Malia wanted to go dancing for her twenty-second birthday, so the whole pack is crowded around two tables at Roxie’s enjoying the music. Well, they have two tables claimed, but not many of them are still sitting around. Stiles plans to stay sober tonight, so he’s been nursing the same beer for the last half hour. Scott and Lydia are dancing together, moving slow and being all romantic despite the fast techno beat, and Malia and Kira are grinding against each other while dirty dancing. Mason and Corey are dancing with some cute boy while Liam and Hayden are whispering together and dancing off-beat.
It sucks being a single member of the pack, that’s for damn sure.
The only other single pack member here tonight is Derek, and he’s obviously here just because Malia personally requested his presence. She probably played the whole cousin card, because she’s realized that usually gets Derek to agree to almost anything, and she isn’t above taking advantage of that sometimes. Jordan got out of the club going experience due to an overnight shift at the station, and Stiles almost envies him because he’d have happily switched one of his shifts if it meant avoiding the third wheel syndrome mixed with the unrequited love thing he’s got going on with Derek.
It’s just not a good combination, and the music isn’t providing much of a distraction. It’s techno, which isn’t a favorite by any means, and he can’t sing along to anything when nothing even really makes much sense. People keep coming up to ask Derek to dance, and he just gives them this look that makes them retreat without even waiting for an answer, so Stiles guesses that’s at least something good. If Derek were out dirty dancing with some hot young thing, it would really suck ass. And not in a good way.
“This noise is awful,” Derek mutters against Stiles’ ear, leaning well into his personal space bubble to make himself heard. “How can they call this music?”
“Coming from a closet N*Sync fan, I’d say glass houses, man,” Stiles teases, watching Derek’s eyes narrow.
“Justin Timberlake is pretty awesome,” Derek deadpans, snorting when Stiles chokes on his beer. “What? Laura used to be a big fan when we were growing up.” A small smile crosses his lips as he obviously thinks about his sister, and Stiles is so glad that Derek’s had some good therapy because that gentle smile is so much better than the melancholy cloud that used to surround him whenever he’d remember his family.
“Sure, just her,” Stiles says, leaning in a little closer to Derek. When Derek just stares at him and doesn’t move back, Stiles isn’t sure if that actually means anything or if they’re just comfortable with each other because they’ve become friends in the three years since Derek returned to Beacon Hills. Stiles wants to believe it means something, but he’s probably wrong, so he never takes the risk of acting on his feelings.
“I might have listened sometimes,” Derek reluctantly admits, lips curling slightly before he takes a long drink out of his bottle, Adam’s apple bobbing as he swallows. Stiles feels a wave of lust at the sight, knowing there’s no possible way Derek doesn’t smell the stench of arousal on him right now. Hell, Scott and the puppies can probably smell him from across the crowded club. Derek lowers his bottle and looks away from Stiles, focusing on the dancers as his jaw tightens.
Hello unrequited feelings, my old friend. Stiles makes a face as he moves out of Derek’s space. Once again, he’s completely shut out when Derek is reminded of Stiles’ feelings for him. It’s sort of unfair being infatuated with a werewolf because Stiles can’t hide the scent of his feelings or cover up the smell of arousal. The fact that Derek always withdraws whenever Stiles’ feelings get all over him is proof enough that there’s no reciprocation involved, despite Scott’s insistence that Derek feels the same.
Scott’s an optimistic sunshine puppy who fails to realize that real life isn’t a romance movie. He’s used to being the hero and always getting the girl, at least since the werewolf thing happened, so he doesn’t understand that Stiles doesn’t have that kind of luck. The awkward geeky sidekick doesn’t get the hot werewolf. That’s just how it goes, and Stiles has sort of accepted that he’s destined to always want what he can’t have.
After yet another pretty woman approaches Derek and is shut down with just a look, Stiles finishes the last of his lukewarm beer. “Are you going to dance or just hang at the single loser table with me while everyone else gets their freak on?”
“I haven’t wanted to dance with any of them. If someone that I want to dance with happens to ask, I’ll dance. Anyway, you’re not a loser,” Derek says, glancing at him and arching a brow. “Actually, I’m surprised you aren’t out there dancing. Normally, you’d have been flailing around and dripping with sweat by now.”
“Just not in the mood tonight, I guess.” Stiles picks at the label of his bottle, scraping his thumb against the glue under the paper as it’s revealed. “Besides, I wouldn’t want you to be stuck here all by yourself. That wouldn’t be any fun at all.”
Derek stares at him intently. “I’m not your responsibility to entertain, Stiles. I don’t need a babysitter, you know? You should have fun. You should ask someone to dance.”
“What if I think hanging at the table with you is fun?” Stiles returns his stare, but he’s the first to look away because Derek is intense and scowling like Stiles is somehow offending him. He huffs a laugh as he slides off the stool. “Whatever. It’s not like anyone’s asked me to dance anyway.” After grabbing his empty bottle, he says, “I’m going to get another beer. You want anything from the bar?”
“No, I’m good,” Derek murmurs, looking back at the dancers and tapping his fingers on the table. Stiles just looks at his profile for a minute, wishing he could read minds or, hell, even smell emotions because he’d like to know what Derek is thinking right now. When Derek glances at him curiously, Stiles sighs and turns to walk towards the bar.
There’s a part of him that really wishes Derek would just let him down easy. Not be as rude about it as Lydia had been back in high school, pre-friendship development, but just be honest and tell Stiles they’re only going to ever be friends. Knowing without a doubt that having a thing for Derek is completely unrequited would help him move on and get over this pining love thing. It would also help him stop getting confused and wondering sometimes if Derek might actually be interested, after all. Because there are times when Stiles has doubts, when he thinks maybe Derek is into him like that, but he always talks himself out of it because, really, what are the chances?
It’s probably just wishful thinking.
The bar is pretty crowded, so it takes a while for Stiles to be able to order another beer. He’s just passed a ten across the bar and taken the bottle when someone presses closely against his side. Looking to his left, he sees a guy who’s probably a few years older than him. Good-looking and lithe, not really his type (which runs towards dark hair and muscles) but definitely hot. Of course, Stiles hasn’t dated anyone since a brief three month relationship with a guy he met at the police academy over three years, and it ended amicably when Greg got a job in Chicago after graduation. Derek came back like a month later, and, well, enough said. Dating other people hasn’t been high on his list since then.
The guy smiles and leans in close to his ear. “I swear this isn’t a line, but I was wondering if you’d mind dancing with me to help make my ex jealous?”
“Your ex?” Stiles arches a brow. “Yeah, that sounds like the cheesy plot of some teen comedy from the eighties, you realize? Anyway, if he’s your ex, why do you want to make him jealous?”
“Because I’d rather he wasn’t my ex, but silly arguments lead to bigger fights, and he left before I could admit I was an idiot,” the guy tells him. “Charles isn’t dating anyone new yet, and I think there’s still something there, but neither of us are going to actually talk about our feelings because ugh. Talking sucks. So, yes, dancing with a hot guy will hopefully spur him into action.”
Stiles snorts. “Dude, that sounds like a pretty messed up plan to me. You might want to reconsider getting ideas on making up from bad movies on late night TV. Besides, if you want to make him jealous, you’d choose someone way hot, not someone who’s more cute than attractive,” he points out. “Where is this Charles guy anyway?”
“He’s the tall blond by the rail,” the guy says, nodding to his left. Stiles casually looks over and sees a good-looking blond dude standing there staring at them. “I’m Andrew, by the way. I’m totally not looking for anything more than a dance. You’re perfect because you’re totally my type, and it’ll make him think I’m seriously into you. Anyway, that insecurity thing is so last year, sweetie. You’re hot, so you should embrace that.”
“Stiles, not sweetie,” he tells him, glancing between Andrew and Charles before shrugging. “Fine. I’ll dance with you, if only because you sounded totally convincing when you said I’m hot. But, seriously, It’s only right that someone get their handsome prince, after all. Hopefully, this cliché plan of yours will work out for your benefit.”
“I figure it’s got to be a cliché because it does work, you know?” Andrew grins and takes his hand, leading him towards the dance floor. Stiles puts his bottle of beer on his table as he walks past, noticing that Derek’s staring at him in a way that is eerily reminiscent of Charles’ staring at Andrew. Before he can think much about it, Andrew is grinding up on him, touching and moving like he’s totally interested in taking the dance off the floor and into the bedroom. Stiles isn’t concerned, though, because he sees the way Andrew is looking over his shoulder towards where his ex is standing and probably watching them.
Since there’s a chance maybe this dude can reunite with his boyfriend, Stiles decides to go all out and play a part. “Jealous, right?” he asks, receiving a grin from Andrew before he starts moving his hips and dancing as dirty as possible with their clothes still on. He’s got pretty good moves, and he knows what to do to get his dance partners in the right mood. He ends up moving behind Andrew, grinding against his ass in a deliberate way, smirking like he knows he’s totally getting laid later just in case Charles is looking. When Andrew turns around and starts touching Stiles in a rather intimate way, it doesn’t take long at all before someone is pulling Andrew away.
“Enough.” Instead of Charles, though, it’s Derek. Stiles stops dancing, blinking dumbly and gaping, just a little, when Derek glares at Andrew. His nostrils are flaring and his jaw is tense, but his eyes are heated and there’s a flush high on his cheekbones, spreading over the tips of his ears as he snarls, “Find another partner.”
“Looks like it worked both ways, Stiles,” Andrew murmurs, looking Derek over with interest before winking at Stiles. “Charles is coming this way, so I’d better go head him off. Thanks for the help, man.”
“Huh?” Stiles looks away from Derek to stare at Andrew. Charles is there now, his hand reaching out to take Andrew’s. “Oh, right. Any time. I mean, no problem.”
“We need to talk, Andrew,” Charles is saying as he pulls Andrew away. Stiles watches them for a moment before looking up at Derek, who is frowning and looking confused.
“So, uh, what was all that?” Stiles asks, not caring that everyone around them is dancing while they’re just standing there. No one is really paying them any attention anyway.
“Nothing,” Derek mutters, scowling at Stiles before he starts to walk away.
“Oh no. Not this time, big guy,” Stiles says, grabbing Derek’s arm and forcing him to either stay or drag him along. “I was dancing, which you told me to do, and you come over here snarling at my dance partner.”
“He was touching you.” Derek’s eyebrows are trying to communicate but Stiles isn’t in the mood to translate tonight. “He was in your space, and he was too damn close. That’s it.”
“That’s it?” Stiles snorts. “We were dancing, Derek. That sometimes requires touching and being close.”
“Not like that. Not with him,” Derek tells him quietly. “You weren’t supposed to dance with him.”
“Who was I supposed to dance with then?” Stiles blinks as Derek ducks his head, ears turning even redder. Not from anger this time. No, this had to be…”You?” He clears his throat as he stares at Derek. “You want to dance with me?”
“It doesn’t matter.” Derek looks up at him. “You’re not interested. I shouldn’t have interrupted your dance. I think I’m going to just head home now. This place is too loud.”
“No,” Stiles says, feeling a rush of bravery, or maybe it’s stupidity. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between the two when they make him do something rash and daring. “You aren’t running away this time, Derek. Anyway, you’re wrong. I am interested. In a dance or whatever it is being offered. Very interested.”
“What about that guy?” Derek looks at him. “You seemed pretty interested in him.”
“He was trying to make his ex-boyfriend jealous enough to make a move so they could get back together,” Stiles admits. “I was helping him out because, well, I might be a cynical asshole a lot of the time, but I’m a romantic cynical asshole. It seemed to work, by the way.” He nods to where Andrew is now slow dancing with Charles and whispering quietly.
“Oh.” Derek drags his fingers through his hair and smiles wryly. “I didn’t realize…” He looks at Stiles. “I was jealous,” he murmurs, shrugging a shoulder. “I saw him touching you and just…I couldn’t sit there and watch you dance with another man, not like that.”
“Why?” Stiles licks his lips, stepping closer. “What would it matter who I dance with, Derek? Why would it bother you? Why would that make you jealous?”
“Because it should be me.” Derek leans down and kisses him, his hand going behind Stiles to pull him closer, his other hand moving into his hair. It’s a firm kiss, at first, lips pressed tightly together. It takes a moment for Stiles’ brain to catch up to the fact that Derek’s kissing him, and, by the time he does, Derek’s starting to pull back.
Oh hell no. He moves his fingers into Derek’s hair, leaning into the kiss and moving his lips. The kiss gentles, and Derek seems to relax now that Stiles is returning the kiss. They move their mouths, kissing chastely as the music plays around them, and then Stiles parts his lips, licking at Derek’s mouth.
Derek groans softly before he opens up for Stiles, licking at his tongue and deepening the kiss. It’s a kiss that Stiles has dreamed about for years, probably since he was sixteen, in all honesty, and it’s better than he ever imagined because this kiss is really happening. Derek Hale is kissing him. Wet and warm and explorative and tender and passionate all mixing together to create a memory that’s perfect to him.
When they pull apart, Derek is breathing heavy. He strokes his knuckles along the curve of Stiles’ jaw before leaning in for another kiss that becomes several kisses. Then he nuzzles Stiles’ neck and holds him close. “Dance with me,” Derek whispers against his ear, lips trailing a path from his ear own his neck.
“For the rest of our lives, if you want,” Stiles murmurs, feeling Derek’s grip tighten when he must hear the truth in Stiles’ heartbeat.
“Maybe a date or two first then we can talk about lifetimes,” Derek says softly, raising his head and looking at Stiles. There’s an expression on his face that Stiles doesn’t really recognize, sort of awestruck and amazed at the same time. “How long?”
“Eh, about three years?” Stiles smiles sheepishly, knowingly exactly what he’s asking without needing specifics. “What about you?”
“About the same.” Derek shakes his head. “We’re quite a pair, huh?”
“Yeah, we are.” Stiles strokes Derek’s jaw, feeling his beard under his fingertips. It’s softer than he expects, feels nice. “This isn’t the best music for a first dance, is it?”
“I wouldn’t really call it music.” Derek smiles slightly as he begins to sway with Stiles. They’re totally not dancing to the song playing, but that doesn’t really matter because Derek’s looking at him in a way Stiles never imagined happening outside of his daydreams. Derek leans in for another kiss, slow and sweet, before exhaling softly against Stiles’ mouth. “You know, dancing with you for the rest of our lives does sound pretty amazing.”
“Yeah, like that corny old romantic song from way before we were born,” Stiles points out, remembering his mom playing some country song about dancing for the rest of their lives. He smiles at the memory, swaying with Derek as they dance together. “Do you want to go out with me tomorrow night, Derek?”
“I’ve love to,” Derek murmurs, his smile widening until his eyes crinkle up. Stiles can’t resist leaning in for another kiss. They sway together as they kiss, holding each other close as people dance around them.