Oh man. Writing these two dorks getting all blush-y and awkward-y is one of my favorite things to do. Here’s #79: “My name isn’t Leslie…who’s Leslie?”
Derek scowled as he used the scanner to price check items along the aisles of Home Depot. It wasn’t his first choice of job, not by a long shot, but he needed the money and the hours weren’t terrible. If he was lucky he could make it back to the apartment in time to see Laura before she headed off to work.
He didn’t like the orange apron he had to wear either.
The words of his co-worker still echoed through his head, “you should just talk to him Derek, what’s the worst he could say?”. Leslie had been talking about the once-a-month guy; this pale, beauty marked, bow lipped guy that Derek found really attractive. Except he’s never actually talked to him, and Derek’s pretty sure the guy didn’t even know he existed.
Sure, maybe he hid out in the plumbing sections on the days the guy came in because that’s usually where he’d head to to grab some random part. Maybe Derek would watch from afar because words weren’t his thing and he was too socially awkward to start up a conversation.
Well that and the mandatory “hi, welcome to Home Depot can I help you at all today?” he would have to start with.
Angrily he scanned another item, not even flinching when a finger tapped his shoulder.
“Leslie, seriously knock it off, I’m not talking to him. End of story,” Derek snapped over his shoulder, rounding the corner to the next aisle.
“My name isn’t Leslie…who’s Leslie?”
Derek felt the tip of his ears heat up as he spun on his heel, looking around the aisle corner. Of course…it was him. Once-a-month guy. Derek frowned because he was just in here last week, so him being back so soon was throwing him off. Today he was in a dark flannel and a red hoodie, khakis and old sneakers to top it off.
“Uh, she’s my co-worker,” Derek explained, crossing his arms, “what can I do for you?”
The guy shakily held up a flush valve for a toilet, “I bought the wrong one, I was wondering if you could help? I see you in that section all the time.”
That information has his stomach in knots and his face heat up as well. Before he could think of words he nodded his head and motioned for the guy to follow. The steady squeak of sneakers behind him was reassuring as they crossed the store to plumbing. It wasn’t really his section but he was pretty handy, he could probably help.
There were only two kinds, one that looked more tube like, and one that looked like a lever system.
“I’d try this one for whatever model toilet you have,” Derek said holding the lever version to the guy who suddenly had this stupidly gorgeous smile on his face. It pulled his cheeks, teeth almost blindingly white and straight, amber eyes lighting up. Derek had to focus on keeping himself on his feet.
“My flush valve is actually fine,” he said.
Derek raised an eyebrow, “um…okay? Anything else I can do for you then?”
“What?!” Derek sputtered, nearly dropping the piece in his hands.
The guy ran nervous hands through his chestnut hair, “look….you’re not exactly subtle and you’re the Hot-as-the-sun Home Depot guy! So I kind of made an excuse to talk to you with the whole flush valve thing and–”
“Derek,” he interrupted.
“My name. It’s Derek,” Derek explained.
The guy let out a nervous laugh, “I’m Stiles.”
“I get off work in thirty minutes if you want to–”
“Yes.” Stiles nodded jerkily.
Derek couldn’t suppress his own smile, “you don’t even know what I was going to say.”
“Don’t have to. It’s a yes.” Stiles smiled.
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