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Fight Me Valentine

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“Who wants to go to dinner with me on Valentine’s Day and have a dramatic fight in the restaurant?” Stiles blurbs out of nowhere.

It’s pack night and most of the pack is huddled around the TV Derek has in his loft. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is playing on it but no one is really paying attention. Everyone too consumed in their significant other to pay attention. All except Stiles and Derek, whom are sitting next to each other on the couch only because if they hadn’t Lydia and Allison wouldn’t have fit together on the couch.

“Why would you do that?” Scott looks up from his place on the oversized bean bags Stiles guilted Derek into buying, Kira follows his gaze up to the couch.

“‘Cuz it would be fun! Valentine’s Day is so overrated. It’s time someone had a little fun on Valentine's Day,” Stiles defends.

“People do have fun on Valentine’s Day. People get laid on Valentine’s Day,” Erica is situated between Boyd’s legs her head lolled into the crook of his neck as she looks up at her friend.

“What about those who don’t get laid?” Stiles counters.

“Now’s not the time for your sexual frustration Stiles,” Lydia finally pipes in.

“It’s not sexual frustration it romantic frustration,” he snaps his head to look at one of his best friends. As soon as he says it, all of the couples chuckle to themselves, making Stiles flush with embarrassment.

“Screw you guys!” he grumbles as he gets up to grab another beer from the fridge. He cracks the bottle open, and starts to head back but is met with a giant wall of surly werewolf.

“Ow! You need a bell around your neck or something,” Stiles complains as he adjusts his beer in his grip and looks Derek in the eye.

“I’ll do it,” Derek says evenly, his face blank, Stiles might even dare to say nervous.

“You want to go to dinner with me and then break up with me at dinner?” Stiles smiles and laughs while bringing his beer up for a drink, “Bro, I was like 85% kidding.”

“And I’m 100% serious. You don’t have anything to do on Valentine’s Day and neither do I. It could be fun,” Derek shrugs. He shrugs, Stiles didn’t know Derek was capable of shrugging.

“Okay…. You’re paying for dinner Richy Rich and you’re picking me up,” Stiles says with a grin and taps Derek’s shoulder as he exits the kitchen to reclaim his spot on the couch.

“How’s seven?” Derek asks as he follows Stiles. Boyd and Erica took the opportunity to upgrade their movie watching real estate leaving Derek and Stiles to sit on the floor or find somewhere else to sit.

“Seven is perfect,” Stiles agrees and takes a sip of his beer and looks back to the tv.

 

It’s 6:30 and Stiles is nervous.  He doesn’t know why he’s nervous, but something about having a fake Valentine’s Day dinner with the guy he’s had a minor (okay major) crush on since high school is making him sweat through his shirt.

“Damn it,” the curse comes when he looks at himself in the mirror to see how bad the pits stains are, and the result is: they’re bad. He rummages through his closet for another suitable shirt.

Derek had texted him earlier:

Derek 5:54pm

Wear something nice. Jacket prefered.

That fucking asshole would  text him about needing a jacket a few hours before their date. Fake date. Whatever.

All Stiles has in his closet is a too big blazer he got from goodwill. It will have to work.

As the clock ticks down to the time Derek said he’s pick him up, Stiles starts to worry that Derek is going to bail. Everything about Derek says he does not like public humiliation, and yelling and screaming in a restaurant is nerve wracking even for Stiles.

But just as he doubts himself he gets a text:

Derek 6:47pm

I’m on my way.

The text reassures him, something he kind of needed. While he waits for Derek to arrive he changes he sweaty shirt and puts on even more deodorant. A fake date is a date, after all.

Finally, promptly at 6:58 the doorbell rings. Stiles is thankful to all the gods that his dad is at work right now because if he wasn’t, there would definitely be words between his dad and his date.

Stiles goes to the door, but as soon as he opens it, he feels severely underdressed.

“Whoa,” Stiles breathes out upon seeing Derek.

Because Derek is standing there in what looks like a tailored suit that is fancy as fuck. He’s got a sleek black tie that is done into a perfect windsor knot, the black of his suit matches his hair and beard, which looks trimmed and neat. His eyes are a stark contrast to the black but it works and Stiles’ grey oversized jacket and khaki pants seem like he’s a kid playing dress up.

“I didn’t know it was this fancy!” Stiles exclaims because he isn’t even wearing a tie for god’s sake.

“No, it’s fine. I overdressed,” he seems to be flustered at the realization that Stiles doesn’t have custom suits. “Let me just,” he reaches up to his tie, fiddles with it until it pulls off and he can stuff it into his pocket. The top few buttons of his shirt come undone and suddenly Stiles wishes the tie was back because, chest hair.

“Look, I can go change, I think my dad might have a suit I can-” Stiles starts to back up into his house.

“No Stiles, you look wonderful. Plus, we’re going to be late for the reservations.” Derek’s eyes are soft and he holds his hand out and Stiles has no idea what to do with it. Was he supposed to pretend that Derek wanting to hold his hand on the way to the car was normal?

Stiles squints at Derek and takes his hand cautiously. He locks the door behind him and they walk to Derek’s Camaro, which is sitting in the driveway next to Roscoe.

When they’re close to the car, Derek lets go of his hand and then reaches to open the door for Stiles.

At this point, Stiles is worried he has fallen into an alternate universe, one in which he and Derek are dating. What is his life?

“Thank you?” Stiles asks as he slips into the car. The seats are warm considering it’s a little chilly for the middle of February.  He sinks into the warmth of the seats as Derek gets in on his side. Smoothly tossing the discarded tie into the backseat out of sight, and out of mind. They both buckle their seatbelts as Derek’s car starts.

“We’re going to Sterling for dinner. I made reservations at Julio’s,” Derek says offhandedly as he backs out of the drive way.

“We’re going two towns over for dinner? Why?”

“This town is too small, everyone knows we’re not dating,” Derek says a little stiffly, as if he’s practiced it.

“Okay?” Stiles responds, only 50% expecting a response to the non-question.

The car is moving towards the southbound interstate. It won’t take very long to get two towns over, maybe half an hour tops. Julio’s is the nicest restaurant in the county, Stiles is surprised Derek was able to get reservations so soon.

“So what’s the plan?” he asks as they speed down the road, the freeway is clear, they’ll be there soon.

“Well, I’m gonna schedule a text to be sent to you halfway through dinner. You’re going to say it’s work and you have to go. I’ll object and we’ll just go from there.” At the thought, Stiles pulls his phone out to set the text to be sent at 8:00. “Eight o’clock should be good right?”

Derek nods while looking at the road.

“The key to good improv is ‘Yes, and…’ so whatever you say, I have to go with and whatever I say you have to go with. As long as we keep it relationship-y we’ll be good.”

Derek is back to being Derek, which is nice, because the dork who answered the door was freaking Stiles out a little bit.

The ride is silent, which Stiles expected, the background radio station playing mushy love songs at requests. The thought of those people making song requests thinking that that is a good enough Valentine’s Day gift makes Stiles laugh when Delilah reads out the little dedication before each song.

The exit sign for Sterling comes up and Stiles turns to Derek as best he can in the seat.

“So, obviously to sell this we need to act like a real couple. So I’m giving you full permission to do anything you think a boyfriend would do, and I’m asking you to extend the same offer. If you’re not cool with something let me know now so I know not to do it,” Stiles says seriously.

Derek is focused on the road, his eyebrows scrunch up, probably thinking about all the things he doesn't want Stiles to do to him.

“Yeah okay,” he finally answers.

“Okay what?”

“You can do whatever you think you need to,” he says flatly and just like that, Derek goes back to his steely stare at the road ahead of them. Nothing else is said until they pull into the restaurant parking lot five minutes before the clock hits 7:30.

Derek drives right up to the valet near the front door.

The valet opens the door for Stiles, and immediately Stiles knows he’s way underdressed for this. This place has a valet and he’s wearing his Stan Smiths. He gets out when his door is open and he sees Derek get out of his side too, handing the keys to the kid who doesn’t look old enough to be driving cars around unsupervised. Stiles sees Derek slip the kid a bill.

Stiles waits for Derek where he is as he rounds the front of the car. He knows Derek is going to go for his hand like he did when he picked him up, but what he isn’t ready for is the hand on the small of his back and the kiss on his temple.

He has to work very hard to not flail away from the vicious alpha werewolf who just kissed his temple. Instead he leans into it and even returns a kiss onto his cheek, remarkably close to his mouth, as they walk to the door. A waitress opens the door for them and Derek, ever the gentleman, lets Stiles walk in front of him.

“Good evening gentlemen, and happy Valentine’s Day. Is it going to be for two tonight?” the hostess asks, already scurrying behind her counter to find an empty table.

“Actually, we have a reservation. Two for Hale,” Derek tells her, his voice smooth and collected. Stiles wonders if this is how Derek would always be if he hadn’t suffered so much loss in his youth. If fancy dinners would have been more regular for him had he not lived through such sadness.

“Oh, of course,” she answers before she looks down at her podium again while she collects two menus from somewhere Stiles can’t see. “Right this way Mr. Hale.”  

The hostess leads them to the right, past a large dining room of people towards some stairs that lead to a slightly elevated area of the dining room.

Their table is a tiny booth nestled into an area with other tiny booths just like it. Obviously meant for two people to be able to squish in and cuddle while they ate. It’s a great spot for their eventual fight. A few larger tables were in front of them and then the entire dining room beyond that.

“The waitstaff will be with you in a moment, can I start you gentlemen off with something to drink?”

She has bright eyes and looks like she genuinely cares, but Stiles knows she probably threw a fit about having to work on Valentine’s Day. He certainly remembers those shifts.

“We’ll have a Solaia - 2008,” Derek says without skipping a beat. He must have done some research on their menu before picking this place.

“That wine is only available by the bottle. Is that okay?” the hostess asks.

Derek looks at Stiles and he swears he’s never seen Derek’s eyes do whatever the fuck they are doing right now. They’re so soft and the lighting in this place is making them sparkle like nothing he’s ever seen. There’s a tiny smile on his face as he answers, “Yes of course. We’re celebrating tonight.”

In that moment, Stiles really did want to be celebrating something with Derek tonight. The way he was being looked at sent butterflies into his stomach and a shiver up his spine. Derek could surely smell his reaction because he smirked as the hostess announced she’d bring it right out.

Derek scoots in a little bit, smiling lightly as if asking Stiles to do the same. Stiles does. They’re sitting together, touching from shoulder to knees, and even then their feet are getting tangled underneath the table.

It’s intimate like Stiles never expected to be with Derek. Sure he has a crush on the guy, but he’s about 3,000 miles out of his league. Plus, Derek has to know about his crush right now and is doing this to make his life more miserable than it already is.

Regardless, Stiles grabs one of the menus from where the hostess left them on the edge of their table. He opens it up and Derek’s arm goes over his shoulder, letting Stiles’ other shoulder fall into the nook created by the empty space. His date’s hand comes up and holds the other flap of the menu open for them both to see.

It’s crazy how perfect their bodies fit together.

Stiles pushes the thought out of his head and starts to look at the food items. He’s trying not to openly gawk at the prices of the food, but they’re really ridiculous. $40 for a bowl of Shrimp Alfredo? Did the shrimps come from Poseidon's personal shrimp collection?

Derek chuckles next to him, and Stiles didn’t realize he said that out loud.

“Get anything you want,” Derek whispers right into his ear, “I’m buying.”

“Pssh, you better be buying, I’m a grad student, I can’t afford to breath this air,” Stiles shoots back as he settles more comfortably into Derek who lets out another laugh. This one is full bellied and feels genuine, it echos a little outside their table.

“In due time. Next year, you’re buying.” Derek says as he flips the menu to the next page. Part of him wonders why Derek said that, surely no one was listening to them yet.

“What are we celebrating?” Stiles asks, looking up to Derek at the awkward angle.

“Our anniversary,” he states, “our two year anniversary.”

“That’s oddly specific for a prank,” Stiles says as he looks at the list of chicken dishes the place has.

“What happened to ‘yes, and…’?” Derek quips back.

“Shut up.”

With that, a guy brings over an ice bucket with their wine sitting inside.

“Solaia - 2008?”

“Yes,” Derek answers, voice going from the softness he was using a moment ago to business like.

“I’m George, and I’ll be taking care of you gentlemen today,” their server tells them as he sets the bucket down on a fancy stool he brought with him and begins opening the bottle. Derek watches him with a careful eye as if ensuring that he is opening the bottle correctly.

Derek obviously knows a lot about this fancy life, it sends another streak of sadness through Stiles as he remembers that Derek lives in an apartment building that’s falling apart.

“Would you like to let this breathe a little or would you prefer to drink it now?” George asks as he slips the corkscrew and cork into the pocket on his apron.

“We’ll let it breathe in the glasses, thanks,” Derek commands, Stiles watches the exchange go down as George carefully pours the wine into the glasses that sit on the table.

“Are you ready to order or would you like a little bit more time with the menu?” George asks as he finishes filling Stiles’ glass.

“We’ll need a few more minutes,” Derek answers.

“I would like a glass of water though,” Stiles pipes up. He offers George a smile as he buries the bottle back into the ice.

“Of course, I’ll bring that right out,” George does an awkward little bow and leaves their table.

“What are you going to get?” Stiles asks feeling Derek relax a little against him.

“I haven’t had their Filet Mignon in ages, so I think I’ll get that. What about you?”

“The spaghetti and meatballs looks very tempting,” Stiles brings up his free hand to point to the small print.

“I bring you to a 5 star restaurant and you want to order something you can order at Denny’s?” Derek looks down at Stiles. There is no bite in his words, if anything it sounds like there is a bit of admiration.

“Fine, I’ll get something else,” Stiles says a little coldly, hoping Derek picks it up as he flips the page back to look at the seafood.

“If you want it you can get it. It’s just that I drove half an hour to get us here and you want a child’s meal,” Stiles can feel the snippiness in Derek’s voice and on one level he knows it’s to play up the fight later, but on the other he feels really bad. “It’s like wasting a trip.”

“I don’t want this trip to be wasted. This is the first time we’ve been out in over three months,” Stiles snips back. It’s odd how natural their banter went from playful to hurtful.

“That’s not my fault, you know I need to work,” Derek brings his hand back from around Stiles shoulder.

“Can we not do this? It’s our anniversary, and it’s Valentine’s Day,” Stiles pleads, he himself is sitting up on his own, no longer under Derek’s arms.

“Yeah,” Derek nods and pulls himself back to Stiles in their tiny booth.

The resume their cuddle position and Stiles keeps looking at the menu. This is all more than he expected, he thought they were going to go to the Olive Garden on Maple and Roosevelt, not fucking Julio’s. He was looking forward to some dry ass breadsticks and salad with too much vinegar.

George comes back to set the glass of water down and a small basket of fresh bread, Derek takes the moment to reach over to the wine that is breathing, whatever that means, and takes a sip.

“Are you gentlemen ready to order?” His smile is sweet, and his glasses are cute. He’s got big hair neatly groomed, he looks about 20, and if Stiles wasn't fake dating he’d probably ask him out.

“Umm, yes. I will have the Lobster, with-” Stiles started.

Derek interrupts, “I thought you wanted the spaghetti and meatballs?”

“I changed my mind,” Stiles shrugs, he can feel Derek pulling away again.

“If you want the spaghetti, get the spaghetti. I don’t want you to order something you’re not going to like.” Derek is staring Stiles down, and he’s intimidated by it. George is obviously uncomfortable,  but he’s still standing there with a small smile and his notepad at the ready.

“Fine, I will have the spaghetti and meatballs,” Stiles finally answers not even looking at George preferring to look at Derek and raise an eyebrow at him.

“And I’ll have the Filet Mignon,” Derek closes the menu and passes it to George who grabs the one Derek hands him and the one left on the table.

“Yes sir, I’ll put this order in for you. Anything else in the meantime?” He’s still trying to be peppy.

“No we’re good, thank you,” Stiles answers before Derek could answer. George give a little nod and smile and leaves to put their order in.

Once George leaves, there is what would be an awkward tension in the air, if they really were dating. Stiles kind of doesn’t know how far Derek is willing to take this, but he looks at his phone really quick to see that it’s almost 8. Their food isn’t even here yet, so he fiddles with his phone to reset the time for the text to Derek for 8:30.

“Who are you texting?” Derek ask, he’s got the glass of wine in his hand and is taking a sip.

“Umm,” Stiles slips his phone back into his pocket, “no one.” He looks over to Derek to see him shake his head and look away to the dining floor.

Stiles picks up his own wine glass and takes a sip. “This is really good,” Stiles announces as he looks into the glass a little bit more carefully. It's not like he'll see anything besides the red liquid, but Derek sniffed it, so he can look at it.

“It’s the same wine I bought you our first date,” Derek snaps back as he takes another swig of from his own glass.

He doesn’t know why, but there is something completely mesmerizing about Derek like this. His voice wasn’t as full of a bite that Stiles knows it capable of. It sounds almost, broken? Perhaps a small note of defeat mixed in with the sharpness? Hearing it makes Stiles’ heart break a little, imagining Derek in a similar situation with someone else.

Stiles closes the space between them and grabs Derek’s chin with his hand. Pulling it towards his own face from where Derek was looking off to the other patrons at the restaurant. It doesn't take much effort to get the werewolf to look at him, his eyes dazed as they look into Stiles’ own.

“I didn’t know you remembered our first date,” Stiles says softly as the space between their lips closes. Stiles can’t really stop himself after that. Years of pent up sexual frustration for the alpha made the kiss easy on his part.

What he didn’t expect was for Derek to start kissing back, pulling him in by putting his hand on Stiles’ cheek. If Stiles was being optimistic, he’d even say that he can feel Derek’s teeth elongate as their tongues mix together for only a moment.

“I remember it perfectly, like it was yesterday,” Derek replies after they break the kiss. His face is dead serious, as if he was really trying to convince Stiles that he had remembered their first date from two years ago.

It makes Stiles’ heart yearn for it to be true. But he’s got to keep his eye on the prize, he needs to make a mess of this holiday. Even if the idea is becoming ridiculous with each passing moment.

They’re pressed together again, this time more on Derek’s side of the booth. Stiles has his head on Derek’s shoulder again, arms thrown lightly across Derek's belly. He tries to ignore he fact that there are killer abs under there as Derek’s arm reclaims its spot around Stiles. In hushed tones, they talk about minimal things, mostly about the new omega roaming around in Oregon and how Derek is worried it will start heading down towards them in a few weeks.

“The ladies at the table over there are watching us,” Derek says. “I can hear them talking about us.” He reaches for a piece of bread from the basket.

His voice is low, Stiles can hear it fine, and considering how close they were sitting it wasn’t suspicious at all. The knowledge that they’d have at least a couple of people watching their fake break up they’re about to have makes Stiles giddy.  

Stiles sips his wine and relishes in it since it's the best wine he’s ever had. He wasn’t going to look at the price, he decided, he didn’t want to feel bad about how much Derek was spending on this fake date.

George pops up a few minutes later, Stiles and Derek still cuddling in their booth.

“Alright gentlemen, I have the Filet Mignon,” he sets the dish down in front of Derek. “And here is the spaghetti and meatballs for you sir,” he grabs Stiles’ plate off of the tray and sets it right besides Derek’s.

Without being asked, George takes the wine out of the ice bucket and refills Derek’s glass and tops Stiles’ off.

“Is there anything else for you gentlemen?” Georg asks, he really seems like a sweet guy, Stiles feels bad about the impending fight.

“No George, we’re great. Thanks,” Stiles answers with another smile. He gets the napkin roll and opens it carefully to take out the silverware inside. Derek removes his hand from around Stiles to do the same.

Then they eat. It’s completely normal and it sets Stiles on edge that Derek is being so open about things. He’s actually talking about how the remodel of the apartment building is coming along, and how the new investments he’s made are starting to pan out.  He even listens to Stiles intently when Stiles goes off on a tangent about his professor’s misogynistic remark in class the other day.

“I mean, I’m not into women, but men need to respect their rights. It’s bullshit that he thinks he can get away with saying that. I’m working on a letter to the president of the school,” he’s cutting up a meatball on his plate, because the meatballs he got were the size of baseballs. He looks up to see Derek hasn’t really touched his food, and has one arm leaning on the table tucked under his other one. His free hand is holding the wine glass up to his mouth, but he’s not drinking. He’s staring.

He’s staring at Stiles with dopey Bambi eyes that look as if they were in a cartoon, with giant hearts popping out of his skull.  Stiles stops, his knife stuck in the meatball. “What?”

“Nothing,” Derek blushes, another thing Stiles didn’t know what Derek was capable of. Stiles wonders if he ever thought about acting, because this was all feeling so genuine, it was starting to make Stiles rethink the whole prank. Derek sets down his glass and resumes eating.

Derek digs into his food, and Stiles keeps sawing through the massive meatball. His mind starts to wander again. He wonders how Derek got reservations so quickly. Logically, Derek is loaded and could have paid off someone to add him last minute. Another part of him though, thinks Derek has had this reservation for a while, that he must have planned to bring someone here.

Suddenly Stiles remembers that Derek, serious “I’m the Alpha” Derek, was willing to get humiliated in front of strangers just because Stiles asked him to. Was this supposed to be real?

Was Derek going to ask him out on Valentine’s Day and bring him to Julio’s as a first date?

Shit, the wine is the wine Derek wanted for their first date. Suddenly he gets nervous all over again. This can’t be a real date, Derek is out of Stiles’ league. Stiles is about to yell at Derek. Yell at him in the nicest restaurant within driving distance. They might get banned from this place. Derek is willing to risk that for Stiles’ practical joke?

What the fuck.

Stiles has to know so he sets his fork down and looks to Derek who is smiling over at him, but can probably tell Stiles is nervous.

“Derek, is this a-” but just as he starts to get the words out, Derek’s phone starts to ring.

The little jingle Stiles set as the text tone has never been so annoying and infuriating.

“Hold that thought babe,” Derek says as he starts feeling himself up for his phone. He finds it in one of his breast pockets and pulls it out. Staring at it seriously for a second then looking up to Stiles. “It’s work, we gotta go.”

“Wait, Derek is this-” Derek is starting to look around, probably for George to get their check.

“There was a break in at the office and I need to get down there. I’ll drop you off at home,” he’s still looking around, his wallet is already out on the table, his gold credit card sitting ready to be taken away.

Stiles kind of doesn’t want to do this anymore, if this is a real date, he doesn’t want to end it like this. Derek’s already into it, and this was Stiles’ idea, he can’t wimp out now.

“Derek, it’s Valentine's Day. You’re not going to work,” Stiles raises his eyebrows as he looks back to his plate, swirling the pasta onto the fork carefully.

“Babe, there was a break in,” Derek emphasizes ‘break in’ as he keeps looking around for someone to ask for the check.

“It is our anniversary, and we made the drive all the way out here. By the time we get home and you get there, there isn’t going to be anything to take care of.” Stiles tries to be nonchalant about the whole thing.

“Stiles, I can’t do this with you right now,” Derek snips, George is rounding the corner to his section, carrying another tray of food for a different table. “I need to go take care of this,” with his voice is raised a little bit. Not yelling, but definitely loud enough to cause attention from the tables nearest to them.

“You can take care of it tomorrow. That’s why you have a security system with a guard. It’s his job to take care of that.” Stiles is still rolling his fork, trying to get spaghetti on it.

Derek manages to flag down George, their waiter comes and asks how their meal is going. To which Derek responds, “Great. I need the check.”

“Actually, I’d like to see a dessert menu,” Stiles looks up to George and sends him a beaming smile.

“No, we’ll take the check. Hurry please,” his eyebrows are pulled together and he looks mad. It doesn't surprise him that George takes off to get their check. Stiles has been on the receiving end of that stare many times, it almost shit-your-pants scary.

“I can’t believe you’re doing this,” Stiles lets his fork fall onto the plate, the resulting clank brings a few more eyes to them. The place is quiet, it’s part of the ambiance, so it doesn’t take too much to cause a scene.

“The only reason I can afford places like this is because I work, Stiles. My company is all I have,” he stops. Stiles is offended by that, legitimately offended.

“What about me?” he asks, head quirking and arms crossing over his chest.

A groan comes from Derek, “you know that’s not what I mean.”

“Then what did you mean?” Stiles raises his eyebrows waiting for Derek’s response. Stiles can see out of the corner of his eye that people are starting to ignore their meals for the show on the upper level. It’s like they’re on a stage, Stiles wonders if Derek planned this.

Derek opens his mouth to respond, but George pops up before he can say anything.

“Here you go, Mr. Hale,” He gives the little black folder to Derek. “I also took the liberty of bringing you some boxes for your left overs,” a couple of little boxes get set down on the table.

“Thank you so much George, but I would still love to see a dessert menu,” Stiles picks up the check to hand it back to George but Derek snatches it out of the air.

“You’re not seeing a dessert menu because we’re leaving,” the little black folder snaps open and he tosses the gold card into it and snapping it closed again.

“Why do you always  do this? We were having such a nice time, and you want to leave to go work.” Stiles barks back, a little louder. Getting the attention of the people just down in the lower level.

George backs away slowly. “I’ll get this all setup for you. Unless you’d like to see a dessert-”

“No.” Derek looks back at him sharply, and it almost sounds like a bit of his alpha influence is seeping in. It won’t have any effect on the waiter, but it works well enough to get him to shut his mouth and walk away at a brisk pace to get the bill taken care of.

“I’m so sick of you prioritizing work over us,” Stiles crosses his arms over his chest.

“Me? What about you? You must think I’m some sort of idiot to think I don’t know that there is something going on between you and Mark,” Derek’s voice is at a low yell, causing more disruption to the lower level. The ladies who started watching them earlier are openly staring at them now.

“Mark? There is nothing going on between me and Mark!” Stiles didn’t expect that, Mark is a real person he almost dated a few months back.

“Please, you see him 5 days out of the week. I know that’s who you were texting earlier, you’re cheating on me and I let it slide,” Derek stands up from their little table. George is approaching with a man wearing a nice suits, probably the manager.

“Holy shit Derek, we’re in a study group! I only see him like 3 times a week, twice for class, and once for study group,” Stiles matches Derek’s tone.

“Bullshit, I’m not an idiot Stiles,” Derek’s doing the accusatory finger to Stiles, but before he can say anything else the man in the suit and George get to their table. Stiles sees Derek take a deep breath as though trying to keep control.

“Hello Mr. Hale!” he has an accent, and Stiles feels like it's something from India, his voice makes Stiles want to smile, but he really can’t in this situation. Derek turns to him, having crossed his arms, he looks pissed. “I’m Mr. Charles, I have your bill here. After you sign the receipt I would be happy to escort you gentlemen to your car. George here will gather your car from the valet,” his voice is as jolly as as it could be considering the situation, there is an edge to it though. “Your conversation is disturbing some of the other guests here tonight.” the smile he gives them is tight, and concerned.

George hands Derek the bill and he fishes the credit card out of the slot and signs the paper, adding a tip.

“Let’s go,” Derek quips back. He holds his hand out to Stiles on his side of the booth.

“I can’t leave, I haven’t had dessert yet.”

“We have to leave,” Derek says and Stiles isn’t typically scared of Derek anymore, even when he goes full wolf and tears off some hunter’s face. The tone that he’s using now, though, is something he hasn’t heard since the first few weeks after Scott got bitten.

You can leave, you have to get to work,” he pulls out his phone and types out a text to Scott he doesn’t send.

“How are you supposed to get home? We came together,” Derek’s face gets red.

“I’ve already invited Mark to come join me here for dessert. He can take me home,” Stiles crosses his arms over his chest, settling into the booth more. Petty is, as petty does bitch.

“Like hell you did. We’re leaving.”

“Fuck you,” it kind of just comes out, and he says it loud enough that it echos through the resturant, effectively quieting the whole restaurant and making everyone look at them.

“Okay, gentleman. I’m going to ask you both to leave now. You’re disturbing the other guests and I will not have that kind of language here,” Mr. Charles says sternly while keeping his voice far from the yelling spectrum.

Derek turns on his heels and starts to walk through the maze of tables in the same way they were lead an hour earlier. He leaves Stiles in the booth in the company of Mr. Charles and George.

Stiles takes a deep breath. He can feel tears building up at the edges of his eyes. He doesn't know why, this isn’t real.

“Sir,” Mr. Charles’ voice is soft now, almost sympathetic. A tear falls down his face and Stiles’ wipes it away with the sleeve of his jacket. He slides out of the booth, nearly forgetting the boxes with their left overs that were boxed up at some point.

Stiles traces Derek’s path, apologizing to people as he passes their tables. He really is embarrassed, not because of the prank, but because he probably ruined these people’s Valentine’s Day.

Mr. Charles escorts Stiles out, just like he said he would. The valet announces that Derek is gone.

“Shit,” Stiles says, shoving one of his hands in his pockets and holding the boxes in the other. “I guess that means we’re kind of through, huh?” He looks up to Mr. Charles who is still standing with him, as well as the valet. Stiles’ stomach drops a little, in the back of his head he thinks Derek really left him here.

“I don’t know sir, we’ll call you a cab,” Mr. Charles’ says, without being asked, the valet moves back to his little podium to call the cab.

“Thanks,” he stands meekly.

“Sir, the cab is on the way,” the valet says from behind them.

“Thank you Steven. Mr.-”

“Stiles. Stiles Stilinski,” he finishes for him.

“Mr. Stilinski, I must return to my restaurant, but Steven here will keep you company until your cab arrives.” Mr. Charles sticks his hand out for a handshake.

Stiles takes it and says, “I am so sorry for our behavior back there. This has been a long time coming, and I’m sorry it took place in your establishment.” He’s being completely sincere.

“We’ve all had messy break ups Mr. Stilinski. I’m sorry it took place here as well, but in the scope of things it’s not the worst place to break up. A wedding would be far worse.”

His sense of humor makes Stiles chuckle. Without another word, the man turns and goes back into his restaurant.

Now that he’s alone, he picks his phone out of his pocket and sees a new text from Derek.

Derek 8:52pm

I’m around the corner.

A little bit of relief washes over him.

Stiles 8:53pm

They called me a cab. Which corner?

Derek 8:53pm

Jefferson and Main Street

Stiles 8:54pm

I’ll be there in a bit

He doesn’t look at his phone as it buzzes in his pocket. Instead, he just keeps quiet and fiddles with the small bits of rock on the concrete. Not even 10 minutes later, a yellow car with “Benny’s Taxis” on the side arrives to the curb.

“Thank you,” he calls out to Steven as he slides inside. “The corner of Jefferson and Main Street please.”

Without a word, the taxi driver pulls away from the curb. It takes less than five minutes to get there. The Camaro was sitting there, waiting for him.

“Yeah just pull up to black Camaro over there,” Stiles says through the plastic separating the driver and the passengers. The driver, who is a stereotypical cab driver, grunts and obliges. Once the car comes to a stop, Stiles opens the door.

“That’ll be $28,” the cabbie says.

“Bro, you drove less than a mile,” Stiles points out. Derek is rolling down his window.

“There’s a minimum of 5 miles, otherwise it’s a flat fee,” the cabbie is saying it like he’s got it memorized from his youth.

“Fine,” Stiles closes the door and turns to Derek. “It’s 28 bucks.”

“That’s outrageous, it’s less than a mile,” Derek complains as he reaches for his wallet.

“There’s a minimum of 5 miles, otherwise it’s a flat fee,” the driver says louder for Derek to hear.

“The man says $28,” Stiles takes the $30 Derek gives him and passes it to the cabbie. “Then that’s two dollars back-”

“No tip?” This cab driver is pulling his chain but Stiles can’t have more bad karma on him.

“Fine, keep it,” without another word the cab drives off. “What a jerk.”

“You’re forgetting that a few minutes ago we were both jerks,” from the camaro, Derek’s face looks up at him. Stiles rolls his eyes and moves to the other side of the car to get in.

Once both of them are in the car, Derek shifts the Camaro into gear and pulls away from the curb.The restaurant is close to the freeway, so it doesn’t take them very long to start on their way home.

It’s really awkward at first, knowing they just had a yelling match at each other in the middle of the county’s top rated restaurants.

“Why did you bring up Mark?” Stiles asks almost out of nowhere.

“Who?” Derek asks, Stiles can’t tell if he’s being serious or not.

“Mark, the guy you accused me of cheating on you with. The same guy I went on a couple dates with a few months back,” Stiles elaborates, Derek keeps his head straight, focusing on the road.

“Oh, uhh. I don’t know. It was the first name I thought of,” Derek’s right shoulder pops up like a half shrug. The shrug isn't as casual as his words seem to disclose. Stiles thinks that's very weird, but he decides to let it slide. Mark was a common name, he supposed.

It falls quiet after that. It takes them half the trip before Delilah's soft, deep voice gets annoying and Stiles just needs to say something.

“We totally Elle Woods’d that shit though,” Stiles says after a moment.

“I don’t know what that means,” Derek says seriously, eyes on the road ahead of him.

“Wow. You know, it doesn’t even surprise me that you don’t get pop culture references like that anymore. It’s to be expected.”

“You’re right, it’s like I’m a martian,” Derek says trying to imitate Regina George, a smile breaks out on his face as he looks over to Stiles and winks.

“Did you just make a Mean Girls reference?”

“Duh.”

Stiles starts laughing as Derek does his best to imitate Karen.  

“That was really good improv, have you ever thought about being an actor?”

Stiles tries to make small talk, it’s less rigid now than when they were on their way to dinner.

“I uh, in high school I was in theater,” Derek confesses softly, and Stiles almost didn’t catch it.

“What? You? Broody McBrooderson were in theater?”

“Tech theater, technically, but I still had to sit through all those horrible acting classes.”

A huff of laughter comes from the werewolf as his grip on the steering wheel shifts as he sways from lane to lane passing cars.

“I can’t even begin to imagine,” Stiles replies, still trying to hide his chuckles.

“So, now that we did what you wanted on Valentine’s Day, what do you say about doing what I want to do on Valentine’s Day?” Derek asks, his voice completely different than it was the sentence before.

“What do you mean?” Stiles can’t think of anything else Derek would be doing on Valentine’s Day, especially with him.

“Well, we used our reservation at Julio’s for your fight fantasy thing, so now I want to see a movie.”

Our reservations?”

“Yeah. No one can get a reservation at Julio’s a week before Valentine’s Day. I’ve had that reservations for months.”

“Months? Who were you going to take?” Stiles gets a butterflies in his stomach, Derek must be able to smell the apprehension on him.

“You,” Derek’s face is so soft when he says it. It’s so genuine. Stiles bets if he could hear heartbeats, Derek wouldn’t be lying.

“Me?”

“Yes.”

“Wait, you were going to ask me to be your Valentine?”

“Yes.”  He give a sharp nod.

“So that was real?” Stiles is thinking the night over, there wasn’t anything besides Stiles’ plan that would prove it wasn’t  a real date.

“The fight wasn’t, but it was a real date. Did you- did you not know that?”

“I thought you were just humoring me!”

“Well I was, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t real.”

“Oh my god, I feel like an idiot. Of course this was a date. I had a little bit of a feeling, but I didn’t get a chance to ask you before the whole fight started.”

They grow quiet. Neither of them knowing what to say.

“So, I guess I have something to ask you,” Derek finally says. “Will you be my valentine?” He looks over for a second, the smile on his face something Stiles has only seen a few times since they met. The most notable was when Derek was trying to seduce Tara in the Sheriff’s office. Still, the one he flashes now seems real, in a way it had never been before.

The question stops Stiles. It leaves him speechless.

“Umm, do you want me to be?”

“Of course,” Derek, emotionally constipated Derek S. Hale, then removes his hand from the steering wheel and takes Stiles' hand where it is on his lap.

“This is really happening, I’m your valentine?”

“Only if you want to be,” Derek does that thing where he puts his hand on the top of his steering wheel, leaving his wrist to steer.

“I’ve legit had a crush on you since that day in the woods, and it was cemented when you died in Mexico. Yes I want to be your Valentine!”

Stiles is moving around more than he knows he should be, but Derek just brings their joined hands up to his mouth and kisses Stiles’ hand.

“Fantastic,” he looks positively dopey. “Should we still catch that movie?” Derek pulls off of the freeway towards his apartment.

“Nah, we have to finish this, maybe we can go back to your place? Netflix and Chill?”

“What’s Netflix?”

“How the hell do you not know what Netfli-” Derek starts laughing. “That’s not funny. It’s 100% believable that you didn’t know what Netflix is. Screw you I don’t want to be your valentine anymore,” he tries to let go of Derek’s hand, but Derek keeps his hand firm.

“No take backs,” Derek teases. Derek teases.

They stop at a stop light, and Derek swings his head to look at Stiles who's been staring at the werewolf for the past few minutes. Their hands are still tied together, not closer to the center console of the car rather than in Stiles’ lap. With a small tug, Stiles gets Derek to lean closer to him. Derek lets go of Stiles’ hand, but without missing a beat he picks it up to Stiles’ cheek. The space between them closes.