It’s officially the coldest day of winter so far when Stiles hurries his way to the bus stop, camera bag swinging from side to side. The snowy ground is slippery beneath his feet and it’s a struggle to keep his tempo up but he simply can’t be late, the wedding starts in 45 minutes, he’s getting really well paid for this one and now he absolutely hates himself for not changing snow tires to his Jeep.
So it’s totally understandable why Stiles is in a foul mood as he finally reaches the stop, joining a line of approximately ten people waiting there already. He kicks at a small pile of snow in front of him, slips it just a tiny hint of middle finger and as he raises his gaze it’s met by a guy who’s watching his antics with open amusement.
Stiles’ mouth drops open. The guy is hella fine, tall dark and handsome doesn’t even begin to cover it, he’s delicious with designer stubble and a striking bone structure and – is he wearing a leather jacket? In this weather?
What is he, suicidal?
And now that Stiles is looking, he notices how the guy is tugging at the sleeves of said leather jacket, trying to desperately cover his hands, which is just no. The poor guy must be freezing his balls off. It’s stupid and reckless and does he know how much amputating fingers costs these days? Neither does Stiles but he’s happy to help prevent it in any way.
So it’s really only a public service, Stiles rationalizes, as marches up to him. “Here, you should have this,” he says as he’s taking off the warm scarf he’s been wearing around his own neck.
The guy, who hasn’t stopped staring at Stiles for one single second by the way, slides his gaze to the offered piece of cloth. “What’s that?” he asks and fuck even his voice is unfairly attractive, although the words are sort of strange. Maybe he’s just all beauty and no brains, Stiles muses which admittedly makes him feel slightly better about himself.
“It’s a scarf,” Stiles clarifies and has to bite his tongue not to add an ‘obviously’ at the end.
The guy rolls his eyes and his whole head sort of goes with the movement, which is honestly sort of adorable in a weird way. “I know what it is, I just want to know why you’re giving it to me.”
“I promise I’m not trying to come on to you, but I was watching you and you just looked so cold and – I mean, not that I’ve been watching you in a creepy way! I was just looking with my eyes, like normal people do – look, would you just please take the goddamn thing, okay?” Stiles is getting side eyed by four different people, and it’s a crying shame he doesn’t possess a brain to mouth filter when talking to hot strangers, this is exactly why he hasn’t gotten laid in five freaking months.
Gods must be on his side today though because the guy doesn’t run away screaming, just reaches to accept the offered scarf. “It is a bit chilly. Thanks,” he says and starts wrapping it around his neck and that is, uh yeah. Doing things to Stiles. He’s always had a weird kink for other people wearing his clothes, although he’s pretty sure nobody this handsome has ever done it before, so excuse him for needing a moment.
“No problem, man. You’re not local, are you?” he finally gets hold of his tongue.
“Why?” The guy’s looking somewhat suspicious. Which is pretty reasonable, considering the weirdness level of their whole interaction.
“I’m not trying to stalk you, I swear, I’m simply intrigued. Did you not look outside when you left your home?”
“I don’t usually get cold.”
“Yeah, I can see that, you're pretty hot,” Stiles nods and what is going on with him today? Did he lose half his brain cells in his sleep? “I mean, oh god, would you look at that, my bus is coming – I’m just gonna go now. Thanks for the scarf. I mean, thanks for taking the scarf! Yeah, whatever.”
“Okay.” The guy looks like he’s trying his best not to laugh.
“I swear I’m not a stalker,” Stiles says which is probably only making the situation worse, but whatever. It’s not like he’ll be meeting this lovely stranger any time soon.
“You had me at stalker,” the guy drawls and he’s fluttering his lashes dramatically. It should look stupid but it just looks incredibly beautiful instead. Stiles sort of waves at him and hops in the arriving bus then, looks a little sadly at the guy who stays at the stop, but feels a surge of pride as he buries his probably freezing fingers in the warm material of the scarf.
For a split second he feels angry at himself for not asking for his number, but he clears those thoughts out quickly. It would’ve probably ended in embarrassing rejection and it's better this way anyway. He’s a professional and he won’t let one incredibly cute boy mess with his work ethic, no matter how sparkly eyes or wide shoulders he has.
Fortune continues to favor Stiles because he actually ends up at the church 15 minutes before what was agreed upon, and luckily for him it looks like a nice relaxed wedding too instead of one of those where it’s clear nobody really gets along and the couple looks so wrong together you just know they’re getting divorced in a year.
The bride, Samantha, arrives soon enough and Stiles is reminded by how much he freaking loves weddings, he adores the open excitement in Samantha’s eyes and the way she’s looking disbelievingly at herself in the mirror. Then the ceremony starts and he’s snapping pictures left and right, is almost moved to tears as the celebrated couple do the whole I do thing. He turns to take portrait pictures of the crowd when he spots him.
It’s a damn near thing he doesn’t drop the camera.
Jackson fucking Whittemore; douchebag extraordinaire and unfortunately Stiles’ ex-something. He’s just as gorgeous as Stiles remembers, and he’s also sitting next to an incredibly beautiful strawberry blonde girl, and together they look like royalty.
It’s the usual story: they met at college and started having drunken sex. Stiles fell in love and Jackson didn’t. Stiles realized he was gay and Jackson didn’t. And when college was over, they never really even said goodbye, more like one day Jackson just left to never come back, no matter how much Stiles waited, and they haven’t seen since.
Until now, that is. So all in all Stiles thinks he’s doing a pretty damn good job as he just calmly snaps the picture of Jackson and continues doing his round. He may be a loveless loser but he’d like to pay his rent this month, so Jackson can suck it. As long as he doesn’t actually have to talk to the guy he will get through this, no matter how much his heart is aching.
The wedding reception is held at a gorgeous, brand new luxury hotel, and this is the other reason Stiles loves to shoot weddings: he gets to check out places in the city he could never otherwise afford to visit and brag about it later to his friends.
And never mind his earlier tantrum about the snow, right now he couldn’t be more pleased for it. They’re at the 53rd floor, and so the photos look freaking gorgeous. The bride is clad in white fur, and Brad the groom is practically a walking talking heart eye emoji, and the background is a snow dusted rooftop view of the glimmering city. It's all very Winter Wonderland-ish.
“Can I get a big kiss? That looks so good, keep it up,” Stiles praises as they’re nearing the end of the official photoshoot session. “Okay, great, I think I got everything I need. So I was told there’s going to be cake cutting next, am I right?”
“In twenty minutes, yeah, you can go have a break now,” Samantha smiles at him and he gratefully seizes his chance for a little alone time.
He goes to grab something quick to eat from the overflowing buffet table, careful not to drop anything on his shirt, and heads to the bathroom next. Even the toilet seat is pure luxury, painted in a shimmering shade of gold. Overall he’s in a fairly good mood, which is sadly ruined as soon as he steps out the stall.
“What are you doing here?” Stiles asks stiffly and goes over to the sink to wash his hands. He has to physically refrain himself from staring at all of Jackson’s smug beauty.
“The bride is my girlfriend’s cousin,” Jackson says, clearly searching for some sort of reaction.
Stiles is not proud to admit his gaze snaps up instantly and he scans Jackson from head to toe. He finds what he’s looking for: somebody liked it, Stiles suspects the strawberry blonde girl, and put a ring on it too. “Girlfriend. Huh. That’s new,” he says, and he knows he should leave right the fuck now but instead he just dries his hands and leans against one of the stalls.
Jackson simply shrugs and steps closer to him. “So tell me… have you been missing me?” he asks and he’s practically undressing Stiles with the sweep of his gaze, Jesus, how could this guy ever convince anyone he doesn’t love boys?
“No,” Stiles says defiantly which only makes Jackson smirk like this is a fucking game and Stiles is losing badly.
“I think you have.”
“Keep your filthy hands off me.”
“But you love my filthy hands." And now Jackson's putting his mouth right next to Stiles’ ear. “Love my big cock in your tight ass too. Or do you need to be reminded?” This shouldn’t be such a turn on for Stiles, he’s an adult for crying out loud, but it’s like he’s suddenly swept back to college days when he couldn’t resist smug assholes.
“Kiss me and I’ll march right over to your pretty little fiancée – “ Stiles threatens and apparently that’s the magic word.
“Shut the hell up, fucking fag,” Jackson whispers furiously, looking at the door and Stiles slips away from him. He can’t deal with this. His skin feels overheated and to be honest it’s not even worth it. Once upon a time he thought Jackson’s self-loathing was incredibly sad, he just wanted to cure him with his love, but it’s all over and done with. Jackson is a lost case and it's time they both accepted it.
Unfortunately just when he steps from the bathroom, Jackson in his heels, Brad perks up at the sight and walks over to them. “What a coincidence, I was just looking for the two of you! Hey, Stiles, you need to take a picture of us,” he says and puts his arm around Jackson’s shoulder. “Dude, thanks so much for the honeymoon tips, I’ll take a video of Samantha's reaction for you.”
“Sure, no problem,” Jackson says politely and Stiles picks up his camera, starts snapping. He can feel Jackson’s heated stare through the lens. It makes Stiles feel dirty in a way not even ten showers can wash away.
The night is falling dark around them, Stiles’ feet and hands and neck are sore and he’s in inner turmoil because of that fuckface called Jackson, but he’s oddly glad, too. It’s been a wonderful wedding, and he’s slightly depressed at the thought of going back to his cold lonely home. “Thanks so much, bro,” a slightly drunk Brad reaches to hug Stiles, not even caring about the huge camera hanging around his neck.
“It has been my absolute delight,” Stiles assures and it’s not even a lie. “I’ll email you if anything particular comes up, but other than that I’m pretty much done for the night.”
They’re then joined by Samantha, and at first the couple kisses all long and loving, and only then Samantha turns her attention to Stiles. “Oh, surely you’re not leaving already?”
“Well, my hours are up.”
“Yeah, but that doesn’t mean you should leave just yet! Look, so officially the open bar has closed, but tell the bartender to put it on my tab, okay? He's really, really nice even though he looks pretty intimidating, he'll listen if you say it nicely.”
“But I – “
“I insist, really. You did a great job,” Samantha says with huge eyes and oh god, you’d have to be heartless to say no to that face.
“Well, since you insist.” Stiles feels a surge of warmth inside his chest. Maybe nobody wants him as their boyfriend but people still do like having him around; that's gotta count for something. “Enjoy the rest of the night, you’re going to be awesome together. Trust me, I see a lot of couples, you guys are perfect for each other.”
Samantha and Brad start kissing again. Stiles may be an awkward bubbling idiot at times but he knows when he’s not needed.
After making sure all his equipment is in place Stiles heads over to where the bar is. He’s been purposefully avoiding this section during the party, people don’t usually enjoy being photographed when trying to get their drunk on, and Stiles is very respectful of that.
So he approaches the bar which has no other customers at the time, and locks gazes with the bartender. And realizes he knows him.
“No fucking way,” Stiles wheezes because it’s him, the guy from the bus stand, it’s the scarf guy! And holy shit, he looks even better in a simple black V-neck and a small silver nametag which states him as Derek, how is that possible?
The guy, or Derek, and he’s even got a sexy name, of course he does, purses his lips. “You.”
“Me,” Stiles can’t keep himself from smiling widely. “Finally a coincidence I can dig.”
Derek only raises one impressive eyebrow. “Did you follow me here?”
“Please, you’re not that irresistible,” Stiles splutters and they both know he’s lying.
“Just kidding, I saw you with your camera,” Derek says and even flashes a hint of smile. Dude’s got a weird sense of humor but then again Stiles has always liked weirdos, so nothing is truly lost. “Did you decide to ditch your job and start drinking instead?”
“People usually let the photographer go once the open bar’s closed. Only the worst drunks keep drinking then and nobody wants that in their family albums.”
“So how can I serve you?” Derek asks and it’s truly impressive Stiles doesn’t blurt anything in relation to blow jobs in return.
“Can I get a Long Island Iced Tea, please,” he says instead and sits down. He doesn’t miss the way Derek’s whole face seems to twitch. “You’re silently judging me, aren’t you?”
“I can do it out loud too, if that would help you.”
“Shit, I know. I drink like a barely legal college girl, but I gotta hold on to what little remains of my sanity, right?” Stiles laughs as Derek starts preparing his drink. “So hey, I didn’t catch your name earlier.”
It’s such a sad attempt at making conversation. Derek seems to realize it too, as he glances quickly down at his own name tag, amusement tugging at his lips but he doesn’t call Stiles out on it. “Probably because I didn’t give it,” he says as he’s measuring last of the alcohol. “Derek.”
“Stiles. Nice to meet you.”
Derek looks at him in clear disbelief as he slides the ready drink in front of him. “Stiles,” he repeats and Stiles doesn’t think his own name has ever sounded more beautiful.
“Trust me, you’re better off without asking,” Stiles sighs and leans to sip at his drink. It’s absolutely perfect, just like the guy who made it, and he can’t help the little moan escaping his lips.
“You should do porn with a name like that,” Derek says – suggests? – and as Stiles looks up, his gaze seems to be glued to Stiles’ mouth.
“Don't think I would be selling much,” Stiles chuckles and he feels so warm, doesn't know if it’s the liquor or Derek or the combination of both.
“I wouldn't be so sure.” Derek leans forward and he’s practically offering a little peek inside his shirt, just a little window to his beautiful hairy chest, and no matter how rusty Stiles’ game is, he can’t be getting this wrong.
“Are you… coming on to me?” he asks and wow isn’t that a weird sentence considering he’s talking to a Greek god body double.
“I could, later on,” Derek says and it’s clear, he’s not friendly or European, he’s hella gay and this is Stiles’ lucky day.
Until a thought hits him. Something that would totally explain Derek’s interest. “Holy shit. Are you some sort of an incubus? Cause I’m not speciest, I swear, but I once hooked up with one and I couldn’t jack off for two whole weeks because of the chafing,” Stiles grimaces at the memory.
“I’m a were, actually,” Derek admits.
“That I can deal with,” Stiles says and he’s feeling heady, a hot gay werewolf is into him, wants to have sex with him even if Stiles is doing stupid things like offering his old scarfs to them.
And – something’s not quite right here… “Except no, wait a minute, it doesn’t make any sense – werewolves don’t get cold, I should know, my best friend was bitten nine years ago, he told me.”
“So?” Derek asks and would you look at that, he’s suddenly very busy with the can of lemon slices.
“So – you took my scarf! You said it was chilly!”
“You practically forced me to take it,” Derek defends himself but he’s such a liar whose pants are on fire probably because he’s just so hot.
“I did no such thing,” Stiles denies vehemently and he’s not angry at all, just overwhelmed. “You could’ve said you didn’t need it.”
“It smelled good.”
“Like… me? I smell good to you?” Stiles asks because he needs a clarification, holy shit does he ever.
Derek just sort of… looks at Stiles, but it’s not how a normal person would look at another, rather than something that goes straight to Stiles’ groin and shit, it should be impossible for them to be this physically close considering there’s a whole freaking table between them, but somehow they are.
“You smell like you want to fuck me all night long,” Derek more growls than says and it’s ridiculous but also true as hell.
“Guilty as charged.” Stiles is aware he keeps kinda nodding and probably looks like a massive idiot, but Derek is into it so whatever. He just wants to be kissing him.
“My shift ends in two hours,” Derek says. “I don’t know if you’re busy but if you’re willing to wait, I’ll reward you later on.” And Stiles would really like to know more about this rewarding thing but Derek’s suddenly pulling away.
Stiles is about to honest to god whine when he notices there’s a group of people approaching the bar, and Stiles had absolutely forgotten where they were, that’s what this guy does to him. So he watches as Derek adopts his bartender role and concentrates on sipping on his drink, a hot feeling of promise coiling at the bottom of his stomach.
More people keep coming and going and Stiles makes what he can of the pauses when he gets Derek all for himself. Derek is currently servicing an old couple, accepting their payment, as a warm hand lands on Stiles’ shoulder.
“We should talk.”
“Get the fuck away from me,” Stiles says in a low tone, but people like Jackson don’t know the meaning of no.
“A double shot of whiskey, and whatever he’s having,” Jackson says to Derek who's done with the couple. He’s sitting down to Stiles, close enough that their shoulders are touching.
Derek looks slowly between them, has probably heard the anxious rise of Stiles’ heartbeat. “I don’t need anything, thanks,” Stiles mutters.
Derek nods curtly. “Whiskey on the way.”
“Still drinking like a fish, I see,” Stiles says as Derek turns away from them to fetch the expensive top shelf bottles.
“Come on, babe, don’t be like that. I’m offering and all.”
“Where’s your fiancée?”
“She had a headache.”
Stiles nods in understanding. “Too much of your presence can do that.”
“Seriously, lighten up. It’s a wedding. You love this stuff, right?” Jackson’s whitened teeth are glinting in the low lighting and he looks around them before laying a hand on Stiles’ thigh. “I know you do. Remember Danny’s wedding, how we fucked in the church bathroom? You loved it, cried on my cock and squirmed afterwards during the ceremony. It was so fucking hot, I still think about it when I jack off,” Jackson says and it used to drive Stiles wild when Jackson got like this, whispering filth in his ear in public, but now? He’s numb, even though Jackson is giving it his best.
“It’s over, Jackson. Go home to your girlfriend,” Stiles says quietly and removes Jackson’s hand.
And look who’s back, Derek slams a glass so hard on the table he even startles at the sound himself. “A double shot of whiskey,” he recovers quickly enough and looks at Stiles. “Everything okay here?”
“Why don’t you just mind your own business,” Jackson snaps as he slaps two twenty dollar bills on the counter.
“I am,” Derek answers calmly, and it doesn’t take a genius to find out what he means for the look he shoots at Stiles is absolutely possessive.
“Really? Did I get you so hot and bothered you had to go offering yourself up to the fucking staff?” Jackson laughs without any amusement. “You know that’s a werewolf, right? If you wanted to be treated like a bitch you could have just asked me.”
“Watch your mouth,” Derek growls and oh okay, Stiles was earlier wondering what his werewolf rank was, and he’s definitely an Alpha with those burning red eyes.
“Didn’t I tell you to keep the fuck out of this conversation?” Jackson’s never one to back out of a challenge, and this is about to get really ugly really soon.
“Want to come here and say that again?” Derek says and he’s flexing his muscles and fuck if it doesn’t do something to Stiles that he’s not even being a territorial dickhead, Derek simply looks at Jackson like he’s a little cockroach he’d like to squish under his boot and Stiles is pretty sure he could do it too.
There’s something deeply satisfying about seeing somebody being so unimpressed by Jackson, and that’s not even counting in the fact it’s by somebody who’s promised to let Stiles fuck them, so, yeah. Definitely a power trip.
“Are you threatening me?” Jackson is standing up, now, and Stiles is so fucking tired of him and his pretty face.
“Shut up, Jackson. Take your drink and leave.”
“I’m what you want. Always have been. This is your last chance, I won’t be offering you twice.”
“And I won’t be needing your services any more, thanks,” Stiles says and it says everything about how over Jackson he is that he cares more about the smug smile spreading over Derek’s face at the words rather than the blush of fury over Jackson’s.
“Fine, you know what, it’s fine. You’re a bad fuck anyways,” Jackson spits and of course he couldn’t just leave nicely. “Just so you know, he cries when he’s being fucked and won’t shut up about his feelings. Have fun with that,” he says to Derek and downs his whiskey in one huge gulp, a mean glint in his eyes and his words left ringing in Stiles’ ears.
“Oh, I will,” Derek smiles back at him in a really unfriendly manner, and it sounds like a promise or maybe a threat, it could easily be both. Jackson sneers at him and then he’s skulking off, no question on the hunt for another guy who’ll be willing to blow him off in the bathroom but who won’t be as annoying as Stiles with his demands of things like basic human respect.
A heavy silence settles between them and Stiles swallows the remains of his drink, preparing for rejection. “I understand if you want me to go."
“Why would I want that?”
“You heard what he said. I'm a bad... well, I'd really like to not repeat it.”
Derek looks so fucking angry, but not like he’s angry at Stiles, and that’s quite something, right? “That guy was an absolute dick. And look, I know we don’t really know each other, but – I want to. Nobody as beautiful as you should ever be treated like that, okay?” he asks, eyes all honest and round, but Stiles is shaking his head. Jackson has always been really great at two things: sex and making him feel like shit.
“But it’s true,” Stiles confesses. “I am a fucking mess.”
“I cry after sex too, so what.”
“You do?” Stiles finally looks up at Derek, and he feels a weird surge of hope and – okay, Derek is smiling, fine. “Of course you don’t, you just want to make me feel better.”
“Is it working?”
“A little bit,” Stiles says and he doesn’t know what he’s ever done to be treated this good. And fucking hell, when exactly did he start belittling himself like this?
“Look, I’ve still got half an hour of my shift left. Have a drink. It’s on me. What do you want, another Long Island Iced Tea? I can even throw a cocktail umbrella in the mix, if that’s what it takes to make you smile again,” Derek says and he’s ridiculous, Stiles is so happy, he doesn’t even care he’s being pampered like a child, this is the best thing that’s ever happened to him. “Yeah, there you are,” Derek says softly as Stiles allows himself to smile, and yeah, they’re back to staring at each other like fucking idiots.
“Right,” Stiles finally clears his throat and he would feel totally embarrassed except he doesn’t fucking care, he’s finally found someone just as awkward as him, someone who makes really great drinks on top of that, an Alpha werewolf who’s strong enough to fuck him up against a wall and who probably has a knot and –
wait, where the hell did that come from?
And whoops, okay so maybe his thoughts can be smelled too, wow, that’s a new one, Stiles thinks as Derek’s nose twitches and he looks slightly drugged.
“Right. So. Just – um. One Long Island coming up,” Derek nods and as he turns to prepare the drink, Stiles notices he has to force his claws back into his hands, and if that doesn’t count as awesome then Stiles doesn’t know what does.
And finally, fucking finally after literal hours of flirting and maddening innuendos Samantha finally glides from across the room and she’s smiling in such a happy way she must be made of actual sunshine. “So I see you two are hitting it off,” she says and Stiles feels slightly guilty, maybe he’s overworked his welcome and he’ll be thrown out just five minutes before Derek’s shift is ending.
“I’m sorry, I wasn’t – “ he starts but Samantha waves a hand at him.
“Save it, I’m obviously teasing you. So hey – Derek, right? I know your shift is about to end, I just wanted to come say thanks to you personally, you’ve practically made all my 60 year old aunts fan themselves. Some of the uncles too.”
“Exactly how many 60 year old aunts do you have?” Stiles asks smiling at how Derek’s blushing so cutely.
“Well, all three of them were very pleased with Derek’s services. But hey, here, this one’s for you,” Samantha says and there’s a mischievous blink in her eyes as she slips a small package of mysterious something under Stiles’ palm which had been resting against the bar. “Thanks to you both, really! You know, when you two end up married, you better make sure I’m invited to the wedding or else,” she says laughing and then she’s gone, leaving both Derek and Stiles avoiding looking at each other.
“What did she give you?” Derek asks to break the silence, and Stiles moves his hand, revealing a bright blue strip of three condoms, sized XXL.
They both stare at the condoms for a while, and Stiles doesn’t even know what sort of scents he’s giving off. “So… your shift is ending,” he says in a flat tone.
“Yeah.” Derek sounds just as strained.
“Would you maybe want to get the hell out of here?” Stiles gives up all pretense he hasn’t been ready to go hours ago.
“I’m gonna go change my clothes real quick,” Derek hurries to say and it’s so freaking endearing how manic he looks. “Wait here, I’ll be just a minute, okay?”
“Yeah,” Stiles promises and Derek’s taking off like that, practically speed walking to the backroom. Stiles looks wildly around him, and his gaze finds Jackson from across the dancefloor. He’s talking to a brunette guy who must be no older than twenty, and Stiles feels nothing but a surge of pity at the sight.
That’s pretty soon gone, though, because Derek’s back. He’s once again in his stupid leather jacket and would you look at that, around Derek’s neck is one hella familiar scarf. He looks so kind and strong Stiles doesn’t really think about anything else but the fact that he can’t believe this is happening and yet so obviously is, he gets to take Derek home with him and yeah, it’s good.
Derek walks up to him and Stiles tugs at the scarf a little.
“Do you want it back?” Derek asks.
“Nah, it looks better on you,” Stiles says easily though he suspects that could be said about 90% of his wardrobe. He presses against Derek with the whole of his body. “As long as I get to tie you up with it.”
He must’ve hit the jackpot of luck today, because Derek approves very much of the idea, and proves it by kissing him absolutely silly.