“Have fun in detention with the degenerates, Hale,” Jackson smirks, smacking Derek on the back as they pause in front of Mr. Harris’ classroom.
“Whittemore, if you weren’t our best running back, I’d punch you.”
“Just try, buddy.”
Derek smiles at his best friend. “Have fun trying to practice without your quarterback.”
“Well, if you weren’t a dumbass who got caught skipping class to make out with Braeden –”
“All right you two,” Danny interrupts. “We’re gonna be late to practice. Hope detention doesn’t suck too much, Derek.”
His teammates head off down the hallway to the locker room, and Derek sighs into a groan as he opens the classroom door and reluctantly trudges in. He can’t believe he has a week of detention, can’t believe he has to miss a week of practice – a fucking week – because Principal McCall wanted to make a point about athletes not getting special treatment.
It’s still preseason, sure, but he needs to be practicing. He led the team to the State semifinals last year, and he’s determined to not only make it to the finals this year, but to win the title. He should be on the field right now, practicing his play calls and prepping for next week’s season opener against Saint Pius.
And he can’t do that if he’s wasting his time in detention with these losers. There are a couple of burnouts lazing over some seats by the window, one kid with his face on a desk, hood over his head, and a few Goth kids are sitting in the back corner, looking surly and morose. Maybe you wouldn’t be so miserable if you didn’t listen to such shitty music, he thinks, turning towards his usual seat in the back of the room.
He pauses for the briefest of moments when he sees who’s already sitting there, in the second-to-last row, black-clad limbs spread out, acoustic guitar in his lap, long fingers casually plucking at the strings.
Derek shrugs uncomfortably, his shirt suddenly feeling too tight across his shoulders. Stiles looks up from his guitar and catches him watching him as he walks by, raising his eyebrows in what looks like surprise. Derek tries to look away as he steps past him, but he finds himself unable to, a problem he has a lot with Stiles.
This is the first time he’s seen his eyes this close, and even in just a passing moment of eye contact, he can see that they’re aren’t just brown, but golden too, like the organic honey his mom buys from the farmer’s market. And Stiles’ hair is unkempt-but-cool in that way of his, his cheeks dusted in moles, his mouth pink –
Fuck. He’s never even talked to Stilinski in the three-plus years they’ve been in school together, has only exchanged passing (lingering) glances in the hallways and in classrooms…but for some reason, when he sees him, it’s like he’s the only person in the room, on the planet maybe. There’s just something about his mysterious, mischievous-yet-serious aura draws him in, fascinates him, makes him want to know so much more, see much more of this boy who’s so far out of his social circle they might as well be in different universes.
Trying to stop his thoughts from wandering to all the other things he wants to know about him, Derek manages to make it to a seat in the back row, one aisle over from where Stiles is. From here he can’t see his face, which seems safer. He takes his phone from his pocket, aimlessly taps at it while listening to Stiles’ guitar strumming, trying to figure out the song.
Often, during lunch in the courtyard, when he and his teammates are holding court at the center tables, pretty girls in tight jeans and short skirts flirting and sitting on their laps, he tries to listen to Stiles’ playing. He usually sits on the ground in the corner with Erica Reyes, her boyfriend Vernon Boyd, and Allison Argent, all of them in different variations of tattered, ripped black and gray clothes, the only spots of color Erica’s bright blonde mermaid hair and Allison’s red lipstick. They talk quietly amongst themselves while Stiles strums his guitar; sometimes Derek recognizes the songs, but most of the time he doesn’t. He’s not sure if that’s because he’s playing something by the obscure rock bands whose logos adorn his t-shirts, or if they’re his own compositions, but he wants to know, feels so strangely compelled to find out what makes this beautiful boy tick.
He smiles at his phone when he catches the tune, a song he knows from Cora’s weird obsession with Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails. Derek can feel his cheeks warming, remembering the lyrics (I wanna fuck you like an animal / I wanna feel you from the inside), and, wondering if Stiles sings too, imagines what his voice might sound like purring those words.
His fantasy is interrupted when Mr. Harris – the school’s universally hated science and math teacher – stalks in and drops a briefcase on the desk in front of the chalkboard. “Phones away,” he barks. “And Stilinski, put that guitar away.”
“Yes sir, Mr. Harris, sir,” Stiles answers, voice dripping with sarcasm, giving the strings one last aggressive strum before putting the guitar in its battered case.
Derek slides his phone back in pocket and sighs, already irritated with Harris. He pulls his Calculus book from his backpack, figuring he might as well get some homework done while he’s sitting here, hopes the challenges of differentiation and derivatives will distract him from Stiles and make the time pass quicker.
“This isn’t study hall, Derek,” Harris calls out before he can even get the book open. “No homework.”
“Are you serious?” Derek answers, flummoxed.
“Watch your tone, young man, or you’ll find yourself with another week of detention.”
Derek sighs, giving the asshole his most piercing death glare, and puts the book away. Out of the corner of his eye, he sees Stiles smirk. “Amateur,” he mutters, throwing Derek a quick look over his shoulder.
“You will all spend the next two and a half hours in silence, writing a five-hundred word essay on a topic of your choice,” Harris announces.
Derek watches Stiles as he silently, mockingly, mouths the words, clearly having heard this before, many, many times. He wonders how many pointless essays he’s written over the years, wonders what Stiles chooses to write about when given free reign.
He grabs a notebook from his backpack and turns to an empty page, trying to figure out what in the hell to write about, still eyeing Stiles, who has a battered black spiral notebook on his desk that he hasn’t opened yet. Instead, he’s sitting sideways in his seat, half-facing Derek, drawing on his forearm with a black pen, chewing on the cap sticking out of the corner of his mouth.
Derek groans quietly in frustrated arousal and tears his eyes away and stares at the blank page in front of him.
It’s going to be a long afternoon.
The second day of detention begins much like the first, complete with Jackson giving him a hard time as his teammates leave him at the door on their way to practice and Stiles, in dark sunglasses and a black shirt with ripped-off sleeves, lounging in the same seat from yesterday.
Derek is brave enough this time to deliberately make eye contact when he walks past him, and he’s rewarded with an expressive eyebrow rising above his sunglasses, which Derek returns in kind. It’s a small thing, really nothing more than mutual recognition, but to Derek it feels exhilarating, like some kind of bridge between them has been crossed. Or at least that they might be starting to cross it, something that makes Derek nervous and excited.
Sure, he’s had a bit of (okay, a fairly huge) crush on Stiles for awhile now, ever since sophomore year when he realized he’s bisexual – a realization significantly sparked by Stiles himself – but it’s still surprising to him just how excited he feels, how his heart races and his palms get sweaty when he’s looking at him, sitting so close, feeling Stiles’ gaze.
He takes his seat just as Harris strides in and makes the same announcement as yesterday, and this time, Derek is prepared to write an essay on the Stonewall Riots, which he watched a documentary about last night.
He’s distracted almost immediately though, eyes wandering over to Stiles, who isn’t writing yet, but instead is drawing on his arm again, an intricate, detailed design in black and red ink that Derek would love to see close up. Stiles doesn’t seem to notice that Derek’s watching him, and he relishes in looking him over, noting with surprise and lust how toned and sculpted his arms are, how deceptively broad his shoulders. He could be a great receiver, he thinks, then almost laughs out loud at the thought of the way-too-cool Stiles lowering himself to play football.
Licking his lips, he forces himself back to his essay, hoping to finish it quickly so he can spend the rest of the afternoon ogling.
When there’s about a half an hour left of detention, just as he’s finishing up his essay, a haphazardly-folded piece of paper lands on the corner of his desk, tossed there from Stiles’ direction. Derek stares at in amazement for a moment, a little dumbfounded and not sure what to do. Finally he picks it up and, making sure Harris isn’t watching, unfolds to see jagged-edged, red-inked print.
What are you in for, Hale?
Derek is awash in excitement and nerves, thrilled and scared that Stiles is actually talking to him. Well, writing to him, but same difference, right? He thinks for a moment, then writes back the first thing that comes to his surprised mind.
You know my name?
Of course I do. Everyone does. Also it’s on the back of your fucking shirt.
Derek feels his cheeks go red and glances down at his BHHS Football shirt. Oh yeah.
Skipping class all day. You?
The usual. Smoking pot in the boiler room. I’m shocked the school Golden Boy got detention. I always thought you could hold people hostage and not get punished.
Derek snorts a laugh at that, heart racing at the knowledge that Stiles knows who he is, has actually spent time thinking about him, even if it has been in derision. And he’s never smoked anything in his life, but suddenly the thought of getting stoned in the school basement with Stiles is something he wants more than anything.
McCall wanted to prove a point, I guess. And I’m not a “Golden Boy.” I’m just a football player.
*EYE ROLL* Whatever, dude. Everyone treats you like some kind of god because you can throw a football.
*DOUBLE EYE ROLL* Not true. And there’s more to being quarterback than just throwing the ball, you know.
Oh yeah, there’s the whole fucking cheerleaders thing too, my bad.
I’ve never had sex with a cheerleader.
Derek’s never had sex with anyone, but he doesn’t need to tell Stiles that. Not yet, at least.
Well I guess we have that in common.
Before he can respond, Harris announces that time is up and they should put their essays on his desk on their way out. Stiles stands and gathers his guitar and notebook, pulling what appears to be a pre-written essay from the pages. He walks backwards down the aisle, throwing Derek a wink as he goes.
Maybe detention isn’t so bad after all.
What are you writing your essay on today?
Werewolf mythology. You?
The history of circumcision.
Yep. Are you circumcised?
Seriously? Stiles is just asking him about his dick like that, like he’s asking about his shoe size or something. This guy is going to be the death of him, in the very best way.
Cool. Neither am I. So, what do you do other than play football?
I also play baseball. I volunteer at the humane society. And I like to read. I want to major in English and History in college.
Is it really that surprising?
I guess not. You do seem kinda different from the rest of those dudebros.
Not quite as dumb.
You’re welcome, big guy.
Are you going out with Allison Argent?
Because she’s my best friend. And cuz I’m hella fucking gay.
You wanna ask out Allison?
So why’d you ask?
Have you ever even been to a football game?
Good one, Hale. Not really my scene.
What is your scene?
I go to San Francisco as much as possible for shows. Comics Dungeon here in town. Used to go to Jungle before my fake ID got confiscated. You ever been?
To Jungle? No. I don’t think that’s really my scene.
Straight boy scared by all the gay?
He takes a deep, steadying breath. He’s not exactly in the closet, but his bisexuality isn’t known to anyone beyond his family. He chews on his pen for a moment before writing back.
Derek watches for Stiles’ reaction when he reads the response, as if the back of his head or the slope of his shoulders could tell him anything. Stiles cocks his head as he reads, a hand going to the back of his neck. Derek swallows hard and waits impatiently for his scribbled response.
That’s surprising. Does anyone else know?
Just my family.
So why’d you tell me?
You told me you’re gay.
But everyone knows that.
I guess I wanted you to know. I trust you.
You don’t even know me. Not very much, at least.
I guess we know each other better now.
That we do, big guy. That we do.
One Week Later
Derek is off his game.
They’re winning, sure, but in the first half he’s bumbled two snaps, been sacked, and thrown an interception. He could blame it on beginning of the season jitters, or having not practiced all last week, but he knows those are just flimsy excuses.
He’s distracted because he can’t stop searching the bleachers for Stiles. It’s not like Stiles said he would come or anything, or that they’ve even spoken to each other since their week of note-passing in detention, but he had hoped that what ever rapport or tentative friendship they had begun would turn into something more.
“Get your head in the game, Hale,” Jackson calls, smacking his helmet as they get in formation on the line of scrimmage for the last play of the half.
Derek tries his best to push Stiles and the absence-of-Stiles out of his mind, focuses on calling the play. Jackson makes it downfield in time to catch his throw, and they score another touchdown right at the buzzer, sending the fans into a screaming frenzy. The team is pretty pumped up too as they jog to the locker room for halftime, and Derek does his best to join the fray, trying not to feel disappointed that Stiles isn’t here to see him excel at one of the things he does best.
Coach’s locker room speech during the half is as nonsensical and oddly-inspiring as usual, and when the marching band has finished playing and is filing off the field, they head back out to thundering applause and cheers. Derek stays on the sidelines, helmet off, drinking water and studying his playbook while the defense takes the field for the kickoff, eventually letting his eyes wander back to the stands when he can’t stand not looking anymore.
He nearly drops his playbook when he sees him. Stiles is standing next to the bleachers, leaning against them, wearing a worn leather jacket and dark jeans, looking effortlessly cool and breathtakingly beautiful. Stiles is looking right at him, and when their eyes meet Derek smiles, shyly, and gives him a little wave. Stiles nods and smiles too, making Derek’s heart flutter and flip, and suddenly everything feels right with the world.
Although he’s nervous with Stiles’ watching him play, it’s a good nervous, the kind that exhilarates him and pushes him to do his very best, to be his very best, for him. The second half is nearly flawless, and they win handily, his teammates rushing and dogpiling him when the fourth quarter play clock ticks down to zero.
When he emerges from the celebration, hoping to catch Stiles’ eye again, he’s gone from his spot against the bleachers, which Derek tries not to feel too disappointed about. After all, he came to watch him play, and that means something, doesn’t it?
Another strange speech from coach and boastful congratulations from his friends, and Derek can finally strip off all of his gear and hit the showers. He stands under the steaming hot water for a long time, letting it relax and loosen his shoulders, washing away all of the sweat and grime. He stays in so long he’s the only person in the locker room by the time he’s done, which is how he prefers it. He throws on a pair of jeans, a tank top, and a BHHS hoodie, quickly towel dries his hair, and heads out to the parking lot, very much looking forward to the soft comfort of his bed.
His Camaro is one of two cars in the empty parking lot, the other being a battered old blue Jeep parked next to him, which he recognizes instantly. Its owner, the one-and-only Stiles Stilinski, is leaning against the passenger door, casually smoking a cigarette.
“Hey there, Golden Boy,” he purrs, a flirty smile on his lips, all bad-boy charm that makes Derek’s head spin, makes him weak in the knees. “Good game.”
“I thought football wasn’t your scene,” he says, stepping to the driver’s side of his car, which, conveniently brings him so close to Stiles they’re nearly touching.
Smoke curls from his lips seductively. “Yeah, well, I came to see what the fuss was all about.”
“And I still don’t know shit about football, but I think I have a crush on the quarterback.”
Derek grins so big it makes his face hurt. His heart is racing even harder than it was during the game, and he’s sure he’s never been this excited in his entire life. “So what are you going to do about that,” he asks, sounding much cooler and relaxed than he feels.
Stiles flicks the half-smoked cigarette to the ground and lunges toward him, grasps his hoodie in his hands and pulls him into a rough, smoky kiss. His mouth his warm and soft and Derek opens his for him easily, hungry to feel his tongue on his, dying for more, which Stiles give freely, eagerly, passionately. They kiss and kiss and kiss like they’re running out of time, even though this feels like, is, just the beginning.
Finally they stop, both of them breathing a little hard, foreheads pressed together. “Wow,” Derek whispers.
“Wow,” Stiles repeats, and then kisses him again, and again, and again.
A week later, Stiles, along with Allison, Erica, and Boyd, sit front row at the football game. Stiles cheers for him the loudest, even though Allison and Boyd have to explain to him what’s happening. Derek can’t stop smiling, and he plays one of the best games of his life.
And a week after that, Derek and Cora join Stiles’ friends to see him perform at an open mic at an all-ages bar in San Francisco. Derek watches him play his guitar with finesse and impressive skill, his his voice rich and warm and smoky like his eyes, and when Stiles winks at him from the stage and dedicates “Wild Horses” to him, Derek is pretty sure he’s fallen utterly and completely in love.
And a week after that, they’re in detention together again, for skipping class to make out in the boiler room. Stiles is wearing Derek’s BHHS Football t-shirt, and they sit next to each other to make passing notes easier. When Derek asks him what he wants to do this weekend, Stiles responds with a pornographic drawing of the two of them, and he has to bite his fist to keep from laughing, his face turning pink.
Yeah, he thinks. Detention isn’t that bad at all.