Stiles checks to make sure he has his new NYU ID and key in his pocket. Jared, his new roommate, was video chatting with his girlfriend. They had been giving each other tours of their dorms for the past half hour, and after chatting with her for a few minutes, Stiles had decided to go out and explore.
His dad had helped him scope out a few local places, like the closest coffee shop and grocery store, as well as the most direct route to the buildings where most of his classes would be. He also knows how to get to the nearest subway stations, so he's feeling pretty confident about his ability to navigate the neighborhood.
Unfortunately, as soon as he crosses the street, he gets distracted by someone shouting up the block and glances over his shoulder. He turns back just in time to make eye contact with a brunette woman before they collide. She tried to swerve at the last second, which probably ended up saving one of the bags she’s holding, but the other one basically explodes as Stiles crashes into it.
“Oh my GOD I’m so sorry,” Stiles gasps out as he kneels to grab at the boxes of cereal and pasta that fell. Luckily nothing is glass or anything. “I should’ve been looking where I was going. Oh my god.”
The woman laughs softly, “Sweetie, it’s no problem. We’re lucky you just took out the pasta and oatmeal. The other bag has eggs in it, and that would have been a much bigger tragedy.”
Stiles glances up where the woman gestures at a man who is standing behind her. The man is just staring at Stiles with wide green eyes. “I’m so sorry,” Stiles repeats, looking up at him. “I just moved here for school and I can’t believe that I literally ran into somebody on my first day. I must have looked like such a tourist. I don’t even know how I’m going to function here if I can’t even walk down the sidewalk safely.”
The woman chuckles again and holds her hand out for the pasta Stiles is still clutching to his chest. He apologizes again and holds it out to her. “You attending NYU?”
Stiles nods several times, “Yea, how did you know?”
She gestures at Stiles’ dorm across the street. “Most of the dorms in this neighborhood belong to NYU. We’ve been here for a couple years now, so we’re kind of used to it.” Stiles nods several more times and glances over the woman’s shoulder at the man still standing behind her. He hadn’t taken his eyes off Stiles yet, but he doesn’t seem to be glaring or anything. Just… staring. She follows Stiles’ line of sight and chuckles. “My mute brother over here goes to NYU too.”
“I’m not mute,” he says, speaking for the first time and scowling at his sister.
Stiles purses his lips and tries not to laugh at the look the woman gives her brother.
“Laura. I’m not mute,” he insists.
“Well, I’m going to let you go,” Stiles says. “Again, I am so, so sorry that I ran into you and spilled your food all over the sidewalk. Are you sure everything’s alright?”
“I am,” the woman, Laura, laughs again. “And don’t worry. Derek and I have both done worse things before. And look, our building is just right here, so we don’t even need to go far. Just… try to look where you’re going from now on.”
Stiles laughs and steps backwards and immediately bumps into a pole. “Right. Looking! I should do that.”
He turns and begins walking up the street, resolutely not turning around. After a few moments, though, he can’t help himself and he glances back over his shoulder. The guy, Derek, is still staring at him from in front of his building. Stiles feels his cheeks flush and he quickly turns to look where he’s going again.
Derek had been beyond hot. Like, one of those people you’d see in the movies or on TV, but never in actual life. Granted, Laura had been beautiful too. Maybe that’s just what people looked like in New York?
The next morning Stiles tries to suppress a grin as he leaves his dorm and walks toward the coffee shop on the corner. He had been so happy to find a small-business type coffee shop, and not like, a Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts. He walks in and lets out a pleased sigh. He’d been here a couple times and he already loved the vibes. He steps onto the line, glad to see that there are only a few people ahead of him, and starts reading the chalkboard menu.
As he rocks back and forth on his feet, one of the people ahead of him turns around suddenly and looks right at him. Stiles blinks in surprise. It’s Derek, from across the street.
He smiles and gives a small wave, but the guy just turns around and steps up to the counter to place his order. Stiles feels his smile droop and shrugs slightly. Timing could be important. Or maybe this Derek really is just like… paralyzingly shy and doesn’t speak to people unless he has to.
A couple minutes later Stiles finally places his order and steps over to where the rest of the people are waiting. He side-steps until he’s close to Derek, but not too close. “Good morning, neighbor.”
Derek glances at him, slightly wide-eyed. “Good morning.”
“I don’t want to be, like, intrusive or weird or anything, but you’re one of like, five people in the entire city that I’ve spoken to already, and you’re the only person who goes to NYU who I’ve met who I’m not currently dorming with, so, like, is it okay if we talk?”
Derek blinks several times before he nods. “My name’s Derek,” he says.
Stiles nods and grins widely. “Your sister said. She’s Laura, right?”
“Right. Cool. Derek and Laura. Laura and Derek.” Stiles watches as the barista holds up a cup for Derek, who takes it with a small smile. “I’m Stiles, by the way.”
Derek’s eyebrows shoot up. “Stiles?”
“It’s a nickname,” Stiles shrugs. “My real first name is Polish and basically nobody can pronounce it.”
Derek shrugs and glances at the door. “Oh shoot, do you need to leave?” Stiles asks quickly. “I’m sorry. I know I can chat people’s ears off on like, a good day, and today I’m nervous and all so I’m sure I’m worse.”
“Where’s your first class?”
Stiles bounces on the balls of his feet as he pulls his phone out. “Um, the KJCC building? At, uh, 53--”
“I can walk you there,” Derek interrupts. “It’s like, three blocks from here.”
“Yea?” Stiles asks with a wide grin. He glances to the side as the barista holds up his coffee. He takes it with a thank you and turns back to Derek. “Really man, thank you! I’m sure I’d figure it out on my own, but it would be so great if you helped me out. I’ve studied the campus map like a hundred times, but it’s still so hard to figure out.”
“Come on,” Derek says. “What’s your major?”
“History,” Stiles says as he adjusts his backpack and trails out the door after Derek. “I’d really like to focus on the influence of the Bolshevik revolution on Eastern Europe.”
Derek’s eyebrows shoot up as he glances at Stiles, “That’s really specific.”
Stiles shrugs. “I really like research. Plus, I took every available AP history course available, as well as a couple others, so I satisfied most of the pre-reqs and I’m coming in as a second semester sophomore, even though I’m also a freshmen, so I figured the more I have figured out with my major, the better chance I have of graduating on time.”
Derek is silent as they walk for a few moments. “I’m a history major too.”
“No shit, really? Dude, that’s awesome! Are you going to the departmental meet and greet tomorrow night?”
Derek winces slightly and nods. “I’ve been told I have to go.” He glances at Stiles again, “I’m sure you’ve noticed I’m… kind of reserved.”
Stiles laughs softly, “I wasn’t sure if you were quiet or if I literally wasn’t giving you a chance to speak. Sometimes the only way to get a word in is to interrupt me or tell me to just be quiet. You can do that, by the way. I won’t be offended or anything like that. I know I ramble. It’s like, a problem I have.”
“I don’t think it’s a problem,” Derek says softly and Stiles beams at him.
“Why’d we stop?” Stiles looks around suddenly at the building they’re standing in front of.
“We’re here,” Derek says with a gesture. “You have your ID handy?” Stiles pulls it out of his pocket and then follows Derek into the building. “I have a class here today too. What room is your class?”
“It’s um,” Stiles consults his phone again. “213.”
Derek nods. “I’m on the third floor. Do you want to take the stairs or the elevator?”
“Stairs,” Stiles answers. “But where is the elevator? I feel like it’s good to know, just in case…” He trails off as he sees Derek pointing with a small grin. The elevator is directly in front of them with a sign pointing to the stairs right next to it. “See? You’re getting the hang of communicating with me already.”
Derek gives Stiles a small wave when they get to room 213. “I’ll see you later, Stiles. Good luck on your first day.”
Stiles watches as Derek walks down the hallway for a moment before he turns to go into his first official college class. He’s glad that they’re a little early, but there are already a couple kids sitting down, so he makes his way in too and pulls out a notebook and his laptop.
Stiles arrives at the History department meet and greet a few minutes after its official start time and grins and waves at Derek, who’s standing with a pair of people on the other side of the room. Derek gives a small smile and waves Stiles over.
He feels a minute of panic. Derek… wants him to come over? To talk to the people he’s with?
He walks across the room, trying not to focus on all of the strangers before he steps up next to Derek.
“Stiles, can I introduce you to Professor Markiewicz and Professor Silvestra? Stiles is a freshman.”
Stiles grins widely at Derek before turning to greet the two professors, both of whom seem genuinely interested in chatting with Stiles for a few minutes.
After a couple minutes, Derek taps on Stiles’ arm. “Can I introduce you to someone else?”
Stiles nods before glancing at the two professors. “Go, mingle.” They both grin as they wave them off.
Stiles follows Derek around and after meeting and chatting with almost a dozen people, Stiles directs them both toward the drink table. They pick up seltzers before Stiles turns to Derek, “So… did you just invite me over so you could pimp out my chattiness and get away with saying practically nothing all night?”
Derek blushes as he takes a sip of his drink. “Maybe,” he answers, glancing at Stiles with a wry grin. “You upset?”
“Hell fucking no,” Stiles says with a small laugh. “Dude, it’s like, our own little symbiosis. I know nobody, but can chat everyone’s ear off, you seemingly know everybody, but don’t want to chat extensively at all, right?”
“Exactly,” Derek says, shifting so their elbows bump gently. “Tell me if you’re mad or tired or anything though. I can handle this on my own. I just don’t like it.”
Stiles squares his shoulders, “Dude, I can do this all night.”
Derek's eyes widen comically, but then he laughs and gestures toward the room. "Then let's go."
“No, but Laura,” Derek protests as he pulls the take-out from the bag. “You don’t get it. I see him in the coffee shop almost every morning. And then we walk to class together. I don’t even know if it’s like, a conscious thing on his part. He just follows me and talks the whole time. And he’s in two of my classes! He’s a freshman! I know he said he took a bunch of APs in high school, but… he shouldn’t be taking senior level classes!”
“He’s really got you worked up,” Laura comments with a grin as she leans against one of the chairs. “You never get like this.”
“It’s because he’s--” Derek stops and takes a deep breath. “It’s because I like him,” he finishes, much quieter than he had been ranting. He sits down heavily at the table. “And I can’t tell if he likes me like that, or if he just wants a friend.”
Laura sits down and pats Derek’s arm. “You should mention that you’re bi, and see what he says.”
Derek laughs, “Right, because I’d be able to pull that off casually.”
“Alright, good point,” Laura acknowledges. “Maybe you’re just fated to unrequited love.”
He throws a fortune cookie at her face and tries not to pout. “I’m an adult. I should just be able to handle this.”
“You are,” Laura agrees, “but Der, you didn’t really get to have all of the normal teenage experiences… so… you get to experience some of them now.”
“How is that supposed to make me feel better?” He asks with a frustrated sigh.
Laura shrugs. “I don’t know. It’s normal, I guess?”
Stiles walks into the coffee shop after his last class for the day. He grins when he sees that there are a couple empty tables, which means that he’ll be able to do some homework before heading back to his dorm room.
He gets a brownie and a bag of chips with his coffee and as he turns to find a table, he realizes that Laura is sitting at one of the tables and watching him.
She grins and waves him over. “You want to share a table?” She asks as he approaches.
“I’d love to,” Stiles grins. “But you don’t mind? You’ve got a book. I don’t want to interrupt you.”
“It’s fine,” she answers. “Derek is writing an essay, and I try to give him some space because he claims I’m too distracting. Plus, he’s been telling me all about you over the last few weeks. I’m glad I get the chance to talk to you again.”
“You mean, without harm to your groceries?”
She laughs, “Sure, yea, that’s good.”
“But wait,” Stiles says as if he had just registered what Laura said. “Derek talks about me?”
Laura smiles as she takes a sip of her coffee. “You seem to have made quite the impression on him.”
“In, like… a good way?”
“Yes,” she laughs softly. “Even back home, in California, Derek kind of always had a hard time making new friends. He’s always been kind of quiet.”
“Whoa, you guys are from California? I am too!”
“Yea, a small town in northern California,” Laura says with a wistful smile. “You’ve probably never heard of it.”
“Oh my god, I’m from a town just like that,” Stiles says with an answering grin.
Laura’s eyebrows do a complicated maneuver and they simultaneously speak.
Laura’s eyebrows shoot up in surprise and Stiles nearly drops his coffee. “No shit! Wait, really?”
“What are the odds?” Laura asks.
“Wait.” Stiles’ expression of pleasant surprise drops off his face. “Wait. Holy fucking shit.”
“Your last name is Hale, isn’t it?”
Laura stills and nods slowly.
“Shit,” Stiles repeats again. “Cora was in the grade above me. We were on the debate team together.”
“Oh,” Laura breathes out. “Shit.”
They stare at each other wide-eyed for a minute before Stiles shakes himself gently. “I am so sorry for bringing that up. I can’t believe what a small world it is, that we’d bump into each other here, all the way across the country.”
Laura smirks, although it doesn’t quite reach her eyes. She makes air quotes with her fingers, “Are we calling it ‘bumping into each other’ and not, ‘you blindly ran into me on the sidewalk’?”
“Hey,” Stiles mock gasps, clutching at his chest, “You said you weren’t mad about that.”
Laura shrugs. “I wasn’t. I’m not.” She takes another sip of her coffee before glancing at Stiles through her lashes. “Thanks.”
He grins and shrugs. “So do you want to tell me what you do while Derek is at NYU? Or would you dish about what he’s been saying about me?”
“I work for a non-profit that empowers teenagers to self-advocate and become activists, and then I bartend on weekends.” Stiles perks up as she speaks and she holds her hand up, “And I never give alcohol to anyone under the age of 21, before you even ask.”
He sits back and grins, “You know I’d have to ask. Does Derek work too? Or is he just focused on school?”
“You two haven’t talked about it?”
Stiles scoffs, “I think I can count the personal details I know about him on one hand, and the fact that he lives with his sister is one of those details.” He takes another sip of coffee. “I mean, we talk. Mostly, I talk, obviously. But he talks too, sometimes. It’s mostly about class, or NYU, or the city in general. I don’t want to, like, pry too much. You seem a lot more open than he does.”
She laughs and shrugs. “I’ve always been more outgoing than Derek, even before the fire.” Stiles’s eyebrows shot up. “It’s alright,” Laura explains, “we talk about it… sometimes. You just caught me by surprise before. And honestly… it might be nice to have someone we don’t have to tiptoe around with our whole family history thing.”
Derek glances at Stiles with the same bemused expression that’s been on his face for the last few blocks. “What do you want? I’m paying.”
Stiles paused his monologue for the first time since they left their class, almost twenty minutes ago. He had been talking the whole time they walked and had followed Derek without questioning where they were going. He glanced up at the menu for a brief second before speaking to the person at the register. “Oh, um, I’ll, uh. Can I get the number 3?”
Derek marvels at him as they make their way to an empty table. “How did you know what you wanted? You barely even looked at the menu, and I’m not even sure you know where we are right now. You didn’t stop talking the whole time we walked here.”
Stiles laughs loudly. “I am a pro at multitasking. Also, I ordered a burrito. I didn’t have to read the specifics. It’s a burrito. I’m sure it’ll be delicious.”
Derek stares at him silently for a minute before smiling softly and shaking his head.
“Nothing,” Derek replies. “It’s just… You’re kinda weird, you know that?”
Stiles laughs again and covers Derek’s forearm with his hand, squeezing slightly. “You are not the first one to call me that.”
Derek smiles faintly as he looks at Stiles’ hand. Stiles squeezes again before letting go and leaning back and looking around the restaurant.
“This place seems really chill,” Stiles comments. He doesn’t notice that Derek covers his arm where Stiles’ fingers had been, savoring the feel for a moment before Stiles turns back around to look at him. “Don’t think I didn’t notice you paying for lunch, by the way. Thank you. But also, that means I get to pay for your coffee tomorrow, right?”
“It’s not a problem,” Derek says with a small smile. “Laura told me…” he sighs deeply as if he needs to fortify himself to finish the sentence, “Laura told me that you’re from Beacon Hills too… and you know… we have all the life insurance money, so paying for your lunch is no problem.”
Stiles shifts and bumps his knee against Derek’s. “Thanks, dude. We can talk about it, or not, but it’s up to you. And I mean it, about buying you coffee tomorrow morning. It’s only fair.”
“Sure thing.” He glances up and grins as the waiter drops off their burritos.
“Well look who it is.”
Stiles glances up from his book and blinks a few times before grinning at Laura as she sits across from him. “Well hello there,” he laughs as he pulls a book towards him so she has space to put her coffee down. “Why don’t you have a seat?”
She laughs, “Why thank you, thank you. What are you working on?”
Stiles laughs at the books spread out on the table and shifts one so that his laptop is more accessible. “We have to write a three page paper comparing two different independence movements.”
“Alright,” Laura says, leaning forward to look at the book nearest her. “Is that hard?”
“Well, I mean, I’m sure I could bang one out really easily if I wrote about, say, America and India, but I decided to challenge myself and go for something more obscure. But now I’m kind of doubting myself and thinking I should have gone for easy instead of interesting.”
“When’s it due?”
“Midnight,” Stiles groans.
“Do you want me to leave?” She offers quietly.
“No,” Stiles says, sitting up straight. “Actually, would you mind if I talked through it all? I get some of my best brainstorming done when I talk.” He looks off into the distance for a moment, “I was actually thinking about calling Derek to see if I could ramble at him for a bit. He’s the best listener.”
“I’m sure he’d come,” Laura points out. “He’s home right now. It’d take him like, a minute to come down here.”
“I don’t want to bother him,” Stiles says with a small frown.
“How about I text him and let him know we’re hanging out here. This way, if he’s free, he’ll come, but if he’s busy he’ll ignore my text.” After a moment she looks back up at Stiles, “Alright, get started with your independence brainstorm monologue.”
Stiles grins and starts reviewing the different notes he had taken so far. Before he even finishes talking about different African countries, Derek steps into the coffee shop.
Laura grins triumphantly at Stiles before waving at Derek. He gives a small wave back before getting a coffee and meeting them at their table.
“What’s up?” He asks as he sits.
“Stiles needs help brainstorming for a paper,” Laura explains. “He said you’re the best listener, so I figured you’d be better than me to help.”
“I’m the best listener?” Derek looks between Laura and Stiles, his eyebrows crinkling together in confusion.
Stiles grins, “Of course dude. You’ve never told me to shut up, not even once. And then when I ask questions, or, you know, pause long enough for you to respond, you always have something thoughtful to say.”
Derek glances at Laura and raises his eyebrows.
“Stiles was telling me about the different countries in Africa and how they got their independence,” Laura explains.
“Oh for Filand’s class?” Derek asks, as he perks up and turns back to Stiles.
“Yea,” Stiles groans softly, “except I definitely went above and beyond in my prep, and now I don’t know what to focus on.”
“Well, which two countries surprised you the most?”
“Surprised me?” Stiles asks as he stares down at his notes, “Well, I guess Bangladesh… and Chechnya.” He looks up suddenly and his expression widens into a wide grin. “Hey! Bangladesh and Chechnya!”
Derek grins and picks up his coffee to take a small sip. After a second he lifts his eyebrows and looks at Stiles’ computer.
“Right!” Stiles says and drags it towards him. “I can do this!” He starts typing and after a minute or two glances back up at Derek, “See, dude? You’re the best.”
Laura gestures vaguely around at herself as if to question why she isn’t being complimented as well, but Stiles doesn’t notice since he’s typing too avidly. Derek chuckles quietly at Laura and pulls his phone out while taking another sip.
Laura slows down as she approaches her building and squints a little at the person approaching her.
“Stiles?” His head whips up and Laura holds out her hand to brace him as he stumbles to the side. “Are you drunk?”
“Shhhhhhhh,” Stiles says loudly before groaning. “I’m that obvious, right? Security won’t let me in like this. I’ll get in trouble.” He rubs one hand through his hair, which is sticking up in all directions, implying that he’s repeated this gesture already.
“Where were you drinking?” She pulls him closer to her building so they’re not standing in the center of the sidewalk anymore.
“My roommate took me somewhere. But he didn’t want to leave… and I did.”
Laura looks around, “Do you want to go get a slice of pizza or something? We can hang out for a bit until you sober up more.”
He groans and rubs his head again, “Laura, what the fuck am I doing? I don’t drink like this ever.”
“Hey, it’s alright,” she consoles, rubbing his shoulder. “I’ve got you. Have you eaten anything lately?”
“Yea, I got a slice of pizza on the walk here, actually. I just want to sleep, honestly, but I’ll get in trouble if security thinks I’m drunk.”
Laura sighs and glances at her building contemplatively. “Do you want to come up to our apartment? Derek’s not home now, but you can crash on the couch. He won’t mind, I promise.”
Stiles’ eyes widen comically for a moment, but then he glances down and bites his lips. “Are you… sure? I mean… I don’t want to… like… force…”
Laura squeezes his shoulder again, “It’s fine. I promise. I have to go to sleep soon anyway since I have work in the morning. You can sleep on the couch. No problem. But if you don’t want to, that’s fine too. We can hang out until you feel better.”
Stiles smiles slowly. “You’re sure you wouldn’t mind if I crash on your couch? I really just want to sleep. Thanks, Laura.”
She nods and turns to open the door. Stiles stumbles but manages to follow her into the elevator with no major problems. He leans against the wall as they ride the elevator up and trails one hand along the wall while Laura unlocks the door and lets him into the apartment before heading into the kitchen.
“Hey,” Stiles says suddenly, standing up straighter and looking around the apartment.
“What’s up?” Laura pulls her head out of the fridge and glances at him.
“I’m in your apartment.”
She walks slowly to him and holds out a water bottle. “Yea, we just came up a minute ago.”
Stiles waves his hand vaguely. “No, no, I get that, I remember that. I mean… I’ve been hanging out with Derek for over a month now, and I’ve had coffee with you a whole bunch of times… but I’ve never been in here before.” He looks around slowly. “Derek has been to my dorm. It’s just… this feels like it’s a big deal.”
Laura’s eyebrows do a complicated series of maneuvers before settling back into something close to normal. “This is… kind of a big deal. We don’t bring people here much.” She chuckles, “Even drunk, you’re pretty perceptive.”
Stiles snorts, “Good a-little…. a-lichen…. a-literary…”
“That’s the one!”
Laura grins and puts one hand on Stiles’ shoulders so she could push him gently toward the bathroom. “You saw the kitchen. There’s a bunch of water bottles in there, plus I’m going to put a couple next to the couch. While you’re in the bathroom, I’m going to grab you some of Derek’s clothes to change into and a spare pillow and blanket, alright?”
Stiles nods several times before reaching an arm around Laura’s shoulders and pulling her in for a hug. “Thanks Laura. You’re a lifesaver.”
Laura hesitates for a second before returning the hug. “Of course, Stiles. We’d do anything for you.”
Stiles pulls back slightly and looks into Laura’s eyes for a moment before nodding a few times and turning to go into the bathroom.
Laura watches the closed door for a second before pulling out her phone and texting Derek. She wasn’t entirely sure how he was going to feel about the fact that she had invited the guy he was crushing on to sleep in their apartment… but he was definitely going to have feelings about it.
In the morning, Stiles wakes up with a groan and sits up slightly before freezing and realizing he’s not sure where he is.
“Good morning, sleepy,” Derek says softly from the kitchen, where he’s making breakfast.
Stiles sits up further so he can stare at Derek over the back of the couch.
Derek laughs at Stiles’ expression. “Laura said she found you on the street last night and brought you up here. Apparently you were worried about the security guards letting you into your dorm?”
Stiles groans and rubs at his head. “I do remember that. Vaguely.”
“There’s more water on the table next to you,” Derek says, pointing with the spatula. “And some Tylenol. Also, the bathroom is over there, and I left an extra toothbrush on the counter for you.”
Stiles gladly swallows the pills before downing half the water bottle. He slowly rises from the couch and stares down at himself. “Am I wearing your clothes?”
Derek glances over at Stiles again and smiles faintly. “It looks like it.”
Stiles stares down at the clothes for a minute. “You weren’t here, when I came up.”
Derek shakes his head. “I went out with Taylor, Clair, and Youcef, remember I told you?”
Stiles nods his head a couple times before he points toward the bathroom, “I’ll be right back.” He holds his head as he shuffles to the bathroom. After a few minutes he moves toward the kitchen. “I’m sorry for crashing here,” he says softly as he leans against the kitchen doorway.
Derek glances up, “I’m not.” Stiles just blinks in confusion a few times, so Derek continues. “I’m glad Laura found you, I mean. I don’t want you to get in trouble with the school or with your dorm. And I also don’t want you wandering around the streets at night, drunk. It’s not super dangerous, but it also isn’t particularly safe.” He turns to face Stiles and frowns. “Didn’t you have a friend or someone you could have walked back with?”
Stiles grunts. “I went with my roommate and his friends. But one of them tried to hook up with me and… I didn’t want to, so I… left alone.”
Derek’s eyebrows do a complicated movement. “Stiles? Are you alright?”
“Yea, dude. I’m fine. He was just… nothing happened. I just didn’t want to be around them anymore.”
Derek sniffs and turns back to the French toast, quickly flipping it before it burns. He glances back up at Stiles, who’s rubbing his eyes again.
“I can practically feel you thinking,” Stiles says with a small laugh. “And wait, now you’re scrunching up your eyebrows at me.” He opens his eyes finally and laughs a little louder. “See? You are.”
“Shut up,” Derek grumbles, although there’s no heat behind his words.
“I am into guys, by the way,” Stiles says softly. “Just not… not that guy.”
“What kind of guys are you into?” Derek asks softly, before he could help himself. He focuses resolutely on the French toast so he doesn’t have to see the expression on Stiles’ face.
Stiles watches Derek for a moment before answering. “The kind of guy who introduces me to new people, and humors me when I need to rant about things nonstop, and who takes me out to lunch when I don’t stop rambling at him, and who makes me breakfast after I randomly show up in his apartment,” Stiles answers, just as softly.
Derek sighs and looks at the giant stack of French toast he had made already. “Well, it’s a shame this is all for me, then. I think I fit the description for those other things pretty well.” Stiles’ mouth falls open and he stares at Derek, who cracks a grin after a minute. “I’m joking, obviously. Half of these are for you.”
“Yea?” Stiles asks softly.
“Yea,” Derek responds, turning the flame off and shifting so he’s facing Stiles. “And this type of guy you’d be into, do you think he should wait until after you’ve eaten breakfast to ask you out, or could he make a move beforehand?”
Stiles takes a step toward Derek, “This is real, right, by the way? This isn’t some kind of hangover hallucination?”
Derek reaches out to grasp Stiles’ hip and pulls him closer. “Are hangover hallucinations a thing?”
Stiles laughs softly and shrugs as he steps even closer. “I don’t know. There’s a first time for everything, I guess.”
Derek leans forward and presses in for a soft kiss. “So I know how you take your fancy coffee order at the cafe,” he murmurs against Stiles’ lips as he wraps his arms around Stiles’ back, “but all I’ve got is a regular old pot of coffee. Do you think you can make do with that?”
“Oh I can destroy a pot of coffee,” Stiles whispers, still pressed in close to Derek’s lips. “Just watch me.”
“You’re going to have to fight me for it, if you want the whole thing.”
Stiles throws his head back and laughs, before groaning softly. “Oh that hurt a little.”
“Let’s get some carbs in you,” Derek said with a grin, turning to grab the plate with one hand and a couple forks with the other. He takes a few steps and places everything down on the small table in the corner of the kitchen before returning to pull the milk and syrup from the fridge. He returns and pulls two mugs out of the cabinet and picks up the coffee pot before turning to Stiles, “You gonna sit?”
Stiles surges forward and sits in the chair Derek had pulled out for him. He looks down at the plate of French toast and reaches for the syrup.
“You really made breakfast for me?”
“Well, I figure we have breakfast, or at least coffee, together almost every day,” Derek grins and shrugs. “Since you’re here… it’s easier to make something than run down to the corner.”
“Plus, I’m not sure I’m moving too quickly right now,” Stiles says with a small chuckle as he rubs at his temples again.
“You can definitely nap, if you want,” Derek offers. “I’ll wake you before your 1 o’clock class. Or…” he glances down at his food and frowns slightly, “of course you could just go back to your dorm.”
Stiles reaches out and squeezes Derek’s hand. “I’d love to stay. I mean… you’re right, I should probably get some of my clean clothes before going to class, since we’re definitely not the same size, but I’m in no rush to leave.”
Derek laughs and reaches over to pick at his shirt, which is hanging loosely on Stiles. “I like it on you, though.”
“Yea?” Stiles asks with a wide grin.
Derek leans over and presses in for a kiss, “Or maybe I just like you.”
Stiles wraps one hand around the back of Derek’s neck to hold him in place. “That’s good too.”
In my mind, Laura teases Derek for seducing Stiles with French toast whenever she gets the chance. It might get mentioned in her Best Woman speech at their wedding...