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Hanging on Your Tips

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They were inside a small café, a block from the studio, warm beverage in hand, Stiles was very content with his hot chocolate, and Derek could’ve sworn he’d heard the boy moan, but he was too distracted to even comment.

They were both quiet for a few minutes just eating and drinking and trying to stealthily look at the other, once Derek caught Stiles glance and locked their eyes.

“What?” he asked arching an eyebrow.

Stiles puts his cup down and starts gesturing, “You know, I was just…” he paused and huffed, “Your sister is evil. She’s not simply bad, she wants to see me dead someday, I swear.”

“She wants to see you dead? Yeah, right.” Derek may agree with Stiles, but he’s not the one his sister is trying to kill, not being the huge fangirl she is.

“Yeah!” Stiles exclaimed after taking a drink, “Dude, did you see what she had us do today? Do you think that is something a normal, good person, would do?”

Derek considered that for a moment while he chewed his lemon tart, “I guess you’re right, but you did get there late. And not a five minutes late, you were an hour and a half late, Stiles.”

“Well, excuse you, Mr. Clockwork I was doing things, like, eating and maybe sleeping.” Stiles’ cheeks were dusted with pink and his fingers were tapping the side of the table.

Derek just laughed at that and Stiles looked up through his lashes to watch the other man. That face gave Derek the urge to just move forward and give Stiles a kiss.

Instead of doing that he got his phone out and pretending to be texting took a photo of Stiles’ profile. He made sure to get the focus right even if it was only a phone camera it would do.

“I see what you did there.” Stiles said as he pointed to something behind Derek, as he turned around to see what Stiles had pointed out he looked at a very large, much clean, and so effectively reflective window.

“Fuck.” He muttered as he put a hand to his face, he could feel his cheeks reddening slowly as he dropped his phone on the table.

“Hey, don’t worry about it, I know I’m a great model.” Stiles said as he flicked Derek’s hand. The boy grabbed the phone and zoomed in on the picture turning the phone to Derek with his eyes framed by big lashes, and glasses, filled the screen. “See? Handsome.”

Derek took the phone and dragged the image around to show different points of Stiles’ face. Once he was done he pocketed his phone again and looked up at a grinning Stiles, he had his hands under his chin making a cute face.

“You know, you should totally give me your number.” He said, patting his pockets to find his phone, “So I can let you know more about Erica’s wedding plans, ask you to take some photos for me, or just, you know… Talk, about non-specific things, that’d be nice too.” He ended in a rush, trying but failing to be smooth.

“Yeah, sure. That’d be good.” Derek said as he exchanged phones with Stiles to save his own number to the other’s contacts.

Once they were both done talking, and with their food, they left to stand awkwardly in front of the shop. Stiles looked confused and uncertain, Derek’s mind provided many reasons why Stiles wouldn’t want to go home with him, but Derek just jumped all the insecurity barriers and picked his keys from his pocket.

“I can give you a ride if you want.” He said offhandedly, trying to look calm and composed.

“Oh.” As he turned around to face Derek again Stiles was grinning, “Yeah, I’d like that.”

As they got to Stiles’ place he jumped out of the car and said a quick “Bye!” before running, and almost falling on his ass, to his door. With a quick wave he was inside and Derek was driving home.

o ᵜ o

Getting home was good, at first, it always felt safe and Derek loved that feeling, he did not love however the sound of his sister’s laughter coming from the kitchen, it sounded maniacal.

“Derek!” She exclaimed as she threw her arms out and hugged him fiercely. “So, how was your date?”

He sighed heavily, but of course she’d start pestering him the moment he stepped inside. He ignored her and shrugged her arms away from him. He walked up to the couch and carefully placed his camera bag there before turning around to face Laura.

She was holding something behind her back and it looked really suspicious to Derek, maybe she was waiting to throw something at him or hand him another unnecessary miniature old-school camera.

“Okay Laura, what do you want?” He asked crossing his arms over his chest. “I have work to do.”

“Well, I was just asking you how your date with Stiles went, but you seem not to want to tell me anything about it.” She said gesturing with one of her hands the other holding whatever it was she had behind her back.

“It wasn’t a date, we just had some coffee and talked.” He said trying to get out of the situation the faster he could.

“Why? That’s so boring, are you sure Stiles didn’t leave you with a mannequin? I don’t think he could handle being with your silent self for more than five minutes.” She said pouting slightly, Derek could have felt offended by that, but he was sure Stiles was not bored with their afternoon… not-date.

“Anyway, Lydia will be disappointed by this, you know?” She continued walking off to the kitchen, “She lost some good money and-” She kept talking, but he ignored her anyway, not interested on her gossip.

Derek turned his computer on and got the camera disk imported to a new folder so he could start editing the photos, it would take a while to get that done though, so he opened his browser to check his e-mails.

‘Hello dears,
I just wanted to remind you to buy me some cherries, pineapple, and that chocolate we used last year for the cookies.
See you in a week,
Love, Mom’

He scratched his jaw in thought, he made plans to go to the grocery store the next day, if he didn’t buy those ingredients his mom would be very disappointed, that was something he didn’t want her to be right before Christmas.

He proceeded to read through pages of spam before closing his browser and opening his new folder full of the day’s photos.

The next two hours were spent looking at all the good, the bad, and the great, photos. He made different folders for the photos he would keep, and the ones he would consider. Once that was done and he had deleted over half the photos he simply stood up and fell back onto his bed.

o ᵜ o

Derek woke up half an hour later with a knock on his door. Laura opened the door with a smile on her face and went up to her brother’s bed to sit beside him.

“Hey, sorry about earlier. I know I can be annoying sometimes.” She said looking down at him, he was making a confused face.

“Wha-?” he left it at that bringing an arm up to cover his eyes from the bright light overhead. None of this made sense to him.

“Anyway, come have dinner,” she said getting up and moving towards the door, “I made you that vegetable soup you like so much.”

Derek hummed in answer and sat up. Laura chuckled and left the room leaving the door open behind her; he could then smell the divine soup and made his way to the kitchen.
The sound of a -bleep- indicated he had a new message, fumbling with his phone he opened the message. ‘ Thanks for the coffee. –Stiles’

Before his brain was completely awake he answered. ‘I know it’s you Stiles, I have your number, remember?’

Laura handed him the plate of soup and looked down to see his phone, she got a good feeling of who it was he was texting, but she had to ask. “So, who are you texting?”

“Stiles.” He answered in a mumble before devouring his food, it was warm and taste almost perfect, his mother used to make it for him on Thursdays when he came home late from basketball practice, but Laura’s version lacked something essential.

Laura grabbed his phone from the table while he was distracted with the food. “It says here you have a new message, let’s see.” She opened the message and read it out loud, “Wow, that was so sweet Derek.” She giggled at that and put the phone down again. “I don’t even have to read the other messages to know that was sarcasm. Way to go, Der.”

Derek groaned and threw his phone away.