“Oh that is just freaking perfect.” Stiles jerks his head up to scowl at the brick wall he’s run into on his way into the elevator, hand craned carefully away from his body so he won’t get more of his drink on his shirt. He can’t maintain the annoyance in the face of the symmetrically raised eyebrows, soft-looking stubble and what-even-is-that-color eyes staring at him. “We’re calling this one your fault,” he says, jabbing at the already lit up six on the elevator panel. “I’ve just gotten distressing, Bran-related news – hence the hot chocolate pick me up – and it wouldn’t kill you to be wrong for the next eighty seconds.”
The wall is not amused. The eyebrows have dropped to what appear to be their resting state of foreboding and dangerous. Stiles doesn’t heed them.
“I mean, do I look like Weetabix to you? I’m magically delicious or people are cuckoo for me or some other fun slogan. I am not an aid to regular digestion or—or ‘hard to swallow.’ Stupid online cereal test. Obviously the internet is broken because I do not ‘eschew boisterous and irresponsible behavior.’ I’m expecting an email from Al Gore about this any second now.” Stiles huffs, crosses his arms and angrily takes a sip of his hot chocolate, stewing. “I embody boisterous and irresponsible behavior,” he decides. “Okay, so I don’t embody it, obviously. I wouldn’t have a job or money to buy the drink you made me spill and I’d probably have, like, six venereal diseases but I’ve got it in moderation. Which is smarter.”
The wall with the pretty eyes is now actively ignoring him, watching the light zip to each new floor like he’s mentally urging it to go faster.
Stiles is fairly all right with it. He’s a pure, aesthetically pleasing eyeball goodie. Those things can’t have much personality otherwise the universe would tip out of balance or something. That’s probably what makes volcanoes erupt, actually. He thinks about sharing the theory with Eyebrows McPretty but he probably wouldn’t even get it.
“You know, in the movie version of this, I won’t have said ‘venereal disease’ and you would be reluctantly charmed. Matthew McConaughey would play you, I think. Now you can’t speak either because I’m picturing this Southern twang that’s all molasses and sexual heat. Our meet-cute will be epic in the film, totally worth the twelve bucks. We’ll probably make out before we even get to our floor, meaning movie-us naturally. Is that something Weetabix would tell you?” Stiles makes a triumphant ‘ha’ sound and sips his hot chocolate. It’s getting cold way too fast. Stupid defective cup. “That’s Count Chocula levels of boldness.”
“Please stop talking to me,” Eyebrows McPretty grumbles under his breath, almost like he didn’t mean Stiles to hear it and it was more of a plea to whatever Kabbalah Monster God he prays to.
“Matthew, you ruined the illusion. You could’ve at least faked an accent for me. For shame.” The elevator finally dings and not-Matthew moves to the front before the doors have even opened. “Yeah, play it cool like you’re not thinking about me naked and our almost make out session. I saw the want in those wide, scared nonsense-colored eyes. In the book version – by the way, far superior to the film version just in case you were wondering – this is when you start pining.”
Stiles thinks the guy might actually laugh. It’s either that or a terrified release of air and then the doors are sliding open and he’s turning determinedly on his heel to stalk off in the same direction Stiles is going.
Stiles is one-thousand percent more leisurely about it though. In fact, he wouldn’t be surprised if not-Matthew passed him on his way back to the elevators before Stiles had even reached his desk. It’s okay though, Laura knows his secret Weetabix shame and had approved the hot chocolate cure to all ailments as well as his new life plan – which included adopting seven cats with insulin-deficiencies, applying for an AARP card and awaiting the sweet release of death.
The phone rings just as Stiles reaches his chair. “Hale Communications, how can we make your relations more public today?” he rattles off, spinning in his seat and sounding bored with the entirety of his bland life. It’s not technically the company line but he’s sure Laura would approve. And he can remain sure of that only so long as Laura never hears him say it.
“Dude, what is the meaning of your, ‘I’ve become fiber-rich chalk cereal desirable only to the taste palate of a not-so-discerning senior citizen, how could you not tell me?’ text and why does it have eighteen question marks and a number of exclamation points that I had to give up counting because my eyes kept crossing?”
“I took an online cereal test,” Stiles begins gravely.
Scott cuts him off. “This is the koala thing all over again. Dude, I am not doing this. You were depressed for, like, a month. Over a koala.”
“Over being a koala and this is a thousand times worse! Defcon one, man, where nuclear preparedness is a foremost concern. I’m Weetabix, Scott!”
“I said no!” Scott hisses quickly, with all the intensity and seriousness of someone attempting to ward off Dracula.
“This is a serious problem! I’ve become boring. I move to Chicago to go be flashy and fabulous and instead I have to adopt cats and start dressing them in people clothes and calling them my children and making my dad talk to them on the phone at major holidays. You see why we have to start strategizing. Scott? Hello?”
Stiles is still glaring darkly at the receiver of his office phone and the monotonous dial tone it’s giving off when Laura interrupts with, “Stilinski, I need a favor.”
“Can I fit it in around learning how to knit, developing a lactose intolerance and crying, bitterly?” Stiles asks, setting the phone back in its cradle and spinning lazily around to face Laura. Matthew McConaughey is with her. Stiles gapes dumbly at him.
“I need you to take my baby brother out someplace fun. I have that vagina-busting meeting with that—” she smiles violently, “penis from Whittemore’s law firm.” She turns back to look at Matthew. “He doesn’t even get a euphemism, he’s an anatomically correct walking penis.”
Stiles agrees but is too dumbfounded to say so. Laura’s baby brother? Whom he’d sort of, kind of, definitely propositioned in the elevator eighty-seven seconds ago.
“Stiles just started here a few months ago, he’s at the University of Chicago but considering all I’ve heard about today is something to do with Bran cereal,” she looks back to Stiles as though confirming this with him before plowing on, “and not the assignments his professors have designed to crush what little spirit he has left, I’m thinking he’s free. Derek’s actually still living in Beacon Hills, a few miles up from your dad.”
“He’s from Beacon Hills?” Eyebrows says with all the eyebrows.
What, like Stiles isn’t cool enough to be from Beacon Hills? Beacon Hills is practically made for small-town losers-turned-successful-dynamos like him. Just because he hasn’t done the successful bit of the dynamo part yet and he most closely resembles Weetabix at his current stage in life, that doesn’t mean it’s not coming. Much like winter and a reboot of the Spider-man franchise is always coming. And Derek would rue that day when it did come! There would be all the rue. Asshole.
That was also the first time Stiles had heard not-Matth—Derek, unfortunate, he was really hoping for something like Bruno or Estefan if he was being totally honest—speak in his full voice. It’s not half as impressive as Matthew McConaughey’s would’ve been. He wouldn’t, let’s say, give it an Oscar.
“My dad’s the sheriff—Stilinski? You’ve probably heard of him and his renowned awesomeness. Because there is awesomeness. And it is renowned.” Always good to remind people that he knows someone who can shoot them, especially grossly attractive jerk-offs.
“Your name is Stiles Stilinski,” he says, scoffs more like, no proper inflection to turn it into a question and his lip raised in something that wants to be a sneer.
“Hey, it’s a step up from Muriel Jeffrey Stilinski, which is what me and my best friend Scott came up with when we were four. It could always be worse and I would like that noted.” Whatever, he could get through one night of entertaining his boss’ family and then go right back to… boring cereal things. “So, is there anything specific you want to do? We could go the touristy route or do my usual Thursday night. Though, I have recently been informed that my weekly routine is a bit… fiber-y. Put simply, if my routine had a taste, it would be cardboard. That’s disappointing and I wouldn’t drag you along down that inevitable cat-person road unless you specifically requested it.”
Derek frowns, exaggeratedly. “I could read your backlog of The Economist magazines in your waiting room,” he suggests sourly to Laura.
Laura smiles, knocks him in the shoulder like Derek’s made a grand joke. Stiles suspects Derek wouldn’t know a joke if it clubbed him over the head, took his wallet and gave him a wet willy while he was down for the count. “Stiles is actually a pretty good tour guide. Go, have fun, be social. It probably won’t kill you and, if it does, then you’ll have the satisfaction of being right in hell.” She’s wearing that sharp grin Stiles loves on her so much.
“There’s this Music Box Theatre downtown that’s actually pretty dang sweet,” Stiles suggests, because he can be a gentleman even in the face of straight-up rudeness. He just doesn’t like to. But he kind of suspects his next paycheck might depend on him not sinking down to Derek’s level. “They’re showing Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter through this weekend, so, you’re welcome for that. Plus, they serve liquor and, after having it reinforced how dead inside I am today by a breakfast cereal, I’m going to need some of that.”
Derek purses his lips and says like he’s fighting against his better judgment, “Fine.”
“Awesome. I appreciate the enthusiasm. This is going to be a super fun night.” He caps it off with a toothy, slightly demented grin.
Laura snorts before she can catch it, clears her throat and turns back to Derek. “You can meet him out front around six. I won’t be home until eleven, at the earliest, so don’t worry about rushing back on my account. I’ll want a drink so hands off the vodka and I’ll probably be in a super duper pleasant mood so there’s your warning.”
“Noted,” Derek mutters, visibly warming to the idea of Stiles’ company as he shuffles a step away from her towards Stiles’ desk.
Stiles decides not to call him on it, though he does perk both eyebrows so Derek will be aware of the fact that he definitely could.
Stiles doesn’t think about it until 5:59 and a half and by then he’s already scrambling down the stairs and metaphorically screeching to a stop in front of a glowering figure. “I lied earlier, in the movie version of us, you would totally be Batman. You’re at that level of brooding, where it’s a legitimate necessity to your character. You need a tragic backstory.” He waves a hand, still catching his breath. “I’ll write you one while we’re at dinner. Also, yes, that does make me Selina Kyle and, yes, that does make me cooler than you. Deal. Oh right, we’re going to dinner before the theatre because right now the tire on that cab looks hella appetizing and my stomach has started a garage band that seems to consist solely of trash can drums. Anyway, what I wanted to tell you—”
“You mean there’s a point to any of this?” Derek says with serious disbelief and drawn eyebrows. It’s the eyebrows that make Stiles nearly swallow his tongue. Those things are like the judgmental person’s Holy Grail.
“Anyway,” he reiterates purposefully. “Yeah, man, I should’ve told you to meet me at the restaurant because – earlier, when you were being a better wall than a… guy and I spilled hot chocolate on my shirt because of your total ineptitude at person-ing, you remember? – I have to change out of the sticky stain-ness. Sorry, dude,” Stiles says, genuinely apologetic. “I hope it won’t put too much of a crimp in your life plan stopping by my apartment first? Of course it’s totally in the opposite direction but, believe me when I say I am motivated to be quick.” His stomach chooses that moment to rumble and Derek’s judge-y eyebrows actually shoot up in surprise. “That’s my trash can band. It’s getting better, to be honest. In fact, it’s decided, I’m scouting for record deals tomorrow morning.”
Stiles hails a cab and Derek seems to be very reluctantly following his lead, hands in his pockets and scowl on his face.
Stiles has so many more important things to deal with than his little pity parade though, like giving the driver his address and picking at his shirt with his thumbnail to, sadly, no avail. He’d washed it in the bathroom sink but it hadn’t done much besides make the fabric wetter and the stain larger. “Oh dude, are those Bugles?”
The cab driver looks up at him in the rearview mirror and he must look sufficiently pathetic because he says, “Da, help yourselve.”
Stiles moans and reaches through the open glass panel to snatch the bag off the front seat while they’re stuck in stop and go traffic. He squints at the hack license and says, “Rangvald, dude, you are a fucking lifesaver. I was seriously considering taking a bite out of this upholstery and I don’t even want to think about what kind of bacteria is in here.”
Rangvald’s eyes are crinkled in the mirror and he says, “I get many booger pickers, wipe all over.” He bounces his bushy eyebrows meaningfully.
“Oh, sick, man,” Stiles says, sticking out his tongue and holding himself instinctively closer together, sitting in less of a sprawl. He grins. “You inspire it though, dude, I swear. I’m kind of trying to find something to leave, preferably something that will harden and gross out the many passengers to come, just so you’ll remember me forever.”
Rangvald chuckles even as he flips off the cab driver next to him, who wouldn’t let him over. Stiles leans forward, closer to Derek as he has to ease more towards the middle but even more diligently ignoring him and his scowling face. He sets the Bugles back on the front seat after two handfuls, and after setting up his right hand with corn-chip witch nails. He’s saving those.
“Oh, I’ve totally got it!” He reaches into his messenger bag and pulls out the Post-it he was doodling on for a good half hour chunk of his day.
Rangvald takes it at the next red light and frowns down at it. “Vat is Veetabix?”
Derek lets out an almost-silent huff of laughter, like he hadn’t wanted to be heard. He totally finds Stiles hilarious though and it can no longer be denied.
In bubble letters, on the Post-it, Stiles had written the words, trying to buoy his crotch-kicked spirits:
You are Weetabix and it’s okay.
He had also diligently waffle-patterned the bubble letters that spelled out ‘Weetabix.’ Like you do. “It’s a cereal.”
Rangvald perks an eyebrow, turns down Stiles’ street and says, “I am cereal?” He sounds confused but indulgent at the same time and Stiles wishes he were going to dinner and the theatre with Rangvald instead. He looks like he’d appreciate his company way more than Derek ever could.
“No, man,” Stiles says sincerely, “we are cereal and it’s all good.”
Rangvald chuckles again, pulls down his visor and slips the Post-it on the opposite side of a picture that must be his wife and two kids. There’s another under it that’s just a fat pink baby wearing a huge smile around the foot in its mouth that melts Stiles’ heart. Rangvald comes to an uneven stop outside Stiles’ apartment complex and Stiles gets out and leans in the window as Rangvald reads off the meter and says, “Dude, you make cute fucking babies.”
“It is all my wife, Harriet,” he says proudly, tapping her picture under the elastic strap.
“Yeah, she’s kind of a bombshell,” Stiles says with a whistle. “You must’ve been rich when you scored her. What happened, man?”
Rangvald laughs again as Stiles hands him the fare plus a thirteen dollar tip he can’t really afford. He reaches in as an afterthought, grabs the Post-it note again and says, “Hey, you got a pen?”
Rangvald does and Stiles has to fiddle with it for a while to get it to actually write. He flips the note over and writes his work building, his name and his floor on the back of it on the hood of the car with his left hand so he won’t have to take off his Bugle fingers – it’s still legible-ish – and holds it back out to Rangvald with the pen. “If you ever want to come by for a lunch on me, all my info’s on the back. Thanks for the Bugles, dude, you’re a mensch.” He claps Rangvald on the shoulder, who tips the pen back towards him like he’s raising a glass, and meets an unamused Derek on his stoop.
Stiles fishes out his keys and leads the way up to his apartment. It’s an absolute mess because he hadn’t been expecting guests of any kind and the last time he had been was well over a month ago. Which was roughly the last time he’d picked up. “Pardon the mess,” he says a mite self-consciously as he uses the side of his shoe to push a mountain of dirty laundry out of the way of blocking his door. “I’ll be right back,” he adds, dropping his bag on top of the crap on his couch.
“There’s beer in the fridge maybe? And you’re welcome to it,” he calls out, popping one of his precious finger-Bugles into his mouth on his way to his bedroom. “I hope you’re cool with Thai but if not there are a few other options right around the place.” He struggles out of his stained shirt one-handed so he can savor the four Bugles he has left at a leisurely pace. “Their entrees come on plates roughly the size of my torso though – hell, your torso – so, I’m not gonna lie, I’d be totally bummed if you were, like, allergic to peanuts or something but, hey, we could always eat at different restaurants and meet in the middle because it kind of seems like maybe you want to avoid me and my Bugle-fingers and, dude, you would not be the first so—”
“You really never do stop talking,” Derek notes and Stiles whips around since he’s been yelling all this so it would reach the kitchen, where Stiles had assumed – up to this point – Derek was.
His shirt’s half-way off, resting on his shoulder on one side and arm still through the sleeve on the other. His Bugles fall off since the surprise has made him less diligent about keeping his fingers curled towards the center of his palm. “Aw, man,” he says when he notices it, “I really wanted those.”
Derek snorts, takes a step into Stiles’ room and purposefully crunches Bugles beneath his heel because he’s hateful. Stiles is still staring forlornly down at them when fingers skim his side and Derek’s forcing his shirt the rest of the way off and what is happening now? He’s barely registered that his shirt is gone, like it never even existed or like it’s on his floor somewhere accompanying crushed Bugle pieces, when Derek’s mouth brushes up against his.
His thumb’s between their lips, resting in the center of Stiles’ lower one and keeping their mouths at a hover rather than a kiss. “Is this okay?” he asks roughly and his breath is minty.
Stiles swallows stupidly, blinks. “I don’t know,” he says, “were you given a hit of ecstasy or a serious head injury in the cab when I wasn’t looking?”
Derek laughs, soft, breathy. It feels really nice this close to it. “Not that I know of.”
Stiles considers that, swallows again, this time decision dropping with saliva and he says, “Then yeah, this is okay.” He expects Derek to kiss him but instead he presses their foreheads more firmly together while he tears out of his jacket and fumbles with the catch to his jeans like waiting this long has been torture on him and seriously? What. The. Fuck. Because Stiles would’ve sworn roughly fifteen seconds ago that Derek couldn’t stand him.
He has to fight this weird moment of wanting to put a stop to the proceedings when Derek’s finally pulled far enough away to drag off his own shirt and kick off his shoes – even in the midst of Stiles fumbling with his pants – because Derek has got to be one of those dudes who’s has never really heard the word, ‘no.’ And Stiles kind of wants to be the one to say it. Just to be that guy, that exception that proves the rule. Except Derek’s so freaking pretty and getting prettier the more he takes off and Stiles decides he would rather bite off his own tongue than get in the way of what’s happening here.
“You don’t even look like a real person,” Stiles tells him and he doesn’t really mean to but he’s also not wrong. Derek’s down to his Under Armour and he is just not even trying to look approachable with all his not real person-ness.
Derek’s palm molds to Stiles’ cheek, warm and guiding and his fingers clench a little as he pulls Stiles forward and finally, finally kisses him and his mouth falls open with an easy confidence, tongue brushing Stiles’ and it’s so practiced that it’s like they’ve done this thousands of times before. “Look who’s talking,” Derek says into his mouth, thumb back to dragging down Stiles’ lower lip while he licks at his upper one. He’s grinning, says, “You look like you should be on display somewhere.”
And it’s mortifying but the compliment actually makes a chill shimmy down his spine. He whimpers, pushes into Derek’s body with his own because if Derek could just be touching him everywhere that would be really fucking good. “I don’t know that I have a condom,” he realizes suddenly, horrified, eyes wide.
Derek smirks, huffs. “Thank God for the one that’s been ruining the leather of my wallet for the past year.”
Stiles gets that that’s a line. No one this sexually majestic has a year-old condom but he doesn’t particularly care as long as a prophylactic is within reach of his grabby hands. He pushes Derek down on the dirty clothes on his bed unashamedly and whirls around, completely yanking the drawer of his nightstand off its track in his haste to get to his lube. He promptly turns around and drops it.
Derek’s gotten rid of the Under Armour and he’s lazily stroking his cock like this is a thing he does in Stiles’ bedroom every Thursday night. And, Jesus fuck, if only it was. No one would call him Weetabix then. They’d have to invent a new cereal just to describe him – Holy-Os, now with thirty percent more divinity… and bonermallows. Stiles’ mouth gets wet and he blindly bends down, feeling for the lube and tossing it on the bed next to Derek’s hip when he finds it. But not before telling him, “I’m going to put my mouth on that.”
Derek’s pupils dilate but his voice is steady when he says, “I’m not going to fight you.”
Stiles, quite possibly, has never wanted to give a blowjob as badly as he does right now. Because Derek’s dick is pretty, because of course it is. Because he’s not a real person. It doesn’t feel like a job, a chore, a warm-up act or anything in between. Truthfully it feels as important and life-changing as if Moses had delivered it down off the mount himself. Thou shalt suck Derek Hale’s dick. Thou shalt be sloppy about it. Thou shalt worship your golden idol. Thou shalt fucking choke on it.
And it was good.
Derek groans and bucks his hips into Stiles’ face, scrabbling at his short hair and dragging him up. “Wanna fuck you,” he slurs out, drags his mouth over Stiles’ jaw and it’s slick and warm and Stiles scrambles up to straddle his lap. He reaches back for lube, stretching himself because his cock is about to fucking pop and there’s no time for anything but a messy fingering with overeager phalanges and a quick and dirty fuck. And Stiles will thank every deity he knows of when it comes. Derek half-knocks his fingers away and half-joins them, having rolled the condom on and lubed up and he’s probing and far more careful than Stiles has it in himself to be.
He has to shove Derek and his preternatural patience away to sink down on his cock and then Derek’s hands are gripping onto Stiles’ ass cheeks so tightly there are going to be individual finger marks left on his pale skin and it’s such a fucking turn on that his toes curl. He says into Derek’s neck, “This probably isn’t going to last long.” He tastes like sweat and warmth and Stiles leans back, away from him, because he feels drugged from just his skin. He plants his palms on either side of Derek’s thighs, rolls his hips down on him with finesse, arches his back and finds his prostate. He’s really, really not going to last. Stiles opens his eyes to slits, not remembering when he closed them, and glares. “Judge my stamina, I poke you in the eye. With my dick probably.” It’s really the only thing on his mind right now.
Derek grins, drags the flat of his palm from low on Stiles’ abdomen all the way up to wrap loosely around his neck, thumb in the hollow of his throat. “Just when I finally thought I’d figured out how to shut you up,” he says, huffing, punctuating it by thrusting his hips up into Stiles. His hand finds more of his shoulder than his throat, holds him by it, pushing him down as he grinds his pelvis up against Stiles’ ass.
Stiles’ eyes cross and he groans out, “Oh my God, Oh my God. Fuck.” He slams back on Derek’s dick, skin making wet smacking sounds as he pounds into Derek with his ass, grappling with his shoulder and stomach contracting violently when he finally comes. Derek pulls him in by his waist when he does, holds him down by the back of his neck, forehead pressed up against Derek’s sweaty temple while he thrusts up into him. When his orgasm hits, he doesn’t pull out, just keeps Stiles in his lap, hips pressed tight to Stiles’ ass, thighs trembling from how hard he’s been working them. Stiles is still trying to keep his heart from leapfrogging out of his mouth, meaning he’s got bigger concerns than Derek and his weirdness.
He’s still catching his breath, waiting for his vision to stop blurring and his head to grow less fuzzy when his stomach growls. Stiles drops his head back and admonishes, “Shut up, trash can band. I’m not paying for your college if you don’t get more realistic about your future. No one is going to buy that noise.”
Derek licks his lower lip and Stiles bets it tastes like salt, somehow resists leaning in to make sure, and he says with unassuming gruffness, “I’m a professional chef.”
Stiles gapes at him because he really is not even trying not to be a figment of Stiles’ imagination, because that’s clearly what this is now. Stiles is Weetabix and it sent him into some kind of raunchy sex- and food-based fantasyland where impossible people like Derek Hale exist.
He snorts to himself, mentally catalogues the insides of his fridge, pantry and cabinets and challenges, “Can you make something out of cork board coasters and refrigerator magnets?”
Derek chuckles, grumbles something under his breath and Stiles reluctantly pulls himself away from him, dropping back onto his elbows on the bed and every muscle in his body feeling like he’s pushed them entirely past their limits.
“You can prove your domesticity to me later,” Stiles tells him, letting his thighs fall open after they start quivering just trying to hold themselves up. Derek growls softly. “How ‘bout ordering – and nakedly eating – a crazily greasy, sloppy deep-dish, a shower and a second round?”
It takes surprisingly little for Derek to agree. Mainly just the mentioning of it.
Stiles wakes up five minutes late for work, with his face plastered to his pillow with either drool or come (he’s really hoping it’s drool) and an inability to bend over without feeling a twinge in his lower back. Because he fucked his boss’ brother, because that was a good idea. He groans quietly to himself over his epic (if non-Bran-flavored) poor decision-making skills and rolls over.
Derek’s not in bed with him. His clothes are no longer commingled with Stiles’ on the floor of his bedroom and, worst of all, there’s no sizzling sound or delicious smell of cooking bacon coming from Stiles’ kitchen. Meaning he bagged a dude who made yumminess for a living, got fucked, got cold-hard walk of shamed (without the walking) and didn’t get so much as a bowl of cereal with fresh strawberries out of the deal. What kind of asshole mentions they’re a professional chef and then doesn’t cook?
Stiles snorts to himself, pulling on a shirt that doesn’t smell too rank over his head. An imaginary one, that’s who. No one that hot had ever wanted to bang Stiles before, it stood to reason that that hadn’t changed in the last twenty-four hours. Ah, insanity, at least it would provide a break in his wholegrain-ish monotony.
He drags on pants, brushes his teeth with a glob of toothpaste and his index finger, ignores the (likely psychosomatic) ache in his ass, grabs up his jacket off the chair by the door, nearly strangles himself with his tie and doesn’t realize he’s wearing mismatched shoes until he’s sinking into his desk chair at twenty-three minutes past the hour. Fucking perfect.
There’s a note waiting on his keyboard from Laura that says:
Are you late? You are late. You owe me a Mars bar. Again. Also, taking the day (and weekend) to spend with my socially inept baby brother. (I hope he wasn’t the worst. Ever. I got you the world’s best bear claw* to make up for a night that undoubtedly comprised of monosyllabic grunting and Angel-levels of brood.) I’ll be back in the office on Monday after I’ve dropped him at the airport. Should be around nine at the latest. Thanks for taking him out, Stilinski. I owe you one!**
*Okay, it isn’t the world’s best bear claw, but it’s still pretty darn good.
**No, I am not forgiving the Mars bar debt in repayment.
Stiles sits numbly in his desk chair, staring so hard at the slanted writing that it’s starting to blur, double, scurry off the page entirely. So. It probably, maybe, definitely did happen. And Derek was so thrilled by it that he took off without a word and left Stiles no way to contact him. Not much left up to interpretation there. And that’s definitely a crushing blow to his ego and then some.
He wanders into the break room and finds his bear claw. He eats it bitterly, messily, glumly and with an expression that wouldn’t look out of place on Debbie Downer. He picks it apart and reminds himself that it’s not like he could’ve expected anything else from this whole thing, really. Derek lives in California, he lives in Chicago. That’s pretty much the definition of an insurmountable distance. It was the premise for a bad sitcom – featuring Elisha Cuthbert and Josh Hartnett as two people who shook their fists and gave Skype Eskimo kisses and couldn’t read maps – not a relationship. Just because Derek didn’t stick around, it didn’t mean Stiles was, like, bad in bed or anything. It just meant there was nothing to stick around for. It’s not like he was being heartless, there just wasn’t anything left to say.
They’d had sex, really good sex. (Hopefully.) And that was awesome. That was enough. So Stiles should stop fucking pouting over it because all that happened here was that he got a surprise orgasm with fake-Matthew McConaughey without being forced to try to disarm any emotional landmines afterwards. That was a good deal no matter what angle your neck was cricked at to look at it.
Plus, he’d definitively proven that he was not Weetabix. Weetabix didn’t go out and have one-night stands with sexy strangers. Weetbix called into radio stations seventeen times on a Saturday night to request ‘Endless Love’ until someone inevitably blocked their number, thank you very much.
Stiles has his foot up on the edge of his desk and is reclined as far as his chair will go so he can crane his head back while he drops fistfuls of Frosted Flakes into his mouth, because they’re grrrrrreat – especially in potentially unhealthy quantities, when someone clears their throat from the other side of his desk.
Stiles chomps down on the mountain of cereal in his mouth with an impressive crunch. He could be Frosted Flakes, he decides. He could deal with having a tiger as his spirit animal. Weetabix didn’t even get a spirit animal and how were you supposed to go and get when you didn’t know what animal best represented your going and getting attitude?
He pops back up so his spine’s perpendicular to the floor and his glowery, broody, self-cast Batman snaps with his expression dark and his brows drawn low, “Is Laura in?” Derek sounds furious, like he’s barely got a grip on the fierceness of it, voice carefully – if barely – controlled, and Stiles gapes at him because if anyone gets to be furious it’s the guy who was made to feel totally and completely sexually inadequate, not the guy who got to make the feeling happen.
He doesn’t even wait for an answer before clenching his fists and striding off towards Laura’s office, cutting his gaze purposefully away from the shock and hurt in Stiles’.
He clearly only meant to wait just long enough for Stiles to take note of him and his general air of pissed off-ness before storming off. As though he had any right to any of that.
Asshole, Stiles thinks bitterly and spends the rest of his day angrily cutting up paper snowflakes at his desk. They keep winding up resembling ninja stars or… mangled paper.
He’s not exactly waiting for Derek to come back out, he’s not, but it’s frustrating when quitting time rolls around (and Dr. Frank-N-Furter had totally come by on Stiles’ lunch break and time warped some crap because that was the only explanation for how seven hours had felt like eleventy billion) and Derek still hasn’t reemerged. And Stiles maybe even hangs back a little just to make sure. Which is stupid, because he doesn’t care.
He jabs angrily at the down arrow on the elevator panel, hands jammed in the pockets of his coat. The doors must’ve only just closed because they slide back open after barely a second with an unsettling smoothness. Stiles actually falls back a step as he watches Derek’s head come up, eyes narrowing when they recognize him.
Wellll, screw him.
Stiles isn’t going to be intimidated into taking the stairs. He’s newly anti-Derek but not to an insane degree. He steps purposefully inside and they ride down two floors in silence before Derek purses his lips, clenches his fists inside the pockets of his own dark coat, and says angrily, staring up intensely at the floor numbers, “You didn’t call.”
“Uh, a-huh,” which is just some noise that Stiles makes that hopefully accurately, if not articulately, conveys how much nonsense that just was. “You didn’t leave me your number,” he throws back, because logic is a thing. “You took off without so much as a, ‘thanks for all the banging.’ What, was I supposed to hear the numbers on the breeze or something, divine them from the stars? Are you one of those ‘if you really liked me, you’d know’ people because, I gotta tell you, man, intuiting your contact information is not something I’m capable of.” He sets his mouth, angrily huffing, and looks at the doors rather than at Derek because looking at Derek makes it really easy to remember how amazing he looks naked and sweaty and grinning and with his abdomen contracting as he pumped his hips into Stiles’ ass.
“I left my card on your nightstand,” Derek growls, like he half-believes Stiles is winding him up.
“The fuck you did,” Stiles bursts out, mouth tightening, “I scoured my apartment for—” And there’s really no need to get into that. “Whatever,” he stops himself so hard he nearly gets whiplash from it. “It was nice. We live thousands of miles away from each other so that’s all it was.” He’s told himself that so many times over the last few months that it almost sounds like he’s presenting it to a courtroom.
Derek frowns at him, like he’s potentially changing his stance on how much of a douchebag he should be here. “I left you my number.” He strengthens his resolve and reasserts tightly, “You didn’t call.”
The doors slide open and Stiles feels like ripping out whole chunks of his hair. He whirls on Derek and says, “Oh my God, you did not leave—” he derails himself because they’re getting nowhere with this and narrows his eyes challengingly, “Do you wanna friggin’ bet?”
They end up at Stiles’ apartment while he angrily rearranges the things on his nightstand while furiously narrating, “See, no number, no nothing, nothing here so—” Derek pins him up against his nightstand, thumb on his chin and dragging him close and Stiles has enough time to gasp out, “Oh thank fuck,” before Derek is kissing the ever-loving-fuck out of him.
The sex is better than Stiles remembers and Stiles has built that shit up, created a space in his head that was all THX and HD and a little bit 3-D and the reality still smokes it. And this time it even comes with breakfast that is like an orgasm in and of itself.
“There’s bacon,” Stiles says happily, shifting on the stool in his kitchen until he finds a way to sit where he’s not constantly reminding himself of how much of a pounding his ass took five hours ago. He’s tilted at, like, a thirty-three degree angle but he thinks it makes the food taste better. Once he can finally convince himself to wreck the presentation, that is.
Derek gives him an askance look and says, “Is it even breakfast without bacon?”
It is not.
Stiles has to clamp down on asking Derek what kind of china patterns he wants at their wedding. He walks him the three feet to the door after he’s eaten literally everything Derek’s hands have touched that was even potentially edible, including a piece of grass that had been stuck to his shoe that he thought was parsley.
Whatever. It was worth the inevitable all-day nausea that would swoop in every time he remembered it.
Derek tilts Stiles’ chin up with his thumb, sucks in his lower lip and lingers on it. He pulls away with an apologetic grimace. Stiles gets it, mirrors it. Derek is still, ostensibly, there to see Laura and he’s as tied up with her as he was the last time.
The gods of sex are totally smiling on them though. Stiles goes into the coffee shop for a mid-day pick me up that day (hot chocolate, he’s entitled), and inexplicably catches Derek’s intense stare from where he’s having lunch with Laura in the middle of the floor. Stiles sucks him off in the handicapped bathroom and manages to slip out without Laura ever knowing he was there.
Derek stays until Monday morning, waits until Laura inevitably gets caught up in something and pushes Stiles into a supply closet for some knee-weakening, lip-sweating, hands-shaking frotting. Stiles comes on the front of Derek’s pants and isn’t even sorry about it. He can’t keep the goofy grin off his face long enough to even fake an apologetic grimace.
Derek scowls at him – because that’s what Derek does, default-Derek got very few of the personality enhancements human beings regularly come programmed with. It’s growing on Stiles. He reaches into Stiles’ pants pocket and drags out his phone. A few angry jabs of his thumb later and he hands it back, all his contact information saved.
He doesn’t text Stiles until he’s on his way to the airport to say:
So Stiles does.
Derek picks up and Stiles can practically hear the roll of his eyes. “I didn’t mean now.” It’s harder to hear the smile but Stiles is starting to learn the sound of it.
“You should be more specific,” he quips, spring in his step.
This whole thing with Derek is doomed. It’s a depressing way to start off his week but at least Stiles was finding out sooner rather than later. Seriously though. Who didn’t like Repo! The Genetic Opera? Because Stiles would’ve sworn up until this very moment that that wasn’t even a legitimate state of being. He texts Derek back furiously.
Well, you’re wrong. Like, monumentally. Like, people ARE GOING to build a monument to your wrongness as a universal example of what it looks like. Because I did take an informal poll and it looks like everyone in the world disagrees with you. And they want to take your chef hat. They need it. One, for the statue they’ll be building depicting how much you suck. And two, for the effigy they’ll be burning in the town square tomorrow as soon as they get the dimensions right.
He shoves his phone back in his pocket with a smirk because he totally won that exchange and catches sight of Laura sitting, stewing, in her desk chair as he passes by her door. Technically, he’s off the clock and he glances longingly down the hallway before deciding he can spare a few minutes for whatever is fueling Laura’s turmoil. Then it was right back to masturbating with Derek’s heavy breaths in his ear, video games to improve his wrist tension (he needed it with the work-out he was giving it lately) and verbally poking Scott in the eye because reasons.
He shoulders up against the doorframe and says, “Are you a Russian spy? Did your cover get blown? I have a fake passport for District One that I got in a cereal box and I would be willing to lend it to you. Here are the details: your name is now ‘Glimmer’ and you’re kind of a dick.”
Laura rolls her eyes and her mouth doesn’t un-purse. She leans into her computer screen and says, like she’s actively trying to talk herself out of it, “I think Derek’s… dating.”
“Oh,” Stiles squeaks. Because he is the definition of suave. He runs a hand over his short hair because his scalp is tingling and that’s not okay.
“He doesn’t date.”
“People change.” Did his voice somehow get higher and squeakier?
She huffs out a rather mean laugh, perks an eyebrow at Stiles. “You met Derek, did he look like someone who is capable of change?”
Stiles can’t say anything. He and Derek haven’t talked about this yet, about telling Laura, telling anyone. Their situation was still, on the surface, one of light-hearted, long distance fun and they hadn’t discussed changing that. Stiles sure as shit isn’t going to have this conversation with Derek’s sister before he does with Derek.
“He’s a notoriously shit judge of character. His last girlfriend—she’s in prison now and Derek put her there, and the one before that was even worse.” Laura’s expression is dark and she’s so freaking related to Derek, it’s ridiculous.
Stiles teeters on the edge of Laura’s office because he shouldn’t be hearing any of this from her. “This could be good for him?” he tries with a shrug of his shoulder, thinking sternly to himself: I will be good for him.
Laura snorts and challenges, “Look at this blonde hussy, does she look like she could be good for anyone?”
Stiles’ eyes widen and he scrambles into the room, all graceless gazelle legs and bumps up against Laura’s shoulder as he stares hard at the girl kissing Derek’s cheek in the photo Laura’s looking at. There’s a small album, maybe six or seven pictures, all of the two of them. The cheek-kissing is by far the most incriminating but it feels as horrible to Stiles as if they’re mid-fuck.
He swallows down bile and backs up a step, the world around him blurring. “Yeah. She looks like—” a home-wrecking bitch… who’s one-thousand times more suited to Derek’s arm than Stiles ever could be, “bad news.”
Laura nods, like all her suspicions have just been confirmed and Stiles thumbs over his shoulder, croaks, “I’m gonna head out,” as she enlarges one picture after the next to investigate this girl – tagged with the, rather unattractive, name ‘Erica Reyes.’ Stiles hasn’t hated someone he’s never met so much since John Mayer.
Something in his voice must give him away because Laura turns around with a frown that’s half-curious and half-concerned. Stiles waves her off with a brittle smile and drags his feet over to the elevators.
His phone vibrates in his pocket as soon as the doors close.
He waits until he’s back at his apartment to slump down on his bed and sniff hard. He pulls out his phone, ignores the new message from Derek and deletes his number. Does it like a Band-Aid, quick but not painless. He pulls up his dad’s number, hits call and says as soon as it connects, “Are you still up for the seven cats plan, because I’m bringing that back.”
He must sound bad because his dad doesn’t speak for a full minute but Stiles can hear the creaking sound of leather as he gets up from his chair and the soft snick of him closing what must be his office door before he says heavily, “What happened, kid?”
“A case,” Stiles repeats blandly, narrowing his eyes at his dad, squinting so hard it’s bound to give him a headache soon.
“A cooperative case, between Chicago and Beacon Hills,” his dad clarifies with a gruff throat clear.
“Call in small-town law enforcement a lot, do they?”
His dad gives up the ghost of ever getting Stiles to buy into this and shrugs. “If I’m to have feline grand-cats then I think I should get to help pick out the little furballs otherwise I’ll end up with one of those hairless things that bring back unpleasant memories of that Marilyn Manson guy you were into for a while there when you were thirteen.” He frowns, as though reliving past trauma. “Really glad that one was short-lived, kiddo.”
“I told you I was getting rescues, preferably ones with serious medical issues so I can build my life around them,” Stiles explains again.
His dad rolls his eyes. “How about lunch first? I brought Parrish with me just to get the department to go in for this interdepartmental mumbo-jumbo. Be nice.”
Stiles’ eyes widen. “Why would you do this to me?”
His dad lifts his shoulders. “Pretty obvious there’s some heartbreak involved here, kid, and you two were always good together.”
“You—You meddler,” Stiles hisses just as Jordan rounds the corner, smiling his boyish smile and looking weirdly pleasant. Stiles has gotten far too used to default scowling. He shakes the thought away. He hasn’t spoken to Derek in two months and he doesn’t need to fall back into thinking about him constantly.
“Hey, Stiles,” Jordan says, looking between him and his dad before hitching his smile up higher, hands on his duty belt.
Stiles tries to smile but he’s sure it’s more of a grimace than anything else.
“John?” his dad asks, being utterly unsubtle about leaving them alone and Stiles glowers at him as he points down the hall.
Jordan clears his throat as soon as his dad’s out of sight and Stiles has no idea what to expect here because this, right here, unprecedented. He’d been the one to dump Jordan because Jordan had gotten way more intense about them than Stiles was. He maintained it was simply a case of bad timing, just out of high school, first boyfriend and Jordan had started talking about transferring to Chicago with him and living together and a million things Stiles just was not ready for.
Laura storms out of her office just as Jordan opens his mouth. She doesn’t bother to look at the deputy standing next to Stiles, decked out in full uniform, and snaps, “No long lunches today, all right? I’m not dealing with Peter anything less than fully prepared and I’m forwarding my cell phone to your desk. If it rings and it’s Derek, you do not put him through, you hear me? I am so tired of that little shit taking out his re-fucking-lentless bad mood on me. If he calls then I’m out of the damn office, okay?”
“Er, hi,” Jordan offers to the frazzled woman standing in front of him and Stiles has to fight the urge to hide him behind his back when Laura turns with an ominous slowness, drags her eyes up and down the uniform and simply raises her lip in a nasty sneer before stomping back to her office and slamming the door. Jordan perks both eyebrows. “She seems…”
“She’s great,” Stiles defends instantly, because Laura is. “She’s just got… family issues right now.” He looks at Jordan head-on for the first time in a long while now and has no idea what to say.
Jordan coughs into a closed fist and says, “I never really apologized for putting you in the position I did when we were dating. I came along because I thought it was about time I did.”
“What?” Jordan apologize to him? No, but really, what?
“I knew you were only just starting out but I—I forgot that in favor of my own feelings and it wasn’t fair to put that on you. I’m sorry.”
“You didn’t do anything wrong,” Stiles tells him honestly.
Jordan shakes his head, disagreeing. “I put a lot of pressure on you and I knew better than that, at least when we started out.” He huffs out a laugh at the look on Stiles’ face and says, “Stiles, just take the apology.”
Stiles narrows his eyes dubiously. “Fine, apology accepted but it feels like a gross overpayment on a miniscule debt.”
“I can live with that,” Jordan says and his stance relaxes. He bumps Stiles with his elbow, asks, “Doing all right with school?”
Stiles lets out a relieved breath and grins. They hadn’t been this at ease with each other since before they dated, when Stiles would come into the station and play Minesweeper over Jordan’s shoulder, convincing him to click all the wrong boxes and sniggering about how he was never going to make it to sheriff if he kept setting off every bomb in his vicinity. “Yeah, I’ve changed my major about seventeen times,” he says wryly, because literally anyone could have predicted that of him, “but, other than that, I’ve got the whole thing pretty locked down.”
He settles into his desk chair, spinning slightly, and Jordan half-sits, half-leans up against the edge of his desk.
“How’s Beacon Hills?” Stiles asks, throat going tight. Even though there’s no way Jordan is going to mention Derek and he’s just being an idiot.
“It’s good,” Jordan says, almost like he’s agreeing. He grins. “Looking after your dad, as requested.” He taps his fingers against his belt. “I thought maybe you’d come home more than you have. I miss you,” he adds simply. And it’s not demanding anything or trying to prey on any guilt Stiles might have, just stating a fact.
Stiles has missed him too. But he’d missed him sitting in the same room with him after they’d split up. This is the first time in ages that he’s actually felt like he could talk to him. “I miss you too sometimes,” he admits. “I—”
Jordan leans down and presses a chaste kiss to his lips, thumb and forefinger holding onto his chin before he pulls back. It’s a kiss Stiles has given Scott before, on New Year’s Eves when neither of them had dates and Christmas mornings trapped beneath mistletoe – friendly. “I don’t have any hard feelings,” Jordan tells him, clearing his throat, “if you thought—if that was a concern.”
And it kind of was. Stiles hadn’t even known it was there until the weight’s lifted. He gives Jordan a grateful half-smile. At least he can go home again, even if he still can’t have the thing he really wants.
His dad’s hand claps down on his shoulder before Stiles can open his mouth to call Jordan an ass for waiting so long to tell him or thank him for telling him or both. His dad very carefully doesn’t look between them and says with a warm smile, “Ready to go, kiddo?”
Stiles wrinkles his nose over an answering grin and says, “Yep, yeah, ready.” He stands and hugs his dad around the shoulders because his plan to make Stiles less miserable sort of worked, though not in the way he meant it to, and he deserves the props for it.
Stiles is smack in the middle of an all-day America’s Next Top Model marathon – and fuck if Michelle doesn’t need to get her shit together. People in iron lungs don’t have as many medical problems as this girl – when there’s a knock on his door. Well, more like a heavy banging and it totally has a ‘we call you heretic!’ vibe to it.
And Stiles really needs to stop watching The History Channel at three in the morning if it’s going to soak into his subconscious like this. “No one’s going to accuse you of being a witch,” he mutters to himself under his breath, amending, “at least not today.” He hadn’t done anything remotely magic-ish today. Just ate Swedish Fish, listened to Tyra Banks dispense timeless wisdom and avoided his bedroom. His regular Saturday.
Yeah. So what if he was Weetabix again, or always was, or something in between? Weetabix never had to feel bad about itself, Weetabix knew what it wanted and what it wanted was to be boring and cardboard-y and not sleep with gorgeous strangers who made you feel things only to have stupid girlfriends on the side.
Weetabix for 2018 was Stiles’ new position on that whole thing.
He opens his door, glowering – because that’s what he does now, free hand shoved halfway down a box of Swedish Fish and Tyra saying, ‘You’re still in the running towards becoming America’s Next Top Model,’ in the background and Derek panting in his doorway in the foreground.
Stiles blinks stupidly and half-wonders if he conjured the guy out of pure loneliness. The guy holding a short, stubby, dripping bouquet of really unimpressive flowers.
Derek straightens up and thrusts them at him almost violently, dragging his jacket back up onto his shoulder as soon as Stiles has blankly grabbed them. His eyes are pinched, owlish, and he swallows like he’s trying to shove back down a lot more than saliva. “Erica is not,” he waves his hands, catches a breath, “Laura said—She showed you those pictures on my Facebook? But Erica is just a friend.” He grimaces. “A friend who’s helping me scout new restaurant locations and you must not have even looked at the photos that well because all of them were taken about a mile away from your stupid, far away from anything apartment.”
He looks up sharply, like he’s trying to gauge how this has all hit but Stiles can barely even breathe, let alone think.
“You could’ve just asked instead of—” He huffs a breath through his nose angrily. “I guess it doesn’t fucking matter now, right? Since you’re making out with cops every chance you get.”
“What?” Stiles squawks out. “I’m not, I don’t even—I haven’t made out with anyone since you, you asshole.”
Derek looks up, victorious but brows still drawn low like there are still questions he can’t answer and that was a fucking trap. The dick. “Laura said, at dinner, after the Erica nonsense—She said she saw you kiss someone. In the office. When your dad was there.”
Stiles hadn’t even remembered until this moment, it had been such a nothing thing. “An ex-boyfriend,” he explains, his heart starting to claw its way up his throat and making it really hard to talk around the lump of it. “It wasn’t a—It didn’t mean anything.” And, well, it did. But not what Derek thought.
Finally Derek’s words begin to sink in, spinning around deftly like a Tetris piece coming down into a hard and last minute fit. Like an atomic blast, it whites out all the bullshit that was stacked up in Stiles’ brain. Derek’s single, Stiles is single and he’s potentially moving to Chicago, where Stiles lives. Derek’s moving to be with Stiles. Because a guy doesn’t ditch dinner with his sister and run up eight flights of stairs with stolen flowers for anything less than the satisfying end to a Matthew McConaughey/Selina Kyle rom-com.
“You’re crazy about me,” Stiles tells him. “Literally crazy, turning your whole life upside down just to see if this works.” He gestures between them.
“You’re crazier,” Derek retorts, grinning madly as he steps up into Stiles’ space. “You tried to convince me to make out with you in an elevator the very first time we met.”
“I did no—” Stiles starts indignantly only to have the words get swallowed up in the heat of Derek’s mouth, the breath for them get knocked out of him by strong arms coming around his waist, the thought behind them dissolve at the pure happiness of having Derek this close again. “You’re so stupid,” he says around sloppily kissing Derek, hitching his legs up around his waist, “Stupid to think there could be anyone else. Batman always wins, idiot. And they just gave Matthew McConaughey a damn Oscar.”
“So you’re saying Selina Kyle’s the loser here then?” He snorts up against the skin behind Stiles’ ear, nuzzling the fine hairs there and.
There’s a note from Laura in her epically slanted handwriting waiting for him on his desk the next morning and Stiles can’t help but chuckle reading it.
Derek seems happy. Keep him that way and I won’t have to blacklist you from every job in the greater Chicago area, or put out a Craigslist ad claiming you have the last two Miley Cyrus tickets for her sold-out tour.
Stiles actually shivers at the threat of the latter before flicking his eyes down to the post-script.
I hope you enjoy the flowers that Derek stole from the restaurant’s centerpiece to woo you back when I told him I caught you macking on someone else.
You, Stiles Stilinski, are not Weetabix and it’s okay.
Stiles feels his heart pull a Grinch and swell three sizes. He carefully tears along the bottom of the note, just enough to separate the last line from it and tapes it to the top of his computer monitor, grinning.
He takes a picture of it and shoots it off to Scott with the message, Back down to Defcon five, buddy, singing under his breath, “My marshmallows bring all the boys to the yard.”