Derek gets a call from an unknown number at 10:27am. It happens sometimes, telemarketers, and quite often for the nannying agency that’s one digit off his mobile. Today is a new one.
“Hello, this is Derek.”
“Oh, hi. Okay. Hi, I’m Stiles,” comes a surprised voice from the other end.
“So, Derek, this is going to sound strange, but I’m just about to go in for a job interview in three minutes, and I had to fill out this list of references and I was short a number so I wrote down a random one, then thought I should call it to see if it was real. And it is, it’s yours.”
“So you just wrote down a random number as a reference?” Derek asks, confused and also a little amused.
“Yes, that’s right. And look, I’m going in soon, and getting this job would be really great, and so would you mind if I keep your number on the list? They probably won’t call but I–”
“Go for it,” Derek interrupts. What’s the harm in it? He can cross off that he’s done his one nice thing for the day, and this Stiles is right, he probably won’t even get a call.
“Seriously? Ah, okay that’s amazing. Thank you.”
“What’s the job?” Derek asks, grabbing a pen and paper to write it down. He’s warming up to the idea of doing this fake reference thing. It’ll be a laugh if nothing else.
“So it’s an IT position with Saris and Fehr Legal. System maintenance, software security, a bunch of stuff really, but don’t worry about it too much, I just had you down as a personal reference?”
Stiles asks it like a question, showing some nerves, and Derek realises he’s essentially admitting he doesn’t know enough people who’d give him a positive reference.
“Oh well that’s easy enough then, I’ll just say that I’ve known you for years, talk about how you’re organized, trustworthy, etcetera,” Derek’s been a reference for some of his friends before, he knows the drill.
“Ah, yeah, sounds great. Wow. You sure about this?”
“It’s fine, Stiles. It’ll make my day more interesting at any rate.”
“Wow,” Stiles repeats, clearly surprised by Derek’s immediate cooperation. “So it’s Stiles Stilinski, not sure I gave you my last name.”
“No, you didn’t,” he says, writing down Stiles’ surname phonetically. “Mine’s Hale. Derek Hale.”
“Hale,” Stiles repeats, while Derek can hear the sound of a pen moving across paper through the phone. “Alright, I’ve got to go now but thanks so much, Derek. It means a lot.”
“You’re welcome,” Derek says, smiling at how relieved Stiles sounds. “Good luck for the interview.”