Erica's sitting in the passenger seat of Stiles' car when he gets out of lacrosse practice. She's filing her nails, which he thinks is pretty hilarious for several reasons - not that he would ever say anything to her about it, seeing as he normally likes his skin unpunctured and all - and she doesn't even look up when he climbs into the driver's side. He stares at her profile, mentally willing her to be the first to say something, but apparently his telepathic powers are still theoretical in nature.
He finally settles on asking outright, "Do you need a ride to the warehouse?"
"No," says Erica. "Take a left out of the parking lot, then a right at the stop sign."
Stiles straps himself in and considers asking her where exactly he's taking her, and then he (belatedly) realizes that he's not actually obligated to drive her anywhere. He distinctly remembers having that conversation with Derek, too, not even a week before. He turns and opens his mouth to say as much, but her hand comes up and pushes his head until he's looking straight ahead again.
"Just drive, Stilinski," she says.
"Ugh, fine," he says. "This isn't okay, you know. I have a job now, and I did not ever sign up to be pack taxi driver. I do not do a good De Niro."
"I'd be worried about you if you did," Erica says, poking him in the arm. She glances around as if she's checking for something. "Let's go, we're on a timeline."
"Whatever," Stiles says.
Erica turns out to be a decent copilot, though she refuses to tell Stiles where they're headed and why they have to be there at a certain time. He lets her play with the radio for all of thirty seconds before turning it off completely, and she rolls her eyes when he asks questions about homework they have in common.
"Seriously?" she says. "That's what you've got? Homework?"
"You want to talk about MMORPGs? Because we could. I play a couple different ones.."
"Of course you do. Video games and epilepsy tend to make a volatile mixture, so I never got to try them out." She waves a hand over to the right. "Pull over here."
Stiles pulls off the side of the road and turns off the ignition. He glances over at her. "So," he says. "What are we doing here?"
"Give it a second."
Literally a second later, funnily enough, Isaac and Boyd come stumbling out of the woods with Derek close behind them. Derek has his usual mask of indifference up, but he nods at Erica as if in approval of what she's doing. Or done. Stiles looks at Derek, and then back at Erica, and then Isaac and Boyd who are glaring intensely at Erica.
"What's going on?" Stiles asks.
"You cheated," Isaac says.
"There was nothing in the rules that said I couldn't do it this way," Erica replies. "Derek said track Stiles and bring him here. Look, ma, no hands."
Stiles leans forward and rests his head against the steering wheel. He sighs, loudly and pointedly. "If the explanation for making me late for work is that you guys were using me as a human stick in an epic game of werewolf fetch," he says, "I am going to be pissed."
"Look, all I'm saying is, I don't want this to become a habit. The fact that this is the second time indicates a willingness on your end to continue the behavior."
Allison looks at him in the rear view mirror and grins. "Look at you and your fancy psychologist talk," she says, mock pride coloring every word.
Stiles glares at her. "You," he says, "are not helping. Not one little bit. In fact, by driving us to...wherever the hell we're going, you're enabling it. You're just as bad as the rest of them."
"Save it for the ride home," Scott says. "We're here. Oh, good, Derek brought snacks."
Allison pulls into the parking lot outside the nature reserve and swings into the space right next to Derek's car. Not too far from them, Erica and Boyd are sitting at a picnic table and tossing pretzels at each other, apparently trying to catch them in their mouths. Isaac and Derek are nowhere to be found, but Stiles doubts they've gone far. Derek in particular has been clingy since they'd recovered Erica and Boyd from the alpha pack, so chances are he's -
"Walking back from the bathroom," Stiles says as Derek and Isaac come into sight. Scott shoots him a look, and he waves him off as they wander over to the table, earning him a shrug.
"Look, it's everyone's favorite stick," Erica says in greeting.
"Shove it, Reyes," says Stiles. "I didn't actually agree to take part in your little puppy boot camp. Why don't you fetch Allison for a while?"
Derek shakes his head. "Allison's playing with us," he says, "and you get a ten minute head start. First person back to the table gets the Oreos."
Stiles blinks. "That's it? That's all I'm worth?" The werewolves grin at him simultaneously. "I mean - no. Not playing. In fact, I'm going to sit down and not move from this spot until it's time to leave."
"You sure about that?" asks Isaac. His and Boyd's grins become ever-so-slightly sharper. "We have a backup plan, you know, to make you play."
Stiles digs his feet into the ground a little firmer and tilts his chin up in defiance. He doesn't even see Derek move until he's in front of him, picking him up and tossing him over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes.
"Ten minutes," Derek reminds everyone, and then he's racing into the reserve with Stiles cursing him out the whole way.
Of all the things Stiles expects to see when he wakes up in the morning, Peter Hale's face is located somewhere around the bottom of the list. There's nothing dignified about the way that he tumbles off his bed, pulling his bedcovers off with him, but he refuses to acknowledge his embarrassment even as Peter starts to laugh at him. Stiles pushes himself into a seated position and scowls at him.
"I'm so glad I have confirmation that sneaking into teenage boys' bedrooms is a genetic trait," he says. "I was beginning to worry that it really was just something Derek did for fun."
"Well," Peter says, "not entirely just for fun, I'm sure."
Stiles decides he's not going to acknowledge that either. He sighs, which Peter apparently takes as an invitation to start examining the contents of Stiles' bookshelves, which - okay, there's nothing totally incriminating on any of them, unless Peter is a diehard Marvel fan who hates all things DC. But pretty much every movement he makes screams scoping you out for all possible weaknesses, so Stiles keeps an eye on him even as he picks himself up and starts making his bed.
Stiles is well past the point of being able to handle Peter's presence when he finally breaks the silence. "So is this a social visit, or are you here for something? Because I have to tell you, I am not all that inclined to help you as a general rule, but especially not at," he checks his alarm clock, "seven o'clock in the morning on a Sunday - seriously, dude?"
"We're playing a game," Peter says. "More like a scavenger hunt."
"That sounds suspiciously like fetch, and I still have the bruises from last time, so the answer is no."
Peter has the gall to look affronted by Stiles' refusal. "Don't you even want to know the stakes?" he asks.
"Uh, no, I'm good."
"Derek instructed all of us to bring back something that will make him happy," Peter continues, blithe smile stretching across his face, "and the winner gets to ask for a favor from him. It's a game his parents used to play with him and his siblings and cousins - he thought it might help reinforce some of the lessons he's been drilling into the betas' heads recently."
Stiles stares at him. "That's - oddly, scarily thoughtful and responsible of him," he says. "So what are you doing here?"
Peter's smile widens, and a feeling of dread pools low in Stiles' stomach.
Derek looks at Peter, and then at Stiles, and then at Peter again. Then he sighs and glares at the floor between them.
"Peter wins," he says. He gives Stiles one last glance before huffing and walking away.
Erica throws up her hands and scoffs in disgust while Boyd and Isaac grumble under their breath about unfair advantages and something about Stiles' room being off limits to them. Stiles still isn't sure he understands exactly what's just happened, but he's recently learned not to ask questions he doesn't want the answer to, so he keeps his mouth shut.
Stiles institutes a No Werewolves At All (Except Scott) In His Bedroom rule after that. The pack adhere to it, too, for about a week before Stiles comes home from school to find Erica and Isaac spooning and fast asleep underneath his covers. He tries to be angry about it, really he does, but her hair is lying across Isaac's nose, and it floats up for a second before touching down in the same place every time he exhales. Erica mumbles something and nuzzles Isaac's back with her nose, her arms tightening visibly around his chest. Stiles isn't sure he's seen anything more adorable, and that includes the time next door's mama cat had kittens and they spent weeks chasing squirrels all over the backyard.
I will not coo over them, he thinks. I will not coo over them. They are vicious werewolves who have been using me as a stick for weeks. I will not coo over them, no matter how - oh my god, they're just so cute.
"Stilinski, are you going to join us, or are you going to keep staring at us?" Erica asks.
At some point during his mantra, they'd woken up and made a space between them. Isaac waggles his eyebrows at Stiles and pats the bed in invitation. Stiles blinks. He let his backpack drop to the floor and thinks, Well, that does look comfortable.
"Wait, no," he says. "I have things to do. Scott's coming over in, like, twenty minutes so I can take him to the library."
"So?" Isaac asks. "That's plenty of time for a nap."
"We don't bite," says Erica.
Stiles rolls his eyes at her but only hesitates for another second or two before shrugging off his coat and shoes and crawling onto the bed between them. This isn't the first time they've done this, and if he's being perfectly honest with himself, Stiles has missed having oversized teddy wolves around. As soon as he settles down on the pillows and the covers are pulled back over them, the two of them cuddle up close to him. Isaac tucks Stiles' head underneath his chin, and Erica wraps her arms around his waist, rubbing against his backside in the process. Stiles flushes and waves his free arm in the air above them, unsure of where to put it.
"Uh," he says. Erica shushes him, and she and Isaac takes this opportunity to twine their legs around Stiles'. "You guys are going to let me go when Scott gets here, right?"
"We'll think about it," Isaac says.
"Not for long, though, since he just showed up," Erica adds.
Sure enough, Stiles hears someone bounding up the stairs not a moment later, and then Scott bursts through his door.
"Dude," he hears Scott say, "I thought this was a werewolf-free zone."
"Go away, McCall," says Erica. "We got here first."
"But Stiles said he'd -"
"Either you take a nap with us, or you wait your turn," she says with a growl.
"I don't know, dude," Stiles says, "she's pretty dedicated to this napping thing." Erica rakes her fingernails across Stiles' stomach. "You might want to consider getting in here."
Stiles drifts off to sleep not too long after that, the concentrated warmth from three werewolves making it difficult not to. The last thing he hears is his door swinging open and his father's voice saying, "I am not prepared to deal with this," and then Stiles is out like a light.
Stiles wakes up later to find Erica half on top of him, and Boyd sprawled out across Scott and Isaac. It's dark and quiet outside, but he can't see over Erica to find out what time it is, not that his position really allows for much movement at all to begin with. He does, however, notice the person sitting in his computer chair, watching them.
"You got something against joining in pack cuddles?" Stiles asks. "Just get in here already."
Derek snorts and stands up, moving over to the window. "I was checking to make sure everyone was safe," he says. "And now I'm going back to the depot. Tell them to find me in the morning."
Before Derek can get a hand on the sill, though, Boyd's arm shoots out from the bed and snags his elbow and tugs on him hard. Derek grunts in surprise, falling over and landing across everyone's legs with a thump. Stiles lets out a gasp at the sudden weight, but the others only grumble and shift before settling down again.
Stiles manages to sit up a little and free an arm. He gives Derek a smug grin, and then he pats Boyd on the shoulder. "And that is how you play fetch," he says.
"I'm only staying here because it's cold outside," Derek says.
"Whatever helps you sleep at night," says Stiles.)