It’s Stiles’ sophomore year of college and he’s already bored of pretty much everything. It’s not that he doesn’t love college in general, it’s more the fact that his amazingly hot boyfriend is hundreds of miles away and he’s stuck in a dorm that should really only be for one person but has two people squeezed into it. He’s just lucky that Scott got into the same school as him because if it was anyone else all up in his space all the time they’d probably be dead by this point. And no one would ever find the body or prove that it was Stiles because he has connections, okay.
But the thing about college is that he can procrastinate, literally he can hone it to an art form, and the best time to practice that art is during finals week. Which is how he ended up making a chart that demonstrates the relationship between wall slamming and affection. Even after finals and arriving home in Beacon Hills for winter break he still hasn’t made a decision about whether or not it is sad that he used ‘data’ from his own experiences being slammed into walls to make this chart. He does approve of the fact that it was made using various colors of sharpie because he had leftover poster board from that one project that he did in September that he still doesn’t even remember doing because Scott had gotten him so drunk.
But he does think the chart is a masterpiece and he starts (and finishes) unpacking by proudly displaying it on his desk, like a work of art. He is conveniently distracted from continuing with anymore unpacking when someone clears their throat from the doorway of his room in order to catch his attention and he turns to see that amazingly hot boyfriend of his. “Derek!” he cries and scrambles over to the older man to smother him in a hug.
"Hello to you, too," Derek mutters, but he’s holding onto Stiles just as tightly as Stiles is holding onto him. Stiles grins and buries his face into Derek’s hair, relishing the fact that his recent growth spurt had put him at a few inches taller than Derek once again. He likes being taller than his boyfriend, not in the least because Derek’s hair is surprisingly soft and good-smelling. "Stop smelling my hair."
"I am not smelling your hair," Stiles protests as he pulls away and allows Derek to enter the room. "You are the werewolf here, not me. You’re the one who smells stuff." Derek just gives Stiles a look, the one with the raised eyebrows that used to vaguely intimidate him but now just makes warmth flood his belly.
Derek looks ready to say something else when the chart catches his eye. “What is that?”
Stiles tries to look innocent, unfortunately Derek knows him a little too well. “I got bored. It charts wall slamming versus affection. I collected my own data, although now that I think about it I’m not sure that the correlation between the points was significant enough to point to a strong relationship between the two variables.”
"I love you," Derek says, softly and a little incredulously, as if he can’t believe that he just said that.
"So really, I should collect…" Stiles has his mouth open to continue and he just stops for a moment, his brain trying to process what he’d just heard. "Wait, wait, back up. What did you just say," he demands, grin starting to form on his face.
"Nothing, I didn’t say anything," Derek insists, but the blush rising in his cheeks gives him away even if Stiles isn’t a walking werewolf lie detector.
Stiles is already grinning like the chesire cat. “I might not be the one with the super werewolf hearing in this relationship, but I do not need that to know what you just said.”
"Stiles," Derek says in that warning tone of his that stopped working on Stiles years ago.
"Say it again."
"Please?" Stiles is still grinning, but his heart rate is starting to pick up, like it does when he’s starting to worry, and that is what finally makes Derek soften.
"I love you."
"I know." Stiles responds by launching himself towards Derek, catching him in another embrace.
Derek can’t stop himself from rolling his eyes at the younger man. “Stiles,” he says again, this time in the form of a sigh of exasperation.
"Sorry, sorry. I love you, too," Stiles says and leans down to kiss him.
Partly inspired by this post by swingsetindecember
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