Stiles had a love-hate relationship with the whole first-day-of-class concept.
On one hand, sure: there was typically no homework, no assignments, nor anything but utterly minimum energy and attention needed to make it through those two-hour blocks. In that sense, those first classes made for a smoother vacationer-to-student transition than getting thrown into the middle of a lecture would have, and don’t misunderstand, Stiles appreciated it greatly. In fact, he had spent most of his summer break on Netflix and other less commendable video hosting websites, and no one wanted to see him try to assimilate any new academia-approved information with that kind of mind frame, least of all Stiles himself. No sir-ee.
However, the fact that nothing particularly pertinent ever happened on the first day of classes was also a problem in and of itself. The lack of content made these introductory classes as boring as MTV shows that run past three seasons, and when one of those classes started at half past eight in the morning?
Then yeah, it was a bit of a problem.
Stiles was having a tough time forcing his lids up from over his eyes and looking like he was actually listening when in truth, he’d stopped paying attention to the Professor about ten minutes into the syllabus overview. Not that anyone could blame him, though, since the most interesting aspect of the course outline was the History 201: Introduction to Vikings title that sat on the top, and even then, that was as much because of the subject (which they were presently not talking about, fuck you very much) as it was for the completely unrelated images that it forced into Stiles’ mind.
Leather. Sweat. Six-foot men with exemplary cases of proportionality, whether one was referring to the size of their arms or that of their other appendages.
Stiles would love to be introduced to a Viking, was all he was saying. Preferably a tall, muscular, piliferous Viking with dark hair long enough for Stiles to hold onto and a beard with at least enough presence to leave burns on the inside of his thighs.
Case in point. Please feel free to refer back to Stiles’ summer activities, if you must. Stiles forced his eyes open with a sigh as he thought about how he could technically still be partaking in said activities instead of sitting here listening to the Professor talk about— Fonts?
Of course the Professor was going on about fonts. The deities hated Stiles too much not to throw some of that into his horrible mind-numbing torture session.
It was Stiles’ fault, though. You’d think he’d would have learnt way back in high school that sleeping in was totally acceptable on first days, but there was always that nagging voice, the one that stated that maybe this teacher would be a dick and get started with the actual lecture right away, that kept him from snoozing through the most tedious mornings of his existence.
For the record, that voice was an asshole and always wrong. Stiles could be in bed right now, damn it, lazily jerking off and sleeping some more.
That wasn’t exactly the best train of thought to be riding as you accidentally made eye contact with your Professor, Stiles soon found out, but since this was Stiles and awkward situations were to him what morally and legally questionable decisions were to— well, him again, he flushed his daydream down the metaphorical toilet and sat up straighter in response. Stiles didn’t actually want to get on his teacher’s hitlist, so looking like he cared was probably a decent idea. Most importantly, however, was that if he kept thinking about jerking off while looking his teacher in the eye, he would never be able to make it through an entire semester with his dignity intact.
Stiles and Scott had done enough experiments related to conditioning to know that much.
“I know that the plagiarism protocols are common knowledge and that this might all seem repetitive and pointless to some.” Stiles could have sworn the Professor purposely kept his eyes on him as he said it, even though Stiles could totally see some guy drooling on his own arms two rows down and one seat to the left. “Since you chose to enroll in the seminar version of this class, however, this is probably the last time I’ll spend this long standing in front of the class giving you information, so please bear with me.”
Yup. The teacher glanced right at him again. There went getting on the teacher’s good side, Stiles thought with a sigh. Which sucked, because Stiles really did like history, and was great at it, too.
“On that note, I should probably introduce the people who will be doing most of the talking in this course,” the professor said as he nodded to a group of people sitting in the first row. Four people stood up, and a wave of interest seemed to wash over the other students for the first time since this collective coma-session started. “These lovely folks are my assistants for the upcoming semester. They will each be responsible for giving lectures relevant to the course that fall into their specific fields of interests, and will furthermore oversee the grading of your assignments.”
Stiles simply nodded along, already aware that teaching assistants commonly did the grading for professors, but since this was an introductory level course, he heard a few unprepared freshmen mutter in indignation. A redhead sitting in the second row raised her hand, but before the teacher could give her permission to speak, a blonde girl broke from the foursome to look at the student.
Oh boy. The blonde was the only one of the TAs turned towards the room at large, but she alone was making it difficult for Stiles’ thoughts not to wander back into spank-bank territory. He usually preferred men, but even the best The Jungle had to offer couldn’t rock red lips like the leather clad vampire-hunter-by-the-looks-of-it could as she smirked down at the student.
“Professor Deaton will be taking four assignments at random after we’ve finished correcting each batch, one from each of our piles, to review and ensure that the grades are fair and appropriate. If you are dissatisfied with one of your grades, you are welcome to discuss it with your assigned TA or bring it to another TA for a second opinion. If you are still in disagreement with your grade after being given more feedback, and only after having asked for more details, you are free to bring it to the Professor’s attention,” the blonde explained professionally, which contrasted with the cocky grin that her ruby lips were sporting.
The redhead lowered her hand, but raised her chin and looked over to her friend with an unimpressed brow arched up.
“This is Erica Reyes,” the Professor proceeded as though no interruption had taken place. “She is my second and the head assistant. Since she has been working with me for a few semesters now, she knows what I look for in papers and what I expect from all of you. I suggest that if you cannot get a hold of me for whatever reason to go directly to her, since her answer will be the same as mine.”
Erica twirled towards the room at large and bowed low, causing a few people to giggle. Stiles liked her already. He didn’t know the others yet, admittedly, but he wouldn’t mind having her as his TA.
“Beside her is Isaac Lahey,” the Professor introduced next. A tall blonde guy with cheekbones a viking could sharpen his ax on looked over his shoulder and saluted the class. “Whereas Erica will predominantly lead discussions in this course about the culture and traditions specific to the historical period we are studying, Isaac will be your guide in terms of legal structures and politics.”
He then pointed to the black man standing on Erica’s other side, whose hand momentarily settled on the small of her back before resting on his own hip, and, well. Damn. Did the Professor choose his TAs based on their looks, or what? Because all three of them were something else, and there was no way they could all be pretty and smart.
Cosmic balance was a thing, okay? Folks couldn’t have it all. If they did, then others would be left with nothing, and with his luck, Stiles would get that crappy hand.
So no, thank you. Don’t call us, we’ll call you.
“This is Vernon Boyd. He is an interdisciplinary student of History and Women’s Studies, and will be discussing social dynamics and economy. For those who seem confused as to how the two topics coincide, don’t be. One does not need to think too far to realize social hierarchies, gender dynamics and camaraderie most always reflect one’s ability to own property and to accumulate and distribute wealth.” Vernon Boyd simply glanced at the room, not looking particularly impressed.
“Call me Boyd,” Boyd said with a blank face. “Or I’ll fail you.”
Stiles laughed as did most of the class, though some sounded slightly nervous. Erica flashed Boyd a grin, and if Boyd’s dry humor hadn’t sold the deal, Erica’s clear vouching for him made Stiles decide that liked him too.
Stiles had also absentmindedly accepted at this point that as far as first days went, this class wasn’t the worst he’d ever had. Maybe. Mostly. It was difficult to fall asleep when someone conquering heels as high as Erica’s or had tree-trunk arms like Boyd’s were asserting their authority over a crowd of college younglings, after all. However, it didn’t change the fact that this was still the first class of the semester and that pretty people could only push the experience to the level of tolerable at best .
When the fourth TA turned towards the class, however, Stiles was forced to reconsider.
“Fuck. Me,” Stiles whispered under his breath. No one turned to him, so it was fair to assume no one had heard, but then again, he wasn’t sure he’d take his eyes away from the TA short of an airplane crashing next to him, either.
Stiles definitely wasn’t at risk of falling asleep anymore. He had to already be sleeping, though, because as far as he knew, dreaming while being awake was not recommended, if at all possible, and someone that looked like the dark-haired, stubble-rocking man in the front? Had to be the product of a dream, obviously.
His viking fantasies from earlier hit him like a minibus to the face, and Stiles felt even more guilty about his use of class time to objectify men as he realized that there was an actual person whom had accidently found his way to the end of it. He’d usually also feel indignant about being made to feel guilty about his kinks, but Stiles couldn’t find it in him at the moment to fit more than one emotion in his body at a time, and no matter how hard he tried to control it, that emotion presently resided in his dick.
Stiles could feel his cheeks redden with shame, but he was never known for his moral compass nor self-control and so he leaned over his desk eagerly anyway.
“Lastly, this is Derek Hale.” The teacher pointed at the man, who nodded at the room. It was totally a I’m-such-a-cool-douchebag nod, but Stiles had no self-preservation instinct and arguably no real selection criteria that would withstand a single shot of vodka, so it did little to bring his jaw back to his face from where it was resting on the floor. “He’ll be covering themes linked to religion, spanning from Norse mythology, to various perceptions of war, to the Vikings’ eventual conversion to Christianity.”
The redhead raised her hand. Again.
Absentmindedly, Stiles acknowledged that once he was done drooling over Derek’s everything, he’d have to try to seek her out after class. Stiles was an annoyance to most of his Professors because of his tendency to argue and make amazing, if not slightly off-topic, points, but at least it gave him the insight to spot the other students who took the course material seriously. By the looks of today, he and her could make this class their bitch, as long as she took everything as seriously as she did the syllabus and was willing to team up, that was.
“Yes?” Derek asked, brows furrowed slightly. God, those eyebrows. Did the guy fill them in? Wax them? Would he let Stiles wax them?
“Solely out of curiosity, of course, on what basis were you selected to be the teacher’s assistants?” Oh boy. That finally tore Stiles’ eyes away from Derek so he could oogle at the scene in full. He couldn’t help but bite down on a grin when all four TA’s glared at the redhead. Sue him. Stiles was known to have inappropriate responses in moments of tension before he’d had at least three cups of coffee, or at any other point in time, really. “On what grounds were your qualifications determined? By this I mean, were you the best of the candidates that applied, with four positions requiring filling, or were there specific criteria that all of you fulfilled?”
Stiles snorted, and froze when the TAs glanced at him, but luckily they went right back to staring that the redhead.
“Is there a difference?” Derek asked. Stiles snorted again. Poor man.
Both Derek and the redhead turned to him at once this time. In fear of complete and utter humiliation, he chose to look at the girl with a shrug and grimace that he hoped would communicated I understand you, but I’m not touching this one with a ten-foot pole , though it probably looked like he was trying to pass gas. Not that he himself would have ever had the guts to ask (lies: his TA from last semester, Ass-hat Whittemore, had not been spared by Stiles in the slightest), but he was curious to know the answer now that the question had been thrown out there. Their grades were at stake, after all.
The fact of the matter was, each grade a student obtained from each class was crucial when thinking of Masters applications and funding opportunities and anything else that mattered in the academic world. To inquire about who handled your education and grading was smart, if not necessary. RateMyProfessor wouldn’t be what it was if that wasn’t the case.
Stiles must have done something right though, thankfully, because the redhead looked at him appraisingly before she twirled back towards the front.
“Of course there is. In the latter case, you demonstrate a minimum of competence in the subject. In the former, you were just deemed the best options. Which, depending on the other candidates, might not mean much at all.”
“Now,” the Professor tried to intervene. The redhead must have done something with her face though, perhaps even pulling one of the ‘I’m innocent’ looks Scott had tried — and failed — to teach Stiles, because the teacher seemed to mellow out almost immediately.
“My apologies. I just want to know, in the off-chance that I ever run into an issue or require additional explanations, if I should reach out to my TAs or try my luck with Google.” She shrugged nonchalantly.
Stiles pressed a hand to his mouth to smother any noise he might make, though at this point he wasn’t sure if it would be a gasp or a laugh. She was fucking ruthless . He felt bad for the TAs, and for morality’s sake, he should be condemning her as much as the TAs clearly were judging by the looks on their faces.
On the other hand, though, there was this voice in the back of his head reminding him that this was college, and more than that, that this was Jerendale University. This school was known for producing smartasses, which was why his dad had joked that Stiles should attend, and why Stiles had actually done it. It had to be one of the traditions with the largest body count in the country, but it was tradition nonetheless.
Forget hazing. Jerendale’s debate team had annihilated Harvard’s three years in a row, and its law branch produced some of the mightiest lawyers in the country. If you wanted any shot at getting into a decent club, or student association, or fraternity on campus? There needed to be witnesses of you committing at least one verbal murder in your academic career. And even if that weren’t the case, the fact remained that the redhead wasn’t just a bitch; she also obviously understood the fundamentals of university better than all the freshmans who were busy whispering and sinking in their seats.
No TA would ever give her a grade under what she rightfully deserved, not for technicalities or semantics anyway, because they sure wouldn’t want to deal with this anymore than they had to.
All of this lead to the most important thing her little display would do: while she might have been especially rude, that girl would be remembered by the graders.
Being remembered in a hundred person class was nearly impossible. Unfortunately, being remembered was also the only way these days to ensure full participation grades, which a quick look at the syllabus told Stiles would make up a sixth of the evaluation. Moreover, letters of recommendation were a must when furthering one’s education, and good luck trying to get a teacher to vouch for you if he or she had no fucking clue who you even were.
Stiles needed to make that redhead his kin.
“Well—” Derek started.
“Lydia Martin,” the redhead inserted. Bingo . Great form, fluid movement. Ten out of ten for execution.
“Ms. Martin,” Derek pressed on, jaw visibly clenched. “We were all handpicked by Professor Deaton, and I assure you that we are all more than capable of handling our duties as assistants.”
Short answers, concise, but didn’t provide any concrete examples that could be ridiculed or thrown back in his face. So Derek Hale wasn’t actually new at this game either it seemed.
“Isn’t that a question of perspective?” Lydia asked nonetheless.
Or, if Stiles was to judge by the hardness of his features, perhaps Derek had just been much too pissed to elaborate.
Or at least pissed enough that Stiles had to feel a little concerned.
Stiles didn’t know Derek at all, so he couldn’t tell which it was. What he could tell, though, was that if Derek killed Lydia Martin, Stiles would have to push back taking over the world for a few years. Jokes aside, she really did seem to be the only one so far who was invested in this whole grading non-issue, or in the course generally, and Stiles didn’t really want to lose his study partner before the actual lessons had even begun.
So Stiles did something ridiculously and stupidly impulsive. He probably should have seen it coming though, since it was kind of a trademark move, at this point.
Not-so-secretly, he also didn’t want to be outdone in being the recognizable student, both in terms of the teachers and of Lydia herself; he didn’t want to fade into her shadow, and he had a feeling she wouldn’t partner up with someone who hadn’t proved himself yet.
Stiles was many things. An idiot? Sure. Suicidal? If Hale’s eyebrows had anything else but hair to them, then Stiles wouldn’t live another day. But, Stiles never backed down from a challenge.
He was too impulsive for that kind of rational approach.
“Speaking of perspective. From whose perspective are we going to be studying the Vikings?” Stiles asked, not waiting to be called on. No one had been talking anyway, which in hindsight might have played into Stiles’ sudden unwillingness to shut up. He had a gift for imposing himself in every pause between people’s breaths.
Derek and the rest of the class turned to look at him.
“Perspective?” Stiles really hadn’t thought this through. Specifically, he hadn’t thought far enough to consider that he’d have to make eye contact with the TA, and damn, that glare should not be doing the things it was doing to Stiles. Stiles had known what he was going to ask, but Derek had eyes, and eyebrows, and scruff and possibly chest hair.
Focus, Stiles, you were talking about—
“Yes, perspective.” Stiles leaned forward. Derek raised an unimpressed eyebrow, and suddenly, Stiles found it a lot easier to pull out his inner brat when Derek Hale looked like he was secretly-outwardly a capital-T Tool. Stiles grinned. “Considering that written documents in the time of the Vikings were mostly a later-to-be-Britain tool, much of the descriptions we have are from a very anglo-centric perspective. Then, of course, there are the assumptions made following archeological finds and the likes. So I’m wondering: are we going to study distorted and ‘Christian morals’-fueled propaganda, or are we going to study your educated guesses?”
Someone snickered behind Stiles, and farther down he saw Lydia incline her head in his direction. Score .
Derek, for his part, seemed to grow in height and darken in shadows, as if it was at all possible for him to physically mimic a thunderstorm depending on his mood. Yikes.
“Are you saying that there are any accounts of History that are not propaganda or biased in favor of the writer in some way?” Derek asked, an eyebrow raised.
That was a legit point.
Stiles’ heart skipped a beat. The guy actually had the looks and the brains. Fuck him . Stiles really should have thought this through. Now, Stiles could forget about Derek’s eyebrows, since his own hormones would be the death of him first.
Cause of death: Smartass-induced boners.
Stiles’ default setting wasn’t to accept defeat or agree with authority, however, much to his dad’s and everyone else’s disappointment. Instead, Stiles typically regressed into becoming an even bigger dick, and apparently the Gods hadn’t chosen today to correct that particular defect in his wiring. Go figure.
“Are you saying that you think reading monks’ imposition of two-sex systems onto their experience with Vikings will actually give us an accurate understanding of their society, oh Great Assistant?” Stiles countered. He hoped the squeaky tilt of his voice sounded like exasperation and not like he was some socially-inept chew toy.
Not that Stiles would mind, or course, if Derek chewed on him a little‒ okay, that’s enough of that. Derek was the enemy, after all.
Boyd made a sound, but since it was deprived of all inflection, Stiles couldn’t tell if it was out of disgust, annoyance, or if he was just impressed that Stiles knew what two-sex systems were. Stiles himself didn’t even know how he knew of those, though midnight Wikipedia binges most likely had something to do with it. When Derek glanced at Boyd, the man just raised an eyebrow as though to say you answered first, you deal with this mess and Derek rolled his eyes in response.
“We’ll be studying accounts from England-to-be authorities, yes, because they offer some of the only records detailing chronology that we have,” Erica piped up before Derek did. It was probably a good thing, since the guy looked ready to stomp out of the room. “But we’ll also be looking at material remains, as well as at the sagas and runes that have survived from the Vikings.” She raised an eyebrow in what was most-likely annoyance, but her lips curled enough to make Stiles gulp.
“As for educated guesses,” she finally added, “I hope you aren’t a history student, because if you are, I have bad news for you.”
A few laughs rang in the room, and Stiles opened and closed his mouth in pique before finally shrugging his shoulders and sending a grin of his own back her way. He was a great history student, but that only meant that Stiles knew she had a good point.
“I like understanding where theories come from, and being able to tell that they are rational. Coming to those conclusions on my own sounds better than blindly accepting ‘that’s how all things are’ arguments, in any case.” Because he was an asshole, Stiles’ eyes flickered to Derek as he said it, but Derek’s face stayed impassive. That said, Stiles could have sworn the tip of his ears were red. “So if you prefer students who accept what you say unconditionally…”
“Don’t worry,” Erica said, grinning herself now. “I have a feeling I won’t mistake you for that type.”
“Stilinski. Stiles Stilinski.” Stiles finally remembered to put his name out there. It sounded a little clumsier than when Lydia did it, but hopefully the effect would be the same. “And I’ll take that as a compliment.”
Stiles tacked on a full-blown smirk, even though he knew he was pretty much the brunt of the joke, at that point.
“Well, Mr. Stilinski, I’ll keep treating it as a good thing as long as you keep your aim on Hale instead of me,” Erica said with a wink. Beside her, Derek rolled his eyes and crossed his arms before shifting back towards the front of the room, effectively turning his back to the class. What a baby.
A hot, hirsute baby, whom no matter what, was probably more mature than Stiles in every way. He couldn’t realistically be worse, after all. But still, Derek was acting like a baby.
And Stiles wanted his babies, because he was a weak and morally-decrepit individual.
“Well,” the Professor had his forefinger and thumb pressed to the bridge of his nose as he finally broke through the trainwreck. “Since everyone seems more interested in interrogating my TAs than they are in discussing the syllabus, I think we should probably end the class early. However—”
There were rustling of papers and bags as people got prepared to leave, and the Professor glared until all hundred students had their asses back in their chairs. It truly was impressive, especially considering it took less than a minute for him to rein in the masses.
“However,” the Professor continued once everyone was settled. “Before you leave, let me tell you who your assigned TA is. That way, if you have any more pertinent questions about the class,” he looked hard at Lydia and at Stiles, though he barely paused. “You’ll be able to have your concerns addressed outside of class time. Yes?”
Derek had been scary-hot, but Professor Deaton was scary-scary, so when he looked at Stiles, Stiles couldn’t help but sink in his seat a little.
“Good.” The professor pulled out a sheet of paper from the binder in front of him and slipped on some glasses. “Those with family names starting with letters A to F, your assigned assistant is Ms. Reyes.” There was a few happy whispers around the room and she smirked. Stiles would be lying if he said he wasn’t at least a little bit disappointed to not be part of Erica’s batch.
“Letters G to M, your assistant is Mr. Lahey.” Isaac looked slightly pale as he glanced at Lydia, and Stiles did a small fistbump at the proof that the little spectacle would at least have earned them recognition. No doubt Isaac would remember who Lydia was for a while, and though Stiles doubted that Isaac or anyone else would boost the grade of someone undeserving of it, he probably wouldn’t skim her work or mess with it for shits and giggles either.
“Letters N to S,” the Professor raised his voice a little to project over the increasingly restless students. “Your assistant is Mr. Hale.” Everything came to a halt.
Well, not actually, but the noise in the room seemed to fade away like Stiles’ inhibitions when Scott pulled out a bottle of Vodka and dog leashes that he’d stolen from his veterinary department. Stiles missed the teacher assigning the rest of the students to Boyd and instead glanced at Derek.
Derek, who was looking right at Stiles with his mouth closed tight and a hot-heavy glare that made Stiles equal parts want to run away and want to put a jacket over his lap and never stand up again. Shit. He tried to remember what he thought about grades and Lydia, and how Stiles, like her, wouldn’t get failed out of spite, but really, Derek totally looked like the kind of dick who would enjoy making Stiles’ life hell. People couldn’t be pretty and smart and nice. Also, fate wouldn’t give a guy like Derek a family name like that for no reason.
Case in point, Stiles watched Derek close his eyes tightly and flare his nostrils before blinking and, though Stiles kept his sight locked on the Professor standing right next to Derek to avoid making eye contact, he caught Derek’s lips curl obscenely in his periphery.
It was a startling view, and Stiles turned his eyes to his desk quickly. Not that, like, Derek didn’t have a pretty smile or anything. Stiles is pretty sure he caught sight of dimples, for fuck’s sake. Only, flies probably thought cannibal plants had pretty smiles, too.
Or, well, smell. Something.
Point remained, Stiles didn’t feel like becoming someone’s lunch this semester.
“Stilinski, right?” Suddenly a shadow fell over him and he looked up to see Lydia Martin standing next to his desk, looking carefully bored. He pushed back the envy at all these fucking good-looking people in his life and nodded instead. It wasn’t too hard to push any trace of bitterness aside when he got to enjoy the fact that his soon-to-be-murder had not all been for naught, and that at least he’d successfully managed to catch her attention.
Take that, universe! Unlike the people it constantly forced into his path (probably only to make his daily humiliations worse by involving increasingly embarrassing witnesses. Stiles was willing to bet he’d end up tripping into a fountain in front of Michelle Obama or something before the end of the school year), Stiles didn’t need some supernaturally good genes to make it in the real world. Ha!
“Yup! That me! Stiles. Stilinski. Stiles Stilinski. You’re Lydia, right?”
Well, so much for that.
She raised an eyebrow but nodded as she shouldered her designer bag.
“I am. I checked on the school website and you’re on the Dean’s list, too. When do you usually study?” she asked, business-like. Stiles considered answering with something desperate, like ‘always’ to impress her, but he knew that was shit. Stiles didn’t study immediately after classes in fear of forgetting it in time for the next class, but that often resulted in him studying the night of.
“A day or two before class, depending on my schedule,” He finally answered honestly. She pursed he lips, but something in her stance relaxed enough to make Stiles feel like he had passed some sort of test. She grabbed Stiles’ phone off his desk and starting typing into it.
If Stiles ever regretted not having the attention span or patience to continuously punch in a password, then this would be that moment. He had no idea what the last thing he’d done with his phone was, and he had a moment to wonder whether Lydia had opened it to find some risqué artwork or the netflix app open on Riverdale, before he quickly shut that thought down.
He didn’t want to go down that path. No, thank you.
“Then let me know your schedule, and we’ll arrange something.” Lydia said, not bothering to ask. Stiles nodded eagerly anyway. For probably the first time, he wished he was more into girls than he was, because Lydia totally had the personality to make him drool, and from the looks of it, he was doing a far better job at getting close to Lydia than he typically did with the real objects of his infatuations.
He sneaked a look at Derek, who thankfully was too busy talking to Erica to notice. Lydia did notice, though. Maybe Stiles didn’t put enough thought into the problems that having a particularly attentive person in his life would bring.
“Don’t worry about Hale,” she said as she handed Stiles’ phone back. She looked at him consideringly for a second. “Unless it’s not worry that’s going through your mind right now.”
Again, it wasn’t a question, but still, Stiles elegantly corrected her. Meaning, he snorted hard enough to choke on a stray bit of snot and coughed, all the while hand-signaling something along the lines of What, me? Scandalous! Blasphemy! I would never until he was able to speak again.
“What?” Stiles finally coughed out. “No. I just. I hate feeling like I’m prey that he’s about to rip into cute little pieces, at which point I’m never to be heard of again.” Stiles said. Lydia rolled her eyes.
“Then don’t be,” she said with a shrug.
Stiles looked at her blankly.
“What?” Stiles asked.
“If you don’t want to be the prey, don’t be,” Lydia explained as though it was the simplest thing in the world. What? “If you don’t want to be the prey, then act like the predator. That’s what I do.”
“How?” Stiles asked, leaning forward. Who cared about the Viking knowledge that studying with her was supposed to bring him? This existential wisdom was so much worthier.
“Question people. Speak up. Don’t look so scared. The world isn’t better than you.” Lydia nodded down at him. Stiles wasn’t sure, but he felt like that could be twisted into a compliment, somehow. Maybe.
Most-likely not, considering Stiles’ luck.
“If you’re telling me to be outspoken, that’s kind of my standard setting. I was thinking I should tone it for a while to appease the beast, though,” Stiles said.
“As you see fit,” Lydia said, backing away. She didn’t look impressed by his logic, though. “I learned the hard way that standing behind what makes you yourself is better than erasing who you are for others.” She glanced down at the TAs, who were still ignoring them. “I’m done apologizing for voicing myself.”
The conversation was getting serious faster than Stiles was comfortable with.
“Once you’ve known me for long enough, you’ll understand the need for toning it down,” Stiles joked weakly. Stiles had only known Lydia for all of two minutes, yet this had to be the most personal advice-giving session he’d experienced since he’d received the birds and bees talk from his pediatrician when he was eleven.
“If you say so,” Lydia rolled her eyes and turned away. “For what it’s worth, if you don’t want to spend time with yourself, then I’m not sure how I’m supposed to want to, either. Congrats Stilinski, you’ve almost managed to sell yourself short, which is a hard feat considering how you can bring up sex systems at will.”
What what happening?
“Let me know when your input will be worth my time, and we can study then. Apparently you’re a better judge of your value as a student than I am.” Lydia flipped her hair and walked away with the brunette that had been sitting next to her throughout class.
Stiles was stunned. He wasn’t sure if he’d gotten completely destroyed by a complete stranger, or if, rather, he’d just been given the pep talk of a lifetime.
He was worth her time, and everyone else’s. Stiles knew that. He was his own special brand of awesome. It was just, other people didn’t usually get that, and, well. He kind of stopped trying to convince people a while ago, now.
He pulled his phone to him. Lydia was wrong. His attitude towards himself was not what turned people away, was it? He was reacting to how people felt, not the other way around.
You’ve got more to lose from your ultimatum failing than I do. Stiles texted her. By the time he finished packing up his stuff, he had an answer.
I doubt you’ve got a higher GPA than I do, Lydia had answered. Stiles snorted.
Maybe, though Stiles wasn’t so sure. But I have more to prove now than you do, and I’m the more thorough researcher between us, I can guarantee it.
What good does that do if Hale fails you anyway?
He won’t, Stiles answered. He sneaked a look down at the emptying room and saw that Erica and Derek were still deep in conversation, even though the other TAs had left already. He suddenly felt sure of his statement. He added a I won’t let him seconds later.
He wasn’t planning on doing anything drastic of course (see: His last year of highschool with his nemesis teacher Harris), but Lydia was right. Stiles shouldn’t have to hold back on his regular tendencies either, not for someone he’d only just had what barely counted as a conversation with, either.
Good, Lydia had answered. Don’t let anyone make you doubt yourself. Not even me.
Too Late, Stiles answered, but he tacked on a smiley face. He twisted his neck from side to side and shook his arms a little as he finally walked out of the classroom. He thought back at his douchebag TA last semester. Stiles hadn’t held back for that asshole, and Whittemore had actually been out for Stiles’ hide then. Stiles didn’t try to appease people. That wasn’t his style.
He said what he wanted to say, and went down with the ship whenever his words triggered an explosion big enough to sink it. Screw Derek Hale’s Heidi-Klum-worthy genes for making him reconsider that.
Stiles felt a bit of resentment bubble up to the surface at that thought, even though objectively he knew Derek hadn’t done or said anything to contribute to it. Stiles always preferred impulsivity over rationality though, so he rolled with it as he pulled out his phone again to look up next class’ readings and find anything he could possibly throw back at Derek.
Of course, the moment he closed his messaging app he found that the last thing he’d looked up was the ingredients to a Molotov cocktail. He was surprised Lydia hadn’t batted an eyelash at it.
Meh, Stiles thought as closed the page to start on his research as he walked towards his apartment. It could have been worse.
Stiles knew he looked like little more than an enraged chihuahua as he power-walked down his apartment hallway towards the stairs, but he still liked to pretend that Mrs. Hu jumping out of his way as he rushed past her was due to him looking powerful and terrifying, and not because he looked like he might have rabies.
He was going to murder Derek Hale. And it wouldn’t be the cute, verbal kind of assassination Stiles regularly carried out in class since that one time Derek had said that Stiles might want to switch programs and study Literature instead, if he preferred fantasy over facts. Even the teacher hadn’t sounded all that impressed, though to be fair, Professor Deaton didn’t look all that fond of Stiles’ daily jibes at Derek either.
Erica seemed to love it, though. Stiles distinctly remembered the time when Erica had to stop a lecture and sit on the floor to laugh it out after Stiles ‒ probably unwarranted, considering Derek hadn’t even been the one giving that specific lecture, but Stiles would never admit to it ‒ had told Derek that he should go back in time to his Greaser friends and return their narrow perspective and jacket to them while he was at it. Eventually Boyd had just given Erica a fond look and picked up the lecture where she’d left off.
In Stiles’ defense, it wasn’t his fault that all four TAs dressed like they’d just walked out of a BDSM convention. Maybe if Derek wore a bit less leather, Stiles wouldn’t use it as ammunition during his weekly debates. Also, if Derek wore less leather, maybe Stiles wouldn’t always be on the Derek Derek Derek channel and would be able to think about the lecture at hand instead of what he could provoke Derek with next.
Not that their arguments usually centered around personal criticism, to be honest. They had an ongoing debate about the war formations of the Vikings and their origins, and while Stiles was starting to think he was probably wrong on this one ‒ only this once, Derek had to know something about his field to be a TA, after all ‒ Stiles kept looking up new information to rekindle the conversation.
Stiles was a masochist, yes, but he had to partake in those debates, no matter how much it had him pissed in the moment. He’d usually walk out the room with a manic grin in the end anyway, regardless of whether he’d managed to checkmate Derek — or an occasional student, which happened regularly — or if he’d gotten his ass handed to him by the TA, which happened just as often. Lydia had stopped mentioning it, though she did get annoyed when Stiles came to their study dates prepared with miscellaneous debate information instead of lecture notes.
Not that Lydia had much ground to stand on, considering she’d just finished a weeklong debate with Boyd and had finally managed to engage Erica, who was notoriously unwilling to be anything but a gleeful spectator, in a debate about the role of human sacrifices. To be fair to Erica, though, Boyd had totally been the one to push her under the bus, and judging by the way Erica kept ricocheting attacks onto him, she was definitely going to get back at him for it (Stiles just wasn’t sure anymore if she’d eat his face in the sexy sense or in a B-movie-zombie-extra manner. He still hadn’t figured out what Boud and Erica's deal was, and it was driving Stiles nuts). So, really, the only difference between them and Stiles was that when Lydia, Boyd and Erica argued, there was such a flirty undertone that he’d find himself blushing and avoiding Derek’s gaze at all cost.
Stiles didn’t know why he reacted that way, though. Derek was all sorts of pretty and smart, but Stiles only had hatred, and perhaps a tiny weeny bit of grudging respect, for Derek. Nothing else. Which was good, because Derek obviously hated him back, and that was the end of that.
In fact, it hadn’t taken Stiles long to realize that Derek’s stoic front during that first class had been a lie and that Derek was actually a sarcastic dick, which was enough to keep Stiles’ mind in check.
Not that Stiles needed to defend himself anyway.
The Professor had ended up establishing a mandatory twenty minutes at the beginning of each class for lectures, in which no input whatsoever from the students was allowed. If a student had questions, they could do the same as they did with their bladder and hold it in until the appropriate time.
They were big kids now. They could deal. And that way, at least the course material would actually get covered.
Since it was supposed to be a seminar class in the first place, there didn’t actually need to be much more lecture time than that, to be honest. Most of the class time had already been calculated to encompass conversations about the readings and resulting questions, and if those discussions went past well-trodden grounds and explored deeper topics, who was Professor Deaton to fight against it? At least, that’s what Stiles got from watching Deaton smile and take notes as students ripped into his prized assistants.
Stiles pushed those thoughts aside as he nearly jumped the first flight of stairs down when he reached the end of the hallway, before quickly turning left to speed down the next one. Only, Scott was walking up that same flight begrudgingly as Stiles flew around the corner and Stiles had to do some last minute recalibrating to narrowly avoid causing both his and his roommate's untimely deaths.
Stiles had done enough stupid things with Scott to know he did not want to be present if Scott broke a bone: combine soprano screams with puppy eyes, and you’ve got a headache-inducing guilt trip on your hands strong enough to last you a lifetime. It wasn’t something Stiles particularly missed.
“You okay?” Scott asked standing in the middle of the stairs, and Stiles reconsidered his unwillingness to continue downwards at the expense of Scott’s wellbeing. Scott would survive the fall, after all. Maybe.
“I’m going to kill Derek Hale,” was all Stiles said instead. Scott rolled his eyes but moved aside, having heard enough about Derek at this point to know better than to try to reason with Stiles about this. He had made the mistake of trying to take Stiles’ laptop away at 4am while Stiles was seven Red Bulls and an unbeatable argument in, and Scott wasn’t going to make that mistake again. He still had toothpaste stains on his clothes from The Incident.
It wasn’t fair for Scott to make such a big deal out of The Incident though, considering that it had been a one-off and that Stiles had already promised to repaint the living room wall. That said, it got Scott to move out of the way instead of trying to coax Stiles out of his rage or ask questions, and that was momentarily good enough for Stiles. He’d explain the logic of passionate crime sentencing to Scott at a later date.
“I’ll be back in time for the movie tonight!” Stiles called as he raced past his friend.
“Don’t worry about it. Me and Allison broke up, so it’s off.” Scott called after him, and even though Stiles couldn’t see him anymore, already one flight down, he could hear the puppy eyes in Scott’s voice. Darn it.
To continue onwards or be a good friend and console Scott? What to do, what to do. On one hand, Lydia had already told him where she’d spotted Derek ten minutes earlier — unaware of Stiles current predicament, of course , since she wouldn’t have given out that information if she’d known he was about to crossover into psychopath territory. Well, Probably wouldn’t have — so he didn’t have to put an hour aside to search the entire campus. On the other hand, Scott had broken up with Allison, Lydia’s brunette friend from class, more times than Scott had ever even brushed his teeth in his life, and so Stiles was struggling to find even an ounce of sympathy to lend the couple.
He compromised by stopping where he was, neither going up nor down, and calling upwards. That counted, right?
“Damn, buddy.” Stiles tried to force emotions other than anger into his voice. “I’m sorry. What happened?” Stiles started running on place. If he limbered up while talking with Scott, maybe he’d be able to run faster and make up for the lost minutes?
“I told her my TA was cute. I totally said it in passing too! But Allison got insulted.” Scott actually sounded confused by this, the idiot.
“Yukimura?” Stiles asked, because he didn’t know what he could say at this point that wouldn’t be even mildly insulting. Speaking about Scott and Allison’s relationship was like trying to criticize Stiles for his debates with Derek: a minefield, more or less, which in both cases apparently only Lydia could navigate.
“Yeah,” Scott sighed. Stiles wasn’t sure if he should agree with Scott’s assessment of Kira or hold back on this one. The later was probably better.
“I’m going to go now,” Stiles said instead, because apparently he was destined for Hell. The only person who hadn’t realized that was Scott himself.
“Okay. Good luck!” Scott called down earnestly. Stiles would have smiled, if he wasn’t that riled up.
“You too!” Stiles took off like an undergrad on six expressos during midterm week.
(That wasn’t just a random metaphor. Stiles was intimately familiar with that particular scenario.)
It only took Stiles about seven minutes of the Google Maps’ predicted sixteen to reach the Café, and once there, he didn’t pause for a moment before opening the door with excessive force (Note: it wasn’t as satisfying as Stiles’ would have liked since the spring at the top of the doorway stopped it from hitting the wall and shutting with anything other than a soft woosh ) and stalking across the Café before sliding into the seat opposite one very confused Derek Hale.
Well, Derek started off confused at having someone sitting opposite him, at least, but then he looked up and his eyes widened before he somehow made his features fall into a polite-yet-stoic expression that Stiles couldn’t read.
“What are you doing here, Stiles?” Derek asked. Stiles slammed his assignment on the table between them.
“I want to understand the grade I was given.” Stiles hissed. Derek’s brows broke formation for a moment as he looked genuinely confused, but he nodded and picked up the assignment. He flipped it open and looked at Stiles for a bit.
“You know A- isn’t a bad grade, right?” Derek asked as he skimmed through the corrections. Stiles, for his part, huffed and crossed his arms as he leaned back in his seat.
“You know funding opportunities usually require 3.8 GPAs and this doesn’t cut it, right?” Then Stiles flopped his arms around and shook his head fast enough to make himself dizzy. “And that’s not the point, though! I’m not here because it’s an A- specifically, I’m here because I don’t deserve these deductions! This grade doesn’t reflect my work.” Stiles spat out.
Derek only hummed as he read the paper in whole.
“I can see from the thesis that you went beyond the requirements, and had the essay been mostly perfect, that would have easily earned you an A+. However, and you already know this if you’ve read the comments, you completely ignored the fact that Christian conversion had taken place in Norway, even if Iceland was still pagan. Your argument is original and interesting, but since this is a history course, if you get the chronology wrong, it’s difficult to give more than a B, if that. I think your grade was fair, Stiles.” Derek said once he got to the end of the paper. A few seconds of silence rang between them.
“Where?” Stiles finally forced out between clenched teeth.
“Stiles-” Derek started.
“Where. Did. I. Say. Norway. Was. Not. Converted?” Stiles pressed. “The territories of modern day Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Germany were all Christian long before Iceland. There’s no way I said something different.”
Derek sighed and flipped a page.
“You implied it here. See?” It was the first time Stiles had ever heard Derek use that tone before, like he was talking to some wounded baby duck or something. Stiles pulled the assignment to him with extra force and blinked a few times to clear the frustration from his eyes.
“I didn’t…” Stiles started. “No, no, no. I’m not referring to all Vikings on the surface of planet earth when I use the term ‘them’, Derek! I’m referring to the Icelandic raiders I mentioned just before.” Stiles hurriedly explains. Derek leans forward and looks at the text.
“That was over a paragraph earlier. You’ve talked about the general condition of the peoples at large in between those. I’m not saying I don’t believe you, but the evaluation is on the text alone, and nothing in the text says differently than what the ‘them’ implies.” Derek’s voice is still too soft, but there’s a bit of frustration there too. “You talked about the women in the previous page. How is the reader to know you weren’t referring to them instead, too?”
Stiles laughed humorlessly.
“Why would I refer to the whole population? Half of them wouldn’t even be considered proper Vikings at this point, Derek!” Suddenly, he got a flash of inspiration and turned to the last page of the text. “Look here: I said ‘Icelanders were the guardians of the ancient customs.’ Why would I say that if I thought all territories were equally pagan and traditional?” Stiles asked. Derek frowned at the paper before sighing and rubbing a hand over his face.
“I’ll tell Erica and see what she thinks of it,” Derek finally said. “But even if you don’t get deductions for the chronology, you have to admit that even with you explaining your argument to me now, your paper remains unclear and unfocused.” He raised a finger to stop Stiles when he went to argue. “No, Stiles. You have frustratingly great arguments on a lot of topics, and this was one of them, but if you can’t present it clearly or stay on point, then it’ll always fall apart.”
Stiles didn’t want to admit that he could maybe see Derek’s point. Only maybe.
“What is this?” Stiles asked petulantly. “An English course?”
“There’s a difference between irrelevant-but-witty and irrelevant-and-childish, and it’s the first time I’m seeing you get close to crossing it,” Derek said coldly. Derek had never pulled rank, never looked like he’d ever thought to, even when Stiles was getting close to overstepping boundaries, but that comment was a well-sharpened, ruin-covered ax to the face that reminded him that Derek was older and Stiles was just a kid from the class that Derek helped teach. Stiles hung his head, and though he didn’t see Derek’s face, he heard Derek’s voice grow more gentle. “I know it sucks, but to answer your question, while this isn’t an English course, it is a university class, and academia is not only about gathering knowledge, it’s also about how to produce and present it.”
Stiles felt like an idiot. Of course Derek was right, but Stiles had been so angry. Now, all he could do was try and hide the red he felt taking over his face.
Urgh. This was the kind of aimless headstrongness that got him two restraining orders in high school.
“I’m sorry,” Stiles finally said, sucking up his pride. He still had his eyes on the table, but he saw Derek sit back in response. “I don’t know why I got so upset. I mean, I’d studied the material in and out, so I thought the grade had to be a mistake, right? Either that, or you just hated me because I’m always starting a fight with you and being a brat generally.”
Stiles looked up as Derek was about to answer and raised his own finger. He wasn’t a TA himself, but he was surprised to see Derek give it as much authority as when he himself had stopped Stiles.
“But that wasn’t fair. I was just projecting. You’re a dick, but you’re not that much of a dick.” Stiles finished. Derek’s eyebrows raised high on his forehead before the corners of his eyes crinkled and he laughed.
“I’m glad to hear it,” Derek answered. Stiles grinned at him. “I should probably add something age-wizened and inspiring myself, but considering I’m probably only two years older than you, it would no doubt sound patronizing. Just don’t apologize for the arguments, because then I would need to apologize too, and I really don’t feel sorry for putting you back on the right track again and again.”
“Right, putting me on the right track, even though you’re completely wrong about the shield-walls being inspired by religion rather than having inspired it.” Stiles nodded innocently.
The change was immediate. Derek’s smile dropped and he growled at Stiles. Stiles chose to see it as a playful growl. A cute grrrr. A growlette.
“Jesus, Stiles.” Derek tilted his head back, eyes rolling so hard it had to hurt. “You are completely ignoring the chronology presented by the ruins of the time!”
“And you are purposefully ignoring the accounts in the Vikings’ sagas!” Stiles argued back.
It took a while for them to realize that the afternoon had come to an end and the evening had crept in. They moved from the shield-wall argument (which Derek had not won, thank you very much) to comic books (Derek had surprisingly good taste in those) to ostriches (why? Stiles had no idea how they’d gotten to that point). They only realized how much time had lapsed when an annoyed Barista with the name tag ‘Liam’ came over and threatened to make them eat their own toes if they didn’t get a move on. It wasn’t the most inspired threat, granted, but it eventually worked. Derek and Stiles walked out onto the sidewalk and ended up stalling there.
Very, very awkwardly stalling, the jury should note. Stiles had no idea what you were supposed to say when parting with your TA whom you’d planned on murdering earlier that day.
“Well,” Derek said, playing with the collar of his t-shirt. Damn it, his chest hair looked as good as his eyebrows. Stiles didn’t need to know that. He clenched his fists and tried to rage his way out of drooling over that particular revelation, but suddenly, he was having a harder time tapping into his annoyance for Derek to overcome his appeal. When did that happen!? “I’ll give your paper to Erica. She’s the one over-looking your grades here.”
Right. Supreme TA and all that jazz. Monopoly of decision-making. Stiles nodded quickly, still buzzing from his realization that he was apparently not able to turn off his attraction for Derek at will anymore.
“Thanks man.” Derek was his TA. There was a difference between thinking he was hot when no one else was around, and thinking about him as more than hot. “You were right, though. The grading was fair.”
His TA. Derek was his TA. Could Stiles be any more inappropriate?
“Still, I’ll pass it along. It’s her call, not mine.” Derek shrugged, completely unaware that Stiles was having a moment.
Or, a non-moment perhaps. Yeah, a non-moment. Because it didn’t matter if Stiles thought that Derek was hot, Derek was still a dick, and the next time they’d have class, Stiles would be reminded of it. And even if Stiles’ mental condition was permanent, which it wasn’t, Derek was so out of Stiles’ league that it would take Stiles less than a month for any lingering attraction to turn back into bitterness.
Derek was not only miles out of Stiles’ reach, anyway, he was also his TA. That bared repeating.
So, if there was anything there, and there wasn’t , it would die a tragic death before Stiles would have time to properly catch feelings, which tended to be more dangerous a contagion than Tuberculosis for him. He wouldn’t turn into a lost puppy, he wouldn’t suffer unmentionable levels of humiliation, and most of all, Derek would never know enough to look at him with pity and/or disgust.
Stiles wouldn’t make a fool of himself AND he’d make it through the semester unscathed. Take that.
“Well,” Stiles said, focusing on the conversation at hand. It wasn’t all that easy to do when he was actively trying to keep his eyes on the brick wall next to them and to find an excuse to bolt. Not that he didn’t want to stay and talk, he actually did, but that was exactly the problem. “I appreciate it.”
Nip it in the bud.
Stiles nodded at Derek and gave him a polite smile before shuffling towards the street corner. Derek was just his TA, and nothing else.
Stiles had just made it to the light post when Derek called out.
“Stiles?” So, so close. What were the chances of Derek believing that Stiles hadn’t heard him?
Stiles turned around, knowing the answer.
“I just wanted to say. If ever you wanted someone to look over your essay before submission, or pitch ideas with, or just talk instead of exploding across campus— ” Derek grinned and pointed at the coffee shop, but dropped his hand when Stiles didn’t outright laugh. “Just. You know. I’m here.”
Derek’s ears were red, and Stiles had no idea what to do.
This was the worst idea ever. Not for Derek, of course. Derek only saw a little shit who was too competitive over his grades and wanted to help. Derek was being thoughtful. Stiles, on the other hand, was way too into the idea for it to help his predicament in any way. He should say no.
Then, there was the little voice at the back of Stiles’ mind telling him that turning down the extra help would in itself be letting his feelings get in the way of his academic potential. He wanted to kick this class’ butt. It would be stupid to turn down that kind of chance because of Derek’s pretty everything.
Scott would say no. Lydia would say yes. Or, well, she would state that she’d say yes, but ask Stiles what he would normally do. And since Stiles had no self-control, he’d say—
“Is the information to contact you on the syllabus?” Stiles blurted out. He needed to apologize to Scott for all the times he thought Scott was being dense. Clearly Stiles didn’t have a leg to stand on.
“I’m not sure,” Derek answered with a frown, as though trying to picture the syllabus. “Probably. But I can give it to you now if you want?”
Stiles nodded and wordlessly handed Derek his phone.
No. Leg. To. Stand. On. Though, this time at least, he’d made sure nothing creepy was in his browser before handing his phone over.
“Thanks,” Stiles said for what felt like the twentieth time when Derek handed it back. Derek just nodded and smiled, and after a few more awkward seconds — most likely Stiles’ fault, but he was having an episode, give him a break — Derek raised a hand in a half wave and backed away.
Stiles’ walk home afterwards was kind of a blur. All Stiles was really able to focus on was the weight of his phone in his pocket, and his internal dilemma. By the time he made it to his apartment, though, he’d mostly managed to make himself realize that there wasn’t any problem yet and that he just needed to calm down.
Jesus, when did Stiles get so melodramatic? Lydia giving him her phone number didn’t turn him straight, and having Derek’s wouldn’t stop him from functioning like a normal human being. Get a grip.
Stiles pushed the apartment door closed with his weight resolutely.
“You missed the movie,” Scott said from his seat on the couch, munching on popcorn. The Netflix menu was projected on the TV.
“What movie?” Stiles asked. Scott tilted his head to the side.
“You, me, Lydia and Allison?” Scott answered slowly. Stiles couldn’t help it, he rolled his eyes as he threw his keys on the table as he made his way to the sofa himself.
“But then you and Allison broke up,” Stiles reminded Scott.
“Huh.” Scott frowned, but then shrugged with a goofy grin. “We got back together.”
“Your separations are getting shorter and shorter,” Stiles mused. Scott didn’t look insulted in the slightest, but he still smiled broadly when Stiles added, “Soon there won’t be any separations at all.”
Stiles wasn’t even being sarcastic. If it had been anyone else, then maybe, but Stiles couldn’t pass an opportunity to make Scott happy. Scott practically wagged his tail when he got excited, and it was too cute to resist.
“That’s what I said!” Scott cried out and they high-fived.
“So what happened?” Stiles asked. He usually hated hearing Allison stories, but he still felt guilty about the stairs-of-no-empathy incident earlier.
“Allison looked Yukimura up. She called me to tell me that I’d been right, and that Kira really was cute.” Scott shrugged.
Stiles… Stiles had no idea what to say to that, if only that Scott’s near future was looking a lot better than Stiles’ at the moment; the last time Alison had thought someone was cute, it had been Scott, and that had resulted in Stiles walking in on them contaminating Stiles’ retro bean bag with their hetero-cooties. Thoroughly contaminating it. Stiles had considered calling the Ghostbusters to get the spirit of that memory out of his favorite chair.
Damn it. Where was Stiles when the luck salesman came through town?
Stiles pulled his phone from his pocket and tried not to think too hard as he typed out Ever feel like you pissed in a very important god’s cup in another life? Because I’m starting to wonder if that’s a thing.
“That’s great, man. I’m so glad you guys worked it out.” Stiles slipped the phone back in his pocket and smiled at Scott. “Can I make up for the movie now?”
“I had Netflix open waiting for you. Duh.” Scott grabbed the remote and Stiles could help stretching out and hugging Scott. “Anything you feel like watching?”
They were halfway through the movie when Stiles’ pocket vibrated. Stiles subtly pulled the phone out to check. Sure enough, Derek had answered, and apparently he didn’t seem too bothered that the information he had given Stiles for academic purposes had gotten re-assigned to another, much more random, function.
I have five sisters. I’m pretty sure it’s a thing.
Stiles barely stopped himself from snorting before pocketing his cellphone and turning to the movie.
See? It had been easy and painless. Stiles could do the friends thing. Or, well, the friendly TA and student thing. Everything would work out fine.
Things weren’t fine.
They were amazing, but also, they were killing Stiles bit by bit. It was a problem.
Stiles grunted as he slowly blinked his eyes open and looked around. He was in the library by the looks of it, rows of books shelved haphazardly were visible ahead of him, but from the brick wall on his right he could guess that he was in one of the bookable private rooms. He shouldn’t have been surprised, considering that Derek and Stiles had been meeting in these every week for the last month, but it still took a moment for him to realize that he was sleeping in one at —
He shuffled pages around until he found his phone on the table.
— two a.m. Fuck.
Double fuck, actually, since according to the soft snoring Stiles could hear on his left, Derek was asleep there too.
Don’t get him wrong, though, Stiles loved spending time with Derek. Derek was helpful, and smart, and still an asshole, but so was Stiles so it was fine. Stiles only had an issue with the friendship part, really. Because there was no doubt in Stiles’ mind that they were friends now. Stiles would talk to Derek about his issues with the course, but also about Lydia, Scott, his classes, hell about his dad . In exchange, Derek would talk about his older sisters tormenting him, his little sister stealing his car, and his mother volunteering him to join his town’s Christmas carol choir even though Derek couldn’t hit a note to save his life.
They were friends, and it was fine. Only it wasn’t, because Stiles hadn’t been able to stop himself from falling for Derek, but he hadn’t been able to walk away either.
According to the official school website — and Stiles only knew this because Scott had checked it because of, well, Kira — relationships between professors and students or TAs and students were tolerated as long as the school official involved had no power over the student’s academic situation. A teacher or TA could not sleep with a student whose work they were grading themselves, and a counselor who could potentially have sway over funding or acceptance rates couldn’t have a relationship with a student seeking help, and a coach ‒ well, you get it. That way, a student wouldn’t feel pressured in order to help their grades, and a Professor wouldn’t unintentionally be influenced when evaluating students.
Derek was off limits, then, since Stiles was in his group. Not that there had ever been a doubt in Stiles’ mind, of course. Derek had never tried anything, nor given any hint whatsoever that Stiles’ infatuation might be reciprocated. They only met in the library, or the cafe, and each time he let Stiles take the lead when they hung out. So Derek was nice (except during debates, those were still ruthless ) but the rest was all on Stiles.
And now Stiles knew what Derek sounded like asleep. He knew what he slept in, too, since Derek had told Stiles about his uncle giving him Disney pyjama bottoms that Derek wore unironically. In a few minutes, he’d wake Derek up so that they could head to their respective apartments, and then he’d know what Derek looked like waking up in the morning.
Life wasn’t fair.
Stiles closed his eyes for a moment more and sighed. Fucking Vikings. Christian monks used to think of Vikings as bad omens, as punishments from God, and that speaking of them was enough to draw bad luck to yourself. Stiles was starting to think the looneys might not have been all wrong on that one.
With a last huff, Stiles opened his eyes and sat up straight, rolling his shoulders to shake out the kinks. Then, he caught sight of a pen sitting next to him on the table and grinned. He reached for it and uncapped it before turning to Derek’s vulnerable, sleeping face.
He and Derek’s eyebrows had a score to settle.
Stiles wasn’t a stickler for rules, but he knew his proverbs. If you’re going to hell—
“What did you— Stiles!”
Stiles hesitated before knocking.
He wasn’t sure why, really. He knew that only Derek was in there, and it wasn’t like Derek had turned into a werewolf or something overnight. Even if he had, though, Stiles was still mostly sure that fangs wouldn’t be scarier than Derek’s everyday eyebrows, so really, Stiles had no reason to worry.
He looked down at his final paper, smoothed down the corners to ensure that the essay was still clean and crisp, and admitted to himself that it was bullshit. Stiles should be worried, he was about to do the most reckless thing he’d done since he’d offended a TA to get into the good graces of a strawberry-blonde fortune-cookie whose friend was getting Stiles’ friend into the whole menage-a-trois scene.
Stiles sighed and pushed the door open.
“Derek?” Stiles asked. He’d been in the office the TAs shared before, but just in passing when Derek needed to come grab something along the way. They never really hung out here, since the room was tiny, windowless, and even though it had a fairly new-looking couch, it didn’t make up for the fact that the four TAs used the office in rotation. He knew from Derek that they usually each held two-hour blocks for office hours in alternance, two TAs a day, four days a week. The rest of the time, like today, it was leant out so that the TAs could work on their own papers.
“Stiles? Hey.” Derek shuffled out from behind the desk sitting right behind the door. “What’s up? I didn’t know you were swinging by.”
Derek was grinning, but it didn’t do much to calm Stiles’ nerves, so Stiles just kept his eyes on his essay.
“I finished my final paper,” Stiles said before looking up. He wasn’t sure what he was expecting, nothing really, but Derek’s smile falling slightly before he swallowed and nodded wasn’t exactly it.
“Right. Did you want me to look it over?” Derek asked, already reaching for it. Now it was Stiles’ turn to frown. He knew Derek had a big paper coming up, he’d told Stiles he was worried about it. Stiles was pretty sure that even if he had time to look at Stiles’ paper, he shouldn’t have looked so eager to.
“Actually—” Stiles held the paper closer to him. “I’m pretty confident with this one, so I should be good.” Stiles shrugged.
He and Derek looked at each other for a moment. Awkward. Stiles suddenly had that feeling of deja vu, like they were back at the coffee shop that first time Stiles’ had considered doing something very bloody and very much illegal.
They really hadn’t gotten better at handling these kinds of situations since then, had they?
“Right.” Derek nodded slowly. “So…”
Stiles bit his lip. On one hand, he was scared shitless. On the other, it looked like Derek’s mouth was trying to quirk itself up to the previous smile it was sporting, but only managing on one side. It made him look hopeful, but Stiles knew he was projecting.
“So,” Stiles said, biting his lip once before letting it go. He never had a filter before in his life, and he wasn’t about to let one grow now of all days. “I was wondering how long it would take for it to be graded and for all the grades to be in?”
“That… that depends on Erica.” Derek said slowly, looking thoroughly lost. Erica, right. Wait, what? Did she do all the grade submissions? Could Stiles coax her into submitting his ahead of time if he bought her coffee? Knowing Erica, she’d probably ask for something much more scandalous, but Stiles could handle it. He’d open negotiations with a coffee, and if Stiles ended up needing to wear a banana costume to his other finals or something, then so be it.
In case you missed it, Stiles was a pretty headstrong guy.
“Right, ok.” Stiles nodded. “And then, once those are in, then, I was wondering if —well, look, I really like you Derek, as a friend, but also, if that’s something you could be into… Maybe we could. You, me. Like before, but. Not like before? With more touching and more dick action?” Someone shoot him. That was not what he was supposed to open with. “And dating too! Like, once you don’t have any say over my grades anymore.” And in hindsight… “But if sex is on the table, I’m open to viewing our last few library escapades as torrid dates to get to the sex faster. Though, full disclosure, I’m not opposed to putting out on the first dfett ehperer—”
Stiles stopped trying to talk when he realized Derek’s hand wasn’t going to leave his mouth.
“Not another word.” Derek growled. When Stiles tried to answer, Derek repeated: “Not. Another. Word.”
Derek had his eyes closed and was breathing hard through his nose. Stiles totally regretted having decided to try this, but he’d also never been closer to Derek’s frown than he was now, so he had to appreciate the little victories. He could practically count the hairs in Derek’s eyebrows AND lashes, and that was helping him calm down some.
Eventually, Derek stepped closer so that they were chest-to-chest and he pressed his forehead to Stiles’.
“I’ve never had any say over your grades, Stiles. The fuck?” Derek finally let his hand drop but kept his forehead on Stiles’.
“Right,” Stiles said. Then, “Come again?”
“I keep telling you that Erica is the one grading your stuff,” Derek said, sounding exasperated.
Stiles only blinked back dumbly.
“I very distinctly remember Professor Deaton assigning me to you. I remember you looking at me like that squirrel from Ice Age looks at acorns and I wanted to piss myself,” Stiles finally said.
“And when the class ended I told Erica to switch one of her students with you because that’s protocol. If you find a student attractive, enraging or share a personal relationship of any kind, be it as siblings or friends or lovers, you can’t be responsible for them. You were both of the first things, and then you fell into the third category, too,” Derek explained. Stiles sputtered and stepped back.
“And you didn’t think to tell me this?” Stiles squawked. Derek rubbed his hands against his face as he backed towards the desk, but Stiles could totally see him grinning under it, the sucker.
“I did tell you. Also your TA’s name is written in your student account, like the Professor explained on the first day of classes.” Yikes. That sounded familiar, in the whole I-don’t-remember-this-happening-but-it-explains-so-much kind of way. “And our initials are written at the end of all your papers. What did you think E.R. stood for?”
Stiles flopped his arms like they’d suddenly been replaced by boneless appendages.
“I didn’t notice!” Stiles cried out. “Why did you help me with my first essay then, instead of shipping me off to Erica?”
“Because I thought you wanted a second opinion? So I looked through her comments and gave you one,” Derek retorted, sitting on the edge of his desk. “Wait, did you just hang out with me because you thought I controlled your grades?” Derek’s voice took on a quiet note in the end.
If Stiles had ever thought that Scott had the puppy eyes down, Derek was giving him a run for his money.
“No! Me thinking you were my TA was the only thing stopping me from trying to lick your chest hair!” Stiles answered. “Wait, what? If I had wanted to manipulate you into boosting my grades, don’t you think I would have refrained from changing your ringtone to the Spice Girls classic and calling you Master Leather in front of the class?”
“Chest hair?” Derek asked. Really, Derek? Really? “And you thought I was flirting with you as your TA? How much of a creep do you think I am ?”
“Flirting? FLIRTING? WHEN WAS THERE ANY FLIRTING?” Stiles shouted. “Wait. Wait one fucking second.”
Derek still looked a little too freaked out to answer.
“So,” Stiles said in a calm, collected voice. If anything, it only served to make Derek look even more weirded out. “If I understand the situation clearly, you don’t have any say over my grades.”
“Right,” Derek answered carefully.
“And you haven’t had a say over them ever.”
“So we could have been doing the dodily-do for the last, say, three months.”
“Not if you call it that.”
“And we could be doing it now, if we stopped arguing about it.” Stiles looked Derek in the eye. He saw the tips of Derek’s ears and cheeks blush, his pupils dilate some, and his gaze flicker to Stiles’ lips.
“Good.” Stiles walked up to Derek and slipped his essay over his shoulder and onto the desk. Then he reached to his right and patted around, unwilling to take his eyes off Derek, until he found the knob and locked the door. “That’s good.”
Stiles finally, finally slipped his hands under Derek’s leather jacket and pushed at it until it slipped down Derek’s arms and landed and the desk with a muted thump .
“If anyone here feels pressured, influenced, or feels like what is about to happen might affect their judgement in academia-related issues, please speak now or forever hold their peace.” Stiles dug a hand into Derek’s hair and watched Derek’s eyes flutter minutely.
“Amen.” Derek grinned when he opened them again.
“A-fucking-men.” Stiles smirked back before he pressed their smiles together.
The kiss started out gentle, both of them just savouring the get-together moment like cliché characters of some basic rom-con, but one second Stiles was scratching his nails through the hair at the base of Derek’s skull and the next, Derek had one hand twisting the back of Stiles’ shirt and the other digging into the flesh of Stiles’ ass, pulling him closer until Stiles was pressed against Derek’s leg.
Hot damn. H-h-hot daaaamn .
And here Stiles had been considering their study sessions ‘pleasant’. Vikings were cool, of course, but there was something about grinding the semi you’d been sporting for a whole semester on the hottest man you’d ever seen after you’d mistaken him as unattainable that took the cake. Crazy thought, right?
It wasn’t like the two aspects of their relationship were altogether separate, anyway. The same passion that ignited their arguments seared the skin of Stiles’ back where Derek’s fingers, ablaze with the same fire, pulled-lifted-pulled Stiles as close to him as he physically could; the softness of Derek’s attentive listening and quiet support resonated in the thumb he stroked above the waist of Stiles’ pants, letting his affection echo in Stiles’ very core; the competitive playfulness of their every encounter leaked in the way they chased and bit each other’s smiles, never letting the other take too much of the lead.
It wasn’t just that this was physical, and that they fit: Stiles felt himself burst at the seams with happiness because he was with Derek, and this , this was Derek-and-Stiles in every sense, down to its very essence.
Stiles did have one small issue with the present situation, however.
“Derek, I— urgh!” Stiles grunted as Derek lifted his hips off the desk at the same time as he pulled Stiles down to him. Jesus. “As much as I love this, shit, I really, really like this, I’ve been crazy for you for most of the semester and— shit. If we don’t move this program along, I’m going to come in my pants like a prepubescent loser.”
Derek gave a sharp hip thrust upward in response, which had Stiles grabbing onto his shoulder and tightening the fist he had locked in Derek’s hair. None of that helped Stiles in anyway, since Derek definitely seemed to have something for hair-pulling if his grip on Stiles’ ass and the increase in tempo were anything to go by.
“And that’s supposed to… To convince me to move things along how, exactly?” Derek huffed before pulling his mouth away from Stiles’ and attaching it to Stiles’ neck. Stiles screwed his eyes shut and groaned.
“I’m pretty sure you don’t want to be deprived of a fireworks finale because— Derek. Because you were too busy bruising my neck all the way to Vampire Ville by the feel of it, shit, I’m serious—” Stiles pressed down against Derek harder, though, contradicting his own words. Sue him. He’s not supposed to be responsible one of the two, anyway. Derek’s the one with the academic employment.
“I’m pretty sure one doesn’t negate the other,” Derek teased, showing no sign of stopping. “Fuck. If you're half as into this as I am, you’ll be good to go again in no time.”
Quicker than Stiles thought possible, Derek lifted him up — Jesus, did that not help Stiles’ problem — and switched their positions so that Stiles was the one caged against the desk, upper body half-lying backwards over the furniture as he rested on his elbows to keep himself up.
“And then there’s also the bonus of retribution,” Derek growled on the corner of Stiles’ mouth, a hand sliding down to cup Stiles’ cock, making Stiles whimper. “You’ve been taunting me in front of my students and colleagues for months, always acting so mighty and superior, but now here you are, about to come in your pants like a teenager. Why shouldn’t I bask in this?”
He tightened his hold on Stiles’ dick.
“You kinky fucker,” Stiles hissed as he rubbed himself on Derek’s hand, all while Derek looked down their bodies at the action with a glint in his eyes and a smirk on his lips. “Oh my god, how did I not know this about you?”
Stiles was ridiculously close, with ridiculous being the keyword here, especially considering how little they’d actually done, and Derek’s words were going to blow up that already shaky damn like some goddamn dynamite. Stiles’ felt his cheeks redden as he pictured the image Derek had painted for him, of Stiles embarrassing himself by coming too soon. Humiliation curled in his core at the thought, but all that did was precipitate his upcoming orgasm instead of result from it.
Turns out Stiles was a kinky bastard, too.
“Too kinky?” Derek asked with a smirk, but he looked up at Stiles’ face when he asked.
Stiles shook his head urgently.
“Nope, nein, I—” Stiles toes curled as he got nearer, and he gripped the desk so hard he was worried he’d leave dents. “I deserve it, I’ve. I’ve been bad. Very bad.” He had to force the words out, not being the type to apologize, but the embarrassment that slammed into his gut as he said the words and Derek’s dangerous smile were worth it. Oh, were they worth it.
“You have, haven’t you?” Derek asked, but the kiss to Stiles’ lips was soft and playful. “We really should remedy to that.”
Derek stepped back, and before Stiles could worry, Derek had him up and turned so that his back was to Derek. Stiles was about to bend forward over the desk — he bit down on a laugh when he thought about how much of a cliche that was, but hey, why change something that worked perfectly fine — when he caught sight of his paper as well as a few others.
“The sofa,” Stiles elbowed Derek in the stomach with more force than was necessary and turned. It wasn’t like Derek would feel it through that wall of muscle anyway, the fucker. Derek just snorted at the hit and went along, pushing Stiles in the right direction as he unbuttoned Stiles’ pants. Stiles had only taken one step before Derek was pressing a hand between his shoulder blades and folding Stiles over the arm of the sofa.
The sofa was pushing against all the right places, and Stiles was seconds away from asking for Derek’s hand in marriage. He really, really was.
“I’m serious. A breeze would be enough to blow me over the edge right now,” Stiles gasped. Derek hummed.
Without hesitation, Derek pulled the back of Stiles’ pants and boxers below his asscheeks, leaving his dick and balls trapped in his clothes. Stiles couldn’t help rocking desperately against the couch as Derek dug his fingers into the flesh of his cheeks and spread them wide.
“So needy. So eager.” Derek praised. One of Derek’s hand smacked the side of Stiles’ ass just before Stiles felt Derek’s tongue lick across his hole, timed perfectly with one of Stiles’ thrusts against the sofa, and that was it. Stiles came.
Fuck Valhalla. Being with Derek was a religious experience in and of itself.
“Shit. Derek,” Stiles groaned when he found his voice again, limbs still trembling from the speed at which he went from from having a very-adult-conversation with Derek to having orgasms. He totally deserved a little leeway, here.
In the background, he could hear the clinkling of a belt and the lowering of a zipper.
“Stiles, can I—” Derek groaned. Stiles looked over his shoulder to see Derek staring at every inch of him, hand on his dick, looking like he just wanted to bury himself in Stiles and, fuck, was Stiles okay with that. Stiles didn’t know exactly what Derek was asking for, wasn’t sure if Derek himself even knew, but still, Stiles rolled over and grabbed Derek’s arm to pull him closer.
“Sit down. I want to to suck you off,” Stiles said. Derek made a slightly pitched noise.
“Shit, I won’t last,” Derek said as he sat down and Stiles pushed himself off the arm to come around and kneel between Derek’s legs. Quickly, and with a lot less fumbling and mangling than Stiles would have usually expected (maybe the gods had decided that he’d paid his penance, or perhaps they were just busy elsewhere. In any case, Stiles wasn’t going to complain.), he batted Derek’s hand away and pulled himself closer to Derek’s dick.
It was a nice dick. A very nice dick. Ten out of ten, Stiles would recommend, only not really, since he wasn’t planning on sharing it, or Derek, with anyone else for some time.
“I’m glad to see you haven’t changed.” Stiles smirked as he twirled his thumb around the head, gathering precome, while the other hand played with Derek’s balls. Aside from his pants which were down past his thighs and his jacket which was slung over the desk, sadly Derek was still mostly dressed. So was Stiles, now that he thought of it. That definitely needed to be rectified when they made it to round two.
Derek didn’t seem as concerned by it, though, head resting backwards and breathing heavily.
“Acting like an oh-so-collected TA in class, and keeping the act up in here too,” Stiles continued as he jacked Derek off. “But you’re just desperate as I am. Your little dominant show, it's just that, right? An empty show. You have anything to back that up, big guy?”
Derek brought his head up to look down at Stiles. He had a shadow in his eye that had Stiles swallowing hard in excitement.
“How about for once, ” Derek said as cradled the back of Stiles’ head, “you use that mouth for something other than talking back?”
“You love when I talk back,” Stiles retorted, certain.
“I do.” Derek smiled down at Stiles, laugh lines crinkling the corner of his eyes. “But I’ll love this, too.”
He didn’t put much force into pulling Stiles’ head down, but it didn’t matter. Stiles was all too eager to comply and licked a strip from the base of Derek’s dick to the tip before wrapping his lips around the head. Without wasting time, he started to bob his head to gradually take more of Derek’s cock in his mouth, and as he felt Derek’s hand tighten its hold, he looked up in time to see Derek’s eyes clench shut.
“Stiles,” Derek warned. Stiles kept going.
It only took a few moments more for Derek to come, and for Stiles to swallow the evidence. It took a significantly longer time for Derek to pull himself together, as he lay back, staring at the ceiling.
“So, I’ll take that as a compliment,” Stiles smirked as he pulled his pants back over his ass and sat down next to Derek. He couldn’t help the face he made when felt how his boxers were sticking to his dick, though. Derek glanced over in time to catch the grimace and he chuckled a little before quieting down.
It took a little while for Derek to answer.
“I really thought you knew, but just wanted friendship. Study buddies, like with Lydia.” Derek finally said. Well, forget about post-coitus declarations of love. Apparently Stiles and Derek had post-sex insecurity admissions.
Sorry Derek, but the forecast for this afternoon is abundant afterglow with no chance of gloomy overcast.
“Well, I never sucked Lydia’s dick, so you can forget that ,” Stiles said. Stiles couldn’t help but smile when heard Derek crack up. “But I’m down with confirming my very non-platonic feelings towards you through more sex, if you want. You did mention a second round, didn’t you?”
“Hmm.” Derek rolled over until he was facing Stiles, hand reaching for his cheek. He caressed the skin under Stiles’ eye, his jaw, the bridge of his nose. “ I did, didn’t I?”
They both jumped when someone pounded at the door.
“I’m glad round one was good enough to warrant a second, but how about taking it someplace where the children won't hear?” Erica’s voice was barely muffled by the door, as was her undisguised glee.
“Shit,” slipped out of Stiles mouth at same moment Derek hissed, “Fuck.”
Derek sprang up and pulled his pants over his thighs. He accidently knocked over a book that had been sitting precariously on the edge of the desk, though, and Stiles could hear Erica snickering in the hallway.
“No need to hurt yourselves!” Erica called out. “It’s no big deal! There’s nothing you could have done in there that those four walls haven’t seen me and Boyd do!”
It took a moment for the words to register, but when they did, Stiles sprung from his spot and looked down at the sofa in horror.
“Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my god. Please tell me you’re joking,” Stiles pleaded. Erica cackled.
“Why else would someone subject themselves to hoards of undergrads and extra labour, if not to get their own office to play out their dirtiest fantasies?” Stiles could hear the smirk she was no doubt sporting, even through the door.
“Oh my god,” Stiles answered.
“Don’t listen to her,” Derek said as he grabbed his jacket. “She likes to get a rise out of people”
“She does, but when it comes to sex, she doesn’t actually need to lie to get the response she wants. There’s nothing left that she can’t truthfully brag about,” a new voice said.
What the hell.
“Is that Boyd?” Stiles hissed at Derek, who was looking at him equally wide-eyed. “Who else is out there?”
“Only the two of us, unfortunately,” Erica said. “We arrived, what, 5 minutes ago? Isn’t that right, babe?”
Derek tilted his head back and stared at the ceiling.
“I’m going to murder her,” he said.
Stiles just stared at the door in horror. Then, after trying to find a way out of this mess and finding none, he settled for laughing.
His giggles started off normal-ish (well, normal for giggles, since coming from anyone that isn’t a six year old girl is already weird in and of itself), but it didn’t take long for them to take a manic edge. Derek merely turned his head enough so that he could see Stiles from the corner of his eye, and truth be told, he didn’t look at all concerned about Stiles’ hysterics.
Derek was a keeper, clearly.
“Erica, my final paper is on the desk,” Stiles said between breaths. “Hopefully you’ll find time between your obviously passionate relationship with Boyd and the no doubt absurd number of exams you yourself have to take to correct it. Boyd, you’re a brave soul for choosing Erica. I can totally respect that. But on that note, I hope to never have to look either of you in the eye again.” Stiles then turned to Derek.
Derek, who was looking at him with that smile of his that crinkled the corner of his eyes. Fuck, Stiles was in love with this man, wasn’t he?
“You, though, I want to see again,” Stiles said, suddenly feeling shy. “That is, if you’re interested?”
“Of course,” Derek chuckled. “How about dinner somewhere that isn’t the library or the café tonight?”
“Only if I get to change first,” Stiles said, not caring about the wolf-whistle that came from the hall. Stiles loved Erica, but she could suck it.
“That sounds good.” Derek nodded. “And I think the Communication department is airing the Batman trilogy, if ever you want to check it out after?”
Stiles looked at Derek with his jaw hanging open.
“How did I not dream you up? How are you even real?” Stiles asked sincerely. The tip of Derek`s ears turned read as he chuckled and looked down at his own shoes. “Forget dinner, you need to take me back to your place, pronto.”
“How about,” Boyd drawled out, “you two head to Stiles’ place, that way you can have a go before Stiles gets changed, and then you head out to go eat and catch the movies? That way I won’t have to spend more time watching Erica try and fail to pick the lock, and I won’t have to be there to hear you two try to stumble through the morning-after conversation in the middle of the afternoon.”
Stiles and Derek glanced at each other. Derek shrugged.
“Sounds good to me,” Stiles said with a grin. Derek smiled back and reached for the door.
“Ready?” Derek asked.
“I`ve been wanting to date you for months. Ask me if I'm ready again, you fucker, and I'll shield-deck you onto your ass so hard, it’ll set your brain straight and you’ll finally realize that I was right about the war formations— Ahhhh!”
On one hand, Stiles wasn’t a fan of being chased across campus with his underwear sticking to him like a second skin. It wasn’t a sensation Stiles would recommend. No sir. However, the chaser being Derek, and the two of them getting to a bedroom that much quicker, helped make the whole thing seem a lot more bearable.
Plus, it got Erica to laugh so hard they were able to run past her without getting any additional shit, so really, all things considered, Stiles counted the whole thing as a win.