“Derek, jeeze it’s not like I’m taking you out back to shoot you, relax. It’s just dinner with my dad.”
“Yeah, yeah I know.” Derek shoved Stiles hard with his shoulder and gave him the finger at the same time.
Stumbling along the sidewalk, Stiles tripped over his own two feet and nearly fell off the curb. He muttered something about police brutality but when he managed to straighten, he threw one fist in the air in silent cheer. Derek rolled his eyes; sometimes he wondered what he saw in his cop boyfriend. Stiles took Derek’s hand in his own and entwined their fingers. They’d been seeing each other about six weeks and while neither of them loved pda, handing holding was something they both liked. Derek may actually love it, but he didn’t say.
“It’s just my dad, jackass,” Stiles said, giving the back of Derek’s hand a quick kiss. “It’s not like you haven’t met him before.”
And that was true. Stiles had raved about Hale’s Coffee so many times (before and after he and Derek had started dating) that the Beacon Hills Sheriff had taken a drive over to see just what was so special. He hadn’t needed to introduce himself when he came in; Derek knew he was Stiles’ father. They looked enough alike and it helped when his jacket announced him as the Beacon Hills Sheriff.
“Aren’t you a little out of your jurisdiction, Sheriff?” Derek asked and then mentally kicked himself for sounding stupid.
But the Sheriff snorted and nodded. “Yeah, I guess I am,” he admitted while he perused the menu. Hale’s coffee wasn’t as fancy as Starbucks but what they made, they made right. “I just heard about this place and wanted to see what the buzz was about.” When Derek tried to smile, the Sheriff got a strange look on his face. Derek recognized it from Stiles’ face; it was his, ‘there’s something fishy going on here and I’m going to figure out what’ face.
“Here you go, sir,” Derek said once he gave Sheriff Stilinski his black coffee. He pointed to the counter off to the side. “Splenda and the like are over there. This one’s on the house.”
Tilting his head in thanks, the Sheriff said, “That’s really nice of you. Unnecessary, but nice.”
“Well, you know…” Derek nervously reached up to scratch the back of his head. “You and the men and women in your department keep us safe. Least I can do is give you a cup of joe.”
The Sheriff didn’t say anything else, just looked at Derek for a long moment before heading out. Derek waited almost an hour before calling Stiles in a panic about the whole encounter.
Giving Derek’s hand a firm squeeze, Stiles begged, “Please just relax. My dad has never shot any of my previous boyfriends or girlfriends. Although…” Stiles looked at the sidewalk and then back up to Derek. “You are the first one I’m bringing home.”
“I am?” Derek squeaked. Quickly he cleared his throat and asked again, “I am?” This time his voice was low and gravely.
“Yeah, jackass, you are.” Stiles licked his lips before smiling. “I really like you, am serious about you. And I want my dad to know that.” Derek felt his heart clench at Stiles’ words and couldn’t keep a large grin from forming on his face. “Now, come on. We’re here.” Stiles pulled Derek up the walkway to the porch. He was pulling his keys out when the door opened and Sheriff Stilinski stood in the doorway.
“’Bout time you two got here,” the Sheriff greeted. He held out his hand and said, “Derek Hale, pleasure to see you again.”
“Pleasures all mine, sir.” Derek gave the Sheriff a firm handshake. Earlier he had vowed to make the best impression possible on his boyfriend’s father.
Once he let go of Derek’s hand, the Sheriff took his son in a tight hug. “Good to see you, kid.”
“Dad,” Stiles whined into his father’s shoulder, hugging him back. “You see me almost everyday and we just had lunch this afternoon.”
“A father can never see his child enough,” Sheriff Stilinski replied as he herded Stiles and Derek into the house. “When you have kids, you’ll understand.” He winked at Derek who blushed in return. “Now, Stiles, you go make sure everything is done in the kitchen. Don’t let the sauce burn. You know the drill.”
“Ten-four, Sheriff.” Stiles gave his father a mock salute and then ducked when his father took a playful swing at him.
“Too slow, old man,” Stiles teased as he headed into the kitchen.
“And you Derek, take your coat off. Relax, son.” Derek did as instructed and let himself be led to a comfortable looking coach. With his voice low, the Sheriff said, “Quickly, while Stiles is distracted, I’m going to show you some pictures of him growing up.”
“Is this a test, sir?” Derek questioned. “Because I’m not sure how Stiles will feel about that…”
For a second Stiles’ father looked taken aback but then he laughed loudly. “Oh, now I see it, why Stiles’ likes you. You picked a good one son,” he said loudly enough for Stiles to hear him.
“Thanks, dad,” Stiles yelled back. “But technically he picked me. And if you’re going to show him baby pictures, then please nothing past the age of six. I was really gawky from six to well, now really. I guess I’m still kinda gawky. Thanks, dad.”
Looking at the photo albums in his hands, the Sheriff looked a little scandalized at getting caught by his own son. “Fine, fine,” he grumbled, looking for a specific photo. “I’ll just show you my favorite picture then.” The Sheriff put one album down and picked up another. “Well my second favorite. My first favorite is one a nurse took of me sitting in my wife’s hospital bed and she’s holding Stiles right after he was born. But my second favorite…” He was about half way through the album when he dumped it onto Derek’s lap. Looking down, Derek couldn’t help but smile. Stiles was about a year old, sitting in the tub with a bubble beard. Next to the tub was a beautiful looking woman that Derek was sure to be Claudia. He’d seen a picture of her the first time he’d gone to Stiles’ apartment. Claudia was laughing; a bright smile stuck in place and the front of her dress was soaked. But she looked so happy.
“Hmm, hmm,” Stiles made a noise to get his father’s and boyfriend’s attention. “Dinner is served.”
Gently, Derek closed the photo album, placed it on the coffee table, and stood; the Sheriff already striding past his son to go to the kitchen table. When Derek neared Stiles, he stopped and kissed the younger man on the cheek. “You were a cute kid.”
“I know.” Stiles grinned. “He show you the one with the bubble beard?” Stiles gestured to his face that lacked even a hint of facial hair and Derek nodded. “I was adorable. You know,” Stiles leaned his head on Derek’s shoulder; it was a good thing they were close in height. “Maybe we could have a bubble bath later tonight, the two of us, hmm?” Stiles looked up at Derek and waggled his eyebrows.
But before Derek could confirm the idea, the Sheriff called from the kitchen, “Dinner boys!”
Ambling away, Stiles winked at Derek. “Yes, dad. Coming, dad,” he called over his shoulder. Using his pointer finger he gestured for Derek to follow. “Ready?”
“Yeah,” Derek confirmed. “I am.”