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Off the Menu

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‘I don’t get why he comes here,’ Stiles sighs when he sees Derek walk into the restaurant. He’s not complaining, Derek is beautiful, has a dry sense of humour, is always nice to Stiles, and he’s a great tipper. Stiles congratulates himself on hiding the crush he’s been developing since the first time they talked. He doesn’t want to ruin the friendship he’s been cultivating with the man. ‘He doesn’t even like seafood. He’s told me. Multiple times.’

‘It makes you think he’s not really coming for the food,’ Lydia says.

Stiles frowns. ‘It’s a restaurant. Why else would he come here?’

There’s a collective groan from all of his colleagues close enough to listen in on their conversation.

‘What?’ Stiles asks, looking around.

‘This isn’t your breakroom!’ Chef Finstock yells. ‘Move those legs!’

Stiles grabs the plates for one of his orders and moves away from his horrible, secret keeping friends. He waves at Derek when he passes by him. He’s about to write up Derek’s standard order of steak, fries and red wine, when he realizes that his entire section is full. Derek will have to sit in Lydia’s section.

The next time he walks by Derek, the man scowling at the couple sitting at his usual table. Stiles squeezes his shoulder in silent support.

‘Hey, Lyds? Can I take one of your tables?’ he asks when he passes her.

‘I’m assuming you mean the one with Derek. So, no. You always rave about his tips. It’s time I got some of that,’ she says, her red lips pulling up in a smirk.

Stiles looks at Derek with a sad expression, but it can’t be helped.

He spends the entire time Derek is there glancing at the man. It really sucks that Derek isn’t sitting at one of his tables tonight. The man looks more broody and sad than he usually does. Stiles hopes nothing’s wrong.


Two hours later, Stiles is tired and his feet hurt, but his pockets are full of tips. He can actually eat vegetables this week. His body is starting to resent all the noodles and fries he puts in it.

‘Stiles,’ a voice says from next to the back entrance of the restaurant.

‘Oh my g-’ Stiles jumps and clutches his heart. ‘Hey, Derek. What are you doing here? Everything okay?’

‘Yes. Lydia told me when you’re shift ended.’

‘Okay.’ Why would Lydia do that?

‘And she gave me your number.’

‘She ga-’ Oh no. Lydia had promised she was done setting him up, and now she had blabbed about his crush on one of his friends to said friend.

‘Should she not have done that?’ Derek asks. He’d seemed confident before, but now his voice wavers with uncertainty.

Stiles looks closer at the man. A blush is spreading on Derek’s cheeks, and he tries to hide it by ducking his head. Maybe…

‘That depends on what you were planning on doing with it.’

‘I was going to ask you out,’ Derek says, peeking up from under his eyebrows.

‘Then I’m glad she did,’ Stiles grins.