written for Bree and also for myself tbH bECAUSE I NEED DEREK TO HAVE AN ACTUAL /HOME/
He’s not sure what possessed him to text Stiles for help in the first place. Maybe it’s the cold, barren feel of the loft, or the moment Isaac asks him to help tape up old posters and comic covers in his room. Isaac is finally settled in, clothes on the floor and curtains hanging threadbare over his windows. And Derek is… Derek is not. He’d never expected Beacon Hills to be permanent again, to see the sun rise among familiar treetops and have somewhere to call home. It makes him antsy, being in the loft. Like he’ll run out of his skin. Like this is just one big mistake. He wants to be settled, needs to be.
So he texts Stiles for help. Stiles was the one to sneak in a few plates and silverware that the Stilnskis’ never used anymore. He was the one whose scent lingered most on the couch he barely used. Stiles has a key to the loft, one Derek never authorized, but it’s helped during times when he was bleeding too heavily, leaning on Stiles’ human strength to carry him up the stairs to the big metal door. He doesn’t know what it means, and he doesn’t want to.
Stiles pulls up wearing sunglasses. He’s gingerly sipping at his gas station coffee when Derek walks up.
“Are you sure this piece of junk is gonna make it though SF?”
Stiles gives him a half-hearted glare, clearly too early for him to be at 100 percent levels of snark. “Only I’m allowed to call her a piece of junk,” he says, arm dangling out the window.
Dere hops in and something immediately crunches under his foot. There, bags and bags of gas station sacks lay.
“What is all this?” Derek says, wrinkling his nose.
“Snacks. Most importantly, roadtrip snacks.” Stiles reaches over him to rummage through one. “You’ve got your beef jerky, Little Debbie’s, mini M&M’s because everyone knows that they taste better than the regular M&M’s. Other chocolate, sour gummies, chips.”
Derek notices there are several other bags in the back. Stiles shrugs when Derek shoots him a look and grins. “I didn’t know what you’d like, so I pretty much grabbed one of everything.”
Derek rolls his eyes. “Do you have twizzlers?” Stiles breaks into a grin.
“Of course I do!”
When he’s not chasing after supernatural creatures, Stiles is a surprisingly cautious driver. He drives with both hands on the wheel, double checks his mirrors when he switches lanes and doesn’t fumble with his phone. Derek guesses it must be a cop’s kid side effect.
“Hey,” Stiles says, handing Derek his phone. “Plug this in and hit the first playlist.” Derek complies, and browses through the list, impressed that they have similar tastes. He doesn’t comment on the fact that Stiles had made the list the night before according to the timestamp.
They don’t talk much, and for that Derek is grateful they don’t have to spend two awkward hours trying to talk to each other. Derek’s restlessness from the previous night make his eyes droop heavy with sleep and somehow, in that beat up jeep with Stiles humming along, he falls asleep.
Derek wakes up to the smell of the ocean and gasoline. He still feels groggy and out of sorts when he tries to figure out where he is. Glancing down at the clock, he notices almost 2 and a half hours have gone by. Stiles gives him furtive side glances, a light smile playing his lips, but doesn’t say anything. Derek digs the heel of his hand into his eye to try and rub away sleep. He’s not even sure how he didn’t wake up at some point.
“Do you want me to drive?” Derek says, throat still scratchy from sleep. He notices that Stiles has turned the music off.
Stiles doesn’t try very hard to keep his amusement unknown and breaks into a grin. “Nah, we’re almost there. Give it like 15 minutes till we hit the bridge,” Stiles says and Derek just nods, straightening up.
They hit up Ikea first, for the cheaper furnishings and ‘knick knacks’, because “Dude, eveyone’s got to have knick knacks. You know, useless shit that you buy to put on shelves and forget to dust.” It’s a lot more fun than Derek would have thought. Stiles makes him try the Swedish meatball meal, and he has to admit is pretty good.
He likes the plates and some chairs. He surprisingly finds a lot of knick knacks. Stiles spends a lot of time taking pictures and texting them to Lydia for approval, because apparently the loft is going to be the new hang out and must be Lydia approved. It makes him feel useful somehow, being able to provide a space for a pack that isn’t quite his anymore. It makes him pretend like he belongs.
They head into an antique shop next and Derek is immediately drawn to almost everything in there. The wood smells old and the entire place hums with history. It makes him ache for the old house, everything hand picked by his mom and dad. It was their dream home, built from the ground up by dad himself.
He notices Stiles doesn’t send any more pictures to Lydia here. He shoots him a look and Stiles just shrugs. “You seem to like everything here and I’m pretty sure Lydia would hate it, but… it’s your place, dude. Pick whatever you want. This is for you.”
Derek doesn’t know what to say to that. He wants to thank Stiles for, for what? For making it feel like it’s a possibility that he’ll have a home again. For making it possible to feel like he’ll have anything that is his. That belongs to him. He can only let out an exhale and give Stiles a curt nod.
Stiles smiles at him anyway, encouraging him to touch the dining table that’s partially broken. It looks so much like the one from his childhood, he can imagine the scratches running over the top are from Laura and him fighting over the last bread roll. The legs are uneven, but nothing Derek can’t fix up, sand down and repaint.
Derek buys the entire store, practically. Including an ugly painting that Stiles makes a face at. Stiles’ jaw drops when the cashier rings him up and he gives Derek a look.
"I know who I’m calling when my jeep finally breaks down," Stiles says, huffing out a laugh and smirking. Derek playfully shoves Stiles, apparently a little too hard, because Stiles crashes into an old shelf that falls apart upon impact. The store owner comes rushing over, ready to throw them out till Derek hands her his credit card again.
"I’ll take that too." The wood’s still good and usable. He’ll find a place for it eventually.
They fill up Stiles’ jeep with whatever will fit. A few stools, a few bowls and the broken shelf, even the ugly painting. The rest will be shipped down later, but it’s enough. For now.
It’s the first thing he hangs up when he gets into the loft. Scott helps him drill into the brick walls and when they’re done, all three of them stand there to admire the work.
"It’s growing on me a little bit," Stiles says, grinning.
"Still pretty ugly," Scott says,
When Derek finishes the table last, wood sealant still drying on the underside, Stiles sets down a bowl of apples. It doesn’t tilt. It doesn’t wobble. Stiles whoops. Derek pulls him in to kiss him on his ridiculous mouth.
Stiles stutters out a whimpering sound from the back of his throat and Derek deepens the kiss, pushing Stiles until the back of his thighs smack into the edge of the table. He doesn’t even mind that Stiles is smearing mint green paint into his hair from the shelving they were painting earlier.
Scott and Isaac yell from the livingroom about how gross they are. He doesn’t care, because he’s settled.