Stiles rolled over and glared at his clock. 2 am. Really? Groaning, he flopped back on his pillow and rubbed his face. Really, the guilt over his dad's job, the fear over Scott's recovery, the pressure of trying to save Jackson, none of that was enough. Nope, now sleep decided to forsake him. Awesome. Seriously, universe, you get a big, shiny, gold star.
Something tapped on his window and Stiles sighed deeply, resisting the urge to yell. "Derek, man, it's nice you're knocking but seriously....Scott?" Getting up, Stiles opened his window and ushered Scott in. "Dude, what are you doing? What's wrong? I mean, you know, besides the obvious and how're the lungs doing, buddy-"
"Stiles." Scott looked horrible and Stiles winced at the thought of him biking. "Nothing's wrong, besides the obvious. I just...Mom's at work and Allison..." His face started to crumble. "I just didn't feel like being alone and you're...you."
Stiles cursed softly under his breath and ushered Scott to his bed. "No worries, man, seriously. You need me to get you something? Some water or...a change of clothes?" Because Scott was still wearing jeans and a t-shirt and that couldn't be comfortable to sleep in. "Stay here, I'll get you some good ol' Stilinski PJs."
Once Scott was dressed down and bundled under the covers, Stiles slipped in beside him and stared up at the ceiling. "You want to talk about it?"
Scott huffed beside him, a breathless little laugh. "You're asking if I want to talk?"
"Heeeey," Stiles said, mock offense coloring his voice. "I can ask! I know I like words and I try to use as many of them in a minute as possible but I can ask if you want to talk, I can offer up conversation instead of shoving it down your throat like the cafeteria's mystery meat."
"Whoa, okay, sorry," Scott said, flashing a half-hearted grin at him. "But no, man. It's cool, I don't...I don't really want to talk about it."
"Well, if you need me, I'm here, bro," Stiles said, reaching over and patting him on the shoulder. "Right here. Right beside you. In bed."
Snorting, Scott shoved at him. "Yeah, I know," he said before his face grew ridiculously sincere. "I know, Stiles. Thanks."
"No problem, buddy."
It seemed like maybe an hour passed before Stiles woke up again, this time to Scott growling in his ear and the window sliding open. "Holy shit, what now?" Stiles asked, sitting up, his attempts to shrug off Scott's clinginess failing miserably as Scott's arms tightened around his shoulders.
This time it was Erica and Isaac, and their eyes were wide as they took in Stiles and Scott. "Wow, you and Allison must be having serious problems," Erica said, her surprised expression sliding right into a smirk.
Scott's growl deepened and Stiles patted his hands. "Dude, chill, it's just Erica being Erica. So, what can I help you two with? I'm fresh out of flea collars, sorry kids."
"You realize that joke is offensive to Scott too, right?" Isaac said, eyebrow raised. He shifted his weight from foot to foot and looked anxious. "Why are you mad at us?"
"Ugh, I'm not, I just...why are werewolves traipsing in my bedroom like they own it? Seriously, there are boundaries and you guys are like, skipping all over them. I mean, not to mention the fact that my dad is downstairs and really, the only person he won't mind being up here is Scott and-"
"Your dad's sleeping," Erica offered. "He smells pretty strongly of alcohol."
Stiles winced. "Anyway, I'm not mad, I'm just ridiculously sleepy so if you don't mind-"
"Can we stay here tonight?" Isaac said it in a rush.
"I...what? No, what? Why do you want to stay here?!" Stiles asked, pulling up his blankets as if guarding his virtue which was just ridiculous. Acknowledging the ridiculousness didn't stop him from doing it. "Seriously, what's going on?"
Isaac and Erica shared a glance. "You're...comfortable," Erica said carefully.
"No, not really, I'm not comfortable at all, I'm pretty uncomfortable actually-"
"She means," Scott said, his voice a low rumble against Stiles' back. "You make us comfortable." His tone grew rueful. "That's kind of why I'm here tonight too."
"You calm us down," Isaac offered, coming closer until he could put one knee on the bed and lean forward. "You're kind of...like a drug. Like a sedative."
"...I...huh." Stiles wasn't sure how he felt about that. Normally he'd feel pretty awesome about attractive people - besides Scott because no, no, a world of no - wanting to get in bed with him but. This didn't sound like that. This sounded like he was their security blanket or something. Which, well, was also kind of awesome just in a different kind of way? Werewolves were confusing and he wasn't really in the mood to decipher this shit. "So you guys-"
"Want to get in bed with you because we're sleepy too," Erica said, obviously getting impatient. "So could you just stop with the questions and just let us?"
"Whoa, is that the kind of attitude you normally bring when trying to get in someone's bed?"
"I normally don't have to try," she said, full lips curling upwards.
"Right, right." Stiles look at his bed and looked back at the two of them. "I don't think there's enough room for four of us-"
"We'll make it work," Isaac said, already pushing his way on the bed. Startled, Stiles lay back against his pillows and Scott curled up behind him, arms sliding around his waist to pull him backwards. Isaac carefully lay down beside Stiles, eyes round. Scooting down, he pressed his forehead against Stiles' collarbone, arms wrapping around his chest. Erica was pressed against Isaac, one leg thrown over his and Stiles' both. She met his gaze over Isaac's head and smiled and for once, it wasn't a gloating, bitchy smile. It was just a regular, kind of sweet smile, and Stiles matched it with one of his own.
"Got room for one more?" The unexpected voice startled Stiles and if he hadn't been blanketed with wolves, he would have sat up. As it was, all he could do was raise his head and look down at the foot of the bed.
"Boyd. Dude. Thanks for the heart attack."
Boyd smiled, slow and pleased. "You're welcome. I've been putting in extra training time."
"Well....you're doing a fantastic job." The sarcasm seemed lost on Boyd; in fact, he seemed glad to hear it, his smile widening to show teeth.
"I'm getting pretty good. Now move over." It took some maneuvering but Boyd made it on the bed, curling so that his back was against the headboard and his forehead pressed against the top of Stiles' head and one arm trailed down his chest to rest on his stomach. It should have felt weird but. Okay, it did feel a little weird but no weirder than anything else that had happened so Stiles didn't protest. Too much.
"It's a good thing I'm not claustrophobic," Stiles muttered and felt Isaac smile against his neck. "Guys, this is so weird, are you sure you wouldn't mind sleeping on the floor, I have sleeping bags-"
"Stiles," Scott said, butting his head against the nape of Stiles' neck. "Go to sleep."
Heaving a deep sigh, Stiles closed his eyes and tried not to think about how many people were in his bed. And if he snuggled against the wolves and let them all press just that much closer, well. It was all their faults, anyway.
Sometime during the night, Isaac had climbed on top of Stiles while Erica had moved closer, taking the place he'd abandoned. Scott had one leg thrown over both of Stiles', while Boyd had curled his arm under Stiles' chin, face buried in his hair. Stiles couldn't even move but from where he was pinned down, he could see the clock. 6:30 am. "Thank god it's the weekend," he muttered.
Someone chuckled quietly from across the room and Stiles froze. "Derek?"
"Man, thank god," he whispered. "Come on, get your wolves off me. I think I'm suffocating here."
Derek walked closer to the bed and sat down on the edge off it, beside Erica. "If you want them off you, why are you whispering?"
Stiles blinked. "Good point and one I've got nothing to counter with. If you're not here to get them, then...?"
"I'm assuming they told you why they're here?"
"Yeah, I'm like some kind of extra strength sleep aid or something," Stiles said, rolling his eyes before frowning up at him. "Wait, do I do the same thing for you? Is that what you're here for? Because let me tell you what, buddy, this bed is full. I'm pretty sure it's going to collapse at any moment."
Derek snorted. "Seriously, Stiles, do I ever seem calm when I'm around you?"
"Well...no. Mostly you're just broody and bloodthirsty and creepy around me."
"There's your answer."
"Huh." Stiles lay his head back on the pillow and stared at the ceiling for a moment. "So, okay, why am I calming to them? Is this a human thing? A 'human who knows about werewolves' thing? Is it because I've helped out so much?" Derek was slow to answer and Stiles looked over at him. Derek was staring at him, at all of them really, with red rimmed eyes and an almost...satisfied expression. "De....rek? What's going on?"
Derek blinked and looked away. "You've protected all of them in one way or another and you're not submissive to them. Even though you're physically weaker, they see you as someone they can trust, that they can depend on." He looked back at Stiles, eyes narrowed, searching. "That's a powerful thing for us."
Something in Derek's expression made Stiles flush and it was his turn to look away, dropping his gaze to Isaac, who was splayed across his chest like he belonged there. Stiles really hoped he hadn't drooled overnight. "So, I mean. I've protected you. Why aren't you attacked with the need to cuddle? I mean, not that I want you to want to cuddle or anything like that, I just! I mean. Yeah." Welp. That sure was awkward.
Derek snorted. "I'm the alpha. It's different for me."
Like that really answered anything. "Okay, so, when is this going to be over?"
Derek frowned. "Over?"
"Yeah. I mean, when are they going to be, like, weaned off me or whatever? When are they going to not need this kind of thing anymore?"
Shaking his head, Derek leaned closer. "I don't think you understand. You're pack, Stiles. More importantly, you're a higher rank than them. They're never going to stop needing 'this kind of thing.'"
Stiles stared at him for a moment. He'd known he was a part of Scott's pack. That was a given. And he guessed that when Scott agreed to join up with Derek, that technically made him a part of Derek's pack too but he didn't think he'd ever hear Derek say that. It was kind of. Weird. And for some reason made the flush on his face spread to his ears.
"Stiles?" Somehow Derek was even closer, leaning over Erica and Isaac until he was right on top of him and Stiles stared up at him with wide eyes.
"What, I'm like their pack mom or something like that?!"
Derek blinked slowly and when he opened his eyes, they were rimmed red. Again. "I...guess that works if you want to put it that way," he said and something about the way he said it made Stiles think that maybe Derek wanted to put it that way and whoa, he was leaning really close and Stiles suddenly wished he had his hands free. Whether to pull Derek closer and push him away, he wasn't sure.
"So. If I affect them like this....how do I affect you?" And wow, that sure was a question that just exited his mouth like it had every right to and suddenly Derek's eyes were flashing red and his hands were cupping Stiles' face. They felt huge.
"Let's just say I'm not entirely free from the urge to...cuddle," he said, lip curling up and whoa, those were fangs peaking down.
"You...really?" Did he mean cuddling or cuddling? Stiles really wanted to know but he was most definitely not going to ask.
Derek took a deep breath. "Really." Stiles stared up at him and Derek chuckled, one thumb rubbing gently over his cheekbone. "Look at that. Stiles Stilinski doesn't have a comeback."
"Second time this morning, I guess I'm really off my game." Stiles swallowed hard and his mouth gaped when Derek's eyes flashed to his throat. "Derek-"
"Get some more sleep," Derek said and suddenly he was standing. "You're going to need all the rest you can get."
"Wait," Stiles said, attempting to sit up. "Where are you going? You look like you spent the night making sure Jackson stayed put. You should probably just...stay here and get some sleep too."
A pause. "You just said there wasn't room."
Stile shrugged. "Come on, you're not going to let a little thing like physics stop you from joining in this puppy pile? A big, tough alpha like you?"
Narrowing his eyes, Derek said, "Careful, Stiles." Nonetheless, he stared at them consideringly before sitting on the bed and unlacing his shoes.
"Whoa, you're, uh, really going to join us, yep, that sure is a thing you're doing right now," Stiles said as Derek carefully pushed Erica down until she was wrapped around Stiles' stomach, her face pressed against his hip. Derek took her spot, curling his arms around his chest. He took a deep breath and let it out slowly, as if all his tension had seeped out with it.
"Calm down, Stiles," he murmured, the words hot against Stiles' cheek.
"Right, calm down," Stiles repeated. "Have I mentioned you guys are hot? I mean, temperature-wise? It's freaking hot, man."
"I turned the AC down. I figured you would need it even before I got in bed with you." He pulled Stiles closer and closed his eyes. "You do affect me, Stiles."
"Yeah, I know, you want to cuddle-"
"Not just that. You...piece us together." Derek paused and Stiles could tell he was really uncomfortable with this impromptu feelings jam. "You make all of them belong." He was quiet for a moment before continuing. "In doing so, you make us a real pack." He locked eyes with Stiles. "Don't doubt how important you are to us."
Derek nodded and bowed his head against Stiles' cheek. Within moments, he was asleep. Stiles stayed up for a while longer, staring up at the ceiling as he contemplated everything that had happened. "Dude. How is this even my life?" He shook his head and resolutely closed his eyes, absently petting Scott's arm as he drifted to sleep.