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Stiles can't cook.

Stiles is about to have Derek's parents over for dinner.

Stiles is thankful that frozen food exists.

Stiles kind of sucks at making food.

He’s not quite sure why everyone thinks he should be able to make good food (not that he’s complaining about the assumption of his awesomeness) simply because he’s the one taking care of his dad.

Anyone who knew his mother when she was alive should know that she was a horrible cook, the only thing she could make was tea—and it was always either too watered down or too potent. Stiles’ dad actually made most of the food (if you could call boiling pasta cooking) but after his mother’s death, he had piled too much work on himself and didn’t have the time to. So that left the housekeeping and cooking duty to Stiles.

While Stiles could clean the house in ten minutes flat now, his cooking skills had never graduated from slightly below mediocre. At least he didn’t burn pasta now.

While he is incapable of making the delicious food on the table every night, he is capable of buying frozen entrees and then heating them. It’s very handy for times like tonight—when convincing people that yes, he can cook needs a bit more weight behind it. 

“Stiles,” growled Derek as he walked up behind Stiles to nuzzle the back of his neck and sniffed once before raising his head to sniff appreciatively at the parmesan chicken pasta baking in the oven. “That smells good,” he murmured approvingly.

“Well it had better,” Stiles muttered, still a bit annoyed that Derek had only given him three hours warning that his parents were coming over for dinner. Hence the reason Stiles had frantically drove to the store, bought frozen parmesan chicken, and then boiled the pasta for a bit before stuffing it into a pan and then dumping the microwaved parmesan chicken onto the pan and hastily throwing away all evidence. He’d then proceeded to Febreeze the kitchen because who knows what the werewolf nose could smell—all he needed was for Talia Hale to sniff out the smell of processed food and his ruse (well, technically, the assumptions of the world) would be blown.

Derek wrapped his arms around Stiles, squeezing gently until Stiles finally relented and sagged backwards into his embrace. “Don’t be mad,” Derek murmured into Stiles’ newly grown out hair, “My parents will love you.”

Stiles sighed and turned partially in Derek’s arms to peck him on the lips once before wiggling out of his grip and stuffing the oven mitts into Derek’s hands.

“When the timer beeps get that out of the kitchen. The rest of the food is already on the table.” Thank god for ready-made salad and brownies. All Stiles had to do now was scoop out ice-cream for dessert and he was set.

The doorbell rang right after Derek had brought out the pasta and set it onto the placemat Stiles had set out for the occasion (the only non burnt, non drawn-on-with-Sharpie set they had). Stiles breathed a last, fortifying breath before going to open the door and smiling pleasantly, albeit a bit nervously, at Derek’s parents.

The dinner went splendidly. Compliments were gushed at Stiles by Derek’s dad and Derek while Talia simply smiled at Stiles and commended him on his cooking. Stiles desperately tried to prevent his body from betraying the lie when he thanked them and said it was nothing.

Because technically, it was nothing. Stiles had done absolutely nothing.

It was only after dessert (during which Stiles had watched in amazement as Derek’s dad gave even Derek a run for the money by stuffing 10 pieces of brownie into his gullet and then still having room for a bowl of ice cream) that Talia finally had a chance to talk to Stiles in private. Derek and his dad were watching a game of college football on TV and arguing over which team was better, Ohio State or Michigan (at some point, the Sheriff had dropped by for some paperwork and joined in for a bit to argue on Derek’s dad side, Ohio State, obviously).

“So, Stiles,” Talia began, eyes sparkling with amusement as she watched Stiles squirm under her gaze. “Tell me, did your mother’s horrific cooking genes skip a generation or did you go to culinary school with a wizard?”

Stiles’ jaw dropped in shock at the blunt question. At least, he thought, Talia didn’t sound angry?

“Um…” Stiles dithered as he tried desperately to think of excuses.

“Because if it didn’t skip a generation,” here Talia paused, watching Stiles for a bit before the corner of her mouth quirked up in a smile. “I have some amazing websites that I can share with you—they have the best frozen food choices, taste like they’re home made and some of them you don’t even have to use anything but the microwave,” she winked at Stiles’ confounded expression and whispered like they were partners in crime, “because my husband and my children still think I’m a good cook.”

She continued smiling at Stiles for a bit until Stiles finally recovered from his shock and pulled himself together enough to return her smile (a bit weakly but also quite wickedly).

“I think, Stiles,” she declared loudly, “We’ll get along splendidly.”

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