"Ssshh," Lydia snaps, her hand slapping over Stiles’ mouth.
They’re in the courtyard, passing one of the floor-to-ceiling windows that looks into one of the advanced classes. Stiles grunts as she haphazardly shoves her bag into him and walks up to the window. Stiles rolls his eyes and follows her, looking in.
"Hale," She says dreamily.
"Hale," Stiles agrees, knowing the name well and the face better.
Derek Hale, long-legged, bold-browed and devastatingly handsome. Derek Hale, hyper advanced grace, toned, tight muscle and subtle dominance. He’s not a snob, to Stiles’ general shock, but he’s quiet. He keeps to himself, which is difficult to accomplish when girls in toe-shoes and leotards throw themselves on him at all hours, no matter how uninterested his response (or lack thereof) is.
Stiles has only spoken to Derek once before when Derek had been a teacher’s aid in an extra-help class and had corrected Stiles’ posture during barre work. He was very nice about it, really.
Stiles really wishes he could hate Derek Hale, because there is only one alternative to hating him.
"God, he’s so perfect,” Lydia envies.
"Yeah," Stiles sighs.
Derek is in there with another male student Stiles knows as Isaac and a blonde girl whose name he doesn’t know. Lydia clarifies that by telling him,
"That’s Erica Reyes. She’s good, but she takes a lot of tumbles."
Stiles watches Derek fix the pose of her arms into first position and move over to Isaac, talking and gesturing vaguely until Isaac readjusts his own feet to be in first position. He steps in front of them, facing the mirror that Lydia and Stiles are surely reflected in and he starts turning on alternating feet while Isaac and Erica watch closely.
"Chaînés turns," Lydia observes, "He’s teaching them Chaînés."
Stiles nods, but when it’s Erica and Isaac’s turns to repeat the motion, he’s too captivated with Derek’s jawline to notice.
Stiles checks the advanced classroom after lunch, just on the off-chance that maybe Derek is still there.
Stiles is pleasantly surprised.
Derek is standing in front of the mirror in fourth position, but drops his arms and posture once he spots Stiles. He turns around and says,
"You were watching earlier."
Stiles licks his lips and nods, “Yeah — I — sorry. If that was rude.”
Derek contemplates him for a beat before shaking his head and saying,
"No, it’s fine. Do you need the room?"
"No," Stiles answers, heart thundering, "I, uh… I was actually wondering if I could join you."
Derek’s impressive brows spring up and Stiles wonders how Derek could possibly be surprised by yet another fanboy itching to be near him.
Derek nods and says, "Sure."
Stiles drops his gym bag by the closed door and stands a few feet from Derek. He can smell Derek’s cologne so close and he can see some of the finer details of Derek’s face; the gold-speckled sea storm of his irises, the dark feathering of his long lashes. Stiles clears his throat a little awkwardly and says,
"I’m Stiles, by the way."
"I know," Derek replies, making Stiles’ heart thud.
"You know," Stiles mutters mostly to himself.
"You’ve got the widest second position I’ve ever seen," Derek snickers.
Stiles mouth twists up into a reluctant grin while his face heats up in embarrassment.
"I’ve got a wide stance! My waist is wide!"
"Your waist is one of the smallest I’ve ever seen," Derek chides.
Stiles makes a noise of personal offense and gets into second position to prove he’s not so bad.
Derek starts laughing.
"Derek!" Stiles groans, dropping his arms, "Shut up!"
Derek combs his hair back with his hand and promises,
"Don’t worry, I’ll show you how to fix it."
Stiles grumbles to himself, crosses his arms, pulling his legs together. Derek, still grinning a blindingly beautiful smile practically floats over to him and says,
"Go ahead and get your arms into second position."
Stiles follows the order but wavers a little when Derek sinks to his knees. The image of Derek on his knees in front of Stiles is something Stiles has only seen in his late night imagination and he wonders for a half of a second if he’s awake. He knows he’s awake when his body shudders at the feel of Derek’s broad palm coming up to his thigh. He looks up at Stiles and says,
Stiles bites on the inside of his cheek to keep from saying anything and does as he’s told, allowing Derek to push his thighs apart until Derek orders,
"There. Right there."
He stands back up, looks Stiles up and down and then says, "That’s good."
Stiles tries to memorize the feeling of this exact position so that he can impress Derek by showing him how fast a learner he is. Derek is smiling kindly at him and it’s making his stomach twist up nervously. He teases,
"What, my arms aren’t too wide, Mr. Baryshnikov?"
Derek chuckles and says, “They’re perfect, actually.”
To fight the blush creeping up his face, Stiles sasses, "Oh, perfect, I can’t wait to write my father and tell him that after two years abroad at dance academy, I’ve finally mastered second position."
The meeting with Derek in room 214 becomes a regular thing. Derek shows him glissades and fouetté turns and even dances with him sometimes. He finds that when Derek speaks, he’s got a fantastic sense of dry humor that melds well with Stiles’ sarcasm. He gets really amazing views of Derek’s ass in black tights on a regular basis and starts to lose his right to complain about anything ever. Lydia tells him so herself.
After lunch with Lydia one day, he heads into room 214 and drops his bags casually. Derek is walking away from the radio, playing a sad waltz and stops to watch Stiles groan and fall on the floor. He cocks a brow, though Stiles is face down on the floor.
"I can’t do a pas de bourree, Derek. I’ve been working on it all day. Lydia tried to show me and everyone is saying it’s so easy and why am I not getting it and ‘Stiles, you suck forever.’"
Derek smirks knowingly, “That’s what they’re saying, huh?”
"Don’t mock my pain," Stiles grumbles into the hardwood.
Derek comes to stand in front of him, extends his hand and offers, "Come on. I’ll help you."
Stiles takes Derek’s hand without hesitation and Derek surprises him by holding it the entire way to the barre.
When Derek lets go, he says, "Don’t worry too much about it, Stiles. Everyone has difficulties with different moves. Maybe your pas de bourree needs work, but your pirouettes are perfect."
Stiles rolls his eyes and grumbles, “Everyone can do a pirouette.”
"Not like you," Derek compliments, looking him plainly and seriously in the eye, "Yours are perfect."
Stiles feels his ears get hot and he insists, “Alright, alright, I’m off the pity-potty, just show me how to do this stupid thing.”
Derek explains, “It’s simple, in theory. It’s just back-side-front, okay? You’re gonna have a coupé to the back, with your feet pointed out.”
Stiles follows the instruction and then looks to Derek for more. Derek says, "You’re gonna plié and then get into second position — with, yeah, with your feet out. Then relevé to the side, and then you’re gonna cross forward."
Stiles stumbles a little, thighs too tensed and he huffs in annoyance.
Derek smiles placatingly and reminds him, "It’s fine, Stiles. Start from the beginning."
Stiles does and when he gets into the second position again, Derek says,
"Right, now relevé to the side and cross forward, and then go back to the coupé position."
Stiles follows through and then looks at Derek’s proud grin.
Derek exclaims, "There you go, you did a pas de bourre."
"There was a turn, though. In class," Stiles states a little more than asks.
"A turn?" Derek asks, "You mean, between the steps?"
"Yeah," Stiles sighs.
"Then it’s on the relevé," Derek reasons, "It’s always on the relevé. So, turn towards the relevé when you turn. The steps are the same, really."
Ten minutes into Stiles struggling through incorporating a turn, Derek takes hold of his waist. Derek’s hands are warm and broad along his sides and his voice is so close to Stiles’ ear when he says,
"Don’t worry, you’ve got this, you’re just leaning forward too much. You want to lean forward, cause you feel like you’re losing balance, but you’re fine. I’m going to keep you straight."
You are not helping to keep me straight, Stiles jokes in his head.
He catches Derek’s smile in the mirror and he worries that he may have said it out loud, until it’s clear that Derek is smiling at his nervous expression. He turns his face to scowl at Derek and Derek gives a friendly chuckle.
"I’m sorry, I find your frustration endearing, really," Derek assures.
Stiles rolls his eyes and faces back towards the mirror, but when he goes to grumble something sarcastic back, he catches the reflection of three girls peering in from outside. His shoulders hunch with nerves and Derek asks,
"There are people watching."
Derek looks in the reflection at the girls who are very obviously talking to each other.
Derek shrugs and says, "Yeah?"
"Derek, I’m not as toned or talented as you, this is embarrassing for me."
"Toned?" Derek smirks.
At Stiles’ aggravated noise he concedes, “Alright, alright, you want me to shoo them away?”
"No," Stiles mumbles, "I’ll just wear my shame."
"You shouldn’t be ashamed, Stiles," Derek tells him honestly, "You’re amazing. Really."
Stiles quirks a hopeful brow in the mirror and Derek nods at him, staring him in the eye via their reflections and he repeats, "Really."
"So, he’s held your hand, told you you’re amazing, he’s danced with you, and basically used every excuse possible to invite himself into your space and you’re worried he’s not into you?" Lydia inquires.
Stiles rolls his eyes, chugging his water,
"That’s so not fair! He’s — he’s — I mean, have you seen him?”
"Oh my God, you are such a defeatist," Lydia whines.
"I’m not a defeatist! I’m a realist," Stiles corrects, "He’s majesty personified and I literally fell doing piqué turns yesterday!"
Lydia scoffs, throwing her hair back and she asks him rhetorically, "What? Like everyone else at one point or another?"
Stiles groans and falls back in his chair.
"You don’t understand!"
"Whatever," Lydia replies hurriedly, "But if you pass up this chance to make sweet, sweet love to the very flexible and handsome Derek Hale, I will be making my own attempts to."
Stiles knows her threat is empty, but he nods anyway and says, "Yes, ma’am."
"Do your teachers let you do hammie stretches like that?" Derek asks, as though he’s offended.
Stiles looks down at his straight and stretched out legs, his hands curled around his heels. He shrugs as much as he can and says,
Derek’s brow furrows and he squats in front of Stiles feet. He lifts up Stiles’ heels from the floor a few inches and Stiles gets a rush of tension in his thighs.
"There, now you’re stretching,” Derek smirks proudly.
"You just enjoy bringing me pain," Stiles complains.
Derek’s mouth slants, as if to say, ‘maybe you’re right.’ Then he stands and walks around Stiles. Stiles gets nervous when he feels a weight against his back and he warns,
"You better not."
"Oh, I’m gonna," Derek replies.
"Don’t you dare, you motherfucker."
"I’m going to," Derek says with a laugh.
Before Stiles can threaten bodily harm, Derek’s using his foot to push Stiles back so that he’s flattened against his legs. He groans in pain and Derek announces cheerily,
"You’re doing big boy stretches now, Stilinski!"
"Shut the fuck up, Hale."
Derek gives a belly laugh and just to show off, glides off behind Stiles and then leaps over him while he’s still curled over his legs. Stiles watches Derek’s feet land gracefully in first position right in front of him. He looks up from under his lashes and floppy hair.
Derek shows his teeth in a wolfish grin and replies, "I’m just doing it to impress you."
Stiles snorts, shakes his head and goes back to stretching. He hears a shuffle a second later and looks up again to see Derek straddling on the floor. His eyes widen a little and he says,
"That’s a really perfect straddle."
"Thanks," Derek says off-handedly.
"No," Stiles insists, "Like — your knees aren’t turned in at all. How are you keeping your feet that straight?"
"You want me to teach you?" Derek asks.
Stiles shakes his head, “No, no, it’s fine.”
"What, you don’t want to spread your legs for me, Stiles?" Derek jokes.
Stiles rolls his eyes and says, “Jeez, you’re in a flirtatious mood today.”
A few quiet moments pass and then Stiles says, "…wait, I changed my mind — will you teach me?"
Derek and Stiles are doing cool-downs one night, having been practicing on a Saturday, which is unusual for them. Derek had asked for his company, though and Stiles couldn’t refuse him that. They’d stayed in 214 for five hours, stretching and dancing and leaping and twirling and laughing in what would have been a disruptive manner if there were anyone else in the building to disrupt.
While stretching, Stiles looks to Derek, sweat-dotted and shirtless, having long taken his shirt and shoes off. He smiles warmly when Derek catches his eye and he asks,
"Hey… can you do the butterfly?"
Derek seems a little caught off guard by the question, but he answers, "Yeah."
"You can!?" Stiles’ voice shoots up several octaves.
Derek chuckles and asks, “You want me to show you how?”
"No," Stiles replies, "But… I’d like to see you do it."
Derek quirks a brow and asks, "You just want me to do it for you?"
"Yeah," Stiles grins.
Derek rolls his eyes, like he’s somehow still not used to Stiles feeling entitled, but he gets up anyway. He goes by the radio and turns on his CD to Debussy’s Clair De Lune. He crosses the room from there to the furthest corner and starts in fifth position, pliés, turns twice and then he’s somehow up in the air, arms and legs out and back. He’s turning midair then landing on his right foot, turning and taking a landing position on one knee, his arms out. He looks to Stiles and Stiles applauds and whistles for him.
"Holy shit!" Stiles exclaims, "That was amazing!"
"It’s not that big a deal," Derek shrugs, pushing his hair back, "Not the hardest move I’ve learned."
"Oh?" Stiles asks, "What is? I can’t even imagine you struggling with anything."
Derek snorts, “That’s ridiculous.”
"Well?" Stiles presses, "What is it?"
"For class, Mrs. Spencer once made me do five double tours."
"Did you throw up?" Stiles laughs, sitting up straighter.
Derek shakes his head, “No, but it was a close thing. I actually fell. About eight times.”
Stiles laughs, throwing his head back, "I’d have paid to see that!"
Derek gets into fourth position, squaring his jaw and closing his eyes. Stiles can see Derek’s calves straining now, shaking with all the abuse he’s put them through today, dancing with Stiles. Stiles thinks he might fall doing his double tours, but when he plies, leaps and spins, he’s all grace and speed, landing firmly back into fourth position.
Stiles blinks owlishly and asks, "…can you do an illusion?"
Derek nods and backs up a few more steps before giving himself momentum in a spin, en pointe, then pivoting his torso up and down while turning and he doesn’t slip or fall or flail like Stiles would undoubtedly do if he could even dream of doing an illusion.
Derek lands in first position, staring at Stiles for further instruction.
Stiles swallows loudly, adam’s apple bobbing and Derek’s eyes flash to it. He wipes at the sweat gathered on his brow with the back of his hand and asks,
"What about a fouetté en tournant?"
Derek nods and performs and Stiles asks for him to dance for an hour more, asking for Derek to show him adage and arabesque, axles and barrel rolls, a crescent bend and —
"Stiles," Derek exhales hard.
Stiles runs a hand through his sweaty hair and apologizes, "Sorry. Sorry, I’ve been — I’m sorry."
"No," Derek waves him off, "I…"
Stiles looks up to Derek from under his lashes and Derek straightens himself into first position, sweat glistening along his neck and collarbone.
"No, I’m glad to dance for you."
Stiles makes a disbelieving huff and Derek’s eyes sparkle dangerously.He tilts his head, still breathing hard and he says,
"I’m serious. Until my feet bleed. I’d do anything you ask of me."
Stiles’ heart thunders and his face heats up. He asks,
Derek tiptoes to him until he’s standing before Stiles. He gets into arabesque penché, straightening on leg while en pointe and leaning down, with his other leg out and behind him. He leans until he can cup Stiles’ face in his hands and kiss him gently. The kiss is so sweet, so gentle and fleeting, Stiles hardly knows what’s happened until it’s over.
His eyes remain closed, brows sprung up as the classical music coming from the player stops and all he hears is Derek’s breathing. His eyes flutter open and he looks up to Derek, unconsciously standing there in second position. (Stiles tells Derek he does it all the time without noticing, but Derek refuses to believe that’s true.) Stiles stands and pirouettes into Derek’s space, getting caught and steadied by Derek’s broad hands on his waist and with the moonlight spilling in through the window and Derek’s blindingly beautiful smile glowing at him, he takes Derek’s lips again and again and again and again.