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Beautiful Stupid Tragic

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It's enough for Derek that she's even here. That she doesn't care, does not help.
He's at College; Stiles convinced him to go back, to finish his degree, or start a new one, rather than just hanging about in Beacon Hills waiting for the rest of the pack to graduate.
So, he's at College, with Stiles. They share an apartment. They have a space together, an 'ours'.
This is their space, and she is always in it.
Stiles' girlfriend. Stiles' beautiful, stupid, tragic girlfriend. She reminds him of Scott, in some ways, adorable and stupid, but she's not as self-aware, as willing to laugh and smile as Scott is. The way she wallows in self-made misery... He finds it intolerable as much as he finds it reminds him of himself.
He thinks about telling Stiles how wrong she is for him, in fact, he fantasizes about it daily. It's a terrible and joyous conversation, sometimes the Stiles in his mind agrees with him, forgets her and... Sometimes he doesn't. He stays with her and keeps letting her drain him, just like Stiles would, because Stiles doesn't care about himself, ever.
Stiles doesn't care about the last time he smiled, or how his jokes are only ever bitter and self-derogatory these days. Derek does though, Derek sees it, and sees her ignoring it, and hates her more than he's ever hated himself.

Before her, Stiles was brighter than he ever was; happy, most days, with how his life was shaping, with how well he fit in College life. He'd talk to Derek, after he'd lain down on his bed and turned out his lamp, about his ADD, his dad, Scott; how everything was going better than expected, how he couldn't believe it, but it was happening.
Derek would bask in it, that Stiles opened up to him like this, was always waiting for it to happen in the daytime. He felt like it was only a matter of time, until Stiles woke up and looked Derek in the eye, in the sunlight, and talked to him, really truly talked, about real Stiles things; things that mattered that little bit more.
And then one night he talked to Derek about her, about how beautiful she was, how she had such delicate features she could have played Legolas' little sister on Lord of the Rings, how her wispy blonde hair kind of looked like a halo if you caught her blocking out the sun. And then, she became all he talked about, sharing inane details like her coffee order until Derek snapped and told Stiles he sounds "just like Scott, shut up," and Stiles stopped talking to him in the dark.

It's been a bad day for Derek, and he spends it hunched into himself so no one will stop him. Not even Stiles, not anymore. He'd been recognized, by a friend of his older sister, stopped before he had even made it to class. It happens; it's the downside of coming back to familiar territory for school. The friend hands him a book, tells him he borrowed it from Laura and forgot to give it back, could Derek please pass it on? And Derek has to explain one more time that Laura is dead, he's sorry for not telling them sooner, like contacting this one person who didn't think of Laura enough to give her book back in time, was his sacred duty. It's not. He can't be bothered with it, and now he just hurts.

By the time he gets back home, to the apartment he shares with Stiles, he's wrecked and half wolfed out. He comes in and it's too hot, he wants to be alone, and somehow this room always seems full. He also desperately, inexplicably wants to look at himself, wants to check he's still there, that he isn't invisible.
He pushes through the bathroom door, just to remind himself that he's solid, and braces himself against the sink in front of the mirror. His eyes prick suspiciously, they feel deep and empty, and shallow and full of everything he's ever felt, and he can feel burning in his fingertips as his claws sink viciously and quietly into the countertop.
He looks up, praying for the day when Laura stops hurting him as much as she does, praying, hopelessly, that one day Laura could come back, that they all could come back and everything would be ok again.
He's staring at himself, and he's relieved, because he's not as translucent as he feels, and maybe if he's all here, and all alone, maybe it's OK that he feels like crying.

It's then that he sees them, and the shock and the embarrassment, of being caught off guard, vulnerable, of not noticing their heartbeats behind him, make his claws rip through his shoes, his eyes flash, and he can feel the itch of fur pushing through his face. The girl is sitting on the closed lid of the toilet and she's looking at the floor, as pale and small and tragic as she always is. Derek is convinced that half the time she puts it on, exaggerates every negative emotion she feels tenfold. It doesn't matter though, because that's Stiles, kneeling in front of her, fixing Derek with a glare that is significantly more genuine than it was six months ago, or even a day ago. It's a look that yells, shouts, screams 'how are you honestly this stupid?' through everything that Stiles says to him.
They're fighting again, the quiet kind of fight where she pretends she isn't quietly sobbing, and he talks to her quietly, stilted, over sensitive to her reactions, not like the Stiles Derek knows, and she says absolutely nothing at all. Derek knows this fight well, it's all he hears in the hours after Stiles turns off the bedroom lamp, and curls into her, crowding her against the wall. That or quiet, stilted, over sensitive fucking.
Stiles is still staring at him, like he's interrupted the most important thing Stiles has, which may be true, and that thought makes Derek's heart curl in his chest, stretch itself and squeeze itself, and for a moment all Derek feels is the physical pulling in his chest.
They've been slowly disintegrating for months, she's finally bored with Stiles' wit and banter now that she's dragged it down into something it was never meant to be, and Stiles is frustrated, because the girl he met isn't there, and it's only been six months, and she's so damn unresponsive.
He relentlessly pulls her back to him, and she looks progressively tragic and consumptive and makes no effort to make Stiles happy, to fix anything. Derek watches Stiles trying so hard, and wants her to hurt like he hurts more than anything in the world.
That is what is more important than Derek, this failure to meet in the middle, failure to belong to each other, failure to care enough, and it feels like a fighter jet crashing into his diaphragm.
Derek could be that important to him.
Derek would never sit by and watch Stiles drown like this.
Derek would be better.
It's enough that he has to watch it.

Stiles is about to open his mouth, but Derek gets in first, "No. Shut up. You don't get to say anything. You don't get to look at me like I'm stupid. You brought her in here, in our lives, our space. I have more right to be in this room than she does, it's our- my bathroom."
Stiles looks ready to chuck a fit, and he pushes up from the floor to stand in front of her, like she needs to be shielded at all, "You cannot honestly tell me you didn't know we were in here."
Derek tries so hard not to look burnt by that, but he's honestly taken aback, why would he- he doesn't want to be near her ever again, "I didn't know," and he hears how soft it comes out, how weak, and wishes he could take it back.
Derek pushes at Stiles' face as he leaves, and as far as violence goes, it's awkward and incompetent, but the alternatives are punching something, or talking about it. He's running on self-loathing, and he wants to lash out, but he doesn't ever want to hurt him, or anything Stiles has, he doesn't think he could, not on purpose. Derek doesn't think he can sit by and let it happen either, not for much longer. Not like her, please let him never be like her.

It's later. The girl with the delicate wisps of blonde hair that are like a halo when she blocks the sun has disappeared. Stiles has (quietly, stilted, over sensitive to her reactions) fucked her in the bedroom, hiding under sheets and silence, pushing his sorries into her skin. Derek can smell it. Can hear it anyway.
Derek didn't see her leave, he didn't care too. Stiles is really the only one who ever pays attention to her comings and goings between the two of them. To Derek it just feels like she stops existing until morning. It's thankful but Stiles is morose and, even though she's gone, her atmosphere, her smell and her negativity remain behind her. Potentially for days, if she ever is away that long.
The lamp clicks off, and Stiles rolls towards Derek for the first time in months, "Dude, what is your problem?"
"I don't actually know, Stiles, why don't you tell me?" It doesn't come out as raw as it felt holed up in Derek's throat, and he doesn't know if he's thankful for that or not. It sounds bitter and sarcastic, though, which would do for this conversation.
"No, seriously man, what the fuck? You know how we are at the moment," Derek ignores how easily that we could mean Stiles and Derek, because it won't be, it never is, "We're this close to breaking up for good and your little stunt didn't help fuck all."
"You're always this close to breaking up."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"What do you think it means, Stiles? You keep holding onto her! And she's dead weight! This relationship is sinking so fucking fast and it's her fault. She doesn't care about you; she just wants to look tragic! You know when the last time I saw you smile was, Stiles? Because I do. It must have been about a month and a half ago."
"Shut up. Shut up, shut up, shut up. This is none of your fucking business so just shut up!"
"I don't know Stiles; it feels like my business to me."
"Shut the fuck up, this has nothing to do with you. You have no idea what this is like!"
"No idea what it's like to care so much and have it not matter? I don't know what that's like? Fuck you."
There's silence in the room, almost shocked, and almost bare with its acceptance. It's true, Derek thinks, that Stiles knows how he feels, that these awkward moments weren't just Derek's and that Stiles just... isn't Derek's; will never be.
Derek's aired his feelings, and he feels like he's going to choke on the rest of them, running like water, and his throat is the breaking damn, "You brought her in here, into our space, our home, our life. I don't- We- We were going so well."
There's a small choking sound from Stiles bed, and that's it, Derek thinks, that's the end of it.

Chapter Text

Derek and Stiles is a thing. Stiles doesn't really know how or why it became a thing and he didn’t get much say in it, but first it wasn't, and then it always was.

Stiles and Derek, Derek and Stiles. It's a thing in Beacon Hills, and it's a thing on Campus. People say, "Derek and Stiles" likes it's one word and there's a flutter of panic in Stiles chest as he points out that he's got a girlfriend, her name is Madeleine and she is beautiful, steal your soul with one look beautiful, and they have been together for the past six months. Usually this doesn't get him much farther than confused looks, or pitying ones, or the occasional muttered "asshole", which, you know, Stiles is sick of. A dude can live with a dude without it being a thing. It's OK, it can happen, is happening, between him and Derek. They are completely thing-less room mates, doing their thing-less thing. It's not like what everyone thinks. Derek doesn't help with the way he looks at him, the way he looks at Madeleine. Stiles is now number one asshole at campus, because the rest of the people Stiles has met there don't know Derek's back story and thus are unaware that gutted is his resting face. If Derek actually socially active they'd have worked that out for themselves.

Yesterday had been a terrible day, all about Derek and Madeleine, and how Maddy is upset and Derek is mad, which is par for the course. One hundred percent Stiles' daily routine, except Derek is mad at Stiles, not at a lecturer, not at a nameless face who looked at him for too long and not at Scott for calling Stiles about Allison at 5 am and waking Derek up, even when Stiles' phone is on vibrate. Derek is mad at Stiles because of Madeleine, actually. Stiles gets it, Derek hates Madeleine, but... Stiles is trying, and Madeleine is so beautiful, and so perfect. Ok, so, she's so frustratingly absent sometimes but she always says that she's 'in love with us', which Stiles takes as a positive, because it usually is, when the word love is thrown around every second sentence. His Dad hates her, even Scott thinks she's dumb, and she never talks about their future, but what does that matter. She's with Stiles now; she wants to be with him. She says she loves them together. Stiles thinks he loves her, thinks that if he doesn't he's wrong about a lot of things. He should love Madeleine. Even if Derek thinks she doesn't care, he should love her anyway. He doesn't know half of what Derek's said last night means, because Derek doesn't get out of his own head enough to explain himself properly, but it sucker punched him the gut anyway, and the entire conversation replays through every class. Stiles has a phantom feeling in his stomach, like a ghost is sifting through his insides with cold misty fingers. It feels like his body is remembering how he felt last night, when Derek had stopped sounding angry, and just sounded so lost instead. It feels like a shadow of the way his entire body clenched and released like a breath in. "We were going so well."

It makes him so mad, because that is what he hears the most, not "Madeleine doesn't care," not "your relationship is sinking" but Derek's quiet muttering, and Stiles doesn't even know what he meant by it. They're just words. They made Stiles' heart freeze, and they made Derek's voice crack, but they're just words and they don't mean anything.

They're just words, and Stiles should love Madeleine.

Madeleine, who looks like an angel when she stands in front of the sun.

By the time Stiles gets back to the apartment, he's ready to hit something. He's considering getting in his car and just driving, or dragging out his lacrosse stick and flinging balls at walls for a while, because honestly, he feels like he could punch a puppy at the moment. Stiles Stilinski; Potential Puppy Puncher - he's officially reached a new low. He's standing in the middle of the apartment, looking curiously at the bags of groceries on the counter when he notices Derek looming in the tiny little kitchen like the creeper wolf he's always been. Stiles wonders if Derek counts as a puppy, because if so he will gladly accept the title of Puppy Puncher. It's not like anyone around here could think he's anymore of an asshole than they already do. Derek looks like he's about to say something, but Stiles just raises an eyebrow and holds up his writing book (the one he didn't make any notes in all day) as a kind of talk to the book 'cause I really can't be bothered with you gesture, and overall he thinks he pulled it off well.

They dance around each other for the rest of the night. It's a Tuesday and Maddy is having some kind of crisis with her best friend Tildy, so they're both in and alone together. It feels a little suffocating, but Stiles has been hugged by Scott post near death experience, so suffocating Stiles can deal with. It's the silence he can't stand. The past months have been increasingly quieter in this apartment, and he wants to blame Derek but he thinks the silence is coming from him this time around. So they trip around each other awkwardly, leaving Stiles to think about what Derek said to him the previous night, when they were talking (arguing) in the dark like they used to six months ago. Stiles thinks about the silence in the house, and where it came from, and tries to remember why all their conversations started ending sooner and sooner. Stiles thinks about how what he hears about Derek he hears from Scott, not the man himself. Stiles thinks about how long it's really been since he smiled around him.

Derek makes enough dinner for two, like he's always done, and this time instead of waiting until he's finished eating and pilfering from the fridge, or ordering take out, Stiles grabs fills his bowl with casserole and sits across from him. He keeps his eyes on his food and avoids the clink of Derek's fork dropping onto porcelain. Stiles swallows hard and pretends it's only because he's eating.

It's never been this hard to stop fighting with Derek.

That night they go to bed and Stiles flicks the light out, "I'm sorry Derek."
"Don't apologize for her, Stiles."
Which isn't what Stiles meant, but it's first time he's talked to Derek through their open bedroom doors for a long time, and it's the first time Derek has ever talked back, so he lets it go, and maybe feels like smiling.

The next day is just about finding Madeleine and fixing their relationship, because Stiles has been trying to nudge it away from disaster for so long, but he's done now. Derek's words have acted like a catalyst, they reverberate in him.
"How long has it been since you smiled?"

He's walking through campus with a sense of contentment, he feels like he's fixing things, getting back on track with Derek. He's starting on fixing things with Maddy. Everything is beginning to be OK.

Stiles finds Maddy in the coffee shop with Tildy, and Tildy is looking bored and tired, and Maddy has that wispy half-awake smile on her face that was her official first impression on Stiles (sweet, and harmless, he'd thought). Tildy looks at Stiles face and gets up to leave, but is stopped by Madeleine's hand on her arm.
Tildy is to Maddy, as Stiles is to Scott, but Tildy hits sharp and sensible, where Stiles used to hit sharp and sweet.
"Maddy," Stiles says and she turns her wide blue eyes on him, guileless like Scotts, "We either fix this, or we break up."
Her eyes get wet and impossibly wide, and she looks to Tildy but says nothing.
Stiles heart breaks a bit.
Tildy just shakes her head and says, "Sweetie, no. You've got to step up," and then Madeleine, looking almost scared of how Stiles will react, explains quietly and stilted that she doesn't know how, that she'll never know how and she doesn't know what to do.
Stiles looks down at her and he should love her, he should, but he doesn't. She's ethereally beautiful, and sweet and harmless, but she never talks about their future, and his dad doesn't like her and even Scott thinks she's an idiot. It's freeing but damning.
He explains to her - not quietly, not stilted, and no longer caring about her reaction - that he can't stick around.
He breaks up with her in the campus coffee shop, says goodbye to Tildy and leaves.

It's not how today was supposed to end, but it feels like he's back on track anyway.

-

When Stiles comes home to their apartment, he smells weary, but there's a smile on his face.
"Honey," he pushes the door open until it hits the wall, looking like a light has been switched on, "I'm home!"
Derek wants nothing more than to grab him and hold him, because he’s missed this, but instead he smiles, points at the defrosting steak and says, "Your turn cooking, Stilinski."

Stiles doesn't talk to Derek after the lights go out that night, which stings a bit, but not as much as it used to, not in the wake of sitting down to eat with Stiles and watching him smile at him.

The next morning though, Stiles rolls over in his bed, sunlight catching him full in the face and turns to Derek, "We broke up. Me and Maddy. You were right, she was bringing me down, sinking the relationship or whatever. Oh god, do you always sound like terrible poetry when you're giving advice because, Dude, really?"
Derek shrugs and tries not to smile.
"Dude, don't smirk at my failed love life."
Derek does smile then.

It's been a week or two, and Stiles has been slowly opening up to Derek, their interactions seeming less stunted and Stiles jokes a little less bitter. In fact the entire mood in the apartment has become a little happier overall, especially now that Derek can't smell the sugar and misery of Madeleine staining all three rooms of their tiny apartment.
Stiles is standing in the kitchen, poking bacon. It feels like home and Derek is just a little bit overwhelmed by it all.
"So," Stiles says, always hyperaware of where Derek is, "What did you mean the other night, when you said 'we were going so well', 'cause it sounds like something you should elaborate on, man."
Derek tenses a little bit, but he's done waiting, "I meant us," his voice lowers, but it's not stilted, it's tense and pushing through Derek's better sense, because Stiles needs to hear him say it, "We were close to being an 'us', properly."
"An 'us'? Really Derek? That's very 90's romcom of you."
Derek can feel his claws touching the palm of his hands, like mosquito bites, "Stiles, shut up."
Stiles doesn't, and gives Derek the biggest smile he's seen in a month, dropping food on a plate and handing to him, laughing and teasing, his face moving animatedly.
"You know," Stiles says, suddenly serious as he scrapes eggs onto his plate, "We could, you know, give that a go; being Stiles and Derek, an 'us', instead of Stiles and Derek, just roommates. You know make a thing of it."
Derek coughs on his orange juice and stares at Stiles, "Angelo's. Tonight."
"Did you just attempt to ask me on a date? Because, I gotta say, your technique could use some work."
Derek's eyes flash, "You know what I meant."
"Yeh. Fine. Angelo's. Now stop staring at me like that, creeper wolf," but he's smiling like he missed it, so Derek looks at him anyway.
As he leaves the apartment about midday, Stiles is gaming with Scott wherever Scott is, in one of their across country gaming bro dates. He's seen it a lot these past months, but Stiles is happier, not as aggressive and he loves the sight. As he walks by he kisses his palm and touches it to Stiles cheek. It's sentimental, and it makes him feel a little stupid, but it's how his mother and father said goodbye, and it's tactile and he likes it. He's always wanted someone to do it with, and the way Stiles leans his own kiss into his fingers is gratifying. Stiles moves instinctively, more like the wolf than he really knows; unknowingly replicating the tender gesture that Derek grew up watching. It hits him once again that he could never leave him.
He leaves for class, and for once there's no sense of trepidation that when he comes back, Stiles will be gone.
Stiles is his now, and Derek will try his best to never give him a reason to leave.

Chapter Text

Derek has approximately twenty minutes until it's time to leave for Angelo's, at which point he is planning to already be dressed and waiting.
The trouble with that plan is that Derek doesn't date, not really. Derek has had one night stands, or two night stands, but nothing at all that's lasted more than a weekend, or perhaps a weekend and a public holiday.
He's nervous, he's sweaty, and had snapped at his favorite lecturer; the cool one who knew what happened to him but had never treated him like something broken. They have, or had, a rapport based largely on their dislike of purple prose. She hadn't looked scared of him, but she had narrowed her eyes in a way that reminded him eerily of Lydia in the quiet moment before she pounced on some poor kid's ego.
He's going to have to apologize or something equally terrible and awkward. Well, he doesn't have to do anything but Stiles will probably insist after he tells him about it, and it'd make Derek's life easier if he did.

It's weird, having someone in his life that he doesn't want to disappoint.

Lydia keeps calling him. It's terrible. Apparently Stiles has mentioned the date, and Lydia had become much too invested in Stiles' love life after Jackson left; it's weird, a bit invasive and Derek has never liked it (Stiles doesn't seem to mind).
She keeps leaving him long messages about shirts and appropriate date venues, and how the dirty pizzeria down the street from their apartment is not on that list.

When Stiles trips in the bathroom, the sound of flesh slipping along wet porcelain grabs him. Stiles is stupidly clumsy, and it's kind of an ever present worry in Derek's life that he hurts himself drastically someday. His teeth poke into his lip slightly until he hears Stiles huff a laugh, but his focus on Stiles in the bathroom doesn't waver. He can't seem to hear anything else anymore. His eyes can't overwhelm the pull of his ears. His world is just the sound of water hitting Stiles' body. Nothing is more important.
He stands in his room in an awkward stupor, shirt choices hanging limply in his hands (one a pale grey t-shirt and the other the green button down that Lydia had mentioned in her call) noticing absolutely nothing but the sound of soft cotton drifting over Stiles' skin as he towels himself dry.
It's a little terrifying that he can't stop.

The bathroom door opens and closes and the smell of Stiles and soap drifts down the hall to Derek, and suddenly the world is a lot more than sound. Stiles follows, and pauses in his doorway, looking across the hall into Derek's room, laughing softly at the way Derek is staring balefully at his clothes.

It makes him blush, which just makes the whole evening even more nerve-wracking.

In the end he realizes he has only about five minutes left to be ready in before he's late, and pulls on the green shirt and some jeans, not the ones he always wears (Lydia mentioned they were torn and had blood on them) but a brand new pair.
He can't quite bring himself to leave behind his leather jacket like Lydia suggested though. He likes the jacket.

He almost forgets to put on shoes.

He tries his best to walk casually into the small lounge/kitchen Stiles is waiting in, but he feels ridiculous - his shirt is green, he feels like a park ranger for God's sake - but Stiles is smiling at him, eyes flicking up and down his body. It's gratifying, and more than a little reassuring.
Stiles looks perfect; he's not wearing an over shirt for once, and Derek can see his arms, and the definition of his chest is much clearer.
It's nice, Derek thinks, to see what Stiles' body looks like, sans the plaid shroud that droops around him like a miasma of confidence issues. Something inside Derek tells him he's over-romanticizing everything already, but his wolf is satisfied to finally know how Stiles fits under those clothes. To his instincts it feels right, not sensual at all (to his mind though, it's appreciated in a less complicated way).
Stiles is bared to him in a way he only really is before his morning coffee, and when he's fighting something much more powerful than himself, and winning.
The sense of danger, of reality, that follows Stiles is intensified when his arms are bared. It's poignant; static in the air.
Stiles coughs and Derek is once again tripped back into the present, the one where Stiles is only showing a little bit of skin and it's just his arms for God's sake, but Derek still tingles with it. The atmosphere of Stiles is different - tilted on its axis - and Derek feels it all over.

God, they haven't even left the apartment yet.

Stiles gets up, "Dude, so... Time to go."
"Yes," is all Derek says, and it strikes him that he's awful at this.
Stiles is twitching and Derek hunches into himself a little bit.
They stare at each other, standing in front of their couch. It's the most awkward minute Derek has on record, by a mile, including the time Laura walked in on him and some girl back in their old apartment. To be fair though, he cares a lot more about Stiles going on a second date with him than he did about Pink Bangs girl.
"You wanna, I dunno, lead the way or something. God, I'm hopeless at dates, you know this. I've told you that a million times. I mean it's you, you're kind of something else, so it should be fine, but I'm terrible and you're kind of a new level of intimidating, and to be honest, I've thought about this since I was sixteen but I never thought this date would actually happen, so yeh."
Stiles waits like he's expecting Derek to say something, but of course Derek doesn't, because he's even worse at dating than Stiles is.
Stiles' face blanches, "Wait, man. This... This IS a date right? I mean, I thought we went over that but when I was all 'is this a date' you were just 'you know what I mean,' and I didn't really confirm it, I just assumed. I'm sorry man, if it isn't a date. Because I just said all that stuff. You must be so embarrassed, I'm sorry. Is this? Is it a date, Derek? Because I gotta say, I... I would really like it if it was."
The end of his sentence rises up like a question, and Derek wants so badly to kiss it away.
"Stiles," he manages to push out of his throat, "This is definitely a date."
"Oh, good." Suddenly Stiles is a lot brighter, and the energy in the room picks up again, "That's brilliant in so many ways, you have no idea, and I mean, I already told Lydia-"
"I know you did."
"Oh, God, she didn't call you, did she?"
"Stiles," and Derek feels that a raised eyebrow is completely justified right now, "I'm wearing green."
"Oh, so Lydia definitely called you. Man, you look like some kind of sexy park ranger."
"Shut up, Stiles."
"No, man, it definitely works for you. A plus, would recommend."
Stiles is buzzing, now, and all his frantic energy is directed at Derek.
It's enough to make him swoon. You know, if Derek was a swooning kind of guy.
"I mean your eyes, man. It’s bad enough you have them in the first place, Jesus fucking Christ, and then that shirt. Seriously, dude."
Derek huffs a laugh and pushes Stiles out the door, "Come on, we're leaving."
"I just gotta get my keys."
"We're not taking the jeep on our first date."
"Dude, it's Angelo's. Like class is a factor there."
"We're not going to Angelo's because it's classy; we're going 'cause it's your favorite."
"It's actually rather cute that you know that. Adorable, actually. No, no, I'd go so far as-"
"Shut up, Stiles."
"Just saying, man. It's dreamy, Derek. You're dreamy."
"We're still taking the Camaro, so forget about finding your keys."
Stiles eyes narrow, "You hid them, didn't you?"
"No, you do that well enough yourself."
"You fucking suck, man. You know where they are, I can tell. I can see it in your distracting, wolfy eyes."
"Hurry up, we're gonna be late."
"For Angelo's? We haven't even ordered."
"Just fucking come already, Stiles."
Stiles laughs and Derek's shoulder hunch even more, "It's like you're 12, Stiles. Let's just go ok."
"Yeh, yeh. Cheer the fuck up."

Angelo's is pretty nice for a dingy hole in the wall pizzeria that specializes in deliveries. The place always smells amazing, neither of the two tables in the front are wobbly, and Angelo's grand-daughter helped him make a playlist of all his favorite songs for the restaurant. It sounds more like a fifties themed diner, but there's something unequivocally friendly about listening to someone else's favorite songs. Sometimes Angelo gets frustrated with the lack of digital tracks and brings in a few records to play through, which Derek likes.
Today's one of those days, and he's playing early Buddy Holly. It's a shame, Derek thinks, that they're not eating in tonight.
Stiles is ordering the pizza, and chatting to Angelo's great-nephew, Brandon (currently working the tills as an after school job for his uncle), about high school. Derek wonders if he should be talking to Stiles; he's his date, maybe he should mind Stiles talking so enthusiastically to other people, but sometimes he just likes to watch Stiles talk (re: all the time). He's enjoying himself, and Stiles is beautiful when he's happy and talking about something he knows.
There was a long time in Derek's life recently when Stiles never smiled; he's not going to get in the way of that.

It's kind of calming, the music and Stiles' enthusiasm. An idea occurs to him while Stiles is trying and failing to explain Mr. Harris to Brandon, and he tenses up, but he figures, if he can't do this now, when they're on a date, when can he? He moves forward and leans his head on Stiles' shoulder, and wraps his arms around his middle. Stiles trails off in his conversation with Brandon almost immediately. Derek's a little nervous, which seems stupid even to him, but they've never really touched like this before. Derek can't remember a single embrace outside of a life or death situation; this is decidedly nicer though.
Stiles seems to agree because he's turning his head to the side and looking Derek in the eyes, thousand kilowatt smile strangely gentle, and well, Derek can't help it. He places a slow soft kiss on the side of Stiles' mouth. He knows if he saw this it would seem cloyingly sweet, but when it's him on this side of the romance, it's intimate and hesitant, and yes, sweet, but also right; undeniably correct, and always appropriate.
Angelo, who had been sitting by the record player, has switched records, and Only You by the Platters is suddenly filling the air in the pizzeria. Derek can feel the huff of Stiles laugh brushing his cheek and pulls him in closer.
Angelo is smirking at him, and Brandon is obviously trying not to laugh (Derek thinks it's about Stiles' terrible attention span or his great-uncles musical input, not at them) as he boxes up their pizzas, but it doesn't matter.
This is good.

"So, why are we here?" Stiles asks as Derek parks the Camaro.
"I just wanted to show you something."
"What? Shrubbery?"
"It's behind the shrubbery, jackass. Just follow me."
"Ok, fine. Let's follow the natural predator into the bushes. Somewhat rapey out of context, possibly the set up to a horror movie, what with the whole creature of the night thing, but hey, I'll go with it. I'm Stiles Stilinski and apparently I do things like that, you know, on the whim of the judgment impaired."
"Don't forget the pizza."
"I'll forget you in a minute. Well, obviously I won't, but dude, really? Secluded, dark car park at night? Really, really? This is romantic to you?"
Derek raises his eyebrow in a way he knows infuriates Stiles, "Don't forget the soda either."
Derek walks away and Stiles scrambles after him with the food and drink.
"Why am I carrying all the food?" Stiles whines as they walk through the bushes, "What are you even carrying? Is that a picnic blanket? Aww, you have cups and plates, too. Oh, god, do you have any idea how adorable you're being? It's like the twilight zone where instead of creepy, you're dreamy as - Holy shit."
"Yeh," Derek says, as the view opens up from behind the bushes, "It's nice."
"Nice? Holy shit," Stiles says scanning the horizon in front of him, "This is perfect."
Derek blushes, he can feel it on his face and it's terrible, "You like it?"
Stiles pauses, and looks down at the view of the beach, with sunset falling over the water, "Are you kidding? This is literally the most romantic thing ever, and it's for me. You're freaking perfect, it's perfect. I mean, it's perfect aside from being a tiny clearing near a cliff; I'm clumsy guy. I’m worried I’m not gonna lie. I could fall off -"
"No."
"No? Well, the view is more than worth imminent death anyway. Jesus, you're so cheesy."
"Is that... Is that ok?"
"No, it's brilliant. I'll shut up now."

Derek smiles, and Stiles smiles, and when the pack finds out about this, they're going to mime barfing at him.

It's perfect though. They eat their pizza, and Derek tells Stiles about pissing off his favorite professor and Stiles bitches about Lydia and his arguments over skype about something Derek doesn't really care about, and it's perfect.

Stiles gets up to leave, after they've been sitting there for about two hours after the pizza was finished, but Derek tugs his hand, and Stiles launches at him for a kiss, and it's good and it's very Stiles (see: enthusiastic, dangerous and a bit, dare Derek say it, sassy).
Derek could handle being kissed like that for the rest of his life.