His first semester of college had been fine. He could probably be used as a case study for how to be a perfect college freshman. He never missed classes, turned everything in on time, and got great scores on tests. There was no mysterious weight gain or parties that left him waking up naked in a tree the next day.
As stupid or cliché as it might have sounded, Stiles Stilinski was an A+ college student. His dad had been beyond proud when he had shown him his grades during winter break and he got into all of the classes he needed to take for next semester without any problems.
So, in January when the second semester started, Stiles was more than prepared to repeat his act and have a perfect freshman year.
That was until he walked into his Shakespeare Lit class and made eye contact with the teacher’s aide and promptly walked into a wall.
He wished he were kidding.
The first semester had been filled with wrinkly professors and the second semester wasn’t that different. But for his Shakespeare Lit class the TA would be teaching a class every Friday and observing on Mondays and Wednesdays. This had been fine when he had registered, but the TA was… stupidly attractive.
No, but seriously, it made no sense for anyone to look that good.
And Stiles was just an 18 year-old still filled with hormones despite his technical adult status.
But Derek Hale (or Mr. Hale, as their professor insisted the students addressed him) was 25 and fuckin’ gorgeous. No other words described the pure aesthetic perfection of Derek Hale’s everything. Everything from his dark hair to his stubble to his perfectly muscled body to his stupid glasses to his beyond stupid vests he wore every class were perfection.
And of course Stiles knew that he wasn’t the only one affected by him. It seemed like everyone in the class gave a collective sigh when he walked into the classroom.
Within the first week though the collective sigh was gone and almost everyone skipped when Derek taught for his one day a week.
No amount of good looks could save Derek Hale from being the enormous douchebag that he was. No late papers, no phones or laptops in class, no e-mail assignments, if you talked you were out, no questions during class, no staring off into space, and no sitting in the back of the class if there were spots open in the front.
He stood at the front of class and talked for the entire 50 minutes and expected everyone to look interested and take diligent notes. Derek had kicked out a total of 13 people from one class for spacing out and Stiles was just lucky that he was actually interested in what Derek said.
It had been pretty hard not to zone out when Derek started his first lecture, with his monotone voice and bored expression, but if Stiles actually listened to what he was saying he found himself interested.
The topics were fascinating and Derek’s way of wording things was easy to understand, sometimes it felt like Derek understood more about the subject than their professor.
It was a Friday and exactly two weeks before Valentine’s Day (even though it wasn’t like Stiles had anyone to celebrate with) when Derek had sent him an e-mail asking him to stay after class that day. Shakespeare Lit was his last class of the day and he was beyond ready to head back to his dorm and take a much needed nap, but he could lend Derek a few minutes of his time. He had no idea what Derek could possibly talk to him about though. Stiles had turned in all of his assignments and had passed all of his tests and quizzes with near perfect scores and had attended every class. Maybe Derek had him mixed up with someone else.
After the class was over and the room had cleared it was just him and Derek left. Stiles packed up his backpack, pulled the straps on his shoulders, and then headed toward the front of the class where Derek was leaning against the desk.
“So, uh, you wanted to talk to me?”
Derek looked up at him, looking at him for a few seconds before taking a notebook in his hands and flipping through it. Stiles figured that Derek hadn’t matched anyone’s names up to their faces yet.
“You’re… uh, Mr. Stilinski?” Derek asked, squinting at what was probably Stiles’ first name.
“Yeah, just call me Stiles though,” Stiles said.
The older man nodded, taking a pen and writing something down in the notebook. “I wanted to talk to you about something.”
“Okay,” Stiles said slowly, nodding and pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose (it was just his luck to lose his contacts). “What’s up?”
Derek raised an eyebrow at that, probably not used to a student talking to him so casually. Whenever someone stayed after class to ask Derek something they always avoided eye contact and stammered out their words. Stiles had witnessed some pretty bad instances.
“I wanted to talk to you about… never mind, I shouldn’t be bothering you with this,” Derek sighed, closing his notebook and slipping it into a messenger bag.
Now Stiles was intrigued, ridiculously intrigued. That sentence was filled with the most emotion Stiles had ever heard Derek voice before.
“No, it’s totally cool,” Stiles insisted. “Anything you wanna say, you can say it.”
“I’ve noticed that… Well, you’re a very good-,” Derek sighed, running a hand through his hair. “I’m sorry, I’m not very good with words.”
“It’s fine,” Stiles shrugged. “This is my last class, so take as long as you need.”
“All right,” Derek nodded. “I’ve noticed that out of all the students you take this class the most seriously. Your grades are the best and you’ve always attended class. Most of the students don’t show up when I teach and a lot of them don’t pay any attention, but you’ve always done well. I don’t even know why I’m asking you this, but-.”
“-What makes me so special?” Stiles finished, his mouth curling up into a grin.
Apparently humor was lost on Derek since he just gave him a blank expression before slowly nodding. “I suppose that’s a way of putting it.”
They both didn’t say anything after that and it took Stiles a few seconds of looking at Derek watching him expectantly when he figured he was supposed to say something.
“Oh, right,” Stiles nodded. “Uh, I don’t know? I really want to pass this class, so I try hard. I don’t really think there’s any secret formula to it.”
“So, you’re proposing that the reason everyone else is nearly failing is because none of them want to pass?”
Nearly failing? Yikes.
“No,” Stiles said. “Professor Hart is great and he’s a fair grader.”
“I know,” Derek said, almost agitatedly. “But, in your honest opinion, do you think that there’s something wrong with my teaching?”
Stiles honestly had no idea that Derek Hale with his grumpy face and monotone lectures and strict rules had no idea what he was doing wrong. Professor Hart was always energetic and interactive when he taught, so surely Derek must have noticed that he was doing things a lot differently.
Either that or he knew that they were different, but thought that he was being just as effective.
“My answer isn’t going to affect my grade, is it?” Stiles asked.
“Of course not.”
“Oh, well in that case, dude you’re Hitler.”
Okay, maybe he could have worded that better.
“Excuse me?” Derek asked.
“Well, not technically Hitler, just the TA equivalent,” Stiles said. “I mean you’re smart and you know the material and you make it easy to understand, you’re just… mean. You’re really mean.”
“Yeah, but mean.”
“I’m not here to make friends with my students.”
“I know, but it won’t kill you to let people take notes on their laptop during class or sit in the back if they feel like it.”
“People can easily take notes on pen and paper and if they sit in the front they’re more likely to pay attention.”
“Okay,” Stiles said. “But you can’t just kick people out for zoning out when you talk in a monotone for 50 minutes straight.”
“Your voice is a very flat line, my friend.”
“I always get the material across, it shouldn’t matter how much infliction I put into my voice.”
“You always look mad.”
“This is my normal face.”
“It wouldn’t kill you to use it to smile.”
“You’re extremely judgmental.”
“You’re extremely grumpy.”
Apparently Derek didn’t have a comeback for that. He frowned (only amplifying the grumpy effect), grabbing the strap on his bag and hoisting it up on his shoulder.
“Well, what do you propose I do?” Derek asked.
“Dude, I’m 18, I don’t know anything about teaching Shakespeare,” Stiles said. “Maybe you should ask one of the failing students on how you can approve.”
“They’re all scared of me.”
“That doesn’t surprise me.”
Derek practically growled in frustration, his eyebrows lowering and a little crinkle in the middle of his forehead forming. Stiles hadn’t meant to tick him off, but apparently that’s what had happened.
“Just forget this happened,” Derek said. “I don’t even know why I’m talking about this with a kid.”
He grabbed his jacket from the desk and brushed past Stiles, exiting the classroom. Stiles stood there, feeling relieved that he didn’t have to partake in conversation with Mr. Grumpy Face anymore. But at the same time he just felt sad.
“I’m here to make all of your dreams come true!” Stiles said, slapping a folder down on the desk that Derek was sitting at.
It was Monday and class had just ended. Professor Hart was talking to a few students at his desk and Derek had started to pack up at the desk he had been sitting at. After their conversation on Friday, Stiles had spent a good portion of the weekend in his dorm room researching and putting together a folder for Derek.
He had felt a little guilty that he had been kind of an extreme asshole to Derek (even though he had just been truthful). But he did respect that Derek seemed like he really wanted to try and become a better teacher.
It wasn’t until he saw the look on Derek’s face when he dropped the folder on Derek’s desk that he realized that maybe Derek didn’t want his help anymore.
“‘Make my dreams come true’?” Derek asked. “Are you going to pay off all of my student loans and get my sister to stop setting me up on blind dates?”
Stiles blinked, his mouth dropping open. Derek smirked, taking the folder and opening it.
“You just cracked a joke.”
“I know,” Derek said, leafing through the papers in the folders. “What is this?”
“Activities,” Stiles said. “Maybe we could try these out on Friday.”
“‘We’?” Derek repeated.
“You,” Stiles said quickly. “I’m not a teacher, you are.”
Derek gave a small smile, looking at a few papers before closing the folder. “Thanks for this, but I don’t think this is something I would use. I’m not very good at interacting with the class.”
“I can help you,” Stiles offered. “I know I was kind of an asshole on Friday and I’m sorry.”
“You were being honest.”
“It didn’t bother me.”
“You stormed out of here like it bothered you.”
“Well, I’m over it,” Derek shrugged. “And you don’t need to help me. It was stupid for me to ask a student, I need to figure this out on my own.”
“But you don’t have to,” Stiles said. “I can help.”
Derek looked at Stiles, studying him for a few seconds before sighing. “You said that this was your last class, right?”
“On Wednesday after this class, do you want to get lunch and talk?”
Out of context this would have been a date. And despite the bad attitude and permanent grumpy face, Derek was still ridiculously gorgeous and capable of making Stiles’ pants feel significantly tighter.
But this wasn’t going to be a date; this was going to be lunch with them talking about teaching strategies. With Stiles’ luck Derek was probably straight and homophobic.
“Sure,” Stiles nodded. “I’ll see you then.”
“Excited for your date?”
“It’s not a date.”
“You want it to be a date.”
“Well, yeah, of course I do,” Stiles said. “Why wouldn’t I want to go on a date with Derek? He’s gorgeous.”
“Very true,” Allison said.
Scott looked petrified by Allison agreeing with that though, so she quickly shook her head. “In a sense of typical gorgeous. I don’t think he’s attractive, but I can see how other people might.”
This caused Scott’s look of terror to turn into one of contentment. He kissed Allison’s cheek before turning back to Stiles. “But, dude, you’re totally into him.”
“I think he’s hot,” Stiles shrugged. “That’s about it.”
“You want to help him with teaching,” Scott said. “You’re having lunch with him. You’re into him.”
“I don’t know him.”
“You want to get to know him.”
Okay, point taken. Stiles liked Derek, but the chances of those feelings being reciprocated were terrible. He was a freshman and awkward and still stupidly virginal. He thought dating would change for him after his dry-run in high school (three dates, three goodnight kisses on the cheek, and three people never calling him back), but it hadn’t. It wasn’t like he hadn’t tried, no one showed any interest.
Scott was still the supportive best friend though. Allison was great too. They had been dating and stupidly in love for three years and despite Stiles telling them how disgustingly nauseating they were, he was kind of jealous. Both of them always encouraged him that it wasn’t him, just other people with no good taste.
“He’s 25,” Stiles said. “And gorgeous and probably not into guys. He’s so out of my league.”
“He’s only out of your league if you make him out of your league,” Allison said.
“I don’t have to make him out of my league when he’s naturally out of my league.”
Scott gave a heavy sigh next to him, clamping a hand down on Stiles’ shoulder. “Well, enjoy your Shakespeare class. Take good notes. Go to lunch with Derek and if you get laid, text me.”
“And if I don’t get laid?”
“Come back to the dorm and we’ll get pizza and play Black Ops.”
“You won’t mind?” Stiles asked, turning to Allison.
“He’s all yours,” Allison said. “I’ve got a huge paper due tomorrow for my Girl Cultures class anyway.”
After saying their goodbyes, Stiles headed to the Shakespeare Lit classroom. He got his usual seat toward the front and got his notebook out as Professor Hart began to start class. Derek was sitting in his desk in the corner, taking notes as usual.
Usually when Professor Hart taught class flew by, but today the minutes only seemed to sluggishly tick by. Since Valentine’s Day was next Friday they were going over Shakespeare’s sonnets for this week and the next. Most of it Stiles had already learned in high school, so not a lot of it was keeping his attention. Several times during the class he found himself looking from Professor Hart to Derek.
And several times Derek had looked back at him.
The first few times they had done the classic quickly looking in another direction, but the last time with five minutes to spare left of class, they had held each other’s gaze. Derek had looked up from his notebook, catching Stiles’ eye who was already looking at him.
Derek had just smirked, shaking his head before looking back at Professor Hart.
Okay, it had been brief and it wasn’t exactly a longing gaze, but it had given Stiles butterflies so that had to mean something.
After class, Stiles packed up and headed toward Derek’s desk. “So, where are we going?”
“You pick,” Derek said, placing his stuff into his bag. “I’m not picky.”
“There’s a great pizza place like two minutes from campus,” Stiles said. “They have awesome cheese-stuffed crust and we can walk.”
“Sounds good,” Derek said. “Lead the way.”
So, Stiles had no idea if Derek was into guys or not, but he did know that they were food soul mates. The original plan was to split a large pizza and get what they wanted on a half. Derek had ordered first and it was identical to Stiles’ regular. When the cashier asked Stiles what he wanted on his half, he had just said to make the order cover the entire pizza.
They sat down at a booth toward the back of the place, away from the loud TVs and chatty college students. It was a little late for lunch, so the place wasn’t too crowded though. Usually when Stiles went there with Scott and Allison (feeling like a third wheel despite their efforts to include him) it was a lot later and a lot more crowded.
“So,” Stiles said. “What’s the plan for Friday?”
“Well, since today Professor Hart broke down the meaning of the sonnets, I thought that I would talk about the history of some,” Derek said. “The meanings don’t always add up to the actual events that Shakespeare went through when writing them.”
“Yeah, when you put it like that,” Stiles said. “But when you talk about it for 50 minutes without stopping, it’s not that interesting.”
“I don’t know how else to teach essentially a history lesson,” Derek said.
“Well, that’s why we’re here, right?” Stiles said. “So, think about a Shakespeare class you took, what fun things did your teacher do?”
“Group work,” Derek said, a look of what could only be disgust coming across his face.
“How is that fun?”
“Okay, just because it’s not fun for you doesn’t mean that other people won’t like it.”
“But how would I incorporate group work into the lesson?”
“Give a group a poem and have them research the history behind the poem and share with the class.”
“But what if they don’t get adequate research?”
“I won’t have time if every group fails.”
“Then push the lesson into next week.”
“That’s wasting time.”
Stiles leaned back against his chair, staring at Derek who was leaning forward on the table, looking like he was challenging Stiles. Okay, Stiles wasn’t a teacher, but he was a student and he knew what his peers paid attention to. Derek talking for an entire class wasn’t going to keep any of their attentions and the semester wasn’t even halfway over.
“I’m trying to help you,” Stiles said.
“You’re forcing your help on me,” Derek said. “I thought I would be nice and listen. You have good ideas, but they’re not practical, too time consuming. Lecturing is precise and I know how long it’ll last. People pay to be at school and I don’t want to waste their time.”
“You’re wasting people’s time right now,” Stiles said. “More than half the class skips when you teach and you tell the other half to leave when you’re teaching.”
“They don’t respect me.”
“Because you don’t know what the hell you’re doing!” Stiles snapped. “You know what you’re talking about, hell, you probably know more than Professor Hart, but you don’t know how to get people to listen.”
“Of course I listen, you’re-.”
He clamped a hand over his mouth, stopping himself from what he was about to say. Stiles wasn’t even sure what he was going to say, but he knew it would have just embarrassed him.
Derek was what? Fascinating? Gorgeous? Kind of beyond brilliant? All of the above.
“I’m what?” Derek asked.
“I have to go,” Stiles said, standing up. “Enjoy the pizza, think about the group work.”
He grabbed his backpack from the back of his chair and slid it on his shoulders before quickly leaving the restaurant.
Stiles went to all of his classes except for Shakespeare Lit on Friday. It was the first class he had skipped just for the sake of skipping. He felt so embarrassed and stupid. He had no idea why he thought he was capable of helping Derek when he didn’t know what the hell he was doing. The entire thing was just for selfish reasons anyway. Being able to spend time with his gorgeous TA and get to know him and maybe make out with him or something.
Scott had been awesome when he had returned to their dorm much too early. He ordered pizza from the place Stiles had just ditched Derek and they ended up playing video games until two in the morning. Of course he regretted that when he had to get up for his nine o’clock class, but that was beside the point.
Shakespeare Lit was from 1-1:50, so Stiles headed back to the dorm after his noon class. Scott was probably having lunch with Allison and Stiles gladly welcomed the silence of the tiny room. He yanked off his jacket and jeans, placing his glasses on his desk before closing the blinds and curling up in bed.
Sleep had not come easily last night and he was more than ready to start the weekend with a nice nap. He had just started to drift off when his phone pinged with an e-mail notification. Stiles groaned, sitting up and squinting to where his phone was charging at the opposite side of the room.
Getting out of bed, Stiles jammed his glasses back on (almost poking his eye out in the process) before grabbing his phone and then slipping back under the covers. He opened the e-mail and groaned, throwing his head back against the pillow, when he saw who it was from.
Please stay after class on Monday.
- Derek Hale
It was short and devoid of all emotions, just like the first e-mail Derek had sent him a week ago. Class had started two minutes ago and Derek had probably sent this upon seeing his absence. Right now he was probably standing in front of the class talking in a monotone and looking incredibly good in one of his stupid vests.
Stiles hated vests.
He was just about to close out of his e-mail and try to sleep again when the door opened. And in came Scott and Allison. They were both giggling, arms wrapped around each other as they stumbled into the room, mouths attacking in an almost playful way. Stiles sat up in bed, just watching and frowning until Scott turned to close the door.
Scott’s shout and Allison’s shriek were almost comical.
“Hey,” Stiles greeted as Scott turned the light on.
“Hey, man, I didn’t think you’d be in,” Scott said. “Why are you skipping? Are you sick or something?”
“No, I just didn’t want to face Derek.”
“Really?” Allison asked. “I don’t think he would be mad at you.”
Stiles honestly had no idea how Scott and Allison had gone from making out to being loyal friends in .2 seconds, but he was grateful for it.
“It’d be awkward,” Stiles said. “And he just sent me an e-mail saying that he wants to meet after class on Monday.”
“That could totally be a good thing,” Scott said, sitting down on Stiles’ bed. “Maybe he wants to get it on and you can finally get rid of your V-card.”
“I can’t believe I’m friends with someone who says ‘get it on’ unironically.”
“I can’t believe you just said ‘get rid of your V-card’,” Allison said, sitting down on Stiles’ other side. “I think that it’s sweet that Stiles is still a virgin.”
“I don’t,” Stiles said. “There’s a difference between wanting to be a virgin and not wanting to be one.”
“Well, you’ve kept it this long,” Allison said. “It can still mean something instead of just getting rid of it.”
She gave Scott a pointed look and he scratched the back of his neck, looking away from Allison’s gaze.
“And,” Allison continued. “It could mean something with Derek if you two got to know each other first.”
“He’s not even interested,” Stiles said. “I barely know him and he barely knows me. I’m his student and I try too hard and he’s also trying too hard and he thinks that he’s so bad with words, but he’s so good at them when he’s not thinking about it too much and he’s gorgeous but that wouldn’t even matter because he’s brilliant and-.”
He cut himself off, the looks on Allison and Scott’s faces saying more than enough.
“Oh God,” Stiles groaned, putting his face in his hands. “I’ve got it bad.”
He had plans to run out of the door as soon as Professor Hart said that they were dismissed on Monday. He had plans to pack up a minute before class ended and then sprint out of the door without looking back. He had plans to sit in the back from then on and block Derek’s e-mail address.
These were of course plans.
Stiles had been so caught up in the lesson that he didn’t pack up early. Professor Hart dismissed them and he still had his textbook, notebook, pens, water bottle, snacks (he didn’t have time to eat lunch at a normal time), and other miscellaneous objects on his desk. He frantically started packing up as everyone left the room.
It didn’t matter how fast he moved though because Derek was looming over his desk in a matter of seconds, watching with an obnoxiously amused expression as he tried to shove his textbook into the smallest opening he could make with the zippers of his backpack.
“Did you get my e-mail on Friday?”
Stiles looked around the classroom to see if he could call out to anyone for help. The room was empty though, even Professor Hart had taken off. There wasn’t a class in the room after theirs either, so he was doomed.
“Uh, yeah,” Stiles said. “I was absent because-.”
“-I was throwing up and it was so- You’re what?”
“Sorry,” Derek repeated. “I shouldn’t have asked you to stay after last Friday and I shouldn’t have asked for your help and I shouldn’t have asked you out to lunch. It was unprofessional and I’ve obviously made things so uncomfortable for you that you chose to skip class.”
“Wow,” Stiles said, feeling more than a little dumbfounded. “That’s, wow, okay. Uh, don’t worry about it.”
“I won’t approach you anymore,” Derek said.
There was silence then and Stiles didn’t know if he was supposed to say something or just leave. He didn’t want to leave; he wanted to keep talking to Derek and maybe convince him that what they had wasn’t a lost cause.
But what did they have? Nothing. There was nothing between them and Stiles was stupid for thinking that there could be.
“What’d I miss on class on Friday?” Stiles asked.
“Histories of some of the sonnets.”
“Did you lecture?”
“Can you tell me which sonnets you talked about?”
“Of course,” Derek said.
He walked back to the desk where he sat each Monday and Wednesday. Stiles watched as he tore a piece of paper from a notebook before writing. This was it. These were the last moments to try and come up with a way to keep Derek in his life. He felt pathetic, but he couldn’t help it. Before he was just on the outside looking in on the great mystery of Derek Hale. And now he had his foot in the door and he wasn’t going to leave without a fight.
Derek walked back to him, handing him the piece of paper. Stiles took it, still trying to think of what to say to make him stay when Derek looked at his watch, a telltale sign.
“Well,” Stiles sighed, stuffing the paper into his backpack before zipping it up. “I guess this is it.”
“Yeah,” Derek nodded. “I am sorry, Stiles.”
“Nothing to be sorry about.”
He turned around, took about five steps toward the door before spinning right back around again.
Derek looked up at him, raising an eyebrow. “Excuse me?”
“Goddammit, Derek, no.”
“Stiles, what are you-?”
“We’re going to do this for Rebecca Montgomery.”
“What are we doing for whom?”
“She sits next to me in class,” Stiles explained. “Her hair is dyed this bright red and she’s perky and excited on Mondays and Wednesdays, but falls asleep every Friday. You could send her out like the others, but you never do. So, we’re doing this for Rebecca Montgomery.”
“Doing what exactly?”
“Friday is Valentine’s Day,” Stiles said. “And you are going to teach the most badass, interactive, academic, and enticing lesson anyone in the history of Shakespeare Lit has ever dared to teach.”
“Those are some big ambitions.”
“And by the end of it Rebecca Montgomery is going to come up to you like she does to Professor Hart after every lesson and do you know what she’s going to say?”
“‘Great lesson, Mr. Hale, I learned a lot.’”
Derek just looked at him and for the life of him Stiles didn’t even know how to identify what that look meant. But it was new and different and it felt good, so he’d take it.
“Okay,” Derek said. “What do you propose we do?”
“Wednesday after class we should go somewhere quiet and take as much time as necessary to make sure that Friday is awesome.”
“My apartment is right off campus,” Derek proposed.
Stiles felt his mouth fall open and Derek grinned and he really hoped he wasn’t reading too much into that statement.
“And no running out like last time,” Derek said.
“Dude you are so getting laid.”
“It’s not like that.”
“You’re gonna have sex.”
“All signs point to yes.”
“All signs point to you’re an idiot.”
“Actually,” Allison said. “I think that Scott’s right.”
Stiles and Scott turned to Allison, Scott with glee and Stiles with disbelief.
“What?” Stiles asked. “No, Scott can be right, but not about this.”
“He invited you to his apartment.”
“To do a lesson plan.”
“Yeah and to probably lesson your plan while you’re there,” Scott said, waggling his eyebrows.
“That made no sense, but you still managed to make it sound dirty,” Stiles said. “I’m impressed.”
Allison sighed, rolling her eyes at both of them. “Stiles, you need to take this seriously. Derek could be a lot more interested than you think.”
It seemed highly unlikely, but he guessed that there was a chance. They were going to be in Derek’s apartment and they were consenting adults. But it still just felt so stupid for him to get his hopes up.
“Just in case,” Allison said, fishing around in her purse. “Take this with you.”
She grabbed one of Stiles’ hands and placed what she had taken out of her purse in it. He looked at it and felt his face heat up.
“Why do you carry a condom in your purse?” Stiles said, looking around to make sure no one saw (even though it wasn’t like they were dealing drugs) before shoving it in his pocket.
“You never know when you’re going to need one,” she shrugged, winking at Scott.
Scott just smiled his puppy dog grin at her and yeah, okay, Stiles could admit that they were pretty adorable.
“Even if something does happen,” Stiles said. “I’m not going to fuck him, that’s too much for a first time. At least I think it is. It feels like it is.”
“Or him fucking you,” Scott said.
Stiles narrowed his eyebrows at that. “Dude, what’s that supposed to mean?”
Scott and Allison looked at each other before quickly looking away.
“What are you two not telling me?”
“Uh, well, you were out late one night and we were looking for your takeout menus and we might have found your… thing,” Scott said.
“Y’know, the thing that I’m assuming you use from time to time.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Your dildo, Stiles,” Allison said. “We just assumed-.”
“You two have been assuming things about my nonexistent bedroom preferences?”
“Maybe?” Scott said, dragging the word out to make it sound more like a question.
Stiles just sighed, rolling his eyes. He didn’t care, it wasn’t any of their business but it wasn’t like they were making fun of him. Scott had been the first person Stiles had come out to and he had been happy for Stiles. There wasn’t any judgment between them and when Allison had wormed her way into their lives, she had been just as open as Scott was.
“I’m going to class,” Stiles said.
“And then to Derek’s,” Scott said.
“Yeah and then to Derek’s,” Stiles confirmed. “I’ll tell you guys if anything happens.”
Stiles then quickly headed off. He didn’t need to stick around for more of their interrogations. Sure, they had the best of intentions (like always), but they didn’t really know what to do with them (like always).
He barely made it to class in time, taking a seat toward the back right as Professor Hart started to talk. Stiles caught eyes with Derek, who grinned before bringing his attention back to Professor Hart.
The anticipation was killing him, but the pure fear of it all was also driving him crazy. What if Derek really just had innocent intentions? What if he didn’t have innocent intentions but was leaving it up to Stiles to make the first move? What if Stiles did make the first move and Derek laughed at him?
For the entire class Stiles just sat there, making up different scenarios of how going to Derek’s apartment could go terribly wrong.
It wasn’t until class had ended and Derek was standing in front of his desk that it was too late to back out.
“Ready to go?” Derek asked.
“Uh, yeah,” Stiles said, grabbing his backpack before standing up and following Derek out the door. “So, where’s your apartment?”
“It’s close,” Derek said. “I got it my junior year of my undergrad. My roommate drove me crazy.”
“That sucks,” Stiles said. “My roommate’s my best friend, Scott. We’ve been best friends since we were kids and even though everyone advises against rooming with your friends, things have been great. I have to walk in on him and his girlfriend having sex more often than I’d like, but I’m managing.”
Derek laughed at that. “What? And you don’t bring anyone back to your dorm?”
“There’s not anyone to bring back,” Stiles shrugged.
It was about three seconds later when he realized how pathetic that sounded. He should have just laughed it off and given some ambiguous answer. Derek wasn’t going to know whether he was telling the truth or not. It was too late now anyway.
His apartment was a short walk from campus. It was in a nice building too, no doorman but no homeless people outside, so he took that as a plus. When they got to the door of Derek’s actual apartment he started to get nervous. What if Derek was looking for sex? TAs didn’t invite students to off-campus residences for something they could have done in the library.
The library. Why hadn’t he suggested that before?
“Well, this is it,” Derek said, opening the door and stepping inside. “It’s not much.”
And it kind of wasn’t. Derek Hale was a minimalist and it showed. He was also extremely tidy. The apartment was full of basic furniture and appliances and with no personal objects in sight. There weren’t any picture frames or articles of clothing randomly lying around. The only things that felt personal were the piles of books everywhere.
“It’s nice,” Stiles said, shoving his hands in his pockets and continuing to look around. “Clean.”
“And empty,” Derek said.
Yeah. That too.
“So, you wanna get started?” Stiles asked.
“Sure,” Derek said, gesturing toward the couch in the small sitting area.
Stiles sat down, dropping his backpack to the floor and folding his hands in his lap. Derek took the armchair next to the couch and grabbed a book from the coffee table. It was a worn and well-loved book of Shakespeare’s sonnets and even from where he was sitting Stiles could see the notes in the margins and highlighted lines.
“Friday’s the last day for sonnets,” Derek said.
“And Valentine’s Day,” Stiles pointed out.
He had no idea why he had said that and he felt a little stupid for doing so. It was a well-known fact, Derek already knew, why was he pointing it out?
“True,” Derek nodded.
“Sonnets, Valentine’s,” Stiles said. “Romance, I guess.”
There was an awkward silence and Stiles shifted on the couch, looking around the apartment and desperately trying to find something to comment on. He came up short though.
“So,” he said. “What was the original plan for Friday?”
“A review of what we’ve gone over in this unit.”
“You’re just going to regurgitate everything we’ve learned the past two weeks?”
That was definitely going to be something no one was going to pay attention to. Professor Hart had made it clear that sonnets were a fun unit and that it wouldn’t be a major topic on the next big test. The class didn’t have to relearn anything they had already been taught.
“You think it’s a bad idea,” Derek said.
“Yeah,” Stiles said, nodding. “It’s Valentine’s Day and even fewer people are going to be there and we could do something fun.”
Maybe a fun lesson was moving too fast for Derek. Interesting was probably a better place to start.
“Well, each person could write their own Shakespearean sonnet,” Derek said.
“Like a creative writing assignment?”
“No, no it’s good,” Stiles said. “It’ll be nice. Romantic. People could give their poems to their significant others and people who don’t have significant others get extra credit.”
“I don’t know about extra credit,” Derek said. “But you really think it’s a good idea?”
“Yeah, people can share their poems at the end and we can all make fun of each other’s terrible attempts. It’ll be a bonding experience.”
“Well, that’s simple,” Derek said.
And it was. It was simple and easy and Derek wasn’t asking him to stay longer. This really had just been a meeting about the Friday lesson.
“I’d better get going,” Stiles said, standing up at the same time Derek said, “Stiles, if you want to stay-.”
They looked at each other, Stiles standing up and Derek placing the book back on the coffee table. Oh God, he hadn’t read this wrong, Derek actually wanted him to-.
Derek’s eyes were looking at something on the floor and Stiles followed his gaze.
And there on the floor was his downfall.
The condom that Allison had given him with such good intent was lying there, practically staring accusingly at Stiles.
“You have plans.”
“It’s fine, this was-,” Derek said, frowning before shaking his head. “I’ll see you on Friday, Stiles.”
And before he knew it Stiles was being escorted out of the apartment, left to stand outside feeling like an idiot. He hadn’t read it wrong, Derek had wanted him to stay, and he had been so tongue-tied that he couldn’t even clear the whole thing up.
The Friday class was a success. At first everyone had been eerily silent when Derek explained the assignment, but then had loosened up to the idea. People started talking to each other after 15 minutes and when Derek didn’t tell them to be quiet, they continued.
It was nice and they were making fun of stupid rhymes and criticizing each other’s poems and discussing Valentine’s Day plans. Rebecca Montgomery had even invited Stiles to a singles party, but he had politely declined. He wasn’t in the mood for partying and being with a bunch of other miserable single people didn’t sound very appealing.
A few people shared their poems and soon the 50 minutes were up. People turned in their poems before heading out of the classroom. Stiles made sure he was at the end of the line to leave the room before shutting the door behind the last person.
He turned around to see Derek looking at him from the front of the room, eyebrow raised.
Stiles cleared his throat before starting to speak:
“When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possess'd,
Desiring this man's art and that man's scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate;
For thy sweet love remember'd such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.”
Allison and Scott had helped him memorize it after he had told him about the failure of a meeting at Derek’s apartment. He was sick of waiting for one of them to make a move and Derek liked Shakespeare and the long silence was making him a little nervous.
This was stupid. This was so fucking stupid and he was just going to leave. He could withdraw from the class, it would be fine. He’d never have to see Derek-.
“You do know that that poem is about a man hating himself, don’t you?” Derek asked. “But then he thinks of his love and everything’s good again.”
“I know,” Stiles said, walking toward the front of the classroom.
Derek nodded, watching Stiles as he walked closer.
“The condom,” Stiles said. “Allison, my roommate’s girlfriend, she gave it to me in case you and I ended up having sex. I didn’t have any other plans.”
“Why didn’t you tell me that?”
“I couldn’t get a word out.”
“Sorry,” Derek said. “I have a way of shutting people out when I think things are going badly.”
“But they don’t have to go badly, right?” Stiles asked.
He stopped walked, already having made his way around the desk so that he could stand close to Derek. They were the same height and Derek’s eyes were green behind the lenses of his stupid glasses and God, he wanted this.
“Please don’t tell me I’ve been reading this wrong,” Stiles said.
And then Derek backed him up against the whiteboard, hands cupping his face, and lips colliding with his. Stiles gripped the back of Derek’s vest (which, okay, he loved the vests) and pulled him closer. It was everything that a kiss should be and so much more. More because it actually meant something.
Derek licked at the seam of his lips, pushing against it and slipping inside. It was wet and heady and he was probably getting too turned on for a stupid kiss when Derek broke it.
He shook his head, keeping close to Stiles. “Stiles, I’m bad at casual relationships.”
“I’ve never been in a relationship.”
“Oh,” Derek said. “Well, maybe you could give it a try? I’m not asking you to give up any other relationships you might have, but I’d like to-.”
“Wait,” Stiles said, holding up a hand. “You think that I actually have other people out there?”
“Well, it’s always been a possibility.”
“No,” Stiles said. “No, I’m not-. Wait, you think I’m hot enough that I could actually have multiple sexual relationships?”
“Yes,” Derek said, obviously not catching on to what Stiles was saying. “I’m happy that you’re not, but-.”
“It’s just that no one has ever thought that I was attractive before,” Stiles said. “I need to take this in, remember this moment.”
Derek thought he was attractive. That was good since Stiles found Derek extremely attractive. He had never even thought that it would be an option for anyone to think he was good-looking.
“Stiles,” Derek said. “Do you really not think that I was attracted to you?”
“Well, yeah,” Stiles shrugged. “Look at you, look at me-.”
“You’re an idiot.”
“You’re fucking gorgeous,” Derek said. “I noticed you on the first day of this semester, I watched you. Sometimes I thought you sucked on the end of your pen of purpose. Everything about you drove me crazy and then we started talking and you were so smart and opinionated. Even that stupid beanie doesn’t make you any less attractive to me.”
Stiles reached up, grabbing the beanie and throwing it to the floor. Anything to make him even more attractive.
“Okay, point has gotten across,” Stiles said. “Just one more thing before we do this. Whatever ‘this’ is.”
“What?” Derek asked.
“I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.”
“You’ve never been with a guy before?”
“I’ve never been with anyone before,” Stiles confessed.
Now that it was out in the open Stiles half-expected him to leave or for him to have known all along and have a virgin fetish or something.
“You’re a virgin?” Derek asked.
“Yeah,” Stiles nodded.
“You mean no one’s ever touched you like this before?”
And then Derek was very close. Their chests were pressed together and so were their foreheads. One of Derek’s hands slipped under the layers of shirts he had on while the other cupped him. Stiles’ hands gripped Derek’s (extremely impressive, had to be more closely examined later) shoulders as his breath hitched.
“Nope,” Stiles said. “No one.”
“Good,” Derek said before crashing their mouths together again.
Everything was going in a great direction. Shirts and vests were being taken off and Derek’s hand was about an inch from his belt buckle when the door to the classroom opened and a surprised “Oh!” broke them apart.
“Sorry!” Rebecca Montgomery said. “I didn’t, oh wow, didn’t see that coming.”
Stiles practically shoved Derek’s hand away from his crotch as the older man turned around to face Rebecca, giving Stiles a great view of the tattoo on Derek’s back that he didn’t know existed.
“Rebecca,” he said. “Can I, uh, help you?”
“I just stopped by to say that it was a great lesson, Mr. Hale,” she said, still sounding timid. “And I hope you two have a good Valentine’s Day.”
The door then closed quickly behind her. Derek turned back around, looking at Stiles who didn’t know if he was excited or freaked out by being caught.
“Rebecca Montgomery,” Derek said.
“Rebecca Montgomery,” Stiles nodded.
They both burst out laughing, stepping closer and pressing their hands against the others bare skin. Derek’s chest was just as impressive as the rest of him and judging by the look Derek was giving him, Stiles felt pretty great about his own physique for once.
“So, we’re doing this,” Stiles said. “Because I want to. I want to be with you.”
“Yeah?” Derek asked.
“Yeah,” Stiles nodded. “I want to fill your apartment with stuff other than furniture and books.”
“I want to see you in my apartment,” Derek said. “In my living room, kitchen, bed, shower.”
“That can be arranged,” Stiles said, feeling his heartbeat speed up and stupid butterflies flutter around in his stomach. “I want to help you with every Friday lesson and eat a late lunch with you after every class and is it normal for me to want to spend every moment with you because I’m kind of new to this.”
“Well it’s been awhile for me,” Derek said. “And I don’t think there are any set rules.”
“Good,” Stiles said, leaning toward Derek. “That’s really good.”
Derek smiled, pressing their mouths together again. It wasn’t until an hour later when people started coming in for a class when they finally left the classroom. Stiles sent out a text message to Scott and Allison, finally being able to inform them that yeah, something had finally happened.