Derek didn’t want to move. He really didn’t. But his roommate Sarah didn’t seem to think the apartment was big enough now that she had a boyfriend and he wasn’t really a people person so finding a roommate to replace her seemed more trouble than it was worth. As a result they had to get the apartment looking nice for the listing pictures and that’s how he found the stash.
“What the hell is this, Sarah?” He demanded, barging into her room holding a pair of striped boxer briefs and some socks.
She looked up at him inquisitively. “Um, your underwear?”
“Not my underwear.” He corrected.
“Well it’s not Jack’s either. Where’d you find it?”
“There’s a huge stash of it at the back of the front closet.”
Sarah giggled hysterically for a moment. “Oh that must be Jasper. He used to steal underwear out of laundry hamper. I thought I’d trained him out of doing that but I guess not. It must belong to a neighbor.”
Jasper the cat was literally one of Derek’s least favorite things about rooming with Sarah. He was a dog person, through and through, but when they’d moved in together he couldn’t bring himself to ask her to get rid of Jasper since he wasn’t allergic. Somehow the cat had managed to collect nigh on twenty pairs of socks and ten of underwear and Derek felt bad not making some effort to amend the situation, so he laid them all out on the living room floor (thankfully they were clean) and took a photo that Jasper decided to creep into.
He printed out a few fliers explaining the situation and posted them in the neighboring apartments as well as his own. The next day a loud rap came at the door and Derek opened it to find a slightly blushing young man on the other side. Without meaning to, Derek’s gaze travelled down his figure until it settled on his slim hips which almost definitely belonged to the briefs.
“Hi!” The young man said, cheerfully holding out a hand in greeting. Derek took it and tried not to focus on the long fingers and their strong grasp. It had clearly been way too long since he’d interacted with people. “Are you Derek?”
“Uh yeah, yeah.” He replies, trying hard to muster a welcoming smile.
“I’m here for the underwear.” Stiles said unabashedly.
“Oh, of course! Do you want to come in?”
Stiles followed his inviting gesture through the doorway and Derek could tell he was trying not to look around too much.
“So which apartment are you in?”
“I’m actually just across the fire-escape.” Stiles gestured vaguely in some direction with his sinfully long arms.
“Really? I can’t believe we’ve never seen each other around.”
“Oh I’ve seen you.” Stiles answered quickly before turning bright, splotchy red and nodding awkwardly. “I mean, around. You know.”
“Well I guess my roommates cat wanted us to meet.” Derek hoped the joke would lighten the awkwardness a bit. “You want anything to drink? Coffee? Beer? I feel kinda bad with my cat stealing you whole sock drawer and all.”
Stiles grinned cheekily. “Believe me, that wasn’t remotely half my sock drawer.” Then he bit his lip and Derek found his eyes following the self-conscious motion again. “But I’ll have some coffee if it’ll make you feel better.”
“I couldn’t sleep tonight if you didn’t.” Derek retorted with a quick eyebrow raise.
As they sat down to their coffee in the living room Stiles reflexively petted Jasper who immediately came and nosed at his waistband.
“What do you do? Wash your clothes in catnip?”
“Your guess is as good as mine.” Stiles answered laughingly and Derek decided he officially wanted to make him laugh all the time.
“I hope you don’t mind me putting those fliers up, by the way. With the picture on it.”
“No worries. I’m not too shy about stuff like that.” Then Stiles blushed and rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly. “I’m actually an underwear model, so you know. All that stuff being on display is kind of my job.”
Derek’s eyes immediately raked across Stiles’ chest and settled on his crotch where his pants were stretched tight. A blush crept over his cheeks when Stiles cleared his throat and Derek realized he’d stared a beat too long, but when he looked up Stiles’ cheeks were equally red and his eyes were determined.
“Do you want to go on a date?” He asked quickly. “I mean we’ve been checking each other out since I knocked at the door and you know what my underwear looks like and I’d kind of like to know what yours does and-”
“Yes.” Derek interrupted eagerly. “You free tonight?”
Needless to say, Stiles’ got his underwear back but it didn’t stay on very long.