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steal my breath away

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It’s just a regular Tuesday morning for Derek. He posts some letters, picks up a bolt for the bathroom door, and pops into the bank. He’s busy planning dinner in his head when there’s a loud pop, followed by several more, and three men in ski masks jump up onto the tables between the queue Derek’s in.

“Good morning everybody, this is a robbery! Now if nobody loses their head, nobody will lose their head. Simon says everybody lay down on the floor, right away, right away.”

Derek feels his mouth fall open in shock. People are shouting and starting to cry as they fall to their knees. A woman in front of him begins screaming, and the man in the mask that had been talking jogs over, “No, no, ma’am, try to stay calm, you’ll have a story to tell your friends at the end of this. People’ll invite you to dinner for weeks to hear about it.”


“Just get down on the floor, ma’am, there’s nothing to be afraid of.”

Despite the mild panic creeping up his spine, Derek snorts, and the guy hears it. 

Oh, fuck, he shouldn’t have done that. 

“Sir!” He moves to stand in front of Derek, claps a hand on his shoulder and Derek flinches. “Hey, number two, we got ourselves a standing volunteer!” Another man with a mask comes bounding, bounding, over, and half waves his machine gun in the first guy’s face. 


“Uh huh, he’s not impressed with our behaviour at all.”

They both turn to look at Derek, and Derek can’t help but roll his eyes, shrugs off the guy’s hand. 

"You’re robbing a bank, and quoting Thelma and Louise.”

The brown eyes visible through the holes of the ski mask widen at Derek, and then his mouth curves into a grin, 

“We got a movie buff here, too. Gosh, aren’t we lucky? Tell you what, sir, if you wouldn’t mind moving to the front of the line, we’re gonna move up your service! You got a ticket?”

Derek gives him a flat look, and the guy smirks at him.

“That’s okay, today only we’ve got a special offer on for obliging customers. You don’t need a ticket at all. You, sir, don’t even need to queue.”

“I think I’d rather wait my turn,” Derek retorts, wondering if he can debilitate both Number Two and Brown Eyes without getting himself shot.

The third bank robber’s been looking at a small laptop screen, clucks his tongue, “Somebody’s set off the silent alarm.”

“At last!” Brown Eyes cries, surprisingly excited for someone who’s just been informed the cops on their way to his robbery scene. “We got a hero in here. Everyone’s doing their part today, I see.” He moves along the cashier’s desks, dragging Derek with him as he eyes the panicky, crying bank tellers. When he reaches the end of the line there’s a shaking man trying not to make eye contact, and Brown Eyes leans over the counter, “Was it you, pal?”

“It wasn’t, I swear it wasn’t—”

“My, my, anyone would think we were here to do some damage today, not borrow some money.”

“Borrow,” Derek scoffs. 

“Uh huh,” Brown Eyes shoves a bag at him, gives him a sharp smile, “Do me a favor and climb over with this, would you?”



“No. I’m not going to help you rob a bank. These people were just trying to go about their daily lives, minding their own business—”

“And, that’s what you’re doing, huh? Minding your own business?” Brown Eyes takes a step towards him, head cocked to one side. “Cos it looks to me like you’re minding my business, interrupting my day, and I need you to do as I say, or—”

"Or, you’ll shoot me?”

“Wouldn’t be the first time I’ve shot a stranger.” From what Derek can tell, Brown Eyes’ expression goes pained for a second, and he absolutely does not start wondering what he’s had to do to get desperate enough to rob a bank. 

Pretty brown eyes be damned Derek knows what Stockholm Syndrome is.

Number Two hurries over to them, glancing at the clock, “Stiles, just do it yourself.”

“That isn’t what we agreed.”

“You’ve already started improvising with this guy; I thought we were going with the security guard!”

They all glance over to where the middle aged, balding security guard is doing his best to look invisible behind a potted plant. 

Brown Eyes, or Stiles apparently, snorts and readjusts his mask. “I’m not risking someone having a heart attack over this, man.”

“Eight minutes and counting,” the third robber calls over.

“Jesus, are they taking the scenic route or something?” Stiles rolls his eyes, hops over the counter himself and turns to Derek. “Now, I recognise I’ve not done a lot to earn your trust today, so I’m gonna do you a big ass favor.”

“A favor.”

“Mhm.” Stiles hovers his gloved hands over a computer keyboard, “What’s your name?”

“What does that have to do with—”

Stiles looks up at him sharply, and Derek shrugs uncomfortably, “Derek.”

“Thank you, Derek, so, you want your mortgage paying off while I’m here?”

"I own my own apartment.”

“Ooooh, fancy. Wife need anything pretty buying?”

“I’m single,” Derek grounds out, “But, I have two sisters that’d be extremely angry if I died.”

Stiles beams at him, “No doubt, no doubt. Tell me, Derek—”

“Dude, before you start interviewing him as a potential life partner, d’you think you could get him to pack the damn money?!”

“Shut up!” Stiles points his gun at Derek awkwardly, “Do as the nice man says, though, Derek, and get your butt over the counter. ”

“This is the worst organised robbery I’ve ever seen,” Derek comments as he begrudgingly does as he’s told. 

“Nobody asked you,” Stiles huffs. “M’lady,” he turns to the bank teller beside them, and she hides her face. “Don’t worry,” Stiles crouches down beside her, “I’m not going to hurt you." 

His tone is unnervingly sincere. Derek arches an eyebrow as Stiles puts his gun down, but before he can even think about it, Number Two holds his own up at Derek, shakes his head.

Stiles ignores them both, holds out an empty hand to the young lady, “I just need your keys.”

"But, I—”

“I know you don’t have the safe keys, I don’t want those. I just need your till keys. If it helps, you can tell everyone you fought me off, really hard, hell, you can even tell them the black eye I’m gonna get is from you!”

The girls chances a glance at him, and Stiles smiles gently, “So, can you hand your keys to me, please? I really don’t want to hurt you.”

Slowly, the girl hands Stiles the keys, and he straightens up, looks at Derek, “What?”

“I’m just amazed a bank robber has any manners at all,” Derek drawls. 

“You don’t hurt ladies,” Stiles sniffs, “Or, nice, kind bank tellers that were, as you said, minding their own business before I came in.”

Derek snorts again.

Stiles shoves the keys at him, “Open it.”

"Excuse me?”

Please, for fuck’s sake, if I wasn’t a super patient person I would so have shot you in the kneecap by now!”

Derek scowls at him, turns to open the till and the drawer flies open, money scattering on the floor. 

“You got some anger issues you wanna work out?” Stiles murmurs as he drops to the floor to pick up the fallen money.

“Can I work them out on your face?” Derek snaps back. 

That entirely depends on what you plan on doing to my face. There’s more than one way to work out pent up aggression.” Stiles sticks his tongue between his teeth, and Derek harrumphs, looks away. 

“Dude,” Number Two elbows Stiles, juts his chin towards the doors where the police have finally arrived. 

“Fucking Christ,” Stiles whines, “How long did that take?”

“Eleven minutes,” the guy from the laptop shakes his head, and he almost looks like he’s laughing. “Reyes is gonna cut everyone’s balls off.”

“I bet it was Whittemore complaining about his hair not fitting right under his helmet,” Stiles muses, and Derek looks at him in confusion. 


“Phase two begins,” Stiles interrupts before he can ask what the fuck’s going on, grabs his arm again. “Would you care to join me in the vault, Derek?”

“No, I would not.”

"Well, I’m enjoying your conversational skills so you’re coming along to keep me company anyway.”

“Lucky me,” Derek mutters. 

“I heard that!”


Number Two knocks the vault lock with a spanner, and the door swings open. 

“Oh man, it’s worse than we thought,” Stiles groans, tosses his gun to the side as they step into the vault.

Despite the severity of the situation, Derek takes a moment to look around. He’s never seen the inside of a bank vault outside of movies, and true to form, there are stacks and stacks of money lining the walls.


“I know, right?” Stiles murmurs, shouldering past him gently and shaking open a bag. “Almost makes you tempted.”

Derek glares at him, “I am not tempted.”

“I wasn’t just talking about you, dude, and I was joking,” Stiles looks him up and down. “You seem like you’re a true upstanding abider of the law.”

“Oh? And, how can you tell that?”

“I’ve got a good eye for these things.”

“Says the bank robber.”

“Says the man appreciating the interior of a bank vault.”

“That doesn’t mean I—”

“Jesus, get a room,” Number Two interrupts and Stiles whips his head round to look at him. There’s some sort of silent communication going on between them, and finally Stiles rolls his eyes, holds the bag out to Derek.

“Fine, fine, Derek, if you’d be so kind?”

“You want me to put this over my head?”

“What? No! I would never deprive the world of such a magnificent specimen.”

Number Two snorts, mutters, “Smooth,” and then strides over to the end of the vault, looking around. “There’s not a camera in sight.”

“Just another fault to add to the list, Scotty,” Stiles murmurs, pulling out a fucking notepad from his black pants and beginning to write something down.

“Dude!” Number Two hisses across the room at Stiles, “My name!”

“Oh, please,” Stiles waves a hand, “It’s gonna take them forever to get in here, we may as well all get comfortable.”

“Yeah, Scotty,” Derek drawls sarcastically, “Relax.”

Stiles snickers, points his pen at Derek, “Look at you joining in on the jokes.”

Derek freezes, remembering where he is, and drops his eyes to the floor. “Is there something you wanted me to do with this bag?”

“Yes! Shit, right, robbing stuff,” Stiles pops his notebook back in his pocket, gestures to a pile of fifty dollar notes. “Can you pick those up?”

“Why can’t you?”


“You’re wearing gloves,” Derek’s temper is beginning to fray, and Stiles’ gun is outside, only Scotty’s armed. If he knocked Stiles out, he could maybe talk the kid round.

“That’s not—oh, fine!” Stiles grabs Derek’s hand before he knows what’s happening, turns him around with a surprising amount of strength as he twists his arm behind his back, and shoves Derek into the shelves. “I really didn’t want to have to resort to this,” he huffs in Derek’s ear.

Derek growls, tries to shove back against him, and Stiles tugs his arm higher, “You didn’t plan on getting violent during a bank heist? What the fuck kind of bank robbers are you?”

“We’re not—just pick up the money!”

“Fuck you!”


“Fine!” Derek snatches up the nearest pile of cash, and a large amount of goo hits him in the face.

“Finally,” Stiles breathes out, loosening Derek’s hand to let him wipe his face. Derek yanks his sweater off to furiously rub at the mess, and Stiles makes a muted noise “That was good work, Derek. And, it wasn’t so hard, was it? Now, we can just—”

Before he can turn away, or do anything else, however, Derek rears up and punches him clean across the face.

“Ooooh, fuck!”

“Dude!” Scotty darts over as Stiles rolls across the floor, bats him away when he tries to pull the ski mask off.

“No, don’t, remember protocol!”

“Protocol,” Derek pants, “What. The. Fuck. Is happening here?”

A high pitched alarm begins blaring, and the door to the vault slams shut.

“Shit!” Stiles sits up, points at Derek, “This is your fault!”

“My fault? You were the idiots that decided to rob a bank!”

“We’re not idiots, asshole, and you just got us locked in here.”

“Good! I hope you get arrested, and I get some sort of medal.”

“Oh, shut up, you don’t get a medal for punching someone in the face.”

“Not even when the person made you get green dye all over yourself just because they didn’t want to get their own hands dirty?”

“I needed to check it would actually work! Just like the vault door—and now we’re stuck in here and I can’t finish my job!”

“Enough!” Scotty sighs out, tugs off his own mask and looks at Derek with big, earnest eyes. “Relax, Derek. We’re cops.”

“Scott!” Stiles scrambles to a stand, tries to put the ski mask back on Scott. “Dude! Protocol!”

“You threw protocol out the window the second you decided to bring Derek along on our exercise, Stiles!”

“He was the only person that looked like he wasn’t going to have a break down.”

“We should have taken the security guard; your dad is going to yell at you so hard.”

“Your dad’s in on this?” Derek asks incredulously, “What the hell, are you a gigantic family of robbers?”

“No, dumbass,” Stiles peels off his own ski mask and… the rest of his face is just as pretty as his eyes. Jesus, he’s screw up if he’s thinking that.

“We are cops, man. There’s been a string of robberies in town lately, and our unit was assigned to strengthen security in the remaining banks. We needed to look into weaknesses, see if the actual perps would show if they knew someone was getting in on their territory.”

“So, you staged a bank robbery? You expect me to believe this?”

Stiles rolls his eyes, “God, you’re stubborn through and through, aren’t you?”

Derek glowers at him, and Stiles’ mouth twitches, he holds up his hands, rolls up the bottom of his shirt to show a Kevlar vest beneath.

“That’s your evidence.”

Stiles growls, continues tugging up his shirt until Derek can see the Beacon Hills Police Department insignia with Stiles’ name underneath.

“Your parents named you Stiles when your surname was Stilinski?!”

“That’s what you’re focused on?”

“I’m sorry, was I supposed to be feeling relief and awe that a member of the BHPD took me hostage in my local bank?”

“I don’t know what you’re supposed to be feeling, but I would love to hear you say BHPD three times quickly.”

“Do you ever take things seriously, or is it just me you’re an antagonistic asshole with?”

“You’d have to spend more time with me to find out.”

“I don’t plan on spending any more time with you, ever.”

“That cuts me deep, Derek. Really. I have been nothing but polite to you, and you repaid me by punching me in the face.”

“You manhandled me into a shelving unit and made me pick up money you knew had dye in!”

“And, yet you still look attractive covered in green goo, you should really be pleased.”

“I don’t care about looking attractive to you! There’s got to be a better way to suss out bank security than pretending to rob the place. If you’re even really police officers; how do I know that vest isn’t a fake?”

“You wanna come a little closer and check the fabric for special real police fibres?”

“Like a match made in heaven,” Scott huffs, tugging at his own jacket and interrupting their argument. “How long will it take for Allison to get us out? There’s so many things wrong with this place it’s going to take a whole shift to sort out and we have a date later.”

“That’s my boy,” Stiles grins, tearing his gaze from Derek to look at his companion. “Always thinking with his heart.”

“Who is Allison? Is she another one of your criminal buddies?”

“Allison would never—” Scott begins.

“She’s in charge of the heavy lifting,” Stiles looks at his nails casually, and Derek refuses to appreciate how nice his hands are now there are no gloves covering them up. “She and Danny’ll be here any minute, man, chill.”

“Who the fuck is Danny?!”

“Oh,” Stiles beams at him, “He was our accomplice. Or, also known as our unit’s ace computer whizz. He’ll have explained to everyone else about the situation, given them all free lunches and he’ll probably be flirting with Officer Lahey as we speak.”

“They—you—I need a drink,” Derek finishes with finally. “This is insane.”

“I’ll buy you a drink,” Stiles promises, “If you’ll let me.”

“No,” Derek refuses vehemently. “I want a cup of tea, in the quiet of my own apartment, where no one is pretending to rob banks or even really robbing banks!”

“Dude, if I was actually robbing the place don’t you think I’d have some money on me?”

Derek looks Stiles up and down and realises he does not, in fact, have any money on him. Or goo. Fuck that stupid green goo. He’s still pissed, but it’s waning with the possibility that maybe these boys are telling the truth.

“Why me, then?”

“Like I told you,” Stiles gives him a firm look, “I didn’t want to risk anyone getting majorly scarred.”

“But, you could risk me, wow, thanks,” he retorts drily.

“No, you just looked like you could handle yourself. You mouthed off to me the second we started! Don’t get me wrong, like, I’m all for mouthy—”

Scott groans, tugs his ski mask back on, “I can hear your abysmal flirting marginally less well with this thing on.”

“Don’t be like that, Scotty!” Stiles clutches his chest, “Come on, how often do I listen to you talk about Allison’s eyes.”

“She has nice eyes!”

“Well, so does Derek.”

Derek feels his face heat up, and slides down the door of the vault to hide it.

Unfortunately, the door opens just as he’s leaning back against it, and he sprawls to the floor at the feet of the third robber, ski mask pushed up his face and a grin in place.

“Dude. Comfy down there?”

“Shut up!” He stands, begins to stride past him and right into a throng of police officers.

“Stilinski, McCall!” Derek spots the Sheriff, recognisable from the town’s infrequent town hall meetings, marching through the crowd.

“Dad!” Stiles leaps to his feet, and Derek does a double take. He was not only held hostage by a fake bank robber slash police officer, he punched the Sheriff’s son in the face.

Come on.

“What the hell happened to your face, son?”

“Oh,” Stiles winks over at Derek, “Our hostage got mad.”

The Sheriff turns and spots Derek, sticks out his hand immediately. Derek flinches, and then recovers, takes it with his own.

“Sir, I’d like to apologise on behalf of the Beacon Hills Police Department for an inconvenience caused. If I’d have known this was the sort of exercise my own son’s unit had planned today, I would not have agreed to it.”

“It worked, didn’t it?!” Stiles blurts out, “We have all their weaknesses, and—”

“One of the guys from the actual bank heist team came to check out the damage,” Danny confirms, “Erica and Allison are on it now.”

“I’m gonna go—” Scott gestures to the front of the bank, “Help them?”

Stiles snorts, but waves him off, turns back to Derek as the Sheriff disappears into the vault, surveying the damage and swearing loudly.



“I’m a real police officer.”

“Yes, I see that.”

“Unless I hired all these people to like… keep up with the façade until I’m in Mexico.”

“You telling me your own bank heist plans?” Derek clucks his tongue, “Risky.”

“’S’cool, I trust you,” Stiles rocks back on his heels, smiles at him as he scratches his nose. “Look, I, uh, I am sorry.”

Derek lifts his eyebrows, and Stiles rolls his eyes back.

“I mean it okay? Genuine apology.”

“Okay,” Derek ducks his head, wipes away more goo and sighs, “I need to go and take a long shower.”

“Right,” Stiles nods and then seems to steel himself for something, “Look, uh, none of the guns were loaded, and maybe you think we’re the worst but… we’re just trying to catch bad guys. I wasn’t actually… I mean, I was trying to be… both and not… scare you.”

“It’s fine,” Derek shrugs, “You didn’t really scare me at all, especially once the gun was gone.”

“Hey, I can be scary!”

“Uh huh,” Derek smirks, turns away before he does something stupid like ask for Stiles’ number. Not a clever idea considering the adrenaline pumping through his veins, and his total previously unknown weakness for a man in uniform. “See you around, Officer Stilinski.”

“It’s Stiles to you!” Stiles calls after him, “We’re bonded for life now!”

Derek snorts as he heads out of the bank and into the crisp afternoon sunlight.


Cora and Laura arrive seconds after he’s gotten out of the shower, and even though he’s still damp and a little chilly, he pulls them both into a rare hug.

“What’s this for, bro?”

“Nothing, just—” he leans away to touch Cora’s cheek, smiles at them both, “Glad you’re here.”

“Aw,” Laura elbows her sister as they follow him inside. “Did you get a scare today?”

“No, yes, sort of,” he shrugs, pads into his bedroom to find clothes, “Life is short.”

“Uh huh, and we need to celebrate it,” Cora picks up a tai take out menu, “Usual order?”

Derek huffs a laugh, “Yeah, please.”

When he returns to the living room his sisters are sprawled out across the couch, both sipping beers and watching Criminal Minds. He’s insanely glad of the normality. He doesn’t feel particularly shaken up considering the day’s events. But, he would like to be surrounded by his family tonight. It’s nice not to think about anything in particular as they eat and talk, guess the conclusion of the episodes and settle into familiar comfort.

“So,” Laura props her elbow up on the couch, “You gonna sue?”

“Sue? For what?”

“Police brutality, injury—”

“Laura, don’t be ridiculous.”

“He threatened you with a lethal weapon—”

“No,” Derek stands, grabs the take out boxes, “It’s done, and I’d like to pretend it never happened.”



“Fine, but I’m only saying. I love you, Derek, what if something had gone wrong today?”

“It didn’t!”

“What if someone had played the hero—what if you had?”

Cora snickers, “I think Derek was distracted staring into the pretty officer’s eyes.”


“You described them like three times during your recount. We get it, they were brown. Wow. He’s just like seventy percent of the population.”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about! Both of you are no longer welcome.”

“Oh, Derek,” Cora pretends to pout, “Don’t say that, what if the coffee shop gets held up tomorrow and that was the last thing you ever said to us?!”

“I hate you both,” Derek huffs, but he returns from the kitchen with more beers, falls asleep to Laura commentating all the way through Jaws 3.

The coffee shop is not held up in the morning, but someone does place a fresh coffee in front of Derek halfway through the podcast he’s listening to. He snaps his head up to see Stiles looking sheepish and just a little earnest.

“I said I’d buy you a drink.”

Derek blinks at him in surprise, “How do you know—”

“Total accident,” Stiles says quickly, “I got the day off and I come in here sometimes for the wi-fi when Scott and Allison are makin’ a racket in our apartment.”

Derek pulls a face, “More than I needed to know.”

“Sorry,” Stiles gives him a bashful smile, “I have no filter sometimes.”

“You don’t? Color me shocked.”

“Color you shut your face.”

Derek huffs another laugh, “Are you going to sit down, or aggravate me from a standing point all day?”

Stiles jerks back the chair, clearly trying to scowl and failing as his eyes dance.

“How’s your bruise?” Derek gestures at his black eye, and Stiles’ hand flies to it without pause.

“Oh, yeah, well, I knew it was coming.”

“You did?”

“Uh huh, I figured once I did the dramatic reveal and told you who I was, you’d punch me and then I’d ask you to dinner. Then I reckoned there was a fifty-fifty chance on you punching me again.”

“You weigh up the pros and cons and everything?”

“Uh huh.”

“How’d it work out for you?”

“I don’t know, do you want to go to dinner with me sometime? Without the guns and green goo and Scott rolling his eyes at me in the background.”

Derek smirks, feels his heart begin to race, “I could be interested.”

“Yeah?” Stiles sits back in his chair, “This is working out a lot better than I thought.”

“Well, I am curious to know how you talked your superior officer into allowing you to pull off a bank robbery.”

Stiles grins, sits forward again and suddenly he’s a lot closer to Derek, “Truthfully, I’ve just always wanted a chance to do that speech from Thelma and Louise, you know?”

Derek rolls his eyes, “Of course.”

“Come on, don’t play,” Stiles wiggles his eyebrows, “It totally got your attention, didn’t it?”

“Sure, I was tripping over my feet to get your clothes off.”

“Steady on!” Stiles declares, “I’m an officer of the law, Derek. I take these things slow.”

“You’ve already had me up against the wall,” Derek smirks at Stiles’ sharp intake of breath, takes a sip of his hot coffee. “I think we’ve skipped a few steps.”

“You’re right,” Stiles holds out his hand, “Stiles Stilinski, twenty six, police officer, got a thing for guys that always try to do the right thing, even at the risk of getting shot.”

Derek smiles back, takes his hand, “Derek Hale, thirty, architect, two sisters that want to sue you, you’ve got your work cut out for you.”

Stiles’ smile widens, “Nice to meet you, Derek Hale. Hope I can handle the challenge.”

Derek thinks he’ll do just fine.