It’s not like Stiles is lonely, okay? He’s awesome and he knows it, and—not surprisingly, because this should not be a surprise to anyone, even if it kind of is—people at his college seem to actually get that. He’s as close to popular as he’s ever been, and it’s as weird as it is cool. People invite him to parties and study groups and, on one memorable occasion, to an orgy.
So he’s not lonely.
But sometimes. Sometimes when he’s tired and kind of stressed, because his classes are beyond amazing, but so much harder than anything he’s had to deal with before and he keeps getting this niggling feeling that he might not actually be good enough to do this, he just needs that connection. He’s tense, nearly vibrating out of his skin from it, and he can’t stop his fingers from plucking at the fabric of his jeans, his comforter, his recently grown out hair, but Derek picks up on the first ring and the constantly tightening band around his chest finally starts to ease.
Derek’s not a talker, not even on the best of days, but he’s gotten really good at hmming and making encouraging noises at the appropriate times, and Stiles has always talked more than enough for the both of them anyway. Stiles doesn’t focus on the words he’s saying. He might be talking about his classes or his roommate or maybe the way the mascot’s zipper got stuck and he couldn’t get out of his costume for over an hour, he doesn’t really know. That’s okay, though, because he can feel all the tension just leeching out of him.
Derek’s breathing is slow and steady and soothing, and Stiles has one of his shirts covering his pillow instead of a pillow case, and when he turns his head and sniffs, even his dull human nose can pick up the last lingering traces of Derek’s scent. His fingers still, and his words start to slow, slurring the slightest bit around the edges.
He’s talking to his mate, and the phone is warm and a little damp against his ear from his sweat, and he can almost imagine that the Derek’s really there with his mouth right against his ear. Stiles is Derek’s anchor, but to Stiles Derek is almost better than adderall.