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falling for you (over trashcans)

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Stiles has so much respect for his friends working crew for the musical, okay? Like, so much respect. The way that the crew sits down and strategically maps out which actors need to change when and which crew members will be available to help them, and if no one is available to make at least one person available, and to always have a backup. Like, it’s incredible and Stiles doesn’t know if he’d be able to do it. 

He’s certainly thankful for it as he bolts down the aisle of the theater and bursts through the back door. Isaac’s there immediately to strip off his sweater, pulling it up and over his head while Stiles slips his arms out of the sleeves and then reaches down to start unlacing his belt buckle which he quickly hands off to Erica who is holding his next pair of pants. 

Stiles is counting down in his head to the beat of the moving off music. He has thirty seconds before he has to race back down the other aisle to make his next entrance, and even though this is only a dress rehearsal for opening night tomorrow, he still wants this to be perfect and doesn’t want to slack off, even if there’s no audience to disappoint. So he’s going to make this entrance dammit!

As soon as the belt is gone and the button and zipper undone, Erica takes that as her cue to move in. Stiles strips off his white undershirt, Isaac at his side prepared to slip the blue tee onto him, while wiggling his hips to slide the loose pants down. Erica helps him out, but she’s technically not supposed to see him “change” so they have to be as PC about it as possible, even though Stiles has no qualms about people seeing him change anymore because he’s been in theater for years and many more people have seen him in much less. She holds the pants open as soon as he kicks off the jeans and he steps into them. He raises his arms as Isaac shimmies the tight shirt over him.

A sudden crash knocks the three of them out of their groove, and Stiles’ head snaps around as soon as the shirt uncovers his face. He sees Derek Fucking Hale sprawled out on the ground, a trashcan spilled out around him. Stiles would laugh, but the shock of seeing Derek Hale, basketball champion and his lifelong love, stays his tongue. 

The orchestra starts back up with the next song. Shit, ten seconds. 

“Erica, I’ve got these. Go help him up. Isaac, the door,” Stiles snaps as he tugs his pants up his legs the rest of the way. Thank Christ he doesn’t need to put the belt back on to keep these on his body, they’re tight enough. 

Five, four, three– Isaac opens the doors just as Stiles turns to Derek, picking up a briefcase strategically left right outside of the door, and says, “Hi, Derek! Hope you’re okay!” 

He gives the baffled teen a grin before turning and rushing down the stage right house aisle, yelling, “Darling, I have arrived!” in a sing-songy voice.

 

*

The auditorium doors slam closed behind Stiles, and Derek groans, smacking a hand over his face.

Isaac props the trashcan back up and gives Derek an unimpressed look. “What the hell, Hale?”

“Sorry, sorry, I hope I didn’t mess you guys up,” Derek fumbles to say as he gets to his feet. 

Erica has finally tossed the last of the spilled trash back into the garbage can and is washing her hands in the hallway’s water fountain before brushing them off on her dark-wash jeans.

“We’re too professional for something like you to throw us off,” Erica tells him, eyes narrowed. 

“Sorry,” Derek says again, for lack of anything else to say. 

Isaac crosses his arms over his chest. “What are you doing here. Isn’t there basketball practice? We could hear you guys in the gym before we started our run.” The auditorium and the gymnasium were built on opposite ends of the second floor hallway, so you can easily hear activity from either place if you were in the other. 

“Just ended,” Derek admits.

“So you’re here because…?”

Derek feels a blush cover his entire face, and Erica smirks at him.

“I… I’m here for support?” Isaac’s unimpressed eyebrow says more than words, and Derek sighs and adds, “I wanted to see Stiles. I knew your practice would go on after mine ended so… I wanted to just pop in and watch. That’s all.”

“And you tripped over a trash can because…?”

Derek purses his lips and stares at the floor. His shoes squeak as he passed them back and forth over the linoleum. He takes deep, measured breaths, still a little tired from a rigorous practice. He’d barely stopped to shower and raced over because he hadn’t wanted to miss Stiles.

Isaac and Erica continue to stare at him as he stays silent. Eventually, Isaac sighs and says, “Look, we have work to do. You can sit in the back and stare at Stiles. Just be silent about it. And go in during a blackout so that the noise of the door doesn’t disrupt a scene.

Derek nods eagerly, grinning at the pair. “Sure, thanks.”

Isaac just rolls his eyes, and Erica smirks even harder, before they both snap back into work-mode and speed-walk over to a table full of props on the other side of the hallway.

Derek stands at the door to the theater, peeking into the small window until the room goes black, a scene having ended, and he quietly opens and closes the door, and takes a seat in the back row out of sight of anyone but the lights and sound crew who ignore him. 

Derek watches the rest of the musical, entranced, There was only twenty minutes of it left by the time he came in, but Stiles is on stage for all twenty of those minutes, so he is easily sucked in. He’s lost on most of the story, but he figures he’ll get it when he comes to see the show on Saturday. He’d come tomorrow on opening night, but he has a game and can’t miss that. 

And even though there are a couple fumbles that Derek notices, some delayed light cues, and some points where the actors on stage break their character, it’s all pretty amazing to watch. Derek had never been super into musical theater, or any kind of theater at all really, but the enthusiasm Stiles has for his craft cannot be ignored.

Plus, he kind of sounds like an angel, and Derek is practically melting in his seat as the cast practices curtain call and bows. He has to stop himself from clapping and cheering when Stiles bows at center stage. He’s not supposed to be there, after all.

But a second after the bows finish, the lights in the rest of the auditorium seating area turn on, and suddenly Derek freezes. He can be seen now.

He stays still for a moment. Maybe if he just waits until everyone is distracted, then he can sneak right out the door and be on his way.

Unfortunately, he’s not that lucky. 

Stiles jumps off the stage gracefully, high-fives a couple of the other actors, and then looks up and stares directly at him.

Derek feels his heart stop in his chest. Stiles looks at him, shocked, then a smile slowly creeps up his face. He says something to the girl next to him and then jumps into the aisle and jogs up to him.

Derek figures he might as well meet his fate, and stands to greet him.

There’s sweat on Stiles’ brow, and the microphone taped to his face looks like it’s nearly falling off, but he’s grinning lazily, happily. Derek’s heart starts back up, double time. 

“Hey,” Stiles says on a breath. “What are you doing here?”

Derek’s face still feels warm even though the trash can incident was too long ago. “I, uh, wanted to apologize?”

Stiles’ eyebrows furrow and he blinks. “Apologize?”

“For, uh–” Derek flails a hand at the back door that leads into the hall. “–seeing you, Change.”

Stiles’ face lights up and he chuckles. “No need to be sorry for that, dude. You were just there. It’s an odd place to change, but it’s not like we have a backstage changing area outside of the theater, right?” he chuckles. “So we make do. I’m not embarrassed or anything, you’re fine.”

Derek huffs out a laugh and rubs a hand over his face, trying to stop the heat from rising up in his cheeks. “That’s– good. Okay, cool.”

Stiles smiles at him, a small private smile, and Derek finds himself adding. “You looked great, though.”

Stiles flinches in surprise. Derek backtracks quickly.

“On stage! You looked– sounded great. On stage. In the play.”

“Musical,” Stiles instinctively corrects, and Derek cant help but grin at the way Stiles winces at the sharpness in his word.

“Right. Musical. I can’t wait to see the whole thing.”

It may just be because of the stage lights being warm, but Stiles’ cheeks are pink. “Really? Y–You’re coming to see the show?”

Derek narrows his eyes in confusion. “Of course. I’ve seen all your shows.” Derek resists the urge to bite his tongue. “Gotta support the school, right?” he quickly adds, trying to sound like he’s not on the verge of hyperventilating. “Keep the arts alive, and all that?”

Stiles’ face falls slightly, “Right.” His voice has gone flat. Maybe his voice is sore from all the singing and talking. “For the school, not me,” the boy grumbles, softly, as if he hadn’t meant to be heard.

Derek stares at the teen in front of him as Stiles wipes his hand over his forehead to pat away the sweat. 

“Well, for you too,” Derek finds himself saying.

Stiles’ gaze snaps up to meet his, and a shy smile graces his face. “Really?” he asks, sounding bashful.

Derek feels shy all of a sudden as well. “Yeah,” he says truthfully, looking up at Stiles from underneath his eyelashes.

Stiles licks his lips, and Derek notices that he takes away some of the lipstick he was wearing with the swipe. His hand twitches at his side. He wants to wipe all of that lipstick off. With his tongue.

That’s an odd thought.

“Stiles!”

The pair jump, and Stiles looks over to see Isaac grinning fiercely at them. “The tech guys need your mic, dude! You can finish your moment later!”

Stiles is definitely blushing now, and Derek feels warmth fill him. They were having a moment. Him and Stiles. 

“Coming!” Stiles shouts back at him before turning to look at Derek. “I should probably go change. And, uh, we’ll have to do notes after that. That will probably take a while.”

Derek feels his face fall. He knows when he’s being dismissed. “Oh. Okay. I’ll just–”

“But I do!” Stiles rushes to say, reaching out and snagging Derek’s upper arm. His hand is sweaty but Derek doesn’t care. “Want to finish. Our moment.”

Derek smiles, and Stiles takes that as confirmation. “Let me give you my number. Text me yours, and then I’ll let you know when I’m done. Then maybe I can call. Or something?”

“Okay,” Derek breathes, fumbling in his pocket for his phone, He unlocks it and pulls up an new contact before turning it over.

“Stiles!”

“Two seconds!” Stiles shouts back without even turning around or taking his eyes off of Derek’s phone. He hands it back to Derek with a shy grin once he finishes, and Derek takes it back. Their fingers brush, and Derek shivers.

“I’ll be sure to text you once I’m home,” Stiles promises. “But we probably can’t talk too much. It’s already close to ten and I do have a show tomorrow I need to rest up for. And you have a game.”

Derek’s eyes widen. “You know I have a game?”

Stiles grins. “You’re not the only one who goes to things to, what did you say, support the school?” Stiles winks. “Bye, Derek.”

“Bye,” Derek murmurs and watches as Stiles saunters away from him and disappears behind the stage.

“Pathetic,” Erica says right in Derek’s ear, and Derek jumps, shrieking in surprise. 

Shit, Erica, don’t do that!” Derek shouts, hand clutched over his heart.

Erica rolls her eyes. “Whatever, Hale. You be nice to him, okay?”

Derek looks back to where Stiles had disappeared and says, “Of course.”

“Idiots,” Erica seethes, but Derek ignores her, turning to head back into the hallway, eyes on his phone. 

He opens up a new text line with Stiles and sends him, It’s Derek. 

After a moment of deliberation, he also sends him, :)

An hour later, Derek’s phone goes off, and there is no delay in him opening the text because he’s had his phone in his hand ever since he got home.