“So, the word's on the streets that you're some sexy polyglot,” Stiles says, wiggling his eyebrows annoyingly before he slumps on the couch next to him and puts his feet on Derek's coffee table, limbs akimbo, loose and long.
“Sexy polyglot,” Derek repeats, raising an eyebrow, and pushing Stiles' feet off the table with his own.
“Yeah, you know, sexy man of many languages.”
“I know what polyglot means,” he replies, trying to make his tone as dry as it will go. “Who told you that?”
Stiles cranes his neck to look at him, gives him a lopsided smile; it's warm. It could feel belittling on someone else, that responding smile that could probably be a smirk, but it doesn't on Stiles. It just feels like he's saying I know that you know, jerk, like it's so obvious that Derek shouldn't even bother. Because Stiles knows Derek's penchant for words, for literature, for knowledge (“even if you seldom share it, asshole. We are gonna work on that.”)
Derek looks away first because after the kitsune, and after Peter (again), and the Nemeton, and all they've gone through, all the life saving, and the being on each other's nerves but still just yielding to each other when it counted, the banter between them has started feeling more charged, almost electric and so heavy that Derek has trouble keeping himself in check when next to Stiles. Has trouble with his breathing and his heart, and his throat, and his hands--
“Cora,” Stiles says then, interrupting his thought process. “we skype every now and then. She's really proud of you, you know?”
Derek knows. It might have taken them some time to get to the point were they felt like siblings again, like brother and sister, but they got to it, and Cora helped him get to the point were he could accept her love and acceptance, and later on her pride. Were he could take it all at face value, drink it in, let it rest on him like a warm blanket.
He talks to her everyday; misses her like hell, but part of them getting to get each other, was learning to let go of each other too, and that that wasn't going to break them.
“Yeah, I'm proud of her too.”
“Yeah, I know.” Stiles says, and he pours onto Derek, puts an arm around his shoulders, bumps their legs together. “You talk about her a lot.”
Derek can't help but smile at that, feel content. Feel maybe a little surprised that he's at a point in his life where he just brags about his sister to other people, talks to them about her academic achievements and about how determined she is. It's a big difference from where he thought he'd be a few years ago.
“Anyway, sexy polyglot.”
Derek leans back against the couch (and Stiles' arm), asks “yeah?”
“How come I've never heard you talk in anything other than English, man? How did I not know this?”
“How would it have been relevant?” Derek replied, smirking a little. “When would I have told you?”
“I don't know, man. I held you over water for more than two hours once, that would've been a nice topic of conversation.”
“Sorry, it didn't cross my mind, maybe because I was paralyzed from the head down in eight feet of water?”
“Dude, don't be so dramatic, it was only seven feet of water.”
“Oh wow, excuse me, that's such a gigantic difference, my bad.”
“You're excused, man. Don't worry.”
That makes Derek smile, thinking you little shithead. It's so endearing that it makes his gut clench.
“Well,” Stiles begins then, and jabs his fingers on Derek's shoulder, “let's hear it.”
“Let's hear what?” Derek asks, just to rile him up a little, to play with his impatience.
“Don't even, man.” Stiles says, “What languages do you speak?”
“English,” Derek starts, and it gets him an intense eye roll, “Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, a little bit of German.”
“Wow,” Stiles says then, sounding honestly impressed. It maybe makes Derek feel like preening, makes him feel proud of himself. Of his own achievements.
“Mostly Spanish, though. I've had more practice because of Cora.”
“That makes sense.” Stiles agrees, nodding enthusiastically. “Give me a sample?”
“Eres un idiota.” Derek says then, deadpan.
Stiles squints his eyes at him, eyebrows furrowed, and concludes “I'm pretty sure that was rude. Something in there sounded a lot like 'idiot'.”
“It was, yeah. I said 'You're an idiot.'”
“Woah, rude. See if I ever save your wolf-y ass again.”
“Lo vas a hacer.” Derek replies, and looks Stiles in the eye, raises a challenging eyebrow, let's see if you can figure this one out. “O lo vas a intentar. Porque no tienes consciencia de tu propia fragilidad.”
Stiles bites his lip in concentration, body half turned into Derek, arm still around him, so close that Derek can count Stiles' eyelashes and his moles, can spy the three little hairs that are stubbornly trying to grow on his chin.
“Y te tienes que afeitar.” He adds, gesturing at his own chin with a razor like motion.
“Ohh! I got that one! And screw you, man, you're just jealous of my manly stubble.” He says, and takes his arm from around Derek's shoulder to punch his arm lightly.
Derek rolls his eyes at Stiles, then.
“Eres ridículo.” He tells him, “eres la persona más ridícula que conozco. Y tienes unos hábitos que me vuelven loco. Y eres tan... A veces eres tan irritante.”
“Woah, fuck you again. I got the gist of that.” Stiles says, laughing a little. His leg tenses next to Derek's, and he can see he's about to move away from him, like maybe Derek went too far.
“También,” he starts, and tries to pin Stiles in place with his eyes, if not with his hands. “También tienes un montón de cualidades. Eres leal, e inteligente, eres divertido. Me haces reír. Me hacías sonreír cuando nadie más lo hacía, cuando pensaba que no volvería a sonreír genuinamente jamás. Me haces disfrutar.”
It's... It's too intense, too much, and his stomach feels like lead, like he's making a mistake, but he can't take it back. Not really.
Stiles is looking at him with wide eyes and flushed cheeks, hands twitching over his legs, fingers tapping against the denim, like he can't stay quiet.
“That,” he clears his throat, “that sounded nice.”
“It was.” Derek agrees, and goes on: “Eres magnético. Eres interesante.”
“I, I think I got that.” Stiles blurts out, hand reaching out to Derek only to stop before actually touching him, before retracting it and putting it on his leg again; this time clutching, fingers tight around it, as if he was trying to keep himself on check. Derek's ears start feeling hot, burning, like his cheekbones.
“Good,” he rasps out. “Eres un pequeño pendejo, y algunas veces me frustras tanto que quiero gritar. Te pones en peligro constantemente sin necesidad, y no piensas bien las cosas. Y... “ He stops to take some air in, “Me da miedo. Me da miedo que un día te hagas un daño irreparable; me da mucho miedo que un día mueras.”
Derek cuts him, because he's pretty sure he's in too deep by now, and whether or not Stiles is actually getting the magnitude of what he's saying, he just has to finish what he started, has to get through with it.
“Eres importante para mí, Stiles. No tienes una idea de cuánto he intentado cortar esto de raíz, porque es inapropiado, porque aún no has empezado la universidad, porque tú puedes salir de aquí y elegir alejarte de todo esto, y empezar otra vida. Porque tienes tanto potencial. Pero no puedo.”
“Derek, is this...? Are you saying what I think you're saying?” Stiles says then, breathless, looking at Derek like he can't believe what's going on, like he's not entirely certain that what's going on is actually going on. Eyes wide, blown, golden and striking and rich.
This feels like a final piece falling into place, like it's the right timing, the right place.
So Derek takes his own hand and puts it gently on top of Stiles', says, “Lo que estoy diciendo, Stiles, es que te quiero.”
“Wow,” Stiles sighs then, and turns his hand upwards to entwine his fingers with Derek's.
“Is that all you have to say?” Derek asks, voice soft and... and vulnerable, Jesus Christ.
“No, I-- Wait!” Stiles says then, drops Derek's hand, and basically jumps off the couch.
“Stiles, what are you--?”
“Wait a minute!” He says, rummaging through his bag until he finds--
“Your cellphone? What do you? Stiles, what are you--”
Derek watches Stiles with eyebrows furrowed, body tense, as he bites his lip and touches his screen a bunch of times, whispering things to himself low enough that even to Derek's ears they sound like gibberish. Then he, his face just. It breaks into a huge smile, a huge beaming smile that makes Derek's insides twirl and twist and turn upside down.
Stiles stays looking at his screen a little while more, and then he puts it back away and comes back to Derek, sitting almost on his lap. Looks him right in the eyes, and grabs his hand and says, awfully butchering half the words, “yo también te quiero.”
And then he ducks down for a kiss. Their noses bump a little, and there's a bit of teeth clashing, but then they get the angle right and it's magic and fireworks and clichés, and all those things Derek never thought he'd have again.
(“I can't believe you had to look that up on google.” Derek says later, when they're both sort of lying in the couch and making out leisurely, forming the words against Stiles' shoulder. “Don't they teach you a foreign language in school?”
“Well yeah,” Stiles answers, his voice a resounding vibration against Derek's lips, “but I'm taking french. Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir, Derek?”