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A Comprehensive Study in Getting a Boyfriend via Persuasive Essay-Writing

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Stiles, because he was trying to keep Beacon Hills University from squeezing an extra semester of tuition out of him, added WRI-310: Rhetorical Strategies to his schedule without thinking anything beyond, "nice, something that covers my writing elective and also counts toward my major."

He'd like to say he was purposefully taking Rhetorical Strategies to improve his journalistic edge, but he couldn't, and not just because he didn't know what "Rhetorical Strategies" meant until after his professor e-mailed them the syllabus. Apparently, Mr. Serious Writing Prof didn't waste time with a syllabus day, which was fine with Stiles; syllabus day was mind-numbing at best and likely to put him into catatonic stupor at worst.

According to the syllabus, the class goal was, "improving students' analytical writing skills utilizing logical argument and fundamentals of rhetoric." Stiles would've rewritten it, "this class exists to teach a bunch of douchey hipster undergrads how to argue better over shitty wine and a bowl." Piece of cake. Stiles could already argue, and after that research bender about logical fallacies, half the terms on the attached vocabulary list were already in his Google search history.

He closed the syllabus without reading the rest and binge-watched YouTube for a few hours.

Bright and early Monday morning, Stiles was the first one in class. He'd never quite gotten rid of that first-day-of-school anxiety he'd had since kindergarten, and he panicked about the possibility of the room number on his schedule being wrong for a solid five minutes until someone showed up. More and more wandered in until Stiles counted twelve students and recognized exactly zero.

All his classmates seemed to know each other, though, sitting in pre-determined cliques, the compositions of which Stiles couldn't exactly understand. English majors, man. Stiles was pretty sure they had a migration pattern in the form of a straight shot between the library and the second floor of the social sciences hall, with brief detours to that one coffeeshop Stiles never went to because they judged him once for dumping four packets of sugar in his espresso that was supposed to be enjoyed in its virgin state.

Whatever. Stiles didn't even like coffee that much.

A dark-haired girl and her two friends sat at his table, and she gave Stiles an awkward smile that showed off a pair of mismatched dimples. He grinned back and gave her a two-fingered wave. They were all sitting in these little pods of four, and it made the room feel fuller than it was. Stiles had his back to the window to avoid staring out it, but he was facing the door, which was almost just as bad.

He drummed his fingers on the table and bounced his knee in conflicting rhythms, wondering where the hell the prof was. Were they all somehow in the wrong classrom? How long was it before you were allowed to leave a class if the prof didn't show? Fifteen minutes? Twenty? Wasn't it different if they had a doctorate? Was the dude teaching this class a doctor? Stiles coudln't remember. He thumbed through his e-mails to double-check. Oh, there it was, creatively titled "syllabus." Derek Hale, Graduate Assistant.

Stiles decided he would leave after an arbitrary fifteen minutes. He waited all of three before one last person walked in, pulling the door shut behind him.

For a second, Stiles thought the new guy was another student, but nope, that dude was definitely too old to even be a super-senior, not that he was old old, maybe in his mid-20s. Must've been the prof. There was something academic about him behind all the stubble and the cheekbones, and wow, Stiles thought he got over the whole hot for teacher thing after Ms. McIntosh in the tenth grade. Apparently, intense eyes, sharp jawlines, and leather jackets were even on Stiles's list of weaknesses when it was his professor. Even the hipster glasses looked good on this dude, what an asshole. Stiles straightened up in his seat a little, and stopped bouncing his knee.

Professor Hot-Face greeted a few students in the front like he knew them, probably from last semester, and Stiles was starting to consider changing his major, until Prof Hale announced that he didn't allow laptops in his class, then jumped right into the lecture and didn't even give Stiles's poor hand even a second to un-cramp. Stiles's notes didn't even have an appropriate amount of doodles on them, and he was sure as hell not gonna be able to read his handwriting later on.

The brunette next to him was smart enough to have the powerpoints printed out, and was taking notes in the margins instead of trying to write down the whole lecture. Stiles was so going to do that for the next class. Prof Hale didn't stop until five minutes before class was over and they were blessed with the sight of the blank slide at the end of the unit.

Then, to add insult to literal injury—ow, Stiles was pretty sure he had carpal tunnel—Prof Hale finished up the class with, "and this week's essay topic is a discussion on whether ethos, logos, or pathos is the most important in defining your argument."

Stiles had an answer about five seconds after Prof Hale announced the assignment (they're all equally important and it's a trick question), but his thoughts came to a screeching halt when he realized— "wait, this week's?"

Everyone stared at him like he was an idiot outsider who invaded their literary paradise, which he kind of was, but he continued staring Hale down until that pretty mouth decided to spit out an explanation. "If you read the syllabus," Hale began, waving the rest of the students out, "you would know I assign an essay topic every Monday, each of which is due the following Monday."

"You know, most people try to soften the blow of Mondays somehow," Stiles replied.

"Would you rather yours be due the Friday before everyone else's, then, mister...?" His eyebrows issued a challenge. Well, eyebrows. You're on.

"Stilinski. And I'll have it Monday, Professor."

The essay Stiles turned in Monday was on the history of male circumcision.

— — —

Prof Hale returned their homework on Wednesday, in surprisingly quick fashion, probably because he was a graduate assistant and only taught the one class with all of eleven students (it had been thirteen, but two people dropped the class within the first week).

Stiles's essay had, "I know you didn't read this on the syllabus, so I'm telling you now—my office hours are MWF from 12:30-3," written on it, which was the college professor equivalent of see me after class. Normally, he would've ignored the note, but there was no grade on his essay, and when he booted up the school website, it was listed as incomplete, so clearly, Prof Hale was holding his grade hostage until Stiles sucked it up and wandered around the Modern Language and Literature department until he found the damn offices.

He brought Scott with him for moral support and so he'd have someone he could bitch at after his meeting with Prof Hale inevitably ended with him either re-writing the essay or pretending he'd "accidentally" turned in an essay for another class.

The brunette who sat next to Stiles in Prof Hale's class was behind the desk when they walked into the English and Writing department offices, and Stiles could practically hear Scott's brain going, "GIRL! GIRL! GIRL!" So much for moral support.

"Hey, Stiles," said the girl—Allison? Allison. She leaned over her desk. "What can I help you with?"

"Just looking for Hale's office."

She pointed with a pen. "Down that hall, last door on the left."

Scott looked between Stiles and Allison, like he was waiting for an introduction, and Stiles sighed, did his duty as Scott's wingman, and said, "Scott, Allison. Allison, Scott. Best friend, meet current classmate, and both of you: if I don't survive this meeting, tell my dad I died doing what I loved. Staring at hot dudes."

He took one last deep breath to steel himself, glanced at the hallway, and—oh. Speak of the devil, and your Rhetorical Strategies prof will appear. Stiles hoped he didn't hear the part about the hot dudes.

"Stilinski," Prof Hale said, like he didn't know Stiles's first name despite it being all over the class roster, his e-mails, and the top of his essay.

"Hey, Prof," he said, like he casually spent a lot of time in the English and Writing department. "Taking your advice about the office hours."

Prof Hale nodded and started for his office without glancing behind himself to check and make sure Stiles would follow. Stiles did, of course, trotting after him and trying to ignore the way his ass looked in those dark-wash jeans. Prof Hale's office was tiny, probably because they stick the graduate assistants in the shittiest offices. He had books everywhere, mostly paperbacks, spilling out of overweighted shelves, stacked on his desk, and shoved under the two chairs against the back wall.

"So, Stiles," Prof Hale said, gesturing for him to sit down, and oh hey, guess who did know Stiles's name. "Is there a particular reason you turned in an essay that had nothing to do with the topic I assigned?" There was a copy of Stiles's essay sitting in the middle of Derek's cluttered desk, right next to a coffee mug with "World's Okayest Brother" printed on it.

"Yeah," Stiles replied, refusing to say anything else until Prof rolled his eyes and continued.

"And that reason is…?"

"Because your topic was stupid," Stile replied, without thinking about the fact that maybe he shouldn't have criticized someone who was in charge of his grade.

Prof Hale's eyebrows started traveling toward each other, wrinkles folding into his forehead as he frowned. "Dangerous words, Mr. Stilinski."

"Please, Mr. Stilinski is my father," Stiles joked. "Well, not really. That's Sheriff Stilinski. But I'm sure there's a Mr. Stilinski somewhere in my family. Not me, though, I'm just Stiles."

"The point, Stiles."

"The point is that it was a trick question!"

Prof Hale folded his arms over his chest. He had his sweater rolled up to his elbows, and the motion showed off muscular forearms, which was probably how he intimidated his enemies and his hapless students. "What do you mean?"

"I mean, obviously," Stiles began, kicking back in his chair so only two legs were on the ground, "ethos, logos, and pathos are equally important because everyone responds to each one differently, and if you emphasize one over the other, your argument is going to be unbalanced and… and shitty!"

Prof Hale leaned forward and put his elbows on the desk, one hand curled in front of his mouth like he was trying to hide the fact that he was smirking a little. Well, it didn't work—Stiles could see the stupid grin in his eyes. "Why didn't you write about that?" he asked, and oops, that actually would've been a good idea had Stiles not been so intent on messing with him.

Well. Time to bullshit his way out. Stiles was great at bullshit. Along with introducing Scott to new girls to be awkward around, it was one of his most impressive talents. "Because you already knew that," he said, "and I wanted to tell you something you didn't know."

Prof Hale's thumb flicked at the corner of Stiles's essay, like he was considering handing it back over and telling him to rewrite something more relevant. Instead, he just said, "so you chose the history of circumcision?"

"Male circumcision," Stile said, "female circumcision exists, too, man, and it sounds like literally the worst thing ever. And yes. I like ruining everyone's perspective on Frosted Flakes." Prof Hale seemed like the kind of person who didn't go for corn-based sugar cereal anyways, what with the biceps and the shoulders.

He sighed. "Stiles, I'm going to take points off for your complete lack of response to the prompt, and because you didn't use MLA format—which, if you'd read the syllabus, you would know I ask for all essays in MLA—and it's going to leave you somewhere around a C-minus on this assignment, mostly because you did write a good essay." The compliment left his mouth like he was admitting to a murder.

"Cool," Stiles said, thumping the chair legs back onto the floor. "I'm gonna just. Go, then. Make sure my roomie isn't embarrassing himself in front of the cute girl at the front desk. See you in class on Friday, Prof Hale."

"Derek."

"Huh?" Stiles paused, halfway out the door. Prof Hale was glancing at his laptop screen, probably putting in Stiles's grade already.

"You can just call me 'Derek'," he said.

"Oh, sweet. See you, Prof Derek," Stiles said, and he swore he heard just Derek, you dumbass as he started down the hall.

— — —

The next week, Derek assigned two sample essays for the class to analyze and then determine which was more persuasive. It was almost annoyingly simple, mostly because one of the essays was badly written but emotionally-charged, with no actual facts behind it, and the other one was exactly what Derek wanted them to write: well-organized, clear ethos/logos/pathos, no logical fallacies, and well-cited sources. You could've written a response to it in your sleep, if you weren't Stiles.

See, Stiles couldn't physically bring himself to do homework he didn't care about. If he was interested in what he was writing for an assignment, he'd bust it out in a few hours, but if it bored the hell out of him, he'd spend more time dicking around on Twitter than actually writing.

So he had two choices, here. Either attempt to write the obvious answer of obviousness and spend most of it wanting to throw himself down the nearest flight of stairs, or do something to make it actually interesting and suffer through another session of Prof Hale's office hours. Not that it was too painful; at least Derek was nice enough to look at that Stiles was 85% more likely to say something stupid.

Stiles went for the latter, and spent the entirety of his essay arguing that,while a piece of writing could be virtually perfect, if it was boring, no one would read it, and thus (yeah, he pulled out "thus") it couldn't be effective.

Derek did not agree. This time, instead of a thinly veiled reminder of Derek's office hours, it was a blatant, "my office, Mr. Stilinski," and Stiles coudln't deny that he'd be pretty jazzed if that was in a sexier context. "You're gross," said Scott, because yep, Stiles said that out loud.

Scott came with him to the meeting again, but this time, it was just so he could make lunch plans with Allison while leaning on the front desk enough to make his biceps look good. It was the classic kind of move Stiles, as Scott's wingman, appreciated. "I've taught you well," he whispered fondly, like he was Yoda to Scott's Luke Skywalker of getting laid. Even though Stiles was probably more like the Han Solo to Scott's Chewbacca, if anything.

Scott liked to argue that he wasn't Chewie. Stiles liked to argue that if Scott was gonna be that hairy, Stiles was gonna compare him to a wookiee.

He trotted down the hall to Derek's office, pausing to knock on the doorframe before poking his head in. Derek glanced up at him over the frames of his glasses. Oh, cute cute cute. Stiles was going to get kicked out of school for propositioning his writing prof. "Stiles," Derek said, and Stiles focused on not being a weirdo.

"Derek."

"Is this going to become a regular thing?" Derek asked, and god, Stiles kind of hoped so.

"If you keep writing stuff like that on my essays, yeah," Stiles said, "now, remind me why I'm here? Lunch date? Secret meeting? Ooh, secret meeting."

"You're here," Derek said, before pausing to sigh long-sufferingly, "because you once again willfully misunderstood the topic of the essay."

"You said to write about which one was more effective," Stiles replied, taking a seat and crossing one ankle over the other, legs stretched out in front of him. He leaned back, casual. He was getting used to the place, even though the messy bookshelves drove him nuts.

Derek took off his glasses and pinched the bridge of his nose where all his eyebrow wrinkles coalesced. "Yes, which one is more effective rhetorically." He put his glasses back on.

Stiles, because he was prepared for this, shook his head and reached for his phone. "No, you didn't say that," he said, pulling open, ta-da! Derek's syllabus. "See? 'Of the sample essays provided, which presents a more effective argument?' And I determined, like I said, the one that presents the more effective argument is the one more people are going to read."

"I'm going to need to change that for next semester," Derek said.

"But you can't take points off for misunderstanding the prompt this time," Stiles said, even though, if Derek asked him to write an essay about it, his argument probably wouldn't hold up.

Derek seemed like he was (willfully) trying to find something to prove Stiles wrong, but he eventually either failed or gave up, heaved another sigh, and wrote something in the neatly organized planner on his desk. "Fine, Stiles, I've got to give you this one," he said, "but you still aren't using MLA."

"Yeah, well that's because MLA sucks," Stiles replied, not moving to get up, because if Derek was the kind of guy Stiles thought he was, they were about to get into it.

"MLA is standard for—"

"MLA is an excuse to stretch out page count by adding a useless number of in-text citations when you could just be using footnotes," Stiles argued.

"Wouldn't footnotes take up space at the bottom?"

"They go in the margins, Derek! In the margins!" Stiles leaned forward and pointed an accusing finger at him.

Derek rolled his eyes. "That doesn't change the fact that I'm going to continue taking points off if you continue using Chicago style."

"I will accept that," Stiles said, standing. "Good day, Professor."

"Stiles," Derek started, but he was grinning like he knew—

"I said good day!" Stiles would've slammed the door, but it was propped open with a doorstop, and he'd have to un-wedge that, and it seemed like a lot of work, so he just turned around with a huff and headed down the hall.

Three hours later, there was an e-mail sitting in Stiles's inbox with "Derek Hale" on the contact info, and he was seriously worried he'd sacrificed his grade for his lifelong dream of ending a conversation with, "I said good day!"

His fingers shook a little as he clicked it open, glancing away from the screen for a second like he could will himself back to his A-minus if he stared hard enough at Scott's lacrosse stick propped up in the corner of their dorm room.

From: derek.hale@bhu.edu
Subject: Formatting

Stiles,

Following our conversation today, I have to ask you:

If you're that vitriolic about MLA, what the hell do you think of APA?

Good day,

Derek Hale
Graduate Assistant
Department of Modern Language and Literature
Beacon Hills University

Oh. That was actually kind of… interesting? Was he trying to start a conversation? Was he making fun of Stiles? Were professors allowed to swear in e-mails?

Stiles drafted his response and sent it without thinking, which, once he started thinking afterward, seemed like a terrible idea.

From: stiles.stilinski@student.bhu.edu
Subject: Re: Formatting

Prof Derek,

APA is bullshit. What is a running header, anyway? And who even reads abstracts?
Don't even front with me on this APA thing. I know you hate it, too.

You're a writing prof. You're predisposed to belive APA is inferior.

Also, cover pages are useless.

Cheers,

—Stiles

Not even five minutes later, he got:

From: derek.hale@bhu.edu
Subject: Re: Re: Formatting

Stiles,

Cover pages are a waste of natural resources. I agree.

See you Wednesday,

Derek Hale
Graduate Assistant
Department of Modern Language and Literature
Beacon Hills University

It went on like that for a few weeks: Derek gave an essay topic that was kind of stupid, Stiles wrote something back that was kind of snarky, they met during Derek's office hours (always Monday at 1:00 PM), and Stiles attempted (and usually failed) to argue himself to a better grade. Scott had long since stopped following him to his Monday afternoon meetings in the English department, mostly because he started actually dating Allison, because Scott knew how normal people flirted, and it wasn't in sassy e-mails about formatting styles.

During their most recent meeting, Derek had asked Stiles why he decided to study journalism, and they actually ended up having a nice conversation which revolved very little around the essay topic of the week (structure and organization), and much more around the fact that Derek, like a nerd, had double-majored in English and History. He ended up teaching English because, and this was only slightly paraphrased, "nobody uses history knowledge in their everyday life, but you always need to know how to write without looking like an idiot."

Stiles realized, over a steady course of office hour visits, that he actually liked talking to Derek. It shouldn't've surprised him, after all, who else would argue with him about essayists (and agree with him about Star Wars—Luke Skywalker was bi as hell, alright). He enjoyed hanging out with Derek so much that he actually turned down Lydia and Jackson's offer of lunch one week in favor of bringing burgers and fries from the dining hall to Derek's office.

He only realized exactly how bad he had it when Scott left for the weekend once to visit his mom and Stiles got bored and horny enough that he jerked off while imagining Derek and his glasses and his gorgeous hands all over Stiles's body. Twice.

He was fucked.

— — —

Almost halfway through the semester, Stiles walked into Derek's office to find a woman sitting there, in one of the chairs across from his desk, thumbing through a book that Stiles knew Derek had been reading because it had his signature bookmark (a post-it note folded in half so the sticky stuff didn't get on the pages) stuck halfway through.

"Um, hello?" Stiles said, hovering awkwardly in the doorway. "I'm looking for Derek—Prof Hale?"

"Do you have an appointment?" she asked, like she got to decide who got to chat with their professor-slash-crush.

"No? It's… office hours, though," he replied.

"Yes, and I'm here."

"But—everyone knows—I'm—I'm always here at one on Mondays."

Then, there was this look of recognition on her face like she'd suddenly remembered rifling through Derek's planner and finding "be pestered by Stiles" written in every Monday afternoon. "Oh," she said, "you're the one who wrote the circumcision essay."

"Yes! Wait. How do you know that?"

She laughed. "I'm Derek's sister. He showed me your essay, trying to figure out what the hell it was."

"And you came to the conclusion of…?"

"Informative!" She snapped the book shut with a gleeful grin. "I told Derek I wanted to meet you, but he said that was weird and he really shouldn't be showing me student essays anyway. But here we are," she looked like she was going to continue, except that Derek appeared next to Stiles, their shoulders bumping for a second.

"Laura?"

"Afternoon, Derek," she said smoothly, gesturing to the two brown paper bags with a cafe logo on his desk, "I brought lunch."

"Oh, are you two, like, having a lunch thing? A sibling thing? I can go," Stiles said, trying to gesture at the door and hitting Derek in the shoulder instead.

Derek stepped into the office, thank god, he was no longer within shoulder-smacking range. "Yeah, that's fine, we can reschedule for Wednesday, then? Except, I mean, there wasn't much to complain about on your essay this week." That was because Derek was slowly modifying his prompts from the originals on the syllabus, making them more and more difficult to bend without straight-up ignoring the prompt. And he'd explicitly told Stiles he would not accept any more essays on medical procedures.

"Uh, Wednesday works. I was just here to chat, anyway," Stiles admitted, stepping backward, like if he got far enough down the hall, his embarrassment couldn't chase him.

"Oh, for the love of god, just ask him out for coffee already, or something," Laura said. Her nose was in her phone, like she was barely paying attention to their conversation, and this was a perfectly normal thing for her to say about her brother and a student, and oh god, Derek actually looked kind of close to taking her advice.

Really close, in fact. "Yeah, um, Stiles? Coffee? This week?"

What was his life? He was going to go home and smack Scott in the face for telling him he'd never get in Derek's pants.

"Cool," Stiles said, and then remembered that sounding so breathy and weird was not attractive. He cleared his throat. "Cool," he repeated. "Thursday?"

"I have class until four," Derek said, and wow, Stiles didn't even think about him having classes, but he'd have to, if he was a graduate student.

"Four-thirty, then? Starbucks, or… you're not a Starbucks-hating hipster, are you?"

"Starbucks is fine," Derek said.

"Oh, thank god. I love frappucinos. So, see you there," he said, backing up another half-step. "Not the one in the student union! They know me—finals were hell last year—long story short, I'm unofficially-officially banned. We should go to the one on the corner, you know, by the Chipotle?"

"Yeah, I'll be there."

"Sweet," Stiles said, and he almost (almost!) avoided running into the doorframe on the way out. Stupid doorframe.

He actually ended up doing homework when he got back to his dorm room, anything to distract from the fact that holy shit, his hot professor just asked him out, and everything was going fine until he opened his e-mail to sort through it for that assignment for Journalistic Ethics and found a new message just sitting there.

Sitting there with its non-bhu.edu address, staring him in the face.

From: derek.hale@gmail.com
Subject: Thursday

Stiles,

Sorry about Laura—I was planning to ask you out without her help, just so you know.
Figured you should have my number so I can stop e-mailing you all the time.

( Stiles stopped reading to get those digits in his phone ASAP. He shot Derek a text reading "It's Stiles!")

See you Thursday.
And also Wednesday, in class.

—Derek

Stiles was kind of tempted to skip class just to be contrary. Instead, he replied:

From: stiles.stilinski@studet.bhu.edu
Subject: Re: Thursday

Dude. You better rock my world with this first date.
I expect a heated debate on the punctuation of quotes ;)

Adieu,

Your Favorite Student

It wasn't until he was laying in bed that night, scrolling through Twitter, that he got the response.

From: derek.hale@gmail.com
Subject: Stiles.

You are not my favorite student.
Allison is my favorite student—she does her assignments without trying to sass me.

Regards,
Your Favorite Professor

— — —

By Thursday, Stiles was about to vibrate out of his skin with anxiety, because, as he'd yelled at Scott, he had a hot date, nay, the hottest date. Scott made fun of him for saying "nay," and then they debated the ethics of Stiles dating a professor and settled on, "well, he's a prof and a student, so it's cool." And even if Scott had not said it was cool, Stiles would've been panicking anyway, because nothing short of the zombie apocalypse would stop him from a date with the single most attractive man in the universe.

He tried on a total of four outfits for a very bored Lydia, who was attempting to do Calculus homework. "Stiles, he sees you three days a week in class," she said, "he knows what you look like. You don't have to dress up."

"I thought you were supposed to be all girly and helpful for these kinds of things," Stiles grumbled. He traded out his flannel for a cardigan for the second time.

"It's no fun with boys, you won't wear makeup," Lydia said, "plus, you asked me if I wanted to come over and do homework, not come over and help you pick out an outfit for a date. Be more transparent next time, Stiles."

He finally landed on a black T-shirt and this burgundy cardigan that was a little too big. He thought about a scarf, because it was cold, but it made him look too much like Isaac, and also like a douche. Lydia said she approved, but she also didn't look up from her Calc notes.

"Have fun, go cause a scandal," she called after him as he rushed out the door, panicking because he was definitely going to be late.

"Will do, 'bye Lyds!"

He was not late—he got to Starbucks fifteen minutes early, and secured a table that was far enough away from the door not to be freezing, and far enough away from the bar not to be crowded. It wasn't Stiles's favorite table, but his favorite had been stolen by what looked like a trio of sorority girls, and did he know any of them? Oh god, there was the panic.

Someone here was going to notice recognize Derek or Stiles from class or, or some other university function, and they'd know, and someone would call Stiles's dad (his dad didn't even know he liked guys!), and what the fuck was buzzing! Oh. It was his phone.

Prof Derek
Be right there. Class ran over.

Could he like, tone down the punctuation? Stiles was about to text him back that it was cool, he got them a table, when the door opened and Derek walked in, looking especially adorable wrapped up in a jacket and flushed from the cold. Apparently the "be right there" was literal.

"Hi!" Stiles cheered, hopping up and taking a few steps toward Derek, before stopping, trying to figure out if he should hug him or like, shake his hand? No. That was weird. Awkward side-hug? Derek figured it out for him, squeezing his shoulder and sliding his overstuffed laptop bag onto the extra chair at their little round table. Stiles realized it was the first time Derek had touched him, and he made a point out of standing close enough that their sides pressed together while they waited to order, because this was a date, not a professor-student meeting thing.

Unless it wasn't, and Stiles had grossly misinterpreted everything, and oh god, the anxiety was back and worse than ever. "This is a date, right?" he said, before he could stop himself.

"Yeah?" Derek said, "did I make it seem like… it wasn't, or something?"

"No, I just kind of thought maybe I made it up," Stiles said. Derek put his arm around Stiles's shoulder.

"You didn't." He was very warm.

Derek ordered an Americano, no room for cream, and Stiles gave him this look like he'd ordered the blood of a virgin. "How do you drink that?"

"Normally, with a few more shots of espresso."

Stiles rolled his eyes and ordered a hot chocolate, not even gracing Derek with a response when he said, "how do you drink that?" back. Okay, well, he rolled his eyes.

"So," Stiles said, after a few awkward attempts at conversation, "is it that weird that we're better at fliritng over e-mail than in real life?" It was a real question, but it also got Derek to laugh, and his dimples were the cutest ever, so Stiles felt confident enough hooking his feet around Derek's ankle.

"I don't have time to draft my thoughts a half-dozen times in real life," Derek said. Nice to know he got just as anxious about this as Stiles did. He snagged Stiles's hot chocolate and tried a sip of it. "Eugh. This is pure sugar, Stiles."

"Coffee doesn't do it for me, man," Stiles replied with a shrug. "Caffeine just makes me zone out. Plus, it tastes like death."

Derek leaned forward, doing something with his eyebrows to impress Stiles with his second language, sass. "Does that mean you're not going to want to kiss me later?"

"I don't put out on the first date, mister. Or ever, if your mouth tastes like dark roast."

"I'll have to learn how to flirt better in real life, then, if I'm gonna convince you," Derek said, and ooh, if he kept doing that with his eyes, Stiles was going to have to learn to like coffee taste.

They talked about dumb stuff, everyday stuff, Stiles's classes, and Derek's classes (mostly the ones he was taking, because Stiles already knew everything about the one he was teaching). Stiles learned that Derek lived in an apartment with his sister, and that Laura's ability to cook did not negate the fact that she always left her hair in the shower drain.

"Scott's always making out with Allison like, every time I walk in the room, now," Stiles said, "and the worst part is, they don't even have the common courtesy to look embarrassed about it." Derek was still playing footsie with him under the table, and Stiles was just hoping he didn't get any dirt on Derek's jeans. Stiles's Chucks had seen better days.

"Am I partially to blame for that?" Derek asked.

"Yeah, I guess so," Stiles said, batting his now-empty paper cup back and forth between his hands. "But, I also got you, so. I mean, I got here. I don't have you, people don't have other people, but I mean—"

"Stiles," Derek said, "I'm not seeing anyone else."

"Oh." Stiles tipped the cup to his lips, forgetting that it was empty. He frowned, and set it back down. "I'm, um. Not, either."

"Oh, good." Ooh! The dimples were back!

They agreed, afterward, on a second date the following Tuesday, at a coffeeshop Derek liked. He reassured Stiles that they had good hot chocolate, although Stiles wasn't sure how Derek knew that, considering his vendetta against sugar and cocoa and happiness.

Derek walked Stiles out of the Starbucks with an arm around his shoulder, which was pleasant, wow, Derek was the perfect height. Derek's car was expertly parallel-parked outside the coffeeshop, because his apartment was far enough away that walking in the Februrary air would be a bitch. Stiles only had a five-minute hike back to the dorms, three if he jogged a little.

"Thanks," he said, leaning down and giving Stiles a prickly kiss on the cheek. "See you tomorrow. Try to actually do the reading this time."

"Try not to distract me with your face," Stiles replied, returning the kiss.

Next Tuesday was gonna be awesome.

Stiles was an impatient son-of-a-bitch, though, so on Sunday, he stretched his leg across the couch, poked Scott with his foot, and asked, "yo, is it weird if I text Derek?"

"Why would that be weird?" Scott asked, "aren't you, like, dating?"

"Yes, but what if he asks what I'm doing, and the answer is 'subverting another one of your essay prompts'?"

"Is that what you're doing?" Scott leaned over to get a look at Stiles's laptop screen.

"It's Sunday night! Of course it is!"

A text pinged up on his screen, because apparently, Derek was thinking the same thing Stiles was.

Prof Derek
Laura roped me into watching an Animal Planet documentary.

Prof Derek
Otters are basically you.

Scott nodded at the text. "Yeah, that's kind of true." Stiles dug his knuckles into Scott's side until he started laughing so hard Stiles thought he was going to have an asthma attack.

Prof Derek
This one keeps bititng the handlers. I'm naming him Stiles.

Me
Fine, then I'm naming my cactus Derek, because it's prickly like your face.

Scott looked at him kind of weird and then shied away from his laptop screen. "Did you two, like, make out last time?"

"God, no!" Stiles sat up so fast his laptop almost slid off his lap, teetered on the edge for a second, then flopped into the couch cushions. "He kissed me on the cheek! His beard is scratchy! Get your mind out of the gutter, Scott!" He righted his laptop and sank back into the couch.

"Making out is not the gutter, Stiles! And the biting?"

"I think that was either a reference to my eating habits or my personality."

"Or both."

"Or both," Stiles echoed.

He ended up making a tiny nametag for the cactus that said, "hello, my name is Derek," and sending Derek a picture before going back to ruining his latest essay prompt. Derek sent him back the only emoji he'd ever texted Stiles. It was a tiny pink heart.

Me
So you DO know where the emoji keyboard is!!!!

Prof Derek
It's midnight, Stiles. Go to bed.

Me
Still gotta write a paper for ur class babe ;)

Prof Derek
Goodnight.

Prof Derek
See you tomorrow.
Babe.

The next morning, he set Derek the Cactus on Derek the Human's desk, and, when Derek was late as per usual, Stiles gave him a funny look. "Who are you? Our professor is right there," he said, pointing at the potted prickly pear on the front desk.

"Stiles, keep your plant in your dorm where it belongs."

They ended up going out to lunch after class, mostly because Stiles didn't want to miss his chance to argue with Derek about his essay-writing skills, even if it was just at Chipotle. When Derek hugged him goodbye, he leaned back until Stiles was off his toes for a half-second, so Stiles counted it as a second date.

Derek apparently did, too, because he texted Stiles almost as soon as Stiles got back to his dorm.

Prof Derek
Thanks for lunch. You're good company, Stiles.

He grinned like an idiot while he texted back.

Me
I'm excellent company! You're not so bad yourself <3 nice to look at ;)

If Scott was gonna judge him for falling off the bed with glee when Derek replied, "so are you," Stiles would fight him. That was why he had the bottom bunk, anyway.

— — —

The coffeeshop Derek took him to on Tuesday evening was tiny and cute, with mismatched light fixtures, tables made of pallets, and stained-glass windows with plants crowded onto the sills. It was far enough away from campus that nobody in undergrad went there, so Stiles felt comfortable curling up on a couch with Derek's arm around him, sipping an admittedly delicious hot chocolate while Derek drank his Americano and listened to Stiles's story about Jackson nearly burning the dorm down trying to make ramen noodles drunk.

"He forgot the water, Derek. The water."

"He's a menace," Derek agreed. He was wearing his contacts today, which made his face look a little different, younger. He told Stiles he never bothered with them for class because he always got ready in a hurry, which meant he was dressing up for Stiles. Adorable.

"You smell nice," Stiles said, eventually, which was supposed to come out way more normal, like, "what kind of aftershave do you use?" or something, but alas, his brain-to-mouth processor was still broken. Actually, he was pretty sure he'd never had one.

"Thanks," Derek said, like that wasn't a weird compliment to give. He scritched his fingers through the hair at the base of Stiles's neck, and Stiles snuggled his head into Derek's shoulder. "God, you're cute." It came out in a rush, like Derek wasn't thinking about it and couldn't help what he was saying.

"I try."

Derek chuckled and kissed Stiles on top of the head.

"I'd suggest going back to my place to make out a little, but there's like, an eighty percent chance someone would recognize you and ask why the fuck a prof is wandering around a dorm. And there's a ninety percent chance my room would already have two people making out in it," he sighed, sinking into the cushions. This couch was comfy. He was going to become one with it.

Derek's shoulder was also comfy, and so was his hand on Stiles's knee. He could sit here forever, but he'd take a little while over a cup of coffee, too.

After a few minutes of cuddling, Derek leaned down to whisper in Stiles's ear. "Laura's not home."

Okay, screw plan "become a part of this couch," it was time for mouth-kissing. Stiles shot to his feet, fast enough that he bumped into the table behind him. "Why are we still sitting here, then!?"

Derek laughed. "Alright, but you can't judge my place. It's messy." He finished off his Americano, setting the mug back on the table. Stiles was already done with his hot chocolate, because he didn't know how to pace himself.

"Bro. Dude. I live in a dorm," Stiles said, while chasing around the other sleeve-hole in his jacket. He kept missing it, somehow. "There's a two hundred percent chance someone's boxers are on the floor in my room."

"I don't miss undergrad." Derek tossed Stiles's scarf at him. "Let's go."

"Okay, fine, but I can't stay too long, I have to do homework for your class," Stiles said.

"We both know you're not going to do the reading."

— — —

Derek's Camaro was nice, and Stiles had no idea how he afforded a car that fancy. When he asked, Derek said it was Laura's, and that she let him borrow it for work and for the wooing of Stileses. Except he didn't say it like that. Stiles tried to imagine Laura driving a muscle car. It wasn't a difficult thing to picture.

Derek and Laura lived in a second-floor loft in a brick building near the historical district of Beacon Hills. The college campus spread pretty much all over town, but the only college building near this neighborhood was the administrative center, which was also the oldest building in town. It meant there was a lot less student housing, and, according to Derek, much quieter at night, on weekends, and on April 20th than anywhere else in town.

The loft was not messy by Stiles's standards. A cluttered coffee table (Derek's homework) and a few dishes in the sink was practically spotless compared to Stiles and Scott's sinkful of hygiene products, overflowing dresser drawers, and the pile of shoes and Scott's lacrosse gear by the door. The mess in their dorm room had only been toned down a little when Scott started cleaning up to impress Allison.

There was a bed in the middle of the loft, a California king, and Stiles wasn't sure if it was Derek's or Laura's. It was unmade but not a mess, and Derek dropped his bag on it. "Laura has the upstairs bedroom," Derek said, nodding at a spiral staircase in the corner.

"Cool; you've got a nice view." Stiles sat on the edge of the couch, not completely relaxed. This was Derek's house. They were probably going to kiss. And Stiles had kissed exactly three people in his lifetime, one of whom was Lydia, and oh god, Stiles didn't know how to kiss. "So, um," he said, becuase he had to say something. Derek was unwrapping himself from his coat, and Stiles shrugged his off as well, letting it puddle onto the couch cushions behind him. "Do you wanna, like, watch a movie? Or talk? Or something? I mean, are we gonna do something, or are we gonna do something?"

"It's kind of fascinating that the English language has evolved to the point that I know what you're saying by inflecting the same words two different ways," Derek said. He hung his coat on a row of hooks by the stairs.

"We live in a crazy world," Stiles agreed, and he only jumped a little when Derek sat down right next to him. "Hi."

"Hi," Derek parroted.

"How's it going?" Stiles joked, and Derek leaned forward until his forehead touched Stiles's. His eyes were so pretty.

"It's going well."

Gorgeous and grammatically correct. Stiles felt like leaning forward, like getting rid of the space between them. But, even though he'd been flirting and not-flirting with Derek for months, now, he still didn't feel like he could make that last movement to—

"Stiles," Derek said, and it came out quiet and a little shaky. "Would you like me to kiss you?"

Stiles breathed out, and wondered if Derek could feel it against his lips. "Yes! Yes. That's what I want to happen."

Even after Stiles consented, Derek didn't move until Stiles did, his hand curling around the back of Derek's neck, and suddenly, they were colliding, and Derek's mouth was hot, and his stubble itched in a way that was amazing and also not enough. Stiles knew he was getting sloppy, pushing back against Derek, and wow, Derek seemed weirdly okay with Stiles being all aggressive and messy, winding his hands around Stiles's waist.

After a few minutes they split apart, both staring at each other and breathing hard, but the calm hardly lasted, not when Derek tilted his head and let Stiles kiss down his neck. Derek unwound Stiles's scarf while he did it, and if he thought he was going to pass off the way he undid the top button of Stiles's flannel as an accident, he was wrong.

"Stiles," Derek said, catching him around the shoulder and urging him back. Stiles came away from Derek's neck with a little pop. "You can't give me—I have to teach—I can't have hickies."

"Oh, shit, right." Stiles shifted until he had his legs swung over Derek's lap, and toed his sneakers off so he could put his feet on the couch. "I can, though."

That was all he had to say and Derek was on him, tipping him back until he was leaning against the throw pillows that, honestly, kind of matched the aesthetic of Derek's office and were probably his interior design decision. Either that, or Laura had decorated Derek's office. He really shouldn't have been trying so hard to figure out who picked out the throw pillows, not when Derek was sucking on his neck and Stiles had much better things to figure out. Like how to get one of his legs on the other side of Derek's hips, because hello, boner, he needed something to grind against.

"Derek, Derek, move, I wanna—" Stiles began, spreading his legs, because, hey, Derek, take the hint and get in between there.

"We can't—I mean, we shouldn't—"

"Dude. I've wanted this for months."

"Right, but," Derek began, sitting up and no, don't move away. "You're still my student, so we shouldn't—not until after the semester ends." And okay, Stiles didn't completely mind that. At least he lived in Beacon Hills and didn't go to like, the opposite side of the country for the summer.

He shifted himself back and away, hoping that some distance would kill the half-chub he was afflicted with.

"Okay," he sighed, making sure he sounded very put-upon. "I'll just have to keep myself from your hot bod for another six weeks."

"I mean, we can still," Derek cut himself off and just leaned over to kiss Stiles, because apparently a demonstration was in order. Stiles always did appreciate a practical example, especially when it involved tongue. Derek settled his weight onto Stiles to kiss him thoroughly, his fingers draging through Stiles's hair, his chest warm against Stiles's. Derek was either a very good kisser or his game was helped out a lot by the stubble, because that felt nice, even though Stiles was going to regret it when he had beard burn all over his face.

Stiles cuddled up to Derek, feeling up his pecs and his shoulders, and he was just about to suggest that Derek make the left side of his neck match the right, when a key turned in the lock, the door opened, and Laura got an eyeful of Derek tongue-fucking one of his students on the living-room sofa. Stiles was going to blush himself out of existence.

"Hello, boys," Laura said. Derek sat up, and Stiles fell off the couch. "I'm not interrupting anything, am I?"

She didn't seem to mind the fact that Stiles was on the floor. Or that he didn't look even a little bit casual pulling himself back off the ground in a way that, he thought, showed the least of his hard-on. Derek already had one ankle crossed over his opposite knee. "You're cool, you're cool," Stiles said, waving her off and reaching for his scarf (she'd already seen the love bites, but it was the principle of the thing). "It's chill, you're good."

"Yes, you're interrupting," Derek said. "Stop it."

"Too bad," Laura replied, "I've had a long day at work, and I'm going to drink some wine and watch someone be murdered on TV. I'll be upstairs, so, you know, you and your boyfriend can keep doing… that." She made an unelaborative hand gesture.

Stiles shook his head at Derek, because no way was he going to keep making out while Laura was upstairs, because what if she needed to go to the bathroom, or get more wine, or a snack, or ask Derek something?

"My boyfriend's going home so he can do homework," Derek said, "and so I can, too."

Ooh. The boyfriend-word. Stiles liked that. He was going to have to change Derek's name in his phone.

Derek drove him back to his dorm, and better than that, he leaned over the gear shift to give him the most intense goodbye kiss of his life. Stiles went straight to the shower without passing go or saying anything to Scott and Allison (who were sitting on the couch watching a movie and finally not sucking face), and jerked off for what was, relatively, a short amount of time. Seriously, how could he have any stamina when he had the mental image of Derek pressing him into the cushions and biting his bottom lip just like—holy fuck, he was going to have to jerk off again.

He didn't see Derek's text until he was laying in bed, doing something that was not his homework for Derek's class. It popped up retroactively on his computer screen, and he grinned at it like an idiot.

Prof Boyfriend
Thanks for going out with me tonight. I had a good time.

Me
I know you did, Derek ;) you were moaning.

Prof Boyfriend
GDI Stiles.

Prof Boyfriend
Sorry if I was too forward calling you my boyfriend to Laura…

Stiles took a screenshot of the conversation and sent it back to Derek.

Me
Nope. No take-backsies. Already changed you in my phone <3

Prof Boyfriend
...GDI Stiles.

Prof Boyfriend
Goodnight.
See you in class tomorrow, favorite student.
;)

Me
KNEW IT!!!!!!!
<3 <3 You're cute.

Me
Goodnight <3

— — —

A couple weeks later, Stiles found himself in one of his usual Office Hour Debates with Derek during class, because Derek considered the sample essay fallacious, but Stiles would argue (and did argue) that it wasn't technically ad hominem if everything you said was true.

"It counts, Stiles," Derek argued.

"Why? Why should it? It's not false, it's just a statement of fact," Stiles said, kicking back in his chair and folding his arms. It was the stance he took when he was firmly planting himself on an argument, like making himself physically more difficult to move from a space would make him more difficult to defeat.

"Because—Stiles, goddamnit, I can tell you why after I do research."

"You're stalling."

"Am not," Derek said, and was he pouting? In front of the whole class? He totally was.

"You so are—you always stall when you know I'm right about something and you want me to forget about it."

"Now that," Derek said, pointing a pen at Stiles, "that is ad hominem right there, Stiles."

"You can fight me," Stiles said, "right now. Come on, I'll fight you."

"Stiles, for the love of god."

There was a cough from the back of the classroom. And then, "should we be taking notes on this? Will it be on the exam?"

Derek laughed. "Yeah, bonus question: who would win in a fight, me or Stiles?" He paused for a second, and then seemed to remember that not everyone was as good as Stiles at translating Derek's humor. "I'm kidding. This will not be on the exam—Greenberg, stop taking notes on—Christ. You're all dismissed."

They left class five minutes early, and Stiles shoulder-checked Derek on the way out the door. "See you in your office Monday, Prof," he said, even though he knew they had a movie night planned for Saturday at Derek's place. Stiles was introducing him to the Jeep.

— — —

Office hours on Monday did not end with a debate on logical fallacies.

They ended, instead, with Stiles sitting on Derek's desk, the two of them making out like horny teenagers. Stiles had his hands down Derek's back pockets, Derek's hands up his shirt, and they'd been necking since Stiles kicked the door shut somewhere between ten minutes and an hour ago. He lost track of time easily enough when he didn't have a hot dude between his legs, so he had no chance when he was getting the life kissed out of him on Derek's desk.

This was like, every fantasy at once. Hot professor, desk sex, secret hookups, butts were involved. Stiles was having the time of his life, until someone knocked on the door and fantasy collided painfully with reality.

Fuck. Fuck, fuck, these were open office hours and oh shit, anyone could be in here and could catch—could catch Derek dry-humping a student and oh god, Stiles was going to get his boyfriend fired.

Who thought this was a good idea? Oh, right. Stiles. Stiles thought this was a good idea.

Damn it, Stiles.

"One moment," Derek called, somehow sounding like he hadn't just been grinding his dick against Stiles's and giving him hickies all down his collarbone, "I'm with a student."

Stiles laughed, and leaned forward to whisper in Derek's ear, "yeah, you're with a student."

"Shut up. Get out of my office." He didn't sound genuinely angry, just frustrated, and Stiles pouted at him.

"Aww, Derek—"

"Out," Derek said, pecking him on the lips. "I'll text you. 'Bye."

Stiles obligingly trotted out the door, waving at Derek with a, "see you in class, Prof!" He passed by a lady in the hall, who must've been the one knocking, a kindly-looking woman in her late 40s, who had a tiny pair of glasses and a huge sweater on.

He didn't think anything of it, until he was laying on his dorm room floor detailing his almost-sexual-encounter to an increasingly disturbed Scott and his phone buzzed in his pocket and startled him into a sitting position.

Prof Boyfriend
Oh my GOD Stiles that was the dept head!!

"Shit!" Stiles groaned, frowning at his phone, "I think I almost got him fired."

Me
Sorryyyy!! She didn't see, did she?

"Oh my god." Scott flopped off the couch and rolled on over to stare at Stiles's phone. He might've been interested in the conversation if Stiles hadn't gotten a text from Derek that said you wanna come over later? "Ew. He's inviting you over for sex things," Scott groaned.

"No, he's not." Stiles was already answering in the positive. "Derek doesn't think we should do sex things until after I'm no longer his student—which, since I'm not a writing major, will be this summer."

"Wow, shit," Scott said, "my balls would be so blue if Allison—"

"Dude, I so do not want to hear about your girlfriend right now," Stiles huffed, trying to think of ways he could logically argue himself into Derek's pants.

He still hadn't come up with one by the time he pulled his giant-ass Jeep into a crazy small parallel spot outside Derek's apartment. On the way up, he did a little victory dance to celebrate not smushing into the Camaro's bumper.

When Stiles walked into the apartment, Derek was sitting on the couch looking especially adorable, dressed down in a pair of running leggings and an over-long hoodie, plus glasses. He had headphones in, a book on his lap that looked textbook-y. Derek didn't even notice Stiles sneaking up on him until Stiles swung a leg over his and replaced the textbook with his butt. "Hi, handsome," he greeted Derek, guiding him into a long, slow kiss. Derek tugged his headphones out.

"Hey, Stiles," he said, wrapping his arms around Stiles's waist and tilting his head into the kisses, letting them linger. Stiles scooted closer and closer to Derek, and hey, it was mostly gravity—Derek had his feet up on the coffee table and it was impossible not to get to the part where he was on top of Derek's crotch. The little roll he put in his hips was less coincidential but way more fun.

Derek squeezed his ass, and ooh, that was a little dirty, Stiles liked it. He ran his thumbs in parallel down Derek's jaw to his chin, sucked on his bottom lip, and after a second, Derek tumbled Stiles off his lap and onto his back. "Stiles. I need to talk to you about—you have to stop coming to my office hours."

Stiles frowned. "What, why?"

"Because," Derek said, "I can't—you're too—Stiles. We need to go on actual dates instead. Because we can't keep making out in my office."

"What, you can't control yourself enough to not suck my face if I come by to talk to you about rhetoric?"

Derek made a face that Stiles wished he had a picture of. It was like a mix of frustration and the world's most pure form of horniness. "Yes, Stiles," he gritted out, looming over him (not in a creepy way) where Stiles was laying back on the couch. "You don't even know—the things I want to do to you."

"I might have an idea," Stiles said, propping himself up on his elbows, meeting Derek's lips.

"Stiles," Derek groaned, kissing him back all sloppy and hot. He had one hand around the back of Stiles's neck, holding him close, scratching his fingers through the hair at Stiles's nape. Stiles was pretty sure Derek could feel the shiver that ran through him, and he dropped back, too overwhelmed to keep going without, you know, escalating.

"Okay. Let's, like. Go get food, or something. Because you are literally driving me insane with all—" he gestured at Derek's face, "—this. Stuff."

Derek leaned back, looking reluctant. "Alright," he said, "do you like Thai?"

Stiles did like Thai, and, more than anything, he liked the fact that Derek ordering something that had three hot peppers next to it on the menu, which held Stiles off from making out with him for the rest of the night.

Still, because Stiles was thirsty as fuck, he spent way too long in the shower after their date, like, long enough that Scott would have exactly zero questions about how much Stiles was beating off to the memory of Derek pressing him into the couch and kissing the life out of him.

— — —

Stiles's self-control lasted for all of three weeks, and then they ended up on Derek's bed watching a movie on Netflix, and of course, halfway through when the plot started to trickle off into something-non-ADHD-friendly, Stiles snuggled up to Derek and started kissing up the side of his neck and behind his ear.

"Stiles," Derek said, "I'm trying to watch this. It's very important that I know whether what's-her-face gets the guy." He was running his fingers down Stiles's side anyway, curling them around his hip.

"Oh my god, shut up," Stiles sighed, "if you can't remember her name, you don't care. Kiss me."

Derek did, oh hell yeah he did, grabbing the back of Stiles's knee and pulling him until he was straddling Derek's lap, plastered against him, and both of them hard—oh god, Derek was in his pajamas, which meant he was just wearing sweats, what if he didn't have anything on under there?

"What're you thinking about," Derek mumbled, his lips against the corner of Stiles's mouth.

"Hm?"

"You're thinking about something."

"Oh," Stiles said, momentarily distracted by the movie still playing. "Why the hell is someone in the pool—never mind. I was, to be completely honest, wondering if you were going commando tonight."

"One-track mind," Derek joked, ruffling Stiles's hair.

"Does it really count if your dick's poking me in the stomach? Because I'd say that's less me having my mind in the gutter and more external stimulus."

"I'm not poking you," Derek said, and rather than ask him what the hell was in his pocket, then, Stiles stretched up to kiss him, rolling his hips against Derek's very obvious hard-on. Derek moaned, and oh god, Stiles was going to get him to make that sound as often as he could. He kind of wished that was socially appropriate to have as his ringtone, or his alarm, or something, just so he could hear it all the time. Derek had his hands chastley on Stiles's mid-back, which contrasted adorably with the way he ground his cock against Stiles's.

Someone on the movie was having a very loud argument. Stiles turned awkwardly so he could grab Derek's wrist and drag Derek's hand down to his ass. Things got hot and heavy fast from there, and Stiles seriously thought they were about to throw the whole waiting 'til summer thing out the window and get it on, what with all the dick-on-dick action.

And maybe they would've, if Stiles hadn't fucked up and kicked the laptop over.

"Shit!" he yelped, sitting up straight and glancing across the bed to make sure he hadn't permanently injured his already-shitty Dell. Derek's bed was huge enough that it hadn't fallen off, just tipped over, the movie was still running, but Stiles had still effectively fucked everything except for his boyfriend.

Derek leaned over and closed the laptop, cutting a character off mid-line. He set it safely on the floor beside the bed, and turned back to Stiles, still looking very much like he wanted to have his dirty way with him. "It's okay, right?" he asked.

"What, the laptop, or the…"

"Yeah, that one," Derek said.

"Oh, so okay. Very okay." Stiles leaned forward so he could kiss him again. Derek tipped his head to kiss Stiles deep, groping his ass again, and oh god, sweats were a good choice, jeans would've been strangling his cock right now. Plus, Stiles knew how his ass looked in these, and sure, he wasn't on Lydia-in-yoga-pants level, but he looked fine.

Derek sat against the head of the bed, and Stiles clambered onto his lap, curling around him like an unusually bony octopus. Derek was making all these little noises into Stiles's mouth, and if he was this loud already—well, Stiles was a screamer, anyway, so it wasn't like he'd be able to hear Derek once they were actually fucking. He kissed Derek's chin and his neck, rubbing his lips raw on Derek's stubble and not giving a shit that he was gonna have to buy a thing of Burt's Bee's tomorrow.

"Stiles," Derek said, and he sounded legitimately whiny, "we can't do it yet, we—"

"Oh my god shut up," Stiles said, nuzzling into Derek's neck, and wow, he smelled nice. "If you don't get to see how embarrassingly fast I'm about to come with you getting up on me, I swear to god I'm going to scream."

"I know, I know, and I want it—"

"Yeah. You do. So we should just," Stiles kissed him on the mouth again, "do it. Round those bases." Another kiss. "I have been jerking off to this. For months."

"Are you trying to seduce me with your masturbatory habits?" Derek asked, his eyebrow doing that perfect, challenging arch.

"Oh come on, you know it's hot," Stiles replied, running his palms down Derek's chest. "You're telling me you haven't thought about me while you have some alone time? As your boyfriend, I'm offended, honestly."

Derek ran his thumb over Stiles's lower lip, the contact making the over-sensitive skin burn. "I never said I didn't think about you." Stiles got a vivid mental image of Derek laying in this bed, head tipped back, fist around his cock, and shit, it got him hot all over. He moaned and bit down Derek's collarbones, because apparently Derek was into hickies if they were below the neckline of his work shirts. "Do you want to know what I think about?" he asked, and Stiles knew Derek could feel the way he shivered.

"Um, if you're about to detail all your kinky fantasies, you're going to have to promise me an orgasm within the next thirty minutes."

"Stiles," Derek sighed, right in his ear. "I'll take care of you."

"Sweet." They kissed until Derek did what Derek apparently always had to do, and he pushed Stiles back onto the blankets, pressing him down, and wow, Stiles was into that.

"Last night," Derek said, "I couldn't stop thinking about your lips around my cock."

"Yes. Uh, yes. I could one-hundred-percent do that," Stiles said, squeezing his legs tighter around Derek's waist. With the movie shut off, the sloppy sounds of Derek kissing his jaw seemed louder, or maybe he was just hyperfocused on them. "You want me to blow you?"

"Not tonight," Derek said, and it didn't feel like rejection, "tonight, I just want this." He demonstratively rolled his hips against Stiles's, the motion just shy of rubbing their cocks together, and Stiles wiggled himself into the right position so that he could frot against Derek. The sound it dragged out of Derek drove Stiles straight out of his mind, like seriously, he ascended to another level of existence. He wanted to get his hand around Derek's cock, but he forgot pretty much anything other than god—yes—please when Derek thrust against him again and holy shit, there it was, the holy grail of angles.

Now, if only this could be combined with nudity. Stiles curled his fingers into Derek's waistband, glancing up at him with a quiet, "yeah?"

Derek nodded back, and that was all it took for Stiles to get on stripping them both (not without some serious yanking—and oh, hey, Derek was going commando tonight). He could only find the effort to pull Derek's shirt off and yank his sweats down to his thighs, shoving his own pants and boxers down just below his cock. Shirtless, he felt scrawny and pasty compared to Derek, who was a bronzed sex god straight out of Michelangelo's wet dreams. Derek totally could have painted himself white and stood around in a museum and blended right the fuck in with classical Renaissance sculpture.

Except for the dick size thing.

"Stiles?"

"Fuck. I mean what."

"Are you okay? You're just staring and—" Derek sounded concerned, and looked like he might've been about to pull his pants back up, which, no.

"Yes, god, of course I'm staring, you're so damn hot." Stiles wrapped a hand around Derek's cock and pulled, and Derek made this beautiful face, then groaned straight from his chest. He pushed against Stiles, fucking his fist in slow, steady strokes, and holy fucking shit, Stiles wanted that in his ass, or his mouth, like, ASAP.

"Stiles," Derek sighed, and he kissed him long and deep enough to make Stiles lose rhythm. "You feel amazing." Derek aligned them so that he was frotting against Stiles's cock, and Stiles's brain went from an amount of arousal apropos to having your model-hot boyfriend mostly-naked on top of you to orgasms should happen right fucking now.

"I swear to god I'm not an awkward virgin," Stiles said, barely able to get the words out over hitched breaths and at least one embarrassing little squeak, "but Derek. I'm gonna come."

"Yes," Derek said, "fuck, yes." He wrapped his fist around both of them and stroked and that was it for Stiles—someone had better think of something witty to write on his tombstone, because orgasm just killed him.

He'd like to say he got to witness the beauty that was Derek Hale's O-face, but he was busy blinking himself back into existence and didn't actually notice that Derek made it to the finish line until he found himself being kissed, slow and gentle, and noticed a puddle on his belly. Derek pressed him back into the pillows, stifling his stream of giggles with another long kiss.

"Oh my god, you are on another level, dude."

Derek hummed into Stiles's collarbone. He was heavy on top of Stiles, gone completely boneless because of course Derek was a secret post-coital cuddler. Stiles scruffed his fingers through Derek's hair like he was a labrador. Derek ran his palm up Stiles's chest, and then held it still just over his heart, which was still pounding away because Derek was the single cutest man in the world.

Cleanup was, well, gross, because the both of them were covered in jizz, but it was worth it for the way Derek's eyes went wide when Stiles asked if he dared him to taste it.

They fell asleep that night curled up under Derek's blankets in only their boxers, and Stiles showered at Derek's the next morning before they headed to class together. It was weird walking side-by-side with him instead of coming from the opposite end of the campus like usual. It made him feel like they were an item, even though they stood a casual ten inches apart.

In class, Stiles noticed that Derek's shirt collar didn't quite cover one of his hickies.

He was never going to be able to concentrate in class again.

— — —

Two weeks before finals was the last hope for Stiles's fingernails, just before he bit them down into nubs. He had three projects due by the end of the week, all of which involved papers, plus his gen psych final, which would be straight memorization, otherwise known as torture. Oh, yeah, plus Derek's final.

He and Derek hadn't been seeing much of each other outside of class, because Stiles was busy writing, and Derek was busy grading, and the two of them discovered quickly that if left in close proximity to one another they'd either end up debating something stupid or getting each other off.

He was in Derek's class Monday morning, yawning every other second because he'd stayed up way too late to finish a paper for journalistic ethics that was due right after Rhetorical Strategies. Derek gave him a pitying look, but he was being wholly unhelpful in a tight henley with his glasses on and his hands in the back pockets of his jeans.

Derek ended the last part of the lecture five minutes early, but stopped them before they all got out of dodge. "Some of you have already noticed that the last essay prompt of the semester isn't listed on the syllabus," he said, "and I say this, because I've gotten at least five e-mails. And three of them were from Jackson."

Stiles didn't even bother disguising his snicker as a cough.

Derek rolled his eyes at Stiles. "The reason the prompt hasn't been listed is because the last essay is for bonus credit—since you all already have a half-dozen other papers and my exam to study for, no one is required to complete the last essay, but, it can have significant rewards."

Stiles hoped one of those rewards was a blowjob. No shits given as to whether he was giving or receiving it, either.

"The topic of the last essay is as follows," Derek said, flipping to another slide in his endless, extremely bland powerpoint that Stile kept trying to tell him would look better with something other than a slight variation of the default theme. "Using everything you've learned in this class, convince me of why you shouldn't have to take the final. Sufficiently persuasive essays will be worth the same grade as the exam." Everyone was focused on Derek now; those of them who had started packing up were watching the screen, like they were waiting for a catch, like April Fool's hadn't been a week and a half ago.

"In order for me to exempt you, your essay has to be extremely well-crafted," Derek continued. "I'm a tough customer, I'm sure you've all noticed—Stiles, quit grinning."

Stiles did not quit grinning, because he was going to write the best essay ever, because there was one reason in particular that the both of them would be particularly annoyed if Stiles had to take Derek's exam, and it wasn't something he could turn in on Blackboard.

— — —

"Just pleaseedit it! It's not like I can take this thing to the Writing Center, dude!"

Scott wrinkled his nose and looked at the papers like it was going to bite him, or just give him a really bad papercut. "No way, man. No way."

"Come on! You don't even have to do anything, you just need to read it over and let me know if there are any typos."

"Stiles, I can see barely half a page of that thing, and I already saw the word 'cock'."

"Scott. Scotty. My buddy. My best friend in the entire world."

Scott held up a hand. "As your best friend in the entire world, I am telling you right now, I will not involve myself in this weird-ass foreplay."

"It's not foreplay!"

"You wrote him an essay about how much you want to bang him."

"Okay, yes, I did do that," Stiles said, "and that essay needs to be proofread. Which is why I'm asking you to—"

"Stiles, no."

Stiles groaned and tossed his foreplay-essay into the air in defeat. "Fine. I'll see if Lydia wants to read it," he said, scrambling to pick up the pages, because he hadn't stapled it before throwing it about. "And for your information, there's only one paragraph about blowjobs."

"Only."

"I cite you in it! You got a citation, McCall!" he shouted, shoving his feet into his shoes and wandering in the direction of the door, ready to find someone who'd help him edit his adult content warning of an essay.

"I don't even want to know," he heard Scott mumbling as he walked out.

And, to be fair, he probably didn't.

— — —

"You realize you can't really turn this in," Allison said. She'd actually agreed to help Stiles with his essay, mostly because she thought it was cute (in a gross way, she'd added), and she was good at catching Stiles's many errant commas.

"Oh, hell no," Stiles said, "I'm trying to turn him on, not get him fired. I'm just going to hand it in on paper, none of that e-submission stuff."

"I hope to god he doesn't have a TA grading things for him," she sighed, pink pen flicking to cross out another unnecessary em dash.

"Nah. They don't give grad assistants TA's," Stiles said. Derek bitched about it all the time. Something like, I have classes to teach and actual classes, I don't understand why someone can't grade simple assignments for me. "Plus, all my essays are so ridiculous, he'd read them anyway."

Allison frowned at a page, then flipped through the essay until she reached the end. "Oh my god, Stiles. You actually included a bibliography?"

"He said MLA. I delivered." This would be the first essay of the semester he wrote in MLA. The things you do for love.

"You cited Derek being your boyfriend as a source."

"Yup."

Allison's eyes got wide and Stiles knew she got to the part where things turned really pornographic. "I really hope you get laid," she said, "you put in a lot of work."

"Not that much. I could've actually written enough to make the page requirement." He'd written a whole one-and-a-half pages, when their weekly essay had to be at least three (although, Derek didn't seem to mind a solid two-point-five if you addressed the topic, which Stiles normally didn't).

"Too bad he won't exempt you from the exam for this."

"You don't think he will?"

"I don't think he can," she said, making one final mark on the page, "it's favoritism."

"You're right," he sighed. "If Derek believed in favoritism," he tugged his paper back over to glance at her proofreading marks, "I'd have a better grade in his class."

— — —

Derek did the double-take to end all double-takes when Stiles handed in his essay. It was followed by a, "Stiles, what the hell?" and Stiles just shrugged and wondered how exactly Derek and Scott both looked at his essay and just saw the word "cock."

"Have fun with that one," he said, patting Derek on the bicep. He knew he wouldn't be seeing Derek that night, because Derek would be elbows-deep in grading their final essays and Stiles would be wrestling his study guides. "Save mine for last."

Derek responded with a deep, long-suffering sigh, and bonked Stiles over the head with the stack of essays, which was significantly thinner than usual. Weird, that so many people were throwing away the chance to get out of the final—then again, so was Stiles. He was pretty sure he was the only one in the class who was doing it for the sake of a joke, though.

"See you this weekend?"

"Yes, Stiles."

— — —

Stiles was studying for the stupid gen psych midterm when his phone started buzzing like crazy, a clear sign that either Scott had discovered Diet Coke and Mentos, or Derek had read his essay.

It was the latter.

The Boyfriend
What the fuck is this.

The Boyfriend
Stiles, what the FUCK.

The Boyfriend
I want proof you can do the yoga thing.

Me
Clothes on or off?

The Boyfriend
Fucking goddamn it. Stiles.

The Boyfriend
….off.

Stiles couldn't exactly take a picture of himself putting his feet over his head, and Scott would smack him across the face before he'd take a naked picture of Stiles, so he went to demonstrate in person instead.

Derek may have forced Stiles to take the exam anyway, but, privately, he gave the essay an A-plus.

It was the best grade Stiles had ever gotten in Derek's class.

— — —

During the height of the summer, Stiles was content to lay in the air-conditioned apartment while Derek went out for a run. There was a new season of his favorite show on Netflix, plus somehow, hot and sweaty Derek was right out of a porno, but hot and sweaty Stiles was more like a horror movie.

He'd been lazing around for a good forty-five minutes when Derek walked back in, predictably sweaty, chest heaving, hair slicked back, shirtless. Oh, yeah. Derek was one of those guys, who went running in a pair of low-hanging basketball shorts, his running shoes, and nothing else. Seriously, those shorts would've been in danger of falling off if Derek's ass hadn't been so firm. Stiles could see the whole waistband of his boxers, because apparently Derek had decided to become a walking Calvin Klein ad.

"Hey, gorgeous," Stiles said, and Derek just harumphed at him a little bit and stalked off toward the shower. If Stiles was feeling less lazy, or more into Derek's whole "take a cold shower after a run" theory, he might've followed him. But cold showers were unsexy showers, so he waited patiently for a clean, happy, and very naked Derek to curl up next to him, Jesus Christ, did the man understand the concept of getting dressed post-shower?

Well. Stiles was just in his boxers, so he supposed he didn't have room to complain. "Good run?" he asked.

"Accidentally ran down Greek Row," Derek replied. "Some of them are still here for the summer."

"I'm sure you made a ton of sorority girls consider dumping their boyfriends and a ton of frat boys realize some very interesting things about their sexualities." Stiles might've been more annoyed about everyone in the nearest five miles getting to ogle Derek on his mid-morning run if Derek wasn't kissing his neck and scratching his stubby nails over Stiles's belly.

"Hey," Stiles said, poking Derek in the chest. He was all smooth and freshly manscaped. "Got something for you."

Derek played with the waistband of Stiles's boxers. "Is it in here?"

Oh shit, he kind of wished that had been his plan. Maybe he could work it in, especially now that Derek was palming his cock through his boxers. "Nah, man, nah. It's. Somewhere." He flailed in the direction of the nightstand, where he'd left the little plastic packet he'd picked up at the gas station earlier today, then fumbled with the wrapper, curled away from Derek so he couldn't see.

"You didn't get neon green condoms again, did you?"

"Not this time," Stiles said, flipping back over and holding out his gift. "Ta-da!"

Derek blinked at the ring pop, then back up at Stiles. "What?"

"It's like, a boyfriend proposal! Do you want to be official? Like, tell-my-dad, holding-hands-on-campus kind of official?" Stiles asked. He held out the candy, trying to keep his hand from shaking.

Derek laughed and slipped his finger through the plastic ring. It only fit up to his first knuckle. "Yeah, Stiles, I do," he said, kissing him on the chin, then the lips.

"Yes! Awesome," Stiles cheered, and he dipped his head, sticking his tongue out so he could lick the ring pop. Derek's next laugh was breathy and quiet, and his eyes were focused in on Stiles's mouth. Ooh, interesting.

Of course, Stiles had made good on the blowjob essay, and Derek had a little bit of a thing for his mouth since then. And, if he was completely honest, Derek had probably had a thing for his mouth since before then, if the way he was always griping about Stiles abusing pens was any kind of indicator.

Stiles opened his mouth a little and sucked until his lips reached Derek's knuckle. He hollowed his cheeks, making more noise than he needed to, and Derek let out a shaky breath.

Stiles had probably done weirder things in his life than fellating a piece of candy, but he couldn't really remember any of them right now. Derek seemed into it, though, kind of like how he was into the way Stiles messed around with straws more than actually used them for drinking.

"Okay, can I like, put that thing somewhere so we don't get it stuck to your sheets?" Stiles asked.

"I thought you were going to finish that thing you were doing."

"I thought I was going to go down on you."

Derek sat up and stuffed the ring pop back in its packaging, then bent down and kissed the melted sugar out of Stiles's mouth. He cuddled Stiles back onto the bed and oh yeah, Stiles could feel Derek's cock getting hard against his thigh, and he grabbed Derek's hips and his ass, settling comfortably into his favorite place between Derek's legs.

Stiles nudged Derek onto his back and pushed his legs apart, licking his lips as he kissed down Derek's chest. "You tease," Derek said.

"I'm honestly just giving myself time to take my shorts off," Stiles said, wiggling out of his boxers. "You want anything specific?" He trailed his fingers gently up Derek's cock.

"Just your mouth. Stiles, please."

"Aww, you gonna beg for it?"

Derek grabbed the back of Stiles's head, his fingers firm, but gentle. He tugged him down, until Stiles's lips smeared over the head of his cock. "Not gonna beg," he said, and Stiles opened his mouth for him, dragging his tongue up the length of Derek's cock. He spread his hands over Derek's hips, thumbs resting against the base of his dick. Letting Derek drag his head closer, Stiles kissed the tip of his cock, sloppy, like he did when he kissed Derek's lips. It was already wet.

He went all the way down in one smooth motion, plenty of practice making the slide easy and familiar, the head of Derek's cock burning hot in his throat. He swallowed once, and Derek's breath all huffed out of him in a rush. Stiles sucked as he dragged his head back, coming all the way off Derek's cock with a loud pop.

"Feeing good?"

"Yeah, Stiles." His voice was all broken and throaty the way it went when he was unbelievably horny, and Stiles rolled his hips, humping the bedsheets as he wrapped his hand around Derek's cock and licked the head like he'd been licking the ring pop, and hopefully that was sexier than it sounded in Stiles's head. It probably wasn't, and so he deepthroated Derek again, his breath shuddering out through his nose as he swallowed reflexively around the head of Derek's cock.

Derek started to fuck Stiles's mouth, these rabbity little thrusts that shoved him against Stiles's tongue, just barely brushing his throat, over and over, until there was a hot, wet rush of come spilling into Stiles's mouth. He rolled his eyes into the back of his head and moaned, because god, yes, he loved making Derek come. And, sure, it tasted funky as hell, but Stiles had gotten over that after a few tries. He swallowed, then kissed Derek's thighs again, and just held on when Derek scooped him up and sucked on his neck, wrapping his fist around Stiles's cock.

Stiles fucked into his grip, muttering all kinds of stupid shit, like "oh fuck, oh yeah, more, Derek, gonna come for you, gonna come," and Derek bit a massive hickey onto Stiles's neck. Stiles dug his fingers into Derek's shoulders as he came all over Derek's hand and his hip, breathing, "fuck, fuck, fuck," into his neck.

He was still blinking bright spots out of his eyes when Derek chuckled into his neck, deep and throaty, and Stiles kissed up his stubbly jaw. "You good?" he asked, and Stiles threw his arms around Derek's neck and kissed Derek on the lips, hard enough to knock Derek back onto the bed.

"Yes. So good. Infinitely good. I love you," Stiles said, and Derek stared up at him, curling the hand not splattered with jizz over Stiles's cheek.

"Stiles," he said.

"Oh, shit. That was the first time I—oh. Uh, fuck. Well, I do, okay? Love you, I mean. I do. So, um."

Derek pulled him into another kiss. "I love you, too."

Stiles heaved a sigh. "Oh my god, good, because it was about to be really awkward if you didn't feel like that because, you know, we're both naked, and how would the after-sex cuddling work if you weren't down for the Three Big Words?"

"I'm going to go wash off my hand."

"That's probably a good idea," Stiles said, "don't let it get all crusty. Also, I'm going to finish eating this ring pop, okay?"

Derek kissed him on the head. "Alright, baby."

God, Stiles was going to leave the best review on ratemyprofessors.com.