Title: Our Lives Are An 80’s Rom-Con
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Prompt: Trope Bingo! Pretend Couple
Word Count: 3795
“You want me to be what?”
“Stiles, we need someone who knows Derek, is comfortable with him, smells like him, and is willing to be touched by him,” Peter listed off their requirements for the role they wanted him to play.
“And it helps that I’m not afraid of him,” Stiles muttered.
“Yes,” Peter agreed. “And your attraction to him helps.”
“Jesus,” Stiles moaned into his hands before running them through his hair. “Fuck my life.”
“What about this is making you twitch, Stiles?” Peter asked as he settled back into the couch in the loft.
“Derek and I aren’t a couple. Our heartbeats will show the lie as we try to act like one,” Stiles said as he paced around the living room.
“I’m surprised that you’re not upset that we know you’re attracted to Derek,” Peter mused as he watched Stiles pace. “At any rate, if you are careful about what you say, you should be able to shade your words, to tell the truth, but still give the impression we want. I know you know how to do this.”
“Peter, that’s being awful misleading,” Stiles reminded him. “Not that I have much against careful parsing of the truth, but I don’t want to hurt Derek.”
“That’s so cute,” Peter cooed.
“You are such an asshole,” Stiles bitched. He thought things over for several minutes before he looked at Peter. The older were was sitting on the couch watching him process. “I get why you chose me out of all the pack, but why the need? Derek’s been single for ages and this hasn’t been an issue.”
Peter shrugged. “I don’t think it’s a huge issue now, but at the last get together with the regional Alpha’s there was some talk about setting Derek up with a date. And there’s been some subtle pokes at us to see if he’s open to a political match.”
“And that’s a straight-up ‘hell no’ from everyone,” Stiles muttered as he jiggled in place to try and settle his emotions at that thought of that. “None of us are into the arranged marriage bullshit.”
“Neither are we,” Peter agreed. “And honestly, neither was his mother. Her marriage was a love match and she wanted that for all of her children.”
“Good for her,” Stiles shook his arms out and then let them fall. He pulled his phone out and checked his calendar. “How long until we need to do this thing? And where will it be?”
“Six weeks and Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park,” Peter said after checking the invitation in his hand. “It looks like a campground has been rented out.”
“Fuck. Well, at least schools out for the summer. And I’m not on the summer class track this year,” Stiles said as he paged through his appointments for the next few weeks. “It’ll be a good reason for any random weird scents and why our scent piles won’t be fully in sync with each other’s.”
Peter looked at him, expression shifting between speculation and pride. “Are you sure you’re not a wolf?”
“Ha, no,” Stiles barked out a laugh without any humor attached. “If I was bit, it’d be even odds if I came out a fox or a wolf, and honestly, I’m not sure if I’d come out sane. I don’t suggest it.”
“No,” Peter drawled the word out as he obviously thought things over. “No, that wouldn’t be good.”
“Right? Now,” Stiles started to rub his hands together as he contemplated their scheme. “Derek and I need to have some really uncomfortable conversations. So please have him come up and you need to leave, Uncle Creeper.”
Peter raised his hands in supplication. “I’ll send him up.”
Stiles watched as the older man left. He pinched the bridge of his nose as he thought about what Peter had proposed. When the door opened, he looked up at Derek and raised an eyebrow at him. “What the actual fuck, Derek?”
“Did Peter tag your nose?”
“Huh?” Stiles blinked and then dropped his hand. “No, just a bit of pressure therapy to stave off a headache.”
“Did it work?” Derek asked, curious.
“No. Damn it,” Stiles moaned. “So, we’re going to play a pretend couple? When did we move on from Buffy to a bad ‘80’s rom-com?”
“Hell, if I know,” Derek agreed with a sigh. “Look, I can’t see any of the rest of the pack being able to stand in as an Alpha Mate. Can you?”
“Lord love them all, no,” Stiles said, fond. “As much as everyone gets along, they don’t have the right reactions to you, do they?”
“No,” Derek shook his head. “And frankly, you’re the only one who smells like long term attraction to me.”
“Should I apologize?” Stiles asked eyebrow raised.
“No,” Derek shook his head. “I’ve known you like how I look, but you’ve never pushed it beyond that.”
Stiles chewed on that for several seconds. It wasn’t even a lie. Derek was objectively beautiful and Stiles had noticed that right away. And then he’d put the attraction away. “I do like how you look,” he admitted. “And I’m not opposed to spending more time with you, but I’m not happy to do something that’s may cause you any pain.”
“Stiles, I’ll be fine,” Derek promised.
“You say that now, but we’re going to have to talk things over. Have all sorts of uncomfortable conversations. Decide on all the stuff that couples know about each other,” Stiles protested. He tipped his gaze up at the ceiling and thought about how the wolves in the pack reacted when someone around them was in a relationship. “Can you smell it when someone’s had sex?”
“Yes,” Derek confirmed. “And I can normally tell who they’ve had sex with.”
The smirk that crossed his face was mostly involuntary, Stiles would swear to it. “Handy for a cop to know.”
“Not as often as you would expect,” Derek said before he reached out and grabbed Stiles’ arm and pulled him down on the couch to cuddle. “Now, first uncomfortable bit. Do you like to be the big or the little spoon?”
“I don’t honestly care?” Stiles offered. He shifted slightly until he was comfortably draped over Derek. “I never bothered to ask, but where are you on the Kinsey scale?”
“Between a four and a five,” Derek said after several moments thought. “Closer to four, I think. You?”
“In the same area, but closer to five than four,” Stiles said. He’d spent some time in college figuring out what got his motor running. Women were pretty, and he liked the smell of them, but men were what caught his attention. “Forgive me, but Kate? Paige?”
“Paige was…youth and me not really sure what I wanted,” Derek said. His voice was even under Stiles’ ear and so was his heartbeat. “Kate was pretty much the same thing. That and being overwhelmed by her seduction techniques.”
“Yeah, she seemed like the steamroller type,” Stiles mused. “While I was college, did you get counseling?”
“Peter found me a therapist that has experience with the supernatural world,” Derek said. “It took time, but I’m not nearly as fucked up as I was when I came home.”
“That’s good,” Stiles praised. He snuggled in closer to Derek and fell silent. “We’ll keep doing this?”
Derek wrapped his arms around him and held him carefully. “Yeah, just not right this second.”
“What’s your favorite meal?” Stiles asked as he stood in the kitchen.
“Haven’t you figured that out over the years?” Derek asked as he washed potatoes at the sink.
“Well, yeah. I know you really like a good ribeye or a t-bone steak, the bluer the better. But that’s not what I asked. I want to know what’s your favorite meal? The one you want even if it’s a pain in the ass to make?” Stiles pressed. He tapped the steaks they had decided on for dinner and then left them alone. “Are we using the grill plate for these? Or the BBQ?”
Derek glanced over at the window and shrugged. “It’s a bit dusty out there. So, grill plate. Want a salad?”
“I’ll get that started,” Stiles said. He squatted down to reach the crisper drawers. “Now, favorite meal. Mine is Sandacz po polsku or Polish-style pikeperch.”
“What’s that?” Derek asked as he placed the oiled, salted, and peppered potatoes in the oven. “I should have butter lettuce in the crisper.”
“Excellent. I definitely prefer that to iceberg,” Stiles crowed as he pulled the leafy head out of the fridge. “Any veggies that you don’t want?”
“No, everything in there’s good to add,” Derek confirmed. He leaned against the counter as Stiles started assembling their salad. “I like beef Wellington.”
“Beef Wellington is good. And I can make it, so we can do that if you want,” Stiles said with a hum. “Mine’s pikeperch, which is a fish, cooked with cream, horseradish, hardboiled eggs, and parsley. Dad’s not all that fond of it, so it’s not something I get to eat often.”
“Is it because the fish is hard to get?” Derek asked. He sounded puzzled about something.
“It’s not a standard fish,” Stiles confirmed. “He’s just not all that fond of fish. I can make the dish with halibut, but it’s better with the pikeperch. I have to get it from an ethnic market and the nearest one is expensive.”
“Right,” Derek said. He handed a bag of croutons over. “Add these.”
“Do you want ranch? Or a vinaigrette?” Stiles asked as he sprinkled the crunchy bits over the salad.
“I’ve got a vinaigrette in the fridge,” Derek offered.
“Good call,” Stiles said with a smile. He put the salad in the fridge and pulled the steaks out. “Salt and pepper?”
“Yeah, after they warm up,” Derek agreed. “Now that we know favorite food… Favorite drink?”
“Coffee is the nectar of the gods,” Stiles told him promptly. “But if you mean alcoholic? I’m still a heathen and like beer. Guinness to be precise. Hard alcohol? Rum. Mixed drinks? Strawberry daiquiri. Because it’s sweet, boozy and I get a lot of it for my buck. Your turn.”
“Coffee’s good, but I honestly like water,” Derek said as he moved around the kitchen to get utensils and plates. “Most alcohol does nothing for me, so I drink it more for the taste than anything else. Guinness is good, so is just about everything else but Jaeger. That stuff tastes like what cough medicine smells like.”
“Not going to argue about that,” Stiles said with a sigh.
The conversation petered out and he didn’t push it. They had six weeks to learn enough of the really intimate stuff about each other to pass as a couple. Far more time than they normally had for a crisis.
Stiles pulled out his phone and thumbed down to his entry on Derek. The name he had him under still made him smile.
To Sourwolf: So, in the interest of establishing our covers and not having to ask in person… What do you think about blow jobs?
Tucking his phone away, he started inventorying the pantry. He knew that his dad had snacks and shit he should have, he just had to find them. Stiles started from the top and worked his way down to the floor. Along the way, he threw away everything that was out of date. He did keep the Girl Scout Cookies that his father had hidden, along with various bags of chips.
When his phone chirped at him, he was head down in the freezer. Closing it up, he sighed, looking at the bags he’d removed. Pulling his phone out he thumbed over to his texts. Derek had written him back. Opening it up, he started laughing. It’s a good thing that I know better than to drink anything when I get a text from you. On a practical level, blow jobs are nice and I’m totally willing to reciprocate with my partner. Also, your dad says to leave his stuff alone.
Stiles snickered softly as he quickly wrote out his message. Excellent. We’ll discuss technique later. And tell my dad that there is no way in hell.
Humming softly, Stiles opened the freezer and started pulling the rest of the contents out. He’d be going through everything after he had it on the counters. And while everything was out, he’d also consolidate all the bits and bobs of stuff.
Stiles was sorting his boxes from his room at college. He needed to figure out what he was doing with the shit he was collecting. After reviewing three years of paper from his classes, Stiles was starting to worry he was becoming a hoarder. “I had a scanner around here someplace,” he muttered as he started moving boxes out of his closet.
When his phone buzzed, he set a box labeled ‘SPN 2013’ down to check it out. It was from Derek. Smiling in anticipation, he opened the message. Reading the words, he blinked before he read them again. Since you started asking about sex, I wanted to know… Do you prefer to top? Or bottom?
Laughing, Stiles shook his head as he keyed in his answer. I’m equal opportunity. I like both, but if I had to pick one, I like to bottom.
Snorting softly in residual laughter, Stiles put some music on and tucked his phone into his shirt pocket. This was way too much fun for him to miss any of Derek’s text messages.
Little Red: BDSM
Sourwolf: Not my thing. I’ve been tied up too much for it to be fun. You?
Little Red: I’m good with minor stuff, like cock rings and having someone control my hands, but you’re right, being restrained is just a hard no.
Sourwolf: Did you try anything else?
Little Red: Talking dirty to me works, but no spanking or anything like that. Edging is fine, but that’s about it.
Sourwolf: Do you like kissing?
Little Red: Yes. But I’m gonna say this: I prefer that my partner has good dental hygiene.
Sourwolf: Well I can promise that I have all my teeth.
Little Red: All the better to eat me with?
Sour Wolf: Speaking of eating… Rimming?
Little Red: OMG. I’m so proud that you’re asking about sex. Yes, I like it. And I like giving it too.
Sour Wolf: What are you getting your degree in?
Little Red: Forensic Anthropology, Mythology, and Criminal Justice
Sour Wolf: When do you sleep? Anyway, what are you going to do with them?
Little Red: Become a police officer. Maybe in the lab. I don’t know. I like both sides of the equation.
Sour Wolf: Both sound like they would fit your mind. But you love knowing all the facts. Can you deal with getting to know only pieces if you’re the one handling odd bits of evidence?
Little Red: Good point. Now I need to think about this some more. What about you?
Sour Wolf: You know I became a cop. I like puzzles.
Little Red: True. Our supernatural life is tying into our jobs.
Sour Wolf: I honestly can’t see how it wouldn’t.
Little Red: I know we’re dancing around this, but do you want to have sex with me?
Sour Wolf: …
Little Red: That’s not answering the question, Derek.
Sour Wolf: Hng. OMG, Stiles.
Little Red: Do you want kids?
Sour Wolf: Yes. Do you?
Little Red: I like kids, but I’m 22. Do I want a kid right this instant? No. I’m not ready. I want to graduate from college first.
Sour Wolf: Graduating from college first is a sound plan. Having a job is better
Little Red: Are you thinking about adoption? Or surrogacy? Is surrogacy a thing for weres?
Sour Wolf: Either is a possibility. Obviously, if I was with a female, I would hope to have kids with her. With a male partner? If possible, male pairs ask a sister to carry a child. If there’s no sister, there are services to help werewolves out who want kids.
Little Red: Cool. Learn something new every day. Since none of the women in his pack have had kids, what’s the chance of them having multiples?
Sour Wolf: Stiles, we don’t have litters! What the hell?
Little Red: It’s a valid question!
Sour Wolf: Do you…ever regret learning about werewolves?
Little Red: Where did this come from?
Sour Wolf: We dealt with a wendigo tonight and you got covered in gore.
Little Red: I know. My laundry does not thank me. Anyway, no. I don’t regret knowing about this side of the world. The only thing I ever regretted was not telling my dad as quickly as I could have.
Little Red: When you shift, does it hurt?
Sour Wolf: No. It honestly feels like I’m releasing all the tension in my muscles.
Little Red: And when you do the full shift?
Sour Wolf: It’s the most freedom I’ve ever known.
Sour Wolf: Do you like deer meat?
Little Red: I’m honestly not sure if I’ve had it.
Sour Wolf: Deer hunting season is approaching. I try to get one during that time.
Little Red: Lemme guess, any hunting you do outside of the official season is on four legs, not two?
Sour Wolf: Yeah. Never more than I need though.
Little Red: Given how much I know you eat, that seems like the best thing you can do. Sure, I’ll try it.
Little Red: I wanna revisit the sex thing. You told me that you can smell it if someone has had sex with their partner. We haven’t. And it’s going to show.
Sour Wolf: Despite answering your questions on what I like with sex, I’m not going to take this charade so far that I have sex with you and destroy our friendship.
Little Red: Derek…
Sour Wolf: Just leave it alone, Stiles
Sour Wolf: Can I ask about your magic?
Little Red: Sure. What do you want to know?
Sour Wolf: Was Deaton the one to teach you?
Little Red: No. The only training DumbleDeaton ever gave me was to ‘believe you can do it’ when it came to manipulating mountain ash. I got my training from other sources.
Sour Wolf: Did I push you into being my emissary?
Little Red: No. If you hadn’t asked, I would have. Because there is no way in hell I would have let Deaton anywhere near this pack.
Sour Wolf: You haven’t asked about Scott.
Little Red: Scott pisses me off and I can’t talk about him without wanting to hit him with a 2×4.
Sour Wolf: Wow. I didn’t know that.
Little Red: He tried to get me to come be in his pack when you took Beacon Hills over. I asked if he wanted me to be his Emissary. He said no, he had one. He just didn’t want you to have me. What I wanted wasn’t even on the list.
Sour Wolf: I did not know that. You never said.
Little Red: Who wants to tell anyone that their best friend doesn’t want them in their pack because they want them, but because he wants to stick it to someone else.
Sour Wolf: I’m glad you stayed.
Little Red: You asked. And you offered me an actual pack bond with the job of Emissary. And I can’t tell you how much I needed that.
Stiles settled into place at the dining room table in Derek’s loft. “Thanks for having me over for dinner.”
“Feeding you is fun,” Derek admitted as he dished up the meal he had prepared. “And frankly, I hate cooking for myself.”
“I feel you there,” Stiles confirmed as he picked up his fork. “What are we having?”
“Beef Bourguignon,” Derek said. He waved a hand at their dishes. “Sometimes rich, but relatively simple is fun. And I could let this slow cook for hours in the oven.”
“It’s delicious,” Stiles praised as he tasted his portion. “So, what’s up?”
“Peter’s been talking to me about what we’re getting into,” Derek explained. To Stiles’ eyes, he looked deeply unhappy.
“I haven’t asked him to do anything,” Stiles promised.
“I know,” Derek admitted. “But he’s right. And you’re right.”
Stiles chewed his bite carefully and thought that over. “I get the worry that if we do anything, we’ll completely fuck up our friendship. And hurt the bond between us. That’s not what I want to do either.”
“Yeah,” Derek leaned back in his chair and picked up his wine glass. “You’re right. We’re doing an 80’s Rom-Con and it’s insane to think that we’ll be able to pull it off.”
“Maybe,” Stiles allowed. He watched as Derek took a sip of his wine and waited until he swallowed. “But for all the fact that we started this as a pretend couple thing… I’m not sure that it’s going to be pretend by the time we get to the meeting.”
Derek took another sip of his wine before he put the glass down. “Peter alluded to things being subject to change. It’s a change that frankly freaks me out.”
“Me too,” Stiles admitted. “We’ve proven that we can talk about just about anything. From what we like in sex, our partners, what we want out of life… We just can’t seem to talk about us having an actual romantic relationship.”
“I…” Derek took a deep breath and put his hands on the table. “I’ve fucked up every other relationship I’ve ever had.”
“Dude, I don’t actually count your previous relationships,” Stiles protested. “Maybe Paige, and possibly Braeden. Jennifer and Kate do not count.”
“I know,” Derek said. He looked deeply uncomfortable but calm. “But I want better for anything we build.”
“Well, a good start is that we’re not actually going to be a pretend couple,” Stiles said. He stood up and walked around to stand in front of Derek. Eyeing the table, he shoved the whole thing forward a couple of feet before he swung a leg over to sit on the older man’s lap. “You never answered the question. Do you want me?”
“I know you want me,” Derek started. He settled his hands on Stiles’ hips. His grip was firm, but not so tight that he was leaving marks. “I’ve known that for years.”
“Derek,” Stiles cajoled softly.
“I want you so much that I was willing to pretend to be a couple with you so I could get something,” Derek said with a sigh. He leaned forward and pressed a soft kiss against Stiles’ lips. “I don’t want to pretend anymore.”
Stiles wrapped his arms around Derek’s neck and deepened the kiss. His life might be an 80’s rom-com, but it was the best kind of one.