Here’s the thing: Stiles doesn’t want to get married. At least, he’s never mentioned it and Stiles mentions everything.
Derek figures he’s safe in assuming that if the guy who’s mentioned Derek’s shoe and sock combinations almost daily for the three years they’ve been living together hasn’t mentioned marriage, even in passing, he’s not interested.
Derek is totally fine with Stiles’s aversion to marriage, of course. Obviously, a piece of paper’s not important; it’s their commitment to each other that defines their relationship. Even if marriage was important to his family (it was) and he wanted to honor their memory by carrying on their traditions (he does), he can’t impose that on Stiles!
At least, this is what Derek has to tell himself several times a day.
When he rolls over in the morning and Stiles is just waking up, mouth stretched wide, drool on his chin and hair ruffled and sleep wild, he has to tell himself.
When Stiles breaks down into terrible dance moves, usually some form of an epileptic robot, while washing the breakfast dishes, Derek has to remind himself.
Stiles doesn’t want to get married.
When Stiles shows up at Derek’s classroom in his deputy uniform and tells the kids to take an early lunch because he has to “interrogate their teacher,” Derek huffs and is annoyed. But when Stiles pulls out his favorite beef sandwich from the good diner and informs him it’s Eat with Your Favorite Cop Day, Derek has to tell himself.
When Stiles is twenty minutes late coming home from work and he walks in complaining about the imposition because, “Don’t they realize that I now have twenty minutes less of growly, sexy boyfriend time?” Derek really needs to remind himself.
Don’t mention the unmentionable.
When Stiles gives him an old framed photograph he’d dug up in the town’s archive of Derek’s parents’ wedding day for an anniversary present, Derek chants it in his head.
And when Stiles touches him the way no one ever has, reverent but teasing, loving but naughty, Derek almost slips up.
Here’s the thing: sometimes Derek thinks that he could have proposed to Stiles the day he met him and it still wouldn’t have been soon enough.
He soldiers on.
It’s on a day when he least expects it, when Stiles has been more annoying than usual (thus inspiring less need of proposal restraint), that Derek finally breaks.
“I think we should get some tomatoes and onions for our burgers. What do you think?” Stiles asks, pushing the cart.
“I think you should marry me,” Derek blurts, right there in the middle of the produce section of their local supermarket.
Stiles’s eyes widen. “What?”
Derek gulps. Now he’s done it. But he is stubborn and he will follow through. “Marry me, Stiles.”
Stiles picks up a tomato and squeezes it. He then throws Derek a blinding smile over his shoulder. “Okay.”
“Yeah,” Stiles beams. “Let’s get married.”
Here’s the thing: it turns out that Stiles thought Derek didn’t want to get married because he never brought it up.
Three years together and nothing’s changed—they’re both still idiots.
(Their wedding is in May and it is lovely.
“The wedding was so beautiful Allison cried, Derek. We made the hunter cry. We win weddings.”)