So there's this thing and also some stuff and maybe a little weirdness, and the Hale compound is pretty much invaded by cats. Possibly magical cats. Who do not like Peter. Which, Stiles isn't blaming them, nobody likes Peter except possibly Peter himself and also, to his eternal shame, Isaac, because what Isaac actually took out of being made a werewolf after years of loneliness was a desire for everybody to love him and give him hugs.
Stiles is working on this in his spare time, but there is only so much he can do and also Peter gives amazing if completely creepy hugs.
He doesn't give them to Stiles, because Stiles has wolfsbane spray, nor to Lydia, because Stiles gave her some of his wolfsbane spray, but according to Erica his hugs are almost as good as Derek's, if you can only keep yourself from thinking, "I am legitimately being hugged by a zombie right now".
Derek definitely hugs the best, though, although that may be since he hardly ever hugs anybody at all, when he does, you just have to kind of bask in it. He's even hugged Stiles, which was amazing, because Derek smells like leather jacket and leaves and maybe a little like blood from the last rabbit he caught, but mostly like bay rum and the cookies he smuggles from the kitchen when Stiles brings them over and pretends not to see Derek reaching for the Tupperware. Also he's all muscle and even though they're pretty much the same height, Stiles can put his chin on Derek's shoulder and lean on him with all his weight, and not worry about Derek stumbling or falling.
ANYWAY, cats, not Derek Oliver Hale's terrible conflicted feelings about hugs as expressed by his Eeyore Eyebrows and the Cloud of Doom raining on his head. There are mountains of them. There are rivers of them. It's like that storybook about the old couple who had so many cats they swallowed the earth. And they all hate Derek, and they all hate Peter. It's like every joke about cats and dogs ever made. It's like these cats are the reincarnated souls of all the bunnies the Hale family has ever eaten.
"Who did you piss off this time?" says Stiles to Derek, because by this time he knows him pretty well. "Look at you, you're a kitty!" he adds to the black-spotted white cat lying blissfully in his arms and purring. "Look at your fluffy tail!"
Derek growls, but doesn't move from where he's standing against the wall, surrounded by cats with glowing eyes. There is a giant glowering tabby tom perched on his second best leather jacket and clawing it deliberately to shreds while staring at Derek like he's imagining it's Derek's face. "I didn't piss off anybody!"
Stiles supposes he's probably telling the truth. Derek really has been concentrating on home improvement and making Stiles wonder about his own life choices, which is probably not intentional. Still, Derek wanders around in a ragged tank top and jeans, covered with paint streaks, instead of getting into (much) trouble, so it's almost like a win. The jeans are worn white around the seams and the fly. It's like a porno version of some sort of home improvement show. "Who did your uncle piss off, then?"
"That," says Derek grimly, "is what I mean to find out."
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After Stiles shoos the cats away from Derek and coaxes them into a room with chicken he'd meant to cook for the pack that night (Derek looks both relieved and betrayed, because Derek hates cats and loves chicken), they find Peter penned in his room by a tiny longhaired princess kitten and also the biggest, meanest motherfucker of a cat that Stiles has ever seen, and he's seen some big, mean crazy motherfuckers of cats.
Every time Peter moves, the tiny princess kitten hisses at him and he freezes.
"Aww, baby kitten," says Stiles involuntarily. The kitten looks at him and makes a tiny, adorable meeping noise, like a Pokemon. Then she floats over to him on her tiny, adorable princess feet and purrs at him until he picks her up and cuddles her.
"Why are we surrounded by cats?" says Derek, keeping a respectful distance from the other cat, who looks like Nick Fury and Toothless had a baby. Seriously, that is the most badass looking cat Stiles has ever seen. It has eyes like radioactive gold.
"No idea," lies Peter, and Stiles has no problem with holding Tiny Princess out to him. She hisses like a steam kettle and Peter cowers back. "I may have said something to the ladies at the New Age store!" he says. "They may have taken it the wrong way!"
Derek rubs his forehead. "Are these the same ladies that Mom was always yelling at you for annoying?"
"I never annoyed them! I just went in and was a helpful booklover to their other customers!"
Stiles kind of has to give Peter props if he actually went to Aura Bless Books and told people what he thought of their selections, which are about ninety-five percent pure bullshit and five percent vaguely useful. Stiles would never do that because the owners were a) actually really helpful with weird supernatural related questions b) as scary as fuck when they were mad and c) apparently actual witches, as proven by the cat invasion.
"You put sticky notes on all the books that said SAVE YOUR MONEY," says Derek wearily. "Did you put sticky notes on the books again?"
"I would never," says Peter sullenly, and then, "they were having a psychic speaking about the moon cycle."
Derek rubs his face again. "Just … go apologize to them. No. I'll apologize to them. Give me your credit card, I have to go buy chocolate. I have to buy all the chocolate in all the stores."
"What," squawks Peter, and Stiles says, "I'll make cookies. Peter can sit here with Nick Fury and Tiny Princess and think about what he's done."