It’s a shirt. Just a shirt. But it’s bright, obnoxious red, and it has big white letters the read ‘I WOULD CUDDLE YOU SO HARD' across the front of it. And it's just so Stiles. So Scott buys it for him.
Stiles wears it about four times before it causes a problem. Not an actual problem. But he was lucky enough the first three times he wore it didn’t happen to be those days where big bad werewolf stuff would go down. Because of course, wearing a shirt about cuddling while fighting off monsters would be just… awkward.
However, it just so happens, the fourth time he wears it, about a month and a half after Scott buys it for him, Derek comes climbing through his window.
”Stiles, I need to use your…” Derek stops when Stiles spins in his chair. Stiles is just about to yell at him about privacy, or something, but Derek’s glowering… at his chest.
”What?” Stiles glances down at his shirt. Then rolls his eyes, “What, dude, it’s a shirt. Haven’t you ever seen one that’s not black gray or some other shade of emo?”
Derek cuts his eyes at Stiles, who flinches slightly, but straightens.
”It’s a stupid shirt.” Derek huffs.
”No it’s not! Scott bought me this!” he tugs on it, standing from his chair. “What makes it stupid? It doesn’t have blood on it? ‘Cause I’m sure if I hang out with you for just a few hours it will.”
Derek stares for a few moments. His attention flicking from Stiles’ face to his shirt.
”It’s stupid because it implies you would cuddle with anyone who reads it.”
”I would!” Stiles blurts, just to drive his point. He knows he’s lying. Who would cuddle with anyone curious enough to read their t-shirt? But standing up to Derek in his own way always feels pretty good. Until Derek gets violent, which he’s apparently about to do…
The werewolf steps forward, way up in Stiles’ space, and wraps a firm hand around his arm.
”What are you doing?” Stiles mumbles, glancing down at Derek’s hand.
”Proving you wrong.” is all Derek says, simply even, before he’s throwing Stiles onto his own bed. He’s just turning over to push himself up, stand, and yell at Derek, but as soon as he’s able to see anything other than his pillow, all he can see is Derek.
He’s hovering over Stiles, their faces inches away. Derek smirks, lays down behind Stiles, and presses an arm firmly around his chest. Stiles shoves at his arm for a moment before realizing that he’s not getting up until Derek wants him to.
Stiles huffs a sigh. Derek, who has his face pressed against the back of Stiles’ head, tightens his arm.
”See?” Stiles can hear the smirk in his voice, “I told you it’s a stupid shirt.”
”No it’s not. You haven’t proven anything.” Stiles grumbles.
”Cause this isn’t cuddling. It’s spooning. And there’s a difference.” he pushes at Derek’s arm again and this time it moves. Stiles sits up and looks at Derek, who is just starting to sit up as well. Until Stiles presses a hand to his shoulder, pushes him back onto the bed. “You should at least know the difference… This…" hesitantly, Stiles turns to fully face Derek. He lays back down gently, curves his body into Derek’s warmth, and nuzzles his face up under Derek’s jaw. Derek is rigid, his breathing shallow. Stiles thinks, absently, that he’s probably not smirking any more. "This is cuddling." he whispers against Derek’s skin.
It’s like his words hit a switch. Instantly Derek’s muscles relax. He curls around Stiles’ body. His arms go from stiff at his sides to warm and gentle. One slides under Stiles’ neck to wrap around his shoulders. The other lays across his waist. Stiles feels Derek’s face press against the top of his head, hears him inhale deeply, again and again.
There’s a trembling between them. Stiles can’t tell if it’s just him or not. But he’s pretty sure it a mutual reaction. Either way he finds himself involuntarily pressing closer, inhaling Derek’s scent and curling his fingers in his t-shirt.
He thinks maybe he’s been missing out… a lot.
- - -
”So I guess your shirt isn’t stupid…” he hears Derek whisper a little while later. Stiles opens his eyes when he realizes he was sleeping, and the darkness of the room tells him they’ve actually not moved in at least two hours. He doesn’t feel the need to now.
”Hmm?” he hums, nuzzles his face closer where he’s drifted backwards.
”You really would cuddle with anyone.” Derek says. Stiles pulls back slightly, just enough to look Derek in the eye when he answers.
”No, I wouldn’t.”
It takes a few seconds. But Derek’s eyes widen slightly, his jaw goes slack. Stiles even hears his breath hitch.
Stiles smiles at him, a small, shy smile. Slowly, Derek’s expression softens.
When Stiles leans back in Derek curls his arms around him tighter.
Stiles is almost late for school the next morning.