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05 August 2012 @ 08:00 pm
"summer afternoon, summer afternoon..."  
Title: Henry James' Two Most Beautiful Words
Rating: PG
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Pairings: Stiles/Derek
Word Count: 1,382
Summary: A heat wave has come to Beacon Hills and Stiles Stilinski is not at all pleased.

It’s summer.

Stiles lies on the carpet and listens to the whir of the standing fan that’s been surveying his bedroom for three days straight, ever since the temperature shot up into the 90s. The house has air conditioning, but AC still costs money, so it’s only when the thermometer’s red line creeps past 98 that Stiles is allowed to turn it on. So far the daytime highs have been sitting steady at a mocking 97, to the point that Stiles is beginning to think he should probably stop sticking his head out onto the back porch every half hour to check, because that red line is never going to fucking move.

He’s got all the lights turned off in the hopes of making it just that much cooler. Their dryer coughed its last lint-filled breath a month ago and his dad hasn’t had the time—or maybe enough cash—to get a new one, so Stiles has his wet laundry hanging from the curtain rails above his windows. The sunlight that makes it around the damp cotton is softer around the edges, tainted with hints of reds, greens and blues. Stiles has been lying here for at least an hour now, just listening to the endless circuit of the 12-year-old fan and watching his shirts glow with deep-dyed sunlight while Beacon Hills sits silent and baking outside.

Stiles’ eyes are closed and he’s just about at the point where he could maybe fall asleep and miss a couple hours of his skin melting off when he hears a 180 lb thump outside his window. Stiles opens his eyes in time to witness Derek Hale trying to climb across his windowsill without knocking down any of his shirts, a process which looks a bit like tai chi if only tai chi lessons were held in laundromats. Finally, with a successful Parting of the Checkered Button-Ups and Avoidance of the Unflattering Dress Shirt, Derek makes it safely to the carpet.

“It’s kind of sad how good you are at that,” Stiles says, eyes already half-closed again and consonants slurred with laziness.


“You know, like, your werewolf powers and all. They should probably be used for more than avoiding my laundry.”

“You’d be surprised how often they come in handy,” Derek says, and drops down next to him on the floor. Even in the dim light, Derek’s face is red and sweaty and kind of unattractive, but that’s what summer heat waves get you. Stiles is swiftly discovering that even brooding werewolf boyfriends can’t be sexy all the time.

“I would kiss you hello,” Stiles says, “but I am already so covered in sweat that I’m pretty sure adding you to the equation would just make things even worse.”

Derek snorts and collapses back onto the carpet next to him. “I’ll try not to be too upset. Of course, it’s not like I’m the one who had to walk all the way over here.”

“Dude, you have a car.”

Dude,” Derek mimics with a raised eyebrow, “it’s in the shop this week. And it’s miles—miles—to your house from mine.”

“Ugh, fine, you win best boyfriend award, congratulations,” Stiles concedes, waving a dismissive hand at Derek’s general person. “I’m still not kissing you anywhere outside of a swimming pool with chunks of ice in it, or, you know, the Safeway freezer section, or, like, maybe we could road trip to Alaska, it can’t be that far, and then we could have awesome make outs in between you beating up polar bears—”

“Polar bears are already endangered. Why would I beat them up?”

“Because they are threatening your incredibly handsome and intelligent and hilarious boyfriend with their giant polar bear claws and said boyfriend is at this point far more endangered than they are, obviously.”

“You’re ridiculous.”

“Yeah, well, so are your pecs, so shut up.”

Stiles has got his eyes shut again, so he can’t see Derek’s face, but he knows he’s smiling. He really does wish it wasn’t so hot, because even when Derek is red and unattractive Stiles still wants to make out with him, but he’s already covered in enough sweat just lying here without physical movement getting involved.

“I hate summer,” Stiles announces.

“You can’t hate an entire season.”

“Oh yes I can. Summer is the worst season ever invented, unless you have 24-7 AC and an endless supply of snow cones, and even then I bet you’d get sick of snow cones. You cannot win with summer. You cannot fucking win.

“I like summer.”

“Well, of course you like summer, you get to take your shirt off even more than usual and all the swooning grandmothers run down their driveways to assault you with offers of cookies and lemonade. How could you not like summer when you look like you do.”

“I do not get assaulted by grandmothers.”

“Mrs. Pevensey.”

“That was once—”

“Mrs. Jayaraman.”

“Okay, that was a little weird—”

“Oh, and let’s not forget Mr. Eckleston, I mean, who could, really?”

“He was paying me to mow the lawn, Stiles!”

“Yeah, the lawn in front of his giant creeper window, Derek. He invited Ms. Shih over to join him! They had refreshments.”

“Afternoon tea.”

“Um, old person’s popcorn and soda for their Derek Hale Lawn Mowing Show, you mean.”

Derek sighs. “I think this is normally when I’d slam you into the wall, Stiles.”

“So why haven’t you?” Stiles says, because, to be honest, Derek isn’t one to hold back on the wall-slamming, even now that they’re dating. Especially now that they’re dating.

“… I’m too fucking hot,” Derek finally responds.

“See? Summer! It defeats us all.”

“Okay, summer is not that bad.”

“Prove it.”

“Fine,” Derek says, and Stiles opens his eyes with alarm when he hears the sound of Derek getting to his feet.

“Wait, where are you—”

“Stay here.”

“You—” Stiles starts and then gives up and heaves a sigh of disgust as he watches Derek disappear back through his laundry-draped window. “Uncommunicative werewolf assholes,” he mutters, knowing full well Derek can still hear him.

It’s about five minutes later and Stiles is once more near asleep from heat-induced lethargy when he’s jolted awake by a frozen something smacking him solidly in the chest.

“What the—ow!” The latter exclamation results from a second frozen missile glancing off his forehead.

“Sorry,” Derek says as he maneuvers his way over the windowsill. “The shirts make it hard to aim.”

Stiles find himself holding two frozen treats that could only have come from an ice cream truck, condensation just beginning to form on the plastic wrappings. The puzzling thing is that the last time Stiles heard that blessed vehicle’s tinkling herald was at least an hour ago.

“Where’d you—”

Derek raises an eyebrow. “It’s in the cul-de-sac five blocks over. What, can’t you—”

“No, not all of us have super werewolf hearing, not even when it comes to ice cream trucks,” Stiles says, because sometimes Derek really does forget somehow.

“Well, I got Spider-Man and Darth Vader. Take your pick.”

“If I let you have Darth Vader, do you promise not to blow up any planets?”

“… no,” Derek says, and it’s almost with a straight face.

“Well then that’s an obvious answer,” Stiles says, and tosses him Spider-Man.

They end up eating their child-intended frozen treats while leaning against the edge of Stiles’ bed. A much-wanted breeze finally begins stirring the patches of color draped over his windows to send the yellow afternoon sunlight dancing across the carpet, stretching to touch their bare feet. It’s somewhere in between Derek’s truly terrible Darth Vader impression and Stiles explaining how his mom was the first one to ever show him the original trilogy that Stiles realizes he’d like to kiss Derek anyway, oppressive heat wave be damned, and so, in the middle of Derek reading off his popsicle stick’s awful punch line, Stiles does just that. It lasts longer than Stiles intends it to, forgotten ice cream dripping across their warm fingers, but Derek’s lips are freezing against his burning skin and he finds himself willing to forgive summer its complete and utter douchebaggery, if only for one endless afternoon.
inlightofvisainlightofvisa on August 6th, 2012 04:57 am (UTC)
Oh honey, this was BEAUTIFUL. Especially the end. Brb, I'm having an emotion.

Edited at 2012-08-06 04:57 am (UTC)
inthe_redshirtinthe_redshirt on August 6th, 2012 05:04 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! And, ugh, I rewrote the ending about fifteen times, so I'm glad someone liked it. :)
thrace_adams: Teen Wolf Sterek Face/Chestthrace_adams on August 6th, 2012 05:18 am (UTC)
OH I loved the ending. and UGH it's BEEN that hot this summer /o\ You described the oppressive heat perfectly!
inthe_redshirtinthe_redshirt on August 6th, 2012 05:28 am (UTC)
Hooray! I'm so glad to hear it. And, yes, considering I've spent the past six hours sitting in a 90 degree office while stuffed into my long-sleeve uniform polo, Stiles' opinions on summer may have slightly echoed my own.
oxoniensis: fandom: tw over the lineoxoniensis on August 6th, 2012 09:16 am (UTC)
This is gorgeous and happy-making!
inthe_redshirtinthe_redshirt on August 6th, 2012 09:41 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you liked it.
Karen: tw stiles what?byrons_brain on August 6th, 2012 09:33 am (UTC)
hehehehe lovely fic...
inthe_redshirtinthe_redshirt on August 6th, 2012 09:42 am (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
inthe_redshirtinthe_redshirt on August 6th, 2012 07:04 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it.
yamipenguin: infamous questionyamipenguin on August 6th, 2012 07:51 pm (UTC)
Only Stiles would be annoyed over the weather and refuse to kiss his boyfriend...Howe old is Stiles in this one?
inthe_redshirtinthe_redshirt on August 6th, 2012 08:06 pm (UTC)
Re: Stiles...
17, since I wanted their relationship to be relatively new and also not have college anxiety dramalama.
thejinxiithejinxii on August 6th, 2012 10:06 pm (UTC)
Ahhh this is so beautiful! D: I love it!
inthe_redshirtinthe_redshirt on August 6th, 2012 10:14 pm (UTC)
Thank you!