Derek looked around the lobby of the bank, eyes narrowed as he studied each of the customers. Every time his eyes swept over them, he kept coming back to the same one. The kid in the hoodie with the hands that kept flailing around every time Detective Boyd asked a question.
The robbery had been a quick hit; the masked thieves had only gone for the cash in the drawers before breaking outside. They’d been wearing plain business suits with gloves and according to every witness, no one remembered seeing them enter. The closed circuit system had been hacked a few minutes before the robbery and all the digital recordings just showed a loop of the same five minutes of Spongebob.
It was frustrating, and Derek wanted answers. He didn’t know exactly why — call it instinct — but there was something about the kid talking to Boyd that was making him think he’d get the answers he wanted if he could just come up with the right questions to ask. Abandoning the elderly lady who’d been berating him for the police department’s response time — two minutes and sixteen seconds from the moment the alarm was triggered — Derek walked across to Boyd, nodding at him over the kid’s shoulder.
"All right, Mr. Stilinski, my partner is going to take over for me," Boyd said, cutting smoothly through a story the kid seemed to be telling about… Derek blinked. About the history of circumcision? That couldn’t be right.
Boyd handed his note pad to Derek as he went to flirt with one of the EMTs, and that’s when the kid turned around, looking around wildly before his eyes locked on Derek and his face went splotchy with color. “Umm?” he asked, eyes flaring.
"Mr… Stilinski," Derek read off Boyd’s notes. "I’m Detective Hale. I’d like to take over your questioning from—"
"Questioning?" The kid’s voice sounded a little strangled, and the color in his cheeks just got worse, travelling down his throat to disappear under the neckline of his hoodie.
"Yes, sir. I’d like to know what you remember about the events just before the robbery occurred."
"Robbery?" The kid blinked, dropped his eyes to the floor, and began nodding quickly. "Right," he said. "Yes, of course. The robbery."
Derek narrowed his eyes at the kid. The way he was suddenly stumbling over his words, plus the way he’d obviously been trying to talk around Boyd’s questioning earlier — in what world should circumcision ever come up in a witness' statement about a bank robbery? — made Derek reexamine the kid from a different perspective. From other witness statements, the robbers had been somewhere between 5’8 and 6’ tall and of slender build. The kid was acting shady as hell, pinging all Derek’s finely honed instincts, and he fit what little description they had.
Without further questions, Derek took Stilinski into his custody, right there in the middle of the First State Bank and Trust.
Stiles had no idea how this shit always happened to him. One minute he was face down on the floor of the bank, having a gun pointed at his head for choosing that moment to try withdrawing enough gas money to go home for break, the next he was in the back of an unmarked police car on suspicion of… something. He wasn't entirely sure exactly why he was being driven to the precinct, and he couldn’t exactly ask now because he knew Detective Too Fucking Pretty To Be Real had already told him. But literally all he’d heard when Detective Pretty had opened his mouth was, “wah wah wah waaah.”
While Detective Pretty was facing away from him and he once more had use of his brain, however, Stiles sat forward and asked Detective Pretty’s partner, Detective Whoa, Welcome to the Gun Show, “Hey, am I going to get my phone call? I mean, I’m happy to make it now since you didn’t take my phone but—”
There was a muffled curse from the front of the car and the mind-explodingly gorgeous detective said, his voice all bedroom soft while still perfectly gruff, like Stiles imagined he’d sound after choking on a dick for a while, “Your cell phone will be taken during processing.”
"Okay, so. Just to be clear. I’m actually under arrest?"
Stiles heard the creak of the leather wrapping the steering wheel before the other detective said, voice perfectly even, “Mr Stilinski, as I explained at the bank, you’re being detained for questioning. If you want to save us all some trouble, you can go ahead and prepare your statement now.”
"My statement about…?" Stiles laced his fingers through the grille separating the back of the car from the front.
"About today’s bank robbery. Or do you just call it a heist?"
"Um? I gave you my statement already? I don’t mind giving it again, but I really don’t understand why I’m being ‘detained.’" Stiles made sure there was enough weight in his voice to make the air quotes smack the pretty detective in his gorgeously scruffy face.
There was another long silence, then the first detective said, “Look, kid—”
"Whoa, enough with the ‘kid’ talk there, Detective. I pay taxes, just like everyone else."
"Do you pay taxes on the money you rob from banks, as well?"
Stiles had to take a moment to process that and then mentally relabel him Detective It’s a Damn Good Thing He’s Pretty Because Wow Is He An Idiot. “You…” He couldn’t get any further than that due to choking on laughter. “You think I robbed that bank? Did you, oh, I dunno, think about asking any of the other fifteen witnesses in the bank whether or not they remember seeing me while the bank was being robbed?”
"Witnesses to violent crime tend to have faulty memories."
"Okay, wow. No. First of all, as I informed Detective Gun Show earlier—" Stiles had to pause long enough for Gun Show to cough out a deep laugh, "the bank robbers were female. Or, I mean—"
Gun Show flipped open his notebook and read from it, cutting straight through Stiles’ voice, “‘They could totally be non-binary, I’m not trying to judge, I’m just saying the people who robbed this bank don’t have external male genitalia. Yet. They could be pre-surgery transgender. I have a friend who’s MTF, and seriously, that shit is expensive. It’s not a little nip, like circumcision, which you know, only started because of a religious belief that it was necessary for the spiritual and physical purity of the man it was performed on.’” Gun Show poked Pretty with his elbow and said, “That’s pretty much when you came and saved me. Which, let me just say now, thank you for that.”
"So you’re trying to tell us that the robbers were female."
When Stiles started to say, “Or they could have been—” Pretty cut him off quickly.
"Okay, I get it. No dicks. Right. Tell me how you know that?"
Stiles slouched back against his seat, blushing when he noticed Pretty staring at him through the rear-view mirror. “Hey, watch the road. You’re much too pretty to wreck your face, dude. You don’t have enough to fall back on.”
Pretty’s eyebrows went winging up at that, but he dutifully returned his eyes to the road. “So how do you know they don’t have external male genitalia?”
"I, um. Notice things. They were wearing men’s suits, and had padded them well around the chest, but they didn’t think to stuff."
"Couldn’t they have just been…" Gun Show’s voice trailed off meaningfully and Stiles considered his implication.
"No. It was too flat. Men’s pants don’t fit women right; if you’re not paying attention, you won’t notice it.”
"But you pay attention?"
"Well, yeah, I mean…" Stiles shrugged. "I can show you, if you want."
His face smashed painfully into the grille when Pretty slammed on the brakes. “You got pictures?!”
"Well… yeah? I mean, you’re in your first bank robbery, you instagram that shit." Stiles shrugged. "I got video too, if you’re interested."
"Jesus Christ," Gun Show said, smacking a big hand to his face and dragging it down. "You didn’t think to tell us this before now?”
"What? I was totally going to, but then you ran off and Detective Pr—uh, whats his face here showed up and like, immediately arrested me."
"I detained you,” Pretty growled, pressing a little too hard on the gas so Stiles went sliding back in his seat, bobbling the phone he’d just pulled from his pocket.
"Okay, but I still get a phone call, right? Because I seriously need to call my dad before he finds out about this."
"Why? Do you live with him still?" The question was soft, a little too placating.
"Uh, no dude. Because he’s the Beacon County Sheriff and if he hears about this over the wire he’ll have a shit fit." Stiles held the phone up when he saw Gun Show staring at him, lines of incredulity marring his forehead. "So, can I?"
Pretty sighed, then grumbled, “Fine, go ahead. We’ll probably be confiscating your phone for evidence anyway.”
"You can take my SD card, but you’ll have to pry my phone out of my cold, dead fingers," Stiles quipped, hitting the speed dial for his dad. He put it on speaker because he believed in sharing. He was a giver like that.
“Stiles, Jesus son! Where are you? Are you at the station yet? Don’t say anything until I get there. I’m bringing Whittemore with me. He owes us one for that shit with Jackson and the restraining order."
"Ah, dad, daddy, daddio. Calm down. I’m in the back of an unmarked car and we’re still on the way to the station…. which. Seriously, are you taking the long way, Detective? I swear the bank is closer than—"
"What? Oh, yeah, sorry. Um, they let me have my one phone call, and I’m using it to call you and let you know I’m fine. I’m only a little under arrest. Isn’t that nice?”
"You’re being detained,” Pretty said, and there went the steering wheel again. “I detained you for questioning because you were acting shifty and you fit the description several of the other witnesses had given.”
“Son, is that the detective who arrested you?”
"Yep!" Stiles said, grinning widely when he watched Pretty’s shoulders stiffen.
Gun Show had given up and was laughing silently from the passenger seat, his big shoulders shaking and one hand plastered to his face.
“Detective, I saw Stiles’ photo on instagram. Those perps were obviously female.”
"Dad, they could be—"
“Stiles, I don’t need a lecture about gender right now, kid. I’m trying to get you out of this mess you’ve got yourself in. What the hell did you say to make them arrest you?”
"He’s not under arr—oh fuck it," Pretty muttered. "He wouldn’t make eye contact and he wasn’t answering my questions. He was exhibiting signs of distress and acting suspicious, and at the time we were unaware of your son’s photos of the suspects."
"Huh." Okay, Stiles could actually see where Pretty might mistake his complete lack of brain back at the bank for suspicious behavior. "Okay, yeah. He’s right. I was being sketchy as hell."
“But why, son?”
"Um. Remember how I got around Lydia in ninth grade?"
His dad’s silence rang through the car before the sound of muffled laughter broke it. Then he heard, “Okay, I’m hanging up now. I’ll call the Police Chief down there and see if I can’t get things rolling from here. If your libido overrides your sense again, let me know and I’ll send Whittemore down. Jesus, kid, only you." And then the line went dead, leaving Stiles stewing in the backseat.
When they pulled into the parking lot at the precinct, Detective Pretty opened his door, and Stiles promptly lost the ability to speak. Again.
Jesus, they were going to arrest him for real this time.
Derek shoved his chair back and stalked out of the interview room, unable to take another minute of ‘Stiles’ Stilinski alternately talking in circles — to Boyd — or turning into a stammering mess. As he let himself into the room through which he could watch the proceedings, he noticed Stilinski had slumped so far down that his ass was hanging off the chair, and his hands were covering his face.
"All right, but you have to admit," Boyd was saying, and Derek could hear the humor in his voice, "it’s a little odd. You weren’t having any problem talking to us in the car. Suddenly we get here and… is it the station? Do you have some sort of anxiety?"
"No, ugh. I basically grew up in the Sheriff’s station. It’s… are you just immune to it?"
Boyd shifted forward in his seat. “To what?”
"Him! Your partner."
"Hale?" Boyd asked, and Derek stepped closer to the two way mirror.
"God, he’s like…" Stilinski’s hands flailed everywhere, enough that Boyd, on the other side of the table, instinctively ducked. "He’s so…"
"Oh. I see." Boyd stood up and offered Stiles a beverage before nearly bolting from the room. As soon as he closed the door behind him, his laughter rolled through the air, obvious to both Derek in the observation room as well as Stiles in the interview room.
Derek felt a tiny twinge of pity when Stilinski twisted around to scowl at the door.
"Yeah, laugh it up, chucklehead. Like I didn’t notice you falling all over yourself for the pretty blonde EMT. Although," he muttered, the microphones just barely catching it, "good luck with that one. She looks like she eats men for breakfast."
Derek looked down at the thin file in his hands. So far, all they had was a generic print out of Stilinski’s vital stats. To Derek’s surprise, the kid wasn’t the teenager Derek had thought him to be. He was twenty three, doing post-grad work at UCSF on a masters in criminology. His address listed an apartment that was about three blocks from where Derek lived and… well. Now that he had an unobstructed view, he could tell that Stiles was kind of awkwardly cute. Which was a very bad thing because ‘awkwardly cute’ was basically the definition of Derek’s type.
Derek ducked out of the observation room, grabbed Greenberg, and sent him in with paper and pen to gather Stilinski’s witness statement. And if he watched the whole thing through the two way glass, becoming more and more intrigued and impressed with every detail that fell from Stilinski’s mouth, well.
He was a detective. It was his job.
Stiles hadn’t been standing on the front steps of the headquarters of the San Francisco Police Department for more than ten seconds when he heard someone calling his name. Turning around, he saw Detective Pretty walking toward him with long strides. And of course, all Stiles could do was shove his hands in his pockets and stare, because Pretty hadn’t gotten any less mind-meltingly beautiful in the last hour.
"I, uh, wanted to apologize and thank you," Pretty said after letting Stiles gawk at him for a second in greeting. "Your input’s going to help us catch these two, so…"
"Might be more than two," Stiles whispered, forced to look at Pretty’s slightly-askew tie in order to get the sounds to form into actual words.
"Yeah, we’re… I got your statement from Greenberg. Anyway, um." Pretty dug out a wallet, and tugged a business card from it. Pulling a pen from his breast pocket, he scribbled a number on the back and said, "This is my card. My personal number’s on the back."
"In case I think of anything else?" Stiles asked idly, thumb rubbing over the embossed lettering on the card.
"Sure." Pretty rocked on his feet, letting the silence build until Stiles looked up at him in question. "Or, you know. Any other reason you might want to call."
Stiles’ eyes widened, lips parting as what Pretty was implying drove through him like a freight train. “Wait, you…?” When Pretty grinned, winked at him, and spun on his heel to walk back toward the doors while whistling, the fucker, Stiles called out, “I don’t even know your name!”
"It’s on the card," Pretty shouted back, then waved before pushing into the precinct.
Stiles stared dumbly down at the card, lips stretching into a wide grin as he read, Derek Hale, Det.
"All right, Derek Hale, Det." Stiles popped the card against his fingers and keyed the number scribbled onto the back into his SD card-free phone. Pushing send, he waited for Derek to pick up before he said, "Hi. I’m calling to report a suspicious individual doing a happy dance on the front steps of police headquarters."
Derek’s laugh rolled through the phone. “Sounds like I need to get out my handcuffs.”
Stiles sighed and skipped down the steps, though he’d swear he was floating about three feet off them. “Handcuffs already? What kind of man do you take me for?”
"One that’s free Friday at seven for pizza and beers."
Cocky. Stiles decided he could like that. A lot.