Stiles is a hugger. His dad's always been free with the hugs. He would boast to say he's an awesome hugger, nay amazing. His mom's hugs were renowned. Even a half hug from her and you were feeling a thousand times better.
So, he's always been a hands-on guy. Very tactile. Scott doesn't mind, because they're bros and bros give hugs. Manly hugs. Followed by fist bumps.
The second string of the lacrosse team has even gotten used to Stiles' random hug attacks when a goal is scored. Rodriguez has begrudgingly given him an exploding high five depending on the state of the defensive line.
So Stiles doesn't understand why when he goes into hug Jackson for a "yay we didn't die tonight" celebratory hug he gets knocked onto the ground.
"Ok, ow," he groans from his position on the hard ground in front of the dilapidated Hale house.
Jackson actually looks shocked so Stiles thinks he was just twitchy from almost getting his face eaten. It can happen. And Stiles has been working on his ninja skills as of late so he forgives him. What's lower back pain between friends?
Through the next week when Stiles has to deal with not one but two hormonal teenage werewolves, he could use a hug. His dad gives him one before he leaves for his night shift which puts him in a better mood. Ready to take on the supernatural.
The whole pack, which is what Derek is calling them now, all alpha and ten times more bitchy, assembles over at Stiles' for a game night. Danny and Jackson show up together and Stiles can't help it. He has friends. Moody and sarcastic friends.
"Danny, my man." And he goes in for a good backslap hug. "Come on in."
And he turns to Jackson, arms open, and Jackson looks tense. Stiles thinks he needs a hug.
"Jackson, you brought beer! Awesome man."
But he gets hugblocked when the case of twenty-four is thrust into his arms instead of being hugged.
But he gets distracted when Lydia comments from the living room that something's burning.
It becomes a kind of game. And Jackson is a challenging opponent.
"Whatever you're doing stop it," Scott says by the lockers before they head out to the lacrosse field.
"Whatever do you mean my dear friend?" he blinks guilelessly over at Scott when he tugs his head through his jersey.
"Sure," Scott drawls out like the word deserves an entire minute to say followed by a frown, his whole face twisting into an epic judgey face. The kind Stiles knows he's learned from his mom.
"I swear on all my Batman comics."
"Even The Dark Knight Returns?"
Stiles opens and closes his mouth briefly before nodding. "Even that."
Though he totally crossed his toes while saying it.
Scott just rolls his eyes. It's gotten a lot harder to lie to Scott since his wolfiness became a thing. Though Stiles has been beating the polygraph test since he was nine so he figures he's golden.
Stiles is the type to doll out hugs when the cafeteria serves pudding. So it's not too surprising to run into the locker room and pounce on Jackson with a whoop of delight at the prospect of chocolate pudding day.
He kind of ends up half in an empty locker.
Maybe Jackson's more of a butterscotch guy. Or tapioca. Jackson shoots him a guilty look and pulls him out. "Sorry," he huffs out.
"No worries." And Stiles leans in for a shoulder hug. "My ninja skills are rocking this month."
Jackson dodges him and Stiles pouts, worrying his bottom lip between his teeth.
"Do I smell? Because we haven't had gym yet." He does a sniff at his left arm pit. Still laundry fresh. "Hug it out? It's pudding day."
Jackson is trying to avoid eye contact like Stiles will eventually go away if he remains still.
"I'll keep doing this until I get my hug. I hounded Scott for a week once," he grins. "There's a hug plane coming in for a landing."
He gets a sigh from Jackson who awkwardly pats him on the back before shoving him out of the way. It's an awkward ten seconds. Kind of like when Stiles has to hug his great aunt Martha.
"You're a strange guy."
"So I don't smell?"
Jackson does stuff him in the locker this time but he's smiling so Stiles forgives him.
He goes to the only person smarter than him.
He goes in for a hug because she'll allow it if he stays out of the luscious danger zone and doesn't attempt to smell her hair. She reserves the right to break his hand if he does. Boundaries are important with friends.
"Stiles," she greets with a thoughtful look. "What do I owe the pleasure of you actually being in the library before noon?"
"Does Jackson like hugs?" he asks point blank.
And Lydia dissolves into giggles.
"Hey, hey, it's not that funny."
"Oh, you are precious," she says, patting him on his cheek.
"But as much as I love talking about my ex-boyfriend," she says, her voice laced with enough sarcasm to kill an optimist. "No, he's never been a cuddler."
"You look more upset than I ever was," declares Lydia. "I thought you got your hug quota from Scott."
"Hey, hugging is manly," he glowers.
"Mmmmhmmm, that broship you sail must be lonely," she smiles.
"You're just jealous of your lack of traveling pants and Parisian dopplegangers," says Stiles.
"You do know girls don't do that right? And the chances of going to Paris and meeting a rich twin are highly unlikely."
"Now don't you start -"
"And we don't have sleepovers wearing -" she continues.
"Lalalala not listening - you can't ruin that for me," Stiles says with his hands covering his ears.
"This is about your crush on Selena Gomez isn't it?" she asks. "Because that's never going to happen."
"I take it all back, you're evil. Historically, I found that hot. But now I think I'm cured."
"I find that very flattering," she grins.
So he knows he can be a cuddler. And if Jackson's going to be part of his albeit small group of friends, he should at least get used to Stiles. Well, as used to him as most can get.
They're having another movie night and this time anything Ryan Gosling related has been banned. Probably the reason Lydia's decided to be more than fashionably late.
Which is a shame since they've decided to play Cranium while waiting for the pizza to arrive.
Stiles is awesome at Star Performer. Though Stiles has to partner up with Jackson because apparently Allison claims that him and Scott pose an unfair advantage when together.
"You share a brain!" she exclaims. But the jokes on her when she partners with Derek, what with the coupledomhood of her and Scott being quite nauseous to anyone but them.
Though Stiles is regretting suggesting that since Allison and Derek seem to be scarily awesome together with Hummdingers.
"We you both born on the Mayflower?" laughs Danny from where Scott is still recovering from his horrifying Sensosketch which was supposedly a unicorn but really looking like a vicious bunny rabbit with eight eyes.
They high five after winning at the Factoid challenge.
"It pays to read something other than comic books," says Derek, his face in a half-grin. He's been cracking them out every once and a while. It's even more scary than his scowly face. And he's even more receptive to hugs than Jackson. Stiles thinks it's his new alpha status. That howling out at the moon does wonders for the soul.
But Stiles has a secret weapon. Jackson. He's got a competitive streak that can be seen from the moon.
"Alright," Stiles says tossing Jackson the purple Play-doh. "Let's win this."
Lydia walks in on Jackson and Stiles arguing over whether the clay creation on the table is a Ferris wheel or a sailboat.
It's totally a sailboat.
After an epically bad day, just a week before the anniversary of his mom's death, Stiles just wants curl up and marathon all of the John McClane. Scott's fallen off the map with Allison, her parents are taking them camping up North. But only after swearing to Derek that they weren't going to hunt Scott on the trip. And his dad is in San Diego for a conference. So he's home alone.
Danny's on date number two with a senior from Grandville, who plays basketball. Stiles decides not to call him since after his last breakup, Danny's been kind of mopey. And Lydia and Derek are at the IKEA two towns over shopping. Lydia's using her dad's credit card, it's one of the reasons Derek even agreed to let her in the car, the other is despite his prickly exterior, Derek caves at the simplest requests. Especially coupled with Lydia's pouts. She's kind of taken over his renovation plans. Stiles is just happy that there's toilet paper at Derek's now.
So Stiles is flying solo.
He's halfway through the first Die Hard when the doorbell rings. He opens the door to Jackson standing awkwardly with pizza and a six pack.
"Jackson?' he croaks out because he was not just tearing up on the couch. Die Hard is just an emotional movie, is all.
"Stilinski," he nods and shoulders his way in. "I mean, Stiles."
He drops the food on the coffee table before Stiles can reply. "So what are we watching?"
And this time he doesn't even blink when Stiles channels his octopus spirit animal and anchors himself to his right side. It's a good minute hug before Stiles comes back to himself.
"Die Hard," he says breaking the moment. Jackson lets him disentangle himself and doesn't comment on Stiles' red rimmed eyes.
"I am not watching that," says Jackson, crouching by the wall of DVDs. "Die Hard's for Christmas. We're watching Bond."
And Stiles is very much okay with that. Hugs are the best medicine. "Just no Pierce Brosnan."
Jackson snorts. "Sean Connery all the way."
Stiles just grins.