Isaac was sitting upside down on the couch, trying to count the ceiling tiles before the blood rushing to his head made him too dizzy. He was on number 252 when the apartment door flew open and his roommate stomped inside.
“Hey, Derek,” he greeted, grinning widely at the scowling man.
“Isaac,” Derek said, flicking his eyes over over Isaac’s body quickly, “what are you doing?” He set his backpack down beside the door, turning to lock it. Fastidious was Derek’s middle name. At least, according to Isaac’s observations.
“Isn’t it obvious?” Isaac turned so he could prop his head on a hand while he let the rest of his body slide onto the cushions. “You’re home early. I thought you were gonna stake out that coffee shop and finish your economics paper?”
“I was.” Derek lifted Isaac’s feet and slid underneath them. He sighed as he leaned his head back. “I got halfway through but when I went to get a refill, the new barista was there.”
“The one who refuses to give you straight black coffee?” Isaac wriggled his feet until Derek took the hint and started rubbing them. “What did he say?”
“He didn’t say anything.” He did something if Derek is home nearly three hours earlier than Isaac was expecting him. “Well, actually he said, ‘This’ll put hair on your chest.’ And then he gave me the sweetest, most disgusting thing on their drink menu. I can still taste it!”
Isaac grimaced in sympathy. While Derek was prone to binge on sweet treats every now and again, his body had retaliated with Type 1 Diabetes. Something that sweet would definitely have had an effect on him. “Maybe you should just tell him you can’t have something like that.”
“I did! He fixed it by pouring more sugar in the cup. His coworker yelled at him.”
“Well, that makes it a little better, right?”
Derek shook his head. He buried his face in his arms, crossed over Isaac’s legs. “He gave me his number,” he mumbled. “And his coworker encouraged it.”
“What?” Isaac exclaimed. He sat up, pulling his legs from Derek’s lap. “What?” he repeated. “Seriously? The barista that tried to poison you gave you his number? Why?” Isaac has a suspicion, though, and if Laura were here too, she’d probably share it with him.
Derek shrugged. He wasn’t prone to imagining attraction for himself. In fact, until Isaac had moved in, the only mirror was in the bathroom and existed solely for shaving purposes. “His coworker seemed amused enough though.”
“Forget his coworker. What I want to know is: why is that barista still allowed to work there if he insults and endangers patrons?” Derek ducked his head, going back to covering his face, a sure sign he was blushing. “You didn’t tell them about your diabetes?”
Another thing about Derek? He was intensely private. Isaac only knew about the diabetes because of Laura, Derek’s meddlesome older sister who had paid Isaac’s first month’s rent just to get him to move in with her moody brother. Turns out, Laura had no reason to worry as Derek took his insulin regularly (i.e.: when he needed to) and never ate anything that should remotely make his blood sugar spike randomly. Until he met this barista.
Now, the barista would not give Derek the drink he could consume and seemed dead set on poisoning (or at least, sickening) him.
Apparently, it was only because the barista was attracted to Derek.
“I can never go back,” Derek declared suddenly. He threw his hands up and waved them sort of jazz-hand-like only if the jazz had been melodic instead of peppy. Then he stood up from the couch and grabbed his bag, digging out his laptop. He dropped back onto the couch, the laptop balanced on his knees while it booted up. Shitty Internet connection would have to work to submit his paper (a week early too).
Isaac sighed at his martyrdom. “Just explain to the knucklehead why you can’t drink his flirtatious concoctions and be done with it,” he advised.
“‘Flirtatious’?” Derek paused in opening his document, and Isaac shrugged.
“I’d assume that’s why he gave you his number today,” he said.
“But,” Derek said, frowning. His brows drew low over his eyes before sharply climbing to his hairline. “He likes me? And he’s showing it by trying to kill me?” Isaac nodded. “What do I do if he escalates?” Before Isaac could respond, Derek started hyperventilating. “Oh, God, he’s trying to kill me,” he moaned, burying his face in his hands. “I can never, ever, ever set foot in there again.”
Isaac sighed. “Listen, all you have to do is talk to the guy. What’s his name?”
“Stiles,” Derek said, eyebrows wriggling down his face to settle over his eyes again. “What kind of a name is ‘Stiles’?”
Isaac shrugged. “Maybe it’s a nickname, kinda like how Laura’s always calling you everything under the sun but your real name?”
“Yeah, okay,” Derek conceded. “Come with me?”
Isaac rolled his eyes so hard he was afraid they’d pop out and squish on the floor. But, he sighed. “Yeah, I’ll go with you.” Because Isaac was a fantastic friend, and also he had no compunction about telling off the barista from hell.
“We’ll go when you finish your paper. That way all we have to do is talk to him.”
Upon walking into Twice Brewed, Once Served, Isaac narrowed his eyes at the line of three baristas. He immediately disregarded the perky girl with black cat ears stuck to her head. That left two men. One of which, tousled dark curls and a slightly uneven jaw line, was staring lovelorn at the cat-eared girl while the other, a mole-speckled, pasty-looking fellow, glared sullenly down at the dregs of a mug.
“Stiles!” Isaac shouted, ignoring the way Derek froze behind him. He was probably blinking hard and wishing he weren’t here right now. Well, in about a minute, Stiles would wish he wasn’t here either. The sullen gazer jerked his head up and stared wide-eyed at them.
“Yes?” he said, uncertainly. Isaac approached the counter, marching purposefully. He let his hand trail behind so that it smacked into Derek every few steps just to make sure the bastard was following. Isaac wasn’t doing this for himself, after all.
“Hi, yes,” he said when he came to a full stop. Derek brushed against his back before stepping to the side. “It’s come to my attention that you are refusing to properly prepare customer orders.”
“And who exactly are you?” Stiles asked with a suspicious tone.
“I’m a concerned party. Are you trying to poison my...client by ignoring his specific dietary needs?”
Stiles snorted. “What dietary needs? He’s in a freaking coffee shop. There’s no better way to drink it than doctored up.”
“What about diabetes?” Isaac demanded. “Have you thought about that? Your store offers free Wi-Fi and coffee made the way the customer wants. So, why do you, and you alone, Stiles, insist on screwing up my client’s coffee?”
“Is that your client?” Stiles asked smugly, nodding at Derek. “Look, he’s in a coffee shop, people get everything but coffee.”
“So I guess that makes it okay for you to ignore the fact that he can’t have anything but straight, black coffee because you know better, is that it?”
“What?” Stiles said eloquently.
“Dude,” Uneven Jaw laughed, “I told you to stop fucking with his order and just ask him out.”
“So you think this is funny too?” Isaac demanded. He felt Derek tugging at his sleeve, and when he glanced at him, he was surprised to see him almost in tears.
Uneven Jaw blinked, his friendly face falling into a scowl.
“Can we just go?” Derek asked in a small voice. “I think this is turning out worse than I imagined and I’d really like to go home now.”
“Do you need me to call Laura?” Isaac asked. Every once in a while, Derek got shaky and teary and the only way to calm him down was for Laura to do a spa day with him. Since Derek was in the middle of his midterms right now, Isaac figured a day off with his sister might hurt worse.
Derek shook his head. “Just, let’s go, please?”
“Can you tell me why you won’t drink my concoctions?” Stiles demanded, and Isaac shot him a murderous glare.
“Did you listen to me at all?” Isaac asked coldly.
The girl with cat ears gasped loudly. “He’s diabetic!”
“Gold star,” Isaac said with his icy tone. “Now, if you don’t mind, we’re getting the fuck out of here.”
At least three other people in line followed them out.
The last thing Isaac heard before the door actuated shut was Uneven Jaw berating Stiles for endangering a customer.
Life went on, as it always did. Derek stayed home more, tapping papers out at a steady pace while Isaac kept going to class and doing his papers when they were due and not a month ahead of time. Laura did thank him for getting the barista off Derek’s back—after she dragged the story out of a reluctant Derek—but Isaac told her it was probably more due to the fact that Derek hadn’t been to a coffee shop in weeks.
And then, after his Media Relations in Television Studies class, Isaac ran into Uneven Jaw on campus.
“Hey, man,” Uneven Jaw said, clapping Isaac on the shoulder. “How’s it going?”
“Uh, good,” Isaac said. “How’s life for you?”
“It’s good, it’s good.” Uneven Jaw scratched at his chin before offering his hand to Isaac to shake. Isaac ignored it. “Look, I just wanted to say how sorry I am for how Stiles was treating your friend. If I’d known that what he was doing was so bothersome, I would have stopped him sooner.”
“Look,” Isaac started and then stopped and stared at Uneven Jaw until his eyes brightened and he said, “Scott.”
“Scott,” Isaac repeated. “Honestly, I don’t care about your token apologies. It was obvious, even to an outsider, that Derek was uncomfortable being approached by Stiles, especially in the manner he conducted himself. You encouraged him to seek Derek out and make overtly flirtatious gestures toward him. It was only after you realized that not only was he making Derek supremely uncomfortable, but Stiles was also endangering him, that you did more to dissuade his behavior.”
Scott blinked. “Dude,” he said, “Stiles got fired over that. I got demoted. Hell, my hours were cut.” He looked down at his shoes, scuffing a toe against the crack in the sidewalk. “Look, all we want to do is apologize to Derek, but we never see him on campus or anywhere.”
“Maybe that has more to do with the fact that Derek doesn’t want to see you,” Isaac said. “I’ll pass on the message, but if Derek still says no to meeting with you so you can apologize face to face to him, then you’ll have to let it go and chalk it up to one of life’s lessons.”
“Deal,” Scott said, grasping Isaac’s hand before he could pull it away and pumping it a few times. Then he traipsed off, phone out and chirping as he typed one-thumbed to presumably Stiles.
Isaac sighed in irritation. He hoped Derek wouldn’t want to meet his tormentors just so he could tell them to fuck off for good.
Unfortunately, when he returned to the apartment, he found Derek sitting on the couch, bare feet on the coffee table while Laura painted his toes a pretty shade of green that matched his eyes.
Ugh. Next, she would want to do his.
“So,” he said, slowly, slipping off his jacket to hang up, giving the Hales time to ignore him. When he turned around, both Laura and Derek were staring at him in interest. “I ran into Scott today,” he finished, plopping onto the couch next to Derek and jostling him with his shoulder.
Derek’s face shuttered and he pulled his feet away from Laura.
“What?” she asked. “What am I missing?”
“Scott is the other barista,” Isaac explained. “The one that has apparently decided he wants to apologize to Derek’s face.”
“What?” Laura asked again. “Why? Is that ‘Stiles’ supposed to be there too?”
“That’s the plan.” Isaac eyed Derek. He was pale, shaking and hugging his arms around his knees. “I told him to leave it alone if you still weren’t ready to accept their apologies.”
“I think this means he’s more than not ready, don’t you?” Laura asked, sarcasm dripping from her words. She swept her arm out and indicated Derek’s whole being. “If just a mention of those fucking idiots is enough to do this, what will actually meeting them be like?”
“I think I should though,” Derek mumbled. Laura did a double-take. Derek shrugged. “I’ve been talking to the campus counselor. She thinks I’m letting my anxiety rule my life.”
Isaac did not say anything although he wanted to. From the look on Laura’s face, she appeared to be fighting the same urge.
Derek stared down at his hands. “I know,” he said quietly, cheeks coloring. “I know, okay? I am...I need to put myself out there and do something. I can’t just spend the rest of my life hiding behind people willing to fight for me.” He clenched his hands into fists before opening them. “I’ll meet with Scott and Stiles and tell them I don’t want or need their apologies. I’ll do it myself.” He looked up, and Isaac saw the determination warring with uncertainty in his eyes. “But, would one of you come with me?”
“I’ll do it,” Isaac volunteered. He knew, if Laura was there, not only would Derek be unable to say what he wanted, but the dunderheads would be in actual danger. If Fastidious was Derek’s middle name, Hothead-Fists-of-Fury was Laura’s.
Laura glared at him and Derek shot him a look of thanks.
Isaac shrugged. What were friends for if not to bolster and support?
Isaac and Derek were hanging out in the library, Isaac working on his Media Relations paper while Derek typed at his six papers equally.
“How do you not get your ideas all jumbled?” Isaac questioned as Derek flipped from a book on Spanish linguistics to one on child psychology.
“I have a little box inside my head that lets me compartmentalize,” Derek said without looking up from where he was painstakingly copying down the information contained on the page. The only indication that he was joking was the way the corner of his mouth lifted after a few seconds.
Isaac grumbled without heat and went back to outlining the basic niceties journalists needed to exhibit when on the job.
They worked in near silence, the only sounds either laptop keyboards clacking or the scratch of Derek’s pen as he organized his notes.
Suddenly, Isaac’s stomach rumbled. Derek smothered his grin as he finished his thought and closed his book, a piece of receipt paper marking his page.
“Ready to go?” he asked.
“Ready to eat, you mean,” Isaac corrected. He saved his document a few more times before he closed it and ejected his flash drive. Then, he packed his laptop away. Despite having far more materials spread out, Derek was packed up at the same time as Isaac.
Before they could leave though, someone shouted, “Wait!”
As one Derek and Isaac whirled to stare at where a red-faced Stiles was climbing the stairs. In one hand, he balanced a tray of disposable cups, the other clutched his phone.
“Look,” he huffed when he reached them, “I’m sorry to sneak up on you like this, but Scott texted me that you were here. I know I was supposed to wait for you to get back to him with Derek’s answer, but I-I really need to say my piece.”
Automatically, Derek stepped back, letting Isaac shield him. “Speak quickly,” Isaac said.
Stiles looked relieved. He handed the tray of cups to Isaac. “They’re all black.” He glanced at Derek and then focused his attention on Isaac. “They’re apology coffees. For Derek. If he wants them.”
“I don’t,” Derek muttered, but he accepted the tray all the same, staring down at the cups with concealed intrigue.
“I’m sorry for how I treated you,” Stiles said. “I truly am. I’ve been told that I am overbearing with my affection, but that is no excuse for not listening to you or respecting your wishes.” Stiles pulled out a chair and fell into it dramatically (or so Isaac thought). He grabbed Derek’s hand, briefly tracing the lines across his palm before letting him tug away. “I’ve hurt you, I could have harmed you, and I want you to know that I truly am sorry for that.”
Derek murmured, “It’s okay,” at the same time that Isaac said, “I’m glad you got fired.”
“What?” Stiles blinked at him.
“You heard me,” Isaac said, coldly. “You’re not apologizing because you really want Derek’s forgiveness. You’re seeking absolution for your guilt. Assuaging it by apologizing arbitrarily. What you say means nothing to you if it means you can get Derek to forgive you.” He turned to Derek and stabbed a finger at his chest. “And don’t think I didn’t hear you say that. ‘It’s okay’? No,” he shook his head, “it’s not okay. What if you had drank Stiles’ stupid love drinks?” He gestured at the coffee and Derek set the tray on the table, wiping his hands on his pants. “At the very least, you would have become moderately ill. At the worst…”
Isaac had seen Derek once when he had high blood sugar. Laura thankfully had been there and able to administer a dose of insulin. The other, just as frightening side of it, Isaac hadn’t had to experience, but from what Laura told him, it was terrifying too and was also why she didn’t let Derek live alone anymore in spite of her brother’s protests.
“At worst what?” Stiles asked.
“Look,” Derek said, quietly, “how much sugar you put in the coffees I ordered from you would have been enough to throw my blood sugar out of whack. I have Type 1 diabetes, which means that my body doesn’t produce enough insulin. If I ingest too much, I could go into a diabetic coma.”
At Stiles’ shocked face, Derek hurried to add, “I’m not usually in any danger of that.”
“But I could have killed you,” Stiles murmured. He stood up and grabbed Derek’s hands. “I am a terrible person. I refused to listen to you because you were cute and I wanted to date you.”
Isaac gave Derek an I-told-you-so look when his friend glanced at him. Stiles seemed unaware of their exchange and continued, “The least that could be done to me is my being fired. I could have put you in the hospital or worse, killed you. I want you to know that I will do everything in my power to make sure that you are taken care of the way you want to be.”
“Does that include leaving me alone if I want that?”
Stiles dropped Derek’s hands, stepping back and nodding frantically. “If you want me to, then you’ll never hear from me again.”
“You made me uncomfortable,” Derek said. “You never gave me what I ordered. You have little constraint and did not follow the wishes of either my friends or me. How can I trust you now? What makes today more special than all the times I visited your coffee shop?”
Stiles shrugged. “I can’t make you believe me, and I’m not going to try. That’s going to have to be good enough.”
Better, Isaac thought, was if Stiles could just fuck off entirely instead of standing there, scuffing his foot on the worn carpet while Derek flushed and stared down at his own feet.
“Okay,” Isaac said, not loudly, but both Stiles and Derek jumped. “You’ve said your piece. Now leave. I’m hungry and Derek promised me food. You’re not invited.”
“I didn’t think I was,” Stiles said, maybe a little angrily. He softened his glare and turned back to Derek. “I am sorry for how I’ve treated you and I wish you the best. Have a nice life.”
He scurried away, leaving Derek staring mournfully after him.
“No,” Isaac said. “No. Derek, don’t do it.”
“Don’t do what?” Derek asked, innocently.
“I know that face.” Isaac stabbed his finger at him. “That is the face of a man who knows he shouldn’t forgive his tormentor and yet already has. No. Let him go. If you run into him without either Laura or me and you still want to give him a second chance that one, you’re not obligated to give him and two, that he hasn’t yet earned, then by all means, go ahead. But, I ask you to wait, think it over. Truly evaluate why you would ever talk to him again. And then, if you still decide you want to be with someone who won’t listen to your concerns or take your health into consideration, then go ahead. All I ask is that you not involve me in your future endeavors.”
“Fine, okay. I won’t talk to him.” Derek’s face still said he wanted to chase after Stiles, and Isaac scrubbed a hand over his face.
“I won’t stop you,” he said again. “Now, I really would like to go eat something.”
Isaac was in the middle of a conversation with his friend (or sort of friend) Boyd discussing the upcoming test in their shared biology course when Scott and Stiles approached.
“Can you please tell my stupid friend to leave your friend alone?” Scott pleaded.
Isaac glared at Stiles, slowly dragging his eyes up and down his lackluster baggy plaid shirt and untucked t-shirt with ripped jeans and dirty sneakers. “No,” he said to Scott. “Tell him yourself. I’m not in charge of Derek’s emotions. Just his health. As long as Stiles doesn’t endanger that again, I’m okay with Derek following his heart. Even if his brain is being stupid about it.”
“Hey!” Stiles protested. Boyd snickered.
“He’s insulting both of you,” he said. “If Derek is still interested after the shit you pulled, especially with his crippling anxiety, then more power to him. But, if he suffers under your watch, you can bet your skinny ass you’ll be held accountable.”
“I don’t know you,” Stiles said.
“And hopefully you never have to,” Isaac said pointedly. He shoved Boyd toward the student center where they were meeting Derek and Erica, Boyd’s girlfriend, for a quick study session. “Don’t follow,” he threw over his shoulder.
“What if we were going this way anyway?” Stiles shot back.
Isaac shrugged. “Can’t stop you.” Nor would he want to. He’s already spent more time embroiled in this Stiles-drama than he ever wanted.
So Scott and Stiles followed them to their meeting. Could be worse, Isaac decided. They could be talking or Laura could still be visiting. Well lookit there, Laura sipping on a cappuccino, sitting next to Derek.
“Laura,” Boyd said, mischievously.
Isaac leaned over to Scott and whispered, “If you want to live, run now.”
“I want you to meet some classmates of ours.” He pointed to Scott and Stiles in turn. “This is Scott McCall, he’s in my Intro to Lit class, and this is Stiles Stilinski, former barista at Twice Brewed, Once Served.”
Laura’s head snapped up and she pinned Stiles with a truly frightening glare. Derek grabbed her arm and forced her back into her seat.
“Stop it,” he said, annoyed. “He apologized. Multiple times. We’re okay now.”
Laura growled, but when Derek made to pack up his books, she subsided. “If you’re sure.”
“Look,” Scott said, “it was nice to meet you, but we really need to get to our own study session.”
He tried to pull Stiles away, but Stiles shook him off. “Listen, I don’t care that you all hate me. Hell, I hate myself most of the time. Especially for how I treated Derek. All I want is the chance to show you that I won’t do it again. Derek is willing.”
Laura eyed him coldly. “What Derek wants to do is independent of what the rest of us do. Just because you’ve somehow made up to my little brother, it doesn’t mean that the rest of us have to forgive you.”
“Fair enough, but stop acting like I’ve actually killed him.”
“You could have!” Laura yelled. “And the fact that you keep badgering Derek means that you’ve haven’t truly grasped it.” Quieter, she said, “I almost lost my brother because of you. I don’t think I can ever forgive you for that. I’d appreciate it if you never tried to justify yourself to me again. I’ll respect Derek’s decision, whatever he chooses, because I love and trust him.”
Stiles looked at all of them, studying each face until he came to Derek, who, Isaac noticed, was staring at his book, shaking. Laura noticed at the same time and reached out to brush her fingers along his arm. Derek relaxed enough to blindly reach for her hand.
“I don’t want to,” he mumbled softly. “I don’t want you to hate me too.”
“I don’t. I won’t,” Laura reassured him.
Isaac tapped Scott’s shoulder. “Now would be a good time to go,” he said, nodding at Stiles. Surreptitiously, Erica slid Derek’s phone from his bag and flipped it open.
“Is she deleting my number?” Stiles asked as Scott led him away.
“Probably,” Scott replied. “It’s for the best. Give them time. I’m sure you’ll still see him around. Let him come to you, Stiles. Sometimes pushing isn’t always the best method.”
“I really fucked up, didn’t I?” And then they were down the stairs and gone away.
Isaac turned back to their group. Laura and Derek were embracing while Boyd and Erica had their heads together over an open book. Isaac settled into the seat next to Derek and took his phone from Erica.
She hadn’t actually deleted Stiles’ number, just added the word ‘wait’ after his name.
“It’s still your choice,” he said, handing it to Derek. “But we all think it would be a good idea to think about what you want from Stiles and how to ask it from him.”
Derek closed his fingers around the phone. “How do I know when it’s right?” he asked.
Boyd answered, “You just will.” He tapped Derek’s hand. “It might be tomorrow or it might be in two years, but you’ll know when it’s right. Don’t settle for anything that makes you uncomfortable and definitely don’t settle for being pressured.” Boyd glanced at all of them pointedly before adding, “Even if that pressure is coming from your friends and family.”
“I think I understand,” Derek said, staring down at his book. He slid his phone back into his bag.
After a few minutes of watching him silently, the rest of them started working again too.
Every so often, Isaac would see Stiles or Scott around campus. Usually, if they saw him, they’d walk away. Once or twice, Isaac could see Stiles staring longingly at Derek, who, slowly but surely, was starting to incorporate actual human interaction into his life.
The beginning of Finals Week, the dining hall hosted a late night breakfast, and Derek, in the middle of one of his studying binges, dragged Isaac out of bed to it. Probably because Erica had brought Boyd and they were studying for their final on Wednesday.
The dining hall was crowded, and it took a fair bit of maneuvering to reach the tiny table Erica had staked out.
Unfortunately, Stiles and Scott had also decided to seek late night nourishment and had decided that no other table than Erica’s would suffice. (In all likelihood, they had arrived late, and there were no other open spots.)
Derek set his things down with a thump that was barely heard over the dull roar of people talking with their mouths full.
“I’m getting an omelet,” he announced and marched away.
“Me too,” Isaac muttered and made to follow but Erica gripped his wrist.
“Stiles has a question,” she said.
“I do?” Stiles looked up from his stack of pancakes. “Oh, yeah, I do. So, I’ve been talking to Derek when we cross paths. I want to ask him on a date again, but I don’t know if he’s ready yet.”
“Everyone is ready at different times,” Boyd said sagely. “Eat your pancakes and don’t ask us. Ask Derek when he gets back. If he says no, respect that decision.”
“For what it’s worth,” Isaac said, “I think Derek is trying for you. He’s putting himself into situations where he’s usually not because of his anxiety. I don’t mean to give you false hope or a reason to badger him more. Do you understand?”
“I do,” Stiles confirmed. Derek set his plate down by Erica’s elbow and reached for her Calculus book.
“You’d better hurry, they’re closing the line soon.”
“Tell me one thing,” Stiles said to Derek as he dropped into the seat between Isaac and Erica.
Derek grunted, already flipping the book open.
“Once we’re done with finals, do you wanna catch a movie or something?”
Derek froze. “A movie? Like, a date?”
“Yeah,” Stiles confirmed. “Is that something you’d like to do?”
Isaac noticed that Derek’s hand, clenched on his leg was shaking, and he reached out to grip it.
“Can I think about it?” Will the offer be rescinded was what he meant. Isaac was there when Jennifer, the TA for their Modern Literature class, asked Derek on a date the first week of class and then took away the offer when Derek just stared at her. Since then, she had been frosty toward both Isaac and Derek, but that could have been more because Laura threatened to go to the President to get her expelled if she ever tried something like that again.
“Yeah, totally,” Stiles said. In the same breath, he turned to Scott and asked, “Want a pancake?” And that was the end of it. No ridiculing Derek for wanting to take time, no pressing for him to accept right away. Isaac frowned down at where he was still holding Derek’s hand. It was endearing of Stiles, and that made Isaac uncomfortable.
“So, we’re agreed that Harris sucks dick and that it’s unlikely anyone is getting a good grade,” Stiles was in the middle of saying when Derek dropped a folded napkin on Stiles’ plate and hurriedly left the dining hall with a red face.
It wasn’t his usual form of anxiety, and Isaac was torn between going after him and trying to explain Derek’s actions to Stiles’ shocked face.
Boyd calmly reached across the table and plucked the napkin off Stiles’ plate, unfolding it and showing Stiles that it was Derek’s phone number.
“Must have made a good impression,” he concluded, letting Stiles take the napkin. Isaac rolled his eyes at the sappy, happy look that crossed Stiles’ face.
They definitely deserve each other, he thought. And it didn’t seem to be as bad as he’d thought it could be.
He won’t tell them that.
They might think he actually cared.
~ The End ~