Stiles slid into his usual booth, placing his laptop on the table in front of him. This particular booth wasn’t in the best spot. He would have preferred the one by the window. Against the wall underneath the table of his booth was a plug in, though, and if he didn’t want his laptop to die, that’s where he was going to have to sit.
Just as he pulled open his laptop and typed in his password, a cup of coffee was placed a bit roughly on the table beside his arm. Liquid sloshed over the top, spilling onto the table beside it. His server didn’t make any move to clean it up or apologize.
“Always so hospitable, Derek,” Stiles commented, not looking up.
“You’ve got two hours and I’ll physically lift you out of your booth.” Derek told him.
Stiles laughed and pulled up his word processor. “What if I order pie?”
“Like you ever order anything but coffee.” He could almost hear Derek rolling his eyes. Those eyes that were a really nice, not that Stiles cared, because Derek might have nice eyes, but his personality? It needed some work.
“I know you love my company so much, but I’ve actually got a really important paper that I left until the last minute, so if you could just, you know, leave me alone?” Stiles said, finally looking up.
Derek was wearing a tight black t-shirt and jeans, a pen tucked over his ear and a pad of paper hanging out of his back pocket, and a nametag clipped to his chest. He was ridiculously attractive, as always. It was really unfair, actually, given the fact that it was almost one in the morning, and Stiles was pretty sure his shirt was wrinkled by now, and his eyes were probably droopy and tired-looking.
Derek let out an annoyed huff and turned on the spot, heading for the back of the room. “Don’t forget my pie!” Stiles called after him.
Winston Diner, named after the street it was on, was open 24/7 and, in all the time Stiles had went there, Derek seemed the be the only waiter on staff after eleven at night. He’d never been served by anyone else, unfortunately.
He and Derek didn’t really get along. Derek was more likely to grunt or sigh at Stiles, and Stiles apparently overstayed his welcome at the diner all the time. But, as he’d pointed out numerous times, there was no rule anywhere that said he couldn’t stay for hours, as long as the booth wasn’t needed by anyone else. And since Stiles was usually the only one ever there after midnight, it wasn’t really an issue.
But Winston also had the best coffee Stiles had ever tasted, and the food was pretty good, too, when Stiles bothered to order any. And, they had free wifi. It was a lot easier to just go there, order a cup of coffee-- three cream, one sugar-- and do his work there, instead of back at his dorm room, where his roommate was always distracting him. Even if Derek didn’t like him.
Most of the time, Derek would just complain while he refilled Stiles’ coffee, and then walk off in a huff. Only on a bad day, the kind where they didn’t exchange any comfortable, only slightly hostile banter, that Derek was an issue. On those days, he gave Stiles the evil eyes-- and they were frightening, okay?-- and Stiles ended up leaving early anyways, because he couldn’t pay enough attention to his work.
Thankfully, tonight was not one of those nights. And Derek brought him the pie.
“It’s apple.” he said, planting the plate right on Stiles’ keyboard.
Stiles jumped, too engrossed in his typing to notice Derek coming up behind him. He grabbed the plate and quickly lifted it off his computer, shooting a glare at Derek before looking back down at the pie. “Is it good?”
Derek shrugged. “Everything’s good.” He said emotionlessly.
Stiles raised an eyebrow. “Is that true, or is it in the job description to lie about that?”
Derek rolled his eyes, but his lip quirked up just a bit. Stiles didn’t miss it. “I haven’t tried it, but I’m sure it’s fine.”
“Really?” Stiles asked, picking up his fork. He spooned up a bit of the pie and held it out to Derek invitingly. “Want to find out?”
Derek’s eyes dropped to the fork, then went back to Stiles’ eyes, and then, for just a second, to his lips. Derek turned on his heel and walked away. Stiles grinned to himself and ate the pie. It was good, actually. Really good. Derek was missing out.
Two nights later Stiles stumbled into the diner, clutching his laptop bag to his chest. The rest of him was soaked; his sweater clung to his back, the bottoms of his pants were drenched, and he’d had enough water running down his face to blind him for the last block.
His laptop bag was hopefully water proof. He wasn’t sure, but if he’d somehow fried his computer, he was going to cry, and cry hard, and possibly throw himself to the ground. He wasn’t being dramatic. That laptop was his life.
“Is it raining?” Derek asked innocently, raising an eyebrow, a smirk on his face.
“Obviously.” Stiles hissed. “It wasn’t when I left the dorm, but I got halfway here and it started pouring.” He shivered. “Is it cold in here tonight, or is it just me?”
Derek leaned forward and pinched the material of Stiles’ sweater. When he pulled his hand away his fingers were slick with water. “I’m going to guess that it’s just you.” He said, wiping his hand on his jeans.
“You’re hilarious.” Stiles said dryly. He moved past Derek, his shoulder knocking into the other man’s. He hoped there was a nice wet spot there because of it. “Does your boss realize you’re an asshole?” Stiles called over his shoulder as he walked to his booth. “Or is that particular part of your personality reserved only for me?”
Derek followed him to his booth. “So it’s name calling today. Somebody’s a little under the weather, huh?”
Stiles’ glared at him. “Coffee. Black.” He said in a clipped tone.
Derek chuckled and actually started doing his job. Stiles pulled his laptop out of his bag and examined it. Thankfully, it was okay. He wished he could say the same about his uncomfortably wet pants-- and boxers-- but sadly, he could not. And Derek’s little jokes? Not helping.
He was already typing away furiously when Derek returned with his coffee. “Finally,” Stiles breathed, reaching for it without looking up.
When a bowl appeared beside the cup, he frowned and looked up, but Derek was already walking away. Stiles looked down at the steaming bowl of soup, confused. He hadn’t known they even made soup this late.
And it was almost… nice of Derek, to bring him that. Stiles picked up his spoon and took a sip. It was warm and perfect, just what he needed. The only thing wrong with it was that it made Stiles feel guilty for being rude to Derek, and he didn’t like that. He and Derek were rude to each other. That’s what they did. But this? Bringing him soup? That was nice. And Stiles didn’t know what to do with a nice Derek.
So he did the best he could, by packing up after he was done and leaving an extra big tip on the table, not even staying for a single coffee refill. He’d just have to finish the rest of his paper in his dorm room, and hope that Kevin didn’t have his girlfriend over, or music playing, like he usually did.
“You left pretty early last night.” Derek commented as he poured another refill of coffee into Stiles’ cup. His expression was cool, disinterested, but there was a slight tightness to his tone.
“Oh, yeah, um, I had somewhere I needed to be.” Stiles said quickly, praying that his cheeks didn’t flush.
“At one in the morning. While it was raining.” Derek stated.
“It was kind of an emergency.” Stiles lied. He couldn’t just say that he’d bolted because Derek had done something nice for him, and he had no idea how to react to it. “I left more than enough to cover my bill though, right?”
Derek nodded. “The soup was on the house.” He said before walking away to take the order of a couple who were giggling and clinging to each other. If Stiles had to bet, he’d say that Derek would get a nice whiff of alcohol when he walked over to them.
The thing is, Stiles tried to get to work. He really did. And his paper for Markson that was due in two days was really his top priority. Except he kept watching Derek as he moved through the diner, carrying first a pot of coffee to the table of the giggling couple, and then a couple plates, piled with the Breakfast Smash -- a special that was really just every type of breakfast meat available, with eggs any style, toast, and hash browns.
When Derek came back to his table, holding the pot of coffee and three tiny little creamer containers, Stiles shifted in his seat and twirled his pen in his hand. “So, um.” he started as Derek topped off his cup without even asking. “I, erm, probably should have thanked you yesterday. For the soup.” He clarified.
Derek shrugged and Stiles swallowed. “It wasn’t a big deal. It looked like you needed it.”
“I did, and it was great.” Stiles agreed. “So, like I said, thanks.”
Derek nodded and looked like he was about to turn away, so Stiles thrust his hand out at him. Derek raised an eyebrow at it and Stiles let it drop. It was probably a good thing, actually, because Stiles’ hand was sweating, and he had no idea why. It wasn’t like he was nervous around Derek. He didn’t even like Derek. He only tolerated him, because he had to. Nobody else ever worked at this freaking diner.
“My name is Stiles.” He said anyways, continuing on the introduction, even if Derek didn’t shake his hand.
“Stiles.” Derek repeated, that half smile on his face, the one he did when Stiles said something that amused him, but he looked like he didn’t want to admit it.
“Don’t ask. It’s a very long, very sappy story.” Stiles grinned.
Derek opened his mouth to say something but there was a loud smashing sound, and both of them turned to see the giggling couple staring morosely down at a broken cup on the floor, and a ring of coffee surrounding it. Derek sighed angrily and started towards them, and Stiles went back to attempting to finish his work.
Friday was the first Bad Day Derek had had in about a week, if Stiles remembered correctly. Not that he, like, paid that much attention. That would be weird. He didn’t like Derek, okay?
He could tell from the moment he walked into the dinner and Derek’s eyes narrowed on him, the set of his shoulders was tense, his lips were pursed. Stiles’ own shoulders slumped as he headed towards his booth, and Derek was on him before he even set himself up.
“You’ve got forty minutes and then I’m going into the back and shutting off the internet modem.” Derek warned, slamming a coffee cup down on the table. He didn’t bring any cream, and Stiles couldn’t drink sugared coffee without cream, so apparently he was drinking it black tonight.
“Okay.” Stiles said slowly, like he was talking to a child, or a caged animal. “What if I ordered something besides coffee?” He ventured, raising his eyebrows.
“Then you have twenty minutes after your plate is cleared to get out, or else I’m turning the modem off and charging you a dollar for every minute you take up that booth.”
Stiles’ eyes widened. “You can’t do that!”
The grin on Derek’s face was not a happy one. “Actually, I can.” He said, pulling out his pad of paper. “Are you ordering something, or are you leaving in forty minutes?”
Stiles sighed. “Can I at least get a menu?”
Derek glared at him and literally stomped off, the soles of his boots slapping loudly on the ground. When he returned he practically threw the menu at Stiles. “You know,” Stiles started as he flipped through the menu, Derek watching his every move like a hawk, “I’m totally sending in a complaint to your manager one of these days.”
Derek snorted. “You do that.”
“I’ll have the breakfast sandwich.” Stiles said after a moment, folding the menu closed. “And some cream for my coffee, if that’s not too much trouble.” He added sarcastically.
Guessing from Derek’s expression, it was too much trouble. He tugged the menu back out of Stiles’ hands and headed towards the swinging doors that led to the kitchen, instead of calling the order through the long, wide window between the main diner and the kitchen.
Stiles watched him go, for once the smell of bacon permeating in the air making him feel sick. He kind of wished he hadn’t ordered anything. He should have just finished his coffee, paid, and left like he usually did when Derek was like this. But for some reason, he was staying.
Stiles used to come to Winston’s to do work in a calm place where he wasn’t distracted. Now, he found himself spending more time paying attention to the moody waiter than anything else. That was becoming a problem.
“Original sausage breakfast sandwich,” Derek said robotically, placing the plate in front of him. “Anything else?”
Stiles bit his lip, trying to hold back his words, but he ended up blurting, “Maybe an explanation for your sudden attitude tonight?” instead.
Derek blinked at him, and Stiles could see the muscles in his jaw working as he ground his teeth together. “And you think I owe you one?” He asked finally.
Stiles crossed his arms over his chest, leaving his food, for the moment, untouched. “Maybe. I don’t know. I guess not. I just-- yeah, you know what? Never mind. I honestly don’t care.”
Derek’s lips quirked up in a sarcastic smile and he walked away, the sound of the kitchen door slamming behind him echoing through the place.
Stiles rolled his eyes but picked up his sandwich. That, at least, was good.
The minute he was done eating, Derek swooped in, pulling the plate off his table and replacing it with a check. Stiles raised his eyebrows. “You know, I was thinking about getting a slice of pie, too.”
Derek’s eyes narrowed, but since he couldn’t actually say no to that, he turned briskly. When he came back, the slice of pie in front of Stiles was significantly smaller than the last one he’d gotten.
“You didn’t have to take it out on the pie,” Stiles muttered, pulling the plate in front of him.
“What was that?” Derek asked.
“Never mind,” Stiles grumbled, trying not to feel offended. It wasn’t like this as his first time dealing with Derek like this.
Stiles went to eat his pie, but Derek didn’t walk away. When he looked up, Derek was watching him with narrowed eyes. He was about to ask what the hell he was staring at when Derek spoke. “What are you always doing here at night, anyways? Don’t you have a life outside of school work?”
Stiles was taken aback. Derek had never really asked him a personal question before. “Obviously,” he answered, feeling more than a bit offended, “but I have a lot of coursework, and I can’t do it in my room, so I come here.” Stiles shifted in his seat. “I’m sorry that’s such an inconvenience to you.”
Derek sighed and then, without any warning, he slid into the booth across from Stiles. It wasn’t a very big booth, and Derek’s leg brushed against his under the table. Stiles tried really, really hard not to focus on that.
“What are you doing?” Stiles asked, spoon halfway to his mouth.
“Waiting for you to finish.” Derek said, leaning back against the booth.
“Do you harass all the customers like this?” Stiles questioned. “You know, maybe you just need to get laid. Maybe you have pent up sexual frustration, and it’s making you aggressive. I took psychology in high school, you know.”
Derek gave Stiles a disbelieving look. “Who says I’m not getting laid?”
Stiles’ eyes moved from Derek’s face to his chest, and his arms, and then back up to his eyes. “Yeah, I see your point. Never mind.”
“But,” Derek leaned forward, arms braced on the table. “If you’re offering…”
Stiles’ eyes threatened to bug out of his head. He nearly choked on his pie and had to swallow a quick sip of coffee. “I-- I wasn’t, but--,”
Derek rolled his eyes and slipped out of the booth. “Fifteen minutes.” He called over his shoulder.
Stiles didn’t even have the energy to argue with him. He was too stunned.
“Has anyone ever told you that you’re a really confusing person?” Stiles demanded the next day. Derek was in a good mood. In fact, Derek was in a great mood. He was smiling, like, an actual smile, not a smirk, and he didn’t bitch once about Stiles having three refills on his coffee and ordering nothing else. In fact, Stiles had managed to get more work done that day than he had in the past week.
“Maybe,” Derek considered with a shrug.
Stiles narrowed his eyes. “One minute you’re being nice to me, and bringing me soup, and the next you’re being an asshole. I don’t know what to do half the time.”
“Why do you have to do anything?” Derek asked, leaning over to wipe up a splash of coffee that had spilt on the table with a cloth.
Stiles frowned at him. “I--,”
“Enjoy your coffee, Stiles.” He said as he walked away.
Exam prep was killing him. Literally, probably. He hadn’t had a proper night sleep in four days. He was running on maybe an hour and a half a night, after he finished classes and doing work for said classes. He knew it was going to be hard when he signed up. He wasn’t taking advanced everything at University for nothing, but still. He thought it’d be hard but bearable. This, though? Totally not bearable.
He was barely even aware of Derek as he slumped in his booth and attempted to type on his computer, his eyes occasionally going out of focus and threatening to fall shut. He didn’t even realize that, for once, the booths around him were actually occupied. At least six booths were in use, and Derek wasn’t the only one working. The girl who had served him was nice, he thought, with a bright smile and a nametag that read ERICA in large, bold letters.
Maybe if he hadn’t been so tired, he would have considered what it meant when he felt a pang in his chest when Derek didn’t serve him. But whatever, that was the least of his worries at the moment.
Stiles jerked his head off his keyboard and looked blearily up at the shape in front of him. He had to blink a few times for Derek to come into focus, and when he did, Stiles sighed deeply. “Coffee.” He ordered, holding out his cup. “Please, before I die.”
Derek gave him a concerned look. “Your cup is full.”
Stiles looked down at it. So it was. “Huh.”
“Stiles, go home.” Derek said, shaking his head.
Stiles shook his right back, but a lot faster. A bit too fast, maybe, because the room kind of swirled for a moment. “I can’t.” He croaked, throat dry. “I need to study for this history exam, and then--,”
Derek leaned forward and shut his laptop gently and then bent under the table to unplug it. Stiles stared at him with wide eyes. “Come on, not tonight, please?” he begged. “Tomorrow you can kick me out, or be a jerk all you want, okay? Well, not tomorrow, because I have to study for my bio--,”
“Will you shut up?” Derek asked, rolling his eyes as he grabbed Stiles’ laptop bag. He stuffed the laptop in, adding the plug in with it, and then slung it over his shoulder. “Erica,” he called, and then the blonde waitress was their, looking at him expectantly. “Can you cover my shift for like half an hour?”
Erica looked down at Stiles, barely holding himself up in his seat, and then grinned at Derek. “ Of course.”
Derek might have rolled his eyes at her, Stiles wasn’t sure, but then he grabbed Stiles by the arm and tugged him out of the booth. Stiles was too tired to even fight him on it.
“When was the last time you slept?” Derek asked as he walked Stiles to the door, an arm around his waist.
“I slept this morning.” Stiles answered. The door to the diner opened and Derek shuffled him out. It was cold outside, and Stiles sighed, the air making him feel a bit more alert.
“I mean a full night worth of sleep.” Derek corrected.
“Oh, um, Wednesday?” Stiles thought, though he wasn’t sure.
“That’s almost a week ago.”
“Yeah, well, exams, you know.” Stiles waved his hand as Derek led him through the parking lot. They stopped in front of a sleek black car and Stiles raised his eyebrows. “That can’t be yours, right? I mean, look where you work, there’s no way you make enough from tips to be driving that.” Stiles paused. “Oh my god, are you secretly a drug dealer?”
Derek dragged Stiles around to the passenger seat and tossed the laptop bag into the back before stuffing Stiles unceremoniously in the vehicle. Normally, Stiles might have complained about being manhandled, but he was just too tired.
Stiles let out a loud yawn as Derek climbed into the other side of the car. It was just as nice inside as it as outside, the leather seats comfortable and it looked like it was cleaned every other day. That wasn’t surprising, actually. Derek totally looked like the type to be obsessive about his car.
“You live in the dorms, right?” Derek asked, shoving his key into the ignition.
“Yeah,” Stiles yawned again. “On the right side of campus.”
Derek nodded and pulled out of the lot.
“You know, you don’t need to escort me home.”
“We were about to pass out in the middle of the diner. Other customers were staring.”
“Were not.” Stiles said, leaning his head back against the seat rest. “It’s not like I snore.”
“No, but you do drool.”
Stiles would have glared at him, but it was a lot easier to just close his eyes and relax into the seat and be lulled by the soft hum of the car and the smooth movements of the tires.
Ten minutes later Derek shook Stiles awake. Stiles instantly wiped at his mouth, hoping that Derek was just joking about the drool thing, because that would be way too embarrassing.
“Thanks,” Stiles said quietly, reaching into the back for his bag. He pulled it onto his lap but made no move to get out of the car.
Derek was staring straight ahead, fingers curled around the steering wheel. “Goodbye, Stiles.”
“Um,” Stiles hesitated before reaching for the doorknob. “Right. Bye. And thanks. Again. For, you know, the drive. And the soup the other day. And--,” Derek turned to him and arched an eyebrow. “I’m going, I’m going.”
As soon as he shut the car door, Derek pulled aay from the curb in front of the dorms and drove off. Stiles stood there for a moment, laptop bag clutched to his chest. That was… definitely something, right?
“Did you at least kiss him?” Erica asked as she shouldered past him towards the coffeemaker.
Derek glared at her. “No, I didn’t. I drove him home.”
Erica rolled her eyes as she pulled a fresh pot off the machine. “So you’re not ever going to do anything about your crush?”
Derek wondered if he could fire her for insinuating that, but he figured that’d probably be against the labour laws or something. Sadly. “I don’t have a crush.”
“His face shines like the moonlight as he leans over his laptop, long, glorious fingers stroking over the keys in quick succession. Oh how I wish those fingers would stroke me--,’”
“I never said that.” Derek pointed out, leaning against the wall beside the window to the kitchen. His last two tables had left, and Erica was only waiting on one couple. The booth by the wall with the plug in was, obviously, empty. Derek hadn’t ever seen anyone else sit there, unless the place was packed. There was a plant hanging too close, and it blocked out most of the light. It was close to the bathroom, too, so if anyone got up to use it, they had to walk by that booth and therefore they would disturb the person sitting at it. But Stiles never sat anywhere else.
Erica snorted. “Okay, maybe not in so many words, but seriously, Derek, just admit it. You’ve got a thing for the guy.” She held up her finger before Derek could reply and moved towards the last occupied table, refilling their drinks and asking if they needed anything else. Apparently that as a no. “And I think you should just go for it. You’re hot, Derek, and the guy obviously has a thing for you, I mean, your coffee isn’t really that good, and from what Boyd says--,”
“You’ve been talking to her about it?” Derek asked, poking his head through the window to the kitchen.
Boyd just shrugged. “Yeah. Was I not supposed to?”
“I’m firing both of you.” Derek muttered, rubbing a hand over his face.
Erica cuffed his shoulder. “Just admit it, boss.” She said, grinning widely. “You’ve got a thing for the pale kid who drinks all of our coffee.”
Derek only worked the night shift because, most of the time, he couldn’t find anyone to cover it for him. The diner was set only a few blocks down from the Uni. He had no problem finding someone to cover the afternoon to midnight shift, but most of the students had given him apologetic looks and said they just couldn’t work it into their schedule, not if they wanted to party and get some sleep at night. Erica could cover it sometimes, if he offered her extra pay, but most of the time even she refused.
At first, it hadn’t been too bad. It was rare that anyone would come in that late anyways, unless it was a Friday or Saturday, in which case the occasional drunk-off-their-ass group would stumble in, order way too much bacon, and spill every single beverage that was placed on their table. Other than that, though, Derek could pretty much do nothing. He could sit in his office all night until Boyd shouted that he had a customer.
And then Stiles had walked in, eyes wide, laptop bag over his shoulder. He fidgeted uncomfortably and stood in the middle of the room when Derek walked out from the back, pen clutched in his hand. “You have coffee, right?” Stiles had asked.
Derek gave him a ‘duh’ look. “It’s a diner.”
“Right,” Stiles nodded. “I just sit anywhere?”
“That’s the way it works here.” Derek had answered.
“Do you have anywhere I can plug this in?” he’d asked next, and Derek pointed him to the shittiest table in his entire restaurant. Stiles had smiled happily and went over to it and set up, while Derek followed him, pulling his pad of paper out of his back pocket. “I’ll get a coffee. Three cream, two sugar. You guys have free refills, right?” Stiles questioned while reaching for the drink menu that they had stacked on every table.
“Technically.” Derek admitted. “But--,”
“Great, that’ll be all for now.” And then he’d pulled open his laptop and acted like he wasn’t at all aware of Derek’s presence.
After that, it was nearly impossible to get the kid to leave. Every time he finished at least an entire pot of coffee himself. And Derek had been annoyed, because if there was still a customer, he couldn’t slack off. When he’d inherited the diner from his parents, he figured he could just hire off a staff and never work there. Unfortunately, that hadn’t been the case, and now with Stiles there nearly every night, Derek was actually working.
He was probably the worst waiter ever, as Stiles was always quick to point out. He was snappish and moody -- sometimes worse than others-- and he may have even uttered a threat or two, on occasion. But Stiles still came back, still set himself up at that stupid table, and worked until usually three or four in the morning.
And Derek started wondering about. Wondering what he was working on, what classes he was taking. Wondered when he ever found time to sleep, why some days he ordered his coffee straight-up black-- later, he learned that this only happened when Stiles was in a bad mood-- and, until Stiles had introduced himself, what his name was.
Eventually, he stopped being irritated. Okay, so he still had bad days. No matter how hard he tried not to, every time he visited his parents graves, he’d come in to work later that night and he’d be peevish and rude to everyone. But he stopped hating Stiles and his presence, and sort of got used to it. And maybe started to like it. And like him, with those stupid amber eyes, and long fingers, and--
He had to stop himself. He was being ridiculous. He didn’t actually like Stiles. He tolerated him, at best. And that was it.
So when Christmas break came, and Stiles stopped showing up at the diner, why the hell was Derek missing him?
Derek hadn’t seen Stiles in weeks, so when he walked into the diner, bell clanging over head, at eleven thirty on a Thursday night, Derek had to take a double take. He wasn’t carrying his laptop bag over his shoulder, but he had a small gift bag in his hand, one with a picture of a kid sledding and a red and green bow on it.
“Hey,” Stiles called out, walking towards him instead of his booth.
Derek raised an eyebrow at him but didn’t reply.
“I know it’s kind of late, but I spent Christmas with my dad which meant I couldn’t bring it until now, so here.” He said, shoving the gift bag at Derek.
Derek took it, frowning at the bag in his hands and then at Stiles. “What is it?”
“Well, you know, you’re kind of supposed to open it and find out for yourself.”
Derek rolled his eyes, but he couldn’t shake the frown on his face. “You got me a present.”
Stiles shrugged. “It’s not a big deal. It’s just-- I wouldn’t have survived exams if it weren’t for this place, so I figured I kind of owed you. It’s not like it was expensive or anything.”
Derek opened the bag and pulled out the huge piece of thin plastic inside. He turned it over and, in big red letters, it read Maximum of five refills on your coffee during one stay and then, in smaller print, at the bottom, unless your name is Stiles.
“You can hang it in the window, or on the wall.” Stiles told him, looking pleased. “Or we could even drill holes into it, attach a string, and hang it over your neck.”
Derek opened his mouth, but he didn’t know what to say. “Thanks,” he said eloquently. He almost rolled his eyes at himself. “But you’re not the exception, Stiles.” He added to make up for it.
Stiles laughed. “Sure I’m not.” He said, shoving his hands into his pockets. “But I’ve got to go. I need to unpack and stuff, so I’ll see you later, or whatever.”
“You’re leaving already?” Derek asked, trying, and most likely failing, not to sound disappointed.
Stiles nodded. “I’ll probably be back tomorrow, though. I missed the coffee. No one makes it the same.”
Stiles backed up and kind of half waved awkwardly until Derek gave him an annoyed look, and then he turned and left, door chiming behind him. Derek shoved the sign back into the bag and headed for his office.
The thing was ridiculous. That wasn’t even a rule, technically. During the day, Derek didn’t care how many coffee refills someone had. It was only when it cut into his slacking off time that it mattered. And yet, as he sat down in his office, he took his phone out of his pocket and sent a quick text to Erica, letting her know that there as a sign on his desk that he needed her to hang up in the dining room when she got to work the next day.
A few days later it was raining once again. When Stiles pushed open the door to the diner, he was soaking wet from head to toe, and Derek smiled, holding back a laugh.
Stiles looked angry, though, and Derek figured it was another black-coffee day, and had already reached for the coffee pot when Stiles stomped up to him.
When Stiles stopped inches away from him, he realized that maybe it wasn’t anger on his face. Maybe it was determination, that clenched set to his jaw, the narrowed eyebrows.
“What do you--,”
Derek didn’t get all the words out. Stiles’ hands reached up to cup both sides of his face, and then he leaned in, and kissed him. Derek froze, nearly dropping the coffee pot before he slid it onto the counter, not caring if the still-hot bottom burned it.
Stiles pulled back and stepped back, too. “Shit,” he muttered, hands clenching into fists at his sides. “I thought that you wanted me too, but you totally didn’t kiss me back, so that was probably a really bad idea. I’m sorry. I just--,”
Derek considered telling him to shut up, but thought that he could think of better ways to make sure that Stiles did shut his mouth, and moved forward, wrapping an arm around Stiles’ waist and kissing him this time. His lips were soft, and his clothes were still wet in Derek’s arms, but he tasted like coffee and sugar, and smelled like rain and some kind of body spray, and Derek had no idea why the hell they waited so long to do this.
Stiles pulled back again, but he didn’t move out of Derek’s arms. “So, not a bad idea, right?” He asked, clarifying.
“Not a bad idea.” Derek agreed.
Stiles grinned and threw himself into Derek’s arms, using all his weight to push Derek backwards until he hit the counter. His back ached from the contact for a second before Stiles’ lips were back on his, and any pain was easy to ignore, especially if he focused instead on the feeling of Stiles’ body pressed against his, and Stiles’ teeth, gently nipping at his bottom lip.
When Stiles’ lips parted, Derek slowly moved his tongue against Stiles’, tasting him, feeling him. Stiles moaned into the kiss, and his hands balled in Derek’s shirt, trying impossibly harder to press himself against Derek, despite the fact that they were touching, mouth to mouth, chest to chest, thigh between thigh.
“Uh, Derek?” A voice said behind him, and he turned to see Boyd leaning through the window, eyebrows raised. “You have a customer.”
Derek looked over Stiles’ shoulder to see a couple staring at them, eyes wide. Stiles grinned and then licked his lips, eyes heavy, and Derek groaned.
“We’re closed.” He told the couple, not moving away from Stiles.
“But the sign on the door said you were open twenty-four--,”
“Closed.” Derek repeated.
The girl glared at him and tugged on her partners arm. “Rude,” she muttered as they left, slamming the door behind them.
Stiles laughed. “You’re totally going to get fired one of these days.” Stiles pointed out, and then he frowned. “Don’t get fired. I like spending my nights with you.”
Derek tightened his arms around Stiles’ waist. “I don’t really think that’s going to be an issue.”
Stiles looked confused, but apparently kissing Derek again was more important than asking why that was.
“I can’t believe you never told me.” Stiles said, looking around Derek’s office. “You own this place?”
Derek shrugged. “It didn’t come up.”
Stiles rolled his eyes. “‘It didn’t come up,’” he repeated, mocking Derek’s voice. “So all those times I threatened to report you to your boss--,”
“You still could.” Derek pointed out. “But it’s not going to do you much good.”
Stiles tried to look annoyed, but that lasted all of five seconds before he snuck a look out at the kitchen, where Allison and Boyd -- whose shift had just started-- were cooking. It was still early enough in the day that Erica and Scott were waiting tables, so Derek was free to have his time alone with Stiles.
Stiles quickly shut the door and then moved towards Derek, putting a hand on each side of his waist, guiding him backwards. When he hit the desk he grabbed Stiles and turned them, lifting Stiles slightly so that he ended up sitting on the desk. He instantly wrapped his legs around Derek’s waist and his arms around Derek’s neck, pulling him in.
“Does this mean I get free coffee whenever I want?” He asked, his eyes fluttering closed when Derek kissed his neck.
“No,” Derek answered between kisses. “You’d drink me out of business.”
Stiles laughed and grabbed the bottom of Derek’s shirt. “Good point,” he agreed. “But I can definitely see the benefits of you owning this place.”
“Yeah,” Stiles continued, letting Derek go for a moment, only to pull Derek’s shirt all the way off. Derek leaned back into him and Stiles’ hands slid up his bare back, nails digging in the way he liked it. “I’ve always wanted to have office sex.”
Derek made a guttural sound against Stiles’ neck and then there was more fumbling for clothes, Stiles jumping off the desk to kick off his pants, and a lot more skin-on-skin. Derek ground his hips against Stiles, biting back a moan when they moved together just right. He was just about to tug down the waistband on Stiles’ boxers when a high pitched giggle sounded just outside the room.
Derek’s hands balled into fists on the desk beside Stiles’ waist and he groaned. “Erica.”
Six months later Stiles walked into the diner. It was eleven, but lately that didn’t mean that the place was deserted. In fact, since it was summer, and most of the Uni kids were free to stay out as late as they wanted without worrying about getting up for class, or doing work, the diner was usually busy at this time. It also meant that Derek had been able to find two people to cover the night shift, which meant that he only worked once a week, on Sundays.
Stiles slid into his booth and ordered a coffee from one of the new waitresses. She smiled a too wide smile at him as she poured the drink into his cup. It was Saturday, which meant Derek was probably in his office, handling the business side of things. Stiles had learned, not too long ago, that Derek had actually taken business in college.
When he was done his drink the waitress brought him his bill, and he slid out of his booth, leaving a dollar bill on the table for a tip.
“Your bill was two dollars,” the waitress said, frowning at him, a hand on her hip.
Stiles just pointed at the sign above his booth and then grinned at her before walking away, heading for the back of the diner, leaving the waitress to frown at the sign that read Stiles Drinks For Free. He was still grinning when he pushed open the door to Derek’s office, and Derek rolled his eyes at him, but by the time Stiles got behind him, put his hands on Derek’s shoulders and bent down to kiss the back of his neck, Derek was grinning too.