Stiles slams the door of his apartment behind him. He sinks to the floor and thumps his head against the door. This is probably the worst night of his life.
It had started out great. He and Derek had gone on a double date with Lydia and Jordan. They’d gotten ready at Derek’s loft, because despite the fact that Stiles had his own apartment, he was there most of the time and most of clothes, and his everything else, were there. They’d joked around and held hands the entire drive to the restaurant. They’d hooked ankles the moment they’d sat down.
And then Lydia had announced that she was pregnant. She knew Derek would be able to smell it, so she’d decided to come right out and say it. There had been hugs, a bottle of wine, and a glass of apple juice for Lydia.
Sometime around the main course, Stiles had noticed how silent Derek was. His boyfriend wasn’t a big talker, but he was usually a lot more open when around the pack. He’d nudged Derek and given him a questioning look, but all he gotten in return was a frown. A little later the jibes had started. At first it hadn’t really fazed him. They did this all the time. It was their foreplay. But the jibes soon turned into barbs, and Lydia and Jordan had noticed something was wrong, too.
Lydia had given Stiles a look, but all he could do was shrug his shoulders. He had no idea what was going on.
He’d asked Derek about it in the car, but it had been like talking to a wall. Until halfway to Derek’s apartment, when the man had burst out, ‘I don’t know why it matters to you Stiles. Our life is obviously not what you want.’
Stiles had been stunned to silence.
‘I could smell it. Your envy. God, I can’t believe this. All this time,’ Derek had continued bitterly.
‘What the hell are you talking about?’ Stiles had finally managed.
‘You know, it’s happened before, but I always thought it wasn’t serious.’
‘I seriously don’t know what you’re talking about, dude.’
‘You and Lydia, Stiles. That’s what I’m talking about.’
‘Really? Even now you can’t come out and say it.’
Stiles had felt himself getting angry. Derek was being ridiculous. Was he really angry about him and Lydia being friends? Derek and Lydia were friends. They’d been friends for years. Hell, Lydia had been the one who’d convinced Stiles to get his act together and ask Derek out. And Derek knew this.
‘There is nothing to say,’ he’d yelled.
The werewolf’s eyes had flashed and Stiles could hear the wheel protesting at Derek’s tightening grip.
‘I’ll drop you off at your place,’ the wolf had said with clenched jaws.
‘We have an argument over nothing and suddenly I’m getting kicked out?’
‘It’s not nothing, Stiles! You’ve been keeping this from me for years!’
He really didn’t know what Derek’s problem was, or how to fix it. So he’d crossed his arms and turned towards the window. The rest of the drive they’d spent in angry silence.
Stiles looks around his almost empty apartment. He’d gotten the place a year ago, right after he’d graduated from college. He doesn’t think he’s ever slept here two nights in a row, though. And Derek hasn’t spent here more than two nights, period. They both preferred Derek’s apartment downtown.
He pushes himself off the floor. He should just go to bed. He roots around in his closet and eventually he finds a t-shirt and a pair of sweats. All his other clothes are at Derek’s.
The bed is freezing cold and sheets smell musty. The last time he was here was two weeks ago. He wraps himself up tightly and curls up in the hope of getting warm.
He misses Derek already. Even when the guy is being a complete dick. And an idiot. And a stupid Sourwolf. He grins when the old nickname pops back into his head. Derek had hated it, which was exactly why Stiles had used it as often as possible. Later, it hadn’t applied to him anymore. Derek still got these moods sometimes, but Stiles understood that. He had them, too. Whenever he missed his mom, or Allison.
Tonight was different. This was a fight. A real one. They didn’t have real fights. They argued sometimes, about who’s turn it was to take out the trash, if one of them forgot some groceries, when Derek didn’t wake Stiles up on time in the morning. But they’d never actually fought, not once in the three years they’d been together.
He rolls over and pulls open his nightstand drawer. There’s only one thing inside. It’s a little black box.
He drags his hand through his hair. This was stupid. Stiles shouldn’t be here. He should be with Derek, talking about whatever was going on. And then have amazing, athletic makeup sex.
He throws back the covers and hunts down his shoes and coat. He checks the time on his phone. If he’s quick, he can still make the last bus.
Stiles runs up the steps of the apartment building, glad that Derek’s no longer living at the loft. Besides the fact that it was creepy, he never would’ve been able to reach the top alive, not after having to run for the bus as well.
When he gets to the door, Derek’s already waiting for him.
‘What do you want, Stiles?’
‘We have to talk.’
Derek clenches his jaw, like talking is the last thing he wants to do, but he opens the door a little wider, letting Stiles into the apartment.
‘I need you to tell me exactly what it is your mad about, because I want to fix this. I don’t know what I did, or what you think I did, but we need to talk about this, Derek.’ Stiles is very much aware of how desperate he sounds.
‘You’re really going to make me say it?’ Derek asks incredulously. His entire body is tense, his shoulders pulled up almost to his ears, hands balled into fists, and his breathing fast. Then, just like that, all the tension leaves him and he drops down onto the couch. He buries his head in his hands.
Stiles approaches him slowly. He’s not sure what he should do. He’s never seen Derek like this, so hopeless, like everything has been taken from him.
He sits down on the other end of the couch and waits for Derek to start talking.
‘I’m talking about the fact that you’re still in love with Lydia.’
‘What? That’s- What? I don’t even know what to say to that. Because I’m not.’ He goes to place a hand on his boyfriend’s knee, but Derek jerks away from him. ‘Derek, the only one I’m in love with is you. Yes, I love Lydia. She’s one of my best friends. She’s pack. But I’m not in love with her.’
‘But I could smell your envy. You were jealous. I could smell it on their wedding day, too. And sometimes when were over at their place.’
Stiles isn’t sure what to say to that. He doesn’t want to push Derek into something he’s not ready for. The truth is that he is jealous. But not of Parrish, or Lydia. He’s jealous of what they have. They’re living together. They got married. They’re having a baby. And Stiles wants those things with Derek. He wants a place to call theirs. He wants to make Scott cry with his wedding vows. He wants to have that first dance as husband and husband. He wants to kick Derek out of bed when it’s his turn to lull their child back to sleep.
‘You do?’ Derek asks, his eyes hopeful and his face open.
‘I- I didn’t mean to say that out loud. I know you’re not ready and it’s fine,’ Stiles says quickly, backing up a little.
‘What do you mean I’m not ready?’
‘You’ve never given any hints that you wanted to move forward. Even if it’s just living together.’
‘You’re here almost every night. I thought you wanted that apartment so you could have a place of your own, because you needed your own space.’
Stiles looks at Derek for a second and then bursts out laughing. The relief he feels is overwhelming. Tears are streaming down his face and he’s having trouble breathing, but he can’t stop laughing.
‘Oh god,’ he manages to say between breaths. ‘I can’t believe were both such idiots.’
He climbs into Derek’s lap, wraps his arms around him and nuzzles into his chest. He breaths in the werewolf’s warm, woodsy smell. It calms him down a little and when he feels like he can talk again, he wipes away the tears and digs into the pockets of his sweats. He pulls out the little black box. He feels Derek inhale sharply.
‘I bought this a year ago. Before I even graduated,’ he murmurs. He opens it. The titanium band looks a little dull, but when he takes it out, he can still read the inscription inside. Anchor, Haven, Beacon. It’s what Derek had told him Stiles was to him. Stiles was the one who kept him grounded, where he felt save, the light when everything else seemed dark. They’d joked about it being the new meaning for his triskelion.
‘Do you still want to?’ Derek murmurs. The hope and excitement are clear in his voice.
‘Hell yeah. Do you?’
‘Of course I do,’ his fiancé grins back.
His hands are a shaking a little when he slides the ring on Derek’s finger. He really wants to kiss his fiancé now, but there is now way that’s going to work while the grin that’s threatening to split his face his in two, is still in place. So instead, he places his forehead against Derek’s and rubs their noses together in an kunik kiss.
‘We should move the rest of your stuff in here,’ Derek says. ‘And maybe start looking for a new place. Maybe with an extra bedroom?’
Stiles nods. He tangles their fingers together. When he feels the cool metal of the engagement ring against his skin, he feels like he’s going to combust from happiness.
This is the best night of his life.