It had only been a few days since Stiles had been made an official pack member. Not much had changed, except that now at school the whole gang overtook an entire lunch table and not many other people interacted with them. It was a rather motley crew, consisting of Stiles, Scott, Isaac, Erica, Boyd, Jackson and on the rare occasion, Lydia as well. She and Jackson were on again off again just about every other day, so sometimes she sat there, sometimes not. Allison would have, if the situation wasn't so dire for her and Scott.
There hadn't been any pack meetings, Scott was often sneaking off to be with Allison, leaving little time for Stiles and he was trying to spend more time with his dad to get him off of thinking something was going on between him and Derek.
Because there wasn't.
Sometimes Stiles felt more like he was assuring himself more than his dad about that.
He hadn't even seen Derek since that night they watched Pulp Fiction and…fell asleep…and there had been some snuggling.
Which was what was really bothering Stiles. While he freaked out over the fact, Derek acted like it was no big deal. It was driving Stiles crazy.
He had been leaving his window unlocked for the past almost-week, but no wolf had yet to climb through it, which was disappointing. He thought he would have something drastic happen in his life after becoming one of the pack.
Currently, it was about six-thirty and already dark—it was getting close to Christmas—and Stiles was chewing through the end of a pen and staring at a last minute prep test he didn't want to deal with. His dad knocked on the doorframe, pulling Stiles away from thoughts that involved werewolves and not chemical balances.
"I'm heading off," the Sheriff said, jerking a thumb over his shoulder. "Stay in the house, I don't want you running around tonight. They said a frost might roll in."
Stiles nodded. "Okay." He wasn't really paying any attention to what his dad was saying, even if he was looking in that direction. Stiles barely noticed when he was gone and went back to staring at a jumbled mess of notes.
He didn't know how much time had passed, but suddenly he had had enough. He nearly flipped his textbook and binder off his bed crawling out of it, shoving his feet into sneakers and pulling on a jacket. He hadn't gotten a leather jacket yet either. He really was beginning to feel like just an afterthought on Derek's part; a safety net.
Shoving his phone in his pocket and grabbing his keys, he rushed out of the house to his Jeep. She never let him down and had gotten him out of many sticky situations before. She would never not answer the phone when Stiles was in trouble, or not thank him for some of the things he did. He wasn't looking for a golden trophy, he just wanted some acknowledgement. He didn't have superwolfpowers. Everything he did took extra effort.
The night was dark and the air was still. A storm was definitely brewing, and he didn't even think to heed his father's words about staying in. He drove not out of the city to the preserve—the Argents had overtaken the Hale house, which rubbed Stiles the wrong way but he wouldn't get off his mission tonight—but out of the city in the opposite direction, where there was an abandoned warehouse that used to be used for storing and repairing train and subway cars. It was, currently, the new wolf den.
Stiles was shivering and willing his Jeep's heat to work faster as he drove. He knew that the wolves mostly hung out at Derek's; sure, they all had homes they went back to, but they were a pack and packs did things together. Or so Stiles thought. He wondered if they had a meeting during this past week and not told him. He scowled at the thought and hunkered down in his seat as his headlights became the only light to drive by and he slowed his speed.
Crawling along the sad excuse for a road, Stiles mulled around a few conversation starters he could possibly use on Derek. He wanted answers. He was part of the pack now, he deserved them, didn't he? It was Derek who said he was to be respected and protected and kept in the loop.
The headlights washed over the side of the building and Stiles pulled the Jeep to the side and cut the engine. Swallowing the little bubble of fear at going into the creepy building—really, Derek could have picked anywhere and he gets a place even more freaky than a burned down house—and shoved his hands into his pockets as he shuffled over to the rusty door at the side.
There were lights on, but it wasn't all that warmer inside than outside. The two subway cars were straight ahead, a smaller, single one to the right near the far wall and the rest of the space was filled with old crates and tables made out of monstrous wooden spools. There were stairs to the left that led to a second floor that was just an open space, but Stiles had seen some cots and things up there the last time he was here.
"Stiles." Derek's voice startled him into the present. The Alpha walked out from the double traincar. "What are you doing here?"
"I came to talk," Stiles said, sounding less demanding than he had envisioned. All the possible starters he had thought of in the Jeep had decided to take a vacation at that moment. "Where is everyone?"
"I don't know," Derek said, moving comfortably under one of the lights and sitting on the edge of one of the makeshift tables. "I was calling for a meeting tonight. It's good you came."
Stiles swallowed. "Really?" He was feeling antsy and curled and uncurled his fingers inside his jacket pockets. "Okay…I need to ask you something."
Derek crossed his arms and raised his eyebrows, signaling for Stiles to go on.
"Uh…right…I feel like I'm not even part of the pack, even though I am…part of the pack. I am, right?"
"Yeah," Derek said as if it was stupid to ask such a question.
"Then where is my leather jacket? And why isn't anyone sneaking into my house in the middle of the night to take me to do wolf things? Am I just like…oh look, it's Stiles the human, we'll just use him as bait and cover?" Stiles frowned and leaned against one of the posts holding up the ceiling.
Derek didn't answer right away. "You are part of the pack, Stiles."
Stiles glared at him, which was a reverse for the two of them.
"And as more than just bait. Or just being the human."
"Then what I am?" Stiles genuinely didn't know. And he was pretty overwhelmed with a lot of things connected with werewolves at the moment. To think, only four months ago everything had been normal but then he had to drag Scott out of the house to look for a dead body…
"You're…" Derek frowned. "You're just Stiles. Just one of the pack. You're important."
"To you?" Stiles' eyes widened quickly at his words and he pushed himself away from the post, pulling out his hands and waving them palms out. "I didn't mean it like that…I mean…I mean…what the hell happened the other night? At my place?" There, get back to why he had really come here for.
Derek went through the events of Stiles' pack initiation night and found nothing wrong with it. "What about it?"
Stiles swallowed and tried not to blush, but he was pretty sure his ears were turning red and he wasn't sure if he could blame the cold. "I mean with the…on the couch…when we woke up." He licked his lips and avoided looking at Derek. "We were like…snuggling."
Derek didn't answer and Stiles eventually looked at him, only to find himself faced with a perplexed looking Alpha.
"Is that…like a wolf thing? Snuggling?"
Derek shrugged. "I guess. We're…we like being close. Often. More than humans."
Stiles blinked, feeling silly for overreacting and wondering why he was almost angry that it was really nothing, just a wolf thing. What the hell sort of feelings were going through his mind about Derek Hale? "Oh…that makes sense…"
Derek nodded slightly. "Why? Did you think it was something else?"
Stiles really flushed then, and his bowed his head, staring at a footprint of his in the sheen of dirt over the concrete floor. "No…not really."
Derek stood, walking over to Stiles, stopping—looming—in front of him. "Follow me." He brushed passed Stiles, who followed the Alpha obediently. Stiles wasn't talking or complaining or filling the silence with mindless babble, which was quite surprising for him.
Derek walked over to the stairs and started up them. They sounded at least sturdier than the ones in the Hale house, and they even had a semi-splinter-free railing. Up on the loft—because, Stiles realized as he stepped up there, that was what it really was—there were a handful of cots and the worlds largest throw run in the middle of it all.
"Whoa…" Stiles breathed out.
"Take off your jacket," Derek instructed.
"What?" Stiles squeaked.
Derek rolled his eyes in annoyance stepping farther onto the rug before turning back to Stiles, waiting expectantly.
Stiles ducked his head and tugged off his jacket, walking to the side to put it on one of the beds because there weren't any chairs around. "Uh…you're not gunna like jump me now, are you?"
Derek actually cracked a smile. "No. You want to be part of the pack, right?"
Stiles nodded. "I don't…I don't really feel it. I mean…couldn't I at least get a leather jacket?"
"We'll work on it." Derek walked over, put a hand on his shoulder and steered him toward the middle of the rug. It was actually chilly up here and Stiles shivered. "Sit."
Stiles wanted to argue, but he didn't. He sat. The rug was actually rather cushiony and felt more blanketesque than like the usual scratchy, stiff rug. "Uh…what now? This is like a wolf thing, right?"
"Yeah." Derek nodded, circling around Stiles, who was beginning to wish the others would show up because he was feeling like he was out of his depth here. "Being in a pack means being a part of something. Packmates are family, they're a part of you, you're a part of them."
"Have you been smoking something? This sounds a bit Rafiki to me," Stiles said, furrowing his eyebrows. "Are you going to start singing about the Circle of Life?"
Derek looked like he wanted to smack Stiles on the back of the head but refrained. Instead, he sat as well. "We're wolves, we like to be close," Derek said finally.
Stiles blinked at him widely, all sixteen-year-old innocence and confusion wrapped in a ball of energy and sarcasm. "Dude, are you hitting on me?" he squeaked out, voice breaking, which was embarrassing by itself, but he was completely distracted.
Derek narrowed his eyes ever so slightly before he took a breath and fell back against the rug. "I'm just telling you how things work," he said lightly, stretching out his legs and putting an arm behind his head as a pillow.
Stiles swallowed and pushed down a mixture of anxiety and excitement. "Maybe…maybe I should go."
"A storm is coming," Derek said, eyes slipping shut. "The rest of the pack will be here soon."
"Scott too?" Stiles asked, twisting to look down at Derek.
Stiles sat back and his eyes traveled passed the stairs to where he could see a bit of the floor and the tops of the double-train and the side of the single. He didn't even realize he was scooting away from Derek when suddenly a hand wrapped around his wrist and pulled him down. He expected his head to collide with the carpet, but instead, Stiles found himself sprawled out on his back, with Derek's stomach under his head.
He froze, because his brain began to send jolts of 'oh my god' mixed with hormones and other things everywhere and the fact that Derek was actually really warm and his hand was still around Stiles' wrist was utterly distracting.
"Derek," he finally whispered.
"Shut up, Stiles," came the grumbled reply.
Stiles wiggled a bit but finally lay still when he heard the racket of the door being opened and the rest of the pack swooped into the building. They weren't overly loud, but Erica's laugh echoed throughout the building. It didn't take them long to walk up the stairs to the loft, and they didn't find anything wrong with the sight before them.
Erica actually squeaked and was the first to put her jacket and heels onto a bed and join Derek and Stiles on the floor. Everyone had come, and soon Boyd and Scott and Isaac and even Jackson were crowding around, pushing and growling and finding a place to curl up and be comfortable.
Stiles found his chest being used as a headrest for Scott, which should have been really weird, but it actually wasn't. Erica had curled up at Derek's shoulders, pressing her body against Stiles'. Isaac was pressed against Derek's other side. Jackson was sort of lost in a tangle of Derek and Scott and Isaac's legs. And Boyd was using Isaac as a pillow.
It wasn't even odd; it felt normal. Everything felt warm and comfortable. Everyone was nuzzling and sighing and being very wolflike. Stiles wasn't even cold anymore.
They all got settled and nestled into the right places—Erica's breath was hot against Stiles' neck, and her hair tickled his arm but he didn't mind it—and began to drift off to sleep. Stiles managed to hold onto consciousness the longest, and he was feeling stupidly gleeful by the time he was slipping off to sleep because Derek's hand had gone from his wrist, and was curled around Stiles' fingers.
And he finally felt like one of the pack.
Even without the leather jacket.