without really meaning it
Watching Derek dote on someone is hard – harder than Stiles thought it would ever be, despite the fact he knows it’s insincere; despite the fact it’s the job and nothing more.
It’s hard because Stiles hasn’t had those arms around him in months, hasn’t had opportunity to arrange a chance meeting on a crowded street in weeks, hasn’t had Derek’s eyes meet his and watched his mouth curl into a smile for him.
Derek’s team have been fairly indulgent, letting Stiles tag along on the assignment to observe and allowing him to blend with various crowds just to be close to Derek. Early on, before Derek insinuated himself into their mark’s life, they even allowed them to talk on the phone, but that might as well have been in another lifetime.
Sometimes, Stiles hates his job, hates Derek’s job, hates the fact they’d never have met if it wasn’t for their jobs because then he can’t hate it as much.
Stiles is across the restaurant and he can’t tear his eyes away from the back of Derek’s head for more than a few seconds at a time, usually at the prompting of the agent he’s sitting across from.