Five years later and I still haven’t told him.
They’re all out at the bar Isaac works at, celebrating Allison’s pregnancy. Even the wolves are throwing back shots, Isaac’s sprinkled them with the mixture Lydia cooked up during freshman year of college because she was sick of the humans being the only ones suffering through hangovers. Stiles isn’t convinced that was the best thing to do, the wolves have a tendency to get violent with each other when drunk, he still has trouble forgetting the epic fight Scott and Boyd had in the middle of the woods. Apparently Boyd had ripped Scott’s favourite shirt, or something. Stiles doesn’t really remember the reason. He does remember the tree being ripped out of the ground.
He’s rocking what Lydia calls his “grown up hipster” look. Years of squinting at tiny, elaborate fonts in ancient books fucked up his eyesight and now he needs the black rimmed glasses he used to tease pretentious freshman about wearing.
Derek joins them halfway through the night, shrugging out of his jacket with a quick grin, an excuse of “pack business, sorry,” and Stiles can’t help but suck in a breath when Derek sits right next to him, their thighs pressing against each other around the small table.
“Hi,” he says. “Everything okay?”
“Yeah. We’re getting visitors next week.”
“Oh,” Stiles throws back his shot and winces. “Anyone important?”
Derek shakes his head. “Just a pack from Vegas. They’re stopping through.”
“Vegas, huh? Any showgirls?”
“No showgirls, Stiles,” Derek laughs, leaning against Stiles’ side.
Stiles get progressively drunker as the night goes on, and for once, Derek is right there with him. They all toast Allison’s pregnancy over and over again until both she and Scott cry off, being booed by Stiles, Isaac and Lydia as they leave. Scott flips them off with a grin, making Stiles erupt into giggles, burying his face in Derek’s shoulder. Derek’s hand pats Stiles’ back, and Stiles can feel himself slumping against Derek’s body. It’s too much, he’s had too much to drink, and he’s so, so happy for Scott and Allison. He can’t cope with Derek being so close, with Derek drinking like he’s in college, and smelling like home.
Stiles remembers the moment he realised he was in love with Derek, there was nothing special about it, no life or death situations, he was home over Thanksgiving break, curled up on the couch at the Hale house and Derek had come over with a mug of hot cocoa. He’d handed it over, joined Stiles on the couch and started reading one of the books Stiles had brought back with him. Stiles had taken a sip and looked over at Derek. The late sun was falling through the window and it hit Derek’s face, spinning across his jaw, turning his eyelashes into shadows and Stiles had sucked in a breath. He knew, right then, that he was in love with Derek. And he’s never told him.
When they leave, Derek takes his hand and Stiles is so drunk and overwhelmed that he wants to scream. He stares down at Derek’s fingers entwined with his and shakes his head.
“What? What’s wrong?” Derek asks quietly.
“You can’t do this.”
“You don’t, I’m not what you want.”
Derek stops walking and his grip on Stiles’ hand is so firm, Stiles stumbles, falling against him. “Stiles, how can you say that?”
“Because, Derek. It’s been years and you’ve never said anything.”
“Neither did you.”
“But you’re. You.”
“Stiles,” Derek breathes out, his free hand cupping Stiles’ jaw. “You have no idea, do you?”
“What?” Stiles says, his eyes lowered because he can’t face looking at Derek. He’s drunk, and he can’t decide if he wants to burrow into Derek’s chest or run away. Derek tilts his face to the side and presses his mouth against Stiles’. It’s achingly sweet, so different to anything Stiles has experienced in the last few years and he just melts against Derek.
When Derek pulls back, he’s smiling, his face so close Stiles can count each eyelash, each smile line that has appeared over the years. Stiles laughs and presses his lips against Derek’s mouth in a quick, soft kiss.
“Okay?” Derek says, his thumb stroking at Stiles’ cheekbone, just underneath his glasses.
Derek takes a step back and they walk down the street, fingers entwined, shoulders bumping against each other.
“You know I’m completely in love with you, right?” Derek says.
Stiles turns his head, staring at Derek, his mouth wide open. “You. I.” He shakes his head slightly. “Me too. I’m completely in love with you.”