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Derek’s heart sinks when he opens the door to his new room and he sees the figure strewn across the free bed. There’s an inordinate amount of sports equipment tossed haphazardly on the floor around his feet and he’s on the phone. When he sits up to see who’s come in at the door Derek takes in a tight white tee, baseball shorts and a sports cap worn backwards; it’s 2013 for fuck’s sake who still wears them like that? He drags his eyes down to the guy’s face and sees big, brown eyes and an open smile. He laughs and hangs up the phone with a drawled later, stands with his hand out to Derek.

“’Sup, man? I’m Stiles.”

Slowly, Derek takes his hand. “Derek.”

Stiles does his own sweep of Derek, and Derek tries not to squirm under the scrutiny. “You’re a first year?”

Derek balks in surprise. “Yes.”

“Huh,” Stiles narrows his eyes for a second before he seems to realize they’re now essentially holding hands and lets go, claps his own hands together. “So, you excited to be here?”

Derek huffs, pulls his bag onto the bed and tugs out his books. “I guess. Are you?”

“Hell yeah, I mean I’ll miss my dad but I’m fucking psyched to be out of my town.” Stiles throws himself back on the bed, texting furiously and swinging his long legs up against the wall.

Derek swallows drily and fixes his eyes on his textbooks.

“Oh, I hope you don’t mind—” Stiles starts again but is interrupted when their door bangs open and four very loud people barge into the room. “—kind of invited some of my friends up,” Stiles finishes, smiling sheepishly at Derek before he’s body tackled on the bed by one of the shouting people.

“Bro! Your neighbor is really pretty, oh my god, you need to introduce me.”

“Your room smells like ass.”

“The view isn’t too bad,” a girl’s voice says and he twists to look at a redhead smirking at him, eyes raking over his chest.

The guy complaining about the smell huffs and tugs her against his side. “This place is a hole.”

“You’re a hole, an asshole,” the first kid yells from where Stiles is sitting on him. He giggles wildly at his own joke and Derek winces at the pun.

Stiles pushes off the overly grabby kid, laughing and flaps his hands at all of them. “Shut the fuck up all of you. Lemme introduce you, Derek,” he claps an easy hand on Derek’s shoulder and Derek tries not to flinch with the contact. “This is Scott,” the kid who won’t stop smiling waves dopily from Stiles’ bed. “Jackson,” the guy complaining lifts an uninterested eyebrow at Derek. “Lydia,” the redhead smiles, slow and predatory, Derek does not lean slightly behind Stiles. “And Danny.” The last guy lifts his head from where he’s been pulling Stiles’ laptop out of his bag and setting it up, nods at Derek.

“Hey, how’s it going?”

“Ok,” Derek says stiltedly.

“Oh, you are adorable,” Lydia breathes. “Can we keep him?”

“Leave him alone,” Stiles says, neck going red. “He’s only known you five seconds, don’t freak him out.” He turns to Derek looking apologetic. “They’re just all really excited, man. I promise normally they’re cool.”

“Nobody’s made that promise about you since birth,” Jackson snipes, peering out the window.

“Oh, oh, lemme get some ice for that one,” Stiles says easily.

“You do have a better view than me,” Jackson complains, pulling out his phone.

“You are not allowed to make someone swap rooms with you just to beat me,” Stiles warns, pointing at Jackson.

Jackson scoffs, lips curling into a smirk. “And you are not allowed to think you’re the boss of me,” he fires off a text and waves his phone at Stiles looking smug. “Suck it, Stilinski.”

“That’s what he said,” Danny mutters from the bed.

Scott laughs wildly and reaches over to high five Danny as Stiles ducks his head looking embarrassed.

“Oh my god, you guys should be fucking locked up,” he sounds affectionate as he speaks, however and Derek is envious of their easy camaraderie. He misses his sister suddenly, painfully. He really needs some air.

This whole group is intense and loud and everything Derek didn’t want for company, ever. Stiles is definitely just about the last kind of person he wants to be rooming with for a whole year.

“I’m gonna—” he hesitates. “I’m gonna go check out the library.”

Jackson snorts and Lydia hits him on the back of the head. “How very admirable of you,” she says looking at Derek fondly like he’s just done a damn trick.

Stiles glares at them both and follows Derek to the door. “Are you sure? Man, we’re getting out of here, you can totally chill out or—you can come with us? We’re gonna go get pizza. Maybe shoot some hoops out back?”

“No,” Derek cuts in quickly; his hand eye coordination is dangerous for others. He pushes his glasses up his nose and tries to give Stiles an affable smile. “It’s fine, I wanted to go today anyway.”

“Ok,” Stiles gives him a dubious look and Derek darts out the door before anyone else can say anything.

He clatters into someone in the corridor and piles of lace and silk fly into the air.

“Oh my god,” a girl cries and Derek feels material landing on him.

He pulls green lacy panties off his shoulder, feeling his whole face burning and turns to look at the person he’s bumped into. It’s the girl next door to them, he’d nodded at her on his way up earlier and she looks as mortified as Derek feels.

“I’m—oh god, I’m so sorry,” she snatches the delicates out of Derek’s limp hand, her whole face red. “Wow, what a way to introduce myself to the building.”

“It’s ok,” Derek says, bending down to help pick up more clothes. Her suitcase has burst with the impact of them colliding, clothes are all over the place and he hands her back several skirts Laura would approve of as she continues to ramble apologies.

The door to Derek’s room opens and Scott and Stiles fall out of it before straightening when they see Derek and the girl on the floor.

“Oh my god,” the girl mumbles as Stiles bends to help and Scott’s jaw drops.

“I have this one in pink,” Stiles deadpans, handing her a bra.

The girl seems to forget herself, rolling her eyes and grabbing at it. “Ha, thanks. I’m Allison, the girl who’ll be avoiding you for the next ten years.”

“The awesome person helping you is Derek and this,” Stiles throws an arm around the still gawping Scott. “Is my best friend in the whole world, who is also totally helpful when not rendered speechless.” He casually pushes Scott’s jaw shut and nudges him in the side.

“Hi,” Scott manages. “I’m Scott.”

“Allison,” Allison’s cheeks pink up as she smiles at him.

Derek clears his throat, wondering how it’s so easy for other people and waves a hand at them all. “I’m— yeah.”

“Thanks again,” Allison says, dimpling up at him and he quirks an attempt of a smile at her before fleeing the building.


Derek loves libraries. At home he could spend hours tucked away in the corner booth of the non-fiction section devouring books. His mom would cluck her tongue and worry about his lack of social interaction but his father would dismiss her worries. He was always proud of Derek’s studiousness.

Laura still calls him a nerd and ruffles his hair. Derek loathes that she does so, but these days he never stops her.

Due to the semester not having started and people only just settling in, the library is quiet. Derek can feel his stomach settling, feels less nervous in a place that is almost familiar just for holding so many books. He always feels more at home in a library than anywhere else. He assesses the table areas, picks a favorite spot on the third floor in the corner where the wide glass windows overlook a courtyard and memorizes it. He wants somewhere that seems peaceful; knows even in a library anywhere with students is bound to be rowdy.

Derek likes it quiet.

There’s a full blown party occurring when he returns to the dorm room. He spots Lydia and Jackson yelling at each other outside a room before she’s grabbing his collar and kissing him, pulling him inside. He nods at a few people from his floor, tries to get up the stairs without making too much contact.

Stiles and Scott are holding court over a keg outside of Allison’s room. Scott’s beaming at Allison who seems to have recovered from her earlier embarrassment and Stiles is talking to three guys, all of whom have lost their shirts.

Derek inclines his chin at Stiles as he passes.

“Dude! You want a beer?”

“You shouldn’t have those here,” Derek frowns. “You could get in trouble.” He’s only aware as he hears himself how uptight he sounds and he sighs inwardly, preparing for mockery.

Instead, Stiles’ eyes go wide and innocent. “This is nonalcoholic, Derek. What do you take me for?”

Derek can’t help the twitch of his lips as he opens their door. “Someone who can’t lie.”

Stiles’ indignant cry follows him into the room and he feels marginally pleased with himself. He made a joke, and it didn’t fall completely flat.

The music is loud and obnoxious, however and Derek soon loses his good mood. He lies awake, staring at the peeling ceiling, wondering if the whole year is going to be like this. A door slams; people are shouting, cheering and generally keeping Derek from going to sleep. Then someone sets off the fire alarm.

Growling at his clock that reads three thirty two, Derek rolls out of bed and pads into the hall. Two guys are being yelled out by a harassed looking RA, Stiles turns to snigger into Scott’s shoulder and sees Derek.

“Oh, I am so fucked,” he groans loudly, staring at Derek wide eyed.

“I can tell,” Derek mutters, rubbing a hand through his hair. “Is this a real fire or did some idiot try to smoke indoors?”

“Hair straighteners,” Stiles says faintly, eyes on Derek’s chest.

Derek ducks to look at his bare chest and then back up at him. “What?”

Stiles’ eyes snap to him almost guiltily. “Nothing! Just, it’s cool, man. No fire! You can totally go back to bed, like, with no shirt on.”

“Do I need to sleep with a shirt on? Will this be offensive to your religion or something?”

“No! God, no,” Scott throws an arm around Stiles’ shoulders suddenly, interrupting him, smiles at them both and then throws up all over Derek’s feet.

“Woah, when did I eat seafood?”

Derek stares at his feet in horror as Stiles flaps around them, trying to clumsily help.

“Dude, Derek your feet.”

“I’m aware,” he says stonily.

Allison has appeared and is ushering Scott into her room, presumably to help him clean up and Derek wards off Stiles’ hands.

“It’s ok; I always shower at four am.”

Stiles snorts, ignoring Derek’s protests and pushing him back into their room.

“I’m not—” Derek pulls away from Stiles’ hands and heads for the bathroom. “I’m fine!”

Stiles tries to follow him into the bathroom and then stops, looking a little dazed. “I’ll just… go lie down for a second, yell if you need anything, ok?”

Derek gives him a pained smile. “I’m sure I’ll cope with showering alone.”

Stiles makes a noise and throws himself onto his unmade bed.

“So fucked.” He kicks off his shoes, pulls one of his sheets over his head and seems to pass out.

Derek scoffs, of course.


In the morning there’s coffee by his head and Stiles is sitting on his own, newly made bed, drumming his fingers impatiently.


Derek scrubs a hand across his face. “Hi,” he rasps, reaching for his glasses.

“I think we got off to a bad start,” Stiles blurts before Derek can even take a sip of what smells like delicious coffee.

He pauses and raises an eyebrow across at him. “Did we?”

“Yeah, dude this is your room and my friends were totally out of line and like, Scott being sick on your feet and all my shit lying around—” Stiles glances nervously at Derek. “I just don’t want you thinking I’m a shithead.”

Derek gives him a small smile, shaking his head. “It’s ok, really. I grew up with a rather… boisterous sister who was very sociable, I’m used to it.”

“But you shouldn’t like, put up with it in silence.”

“I won’t,” Derek promises. He pushes the covers back and grabs his towel. “Thanks for the coffee.”

“Sure,” Stiles says, staring at his hands.

He doesn’t know if it’s the coffee or the shower but Derek feels much better as he jogs down to breakfast. The canteen is fairly empty with it being so early but a tall, lithe guy sits down opposite Derek and gives him a nod.

He opens up the paper, shoves half at Derek and Derek grunts gratefully. Once he’s finished devouring a very soggy bowl of Cheerios he stands and gives the guy a nod.

“Isaac,” the guy fills in as Derek turns to leave.

“Derek,” he supplies in return.

Isaac smiles in relief. “You know where the laundry room is? I have no fucking idea and the sheets they gave us stink like mold.”

“Yeah,” Derek lifts his arm but the guy stands looking hopeful and Derek can’t say no.

They sit side by side on the unused washers and trade small talk. Isaac’s from Baltimore, single father, a brother that passed away. Derek sticks to talking about Laura and how much grief she’s giving him for going to a West Coast school when they’re from New York.

“You ever see the Mets play?”

Derek shrugs. “A lot when I was kid, then I got older and stopped appreciating their attempts at victory.”

“Could be worse,” Isaac smirks. “You could support the Dolphins.”

“I never really watched football,” Derek says apologetically.

Isaac leaps from the washer, picking up a stray sock and balling it up, pretending to throw it at the wall. “You ever play?”

“Nope,” Derek catches the sock as Isaac aims it at his face and tosses it to the side. “I’m not really into sports.”

Isaac hums thoughtfully. “You’re sharing with Stilinski, right?”

“Yeah,” Derek says carefully. “Why?”

“Nothing,” Isaac grins. “Just prepare for a lot of football talk.”

“You know him?”

“He talked my ear off about the Saints yesterday.”

Derek uncharacteristically picks at the plastic of the washer. He doesn’t know the first thing about football. Isaac pats him on the back and grabs at his clothes, unaware Derek’s panicking about having next to nothing in common with his new roommate.


Surprisingly, or suspiciously if he thinks about it, he doesn’t see much of Stiles all week. He suspects maybe Stiles is trying to avoid him. That’s fine with Derek because it means he gets the room to himself but it also makes him feel a little bad.

Just because they’re different, doesn’t mean they can’t spend time in the same space together.

Then Stiles bursts into the room on Friday night, shirtless and sweating, spinning a basketball on one finger and several people follow him and Derek’s optimism dies.

Briefly, he drops his book on his face and takes a deep breath. Someone snatches his book and he jerks up in surprise.

“The fuck, dude you’re actually reading? On a Friday night?”

He glowers at Jackson who’s waving the book around incredulously. Stiles throws the basketball at his head. “Douchebag, pack it in. Give him the book back.”

Jackson smirks at Derek. “For real? Classes haven’t even started yet.”

“Give me it back,” Derek says in a calm voice. “And shut the fuck up, or I’ll rip your throat out with my teeth.”

A total silence falls on the room and Jackson’s mouth drops open before he throws the book at Derek.

“Psycho,” he mutters, storming out of the room.

Derek settles back in on the bed, shooting the rest of Stiles’ friends a look as if to say, yes? And they all look quickly away.

Stiles grabs a sports bag filled with something, tosses it at Danny who seems like he’s the only one laughing and heads from the room without a word.

Derek feels maybe a little bit guilty. But then, this is his fucking space and Jackson is a prize tool Derek would like to string up and leave somewhere for an hour just to see him cry.

He still can’t help feeling regretful that being a dick to Stiles’ friends wasn’t exactly in the plans to try and make their living arrangements work.

Stiles comes back several hours later, wearing a shirt, Derek is relieved to note and crashes out on the bed.

Derek stares at the long line of his back for a second before trying and failing to concentrate on his book. Stiles huffs and rolls over onto his front.

“You didn’t even go with something small,” Stiles says suddenly. “Just went all out with the big guns, I mean, your teeth?”

Derek scrunches his face up and takes his glasses off, rubs them on his shirt. “I was out of line, I’m—”

“Naw, dude are you kidding?” Stiles sits up and his grin is blinding. “I have never seen someone put Jackson down so fast and so well in my life. And I’ve known him since we were kids. It was sweet, man.”

Derek stares at him in surprise. “I—ok?”

“Seriously,” Stiles drops back down onto his mattress and curls around one of his pillows. “Feel free to do it any time.”

“Dangerous permission there.”

Stiles snorts. “He’s a big boy, he’ll live. Besides, Lydia’ll look after him.”

“So, you all know each other?”

“Yeah,” Stiles tips his head back to look at Derek, hunching up his shoulders. “Scott’s like my brother, we were like totally forbidden from rooming together by our folks, though. And we’ve been friends with Mahealani since, I dunno, third grade? We got stuck with Jackson but Lydia’s pretty cool, if you can handle the whole,” he waves a hand around. “Terrifying part.”

Derek laughs, which makes Stiles twist his whole head sharply to look at him in surprise and Derek follows it up by rolling his eyes. “She didn’t seem that scary when we met.”

“Dude, I saw the fear in your eyes, don’t lie.”

“There was no fear,” Derek objects hotly.

“Yeah, well more fool you my friend. Lydia’s the smartest chick in the world and if you get on her bad side I feel bad for you, son.”

Derek frowns. “Jay-Z, really?”

Stiles flaps a hand at him, leaves it dangling when it misses the mattress and ends up hanging off the bed. “Don’t even pretend you don’t blast The Black Album when you’re running up mountains or whatever it is to get muscles like that.”

Derek looks at his own arms almost in surprise and shrugs awkwardly. “I like to work out.”

“You’d make a fucking badass quarterback.”

“I don’t really do team sports.”

Stiles grins at him. “I can’t really imagine it, no.”

He falls asleep fairly soon after and Derek finds himself watching him sleep before realizing what he’s doing could be interpreted as majorly weird and turns back to his book.

They maybe just bonded a little, and something in his chest eases slightly.


The first week of lectures is heaven in comparison to sitting around waiting for his education to start. He worked fucking hard to get to college and twiddling his thumbs whilst everyone else got wildly drunk in celebration to being free from their parents for the first time had stung. He had been bored, which made him broody, and apparently made him threaten punk eighteen year olds.

Laura laughs down the phone at him when he calls to check in on Sunday night and makes him tell her Stiles’ last name so she can stalk them all on Facebook.

He basks in his first lecture. He wallows in the utter quiet bar the drone of Carver’s voice and the scratch of pens, the whirring of the projector.

His second lecture, however, is slightly… odd. For one thing he walks into the theatre and sees Stiles slung out across three desks. He spots Derek and waves him over. Reluctantly, Derek takes a seat beside him, Stiles is bouncing around excitedly.

“Dude, I had no idea you were taking econ.”

“For my extra credit,” Derek grunts, wondering if it’s too late to sign up for a different class. It’s not that he isn’t trying to get used to Stiles’ presence but for one thing, he never keeps still. Case in point as Stiles twists to wave at someone, presumably another friend, Stiles knows everyone. In seven days their room has become a social hubbub. It’s been a trial on Derek’s patience to say the least. But now he’s stuck in a class with him, too?

The second thing that throws him is the lecturer. He bangs in five minutes late, coat sweeping behind him like a dramatic billowing cape.

“Stilinski, for god’s sake sit up,” he snaps as he strides past them on the way to the podium.

Stiles immediately straightens up, knee knocking against Derek’s under the desks. Derek very carefully moves his leg away from him.

“I’m Professor Finstock, don’t call me proff, do not make any puns with my name, don’t ever email me with questions or add me on Facebook; I am not here to be your friend.”

“Oh my god, he has Facebook,” Stiles murmurs delightedly, pulling out his phone.

“Put it away, Stilinski. And let that be the only time I ever have to say that to you.”

Finstock begins writing furiously on the chalk board and everyone around Derek groans.

“That’s right,” Finstock turns to smile nastily at them. “I’m about the only professor in the department who doesn’t believe in slideshows or giving you notes. You’re in this class to learn, not sleep. Greenberg, get your head off the desk! I don’t know why I allowed you to try out for the team, you’re already shaming me.”

He snaps three pieces of chalk, yells at a girl for writing in pink pen and throws a textbook against the wall to demonstrate erosion. Derek has never known erosion to be relevant to math before in his life.

He makes more notes than he ever has before and when he leaves his hand is cramping. Stiles is whining beside him.

“Can’t believe he’s the lacrosse coach here; he’s fucking  crazy! He called me cupcake twice at trials yesterday.”

“At least he didn’t call you meringue, or custard,” Derek says thoughtfully.

Stiles crows with laughter and slaps him on the shoulder. Derek wonders if it’s going to be a thing. Stiles is constantly touching things, him, the stuff in their room even when he doesn’t need to, Derek’s books. It’s not that he’s not used to touchy feely people; he lives with Laura after all; he just doesn’t entirely know how to respond to the touches. So he shoots Stiles an awkward attempt at a smile and heads for the library where things are safe.

He could spend all his time on the third floor. If they’d let him sleep there he’d drag a sleeping bag up and camp out under the table. 

It comes as a horrible shock to him a few days later when there’s someone already occupying his table. A blonde girl with dark eyes glares at him as he approaches.

“You can sit here,” she says before he can say anything. “As long as you don’t speak or breathe loudly, or I will cut you,” she finishes by smiling sweetly and minimally moving one of her textbooks.

Derek considers his options. He doesn’t really want to trek all the way downstairs again but the rest of the tables are already packed. He can guess why this one isn’t full when the blonde scowls at a boy at the next table surreptitiously eating Doritos.

“Shut up,” she hisses.

The boy’s eyes go wide and he swallows what looks like a whole chip without chewing. Derek winces in sympathy before dropping his bag by the table. He won’t be deterred by a bitchy attitude. Mean girls don’t faze him one bit.

The girl seems pleased that Derek doesn’t try to engage her in conversation and when she returns from the vending machine out in the stair well an hour later she passes him a bottle of water.

He nods his thanks and continues translating his notes from Finstock’s latest lecture into passable English.

They work in silence for another hour before Derek’s eyes give out on him and he puts his books away. He gives the girl another nod and she waves him away with a fluttering hand, barely glancing up from her own notes.

He goes back to the dorm and almost cries in relief when he sees the room is empty. He’s tempted to jerk off but Stiles has a tendency to burst into the room when Derek’s least expecting it and he’s not the kind of person who gets off on dramatics. He settles in with The Odyssey and relishes the quiet.

When he wakes up in the morning, his book is on the nightstand along with his glasses. Stiles is dead to the world opposite him, snuffling in his sleep. Derek doesn’t remember taking his glasses off, or putting his book away.  He notches it up to how tired he was and goes for a long run.


Stiles, Scott, Danny and Jackson are gathered in their room when Derek gets home from class one Friday evening. They’re all dressed up, Stiles is wearing battered converse but they look smart. Derek draws his gaze away from Stiles’ legs and focuses on kicking off his shoes.

“No, you’ll make him sound like a pussy if you put that,” Jackson hisses.

“Shut the fuck up,” Danny snaps back, typing furiously as the rest of them crowd round Stiles’ laptop.

Stiles looks up and smiles when he sees Derek. “Yo!”

“Hi,” Derek says faintly.

“We’re going the Alpha Delta Pi shenanigan, you wanna come?” He’s fiddling with his tie and Derek finds himself accidentally staring at Stiles’ long fingers before shaking himself.

“No, thanks.”

Jackson snorts. “Are you a robot? I mean, seriously.”

Stiles cuffs him on the back of the head as Scott howls at Danny. “No! You can’t put that.”

“It’s forward and simple, exactly what you need. Especially if you won’t just ask her out the normal way,” Danny grumbles.

Derek raises a questioning eyebrow at Stiles as he strips off his jacket. “Our Scott’s trynna woo a lady,” Stiles fills in.

“And he’s too chicken to do it like a normal person,” Jackson adds.

Stiles scowls at him on behalf of his friend. “No, he’s being old fashioned, man shut the fuck up. We’re going bowling and he’s cordially inviting her via email,” he tells Derek.

Derek snorts. “You better check with her father first, too.”

Stiles cackles delightedly and elbows Scott. “Maybe you should write her a letter, brah. Get it delivered in a horse drawn carriage.”

“Shut up,” Scott says hotly. “She’s different, ok? I don’t want to screw it up.”

“Just ask her out,” Jackson huffs, glancing at his watch.

“I am!” Scott shrieks, pointing at the laptop.

“She’s right next door,” Derek says pointedly. “Why don’t you just go ask her to this party instead of sending vague emails she’ll only over analyze?”

Scott considers him for a second before glancing at Stiles. Stiles shrugs, narrowing his eyes at Derek briefly, and then gesturing at the door. “’S’what I said you should do in the first place, dude. She’s into you, and we all know it. Just go bite the bullet.”

“Ok,” Scott stands, looking like he’s going to his death.

Stiles rubs at his shoulders. “Remember, the worst she can do is laugh in your face.”

“Thanks,” Scott says hoarsely before Stiles shoves him out the door.

They all realize they’re staring after him at the same time and Jackson makes a derisive sound, turning back to his phone, Danny starts messing around on YouTube and Derek piles his laundry together.

Stiles clucks his tongue as he watches him. “You’re seriously going to do laundry instead of come to a party?”

“Maybe next time,” Derek promises. Stiles shakes his head at him looking almost exasperatedly fond and Derek escapes to the laundry room.

He’s just not the party type.


On Halloween there’s a girl dressed as the Tin Man sitting at his table. It takes him a second to realize it’s the same girl as before.

“Sit, don’t comment,” she says without looking up.

Derek is impressed; he’s never seen such dedication to an outfit. Her hair and skin is silver and there’s even a ruby red plastic heart stuck on the cardboard silver body of her costume.

“You’re aware the library isn’t hosting a party, right? And that there’s no hot air balloon going to Oz till next week?”

“My boyfriend’s picking me up from here,” she sing songs without taking her pen off the paper. “And I look amazing.”

“You do,” he agrees.

She looks up then, bites a silvery lip. “Why aren’t you in costume?”

Derek lifts both his eyebrows at her. “I look like the type that dresses up as a werewolf on Halloween?”

“You never know what people are really like underneath,” she says thoughtfully. “And you strike me as more of a vampire.”

“I do not look like a vampire,” he huffs crossly.

She smirks, and goes back to her notes. “I bet you’d look pretty if you sparkled,” she mutters.

Derek scrunches up a piece of paper and throws it at her.

“Watch the costume!”

“You should trade it in for a Wicked Witch of the West one,” he grouses.

The girl cackles loudly and wiggles a hand at Derek.

“You’re very strange.”

“I know,” she shrugs. “Don’t you prefer being that way?”

“Who says I’m strange?”

“You’re in the library on Halloween.”

He scowls at her and she bites on her pen before sticking her hand back out at him. “Erica.”

“Derek,” he waves at her hand. “I’d shake but I don’t really fancy walking round with one silver hand all night.”

Erica smirks and withdraws her hand.

“Babe!” An extremely tall, black guy dressed as the Scarecrow bounds towards the table and underneath the grey make up Erica lights up.

“Hi, give me two minutes?”

“Sure,” he says easily, collapsing at the table next to Derek. “’S’up?”

Derek nods.



“You dressed as yourself for Halloween?”

“Derek doesn’t believe in frivolous things like holidays,” Erica supplies and Derek glares at her.

“You don’t know me well enough to assume that, I could love Christmas.”

“Do you?”


She kinks an eyebrow at him as Boyd laughs, pats Derek’s arm. “I’m with you on Christmas man. Load of shit. But Halloween’s fucking awesome.”

Derek eyes Boyd’s costume and silently disagrees.

“You should come,” Boyd continues.


“To the party,” Boyd rolls his eyes like he knows Derek was being deliberately dense.

“Oh, we could give you a makeover,” Erica feigns excitement, leaning across the desk. “Dress you up pretty, help you win the boy of your dreams.”

Derek lifts his eyebrows in surprise and she rolls her eyes. “Please, you haven’t tried to look down my shirt once the entire time we’ve spent together; like you’re batting for the straight team.”

“Maybe I just don’t find abrasive attractive,” he suggests.

Erica gives him a slow smile. “No, I bet you do. Just with less cleavage and more dick.”

“Babe,” Boyd ducks his head briefly, grinning back at up her. “Leave the guy alone!”

“I’ll come,” Derek cuts in, feeling spontaneous. “But I’m not dressing up.”

“Oh, yes you are.”

Derek gets his arm twisted into wearing Boyd’s football uniform and stands in Erica’s tiny bathroom feeling ridiculous.

She lets him brood for all of five seconds before bustling in and ushering him out the door. “You’ll never get laid if you stay inside feeling sorry for yourself.”

“I’m not your new project,” he huffs.

“If you’re going to be sitting at my table this semester you can at least look like you’ve less of a stick up your ass.”

“It was my table first.”

“Finders keepers.”

“I don’t even know you; I can’t believe I let you talk me into this.”

“It’s what college is all about, sweetie, taking your clothes off and putting them on again.”

“’S’right,” Boyd agrees.

“I don’t like either of you.”

“We’re going to be such good friends,” Erica says in return.

They go to the same party Derek knows he heard Stiles mention he was going to earlier in the week. He hopes against all odds they don’t run into him, or any of his friends.

Derek is not known for having luck on his side and within five seconds a very hairy Scott jumps out at him. Scott is obviously a werewolf. He seems to have totally lost his eyebrows, however and Derek resists the urge to check his own are still there.

“Dude! You came to a party?”

“Under duress,” he says through gritted teeth. Erica smirks and pats his cheek, disappearing with Boyd into the crowd. Derek panics; wondering if he’s going to have to handle a party by himself but then Scott’s pulling on his arm, yelling at him to come and say hi to Allison.

“I say hi to her all the time,” he points out. “I live right next door to her.”

“Yeah, but this is different,” Scott says excitedly. “I can introduce her as my girlfriend now.”

Allison smiles fondly as soon as she sees Scott, fond smile turning amused when she sees Derek. “Hi, Stiles finally talked you into coming out then?”

“No,” Derek frowns. “I haven’t seen Stiles.”

“Oh,” she looks briefly confused and then Scott’s introducing them, officially and she’s smiling again, Derek forgotten.

Derek tries, desperately hard, to look like he’s not standing in the corner feeling miserable. Erica keeps reappearing with beer and random guys for Derek to talk to and he ends up fleeing outside. There’s a Superman and a Spiderman making out against the wall, a very drunk ninja turtle curled up on the stone patio.

Several costumed people are tossing a football around and Derek shuts his eyes, pretends he’s somewhere else.

He feels someone standing in front of him after a minute or two and snaps his eyes open. It’s Stiles, he tries not to think too hard about how he recognizes him with the insane amount of makeup he has on, writes it off as them living together and bites down on a smile.

“Don’t laugh,” Stiles begins.

Derek holds up his hands. “It hadn’t even crossed my mind to do so.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Stiles grumbles. “I was bringing you beer but now I’m thinking I should just drink it all myself.”

Derek goes to grab one of the cups and Stiles holds it out of reach.

“Say my costume is awesome.”

“Stiles, technically I’m the only one actually allowed to drink that.”

“Say it.”

Derek rolls his eyes. “You’re the greenest Hulk I’ve ever seen.”

“Hell fucking yeah I am,” Stiles beams. “Jackson thinks this is a punishment,” he says leaning into Derek conspiratorially, slipping slightly and shouldering into him. Derek catches his arm and pulls away a green hand.

He sighs and lifts it to Stiles. “Have you thought about how you’re going to get all this off?”

Stiles stares at Derek’s hand as if hypnotized and then gives him a dopey smile. “Shower, duh.”

What Stiles means by shower is loudly wrestle with the water for half an hour when he comes home at four, before striding out into their room and shoving a sponge at a very sleep deprived, sober Derek.

He glares at the dripping sponge and then at Stiles. “What.”

“Can you do my back, please?”

Derek stares at him incredulously. “Are you serious?”

“Yes,” Stiles pouts at him. “It’s starting to itch, dude.”

“You should have thought of that before you put it all over yourself.”

“I had to beat Jackson, man. You don’t know what he’s like when you lose a bet to him! And the Hulk is awesome.”

“Well, this is the least awesome thing ever,” Derek snaps. “It’s nearly five am and you’re making the floor wet. How the hell did you get it on your back in the first place?”

“Scott put it on.”

“Can’t you go get him, now?”

Stiles raises an eyebrow of his own pointedly, and Derek exhales hard before shoving him towards the bathroom.

“Jeez, you’re—ow, oh my god, you are strong.”

Derek pushes him into the shower and resolves to look into switching rooms with someone tomorrow. He’s sure Jackson would be happy about the view he’d get. Stiles shivers and the muscles in his back twitch nicely. Derek sighs internally, trying to keep his eyes off them as he scrubs at Stiles with a sponge.

“I can’t believe this is my life.”

“You and me both, dude,” Stiles groans in a strained voice.

Derek leaves him to deal with his legs himself, snapping that he hopes Stiles wasn’t stupid enough to paint his ass green.

Stiles makes a strangled noise as Derek stomps out of the bathroom.

He waves coffee at Derek in the morning and Derek tries to remain cross, fails against the delicious smell wafting at him paired with Stiles’ apologetic puppy eyes.

“This better not become a habit,” he grumps.


November is normally Derek’s favorite month. Unfortunately, Stiles seems determined to ruin everything in Derek’s life. His basketball jerseys hang in the bathroom, dripping on the floor. Derek trips over lacrosse equipment every time he comes home from class. Stiles’ jock friends live in their room.  Stiles hosts football nights and people bump Derek while he’s trying to study, spill beer on him, eat his chips.

His friends have been toying with pledging; all the fraternity’s seem to want Stiles and Derek can’t fathom it. Stiles is messy, he’s constantly late to lectures, rushing out of the room half-dressed and yelling goodbyes to Derek. Finstock’s forever yelling at him to pay attention in their econ class, and he never seems to do any work.

Jackson and Danny start arm wrestling and Derek scowls at his book, tries to zone them out. Someone called Greenberg is waving a lacrosse stick around and comes close to catching Derek in the face with it a couple of times. Derek is tempted to snap the damn thing in half but is saved from doing so when Stiles grabs it from him and lectures him on safety indoors.

Derek snorts and he feels Stiles’ eyes on him. Someone tosses a paper airplane at him a few minutes later and he unfolds it to see Stiles’ scrawled handwriting saying loser across it.

“Cute,” Derek mutters, knowing Stiles can hear him. “Very witty.”

“You know it,” Stiles says loftily, before dropping to the floor and demanding Danny sit on his feet so he can do sit ups.

“Stilinski, if you wanna feel up his ass you could just ask,” Jackson snipes.

Stiles flips him off. “Just because I didn’t ask you, Jacky.”

“I told you not to call me that,” Jackson hisses. Derek lifts an eyebrow over his book and Jackson glowers at him.  “Shut the fuck up.”

Derek smirks, sliding to his feet as Stiles huffs on the floor beneath him.

“See you later.”

“You don’t wanna come play some lacrosse with us?” Stiles pauses mid sit up and Derek’s not impressed at how easily he’s holding himself, he is not.

“I didn’t know I was invited.”

“Duh, you can be on my team.”

“No way, man,” Danny protests. “I’m not having him shoulder barge me, I’ll die.”

“But, he’s my roommate, ja feel?”

Danny stands and Stiles falls backwards, head lolling onto Derek’s feet. Derek sighs down at him. “Why are you fighting over me when I haven’t even agreed to play?”

“Cos you need some fresh air, and you know you really wanna body check Jackson as many times as possible with plausibility on your side?”

Derek is tempted. Jackson rolls his eyes and mutters that Derek would never be able to catch him.

Derek is swayed.

“Alright, can I bring someone?”

Stiles’ back tenses for a split second and Derek would have missed it had he not been standing directly over him.

“Sure, does the person have a name?”

“Isaac, you’ve met him.”

“Oh,” Stiles nods slowly, brushing his hands together. “Sure, cool. Yeah, go get him, that’s—yeah.”

Derek backs out of the room, and as the door closes he hears Danny thump Stiles, say you’re such a fucking idiot as Stiles squawks indignantly.

He shrugs it off and jogs down to Isaac’s room. Derek is still envious Isaac gets to room with the studious, slightly severe Matt Dahaeler. Isaac gets peace and quiet and Derek gets people who want him to do things. He bangs on Isaac’s door and a groggy pair of blue eyes glare at him from the darkness of the room a few seconds later.

“I was sleeping, I hate you.”

“We’re playing lacrosse,” Derek announces. “With my roommate.”

“No,” Isaac says, disappearing back into his room and flopping on the bed. “I’m going back to sleep.”

Derek glares. He doesn’t know how other people make friends but he’d sort of thought maybe he and Isaac were getting along. They tend to eat breakfast together, albeit in silence whilst reading the paper and somehow doing laundry together has become a thing. He’d thought maybe…

“Ugh, I can hear you sulking,” Isaac groans, rolling off the bed again and pulling off his shirt. “If any of them break my arm, I’m sending you the hospital bill.”

“Don’t worry,” Derek snipes, covering his relief with sarcasm. “I’ll protect you.”

“My hero,” Isaac says loftily, following Derek out into the hall and stuffing his feet into his sneakers. “How was your week?”

Derek shrugs. “Noisy.”

Isaac snorts. “You ever actually played lacrosse before, anyway?”


“This is so going to be worth getting up for,” Isaac says sounding pleased.

As it turns out, lacrosse is a whole lot more violent than Derek anticipated; nor did he expect any of Stiles’ friends to actually be any good at it. True to his word, however Jackson is fast as a whippet, running circles round Derek; Danny is sneaky, darting in for the ball whilst Derek is still trying to get his bearings and Stiles… Stiles, Derek has to admit, is fucking awesome.

He’s fast, he’s fearless and he’s the only one scoring for their team.

Isaac drops to the floor fifteen minutes in, groaning and Stiles shoves at his shoulder with his stick. “Come on, man, we can’t fucking lose to them, ok? I have a reputation to keep up!”


“You get used to it,” Scott says helpfully as Stiles paces impatiently.

He starts snapping instructions at them all and Derek blinks, totally confused. He rubs at his eyes, loathing the fact he’s wearing contacts on a Saturday and Stiles stops talking for a second.

Derek pauses to look at him. “You ok?”

“Fine,” Stiles says sharply, cracking his neck to the side. “Just keep Jackson from getting the ball and you’ll be fine. It’s not that hard.”

Isaac and Scott both snigger and Stiles glares at them. “For fuck’s sake, concentrate!”

“It’s just a game,” Isaac begins but Stiles rolls his eyes.

“It’s Jackson,” he says simply, as if that explains everything. Beside him Scott straightens, nodding seriously.

Quite a lot of their hall has gathered on the side of the field to watch, lazing around in sweats and with books out as if they’re pretending to be working at the weekend.

Derek thinks longingly of his own books and as if reading his mind, Stiles snaps his fingers in Derek’s face.

“You ready?”


“Positivity noted.”

“I’m choosing next week’s activity,” Derek mutters as they head back onto the pitch. Stiles trips over his own feet and Derek shoots out a hand to steady him. He doesn’t mean to let his hand linger, drops it when he realizes he’s still holding on and Stiles is walking straight again.

Behind them he hears Isaac snort, but when he glances over his shoulder he’s busy waving at a pretty auburn haired girl with glasses.


Isaac grins slyly at him. “Want her to be.”


He turns back to see Stiles watching them with narrowed eyes. When play resumes, Stiles launches the ball so hard at Isaac it almost goes through his net.

Isaac glares at him. “Dude.”

“Just toss it to Scott,” Stiles yells, already running on ahead.

Derek vents weeks of frustration colliding with Jackson as many times as possible. He’s not naturally a sprinter, preferring long distance as something he can get his teeth into. But the promise of knocking Jackson into the ground is a beautiful incentive and he does his absolute best to keep up with him. By the end of the game Jackson is limping and cursing his name. Derek tugs on the strings of his stick feeling smug.

“You didn’t win,” Jackson snaps at him.

“Moral victory,” Derek says with a shrug.

Stiles takes Jackson’s crowing with a blank face, grins much more good naturedly at Danny’s ribbing and then disappears inside. Derek watches Isaac saunter over to the girl who’d been watching him, borrowed lacrosse stick slung over one shoulder and grins, leaves him to it.

“You played a really good game,” a girl he doesn’t recognize says he walks past and he nods awkwardly, stepping around her.

One violent, social interaction is enough for the day.


Stiles leans over the back of the desk chair one lazy Sunday and asks if Derek knows a Laura Hale.

Derek scrambles off the bed and looks over his shoulder to see Laura’s added Stiles on Facebook.

“Decline,” Derek says insistently.

“What, are you kidding? And miss out on seeing all your cute awkward teenager pictures? Hell nah,” Stiles goes to click confirm and Derek grabs his wrist.

“Please, you have no idea what you’re getting into with her.”

Stiles laughs, turning to look at him and Derek realizes all of a sudden how close they are.

“You afraid she’s got lots of secrets to tell me?” Stiles says in a low voice.

“No,” Derek lets go of his wrist, pulls away quickly. “I’m afraid she’ll use you to spy on me.”

“Sounds nice,” Stiles says almost wistfully. “I don’t have any siblings.”

“You have half a dozen people that hardly ever leave your side.”

“’S’not the same.”

Fine,” Derek rolls his eyes, relenting at Stiles’ pitiful tone. “Be friends with her, what do I care? It’s not like the two of you will ever meet; it’s a pointless endeavor.”

“Yeah, that’s what you think.”

“You aren’t meeting her,” Derek huffs. “Because she’s never coming to visit.”

“She allergic to the West Coast?”

Derek is surprised because… yes, those were his sister’s exact words.

“She’s a New Yorker through and through.”

“You do seem like you were born in Connecticut.”

“Manhattan and fuck you, I know what that means, you know.”

Stiles shoots him an innocent look. “You do? Here I was thinking you were Amish.”

“Screw you.”

Stiles’ shoulder twitches and he focuses on his laptop, clicking away at a game of Bejeweled. “Yes, suck it, Martin. This is literally the only game I ever beat her at,” he informs Derek, still clicking away.

“She good with a lacrosse stick?”

“Better than you,” Stiles retorts. Derek hits him on the head with his geometry text book and heads for the library.

Erica asks what he’s smiling about and he feels his eyebrows twitch together in confusion. “I’m not smiling.”

“You aren’t now,” she says suspiciously. “But you were a second ago. You were using muscles in your jaw I haven’t seen move before.”

“Shut up, or I’ll get my iPod out and start playing Slipknot at an obscene volume.”

Erica scoffs. “Like you have anything other than Holst and Chopin on that thing.”

“You’d be surprised at my varied taste in music.”

“Don’t change the subject.”

“Too late, I’m not listening anymore,” he says firmly, splaying out his Statistics work on the table.

Erica insists he come with her and Boyd to see some terrible movie Derek wants to erase from his memory, but he appreciates their company. Boyd is quiet and thoughtful, lets Erica adlib throughout the whole movie, and Derek feels oddly comfortable with them both. They start kissing two thirds of the way in and Derek eats his popcorn, half watching the movie, half thinking about his probability assignment.

Stiles is drifting off when Derek gets in, but he rolls over and sleepily rubs at his eyes, asks where Derek’s been. When he says the movies, Stiles hums and demands a review. Derek tells him to read one in the paper and Stiles grins, still with his eyes closed and drifts off again.


Someone sets off fireworks from the roof of their hall and as punishment, because the RA can’t figure out who it was specifically, Derek’s entire floor is made to go and clear up the debris.

He can’t fucking believe he’s twenty two and picking up litter from the roof of his damn college.

“It was you; it was totally you, right?” Stiles whispers to Derek as they shove burnt up plastic into garbage bags.

Derek snorts. “Sure, in my spare time I like to pretend I’m a fifteen year old delinquent.”

“It would make so much sense,” Stiles says thoughtfully.

Derek glares at the smirk on his face. Kicks a stray piece of trash at him and Stiles yelps indignantly, dashes away from him.

“Stilinski,” Jackson calls from where he’s leaning against the wall of the roof, doing absolutely nothing to help. “You missed one.”

Stiles throws his bag at Jackson and they end up tussling on the gravel.

“Hate you, fucker.”

“I hate you right back.”

“God, just go have sex somewhere,” Danny mutters, making Scott laugh.

“He’s not my type.”

“I’m everybody’s type,” Jackson huffs in return.

“You’re gross, and you have cooties.”

“You’re disgusting and you don’t want my cooties you want D— ow, fuck, Stiles!

“Yeah, taste the pain, bitch.”

Isaac appears at the door to the roof and waves at Derek. “You need a hand?”

Derek shakes his head. “Nah, I’ll be down in a sec.”

He disappears, and Stiles pauses from where he has Jackson in a headlock to look at Derek. “You going somewhere?”

“Just to grab lunch,” Derek says shrugging.

“Can we come?”

“To lunch? In the cafeteria? I don’t know, you don’t totally look dressed for it,” Derek drawls, eyes flitting across Stiles’ pajama pants and vest.

Stiles rolls his eyes. “Whatever, man. It’s Sunday, I’m not getting dressed for no one.”

“You didn’t shower either, shit Stiles, you smell so bad!” Jackson squawks in his arms, Stiles barely moves with his friend’s attempts to break the lock. Derek’s not sure why he’s surprised to see Stiles is strong considering how much sport he plays, but he’s still a little bit impressed.

“No wonder you’re still single,” Jackson huffs out against Stiles’ thigh. “Oh no, wait, I know why—”

Stiles squeezes his arms tighter round Jackson’s head and he yells, thumping at Stiles’ side.

Derek leaves them to it.

They come down to lunch ten minutes later, red and sweating, Scott with tears of laughter in his eyes because they both almost fell off the roof and said some meaningful things to each by accident.

Derek frowns at Stiles who’s busy batting red dust off his arms. “Are you ok?”

“Totally, I’d be so much better if Scott would fucking delete the video already.”

“It’s cute,” Lydia says, handing Scott’s phone back to him. “I especially like the part where you both clutch at each other afterwards.”

“We almost died,” Stiles says defensively. “It was instinct.”

“Don’t talk to me for a week,” Jackson snaps, deliberately not looking at Stiles as he sits down with his tray.

“Aw boo, don’t be like that, not after everything we’ve been through,” Stiles tries to lean over and kiss Jackson’s cheek and Jackson grabs at his fork.

“I will put this in your eye if you don’t get away from me.”

They continue to bicker throughout the afternoon and Derek decides to escape back up to the roof. It’s quiet, and just a little windy; exactly the way he likes the weather. The sky looks dark and threatening, like it’s preparing for a storm, but not quite there yet. He sits with his back against the wall and reads forty eight pages of Chaucer before giving up and watching the clouds gather.

When he heads back downstairs Stiles is doing pull ups over the door.

“Yo, where’d you get to?”

“Went for a walk.”

“Huh.” He drops from the door frame, rubbing his hands on his shorts. “You’ve got red chalk on your ass,” he informs Derek before disappearing from the room.


Their hall hosts a Christmas ball and Stiles stands at the mirror, tongue sticking out in concentration as he attempts to do his tie.

Derek watches him struggle for a minute before Stiles catches his eye in the glass and raises an eyebrow. “Little help?”

“I’m fine watching you fail, to be honest.”

Stiles scowls and whips the whole tie at Derek’s leg. “Shit head. Please?”

Derek comes over from where he’s been leaning against the desk and tugs it round Stiles’ neck. “You never learn how?”

“I’m not really big on ties,” Stiles says faintly, eyes darting round the room, refusing to settle on Derek.

“It’s pretty simple,” Derek pulls the knot tight and claps him on the shoulder (he’s totally learning how to do that), smirking at him. “Then again, maybe it’s best you don’t try again, you might end up strangling yourself.”

“Funny,” Stiles chokes out before darting out from underneath Derek’s hand. “So, you excited to be going home?”

“A little.”

“I bet you’re looking forward to having nobody else taking up your space.”

Derek grins. “I won’t miss your snoring.”

“I do not—”

The door bursts open and Derek feels his affectionate smile die as Stiles’ group of friends clamor for his attention, dragging him out into the hall.

“Derek!” Stiles reappears and beckons at him. “Come on, we’re gonna be late.”

He follows, reluctantly, feels a little better as Allison slips her arm through his and tells him he looks nice. Derek pushes at his glasses nervously.

“Thanks. You look very beautiful,” he manages gruffly.

Allison laughs and looks like she wants to ruffle his hair.

Isaac greets him in the lobby, drags him over to his table to have an extremely awkward meet and greet with Matt, and then a less awkward one with Mac, the girl Isaac’s dating. Before Derek can get comfortable Stiles appears at the table.

“Yo, dude you coming to sit with us?”

“Yeah, of course,” he stands, aware of Isaac looking at him and he shoots him a questioning eyebrow. Isaac shrugs and waves a hand at them both, nodding to Stiles as he does so.

Stiles gives him a general how you doing? sort of smile and then guides Derek over to their loud, rambunctious table.

 Scott’s already digging into the after dinner mints, despite the fact they haven’t had starters yet; Lydia’s holding court looking beautiful in a long green gown and Danny and his date Evan? Ethan? Edwin? Derek can’t remember, are deep in discussion at the far end of the table.

Derek realizes Stiles is pretty much the only person at the table without a date besides himself. But, he didn’t ask anyone and had no interest in doing so. He doesn’t know why Stiles doesn’t, however. Stiles steers him into a seat next to him and flops down, tearing into his bread roll.

“Man, I am starving,” he declares with his mouth full.

Perhaps Derek does know why he’s dateless after all he thinks, watching with horrified fascination as Stiles manages to fit the rest of the roll in his mouth at once, and beam at Scott from across the table.

“You’re disgusting,” Danny says from beside Derek and Stiles laughs, completely unashamed.

“You just wish you had my gag reflex, dude.”

“Stiles!” Lydia chides from the top of the table.

Stiles shrugs. “I’m just saying.”

Derek doesn’t want to know. He doesn’t.

Jackson tosses a flask at him. “Don’t germ it up, stick some in your coke, or whatever child’s drink it is you have there.”

“I’m good, thanks.”

“Derek, it’s fucking Christmas, Jesus would want this.”

Derek hesitates; he’s never been the type to get wasted. He doesn’t like the way it blurs his mind, slows his thought process. Then again, one splash won’t hurt much.

He’s so wrong. And so drunk. He can feel Stiles casually leading him up to their room, his hand hot like a brand on Derek’s hip, slipping under his shirt. He squints at their door, grins at it for no reason other than that inside there is a bed with his name on it.

Stiles sighs and bashes his head against the door as Derek realizes he’s announced this out loud. “Yeah, there is.”

He hip checks the door open and pulls Derek inside.

“Can you manage your shoes?”

“I…” Derek peers down at his shoes. “I didn’t buy these.”

“You steal ‘em?” Stiles asks easily, bending in front of Derek to unlace them.

“I can do it,” Derek protests, batting Stiles’ hands away.

“Ok,” Stiles stands, smiling widely and pulls his phone out. “Say cheese.”

Derek glares at him from where he’s struggling with one of his shoes, loses his balance and topples off the bed.

“Dude!” Stiles leans over him, hands flying to his shoulders. “You ok? You dead?”

“Mmmf, I think I’ll sleep here,” Derek says, sighing contentedly as Stiles’ hands stroke down his arms.

“I don’t think that’s a good idea. You’d kill me in the morning if I let you.”

“Wouldn’t kill you,” Derek objects. “You’re not that annoying anymore.”

“Gee thanks,” Stiles says drily, heaving him to his feet and then nudging him back onto the bed. “I feel all warm and fuzzy inside.”

Derek hums, nuzzling into his pillow, feels Stiles tug his glasses off. “Me too,” he mutters before passing out completely.


He hides. He wakes up at six, (stupid fucking body not giving him a normal kind of hangover and insisting Derek not sleep it off), and flees to the library without waking Stiles. He has no idea what he said, or what he did, but he vaguely remembers Stiles taking off his shoes. He really hopes that’s all Derek took off in front of him.

He could do without the imagery of getting naked with Stiles.

He stamps down on the small part of his brain that points out he’d prefer to be able to remember the imagery of getting naked with Stiles and focuses on his book about Nash.

At noon a text from Stiles makes him jump out of his skin. He’s almost afraid to read it. When he finally opens it he shoots out of his chair, swearing.

There is a striking brunette that looks like u in r room asking 4 u.

He rushes back to the room, practically vaulting over where Allison and Scott are laid out on the floor holding hands, recovering in the hallway together and bursts in the door.


“Hey Derek,” Laura dimples at him from where she’s casually perched on his bed. “Nice place you got here.”

Stiles is grinning from his own bed, shirtless and looking a little worse for wear but he doesn’t seem like he’s preparing to run screaming from the room; Derek takes this as a win.

“What are you doing here?”

“Thought I’d come help you pack up for Christmas break.”

“You’ve never been that helpful in your life, what are you really doing here?”

Laura rolls her eyes dramatically. “Can’t a sister literally help a brother out?”


“I missed you?”


“Oh my god, this is so much fun,” Stiles breathes from behind them.

Laura twinkles at him and Derek moves so she can’t see Stiles. “Laura.”

Fine, Peter wants us to go spend Christmas with him in Miami and I thought we could lie and say you’re too busy with school and—”

“You came here just to make the lie more valid?!”

“It seemed like a good idea at the time! Do you really want to spend another Christmas with him and his army of barbies?”

Derek blanches. “No. But we can’t stay here.”

“You could come and stay with me, if you wanted,” Stiles interjects.

“We couldn’t possibly put you out like that,” Derek says quickly. “We’ll just get a hotel.”

“You’re from Cali, right?” Laura interrupts, staring at Stiles. “Not far from here.”

He shrugs. “Yeah, we got the space, too. Come on,” he glances at Derek. “It’ll be fun, I swear.”

Derek pinches the bridge of his nose. “Do you live in the same town as Jackson and Scott still?”

Stiles grins. “Yep.”

“Then no.”

“Dude!” Stiles laughs, getting to his feet. “It’ll be fine, besides my dad’ll love a busy house.”

“I’m sure he doesn’t want strangers interrupting his Christmas.”

“You’re not strangers,” Stiles says softly and Derek looks at him, startled.

“But—but Laura is,” he tries to protest weakly.

“Oh, baby brother,” Laura stands and leans over his shoulder to wink at Stiles. “Stiles and I are old friends now.”

“I knew I shouldn’t have let you accept that request on fucking Facebook,” he complains, stomping into the bathroom.

“Poor baby,” he hears Laura sigh loudly through the door.

“I know,” Stiles adds faux sympathetically. “All these people that want to spend time with him, I totally can’t understand it to be honest.”

“You are both the worst,” Derek snaps, slamming the shower door shut and drowning out their sniggering.


Stiles’ dad is nothing like Derek expected. For one thing when he ambles out of the Stilinski house when Laura and Derek pull into the drive he’s wearing a Sheriff’s uniform.

Derek quirks an eyebrow at Stiles over his shoulder and Stiles glares at him, draws a finger across his neck. Derek smirks.

“Hi there, Derek, I’ve heard a lot of good things about you.”

“You have?” Derek frowns and Laura rolls her eyes, hitting Derek on the arm.

“We’re so grateful to you having us over for the holidays, honestly, we don’t want to intrude and we’re totally happy to find somewhere—”

“Nonsense,” the Sheriff says easily, eyes still trained on Derek making him sweat just a little bit. “It’s nice to finally meet the infamous roommate who’s keeping Stiles on the right tracks.”

Derek snorts because he’s almost a hundred per cent sure it was Stiles and Scott who set those fireworks off last month but he doesn’t say anything, just smiles vaguely and tries not to look guilty of any crimes.

“Derek always gets nervous around officers of the law,” Laura informs the Sheriff. “He’s one of those good boys who worries if he gets a parking fine.”

“Sounds like my kind of man,” the sheriff says easily, clapping Derek on the shoulder and walking him back to the car. “You need a hand?”

“We haven’t got much.”

“We won’t be staying long,” Laura jumps in quickly. “We just needed a place to stay for a few days while our uh, our—”

“They’ve got a weird uncle, dad,” Stiles interrupts, coming out to the car and grabbing Derek’s bag. “I told you already, jeez,” he winks at Laura, Derek really wishes he’d stop doing that, it makes him look criminally offensive and he’s never bothered to wink at Derek before, and heads back to the house.

“He dangerous?” The Sheriff asks, looking concerned.

“No, god, no he won’t—he’s not after us or anything.”

“Laura doesn’t like his wife,” Derek says through gritted teeth, dying of embarrassment.

To his surprise the Sheriff throws back his head and laughs, waves them up the drive. “Well, go help Stiles with dinner and earn your keep. Stiles I’ll be back at eleven.”

“I’ll leave the light on,” Stiles yells from inside.

There are a lot of pictures of Stiles in the hallway. Some of them have a fair faced, sweet looking woman in as well and Derek pauses at them, gazes at photos of six year old Stiles eating mud.

“Oh, fuck don’t look,” Stiles says quickly, grabbing Derek’s wrist and yanking him further into the house. “Laura you got the guest room, Derek you got my room.”

“Don’t be dumb,” Derek chides. “I’ll just sleep on the couch, we’re already—”

“If you say intruding one more time, dude I swear to god.”

Derek clamps his mouth shut, but glares at him regardless. He still feels awkward being here, like he is intruding. But Laura looks happy, much more relaxed than she did two days ago, and Stiles and his father do seem ok with having them here. Before he can say anything else the backdoor swings open and Scott and Allison sail in holding hands.

“Of course,” Derek says, rolling his eyes.

Stiles knocks their shoulders together. “Don’t be a Grinch, they came to say hello to you, dumbass.”

“Why?” Derek asks in confusion.

“Because for some reason they think you’re cool. It beats me, too.”

Derek digs a finger into the back of Stiles’ neck making him squirm away, diving towards his friends. “Hey guys!”

Laura’s looking at Derek thoughtfully when he sits down on the couch next to her and he kinks an eyebrow. “What?”

“You’re so dumb,” she says finally, before jumping up to introduce herself to Scott and Allison.

It turns out Stiles is a surprisingly good cook. A talent he has so far kept from Derek whilst they’ve been at college, having seemingly lived on Ramen noodles and protein shakes. Derek watches in awe as Stiles tosses a stir fry with snap peas, peppers, fresh chicken pieces, and tomatoes.

“I honestly,” he scrunches up his nose. “Who are you? And what have you done with the real Stiles Stilinski?”

“Shut up,” Stiles says, jabbing him in the side and pulling the spatula out from where it’s been sitting between his teeth. “I’m a man of many talents.”

“Do any of them include actually being able to get up on time? Or not leaving your socks all over the floor?”

“Nope. But I do have this uncanny knack for making grumpy ass nerds laugh, and I can get Finstock to digress for an entire forty five minute lecture if I try hard enough.”

Derek watches him toss the stir fry onto three plates, yelling for Laura, feeling more than a little nonplussed.


Stiles drags them to the Whittemore’s annual Christmas party and Jackson is actually nice. Derek suspects he’s a little bit afraid of Laura. For Lydia and Laura it’s love at first sight and they’re joined at the hip the entire time the Hales stay with the Stilinskis. Derek voices his concerns about it when he and Stiles are studying some of Finstock’s class together on Christmas Eve.

“I would say don’t worry about it,” Stiles says, chewing on his pen. “But they are both pretty terrifying.”

“They could probably conquer the world,” Derek moans, resting his forehead on Stiles’ desk.

“Alright,” Stiles stands from the floor and grabs at Derek’s Henley. “Fuck work, man. Let’s go toss a ball around.”

“I told you, I’m shit at that kind of thing,” Derek says, letting himself be pulled to his feet regardless.

“It doesn’t matter, it’s just for fun.”

“Like you won’t get competitive and yell at me if I drop it?”

“Nah, I’ll relish it.”



They throw around an old football in the cold, dry December sunlight and Derek only hits himself in the face once. Stiles comes flying over, hands grabbing at his jaw to inspect the damage.

“Damn, you still got one ugly mug,” he murmurs as he absentmindedly runs his fingers over Derek’s cheekbone.

Derek shoves his hands away, glowering. “You’re funny.”

“So I’ve been told,” Stiles tips his head back and Derek follows the line of his neck, wondering what it tastes like. Then Stiles sticks his tongue out at the sky. “Dude, it’s totally snowing!”

Derek glances up and sees Stiles is right, small snowflakes floating down around them.

“Fucking yes, I haven’t been sledding in years.”

“Safer for everyone,” Derek mutters. Stiles hits him on the side without looking at him, face still scrunched up at the sky.

“My mom loved the snow.”

Derek searches for words for a moment, unsure of what’s an appropriate response. Stiles hasn’t mentioned his mom once while they were at school; then again Derek hasn’t brought up his parents. He supposes some hurts aren’t easy to drop into mindless conversations with people you don’t really know.

“My dad liked winter best,” he says eventually. “My mom liked it hot. My dad used to say she was a cat in another life, she was always finding the sun around the house and sitting in it.”

Stiles turns and smiles quietly at him, eyes understanding.

Derek shoves his hands into his hoodie and nods at the door. “Food?”

“When have I ever said no to that suggestion?”

Laura finds them snoozing together in a food coma on the couch when she comes in from shopping with Lydia and takes a photograph. She then puts it on Facebook.

It gets twenty six likes; Derek tries to hack into her account and delete the damn thing. Gives up when her password is even more impossible than his own.

Stiles seems oddly jumpy about it and avoids sitting next to Derek all through Christmas Day. In the evening the entire group descend on the Stilinski house, showering the Sheriff with presents. Derek goes to get a beer (he really needs one to get through Jackson’s description of the new porche he’s been given) and Stiles follows.

“Hey, stop!” Lydia yells. They both turn to look at her expectantly and she points upwards to where there’s Mistletoe hanging from the ceiling. “Cliché but so satisfying.”

Stiles is looking at anything but Derek and his face is slowly going pink. “Aw, come on you guys. Don’t be stupid.”

“Be a man, Stilinski,” Jackson says, rolling his eyes and going back to gazing at pictures of his car.

Derek glances nervously back at Stiles. “It’s ok, we don’t—”

“I just think it would be weird, you know, with Isaac?”

“Isaac.” Derek stares at him. “What.”

You and Isaac, dude. It’s totally cool with me,” Stiles rushes on as Derek’s head spins. “I mean, I’m bi, I’m totally all about the dudes but you know, monogamy is good too. And I wouldn’t want you to have to like, break that.”

Derek can feel his frown deepening. “You think I’m dating Isaac?”

Stiles’ eyes go wide. “You’re not?”

“No, dumbass. He’s dating Mac, from Lydia’s floor.”

“Stiles, oh honey,” Lydia tosses her hair over her shoulder and fixes Stiles with a judgmental stare. “Where have you been?”

“I just assumed! Like, you hang out with him a lot—”

“You hang out with Jackson a lot; does that mean you’re dating him?”

“Fuck no!”

Derek rolls his eyes, grabs Stiles’ shirt and presses a brief kiss to his mouth. “You’re a dumbass.”

“Huh.” Stiles leans into him for a second but then pulls away, heads to the fridge. “Huh,” he says again.

“Did I just make you speechless?”

“Fuck off, I’m processing.”

“Don’t hurt yourself.”

Stiles throws a can of soda at his head.

“It’s just a kiss,” Derek says, rolling his eyes as he makes his way back to the sofa.

Stiles bangs about in the fridge for a minute more before returning to sit next to him, shoving at Jackson’s face when Jackson makes kissy faces.


Begrudgingly, Laura and Derek go home to New York for the New Year. Stiles and the Sheriff insisted they could stay but Laura thanks them again, promises their uncle will be over his sudden urge to spread holiday joy, and that they’re safe to return to the city.

Derek and Stiles stand awkwardly on the front porch looking at each other and finally Stiles reels Derek in for a hug and claps him on the back.

“Don’t kill yourself studying, man.”

Do some studying,” Derek retorts.

Stiles grins, lifts his shoulders lazily. “Maybe I will, maybe I won’t—if I flunk out, you’ll have the room to yourself anyway.”

Derek looks at him for a second and then sighs. “I think I’d miss you, just a little.”

“Aw, shucks man,” Stiles scrubs a hand through his hair and then flaps both at Derek. “Have a safe trip.”

“Thanks again for having us.”

“Yeah, yeah, bye Laura!”

Bye Stiles,” Laura coos.

As soon as they’re out of the drive, Laura twists in her seat to squeeze Derek’s arm. Amazingly she’s kept quiet for two whole days about the kiss, but she’s clearly taking the fact they’re off the Stilinski’s property as permission to talk about it.

“Derek! You are such a motherfucking dense idiot.”

He frowns, checks his mirror in time to see Stiles lift his hand one more time before disappearing inside. “What? Why?”

“God, for the smartest person I’ve ever met, I swear to god you were born in a barn. That boy is crazy about you.”

“No, he’s not.”

“He wants to jump your bones, Derek. He talks about you all the time, he follows you around. He lights up when you walk in a room. And don’t even get me started on the way you are with him.”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” he says firmly, switching on the radio and turning up Keith Urban until he can’t hear her anymore.

“You—I— god, you’re impossible,” she yells, crossing her arms and glaring out of the window.

Honestly. She’s absolutely nuts if she thinks Stiles infamously cool, irritatingly friendly, loud mouthed Stilinski has feelings for Derek infamous nerd Hale.

Erica texts him on New Year’s day with a picture of herself and Boyd on top of the Eiffel Tower, and a giant sparkly diamond ring on her finger. She tells him the wedding will be at the end of the year and he has to dance.

He texts back congratulations and no.

She clatters into the library on their first day back, rolls her eyes at all the stressed out students trying to cram, and gets out The Red Tent. Derek’s reading The Fourth Hand; they share a conspiratorial grin. Studying the day before exams start is for the weak.

“All set?”

“I am going to own Bio Chemistry,” she sniffs. “Tell me you’re happy for me.”

“I am,” Derek says, frowning. “Even if you are very young.”

“I’m twenty one.”

“You are?”

“Yeah, Boyd’s in his third year.”

“Huh, why are you only a first year then?”

“Why are you?”

Derek huffs, closes his book carefully. “My parents died when I was seventeen, I sort of lost track of myself for a while. Laura got me back on the grid and, I came to college. Short version,” he adds.

Erica bites her lip. “That sucks.”

He’s relieved she doesn’t say she’s sorry; he never fucking knows what to say in return to that because he’s not grateful and it’s never ok. He does agree that it sucks, however.

“Yeah, you?”

“My dad left when I was sixteen, my mom spent my college fund on forgetting he ever existed. If it weren’t for Boyd I would never have to come to college at all. I’ve been with him since I was fifteen…” She pauses, eyes narrowing suddenly as he looks at him.  “Did you get laid over Christmas?”

Derek startles and feels his face heat up. “No.”

“You look different.”

“I’m not any different.”

“When was the last time you got laid?”


“Come on, share.”

“Last year.” He was drunk at his sister’s birthday party and he can’t remember the guy’s face, let alone his name.

“I got laid this morning,” she says primly.

“Good for you.”

“I’m just saying,” she leans across the desk. “Be happy. Life is short.”

“Thank you, Yoda.”

She sits back in a huff. “You’re impossible.”

Derek smiles widely back at her. “So I hear.”


“Derek,” Stiles prods him with a pencil.


“Derek, wake up.”


“Our econ exam is in like three hours.”

“I know,” Derek groans, pulling his pillow over his head. “I get ten more minutes.”

“Aren’t you nervous? I heard there was a question about unicorns on the last one, man. I’m fucking bricking it.”

“I know what I know,” Derek mumbles. “If you have a firm grasp of the syllabus, and you did some studying you’ll be fine. Did you do any more once I left?”

Stiles is silent and Derek lifts the pillow to look at him. He’s chewing on his bottom lip, hands drumming nervously on his thighs.

“I have severe problems focusing if something doesn’t compel me,” Stiles says finally.

Derek sighs, throws the comforter off and sits up just in time to see Stiles pointedly avert his eyes from where he was looking down at Derek. “What do you need to know that you don’t?”

Stiles waves his papers around. “Everything!”

He resigns himself to giving Stiles a flash course on econ 101; Finstock style. As it turns out, Stiles isn’t at all stupid, and when Derek asks him something he can vocalize his answer easily; he just sucks at translating it onto paper.

“Say it in your head first,” Derek suggests. “Get it all out before so you don’t lose yourself when you’re writing your answer in.”

Stiles is practically gnawing his fingernail off and Derek slaps his hand away from his face. “That won’t help you.”

“This is how I die,” Stiles moans. “Fucking Whittemore and his New Year’s Eve parties distracting me.”

Derek hasn’t looked at the pictures from the evening; isn’t sure if he wants to. He’s ninety per cent sure Stiles will have been photographed making out with someone.

He doesn’t care, honestly. They haven’t talked about it, greeted each other at the start of the week before falling under the lull of studying and Scott panicking about not spending enough time with Allison. Eventually Stiles had thrown him out; Derek could have kissed him in gratitude; then remembered the last time and flushed red and buried himself in math.

There aren’t any questions about unicorns on the paper. Finstock does delight in counting down their time dramatically, announcing when they have fifteen minutes, ten, then five before clanging a gong and yelling at them all to put their pencils down.

He tells Stiles he hopes studying didn’t interfere with his training for lacrosse and Stiles looks like he wants to lean across the desk and strangle him. Derek drags him to the nearest coffee vendor and makes him sit and drink a venti Americano. Stiles practically falls asleep on Derek’s shoulder, regardless of coffee intake and they stumble back to the dorm where Stiles sleeps for nearly twenty four hours and Derek messes around on The Sims.


Derek is rudely awoken by Danny and Jackson in their lacrosse uniforms, trying and failing to get Stiles up.

“Fuck off,” Stiles moans.

“Dude, the game is in an hour,” Danny says placidly as Jackson looks like he wants to start breaking things.

“I had a late night,” Stiles says weakly.

“You didn’t go anywhere.”

“We watched all the Star Wars movies.”

“You guys make me sick,” Jackson mutters.

Derek pulls his covers up over his head. Listens to them continue to bicker until Stiles gives in, staggers out of bed.

Jackson sits on Derek’s feet instead of the nearby desk chair and Derek kicks at him, aims for the kidneys.

“If you hurt him I will make it so that your body disappears like that,” Jackson whispers as Stiles bangs around in the bathroom.

Derek stills, pushes his pillow off his face. “What?” He glances up and sees Danny standing over him with his arms folded, his usually affable expression replaced with one of utter seriousness. When he looks back at Jackson he sees what has to be the sternest pair of eyebrows he’s ever seen.

“I—I have no idea what you’re talking about,” he says finally.

Jackson snorts and stands from the bed. “I told you he wasn’t ready to admit it.”

Danny sighs, shaking his head at Derek. “Don’t be a chicken shit, man.”

“It’s sort of difficult to be anything with the two of you threatening me in my own room,” Derek snaps.

“Pussy,” Jackson snarls before stalking out of the room.

Derek drops back onto the mattress, shuts his eyes until he hears Danny leave too.

When Stiles comes out of the bathroom he cracks one eye open to look at him. Stiles nods sleepily. “You gonna come watch?”

“Yeah,” Derek scrubs a hand over his face. “Yeah, I’ll be there.”

“Cool,” Stiles smiles dopily at him and then heads for the door; Derek tries not to find it adorable when he can’t pull it open, has to go for the handle twice.

Derek is fucked.

He stands with Isaac, Mac and Lydia, all wrapped in scarves and hats and tries not to have an internal crisis.

Isaac finds it hilarious that Stiles thought he and Derek were dating when Lydia tells him.

“Like I’d be able to put up with him for more than five minutes,” Isaac says teasingly.

Derek shoots half a glare at him, eyes fixed on number twenty four as a mass of bodies hit the floor for the hundredth time. Finstock’s screaming something from the sidelines and then throwing his clipboard at a bench.

“He’s too smart for you,” Mac’s saying from Isaac’s other side, ruffling his hair and winking at Derek.


Derek tunes them out, ignores Lydia’s knowing looks and focuses on the game. He’d never thought lacrosse to be an interesting sport before, still has no real interest in it, but Stiles is wearing shorts and Derek is stressed. This is his version of de-stressing he reasons with himself.


They get their results at the end of January, and Stiles gets ridiculously drunk in celebration of passing Finstock’s class; then has to get up for their nine am lecture. As if knowing half the class is hung-over and in pain, Finstock talks in a dull, toneless voice about pi for nearly an hour.

Derek’s convinced Finstock is the devil.

Stiles is half passed out on Derek’s desk, elbow slowly drifting across Derek’s notes and eventually he gives up trying to write, starts scrawling on Stiles’ arm instead. Stiles doesn’t notice, or doesn’t care and Derek amuses himself for a full five minutes drawing stick figures before Finstock materializes in front of them, grabs his pen without pausing and tosses it out the door. Derek’s never so much as had a tardy slip before. He sits totally frozen for the rest of the lecture, reprimanding himself for getting distracted. For allowing himself to be distracted by Stiles of all things.

Students sweep past him suddenly and Stiles contorts his body so he’s twisting round to look at Derek from his vantage point across Derek’s desk. “You die?”

Derek narrows his eyes at him. “No.”

“Seemed like you stopped breathing when he took your pen away,” Stiles sits up, rubbing at his face. He has a crease from where he’s been leaning on his tee, and Derek does not find it adorable. “I mean rebellious, dude, getting caught not paying attention in a lecture. I’m amazed you aren’t being thrown into the gates of hell right now.”

“Shut up,” Derek huffs, pulling his bag over his shoulder and accidentally on purpose hitting Stiles on the head with it as he does so.

“Don’t be shy, it’s cool. You’re a regular little lawbreaker.”

“I hate you,” Derek growls, stalking from the lecture room.

Stiles chases after him, laughing and throws an arm over his shoulder, waving Derek’s pen in the other one. “I’ma frame this, put a caption underneath that reads the day Derek was naughty in class. Your grandkids will gaze at it in awe.”

Derek tries to snatch the pen off him but Stiles dances away, heads for the weak February sunshine. “Come on you reckless soul you, I’ll buy you breakfast.”

“It’s ten thirty.”

“Brunch then. I’m thinking double cheese burgers, extra fries,” Stiles’ voice goes dreamy.

“I have no idea how you survive running up the stairs considering your diet.”

Stiles pats at his flat stomach proudly and Derek looks determinedly away. “Fast metabolism.”

“If one part of your anatomy is fast, it implies the rest is fast too, you know,” Derek warns as they walk across the quad.

Stiles howls with laughter and several students look up from the grass in surprise. Derek himself is staring at him incredulously.

“That wasn’t funny.”

“It was for you, dude,” Stiles says fondly.

Derek scowls and refuses to talk to him all the way to the McDonalds not far off campus.


“I’m telling you, man,” Stiles licks at the top of his ice cream and Derek tries to look at anything other than his fucking tongue swirling round and round. “’S’best time to eat them.”

Derek yanks on his scarf tightly, looks at his own ice cream. “Why again?”

“Don’t you feel a little bit naughty? It’s February, and we’re eating ice cream.”

Stiles swings his legs happily from the wall they’re sitting on and Derek smiles fondly down at his ice cream to prevent himself from doing something stupid.

“Oh, hey, the Zeta Psi’s are having a party on Friday, you wanna come?”

Derek snorts. “No, thanks.”

“They’re pretty cool, man. It could be fun?”

“I have enough frat boys in my life,” Derek manages, tweaking on Stiles’ cap so he almost falls off the wall.


“You should work on your balance.”

“Oh, I have balance; I am like a motherfucking cat.”

Derek finishes his ice cream and heads for the doors of the lecture theatre, eyebrows raised as Stiles stumbles after him.

“Oh shut up, it’s early!”

They take their seats and Derek notices a girl holding a heart balloon halfway up the auditorium.

“Aw, shit I forgot V-Day was today,” Stiles pulls out a sheet of paper just as Finstock’s marching into the room.

“Get that thing out of my sight,” he snaps at the girl. “Or I will step on it.”

Stiles shoves a note at Derek as Finstock does a roll call.

Roses are red, violets are blue. Will you suck my dick? So I can suck yours, too.

Derek barks out a laugh of surprise. “You can’t seriously give that to someone.”

“I—” Stiles stares at him looking incredulous. “I just did!

“It’s poetic,” Derek muses as Stiles sighs and buries his face in his hands.  “To the point, I suppose.”

“It’s meant to be!” Stiles says in a shrill voice through his fingers.

Derek frowns at the note. “Who’s it for?”

Before Stiles can reply, Finstock’s snatching the note off the desk and walking back to the front with it. He sits down at his desk and fixes Stiles with a look.

“Stilinski, see me at the end. Everyone else, today we’re going to take a look at why my lectures are about to become your worst nightmare.” He smiles nastily at them. “That is, if they aren’t already.”

Stiles bashes his head slowly against the desk before twisting to glare at Derek. “Are you doing this on purpose?”

Derek adjusts his glasses, already starting to scrawl notes. “Doing what on purpose?”

“Never mind,” Stiles sighs loudly. “If I’m still alive after class, I’ll see you at home.”

Derek’s hand slips on his pen and he coughs, straightens up in his chair, trying to refocus on Finstock. “Yeah, sure.”

He returns from lectures later on in the evening to find Lydia, Jackson, Scott, Allison and Stiles playing Monopoly. He stands in the doorway at a loss for words.

“Dude!” Stiles scrambles to his feet. “You want in?”

“I—Monopoly?” He tosses his bag on the bed, starts pulling off his sweater, mind on the shower.

Stiles makes a noise and promptly sits down again, sorting through his paper money vigorously.

“Lydia doesn’t believe in Valentine’s Day,” Allison supplies.

“It’s a ridiculous excuse for a holiday,” Lydia sniffs.

Derek agrees.

“I adopted a turtle for Allison,” Scott says looking proud. “We’re gonna go visit it next week.”

“I just got bile in my mouth,” Jackson complains.

Scott leans over and punches his shoulder. “Just because you’re jealous Lydia didn’t buy you a big bouquet of roses.”

Jackson sniffs. “I prefer Saffron Crocuses.”

“Derek, hurry up and shower,” Lydia interrupts briskly. “You can be the hat.”

“I have a lot of work to do,” Derek begins to protest but Lydia rolls her eyes and flaps her hands at him.

Derek feels oddly compelled to obey her, shoots a look at Stiles who gives him a quirk of a smile, before he ducks into the bathroom.

Jackson loses, badly. Derek has a sneaking suspicion Lydia and Stiles were working in silent cahoots to ensure it happened. Scott tries to give everyone his money to help bail them out of jail; and Allison takes the game much more seriously than Derek would have expected.

Stiles wins, however and stands and shimmies around the room in a victory dance. “Fuck yeah, undefeated champion.”

Lydia shuffles the money together as Jackson continues to fume, demanding they play again.

“Come on, be happy for your fellow man,” Stiles crows, jumping on Jackson’s back.

Jackson huffs and twists to push Stiles into the floor and they tussle for a minute before Scott starts hitting them both with a pillow.

“And you’re all eighteen,” Derek deadpans. “Eighteen.”

“Can you believe it?” Stiles asks, grinning at Derek from under Jackson’s arm.

“I really can’t.”

“At least some of us aren’t virgins anymore,” Jackson says with a smirk.

Stiles punches at his side and Jackson rolls away in surprise. “Bitch, I’m waiting till I get married,” Stiles says loftily.

“Very admirable, too,” Allison says with a nod.

When Derek looks up from folding up the game, Stiles is looking at him almost nervously. He smiles hesitantly and Stiles seems to melt in relief, re-attacking Jackson.

Danny comes through the door five minutes later and asks why Jackson and Stiles are so busy feeling each other up when they have other people they’d be much more keen to touch and they both break apart like they’re on fire.

Derek does like Danny.


Professor Deaton’s classes are by far the most challenging for Derek. He’s never struggled too much trying to keep with work. When he told Erica he went off the rails, he skipped the part where he just went to live in their parent’s cabin in the woods for six months. He didn’t flunk out of classes, or set fires, or date a lot of supermodels and drink away his parent’s inheritance. He just brooded and grew a beard (Laura’s summary, not Derek’s). But he never lost an interest in learning. He loves discovering new things, loves putting his brain to the test.

Deaton asks him to hang back at the end of a lecture one Thursday morning, fixes Derek with a look over his glasses and tells him he’s most impressed with Derek’s paper on Nash’s Non Cooperative Games. They discuss Derek furthering his academic career and Deaton suggests he attend the Math club generally available for third years, and above.

He’s aware that Jackson, possibly the rest of his what he would reluctantly call his friend group will tear him a new one for it but he agrees, enthusiastically. Deaton looks pleased, like he was testing Derek and he passed. He takes Derek upstairs in the math building to meet a couple of members who are in the common room, standing around a white board and they invite Derek to join them as they explore string theory.

There’s yet another party in mid flow when Derek falls into the dorm, exhausted but thrilled several hours later. He’s half sure he’s imagining things when he sees Stiles upside down, balancing precariously on one hand over a keg. He drops to a stand and punches the air as everyone cheers, before tripping over his feet and smacking into Derek.

“Derrrr! You made it.”

“I live here.”

“Where you been?”

“Math club.”

Stiles giggles into his hand and then ruffles Derek’s hair. “You are so smart, dude.”

“So are you,” Derek frowns. “When you’re not drinking like it’s the last day on earth.”

“If it were the last day on earth I’d be banging you up against a wall,” Stiles slurs.

“You already are,” Derek huffs as Stiles falls against him, knocks them against concrete. “Come on, you should sleep.”

Stiles is making pained faces at him, eyebrows twitching and mouth opening with no words coming out. Derek drags him along to their dorm room.

Someone yells, “Yeah, Stilinski, get it!”

Derek resists the urge to wring someone’s neck as Stiles flushes red and tries to protest.

Stiles totters into their room before promptly collapsing on Derek’s bed. “Ah, I knew yours was more comfortable than mine,” he sighs as he humps against the mattress a few times getting settled.

“They’re exactly the same,” Derek says as he pulls Stiles’ ever present cap off, nudges his feet with his knee until Stiles gets the hint and kicks his shoes off.

“Yeah, but yours smells better.”

“Because I do laundry.”

Stiles grins slowly, burying his face in Derek’s pillow and lets out a loud snore.

Derek spends an hour extremely uncomfortable, surrounded by eu de Stiles before dozing fitfully.  Stiles wakes him up, groaning from the bathroom at four in the morning.

“Alcohol should not be this painful,” he complains when Derek pads in to check on him.

“Maybe you should drink less,” Derek suggests.

Stiles gives him a watery scowl. “Thank you, Einstein,” he mumbles before retching into the toilet bowl.

Derek steels himself against the smell and goes to get him a bottle of water, comes back to Stiles almost passed out across the floor.

“Stiles, you have to get up.”

“I’m dying, Derek. Tell my dad I love him, tell everyone I love them, totally, love you.”

Derek rolls his eyes, gets his arms around Stiles’ armpits and drags him out of the bathroom.

“God, you look like you weigh less.”

“I’m lithe,” Stiles says sleepily. Derek dumps him unceremoniously back on the bed, and without thinking pushes Stiles’ hair back. Stiles hums. “’S’nice.”

“You should drink the water,” Derek says, voice hoarse as Stiles starts making contented noises, leaning into his hand.

Stiles opens his eyes and blinks at him in the darkness. “You don’t haffta look after me, you know. I don’t think I’ll die now.”

Derek pauses looking back at him. “Yeah, well, just in case. I really wouldn’t want to wake up to a body on the bathroom floor.”

Stiles gives him a soft smile, reaches out and grabs his hand, twines their fingers together. “Thanks.”

Derek can’t bring himself to let go until Stiles is fast asleep.


Erica finds him in the library one Friday morning and tugs on his arm. “I need your help.”

Derek finds himself being dragged from his table and out towards the bus stop without being able to object. Thirty minutes later he’s sitting on a silk couch, feeling ridiculously out of place and trying to avoid making eye contact with anyone.

Three women have asked him when the big day is.

“Are you paying attention?”

He tosses the bridal magazine he’d been reading for amusement purposes to the side and crosses his legs. “Come on out.”

Erica bustles out in a cream satin wedding dress and Derek feels his jaw drop.

“Well?” She turns to the side, examining herself in the mirror.

“You look amazing,” he says gruffly.

She smiles at him and her entire face softens with it. Then she turns back to the mirror and frowns. “But is it too hello welcome to my charity ball, please give me all your money while I pretend to be a good person?”

Derek scrunches up his nose. “Uh.”

“Let me try on the next one,” she says over him, picking up the dress to reveal high black lace up boots.

“You’re not wearing those with the dress are you?”

She scoffs. “You’re giving me fashion advice?” Erica points a finger at Derek’s checked shirt and jeans. “You look like you rolled off a farm. And for your information these are just to make me tall while I try on the dresses, fucker.”

“I don’t know how I ended up with so many people in my life that swear at me and call me names,” Derek comments mournfully as she disappears behind the curtain.

“Your karma for being born so pretty,” she yells as the dress drops to the floor and he hears something tear. “You didn’t hear that!”

“I’m not paying for it.”

She yanks back the curtain again in a stark white lacy number that clings.

“Are you getting married in a church?”

Erica smirks, cocking her hip. “Yes. Boyd’s family are far more religious than mine.”

“You can’t wear that.”


“Erica, you look beautiful, as I’m sure you’re aware but, that does not say bride.”

“That was the point,” she scowls. “I don’t want to look like some dressed up virgin off to be sacrificed.”

“Do you feel that way about getting married? I’m not sure—”

“I want to get married to Boyd,” Erica cuts in, sitting down on the couch  next to him. “Don’t get me wrong. I love him, he’s my family, my—” she looks cross at herself and waves a hand in the air. “All the crap you hear about in songs, ok? But I wouldn’t care if we put it on paper or wrote it in the sky. It’s me and him, for life. Boyd wants to do the whole traditional thing; I was just trying to add a twist to it.”

“Making it your own,” Derek says nodding.


Derek has absolutely no experience with weddings, or getting married, or bridal dresses, or possessing deep emotions for people other than annoyingly dimpled sisters and loud mouthed lacrosse players. Even then, he’s totally at a loss with how to show it, or what to do about it. Awkwardly, he pats Erica’s knee. “I think whatever you wear, you’ll look like you own it.”

Erica tips her head to the side and smiles at him. “Thanks for coming. I don’t really have many girl friends and obviously, Boyd can’t see the dress.”

“You didn’t really give me much a choice,” Derek points out with a smirk. “But you’re welcome.”

“Ok,” she pushes herself up. “I’ll show you my favorite.”

She makes him take the shoes and veil home with him ‘just in case Boyd sees the labels’ and Derek feels extremely foolish lugging pink glossy bags into the dorm.

Jackson and Danny are lingering outside of Scott’s room and Derek points warningly at them. “Don’t even—”

“Finally decided to make an honest man out of Stiles?”

“Fuck off, Jackson. I know about your moisturizing routine.”

Jackson claps a hand to his cheek and then glowers. “There’s nothing to be ashamed of, good skin is important. Not that you’d know seeing as you cover half your face in scruff.”

“At least I can grow it in the first place.”

He’s relieved to see the room is empty, is less relieved when Stiles bursts in half an hour later dirty and sweating from basketball with Scott, and his eyes immediately land on the bags.

“What the hell?”

“Uh, I can explain?”

“Dude, I totally one hundred per cent support any decisions you’re making.”

“They’re not for me,” Derek snaps, feeling his face heat up.

“Oh, cool.” Stiles tosses the basketball at him and Derek catches it triumphantly. “Oh my god, you look like a pleased puppy,” Stiles says fondly, bouncing as he sits down on the bed. “Fuckkk, dude, my back. I need a fucking massage.”

“I’m sure Jackson would leap at the chance.”

“Ha. I had someone else in mind,” Stiles groans, rolling under the covers.

“You complain about your bed smelling and yet, here you are gross and sweaty and getting into bed.”

“I’m tired,” Stiles whines. “Carry me to the bathroom?”

He strips off his shirt, still lying down and Derek has the sudden urge to go for a walk.  

“I’m just—gonna—”

“No! You’re supposed to be carrying me to the bathroom, Derek! Get back here!”

Derek slams the door behind him, leans against it.

He will not be reduced to a quivering mess over the sight of Stiles undressing.


Stiles is on the phone when Derek gets in from the gym. He tends to go late at night when most people are out, or have given up even attempting to be productive. The gym is quiet and no one tries to make small talk, or gives him strange looks.

“Ok, yeah, you too,” Stiles waves at Derek as he ends the conversation. He sighs and stares at his phone for a moment looking pensive.

Derek throws a towel round his shoulders, sits on the desk chair to look at him. “You ok?”

Stiles shrugs, scratches at the back of his neck. “Yeah, I just… miss my dad,” he gives Derek a weak smile and Derek nods in understanding.

“He sound ok, though?”

“Oh, yeah, he’s got a lady friend that keeps bringing him pies and trynna look after him,” Stiles wiggles his eyebrows and then looks down at his knees, picking at a loose thread on his shorts. “It’s just… It was me and him for a long time, you know?”

“Yeah, I do.”

Stiles looks up at him thoughtfully. “You and Laura?”

“For a while, after my parents died, I sort of wasn’t around much. And then she came and dragged me home and we lived in the living room of her apartment. I read a lot. But it was safe, quiet. Gave me time to…. to grieve I guess. But, yeah it was just me and her for years after.”

“Is it weird not being around her all the time?”

Derek snorts. “How do you feel when you don’t talk to Scott every day?”

“Dude, that’s never happened. Guy is like a barnacle.” His eyes widen and he grins. “Point taken.”

“It’s not like she was my only friend,” Derek begins, scowling when Stiles chuckles. “But she doesn’t care that I’m, you know,” he makes an aborted move with his hand. “Awkward. Maybe it’s stupid that my sister is my best friend but, I can be myself around her.”

“No, I get it,” Stiles says seriously. “My dad and Scott are like… the only people that really get me, you know? Like, they don’t care that I never shut up, or that I say whatever I’m thinking; they just roll with it.”

“Laura calls me a nerd.”

“You are,” Stiles says fondly. “But that’s a good thing.”

“It is?”

“Dude, being wicked smart and working hard, means you’re going places.” Stiles drops back on his pillows, squinting at him. “Don’t forget me when you win the Fields Medal,” he snaps his fingers. “You have to thank me in your speech! Cos I totally believed in you from way back when.”

Derek shakes his head, smiling softly. “I’m not gonna win any prizes; but thanks for the vote of confidence.”

“What are you going to do?” Stiles asks, looking up at him, genuine curiosity in his eyes.

“I have no idea,” Derek spins slightly in the chair, shrugs. “Something with numbers. I’ll probably end up as an accountant.”

“You definitely need to marry someone interesting then, otherwise you’ll die of boredom by the time you’re thirty.”

Derek stands, whipping at Stiles with his towel. “Thanks.”

“Nah, dude I’m serious. Accounting? You could do anything. If you could, what would you do?”

“What would you do?” Derek counters.

“Play lacrosse professionally.”

“Does that pay much?”

Stiles grins up at the ceiling. “Nope, but it’s what I love.”

Derek heads for the bathroom and grabs his toothbrush, leaning back round the door. “What are you actually going to do with your degree?”

“Shit, Derek man it’s my second semester of first year, don’t freak me out!”

Derek flashes his teeth round his toothbrush and Stiles throws a pillow at his head.


“Fucking die!”

“You die, I’m fine right here, kicking your ass.”

“Oh, it is on, bitch.”

Stiles jabs a sharp elbow in Derek’s side, making his hands slip and he drops his controller briefly. Stiles’ character kicks Derek’s head off and he jumps up on the bed.


“You cheated,” Derek huffs. “It doesn’t count at all.”

Stiles glances at Danny who’s ‘working’ but is, in actuality, editing Wikipedia entries.

“Learn to fight dirty, man,” he says without looking up from his laptop. “Or he’ll beat you every time.”

“That’s not fair!” Derek says incredulously.

Stiles bursts into peals of laughter and collapses beside him again, nudging their shoulders together. “You’re so cute.”

“Am not,” Derek protests indignantly.

“You are,” Stiles continues, setting up the game again. “Like a marshmallow.”

“How are marshmallows cute?”

“They’re all soft and squidgy and pink.”

“Squidgy? Pink?”

“Jesus,” Danny mutters. “Your foreplay needs work, guys.”

Stiles’ fingers fumble on his own controller and he jabs at it needlessly a few times to get the game going again. “Shut up. You’ve just got your panties in a twist because Jackson sexiled you.”

“At least I got to room with my best friend,” Danny replies loftily.

“Derek and I are best friends,” Stiles says airily. “He gets my shit. He’s my marshmallow.”

“I’m still not cute,” Derek huffs, trying not to feel warm inside at how easily Stiles refers to them as friends.

“You are,” Stiles mutters, hacking at Derek’s character with a sword. “And you suck at this.”

You suck,” Derek retorts, learning he can jump and kick at the same time and catching Stiles’ player in the head.

“He would if you asked,” Danny mumbles into his laptop.

Derek’s character dies swiftly and suddenly as he startles, glances at Danny, and Stiles starts cheering again. His face is bright red but when he gets up to go the bathroom he punches Danny on the shoulder, hard.

Danny glowers at his retreating back, rubbing at his shoulder before giving Derek a pointed look.

“Your weird UST is starting to get ripe, man.”

“Shut up,” Derek says shortly, restarting the game to practice.

Danny sits down next to him, grabs Stiles’ abandoned controller. “If I teach you how to beat him in three moves will you please, please do something about it?”

“I don’t know what—”

“I’m talking about, yeah.” Danny assaults Derek’s character with vigorous force. “’Cept that you do, and you’re a shitty liar.”

“How about this,” Derek chops Danny’s arm off, aims for his head again. “I kill you in the game, and don’t kill you for real?”

“Your smack talk is getting so much better,” Stiles says fondly, reappearing from the bathroom and lying across Derek’s bed as his is taken.

“Taught by the best,” Derek says absently, missing the way Stiles bites his lip looking pleased, trying to fend off Danny’s endless jump kicks. “Stop kicking me!”

Stop kicking me,” Danny mimics. “Yeah, cry Hale, cry a river. Take it, take it, just like that.”

“I really hope that’s the only time you say shit like that,” Stiles muses, flicking through one of Derek’s textbooks.

“Fuck you.”

“You’re not my type,” Stiles sings cheerfully, popping the cap on a highlighter with his teeth.

“I know,” Danny says drily.

“Stiles,” Derek cuts a glance at him. “You better not be writing anything inappropriate in those.”

Stiles blinks up at him, wide eyed. “I would never.”

“I have to give those back at the end of the year,” Derek cries. “Shit, Danny, stop—”

Danny lands a blow to his character’s chest and he hits a fence, falls to the floor and dies. “Yes!” Danny jumps up and holds up a hand for Stiles to high five in celebration. They both turn to grin at him. “You are literally the worst at this,” Danny says smirking.

“Again,” Derek insists. “I can win this.”

“We could call Scott,” Danny says ponderingly. “He kinda sucks at this one.”

“Naw, Scott’s still better,” Stiles says, grinning down at Derek’s textbook.

Derek comes over and sees he’s highlighted random letters all down the page. “Stiles!”

“What?! It’s a nice message for you when you’re feeling sad.”

He snaps the book shut and smiles up at Derek. Derek looks down at him, his eyes so fucking affectionate and his eyelashes all long, ridiculous fluttery things when he blinks; it makes him irresistible.

Danny clears his throat and Derek snaps to, realizes they’ve been staring at each other for way too long to be considered normal.

“Lunch,” he growls out. “Before you graffiti any of my library books.”

“Heaven forbid,” Stiles teases. Derek narrowly avoids smacking his ass as he dances out of the room in front of him. He ignores the suffering look Danny gives him as they head downstairs.

When he flips his textbook open later, Stiles fast asleep, hand curled round the sheet and face all kinds of sweet and belying the evil underneath, Derek glances back over the all the yellow highlighted letters. His heart thuds against his rib cage as he reads them over and over again, makes sense of them in a sentence.

I l i k e y o u l o s e r

He traces his fingers over the letters and then shuts the book, drops his head against the wall.

So, he knows what everyone’s talking about.


The problem with having to associate with a lot of sociable people is that they’re always wanting him to do things. Isaac sits on Derek’s bed the next evening and begs Derek to come out. He and Mac are on some sort of break—Derek’s not totally sure about the details, Isaac keeps clamming up about it—and he wants to go out and forget his troubles.

“Please,” he widens his big blue eyes at Derek and Derek sighs, glares at him.

“Fine, an hour, tops.”

Isaac jumps on the bed briefly. “Yes! I bet you’re a hilarious drunk.”

“Who’s a drunk?” Stiles asks, sailing into the room. Derek feels his heart beat pick up, smiles stupidly at him, and then looks away wondering what the hell he’s doing. He’s so fucking awkward.

“Derek’s gonna be,” Isaac says excitedly. “We’re going out, and we’re gonna get fucked.”

Stiles’ folders clatter to the floor and he drops to his knees, muttering to himself.

Isaac sways on the bed and Derek lunges out a hand, tugs him back to a seating position.

“You’ll break the springs.”

“I can’t believe you haven’t already,” Isaac says pointedly as Stiles stretches up to grab his lacrosse helmet off the shelf and his shirt rises up, hipbones calling out to Derek to be licked.

He elbows Isaac in the solar plexus, tells him to get out and go get ready.

Stiles fidgets with his helmet, not looking directly at Isaac and as he passes Isaac mutters something in his ear that makes Stiles’ face go red.

Isaac winks at Derek and exits. Stiles looks like he’s trying to make himself invisible.

“You ok?”

“Yeah, uh,” Stiles clears his throat and waves his helmet around. “We have practice but I think we’ll be out later, too. So, see you there?”

“Sure,” Derek groans and flops down on his own bed. “I don’t even know what to wear to a club here.”

“You must have been to clubs back home, right?”

“Well, yeah but…” Derek trails off and Stiles snaps his fingers in delight.

“Oh my god, Laura told you what to wear didn’t she?”

“No,” Derek scoffs but Stiles is already laughing, clutching his sides.

“I hope you trip at practice,” Derek says scowling at him.

“Ah,” Stiles wipes his eyes. “Just wear what you’ve got on, dude. You’ll be fine.”

Derek frowns down at his clothes. “Erica said I looked like I was a farmer in these.”

Stiles rakes his eyes across Derek’s chest and then slowly lifts them to meet his gaze. “You’ll be fine,” he says again, voice cracking slightly as he heads for the door. “See you later.”

Derek wants to speak, wants to say he read Stiles’ message and he really, really likes Stiles, too. But he snaps his mouth shut as the door closes. He’s not sure Stiles even meant it like that anyway.

Smash is everything Derek expected; it’s loud; the music is terrible; and there are scantily dressed people everywhere trying to look like they don’t want to go home with each other when they really, really do. Isaac buys them both something green in a shot glass with fake ID and Derek laughs at his picture. He looks like a lunatic.

“Shut up, I had to make myself look older,” Isaac grumbles.

“Just grow a beard,” Derek says with a grin.

Isaac shoves at his glasses, buys them more shots, and then demands they dance. Derek laughs in his face.

“Why don’t you go ask someone else to dance?”

“They all want you to dance, man. I’m pretty sure there’s a girl at the bar who’d climb over my dead body to get a chance to get up on you.”

Derek hums, uninterested and shoves at Isaac’s shoulder. “Go, dance, I’ll be fine.”


He jerks in surprise and turns to see Lydia smiling at him. Isaac whistles admiringly and Lydia tosses her hair. “Thank you. Are you boys having a good time?”

“Derek won’t dance,” Isaac informs her.

Derek tries to glower at him just as Lydia takes his arm. “Well, that won’t do at all. Come on, Hale, show me what you’ve got.”

“No, I really don’t—”

She pulls him out onto the dance floor, putting his hands on her waist and swaying to the music. Derek stands, still as a statue in front of her and Lydia rolls her eyes, the effect is emphasized with the huge amounts of kohl she’s wearing. “Derek, relax.”

“Impossible, when Jackson’s doubtless around here somewhere glaring daggers at my back,” he yells over the music.

Lydia laughs, tugs at his cheek. “Honey, no one thinks you’re interested in me.”

Derek’s about to object, protest, anything, when his eye catches on movement at the bar. He sees Stiles and everything just, floods over him. He watches as Stiles does a shot, lets Scott wrap his arms around him from behind and smack a kiss on his cheek, his face bright and happy. He’s wearing a plain white t-shirt and grey jeans, the muscles in his arms flex as he leans over the bar to grab at something, his smile a flash in the dark, eyes dancing as he laughs. He looks so fucking hot Derek wonders if he’s hallucinating.

“I—” he ducks his head and Lydia pats his arm.

“I think he’s just waiting on you,” she says loudly.

“Yeah, I didn’t believe you.”

Lydia laughs. “You’re dumb for someone with your IQ. He thinks you hung the moon.”

Derek hesitates and then glances over her shoulder just in time to see a girl lean up to touch Stiles’ cheek, pull him down to say something in his ear and then he’s smiling down at her and she’s leaning forward and kissing him.

Derek sort of feels like his stomach drops through the floor.

“Yeah, I don’t think that’s totally accurate,” he snaps before pulling away from Lydia, ducking towards the exit. He can hear her saying his name over the music for a moment before it’s buried under the baseline.

Erica does not look pleased when she opens her door and sees him standing in the corridor. She must see something in his face, however as she lets him in without a snarky comment. He pushes off his shoes and falls flat across the bed.

“So, you look like you got punched in the throat,” she says quietly, perching beside him.

He rolls over, staring at the ceiling. “I didn’t want a roommate like Stiles.”

She hums, picking at a thread on his shirt, wordlessly letting him know she’s listening.

“He was so fucking annoying, Erica. He never shut up and he was always trying to make me do things, and talking to me, and making me laugh and just—”

“Getting under your skin?”

He digs the heels of his palms into his eyes. “Yeah,” he chokes out. “Yeah.”

“Sort of happens when you least expect it.”

“It shouldn’t have happened at all,” he says crossly, angry at himself, at Stiles, at everyone who even made him think there was even the slightest chance.

Erica is quiet for a moment, tracing patterns on the duvet next to Derek’s head. “You know,” she says finally. “When Boyd left for college I tried to break up with him.”

Derek moves his head to look at her and she laughs, tips her head back briefly.

“I was scared. I was the pasty sixteen year old with chicken legs and a weird obsession with making things blow up. I thought he’d go to college and see all this stuff he’d been missing out on, find someone more suited to him that didn’t still go to high school. And he told me to cut the crap, that I was an idiot and that he loved me,” she shrugs. “When you know, I guess, you don’t stop knowing it, even if you’re scared of it. Does that make sense?”

“Yeah,” Derek resumes staring at the ceiling. “I fucking hate it.”

“Oh, Derek,” Erica scratches at his scalp before flicking off the lamp and shuffling onto the bed beside him. “No one said college was easy.”

“Where did you even get all your dumbass quotes about college from? You don’t like people.”

Erica hits him in the side. “What happened?” she asks quietly when they don’t speak for a minute.

Derek groans, rubs at his face and tosses his glasses on the bedside table. “I just… missed my moment,” he says after a second.

“There’s no such thing as one moment, Derek.”

“Wise words.”

“Do you want to sleep on the floor?”

“No,” he shoots out a hand and wraps his fingers round her wrist briefly. “Thanks, for this.”

“Whatever,” she yawns, reaches out a hand of her own to pat him on the head. “Bring him to my wedding.”

Derek snorts. “He dances like a lunatic,” he hates how fond his voice sounds, feels a lump in his throat.

“Just right for you then,” Erica says sleepily.

“But, he’s not—he’s all kinds of wrong for me, Erica. But he was—I thought he—, it doesn’t matter now anyway.”

Erica sighs loudly. “You know, Boyd goes to church every week, and I don’t believe in anything like that. He drinks skimmed milk and I like full fat. I don’t like Friends, never saw the appeal, but he watches it every night when he’s at his place. He likes sleeping with the heating on, and I hate being too hot in bed.”


“I can’t stand football, Derek, it’s stupid and moronic and endless hours of chasing after a ball. But I go to every single one of his games; I know all of his team mate’s names and what their stats are. I like Stevie Nicks, and he won’t stay in the room if I play her. But he took me to see her on tour last year. It doesn’t matter if you’re different. It doesn’t matter if you have nothing in common on paper. If you like someone, if you like them so much you feel so fucked up about it you’re coming to talk it out at three in the morning... If that person makes you happy, that’s all that matters in the end.”

Derek swallows, squeezes her hand.

“I didn’t learn that at college or in a book either.”

He huffs a laugh, noses into her pillow and misses Stiles’ shuffling, his constant moving around and rustling of the sheets from across the room.

“I knew you liked them mouthy,” she says suddenly. “You don’t find abrasive attractive my ass.”

“He’s not abrasive,” Derek retorts. “He’s just—a lot of things I should find wildly unappealing but don’t. He’s all smiley and loud, annoyingly loud and cheerful and so fucking enthralling.”

“I can’t wait to meet him,” Erica says firmly, like she believes somehow this is going to work out in Derek’s favor. “Now shut the fuck up and go to sleep.”

Strangely, despite the hollow feeling in his chest, Derek does.  


“Man, you look like shit,” Boyd plants his bag down on Derek’s table in the morning and Derek narrows his eyes at him.


“I got a call earlier, you know,” Boyd slides into the chair next to him. “Something about a handsome gentleman caller my fiancé got last night that wasn’t me.”

Derek smirks. “You worried?”

“Nah, you’re not her type.” Boyd rubs a hand over his head and glances at Derek. “You alright?”

“Fine,” Derek says shortly, aware he’s barely written a word in the hour he’s been here.

“You wanna hug it out?”

Derek snorts, flicks his pen at Boyd and Boyd grins. “I’m just sayin’, we can talk, if you want. You don’t really seem like the type to pour your heart out but, if you want.”

“I’m fine, seriously,” Derek adds through gritted teeth.

“Man, Erica’s worried about you.”

“It’s really, really fine; I’m just re-adjusting to some stuff.”

Boyd nods, sits back looking thoughtful. “You getting much work done?”

Derek shakes his head, pushes his books away.

“You wanna go for a run?”

He looks across at Boyd in surprise. “Now?”

“Yeah, your place isn’t far from here, right?”

Derek hesitates, he really doesn’t want to go back to his room right now. But the idea of going for a run, leaving everything behind for just a few hours is appealing.

“Yeah, yeah that sounds good.”

Boyd huffs a laugh as they make their way through the dorm. “I can’t believe I lived here for a whole year, shit this place is nasty.”

As if to prove his point, Scott topples out of his room, shirtless and panicked. “Dude! Have you seen Stiles? He’s been looking for you.”

“No,” Derek frowns. “I stayed at a friend’s last night.”

“Well, he wants to talk to you,” Scott yells as he runs out of the doors. “I’m late for work, see you later!” Then he’s grinning and waving and almost throwing himself into the wall.

“You got yourself a puppy,” Boyd says smirking. Derek punches him on the arm and they head up the stairs.

He has to take a breath before he opens the door to his room, but he can feel Boyd behind him, a strangely comforting presence and before he can turn the handle the door swings wide.

“…So call me back, ok? Kinda worried—Derek!” Stiles hangs up his phone and throws his arms around him.

Derek freezes, hands stuck to his sides until Stiles lets go. “I just left you a message,” Stiles pulls back, smile sliding off his face when he sees Derek’s expression. “You ok?”

“Fine,” Derek says shortly. “I just came to get some stuff to go running.”

“You off up a mountain?”

He bites on the inside of his cheek. “Yeah, something like that.”

“Hey man,” Stiles lifts his chin at Boyd and Boyd nods in return. “I gotta jet but I’ll catch you later?”


Stiles hesitates, a puzzled look on his face before he bobs his head, claps his hands together. “Ok, so… see you.”

Boyd watches him leave, and then turns back to Derek. “Seriously?”


“You have any idea how obvious he is? Or are you dense as cement?”

“Shut up,” Derek huffs, throwing on a tee and grabbing his sweats.

When he looks up again Boyd is shaking his head, staring at Stiles’ mural of photographs that has slowly been growing beside the bed. “You look like you wanna kill the person taking all these photographs, and yet—they still haven’t given up.” He raises a pointed eyebrow at Derek. “What’s up with that?”

“It’s not like that, and what do you know? You’ve been with the same person since you were seventeen.”

“Hey, man I’m not saying it’s easy. I got lucky. But, man this kid’s wall is like a shrine to your grumpy face.”

Derek squints up at the pictures, surprised to see so many of himself. He’s never really looked at it before, not needing to see photos of Scott grinding against a bed, or Jackson throwing up in his own car. There are more pictures of him than he expected; most of them where he’s not even looking at the camera, one of them where he looks decidedly drunk.

“I thought I dreamed him taking that one.”

Boyd snorts. “You make a very pretty drunk.”

“Fuck off.”

They run. They don’t talk much, pausing for breath rarely over the course of an hour or so before Boyd gives up, collapses on a bench. “You really don’t wanna try out for the football team next season?”

Derek laughs. “I can’t see five feet in front of me without my glasses; how the fuck would I catch a ball?”

Boyd shrugs. “There’s these things called contacts? Adapt.”

“They hurt my eyes.”

“We all get growing pains, man.”

“Nice attempt at subtext.”

“You can tell how much thought I put into these things.”

“You and Erica are well suited.”



It is decidedly awkward the entire lead up to spring break. Derek avoids his room like the plague; lives in Erica or Isaac’s room until they kick him out, and then tries to sleep in the library. Stiles seems surprised and confused at first, before dropping into hurt and starts to actively avoid Derek back.

For the break itself, Stiles and Scott are going on a road trip Stiles had started talking excitedly about back in January. Derek aches for simpler times.  

He thumbs through one of his books as Stiles packs up, huffing and glaring at Derek every once in a while. Scott bangs on the door and tells Stiles they’re ready and Stiles fiddles with his sunglasses, blurts out that he’ll miss Derek, though he has no idea why right now, and then flees the room.

Derek lets out a breath he didn’t realize he was holding before Stiles suddenly bursts back into the room. “No, I can’t do this.”

Derek almost falls out of his chair in his haste to stand. “What are you—”

“Dude, shut the fuck up with the whole awkward denial shit, ok? I’m sorry that you’ve decided to hate me but I don’t wanna go on a trip I’ve been looking forward to for months with this giant black, Derek cloud hovering over my head the entire time!”

“I’m sorry I’m such an inconvenience to your life, Stiles,” Derek says icily.

Stiles’ cheeks spot with color and he balls his hands up. “What the fuck is your problem? I thought we’d got past the whole you being an absolute dickhead part and were—”

“We didn’t,” Derek cuts in. “I’m still a dickhead, and you should get out of my face about it because this is who I am, deal with it.”

“Deal with it? Dude, I spent weeks trying not to step on your toes, trying to change the way I was to make you feel more comfortable. I already dealt with it! I know who you are, alright? And I didn’t give a shit. I haven’t done anything to you, for fuck’s sake, it’s like trying to live with a robot sometimes!”

That one stings, Derek lurches back like Stiles has punched him before clenching his jaw, glaring at him. “Well maybe over the break I’ll move out and you can live with one of your asshole jock friends that you have everything in common with, and you won’t ever have to associate with a robot again!”

Stiles’ mouth falls open, rage flitting across his face before settling into something harder. “Fine, you do that. We’ve clearly been on the wrong page about everything since day fucking one anyway.”

When he slams the door again it feels final and Derek flinches, stands in the middle of the room for a long time.

It feels empty without Stiles. No one’s bugging him to play video games, or to watch shitty horror movies, no one’s throwing paper airplanes at him, no one’s talking to him like he’s a normal human being and not a strange, socially awkward person that likes his books.

Derek has to resist the urge to put Placebo on and hide under the covers. He gives in, late in the evening when he listens to the rambling voicemail Stiles left him the weekend he stayed at Erica’s, voice filled with concern and trying for casual. He pulls the duvet up over his head and fucking wallows.

He gets a text from Laura asking why Stiles is facebooking her and calling him a stubborn bastard, ignores it, turns up Follow The Cops Back Home, prepares to brood for the evening when the door opens. For a split second his heart jumps to his throat and then he sees Lydia and Isaac at the entrance.

“Oh, Derek,” Lydia says, voice filled with disgust. “What on earth are you doing?”

“Go away.”

“Dude,” Isaac makes himself comfortable on Stiles’ bed; Derek wants to tell him to get off, to not touch. “I think we need an intervention.”

“For what?”

“Apparently, there’s been a misunderstanding,” Lydia says briskly, taking a seat at the desk. She shoots a look at Isaac and Isaac nods.

Derek stares between them. “When did you two bond?” he asks in a horrified voice.

“Last week, after you abandoned me in Smash.”

“I had my reasons,” he says sulkily. “And go away, jesus, how many times do I need to say it? I have work to do.”

“You look like you’re getting so much done,” Lydia snaps, flicking at his laptop and turning Placebo off. “Honestly, are you fifteen?”

“They’re classic.”

“So I’ve heard,” Lydia says as she rolls her eyes. “When Stiles defended them to me, on your behalf at Christmas.”

“We’re not talking about Stiles,” he says firmly. “And I’m moving out, so you really don’t need to pretend to be my friend anymore.”

To his shock, Lydia leaps from her chair and cuffs him round the head. “You are such an idiot. I thought Jackson was exaggerating but for once, he’s absolutely right.”

Isaac’s sniggering at Derek’s facial expression and then quickly tries to smooth it into something serious when Derek glares at him.

“What is with you people and being rude to me?”

“That’s what friends do,” Lydia sniffs. “Unless of course I’m actually being mean to you, but trust me, you’d know it.”

“Then what do you call this?” he growls, losing his patience.

Lydia tilts her head to one side. “How to train your Derek; a guide. Rule one, tread lightly where his education is concerned; he cares a lot about it. Rule two, if you make him laugh don’t make a big deal about it or he’ll stop and rule three,” she bends close and grabs his chin. “Don’t let him mope in his own bullshit because he thinks things that aren’t true.”

“He also knows nothing about sports,” Isaac pipes in. “But that’s further down the list.”

“Beneath the big rule,” Lydia says, smiling widely like she’s enjoying herself. “The one about him caring lots for people and not knowing how to show it.”

Derek jerks his chin back. “Does this have a point?”

“My point,” Lydia says, looking suddenly very scary up close. “Is that you seem to think you’ve been wronged, which you haven’t. Even if Stiles had been kissing someone else,” Derek starts to object, he has no idea what she’s talking about—“You haven’t manned up and told him how you feel and therefore, have no right to be irritated and mopey… and rude. And generally—”

Isaac clears his throat and Lydia rolls her eyes. “But, as luck would have it for you, he didn’t. And he’s very confused, and very hurt and you are an asshole for upsetting the only boy who has ever seen me cry, and you have a lot of making up to do. Starting with an apology text perhaps.”

Derek’s head is spinning. “I—what?”

“Bro, seriously, it’s like you—”

“If you say born in a barn, I swear to god, Isaac.”

“—You don’t even know Stiles,” Isaac continues. “Dude, I don’t even know him that well, and I get that he digs you. He didn’t kiss some girl, she was all over him, but if you’d stayed ten seconds more you’d have known that. And you wouldn’t have been a whiney bitch in my room all week.”

“I didn’t whine!”

“No, you just stared out the window morosely.”

Lydia snorts derisively and Derek scowls at her. She fluffs her dress out as she straightens up, presumably finished with him. “I have spring break plans of my own to attend to, Jackson’s waiting. But I’m going to assume when I return next week it will be to the happy, bubbly Stiles I know and love and the—” she waves a hand at Derek. “You I know and care about, too. Also, a clean shaven you, beards are so last year.” Then she’s sashaying out of the room, ruffling Isaac’s hair as she goes.

Isaac smiles fondly after her. “If I wasn’t into Mac, I would have a serious boner, right now.”

Derek groans and rolls out of bed. “Over share.”

“Dude, we passed over sharing the day you dragged me out of bed to go get our bones smashed up so you could bond with your roommate. We’re tied for life now. That means we’re friends,” he adds. “In case you missed the memo.”

“Why though?” Derek frowns. “I—I’m not fun, I don’t play sports, I’m not—I don’t go out drinking. I like being in the library.”

“You’re the first person that spoke to me here, the only person that actively encouraged me to join in with something and,” Isaac stands and claps a hand on his shoulder. “You’re funny when you don’t realize it.”

“Gee thanks.”

“No problem. Let’s go get Chinese and watch The Walking Dead till Monday.”


Stiles opens the door with a dramatic bang and stills when he sees Derek’s in the room.

“Huh,” he nods slowly, leaning against the door frame.

Scott peeps round the door. “Told you so,” he says happily before bounding next door, presumably to have reunion sex with Allison with candles and Otis Redding playing.

Derek stands, uncharacteristically nervous. “Hi.”

Stiles lifts his eyebrows . “Hi yourself,” he drawls. “So, you didn’t move out.”

“No,” Derek gestures around him. “Too much stuff, you know?”

“Yeah,” Stiles sighs, lugs his bag into the room. He’s tanned and when he moves to throw his stuff on the bed his tee slips revealing a paler patch of skin lower on his neck; it makes something in Derek ache.

“That and… I kind of owed my roommate an apology,” he blurts out.

Stiles flops onto the bed, legs and arms sprawling out as he looks at Derek piercingly. “Yeah? Is it coming?”

Derek bites his tongue on a snarky retort. “I was an idiot, and a dick to you. You aren’t terrible to live with, I am. And I’m sorry.”

“You’re not terrible to live with,” Stiles says rolling his eyes.

“I am, but you put up with it and, thanks.”

“Huh,” Stiles says again, scratching at his chin. “You think your roommate’s gonna forgive you?”

“I don’t know,” Derek says carefully.

“He seems like a kinda cool guy, you know, what do you think?”

“He’s alright,” Derek grinds out, seeing the twinkle in Stiles’ eyes.

“Yeah? What’s his best quality?”


“Nope, come on, fucking work for it, man.”

“He’s good at lacrosse,” Derek says finally.

“Sports? You’re giving me sports?”

“And you’re polite when you want to be. You drive Finstock up the wall which is fun for me to watch. You’re kind, even to Jackson when he’s not looking. You’re very awesome,” he says finally, wincing at the words even as he says them.

Stiles laughs gleefully and leaps up, half dives at Derek to give him a hug. Derek stumbles backwards and they hit the bed, Stiles a tangle of limbs around his. “You’re alright, too I guess,” Stiles says breathlessly as he leans over Derek.

Derek feels his lips part, gratefully surprised at Stiles’ easy acceptance of his awkwardness, shocked at their closeness, the way Stiles feels stretched over him. Stiles blinks down at him, his eyes darkening as he licks his lips unconsciously, Derek tracks the movement before looking back up at him. The afternoon sun’s filtering through the window making the room hazy and warm, Derek lets his hands trail up Stiles’ arms, going to catch his jaw, and Stiles is letting him, leaning down—

The door snaps open and Derek is literally banning people from entering his room.

“Glad to see you kissed and made up,” Jackson says, smirking as he and Danny saunter into the room. Stiles makes an irritated sound, glancing at Derek almost apologetically before leaping up.

“What, dickface?”

“We’re going shopping, loser,” Jackson adds looking pleased with himself. “Masked ball after exams and everyone’s wearing clothes deemed acceptable by me. That means you too, Derek.”

“Man, I fucking hate those formal things,” Stiles says petulantly. “I can’t dance for shit.”

“Then you better take a good dance partner,” Jackson says smugly, wiggling his eyebrows at Derek.

Danny thumps him in the side. “I’m sure Derek will be a gentleman and ask properly in his own time.” Derek rolls his eyes and Danny points at him. “Lydia wants us all downstairs, and she says you’re not allowed to say no, dude. And something about a friend code, that you would understand, but uh,” Danny shrugs. “I’m at a loss because I didn’t know you had any friends.”

Derek smirks, narrows his eyes at him. “You got funny in one weekend Mahealani, congrats.”

“Thanks, I try,” Danny pulls out his phone, starts messing around on it. Jackson makes Stiles brush his teeth because he’s been in the car and Jackson apparently refuses to talk to people with travel breath.

“Ffat in’t eben a thig,” Stiles complains through a mouth full of toothpaste.

Jackson shoots a look at Derek. “You’re so lucky with this sexy motherfucker.”

Stiles spits and jabs his toothbrush in Jackson’s face.

Derek loathes shopping. Stiles might have found it hilarious that Laura used to pick out his outfits, but honestly it was just easier. Derek doesn’t care about the kind of clothes he wears, or how much they were. Jackson refuses to stop at the bargain mall and heads for the more upmarket one on the far side of town. Derek sits squashed in the back of Jackson’s ridiculous Porche with Danny as Lydia sits up front, and Stiles follows with Allison and Scott.

“I can’t believe that thing’s still on the road,” Jackson comments, glancing in his rear view mirror at Stiles’ Jeep. “I mean look at it.”

“Don’t be mean about Stiles’ baby,” Danny warns. “Or he’ll sit on you again.”

“I’m sure he’d rather sit on—”

“Please,” Lydia rubs at her temples. “No more innuendos for the day, or we’re not having sex till Christmas 2030.”

“Sounds like Derek’s life,” Jackson says delightedly.

“Now it’s yours,” Lydia says sweetly, hopping out of the car.

The mall is crowded but Jackson acts like a tour guide, leading them through the throngs of people with ease. It’s almost like he’s Moses, Derek thinks idly. The girls split from them to go and look at dresses and Jackson takes them into a store with a name Derek can’t even pronounce to get ties.

Stiles wraps one round his head and admires himself in the mirror. “Yeah, I could work with this.”

Derek finds himself smiling at him fondly and Stiles’ catches it, smiles back. Jackson whips the tie off his head, offering apologies to the store assistant.

“Are you serious?” He hisses.

“I’m hungry,” Stiles corrects.

“Well go buy a bagel and quit embarrassing me.”

“Sweet,” Stiles grabs Derek’s arm. “Later suckers.”

“Stiles, you get back here in fifteen minutes or I’ll tell your dad where you keep your porn,” Jackson warns.

“He found that years ago.”

“Not all of it,” Jackson says with a pointed eyebrow.

“Fine,” Stiles points a finger at Jackson. “Just remember I know all your laptop passwords.”

“Do I want to know?” Derek asks as they head from the store, Stiles already eyeing the pretzel vendor across the floor.


They sit on a bench in companionable silence, munching on pretzels when Stiles suddenly leaps up. “Dude! Cool,” before he’s running to where there’s an old passport booth set up. “Come on.”

“No,” Derek says firmly. “I’m not—”

“Dude, shut up, you’re always like model hot so don’t even.”

“I was going to say I’m not being photographed with you,” Derek says, even as his heart trips up at Stiles’ words.

“Har har,” Stiles tugs him inside the booth and Derek wonders when it became a thing that Stiles leads and he seems to always follow.



“God, you are such a grump, I don’t know why I put up with you,” Stiles says airily as he grins and bares his teeth and the flash goes off. “Come on, do something stupid.”

“I—fine,” Derek lifts an eyebrow at the screen and Stiles bursts into laughter at the camera.

“That was your stupid face?”

“That was my why am I in a photo booth with an idiot face.”

“You should have it copyrighted,” Stiles says, still grinning as he looks at Derek instead of the camera. “Ok,” he shuffles, half leaning on Derek. “Last one, make it special, Derek.”

Derek twists to look at him, his face so happy and open and without thinking, leans forward and kisses his cheek. The flash goes again and he’s pretty sure Stiles has his mouth open in surprise. The machine whirs and Stiles leaps through the curtain to see the pictures, Derek stumbling after him.

Jackson is outside, leaning against the railing and eating a packet of sunflower seeds. “Really? I literally cannot with you two.”

“You’re just jealous because Lydia wouldn’t be seen dead in a picture with you,” Stiles snaps, grabbing at the pictures before Jackson can see them.

“Dude,” Scott races towards them, half dressed. “The tailor tried to like, touch me!”

“That’s not what he was doing, McCall, god, all of you were sent to test me,” Jackson lets out a frustrated noise and grabs the scruff of Scott’s neck.

“Save me, Stiles!”

Stiles jogs after them, laughing manically as the tailor comes out of the store, waving his hands in anger at Scott’s departure.

When they get home, late and Derek deeply concerned for his bank account, Stiles sticks their photos up on the wall with relish.

“Dude, shopping was fun today.”

“Scott nearly got arrested.”

“Yeah, but that’s not something new,” Stiles says affectionately. “We did all kinds of crap back home.”

“Your poor father,” Derek says drily.

“We never broke the law! What do you take me for?”

“A liar.”

Stiles beams at him, spreads out on the bed. “You wanna watch a movie?”

Derek glances at the clock, considering how much work he has to get done.

“Aww come on, dude we haven’t watched a movie in weeks. Plus, I’m pretty sure we’ve got some lost time to make up for when you were all, mega broody and shit.”

“Mega broody?”

“Yeah, your eyebrows got so deep at one point they actually became one.”

Derek throws a stray baseball cap in Stiles’ face and Stiles cackles as he catches it and tosses it to one side, looks up at Derek expectantly. Derek’s heart fucking lurches as he looks back at him. He wants this. He wants Stiles, in all the ways he can get.  He wants to see Stiles happy, he wants to sit and watch awful movies with him. If he’s being totally honest he wants to strip all of his clothes off and kiss and bite and suck until Stiles is a moaning, writhing mess. He wants to fuck him into next week. He wants Stiles to put his hands all over him, touch his skin, to put his mouth on Derek and make him ache with pleasure.

He supposes one movie’s ok.

When he wakes up, Stiles is sacked out behind him, arm curved over Derek’s chest and they’re both still fully dressed. The menu for Cabin In The Woods is playing on a loop, muted. Derek stretches as slowly as possible, Stiles’ hand rising against his chest, clutching harder at his tee in protest against the movement. Stiles snuffles in his sleep, mutters something about donuts and actually smiles against Derek’s neck. Of course he dreams about food, Derek thinks. For a moment he lies still, relishing in how good it feels to be next to Stiles like this, to have this in his life. Then he notices the time and leaps from the bed.


Stiles blinks up at him groggily. “’S’matter?”

“I’m supposed to be at the library in ten minutes,” Derek says, searching on the floor for his shoes.

“It’s Sunday.”

“Yeah, it’s that math club thing.”

“You’re such a nerd,” Stiles mutters fondly, stretching into Derek’s space on the bed, arms sliding under Derek’s pillow as he curls into it, and going back to sleep.

Derek has never wanted to go to the library less.


“Could you breathe any louder?” Erica snaps at Isaac for the third time.

Derek pushes his glasses up and gives her a stern look. “Leave him alone.”

“Yeah, Erica,” Isaac preens before inhaling as loudly as possible. “Leave me alone, Derek said so.”

Erica narrows her eyes at him. “He’s not allowed to study with us again, Derek.”

“He’s sitting right here, Erica.”

“Both of you shut up,” Derek rubs out a mistake in his addition and glowers at the page; there’s maybe more mistakes than correct answers on there.

“I wasn’t even doing anything,” Isaac mumbles, clutching at his Civil War book and looking at Erica a little fearfully.

“You’re here aren’t you?”

Isaac puts down his book and flicks a chip in Erica’s direction. Derek shoots out a hand and catches it.

That is why you should be on the football team,” Boyd announces from behind his tome of Shakespearean sonnets.

“I already know too many people that play sports, that’s enough contact for me.” Derek pulls out his ruler, considers the theory he wants to put into practice.

“He played some lacrosse last semester,” Isaac says grinning. “He was terrible.”

Thanks,” Derek mutters, eyes still fixed on his page.

“It’ll be my last year,” Boyd muses. “Be good to maybe have a shot at bringing home the title.”

“You will, baby,” Erica says easily, chewing on her pen before using it to scratch something out and replacing it with a relish.

“What are you gonna do after that?” Isaac asks Boyd with interest.

“Teach,” Boyd says simply. “Here, then home when Miss Reyes has finished owning the Chem department.”

“If she doesn’t blow it up first,” Derek comments.

Erica smiles sharply at him. “How’s Stiles?”

“Fine,” Derek ducks his head, refocusing and pretending he’s not going red.

“I’m going for more chips,” Isaac announces, standing and then sitting down again. “No, I’m not.”

Derek turns to look over his shoulder and sees Mac sitting with friends further down the room.

“Being on a break doesn’t mean you can’t talk to her, you know.”

Isaac sighs, drums his fingers on the table. “I don’t think she wants it to be a break, I think she wants it to be a break up.”


He shrugs, staring at his hands. “She’s not as into it as I am, I guess.”

Erica snorts from behind her textbook and looks up at him. “That’s bullshit, she’s into it or she would have broken up with you. Show some initiative and go ask her to that stupid first year ball we all have to go to. She’ll say yes.”

“How do you know?”

“Because girls, and boys, like it when someone is forward,” she says, suddenly fixing Derek with a look. He blinks innocently back at her and she rolls her eyes, flaps her hands at Isaac. “Go, end the break. Breaks are stupid anyway. You’re in or you’re out.”

Isaac stands again, nodding to himself, and then marches over to the table.

When he returns five minutes later, he’s beaming and munching on a bag of Doritos.

“You’re a goddess,” he says to seriously to Erica.

She beams at him. “I know. Don’t eat those here, or I’ll paper cut your face with my textbook.”

Derek has the strangest friends.


“Ok, ok, I got this… shake it off. Yes! I am—doing—it. Nope, no oh god, fuck, no, Derek! Stop!”

Derek pauses, shoulders rising heavily with his breathing as he turns to glance at Stiles. Stiles who is falling to the side, swaying as he bends to clutch his knees.

“You run this?!”

“Normally I don’t provide running commentary for myself—it helps conserve oxygen and makes it easier to cope with.”

Stiles smirks at him. “Ha.” He starfishes out across the path. “Carry me to the top?”

“You make it to the next half mile and I’ll think about it.”

“Exactly how strong are you? Because if you’re secretly a supernatural creature that has abilities beyond the ordinary, I will be totally pissed you didn’t use them when we played lacrosse.”

Derek snorts, shaking his head and emptying some of his water down his neck. “Surely that would be considered cheating.”

“Dude, have you learn nothing from me this year? To beat Jackson one does anything.”

“Maybe if you kept running instead of whining you’d gain stamina and be able to beat him fairly.”

“Oh, I have stamina,” Stiles says firmly, rolling to a stand and lifting his shirt up to wipe his face. Derek finds his eyes drawn to the cut of Stiles’ stomach muscles and then looks away. When he looks back Stiles has one leg up against a tree and is bending down against it. “Don’t mind me,” he says cheerfully. “Just… stretching.”

Derek stares at the long, tanned leg in front of him and then makes a noise in the back of his throat, turns to start jogging again. When he glances back, Stiles is smirking to himself.

“Keep up.”

“Naw, I’m fine here, dude. Just enjoying the view.”

Derek trips on a stray root, and ploughs on, trying to ignore Stiles cackling behind him. When they reach the top of the route Stiles whistles, pulls his phone out and snaps a picture. “Look triumphant.”

“What? Why?”

“Because we made it to the top!”

“I do this route all the time.”

Stiles pulls a face at him. “Just do it.” Derek rolls his eyes and lifts what he hopes is a sarcastic fist to his shoulder. “Nike’s next promo right there,” Stiles says grinning as he clicks away. “’S’going straight on Facebook.”

He heads for the bench set up on the dug in ledge of the hill. “You actually run up mountains,” he says in awe. “This is ridiculous.”

“It’s not that high,” Derek protests. “It’s not even six hundred feet.”

He sits down beside Stiles, looks down on the city as Stiles taps away at his phone.

Stiles sniggers, rolling his eyes fondly as he reads through notifications. “Jackson says he hopes we’re enjoying our date. Scott is offended we didn’t bring him.”

“Could Scott keep up?”

“Yeah, he likes long distance. Hey, what are you gonna do next year?”

Derek hums, messing around with the cap on his water bottle. “Work? Doubtless be dragged to some parties, do more physical activities against my will.”

“I hope not all of them,” Stiles says seriously, his eyes suddenly intense as he looks at Derek.

“No,” Derek concedes as he looks back at him. “Not all of them.”

Stiles’ eyes flutter shut for a second and then he starts fidgeting with his sneakers. “Well, you wanna like… look for a place?”

“With you?”

“No, dumbass with Bigfoot. Yeah, me, Scott, Danny, Jackson—”

Derek clucks his tongue disdainfully and Stiles rolls his eyes. “He’s pretty tidy, dude. Who knows, you live with him and you might actually fall in love with him, dude is like crazy OCD about people touching his stuff.”

“Do you touch his stuff on purpose?”

Stiles grins. “What do you think?”

“I think he deserves it.”

Stiles sniggers, shifts until he’s lying on the bench and sticks his feet in Derek’s lap. “Seriously, though. Isaac could totally move in with us, too.”

“You like him now then?” Derek rests a hand on Stiles’ ankle, digs his fingers into the thin skin, trails it along the bone.

Stiles jiggles his feet, nudges one of them against Derek’s chest. “I never disliked him,” he says awkwardly. “I just—you know, didn’t know him very well, and I thought—”

It’s Derek’s turn to laugh. “You thought I was dating him, I still can’t believe that.”

“Hey, shut up, man. I thought he might be your type! He’s all quiet, and serene and shit.”

“Ironically, not my type after all,” Derek says affectionately, gripping Stiles’ ankle tighter for a second before pushing him off and standing. “Come on, we better get back down before it gets dark.”

Stiles looks a little flustered as he straightens up but his face gets animated. “Will there be like wolves and coyotes up here?”

“There are no wolves in California.”

“You never know,” Stiles says loftily. “Stranger things have happened.” He gives Derek a three second head start before there’s suddenly a weight on his back and Stiles’ arms are around his neck.


“I made it to the top, dude. Fair is fair, you can carry me back down.”

“I’m not running down the whole route with an octopus on my back.”

“Thank god I’m a Stiles then.”

“That isn’t even your real name,” Derek retorts, even as he’s adjusting to Stiles’ weight, tightening his grip on his legs. His stupid legs, Derek determinedly looks straight ahead and not at what his hands are touching.

“How would you know?”

“Saw you write it on your econ paper.”


“Nope, something beginning with an E—”

“Alright,” Stiles squeezes his legs around Derek’s waist warningly. “Fine, you know the big secret. It’s not like you can talk with a name like Derek.”

“Surprisingly, I didn’t actually have any say in what my parents called me.”

“I thought you were born exactly the way you are now and deemed it so. Hello earthlings, call me Derek. New information, man. You were a baby?!”

Derek lets go of him unceremoniously and Stiles stumbles to the ground, laughing at him. “You’re so easy.”

“Decidedly not, actually.”

“Oh, tell me about it,” Stiles huffs, eyes flickering at him in the late afternoon sun.

Derek starts to jog backwards, can’t cope with how much he wants to strip Stiles down and fuck him up against the nearest tree.

“Race you back down?” he offers, going for Stiles’ competitive streak.

“Loser buys drinks,” Stiles yells, suddenly five feet ahead of Derek and showing no signs of slowing down.

He crows about winning all night in the campus bar before Derek drags him home and tries his best not to point out he lost because he was enjoying the view.


“Derek! Derek Hale!” Derek staggers to the door, wondering if there’s a rule written down somewhere that means whenever he’s trying to sleep everyone in his life comes to chat.

He swings the door open and blinks in the light, frowning at Allison in confusion. “What?”

She giggles at him and waves her hands around. “I left my keys at Lydia’s, and she’s still out with Jackson. I can’t—I can’t get in my door, Derek.”

“Are you sure?” Derek leans out of the room, pushes at the handle of Allison’s door. “Dammit.” He glances back to where she’s swaying on the spot. “Are you drunk?”

“No! I just… had some tequila. Being out isn’t as fun without Scott, my room—my roommate is no fun.”

Derek ushers her inside the room and shuts the door. “You want some water?”

“No,” she rummages under Stiles’ bed for a second before pulling out a bottle of JD. “I want this.”

“Of course he keeps it under the bed,” Derek mutters.

Allison beams up at him, sliding to sit on the floor. “You look all pretty when you’re happy.”

“I’m not happy!”

“Neither am I,” she agrees seriously. “I don’t think lacrosse games should be—should be held at other schools. They should ahlwayss be here, you know?”

Derek nods, actually in agreement. The room is too quiet without Stiles. He fucking hates to admit it but he’s missing him a lot. And they’ve only been gone two days. Derek has spent a whole weekend lonely. Normally he’s totally comfortable with his own company, can and has gone weeks without talking to anyone, and now he’s missing Stiles. He’s so far in.

“Gimme,” he says, reaching for the bottle, intending just to take it away from Allison but taking a swig from it instead.

“Have you—have you been working?” Allison hiccoughs and then giggles at nothing.

Derek rolls his eyes fondly at her. “No, I was asleep.”

Her eyes go almost comically wide. “I woke you up?! Oh my god, I can just—” she goes to get up and then staggers. Derek catches her and helps her sit down again. “You, thanks,” she says happily, crossing her legs as she sits and taking back the bottle. “I wasn’t meant to fall in love with Scott, you know.”

Derek blinks at her in surprise. “No?”

“No!” She waves the bottle at him and he takes it as she carries on. “I was supposed to work. How do you—how do you do it?”

“What d’you mean?”

“How do you work, when you know, Stiles is here?”

“Stiles isn’t as distracting as he likes to think he is.”

“But he is distracting, ri-riight?”

“Yeah,” Derek laughs. “He is.”

“Do you like math?”

Derek grins at the total change of subject. “Yes, do you like History?”

“Sometimes,” Allison scowls at the bottle. “Everyone just makes the same mistakes over and over, you know? It’s so dumb. I just want to write you all suck at the top of my essays and then—then esplain how I would have done it better.”

“That would be an interesting approach.”

Allison beams at him. “You think I should?”

“I’m pretty sure they’d have never read anything like it before.”

“I shall then,” she says determinedly before she starts shivering.

Derek stands, taking another sip from the bottle before he grabs one of his hoodies off the chair and passes it to her. “Here,” he says gruffly.

“Thank you! God, it’s supposed to be hot in California.”

“You not from round here?”

“No, my family’sss from down South,” she makes a fake trigger finger at him and pulls it back. “I learned to shoot before I learned anything else.”

“I’ve never learned.”

“I’ll teach you!” She says excitedly. “Scott says his mom won’t let—let him.”

“Wise woman really,” Derek muses.

Allison giggles again and then looks fondly at the floor. “Yeah, but he’sh cute. My dad’ll eat him alive in the summer, though.”

“I think Scott is tougher than he looks.”

“Right? He got in a fight for Sthiles over break, you know.”

Derek frowns. “I didn’t know.”

“Yeah, some guy tried to hit on him and he said—he said he had a boyfriend and, the guy wouldn’t leave him alone. So Scott punched him,” Allison finishes dreamily. “And it knocked him out.”

“Were they ok?”

“Yeah, duh. They play lacrosse, Derek.”

He feels suitably chided and takes another drink. Allison shifts and Derek’s wallet falls out of his hoodie. She laughs suddenly when she flips it open and looks at his driver’s license.

“You look so much scarier than you actually are.”

“Shut up,” he huffs, feeling his cheeks pink up. “I was going through a phase.”

“A blue steel phase?” Allison pouts at him, starts sucking in her cheeks and then letting them out again, laughing wildly to herself. Then suddenly she sighs, pulls her hair out and leans back against the bed. “I was supposed to work,” she mumbles to herself.

“You have,” Derek points out.

“I tried going to the library,” she protests. “But—I like working with Scott, and then we don’t get as much work done.”

“Set times for work, and times for other things.”

“Time management!” She waves the bottle at him. “Yessh, good thinking, Derek.”

“Thanks,” he says, laughing at her fondly.

“It’s just, they’re really easy to love, you know?” She says some time later, staring at her hands from where she’s lying on the floor.

“Yeah,” Derek agrees, laid out beside her. “It’s annoying.”

So annoying.”

“And time consuming.”

“And loud! They’re so loud.”

“And ru-rude,” Derek frowns at the ceiling.

“But pretty,” Allison sighs sleepily.

“Mmm,” Derek’s head is spinning. He thinks about Stiles and his stupid, pretty face, his beautiful brown eyes, that stupid pretty mouth that makes Derek think dirty things, that forms sharp words, smiles at Derek, is always open. “Very pretty,” he slurs back.

Stiles finds them on the floor when he gets home on Sunday morning and laughs so loudly it wakes them both up.

Derek glares up at him as Scott appears to look over Stiles’ shoulder. “Should I be worried?”

Stiles is still laughing, half bent over with it and Derek reaches out a foot to kick at his shin. “Shut uuup.”

“You guys miss us or something?”

“We drank all your JD,” Allison says sleepily. “Hi baby,” she adds to Scott.

Scott elbows past Stiles to sit down on the floor next to Allison, kisses her hello. “Hi.”

“Did you win?”

“Nah, but Finstock got emotional on the bus and told us he was proud of us.”

“Then Greenberg threw up,” Stiles adds. Derek’s aware he and Stiles are staring at each other, haven’t stopped since Stiles came in the door. Stiles is looking back at him easily, eyes clear and smile small but genuine.


“Finstock made Jackson clean it up when he started bitching and Greenberg cried. Pretty sure he’s got a soft spot for the dude.”


“Yeah, but he gave me his last cupcake for winning MVP this year so, you know, there’s that.”

“You got MVP?”

“Yep,” Stiles’ voice is casual but as Derek feels his face crack into a grin, Stiles does too.


“Really awesome,” Scott cuts in and Derek starts; he’d kind of forgotten they were still in the company of Scott and Allison. Jumping makes his head swim and he winces.

“Yeah, congratulations,” he adds, standing up slowly. “I’ll take you for breakfast just let me—” he heads to sit on the bed and ends up crashing into it.

“I’ll go get coffee,” Stiles says happily from behind him.

“Stop sounding like you’re enjoying this.”


“I hate you,” Derek groans and rolls over to see Scott helping Allison stand.

“Thanks for having me,” she dimples at him weakly and he waves a hand in response.

“Good luck with your essay.” She grins much more widely at that. “Hey,” Derek says to Stiles before he can file out after them. Stiles whips back to look at him and Derek nods. “Seriously, congratulations.”

“Thanks,” Stiles says quietly. “I got a trophy and everything, it’s—it’s pretty cool.”

“You should stick it in the bathroom next year, remind Jackson he didn’t win it.”

Stiles barks out a laugh again and leans his temple on the door as he looks at Derek. “Brilliant. So… you in for a place?”

“Yeah,” Derek shuffles round on the bed for a second, yawning again. “Was weird without you for a two days, don’t think I can live with anyone else now anyway.”

“I am the dream companion,” Stiles says lightly.

Derek feels his lips quirk in a smile. “You’re alright.”

When he next wakes up it’s to bagels and coffee. He sits and tells Stiles about he and Allison getting drunk together and Stiles cackles. He doesn’t share about the whole maybe confessing he’s head over heels thing to Allison but he thinks by this point Stiles probably knows anyway.


“Derek!” Derek freezes; one hand still on his key in the lock when he opens the door to his room. “Save me,” Stiles cries dramatically. He’s sitting in the desk chair, Allison and Lydia peering over him, Scott laughing silently with tears in his eyes on the bed.

“What the hell is going on?”

Lydia turns, kohl pencil brandished in front of her. “Stiles needs something to make his eyes pop under his mask.”

“No, I don’t!” Stiles yells. “I don’t want my eyes to pop; I want them to stay in my head. And I did not agree to this. They blackmailed me,” he says to Derek mournfully.

“Poor thing,” Derek says as casually as possible, though he wants to point out he likes Stiles’ eyes exactly the way they are.

“We just want to help,” Allison says soothingly.

“Lies! You want to ensure I never get laid.”

“That’s not their fault,” Scott sniggers. Stiles blindly kicks out a foot at him.

Derek heads for the shower, blocking out Scott’s yelps as the girls give up on Stiles and he jumps at his friend.

When he comes out in his suit twenty minutes later the room is clear and Stiles is lounging on the bed, spinning his tie around one finger. He turns and sucks in a breath as he looks at Derek.


Derek smooths a hand down the front of his shirt self-consciously. “I feel stupid.”

“You look hot like fucking lava,” Stiles declares, waving his tie at Derek. “Help please?”

“Didn’t you learn anything from the last time we did this?”

“I wasn’t really paying attention to the tie, dumbass.”

Derek ducks his head, loops Stiles’ tie around his neck and yanks him into his space as he looks up again. “Yeah?”

“Yeah,” Stiles confirms, kinking an eyebrow. As Derek concentrates on wrapping the tie he can feel Stiles’ eyes on him, he glances at him briefly, sees the smile on his face.


“Nothin’, ‘s’just nice,” Stiles sighs. “I totally thought you were gonna hate me forever and I’d die alone.”

Derek’s fingers slip as he pulls Stiles’ collar straight. “I never hated you.”

“Well, I get that now. I just—”

“I like you,” Derek cuts in. “Like you.”

Stiles’ smile lights up his whole face. “Yeah?”

“Yeah, whole lot, loser.”

You’re a loser,” Stiles shoots back, still beaming dopily at him. “For someone who spends all his time reading books it sure as hell took you long enough to get the message.”

“Apparently I’m dense like cement.”

“You are.”


“I don’t know why I like you; honestly, I never normally like dense people.”

“Glad you made an exception.”

“Oh, I really did,” Stiles breathes. “You’re… a lot of exceptions. All of them. I mean, I really, really like you.”

“I really, really like you.”

They stand, grinning at each other like idiots and Derek finally pulls the tie taught, yanks him forward so there’s barely an inch between them. “We’re gonna be late.”

“We could skip. Stay here…” Stiles catches Derek’s hands, thumbs rubbing circles against his skin. “Take off all our clothes and have a ridiculous amount of sex.”

All of the air in Derek’s lungs leaves him and then, before he can reply Stiles is stepping away, heading for the door with both their masks. “But Lydia wouldn’t leave us alone, and I really want all the time in the world for that, don’t you?”

Derek clears his throat, swallows and then nods, eyes fixed on Stiles. “Yeah, yeah I really want that.”

“Good,” Stiles lifts an eyebrow at him. “Shall we?”

He’s vaguely aware of people talking to him, cameras flashing and making him blink under the stupid mask Lydia made him wear. Jackson passes him the same flask from Christmas and Derek declines, eyes still on Stiles who hasn’t stopped messing with his head all night. He’s been licking round spoons as casually as you like over dessert, hands brushing against Derek’s leg whenever they’re sitting next to each other, looking at Derek over Lydia and Allison’s heads as he dances with them.

Derek reluctantly agrees to dance with Lydia after she declares he owes her a dance. Watches Scott and Danny waltz each other round the floor, feathers from their masks flying off. He almost has a heart attack when he spots Erica make a beeline for where Stiles is standing at the bar. Erica’s mask is a golden, sparkly lioness concoction; Derek knows it’s her without needing to see her face.

By the time he makes his way over, breathless and panicked, Stiles is laughing nervously and Erica’s looking at him, pleased, through her mask eyes.

“I like him,” she murmurs in his ear as she leans up to kiss his cheek before disappearing into the crowd.

“Am I going to end up buried in a parking lot?” Stiles asks looking distressed.

Despite himself Derek laughs. “No. Is that what she said?”

“It was implied. There was something about chemicals and my body never being found.”

“Huh, I had a similar chat with Jackson and Danny back in January.”


“Yeah, should I expect one from Scott?”

“Probably,” Stiles grins as his best friend spins Allison round the floor, both of them have lost their masks and are smiling wildly at each other.

“We’re having an after party,” Jackson declares, appearing between them and draping an arm over both their shoulders. “I know you married people like an early night but you can manage an hour, right?”

Derek shrugs his hand off. “Funny.”

“Would we be Stilinski Hale or Hale Stilinski, though,” Stiles ponders, tapping his chin. “Jackson, are you taking Lydia’s name? How’s that one working for you?”

Jackson scowls. “Fucker. I hope you get blue balls for the rest of time.”

“There is always the chance of that,” Stiles says sounding panicked.

“Definitely not,” Derek mutters in his ear, relishing the way the back of Stiles’ neck pinks up.

As ever, when there’s a party in the dorm, Derek gives up after about five minutes.

Stiles finds him on the roof, looking up at the dark, indigo sky.

“He’s alive!”

Derek ducks his head, smiling. “How’d you know I was up here?”

Stiles collapses next to him, leans his head against the wall. “I’m awesome.”

“You’re something,” Derek mutters.

Stiles elbows him. “I’m glad you got rid of the mask.”

Derek thumbs at his glasses. “Yeah?”

“Yeah,” Stiles smiles shyly at him, lips quirking up. “You don’t look like you without your glasses.” Before Derek can respond he’s digging into his pocket, pulling out a plastic bag. “Thought we could make our own fun.”

Derek stares at the bag, wide eyed. “No.”

“Derek, you only live once.”

“I wish people would stop saying that to me, it’s beginning to make me paranoid.”

Stiles snorts, pulling filters out of his other pocket, rolling out film. “It’s a fair point.”

“I’m not smoking weed on top of a campus building.”

“No one will ever know, dude. Scott and I did it all last semester and no one ever caught us.”

“I knew it was you with the fireworks.”

“We just wanted to make the sky pretty,” Stiles says defensively.

“You’re ridiculous.”

Stiles crooks a smile at him, sticks the now rolled joint in his mouth. “’S’how I am, dude.” He inhales slowly, and then breathes out, sweet pungent smoke surrounding Derek. He waves the joint at him.

“Ok, but I don’t know how,” Derek says finally.

Stiles wiggles up onto his knees suddenly, leaning across Derek. “Open your mouth.”


“Just, trust me.”

Slowly, Derek lowers his jaw, watching Stiles’ lips around the joint before he closes the distance between them and blows into Derek’s mouth. Derek inhales almost in shock, feels the burn against his throat, the bitter aftertaste, and the slow roll of smoke drifting around him.

It makes him cough a little but it’s not too bad. He tips his head back, juts his chin at Stiles and he does it again. It’s quiet on the roof, the dull thud of music and laughter almost completely muted out and overcast by their breathing, the faint sounds of the city around them. Derek shuts his eyes, runs his tongue around his mouth, getting a feel for the taste.

“Again?” Stiles’ voice is hoarse and Derek snaps his eyes open, nods as they look at each other.

This time when Stiles goes to move away Derek gets a hand around his back and pulls him in, kisses him properly.

Stiles makes a noise of surprise and then licks into Derek’s mouth immediately, crowding over him, knees spreading out each side of Derek’s waist. Derek clutches at his shirt, gets his hands up the back of it and spreads them out against hot, smooth skin. The smoke curls around them, adding to the heady feeling in the air and Stiles pushes back, takes one last inhale and breathes it into Derek’s mouth before tossing the joint somewhere and cupping Derek’s face.

“Fuck you and your stupid fucking everything,” he groans.

Derek laughs. “Ok.”

Stiles grins against his mouth, kisses him over and over before Derek holds him still, deepens the kiss. He bites at Stiles’ lower lip and Stiles moans, rocks his hips down against Derek’s. It makes Derek dizzy with want, makes him drag a hand up to clutch at Stiles’ hair, tugging it back to kiss at his jaw, scraping his teeth against the skin.

He feels Stiles’ hands wind round his tie, pulling them flush together. He drags his legs up so his knees are against Stiles’ back, slips his hands under Stiles’ shirt again, raking his nails gently down his sides. Stiles shudders against him and thrusts his hips down.

“Fuck, Derek, the things I want to do to you, the things I want you to do to me,” he slurs.

“Yeah,” Derek says lazily. “All of it. Sober, though. I want to remember everything when I fuck you.”

Stiles groans, kisses him again, slow and dirty as his fingers pull Derek’s shirt loose, splays his hands out against his skin. Derek arches into it, grips at Stiles’ ass and tilts him forward, grinds his hips up.

It feels like things are moving in slow motion, Stiles rocking into him, hands everywhere as they kiss like they’ve been starving for it. It’s languorous, and deep and so fucking hot Derek can’t breathe with it. Stiles pauses, hands stilling on Derek’s chest before he reaches up and takes Derek’s glasses off.

“I don’t want them to break,” he says smiling through half lidded eyes, leaning in to kiss Derek’s cheekbone.

Derek shuts his eyes, clings tightly to the back of Stiles’ shirt, feeling like he might break under the gentle way Stiles is holding his face.

“I love you,” he huffs against Stiles’ neck.

Stiles’ fingers dig into his cheeks briefly and he pulls back to look Derek in the eye. Derek lolls his head back, squints up at him.

“Oh fuck, I love you,” Stiles breathes out. “Like shit, Derek, you have no idea.”

“I kinda do,” Derek says softly.

“I think I’ve been a little bit in love with you since you threatened to rip Jackson’s throat out with your teeth,” Stiles says, grinning and pushing his hands through Derek’s hair. “I never thought you’d look twice at me, though,” he adds wistfully, a faraway look in his eyes.

Derek slides a hand up around his jaw. “I got caught drawing on your arm by Finstock.”

Stiles laughs, face overjoyed and he bends to kiss behind Derek’s ear. “I thought about your hands on me before, but then I had them, had them touching me, and it got really colorful,” he murmurs.

Derek bites his lip, exhales sharply as Stiles mouths at his neck. “Yeah? What did you think about?”

Stiles takes one of his hands, pushes it against his dick through his pants, lets out a harsh breath at the contact. “What do you think?”

“God, fuck,” Derek tugs at Stiles’ belt, pushes at his pants impatiently until they’re down his thighs, Stiles making these tiny, delicious aborted noises every time Derek touches his skin.

“Shit, Derek, just—”

“Yeah, yeah,” Derek mumbles, biting at Stiles’ shoulder, pushes at the collar of his shirt until he can get at the hollow of Stiles’ throat, mouths against it. He nips at the skin, sucks at it as Stiles’ breath hitches, his own hands shoving Derek’s jacket off, pulling at his shirt.

“You, fuck you should just walk around shirtless all the time.”

Derek huffs a laugh, tugging Stiles’ own shirt off his shoulders so he can get at more skin as he slides his hand into Stiles’ boxer briefs, snorting briefly when he sees the Batman logo, hears Stiles mutter at him to shut up. And then he’s wrapping his hand round Stiles’ dick and Stiles is groaning, lurching forward in his hand. His own fingers grappling with Derek’s pants, shoving them away even as Derek’s jerking him off, breathing harshly into Derek’s mouth.

“Just—fuck—jesus,” Stiles finally gets a hand into Derek’s pants, curls it around his dick and making him keen, arching up into it. “Yeah, oh—shit.”


“Shurrup,” Stiles slurs, tangling their hands together, aligning their cocks and Derek forgets to breathe for a second at the contact. He’s helpless to do anything but keep his hand moving, reveling in the way Stiles feels against him. Stiles lets go of his hand, letting Derek take up the rhythm for them both, braces himself on the edge of the wall as he leans over Derek making their chests brushing together. He ducks down and kisses Derek, licks at his teeth for a split second before grinning and pulling away.

“Fucking knew you’d feel good,” he moans, thrusting his hips down as Derek rises to meet him. Derek kisses his sternum, glides his tongue along hot skin and swirling it round a nipple before biting down slightly. Stiles stills and then cries out, biting his own lip as he comes all over Derek’s hand.

Derek lets him go, hands petting up and down his sides and Stiles tries to push his hand between them but Derek bats him away, grips his hips and drives up, dick sliding in the come on Stiles’ stomach.

“Shit, you’re so fucking perfect,” Stiles groans and Derek digs his fingers in, knows he’s forming bruises and that gets him more than anything. That Stiles will walk around with Derek’s fingers branded on him for a few days, that anyone looking at him will know he’s Derek’s and he squeezes his eyes shut, clamps his mouth down on Stiles’ shoulder, white hot pleasure crashing over him.

“Oh,” Stiles sighs. “Yeah.”

Derek hums, mouthing at his teeth marks with apologetic kisses. Stiles shrugs him off, cups his face and kisses him hard.

“Come on,” he says finally, standing up over Derek and pulling his pants up. He looks fucking debauched, shirt loose, jacket missing and his chest pink with the effects of Derek’s scruff. Derek wants all over again.

“Party’ll be over, we might actually get some zzzs.”

“Not possible in our room,” Derek grumbles, throwing his own tie round his shoulders.

“Aw, shit you love them really,” Stiles says fondly, pulling on Derek’s jacket lapels.

“Danny’s alright.”

“Jackson likes you, dude. Otherwise he’d have made you move out.”

Derek raises an eyebrow. “And you’d have let him?”

“Naw,” Stiles smiles up at him. “I’d have missed you by October.” He slides Derek’s glasses back on, leans forward to kiss the tip of his nose and then grabs his hand, pulls him down stairs and they stumble into their room.

Stiles lets out a noise of relief, nose dives at Derek’s bed. “Yesshhh.”

Derek watches him get comfortable, thinking how good he looks on his bed. Allows Stiles to yank him down, too.

“We’re so having sex in the morning,” Stiles announces, running his hands through Derek’s hair.

“If you wake up before noon I will be impressed.”

“I have incentive.”

Derek hums, grinning into Stiles’ neck and drifts off to Stiles rambling about all the different positions they’re going to try.



Derek groans, buries his head further into Stiles’ back. “No.”

“Dude, it’s morning.”


“So,” Stiles rolls over, shuffles down the bed so he’s at eye level with Derek. “Sex.”

Derek laughs. “How romantic of you.”

“Dude, I’ve been head over heels for you for months, I literally wrote you poetry, I’m totally ridiculously in love with you, and a virgin. These are all things that make me want to cut to the chase here.”

“You wrote me poetry?” Derek frowns, hands trailing up and down Stiles’ sides making him shiver, arch into Derek.

“Yeah,” Stiles sighs out. “You thought I was joking.”

Derek pulls back to look at him across the mattress. “That dumb ass poem on Valentine’s Day?”

“Hey, don’t shit on that man. I had help from a friend and everything. Concise and to the point, were his words. And you fucking laughed.”

Derek can’t help but grin again. “Suck my dick, so I can suck yours, too. I feel so fucking special.”

“You should,” Stiles huffs. “And you should definitely let me do that now.”

“If you want,” Derek says as casually as possible, his dick twitching in anticipation despite himself.

Stiles grins, climbs on top of Derek and drags his fingers over Derek’s chest, bending to kiss him. Derek puts a hand over his mouth. “Wait—”

“Are you serious?” Stiles mumbles against his mouth.

Derek rolls them both off the bed, pulls on Stiles’ hand until they’re in the bathroom and shoves a toothbrush at him. Stiles shakes his head, laughing. “Smartie pants.”

This time Derek does smack his ass.

Stiles wiggles his eyebrows at him in the mirror and then curls his tongue around his toothbrush.

Derek rolls his eyes, spits and leaves the bathroom without a backwards glance. It’s nice that Stiles is the one bounding after him for once, straddling his waist again as he drops his elbows to either side of Derek’s head. Derek traces a finger around his mouth, still shaped in a smile.

“How’d I get so lucky with you?” he says almost reverently.

Stiles’ face sobers and he frowns down at Derek. “You think you’re lucky? I’m—”

Derek flips them before Stiles can start listing all the things he sees as flaws in himself, grinds down against him as he kisses him hard. “You’re everything I never knew I wanted,” he mutters against Stiles’ mouth. “You’re perfect.”

Stiles smiles slowly, hands trailing up Derek’s back. “Yeah? I’m gonna hold you to that when you’re bitching about how loud I’m being, or how annoying my friend are or—”

Derek kisses him again. “I want you to be loud, I really fucking hope you’re loud,” he adds, sliding down to bite at Stiles’ collarbone.

“I think that’s a guarantee,” Stiles gasps out as Derek dips lower, kisses down his stomach and then mouths at his hipbone. Stiles pushes his hips up, hands falling to grip Derek’s shoulders. “Oh, wait, wait, I wanted to—”

“Later,” Derek says easily, pulling Stiles’ sleeper shorts off.

“No,” Stiles groans. “Now, come back up here.” Derek sits up and considers him for a second. Stiles squirms under the scrutiny. “What?”

“You wanna try something?”

“I want to try everything with you,” Stiles breathes out. Derek can’t help but smile, leans forward to kiss him before he stands on the bed, kicks his own shorts off. He drops down on Stiles lap, rocking into him without thought, revelling in the way their hard cocks brush against each other.

“Think you can focus on two things at once?”

Stiles’ hands are stroking up his arms and they still as Stiles blinks up at him. He grins. “When something compels me, yeah.”

Derek smirks, kisses him again before nudging him onto his side. “Like this.”

“You got some practice in this then, huh?” Stiles asks breathlessly.

Derek stills, smooths his hand along Stiles’ thigh. “Not much, no.”

“Like… “ Stiles hesitates and then all of his cockiness is gone to be replaced by something hesitant. “Derek, I might be really shit at this.”

“You’re the only person it’s ever meant something with,” Derek says, his mouth dry as he confesses it, says it aloud. “You’re—you won’t be shit at anything. It’ll feel good to me,” he says finally.

Stiles lunges at him, kissing him fiercely and Derek falls backwards with it, hits the mattress as they tangle together, arms and legs wrapping around one another.

“You’re something else,” Stiles declares before shimmying around and then he’s kissing the skin of Derek’s pelvis, nudging in closer. He glances up at Derek, licks his lips absentmindedly and Derek groans, glances at the ceiling as Stiles leans forward to lick at the underside of his cock.


Stiles hums, curls a hand round the base of his dick. Derek already feels on edge, bites at the inside of his mouth and then pulls Stiles’ legs closer.

“Don’t use your teeth,” he says suddenly, rearing back in a panic.

Stiles laughs. “No shit,” before he leans forward and sucks Derek totally into his mouth. Derek scrunches his eyes up at the feel of it, the wet, warm heat of Stiles’ mouth, his tongue swirling round the head of his dick like he knows exactly what he’s doing.

Jesus, did you do research?”

Stiles pulls off him with a wet pop and slants a look up at him, eyes half lidded as Derek strokes his own hand up and down Stiles’ shaft. “I can be a nerd when I want to be.”

Derek shakes his head and then leans forward. “Game on,” he mutters, sliding his lips around Stiles and taking as much of him in as he can.

Stiles groans, already shaking against him as Derek relaxes his jaw and Stiles hits the back of his throat.

It’s so ridiculously hot, Stiles’ legs curved round him, his free hand trailing up Derek’s leg, griping at his hip as he tries out different things. Derek’s never met anybody quite so enthusiastic to discovering exactly what works for him.

He slips one of his own hands lower, brushes a finger against Stiles’ hole and Stiles jerks against him, slips him out of his mouth. “Oh god, do that, yeah do that.”

“You done it before?”

“I’m eighteen, Derek.”

Derek grins against his thigh and then leans forward again, concentrating on the heavy weight of Stiles in his mouth, the slightly salty bitter taste of pre-come against his tongue, keeps moving his finger just lightly against Stiles. He keeps one hand jacking Stiles off, ducks his head and presses his tongue in next to his finger. Stiles is moaning constantly around his dick, making it hard to think about anything but how much he wants to hear him come. He speeds up his hand, twisting it as he curls his tongue around Stiles’ hole, pushing it into the heat inside and Stiles pulls off him, arching into Derek’s hand, gripping the comforter tightly and then he’s yelling Derek’s name and coming all over his hand.

He lies, totally boneless on the bed and Derek crawls up over him. “You die?”

Stiles grins up at him, blissed out looking good on his face. “Nope.”

“’S’good cos I really want to fuck you,” Derek mutters, kissing his neck. “A lot.”

“Yeah,” Stiles croaks, sliding his hands up Derek’s back. “Yeah I really want you to do that.”

“You got stuff?”

Stiles waves at his dresser and Derek rolls off him, searches under socks and shorts till he finds lube and condoms.

When he turns back to the bed Stiles has twisted to blatantly stare at him.

“You’re so fucking hot,” Stiles sighs.

“So are you,” Derek counters, dropping back down beside him.

“No but you are—”



“Shut up and take the compliment.”

“You shut up,” Stiles mumbles, even as he’s letting Derek push his legs apart. Derek watches, unable to tear his eyes away as he preps Stiles. It’s slow going, he really doesn’t want to hurt him, and Stiles is new, so fucking new.

He knows he’s mumbling stupid things in Stiles’ ear, making him smile, blink up at Derek adoringly and brush his long fingers through Derek’s hair. God, Derek wants those fingers to do things to him later.

He knows when it stops hurting less, and starts clicking for Stiles. He can feel him circling his hips into Derek’s thrusts, pushing back against his fingers. “Ok,” Stiles groans out. “Oh my god, Derek fuck me.”

Derek inhales sharply, slides his hands up Stiles’ arms and pins them to the headboard. “Yeah?”

“Yeah,” Stiles repeats, winding his legs round Derek’s waist with ease.

Derek briefly blesses lacrosse and then stops that train of thought because, Finstock. He bends to kiss Stiles, lining himself up. “Fuck,” he moans raggedly, breathing against Stiles’ cheek, pressing kisses to the freckles and moles right in front of him. He can feel  his arms shaking with the effort of staying still, sinking in inch by inch, Stiles so hot and tight all around him.

He bottoms out and Stiles’ mouth is open in a silent O, eyes squeezed shut as he adjusts to Derek inside of him.

“Does it hurt?” Derek asks, concerned.

“Yeah, but oh fuck, Derek don’t stop. Just,” Stiles tilts his hips up, sighs into it. “Yeah come on, move.”


“Do it, I want it, fuck. You are huge.”

Derek snorts against Stiles’ shoulder, presses a kiss there and then pulls back slightly before pushing back in.

“Oh, yes, come on.”

“Fuck, you’re so fucking tight,” he grinds out, reveling in the way Stiles’ body is opening up for him, taking him in, like he was fucking made for Derek. He picks up the rhythm slowly, rocking into him before pushing up on his hands, leaning over Stiles to slide in deep, trying to hit that sweet spot inside of Stiles that’ll light him up.

Stiles lets go of the headboard, wraps his arms round Derek’s shoulders and lurches up to kiss him. It’s mostly teeth clacking and their lips mashing together but Derek relishes it, feels so overwhelmed by everything. Stiles is arching up to meet him at every thrust and Derek twists his hips, drops to his elbows so he can get a hand round Stiles’ dick. Stiles whines into his neck, moaning brokenly, biting at Derek’s neck, kissing his pulse point and then he’s clenching up around Derek, crying out and coming again. Derek kisses him through the aftershocks, lets go just for a second, chasing after that deep sated pleasure he’s been feeling like smoke tendrils all around him since the moment they started kissing. Stiles is spreading his hands against Derek’s back, dragging his nails up and down, slurring out praise and Derek pounds into him, losing himself in how good it feels.

“Oh, love you,” Stiles groans. “Don’t stop, do it—come on, loser, come on.” Derek laughs, incredulously, feels it sudden and sharp everywhere before the pleasure fragments, breaks out like waves all over him and he’s coming, gasping into Stiles’ mouth and groaning his name like a goddamn prayer.

He manages to collapse to one side, pulling out of Stiles carefully and tossing the condom somewhere. Stiles winces and Derek slips a hand between his legs carefully, feeling like maybe he was too rough.

“Now I feel all empty,” Stiles complains instead and Derek laughs again, pulls him close.

“Did you two finish?” They both freeze, eyes turning towards the door. “Only the door is fucking locked and I’m bored and you’re loud,” Scott yells.

“It’s Sunday,” Stiles yells back. “Go do something productive!”

“It’s the day of rest!” Scott cries shrilly back.

“Then go and rest!”

“I’m bored! Allison is working on some stupid essay.”

“Scott, for fuck’s sake, I’m having afterglow here!”

“Oh yeah, dude congrats on losing the V card. Was it good?”

“Yes, motherfucking amazing.”

Derek groans and hides his face in Stiles’ neck. “You two have no shame.”

Stiles turns back to Derek, grinning sheepishly. “You wanna go watch a movie with Scott?”

“No,” Derek says stubbornly. “I want one day with you all to myself,” he ducks to kiss Stiles’ jaw. “He can go bother Jackson.”

“Ok,” Stiles agrees. “That seems fair.”


Scott does have a ‘talk’ with Derek. He corners him after Derek’s last exam when Derek’s totally exhausted and his guard is down. Scott looks at him seriously, tells him about Allison’s gun collection and Scott’s own knowledge of the human anatomy in graphic detail. Derek’s so tired he can’t bring himself to make a snarky comment, just drags his eyes to meet Scott’s and says genuinely that he loves Stiles like Scott loves Allison. Scott’s eyes widen and he grins, claps Derek on the back.

“’S’good, right?”

Derek huffs a laugh, hands itching to get at the door handle behind Scott, thinking desperately of his bed, of Stiles hopefully returning to it after his last exam so they can sleep for a week. “Yeah, it is.”

“But, like, I mean it, man.”

“I know you do.”

“Allison told me to be nice to you so, that was the nice version as well. If you do something to change her mind, though; I will be mean.”

Derek feels his eyes widen at the menace in Scott’s tone. “I believe you. And you should believe me.”

“Great,” Scott breaks out to a huge smile. “Cos I really like you, dude. And Stiles like totally loves you.”

“I know,” Derek says almost incredulously.

He’s woken several hours later to Stiles clambering on top of him, sleepy lazy hands sliding into Derek’s shorts. “I hear you had a chat with my best friend,” he says in a low voice.

“Yeah,” Derek stretches, lifts his hips up slowly, pushing into Stiles’ hand.

“Yeah apparently you love me a lot.”

“I do,” Derek says, frowning. “And apparently I’ll be shot and maimed if I hurt you.”

Stiles laughs, still working his hand round Derek, “We have creative friends.”

“Mmm,” Derek rolls them over, brushes his hands through Stiles’ hair as he looks down at him. “Hi.”

“Hi yourself,” Stiles mumbles, lets Derek pull his shirt off.

“How did your exam go?”

“Don’t think I failed,” Stiles smirks, hands clutching at Derek’s hips as soon as he’s naked and Derek’s covering him again. “I had a really good tutor after all.”

Derek scoffs. “You didn’t need one.”

“Yeah, but the study sessions were so fun. I especially liked the one where you took all your clothes off when I got shit right, that made me feel very smart, and very rewarded.”

“I think Erica should tutor you next year, she’s stricter than me.”

“’S’cos you’re a sucker for me.”


Stiles shivers against him. “Not Erica though, man. She’d eat me alive.”

“I promise not to let her do that.”

“Thanks, I really don’t wanna be a zombie,” he says sleepily, still lazily jerking Derek off.

Derek laughs, even as his toes are curling and he’s nosing at Stiles’ neck. “I’ll make sure you don’t.”

“You are good to me like that.”

Stiles falls asleep within seconds of coming, lets Derek clean up and shuffle them around until he’s pressed up against Derek’s chest, yawning widely. “I hope I pass everythin’,” he murmurs. “Be no fun not being here.”

Derek squeezes his hip, kisses the back of his neck. “You will.”


Scott and Stiles start a bonfire (with permission and everything from their RA) on the field outside the dorm to celebrate everyone passing their exams. Jackson’s mellow enough to twirl Lydia around the flames, Danny and Scott throw the marshmallows they were supposed to be handing out at each other, and Allison stands with Derek talking about different star constellations. Stiles dances around excitedly, talks to everyone (Derek’s almost ninety per cent sure he really did make friends with their entire hall), before wrapping his arms round Derek’s back and leaning over his shoulder.

“You wanna sing kum ba yah and really piss Jackson off?”

Derek snorts. “No one wants to hear me sing, trust me.”

“Sure, ‘kay, wanna get drunk and go have sex?”

“Can we skip the first part?”

“It’s almost impossible but, you two actually got worse the second you got together,” Allison says rolling her eyes affectionately.

“Like you can talk,” Stiles says loftily, dragging Derek away from the fire and home to their room. They crack the window because Derek loves the smell of bonfires. They can hear the faint strains of Fleetwood Mac, someone yelling at Scott to put his pants back on, everything about the evening nostalgic and hazy.

Derek takes his time, maps Stiles’ skin with his tongue, kisses his wrists, tangles their fingers together when he finally pushes inside of him. He’ll never get tired of sex with Stiles. It’s different every time. Stiles’ body, Stiles’ reactions, Stiles’ absolute everything is fascinating to him, his favorite kind of puzzle to study.

They’re both quiet, Derek can hear every hitch in Stiles’ breath, the way the bed creaks and their skin meets, everything about it intense, something else.

He falls asleep with Stiles running his fingers through his hair, commenting about the baseball season and how Derek is now obligated to go to games again with him.

He’s pretty sure he can deal with watching the Mets suck if Stiles is there.


“Wow, it looks so empty.”

Derek dusts off his hands, snags Stiles’ hand and moves to sit on the empty bed.

“You think it’ll be weird not sharing a room next year?” Stiles continues when Derek doesn’t say anything. He’s squirming in Derek’s lap, messing with his glasses.

Derek stills his hands. “It’ll be fine.”

“You won’t miss my snoring?”

“I’m sure I’ll hear it through the wall.”


“Seriously?” Jackson bangs into the room and glares at them. “I’m moving your shit around and you’re up here cuddling?! Get the fuck downstairs now so we can get out of this hellhole.”

“Aw, shucks, I’m pretty fond of it,” Stiles says lightly. “I passed exams in here. I was an MVP in here. I—”

“Fell in love in here, yeah yeah,” Jackson gripes, disappearing again. “I hate this place.”

“I was gonna say got laid in here,” Stiles sniffs, adjusting his cap.

Derek jabs him in the side. “Come on, Laura’ll be here in a minute.”

Stiles eyes the only bags left in the room. “You uh, still got something you wanna tell me?”

Derek flushes despite himself. “No, fuck off, they’re Erica’s. I’m keeping hold of them till the wedding.”

“When I get married I want like, cannonballs of confetti.”

“I’ll keep that in mind,” Derek says drily.

“When is the big day?”

“Two weeks from now.”

“But you’re—”

“I’m going to the wedding before I come down to see you,” Derek cuts in before Stiles can panic. He’s already planned out the route meticulously. “I’m picking Isaac up along the way.”

“You uh, you gonna be doing much dancing at this thing?”

“You worried I’m gonna think Isaac’s a better dancer than you? Think I made a huge mistake?”

“No,” Stiles huffs.



“You wanna come to Erica’s wedding with me?”

“And it only took two months of heavy hinting,” Stiles wraps his arms round Derek’s neck, leans forward to kiss him. “Look at you learning how to get messages and shit.”

“Work in progress,” he retorts gruffly.

Derek glances round their now, totally empty dorm room. There’s plaster missing on a part of the wall where Scott and Stiles were practicing with their lacrosse sticks and Stiles hit the wall instead of air; a burn on the carpet he has no memory of; the wall by Stiles’ bed is empty, all of his pictures in a box to go up in the new house. He thinks back on all the moments they’ve had in this room, the sex they had in the shower only this morning, the endless video games, the studying, Stiles bringing him coffee on their very first day as roommates. He really fucking hopes he gets to keep a life like the one he had in this room.

“Come on,” Stiles grabs his hand, yanks him down the stairs. “Let’s go see your sister.”

Laura straightens off the Camaro when she sees them, casually not helping Jackson and Danny with any of the heavy lifting into the Jeep beside her.

She beams at them both, cups her hands round her mouth as they get close. “Hey, losers.”

They both scowl at her, stumble towards the cars bumping shoulders and Laura rolls her eyes. “Happy to see me?”

"Not for a second," Derek grumbles as Stiles says yes and elbows him in the stomach. Derek swats at his chest and then catches Laura eyeing them fondly.


"No, nothing, gosh you two are just adorable."

"Shut up."

"Let the woman call us what she likes, Derek," Stiles interrupts, snagging at his shirt and pulling him in for a kiss. "See you in two weeks?"

"Yeah," Dereh breathes against his mouth. "I'll sort of miss you, you know."

"'Course you will," Stiles says easily. "Call me when you get home."

"'Kay," Derek says, aware of how stupidly fond and adoring he looks as he pulls away.

Jackson makes puking noises and Danny cuffs him round the head. Stiles winks at Derek, backs away from him to go and punch Jackson on the arm.

Derek turns back to his sister and rolls his eyes at the look on her face. "What now?"

"Look at you all grown up," she sighs dramatically. "Makes me proud."

"You don't know anything about being grown up," he says primly, climbing into the car.

"Bye, ass face," Stiles yells. Derek grins despite himself, lifts his hand to the window to wave as Laura pulls out of the parking lot, humming something that sounds suspiciously like Whitney Huston. 


They last approximately forty five minutes after going to bed the first night in the new place. Derek is tossing and turning, unsure as to why they even thought it would be a good idea to try and pretend like they’re not living together living together. He flicks the light on, glares at a book for a minute. He hears Stiles rustling outside the door before barging in.

“I’m not sleeping alone; there might be monsters or something.”

Derek grins, pushes back the covers. “Couldn’t you beat them off with a lacrosse stick?”

“Naw, I’d much rather have you fight them off for me.”


“Welcome,” Stiles presses a kiss to his chest, reaches out a hand to pull Derek’s glasses off and then flops out bonelessly half on top of him. “I’m movin’ my stuff in here tomorrow.”

“Ok,” Derek says, smiling at the top of his head.