[Vellichor: the strange wistfulness of used bookstores.]
A couple of years ago, Stiles thought that college was all about sex, partying, running on too little sleep and too much coffee, money struggles and figuring out who you want to be in life. While that is still partially true, Stiles can honestly say that now – at the age of twenty-three – he kind of managed to get his life completely on the right track.
He has a job at an awesome second-hand bookstore, a small group of friends who he knows will be there for him the rest of his life, he shares an apartment with the most amazing man he has ever met (and is pretty sure that he, too, will be there for the rest of his life) and of course has an incredible sex life with his man. Like, really.
One small problem though, is that – as much as he wants to – he can’t tell his friends about Derek yet. See, Derek also happens to be their British and American Literature Professor. And the university they go to is pretty strict on student-teacher relationships. Meaning it’s maybe kind of sort of not allowed.
However, he and Derek totally love each other, so they just decided to say ‘fuck it’ and are keeping their relationship secret for now. Well, secret from people at uni, that is. Stiles’ dad and Derek’s sister Laura are very much aware of their situation. Stiles’ friends think he’s just renting their apartment with a fellow student by the name of Miguel, who is allergic to people so no Erica you can’t meet him. It works for them.
Of course, since this obviously means that his friends think that he’s single, sometimes it causes minor problems. He’s usually quite good at stopping them from trying to hook him up with someone, but this time of the year has proven to be a bit more challenging.
This time being Valentine’s Day.
Love is in the air and all that jazz, but for the first time ever Stiles can be a part of it. He and Derek are stupidly in love and he has actually been looking forward to Valentine’s Day for a change. He’s pretty sure that Erica has noticed his change of opinion regarding the holiday, but luckily Scott and Allison are too caught up with each other to notice. Besides, Erica slipped up last week and told him she kissed a woman at some party that she might now be celebrating Valentine’s with. When he asked her if he knows this woman, she promptly changed the subject. Stiles would be bothered, but that would make him a hypocrite.
Right now, it’s about nine in the morning and his small group of friends is headed to their Literature lecture. Yes, the one with Derek. Or Mr Hale, that is. The man isn’t there yet when they enter the lecture hall, so they take their time to find a good place to sit and keep the conversations flowing.
“So are you going to tell me what’s going on with you this week or am I going to drag it out of you?” Erica asks out of nowhere.
“Nothing’s going on,” he says easily. Her face tells him she totally doesn’t believe him, so he rephrases. “Nothing bad, I promise.”
She huffs, but eventually smiles back at him. “Fine. Anyway, my cousin is throwing a party for Valentine’s this weekend. You should come.”
“Nah, I’m not really feeling like it.”
“Really?” she drawls, seeing right through him, damn her. “You should get out there more, Stiles. You’re a total catch. And hey, my cousin is still single, I could introduce the two of – ”
“I already have plans, okay?” he blurts, because they both know that she will personally drag him to that party is she has to.
Unsurprisingly, Erica immediately demands details, but he just shakes his head with a secretive smile and keeps his mouth shut again. She holds her hands up with a sigh.
“Fine, don’t tell me. You know I’ll figure it out eventually.”
He can’t help but snort. “Warn me when you do so I can get the look on your face on camera.”
“What is that supposed to mean?”
“Nothing,” he teases, trying not to chuckle at the annoyed purse of Erica’s lips.
Mr Hale finally enters the hall and quickly prepares for the lecture to start. Stiles watches his ruffled appearance in amusement.
“You’re lucky I pay attention in this class or I would totally weasel the truth out of you,” Erica tells him with a small glare.
He snorts again. “Right. You go and ‘pay attention’, good for you.”
She smirks. They both know she’ll only hear half of what their professor is saying. Her main focus will definitely be on the man himself. Stiles can’t blame her. He gets it.
“I wish he would start wearing those sinful jeans again,” she sighs. “I really miss them.”
Those ‘sinful jeans’ certainly made Derek’s well-endowed manliness . . . stand out, so to speak. Stiles had been so kind to notify the man of the fact and now Derek only wears them around the house. He can’t say that he minds.
Mr Hale finally starts the lecture and the both of them remain silent, lost in their own dirty fantasies as the man passionately starts reciting a poem.
~ ~ * ~ ~
Finally, the weekend has arrived and Sunday is Valentine’s Day. He and Derek start the day with a relaxing shower together, then go out for breakfast. Later tonight, they’ll go to a drive-in theatre to watch A Streetcar Named Desire. It’s one of Derek’s favourite plays, so when Stiles found out about it he just couldn’t resist taking the man there. It’ll be epic.
After breakfast, they make a quick stop at the bookstore Stiles works at. Which, coincidentally, happens to be owned by Derek’s sister. It’s where they met each other last summer, when Stiles was working there almost every day and Derek came by a lot to help his sister out. And check Stiles out, apparently.
Stiles uses the key Laura gave him to open the door and steps inside, taking a deep breath. He fucking loves this place, okay? The store is kind of a mess, with books covering literally every available surface, but still it feels like coming home to him.
“It’s so weird how this place is so chaotic, but still manages to calm me down every single time,” he sighs. “There’s so much history in this place.”
“I know,” Derek agrees, closing the door behind him. “Actually, there’s a word for that.”
“There is?” he asks as he wanders into Laura’s office to retrieve the present he bought for Derek. Because no way was he going to hide it in their house. The sneaky bastard would have found it somehow, he’s sure.
Derek hums and trails after him. “It’s called vellichor. It’s the strange wistfulness of used bookstores. Like you said, there’s a lot of history here. All the books have a story.”
Stiles finally manages to find Derek’s present in one of the drawers of Laura’s desk and holds it up triumphantly. Then he takes Derek’s hand and sits him down into Laura’s chair, sitting down in the man’s lap as he hands him the present.
“Happy Valentine’s Day, Der-Bear.”
Derek lets out a surprised laugh and takes it. “I thought our plans for tonight were my present?”
He shrugs. “I felt like spoiling you. Besides, you bought my dad a plane ticket so he can visit us and I can see him for the first time in way too long. You deserve all the damn presents.”
The man shakes his head in amusement and unwraps his present, uncovering the book inside. “It’s a collection of Elizabeth Bishop’s work,” Stiles tells him, taking in his happy expression.
“I love it, thank you,” Derek says and lays the book down on the desk so he can wrap both arms around Stiles and go in for a kiss.
Stiles happily obliges and angles his head to deepen the kiss, his tongue battling Derek’s for dominance. Derek huffs and before Stiles knows what he’s doing, he’s being manhandled to straddle Derek on the chair. He chuckles against the man’s lips.
“You could have just asked me to move, you know?”
“This was faster,” Derek shrugs and continues kissing him with a passion. Stiles wraps his arms around Derek’s neck and buries a hand in his incredibly soft hair, eliciting a soft moan of contentment from the man. Derek’s hands start to wander to his ass and when his fingers dip inside Stiles’ pants, Stiles leans back to look him in the eye curiously.
“I thought you said no sex in the office?”
“I said no sex in my office. I never said anything about my sister’s.”
“You devious little shit,” he gasps. “I love it.” He kisses him again, but briefly this time. He can already feel Derek’s dick harden beneath him and he wants. He shimmies off Derek’s lap and to his knees on the ground in front of him. “I wanna blow you. Can I blow you?”
“Like you even have to ask?” Derek mutters, already undoing the button and fly of his jeans. Stiles helps him out and shoves the jeans all the way to Derek’s ankles, practically salivating at the lovely sight in front of him. The man is well on his way to being fully erect and the boxer briefs he’s wearing really don’t leave much to the imagination.
Not that Stiles has to imagine anything. He knows.
He grins and trails his hands up Derek’s hairy thighs, teasing him, then starts mouthing at his dick through his underwear. Derek’s breath hitches slightly at the contact and Stiles moves his mouth to the head, suckling lightly.
He hums and decides to stop teasing him, making Derek lift his hips so Stiles can drag his underwear down, too. He continues straight away, spending some time on Derek’s balls before finally taking the man’s dick into his mouth. God, he loves this. Has he mentioned that? Because he really, really does. Derek is slowly carding a hand through his hair, gently pulling it when Stiles does something that feels particularly good and there is literally nowhere else he would rather be right now.
He wraps one hand around the base of Derek’s dick and uses the other to undo his own pants and get his own dick out. He finally gets a hand around himself as well and moans at the delicious friction, using his own precum as lube.
It doesn’t take much longer for them to come. Stiles swallows Derek’s load and makes sure he catches his own with his hand, because Laura will kill him if it lands anywhere else. They clean themselves up and go back to the front. One look out the window lets them know it’s raining outside.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” he groans.
“It’s fine,” Derek says, taking his hand and leading him to the back of the store. “We’ll just hang out here for a bit.”
Laura had left a small space in the back empty of books, so that she could turn it into a lounge area. There’s one old couch and the rest of the floor is littered with fluffy pillows and a blanket to make a comfortable seat. Like he said, he loves this place.
Derek leads him to the floor and rearranges some pillows so they can lean against them. Then he gets out his new poetry book and starts reading him some poems while Stiles cuddles up against him. All in all, it’s a pretty good way to kill time.
Laying there with his head pillowed on Derek’s shoulder, enveloped in warmth and the smell of old books, he almost dozes off. Derek too, seems to be completely caught up in his reading. Which is probably why neither of them hears the front door opening.
What they do hear, is Erica’s squeal of excitement as she rounds the corner and spots them, clapping her hands together gleefully, her face going through so many emotions at once that Stiles is unable to pinpoint one. He chuckles. He knew her face would be priceless when she’d find out about him and Derek. Speaking of, he chances a quick glance in his direction, but the man seems to be pretty amused by Erica’s antics himself, so they’re good.
“Erica babe, what is it?” Laura (and isn’t that interesting) asks, rounding the corner as well and taking in the scene in front of her. “Oh God.”
“RIGHT?!” Erica shrieks again.
“Christ Erica, stop squealing! You’re ruining the vellichor for us,” he huffs.
“I have no idea what that means. But you know what I do know?” She wiggles her eyebrows and waits a beat to deliver her punchline and . . . ogle his boyfriend’s pants. “The sex must be incredible. You should totally let me watch sometime.”
“Oh my God, Erica.”