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The pack was gathered in the old Hale house, which wasn’t really as old as it used to be. Derek had bought the property back from the city and was working on renovating it one room at a time. Currently they were in the living room, which was looking much better. There were new walls and floors, and actual furniture that wasn’t all sooty.

Stiles thought the place cleaned up pretty nicely.

They were spread out on all the furniture; Scott and Allison were cuddled on the couch, Isaac next to them, Lydia and Jackson were sitting in an armchair that wasn’t actually big enough for two people, and Erica was in the other armchair. Stiles leaned against the wall, there was no room for him, there never was. Derek stood in front of the fireplace, his hands in his pockets and his gaze as intense as it always was.

“There’s an unfamiliar wolf in town,” Derek said, eyes skimming over each of them, and Stiles thought that maybe they lingered on him for just a moment. “It’s probably just a stray Omega but I want you all to be careful. Don’t go gallivanting through the woods in the middle of the night.” This time his eyes did land on Stiles and Stiles made a face.

“Why don’t we just go find the wolf and scare it off?” Erica said and Stiles had to roll his eyes. She always chose the more violent option. He glanced at Derek and wasn’t that surprised to see the Alpha actually considering the option.

“Maybe we should,” he said slowly and Stiles’ head thumped back against the wall in exasperation. “If we wait until the Omega starts causing problems then the hunters will be alerted and it’ll lead to problems for the pack.”

“You have got to be kidding me,” Stiles said, and suddenly all eyes were on him.

“Do you have something to say?” Derek asked, his voice low, almost a growl and Stiles met his glare.

“Yes, yes I do. You’re all jumping to conclusions. You think that just because this is a strange wolf its going to be dangerous. Maybe the Omega is just passing through, smelled the pack and thought hey, maybe I can join this pack. Instead of scaring it off why don’t you, oh I don’t know, talk to it?”

“We don’t have room in the pack.”

“Then tell the wolf that. Tell it that Beacon Hills is off limits and there’s no room for more. Don’t just go wolf out on it. Fear isn’t the best motivator.”

“What do you know?” Jackson snarled, and Stiles arched an eyebrow. “You’re just a human. You don’t understand how the wolves think.”

“And you’re a seven foot scaly lizard, so don’t pretend like you do.”

Jackson growled and Stiles thought he saw scales creeping up his neck. “Jackson,” Derek snapped, and Jackson took a deep breath.

“You just don’t want us to go ‘wolfy’ because you can’t join in,” Jackson said, sounding like his usual haughty self. “You’re just a useless human.”

Stiles clenched his jaw at the insult, he’d heard a thousand times before, but the repetition didn’t soften the blow. Stiles knew he was useless, he wasn’t a badass hunter like Allison or super smart like Lydia. He was just some human.

He noticed the silence, the silence that spoke volumes. No one tried to tell Jackson he was wrong.

They all agree.

He swallowed back the pain and plastered a smile on his face.

“At least I don’t have to deal with molting.”

They chuckled and Jackson scowled, but a throat clear from Derek brought their attention back to the topic on hand.

“Fine we’ll go in search of the Omega tonight. Eight o’clock.” His eyes focused on Stiles. “We’ll just talk, unless it makes a dangerous move.”

The pack nodded and started to scatter. Scott and Allison vanished first, holding hands and giggling to themselves. Lydia waited by the door, tapping her foot impatiently as Jackson moved just one speed too slow for her. Isaac disappeared further back into the house since he was staying with Derek, and Erica paused by Stiles side, her lips pulled up in a smile.

“You can handle yourself well,” she said, her voice almost a purr.

“Yeah well, I’ve had years of practice with that one.”

She smiled and leaned towards him and since his back was to a wall he couldn’t go anywhere. He tried to ignore the swell of her breasts, the way her heat seeped through the thin fabric of his shirt. She paused, her breath hot against his cheek.

“I like my men strong,” she whispered. He felt the searing heat of her lips against his skin, and then she was gone, leaving nothing but a lingering heat.

“Jesus Christ,” he breathed, feeling his knees go weak. He barely managed to keep himself from sliding down the wall. He took a deep breath, closing his eyes, and letting it out on a shudder. “God I am such a virgin.”

“Yes, you are. Now get out,” Derek growled and his eyes flew open to see the Alpha looming over him.

“D-derek!” he squeaked, although he completely denies any squeaking ever happening. It was more of a manly squawk, like a mighty hawk or something. He scrambled away from the wall and ran right into another wall when he rounded the corner.

He thought he heard a chuckle from Derek and he turned to glare at the Alpha, but Derek was right there and he yelped instead, eyes going wide as he collided with the wall again.

“Stiles,” Derek growled, his voice low. Derek always seemed to be growling when he was talking to Stiles, and Stiles really wished he could control his body a little better.

Math think about math. Think about econ. Think about coach. Think about anything but Derek’s body.

“Stiles,” Derek repeated and Stiles jerked his eyes to Derek’s face.

“Yeah?”

“Don’t leave your house tonight.”

All thoughts of Derek and sex and whatever else Stiles was thinking about flew out the window when the anger settled in. Anger, good. I like anger. “Wh-what?” he sputtered. “Why not? I’m part of the pack. I should be out there too.”

“You’ll just get in the way.”

Because you’re just some human.

Derek didn’t need to say what he was thinking, Stiles could practically hear it in the tone of his voice.

“Alright yeah. You’re right. I’ll just get in the way. The human who didn’t grow up in a family of hunters will stay home and worry as his pack goes gallivanting off in the middle of the woods.” He wasn’t even sure he should be calling it his pack anymore.

They’ve all made it perfectly clear that they don’t want him.

“Stiles,” Derek said, this time his voice sounded almost confused but Stiles just smiled at him.

“Yeah okay. I’ll stay home. I’ll be a good little human.” He shoved at Derek’s shoulder, only a little surprised when Derek complied and moved back. Stiles paused at the door for a moment and opened his mouth, but instead he just shook his head and scurried out to his jeep.

“Like hell I’ll stay home,” he muttered as he started his baby up, choosing to ignore Derek’s looming presence in his rearview mirror. “I’ll prove to you all just how useless I’m not.”

xXxXx

Stiles stumbled through the woods and somehow managed to trip over a root that wasn’t even there. The entire way time he was cursing Derek under his breath, because yes this was all Derek’s fault, it was always Derek’s fault.

He groaned, his face buried in the ground, and got a mouthful of leaves. He debated just staying there, but the leaves tasted like dirt and he was pretty sure there was a bug crawling down his throat.

“Gross,” he muttered, sitting up and wiping his tongue on his sleeve. He spit off to the side and shuddered at the feel of dirt gritting between his teeth. “So gross. I need a hot bath, and a teeth clean.”

He brushed some leaves off his shoulders, still muttering to himself. “Why am I even out in the woods in the middle of the night?”

There was a crunch of leaves off to his left and he froze, slowly turning his hand. He really hoped it was the bloodthirsty Omega come to eat his innards, and not Derek.

Derek would kill him slowly. The Omega would just get it over with.

Sure enough there was a wolf, half hidden by shadows. It was glaring at him out of shining blue eyes. Blue, like Derek used to be before he powered up.

Its fur was matted in spots and its lips were pulled back in a snarl, fangs glinting in the moonlight. Stiles felt his heart pause for a moment before picking up speed, but there was something in the eyes that kept him from being truly frightened.

The eyes were wide with fear.

The Omega was more scared of him than he was of it.

Which means he did what he does best and started talking.

 “You must be that Omega that has Derek in such a tizzy,” he said. He knew he should call someone but his mind flashed back to the fight, to how no one had defended him, letting their silence do all the talking. He wasn’t just some useless human, he could protect himself.

“Omega means you’re packless right?” He didn’t expect an answer but he paused to see if the wolf would take the bait and shift. When nothing happened he just sighed and continued on. “Did you choose it or was it forced?”

The wolf padded a bit closer and Stiles held his breath as he waited to see what it’d do, but it just sat down a few feet away and cocked its head as if telling him to continue.

“I had a pack, or at least I thought of them as my pack. I guess I was wrong though. If I was a wolf I’d be an Omega now too, although I guess the reason I’m packless is because I’m not.”

You’re just a useless human.

“I was only good for research, but now they have Lydia and they don’t need me.”

You’ll just get in the way

“I was just a liability.”

So lost in thoughts he hadn’t noticed the wolf move closer, but it bumped its head against his hand, staring up at him out of true puppy eyes. He felt his heart constrict and stroked the wolf behind its ears softly. Something about those eyes made him want to protect this wolf.

“Eh you don’t want to listen to my sob story. You probably want some food and a shower. Although if you insist on staying wolf it’ll probably have to be a bath… that I give you.” He thought about it and made a face. “How about you shift to bathe, you can go right back to wolf once you’re done. I’d just rather not have to wash you myself.

The wolf huffed and Stiles thought that was the canine equivalent to an eye-roll.

“What? The wet dog smell lingers forever.”

He grinned and got to his feet, heading in the direction of his jeep. He knew the pack was out here, searching for the wolf, and if he wanted to protect it then he’d have to get it home and fast.

“You coming or what?” he called back to the wolf, grin widening when he heard the crunch of leaves as it followed.

xXxXx

Stiles shooed the wolf into his bathroom the minute they got home, throwing a towel in after it, in hopes it would decide to stay human, at least long enough to tell him its name.

Once he heard the shower start he moved to the kitchen to get started on dinner. There was a note stuck to the fridge and he paused to glance at it.

Working a double shift
don’t forget to eat and do your homework
see you tomorrow
-Dad

He rolled his eyes and opened the fridge, rooting around for ingredients.

He didn’t notice when the water shut off, immersed in his cooking, but he did notice the half naked –rather good looking man- standing in his kitchen doorway.

“Hi. Whoa, yeah. Hi. Okay so you’re a boy wolf, see these are the things I need to know. Let me grab you a pair of sweats and maybe a shirt.” Somehow he managed to wrench his eyes away from one of the droplets of water that had decided to go on an adventure down the well toned –albeit a tad skinny- chest. “Yeah okay. Dinner will be ready soon, make yourself comfortable.”

He squeezed past, his body pressing against the still damp chest for a brief moment, and dashed to his room, grabbing clothes quickly before practically leaping back down the stairs and shoving the small bundle at his chest.

“You don’t have to stay human if you don’t want to. I mean you just seemed to be more comfortable as a wolf, but dinner is spaghetti which would probably be easier –and less messy- to eat with opposable thumbs.”

He grabbed the noodles off the stove and drained them before dumping them on some plates. The sauce bubbled a bit and he grabbed the pan off the burner, stirring once more before distributing it on top of the noodles. Then he grabbed two forks and turned, handing a plate and utensil to the now clothed Omega.

“My dad says I make the best sauce he’s ever had, but personally I think he’s biased. Plus the only other kind he’s had is from a jar. Not saying Prego is bad, just nothing beats homemade. Oh god, I hope you’re not vegetarian. There’s meat in the sauce. I can make something else-”

“This is fine,” the Omega said, glancing up. “Thank you.”

“It was no problem, really.” He paused to take a couple of bites of spaghetti. “I’m Stiles by the way.”

“Dave.” The Omega –Dave- seemed unsure of sharing his name and Stiles smiled at him.

“Well Dave, I noticed your eyes were blue. Does that mean you were born a werewolf? The only other wolf I’ve seen with eyes like that was born one. Of course he’s the Alpha now so they’re red. I sorta liked it better blue the blue was sexy.” His dining partner was silent and he winced. “I’m sorry. Do I talk too much? Everyone says I talk too much. I can be quiet.”

“No. It’s nice,” Dave said, his voice quiet. “It’s been awhile since I’ve just heard someone talk.”

“Trust me, you’ll grow tired of it quickly.”

He snorted and Stiles grinned. They fell into a comfortable silence as they ate and once they were done Stiles did dishes before they migrated to his room. Stiles told Dave to get comfortable as he turned and focused on his homework.

“I don’t expect you to tell me your life story, or really anything, but I should warn you,” Stiles said as he got comfortable in bed later. “Staying here probably isn’t smart. Derek, the Alpha, thinks you’re dangerous, and he’s one of those people who scare first and ask questions later.”

Dave grimaced and Stiles smiled wryly.

“You can stay here for the night, although you’ll have to sleep on the floor. My bed wasn’t made for two people.”

“May I shift? I feel… safer as a wolf.”

“Oh yeah dude, sure thing. Just don’t rip the clothes.” Stiles rolled over, burying his face in his pillow. “Goodnight Dave.”

He got a barkish sound in response and figured Dave had already wolfed out.

Funny how I feel safer with a strange wolf in my room at night than I do with my best friend.

xXxXx

Stiles woke up slowly, marveling in the warmth of his sheets. He kept his eyes shut for a good five minutes before blinking them open, and screaming.

“Jesus Christ!” he yelped, scrambling backwards. His feet got tangled in his blanket and he slid off the side of his bed, butt hitting his floor with a thump. “Do not sneak up on me.”

Derek scoffed and rolled his eyes but didn’t say anything. Stiles opened his mouth to reprimand him but snapped it closed, eyes dancing through the room looking for Dave.

“Did you kill him?” he asked, unable to keep the fear from making his voice shake.

“Who? The Omega?” Stiles nodded, swallowing around the lump that formed in his throat. He wasn’t sure where the compassion for the Omega came from, but the thought of Dave lying dead somewhere had a hot rage flash through him. Stiles was supposed to protect him. “We couldn’t find him,” Derek said, his brows drawing down over his eyes as he stared at Stiles. “His scent just vanished when he hit the road.”

“Oh well, that’s too bad.” Stiles scrambled to his feet and glanced around his room for some clothes. He grabbed the shirt at the foot of his bed and pulled it on, not noticing Derek’s sudden close proximity until he found himself thrown against a wall. “What are you doing?”

Derek’s nostrils flared and his eyes flashed red. “You smell.”

“Sorry, I haven’t showered yet,” Stiles snapped, confused by this conversation, but then Derek pressed his nose against Stiles’ shoulder and inhaled and Stiles remembered why this shirt was on his floor. It was the shirt that Dave had been wearing last night. Shit.

“You smell like wolf,” Derek growled and Stiles eyes widened. Those were definitely fangs.

“Well I do spend the majority of my time with a pack of werewolves.”

“Strange wolf.”

“Oh. That.” Derek growled again and Stiles pushed at his chest, trying to get some space between them, but Derek just crowded closer and Stiles eyes rolled up. Think about anything but the feel of Derek. Dear god please do not let me get a boner right now. “Well you see last night I went out and I may have stumbled on a wolf.” Derek’s growl deepened and his eyes widened further. “Nothing happened. The wolf just sorta growled and ran off. I figured it was just some wild wolf that was wandering or something.” Even though there haven’t been wolves in California for 60 years. Minor detail.

He really hoped Derek didn’t notice the sweat gathering in his palms or the way his heart had missed a beat or two.

“You left?”

Stiles wasn’t sure if he should be happy over the fact that Derek didn’t seem to notice the lie, or scared for his life. He decided to be somewhere between.

“I- uh- well yeah. I mean-”

“I told you to stay home.”

Something about that sentence made him snap. Maybe it was the way that Derek said it. Stiles could tell that was his Alpha voice, his you-disobeyed-me-so-you-must-pay voice, and Stiles knew Derek was used to it making people quake in their boots.

Hell just last week it made Stiles quake in his boots, but something was different today.

Stiles thought about Dave, about how Derek wouldn’t have stopped to ask questions. Derek would’ve just attacked him, and Dave would’ve let it happen. Dave needed protection, and Stiles was the only one who could give it to him.

He squared his shoulders and met Derek’s eyes, ignoring the way they were flashing red.

“You don’t tell me what to do,” he said, shoving at Derek’s shoulder. From the way Derek stumbled back a step, face slack, Stiles would assume he was surprised by the fiercenesss in Stiles’ voice, but it was time for the human to take a stand. “You’re not my Alpha. You don’t control me.” Derek opened his mouth as if to argue but Stiles just pointed at the window. “Get out.”

Stiles thought Derek was going to fight, he hoped Derek would argue, but the Alpha just stared at him for a moment before turning away and leaping out the window.

It wasn’t until Derek was long gone that Stiles slipped to the floor, his legs unable to hold him up anymore.

“I just stood up to Derek Hale,” he said to himself, his voice breathy. “And didn’t get my throat ripped out.”

It took him a few minutes to collect himself and then he had to rush in an attempt to make it to first period in time.

xXxXx

Stiles day consisted of being stared at by Scott and pushed into walls and rubbed up against by Erica. He was starting to feel really violated and by the time lacrosse practice hit he wasn’t even sure he wanted to go. He was sure it would only end with Jackson dry humping him on the field or something, but he couldn’t exactly back out without a reason and Scott was already acting like there was something suspicious going on.

There was, but Stiles didn’t need Scott too know his suspicions were right.

So when the final bell rang he sighed and headed into the locker room to change, trying to ignore the way Scott’s eyes burned a hole through his clothes, and probably his skin.

Practice wasn’t much better. It was like there was some shifter target painted on his chest. He’d been tackled by Jackson, Isaac, and Scott, multiple times, and each time the other party took one moment too long to get off, trailing their hands all over him.

Stiles was starting to get really creeped out.

After practice when they were all in the changing room, Stiles couldn’t find his shirt. He dug around in his locker and his backpack but it was just gone, and Scott was looking a little too innocent.

“Did you steal my shirt?” Stiles asked, crossing his arms over his chest and glaring. Scott at least had the decency to look guilty as he lied.

“Of course not. That’d be weird.”

“Yeah, and you’ve been acting weird all day.”

“I’m not the one who showed up covered in some strange wolf’s smell,” Scott hissed, lowering his voice.

“Oh for the love of god!” Stiles huffed, turning on his heel. He grabbed his undershirt and threw it back on, not caring that it stank of sweat. “You guys are all just-” He did an impression of a growl and grabbed his backpack before stomping out of the room.

xXxXx

He showered three times when he got home. It wasn’t until Scott had mentioned smelling Dave on him that it had clicked what they were doing.

They were scent marking him.

After the third wash he felt like he’d managed to rid himself of their scent and was towel drying his hair as he walked into his room for a fresh shirt, of course he didn’t expect the werewolf to be perched next to his window.

You’d think he’d be used to strange werewolves sneaking into his room, but nope, apparently he wasn’t.

It took him a moment to get his heart restarted and when it did he moved over to his dresser, pulling out a shirt and slipping it on.

“Listen Dave,” he said, turning to face the werewolf. “I’ve got this rule. No sneaking in through my window. It leads to an early death for Stiles due to cardiac arrest.”

Dave grinned sheepishly and ran a hand through his hair. Stiles was taken aback by how light it was. He hadn’t noticed yesterday.

“Sorry,” Dave said. “I was going to make myself known when you first got home but you just smelled… threatening so I panicked and hid.”

“I smelled… Oh yeah. The pack was acting all weird and scent marking me. They smelled you on me because I made the mistake of wearing the shirt you borrowed yesterday. Speaking of…” Stiles dug around his drawer again, pulling out another shirt and throwing it at Dave. “Thanks for putting pants on, but please cover up that chest. Is it like a werewolf thing to be so ripped?”

Dave flushed but shrugged into the shirt and Stiles had a moment of déjà vu. It was the same shirt Derek had tried on when Stiles had exploited his body. On Derek it had been tight, and the colors made him look washed out, but it looked much better on Dave. It clung to his broad shoulders and the colors actually complimented his skin.

“You’re staring.”

“What? Oh yeah. Sorry. It’s just… You look good. Now that you’ve got some food in you.” Stiles dragged his eyes away and he glanced at his phone. The screen flashed, alerting him to a missed call and he sighed. “Speaking of food, let’s get you some more.”

He left his phone where it was and headed down to the kitchen. Dave followed behind him like a puppy and he smiled.

“I’m sorry for imposing. I know I should be gone it’s just…”

“It’s no problem really,” Stiles said. “I’ve decided to protect you. You’re a pretty chill guy and I mean it can’t be easy not having a pack to rely on. If Derek has a problem with it then he can take it up with me.” Stiles threw a smile over his shoulder and pulled out the ingredients for hamburgers. “Besides us Omegas have to stick together.”

Dave didn’t respond, just leaned against the wall out of the way. Stiles could feel his eyes on him the entire time but it wasn’t like when Derek stared at him, it was missing the intensity. Stiles couldn’t decide if that was a good thing or not.

xXxXx

That night when they were getting ready for sleep Stiles made a snap decision.

“You can sleep up here if you want,” he said, rolling so his back was to Dave. “I mean as a wolf you shouldn’t take up too much space. You can curl at the foot of the bed, or something. I mean you don’t have to if you don’t want to.”

Stiles held his breath until he felt the bed dip and a warm weight curled up on his feet. He smiled into his pillow.

“Good night,” he murmured. The wolf at his feet was like a security blanket and he was asleep in moments.

xXxXx

School the next day was the same as the day before, only today Stiles purposefully wore the shirt. Scott was practically vibrating in his seat during chem. and Stiles smiled into his hand.

He shouldn’t take so much pleasure out of tormenting his friend, but he couldn’t help it. He was getting a sick enjoyment out of it because he was finally showing them that he wouldn’t be pushed around anymore. He wanted them to realize their mistake, realize that he was pack, whether they wanted him or not.

Of course lunch was just plain uncomfortable. Scott chose to sit as close to Stiles as possible and was constantly touching him, practically ignoring Allison, and whenever Stiles pulled away he whimpered, actually whimpered. Stiles couldn’t really go far though because Erica had decided to squeeze between him and Danny, pressing herself up against his other side.

“If one of you guys pees on me, I swear to all that is holy I will start bathing in wolf’s bane,” he said, which lead to Danny practically snorting his drink and shooting a wide eyed look in their direction.

“You smell again,” Scott whined and Stiles sighed, somehow managing to get out from his own personal werewolf sandwich.

“Maybe it’s just a new pack smell, like a new car smell,” he said. He hadn’t even realized what he said until their eyes widened but then he was turning on his heel and heading to his jeep.

xXxXx

He skipped the rest of the day and lacrosse practice, holing himself up in his room. Dave was there and Stiles curled around the wolf, fingers playing with fur.

“I like you,” he said groggily. He may have taken one of his dad’s sleeping pills, not with bad intentions, he just wanted to sleep for a bit. “You don’t treat me like I’m disposable until something new tries to take me away. Not that you’re trying to take me away. Although if you were I wouldn’t mind.” He buried his face in the soft fur and inhaled. “I’ve only known you for two days, but I want you to be my pack.” He yawned and shifted closer. “I wouldn’t mind being your pack.” His eyes drifted shut and his mouth fell slack as sleep overtook him.

It was there Derek found him, curled around Dave like he was a hugging pillow, drool dripping out of the side of his mouth.

It was the growl that woke him, the sound low and dangerous, practically shaking the house with its intensity.

His eyes shot open and he stared up at Derek, shock on his face. Dave was off the bed and in front of Derek in seconds, hackles raised and his lips pulled back in a snarl.

“Derek? What the hell are you doing here?”

Derek didn’t answer, just aimed his glare at Dave. He prowled towards Derek, a growl rumbling in his chest and Derek pulled his lips back, revealing his fangs.

Stiles felt his heart squeeze when he saw the danger. He wanted to leap between them. To protect- to protect who? His eyes flitted between Derek and Dave before landing on the smaller wolf, and he knew. Derek didn’t need protecting.

 “Dave,” Stiles said, an undercurrent of authority in his voice. He slid off the bed and stood, eyes focusing on Derek. “Come here.”

Dave whimpered and Stiles could tell he didn’t want to listen, but he slunk back to Stiles’ side, blue eyes locked on Derek the entire time. Derek snarled at the sight and stepped forward, claws unsheating, but Stiles gave him a growl of his own that had Derek freezing in place, eyes flashing to his face.

 “If you touch him, I will kill you.” Stiles felt something he never had before, a power, and it came from the wolf at his side, from the desire to protect the weaker wolf. “He’s my responsibility. My-” He took a deep breath, steeling himself. “My pack.” He felt Dave lean against his side in a silent support and Stiles let his hand drop to the wolf’s head.

“You already have a pack.” They were the first words Derek spoke and they were more growl than anything else.

Stiles felt his breath catch in his throat and he drew his bottom lip into his mouth, worrying it between his teeth. The feel of Dave’s heat pressing against his leg hardened his resolve and he met Derek’s eyes.

“Why are you here?” he repeated, ignoring Derek’s words.

“The pack was worried. Scott told me what happened at lunch, said you skipped practice.” Derek’s eyes flashed red and he glared at Dave. “For this mutt.”

“He’s not a mutt. He’s better than any of you, that’s for sure.” Stiles glance down at Dave, his mouth quirking in a small smile. “He’s my pack.

“You already have one,” Derek repeated, spitting each word between his teeth and Stiles met his hazel eyes with hard brown ones.

“No. I don’t.” Derek opened his mouth but Stiles silenced him with a glare. “You guys made it perfectly clear that you don’t need or want me.”

Stiles watched the muscle in Derek’s jaw twitch, watched as his eyes shifted from red to hazel and back again.

“What?” Derek growled, and Stiles was surprised he managed that word. He looked about ten seconds from wolfing out completely.

Stiles could feel Dave tense next to him, but he just let his fingers trail through his fur before squaring his shoulders and staring Derek down.

“You heard me. I don’t have a pack. I don’t think I ever really did. I was just a liability.” Stiles paused for a moment, his hand fisting at his side. “I just got in the way.”

Stiles felt like that was when chaos erupted. Derek growled, low in his throat, and he stalked forward, red eyes locked on Stiles. Dave leapt in front of Stiles, hackled raised and ready to fight, but Derek just batted him away. There was a thump and a yelp and then Dave became a lifeless lump on the floor. Stiles moved to go to his side but Derek grabbed him by the collar and threw him against the wall, breath hot on his neck.

“Let go of me,” Stiles growled, pushing at Derek’s chest, but the Alpha just made a sound and buried his face in the crook of Stiles’ neck. He felt Derek’s nose brush against his skin, followed by his mouth. Stiles’ eyes widened and his struggles increased, at least until he felt the teeth.

Derek’s blunt human teeth bit down softly, not enough to cause pain but Stiles got the message.

“You know intimidating me doesn’t work anymore,” Stiles said, falling back on the only thing he could do. Rambling. “I mean yeah you’re the scary Alpha, I get it, but really you can’t hurt me. My dad’s the Sheriff after all, and you’ve been accused of murder twice in the past year. So really, you’d probably be the first person that people looked to. Especially since it was sorta my fault that you were arrested. Both times. So really your intimidation techniques don’t do anything to me.” Except turn me on in the worst way of all.

Derek growled again and Stiles felt it all the way to his toes. His eyes rolled to the ceiling and he bit his lip. Stupid hormones. Control yourself. He focused on Dave’s body, thought about Dave, about how Derek probably wanted to kill him more than Stiles. He thought he saw a paw twitch, but he wasn’t sure.

“Besides I thought you were done with the whole wall pinning stuff. It has been like a month since it’s happened. I’m amazed you managed to go that long without sneaking in my window and watching me sleep like the creep you are. Although I mean there was that thing yesterday, which was actually just like this, hm. I guess you aren’t done with the whole wall pinning stuff.”

Derek’s tongue swiped against his neck, painting a trail of fire, and Stiles body tensed. His hands fisted in the fabric of Derek’s shirt and he wasn’t sure if he was going to pull Derek closer or push him away.

“You have a pack,” Derek growled. “You’re part of my pack.”

Stiles snorted and winced when Derek bit down. “You have a funny way of showing it.”

Derek pulled back and stared at Stiles, his eyes bled back to their usual hazel but they were just as intense as always.

“You’re a member of my pack. You’re mine.”

Stiles felt his eyes widen but he clamped down on the warmth that spread through his stomach. He doesn’t mean it like that. “I’m not some toy. You can’t get bored of me and then claim that I belong to you when someone else shows interest.”

Derek growled again, more animal than human, and his eyes flashed.

“You do belong to me.”

“No. I don’t.”

Derek’s eyes narrowed and he opened his mouth to say something but a growl from behind had him snapping his mouth shut. Stiles looked over his shoulder to see Dave back on his feet, lips pulled back in an impressive snarl. Derek didn’t let go of Stiles, just turned his head to glare at the wolf.

“Leave,” he snarled. Dave didn’t back down, didn’t even look intimidated and Stiles smiled, pride flashing through him.

“Dave,” Stiles said and the wolf’s eyes flickered to his face. “It’s okay. He won’t hurt me.” Stiles wasn’t sure he really believed that, but his heartbeat didn’t falter. “It’s okay.”

Dave hesitated for a moment. “Go.” This time it was an order and Dave began to back away. He gave one last growl to Derek before leaping through the window.

“You’re his Alpha.” Derek’s voice was quiet, all the fight gone out of him now that the threat was gone, and Stiles glanced at him, eyes widening in surprise.

“What?”

“He has recognized you as his Alpha. He’s no longer an Omega and you’re no longer a Beta.”

“I never was a Beta. I’m not a werewolf. I’m not Beta or Alpha or any of that.”

Derek rolled his eyes and huffed out a breath, dropping his head back to Stiles’ neck. Stiles was a bit surprised. Derek had just pulled a total 180. Stiles felt like he was going to get mood whiplash from the sudden change.

“You don’t have to be a wolf to be part of the pack.”

Stiles laughed, the sound breathy. He could feel the heat pooling in his stomach, tendrils snaking throughout his body until he felt like he was on fire. Derek could probably hear the way his heart paused and picked up two times as fast. He tried to ignore it, tried to ignore the hope, but it was hard.

“Look Derek, I’m flattered that you feel like lying for me, really, but it’s pointless. I thought I was pack, it was nice, I shouldn’t have thought it though. Really it was obvious that I wasn’t. You just used me for research, and now there’s Lydia so there’s no reason to keep me, and as Jackson said. I’m useless.”

Derek’s eyes flashed and his lips pulled back in a snarl. “Jackson’s an idiot and doesn’t know anything.”

“Well that’s true, but he was right. I’m useless. You never included me in the big pack decisions. You always left me behind.”

Derek growled and his hand fisted in Stiles shirt. Stiles felt his heart stutter and he squeezed his eyes shut, not wanted to see the fist that was probably coming for his face.

When he didn’t feel the punch he peeked an eye open and squeaked, eyes opening wide. Derek was much closer than before, body flush against his, breath puffing against his cheek.

“You’re not useless,” Derek murmured, brushing his cheek against Stiles’. “You’re the most important part of the pack. You hold it together.”

Stiles swallowed and shut his eyes, trying to block out the words. He didn’t need this, didn’t need this hope. He’d got himself a new pack, he’d convinced himself he was better without them. Without Derek. He couldn’t handle Derek’s changes. He didn’t want this false hope.

“No,” he whispered, unable to say anything else.

“Yes,” Derek breathed. “You’re important. You’re pack. You’re mine.”

Stiles shook his head, as much as he could, his hands slipping up to grip Derek’s shoulders. “Your what?” he asked, his voice breathy. He needed to know, needed to hear Derek say this, needed proof that this wasn’t just a false hope. “What am I?”

He opened his eyes and Derek stared at him, hazel eyes intense as they searched his gaze for something. “You’re my mate.”

Stiles’ breath caught in his throat and he opened his mouth to say something -to deny it, to agree, to ramble, he didn’t know- but Derek’s mouth pressed against his in a gentle kiss. Stiles’ eyes widened and he felt his body tense for only a moment before melting against Derek, mouth parting further and eyes drifting shut. Derek rumbled something and nipped at his lip, tongue quick to soothe the bite.

Derek pulled back first, and Stiles whimpered. His eyes fluttered open and he stared at Derek, his breath coming in small pants.

“That was-”

“You’ve always been an Alpha,” Derek said, his voice rougher than usual and Stiles felt it straight to his toes. “You’ve always been in our pack. Jackson is a jealous idiot.”

“Jealous?” Stiles squeaked.

“You’re higher in the rank than he is, you didn’t realize it but he did, and he hates being below others.” Derek’s hand cupped Stiles’ face, thumb brushing against his now swollen mouth. “You believed him when he said you were useless?”

“No one jumped to defend me,” he murmured. “It was obvious they agreed.”

Derek snorted and rolled his eyes which made Stiles glare. “They didn’t jump to defend you because it was an obvious lie.”

“I-”

“You’re pack, whether you want to be or not. You don’t need that Omega.”

At the mention of Dave, Stiles’ eyes widened and he pushed away from Derek to go to his window. There was no sign of the wolf and he frowned. “Where’d he go?”

Derek came up behind him, wrapping his arms around Stiles’ waist and resting his chin on his shoulder. “He left. You told him to.”

“I didn’t mean he had to leave the town.”

“He realized that you had a different pack. He went off to find his own.”

Stiles’ frown deepened and he sighed. “I hope he’s okay.”

He thought he heard something so he froze, cocking his head to the side and focusing on the sound. It was a howl, a howl of mourning, of farewell. He knew it was from Dave and he smiled before returning it with a howl of his own.

“And you say you’re not a wolf,” Derek scoffed.

Stiles rolled his eyes and turned in his arms so he was facing Derek. “So about this mate thing,” Stiles started, and Derek tensed. Stiles ran his hands down Derek’s arms to wrap around his waist. “Does this mean I have control over the pack too?” Derek arched an eyebrow but didn’t answer. “I mean like if I tell Jackson to do suicide runs he has to do them right?”

“You’re the Alpha’s mate. You’re basically a second Alpha,” Derek said, shrugging. “The rest of the pack will have the compulsion to obey you, well more than they already did.”

Stiles smiled, the grin positively wolfish. “Well then, I think we’re going to have to have a pack meeting soon. Jackson owes me an apology.”

Derek grinned too and pressed his lips to Stiles’ again and Stiles sighed. He felt content. He had his pack back. The howl faded into silence and Stiles wrapped his arms around Derek’s neck as the kiss deepened. He knew that one day he’d see Dave again, hopefully he’d have a pack of his own when that happened.