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Relationship Mechanics

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              Even Malia was impressed with the sheer volume of Stile’s profane vocabulary the day Roscoe died. He had started with mild stuff, your typical “shit, damn, motherfucker”, when the steam started billowing out from under the hood. He progressed to the more inventive ones once actually looking at the mess that he had lovingly called an engine for years- more to the tune of “shit munching goat fucker, flea bitten bitch butt, etc”. However, once he got the mechanics shop and heard the damage, he became increasingly more violent, finally slipping into obscure dialects of Polish that he had learned when his grandmother wasn’t quite as discreet as she thought she was being.

              The manager (a rather creepy looking guy wearing a faded nametag dubbing him “Peter”) was annoyingly impassive and unimpressed in the face of Stiles’ (completely justified) rage. At the very least he could have laughed, or acknowledged Stiles’ swearing prowess, but no, he was just standing there, staring at Stiles and making him feel like a complete idiot.

              Finally, Stiles decided to accept his fate and sign the papers that would admit his baby to the shop and add a whole other layer of debt on top of what he had already received from The Little Shop of Student Debt Horrors. He groaned, thinking about all the favors he was going to owe Scott for giving him rides everywhere while the jeep was out of commission. Of course, Scott would never cash in on those favors or hold them over Stiles’ head, because he was an actual puppy dog who was incapable of having mean thoughts.

              Walking away from the counter (and, incidentally, the stare he was getting from Peter that was making him want to set himself on fire), Stiles plopped down in one of the worn, uncomfortable chairs lining the main lobby of the garage. The garage hadn’t been one he went to by choice, but rather by necessity. He had been on his way to meet with Allison and Lydia to help them decide what dress Allison was going to be wearing down the aisle. At first he had been mad when they had invited him, totally ready to fight the “gay guys have great fashion” stereotype. Then Lydia smacked him on the back of the head and told him that his opinion was the closest to Scott’s that they were going to get without actually having him there. Of course, Stiles knew that Scott would be over the moon watching Allison walk down the aisle wearing a trash bag, but he also knew that with Lydia’s taste in fashion there would more than likely be free booze in the equation. So he agreed, only to break down fifteen minutes from the bridal shop on a stretch of road that contained exactly three shops: a liquor store, an “Adult Video Emporium”, and this garage.

               Given that it was ninety-eight degrees out and Stiles didn’t really fancy hanging out in either of the other options, he would have to stay here until Scott came to get him. Which could take upwards of four hours, given that his Bio class (the only one in that semester’s rotation that was over three hours long, of fucking course) had just started. So here he was, stuck in a garage lobby with no air conditioning, with a phone that was losing battery as quickly as Stiles was losing his sanity.


              Half an hour later and Stiles had a dead phone, an incredibly sticky shirt, and a mounting anxiety about the number and nature of the stares that Peter was giving him. They were the kind of stares that made the hair on the back of his neck stand up. They were the type of stares that made him wonder if his dad would be able to see through Peter’s alibi when Stiles went missing.

              His leg was bouncing up and down, his ADHD presenting itself with a flourish as he fought the onset of crushing boredom. He had been able to make do with what was on his phone while that had lasted, but now that he didn’t have that he was starting to get jittery. He couldn’t stand sitting still for this long, but moving around had only drawn even more of Peter’s attention to him. Didn’t this guy have a job to do? Like, managing the garage? Something that would require him not staring at Stiles for inordinate amounts of time?

              Finally Stiles couldn’t handle it anymore, and he jumped up from his uncomfortable seat, muttered a “left something in the car”, and fled out of the side door into the workshop of the garage. He was met with an immediate blast of heat that was even more intense than it had been outside, but he didn’t care as long as he got out of that room.

              He was met with the sight of a huge black pick up, the kind of car that screamed that its owner was compensating for something. There was a pair of jump-suited legs sticking out from the car, and a gorgeous blonde on a step stool under the hood, working on the engine. Even though her uniform did its best to negate how gorgeous she was, it hadn’t succeeded. She still looked like a grease covered goddess. Even though he wasn’t attracted to women, Stiles could still admit that this girl was fine as hell.

              The pair of legs rolled out and became a dark skinned, buff guy who was a little less successful at rocking the jumpsuit (though not by much). He was thickly muscled, his shoulders broad. This guy was much more Stile’s speed, and in fact he looked like some of the guys that Stiles had hooked up with before at Jungle. But just as any thought of maybe propositioning the ripped dude crossed Stiles’ mind, the guy had walked over and snaked his arm around the blonde’s waist, making her smile and dip down for a kiss.

              It was an adorable moment. So of course, that was the exact moment that Stiles’ chronic klutziness decided to kick in, and he knocked a screwdriver off of the table that he had been standing next to. It clattered loudly upon impact, the solid concrete giving a nice surface to bounce off of and make lots of noise.

              The couple whipped around. They looked at Stiles, surprised, before the blonde smoothly jumped off the stool and sashayed over to where he was awkwardly picking up the screwdriver and putting back on the table.

              “Hi, can we help you?”

              She said it as if it wasn’t something she had to say a lot, and seeing as Stiles didn’t think that many people invited themselves into the garage like he had, he was guessing she hadn’t.

              “Uh, I was looking for my jeep.”

              Erica, as her nametag proclaimed her to be, titled her head to the side ever so slightly, looking a little confused. She turned and looked at the guy, “Boyd”, with a questioning look in her eyes. They seemed to have an entire silent conversation before Boyd looked up at Stiles and said in a deep bass that completely matched the badass vibe that he had been rocking up until that point,

              “It’s in the back. Derek’s got it.”

              Stiles figured that by the awestruck look that Erica had adopted at the mention of his name, this Derek guy must be pretty good.

              “Thanks. I, uh, just wanted to check on it. It’s kind of important to me, sentimental value and stuff.”

              Erica nodded and went back over to her engine, smoothly jumping back up on her stepstool.

              “That should be fine. Derek’s a pretty cool guy, he should be okay with it. You’re lucky you didn’t get Cora, she would have thrown a fit.”

              She reached to try and get to something toward the back of the engine, letting out a frustrated huff when she couldn’t reach it. She wasn’t even particularly short, the truck was just that huge. She put the wrench she was working with back in her tool belt, braced her hands on the sides of the bonnet around her, and jumped up to perch on the edge while steadying herself with one hand against the hood. Stiles jolted towards her to try and catch her if she fell, but she looked completely at home in her precarious position.

              “Whoa there, Catwoman!”

              He looked over to Boyd, who was casually leaning against the car watching his girlfriend. The bigger guy just shrugged.

              “She does this all the time. You get used to it.”

              Erica grinned at them, before letting out a satisfied sound and jumping down from the car. She walked over to change out her wrenches, speaking to Stiles as she went.

              “So, what’s with the all black, Batman?”             

              Stiles looked down at his outfit, having completely forgotten that he was wearing the monochromatic outfit.

              “My friend was,” he looked down at his watch, “well, I guess is now, trying on wedding dresses and wanted me to be there. My other friend, Lydia, insisted that we all wear black so we didn’t ‘distract from the gowns’.” 

              He shrugged and Erica shot him a weird look.

              “So you all just went with it?”

              Stiles shuddered and replied, “You’ve never met Lydia.”

              Erica laughed, finally having found the tool that she was looking for, and returned to the engine.

              “Well, Batman, if you want to go see your car it’s back that way.”

              She gestured vaguely towards the end of the garage that opened into the sunlight. Stiles nodded and thanked both of them before starting that way.

              As he got closer he could hear some form of rock music playing over a radio. He rounded the corner, squinting as he was blinded by the sudden sun. The sight that greeted him when his eyes adjusted nearly blinded him again.

              Standing in front of his jeep was the most perfect human being Stiles had ever seen. That damn jumpsuit was again defying the laws of nature, looking hot as hell on the guy (which wasn’t fair, because if Stiles had tried to wear it than he could guarantee he would end up looking like an oompa loompa).

The guy’s shoulders were broad, his biceps straining against the fabric around them as he fought with a particularly stubborn bolt. His legs were miles long, and for the first time ever Stiles became excited at the prospect of running a mile. His jawline was chiseled, so sharp that Stiles was afraid he would cut himself on it, and spattered with stubble. On anyone else it would have looked messy, but on this guy… Well, Stiles could totally get over stubble burn.

Just when Stiles thought that his brain couldn’t handle any more of this Adonis in front of him, the guy pulled away from the car and started unzipping his jumpsuit. Stiles’ mind immediately filled with images of the guy half naked, laid out flat on the hood of the car, head tipped backward, neck arched beautifully.

              His brief fantasizing was cut short, and Stiles would admit to being more than a little disappointed when the top of the jumpsuit fell away to reveal a shirt underneath. But then the guy turned, and holy fucking shit he was fit as fuck. His abs were outlined perfectly by the skin tight white fabric, his shoulder and back muscles rippling as he stretched to relieve the tension that he had built up by working on the car. Stiles was seconds away from blurting out something about there being other ways to relieve tension when the guy turned around and caught sight of him.

              Startlingly green eyes locked onto Stiles’ own, and he lost the ability to speak. He hoped desperately that this guy wasn’t talking to him right now, because Stiles wouldn’t be able to answer him with anything coherent, let alone intelligent or attractive. Gorgeous lips that were just begging to be bitten started moving, and Stiles had just enough of his wits about him to catch the end of the sentence.

              “-at you see?”

              Stiles shook himself a little to try and rid himself of the haze that this impossibly pretty person had put him under.

              “I’m sorry?”

              The guy smirked a little, then repeated, “Do you like what you see?”

              Stiles was sure that he matched the red toolbox that he was standing next to. He hadn’t blushed like this in years.

              “Um, I, uh, yeah?”

              Gone was the Stiles who could suavely work his way through a club floor (not that that Stiles had ever existed anywhere but in Stiles’ mind, but dammit a guy can dream can’t he?). Instead Stiles was just as dorky and awkward as he had been in high school, a period of his life that he had hoped to never revisit.

              The guy smirked again, turning back towards the car. He picked up a water bottle from the work table and leaned back against the jeep. God this guy was sex on two legs. He had pulled the stick shift out of the car in order to have easier access to the gear box, and the stick was held loosely in his other hand where he had crossed his arms across his chest.

              “So gorgeous, what can I do for you?”

              Stiles spluttered a little before answering.

              “Well, that’s my stick that you’re working on.”

              The world stopped as Stiles thought over the implications of what he had just said, and his blush, which had become slightly more manageable, came back full force.

              The guy looked caught off guard, then he tipped his head back and laughed. It was a laugh that could cure the world of all of its evils, and Stiles melted at the sound of it. And in that moment he knew that he was completely and utterly fucked.

              The guy, still chuckling a little, put down the water bottle and extended his now free hand to Stiles.

              “I’m Derek.”

              Stiles shook Derek’s hand, noting how large it was and consciously forced himself not to think about what else those hands could do besides work with a wrench.


              Derek smiled at him, and Stiles found that those three and a half hours that he had been dreading so much not so long ago suddenly didn’t seem that bad at all.


              “No, dude, come on, there’s no way The Avengers would ever have let the Joker get away with half the shit that Batman did.”

              Derek was elbow deep in the jeep’s inner workings, grease smeared across his right cheek (and damn him he was still sexy as hell). Even so, he was still managing to gesture passionately as he argued with Stiles over the hypothetical situations that they were discussing. So far it had been decided that Deadpool could totally beat Spiderman (though it was more likely that they’d end up making out), and Rogue would definitely not be able to kill Thor.

              Derek was preparing to deliver his devastating rebuttal which would surely bring Stiles’ argument crashing down around him when there was a pointed cough from the entrance to the main garage.

              Derek was laid out, partially underneath the car, and somehow Stiles had ended up straddling him so that he could reach into the mechanic’s belt to give him the tools that occupied it instead of Derek having to struggle to reach them himself.

              Stiles realized what position they were in all at once, and blushed as he jumped up, backing away as Derek rolled himself out from underneath the car. He hadn’t realized how familiar they had gotten even just in the few hours that they had been talking. But despite the short time, he felt completely at ease around Derek.

               Scrambling up off of the unfairly attractive mechanic, Stiles was faced not with the sight of Scott’s puppy-like face as he had expected, but instead with Lydia. Lydia with one of her brows perfectly arched as she observed the scene she had walked into. Stiles swallowed as he realized that Lydia had latched onto this newest piece of gossip, and she sure as hell wasn’t letting go anytime soon.

              Stiles rushed over to hug Lydia in greeting as Derek climbed to his feet behind him. Stiles couldn’t help himself as he grinned at her.

              “Yes it is a wrench in my pocket, but I’m happy to see you too!”

              Lydia gave him a look of utter derision and shoved him away from her. Stiles laughed as he went to lean against the hood of the jeep, watching as Lydia brushed herself off as if physically contaminated by Stiles’ contact. She turned to Derek to introduce herself.

              “Seeing as this ingrate is incapable of making proper introductions, I’ll have to do it for myself. I’m Lydia, and you are?”

              Something about the question felt critical, as if she were sizing up the man she’d found Stiles on top of. Derek seemed to sense this too, straightening ever so slightly and meeting her handshake halfway.

              “Derek. I’m the mechanic fixing Stiles’ jeep.”

              Grey eyes swept over the mess of tools on the ground, and the mess of oil and grease covering the two.

              “Yeah, I can see that.”

              Stiles floundered for a second, not quite sure how to respond to Lydia (though in all honesty he never really was). Finally he figured out that Lydia being there meant that there was a working vehicle that could take back to his blessedly air-conditioned apartment. The immediate spike of excitement was met with an unexpected twinge of regret as he realized that going home meant leaving the garage, and more specifically leaving Derek.

              In the end his desire to be cool won out, and he looked at Lydia hopefully. She gave him a once over and then sighed.

              “You’re going to absolutely ruin my upholstery like that. Get Derek’s number already so that we can go.”

              Stiles blushed, spluttering a little, but Derek was already moving, taking out his phone and handing it to Stiles. Stiles collected himself just enough to take the offered phone and hand over his own.

              Before he knew it he was being dragged out of the shop, his ears ringing with Peter’s voice telling him his car would be ready in a week, Lydia whining about her upholstery, but above all of that was Derek’s quiet goodbye.