“Mine!” He pouts and reaches for the beer.
“Stiles, you’ve had enough.” Scott is wearing that stupid ‘I’m a responsible adult because I’m married and have a toddler’ expression that he seems to wear more often than not the last few years. Stiles is jealous, of course, of the whole romantic fairytale life that his best buddy in the world has, but he’s also not that jealous because Scotty deserves only the best and, also, he never sees that ‘responsible adult’ expression on his own face when there is beer to drink and partying to be done.
“Have not. I can still walk straight and think rationally. That means I’m not drunk yet.” Stiles can’t resist a smug ‘so there’ look because he’s proud of how well he can hold his alcohol. He might be a twenty-seven year old responsible adult at work and shit, but he deserves to let loose occasionally. “You know we’re here so I can get shit faced. I’ve earned that this week.”
“When do you ever think rationally, Stiles?” Scott has a point, not that Stiles is going to tell him that. “Anyway, you invited me along so I could make sure you didn’t get into any kind of trouble. Remember? You’re definitely drunker than you realize.”
“Am not.” Stiles sticks his tongue out and grabs the beer from Scott’s hand. “I brought you along because we never get to hang out anymore. And because I know I can trust you to keep me from doing anything stupid.” The last bit he says reluctantly before taking a long swallow of beer. It’s lukewarm now, tastes sort of like he figures piss probably tastes, and he’d spit it out if that wouldn’t make Scott feel like he won their debate.
“You were flirting with a fern, Stiles.” Scott takes the bottle again, only this time Stiles allows it because the beer is gross. Wait. Did he say a fern?
“Like a plant?”
“Yes, a plant. You were complimenting the soft leaves. Don’t you remember? I thought you weren’t drunk yet.”
“Scotty, my brother, my man, you can not pull off the sarcasm so stop trying.”
“You don’t remember. See? It’s time to leave before you do something stupid.”
“I don’t feel drunk.”
“Most drunk people don’t.”
“Stop quoting me back at myself. It’s not in the bro code.”
“Sorry. Guess I misplaced my copy.”
“Allison probably stole it. She’s more of a bro than you. I should invite her next time. She’d be more fun than you are.”
“Quit making that lecherous face about my wife. Bro code or not, I’ll leave your drunk ass here.”
Stiles frowns. “No, you wouldn’t. I’m your favoritest person in the world. And I’m not drunk.”
“C’mon on. Let’s get out of here.” Scott shakes his head and claps Stiles on the shoulder. “Sober You and I really need to have a talk about proper coping mechanisms when you’ve had a tough case at work. You’re almost thirty, bro. You can’t keep getting shit faced to avoid dealing with heavy emotions.”
“Says you.” Stiles steals a cold beer from the table as Scott ushers him towards the door. “There were kids, Scotty. And that man made them do horrible things. I caught the bad man, so I deserve to get drunk.”
“Yes, you did catch the bad man, but you’re going to feel like shit tomorrow. That’s why I stopped getting drunk years ago.” Scott gives him a half hug and sloppy kiss on the cheek. “You don’t have to deal with this alone, you know?”
Stiles sighs and takes a drink from the bottle. “Stop adulting at me. I’m not Tori. You aren’t my daddy.”
“Please never call me daddy.” Scott steals the bottle from him before he can finish it. “Your chariot awaits.”
“What’s he doing here?” Stiles blinks into the darkness at the familiar Camaro parked at the curb before staring at Scott, who is totally trying to avoid looking at him. “You didn’t really call Derek, did you?”
Scott at least has the decency to look guilty. “Allison texted me, and she needs some things from the store before I come home. You know you live on the opposite side of town, Stiles. I wouldn’t get home until so late if I take you then go to the store. You’re in good hands with Derek.”
“I can see his eyebrows judging me already, Scotty. You’re a horrible friend. You’re fired as my best friend. I’m promoting Erica. She wouldn’t call my surly partner to come pick me up from a party so he can lecture me the entire ride home.”
“You’re right. Erica would probably just get you arrested, then you wouldn’t be able to be a detective anymore.” Scott is petting his head like he’s a puppy, and Stiles would be totally annoyed by it if it didn’t feel good.
“I hate you,” he mutters childishly before stomping over to Derek’s Camaro. He drives the same old Jeep he inherited from his mother, even if it’s probably on its ninth life from breakdowns over the years, but his partner drives a flashy car that is totally out of place in the parking lot at the station. He opens the car door and peers inside. “I didn’t wanna call you.”
Derek arches a judgmental eyebrow before sighing. “Just get in the car, Stiles.”
“Fine.” Stiles looks back at Scott and wags his finger. “I’ll remember this, Scotty!”
“I’ll stop by tomorrow with breakfast from Pop’s,” Scott says with a big grin. “Pancakes and bacon.”
“Blueberry pancakes?” Stiles feels his lower lip wobble. “I love you, man. You’re the best bro in the history of bros.”
“Love you, too, man.” Scott gives him a big hug before helping him get in the car. “Derek, thanks for this. Allison is out of peanut butter, and she’s been eating it like crazy with this pregnancy.”
“Not a problem. I’ll take this idiot home.” Derek leans over to take the seat belt from Stiles’ hand and clicks the two pieces together without any of the trouble that Stiles was having.
“Think you’re so smart with your tricky seat belt.” Stiles hmphs and crosses his arms over his chest. “I don’t care what Scotty told you. I’m not drunk. Just buzzed.”
“He sent me a video of you fondling a fern,” Derek says dryly. “While you might do that sober, I’d hope you would use alcohol to justify it.”
“I don’t remember that, but it must have been a hella attractive fern. Uh, thanks for taking me home when my best friend deserted me for his wife.”
“I’m sure it was very attractive for a plant.” Derek rolls his eyes. “And don’t mention it. As long as you don’t puke in my car, we’ll be alright.”
They drive in silence for at least two minutes before Stiles finally can’t stand the quiet. “Don’t you care?”
“Those kids, Derek. I can’t stop thinking about what that monster did to them.”
“Of course I care, Stiles. You can’t get drunk every time we have a tough case, though. This is the fifth time in three months.” Derek glances at him with sad looking eyebrows. “Morrell isn’t a bad listener, you know?”
“I’m coping.” Stiles stares at Derek, watching his face as they pass by streetlights. “That asshole busted your lip good, huh?”
“It means being able to slap resisting arrest on him so it’s okay.” Derek looks at him. “What?”
“You’re so pretty.” Stiles sighs and reaches over to touch Derek’s face. “I’m glad I kneed the bastard after he hit you. No one fucks with my partner and gets away with it.”
“You’re drunk, Stiles.” Derek turns his focus back to the street, but he doesn’t bite Stiles’ fingers off, so he decides that means he can keep touching. Right?
“Maybe a little. Don’t tell Scotty.” Stiles drags his thumb over the stubble covered cheekbone beneath his hand. “You beat shit up tonight, didn’t you?”
“Yes, I went to the gym. And you went to a college party to get drunk with a bunch of kids.” Derek shakes his head slightly. “Next time, you should come with me.”
“Really? I thought you said I couldn’t come to the gym ever again because I was a danger to myself and innocent gym equipment?”
“It would be safer than the trouble you might get into around a bunch of drunk college kids.”
“I only tripped that once, you know? It’s not my fault the treadmill was going so fast.”
“You tripped because you were staring at my ass. I’m not stupid, Stiles.”
“Shh!” Stiles makes a shushing noise. “You’re not even supposed to know about that.”
“It was pretty obvious at the time. You need coffee or you’re going to feel like death tomorrow,” Derek mutters, frowning at Stiles like it’s his fault.
“I need more beer. Or something stronger. I can still think. I don’t wanna think tonight, Derek.”
“Coffee.” Derek is emphatic, and Stiles knows he’ll give in because he always give in to Derek. “And curly fries.”
“Really?” Stiles stops pouting and grins. “You’ll get me curly fries? I love you, man.”
“Only if you stop smiling like that. You look like a fool.”
“You love me!” Stiles wiggles in his seat. “I knew you would one day. I’m loveable.”
“You’re an idiot.” Derek snorts. “And I’m an even bigger idiot.”
“Not you’re not. You’re awesome.” Stiles pokes at Derek’s jaw. “Can I have bacon and cheese on my curly fries?”
“If you don’t stop poking me, I’m going to bite your finger off.”
“Is that a yes or a no?” Stiles is out of the car as soon as they stop at the diner. He trips over his left foot, but the door of the Camaro helps him keep balance. Before he can take another step, Derek is there. He leans in close and takes a deep breath. “You smell good.”
“One time, I’m going to pull a Scott and actually record this since you never seem to remember when you’re sober,” Derek murmurs, giving him an almost fond look before his face changes to it’s usual ‘I’m bored with the world and totally a Greek God come to life’ expression.
Stiles does get bacon and cheese on his curly fries, and he drinks the coffee because Derek makes him. He isn’t really sure what all they talk about. Well, what he talks about while Derek listens and adds dry witty commentary occasionally, but he remembers debating Star Wars theories and Bucky versus Sam in the Marvel Movie verse. When they finally finish, he feels better. More buzzed than before, so he knows he’s starting to sober up a little.
Derek is quiet as they finish the drive to Stiles’ apartment complex. Stiles rolls his head to the side to stare at him, watching him drive and trying to make sense of all the words he wants to say that are filling his mind. “We should get married.” Stiles isn’t sure why those are the particular words that actually spill out of his mouth, but he doesn’t much care because he means them. “I’d be so good to you. We could be happier than Scotty and Aly and make them jealous all the time.”
The car swerves slightly, which makes Stiles’ stomach do a not so pleasant gymnastic thing, but he manages to avoid puking, so it’s all good. “Stiles, we’re almost to your place. Just…stop talking.”
“Do you wanna marry me, Derek?” Stiles twists around in his seat so he can stare at Derek better. “I think it would be great to be your husband. You know I love you, don't you?”
“Stiles, we aren’t even dating,” Derek points out, his voice sounding annoyed and tense.
“Oh.” Stiles frowns because it’s a good point, but he can’t let go of the idea of marrying Derek now that he’s thought about it. “But if we were dating, would you?”
Derek ignores him, which is just rude, and soon they’re pulling up to Stiles’ apartment complex. Derek is mean when he helps Stiles get out of the car, but he walks him to his apartment to make sure he doesn’t fall down the stairs, so that’s nice. When Stiles walks inside, he sees his sofa and is suddenly just tired. He pulls his shirt over his head and stumbles to the sofa, almost tripping as he shoves his jeans down and out of the way.
The sofa is soft, and he buries his face in one of the comfy pillows Erica bought him as a housewarming gift, shifting around until he’s comfortable. He feels warm fingers brush through his hair and sighs, leaning up into the touch. Chapped lips press against his cheek before he hears footsteps walking away followed by the click of his door shutting. With a groan, he closes his eyes even tighter and goes to sleep.
Sunlight wakes him up. His head hurts, and his mouth feels like he’s been sucking dirty gym socks. He rolls off the sofa, banging his knee against his coffee table and cursing as he hits the floor. He’s getting too told for this shit. Bleary eyed, he makes his way into the bathroom, where he takes a quick shower and brushes his teeth. Once he feels slightly human again, he starts looking for his phone, finally finding it under the chair where he must have kicked it after waking up.
He has three messages, so he clicks through them. One from Scott saying he’d drop by around noon, and two from Derek. Stiles frowns as flashes from last night come to his mind. Derek and curly fries and…did he really tell Derek he’s pretty? Fuck, he really needs to stop drinking. The first message is Morrell’s phone number with a brief note that says he needs to make an appointment. He rolls his eyes but doesn’t delete it. The second one has him sitting back on the sofa with wide eyes.
After fumbling with the phone for a minute, he finally gets it working and dials Derek. “What do you mean?” he asks as soon as Derek answers.
“Good morning, Stiles. Feeling better?”
“Yes, now tell me what you mean!”
“I thought it was pretty clear.”
“You sent me a text that says you’ll pick me up at eight for dinner. That’s not clear, Derek. In fact, that’s totally unclear.”
“Well, I certainly can’t accept your proposal if we aren’t even dating, can I?”
“My proposal? Dating? Us? You and me?” Stiles is stammering and can practically hear his heart beating so loud it’s a surprise he isn’t hyperventilating. “Proposal? Oh fuck. I asked you to marry me, didn’t I? I’m never drinking again. Wait, you want to? Date me? Us? Derek!”
“Stiles, the answer is yes. It’s always yes for you.” Derek’s voice is soft, vulnerable, and Stiles realizes this is Serious Conversation, not just a partner prank or trying to fuck with him.
“Huh.” He runs his fingers through his hair and clears his throat, lips curving into a big smile. “Okay then. I’ll see you at eight. Right?”
Derek exhales softly, the sound relieved. Or at least that’s what Stiles thinks and he sticking with that opinion. “Right. Eight.”
“I’ll be ready,” he promises.
“I know. Goodbye, Stiles.”
“Bye, Derek.” Stiles taps his phone and leans his head back, staring at the ceiling. “Stiles Hale-Stilinski. No, Stiles Stilinski-Hale. Yeah, that sounds good.” Quickly, he dials another number, scrambling off the sofa and taking his towel off as he walks to his bedroom naked. “Scotty! Guess what? I’m going to marry Derek! No, not right now, but one day. We’ve gotta date first, bro. He’s not the marry first kinda guy. You’ll be my best man, right? I love you, man. Thanks for calling him last night. I owe you one. Now get your skinny ass over here. I want those blueberry pancakes and bacon you promised me.”