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Stiles followed the crotchety old man down the corridor, hands out in front of himself and feeling like he really needed to watch out for the guy falling backwards. He walked almost at a backwards sloping angle, and every time he took a step, Stiles was convinced he was going to fall over. Someone that old should have a walker, or a cane, at least. Not wander around the corridor scaring poor, unsuspecting newcomers with thoughts of him being blown over by the wind!

“Well,” the man said, stopping in front of a door, “here it is.”

Stiles watched a shaky hand raise, and stared while the man attempted to get the key into the lock. More than once, he tried to reach out and take it before realizing how rude that was and pulling back, but it was actually causing him physical pain to watch the man attempt to get the door open.

“Ah, there we go,” he said once he’d finally gotten the key in. He turned to smile at Stiles, who forced one of his own and nodded. “Tricky little thing.”

Stiles managed to get a laugh out, but when the old man turned away, he pretended to sob. He’d been on the road for hours, and he just wanted to get to his new place, unpack, and pass out. He didn’t want to spend ten hours with his new landlord trying to get his stupid door open.

Once the lock clicked, the man pushed the door inward and turned on the hall light, leading Stiles into the spacious apartment.

“Your roommate works odd hours, so you won’t see him much,” he informed Stiles while walking down the corridor to the living room.

“What’s he like?” Stiles asked, looking around. Most of the decor looked like it had come with the unit, and he was glad that, despite the old man’s evident ancient-ness, he had bought into an amazingly modern unit.

“Quiet,” the man informed him. “Don’t hear from him much. He pays his rent on time, sends his wishes at holidays, but otherwise I don’t see him.”

The man turned by the window and smiled at Stiles, then held out the keychain he’d been using to get them into the unit.

“Fob is for the entrance, along with the garage. Your stall number is nine, and you can share the locker with your roommate if you need it, number eleven. This key is for the front door in case the fob runs out of battery, this one is for mail, and this one is for the unit.” He motioned each item as he described it, then handed the set over to Stiles. “Gas and fire are included, Hydro comes out of pocket. Cable and Internet you’ll have to discuss with your roommate. Rent’s due on the first of every month, either by cheque or direct deposit. Lease agreement is on the table for you to sign, you can bring it down to me whenever you’re ready, unit two-twelve.”

“Thank you,” Stiles said sincerely, offering the man a bright smile. “Really, I appreciate you giving me the chance. I know a lot of people were interested in the unit.”

“You look like a respectable young man,” his landlord said with a kind smile. “And your father is a sheriff, I’d imagine you know how to behave yourself.”

“More or less,” Stiles said with a laugh, walking slowly after the man. “Do you know when my roommate should be back?”

“He’s out of town for the next few days,” the landlord said, turning to Stiles briefly. “Family gathering. I wouldn’t expect him back for a while.”

“Okay.” It was weird for Stiles to be moving in without the other party present, but it wasn’t like this was sudden. His arrival had been planned for over a month, so he figured either his roommate didn’t care so much about someone new showing up, or he’d taken all his valuables with him.

Stiles walked to the door with the landlord, trying to resist the urge to pick him up and carry him out, because he really wanted to get a move-on with settling in. When they reached the door, the landlord reminded him once more which unit he was in and then finally left, allowing Stiles to close the door behind him.

He waited a few seconds to be sure the man was gone, and then did a small happy dance at having actually managed to score the apartment. It was only two years old, virtually new, fully furnished and decked out with all the newest and best appliances.

Stiles had only seen photos of it from home, and spoken over the phone with the landlord, so now that he was finally there he was eager to look around. It was weird to realize that most of the items didn’t belong to him or his roommate, but he kind of liked that because it meant he hadn’t had to worry about bringing any furniture with him.

He walked into the large kitchen, left hand running along the smooth marble of the countertop and glancing at the fridge. It was one of the newer models that opened in the middle with two doors. The right side had a whiteboard on it with a pen attached, and the left had only a magnet for a duct-cleaning company. Stiles opened it just because he could and saw that one entire half of the fridge was empty, while the other had a few different food items. His roommate had apparently been living there since the beginning, so he was probably used to having someone else sharing his space. Stiles would have to bear that in mind, since he and his dad still argued about whose turn it was to empty the dishwasher or take out the trash.

Moving out of the kitchen, he fell down onto one of the large couches in the living room, grinning and bouncing on it a little. It was comfortable, and he lounged on it for a few seconds, enjoying the way it angled perfectly to watch TV. Which was a fifty inch, and probably the biggest fucking thing Stiles had ever seen.

He tried not to dawdle too much while looking at the rest of the apartment. His roommate’s door was closed, and he respected that enough not to peek in—though it had been extremely hard to resist—and knew that it had an en-suite bathroom. While he’d have liked to have scored that, his roommate had gotten there first so he just checked his own bathroom, impressed by the size of it, and then wandered into his new room.

He fell down onto the bed, grinning and looking at the small TV, side tables and in-built desk. The place was fucking phenomenal, and he was so excited to be living there, even if it meant having to share with someone else. He’d been living with his dad his whole life, he could survive with another party.

His phone rang while he was still lounging on the bed, relishing the feel of living virtually alone—roommates were not parents—and he reached into his pocket to pull it out.

“Hey dad.”

“Hey kiddo,” his dad said, voice distorted, suggesting he was using bluetooth in his cruiser. “You make it there okay?”

“Yup, just finished my tour. The washer-dryer combo looks like a robot, I swear it’s going to grow legs and start wandering around the apartment.”

His dad laughed at that, and Stiles smiled. It was going to be hard living two states away from him, but this was for the best, and they both knew it. Stiles had big dreams, and with a good scholarship, it would’ve been stupid of him not to make his way down there. His father didn’t want him living out the rest of his life in Beacon Hills, and this was a chance for a good future.

Still, it would be lonely, and he hated that knowledge.

“Take pictures once you’re all settled in, okay? I was just calling to make sure you made it there in that hunk of junk of yours.”

“Hey now, that Jeep’s been really good to me,” Stiles insisted, sitting up and scooting to the end of the bed so he could stand. “It survived the entire trip without problems, I’ll have you know.”

“Small miracle, that. I’m glad you made it safe, son. I’ll call you after my shift.”

“Sure thing. Bye dad. And make sure you have a healthy dinner or I’ll find out!” he called quickly at the end, knowing his dad would pretend not to have heard and hung up on him. He smiled when the call ended and shoved the phone back into his pocket, looking around his new room and nodding to himself.

It was time to get to work.

Which sucked, because he was lazy and just wanted to snap his fingers and have everything magically appear in his bedroom. Sighing, he trudged to the door but then detoured at the kitchen to read over and sign the lease agreement. He locked the door on his way out and stopped at his landlord’s place to give him the documents, then spent almost five minutes inching backwards away from the door, clearly attempting to leave, but the man wouldn’t stop talking.

When he finally escaped him, he went down to the front of the building where the visitor’s parking was and climbed into his jam-packed Jeep, driving slowly around the building to the underground garage in the back.

He pulled up too far from the mechanism for the fob to activate the gate and ended up half-hanging out of the window, waving his arm like an idiot to get it to open. When it finally did and he drove inside, he felt a little embarrassed when he looked around. All the cars currently parked in the garage were extremely nice and fancy, and he felt like his Jeep was making all the other cars whisper about him behind his back.

He parked extremely carefully in his stall between a black Camaro and a plumb-coloured Porsche, shutting off the engine and then sitting behind the wheel for a moment.

Walking into the building in his plaid shirt and jeans, he hadn’t felt out of sorts. The landlord had been polite, and didn’t look like any kind of millionaire, and even the rent was affordable for his single dad to help him pay on a monthly basis.

But the garage told a different story. The garage told him that the people in this building were made of money, and maybe his landlord was just a really nice guy who was so rich he didn’t really care who lived in his units as long as they were good people.

It worried Stiles a little bit, because he didn’t know anything about his roommate. He’d tried to get in touch with him after the landlord had confirmed the place was his, but the guy was a ghost. He didn’t respond to Stiles’ two emails, and he wasn’t here now that Stiles had arrived. What if he was some old rich businessman who sold watches or something out of some high-end store downtown?

Then again, if he was a rich businessman, he wouldn’t be renting with a roommate, so he probably was more in line with Stiles, expect with more money.


Stiles looked between the two cars on either side of him, wondering if one of them belonged to his roommate. He sure hoped not, he didn’t want him knowing the Jeep belonged to Stiles. Not that his clothes wouldn’t make that obvious.

“Why do you even care?” he demanded of himself loudly, annoyed he was even stressing about it. “You’re just here for four years to go to school, it doesn’t matter what your roommate thinks of you!”

He kicked open his door a little too hard and it almost banged into the Camaro. He managed to catch it before it did, feeling his heart pounding somewhere up in his throat, and carefully climbed out, shutting the door behind himself.

He moved to the back of the Jeep and popped it open, pulling out a few of his bags and trying to determine how many trips he’d need. He’d kind of just been loading up on his way out the door, but he had to be mindful of the elevator here. He didn’t want to break anything, and he also wasn’t sure how long it would take to get everything from the car to the lift.

Deciding that the best thing to do was get all of it moved to one area at a time, Stiles began walking back and forth between the Jeep and the alcove where the elevator was. A couple came out while he was still unloading, and he braced himself for horrible things to come out of their mouths, but they just smiled politely, welcomed him to the building, and got into their Audi SUV a few spots down from him.

He wondered if he looked as small town as he felt, and was suddenly really feeling the pressure of the big city.

Trying not to dwell on it, he got all his belongings from the Jeep to the alcove and then locked up the car. He called the elevator, and then waited for it to arrive. Once it did, he quickly shoved all his items into the lift so that it wouldn’t do that annoying beeping sound and force close on him, and barely managed to get everything in before that actually started happening.

He hit the eighth floor button, waiting and praying for no one to join him, and got his wish when he reached his floor without any problems. He had to unload everything just as quickly, but managed to do so without the elevator harping at him.

He propped open the apartment door since it was within sight down the hall, and started walking his things back and forth between the apartment and the elevator. He mostly dumped everything in the entrance since his roommate was gone and he didn’t want to cause problems in the corridor, but it was a relief when he finally got everything into the apartment and the door closed behind him.

He felt like he could breathe more easily and grinned to himself, once again excited. He figured he’d have to get some food and laundry detergent, but he knew there was a store in an outlet down the road, and it was only three on a Saturday, so he had time.

Instead, he began moving his things into his new room. Most of his items went into the closet or dresser, but he got his laptop and printer set up on the desk, and plugged his console in on the floating shelf beneath the small wall-mounted TV.

His bathroom things went into the main bathroom across the hall, and he had to find space for his sheets and towels in the shared hall closet. His roommate had only taken two shelves, but given it was so tiny and only sported a total of four, Stiles had to force quite a few things to fit, and honestly wasn’t sure the door would stay shut. He’d have to bring some home the next time he went back to visit his dad.

He got his bed fitted, tossed on his blankets and pillows, and then put all of his suitcases away. Most of them were collapsible, so he just shoved them under the bed, but one he had to struggle to get onto the top shelf of his closet.

Once he was finished, he checked the time and was quite proud of himself for having managed everything in just over two hours. True, he’d only had items to bring in and no furniture, but still!

Figuring he should head down the street to the store, he grabbed his wallet, phone and keys and then left the apartment. Smiling to himself, he promised that he would make the most out of the year and that this would be a great experience for him.

He knew it would be.

If the fucking moronic woman incapable of corralling her children in front of him did not move out of his way in the next five seconds, Derek was going to get arrested for murder. The flight attendants clearly stated that anyone who required help or took a bit longer than normal getting off the plane should fucking wait until all other passengers had disembarked specifically so that this bullshit wouldn’t happen where a woman was blocking an entire aisle with the whole fucking plane at her back while trying to wrestle her screaming toddler into a sweater.

Derek’s hand tightened around the carry-on bag he held in his hand, trying to glare hard enough for them both to spontaneously combust, but alas, he hadn’t yet mastered that ability. So, he just stood there, getting more angry by the second, listening to the people behind him grumble, and decided that he was definitely going to pay extra for business class next time.

It took the woman an additional two fucking minutes to get herself organized enough to pick the kid up. She held her hand out to another child and managed to penguin-walk her way down the aisle to the door, Derek finally able to move forward. The entire other side of the plane was almost done by then, and he knew some people on his side must’ve cut across seats to the other side.

He would’ve done that if he hadn’t been carrying his laptop case and carry-on, both of which were extremely bulky. The only solace he found in this, was that the moment he stepped off the plane and deeked around the woman, he could literally keep walking until he was out of the airport. He’d only been gone four days, so he hadn’t had much to pack, which meant no suitcase.

Thank God.

It was slow-going through the airport overall, due to all the zombies milling about at this hour of the night, but he managed to make it outside and to the taxi line without incident. He gave his address curtly, tone suggesting the cabbie should keep his trap shut unless he wanted a beating, and then pulled out his phone to check his work messages.

Scowling at what had transpired in just the short amount of time from landing to the cab, he quickly typed back a message and almost debated heading straight to work before realizing he would be useless. He hadn’t slept much during his visit home, and it had messed up his schedule.

That was one of the only disadvantages to being an investment banker. His hours were shit, he worked way too much, and his schedule was backwards from a majority of the rest of the world. He knew this was just a stepping stone to a higher title, but sometimes he felt he was a grumpy asshole because the rest of the world was awake while he was trying to sleep. Still, the pay was good, and it would work out for him in the end, he was sure. After all, he was only two years in, he had tons of time to improve and move upwards.

When the cabbie finally stopped in front of his building, he was so distracted the man had to clear his throat uncomfortably. Derek glanced out the window, then put his phone away, paying the man and grabbing his items.

He made it into the building without incident, nodding hello to one of the women coming out of the elevator, looking sleepy. It was just after five in the morning, and he knew she worked in the same industry as him, so she was likely headed to work. She smiled back at him and he wished her a good day, which she returned to him before stumbling towards the front door.

When he got to the eighth floor, he had almost reached his door before he suddenly remembered he had a new roommate. He just stood outside the apartment, scowling at the lock, key in hand, and wondered what this new person in his life would bring. He knew the other had moved in sometime over the weekend, which meant he’d been alone in the apartment for three days, at least.

Derek didn’t like thinking about how much snooping the guy had done, and he had to remind himself that this was a great place to live, the landlord was amazing, and he’d own his own place soon enough. This was just temporary.

Unlocking the door as quietly as he could, he turned on the hall light and stood waiting in the corridor for something to happen. Most of his other roommates had made it a point to come out and meet him the first time he’d ever come home after having moved in, so he was waiting for this new one to worsen his night.

Surprisingly, nothing happened. The place was still and silent, and he wondered if maybe his roommate didn’t care enough. Or he slept heavily enough not to have heard the front door. The landlord had said he was the son of a sheriff, so maybe the door opening and closing at all hours was such a common occurrence that he didn’t stir at the sound of it.

Shutting the front door and locking it behind himself, Derek moved quickly to his bedroom, looking around for any of the small changes in the place. He scowled at the sink of dishes, and the haphazard movies littered across the coffee table, but otherwise the place looked almost the same as it had with the previous roommate, whose name Derek had already forgotten.

He hadn’t lasted long.

Opening his bedroom door and turning on the lights, he dropped his things just inside his room and headed back out to the kitchen. His eyes caught sight of an envelope with his name on it on the counter, but he bypassed it for now and pulled open the fridge, perusing its contents.

For someone who’d been there for three days, all his roommate had on his side was a bottle of ketchup, a six-pack can of Coke with three cans missing, and four different take-out containers.

Great, his roommate was going to fucking kill himself.

Ignoring his roommate’s lack of self-preservation, he checked his side before grunting and shutting the fridge door, pulling the whiteboard marker off his board and beginning to jot down a few things he’d have to pick up. He had enough food for the following evening, at least, but he knew it would be a challenge to grab anything worthwhile before the weekend with his schedule.

Finishing up with his list, he went to the counter to grab his mail and opened the envelope. It wasn’t sealed, and hadn’t had an address on it, and he realized why the moment he opened it.

It was from his landlord, completed and signed by his new roommate. Because Derek was the primary on the lease, and he had another person here now, it meant he had to sign it once again to confirm everything was still the same on his side.

He wished he could just pre-sign a whole bunch of them so that whenever his roommates moved out he didn’t have to do this all over again. He didn’t even know why they moved out, though apparently the one two roommates before thought Derek was a serial killer. That had been amusing, and the landlord had chuckled quite hard while informing Derek of this.

Reaching into his breast pocket to grab a pen, he unfolded the lease, ready to sign it, when his eyes caught sight of the name staring back at him from the agreement.

He had to stare at it for a good few seconds to be sure he wasn’t imagining things, but given the name had been written in in four different places, that was definitely not a mistake.


“Meatch... Myech... Mie...” Derek decided it would be far less embarrassing to just give up. That was quite the fucking mouthful.

He pitied his roommate’s bed partners.

Shaking his head and signing the lease agreement where indicated—it was cute the landlord put tabs, despite Derek having done this at least eight times in the last two years—he folded it back up and replaced it in the envelope. He left it on the counter to give to the man later before heading to work and turned off the hall light.

He took a quick shower before heading to bed, the noise of the city already starting outside since it was just past six by then.

Around seven, he woke with a start at a door slamming shut loudly and glared angrily into his pillow. He tried not to feel too angry, since his roommate had no idea he was home, but the more banging around he heard while the idiot got dressed and fed, the more frustrated he became.

When the guy left around eight, it was a fucking Godsend and Derek pulled his pillow over his head and closed his eyes, trying to get back to sleep. He’d let his roommate know he was back later, and hopefully tomorrow would be better.

Everything was fine.

Everything was not fine!

Stiles had spilled coffee down his front, forgotten his bus pass, almost lost his keys, and worse still, his fucking roommate was home and he hadn’t known!

He’d been going about his morning like normal, a little less cautious about noise given the concrete building, but with the assumption that he was still alone. He was late, and having a bad morning, and he’d made it all the way to the door before realizing the envelope on the counter was now flipped upside down and that there was new writing on the whiteboard stuck to the fridge.

Which meant the entire time Stiles had been banging around in his room, his new roommate—who he hadn’t even met yet—was probably thinking of all the best ways to murder him for being an inconsiderate asshole!

He wanted to die. This was the worst. He hadn’t even met the guy yet and he probably already hated him. He would have to explain later tonight when he got home, and hopefully they could salvage this. He really didn’t want to live with someone who hated him because he had been too clueless to realize he’d returned home.

Stiles groaned to himself, burying his face in his hands while riding the bus to the university twenty minutes away from his place. He’d been waiting since moving in this past weekend to meet the guy, and of course his first impression was the worst.

But he could still salvage it, he was sure. He just needed to make sure he explained himself when he got home later, and had to be more mindful of the noise when he got up in the morning. The landlord had just said he worked weird hours, but that could mean anything from mid-day shifts to night shifts, so Stiles had to assume maybe he had a similar schedule to his dad.

He spent a majority of the day having anxiety about going home to meet his roommate. What if the guy was an asshole who didn’t believe Stiles truly hadn’t known he was home? Or worse: what if his roommate’s weird hours were because he was a serial killer and he was already planning Stiles’ murder and disappearance?!

Unlikely, if he was honest, but still! A legitimate concern for him to have!

“Are you okay?”

“What?” Stiles turned to the guy sitting next to him, startled at the concern on his face.

“Sorry, you’re just... you’ve been restless all class and I thought maybe something might be wrong.”

For a few seconds, Stiles had no idea what to say. It was his second lesson in this class since the semester had started a few days ago, but he hadn’t made it a point to be friends with anyone yet. To have this guy sitting next to him concerned enough to ask if he was okay was a little surprising.

In a nice way, but still.

“Yeah. No, yeah, I’m fine. Sorry.” Stiles set his pen down while the professor at the front continued to drone on about numbers. “Rough night. Didn’t mean to bug you.”

“You weren’t bugging me,” the other said with a small smile. “I just wanted to make sure you were doing okay.”

“Thanks.” Stiles offered him a smile and held out one hand. “Stiles.”

“Scott.” The other shook it and offered him a huge grin. “Not to be weird or anything, but are you Stiles Stilinski? Like, the sheriff of Beacon Hills’ son?”

That had come out of left field and Stiles stared at his new neighbour with a bit of concern, but Scott just laughed and rubbed his neck awkwardly.

“Sorry, that was weird. Um, my mom is from Beacon Hills. I lived with my dad all through school, but I used to visit her in the summer and you looked kind of familiar. When you told me your name, I realized that was why.”

“Oh,” Stiles said, eyebrows shooting up. “Who’s your mum?”

“Melissa McCall. She’s a nurse at the hospital.”

“Oh yeah.” Stiles frowned, thinking he had a vague image of the woman in mind. “I think I know who you mean. Well shit, small world, right?”

“Yeah.” Scott grinned, looking at the front of the class. “Do you understand any of this stuff?”

“Some of it.” Stiles shrugged. “I think the prof’s drunk, to be honest. He’s kind of going out of order.”

Scott laughed and they both got a few shushes and dirty looks thrown their way. Stiles just grinned and motioned that they could talk after class, to which Scott nodded and they went back to their notes.

Meeting Scott had been a bit of a relief, if Stiles was honest, because he’d been worried he wouldn’t be able to make friendly with anyone in the giant school. As it turned out, whether or not he came from a small town didn’t matter because everyone was in the same boat. It was comforting to know.

He and Scott went to lunch together, then exchanged numbers before splitting for their afternoon classes. He met another guy in one of his other classes named Isaac, and left campus feeling much better than he had when he’d arrived that morning. His anxiety started coming back during the bus ride home, but he did his best to squash it and even managed not to just stay on board when his stop neared.

Which was tempting, because murder wasn’t a good look for him.

Climbing off the bus at his stop, he trudged down the street to his building and stood outside staring up at it for a long while. What if he and his roommate fought right as he walked in the door? He’d been there longer, so if the landlord was going to kick one of them out, it’d be Stiles. He didn’t want to get kicked out, he really liked the building, and he wanted to make this work.

He knew he was jumping the gun a little bit, but he couldn’t help it. He really wanted this to work out, and if he couldn’t fix this with his roommate, he was screwed.

Stiles knew he was an acquired taste, and most people didn’t stick around long enough to actually acquire it, so he wasn’t holding his breath.

“Are you okay?”

Stiles started and turned to look at who’d spoken to him, feeling his mouth dry instantly and hoping he wasn’t as obvious as he felt.

There was a God beside him. A literal God had decided to descend from the heavens and grace him with its presence. Him, a mere mortal. Given this opportunity.

The man raised his eyebrows, glancing behind himself at the door he’d just walked through, then turned back to Stiles, waiting expectantly. He didn’t look annoyed, more confused and maybe concerned. Like he thought something was wrong with Stiles.

And something was definitely wrong with Stiles, because there was no way he could speak right now. Not with a fucking God in front of him, thank you very much! With the slicked hair and the stubble and fancy suit and put-together front and—ugh. Stiles was doomed. Doomed.

“Huh?” he managed to get out, knowing he was definitely staring.

“Are you okay?” the man asked again, taking a step forward. “You’ve been standing here for a while.”

“What? No, I’m fine, I’m good, so good, amazing.” Stiles nodded emphatically, forcing his teeth to click together so he’d stop talking.

“Did you need someone from the building?”

“Huh? Oh, no, I uh, I live here.” He whipped his hand up to hold up his keys and ended up smacking the man in the face with them before they hit the ground. Stiles stood frozen, wanting to die, and while the guy in front of him didn’t look impressed, he was kind enough not to snap at him.

“I—am so sorry. Sorry. I’m just... I’ll just...” He motioned into the building, bending down quickly to grab his keys and moving around the man, stumbling backwards when he turned to keep an eye on him on his way to the door. “Uh, thank you. For your contours. Concerns!” Stiles corrected immediately, the man giving him a weird look. “Your concerns. Which are—valid. And noted. Thank you.” Stiles motioned his own face vaguely by waving one hand in front of it. “You’ve got great cheekbones, by the way. I’m gonna stop talking now.”

The man stared at him for a moment longer, then nodded once. “Take care.”

“You too! Warmest regards!” Stiles called as the guy walked away. When he turned to hurry into the building, he mouthed the words to himself, disgusted and horrified, and disappeared through the front door. He waited until he was in the elevator before banging his head repeatedly on one of the mirrored walls.

He was so fucking stupid! He hadn’t felt that embarrassed since he’d asked Lydia Martin to prom before remembering she was Lydia Martin.

“Why can’t I be normal?” he asked of himself, sighing heavily. “Just a normal conversation. Hi, how are you? Weather’s great. Nice suit. Have a good one. Simple.” He groaned and banged his head against the glass wall again. “God, ‘you’ve got great cheekbones’? Who says that?”

He exited the lift when it stopped, sighing loudly and wanting to die, and hoped he never saw that man again. That was possible, right? Maybe he didn’t even live in the building and was just here visiting his mistress or something. Stiles could hope. He felt like he might die if he saw him ever again.

It wasn’t until he reached the apartment door that he remembered he had other things to worry about and he felt anxiety crawling up his spine all over again. While he wanted to stand in the corridor and angst for a while longer, he didn’t need his shitty luck bringing Mr. Tall, Dark and Bearded back into his general space while doing something stupid again so he just resigned himself to his fate this time and unlocked the door.

Poking his head into the apartment, he cautiously called, “Hello? I come in peace.”

When he was met with silence, he entered the unit fully and shut the door behind him, walking further into the place and looking around. Nothing seemed different between now and that morning barring the missing envelope on the counter. Otherwise, it was like nobody else had even been there.

Dropping his bag in his room, Stiles winced at the mess in the sink and living room before setting about getting everything into a more reasonable sense of order. He really wasn’t setting the best first impression for his roommate.

When he was done, he went down to the Jeep to head to the store for some dinner—which, honestly, was likely to be a box of Kraft Dinner—and returned with a few more bags of junk food he definitely didn’t need.

His roommate was still gone when he got home and he wondered if maybe he was being ignored. Despite his better judgement, he knocked on his roommate’s door and then opened it just to be sure the guy was actually gone.

Finding the room empty, he just sighed to himself and went about his business, figuring he’d speak to his roommate when he got home from wherever it was he’d gone.

He spent the night watching television instead of doing his readings, and ate an extremely healthy dinner of boxed macaroni and cheese with ketchup and some garlic bread. Making sure to wash everything this time, he waited up as long as he could before realizing his roommate wasn’t coming home.

Maybe he didn’t even really live there and just... showered and kept his belongings there. Or maybe his hours were weird enough that it would make sense for him to be gone from two in the afternoon to eleven o’clock at night. Stiles didn’t know, he wasn’t exactly well-versed in any jobs outside law enforcement and those hours were pretty messed up themselves.

He was ready to head to bed at quarter-to-twelve when his eyes caught sight of the whiteboard on the fridge. It still had the same list of items he’d seen on it this morning, but there was a lot of empty space beneath the list so he shrugged and wandered over to it.

Picking up the marker, he wrote out a message beneath the list, added a smiley face, and then nodded, pleased with himself.

Replacing the marker, he disappeared into his room after checking that the door was locked and got himself ready for sleep.

He’d meet his roommate tomorrow, no big deal.

Derek rubbed at his face with both hands, feeling fatigue beginning to set in and wondering if he shouldn’t have taken an extra day off after returning home to get himself back on a good schedule for work.

Realistically, he knew it wouldn’t have mattered, but the perception of additional time would’ve helped even if he’d just spent the entire day off lounging on the couch checking his emails and thinking about work.

He probably needed a hobby, but it was hard to get one of those with the hours he worked, not to mention he wasn’t really interested in very much. He liked to read, but at the speed he read, he was fast running out of books that interested him.


Derek let his hands drag down his face and looked over at the door where Boyd stood, wearing his suit jacket and holding his briefcase.

“Done for the night?” he asked him.

“Yeah. A couple of guys in Trading are going out for drinks. Did you want to join?”

Derek checked the time, seeing it was almost four in the morning and shook his head.

“I should finish up and head home soon.”

Boyd just nodded, wished him good night, and left the office. Derek watched the door shut slowly and then leaned back in his seat, mind returning to hobbies. Laura had been almost intolerable when he’d gone back to visit, and even his mother had started getting on his case, insisting he worked too much.

Derek didn’t think he worked too much. He worked a lot, sure, but he liked his job and, again, stepping stone. He would get to a position where he could go home at normal hours and not be in the office for sixteen hours a day.

He needed to get laid though. Badly. He hadn’t had sex in way too long, and wished he was still in a relationship.

Though why he wished that when his last relationship had been with a batshit crazy bitch like Kate, he didn’t know. He was just that desperate to get laid, he supposed. He wasn’t big on one night stands, otherwise he’d have solved this problem ages ago.

He blamed the sex on his brain for his next thought, but honestly had been thinking about it off and on all evening, which was probably what had stemmed the thoughts of sex to begin with.

The guy standing outside the building when he’d left for work earlier. He hadn’t been able to stop thinking about him.

Derek didn’t discriminate. To him, if someone was attractive, they were attractive regardless of their gender. But this guy... he’d been attractive. All bright eyes and full lips and great skin. Derek knew it was weird to focus on the guy’s skin, but the other had been commenting on his cheekbones so, fair was fair.

It was weird, but Derek just felt like it had been a while since he’d seen anyone who’d really caught his interest right away. There was just something about him that made him want to introduce himself if they ever met again. Yes, he’d gotten hit in the face with a set of keys, which he was still annoyed about, but the guy had obviously been flustered. Nobody started blurting out random comments about strangers if they weren’t flustered.

“With my luck, he was going to pick up a date,” Derek said aloud with a sigh, deciding he was done for the night and turning off his desk lamp while he got to his feet. He gathered his belongings before heading out of the office, wandering down the deserted workspace and thinking maybe he should’ve gone with Boyd and the night traders to get a drink.

When he reached the lobby, he waved good night to the night guard and headed outside to walk the four blocks back to the apartment. He stopped at his usual coffee shop on the way back to get a pastry for breakfast the next day, and then made his way through the silent morning to his home.

Reaching the outside of his building, he stared at the spot the guy had been standing while walking past and wondered how long he’d been living there. Derek rarely met any of his neighbours, and really only knew of about four of them from brief encounters in the hallways. The rest of the building was a mystery to him, so the guy could’ve been living there as long as him, or could’ve moved in the previous day, for all he knew.

He started wondering about his schedule while checking the mail, then realized it was creepy of him to be thinking about someone he’d literally seen once just because he was feeling lonely and horny.

Pulling out a few bills, he realized he and his roommate would need to discuss the various items to be split and sighed at the realization that he’d have to talk to the moron. He supposed he could set some time aside for the following day, maybe try and stay around until he got home from class. Derek wished he knew his schedule, it would make things easier on him given his own wasn’t exactly set in stone. Him trying to catch his roommate would be easier than his roommate trying to catch him.

He was almost tempted to make a racket on his way into the apartment to pay his roommate back for that morning, but while he was petty and would have done it to his sisters, he didn’t want to cause problems that would have him at odds with the other man. It would only make living with him intolerable, and Derek didn’t have the authority to add a lock to his bedroom door.

He’d already asked. The landlord had said no.

Walking silently into their shared unit, he moved to his room to set his belongings down and then returned to the kitchen to set his pastry in the microwave. He was about to head back to his room when he caught sight of something out of his peripheral.

Glancing at the whiteboard on the fridge door, he felt a stab of anger at the messy chicken scratch beneath his list of groceries.

Sorry about this morning, didn’t know you were home. Will be quieter tomorrow :)

Reaching over to grab a paper towel and angrily wiping the words off, Derek grabbed the marker and printed his own response back, wondering what kind of moron thought it was okay to just use other people’s things.

Don’t write on my whiteboard.

This wasn’t a community board, it was there for him to remember what food he had to grab from the store when he actually had time to go. He couldn’t afford to have his roommate using it to leave him stupid little comments about things he didn’t care about.

His roommate had been loud. It had happened. It wouldn’t happen again. Perfect. He didn’t need the guy to tell him, he just needed him to follow through and the message would be clear!

“Unbelievable,” he grunted to himself quietly, shaking his head and moving to return to his room. He shut his bedroom door and went to take a quick shower before bed.

Somehow, he hoped this roommate lasted even less time than the previous ones and just fucking went away!

Stiles dropped his phone in his mad scramble to get it turned off the next morning. He didn’t want to wake his roommate like he had the day before, but felt like his attempts to silence it—and thus dropping it and attempting to grab at it for an additional few seconds—had just backfired.

By the time he turned it off, he was sure his roommate was wide awake and fuming and he aimed a silent apology to their shared wall before getting out of bed.

It was almost like his attempts at being quiet were all just laughing at him, because no matter what he did, he felt like he was being loud. He dropped both his shaving cream and his soap in the shower, his bedroom door slammed when he inadvertently caught the handle on the edge of his hoodie, the coffee machine started screaming at him because he’d started it with no water in it, and his alarm went off again for some inexplicable reason while his hands had been full and he couldn’t turn it off.

All in all, if he survived the day without getting murdered by his roommate, it would be a fucking miracle.

He was just getting his bag over his shoulder and grabbing a banana off the counter when his eyes caught sight of the whiteboard on the fridge.

His note was gone, and had been replaced with a neat print beneath the same print of a grocery list. Hurrying forward to read it, he felt his heart sink and scowled a little at the words staring back at him.

Don’t write on my whiteboard.

Was this guy for real? Stiles hadn’t erased any of his list, he’d literally just written underneath what was already there, and had done so to apologize for being loud. He almost wanted to apologize again, except he didn’t think his roommate would believe him with the racket he’d been making.

Hesitating and wondering if he’d just caught him at a bad time, Stiles grabbed the marker and drew an arrow upwards at the comment, then added his own beneath it.


He replaced the pen and then headed out of the apartment, deciding it was a small win when the door didn’t slam. He was in less of a hurry today, so he took his time getting to the bus stop, stopping at a nearby café to grab himself a breakfast sandwich and some coffee—the machine screaming at him had scared him out of trying again.

Stiles texted Scott while he waited for the bus to arrive, and when he reached campus, he met up with him outside their Computer Sciences class, the two of them sitting together near the middle. They didn’t have the same majors, but had discovered they were in the same Faculty and had three out of five classes together. Stiles felt like he’d lucked out, especially since Scott was a really nice guy, and they’d had a lot of fun at lunch the day before.

They ran into Isaac in the library after their class, and Stiles introduced him and Scott, the three of them sitting together to do homework. Isaac, as it turned out, was also from a small town and had the same fears as Stiles, though Stiles liked to think he hid it better. It was comforting having two people he could rely on in times of crisis, even if he’d only known them for two days a piece. Every stranger today was a friend tomorrow, or something. It sounded like something his dad would say, anyway.

He stayed at school past when he’d have liked, working on some math homework in the library with Scott, but eventually had to concede defeat and head home because he had food in the fridge and really needed to watch how often he ate out, especially on campus.

It was expensive as fuck on campus.

Bidding the other two farewell, he headed home on the bus, still partly doing homework, and almost missed his stop from distraction. When he reached the building, he’d just pulled open the outer door when the elevators opened and the God walked out again.

Stiles wanted the floor to just open up and swallow him whole. He couldn’t help but think about the way he’d literally thrown his keys in the man’s face, and how he’d been kind enough not to punch Stiles for it.

“I see you made it into the building today,” the man said, the corners of his lips twitching, as if he were about to smile.

“What? Oh, yeah. Keys.” Stiles laughed awkwardly, holding up the keys, but keeping a tight grip on them. He licked his lips while the man approached him and winced, wanting to get this out before he lost his nerve. “Hey, I’m uh—I’m sorry. About yesterday. With the keys, and the face, and the words.”

The man paused in front of him, arching an eyebrow, and fuck that shouldn’t look as hot as it did. “That’s okay,” he said. “Though maybe try not to hit strangers in the face in the future.”

“Right.” Stiles nodded emphatically, hands tightening around the keys in his hands.

“I’m Derek.” He held out his hand, and Stiles was so honoured at having the ability to touch him that he almost dropped his keys before realizing what hand he was holding them in and transferring them to his other one, shaking the man’s hand.

“Stiles.” He got a look for that and laughed. “Don’t ask.”

“Well, Stiles, I’m glad you found your way into the building.” Derek offered him a nod, releasing his hand, and then moved around him to exit. “Have a good evening.”

“You have an evening, too!” Stiles called after him. “I mean a—great... Just, super awesome... Have an evening!” He turned away, whispering to himself, “What is wrong with me?”

This was ridiculous, even by his standards. It had to be the stubble, Stiles was weak to men with stubble. It was so perfectly, neatly trimmed, too. Like he had a fucking ruler in the bathroom with him and measured each individual strand. Stiles wanted to rub it all over his face. God, he needed to get a hold of himself.

He was still floating on cloud nine by the time he reached his apartment, and it took him a few seconds to realize he was alone. His roommate had obviously left again for the day, and just to be sure, Stiles checked his room. He felt like he should stop opening his door, because one day there would be a booby-trap in there and his roommate would think he was snooping.

And Stiles was not snooping! He wanted to, God did he want to, but he also didn’t want to get kicked out, which was still on the table if he pissed his roommate off enough.

Turning to head for the kitchen, he saw the whiteboard had been altered again. The previous night’s comment and his addition of “seriously?” this morning had been erased and replaced with a single word.


“God, you’re such an asshole,” Stiles muttered to himself, shaking his head and opening the fridge. He rooted around for some leftovers, realized it was still too early for dinner, and then heated some food up anyway.

He rinsed out the containers in the sink, but didn’t put them in the recycling yet, wanting them to dry out a bit. He lounged on the sofa, eating curry and rice, and watched bad TV until well past ten. By that point, he figured it was time to hit the hay and went to get ready for bed.

Twice during his nightly routine, he thought he heard his roommate come home, but every time he opened his door, the apartment was empty. He was starting to feel like he lived with a ghost, and if he didn’t meet his roommate by the weekend—which was basically tomorrow, with it being Friday—he was going to insist the guy didn’t exist.

This was fucking ridiculous.

“You seem in a good mood,” Boyd informed him while Derek took a seat beside him after his turn at the dart board.

“Do I?”

Boyd just shrugged, sipping at his beer and watched one of the guys from night trading attempt to hit the dart board. It didn’t even hit the black outline of the target, slamming straight into the wall. The rest of the traders laughed, but Boyd and Derek just watched on in silence.

They weren’t really friends with the traders, but only the six of them had the crazy hours they kept, so it had kind of forced them into being social. Derek and Boyd both did Investment Banking together, with Derek being more senior, and the four traders sat in their corner of the office watching the markets on the other side of the world and trading on the foreign exchanges as needed by the company.

They all seemed surprisingly outgoing, which was something Derek had never understood. He and Boyd were polite, for the most part, but they weren’t exactly outgoing. He’d assumed anyone else working nights at their company would be the same, but the traders were all outgoing and fun. Two of them were married, one was a single dad with a daughter in high school, and the last one had been working there so long that people had started so many rumours about him no one actually knew what was real anymore.

They just seemed like a weird group of people to be loud and outgoing, working nights and being away from their families so much. It was easier for Derek and Boyd.

Derek was single, and Boyd had a steady girlfriend who was in nursing school and busy almost as often as he was. Derek had asked him how they kept their relationship going when they never saw each other, and he’d just given him a weird look and said they made time for one another.

Derek supposed if he had someone he truly cared about, he’d make time for them, too. The only people he really made an effort with was his family, and that was because they were all extremely close. Moving away had been difficult, but he still visited them regularly, and it would be a miracle if he went one month without Laura coming out to harass him.

He realized he’d probably saved himself a visit for the next little while by going home to see the family last week, but he was expecting her to make her way back out there soon. Maybe she could scare his new roommate away.

“Yeah, you’re definitely in a good mood,” Boyd said after a moment of silence. “What happened?”

“Nothing happened.” Derek gave him a look. “And I’m not in a good mood.”

“Keep telling yourself that,” Boyd said, sipping at his beer and checking the time. Derek did the same, realizing it was well past five in the morning. They’d worked long hours and should all be heading home, but he didn’t feel like doing that. Going home meant going to sleep and then waking up to repeat the monotony of his life all over again.

Then again, if he went home, he might see Stiles again.

He paused, realizing that maybe he was in a good mood. He honestly hadn’t expected to see him again after the first day, but lo and behold, twice in a row, he’d been leaving for work when the other had been coming home. It looked like he was in school, he’d had a backpack on and seemed a little younger than Derek. Not young enough that Derek thought he might be in high school, but university was a definite possibility.

And God, he had great skin. Derek hadn’t wanted to let his hand go. Smooth skin, long fingers, perfect hands. Derek didn’t have a hand kink, that he knew of, but he thought maybe he might develop one looking at those hands. He could imagine what they’d look like wrapped around his cock.

“I need to get laid,” he said to Boyd with a sigh, rubbing at his face with both hands. “I think I’m going to have a problem if I don’t get laid.”

“Why’s that?” Boyd asked with a grunt, then motioned for Derek to take his turn at the board. He did so relatively quickly, then told the traders he was done, not wanting to linger longer than he had to, but deciding it would only be fair to finish his conversation with Boyd before heading out.

“Why’s that?” Boyd asked again when he retook his seat.

“I met this guy,” Derek told him, drinking a large swallow from his beer glass and licking his lips. “Lives in my building. Met him for the first time two days ago, but I’ve been thinking about him a lot.”

“He cute?”

“Yeah,” Derek admitted. “He’s cute. Great skin, which I didn’t know was something I looked at. And his hands...” Derek trailed off, staring down at his own hands and clenching them into fists. “I don’t know. I need to get laid.”

“No harm in having dirty thoughts about the guy,” Boyd said with a shrug, ignoring the look Derek sent him. “Not like I haven’t thought of having sex with Angelina Jolie.”

“Does Erica know that?” Derek asked.

Boyd turned to him, face expressionless. “She told me she would surgically remove my testicles while I was conscious if I ever had sex with Angelina Jolie and didn’t invite her to watch.”

“Your girlfriend is scary.”

Boyd just shrugged and looked back at the traders. Derek sighed, finishing off his drink and then tossed some bills onto the table. He patted Boyd’s back, waved to the men at the dart board, and headed out of the pub. It was getting cooler now that they were in September, and he figured he should either start bringing a coat or drive to work. It felt lazy driving four blocks, but Derek was not a fan of the cold. He figured he could see how this winter treated him and decide on a day to day basis.

It was weird to think about, but now he worried that if he started driving, he might not run into Stiles again. Considering he’d only met the guy twice, he definitely knew he shouldn’t be trying to rearrange his schedule around someone he was lusting after but Derek really needed to get laid.

He was worried his roommate would be up for class when he got home, but he’d managed to make it into bed only five minutes before his alarm went off. While he wasn’t banging around as loudly as the previous two mornings, he was still loud enough that it pissed Derek off and he buried his head under his pillow.

He tried not to think about murdering his roommate, and instead dreamed of long fingers, bright brown eyes and dimpled cheeks.

Fuck, he needed to get laid.

Stiles tore the plastic wrapping off the outside of his new whiteboard and held it up, grinning at it before slapping it onto the fridge on the opposite door from his roommate’s. The other man’s still had the same list of items, along with the “YES!” written on it, but now Stiles had his own whiteboard, and his roommate couldn’t do a thing about it.

If Stiles wanted to leave him cryptic, passive-aggressive messages, he was entirely within his right to do so!

He checked the time on the stove and frowned, wondering what the hell his roommate did with all his time. It was Sunday afternoon, and he still hadn’t seen hide nor hair of him. He’d heard him arrive home late on Friday night—well, Saturday morning, really, since it had been well past midnight—but then hadn’t seen or heard him for the rest of the weekend. It was nearing five on Sunday, and the guy still hadn’t stirred.

Or maybe he wasn’t in his room at all, Stiles didn’t know. It made it very difficult for TV watching when he didn’t know if his roommate was going to exit his bedroom with a machete and hack him to pieces.

Shrugging to himself, Stiles just grabbed one of his new markers and wrote out a message on his whiteboard, leaning back once he was done and nodding to himself.

Dear Asshole Roommate,
I apologize for having sullied the sanctity of your whiteboard, I didn’t realize you felt so strongly about it.
As you can see, I now have my own, and plan on writing whatever I want on it, whether you like it or not.
Do NOT touch MY whiteboard.
The guy in the apartment who doesn’t have a stick up HIS ass.

Probably wouldn’t make his father proud, but Stiles was annoyed. He’d tried to apologize, and his roommate had been a dick about it. He didn’t have time to make friendly with someone who was just going to be an asshole about everything.

Falling onto the couch, and realizing how awkward it would be if his roommate walked in to see that while he was lounging in front of the TV, Stiles texted with Scott and Isaac for a bit before they decided they wanted to go to a movie. He debated whether or not to go, then decided he had to have some fun while in university or he was going to die sad and alone having regretted everything about his lost youth. So he told them he was in and then got ready to leave.

He was exiting the elevator in the parking garage when the large automatic door opened and the black Camaro he’d been parked beside roared into the lot. He waited for the driver to park, and felt like God was punishing him when sexy bearded-man Derek climbed out of the muscle car with a bag of groceries in his hand.

He started slightly as seeing Stiles just standing there, but offered him a smile that had Stiles wanting to crawl on his hands and knees over to him and beg to be punished.

He was a fucking weapon. That was the only explanation. Derek was a fucking weapon, and he was determined to destroy Stiles.

“Hey. Stiles, right?” Derek said, locking the car with a chirp and moving over to him, stopping a few feet in front of him. “Enjoying your weekend?”

“So much,” Stiles admitted, because Derek was wearing a tight black shirt and jeans that left little to the imagination and please God don’t let him get a boner right now, this was the worst, why was this happening to him?

“Heading out?” He could tell Derek was trying to force conversation, and Stiles had to wonder if maybe he wasn’t very social but made an effort with his neighbours. If that was the case, it was pretty nice, and he felt honoured Derek was working at it with him.

“Going to a movie with some friends.”

“Should be a good time. Hear there’s a lot good that’s come out lately.”

“You haven’t been?” Stiles asked, frowning.

Derek shook his head, playing with his keys in one hand. “Work makes that a little challenging. I barely have time for anything anymore.” He shrugged, glancing over his shoulder at his car, then turned back to him. “I won’t keep you. I hope you enjoy the movie.”

“Thanks, you too!” Stiles really wished he could force the filter between his brain and his mouth to work. “That’s not—I mean, have a good night.”

“Thanks.” Derek looked amused, and Stiles wanted to fucking die!

He also wanted Derek to leave before he climbed into his Jeep, but the guy didn’t move. He just stood there, waiting for Stiles to go somewhere, so he finally resigned himself to embarrassment and headed towards the Jeep. He unlocked the door and climbed in, but before he could shut it, Derek spoke.

“I like your ride.”

He turned to him sharply, trying to determine if he was making fun of him, but Derek looked sincere in his comment and seemed to realize how that could’ve come across, because he quickly added,

“I had one in high school. A Jeep like that, I mean. Brings back memories. And they’re durable, mine lasted me for years before I bought the Camaro.”

“This one is older than I am,” Stiles admitted. “It uh, was my mom’s. She died when I was little.”

“Sorry,” Derek said, and Stiles just shrugged, hating he’d made this weird by bringing that up.

“Anyway—um, good night. Hope your Sunday goes well.”

Derek nodded and Stiles shut the Jeep door. He backed out and left the garage, but when he glanced in the rear-view mirror, he found Derek hadn’t moved and was just watching him drive away.

Stiles felt like he would do anything to end up underneath him, and he wondered if a ride in his Jeep would work to get him what he wanted.

Derek was furious.

No, he was beyond furious, because his roommate had managed to ruin a perfectly good day with just a few short words on a fucking whiteboard.

He’d been extremely surprised to find Stiles in the garage earlier, but not unpleasantly. He hadn’t expected to see him again so soon, and was pleased they’d managed to have an actual conversation. It had been a struggle for him, given he didn’t tend to talk much in a social setting, but he’d managed and had gotten some good rapport going. He really did like his Jeep, and hoped Stiles had believed him. He’d only realized after the words had left his mouth how that may have come across to him, given Derek had driven in in a Camaro and he was driving out in a hunk of junk held together by duct tape.

But Derek legitimately liked his Jeep. It reminded him of high school and simpler times and cruising down the street with Laura and Paige while the girls whined about his music and they got sick off too much fast food.

It seemed like a lifetime ago now, and he found he missed those days. Life had been so easy before adulthood, even if he was relatively happy with his life as it was now.

Still, he’d been pleased as pie on his way into the apartment after his conversation with Stiles, and had gone to the kitchen to put away his groceries to find a new whiteboard on the fridge along with a note.

Why was his roommate determined to ruin his good mood? What had Derek done to deserve this?! He just wanted to fucking go in his bedroom, watch some porn, beat off while possibly but not ever admitting to it thinking about Stiles, and spend the rest of the night lounging on the couch. Now his good mood was shot and he wanted to murder his roommate with a rusty axe.

He wondered if it was possible to find a rusty axe.

Storming to his roommate’s door, he threw it open and looked around to see if he was hiding out in there. The place was a fucking mess, but empty of any human bodies. A shame, really. Derek would’ve loved to call the cops on him.

One week in and he already wanted him gone. This didn’t bode well for the weeks to come.

Returning to the kitchen, he followed through with putting his things away and then erased what was on his whiteboard, list included since he’d gotten what he needed from the store.

Picking up the marker, he wrote much harder than he knew was necessary on his own board, responding to his roommate’s rude comments.

Dear Loud as Fuck Moron,
Did you never learn not to touch other people’s things? Did your parents fail at raising you? Not only are you loud and fucking OBNOXIOUS every GOD DAMN morning, but you also decided it would be okay to touch my shit.
Stay on your half of the FUCKING apartment, and I’ll stay on mine.
By the way, you owe me for cable and hydro. I don’t care how you pay me, but you better get on it before you regret it.
The only person in the apartment with an ACTUAL FUCKING JOB.

His mother would be ashamed of him, but he couldn’t find the energy to care. He didn’t have time to be this little shit’s parent, and if he ran into him in the next few days, he was going to be in a lot of fucking trouble.

Storming to his room, Derek slammed into it and shut the door loudly behind him. He rummaged through his clothes to find something to work out in and changed as quickly as he could manage. Within minutes, he was out of the apartment once more, heading back to the garage so he could go to the gym.

He was better at working out his aggression when he could punch something, and he didn’t want to lose his damage deposit by putting holes in the wall. It would be best if he punched something more used to the abuse, like a punching bag. Or a person.

Preferably his roommate.

By the time he reached the gym, his good mood was long gone, and he cursed his roommate to hell and back for having ruined how good he’d felt talking to Stiles.

The only reason Stiles hadn’t lost his shit and started pouring pig’s blood all over his roommate’s bed on a daily basis was because he wasn’t raised in a barn, and he had chats with Derek to look forward to on a nearly daily basis.

The war of the whiteboards he hadn’t even realized he’d started had been waging for almost two weeks now, and it was getting bad enough that Stiles was positive he would wake up with his roommate standing over him brandishing a knife.

To be honest, he was surprised neither of them had murdered one another yet, since Stiles was always asleep when his roommate came home, and his roommate was asleep when Stiles left in the morning.

He also wasn’t sure if they were just really good at avoiding one another or if they magically had amazing schedules that made it so they never saw each other, because he was going on almost a month living there by now, and he still hadn’t met the guy.

Which he was fine with. More than fine with. Super fucking fine with.

The guy made him want to murder puppies, and Stiles fucking loved puppies!

He was still fuming from a particularly nasty message from that morning on his way back from class when he quite literally walked into Derek. The elevator doors had been opening and he’d been grumpy enough to just walk right in as Derek had been on his way out of it.

He grabbed Stiles’ shoulders to stop him from falling over and offered him a small smile that had Stiles’ anger disappearing in seconds.

“You okay? You were thinking pretty hard there.”

“It’s been known to happen,” Stiles said with a sigh and rubbed at his face with one hand. “Just—personal shit. Ugh.” He didn’t want to talk to Derek about his roommate, so it was better to actually just avoid it altogether.

“Sorry to hear that.”

Stiles just shrugged and realized he was still blocking Derek’s exit. He moved back a few steps and Derek stepped out of the lift, the doors closing behind him. Stiles saw the numbers above the doors creeping upwards, suggesting the elevator had been called elsewhere, but that was fine. It gave him an excuse to stand there and talk to Derek.

“Anything I can do?” Derek asked.

“Do you know a good assassin?” Stiles inquired, which had Derek laughing.

“If I did, I’d have used their services a while ago.” He smiled at Stiles, then checked the time on his watch. “Actually, I have a bit of time today. Did you want to go and talk for a bit? Maybe a drink can calm you down, we can try and get your mind off whatever’s bothering you.”

Stiles had just fallen into an alternate dimension. He was in a parallel universe where he was desirable and Derek thought he was worth his time. Angels were singing above him, Santa Claus was real, and the Tooth Fairy was going to drown him in quarters tonight.

This was the greatest day of his life.

“Yes!” he blurted out, much too loudly. “Yes, sure, of course. Awesome. Yes. Let’s-let’s do that.”

“Great.” Derek looked so fucking pleased that Stiles was positive he’d switched bodies with someone. Maybe he was in the body of a leggy, curvy blonde babe and Derek was severely misinformed right now, except when Stiles glanced down while following Derek to the door, he was definitely still wearing his ratty jeans and faded hoodie.

Actually, now he was embarrassed that Derek had to be seen with him in public. He was wearing a navy coloured suit, with a light cream-coloured button-up and a matching tie. He had a long black coat overtop and a briefcase in one hand. He looked like the most put-together individual Stiles had ever met, and it felt like he was a single-dad bringing his rebellious teenager out for coffee.

Then again, Stiles had no problem calling this guy ‘daddy,’ and wow that was a kink he didn’t know he had, he needed to get his thoughts into safer waters.

“How’s school going?” Derek asked, making Stiles focus on his face and not how amazing his legs looked in those pants.


“School,” Derek repeated, smiling a little like he knew exactly where Stiles’ mind had just been.

Namely, the gutter. Stiles lived there now. It was roomy.

“Oh, yeah, no. It’s great.” He scratched at the back of his neck while they walked, not sure where they were headed but knowing he didn’t care. “Classes are starting to get more challenging, and midterms are coming up, but it’s good. They’re interesting, and I like learning new stuff.”

“Sounds like you’re enjoying it a great deal. First year?”

“Yeah.” Stiles nodded. “I got held back for a year in middle school so I’m nineteen instead of eighteen, but I figure no one will think much on it.” He realized what he’d just admitted and quickly added, “Um, I got held back because I refused to go to school for almost the entire year after my mom died. My dad didn’t have the heart to send me.” He now realized he was making things awkward and let out a frustrated sigh. “Anyway, yes, first year.”

“University is some of the best years of your life,” Derek informed him. “Just make sure you have fun every now and then and don’t take everything too seriously.”

“Did you graduate recently?” Stiles asked.

Derek nodded, turning to head for the small café Stiles usually stopped at for coffee in the morning. He held the door open for Stiles and then followed him inside.

“Two years ago. Business major.”

“Oh, so you’re like... twenty...” Stiles trailed off, not wanting to insult him.

Derek let out a small laugh while moving to stand in line with him. “Twenty-four.”

“Twenty-four. Great number. Awesome age.”

“I don’t know, nineteen was pretty great, too.”

Stiles just grinned at him but said nothing. When they reached the front, he ordered a latte and Derek asked for a black coffee and a pastry. He refused to let Stiles pay when he went for his wallet, and told him to find them a table while he waited on their order.

When he joined Stiles, he only had the drinks with him and Stiles noticed a pastry bag stuffed into his pocket. He decided not to ask, but figured he had a sweet tooth.

“So how do you like living out here?”

“It’s good,” Stiles said with a nod, sipping at the foam on his drink. “I love the building, and the people are all really nice.” Mostly, he added bitterly, but he was determined not to think about his roommate, so he steered clear of that topic.

“The people are great,” Derek agreed. “How long have you been living there?”

“Not long. A month or so. Moved in right before school.” He took another sip of his drink and licked foam off his lips. “What about you? Been there long?”

“Almost since the beginning,” Derek admitted. “I was one of the first renters in the place.”

“Oh, you rent?” Stiles was surprised. “I figured you’d own a place.”

“Working on it,” Derek said with a laugh. “I’m planning on trying to get the place I live in when I can afford it a bit more. The landlord knows, he’s actually pretty good about it. I figure I’ve got another year before I can scrounge up the funds for a good downpayment, and he seems amenable to selling to me provided the price is fair.”

“That’s awesome,” Stiles exclaimed, grinning widely. “You must really like it there!”

“Well, it’s a nice building, and it’s convenient for my work. I’m right down the block.” He turned to motion behind him. “Building with the sloped roof right there.”

“Nice, I wish school was that close.” Stiles burned his tongue on his next sip and made a face. “So what do you do, anyway? Are you some bigshot lawyer or something?”

“No,” Derek laughed, and Stiles felt like he could heal bones and cure diseases with that laugh. “I’m an Investment Banker.”

“That’s amazing!” Stiles exclaimed, then licked his lips and said, “What is that?”

Derek laughed again, but very kindly explained the basics of his job to Stiles. It didn’t sound very interesting in Stiles’ opinion, but Derek seemed very passionate about it, and anything that could make him that excited was worthwhile, in his book. Stiles felt bad when he talked about his long hours, but he supposed that was the norm for their generation in general. He was expecting to hate most of his adult life due to work, and he’d watched his dad work himself to the bone for years while raising him on his own. Stiles was going to do whatever it took to ensure a good retirement for his dad, and that meant making enough money to help support him when he finally decided to give up working.

Derek asked him a few more questions about his life growing up, and Stiles found out about his family and the large piece of land they owned just outside New York, and before he knew it, an hour had gone by and Derek cursed when he checked the time.

“I’m sorry, I’d love to stay, but I have to get to work.” Derek stood and quickly pulled his coat back on, bending down to grab his briefcase.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean—that was my fault. I should’ve been more cognizant of your schedule.”

“Stiles, don’t ever apologize for being interesting to speak to,” Derek insisted, fixing the collar of his jacket.

Stiles smiled, then motioned the door behind himself. “Can I walk you?”

Derek’s smile was like fucking sunlight and Stiles wanted to bathe in it. How was this guy so damn perfect?

They took their time walking to Derek’s office building and Stiles stopped outside the door. When he waved goodbye to Derek, the other hesitated for a moment. 

“I’d like it if we did this again sometime,” he said slowly, almost cautiously.

“Me too.” Stiles grinned. “Any time.”

“Tomorrow work for you?”

Startled, Stiles stumbled over himself to confirm that, yes, tomorrow was fucking perfect, thank you very much Derek, and they parted ways with smiles and a wave each.

It was hard not to cartwheel all the way home, but he managed to resist the urge given he’d likely break his neck and miss out on coffee with Derek. He couldn’t believe this was happening, and texted Scott and his dad both while heading into the building.

Of course, that had been a bad idea because he ended up in the lobby for twenty minutes when his dad called and started grilling him for information on this “mysterious gentleman” who was interested in his son. If he didn’t know his dad was just like this, he’d have been insulted at the insinuation that his dad didn’t think he could get a date. 

Not that it was technically a date. It was just coffee, really, but still! It was a second coffee, and they’d been chatting for an hour! God, Stiles was in fucking love, this was the greatest thing to ever happen to him since the history of ever!

When he entered the apartment to find it empty, he momentarily remembered the nasty comment waiting for him on the fridge door, but even as he walked into the kitchen, he couldn’t find the anger at it anymore. Derek had literally cleansed him of all his bad thoughts, and he wiped away the last message on his own whiteboard before adding a new one.

You can’t ruin my good mood, because I’ve got a date tomorrow. So suck my dick.

Practically dancing his way around the apartment, he did some homework and ate dinner before heading to bed. And even his roommate’s snarky response the next morning couldn’t kill his good mood.

Who’d wanna date you?

Derek, apparently. Derek did. So his roommate could suck his dick!

Derek didn’t remember the last time he’d woken up happy since his roommate moved in. The previous day had been amazing, and all he’d done was go for coffee with Stiles. The kid was bright, interesting, funny, and fucking adorable.

Not to mention sexy. So fucking sexy. And it seemed effortless for him, like he didn’t even know he was sexy. It was like he rolled out of bed, slapped on some sex, and walked out the door thinking he’d actually slapped on “I’m adorable” instead.

Which he was, too, but also sexy. It was a confusing mix for Derek, but one he didn’t mind in the slightest.

He was looking forward to seeing him again later, and nothing from his incompetent roommate was going to ruin his good mood. Though he’d been more tolerable that morning, likely because he’d also been in a good mood.

Apparently someone had asked him on a date? Derek had no idea who would want to date someone as obnoxious as him, but he supposed everyone had taste, even if some people had bad taste.

He wondered if his coffee outing with Stiles was considered a date. He wasn’t sure, but he hoped it wasn’t because he wanted to bring him out on a proper date, if things went well. So far so good, so maybe a date wasn’t too far off. Still, he wanted to take things at a reasonable pace. They barely knew each other, and one hour chatting over coffee wasn’t enough yet.

A few more coffees, then maybe he could ask him. He’d have to coordinate with his roommate, though, so that if he decided to bring Stiles home, things didn’t get ruined. Then again, maybe they could go to Stiles’.

It was still way too soon to be thinking things like that, so he just rolled over and shut his eyes, trying to snooze a bit longer before his alarm went off. When it finally did, he got up and took a shower. Normally he didn’t bother since he showered before bed, but he wanted to look good, which was ridiculous since he knew he always looked good. But he also always looked good because he made an effort, and he wasn’t going to slack today.

He got ready for work, debating on which suit to wear—which he normally didn’t and he felt like a schoolgirl going to meet a crush—and finally just picked one at random. He was too old to be nervous about something like this, but then again, he didn’t go out much. He wasn’t good in social settings, and he felt like the only reason he was managing with Stiles was because Stiles talked a lot.

Which was great, it made it easier for Derek.

When he was ready to go, he checked the time and realized they’d never spoken about when and where to meet. He figured they usually met at the front door around the same time, so he just waited until as close to then as he could and headed down to wait in the lobby.

He was only waiting for about ten minutes before Stiles appeared at the door, grinning and pink-faced. Derek smiled and exited the building, giving him an appreciative once-over. He was wearing tighter jeans than normal, and had a coat over a graphic tee instead of his usual hoodie.

“Dressing up for me?” he teased, and was somewhat pleased with the flush creeping up Stiles’ neck and the way he avoided his eye.

“I’d ask the same thing, but I know you wear this every day.” Stiles tugged lightly at the end of Derek’s coat lapel. “Don’t you get uncomfortable being in a suit all the time?”

“Not anymore.” Derek shrugged. “It was hard at first, but once you find a good fit, they’re actually not bad. Still love my jeans, though.”

“I love your jeans, too,” Stiles said quietly. Derek didn’t think he was meant to hear, so he just smiled to himself and said nothing, holding open the door to the coffee shop when they reached it.

Stiles insisted on paying this time, so Derek only got himself a coffee. He usually got his pastries on his way home in the morning anyway, he’d just gotten one the day before because he happened to be in the café.

They found a seat and picked up almost immediately where they’d left off the day before. Derek kept a closer eye on the time today, but it was difficult to keep track with how engrossed he was with Stiles. The way his lips moved, the tone of his voice, his gesticulating hands. Everything about him had Derek wanting to reach over the table and grab his face to kiss him. It was a rather foreign feeling, but not unpleasant.

He was almost disappointed when he had to cut it short to head to work, but Stiles didn’t seem to mind and walked him to his building again. When they stopped outside, Stiles cleared his throat and shoved his hands into the pockets of his jeans.

“So... I was wondering,” Stiles said cautiously. “Maybe this could be like... a thing we do? We can just—meet for coffee at the café every day and chat for a bit?”

“I would like that.” Derek smiled, then realized how stupid they’d been. “Actually, I can–I can give you my number. Might be easier to coordinate as opposed to just hoping we don’t miss each other.”

“Yeah,” Stiles blurted out. “Of course. Duh.” He laughed and hastily reached for his phone, which he promptly dropped and had to bend down to grab quickly. He cleared his throat again, cheeks still pink, and started tapping away at the screen of his phone.

Derek gave him his number when he was ready, and Stiles texted him so that Derek had his. He smiled, told him he’d seen him tomorrow at the café at the same time, and turned to head into the building. 

He was sure Stiles hadn’t meant for him to see, but when he turned to look over his shoulder at him, Stiles was doing a happy dance in front of the building before heading for the sidewalk to go home.

“I don’t know why you’re freaking out so much,” Scott insisted, lying on his stomach on his bed while attempting to beat a character on the screen. “I mean, you’ve been going for coffee with him daily for like, a month, why are you so nervous?”

“This is different, Scotty!” Stiles insisted while he held still for Isaac to help with the suit jacket. “This is a date! Like, a fancy restaurant date! I’m wearing a suit!” He motioned himself and Isaac slapped him across the back of the head.

Wincing, Stiles stood still again so Isaac could finish working on pining the inside.

The suit belonged to Isaac, but Derek’s text had said they were going somewhere that required one, and rather than buy one for one evening, Isaac had agreed to loan him his. The only problem was that Isaac was a fucking giant compared to him, so he was now standing in Scott’s living room while Isaac tried to pin the coat in so it didn’t look like he was drowning in it.

“The guy obviously likes you,” Scott continued, scowling at the screen when he died. “And you like him. I don’t know why you’re both just dancing around each other like this, just date already.”

“You practically already are,” Isaac agreed, getting one last safety pin in place and stepping back. He turned Stiles to face him and gave him a quick once-over. “Not bad.”

“Not bad?” Stiles asked, distressed. “No, no, no, I need to look hot! I need to look sexy! Not bad is not sexy, not bad is like... is like apple pie when you asked for strawberry-rhubarb!”

Scott and Isaac shared a look before the latter asked, “What?”

“You both suck.” Stiles fell onto the couch, sighing and looking down at himself. He knew he was being stupid, and that the others were right, but he couldn’t help it! He really liked Derek, and he wanted this to work, and he was worried a fancy dinner would be completely different from coffee even though it shouldn’t.

And what if Derek wanted to take him home tonight?! Stiles’ roommate had left him another passive-aggressive note on the whiteboard this morning about not being an asshole tonight and that he might be bringing someone home if things went well, and Stiles was just pissed because what if he wanted to bring someone home?! What if he wanted to let Derek fuck his brains out in his bed?! Now he couldn’t!

He supposed they could go to Derek’s, but he didn’t know how well that would work out. Derek didn’t talk about his home situation much, but Stiles knew he also had a roommate, and from the lack of information, they didn’t seem to get along. So if Stiles’ roommate was an asshole, and Derek’s roommate was an asshole, how were they supposed to get down and dirty?!

Then again, he wasn’t opposed to fucking in Derek’s car. It was a nice fucking car. He’d be down with doing the dirty in the back seat.

Not that they would be fucking. Stiles just hoped they did, it’d be nice. They’d kind of already been doing the whole flirting thing, with the teasing touches and footsies and all that. He was ready for some making out and sex.

God he wanted to make out with Derek. He was amazed he’d held out this long, all he wanted to do was rub his face all over Derek’s. He wondered if beard-burn was a thing, and if it was, God he wanted it. He would take whatever Derek gave him and ask for seconds.

“You’re starting to gross me out a little bit,” Scott admitted, giving him a look. “When are you leaving again?”

“Soon,” Stiles promised, checking his watch. “Didn’t want to have to deal with Douche McDouchery today, he’d kill my mood. I told Derek I’d meet him in the lobby at six.”

“Have you still not met your roommate?” Isaac asked, eyebrows shooting up. “Haven’t you been living there for like, two months?”

“Almost three, what’s your point?” Stiles asked back.

“Wow, that’s—impressive, actually.” Isaac got comfortable beside Stiles and sighed. “I wish I didn’t know my roommate. He’s fucking weird. Has a big fear of water so when I fill the sink with water to do dishes I always worry he’d going to have a panic attack.”

“That is why I live alone,” Scott informed them both, hitting the “A” button repeatedly on his controller. “Though if you promise not to be a douchey roommate, you can live with me when your lease is up at the end of the year.”

Isaac perked up. “Really?”

“Hey!” Stiles insisted. “How come he gets an invite and I don’t?”

“You like where you live, and I only have one spare room.”

Stiles let out a groan and fell backwards on the couch, feeling betrayed. To be fair though, he knew it was a better idea for Isaac to move out. His roommate really was a little creepy, and while Stiles may not get along with his own, he also didn’t worry about getting murdered in the middle of the night.

Isaac had found his roommate lurking in his room while he slept.


Probably for the best that Isaac be the one to move out.

They both watched Scott completely fail at the game he was playing and at half past, Stiles bid them farewell and left the apartment. He climbed into his Jeep and drove the twenty minutes back to his building, parking in the garage beside the Camaro. He checked the back seat while walking past it, nodding to himself at its size, and then headed for the lobby.

He still had about ten minutes to spare, but didn’t want to ruin his good mood by meeting his roommate for the first time, so he just sat in one of the large cushy chairs and waited. A few minutes later, Derek stepped out of the lift and grinned widely at him.

“You’re early,” Derek informed him.

“So are you.”

“Couldn’t wait,” he admitted with a softer smile, and motioned behind himself. “I thought we could take the Camaro to the restaurant.” 

“Sounds perfect.” Stiles grinned and got to his feet, the two of them stepping into the elevator and heading down to the garage.

He could see Derek glancing at him out of the corner of his eye and felt pleased that he was being checked out. He didn’t often feel like he was attractive, but one month with Derek had him feeling like the sexiest person on the planet. It was amazing what having one person like you could do to your self-esteem.

They got into the Camaro and drove to the restaurant in comfortable silence. Stiles asked Derek a few questions about his Saturday so far, and Derek asked how school was going. When they reached the restaurant, a valet actually took Derek’s car and Stiles felt nervous all over again. The place looked expensive, and he felt uncomfortable with the knowledge that Derek would be paying for this.

They were led to their table when Derek gave his name and Stiles almost choked at the prices when he opened the menu.

“Something wrong?”

“This—wow.” Stiles let out an awkward laugh. “Um, the prices are... my rent is cheaper than this place.”

Derek’s ears burned and he ducked his head behind his menu. “I just wanted to bring you somewhere nice for our first official date.”

“You should know by now that I’m a cheap date.” Stiles’ face fell. “That’s not what I meant, I just—”

“I know what you meant.” Derek smiled, lowering the menu a little once more. “And I know you’d have been just as happy with going somewhere simpler like Red Robin or even McDonalds, but I wanted to spoil you a little. So sue me.”

“Well, this is definitely me being spoiled,” Stiles admitted, glancing at the prices again. “Wow. I mean, they know how expensive tuition is nowadays, right?”

“Stiles?” He looked up at Derek. “Stop looking at the prices and just pick whatever you want.”

“Fine, but I’m buying the coffee for the next month, at least.”

Derek laughed. “Deal.”

Nodding to himself, Stiles perused the menu for something he thought he might like and decided on the steak. He did his best not to look at the price, but felt a little better about his choice when Derek ordered the same thing.

The waiter asked them about drinks, but Stiles was still underage so Derek just got them both waters.

“You can drink, you know. I don’t mind.”

“I’m not much of a drinker,” Derek said, taking a sip of his water. “I’ll have the occasional beer, but only when I’m out with coworkers. Otherwise, I’m fine with a Coke or water.”

“Coke is great,” Stiles agreed.

They lapsed into a semi-awkward silence and Stiles groaned internally. He’d known this would happen. They were outside their usual habitat, this was unchartered territory! Things were going to get weird now!

“So,” he said, a touch too loudly, “work then. That must be nice.”

Derek gave him a weird look and Stiles cursed internally.

“Sorry, I’m just... this is weird. I mean, you’re probably used to taking people out, but this isn’t—”

“No I’m not.”

Stiles was startled into silence, staring open-mouthed at Derek. The other didn’t look embarrassed to admit it, he just shrugged and sipped at his water again.

“What do you mean? You’re—I mean—have you looked at yourself? You must have people lining up daily!”

Derek’s eyebrows shot up. “Have you looked at yourself?”

“I try not to, it just depresses me,” Stiles responded immediately.

“Stiles, you’ve got to be joking.” Derek shifted his chair closer to the table and Stiles felt their knees bump. “I’ve been attracted to you since the first time I saw you, when you were standing outside staring blankly at the building like you didn’t know whether to go in or not.”

Stiles opened his mouth, closed it, and then just stared at Derek. He’d had no fucking idea! Obviously he knew Derek was attracted to him otherwise they wouldn’t have started going for coffee or been on this date, but he hadn’t realized Derek had liked him from the very beginning.

It seemed surreal. Derek was like a God sent down from the heavens and Stiles was like a little demon gremlin who’d escaped the underworld. It seemed crazy that someone like that would be attracted to him.

Nice, but crazy.

Letting out a slow breath, Stiles cleared his throat and shook out his hands, wanting to get them back on more familiar ground. He desperately wanted this date to work out, and he knew the only way for that to happen was to just act normal. They had to pretend their setting hadn’t changed, and they were still just hanging out in the coffee shop like nothing was different.

So, Stiles started talking about one of his classes. He could tell Derek’s tense shoulders had relaxed slightly once he’d gotten going, and by the time their food came out, they were both a lot more comfortable than they had been at the beginning.

He got Derek to talk to him about his family some more, still admittedly eager to meet his sister Laura since she sounded like a riot, and he spoke about his dad and how he’d been faring without Stiles around. It was all things they’d mentioned before, but they both tried to go into more detail this time around, especially since they didn’t have a time constraint like they usually did.

They ended up sharing a dessert, which Stiles may have been eating a little bit more suggestively than was strictly necessary, but he kind of liked the hungry look in Derek’s eyes while he watched the spoon disappear between his lips.

By the time they were halfway through their coffees, Stiles didn’t care if they had to rent a hotel room or if they would just fuck in the bathroom, but he was not going home without Derek’s dick having gone into his ass. He was way too invested now, and the longer he spent with Derek, the more in love he felt and he wanted him now.

So of course, Derek’s phone had to ring and ruin it all.

Derek frowned when he pulled it out and stared at the name blinking back at him. He made a noise deep in his throat before apologizing to Stiles and answering it. “Boyd?”

Stiles heard the buzz of another voice on the other end, and Derek’s entire face closed off like he wanted to murder someone.

“Now? It’s Saturday.” There was buzzing on the other end again and Derek turned away slightly. “No, Boyd. It’s Saturday.” The way he emphasized the last word suggested he’d mentioned to this Boyd person that he was going on a date.

Stiles was both elated and disappointed by this news. Elated, because it meant Derek was telling people about their pseudo-relationship, but disappointed because his friend obviously wouldn’t be calling if it wasn’t important.

Derek let out an angry sigh, checking his watch, then grunted that he’d be there in ten minutes.

Stiles wondered if they could fuck in ten minutes. He’d be willing to try. He would be so willing to try, dammit!

Turning back to him while putting his phone away, Derek gave him an apologetic look that also looked somewhat angry. It was kind of talented of him to pull off.

“Something happened at work.”

“I figured.” Stiles smiled. “It’s okay.”

“It’s not.”

“No, really, it’s okay.” Stiles rubbed his hands along his pantlegs, offering Derek another smile. “Work is important. And you know, we had a great time, or at least, I had a great time and I hope you had a great time, too, and presuming you did then that means that we will have more great times at some point in the near future, and we can—”

“I had a great time,” Derek confirmed, cutting him off and smiling a little. “I’m really sorry. I wouldn’t cut this short if it wasn’t absolutely necessary.”

“I totally get it.” Stiles nodded emphatically. “I promise, it’s fine. But uh, raincheck? Or, next date? I mean, if you’re down for it.”

“Yes,” Derek said, nodding. “I’m very down for it.”

“Cool. So uh, maybe next Saturday? I have early classes and I know you work late so I feel like Saturday’s our best bet.”

“Sounds perfect.” Derek motioned the cheque when a waitress passed by and wiped at his mouth with his napkin. “Your treat next time, how about that?”

“If you’re okay with going to fast food,” Stiles said with a wince. Derek just rolled his eyes at him and Stiles grinned. “Or maybe a movie? We could go see something. Star Wars is still out.”

“I’d be interested in seeing that, sure.”

“Cool. It’s a date.” Stiles grinned, then let it slide off his face. “Not like, an actual date, just like, you know, a date type of thing with, you know, two people who are—I mean, unless you want it to be a date. I’m totally fine with a date, dates are great, and this was a date, at least, I think it was so—”

“It’s a date,” Derek confirmed, smiling to himself while inputting his pin on the card machine. He handed it back to the waitress and then stood. He waited for Stiles to shrug into his suit jacket and coat—also borrowed from Isaac—and the two of them headed out to the front.

They waited for the car to come back around and Derek started the short drive back to the apartment building. When he parked out front, Stiles licked his lips and stared out at the doors, tapping his fingers against his knees.

“Well. Thank you. For dinner. And the ride.” Stiles looked over at Derek, who was staring at him pretty hard. “Um, this was really great. Wish it could’ve gone longer, but next time.”

When Derek didn’t say anything, Stiles nodded once to himself and then turned, opening the door. He’d almost managed to get one foot out when Derek grabbed his arm and wrenched him back towards him.

Hands were on his face and then lips were on his, Derek kissing him hard enough for it to actually hurt, but Stiles didn’t care. He just pushed back into Derek, parting his lips and groaning at the feel of Derek’s tongue in his mouth. He scratched his nails through Derek’s stubble, only managing to resist rubbing his face against it because it would mean breaking the kiss.

Derek pulled away slowly, lips barely leaving Stiles’, and rubbed his thumb gently against his cheek.

“I couldn’t wait anymore.”

“You shouldn’t have waited ever,” Stiles managed to get out, his heart pounding in his chest. “Please don’t ever wait again.” He leaned forward and kissed him again, Derek’s arms going around his shoulders and pulling him closer.

There was nothing hot about the kiss, it was all wet tongues and lots of teeth, but somehow it fit their relationship extremely well. Stiles wanted to climb over the partition and straddle Derek’s lap, but he knew he had to go, and he was definitely keeping him from work.

“You need to go,” Stiles managed to get out after another few minutes of making out like horny teenagers. “You need to go, and I should let you do that.”

“You should,” Derek agreed, but he just leaned in to kiss him again. “You should let me go.”

“I really should,” Stiles said, even as he pushed his tongue into Derek’s mouth and explored every inch of it. His hands slid back into Derek’s hair, tugging at the dark strands, and he felt like he was drowning. This was quite possibly the singularly most amazing moment of his entire life.

“I’m getting out now,” Stiles said, pulling away with difficulty and scrambling out of the car, but staying bent down enough so he could kiss Derek once more. “I’m going. Bye.”

He pulled away entirely and slammed the car door, feeling like he was walking on fucking clouds. He didn’t even make it three steps before another door opened and shut and he turned to find Derek striding over to him. He was pinned to the glass front doors a second later, Derek’s hands all over his chest and his mouth on his once more.

Stiles fucking hated Derek’s stupid job, because they would probably be fucking right now if not for the fact that he had to go.

The door opened behind Stiles and he would’ve fallen if Derek hadn’t been holding him. Stiles realized the other had unlocked the door with the fob and was now walking him backwards towards the elevator.

“You need to get out of my sight,” Derek insisted, dropping open-mouthed kisses along his jaw and neck. “I won’t leave until you’re gone.”

“God, can you just call in sick?” Stiles asked with a whine, hand fumbling for the up button and finally locating it. He was pressed back against the wall right beside the doors, and he hoped no one saw them humping each other in the lobby like a bunch of children.

Stiles definitely had a problem in his pants right now, and was pretty sure Derek did, too. At least he had the ability to do something about it once he got back into the apartment, Derek was headed for work.

“Maybe—maybe I can go with you,” Stiles said breathlessly, Derek sucking at a spot on his collarbone. “Like—moral support. I give great head. I could hide under your desk, no one would even know.”

Derek groaned against his skin, hands tightening around his waist. “Please God, stop talking.”

The elevator dinged then and the doors opened. Stiles shifted and walked backwards into it, stumbling slightly and bringing Derek with him. They kissed for a few more seconds, Derek reaching out to hold the door before pulling back.

“Tomorrow,” he said, kissing him again. “I’ll call you tomorrow.”

“Yes, definitely, mmhm, do that.” Stiles leaned forward while Derek tried to exit the lift and kissed him again. “First thing. Like, seven am.”

“Maybe five, we’ll see,” Derek kissed him again and finally tore himself away from him, exiting the lift and staring at Stiles. He looked positively sinful, and Stiles wanted to rush out and jump on him again. His coworkers were going to know he’d been doing things, given how freshly-sexed he looked.

Jesus, if he looked like that after making out, Stiles didn’t know if he’d survive seeing him actually freshly sexed.

“Have a good night,” Stiles forced out as the doors closed.

“Good night.”

When the elevator finally separated them, Stiles had to reach out to hit the eighth floor. It started rumbling upwards, and Stiles leaned back against the interior wall, a grin on his face and heart still pounding in his chest. That had been... fucking amazing.

Fucking. Amazing.

The only thing better than what had just happened would’ve been if they hadn’t stopped.

“Derek’s job sucks,” Stiles decided with a whine, the elevator doors opening. He almost walked right into a woman with her dog and apologized before moving aside to pass her and heading for his apartment.

He stopped just outside the door, wanting to relish this feeling for as long as possible before his roommate ruined it with some snide remark. Letting out a slow breath, he reached into his pocket for his keys and paused.

“What?” He started patting the pockets in his pants, then the ones in the suit jacket, and the coat. He turned them all inside out, finding only his phone and wallet and groaned loudly before banging his head once against the door.

He’d fucking lost his keys.

He tried to remember when he’d seen them last and realized it had been in the garage. Shit, they might still be in his Jeep, since he didn’t need a fob to get from the garage to the elevator, but he did getting from the elevator to the garage. He might’ve dropped them in the car when he’d come home earlier and wouldn’t have noticed.

It was also entirely possible he dropped them outside so he hurried back to the elevator, and then opted for the stairs when it took too long to appear. He exited the stairwell in the lobby and went to the front door, looking out it before opening it and leaning out as far as he dared while still holding the door.

It was fucking cold, he didn’t want to get locked outside.

Inspecting the area around where he and Derek had been, he found nothing, and a brief search of the lobby returned the same results. He was virtually positive he’d forgotten his keys in the Jeep.

Whining to himself, he headed back for the lift, knowing this was going to be the worst introduction to his roommate ever. For all he knew, the guy wouldn’t even let him in! If he was even home, since he might not be.

“Ugh, this is the worst,” Stiles proclaimed, moving up to the apartment door and letting out a huff. Steeling himself, he reached up and knocked loudly three times.

He waited, listening hard for movement within, and then knocked again.

He knew if someone knocked on the door, his roommate would at least investigate, so the lack of noise from within the unit led him to believe he was most definitely not home.

Realizing his landlord could probably let him in—or at the very least, into the garage—Stiles went down to the second floor and knocked on the door to his unit. The man’s neighbour opened her door to inform him he’d gone away for a few days, but very kindly offered to bring him to the garage to check for his keys.

Sadly, upon entering, he discovered he did not, in fact, leave his keys in the car and thanked her anyway while heading back up to the eighth floor.

He called Scott to see about a place to stay for the night, but his phone rang through to voicemail. Isaac’s didn’t even ring, suggesting it was either off or out of juice.

“What is the point of having friends if they’re not there when you need them?” Stiles demanded angrily of his phone, sliding down the wall beside his door and sighing.

He wondered which unit Derek lived in and if he’d be willing to let him stay over until his douchey roommate came home, but he didn’t want to text him. He was busy at work, and the last thing he needed was his needy date whining about being locked out.

Checking the time, he decided his roommate couldn’t be out much longer. An hour, maybe two. It was almost eleven, so he had to come home eventually for sleep. Even if his hours were messed up, he still slept, right?

Letting out another annoyed sigh, Stiles got comfortable on the floor beside his apartment door and checked the battery on his phone before opening up Netflix. At least he was close enough to the router that he could use WiFi, he just hoped that the charge lasted long enough for him not to die of boredom.

“Great way to end the night,” he muttered to himself, and opened up the app.

Derek still felt like he had a dopey smile on his face when he and Boyd stood in silence in the elevator three and a half hours after he’d dropped Stiles off. Boyd hadn’t said anything about his weird mood, but he could tell he was glad about it. Derek felt like he would’ve been much angrier had he not kissed Stiles before arriving.

He’d been wanting to for weeks, and had figured he would do it that evening, but when the work call had come in, it just seemed... he didn’t know. Wrong time. But then Stiles had lingered in the car, and Derek realized there was no such thing as the wrong time to kiss someone and then followed the almost twenty minutes of amazing makeouts.

He had been a lot later to work than he’d intended, but Boyd hadn’t commented on it and their boss had obviously been told he’d been out so he probably figured he’d taken a while to get in.

It kind of annoyed Derek when he realized they probably would’ve had time for a quick fuck in the back seat of the Camaro, but he also didn’t really want that to be his first time with Stiles. Like the date, he wanted it to be good. Slow, and sexy, with Stiles moaning and begging and writhing beneath him.

Hard and fast was great, too, but not the first time. He really wanted to enjoy the first time.

“Are you going home to have sex with your date now?” Boyd asked, jerking Derek out of his thoughts.

“No, he went back to his own unit,” Derek said with a sigh, rubbing at his face with both hands.

“You guys live in the same building, I’m sure it wouldn’t be a long walk to his place.”

“I don’t actually know what unit he’s in.” Derek frowned at the realization. It had never really come up in conversation. “Besides, it’s late. He’s probably sleeping. I’ll call him tomorrow.”

Boyd just grunted in confirmation, the two of them stopping beside the Camaro. “Sorry about your date.”

“I’m seeing him again in a few hours,” Derek said with a shrug. “But next time this happens when I’m out and planning on getting laid, tell Finstock I died.”

Boyd snorted and rolled his eyes, but he patted Derek on the back and headed a few cars over to his own vehicle, climbing in and slamming the door shut.

Derek did the same, starting up the engine and pulling out ahead of Boyd. They parted at the street and Derek drove the four blocks back to the building, easing the car into the garage and parking it beside Stiles’ Jeep.

He smiled to himself while walking past it, wondering if maybe he could have Stiles over for breakfast tomorrow if his fucking roommate cooperated and left the apartment, for once. Then again, he’d been good earlier that night. He’d disappeared while Derek had been out getting groceries, and by the time he’d come home, his roommate was still gone. He hadn’t even been back in time for Derek to leave for his date.

Which he was totally fine with. He was still thankful he’d survived this long without meeting him, even though their little whiteboard war was getting bad. He also felt a little uncomfortable since one of the last things he’d written was, “You kiss your mother with that mouth?” to which his roommate had responded with, “My mother is dead, asshole!”

Not like he’d known! He hadn’t meant to hit so low, and he never would have if he’d known his roommate’s mother had passed away. It was just an expression!

“Stop thinking about him,” Derek told himself, stepping into the elevator. He was ruining his good mood thinking about his roommate when what he really wanted to do was go take a shower, beat off, and then fall asleep to dreams of fucking Stiles into his mattress. Maybe something he could still do in the morning.

When he exited the elevator and started down the corridor, he almost paused when he found Stiles sitting on the floor outside his apartment. He frowned, wondering what he was doing there, and how he’d even known which unit he lived in.


Said individual turned to him and smiled sleepily, giving him a wave with one hand. “Hey Derek.”

“Hey.” Derek stopped beside him, confused. “What are you doing?”

“Oh, I lost my keys,” he said with a sigh, rubbing the back of his head. “My roommate’s out so I’m just waiting for him to get back to let me in.”

Derek stared down at him, then at the door he was leaning against.

There was no way. No fucking way!

He motioned the door with one hand, pointing at it almost hesitantly. “You live here?”

“Yeah.” Stiles smiled up at him, but it faded at the look he saw on Derek’s face. Derek didn’t even know what his face looked like, but he was sure it was horrible.

“Right here?” he asked, wanting confirmation. “In this unit? Are you sure?”

Stiles gave him a weird look. “Yeah, I’m sure, why are you oh my God!” he blurted out, eyes widening while he gaped up at Derek. “Oh my God, you’re my roommate! We’re roommates! You’re the person I’m living with! It’s you!”

Derek had so been hoping he wasn’t going to say that, but it actually made perfect sense now that he thought about it. After all, how was it that the instant Stiles started appearing around the same time as him when he left for work happened to be when he got a new roommate? And the Jeep, and dating and the timing and... everything just... fit.

“I thought your name was Mie—” Derek cut off when he realized he couldn’t pronounce it.

“Yeah, it is,” Stiles said, still not giving Derek any idea of how to pronounce it. “You saw it, you really think I go by it? Of course not, I go by Stiles!”

“So you’re telling me the person leaving rude comments on the whiteboard in the kitchen, that’s you?”

“You’re the one who bitched at me for writing on yours!” Stiles insisted incredulously. “And you started it! I was trying to apologize and you were all ‘don’t write on my whiteboard’ like some whiteboard police! And then you started getting all passive-aggressive about it!”

“I need it clean so I can remember to check it for groceries!” Derek exclaimed.

Stiles opened his mouth to retort but cut off when the door across the hall opened and Derek saw the girl he usually met up with in the morning staring out at them, bleary-eyed and messy-haired.

“Hi,” she said quietly, voice thick with sleep. “So, I get you’re both having some kind of crisis right now, but it’s four in the morning and some of us like sleeping, so could you maybe...” she trailed off, motioning their door.

“Sorry,” Stiles whispered. Derek grunted the same and she nodded before shutting and locking her door again.

Derek sighed and rubbed the back of his neck, motioning for Stiles to get up so he could unlock the door. Once he got it open, Stiles followed him inside and shut the door behind him.

Dropping his keys on the counter, Derek rubbed at his face with both hands, heading further into the unit before pausing and turning. Stiles flicked on the hall light and the two of them stood staring at each other for a long, silent moment.

“Well,” Stiles said after almost a minute of silence. “This is awkward.”

“Understatement,” Derek informed him.

Silence once more.

“Look, the only reason I even wrote on your whiteboard was because I wanted to make sure you’d see my apology,” Stiles insisted. “I didn’t know you were home and the next morning, literally everything that could go wrong did go wrong. I wasn’t trying to be loud, and I mean, I’ve been good the past few weeks!”

Derek made a debatable sound and Stiles gave him an annoyed look.

“I was ready to let this all go, but you were just... I mean!” Stiles motioned the fridge and Derek turned to glance at it, resisting the urge to wince at what was staring back at him from his board, written in his own neat little print.

Hopefully whoever’s dumb enough to take you out chokes you with their dick. Just make sure you leave enough money for rent next week, I can’t have your death inconveniencing me.

“Possibly uncalled for,” Derek admitted, looking back at Stiles.

“I’ve never had a roommate before,” Stiles insisted, motioning himself. “I was trying really hard to do my best, and I felt like you just kept cutting me off at the knees. And like—how am I supposed to feel about this?!” He motioned Derek. “How do I reconcile my roommate being my boyfriend?!”

Whatever Derek had been about to say short-circuited at those words and he just stared at Stiles. The other didn’t seem to have realized what he’d said, because he was still glowering angrily at Derek, waiting for a response.

Hesitantly, Derek took a step forward, moving closer to Stiles. “Boyfriend?”

“What?” Stiles asked, momentarily confused, then his face paled. “No! I didn’t—I just meant—”

“Oh, you meant boyfriend,” Derek said, moving another few steps forward until he was right in front of Stiles. “You specifically said, and I quote, ‘how do I reconcile my roommate being my boyfriend’. Those were your exact words.”

Stiles sputtered while Derek looped his fingers into his beltloops and slowly pulled him forward until their bodies were flush, leaning down to kiss his way up the side of Stiles’ neck. He continued to sputter for a few seconds, then loudly said,

“We were still fighting!”

“Were we?” Derek asked, reaching his ear and taking the lobe between his teeth. “Are you sure?”

“Pretty sure,” Stiles said, but his voice sounded a little unsteady and his hands had moved to grip at Derek’s forearms.

“I think,” Derek said, licking along the shell and enjoying the way Stiles shuddered beneath him, “we both overreacted a bit when you moved in. But considering I know you a lot better as Stiles than I do as my roommate, I’m willing to let all my anger at my moronic roommate go, and apologize to him for having been a bit of an asshole.”

“A lot of an asshole,” Stiles muttered, then inhaled sharply when Derek bit a little too hard against his ear. “Fine. A bit of an asshole.”

“I’m sorry I was a bit of an asshole,” he said, moving his hands from the beltloops and shifting them around Stiles’ body to grip his ass.

“I’m sorry I was loud and obnoxious,” Stiles said breathlessly against his hair.

“Mm, well, let’s see how loud and obnoxious you can be tonight. I promise I’ll forgive you.” He pulled back so he could kiss Stiles again, then grinned against his lips. “Your room or mine?”

“Fuck in mine, sleep in yours.”

“Smart. Convenient. I like it.” Derek kissed him once more, then pulled away enough to grab his hand and drag him towards Stiles’ own room.

They would definitely need to talk about this whole roommates thing a bit more in the morning, but for right now, Derek was more than happy to pick up where they’d left off earlier. And Stiles was right: if they fucked in one room, it meant the other was clean for sleeping. The guy was really smart.

“So wait,” Scott said slowly while he climbed the steps to their lecture hall. “You’re saying that hot-bearded-guy Derek is also your roommate? Did you know that, or was it like... how did you not know that?”

“It was kind of an accident,” Stiles admitted, following behind him slowly, his lower back extremely unhappy with him. “We just never ran into each other as roommates and only as neighbours in the same building. So when he came home on Saturday, it was a bit of a shock. Well, Sunday morning, I guess, since it was like, four am.”

“But you’re okay?” Scott asked uncertainly, leading the way down a row and taking a seat.

“Yeah, we’re good.” Stiles fell down beside him and winced. Scott pretended not to notice and he appreciated that. Derek was really rough in bed, not that Stiles was complaining.

Well, his back was complaining, but that was a sacrifice Stiles was willing to make.

“I mean, we had a really long conversation about it when we woke up yesterday, but we talked things out and we both accepted that we were both out of line for the most part, and we’re good now.” He grinned at Scott. “Actually, we’re dating.”

“Weren’t you already dating?” Scott teased and Stiles laughed, shoving at him.

“I guess? But we’re officially dating now. And it works out really well for him, because I can grab groceries and stuff for him now, and we can have lazy morning sex when he gets home from work before I head to school.”

“More than I needed to know, dude.” Scott patted his shoulder. “But that’s really cool that you ended up falling for your roommate. Weird that you didn’t know it was, but still cool.”

“Yeah.” Stiles grinned to himself and hunkered down a bit in his seat when the professor called the class to silence so they could start.

He and Scott took notes throughout the rest of class, and then he went to meet Isaac for his next one, where he proceeded to have an almost identical conversation with him about Derek and his roommate being the same person. They grabbed food together afterwards, along with Scott, and Stiles headed home not long after since he wanted to try and catch Derek before he left for work.

By the time he got back to the apartment, he snuck into Derek’s room only to find the bed empty and made, meaning he’d already left for the day. Disappointed, he sighed and went to fall on the couch, turning on the television when the front door opened.

He jerked upright, grinning when Derek walked in, and was rewarded with a smile of his own.

“I thought you’d left already.”

“I was just talking to the landlord about how we got spare keys for you from the strata. He said if we don’t find yours by next week, we should get them officially replaced, but that he’d wait and see if the strata heard about anyone finding them.”

“Yeah, I called the restaurant earlier this morning, and they said they’d let me know if they found anything.”

“Great.” Derek moved over to him and bent over the back of the couch to give him a kiss. “Actually, I’m glad you’re home. I was waiting for you. I figured we could go grab a coffee.”

Stiles perked up. “Like we used to do?”

“It worked well for us the past few weeks, why stop?” Derek held out his hand. Stiles grinned and grabbed it, turning off the television, and let Derek pull him up off the couch. They left the apartment together, Derek locking the door, and headed for the lift hand in hand.

When they got outside, the air was cold, and Stiles’ hand was frozen, but he didn’t let go of Derek’s and just walked with him towards the café, telling him about his morning classes and how he’d told Isaac and Scott about their hilarious blunder.

Derek had gotten them both drinks and taken a seat before he started telling Stiles about having informed his own family of their somewhat comical relationship. Stiles admitted he’d told his dad, and the man had laughed for a solid five minutes before Stiles had gotten him to shut up by threatening to hang up on him.

“He said he wasn’t surprised, to be honest.” Stiles sighed. “Unfair, but true.”

“Well, as long as it worked out, that’s the important thing.” Derek smiled and sipped at his drink, then reached out one hand to brush his thumb under Stiles’ eye. “Can’t say I’m too upset by this turn of events.”

“Me neither.” Stiles grinned and leaned forward, pressing his lips lightly against Derek’s.

“Oh my God! Is this him?!”

Derek jerked back from Stiles and before he could ask what was wrong, Stiles found his face being wrenched in a direction he was pretty sure it couldn’t turn, and someone pinching at his cheeks.

“Oh my God, Derek, he’s adorable!”

“Laura! What are you doing here?!”

“What?! I can’t visit and oogle my baby brother’s new boyfriend? Oh my God, how did you resist tapping that for so long? You’re lucky he’s your roommate, you can just go next door whenever you want to bang!”


Stiles was pretty sure the Hale family was going to kill him.

He figured as long as he got Derek out of it, maybe it would be worth it.

“I want to chew your cheeks, you’re so cute!”