It’s the second Thursday of his first semester at Berkeley (actually it’s a Friday and it’s close to four o’clock in the morning but the day doesn’t really start until the sun rises) and Stiles covers his ears with the sides of his pillow to try and drown out the sound.
He thinks the music will stop after a few minutes, but it just keeps getting louder. He’d get up and complain, but he doesn’t really know where it’s coming from and who’s playing it, and on another note the songs being played keep getting better and better, so he doesn’t even know if there’s really a problem.
Thirty minutes later, the pillow’s not helping for shit and the music is still playing. Even if it’s 4:18 AM, he really can’t complain about the Smiths, Wavves, and The Vines, so he gets up out of his bed and climbs down to his desk and opens his laptop.
His roommate is still sleeping soundly in his bed, and Stiles hasn’t seen him move a single muscle. It’s crazy, he thinks. And he thought he was a heavy sleeper.
Stiles pretends to try and do some homework, but it isn’t easy when he’s barely slept. He has two tests in the morning and he really wanted a good night sleep, but even with all of the alt-J playing through the wall it’s not easy.
Towards 4:45, Stiles is nodding off at his desk and the muscle seems duller than before. Maybe the asshole finally got some sense knocked into him. Maybe he realized it was AM and not PM.
Either way, Stiles climbs back up into his bed, pulls his covers back on top of him, and falls asleep faster than he thought it would.
(He doesn’t admit that the light humming of “Heavy Games” by Portugal. the Man made it quite the soothing experience.)
Two weeks later, it’s the night before Stiles has to leave at 6 AM for an honors expedition in Portland. After his essay had gotten such great reviews with the department of architecture (and then with the sustainability program), the school offered him a cum laude scholarship in exchange for his time and dedication.
It might take up a lot of his free time when he could be doing other things, but the money definitely makes it worth it. Anything that he doesn’t have to pay back through loans is worth it.
Even when he’s woken up at 3:22 AM by Wild Child playing through his wall.
He might not have been able to tell where it was coming from the last time, but this time the music is definitely pounding right next to him.
It makes sense how Danny was able to sleep right through it every time it happened.
Stiles knows his neighbors now, both of them, and they seem like cool people. At least when it isn’t the wee hours of the morning and Stiles isn’t being woken up by the most perfect collection of songs in existence.
Boyd was one of those kids who for some reason drank protein shakes and ate literally no carbs even though he was already a walking block of muscle. He’s double majoring in business and sports management if Stiles remembers correctly, and he throws discuss for UC Berkeley’s track & field team. Guy’s a brick.
Derek, on the other hand, seems like a bit of a loner. He reads a lot – always seems to be when Stiles walks out to class. Stiles normally walks through the music building to get to his classes in the Helene Art Center, and it happens quite often that Stiles sees Derek using one of the practice rooms, so he thinks Derek’s a music major but he doesn’t know for sure. Derek doesn’t really talk to him.
He doesn’t want to be judgey, but he doesn’t think either Boyd or Derek would listen to the same indie hipster shit that he listens to, but it’s obviously their room that it’s coming from.
Stiles rolls over on his bed and pulls the covers with him. He stares at the dark wall and pretends the intensity in his eyes will make the music stop.
It doesn’t work.
His suitcase is already packed and sitting next to the door so he can leave easily in the morning without waking Danny up. He’s only know him for about a month or so, but it’s pretty easy to tell when someone isn’t a morning person.
After a while he manages to fall back asleep and wakes up refreshed at 5:30 to change into some sweats and a jacket from his pajamas, grab his pillow, and leave.
But not before he slides a notecard under Boyd and Derek’s door.
I like your taste of music, but not at 4 AM. It would really help if you kept it down, at least on the week nights. Also, you should listen to “You’re Too Cool” by The Zolas. I think you’ll like it.
And then he’s on his way.
Three weeks pass after the honors trip to Portland before Stiles wakes up in the middle of the night to music bouncing off the walls of Derek and Boyd’s room and into his own. He groans loudly and rolls over, and Danny makes a noise before growing silent again. Stiles really doesn’t want to wake him, so he keeps his grunts and garbles to himself as he climbs out of bed.
His laptop is still on, glowing toward the doorway, and Stiles looks at the time as he heads out the door. 3:57 AM.
He hates himself.
He shoves off his shorts and pushes his feet into the flip flops he wears in the shower as he wraps a towel around his body. His shower caddy broke last week (like the weak bitch it was) so he grabbed his shampoo from the floor and heads into the hallway.
Iridescent lights suck early in the morning, and Stiles is barely awake and internally crying because he wanted a good night sleep before his Calculus test in the morning. How his life never seems to work out on the days that he needs it the most is beyond him.
The shower feels good, even though he can’t get over the fact that he doesn’t want to be awake. He wishes he was home and could sit down and shut his eyes and just let the water rain down on him as he falls back asleep, but the tile underneath his feet has seen its fair share of grit and grime, and Stiles wouldn’t want to put his poor butt through that.
Hair wet and clean, Stiles enters his bedroom silently as not to wake Danny, and the music is gone. The clock on his laptop says 4:23 AM, and he wonders if a half hour was enough time for Derek and Boyd to do whatever they had to get done. He pulls on clean shorts and climbs up to his bed before burying himself in the comfort of his blankets. Stiles closes his eyes, and then he hears it. The music next door is still playing, but low and quiet and right next to his head.
Whoever’s playing this horribly beautiful playlist has their damn bed right next to his, and he imagines that this would be a trip for someone playing the Sims right about now. Roof gone, watching two teenagers having identical rooms, and right next to each other, time after time again, the boy on the right blares music so loud that it wakes the boy in the next room.
Talk about aggravating.
At least now the music is quiet and lulling, but Stiles still falls asleep with a grimace on his face.
“How many times?”
“Three, Scott, three times! And it’s never at normal hours like dinner time or homework cram time. It’s always at the earliest hours of the morning and exists only to make my life miserable.”
Stiles shoves his hand into a bag of Doritos and shakes his head. “I don’t know,” he says with food in his mouth before he swallows. “It’s super annoying, right? First it was just a normal day, and then it was the night before my honors expo, and then it was the night before my calc exam. I’m going to die. Next thing I know is it’s going to happen next week right before my trip to Chicago.”
“Haven’t you thought about going over and asking them to stop?” Scott asks. He has a controller in his hand but isn’t using it. Stiles kills him on screen. “You’re an asshole.”
“I know, I know, but okay, so before I left for Portland I slid a cute little notecard under the door, right? I was like, ‘Please stop playing music so early in the morning kthanksbye’ and then left a little music recommendation.” Stiles shrugs and takes another handful of chips before Scott shoots a bullet right throw his head, and he turns to Scott. Scott shrugs like he doesn’t know what he did, and they go back to playing.
“You should go actually say something,” Scott offers, and Stiles sighs. His best friend doesn’t understand the passive-aggressive relationship going on between him and that stupid room.
“I can’t just walk over and ask them to wear headphones at night so I can sleep, Scott. It doesn’t work like that.”
“Why not? That seems like the simple solution.”
“I don’t know,” Stiles gives up, and he sighs back into the chair before he changes weapons and slices through a NPCs armor and striking them in the chest. “I hope it happens tonight. While you’re here. I want you to know my pain and suffer like I do.”
Scott snorts and pops back the tab on two Mountain Dews before he passes one to Stiles. “Let’s kill some more zombies. It’s only 10:30.”
Stiles takes a drink and puts the can down before holding the controller in both hands. “You’re on.”
- - -
“What the fuck?”
Stiles sits up in bed and stares down at Scott who’s splayed out across the couch looking at the wall as if it was a portal to Hell. “Prey” by The Neighbourhood vibrates against his hand as he touches the wall next to his bed, and Scott raises his eyebrows at him.
“Honestly I thought you were overreacting.”
Stiles rolls his eyes and gestures toward the wall. “Think I’m overreacting now?”
He was glad that Danny was gone for a lacrosse game and glad that he and Scott gave that up after high school. If they were talking this loud while Danny was there, there was no doubt that he would have woken up. Then again, Stiles thought that anyone would have woken up because of the racket beyond the wall, but Danny surprised him there too.
It had taken a lot of badgering on his part to get Scott to stay in his room particularly because Scott didn’t believe that he was being entirely truthful about the level of annoyance that this incident continued to produce for him. Now that he was here and Stiles could see his face full of astonishment and small bouts of anger, Stiles felt complete. Well, almost. Not as complete as he would be if the damned music stopped playing.
“No way, man, that’s crazy. You should just go over there and put an end to it. Knock on the door and tell them to knock it off.”
Stiles shakes his head and turns on the light sitting above his wardrobe. “No, no, I can’t do that. I’m just going to keep waiting it out.”
“Waiting it out, Stiles?” Scott asks. “It’s been happening since the second week of school, and that was almost two months ago. What could he possibly have to do at four in the morning that can’t wait or can’t be done quietly?”
“I don’t know,” Stiles whines, and he lays back in bed and leans over to see Scott. “That’s what I need to know. That’s why I can’t go over there.”
“You’re an idiot.”
Stiles doesn’t know what the real reason was that kept him from going over and telling Derek and Boyd to knock it the fuck off. Maybe he likes having something to complain about. Maybe it doesn’t bother him that much in the first place. Fuck that, it bothers him. He hates being woken up. But whatever it was that continued to keep him from saying anything – it isn’t going to last much longer. Not with midterms coming around and his patience nearing a wits end.
A pound on the wall comes from below him, and Stiles looks down to see Scott with his hand against the plaster.
“What are you doing?”
“Getting him to stop.”
“Scott, no, don’t worry about it.”
Scott hits the wall again, this time harder, and a moment later the music was off. He looks up at Stiles with a satisfied look on his face. “See? That easy.”
Even though the music was off and that’s what Stiles had wanted for oh so long, he can’t help but feel a little let down. For starters, if the person beyond the wall had stopped because a single thud, why didn’t they stop because of his letter? What he wrote wasn’t rude in anyway, at least not that he figured, so he doesn’t know why they stopped for Scott and not for him.
“Thanks, man,” he says instead of all of the thoughts bubbling up inside his head.
The two of them lay down, and Scott falls asleep quickly. Stiles turns off the lamp by his head and stares at the wall between him and the music room next door, wondering and wondering why it was always so late at night. Why is was always dark, lulling music. Why it stopped for a bang but not a note. Why it didn’t stop for him.
It’s a Sunday night. It’s the same night Stiles has a paper due the next morning and has barely started on it prior to 1 AM when he realized that he had a paper due.
The clock on his laptop reads 2:33 AM, and Danny is gone sleeping over at his boyfriend’s apartment because “He’s an upperclassman, Stiles, he can live off campus”, so he’s alone in the dorm and feeling unjudged at being awake so late (or early).
He’s in the middle of his sixth paragraph when music starts playing from the room next door. It’s different and it throws him off a little bit. It’s not the same cute, hipster, dark shit that normally plays whenever Stiles least wants it to. It’s angry. Metal, actually. Stiles pulls out his phone and quickly Shazams the tune: “Forest” by System of a Down.
He doesn’t look up the lyrics to know that it’s much more angsty than anything else that’s been being played over the many weeks. He wonders what it means and why it’s happening now. Why the guy on the other side of the wall is changing music all of a sudden.
Okay, Stiles listens to many different types of music at various points in time and changing genres doesn’t really mean anything when he does it, but he has a feeling. A feeling.
Either way, he wants to know. He finishes the paragraph quickly, throws in a few cited quotes and begins the conclusion.
The song changes and he quickly grabs his phone to know what it is. It’s still metal, but softer this time. “Dead Skin” by Crossfade, he reads, and he sets his phone down on his lap as he stares ahead and the wall separating him from the music on the other side.
The chorus begins and it’s more self-deprecating than he previously believed rock could be, and he leans back in his desk chair and just listens.
It’s aggravating that more than anything he just wants to know the person beyond the door more than he already does.
If it’s Boyd, he’s learned that he’ll be a future frat boy on one of the best frats on campus during the next school year and leave the dorm live for good. He’s really smart, keeps to himself, and has a blonde bombshell of a girlfriend that’s in one of Stiles’s gen-ed classes, Erica. Stiles knows there’s a lot more to him than that, but he hasn’t really seen much of Boyd these past few weeks.
He’s seen even less of Derek, but thinks that he knows more about him. He hangs around with his older sister, Laura, and her friends because he’s a social moth. If he sees something that he’s comfortable with participating in, he’ll join in right away. If not, he’ll keep to himself for any given amount of time before joining back with the rest of the world again. He’s definitely a music major, Stiles knows, because Scott’s friend Isaac is good friends with Boyd, and Boyd knows all sorts of little roommate things about Derek. Isaac told him that Derek plays with the orchestra and two percussion ensembles, but he doesn’t know with what instruments, and Stiles doesn’t mind not knowing. (Okay, he totally does, but he’s not going to be annoying.) Isaac said that Derek was also asked to be the accompanist for the spring semester musical, and Stiles has to say he’s impressed.
It’s safe to say (in his mind) that the guy playing the music behind the wall is Derek. He’s a music major, okay? It’s every part of his life and he has to get through the day somehow. Stiles likes music and plays it a lot when he’s doing things alone, but not all the time and not excessively at early hours of the morning. It just seems like a music major is at the center of this case, and Stiles wants it to be true.
(It doesn’t help that after Stiles saw Derek leaving the shower with his towel tied around his waist he’s definitely more interested than he believed himself to be seconds before. Which was nothing because he just cared about the damn music, and from that moment on he was becoming crazed about the music room just beyond his reach.)
There’s about a minute of music before Stiles realizes that he hasn’t written anything and the song changed again. “Mascara” by Deftones.
“Deftones,” he says allowed to himself, and lets the name sit in his mouth.
He copies his intro paragraph and pastes in the bottom of the document as he rewords every sentence into a conclusion before deleting the copied intro and saving the paper. He’ll print it in the morning.
Stiles climbs into his bed and lays facing the wall with his phone in his hand ready to Shazam any song that plays beyond the plaster. Five songs play before he decides that it’s quiet enough he can sleep: “Eclipsed” by Evans Blue, “Mom” by Highly Suspect, “Weak and Powerless” by A Perfect Circle, “The Deep End” by Scary Kids Scaring Kids, and “Zoe Jane” by Staind.
He doesn’t know why he cares or why it matters or why he doesn’t put his phone on the charger. He lets the music play and falls asleep to the angry lull next door.
It’s the Friday night of Homecoming Weekend – really it’s Saturday morning – and Stiles belligerently keys in the combo on his door before swinging it open and puking in the garbage can on the floor.
Even though he’s in college, Stiles isn’t necessary a skilled drunk yet. He doesn’t know how to stay hydrated, doesn’t know how to mix drinks, and doesn’t know when enough is enough. Scott, Isaac, Allison, and him and went out to four parties before Scott walked him back to his residence hall and made him promise that he’d drink a bottle of water and go right to bed.
After he emptied his face into the garbage can, Stiles heard it. The music. It was playing.
He stood up and wiped his mouth with a tissue from his desk before leaving the room and keeping the door wide open.
“I got say somethin’,” he mutters to himself. “Can’t do it sober. Gotta do now.”
Stiles hits his hand against the door. He stares at the little door tags decorating the wood with the names “Derek Hale” and “Vernon Boyd” sketched across each one. He starts to outline one with the tip of his finger when the door opens up.
Derek stands in the doorway in navy and plaid pajama pants and a light gray t-shirt, and Stiles looks down at himself. Tight jeans, black t-shirt with a galaxy from Danny’s closet that said Electric Forest, black Vans.
“Fuck, I was not dressed for this.”
Stiles looks back up from his feet and stares at Derek ahead of him. He’s much more attractive in this light and without wearing normal clothes, Stiles notes. He looks soft and kind and nothing like the angry music kid pounding out sad songs at 3 AM on a Sunday.
“Stiles, are you okay?”
“You havta stop.”
Derek looks at him like he’s from another planet. What if he is? Holy shit, that would be a trip.
Stiles reaches forward and places a hand on Derek’s shoulder to lean in closer, but he doesn’t move that far even though it feels like forever. “You havta stop playing music. You wake me up and I’m tir’d and cranky all day, y’know? I slid that little note under your door back in September. I had… to leave the next morning. At five. For honors. And I was really tired, and it was your fault, because you keep playing all this really great loud music. And then last week you stopped playing hipster indie stuff, right? You played all the sad metal and I looked up the songs and they’re all on my phone now ‘cuz I like them, but you got sad and I was tired and I finally got to sleep. But you gotta stop, D’rek. 3 AM is too early for music. It’s too early to be awake.” He moved his hand from Derek’s shoulder to his neck and ran his finger down his Adam’s apple. “You have soft skin.”
“You’re drunk,” Derek says, and Stiles raises both his eyebrows at him (or his entire face, he can’t tell).
“Duh, it’s Homecoming.”
“You should come lay down,” Derek adds, and he moves his arm around Stiles’s back and directs him into his room and sits him down on his futon. Derek tosses a water bottle at him from the fridge and Stiles catches it with his lap. He drinks most of it before Derek has to tell him to drink the rest. “I have extra blankets,” he offers, and Stiles shakes his head.
“I can sleep in my own bed.”
“Isn’t your bed lofted?”
Stiles frowns and looks at his hands in his lap. They don’t look like hands. He wondered if someday people would have hand replacement surgery.
“Stiles,” Derek says again, and Stiles looks over at him. “I’ll go shut your door, okay? And then I’ll come back and give you some blankets and a pillow, and you can use my toothbrush if you want to brush your teeth.”
“Share a toothbrush?” Stiles asks when Derek gets to the door.
“I have extra,” Derek eases, and he walks out the door and Stiles hears his dorm door latch. Derek comes back inside and tosses three blankets toward Stiles. “Let’s pull the futon out, okay? And then you can sleep.”
“Sleep sounds good,” Stiles muses, and he stands up from the futon with Derek’s help. Derek pulls the futon out and Stiles sits back down. Derek reaches up and tosses a pillow from his bed down to him and Stiles catches it easily.
“Wanna brush your teeth?” Derek asks.
Stiles shakes his head and lays down on the mattress. “Morning,” he half answers, and Derek nods.
He wraps himself up with blankets and rests his head under Derek’s pillow as Derek goes to his laptop to turn off the music and climb up to his head.
Stiles clears his throat and stares at the ceiling. “Why did you wake me up so much with music in the middle of the night?”
Derek doesn’t answer for a moment, and then, “Let’s talk in the morning, Stiles. You need to sleep.”
Frowning at the ceiling, Stiles shuts his eyes and rolls over on the mattress to face away from Derek’s bed and his room beyond the wall. “’Kay,” he says, and before he realizes what’s happening he’s out like a light.
- - -
Stiles clutches his head as soon as he wakes up.
“Here,” Derek says, and he reaches into his desk to hand him a bottle of pain relievers. He looks like he’s been up for a while, showered and dresses, and Stiles is still wearing his party pants from yesterday.
He needs to shower.
“Thanks,” he replies, and his voice is hoarse. His mouth tastes like death and warm cotton and old people and he needs to brush his teeth. He swallows two pills with a water bottle sitting next to the futon. He assumes Derek set it there in case he was gone when Stiles awoke. “What time is it?”
“Uh,” Derek says, and he looks down at his laptop. “A little after 1:30.”
The day is practically gone because Stiles has been sleeping in Derek’s room for hours, and he groans to himself. He was going to do things today. He missed tug-of-war at ten, the water balloon fight at eleven, and the dodgeball tournament still went on, but it started at noon and was probably going to end at two or three, so he considers himself too late.
“Aren’t you going to do the Homecoming activities?” he asks, and he tries to get the taste in his mouth to die out with more water. He sloshes and sloshes, but it still tastes like shit.
“I’m doing the scavenger-hunt tonight with Erica and Boyd,” Derek answers, and he closes his laptop before turning in his chair to face Stiles on the futon. “The others were a little too early for me.”
“10 AM is too early?”
“On a Saturday?” Derek poses. “Yeah, too early.”
Stiles nods and sits up on the futon and drinks more of the water. He looks around the room and tries to get a better feel for Derek with what he sees, but it just makes him more confused.
There are no music posters on the walls, no giant stack of CDs staggering next to a giant stereo system that anyone would be jealous of, no keyboard sitting at his desk for workshopping songs. There’s not even an instrument sitting in the entire room. Just laundry baskets and furniture and unpacked boxes and Derek.
“So,” he starts, and Derek raises an eyebrow in confusion. “You should tell me about these early morning music sessions you keep putting me through.”
Derek looks down, and Stiles doesn’t know what to make of that. He waited weeks before making a move to try and figure it out, and now that he’s here in front of Derek the other is barely giving him anything. It’s not like he’s asking for him to explain the worst moments of his life or anything. He just wants to know why Derek’s continuously up at all hours of the night serenading his room with the best playlist he’s ever heard.
“I didn’t realize it was that loud,” he says, and before Stiles interrupts him he puts a hand up in the air. “After you smacked the wall I tried to be quieter.”
“Didn’t you get my note?” Stiles asks.
Derek looks at him more confused than ever. “Note?”
“I slid a little notecard under your door back in September asking for you to keep it down early in the morning. You woke me up before an honors exposition and I slept all the way to Portland.”
“Boyd must have picked it up,” Derek says, and he looks over toward the door. “He’s normally out of here before me in the mornings. Before he started spending most of his time at Erica’s.”
“So you never got my note?”
“I would have stopped if I had.”
Well, that makes Stiles feel better. He stopped for Scott because he heard him and didn’t stop for Stiles because the note never made it to his desk. Derek probably wouldn’t have continued playing music so early in the morning if he had received it, but it was just a missed connection. Now that it’s over and done with, there isn’t much for him to do about it, and he knows that he has to move on from his little investigation.
“Why were you awake in the first place?” he asks before he gives up the chase.
Derek shrugs. “Insomnia. Bad dreams.” Derek continues when Stiles levels a glance at him, “It changed from time to time. I just needed to stop laying around and do something, so I did homework. I guess I just played the music too loud.”
Too loud my ass, Stiles thinks to himself. If he remembers correctly, the music made his walls shake a couple of nights. He felt it as much as he could hear it.
“But what about last week? You played sad music. Sad, angry, metal music instead of your normal weirdly dark indie poppy stuff.”
“I had a bad weekend,” Derek says if that’s an acceptable answer.
Okay, it is, and Stiles just wants more because he wants to get into every nook and cranny of this guy’s head, and he’s not going to do that with vague answers. He wants to know what’s going on inside Derek’s head because he’s interesting and this little battle between him and the music wall has gone on for months in his head, and he really doesn’t want this to be the end of their interactions. If it was, he’d miss the music. He’d miss Derek.
“Yeah, I get that,” he says instead of asking anything else.
They sit there for a while in silence before Stiles rises from the futon and sets the water bottle on the ground.
“Hey, thanks for letting me crash here. There was no way I could have climbed up to my bed.”
“Not a problem,” Derek says, and Stiles thinks that’s the end of it as he starts walking to the door. “Stiles?”
He turns around and sees Derek watching him. “Yeah?”
“Sorry about the music.”
Stiles shakes his head and waves it off. “No big deal, buddy. Over and done with. Under the river. Done and gone.”
“Do you want to join us tonight? For the scavenger hunt?” Derek asks, and Stiles looks at him dubiously. “You can ask Scott and your other friends to join. Scott and Isaac, that girl.”
“Allison,” Stiles answers for him.
“Allison,” Derek corrects. “So if you want, the offer’s open.”
“You should give me your number. So I can let you know if we’re in or not.”
Derek extends his arm, and Stiles walks toward him and hands him his phone. After a couple clicks and a bunch of typing, Derek hands Stiles’s phone back to him.
“I texted myself,” he says, and holds out the chat box between them. “Stiles’s phone” is on the screen, and Stiles looks down to his own phone to see that he’s texted Derek Hale,
“Sounds good,” Stiles says. “And count me in, okay? I don’t know about the others, but I’ll be there.”
“Boyd and Erica are meeting me there at 8:45. Do you want to walk from here?”
Stiles nods. “Yeah, 8:30 sound good?”
“Yeah,” Derek says, and Stiles turns back to walk out the door. He turns the handle as he hears, “Wait, I had something else to ask you.”
Stiles turns around again and looks expectantly at Derek. “Yeah?”
He doesn’t know what all of this is about and why he’s nervous and anxious, but he stays there like he’s stuck the ground under him and has everything keeping him there. Derek’s eyes don’t give him anything to work with and he has no idea why he’s standing and waiting for something that’s going to end with him leaving the room anyway.
“Do you want to go out sometime?”
And okay, he wasn’t necessarily expecting that. Wasn’t expecting that at all. For a moment, his brain fails to communicate with his mouth and he just opens it a few times without saying a thing. He splutters for a moment before he shakes his head and waves his arms a little bit.
“Sorry, just having an existential crisis. I mean, yeah, totally, I’d love to go out. Sometime. With you.”
Derek gets this little smirk on his lips, and Stiles doesn’t know why it’s there but he likes it. “Good,” he says, “what about tonight? Before the scavenger hunt? Whether your friends come or not.”
Stiles nods a couple times before he realizes that he hasn’t said anything. “Yeah, yeah, tonight sounds good. When do you want to leave?”
“Six sounds good. Good whole number, good even number. Good dinner time if you’re asking me. I like six.”
Derek smiles again, and Stiles doesn’t like that it’s so attractive. He does, but not when it’s causing him to act like a dunce. “I’ll see you then, Stiles,” he says, and he turns back to his desk where he opens his laptop.
Stiles stands there for a minute before he turns around and heads back to his room. When he’s inside, he leans against the door for a minute breathing heavily and Danny looks at him like he’s crazy.
“Where have you been all night?”
“I slept on Derek Hale’s futon.”
Danny smirks at him. “His futon?”
“Yes, his futon,” Stiles says, and he takes off his shoes and socks before grabbing his towel and taking off the rest. “I was too drunk to climb into my own bed. Derek helped a friend out.”
“Uh huh,” Danny says, and he starts working at his desk again doing whatever it was that he was doing. Stiles doesn’t care. “Where are you going for your date tonight?”
“Date?” Stiles asks, voice squeaking and Danny looks at him like he has all of the info in the world.
“Yeah, Stiles, your date,” he asks.
“How do you hear that and not the music that wakes me up every night?”
Danny looks confused. “The walls are thin. And I wear earplugs to sleep,” he says, and picks up a box of orange earplugs.
“What the fuck,” Stiles says, and he puts his phone down to shower, and leaves the dorm room and Danny behind. When he gets back, clean and mouth finally not tasting like ass, Danny is gone and there’s a text on his phone.
From: Derek Hale
Have you been to that diner on Mulberry? Burgers and fries?
Stiles smiles down and works his damp fingers quickly over the screen.
To: Derek Hale
I love burgers and fries.
The day would be interesting and all because Stiles doesn’t wear earplugs and Derek has bad dreams. The mix isn’t ideal, but Stiles can’t complain. He’s going on a date with Derek Hale and there’s nothing in the world that could take him down.