The thing is, Stiles knew all about Derek Hale.
He knew Derek was an uptight Alpha werewolf who hated things like baby chicks and rainbows and chocolate. He knew this. He’d known ever since they first met and Derek had lobbed Scott’s inhaler at him like it was personally offensive or something.
Derek Hale— Mr. “This is Private Property” — Derek Hale was an uptight Alpha werewolf who needed to learn to relax. And Stiles was determined to teach him.
It started out with a water balloon fight. As most things do.
See, Stiles had started carrying around a packet of water balloons ever since summer started, but they hadn’t been for Derek. Not originally at least. They’d been for Jackson and occasionally Isaac, when he decided to wear a scarf in one hundred degree weather and Stiles felt he needed to be set in place.
But then one day during training, Derek decided to get grumpy about the pack taking a popsicle break. And Stiles knew something had to be done.
He attempted the peaceful approach at first. Read: the peaceful approach being him sticking one slightly melted blue popsicle in Derek’s face and insisting he enjoy himself for once.
“It’s blue raspberry, Derek!” Stiles said, poking Derek in the nose with the tip. Derek growled and tried to bat the popsicle away, but Stiles was determined. “Everybody likes blue raspberry!”
“I don’t,” Derek said, flashing red eyes at him. “Stiles, get that out of my face or I’m going to stuff it down your throat.”
“Fine, no blue raspberry. I’ll get you a cherry one!”
“I don’t want a popsicle,” Derek said, glaring. “I want a pack that doesn’t mess around and gets back in position when they’re told to. This is a training session, not a pool party.”
Stiles yanked the popsicle back with a frown. “Seriously?”
“Seriously,” Derek said, and flashed his eyes at the pack. A series of groans filled the air.
But one by one, the pack pushed themselves out of the shade of the Hale house porch and plodded back onto the lawn. Stiles clenched his jaw and turned away, stalking inside.
Derek didn’t even try to stop him.
But Stiles wasn’t planning to pout. Instead, he dug the packet of water balloons out of his pocket and started toward the kitchen sink. Lydia came in at one point, empty glass in hand, and proceeded to give him the most judgemental look possible.
But Stiles only flashed her a smile and scooted over. To his delight, Lydia moved to his side and started to help. In less than ten minutes, they had a sink full of water balloons. All set and ready to go.
“You realize this is a bad idea, right?” Lydia said, glancing sideways. “Declaring war on a bunch of werewolves is basically having a death wish.”
“I’m not declaring war on the others,” Stiles said, grabbing two and turning away. “I’m declaring war on Derek Hale, the most uptight and grumpy Alpha werewolf to every grace Beacon Hills with his eyebrows.”
Lydia’s chuckle followed him. Stiles made it to the porch and smiled at Derek’s back, weighing the water balloons in each hand.
Derek turned around with an unimpressed expression.
But, seeing Stiles and the balloons he held, his eyes widened. In a second, Stiles had nailed him with the first one, the red balloon exploding against his unfairly solid chest.
The rest of the pack stopped training. Derek stood still for a moment and stared at Stiles, his chest now outlined nicely by his damp t-shirt, and Stiles chuckled nervously, lifting the other water balloon.
“Uh, cool the fuck down?”
“Stiles,” Derek said, eyes bleeding to red. “I’m going to kill you.”
“Only if you catch me first!”
Stiles yelped as Derek leaped forward and lobbed the other water balloon forward, catching him in the shoulder this time. Derek roared and started after him and Stiles squeaked even louder, stumbling into the living room.
Lydia watched from her place on the couch, one delicately manicured brow arching upward as Stiles ducked behind her. She closed her book a fraction and glanced up at him.
“I’m not getting caught in the middle of this, Stiles.”
From the other side of the couch, Derek glared. “Stiles, get over here.”
“Stiles, I’m not going to kill you. I just… want to talk.”
Stiles barked out a terrified laugh. “That’s what they always say, big guy, right before ripping out the side character’s throat or something. And I’m a side character! I don’t feel like dying today!”
“Stiles—” Derek started around the couch and Stiles scrambled in the other direction. Coming to a pause, Derek glared at him again. “Come here, now.”
“No way, you uptight grump! I’m standing for pack freedom! For token human rights! For popsicle breaks on days when it’s a hundred degrees outside!”
Derek’s eyes flashed again and he opened his mouth— but before he could say a word, another water balloon was sailing through the air.
This time, it wasn’t Stiles who had thrown it.
The balloon exploded against Derek’s head and his eyes rounded, mouth still wide open. Water dripped from his hair into his eyes and Stiles spun around, catching a grinning Erica standing in the doorway with three more balloons cradled in her arms.
“Hey, Batman, you looked like you could use a hand.”
“Catwoman, you precious, beautiful, amazing—” Stiles cut off with a yelp as she nailed in him the chest. The grin on her face turned feral.
“Unfortunately for you, it’s every man for himself.”
Erica cackled and took off out the door and Stiles scrambled toward the kitchen, only to duck back around the corner when a water balloon exploded against the wall where his face had been. Squawking, he peered around again, and saw Isaac smirking at him.
“Payback’s a bitch, Stilinski.”
“You have no right to use badass one-liners, scarf boy!”
Isaac started toward him and Stiles scrambled in the other direction, ducking through the second door that led to the kitchen. As quickly as he could, he scooped up a handful of water balloons and then took off toward the porch.
The front yard was chaos.
Scott had also gotten his hands on some when Derek had been threatening Stiles’s life and Jackson was half-shifted— which wasn’t good for anyone. Boyd and Erica were nowhere in sight, but Stiles wouldn’t put an alliance beyond them.
He started toward the edge of the preserve, back toward the trees as he kept both eyes on the lawn. And then the porch door opened again and he froze as Derek stepped out, arms laden with water balloons.
Stiles’s heart stopped. Red eyes cut across the lawn toward him and the smirk on Derek’s face could only be described as feral.
“Oh my god,” Stiles said, turning around and fleeing into the trees. Lydia was right, this was a bad idea. He had a death wish. He wasn’t going to live to see another summer.
He wasn’t sure where he was going, but Stiles didn’t dare look back. He raced around the back of the house and started toward the basement door, but didn’t make it before something red was sailing through the air and hit him so hard in the shoulder, Stiles went stumbling.
He tripped over his own feet and went sprawling, all of his water balloons popping against his chest on impact. Stiles groaned and pushed himself up a few inches, before flipping around and gazing at the smirking werewolf who approached.
“Look,” Stiles said, scrambling back. “Derek, Sourwolf, my Alpha o’ Alpha, don’t you think revenge is a little overrated? I mean, come on, shouldn’t we be joining against the masses instead of turning on each other? Think about Erica! Think about Jackson!”
“I’m thinking about how you talk too much,” Derek said, towering over him. “I’ve told you that before, right?”
“I’d like to plea the first.”
Derek held one balloon over his head and let it fall, and Stiles yelped as it exploded in his hair. He glowered up at Derek before shoving himself to his feet.
“Fine, Sourpuss, hit me with your best shot. If only a little loosening up will finally make you unclench and eat a popsicle for once—”
“Seriously what, you grump?”
One of the balloons popped in Derek’s hand, he was gripping it so hard. Stiles tried not to feel too threatened by that. “Why do you care so much? Why are you acting so juvenile?”
“Juvenile? Juvenile? Me, juvenile? You’re the one that refuses to like blue raspberry!”
“I don’t think that makes me—”
“No, Derek, no,” Stiles said, cutting him off. “You’re the big bad uptight Alpha werewolf who grumps, we get it. But it’s not that hard to unwind and enjoy yourself once in a while, you know. This is a pack house, not a training yard!”
Derek clenched his jaw, glaring at him. “I’m not uptight.”
Stiles huffed. “Sure.”
“Then go eat a popsicle.”
“Go engage the others with water balloons.”
“Then dammit, Derek, do something! Smile a little, make a joke. Eat a chocolate bar without looking like you’re ready physically dying. Give Jackson a hug! Kiss a stranger!”
Derek’s eyebrows flew up. Stiles close his eyes and thought about how far that’d just gotten before silently groaning. Slowly, he opened them again.
“I didn’t mean like, half of that.”
“Good, because those are all stupid and I’m not doing them.”
“Dammit, Derek, seriously? It is possible to go out on a limb once in a while and—”
Derek cut him off with a growl, moving forward. Before Stiles even had a chance to react, Derek’s water balloons were exploding at his feet, there were two hands on the side of his head, and Derek was kissing him.
Derek Hale was kissing him. Like, without trying to rip his face off, kissing him.
Stiles froze and in a second, Derek was drawing back, eyes wide and apologetic. He looked downright shocked at his own actions. The man opened his mouth— no doubt to say something stupid— and Stiles couldn’t have that.
Before Derek could backtrack, Stiles moved forward and shoved their lips together again. It was uncoordinated, messy, and Derek growled again, which made Stiles shiver with nerves. He felt Derek card a hand through his soaked hair. There was water on the man’s upper lip.
“This,” Stiles said in a gasp, not willing to break away yet. “Was not what I expected when I said ‘go out on a limb’.”
“Stiles, shut up.”
“Do I taste like blue raspberry, Sourwolf?”
Derek kissed him harder and Stiles wondered if this was going to happen more often now that it was a clear method of shutting him up. He decided he really didn’t mind. Derek could shut him up whenever he wanted to.
But, because they were in a pack of assholes, a sharp whistle suddenly shattered the air, ruining the moment.
Stiles stumbled back and Derek’s face turned bright red as he spun around. Standing at the corner of the house was the rest of the pack, all looking surprised and disturbed. Other than Erica, that is.
She was grinning from ear to ear. And Lydia just looked unfairly smug.
They were also all holding water balloons.
“Uh, guys?” Stiles said, moving a step back. “I trust this isn’t an interference and those aren’t meant for us? Or at least not me.”
“Well,” Erica said, smirking. “They were meant for Derek but clearly an alliance has been made—”
Stiles was already running. He heard Derek bark his name and laughed hysterically as heavy footsteps caught up with him. Running faster, Stiles thought declaring war on a bunch of werewolves was both the worst and the best thing he’d ever done.
Derek left him behind without hesitation.
Stiles was taken out first.
And he refused to acknowledge the Alpha’s presence until he kissed him again that night; and this time, Derek tasted like blue raspberry.
Things might have been forgiven then.