love you bb.
Derek first sees him across the bar: his long fingers tapping a irregular rhythm on the countertop of the bar, his shirt sleeves rolled up his forearms and his glasses halfway down his nose. He’s nothing like Derek expected from what Erica’s told him, but at the same time the guy is exactly how he described himself. He’s laughing, his head thrown back and his neck a long line of pale, smooth skin, and he looks happy, if a little nervous.
Derek spends more time than necessary watching him, counts the number of times he glances down at his watch and his eyes flick to the door and it gets his hopes up. Derek’s not late, but he is cutting it close, so he figures that it’s about time to go up to him and introduce himself.
As he’s walking towards where the guy is, he looks up, meets Derek’s gaze and his whole face lights up. He looks so pleased to see Derek, and it warms him up all the way to his toes, and when he sticks his hand out, Stiles shakes it firmly, his eyes wide and clear.
And Derek thinks that maybe he’s got this one right.
The date goes so badly that they’re both eager to leave at the end of the night. It’s not something either of them has really done, but after the initial excitement of meeting each other, the conversation is stilted. Awkward.
Derek knows it’s partly his fault. He’s too…
Unenthusiastic? Reserved? Quiet?
All accurate, and they’re possibly what put Stiles off, because he’d gone quiet after the third time Derek merely smiled at one of his jokes.
And it’s painful, it really is, because Derek really liked Stiles. He liked his energy, liked the way he couldn’t seem to sit still, the way his mouth formed the words he was saying and the way his eyes shone with his excitement and how he talked with his hands and laughed with his whole body.
But he isn’t really surprised, because he knows he’s a hard person to like. He’s grumpy and sullen and despondent, and it had taken both Erica and Boyd weeks before they had decided that they liked him (Erica admitted this to him when she was drunk on whiskey before passing out in his arms while he put her to bed. Boyd was nowhere to be seen, and up to this day refused to tell them where he had fallen asleep).
He doesn’t really expect anyone to try that hard for him, so he’s more than surprised when Stiles stops him with a gentle hand on him, the touch a firm pressure that feels like it burns through Derek’s skin.
He glances down at Stiles’ fingers wrapped around his wrist and briefly admires how good they look together before his gaze slides up to meet Stiles’ eyes.
Stiles clears his throat, his cheeks flushed a dark red, the color pretty on his pale skin even under the harsh glare of the streetlights.
Derek waits patiently.
“Look, I don’t know what I did, or where I went wrong, or maybe you just don’t like me or something, but,” he takes a breath, and Derek feels his heart swell with hope. “I don’t want to give up on this just yet. If you don’t want to, you should probably let me know right now because I’m making such a big fool of myself and—”
“Yes,” Derek cuts him off before he can finish, willing his voice to come out even.
Stiles blinks up at him, surprised.
“Yes?” he asked, wrinkling his nose in confusion.
Derek lets his eyes flick towards where Stiles’ touch is still warm and heavy on his arm, before looking back up at him, offering a shy smile. “Yes,” he nods, and his heart flutters in his chest when Stiles beams at him.
Turns out he was right the whole time.