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a favourable answer

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To say Derek scares Stiles is an understatement. Derek terrifies Stiles, and this is only partly because the man has six inch long metal claws in his hands. The other part is because Derek totally has it out for Stiles.

"No, really!" Stiles protests, when Scott bursts out laughing. "He follows me everywhere, lurking, okay, lurking and plotting my death, I just know it. And seriously, it's not like I knew that was his rocky road, do you seriously think I would have eaten Derek's rocky road? I don't have a deathwish."

"He's not trying to kill you," Scott argues, and Stiles scoffs.

"Sure he's not. He's probably trying to figure out how to make it look like an accident." The Professor frowns upon mutant-upon-mutant homicide, Stiles is pretty sure.

"No," Scott says, and raises his eyebrows, the way he does when he tries to say something very meaningful and significant. "I mean, he's not trying to kill you." 

"You say tomato, I say murder."

"No, Stiles. Derek. Is not. Trying to murder you."

"Are you okay?" Stiles is pretty sure repeating yourself is a sign of stroke.

Scott slumps in his seat. "Allison said I couldn't tell you."

"That Derek is trying to kill me?!"

"No! That... he's not trying to kill you. Just following you. The thing I can't tell you."

"Not following," Stiles sighs, and lets his head hit the tabletop. "Doomed," he moans, and then makes a little ball of ice in the palm of his hand to press to his forehead, because ow, that hurt.

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In English Stiles sits behind Lydia, she of the (literally) flaming red hair and utter terrifying intellect. It makes concentrating even more difficult that normal, but Stiles could probably pass a high school English class, like, yesterday, so he really only panics when he gets cold-called. Or when Derek shows up. Again.

Stiles has a moment where he wants to protest - "He doesn't even go here!" - because Derek is like, technically really old and eternally a very stubbly twenty-something, and definitely way past needing to take high school English. But Derek is also the school's first line of security - excepting when Isaac's flighty but admittedly powerful precognitive instincts kick in, in which case everyone should run for the fucking hills - so Derek has a free run of pretty much whereever he wants. 

Minus the room Stiles shares with Scott.

Though Stiles is pretty sure Derek paces that hallway fairly exclusively.

Stiles spends the rest of the period staring at Lydia's flickering hair, but the only thing he really feels is the weight of Derek's gaze on his back.

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"I'm gonna go talk to Derek," Stiles announces, and is completely unprepared for the way Scott's face brightens.

"Awesome!" he says, and grins, and why is Stiles's best friend so happy about his imminent death? "I knew you'd figure it out."

"I figured," Stiles says haughtily. "That I would face my death with dignity. In the hour of my own choosing."

"Is that from a movie?" Scott asks, attention already back to his sandwich, and Stiles has to stop and watch for a second because, really, if you've never seen a half-man, half-wolf scarf down a turkey sandwich on rye, you should really pencil it in.

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Derek is actually kind of an expert lurker, for also being a bit of a stalker, and the only place Stiles can think of to actually ambush him is the kitchen at five-thirty in the godforsaken morning, when he gets in from his runs.

"So," he says, and Derek freezes. Carton of orange juice halfway to his mouth - note to self, if Stiles lives through this, the orange juice is also Derek's. "You've kind of been stalking me."

Derek jerks his shoulders up. "No I haven't."

It's the most bald-faced, horribly told lie Stiles has seen since the time Scott tried to convince his mother his mutation was a Halloween costume he was trying out. In March. That he couldn't take off.

"You can hear yourself lie right now, right?" Stiles asks, and the faintest tinge of red appears on the top of Derek's cheekbones. "Like, you hear how bad that was."

"Yes," Derek growls, stalks over to the kitchen table.

"Because I think I've heard small children lie better. Small children trying to blame their messes on imaginary friends," Stiles continues, until he's pretty sure he sees the glint of metal between Derek's knuckles, oh shit. "Right, so. Original point. You've been stalking me."

"Yes," Derek grits out.

"Just, uhm. Could you not? Please?"

"Yes," Derek says again. Pushes through his teeth. "I'll stop. We done?"

"Yes?" Stiles says, because this is not exactly how he expected it to go. It's very confusing. "Yeah, that's -"

"Sorry," Derek adds, quietly. 

"Uh," Stiles says, because something here Does Not Compute. Derek doesn't apologize. Like, ever. Even when he crashed Professor Harris's motorcycle - which couldn't actually have happened to a nicer person, heh. "It's okay? I mean, it's creepy, a bit, don't get me wrong. But don't feel like you have to run off into the woods and go all feral again, or anything. It's a big mansion." Stiles isn't trying to send the guy into a mental breakdown for the second time in a year. Coming back from going feral isn't a simple thing - hell, Peter still hasn't managed it.

"It is," Derek agrees, and something about the set of his shoulders is a little easier. 

"Glad we had this little chat," Stiles says, and flees.

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Stiles can only take Scott making sad puppy eyes at him for so long. It's gotten particularly worse ever since he actually sprouted those adorable little fangs.

"What?" he asks, and Scott just shakes his head.

"I can't tell you."

"What use are you then, jeez." Stiles sulks for a minute. "Seriously though, it's been like this - "

Oh.

"Why are you giving me the puppy eyes for Derek?"

Scott shrugs. "I couldn't say."

"Oh my God," Stiles says, and throws up his hands. "It's not like these are state secrets, for fuck's sake, I'm about to go ask Erica to do a card reading."

Stiles brow furrows. "But she blows up the cards."

"I'm desperate!" Stiles hisses. "I am confused!"

"Derek isn't."

"Desperate? Or confused?"

Scott pauses. "Both. Neither. Derek's neither."

"So he's...?"

Scott shrugs. "Lonely, maybe."

"Lonely," Stiles says flatly. "Are you telling me - was that some weirdo Twilight shit?"

"Couldn't tell you."

"Scott!"

"No, seriously, I have no idea what that means. Allison prefers The Vampire Diaries," Scott says, serious, and Stiles takes a minute to practice his deep breathing.

"I'm gonna go talk to him again," Stiles decides. "Like. Right now."

"He's teaching in the Danger Room today," Scott says, and gives him the thumbs up.

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"So you like me," is Stiles's brilliant opener. In his defense, he's not great on his feet sometimes.

Derek freezes again, and Stiles continues before Derek can continue with one of his terrible attempts at lying.

"You could have just said."

Derek stares at him for a minute. "I'm not really great with - talking," and Stiles laughs, because wow, so true.

"Sorry!" he says, when Derek's face darkens. "I mean, yeah, I agree, but - six words, really, maybe seven if you wanted to personalize."

"Six words?"

"Will you go out with me," Stiles prompts. "Plus, you know, the upward inflection on the end to indicate a question."

Derek stares at him for so long that Stiles thinks he might he bungled this entirely.

"Stiles," he says. "Will you go out with me."

Not quite a question, Stiles thinks. Grins. Because hey, they'll work on it.