Stiles had stopped wondering a long time ago how he always ended up on Derek’s couch after a fight even when he wasn’t injured, mostly because the couch was so damn comfortable.
But not comfortable enough to quiet his always racing mind.
“Do you sometimes think that the way we named things is really stupid?” Stiles asked into the quiet loft and Derek sleepily rumbled but didn’t really reply.
It sounded like he was already more asleep than awake.
“Like maybe hot chocolate wants to be called beautiful chocolate sometimes,” Stiles mused out loud, not really expecting Derek to answer anymore.
“Maybe I want to be called beautiful sometimes, too,” Derek mumbled into his pillow, before his breath evened out and Stiles was pretty sure he fell asleep.
Stiles had perked up when Derek had said it, though he thought that he probably wasn’t supposed to have heard it. The way Derek had said it though made something tighten in Stiles’ chest. He had sounded small and hurt and Stiles never wanted to feel Derek like that.
If this was something that was bothering Derek, and Stiles could totally see how it could be, then he would make sure to call Derek beautiful every chance he got.
When Derek came over for their weekly dinner with Stiles’ dad, he was wearing a new deep red sweater, that looked really good on him.
“Is that a new sweater?” Stiles immediately asked and noticed the way Derek’s shoulders immediately tensed up.
“Yes,” Derek said, and he sounded unhappy, obviously expecting this to go a certain way. Stiles had no intention of fulfilling that expectation.
“It makes you look really soft,” Stiles said and delighted in the way Derek perked up at that.
“It does?” he asked, unsure and shy, and fiddled with the hem of the slightly too long sleeves.
“Yes,” Stiles gave back and lightly bumped their shoulders together.
“Thank you,” Derek said, and Stiles absolutely wanted to keep the small, pleased smile on his face forever.
Complimenting Derek would not be a hardship at all.
The pack was lazing around on a clearing in the preserve, for once enjoying the beautiful summer day instead of fighting off evil monsters.
Allison was teaching Erica and Isaac how to make flower crowns, Scott and Boyd were listening to Lydia, who was explaining her thesis to them and clearly delighting in the way they were so totally confused, and Stiles and Derek were just laying on the grass, enjoying the warm sun on their skin.
“Yes,” Erica suddenly yelled, and Stiles dragged her eyes open to look over at her.
Erica was raising up a flower crown over her head, while Isaac looked beyond pleased with himself and Allison was smiling as well.
“Congratulations,” Derek praised Isaac without actually opening his eyes, and Erica scowled at him.
“You didn’t even look,” she scolded, and Isaac gently took his crown back from her.
“Do you want to wear it?” Isaac asked Derek shyly, who finally sat up now.
“Sure,” Derek said with a shrug, and Stiles could see how pleased he was that he could make Isaac happy with that.
“Don’t be an idiot,” Erica said as Isaac plopped the crown on Derek’s head. “He’s the alpha. He’s way too hot and manly to wear things like that.”
Stiles saw how tense Derek got the moment the words left Erica’s mouth.
“You’re probably right,” Derek mumbled and moved to take the flower crown off again, but Stiles stopped him, grabbing his wrist and pulling his hand down again.
“Nonsense,” Stiles said. “You’re adorable. It suits you.”
Derek blinked at him, clearly taken off guard by Stiles words, but his face softened, and his eyes crinkled adorably at the corners when he smiled at Stiles.
“If you think so,” Derek said and left the crown right where it was.
They were all invited to Lydia’s graduation party, and while it meant a suit and tie for the men, Stiles couldn’t be happier for his friend.
Derek had offered to drive them, so he was picking up Stiles this night, and Stiles was vibrating out of his skin with excitement. Derek always looked good, but Stiles was dying to see him in a suit. Stiles bet that Derek would look sharp and dapper and Stiles was so ready to see it.
When he finally rang at Stiles’ door, Stiles didn’t even pretend to take a minute to get the door.
He did take a minute to look Derek up and down, and when he saw just how tense Derek was, Stiles thought back to Derek’s sleepily mumbled comment all these weeks back.
“You are so handsome,” Stiles honestly said, and relished in the way Derek’s shoulders immediately dropped, stance relaxed again.
“Don’t be ridiculous.”
“Look at you,” Stiles said and gestured at Derek. “You’re totally like Bond, except you’re not British.”
“I don’t know if that’s a compliment or not,” Derek said, scowling at Stiles and just adding to the overall look.
“It is,” Stiles earnestly said as he took his jacket and closed the door behind him. “It absolutely is,” he reiterated and inwardly cheered when he saw the slightly red tinge to Derek’s cheeks.
Stiles wasn’t supposed to meet Derek today, but his own apartment was too big today, empty and silent, and not even the running TV could change that. So Stiles had grabbed his keys, and started driving, without really having a goal in mind, though he couldn’t say he was surprised when he ended up in front of Derek’s loft.
Stiles sighed but decided to go up anyway. The chances that Derek would let him stay and lounge around in the loft were pretty high, as long as Derek was there.
When Stiles opened the door, Derek clearly home, it didn’t take long for him to see Derek.
He was standing in front of his fridge, eating ice cream right out of a tub, only clad in soft, low-slung sweatpants and without a shirt.
Derek stared at Stiles in surprise and Stiles could immediately see how he got defensive.
“I wasn’t expecting anyone today,” Derek said, and he sounded closed off and embarrassed.
“You’re beautiful,” Stiles whispered, because Derek was.
It was clear that he had stopped punishing himself with a strict work-out routine, because his muscles, while still there, weren’t as sharply cut as before and it was a damn good look on Derek. His hair was longer and softer too, and he clearly had stopped waxing himself, because his chest and belly were dusted with black hair.
“Don’t be ridiculous,” Derek muttered, putting his ice tub down harder than strictly necessary and Stiles walked up to him without hesitation.
“You are,” Stiles seriously said. “You are the most beautiful person I have ever seen.”
“I think the word you’re looking for is hot,” Derek snapped at him, turning away and crossing his arms over his chest, clearly wishing he had a shirt.
Stiles couldn’t say the same, because he was thoroughly enjoying the way Derek’s back muscles moved, but he wasn’t about to say that out loud.
Instead he stepped closer and stroke his hand over the triskelion on Derek’s back.
“I said exactly what I meant,” he said, enjoying the way Derek shuddered under his touch and leaned into his hand.
“I don’t think anyone ever said that to me,” Derek admitted, and Stiles immediately kissed his cheek when Derek turned around.
“And that’s a damn travesty,” Stiles said decisively, peppering Derek’s face with kisses and mumbling just how beautiful and adorable he was.
When Stiles was done, Derek was smiling, and he looked soft and relaxed again, a look Stiles thoroughly enjoyed on him.
“You’re ridiculous,” Derek said, but he was looking fondly at Stiles, and wrapped his arms around Stiles’ middle to pull him closer.
“What has gotten into you lately?” Derek asked as he nuzzled at Stiles’ temple.
“Remember that night I stayed over and said that maybe hot chocolate wanted to be called beautiful chocolate sometimes too?” Stiles replied, and Derek frowned at him.
“I was mostly asleep,” Derek mumbled, and Stiles nodded.
“But you still said that you wanted to be called beautiful sometimes, too.”
“That’s why you’re doing this?” Derek asked, and he was trying to pull away from Stiles.
“I’m doing this, because you are beautiful and adorable and sweet and soft. You should be told that always and often. And,” Stiles said as he stepped away from Derek, “it doesn’t have to be by me. I just thought someone should start with it.”
Derek seemed to contemplate that for a few seconds before he pulled Stiles closer by his belt loops.
“I think I like you being the one who tells me that.”
“Good,” Stiles replied. “Because I like telling you that.”
“Maybe do it again?” Derek shyly asked, and Stiles beamed at him.
“You’re beautiful, and gorgeous, and so very soft,” Stiles whispered at him and Derek preened at the words, before he silenced Stiles with a kiss.
Stiles decided that this was the only way Derek was ever allowed to tell Stiles to stop talking.