Derek always hoped Boyd and Stiles would start to get along at some point.
They have a lot in common, really. Neither of them is particularly well-off—something worth mentioning in a small town as rich as Beacon Hills. They both have sarcastic senses of humour. They both like video games, they were both the only people in their english classes who liked the Great Gatsby. Neither of them particularly likes Chris Argent, neither of them will even pretend to try to resist making fun of Derek for his wolf pajamas, and most importantly, Derek loves them both fiercely.
But of course, Stiles and Boyd hate each other. More specifically, Stiles thinks Boyd is kind of neat, and Boyd abhors Stiles. For all Stiles makes his heart skip a beat, Derek can't say he's too surprised, really.
One thing he wasn't expecting was becoming some kind of weird power couple with the decent half of the baseball team and Stiles' motley crew of sophomore and junior friends.
It's Derek's senior year, and he's decided anyone who gives a shit who he's sleeping with isn't worth his time, so he's sitting next to Stiles in the cafeteria and staring balefully at his macaroni. Derek's never been one for crowds, particularly crowds of seventeen-year-olds, but Stiles likes people, every people, all the people, and he's telling a story to Scott McCall, who is sitting across from him laughing so hard milk is coming out of his nose. Across from Derek is Allison, Chris and Kate's cousin from Iowa. She is being openly flirted with by Jackson Whittemore, Lydia Martin's ex, and to Derek's left is Boyd, who is having a pleasant conversation with Danny Mahealani, the lacrosse goalie.
"What do you think?" Stiles suddenly demands of him, and now Derek just feels like shit for not listening, because Stiles is so pretty and Derek has a migraine and Stiles shared his cookie with him.
"Sorry," he says sheepishly. "I didn't hear what you said. I was looking at my pasta."
And Scott and Isaac Lahey laugh, like Derek said something funny. Which is—confusing, to say the least. He'd joined the baseball team in the first place because it was the only way beyond selling his soul to a crossroads demon he could pretend to not be completely inept with people. He'd always figured something was wrong with him, and yet? This whole time there was a group of people, however minimal, who enjoy the things he says. Even the things he hadn't meant to be enjoyable.
"Jesus, Der, you look like a puppy that pissed on the floor," Stiles says (eliciting another perplexing laugh from Scott and Isaac; when did Derek's life become a sitcom complete with laughtrack?). He smirks at Scott and Isaac until they get distracted arguing with Greenberg, at which point Stiles digs in his backpack, glancing up at Derek over the frames of his glasses. "Here," he says, producing a bottle of Excedrin.
"Oh," says Derek, letting Stiles put pills in his hand. "I."
"You look like you got one of your headaches," explains Stiles. Caps the bottle and puts it back in his backpack, beside an inhaler that he keeps around for Scott and an epi-pen for Isaac. "I've got water, too, if you want it."
"No," Derek says, swallowing the pills dry and then lifting his chocolate milk. "I've got—I'm good." He drinks the milk while Stiles watches with satisfaction. "Thanks," he says.
Stiles grins, bumps their shoulders together, holds his gaze in a significant fashion that Derek knows from experience means he's getting laid later, and that thought more than anything eases the tension in his head.
Derek's senior year is probably the busiest he's ever been in his life, and he can't really blame anyone but himself for that.
He's got a full class load (because he failed freshman english and had to retake Algebra I), he's on the baseball team, he's dating Stiles, and he's on the yearbook committee (which he only joined so he could prevent Boyd and his yearbook friends from submitting Stiles and Derek as 'cutest couple' or some crazy shit like that).
He's also dating Stiles. Which, yes, was already said, but the fact that it needs to be mentioned at least three times should indicate its importance. Derek is dating Stiles, and everyone knows it, and no one doesn't know it. Except in the case of Allison Argent, which, to be totally honest, is sort of the highlight of Derek's semester.
It happened in February, right at the end of the month, after Valentine's Day, when Stiles wore a garish pink sweater and a Mass Effect t-shirt and blew Derek in the locker room at lunch, but before Stiles' seventeenth birthday, when Derek took him "camping" in the mountains. Which actually means he spent all his allowance on a long weekend in a motel in the mountains. (Stiles loved it. Promised Derek's next birthday, that autumn, would be of equal or greater value, to which Derek responded by letting Stiles tie his wrists behind his back, and the sex was so good Derek was legitimately frightened of himself—) —Sorry. Anyway, it happened in February, when Allison found out her friend Brittany had a mad crush on Stiles and tried to set them up, thinking Stiles was single. Which is ludicrous. Because Stiles is dating Derek.
So Stiles ended up unknowingly on some kind of awkward date with her, and pissed her off talking about video games and the Cold War the whole time, which was difficult for him, Derek, or Scott to understand until Allison explained that not everyone likes video games and 20th century history. Which Derek felt like a douchebag after hearing, but Stiles just shrugged and wondered why he should worry about talking to someone he doesn't have any interests in common with.
"You could have asked her what her interests are," Allison says, frowning at Stiles in the mall the next day, and Stiles shrugs animatedly.
"I didn't really care what her interests were," Stiles says shrilly. "One minute I was hanging out with you and Scott, and the next you were like, 'This is my friend Brit,' and I said hi, and then she asked me a question, and it just happened, and now all of a sudden you're lecturing me."
"I'm not lecturing you, Stiles."
"You have your lecture face on. I've seen it."
She puts her lecture face into her hand for a second, breathing. Then she lifts back up, having transformed it into a One Thousand Percent Done face. "Stiles, I just assumed it was common knowledge to include your dates in your conversation."
At which point Stiles' face opens. That's what happens, his mouth gapes and his eyes shoot wide and he can't speak for a second and his face opens. Scott watches him and then cracks up, and Derek squints at Allison and says, "That was a date?"
"Of course it was a date," she says, exasperated and depleted. "She's only had a crush on Stiles for, like, nine months!"
"Oh," Stiles says with an awkward laugh, drowning his shock in soda. "Well, Derek's got her beat by like five months, so if we're staking claim here…"
"If it's based on who's liked you the longest, I win," Scott announces around a mouthful of chicken strips. "You complimented me on my Boba Fett t-shirt in 8th grade."
"And you've been hopelessly in love with me since then?" Stiles asks, beaming, a hand on his chest. "That's heartbreaking, Scott." Scott can't keep a straight face at Stiles, so he just giggles. "For real, though." Stiles turns back to Allison, offers her a fry. "If I'd known you were trying to get us together or whatever, I wouldn't have gone."
"Because you're dating Scott and Derek," Allison says, looking bored and irritated.
"No," Stiles says, raising his eyebrows slowly, "just Derek."
And she goes quiet for a minute, peering back and forth between Stiles' face, eyebrows up and incredulous, and Derek's face, trying not to laugh. Nearby, a kid gets into a high-pitched argument with his little sister. Someone sneezes over next to the taco stand. "You're not joking," she says suddenly, like it dawns on her, like someone just stepped up and politely bestowed upon her the gift of understanding, and her eyes shoot wide and she pales. Derek loses it, doubles over.
"Hey," Scott says, frowning, because wow, guys, that's his girlfriend, okay. "It's not that obvious." He shoots an infuriated, pleading look to Stiles, all please control your man, thanks, and Stiles just smiles primly and waits. Which Derek appreciates, because it either means Stiles doesn't mind that Derek is laughing or that Stiles refuses to take the reins and control when and at what Derek laughs.
Derek stops laughing. Just for him. "It kind of is, though," Derek says, and Scott glowers, jaw clenching. Scott could probably power the whole of Beacon Hills with the heat of his hatred for Derek. Derek scoots closer to Stiles, and if Stiles notices, he doesn't react.
"You know," Stiles says, nudges his glasses up by the side with one finger, "while I don't claim to understand how Allison could have missed the rumour that Derek and I got caught making out in the auxiliary gym three times in the last school year—"
"—It's totally true," Derek adds smugly.
"—I will concede that I probably should have caught on to the fact that she'd put me on a date with her Brittany before she pretended to get a phone call saying her couch was on fire and she had to leave."
Scott continues to glare at Derek. Derek suppresses his glee and shuffles ever closer to Stiles. Allison blushes. "Stop calling her my Brittany. It's, she's not mine."
"Well, she's clearly not mine," Stiles says.
"How about she doesn't belong to anyone and is her own person who Stiles is not interested in dating," Derek offers, and Scott visibly has a conflict on his face over how to feel about agreeing with Derek.
"How would I know that you guys were dating each other?" Allison hisses. Derek is thankful most of her exasperation is directed at Stiles. Does that make him a shitty boyfriend? "You play-flirt with Scott constantly!"
"That's me trying to turn him from his tragically heterosexual lifestyle so we can totally go at it!" Stiles exclaims.
"He's joking," Scott tells Allison, placating. "It's a joke. He just jokes around."
"Maybe I'm joking," Stiles says, leering. "Maybe it's a joke and I'm satisfied with Derek. But there's always a chance, there'll always be a slight, dark part of you that wonders if Derek is truly fulfilling my needs—"
"I'm just gonna stop you right there," Boyd says, and everyone jumps, having forgotten he was there. There is a long pause. "So I can leave," he finishes, and he stands and heads into the GameStop.