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Fic: The Moonrise Café (Derek/Stiles)

Author: adja999, Original_Cypher on AO3.
Title: The Moonrise Café
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Pairing(s), Character(s): Stiles Stilinski/Derek Hale? mentions of other canon characters, minor original charcters
Rating: PG
Words: 6,092
Summary: AU, BarOwner!Stiles, Cop!Derek
Everybody has their reasons for loving the Moonrise Café. Stiles loves it for the cops, and because it's his home now. The cops love it for the food. Derek loves it for his morning special. And for Stiles, too. A little bit.
It's a well-oiled routine they have. Until something comes and upsets everything.
Disclaimer: I don't own them. I'm just playing. I'll give them back. Maybe. If and when I'm done.



One of the good things about the Moonrise Café, is Stiles Stilinski, the owner. He started there as a bartender to pay for college, from what Derek's mentors on the force tell him, and everybody took shine to him right away. When Old Jake retired, he left him in charge, trusting him to take care of his business. Eventually, he gave him half, only because Stiles insisted to pay for the other. Old Jake still comes in often, sits in a booth in the back and wanders in the kitchens unbothered.



Derek remembers the day Stiles took over, nearly eight months ago. He gave Derek a wide grin from behind the counter, as usual, and greeted him by his title. Officer Hale. Derek frowned in confusion at the cents knocked off the price of his espresso, and Stiles shrugged, declaring that despite his best attempts at attracting a good element, they were a cop bar and the discount served as a thank you for keeping their streets safe. While nursing his treasured Morning Sunshine! Special – a latte, with spices and things Stiles refused to divulge that just made your taste buds purr and cleared the fog like magic – Derek learned that the guy had almost lost his best friend during a hostage situation. Derek made his way back to the counter this time instead of waving goodbye from the door like usual, feeling guilty that, for the months he'd been coming here like a junkie every day for his fix of caffeine, more-often-than-not pastries and good natured cheerfulness, he hadn't known that. It was the day he offered his first name to the guy with the whiskey colored eyes that made bad days a little better and was always smiling and welcoming, even when he was crushed with grief at his father's passing.



Derek remembered the tears that threatened to fall from Stiles eyes the day he saw a whole Presinct-full of Parade Day uniform step onto the grass around him for the funeral. He remembers realizing Stiles knew he'd lost his father in action when he was fifteen, when Derek reached out and hugged him and Stiles whispered how sorry he was that Derek had had to feel that so young. Stiles, thinking of Derek's pain in such a time. Or maybe just knowing why Derek needed to give him that hug so badly.



Derek misses the Moonrise, the Specials and Stiles a lot. There's a part of it that is really excited to be stepping back inside the shop. The other one is muttering a panicked 'No, no, no, no...' at the back of his mind.









@@@






One of the good things about the Moonrise Café is the cops. Stiles is biased, he knows. You can't grow up adoring a Sheriff that manages to pull off keeping a town safe and being a single parent at the same time and not come out with a fondness for brass. He likes his cops. His little pack of old school grumpy Detectives and high tech new gen sleuths.



He likes Gerald, the white haired Captain whose large belly confines behind a desk. He runs the Precinct like a bee hive, has no problem having his colleagues call him the Queen and brings his husband and his husband's son along when they have lunch dates. He cares for his worker bees like a father and they love him right back.



He likes Lybee, the tall, gorgeous woman that looks about Stiles' age, with the vibrant green eyes and the binary watch. She gets all Stiles' geeky references and she made Danny feel right at home when he visited for the first time. They'd bonded over motherboards, and Stiles was pretty sure Danny and the techie kept in touch without going through him nowadays.



He likes Derek, the elusive young Vice Transfer that earns his stripes so quickly. The one with the blue eyes that mislead Stiles more often than not. At first, the piercing stares made Stiles believe Derek had a beefwith him he couldn't figure out, until Derek came by and started chatting with him like one would an acquaintance and not just a bartender. The way he frowned at his first Morning Sunshine! Special and worked his mouth like he was tasting something revolting and wanted to determine exactly what before complaining, and then looked up at Stiles, declared the drink 'his precious'and tried to grill him for a recipe. On one of the first times he'd came, his eyes had trailed off to the small pride flag behind the bar, stuck between decorative bottles against the mirror, and then had scrutinized Stiles. For months Stiles filed that information away, sadly categorizing Derek as one more of those guys he shouldn't try and like too much, because one day, when he'd have built up esteem for the guy he'd go around saying something homophobic and the disappointment would sting. Then one day Derek showed up looking like hell, half an hour earlier than usual, climbed on a stool and slumped against the counter.









@@@







Stiles came up to him, a bit baffled and sympathetic. Derek looked wrecked with fatigue. He also never sat at the counter in the morning. He waited there for his order, usually resting his elbow on it, but he never sat down. Depending on the commute he'd had and the patrons, he sometimes spared a couple of minutes to chat with Stiles while sipping on his beverage, or joined a table of colleagues.




Stiles usually tried hard not to watch as he used long fingers to break off bits off muffins or rolls and push them past his lips. Stiles knew the success of the place was due in no small extent to his genius hire of Isaac, the equally genius pastry chief. He wasn't an actual Chef, so Stiles had decided chief was fitting. Most cops rarely got around to have real, non industrial baked goods. Some lived alone and never even ate cooked meals, always reheated stuff or had take-out. Stiles made sure his menu was balanced. There had been protests, but he was inflexible. And when Gerald started loosing some weight, he stopped complaining about the salads, even going so far as admitting he enjoyed their variety.



Are you hungover?” Stiles asked the man tentatively.




Derek groaned, lifted his head from his crossed arms and grunted. “Not from alcohol, but I guess that's accurate.” He rubbed his face. “Couldn't sleep. So I got up at four and tried to work out the anger.”



Until...?”




Derek replied from where his forehead was pressed against his forearms again. “Half an hour ago.”



Wow. Must have been mighty pissed off.”



There came a mix of a grumble and a snort. Bad breakup.”



Ha.” Stiles held up a pretend pen and notepad. “What's her name? I have a black list.”



Dick.” Derek huffed, then he pushed himself up in a sitting position with a groan. “Well, Rick, but I'm rechristeninghim.”



Huh.” Stiles let his hands fall. “Well, let me know if he comes by.”



What would you do? Spit in his coffee?” Derek frowned like he was thinking something over. “I think maybe I might have to fine you for that. There must be something that forbids it.”



It's a Health Code violation, that's for sure. You don't know where I've been!” Stiles laughed. “No, man. I'd just give him my worst cooled down coffee and find something stale so he never wants to come back.”




Derek smirked in appreciation. “Nice. I like that you're devious on my behalf.”



You got it. So... Morning Sunshine.... extra triple espresso shot?” Stiles offered, feeling warmer. People rarely called him devious as a compliment. It was too bad, he thought being devious could be a great quality. You don't spend years being Lydia Martin's best friend and not appreciate the virtues of being a little twisted. – The virtues of being twisted, nice. He'd have to shared with Lyds. –



You are a godsend.”




As he prepared the beverage, he heard and saw out of the corner of his eye Derek stretch, yawn and rub his face, generally trying to shake himself awake and appear more alive. He felt comfort in his knowledge that his partner usually drove the cruiser and Derek came to the Precinct via subway. Derek watched him work absently, half smiling like he usually did when he was here. Stiles was proud to say most cops considered his place a safe haven and a good head space. Then Derek's expression went distant and sour. Dick, probably. “You know what helps?” He offered as he turned around to bring the mug over, adding a freshly baked cinnamon roll he'd seen Derek eye.



If you're gonna say 'The best way to get over a man is to get under a new one', let me stop you right here.” Derek cut in with a small smile that grew larger and thankful when he got his greedy hands on his non-order of pastry. “While I think it's funny, it's not my style at all.”



Stiles let out a surprised laugh, because he would never have been so blunt – he barely knew Derek, after all. “I, uh... Well, it is a nice one, I'll try to remember it. No, I meant... Try something you don't usually do. If you don't go swimming often, do that every two days for a week. Or get a massage. Or, well, I guess you already run, being a cop and all, I don't know... go to the library and read there for an hour every day. Do that daily half hour of housecleaning that you swore to yourself or your moma you would. Do something different. With your body, or yourself. Feel like some else. Someone new.” Derek stared in the blankness of half awake, confused people. “I got that from my girlfriends. The 'get a haircut/makeover' thing actually works. Not sure how or why, but I can attest to it.”




Derek looked like he was thinking it over for a moment, not deeming the idea absurd from the start. Then he faked a frown. “Are you telling me to get a makeover?”



Hell no! That would be a crime.” Gerald piped up from the door.




Derek jumped in surprise and Stiles guffawed. “I know, right? Heya, Chief. What can I get you?”




The chief ended up forcing Derek into taking the afternoon off, insisting that his partner Darryl could handle the paperwork on his own. The next day he showed up looking more human, and taking a stool again, complaining about being stupid and sore from the insane work out. Stiles laughed and added a 'heartbreaker' cupcake on the house to Derek's order – what? It was February. Isaac was inspired, and he knew for a fact that Derek loved Raspberries. – Derek smirked, but wolfed it down without pipping up.



So... I dug out my old guitar.” Derek said moments later, and Stiles took a few seconds to realize he meant he'd taken up his advice, at least to try it out.



Oh?”



I think I'm worse than I was back in High School.”



Oh, please. Let me picture this. Garage band, the eternal leather jacket, chipped black nail polish? Please tell me you had a leather wrist band.” Stiles snickered at Derek's scowl. Either he was really off or very right. “And you had a name like... The Roaring Outlaws.”




Derek groaned in his mug, set it down and admitted. “The Wolf Pack.” Stiles had to hold on to the counter not to fall over laughing, especially with the amusement dancing in Derek's eyes. Oh man, he bet he wore guyliner, too.









@@@






The best thing about the Moonrise Café is the community. It mostly includes neighborhood people and the 21th Precinct workers. And Stiles. Stiles had always longed to be part of a living thing, a group. His fantasy didn't require for it to be closed-knit. They aren't. But they know each other, they keep a watchful eye. For instance, Marc, the baker down the block, dropped off his son's leftover hay fever medication after spending a lunch hour watching a red-eyed Stiles break into dry sneezing fits. Stiles noticed right away when Lybee wasn't on her A game and learned she couldn't afford to stay in her place. Being in the position he was in, he was able to spread the word and help her find a roommate. It's different from his friendship with Old Jake, who's always there to call him an idiot when its needed. Or the feeling he gets when Danny comes to visit and he watches Lydia and him fight over which romantic comedy to feed the dvd player first while Scott and Isaac's longing stares aren't fooling anyone but themselves. It's not the same, but it feels like family just as well.



Stiles hasn't realized how tuned he is to everybody's schedule until he notices the first time Derek misses his daily Moonrise stop. On Wednesdays, Stiles takes up at eleven because he stays in later to do inventory and plan his next orders. Derek usually stops by for lunch or to grab a sandwich during the afternoon to say hi. It isn't particularly odd, and Stiles doesn't read anything into the fact that Derek obviously comes in to see him. A lot of people drop by to say hi, almost every day, sometimes without buying anything. More often than not, Stiles feels like the 21th’s mascot.



He doesn't know if Derek stops by on Wednesday and Friday mornings to get his Morning Sunshine! when he isn't on shift, but he assumes he does. The guy is an addict. Stiles often has fun picturing the look on Derek's face if he were to pull the drink from the menu. The cop's tried other creations, but his start-of-the-day beverage is always the same.



Five has gone by and no Derek. Maybe he's sick. Maybe they caught a big case that kept him from even a sandwich run. Maybe he and Darryl are away doing the gumshoe thing. He isn't worried, it isn't the first time. No, really, he isn't worried. Or feeling like... He doesn't miss Derek. And he's not worried.



Until Lybee walks in.



She looks frazzled, unknowingly climbs onto Derek's stool and leans over the counter, waiting for Stiles to make his way over. Once he has, a knot forming in his stomach, she whispers, looking grave. “Derek won't be coming around for a while.”



Stiles doesn't like the sound of that. Last time he heard the phrase, Johnston had been shot and he never recovered well enough to be on active duty after that. “Is he okay?”



“Yeah, yeah. He and Dare, they caught a case. With the Leones.



Stiles groans. The local Italian mob had somehow managed to get themselves nicknamed after the movie director Sergio Leone. “Shit.”



“He's fine. They're fine. But somehow...” she frowns and bites her completely chapped lips. Stiles knows she and Derek entered the Precinct at the same time. They are good friends, despite never having worked together. – Sometimes Stiles wonders if she harbors other, deeper feelings for Derek, but it's a bad road to let his thoughts wander on. If he thinks about that, he'll start wondering if she has a shot. And if he did that, he would wonder whether Derek is straight, gay or bi, and go on to imagine having another couple form and break under his nose, and which of his friends would end up transferring away. Or to picture another couple form and last. – Lybee's huff of exasperation at herself brings him back. “He's gone undercover.”



With the Leones?!” Stiles hisses, his fear and anger flaring at the various scenarios the idea brings to mind. “Is Gerald insane?!”



Lybee shrugs. “It was Derek's idea." Darryl is going to have to arrest Stiles for murdering his partner. "He... You know he knows a lot about them. He was in Vice before and I think it was personal.He insisted. This could bring a good deal of them down.”



Stiles grits his teeth. He wants to yell at someone, but it's not her fault. “How long?” he grinds out.



“We don't know.” Please, don't way it, please don't say-... “As long as it takes, I guess.”



Stiles takes a moment to let this sink in, idly wonders if Derek is going to be gone long enough for him to getan ulcer out of worry.Lybee shift on her seat and he gets a peek at her shield. “I'm not even supposed to know that, am I?”



“Nope.” She could lose her job over this. Granted, it's doubtful Gerald or any of her colleagues would fault her for telling him, but the law is the law. Stiles isn't brass, he should stay out of the loop.



Stiles bows his head. He never understood how people could handle going undercover. And how their friends and families could take having their loved ones just... vanish behind a mission, more often than not for an unknown amount of time. Cops and cop families know than to wear a badge is to put one's life on the line, but going undercover is walking into the lion's den. He knows Derek isn't a frail, defenseless little antelope, but he can't help all his instincts from wanting him anywhere but running in the mob's cross-hairs. Just thinking about it gives him heartburn. People in his 'pack' have gone under before, but never someone as close to him as Derek. Or as suddenly. Or as unexpectedly. Most people who go undercover are trained for it, you know it's gonna happen, that it's their job. You and they are prepared for it. Derek has just jumped on a bandwagon to be a hero. Damn him. So typical. “Okay," Stiles breathes out to try and quiet his thoughts. "Thanks for the heads up.”



Lybee stays silent. Her eyes travel the pastry aisle, but the longer they do, the less hungry she look. She brings her attention back to Stiles who's busy wiping the same glass clean for the fourth time. Damn smudges. Damn Derek. Damn heartburn. Fuck, it's already starting to gnaw at him.“He'll be okay.” Lybee says. Stiles isn't sure the reassurance is directed at him.



“It sounded like a question.”



“Sorry.” She says, then she winces, hops down Derek's stool. In a few seconds, she's gone, leaving the wreck that was Stiles' emotional stability in her wake.



He stares at the counter, frozen and mind spinning freely, blankly, faster and faster, until, eventually, his eyes zero in on the glass in his hands. Damn fucking smudge.



The few patrons in the room jump when it smashes to the floor with such violence that only small shards remain afterwards. It's almost worth it for the briefest instant of relief the chaos brought Stiles.









@@@






It takes a week to adjust. Mornings stream of sour-faced colleagues with one unmentioned but glaring absence. Lunches with a more subdued cop crowd. It doesn't help Stiles' mood that they all seemed as worried as he is. Stiles doesn't know of Derek's performances as a cop, of his history and career behind the badge. He's never seen him on the field. Shouldn't the people that have look more confident about it all? The feeling doesn't sit well in his gut.



Maybe they just miss him? It's suddenly very obvious that even though Derek is a man of a few words, he knows when to sneak a joke or keep the conversation going. Now the Moonrise is echoing awkward silences and weary sighs.



He could cry. Or laugh. Or hug Gerald when the Captain comes personally to give Stiles a completely illegal update on Derek's status. He doesn't get into much detail about the cover itself. Derek apparently used his old French roots to pretend to be part of one of the town's families. – Recently, the French families, known for being good at moving things across continents and oceans, have grown closer to the Leones through the common interest of fruitful, untaxed business. The two clans somewhat incorporated for more profit to compete with the Irish. In a town with so much mobsters, Stiles sometimes wonders half jokingly if he's picked the wrong side of things. – Gerald assures that Derek is fine, that he's communicating regularly, reporting progress and no hitch. He's a crucial help in building a case against the Leones and the Frogs and his stint undercover will be remembered as the turning point in the investigation. It may be over soon. According to Gerald, Derek also made a point to mention how crappy the coffee and pastries at his new pretend hangout are. Something the Captain says he thought Stiles and Isaac would like to know.



So when Derek walks in that very night, fists shoved in his leather jacket, looking much like himself, albeit a bit more tired and unshaven than usual, Stiles is taken over by surprise and relief. He beams and greets him happily without thinking.



It takes him a second to go from 'Holy shit, hey! It's been a while, how've you been?!' to 'wait a minute, you were undercover, is this over now? Are you okay?'. And then something in the familiar blue eyes makes his insides run cold. A chill runs through Stiles as an older man steps from behind Derek's and eyes Stiles' critically before raising an eyebrow at his companion. “You know this place? Who is zat?” The stranger says in a heavily accented voice.



Peronne.” Derek says gruffly. Because, of course, Derek speaks French. Stiles could slap himself. “C'est pas important.” he tells the guy. Stiles swallows when Derek gives him a hard look. If he reads it correctly, there's reassurance in it, too. “The usual. Mocha. Cream. To go.”



“Right.” Stiles gives a nervous smile. “Of course. Like I could forget your usual.”



Holy fuck, he's lucky Derek gave his real first name for his cover. What are they doing here?!



While he works on the order – a couple of chocolate muffins – Derek isn't a fan of those – Derek's mocha and a nutmeg latte – he pieces together what he catches from the half French, half English conversation. The guy's name is Stephane. He wanted a drink and out of sheer absence of luck, they happened to be in this neighborhood. Derek pretends he used to live here and knows Stiles from way back. 'On allait au lycée ensemble.' 'Lycée' is High School, right? Stiles makes a note to play along with that if he has to.



“There you go.” he says, trying to sound normal when he hands out everything. “Three forty and four thirty five.”



Merci.” Derek huffs out.



“Hold up.” Stephane says frowning at the recites in his hand. “Why do you get a discount?”



Stiles feels himself blanch. Oh, shit, oh shit, oh shit. He didn't even realize he'd done it.



“Huh?” Derek says, looking confused but Stiles can tell he's tensed up.



“This is a cop bar. Why'd you get a discount?”



“How'd you know it's a cop bar?”



“Please. Look at the place. You even have the framed family photos.” Stephane jerks his hand angrily towards the back of the bar. He's got a point. There are group pictures of the Precinct staff between bottles and decorations. They're taken every few years, usually when someone retires or organizes a 4th of July picnic. Stiles almost pisses himself thinking that, if Derek had arrived at the 21st a few months earlier, he would be on one of those, and Stiles would probably have to watch him die. Then join him a couple of seconds later. The French aren't big on witnesses. “I like to come to cop barz. It's like pissing on their pretty flower beds.”



Stiles shifts and Stephane remembers he's here, he whips around and stares hard at Derek.



T'es un flic?” Stiles knows 'flic'. It's bad. It means he's – legitimately, because Stiles is the biggest idiot of the entire world – doubting Derek's cover. Stephane shoves Derek's shoulder suspiciously. “T'es un putain de poulet?!” 'Poulet'. God knows why the frogs like to call their cops chicken.



“Hey, what's wrong?! Is this about the discount? Jeez.” Stiles wrings his hands, trying to come up with something. “He doesn't know?” he asks Derek.



They both stare at him. Derek looks worried, and he's tensed up like he's ready to draw a gun that he doesn't carry right now. “I don't 'no what?” Stephane demands.



Stiles latches on to the way the mobster's hand is still clutching Derek's jacket. His brain runs away with it. He stares at him, then up at Derek. Then at Stephane, then back again into blue eyes that are both more alarmed, and suspicious, like Derek is working out Stiles is thinking something up.“Are you cheating on me?” is what comes out of Stiles' mouth.



Stephane looks surprised enough that he misses the brief moment of shock on Derek's face. The cop recovers quickly, though, and shrugs out of Stephane's grasp, coming back to the counter. “What?” he asks, and Stiles swallows. He hopes Derek got his panicked ad lib and is asking that in character. It's stupid, and right out of a bad comedy, but he'd rather Derek in trouble because the Frogs think he likes Stiles' dick and might not approve than to have them think he's a cop.



Stiles makes big hurt and pleading eyes at Derek and his friend huffs, fake bravado and grin coming back. He understands why Gerald approved such a reckless undercover assignment. He's a natural. “Chéri.” He cooes, reaching out to tugs Stiles' arm over the counter, than taking a hold of his hand. Right. 'Cher' is from the South, 'chéri' is from France. “You know I wouldn't. Right?” he sounds patronizing, which Stiles is sure is in character. He's never actually seen Derek with anyone before, and it's true that some people are different with friends and lovers, but this would be borderline split personality disorder.



Stephane is looking at them, face going through a mix of expressions that range from confusion and evolve into understanding and disapproval. Derek is fucking Stiles. Stiles is working a cop bar and gave his boyfriend a discount. Right. Totally believable. “Tu te tappes le barman du bar à flic? T'es malade?” Stiles gathers 'This guy? Are you nuts?' from the tone and expression.



Ils parlent beaucoup. Et lui aussi.” Hey! He knows 'parler'. Derek just said he talks a lot.



Oh. He would talk a lot about cop business. This might be good for his cover. You know, if Stephane bites.



He seems too, eventually he stops squinting at Stiles – who grins nervously like the worst twink ever, he hasn't felt that stupid, awkward and on display for ages – and makes a 'uhhh...' sound that Stiles hopes means he thinks he understood Derek's thinking and approves somewhat. He looks back at Derek. “T'es quand même un tarré.” 'You're nuts'. Well, that could just be because Stiles' a dude.



After a fake – fake? That could be genuine communication for once. – contrite smile from Derek and a brush of lips against Stiles' knuckles, they walk off with a promise to call from the undercover cop.



Derek goes on to complain to Stephane that he feels he's not being trusted. Stiles thinks so, anyway. The conversation is in a mostly French muddle of barely audible words as both men walk away. He doesn't want to put Derek at any more risk looking like he's trying to eavesdrop. Knowing his friend, Stiles can tell he's a little off. He's trying not to push itand it's coming off fake, but Stephane doesn't know Derek like he does.



Stiles waits until they leave before he flips the 'back in 5' onto the counter and locks himself in the kitchen, falling in a heap of shaking limbs against the wall.



He almost had Derek killed barely ten minutes ago.



It could still happen.









@@@






He's not surprised when Derek shows up that night.



It's way past eleven, Stiles should be gone by now. But the way Derek swings the door open without breaking his stride tells that he expected to find him here, too. Stiles sets down the cardboard box full of bottles carefully and almost runs along the bar to get to Derek. Derek is quicker, though, and he's slipped behind it before Stiles can step out. “I'm sorry! I'm so, so sorry!” Stiles babbles as soon as he's looked around wildly and is reassured that Derek came here tail free and as himself. “I almost blew your cover. I hope I didn't, please tell me I didn't!”



“You didn't.”



Stiles releases the grip he didn't know he had on Derek's sleeves and runs his hands through his hair. “Oh, god. Thank fuck.” He can't look his friend in the eye, now. He hates himself for being so stupid. Here he was, for weeks, worrying about Derek's safety and it's him that threw it out the window. “I'm so sorry.”



“Stop that.” Derek chides. “I should be the one apologizing. You're part of it now.”



“Wha-...?”



“No need to worry, I'll keep you out of things.” Derek cuts in. “But you're part of my cover now.”



“Oh. Shit. Yeah. Right.” Stiles stares into space. Right. Cover. He can do this, right?



“It's gonna be okay, Stiles. It'll be over soon.” That has Stiles put his little internal panic attack on hold and look up. “They've got a shipment coming in and a deal in a couple of weeks. We're planning the take-down as we speak.”



The enormity of Derek's work and role hits Stiles suddenly. All the hours of working at the bar and trying to imagine what it's like for real, from tales he's heard, movies he's seen or books he's read come back to him. “Oh, god, dude. Are you okay?” he blurts out. “Everybody's been so worried about you. You should see Gerald! He's put on ten years since you've been gone. And me!” he rambles frantically. “My business is going to go bankrupt if my best customer is leaving me.” Which sounds absolutely shallow and stupid, but it's better to joke than to guilt trip Derek by telling him how he keeps tossing and turning at night, waking up in cold sweats with images of himself putting up a black cloth across the mirror behind the bar swirling behind his eyelids.



Derek shakes his head and chuckles, nudging Stiles' shoulder. The touch makes him deflate. It's insane that it makes him feel better, but the panic is staved off for now.



“I like the scruff.”



Derek's eyes shine with amusement. “So that makeover, how's that working out for me? Should I keep it?” he smirks. “My cover boyfriend should have a say in it, I think.”



“I dunno.” Stiles chuckles, playing along, a little bit of the knot in his chest loosening at the proof, tangible, present, real, that his friend is fine. “You do look more like an original Wolf Pack member now.”



Derek groans but can't hide his grin. He squeezes Stiles' shoulder. “Hey, man, I gotta go. I just wanted-... I needed to say thank you. So much. And sorry. I obviously hadn't planned for Stephane to pick this place. Thanks for thinking so fast on your feet.”



Stiles grows somber. “Yeah, right. I was the one that messed up.”



“Everything's fine.” There it is, the knot again, full force. Not matter how confident and calming Derek's voice sounds, it doesn't work.



“Look, D. You gotta come back okay? Without a scratch. Dare's been turning up being paler and paler, he doesn't finish his plates anymore. I don't think he's sleeping right and that's not because of the baby.” Derek tries to speak but Stiles talks over him. “You gotta come back in one piece, okay. For your partner, for the Captain. For all of us. Promise me.”



“Stiles.” Derek's hands on his shoulders hold him still. “I'll be fine. I'll be back soon.”



Stiles opens his mouth to argue. Derek can't know that. He can't tell that for sure. That's why he has to promise. Because Derek is big on never breaking his word so he'll do his best to keep it. He doesn't get a chance to say it because he's being crowded against the espresso machine and his mouth becomes otherwise occupied.



Stiles thinks he actually startles when Derek kisses him. And goes on kissing him. No one's here, it cannot be for his cover. Derek is actually kissing him. Holy shit. He allows himself to revisit all the aborted fantasies he's stamped down as hard as he could over the past year and compare. His hands cling to Derek's jacket as he gets to find out what he tastes like. It's better than he tried not to imagine all this time.



He moans at the first touch of Derek's tongue and Derek groans against him, the grip on Stiles' shoulders becoming almost painful. It shouldn't be so hot, really, but it just makes Stiles yank him closer. Derek makes a small huffed noise that sounds like a whine and a satisfied hum at the same time. Stiles shivers at the idea that Derek is vocal.



He is, though, he knows that. He moans around mouthfuls of Isaac's new inventions. He groans in appreciation of Stiles' beverages. He makes noises when he stretches or slumps after a hard day. But this is different, much hotter. Imagining Derek being vocal in such an intimate context is head spinning. Suddenly he wants it now. He wants to take Derek apart piece by piece, stripping him layer after layer and learn how he works, what he likes, what sounds he can coax out of him. He knows he can't. Not here, and especially not now. But god, does he want to.



Wasn't he leaving?



No, he can't leave. He has to stay here and do this forever.



Derek doesn't seem too eager to stop kissing him either. His left hand has wandered up to cup Stiles' neck, and when he scratches softly at the nape Stiles groans so loud he would be embarrassed if it didn't make all of Derek's weight collapse against him, trapping him against the counter. Stiles knows that the way Derek just licked the roof of his mouth looks absolutely ridiculous. The idea itself is ridiculous. But it did wrench the most shameful sound out of him and make his knees buckle.



Part of him notices that they both kept their hands from wandering, and even though Derek is pressing close he can tell he's trying not to. As much as Stiles would love to lift Derek's henley up and touch him, get a feel for his skin, he hasn't. He puts it on the count that they both aren't the rush-into-sex type, but it's something more. They've been frantic and they could have. Stiles has half a mind to defile his baby and demand to be fucked right there on the bar even with the door unlocked and the blinds open. But this feels off. Derek isn't here. He can't stay. He's undercover and this isn't right.



Except it feels nothing but.



It's Derek that pulls away, thumb tracing Stiles' cheekbone as he detaches their lips tantalizingly slowly. Stiles stays there, mouth gaping slightly, winded. Derek's eyes flicker to his briefly, before he looks down again, thumbing the corner of Stiles' lips before he kisses him one last time. “This is why.” he whispers. Stiles' gut does not twist at how hoarse he sounds. “This is why I'm coming back in one piece. Soon.



Stiles looks up while Derek's eyes roam his face. “Okay,” he lets out in a voice he doesn't recognize. What else could he say?



He watches as Derek steps back, adjusts himself and walks out. He looks back, hand on the door frame, and says “Promise.” Stiles reads it on his lips and face more than he hears it. Before he knows it, Derek's disappeared into the night.



He stays there, gripping the counter with both hands at his sides, processing what just happened. It might have been a dream for all he knows, but Stiles' heart is beating so hard he can feel it in his palms. Two weeks and Derek's safe.



He promised.



Stiles licks his lips.



Well. The odds aren't in favor of his heartburn getting better til then.

Comments

( 1 has whispered — Whisper in my ear )
ireland22
May. 30th, 2013 10:40 pm (UTC)
So many feels. A great story!
( 1 has whispered — Whisper in my ear )