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Cotton Fortress

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After what happens with Allison, Stiles spends days taking care of the mess previously known as his best friend Scott.

"You think it's over?" Scott asks between the sheets he’s been hiding in for the most part of the last two days.

Stiles has tried everything: the understanding approach, getting angry, threatening him, offering food... But nothing is working.

"Uh, man...” Stiles cringes as he speaks. “She kind of tried to kill us."

"Yeah but like.” Scott gets his head out from under his fortress made of 100% cotton. “I don't know, man. That was the grief talking, right?"

"Those were more than words, though," Stiles points out as he grabs the KFC bucket to offer him again, but Scott slaps it away and goes back under the sheets.

"You know what?” Scott grunts “I don't care, shut up."

And right then Stiles understands he’s in deeper than he can manage on his own. He’s not precisely an accurate encyclopedia when it comes to relationships, all things considered. And trying to cheer up a teen wolf because his girlfriend went psychotic and tried to kill his Alpha is way out of the limited list of topics related to love Stiles has mastered. Desperate times call for desperate measures, they say. And so, Stiles braces himself and decides that his desperate measure is going to be Derek and the pack.

He literally drags Scott out of bed, still rolled in that damn blanket, and by some miracle he manages to get him inside his jeep. They drive in silence to the pack’s current residence and when Stiles turns to look at his friend, he sees Scott has managed to cocoon himself with the sheet in what should be considered some kind of display of supernatural abilities. Stiles groans, throwing his arms. He gets out and opens Scott’s door, trying to pull him out, but he can’t even find a loose corner of the sheet to pull from.

“Come on dude,” he grunts. “Don’t be childish.”

Scott suddenly moves, and for a glorious second Stiles thinks he managed to make him see how utterly ridiculous this all is, until Scott grabs the open door and shuts it with a bang.

“My jeep!” Stiles protests at the unnecessary force Scott just used.

Erica and Isaac are suddenly there, though, and Stiles realizes Scott heard them and that’s the reason why he locked himself inside. Only he could think an old jeep’s locked door would keep werewolves out, the moron. To prove his point, Isaac grabs the handle and nearly rips the jeep’s door out off, giving Stiles a mild heart attack.

“Fucking werewolves and their fucking strength,” he grumbles.

“We got him out, didn’t we?” Isaac grins at him.

Erica brings Cocoon Scott out of the Jeep and Isaac helps her to carry him inside. Stiles falters for a moment, unsure if he should go with them. But he can’t just leave Scott; what kind of a friend would he be if he did that?So he follows them all the way to the back of the old train station, where they have set out a huge mattress. Stiles whistles. “That’s a lot of space to frolic around.”

“It was Derek’s idea,” Erica grins back at him, as she and Isaac rip the sheet off Scott before dumping him on the mattress.

Scott snarls, thrashing around and showing his fangs. They regard each other a moment and then climb on the bed, ignoring the pissed werewolf.

"What you need right now is pack, Scott," Erica says as she lies down next to him, pulling him down with her.

Isaac moves from the other side, and soon they are cuddling a wolfed out Scott, nestling him with their bodies. They tangle their legs together and cross their arms over his chest. And when Isaac drops his head on Scott's shoulder, Stiles observes, fascinated how Scott sighs, he loses his wolf features and leans his cheek on top of Isaac's head.

"That's it?" Stiles asks. "All he needed were some huggie times?"

Boyd appears out of nowhere behind him and pats his back, making Stiles squeal and jump on his feet. "He needs the bonding," Boyd tells him, looking down at him while he smiles that big, creepy smile of his.

Stiles tugs at his own clothes, trying to compose himself after the fright. "I swear, damn werewolves," he murmurs under his breath when Boyd moves away. He observes him taking off his shirt and- "Whoa man, wait a minute, what are you doing?" Stiles freaks out. The protection of his friend's virtue is upon his shoulders in a case like this. He brought him here, after all.

"Bonding requires physical contact," Erica explains as she moves closer to Scott, leaving space on the mattress for Boyd, who curls around her. He's so big he kind of covers her and half of Scott without even having to stretch much.

"You should join us," Isaac smiles up at Stiles.

And Stiles is suddenly lost for words.

"Nah,” he manages to say. “I'm good here, but thanks for offering!" He fakes a big smile. "Don't say werewolves aren't polite, huh." he jokes. But no one is paying him any attention.

Isaac pulls his shirt off, and then Scott is doing the same. Stiles’ eyes widen as Scott sits up, pulls off his shirt and then takes off his pants too, lying back down in only his underwear as he snuggles between them. Stiles is tempted to storm over there and drag his friend out, like he were some sort of damsel in distress, but somehow he can see this is good for Scott; this is exactly what he needed after his mate betrayed him. So what if this is a bit weird? It’s a pack thing. Whatever.

Scott curls on his side, facing Isaac, and as the two boys cuddle together, Erica spoons Scott from behind and stretches her arm over him to pet Isaac's hair. Stiles is pretty sure Boyd could do the same if he wanted to; the guy is freaking massive. But he seems content with just lying next to them and pretending he’s sleeping.

Scott makes this little noise in the back of his throat, and Isaac and Erica are suddenly there for him, soothing him as Scott starts to shake and Stiles has to take a step back because- well, because he has never seen Scott crying like that, nearly howling, and Stiles can't handle it.

He turns around with the intention of leaving when he bumps into a brick wall of warm, hard muscles. "Oh for the love of-" he speaks over his hand as he holds his nose. "I swear you guys are like ninjas," he complains. "Werewolf ninjas."

"Stiles," Derek grunts. He even has his trademark quirked eyebrow going on. So Stiles knows he means business.

"Hey Derek," Stiles waves awkwardly just inches away from him. "We were just in the neighborhood and-"

"What's wrong with Scott?" Derek cuts in, ignoring his rambling as he looks over his shoulder to the pile of teens currently lying in his mattress.

"What do you think?" Stiles huffs.

"Allison." Derek looks back at him, and Stiles swears for a second Derek nearly rolls his eyes.

"Allison," Stiles repeats. "What else."

"Okay." Derek sighs in resignation. "Let's go." He grabs Stiles' arm and starts dragging him back toward the mattress.

"Whoa, slow down Rhett Butler,” Stiles tries to resist.

Derek stops moving abruptly, making Stiles bump into him. “Did you just make a reference to Gone with the Wind?” Derek arches an eyebrow.

“Uh, maybe?” Stiles falters. “And how come you know anything about that movie? I thought you didn’t even know what a TV was, I mean look at the place you’re currently living in.”

Derek groans and resumes walking. “That’ll teach me not to speak to you.”

Stiles makes an indignant noise. “Rude!”

Derek manhandles him to the edge of the mattress, where Erica and Isaac are still soothing an inconsolable Scott.

“Alright, be quiet now,” Derek orders him. “You’re the human, so you’ll be outside and I’ll be between them and you so I can protect you,” he explains matter-of-factly.

“Rewind there for a sec, will you?” Stiles makes the time-out gesture with his hands. “Protect me?!”

“They are cubs skin bonding,” Derek explains in an exasperated tone, like Stiles should know this already. “They’re unpredictable.”

Stiles looks at him like what the actual fuck, widening his eyes as his hands flail around.

“You don’t have to understand, Stiles. Just take off your shirt,” Derek commands. “You’re going to bond with us because you’re pack and Scott needs you.”

Stiles blinks quickly a couple of times, trying to come up with something, anything, to say except the seal noises he’s tempted to make.

“I’m what?” he finally squeals. “You do remember I don’t have a werewolf ID, right?”

“Anybody can be pack, not just werewolves,” Boyd suddenly says, startling him.

“Jesus Christ,” Stiles jumps. “Stop doing that!” he points with his finger.

“He’s right,” Derek points out, and when Stiles looks at him he sees something he thought he’d never see in Derek: a sincere smile. He’d even dare to say Derek is looking proudly at Boyd, like a father with his kid the first time they manage to ride a bike without the training wheel.

“Your instincts told you to bring Scott to his pack,” Derek says after a moment. “You’re one of us.”

And Stiles hesitates only a moment before he takes his shirt off, deciding it’s better to do it himself than wait for Derek to lose his patience and do it for him instead. He looks down at the pile of limbs and bodies, observing Scott silently crying in the crook of Isaac’s neck and Stiles moves without thinking. He doesn’t need protection. He climbs in and walks on his knees until he’s next to Isaac, facing them.

“It’s gonna be fine,” he stutters a little, as his hand moves over Isaac and pats Scott awkwardly a couple of times before pulling his arm back.

“You always have to do whatever you want, don’t you?” Derek groans, pulling on his long face that indicates he’s mad and pointing at the outside part of the mattress before he slides next to Stiles anyway. And whoa, Stiles grows tense all over when Derek presses against his back and positively spoons him without another word. Stiles has half a second of internal meltdown before he tries to struggle away but Derek is faster, holding him down.

“Don’t move,” he orders. “And don’t talk.”

Stiles snorts. “That’s like asking me not to breathe.”

“Don’t breathe, either,” Derek mocks.

“Ha, ha,” Stiles begins to say when Derek leans over him and stretches his arm to stroke Scott’s side. Isaac moves closer to Scott and Derek is suddenly pushing Stiles closer to them so he can reach Scott better and Stiles feels like the meat in a sandwich. But somehow it’s not a bad feeling. He actually feels kind of... calm.

Except for when Derek pulls his arm back and drops it on Stiles’ hip. That does not make him relax very much. In fact, he’s sure all the werewolves in the room can hear the sudden erratic beating of his heart, which is the kind of embarrassing thing that would happen to him.

Boyd turns around then and pulls Erica into a fierce bear hug, making the girl squeal and giggle. And then Scott lets out a little laughter and Stiles can feel Isaac holding himself back as he shakes in silence. And Stiles kind of loses it. He starts laughing, which makes Isaac finally give up and they are suddenly giggling and laughing while Boyd smiles satisfied with his eyes closed over Erica’s shoulder. Of course Derek doesn’t laugh, but Stiles is pretty sure he can feel a grin stretching his lips as he presses them against Stiles’ shoulder.

“See? The wolf seeks a pack,” Derek murmurs right next to his ear, making Stiles’ whole body tingle. He shifts around, self-conscious of his reaction and that’s when he feels Derek’s hard on pressed against his lower back. Stiles gasps, freezing and turning his head slightly, glaring at Derek sideways. “It’s a natural physiological reaction,” Derek shrugs it off.

And somehow Stiles finds it hilarious. He snorts and is about to crack some kind of joke when Derek’s hand moves from his hip to his crotch and Stiles forgets what he wanted to say. He also forgets his name, birthday and phone number among other things.

“See?” Derek purrs. “Perfectly normal.”

He cups him through his pants, palming his way along his length slowly.

Ohmygod,” Stiles groans.

“Hey,” Erica suddenly shouts. “Not here, dad!” she protests, lifting her head off Boyd’s arm and looking at them in disapproval. Stiles can actually hear how amused Derek is as his hand moves away and he stops pressing against his ass.

“Did- Did she just call you dad?” Stiles asks in disbelief.

“I was actually talking to you,” she adds, pointing at Stiles before dropping her head back down and throwing her arms over Scott and Isaac. Stiles’ heart skips a beat. He waits for someone to laugh or say something, but none of them seems surprised at what Erica called him.

“What... just... happened?” Stiles asks slowly.

Derek makes a content noise in the back of his throat before relaxing next to him and Stiles knows he’s not getting an explanation. He stays completely still for what seems an eternity. He’s thinking of bolting and running to his jeep when Derek nudges him with his nose along his shoulders.

“Stiles,” he murmurs. “Let it go. Just relax; Scott is not the only one in need of this.”

And somehow Derek’s words don’t scare the shit out of him. Stiles takes a deep breath as his body grows loose, and then he has his face buried in Isaac’s nape as Derek pulls a leg over his, snuggling closer.

Stiles believes he understands what pack means for the first time.