Thirty-two degrees outside with small tufts of snow fluttering down from the overcast sky was not what Stiles expected when he left his off-campus apartment this morning. It won’t be enough to stick to the ground, but it’s enough to make his day that much worse as it lands and clumps in his spikey brown hair.
This is the kind of day where he would normally be inside with a mug of hot chocolate and bad made-for-TV movies, and yet he is outside standing in front of his less-than-enthusiastic-looking tour group.
At least I’m getting paid, he thinks as he huffs warm air on his hands and rubs them together. Of all the days he had to forget to check the weather forecast before leaving his home, it had to be the one that he should have dressed warmly for. Minute tremors wrack through his body due to the chill, a flurry of regrets running through his mind- most of them being the decisions that led him here, being out giving a tour in the freezing temperatures.
The Student Ambassador jacket doesn’t offer much protection from the cold, but the families in front of him all seem to be comfortable and cozy in their thick, winter coats. Stiles is incredibly jealous, if not a little bitter.
“Hello everyone, my name is Stiles and I’ll be your tour guide today. Thank you all for coming despite the cold, but I can assure you it will all be worth it by the end. And by that I mean, totally worth it for all of you. Not so much for me, since I will be going home a frozen ice cube, but at least you guys will have learned some things about our lovely Beacon University,” Stiles rambles in his best tour-guide voice. He garners a few laughs and Stiles smiles in genuine relief.
It’s a receptive crowd this time, which is something he can work with. Unfortunately, not all the groups he leads around enjoy his jokes or his sense of humor, but the ones that do make the job that much more fun.
He scans the small crowd and estimates it to be about 20 people, more of them being enthused parents though there were a few bored looking high school students. Not a bad sized group, he grins widely and claps his hands together.
“Alright, so I’m assuming all of you are here, so if you’ll follow me to the Gertrude Science building…” Always start at the Science building, then go to Math building, Library, Residence halls, and short break at the Cafeteria. After that is the second half of tour around the liberal arts side of the campus. Same stuff, different day.
He has to have given this speech ten times over in the past two weeks alone. Heck, he could probably recite it in his sleep by now, if it weren’t for the fact that he has to be awake enough to be able to answer visitor’s questions too.
He spits out the facts through slightly chattering teeth, but smiles his way through it, trying his best not to appear bothered by the weather. He isn’t convinced he is doing a very good job, but before long they’ve made it to the residence buildings part of the tour.
Half way done, he tells himself as he tries to stop his teeth from chattering too much during his speeches. He gave up on stopping the shivers that ran through his body nearly constantly, but he can’t have his teeth clacking together as he tries to talk. That just looks bad.
“Do the buildings have air conditioning and heating?” One mother speaks up.
Stiles perks up a little at the question, he loves it when people ask him stuff. When nobody asks him anything or they don’t react at all to him it feels like he’s just reciting facts to empty air, which isn’t fun for anyone involved.
“Gertrude Hall, Bolt Hall, and Digger Hall all have air conditioning. All of the buildings on the liberal arts side of campus are newer and also have working AC and heat, as do all of the more recent residence halls. Sprout and Turner residences are our oldest buildings, however, and their heating systems recently broke down in the middle of Winter, which wasn’t pretty,” Stiles takes a deep breath before continuing, “but they’re getting fixed over the summer so they should be ready for the next influx of students.”
The group stares blankly at his answer and Stiles blushes, rubbing his hand through his hair-regretting the action instantly because wet snow. He grimaces at his wet hand and shakes the water off as much as possible before glancing back up at the group. He bites his lip awkwardly, rocking back and forth on his heels a few times as he waits for a response.
“Okay, so follow me this way to our next stop, Turner Hall, the last of the residence buildings. It’s also the furthest building, so while we’re walking there, does anyone have any more questions?”
“Do you always talk this much?” A female voice deadpans from the back of the small crowd. Stiles’ eyebrows rise as he takes in the speaker’s appearance. She looks young with long, straight brown hair and a rather sour expression.
Must be upset about getting dragged to see a campus on their weekend, Stiles thinks and huffs out a laugh.
“Cora,” The man next to her hisses and wow, how did Stiles miss that? The man seems old enough that he has to be in his last year of college or later; his handsome face with sharp cheekbones is graced with a thick layer of stubble that Stiles wouldn’t mind getting more acquainted with after the tour. His body is hidden by the thickness of his coat, but Stiles is willing to bet he has a killer figure underneath it as well. The best part though is his eyes. The gorgeous light green color that is striking against the man’s black hair and dark stubble.
Stiles suddenly comes back to reality, blinking rapidly as he tries to recall what the girl had said. He really hopes he didn’t space out long, but by the uninterested looks of the others, he hadn’t. He mentally sighs in relief that his moment of ogling had gone unnoticed.
“Um, yes. Actually it’s why they hired me. They like us loud-mouthed and able to talk for hours on end, although they do prefer it be about the college usually,” he snorts and some of the parents let out a few giggles; not a single one of the younger students seem to appreciate him, but that’s not really new.
The hot man in the back simply continues to glare at the girl next to him, Cora, his mind supplies, recalling her name from when the man had scolded her moments prior.
“How are the parties on campus?” Cora asks, smirking. The man next to her stops glaring, but only so that he could wipe across his face with his hand. His rather large looking hand, Stiles immediately halts that thought process before it can even start.
“Oooh, parties! Most of the parties happen at the off-campus apartments located across the street from the campus, but a lot tend to happen in the Richardson dorms- that’s why you’ll hear students making the joke that Richardson Hall is the place to go if you want to get a lot of Dick-“ Stiles immediately realizes his mistake and freezes in horror. He tries to turn around too quickly, and stumbles, slipping on the wet snow on the ground. He catches himself and regains his balance before he falls, but groans at how badly he messed up that answer.
His face has to be red as a tomato as he glances at the snickering crowd. In a rapid change of events, none of the parents look happy, but the high school students and hot stubble man all appear to be amused by his comments.
“Ohmygod, please don’t write on the review cards that I said that. I will be so fired… but, uh, how about I make a deal with you guys? I’ll give you all completely honest answers if you all promise to give me glowing reviews after.” His pleading grin must look very desperate right now, but at least the crowd appears to be considering his offer.
A murmur of agreement runs through the crowd and Stiles feels the tension seep out of his body. Suddenly he is bombarded with questions ranging from the quality of the professors on campus ("They’re okay, but try to avoid the adjuncts on campus that teach at more well-known universities, because they care more about their other school’s students and not so much about our students") to which residence hall is the worst ("Sprout Hall has the most amount of floors and also happens to have the least reliable elevators that are known to break down on a monthly basis, usually with students inside. Firefighters are well acquainted with the building; let’s just leave it at that").
After about ten or so questions in a row, the group finally reaches the Turner building. Stiles recites his practiced speech for the Hall, actually managing to stay on script this time. When there are no questions at the end, he quickly grasps onto the chance to move on to the next building where they will blessedly be indoors.
“Okay, so let’s move on to the Cafeteria where we’ll have a short break so that you guys can look around, warm up a bit, and maybe even order a snack or two.”
As they’re walking back, with Stiles in the front taking extra care not to slide on the thin layer of slush again, Hottie with the stubble smirks and asks, “In your gracious opinion, how’s the Cafeteria food?”
Stiles’ eyes narrow as he turns, walking backwards and states, “On campus the food is pretty average. I wouldn’t waste the money if you choose not to have a dining plan, honestly. The Caf food is overpriced, very processed, and generally unhealthy. But the good news is that there are a lot of restaurants within walking distance of campus that offer a wide variety of good foods. The diner is to die for, has the best milkshakes in town, and is pretty cheap, so it works out in the end. Plus, all outside places within a ten mile radius also take student meal-plans as payment, which makes it all worth the rather hefty price you pay for the plan.”
The man simply smiles and nods, seemingly in agreement. Cora rolls her eyes skyward and grumbles something that makes the man turn to her with scowl. Stiles smiles and turns back around, leading the crowd to the main building in the middle of campus.
Inside the Student Center is the large cafeteria that takes up two whole floors and houses ten different food stations. He sends off his tour group with a relieved grin and the instructions to meet back at the front of the building in a half hour. As the last of his people separate and wonder off, Stiles collapses completely and deflates in one of the building’s lounge couches.
He’s still shivering from the cold outside, feeling as if the chill has seeped into his bones, but the couch is definitely helping him a little. He nuzzles his face into the cushion and sighs contentedly, completely prepared to take a short ten minute nap while he waits.
The sound of someone clearing their throat above him breaks him out of his trance, however. He jolts up into an upright position, blinking his eyes rapidly to refocus on the person standing in front of him. It’s the hot guy from before.
Stiles’ eyes widen and he opens and closes his mouth a few times, great fish impression, Stiles, before he finds the words he’s looking for, “I wasn’t sleeping.” He winces, yeah, because that wasn’t an obvious lie.
Hottie with the stubble raises his eyebrow, playfully condescending. How can one eyebrow radiate so much judgment?
“Please don’t tell my boss.”
“I don’t even know who your boss is,” The man states and, yeah, okay that is true.
“Right. Well. Was there something you needed my help with? Did you get lost and need directions to somewhere? Bathrooms are on the second floor to the-"
“I know where everything is, Stiles,” the man seems to quickly notice his harsh tone and adds in a softer voice, “I’m actually a senior here, I’m just touring with my younger sister.”
“I just wanted to say that I liked what you have to say about the school. It was all true, not like the stuff tour guides usually say,” And boy, did Stiles know what he meant.
“You mean the usual ‘this college is perfect, has no faults whatsoever, and no matter what you should totally go here because this place is sunshine and rainbows’ lies?” Stiles rants; there is nothing he hates more than lying tour guides that act like their college is perfect when usually it is the exact opposite. Every college has its issues, and people should be honest about them. If only the college wasn’t the one giving us our paychecks, he thinks mournfully.
“Exactly. Um. I also wanted to…” The man looks away, revealing ears tinged an adorable pink. It must be from the cold, Stiles blinks dumbly, thinking about how much he would like to just nibble on those- woah, wait, what is happening. His eyes widen in surprise.
The man is hurriedly taking off his coat, turning back to face Stiles and appearing rather determined. “You looked cold out there,” he says as he holds out the jacket, looking at it as if the item has personally offended him.
“I…what,” Stiles says. It isn’t his brightest moment, but he blames it on the leftover effects of the freezing temperatures.
“Take the jacket,” The stubbly man huffs, pushing the coat even closer to the tour guide. Stiles raises his hands up in surrender, not taking the jacket. The man’s frown deepens.
“I can’t take your coat, dude. Then you’ll freeze and I’ll lose my job and I’m already going to be in trouble for those comments-“
“What?” Why does that seem to be the only word he knows around this guy?
“My name’s Derek. You should take the jacket. I run hot, so I’ll be fine in this weather. I only wore this coat because if I didn’t, Cora would tell my mom, and then I’d never hear the end of it, so…” Stiles is awed, he didn’t think it was possible, but the man’s ears were actually turning an even deeper shade of pink. Stiles grins broadly and reaches out, taking the coat and instantly putting it on.
Oh. Oh my god. His eyes shutter in pleasure as he tugs the coat even closer around him. It was so very, very warm.
As if suddenly remembering he was in company, Stiles’ eyes snap open and his face burns hotly at the soft smile on the man’s- Derek’s- face.
His face should definitely do that more often.
“Sorry, I just- it’s warm and…yeah,” Stiles coughs, clearing his throat and then smirks. “So you’re not worried anymore about your sister telling your mom on you?”
Derek rolls his eyes, much like Cora had earlier, but his lips quirk up in amusement. He looks back at Stiles, his head tilted slightly as he rakes his gaze over his body. Stiles’ face burns hotter at the unexpected scrutiny. “I’d say it’s worth the risk.”
Stiles laughs, flattered and pleased. Deciding to take a risk of his own, he leans forward, reaches out and tugs on Derek’s arm. The man complies easily and sits on the cushion next to him, turning to face him with a pleased, albeit somewhat shy smile.
“We still have twenty minutes left before the second half of the tour. How about you warm me up a little more before we go back out?” Stiles murmurs lowly, waggling his eyebrows suggestively. Derek groans as if put out by the bad come-on, though he inches towards the younger man anyway.
“We’ll have to work on that,” He says, palming the side of Stiles’ face and pulling him closer. Derek’s thumb runs lightly over Stiles’ lower lip and his eyes flutter closed in response to the soft touch.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, my jokes are mmph-" Stiles hums into the kiss, happy to continue the conversation later. Right now, kissing is definitely his top priority. His hand lifts up and trails through the hair on the back of Derek’s neck, subtly pushing him even closer as their lips slide and press together.
Yes, he would definitely be warm enough by the second half of the tour.
And hopefully long after it too.