Stiles could understand why he wasn’t the most likeable person on the planet, or even in his high school.
He was abrasive, loud, analytical, and gave about zero fucks on people’s comfort level. Which, honestly, was fine. He only cared about a handful of people in this God-forsaken world, so other people’s opinion of him could really not be bothered.
Enter Jackson Whittemore.
Ever since Stiles professed his love to one Lydia Martin in the fourth grade with a ring pop (which she ardently did not accept), Jackson has wanted, and sometimes succeeded, in making Stiles’ life hell.
In elementary, it used to infuriate Stiles. How Jackson would always steal his dessert at lunch, or push him too hard on the four-square court, and would always never cease to let Stiles know that he would never get to be friends with Lydia Martin.
And, yeah, sure, eleven-year-old Stiles would ball his fists and try to fight back, but that quickly changed in high school. And he started learning some, interesting, things about himself. Soon enough, Lydia Martin was the last thing on his mind, and so was Jackson and his taunting. In fact, with both of their academic success, he and Lydia found themselves in similar upper-class and AP classes throughout high school. Some would even call them, dare he say it, friends.
But, Jackson, not so much. Even now, at their senior year, Jackson still makes it his mission to give Stiles hell, even though he’s been dating Lydia Martin practically since he tossed the ring pop out of his hand. And it doesn’t help that now, with Stiles and Lydia being friends, and Allison and Lydia being inseparable, and Allison dating Scott, that Jackson has somehow integrated himself into their group of friends.
Which is exactly how Stiles finds himself rolling his eyes at Jackson as they pack up their equipment on the field after practice, Jackson whapping him with this lacrosse stick.
“You’re literally an infant, Jackson.”
“At least I don’t throw like one, Stilinski.” Jackson scoffs.
Scott snickers next to him, and immediately looks regretful when Stiles glares at him.
“I bet an infant would be better to deal with than you.” he snarls, stripping off his practice jersey to throw in his bag.
Lydia and Allison walk over from the bleachers, smiling faces, per usual.
“Good practice,” Allison says to them all, but leans into Scott for a kiss. Lydia’s moved to Jackson’s side, too, and when Stiles glances at them, Jackson has a snarly grin on his face.
“Jealous, Stilinski?” A common phrase from the asswipe since they were kids.
Stiles barks out a laugh. “Not in the slightest.” He ignores the small grin Lydia gives him.
Shouldering his bag, he lets out a long sigh. “Can we go? I’m starving.”
Everyone nods in agreement, starting to move towards the parking lot. Jackson throws an arm around Lydia.
“Yeah, must have worked up an appetite from all that standing around and doing nothing.”
This time, Stiles whacks him with his stick.
“Okay, but to be fair, my jeep has gotten us to Mexico and back.”
“It broke down half way, Stiles.” Lydia deadpans.
“We fixed it! Since when did you guys get all mean about getting into my car.”
“Honestly, I’m surprised it’s been alive this long.” Jackson scoffs.
“Walk your happy ass to the diner, then, Jackson. See if I care!”
And yet, all his friends still make their way to his jeep, because they know damn well Roscoe will get them anywhere.
But, when they get to the car, there’s one Derek Hale leaning against the hood, looking as ominous and broody as always.
“What do I owe this pleasure, Sourwolf?” Stiles preens, walking up to him, but Derek doesn’t move.
“You left your wallet at my place.”
Before Stiles could even reach in his back pocket to check, Derek straightens and tosses it to Stiles, causing him to, of course, flounder and very much not catch it at all.
“Aww, always looking out for me, huh Derek?” Stiles coos, shoving his wallet into his pocket.
“You’re pathetic, Stiles.” Jackson spits.
Stiles whisks around, and God does he want to smack that silly little smug look off Jackson’s face as he walks over.
“I swear to holy Hell, you can walk h-”
“You know he has a crush on you, right?”
Everyone stops cold, and suddenly all eyes are on Jackson, who is looking straight at Derek likes he’s fucking Sherlock who solved the case.
“He does,” Jackson continues. “He likes you, and it’s embarrassingly obvious to everyone.”
“Oh, my God,” Stiles groans, putting his face in his hands. Scott, on the other hand, is bright-eyed and excited, like a puppy who just saw a bone.
Derek quirks an eyebrow. “Do explain.”
And Jackson, oh Jackson looks like he’s just been given a whole litter of bones. “He talks about you constantly, he invites himself over to your place all the time. I wouldn’t be surprised if he jerks off alone in his room to a picture of you.”
Derek’s head whips to look at Stiles, but he already has his hands up in protest.
“I do not do that, okay?”
Jackson steps up to Stiles, face inches from his. “Just admit it, Stilinski. You have a crush on Derek.”
It’s quiet for a second, and Stiles is really considering what level of Hell would even want to welcome someone like Jackson Whittemore, when Derek speaks up.
“God, I hope so, or this would be really awkward.”
Jackson’s face drops, and he spins to look at Derek. In the background, the snickers of Allison and Lydia or ever so sweet to Stiles’ ears.
“I said,” Derek lifts himself off the car hood, and makes his way to Stiles, who practically beams up at him when Derek takes his hand in his, entwining their fingers. “I hope he has a crush on me, or this would be really awkward.”
Stiles watches as Jackson does a double take from him, to Derek, to their hands, and oh does it feel so, so good.
Scott’s outright barking with laughter now, and Jackson looks as pale as a ghost.
“Great job, dickweed. You just told my boyfriend that I liked him.”
“You… and Hale? Since when?” he spits out.
“Almost a year, sweetie.” Lydia pipes up, probably more smug than anyone since she was the first to know about Stiles’ flagrant homosexuality. And his impeding crush on Derek.
“Aww, babe? Almost a year! Did you hear that? We should celebrate.” Stiles preens, and even leans up to nudge his nose at Derek’s cheek, just to rub the salt in the wound a bit more for Jackson.
“I just found out you have a crush on me. I think we should take things a little slower, don’t you think?” But Stiles catches a hint of a smile on Derek’s face.
Stiles doesn’t stop himself when he feels Derek gravitate towards him, and happily leans into the kiss. It’s sweet and quick, but enough to get Jackson to pretend to vomit.
“Matter of a fact, I think I’ll walk.”
Later that night, when Derek is driving Stiles back home, Stiles reaches out to hold Derek’s hand over the console.
“Hey,” he mumbles, and Derek acknowledges him with a slight nod.
“Do you have a crush on me?”
Derek’s quiet for a moment, and suddenly Stiles feels a squeeze on his hand that makes his smile spread wider than his face.