Derrek wants hot water. Stiles wants a dishwasher, because they’re running out of paper plates, he keeps forgetting to bring more, and he doesn’t do dishes by hand.
There’s a hole in the floor where the fire burned through the living room and into the basement. It took three trips out from the old Hale house to get enough lumber to start the restoration because Stiles had come back with a couch the first time around. And sure, now he has a place to sit, but in the end he’s left to decide whether the bite on his neck is completely worth it.
Probably. Yes. Definitely.
The roof leaks, as roofs more cinder, ash, and holey than shingle are wont to do. Stiles, surprisingly handy around the house once told what to do, is supposedly up there fixing it-- or at least starting the process. And to be fair, the part of the roof where the slightly used satellite dish sits now is in perfect condition, even if the same can’t be said for the rest of the thing.
The last straw comes with Stiles bent over the new entertainment cabinet that’s mysteriously arrived in the house along with a television, a Playstation, and some fresh cans of primer.
At any other point in time the look of confusion on Stiles’ face might be considered endearing. Red went with red, white with white, and yellow to yellow, and then the plug goes into the outlet. He knows he got it right and it’s not like this is brain surgery, so why isn’t it turning on?
The primer’s on the walls like it’s supposed to be and he’s done most of everything else he’d been told to, but that doesn’t stop Derrek from grabbing him by the collar of his shirt and physically dragging him away from his toys.
“You shorted out the breaker with your crap.” Stiles can only just barely make out what Derek is saying through the deep growl cutting through his words and his own rambling attempts at explaining exactly why the house has a television, a PS3, an entertainment console, but no electricity.
Being dumped down onto the couch he’s already been punished for isn’t the most pleasant experience, but Stiles is still fighting a grin. Pushing Derek’s buttons can be fun, if also potentially life threatening. He manages to look somewhat apologetic when Derek turns back to glare at him before stalking outside to find the circuit breaker. There’s a moment before the shallow marks on his skin begin to throb and Stiles reaches up to rub at his neck. For all his research and reading on pack dynamics, nothing is as teaching as a physical reminder of where he stands. Above everything he’s protected and loved, but he's the Omega and he should probably remember that.
Stiles is fond of thinking he’s not stupid enough (or jealous enough) to actually ask for the bite. It’s half true, but more often than not, it’s less a reflection on his self restraint or even that he’s remembered the perks of being a human. No, it’s more that he has to face reality and realise that even if Derek did more than just nip at his neck, he would still be the Omega of the pack. With Scott and Jackson around, chances of that changing are slim at best. He’s not the runt of the group or anything-- though from what he’d read, that didn’t matter much. It’s more about submission and leadership potential than size, and while the correlation could be found sometimes, it wasn’t the deciding factor. So he can take comfort in the fact that he’s not small... just naturally submissive.
To a point.
Some things he just can’t do, like sitting still and waiting for more than a minute if Derek isn’t there physically holding him down. There’s always the unspoken expectation that he’ll be right where he was left when Derek comes back inside, but he’s been at the Hale house for over twenty-four hours, and hasn’t taken his Adderall in forty-eight.
No sooner than he hears the zzzzzzt and whir of the power coming back on, he’s glancing around from side to side and slipping slowly off the couch.
“What are you doing?”
Stiles would have described the look he gives Derek as coy. Maybe flirtatious. Whatever it is, innocent apparently doesn’t qualify. Game controller clutched in his hand, Stiles looks up from the console. “Trying to play Madden.” The thing is lit back up and glowing blue, and it’s got to be the most unfair thing in the world to expect that Stiles can possibly resist the temptation just because he shorted out the electricity in a house that barely had light fixtures. Right? Right. “You want in?”
A verbal answer proves unnecessary, because why speak when you can just glare? It’s practically Derek’s personal mantra, and Stiles is getting used to it.
He drops the controller back on the ground and shuffles over to the couch where he’s immediately pulled down and reminded --again-- that he’s supposed to behave.
“I was making myself at home.” In a totally more appropriate way than fucking all over the couch and the new floor you haven’t even had stained yet. He knows better than to say any of that out loud though, and while he’s a little sore, Derek won’t hear any complaints from him. “Y’know, like you keep doing at my house. Or, at least my bedroom. You taking my shirts is seriously becoming a problem, by the way. I mean, I get it. You’re addicted to eau du Stiles. Who isn’t? But I have to have something to wear to school when I get dressed--”
Derek’s arm tightens ever so slightly around his waist. “Shut up.”
Stiles shrugs as much as he can against his pack leader’s chest. “Yeah, that scares me less and less every time you--” But then he feels Derek’s teeth press against his neck and gets the message. Eventually he’ll come to terms with the idea that a healthy fear of Derek Hale isn’t a slight against his manhood, but a testament to his sanity.
When Derek’s tongue replaces his teeth, running rough against wounds that were his fault to begin with, Stiles shifts slightly in his arms. “Admit it though, you like the couch.”
“The couch is alright.” It’s a grudging admission, but it’s still a win in Stiles’ book and it wasn’t like Derek hadn’t been just as enthusiastic about breaking it in as Stiles had. “A floor without a hole in it would have been better.”
“Dude, you should hire someone. You’d have a full roof too.” Stiles knows what he’s doing up there, but cleaning out gutters and fixing leaky pipes are more up to his speed. Those are the things you learn to do at an early age when you have a dad coming home exhausted from late night shifts protecting the world from evil and --because you’re the best son in the world-- you feel guilty telling him that the bathroom sink is clogged even though it’s totally not your fault, and no, that’s definitely not a GI Joe in the U-Bend.
Stiles can almost feel Derek roll his eyes in response. “You’re the one with money. You spent it on a satellite dish.”
“Correction: I spent it on a sweet cable package. I stole the satellite dish from our neighbor’s garage after I found a new place for the raccoons nesting in it to live. Like, I’m pretty sure they were planning on throwing it out since the cable company never came and got it, so it’s not really stealing. The neighborhood association got all pissed at them when they had it up since it was visible from the street or something like that, which they should’ve known was gonna happen. Once they yelled at us when I didn’t cut the grass for two weekends and it started looking ‘raggedy’ whatever the hell that means, and--” Unsure of where that story’s actually leading, Stiles swallows the rest of it quickly. “Uh, we have like five ESPNs now, anyway, is the point.”
“There was a point to that?”
“Ha. Ha. Ha.” Stiles smirks only because he’s used to it by this point. Derek doesn’t do trivial shit -- what he considers to be trivial shit, anyway; that’s Stiles’ department. “‘Sides, if you’re gonna hold me hostage in your haunted mansion, I’m at least gonna have a couch, cable, and Madden.”
“I’m not holding you hostage.” Derek is simply humouring the conversation, at best.
He shakes his head. “You keep pretending your teeth are a bear trap for my neck and you took the keys to my Jeep, man. This is totally a hostage situation.”
“Can you still move both of your legs?”
He can, proving it by running his foot over Derek’s calf.
“And both your arms?”
His fingers press into Derek’s thigh. “My, what big--”
And he is so not going to be allowed to finish that sentence. “Then I’m not holding you hostage. You’d know if I were holding you hostage.” Sooner rather than later if Stiles tried anymore Big Bad Wolf jokes.
The lack of Adderall in his system normally makes this kind of focus difficult, if not completely impossible, but it’s hard to think about anything but the one hundred and ninety pound piece of werewolf spooning (a term he would never use out loud within Derek’s range of hearing) him on the floor and how this spooning thing is turning into a thing. Or, rather, it’s an after effect of the sex that’s turning into a thing. Stiles pulls his hand away from Derek’s thigh, choosing instead to knead his fingers against one set of teeth marks on his shoulder. “Whatever. I’m just saying that if you want to live here and you expect the pack to spend any time here, then you’ve gotta have the bare necessities. Like video games, and cable... and, oh shit, internet. We-- You need internet.”
“Hot water and electricity,” Derek replies, stretching one arm out to the side. He grabs his jeans and Stiles feel a quick chill come over him when suddenly Derek’s chest is nowhere to be felt against his back. The floor is freezing, but Derek’s heightened body temperature could make a person forget. It never bothers Stiles when they're together, or when he’s trapped (lovingly, of course) at the bottom of a pile consisting of Derek, Scott, and Jackson.
Stiles nods. “Yeah, that too. But--”
The growl Derek issues can be practically felt. “This doesn’t work unless you can occasionally listen to something besides your own voice.”
“Gee, I thought you liked having a reason to bite me into submission.”
He could count on one hand the amount of times he’d ever heard Derek say his name out loud and because of that he’s still for as long as he can be before reaching up to awkwardly rub at his hair. “Sorry.” One hand goes up in peace while he tries not to stare at Derek sliding back into his jeans. The lack of underwear is distracting. “Sorry. I-- what do you mean it doesn’t work? What doesn’t work? The hot water? I mean, I can look at it, but come on... we should just hire--”
Sometimes, the best way to to shut Stiles up is just to talk over him. “You. The pack.” Derek zips his jeans and sits up against the wall.
There’s silence as Stiles waits patiently (patiently for him, anyway) for Derek to go on and explain, because --as Stiles has explained to him several times at this point-- saying cryptic shit and expecting everyone else to understand you is only acceptable when you’re running around Gotham City dressed as a giant bat. “You have to use your words,” he draws out the sentence because it’s the most subtly annoying way to prove the point.
“We’re rebuilding a den. For the Pack.”
Stiles may or may not have snorted. Just a little. “You say den, I say haunted mansion--”
“You’re part of my Pack,” Derek interrupts again, staring straight at him with eyes flashing red. “My pack. Act like it. Take it seriously.”
Stiles' chest is freezing and he’s reaching for his shirt, but he still meets Derek’s stare long enough to see that the Alpha is serious, meant it, and that being a smart ass would ruin the moment. It isn’t always easy to tell the difference between sentiment and Derek's usual ‘I’m a terrifying motherfucker’ attitude, but Stiles is getting better at pinpointing it and thus, better at not ruining the closest thing to a sweet moment he’s ever going to get with Derek Hale.
Stiles' shirt gets stuck as he yanks it down over his head. “Yeah, I know.” The words are muffled through fabric. “I get it.”
“Yeah.” You get all possessive when you’re serious like this, Stiles thinks. It’s your Pack. I’m yours. We get it. Some of us kinda like it even if some of us are kinda douchebags about it sometimes... most of the time. “A little help here?” He would be the one to get tangled in an undershirt.
He stops squirming long enough for Derek to unfold himself from against the wall, slink over, and tug the thing down. “Thanks.” And where most people might say ‘you’re welcome,’ his Alpha chooses a kiss that leaves him wondering why they’d put their clothes back on in the first place. “I said I get it. I’m Pack. You don’t have to be all pheromone-y, you know that’s unfair and--” Stiles pauses only when Derek leans in to kiss him again. “--So I’m not getting my keys back?”
Stiles isn’t getting back in that Jeep, and that’s fine. It’s not as if he hasn’t already spent plenty of nights in that drafty old house in the woods with his dad thinking he was staying with Scott. The only difference is that now they have a couch, one that Stiles isn’t shy about dragging Derek over to once it becomes apparent that the car keys are not happening. The Playstation, dishwasher, and cable are forgotten, and the heat and hot water don’t matter much when Stiles can pull Derek’s arm over his body and press against his chest. It’s warm enough that night and when Stiles wakes up the next morning, somehow on the floor now, he can barely move underneath the pile of extra warm teenage werewolves that’s formed in the early dawn hours.
And when he does attempt to worm his way out from under Derek’s arm in a rash moment of restlessness and scoot over Jackson’s hip so that maybe he can just get in ten minutes of Madden or find a stray Adderall that might be hanging around in his blazer pocket, he feels Derek’s hand snake over Scott’s back and clamp down on his ankle.
“I thought you got it.”
Caught and guilty, Stiles makes a face and eases himself back down onto the pile of bodies (they were all, by mutual agreement, refusing to call it a 'dogpile'). His head rested somewhere between Jackson’s abs and Scott’s elbow. “I get it.”
When Derek nudges the two Betas, they have to move and let him claim the spot he wants, draped over the pack’s Omega to keep him warm, content and, most importantly, still. It really does work better than Adderall.