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“You’re so beautiful.”

Stiles looked up from his paperwork, meeting Deputy Boyd’s gaze. Surprise shot through him at the other man’s words, but Boyd just gazed steadily back, a slight curl to his mouth, and for a second, Stiles almost, almost let himself hope that maybe his attraction to his colleague hadn’t gone unnoticed and was maybe even reciprocated.
Then realization hit.

“Yeah, nice try,” he said with a snort, looking back at his computer and hoping Boyd didn’t notice the flush on his cheeks. Boyd made a quiet, inquisitive sound and Stiles shot him a fleeting glance before focusing intently on the cursor. “You know I got Erica in the Secret Santa and you wanna swap with me.”

From the corner of his eye, he noticed Boyd step closer, leaning his hip against Stiles’ desk. “Stiles...”

“Normally, flattery would get you anywhere -.”

“I’ve heard.” Boyd’s tone was dry and Stiles couldn’t help but flash a quick grin.

“But not this time. I hit the jackpot pulling Erica out of the hat, there’s no way I’m giving that up. Sorry but not sorry, bud.” Stiles offered a winning smile, spinning in his chair to face Boyd again.

The other man had his hip jutted ever so slightly to balance against Stiles’ desk, arms folded over his chest so his uniform fit snugly over his biceps, and Stiles had to drag his gaze away to look at Boyd’s face. His brows were furrowed ever so slightly, the same quiet, stoic look he got whenever the station was working on a tricky case, and he kept his gaze on Stiles. It wasn’t something Stiles was used to, having Boyd’s focus on him for this long; generally, it was him staring at Boyd and trying not to get caught, and normally Boyd rarely talked to him unless it was work related.

“Who’d you get, anyway?” Stiles asked, distracting himself. He tapped his pen against the edge of the desk.

Boyd paused, then muttered, “Lakes.”

Stiles almost cackled. “Ha! Sucks to be you. Seriously.”

Everyone dreaded get Officer Lakes in the Secret Santa. He was about as interesting as a tin of beige paint and impossible to buy for since he didn’t seem to have any interests outside of work, like, at all.

Boyd smiled slightly. “Thanks for your sympathy.”

“Hey, I had him a couple of years ago. I’ve earned my right to enjoy your suffering.” Stiles settled back in his chair, twiddling his pen between his fingers. “I got him a gift card.”

“For what?”

“Three free sessions at the golf course. Boring guys always seem to like golf, right? I figured it was a good bet.”

“And?”

“He turned around and gave it to my dad.”

Boyd snorted, shaking his head slightly as he settled more on the desk, leaning his weight on the hand splayed near Stiles’. “That’s cold.”

“Right? My dad doesn’t even like golf, so he gave it to our neighbor. So I inadvertently got my elderly neighbor the best gift he’d had in years.” Stiles offered Boyd a smile. “You could get him a mug or stationery set or something.”

“That’s the shittiest gift ever.”

“Allison got him a fancy pen last year and he still uses it.” He defended himself. “Besides, you always get the shitty gifts for people who are impossible to buy for. He can deal with it.”

Boyd gave a dry smile. “Allison was right. I should never take your advice.”

Stiles opened his mouth to respond, but then paused, blinking. “Wait, you and Allison talk about me? When? Like, what do you -.”

“Boyd!”

Stiles jumped at the sound of Erica’s shout, sitting back quickly in his chair. Boyd pulled back more slowly, looking across the room at the blonde deputy in the doorway. She raised an eyebrow, securing her hair more tightly in a ponytail.

“We’ve got patrol.”

“I’ll meet you outside,” Boyd replied, watching her go before he got to his feet. “Thanks for the terrible advice, Stiles.”

“Anytime, bud.”

He leaned his chin in his hand, watching Boyd walk away, and as the door closed behind him, he couldn’t help his sigh. Stubbornly ignoring the butterflies in his stomach, Stiles tried to focus on paperwork.

-:- -:- -:-

“Manning is already drunk.”

Stiles glanced over as Allison joined him at the bar. She stole one of his nachos, carefully wiping melted cheese away from her mouth. He nudged the plate closer to her, turning on his stool to look around the small bar. It was a favorite for the station and since they usually went there – either for coffee and lunch during a shift or for drinks or a night out after – they always chose it for their Christmas party.

It was dark and crammed with decorations, but Stiles finally spotted Manning by the tree, leaning clumsily on one hand against the wall as he tried to chat up Tara up. It didn’t take more than a minute before Tara gently got Manning sat down at a table with a glass of water and walked away and Stiles grinned.

“So, what’d you get?” he asked Allison.

“Jordan said he’ll swap shifts with me anytime I want,” she replied.

“That’s...actually a really good gift.”

She smiled. “What did you get?”

He pointed to the mug in front of him; squat and white with World’s Best Cop written on it in big blue letters. He had three of them at home, gag gifts from friends.

“That’s, like, the worst gift ever,” Allison laughed.

“Right?” Stiles said. “It’s the shittiest...” he trailed off, realization dawning. He looked around again, gaze settling on Boyd.

He was sat with Jordan and Erica, but he was watching Stiles, and he smiled, lifting his drink slightly. Stiles couldn’t help but grin back, lifting his own glass back before he emptied it in one gulp.

“I’ll be right back,” he said to Allison.

She slid the plate of nachos closer to her. “I’m having these.”

He laughed, clapping her on the shoulder before he slid off his stool. Boyd had got up, was heading towards the small corridor between the bar and the bathrooms, and Stiles followed. The door swung closed behind him, leaving them alone in the narrow corridor, the music muffled.

“You lied,” Stiles accused with a smile. “You said you had Lakes.”

Boyd shook his head, lips curling into a smile. “Erica got him. She took your advice and got him a pen, by the way. He almost smiled and everything.”

“Oh, good.” Stiles stepped closer. “I liked my mug. World’s best cop, huh?”

Boyd didn’t reply to that, just tugged lightly on the collar of Stiles’ bright red reindeer cardigan. “I like your sweater.”

Stiles pinched the nose of the reindeer on the pocket and it lit up, a tinny rendition of Jingle Bells ringing out. “If you wanted to be the first to mock me about the sweater, you’re about four hours too late.”

“Who was the first?”

“Scott. He doesn’t know I’ve got him a matching one for Christmas yet.”

Boyd smiled. “I wasn’t going to mock you about it. I really do like it. It’s cute. You’re...” he trailed off, gaze sliding nervously over Stiles’ face.

Breath catching, Stiles stepped even closer, tipping his head ever so slightly to meet Boyd’s gaze. “I’m what?” he encouraged, voice just a ghost above a whisper.

Boyd swallowed, licked his lower lip before he said, “You’re so beautiful.”

And then they were kissing, Boyd tugging him closer by his ugly sweater and Stiles gripping Boyd’s shirt firmly, sliding their lips together. He moaned quietly as Boyd’s hands swept his arms, over his shoulders and neck to cup his face, thumbs stroking his jaw as he deepened the kiss.

Stiles wanted to touch everywhere, all at once, but he settled for gripping Boyd’s ass and squeezing as he kissed him back, laughing breathlessly when Boyd twitched slightly, an amused sound escaping him. He stepped forward so Stiles’ back was against the wall and slotted his knee between his, grinding against him.

Stiles pulled back with a gasp. “Not that I don’t really, really like where this is going,” he murmured, breathless, “I kinda don’t like the thought of my dad catching us.”

Boyd stole another quick kiss before slowly stepping back, his fingertips whispering over Stiles’ skin before he finally broke contact. “Come back to mine?” he asked, quiet, throaty, and there was no way Stiles could say no to a request like that.

“Yeah,” he breathed, licking his lower lip. “Yeah, just...come on.”

He grabbed Boyd’s hand and lead him back out, past Allison and his dad, straight out of the bar, and this time, he welcomed the butterflies in his stomach.