Not Until The Third Date
For the Sterek Week day 3 theme: Meet-cute.
In which Stiles has a fox familiar named Batman who likes to meddle. 1149w.
Derek knows he must be hallucinating as he stares, bleary-eyed, down at a little fox trying to steal his bag of chips in the middle of the snacks aisle of the grocery store.
His move cross-country to Beacon Hills has drained even his werewolf edge, and all he wants to do is crawl under the covers, pull them over his head and forget the world for a week or two. Instead, he still has to get some real food in the house and then he has a meeting with the Beacon Hills Emissary for lunch as a formality to welcome him to town.
Just a few more hours. Then he can sleep to his heart’s content. As soon as this meddlesome hallucination surrenders the chips and lets him go on his way.
The fox gives a little tug with it’s head, frowning up at him.
Derek frowns back. Tightening his grip when the fox doubles its efforts, he casts about for any other person, wondering if he’s really the only one seeing this. A woman pushes her shopping cart obliviously by, child in the seat kicking at her legs. Either this is an entirely normal occurrence for the residents of Beacon Hills or the stress of the move really has driven him to crack.
He looks back down at the fox, little growls sounding in its throat now as it braces its front legs to pull with all its might.
“Batman! What’s taking so—?”
Derek’s head snaps up to stare at the owner of the voice who’s just rounded the end of the aisle, a dark-haired, dark-eyed man pushing a shopping cart towards him.
The man rests his elbows on the handle of his cart, the quirk of a smile lending warmth to eyes not as dark as Derek had first thought. “You must be Derek Hale.”
Now everything makes sense. Derek releases the bag of chips as he straightens and holds out a hand for the man to shake who can only be the Beacon Hills Emissary. The fox — a familiar — gives a pleased yip around the packet as it trots over to the newcomer’s cart and leaps inside. It sets its front paws on the rim and stares at him, head cocked. It’s only now that Derek realises it doesn’t smell like a normal fox and he thinks he can be excused for not noticing considering the turbulence of the past few days. It’s scent actually shares similar notes with the man’s, and Derek knows it’s not just because of all the time they must spend together. He’s heard familiars are closely linked to their owners, in tune even with their emotions.
The man’s hand is warm and strong, and he tries not to stare at the long fingers wrapping around his own.
“Mr. Stilinski,” Derek greets, though he cringes as soon as the words are out of his mouth, made worse by the other man’s wince. He’d assumed the Emissary was going to be middle-aged and balding, and it had felt only natural to refer to him in such away, especially considering the pseudo-keysmash footing all of his emails. Faced with the man himself, he couldn’t have been more wrong. Though the mental picture would have been easier to deal with; this guy is gorgeous.
“Stiles,” Stiles corrects and Derek manages to recover enough to smile.
“I suppose Mr. Stilinski is your father?”
“He usually goes by Sheriff, actually,” Stiles answers wryly, and Derek tries not to blanch.
He’s barely been in town five minutes and not only is he already eyeing up the town’s most important citizen (whether or not the other citizens are aware of that fact) but he’s also the son of the Sheriff? After his triggerhappy ex, Derek’s had enough experience with guns to last him a lifetime.
“Though,” Stiles continues, thoughtfully. “If you let him eat some bacon, he’ll let you call him anything you want, his health be damned.”
Derek can’t help the laugh that bubbles up.
Stiles stares at him, heart audibly stuttering. Derek’s smiles fades, not sure how to read this situation, but movement in the corner of his eye attracts his gaze down to his basket where the fox is now perched, weightless. He nibbles affectionately at Derek’s fingers where they grip the handle.
“Batman, out!” Stiles orders. There’s a blotchy flush spreading across his cheeks, and it takes a second for Derek to put the pieces together before his own ears flush hot. It seems this is a familiar-emissary emotion bond in action.
Batman (Batman?!) obeys his owner, but probably not in the way Stiles was hoping. He scampers up Derek’s arm and perches on his shoulder, bushy tail curling gently around his throat as he rubs his muzzle against Derek’s stubble.
“Oh my God!” Stiles squeaks, throwing up his hands and looking like he’s wishing the ground would swallow him. “Cut it out!”
“There something you want to tell me?” Derek asks, fighting a smile as he cranes his head away from the tickle of Batman’s whiskers.
Stiles runs his tongue along his bottom lip in a display of nerves, though it’s affecting Derek as if it were a seduction tactic. “Not until the third date?”
“Turn our lunch into dinner and you can call it number one.” Triggerhappy exes be damned. There’s no way he’s passing this chance up.
Stiles gapes at him, the pretty blush darkening his cheeks further. It takes a few second before he manages to blurt out, “Deal.”
Batman jumps down from Derek’s shoulder and there’s a definite proud swagger as he pads back over to Stiles’ cart. Something tells Derek it won’t be the end of the creature’s meddling.
They exchange numbers, Stiles chattering all the while about a great hole in the wall that does amazing burgers and sweet potato fries that have even managed to eclipse his ‘town-renowned’ love for curly fries (“Seriously, Derek, curly fries. I don’t think you understand just how big of a deal that is!”). Derek looks forward to finding out what other facts about Stiles are ‘town-renowned’ and maybe a few more personal things too.
Stiles reaches into his own cart before he leaves and picks up the chips, placing them in Derek’s instead. Batman gives a plaintive cry.
“Oh hush. He had them first. You don’t even eat them.”
The fox grumbles but curls up on a loaf of bread and Stiles throws Derek a fond eyeroll.
They go their separate ways after a reluctant goodbye, Derek feeling much better about the morning than he had five minutes ago. Not only is he going out to dinner with a cute guy on his first night in town (Laura will have a field day if she ever finds out) but he gets to skip out on lunch and get some of that well-deserved sleep. All in all, it’s a pretty great start.