In the latest New York Times, the average college tuition went up nearly 15%.
Derek Hale, one morning as he unlocked the front door to his aptly named 'Coffee Shop', read this same article and sighed.
"I'll have a iced mocha with extra whipped cream."
It's nearly eleven o' clock at night, and at first Derek is completely sure that the person in front of him is not actually there, considering it's currently negative two degrees out, and the coffee shop has thirty minutes till closing (thank god). But there he is, in a huge black parka, two scarves, a hat, and a red hoodie poking through. His eyes are wide and bright, even with the weather outside, and his smile lights up a room. There’s a warmth that radiates from him that makes Derek hold back a shiver.
"Iced?" Derek questions, wondering if he heard that right. He raises an eyebrow, and then looks back to the snow outside. The kid must be crazy.
"Yes siree," the kid replies, all grin and smile. "With whipped cream."
Derek looks skeptical, but shrugs, and presses the necessary buttons in the register to produce a total.
"That'll be four-fifty-seven," Derek mutters out, writing down the order out of habit.
"Just a sec," the kid says, and digs in his pockets until he comes up with a handful of coins. Derek is understandably horrified. It's literally all pennies. Derek has half a mind to stab either the kid or himself with a spoon until one of them dies.
After two minutes, the kid slides over a pile of sorted coins with a grin. "Four-fifty-seven."
Derek stares down at it like he can lit it on fire with his mind. "Thanks," he replies, flat.
"Name's Stiles, by the way," the kid - Stiles - offers, and at Derek's expression, he falters and gestures half-heartedly towards the counter. "For the…for the coffee."
"Right," Derek says, and turns around to prepare the iced mocha. It’s a quick mixing of the espresso he has already freshly made in the blender with a tablespoon of chocolate over ice. It’s easy to prepare, simple, clean, and entirely too sweet for Derek’s tastes. He has it entirely done in a few moments, and when he turns around, he sees the kid nearly slumped against a table in a corner, tipping a chair in all directions. He tries to ignore the feeling of (pity, sympathy) whatever in his chest, but it comes up anyway. He sighs. "Stiles?" he calls, ignoring the taste of the name. "Iced mocha. Extra whipped cream."
"Thanks, dude," Stiles says as he bounds up, scooping up the iced coffee and downing nearly a third of it in a sip. "Really needed it."
"You're welcome," Derek says, because it's been burned into his brain how to greet customers, but what hasn't been burned is what he says next, and what he says next is, "Come back any time."
It takes Derek all of two seconds to realize this (a second after the kid - Stiles - bounds out) and then he proceeds to slap a hand to his forehead.
Thursday comes too quickly for Derek to care. A gaggle of college students come from a local party (black coffee, black coffee, black coffee, and some girl who orders a chai tea), all freshman trying to act like they're not awkward and trying too hard to fit in; and then, at the tail end, in comes shuffling Stiles, obviously not part of the group, but dragged along anyway.
He's wrapped up tight in his black parka, but seems to perk up significantly when he sees Derek behind the counter. (Derek has half a mind to wonder why. It's only nine o' clock, which constitutes the evening shift that goes to eleven thirty, but Derek stopped trying to figure out people after the whole Kate fiasco.)
"Hey!" he calls, jovially, and breaks away from the group to push his way to the front of the line. The irritated glares only last a second. "It's you!"
"Yes," Derek says, flatly. "It's my shop."
Stiles nods. "That would explain the name."
Derek instantly twists around to look at the blackboard above his head, block letters proclaiming, 'COFFEE SHOP'. "What's wrong with the name?"
"Nothing!" Stiles gets out, throwing his hands up. "Nothing at all! I mean, it's very straightforward."
Derek levels Stiles with a suspicious look. The kid sucks in a noisy breath through his teeth.
"So yeah," Stiles says, after a second of awkwardness. "I'll have an iced mocha with extra whipped cream. Four-fifty-seven, right?" He ducks his eyes and avoids Derek's look, shuffling his feet against the beige tile. He digs through his pocket for awhile and pulls out another handful of coins. There’s fewer pennies this time, but still enough to make Derek cringe as the kid sorts through them and hands them over.
"Right," Derek mutters, and rips off the notepad. The gaggle of college kids takes up two booths, and don't order anything. (He makes a note to give them ten minutes before he kicks them out of the street.) "It'll be done in a second."
Instead of retreating to a booth, however, Stiles perches against the counter and peers over, watching as Derek combines the ingredients, then pours them over ice and tops the whole thing off with an obscene swirl of whipped cream.
"Are you going to the university?" Stiles asks, suddenly, and Derek uncharacteristically stumbles with the whipped cream, making the spiral uneven. It takes him a second, but he grabs the chocolate sauce and swirls it over the top till his mistake is properly hidden. He looks up, suddenly realizing that Stiles’ has spoken to him, and watches as Stiles watches him. "I mean, I don't think I've ever seen you around."
"I'm only going part time," Derek responds. "During the summer and spring terms. I'm in my final year."
"Oh?" Stiles perks up. "Of what?"
"Architecture," Derek mutters, and slides over the iced mocha. "You?"
"Biomedical Engineering," Stiles says, with a grin, accepting the plastic cup. “First year. I got into a program.”
Derek, begrudgingly, gives props when props are due. “That’s pretty impressive.”
“Thanks,” Stiles shoots back, and gives a wink. “I’m sure you’ll be the next Frank Lloyd Wright or something.”
Derek sends him a flat look. “Or something.”
Stiles throws his hands up in the air again, nearly spilling his coffee. “Alright, alright, alright. I get it. I was trying to pay you a compliment.”
“Pay me a compliment by not paying me in coins,” Derek shoots back, voice exasperated.
Stiles looks at him, and tilts his head to the side. “Hmm. No.”
Derek feels the urge to hit his head. “You’re ridiculous.”
“And you have no creativity,” Stiles shoots back, quick as lightning, as he heads for the door.
“You sound like my sister!” Derek shouts back before Stiles can leave the store, effectively frightening two of the customers in line. Stiles responds by grinning through the window and holding up a peace sign. Derek watches as he goes, till Stiles disappears around the corner, and then begins the task of shoving every last penny into the change bowl.
(This time, the week seems to last alot longer then the one before.)
The next Thursday, early morning, Derek comes in to oversee the new shipment of milk. Erica, who’s supposed to be working the morning shift, uses the opportunity to study for her MCATs, and Derek can hardly fault her for that. They make their way through the morning rush, with Erica’s eyes glued to the Princeton Review MCAT Edition, and skillfully avoids getting her beanie-covered hair in the coffee, while Derek peeking out of the back door to make sure that the delivery men aren’t slacking off.
Amidst the chaos, the front door chimes for the millionth time, and in steps Stiles, all tightly bundled. Behind him is a boy and girl, both taller and dark haired, and engaged in what looked like a pretty heated argument, complete with rapid, impassioned hand movements. Stiles, when he sees Derek, instantly grins and waves, weaving through the crowd of people milling about in the space between the counter and the door.
“Hey,” Stiles says, breathless, before tugging his friends forward. “This is Scott, and Allison.” Scott is a burlier looking kid, with darker skin, and an easy going, if not nervous smile on his face. Allison is fairer, with long, dark hair, and a snug beanie wrapped around her head, and is quick to disguise what was an annoyed expression with a big, too-earnest smile. Erica only glances up from her book for a second, her eyes lingering on Scott, before she shakes her head slightly and goes back to studying. Derek, who's currently preparing ten different orders at once, gives them both a nod, and then wordlessly starts prepping Stiles' iced mocha.
"What'll you have?" Derek questions, grabbing a paper and pad and turning towards the register as Erica skillfully picks up where he left off.
"Oh, a black coffee, for me," Allison says, with a smile, and throws a look over her shoulder, “and a vanilla chai for Scott.”
Derek nods, and pulls away, with a, ‘that’ll be ten-thirty-three’ and watches as Allison whips out a credit-card to pay.
“You’re guys have such a weird relationship,” he can hear Stiles comment, and just a second after, hears Scott say, defensively, ‘I just like vanilla chai, okay?’
Erica moves over to the fridge to open a new carton of milk as Derek starts in on the vanilla chai, already handing over the prepared iced mocha to Stiles, who’s rolling his eyes and leaning over the counter.
“Dude, did you read my mind or something?” he asks, eyeballing the cup suspiciously, and raises an eyebrow.
Derek responds by rolling his eyes and turning to pour Allison’s coffee and secure the lid. “You’ve ordered that every time you’ve come here.”
Stiles huffs. “Well, what if I wanted to buy a...” he struggles for a second. “An orange mocha frappuccino?”
Derek sends him a flat glare. “Then I’d tell you to get out because this isn’t Starbucks.”
“I feel like you hate Starbucks,” Stiles muses.
“He really hates Starbucks,” Erica chimes in, and Derek whips his head around to glare at her, but she pointedly doesn't even look up from her book.
“Shut up,” Derek shoots back to the both of them, mouth twisted down into a frown, and hands over the completed vanilla chai and black coffee. “Don’t you have class or something?”
“We do,” Allison reminds him, calling over from the CD selection. She has a Bon Iver disk in her hand, and Scott is scanning the lists, frowning.
“Hey, where’s Lady Gaga?” he calls, and Erica does look up from her book now, but only to send Scott a frantic, ‘NO’ and it takes all of Derek’s willpower not to explode.
“Okay, we’re going now,” Stiles hurries to get out, tugging Allison and Scott along with him. “See you later!” he calls, and pulls them out the door. Derek’s gaze lingers on Stiles till the group disappear from view, and even then it takes him a few minutes to break away.
Erica raises an eyebrow. “Does he even know your name?”
“What?” Derek questions, shortly, spinning around to look at her. “Of course he knows my name.”
“I don’t think he knows your name,” Erica goes on, as if he hasn’t even spoken. “Wow. And he’s so cute too.”
Derek feels an irrational surge of irritation. “Go clean the bathrooms.”
Her jaw drops, before she clenches it in indignation and stalks off, MCAT review book tucked under her arm. “Fine,” she calls towards him, mockingly. “That doesn’t mean he knows your name.”
It takes Derek two hours, fifteen minutes, and twenty-eight seconds to admit that maybe Stiles doesn’t know his name.
(It takes Derek another eight hours, ten minutes, and seventeen seconds to admit that it’s a definite yes, Stiles doesn’t know his name.)
When Derek arrives for his second shift, after Erica goes to her classes, and Isaac leaves for his, the first thing he notices is that even at seven o' clock, the cafe is nearly empty. Except, of course, for Stiles who's curled up in a corner booth, staring out a window, books scattered across the tabletop.
Derek unwraps the scarf from around his neck and debates whether to head straight to the counter, even though there’s no one except Stiles, or to...
He clenches his jaw and makes a decision.
“Do you even know my name?” he asks, suddenly, and, judging by the way Stiles jumps clean into the air, it must have surprised him.
“What?” Stiles wheezes, hand over his chest.
“My name is Derek,” he says, instead, and moves to stalk towards the counter, when Stiles’ hand wraps around his wrist.
“Dude,” Stiles laughs, and tugs at Derek’s arm until he’s sitting in the booth opposite. “I know your name. I know you’re Derek Hale, that you’re studying architecture, and you have a sister. That’s about it though.”
Derek adjusts awkwardly in his seat, trying his best not to knock knees with Stiles’ extended legs. In the end, he settles for leaning over the table partially in order to not have the entire length of his legs pressed against Stiles’, and stares at the open books in an effort to avoid Stiles’ eye.
“My sister’s name is Laura,” Derek offers, quietly. “She graduated two years ago with her masters in Anthropology. She’s working at the state museum now.”
“Whoa, really?” Stiles questions, grinning. “Allison was gonna major in that, but switched into European History at the last second. Which is hilarious considering I think her ancestors started the French Revolution.”
Derek pauses and stares. Stiles shrugs. Derek stares some more. "What?"
Derek decides against asking more questions. "Right. Do you want your iced mocha?"
Stiles lights up. "Yes please. With-"
"Extra whipped cream, yes, I know," Derek cuts in, and slides out from the booth. Stiles reaches into his pockets to dig around for his change. Derek is saying, “It’s on the house,” before he even realizes the words are coming out of his mouth.
Stiles pauses. "Seriously?"
"Just this once," Derek rushes to correct himself, glaring slightly. "And don't tell anyone."
"Scout's honor," Stiles promises, and grins, before turning back to his books. Derek watches as he picks up a particularly heavy one, and starts highlighting entire passages, and then, when Stiles starts tonguing the tip of his highlighter, Derek realizes he’s staring. With a jolt, he spins on his heel and makes his way towards the counter, already starting to prep the iced mocha.
“I’ll take the night shift,” Boyd opens with as Derek steps in Monday afternoon. “I need the extra cash.”
It takes a second for Derek to wonder what the hell he’s talking about, before Boyd points towards the chalkboard, where in the employee section, underneath Erica’s schedule, is (in Derek’s handwriting) a request for someone to take the last shift. There had been talk of a six week program for the Architecture grad students, and Derek needed the credits.
“Oh,” Derek replies, lamely, and sets down his measuring cup, careful not to spill the coffee beans. “Yeah, okay. Are you sure you can work it though?”
“The hours haven’t changed on me, have they?” Boyd remarks, dryly. “It’s still seven to eleven thirty? Isaac can cover my Tuesday and Thursday shift and I’ll take up nights Monday to Friday. I moved my schedule around and transferred into some earlier classes.”
It works out, Derek agrees silently, already moving to erase the chalk-drawn schedule and replace it with a new one. Erica will have enough space to work around her classes and study for her MCATs, and Isaac will finally have the morning shifts. That just leaves Derek to fill in the extra spaces.
Unfortunately, it means that they’ll need an extra hand.
His mind immediately focuses on Stiles, and his pennies. With a few hours (more like weeks) training, maybe he’d have another barista capable of not blowing up the store in a explosion of coffee grinds (not likely, though). Derek weighs the pros and cons in his head, before sighing and making a mental note to ask the coming Thursday.
“Uh, hello?” someone calls from the register, a touch irritated, and it snaps Derek’s out of his thoughts long enough to realize that Boyd is taking up Isaac’s old spot and starting in on the three orders they have.
“Yes,” Derek snaps, regretting in a second as the woman raises an eyebrow and harrumphs, throwing strawberry red hair over her shoulder. “What can I get you?”
“A large steamed peppermint mocha, double espresso, skim milk, no whipped cream,” the woman rattles off, unclipping her pocketbook to pull out a ten dollar bill. Derek nearly doesn’t catch it all, but manages, and takes the ten after giving her the total.
“Name?” Derek questions, closing the register drawer.
“Lydia,” the woman chimes, and stalks away to sit in a plush chair, whipping out a magazine. Derek stares at her, for a moment, as she taps her high-heeled boot impatiently and adjusts her trench-coat, before handing off the order to Boyd who stares at it with a raised eyebrow.
“I could go work at Starbucks,” Boyd says, flatly. “I wouldn’t have to deal with half the outrageous orders that come in here.”
“Just make it,” Derek grumbles, seething at the mention of Starbucks. “Try not to spill it on her.”
“Will do, boss,” Boyd sighs, and gets to work, already pulling out the skim milk to steam it. Derek watches him for a second, making sure that he infuses the peppermint correctly, before turning back to the register.
“Hey!” Stiles says, grin wide. Derek skillfully hides his surprise, masking it by acting like he meant to knock over the jar of change. Stiles doesn't seem to notice, and continues to smile, wrapped snugly in his coat and two scarves.
“Oh,” Derek says, blinking. “Hello. Iced mocha?”
“And a brownie. A warm one,” Stiles adds, already fishing out a collection of coins to sort.
“On the house,” Derek says, waving a dismissive hand. “I really don’t feel like sorting out coins right now.”
“Oh,” Stiles says, blinking, and the falter in his smile is only momentary. “Well, here,” he says, and dumps a dollar worth of coins in the coin jar. “For those who actually need coins.”
Derek gives him a look that conveys clearly ‘who actually needs coins?’ but hands off the order to Boyd anyway, grabbing a brownie from the plate on top of counter to warm it up. Boyd takes the paper, reading it to himself, as he holds up the peppermint mocha, and calls out, “Lydia?”
Stiles freezes. “Lydia?” Derek hears him mutter as he turns to search the room; and Derek watches as Stiles’ lights up even more (which he didn’t think was possible) and smiles even wider (which no, Derek definitely didn’t think was possible) and looks at Lydia whatever-her-last-name is like he’s in love.
Derek feels a dropping in his stomach and he doesn't know why.
His grip on the tongs nearly breaks the brownie in half, and he shoves it in the toaster with enough force to slide it into the far back - enough to hear it hit the metal brace in the back. He doesn’t know why he’s angry, and hurt, but he is, and it frustrates him even more that he doesn’t know why.
“Here,” Derek says, after the forty-seconds are up, shoving the brownie into a paper bag and handing it over the counter. Stiles is smiling towards Lydia, who’s ignoring him and sipping her coffee, and fumbles to take the bag after Derek gets fed up and nearly throws it at him.
“Okay,” Stiles says, his attention back on Derek and his agitated scowl. “Um, thanks.”
Derek grumbles out something unintelligible, and turns to the next person in line. Stiles only looks at him for a few seconds more, before leaving the cafe.
“Oh my god,” Derek suddenly hears Boyd say, and looks up to see his eyes on him, eyebrow raised. “Erica was right. You do have it bad.”
Derek responds by throwing his apron at Boyd, and stalking off.
“Stop talking to Erica!” he shouts, before going to hide in the utility closet and restrain the urge to kill something.
Erica is the one that comes and finds him, oddly enough, a few hours late (Derek thinks he should feel bad that he left Boyd out there along to handle the tail end of the morning rush, but the guilt never comes). She knocks on the door until she threatens to grab the hammer, and only then does Derek unlock it and let her slump down next to him against the wall.
“You really like this kid, don’t you?” she asks, letting her head roll to the side to look at her.
“I don’t know,” Derek responds, staring up at the ceiling. “He’s annoying.”
“I’ll take that as a yes,” Erica says as she rolls her eyes. At his silence, she sighs and leans forward to rest her chin on her knees. “Did you know that I know Scott McCall?”
“Who?” Derek questions, but after Erica says ‘vanilla chai’ he remembers. “Oh.”
“Yeah, we went to school together. One time I almost fell off of this rock climbing wall in gym, but he caught me.” She flips her hair over her shoulder. “I wasn’t nearly as fabulous as I am now,” she goes on, grinning, and shoves him when he doesn’t answer. “Oh, you remember when I first showed up. I spent my entire first paycheck on a new wardrobe.”
The thing was that Derek did remember. Erica’s first appearance in his mind would forever be the girl that came into the shop, begging for a job. Her hair was frizzy and yet flat, her skin was horrible, and she was wearing an oversized grey sweater and shorts that even made Derek cringe. But he had needed an extra barista after Laura had moved upstate, and she was the only one that didn’t have an attitude. Then, nearly a month later, she had come in with perfectly curled hair, and a too short skirt.
“Yeah,” Derek says. “Yeah, I remember.” (He also remembered having to kick a few certain people out of the shop for ogling a little too long.)
“I had the biggest crush on him,” Erica goes on, laughing lightly. “I still do.”
Derek’s silent. Erica sighs.
“I said his coffee was on the house,” Derek suddenly says, burying his face in his hand. Erica stills.
“What?” she questions, raising an eyebrow. “What?”
“Oh, shut up.”
“You actually let him not pay? Even I don’t get free coffee!” Erica nearly shouts, an offended expression plastered over her face. “What-”
“Twice,” Derek goes on, trying to ignore her. “Twice.”
Erica sits there, and stares at him. “Oh my god.”
“It doesn’t even matter,” Derek says, moving to stand up and avoid the shelves that are dangerously close to hitting his head. “He likes someone else. A girl someone else.”
Erica gives him an unamused look. “Until the words ‘I’m straight’ leave his mouth, that doesn’t mean anything.”
Derek contemplates that, before looking down at her. “Aren’t you supposed to be manning the register?”
“Isaac’s out there,” Erica shrugs, and moves to get up as well.
“You left Isaac out there by himself? Isaac who cried once because he couldn’t handle the counter by himself on a Saturday afternoon?”
Erica rolls her eyes. “I never said that I left him out there by himself.”
Derek only gives her a flat glance before rushing out to make sure his shop isn’t on fire. Isaac isn’t crying (or on fire), so Derek counts that as win, but is working on the two orders that Derek can see hanging from the counter edge, and next to him, dancing to the music slightly and manning the cash register, is Stiles.
“I hate you,” Derek says towards Erica, who shrugs and forcibly shoves Stiles away, ignoring his protest, and takes over the register.
“Oh, hey!” Stiles says, giving a quick wave towards Derek. “I just thought I should probably work off those iced mochas I owe you.”
Isaac stills for a second to gape at them, but Erica smacks his arm and tells him to get back to work. Derek shakes his head, shoving both hands inside of his pockets. “You don’t have too,” Derek says, at a loss on what else to say.
“Dude, no,” Stiles says, and shakes his head. “Least I could do is help out around here. I mean, I spend half my life in here as it is.”
“Don’t you have class?” Derek manages to get out, raising an eyebrow.
“Yeah,” Stiles says, without skipping a beat. “I’ve actually got chemistry in like, a half hour, but I just wanted to stop by.”
“Oh my god,” Derek hears Erica say, exasperated, before she suddenly appears at his shoulder. “Did you know that Derek’s sister works at the state museum?”
Stiles blinks. “Yeah, I did actually.”
Erica nods. “And did you know that she just opened up a new exhibit about Grecian architecture?” At Stiles and Derek’s blank (and horrified) looks, she goes on. “And did you know Derek loves Grecian architecture?”
“I didn’t!” Stiles says, his face breaking into a smile.
“He also gets free tickets,” Erica rushes to get out, sliding away back to the register. Derek sends her a glare, but is distracted as Stiles punches his arm.
“Aw, dude, you should have told me!” Stiles says, and even though the opportunity is clearly there, Derek can’t bring himself to take it.
There’s an awkward silence, where Stiles slides his eyes away, and Derek struggles.
“Oh, Jesus Christ,” Erica nearly screams. It’s enough, however, to snap Derek out of his silence.
“Would you like to come with me?” he gets out, though the question is tangled and barely intelligible. “To see the exhibit.”
“Yeah, sure!” Stiles agrees, smile even brighter than before. “When’s good for you? I have Friday off, so...”
“Friday evening,” Erica hisses, and Derek corrects himself, continuing to say, “Friday evening’s good.”
“Sweet,” Stiles says, and reaches over to grab one of the business cards from the untouched pile hidden behind the register. “Here’s my number, so just give me a call, maybe?” he says, as he hands it over, barely legible numbers written on the back of it. “Should we meet here or-”
“I’ll pick you up here, if you like,” Derek cuts in, nodding shortly. “Six o’ clock?”
“Perfect,” Stiles agrees and gives Derek a quick salute. “See you then.”
“Right,” Derek says, even though Stiles has left the shop. “Right.”
“He’s gone,” Erica says, and Derek realizes he’s been standing in the same spot for the last three minutes. “Oh my god, you really do have it bad.”
“Have what bad?” Isaac questions, and Erica sighs.
Considering the fact that Derek hasn’t gone on a date (since Kate) since forever, he finds himself sitting in his apartment and quietly freaking out for the rest of the week (he finds himself desperately missing his mom, but it’ll be a good long while before he admits that). In the end he decides to just wear a shirt and jeans and screw everything else, and slides into Laura’s old Camaro. He doesn’t use the car often, considering he usually walks to the coffee shop and back, but the museum is a good five miles away, and the voice in the back of his head tells him that he’s better off taking the car rather than walking.
Stiles is sitting outside of the coffee shop with an iced mocha in his hands, and through the window Derek can see Boyd and Erica manning the counter. Both of them give him a wave when they see him, before returning to work.
“Uh, no offense dude,” Stiles says, not looking up from his coffee. “But you make this way better.”
“Thanks,” Derek says, for lack of anything else to say. Stiles makes a sound of agreement and looks up, eyes promptly widening as he does.
“Holy shit,” he gets out, blinking. “Um, do you realize you have a really awesome car?”
“It’s technically my sister’s,” Derek mutters, opening the door to hide what he thinks might be considered a blush. “She just leaves it with me because I have a garage.”
“That doesn’t it make it any less awesome, dude,” Stiles says, and slides into the passenger’s seat as Derek hurries around to the driver’s side.
“My sister’s giving the tour, because she’s obsessive like that,” Derek says as they navigate through the city, skillfully avoiding traffic. “I mean, she’s less boring than a lot of them, so-”
“Derek,” Stiles says, and Derek freezes at the use of his name. “I’m not going to be bored, honestly. I think it’s awesome! I mean, Allison’s always bounced her essays off me, I’m pretty confident in my knowledge of the Grecian empire, so maybe I’ll understand what your sister is talking about.”
Derek actually ends up missing the parking lot for the museum because he’s too busy staring at Stiles. After a quick correction, he nods to himself, before getting out of the car and opening Stiles’ door for him.
“Besides,” Stiles says as they walk up the stone stairs. “I’ve never been on a date to a museum before.”
“Oh my god, are you alright?” Stiles nearly trips himself, backpedaling to make sure that Derek hasn’t broken his chin on the lip of the concrete.
“I’m fine,” Derek waves off, grabbing every last bit of embarrassment in his system and forcing it down a mental incinerator. “I’m fine.”
Stiles frowns. “You should tell your sister about that. Anyone could trip on that! Even old ladies with bad hips!”
“Stiles,” Derek says, flatly. “There’s a handicap ramp.”
“Even old stubborn old ladies with bad hips who don’t use the handicap ramp!” Stiles corrects without missing a beat, eyes wide. “Besides, I blew off Scott and Allison to do this, so it would really suck if you got a concussion on our first date.”
Derek chokes on his own breath. It’s really been too long. “Date?”
For the first time, Stiles actually looks nervous, suddenly. “Well, yeah...Isn’t it? Because that would just be a major bummer - not that I don’t like hanging out with you, I mean you’re kinda like a sourwolf and honestly I think you’re still stuck in the 50’s, but you’re still pretty awesome, and hot so-”
“It’s a date,” Derek cuts in, sucking a breath of air. “It’s a date.”
“Sweet,” Stiles says, and grabs Derek’s hand to drag him up the stairs and through the entrance. “Now, introduce me to your sister so this night can get properly awkward.”