Stiles dumped his backpack beside the little round table and settled down in one of the squishy chairs in the back corner of Starbucks. He and Scott had plans to hang out last week that were derailed by the sudden appearance of a vampire clan looking for new territory, which was just not okay for so many reasons, not the least of which being the infringement on Stiles’s bro-time with Scott. Although Stiles had to admit that it wasn’t all bad, because he was getting free coffee out of the deal due to Scott feeling bad about being the one who (literally) tripped over the vampires on his way to school.
Stiles was just about to get up and see if Scott had remembered that they both liked coffee black, or if he was trying to get preemptive revenge on Stiles for making fun of his very poor vampire-hunting skills by having the barista put in cream and sugar and that disgusting white stuff that Stiles didn’t even want to think about, when Scott came around the corner and set down a cup of steaming coffee. Black. Thank god. Stiles took a sip and hummed, feeling the drink slide down his throat and imagining the warmth spreading throughout his body.
Scott took his seat next to Stiles, dropping his backpack between the two chairs. “I got you decaf, but I didn’t put anything in it, so you can’t complain.”
“That is where you’d be wrong. I can always complain.” Stiles grinned over at Scott, letting him know that he didn’t mind. Scott chuckled, wrapping his hands around the mug to warm them up. “Because vampires, really? They don’t sparkle and they don’t avoid werewolves. I'm highly disappointed.”
Scott groaned. “I have learned more about Twilight in the past week than I ever wanted to know.”
“That’s just because you never indulged properly in pop culture,” Stiles said, bringing up their oldest argument. “It’s a tragedy, although since you’ve at least seen enough Star Trek to know who Captain Kirk is, I’ll consider it a minor tragedy.”
“Wait, you mean you actually read it?”
“What? It was research.” Stiles set down his coffee, gesturing dramatically for emphasis. “When you’ve got nothing on vampires, you need to look at every facet of the mythology, and Twilight has a very unique mythology.”
“Because it’s wrong.”
“Yes, because it’s wrong, but we didn’t know that at the time.” Stiles picked up his cup and took a sip, glaring at Scott over the rim.
“Okay, but you have to admit it was funny when Allison called you out on trying to use it to make plans for ambushing them.”
“It was not funny, and I was not using Twilight,” Stiles corrected. “I was using common sense; the vampires are trying to pass as human, ergo they are living in human accommodations The only supernatural creature trying to pass as human that doesn’t live like a human is Derek.”
“He’s rebuilding the house, you know,” Scott said, as though he felt obligated to defend Derek out of some sort of pack loyalty.
“No, Scott. I managed to miss the entire pack spending our weekends learning about wiring and putting up new drywall to help rebuild it.” Stiles rolled his eyes.
Scott held up his hands, conceding Stiles’s point. “Okay, but he’s working on it. And at least he goes on dates like a normal person, right?”
Stiles snorted, because Derek going on a normal date? Didn’t happen. “No, he really, really doesn’t.” Which Scott knew, because Stiles told him about the dates he and Derek went on. All of them. And if it was Stiles’s version of revenge for Scott oversharing about his dates with Allison, Scott didn’t complain.
Scott makes a disbelieving noise. “I know you go on dates. You’ve told me about your dates in great detail.”
Stiles resisted the urge to roll his eyes and simply nodded in acknowledgement. “I do. Which is why you should know that Derek doesn’t do normal dates. He does stakeouts and random encounters with the supernatural.”
Scott shook his head and looked over at Stiles. “No way. I bet I can remember one date you told me about that was perfectly normal.”
“Bet you can’t.”
“What’s the wager?” Scott asked. Stiles grinned, because he always won their bets, and this wasn’t about to be the exception to the rule.
“A month of coffee.”
“Two months, but only once a week.”
Stiles paused a few moments for dramatic effect and pretended to seriously consider Scott’s deal. Looking over with a mock serious expression on his face, he nodded and extended a hand to shake on it. “But only if it’s coffee your mom made.”
Scott shook his hand without hesitation, laughing as Stiles's expression broke from his blue steel impression into a grin. “You just have a thing for my mom’s coffee.”
“Guilty,” Stiles replied. “But can you blame me? She’s the reincarnation of the Aztec coffee god or something.”
“I’m pretty sure the Aztecs didn’t worship a coffee god, Stiles.”
Stiles hums into his coffee and takes another sip. “But if they did, it would have been your mom.”
Scott made a disgusted face. “I’m going to get back to showing you that Derek does go on normal dates before you start making ‘Your Mom’ jokes.”
“I would never,” Stiles said, his face contorting into an overblown expression of horror and hurt. “Your mother is so saintly, even the angels worship her.”
“Moving on,” Scott said quickly, covering up anything further Stiles could say in that vein of thought. “What about that time he asked you out to coffee?”
“That was not a date. That was a stakeout.”
“A stakeout.” Scott’s expression clearly said he didn’t believe it.
“A stakeout, yes.”
“Followed by a romantic drive around the city?”
“Followed by tailing a certain silver Porsche around the city.”
Scott nearly did a spit-take. “You were stalking Jackson? Your first date with Derek was stalking Jackson?”
Stiles glared ineffectively as Scott laughed into his coffee. “I told you, that wasn’t a date.”
Scott looked over at Stiles, his shoulders still shaking and a smile in his voice. “You know that it was.”
“It was not. After the warehouse, even Derek knew it was a bad idea to follow Jackson alone in case something happened and he went lizard again. I just happened to be the only one available at the time, because you and Allison were on a date, Erica had a doctor’s appointment to follow up on her seizure, Boyd had to take care of his sisters, Isaac was failing chemistry and needed to do his homework, and Peter. Well, you know why he couldn’t take Peter.”
Scott winced slightly. Stiles sympathized. Saying that the showdown with Peter 2.0 had been bad was a massive understatement. Stiles still had scars on his shoulder from where Peter had grabbed him before trying to rip his throat out. With his teeth. The experience had ruined him for all jokes about werewolves and their teeth. Which was too bad, because they were really good jokes.
“Okay,” Scott said cautiously. “Maybe that wasn’t a date. But what about the time you guys did dinner and a movie? That went well.”
“Yeah,” Stiles drawled sarcastically, giving Scott the side-eye. “You should know that because you were there. Along with Allison. And Erica. And Boyd. And Isaac. And even Lydia and Jackson. Funny how a date turns into a not-date when the entire pack just happens to show up.”
Scott had the decency to look a little bit guilty. “But you did dinner and a movie again later, didn’t you? We didn’t show up that time.”
“You didn’t show up because I specifically picked a movie I knew you didn’t want to see. But we never made it to the movie because we were approached at dinner by another pack that wanted to make an alliance.”
“Wait, that’s when the Renning pack approached you? I thought it was weird that Derek said he’d already met them when they showed up while the pack was training the next day.”
Stiles rolled his eyes. “When exactly did you think he met them? No werewolf pack is stupid enough to approach an alpha in his den, and Derek doesn’t exactly go out much.”
“He follows us around all the time,” Scott pointed out.
“And you think that would be a good time to approach him about a treaty?”
Scott shrugged. “No, but I wouldn’t think approaching him while he’s on a date would be a particularly good idea either.”
“Touche. But to be fair, I don’t think they realized I knew about werewolves. I’m pretty sure they thought they were going to approach him and make it look like some sort of professional business discussion.”
Scott snorted. “Because Derek is a business consultant in his leather jackets and burned out house.” Stiles laughed a little at that, because even if he weren’t in the pack, he’d never believe Derek was involved in business. Motorcycles or the mafia, maybe, but not business.
“So what about that time he took you out to lunch last semester? I remember you were gone because Erica got into a fight when someone tried to hit on Boyd. We seriously missed having you there.”
“Yeah, the lunch that started with us in line in front of my dad, who shouldn’t be eating fast food anyway, and ended with him deciding that a restaurant was the perfect place to grill Derek about our relationship.”
“You didn’t run into anything supernatural though,” Scott said in an almost hopeful voice, as though he were expecting the fact that Stiles’s date had been interrupted by an overprotective parental tirade instead of an overbearing pack of teenagers to mean that it could be considered ‘normal.’
“I quite clearly remember you calling dinner at Allison’s house the Hunter Inquisition Of Doom,” Stiles shot back, “and you were at least expecting to be interrogated about your intentions towards their daughter. Getting caught and verbally accosted by a parental unit in public does not constitute a normal date.”
Scott cringed, remembering his first dinner at Allison’s house. Or possibly the second. Or third. Stiles knew (from detailed descriptions) that it hadn’t gotten less awkward with time, and even though Scott wasn’t afraid for his life anymore, he still actively avoided dinner with the Argents.
“Did you ever try anything outside? I took Allison down to the swimming hole out on the preserve the other day, and it went well.”
Scott looked a little dreamily at the memory, and Stiles waited for him to come back to the present. “Remember that time you thought something was wrong, and you came over and found Derek running around the woods in wolf form before he sent you home?”
Scott frowned. “Yeah, that’s the only time I’ve ever seen him as a wolf. And he wouldn’t turn back! It was weird.”
Stiles gave an exasperated huff. “What do you think he was wearing under all that fur?” Scott’s eyes widened slightly and his features twisted into an ‘oh, ew’ face. Stiles couldn’t resist a little teasing “Come on, Scott. You all run around shirtless all the time.”
“Yeah,” Scott said with a slight grimace. “But we don’t go around completely naked.”
“Which is why he didn't change back. Anyway, he was looking for our clothes. As it turns out, nymphs have a sense of humor and thought it would be funny to antagonize the werewolf who was swimming in their pond.”
A look of horror crossed Scott’s face. “Nymphs? We have nymphs in the swimming hole?”
“Had,” Stiles corrected. “We had nymphs in the swimming hole. Apparently an angry alpha werewolf is enough to convince them it’s time to find a new lake to terrorize swimmers in.”
“So if you hadn’t been there first…” Scott trailed off, thinking about what might have happened if the nymphs had stolen his and Allison’s clothes instead of Stiles’s and Derek’s. The expression of horror on his face deepened as he realized how badly that would have gone over if they'd been caught. “Couldn’t you just go on a walk or something? I mean, you can’t have crossed over into anything’s territory if you were just going on a walk, right?”
Stiles resisted the urge to grin at the expression on Scott’s face. “There are these things called dryads, you see, and they’re kind of like nymphs except they live in trees.”
Scott’s jaw dropped and he just sat there looking at Stiles for a minute. “You’re kidding. There’s no way you went on a walk and dryads, what? Pelted you with acorns like angry squirrels?”
Stiles burst out laughing. “Trained you well in the ways of sarcasm, I have, young jedi. No, we couldn’t be lucky enough to run across any dryads. That walk was when Derek sniffed out the red caps who were trying to turn us into their scapegoats.”
“Oh yeah, they stank.” Scott wrinkled his nose at the memory. “Dude, isn’t there at least one date you’ve been on that hasn’t been interrupted by something?”
Stiles grinned impishly. “Well, there was one-“
“See! I knew it!”
“-but I haven’t told you about it. I might have to for you to believe it actually happened.” Stiles looked over to Scott for confirmation before starting in on his story. “I had him over for dinner while my dad was on a night shift last week, and after dinner we went up to my room to watch a movie on my laptop. It ended on the bed with-“
“Okay! Okay, fine, you win. You’ve never gone on a normal date with Derek. You can have your coffee.”
“For two months.”
“For two months, yes, if you promise to never ever try to tell me that story again.”
Stiles grinned and settled back in the chair and picked up his coffee. This was exactly what best friends were for.