision wasn't fully gone; he saw shadows and sometimes intense light flashes. There were yells for Derek to look this way and that and for Derek to tell them Stiles' name. If one of them got a hold of his agent, she would tell them exactly who he was. Derek had made sure that Stiles was okay with that before they had gone out.
"Right this way, Mister Hale. The chef wanted me to let you know that he's making up a chicken and rice dish with no spices for Dirk, and he would like to know what other vegetables that Dirk likes."
"Oh, uh," Stiles looked a little lost, but he listed off a few.
"I'll let him know."
"I could have fed him when we got home," Stiles said.
"I didn't ask for that." Derek was glad of it though, that would mean they would come back more than once.
"And here are your menus," the waitress said, and she handed over two of them. She opened up the flap on one before handing it to Derek.
Derek was about to say something as he had asked for Stiles to not be handed a menu when Stiles gasped.
"It's in Braille," Stiles said.
"Yes, Sir. We have a way to print Braille menus, and we even have a server capable of using sign language. Our head chef's sister is deaf, so he made sure that this place is inclusive to all."
Derek was pleased with that, and the look on Stiles' face said that he was as well.
"Thank you, give us about ten minutes?" Derek asked.
"I would like wine, white and sweet, please?" Stiles asked.
"Sure thing. Mister Hale?"
"The same is fine." The waitress walked away at that point.
"We are coming back here more often," Stiles said.
"I'm okay with that."
"Even if idiots take our picture," Stiles said.
Derek laughed and reached over to hold Stiles' hand. His other was tracing over the words on the menu. He was smiling, and it was reaching his eyes. He was happy, and Derek was happy that he was happy.