Not bad , , ,
"We had a One Night Stand 6 months ago but he just invited me to his wedding. Who the fuck does that."
Derek stares intently at the invitation in his hand.
After a few minutes of contemplation, he pulls out his phone and texts Cora.
“Do you remember that Stiles guy?”
Cora responds immediately. “The one who left you alone in bed and had you crying into a tub of ice cream for the next 3 days? Yes.”
Derek huffs as he types, “It wasn’t 3 days.”
"You’re right. It was four."
“Never mind,” Derek sends exasperatedly.
Cora seems undeterred. “What about him?”
Derek glances back at the invitation before responding.
“We had a one night stand six months ago and he just invited me to his wedding. Who the fuck does that?”
Derek picks up the envelope to study it. It’s inconspicuous; all it reveals is his name and address in the center, and a return label in the corner that reads. “Stilinski” above a Beacon Hills address.
Derek doesn’t have to guess how Stiles has his address; after all, Stiles spent one night-one very memorable night-in Derek’s loft. On Valentine’s Day, of all days.
“WTF,” his phone reads.
“I know,” he responds.
“Are you going to go?” Cora asks.
“Why would I go?”
Derek flips back to the invitation and looks at it again, tracing the lettering on it with his index finger.
Stiles never told Derek his first name, he’d just said it was too embarrassing and that he went by an abbreviation of his last name, Stilinski, instead. Looking at the invitation, Derek can now guess that it starts with a J. Derek doesn’t know who M. McCall is, that’s not a name Stiles mentioned in their brief time together. But it’s clearly someone important.
Why would Stiles send this? Just as a big fuck you? A way of saying that night meant nothing. I’m so over you that I’m even getting married just 6 months later.
Derek sighs and writes back to Cora. “I think this invitation may be all the closure I need.”
The wedding is in 3 days. Derek spends the day after receiving the invitation in total inner turmoil.
He rolls over in his bed and spies a mark on the wall. Remembers that Stiles made the mark when he threw the bottle of lube across the room at Derek before they got into bed together, narrowly missing Derek’s head. Remembers the way their bodies fit together so perfectly, over and over again. Remembers the whispered conversation and hushed confessions they’d shared late into the morning, until Derek had drifted off to sleep.
Derek decides he’s going to the wedding.
He walks out to get his mail, shuts his door behind him and remembers it making the exact same sound when Stiles walked out. Remembers that he’d been in bed and had woken up to the noise, heart thundering in his chest, hoping he was wrong. Remembers hoping Stiles was just out getting breakfast. Remembers sitting and waiting until finally giving up an hour later. Remembers how cold he felt that whole day, how fucking empty.
He decides he’s not going.
He turns on his oven, remembers making homemade pizza with Stiles before they fell into bed together -- Stiles pouring flour on top of his head and cackling maniacally before Derek chased him around the kitchen, tackling him to the ground and smothering him with kisses.
He opens his freezer, sees a carton of strawberry ice cream and remembers how he’d eaten 5 of them in the 3 days after he’d met Stiles.
He’s not going.
Finally, by the time he goes to bed that night, he’s tossing and turning in complete frustration. He hates Stiles-hates him for leaving him, hates him for ever making him feel anything at all, hates how he’s still affecting him with this invitation 6 months later.
He resolves to make his decision on the day of the wedding, at 1:30. Maybe once he’s really under pressure he’ll know what he should do. He rolls over and falls asleep, content in his decision procrastination.
On Saturday, Derek is a wreck. He knows if he’d made a decision before, he’d still be waffling over it today, regardless. But now it’s 1:15 and he has no idea what to do.
At 1:20, he lays out a suit and tie, just in case.
At 1:25, he puts the clothes on. He can still take them off, he’s not committing to anything.
At 1:30, he walks out the door.
He pulls up to the church at 1:55, trembling with nerves. He has no idea what he’s doing here. He feels his feet carry him out of his car and up the steps before his brain can even catch up with them.
Once inside, he slides into a seat in the very back row, away from the aisle and obscured by a pillar. He’ll just watch it happen. He’ll watch Stiles get married and simultaneously watch any potential future with him get promised away. Then he’ll be fine. He’ll have closure. He can move on.
When the music starts Derek’s heart rate picks up immediately. The priest walks to the front of the room and Derek already wants to throw up.
The first one up the aisle is a dark, shaggy-haired guy with a crooked jawline. He lopes up the aisle, smiling happily, and goes to stand on one side of the stage.
Derek turns his attention back to the sanctuary doors. His breath catches immediately because the next person in -- is Stiles. Derek wasn’t prepared to see him so soon. He glances back up at the front of the room shortly. Apparently the crooked-jaw guy is Stiles’ only groomsman? Derek turns his attention back to him.
Stiles looks amazing. Just as amazing as he did on the night they met; huddled close together over drinks at the bar. Derek shakes his head to clear the memory of Stiles leaning in and saying, “Well, since we’re both alone on this Valentine’s day-maybe we should leave and celebrate it together?” as his hand brushed along his thigh.
Stiles is beaming, too. He looks radiant, like he’s having the best day of his life. Derek supposes he is. Just because the best day of Derek’s life was last Valentine’s day doesn’t mean it’s Stiles’. When Stiles turns around, taking his place at the top of the aisle, Derek can see his eyes are glistening with unshed tears. His glistening eyes dart around the room and Derek is glad for his hidden position. More and more he’s realizing he shouldn’t be here at all.
Derek isn’t prepared for what happens next.
An older gentleman enters the room, and if possible, he looks even happier than Stiles. He strides up the aisle and Derek waits for him to take his place next to the shaggy-haired guy, but he stops between him and Stiles, directly in front of the priest. Where the groom, Stiles, should be standing. What?
The tune of the music changes to a flowery, upbeat tune, and the crowd stands. Derek does, too, making sure to keep himself out of sight.
The bride that walks down the aisle -- M. McCall, Derek remembers, is different from what Derek expected. For one, she seems at least 25 years older than Stiles is.
When she reaches the top of the aisle and the older man takes her hand, smiling at her with pure joy, everything falls into place. This isn’t Stiles’ wedding. Stiles isn’t getting married.
Derek can hardly dare to believe it, but he starts to as he watches the vows with bated breath. As he watches Stiles, tears of joy silently sliding down his face while he stands next to the groom. The groom being, not Stiles, but J. Stilinski, who Derek is now guessing is Stiles’ dad. He remembers Stiles sharing how his mom died when he was young, so Derek puts the pieces together and deduces that it must be his dad who is getting remarried today.
Derek can’t help but applaud with the crowd when the vows are done. He watches Stiles the entire way back down the aisle, walking happily and gloriously unmarried. He can’t help but peek around the pillar for a final peek at him before he walks out the door. Stiles’ eyes shift his way for just a second, and Derek pulls himself back into hiding immediately. He doesn’t move again until the entire wedding party is out the door.
Derek takes a minute to soak it all in as the guests file out.
Stiles isn’t married.
Stiles invited Derek to his dad’s wedding.
Does Stiles want Derek here? Derek is more confused that ever. He’ still not sure what the intent of Stiles’ invitation was, but he knows there’s only one way to find out. He heads to the reception.
The reception is being held in the Church’s Hall. It takes Derek 20 minutes to get up the courage to head over there, so the party is in full swing by the time he arrives.
He’s walking through the doorway, surreptitiously searching the room for Stiles, when suddenly, Stiles is there.
The guy Derek’s been thinking about, wondering about, for six months, is standing right in front of him.
“Hi?” Derek starts, but Stiles interrupts him.
“I thought I saw you when I was leaving the Sanctuary,” Stiles says, words rushing out quickly. “What are you doing here?”
Derek just stares at him, drinking him in. “You invited me,” he finally says.
“Yeah, but I didn’t think you’d actually come.”
The words hit Derek like a brick to the chest. So Sties didn’t want him here after all. He takes a deep breath. “Okay. I’ll go. Sorry.”
He turns to leave, internally reprimanding himself for being so stupid.
Before he can take two steps away, Stiles’ arm is on his, pulling him out of the room and into the hallway. Derek stands and faces him, looking down at the floor.
“I didn’t mean it like that,” Stiles says. “I didn’t expect it. It’s not that I didn’t want it.”
Derek looks up at him and sees the sincerity in Stiles’ eyes. “I thought it was you -- that it was your wedding,” he blurts out.
Stiles’ mouth drops open and it takes a moment for him to collect himself.
“Wait, what? You thought I invited you -- ” he gestures wildly at Derek and them back at himself “ -- to my wedding?”
Derek shrugs. “Yeah. I thought it was pretty weird, too.”
Stiles chuckles a little. “So why the hell did you come, man?”
Derek looks at him for a moment, eyes grazing over Stiles’ upturned nose, his dark moles, his angular cheekbones. “Closure.”
“Closure?” Stiles repeats faintly.
“Yeah. That next morning-” Derek feels his cheeks heating up-”You just left. You didn’t even say goodbye or anything. I woke up and you were just-gone.”
“I went to get breakfast,” Stiles replies forcefully.
“You didn’t come back,” Derek states, confused.
Stiles sighs and leans back against the wall, hands tucked into his suit pant pockets. “I did.”
Derek furrows his eyebrows. “What?”
Stiles isn’t looking at him now. “I came back and saw her going into your apartment. God, I was concocting all these plans in my head. Breakfast in bed. A movie marathon later that night. Taking you to dinner the next weekend. But I, your smitten one night stand, left your apartment to get breakfast, and came back to find your girlfriend coming home to you.”
Derek wants to bash his head against the wall because it’s stupid, so stupid. Months of heartache over a simple misunderstanding.
Cora had been staying with him that week but when Stiles had suggested they spend the night together, Derek had texted her and told her to stay away for the night.
“She’s not my girlfriend,” Derek says simply.
“Derek, I’m not dumb. She had a key. There was pink shaving cream in your bathroom -- I thought maybe you just liked the smell, but then I saw her and it all made sense.”
Derek shakes his head repeatedly and can’t help reaching out to put his hands on Stiles’s arms. “That was my sister. I sexiled her for the night and she was coming home that morning -- only to find me, a miserable mess, sitting on a kitchen stool and staring at the door hoping you were coming back.”
Stiles’ eyes widen. “What?”
Derek takes a deep breath because what he says next is the hardest thing. It’s the make-it-or-break-it of this whole clusterfuck of a situation.
“I never wanted you to leave. I ate nothing but ice cream straight out of the carton for daysafterwards. I haven’t stopped thinking about you for six months. Not even for a day. That night -- ” he pauses, shivering a little bit.
He feels Stiles grip his hands within his own. “That night was maybe the best night of my life,” Stiles whispers, looking barely up at Derek
Swallowing, Derek searches Stiles’ warm brown eyes with his own. “Yeah,” he finally says in a broken voice. “For me too. Stiles -- ”
He doesn’t get to finish his thought. Stiles’ lips are on his and they feel just as right as they did six months ago.
When they finally break apart, several minutes later, Stiles runs a hand through his hair and leans in close. “Well, Derek, since we’re both alone at this wedding, maybe we should leave and celebrate it together?”
# # #