Thought I’d try Officer Stilinski since I did Officer Hale last time…
oh god I really think Stiles should arrest Derek while he’s peacefully protesting for werewolf civil rights and be incredibly gentle when closing the handcuffs around Derek’s wrists, even though the crowd is against him, shouting, roaring, spitting in his face, and the cop’s face is impassive, but he cups his hand protectively over Derek’s head as he folds him into the back of the squad car, and when he catches his eye in the rearview mirror, he grins, and says,
"Well, I think they liked me."
Derek looks out the window; he knows all about this part. Cops pretend to be your friend so you’ll admit to something incriminating, and they’re all really fucking assholes underneath.
Derek was trespassing, it’s true, he violated his probation (probably for graffiti-ing a giant wolf paw on a highway barrier when he was sixteen, he got of with six months of community service and probation). The cop doesn’t say anything else, but at the station he books Derek through quickly, points him down the hall to the phone while he’s signing the paperwork with a ballpoint pen. Derek shrugs. He doesn’t have anyone to call.
"You—then you’ll have to spend the weekend here," the cop says, mouth tucking down into a frown. Derek shrugs again. Officer—Stilinski, he can see now, on the nametag, clicks the pen a few times, and then says, "Okay," and puts him in a cell.
The public defender shows up at 4:53, a young guy in a dark suit who smiles at him on the police station steps and tucks a card into his hand—a card for the most expensive law firm in town.
"I can’t, um, afford," Derek says, and the guy—McCall—waves it off.
"Pro bono," he says. "Favor for a friend."
Derek hesitates; that sounds like there are strings attached. The sun is setting, crimson and purple, and McCall’s eyes glint, reflect, flash red.
"I have a—vested interest, you could say," he says, shoving his hands in his pockets, ruining the line of his suit.
Sorry, wait, I had something more to say about this, which is that they’re sort of almost friends by the time Scott gets the charges dropped, files a countersuit, wins that, gets Derek’s juvenile record actually really sealed and the person who released that information fired—
“You don’t have to—I would have just paid the fine, I was—I know I broke the law—” Derek says, sitting uncomfortably on the leather chair opposite Scott’s desk, and Scott says,
“it’s a stupid fucking law,” and invites Derek to a barbecue. Derek goes because he owes Scott, but expects it to be terrible, to be a curiosity for Scott’s snooty law school friends and his packed-up werewolf bros alike, and is surprised to find that it’s quiet and low key, burgers on the grill and beers in a cooler, a bunch of mismatched folding chairs on a back porch on a balmy summer evening and a tall, soft-spoken guy in a pair of ragged khaki shorts so old that the seams are worn white, birkenstocks, a thin blue shirt smiling down at him in the kitchen, reaching past him to pull open a drawer when Derek asks for a bottle opener.
His wrist brushes Derek’s hip and the guy’s cheeks heat up a little, bashful.
The guy’s name is Stiles and he has a low scratchy laugh and he makes Derek two burgers charred around the edges just like he likes and he’s a great listener, peeling at the label on his beer, eyes thoughtful, when they’re sitting shoulder to shoulder on the back steps watching the moon rise.
“Is Stiles, um,” Derek says, not sure how to finish the sentence, when he’s in the kitchen with Scott, pulling out the ice cream sandwiches.
“He’s been my best friend since we were five,” Scott says. “He’s the best.”
That’s why—when Stiles asks, too casually, if Derek wants to, uh, come back to his apartment. Just to talk, he says, just to—he isn’t, uh—
Stiles’ mouth tastes like vanilla ice cream and his breath hitches when Derek presses in against him, they kiss for long minutes in the hallway outside Stiles’ place, and Stiles drops his keys twice trying to get his door open.
“I meant it,” he says, when Derek’s underneath him on the couch and he’s working a line of kisses down his neck, nuzzling at his collarbone until Derek’s shivering, Derek didn’t exactly say anything about Kate or, or Jennifer, but Stiles must have read it in the shape of his silences, says, “you don’t have to do anything, that’s not why—“ and the soft weight of his breath feels so good against Derek’s throat that he arches his back and his eyes widen a little and that’s when he sees it, the navy shirt and shoulder holster slung over the back of the kitchen chair, the disassembled gun on a towel on the table, the heavy belt and glint of gold he’d seen in the key basket as they came through the door, hadn’t paid any attention because Stiles was laughing, holding his hand,
“You’re a—fucking cop,” Derek says, pushing at Stiles’ shoulders, scrambling out from under him, “you’re—“
“Yeah—“ Stiles says. He’s back on the other end of the couch, blinking, his mouth flushed, a bright smudge of beard rash on his chin, “Yeah, I thought—you don’t remember me?”
“We’ve met?” Derek says.
“Yeah, I, uh, arrested you that time,” Stiles says. “I thought—sorry, I recognized you right away, so—“
“You all look the fucking same to me,” Derek says, because he fucking—jesus, he’s so fucking stupid, of course this is just some fucked up power trip for this lying asshole, who actually has the nerve to look hurt.
“Okay,” Stiles says. “Sorry.”
“Yeah,” Derek says, fumbling his sneakers back on. “am I free to go?”
“Of course,” Stiles says, jaw tensing.
“So you and Stiles,” Scott says, grinning, the next time they meet.
“No,” Derek says, cutting him off. Scott’s smile fades.
“You know, he’s the one who called me about you,” he says.
“So what,” Derek says. “So I owe him a blowjob now because I’m so grateful—“
“That’s not fair,” Scott says. Derek stares at the floor, hands shoved in his pockets. Stiles didn’t make him do anything, but that doesn’t take away the visceral jolt of panic he’d felt when he’d figured it out. Cops carried tasers, mistletoe spray, wolfsbane bullets. If Stiles had wanted to keep him there, it would have been easy for him. Derek’s never been much of a fighter anyhow.
“Look,” Scott says, sighing. “Some bad stuff happened to Stiles in high school and it’s hard for—anyhow, he doesn’t really—date much. He thought you were cute—“
“He said that.”
“No, he called me at four-fucking-thirty on a Friday after I’d already worked an eighty hour week and said to start calling judges and kissing ass and then casually asked about your case a half a dozen times, so—“
“What a hero,” Derek says dryly, and Scott says,
“He is, actually.” And then makes Derek sign a bunch of papers and kicks him out of his office.
The thing is, Derek has to go down to the police station to apply for his resident parking permit, and of course, of all the bad luck, Stiles is coming into the lobby as he’s coming out, and it’s big—vaulted ceilings, marble floors and Stiles is fifty feet away but Derek is immediately conscious of him, and Stiles’ eyes snap to his and then self-consciously away, shoulders hunching like he’s the one who doesn’t belong.
Derek brings a box of doughnuts when he goes over to Stiles’ apartment. He’s maybe just going to leave it with a post-it note that says ‘sorry’ or whatever, he hadn’t thought it through that well, just found himself saying he’d take the rest of those powdered doughnuts and a jelly, whatever was left when he was at the bakery picking up some bagels for breakfast, and it’s Friday night, Stiles probably isn’t even home, except he opens the door, this time in an undershirt and uniform pants and sock feet. He looks tired.
“hi,” Derek says.
“hi,” Stiles says warily.
“Sorry I said—Scott says you’re a hero, so,” Derek says, putting the box of doughnuts in Stiles’ hands.
“Scott’s full of shit,” Stiles says.
“I didn’t recognize you,” Derek says.
“Yeah,” Stiles says, a ghost of a smile on his face. “I figured that out.”
“I shouldn’t have implied, um—“
“You’ve had bad experiences,” Stiles says. “I get it. You don’t have to explain yourself.”
“Maybe I want to,” Derek says. “Can I come in?”
Stiles says yes.