SUBWAY SLEEPER, pt. 11
Stiles makes it home. Mostly. He has his hand on the knob but then kind of just sinks down to his knees and starfishes face-down over the threshold, half in his apartment and half in the hall. This feels like as good a place as any to live out the rest of his life, gets a nice draft and everything.
That’s how Scott and Lydia find him when Scott gets home twenty minutes later.
Scott crouches down next to his head and squawks out an alarmed: “Stiles, Jesus, what happened?”
Stiles turns his head so his cheek is pressed flat to the floorboard and he can see Scott’s concerned puppy expression under his fringe. “I met him.” It sounds like a death sentence the way he’s said it, all croaky and broken. In a way, it kind of is so fair play to Stiles. “I—We talked. He asked me to come back tomorrow.” He props himself up with his hands on the floor, halfway to standing but not that invested in it yet.
Scott frowns at him. “Why do you look like the world just ended then?” Stiles flops back down unhappily and Scott points a finger in his face. Literally in his face, cheek depressed under Scott’s fingertip. He pokes a few more times, says, “Because that all sounds like really good news.”
Stiles shifts his cheek away from Scott, which puts him squashed-nose-down against their floor again. He blinks into the darkness from his own shadow. “I’m in love with him,” he mumbles to himself, groans. “This is so stupid, I know, Lydia, shut up” he points at where she was standing against the doorframe before he returned to his friend the floor and stabs at her with his finger, “—preemptively shut up—but he actually is it. He’s my person.” Stiles rolls over like a depressed seal, sits up and digs the heels of his palms into his eyes, making starbursts and orange blobs bloom behind the lids. “I’m… finished. I just knew it. He was sitting there, being all—” Stiles lowers his hands, blinks plaintively up at Scott and Lydia, “you know, with the face and the surliness and I thought, I thought, yeah, this face, this surliness, that’s my new forever.” He drops back down, floor and spine smushed together again. “Only it isn’t and I am massively, irreparably fucked because he has a girlfriend. And even if he wasn’t unobtainable, he’s still unobtainable. In an ‘I have to invent new words because there aren’t ones that so much as touch him’ kind of way.”
Lydia taps the toe of her high heel into his chest and tells him thoughtfully, “You’re depressing, you know that?” She carefully sips from the same latte cup she had earlier, purses her lips. “Also, did you say tomorrow? Your computer science midterm is tomorrow.”
Stiles pops upright, eyes wide. Nooooo. That can’t—it isn’t—goddamn it! “Oh shit. Shit. Fuck. Shit. I can’t meet him tomorrow.” His midterm’s not until late evening but he hasn’t even started the studying process yet. Which consists of downing a bunch of his Adderall pills, holing up in the library, jamming all related information that’ll stick into the folds of his brain where it’ll later leak out to be replaced by song lyrics and Friends quotes, sobbing - bitterly, going to the corner gas station for 5am Red Bulls, an hour or so of unscheduled and repeated cat naps while he slaps himself in the face to try to spark consciousness, drooling, desperate crying, panicked reading and, finally, acceptance that he will not pass. Until he miraculously does (about an 87% success rate on that).
There was no room for Derek in that. Derek eclipses everything, even the Friends quotes. Stiles can’t see him and retain anything to do with computers on the same day.