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A Lesson In Therapeutic Communication

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“Tell me why I’m doing this again?” Derek mumbles from the bed.

“Because you want to help people,” Stiles says.

“There are other ways to help people,” Derek mutters. “Ways that don’t leave me wanting to cry in a corner and scream from stress.”

Stiles snorts, “I think you’re being a little dramatic.”

Derek sits up and looks at him with wide, panicked eyes. His hair is a mess, and there are bags under his eyes. “I’m not being dramatic. This is serious. I have two exams this week. And two finals next week. On top of all the homework we’re expected to do, which is mostly just busy work. And then my last clinical for the quarter. And I still have class this week. There is too much to do and I don’t have time .”

Stiles frowns and sits down next to him, running a hand through Derek’s hair. “Maybe you should take a break and relax.”

Derek sighs and leans into the touch, “Did you miss the part about me not having time?”

“Derek none of this is going to matter if you have a mental breakdown before you finish,” Stiles reminds him. “It’s okay to take a break and let your mind refresh.”

“Nursing school is the worst kind of torture,” Derek says.

“But it’ll be worth it in the end,” Stiles tells him. “You’ll be helping save lives. You’re going to be an awesome nurse, Derek Hale.”

“Yeah?”

Stiles smiles and kisses him softly, “Yeah. Now come on, lay down and get some rest.”

“Maybe I don’t want to rest,” Derek says.

Stiles opens his mouth to argue, but then he sees the look on Derek’s face. He swallows thickly. “Oh.”

Derek smirks and rolls them until he’s straddling Stiles, his arms on either side of Stiles’ head. “I can think of a few ways to relieve my tension.”

Stiles trails his hand up Derek’s chest and chuckles when Derek shivers. “Why don’t you show me? I might need a lesson in therapeutic communication big guy.”

“One of the best ones is touch,” Derek says. He runs his nose along Stiles’ jaw up to his ear and Stiles can’t suppress his shiver. Derek’s eyes are boring into his own and Stiles can feel a whole different kind of tension in the air between them. “You want to have good eye contact.”

“What else?” Stiles asks him.

“Let them know they have your full attention,” Derek says.

He kisses Stiles, slow and deep. Stiles groans and brings a hand up to his neck in an attempt to pull him closer. He lets his nails rake along Derek’s scalp, knowing how much he likes it. It has the desired effect. Derek growls, and suddenly the kiss turns heated. Stiles kisses Derek with a matching hunger, and pulls him closer. It’s been so long since they’ve been together. Both of them busy with classes and studying.

“Get this fucking shirt off you or I’ll sweat I’ll rip it,” Derek tells him, tugging at the offending fabric.

“Now now that’s not very therapeutic,” Stiles teases.

“I’ll show you therapeutic,” Derek mutters.

Stiles laughs and Derek’s hands dig into his sides. Stiles squirms under his attack but doesn’t try to push him off. Derek is laughing. He can’t remember the last time he saw Derek laugh like this. It’s been a rare thing lately with how focused he is on passing his classes.

“Mercy,” Stiles gasps. “I give up.”

Derek grins down at him, before leaning in and kissing him again. Stiles’ hands tangle in his hair and he pulls him closer.

When Derek passes his exams a week later Stiles shows him just how proud he is. Multiple times. If no one sees them leave their apartment for the first few days of break that’s their business. They’ve both worked hard and deserve to spend their time wrapped up in each other.