Derek isn’t actually here to study.
Sure, it looks like he is—he has a couple of random books off the shelf open in front of him—but in reality he’s just screwing around on his phone, and wishing he’d thought to grab his laptop before being sexiled by his roommate.
He flips a page in one of the books, stares critically at a picture of a statue. Boring.
He stares at the ceiling, then at a row of bookshelves across the way, trying to figure out if there’s somewhere else he should go. He’s not particularly social, or rather, he’s not great at social interaction, so none of the popular spots on campus appeal to him. He’s not looking to spend money on the terrible coffee at the campus café, either.
Maybe he should just head downstairs to the computer lab, see if he can—
A guy is suddenly pulling out a chair at the table closest to Derek’s, sitting down with his back to him.
Derek didn’t really get a good look, but he has the impression that the guy is pretty attractive. His shoulders are nice and broad, anyway.
When he pulls out a laptop and fires it up, Derek feels an irrational surge of jealously, then rolls his eyes at himself. He tries to read the guy’s name as he logs in, but all he catches is an S over the guy’s shoulder.
He can’t see much of the screen as S plugs in his headphones and starts typing. But then he shifts his chair to the side, leaning back in a comfortable sprawl, and Derek suddenly has a perfect view.
S is on Netflix, starting some show Derek’s heard about, but can’t remember the name of. It had sounded really interesting, though. And since he’s too cheap to actually have a subscription, he’s tempted to get up and ask if he can join S to watch it. But before he even starts to get up from his chair, S clicks the subtitles on, which Derek can read if he just leans forward a little.
So he stays right where he is.
If he’d tried to talk to S, he’d probably have just made a fool of himself anyway.
Since Derek’s roommate has an absurdly high libido, Derek finds himself in the library again the next evening. At least he got his essay done before he and his girlfriend starting moaning and grinding on each other.
He only has one book in front of him this time, because he’s not even trying to pretend to study. In reality, he’s just waiting to see if S will show up again.
He ducks his head, starts casually flipping through the pages when he catches a glimpse of S coming through the door.
This floor of the library isn’t busy, so there’s a lot of free tables and study carrels for S to choose from. But he passes them over, and comes to sit in the same spot as last time. That makes Derek smile a little, even though it probably has nothing to do with him.
It doesn’t really matter, though, because S has the next episode pulled up, and Derek is quickly absorbed.
The next night, Derek’s roommate is out on a date with his girlfriend, which leaves the room delightfully free of moaning and wet kissing noises. He takes a moment to enjoy the peace and quiet, then glances at the books on his shelf and considers just staying in. After all, he probably only has a few uninterrupted hours before they’re back.
But he ends up stuffing his phone and keys into his pocket and heading over to the library, anyway.
He just really wants to know what happens next in the show. That’s all.
It becomes a regular thing. Derek hangs out in the library, sometimes actually working on his assignments, and waits for S to show up. Then they sort-of watch an episode or two together before S packs his stuff away and heads back out.
And every time, Derek considers going over and talking to S, but at this point, he figures it’d just be weird. Especially because his first impression was right: S is really cute, and that just makes him more intimidating. The fear of messing up outweighs the possibility of having a nice conversation and getting to know S.
Derek’s always been best at playing it safe.
“Hey, did you make a friend?” Derek’s roommate asks idly as he taps at his phone. Probably texting his girlfriend.
“What?” Derek says, because the two of them don’t really have conversations outside of ‘are these your socks or mine?’ and ‘don’t lock the door, I’ll be right back.’
“You haven’t been in the room as much lately. I figured you made a friend, or maybe started dating someone. Either way, good for you, man.”
Even though his roommate is a horny, inconsiderate asshole, Derek is a little bit touched that he noticed anything different. “Thanks,” Derek says, even though he unfortunately has neither a friend or a date.
Though it’s probably time for him to go hang out at the library like a weirdo again.
Derek is fairly humming with excitement. They’ve made it through nearly all the episodes, and now everything is culminating in the season finale. He can’t wait to see how all the loose threads are finally going to come together.
He’s also wondering what show S is going to start watching next, and whether or not he’ll be interested in it.
He taps his fingers against his random book, trying not to look like he’s eager to be here. That would be extra weird.
He’s distracted enough by his musings on the show, that at first he doesn’t notice the time.
S is late.
Derek tries to shrug it off. S doesn’t always show up at exactly the same time. And he might be sick, or he might have gotten held up, or maybe had a test to study for.
Derek sighs, flips to a new page, and decides to wait a little longer.
It’s not like S knows Derek is here, waiting for him. Derek’s never really on anyone’s radar.
Despite that, when S doesn’t show up at all, Derek feels deeply disappointed, almost betrayed. When he drags himself back to his dorm, and his roommate asks him if he got dumped, Derek honestly doesn’t know how to answer.
Despite his irritation with S, Derek goes back to the library the next day.
But it seems like S might have bailed on him today, too.
Derek didn’t even grab a book this time, wasn’t in the mood to fake-study, so he pulls out his phone and decides to burn a little more time before completely giving up on S.
He’s just checking the weather forecast when he hears a chair being pulled back, and looks up to see S sitting down across from him at Derek’s table.
“Hi,” he says, smiling. “My name is Stiles.”
Derek blinks a little at that, but he’s glad he at least got the first letter right. “Derek,” he replies, when he realizes Stiles is waiting for a response.
“It’s nice to meet you, Derek,” Stiles says cheerfully. “I thought I’d come by, and see if you wanted to watch the finale with me while actually, you know, sitting next to each other. Possibly while also eating snacks and making side commentary. It’s your call.”
“Um,” Derek says, because he can’t believe this is actually happening. Stiles noticed him, and apparently doesn’t think he’s a weirdo. “Sure, that’d be nice,” he answers, because it seems like social interaction is a lot easier when someone else does most of the talking.
“And then, after that, we could go on a date?” Stiles asks hopefully, and Derek freezes.
He really wants to go on a date with Stiles, but he doesn’t know if he should. It won’t take long for Stiles to figure out how awkward and quiet Derek is, or how little experience he actually has with dating, and will likely lead only to embarrassment and—
“You totally have this ‘I’d live alone in a lighthouse if I could’ vibe going on, so I’ll promise you now that the date will be totally low-key,” Stiles says, still smiling, though it’s more tentative now. “It can just be eating hot pockets in my dorm, if you want. I’d just like a chance—”
“Yes,” Derek cuts in, because he wants a chance, too. “I’ll go on a date with you.”
“Let’s go then,” Stiles says, beaming, and takes Derek’s hand in his own before heading toward the library doors.
“Of course I noticed you,” Stiles says a week later, tucked in close next to Derek on his dorm bed, clicking through Netflix to find them a movie to watch. “It was cute, they way you would sit there and frown at the books. I kept trying to figure out a way to get you to talk to me that wouldn’t be weird. Especially since you seemed kind of shy.”
Derek laughs. “Kind of,” he agrees.
“But after twelve episodes, I realized my plan wasn’t progressing, and that I would have to take matters into my own hands,” Stiles says, nudging Derek with his shoulder.
“I’m glad you did,” Derek says, smiling back. “I feel like things worked out pretty well.”
Stiles leans over and kisses Derek softly on the lips. “Hell yeah, they did,” he says, and forgets about picking out a movie for a while.