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4th of July Fierworks

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“I still say I should be driving one of the cars,” Stiles whined to his father. Father and son were waiting at the start of the annual Beacon Hill 4th of July Parade and Stiles was making one last ditch effort to get out of candy tossing duty. It was a sweltering hot summer day and Stiles would rather be in the comfort of the air conditioned cab. He didn’t mind participating in the parade. He’d been doing it since he could walk. But now he was a High School graduate with a license and felt he had earned the right to drive a vehicle. Plus, it was just so damn hot. “I have my license and no tickets. Come on, I’m practically a cop anyway.” Stiles was waiting for the next Police Academy training to begin, deciding early on he was going to follow in his father’s footsteps.

“Not gonna happen,” the Sheriff said, not bothering to say anything else. Stiles had already heard all the reasons he couldn’t drive one of the Sheriff’s Department vehicles. Well the one reason really. Only actual law enforcement officers can drive police vehicles. Not family. No matter how much of a mascot to the department you are. And while the “mascot” status prevented him from driving a vehicle, it didn’t prevent him from walking with the other officers and throwing candy to the hordes of children they were sure to encounter.

Like the Mayor at the head of the parade, the Sheriff chose to walk behind the Sheriff’s Department vehicles rather than riding in one. His was an elected position after all so Stiles figured his father felt the need to play like the other politicians and walk and wave, encouraging the fine people of Beacon Hills to re-elect him at the next election cycle.

As the parade kicked off, Stiles found himself walking, smiling and waving, tossing candy to the children that lined the streets. Once he got into it and they encountered the people cheering and waving as they walked, he relaxed and actually began to enjoy himself. Though the sheer amount of people that were braving the sweltering summer day was surprising. It seemed like the whole damn town had turned out.

Somehow Stiles found himself lagging behind the Sheriff’s Department group as they moved through the parade route. He was making sure every kid got a piece of candy and some of them were just so darn cute, all dressed up in red, white, and blue that he couldn't help talking to the kids and their families. Just as he turned to run and catch up to his father, he was hit square in the face with a spray of water.

He spluttered and chocked for a second and when his vision cleared, he saw what had happened. The County Fire Department was positioned immediately behind the Sheriff’s Department. Apparently the firefighters had rigged some kind of low pressure water hose to the truck’s internal tanks and were spraying the crowd from the back of the main cabin. Or so they were supposed to be. Stiles glared towards the truck, but whoever was manning the hose had turned and was facing forward, spraying the crowd ahead of the truck. Stiles chocked it up to an accident and caught up with his father.

It wasn’t long before he was lagging behind again. This time he hadn’t even turned when he was sprayed in the back of the head. Turning, the glare on his face turned to jaw dropping shock as he realized who was manning the hose. Derek Hale smirked at him before turning and spraying the crowd again. What the hell? Why was Derek Hale of all people targeting him with the hose?

He knew the Hales, in the vague way most of the town did. They were a prominent family, active in the town council and usually one of the Hale clan was leading one of the numerous community events that took place throughout the year. They also had one other quality that almost everyone in town knew. They were a family of firefighters. Derek’s father was the Chief, one of his sisters was also in the department and his grandfather was a retired fire fighter as well. It was through the many Sheriff’s Department and County Fire Department picnics and get togethers he’d actually met Derek. Well, met was a relative term. He’d been introduced at one point, probably. But whenever he found himself near the smoking hot firefighter his nervous habit of rambling came forth and he found himself spewing useless facts and observations, his mouth running away from him without permission.

Stiles closed his mouth and jogged back to his father’s side, not sure what to make of Derek’s actions. He vowed not to move from his father’s side again but it wasn’t even ten minutes later and he was once again behind the Sheriff’s Department group giving a little girl with a red white and blue pom pom headband a few extra pieces of candy. As he stood up from helping her get the candy in her bag, he was sprayed again, this time the jet of water hitting his chest.

Without even thinking Stiles grabbed a Tootsie Roll from the bucket he carried and chucked it at the firefighter. Derek laughed as he reached up and caught it. This time he gave Stiles a warm smile that quickly turned playful as the fireman gave Stiles another squirt of water. The smile Derek had given him made his insides melt. He gave a soft chuckle and kept walking the route, not bothering to run back to his father’s side.

A few minutes later Derek sprayed him again. Again Stiles retaliated with a piece of candy aimed at his head.

“I’m pretty sure the candy is for the children,” Derek called to him after plucking the candy out of the air from the moving truck. Damn the man had some amazing reflexes.

“You are acting like a child. So, you know, just doing my job,” Stiles shot back.

“You looked hot. I was just trying to help out,” The leer Derek gave him made his brain short circuit. What the hell. Was Derek flirting with him?! Stiles didn’t realize he’d stopped until the truck behind the fire truck was right next to him, blaring its horn, startling him and bringing him out of his stupor.

He jogged and caught up with the fire truck. Derek gave him a tentative smile as Stiles pulled even with the truck and slowed to a walk. He started just randomly tossing the candy instead of focusing on each child as he had been before. He was too busy shooting furtive glances at the super hot fireman in the truck who seemed to be flirting with him. Whatever look had been on his face earlier must have concerned Derek because the firefighter wasn’t shooting him with the hose anymore. Stiles decided to take a risk and man up. If a hot fireman wanted to flirt with him, who was he to turn him down? Without looking at Derek, he chucked another piece of candy at his head.

This time the candy caught Derek square on the temple. Derek looked surprised and turned to Stiles. The boy just gave him a shit eating grin and kept tossing candy to the kids on the sidelines. “I’m hot. Guess you better cool me off before I burst into flames,” Stiles said, internally cringing at the lack of smoothness he possessed.

“That was terrible,” Derek said even as he complied and sprayed Stiles with the hose.

“I think my brain really is cooking in this heat. I’m not thinking straight. Let me cool off and I can come up with something better.”

“Promise?” Derek asked, the playful smile back on his face.

Suddenly Derek was being shoved aside as Laura Hale stuck her head out the window. “Oh my god, are you two seriously flirting in the middle of a parade? There are children present!”

Derek gave her shoulder a nudge with his own, a smile on his face. “Please, like you weren’t flirting with Deputy Parrish earlier.”

“Yes, but that was at the start of the parade. Not in the middle of it. I have some class you know. I can’t believe now is the time you decide to grow a pair and make a move on him,” Laura replied. She gave Derek’s panicked face a smug look then moved back into the cab.

Stiles grinned widely at Derek as Derek all of a sudden seemed to be more interested in the crowd and cooling them off. Stiles launched another tootsie roll at Derek, hitting the flustered man square in the face. He heard cackling coming from the interior of the cab.

"Aww, love you too Der Bear," Stiles said, using the family pet name he'd heard Laura teasing her younger brother with on occasion.

Derek flushed redder but smiled shyly back at Stiles. Deciding to take pity on the poor man he quickly thought of another terrible pick up line.

"You know you handle that hose really well. Do you give lessons?" Stiles said, waggling his eyebrows at Derek. That got a groan and a wider smile out of the man.

Derek countered with, "Is that a gun in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?"

"Lame," Stiles replied though he smiled at Derek's attempt.

"Will you teach me stop, drop and roll later? I'm a slow learner. I'll need hands on instruction," Stiles asked. Derek was looking like a tomato but his grin kept growing. Stiles saw Derek lean into the cab for a second then bark a laugh. He was struggling to keep a straight face as he said, "Did I tell you I live next to a Dunkin Donuts?"

Stiles had to bark a laugh at that one as well though he knew cop and donut jokes were old school. For some reason he found Derek's lame pick up lines incredibly sweet. He ran with the opening Derek gave him. "Does that mean I get to come over? I live for sugary goodness."

Laura pushed Derek aside again before he could answer. "Yes! We have a big party at night and the best seat in town for the fireworks. It starts right after the parade end. You better be there!” Laura said. She moved back into the insides of the truck without waiting for a confirmation from Stiles.

When Derek moved back into his seat, Stiles raised an eyebrow at him in question. As much as Laura was obviously trying to push the two of them together (which Stiles was not at all against) he didn’t want to push himself onto the older man. He’d lost a few friends and potential dates that way in the past by being too aggressive. Derek smiled widely at him and said, “I’ll be sure there are donuts there.”

Stiles’ own grin widened till he felt like his face was cracking before he tossed another candy at Derek. “You better. I don’t put out without a little sugar first,” Stiles replied. Derek groaned again at the bad pun but there was a twinkle in his eye that Stiles couldn’t wait to find out what it meant.

The rest of the parade was spent with Stiles walking next to the fire truck (even though he was wearing his Beach Hills Sheriff’s Department shirt) and trading bad pick up lines with Derek and Laura. Derek would hose him down when he requested, making the day surprisingly enjoyable despite the sweltering heat and the 3 mile long parade route.

At the end of the parade Derek stuck his head out of the truck and said, “See you tonight!” as the engine picked up speed and headed back to the station. Stiles waved, a goofy grin plastered on his face. As he sauntered up to where the rest of the Sheriff’s department was congregating, he heard his father thanking the officer’s that had volunteered to don their uniforms in the heat and walk in the parade on their day off.

As the group was leaving Deputy Parrish came up and threw his arm around Stiles’ shoulders. “You coming to the barbecue? I know your dad will be busy patrolling but you have to come. You’re practically family and soon to be one of us.”

Stiles rubbed the back of his neck as he said, “Uh, actually I think I’m going to head over to the Hales. They kind of invited me to their party.”

Parrish clutched his chest in mock pain as he said, “You would abandon your brothers for that well muscled and incredibly handsome family? Who are firefighters? You wound me.”

“Like I haven’t seen you chatting up Laura Hale whenever you meet. Don’t go questioning my choices in evening companions when I know you’d be there if you weren’t hosting the barbecue,” Stiles countered.

Parrish’s own smile grew wider. “I may have already invited her to come to our party.”

“You sly dog you!” Stiles said as he punched Parrish in the shoulder. “Good luck with that one. She’s feisty.”

“Runs in the family,” Parrish said, giving Stiles a knowing smirk. “You’ll have your own hands full now that Derek’s finally pursuing you.” Stiles gaped at the older man. “Way Laura tells it, he’s just been waiting for you to graduate high school before he asked you out. Didn’t think the Sheriff would like it if he courted his underage son.” Parrish clapped Stiles on the Shoulder as he said, “Have fun and stay safe. I don’t want to have to tell your father his son was arrested tonight.”

Parrish sauntered away leaving Stiles flailing internally. Derek had been interested in him for awhile? He liked Stiles despite the ramblings, the danger to himself and others due to his flailing limbs and his ability to somehow always get in trouble? Stiles couldn’t believe it.

He rushed home and took a quick shower then changed out of his still damp Sheriff’s Department shirt and into a shirt that stated, “I’m not saying I’m Batman, I’m just saying no one has ever seen me and Batman in a room together.” Stiles considered this appropriate first date wear.

When he arrived at the Hale’s house it was only about half an hour after the parade had ended but the party was already in full swing. Stiles realized that the majority of the group were firefighters and family and for a moment felt out of place. Then Derek was striding over, a smile lighting up his face. He looked edible in a pair of cargo shorts and a shirt that stretched across his muscles. Stiles hoped he wasn’t drooling as Derek stopped in front of him. “You made it.”

“I only came for the donuts,” Stiles said, but then immediately cringed when he realized it made it sound like he wasn’t interested in Derek. For some reason Derek’s grin only got wider though.

“Follow me,” Derek said, reaching out and taking Stiles’ hand in his. Stiles was trying to figure out what to say to fix the situation when Derek led him into the house. In the kitchen, sitting on the table was a box of donuts. And not Dunkin Donuts, but the fancy donuts from the local bakery. Stiles was surprised it was open and that Derek had made the effort to go to the bakery over a quick stop at the Dunkin Donuts which, hilariously, really was on the way out of town towards the preserve where the Hale house was located. “I hope that’s enough sugar for you,” Derek said, grinning wickedly.

It took Stiles a moment to remember what he’d said earlier that day and then he was launching himself at Derek. The kiss was a bit sloppy since Stiles surprise attacked Derek, but once the older man wrapped his arms around Stiles, steadying the lanky boy, the kiss became more controlled and deeper. Coming up for air after a few minutes Stiles said, “You totally are trying to get into my pants with donuts. I think this is what love feels like.”

“You just like me for my donuts,” Derek said, though he was smiling down at Stiles and holding him tightly.

“Hell yeah!” Stiles replied. “Though the rest of the package is pretty awesome too!”

They joined the party much later, after a thorough make out session and missed the fireworks completely even though they were sitting in a car near the rest of the fire department and the fire trucks on standby. Who needed fireworks anyway? Stiles was too busy making his own with the hot fireman that somehow found him adorable.