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Book Nerds

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Stiles loved books with a passion. He craved the information in their pages and read the plots unfolding with rapt attention. What he didn’t love was putting them back on the shelf because the Dewey Decimal system was boring and patrons never put the books back in the right places and honestly the BISAC system was just better. Apparently he accidentally said so out loud because suddenly a teasing voice sounded from out of nowhere.

“Then you should have worked in a bookstore.”

It took Stiles a moment to locate the owner of the voice, and when he did so, he pulled a book from the shelf and looked across to find his co-worker Derek.

“Excuse me?”

“If you like the BISAC so much you should have applied to bookstores.”

Stiles stared at Derek’s sparkling, pale green eyes for a few moments too long before he realized he should respond.

“But I like this library. My love of this library overshadows my distaste for Mr. Dewey here.” Truth be told, Stiles liked Derek. Or thought he did. He’d actually noticed Derek on a book run one day and decided to add the library to his list of jobs apps and they’d been the first to offer him an interview. It was simply felicitous that Derek had ended up being as adorable on the inside as he was hot on the out.

Derek simply lifted his eyebrows in amusement and shot a smile that set Stiles’s stomach bubbling with warmth.

“Do you really?”

“Yes!” Replied Stiles with mock consternation. “What makes you ask that?”

“Just that I’d never seen you here until the day you asked for an application.”

A flush crept up Stiles’s cheeks and he ducked to grab more books in order to hide it.

“I, uh, didn’t think you’d remember me.”

“You’re hard to forget.” Then he chuckled. “There was also that bit when you very enthusiastically encouraged me to put together a queer lit section.”

“Too obvious?” Stiles asked sheepishly, not sure if Derek was flirting or shutting him down.

“Obvious enough.” He smiled secretively and made a come-hither gesture. Stiles skipped around the shelf, heart rabbiting in his chest, to find a small display table laid out neatly with what was probably every queer novel in the place. Stiles looked over the covers of them all for a few moments before he noticed something and his eyes widened a little. The books on the lower shelves were placed at random but the books on top were not. It took him a minute to puzzle it out until he realized the first letter of each title spelled ‘Go on a date with me.” Derek had even drawn out a question mark and placed it after the last book.

“Are you serious??” Stiles exclaimed, forgetting library rules momentarily. “Of course I will! How long did this take you to put together?“

Derek stared shyly at his feet but it didn’t hide the wide smile he was sporting. “Quite a while. They’re all over the place.”

Stiles smiled mischievously at the older man. “Wouldn’t have taken so long if we used the BISAC system.” Derek’s smile turned to a playful scowl and Stiles just winked at him conspiratorially. “Pick me up at 6?”