It’s Stiles’ turn to host movie night, so he deliberately picks an evening he knows his father is working the late shift and readies the house accordingly. The full moon is in just three days and it’s become something of a tradition -- albeit a very new tradition -- for the group to gather together like this in the days leading up. Derek calls it pack bonding. Stiles calls it an excuse to eat crap food and lounge around all night with his friends.
He rearranges the furniture to maximize floor space, brings down all the spare blankets and pillows he can find and dumps everything on the couch; they’ll set it all up later. On the table are three large bags of M&Ms: Peanut, Plain and Dark Chocolate, alongside a bag of pretzels and a giant tub of Red Vines. There’s also a shit-ton of beef jerky because this close to the full moon, the wolves requires more meat.
Stiles is pretty sure he hosts the best movie night.
The kitchen is a wreck, so he heads there next, intent upon at least organizing the assortment of food spread out over the kitchen table and counters. It’ll be a tight fit, but one of the best parts about hosting is that Stiles is in charge of the menu. Tonight it’s pizza, homemade and not the greasy crap they sometimes order from Al’s. It’s not even the pre-made pizza dough because that stuff gives him a stomachache. Instead, he uses his mother’s recipe and reminds himself firmly that finding enjoyment in cooking does not define his gender. His dad’s father, Jedrik, had loved to cook, and prior to his death, could usually be found in the kitchen with Stiles’ mother, shouting out instructions animatedly. He steadfastly ignores the sharp ache that follows close on the footsteps of those memories.
Derek appears sometime between Stiles pulling out the dough and the timer buzzing to remind him not to overcook the sauce, which means he’s totally not expecting to turn around to find the doorway full of hungry, expectant alpha werewolf. Stiles is opening his mouth to offer him some of the sausage -- fully cooked and about twice what he expects them to need for the evening -- only to have Derek crowding him back against the counter, mouth hot and demanding against Stiles’.
This isn’t new, not really, but every time it happens, every time Stiles feels Derek’s hands on his hips, in his hair, under his shirt and pressed against the skin of his back, he’s still left reeling. Up until Derek, Stiles’ experience with kissing has been limited to the platonic on-the-cheek variety so the first time he was probably more than his fair share nervous. He still is, a month and a half later, but now he relaxes more quickly.
When Derek pulls back his eyes are still green, but they’re edged with red, like the wolf is hovering. Stiles knows what it wants, what it’s wanted since the moment Derek acknowledged the possibility, but he also knows Derek won’t make a claim. Not until Stiles has had a chance to live and explore. Because once Derek claims him, there’s no going back and Stiles isn’t stupid enough to lie and pretend that doesn’t scare him just a little.
“I’ve got to go meet with Chris Argent tonight,” Derek says.
His voice is deeper than usual, rough and disagreeable sounding. Like not being there, not being able to touch Stiles, is the worst thing to happen. It’s one of the rare movie nights where they’ll be watching Derek-approved movies and while he’ll never say so out loud, Stiles knows Derek enjoys the pack bonding as much as they do. Despite, or possibly because of, the silliness that tends to overcome the group when they’re trying to dispel the tension of the full moon.
“Right, well. Have fun with that. And, you know, try not to eat anyone. Unless it’s Allison’s mother.” He wrinkles his nose at the last because while he can deal with Mr. Argent, Mrs. Argent is really, really scary.
Derek wolf grins and crowds back in, slides his hands up the back of Stiles’ shirt and presses it flat against the bare skin of Stiles’ back. He nips at Stiles ear, bites at the hinge of his jaw, then works a bruise into the curve of his neck, too high for his shirt to cover. Stiles would protest, but he likes the feel of Derek’s teeth on his skin. Then the doorbell rings and Derek peels himself away with one last hard kiss.
Allison is first in the door, proceeded by a giant tub of ice cream and Stiles is glad they’ll be eating decent-ish food first. ADHD plus Adderall plus sugar generally spells out hyperactive trouble where he’s concerned. Scott is right behind her, arms full of soda, and his eyes narrow when he sees the slowly blooming bruise on Stiles’ neck, though he makes no comment.
“Jackson and Danny were just pulling up and I think Lydia said she’d be a few minutes late. She’s got a thing with her dad.” Scott rolls his eyes.
They’ve all discovered that when Lydia has a ‘thing with her dad,’ it usually ends in a monetary attempt to make up for crappy parenting. Lydia pretends she doesn’t mind, but Scott told him once that she always smells sad after she sees her father. If Scott has noticed that Stiles always plans their movie nights to coincide with Lydia’s afternoons with her father, he hasn’t said anything.
Once everyone is together, they pile into the kitchen, Derek included and manage to turn it into disarray within minutes. There’s cornmeal on the floor, olives and cheese spilled across the counter and more sausage and pepperoni in mouths than on the dough. They have fun, though, and after the pizzas are done baking, everyone clamors into the living room. Derek claims the recliner so Stiles parks himself on the ground at Derek’s feet, unashamed of the four slices of pizza on his plate.
Dinner is when all the serious conversation happens. Derek lays out the ground rules for the night -- no leaving the house, call him if anyone starts to wolf out and can’t bring themselves back -- and then Lydia rants about her father, Scott complains about Coach Finstock and so on. It’s a way to clear the air, to get all the negative stuff that’s been building up off their chests.
When the conversation begins to lag, Stiles reaches for an M&M and chucks it Scott, nailing him in the ear. He grins at the cry of outrage, then scrambles away when Scott moves to retaliate. There’s a brief chase the ends in Scott making a flying tackle that slams Stiles into the ground with a loud ‘umph.’ Then his fingers are everywhere, ruthlessly exploiting three and a half years worth of knowledge of ticklish spots. From the corner of his eye, Stiles can see Derek’s hands curl into fists, can see the claws lengthening briefly before hiding themselves away again.
Stiles rolls his eyes at the display, aware he’s not the only one who noticed, then grins broadly when Scott is yanked off him with a yelp. Seconds later, Derek is pulling him up, one hand coming to rest on the back of Stiles’ neck. It’s warm and reassuring and Stiles leans into the touch just a little more than he normally would in front of the others.
“You are a trouble maker,” Derek says.
Derek lets out a rumbling laugh when Stiles tries to punch him. He falls silent after just a moment though, nostrils flaring slightly and head tilting ever-so-slightly to the side, like he’s contemplating kissing Stiles right there in front of everyone. His gaze drops just a little, to where Stiles’ pulse is thrumming fast and strong in his neck, making his skin shiver. There’s an odd tension filling the air around them, and once again, it’s Scott who breaks it.
“Right, well, whenever you’re ready to, like, not molest my best friend in front of an audience, you’re free to leave. We’ve got a movie to watch.”
Derek’s eyes flash red, the alpha dangerously close to the surface just for a moment, but then it bleeds away, leaving just Derek behind. Derek who is annoyed, but no longer ready to put Scott down painfully.
“Be good,” is all he says, and then he’s gone, the sound of the door closing ringing through the otherwise quiet room.
“Right. So is it me, or has he been getting creepier? Like, I really thought maybe he was going to do something R-rated in front of us.”
Jackson’s gaze goes to the door and then shifts to Stiles, a familiar smirk twisting his lips. “I wonder if public territorial pissing is the next step in the werewolf courtship.”
“Screw you,” Stiles replies, face scrunching up. There are some things he’d rather not think about.
Stiles flops back onto the ground, refusing to show just how riled up Derek managed to get him with just a look. He’s pretty sure three of the five people can smell it on him though, and the other two have ‘women’s intuition,’ which means he’s fooling absolutely no one. So he focuses on not thinking about the way Derek’s mouth feels against his own, the way his stomach quivers whenever Derek touches him there or--
Three sets of eyes land on him, all glowing and intense. Stiles very carefully thinks about the frog he dissected in biology his freshman year until his heart rate lowers and his skin cools. Werewolves, he thinks, are a lot like peeping toms, even if it’s not exactly something they can help.
Danny is the one to bring up the Netflix queue and get their movie started, snorting softly when Scott proceeds to pounce on Stiles some more, trying to see if he’ll squeak like a chew toy -- Jackson’s description, not Stiles’. It would be humiliating for anyone else, but Stiles likes it. He likes that he can have this kind of closeness and that he has something now that he never had before. He has a pack.
He shoves Scott off when the opening credits begin to roll and everyone rearranges themselves for prime movie-viewing. Lydia stretches out on the couch because she doesn’t like to share, so Danny and Jackson sit in front of her, on the ground, with Stiles sprawled out between them, half in each person’s lap. Surprisingly, it took Danny the longest to get used to this, to how tactile Stiles is. Jackson, now that they’ve made their peace, has proven extremely receptive. Derek claims it’s a pack thing: wolves and humans alike thrive on touch, and within a pack, it is given and taken freely, unguardedly. There is no shame in it, and, as he likes to teasingly point out, his pack is made up of teenagers with newly-made wolf counterparts. They are essentially a litter of pups.
So Stiles sprawls between them, his head and shoulders supported by Jackson’s lap, while his legs take up residence in Danny’s. Scott lays down with his head resting on Stiles’ thigh and Allison curls up in front of him, head pillowed on Stiles’ stomach. It should be uncomfortable, too, all that weight and pressure, but they all have pillows and blankets for added support and really, he loves this. He loves no longer being afraid of having people touch him or of touching others and being rejected.
Halfway through the first movie, Jackson’s claws come out, and he rakes them gently over Stiles’ scalp, careful not break skin. It’s comforting and he’s sort of surprised he doesn’t find it a turn-on, but he doesn’t. There’s nothing sexual in the touch, nor in the way Danny’s hand wraps strong and firm around his ankle, just under his jeans. There’s only reassurance and peace.
Stiles makes it through two movies before he concedes to sleep and when he wakes, it’s to find he’s been moved. Allison and Scott are barely visible beneath a blanket, Jackson and Danny not far from them, with Lydia tucked between them. Stiles is the one on the couch, now, half on top of Derek. He hums a little, presses his face into the broad expanse of Derek’s chest and wills himself back to sleep feeling warm and content.
His last thought as he drifts off is that he wishes every night could be like this.