The thing is - the thing is - Stiles hasn’t seen Derek since the Hale Christmas party two years ago. The party where his awkward, gangly, sixteen year-old self had super awkwardly confessed his Epic Love for Derek. Awkwardly.
(The Hales are beloved of Beacon Hills and hold a series of parties during the holidays for the emergency services. Their way of giving back after a swift response saved their house from burning down when Stiles was ten.)
Stiles feigned illness last year because he couldn’t face Derek. Not after the rejection. It wasn’t even the worst rejection Stiles has had - that would be Lydia’s very public rejection of him in freshman year. It was that Derek was so kind, let Stiles down so gently, and Stiles can’t deal with that sort of kindness.
His Dad insists this year - making all sorts of noises about how Stiles probably won’t even be in the state for the party next year and how Stiles has to make the most of old traditions while he can. Stiles gives in because he can’t not. Not when his Dad starts talking about how proud of him his Mom would’ve been.
Stiles knows Derek’s back from New York for the holidays - no reprieve from that corner - because it’s all the deputies have been talking about. Derek Hale is basically so attractive that even the deputies that don’t swing his way check him out when he’s in town. The Camaro probably helps - Stiles is pretty sure there isn’t a deputy working for his Dad that hasn’t pulled the Camaro over on a flimsy excuse just to get a look at Derek in the car.
So Derek is going to be there and Stiles tells himself firmly that he doesn’t have to dress up special for him because he’s not going to impress him. Which means he shows up in his usual layers and pretends not to care. He’s not very good at pretending, it turns out, because after Mrs Hale hugs him she tells him Derek’s out the back.
(You see - Stiles befriended Derek after the attempted arson. Stiles was with his Dad when the call came in and he’d seen this older boy, all tight and upset, and he’d done what all Stilinskis knew to do when someone was upset - he hugged him. Mrs Hale told him that Stiles’ friendship was what got Derek through the revelation that his much older girlfriend was responsible for the fire.)
They’ve e-mailed since. Derek’s one of Stiles’ oldest friends - he couldn’t just stop talking to him. Stiles knows that Derek’s thinking of settling in New York, that he’s lonely sometimes but happy, that he has friends. He’s even told Stiles to come out and visit him. Stiles hasn’t told him that he’s going to NYU - he’s worried it will seem creepy. They’d talked about it before Stiles’ confession, as an option for Stiles, but he’s still not sure how Derek will react.
Stiles steps out onto the back porch and Derek looks up at him, artful stubble and styled hair, and it’s like a punch to the gut that winds Stiles. He’d actually forgotten how attracted to Derek he is - how just looking at him makes his chest feel tight and his heart pound. Stiles lets out a breath and steps down to stand awkwardly opposite Derek.
“Hey,” Derek says. He looks awkward too.
“Hey,” Stiles says back, tucking his hands into his pockets.
There’s a long silence, Derek just looking at Stiles in a way he can’t understand.
“I’m sorry,” Derek says at the same time as Stiles blurts: “I’m going to NYU.”
“Wait,” Stiles says. “What?”
“You’re going to NYU?” Derek asks, that sunshine smile lighting his face up.
“Uh, yeah,” Stiles says, removing a hand from his pocket to rub over his hair.
“That’s great,” Derek says. “I’m - that’s really great.”
“Why are you sorry?” Stiles asks, taking a step towards Derek.
“What I said - last time we -” Derek stops and Stiles can see he’s frustrated with himself. He’s never been good at feelings. “I shouldn’t have said that.”
“You were right,” Stiles shrugs, faking nonchalance. “It was just a stupid crush. I’m totally over it.”
“Oh, you are?” Derek says, ducking his head. His voice is wistful, quiet, and Stiles’ heart skips a beat.
“Do you want me to be?” Stiles asks, hesitant, not daring to hope.
Derek lifts his head, slowly, and there’s something in his eyes that Stiles has never seen before. A bit of hope and a little yearning and a sort of warmth that Stiles can’t be sure he’s parsing correctly. He gasps a breath and Derek’s eyes crinkle very slightly at the corners.
“Oh,” Stiles breathes and then he’s covering the ground between himself and Derek and Derek’s stepping forward to meet him and they’re the same height, when did that happen, and Derek is cupping his face and kissing him, Derek is kissing Stiles, and it’s sweet and awkward as their noses bump together but hot and full of everything Derek can’t say with his words.
“You should’ve said,” Stiles says, wonderingly, brushing a thumb over Derek’s cheek where it’s flushed red. Derek presses his forehead against Stiles’.
“I just did,” he says and Stiles lets out a stuttery laugh before tilting their heads together to kiss Derek again.
WELL, NOW I KNOW THAT IT LITERALLY IS POSSIBLE FOR MY HEART TO EXPLODE. JESUS CHRIST.
In which Scott finds out that Stiles and Derek are dating and calmly proceeds to freak the fuck out.
TiMER is a corporation specializing in a unique matchmaking device. for a nominal monthly fee, the company can equip anyone with a countdown timer that counts down to the point that the customer is brought into contact with his or her soul mate.
stiles stilinski faces the rare dilemma of a blank TiMER. his soul mate - whoever and wherever he or she is - has yet to have a TiMER implanted. scott, stiles best friend and roommate who won’t meet his soulmate until he’s forty three encourages stiles to have a little fun. scott enjoys his random encounter with woman right before they find their happily ever after, thinks stiles should too. stiles who is tired of waiting for his would-be life partner finally gives into scott’s advice and falls for isaac, a charming and sweet supermarket clerk with a countdown of four months. which makes things a bit complicated.
scott who works at retirement homes forms a friendship with one of the visitors, derek who is there to visit his uncle and also does not have a TiMER. meanwhile, stiles finds out that isaac’s timer is fake and they fight and break up but later they end up getting back together. stiles decides he is happy with the way things with isaac are and wants to get his TiMER removed but just as it’s about to be removed it turns on. a moment he’s been waiting to happen since he was thirteen years old.
it isn’t until his surprise birthday party where he meets his soulmate. scott’s friend derek. in the middle of his living room, surrounded by everyone. their TiMER’s go off. isaac being there and witnessing it all quickly leaves the pary. stiles chases after him but it’s already too late.
stiles meets derek later at a coffee shop by chance. the connection is instant.“i’ve been waiting for you since i was thirteen, what took you so damn long?”
During one of their many verbal spars, Stiles blurts out that he did have a choice of being turned or staying a ‘pathetic fragile human’ and Derek fails to understand why he chose the latter. Featuring Angry Alpha Peter and includes Sarcastic Stiles with a Dumbstruck Derek.
AU: Derek dies. Stiles can’t cope.
Teen Wolf AU- Where there is any sign of danger even in the form of a harmless interviewer, Derek never lets Stiles out of his eye-sight. It’s an alpha thing. Deal with it. And as for Stiles, well he doesn’t seem to mind- much.
Sterek Friends With Benefits AU: Derek and Stiles become best friends. They have just been dumped by their girlfriends. They decide to have casual sex, without any emotions or getting into a relationships. But as time goes by, they accidentally fall in love with each other.
AU: Stiles and Derek are at odds with one another. Derek has been avoiding Stiles and Stiles has is done trying to bridge the connection barrier. [x]
AU: Derek dies. Stiles can’t cope.