“Happy Derek Day!” Stiles yells.
Derek opens one eye, and then the other, sighing. Why can Stiles never just stay in bed and spoon him like a normal person? Why does there always have to be things? “Happy – what?”
“Derek Day!” Stiles says again, grinning, waving a giant box in front him like the five year old he is. Twenty three, Derek’s ass.
Blinking again, Derek stares at the box, noticing it for the first time. It’s big, for one; wrapped in soft pink tissue paper with little kittens chasing blue balls of yarn on it. It’s…cute. Derek isn’t sure whether to be wary or excited about it.
“I don’t know what that means,” he eventually says, trying and failing to look away from the box.
He kind of wants to touch it, but he’s afraid what might happen if he does. The last time he opened a pink box, Laura jumped out of it wearing a vampire mask, scaring the hell out of him. He was six. It took several cupcakes and cuddles from his mom just to calm him down. Derek knows he isn’t six anymore, but that shit stays with you and he’s pretty sure there aren’t any cupcakes on standby if something bad does happen.
“It means, dumbass,” Stiles says, jumping onto the bed, “this day is all about you!”
Derek frowns, sitting up a little. “Why?”
Stiles splutters, looking offended. “Why? Do I need a reason to shower my boyfriend with love and adoring affection?”
Derek squints. He may not pride himself in his ability to read people. Gods know no one should pride Derek on that, he thinks sadly, but he knows Stiles. He knows. “Just tell me what you did wrong, Stiles.”
Stiles narrows his eyes but the outrage on his face falters a second later, a flicker of guilt replacing it. Derek wants to smirk, feeling smug, but –
“Ugh, fine. I may have accidentally washed my red hoodie with your white workout vests, okay? But in my defence, pink looks great on you.”
“How is that a defence?”
Stiles sighs, long and suffering and dramatic. “It just is, Derek. Look, I’d give you a blow job to say sorry. After all, my morning blow jobs are the best blow jobs. You can’t argue. Your words, not mine, but I think you’re going to like this even better.” He waves the box again, like it’s an optical illusion and Stiles is the world’s most excitable magician.
As Derek said, five.
“Should I be worried?” Derek asks, sitting up fully, taking the box from him.
“Derek-” Stiles starts, only to lean in and kiss him softly on the mouth instead of finishing.
It catches Derek off guard and he blushes, looking down, only to have his chin tilted back up by two, gentle fingers.
“It’s nothing bad. I wouldn’t do that to you,” Stiles whispers, kissing him again. “I promise, Der.”
“I know. Sorry, I-”
“Don’t be. I get it. This – you and me – we’re a learning curve.”
Derek swallows. “I guess.”
“Yeah, well, I know.” Stiles rolls his eyes. “Let that be enough.”
It’s a question – nervous – not the statement Derek knows Stiles wants it to be and Derek nods, because it is enough. Stiles is enough and perfect at the same time, and it scares him as much as it comforts him most days.
Learning curve. Right.
Rolling his eyes in return, although mostly for show, Derek carefully begins to open the box.
He can tell Stiles wants him to rip it open, which is exactly why he goes slowly.
Laura used to rip into all her presents but Derek always loved savouring them, appreciating the paper, not wanting to tear it so he could use it later, even though he never did.
Right now though, he just likes knowing he’s winding Stiles up. Maybe he’ll get another kiss out of it. If Stiles figures out he’s trying to push his buttons, that is. Which he almost always does. Maybe he will push Derek down into the bed and lace his fingers with his and-
“It’s a picture. Of your Jeep.” Derek raises an eyebrow, intrigued, but mostly confused. “I, uh, didn’t realise I loved your Jeep so much. I’ll make sure to get it framed.”
Stiles punches him on the arm playfully and Derek grins.
“It’s a game,” Stiles says, eyes alight with something soft and excited. It reminds Derek of the time his mom snuck into his room in the middle of the night and told him they were going to Disneyland and his grin widens, even though the memory hurts.
“Fine,” he huffs, resigned. “What do I have to do?”
Stiles waggles his eyebrows. “Guess.”
Sighing, Derek climbs out from under the bed sheets – his warm bed sheets, he might add.
He doesn’t bother with clothes, his sweat pants warm enough, as he pads through the apartment, towards the front door.
Stiles is right behind him the whole time, practically bouncing with excitement, jumping on Derek’s back and kissing his neck until Derek has to force him off before he starts doing something embarrassing, like giggling. Derek never realised he had so many ticklish spots before Stiles. He’s pretty sure he didn’t.
“I’m not going to go down here only to discover you’ve painted the Jeep orange or something, am I?” Derek asks, slipping into a pair of sneakers, opening the door, taking a deep breath as he braces himself to meet the day.
Stiles clutches his chest. “Don’t you think I’m a little more original than painting my car your favourite colour? This isn’t the 50s, Derek.”
Derek falters in his footsteps momentarily, trying to remember when he told Stiles orange is his favourite colour.
“People painted their cars their lover’s favourite colour in the 50s?” he asks, trying to hide his smile over something as ridiculous as a colour. Still, no one ever remembers – remembered – orange is his favourite.
Stiles snorts. “Lover? What is this, a trashy romance novel?”
“I don’t know,” Derek purses his lips, shielding his eyes when they finally step outside, the sun hitting him uncomfortably. “You’re the one who quotes poetry during sex.”
“That was one time!” Stiles flails, almost tripping over himself, grabbing onto Derek for support. “And you were so into it, don’t lie to me, Hale.”
Derek rolls his eyes, but can’t bring himself to deny it as he steadies Stiles, taking hold of his hand. He did like it. Probably too much. But then again, Stiles could wear a clown suit during sex and Derek would still-
“Oh my god,” Derek whispers, stopping in front of the Jeep. Staring. “Is that a-”
“Do you like him?” Stiles asks, grinning, tugging Derek towards the…the…puppy.
Except, not just any puppy. The puppy. Derek’s puppy. The one he goes to see whenever he finds himself visiting Scott with Stiles at the clinic.
“When – how –”
“I’ve caught you looking at him for a while now. I asked Scott to keep him for us, until I got everything sorted.”
“Sorted?” Derek asks, dazed, wanting to go over to Charlie – that’s what he always calls him in his head, anyway – but at the same time, he doesn’t know how to let go of Stiles’ hand. He doesn’t know if he can, because…because….because.
“Yeah, licence. Shots. That sort of thing. All his stuff is in the back. Bed, toys, food.” He shrugs then, like it’s no big deal. Like he didn’t just-
“You got me a puppy.”
“Do you-” Stiles scratches the back of his head, suddenly looking doubtful. “I mean, I know I should have maybe asked you first, given we still live at the loft, but-”
“I love him,” Derek whispers, turning to Stiles, unexpected tears in his eyes. “I love him.”
Stiles sighs, relieved. “Good. I- you deserve something good.” He shrugs again, blushing, and Derek can’t help it, he grabs Stiles by the waist and dips him, kissing him.
Stiles laughs into it, clutching at Derek’s neck, before they both start at the sound of Charlie barking, making himself known, his little head tilted, as though confused by the sight. It’s adorable and Derek feels his heart thud in his chest.
“Guess he’s going to be one of those dogs,” Stiles grins, making a face, before pulling Derek in for another kiss.
“Those dogs?” Derek mumbles, kissing him back.
Stiles nods, walking Derek back towards the Jeep, still kissing him. “Yeah, you know. The ones who like being the centre of attention. I guess we’re going to have to put our sex lives on hold for a while, huh?”
“Oh, what a tragedy,” Derek grins.
“Hey!” Stiles shoves at him, laughing.
“Kidding,” Derek nips at his ear, biting it in a way he knows makes Stiles shiver, before bending down to pet Charlie who immediately nuzzles into his hand, pulling impatiently at the leash keeping him attached to the Jeep.
When he looks up a moment later, Stiles is looking down at him strangely.
“What?” Derek asks.
Stiles shrugs, looking away. “Dunno. Just thinking about how happy you look, I guess.”
Standing back up, Derek takes Stiles’ hand, unconsciously sweeping his thumb across his ring finger. “Yeah, well, I know,” he repeats Stiles’ earlier words.
Stiles smiles, swallowing. “Yeah?”
Derek nods, breathing in Stiles’ scent. Books. Grass. Salt. Home.
“Yeah,” he whispers, ducking his head. “Yes.”