“Oh my God, Scott, hold me, I think I’m about to faint,” Stiles wheezes, gripping the doorframe.
Scott gives an amused snort. “How do you propose I hold you, dumbass? We’re on the phone.”
“Oh right,” Stiles falters. He blinks at the ground, dazed by the sight in front of him. He’s confused for only a second before he remembers the conversation he’d had with Lydia a few weeks ago about the school inviting Derek Hale, esteemed werewolf activist, to talk to the students.
The same Derek Hale that’s sitting not ten feet away from him in the Teachers’ Lounge, talking quietly with Lydia.
“Scott, he’s just so pretty,” Stiles whispers as he tries to stare at literallyanything else in the room but at the werewolf.
Jesus almighty, he’s wearing an incredibly soft-looking gray sweater and dark wash jeans that look like they’re practically painted on. Stiles freezes where he stands, Scott’s voice just falling away, as he tries to memorize every detail of the beautiful man in front of him.
He’s only ever seen Derek Hale on TV, during his various appearances on CNN and late night talk shows about the work he and Laura Hale are doing to fight the right-wing activists who’re against werewolves being integrated into modern society.
Seriously, Derek Hale on-TV does no justice to Derek Hale in-person because Derek Hale in-person is one breathtaking specimen. That artful stubble, those sparkling unicorn eyes, those thick brows, and hngh, that hair—it’s just so…
“Fluffy,” Stiles breathes. Maybe a little too loudly because Lydia and Derek pause their conversation and look over at him, Lydia giving him a knowing smirk and Derek looking at him with curiosity-laden eyes.
Holy shit, he’s not ready for the full-frontal assault of Derek’s face on him. Stiles coughs, jerking back at the attention and accidentally drops his phone before flailing like a maniac trying to catch it.
“Hey Stiles,” Lydia says, dragging out the hey.
“What’s a Stiles?” Derek asks and wow, that voice totally did not go straight to his dick.
“I’m a Stiles,” he says, unthinking. “I - I mean my name, that is. It’s Stiles! Stiles Stilinski.”
“Stiles Stilinski?” Derek quirks a brow at him, lips twitching up.
“It’s a long story,” Stiles mumbles, flushed.
Derek grins, all-teeth, obviously finding Stiles’s awkwardness very amusing. And woah - that smile. Derek Hale has fucking adorable bunny teeth. It’s not until Lydia starts laughing that Stiles realizes—holy crap he totally said that out loud.
Stiles shuts his eyes, praying for the ground under him to just open and swallow him. Unfortunately it doesn’t.
“Thank you,” Derek says, his grin widening. Lydia looks between the two of them and gives Stiles a shit-eating smirk before gracefully getting up.
“Well, I’ve got to get to my next class. Stiles has a free period now anyways so I’m sure he’ll be happy to keep you company for the next hour or so before your speech. It was lovely speaking to you, Derek,” Lydia smiles, shaking hands with Derek. “See you in the assembly hall.”
“Pleasure’s all mine, Lydia,” Derek smiles back. “Thanks for the help.”
Lydia nods at him and leaves the room, but not before leaning towards Stiles and whispering, “Ask him out or I’ll introduce him to Danny right after his speech.”
Stiles squawks inelegantly.
“So, Stiles, is it?” Derek asks, drawing his attention back to him.
“Um, yeah, hi. And you’re Derek Hale. Obviously. I mean - right - of course you know what your name is,” Stiles fumbles as he takes Lydia’s seat, his face burning with embarrassment. Stiles has never been so thankful that the Lounge is fairly empty so nobody at the school witnesses his epic failure in life right now.
“So what do you teach, Stiles Stilinski?” Derek murmurs, taking a sip from his coffee. He peers at Stiles through his lashes making Stiles’s throat dry at the sight. Up close, his eyes are even more hypnotizing.
“English and Psychology,” he replies.
“That’s cool. English was actually one of my favourite classes in school.”
“Yeah, mine too. My mom used to be an English teacher and she really made all the books come alive for me. She’d read everything to me out loud - voices and everything, of course - and it broadened my world, y’know?” Stiles gives Derek a wistful smile.
“Yeah, I do,” Derek nods, staring at Stiles as though he’s trying to decide something. “What’re you teaching the class right now then?”
“Well with my grade nines, we’re in the middle of the poetry section so we’re doing The Road Not Taken.”
“Robert Frost. Excellent choice,” Derek hums.
“Yeah, it’s my favourite poem. You’ve obviously read it too, then?”
“Mhm - my mom read it to me when I was young,” Derek looks away.
Stiles stays silent, his heart hammering away, at the mention of the late Talia Hale. Of course, everyone knows who Talia Hale is, or rather, was. She and the rest of Derek’s family, save for Laura and Cora, had been trapped in their home and burned alive during the peak of the human-werewolf riots almost fifteen years ago. In one night, Derek and his sisters had lost their family of fifteen. It was because of his family that Derek, Laura, and Cora had started The Hale Foundation almost ten years ago.
“She always taught us that our lives, our destinies, would be defined by the kind of choices we make. We could either choose to be angry and fight fire with fire or we could be rational and make the choice we’d be okay living with.”
“Is that why you testified to put Gerard and Kate Argent away in solitary prison rather than have the death sentence?” The question is out before Stiles can stop it. Derek looks at Stiles though, no trace of anger in his eyes. He nods.
“Yes. My sisters and I fought a lot about what I’d say, actually. They wanted them to be given the death sentence but I mean - I didn’t see it that way. The longer I thought about it on my own, the more I realized that the Argents getting the death penalty wouldn’t bring the rest of my family back. To me, it didn’t matter if they rot in prison or die. But Chris Argent proved to be a good ally in the end and despite everything Gerard and Kate did, I knew he’d have a rough time losing the last of his family, especially since he’d already lost his wife and Allison in the riots.”
“You chose to forgive them,” Stiles murmurs, transfixed. Derek gives him a slight smile.
“I chose not to be the monster they named us to be. I didn’t forgive; I simply did what my mother would have done.”
They fall quiet for a while, neither of them knowing what to say after something like that. The silence between them stretches for a while before Stiles clears his throat.
“So, are you nervous about the assembly?”
Derek shrugs. “Not really. I mean kids are generally pretty receptive to what I have to say. They’re actually curious and want to learn about the differences and the similarities and I generally do more of a Q&A anyways because it’s more interactive so it’ll be fine.”
They resume their lightly-toned conversation for the next forty-five minutes, talking about anything and everything. Derek talks about the countries he’s travelled in, the weirdest interactions he’s had with various supporters and crazy protestors and Stiles greedily takes in every detail of what Derek says. For the entirety of their conversation, Lydia’s parting words ring through his mind like church bells but he doesn’t act on it. The more Derek talks about everything he’s seen and done, the more Stiles realizes how out of his league Derek is.
It’s one thing to be so gorgeous and beautiful but Derek Hale is much more than that. He’s articulate, well-spoken, passionate, gentle yet fierce at the same time, and Jesus Christ, the guy has the dorkiest sense of humour he’s ever seen in a person. Stiles has no chance with a guy like Derek Hale so he tamps it down and nods and smiles at everything Derek talks about.
Their conversation eventually gets cut off by the shrill bell, indicating it’s time for the next period to start.
“Guess it’s time to head to the Assembly Hall,” Derek smiles. “Will you be joining or do you have to get to class?”
“Um - no, I’m totally coming! I’ve got to get my class and we’ll walk over together. I actually wrote attending this particular assembly into my lesson plan for the Psych class because we’re discussing how people’s perception of each other motivates their behaviour in any given situation so I thought hearing you would be a cool thing for them. It’s kind of like how people get scared of wolves really easily because of how old horror movies used to portray werewolves so they thought all wolves must be vicious and ravenous,” Stiles rambles, fingers fidgeting together.
Derek laughs. “Right, that’s cool. Well, I’ll see you in a few minutes then.”
Stiles nods, returning Derek’s smile with one of his own. They walk out together and it’s then that Stiles realizes he and Derek are going to go opposite ways, him turning left and Derek turning right to where the Assembly Hall is just down the hallway, where teachers are already directing their students inside.
Stiles pauses, turning around, surprised to see Derek standing right in front of him, not an arm’s length away. “Um - yes?”
“How many times do I have to make you laugh with my absolutely terrible dad jokes for you to ask me out? Or do I have to wait until Lydia introduces me to Danny?”
“Um - what.”
Derek leans close, a shit-eating grin on his face. “I’m a wolf, Stiles.”
It occurs to Stiles that Lydia had the same thought when she leaned in towards Stiles on her way out.
He looks down at the floor, lips curling into a big smile, before looking back up at Derek. “Derek, would you like to have dinner with me tonight?”
Derek huffs a laugh. “I’d love to. I’ll text you my hotel’s name.”
“I didn’t give you my number,” Stiles replies, confused.
“I’m aware. Lydia already texted it to me a few minutes ago.” Derek waves his phone at Stiles, making him roll his eyes.
“Great, thanks Lydia,” he mumbles. Stiles motions to the Assembly Hall behind Derek. “You should get going though. I’ll be there with my class in a bit.”
“Sounds like a deal,” Derek says. He throws Stiles a wink before walking away.
The second Stiles turns the corner, he does his patented victory dance.
Their date later that night is one of the best nights Stiles has ever had with someone, even though they don’t end up going out to dinner until much later than expected.
As for Derek’s speech-slash-Q&A, it becomes a rousing hit with the students, so much so that it becomes a tradition for Derek to come back to the school every year for a repeat assembly even though Derek is ridiculously busy with all his other more important commitments.
Of course, it helps that Stiles and Derek are in a steady relationship long before his second visit to the school and are married shortly after his fifth visit.