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Human is Just a Word

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Stiles just wanted to have a look. He didn't intend to do anything, he just wanted to scope things out, get a feeling for his surroundings. He shouldn't be here. Sneaking into the heart of a werewolf's territory was a stupid idea in on itself, he knew that, thank you very much, but how else would he find out more about his enemy?

This was something he couldn't learn from a book or the internet. Territory, pack, those were things the werewolves didn't want humans to know about. But that were the things Stiles needed to know about. If he wanted to have even the slightest chance to get to Peter, he needed to know.

So Stiles was here in the middle of the night when good little werewolves were peacefully sleeping in their den or cave or wherever it was werewolves slept. Most likely a bed, he guessed, but that didn't have the right ring to it.

Just a little walk through the neighborhood, he told himself. Not that it was his neighborhood, his was on the other end of the town, but you get the idea.

Stiles' little adventure went surprisingly well. And surprisingly boring considering that he found absolutely nothing, nada. He hadn't expected to find a flashing sign pointing at the villain's secret hide-out, not that he needed one, Stiles knew exactly where he would find Peter.

The alpha lived out in the preserve in the old Hale house. After the fire Peter had claimed it for himself and renovated it. Now it was more like a fortress than a house. Good luck going there. People tend to disappear if they got too nosy out in the preserve.

No, Stiles wanted to know more about the territory in town. Where did the werewolves hang out? Did they have patrols? Where did they go when they weren't chilling in the evil villain's mansion?

Stiles wasn't sure how those information would help him but he was a firm believer in the power of knowledge and that was why he was here in the middle of the night.

He didn't see a werewolf, which was probably good, but he didn't find out anything useful either. He could swing by Jackson's house, Stiles knew where he lived, but that was beside the point.

Two hours later Stiles was on his way back to where he'd parked the jeep.

"Half the night wasted." He muttered under his breath. He had his hands in the pockets of his jacket, the hoodie part of his hoodie deep in his face and his head ducked. Keeping in the shadows, not that that would make any kind of difference to the werewolves ruling this part of town, he walked briskly towards the proverbial light. In this case the light of the 24/7 grocery store where he'd left his car. He could already see the light in the distance, a beacon in the night, when things went south.

"Going somewhere, Stilinski?" A voice followed by a bulky body came out of the shadows to his right.

"Oh, hey." Stiles plastered a fake smile on his face. He was so screwed. "Jackson. Nice night for a walk."

Jackson flashed blue eyes at him. Behind him two more figures stepped out of the shadows, flanking him like bodyguards.

"We told you to keep your nose out of things it doesn't belong in." Jackson said around too many teeth. Stiles probably just gave him a field day. Everybody knew that werewolves existed but the wolves weren't keen on flashing it off. They didn't want to draw too much attention. It was a "what happens in the pack, stays in the pack" kind of mindset, hence Stiles' nightly walk in the neighborhood.

But since Stiles already knew a lot about werewolves and Jackson knew that he knew, the douchebag could go all Cujo on him. And he clearly enjoyed it.

To Stiles it was just the natural continuance from their sandbox days. Back then Jackson had liked to call him names and hit him with the shovel over the head when no adult was looking. Now he flashed his eyes and showed his fangs when his alpha wasn't looking.

"I was just leaving." Stiles raised his hands in a calming manner and just hoped that barking dogs won't bite. "Heading that way." He gestured in the direction of the grocery store shining in the distance. So close.

"I don't think he's learned his lesson." The twin to Jackson's left said. Ethan or Aidan, Stiles didn't know, he never bothered to learn how to tell them apart. Not that he had many interactions with them for which he was glad. They always looked at him as if they wanted to find out what his intestines looked like. And they would probably eat them. While he was watching.

"No, I don't think he has." The second twin grinned at him and now Stiles was facing three werewolves with glowing eyes and their fangs out.

"Run!" The twins said as one. It sounded like a bark and Stiles would have pointed that out but he actually liked being alive.

Stiles ran.

"Shit." He didn't hear their footsteps behind him so they were either giving him a head-start or they just liked screwing with him. He didn't look back to find out which one it was.

Even with a head-start, he didn't stand a chance. He could not outrun a werewolf, Stiles knew that.

When he heard the heavy footfalls coming up behind him, he knew that he was in for at least a roughing up.

"Run like a rabbit!" Jackson yelled after him.

Stiles picked up speed.

The lights of the grocery store were close now. If he could only manage to get in the jeep …

They played with him. They waited until he ran past the last mouth of an alley, the parking lot and his jeep waiting just there, before they were on him and pulled him into the alley.

"Thought you could run?" One of the twins had him by his neck and threw him farther into the dark alley. Stiles avoided hitting a dumpster and landed hard on the concrete. The light from the street didn't reach this deep and the three werewolves were blocking most of it anyway. Stiles couldn't see much more than their silhouettes and the glow of their eyes.

They could see him just fine, he knew that. And if they couldn't see him they for sure could hear his heart rabidly beating in his chest. Damn werewolf senses.

They were back to their original formation, Jackson in the front and the twins flanking him a step behind. Testicles to Jackson the dick.

Stiles would have laughed at that thought but he was busy crab-walking away from them.

"Why can't you just leave things alone?" Jackson asked.

"Peter didn't leave Scott alone." Stiles shot back.

"And you think what …?" The twin to Jackson's right asked. Stiles couldn't see his face but he sounded like there were raised eyebrows involved. "That you can just waltz in and avenge him?"

Yep, definitely raised eyebrows involved. And glowing eyes. And claws, the light from the street lamp in their backs brought those alive rather dramatically.

The werewolves hadn't moved and Stiles was now far enough from them for it to feel safe to get to his feet again. But he kept an eye on them. Something was off. They had been here before. There had been harsh words and a punch or a shove and maybe one more for good measure, but they had never come across like this. Stiles couldn't really place it but he didn't want to get any closer to them. Slowly he backed off.

He couldn't really see what was a few feet behind him but he was pretty sure it was a solid wall. A dead end. He licked his lips and felt the fear settling in his stomach. The only way out was through the werewolves and he had the feeling that this time he wouldn't get out with just a split lip and some bruises.

If he didn't knew better he'd say that they were out for blood.

It was just after the full moon, he'd checked because even he wasn't stupid enough to go after werewolves on the full moon. Point was, it wasn't the full moon so they should have their instincts under control. At least in theory. Stiles knew a lot about theories but not nearly enough about the real deal. Looked like he was about to find out more.

"Hey, guys." Stiles said because this was the only thing he could do. Talk. He was good at talking and usually he managed to talk his way out of almost everything. "Look, I know I've overstepped some boundaries here. Believe me, I know. But c'mon, it's the middle of the night. Can't we just go home and call it a day? I know you want to be out here as much as I do. You haven't seen me and I haven't seen you, sounds fair?"

They didn't answer but they started walking, Jackson first and the twins following a second later. One threatening step after the other until they had Stiles backed off in the corner.

Stiles opened his mouth to say something, but he was cut off by a fist connecting with his solar plexus. He had just enough time to notice that it had been the twin on the right, he decided that it was Ethan, before the air left his lungs and stars exploded behind his eyes. Next thing he knew he was on the ground again. This time in agony.

"That's all you got?" Stiles gritted out, still curled in to himself while the pain slowly came down to a bearable level. He could take a hit. Jackson had given him worse just in passing and he hadn't even been a werewolf back then. Hurray for high school bullies.

Still, it wasn't a smart thing to say, all things considered, but Stiles had never been good at doing the smart thing. Doing the smart thing would have meant that he would be home now, peacefully sleeping in his bed and not preparing himself for the beating that was about to come. He just hoped it would be done with a beating. He didn't want to die in some stupid back alley.

The werewolves didn't say a word. They were past talking, Stiles had known that the moment they had pulled him into this alley so the least thing he could do was to laugh into their faces. If he had the breath for that, that is.

"You never know when to stop, don't you, Stilinski?" Jackson said, sounding rather bored. Then he punched him in the face.

Things got kind of blurry after that. Stiles tried to protect his head with his arms but otherwise he could only lay there like some punching bag and take it. The wolves didn't let him come up again, not that he would have been able to, not after the first few punches.

At some point the pain wasn't too bad anymore and Stiles felt himself drifting away. He welcomed it. If he lost consciousness they would probably stop. Or if they decided to beat him to death he wouldn't be there to feel it which was fine with him as well.

His last clear thought was that they didn't use their claws. With only their fists he had a chance at waking up in the hospital. At the moment, Stiles couldn't care less. He just wanted to sink into painless darkness.

Just before he slipped away, everything stopped.

Stiles dared to blink his eyes open, at least the one that wasn't swollen shut. Over the ringing in his ears he heard a deep growl and then there were more eyes glowing in the dark.

Red, Stiles thought. I'm dead.

Chapter Text

Derek drove fast. It was late at night and his car was the only one on the street so he could drive as fast as he wanted.

Damn, Peter, he thought and grabbed the wheel harder. Gritting his teeth, Derek put the foot down on the accelerator, gaining more speed. It probably wasn't safe driving this fast in town, and the sheriff or one of his deputies would have something to say about it for sure, but Derek trusted his reflexes to keep him safely on the road. And a drunk idiot could ram him at any speed so there was that.

He had known that his talk with Peter would be like all the others. Mildly patronizing, laced with disapproval and barely hidden menace. That was nothing new and mainly the reason Derek never took Peter up on the offer to stay at the Hale house.

It had been Derek's childhood home as well but since the fire Derek could barely stand the sight of it. Too many memories.

When Peter had changed it to this monstrosity he called home, Derek had felt somewhat relived. There wasn't much left reminding him of the past but he still wouldn't stay the night there. He would never live it down if he got overwhelmed by emotions there. Peter would smell it and Peter would know. And he would bring it up every chance he got.

So no, Derek wasn't staying under Peter's roof. Instead he'd rented a room across town as far away from the preserve as possible.

Derek drove fast and he was lost in his own thoughts but as an alpha werewolf, he had his ears out constantly. There were too many eager betas out there who would love to catch an alpha off guard. Especially the betas Peter had gathered around himself and called pack.

Derek drove past a still brightly lit grocery store, there were only a few abandoned cars in the lot, and he was past the mouth of the alley when his brain caught up with what his senses were telling him.

He brought the car to a screeching halt. Then he just sat there for a second with his head tilted to pinpoint the direction the noises were coming from. The punches were loud in the silence of the night and they carried far. The harsh breathing and the whimpering sounds were harder to separate but once Derek caught the scent of blood, he was out of the car and running towards the alley.

He recognized the werewolves by scent before he even turned the corner. That Jackson guy, one of those over eager pups he had to be on a constant look-out for, and the twins. Derek didn't have much contact with Peter less alone his pack but he knew them from sight.

They had their backs turned towards him and didn't seem to notice that they weren't alone anymore. The smell of blood was overwhelming now and Derek felt the pull of the moon. It wasn't full anymore but close enough to bring the wolf to the surface.

A growl escaped his throat and the three wolves in front of him froze.

"What are you doing here?" Jackson had turned around and tried to keep on the bravado but Derek smelled his fear. If it was because he was facing an alpha or if it was because Derek had caught them beating a human to death Derek didn't know but he let his eyes flash and growled again.

Now the twins backed off, one of them stumbling over the figure on the ground. The human let out a whimper but didn't move otherwise.

"Go home." Derek ordered. They weren't his betas and technically he was the intruder in another alpha's territory but at least Jackson was coward enough to not challenge him on it. Derek took a step to the side and raised his eyebrows at them.

"Got lucky there, Stilinski." Jackson gave the person at his feet one last kick in the ribs but when Derek growled again, he hurried to get past him. Naturally the twins followed.

Derek waited a moment to make sure that they were really gone before he stepped over to the boy on the ground. It was definitely a boy, he saw now. Sixteen or seventeen, it was hard to tell in the dark and with his face hidden behind his arms.

"They're gone." Derek said but the boy didn't move. He was breathing but that was all. Derek wasn't even sure if he was conscious or not. More on the not side, he guessed.

"What am I going to do with you now?" He sighed. He couldn't just leave him here. It wouldn't surprise him if Jackson and his goons were still in the area, just waiting for him to leave so that they could finish what they had started. Usually it should be over now but with the moon this close to full, Derek didn't know what they would do.

He should call 911 and keep an eye on the boy until the paramedics arrived, preferably out of sight because he wasn't keen on answering questions. As soon as they found out who he was, he would be suspect number one, he knew how that went. He'd been there before and he really didn't want to go through it again.

Or he could just drop the boy off a the hospital himself. He didn't need to stick around but he could make sure that the betas wouldn't come after the human again.

Decision made Derek crouched next to the still motionless figure.

"Hey." He said gently and reached for the battered face still hidden behind the arms. The arms fell under his touch like leaves and Derek's palm connected with a cheek damp with tears and blood. He felt the throbbing pain in the flesh and bone under his hand. It was more instinct than a conscious decision to drain the pain away. He felt it creeping through his veins but compared to what the human must feel it was nothing.

"I have to move you now." Derek informed him but the boy didn't answer. He leaned into Derek's touch and let out a soft sigh which was way more responsive than he had been a minute ago.

As gently as possible Derek scooped him up and carried him bride-style to his car. The boy's head lolled against his chest and Derek got a whiff of his scent. On top was the overwhelming scent of blood, thick enough to leave a bad taste in Derek's mouth, and of course there were the werewolves who had done this to the human. But underneath that Derek smelled the boy. It was rich and fresh, a scent that reminded him of the forest on a fall morning. Brisk and clear and full of mysteries.

Derek carried him to his car and managed to get him in the passenger seat without too much jostling.

Then he got in the driver's seat but instead of starting the car, he had his first real look at the boy's face. One eye was swollen shut and he had a split lip along with what would be impressive bruises in the morning covering half his face.

It was always kind of fascinating to Derek how humans carried those marks for days, sometimes weeks. As a born werewolf it was normal to him that he healed within minutes. Heavy injuries took hours to heal, a day at most, and those were hours in pain. How could humans endure that for days?

He had Peter's voice in his ear, talking about how weak and breakable humans were and he was right. This human was hurt and broken and all it had taken was some werewolves and their fists. As far as Derek could tell they hadn't even used their claws or fangs. However, this weak little human would live through the pain, would bear it for days and weeks if necessary and he would come out on top.

Weak wasn't the word Derek would use.

Shutting off the voice of his uncle in his head, Derek brought the engine to life.

The first few minutes there was silence in the car. Derek didn't turn on the radio because he wanted to monitor the human's breathing and heartbeat. But then the boy came to, more or less.

"Where are we going?" He ask. At least Derek guessed that was what the mumbling meant.

"I'm taking you to the hospital." Derek said without taking his eyes off the road. "You're safe now."

"Hospital?" Alert the boy sat up straighter but almost doubled over in pain. Derek had to reach over to prevent him from hitting his head on the dashboard. "No hospital, I'm fine. Just take me home. Please."

It would have sounded more convincing if he could say more than two words between harsh breaths.

"Please." He said again, now slumped back into the seat. "Just bruises, nothing broken. Dad ... Dad doesn't need to know."

Derek didn't know much about humans and possible injuries. Could they tell how severely they were injured? He tried to remember his sister and the other humans of his pack but he had been a teenager himself before the fire and he had never really paid much attention. The only thing he could remember clearly was his mother telling him to be careful because Tara wouldn't just heal.

"I think you need a hospital." Derek said with a glance at the swollen face. "Just to make sure."

"No, please."

In the end Derek didn't bring him to the hospital. However, when he slowed down at the house the boy had pointed out he heard three heartbeat coming from the other side of the street.

"Dammit." Derek cursed and drove past the house.

"Hey." The boy protested, hand already at the door handle.

"They're waiting for you." Derek explained and the boy immateriality let go of the door. Instead he turned around to catch a glimpse of the wolves hidden in the bushes somewhere. It was kind of laughable if Derek was honest.

"What now?" The boy asked.

Derek had no idea. There was only one place he could think of where the human would be safe at least for the night.

"I know a place." Derek headed towards the hotel.

The boy was out of it for most of the ride but he rose when Derek opened the passenger side door.

"Where are we?" He asked, squinting at the building.

"My hotel." Derek said, aware of how creepy it sounded. "You'll be safe here."

To his surprise the boy didn't object and let Derek guide him through the lobby towards the elevator.

At this time of the night, the clerk at the front desk was dozing in front of the small TV and didn't notice the werewolf coming in with a bloody pulp of human meat. That was the downside of being a Hale in Beacon Hills, most people had at least heard of him and a lot recognized him by sight.

In his room Derek carefully helped the boy to sit on the couch but then he straightened up with no clue what to do next.

Derek didn't know how to treat wounds. The few times Tara had more than just a scratch their mother had taken care of it. Now he wished he had paid more attention.

Washing off the blood seemed like a good idea so he did that.

"Can you take this off?" Derek asked, tugging at the hoodie. The boy obediently raised his arms, or at least tried to, so that Derek could take off the hoodie and the shirt beneath.

"I need to see if your ribs are broken." Derek said before he ran his fingertips over the blooming bruises on the boy's side. His left side had taken the brunt of it but his whole upper body was plastered with dark splotches.

Derek didn't find anything out of place, not that he really knew what he was doing here. But there was one thing he could do. He flattened his hand over where he felt the worst of the pain in the deep.

Derek didn't move for minutes. His legs were protesting against the crouched position by now but he still didn't move. He kept his hand on the battered body, constantly draining the pain.

He only broke the contact when there was a knock at the door.

Chapter Text

Stiles wasn't exactly sure how he had ended up in a car and who the guy next to him was but he would take it if it brought him away from Jackson and the twins. He did, however, notice when the guy said something about taking him to the hospital. Which would mean that his dad would get involved. He couldn't do that. His dad was already too worried about him, he didn't need to know that his son had been beaten up by Peter's pack on top of that.

Stiles had no idea how he would hide his battered face from his father but he had to try.

Somehow he convinced the guy to take him home and Stiles was even there enough to give directions. When they reached the house the sheriff's cruiser wasn't in the drive way, thank God for small mercies. When the car slowed down Stiles had his hand already on the door handle but then the car sped up again.

"They're waiting for you." The man said, his jaw twitching. He didn't need to say who was waiting for him.

Stiles craned his neck to have a look at Jackson but he couldn't see anything beyond the dark night outside the window. Defeated he slumped back down in his seat and didn't object when the guy told him that they would go to his place instead.

Only with a delay, he most likely had a concussion, so cut a guy some slack, Stiles realized that the man next to him had to be a werewolf as well. How else would he have known that the werewolves had been waiting for him?

Suddenly way more alert, Stiles sneaked a glance at him. His first thought was that he had to be another one of Peter's betas but that wouldn't make any sense. Then he remembered the red eyes.

Derek Hale, Stiles realized. Holy shit, this is Derek Hale.

He had no idea what the alpha was doing in his uncle's territory but the fact that he wasn't part of Peter's pack was enough to calm Stiles down for the moment.

The public never heard much about the werewolves and their society, they were semi-know at best, like the mafia but with less crime. At least most of the time.

Benefit of being the sheriff's son, Stiles had access to some things he shouldn't have access to and when Scott had needed help Stiles had been there for him. Stiles had seen pictures of the bodies Peter liked to leave behind.

There weren't pictures of bodies associated with Derek Hale. He had been a suspect once or twice but had been proven innocent every single time. Given the choice between Derek and his uncle, Stiles would pick Derek without a second thought.

The train of thoughts slowed down, escaping his grasp more and more until Stiles drifted off to sleep once again. He barely rose when Derek helped him out of the car and into the building. He had to have blacked out at some point because suddenly he was sitting on a couch and Derek was asking him to take off his hoodie.

Derek washed away the dirt and the blood and then he did something. Stiles didn't quite know what he was doing but his hand on his ribs felt nice and it didn't hurt that much anymore. Content Stiles let himself drift in the cozy place between sleep and actually being awake.

Then suddenly the hand was gone, leaving him cold and shivering. A protest on his lips Stiles opened his eyes but found the other man gone.

Not gone but at the door.

When Stiles saw the man stepping into the room, his heart stopped beating for a moment.

Derek was letting Peter fucking Hale into the room.

Betrayal was settling in his stomach. How could Derek do this to him? Why did he rescue him just to hand him over to his uncle afterwards?

Stiles tried to get up but the couch wouldn't let him go. So he just sat there, shirtless and not even able to sit up straight, while the alpha werewolf sauntered into the room as if he owned the place. For all Stiles knew he did.

"I know you have a soft spot for strays, Derek." Peter said in a sickening sweet tone. "But this is a little extreme even for you, don't you think?" He took in the sight of Stiles in all his bruised glory with cold eyes and a smile tugging at his lips.

"Your betas were beating him to death." Derek said, arms crossed over his chest. "And they were waiting for him at home to finish what they've started."

"Please, they were just playing with him." Peter dismissed his words. "He needs to learn to leave things alone. Don't you, Stiles?"

Stiles wanted to say "screw you" along with some other things but for once he kept his mouth shut. And only partly because of his split lip. He really didn't like the way Peter was looking at him. Hungry. Stiles fought the urge to cross his arms over his bare chest.

"Leave him alone." Derek was suddenly between them, blocking Peter's view on him. Stiles instantly breathed easier but he still wasn't sure where this was heading.

"You don't know who he is." Peter said and waited a long second before he cared to explain. Derek just waited him out. "He wants to kill me. He was out there tonight to gain some intel on me and my pack. He is the enemy here. He should feel lucky that my betas didn't kill him on the spot, would have saved all of us some trouble."

"Are you afraid of a human boy?" Derek ask with a tilt of his head. Stiles could only see the back of said head but the tone alone gave the challenging expression away.

"He's an nuisance." Peter spat out and stepped a little to the side to have another look at Stiles. "And I intend to finish this now once and for all."

Stiles really didn't like the feral grin Peter gave him.

"You're not going to kill him." Derek said, planting himself firmly between Stiles and Peter.

"Nephew, please." Peter said, clearly amused. "Why would you think I'd do something that barbaric?"

Derek didn't answer the question.

"Keep you enemies closer, I'm sure you've heard that one before. I'm going to claim him."

"You ... what?" Derek visibly recoiled at those words. "You can't do that."

"Oh, I can."

It was the truth. The only thing keeping him from doing it right now was Derek literally standing in his way but he couldn't stand there forever. Peter knew where Stiles lived, he knew where he went to school. Stiles could probably dodge him for a few days and hope that he would forget about it but if he truly wanted to claim him, he would.

"No, you can't." Derek set his jaw. "He's on my territory right now and with that under my protection. Do you really want to cause an incident over this?"

"I'm not sure." Peter thought about it for a moment. Then he leaned forward to whisper in Derek's ear but it was loud enough for Stiles to hear. "Do you?"

With that Peter backed off.

"You are leaving in the morning if I recall correctly." He said, eyes firmly on Stiles. There was still this hunger burning in them. As if Stiles was a juicy little bunny he would like to sink his teeth into. "I can wait until then. Good night, Derek."

He tilted his head in a mock bow and then he was out of the door.

For a long moment neither of them moved but then Derek got into motion. He dug something out of the closet and threw it at Stiles.

"Put that on." He said, already busy stuffing things in his bag. "We're leaving."

Stiles examined the bundle in his lap which turned out to be a long sleeved shirt.

His head wasn't operating on one hundred percent right now so he replayed the conversation slowly in his mind, trying to figure out what it meant.

Over the last few months he had learned a lot about packs and their politics, he just needed a moment to put everything together.

"No."

"What?" Derek came up from where he'd been stuffing his toiletries into a bag.

"We're not leaving." Stiles said as clearly as possible with his split lip.

"You don't know what you're talking about." Derek let go of the bag and come over to him. "He wants to claim you. That means ..."

"That he wants to make me his human little pet." Stiles interrupted him. "I know what it means."

Derek still looked at him as if he wasn't getting the point but he said: "Something like that."

"We can't run." Stiles knew that much. "He's waiting for me to run. I won't make it out of his territory, believe me I know."

There were questions clearly written over Derek's face but instead of asking he just waited for Stiles to continue.

"I'm grateful for your help." Stiles said and tried again to get up from this goddamn couch. Who in their right mind build this things so low and soft that they just swallowed you? "But I can't let you do this."

"Do what?"

"Risk you life, risk your territory and for sure I don't want your pack to get scattered or killed." Stiles explained. He couldn't remember the last time talking had hurt this much but he needed Derek to know that he knew what he was offering here and that he couldn't accept it. If he was going down he would go down alone and not dragging this poor guy who just wanted to help with him.

Derek raised his eyebrows at him, that was clearly not the answer he had expected.

"That's what Peter meant when he said causing an incident, isn't it?" Stiles squinted at him. "He can't touch me here because technically this is your territory, like an embassy or something, right? But as soon as I set a foot out of this room I'm on his territory and since he has already proclaimed his intention to claim me you would break quite some werewolf laws if you tried to sneak me out of his territory. And since you are the youngest alpha of the Hale Trinity with the smallest pack and smallest territory he could use this as an excuse to just squish you."

Derek just stared at him for a long moment.

"For a human you know a lot about pack politics." He finally said.

"Had to learn a few things when Peter bit my best friend." Stiles shrugged with the shoulder that didn't scream in agony with every breath he took.

"Your friend is a werewolf?"

"Was." Stiles corrected, suddenly very interested in a blood stain on his jeans. "Peter killed him when he tried to run. He didn't even make it past the city limits."

Scott had been a werewolf and he hadn't managed to escape. And here was Stiles, just a mere human who couldn't even get up from this damn couch.

He could try to run which was a laughable idea in and on itself considering his condition or he could wait until he had to leave the safety of Derek's room and let Peter claim him.

"You should have just let them kill me." Stiles said in a small voice.

"I'm not going to let him hurt you." Derek said and Stiles believed him. But he also knew that Derek would risk and most likely lose everything if he tried to help him. If the rumors were anything to go by, Peter was only waiting for an excuse to take over Derek's pack and territory.

"Where would I even run to?" Stiles wondered aloud. Scott had tried to reach Derek's territory but Scott had been a werewolf.

Suddenly an idea was forming in his mind and Stiles blurted it out before it had time to take full shape.

"Claim me."

Chapter Text

Derek just stared at the boy in front of him. For a human he knew disturbingly much about pack politics but he had clearly no idea what he was asking when he blurted out "Claim me".

"No." Derek said simply and went back to packing. The boy, Peter had called him Stiles which sounded like some kind of nickname, was right that Derek would cause an incident if he tried to get him away from Peter but he couldn't just stand back and let his uncle rape a teenager.

Derek had heard rumors about Peter. About humans he'd claimed as some kind of punishment.

Human pet, Stiles had called it. It wasn't what it was or what it should be but after the fire Peter had become different. He wasn't the uncle Derek had known when he'd been a teenager himself. Derek barely knew this man.

And Stiles was right, Derek was the weak one in the Trinity. He had never been supposed to become alpha in the first place and he had to thank Laura that he even had a territory for himself. She had talked Peter into giving up some of his to carve a small place for Derek and the little pack he'd managed to gather around himself.

But Peter had been nibbling at his borders for months now which was the reason for Derek's visit.

Of course Peter had smiled and had said something about overeager pups who wanted to test their strength and didn't know their place yet. He'd promised to have a word with his betas and that he would keep the truce between them. Helping Stiles to escape would put said truce at risk and with an incident like this Derek couldn't even hope for Laura's help.

"Why not?" The boy asked.

Derek looked over to Stiles who patiently waited for an answer.

"You don't know what you're asking." Derek closed the zipper of his bag with more force than necessary. "If I claimed you, you would be stuck with me for the rest of your life. You don't even know me. "

"And if Peter claims me I'll be stuck with him." Stiles shot back. "And him I know. You can't be worse."

He still hadn't put on the shirt Derek had given him and the blooming bruises stood in stark contrast to his pale skin. Derek's eyes fell on the spot on the neck where he would have to bite him to complete the claiming. But that was just the finishing touch, it was what he would have to do to Stiles before that that twisted his stomach. He wouldn't, couldn't, do that to him.

"Please." Stiles voice broke over the word, the boy was clearly terrified. "I don't want him to ... to ..." He sucked in a breath. "I've seen pictures of the bodies."

The last bit came as a surprise. Finished with his packing Derek sat down next to him.

"What pictures?" He asked but he could guess. How Stiles got a look at something like that he didn't know but he could tell that whatever the boy had seen had rattled him to the core.

"My dad's the sheriff." He explained, fingers rubbing over a blood stain in his jeans. Without thinking Derek took the hand carefully in his and covered it with his other one.

In black lines the pain drained out of Stiles' body and his shoulders relaxed a bit.

"What are you doing?" He asked but didn't draw his hand back.

"I'm taking your pain."

"I didn't know you could do that."

"Looks like you don't know everything about werewolves." Derek teased.

"No shit, Sherlock." Stiles shot back but he sounded drowsy. "What do you think I was doing out there tonight? Picking daisies?"

"What were you doing out there?" Derek took the bait. Peter had said something about Stiles wanting to kill him.

"Gathering information." Stiles admitted easily. "Scoping things out. Doesn't matter anymore, does it? I can't run and I won't let you get killed over this either. So I'll just sit here and wait for your uncle to rape me."

Looked like he did know what he was talking about.

"I know that you don't know me." Stiles continued after a moment. "And you probably don't need a human hanging around your pack but please." He sagged to the side until he was leaning heavily on Derek.

Derek took a deep breath to calm himself, how did he end up in this situation anyway, and caught another whiff of Stiles' scent. The earthy forest scent with a touch of brisk clear air but now it wasn't only overlaid by blood and other werewolves. Stiles was terrified.

Derek thought about his pack. About Isaac and Erica and Boyd. Peter had a point when he said that Derek liked to take in strays. Not one of them had seemed as lost as Stiles right now.

He didn't know this boy, they had no emotional connection, so the only way Derek could claim him was with a physical connection. Or he could ...

"I could bite you." Derek offered.

"No!" Stiles rejected the idea immediately. He glared at Derek for even suggesting it. "I've seen what that does to a person, no thank you. I'd rather die." He was dead serious and for a second they just stared at each other. Derek was the first to break eye contact.

Using him as a crutch Stiles got to his feet.

"Thank you for your help." He said and made an unsteady step towards the door. "If you don't mind, I'd like get it over with now."

He had the full intend to go out there where Peter or at least one of his betas was waiting for him and Derek had no idea what to say to stop him.

"I can't let you do this." He reached for Stiles' shoulder and it was surprisingly easy to hold him back. "You can't even walk."

"Even if I could run, it wouldn't make a difference." He tried to shrug off Derek's hand but failed. "I just hope that he just kills me instead."

His heartbeat was steady, he wasn't lying. He truly hoped to die. Given the alternative it was probably the better option.

"I can't let you do this." Derek repeated, hand still on Stiles' shoulder. He felt the boy trembling under his palm.

"Then claim me!" Stiles yelled at him.

Suddenly Stiles broke down. One second he was standing more or less on his own feet, the next he was hanging heavily in Derek's arms, holding on to him for dear life.

Derek's first intend was to guide them back to the couch but then he changed direction and went for the bed instead. He pushed the bag to the floor and then sat down with Stiles still in his arms.

"It's not just that we would have to have sex." Derek said with a sigh. Why was he even considering this? "A bond like that, there is no turning back. You would be part of my pack for the rest of your life."

"I know." Stiles said, voice steady.

"And you still want me to do this." Derek couldn't believe it.

"My options are a little limited here." Stiles said with new energy. "It's either him or you. And I'd prefer you."

They were running in circles but Derek had to admit that he was right. He couldn't fight Peter. Derek was alone in another alpha's territory and Peter had a strong pack backing him up. If he wanted to go through with his threat, Derek wouldn't be able to stop him. And Peter wasn't known for idle threats.

"Okay." Derek caved.

Stiles lifted his head to look him in the eye.

"Okay okay?" He asked with a strange mix of hope and dread in his voice.

Derek couldn't look him in the eye.

"Okay." Stiles repeated with more enthusiasm. He was already shirtless, he never came around to actually put on the shirt Derek had given him, and now he was fumbling with the button of his jeans.

Before he managed to open his fly he suddenly froze and stared at Derek with an open mouth and his good eye wide.

"Do you even like guys?" He blurted out. It came as a very late afterthought and Derek couldn't help but bark out a laugh. This whole situation was ridiculous.

"Yes, I like guys." He said, taking in the boy next to him in this new light. He would be more attractive without the swollen eye and the split lip, though. "You?"

"Yeah, me too. Full on bi. That's me. Boys and girls, whatever catches my eye." He started rambling again and Derek wasn't sure if this was just his usual rambling, he knew this guy for about an hour but he already had a feeling that his mouth could run a mile per minute, or if he was nervous. Most likely both.

What they were about to do, what he was about to do to this boy …

Derek closed his eyes for a moment.

"Stiles." He said but then paused, not sure if he should use the same nickname as Peter. "Is that even your name?"

"It is ... how do you know my name? I haven't told you my name." Stiles pushed him away, betrayal written on his face but then he squinted at Derek as if he was trying to figure something out. Finally his face lit up with realization. "Peter. He used my name." More at ease he shifted closer to Derek again.

"Stiles, how old are you?" Derek asked, not sure if he wanted to hear the answer. The boy looked so young.

"Seventeen." He admitted, adding another reason why this was a bad idea to an already very long list. Derek let out a sigh.

"I know what I'm asking here." Stiles hurried to say. "I am literally asking for it. I'm on board with the idea of having …"

"Sex with me?" Derek finished the sentence for him. Stiles gave him a sheepish smile and nodded.

Now it was Derek's turn to be embarrassed but if they really did this, and at the moment it looked like they were really doing this, he needed Stiles to know exactly what he was agreeing to.

"Do you know about knotting?" He asked and tried really hard to make it sound as casual as possible. He probably failed miserably but the way Stiles blushed he didn't feel any better. At least the blushing meant that Stiles knew what he was talking about. A curious boy his age had probably seen some kinky werewolf porn on the internet.

"To claim you I have to fuck you, knot you and then I have to bite you in the neck." Derek tried to keep it clinical. "After that you're bonded to me. For life."

"But the bite won't turn me, right?"

"That's what you're worried about?" Derek stared at him. "No, it won't turn you. I'll use my human teeth and won't break the skin."

"Okay." Stiles agreed and reached for his jeans again. "Let's do this, then."

Derek tasted bile in the back of his throat. He was about to rape a seventeen year old boy and ruin his whole life just to prevent Peter from doing the same. What had he become?

Numbly he watched Stiles fighting his way out of his jeans, pain and anxiety radiating from him in waves, until he sat there in only his Spiderman boxers.

"Not exactly how I pictured to lose my virginity." Stiles muttered under his breath low enough that it was probably not meant for Derek's ears.

Derek closed his eyes, he couldn't do this.

Chapter Text

When Stiles had left his house earlier this evening he didn't have the intention to join a werewolf pack. For sure he didn't have the intention to lose his virginity in the process. But here he was, on the bed of an alpha werewolf in only his boxers, and if he had known about all this he would have picked something else than his Spiderman ones. Derek hadn't been keen on the idea of claiming Stiles to begin with, he didn't need to remind him that he was still underage.

Derek sat on the edge of the bed with all his clothes on and he didn't look like he was about to change that any time soon.

"Derek?" Stiles asked, not sure what to do. Should he touch him? In theory he knew what was about to happen. But he had no idea on how to proceed now.

Derek cleared his throat and when he turned his face towards him the werewolf tried to give him a reassuring smile but it looked more like a grimace than anything else. Stiles still gave him points for trying. At least he wasn't the only one nervous about this idea.

"How do you want to do this?" Derek ask as if he expected that Stiles knew what he was doing here. Stiles was pretty sure that Derek had heard his little comment about losing his virginity so he should know that Stiles didn't have a clue whatsoever.

"I don't know, what do you prefer?" Stiles fiddled with the waistband of his boxers. He wasn't quite ready to lose the last bit of clothing just yet, especially since Derek had failed to shed even one piece so far.

"I'm fine either way." Stiles said, feeling the heat creeping into his face. He groaned inwardly, he was a goddamn blushing virgin. "On my back or front, whatever you want." It would probably be easier for Derek if he couldn't see Stiles' face, at least that way he could pretend that it was somebody else beneath him. Stiles didn't even know if Derek was with somebody. Was he about to cheat on somebody here?

"I mean." Derek cleared his throat. "Do you want me to touch you? Make you come as well? Or do you want this to be ..." He was searching for the right word with a helpless gesture in Stiles direction.

"Clinical?" Stiles offered. He got what Derek was trying to get across here. How it would be the least traumatizing for Stiles.

Derek gave him a nod.

"Since I'm going to take your knot." Stiles tried to keep this on said clinical level but he felt the heat burning more intensely in his cheeks. "It would be better if I came first, I'd be more relaxed. I guess. If that's okay with you." Than a thought occurred to him. "I should go to the bathroom and ... you know ... prepare myself." He scooted back to the edge of the bed. "I can jerk off there as well, in the shower I mean, so you don't have to ..." He was ranting again without really knowing what he wanted to say. He was basically forcing Derek into this and the least thing he could do was to make it as less traumatizing as possible for him as well.

"God, this is so fucked up." Stiles groaned and forced himself into a standing position. His whole body ached and sex was probably the last thing he should do right now, but he would just grit his teeth and get it over with.

A few minutes later he stood in the shower and just let the jets of hot water patter down on his neck and shoulders. The heat loosened the muscles there but at the same time every hit he had taken came to life. He felt the pain deep in his bones and when he tucked halfheartedly at his soft cock he knew it was a lost cause.

He tried thinking of Derek with his stubble and kind eyes and don't forget the body of a Greek god but that only made him think of what was about to happen. The sex wouldn't be so bad, he hoped, at least Derek had proven that he cared enough to not hurt Stiles farther, but the meaning of it was what was crashing down on him now. He would be bound to Derek, there would be no turning back. And he didn't even know the guy.

He didn't notice that he was crying until he heard Derek just outside the shower.

"Can I come in?" He asked.

Stiles sniffed and tilted his head to let the water wash away the tears.

"Yeah, okay." He said, his voice cracking. There was a cold draft and then Derek stood right behind him. Stiles didn't dare to turn his head to confirm that a very naked Derek Hale was standing right behind him.

"I'm going to touch your stomach and chest now." Derek informed him and gave him a second to object. When Stiles didn't say anything, he sneaked his arms around him and splayed his hands out on his front.

Stiles clutched on to them and let his body sag against Derek's firm one behind him.

"Breathe." Derek said close to his ear.

He was doing the pain drain thing again and Stiles just enjoyed the kind of floaty feeling when the pain abated.

Derek nuzzled his neck, taking in a few deep breaths. Stiles figured it was a werewolf thing but it felt nice and he kinda needed Derek to be on board with this so he angled his head to give him better access.

"This is going to be your first time?" Derek asked.

"The first time with somebody else." Stiles corrected. "I might have experimented a little bit." He cleared his throat, this wasn't something he'd ever thought he would admit to anybody but it seemed fair to let Derek know that his ass wasn't completely virgin. However, he had never played around with anything coming even close to the werewolf knots he'd seen in some porn videos.

"Can I touch you?" Derek asked, caressing the short hair on Stiles' lower belly with his pinky.

"Yes." Stiles said and held his breath when Derek's hand inched lower.

Then there was a hand on his dick that wasn't his own.

"Holy shit." Stiles snapped his eyes open, he had to see this.

It looked almost better than it felt. Derek's strong hand closed gently around his already half-hard dick. It felt so completely different than his own hand and for a moment everything else was forgotten.

Then Derek started to pump up and down his growing erection. Distantly Stiles felt the scratching of Derek's beard against the skin of his neck but everything faded into nothingness when Derek brushed his thumb over the head of Stiles' cock.

"Not going to last." Stiles breathed out. He let his head fall back against Derek's shoulder, while his hips moved on their own, bucking into the tunnel of Derek's fingers. This felt so much better than his own hand.

"It's okay." Derek said, tugging and pulling on his now fully hard shaft. "It's okay, just let go."

Embarrassingly quick Stiles shot his load all over Derek's hand who worked him through the aftershocks. When Stiles was done Derek let go of his softening dick and put his hand on his stomach again, holding him upright when his legs buckled under him.

"That was good." Stiles grinned stupidly which tugged on his split lip but he couldn't care less at the moment.

Derek shut off the water and then handed Stiles a towel.

"Let's move over to the bed." He said and Stiles just followed him. "Do you want me do open you up?"

"Is that okay with you?" Stiles ask. This wasn't exactly a date, not even a one night stand, they didn't do this because they wanted to have sex with each other. Granted, Derek wasn't hard on the eyes and the handjob in the shower would fuel many of Stiles' fantasies in the near future, that was for sure, but not two hours ago they hadn't even known each other.

But opening himself up in front of Derek seemed to be even more embarrassing. Maybe he should go back to the bathroom and do it there.

"I'd like to." Derek said, already a small bottle of oil in his hand. "Lay down, on your stomach."

Stiles dropped the towel and did as instructed.

Derek knelt between his spread legs and started to run his dry hands up and down the outsides of Stiles' thighs to calm him down.

"Okay?" Derek asked and only when Stiles gave him a nod he reached for the oil.

Then an oil-slick finger brushed over his entrance. Stiles twitched under that sensation but forced himself to lie as still as possible.

"Tell me if I go too fast." Derek said while he drew small circles around his hole.

Stiles had fingered himself countless times but it was a strange sensation when Derek did it. He took his time, slowly adding one finger after the other until he was up to three. His fingers were thicker than Stiles' but it didn't take long for the slight discomfort to melt into pleasure. Derek even made sure to give his prostate some attention and Stiles felt his cock already hardening again under him.

Stiles moaned into the pillow and let his legs fall farther part.

"I'm ready." He groaned when he was close to coming again on Derek's fingers alone. "Want to come on your cock. Please, I'm ready. Derek." He bucked into the mattress to give himself some friction but he really needed that cock now.

"In a moment." Derek answered and even in his dazed state Stiles noticed that something was off.

"What's wrong?" Stiles turned his head to look at him. The first thing he noticed was the almost panicked expression on Derek's face. Then he saw the hectic movement of Derek's fist on his cock. His soft cock.

"You're not hard." Stiles observed and turned fully around.

"Just give me a minute." Derek increased the speed, fisting his cock in an angry pace that looked almost painful.

"Hey, hey." Stiles put his hand on his fist, stilling it.

For a long moment they just sat there, hands on top of each other in Derek's lap. When he was sure that Derek wouldn't chafe himself again in his attempt to get hard, Stiles let go of him.

"What's wrong?" He asked again.

"I can't do this to you." Derek dropped his hand.

"You're not doing anything to me." Stiles reached for him and after a moment of hesitation he put his hands on Derek's shoulders. When Derek didn't throw him off, he scooted closer, gently painting circles with his thumb into the short hair on his neck.

"You're helping me." Stiles said. "I want this."

Now Derek looked him in the eye. His guard was down, he was so open and vulnerable, it broke Stiles' heart.

"I am the one forcing you." Stiles said. "If you don't want to go through with this, it's okay. We don't have to do this."

"But Peter." Derek shook his head and his eyes flashed red for a second. "I'm not going to let him claim you."

Stiles believed him. If he told him to get dressed and make a run for it, Derek would do it. It would most likely get them both killed and probably Derek's pack as well but he would do it.

However, Stiles couldn't ask that of him.

Instead he leaned forward and brought their lips together.

Derek made a surprised noise but after a second he parted his lips and kissed Stiles back.

Growing more confident Stiles let his hands wander from Derek's neck to his shoulders and back again, kneading the tight muscles.

When they parted Stiles let his forehead fall against Derek's and cupping his head with his hand, Derek held him there.

"Let me take care of you." Stiles pleaded.

Chapter Text

"Let me take care of you." Stiles said and Derek wanted to laugh at that. This kid wanted to take care of him? Derek was about to rape him and ruin his whole life and he wanted to take care of him? This was ridiculous.

"It's ..." He didn't know what he wanted to say. That it was okay? That he just needed a minute? How pathetic was it that he couldn't even get it up? That the boy had to offer to help him out? It was like loading the gun for your own execution. Except that this was worse.

Derek licked his lips, the taste of the boy still on them.

"Just relax." Stiles said, his warm hands wandering up and down his arms. It felt nice. "Let me help you." With that the hands left the safe area of his arms and shoulders and sneaked to his sides. Stiles spread his fingers, raking along the ribs. His thumbs brushed over his nipples and Derek sucked in a surprised breath.

He shouldn't enjoy this. It shouldn't feel good. Stiles was seventeen. He had his life ahead and shouldn't throw it away like this.

They had no choice, Derek knew that, but the lesser of two evils was still evil.

"Stop thinking too much." Stiles said, thumbs circling around his hardening nipples, and then he leaned in for another kiss. Derek closed his eyes and let Stiles kiss him.

"Lay down." Gently Stiles guided him down until he lay stretched out, his stupidly soft cock resting against his leg.

Stiles kissed him again and then mouthed his way along Derek's jawline and down his throat. Derek fought the urge to throw him off but he restrained himself, Stiles wasn't a werewolf, he didn't know.

"Sorry." Stiles came up to look him in the eye. "No kissing on the throat, got that." He gave him a grin and then dove back down, skipping his throat and latching on to his right nipple instead. It was sloppy and uncoordinated and so good. Derek didn't want it to feel good but his body reacted to the treatment.

"I have to warn you." Stiles said between little kisses down his sternum. "I've never blown a guy before." He was at his navel now and he didn't show any sign that he intended to stop before he had reached Derek's groin.

"You don't have to." Derek said but let him do whatever he wanted. By now his cock was half hard and it grew harder under Stiles' kisses. Then Stiles ran the flat of his tongue along the underside from base to top and Derek couldn't help but let out a moan.

He could feel Stiles grin when he closed his lips around the head.

Stiles was smart enough to not try to take him deep, he focused on the head instead, sucking at it and swirling his tongue around it. What he lacked in finesse he compensated with enthusiasm. Judging by the noises he made, Stiles had found his favorite lollipop.

Derek rolled his eyes at that, not that Stiles could see, but then Stiles did something with his tongue and Derek's eyes did a different kind of rolling.

"There you go." Stiles said with a satisfied smile. His lips were shiny and swollen and Derek just wanted to kiss them. But he didn't. This wasn't about his pleasure.

"Can I ride you?" Stiles asked and was already straddling his hips. He barely waited for Derek's nod before he reached behind himself and then slowly sank down on Derek's shaft. He hadn't been lying when he'd said that he'd been experimenting, Derek noticed. Nobody took a cock like this the first time around. Which made the situation a little better. At least Stiles knew what he could take.

When he was fully seated Stiles just sat there, hands braced on Derek's chest, and waited for his body to adjust to the intrusion.

"You're a big guy." Stiles commented. He experimentally rolled his hips before he lifted himself up and pushed down on Derek's cock again. He angled himself differently, now bracing himself on Derek's thighs, and then he rode Derek in earnest.

Stiles was hard again but he didn't seem to care about his own cock. With his eyes closed and his head tilted back he moved up and down Derek's length, his body hot and tight around him.

At first Derek just lay there, watching him, but then he couldn't keep his hands to himself any longer. He needed to touch Stiles, needed to feel his rapid heartbeat under his fingers. He needed to taste the salt on his skin. Derek sat up, embracing Stiles with both arms, and buried his face in the curve of his neck.

Stiles didn't break his stride when he shifted again to bring his arms around Derek. Mumbling into the skin of Derek's shoulder Stiles' movement only became more urgent.

It didn't take long before Derek felt his swelling knot catching on the rim of Stiles' hole.

"If you've changed your mind." Derek grit his teeth, trying to hold back. With Stiles' scent in his nose it was a lost cause. "Tell me now."

"Knot me." Stiles slammed down more firmly, the tightness of his inner muscles a sweet torture on Derek's almost full knot. "Do it. Knot me. Claim me."

Derek wasn't sure if Stiles even knew that he was talking.

Seconds later they were firmly locked together, reduced to shallow thrusts and grinding.

Stiles whimpered in his arms at the sensation but the only thing Derek could do was to kiss and caress him through it.

"It's okay, I got you." Derek stroke his back while his hips moved on their own. Every thrust coaxed little whimpers out of Stiles and Derek whispered apologies into his sweaty skin.

Suddenly Stiles clenched around him, coming untouched from the pressure of the knot on his prostate alone, and he took Derek right with him over the edge.

Derek came in spurts deep inside Stiles. His wolf was close to the surface now and riding the waves of his orgasm, Derek let his instincts take over.

The wolf wanted to claim, to own. And Stiles was right there.

Derek bit down hard on Stiles' neck.

When he came to they were still locked together and he had an unconscious teenager in his arms. His injuries and the exhaustion had taken their toll on Stiles and he was out cold.

Derek eased them down until they were lying on their sides before he draped the blanket over them. When his knot finally came down, he carefully slipped out of Stiles and then went to get a washcloth to clean them both up.

After that Derek got dressed and set down on the couch where he spent the rest of the night. He wasn't sleeping and he wasn't taking his eyes off the newest member of his pack either.

He felt the bond, new and still forming but already strong.

Derek woke Stiles early because he doubted that the teenager wanted to face Peter in nothing but a blanket.

"Wha...?" Stiles made when Derek shook his shoulder. The boy blinked at him in confusion.

"Time to get up." Derek told him when he was sure that Stiles had figured out where he was. And what had happened the night before.

"Oh, shit." Stiles bolted upright but winced at that movement. Derek wanted to take away the pain but he wasn't sure if his touch was welcomed. It had been last night but that had been under different circumstances.

Stiles sat there for a moment, elbows resting on his knees and his head hanging between his shoulders, and Derek gave him time to figure things out.

Derek felt the swirling emotions of the new bond but he was used to it. As a werewolf he was wired for bonds, they came natural to him. It was different for humans, he knew that. He couldn't even imagine how it felt for Stiles.

Since Stiles' clothes were dirty, and smelled of other werewolves but Derek didn't tell him that, he gave him some of his.

"We can pick up your things before we leave." Derek said. He wasn't sure if Stiles had really comprehended that he needed to leave Beacon Hills now but the teenager just nodded and put on Derek's clothes. His scent mixed with Derek's and to his wolf it smelled right. Like pack. Like family.

Just when they were about to leave somebody knocked at the door.

"Is that?" Stiles asked in a low voice. Derek gave him a nod and motioned for him to stay back.

Then he opened the door.

Whatever greeting Peter had on his lips died the second he took a breath.

"That's unexpected." He said and brushed past Derek who closed the door and then stepped over to Stiles. As Stiles' alpha he was the one Peter had to address first.

"I didn't think you had it in you, nephew." Peter finally said with something like pride in his voice. It made Derek sick in the stomach. He crossed his arms over his chest and gave Peter a cold stare.

"To be honest, I thought you'd try to play the hero and rescue him." Peter stepped closer to have a look at Stiles who didn't back off and countered with a glare.

"What do you want?" Derek asked, drawing Peter's attention back to himself.

"Since you're leaving I wanted to take care of this little human here but I see that you've already done that." The smile Peter gave him made him want to wipe it off his face.

Derek turned to grab his bag and then he ushered Stiles towards the door. At least the boy had the sense to keep his mouth shut for once.

"I suggest you leave my territory as quickly as possible." Peter called after them. "Your welcome is running out."

Derek had his hand between Stiles shoulder blades and he felt the boy trembling under his palm.

"We'll leave as soon as we're ready." Derek informed his uncle. "Stiles has to pick up some things and we have to inform his father." At that Stiles blinked at him as if he hadn't expected that he would be able to see his father before they left Beacon Hills.

"I hope you thought this through, Derek." Peter said. "You don't know who you're letting into your den."

Derek didn't bother to answer and just closed the door behind him.

The clerk behind the desk eyed Stiles with open curiosity but didn't say a word while he checked Derek out.

"We're going to be the talk of the town before noon." Stiles promised darkly on their way to Derek's car.

"Probably." Derek even managed a smile to that. "We should see your dad before he hears the rumors."

"Yeah, before he shoots your wolfy ass with wolfsbane bullets." Stiles threatened with a glint in his eye. It was good to hear him joking again. He was still walking stiffly but Derek couldn't tell if that was because of what Peter's betas had done to him or because of what Derek had done to him. Either way, he was in pain and Derek was itching to help him but instead he clenched his fists.

"Does everybody in this town know this much about werewolves?" Derek muttered and got in the car.

"Not everybody." Stiles eased himself into the passenger seat. "But he's the sheriff, so he needs to know. It's kind of his job to know about werewolves."

"The sheriff." Derek repeated numbly. "Your dad is the sheriff."

"Dude, I told you last night." Stiles pointed out and now Derek remembered that throwaway remark.

"There were more important things going on last night." Derek defended himself.

Great, now he was about to tell the sheriff that he had raped his son and would take him with him to live with his pack.

Derek wondered who he'd pissed off this time to deserve this.

"He's not that bad, he'll understand." Stiles promised. "He won't shoot you. Much."

Chapter Text

Somebody was shaking his shoulder and Stiles blinked his eyes open to see who was disturbing his rightful sleep. He expected to see his father but instead there was a stranger standing at the side of the bed.

Stiles shot upright, ready to defend himself, but he almost doubled over with pain.

It took a moment for his still sleep-heavy brain to come up with the details that had led to this situation. He had a run-in with Jackson, that explained his aching body.

It was hard to focus, his brain was a mingle of different thoughts and emotions, passing by so fast he couldn't make sense of them.

"That's the bond." Derek informed him, still watching him from the other side of the bed. "It'll settle down in a bit."

With that everything rushed back in.

Derek Hale had claimed him.

Stiles probed the sore spot on his neck. Like he'd promised, Derek hadn't broken the skin so Stiles wasn't a werewolf. At least he hoped he wasn't.

Somehow Stiles made it to the bathroom. The mirror told him that he didn't only feel like shit. His eye was a purple mess, his lip was scrapped over with crusted blood and his whole torso was covered in bruises so dark that they looked almost black.

I'm bonded to Derek Hale, he thought and now he noticed the dull pain in his nether regions. Not too bad but he clearly felt that he had Derek's knot up there last night.

The worst, though, was his head. It wasn't a headache and nothing like a hangover either. He couldn't put a name on the sensation but turning his brain inside out came pretty close.

So when Peter paid them a visit, Stiles had trouble following his words and for once he was more than happy to let Derek do the talking.

What was really weird was how okay he felt with hiding behind the werewolf.

My alpha, he realized.

Then Derek said something about seeing his dad which brought Stiles back on track. Derek allowed him to see his dad? At least one last time?

Derek guided him out of the room where they left a fuming Peter behind and by the time they reached Derek's car, Stiles felt a little more like himself. At least enough to tease Derek who somehow had forgotten the fact that Stiles' dad was the Sheriff.

Derek didn't need instructions to find Stiles' home and way too soon he parked the car next to the sheriff's cruiser in the driveway.

"How do we explain this?" Stiles asked but didn't expect an answer from Derek. He doubted either of them fully understood the situation.

Before Derek could answer, the front door opened and the sheriff stood there in full gear. He must have gotten home from the night shift only minutes ago, Stiles guessed. Long enough to figure out that Stiles wasn't home but not long enough for him to call.

"Showtime." Stiles muttered under his breath and opened the door.

"Stiles?" His dad asked, his eyes on Derek. Of course he knew who he was. It was kind of his job to know about the werewolves in town. Not that this was Derek's territory but he was part of the Hale Trinity ruling the whole area.

"Can we do this inside?" Stiles asked when his dad didn't show any intention of letting Derek into the house. He had his hands on his hips, not exactly at his gun but close enough.

"Sir, we really should do this inside." Derek spoke for the first time. Stiles hadn't noticed the aura of authority around him before.

A minute later they stood awkwardly in the middle of the Stiliniski's living room.

Stiles had a quick look around, this was probably the last time he would be here. Nothing special, just the plain old living room but it was his home.

"What happened to your face?" His dad asked. He even let Derek out of his sight to examine the damage on Stiles face with a glare that promised death to whoever had done this to his son.

"Well." He rubbed the back of his head. "I was on my way home when things kinda went sideways from there."

Next to him Derek snorted.

"Did you do this to him?" His dad asked but Derek didn't have a gun in his face so his dad didn't really think that it had been Derek who had beaten him up.

"No."

"He saved me." Stiles jumped in. "Peter's pack, Jackson and the twins, they did this." He gestured up and down his body. "They would have killed me if it hadn't been for Derek."

"Do I want to know why you have been out there?" His dad asked with that pained expression Stiles had seen too often on his face lately. Stiles knew he should let things rest, Scott wouldn't come back if he revenged him, he knew that. But he couldn't do that. He just couldn't.

"That's one thing you don't have to worry about anymore." Stiles said and yanked the collar of his borrowed shirt down to reveal the bite mark on his neck.

A second later Derek did have a gun in his face.

"Dad, no." Stiles was between them in an instant.

"He … he … did that to you." His dad said helplessly.

"He didn't rape me if that's what you mean." Stiles said the word his father couldn't. "It was my choice. It was him or Peter and I chose him."

"You can't choose anything, you're a minor." He turned to Derek. "He's a minor." As if that changed anything.

"I am aware." Derek said. "I wouldn't have done it if there had been any other choice."

"Break it." His father demanded, gun steady in his hand.

"I can't."

"Bullshit, every bond can be broken." The gun shook with every word but at this distance it was impossible for him to miss Derek's face anyway.

"It would kill him." Derek said, ignoring the gun right in front of him. Instead he looked the sheriff right in the eye. "Or worse."

It was true. Stiles knew it and is father knew it as well. There were a few "or worse" cases in Eichen House and Stiles was sure that Peter was still laughing his ass off about that.

"I need a moment with my son." His father said but put the gun away. "Alone."

"And I need to pack." Stiles said, already heading for the stairs.

The second they were alone in his room, Stiles found himself in the strong arms of his father.

"Why haven't you called me?" His dad asked, holding on to him for dear life.

"There was nothing you could do." Stiles mumbled into his chest. "I didn't want you to get in trouble over this." Technically there were laws against this but with half the department either in Peter's pack or on his payroll, there wasn't much the Sheriff could do.

"Oh, Stiles." His dad gave him one last squeeze before he let go of him to hold him at arm's length. "I'm your father, it's my job to get in trouble for you."

"I have to go with him." Stiles said, the truth finally sinking in. This was Peter's territory and he was part of Derek's pack now, he couldn't stay in Beacon Hills. "I'm his little human pet."

"Don't say that." His dad dug his fingers into his shoulders. "Don't you ever."

They both knew it was the truth but Stiles nodded anyway.

"I should pack."

"Yeah, me too." His hands dropped from Stiles' shoulders. "We can take care of the house later."

"What? Dad, no." Now it was Stiles who reached for his father. "You're not coming with me."

"I'm not going to just let you leave with him."

"You have to." Stiles insisted. "Please Dad, let me go."

"You said it yourself." His dad lowered his voice in the attempt to make it impossible for Derek to hear. "You're nothing but a pet to them. At least with me around you should be a little safer." He tapped the sheriff's star on his chest. "I know it doesn't mean much but there are laws."

"You can't just drop everything and leave." Stiles said, desperate to convince his dad to stay. It was enough that he had to go with Derek, he didn't want to put his dad at the mercy of the werewolf as well. "You won't be the sheriff any longer if you leave Beacon Hills, so that's not a valid argument. And have you thought about Melissa?"

He hadn't, that much was clear on his face.

"Stiles." He sounded so helpless, Stiles had to choke back tears himself.

"It's going to be okay, Dad." He promised, face once again buried in his father's chest. "Derek isn't so bad. Not like Peter. He's better than that. He won't …, you know." He didn't need to finish that sentence, his father new better than him about the things Peter used to do to the humans he claimed. Sooner or later they either ended up in the morgue or in Eichen House. Either way, it came as a release.

However, Peter wouldn't have just helped a random stranger. Peter wouldn't have put his own life and that of his whole pack in jeopardy to help said stranger escape. And for sure Peter wouldn't have been this reluctant to claim a person.

"He isn't so bad." Stiles repeated. "He won't hurt me."

His dad didn't look convinced. He was ready to drop his life here without a second thought to come with Stiles but Stiles couldn't allow that. He didn't know what lay ahead but he needed to know that his dad was safe.

"Melissa needs you." He brought out the big guns. "And somebody needs to keep an eye on Peter. One day he's going to make a mistake and I need somebody to be there to take him down." He cracked a smile at him. "If it's too bad I'll send out an SOS. You know me, I'll find a way."

"I know you will."

"He's waiting." Stiles needed to end this conversation before they both started to cry.

The question was, what should he take with him? Clothes, that was a must, and his pillow. But what about his books? Laptop? Phone? Was he even allowed to have those things?

In the end he packed a bag with the daily life necessaries, with some money hidden in one of his socks not that that would stand a thorough search especially with a werewolf's nose but it was worth a try, and his backpack with his laptop, a few books and other personal stuff.

"Are you sure you don't want me to come with you?" His dad asked once again, when Stiles was ready to leave. Standing in the door he had one last look at his room before he closed the door. The sound had something permanent.

"Not today." He said. "Maybe when things have settled down you can visit me. If Derek allows it."

They hugged one last time.

"Take care of Melissa." Stiles reminded him before he forced himself out of his father's arms.

"Don't worry about us." His dad ruffled his hair. "You're the one I'm worried about."

He didn't want to go but even now with only one floor separating them he felt the distance to Derek. There was something in that swirling mess in his mind tugging at him. There was no denying it, the bond was real and he needed to stay close to Derek.

When they came down the stairs Derek was standing in the same spot where they'd left him. His expression was unreadable when he watched father and son approaching him.

"I'm ready." Stiles said, not feeling ready at all.

Chapter Text

Seeing Stiles and his dad together, Derek just wanted to take it all back. Break the bond and let Stiles go on with his life as if this night had never happened. But he couldn't do that. Breaking the bond would break Stiles as well.

Derek also wanted to give them more time together but he was an alpha in another alpha's territory who wasn't exactly happy about him being here. And on top of that he had a new pack member who still needed to adjust to the bond.

The only thing Derek could do, was to give father and son a moment before he took Stiles on the road with him.

They were upstairs in Stiles' room and Derek tried to give them some privacy but he couldn't help but listen in to them. What he heard turned his stomach. He had thought that Stiles knew by now that getting claimed didn't make him his human pet.

But it wasn't just Stiles, his dad, the sheriff who really should know about these things, had the same misguided idea about human members of a pack.

Derek clenched his fists and was about to go and find Peter to punch him in the face, when the door opened and Stiles and his dad came down the stairs.

He couldn't go after Peter, that would be insane, but he could tell Stiles and his dad that of course they would see each other again. And that they didn't need Derek's permission to do so.

They didn't believe him, he could hear it in their heart-beats, but over time they would understand. At least Derek hoped so.

"I'm ready." Stiles said, his heart skipping over the lie but Derek didn't call him out on it and just followed father and son outside.

Derek wasn't surprised when he found two werewolves hiding not far from the house. He couldn't see them but he heard their heart-beats and since they hadn't been smart enough to mind the wind, he could smell them as well. Or they wanted him to know that they were around. Either way, Derek got the message, they weren't welcomed here any longer.

Stiles and his father hugged one last time before Stiles rather abruptly opened the passenger side door and got in the car.

Over the roof of the car Derek's and the sheriff's eyes met but neither man knew what to say.

"Don't make me regret this." The sheriff finally said, hand on his gun.

"I won't."

The first few minutes in the car were quiet. Stiles didn't say a word and Derek pretended to be too focused on the road for a conversation. If he was honest, he had no idea how to break the silence.

"Where do you live?" Stiles asked when they reached the town limits. "I mean, where am I going to live? Do you have a mansion like Peter? You grew up there, don't you? Before the fire?" Stiles started to babble but when he mentioned the fire, he snapped his mouth shut. "Sorry."

"It's okay." Derek said and tried really hard to not think about Kate. "I have an apartment. I live in the penthouse and my pack has the apartments on the floor right under that."

"And I'm going to stay with you?"

"At least for a little while." Derek answered. "While the bond is still forming you'll feel better with me close by."

"Are there other humans?" Stiles asked, shifting in his seat until he could look at Derek with his good eye without craning his neck too much. Derek could smell the pain coming from him in waves along with what he figured was the bond. It was confusing, a stream of different emotions that made Derek's head spin and he wasn't even the one experimenting it first hand.

"You're the first I have ever claimed." Derek said. Maybe admitting that would make Stiles feel better. They were figuring this out together. "Here, take my hand."

Derek held his hand out but for a moment it didn't look like Stiles would take it. Then he intertwined their fingers and Derek started to take the pain away. The swirl of the bond abated and Stiles relaxed in his seat.

"That's a handy thing." He said with a little smile. For a moment he just let Derek drain the pain from him but Derek could tell that he was thinking about something.

"If I'm your first." He started. "How do you know that it will settle soon or that I'll feel better with you around?"

"The bond with you is not that different from the bonds to my betas." Derek answered. This was easy, nothing personal, just some much needed information. Stiles knew surprisingly much about werewolves but on the other hand he knew scaringly little.

"Okay." Stiles said, clearly filing the information away.

"I remember when my mom claimed my sister." Derek said, the memory of his mother and Tara now clearly in his mind. "She was fussy for about a week or so. More fussy, she used to be a fussy baby in general."

"Your mom had sex with your baby sister?" Stiles blurted out, yanking his hand from Derek's.

"What? No!" Derek almost drove into a ditch but had the car under control again a moment later. "What's wrong with you?"

"What's wrong with you?" Stiles shot back. "You just told me that your mother used to molest little babies."

"I didn't say that." Derek still tried to figure out where Stiles was coming from. "I said she claimed her, the betas wouldn't have accepted her otherwise."

"She claimed her." He made a gesture as if that was proving his point. "How can you be okay with her doing that to your baby sister? That's disgusting. The thought alone makes me sick. Werewolves are just sick."

"Whoa, whoa." Derek brought the car to a halt on the shoulder of the road before they ended up in a ditch for real. "Claiming has nothing to do with sex."

"I don't know what you call what we did last night but in my world people call it sex."

"We didn't have a emotional connection so we needed a physical one." Horrified Derek stared at him. Did he really think that claiming always meant sex? That werewolves abused their own children to integrate them in the pack? Was that how the world saw them?

"What do you mean?" Stiles looked at him as if he tried to make sense out of his words.

"My mother and my sister already had an emotional bond." Derek tried to explain. "Mother and child, that's the strongest bond there is. She didn't need anything else to make the claim. Just the will and the symbolic bite. That's it."

"That's it?" Stiles flailed around as if this was some epic revelation. "Why didn't you do it like that with me?"

"I don't know you." Derek yelled at him. "We don't have a connection whatsoever, the physical connection was the only way to make it work. Hell, I still know next to nothing about you."

"Same here." Stiles huffed but settled back down in his seat. "So your sister, was she the only human in your pack?"

"No." Derek eased the car back on the road. "My dad was human and there was an aunt. And other human husbands and wives but they didn't live with us. In our house we were only the closest family, our pack was way too big for one house." Lost in memories Derek let his thoughts drift back to happier times when his mother had still been the alpha of the pack and they had been strong enough to hold the area with one pack.

Nowadays there were only him, Laura and Peter left, each of them with their own pack and territory but none of them strong enough to rule alone. Not that Peter wasn't trying. He had the biggest pack and the heartland of the old Hale territory. If Derek had given him an opportunity last night by trying to get Stiles out, he probably would already have declared war on him. And with an incident like that Derek couldn't have hoped for Laura's help.

No, this had been the only way. Derek glanced over to his new pack member who was still mulling over the new idea of what claiming meant.

They didn't have breakfast so around ten in the morning Derek went to a drive through. Stiles proclaimed that he wasn't hungry but Derek bought something for him as well. And a large coffee which Stiles took with delight.

With Stiles' mauled face Derek hadn't even considered eating inside. Instead he drove over to a little park where they sat down on picnic benches to eat. The weather was nice but the park was surprisingly empty. At least they could eat in peace without people staring at Stiles.

Once he had started with his bagel, Stiles' appetite was back and he basically inhaled the whole thing.

"Hungry?" Derek asked and offered him a second one.

"More than I thought." Stiles admitted and Derek could smell his nervousness. "Usually I can't eat when ..." He made a gesture with his free hand, almost knocking over his coffee.

"When your life gets turned upside down?" Derek offered, he had one or two of those moments in his life before. They always sucked.

"Something like that."

"Tell me about Scott." Derek changed the topic. "You said Peter bit him?"

Stiles chewed on his bottom lip for a moment and Derek was about to tell him that he didn't have to talk about it if he didn't want to but then Stiles started to speak.

"We were out in the preserve." He said, picking little bits off his bagel. He didn't look Derek in the eye. "Then Peter was suddenly there, full on alpha mode, man, he's a huge wolf. He attacked Scott and then he was just gone. Left him to die or something. I don't think he wanted to turn him, he just wanted to kill something. But Scott survived."

Derek forced himself to stay silent, he didn't want to interrupt Stiles, but he felt his teeth grinding at that thought alone. Biting somebody without consent, that was one of the worst things a werewolf could do. And if Scott had been Stiles best friend chances were good that he'd been a minor as well. There were laws against that, more effective ones than the humans had set in place since werewolves had come out to the public. However, you needed an alpha to carry out said laws and the only alpha strong enough for that around here was Peter.

"Scott went to Peter." Stiles continued, his bagel now a mess of crumbs on the paper bag. "He needed a pack and he needed an alpha."

"What did Peter say?" Derek prompted.

"He had conditions." Stiles spat the word out as if it was something disgusting. "He said that Scott had to get rid of his old pack first." Now he looked up and met Derek's eye. "Peter wanted him to kill his mother, me, my dad, everybody who meant anything to Scott."

"That's not how it works." Derek said helplessly.

"I know." He let out a sigh. "Scott refused but without an alpha he couldn't control himself. He nearly killed his mother. That's when he tried to run. He didn't even make it out of town."

Derek thought about that. "Where did he try to run to?"

"You." Now there was a small smile playing on Stiles' busted lips. "He hoped that you would accept him in your pack. Without conditions."

"I would have." Derek agreed. He wouldn't have turned down a scared teenager.

"I know, big guy. I know."

The look Stiles gave him made Derek think for the first time that this could actually work.

Chapter Text

When they got in the car after their breakfast break, Derek took Stiles' hand again, draining the pain. It felt strangely comforting, having Derek this close, Stiles had never thought that it could feel this right just holding hands with somebody.

And if he was honest, a guy like Derek, Mr Broody Alpha Werewolf, was the last person he would have pegged as a holding hands person.

Must be a werewolf thing, Stiles guessed and stifled a yawn with his free hand. He had so many questions, so many thoughts running through his head, but his body was still healing and the bond was taking a toll on him as well. Derek didn't seem to be as effected as he was, which was so not fair, while Stiles had trouble keeping his eyes open.

"You can sleep if you want." Derek offered after a while.

"I'm not tired." Stiles insisted and sat up straighter. He kept that up for a minute or so but then his head dropped again and he jolted awake.

"We have a long drive ahead." Derek just said, eyes on the road. "You're safe, you can sleep."

The strange thing was that he did feel safe with Derek. He didn't know him, he was a stranger who took him away from everything he knew to an uncertain future, and still Stiles felt safe.

"This bond thing is weird." He mumbled and let his eyes fall close.

"You'll get used to it." Derek promised.

When Stiles opened his eyes again, Derek wasn't in the car.

Rubbing the sleep from his eyes he had a look around, trying to figure out where he was. They had stopped at a gas station. By now it was dark and the gas station could be anywhere, there was no helpful sign or anything like that. Not that the name of the place would have told him much anyway.

What really bothered him was that he didn't know where Derek was. Dread settled in his guts when he didn't see the werewolf anywhere around.

Stiles fumbled for the door handle and almost face-planted next to the car in his attempt to get out. He caught his footing and used the momentum for a half-circle to scan the area for his missing alpha.

It was stupid, he knew that, but for a moment he felt like he was five years old again and had lost sight of his mother in the mall. He clenched his fists around sweaty palms and his blood rushed loud in his ears, blocking every other sound. Stiles recognized the familiar claws of a panic attack tugging at the base of his skull. He didn't have one of those in years, not since his mother died, but he knew the symptoms. In a minute he would be a hyperventilating mess on the ground.

Stiles closed is eyes and focused on breathing. In, one, two, three, out, one two, three.

"Stiles." Suddenly there was a hand on his shoulder and something in his mind lit up like a Christmas tree. Derek. Blindly Stiles reached for him and buried his face in his chest.

"It's okay, just breathe." Derek held him and Stiles just melted into him.

Derek was there. Stiles let himself get lost in the strong arms around him and the solid presence of his alpha in his mind. He could breathe again.

"Where have you been?" Stiles brought the words out in little sobs. Great, now he was crying.

"Inside." Derek said. "Bought you some snacks."

It should have been obvious. Derek had to pay for the gas, of course he would be inside. Why Stiles hadn't even thought of looking there first, he didn't know.

"Sorry." He peeled himself off Derek and wiped his nose with the sleeve of his shirt. His still borrowed shirt. "Oh, man. I'm sorry. I'll wash it. It's going to be as good as new."

Derek just stared at him.

"I'm going to use the bathroom, should wash off the …" He made a gesture around his face. "If that's okay? Do we have a minute? Because, man I really need to use the bathroom now. Nearly peed my pants there. But I'm fine now, thanks for asking, won't happen again."

On shaking legs, he still felt a little dizzy, he made his way over to the bathroom while he felt Derek's eyes burning into the back of his skull.

After he'd taken care of business Stiles washed his face and then stared at his reflection in the mirror. In the cold neon light he looked paler than he should, his black eye and the busted lip standing out in stark contrast, and all in all he looked just sick.

"Get a grip, man." He said to his reflection. "You're enough of a burden as it is, no need to cling to him like a needy toddler."

So far Derek hadn't shown any tendencies that he was anything like his uncle but Stiles didn't dare to count on that. Derek was the alpha of a werewolf pack, what use did he have for a human who had cheated his way into his den?

Stiles stayed for a moment longer until he had himself under control again but he didn't want to keep Derek waiting for too long.

When Stiles came out of the bathroom, he found Derek leaning against the car, waiting for him with his arms crossed over his chest.

Stiles ducked his head and hurried over to him.

"We can go now." He said.

"I'm sorry." Derek let his arms drop. "I shouldn't have left you alone. Not this shortly after I claimed you."

"No, no." Stiles hurried to say. "It's totally okay. I don't know what's going on with me. I'm usually not like this."

"It's the bond." Derek opened the door for him. "Don't worry, you'll be back to your old self in a few days."

Derek dropped the bag with snacks in Stiles lap before he started the car.

"How long till we get wherever we're going?" Stiles asked, desperate to forget his little episode.

He buried his face in the bag so he didn't have to look at Derek. At least the werewolf knew which ones were the good snacks. Stiles ripped open a bag of chips and inhaled the cheesy cloud rising out of it.

"About two hours." Derek said with a delay, watching him out of the corner of his eye. "Do you need some time alone with those chips?"

"No." Stiles said around a mouthful of delicious crunchiness. "Why?" The salt burned in his raw lip and there were crumbs on his chin but it was totally worth it.

"Man, these are good. My favorite, how did you know?" Stiles crunched on another hand full before he remembered his manners and offered the bag to Derek. "Want some?"

Derek shook his head and Stiles shrugged. "More for me, then. Did you know that the company was founded by two brothers back in 1907? The were producing insulating material back then. One of them had the idea do expand into the food business but the other one didn't want to take the risk. They had a huge fall-out over that and split the company. Guess which one is still in business." He shoveled more chips into his mouth with a grin.

The next hour went by with easy chatter. It was a more or less one-sided conversation but that had never bothered Stiles. The closer they came to their destination the more he talked. Now he was talking about a weird cat breed he'd read about on the internet with no idea what had led to this topic.

He had felt it for a few minutes now and at first he'd thought it was the bond he was forming with Derek. The swirling mess had settled down a bit but he still felt over-emotional, one shouldn't laugh this much over a silly slogan on a billboard, however, there was a new sensation tugging at the back of his brain.

"Are there any side effects of the bond I should know about?" Stiles asked, scratching the back of his head as if he could ease the itchy feeling inside his skull. "Because man, this is weird. I mean I'm getting used to you being stuck in there but this is just ... weird."

Derek threw him a glance as if he was trying to figure out what the hell he was talking about. But then his face lit up in realization. He should smile more, for real, what a smile did to that face, Stiles just drank in the sight while he waited for an explanation.

"The pack." Derek said as if that was explanation enough. "We're almost home, you're feeling the others of our pack."

"Oh." Stiles made, not sure what he should think about home and our pack. His home was in Beacon Hills, almost a day's drive in the other direction. And his pack? He didn't feel like part of a pack. More like an intruder, if he was honest.

Stiles focused on the weird sensation. When he put the beacon that was Derek aside, which he could, to a degree, he could feel the other ones more clearly. They were faint, not nearly as strong as Derek, but they were clearly there.

"Three?" He finally asked.

"What?"

"There are three members of your pack." Stiles said with a satisfied nod. Maybe there were more but they had to be too far away for him to sense. Which was pretty cool, he could sense other people. It was like some kind of superpower.

"We are a small pack." Derek said almost like an apology. "There are Isaac, Erica and Boyd." He paused for a moment. "And you."

"And me." Stiles muttered and sank deeper into his seat. "What are they like?" His encounters with werewolves were limited to Scott who didn't have a clue on how to be a werewolf and Peter and his pack. Not exactly a good source.

"You'll like them." Derek said.

"Do you all live together?"

"We all live in the same building." Derek explained and Stiles had the feeling that he'd said it before. He really hoped this bonding thing would be over soon, his brain wasn't working right with all this stuff going on in there.

"Do they know that I'm here?" Stiles wondered. If he could feel them, they most likely could feel him as well. Was he the surprise baby Derek brought home? How would they react to that?

"I called Erica earlier." Derek took away at least that fear. "They know about you."

"You told them about last night?" Stiles blurted out. It had been bad enough that he had to tell his dad but these strangers? Derek called them pack but to Stiles they were just these weird sensations in the back of his brain, he didn't know them.

"Not the details." Derek said. "Just that I claimed you."

"And they're okay with you just claiming people?" Stiles wondered but then he remembered that Derek was the alpha, he could do whatever the hell he wanted. "Not that it matters, you're the boss."

"I'm the alpha." Derek agreed with a side-glance at Stiles he couldn't quite read. "I'd be a bad alpha if I didn't listen to my pack. Claiming or biting someone without asking the pack first is not right but it was quite an unique situation. They'll understand."

"If you say so." Stiles muttered, not really convinced.

When they reached their destination, Derek parked the car in an underground parking deck right under the building Stiles would call home from now on.

The three spots in his head were now steady beacons almost as strong as the one he associated with Derek. They were waiting for them.

Derek turned in his seat to look at him.

"Ready?" He asked and Stiles could only nod.

Chapter Text

When Derek had called Erica earlier, she had yelled at him for claiming somebody. He hadn't told her that said somebody was a seventeen year old teenager, she would have killed him through the phone. But now there were only a few floors separating them from the rest of the pack and Derek felt as nervous as Stiles smelled.

"Ready?" He asked, not sure if he was ready himself.

Stiles put on a brave face and gave him a nod. He smelled of fear and Derek couldn't blame him. Most people lived their lives without ever knowingly interacting with a werewolf and Stiles was part of a pack now. With Stiles' history, Derek still wanted to rip Peter's throat out for what he'd done to his best friend, he was surprised that Stiles had even considered letting Derek claim him.

However, there was no turning back now. He got out of the car and got his bag while Stiles took his things. Everything the teenager had to his name now was a bag and a backpack.

His dad will bring more of his stuff, Derek tried to convince himself but it sounded hollow in his own mind. And we can buy him whatever he needs.

Not that he thought that Stiles would like the idea of Derek supporting him like that. Stiles already thought that he was some kind of pet to the pack, buying him everything he needed wouldn't help convincing him otherwise.

Derek put those thoughts to the back of his mind. First things first, his pack was waiting.

They took the elevator to the penthouse. It was a glorified name for the loft but it was the apartment at the top and with that it was the penthouse. Erica had said so.

"They are at my place." Derek informed Stiles.

"Does everybody have a key to your place?" He asked, sounding more curious than anything else. If he was worried about members of the pack coming and going as they pleased, Stiles didn't show it.

"We all have keys for each other's places. But we only use them in case of an emergency." Derek explained and made a mental note to get Stiles keys as well. He had a spare key for his own apartment, that would do for now.

"So I'm an emergency?" Stiles grinned at him.

"You're unexpected." Derek said, waiting for the doors of the elevator to open. "And I've been away for a few days, they need to reconnect with me."

And he with them, but he didn't say that out loud. Being back in his own territory made Derek breathe easier but he would feel like himself again once the smell of pack had covered up the stench of strangers and other werewolves. Having Stiles around had helped a bit but Stiles was too new for his wolf to actually feel at home with him. But he was getting there.

Derek led the way into his apartment where the others were waiting in his living room. He dropped his bag right next to the door to get his hands free. Stiles did the same and then stood awkwardly behind him.

"Derek." Erica almost knocked him over with her hug. He buried his nose in her neck and took a deep breath, inhaling the scent of her.

Isaac and Boyd were not far behind and a second later Derek stood in the middle of his pack, bodies pressed against him and noses nuzzling along his throat and neck.

Derek would have liked for it to last longer, he wanted to rub his scent all over them and let their scent wash away everything that wasn't his, that wasn't pack, but there was Stiles right next to him, radiating nervousness. He should be part of this too, but that was probably a bit too much to ask right now.

So Derek broke out of the group hug and gestured for Stiles to come closer.

"This is Stiles." He introduced. "Stiles, these are Erica, Boyd and Isaac."

There was an awkward round of "hi" and he could tell that his pack, especially Isaac, was itching to get close enough to get to know Stiles' scent but for now they kept their distance.

"You didn't tell me he's a kid." Erica said, clearly trying to not sound too accusing in front of their new pack member.

"Actually I'm seventeen." Stiles pointed out. "And you're what, grandma? Twenty?"

"Did you just call me old?" Erica planted herself in front of Stiles who didn't back down.

Derek was ready to jump in when Erica narrowed her eyes on Stiles with a tilt of her head, she had shed blood for far less before, but then she beamed.

"I like him." She proclaimed. "Can I scent you?" She asked and now Stiles did back off.

"Whoa." He made and flailed backwards into the door. "I don't even know you."

He tried really hard to keep his eyes on her face and not the very open-hearted top she was wearing. Derek didn't even notice that anymore, she wasn't his type and she was pack and what did he care if she wanted to show off what she had. Now that she could show of what she had, that is.

But it was kind of amusing to see Stiles getting overwhelmed by her confidence.

"That's why I want to scent you." She didn't say dumbass but it was clearly there. What was also there was Stiles' almost panicked expression.

"Let him breathe." He caught Erica by the scruff of her neck and put her back to the others. At least Isaac and Boyd had kept their distance for now.

Then Derek turned to Stiles: "How about I show you your room? And you can call your dad, I bet he's waiting for a life-sign from you."

Stiles gave him a grateful smile and shouldered his backpack again.

"Lead the way." He said, making his way past Erica who was openly eyeing him like he was some kind of candy. "I'll come back to the scenting thing later." He promised with a wink and much more bravado than the rest of his body was transmitting. The boy was scared, Derek could tell that much.

"This is my room and there's the bathroom." Derek pointed at the doors when they reached the top of the spiral staircase. "And this is your room." He opened the door right next to his own bedroom. A few days ago it had been his office but after his call the pack had turned it into a bedroom for Stiles.

Derek wasn't sure if he wanted to have a look in his own room. Not knowing where to put his stuff from the office he'd told Erica to just dump it in his bedroom for now. Which might not have been his best idea.

"Nice place." Stiles said and put his backpack on the freshly made bed. There was a nightstand, a drawer, an empty book shelf and that was it.

"It's not much." Derek said. "But it's yours."

"It's great." Stiles assured him. "Thank you."

Derek didn't know what to say to that so he just stood there while Stiles explored his new home.

"I like the view." Stiles stepped over the the window. It went out to the park just across the street. Derek's room had the same view, it had been one of the reasons he'd bought this place. He grew up in the middle of the forest, the wolf in him wanted to see trees once in a while, even if they were harnessed and maintained.

"Erica." Derek start and cleared his throat. "She kinda started this tradition. She calls it pack nights." It was such a stupid name.

"Pack nights?" Stiles raised his eyebrows at him. "That sounds … cozy?"

"When one of us has been away for a while." Derek searched for the right words to explain what came naturally to him. "We need to reconnect, as a pack."

"Okay." Stiles drew the word out, clearly waiting for the rest of the explanation.

"There will be pizza and movies in a bit." Derek said, he wasn't good at explaining things like this. He should have left it to Boyd. "You should join us."

"Sure, sounds like fun." Stiles' heartbeat blipped at that.

"You don't have to." Derek hurried to say when he realized that it had sounded like an order. "But you're welcome." There, that sounded better. Before he could say more stupid things, Derek let Stiles be to settle in and went back downstairs where Erica and Isaac were already setting up the den with blankets and pillows in front of the TV.

While they were busy Derek sneaked into the kitchen with no idea what he wanted there except for escaping the inevitable. With Stiles out of earshot one of his betas, most likely Erica, would chew him out for claiming a teenager.

He opened the fridge and searched for the bottle of apple juice he knew he had in there somewhere just to give himself a reason to hide in the kitchen.

"What were you thinking?" Instead of Erica it was Boyd who stood right there when Derek closed the fridge.

"I didn't have a choice." Not looking at his beta he poured himself a glass of juice. "Peter threatened to claim him. Stiles asked me to do it instead. End of story."

"End of story?" Boyd repeated. "He's seventeen. He's a kid. Did you even know him before yesterday?"

"No." He took a long gulp of juice.

"You have no emotional connection to him whatsoever." Boyd summed it up.

"No."

"So you just raped this kid."

Derek set the glass down on the counter with a thud.

"He asked me to do it. He knew what he was getting into." At least Stiles had thought he knew. Since then Derek had learned about some worrying ideas Stiles had about werewolves.

"Did he?" Boyd asked. "Did you?"

Derek didn't have an answer to that but Body didn't seem to expect one. After another stern glance he turned around and joined Erica in the den.

Derek took his time rinsing the glass.

"Don't let Boyd bother you." Isaac came up behind him.

"He's right."

Isaac hugged him from behind, his chin resting on Derek's shoulder.

"That doesn't make you wrong." He rubbed his nose along his neck before he dragged him over to the den where Boyd and Erica were waiting for them. They had made themselves comfortable in the nest on the floor with Body sitting against one of the chairs and Erica between his spread legs, using him as her personal pillow.

Derek and Isaac took their usual spot in a pile of blanket more lying than sitting with their heads propped up against the couch. Without saying a word they left a spot between them for Stiles.

To Derek's surprise Stiles did join them a moment later. After a confused look around he took the offered spot between them.

When the pizza arrived they set it out in the middle within easy reach for everybody and Isaac popped in some trashy martial arts flic. It was a comfortable closeness Derek had learned to enjoy.

At first Stiles was clearly nervous sitting between him and Isaac but when he started to run a nonstop commentary on the movie half-way in, Derek knew they could work this out.

When the credits rolled, Isaac was half asleep with his head on Stiles' shoulder but Stiles didn't seem to mind. He just stopped using that arm to express his opinion on the movie.

Derek hadn't slept at all the night before and by now he was half asleep as well but it was okay, he was surrounded by his pack, it was safe for him to let his guard down.

Derek only distantly noticed when Boyd switched off the TV and started to help Erica out of her clothes.

He did, however, notice the skyrocketing of Stiles' heartbeat when Isaac nuzzled into the teen's throat and said: "Sleep with us tonight."

Chapter Text

Derek showed him his room and then left Stiles alone to unpack and settle in. The second the door closed behind him Stiles called his dad.

"Stiles?" He answered after the first ring.

"Yeah, it's me." Stiles smiled at his father's voice. "We just arrived."

"How are you?" The concern was clear behind his words.

"I'm fine. I have my own room and I should unpack but I thought I'd call you first." Unpacking would make it a permanent thing and he wasn't quite ready for that.

"Can you talk?" His father asked in a low voice, maybe low enough that a werewolf would have trouble hearing it even if he stood right next to Stiles.

"I'm alone in my room." Stiles said. "Derek and the rest of the pack is downstairs."

"How are they treating you?" He asked voice still low.

"Derek has been very kind all day, I guess this is freaking him out as much as it freaks me out." Stiles admitted. The bond seemed to have settled down for the moment but he would need some time to get used to the feeling of the others in his mind. He wasn't sure if they were this present because they were close by or if it was because it was still new and in the making. He was a human, what did he know about pack bonds? Maybe he should google on that topic tonight.

"It's going to be okay." His dad tried to assure him.

"They have something they call pack nights." Stiles informed him. "There's going to be pizza and movies and they want me to join. Good to connect with the pack, I've heard."

"Sounds like fun." His dad said. "Do I have to remind you that you're not twenty-one yet?"

"Dad, seriously." Stiles was walking up and down the room. "I'm a minor who got claimed by a werewolf without the consent of a parent or a guardian, underage drinking should be the last of your concerns."

"I don't want to think about my other concerns." His dad said quietly.

"I'm fine, Dad." Stiles stopped at the window. There were lamps illuminating the park on the other side of the street. It looked peaceful.

"Did he ..." His dad paused, searching for the right words. "Did he make a move on you? Touch you?"

"Geez, dad. No." Stiles shook his head vehemently despite the fact that his dad couldn't see him. "We were kind of holding hands for a while but I think that was more of a werewolf thing. And for the pain. I swear, this drain thing he's got going, that's better than the best painkillers. If you could bottle that up, you'd be rich."

"That's good." His dad interrupted him before he lost himself in his rant. "But if he or one of his pack ever touches you without your consent, you call me. He might be your alpha now and you have to stay with him for your sanity but he has no right to force you to anything."

"Peter ..." Stiles started to argue. They both knew how Peter treated the humans he claimed and no law had been able to stop him so far.

"Peter is too powerful, he can do whatever he wants and he knows it." His dad admitted the sad truth. "But Derek doesn't have that power. I've made a few calls over the day. Derek doesn't have many friends out there and he wouldn't be able to hold his territory without his sister's support. We might not be able to get to him by human laws but werewolves have laws of their own and claiming minors without consent and abusing human pack members is very high on their no-no list. We can turn to Laura or an alpha outside the Hale borders. Derek's territory is on the outskirts and he only has a small pack …" His voice trailed off but the meaning was clear.

"You've been busy." Stiles said not without pride. But on the other hand, he had to have gotten his desire to know things from somewhere and his dad wasn't the sheriff for nothing.

"Know your rights." His dad said darkly. "You have to stay in his territory for your own sanity but otherwise you can do whatever you want as long as you don't endanger the pack."

"That's basically what Derek said earlier." Stiles realized.

"Exactly. That's what made me look deeper into the whole humans in a pack thing. Peter is a real bad role model but I think Derek might be okay." If he said the last part just to make him feel better or if he truly believed it, Stiles couldn't tell but he didn't feel that bad over this whole mess anymore.

Stiles promised to call again tomorrow and then took a shower before he joined the others for the so called pack night.

Why they didn't use the couch and sat down in a nest of pillows and blankets Stiles didn't know, he just took it as a thing they did and set down between Derek and Isaac. Like the other betas Isaac didn't seem that much older than him and it turned out that the boy had quite a sarcastic mouth. Stiles thought that they would get along pretty well.

Boyd and Erica were obviously an item so the flirting earlier probably had been just for fun with no meaning behind it, good to know. Erica wasn't exactly his type anyway. When it came to women he preferred strawberry blonde but those tend to stay out of his reach forever.

If Stiles was honest, Derek would be more his type and he really shouldn't think about the alpha's knot deep in his ass while he was sitting in the middle of a werewolf pack that could smell things like arousal. Not that Derek had shown any indication that he was interested in Stiles in ways other than the new pack member who had to be cuddled through the bonding process.

However, Stiles didn't know what he would think of Derek showing interest in him. He wouldn't know if it was real or just the fucked up thing Peter liked to do with his humans so it was probably for the best if Stiles just kept the memories of last night for some alone time and otherwise focused on getting along with the pack.

The pizza was good and it was kinda nice, eating it on the floor. It had something of a slumber party.

Then Isaac started a movie. At the beginning Stiles tried to keep his mouth shut, he didn't want to give a too bad first impression, but when the two fighters started to take apart a wooden construction that had no other purpose than to get taken apart in pretty pictures, he couldn't help himself.

He even smacked Isaac in the nose once or twice with his wide gestures but instead of biting his head off, the werewolf joined in.

Without Stiles noticing Isaac had drifted closer over the course of the movie and by the time the credits started to roll, Isaac's head was resting on Stiles shoulder. He had grown quieter over the last few minutes and Stiles thought he had fallen asleep, which didn't stop Stiles from keeping on the commentary in a rather loud voice, but then Isaac shifted and buried his nose in Stiles neck.

Scenting, Stiles realized and went very still. He'd seen the impressive fangs a werewolf could sprout in a second but Isaac just sniffed and nuzzled at him. It tickled.

"Sleep with us tonight." Isaac mumbled into the crook of his neck.

"I … What?" Stiles didn't know what to say. Had he even heard right? But there was Boyd right in front of him who calmly helped Erica out of her top.

He didn't want to be the center of a gang-bang. Pizza and movie, Derek had said, not a word about the orgy afterwards.

"Hmm?" Isaac lifted his head and blinked at him with sleepy eyes.

"Isaac!" Suddenly Derek's voice cut in and the beta snapped awake, almost cowering under his alpha's gaze.

"Sorry, that's not what he meant." Derek said in a softer voice to Stiles.

"What? I that is what I ..." Isaac started to protest but then realization hit him. "No, no. That's not what I meant. It's not. I'm sorry, I didn't mean … that?"

Behind Isaac a half-naked Erica started to giggle which really didn't help Stiles to figure out what was going on here.

"On pack nights …" Derek threw a glare at Erica who didn't look one bit ashamed. She didn't even seem to care that she sat bare-chested in the middle of four dudes. However, aside from Stiles nobody else seemed to even notice the lack of clothing.

"We sleep as wolves." Derek finished the sentence. "What Isaac meant was that you should sleep here with us. Just sleeping. We in fur and you in your pajamas."

"Okay." Stiles drew the word out and watched in fascination when Boyd shook off his jeans. He still had his boxers on but probably just for Stiles' benefit.

"I don't know what's scarier. Sleeping in a pile of wolves or you seeing me in my Batman sleep shirt." Stiles admitted before he could think about how rude it sounded.

"You could leave the shirt." Erica said with a feral grin at which Boyd snapped playfully at her shoulder.

"Thank you, I'm keeping the shirt." Stiles countered sounding more brave than he felt. At least he hoped that he sounded brave.

"You don't have to." Derek stepped in, giving him an out. However, the way he and the others looked at him, it was a big deal. They really wanted him to join them tonight.

"No, no. It's fine. It's just that I'm a restless sleeper, really octopus like, can't control my limbs when I sleep."

"Only when you sleep?" Derek muttered.

"Ha, ha, very funny." He should be grateful that they wanted him to participate in something like this, that they were trying to make him part of their pack but c'mon, sleeping with four wolves? Stiles wanted to come up with more reasons why this was a really bad idea but then Erica pouted at him, actually pouted, and he couldn't say no any longer.

He went upstairs to brush his teeth and change into his sleepwear. He took his time but he didn't want to let the others wait so way too soon he was back in the living room, now only wearing his Batman t-shirt and boxers which made him the overdressed one in the round.

Boyd and Erica were already in their wolf form, cuddled up close to each other. Their fur had the same light and dark contrast they had in their human form and with that they were easy to tell apart.

While Stiles just stood there to watch the wolves, actual wolves right in front of him, something came up behind him. A wet nose pressed into his open palm.

"Isaac?" Stiles asked because he had seen Derek going up the stairs just a moment ago. The wolf gave him a nod and pressed closer. His fur was a weird mixture of rough and soft and it tickled on the bare skin of Stiles' leg.

Isaac bumped his head into the back of his thighs, herding Stiles over to the den.

Derek was the last to join them. He came down the stairs naked, a sight Stiles hadn't really cared to admire last night but for sure did now, and when he reached the bottom he just dropped to all fours. It was a fluent move, man one second and wolf the next. Stiles just gaped at him.

He was pretty sure seeing the change was an honor not many humans ever had. Stiles had to swallow against the lump stuck in his throat.

It took a moment until everybody had found their place. Derek and Isaac took him in the middle again and after some shifting he had Boyd and Erica draped over his legs.

Derek gave him one last questioning look, his muzzle only inches from Stiles' face which should be weird but wasn't. When Stiles smiled at him he carefully lowered his head on Stiles' shoulder.

Stiles hadn't been sure if he would be able to sleep among the wolves but he was warm and comfortable and his still healing body needed rest. Minutes later Stiles was fast asleep.

Chapter Text

When they slept in the den it was normal to wake up with the head resting on somebody else, half under another pack member and maybe a paw to the belly if Isaac had one of his restless nights. What was not normal, though, was a human arm around his neck, a human leg around his lower body and a human everything pressed against his back, effectively making Derek somebody else's teddy bear.

Confused Derek blinked his eyes open and tried to figure out what was going on.

Stiles, he realized and didn't dare to move. Stiles was still sleeping and not aware that he was abusing Derek as his favorite stuffed animal.

He glanced around and found Isaac and Boyd still sleeping but Erica was up and had changed to her human from. Apparently she needed opposable thumbs to operate the camera on her phone.

When she noticed that his eyes were open, she shot him a grin followed by the sound of a picture taken. And then another one and one after that. For good measure, he guessed.

Derek almost shifted, opposable thumbs were good for snatching phones, too, but he stopped himself at the last second. Stiles was still clinging to him like a koala which meant he would cling to his human form the same way. His very naked human form. Usually they didn't care about nakedness among pack, they had shifted back and forth lying in a pile like this countless times but Stiles was still new to this.

So the only thing Derek could do was to glare at Erica and to growl deep in his throat but low enough to not wake the others. Erica just took another picture.

"I have coffee started." She informed him. "And I was thinking about pancakes."

Derek licked his chops at that thought. Erica couldn't cook if her life depended on it but she made some mean pancakes.

She laughed at him and took one last picture before she disappeared in the direction of the kitchen.

"Did I hear pancakes?" Isaac sat up and somehow managed to slip out from under Boyd without waking him. He rubbed his eyes and then had a look around.

"Oh." He made when he spotted Derek and his little predicament. "He likes you."

Derek glared at him but it somehow lost its power when Stiles sighed in his sleep and cuddled closer.

"Boyd." Isaac nudged the still sleeping werewolf in the shoulder. "Wake up, man. You have to see this."

With a disgruntled expression, how Boyd did that with a wolf's face Derek had no idea, he lifted his head and huffed at Isaac. But his eyes went soft when he spotted his alpha and the new pack member.

Enough was enough. Derek started to wiggle his way out of Stiles' clutches.

"No, don't go." Stiles held on tighter and buried his face between Derek's shoulders.

There was stifled laughter from his betas.

Derek stood up, dislodging Stiles in the process, who woke up with flailing limbs.

Waking up face to face with a wolf didn't seem to be part of Stiles normal morning routine because the second he realized what was standing right in front of him, he let out a scream and tried to get way from Derek.

His legs were tangled in a blanket and his hasty escape was stopped by Boyd when Stiles crashed backwards into the still very wolfy beta.

Derek hurried to change.

"Calm down." He said, hands raised in a calming manor.

"Oh my god." Stiles had found his words again. "Now you're naked. And you too." He pointed at Isaac while at the same time he tried to get farther away from the also naked but currently wolf Boyd.

"We'll get dressed in a minute." Derek promised, more worried about Stiles obvious fear of wolves.

"How did you sleep?" Isaac asked, sitting with his legs crossed but he had the decency to drape a blanket over his lap. Derek hurried to do the same at which Stiles visibly relaxed.

"Fine. I guess?" Stiles answered, sounding not sure at all. "Not exactly what I had expected."

"What did you expect?" Isaac asked and Derek was almost afraid of the answer.

"Dunno." He shrugged, clearly embarrassed. "Less puppy pile and more, I don't know, blood thirsty predators? Not that I mean that werewolves are blood thirsty predators, but you kind of are, predators, I mean." Realizing that he was just putting his foot deeper in his mouth, Stiles snapped said mouth shut.

He was saved by Erica who shouted: "Five minutes, get your asses covered and over here."

"Let's cover our asses, then." Isaac stood up, shaking said ass before he went in search for his clothes. Stiles almost choked but Derek couldn't tell if it was because of laughter or shock, maybe both.

They managed to be at the table in time for the pancakes, everybody decently dressed.

"These are good." Stiles moaned around a mouthful, his lips shiny with butter, and Derek hurried to focus on his own plate. Seriously, how could somebody sound this pornographic over food on a regular basis? Chips and pancakes, that wasn't even something special, just all day stuff. He kind of dreaded what life with Stiles would be.

Erica gave Stiles a warm smile and loaded more pancakes on his plate.

"I think I love you." Stiles tried to stuff half a pancake in his mouth, he almost succeeded.

"Too late." Boyd spoke up and slung his arm possessively around Erica's hip. She leaned in for a kiss, all butter and syrup, and Derek honestly wondered what he'd done wrong that his peaceful breakfast had turned into porn.

After breakfast the betas left. It was Tuesday so in Boyd's and Erica's case it meant work while Isaac should probably show up on campus at some point.

Since Derek worked at home he didn't need to go anywhere and being his own boss he could start late today and make some time for Stiles first.

They did the dishes together and then they took the den apart.

"The blankets go in the chest over there." Derek pointed at said chest which Erica associated with pirates for some reason. She liked to hum a certain song every time she got the blankets out or put them back in. "The pillows, too."

"So, I'll take last night was the exception rather than the norm?" Stiles folded the last blanket and then sat down on the chest. "Fifteen men on the dead man's chest ..." The words faded into nothingness but he too was humming that stupid song.

"We usually sleep in beds." Derek ignored the humming. "In our own beds." He pointed out to prevent more misunderstandings. He wasn't sure if Stiles believed him by now when he said that he had no obligations towards him.

"Not that I mind the puppy pile." Stiles stood up and put his hands in his pockets. "Because I don't. I really don't. Earlier that was just ... unexpected. I wasn't quite awake and there was a wolf standing right in front of me. Which is cool, man, you have no idea how cool this is, but yeah, unexpected."

"You'll get used to it."

They stood there, the last traces of the pack night gone, with no idea what to do next.

"So, what do you do all day?" Stiles asked, sauntering over to the bookshelf. "Are you a full-time alpha or do you work?"

"I work." Derek said. "What about you? Are you still in school?"

"Dude, it's summer, nobody talks about school." Stiles said, his shoulders tense and he was suddenly very focused on the books. "Guess I'm a dropout now anyway."

"Why?" Derek asked. "You don't want to finish school?"

Stiles turned around and glared at him as if it was somehow Derek's fault.

"I'd love to but ..." He gestured between them.

"You can go to school here." Derek said still not seeing the problem. Of course it sucked to switch schools but that was no reason not to.

"You claimed me, it's not that I can just leave for school. Or college for that matter." His voice rose with every word until he was almost yelling at Derek.

"Isaac goes to college." Derek pointed out. "And Boyd and Erica are running their own security company at the other end of the city. Sometimes I don't see them for days."

"They are werewolves." Now Stiles did shout at him.

"They're pack." Derek corrected, finally understanding what Stiles meant. "Just like you."

"I'm the human here."

"But you're still pack." Derek let out a sigh and sat down in a chair, gesturing for Stiles to do the same. "Pack is like family, only more. Your dad hasn't stopped being your dad just because you don't live with him anymore. Pack are the people who will always be there for you, pack is the place you can go to when you don't know where to go to." He paused not sure how to explain a concept he just understood to somebody who wasn't wired that way. "You need to stay close to me until the bond is fully developed. Aside from that you can do whatever you want. You can go to school, college. You can find a job if that's what you want to do. Your life isn't over just because you're in a pack now."

"And what if I want to go to college in New York?" Stiles asked, the challenge clearly in his voice.

"That can be arranged." Derek shrugged. "A lot of young pack members study far away from home. There are things that have to get arranged ahead but you can go to college in New York if you want. Or in France."

"But the territory." For once Stiles was at a loss for words. "It thought we have to stay in the territory of the pack."

"I have to stay here." Derek said and leaned forward, elbows resting on his knees. He looked Stiles straight in the eye. As a human Stiles couldn't hear his heartbeat but he hoped that Stiles could read the truth of his words in his eyes. "The members of a pack want to stay close to their alpha and they feel safe in their territory but they can leave for longer periods of time without any problems. Body has spent half a year in Cleveland and was home only once or twice during that time and he was totally fine with that."

"I bet the pack nights when he was here were epic." Stiles couldn't hide his grin at that thought.

"You're not a prisoner, Stiles." Derek said to drive that point home. "There will always be a place for you here but you don't have to live under the same roof with the rest of us if you don't want to."

"I have to think about that." Stiles said, rubbing his palms on his jeans.

They sat there in silence for a moment, Derek could almost hear the gears turning in Stiles' head.

"So what do you do for a living?" Stiles came back to his initial question.

"I'm a translator." Derek answered, grateful for the change of topic. "Spanish to English."

Stiles blinked at him. "Totally not what I've expected, man. What do you translate? Let me guess, cheesy romance novels? Admit it, under that rough shell beats a romantic heart."

"Scientific publications." Derek answered dryly, fighting really heard to keep a smile off his face.

"Scientific ..." Stiles mouth hung open while he tried to wrap his mind around that concept. "Don't you have to know, you know, know about the stuff you're translating to get it right? I mean it's science, you can't just fuck around with science. You don't fuck around with science, don't you?" He sounded almost desperate now. "Please tell me you don't fuck around with science."

"I have to read up on the topic." Derek agreed. "Usually I work closely with the author and use his source material."

"I was wondering about your weird taste in books." Stiles pointed with his thumb at the bookshelf behind him. "I thought I was the only one with such a broad spectrum of interests."

"Those are just to make me look more intellectual." Derek answered with a straight face.

"Did you just ...?" Stiles gaped at him. "That was a joke, you made a joke."

Stiles burst out laughing.

Chapter Text

Stiles retreated to his room to unpack the rest of his stuff, at least that was what he told Derek. What he really needed to do was to think. This whole human in a pack thing had turned out completely different than he had expected. Not that he was complaining, quite the opposite.

To clear his mind he wrote an email to his dad, telling him in detail what had happened so far. Over the phone Stiles had been careful, you never know if a werewolf was listening in, and he didn't want to upset Derek by talking bad about him. Not that there was anything bad to say about him. So far he had been the most gentle and most understanding werewolf Stiles had ever met. However, the others had been Scott and Peter and his pack, not exactly role models of their species.

Stiles read over the email again before he hit send. At least his father could help him with the transition to a new school, there would be paperwork from the Beacon Hills High School involved which his father could arrange since Stiles wouldn't come home any time soon.

Home, he thought and looked around the room that was his now. It didn't feel like his. There were his clothes in the closet but it wasn't enough to actually fill it. The walls were bare and the furniture impersonal pieces he didn't know. It felt like a hotel room. He had expected a prison cell so he was okay with the hotel room feeling.

If he stayed here for longer, he would have to make this room his, though Maybe put up some posters and fill the shelf with books, he mused.

Stiles wrote a second email with a list of things he had forgotten to pack, asking his dad to send them over but then he realized that he didn't even know his new address. He could ask Derek but he didn't want to disturb him just yet. The man had stuff to do and no time to coddle him. So Stiles left that email for now, a few days wouldn't matter anyway, and then he sat there, not sure what to do next.

Stiles let himself get lost on the internet for a while and before he knew it, it was two in the afternoon and his stomach demanded attention. Not sure what to do about that he closed the laptop and then stood at the door, hesitating. Derek had said that he could use whatever he wanted. He could watch TV, read his books or raid his fridge. Those weren't the exact words the werewolf had used but it had been what he'd meant.

However, Stiles still didn't know him very well and it felt weird to just go up to the fridge of a stranger and help himself.

"This is stupid." He muttered and opened the door.

He found Derek downstairs at the kitchen table with his laptop and a pile of books and notes scattered all over the table. He looked up when Stiles came down the stairs.

"Sorry, I didn't mean to disturb you." Stiles hurried to say and was about to go back upstairs. Food could wait.

"No, it's fine." Derek made a point of putting the pen down he'd used for some quick notes and looked expectantly at Stiles.

"It's after noon." Stiles said. "Did you have lunch? I can make us something if you want."

Alarmed Derek looked down at his laptop, checking the time.

"I can make us something." Derek offered. "Just got carried away."

"Let me, please." Stiles didn't want Derek to do everything for him. Stiles was the intruder here, he lived under Derek's roof and ate his food, the least he could do was to make him a sandwich.

Reluctantly Derek let go of the laptop he had been about to close.

"I should be done here in a minute." He glanced back at the screen.

"No problem." Stiles opened the fridge to check what he had to work with. It wasn't full but Derek had some basics. "Believe me I know how engrossed one can get in their work. Been there more than once. I only want to look up something on the internet and bam, it's three in the morning and I have school the next day."

Stiles made the sandwiches and by the time he was done, Derek had cleared the table so that they could eat.

"There isn't much in the fridge." Stiles observed. "What were you planning to cook the next couple of days? I can do the groceries if you want, just give me your credit card and a list." He wondered if that was a bit too forward but the words were already out of his mouth. "At home I did the groceries most of the time. With dad's schedule, he doesn't have time for it most of the days." He paused because now his dad had to make time for that. And for everything else.

"I don't really cook." Derek pulled Stiles out of his thoughts.

"Oh, let me guess. Erica cooks for all of you." If the pancakes were anything to go by she was a great cook.

"Don't let Erica cook anything but pancakes." Derek almost looked panicked at that thought. "She'll kill us all."

"So, who does the cooking around here?"

"Nobody." Derek shrugged. "Boyd and Erica usually eat at work and Isaac on campus. On the weekends it's mostly take out. We're not exactly that domestic."

Stiles thought about that for a moment. "What about you?"

Derek threw him a questioning look.

"What do you eat if you don't cook? Don't tell me it's instant ramen and mac'n'cheese."

Derek was suddenly very interested in his sandwich.

"Oh my god, it is instant ramen and mac'n'cheese." Stiles gaped at him. Sure, his werewolf metabolism should take care of the worst of it but still. "That stuff's not good for you. That's bad food. Bad, bad food."

Derek ducked his head and was that a blush? That was totally a blush.

"Okay, here's the deal because I'm just a mere human and I'd grow fat and would die at age thirty by clogged arteries with that diet." Stiles said, thinking of his father who would use the chance to stuff himself with cholesterol now that Stiles wasn't around to keep an eye on him. "I'll do the groceries and the cooking."

"You don't have to do that." Derek rejected the offer immediately. "I can cook for us, it's not going to be haute cuisine but I can do some basics. For one person it's just … why bother?"

For the first time Stiles realized how lonely Derek was. He had his pack, sure, but they had their own lives. Derek was an alpha werewolf who sat alone in his apartment most of the time. That was wrong on so many levels.

"Let me do this." Stiles pleaded. "You weren't planning on taking me in and I'm still surprised that you did. You could have just throw me to the wolves, literally, but you didn't."

"You don't have to pay me back in any way." Derek said with a stern look, meaning more than just the cooking, Stiles got that.

"I know. But I want to do this." If he was honest, he liked cooking. And until school started, he wouldn't have much to do anyway.

"I'll make a list."

They ate their sandwiches in silence for a moment but silence never sat well with Stiles.

"Speaking of lists." Stiles said. "I made one with stuff I'd like my dad to send me. If that's okay with you."

"Of course." With his thumb Derek brushed bread crumbs from his lips and Stiles hurried to look away. "If you need anything else, just tell me."

"The address of this place would be good for starters."

Derek gave him the address and while they were at it, they exchanged phone numbers as well. A minute later Stiles sent out messages to the other pack members so that they would have his number too. Erica sent him back a selfie to use for her contact which was forty percent sexy and sixty percent "I'll murder you in your sleep", Stiles immediately added it to her number.

"You probably want to get back to your work." Stiles guessed when they had finished their lunch.

"I was in the middle of something." Derek admitted but didn't move.

"I'd like to have a look at that park and get a feeling for the area in general." Stiles said carefully, still not sure about the rules around here. Was he allowed to just go outside? "I could do those groceries on the way. If you point me in the direction of the nearest store."

"Stiles, you don't have to ask for permission." Derek said, clearly suppressing a sigh. "You can do whatever you want. Just don't get into trouble."

"Where would be the fun in that?"

Stiles left Derek to his work and a few minutes later he rode the elevator down, ready to explore the neighborhood. The pack had the top two floors for themselves while the lower floors were occupied by human tenants who didn't even know that there was a werewolf pack living right on top of them.

Stiles didn't know how that was possible but he was from Beacon Hills, the heart of the Hale territory. This was the outskirts. A territory carved from scraps Laura and Peter had thrown at Derek. The people around here probably had never heard about the Hales and since werewolves liked to keep a low level, there was no reason for them to assume that a pack was living here.

Derek had offered his car but for now Stiles wanted to explore by foot. He crossed the street and entered the park. It was a nice summer day so he wasn't the only one enjoying the afternoon in the park. It wasn't crowded, they were too far from the center for that, but there were children playing, joggers, people with dogs and people without dogs. Stiles had always loved dogs but his dad had never got one for him.

"Now I have a whole pack." He muttered under his breath, thinking of last night. He'd never slept that good in his life.

Stiles had expected that the bond would bother him like at the gas station when he hadn't known where Derek was but he was fine. He felt Derek's presence in the back of his mind and to a lesser degree what he assumed was Isaac and either Boyd or Erica, the other one must be too far away to sense, but it didn't really bother him that Derek wasn't just a few feet away.

Aware that his face still looked awful, Stiles kept to himself while he explored the park but he observed. It wasn't even something conscious, it was just a thing he did. By the time he left the park he knew its layout and he would recognize a few faces. With the park this close by it would take no time for him to know the regulars.

Done with the park he went in search for the grocery store Derek had pointed out. He wasn't planning on buying much, just some things for dinner which he could carry home easily. He had Derek's credit card in his pocket but it would feel wrong to abuse it.

Stiles had some money and his dad had said he would send more but that wasn't enough to get by. He was depending on Derek and that didn't sit right with him.

"Maybe I should look for a job." He mused while he tried to decide if Derek was more of an apple or banana type of guy. Then he remembered the apple juice he had seen in Derek's fridge and put the apples in his cart. The man needed some vitamins.

Chapter Text

After Stiles had left, Derek tried to go back to work and get some things done while he was alone. He spread his notes out on the table again but then he just stared at the of his laptop screen without really seeing it.

Stiles had asked if his father was allowed to send him his things and if he could go outside, it still baffled Derek that Stiles even thought about asking for things like this. Not for the first time he wondered what kind of impression Peter was leaving on Beacon Hills.

What he should think of the idea of Stiles cooking for him, Derek didn't know either. Home-cooked meals sounded good but Derek didn't know if Stiles could actually cook. But he vowed to himself that he would praise whatever Stiles put on the table, the boy was scared enough as it was.

It couldn't be worse than Erica's creations and Derek was pretty sure that his body could deal with almost everything. And Stiles and his dad were still alive and healthy so it couldn't be that bad.

Instead of working Derek played Solitaire for a while, losing most of the time because he wasn't paying attention. The bond to Stiles was a constant in his mind now and he would feel it if Stiles was in real trouble, which he wasn't, but Derek couldn't help but wait for him to come home like a parent on the first day of kindergarten.

Which reminded him that he probably should suggest to make himself Stiles' emergency contact like he was for the rest of his pack.

And his legal guardian, Derek added, thinking of Isaac. Being Isaac's guardian had helped when things had gone down with his father. He didn't expect something similar from Stiles' dad and Stiles wasn't a freshly turned werewolf to complicate things farther, but he was a minor and this far from home it would be good to have somebody here with the authority to decide for him if necessary. Not that Derek wanted to take anything away from Stiles' dad.

He should probably discuss this with Stiles first but he needed to contact his dad anyway because of the transfer to a new school. He had no idea what kind of documentation Stiles would need for that.

Finding the Stilinski number wasn't hard but then Derek hesitated to actually dial it.

The sheriff probably isn't home anyway, he thought and pressed the button.

Stiles' father answered the phone after the second ring.

"This is Derek Hale." Derek said.

"Is Stiles okay?" The man was instantly worried and Derek hurried to assure him that Stiles was fine and currently exploring the neighborhood.

"Alone?" He asked, sounding suspicious.

"He knows the address and he has my phone number." Derek answered. "He won't get lost."

The sheriff didn't say anything for a moment.

"I'm calling because of Stiles' school. He should attend one around here and I'm guessing you want to have a word in which one it's going to be. And I assume there is some paperwork on your end for that. He's a minor and I can't sign any papers for him."

There was more silence on the other end and for a moment Derek was convinced that the line was dead. He didn't even hear Stiles' dad breathing for a moment.

"Stiles told me that he would transfer to a school there." He finally spoke. "I didn't think you ..."

"You didn't think I would care about it." Derek finished the sentence for him. The guilty silence was more than enough proof that he was right. "I don't know what Peter is doing in Beacon Hills but Stiles is part of my pack and I care about my pack."

"Thank you." The man sounded close to tears and Derek just hated himself for taking his child away.

"I know you wanted to come with him." Derek said, revealing that he had been listening in to their private conversation. "You could move here, if you want. I can help you finding a place near by. I can make a few calls, I know some people at the police. I can't make any promises but …" Struggling for the right words he stopped.

There was more silence on the other end and for a moment Derek was sure that he had crossed a line here.

"Leaving Beacon Hills is not as easy as I want it to be." He let out a sigh. Derek remembered Stiles mentioning somebody named Melissa. Stiles had told his dad to take care of her but that was all he knew about this woman.

"But thanks for the offer." The sheriff continued. "That alone makes me feel better about the whole situation."

"The offer stands."

"How is he doing?" He changed the topic.

"He offered to cook."

Now the sheriff laughed. "Prepare yourself for Brussels sprouts."

"That bad?"

"Let's just say that I had some curly fries all for myself for lunch today. But don't you dare and tell him that. I will shoot you." There was wistfulness in his voice and Derek was sure he would give up curly fries and would live on Brussels sprouts for the rest of his life if it would bring his son home.

The sheriff promised to take care of the paperwork and he even came up with the idea that Derek would become Stiles' guardian himself. Which was good because Derek had no idea how to ask that question without it sounding wrong.

Derek promised to keep him updated and then ended the call.

With that out of the way Derek sat down to work and by the time Stiles came home he had actually finished his current project. One last proofreading later and he could send it off.

There were no Brussels sprouts anywhere in the two bags Stiles unloaded on the counter but there was spinach. For a spinach lasagna.

"Don't make such a face, you'll love it." Stiles promised and Derek bit back a comment about werewolves needing meat.

"I called your dad earlier." Derek said and put the apples in the fridge. He didn't remember the last time he'd bought fruits.

"Oh?" Stiles made, trying for casual but his heart-beat gave him away.

"I wanted to know about the paperwork involved for transferring you to a school here." Derek answered. "I can suggest a few if you want and you should talk to Isaac he went to school here."

"Sounds good."

"And he suggested that I become your legal guardian." Derek dropped the bomb. He had no idea how Stiles would take that idea. "Just in case, so that there is somebody to talk to here."

"Makes sense." Stiles said, busy with putting milk in the fridge. His heart rate had stepped up another notch.

"Only if you agree." Derek closed the fridge and planted himself right in front of Stiles. "Stiles, you're almost an adult, this is your decision."

As his alpha Derek already counted as family but this would take it a step farther.

"You don't have to decide right now, think about it."

Stiles opened his mouth for an answer but closed it again without saying anything.

As soon as the groceries were stored away, Stiles shooed him out of the kitchen to start dinner.

Derek had to admit that the smell coming from the oven was delicious. But he was still skeptical, because spinach.

While the lasagna was in the oven, Stiles turned on the TV. At first he was just channel surfing but then he settled for a documentary on ancient Greek. That was something Derek could live with so he joined him on the couch.

However, it didn't seem to be a good documentary because Stiles didn't grew tired of pointing out the mistakes. They ate the lasagna in front of the TV, with Stiles still rambling about what was going on on the screen.

Derek just listened and ate this lasagna.

"It's good, isn't it?" Stiles nudged him in the shoulder with a knowing smile. "Admit it, spinach is yummy."

"It's good." Derek admitted. He would have said the same thing if it wasn't good but to his surprise it was delicious. Good enough for a second plate which Stiles noticed with another smile. They spent the evening on the couch, watching mindless TV and Derek just wondered if Stiles ever shut up.

Around ten exhaustion caught up with Stiles, he was still healing and the bond wasn't fully developed just yet, and he started to nod off.

"Time for bed." Derek decided and turned off the TV.

"Do you mean an actual bed today?" Stiles hid a yawn behind one hand while he gestured with the other over the spot on the floor where they had slept last night.

"Bed." Derek said.

He let Stiles use the bathroom first and by the time he came upstairs, Stiles' breathing had evened out and he was fast asleep.

Sleep didn't come that easy for Derek. He lay in the darkness for long hours, just listening to the steady heart-beat in the other room.

He was still up before Stiles the next morning. Derek used the quiet time with a cup of coffee for the last proofreading before he sent the file off. It was almost nine by then and there was still no sign of Stiles.

Not sure if he should wake him, Derek went upstairs to check on him. He didn't know anything about humans and their healing abilities. Stiles had been fine yesterday but he had heard that some injuries only showed with a delay. Should he have brought Stiles to a hospital here, just in case? Derek didn't know but let himself get reassured by the steady heart-beat and even breathing he heard from the other side of the door. He cracked it open to have a look, just to make sure that everything was okay.

Stiles lay starfished on the bed, blanket half under him and partly twisted around his feet. His head hung over the edge and he was snoring softly. Derek closed the door and let him be.

Stiles came down about an hour later, still in his Batman t-shirt he'd slept in and with his hair standing up in every direction.

"Coffee?" He asked hopefully and Derek just nodded in the direction of the coffee maker.

Stiles fixed himself a cup and then slumped down in his chair, nursing his coffee.

"I was thinking about the guardian thing." He said, long fingers wrapped around the cup in front of him. Derek remembered them wrapped around something else but he pushed that memory back into the depths of his mind. They hadn't spoken about what had happened that night and if Stiles just wanted to forget, it was more than fine with Derek.

"I think it would be for the best if you would become my legal guardian." Stiles continued. "As my alpha it's easy for you to get guardianship over me along with my dad."

He presented it as a fact, as if he knew exactly what he was talking about.

"When did you have the time to look that up?" Derek wondered. He was pretty sure he would have heard it if Stiles had been up for a while.

"Scott." Stiles said, his face darkening. "He was a minor too."

Of course Stiles had everything researched for his friend.

"You're almost eighteen." Derek reminded him but didn't know what else to say. After breakfast Stiles went back upstairs and minutes later Derek heard music and the clicking and tapping of his laptop.

Knowing that Stiles would be busy for a while, Derek fired up his own laptop and went back to work. One project was done but he had the basics laid out for two others and there was more already waiting in the pipeline.

Not that he needed to work, he could live off the insurance money alone if he wanted to and that was a small amount compared to what he had inherited but it never sat right with him to not work for his living. Besides, he really liked what he was doing. So he sat down and started to get familiar with a new method of treating a trauma to the cerebral cortex.

Chapter Text

Stiles had lived with Derek for over a week and things had settled down. They had developed some kind of routine by now. Derek would let Stiles sleep in and sometimes he wasn't even there when Stiles came downstairs, but there was always coffee waiting for him and if Derek was out, there would also be a note telling him when to expect him back. It was kind of silly, Derek was a grown man, he didn't need to tell him where he went but Stiles did feel better if he knew when Derek would be back.

That uneasy feeling of too much distance between him and his alpha whenever they weren't in the same room had abated over the last few days and Stiles guessed that was because of the now solid bond he had with Derek and the rest of the pack. It was still a weird feeling if he thought too closely about it which he avoided most of the time.

Stiles did the cooking and they would meet over dinner but otherwise they both went on with their days like they usually would. In Stiles case it meant hanging out on the internet and exploring the neighborhood. He talked to his dad every day, mostly when he was out in the park without werewolves and their super hearing near by.

Twice he had spent the evening with Isaac, playing games on his PlayStation, and he still hadn't figured out if Isaac was neglecting his studies to bond with the new pack member or if Stiles was providing a much needed distraction from said studies. When he mentioned it to Derek, he just told him not to worry, Issac just wanted to get to know him.

So it didn't come as a surprise when Erica took him shopping.

"You can't wear the same three shirts over and over again." She told him. "No matter what Derek does."

They got a few things for him but then Erica spotted a suit for herself and then Stiles spent the next two hours helping Erica finding a suit for work that came off as professional but sexy and that would hide the holster she had to wear under the jacket.

"Not that I need a gun." She flashed her eyes at him. "But nobody believes that you can provide security without a gun. Especially if you don't have a dick."

Stiles cracked up laughing. He never had this much fun going shopping.

His bonding time with Boyd, yes Stiles knew what they were doing, was a little more unexpected. Because figure skating? Seriously? Okay, it was a guilty pleasure of his, watching firm butts in tight spandex, but he had never thought that he would end up on Body's couch with the stoic werewolf commenting animatedly on the skaters on TV.

On Saturday they had another pack night, this time with board games. Stiles and Derek were kicking ass at Trivial Pursuit and it ended with the others just throwing random questions at them. It was fun.

That night they slept in a puppy pile again which was still a bit strange but werewolves were warm and made good pillows, Stiles slept like a baby.

In his sleep he winded himself around Derek like an octopus, drooling into the fur between his shoulder blades. When he realized what he was doing, he hurried to detach himself from the wolf.

"Don't worry, you did the same thing last time." Isaac tried to reassure him. To talk to him he had to change back to human and Stiles was still not used to people just casually talking to him while they were naked.

"I took pictures." Erica spoke up and now Stiles really didn't know where to look anymore.

"Please God, kill me now." He groaned and retreated to the bathroom.

When he came back downstairs all the werewolves were decently dressed and Erica had her mean pancakes going and nobody mentioned the cuddle incident so it was good.

Later, after the betas had left, Stiles did try to bring it up but Derek just waved him off.

"We cuddle all the time when we're in that shape." He played it down. "Don't think too much about it."

The thing was, Stiles couldn't stop thinking about it. The next night, when he lay in bed, he couldn't stop thinking about Derek's fur against his skin and the warmth of his body. It took a long time until sleep found him that night and in the morning he woke with a boner and a half-remembered dream about Derek's knot buried deep in him. As quietly as possible he jacked off and then hurried to the bathroom to shower before Derek could smell the arousal and semen on him. Which he probably did anyway.

It wasn't the first or last time Stiles woke up like that, the fragments of a dream still in his mind and his cock achingly hard. The night Derek had claimed him had been the first time he had sex with another person and despite the circumstances it had been good. Really good.

Stiles was alone at home one evening, Derek was out meeting with somebody work related, and he finally had the chance to draw things out. Having a werewolf around who could hear probably every breath he took really put a damper on his alone time.

Now, however, Stiles could be as loud as he wanted and he didn't have to hold back.

First Stiles took a shower and let his mind wandered back to Derek giving him the best, and so far only, handjob of his life. Today Stiles wasn't looking for a quick release so he didn't linger too long on the thought of Derek's strong hand on his cock. Just enough to get in the mood. By the time he padded naked over to his room, he was half-hard and buzzing with arousal.

He spread out on his bed, lazily fisting his cock, and wasn't at all surprised when is mind continued with the memory. After the shower came the actual claiming part.

Stiles' other hand trailed farther down until he reached his hole. He let his legs fall farther apart and thought of Derek's finger there.

For a while he just circled and tapped his hole dry, drawing out the moment, but then he reached for the lube and gently let the tip of one finger breach the ring of muscles. He thought about how Derek had done this, slowly, one finger at a time, and Stiles tried to match his movements to that memory. With his eyes closed he could almost pretend that it was Derek opening him up.

His cock lay forgotten on his belly, smearing precome all over him, while he worked the forth finger into himself as far as it would go. He wasn't used to this much but the burn and hint of pain added the right flavor to his fantasy. Taking a knot wasn't easy, he knew that now.

He moved his fingers in and out of his hole, working his prostate with the sheer fullness alone, until he felt his orgasm building deep in his belly. His cock twitched and his balls drew tight, his whole body wound up too tight and his release just seconds away. The slightest brush over his prostate or a hint of friction on his cock would throw him over the edge.

Stiles stopped.

Panting and covered in sweat, he lay there, fingers still buried deep in his body, and waited until he had calmed down before he dared to withdraw his fingers.

Stiles came up to shaking knees and turned around. Bracing himself one the headboard he mimicked sitting in Derek's lap, just like then, and sank down on his fingers again.

He would have loved to take more, to take his whole fist to pretend it was Derek's knot, but the angle was odd and he couldn't go as far as he wanted.

He fucked himself in earnest now, muttering under his breath, nonsense words mixed with "Derek" and "please", until his legs shook and sweat was dripping from his nose. With a broken cry on his lips he threw his head back and his untouched cock spurted come all over the headboard.

Stiles collapsed on the bed in a boneless heap.

"That was good." He mumbled and let himself drift in the afterglow. He needed to clean up but for the moment he was too content just lying here, catching his breath and let the sweat dry on his skin.

He must have drifted off to sleep because when he opened his eyes again, it was dark. He felt sticky all over and his hand was coated with drying lube and traces of stuff he didn't want to think about. It was too dark to see the come on the headboard but he knew it was there.

Who was also there, was Derek. He could hear him moving around downstairs. Since they had only one bathroom, Stiles would have to leave his room to clean up and there was no way that Derek wouldn't immediately knew what he had been doing the second he opened the door. The smell of sweat and sex lay heavy in the air, even Stiles could smell it.

He rolled out of bed and wiped his hand with a dirty shirt before he opened the window. That would at least take care of some of the sticky air in his room. Why was Derek home anyway? He'd said that he would stay out late.

Maybe I should just wait until he goes to bed, Stiles thought while he tried to pinpoint Derek's position. Sadly his hearing wasn't nearly as good as a werewolf's so downstairs was the closest he got.

He slipped on some sweatpants but let them hang low because of his still lube squishy butt. And he had to be careful where to put his hand.

"Oh, fuck it." He groaned and opened the door. He was a teenager what did Derek expect him to do when he was home alone? Not dealing with incompetent burglars, that was for sure.

Stiles walked briskly over to the bathroom and only let out the breath he was holding when he shut the door behind himself. He pretended to not notice that on his way the noises from downstairs suddenly stopped. And he tried really hard to shake off the picture in his mind of a blood hound zoning in on his prey.

Stiles took a thorough shower, the second one this evening, and then put on some fresh clothes. Feeling better he went downstairs to find something to drink and something for a late dinner.

"You're home early." He said casually when he passed Derek on his was to the kitchen.

"It didn't work out the way I hoped." Derek said, visibly pulling himself out of his thoughts. What those thoughts were Stiles didn't want to know. At least Derek could only smell what he had done and not what he had been thinking about while he had been doing it. Because that would just be awkward. More awkward. Mortifying.

"Too bad." Stiles said and came up with a bag of chips. "Bingo. Want to watch a movie?"

It was probably a bad idea to sit right next to Derek for the next two hours but in Stiles' experience it worked out best to pretend that nothing embarrassing had happened. His dad would agree.

They ordered pizza, apparently Derek hadn't even gotten decent food at his disaster of a meeting, and by the time the pizza had arrived they were back to easy banter and Stiles could watch Derek licking tomato sauce from his lips without inappropriate thoughts. Mostly.

After the pizza they shared the bowl of chips so it was efficient to sit close. Stiles felt the warmth radiating from the werewolf's body and he smelled the shampoo Derek had used before he went out for his meeting.

It felt good, comfortable.

Chapter Text

The meeting was a disaster. Not even the food was good.

In hindsight Derek should have taken the wilting appetizer salad and the beyond well done steak as an omen and leave fifteen minutes ago. Instead he was sitting here, wasting his time with this idiot.

Derek worked for a few magazines and journals but a lot of his work was freelancing and this had sounded solid when he'd spoken with the guy on the phone the other day.

"It's not that you wrote the book." The man, Steve or Stan, he wasn't sure and didn't really care at this point.

"Translation is more than just translating something word by word, especially when it comes to scientific publications. You may get away with some artistic creativity in fiction, which I'd call lazy to be honest, but not when it comes to science." Derek glared at him but the guy was clearly not getting it. "You don't fuck with science." He quoted Stiles but even the blunt words didn't get through that guy's thick skull.

"You're just greedy." He threw his napkin on his half-eaten plate. It reminded Derek of a toddler with a tantrum. "You take one sentence and translate it to English, then you take the next one. I don't see why you want this amount of money for a simple translation. And four months? Who's lazy now? I could do this myself over the weekend."

"I'd suggest you do exactly that, then." Derek stood up, he was done here. He did, however, threw a few bills on the table because his host most likely would forget the tipping part of the bill.

Without another word Derek left. He had been looking forward to a nice meal, hashing out the deal over it and if the guy loved his work enough to not shut up about it, Derek would have liked to hear him talk because that would make Derek's work much easier.

But not like this. The guy was an idiot.

That's why Derek was home earlier than intended and in a bad mood.

He smelled it the second he stepped into the loft but it was so faint that he couldn't identify it immediately but it was a lingering thing in the back of his mind. Not bad, though. It made him think of Stiles.

Stiles was in his room, probably sleeping, so Derek was alone with his bad mood, no Stiles to distract him with his constant babbling. He did tell him to shut up once in a while but Derek really liked his chatter. It filled the silence. Not that he ever intended to tell Stiles that.

It wasn't that late in the evening and Derek was still too angry to think about sleep any time soon so he got the coffee maker going and then went upstairs to get out of his dress shirt and pants. It wasn't what he felt comfortable with but it never hurt to dress up when he met with a potential client.

Coming up the stairs the smell got stronger. Now he recognized it.

Stiles had jacked off in the shower before, Derek had caught a lingering trace of his scent once or twice, and he had tried to ignore it. That he had done the same with the memory of Stiles' body against his, he really didn't want to think about. Stiles was seventeen and not here by choice.

Derek hadn't heard anything indicating it but he wouldn't be surprised if Stiles woke up at night soaked in cold sweat, haunted by the memory of that night. Derek was the last person Stiles would want to get intimate with, that was for sure. He was just happy that Stiles could still enjoy sex.

However, the scent that hit him when he passed Stiles' door was more than a lingering trace. It was musky and rich and most definitely fresh.

Derek braced himself with both hands at the door frame, face only inches from the door and breathed in deeply.

Stiles wasn't just sleeping, this was the satisfied sleep after a good orgasm.

Derek took another breath, picturing Stiles lying on his bed, naked with drying sweat and come all over his body.

His forehead hit the door with a soft thud. He was so screwed. His claws dug into the wood of the frame while his rock hard cock was straining against the zipper of his silly pants. He wanted to burst in and wake Stiles up for a second round. Or at least jack off right here at Stiles' door with his scent strong in his nose. Instead Derek walked stiffly over to his own room where he ripped off his pants and threw himself on his bed.

He didn't have time for lube or finesse, it was just a rough tugging and pulling and within a few almost painful strokes he spilled his release all over his fist and dress shirt. He didn't like that stupid shirt anyway.

Then he lay there, half-naked with his arm over his face while he waited to come down from his high. When his breathing had evened out, he stayed like that for a while longer.

"Fuck."

By the time Stiles woke up, Derek was downstairs again, had his coffee and was hoping that his traitorous thoughts wouldn't show on his face.

The rapid spike in Stiles' heart-beat told him the exact moment when Stiles realized that he wasn't alone any longer. Stiles opened the window but it took him a few minutes before he dared to leave his room.

When Stiles finally came downstairs, acting like nothing had happened, Derek didn't comment on the shower or the scent still heavy in the air, too busy hiding what that smell did to him.

When Stiles suggested pizza and a movie, Derek agreed which in his current state probably was a bad idea but in the end the evening wasn't that bad.

Derek had told Stiles about the disaster of a meeting, mentioning the overcooked steak, and a few days later Stiles made a point of making him the perfect steak.

"This is good." Derek said around the first bite. It really was, more on the rare side with the juices coming out when he cut it.

"I know you like yours bloody, Mr Big Bad Alpha Werewolf." Stiles said but there was some of his enthusiasm missing. He was pushing the carrots he had insisted on going with the steak around on his plate. Thinking about it, this dinner felt like Stiles was buttering him up for something.

"What?" Derek asked, lifting his head only enough to raise his eyebrows at Stiles before he dug back in. Bribe or not, this steak was really good.

"My dad." Stiles said and put his fork down with a sigh. "He wants to visit me. This weekend."

Derek swallowed which gave him a moment to study Stiles. Over the last week he had dropped most of his scared behavior, he didn't expect Derek to jump him any second anymore, but now it was back again. Stiles ducked his head, fiddled around with his napkin and was waiting for the rejection.

"I told him it's too soon." He continued, when Derek didn't answer quick enough. "I told him that I'm fine, that he doesn't have to worry about me. But he wants to come."

"Isaac has a guest room." Derek finally spoke.

"What?" Stiles gaped at him.

"Your dad needs to stay somewhere." Derek put a bit of carrot in his mouth. Those weren't half-bad either. "Isaac has a guest room."

"Wait a second." Stiles pointed with the knife at him. "You're okay with that? My dad coming here?"

"He's your dad." Derek pointed out. "He wants to make sure that you're fine. That I'm treating you right." He thought about the things he'd heard about Peter, the bits and pieces Stiles had revealed about him.

"And you want him to stay with Isaac?" Stiles asked as if he still wasn't sure if he had heard right. "You haven't even asked Isaac. My dad can stay at a hotel, a hotel is perfectly fine. No need to bother Isaac. Or you. He won't be a bother, I swear. You'll barely notice that he's here."

"Stiles, shut up." Derek cut in. "He can stay with us, with the pack, that way he'll see for himself."

Stiles stared at him as if he was trying to figure something out but then a wide grin spread over his face.

With that it was settled.

Of course Derek had to ask Isaac first but as expected the beta agreed immediately.

"If we don't get along, I'll just put on the fur and sleep in the den." Isaac shrugged, knowing full well that he wouldn't sleep there alone. Nobody ever slept alone in the den. It would just end in another pack night, not that Derek had anything against that.

Stiles' dad would arrive Friday evening and the days leading to that, Stiles was even more antsy than usual. He worried about every little detail, planned out the meals he wanted to cook, beside the fact that Derek was pretty sure that at least once they would go out or order something in, and he constantly had his phone out to shoot his dad messages to remind him to bring this or that.

The sheriff also would bring Stiles' car. That was another thing Stiles hadn't been sure about. Was he allowed to have his own car? He hadn't downright asked but the way he said that his dad would bring it told Derek more than words that Stiles wasn't sure.

There was a lot Stiles wasn't sure about living with a pack but the only thing Derek could do was to patiently show him that his fears were unfounded.

His dad would also bring more of his things so that Stiles would feel more at home here. At least Derek hoped that one day Stiles would think of this place as his. At the moment he only referred to it as Derek's place.

On Friday Stiles was up early, too keyed up to sleep any longer. He joined Derek in the kitchen where Derek tried to get some work done before their guest arrived. He wouldn't have time for that over the weekend and some of these things had deadlines. Not that the clients without a deadline liked to wait either.

However, with Stiles cluttering around in the kitchen it was impossible for Derek to focus on his work. Stiles was always so loud. How could somebody be this loud? But today it was even worse than usual.

Derek hadn't realized how much Stiles missed his father. Over the last few days he had gotten an idea but what he saw now was a child waiting for Santa. It was adorable, if he was honest.

Derek threw him a glance he hoped translated to "I'm trying to work here." but it was completely lost on Stiles. Even in the beginning it had never really worked. Sure, Stiles had been afraid of him, sometimes still was, but he had never backed down, not really.

By noon Stiles was bouncing off the walls and around four in the afternoon Derek was ready to bite his head off.

"Have you checked the room?" Derek asked, already knowing the answer to that question. Stiles had checked Isaac's guest room once yesterday and two times today and maybe once more when Derek hadn't been looking.

"Yeah." Stiles made, already glancing at the door. "We put fresh sheets on and aired the room."

They had done more than that. Isaac didn't have guests very often, or at all, so he usually used the extra room as his study slash storage room. He and Stiles had spent half a day with digging the bed out from under Isaac's college stuff, sketchbooks and clothes he had forgotten he owned.

"But I think I'll check real quick." Stiles said as expected. "Just to make sure that the window's closed and I think we forgot to dust under the bed."

Derek watched him leave before he let the smile spread over his face.

Let Isaac deal with Stiles for a moment.

Chapter Text

His dad had called ahead so by the time he brought the tow truck he had rented to bring the jeep to a halt next to Derek's car, Stiles was ready. He didn't even let the man step fully out of the car before he had him in a bear hug.

His dad hugged him back and Stiles inhaled the familiar scent of his aftershave.

"I missed you." Stiles said, fighting with the tears.

"I missed you too, kiddo." His dad answered. He put him at arm's length to examine his face just like the last time they'd seen each other. There wasn't much to see, by now Stiles' wounds had mostly healed and he hadn't gathered any new ones.

"I'm fine, Dad." Stiles insisted but let him check on him anyway. "The others are waiting. Are you ready to meet the pack?"

"Lead the way." His faced closed off at the mention of the pack but for now his dad was willing to give them a chance. Stiles didn't see a gun but he was pretty sure that his dad had one with him, loaded with wolfsbane bullets.

Stiles had thought about this for days. Should he throw his dad right into the werewolf pack or should it just be him and Derek for now? In the end Stiles had decided on an all-in and had invited the whole pack over for dinner.

Stiles had told his dad a lot about the other members of the pack in their daily phone calls but meeting them was a different thing.

"Don't worry, they won't bite." Stiles said and pressed the bottom for the penthouse. His dad didn't look convinced. By now Stiles knew the pack a bit and he got along with them quite well. He still hadn't figured out Boyd but he liked Isaac and got into a snarky argument with Erica every other day.

Derek was the one who opened the door.

"Sir, good to see you again." He held out his hand.

"John, please." Stiles' dad said when he took the offered hand and Stiles breathed a little easier.

"John." Derek repeated. "Please, come in. These are Erica, Boyd and Isaac." He introduced the rest of the pack.

"Nice to meet you." John said and then glanced at Stiles to get a hint on what to do next. Who had no idea on how to proceed either.

The somewhat awkward silence in which both parties just eyed each other, was broken by Erica: "Stiles, do you need help in the kitchen?"

"I do but not from you." Stiles shot back. Ignoring the shocked expression on his dad's face, and the almost panicked ones on the other pack member's at that idea, he dragged John over to the kitchen. "Dad's going to help me."

Everything Stiles could prepare beforehand he had already finished in the afternoon but he had to check on the gratin and the salad wasn't done yet.

"You can start with the lettuce." He put his father to work.

"They seem fairly nice." John didn't bother to lower his voice which wouldn't prevent the werewolves from listening in anyway. And not only because there were only a shelf and some cupboards separating them. Damn loft with its lack of walls and doors.

It was suspiciously quiet in the living room.

"They are." Stiles agreed. "And they would be even nicer if they'd stop eavesdropping and put on some loud music or something."

There was quiet laughter coming from the other side and moments later the music started.

His dad gave Stiles a look who just shrugged.

When they sat down for dinner Stiles made sure that his father sat next to Isaac so that they could warm up to each other since his dad would spend the night in the werewolf's guest room.

"Thanks for having me." John said, mostly directed at Derek as the alpha but with a little smile for Isaac as well. The beta ducked his head.

"You're pack." Derek answered as if that was explanation enough. Maybe in his mind it was. Stiles was pack, an idea he was still getting used to, so as an extension of him his father was pack as well. Not bonded to Derek but he was still a part of it. Stiles wasn't sure how that worked.

They ate and at first nobody knew how to break the ice.

"How was the drive?" Stiles asked but after a short "good" the silence was back.

There were some stiff questions, more directed at John than the other way around, which he answered openly and in a kind way, but basically they were strangers sitting at the same table and at least Stiles' father wasn't entirely sure if the others were friendly. Stiles bumped his shoulder into his to get him to relax which only helped a little.

When they were done, John stood up to help with the dishes but Stiles steered him out of the kitchen.

"We cooked, they can do the dishes." He said while Isaac was already stacking the plates and Erica was busy putting leftovers in Tupperware.

Stiles ushered his dad over to the couch where Derek joined them a second later, offering the man a beer.

John accepted it and then leaned back in the couch, slowly relaxing.

"They do that every day?" He asked, pointing with his bottle in the direction of the busy betas.

"Only when they eat here." Stiles answered. "When it's just me and Derek, he does the dishes."

"You do the dishes?" John asked in clear disbelief.

"He cooks, I do the dishes. It's only fair."

"But you're the alpha and Stiles is ..." He didn't finish the sentence, shifting uncomfortably in his seat.

Derek raised his eyebrows at him.

"It's cool, dad." Stiles stepped in before his dad could say more. "He's not like others." He was thinking of Peter and he knew that his dad's mind went there as well.

When they were done with their chores, the others joined them, each with a beer in hand and after one questioning look at his dad, Isaac handed Stiles one too.

"You're lucky I'm off duty." His father said which earned him a round of laughter and with that the ice was broken.

Later that evening somebody mentioned pack nights and to illustrate what those were about, Erica got her phone out.

"That was Stiles' first night with us." She said, showing his dad something on her phone. Stiles craned his neck to have a look too but the angle was off. Next to him Derek let out a little growl which made his dad jump but Erica just hushed her alpha with a wave of her hand.

"Don't mind him." She assured John. "He's all huff and puff but in reality he's like this." She tapped at the screen.

"That's Derek?" His eyes went from the screen to the alpha and back again.

Stiles couldn't stand it any longer, he had to see, so he scrambled off the couch and went around to have a look over his father's shoulder.

"I did that before?" Stiles blurted out when he saw himself clinging with all limbs to a wolf Derek who glared at the person behind the camera with murder in his eyes. That Stiles was abusing him as his personal stuffed animal damped that glare somewhat.

"What do you mean before?" His dad asked. "How often do you do this?"

Stiles could only guess how it felt to see his own son asleep between three fully grown wolves. Especially if said son was cuddling the most dangerous one of them.

"Three times by now?" Erica asked and got confirming nods from Boyd and Isaac. Derek preferred to stay silent with his arms crossed over his chest and a stern look on his face.

"Stiles does it every time." Boyd added. "He's a cuddler."

"Only with Derek." Isaac spoke up from where he was sitting a little at the side.

"Okay, this isn't awkward or anything." Stiles blurted out while he watched in horror as the pictures passed on the screen. One was more embarrassing than the other. But he had to admit Derek's death glare, which got more and more intense with every shot, was kinda cute. He could have shaken off Stiles at any time but he hadn't.

"Let's stop this before dad gets the baby pictures out." Stiles tried to interfere. "Believe me, nobody wants to see those."

"I bet you were an adorable child." Erica said and skipped to the next picture.

"He was." His dad said. "This one time, he must have been five or six, he wanted to dress up as the Hulk for Halloween. He put on some shorts and nothing else and I had to paint his whole body green. There should be some pictures in the album I sent you." He craned his neck to look at Stiles still standing behind the couch.

Patricide looked very tempting right now.

"I have to see those." Erica proclaimed, looking expectantly at Stiles as if that would get him to bring the album.

"Definitely not." Stiles made a mental not to hide said album or better, burn the pictures in question. Which he wouldn't because in most of those pictures his mom was right by his side, dressed up as Catwoman.

At least his dad knew when to quit. He yawned behind his hand and said: "It was a long day, how about we call it quits?"

"Good idea." Derek jumped at the idea. "Stiles and Isaac will show you your room. Erica, help me cleaning up, would you? And Boyd, would you get John's bag from the car?"

With that they got in motion and Stiles used the moment to pull his father aside.

"Are you okay with staying with a werewolf?" He asked in a low voice and with the werewolves busy cleaning up chances were good that they weren't listening in. They had talked about this before but things tend to look different when they were actually happening.

"We'll get along." John said, giving Isaac a smile who was coming over to them.

"I can sleep here." Isaac gestured over to the couch. "If you feel better that way. Derek wouldn't mind."

"It's fine." John assured him.

The whole evening Isaac had not really interacted with his father, Stiles had noticed, and now he stood awkwardly there, not meeting his father's eye.

"Are you okay with this, Isaac?" Stiles spoke up. The same thing applied to Issac, he had agreed to having his father over but that had been before he had even met the man.

"What?" Isaac's gaze shot to Stiles as if he'd forgotten that the human was also standing there. "No, no. It's fine. I'll show you your room." The last part was directed at John but Isaac was still not meeting his eyes.

Stiles shared a look with his father before they followed the beta downstairs to his apartment. Over the last few days Stiles had been here more often than not and he had warmed up to Isaac. However, now the beta looked like an intruder in his own home, standing awkwardly at the side while Stiles helped his dad to settle in.

"See you in the morning." John said and gave Stiles another hug. This was starting to become a thing. Not that Stiles minded.

They said good night and Stiles went back upstairs. Erica and Boyd had left as well so it was just him and Derek.

"I'm not sure about Isaac." Stiles said.

"What do you mean?" Derek had already changed into his sleep wear and Stiles tried really hard to not too obviously ogle his butt.

"I don't think he's comfortable with my dad being around."

"Isaac has a past." Derek said vaguely but by now Stiles had some ideas about the beta's past. "It's okay, he would have said if it wasn't."

Not really convinced Stiles went to bed but his sleep was restless at best.

It was almost two in the morning when he heard the front door opening and closing.

Chapter Text

Derek woke to the sound of Stiles' voice and the noise of furniture being moved around. For a moment he just lay in his bed and tried to make sense out of those noises.

They were coming from downstairs, the living room area, if he was correct.

"You should have just said something." Stiles said. "Then I wouldn't have to rearrange the den in the middle of the night. No, don't give me that look, it's fine, I couldn't sleep anyway."

There were more noises but nobody answered Stiles even when he shut up for a moment to shake out a blanket.

Derek knew these noises, Stiles was preparing the den. Why he did that at this time of the night, he didn't know.

"I could tell that my dad makes you uncomfortable." Stiles continued, not in the slightest bothered by the fact that he didn't get an answer back. "Hey, nothing of that. It's Derek's fault, he should have made sure that you were on board with my dad staying in your guest room." There was another pause. "I know he asked but he should have asked again after you met the man. Hell, I could tell that there was something going on with you and I know you only for a week. Derek's your alpha, it's his job to make sure that you're okay."

There was a little yip for an answer which answered the question why this conversation was so one-sided, aside from the fact that it was Stiles talking. Isaac was in his fur and didn't change back to talk to Stiles which meant that he really was in distress.

However, Stiles was right, it was Derek's job to take care of his beta.

Derek knew about Isaac's past, about his dad. Isaac did have a problem with male authority figures, it had taken long enough for Isaac to accept Derek as his alpha without smelling of fear all the time.

At first Isaac hadn't been able to look him in the eye. Or he had been in attack mode for no reason at all. It hadn't been helping that Derek had become an alpha not long before he bit Isaac, his first beta. They both had to figure out their roles back then and Derek sometimes had come across more like a drill sergeant than an alpha which hadn't went well with Isaac. It reminded his beta too much of his father.

But Derek had failed to sort Stiles' dad into the male authority figure category.

Derek rubbed a hand over his face. How could he have been so stupid? Stiles' dad was a goddamn sheriff.

He was out of his bed and at the door a moment later, his beta needed him. But when Stiles spoke again, Derek hesitated without opening the door.

"There, nice and cozy." Stiles sounded satisfied. "Now get your furry butt over here before we wake up Derek." There was some rustling and a quiet woof from Isaac, who most likely knew that Derek was awake. At least if he paid attention to his surroundings which Derek wasn't quite sure of. If he was too shaken to shift to his human form …

Derek swallowed thickly, this was his fault. However, he couldn't help but to be in awe at how Stiles dealt with the situation. He was pack but this was still new to Stiles, Isaac was barely more than a stranger to him.

"Oh, believe me." Stiles continued. "I'm going to have a word with our mighty alpha in the morning."

Isaac snorted at that and then Derek heard the telltale noises of settling down in the den.

"You don't believe me? Wait and see, tomorrow I'm going to kick his ass."

Derek's hand hovered over the doorknob, he wasn't sure if he should go downstairs or not. He probably would get his ass kicking right then and there and he would deserve it. But it was the middle of the night and things had quiet down, no need to make a fuss now.

Derek strained his ears for any sound coming from downstairs but everything was quiet.

Assured that Stiles had the situation under control, he went back to bed.

Derek woke up early and hurried through his morning routine before he came down the stairs to see what was going on in the den.

Stiles and Isaac were still sleeping. Stiles lay spread out with the blanket tangled around one foot and his head resting on Isaac's middle.

When he came closer, Issac blinked his eyes open but didn't move otherwise.

"I'm sorry." Derek said in a low voice to not wake Stiles. "He's right I should have made sure that you were okay with John staying at your place."

Isaac gave him a low woof and then let his head fall back on his paws. He closed his eyes, content with dozing for a while longer and Derek let him be.

Derek had the coffee brewing when there was a soft knock at the door. He could tell that it was Stiles' dad without bothering his nose because anybody from his pack would have just barged in.

"Morning, John." Derek greeted him when he opened the door. Using his name still felt wrong but he would get used to it, eventually.

"Morning." John gave him a smile. "Isaac wasn't there when I woke up so I guessed ..." He made a gesture with his hand but stopped when his eyes fell on Stiles and Isaac still sleeping in the den. At least Stiles was still sleeping. Isaac was watching them with wary eyes. His wolf face didn't give away emotions the same way his human face would but Derek could tell that he was close to bolting from the posture of his head alone.

"That's not what I expected." John said, clearly uncertain of what to think of the situation. His son was peacefully asleep with a wolf as his pillow. "You know pictures are one thing but this ..." He made another helpless gesture before he turned his back to them. "I need coffee."

"This way." Derek led the way and poured the man his much needed coffee.

As soon as the path was clear, Isaac wiggled his way out from under Stiles and sneaked out of the loft. Stiles protested half-heartily in his sleep but it took him a few minutes to wake up from his search for his pillow. Then he sat there with bleary eyes and hair sticking out in every direction.

His dad just shook his head with a fond smile.

"There is coffee, son." He said. That got Stiles' attention. He stretched and yawned and then came over, making grabby hands at the cup of coffee his father had poured him.

A few minutes later Erica and Boyd joined them and not long after that the first pancake was in the pan.

Who didn't show up for breakfast was Isaac.

Stiles threw a meaningful glance at Derek who already had been half out of his chair to check on his beta. At least Stiles had saved the ass kicking for later when not the whole pack was listening. Not that Derek thought he had forgotten about that particular promise.

Derek had one last look at the table but John and Boyd were engrossed in a conversation about some security stuff Derek knew nothing about and Erica was still busy with the pancakes so he could just slip out for a moment without anybody missing him.

"Isaac?" Derek let himself in Isaac's apartment. There was no answer so he followed the heartbeat to his beta's bedroom.

Isaac was lying on his bed, still in fur.

"Hey." Derek sat down on the edge of the the bed and after a moment of hesitation Isaac put his head in his lap. Gently Derek started to pet him behind the ear.

"I'm sorry." Derek repeated. Earlier it had seemed as if Isaac had forgiven him instantly but now he wasn't so sure anymore. "He'll leave tomorrow evening." He reminded him. "You can stay out of his way, no problem. And he can sleep on my couch tonight."

Isaac shook his head but didn't shift to clarify what he meant.

"We can figure that out later." Derek said and for a while they just sat there. Derek kept petting his beta, giving him the attention he needed. At one point Isaac rolled to his back, exposing his belly. It was half showing his trust and devotion to his alpha and half an invitation for a belly rub. Which Derek provided easily.

Satisfied Isaac stretched and then he lay there in his human form.

"Good?" Derek asked, hand still on his belly.

"Yes." Isaac said. "Stiles helped me last night." He sounded as if he couldn't quite believe what had happened during the night.

"He's pack." Derek said. "We help each other."

They fell quiet for a moment, content in the presence of the other one.

It was true, pack helped each other. But Stiles wasn't a born werewolf, he wasn't a werewolf at all, so the instincts hadn't been there before Derek had claimed him and even now his human mind was still adjusting to the bond. Humans, even bonded into a pack, never fully understood the instincts of a werewolf. It was astonishing how well Stiles responded to the needs of other pack members, especially after such a short time.

"Stiles said he would sleep with me again." Isaac said and placed his hand on Derek's still on his stomach. "I don't want …" He didn't finish the sentence but Derek knew exactly what he was trying to say. He had issues, everybody in the pack knew that, but he didn't want the others to fuss over him. And for sure he didn't want Stiles' father to feel bad for something which wasn't his fault.

Derek knew because he felt the same. He had his own issues and he didn't want to make them a big deal either. Same for Boyd and Erica, they all had their past, they all wore their scars.

Strays, Peter had called them and he was right. This pack was just a bunch of strays who didn't want to be alone any longer. And somehow it worked.

"It's okay." Derek said. "Looks like you and Stiles have figured it out, no need to get the others involved."

Isaac let out a breath and tightened his grip on Derek's hand still on his belly.

"I should go back." Derek said, by now the others had probably noticed his absence. "Want me to bring you some pancakes?"

"You think there are any left?" Isaac asked and let go of his hand.

"I'm the alpha, there better be." Derek said darkly.

Isaac let out a snort.

"Will you be okay here by yourself?" Derek asked more serious now.

"It's okay. I think I'll hit the library later, I need to catch up with some stuff." He said and it was probably true. With Stiles suddenly around Isaac had neglected his studies.

Derek patted his stomach one last time before he left.

When he returned to his apartment, Boyd and Erica were ready to leave. Their company had been hired to provide security for an event this evening and they would be busy for the rest of the day.

"I saved some pancakes for Isaac." Stiles said to Derek while John was busy saying goodbye to Boyd and Erica.

"Not for me?"

"You don't deserve any today and you know it."

Derek accepted it without a comment.

Stiles brought the plate downstairs to Isaac himself which left Derek alone with his dad.

"I have to say, I am surprised." John said while Derek poured them another coffee.

"About what?" Derek asked but he had an idea.

"You." John said with a weak smile. "Your pack." He let out a sigh. "To be honest, I expected less hospitality and more hostility."

"I'm not Peter." Was all Derek could say to that.

"I understand that now." John took a sip of his coffee. "So, what's going on with Isaac?"

Chapter Text

Stiles put the plate on the counter in Isaac's kitchen and then went to search for the werewolf.

"If you skip the fur you should consider pants." Stiles stood in the door of the bedroom where Isaac was lying on top of the covers, not in the slightest embarrassed about his nakedness. After a few pack nights Stiles wasn't bothered by this anymore, much, at least not when it came to the betas. Derek was a whole different matter.

However, there was this thing called decency and that called for pants.

Isaac gave him a look but rolled off the bed to put on some clothes.

While Isaac ate the pancakes Stiles studied the werewolf in search for any signs of distress. But he seemed to be okay. For now.

"You don't need to tell me your life story." Stiles finally said. "But it would be good to know what freaked you out. You know, so it won't happen again. Was it something my dad said or did?"

Stiles forced himself to sit still while he waited for Isaac to answer. He always had the urge to move while he figured things out but he had the feeling that the werewolf would response badly to sudden movements.

Most of the time Isaac was cool with his flailing and wild gestures but sometimes he got this mood and then Stiles knew that he had to keep his distance. Like right now.

Isaac cleared his throat and kept his eyes on the pancakes in front of him. He had eaten with appetite at first but now he was pushing the pieces around on his plate.

"My dad." Isaac started but didn't seem to know how to continue.

"Your dad's an abusive asshole?" Stiles guessed.

"He was." Isaac agreed in a small voice. "He's dead now."

"Good."

"Derek found me shortly after." Isaac continued.

"So my dad reminds you of your dad." Stiles summed it up. Isaac wasn't ready to share details, Stiles got that but he didn't need details to get the picture anyway. "I'll talk to him, he'll keep his distance." He promised. As the sheriff his dad had seen his fare share of abused kids, he would get it.

"Don't tell him." Isaac's head shot up and there was a flash of gold in his eyes.

Stiles considered it but then he nodded. It would be easy enough to keep them apart without having a heart to heart with his father first.

"Want my company again tonight?" Stiles renewed his offer.

The smile Isaac gave him was answer enough.

When Stiles came back upstairs, Derek and his father were sitting at the kitchen table, lazily nursing their coffees.

"Is Isaac okay?" His dad asked.

"Yeah, he's just not used to guests." Stiles said easily. "No big deal."

Before his dad could ask more questions, Stiles went into suggestions of what they could do today. They had only today and tomorrow, John had to be back in Beacon Hills by Monday.

Derek hurried to say that he had work to do so it was just Stiles and his dad.

The weather was nice so Stiles decided to show him the park first.

Stiles liked the park, he had been there quite a few times over the last week, but the main reason he liked to go there was that he could call his dad without any werewolves listening in. And that was the exact reason why he suggested to go there now. There he and his dad could talk freely. Not that Stiles had anything to hide but there were things they just couldn't say with Derek in earshot.

"So." His dad said when they had sat down on a bench. "How are you doing? Really?"

"I'm fine." Stiles said. "Living with Derek is, I don't know, normal? I feel the bonds right here." He pointed at his head. "But that's all. I have my own room, I can do whatever I want, I can go out whenever I want. And now with my car here I'm even more mobile."

"Does he hurt you?" His dad asked, watching him closely.

The wounds on Stiles face were almost healed by now and there weren't any new ones but that said nothing about the rest of his body. And there were ways to hurt somebody without leaving any marks or even touching them, Stiles knew that.

"He never laid a finger on me." Stiles answered honestly. "Neither did the others."

"How do they treat you?" His father brought up the other issue. In Peter's pack the humans were kept as pets, slaves at best.

"Not like expected." Stiles admitted. "I think they have accepted me as part of the pack. It's not like home and I miss you but it's okay. It's like I'm off to college a bit early." He tried to lighten the mood but the emotions were stuck in his chest.

"I miss you too." His father admitted. "The house is too quiet now."

Stiles didn't know what to say to that.

"It's not that I expected you to stay forever, but I thought that we had more time." His father draped his arm over Stiles' shoulder for a one-armed hug. "And I never expected you to leave like this."

"Me neither."

They sat there for a long time, talking about nothing in particular. School would start soon and Stiles had thought about college as well. When he'd suggested that Derek should claim him, he had thought that he would never leave the alpha's side ever again and now said alpha was going out of his way to make every college Stiles wanted to attend to available for him.

"He said that he would come to an agreement with the local pack." Stiles repeated something Derek had said the other day. "He said that it's quite normal for pack members to live away from the pack for a while."

"So you don't have to live with him?" His dad asked.

"I can feel it if I'm too far away from him." Stiles admitted. "But he says that's because the bond is still forming. His sister went to college in New York and she was human too. And apparently Boyd has spent half a year in Cleveland. Don't ask me what he did there. Who moves to Cleveland?"

Stiles jumpted into speculating about the reasons for Boyd's departure and John just leaned back and listened.

When Stiles' train of thoughts slowed down for a moment, John did squeeze in a question here and there but otherwise it was just Stiles talking.

"What's going on with Isaac?" His dad brought up a question Stiles didn't really want to talk about. "I asked Derek earlier but he more or less told me to drop it."

"It's nothing personal." Stiles answered as vaguely as possible. "It's just that you remind him of somebody. Just don't bother him and don't mention it when he sleeps in the den again tonight."

His dad thought about it for a moment and then nodded in understanding.

"Is Derek treating him right?" His father asked.

"He is." Stiles said, knowing that it was the truth. Sure, Derek had messed up a little just yesterday but who didn't mess up from time to time. Fact was that Derek cared about his pack. "He would never hurt one of us." Only when he'd said it, Stiles realized that he had counted himself as part of Derek's pack. The way his dad looked at him he'd noticed it too.

They returned to Derek's place in the early afternoon where they found Derek and to Stiles' surprise Isaac as well. Derek was sitting at the kitchen table and Isaac at the coffee table both with their laptop in front of them and books and notes spread all over the tables.

Isaac hurried to gather his things but John stopped him gently.

"Don't let us interrupt you." He said. "You look like you're in the middle of something."

Isaac glanced at his screen, clearly debating what to do.

"Did you guys have lunch yet?" Stiles intervened before the situation could become too awkward. "I bet you didn't. Dad, would you help me?" With that he was dragging John towards the kitchen, leaving Isaac to his studies.

Derek was in the middle of something as well but by now Stiles knew that it didn't bother him if Stiles was clattering around him in the kitchen. Derek had never said something but Stiles was convinced that Derek actually liked the company and the noises around him. Sure, he didn't get as much done as he would if he could work in peace and Stiles respected that and didn't bother him too often, but from time to time Derek just liked him being around. At least Stiles hoped that that was what Derek's eyebrows were trying to tell him.

Stiles and his father threw some sandwiches together as an easy snack for lunch and Derek had to pack his things away to make room for the meal. Reluctantly Isaac left his studies as well and joined them at the table.

Nobody said anything about it but they all made sure that Isaac and John sat as far apart as possible.

Stiles knew that there were a lot of questions John would like to ask Isaac. He was the closest to Stiles' age and already in college. Stiles wasn't a werewolf but he was part of the pack so Isaac probably could ease some of his dad's worries but the man didn't ask. Instead he mostly ignored Isaac and focused on Stiles and Derek instead.

When they were done eating, Isaac gathered his things and went downstairs, where he could study in peace as he put it.

"I shouldn't stay at his place." John said. "I can get a hotel room for the night."

Stiles and Derek were both quick to dismiss the idea but it took a while to convince him to accept the offered guest room.

"The person who ..." John started. "He's not in his life anymore, is he?"

"He's dead." Derek answered with a cold glare.

"Good." John said and didn't ask farther.

After that they dropped that topic and went on with their business. Which meant that Derek went back to work and Stiles and his dad switched the TV on to watch the game.

The afternoon went by quickly, Stiles just enjoyed having his father around again, and way too soon it was time for dinner. Boyd and Erica would stay out all night because of the event so they were only four people.

Stiles had planned to cook but without Boyd and Erica it felt wrong. So they ordered Chinese and ate in front of the TV, watching trashy action movies. Those were Isaac's favorites and despite his wariness of John, Isaac joined Stiles' nonstop commentary half-way into the movie.

For the second movie they got out some blankets and pillows, setting up a little den where Stiles and Isaac could lie on their stomachs while the adults stayed on the couch. Not that Stiles really counted Derek as an adult. He might be grown up but he wasn't that much older than Isaac.

The evening went by more easily than expected with his dad and Isaac in the same room.

When it was time to turn in Isaac did become nervous. He was twitchy enough to compete with Stiles and was throwing glances at John out of the corner of his eye which everybody pretended to not notice.

"I think I'll turn in." John said and stretched. "I take that your going to stay here, Isaac?"

"I can show you …" Isaac started, already scrambling to his feet, but John laid a gentle hand on his shoulder to stop him.

"It's okay, I know where everything is." John assured him. He wished everybody a good night and then left.

Isaac stared after him even after the door had closed behind him.

"I think I kinda like your dad."

Chapter Text

While Stiles was upstairs to get ready for bed, Derek considered joining him and Isaac in the den. Usually it was the whole pack, sleeping together in a pile, and it somehow didn't feel right to sleep in his own bed while Stiles and Isaac were down here.

On the other hand, Derek felt like an intruder. This was a thing between Stiles and Isaac and even if they didn't mind if he joined them, it didn't feel right.

So Derek wished them a good night and went upstairs.

The last Derek saw of them was when Stiles flopped down next to Isaac who had already slipped in his fur and had settled down in the nest of pillows and blankets. Stiles dragged three blankets over them and buried his nose in the soft fur of Isaac's flank.

At least he isn't abusing him as his personal teddy bear, Derek thought with a smile and closed his bedroom door.

Derek went to sleep with the memory of Stiles using him as his personal teddy bear and he closed his eyes with a ping of jealousy in his chest.

When he came back downstairs in the morning, Stiles' father was already there but the youngest members of his pack were still sleeping. This time Stiles lay on his stomach, spread out like always but since he lay on top of Isaac he had his butt in the air. Derek tried really hard to ignore the last bit and to make sure that his beta was still breathing under the human draped over him. Stiles wasn't build but he had some muscles and for sure he wasn't the lightweight he looked like. Derek had found that out when he'd tried to maneuver a barely conscious Stiles into his hotel room. Which felt like an eternity ago but thinking about it, it had been just over a week now.

"I should take pictures." John said softly enough to not wake them. Isaac was already awake, Derek could tell by his heartbeat, but if the beta wanted to pretend in front of John, Derek wouldn't call him out on it.

"You haven't yet?" Derek raised an eyebrow at him.

"Not enough." John admitted. "I made coffee, if that's okay."

"Coffee is always good." Like the day before they went over to the kitchen and the second the path was free, Isaac wiggled his way out from under Stiles and shot out of the door.

"I'm sorry." John commented.

"It's not you." Derek assured him.

Boyd and Erica didn't join them over breakfast, which meant no pancakes. Instead Stiles made them scrambled eggs with bacon and toast which was still better than anything Derek could provide. Isaac did join them but he still kept his distance to Stiles' father and only spoke when addressed directly. He excused himself as soon as he was finished and went back to his own apartment to study.

John and Stiles left soon after him. Stiles wanted to show his dad more of the city he now lived in, not that Stiles had time to explore it in detail over the week he'd been here, but he already had a few favorite places he wanted to show his father.

Derek used the quiet to get some work done.

The day went by quickly and over dinner the whole pack was together again. While Stiles cooked, the others gathered in the living room. At one point Isaac slipped out to help Stiles in the kitchen but Derek was the only one who even noticed. Boyd and Erica were talking about the event they had provided security for the night before and in the end they and John were discussing security issues Derek had no clue about. It was like they were talking in another language so he left to see what Stiles and Isaac were doing in the kitchen.

They didn't notice when he came over, both too engrossed in their work.

Derek watched them for a moment. Isaac was the closest in age to Stiles, it was only natural that they related to each other. It was good that the members of his pack went along this well but there was still this little ping of jealousy in his chest. He liked Stiles, there was no denying that.

But it was obvious that Stiles didn't liked him back the same way. How could he? Derek had basically raped him. That he could stay under the same roof as him was a miracle. Derek had expected Stiles to act around him like Isaac did around John. Or worse.

Derek was the alpha but he didn't want to be feared, especially not by Stiles. The first days Stiles had been wary, waiting for Derek to snap, but now he had no qualms calling him out on it when he messed up like with Isaac.

"Hey, Derek." Stiles addressed him, pulling him out of his thoughts. "Don't just stand there. Here, chop these for me."

And like that Derek ended up next to Isaac, chopping peppers, while Stiles swirled around the kitchen, doing a million things at once. Somehow he did manage to bring everything together in time and soon they all sat down at the kitchen table.

Boyd and John were still talking shop and Derek got the feeling that at least John was at ease with the situation now. How Stiles felt he wasn't sure. The teenager was more quiet than usual and just listened to his father talking.

This man is all the family he has left, Derek reminded himself. It was a feeling he could relate to. After the fire, when it only had been Laura and him, he hadn't let her out of his sight for months. Leaving her to live with strangers? He would have rather killed himself.

After dinner John had to leave.

Stiles went with his father to help him putting his bag in the rented tow truck. The real reason was of course to say goodbye and all the werewolves stayed upstairs to give father and son some privacy.

Boyd and Erica were still tired from their latest job so they called it an early night and went over to their place. Isaac lingered at the door but Derek shooed him off so that the beta could clean up his place and get the scent of John out of his apartment. The beta didn't say anything but he took the worn shirts Derek gave him without a word and then left, already sniffing the fabric. It wouldn't get all of the foreign scent out of his place but it would help.

Derek was the only one left and with nothing else to do than to wait for Stiles he started with the dishes. When Stiles finally came back upstairs, he joined him in the kitchen and reached for a towel.

"You okay?" Derek asked, arms up to the elbows in soapy water.

"It's just weird, you know?" Stiles said. "He's going home and I have to stay here."

"I'm sorry." He really was. If there was another option ... but there wasn't. Stiles was bonded into his pack and he couldn't live in Beacon Hills anymore. The only other option would be for his dad to move here but that didn't seem to be an option either. Over the weekend Derek had heard the name Melissa a few times. He would ask but Stiles didn't seem to be in the mood right now.

After the dishes they turned on the TV for some mindless distraction. Stiles sat there, at the end of the couch, feet tucked under him and nibbling with his fingers at the seam of the armrest without paying attention to what was happening on the screen. He was staring into nothingness and smelling of loneliness.

Derek sat in one of the chairs and wasn't paying attention to the TV either, his focus was on Stiles. For a moment he considered fetching Isaac, maybe he could return the favor and help Stiles for a change. But Derek didn't call for his beta.

It might be selfish but he didn't want Isaac to be here right now.

Derek expected that Stiles would turn in early but two hours later he still sat in his corner and hadn't really moved. It was eerie to see the vibrant teen this quiet.

Derek couldn't stand it any longer. A pack member needed comfort and the wolf in him was longing give him just that but Stiles was human and still new to living in a pack. Not knowing what to do, Derek let his instincts take the lead.

Stiles didn't even seem to notice, when Derek got up and disappeared upstairs. When he came back downstairs it was on four paws.

He let out a soft whine when he approached Stiles to not startle him and then jumped up on the couch.

"What?" At least he had Stiles' attention now. "Derek? What are you doing?"

Derek gave him a look that should translate to Do I look like I can talk right now? which Stiles countered with a gape and a full body twist.

Derek just huffed and made himself comfortable with his head in Stiles lap. He quirked an eyebrow at him but when Stiles didn't throw him off immediately, Derek closed his eyes and relaxed.

Stiles was tense under him and he didn't know what to do with his hands but then one hand found its way to Derek's head. Hesitating at first but when Derek hummed encouraging Stiles gained some confidence and started to scratch him behind the ear.

Derek didn't bite his hand off and Stiles relaxed a bit. After a while the petting became almost an absent thing with Stiles staring into nothingness again.

"I miss him." Stiles spoke. "I missed him since we left Beacon Hills but now it's kinda worse. Before, everything was such a chaotic mess, I didn't really think about it but now …" He let out a sigh. "Now he's gone and I miss him."

There was something about the wolf form that made it easy to forget that there was a sentient mind behind his animal eyes. Sometimes it made things easier. So Derek wasn't surprised when Stiles suddenly hugged him and buried his face in his shoulder.

"It's not fair." He sobbed.

Derek had expected the breakdown a lot earlier but it was good that Stiles finally allowed himself to let it all out.

Now the tears were flowing and Stiles was just clinging to him, sobbing into his fur. Derek let him ride it out.

When the sobs died down and Stiles started to drew back, wiping his face in embarrassment, Derek jumped off the couch and gently tugged at Stiles pants to get him up.

"Where are we going?" Stiles asked, voice hoarse from crying but he smelled better now. He followed Derek up the stairs to Stiles' bedroom.

Derek hopped on Stiles' bed and made a point of settling down.

"Time for bed, I guess." Stiles muttered and let out a yawn. "But I need a shower first."

He gathered his things and then went for his shower. Derek closed his eyes and let his mind drift with half an ear out for the noises from the bathroom. Stiles showered quickly, brushed his teeth and then he was back in the bedroom.

"You don't have to sleep here." He said when he slipped into bed. "I mean, you can if you want but you don't have to."

Derek just wiggled his way under the covers and a moment later Stiles was hugging him again. The bed wasn't that big, they had to lie close, but the den hadn't felt right for this. Stiles was human and this felt like it needed a human kind of solution. Not that Derek minded the hugging. So far Stiles had abused him as his private stuffed animal every time they had slept in the den, he hadn't expected anything else now.

"You're soft and warm." Stiles mumbled into his fur, already drifting off to sleep. Derek followed him a moment later.

Chapter Text

When he woke up in the morning, Stiles was alone in his bed. The side where Derek had slept was cold but the comforting smell of wolf still lingered in the covers. Along with an impressive amount of wolf hair.

"Great." He mumbled, nose buried in the pillow that also still smelled like Derek. What he should think of last night he didn't know, only that having Derek right next to him was a thing he could get used to. And not only in his wolf form. But that was a train of thoughts he really shouldn't jump on.

When he came down the spiral staircase, following the mouthwatering smell of coffee, he found Derek engrossed in his work at the kitchen table again.

"Did you have breakfast?" Stiles asked. There were no dirty dishes in the sink and Derek had only his coffee mug next to him. Which was almost empty so Stiles filled it up again while he was at it.

"No." Derek answered without turning his gaze from the screen but he did reach for the fresh coffee.

Stiles made them French Toast and for that Derek even put his work aside for a moment.

"I'm fine." Stiles said around a bite of toast as an answer to the question he read in Derek's eyebrows. "Wolf cuddles are very therapeutic. And comfy. Do you know how soft your fur is? And you're radiating heat like a werewolf oven. But I'll never get the wolf hair out of the sheets. I'll have to change the sheets before I can sleep in my bed again. I don't mind the wolf smell but those hairs are going to be itchy as hell and they will end up in places I don't want them to end up."

Derek drew his eyebrows together as if he was trying to make sense out of Stiles' rambling or as if he was about to tell him to shut up, Stiles wasn't sure which one it was this time. Usually it was a mixture of both. Topped with annoyance.

After breakfast Derek went back to work and Stiles kept himself busy with the laundry.

Living with Derek wasn't that much different from living with his dad. With his dad working at ridiculous hours Stiles had taken over a lot of the chores at home. Stiles was eating Derek's food and hogging his office, not that Derek had told him that his room used to be his office but it was kinda obvious with Derek working at the kitchen table and his office stuff crammed into his bedroom. It felt only right to help around the house.

However, most of the time Derek insisted on doing his fair share as well. Which wasn't exactly fair in Stiles opinion but the alpha just gave him a stern look every time he brought that up. And Derek with a vacuum cleaner was a sight to see, Stiles had to give him that.

By the time Stiles was done with the laundry, Derek was still working, Isaac was at campus and Boyd and Erica were at work. Nobody left for Stiles to bother.

His new school had sent over some stuff and he hadn't really have a look at it so he went back to his room to see what the school wanted him to do over summer.

The days went by like that. Derek worked sitting at the kitchen table until three or four in the afternoon and Stiles kept himself busy with school work and internet. When one of them forgot the time, the other one made food and in the evening Stiles cooked and Derek did the dishes. Stiles spent the evenings either with Derek, watching TV, or with Isaac and his PlayStation.

It was nice.

By now Stiles could tell how far away a member of the pack was by the feeling in the back of his mind alone. If they were too far out, the feeling faded away until there was nothing left but a loose end. It was somewhat like a hangnail, nothing major but once you've noticed it you just can't leave it alone. Boyd and Erica's company was within the limits but with their jobs one of them was out of reach almost every day. How the others hadn't gone mad a long time ago Stiles didn't know. It was either a werewolf thing or they got used to it over time. He was hoping for the latter.

His bond to Derek was the strongest in his mind and not only because he was his alpha. Stiles liked being around Derek. He liked it probably a bit too much. The fact that Derek wasn't body shy in the slightest and more often than not changed forms in the middle of the living room didn't help either.

When the first day of school rolled around, Stiles was almost relieved to get out of the loft for a while. Doing the groceries and walks in the park didn't really cut it. And he didn't have the money to hang out in coffee shops all day.

Since it was a new school year he wasn't the only new kid but joining classes with people who had known each other their whole lives was strange.

He didn't make instant friends like he had when he'd first met Scott but it was okay, he never had many friends to begin with. There was this one guy, Sean, who sat next to him in Biology who had deemed himself Stiles' best friend and school guide and he was nice, no question about that, but they would never have what he had with Scott. Stiles knew that five minutes after the guy had leaned over and introduced himself in Biology. And it had only taken that long to come to that conclusion because Stiles had given him the benefit of a doubt for four minutes and fifty-five seconds.

For lunch Stiles followed Sean to a table of people who weren't exactly the popular kids but not the outcasts either so that was okay, too.

Sean introduced him to the rest. Three girls and two guys and none of them sparked his interest. They were nice but a solid group by now and Stiles wasn't sure if it was worth it to try to cut in. This was the last year of high school anyway and after that, who knew?

There were the usual questions of where he was from and why he was here now which he answered with an easy "We moved here, you know work."

After that was covered and Stiles didn't reveal something interesting, the conversation went back to normal. It was the usual after summer catch up stuff: Who broke up, who was together now and whose parents got a divorce. The big thing was an upcoming party next weekend and suddenly Stiles was invited as well.

Stiles went home that day with a good feeling.

"How was your first day?" Derek asked when they came together over dinner. It was such a dad thing to say that Stiles had to swallow against the sudden lump in his throat.

"Okay, I guess." He answered and hoped that his heart-beat didn't give him away. "Some of the teachers seem to be interested in actually teaching their stuff and I met some of the other students." He paused, remembering the invitation. "There's a party this weekend." He said, glancing at Derek without lifting his head.

Derek just put another fork of food in his mouth and started chewing.

"I'd like to go, if that's okay with you." God, he sounded like a twelve year old asking for permission. He was seventeen and Derek wasn't even his dad.

No, he's your alpha, a little voice in the back of his mind provided. And technically he can just lock you up in your room if he feels like it.

Not that Derek had shown any sign that he felt like it over the last few weeks. But the lingering fear was still there sometimes. They hadn't spoken about it and for all Stiles knew Derek expected him home right after school.

Now Derek looked up from his plate and studied Stiles from under knitted eyebrows.

"You know that you don't have to ask." He finally said. "You can go to a party if you want." He thought about that for a moment. "I am your official guardian, I would prefer to not get a call from the police in the middle of the night, though. If you're too drunk to drive, call me."

Stiles just stared at him. This didn't go as expected.

"Stiles." Derek put his fork aside. "You're free to do whatever you want." He said to drive that point home. "And just in case, if you want to invite a friend over, just do it." He paused again, thinking. "I would like to have a little warning if somebody stays over night but that wouldn't be a problem either."

"Dude, did you just gave me permission to have sex under your roof?" Stiles gaped at him. But then he thought about enhanced werewolf hearing. "What would you do? Listen to us? That's not creepy at all." Stiles shuddered at the thought of Derek listening in to him having sex with somebody. Not that people were lining up to have sex with him but it was still creepy on an hypothetical level.

Lately his fantasies had revolved around one certain werewolf so if Stiles ever had his way, which would never happen, he knew that, Derek wouldn't have to listen in from the outside ...

Stiles was so caught up in his thoughts, that he almost missed Derek's: "I'd crash at Isaac's, you pervert."

Stiles went to the party.

He had fun and got to know a few more people. Somebody was always there to hand him a new beer the second he had finished his. It was awesome.

Later that evening, when everybody was more or less drunk, a girl he'd just met that evening, slung her arms around his neck and gave him a messy kiss.

Stiles' brain was still frozen with the realization of Holy fuck, she kissed me! when she patted his cheek and then crashed on the couch. He sat down next to her but she was out cold.

Sitting there, nursing his beer, Stiles compared this kiss to the ones he had shared with Derek. He liked Derek's better.

He hadn't meant to drink this much but around two in the morning he was in no condition to drive home. Hell, he didn't even know which direction home was. He looked around for people he knew but the only one left was Sean who wasn't anywhere near sober either. And he was busy making out with an equally drunk girl.

Not knowing what to do, he felt kinda lost among all these people he didn't know, Stiles stepped outside and called Derek.

The alpha had said that Stiles could call him but he had never intended to take him up on that offer. The guy wasn't his father, it wasn't his job to drive his drunk ass home in the middle of the night.

When the black Camaro pulled up in front of the house, it got quite some attention. People turned their head to see who the car belonged to and who the lucky one was to get in said car.

"Thanks, man." Stiles slumped in the seat and shut the door, cutting them off from people staring at them. They were probably waiting for a kiss. Not that Stiles would mind kissing Derek, quite the opposite, and he almost told Derek that much. Or, you know, just kissed him, those lips looked really kissable if anybody would bother to ask Stiles. Which of course nobody did.

"I'm drunk." Stiles proclaimed with a broad grin.

Derek just shook his head and drove them home.

Chapter Text

The first day Stiles went to school was strange. By now Derek was used to the vibrant teenager constantly being around and the sudden quiet was deafening. He'd thought that he could get some work done while Stiles was gone but he caught himself staring at the screen without actually doing something more often than not. Before Stiles had moved in, Derek would have said that he needed the quiet to focus but now he loved sitting at the kitchen table with Stiles swirling around him or sitting over at the couch, doing his own thing. Even if Stiles was up in his room, Derek could still hear the comforting noises of another person being around.

But now the loft was way too quiet. In the end Derek switched on the TV just for some background noises.

Knowing that Stiles for once couldn't just turn up unexpectedly, Derek finally made an overdue call.

"Hey, bro." Laura greeted him before he had the chance to say anything. "Did you finally figure out the meaning of a social call or is this an emergency?"

"A little bit of both?" He answered. "I have a new pack member."

At the other end he heard some rustling as if she was getting more comfortable wherever she was sitting right now.

"Did you take in another stray?" She asked but from her it sounded approving, like it was the right thing to do. "Omega or did you bite somebody?"

"Claim." Derek said, pinching the bridge of his nose with thumb and forefinger.

"What?" He didn't need to see her to know that she was sitting up straight now. "Who? You're that serious with someone? And you didn't tell me? Way to go, little brother. I want details."

"It's a bit more complicated." Derek took a deep breath and then told her about Stiles.

"Wow." She made when he was done. "Is he, you know, okay?"

"I hope." Derek let out a sigh. "He's settled in over the last few weeks. It's his first day of school today."

"School? How old is he?"

"Seventeen."

"Damn." She was pacing now, he could hear her steps over the phone. "What is Peter thinking?"

Derek closed his eyes and breathed in relief. She wasn't blaming him.

"I don't know. The things Stiles believed about us." He raked his fingers through his hair. "And still believes. He thought he would be my pet or something. That he would never see his father again."

"Why would he think that?" She sounded genuinely confused.

"Let's just say that Peter doesn't treat his human pack members like he should."

They talked for almost an hour and when he ended the call Derek felt drained but better. This thing had festered in his mind since he'd met Stiles and it was good to know that his sister agreed with him on this.

However, neither of them had an idea on how to stop their uncle. Peter had the biggest pack and the heart land of the old Hale territory. Established like he was human laws couldn't touch him and Derek wasn't sure if even with combined forces he and Laura were powerful enough to bring him to justice by werewolf laws. But at least Laura had promised to have a closer look on Peter's activities in Beacon Hills.

With that call out of the way Derek went back to work and he actually got some stuff done before Stiles came home from school.

Derek didn't tell him about his talk with Laura to not bring up his hopes. So far Laura had only promised to have a look.

Over dinner Stiles told Derek about school, making up for all the words he had missed over the day. Not that Derek thought that Stiles needed to catch up with his words, how he could stay quiet long enough for class, was a mystery to him.

Then Stiles mentioned the party. He was basically asking permission to go and his body language told Derek loud and clear that he expected a no. Cursing in his mind Derek told Stiles that he was free to do whatever he wanted.

The almost shy smile he got in return gave him a butterfly feeling and the urge to rip Peter's throat out.

All in all Stiles seemed to like school and he even had made some friends. He mentioned a guy named Sean a few times along with other names Derek didn't bother to remember. There was nobody Stiles had a special interest in, he noticed with some relief. Derek had said that he was okay with Stiles having somebody over but he didn't have to like it. However, so far Stiles hadn't even brought home somebody to study and it didn't look like that would change any time soon.

The day of the party Derek reminded him to not do anything stupid and that he could call him if he needed a ride home.

"I'm not five." Stiles rolled his eyes at him but the skip in his heart-beat betrayed him.

Stiles was almost an adult and Derek wasn't even his father but Derek stayed up anyway, waiting for him to come home safely. When his phone rang in the middle of the night, Derek was sure for a moment that something had happened to Stiles. Turned out that the kid had been stupid enough to get plastered but was still smart enough to not drive himself.

"Don't tell my dad." Stiles pleaded when he settled in the car while the still brightly lit up house disappeared in the rear view mirror.

"So he can shoot me for not keeping an eye on you?" Derek retorted. "No, thank you."

Being a werewolf, getting drunk was a rather abstract concept to him but he had never understood the strict laws regarding the drinking age. You could drive a car, you could shoot a gun, you could even join the army and get shipped across the world to kill other humans but you couldn't enjoy a simple beer? It had never made sense to him but a lot of things humans did didn't make sense to him.

"You need anything?" Derek eyed Stiles critically who stood in the bathroom door and was fighting with his shirt. The shirt was clearly winning.

"I'm good." Came the answer from somewhere in the fabric. "Just need to sleep it off."

After Derek had made sure that Stiles found the way to his bed safely, he turned in as well.

Just sleeping it off didn't seem to cut it. When Derek checked on Stiles at ten thirty the next morning, the teenager asked him to just put him out of his misery. Derek shook his head in amusement and drew open the curtains.

With a pained groan Stiles ducked under the covers.

"Not like this." He protested and didn't come back up. One foot was sticking out at the other end and Derek grabbed it to at least draw the pain out. He couldn't do anything about the nausea and other possible side effects, a hangover was also a rather theoretical concept to him, but at least he could do something about the headache.

"I love you." Stiles groaned from under the covers and relaxed under Derek's touch. Derek on the other hand went very still. It was just something Stiles had blurted out without meaning anything by it, he knew that, Stiles probably wouldn't even remember that he'd said those words but hearing them did something to Derek.

He wanted them to be true.

To his wolf they were true. If he had a tail right now he would wag it.

Derek let his hand linger for longer than necessary on Stiles' ankle before he forced himself to break the contact.

"Take a shower, you reek." He said and straightened up.

"Five minutes." Came the answer from under the covers and Derek was glad that Stiles couldn't see the fond smile on his lips.

"Five minutes." Derek confirmed and left the room, those three words still echoing in his mind.

It took longer than five minutes but eventually Stiles made his way over to the bathroom and took a long shower. When he finally came down the stairs, he looked more alive.

"Was it worth it?" Derek looked up from the book he was reading and watched Stiles who carefully moved around the kitchen.

"Totally." Stiles said, nibbling at a dry slice of toast. "I have to mingle with the locals, no better way than a party. At least I got invited." The last bit was so low that Derek had to strain his ears to catch it.

"You didn't get invited much at your old school?" Derek asked, paying more attention to him now.

"Me and Scott?" Stiles clicked his tongue but winced at the loud sound. "We weren't exactly part of the popular crowd." He paused, eyes downcast and his long fingers plucking apart his toast. Derek doubted he would have told him this much about himself if it wasn't for the hangover. "We weren't part of any crowd, it was just me and Scott. He was my best friend. My only friend." He let out a sigh and pushed the plate with the butchered toast away.

Derek didn't know what to say. Stiles' best friend was dead, killed by his uncle, there was nothing he could say to that. Except for maybe …

"I spoke with Laura the other day." He said carefully.

"Your sister?" Stiles rested his chin in his palm, upper body almost lying on the table.

"I told her about you." Derek came over and sat down next to Stiles. "About what Peter did."

Stiles turned his head but didn't give up his resting position.

"Yeah? What did she say?" It spoke for itself that he wasn't up and flailing and Derek was glad that he couldn't experience something like a hangover. Why were humans so keen on getting drunk if this was the price for it? And he already had drained most of the pain.

"She was shocked." Derek said, taking Stiles free hand in his. For a moment he just watched the black lines of pain disappearing in his arm. There wasn't much left and he couldn't do anything for the rest.

"I asked you to do it." Stiles reminded him, not getting the point. "If anything I was forcing you."

"She was shocked about Peter." Derek clarified. "About how he treats his human pack members. About the false information he's spreading about us."

"Is she going to do something about it?" Now Stiles perked up but not as if he thought that she would. To him Derek was most likely the exception and Peter was the norm.

"She's looking into it." Derek answered, this was the reason he hadn't told Stiles in the first place. He couldn't make promises.

"Hmm." Stiles made and let his head drop on the table. "I'll think about it when I can think again."

Derek gave him a pat on the shoulder and returned to his book.

Stiles fell asleep at the table and didn't stir for almost two hours. How anybody could sleep in that position was beyond Derek but he let him be.

In the afternoon Stiles felt even well enough to finish his homework.

"Don't want to give a bad impression right away." He commented but Derek thought that he actually liked doing homework, even when he was still slightly hangover.

On Monday Stiles left like always, talking about maybe inviting Sean over after school for that group project they had been assigned to. Once again it sounded more like he was asking for permission rather than just informing Derek, though. So Derek offered the coffee table, they would have more space there than in Stiles' room.

However, when Stiles came home, he was alone. He went straight up to his bedroom and shut the door behind him with a loud bang.

Chapter Text

Stiles knew something was wrong the second he parked his Jeep in the school's parking lot. As one of the few new kids and with his rather distinctive vehicle, most of the students knew him at least by sight. Usually they just ignored him but today there were glance thrown at him. Nobody outright stared at him but he caught a few of the not so subtle looks in his direction and for sure he noticed the quick topic changes or the sudden dead silence when he passed a group. Behind his back the whispers started again.

In the hallway he met Sean who only had a quick "hello" for him before he hurried towards his class without even looking at Stiles.

Stiles had never experienced something like this before but he had seen it happen to others. A rather remarkable one had been after Lydia had gone missing for two days after a werewolf attack. Rumors said it had been Peter but she clearly had been bitten so Peter couldn't have done it but rumors never cared about logic anyway. Stiles' money was on Jackson, though, some kind of macho I'm your mate bullshit gone wrong. But what did Stiles know?

However, as far as Stiles knew he hadn't been running around naked in the woods over the weekend. Aside from the party he hadn't been out at all and at the party everything had been okay.

He spotted the girl who had kissed him standing with two other girls but as soon as she noticed him, she clutched her books to her chest and almost ran in the other direction while the other girls literally blocked his path so that he couldn't follow her. Not that he wanted to fallow her but his class room was that way. The hallway only had two directions.

"Stay away from her." The girl to the right said. He had seen them around but didn't know them well enough to know their names.

"I just want to go to class." Stiles raised his hands in surrender. "I don't know what she told you but nothing happened. She kissed me and then she past out. I didn't touch her. I left the party right after that." Had something happened to her? Stiles' mind ran in circles. Did they think that he had done something to her?

"You should have told her." The other girl said.

"Tell her what? She kissed me, I don't even know her."

Instead of an answer they gave him a cold glare before they brushed past him.

Class was a relief. There he could focus on the teacher and ignore the other students in the room.

At lunch he wanted to sit down with the group he'd spent the last week with but when he turned around with his tray, they had spread out their things all over the table and nobody was looking at him. Stiles sighed and took one of the abandoned tables in the back.

Sean couldn't escape him during Biology. They sat next to each other and they had their project to work on, so the guy had to talk to him.

"Dude." Stiles slammed his bag on the table, startling the other teen. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing." Sean lied but before Stiles could demand some answers the teacher entered the room. During class Sean blocked every whispered attempt to talk by pretending that he didn't hear Stiles.

"We can work on it at my place." Stiles offered when the class came to a close.

Sean had already stuffed his things in his bag in the clear attempt to get away from Stiles as quickly as possible but now he hesitated. It was a group assignment, both their grades depended on it.

"I'll meet you at your car." Was all he said before he left in a haste. Stiles could only stare after him.

"Okay." He muttered to himself while he slowly packed his things. If he was honest, he wasn't keen on entering the hallway.

By the end of the school day Stiles was one of the first students leaving the building. But of course Sean wasn't already waiting at his jeep. At least sitting inside his car Stiles could pretend that the world outside didn't exist.

Sean was one of the last students hanging around and he took his sweet time coming over to him. Stiles drummed on the steering wheel with impatient fingers but he bit back the sarcastic comment, when Sean finally opened the passenger side door. He had the feeling that one word would be enough to send the other one running.

"So, what's wrong?" Stiles finally asked when they were on the road and Sean couldn't just run anymore. But Sean just stared stubbornly out of the window and didn't answer. "Was it something I did? Because, dude, I've no idea what's going on here."

"Why didn't you tell me?" Sean finally asked.

"Tell you what?" This was the second time today somebody demanded that from him and he still had no clue what they were talking about.

"That you're a werewolf?" Sean asked in a tone as if that was the obvious answer.

"Werewolf?" Stiles turned towards him and almost steered the car over the sidewalk. "I'm not a werewolf."

"Sure." Sean said, fiddling with the strap of his backpack. Now Stiles noticed how far away he sat, almost plastered against the door. He bet if he had been a werewolf he could hear his heart beating rapidly in his chest.

"Sean, I don't know why you think I'm a werewolf but I'm not." He tapped his chest. "One hundred percent human."

"So the alpha of the local pack just randomly decided to pick your drunken ass up the other night?" Sean went for attack now, a challenging eye on Stiles.

"That's complicated." Stiles sank back in his seat. He didn't want to explain this to Sean, it was none of his business.

"Yeah, right." Sean still didn't believe him but since Stiles hadn't bitten his head off, literally, he seemed to feel a bit more at ease in his presence.

"That's it?" Stiles thought about all the glances and whispers behind his back. "Everybody thinks that I'm a werewolf?"

How somebody had even recognized Derek was beyond him. The people living in the same building as him didn't know he was a werewolf.

"As far as I can tell, you are." Sean muttered under his breath and then stared at Stiles like a deer in the headlights. Or like a deer in front of a werewolf. "I'm sorry, I didn't ..."

"Stop it." Stiles said maybe a bit harsher than intended because Sean shrank back into the door at his words. "I'm not a werewolf and even if I were, what do you think I would do? Kill you? I just want to finish school here, that's all. And for that we need to do this assignment. So let's do that, okay?"

Sean nodded and didn't speak for the rest of the ride.

Then Stiles parked the car right next to Derek's Camaro.

"That's Derek Hale's car." Sean blurted out.

"Yeah?" Stiles made, by now rather annoyed by all this. "He lives here?"

"You said that you're not a werewolf." Sean insisted with a panicked look first at the car and then at Stiles.

Stiles sighed. "I'm not a werewolf." He repeated. "But I am part of his pack."

"You're what?" That seemed to be even worse than being a werewolf. "You're one of those half-breed crippled werewolves that can't turn?" The disgust was clear in his voice.

And Stiles had thought the rumors had only been a thing in Beacon Hills.

"Those are called humans." Stiles informed him. "And no, my parents were both human. I am human. I'm just part of his pack."

Now Sean narrowed his eyes on him. "So you're what? His little bitch?"

Stiles gaped at him. Granted, he had thought something similar before he'd met Derek but the pure hatred in Sean's words hit him like a slap in the face.

"How I became part of his pack is none of your business." Stiles said coldly.

Sean still hesitated to open the door.

"Are we going to do this assignment or not?" Stiles asked.

"You don't really live with him, right?" Sean asked, almost desperate. "I mean, you live with on of his betas, right?"

"No." Stiles drew the word out, this was getting ridiculous. "I live with him in the penthouse. But don't worry, he promised to not bother us."

"No." Sean shook his head and fumbled for the door handle. "I'm not going into an alpha's den. No way."

He yanked the door open and before Stiles could say anything he was running in the other direction.

For a moment Stiles just stared after him.

When Stiles finally made it up to the loft, he went straight for his room and closed the door behind him with bang. Stiles kicked his bag in the corner and then dropped on the bed. Staring at the ceiling he didn't know what to think.

Everybody at school was convinced that he was a werewolf. Which sounded cool in theory but in reality it was not.

According to Sean, being a human in a werewolf pack was even worse. That was nothing new, in Beacon Hills being a human in Peter's pack was the worst that could happen to one but the pure disgust he'd seen on Sean's face was haunting him.

Yes, he wasn't born into the pack but he wasn't Derek's bitch either. The man didn't show any interest in him that way, much to Stiles' regret if he was honest. Derek had only been kind and understanding and seeing Sean bolting at the thought of setting a foot in his place was disturbing at best.

Stiles had been the same, he had to admit, but in his defense, he had seen what Peter did to people. He'd seen the pictures of "unsolved" murders laying spread out on the kitchen table with his father mulling over them. On those nights the bottle had been back and Stiles couldn't even blame his father. He'd just made sure to put it away before his dad got too drunk.

But in that state, late in the evening with his mind numbed by the alcohol and frustrated by the fact that another person was dead and he couldn't do a damn thing to give them justice, his father had been open to talk about the case. And Stiles was a willing listener. So yeah, Stiles had thought the worst about werewolves but he had reasons.

Sean on the other hand knew next to nothing about werewolves. Derek wasn't running around, killing people. Hell, Derek and his pack kept to themselves as much as they could. Sure, as the alpha Derek was the best known werewolf around here but most of the time he could go outside without anybody recognizing him.

Stiles threw his arm over his face and just lay there for a while.

Derek left him alone for which he was grateful. There was only a knock at his door when it was time for dinner and Stiles had to admit that he could eat.

"Coming." He said to the closed door, not even bothering to raise his voice. Living with a werewolf had the advantage that he didn't need to raise his voice to be heard. Which also meant that Derek could hear everything else as well which was kind of a downside but at the moment Stiles didn't care.

He rolled out of bed and followed the smell of pasta and tomato sauce. Looked like Derek could cook after all.

"How was school?" Derek asked over half-eaten spaghetti.

Stiles swallowed what he had in his mouth, using the time to think.

"Somebody saw you picking me up the other day." He finally said. "Now everybody thinks I'm a werewolf."

Chapter Text

"Now everybody thinks that I'm a werewolf." Stiles said.

"Just because I picked you up?" Derek asked, not touching the fact that apparently it was a bad thing for Stiles to be a werewolf.

"Why else would the alpha of the local pack decide to pick up my drunken ass?" He sounded as if he was repeating something somebody else had said to him. "And then I told Sean that I'm human and now he thinks I'm your bitch." He spat out the last word. "He ran away when he realized that we would study in your living room. Entering an alpha's den seems to come close to entering a lion's den." He pushed his half-eaten pasta away with a sigh.

"Most people don't interact with us much." Derek offered, remembering the ruckus at that very school when Isaac had become a werewolf. However, back then people had been more focused on the idea that Isaac had killed his own father, Derek hadn't thought that the students had paid close enough attention to the whole werewolf thing to recognize him years later.

"And I thought I had some strange ideas about werewolves." Stiles said with a sad smile.

"But you know better now." Derek offered. "Maybe your friend will come to terms as well."

"Yeah, maybe."

An uncomfortable silence fell over the table and Derek tried to think of something to lighten the mood when suddenly the front door opened and Erica stormed in.

"Derek." She yelled before the door was even open. "Stiles. I need cuddles."

"You need what?" Stiles spun around in his chair.

There was no sight or smell of blood on her and when she came closer, Derek didn't smell pain on her either. However, she smelled like she was stressed and angry.

"Cuddles." She repeated. "I wouldn't say no to pasta either. Is there some left?" She made big eyes at them.

"What happened?" Stiles asked while Derek fixed her a plate.

"Boyd kicked me out." She slumped down in a chair with a pout.

"What did you do?" Stiles asked.

"Nothing."

"What were you about to do?" Derek asked and put the plate in front of her.

Now she hesitated. "I might have been about to yell at our latest client?"

Derek raised his eyebrow at her.

"He's a moron." Erica dug into the pasta. "And a misogynist. He refused to let me work out the security plan for his club. Boyd is handling it now. Apparently he is slightly less biased when it comes to black people than to women. Thank god he doesn't know that we're werewolves. I almost showed him my fangs just to see his face." She grinned but then sobered up when she saw Stiles' face. "What?"

"His friend and half the school thinks that Stiles is a werewolf." Derek informed her. "They didn't take it nicely."

"Why would they think that?" Erica frowned at Stiles who kept himself busy with stacking his and Derek's plate.

"I picked him up from a party the other day and somebody recognized me." Derek let out a sigh. "Apparently that's enough."

"So you need cuddles, too?"

When he turned back to them Stiles couldn't hide his smile.

"Cuddles sound great." He said. "And a bad action movie and popcorn."

"Deal." Erica said, not even bothering to see if it was okay with Derek that they were planning another pack night in his living room. Not that he minded.

After they had cleared the table, they made room for the den.

Derek and Stiles sat with their backs against the couch, legs stretched out and a bowl of popcorn between them while Erica lay on her belly with her chin propped up on her fists in front of them. She had her own bowl of popcorn and Derek was sure that it was the bigger one no matter what she said.

When it was time for bed, Derek and Erica changed and then the wolves took Stiles in the middle. Derek wasn't surprised when not much later Stiles had him in a bear hug and didn't let go the whole night. Not that Derek wanted it any other way but he made a point of looking grumpy in the morning when he worked his way out of Stiles' death grip.

"You can't fool me." Stiles mumbled and drew him back into his arms. "You're all big alpha werewolf on the outside but on the inside you're a cuddler."

Derek snapped his teeth at him but Stiles just buried his face in his neck and drifted back to sleep for another five minutes.

Erica gave him a wolf laugh with her tongue hanging out before she shifted to human.

"Who wants pancakes?" She asked which actually managed to get Stiles moving. He gave Derek one last squeeze before he let go.

"Do you want more pictures of us like that?" Derek hissed once Erica was upstairs in the bathroom. "You know that she's sending your father every one she takes."

"Nothing Dad hasn't seen." Stiles stretched and lazily scratched his stomach. He made a point of not looking at Derek sitting very naked next to him and Derek tried to do the same and to not stare at the stripe of skin showing above the waistband of Stiles' boxers.

Somehow Erica's pancakes drew in the other members of the pack and for breakfast they were all together once again.

This was nothing compared to the breakfasts Derek's family had when he'd been a kid, those had been loud and chaotic and just wonderful, but these were good, too. Boyd told them about their new client. He would have liked to kick him out but he was paying good money and he would bring in other clients as well so he put up with that asshole. But he would make sure to charge him double for his attitude.

When Isaac heard about Stiles' problems at school, he felt instantly guilty, Derek could tell.

"Derek had to come to school a few times when I attended there." He said in a meek voice, eyes fixed on his plate. "That must be why …" He took a shaky breath and Erica drew him into a fierce hug.

"Sorry." Isaac mumbled, face buried in Erica's shoulder.

"It's not your fault what those assholes do." Stiles assured him and hugged him from the other side.

After breakfast the others left for work and college, leaving Stiles and Derek alone.

"You okay?" Derek asked, silently offering to call school and tell them that Stiles wouldn't come in today.

"Better I face them today." Stiles straightened up. "It would only get worse if I stayed home."

He was probably right but it didn't help the uneasy feeling in Derek's stomach. One member of his pack was in distress and there was nothing he could do about it. His wolf didn't like it one bit.

When he was alone Derek cleaned up the kitchen and packed away the blankets and pillows of the den before he sat down at the kitchen table to work. It took him a while to get into it but work was a good distraction. So when his phone rang he was tempted to not answer because he was in the flow and didn't want to lose the momentum.

He didn't recognize the number but in the end he answered anyway.

"Is this Derek Hale?" A woman at the other end asked. Derek confirmed that he was indeed Derek Hale. "I'm calling because of Stiles Stilinski, am I right in the assumption that you're his legal guardian?"

"That's right." He had still no idea what this was about. "Is Stiles alright? Did something happen?"

"I can assure you that he's fine but we would like you to come in to school, Mr. Hale." The woman said. "There are some things to discuss."

The woman refused to give him any details over the phone so Derek drove to the school with mixed feelings. The only explanation he could come up with was that things had gone out of hand and some bully had laid into Stiles. But she had said that Stiles was okay. Whatever that meant.

When he arrived at school, Derek forced himself to walk down the hallway instead of just dashing down towards the principal's office.

He smelled Stiles before he could see him. The teenager was clearly nervous and annoyed but his scent wasn't tainted with pain or distress. Derek immateriality breathed easier.

"What's going on?" He asked when he approached Stiles who was sitting in front of the office.

"I don't know." Stiles took the finger, he had been chewing on, out of his mouth. "They called me out of class but didn't want to tell me anything until you arrived. I didn't do anything, I swear."

Derek gave him a nod to show him that he believed him and then reached for the door knob. "Let's find out what this is about, then."

There were three people waiting for them in the office and Derek didn't see a familiar face. Granted, it had been years since he had to deal with the principal on Isaac's behalf but he had hoped that the man was still in office.

"Mr. Hale, I'm glad you could join us today." The new principal, his name tag on the table read Mr. Cunningham, held out his hand for a shake but his whole body was rigid like he was concealing his anger. He introduced the other people in the room. A Mrs. Hanson, the school's councilor, and a Mr. Miller, one of Stiles' teachers.

"What is this about?" Derek asked when he took the offered seat.

"Mr. Hale." Mr. Cunningham sat down behind his desk and folded his hands in front of him. "As you know, this school accepts werewolves as students but we would have liked to be informed beforehand if one of our students is not human."

"Oh my god." Stiles blurted. Immateriality three death glares were directed at him. "For the last time. I'm not a werewolf."

"I understand that it is sometimes easier to not tell anybody." Mrs. Hanson spoke up. She sounded caring and understanding. Derek had the sudden urge to strangle her. "But it is necessary that our staff knows about werewolves among the students."

"That doesn't change the fact that there is nothing to inform you about because I'm still not a werewolf." Stiles said regardless of the fact the she had spoken to Derek.

"Mr. Hale." The principal took over again. "Is it correct that you're the alpha of the local werewolf pack?"

"That is correct." Derek said, forcing his body to stay relaxed. He wanted to just get up and leave but they had to sort this silly thing out.

"You are Mr. Stilinski's legal guardian?"

"Yes."

"And Mr. Stilinski is part of your pack and lives with you?"

"Yes." Derek said and crossed his arms over his chest.

"And you still want us to believe that he is not a werewolf?" The other man spoke for the first time. "That's ridiculous."

"Ever heard of human pack members?" Stiles asked in a tone clearly saying that he thought they were morons.

Obviously that thought hadn't hadn't occurred to them. There was a round of helpless glances.

"But you're not a family member." Mrs. Hanson was skimming through Stiles' file. "This says that your parents are John and Claudia Stilinski."

"You don't have to be family to be pack." Derek said.

Something like understanding dawned on their faces.

"I see." The principal said, seeking a reassuring glance from Mrs. Hanson. "We would like to speak with Mr. Stilinski alone for a moment, please."

With that Derek was kicked out of the office but he stayed close enough to the door to listen in to them easily.

"Stiles." That was Mrs. Hanson again. Now she sounded even more caring. "Do you want to stay with him?"

Chapter Text

"Stiles." Mrs. Hanson sat down in the chair Derek had just left. "Do you want to stay with him?"

Stiles narrowed his eyes at her. "What are you implying?"

"Stiles." The principal spoke up but he had lost his rather harsh tone. "There are not many reasons for a human being in a werewolf pack."

"I know it can be rather exciting." Mrs. Hanson said, her hand itching as if she wanted to hold his to comfort him but didn't dare. "Werewolves are strong and mystical and I have to admit that Derek has this bad boy image going on. If such a person shows interest in someone a bit younger ... it can be very flattering."

"Whoa." Stiles made and was out of his chair and almost at the door as second later. "I am not in a relationship with Derek if that's what you're implying."

"Does your father know where you are?" Mr. Miller asked. At least he didn't go for the I'm so understanding bullshit.

"If you've read my file you'd know that he has signed the papers making Derek my legal guarding alongside with him." Stiles pointed out. By now he was wondering if they had read his file at all. "I'm not a werewolf, I'm in Derek's pack by choice, on my own free will, and my father, who is a goddamn sheriff, knows exactly where I am and who I'm with. We speak on the phone every day." He fixed every one of them with a stare, ending with the principal, daring them to say something. "If that's all?"

Stiles didn't wait for an answer before he turned on his heel and left the office.

Derek was right outside. Not close enough that it looked like he had been eavesdropping but close enough to do it anyway at least for somebody with werewolf hearing which most people didn't take into account. The secretary tried to not openly stare at them but it was obvious that she was curious what was going on. Especially since Derek had probably refused to sit down in one of the waiting chairs.

"Do you want to switch schools?" Derek asked, ignoring the principal coming out of the office right after Stiles.

"Mr. Stilinski." Principal Cunningham said over Derek's words but Stiles just ignored him. "We're not done here."

Derek raised an eyebrow at him but then dismissed him, focus back on Stiles, waiting for his answer.

"I'm not sure yet." Stiles said. "Let's see how the next few days are like."

"Just tell me if you change your mind." Derek gave him a nod, accepting his decision without questions. Then he turned to the principal who was now flanked by Mrs. Hanson and Mr. Miller. All three of them looked like they didn't know if they should fume or be embarrassed. Stiles just grinned at them.

"Mr. Cunningham." Derek spoke to the principal and once again he let his authority show. He was the alpha. He didn't use that power often, the last time Stiles had witnessed it had been after Derek had claimed him when he had been confronting Peter.

Immediately Stiles relaxed and let Derek handle this. It was still a strange feeling how easily Stiles felt himself agree to letting his alpha taking the lead.

"I think we established that Stiles is not a werewolf and as a human he's just a student like everybody else at this school. I expect you to treat him as such." He paused with a tilt of his head as if he was waiting for the idiot in front of him to understand his words. "Where he lives and who he is with is nothing of your concern. Stiles, his father and I have agreed to this arrangement and since Stiles' father is the sheriff of Beacon Hills, I can assure you that everything is legal and correct. Stiles will be back at school tomorrow." With that he turned and Stiles followed him out of the office.

"I like it when you go all alpha on them." He said, not bothering to hide the wide grin on his face.

"They're idiots."

Of course they entered the hallway just when the bell rang and students started to spill out of every door. Within seconds they were surrounded by people. Stiles noticed surprised looks and at least one whispered "That's Derek Hale".

"Great, that's not going to help to stop the rumors." Stiles muttered under his breath and hurried after Derek who walked straight down the hallway without looking left or right.

Stiles spotted Sean in the crowd but the other teen ducked out of sight before Stiles could make up his mind if he wanted to talk to him right now or not.

"Do you want to ride with me?" Derek asked. "I can drop you off tomorrow."

Stiles was about to say that he was fine with driving his jeep home but suddenly everything caught up with him and his hands started to shake.

"My car, c'mon." Derek led him over to the Camaro and opened the passenger side door for him.

"You don't have to come back here if you don't want to." Derek said again while he started the engine. "There are other schools. Or we can look into online programs."

"Thanks, I'll think about it." Stiles said, feeling numb all of a sudden. "It wasn't so bad the first few days. Maybe it will sort itself out in a bit." He thought about Lydia again who had gone through hell for a week or two after her disappearance. Kids were cruel. But they were also easily distracted. Chances were good that by the end of the week something more interesting had happened and he would just be the kid associated with wolves.

Derek didn't say anything to that and just drove them home. It was weird but by now Stiles did think of the loft as home.

The next morning Derek drove him to school without saying anything about the situation. In fact, he wasn't saying anything at all but Stiles took comfort from his presence alone. The bond with his alpha was the strongest in his mind and with Derek this close it was like a bright beacon. It was a nice feeling.

"Thanks, man." Stiles said and reached for the door. He took a deep breath and his best fuck you attitude and then he left the car. He felt Derek's eyes on him for a moment but then Derek drove off. At least he wasn't hovering like a soccer mom on her kid's fist day of school.

There were glances and outright stares but now Stiles knew what they were about and it was easier to ignore them.

His first class was history with Mr. Miller, so that should be interesting. Stiles didn't know what to expect from the man. An apology? An official statement that he wasn't a werewolf? Ignorance?

Turned out Mr. Miller went for the latter. It was a class like every other except for the fact that the teacher refused to even look at him. It reminded him of his old Chemistry teacher Mr. Harris. Stiles didn't really care. If he could survive Harris, he could survive the cold shoulder this teacher was giving him.

Stiles just hoped that things would go back to normal after a few days. If Mr. Miller put his grades at jeopardy with his attitude they would have to have a talk about it. Or rather Derek would have a talk with him. But for now Stiles just sat through class as if nothing was wrong.

Lunch was the same as the day before, his old group made it clear that there was no room for him at their table so Stiles sat alone in the back again. At least there he was more or less hidden from the other students.

To his surprise Sean came over to him.

"Can I sit with you?" The boy asked, awkwardly clutching his tray.

"Sure." Stiles made room for him and Sean sat down next to him.

"I was an ass the other day." Sean said without looking at him. He was suddenly very interested in his food.

"Hmm." Stiles made, waiting for him to continue.

"About the assignment." Sean started. "We could work on it after school? At my place?"

Stiles wasn't sure if this was genuine or just about his grades but he was willing to forgive Sean. It felt nice that at least one person was willing to even talk to him.

Sean didn't have a car so Stiles drove them over. On the way he called Derek to let him know that he wouldn't come home right after school so the alpha wouldn't send out the cavalry if he wasn't home on time.

"Is this okay for you?" Sean asked when Stiles put his phone away. "You won't get in trouble for staying at my place?"

"Why would I?" Stiles tried to sound innocent but he knew exactly what Sean was aiming at. Not long ago he would have thought the same.

Strange how much his view had changed over the last few weeks. Now living in a werewolf pack seemed to be the most normal thing in the world.

Sean just bit his bottom lip and didn't answer. He was trying, Stiles got that. The fact that Sean was willing to give him a second chance alone was something close to a miracle. Last time they had spoken, he had treated Stiles like the scum of the universe.

"You can park right over there." Sean directed him when they reached his house. It was small but cozy and well cared for. "My parents are still at work."

"Annoying siblings?" Stiles ask in an attempt to lighten the mood. He could tell how nervous the other teen was.

"Just me and my parents." Sean led the way into the house. It reminded Stiles of his old home in Beacon Hills. This was a place a small family lived in, not as open and cold as Derek's loft.

"My room is upstairs." Sean said, already on his way to the upper floor.

Sean's room was like every teenager's room with band posters on the walls and dirty socks on the floor. Stiles' looked the same and by now he dared to hope that Sean would be willing to come over to his place one day.

For a while they worked on their assignment. That way they could avoid talking about personal stuff. However, eventually the enthusiasm died down and at one point they were sitting there and neither of them knew what to say next.

Stiles knew what kind of questions were on Sean's mind but so far the other boy hadn't gathered the courage to ask them.

"You've lived here your whole life?" Stiles prompted. "Maybe you can show me around a bit, I found some nice places on my own but I bet I've missed a lot."

Grateful for the distraction Sean told him about the places he liked to go to and where to better not show his face. He promised to take Stiles there and it was almost as if there hadn't been a fight between them.

The conversation went to movies and shows they had watched and slowly Sean warmed up to him again. Stiles still stood with his earlier prediction that they would never become BFF but it looked like friends was on the table again.

They were drinking too much coke and eating too many Oreos with Stiles sitting backwards on Sean's office chair, chin resting on the top of the headrest, and Sean spread out on a bean bag. It was almost like it had been with Scott. Stiles felt a ping of sadness but that didn't keep him from proving his point why Batman would kick Superman's ass.

After that there was a lull in the conversation again which Stiles used to stuff more Oreos in his face. Sean used it to ask an overdue question: "How did you end up in a werewolf pack?"

Chapter Text

When Derek saw Stiles' name on the display of his phone he thought that things at school had escalated for real now. He picked up with a bad feeling in his stomach but that changed rather quickly when Stiles told him that he would stay at Sean's for some homework after school.

Derek ended the call with a relieved feeling, looked like things between Stiles and his friend did work out after all. He just hoped that this attempt didn't end in a disaster like the first one.

When Stiles came home later that evening Derek was busy with work but he had a close eye on Stiles, searching for any indication on how the afternoon had gone.

"Did you get some things done?" He asked when Stiles dropped down in the chair across from him.

"Yeah." Was the clipped answer.

"Did something happen?" Derek closed his laptop to give Stiles his full attention.

"Not really. I just had to explain to him how I became part of your pack without too many details." He let out a sigh.

"And that's a problem to you?" Derek raised an eyebrow at him. Usually Stiles talked in circles around a topic until the other person had forgotten the initial question without giving away any information he didn't want to give away. Derek still wasn't sure if that was funny or annoying. Especially since Stiles liked to do it with trivial stuff as well. Poor Isaac probably still dreamed about Viking craftsmanship when all he had wanted to know was if Stiles had ever played Lacrosse at his old school.

"I don't want to lie to him." Stiles admitted. "But the truth is kind of hard to explain."

Derek thought about that night, he wasn't surprised that it still bothered Stiles.

"Do you want to talk about it?" Derek offered. "Not with me." He hurried to add. "Somebody else. They say it helps."

He had no idea how often he'd heard those words after the fire and maybe it would have been a good idea to talk to somebody about it but he hadn't.

"Dude." Stiles' attention snapped to him and he narrowed his eyes on him. "I don't need a therapist. Granted, the circumstances were shitty but that has been the best sex I ever had. I never intended to join a pack and I would love to live with my dad, that's true." He paused, searching for the right words.

"It was your first time." Derek reminded him. Neither of them had wanted it and Stiles had just said how much he didn't want to be in the pack, how much he didn't want to be with Derek. He clenched his jaw. What he had done to Stiles wasn't fair and what was happening at school now was just the cherry on top of a pile of crap.

"But." Stiles emphasized the word, drawing Derek out of his thoughts. "I like it here. I like the pack and I like living with you. Sure, it isn't what I expected but it's okay. It's more than okay."

Derek listened to his words and his heartbeat and both were telling him the same. Stiles meant what he said.

"I know you still blame yourself for what happened that night." Stiles stood up and was now standing right next to him. "Don't. Just don't."

Suddenly Stiles wrapped his arms around him and buried his nose in Derek's neck. From another werewolf this would be comforting and reassuring but Stiles wasn't a werewolf. He was human and humans didn't act like this.

Derek didn't know what to do so he didn't do anything. He just sat there and let Stiles hug him.

"Sean has opened my eyes a bit." Stiles said into the crook of his neck. "I've been shitty to you, assuming the worst without even knowing you. I'm sorry."

Derek still didn't know what to say. He grabbed Stiles' arm, which was clenched tightly across his chest, with both hands and leaned sideways into his body.

"I don't want to sleep alone tonight." Stiles whispered.

"You don't have to."

Right after dinner Derek changed into fur and they spend the evening in the den with Stiles lying half on top of Derek. They fell asleep like that as well. Who was comforting whom, Derek didn't know.

The next week went by without any more crises. Most of the time Stiles came home right after school and either went straight up to his room to do his homework and whatever he did on his laptop or when he didn't want to be alone, he came downstairs with his stuff and set up his work place at the coffee table. Then they both worked in comfortable silence. As silent as Stiles could be. Who argued with their textbook?

Stiles did the cooking and over dinner he usually opened up a bit. He ranted about how Mr. Miller kept ignoring him but that was still a better treatment than he got from some students. Nothing big, Stiles was part of a werewolf pack after all, but a push here, a whispered word there. It added up and it was eating at Stiles, Derek could tell but he didn't know what to do about it.

"Mrs. Hanson wants to see me again tomorrow." Stiles said, poking the innocent carrot on his plate with his fork as if it had personally offended him.

Derek looked up from his plate, slowly chewing the bit in his mouth.

"She's convinced that you're taking advantage of me." He said in clear disgust. Derek wasn't sure if that was directed at the advantage part or the idea of having sex with Derek in general. "Even if you were what does she think she can do about it? Because, you know, I couldn't just leave you even if I wanted to, so really, what's the point? Just so that she can say that she's right?"

"She's concerned." Derek offered.

"She just wants to prove something here." Stiles corrected, stabbing one of the larger pieces of his carrot. He put it in his mouth and started to chew angrily on it. "You're a werewolf so you have to be a bad influence. I thought people here were better than in Beacon Hills."

"They are." Derek said. "But it's always easier to be supportive if something is not right in front of you."

They ate in silence for a moment but Derek could tell that Stiles was still mulling over this.

"How are things with Sean?" Derek changed the topic. Sean was the only student Stiles talked about and they had met after school just yesterday. At Sean's place. So far the other boy hadn't dared to set a foot in the werewolf's den, so to speak.

"Better." Stiles answered with a little smile. "We finished the assignment yesterday. But we want to hang out on the weekend."

Derek nodded to that, it was good that Stiles had made at least one friend here. They weren't best buddies, Stiles had said so even before everybody had thought that Stiles was a werewolf, but they got along.

"Speaking of this weekend." Derek said, making a face. "One of my clients got me a ticket for this symposium on short notice." Which meant he had gotten the confirmation just an hour ago. "It's a great opportunity to hear him speak about his topic."

"That sounds great." Stiles frowned at him, probably picking up on his discomfort.

Usually Derek worked mostly online and with book references, getting this close to the source was a chance he didn't get often. However, there were two problems. One, he hated crowded places and the symposium would be full with people and two, Stiles was still new in his pack. He didn't know how he would take it if he was separated from his alpha for a few days.

"I'm not sure if I want to go." Derek admitted. He really wasn't sure.

"If you're worried about me, I'm a big boy." Stiles guessed at least one of his worries right. "And I won't throw a party, I promise."

Not that Stiles had people to invite to his party but Derek didn't point that out.

"You could have Sean over if you want." He offered.

"I might do that." Stiles brightened up. "If you're actually going. I doubt I can make him come over with you looming in the background."

Derek flashed his eyes at him but Stiles didn't even flinch.

"My point exactly." He said unimpressed and attacked another carrot.

He did become serious a moment later.

"Would it be a problem for me?" He pointed at his head. "I mean with the bond? I've never been far enough away from you to not feel you anymore. I lose Boyd and Erica almost daily when they go to work around the city, but I've never lost the connection to you. What happens when you're going to ..." He paused. "Where are you going to?"

"New York."

"That's the other side of the country." Stiles blurted out with a hint of panic. Of course Stiles was worried about the distance and if he was honest, Derek was a bit worried himself.

"Losing the connection to me will be more intense than what you feel with Body and Erica." Derek said, remembering the connection he had with his mother and later with Laura. "But it's not that bad."

"It won't drive me insane?" Stiles asked. He wasn't joking.

"Breaking the bond would do that." Derek explained. Since he met Stiles he did a lot of explaining and to his surprise he didn't really mind. "Losing the connection by distance is not the same, the bond is not broken just stretched."

Stiles finished his plate and leaned back in his chair.

"So, you're not really worried about me." And with that he had just turned around Derek's argument against the trip. At least one. He was still not keen on getting squished in a crowd of humans, though.

"What are you worried about?" Stiles rested his elbows on the table and eyed him curiously. "Let me guess, you're not exactly a people person."

Derek just glared at him. Stiles nodded as if that was proving his point.

"You should go." Stiles said. "It's about something your interested in and it helps your work. Just ignore the circumstances."

That was easier said than done but Derek felt himself nod to the idea.

"I have to think about it."

Thankfully, Stiles dropped the topic after that and didn't mention it again.

The thing was, Derek wanted to go and somehow Stiles had convinced him to just do it.

So when he started packing on Thursday Stiles didn't comment on it, too busy with another rant about one of the other students who still thought that he was a werewolf but wasn't smart enough to get that poking a werewolf was a bad idea.

Instead Stiles just fetched him the things he needed from the bathroom.

"Erica will insist on pack nights." Derek warned him. Not that he thought that was a bad idea. His betas often slept together in a pack pile when he was gone, it helped them to deal with the absence of their alpha, and since this would be Stiles' first time apart from him he probably needed more reassurance than the others.

The night before Derek left they had another pack night which ended with him and Stiles sleeping in the middle and the others lying around or on top of them.

Being away from his pack and his territory wasn't easy for an alpha either so Derek enjoyed the closeness of his pack before he left in the morning.

His three betas promised to keep an eye on Stiles but Derek still left with mixed feelings.

Chapter Text

Derek had to leave early in the morning to catch his plane and Stiles missed him the second he was out of the door. It was pathetic.

He wanted to blame that on the bond but Derek wasn't even at his car yet and the beacon in Stiles head was still strong.

It stayed strong for longer than he had expected, though. He felt Derek moving away but he could still feel him at a point where he already would have lost one of the betas.

"I don't like it." Isaac said who had stayed with Stiles. Boyd and Erica were downstairs to get ready for work at a location across town which meant he would lose contact with them soon, too. At least Stiles' school and the college were in pack sensing distance so Stiles wouldn't feel totally alone.

"Hmm?" Stiles made absently, he was focused on the fading sense of Derek in his mind.

"Not feeling him anymore." Isaac answered and held up the coffee pot with a questioning look at Stiles' mug.

"I can still feel him." Stiles said with a frown. The feeling was almost gone but still there.

"I lost him a few minutes ago." Isaac poured them some coffee but when he looked back at Stiles, his face was unreadable.

"And." Stiles drew out the word. "He's gone."

That feeling wasn't that much different from what he experienced with the others almost every day just more intense.

Isaac studied him over the rim of his mug for a long minute.

"What?"

"Nothing." Isaac hurried to say. "You're human, maybe that's why your connection to him is stronger.

If he was a werewolf, Stiles would have heard the lie in his heartbeat, he was sure of that.

However, Isaac deflected farther questions with a story about one of his professors and Stiles let him get away with it. He didn't need to hear that claimed humans were bounded more tightly to the alpha. It sounded too much like slave or pet to him.

It was Friday so they had to leave for school and campus but Isaac promised that they would have another pack night so nobody would feel alone.

"Don't try to argue." He warned with a smug grin. "You can't win against Erica."

"True." Stiles had to agree. Not that he wanted to fight her on this. The thought of staying the night alone in the loft sent shivers down his spine. Since he had become part of Derek's pack being alone had lost its appeal.

The physical loneliness wasn't the problem, though, it was the empty feeling in his head where his alpha should be that made him really uncomfortable. And Derek wasn't even on the plane yet. Soon he would be on the other side of the country.

Stiles remembered the group hug the pack had given Derek when they had come back from Beacon Hills. Back then Stiles hadn't understood why the werewolves needed to reconnect. Now he did.

However, this was the chance to sort things out with Sean a bit more.

"Hey." Stiles caught his almost friend at the lockers. "Derek's out of town for the weekend. Want to hang out at my place for a change? Tomorrow?"

He tried to make it sound nonchalantly but he really needed this slice of normality. He stood with his back to the hallway so he didn't have to see the looks the other students were still giving him.

"I don't know." Sean chewed on his bottom lip while he tried to look busy sorting through his locker.

"C'mon, man." Stiles almost pleaded. "I can snag Isaac's PlayStation and I know where Derek hides his beer." He had no idea why the werewolf even had beer, he couldn't get drunk but maybe he just liked the taste, however, Stiles knew where he kept it. Not that right next to the case with coke counted as a hiding place but whatever.

"Are there going to be other …" Sean hesitated. "… members of the pack?"

"Werewolves." Stiles emphasized the word. "You can say it, they don't bite." He gave him a grin but Sean didn't seem to appreciate the joke so he just smoothed over it. "I live with Derek, the others have their own places a floor beneath us. They won't bother us, I promise."

It might have been more out of curiosity than anything else, when did an ordinary human get the chance to see the insight of an alpha's den, but in the end Sean said yes. He might get disappointed, Stiles thought but didn't say it out loud.

Isaac let him have the PlayStation and promised no surprise visits while Stiles had his friend over. Boyd and Erica would have to work till morning, it was the weekend after all, so Stiles had the loft werewolf free for the evening.

When Sean finally knocked at the steel door Stiles was already pacing the living room, phone in hand, considering if he should call him or not.

"Sorry, I'm late." Sean said as a greeting and Stiles could picture him sitting outside in his car, debating if he should come upstairs or not.

"I'm glad you made it." Stiles said with a broad grin, not showing how anxious he had been just seconds ago. He wasn't sure what he would have done if Sean hadn't shown up. He was the closest thing to a friend Stiles had around here, not counting the pack, and he doubted their fragile friendship could have taken such a hit.

"So." Sean made a point of looking around. "This is where you live?"

"Home sweet home." Stiles made a wide gesture over the floor. The advantage of having no walls was that they had a good look at the kitchen and the living room right from where they stood. The disadvantage however was, that everybody could see the dirty dishes if Stiles was too lazy to put them in the dish washer right away. Today the kitchen was spotless, though.

"My room's upstairs." Stiles gestured at the spiral staircase. "Let me show you."

Sean followed him up the stairs.

"This is Derek's room, don't go in there." That had been the only restriction Derek had left him with. It was fine if Stiles or another pack member entered his bedroom but there was a strict no strangers in my bedroom policy.

"The bathroom is over there and this is my room." By now Stiles had most of his stuff here and Stiles had bought a few things for himself as well. He had his posters on the walls and his books on the shelf and by now it actually felt like home. It wasn't his childhood home and he still missed his dad but it was home now.

Stiles offered Sean the chair before he sat down on his bed.

"See?" He said with a grin. "Just an ordinary teenager's room."

"I did expect more, I don't know, wolfyness?" Sean rubbed the back of his head in embarrassment.

"I told you, it's not that different."

"And Derek sleeps in a real bed?" Sean blurted out the first question on his mind.

"Most of the time." Stiles answered the indiscreet question easily. He knew what was on Sean's mind. "Sometimes, however, we do sleep in a pack pile in the living room."

"You too?"

"Yep." Stiles let the word pop. "Human little me in the middle of four grown ass wolves."

Sean stared at him, clearly trying to picture that in his mind. "Aren't you scared of them? I mean, they're wolves. I wouldn't get a minute of sleep like that."

"They're werewolves." Stiles corrected. At least they were talking about this. Assumptions were always worse and never correct, he'd learned that lesson. "They're still aware of everything and in total control."

"Even at the full moon?" Sean sounded doubtful.

"I only had one full moon with them so far." Stiles admitted. "We went for a run in the woods and then slept together in the den till noon."

"And they didn't attack anyone? Or anything?"

"Like what? A fluffy bunny?" Stiles laughed at that idea. "No, no bunnies were harmed." He thought that as wolves they would like to case and maybe even eat a bunny from time to time but so far he hadn't seen it and he really didn't want to scare Sean off.

"Okay, enough werewolf 101." Stiles clapped his hands. "Let's go downstairs and see what games Isaac has."

Sean noticed the wolf hair on the couch and sat down only touching the edge.

"Dude, it's just hair." Stiles made a point on flopping down next to him, not caring about getting hair on his pants. He was beyond that point. "It's like having a dog, you just can't get rid of all the hair."

Stiles was pretty sure that he could predict a werewolf household by their vacuum cleaner alone. But even with the best cleaner, the hairs were just everywhere. And with Derek joining him on the couch in his fur quite often lately there was hair on the couch, deal with it.

"Won't he smell that I was sitting here?" Sean asked, still more hovering over the couch than actually sitting on it.

"He can smell that you've been in the loft." Stiles pointed out. "But he doesn't mind people sitting on his couch. That's what a couch is for. To sit on it."

Despite the rough start, they did have fun. After Sean had gotten over his initial fear of upsetting Derek by existing alone, he got engrossed in the games they were playing. When Stiles brought the beer out, everything else was forgotten and Stiles instantly became Sean's favorite person.

They ordered pizza for dinner and made a mess of the coffee table.

"You will help cleaning this up." Stiles promised darkly when he kicked the empty boxes to the floor so that he could put his feet on the table.

"Sure thing." Sean agreed easily.

It was good. Not as good as it had been with Scott, though. And Stiles' evenings with Isaac had been way more relaxed than this one but it was good. Maybe if they did this more often, Sean would lose his fear of werewolves and they could become real friends.

It was close to midnight when there was a knock at the door. Stiles had totally forgotten the time and so had Sean who had a panicked look at his phone.

Stiles paused the game and went for the door. Boyd and Erica were still working and out of pack bond reach so it had to be Isaac at the door.

"Hey." Stiles opened the door to let the werewolf in. Mentally he was cursing at him and Stiles hoped his expression translated his feelings because he could actually feel Sean tense up behind him. He had promised a werewolf free environment, dammit.

"Sorry to bother you." Isaac said, looking over his shoulder at Sean who was probably trying to melt into the couch behind Stiles' back. "I was just wondering about tonight." He left it rather vague with a pointed look at Sean.

"We kinda forgot the time." Stiles had to admit

Since Boyd and Erica would work until morning it was only him and Isaac for now and neither of them wanted to sleep alone, they had established that.

"I'm not tired yet." Isaac said in a low voice. "But in an hour or two?" He looked at Stiles with the most adorable puppy dog eyes Stiles had ever seen and he had known Scott.

"Of course, just come here after Sean has left." Stiles said in an equally low voice. The way Isaac's nose twitched he wanted to bury it in Stiles' neck to scent him but that had to wait, he really didn't want to freak Sean out.

"Who was that?" Sean asked when Stiles plopped down next to him on the couch.

"Isaac." Stiles explained. "He's pack."

"He's so young."

"Dude." Stiles smacked him in the shoulder. "He's older than me and you thought I was a werewolf."

Sean left half an hour later with a very thoughtful expression on his face.

Chapter Text

Derek didn't like flying.

If somebody would have asked him, he would have said that he just liked to feel solid ground underneath his feet. Which was true. But it was only part of the truth.

Being away from his pack and territory was also part of it. The strong beacons of his pack in his mind faded away into nothingness, leaving him with an intense feeling of loneliness. Stiles was the last to leave him, maybe because he was human. Derek didn't have a human pack member since he had become an alpha so he didn't know if things like this were normal or not. He could ask Laura, she had humans in her pack, not claimed but still, but so far he had done pretty well on his own, no need to give his big sister ammunition by asking her for advice on how to handle human pack members. She would help him as best as she could, he had no doubt about that, but she would also milk him for it later. And on some level he feared that she would tell him that something was wrong with his bond with Stiles and he really didn't want to go there.

However, having his pack with him would have helped but it wouldn't make flying a better experience.

It started before Derek even got on the plane.

Werewolves didn't have to out themselves, not for the lack of trying from some anti-werewolf activists but so far the werewolves had managed to block such laws, but it certainly came up with his name when Derek checked in. Or it was just coincidence that they picked him for a thorough search. Sure.

Derek didn't like getting touched by strangers but he let them search him with a clenched jaw.

For sure he didn't like the smell of the security guy on everything in his suitcase. His underwear shouldn't smell like other people. Before this guy had his hands all over it, Stiles' scent had been lingering in the folds of his clothes but it was gone now.

It didn't get better once Derek was on the plane. By now he really regretted his decision to make this trip.

He traveled first class so he had at least some space. Being sandwiched between two strangers would have been the worst.

First class or not, the dead, sterile air was the same everywhere in this tin can and it didn't get better over time when the scent of the people around him started to clog his airways and was smothering him.

Derek felt the vibrations of the engines through his feet on the floor and rattling up his spine with his seat. He had a headache not twenty minutes into the flight.

Then the stewardess came by to offer food and drinks which he declined politely, he had learned to not eat or drink anything they offered on a plane. Even the water tasted chemical.

Derek just didn't like flying.

And he already thought with dread of his trip back. Maybe he should just rent a car and drive.

When he finally left the airport, he squinted into the bright neon lights greeting him and he wondered where he had left his sun glasses.

Derek took a cab to his hotel and before he bothered with anything else, he took a long shower to wash off the scent of strangers. Feeling slightly more like himself he ordered a late dinner and while he waited for his food, he got his phone out to let his pack know that he'd arrived safely.

He scrolled down to "Stiles" in his contact list and almost hit the call button before he remembered that Stiles wasn't the person he should call. Isaac had been his first beta and as such he was his second in command.

Shaking his head Derek scrolled back up until he reached "Isaac".

Everything was fine at home, Stiles had even managed to invite his friend over for tomorrow, and Derek ended the call with a lighter feeling in his stomach.

He would meet his client at the symposium at nine the next morning and Derek was beat from the flight so he dropped dead in his bed right after dinner.

At least the sheets smelled fresh.

The symposium was worth the trip, Derek decided around noon the next day. So far he had an in-depth conversation with his client, had sat in the audience when he had spoken about his work and had met two people interested in his service as a translator.

Derek had lunch with a Professor Rodriguez, a resolute woman in her forties.

"I know I should just write in English but I'm an astrophysicist, I'm not that good with languages." She put a fork full of her salad into her mouth, clearly waiting for a comment.

Her English was very good with an accent that gave it more depth but Derek knew that speaking a language and writing scientific work in it wasn't the same.

"A lot of people can't write in their own language." He offered. "That's what ghostwriters are for."

She tilted her head in surprise, that wasn't the answer she had expected.

"So, Mr. Hale." She said. "How do you approach a translation?"

Derek had to explain the progress quite often so he didn't even have to think about the answer.

"I need your book of course." He started. "Reference books and as many of the sources you used as I can get. Your notes would help as well. I need to get familiar with the topic before I can start translating." He paused and reached for the pass for the symposium hanging around his neck. "That's why I'm here. I wanted to hear my client speak. And we met in person. Emails and phone calls are fine but it's always better to talk face to face." That way he could listen to the heartbeat and see the other person's face and body language. People gave away a lot without even realizing it.

"That's a lot of work for a simple translation." Professor Rodriguez said but she seemed to be pleased with his answer.

"A friend of mine told me that you don't fuck with science." He answered with a smile.

She laughed at that and raised her water glass to it.

This meeting went way better than the last and Derek was pretty sure that he would leave the table with a new client in his contacts.

Usually Derek didn't like crowded places, too many people, too many scents and noises, but he had to admit that he quite enjoyed the symposium.

The visitors where mostly scientists and people closely related to science and there was less small talk about the weather and more about radio signals in space. Everybody liked to talk about their topic and Derek learned a thing or two just listening in to the conversations in the hallways.

He attended to some panels and more often than not he found himself in the middle of a conversation with the person sitting next to him with no idea how that happened.

When he came back to his hotel late in the evening, he was dead on his feet but happy. He was actually looking forward to the second day.

Isaac had told him that Stiles had his friend over on Saturday so on Sunday Derek called Stiles to make sure that everything was okay.

"Hey." Stiles greeted him with a sleep heavy voice.

"Sorry, did I wake you?" Derek asked, calculating the time difference in his head. It should be around eight in the morning on Stiles' end.

"I can go back to sleep in a minute." Stiles said in a low voice and it sounded like he was walking over to the kitchen. "Or not." He sighed.

"What?"

"Isaac just shifted and now he's lying spread-eagled in the den." Stiles said. "Naked." He added as if Derek didn't know what that meant. "I swear, he's doing that just to screw with me."

"I love you." Came Isaac's voice from the background.

"No pants no coffee." Stiles yelled. "Freaking werewolves." He muttered under his breath.

Derek covered the phone with his hand to hide his chuckle.

"I'm guessing everything went well with your friend yesterday?" Derek changed the topic.

"Sean almost got a heart attack when Isaac came upstairs around midnight but, yeah, it was fine." Isaac said something to that but it was too distant for Derek to make out.

"You scared him."

"I'm not scary." Derek heard the fake pout in Isaac's words.

"Not butt naked and with those droopy eyes." Stiles agreed. "Would you get your pants already?"

There was a pause while Stiles waited for Isaac to get his pants.

"How's the symposium going?" Stiles asked, remembering that he had Derek on the phone.

They talked for a bit and somehow the check-in call which usually was done in under a minute with Isaac turned into an almost fifteen minutes conversation which Derek only ended because the next panel was about to start.

Later that evening Professor Rodriguez asked him if he wanted to join her and a few colleagues for dinner and to his own surprise he said yes. After dinner they moved on to a bar which Derek actually enjoyed. The others were mostly talking about their work but by now Derek understood a lot and they were more than willing to explain some concepts in detail to him. The more drunk they got, the more they wanted to talk and Derek was more than willing to listen. His questions didn't seem too stupid and the discussion they had over he didn't know how many tequilas were mind blowing. And who knew that scientist could hold their liquor like this? Derek was quite impressed. He was the only one not effected by the alcohol but that didn't really matter, he had fun.

It was late when he finally made his way to his hotel but his flight wasn't too early in the morning so he could sleep in a bit. Before he turned in, he checked his phone one last time to find a message from Stiles. It was a video of a fluffy looking dog chasing his tail. It was labeled Isaac.

Nice. Was his short response, he was too tired to think of something more witty. And he had to admit that Isaac was kind of fluffy with his curly wolf hair.

Seconds later there was another message. This time it was a picture of a black wolf lolling his tongue in a dog laugh.

Derek answered that one with a Shouldn't you be sleeping by now?

Too much coffee. Came the immediate answer. And it's not that late.

See you tomorrow. Derek wrote and then put the phone aside. He drifted off to sleep with a smile on his lips.

The flight back wasn't any better than the one to New York, Derek still didn't like flying, but the thought that this would bring him back home to his pack helped a lot.

With his bag over his shoulder Derek climbed the stairs up to his loft, after hours in the plane he needed some exercise. He could feel his pack waiting for him and he just wanted to run to them. Stiles had been the first he'd felt but the others hadn't been far behind and now they were bright beacons in his mind again.

When he entered the loft, Derek had just enough time to drop his bag next to the door before he stood in the middle of his pack. The wolves were on him without hesitation, touching and sniffing, and a second later Stiles had him in a bear hug as well. Boyd had his nose buried in the crook of his neck and Isaac was nuzzling at his throat on the other side while Erica had her ear pressed against his chest to listen to his heartbeat. Somewhere Stiles had wiggled his way in as well and for a few minutes they just stood like that.

The scent of his pack filled Derek's nose and his clothes soaked it in, covering up the scent of strangers he'd brought with him.

"Welcome home." Stiles mumbled from somewhere near his armpit.

Chapter Text

Back when Stiles had come from Beacon Hills with Derek he hadn't understood why the werewolves needed the closeness to their alpha, especially after days apart. Now he was pacing the loft, willing the weak little blip in the back of his mind to become the strong beacon again. He had dropped a glass and had splattered orange juice when the loose end in his mind finally had found its connection again. Now the glass and juice were cleaned up and Stiles didn't know what to do until Derek would be home again.

The others had said that they would come upstairs as soon as Derek was within reach so that they could welcome him together but so far none of them had shown up.

"Maybe I'm the first." Stiles pondered, chewing on a fingernail. He had been the last to lose the connection, it made sense that he was the first to reconnect with their alpha.

A few minutes later, Derek was a constant presence in the back of his head again, the door opened and Boyd stepped in. Erica and Isaac were right behind him so they had felt their alpha at the same time. Stiles didn't know what to think of that but at the moment his mind was on other things.

He already had the den prepared, there would be a pack night tonight, and now there was nothing else to do than wait.

"Would you sit down?" Boyd asked from the couch where he had taken a seat with Erica sitting in his lap. Isaac had dropped in one of the chairs which left Stiles the only one standing.

"How can you sit?" He wondered. He felt like running, preferable in Derek's direction.

"It's the rush hour." Boyd reminded him. "He won't be here in the next few minutes."

"Yeah, yeah." Stiles muttered but kept on pacing. "This is still new to me and it's driving me nuts that I can feel him but he isn't here yet. This is worse than waiting for Christmas morning."

"As if you ever waited for Christmas morning." Isaac spoke up. "I bet you woke up in the middle of the night and since it was after midnight you just declared it morning. You must have driven you parents nuts."

"Hey, after midnight is technically morning." Stiles defended himself, still moving around.

"Did you notice that he didn't deny it?" Erica asked and made herself more comfortable in Boyd's lap.

"I knew what was in the presents long before they were under the tree anyway." Stiles said absently. The feeling of Derek grew stronger by the minute, telling him that the alpha made his way slowly but surly through the traffic.

"Why am I not surprised?" Boyd said but dropped the topic.

Derek arrived about half an hour later and the wolves were on him before he had made two steps into the loft. Stiles watched them for a second, all three betas draping themselves around Derek as much as they could with their noses on his throat and neck, while Derek embraced them with his eyes closed and inhaling deeply.

Stiles' human side thought that it was kind of silly but the side that had grown with the bond was begging him to join in. He needed to be close to his alpha, he needed to reconnect with the others as a pack.

Somehow he ended up with his nose smashed in Derek's armpit which should be gross but wasn't.

"Welcome home." Stiles said and let himself sag more against the werewolf.

They stood like that for a moment longer before they let go of Derek long enough for him to grab a quick shower. In the meantime Erica ordered them some food, Chinese this time, and Isaac and Boyd were debating which movies to watch.

The pack night was like the others they had before but this time Stiles couldn't help himself and snuggled closer to his alpha until they sat flush together from shoulder to hip with their backs against the couch. When Derek raised his arm Stiles didn't even have to think about it and ducked under it. Isaac sat on Derek's other side and he ended up with his head on Derek's shoulder somewhere in the middle of the second movie as well. Erica and Boyd had already changed into fur at this point and Erica was lying draped over their legs while Boyd had jumped on the couch, making a comfortable head rest for the three sitting on the floor.

They slept in a pile, the wolves in fur and Stiles in his baggy sleep shirt, but since the next day was a normal school and work day, they had to get up early and didn't have time for a lazy breakfast. Isaac and Stiles had to leave first and they both hugged Derek before they left the apartment. Stiles was already half-way to school when he realized that he had actually hugged Derek goodbye.

For once Stiles was in a good mood and he didn't care about what others thought of him. Back in Beacon Hills he and Scott had been the odd ones for years, this wasn't that much different. And with Sean speaking to him again, things were looking up.

He came home with a butt load of homework which he did at the coffee table while Derek had his work spread out on the kitchen table as usual. What wasn't usual were this many handwritten notes and binders with what looked like handouts he must have gotten at the symposium.

The second Stiles felt the first lull in his homework, chemistry had never been one of his favorites, he sauntered over and picked up one of the binders.

"Astrophysics?" He raised an eyebrow at Derek but had his nose buried in the binder a second later. He knew that Derek translated scientific texts for a living but he hadn't wanted to bother Derek so he hadn't really asked about it. He had, however, had a look at the books Derek had on his shelf. Quite some interesting stuff, he had to admit.

"What?" Derek gave him a challenging look.

"Didn't thought you were interested in that." Stiles shrugged and reached for some of the notes but Derek smacked his hand away.

"Don't touch that."

"No touching, got it." Stiles raised his hands, one still holding the binder, to show that he understood. And he did. He had his own system with his notes and he would strangle anyone who dared to mess with it.

"So." He sat down in a chair, flipping through the pages. "You were at an astrophysics symposium. How was it?"

"It was fine." Derek said, eyes already back on the screen in front of him.

"C'mon, give me something." Stiles begged. "Did you meet some interesting people? What where the panels about?"

Stiles didn't really expect an answer but to his surprise Derek tapped the name on the front of the binder.

"I met her, she's a great person." He said. "I think I made some good contacts."

"Figures, stick you with a bunch of scientists ..." Stiles shook his head with a fond smile. "Was it all science talk or did you do something for fun?"

Stiles hoped that Derek took the little jump his heart made at that thought for excitement and nothing else. He wanted Derek to have fun, he really did, the sourwolf needed to go out more often, but on the other hand he feared the answer. For some reason the idea of Derek hooking up with somebody didn't sit right with him. Not that it was any of his business. Derek was his alpha, nothing more. Sure they had sex that one time but that didn't mean anything.

Stiles swallowed thickly and waited for Derek's answer.

"On Sunday Professor Rodriguez and a few of her friends asked me to join them for dinner and we ended up in a bar afterwards." Derek finally answered, a little smile on his lips.

Once he had started to talk, Derek warmed up to it. Stiles asked the right questions and Derek talk about the people he'd met and the things he'd learned during the symposium. Before they knew it it was almost nine in the evening and they hadn't eaten dinner and Stiles' homework wasn't even half done.

"Okay, I order something and you get your butt over there and get some stuff done." Derek ordered in a dad voice that reminded Stiles of his own dad. Not that he could take Derek serious like that. As his alpha it would have been naturally to see some kind of father figure in him but Stiles' feelings had taken a different path. Not that he could ever hope that Derek did feel the same. But if Stiles was an expert in anything it was pining from afar.

When the food arrived Stiles was in the middle of his chemistry homework and somehow they ended up talking about that over dinner. Derek knew more about it than his teacher, which wasn't that difficult, and he had a way to explain it that made Stiles actually want to know more about it.

"Why some people become teachers I've no idea." Stiles closed the book and pushed it far away. "I mean as a teacher you have to explain stuff, right? That's kind of your job."

Derek just shrugged and put more fried rice in his mouth.

Stiles put his school stuff away and then sat there on the couch next to Derek, unsure what to do next. He wanted, needed, to be close but he wasn't sure if that didn't come off as creepy. The others had been fine after the night together and hadn't come upstairs for another pack night.

However, the thought of sleeping alone in his bed made Stiles feel sick in the stomach.

It was still rather early so he put that thought to the back of his mind and reached for the remote. Maybe some mindless TV would do them some good.

Derek settled in next to him, sitting closer than he had to, and Stiles tried really hard to not read more into this than there was. Derek had been away from his pack for a few days of course he wanted to be close to the only pack member he had within reach.

With his belly full with good food and the TV mumbling in the background it didn't take long for Stiles to become sleepy. He knew that Derek didn't mind if his head ended up on his shoulder so he just relaxed and sagged farther into Derek. The werewolf was warm and solid and just perfect to cuddle up to.

When Stiles woke up the first thing he noticed was that Derek had turned the TV on its side. It took him a moment to realize that it wasn't the TV lying on its site, it was Stiles. The second thing he notices was the tense muscles of Derek's thighs under his cheek and something pressed against the back of his head.

"Sorry." Stiles mumbled, rubbing sleep from his eyes. Derek hadn't thrown him off and the position was quite comfy so instead of sitting up, what he should have done a minute ago, Stiles turned until he was lying on his back, head still pillowed in Derek's lap.

"What's with the face?" He wondered and turned a little more to make out Derek's expression in the dark. The only light was coming from the TV and the blueish light cast shadows over Derek's face, making him look like he was holding his breath and trying to look innocent at the same time.

Derek shifted under him in an attempted to scoot deeper into the couch while at the same time Stiles tried to prop himself up but his elbow slipped off Derek's moving thigh.

Stiles fell face first into Derek's problem.

"Shit." Stiles flailed backwards and promptly fell of the couch. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to ..."

"Are you hurt?" Derek spoke at the same time, leaning forward to help him up.

Stiles ignored him. His mouth was too dry to answer and his eyes were fixed on the very obvious bulge in Derek's pants.

Chapter Text

The evening started out fairly normal. Derek and Stiles made themselves comfortable on the couch and if they sat closer together than strictly necessary, neither of them commented on it. This shortly after his trip to New York, Derek felt the need to be close to pack, especially Stiles. If it was because Stiles was the newest and youngest member of his pack or because his inappropriate feelings for him, Derek didn't know, but when Stiles scooted closer and his head ended up on Derek's shoulder, he was the last to complain.

Derek was more focused on the weight of Stiles' body against his and the steady heart-beat that showed him how at ease the teen was than on what was going on on the screen. Some cop show, which were all the same.

He could tell that Stiles was slowly drifting off to sleep and Derek sneaked his arm around him to keep him in a comfortable position. Stiles just sagged farther into him.

How that ended with Stiles' head pillowed in his lap Derek didn't know. For long minutes he just sat there, wondering where to put his hands, before he hesitantly started to cared his fingers through Stiles soft hair. They had done this in reverse before, when Derek had been in his wolf form, and judging by the way Stiles sighed in his sleep and turned into the touch, he didn't seem to mind.

However, having Stiles this close did other things to Derek. He knew it was wrong but he couldn't help but fantasize about Stiles turning his head which would put his mouth right against the zipper of his jeans. And the growing bulge behind it.

He knew that he should sneak out from under Stiles while he had the chance but he couldn't bring himself to do that. So he just sat there, fingers absently stroking through Stiles' hair, and painfully aware of how intimate their position was.

Then Stiles woke up.

Derek tried to melt into the couch to not slap his erection right in Stiles' face when he turned and shifted in his lap but then Stiles literally bumped his nose into it.

The second Stiles realized what was in his face, he fell off the couch in an attempt to get away from Derek. He almost cracked his head open on the edge of the coffee table.

"Are you hurt?" Derek asked with real concern, Stiles' heart-beat a staccato in his ears, and he couldn't blame him when Stiles stared in horror at Derek's still stupidly hard cock straining against the zipper.

For a moment Stiles' eyes were just glued to his crotch but then his expression shifted to something mischievous while his heart picked up even more speed like he was close to a panic attack.

"Need some help with that?" Stiles said, a glint in his eye.

Derek bolted off the couch and was across the room before he could even think about it.

"You don't have to ..." He started but didn't know how to continue. He had thought that they were past this, that Stiles understood that he had no obligations towards Derek whatsoever.

Good job showing him that by slapping your hard-on in his face, a mean little voice in the back of his head provided. It sounded suspiciously like Peter.

Stiles still sat on the floor, hands braced on the couch and the coffee table as if he was about to boost himself up but he didn't move, he just sat there, his mouth slack open.

"What if I want to?" Stiles said after a long second without making eye contact.

Derek wanted nothing more than those words to be true but he could still hear Stiles' heart, beating rapidly like a rabbit's in front of a wolf.

"I'm sorry." Derek said hastily and then fled out of the loft.

For a second he stood in the hallway with no idea where to turn to. He had to leave, now, he already heard Stiles' footsteps coming closer to the door.

"Derek, wait." It was a plea and Derek couldn't stand it.

His first instinct was to slip into his fur and just run but there was no time for that.

Without thinking he took the stairs and then he was at Isaac's door. He hadn't have his keys with him but he only needed to call his beta's name once before Isaac opened the door with a concerned "What happened?".

Above Derek heard the door of his loft open and he hurried to duck into Isaac's apartment. Ripping the door out of his beta's grip, he forced it shut.

"I fucked up." He admitted and didn't lean against the door to keep it closed no matter how much he wanted to do just that. But he did hold his breath to see what Stiles would do. For sure he had noticed where Derek went.

He could hear Stiles upstairs, calling his name, but after a moment he turned and went back to the loft. When Derek heard the heavy steel door close, he let out a deep breath.

"What did you do?" Isaac stood with his arms crossed over his chest, eyeing him closely.

"I assaulted him." He whispered, the weight of what he'd done crashing down on him.

"You what?"

Derek closed his eyes in shame.

"Okay." Isaac grabbed his wrist and dragged him farther into his apartment. "Sit."

Boneless Derek dropped on the couch.

"Is Stiles hurt?" Isaac took the seat next to him.

"No." Derek choked out the word. "He fell off the couch but, no, he's not hurt." Not physically, he wanted to add.

"That's good." The tension left Isaac's body and he shifted in his seat to face Derek. "And now you're going to tell me exactly what happened."

Derek shook his head while he tried to figure out what had actually happened. He had gotten an inappropriate boner, had shoved it in Stiles' face and the boy fell off the couch in his attempt to get away. When Stiles had offered to help him out Derek had panicked and now he was sitting here.

He told Isaac that much and saying it out loud made it sound even more stupid.

"So he finally knows that you want him." Isaac summed it up as if it was a good thing.

"I'm the last person he wants to be with." Derek bit back. Elbows resting on his knees and head hanging he just sat there, waiting for Isaac to tell him how much he'd fucked up.

"I don' know." Isaac drew the words out and stretched to lounge more comfortably on the couch. "Have you noticed how he looks at you? How he smells like arousal?"

"He's a teenager, he's reeking of arousal all the time."

"Only when you're around." Isaac clarified. "He doesn't smell like that when we're playing video games."

Derek didn't know what to say to that. Was it possible? No, he shook his head to dislodge the little spark of hope that threatened to bloom in his mind.

"Do you remember when Boyd and Erica formed a mating bond?" Isaac changed the topic and for a moment Derek didn't know where he was going.

"We're not forming a mating bond." He growled at his beta. What was he even thinking? "After what I did to him when I claimed him, the last thing he wants to do is to mate with me."

"You were the one who told us that such a bond would only form if both parties were ready for it." Isaac paused to let his words sink in. It was true, Derek had to admit, but that didn't mean that he was forming a mating bond with Stiles. Even if that was a possibility in the future, and that was a big if, they were for sure not ready for it right now.

"If you and me were mates." Isaac tried a different angle.

Derek snorted at that. He loved his beta but they were as far away from being mates as possible.

"If we were we would live together in your loft." Issac continued. "We would have meals together and would stay up late, watching a movie and talking about everything and nothing."

Derek didn't say anything to that.

"I can hear Stiles talking late at night from time to time." Isaac said softly. "And he's not talking to himself, is he?"

"That doesn't mean we're mates."

"We would sleep in the same bed." Isaac carried on with his little fantasy.

Derek thought about the nights they spent together either in the den or in Stiles' bed. It had become a more regular thing lately. Derek was always in his wolf form, however, he wanted to go to sleep with Stiles in his arms, human body pressed against human body. Not that he would ever tell Stiles that.

When he'd been in New York, it had been Stiles he had missed the most. He had been the last Derek had lost connection with and the first to reconnect with when he came back. Derek wanted to chalk it up to Stiles being new and human but deep down he had the suspicion that he was fooling himself.

"After what I've done to him …" Derek couldn't finish the sentence. He hadn't told his pack the details about the night he'd claimed Stiles but they all knew that without an emotional connection there was only one way for an alpha to claim a human.

"That's funny." Isaac chuckled.

Derek glared at him.

"You're freaking out over the physical part of being mates." Isaac grinned at him like it was a joke. To him it probably was. He was having way to much fun with Derek's problem.

"May I remind you that you were the one who told me that being mates doesn't have to include sex when I freaked out over it?"

Derek remembered that. After Boyd and Erica had accepted that a mating bond was something natural, a good thing that only deepened a connection that was already there, Isaac had freaked out. It had taken Derek three days to get him to open up.

"That was when you told me that you're asexual." Derek answered. "You were worried that you would get sucked up into a mating bond and that you would have to provide sex."

"It wasn't like that." Isaac made a face.

"It kind of was." Teasing his beta got his mind off Stiles for a second.

"Point is." Isaac brought them back to topic. "You don't have to jump each other's bones if you don't want to. But I'm pretty sure you want to." He smiled at him knowingly.

Derek gave him another glare.

"Anyway." Isaac cleared his throat. "Being mates is more than just that, you told me that. And you can't deny that Stiles took to his role in the pack like a duck to water. Hell, when you were in New York it felt natural to turn to him."

Derek just stared at him. This whole mate thing was ridiculous. Stiles was seventeen and not here by choice. And what Isaac was implying here … It couldn't be.

"What role do you mean?" Derek asked and at the same time he didn't want to hear the answer.

Isaac gave him a look as if he thought that Derek was a moron. He probably was. But he needed his beta to say it out loud.

"He acts like it and he feels like it to me." Isaac avoided his eye and he suddenly smelled anxious. He didn't want to put a name to it, that much was clear.

"Like what?"

Isaac visibly steeled himself and then he said the words Derek didn't want to hear. With all the mating stuff Isaac had said, the next words out of his mouth weren't a surprise but they still shocked Derek to the core.

"Alpha's mate."

Chapter Text

When Derek ran, Stiles thought that he would run. Run out of the building, run out of the city. He doubted that the park across the street would cut it. No, he was sure that Derek needed to slip into his fur and just run.

The woods where they had spent the night of the full moon weren't far, it probably wasn't coincidence that the pack lived more at the outskirts of the city, and Stiles was fully prepared to drive out there in search for his alpha.

He knew that by the time he had reached the door, the werewolf would be out of the building and that he had no chance catching up with him if Derek didn't want to be caught up with but the least he could do was to drive out to the woods and offer him a ride home. Maybe once he'd blown off some steam he would be ready to talk about this.

Because the needed to talk about this. Soon.

But when he stepped out of the loft, he heard Derek still on the stairs.

"Derek!" He yelled. "Wait!"

A door opened and there was a cut off "What happened?" from Isaac and then Stiles was alone on the stairs.

For a moment he was tempted to just go after Derek but then he decided against it. Derek had sought out Isaac and maybe the beta could knock some sense into their alpha's skull.

Stiles stepped back into the loft and closed the door.

The TV was still running and Stiles sat down in front of it without really seeing what was going on on the screen. It was probably a good thing that now he had time to think as well because right now his mind was a swirling mess.

Derek had gotten a boner while Stiles' head had been in his lap. No matter how badly he wanted it to mean something Stiles knew that it didn't have to mean anything. Just a bodily reaction. Or Derek had gotten bored and his mind had gone to somebody else.

Stiles was known for inappropriate daydreaming about people he shouldn't daydream about.

Besides, Stiles was still seventeen and he remembered all too well what he had thought life as a claimed human in a werewolf pack would be like. He remembered the shocked expression on Derek's face when some of that had come up. So yeah, Stiles could guess what was going on in Derek's head right now, especially if he was interested in Stiles.

It was getting late and Stiles probably should go to bed but he couldn't bring himself to do that. It was two in the morning and by now he was pretty sure that Derek would spend the night at Isaac's but he stayed on the couch. If Derek came back tonight, Stiles wanted to be there.

It was almost three when the steel door slid open. Derek tried to be as silent as possible but it was a huge ass steel door and even with the wheels well greased it made some noise. Enough to startle Stiles out of his light slumber.

He sat up straighter on the couch and when he looked over to the door, his eyes locked with Derek's.

For a moment it looked like Derek would bolt again.

"I thought you would be sleeping by now." Derek finally said, his shoulders dropping.

"You mean you hoped that I would be sleeping by now." Stiles countered with what he hoped came across as light banter.

"Can we do this tomorrow?" Derek almost pleaded. He looked everywhere but Stiles, his hand twitching as if he was unconsciously searching for the door handle to run again, and it broke Stiles heart to see him like this. Afraid and unsure but still here, still willing to work this out. Whatever this was.

"Of course." Stiles hurried to say. He wanted to have the talk now, get it over with, but if Derek needed more time, he would give him more time.

But maybe he could show him that they were still good, that things didn't have to change after this. Because honestly? It wasn't a big deal. Stiles was a teenager, he knew everything there is to know about boners popping up when you don't want them to pop up.

"Could we …" He hesitated because sleep together might be the wrong term right now. "I don't want to sleep alone."

The emotions flashing over Derek's face before it became unreadable were gone too quickly to decipher but Stiles thought he read something like hope in there.

Derek gave him a short nod and then headed for the stairs. Stiles followed him but kept his distance, he had the feeling that the werewolf needed some space right now. At least until he was in his fur and they could cuddle up in Stiles' bed.

But instead of going to Stiles' room Derek opened the door to his own bedroom.

"Your bed?" Stiles blurted out. That was new. But he could totally work with that. "We've never slept in your bed. Bet, it's more comfortable than mine. It's bigger. Actually build for two people. One person and a wolf. Whatever."

He was babbling again, sue him he was nervous. Derek just raised an eyebrow at him as if he was an idiot but mildly amusing.

"Your bed." Derek said but stepped into his bedroom. "Get ready, I'll come over in a minute."

"You're not going to make this weird." Stiles grabbed him by the wrist and dragged him back out of the door. At least he tried to. The werewolf stood like a brick wall and his only movement was to give Stiles another raised eyebrow over his shoulder.

"You never had a problem with undressing in front of me." Stiles hurried to say before Derek decided to bite his hand off. "Don't start now."

The look Derek gave him went straight to Stiles' heart. Whatever was going on in Derek's head, he had never seen the alpha so lost and hopeful at the same time. Derek swallowed thickly, his Adam's apple bobbing in a way that made Stiles want to lick it, before he gave him a sharp nod.

Returning the nod Stiles let go of Derek and led the way over to his room.

Derek hurried through the process of undressing and was in his fur before his underwear hit the floor but Stiles took it as a good sign.

When they lay in bed, Derek stayed close to the edge as if he was afraid to touch Stiles but Stiles didn't have any of it. With a sigh he grabbed the werewolf and drew him close until he could bury his nose in the thick fur between his shoulder blades.

"You're not getting away this easily." He mumbled, already half asleep. Derek let out a little huff which could mean everything.

Stiles woke up before his alarm went off and for once he didn't turn around for another five minutes. He hadn't expected Derek to be still with him in bed but his side was still warm so he couldn't have been gone for long.

Rubbing his eyes Stiles sat up. The shower was running so that explained where his alpha was.

Barefoot Stiles went downstairs to start coffee. And maybe breakfast. This was going to be awkward, there was no doubt about that, but they could have at least coffee and maybe some buttered toast with it.

Show him that we're still good, Stiles thought while he searched for the jam. He had strawberry and rhubarb but he couldn't find the blueberry. Maybe Boyd ate it all, he mused. The werewolf would eat anything if it was topped with blueberry jam.

By the time Derek made his way down the stairs, he had taken his sweet time hiding in the bathroom, Stiles had set the table and was just about to get some scrambled eggs going just to kill the time. Not that he was in the mood for scrambled eggs. If he was honest, he already felt like he had lead for breakfast, he had no idea how he was supposed to force down even one bite of dry toast right now.

"Are you expecting the whole pack?" Derek raised his eyebrows when he saw the loaded table.

"I'm nervous." Stiles admitted. The werewolf could probably smell it on him anyway, he must reek of nervousness. "Hope you're hungry."

"Stiles." Derek started but took a seat and accepted the cup of coffee Stiles was offering him. "Stiles, what happened yesterday ..."

"I know." Stiles interrupted him. "It doesn't have to mean anything. Let's just pretend it never happened." Blushing Stiles turned around to check on the eggs in the pan.

"Isaac pointed some things out to me." Derek said after a moment.

Stiles swirled around, bits of half-cooked egg flying from the spatula in his hand. "What has Isaac to do with this?"

"What do you know about mates?" Derek asked, his eyes on the cup in his hands, his shoulders tense.

"Not much." Stiles tried to sound casual but his heart made a yes, please jump. Mates meant being in a relationship with Derek. Mates meant, yeah well, mating and Stiles was totally on board with mating.

But then his mind spun with the image of a naked Lydia, stumbling out of the woods two days after Jackson gave her the mating bite. Or something like that, he never figured out the logistics. Most people still thought it had been Peter who bit Lydia that night.

Stiles must have failed royally at hiding his raising panic because the next thing he knew was Derek standing next to him, hands raised as if he wanted to hug Stiles but didn't dare.

"I'm sorry." Derek said and he sounded so broken. "I never meant to ..." Lost he dropped his arms, already shifting on his feet to move away from Stiles. And that was something Stiles couldn't stand.

"Derek." He gently laid his hand on Derek's forearm. "What's going on?"

"Isaac noticed some things." Derek let out a sigh. "Things that should have been obvious to me."

"What kind of things?" Feeling like Derek needed the comfort Stiles started to rub circles with his thumb on the soft skin of the underside of Derek's arm. It seemed to help, the tension in Derek's shoulders visibly eased off.

"That we're closer than is normal for a pack bond. He thinks that we have developed a mating bond." Derek still didn't look him in the eye. "And I think he's right."

"Is that bad?" Stiles didn't know what to do with this information. Derek didn't seem to be happy about it.

"No." Derek shook his head. "A bond like that doesn't develop if the mates aren't ready for it. And it doesn't have to be sexual, I know I'm the last person you want to have …" He didn't come any farther because Stiles interrupted him with a loud: "Woah, stop it right there."

Now Derek glanced at him but his face was unreadable.

"I don't know much about mating bonds." Stiles said and tried really hard to not think about Jackson and Lydia. "But I do know that I want you. As my boyfriend, as my mate, whatever you want to call it. I want you." He locked eyes with Derek on the last words so he didn't miss them widening in surprise at his declaration. "And believe me when I tell you that I want the sexual part. Give me all of the sexual part. If you want." He hurried to add the last bit.

"Really?" Derek gave him a shy smile, hope in his eyes.

Instead of an answer Stiles leaned in, slowly to give Derek the chance to pull away which he didn't, until their lips met. At first it was just a dry brush of lips against lips but then Derek's parted and he started to kiss him back.

Chapter Text

At best Derek had hoped for a platonic relationship with Stiles but he had been prepared for the teen, he was only seventeen, to deny the bond they shared and that would have been okay, too. They had time.

What he hadn't been prepared for was Stiles embracing what had developed between them. So when Stiles brought their lips together for a kiss Derek was stunned. But then his brain caught up with what was happening, he was kissing Stiles, he parted his lips and tenderly started to kiss back.

Stiles' hands which had been cupping his cheeks slid around his head, one to his neck the other one tangled in his hair, bringing them closer together.

They kissed for a sweet moment and when they parted, Stiles didn't draw back. He used his hands still on Derek to keep the werewolf close and rested his forehead against Derek's.

"I can't believe this is happening." Stiles let out a little laugh. "I never thought this would happen. Ever."

But then there was something like realization on his face and he let out a groan.

"What?" Derek was on high alert in an instant. Did Stiles realize that he didn't really want this?

"I have to go to school." He looked at Derek with wide eyes. "Like now. Like now now."

Derek snorted at that.

"Would you let me skip school so that we can make out all morning?" Stiles bit his bottom lip and gave him his best puppy dog eyes. But Derek had learned to resist those when his cousins had been just little pups with impossible big eyes so he just gave Stiles an unimpressed look.

"No."

"Figured." Stiles let his hands slide down to Derek's chest. Then he leaned in for another quick kiss. And another one. The first one to Derek's jaw felt like an accident but Stiles seemed to like the idea and peppered his jawline and throat with sloppy kisses. If he kept that up he would be late for school. Or skip it entirely.

"Go to school." Derek plucked Stiles off him. "We can talk when you're back."

"Yeah. Talk." Stiles gave him something that was supposed to be a sly grin, Derek guessed and rolled his eyes at him.

"Stiles." He started but got interrupted by another kiss. He could get used to this. He was getting used to this. Fast. Too fast.

"I'm leaving, I'm leaving." Stiles actually managed to let go of him and turned to get his backpack.

Derek had to catch him when Stiles stumbled over the chair behind him and got smacked in the face by a flailing arm for that.

"Sorry, sorry." Stiles sorted his limps out and straightened up only to trip over his backpack the next second.

"How did you survive childhood?" Derek wondered and his respect for Stiles' dad grew with every second.

Stiles just grinned in triumph once he actually had his backpack over one shoulder and both feet firmly on the ground. Derek watched him fondly until the front door of the loft closed behind him. A klutz like this shouldn't be this adorable.

Not a minute later the door opened again and Isaac stepped through.

"Shouldn't you be at campus by now?" Derek asked without looking up from his task of putting the leftovers in the fridge. Looked like Stiles was a stress cooker.

"Just wanted to check on you before I leave." Isaac said, taking a deep breath. "But it seems like everything went well."

"It did." Derek closed the fridge. "Thanks for pointing some things out to me."

Isaac shrugged and gave him a crooked smile. "At least now it's official that I'm no longer second in command."

Derek froze at that. He hadn't really thought about what a mating bond with Stiles meant for the hierarchy in the pack, especially for Isaac who had been his first beta and as such held a special position.

"Does it bother you?" Derek asked. Not that he could really do anything about it. Mating bonds developed naturally, neither he nor Stiles had chosen this consciously. It wouldn't have formed if they weren't both ready for it but it didn't change the fact that they had no control over it. The only thing they had control over was what to do with it.

"Na." His beta sauntered over until he could rub his cheek against Derek's. He inhaled deeply and Derek had no doubt that Isaac could smell Stiles' scent all over him. Not that that was something special. They lived together and more often than not slept in the same bed, he always smelled like Stiles. In hindsight, that should have given him a clue.

"It bothered me that Stiles acted like the alpha's mate without officially being one." His nose brushed over Derek's throat, following the line of kisses Stiles had left only minutes ago. Derek rubbed Isaac's back and enjoyed the scenting.

"I doubt the others really noticed it." Isaac mumbled into his skin. "But they respond to him, we all do."

The others, Derek had to inform them and soon. Before Stiles blurted out the good news and absolutely before Boyd and Erica noticed the smell of sex on them. Which seemed more likely now than it had been an hour ago. If Isaac weren't draped all over him right now Derek would already be upstairs, jerking off with Stiles' scent still fresh in his nose.

"It feels right now." With a satisfied smile Isaac stepped away from him. "But I probably should start hearing loud music from now on. And pull some all-nighters in the library." He winked at him with a cocky smile.

"Get your ass out of here." Derek growled but ruffled his hair. Isaac left with a triumphant fist in the air. Derek just shook his head.

Once he was alone, Derek considered getting some work done but he knew that he didn't have the patience for that right now. So he changed into his running clothes and went outside. The weather was nice and at this time of the day, the park lay mostly abandoned.

Derek fell into a steady rhythm, his feet pounding on the paved path, and with every breath he took, the tension left his body and his mind calmed down.

He returned to his loft sweaty and pleasantly exhausted and with a grin firmly on his face. He had a mate. Stiles was his mate and he wanted to be with him in every way possible.

Derek did jerk off in the shower to the memory of Stiles' lips on his.

After burning some of the restless energy Derek felt more seated but still too keyed up to work. Not knowing what to do, he paced the loft. It was still early, Stiles wouldn't be home for hours.

Boyd and Erica weren't home either so Derek couldn't pass the time with telling them the good news.

In the end he switched on the TV and sat down with a bowl of granola. He didn't feel hungry and he wasn't in the mood for some stupid talk show but there was nothing else to do.

And you might need the energy later, a little voice in his head that sounded suspiciously like Stiles, provided with an audible smug grin.

He didn't want to rush things. He wasn't even sure if Stiles was ready for any sexual stuff beyond kissing and roaming hands. Sure, he had said that he wanted Derek in every way possible, and Derek's dick was on board with that idea, but Stiles was still a teenager and his so far only sexual experience had been forced on him. By Derek. That wasn't exactly a good starting ground for a relationship.

Derek knew that Stiles didn't blame him, they both had been forced into it by Peter, kind of, but deep down Derek couldn't let go of the guilt.

When his phone rang he expected Stiles on the other end. Either because something had happened at school or, more likely, Stiles got bored and wanted to pick up where they had left off this morning. Derek didn't put it beyond Stiles to try to have phone sex with him while he was at school. Not that Derek would ever consider joining in on that idea.

But when he looked at the caller ID, it was Laura's name on the screen.

With a frown he picked up.

"Laura, hi." He said, only mildly disappointed that it wasn't Stiles on the other end.

"Hey there, little bro." She greeted him cheerfully. "How are you doing?"

His first impulse was to tell her about the mating bond he'd formed with Stiles but before the words left his mouth, his brain caught up with the situation. Laura never called just to have a chat. No matter how often she scolded him for not doing social calls, she wasn't any better with them. Maybe on his birthday or for Christmas but today was neither of those dates.

"Fine." He answered and held back on the big news for now. "You?"

"Wow, aren't we chatty today." Laura scoffed. He heard the crunching of leather when she moved on what he assumed was the leather couch in her living room.

"Laura." Derek said in a warning tone.

"Fine, fine." She faked surrender. "I had a little look at Beacon Hills. Peter keeps to himself, no surprise there, but once I started asking questions, I heard some alarming stuff."

Derek slumped deeper into his couch.

"Is there something we can do?" He didn't need to ask what she'd heard, Stiles had told him more than he wanted to know. And he had asked Stiles' dad some careful questions.

"I'm not sure yet." Laura said, clearly chewing on her bottom lip. She had always done that when she had been thinking something over. "Even if we did join forces against him, I'm not sure if we would be strong enough to do something."

At least they were on the same page that something had to be done about Peter. On his own Derek couldn't do anything. His pack and territory was too small. Laura had a better standing but she was right, even together it was a huge risk to take on Peter.

"But I would like to meet that human of yours." She continued. "What was his name? Stan?"

"Stiles." Derek provided and couldn't help the fond smile.

"Stiles." She mimicked his tone with a quiet laugh. He did not sound that sappy. "How is he adjusting to living in a pack?" She asked more serious now. She knew how Stiles had ended up in his pack and despite her usual rough demeanor she had a big heart.

"He found his place in the pack." Derek said innocently.

"And what would that be?" She must have picked up on his tone.

"Alpha's mate?" It came out more meekly than intended.

He had to hold the phone away from his ear to survive her squealing.

"Way to go, little brother. Congrats." She said when she had mostly composed herself again. But then she sobered up. "How did he take it?"

"Better than expected." He still couldn't believe how well their conversation this morning had gone. "I thought he wouldn't want to …" He didn't know how to put his fears in words.

But Laura knew their story, she got it. "You didn't have the best start, the worst to be honest, so just be patient with him and let him set the pace."

Now Derek laughed. "If I let him set the pace, he would have skipped school today so we could make out all day."

Laura burst out laughing. "Now I really want to meet him. How about this weekend? I miss you, Derek, and I'm not the only one."

"I'll ask him." Derek promised. "But we only figured it out this morning. Stiles might have other plans for our weekend."

"Awww, young love." Laura mocked him, clearly picturing what they would do over the weekend in her mind.

"Shut up." Derek said with a blush.

Chapter Text

Stiles left the loft with a raging hard-on in his pants and a stupid grin firmly on his face. By the time he reached the school, at least one of those had died down to a concealable state. Before he left the jeep Stiles checked his face and neck in the mirror for beard burns but didn't find any. That would have been awkward. Half the school still thought that he was a werewolf and or Derek's bitch. They didn't need to know that one of that was about to come true. Not that he was Derek's bitch but he was Derek's mate and that meant that there was mating in the near future.

However, he had the suspicion that he would have to do some convincing before Derek would agree to more than that awesome kissing they had done this morning. And Stiles wanted more. A lot more.

Over the last few weeks Derek had fueled some really nice fantasies and Stiles couldn't wait to act out some of those for real. He bet the real deal was way better than any fantasy. Hell, the night they had shared had been way better than any fantasy and that had been under the worst circumstances ever. On their own terms with full consent and everything it could only be awesome.

But first he had to survive the day at school.

His first class was history with Mr. Miller and even if the man still refused to acknowledge his very existence, Stiles was pretty sure that he managed to deeply disturb the teacher with his maniac grin today.

"Are you high?" Sean asked in a low voice when he caught up with him in the hallway.

"Just very happy." Stiles answered. Tomorrow his face would ache from all the grinning but he couldn't help it. "Got some really good news this morning."

"You won the lottery?" He was only half joking.

"Something like that." Stiles tried to tune it down. The last thing he needed was that the whole school got to know about him and Derek being mates. He was still underage and Derek was his legal guardian, that had to raise some red flags.

Sean just gave him a questioning look.

"It's pack related." Which was true. And like expected it shut the other boy up rather quickly. It was written on Sean's face that he wanted to ask but werewolf stuff was still a topic he wasn't comfortable with and he usually just pretended it didn't exist. Which was totally fine with Stiles.

During lunch break Stiles was seriously tempted to lock himself in a stall in the restroom and call Derek. Just to hear his voice. And maybe to ask what he was wearing. He knew it was stupid and way too forward but it was tempting. And it made Stiles glad for his isolated table in the cafeteria. He just hoped that Sean didn't notice the semi-boner that went along with his dreamy smile. Sue him, he had a mate.

"Want to hang out after school?" Sean asked, apparently oblivious to the fact that Stiles wasn't mentally there right now.

"Not today." Stiles managed to focus on him long enough to process the question. "I've plans today." Plans that involved Derek's lips on his. To start with.

Stiles was pretty sure that he broke a few speed limits on his way home but he didn't care.

When he burst into the loft, he didn't know what he had expected. Derek greeting him at the door with a kiss? Derek draped naked over the couch? Okay, probably not that but a man could dream, right?

What he did not expect was Derek sitting on the couch, fully clothed, with a book and a cup of coffee. He barely looked up when Stiles stormed in.

"Hey there, mate." Stiles dropped his backpack somewhere on his way over to the couch and then flopped down next to Derek. Who rolled his eyes and closed the book.

"How was school?" He asked, putting the book away for good in favor to turn his attention fully on Stiles.

"Long." Stiles groaned. He wanted to wrap himself around Derek and just eat his face off but with the signals he was getting from him, he wasn't sure what he was allowed to do here. Stiles had said that he wanted everything but right now it looked like they were back to platonic friends. Which would be fine. No pressure here.

Stiles did, however, cuddle closer just to test the waters. After a second of hesitation, Derek lifted his arm and Stiles ducked under it. Resting his head on Derek's shoulder he enjoyed the feeling of Derek's arm draped over his neck.

"So." Stiles said after a long moment of silence. "Mates."

They didn't have time in the morning to actually talk about this. Stiles wasn't even sure what that term meant. That they were together, obviously, but he knew enough about werewolves to know that it was more than that.

"Mates." Derek confirmed, his hand tightening possessively around Stiles' shoulder.

"Do you want to talk about it?" Stiles angled his head to look at Derek's face. "Or do you want to go back to the kissing? That was awesome by the way and I really, really want more of that." From this angle Derek's lips looked even more kissable. Soft and curved into a smile that showed just a hint of bunny teeth. It was adorable.

Derek didn't answer and didn't close the gap between them to bring their lips together so Stiles figured they would have a talk. Once Derek had found his words.

Over the day Stiles had focused on the things he wanted to do with Derek and so far he had managed to blend out the memory of Lydia. Now, while he was waiting for Derek to start talking, she was back on his mind. He had been with his father when they had found Lydia after two days of running naked through the woods. And Stiles knew it had been because of something Jackson had down in the name of a mating bond. Stiles just hoped that Derek actually knew what he was doing here and wouldn't do something like that to him.

"Is there ..." Stiles cleared his throat. "You know, something we have to do to seal the bond?" He kept the words as vague as possible but something must have given away his worries because Derek stared at him in alarm and the hand on his shoulder tightened before Derek moved to get away from him.

Stiles grabbed his wrist before it slipped off his shoulder and held it firmly in place.

"What do you mean?" Derek asked but leaned into Stiles again.

"I don't know." Stiles shrugged. "Jackson, that douche from Peter's pack, he, I don't know, bit his mate to make the bond permanent and she ended up running naked through the woods, totally out of it." He kept his eyes fixed on Derek's chest. Which rose and fell in a steady rhythm, his pecs stretching his t-shirt with every breath he took. It was nice to look at.

"What the hell is going on in Beacon Hills?" Derek asked and hugged Stiles closer. His lips brushed over the crown of Stiles' head. "The bond forms by itself, there is nothing we have to do to seal it." The disgust was clear in his voice. "It's already there. What we have to decide is what we're going to do with it." He fell silent, lost in his thoughts. Stiles could guess what was on his mind.

"I can only talk for myself but I can't say often enough that I want you. All the way." Now Stiles looked up to lock eyes with Derek. "I'm ready to jump your bones right now but I'm fine with taking it slow, too. Whatever you want. You're stuck with me now."

The flash of relief on Derek's face made his chest ache but it was quickly replaced with a hesitant smile which was better.

Gently Stiles put his hand on the center of Derek's chest.

"I want you." He repeated and hoped that Derek could hear the truth in his heart-beat.

"I want you, too." Derek answered and Stiles liked to believe that he could feel the werewolf's steady heart under his palm.

"You should kiss me, then."

To his surprise Derek did just that. The kissed like this for a moment, Stiles lazily cuddled up to him with his head still mostly on his shoulder but Stiles was an energetic teenager and soft and lazy didn't do it for him. Feeling brave today, he boosted himself up to straddle Derek's legs.

Derek made a surprised noise but didn't stop with the kissing. His hands found Stiles' hips, urging him even closer. Stiles happily complied. Their crotches weren't quite touching but they were close enough to make his head swim.

Stiles was just blindly holding on to Derek, touching him wherever he could reach, while Derek's tongue slipped into his mouth. There was too much teeth and too much saliva on Stiles' part, he was sure of that, but Derek didn't seem to care. He sucked the needy noises right out of Stiles' mouth.

When Derek's hands dropped to his butt, kneading the muscles through the tight denim, Stiles couldn't help it and started bucking his hips.

"Shit, Derek." He buried his face in the crook of Derek's neck while Derek kissed and licked at that soft spot behind his ear.

"Please, Derek, please." He wasn't sure what he was asking for, and he would come in his pants any second now like the horny teenager he was, but right now he just wanted more of Derek. His mouth, his hands, everything. Anything.

"I got you." Derek whispered in his ear while Stiles' mouthed helplessly at his neck. Then Derek's hand slipped between them. He pressed the heel against Stiles' straining erection and Stiles immediately ground into it, seeking the much needed friction.

"I'm gonna, I'm gonna …" Digging his fingers into Derek's neck and shoulder he tried to hold on for just a few seconds longer.

His orgasm rushed through him in spastic waves and he was only distantly aware that he was biting down on the meat of Derek's neck while he rode out the waves of pleasure.

With the last aftershocks tingling through his groin Stiles sagged against Derek, counting on him to hold him which the werewolf did with strong arms around him. Stiles let out a happy sigh and snuggled closer.

They stayed like that for a while, Stiles a boneless puddle in Derek's arms, but then he couldn't ignore the cooling mess in his pants any longer. Stiles shifted uncomfortably.

Then something occurred to him and he shot upright.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry." He tried to scoot back far enough to get his hand between them to return the favor but Derek held him firmly in place. "Some mate I am, leaving you hanging like this." He muttered, still trying to squirm his way to Derek's crotch.

"It's fine." Derek stopped his hand and brought their lips together for a tender kiss. "I'm good."

"But …" Stiles started but then he had a good look at Derek. His eyes were glossed over and he had a stupid grin on his face. "Did you come?"

Derek gave him a nod and then ducked his head to nuzzle on Stiles throat but Stiles had the suspicion that is was more out of embarrassment than anything else.

Thinking about the last few minutes Stiles put his mouth back to the spot were the imprints of his teeth had already faded. He sucked, hard, and sure enough Derek let out a low whimper.

"I have to remember this spot." Stiles mumbled into the skin and gave it some quick licks. The claiming, he remembered, this had been where Derek had bitten him to claim him. Stiles knew that the throat in general and this spot in particular was special to werewolves but it looked like getting bitten there really did it for Derek. Good to know.

Chapter Text

Derek had smelled Stiles' arousal the second he burst through the door but it still came as a surprise to him that they were suddenly dry humping on the couch. He wanted to make it good for Stiles, his mate, so he focused more on his pleasure than his own and it didn't take long for Stiles to come in his pants.

The next surprise for Derek, however, was that while Stiles rode out his orgasm, he bit down on Derek's neck hard enough to send a sharp pain up his neck. Which also went straight down to his groin. The heavy scent of Stiles' release in his nose Derek came as well, bucking up into Stiles who was too out of it to really notice.

So the next surprise was for Stiles when he noticed that he had brought Derek over the edge without a touch.

They sat there for a while longer, both of them slowly coming down from their orgasms, and Derek just wanted to stay like this forever, his mate pliant and content in his arms.

But Stiles was Stiles so they enjoyed the afterglow like this for less than a minute before the teen started to squirm in his arms.

"My underwear is sticking to my dick." Stiles stated.

Derek stared at him but he could keep a straight face for only a moment. They both burst out laughing and Derek had to tighten his hold on Stiles to prevent him from falling off the couch again.

"We should clean up." Derek agreed but didn't make an attempt to move. Stiles was still sitting in his lap so Derek just made himself more comfortable, waiting for Stiles to move first.

"We should." Stiles leaned in for another kiss. "We could shower together."

Derek raised an eyebrow at him. Coming in their pants was one thing but showering together? They had done that before and Derek wasn't sure if Stiles wanted a reminder of that night.

"Don't make such a face." Stiles poked him with his finger. "I know what you're thinking and you're wrong."

Derek buried his face in Stiles' neck to gain some time. He smelled good, the arousal was still lingering on his skin, now combined with the smell of their semen, and underneath that the scent that was unique for Stiles.

"Derek." Stiles said in a low voice, fingers of one hand carding through his hair. It felt nice. "We don't have to do anything you're not comfortable with." Derek made a noise in his throat, that was not the point. "And I swear I'm going to tell you if I don't want to do something, but please, don't just assume the worst. I liked what we did in the shower and I liked what we did in bed that night. I liked it."

His hand never stopped moving, his fingers gently massaging his scalp, and Derek leaned into the touch.

In the end they took separate showers.

Derek would have skipped his, a change of underwear and a quick wipe would have been enough to feel comfortable again, if it hadn't been for the scent. He still hadn't told Boyd and Erica and he didn't want to smack it in their faces by reeking of sex.

When he felt his betas near by he gave them a few minutes to come home before he went downstairs to make his bond with Stiles official.

"Do you want me to come with you?" Stiles asked but Derek shook his head. He wanted to get this over with with as little embarrassment as possible and having Stiles around would just make it awkward. Stiles would probably kiss him in front of his betas. Which would be okay later but not for this. This was about pack dynamics and that had to be handled with care.

Downstairs Derek took a deep breath before he knocked at the door.

Boyd opened with a mildly surprised expression. Derek didn't come to their place that often, most of the time they came together in the loft.

Derek gave him a nod and headed straight over to the living room where he heard Erica.

"Did something happen?" Boyd closed the door and followed him. He must get some mixed impressions over the bond, one more reason to fill them in.

In the living room Erica turned off the TV and rolled her head on the back rest of the couch to give him a questioning look. Then she took a breath and her eyes widened.

"No way." She was on her feet and in front of him in an instant. A second later she had her face buried in Derek's neck, nose pressed against the spot Stiles had bitten earlier.

Probably should have scrubbed more thoroughly, Derek thought and let her scent him. Curious Boyd came up behind him and now their faces almost met over his shoulder. If they figured it out this way he didn't have to tell them.

"Is that …?" Boyd took another breath. "Have you …?"

"Is there something you want to tell us about you and Stiles?" Erica asked. Even without showing her fangs her grin wasn't human at all.

"Stiles is my mate." Derek said, his voice steady. It was a fact and he was proud of it. Stiles would be a good mate, at least his wolf was convinced of that even if his human part wasn't so sure how it would work out. Stiles was excited now but would he still be okay with it in a week? A month? A year? Derek was the only partner Stiles ever had. Would he regret it at some point?

Erica squealed and pressed a kiss on his cheek while Boyd slung his arms around him and rested his forehead between his shoulder blades.

"How did he take it?" Erica asked, a glint in her eyes. "Not too badly, I guess." She made a point of sniffing his neck again and it was obvious that she smelled more on him than just the kissing part.

"He's human." Boyd said from behind him, his face still pressed into his back. "And he's seventeen."

Both very valid points, Derek had to give him that and he would be lying if he said those weren't on his mind as well.

"But they're mates." Erica said, sneaking an arm around him to reach for her mate. "And don't tell me this comes as a surprise to you, they've both been reeking of longing for weeks now."

Boyd made a noise in his throat but didn't argue. He just held on to Derek even tighter.

"Have you told Isaac?" Boyd changed the topic after a long moment of silence. "This is going to affect him the most."

"Poor Isaac." Erica agreed, already planning their next pack night, Derek could tell. "For me and Boyd it won't change much but for him ..." She didn't finish the sentence but Derek got what she meant. Not that it mattered, Isaac was more than okay with the change in the pack dynamics.

"In fact." Derek drew out the moment just to mess with them a little while longer. "It was Isaac who told me."

Erica just stared at him while Boyd behind him started to shake with laughter.

"Of course he figured it out before you did." He said. "You can be such an idiot sometimes."

"Isaac has always been the one who payed attention to his surroundings the most." Erica said in a way of an explanation but her voice went soft at the end there and for a moment they fell silent in uncomfortable memory of Isaac's past. Paying attention had kept him alive, that wasn't something one shook off easily.

"Anyway." Derek cleared his throat. "Stiles is my mate, I just wanted you to know."

"So we actually do have to listen to him now?" Erica faked a pout.

"He is second in command now." Boyd answered for Derek and finally sobered up enough to let go of his alpha. "God, he's going to milk that." He added with a groan.

"Not if he's busy screwing Derek's brains out."

"Those are images I don't want to have in my head." Boyd swatted at her playfully but she ducked out of the way with ease.

"What?" Erica looked from one to the other, she was enjoying this way too much. "C'mon, don't pretend you can't smell Stiles all over him. Among other things." Her grin was back to feral again.

"He is standing right here." Derek reminded her but with the heat creeping in his cheeks he doubted she was very impressed by her alpha right now. Sure enough she patted said cheeks with both hands, squishing his face.

"And he's blushing." She cooed.

He snapped his teeth at her but she only laughed. Then she gave him a generous pat. "I bet he's waiting for you. Don't worry about us, we're going to snag Isaac and we're going out for a movie or something. And then we're going to crash here, we poor little betas all by ourselves while you and Stiles screw like rabbits."

"Erica." Boyd said sharply but Derek didn't need to see his face to tell that he was smiling. "What she's trying to say is that we're happy for you."

"Thank you." Derek choked the words out around the sudden lump in his throat.

"You deserve it." Erica let go of his face just to place another kiss on his cheek. "You both do."

With that they basically kicked him out. Feeling lighter Derek returned to the loft.

He didn't know what he expected to find there but Stiles engrossed in his homework hadn't been it.

"I didn't know how long you'd be gone." Stiles said without looking up, scribbling down something so hastily Derek doubted he would be able to decipher it the next day. "Thought I'd get as much homework out of the way as possible so we can make out the rest of the evening." Now Stiles did look up, a wide grin forming around the pencil he was holding between his teeth.

That sight shouldn't turn Derek on as much as it did. And at the same time it reminded him that his mate was still in High School.

"How did they take it?" Stiles asked when Derek just stared at him for too long.

"Good." Derek shook his head to dislodge the troubling thoughts in his mind. "They're happy for us."

Stiles still had that stupid pencil in his mouth, lips stretched around it while his tongue pocked at the tip of it without him really noticing. In a few wide strides Derek crossed the room and ripped the pencil out of Stiles' mouth. The boy yelped in surprise but stopped flailing when Derek brought their lips together.

Derek had to bend to reach Stiles and the position got awkward only seconds later but then he felt Stiles grin against him which was the only warning he got before Stiles grabbed him by the shirt and they went down in a heap of limps. For once Stiles managed to stay on the couch, though, and Derek landed on top of him. Stiles spread his legs and wiggled until he was satisfied with how Derek slot between them. All that without breaking the kiss once. Derek would have been impressed if he hadn't been busy with kissing back and trying to not rut shamelessly against Stiles. This wasn't about getting off and Derek wasn't sure how far he wanted to take this right now.

Somehow Stiles had caught on and didn't even try to travel farther down with his hands than the middle of his back.

Later, after the kissing, they just lay there, Derek still on top of Stiles and both of them hard in their pants but with no urge to do something about it. This was nice. Derek had his ear on Stiles' chest and listened to the strong beating of his heart while Stiles softly ran his fingers through Derek's hair.

"We don't have to do anything." Stiles said. "But I'd love to share a bed with your human form tonight."

Chapter Text

Stiles had fantasized about sex with Derek for quite a while now, and he had some serious thoughts about his knot, but he got that Derek wasn't ready to just go with it. Which was kind of strange because back when he had claimed Stiles Derek had been the confident one, he'd made sure that Stiles was okay and enjoying himself during the process. As far as taking a werewolf's knot could be called a progress.

However, especially the knotting part had fueled some of the best fantasies Stiles had over the last few weeks and he couldn't wait to refresh his memory. With a little less fear and much more consent and with actually knowing the guy who's dick he had up his ass.

But Derek wasn't there yet, he could tell. The fact that Derek had performance issues back then should have given Stiles a hint that Derek wasn't someone who just rolled in the sheets with anybody.

So it came as a little surprise that Derek agreed to sleep in his human form tonight.

When it was time for bed they went upstairs and Derek led him to his bedroom because Derek's bed was bigger. While Stiles got ready for the night, he couldn't help but wonder how Derek slept as a human. They had shared the den or a bed more often than not lately but so far Derek had always stayed in his wolf form.

There was an awkward moment where Derek was searching his drawers for some sweatpants he could put on for the night but couldn't find any he would be comfortable in.

"Dude, just do what you normally do." Stiles said from his spot on the bed where he sat in his usual boxers and baggy shirt.

"It's just." Derek made a helpless gesture. "I'm not used to sleeping in my boxers." He blushed and Stiles just wanted to kiss him.

"Like a healthy breeze around your privates, Archie?" Stiles asked with a smile, picturing Derek in a night grown.

Derek just glared at him. Then, making up his mind, he reached for his fly with determination. Seconds later he slipped naked under the covers.

"There you go." Stiles settled in as well. A naked Derek was a common sight around the loft, not that it ever lost its appeal, and to his own surprise Stiles didn't read more into his nakedness now than he had before the whole mating bond had come up.

Stiles stretched and turned in search for a comfortable position but he was too keyed up to actually go to sleep.

"Stop squirming around." Derek growled but he didn't sound tired either.

When they slept together as man and wolf, Stiles always ended up hugging Derek but now he wasn't sure where the line was. Derek was lying naked next to him. Okay, technically he had been naked as a wolf as well but this was different. Stiles wondered if he would send out the wrong signals if he hugged him now.

"Laura called." Derek suddenly spoke up, throwing Stiles off his train of thoughts.

"Uh?"

"She wants to meet you." Derek continued and rolled to his side to face Stiles. Their faces were only inches apart, Stiles hadn't even notice how close they were. "She wants to talk to you about Peter."

"Is she going to do something about him?" Naked Derek was forgotten, this was more important. Stiles had sworn to avenge Scott but he hadn't even thought about Peter for a while now. He bit his bottom lip, guilt nagging in the back of his head. His revenge on Peter had been the most important thing in his life, hell, it had been the reason he had ended up in Derek's pack in the first place. And for a while he had almost forgotten about it.

However, his mind was back on track now.

"She wants to talk to you first." Derek said. "She asked if we would like to come for a visit this weekend."

"Sure." Stiles agreed easily. He plopped back on his back, head pillowed on one arm. "What is she like?"

"You'll like her." Stiles couldn't see his smile but he could tell that it was there. "She's a good alpha. You'll like her pack."

Stiles thought about that for a moment, trying to picture a female version of Derek. They were sibling, that had to show. He had seen pictures of Laura right after the fire but she was older now. Derek wasn't the wild-eyed teenager glued to his sister's side Stiles knew from pictures of the Hale House Fire case any longer either. And yes, if you came from Beacon Hills that fire got the big letters.

"You've lived with her pack after …" Stiles didn't dare to mention the fire. Not that there was any guessing what he meant, there was only one big after when it came to the Hales.

Derek scooted even closer, his hand finding Stiles' in the dark and Stiles didn't hesitate to turn it so that Derek could threat their fingers together.

"She was my alpha after our mother died." He said, his voice so low Stiles had to strain his ears to catch them. "I would have been content with her being my alpha for the rest of my life."

Stiles didn't know how Derek had become an alpha, it had been more of an accident than anything else, that much he knew, but like so much else, werewolves kept their matters to themselves. Stiles didn't doubt that Derek would tell him if he asked, Stiles was pack and his mate, but now was not the right moment to ask.

"You're a good alpha, too." Stiles said. "I can't speak for the others but I would be dead if it hadn't been for you. And I am content with you being my alpha for the rest of my life." It was the closest to I love you he dared to say right now.

He couldn't make out Derek's features but he caught the hitch in his breath. Counting on Derek to meet him half-way Stiles leaned in the general direction of his face for a kiss. Sure enough, their lips met and Derek let go of his hand to cup the side of his head.

They kissed slow and tender.

Stiles fell asleep with his head on Derek's shoulder, their legs tangled and just holding on to each other.

Stiles woke up in pretty much the same position, just a little more splayed over Derek and with his morning wood pressed into the crease of Derek's hip. His first instinct was to retreat but when he shifted Stiles noticed that Derek had the same problem only with less fabric restraining his erection. Curious Stiles opened his eyes and shifted just enough to look at Derek's face.

He was still sleeping. With his face lax and his eyelashes fanned out over pale skin he looked younger, almost vulnerable.

For a moment Stiles just drank in the sight in front of him but then his mind came back to the more urgent matter. He was lying more or less on top of Derek and they both were sporting inappropriate boners.

Or were they? Inappropriate, that is. They were mates, after all.

Not sure what the protocol on waking up to someone still asleep but with mutual morning wood was, Stiles bit his lip and fought the urge to wake Derek up with a kiss.

Once this sleeping in one bed while looking like they belonged to the same species had become a thing, Stiles wouldn't even think about things like kissing Derek awake and would just go for it. But this was the first night Derek had felt comfortable enough to ditch the fur and Stiles really didn't want to make him uncomfortable.

While he was still pondering his options, Derek blinked his eyes open. For a second he looked confused, his eyes unfocused, but then he zoned in on Stiles' face hovering over him and a soft smile formed on his lips.

"Morning." Stiles greeted him and leaned in for a gentle kiss. Minding his morning breath, he just went for a dry brush of closed lips over slightly parted ones. Derek hummed and brought a hand up to cup Stiles' cheek, staring up at him in wonder.

Then he shifted under Stiles which brushed their cocks together for one sweet second. Stiles closed his eyes in bliss but snapped them open again when he felt Derek moving away from him. The expression on Derek's face was so panicked it looked comical and Stiles couldn't help but burst out laughing.

"Dude, if you're bothered by your boner, you haven't paid enough attention." Deliberately he pushed his crotch against Derek's, bringing them back together. The way the worry melted off Derek's face almost broke Stiles heart and he wondered not for the first time what had happened to him. Aside from the stuff he knew.

"What are we going to do now?" Stiles asked and feeling bold, he bucked into Derek again. Which earned him a soft moan so he did it again.

Instead of an answer, Derek sneaked his hand under the covers. It landed heavily on Stiles' cock still trapped in his boxers.

"Okay?" Derek asked.

Stiles rutted shamelessly into the heel of his palm but Derek didn't move. He just looked intensely at Stiles, waiting for an answer.

"Okay." Stiles breathed out and duck in to mouth along Derek's jaw. "More than okay. Do something, Derek. Please."

He could get off like this, rutting against Derek's strong hand, and embarrassingly quick so, but he wanted more. He wanted Derek to participate in this and not just to provide something Stiles could use to get himself off.

Derek considered that for a moment, his head tilted as if he was listening to something, but then he came to a conclusion with a sharp nod and suddenly Stiles' boxers went down and were tucked behind his balls.

Stiles groaned when he felt Derek's hand on his cock, skin on skin.

"Yes, Derek, yes." He mouthed into the soft skin on Derek's neck, kissing and nipping the spot he knew Derek liked.

Then Derek shifted under him and lined up their cocks. His hand closed around them both.

"Fuck." Stiles felt the heat of Derek's flesh pressed against his own straining erection and then Derek started to stroke them both. Even with their combined precome it was more in the dry side, just this side of too painful.

Derek urged Stiles' head up again for another kiss, open mouthed and wet this time, Derek didn't seem to care about morning breath, and by now Stiles was too far gone to care either.

It took only a few more strokes until Stiles spilled his release all over Derek's fist and abs. Derek followed close behind, stroking them both through the aftershocks.

Stiles collapsed in a boneless heap on Derek, not caring about the mess he was lying in.

"I can get used to waking up like this." Stiles said into Derek's chest and snuggled up even closer.

"Me too." Derek kissed the top of his head.

It was a school day so Stiles would have to get up eventually but he stayed in bed with Derek for just a little while longer.

Which led to him sprinting down the stairs, taking two steps at once, one arm tangled in his jacket and a cold pop tart between his teeth, in the faint hope to make it to school in time.

He did make it with five minutes to spare. He felt like whooping with his fist in the air, he was awesome, but he tuned it down to a little victory skipping.

"Where have you been?" Sean greeted him but when he had a closer look at Stiles his eyes went wide. "Dude, is that a hickey?"

 

Chapter Text

Stiles sprinted out of the bedroom to rush through his morning routine and then left the loft in a hurry. By the time the door banged shut behind him Derek was still in bed. The sudden silence was deafening and Derek closed his eyes and just breathed for a moment. The smell of sex and sweat hung still heavy in the air and he ran his hand lazily through the drying mess on his stomach. He would have to shower in a minute but for now he was just enjoying the scent of his mate mixed with his own.

Straining his ears, he made sure that Stiles had truly left and wasn't about to storm back in because he had forgotten something. Then Derek shifted and literally rolled in the scent until it was rubbed deep enough into his fur that the smell would still linger even after a shower. He lolled his tongue in a happy wolf laugh and was just glad that Stiles wasn't there to judge him.

Derek got out of bed eventually, already making a list in his head what he had to do. Call Laura to confirm that they would come for a visit this weekend, was on top of that list and everything else was just logical consequences of that. He needed to get ahead of his work so he could take the weekend off. And he should make sure that Stiles did the same with his homework, mates and awesome sex aside, Derek was still Stiles' legal guardian and it was his job to make sure that Stiles did his homework. His mate was still in high school.

Not that that mattered to the wolf part of him, his animalistic side only recognized his mate and was happy that Stiles reciprocated.

Standing under the hot spray of the shower Derek wondered if Stiles had told his father. They weren't talking on the phone every day any longer, and he had stopped going to the park to make the call in private, but Stiles called him at least two or three times a week and if it was just to make sure that his father stayed off the fast food.

Derek had the suspicion that Stiles had contacts in the sheriff's department so that he knew when his old man sneaked in a burger. But that wasn't any of his business. And Derek had to agree, that healthy food wasn't that bad and Stiles' cooking beat everything he used to have for dinner every day before they had met. Instant ramen only got you so far.

Freshly showered and dressed Derek got the coffee maker going, it was saying something that Stiles had been in too much of a hurry for his morning coffee.

"Hope he doesn't fall asleep in class." Derek muttered into his steaming cup but the thought of what might have tired Stiles out got him smiling, though.

Checking the time he decided that it wasn't too early to call Laura.

He managed to dodge the more embarrassing questions for now but he knew once he and Stiles were at her place, he wouldn't get off that easily. But then he would have Stiles by his side and that boy could talk a mile a minute, Laura and all the others would be more focused on him than on Derek.

If he was honest, he missed Laura's pack and he was looking forward to seeing them again. For a while they had been his pack as well.

That call out of the way, Derek fired up the laptop and got out his notes. He wasn't too packed so it shouldn't be too hard to get ahead and he could take the weekend off without feeling guilty. He was in the middle of negotiations with Professor Rodriguez and if that turned out well, it would be a big job. He would have to get the smaller ones out of the way as soon as possible anyway.

On Friday morning Derek drove Stiles to school and then went back to the loft to cram in one last work session before he loaded his car with their bags. Stiles had spent the whole Thursday afternoon packing his bag for their weekend trip and still wasn't sure if he had packed everything he needed and texted Derek throughout the day to add this or take that out. In the end Derek ignored most of his messages. He knew that Stiles was anxious to meet Laura and her pack and that he wanted to make a nice first impression.

"I'm your mate, Derek, it's important." However, Derek was pretty sure that Laura would like him. Hell, for whatever reason she liked Derek so the bar was pretty low on that one.

None of his betas was at home when it was time to leave. They had a pack night last night so it wasn't as if he hadn't seen them for days but it still felt strange to leave without seeing anybody.

"Stiles is going to make it up for them." He muttered to himself while he had a last look around to check if he had forgotten something important. They would be back Sunday evening, they would survive without whatever he probably had forgotten to pack and he didn't check his messages to find out if Stiles wanted him to pack different pajamas.

When he parked at the school Derek noticed that the students coming out of the building tended to hang around once they saw his car. Nobody seemed to be in a hurry to get home.

He sighed and got out of the car. Leaning against it with his sunglasses on he waited for Stiles and tried to ignore the stares he got from the students.

Somebody should tell them that werewolves had excellent hearing, though. He ignored most of the whispered comments but he winced at one or two of the more bolder ones. Where these kids actually arguing if Stiles bent over only for him or his whole pack? His hackles raised and he wanted to snarl at the jerk who had made that comment but he forced himself to stay in his relaxed position.

Finally Stiles came out of the school, another boy at his side. That had to be Sean.

Derek straightened up, a curious eye on Stiles' friend. He didn't see him as a threat, quite the opposite, he was glad that Stiles was friends with somebody outside of the pack.

The boys were talking animatedly and so far Sean hadn't realized where they were heading. Stiles however had noticed Derek the second he'd stepped out of the door and had thrown him a blinding smile.

Derek could tell the exact second Sean noticed him. The boy stopped dead in his tracks, eyes wide while all color left his face. He looked ready to bolt but Stiles dragged him closer to Derek by his sleeve.

"Derek, this is Sean." He introduced his friend. "Sean, this is Derek."

"Nice to meet you." Derek said and meant it. "Stiles told me a lot about you. I'm glad he found a friend here." It was probably more than he should have said but he couldn't stand the panicked look on the teenager's face. As if he was about to eat him.

"Nice to meet you, Mr. Hale." Sean stammered.

"Derek is just fine." Derek tried really hard to ignore Stiles who looked like he was close to bursting from trying to hold in his laughter.

There was an awkward moment when nobody knew what to say or do next. Sean's eyes were darting between Stiles and Derek while he tried to not really look at either of them.

"Derek wanted to say that you can come by anytime." Stiles prompted with a not so subtle jerk of his head in Sean's direction.

"Right." Derek said. "Stiles told me that you weren't sure if you're welcomed at my place."

Sean looked close to fainting and his panicked eyes were on Stiles. If he was looking for help or if he wanted to kill his friend for mentioning him to Derek, he wasn't sure.

"Friends of Stiles are always welcome." Derek said in earnest. "You two don't have to stay at your place all the time, I'd like to have you around."

"Thank you, Mr. Hale." Sean answered on autopilot. "I mean Derek. Thank you, Derek." He cringed and threw Stiles another helpless glance.

"We should leave." Derek said to Stiles, taking pity on his friend. "It was nice to finally meet you, Sean." He gave the boy a short nod and then walked around the car.

"See you on Monday." Stiles said to Sean and moments later they were on their way.

For a long moment neither of them spoke.

"He's nice." Derek finally said.

"He almost shit his pants when he finally noticed you." Stiles couldn't hold in his laughter any longer. "He looked like you were about to bite his head off."

"Why would I do that?"

Stiles just laughed.

"Are they still giving you trouble?" Derek changed the topic, the not so whispered comments still ringing in his ears.

Now Stiles sobered up.

"It's not too bad." He said with some delay. Picking at the seam of his jeans he didn't look in Derek's direction. "But I probably should borrow a scarf from Isaac sometimes."

Derek raised his eyebrows and made a questioning noise.

"You may haven't noticed." He tucked at the collar of his shirt. "But you left some marks on me."

Derek took his eyes off the road long enough to glance over to him and sure enough there was a fading hickey on Stiles' neck. And some stubble burn if he looked closely. He wondered if anybody at school looked closely, though.

"Not that I mind." Stiles hurried to add and let go of his collar. "I kinda like seeing your mark on my skin."

A grin spread over Derek's face and he knew it looked wolfish but he couldn't help it.

"And you like it too." Stiles poked him in the arm. "Don't deny it, your inner wolf or whatever is wagging his tail at the thought of your mark on me."

Derek just pretended that he was too focused on driving to answer.

"Too bad that I can't leave a mark on you." Stiles sagged a bit in his seat. "Hickeys last about five seconds on you, I took the time."

"That's what you're thinking about when we're making out?" Derek threw him another glance. "I'm doing something wrong." He was teasing, they both knew it, but Stiles gaped at him nevertheless and hurried to assure him that he was doing just fine. Awesome actually.

The grin was now firmly on Derek's face and he didn't mind one bit that he must look like a maniac. His mate thought that he was awesome.

They had a long ride ahead, Derek didn't expect to arrive at Laura's place before eleven in the evening, after midnight if they got caught up in traffic, and it became rather obvious that it really would be a long ride with Stiles in the car after only ten minutes.

By then Stiles had changed the radio station five times and was already reaching for the button for his sixth round of shuffling through the stations in search for something he could stand. If Derek could stand it wasn't a question coming to his mind.

And he was talking. They hadn't even left the city and Derek knew everything that had happened at school today. Something, Derek wasn't sure which bit, let to a story about Stiles' old chemistry teacher in Beacon Hills and from that it was just a natural jump to a cat video he had watched on YouTube the other day.

By the time they passed the city limits Derek had tuned Stiles out as good as he was able to and focused on the road or the song that was playing until it turned into a medley of random shuffling again.

Derek sighed. It really would be a long ride. Why was Stiles his mate again?

 

Chapter Text

Derek had brought snacks for the ride and Stiles had the suspicion that he used them to shut him up by shoving them in his face every time Stiles' rambling became too much.

To cut him some slack, Stiles asked about Laura's pack. He had checked her out when he had been searching for an alpha solution for Scott but he'd quickly settled for Derek, closer, smaller pack and the tendency to pick up orphans, and hadn't really looked into Laura and her pack.

"How many pack members are there?" Stiles asked.

It took Derek a moment to answer, he was clearly counting heads in his mind.

"Including Laura? Sixteen." He finally answered. "No, wait. Miranda had her baby a few months back. Seventeen."

"Seventeen." Stiles needed to wrap his head around that. "Is that big for a pack?"

Derek shrugged. "Average, I think. Peter's is bigger."

Stiles didn't want to think about Peter right now, he would do that more than enough once he had the chance to talk to Laura so he focused back on her pack.

"How many humans are there?" From Stiles experience humans were a rare thing in a pack. As far as he knew Lydia was the only human pack member in Peter's, if you only counted the ones who were there by choice and not as claimed pets. And Lydia was only there because of her relationship with Jackson. Why Peter hadn't turned her Stiles didn't know, though.

And he was thinking about Peter again, dammit.

Derek had used the moment of distraction to count again in his head. It somehow felt good to know that Derek couldn't just give him hard numbers. Like it didn't really matter if a pack member was human or a werewolf, it was nice.

"Eight or nine." Derek finally answered the human members question.

"You're not sure?"

"I don't know if the baby is human or a wolf." He admitted.

"I thought it would be quite obvious right from birth." Stiles sat back in his seat. "I didn't know that it shows later. When? When the kid hits puberty? Man, that sucks. Dealing with zits, morning wood and sprouting fangs at the same time. Bet the sideburns are hell on a teenage ego." He stopped because Derek was staring at him. "What?"

"Miranda knows what her daughter is." Derek said in a tone that clearly showed that he thought Stiles was an idiot. "It just didn't come up when I spoke to her."

Stiles gaped at him. "How is that even possible? That's kind of an important information."

"Why?" Derek challenged him. "I know that Stacy is a healthy little girl, that she keeps her mother up all night and that the sun comes out when she smiles." His eyes got a dreamy shine and he was looking straight ahead as if he wanted to hide the expression from Stiles.

"You're a big softy, you know that?" Stiles gave him a playful punch to the shoulder. The look on Derek's face made him wonder if he wanted kids of his own. Not exactly a possibility with Stiles, but still. Maybe Boyd and Erica would have kids one day, Derek would be an awesome uncle.

They stopped at a road-side diner for dinner.

Stiles had a cheeseburger and fries and he was eyeing the pie for dessert.

"Don't stuff yourself too much." Derek warned him. "Laura won't let you off to bed without a midnight snack after the long ride."

"She's the motherly type?" Stiles guessed and flagged down their waitress to get his pie. Midnight was hours away.

"More the annoying type." Derek muttered into his cup of coffee. "You'll get along great."

Stiles kicked him under the table.

Derek just glared at him as if that had proven his point. Which it totally didn't.

Stiles fell asleep in the car around ten and when he opened his eyes again, they had stopped.

"Are we there?" He stretched and glanced at the clock in the dashboard. Almost midnight.

Derek made a confirming sound and got out of the car. He stretched as well which gave Stiles an excellent view on his butt. Too bad that they would spend the night in a house full of werewolves. He let his eyes linger on Derek's butt for a moment longer before he got out of the car and took in the house in front of them.

It was too dark to make out the details but the building was huge. Images of Peter's mansion crept into his mind but even in the dark Stiles could tell that this was totally different. This was an old farm house with warm light shining welcoming through two of the windows, not an impersonal block of ugly architecture out in the woods.

While Stiles was still taking in the surroundings, a wide area dotted with trees and not a hint of civilization beyond the house and the driveway, Derek had opened the trunk to get their bags.

Suddenly the front door flew open and a woman charged out, heading straight for Derek. He calmly put the bags on the ground and closed the lid of the trunk just in time for her attack hug.

Stiles stood awkwardly at the side while Derek and Laura, who else could it be, nuzzled and scented each other.

"I missed you." She said and for a moment they just stood there, embracing each other.

Stiles knew that they were siblings, that they hadn't seen each other in a while and they just really had missed each other but that was only the human part of his brain speaking. Something deeper, more animalistic and definitely new, just wanted to rip the other alpha off of his alpha, his mate. He knew it was stupid but he couldn't help that feeling. And he wasn't even a werewolf.

When they finally let go of each other, they turned to Stiles.

"You must be …"

"This is …"

They spoke at the same time, then stopped and, sharing a glance, waited for the other one to continue speaking. Stiles sighed.

"I'm Stiles." He introduced himself. "Nice to meet you."

"Laura." She said and offered her hand. When Stiles took it, she drew him into a half-hug with her other arm. "Nice to meet you."

She let go of him before it could get awkward.

"You must be hungry and tired from the long ride." She said, already heading back to the house.

Derek rolled his eyes at her but got their bags and followed her towards the warm light shining through the open front door. Stiles just trailed along. He couldn't deny that he was curious, for obvious reasons, he was about to enter an alpha's den, not many humans ever got that honor. At the same time he was a bit wary because, hello, he was about to enter an alpha's den. Not his alpha's, another pack alpha's and that did things to him he couldn't control. He felt somewhat itchy under his skin and he felt a prickle on his neck as if somebody was watching him.

He wondered if Derek felt the same. He was in another alpha's territory without most of his pack. But this was his sister and he had called this place and this pack home for quite a while so maybe he wasn't as wary as Stiles. It did however raise his pride in his mate for visiting his uncle without any backup back when they had first met.

They entered the large kitchen, built for a big family and quite some farm hands, but at this time of the night it was abandoned. Almost.

"Miranda." Derek greeted the woman sitting in a rocking chair at the far end, breast feeding her baby.

"Derek." She smiled at him and didn't seem to be fazed by the fact that Derek and a stranger just had interrupted some quiet mother child time. Stiles could see a little hand and the back of the baby's head dusted with dark hair. This had to be baby Stacy who might be or not be a werewolf.

Once they were alone he would ask Derek when werewolves started to shift. Because as peaceful as this looked, and he was totally not looking, this could turn ugly really quickly if the baby suddenly sprouted fangs. Stiles doubted that fangs came before the human teeth but he would like to know for sure before he let a werewolf baby chew on something.

Derek didn't even hesitate before he went over to shove his nose in Miranda's neck while he gently cradled the baby's head with one hand. Miranda angled her head to give him better access and at the same time she nuzzled Derek's neck.

Werewolf, then, Stiles guessed and fought the urge to intervene. Miranda wasn't an alpha so his instincts weren't screaming that loudly but this was a beta from another pack with her fangs only inches from Derek's jugular. It spoke of Derek's trust in her that he allowed the scenting at all.

"I have stew on the stove, if you want some." Laura was already getting bowls out. "Just a hint, no is not the right answer." She didn't even bother to wait for Stiles' response and a few seconds later he sat at the largest table he'd ever seen with a bowl of steaming stew in front of him. He couldn't quite tell what was in the bowl but it smelled delicious.

"Derek, stop bothering Miranda and sit down." Laura ordered her brother around and after another few huffs to Miranda's neck Derek obeyed.

"How was the ride?" Laura joined them at the table.

"Long as always." Derek answered, is eyebrows telling her how stupid the question was. Stiles guessed that was half the reason she had asked in the first place.

She glanced at Stiles without outright staring at him and he wondered what questions were on her mind. He wasn't sure what Derek had told her, if she knew about the claiming. She probably did, that was part of the reason she wanted to talk to him. Not about Derek claiming him but about her uncle's shitty behavior that had led to it.

However, before she could start asking, Stacy was done eating. Miranda burped her and then joined them at the table, the sleepy baby on her shoulder.

Stiles couldn't help but stare. He was an only child and didn't have extended family. Babies were a rather theoretical concept to him. Like wallabies. He knew they existed, somewhere, but they didn't effect his daily life.

"So you're the one who dares to put up with Derek." Miranda teased fondly.

"I'm not sure who's putting up with who." Derek muttered before Stiles had the chance to answer her.

Stiles only made a half-hearted "hey" at that, his eyes on the baby.

Stacy was smacking her lips and her little hands were twitching as if she was searching for something to hold on to. Stiles was tempted to offer her his finger but wasn't sure if he would cross a line with that. Different packs and all that aside, just going for a child without permission from the mother holding her was just rude. He had never understood people who just shoved their faces into random strollers. And don't get him started on stupid baby language.

"Do you want to hold her for a moment?" Miranda asked.

Stiles recoiled and almost fell of his chair.

"I don't think that's a good idea." He told her. "I tend to drop things. Just ask Derek. The other day I had to clean the whole kitchen because I dropped a glass of orange juice."

"You'll do fine." She assured him and just like that Stiles had a baby in his arms. Stacy looked at him with bleary eyes but her gaze became more focused when she noticed that there was a stranger looking down on her. Stiles held his breath because he was sure that she would start crying any second now. Instead she reached out with a little starfish hand and grabbed his nose.

 

Chapter Text

Laura and her pack were family. At least to Derek. He was no longer a member of this pack but he had been and that didn't change when he'd become an alpha. Miranda and all the others were still a part of him. A part he had to leave behind but it had left its imprint on him and on Laura's pack. He was welcomed here, he was safe here.

Stiles didn't have that past. To him this was a strange pack he didn't know. It had been clear the second Laura had come out of the house that Stiles had felt wary and not comfortable at all. Stiles was human so Derek hadn't been sure how he would react but he had acted almost like one of his betas. And more.

By now Stacy was happily gumming on Stiles' finger and Stiles was more at ease.

Derek met Laura's eyes and he could tell that she had noticed how uneasy Stiles had been, too. That was probably the reason she wasn't bombarding his mate with questions right now and he was grateful for that. Sometimes his big sister was awesome. Most of the times she was a pain in his ass, though.

"I should put her to bed." Miranda finally broke the moment. "I think she might sleep for a few hours now."

Stiles gave the baby back with a mixture of regret and relief written all over his face which made Laura laugh.

"What?"

"Nothing." She held her hands up in defeat but there was a glint in her eyes. "It suits you, that's all."

"It's a baby, not a shirt." Stiles shot back, the tips of his ears red.

"We should turn in as well." Derek cut in to save Stiles from more embarrassment. Once the ice was broken, and it looked like that had just happened, there would be no holding back for Laura and he didn't want to deal with that this late in the evening.

Derek led the way to his old room which Laura kept for his visits. He would never sleep in Peter's house, only partly because it would remind him too much of the past, but here he felt at home and he was actually looking forward to sleeping in his room again. The bed would be a bit small for two people but a man and a wolf should fit just fine.

"Is this your room?" Stiles asked when he closed the door behind them, giving them the illusion of privacy.

"Yes." Derek kicked off his boots and reached for his jeans. He was beat, the sooner he could slip in his fur and go to sleep the better. "But I rarely slept here. Most of the pack sleeps in the den. Usually you sleep in your own bed only if you want some privacy or if you're sick with something catchy."

"Or you have a baby." Stiles added. So he had noticed that Laura and Miranda had disappeared in different directions.

"Only if the baby is too fussy." Derek threw off the last bit of clothing and he could feel Stiles' hungry eyes on him. "We love having the whole pack close, especially the children."

"So you know they're safe." Stiles nodded in understanding. He stepped closer and put his arms on Derek's shoulders. For a moment Derek thought he would kiss him but instead Stiles just studied his face. "Why don't we do that? I mean, we do that, on occasion, but why don't we do it every night?"

"It comes more naturally to born werewolves." Derek answered not without a ping of longing in his chest. "My betas are all bitten."

"Do you miss it?" Stiles asked and Derek could tell that he was already thinking about schemes to rope the others in to more pack nights.

"Sometimes." Derek admitted. With Stiles it was easy to admit things like this. "But not so much lately."

"Because you have me."

"Because I have you." Derek put his hands on Stiles' hips who came willingly closer, his still fully clothed body pressed against Derek's naked one. Derek usually didn't care if he was naked or dressed but now he was very aware of his nakedness.

Stiles leaned in for a quick kiss and then, with a wicked grin, pressed his hip against Derek's crotch.

"You know that there are people around who will hear us." Derek reminded him which put a damper on things rather quickly. Not that Derek was bothered by the others listening in on them, you can't grow up in a pack without hearing things. It was normal. Not for humans, though.

Stiles pouted and brought some space between them.

"Totally not cool." He said and put another quick kiss on Derek's lips. "But I'm tired anyway. You want first turn in the bathroom?"

Minutes later they lay in bed, Derek in his fur and Stiles in his sleep shirt and boxers, and after some tossing and turning Stiles fell asleep with his arm slung over Derek, holding him close. Derek relaxed into his mate and closed his eyes.

There were noises, the old house was cracking and groaning and of course there were the members of Laura's pack, in a house with seventeen people there were always noise, but those were familiar noises, comforting ones and Derek let himself get lulled to sleep by them.

"Uncle Derek!" A high pitched voice woke him up way too early in the morning. It was followed by a shrieking sound and the staccato of little feet on hardwood floor. Derek had only a second to brace himself for the double impact.

Gina jumped on his back, arms tight around his neck while she buried her nose between his shoulder blades. Jeremy basically just bounced off of where he had hit Derek in the shoulder but managed to grab Derek's ear to prevent himself from toppling backwards.

Both kids were squealing in delight and didn't seem to care that they were abusing him. It felt like Jeremy was trying to rip off his ear but when Derek tried to move his head along with him, Gina tightened her choke-hold on him. He let out a low growl but neither of them seemed impressed by that. Jeremy used his ear to pull himself up to a wobbly standing, the dipping mattress and the rumbled covers under his feet didn't make it an easy task, and then Jeremy hugged Derek's whole head, cheek pressed against his nose and his face so close, it was just a blurry blotch.

"Uncle Derek." He sighed contently and rubbed his cheek all over his face. He giggled at the sensation of fur scratching over his skin and rubbed more firmly.

"I wanted to stay up until you got here." Gina spoke too loud and too close to his other ear. "But Mom said you would arrive too late, that it would be past my bedtime." Her breathless little huffs stopped for what he guessed was a pout.

Gina drew in a deep breath to start talking again, when suddenly Stiles came up from under the covers, hair sticking out in every direction and squinting at the children in his bed as if he wasn't sure if he was still dreaming or not.

Whatever question was on his lips died when he actually noticed that the two kids were tugging and pulling at Derek.

Gina and Jeremy stopped and just stared at Stiles in return.

"Who are you?" Gina asked.

"I'm Stiles." He sat up and ran a hand though his hair in the fruitless attempt to make it obey to gravity.

"What's a Stiles?" Jeremy asked while Gina went for the more important question: "Why are you in Uncle Derek's bed?"

Derek could shift and explain this himself. He could. Instead he made himself more comfortable, as comfortable as one could get with a five year old on his back and a three year old all over his face and with both of them digging their little fingers deep into his fur.

Over Jeremy's head he met Stiles' eye and Derek did his best to transmit This is your turn with his gaze. He probably was a bit cross-eyed from squinting at Jeremy, though.

"I'm Derek's mate." Stiles answered and the natural way the words came out of his mouth made Derek's heart swell.

"Derek doesn't have a mate." Gina told him and tightened her hold on Derek as if she feared that this stranger would take her uncle away.

"He does now."

Jeremy let go of Derek and made his way over to Stiles where he face-planted into his chest.

"He smells like Derek." He proclaimed after a few sniffs. Not one bit shy he grinned up at Stiles who didn't seem to know where to put his hands.

"That doesn't mean he's Derek's mate." Gina pointed out.

"No?" Jeremy asked and looked from Stiles to Gina until his gaze settled on Derek in search for an answer.

"I could just be a pack member." Stiles agreed with Gina. "We slept in the same bed, everybody would smell like him if he slept in the same bed as Derek."

Gina slid down Derek's side until she sat on the mattress with her back against his side.

"Uncle Derek never had a mate before." She said, a calculating eye on Stiles. "Mom said he will never find a mate."

That stung. Derek was pretty sure that that weren't Loreen's exact words but it still stung.

"He had to wait until he found me." Stiles smoothed over it and reached out to scratch Derek behind the ear. "But now he's got me and he won't be alone any longer."

While Stiles was distracted, Jeremy used the chance to grab Stiles' unruly hair with both fists. Stiles grimaced but let him.

"Is that true?" Gina asked and Derek got the feeling that he had to answer that one. He shifted and hugged her closer with his arm.

"It's true." He said, nose buried in her neck. "Stiles is my mate. Be nice to him."

Gina thought about that for a moment, still a skeptical eye on Stiles. Who tried his best to look innocent which was hard with Jeremy plucking at his hair. Since Jeremy was a werewolf, Stiles was in real danger of losing fistfuls of hair but before Derek could reach over to save his mate from getting scalped, Gina tackled Jeremy off of Stiles.

"Uncle Derek said to be nice to him." She said to the squirming toddler in her arms. Jeremy fought her hold and a second later they were rolling between Stiles and Derek, each of them determined to pin the other one down. Gina was older and bigger but Jeremy was a werewolf.

"Should we …?" Stiles threw him a worried look over the fighting children between them but Derek shook his head. They were both still laughing, a little roughing each other up was just part of growing up in a werewolf pack. And he knew that there was a firm rule of "stop means stop" in place so either of them could stop this with one word. Not that they looked like they wanted to use it.

Stiles almost got thrown out of the bed when they accidentally rolled more towards his side and once they noticed, the game was on. Suddenly both children were tackling Stiles, trying to push him over the edge.

"Hey, that's not …" Stiles was cut off by Jeremy smashing into him while Gina used the distraction to grab his foot.

"Derek? A little help?" The wide grin on his face betrayed him, though.

Derek grinned back.

"Okay, you little s..." Stiles caught himself before he said a bad word which was just hilarious. And with that Stiles fought back. A little hesitant at first but Jeremy and Gina weren't cutting him any slack either and were shoving him closer to the edge by the minute.

"I'm not going down alone!" Grabbing both kids Stiles let himself drop over the edge. They went down in a shrieking tangle of limbs.

"Avenge me." Stiles told Derek with his dying breath.

 

Chapter Text

When Stiles came up from under the covers to find out what was bumping him in the kidney, he wasn't sure if he was still dreaming or not. He had to because there was a little girl basically riding on Derek's back with her arms tight around his neck and another even smaller child was doing his best to rip off Derek's ear. So dreaming.

Turned out he wasn't dreaming and that Uncle Derek kind of liked the treatment as a substitute jungle gym. Derek did his best to convince Stiles otherwise but the death glare lost its impact with the toddler draped over his face.

However, the girl was kind of hard to convince that Stiles had actually a right to be in Derek's bed. Stiles had never thought that he would have to justify his very existence to a little girl. He doubted she was old enough to go to school yet and still she was the one pointing out that smelling like Derek and sharing his bed didn't make Stiles Derek's mate. At this point Stiles had the toddler almost sitting on his chest who had just cheerfully informed them that indeed, Stiles was smelling like Derek.

For a kid this small the boy was pretty strong and if the sniffing hadn't given it away his strength would have told Stiles that he was dealing with a tiny werewolf.

How that ended with him on the floor, two chuckling kids on top of him, he had no clue. Derek peered over the edge of the bed to make sure that they were all okay but that bastard didn't even bother to look concerned.

Somewhere in the house a woman was calling for the kids and a second later they were gone and Stiles wasn't sure if this hadn't been just one weird dream after all.

"Did they hurt you?" Derek offered him a hand to get up.

"I'm fine." Stiles boosted himself up to sit on the edge of the bed. "I do worse to myself without help on a daily basis."

Derek nodded solemnly.

Only now Stiles noticed that Derek was in his human form, his naked human form. Granted, his lower half was hidden underneath the covers but Stiles couldn't recall if it had been like that the whole time.

"Dude." He hissed, a wary eye at the ajar door. There were noises coming from outside, telling even him that people were up and about. "You can't be naked with little kids around."

"Why not?" Derek had the nerve to ask.

"Why not?" Stiles tried to outburst in a low enough voice so that nearby werewolves wouldn't hear him. "Because it makes you look like a pedophile."

"Maybe we should join the den tonight." Derek said with a cryptic smile on his face and rolled out of bed.

"What has that to do with anything?" Stiles yelled after him.

"Nakedness has nothing to do with sex." Derek told him as if that should be obvious. "I thought you noticed that clothes are more or less optional in a pack."

Stiles had gotten that but in their pack everybody was an adult. But thinking about it, the kids hadn't even seem to notice, at least Gina had been more interested in Derek's mate than in his nakedness.

When they were ready to head downstairs for breakfast, Stiles felt nervous. He was about to meet the whole pack. He could tell that at least the majority of them was already in the kitchen and he wasn't sure if he was ready to face them. This was like meeting the parents and the extended family all at once.

"You'll be fine." Derek slung his arms around him, hands warm on the small of his back. "They'll love you."

"If you say so." Stiles muttered back and ducked in for a good luck kiss.

Stiles had expected that everything would come to a halt when he entered the kitchen, that everybody would turn to him, waiting for him to introduce himself or something like that. This was Derek's old pack, there had to be at least one version of the shovel speech somewhere in his near future.

What he didn't expect was to be ignored.

Nobody looked up, everybody too busy with their breakfast which seemed to include guarding it against the person sitting next to you. Or across from you. Or walking by behind you.

Stiles did a quick head-count. There were three people missing, maybe they had to work on the weekend, but even without the whole pack at the table it was loud and chaotic.

Derek guided him over to the table where Stiles sat down between his mate and an elderly gentleman who greeted him with a smile and a "good morning" before he turned back to his plate of scrambled eggs. Stiles was pretty sure he was human, werewolves didn't need glasses.

The only familiar faces at the table were Laura at the far end and Miranda who was breast feeding Stacy in the middle of the chaos. Next to her sat Jeremy who just went over the table to get some butter for his toast with his bare hands. Miranda plugged him out of the air without taking her eyes off Stacy in her arms.

Gina was sitting next to another woman but Stiles wasn't sure if she was her mother or not.

Looked like he had already met all the little ones. There were three other children, however, he was pretty sure that they would kill him if they ever caught him calling them children. Two, a boy and a girl, looked similar enough to make them siblings and they were close enough in age, around twelve he guessed, that they could be twins but Stiles wasn't sure about that.

The teenage girl leaning at the counter with a slice of toast in one hand and her phone in the other was at least old enough to drive because she had just asked Laura if she could borrow her car today. She was clearly human because there were scratches still visible on her forearm which Stiles would usually associate with cat owners but today his money was on Jeremy as the culprit. Stiles had similar scratches from when the little werewolf had popped claws of excitement in the middle of their wrestling game.

While he had been distracted, Derek had poured him some coffee and was now piling his plate with things he knew Stiles liked. Stiles grinned at him, best mate ever.

For a moment they ate in silence, at least Derek and Stiles were silent, around them the conversations continued as if there wasn't suddenly a stranger at the table. Stiles was grateful for that.

He figured that it would be kind of rude if he asked who was or was not a werewolf so he made it a silent guessing game. The wolf who just came in through the back door and turned into a man to help himself to some coffee was a no-brainer, though.

On his way along the table the man snagged some apple slices from somebody's plate and then sat down and nuzzled the neck of the woman sitting next to him. Stiles wasn't sure if that meant they were a couple.

Other than that Stiles found it surprisingly hard to make out the werewolves. Probably due to living in a pack, everybody had some quirks Stiles associated with wolves. Even the grandpa sitting next to him sniffed his food and the girl who was still texting held her head in that dog-like tilt Stiles had got to know as the universal werewolf I'm listening tilt. He was pretty sure Derek didn't even noticed when he was doing it.

To his surprise Stiles liked the idea that he wasn't able to tell them apart. It was almost as if there was no reason to tell them apart, as if werewolves and humans were equal members in this pack. It was something Derek had tried to tell him since they had met but only now Stiles fully understood it.

More relaxed than he'd thought he would ever be in the middle of another pack, Stiles ate his toast and scrambled eggs. Under the table Derek's hand found his and Stiles gave him a little smile to assure him that he was fine.

The kids became impatient soon and the adults let them off with a collective sigh into the sudden silence. As silent as a room with ten adults could be. There were still conversations going on and the usual clatter of porcelain and silverware but the table had become instantly calmer once the kids, especially Jeremy, were gone.

Now, it looked like, was the time for questions.

"So, you're Stiles." The elderly man next to him spoke up and studied him over the rim of his glasses. "I have to say, I thought Laura was joking when she told us that Derek would bring his mate."

"Believe me, I'm not totally over that shock either." Stiles said honestly. Only a week ago he would have laughed at the idea of being Derek's mate.

It seemed to be the right answer, though. The old man gave him a warm smile and returned to his coffee.

"Are you even out of high school yet?" The girl finally looked up from her phone. "You look like you should sit next to me in class."

Yeah, that was one of the weak spots. Stiles felt all eyes on him now while she arched an eyebrow at him, clearly waiting for an answer.

"I'm still in high school, actually." Stiles told her. "I'm seventeen." At least to Laura this shouldn't be big news and if she was okay with this, her pack could hardly object, couldn't they? Stiles threw a glance at the alpha but she was currently holding Stacy and wasn't looking in his direction.

"Ewww." The girl made and pulled a face as if that was the most disgusting thing she'd ever heard. "Derek, how could you?"

"Megan." The woman with the naked werewolf next to her warned her but the girl didn't seem to care. She pushed herself off the counter into an aggressive stand.

"What?" She challenged the room in general but her eyes were on Derek. "I'm just saying what everybody's thinking. Look at him, he's a kid." She gestured in Stiles' direction and he had to snap his mouth shut to not give her a piece of his mind.

He wasn't part of this pack, he was just a guest. Stiles had learned a thing or two about pack politics and he didn't want to ruin the relationship between their packs with some rash words. Stiles bit his tongue and let his alpha deal with this. Derek should be proud of him. If Derek even noticed.

Derek was holding his ground against the bratty teen and managed to look almost bored but Stiles could tell by the set of his shoulder how tense he was. Under the table their fingers were still laced together so he gave Derek's hand a little squeeze for some silent support.

"Megan." Laura stood at the head of the table, her eyes flashing red. "A mating bond is nothing you can choose, it just happens. You know that."

"Mating bond." She snorted and flipped her hair over her shoulder. "Sure."

"Stiles is my mate." Derek said in a dangerously low voice. "We don't need your approval."

Stiles would have liked to hug him for the we but the tension at the table was thick enough to cut with a knife. He was afraid that breathing wrong could tip this over into disaster.

"Whatever you say ..." Her perfect red lips curved into an evil smile. "... Kate."

"I'm not her." Derek growled at her with his eyes red and face half shifted. Megan flinched back.

Laura and both her parents called her name but Stiles' focus was on Derek who was already out of the back door. By the time Stiles reached the door, he only found Derek's clothes scattered over the porch and a shadow of dark fur disappearing between the trees.

 

Chapter Text

Derek had, very successfully, avoided to think about Kate for a while now. Sure, there was an age difference between him and Stiles but almost eighteen wasn't fifteen, right?

Stiles and his father had both been sure that Derek would take advantage of Stiles but he hadn't. Derek would never do that. And for sure he didn't intend to kill Stiles' whole family.

So when Megan just threw her name with all the implications in his face, Derek saw red. Literally.

He felt his face shifting and he knew his eyes were glowing and his first instinct was to throw himself at Megan and roar her into submission.

He had enough self-control to turn around and leave, though. His skin was itching and too tight and he needed to run. He threw off his clothes and slipped into his fur without even realizing.

Behind him he heard Stiles calling his name but by now he'd already crossed the backyard and was about to disappear behind the tree line. Derek shook his head and run. His paws hit the forest floor with heavy thumps, the trees just a blurry mess around him.

Derek ran.

His thoughts melted away in the steady movement of his legs. It was so much easier to just be in his animal form.

Hours went by.

Somehow he had looped around and when Derek came to, he wasn't that far from the farm house. The forest around him was familiar and there was the scent of Laura's pack lingering all around him. It wasn't his pack any longer but the scent was still comforting.

For a moment he just stood there, chest heaving and tongue lolling, and listened to his surroundings. He half-expected to sense Laura or maybe Stephen somewhere close by but he was alone. He and Stephen had always been close but since he was also Megan's father, Derek wasn't surprised that he hadn't come after him. Slowly he trotted back to the house.

It was afternoon by now and the pack was doing whatever they usually did on a sunny Saturday afternoon. The first thing Derek noticed when he came closer, was Stiles playing with Jeremy in the sandbox. Miranda was sitting on the edge of the wooden frame around the sand with Stacy in her lap.

On the porch Loreen was sunbathing in a lawn chair with Stephen and Ellen in their wolf form next to her. The twins were playing on the swings and it looked almost too peaceful to interrupt. Derek was tempted to just disappear between the trees again but of course Stiles had noticed him. He was looking over with an inviting tilt of his head and Derek couldn't say no to that.

Slowly he made his way over to the sandbox, where Jeremy greeted him with a high-pitched squeal and then Derek had his face full of sand.

Laughing Stiles brushed it off his nose while he scolded Jeremy for throwing sand at Derek. He wasn't sure if Jeremy understood what Stiles was trying to tell him because the next second another shovel of sand hit Derek in the face.

He growled and tried to snag the plastic shovel out of Jeremy's hand with his teeth. But the boy didn't let go of it without a fight and then they were in the middle of a tug-o-war over the shovel. Jeremy leaned his whole body into it but he didn't stand a chance against a fully grown wolf. Derek played along just to suddenly let go of the shovel. As expected Jeremy landed on his butt with a stunned expression on his face. He blinked up at Derek and for a second he didn't look sure if he wanted to laugh or cry.

"Again!" He declared and scrambled to his feet, offering the end of the shovel to Derek for the next round. "Again, again, again."

"That's totally your own fault." Stiles told him and since he had become uninteresting as a playmate, he sat down next to Miranda. A moment later he had the baby in his arms again.

The played like that for a while, Jeremy could go on like this for hours, falling on his butt over and over again with a giggle, but in the end Miranda took pity on him and distracted her son with the idea of mud cakes. Derek and Stiles fled before the had to eat them.

Back in his room Derek shifted and reached for his clothes waiting for him on the bed. Stiles must have put them there.

"Are you okay?" Stiles asked from where he was leaning against the door frame, watching him. Derek could hear other people in the house but up here they were alone. At least they had some privacy, he didn't want to face the others just yet.

"I'm fine." He assured him and stepped in his jeans. "It was just ..." He didn't know how to finish the sentence. He had never talked to Stiles about Kate.

"A low blow." Stiles finished for him and came over to sling his arms around him from behind, his chin resting on Derek's shoulder. "I know. And believe me, I gave her a piece of my mind for bringing up Kate like that."

Derek went very still. Among the pack Kate had never been a secret, everybody knew but they didn't really talk about her anymore. She was dead and Derek was over it. Mostly. But Stiles didn't know.

"Did Laura?" He cleared his throat. He wasn't ready to talk about her now and for sure not here, far from his own territory and pack. "Did she tell you about Kate?" Because Stiles was Stiles, he always had questions.

"No." He shook his head, tickling Derek's ear with his spiky hair. "And before you feel the need to explain." He took a deep breath. "My dad's the sheriff and the fire has been the biggest case in Beacon Hills since forever. I've read the file. I know that Kate started the fire. I know that as soon as Peter was able again, he went on a rampage to kill her and everybody who helped her. My dad managed to save my chemistry teacher, I'm still not sure if he deserves it or not, but in the end Peter killed Kate. Case closed." He paused and Derek knew that wasn't all. "My dad always thought that she had a contact inside the Hale pack. Somebody she used to gain information." There was another pause and Stiles' grip around his middle tightened.

Derek's breath hitched and he didn't know what to say. How could he even start to explain what had happened back then?

"How old were you?" Stiles whispered into his skin. He was still there, still holing on to him. He had said used not helped. He wasn't blaming him.

"Fifteen." Derek choked out.

Stiles kissed him behind the ear, not saying anything.

"I loved her." The words were broken shards of glass in his throat. "I thought she loved me too."

"You're not her." Stiles reminded him. "You're nothing like her. You would never hurt me. I knew that right from the beginning. You will never hurt me."

Derek clasped his hands around Stiles' forearms across his belly and held on tight.

"I love you." Stiles said and bit down on the meat of his neck. Derek felt the words washing over him but the teeth sinking into his neck, into the claiming spot, anchored him, made him believe that this was real, that Stiles truly meant it.

He couldn't make himself say it, couldn't tell Stiles how much he loved him. His throat was too dry, he was choking on words so he just leaned into Stiles, into the bite, and hoped that it was enough.

Somehow Stiles understood werewolves, understood what a bite like this meant. Derek hoped that he would also understand the things he couldn't tell him.

"You know that I want you." Stiles continued after a long moment. "But if you want to wait until I'm eighteen I would understand."

"No, it's not like that." Derek cleared his throat. Age was just a number, Stiles wouldn't change that much over the span of a few months. "Just, let's not rush it, okay?"

"Okay." Stiles snuggled closer, his body a warm line against his back.

Derek didn't know how long they stood like that.

"Laura wants to see you later." Stiles finally broke the silence. "I think she wants to apologize."

Derek nodded. One of her pack members had insulted another alpha. Of course he would accept the apology but first Laura had to formally say it. This was pack politics at its finest. Derek let out a sigh, his life had been easier before he had become an alpha.

"We talked about Peter, Laura and I." Stiles continued, his chin now resting on Derek's shoulder again. "To say that she was shocked is an understatement."

"Is she going to do something?" At one point he would have to talk to her about Peter himself. From alpha to alpha. On their own they were both too weak to confront Peter but together they might stand a chance.

"She wants to visit him." Stiles answered. "Maybe set him straight. I'm not sure if that will do any good but if somebody can talk some sense into him, it's Laura. She's scary." He lowered his voice for the last part as if he feared that Laura would pop up right behind him.

Derek shook his head with a quite laugh.

"Ready to face the others again?" Stiles asked and handed him his shirt.

"I think so." He put it on and then went in search for his boots. "What about you? Is everybody nice to you?" Or are there others who share Megan's opinion, was the question he didn't ask.

"They were all falling over themselves to assure me how much they liked me and how happy they are for us." Stiles told him and Derek wished he had been there to see it. Stiles had bathed in that attention, he was sure of that.

On their way downstairs Laura caught up with them and drew him into a hug before he could even open his mouth to tell her that she didn't need to worry about him.

"Do you have a moment?" She asked when they parted. She threw a glance at Stiles, telling him that this was something between the two alphas. When Stiles just waved them off and told them that he would go and see if he could help with dinner, she couldn't hide her surprise. She clearly hadn't expected that Stiles understood what she'd been telling him with one glance. A wolf would have understood immediately and a human grown up in a pack as well, but Stiles was neither.

"He is something." She watched him going down the stairs.

"He is."

Derek followed her to her office, this was something official after all. At the moment they weren't siblings, they were alphas. More specific, Derek was an alpha from another pack, visiting her, and there were rules in place to prevent bloodshed. Not insulting each other was one of those rules.

In Laura's office somebody was already waiting for them and Derek knew it was Megan before Laura even opened the door.

Megan was way more meek than he would have expected from the rebellious teenager and she apologized to Derek without much fuss and promised to not step out of line again. Derek accepted her apology and with that Laura let her off as well.

"She's a teenager." Laura said when the official part was over and they could be siblings again. "I assure you, she only said it to piss off her parents, me and the world in general. Nobody thinks that you're anything like Kate." She stood in front of him now and suddenly she was his big sister again, the one who had all the answers and always knew what to do. "I see how Stiles looks at you and how you look at him. I know you didn't ask for the bond but you're mates, things like that don't care about age. I know you will take good care of your mate." She bumped her shoulder into his. "And he of you. You should have seen him earlier, he came up with some very creative threats. I think Megan is still in shock."

 

Chapter Text

They would have a barbecue for dinner and when Stiles entered the kitchen, it was buzzing with preparations. At the table Gina was kneeling on a chair at one end, cutting cucumber for the salad under the watchful eye of her mother Loreen, while at the other end the twins and Stephen were busy kneading dough for self-made bread. The whole table looked as if a bomb had exploded in the middle of it but nobody really seemed to care.

The twins' mother, Stiles thought her name was Ellen but he wasn't sure, waved him over to the oven and a second later he was in charge of the sauce that would go with the steaks. Stiles wasn't surprised that the pack preferred a good chunk of meat over some hamburgers.

"Do you always make everything yourself?" He asked. He liked to cook fresh but making the bread and the sauce himself seemed like a lot of work for something that wasn't even the main dish.

"All the chemicals they put in the convenient stuff." Ellen wrinkled her nose. "It doesn't taste good. And it's not good for the children."

Stiles thought of his own pack. So far nobody had complained about a pre-made sauce now and then but on the other hand, before Stiles had come along, Derek had lived of mac'n'cheese and instant ramen.

"It's easier for us." Loreen spoke up. "We have enough space and enough people for a garden. We grow most of our vegetables, fruits and herbs ourselves. And there is the farmer's market where we get everything else."

"That sounds nice." Stiles had to admit. Not that he could see himself in a garden. He couldn't keep a potted plant alive, no way should he be responsible for a garden.

In his mind he pictured Derek with a straw hat, jeans overall and rubber boots. He had to bite his tongue to not burst out laughing.

By the time they had finished the preparations, a man Stiles hadn't seen before came in to fetch the already seasoned steaks from one of the fridges. Stiles helped him to carry out the containers of meat.

Others had dragged out the large dining table and chairs and when Stiles come outside, Megan and her mother were busy setting up the table.

Megan ignored him while he walked over to the largest grill he'd ever seen. He had noticed the brick construction before but hadn't paid it any mind, people had the weirdest decorations in their gardens, but now there were coals glowing at the bottom and the new guy, he must have been at work this morning, put enough meat on the cooking grate to feed an army. Or one hungry werewolf pack.

The smell of the cooking meat even drew out Laura and Derek. Stiles had a wary eye on his mate but Derek seemed at ease when he stepped out of the back door.

So things with Laura were good again, not that Stiles had doubted that. One bratty teenage girl couldn't do that much damage. Why she even knew about Kate was a question Stiles had failed to ask earlier. It didn't seem like a topic for a Sunday dinner. But as good as werewolves were at keeping their business to themselves, it was hard to keep secrets inside the pack. It was possible that the whole pack knew about Kate and Derek.

Out of the corner of his eye Stiles watched Megan but she pretended that she didn't notice Derek and that was okay with him. As long as she didn't blurt out more of the shitty stuff she had said earlier, Stiles was perfectly fine with her ignoring Derek.

She still wasn't able to look Stiles in the eye either and it hadn't helped that Jeremy had been running around all morning, screaming "cut toad" at the top of his lungs. While the mispronunciation was admittedly cute, it still was a constant reminder of some of the not so nice things Stiles had said earlier. Not that he regretted anything he said. He was just glad that words like "chloroform" and "Chianti" were above Jeremy's speech level and that his televisional education was currently stuck at Dora the Explorer, damn werewolf ears.

However, it was interesting to watch how the pack reacted to Derek. They hadn't really seen him since his hasty retreat from the breakfast table and everybody made sure to let him know that they were good.

The pack had done the same with Stiles earlier but with him they had mostly used their words, with Derek it was more touching than talking. A pat on the shoulder here, a sniff at the neck there and everything without making a big deal out of it. If Stiles hadn't been paying attention he would have completely missed it.

What stunned him the most was that they did all this, making sure that Derek felt loved and welcomed, and he wasn't even part of their pack.

Dinner was even more chaotic than breakfast. Now the whole pack was there and the air was filled with laughter and loud voices.

The guy in charge of the grill didn't even bother to sit down, he just took his plate with him to the grill but he was never alone for long.

Gina and Jeremy stayed at the table for what felt like two minutes before they disappeared under it and when little Stacy loudly announced that she was hungry too, Miranda breast fed her right at the table. Miranda continued eating, mostly dipping bread in the sauce with her free hand and snatching grilled tomatoes from Laura's plate next to hers, and didn't even halt the conversation she had with Laura and Stephen.

Stealing food seemed to be a thing, though. Stiles had never thought that anybody would be brave enough to steal food from a werewolf, especially an alpha like Derek, but his mate didn't seem to mind when the guy across the table just reached over and snagged his freshly buttered bread. Derek just took a new piece and stole half of the guy's steak in return.

They had pie for dessert and when things finally calmed down, Stiles was leaning heavily in his chair and didn't want to move ever again.

"So, you're Stiles." Grill guy sat down next to him, Stiles hadn't even noticed that the chair was empty, and before he even introduced himself, grill guy ate the piece of pie crust Stiles had left on his plate.

"I'm Mark, by the way." He said around his mouthful of crumbs.

Stiles burst out laughing.

"Is it always this chaotic?" He made a gesture over the table and they yard where people were now gathered in small groups.

"Most of the time." Mark admitted. "Okay, more like always. But it's good." He paused, his eyes on Laura, Derek and Stephen standing together at the grill. "We missed him."

Stiles hummed to that. It was obvious.

"Maybe you can convince him to visit more often." He said softly.

"I'd like that." Stiles answered. He never had a big family and this felt nice.

"Laura wanted to invite him and his pack over for Thanksgiving but knowing Derek ..." He let out a heavy sigh and Stiles couldn't help but chuckle to that.

"I can team up with Erica, we'll drag him here if we have to." Stiles promised. That moment Derek looked up and locked eyes with him and Stiles was pretty sure that he'd heard what he had just said but Stiles just smiled innocently at him.

"I've never seen him this happy." Mark said in a low voice once Derek had turned back to Laura. "I think you're good for him."

Later, after the children were put to sleep in the den, the adults gathered together around the now blazing fire and chatted and laughed or just watched the flames. Stiles had sought out Derek, not sure how he would react to the open flames, and now they were standing their, fingers laced together and leaning into each other.

"Laura asked if we want to join the pack tonight." Derek said, eyes on the flames in front of him. The flickering light cast shadows over his face and softened the edges. He looked young.

Stiles thought about the pack nights at home. He liked those but this wasn't his pack.

"We don't have to." Derek said but it was clear that he wanted to. Stiles knew that they could split up for the night with Derek sleeping in the den and Stiles up in his room, but that didn't feel right.

"I'd love to." Stiles squeezed his hand and with that it was settled.

The den was way bigger than the one Stiles was used to, a large cushioned place where the children were already sleeping. They all went to get ready for bed and one by one they trailed back in, quietly settling in without waking the kids. The wolves slept in their fur and the humans in sleepwear, however, Stiles got the feeling that was mostly for his benefit.

The only ones missing were Stacy and Miranda because she didn't want to wake everybody up every time she had to go and look after the baby.

Stiles and Derek found a spot at the edge and with his face buried in the thick fur between Derek's shoulder blades Stiles drifted off to sleep.

He woke up in the middle of a puppy pile. He was lying on his back with an actual puppy on his chest. Blinking in surprise Stiles squinted at the tiny nose resting on little paws just under his chin. Jeremy didn't even twitch.

The next thing he noticed was that his right arm was numb and when he looked over he found the boy twin sleeping with his head on his shoulder and another not fully grown wolf wedged between them. Stiles guessed it was the twin's sister. Finally there was Gina, lying across his stomach, half curled around Jeremy.

On his other side he felt the familiar bulk of Derek's body and when he looked over, he found his mate awake, tongue lolling out.

"Stop laughing." Stiles muttered but low enough to not wake the kids. All around him the others were still sleeping, wolves and humans in a tangle of limbs. Derek inched closer until his head was resting on Stiles' shoulder and with his fingers carding through Derek's fur, Stiles drifted back to sleep.

The next time he woke up it was to children tugging and nipping at him but he wasn't entirely sure that the nipping came all from wolf teeth, though.

They had to drive home today, tomorrow was a school day, so the kids insisted on getting the most out of Stiles and Uncle Derek for the short time they had left today.

By the time they had to leave, Stiles was looking forward to the quiet of the loft. The kids were fun but they were exhausting. And loud, his ears were still ringing.

There were a lot of hugs and Ellen provided them with snacks and sandwiches for the long ride. Stiles promised to wrestle Derek into coming back for Thanksgiving and this time they would bring the whole pack and Laura promised to drive over to Beacon Hills soon to have a word with Peter.

When they were finally on the road, Stiles let out a deep sigh.

"You okay?" Derek threw him a glance.

"Just tired." Stiles offered his hand and Derek laced their fingers together without taking his eyes off the road. "It was fun but I can't wait for it to be just us again. There are a few things I want to do without little ears prying on us."

Derek let out a laugh.

They fell into silence for a while.

"Do you think that Laura's visit in Beacon Hills will change anything?" Stiles finally asked.

"I don't know." Derek admitted. "I doubt it, though."

"Me too."

"It's pack politics, she has to talk to him first." Derek didn't look happy about that.

"And what comes second?"

 

Chapter Text

They had a long drive ahead and for a while they fell into comfortable silence. Or as silent as Stiles could be.

The scent of Laura's pack lingered on their skin and in every fold of their clothes and it didn't take long for it to soak into the car as well. At first it was comforting, the scent of pack and family, but the closer they came to Derek's pack and territory, the more he became aware of the fact that Laura's pack wasn't his any longer, that their scent wasn't his.

Suddenly everything smelled wrong.

He couldn't smell himself on Stiles, he couldn't even smell Stiles on Stiles any more. His mate smelled like Jeremy and Stacy and all the others but not like pack. Not like his.

By dinnertime the air in the car was suffocating him.

They grabbed burgers at a drive through and to eat Derek drove them out of town to a remote area where he steered the car into a dirt road, far enough from the road to not be seen.

"Are we going to have a picnic?" Stiles asked when Derek brought the car to a halt. Derek didn't answer and just yanked the door open and stumbled outside. The fresh air cleared his airways and he took a few deep breaths.

"Hey." Stiles was at his side in a heart-beat. "What's going on?"

There were worried hands all over his neck and shoulder but they didn't smell like Stiles.

"You smell wrong." Derek choked out.

"I … what? I showered this morning." He protested but sniffed his armpit to confirm that he wasn't reeking.

Derek didn't answer and just held his nose in the wind. That alone should get rid of the worst and if they left the doors open …

"Oh." Stiles made and then with understanding. "Oh!"

He had a totally not suspicious look around to make sure that they were really alone out here and before Derek could even ask what he was doing, his mouth was on Derek's.

Surprised Derek kissed back. Gentle at first but his wolf wanted to claim, to make Stiles his again, and before he knew it he had Stiles backed up against the open car door and was plunging into his mouth with too much teeth.

Stiles broke the kiss and guided Derek down to his neck.

"You want me to smell like you again?" He teased. "Rub your scent all over me? Mark me? So that everybody can see who I belong to? You want that?"

Instead of an answer Derek bit down on his neck. It tasted like Stiles and the arousal coming off him in waves was all Stiles as well. Derek let out a growl.

"On the hood." Stiles said breathless into his ear, shamelessly riding Derek's thigh. "You can go all alpha on me on the hood."

Derek picked him up without letting go of his bared throat. Stiles slung his legs around his hips and Derek felt the line of his erection pressed against him.

He set Stiles down on the hood and their lips met again.

He should go slow, he knew that, but this was all too new, having a mate, and the smell on him was just wrong and the wolf in Derek was strong now. Derek yanked the front of Stiles' shirt over his head, trapping his arms still tangled in the fabric behind his back, and pushed him backwards till he was lying on the hood of the car.

Derek peppered his chest with wet kisses and sucked on his nipples until Stiles writhed and keened under him. With his hand spread out over Stiles' chest, thumb resting on his jugular, Derek held him down while he was busy licking and nipping every inch of pale skin. But when he glanced up to see Stiles' face, he noticed his own claws scraping over the delicate skin of Stiles' throat. Derek flinched back as if he'd been burned. Stiles gave him a puzzled look but then he noticed the claws.

"I want you." He said, his voice hoarse. "All of you. Fangs and claws, everything."

"I could hurt you." Derek said, willing his teeth to stay humanly blunt.

"You won't." Stiles locked eyes with him. "I trust you."

Derek swallowed thickly, not sure what to do with that statement.

"Put your hand back." He said, his pupils blown wide with lust. "You can go a little rough on me. I want it. Make me yours."

Derek gave him one last look to make sure that he meant what he was saying but he only found trust in Stiles' eyes. Hesitantly he put his hand back on Stiles' willingly bared throat. Derek's claws scratched feather-light over his skin, making his breath hitch, and Derek brought their mouths together for a rough kiss.

"If ..." Derek licked his lips. "You tell me to stop."

"I will." Stiles said, probably knowing that Derek needed to hear it from him. "And now get my pants down and blow me."

Derek chuckled but opened the button and pulled the zipper down. A second later Stiles' jeans and underwear were down around his ankles, effectively hobbling him. With his arms still trapped in his shirt behind his back, he was completely at Derek's mercy. Judging by the glistering bead of precome on the head of his rock hard erection, he liked it.

Derek took his time, licking Stiles' skin clean until he smelled like Stiles and Derek and nothing else. When he came down to his groin where Stiles smelled strongly like himself, sweat and arousal and the hint of brisk air that Derek always associated with Stiles, Derek couldn't help but nuzzle into the joint of his hip. He inhaled deeply, rubbing his face against the soft skin of the inner thigh and against his balls.

"Fuck." Stiles breathed out at the feel of stubble all over his most sensitive parts. "Derek, fuck." He struggled to get his arms free but Derek held him in place with ease.

He followed the length of Stiles' shaft with his nose and licked off the precome now constantly oozing out of the slit. Stiles threw his head back, keening low in his throat. The sound went straight to Derek's own dick but for now he was focused on his mate.

Without a warning he sucked Stiles down to the root and didn't give him time to adjust to the sudden heat around his cock. Derek sucked him hard and without mercy, leaving Stiles writhing and bucking under him but his clawed hands were holding him down in an iron grip.

Only when he felt that Stiles was close, Derek let go of him with a wet plop and jacked him the rest of the way with his hand. It took only a few strokes until Stiles cried out and white ropes of come landed on his heaving stomach and chest.

Derek fumbled with his own fly to take his cock out. He leaned over Stiles, bracing himself with one hand on the hood while his other one was working his cock with a bit of Stiles' come to ease the way. Peppering Stiles' chest with teethy kisses, he chased after his own orgasm and it didn't take long for his release to mix with Stiles' on his damp skin.

Catching his breath he brought their foreheads together and for a moment they just breathed the same air.

Then Derek stood up and tucked himself back in while Stiles was still mostly out of it. He was lying there, his pale skin a stark contrast to the black hood of the car under him. Still bound by the shirt and jeans his lean body lay exposed in front of him and for a moment Derek felt proud. He did this. He was responsible for that dreamy smile on his mate's lips and the tousled hair and the all in all fucked out state.

But then he noticed the bite marks. The worst was on Stiles' neck but his whole front was peppered with them. And that wasn't all. There were bruises forming where he had held him down along with little pricks of his claws. And he had stubble burn all over. He had stubble burn between his legs.

Feeling sick to the stomach, Derek didn't know what to do.

"That was …" Stiles slowly sat up and the shirt finally slipped down his arms so that he could get them free.

"I'm sorry." Derek choked out and took a step back. He wanted to hold Stiles and make it all better but he knew that was the wrong thing to do right now. He hurt him. He had hurt his mate.

"For what?" Stiles muttered, not really there yet. But then he must have noticed something and his head shot up. When his gaze landed on Derek, all the drowsiness was gone.

"I hurt you." The instinct to just turn around and run was strong but he forced himself to stay. He couldn't look at Stiles who was still sitting naked on the hood, his jeans around his ankles and his shirt lying forgotten next to him. Derek couldn't look at what he'd done to his mate, couldn't look him in the eye.

"You didn't hurt me." Stiles slid off the hood but when he tried to make a step, his own pants hindered him and he would have faceplanted right there if Derek hadn't caught him.

He suspected that Stiles had done it on purpose because now he was hugging Derek and didn't show any intention of letting go any time soon.

"Stop with this guilt trip right now." He said in his ear and buried his face in the crook of Derek's neck. "Did you hear me complain? Did I say stop?" He waited for Derek to shake his head.

Stiles kissed him behind the ear and Derek felt his grin against his skin.

"For the record, this was awesome. I want more of that. I like you going all alpha on me." He hugged him more tight, his naked body pressed against Derek's fully clothed one. "I don't mind a bit of claws and teeth."

"Really?" Derek hated the way it sounded so hopeful.

"My mate is an alpha werewolf, you have any idea what kind of fantasies I have about you?" Stiles asked. "And just so you know, I've been fantasizing about your knot since that first night."

Derek choked.

"You have no idea how much I want to feel it again." Stiles' voice dropped to a whisper. "So full, so stretched and all I can to is to just fucking take it." His hand was on the front of Derek's jeans now. Derek let out a whimper.

"If I hadn't come just a minute ago." He captured Stiles' mouth to prevent him from saying more filthy things. If Stiles kept this up, they wouldn't get home any time soon.

"Yeah?" There was a glint in Stiles' eye.

"Soon." Derek promised, not trusting his voice to say more. They kissed for a moment longer but then Stiles started to shiver in his arms.

"You should get dressed." Derek let go of him but kept a close eye on him just in case he tried to walk again before he had his jeans back up.

They ate their by now cold burgers sitting shoulder to shoulder on the hood of the car, doors still open to vent.

"Do I smell right now?" Stiles asked and put more fries in his mouth.

Derek didn't need to scent him to answer that question but he did it anyway. Stiles smelled like sex and come and Derek and Stiles. Derek hummed into his skin and let out a deep breath.

"You smell like mine." He finally said.

"Good." Stiles shifted closer and made a show of scenting him. "And you smell like mine. And like ketchup, you have some on your shirt." He pointed at the stain in question.

Derek couldn't help it, he threw his head back and laughed.

 

Chapter Text

When they were back on the road Stiles made sure to lace their fingers to show Derek how content he was. For a while they didn't speak and Stiles was almost drifting off to sleep. The weekend had been fun but little kids were exhausting. And he felt the deep seated sleepiness after a good orgasm.

"It should get better." Derek broke the silence, bringing Stiles back from the brink of sleep.

"What should get better?" He sat up straighter, the tone of Derek's voice told him that this was something important.

"The possessiveness." He said, eyes strictly on the road in front of him. "The animalistic streak. It should get better over time. It's still too fresh and new, I can't ... I'll be more careful next time."

"Don't you dare and hold back." Stiles pointed at him. "I told you, I liked it. I want more of that." More quietly he added: "This is a part of you and I want that, too. Never hold back on who and what you are. Please."

Now Derek did turn his head but the expression on his face was unreadable in the dim light of the car.

When they arrived at the loft, their pack was waiting for them. However, this time Stiles wasn't just somebody tagging along, this time he was right in the middle of the group hug. Sure, Derek as their alpha was the main target but the others embraced him in almost the same way.

Erica's head was resting on Derek's shoulder but she had only one arm around him. With the other one she was holding Stiles close. Boyd stood behind them, his nose on Derek's neck but his body was pressed against Stiles. And on his side Isaac was all over him in his attempt to scent both of them at the same time. They were holding on so tight, their bodies firm all around him, Stiles could barely breathe and he loved it. His nose wasn't good enough to make out their scent like the wolves could but he smelled Erica's perfume and a hint of sun from Isaac and something wild that was all werewolf coming from Boyd. Together with Derek's leather jacket it was the scent he associated with pack. His pack.

He was home.

Smiling he sneaked his arm tighter around Derek.

"Somebody got marked properly." Erica finally said with a sniff at Stiles' neck.

"I smelled wrong." Stiles elbowed Derek in the side.

"Not anymore." Boyd assured him from behind and Stiles wondered if they could smell the flaking come on his stomach. He had cleaned up the best he could but there was only so much one could do without a shower.

"At least they got that out of their system before they came here." Isaac spoke up, his nose now buried in Stiles' neck. "You don't want them to be all over each other tonight, don't you?"

"Hey, two hot guys? A girl can dream." The way Erica grinned at them she wouldn't mind a first row seat to them having sex, she would bring popcorn.

"Are you trying to make me jealous?" Boyd asked from behind them and then Stiles had to lean his head out of the way so that Boyd and Erica could bring their lips together between him and Derek.

"Eww." He made. "Stop doing that right next to my ear."

Of course the kiss instantly became more filthy.

"I hate you, Erica."

It was almost midnight and they all had to get up early the next morning so they turned in not much later. Stiles grabbed a quick shower and by the time he came back downstairs in his sleepwear, the wolves were waiting for him in the den.

He had slept with a pack last night but as nice as it had been to wake up in a pile of pups, it hadn't been his pack. Now he shamelessly slung one arm and a leg over Derek, hugging him tight, while the others settled down around them. Stiles felt a head on his hip and a wolf behind him but he was too tired to care which body part belonged to which wolf, it was all pack and it was awesome.

In the morning they had a quick breakfast, main ingredient coffee, and then the others went to their own places to get ready for the day. Stiles did the same but when he came back to the kitchen for another sip of coffee and maybe some making out with Derek before he had to leave for school, Erica was back.

She was already in her business suit, all professional except for the feral grin on her face.

There was a little case sitting next to her on the counter but Stiles decided to ignore it in favor of coffee.

"Have you looked in the mirror this morning?" She asked, already opening the case. Make-up, Stiles notice which didn't make sense. She had her perfect make-up already on.

"Not really?" Stiles sipped his coffee and inched closer to Derek who was leaning nonchalantly against the counter. With Erica right here it felt wrong to assault him but Stiles did sneak a hand under his shirt to let it rest on the warm skin just above the waistband of his jeans. Derek didn't acknowledge it but he shifted a little closer to Stiles.

"You have an impressive imprint of Derek's teeth right here." She pointed with her manicured finger at the collar of his shirt.

"I … what?" Stiles almost choked on his coffee but then he was up the stairs again to have a real look at himself in the bathroom mirror.

She was right. Half of it was hidden under his shirt but what was visible was impressive enough. It was deeply bruised and he could even make out the imprints of single teeth. Derek hadn't bitten down hard enough to break the skin but he had come close.

Stiles poked at it with a finger and now he felt the sting. Which went straight to his groin. Derek's mark on him for everybody to see. It felt good. They were mates and he liked the idea of showing that off.

Curious he lifted his shirt to see what other marks Derek had left on him. The one on his neck was the most impressive but his whole front was littered with marks. From Derek's teeth, claws and beard.

"You're going to be late for school." Derek was suddenly right behind him which did nothing to calm down his growing arousal.

"I have a few minutes."

Stiles couldn't resist and pushed his butt against him. Derek hummed and shifted closer. He nuzzled Stiles' neck from behind while his hands sneaked around him. His fingers found the mark. He rubbed his thumb over it, making it sting even more and Stiles let out a groan. He was getting hard now and he wished that Derek's other hand would travel down from where it was spread out on his stomach.

"Erica needs those few minutes to cover this up." He brushed one over the mark last time and then he was gone. Stiles shivered from the sudden loss and had to brace himself on the sink.

"You asshole." He yelled after Derek.

"I don't have all day." Erica shouted and Stiles couldn't help but laugh at that.

He was pretty sure that Erica could smell the boner on him but she didn't comment on it. Instead she made him sit down and take his shirt off. She worked efficiently and a few minutes later she had covered up the mark. Stiles put his shirt back on and inspected the result in one of her little mirrors.

"Sure you're not a make-up artist?" He asked because even knowing it was there he couldn't tell where it was. Which was kind of sad, he liked the idea of openly wearing Derek's mark on him, and he needed to find a way to leave a mark on Derek as well, but he got that it would be a bad idea to show up with something like that at school. Things had just calmed down a bit.

"I like kicking ass more." She shrugged and gathered her things. "Try to not touch it too much or it'll rub off."

Which turned out to be harder than expected. The whole day Stiles was constantly itching to touch it. However, Erica had worked a miracle. Not even Sean noticed it and since that hickey last week he had a close eye on Stiles for things like this. Maybe he had other things on his mind.

Derek didn't seem to be a big fan of the cover-up either and Stiles only barely managed to slip in the bathroom to wash it off before his mate could lick it off.

Derek seemed to really like the idea of his marks on Stiles because he spent the next hour mapping out Stiles bare chest and stomach. They never managed to get rid of their jeans but Stiles came arching on the couch with Derek's hand rubbing him through the denim of his jeans and his mouth busy sucking the mark into an even deeper bruise.

Stiles slumped back, catching his breath, while Derek hovered over him, watching him with intense red eyes.

"Let me." Stiles tried to sit up and reach for Derek but the werewolf stopped him.

"I'm good." He ducked his head with a blush.

"Did you just came in your pants just from giving me a hickey?" Stiles gaped at him and burst out laughing when Derek's blush deepened. "Oh my god!"

"Shut up."

Somehow they managed to leave their hands off each other long enough for Stiles to make dinner. Okay, Derek didn't seem to have that much of a problem with it but Stiles was pretty proud of his self-control.

"How was school?" Derek tried for a normal question and to his own surprise Stiles leaped into a detailed report of his day. Mr. Miller still ignored him most of the time but he had graded his latest test fair, Stiles got an A, so he could live with the cold shoulder. Sean was still the only one who dared to be seen with with him but that was okay, too. Stiles never had many friends and he was used to being kind of an outcast. And this was the last year of high school anyway. Which brought him back to the topic of collage and for a while they were discussing different options. In the light of the latest events Stiles wasn't keen on leaving but he could always follow Isaac's example and attend a college near by. Or at least close enough to spend the weekends at home. And with home he meant here with Derek and not Beacon Hills which was kind of a new development as well.

However, that made him think of his father.

"I should call him and warn him that Laura is coming his way." Stiles sat back in his chair. "I told her that he'll answer all her questions but I guess a little warning would be fair."

"She won't drive out there tomorrow." Derek reminded him. "But with a little head-start he can gather more information for her."

Stiles hummed to that. That wasn't really the problem he had here.

Derek raised an eyebrow at him, waiting for him to say something.

"I haven't told him about yet. About us." He admitted with a sigh. "But I want to tell him before Laura burst out with it."

"I can tell her to watch her mouth." Derek offered quietly.

"No! I want to tell him." He reached out to grab his hand. "You're not my dirty little secret, Derek. I'm proud of being your mate."

The look Derek gave him was hard to read but Stiles knew him well enough by now to recognize the feelings under the well guarded expression.

"It's just … this is big and I don't want to fuck it up."

 

Chapter Text

"It's just … this is big and I don't want to fuck it up." Stiles said.

"You can't fuck this up." Derek assured him. "Your father let you come with me even when he thought the worst of me, I doubt he will change his mind because of this."

"He didn't think the worst of you." Stiles defended his dad but they both knew that it was true.

"Just call him."

Derek offered to give him some privacy but Stiles wanted him close by. For moral support or so that Stiles could hand over the phone if things didn't go well, Derek wasn't sure.

The conversation started off fairly easy with both of them talking about their day and what they had done over the weekend. Stiles spent almost five minutes gushing about baby werewolves and ranting about the fact that he still didn't know if baby Stacy was a werewolf or not. Apparently he hadn't dared to ask and so far Derek hadn't told him.

She was a werewolf, Derek had known the second they had entered the kitchen the first evening but now he had no intention to tell Stiles any time soon.

Stiles glared at him as if he knew exactly what was going on in his mate's head.

"Anyway." Stiles went back on track. "We talked about Peter and she wants to come to Beacon Hills to see for herself. I told her that you would be happy to answer her questions."

Turned out that John was more than happy to answer her questions but not at the station, too many eyes and ears. Derek offered to give Laura John's number so they could set up a time to meet at his place. Apparently that was where he kept his file on Peter anyway.

Then, with a side glance at Derek, Stiles asked about Melissa but John didn't have any news on her.

"Okay, Stiles." His father finally said. "Spit it out, what did you do?"

"I didn't do anything." Stiles blurted out.

Derek tried to hide his smile by stepping out of Stiles' line of sight but the way Stiles glared at him, he had noticed.

"Sure, you've been beating around the bush for fifteen minutes now." John didn't seem impressed. "Just tell me what you did, how much it will cost me and that you won't do it again." He sounded resigned as if they had been here before. Many times. "Oh, and Derek? I know you can here me. Feel free to ground him as you see fit."

"Dad!"

Derek sneaked his arms around Stiles from behind and hooked his chin over Stiles' shoulder.

"I doubt keeping him in the loft will be much of a punishment at the moment." Derek said loud enough for John to hear.

"Derek!" Stiles elbowed him in the stomach. "Bad mate, bad, bad mate."

"Mate?"

"That's one way to tell him."

"I hate you both." Stiles groaned, running his fingers through his hair in frustration.

"Stiles?" His father asked in the universal dad voice.

"Well, there might have been some kind of development in my relationship with Derek lately." Stiles said as vaguely as possible.

"Mates?" He repeated. "Stiles, you're seventeen, you can't be mates."

"I don't think age matters." Stiles shot back but their was no heat in his words, they weren't arguing.

"Stiles, I know how much you like Derek, God do I know." He made a frustrated noise and Derek wondered what Stiles had told him. They spoke on the phone often but usually Derek didn't listen in to them. "Do I have to remind you of Lydia?"

"That's a low blow, Dad, and you know it." Stiles let his head roll back to rest on Derek's shoulder who used the chance to rub their cheeks together. "Besides, this is nothing like with Lydia. Derek actually likes me back."

"That doesn't make you mates." The way he said it made Derek perk up. It sounded almost desperate. Derek wished the other man were in the same room as them so he could hear his heart-beat. He would like to know if there was actually fear behind his denial. Stiles had asked about mating bites and he had said something about such a bite gone wrong.

Derek snagged the phone out of Stiles' hand.

"John? It's Derek."

It took him a few minutes but in the end he could convince John that yes, they were mates but no, it didn't mean anything bad for Stiles. John wasn't really happy about the news but with a little time to get used to the idea Derek was sure that he would be okay with it.

Derek handed the phone back to Stiles who assured his dad that he was happy.

"You should visit some time." John said. "Both of you." And with that Derek knew that they were good.

Stiles ended the call and for long moments he just sat there, absently playing with his phone.

"Are you okay?" Derek asked and Stiles nodded.

Later Stiles fell asleep in his arms on the couch and Derek sat there for a long time holding him.

The next few days Derek was busy catching up with his work. Slowly working his way through an endless list of emails, he found one from Professor Rodriguez waiting for him. They had to discuss the last details but Derek was certain that they had a deal.

She even mentioned that a co-worker of her was interested in his work as well. Not for a whole book but a couple of essays and articles. If he would like her to forward his contact to him?

The next day he was discussing terms with her co-worker as well.

In the afternoon Stiles now spread his things out on the coffee table instead of doing his homework up in his room. He even suggested that they could turn his room back into an office. This time with two work places.

Derek rejected the idea vehemently. Even if they now slept in Derek's bed most nights and Stiles did his homework downstairs, he wanted Stiles to keep the room. He wanted Stiles to have a place that was his and where he could retreat to whenever he felt like it.

They put the decision off until college.

How useful a room for himself was, became obvious the next day when Stiles brought Sean over to study for a test.

Derek offered to go downstairs to Isaac's place but Sean didn't seem to have that much of a problem with him anymore. They had only met shortly when Derek had picked up Stiles from school last week but somehow that had broken the ice.

Now Sean offered a shy "hello" without looking him in the eye and then he hurried upstairs to Stiles' room.

After that Derek didn't see much of them but he heard them talking. He couldn't make out words but they were discussing animatedly about whatever they were studying.

When they got hungry, it was Stiles who came downstairs to make them some sandwiches while Sean stayed in his room.

"Is he okay?" Derek asked.

"He didn't want us to go to his place while his parents are home." Stiles hip-checked the door of the fridge close while he balanced the plate with sandwiches with one hand and two glasses with the other. A bottle of apple juice in his arm completed the picture.

Derek wondered if he should remind him that they had a tray he could use or if he just should make a silent bet if Stiles managed to get everything upstairs in one piece.

He was pretty sure he had more glasses in his cupboard before Stiles had moved in.

But then he caught up with what Stiles had just said.

"He doesn't want you there when his parents are home?" His hackles raised at that. Quite literally if he'd been in his fur.

"Calm down, big boy." Stiles reassured him with a chuckle. "It's not like that. I think he doesn't want me to see them arguing."

Derek raised his eyebrows at that. "He told you that?"

"Of course not." Stiles dismissed it. "It's an educated guess. And I'm not going to ask. Scott didn't want to talk about it and we had been best friends for years when things at home went south for real. You've no idea how happy we both have been when Melissa kicked that asshole out of the house." For a second he was lost in memories.

"Melissa is Scott's mom?" Derek dared to asked. The name had come up a few times but it felt never right to ask.

"Yeah." Stiles made with a glance in the direction of his room where Sean was waiting for him. Not really the moment for a long story, Derek got that. "Scott almost killed her on his first full moon."

"Because Peter refused to take him in." Derek remembered that part of the story.

"That was when he decided to come to you."

But he hadn't made it.

"Melissa has been in a coma ever since." Stiles dropped the next bomb. He readjusted the bottle under his arm without looking at Derek.

Derek didn't know what to say. He knew all the phrases people throw around in cases like this, he'd heard them all after the fire and he hated them. So he said nothing.

Stiles seemed to get it, though.

"Sean's waiting." He gave Derek a sad smile before he hurried up the stairs. He did made it without dropping anything.

A minute later he heard both of them laughing over something and Derek knew that he hadn't ruined the mood for long. However, it left him with an uneasy feeling. He only hoped that Laura's trip to Beacon Hills would get them at least some answers.

Two days later he and Stiles were sitting over dinner, a simple pasta dish Stiles had thrown together in a haste because they had gotten distracted making out on the couch. Again.

Stiles hair was adorably tousled and his cheeks were still flushed and Derek had to look away when Stiles sucked in a single spaghetti. Of course Stiles noticed that and did the same with the next one.

"You like what you see?" He asked innocently and licked some sauce off his lips.

"You're mouth is going to be the death of me." Derek tried to focus on his own plate.

"You love my mouth."

"Never said otherwise." Derek said. He knew where this was heading. There had been a lot of making out lately but they hadn't gone farther than the occasional hand job and a blow job here and there. He knew that Stiles wanted more, there had been some not so subtle hints in the direction of knotting, and maybe they could go a step in that direction tonight. Stiles wasn't pushing, he was totally fine with just sleeping when they shared a bed, and Derek was grateful for that but maybe he was ready for more as well.

However, their little teasing was interrupted by a knock at the door. Derek glance over to Stiles to see if he was expecting somebody but he just shrugged.

"Isaac?" Stiles asked because that was the only member of their pack in the building and lately the pack had learned to knock before bursting in.

When the person didn't come in after that, Stiles went over to open the door. Derek heard a rapid heart-beat but the scent was too faint to identify the person. However, it was familiar enough that Derek didn't expect a threat waiting behind the door.

"Sean?" Stiles asked in surprise when he saw who stood outside.

"Can I crash here tonight?" Sean asked almost desperately. He noticed Derek sitting at the table and for a moment he looked as if he was about to bolt but then he asked: "Please?"

 

Chapter Text

Stiles had been looking forward to the evening. They had been making out earlier and almost had missed dinner over it and Derek had dropped hints that he wanted to get back to fooling around later. Which wasn't unusual because most evenings they spent together on the couch, watching a movie or whatever was on TV, now just with a little more kissing involved.

However, Derek's hints pointed more in the direction of his bedroom and maybe, just maybe, there would be his dick in Stiles' butt later. If Stiles had his way they would have been back to full on knotting last week but he got that Derek needed a slower pace.

So probably no knot tonight. But Stiles would take his dick if that was what Derek was willing to offer. Hands and mouths were awesome and he was more than okay with that but he wouldn't mind more.

So here he was, purposefully driving Derek nuts with his way of eating spaghetti. Seriously his mate had an unhealthy fixation on his mouth.

And a serious biting kink. Which Stiles didn't mind at all, he loved seeing Derek's marks all over his body and he only wished that he could mark Derek the same way. It wasn't for the lack of trying, though, maybe they both had a little biting kink.

But then their plans went down the drain when suddenly Sean stood in the door, wide eyed and desperate, pleading to crash here for the night. He even addressed Derek with his plea, clearly prepared to get kicked out by the werewolf.

Stiles shared a look with his mate but there was no question what their answer would be. If Sean would rather spent the night in an alpha's den with the alpha in question still in said den than to sleep at home, things were bad.

"Of course." Stiles stepped aside to let him in. "Did you have dinner?"

Sean didn't answer the question, he just somewhat awkwardly shuffled past Stiles, but when Stiles turned around, Derek was already fixing a plate for their guest.

Stiles would have teased him for his tendency to feed strays but he feared that Sean would die from a heart attack if Stiles dared to speak up to his alpha.

Reluctantly Sean stepped closer and visibly relaxed when Stiles offered him a seat not next to Derek.

"Thank you, Mr. Hale." He accepted his plate but only started eating when Stiles reached for his fork as well.

"Do your parents know where you are?" Derek asked, looking more busy with his food than interrogating Sean, and Stiles could kiss him for not locking eyes with Sean and his non-threatening behavior in general. Stiles didn't want Sean to bolt. If he came here for help, he had literally nowhere else to go.

"I …" Sean cleared his throat. "I told them that I would stay over at a friend's place. They didn't ask who." The last part came out in a low voice. He was more poking his pasta with his fork than he was actually eating it.

At Stiles first day at school Sean had introduced him to his friends but lately Sean had hung out with Stiles most of the time. Stiles couldn't even recall when he had seen Sean with anybody else. If it was because he hadn't been close with the others to begin with or if he had sacrificed his friendship with them for Stiles, he didn't know. Either way it was probably his fault that Sean had nowhere else to go. Thinking of Sean's first reaction when the whole werewolf thing had come out … he'd come a long way.

"Like I said, you can come over any time." Derek reminded him.

"Thank you, Mr. Hale." He sounded like a broken record but given the circumstances Stiles didn't blame him. Sean was still terrified of Derek, that much was clear. And still he'd come here.

"And call me Derek, please." He gave him a shy smile. "I'm not that much older than you."

They finished their meal and when they put the dishes into the dish washer Derek used the chance to whisper to Stiles.

"Should I crash at Isaac's?" He asked in a low enough voice that Sean couldn't hear him.

He was still sitting at the table and since they had refused his offer to help clearing the table, he didn't know what to do and was fidgeting around while at the same time he tried to just melt into the background.

"We'll go up to my room." Stiles whispered back. "It'll be fine."

Derek nodded but Stiles knew that the offer still stood. If he asked him to Derek would go downstairs to crash at Isaac's place in the middle of the night.

"I don't want to cause any trouble." Sean said. Most likely he had noticed their hushed conversation even if Stiles was pretty sure that he hadn't actually heard what they were saying.

"It's okay." He assured him. "Let's go upstairs."

Stiles led the way and it was kind of cute how Sean breathed in relief when they were in his room with a door and a whole floor between them and the scary alpha werewolf.

"So." Stiles drew out the word while he flopped down on his bed. "What's up?"

Sean took the chair and then he sat there, hunched over and fiddling with his fingers.

"Sean?" Stiles said gently, already hating himself for the next question. His friend looked rattled but Stiles didn't see any injuries, not even a bruise or anything, and he was sure that Derek would have mentioned it if Sean smelled hurt. But he still needed to asked.

"Did somebody hurt you?"

"No!" Sean's head shot up. More defensive he added: "It's not like that."

Stiles wanted to ask more but he got that he couldn't push him. Living with Derek he'd learned a thing or two about that.

"They argue." Sean finally said. "They get along for a while, more or less, but it's only a matter of time until the next clash."

"That's what happened today?" Stiles felt the urge to go over and hug him but that would probably be weird. Sean wasn't a werewolf and he wasn't pack. Strange how being in a pack and more importantly being the alpha's mate had changed him over the last weeks. Stiles spared a second to marvel over that but then he put it to the back of his mind and focused on Sean.

"They're down to screaming." He said softly, curling more into himself. "And they're dragging me into that. They want me to pick a side and then they scream at me if I don't want to pick a side. And if I do, the other one is mad at me for days." He let out a sigh, visibly shaking. "I shouldn't even tell you that." He laughed but it was watery and Stiles had the suspicion that he was fighting the tears.

He wanted to ask if there were other relatives, if Sean had somebody to talk to about this but he was pretty sure that the answer would be that Stiles was the first and only person who had heard any of this.

Stiles had his own problems at school and now the whole mate thing was kind of clogging his mind but he did like to say that he still was a pretty observant guy and he hadn't noticed anything hinting that Sean had problems at home.

Suddenly Sean shot upright in alarm.

"Can he hear me?" He hissed with a glance at the door.

"He could." Stiles didn't bother to lower his voice. "But he wouldn't."

Sean didn't look convinced.

"We could turn on some music." Stiles suggested, already reaching for his laptop. "Or we can watch a movie. Whatever you want, man, this is your evening. We have ice cream or we can get drunk, Derek is totally clueless when it comes to humans and their tolerance level of alcohol."

"He would let us get drunk?" Sean stared at him in awe.

"I wouldn't say that he would let us." Stiles drew out the words. "But I have some stuff for cooking in the kitchen and I doubt that he would pay attention if I'd take a bottle along with some snacks." Stiles shrugged, it wasn't a big deal. He had tried out some new recipes lately and a lot of them required some kind of alcohol. It evaporated before the dish was ready to eat anyway. Derek had bought whatever Stiles had wanted and so far Stiles hadn't even felt the urge to use it for anything but cooking. But he was willing to make an exception if Sean needed that tonight. Derek would understand.

"Can we just watch a movie?" Sean asked.

"Sure."

Stiles set up the laptop on the bed and then left Sean to find them a movie while he went downstairs to get some snacks and coke.

Derek had set up his laptop at the kitchen table and was working but he looked up when Stiles entered the kitchen.

"Everything okay?" He asked.

"He just needed to get out of the house tonight." Stiles answered rather vague but Derek just nodded at that and didn't ask farther.

"I think Isaac has an inflatable mattress and we have more than enough pillows and blankets." He gestured over to the chest with their stuff for the den.

"The mattress would be great." Stiles agreed. "But our normal blanket and one or two of the throw pillows from the couch should be enough but thanks for the offer." Contaminating their den with the scent of a stranger was a big deal, Stiles knew that.

He took the chance for a quick kiss before he went back upstairs, hands full with glasses, the coke and a bowl of popcorn and a bag of chips between his teeth.

Back in his room Stiles set everything up for a movie evening. They made themselves comfortable on the bed, the laptop between their stretched out legs and popcorn and chips between their hips.

"You get crumbs on the sheets and you're going to sleep in the bed and I'll take the inflatable mattress." Stiles promised darkly and put a fistful of chips in his mouth, not caring about the crumbs falling out of his mouth. Like expected Sean laughed at that.

The tension between them eased off a bit and Stiles started the movie Sean had picked out. It was some stupid action movie with a lot of explosions and plot holes big enough to drive a truck through. Stiles pointed out every single one of them and after a few minutes they were screaming together at the people on screen.

"Even I know that's bullshit science." Stiles threw some popcorn at the screen. "And I'm still in high school."

By the time the movie was over Sean was completely relaxed. He didn't even freak out when Derek knocked and came in with the mattress. He even called him Derek when he thanked him once again for letting him stay for night.

Stiles and Derek shared a glance but didn't comment on it.

Derek left them alone and Sean and Stiles set up the bed and got ready for the night before they started the next movie. They took turns in the bathroom and Stiles used the moment Sean was gone to change into his sleepwear.

He didn't really think about it so he just made sure to have his sweatpants on when Sean came back in and didn't hurry to find a comfortable shirt.

"What?" Sean gasped. With a hurried glance over his shoulder he stepped into the room and shut the door.

Stiles raised a questioning eyebrow at him, shirt still dangling from his fingers.

"Dude." Sean's eyes were glued to his chest. "They bite you?"

 

Chapter Text

Sean was reeking of fear.

After dinner Stiles and Sean went upstairs and minutes later Derek heard them talking but he didn't strain his ears to make out the words. He trusted Stiles to handle this. Stiles might not even know it but he was good at handling things like this.

Derek set up his place to get some work done. Since there won't be any private time for them tonight he could use the time to finish his current project. And to see if Professor Rodriguez had answered. They had hashed out the last details and the contract was signed but somehow they were still writing back and forth. They talked mostly about her work but by now Derek knew that she had a daughter and two sons and that her first grandchild was on the way. He hadn't told her that he was a werewolf but he had told her that he was in a relationship now. She had asked for a picture of Stiles and then had gushed over what a fine young man he was. They didn't share their deepest secrets but Derek was looking forward to her next email.

When Stiles came downstairs to get some snacks, Derek could smell Sean's anxiety on him and the wolf in him whined in need to make it better. So he blurted out the first thing coming to mind, sleeping in the den always helped, but Stiles didn't want the blankets and pillows they used for their pack nights. In hindsight it was better that way, Derek wouldn't like the scent of a stranger mixed with the scent of pack.

However, Derek got the mattress from Isaac for them and when he heard that the movie they were watching was over, he went upstairs and knocked at Stiles' door.

Sean tensed when he entered the room but he did call him Derek and didn't seem that close to a heart attack any longer so Derek called it a win. He had offered to sleep with Isaac tonight but it looked like this would work out just fine.

The boys took turns in the bathroom to get ready for bed, not that Derek thought they would go to sleep any time soon, and since he was up here, Derek used the chance to change into something more comfortable for the rest of the evening as well.

That was why he was in his bedroom and couldn't not hear when Sean hissed: "Dude, they bite you?"

Derek stood there, frozen. He remembered every mark he had left on Stiles' body. He had spent an entire hour earlier just mapping them out and maybe adding one or two new ones. For school Stiles had been careful, by now Erica had given him a small make up case for himself and he did a pretty good job, covering himself up in the morning if necessary. Derek tried to stick to spots Stiles could cover up easily with his clothes but he had a thing for that spot on Stiles' neck, he had to admit.

And Stiles liked to bite back, so there was that.

But all that didn't matter now because he was pretty sure that Sean had just caught Stiles shirtless.

Derek was right outside Stiles' door when he heard Stiles' respond: "They don't bite me."

Fighting the urge to storm in and defend his mate, Derek dug his claws into the door frame. Stiles could handle this. He trusted Stiles to handle this.

"This is all Derek." Stiles continued after a beat. "And the only reason he isn't looking the same is because of his freakish werewolf healing abilities." The last part came out rather frustrated.

"Are you telling me you want this?" The disgust was clear in Sean's voice.

"Yes." Stiles yelled. "I like it. I want him to leave marks all over me. I would show them off with pride if people weren't already thinking that I'm the pack's bitch."

There was an uncomfortable silence and Derek could only guess that Sean was one of those people.

Stiles sighed. "Remember the day when you asked me if I was high?"

Now Derek perked up. Stiles and drugs? He would have smelled it on him, he was sure of that. And Stiles wasn't stupid enough for that. Aside from that one party he hadn't even been drunk. He hadn't even taken a sip from the bottles he used for cooking, Derek was pretty sure of that as well.

Sean made an affirmative noise to the being high question.

"That was the day I found out that Derek and I are mates." Stiles explained. "I was flying so high on endorphin you have no idea."

Derek let out a long breath.

It looked like Stiles had it under control, so Derek dislodged his claws from the frame and went downstairs where he turned on the TV loud enough that he couldn't hear what they were talking about upstairs.

When he went to bed hours later, the boys had another movie running and were talking in low voices. Derek didn't disturb them and went to bed instead.

It was the first time in weeks that he slept alone and he didn't like it one bit. Especially knowing that Stiles was just behind the wall and with a stranger who might even count as an enemy.

Derek slept in his fur, he always felt more secure that way, but he didn't sleep well.

Some time during the night Isaac slipped in and after that Derek slept better.

When they woke up early the next morning, Stiles and Sean were still sleeping.

They shifted and got dressed so they wouldn't flash Sean by accident.

"Is that Stiles' friend in there with him?" Isaac asked while he shimmied into his jeans.

"He needed a place to crash." Derek answered. That was all Isaac needed to know. He could most likely smell the fear and uneasiness still lingering in the air and if somebody could piece this puzzle together, it was Isaac.

However, Derek didn't know what had been going on at Sean's place, he wasn't injured and hadn't smelled hurt, so it wasn't like what Isaac had dealt with when his father had still been alive.

"You were both in distress last night." Isaac said quietly which explained why he had come over in the middle of the night.

"We're fine." Derek stepped closer and drew his beta into a tight hug. Isaac buried his nose in Derek's neck and took a deep breath.

They only broke apart when there were noises coming from the next room, indicating that Stiles and their guest were waking up.

"Let's get some coffee started." Derek said and gave Isaac one last pat to the shoulder.

Not knowing what Sean liked for breakfast, Derek only got the coffee maker going and waited for the boys to come downstairs. With every minute his uneasiness grew, Sean had seen the marks he'd left on Stiles and now he knew that they were mates, breakfast was bound to be more awkward than dinner last night.

The shower was just shut off when the steel door of the loft slid open and Boyd stepped in. Erica followed on his heel and the smell of warm pastry goodness came in with them. They were both still in their business outfits and they looked like they had a long night. The weekends were always the worst in their job and this had only been the Friday night.

"We bring breakfast." Erica proclaimed while Boyd went straight for Derek and buried his nose right where Isaac's had been only minutes ago. Looked like Isaac hadn't been the only one sensing his distress last night.

Erica shoved the paper bags at Isaac and then she was nuzzling Derek as well. Everything was melting away and Derek just bathed in the attention of his pack.

"I didn't know this would be a pack breakfast." Stiles suddenly spoke up but before somebody could say something to that, he had all three betas all over him. Laughing awkwardly he stood in the middle and let them rub their scent into his skin while they did their best to crush him in a group hug.

Derek watched them with a proud smile but then he remembered Sean. The boy stood at the bottom of the stairs, his eyes wide with something close to horror.

While the betas were comforting Stiles, and for the moment even Stiles seemed to have forgotten their guest, Derek walked over to Sean but made sure that he didn't block the way to the door. Keeping his distance he asked: "Do you drink coffee?"

"Yes, thank you."

Derek had the feeling he would have said the same thing if he'd offered him bleach to drink.

"Stiles is worried about you." Derek said without moving to make the offered coffee. "When you saw the bite marks on him yesterday, he freaked out a bit. It's nothing somebody outside the pack has to know about." He didn't try to threaten the boy, he looked threatened enough already, he was just stating a fact. This was pack business and they had always kept that to themselves.

"They felt it." Derek nodded to the still ongoing group hug. "Isaac came over last night because he felt that I needed some company." He wasn't sure why he was telling Sean this, he was a stranger after all, but it felt right. He was Stiles' only friend outside the pack and as that he was kind of pack as well. Not bonded into it but he was close to one of the members and as that close to all of them. Derek didn't really know how to put it in words, it was more of a feeling to him. His pack would understand what he meant but Sean wasn't like them.

"Are they doing that often?" Sean asked and then shied back as if he was scared by his own boldness. It was the first time he had addressed Derek directly.

"We comfort each other when we feel that one of us needs it." Derek said. "And we would never hurt each other." He didn't know what exactly Stiles had told his friend but he felt the need to point that out.

Boyd and Erica had brought cinnamon rolls and danishes for all of them but they waited for Derek's cue on what to do. If he wanted them to leave, a slight shift in his posture would be enough. Derek eyed Sean who was now watching the group breaking apart to set the table for breakfast.

For now he seemed to be fine and Derek thought that having breakfast with the whole pack would probably be less awkward than it would be with only him and Stiles.

Sean stuck to Stiles and didn't say a word during the meal but he was watching the pack with interest. Boyd and Erica talked about the event they had been working at last night which was more than enough to carry them over the meal.

Nobody pestered Sean with awkward questions and he did relax after a while.

Once they were done, Boyd and Erica excused themselves, they were dead on their feet and just wanted to go to sleep. Isaac followed them a minute later but he took his time, scenting first Stiles and then Derek. He had always been the most sensitive to the feelings they shared over he bond. He even brushed Sean's arm on his way out and Derek wondered what his beta was seeing in the boy. Did he remind him of himself? They hadn't talked about why Sean had slept here tonight but Isaac was observant, Derek was sure that his beta had a pretty good idea on what was going on with Sean. Probably a better idea than Stiles who had spent half the night talking with his friend.

When Isaac had left, Sean shifted from one foot to the other, clearly not sure what to do next.

"Want to watch some cartoons?" Stiles helped him out in the most childish way possible. Judging by the relieved smile Sean gave him, it worked.

Derek remembered how Stiles had told him when Sean had run at the very the idea of setting a foot in an alpha's den. Now he was sitting with Stiles on said alpha's couch on a Saturday morning, watching Spongebob Squarepants.

 

Chapter Text

Sean stayed almost until noon before he decided that it was safe to go home. Stiles reinforced the offer that he could come by anytime and Sean promised that he would.

When he shut the door behind his friend Stiles let out a sigh before he turned around to face Derek who had been working at the kitchen table like usual all morning. Sean and Stiles had only been a few feet away but for once Sean hadn't been fazed by the alpha hovering in the background.

Progress, Stiles guessed and walked over to Derek who was watching him with worry on his face.

"You okay?" He asked and opened his arms for Stiles to step in. Since Derek was still sitting his head ended up against Stiles' chest while Stiles hugged him from the side. Stiles closed his eyes and just breathed in the scent of his mate. He wasn't a werewolf but there was something in Derek's scent he recognized, something that felt like home and safety.

"I'm fine." Stiles finally said. "That was kind of a rough night but it was fun, too."

He thought about the things Sean had told him in the quiet of the night. How his parents hadn't gotten along for a while now and how it had escalated lately.

"I wish they would finally say the word divorce." Sean had admitted with a haunted look in his eyes. Stiles hadn't known what to say to that. His mother had died when he had been only a child but as far as he could remember everything had been fine between his parents. Even in the end his father had still loved her despite the awful things she said to him. It hadn't been her talking, Stiles knew that now, it had been the illness.

The only other parents he knew well enough to actually know something about had been Scott's and his dad had been an asshole. Life in the McCall household had been hell back then and just like Sean tonight, Scott had spent quite a few nights at the Stilinski house when things had been really bad back home. But Melissa had kicked Scott's father out the second she'd noticed that he was actually hurting Scott. Life had been better for all of them after that.

Stiles doubted that Sean's parents were that bad. They didn't want to hurt him but they didn't really care that they did it anyway without realizing it either. At least that was the impression Stiles had gotten from his friend last night.

"Is he alright?" Derek asked.

"He just needed a time-out." Stiles sat down on the chair next to Derek but let his hand linger on his forearm. "Is it okay that I offered that he can come here any time he needs to escape for a little while?" He had just wanted to offer his friend a safe haven and only later he had realized that he was inviting a stranger into the den. Into Derek's den. Kate came to mind.

"Of course, I kind of offered him the same." Derek leaned in an brought their lips together in a tender kiss. "Besides, you're my mate, it's your job to look out for the pack with me. And it makes you second in command which gives you the right to make decisions for the pack in my name."

"Sean isn't pack." Stiles frowned at him.

"He's not bonded to me but he's important to you, that makes him kind of pack." Derek was searching for words and Stiles patiently waited for him to find the right ones. "Your dad is pack, too. Pack is more than the actual pack, pack is also the people who matter to us. The closer they are, the stronger is the urge to protect them. It's a werewolf thing." He said the last part as if he was ashamed of it.

Stiles' hand was still on his forearm so he used that to give him an assuring pat.

"It's not that much different from how humans see things." He said.

Derek was a born werewolf, a lot of human behavior was more or less an abstract concept to him. He had learned to navigate through human society but there were things he would never be able to fully understand, Stiles got that.

"There's your family." Stiles tried to explain. "And there are the people you chose to have in your life. Scott was like a brother to me. And his mother ... Dad cares a lot about her, that's why he visits her as often as he can. He made all the arrangements so that she can have all the care she needs." He paused for a moment. "I'm not that close with Sean but he is my friend. And at the moment he really needs a friend."

"That's why he's pack."

Over the next week Sean came over after school almost every day. On Thursday they studied for a chem test until late in the night and when Stiles got the feeling that Sean was drawing this out just so he didn't have to go home just yet, Stiles asked him if he wanted to stay over night.

"Mom has been yelling at him for hours." Sean admitted in a quiet voice. "That she had only agreed to marry him because she had been pregnant."

"Wow." Stiles sat back in his chair. "That's a low blow." He couldn't even start to imagine what it felt like to hear that your parents were only married because you were the inconvenience that got in the way.

"I don't think she realized that I could hear her." Sean sniffed but pretended that he was engrossed in his chemistry book.

Sean stayed the night.

Stiles woke in the middle of the night to a loud shriek and the shattering of glass. He almost fell down the stairs in his haste to get downstairs and he really wished for his baseball bat which was still in his childhood home in Beacon Hills but he was ready to face whatever was going on downstairs.

When he reached the bottom of the stairs, he froze, taking in the scene in front of him. Then he doubled over with laughter.

In the kitchen stood Sean barefoot in a puddle of water with shattered glass all around him and on the other side was Derek cowering on the couch in his wolf form.

Sean's expression had been of pure horror while Derek had been a picture of guilt but now they both turned to glare at Stiles. Which made the situation even more funny.

Once Stiles could breathe again, he realized that his friend was still standing in cold water with broken glass around his bare feet.

"Don't move." He told him and went to get some shoes for himself.

"I'm sorry about the glass." Sean said miserably while Stiles was cleaning up the mess with some paper towels.

"Don't worry about it." Stiles assured him and dropped the towels with the bigger shards in the trash. "I might have broken a glass or two as well since I got here." He glanced over to Derek who was still sitting on the couch but now on his hind legs and with his tongue lolled out in a dog laugh.

"Stop laughing. You scared the crap out of him." Stiles told him and Derek dropped his head in fake guilt but he wasn't fooling anyone. Stiles just rolled his eyes and got the broom to clean up the little bits of glass so that Sean could move again without being in danger of cutting his feet open.

"Is he …" Sean whispered to Stiles but it was still loud enough that Derek would have heard him even with human ears. "Is he going to stay like this?"

"He could shift." Stiles gave him a grin. "But are you ready to deal with a naked Derek?"

Sean's face went white and he gave a very good impression of a fish.

"Thought so." Stiles went over to the cupboard to get two fresh glasses out. "Sit down."

They both sat down with their glasses of water. Stiles wasn't really thirsty but he got that Sean just needed a moment to sit and process everything.

Derek hopped off the couch, walked over to Stiles and put his head in his lap. Stiles didn't even have to look down to find that spot behind his ear and Derek let out a content hum.

Sean choked on his water.

Stiles just laughed and Derek gave him a sloppy dog kiss across his face. Then he butted his head against Sean's leg. Sean's watched him with panicked eyes and didn't dare to move but Derek just playfully did it again before he sauntered back over to the couch.

Since they had school the next day, Sean and Stiles went back upstairs while Derek stayed downstairs. Stiles was pretty sure that he was only waiting for them to get back to Stiles' room so that he could shift and get up the stairs without accidentally flashing Sean.

"He let you pet him?" Sean hissed as soon as there was a shut door between them.

Stiles flopped down on his bed.

"You did notice the group hug the other day, right?" Stiles rolled to his side to face Sean who was still standing there without showing any intention to lay back down. His hand was on the spot here Derek had bumped his head against his leg. As if he couldn't quite believe that that had just happened.

"We're pack. We hug, we touch, we freaking nuzzle." Stiles' voice went up at the end here in his attempt to make Sean understand. "Okay, the nuzzling part is more of a they than a we thing because scent is not the same for me, but yeah, we do all that. It's normal."

Now Sean at least came down to sitting on his inflatable mattress.

"And you're his mate."

"And I'm his mate."

"With all the …" He made a vague gesture at Stiles without looking at the clearly visible bite mark on his neck. "I thought he would be more … I don't know."

"More alpha?" Stiles guessed. "More possessive? Less overgrown puppy?"

Sean snorted at that but nodded.

"Believe me, he can go all alpha on you and he can be really possessive but he's also what you've seen earlier." Stiles fell silent.

"You really love him, don't you?" Sean asked quietly.

"I do." There wasn't a second of hesitation. It was true, simple as that.

Stiles waited for the question if Derek loved him as well but Sean didn't ask.

In the morning Derek was in his human form again and was waiting with coffee and breakfast for them to come downstairs. However, there were used dishes in the sink and he was wearing his running clothes so Stiles figured that he and Sean would have breakfast alone.

"I didn't mean to scare you." Derek apologized and handed Sean a cup of coffee.

"I was just a little surprised." Sean accepted both with a shy smile. "I've never been this close … I didn't know ..."

"Most people go through their life without ever knowingly interacting with a werewolf." Derek was leaning at the counter, his empty mug loosely between his fingers. "We like to keep to ourselves."

"Is this were you tell me to not spill your secrets?" Sean joked but Stiles could tell that there was fear behind his words.

"No." Derek shook his head but his eyes were hard when he looked at Sean. "But I will protect my pack from any danger."

With that he set his mug aside, brushed shoulders with Stiles and then he was out of the door.

"Did he …" Sean shifted uncomfortably on his feet. "Did he just threaten to kill me?"

"Yep." Stiles let the word pop. His mind was back on Kate. "But he also promised to kill for you."

 

Chapter Text

Derek went for a run. It was a coward move, he knew that, but he needed to get away for a while to clear his head. He liked Sean even if he hadn't interacted with him much but the fact alone that he had overcome his initial fear of werewolves and was now reaching out to Stiles for help, made him likable.

In some ways Sean reminded Derek of Isaac. His parents weren't as bad as Isaac's father had been but it was bad enough for Derek to feel protective over him. He had a soft spot for strays like Peter had put it, he knew that, and the way Stiles was there for his friend just made the urge to protect stronger. In that way Sean was pack.

On the other hand, however, was Sean a stranger.

Derek didn't really know him but Stiles trusted him and that was more than enough for Derek to trust him as well, to a degree. He couldn't shake off the uneasy feeling, though. Derek had trusted before, had let her lull him into believing that she loved him. He had let her in and she had burned down his family in return.

Derek knew that Sean wasn't like Kate. But feelings weren't logical.

When Derek came home after his run, Stiles and Sean were long gone. Derek showered and then set up his workplace to get some things done while Stiles was at school. He didn't know if Sean would come over again later or if he would have time with Stiles alone, either way, he wanted to get his work done so he had some free time later.

There was an email from Professor Rodriguez waiting for him.

Derek read it three times and had still no idea what to say to her offer. He would translate her book soon, he was in the middle of reading into the topic, and it was normal to stay in close contact with the author to check some facts or to clear something up Derek didn't understand. It was important for the translation.

What wasn't normal was to visit the author at her work place and have an internship to really understand what she was talking about. It was a great opportunity and Derek was tempted to accept on the spot but he wasn't sure if he should leave his pack this soon again. He had never been keen to travel around but lately he had the feeling that he was more away than he was actually at home.

He had a mate now. He knew that Stiles would take care of the pack while he was gone so Derek was able to leave for a while.

But he should talk to Stiles first anyway. If Stiles didn't want him to go, he wouldn't go.

Derek set the email aside for the moment and focused on his other work. He almost forgot lunch, Stiles would have a word with him if he didn't eat properly, they had been there before, so in the early afternoon he took a break but he ate his sandwich at the laptop while he read more about radio signals in space.

He totally forgot the time so he looked up in surprise when the front door opened and Stiles stepped in. He was alone for once. Derek didn't mind having Sean over, especially when the teen needed a safe place to hide from his parents, but it was nice to have Stiles for himself from time to time.

"How was school?" Derek asked.

"Same old." Stiles dropped his backpack in the corner and then took the chair next to Derek. He eyed the half-eaten sandwich, Derek had totally forgotten it, and made a disapproving noise in the back of his throat. Then Stiles shrugged and ate it himself.

"The chemistry test?" Derek prompted. Stiles was his mate but at the same time he was the high schooler Derek was responsible for which meant that he should ask about tests and grades and things like that.

Stiles made an amused noise around his mouthful of sandwich which could translate to an annoyed "please".

Derek hurried to save his work and close his laptop. By now Stiles had finished the sandwich and had put the plate in the dish washer. Derek wanted to ask about Sean, he hadn't meant to scare him earlier today, but he didn't know how to phrase the question without making it sound guilty. He meant it. He would protect his pack.

However, Stiles seemed to know what was on his mind.

"You didn't scare him off for good." He said. "Death threats are more or less what he expects from a big bad alpha like you. What still boggles him is that we count him as pack. And that you let me pet you." Stiles laughed and ruffled his hair. Derek growled at him but Stiles wasn't impressed.

"Who's a big bad alpha?" Stiles asked in that over cheerful voice while he gave him a few affectionate pats on the head. "You are."

Stiles yelped in surprise when Derek jumped out of his seat.

"I'll show you big and bad." He growled around his fangs and backed up Stiles against the fridge.

"I'm frightened." Stiles mocked him, not in the slightest intimidated by the alpha looming over him with glowing eyes and fangs out.

Derek braced his clawed hands on the fridge on both sides of Stiles' head and stepped even closer until he could slip a leg between Stiles' and pin him down with his hip.

Stiles rolled his hip against Derek's and then he leaned in with a smirk and licked along one of his canines. Derek closed his eyes with a groan.

Stiles nibbled along his bottom lip until Derek retracted his teeth so that they could kiss properly. Grinding their growing erections together Stiles moaned into his mouth and slipped his hands under Derek's shirt.

With his nose buried in the crook of Stiles' neck Derek breathed in the heavy scent of his arousal, making his head dizzy.

Stiles didn't stop kissing every inch of skin he could reach, adding a bit of teeth here and there. Derek groaned into his skin and sucked a hickey right on the claiming spot. Satisfied with the forming bruise, framed by the imprints of his teeth, Derek licked over it one more time.

"What do you want?" Derek asked between little kisses along Stiles' jaw line. "Want my hand on you? Or do you want me on my knees?"

Stiles' eyes rolled back and his head hit the fridge with a thud.

"I want …" He breathed out while Derek mouthed along his throat. "I want you in me."

Derek froze and the hands under his shirt stopped as well. They had been building up to this and if Sean hadn't been over so often lately they would have done it days ago but now that Stiles was actually asking for it, Derek wasn't sure.

"We don't have to." Stiles gave him an out. "But I'd like to. If you want to."

His hands had started moving again but now they weren't just frantically roaming over his back any longer, now it was a steady up and down, calm and reassuring.

Stiles looked him in the eye, waiting for an answer. His gaze was open and full of trust, his pupils blown with lust.

"Okay." Derek said and sealed the decision with a kiss. "Upstairs, my bed."

How they made it up the spiral staircase without falling and breaking some bones Derek didn't know but somehow they made it to his bedroom in one piece.

"We're wearing too many clothes." Stiles proclaimed, tugging at Derek's shirt.

A second later Derek had to catch him from face-planting when he stumbled around with his pants around his ankles and for a second Derek's mind flashed back to their drive home from Laura's and he was tempted to throw Stiles on the bed hobbled like this. But then Stiles got his feet out of his jeans with a proud grin and Derek got distracted by the lean lines of his body.

When they were finally naked, Stiles drew him into another kiss and then dragged him down with him on the bed.

"How do you want me?" He asked and Derek heard the light tremble in his voice. But Stiles was still smelling of arousal and his skin was flushed and there was a bead of precome on the head of his erect cock. So Derek just kissed the light worry away and urged him farther up the bed.

"Just lay down." Derek took a moment to put a pillow under Stiles hips and to get the lube. Then he just looked at Stiles stretched out and waiting for him.

"You're perfect." He crawled over him and brought their lips together.

"You're not so bad yourself." Stiles said with a grin. "But I swear I'm going to kill you if you don't do something. Like yesterday."

Derek just smirked. He took his time to map out Stiles' body with his hands and mouth and by the time his finger finally slipped in the crease of Stiles' butt his mate was panting and writhing under him.

"Derek." Stiles whined, the tight ring of muscles fluttering under the tip of Derek's finger.

"I got you." He promised and reached for the lube. He was probably driving Stiles insane with his thorough prep, working in one finger after the other, giving Stiles time to adjust to the feeling, but he didn't want to hurt his mate.

He couldn't help but think back to the night when he had claimed Stiles and he was determined to make it better for him now.

His own cock was aching and all he wanted to do was to pin Stiles down and just push in but he forced himself to go slow. One maddening inch after the other he pushed in and by the time he was fully seated, they both were covered in sweat and panting. Derek rested his forehead against Stiles', waiting for him to adjust to the stretch.

"Move." Stiles breathed out, blunt fingernails clawing at his back.

Derek started to move, slow at first but when Stiles met him with every thrust, he let instinct take over. Hot and tight, Stiles felt just perfect around him.

Before he knew it, he was fucking Stiles in earnest who was still shouting for more and harder. Even in bed Stiles didn't shut up and Derek rode on his shouts of "fuck" and "Derek".

Derek slipped one hand between them and it took only a few tugs at Stiles' rock hard cock for him to spill his release. Derek followed him a few thrusts later with an animalistic grunt and a flash of red eyes.

Stiles closed his arms around him and didn't seem to mind that Derek had just collapsed on top of him.

After a minute Derek took pity on his mate and rolled off but he was still too lazy to clean them up. Stiles snuggled closer and pillowed his head on Derek's shoulder and seemed to be content with just lying there for a little while longer, too.

It was still afternoon so they had to get up at some point, Stiles would insist on dinner, but for now Derek carded his fingers through Stiles' sweaty hair and just enjoyed the afterglow of a good orgasm.

Of course Stiles couldn't stay quiet for long.

"So, you went on a run this morning." He said, his fingers lazily painting patterns on Derek's chest. "What else did you do all day?"

"Work." Derek answered, there wasn't much to tell. But then he remembered the email. "Professor Rodriguez invited me to visit her so I can have a more in-depths understanding of her work."

"That sounds great." Stiles snuggled up closer to him. "For how long will you be gone?"

"Two weeks."

Stiles thought about that for a moment.

"Just so we're clear on this." He craned his neck to look at Derek. "Before you leave for South America for two weeks, I absolutely need your knot inside me at least once."

 

Chapter Text

Stiles didn't get Derek's knot inside him before he left for South America for two weeks.

Not that they didn't want to do it, it was more a lack of opportunity.

Derek had to work in advance to actually have the time for his trip without missing some deadlines which meant that he was sitting at the kitchen table with a concentrated expression on his face most of the time now. If Stiles wasn't around to feed him, he even forgot to eat.

Not that Stiles was any better. There must be a cock blocking conspiracy going on at his school because the teachers had all agreed to drowning them in homework.

And Mrs. Hanson had somehow heard about suspicious hickeys on Stiles and kept him after school for a few more sessions with her. She was fishing for information about Derek and Stiles' relationship with him but since his birthday was still a few weeks away, Stiles told her that he had been making out with some guy who totally wasn't Derek. She didn't believe him but couldn't prove otherwise so she settled on annoying him with her questions.

Things with Sean's parents had gone down the drain completely now. According to him, they hadn't exchanged a word at normal volume in days, and more often than not he came home with Stiles straight after school. The days he didn't, chances were high that he would show up later that evening. He didn't stay over that often because he didn't want his parents to catch on where he was spending his time, they wouldn't approve of him getting friendly with a werewolf pack, and the last thing he wanted was for them to forbid any contact with Stiles. But he stayed as long as he dared most nights.

Stiles didn't mind helping out his friend and he liked having Sean around, he really did, but he couldn't stop thinking about Derek's knot.

They did have sex, that wasn't the problem, but they never had the luxury of drawing it out which meant no knot. They had a lot of quickies, though. With his werewolf strength Derek had no problem, holding Stiles up while he was fucking him against the wall or in the shower.

However, Derek banned shower sex, at least the dick in butt kind of shower sex, from their list of sexual activities after Stiles slipped and almost brained himself on the faucet. However, he did hit the floor pretty hard and he was sporting an impressive bruise on his hip the next day.

Even Stiles had to admit that shower sex was way too dangerous for him. He was accident prone enough on non-slippery floors and with both feet on the ground, thank you very much.

Blowing Derek under the shower spray, however, was a whole different thing. The way Derek look, blissed out and completely at Stiles' mercy, and when he leaned back against the tiles, the water running down the plane of his abs, Stiles couldn't get enough of that.

And Derek's soapy hand around both their cocks, Stiles happily gave up the other kind of shower sex for that.

Then Isaac stayed in wolf form for almost three full days and he was a clingy wolf like that and Derek and Stiles were more busy comforting the beta than making out.

Stiles didn't know much about Isaac's past but he got that it had something to do with his father's death, it was the anniversary, and some careless comment a fellow student of his had made.

They slept in a pile of three the first night and with the whole pack the second and after Isaac had calmed down enough to walk on two legs for a few hours, they did another pack night for good measure.

The last one collided with a night where Sean stayed over.

Isaac had been in his human form most of the day and had gone back to his place to shower and get away from the pack for a while. Stiles understood and made sure that the beta got some time for himself.

Isaac came upstairs for dinner, though.

As usual Stiles cooked for them. Today with Sean's help while Derek kept on working to finish translating an article.

A few weeks ago Sean had been literally running in the other direction at the very thought of setting a foot in an alpha's den and now he was chopping onions with said alpha sitting just a few feet away.

"Can't we just order pizza?" Sean whined and wiped his watering eyes. Of course he rubbed onion juice into his eyes and now tears were running down his face for real. Stiles just snorted at him and gave him the garlic to chop next.

"We had pizza just yesterday." Stiles told him. It should be weird how often his friend was over now but it wasn't.

Yesterday Sean had left when the others had piled in for their pack night but today he had asked Stiles if he could stay over night before school had even started. Stiles couldn't say no to that.

When dinner was ready, fish in white wine sauce on risotto, Stiles was trying out some new recipes, Derek cleared the table and drawn in by the smell, Isaac came in just in time as well.

Sean stiffened a bit when the werewolf went straight for Derek and buried his nose in his alpha's neck for a good minute but Isaac needed it so as far as Stiles was concerned Sean had to just deal with it.

When Isaac finally stepped away from Derek, he gave Stiles a brief scenting as well before they all sat down for dinner.

It was clear that Sean didn't feel comfortable with such open werewolf behavior but he didn't say anything. Since Isaac was still kind of shaken up and Sean wasn't bonded pack, the beta was quieter than usual as well but Stiles had no problem carrying a conversation over dinner basically by himself.

After dinner Derek and Isaac offered to take care of the dishes and Sean jumped at the opportunity to leave the werewolves to themselves.

"I'll never get used to that." Sean dropped in Stiles' office chair. "He nuzzled him. Hell, he nuzzled you."

"I told you that we do that." Stiles shrugged. At least Sean hadn't freaked out over it. The last thing Isaac needed right now was more stress. He had been on two legs for only a few hours today, not that Stiles intended to tell Sean that. Isaac's issues were nothing to discuss with him.

Besides, Sean had his own issues to worry over.

"So." Stiles drew the word out and flopped down on his bed. "Things are bad at home?"

Now Sean fell quiet. The seam of his jeans seemed very interesting all of a sudden.

"Or we can just watch a movie." Stiles suggested.

They made themselves comfortable on the bed and Stiles set up the laptop.

After the first movie Stiles went downstairs to get them something to drink and some snacks but also to check on Isaac. He knew that the beta was still in the loft and hadn't gone back to his own place. By now Stiles could estimate how far away a pack member was pretty accurately and since his bond with Derek had strengthened into a mating bond, he could keep track of them over farther distances as well. Sensing other people was still a cool superpower.

He found the beta and their alpha on the couch, watching TV. Isaac was in his wolf form again, his clothes scattered around the floor. He had his head in Derek's lap and for now he seemed content.

"Is it okay if we sleep here tonight?" Derek gestured over the coffee table where the den would be later. "We can go downstairs to Isaac's place." He offered.

Stiles considered it for a moment, torn between the need to comfort Isaac and the need to pamper Sean.

This was their den, he decided. Sean would just have to suck it up.

"Na." He made. "I'll just warn him that their might be a few wolves sleeping down here." He gathered the snacks and drinks when something occurred to him.

"Are you okay with Sean sleeping here?" He asked Isaac. If it came down to it, Stiles would kick Sean out if he made Isaac uncomfortable but the beta just tilted his head in a way that told Stiles that he didn't mind.

Stiles didn't know when he had become a master in reading wolf body language, werewolf wolf body language, whatever, but he could talk for hours to one of the wolves, mostly Derek, without really noticing that they couldn't answer him. At least not verbally. Derek wasn't big on words in either form so that was probably the reason for that. And being pack of course.

"There is going to be werewolf sleepover here tonight." Stiles informed Sean when he got back to his room.

"A what?"

"A pack pile." Stiles threw a bag of chips at him. "I told you that we do that from time to time."

Sean fiddled with the bag. "Are you … I mean, are you going to …?"

"Nope." Stiles dropped next to him on the bed. "They'll be fine without me. It's nothing I have to attend to or anything. I'm not even sure if it's going to be just Isaac and Derek tonight or if the others will join them."

They started the next movie but Stiles could tell that there was still something on Sean's mind.

For a while they got distracted by the stupidity going on on the screen. The hero didn't get any smarter from them yelling and throwing popcorn at him but they could try. During the lull after the mentor's tragically death, finally, Sean started to fiddle again.

"Aren't you …" He started and cleared his throat. "I mean, Derek and Isaac, they seemed very close earlier. Don't you, you know … are you okay with them sleeping together?"

"They're not sleeping together." Stiles paused the movie. "Not like sleeping sleeping together." He rolled his eyes but he did remember when he had taken Isaac's question to sleep with them as an invitation to an orgy so he wasn't really in a position to judge Sean.

"Derek is not cheating on me." Stiles stated, absolutely sure that it was the truth. Even without the mating bond they shared, Derek wasn't the kind of guy who cheated on his partner. "It's a wolf thing."

Stiles didn't want to elaborate the whole first beta thing in general and Isaac's past in particular but thankfully Sean didn't ask and just motioned for Stiles to hit play again.

Boyd and Erica did join the pack pile later that night, Stiles could tell from the beacons in his head alone but Sean found out the hard way when they came downstairs in the morning.

He took the shock of four grown wolves lying together in the den better than expected.

"Nobody is ditching their fur in front of Sean." Stiles announced and walked over to the kitchen. He needed coffee.

Sean followed him but he kept throwing glances over his shoulder to where the wolves were slowly waking up.

The betas slipped out of the door but they came back in fully dressed in their human form.

For a moment Stiles thought that Sean would die of a heart attack when Erica greeted him with a cheerful "good morning" while she was still busy buttoning up her business blouse but then she made her pancakes and nobody could resist those.

It was the middle of the week so after breakfast they all left for school, work and campus, except for Derek who was left with the dirty dishes.

"Your pack is pretty cool." Sean admitted when they were alone in Stiles' jeep.

"I know." Stiles grinned at him. It felt like a victory.

Then it was time for Derek's trip to South America and they still hadn't come around to the knotting part.

Derek left but Stiles had only a few days to miss him before a call from his dad made him forget everything else.

"She's waking up."

 

Chapter Text

Derek still didn't like flying.

He lost contact with his pack even before he reached the airport. Stiles stayed a bright beacon in his mind for longer than the others but in the end he lost contact to his mate as well. The feeling of loneliness mixed with the general dislike of flying and Derek was in a grumpy mood even before he boarded the plane.

However, Stiles had insisted on making out before he left which had ended with Stiles' naked legs wrapped around his waist and Derek thrusting into him with more force than he probably should have. But the thought of leaving his mate was kind of scary, for both of them, so neither of them was holding back marking the other one with bite marks. On Stiles they would stay for days, maybe even still visible when Derek would be back in two weeks, and that was a thought Derek really liked.

The marks Stiles had left on him had already faded away but Derek remembered the feeling of Stiles' teeth on him and he let his hand linger over that spot on his neck while he waited for the plane to take off. Even the guy sitting next to him with his cheap aftershave and the tendency to sweat through his shirt didn't seem so bad. At least for the first few minutes. The longer they were in the air, the more distant Stiles felt and the more aware of his surroundings Derek got.

When they finally landed and Derek could get out of this tin can, he breathed easier. Not that the air outside was that much better but it hadn't been through that many lungs.

Derek got his luggage and then he was scanning the crowd for Professor Rodriguez, or Maria as she liked him to call her.

There were too many people waiting for somebody and too many already heading towards the exit, brushing past Derek and not caring if they had to push him out of the way to get past him. Derek bit back a growl, the last thing he wanted was for the security to take an interest in him.

He finally spotted her and with a relieved sigh he went over to her.

"Derek, good to see you." She greeted him with a motherly hug. "Hope the flight wasn't too bad."

She didn't know that he was a werewolf so she didn't know how bad just a regular flight for him was. He just smiled at her and assured her that everything went well.

At first Derek had thought that he would stay at a hotel but she had insisted that he would stay with her. Since her children were out of the house it was always too empty and quiet she said.

Derek wasn't sure which he preferred, an impersonal hotel room with the lingering scents of too many people, or staying at her place. Since she didn't know about his nature he had to play human all the time which would be exhausting. But there had been no arguing with her anyway.

They had to drive for about two hours to get to her place and by then Derek was exhausted and longing for a shower. The scent of strangers clang to his skin and he felt icky and sweaty all over.

At least the conversation was nice so that the drive didn't get too awkward.

"This is my place." She parked the car in front of a tiny house. Derek doubted that it had more than two bedrooms and he wondered how a family of five had lived in there. Humans liked to have their own bedrooms and all that.

Now, however, it was only Maria left, he could tell that by sniffing once when he followed her inside.

There were other scents but they were faint as if those people visited regularly but didn't stay long enough to leave a permanent imprint.

"It's a nice house." He said because he didn't know what else to say. He should have brought Stiles for the socializing.

"It's my home." She gave him a warm smile and showed him his room.

"Dinner will be ready in half an hour. Freshen up and call your boyfriend." She said the last part with a wink that made her look more like a teenage girl than a woman in her forties.

Derek had a quick shower and then he called Stiles just to let him know that he had arrived safely.

Apparently he was interrupting some kind of video game challenge Stiles, Sean and Isaac had going, however that had happened. Stiles assured him that they weren't missing him at all and that he should have fun and then it was time for dinner anyway.

When Derek made his way over to the kitchen, he was a little worried on how to interact with Maria. They didn't really have much in common and now he would spent the next two weeks with her. What should they talk about?

"How's Stiles doing?" She asked while she filled his plate.

"I've already been replaced by a video game." He said in flat tone but couldn't help the smile tugging at the corner of his mouth.

That apparently broke the ice and over dinner she told him how she met her late husband and how he had left her in the middle of their second date because he had forgotten to water his orchids.

They had a good laugh over that and everything became less awkward.

Derek wasn't exactly sure what they had for dinner but it was delicious. Shamelessly he helped himself a second time which earned him a warm smile.

"I need the recipe for this."

"You cook?"

"Stiles does." Derek answered with his mouth still full. He had tried and failed to decipher the spices with his nose and tongue and now he was just enjoying a good meal.

"He loves trying out new stuff." He remembered the first time Stiles had dragged him off to the store to get some red wine for a sauce he wanted to try. Derek had been skeptical but the result had convinced him. By now his kitchen was well stocked. Half the stuff he had no idea what it was or what Stiles used it for but he didn't actually care.

After dinner Derek offered to do the dishes and they ended up doing them together.

Turned out that they had something in common, the book Derek was about to translate for her. He had read the original version in preparation for this trip and here was his chance to clear up some points he hadn't really understood.

One thing led to the other and suddenly it was close to midnight and they were sitting on her couch with a glass of red wine and were discussing the possibility of aliens. It was off topic and he had thought that real scientists laughed about that idea but according to Maria the universe was too big for only one place to have developed some kind of life form.

"However, I highly doubt that they are flying around in space ships." She said. "And even if, the chances of them spotting us among the myriads of systems in our galaxy alone ..." She shook her head and poured them more wine.

Derek went to bed with a happy smile.

The next day Maria took him to work with her. He met her co-workers, one or two faces were familiar from the symposium, and she gave him the grand tour of the institute.

There was one small incident when she introduced him to one of her co-workers, though.

Brett Talbot was a werewolf, a beta, and he instantly recognized Derek as an alpha.

There was the usual sizing each other up while they both tried to figure out what the other one was up to while at the same time they were trying to not be too obvious about it.

"Brett has been one of my students." Maria said, unaware of the possible bloodshed happening right in front of her.

Derek managed to catch Brett alone a bit later and introduced himself properly before the beta could mull any longer over possible pack interference.

"Relax." Derek said, when the other werewolf backed off against a shelf. "I'm just here for a visit."

Derek assured him that he was without his pack and that he had no intention of invading somebody else's territory. Brett relaxed slightly after that but kept a wary eye on Derek.

Two days later he invited Derek over for dinner, at least that was what he said while humans were in earshot. It was actually more of a formal invitation of the local alpha and refusing would be considered rude at least and could end with Derek getting run out of their territory or killed at worst. So he thanked Brett for the invitation and showed up at the alpha's den at seven that evening.

It started out stiff and formal, the pack not really bigger than Derek's and as that constantly afraid of the surrounding packs. Derek was lucky that he shared borders only with Laura and Peter and neither of them really had any intentions of taking over his territory. Even Peter's testing his borders had died down after Derek had taken in Stiles.

However, Satomi Ito was a friendly host and since Derek was alone and far away from his territory she didn't consider him a threat. In fact it turned out that she knew his mother and had been to Beacon Hills a few times before the fire.

They talked for a while, about old times and the current situation of the Hale territory, and when Derek left late that evening she assured him that she hadn't forgotten her friendship with Talia and that she was still willing to honor it. Derek wasn't sure how far she would go on his behalf but he offered his assistance if she ever needed it and went back to Maria's house with a good feeling.

Over the next few days Maria actually put him to work and basically made him her assistant.

"If I'm taking advantage of you, just tell me." She said when she threw a pile of data at him he had to sort through. "This is probably not part of your usual work."

"It's not." Derek couldn't help the smile forming on his lips."But it's nice to see more than some second hand research. It makes my work easier."

The other effect his internship had, was that he met the other scientists who were interested in his work in person. He had exchanged emails with them before but it was always better to talk to a client face to face. At least for the client. Derek would be fine with only communicating via text messages but people usually responded better to meeting in person. He had no idea why.

However, by Thursday it looked like he would leave as the institute's chief translator. He hadn't expected that but somehow he must have impressed people by his devotion to his work. As if this internship was something he had to put up with instead of it being the opportunity to learn more about the topic. At least that was how he saw it.

He went out with some of the scientists after work once but the other evenings he spent with Maria and endless discussions on her couch. It was nice. Derek missed his pack and of course Stiles but so far this trip had turned out to be fun.

It took a damper when Stiles called him to tell him that he would go back to Beacon Hills for the weekend. Apparently Melissa was waking up. She was not really there yet but the doctors were optimistic that she would gain consciousness very soon and Stiles didn't want his father to deal with that alone. Besides he hadn't seen his father since his visit and Stiles missed him.

"Do you want me to come?" Derek offered. He could cut his trip short, Maria would understand, and in his head he was already calculating how fast he could make it back.

"No, it's okay." Stiles declined. "I'm going to take Isaac with me. Did Laura call you? She arrived in Beacon Hills a few days ago, so if I need an alpha at my side …"

"You're visiting your family." Derek said, not really happy with the situation. "Peter can't deny you that. And he won't attack you. He would attack a member of my pack, my mate actually, and he doesn't want to cause an incident like that." At least he hoped so. Who knew what Peter did or did not want?

 

Chapter Text

 

When Stiles heard that Melissa was waking up, there was no way that he would not go back to Beacon Hills.

He spoke with his father a few times every week but that wasn't the same. Stiles wanted to see his dad, wanted to give him a hug and scold him for the contends of his fridge. Maybe cook a real meal for him for a change.

And of course he didn't want his father to be alone when Melissa finally woke up. She didn't even know that Scott was dead and there was no doubt what her first question would be.

Stiles would like to have Derek with him, though. He had missed Derek the last few days but they had compensated with pack nights and Sean had spent a lot of time in the loft as well.

If he could get away with it Sean would sleep over every night but for one his parents wouldn't agree to that and second he got that without their alpha the pack needed time to themselves. Stiles kind of loved him for that and he even forgave Sean for beating him at Battlefield. Isaac was cheating with his werewolf reflexes anyway so Stiles was okay with losing against the beta.

However, nobody liked the idea of Stiles going back to Beacon Hills alone. Due to school Stiles could make the trip only over the weekend which meant that Boyd and Erica were out. Like most weekends they had to work and it wasn't that easy for them to just leave on short notice. But Isaac was more than willing to join Stiles.

They wanted to leave Friday right after school but there was something Stiles had to do first.

"Sean?" He held his friend back when they were ready to part ways in front of the school building. "This is for you."

"What is it?" Sean took the key more out of surprise than anything else.

"A key to the loft." Stiles explained and rubbed the back of his head awkwardly. "Feel free to crash there whenever you need a place to stay."

"You mean?" Sean stared at him in clear disbelief and was already shoving the key back at Stiles. "I can't take that. Does Derek even know that you're giving out keys to his place?"

Stiles paused, thinking about it.

"No." He finally admitted. "But he's okay with you having one."

This was probably something he should have discussed with his alpha beforehand but he was the alpha's mate and what had Derek said? He could make decisions in his name when Derek wasn't around. And being in South America counted as not being around.

Besides, it felt like the right thing to do. Sean was pack, kind of.

"Just take it." Stiles raised his hands and refused to take the key back. "Use it if you need to. Don't worry, Boyd and Erica are still in the building, they will notice if you're throwing a party there." He grinned at his friend but sobered up quickly. "Just stay out of Derek's room. The sheets on my bed are fresh, you can crash there if you want."

Stiles didn't leave him any other choice than to take the key and he made Sean promise to use it.

With that problem out of the way Stiles felt a little more at ease.

He picked up Isaac and then they were on the road.

It was a strange feeling and the closer they came to Beacon Hills, the more antsy Stiles got. When Derek mentioned that night, he always referred to the claiming part and sure, that was on Stiles mind too most of the time, but now the before was the bit he was thinking about. How Jackson and the twins had chased him, how they had beaten him up with the clear intent to kill him.

Stiles knew, if Derek hadn't happened to show up right then, he would have died that night.

Peter and everything that came afterwards had been bad as well but the closer they came to Beacon Hills the more Stiles' body ached in memory of that beating.

He thought about Derek's words, that Peter wouldn't dare to lay hands on him, that he didn't want to cause an incident. Stiles just hoped that he was right.

Besides, his dad had told him that Laura had arrived earlier this week so there was an alpha on their side already in Beacon Hills.

They arrived late in the evening and Stiles drove straight to his house. The lights were on when he brought the jeep to a halt in the driveway.

"Are you sure you're okay with this?" Stiles asked instead of getting out of the car. Only a few days ago Isaac had refused to ditch the fur because of his past and now he was about to stay under John's roof. "We can still get a hotel room."

Isaac peeked out of the window and Stiles wondered if he could hear his father inside.

"It's fine." He finally said and he sounded as if it really was fine. "Your dad's okay."

"My dad is awesome." Stiles replied and right on cue his awesome dad opened the door. Isaac forgotten for the moment Stiles was out of the car and in his father's arms in a heart-beat.

"Stiles." His father choked on the word.

The last time they stood in this very driveway Stiles had thought that he would never see his father again. He couldn't tell if his dad was thinking along the same lines but he was hugging him tight without the intention of ever letting go.

They did part eventually and only then his father seemed to remember that Stiles hadn't come alone.

"Isaac." John greeted the beta with a smile and a hand to the shoulder. "Good to see you."

He kept the contact brief and then turned, leading the way into the well lit house. Stiles stayed back to make sure that Isaac was okay with this but the beta just gave him a reassuring smile and went to get their bags.

Inside the smell of chili greeted them, one of the few dishes his father was capable of and it was just the right thing to have handy if you don't know when exactly your guests will arrive.

They sat down for a late meal, John had set the plates so that Stiles sat between him and Isaac, and for a while they talked about the ride and school and the sheriff's work. Nothing too personal and it was good. Stiles enjoyed just catching up with his dad and even Isaac provided a bit here and there after a while.

However, there was a big elephant in the room and they all knew it. Stiles being Derek's mate.

It was late and they had a long day so Stiles wasn't sure if he wanted to address that tonight. Derek and Stiles were mates, there was nothing really to say about that. So Stiles hoped they could get away with light chatter for now and just visit Melissa in the morning.

His father had other ideas, though.

"So." He made when they all had their fill and were leaning back in their chairs too full to move just yet. "You and Derek are mates."

Stiles wasn't sure if it was a question, it didn't sound like a question, and he didn't know what to say to that. Next to him Isaac started to fiddle with the hem of his shirt which didn't help to lighten the mood. Getting in an argument with his father was the last thing Stiles wanted to put on his beta's plate right now.

"We are." He said carefully. "We didn't plan on it or anything, it just happened. We didn't even realize that it was happening, Isaac had to point it out to us."

Isaac shrank in to himself when the attention was suddenly on him and Stiles hurried to grab his hand under the table. The way Isaac latched on to him told him in how much distress his beta was.

"And you're okay with it?" His dad asked, focus on Stiles.

"Absolutely." There was no doubt about that. "I love him."

There wasn't much John could say to that so he got up and started to stack the dishes. Isaac jumped to the opportunity to do something instead of just sitting there and trying to melt into the background. Stiles just sat there and watched them putting the dishes in the washer.

"So, you and Derek." Apparently his father wasn't done with the topic just yet. "And Boyd and Erica, now we only have to find somebody for Isaac here." He gave the beta a playful smile.

Stiles got that it was his father's way to show him that he was coming to terms with the idea of the mating bond but Stiles attention was on Isaac. At his father's words the beta had almost dropped a bowl and now he was busy wiping the table, desperately not looking at John or Stiles.

Stiles didn't need to be a werewolf to know that his heart was beating rapidly and that the beta was more than uncomfortable. Lucky him, his dad was just as observant and didn't push the topic.

Instead he said: "I put fresh sheets on your bed and set up the spare mattress Scott used to sleep on ..." He trailed off at the mention of Scott but caught himself quickly. "I didn't know if you would like to sleep in one bed or not."

Even without the desperate glance Isaac was giving Stiles, the answer would have been the same.

"My bed is just fine." Stiles hurried to say. "Isaac is going to sleep in his fur anyway."

"I remember what that looks like." John said fondly but it didn't help to lessen Isaac's discomfort. The werewolf only breathed easier when a few minutes later they were alone in Stiles' old bedroom.

There wasn't much left of Stiles' things, most of them had made their way over to Derek' place by now, but all Stiles really cared about at the moment was his bed.

"My dad has a point, though." Stiles tried to act like Isaac hadn't been close to bolt from the table earlier. "We really should find somebody for you. Don't get me wrong, Boyd and Erica are going to make beautiful babies some day but since I saw all the little pups in Laura's pack, what can I say? I wouldn't mind a litter of our own."

Behind him Isaac froze.

"What?" Stiles turned around from where he had been rummaging in his bag in search for something to wear for the night.

"Derek didn't tell you?" Isaac stared at him with wide eyes and for the first time Stiles feared that the beta would run away from him.

"Tell me what?" Stiles asked gently and mentioned for Isaac to sit with him on the bed.

"I'm …" Isaac cleared his throat and for once he avoided any contact with Stiles. "I'm asexual."

Stiles just stared at him for a moment.

"No, Derek didn't tell me." He finally said. "And it's not on him to tell people stuff like that. Did he tell you that I'm bi? I bet not. Besides, he tends to forget to tell things he doesn't think are important. I still don't know if Stacy is a werewolf or not."

Stiles bumped his shoulder into Isaac's and held his breath to see what the beta would do.

"You're okay with it?" Tense like a bow string he avoided Stiles' eyes.

"Absolutely not." Stiles burst out. "I mean, it doesn't make a difference if she's a werewolf or not but by now Derek is just fucking with me. And not in the good way."

Isaac stared at him and a second later he burst out laughing.

"But about you being ace? It's cool." He draped his arm over Isaac's shoulder and drew him close. Isaac just melted into his side. "You do know that doesn't mean you can't find a mate, right?"

Chapter Text

Derek was good at playing human, every werewolf was. It was the one thing parents taught their children from a very young age. Inside the pack you can be yourself but out there, you have to pass as human. Nowadays it wasn't that big of an issue anymore, hunters were a rare thing and killing a werewolf counted as murder even by human laws but it was seeded deeply in every werewolf. A fear born from centuries of being hunted.

So Derek was good at playing human. However, he rarely had to do it twenty-four seven. In most cases his interactions with humans were brief and he could retreat to the safety of his pack whenever he wanted. Now his pack and territory were far away, he missed his mate, and he was living with Maria. Over the day they spent a lot of time together and even if they were working apart, there were other humans Derek had to interact with.

He kind of stuck to Brett and he was grateful that the other werewolf was kind enough to shield him a little bit but he could never avoid the other people working at the institute entirely. And in the evening he went home with Maria and they spent hours together until they parted for the night.

Derek liked his internship and he really liked Maria but playing human all the time exhausting. He did slip up a few times, responding to something he shouldn't have been able to hear or smelling that the garlic Maria had in the pan was about to burn before the smell was strong enough for a human nose to pick up. Little things.

When she commented that he had a good nose, he tried to laugh it off and said something about when Stiles had tried out a new recipe and it backfired.

He got away with it for a while but then the weekend came around and he was stuck with Maria all day without the chance to switch to other people.

It was Saturday evening, they were sitting on the couch again with a glass of wine and were discussing something work related.

Derek tried to focus, it was an interesting topic and he really enjoyed these discussions with her, but there was this dog across the street who had picked up his scent the other day. Since the dog had noticed the werewolf in its neighborhood, it went nuts every time it got a whiff of Derek's scent. Which it most likely had when Derek had brought out the garbage an hour ago. The dog hadn't stopped pacing the yard since then. Derek heard it sniffing and running up and down. It was like a dripping faucet, once you are aware of it ...

"Are you even listening to what I'm saying?" Maria asked and with that Derek's attention snapped back to her.

"I'm sorry." He mumbled but he still had half an ear out for that damn dog. At least she didn't seem to be angry. With a fond smile she filled their glasses again.

"I know that my company is not exactly what a fine young man like you would prefer."

"That's not ..." Derek protested. He stopped and let out a sigh. "I do enjoy your company." He said and gave her a smile. "I really do, it's just ..." Outside the dog let out a bark which even Maria heard.

"I wonder what's up with him." She shook her head. "He's usually a quiet dog, most of the time I forget he's even there."

The dog was back to sniffing the air but Derek just waited for the next barking fit.

When he focused back on Maria, she was studying him with a curious expression. Caught she hurried to busy herself with her glass.

"What?" Derek asked.

"I just wondered." She let out a little laugh and fiddled with her glass. "It's stupid, forget I said anything."

Derek closed his eyes for a second, he had a pretty good idea of what she was wondering about. Stiles called it that listening tilt and Derek was pretty sure that he'd done it just now. He didn't know how often he had slipped up over the last few days, most of it he probably hadn't even noticed, but Maria was a scientist. She was used to look at data and see a pattern.

"Maria." He said softly. "You can ask."

He didn't want to out himself just based on a feeling but he wouldn't deny it if she outright asked him. For a moment it looked like she wouldn't.

"Derek, are you human?"

"No." He admitted. He put his glass on the table. "I can stay at a hotel if you feel better that way." Safer, but he didn't say that. "And if you have concerns about our contract, I would understand that." Not many of his clients knew that he was a werewolf. But some did, with the history of the Hale pack a little more thorough Google search was all it took, and not all of them wanted to work with a werewolf.

Derek hunched in on himself, trying to not look like the apex predator he was. Maria had taken a huge risk with taking in a man she barely knew and he didn't want to make her regret that decision.

Suddenly her hand was on his forearm. Her heart-beat was steady and she smelled content.

"No, Derek." She said softly. "Please stay."

Herelaxed under her touch.

"I've never met a werewolf." She admitted. "At least not that I know of. I've probably met a few."

Derek could tell her that one of her coworkers was one but it wasn't his place to out another werewolf.

"We are mostly harmless."

"If you say so, Ford." She gave him a wink and a pat on his arm before she reached for her glass of wine again.

"I'm not an alien." Derek followed her lead and dared to make himself more comfortable again.

"But you're not human either."

Derek couldn't deny that.

For a moment they sat in silence and Derek just waited for the questions. There were always questions. And sometimes some rude demands to show his fangs and eyes.

"So Stiles is not just your boyfriend, he's your mate." She went in a direction Derek hadn't anticipated. "Is he a werewolf too?"

"No, he's human." Derek couldn't help but smile at the thought of Stiles.

"You really love him." Maria stated and her voice had something motherly Derek hadn't heard in a while.

"We wouldn't be mates otherwise." Derek had to swallow against the sudden lump in his throat.

"But your alpha hasn't turned him?" She asked as if it was a sign of disapproval from their alpha but then she seemed to notice something in his expression. "Sorry, I don't know much about this."

"Not many humans outside of a pack know much about us." Maybe it was their own fault that humans didn't understand them. But eons of fear didn't just vanish in a matter of a few years. "Stiles doesn't have to be a werewolf to be my mate. It's his decision." Derek had a vivid memory of Stiles' outrage at the very thought of taking the bite. He had chosen to get raped and to live as Derek's human pet over the bite without a second of hesitation.

Maria accepted his words without questions. She didn't seem to have the same prejudices Derek had witnessed in other people before. His own mate had come into his pack with some horrific ideas about werewolves.

"Don't worry, I won't tell anybody." She said it in a conspiracy low voice and bumped their shoulders. "As for your other concerns, I like you, Derek, I really do and knowing that you are a werewolf doesn't change that. You're a good person."

Now Derek really had to fight the tightness in his chest. Acceptance was not the most common reaction when somebody found out about his nature.

"Thank you." He cleared his throat. "But there is one other thing you should know."

He lifted his head and locked eyes with her. Then he let the red bleed into his eyes.

"You're an alpha." She gasped but didn't shy away.

Alphas had the reputation of being brutes even without alphas like Peter setting a bad example. If this changed her opinion on him, Derek would accept it and leave.

The red left his eyes and he looked away.

"And now you look like a kicked puppy." Her hand was back on his arm. "Thank you for trusting me enough to show me this side of you." She sounded serious and her heart didn't skip a beat.

"You concluded werewolf on your own." Derek reminded her. "Since I'm your guest you deserve to know the rest." He held his breath just in case she decided to kick him out after all.

"Don't worry about that and tell me what was bothering you earlier."

Grateful for the change of topic Derek let out a laugh. "The dog across the street, he knows that there's a werewolf around and it's driving him crazy."

"And that's driving you crazy." She concluded. "They take him inside for the night but until than how about some music?"

Without waiting for his answer she got up and moments later soft guitar music was filling the air. It was loud enough to cover up the noises from that damn dog but low enough so that they could carry on with their conversation.

Five minutes later they were back at discussing the last few days at the institute and if Derek would like to join them again on their weekly after work get together at the bar. The question came so naturally, not even a hint of the forced I have to include the werewolf he had seen so often, so he said yes with an easy smile. Stiles would have been proud of him, being social and all that.

It was late when they parted for the night and since he didn't have to fear getting caught, Derek slept in his fur that night. He always felt more secure that way, especially when he was away from his pack but he rarely dared to do it. Just another reason why he didn't really like traveling.

He slept like a puppy but in the morning he hesitated to leave his room. Maria had a night to think and there was no way to tell if she had changed her mind.

Derek squared his shoulders and braced himself for every possibility before he entered the kitchen where he heard her rummaging around. The scent of coffee hit his nose so it couldn't be that bad, right?

"Don't just stand there, take a seat." She gestured with a spatula at him and Derek hurried to follow her order. It was just a normal morning like the others before. Maria tried to drown him in coffee and clog his arteries with grease and he loved every second of it. Nothing had changed and after a while Derek stopped waiting for the other shoe to drop.

It was Sunday so they didn't have to work. Derek had feared that it would be a long day of awkwardness but once they had taken care of the dishes, Maria got her research and Derek his laptop and notebook and they spent the whole day with preparations for Derek's translation of her book.

Derek hadn't even noticed how much energy it ate up to play human but now he didn't have to worry with every turn if he passed or not and it felt good. He dared to relax.

Marie just smiled at him when he sniffed his food before he took the first bite.

Of course everything went south when Stiles called that evening.

"Hey, Stiles." Derek answered with a smile when he saw his mate's name on the display. However, the smile died on his lips when Stiles didn't answer immediately. Derek could tell that something was very wrong by the way his mate was breathing alone.

"It's … it's about Laura."

 

Chapter Text

Before they went to bed Stiles called Derek to tell him that they had arrived safely but since Isaac was already in his fur, lying right next to him on the bed, the conversation stayed on a very tame "How are you?" and they said goodbye only minutes later. After that Stiles shot a short message to Erica and Boyd. They were most likely working so he didn't call but he wanted to let them know that they had arrived in Beacon Hills and at the same time Stiles felt the need to make sure that his betas were alright with their alpha and the alpha's mate gone.

"It's weird, you know?" Stiles put the phone on the nightstand and crawled in next to Isaac. "The pack split like this. I don't like it."

Isaac buried his wet nose in the crook of Stiles' neck and let out a few hot puffs. He didn't like it either.

What was even weirder was that by now he thought of the betas as his and he couldn't help but worry if Boyd and Erica were okay with half the pack gone.

"At least we're not alone." Stiles said softly and buried his face between Isaac's shoulder blades. His fingers dug into the thick fur of his beta and even if it wasn't Derek he was cuddling with, it helped.

Stiles woke up with his mouth full with fur. Over night Isaac had crawled on top of him, a hot, heavy wolf blanket that tried to suffocate him.

"Get off me." Half awake Stiles pushed and poked until the wolf rolled off him. The look Isaac gave him with his head lowered to his paws woke him up rather quickly, though.

Isaac had a few rough days and now Stiles was the only pack he had around and after his revelation about his asexuality yesterday it didn't take a genius to figure out what was going on in his head right now.

Isaac was waiting for rejection.

"Don't look at me like that." Easily Stiles closed the gap between them and hugged the wolf close in an octopus-like grip with his whole body. "You were crushing me."

At first Isaac was stiff in his arms but at those words he slowly relaxed into the embrace.

"You're pack and I love you." Stiles said into his ear, counting on his heart-beat to tell the truth behind his words. The way Isaac tilted his head, he was listening.

They stayed like that for a while and then, because Isaac was an asshole, he shifted.

"I hate you." Stiles said but didn't loosen his hold on the now stark naked human body in his arms.

Isaac just hmmed and nestled his head against his shoulder.

Of course that was the moment when his dad opened the door.

"Boys, breakfast is ..." He stopped dead when he caught sight of Isaac's naked butt.

"We'll be down in a minute." Stiles only lifted his head far enough to answer his father but he still didn't let go of his beta. And Isaac didn't try to get away or even cover himself up, if anything he snuggled closer to Stiles, counting on him to deal with the situation.

John just stood there, stunned, before he closed the door without a word.

Since Isaac was already naked Stiles let him have the first turn in the shower and went downstairs for some coffee.

A minute later he and his dad were sitting at the kitchen table, each with a steaming cup of coffee in front of them. The way his dad didn't really look at him, Stiles could tell that there was something on his mind. He probably wasn't over the shock of seeing Isaac's butt yet.

"Stiles." His father finally said. "Are you cheating on Derek?"

"I'm not …" Stiles started to protest but it died on his lips when he noticed the expression on his father's face. He tried to guard it but Stiles knew his father. And he knew the fear behind his eyes.

"No, Dad." Stiles assured him. "I'm not cheating on Derek. And I'm not the pack's bitch if that's what you're thinking."

Since Stiles had left with Derek his father had only one short visit to see for himself how Derek and the pack treated his son. Other than that he had only their conversations over the phone to rely on and they both knew that Stiles wasn't above lying to his own father if he thought that he needed to protect him from something.

"Derek is not Peter." Stiles reminded him. Since Laura had arrived his father had to face the nastier things Peter had done over the years again so it didn't come as a surprise that his dad jumped to the worst conclusion when he found his son with a naked man in his bed.

"I'm with Derek and I want to be with him." Stiles stated. "And he's very big on the consent thing."

Stiles wasn't sure if his father believed him but then the shower was shut off and now Isaac would be able to hear every word they said. Stiles didn't have a problem with that, privacy was a rather abstract concept in a werewolf pack, he had learned, but it was enough for his father to drop the topic.

After breakfast the sheriff drove them over to the hospital to visit Melissa. And later they would meet Laura for lunch.

Isaac came with them because as he pointed out Derek would kill him if he let Stiles wander around alone in Peter's territory. The tension between Isaac and John was palpable on the short ride over to the hospital but at least his father wasn't giving Isaac a hard time. One look at Isaac when he had come downstairs after his shower had been enough to melt away any suspicion John had towards the werewolf.

Stiles hadn't been here in months but he knew his way through the long-term care unit by heart. What was new were the looks and whispers he got from the few staff members they passed on the way. It reminded him of his early days at his school. The way Isaac's expression hardened and how he inched closer to Stiles, he noticed it too.

"Don't expect too much." John warned before he opened the door.

On some level Stiles had expected to find Melissa awake, maybe sitting up, and with a warm smile on her lips when she saw him.

He didn't expect her to be sleeping and to not even stir when they entered the room.

"Hey, Melissa." His father greeted her with a warm voice and without hesitation he was at her side, holding her hand. "You have visitors. Stiles is here with a friend."

Stiles thought that the heart-monitor picked up for a moment but he wasn't sure. There were still things attached to her, a stomach tube and a catheter, but she was breathing on her own.

"I heard somebody is waking up." Stiles tried to sound cheerful when he stepped over to the other side of the bed. She was thinner than he remembered and too pale with dark shadows under her eyes but she looked healthier than his mother did in her last days. At least there was that.

"She has been awake for a few minutes over the last few days." His dad said, his eyes shiny.

"That's awesome." Reluctantly Stiles took her other hand and gave it a little squeeze. She wasn't squeezing back but he didn't really expect her to.

However, she did respond to John when he started to talk to her. He didn't say anything important, just how the weather was, that Stiles and his friend were staying at his place for the weekend, things like that. The words came easy to him and Stiles wondered how often his father visited her. More often since Stiles had left, he was sure of that.

But once he had started talking, Melissa's heart-beat did speed up and her eyes started to move under her lids. At one point she even turned her head in the direction of John's voice. And for a second Stiles was sure that she would open her eyes. She didn't but when it was time to go and his father tried to let go of her hand which he had been holding the whole time, her fingers closed around his hand, refusing to let him go.

"Sorry, we have to go." He gently placed her hand back on the mattress. "But I'll be back in the afternoon."

When they left the hospital, Jackson and the twins were waiting for them in the parking lot.

Just seeing them standing there, Jackson in the middle, flanked by the twins, brought back memories. Stiles tried to keep his heart steady but his palms were sweaty and an icy rock settled deeper into his guts with every step.

"Never thought to see you again, Stilinski." Jackson said without even acknowledging the sheriff walking right next to him. "Derek's keeping you on a long leash."

Isaac let out a warning growl but Jackson didn't look impressed.

"Just visiting friends and family." Stiles told him. "I'm not here to deal with your pretty face." He would have loved to rearrange that face with a baseball bat, even just for the time it would take to heal, but even with Isaac at his side he didn't stand a chance against three werewolves, he knew that.

Sniffing the air Jackson stepped closer.

"Look at this." He yanked down the collar of Stiles' shirt, revealing the still dark bruise Derek had left there. "Properly marked."

Suddenly Isaac was between them, fangs and claws out.

"Don't touch him." He growled and Jackson actually backed off with his hands in the air.

"Wouldn't dream of touching an alpha's bitch." Jackson said with a smug grin.

"Okay, that's enough." His dad used his sheriff's voice and with his hands on his hips, close to where his gun usually was, he stepped between them. He wasn't in his uniform but he carried himself that way and in most cases that was enough.

"The sooner you get back to licking Derek's boots the better, Stilinski." Jackson said for good measure before he turned around and walked away followed by the twins.

"What a dick." Stiles said loud enough for him to hear, just because.

"Stiles?" His father asked and that haunted look in his eyes was back.

"It's not like that." Stiles assured him when Jackson was out of earshot. "I'm not … Derek is not …" For once he was at a loss for words.

"Stiles bites right back." Isaac spoke up and for a moment the mischievous glint in his eyes was back. "They both have a biting kink."

"How would you know?" Stiles hurried to catch up with his beta who was already half-way across the parking lot. "And you don't say stuff like that in front of my dad. Isaac!"

Shaking his head, his dad followed them.

They met Laura and the two betas she had with her, Ellen and Stephen, for lunch.

"Peter invited me over for dinner today." Laura told them once she was done hugging and nuzzling Stiles and Isaac.

"Is that a good sign?" Stiles asked.

"It's a start." Laura shrugged. "I expect him to tell me to mind my own business, to be honest."

"Are you expecting trouble?" His dad asked with a look at Ellen and Stephen.

When Derek had visited Peter, he had been alone. But his pack was smaller than Laura's, it wasn't as easy for him to take somebody with him.

"Pack politics." She shrugged. "I need to make clear that I'm not here to beg and that I'm not afraid of him."

And a bodyguard or two never hurt, Stiles had to admit.

"I'll call you tomorrow. We should meet up again and discuss what to do next." She said and then hugged them before they parted.

The next morning they were back at the hospital and this time Melissa actually opened her eyes when they entered the room. Her face lit up when she recognized her visitors.

John was at her side in a heart-beat and she turned her head to not let him out of her sight. She tried to speak but couldn't quite bring out the words and way too soon her eyes started to drop.

"She needs time." The doctor said but patience had never been Stiles strong suit. And today he was more nervous than usual because they still hadn't heard from Laura. He was close to calling her himself, when his dad's phone rang.

"The station." He said and stepped outside to take the call. When he came back in, his face was ashen. "I have to go, they found a body in the woods."

 

Chapter Text

"It's about Laura." Stiles said in a choked voice and after that Derek kind of blanked out. On some level he realized that Stiles was telling him about the body the department had found in the woods and that it was most likely Laura's but it wasn't yet official. Ellen and Stephen who had been with her were missing and Stiles had no idea what to do.

Derek managed to tell him to get out of Beacon Hills as quickly as possible but that was all he could come up with at the moment. Then he just sat there and stared at the phone in his hand.

He wanted to call Laura, just to hear her voice and for her to tell him how silly he was for believing for a second that she was dead. But he feared that it would go to voicemail. So he just sat there, his mind numb, and didn't know what to do.

Maria found him like this.

"Laura, my sister." The words sliced through his throat like shards of glass. "Stiles thinks she's dead."

Stiles could be wrong, he was clinging to that thought. Stiles would never have told him if he wasn't sure but it was the one thing Derek could think of right now. Stiles could be wrong. This was all a big misunderstanding, Laura was fine. She had to be.

"Oh, dear." Maria hovered next to him not sure if she should touch him or not and he just slumped into her open arms.

Derek didn't know how he ended up on a plane, Maria had arranged the flight and had driven him to the airport.

The flight was torture. Derek was forced to sit still, to breathe the stall air and listen to the noises of the people around. He felt crowded and trapped and he just wanted to lash out on something. The only reason he didn't slice up the guy sitting next to him when his elbow hit him once again was because he wouldn't get to Stiles and Laura any time soon if he got detained.

So Derek grit his teeth and white-knuckled his way through the flight. He may have shredded the upholstery of one of the armrests but nobody seemed to notice and he left the plane as one of the first. People seemed to sense the barely contained alpha pushing past them and let him through without much trouble.

When he finally left the airport, he checked his phone for any updates.

Stiles had left a message, telling him that Ellen and Stephen had shown up, which was a relief. A second message confirmed that the body had been Laura's.

Derek tried to call back but Stiles didn't answer.

"Call me!" He barked into the phone before he went to organize a car for himself. He needed to get to Beacon Hills, now, but his own car was at the wrong airport. The clerk at the rentals seemed to have at least a little sense of self-preservation and a few minutes later Derek was on the road.

He broke every speed limit on his way but for once he was lucky and no cop pulled him over.

An endless loop of "she's dead, she's dead, she's dead" played in his head while he tasted smoke in the back of his throat. It was just like then. He and Laura hadn't been home and when they had gotten the message of the fire they had hurried back. Derek had smelled the smoke long before they had reached the house. Now he wished Peter had burned with them.

"I'm going to kill you." Derek promised his uncle through his fangs. In his mind there was no doubt about who had killed Laura. She had been in Beacon Hills, she had met up with Peter and now she was dead. It didn't take a genius to connect the dots here.

Derek only hoped that Stiles was safe. When he had left the messages earlier he hadn't said anything about leaving Beacon Hills and somehow Derek doubted that his mate had taken his advice and got to safety.

When he reached Beacon Hills Derek drove straight to the Stilinskis' house and brought the rented car to a skittering halt in the empty driveway. Stiles' jeep wasn't there and neither was the Sheriff's cruiser.

He could tell that Stiles and Isaac weren't anywhere near by, the bonds in his mind still stretched too thin by distance, but he got out of the car to confirm that there were no heart-beats coming from the house anyway. Stephen and Ellen had been here, their scent still lingered in the air, and there were some bloodstains but there was nobody here now.

Derek went back to his car and drove to the sheriff's station. If he didn't find answers there, Peter's mansion would be his next stop but that was borderline suicidal and he wasn't there just yet.

The station was way less crowded than he would have expected after a murder in a little town like this but he wasn't really surprised either. There were members of Peter's pack working here and he doubted they wanted to investigate against their own alpha. Plus, it was an open secret that Peter had half the department on his payroll and they were probably not keen on doing their job right now either.

However, among a few others the sheriff was actually working. The deputy behind the front desk had one look at Derek before she gestured for him to just go through to the sheriff's office.

"John, what happened?" Derek asked before he was even through the door. "Where's Laura? Stiles?" He hadn't heard from Isaac either but he hoped that once he knew where Stiles was, the rest would sort itself out.

"Derek." John looked tired but not really surprised to see him. "Did Stiles call you?"

"What's with Laura? Is she …?" He couldn't bring himself to say it. As long as he didn't say it, it wasn't true.

"I'm sorry." John came around the desk and a second later Derek found himself in his strong arms. "She's dead."

John wasn't pack, not exactly, but at the moment he was all Derek had and he let the other man guide him over to a chair.

"We're still investigating." John explained, taking the chair next to him without ever losing contact with him. His hand on Derek's shoulder was the only thing grounding him. "But Peter claims that she challenged him."

"She would never …" Derek shook his head. "That would have been insane."

"That's why we're still investigating." John said but they both knew that even if they could prove that Peter had right up murdered her, it wouldn't change anything.

"Her pack. He's going to …" This couldn't be happening.

"Peter already claimed her territory." John said gently. "And he gave her pack an ultimatum of two days to either join his pack or leave his territory."

"I have to …" Derek was half out of his chair before John cut him off.

"Stiles already offered refuge in your territory. He said that they could join your pack or stay until they've found other options." John said it in a calm voice that came from lots of experience of dealing with traumatized victims and Derek kind of hated him for that. He wasn't the victim here. On the other hand, it did help to calm his mind.

"Where are they now?" He asked. "Stiles and Isaac, I mean."

"They went with Ellen and Stephen." John answered quietly. "They want to help Laura's pack to get to your territory."

There was nobody left in Beacon Hills. It was a relief to know that at least Stiles and the betas were safe but on the other hand, Derek was suddenly very aware of the fact that he was all alone in Peter's territory. And he had already murdered his own niece.

"I hope that's okay with you?" John ducked his head to look him in the eye. "Stiles just made the decision."

"Yeah, yeah, it's fine." Derek cleared his throat. "They have been my pack before I became an alpha. Of course I'll take them in." He would have done the same thing for complete strangers and Stiles probably knew that.

"I should …" He started but didn't know what he should do now. Leave Peter's territory, that was a given, but after that? His instincts were pulling him in two directions. One back home to his territory, to his pack, at least Boyd and Erica should be there, where he could prepare everything for the arrival of Laura's pack. His betas probably didn't even know what happened yet.

On the other hand he really wanted to see his mate. And to a lesser degree Isaac, he was his first beta after all and their bond had been somewhat special from the very beginning.

But there was one thing he needed to do before he left Beacon Hills. And that wasn't killing Peter no matter how much he wanted to do just that. He was alone and Peter had a strong pack backing him up.

"I want to see Laura." Decision made he locked eyes with John, daring him to deny him seeing his sister.

"Of course."

The sheriff led the way deeper into the building.

Derek had been here once a long time ago to see his dead family. It hadn't been necessary but Derek had known that it had been his fault so the least thing he could do was to look into their burned faces. It probably hadn't been healthy and for sure it had caused endless nightmares but Derek had felt the need to punish himself for what he'd done.

Laura wasn't his fault, he knew that, and what expected him under the white sheet on the steel table was far from what the rest of his family had looked like but he needed to see for himself. Only then he would be able to accept that she was truly gone.

The sheriff pulled the table out of its vault and gently lifted the sheet off her face. He left the rest of her body covered and then stepped aside to give Derek a moment with his sister.

She was pale.

She looked almost peaceful.

Peter had ripped her throat out but with the blood washed off it looked almost fake.

Reluctantly Derek put his hand over her heart but he didn't hear or feel anything. Her heart wasn't beating anymore. She was dead.

With his other hand he stroke her hair and then he brought their foreheads together. His tears fell freely on her cold skin.

"I'll take care of your pack." He promised, choking on tears. "And I will make Peter pay."

Hugging her close Derek threw back his head and howled out his pain.

"Derek, you have to let her go." A voice pierced through the fog in his mind and only with a delay he realized that there were hands on him.

Derek let go of her body and could only watch when the sheriff arranged her on the table again before he covered her back up.

The steel door closed with a thud, making it final. Laura was dead.

The sheriff eyed him as if he wanted to ask if Derek was okay, which he clearly wasn't, but he didn't ask.

He just led him out of the morgue and got him a bottle of water from a vending machine.

"I can keep her here for a few days." John said. "If you want her buried with your family, I can arrange that."

"I have to talk to her pack about that." Derek said, his throat raw. He opened the water bottle.

Sipping his water Derek still didn't know what to do next. He should go back to his territory but he really wanted to be with his mate right now. He put the decision off until he was on the road. The sheriff clearly didn't like the idea of him driving in his condition but he didn't hold him back either.

He needed to get out of Peter's territory.

Derek had just left the welcome sign of Beacon Hills in his rear-view mirror, when his phone rang.

Stiles didn't even bother with a greeting, he just blurted out: "The house is burning."

 

Chapter Text

"I have to go, they found a body in the woods." His dad said and then he was gone before Stiles could even comprehend that statement.

For a moment there was stunned silence in the hospital room, Melissa lying quietly between them, and over her bed Stiles and Isaac shared a glance.

"You think ..." Isaac started but didn't dare to finish the question.

"I'm calling Laura." Stiles had his phone out and was dialing her number and then he was listening to one unanswered ring after the other. Eventually it went to voicemail, a cheerful Laura telling him to leave a message.

"Laura, it's Stiles." He said. "Call me."

Dread settled in his stomach but he didn't know what to do. Across the bed he saw the same emotions flashing over Isaac's face.

"Maybe just a hiker." Stiles said but didn't believe it for a second. Nobody hiked in these woods.

Isaac nodded as if he believed him anyway.

Melissa had become more restless over the last few minutes and Stiles should probably stay with her in case she woke up but he couldn't just sit here and wait.

"Let's go home." He grabbed his things. "If they are in trouble they might come there."

Wordless Isaac followed him out of the room and if the beta was hovering closer than necessary, neither of them commented on it.

The Stilinski house was empty but Stiles hadn't expected his dad to be there anyway.

However, a little part of him had hoped to find Laura and her betas here.

"Should we call somebody?" Isaac asked, standing awkwardly in the living room.

"Who?" Stiles shot back, pacing up and down. "And tell them what? We don't know what happened out there."

The only thing they knew for certain was that Laura had met Peter and now there was a body in the woods.

He was about to say screw it and to go out there to have a look for himself, when his phone rang.

"Dad?" He asked, clutching the phone to his ear.

"Stiles." He sounded tired. "We found a female body." He paused and Stiles knew what he would say next. He wouldn't have called if it was anybody else. "We don't have official confirmation yet but it's Laura."

"That can't ... it can't be her." He tried to deny it but deep down he had known since she hadn't answered her phone.

"I'm sorry, Stiles." His dad said. "Have you heard from Stephen or Ellen? They were with her when …" When Laura went to have dinner with Peter.

"No." Stiles shook his head.

"Are you at our house?"

"Yeah, me and Isaac." He glanced over to the werewolf who heard every word his father said.

"Good, stay there." He ordered and before Stiles could even form a protest he added: "I don't know what Peter will do, please Stiles, stay safe."

Stiles got it. So far Peter had killed Scott and was responsible for Melissa's coma. He had almost killed Stiles and would have claimed him if Derek hadn't intervened.

His dad couldn't lose more people and he couldn't do his job if he was worried about Stiles, he go that.

"We'll stay here." He promised. "Besides, maybe Stephen and Ellen show up here."

They promised to keep each other posted and then they ended the call.

A second later Isaac was behind him, his strong arms around him and his nose buried in Stiles' neck. Stiles leaned into him and just wished that Derek was there.

Derek.

"I have to call Derek." He said but for a long moment he didn't move to get his phone back out.

"What are you going to tell him?" Isaac asked.

"Hell if I know." Stiles let out a sigh.

In the end he did call Derek but he wasn't sure if his mate registered anything of what he said after he had told him that his sister was dead. For sure he didn't know what to do either.

After the call Stiles pondered his options. He should just sit tight and wait but that wasn't in his nature.

"Fuck it." He turned on his heel and indicated Isaac to follow him.

"Where are we going?"

"We need to find Stephen and Ellen. Would you recognize their scent?"

"Yes."

Armed with only his trusty baseball bat, at least Isaac didn't comment on how useless that would be against a werewolf, they left the house. The plan was simple. Drive out to the preserve, find Stephen and Ellen and don't run into Peter or one of his pack members.

However, they didn't even made it to his jeep before Isaac jumped in front of him, claws out and a deep growl in his throat.

Stiles didn't know who was attacking them so he just grabbed the bat tighter and tried to stay between his beta and the jeep.

A figure stumbled around the corner of the house.

"Ellen." Stiles recognized her and shouldered his way past Isaac who was still on high alert. "Shit, Ellen." He fell to his knees next to her, taking in the blood and dirt, she looked like she had fought with a bear and lost. Or with an alpha werewolf. And his pack.

There were more noises coming from around the corner. Stiles didn't even need to tell Isaac to investigate, the beta ran by him, still wolfed out and ready to take on every threat coming their way.

"It's Stephen." He said a second later.

"Let's get them inside." Stiles' eyes darted around, expecting an attack any second now. "Ellen, can you walk?"

Isaac basically carried Stephen inside but Stiles wasn't strong enough, he needed Ellen to at least help a little bit.

"C'mon, just a few steps." He tried to encourage her but he had to more or less drag her the short distance back to the house.

When the door fell shut behind them, Stiles breathed in relief. Not that a door would be a problem for a werewolf but for now he felt safe.

"The couch." He ordered, adjusting his grip on Ellen's arm over his shoulder. A minute later Stephen and Ellen were sitting on said couch, both slumped in on themselves and not really there. But at least they weren't bleeding any longer and so far Stiles hadn't seen anything a werewolf couldn't heal from given a little time. If they had the time, though, he didn't know.

"What happened?" He crouched in front of Ellen, she seemed to be more aware than Stephen.

"Peter." She brought out with gritted teeth. "He ripped her throat out."

"Didn't even warn her." Stephen spoke up. "He just fucking walked up to her and ripped her throat out."

"We know." Stiles said. "They found her body. I'm sorry."

They just nodded, heads hanging. Stiles didn't even want to know what it felt like to lose his alpha. Losing the connection to Derek by distance was bad enough but actually losing the bond? He didn't dare to think about that.

"Here." Isaac came back into the room. Stiles hadn't even noticed that he had left. He had a bowl of steaming water in his hands and washcloths and towels under his arm. "You should clean up a little."

Mechanically they washed their hands and faces.

"What happened to you?" Stiles asked.

"After Peter …" Ellen cleared her throat. "After, he told his pack to teach us a lesson."

Stiles knew first hand what that kind of lesson looked like, they were lucky to be alive.

"He took over Laura's territory." Stephen said with his eyes fixed on the washcloth in his hands. "He gave us two days to either leave his territory or join him." It was clear in his voice what he thought about joining Peter.

"We bring the pack over to our territory." Stiles offered without even thinking about it. It was the obvious thing to do. "You can join my pack or stay until you've figured out what you want to do."

Isaac threw him a glance at "my pack" but Stiles couldn't tell if it was an approving one or not. At the moment he didn't care.

It might be harsh but Stiles didn't want Ellen and Stephen to idle long enough to comprehend that their alpha was gone so he kept them buys with making phone calls while he and Isaac packed their things and brought their bags out to the jeep.

Isaac stayed alert but so far it looked like Peter's pack was leaving them alone.

Stiles gave his dad a quick update and told him that he and Isaac would leave with Stephen and Ellen. His father didn't even try to hide how relieved he was that Stiles was leaving Beacon Hills.

A minute later Stiles had two traumatized werewolves in the backseat, a vigilant one next to him and in his mind he was already planning the logistics of uprooting a whole pack. The loft was big enough, most of them could squat there, and they had the betas' places. At least until they had figured out a more permanent solution.

He was so distracted that he almost ran over Lydia when he left his driveway.

Hands on the hood she glared at him and for a moment he could just stare at her in disbelief. She was the last person he had expected to see.

Fangs and claws out Isaac was already half out of the car but Stiles grabbed him by the collar of his shirt to hold him back but he still tried to shake him off.

"Isaac, no!" Stiles barked and his beta went still. But he kept his fangs out.

Ignoring the hostile werewolf Lydia made her way over to the driver's side.

"I hear fire." She said, her eyes wide. "And a pack screaming. Stiles, you don't have much time."

"Lydia, what?" He didn't know what to make out of that but one look at her face told him that she was dead serious.

"You have to hurry." Her gaze went distant as if she was listening to something only she could hear. "He's going to do something really bad."

Stiles didn't know what to make out of her warning but one thing he knew for certain. Peter would kill her the second he found out that she had warned them. He couldn't let that happen, not to Lydia.

They were in the middle of a fucking pack war.

"Lydia." He tried to get her attention. "How are you bonded into the pack? Did he claim you?" If Peter had claimed her, he couldn't do a damn thing for her.

"No, no he didn't claim me." She shook her head, a haunted expression on her face. "He tried but no. I'm not even Jackson's mate, no matter what he likes to say."

"Get in." Stiles ordered. If she really was only pack by association, she could just leave. And no way was he letting her go back and get killed.

To his surprise she climbed in the back of the jeep.

"Thank you." She said and didn't look back when they left Beacon Hills.

The ride was surreal.

Ellen was on the phone most of the time, arranging everything for a quick retreat to Derek's territory. After Lydia's warning they didn't trust Peter to actually give them two full days.

Isaac called Boyd to tell him the news. He and Erica would prepare everything for the arrival of Laura's pack.

Lydia and Stephen didn't speak much, both looking out of the window, too shell-shocked to actually comprehend what was happening. Or in Lydia's case, listening to something nobody else could hear.

Stiles probably should call Derek and tell him that they were leaving Beacon Hills but his jacket with his phone had ended up somewhere in the back of the jeep and he decided to call him once they were at Laura's. Which wasn't Laura's anymore but he didn't want to think about that.

They made it in record time.

Stiles followed Ellen's instructions towards the house when suddenly Isaac sniffed the air.

"Do I smell smoke?"

 

Chapter Text

"He house is burning."

With that the decision was made. Derek pointed the car towards Laura's territory and put his foot down.

It was getting late and there wasn't much traffic on the streets and Derek just hoped that his luck with the police would hold for a little while longer, he wasn't in the mood for getting pulled over.

In his mind he was a teenager again, running up to the ruins of his house. He could almost smell the smoke and taste the ash in the back of his throat. He opened the windows but that didn't really help with the phantoms of his past.

Laura's pack would never join Peter, he had to know that so Peter had decided to wipe out the whole pack. There was no other explanation. However, why he had chosen fire was beyond Derek. Derek still had nightmares of the fire sometimes and he hadn't even been there. Peter had been in the house. He had been in a coma afterwards because his body couldn't deal with the agony caused by his injuries. Peter should be the last person to use fire as a weapon. But it looked like he had done just that.

Derek was half-way there, when his phone rang.

"Stiles." He barked. "What's going on?" Earlier Stiles hadn't been able to tell him much. All the children had gotten out, thank God for small mercies, but some of the adults had still been missing. It had been chaos.

"They pulled Mark out." Stiles said. "He's on his way to the hospital. It doesn't look good. Same for Loreen."

For a moment Derek couldn't speak. It was the fire all over again.

"But the others are a alive?" He asked when Stiles didn't continue.

"No." Stiles suddenly sounded tired. "They found three bodies so far. Two are still missing. They can't … they don't know who they are."

There was a cracking noise right next to his ear and Derek had to restrain himself to not just crush his phone.

Derek had seen the burned corpses of his family, he knew that it was impossible to determine who was who just by sight. That the same thing had happened to Laura's pack, he wasn't ready to accept that. Somewhere in the back of his mind he was convinced that this was just a horrible nightmare. That memories of his past had mixed with his fear for Laura and had come up with this scenario.

"Where are you?" Derek asked but in the background he heard people shouting and the sound of water so he was pretty sure he knew where Stiles was.

"Still at the house." Stiles confirmed his suspicion. "With Stephen and Lydia. Isaac went with the others to the hospital. They want to check the humans for smoke inhalation and treat their burns."

Derek didn't know who Lydia was but this was not the time to ask.

"How are you holding up?" Derek asked.

"I'm not the one who's lost his alpha and half his pack in less than a day." Stiles shot back but Derek knew that it wasn't him Stiles was angry with.

"I'll be there soon." Derek promised and pushed the car just a little bit farther. It wasn't his Camaro so it didn't mean much.

"Check in with the hospital first. Most of the pack will be there."

Derek would like to see his mate first but before he could voice his opinion, Stiles added: "They need an alpha now."

Derek knew how it felt to lose his alpha and most of his pack so he didn't argue.

It was after midnight when he arrived at the hospital. Visiting hours were long over, but nobody tried to make him leave when he asked his way through almost empty corridors until he reached the pediatric station where most of Laura's pack was at. Three of the kids were human and the doctors wanted to keep them over night. The nurse he had spoken to had assured him that it was just a measure of precaution and her heart had been steady enough that he believed her. She didn't know much about Mark and Loreen, though.

By now Stiles and Isaac were bright beacons in his mind again and that helped Derek to calm down, at least a bit.

When he rounded the corner he almost ran into Isaac who had him in a crushing hug a second later. Derek held him close and for a moment they just breathed in each other's scent, Isaac's was almost lost in the smell of smoke.

When Derek was finally ready to face Laura's pack, he took a double-take when he only saw Ellen sitting on the couch in the small visitor's area behind Isaac. She had baby Stacy in her arms and puppy Jeremy in her lap but there was nobody else.

"Derek." She looked up at him, her eyes rimmed red and streaks of tears on her face, but she didn't move to not wake the sleeping children.

"Megan, Gina and the twins are sleeping in their room." Isaac filled him in and pointed at a door. When Derek strained his ears, he could hear four heart-beats coming from that direction.

"Even Becky?" She was a werewolf, she shouldn't be in the hospital.

"She didn't want to leave her brother." Ellen explained. "And after what happened today, nobody tried to separate them. She's in her fur and sleeping in Benny's bed."

Derek could hear the relief in her voice that the kids where sleeping.

"Megan and Gina have a bed in there, too." Isaac added.

Derek doubted that the room usually had three beds but he was glad that nobody had to be alone right now.

"Where's Charles?" Derek asked. "Stiles said he would be here, too."

"He's with Loreen." Ellen answered. "It's not looking good for her and he wants to be there."

He was her father, of course he wanted to be with her.

"I should check on them." Derek decided. "And on Mark. Are you good for now?"

Isaac nodded but Ellen motioned him to wait. Gently she transferred Jeremy from her lap to the couch, the puppy didn't even stir, and handed the sleeping Stacy over to Isaac how held her awkwardly.

"Alpha Derek Hale." She addressed him formally, standing in front of him. Derek knew what she was about to say but she had to actually say it so he just waited for her to continue. "Will you accept me and my children in your pack?"

"Yes." He answered. "I accept you and your family in my pack." Her husband was still missing but he was welcomed as well, he wanted her to know that. "But there is no need to hurry."

"I need an alpha." She said, shaking.

Without another word Derek took her in his arms and she bared her throat for him. His fangs dug into her flesh effortlessly but she didn't flinch, just sagged farther into him.

A new connection flared up in his mind and he could tell by the expression on Isaac's face that he felt it as well.

"Do you want me to bind Becky to me now or shall we let her sleep until tomorrow?" He asked and licked of the blood from her already healing skin. Benny would become pack by association but his sister was a werewolf and Derek needed to bind her to him properly.

"I think that has time until tomorrow." She dragged her nose over his throat, taking in his scent.

"Isaac will stay with you." Reluctantly he let go of her. "I want to check on Mark and Loreen."

She was a new member in his pack and they both just wanted to stay close and let the bond set in but there were other people Derek had to look after now, too.

He brought his and Ellen's forehead together, his hand on the nape of his beta, holding her close.

"I'll be back soon." He promised and then he turned around and went to look for the rest of Laura's pack.

He found Charles standing in the hallway peering in to of one of the rooms a floor below the pediatric station. He was wearing scrubs but he was still smelling of smoke. White dressing patched up what had to be a nasty burn on his bald head and he had lost his glasses somewhere.

When Derek stepped up to him, he didn't turn his head.

"They won't let me in." He said. "They don't want her to catch an infection."

Over his shoulder Derek peered into the room. Lots of white and plastic and in the middle a burned mess that once had been Loreen.

"What do the doctors say?" Derek asked.

"That we have to wait and see. But her chances aren't good." Charles' voice broke. "One even said it would be better for them if they died." He tried to spat the words out but there was no heat behind it. He looked dead on his feet and he should probably be in a bed himself instead of standing here in the middle of the night.

"Did the doctors have a look at you, too?" Derek asked and hoped that they had a real look at him and didn't just patch up the obvious burn on his head.

"I didn't inhale that much smoke." Charles said. "I was the first one out with Gina and Jeremy once they had cleared the barricades from the outside." He paused and now he turned his head to look at Derek.

"They blocked the doors and used mountain ash, I don't know how they managed to trap us like that. We were all suddenly omegas, even we humans felt it. Nobody understood what was happening, the kids were all crying while the adults tried to keep it together enough to make it out of the territory. They got us when we were the most vulnerable. If your pack had been there just a few minutes later …" He didn't need to finish the sentence, Derek knew the outcome of that.

"They still couldn't save everyone."

"They got the children out."

For a moment they just looked through the window where Loreen was lying motionless in her bed.

"They put her in a coma." Charles said. "Both of them, they wouldn't be able to stand the pain otherwise." He nodded over to another door.

That sounded familiar but Derek didn't want to think of Peter right now. Not as a victim. He didn't want to remember Peter lying in a coma like this.

"Did she ever say something about taking the bite?" Derek asked.

Now he had Charles' full attention.

"She did. We all did." His eyes were narrowed on Derek as if he wasn't sure if he could trust the offer. "This qualifies."

"And Mark?"

"It's the same for him."

Decision made Derek reached for the door.

He made it two steps into the room before a nurse came running, demanding to know what the fuck he was doing.

"I'm here to help." He flashed his red eyes at her.

Of course she didn't just let him bite her patient. A minute later he was talking to two doctors and if it hadn't been the middle of the night he would have been talking to at least one person from the legal department as well.

In the end the doctors had to admit that it wasn't likely that one of the patients would survive the night. They were running out of time and their best chances were the bite, there was no discussion about that.

Charles backed up the idea and eventually they took his word that it was the wish of both patients to take the bite.

Derek felt the eyes of the two doctors, the nurse and Charles on him when he entered the room again. The air smelled sterile and antiseptic but it wasn't enough to cover up the smell of burned flesh.

Pushing back the memories Derek approached the bed.

"Hello, Loreen." He said, his voice hoarse. Even if she was awake she wouldn't be able to answer because of the tube down her throat. Her airways were burned as well.

"Did it work?" Charles asked once Derek was back in the hallway.

"The bite doesn't always take." Derek reminded him. "We'll know soon."

Then he went to take care of Mark.

 

Chapter Text

Lydia screamed.

High pitched and wailing and Stiles almost drove the jeep off the road. The three werewolves in the car slammed their hands over their ears, clearly in pain, but the scream went on and on and on.

When it finally stopped, the silence was deafening.

"They're burning." Lydia whispered. Her eyes were wide and unseeing, gaze turned towards where the orange glow of a large fire colored the sky.

Stiles just nodded and put his foot down. He had been to young to remember much of the Hale Fire but if you grew up in Beacon Hills, especially as the nosy son of the sheriff, you knew about it. Stiles had seen pictures of the burned down house.

Derek can't go through this again, was echoing through his mind. But the house was burning, there was no doubt about that.

"I need to call Derek." Stiles snatched Isaac's phone. They needed Derek here as fast as possible. They needed an alpha. He didn't have much time to explain because he was still speeding down the road but it was enough to tell Derek where he was needed.

Stiles took the last turn and brought the jeep to a halt. The car hadn't fully stopped but the werewolves were already out and running towards the farm house. Stiles and Lydia followed as quickly as humanly possible.

The doors were blocked and there was mountain ash, too. Stiles ran for the ash.

Everything after that was a blur of fire and smoke.

For a moment Stiles thought they were too late, that history had repeated itself and the whole pack had burned to death in their own house. But then a figure stumbled out, clutching two small bodies to his chest. The old man with Gina and Jeremy, Stiles realized when he grabbed the man's arm and led him to safety.

Then all hell broke lose. Out of nowhere came firetrucks and police cars and a paramedic insisted to at least have a look at Stiles' hands. He tried to protest that they should take care of the others first but there were more ambulances, one was already driving off with the lights flashing, and Stiles realized that they were already taking care of the others. He saw Megan sitting in the back of one of the ambulance cars with the twins wedged to her sides and Gina in her lap. With all the dirt and grime all over them Stiles wasn't sure but he thought that there was a small bundle of fur in her lap as well. Ellen stood next to them, a screaming but uninjured baby Stacy in her arms. The kids had made it out alive. Their eyes were too big and they looked haunted but they were alive.

Stiles did let the man take care of his hands, now he noticed how raw and blistered they were, but he refused a trip to the hospital.

There were still some pack members missing.

With Laura's death all the bonds had vanished. From one second to the next the whole pack had become a bunch of omegas. So Stephen couldn't tell, if the missing pack members were still alive. He still stood as close to the still smoldering ruin of the house as the firefighters would let him in hope to hear a heart-beat indicating that somebody was still alive in there.

Stiles doubted he could hear his own heart-beat over the firefighters, the sound of the water and the cracking of wood but he let him be.

They were carrying out bodies now.

"This one's alive." Somebody yelled and immediately everybody went into action. Stiles got a short glimpse on the thing they pulled out of the house. It was black and charred beyond recognition. Stiles was pretty sure there was fabric melted into the raw flesh but he averted his eyes before he could get a better look.

"That's Mark." Ellen said. Stiles had no idea how she could tell.

She was rocking Stacy in her arms but the screaming had calmed down to hiccups. Stiles hoped she would fall asleep soon. The ambulance with Megan and the other kids had taken off a minute ago.

"Why didn't you ride with your children?" Stiles wondered. Her husband was still missing but the twins were on their way to the hospital.

"There wasn't enough room." She said. "I was about to follow the ambulance but ..." She gestured towards the side where some of the pack's cars were parked. They were covered with ash and littered with little bits of debris.

"Isaac will drive you." Stiles decided. Ellen was in no condition to drive. She was holding it together for now but driving was out of question.

"Take the jeep." Stiles handed the keys to Isaac and to Ellen he said: "I'll inform you if …" He couldn't bring himself to end the sentence.

He watched them leave and then he went to find out more about Mark's condition. Just like with Loreen earlier they couldn't tell him much but the look on their faces told him more than enough.

Stepping to the side, where it was a little less hectic, Stiles called Derek to update him and to send him towards the hospital. As much as Stiles wanted Derek right at his side, he was needed there more than here.

With that out of the way and nothing else to do, he returned to Lydia who still stood where he had left her.

"Derek is on his way." He said. "How are you holding up?"

"I'm fine." She said too quickly and in a too high voice. Maybe to distract herself from the death and destruction all around her, she turned to have a look at Stiles.

"You know." She tilted her head in a way that was so Lydia he couldn't help but give her a watery smile. "When I heard that …" She paused and started anew. "Jackson was bragging about how they beat you up and how Peter wanted to claim you. When I heard that Derek did it instead, I thought that I would never see you again. I thought …"

Stiles knew exactly what she had thought. He had thought the same but being part of Peter's pack she had a front row seat to how he treated his claimed humans.

"Believe me, Peter is a real bad role model." Stiles said grimly.

"I get that but I saw you with Isaac, I saw you taking the lead here." She gestured over to the house where Stephan was still standing alone by himself.

I should check on him in a moment, Stiles decided.

"They don't treat you like a claimed human." She continued. "And you don't act like one either."

Her gaze was fixed on him as if he was a puzzle she intended to solve.

"First of all, claimed humans have the same status as the other pack members, humans and werewolves, they're just bonded more tightly to the alpha." Stiles understood that now. A pack member was a pack member no matter how they had ended up in the pack. And for sure it didn't matter if you were human or wolf.

She raised her eyebrow at him, clearly not believing a word he was saying.

"And second." He let out a sigh. "I have a different status in the pack now. I'm the alpha's mate."

"You're what?" Her voice climbed an octave while she tried to hiss at him. "That's what he's telling you? Stiles, you should know better than anyone, you can't trust them."

If that's true, why are you even here?, Stiles wondered but didn't asked the question.

"Jackson likes to pretend that we're mates. But we're not. And even when Peter …" She looked away. "There is no such thing as mates. It's all just bullshit to keep us on a tight leash."

Perking up Stiles had a closer look at her. She was hugging herself as if she would fall apart if she didn't physically pulled herself together and she was avoiding his eyes.

"Lydia?" He ducked his head to have a look at her face. "What did Peter do?"

For a long moment it looked as if she wouldn't answer.

"He tried to make me his mate." She finally said. "He tried to claim me and he tried to bite me. Nothing worked."

Stiles sucked in a breath. That was what had happened when she had been wandering around the woods naked. Stiles didn't know why nothing of that had worked, and he really didn't want to think about Peter trying to claim Lydia, that was something to think about later. Now he just stepped closer and drew her into a hug.

After a second she sagged more into him and then the tears started to fall.

"You got out." He said into her hair. She had risked everything to help them and it was only thanks to her that they had made it here in time to at least save the children. "You're safe with us. I won't let anything happen to you."

He had wanted Peter dead before but now he wanted to rip out his organs one by one and fill up the cavity with wolfsbane. Then he would sew his stomach back together with mistletoe and a big ass needle made of mountain ash. He would cut off his dick and made Peter eat it, just for good measure. And then he would sit back and watch him slowly die.

They stood like that until Stephen finally gave up his position at the house and came back to them.

"Where are the others?" He asked while Stiles and Lydia let go of each other. She wiped the tears off with the back of her hand which only smeared the grime on her face.

"At the hospital." Stiles answered but then he got distracted by a faint blip in the back of his mind. For too long there had only been the bright beacon of Isaac in his head and way too many loose ends but now one of the ends had connected again.

"Derek's coming." He said with a nod.

"Is he coming here?" The way Stephen perked up at the mention of the alpha was all wolf and it showed just how much the other man was caving an alpha. The whole pack did, especially after so many casualties. Which sounded way too clinical for the death of half a pack.

"I told him to go to the hospital." That was where Stiles wanted to be as well, with Derek and Isaac.

One of the officers offered them a ride to the hospital, he wanted to check in with the other pack members anyway and maybe get a statement from them. He didn't say the last part but Stiles knew how this worked. Get the statement as early as possible, while the memory is still fresh. He knew how it worked but he didn't have to like it when the victims were his pack members. Laura's pack wasn't technically his but Derek had been part of that pack before and Stiles had a feeling that most of them would join Derek rather sooner than later.

That thought was confirmed a minute later when suddenly a new connection formed in the back of Stiles' mind. Derek had accepted a new beta. Most likely Ellen, she would need an alpha the most to keep it together for her children. If it was her, Becky would follow soon.

Miranda was still missing so she couldn't decide for Jeremy. And if Stacy was a werewolf or not Stiles still didn't know but he guessed that he would find out soon.

When they arrived at the hospital two more bonds flickered up in Stiles' mind but they were weak, barely there, and they felt different than the bond to one of the betas. They felt like they were about to slip back into nothingness any second now. Stiles didn't know what to make out of those.

"I have to see Megan." Stephen didn't look back when he hurried off to find his daughter.

Lydia followed Stiles when he went to search for his mate.

 

Chapter Text

The second Derek left Loreen's room Charles rushed in to sit at his daughter's side. At least now he could do that. They didn't need to worry about infection or anything like that any longer. The bite would take or not.

The doctors were fussing over her anyway. But that also meant that nobody was hovering in the background when Derek went over to their second patient.

He found Mark in the same condition as Loreen, a sterile room with the antiseptic smell not completely covering up the stench of charred flesh. He was also in a coma and had a tube down his throat. And he was hooked up to a machine monitoring this oxygen level, his heart rate and probably a lot of other stuff. The whooshing of the air forced into his lungs and the constant beeping indicating that his heart was still beating were the only sounds in the room.

"Hey." Derek said around the lump in his throat. He could already fell Loreen in the back of his mind but there was no guarantee that the bite would take. They were both weakened but Mark's parents had been werewolves while Loreen had married into the pack. If that made a difference, Derek didn't know. All he could do was try and hope.

"I know you would rather have Laura here to do this …" He swallowed thickly.

Gently he pulled away the light fabric to bare Mark's throat. With Loreen he had done it quickly without thinking too much about it because of the audience. Here they were alone and Derek made the mistake to think about what he was about to do.

Mark wanted this and the doctors didn't have much hope for him to survive the night but still Derek hesitated.

"You don't have to stay in my pack if you don't want to." He said despite the fact that Mark couldn't hear him. "I just met another pack, they're good people. I can make the contact."

Ellen hadn't hesitated to join his pack but she had needed an alpha and currently he was the only one around. Once the fist shock had worn off she would probably rethink her decision.

Derek shook his head. He could bother with that once Loreen and Mark had become werewolves.

He bared his fangs and sank his teeth into the raw flesh of Mark's throat. The taste of antiseptic and then blood filled his mouth but Derek just bit down harder to make sure that it was done properly.

Since Charles was staying with Loreen, Derek decided to stay with Mark, he shouldn't be alone during this.

Settling in for a long night, Derek dragged over a chair to sit at Mark' side. He took his hand in his and started to drain the pain. The bite was already not only battling with the human DNA but also with the medication they had given him.

A nurse came in to check on them when the heart monitor went crazy. After a moment of consideration she took out the infusions, Mark wouldn't need those any longer.

"How long until we know?" She asked quietly. She hovered at the edge of the bed, a curious eye on her patient and the black lines of drained pain crawling under Derek's skin.

"A few hours." Derek said without taking his eyes off the hopefully soon to be werewolf. Just like Loreen he felt Mark in the back of his mind but the connection wasn't taking hold just yet.

The nurse gave him a warm smile and then she left them alone.

To keep his mind off the battle going on in the body in front of him, and across the hallway, Derek focused on the other pack members he had close by. After long days away from his pack Derek clung to the two strong beacons in his mind. Isaac was close and present, he was with Ellen, Derek could tell. Ellen's presence was still new but they would all get used to it soon.

But there was another beacon that kept his attention. His mate. Stiles was moving towards him, he could feel it. Stiles was coming, that was all that mattered to him right now. It took all of Derek's willpower to not rush to his mate but he didn't want to leave Mark's side, not when the medication was wearing off for good now and his eyes behind closed lids started to move. It would take only minutes now for Mark to wake up to the agony of his injuries.

When Stiles entered the room, Derek couldn't stay in his seat, though. A second later he had Stiles in his arms, nose buried in his mate's neck, and he just held on tight. Stiles smelled like smoke, blood and sweat but he also smelled like Stiles and Derek focused on that.

"I'm sorry." Stiles said into the fabric of his shirt. "About Laura and her pack."

"It's not your fault." Cupping the back of his head Derek drew him closer.

"She went back to Beacon Hills because of me." Stiles choked. "And now she's dead and her pack …" The rest was lost in hot tears.

"Peter did this." Derek said into the soft skin of Stiles' throat. He closed his eyes and just clung to his mate.

He didn't know how long they stood like that. Behind them Mark was becoming more restless, whimpering and moaning in his sleep. Derek opened his eyes and loosened his hold on Stiles when he noticed the young woman standing awkwardly behind Stiles.

He was about to ask who she was but then he recognized her face. Without even thinking he shoved Stiles behind himself, fangs and claws out to attack the enemy.

"Whoa." Stiles held him back with an iron grip on his shoulder. "She's a friend."

"She's Peter's" Derek growled around his fangs. The woman, or rather girl, she seemed to be Stiles' age, just looked at him with wide eyes. He heard her heart rapidly beating in her chest but she didn't even flinch.

"She helped us." Stiles said, not letting go of his shoulder. "Without her we would have been too late. We would have lost way more than five people." With which he confirmed that there was no hope for the two still missing pack members.

"Alpha Derek Hale." She spoke for the first time. Her voice didn't quiver but he could smell the fear on her. "I'm Lydia Martin, I'm seeking refuge in your territory."

"Peter will kill her if he gets the chance." Stiles added.

"She could be a spy." Derek pointed out. Kate's laugh echoed in his mind.

"Why would she help us rescue Laura's pack?" Stiles asked. He slung his other arm around his torso. Not so much holding back but holding on. His forehead rested on Derek's shoulder.

"The whole pack was trapped in that house." He said. "They would have been wiped out completely, one threat gone. Instead you're getting stronger with a bigger pack. I don't know what Peter is planning but I doubt he wants that."

Stronger maybe but still not strong enough to challenge Peter, Derek thought but didn't say it out loud. Hell, half of the remaining pack were children.

Behind him Mark cried out. Derek didn't have time to deal with Lydia right now.

"You can stay." He finally said and hoped that this was not another big mistake. "Stiles, keep an eye on her." With that he peeled his mate off him but paused when he noticed the bandages around Stiles' hands.

"What happened with your hands?" His hand was already on Stiles' forearm to help him with the pain but Stiles waved him off.

"The doors were blocked." He said with a shrug. "Don't worry, I'm on the good stuff right now. No pain at all."

Derek could tell that that was a lie but he didn't call his mate out on it. Both, Stiles and Lydia looked like they had been right in the middle of the fire and Derek was just grateful that his mate wasn't seriously injured.

Since Stiles refused his help, Derek returned to Mark's side. He couldn't do anything to help the bite taking hold but he could at least ease the pain.

"What's he doing?" He heard Lydia whisper to Stiles.

"Taking his pain." Stiles explained and then he was behind Derek again. His fingers carded through his hair and his other hand was resting on his shoulder, grounding him.

"I didn't know werewolves can do that." Curious Lydia stepped closer as well but stopped when Derek let out a warning growl. He might let her stay for now but he wouldn't let her anywhere near Mark while he was this vulnerable.

She immediately stopped and lowered her eyes.

"I came straight here." Stiles tried to defuse the situation. "Are Ellen and the kids alright? You accepted her as your beta, didn't you? I can feel a new connection and I doubt it's one of the kids."

"Yeah, it's Ellen." Derek leaned into his mate's touch but out of the corner of his eye he was still watching Lydia. Just in case. "She needed an alpha. I hope it's okay that I took her in."

"Of course it's okay." Stiles kissed the top of his head. "It was kind of my idea to take the pack in. In fact, Boyd and Erica are already preparing everything to let them crash at our place until we've figured out something more permanent."

The building was Derek's, they could take over another floor. Or the whole building. It shouldn't be too hard to kick out the tenants. And if he gave them some time to find another place to stay he wouldn't even feel too much of an asshole for kicking them out.

If Laura's pack decided to stay with him, that is. Sure, for now they needed an alpha and he was taking in everybody who wanted to join his pack. That didn't mean that they wouldn't find a better option.

He got startled out of his thoughts when he caught Lydia shifting from one foot to the other out of the corner of his eye. Instantly his attention was on her. Stiles trusted her and that was enough to let her stay but it didn't mean that Derek had to trust her as well.

She was staring at them as if she couldn't believe her eyes.

Derek raised an eyebrow at her. "What?"

"Nothing." She hurried to say, tucking a stray strand of hair behind her ear. "It's just … Peter would never …" Not sure how to finish the sentence her gaze wandered up from Derek to Stiles as if she expected help from him.

"Peter would never what?" Derek barked. Mark's grip around his hand tightened, that was what he should be focusing on right now.

"Peter would never ask if it was okay to take somebody in." She said, eyes back on him. This time she held her ground and didn't shy back. "He's the alpha, his word is the law. And for sure he would never just let somebody, especially not a claimed human, make decisions for him."

"Well, I'm not Peter." Done with the conversation he turned his attention back to Mark.

"Peter is the exception, actually." Stiles hugged him closer before he let go of him. "I'm going to check on Isaac and Ellen."

Derek just nodded to that. While Loreen and Mark were still battling with the bite, he wouldn't go anywhere.

"Try to get some sleep." He said and gave him a chaste kiss on the cheek. "Once everybody is discharged tomorrow, we need to leave. I'll feel much better once everybody is in my territory."

"Me too." Stiles let out a tired sigh and gave him one last pat on the shoulder. When he left, Lydia followed him without a word but over her shoulder she gave Derek a look as if he was a mystery she couldn't quite understand. He got the feeling that she wasn't the kind of person who could leave a mystery alone.

But Derek had some question of himself and once he caught Stiles alone he wanted to know exactly how she had helped them. And why.

 

Chapter Text

Stiles would have liked to stay with his mate but there were other pack members who needed him. Plus, he didn't think having Lydia in the same room as Derek was a good idea right now. He didn't blame Derek, he didn't know Lydia and to him she was still part of Peter's pack. If he was honest, Stiles was surprised that Derek had let her stay just like that.

It was clear that Derek didn't trust Lydia but he did trust Stiles. Stiles loved his mate even more for that.

"You know." Stiles said once they were back in the hallway. "If you're double-crossing us, I will kill you myself." He had been in love with her for years and even now she was just perfect in his eyes and he admired her in a totally platonic kind of way but if she endangered his pack, he would kill her.

The way she looked at him, she got that he meant what he said. She knew about his crush, in a weak and completely drunk moment he had told her, but that wouldn't get in the way if she turned out to be a threat, they both knew that.

"I heard them dying in the fire." She said, steel in her voice. "I had to do something. I've looked away for too long. I'd understand if Derek doesn't want me around, though."

"It's either staying with us or migrating to France. By now Peter has probably noticed that you're gone."

"I wouldn't bet on that, he doesn't exactly keep track of his humans when he doesn't need them for his amusement. Or setting houses on fire." She said darkly. "Don't look at me like that, Jackson likes to proclaim that I'm his mate, remember? That means hands off, even for Peter."

It wasn't really reassuring but Stiles didn't know what to say to that. He had ended up in a pack in a very similar way to her just that he had been lucky and had gotten Derek as his alpha.

Before they left to search for the rest of his pack, Stiles wanted to check on Loreen. He found her father sitting vigil at her side pretty much like Derek did at Mark's. With the only difference that Charles wasn't a werewolf and couldn't take her pain.

"How is she?" Stiles asked softly but the way she was whimpering already told him the answer to that.

"I think what they gave her has stopped working." Charles said, his fingers gently curled around her upper arm where the damage wasn't that bad.

"I'll send down Isaac or Ellen." Stiles promised. "They can help with the pain."

When they left, Lydia had a curious eye on him.

"Why Isaac or Ellen and not Stephen?" She asked.

"Stephen is not pack." Stiles said as if it was obvious but then took a double take because he hadn't even thought about it. It had just come naturally to him to offer the help of one of his pack members.

"I could ask Stephen, I guess." He added after a moment. "But I can't make him." Not until Derek had accepted him in his pack.

"But you could make Isaac or Ellen?" Lydia raised an eyebrow at him. Even with her face covered in grime it was a perfect eyebrow.

"I'm the alpha's mate." Stiles said. He could explain it to her but he was too tired and exhausted for that. Besides, he felt his pack members just around the corner.

The second they reached the small visiting area, Stiles had Isaac in his arms. The beta was more clingy now, rubbing his face against Stiles' throat in search for a familiar scent. Which reminded Stiles that he should at least freshen up somewhere soon. But they were all reeking of smoke and that wouldn't change until they had a thorough shower.

"I'm here." Stiles murmured into Isaac's ear, rubbing up and down his back. When he looked up he noticed Ellen hovering close by. She was biting her lip and she clearly wanted to join the hug. It took only a tilt of Stiles' head to tell her that she was more than welcomed to do just that.

They took a moment to feel close again and take in the scent of pack.

"Loreen is in a lot of pain." Stiles finally broke the silence. "Would one of you …" He didn't need to finish the sentence, Ellen was already volunteering with a "of course". She held on to both of them for a moment longer but then she left to take care of Loreen.

On a couch behind Isaac Stiles spotted Stephen who had fallen asleep with little Stacy sleeping on his chest.

"Where are the others?" Stiles asked when he didn't spot any other kid around.

"They have a room. They didn't want to sleep alone" Isaac answered with a tired smile. Stiles didn't know how long they had been up by now, he had not the slightest idea how late it was, but he was too tired to actually care.

Just to make sure that the kids were alright, Stiles opened the door Isaac had pointed out and had a look for himself. The two beds in the room stood together to make an improvised den.

Becky and Jeremy were in their wolf form but all the kids were just a tangle of limbs. In the dim light coming from the door Stiles noticed that Megan's eyes were open but she didn't move. She would wake up the others if she tried to get out of bed.

"Any news?" She asked in a low whisper.

"Derek bit Mark and Loreen." Stiles told her. Relief washed over her face but then the worry was back.

"Did it take?"

"We don't know yet." Stiles stepped closer so he could lower his voice even farther.

"My mother?"

Stiles shook his head. He didn't know if she had been one of the three bodies they had already recovered or if she was one of the still missing pack members but there was no hope that she was still alive.

Megan's face crumbled. Without a word she hugged Jeremy closer to her chest and turned her head to bury her face in Benny's hair.

"I'm sorry." Stiles said when he heard her sobbing. For a second he wondered if he should leave her alone but then he carefully sat down on the edge of the bed and put a hand on her back. She didn't shake him off.

He thought she would cry herself back to sleep but to his surprise she spoke again.

"I was so mean to Derek." She said, back still turned towards Stiles.

He didn't know what had led to that statement but it became clear when she continued.

"Dad needs an alpha and I … I …" She was shaking now under Stiles' hand.

"Derek won't kick you out." Stiles said louder than intended. Jeremy's ears twitched but he didn't wake up. "He wants you in his pack."

"You don't know that." She snapped. Jeremy seemed to notice her distress and snuggled closer in his sleep until his nose was tucked under her chin.

"After what I said to him …" She shook her head. "He hates me."

"He doesn't hate you." Stiles said but he knew that it wouldn't change what she had build up in her mind. Even if Derek still held a grudge against her, she had just lost her mom and her dad needed an alpha, there was no way that Derek would refuse her a place in his pack.

Stiles thought about it for a moment.

"How about this." He finally said. "I'm going to accept you in our pack."

Now she turned enough to look at him.

"You can't just accept me, you're not the alpha."

"Yeah but I'm the alpha's mate and I can make decisions when Derek isn't there to make them himself." He made a point of looking around. "I don't see him, do you?"

She gave him a watery smile.

"But seriously, I know Derek, he loves you." Stiles said in earnest. "You and everybody else is welcomed in our pack."

She wasn't a werewolf so she couldn't hear the truth in his heart-beat but he hoped it was enough for now.

Stiles stayed with her for a little while longer but with that off her chest Megan's lids started to drop rather quickly and she was sound asleep not much later.

Stiles tiptoed out of the room and he let out a relieved breath when he made it out without waking one of the other kids. If he could put off telling them that each of them had lost a parent, he would take it. And he somehow hoped that somebody else would take over that job. Maybe Ellen.

He hadn't even thought about it until now but Miranda hadn't made it which meant Stacy and Jeremy were orphans now.

Gina would hopefully keep her mother but it was still not certain if Loreen would survive. Her husband hadn't made it out either. If worse came to worse Gina would have at least her grandpa. And the pack.

"You handled that pretty well." Lydia said. He hadn't even noticed that she had been listening in to them.

"I'm trying." They moved over to the visitor's area where Stephen was still sleeping but Isaac had taken over Stacy who had become fussy.

"She okay?" Stiles asked.

"I think she's hungry." Isaac eyed her skeptically. She wasn't screaming yet but she was working up to it. Miranda had still been breast feeding her but even if she had fed her bottles, they would have been lost in the fire anyway. In his mind Stiles started to make a list of what they would need for the baby but first they had to get her fed.

"I'll see if I can find a nurse." Stiles straightened, already looking around. It was the middle of the night so there wasn't a convenient nurse around. "This is the pediatric station, they should have that bottle stuff."

By the time he came back with a warm bottle of milk Stacy was desperately sucking at Isaac's finger and her wining had a demanding touch to it now.

"Can you give her the bottle?" Stiles handed it to Isaac who took it with an uncertain nod. He hovered with the bottle over her, clearly debating if he should just shove it in or not, when Stacy took the matter in her on chubby little fists.

"That works, too. I guess." Isaac smiled down at her but she was too busy sucking for dear life to care about him.

Stiles watched them for a moment. He would love to just curl up next to them on the couch, his whole body was aching with exhaustion, but he needed to check on Derek and the freshly bitten werewolves. They were still weak little dots in his mind, the connection hadn't taken hold yet, and there was nothing he could do to make their bodies accept the bite but at least he could be there for them during the transformation.

"I should check on Ellen." He teared his eyes off the peaceful picture in front of him. "See if she's okay with draining the pain. And I want to see Derek …" He was more talking to himself than to Isaac, already walking towards the elevator, when Lydia stepped in his way.

"Stiles." She grabbed him by the shoulders and forced him to stop. "Sit down."

"I have to …" He protested but she just shoved him over to the nearest chair where he dropped like a rag doll.

"You need to eat and drink something." She said sternly. "And no, I don't mean coffee. And then you need to take a nap."

"I'd love to." Stiles let out a sigh. She had no idea how comfortable the chair was, he would love to just sit here for a moment. Maybe have one of the water bottles someone had placed on the table along with a small pile of snacks. Those looked tasty, too. "But I have to …"

"You have take care of yourself." Lydia interrupted him. "You won't be of any help if you collapse. They'll be alright for half an hour."

Stiles considered it. Then he reached for a water bottle.

 

Chapter Text

Derek sat at Mark's side. Over the last half an hour nothing had changed but considering how badly injured Mark was Derek wasn't sure how long it would take for the bite take. Derek had bitten all his betas and the bite had taken effect much quicker with them. But they had been younger than Mark and in a healthy condition. Erica had a seizure while the bite had changed her body and Derek had held her in his arms, terrified that something had gone wrong, but then she had stilled and when she had opened her eyes they had been golden.

So far Mark hadn't opened his eyes, golden or otherwise.

Derek's attention had been on what was happening outside of the room, Ellen was there now and Loreen's moans of pain had stopped but she was also still fighting, so it took him a moment to notice that the grip of Mark's hand in his had changed. A minute ago it had been just unconscious clenching and Derek's hand had just happened to be in the middle of it, but now it had shifted to something more intentional.

"Mark?" Derek asked. The man didn't respond or open his eyes but his face looked better. It was still badly burned but Derek thought it looked better.

Then, all of a sudden, the weak blip in his mind lightened up when the bond took hold.

Derek let out a shaky breath.

"Derek?" Mark slurred the word and turned his head in his direction.

"I'm here." Derek didn't let go of his hand, his new beta was still severely burned, but draining the pain was not the only reason he was holding on to him now.

Mark winced at the volume of his voice.

"I gave you the bite." That was one thing that had happened, they would get to half the pack dead in a minute.

"Shouldn't I feel better now?"

"You're already healing." Derek assured him. He could see it but there was so much damage. "It takes time."

After the fire Peter had been in a coma, and Derek wished he had never woken up from that, Mark was lucky here.

"I can feel you." Mark winced when he lifted his free hand to point at his head. "Here. It feels different than …"

With Laura, Derek completed the sentence in his mind.

"You were a human in her pack." He reminded him. "You're my beta now." They would have to talk about it later. Mark needed to know that he didn't have to stay Derek's beta if he didn't want to but that was another topic Derek put off for later.

"The fire." Mark's brain finally caught up with what had caused his condition. "Did everybody make it out safely?"

Derek didn't know how to answer that but his face gave him away anyway.

"No." Mark breathed out and then visibly steeled himself. Over the bond Derek felt his distress along with pain and a bone deep exhaustion. Mark should sleep and recover but instead Derek had to tell him that half his pack was dead.

"They kids made it out." Derek started softly. "They are keeping them over night just to make sure but they only have inhaled some smoke, nothing serious."

"That's good." Mark sank deeper into his pillow, exhaustion taking over.

"Charles, you and Loreen made it out." Derek continued. "I had to bite Loreen as well. She's still fighting."

There was a pause before Mark dared to ask: "The others?"

Derek shook his head. "Last I heard they haven't recovered all the bodies yet but there is no hope."

He had heard those words before and for a moment he was a teenager again, an omega, for the first time truly alone despite the fact that he was clinging to Laura while a deputy, it might had been John, he realized but couldn't really remember, confirmed what the broken bonds in his mind had already told him. His alpha, pack and family were gone.

"Derek?" Mark pulled him out of the memory.

"I'm here."

"What now?" Scared and with wide eyes he looked at his alpha.

"We wait for Loreen to accept the bite." He said. "And then in the morning, when the doctors say that the kids are okay, we'll leave."

It felt wrong. Laura was still in Beacon Hills and they would leave five pack members behind here but there was not much else they could do. Peter's ultimatum was still hanging over their heads and Derek had no doubt that Peter would wipe out what was left of Laura's pack if they didn't leave soon.

It was probably a good thing that they didn't have time to comprehend what had happened. There would be time for grief once they were back in his territory and his pack was united again. Which reminded him that he should call Boyd and Erica but he wanted to check in with Stiles first to find out what their status at the moment exactly was. Since he had been sitting with Mark, Derek didn't know what was going on around them.

Exhaustion took over and Mark slipped back to sleep but this time it was a healing one.

"I'll be back in a moment." Without waking him Derek left the room. Loreen was still fighting and since Mark was out of danger he was more worried about her.

Charles was still sitting at her side and on the other side of the bed was Ellen, draining her pain. Loreen hadn't changed since the last time Derek had seen her and he didn't know what to make out of that. The bite should have taken by now.

"Hey." Derek said softly and stepped up behind Ellen to hug her from behind. He buried his nose in her neck and inhaled the still unfamiliar scent. He had known her for years, they had been pack before but this was different. She was his beta now.

"Ellen said, Mark made it?" Charles ask as if he wasn't sure if he should just take Ellen's word for it. She must feel the new pack bond as well so there was no doubt but Derek confirmed it with a nod.

"The bite took hold." He said. "He's sleeping now."

With his arms still slung around Ellen's shoulders he rested his chin on her shoulder. Her back melted into his chest when she relaxed in his hold but she never let go of Loreen's hand, black lines swirling up her forearm.

"You bit her first." Charles reminded him. "Why is it taking so long?"

Derek didn't have an answer to that, all they could do was wait and hope.

He didn't want to leave Mark alone for too long, when he woke up he would want his alpha near by, so Derek left not not much later. There was nothing he could do for Loreen anyway.

He made a little detour to raid the vending machine and get some coffee which Charles and Ellen accepted with tired smiles. Then he returned to Mark's room loaded with chocolate and snacks. Mark would need every calorie he could get to replace the energy the healing used up. He was visibly healing now and his presence was a strong beacon in Derek's head. All he needed now was time to recover.

With nothing else to do than to wait, Derek fell asleep in his chair.

He woke to loud voices. It took him a moment to put together where he was and where the voices were coming from but when he recognized Charles calling his daughter's name he was out of his chair and over in the other room in a heart-beat.

He stopped in the door when he took in the scene in front of him. Charles was half in bed with his daughter, not caring about her injuries he was holding her in his arms, her head lolling against his chest. Ellen stood on the other side of the bed, tears in her eyes and her hand covering her mouth.

Lorren's mouth and chin were smeared with black blood.

"No." Derek whispered.

Charles looked up at him.

"Please." He said but there was nothing Derek could do. And even if he could, it was too late. He heard Charles' and Ellen's hearts beating rapidly but where there should be a third one, there was only silence. Loreen was gone.

"I'm sorry." He said and a second later he had a crying Ellen in his arms.

Then suddenly Stiles and Isaac where there was well and he just wanted to hold on to his pack.

"Let's give them a moment." Stiles said into his ear. For a moment Derek didn't know what he meant but then he noticed Charles who still had Loreen in his arms.

They retreated to Mark's room and it felt right to take refuge with their other pack member. Mark was awake and already half-way out of his bed in his attempt to join them, no doubt, but Ellen just climbed in with him and dragged him down with her. On his other side Isaac wedged himself into the bed as well, it was a tight fit but they managed. Derek and Stiles were the only ones left standing but they weren't ready to let go of each other anyway and so they made do with standing next to the bed, embracing each other with one arm while they reached out with their other hand to hold hands with their pack.

Derek would have liked to stay like this for a while, maybe even put on his fur and curl in with his pack and he knew that at least Isaac was itching to slip in his fur as well, but there was so much to worry about, he didn't have the time for that now.

Loreen was dead but the others needed him.

Bring Laura's pack to safety was on top of his list and the first step to that was to talk to the doctors to get Mark and the kids out of the hospital. The kids had been kept over night mostly for observation so he didn't think that would be a problem but Mark still looked like Freddy Krueger in his best days and somehow Derek doubted that the doctors would agree to releasing him just yet.

He had seen a police officer around earlier and he was pretty sure that the police didn't like the idea either of them all skipping town. They would at least have to give their statement first.

How would they even get all this people home, he wondered. He had only his rental and Stiles had his jeep somewhere. If any of the pack's cars were still of any use he had no idea.

"Stop thinking so hard." Stiles rubbed his nose along his neck. "Just for a moment."

Derek closed his eyes and breathed in Stiles' scent. He still hadn't had time to wash up so he smelled of smoke and sweat and grime but there was his familiar scent too. Derek focused on that.

There was a hand holding his and more hands on his arm and this was way less than ideal but Derek let himself drift in the closeness of pack for a little while.

When they parted Derek noticed that dawn had sneaked up on them and that he had no clue where the night had gone.

Stiles noticed it as well and they shared a look.

"We should get ready to leave." Stiles said. It was a harsh decision but they didn't have any other choice.

Ellen came with Derek to wake up the kids and Derek needed to talk to Stephen and Charles as well. The werewolves needed an alpha and he wanted to accept them in his pack before they left the hospital. Charles and Gina were human and Derek wasn't sure if Charles wouldn't just take his granddaughter and leave with her, after what had happened with Loreen, he wouldn't blame him, but there was a place for them in his pack if they wanted it.

"Stop worrying." Ellen said, probably sensing his distress. "You're a good alpha and we want to join your pack. All of us."

"I just wished there was no need for that."

 

Chapter Text

Stiles let Derek handle the pack business, which sounded way too clinical for comforting and taking in the shattered pieces of Laura's pack, while he went to take care of the more practical things.

First Stiles went to the nurse station to inform them that Mark would leave the hospital with them.

Of course there was protest, they were not used to letting patients with third degree burns just walk out the next morning and they were not familiar enough with werewolf healing to just take his word that Mark would be fine. But they couldn't do much if the patient wanted to leave, and it was rather convincing that the patient in question was able to tell them that much, so in the end they put together the forms Mark had to sign to release himself from the hospital.

With that taken care of Stiles went to the pediatric station to see what he could do about the kids. Since they where human and smoke inhalation could cause some serious issues he was more willing to listen to their doctor.

"The O2 levels look fine." The doctor flipped through the files. "And there hasn't been any complications over night. I would like to have them here for another day, just to make sure, but I get that you want to leave." By now the whole hospital knew that they were in the middle of a pack war and Stiles wasn't sure if they just wanted to get rid of them before the hospital too became a war zone.

"We're not leaving if they are in any danger." Stiles emphasized. Peter could stick his ultimatum where the sun don't shine, there was no way he would endanger the kids.

"They are fine." The doctor assured him. "But keep an eye on them over the next few days, if one of them shows any sign of breathing problems bring them to the nearest ER."

Stiles promised to keep an eye on them and then headed back to where he felt his pack. Minutes ago a new pack bond had formed in his mind and he was guessing Stephen. Now there were only Becky, Jeremy and Stacy left. Stephen had mentioned earlier that Stacy would need an alpha as well and with that he had unknowingly solved that mystery for Stiles.

The humans would become pack by association and Stiles wasn't sure if he would be able to feel them immediately or if that would come over time when the bond grew stronger.

"Guess I'm about to find out." He mumbled to himself, mentally making a list of what else he needed to do before they could finally leave. A lot of stuff they would have to deal with over the phone over the next few days like the funerals and insurance stuff and things like that but Stiles put that off for later. Right now he needed to get his pack on the road before Peter decided to wipe them out for good.

"Excuse me?" Somebody stopped him and when Stiles glanced up he saw a man in uniform blocking his way. It wasn't the officer who had given them a ride and Stiles wasn't sure if he had seen this man at the house or not.

"Officer?" Stiles asked politely but all he wanted to do was to brush past him and get back to Derek.

"Just a few questions, if you don't mind."

Stiles did mind but he plastered a fake smile on his face. No need to get on the police's bad side as well.

"What's your name?"

"Stiles Stilinski." Stiles answered and waited patiently for the officer to check something on his notepad.

"You're not part of Laura Hale's pack." He finally said. "Care to explain what you were doing at the house last night?"

"I'm part of Derek Hale's pack." Stiles explained with all the patience he could master. He was tired and exhausted and he had other things on his plate than talking to this officer. He took a deep breath.

"I was visiting my father in Beacon Hills when Peter Hale murdered Laura." He started, gaining speed fast. "He claims that she challenged him but I call bullshit on that one, we have witnesses who say he right up murdered her. Of course Peter then annexed her territory and told her pack to leave within 48 hours. We offered her pack refuge in Derek's pack and I came with a pack member and two of Laura's wolves as fast as we could to help the pack to get out of dodge. I'm guessing Peter didn't want Derek to gain more power with a bigger pack so he said fuck it to his ultimatum and set the house on fire. I bet he finds it poetic or something like that, history repeating itself, but Laura and six of her pack members are dead, we have a bunch of kids who have lost their alpha, a parent and half their pack in one day and Peter has every right to kill us on the spot for being in his territory." His voice had risen with every word until he was basically yelling the last part.

The officer just stared at him and Stiles would have wondered when he'd lost him if he actually cared.

"My dad is the sheriff in Beacon Hills." Stiles added with a sigh. "He's working on Laura's murder, talk to him."

That said Stiles wanted to move on but the officer wasn't done with him. He had to admit that it sounded rather suspicious that he just happened to be in Beacon Hills at the time Laura had been murdered and then showed up at her pack's house, both locations on other alpha's territories.

It didn't help that the officer had a rather basic grasp of werewolves and pack politics. He didn't get that they had to leave. Now. There was not time for coming to the station for statements later. Hell, they didn't have time to mourn their losses.

It took him almost fifteen minutes to get rid of the officer and by that time Stiles was ready to punch someone.

When his phone rang he didn't even check the name on the display and just barked a "What?" into the mouthpiece.

"Stiles, are you alright?" His father asked and something in his tone got Stiles attention.

"I'm fine, dad." Stiles ran a hand through his hair which reminded him that he was in dire need of a shower.

"What's happening over there?" He asked. "And why do I have to hear on the news that there had been a fire? They're talking about casualties."

"It's on the news?" Stiles didn't know why that surprised him, of course it was on the news.

"Stiles, focus." His dad pulled him back on track. "Is Isaac okay? What's with Stephen and Ellen? And Derek, did he arrive? I sent him after you."

"We're okay, a bit shaken but okay." Stiles took a breath. He still tasted smoke in the back of his throat. "Five, no, six of Laura's pack didn't make it." Stiles closed his eyes and leaned against the wall. His whole body was shaking. Six people were dead. At the house he hadn't seen much aside of a body bag but he had seen Loreen.

"Stiles, breathe." He heard his dad over the phone and he just wished the man were here with him. He would know what to do. "Stiles!"

Black dots were dancing in front of his eyes and his vision was grayed around the edges. Stiles braced his free hand on his knee and clutched the phone with his other one like a lifeline.

He didn't have time for a panic attack, dammit.

Suddenly there were hands on him.

"Stiles." Derek said gently and put a hand on the nape of his neck. "I'm here, just breathe."

Stiles just launched himself at his mate, his ear pressed against his chest to hear his heart-beat. Derek just hugged him closer.

His dad must have said something Stiles hadn't heard because Derek pried the phone out of his hand and started talking. The blood was rushing in his ear and his other one was still pressed against Derek's chest so Stiles didn't really hear what he was saying but for the moment he was fine with his mate taking over.

"We should go back to the others." Derek eventually said. "Think you can do that? You can sit down for a moment?"

Sitting had never sounded that promising ever before.

When they came back they found only Ellen and Charles with the kids in the room they shared. Ellen with her twins at her side, Becky even in her human form, and Charles with his granddaughter in his lap. Megan had Jeremy clinging to her and Stacy in her arm and when Stiles and Derek entered, everybody turned to look at them.

"Stephen, Isaac and Lydia went back to the house to see if anything is salvageable and to get more cars." Derek explained and went over to Ellen first. He nuzzled her neck and put a gentle hand first on Becky's and then on Benny's head.

Ellen said something too low for Stiles to catch but at her words Derek crouched down in front of Becky.

"Becky." He asked in a serious tone. "Do you want to be part of my pack?"

She inched closer to her mother and glanced at her for guidance.

"Benny too?" Becky finally whispered. Her eyes were rimmed red and she was still sniffing, Stiles guessed that Ellen had told her that her father wouldn't come home either.

"Benny too." Derek assured her.

Without another word she bared her neck for the bite. As far as Stiles could tell Derek bit her as carefully as he could but he had to draw blood.

A second later a new light came to live in Stiles' mind and instantly Becky looked more relieved.

Next was Benny but since he was human there was only a symbolic bite but Stiles still felt something shift in his mind when Derek accepted him.

"Alpha Derek Hale." Charles spoke up formally. He stood with his chin high and Gina pressed to his leg. "I'm asking for a place in your pack for me and my granddaughter."

Stiles hadn't been sure if Charles wanted to stay after what had happened with Loreen and he felt the relief washing over the other pack members through the bonds when Derek accepted him and Gina.

Then Derek stepped over to where Megan was sitting on the bed with Stacy and Jeremy. With Miranda's death the little ones had become orphans but there was no question that they would be pack.

Derek sat down next to them on the bed. Carefully he picked up Stacy and let Jeremy climb in his lap and when he bit them, he barely scratched the skin. Both children were snuggling into his chest before the small wounds had even healed.

And then there was Megan. All the time she hadn't said a word and had barely glanced in Derek's direction. They were sitting next to each other on the bed but there was a palpable rift between them.

Stiles didn't have time to talk to Derek about Megan and now he was biting his lip, silently begging his mate to do the right thing. Of course Derek would accept her in his pack, Stiles didn't doubt that for a second, but the how was what was important here.

"Megan?" Derek asked, ignoring the room full of people and the two kids in his arms, his focus was solely on her.

She was desperately not looking at him and her whole body was tense, clearly waiting for a rejection.

"Megan." Derek repeated and eased down Jeremy to have his hand free. He reached out to her but she flinched back as if she was expecting to get hit by him. He stilled for a moment but then he put his hand firmly on her shoulder.

"I want you in my pack." He said. "Please?"

Stiles was pretty sure that it was the please that broke the levee. Megan flung herself at Derek, her body shaking with sobs.

Derek held her close while Jeremy slung his arms around her as well. Even Stacy reached out for her with her plumb hands.

Stiles stepped closer and joined the group hug.

"Told you." He whispered in Megan's ear.

 

Chapter Text

It was almost noon by the time they finally left the hospital. By then they were basically under siege by reporters. But at least the police was good for something and helped them out the back exit and into the cars without the bloodhounds with a press pass noticing until they were already on their way.

Derek was driving that stupid rental, the Camaro was still parked at the airport, but it had more room than his car so Derek wasn't complaining. Ironically enough, the smallest members of his pack took up the most space. With Stacy's and Jeremy's car seats which were almost the only things that had been salvageable, the back seat of Derek's car was full. How Megan had managed to squeeze in between those was beyond him but he let her be. She had taken it upon her to take care of the little ones and that was why she had ended up in his car.

Derek had the suspicion that this was her attempt to prove that she was useful for the pack but he didn't say anything about it. Next to him sat Stiles who had drifted off to sleep barley ten minutes into the ride. Derek was already looking forward to switching places with him.

Behind him Isaac was driving Stiles' jeep followed by the two cars that had still four intact tires and hadn't been blocked by debris or had been sunken too deep into the mud to get out.

Mark had a backseat of his own. It would take a while for his wounds to heal so he lay on the seat and wrapped in a special blanket the hospital had given him, he looked like a sad burrito.

With the kids they needed to take more breaks than usual and in the late afternoon, when they had technically crossed over into Derek's territory, Stiles suggested to find a motel for the night.

Derek just wanted to drive through but he had been dozing off in the passenger seat for the last hour and he knew that they all had been up for way too long.

The next decent looking motel was theirs.

There was a short discussion about how many rooms they should get and in the end they took two. One for Lydia and one for the pack. It would be tight fit but they would manage. Nobody wanted to be separated from their alpha and the rest of the pack.

"You can use my bathroom as well." Lydia offered, visibly embarrassed by the special treatment. "It will take forever to shower if you only use your bathroom."

Half an hour later the dumpster behind the motel was flowing over with ruined clothes and it smelled like there was something burning inside. Derek, Stiles and Isaac shared what they had with them, even worn clothes were better than what the others had. However, the pack finally started to smell like pack and everybody felt a bit more at ease.

They ordered pizza which they ate on the floor with the furniture already pushed to the walls to make room for a makeshift den.

"Uncle Derek?" Jeremy flopped down next to him, chewing on a pizza crust.

"Hmm?" Derek slung an arm around his tiny shoulders, drawing him close.

"When is Mommy coming back?" He asked, his eyes glassy. "Stacy's hungry and she doesn't like the bottle."

There was a sudden silence, everybody was fiddling with their food which only made Stacy's fussing seem to be even louder. She clearly wasn't a fan of the bottle but Megan tried to feed it to her nevertheless.

"Jeremy." Derek had to clear his throat. "Your mommy, and the others, they're not coming back."

Across from him Becky and Benny were clinging to Ellen with tears in their eyes and they were not the only ones. Everybody in the room had lost their alpha and several pack members and Derek knew way too well how that felt.

After dinner Lydia went over to her own room and even if Derek didn't want to admit it, he felt less on guard once he was surrounded by pack only. He had some time to think about it and Stiles had used the ride to fill him in and by now he was willing to give Lydia a chance but she wasn't pack.

The wolves slipped into their fur and everybody settled down for the night.

"I don't know how to do that." Mark said, an embarrassed smile on his lips. By now he had lips again and his face was scarred over. He didn't have any open wounds any longer so he could sleep in the den with them but apparently not in his wolf form.

"Don't worry about that." Derek knelt down next to him, cupping the nape of his neck to bring their foreheads together. "You'll figure it out on the full moon."

To his own surprise Derek slept through the night without waking once.

In the morning nobody was keen on getting up and they stayed in the den a little while longer, seeking comfort in the closeness of the pack. It was telling how overwhelming so many new pack members were that it took a while for Derek to notice that Stiles wasn't in the room.

With rising panic he tried to wiggle his way out from under Isaac and what he was guessing were Stephen and Becky when a hand landed on his shoulder, gently carding through his fur to calm him down.

"He went out to get breakfast." Charles told him.

It was worrying that Stiles had managed to get out of the pack pile, get dressed and to leave the room without him noticing. And he wasn't sure if he liked the idea that Stiles was out by himself. They were in Derek's territory but this were still the outskirts.

"He took Lydia with him." Charles continued, probably guessing what was going on in his mind.

By the time Stiles and Lydia were back, packed with brown paper bags and a tray with cups of coffee, they were up and about and ready for breakfast.

However, it was way quieter than Derek had ever seen this pack over a meal. Everybody was focused on their food, there was no laughing, no loud voices and no stealing food.

They made the mistake to watch the news before they left the motel and even an hour later when they were already on the road again, the words where still haunting Derek.

"... a pack war seems to take place in what used to be the Hale territory. In an attempt to gain more power, Laura Hale has challenged her own uncle Peter Hale and lost the fight. Peter immediately took over her territory but her brother, Derek Hale, took her pack for himself. Who caused the fire that killed six member of Laura's pack is still open for speculation. If it was Peter trying to prevent the pack from joining Derek or if it had been Derek punishing the ones who didn't want to accept him as their new alpha, is still not clear."

It had been followed by absurd tips for humans living in Laura's territory to stay safe in the middle of a pack war. Once again it showed how little humans knew about werewolves but at the moment it just pissed him off.

In the afternoon they finally arrived at Derek's place. The beacons that were Boyd and Erica had come to life in his mind a while ago and finally the whole pack was together again.

His betas were in the loft but when Derek and Stiles, followed by the others, entered, they found one more person waiting for them.

Boyd and Erica were all over them in a heart-beat but behind them in the kitchen stood Sean, a giant spoon in his hand and a caught in the headlights look on his face.

The pack was spilling in and for now Derek was busy, scenting his betas and inhaling the new scent of his whole pack. It would take time for their scents to mingle into one distinctive one that was pack but it was a start.

Megan was the first to break off the pack hug with Stacy on her hip.

"Who are you?" She asked when she brushed into the kitchen to fix a bottle for the baby.

Derek had no idea why Sean was here but for sure it was not a good idea to confront him with a pack this big. Especially since they were all traumatized and their nerves raw. He wanted to go after Megan to defuse the situation but Stiles was faster.

"This is Sean." Stiles announced loud enough for everyone to hear. "He's a friend of mine. And he has cooked for us." Stiles made a half swirl on his heel to take in his kitchen. "You cooked for us?"

"And he helped us to get everything ready so be nice to him." Erica spoke up and Sean blushed even more.

Derek made a round through the loft where his pack members had started to settle in. He checked on Mark who had eased himself into one of the chairs which like all the other pieces of furniture had been shoved to the walls to make space for a den three times its normal size in the middle.

"How are you doing?" Derek asked but Stephen had already taken Mark's hand to drain the pain.

"I'm healing." Mark said with a tired smile and made a gesture towards his head. "Still getting used to the sensory overload, though."

"You'll get used to it." Derek patted his arm and then went over to Charles to check on him. He wasn't the youngest anymore and after the last day Derek was kind of worried about his health. But Charles assured him that he was just tired.

The twins had joined Stiles and Sean in the kitchen and were helping to get enough plates and glasses for everybody out of the cupboards. They didn't have enough chairs for all of them but they would make it work.

"What did you cook?" Derek asked, still not over the fact that Sean of all people was here, cooking for the whole pack.

"Just pasta with tomato sauce." Sean answered, eyes fixed on the pot in front of him.

Dinner was a strange experience. Megan, the twins and Jeremy had taken over the kitchen table and were eating quietly while Megan was also feeding Stacy. There were more than enough people around and willing to take over Stacy once in a while but so far Megan hadn't accepted any help.

The others were coming and going, filling their plates and then they were eating wherever they wanted in the loft. Somebody had fixed a plate for Mark as well and for a while there were only the noises of them eating along with quiet talking.

"We need to go shopping tomorrow." Ellen came up to him when she had cleared her plate. "We need clothes and nobody has even a toothbrush."

"You can borrow clothes from us for now." Boyd came up behind her and used the chance to bury his nose in Ellen's neck. "And we did the groceries. There's food and we bought stuff like toothbrushes as well."

Derek threw a glance at Sean and wondered if he was included in the we. How he had ended up here in the first place was a mystery he decided to solve later.

"That's good." Ellen nodded. "But we still need clothes for the kids and Jeremy needs a chair." She nodded over to the boy who was kneeling on Megan's knee to reach the table.

Derek nodded, in his mind he was already making a list of the things they would need. He should check in with Stiles later, his mate was probably working on the same list.

"I have a chair." Sean suddenly spoke up. Judging by the look on his face he was sacred by his own boldness and he shrank in to himself when suddenly all eyes were on him.

"My parents." He cleared his throat. "They always wanted another child so they kept everything. We have a chair, a baby bed, bags full of clothes and much more."

"If your parents are okay with that." Ellen seemed unsure and looked at Derek for guidance who just shook his head. He doubted Sean's parents would have another child.

"We can get it over tomorrow, I'll help you." Isaac offered and with that it was settled.

Chapter Text

After dinner Sean went home and Stiles showed Lydia his room where she would sleep. Then the pack crashed in the den.

Stiles had the suspicion that this would become a nightly occurrence from now on and he had to say that he liked it. It was the only good thing coming out of this disaster.

He and Derek were in the center with a puppy Jeremy wedged between them and the rest of the pack all around them. The pack pile was bigger than Stiles was used to and there were other humans as well but it wasn't as weird as he had expected.

In the back of his mind Stiles felt the connection to all of them, weaker and still forming to the humans, and through the bonds he felt their need for closeness and something in him responded to that. He suspected his status as the alpha's mate which was more than just a title, as he had found out, but there was a need in him to take care of his pack. So it wasn't weird at all that Mark ended up sleeping with his head on Stiles' shoulder and with Stiles' fingers gently carding through the patches of hair that had grown back by now.

The next morning Derek called his school because technically it was a school day, not that Stiles had really payed attention to that. Everybody at school had probably watched the news so there were no questions when Derek told them that Stiles wouldn't come in this week.

Who had also watched the news were the other tenants in the building. If they had been oblivious to the fact that there was a werewolf pack living on the top floors before, they knew now. Two had already left, only leaving a note that they would get their stuff and hand in the keys next week. The other four were still there but there was a palpable tension in the building now.

"Tell him that we're gone as soon as we find a new apartment." The guy from the second floor told Stiles when he and Charles came back with some groceries. "Should have told us beforehand. But you don't think about humans getting caught in your stupid pack wars, don't you? I have children."

"Charming guy." Charles commented when they finally got away from him.

"He used to be nicer." Stiles said but didn't really care about the guy still muttering in the stairwell. With a pack this big they would need the whole building anyway. And even if not, they were all too on edge to have strangers living under the same roof as them.

The other three tenants were understanding when Derek told them that he would need their apartments for his pack. He didn't push it but they all agreed to leave as soon as possible.

That was one problem taken care of.

"I never thought there would be this much paper work." Stiles groaned and stood up to get more coffee. He poured a cup for Derek and Ellen as well since they had been sitting over the papers for hours.

There were funerals to be arranged and Laura's body had to be transported over. Derek would have liked her to lie with their parents and the rest of their family but that was out of question. So they had agreed that she would be buried with her pack members.

As much as they would have liked to attend, nobody dared to go back for the funerals. Laura and the others would be put to rest without their loved ones around.

Then there was insurance stuff. And workplaces and schools to inform. Gina, Stacy and Jeremy were orphans now so custody was another issue they had to take care of. And there were a zillion other things that needed to be done. Derek had offered to let Stiles out of this, he could let the adults handle this, but Stiles had just given him a look and had reached for the phone to kick the next call off his list.

Isaac had picked up Sean right after school and when they came in with the baby stuff, it was a welcomed interruption. Sean also had Stiles' homework which wasn't that welcomed and he put it off for later.

"Your parents really don't mind?" Stiles still wasn't sure what to think of this.

"If they ever find out it's gone, they will just accuse each other of throwing it out." Sean shrugged but didn't hide the evil glint in his eye.

What really put a damper on Stiles' already down mood was the call he got from his father.

"She asked about Scott." His father said.

"What did you tell her?"

"The truth, what else?"

There was not point in lying to Melissa, telling her that Scott was fine, only to let her find out later that her son was dead. It would only lead to losing her as well.

Stiles didn't ask how she took it.

"I don't like that you two are still in Beacon Hills." He said instead. They didn't know what Peter would do next.

"Me neither."

"We're clearing out the building for pack only." Stiles said. "There's an apartment waiting for you and Melissa."

She was on the mend but she was far from being able to take care of herself and Stiles knew that his dad had been committed to that job since Scott had attacked her. John had promised Scott that he would be there for his mother before Scott had left to join Derek's pack but Stiles knew he would have done it anyway.

"We're not pack." His dad said after a long moment.

"Dad, please." Stiles rolled his eyes despite the fact that his dad couldn't see him. "The only reason you're not already a beacon in my mind is because you live too far away. Pack by association, it's a thing."

It had only been a few days but he could already feel the connections to the human pack members in his mind. It would be the same with his dad and Melissa.

"Shouldn't you ask Derek before you add us to the pack?" He asked but Stiles heard the smile in his voice.

"Don't worry about that, you're welcomed in the pack, both of you."

They ended the call and Stiles took a moment to think about this. They hadn't really talked about it but he didn't feel like they needed to talk about it. His dad was pack.

For now the pack was fine with crashing in the loft but that wasn't a permanent solution. However, they would have six empty apartments once the tenants had moved out. Mark would move into Isaac's guestroom until he had his new wolfyness under control but Stiles had a feeling that that would be a more permanent thing.

Ellen and the twins needed a place. Stephen and Megan would need one of the bigger apartments because it looked like they would take in Stacy and Jeremy. Charles and Gina would take apartment number three and Lydia would get one of her own as well. Derek didn't want her too close to one of the pack members but he didn't want her out of his sight either. There was still a serious talk they needed to have with her but for now, the pack had accepted that Lydia would stick around for the time being.

That left two apartments. They hadn't talked about it yet but Stiles was toying with the idea of moving into one of them with Derek. They could make the loft a pack thing with a permanent den where the pack could sleep together every night. Maybe with a large table where they could have meals together as a pack, he had liked that at Laura's. His and Derek's bedrooms could become studies or something like that.

The last apartment was for John and Melissa if they wanted it.

Over dinner Stiles presented his idea to Derek and the others.

"I like it." Derek said and drew Stiles into his arms for a long kiss.

Stiles had missed that. There had been so much going on, so much death and grief and now the chaos of the aftermath, he just wanted to sink into his mate's arms and forget about the rest of the world for a little while.

Sensing that they needed a moment, the pack left them alone but there was only so far they could go in the vicinity of the loft. So they had to do with another longing kiss, sweet and tender, and then they just stood close, heads resting on each other's shoulders and for a moment they breathed in their mate's scent.

By the end of the week things had calmed down a bit.

Gina still looked up every time somebody entered the loft in unspoken hope that it was her mother. Stiles had done the same when his mom had died and his heart ached every time he saw hope blooming on Gina's face.

And she wasn't the only one grieving.

Over the day the pack kept themselves occupied but during the night everything came back. Jeremy woke up from a nightmare with a howl more than once. There were silent tears shed in the darkness of the night nobody commented on. Most of the time Stiles couldn't even tell who was crying and through the bonds he just got a general sense of loss and sadness from everybody.

Sean came over after school every day. To bring Stiles' his homework, he said but he usually stayed until close to midnight. One night he even stayed over, when things at home were really bad, and he shared Stiles' room with Lydia that night.

Since Stiles was either busy making phone calls or just being there for various pack members, Sean stuck to the only other person he knew. Isaac.

The werewolf didn't mind having Sean hanging around and he always had something to do for him.

By Friday the fist apartment was empty and Isaac took it upon himself to renovate it for the pack. Stiles hadn't known that the beta was a handyman but he didn't complain when Isaac offered to get the apartments ready one by one.

Mark was getting the hang of his strength as well and Isaac put him to work. They stripped the apartment down to the core so that everything would be new and fresh for the pack. Isaac, Sean and Mark made a surprisingly good team and over the weekend they were only been seen during the meals which they attended sweaty and with dust in their hair.

With Isaac busy like that his place was empty and on Saturday Derek and Stiles used it to have an overdue talk with Lydia.

If she was nervous when Derek told her to follow him, she didn't show. She just calmly went with them and then they sat at Isaac's tiny kitchen table, Derek and Stiles on one side, Lydia on the other.

"How did you know about the fire?" Derek skipped the foreplay and came right to the point.

"I sensed it." She flipped her hair back over her shoulder, her eyes on Derek in a quiet challenge. "I heard fire and a pack dying. I just knew."

She had said something like that before but only now Stiles made the connection.

"You're not human." He realized. "That's why Peter couldn't claim or turn you."

A flash of hurt flickered over her face and Stiles wanted to kick himself for blurting it out like this. He knew first hand what claiming meant. Peter had raped her.

"I'm a banshee." Lydia said coldly.

"You predict death." Derek nodded in understanding. "But question is, why would you help us?"

Stiles had pointed out a very good reason just a second ago but he got that Derek couldn't take any chances. Not with the safety of his pack.

"What Peter has done." Her eyes glossed over, lost in memory for a moment. "What he's still doing. He has to be stopped."

"Will you help us?" Stiles leaned forward, studying her face. She met his eyes with a grim nod.

Stiles had stumbled into all this, looking for answers, for anything he could get on Peter. Now he had Lydia. Lydia who had lived in Peter's mansion, who knew the pack.

She was his weapon to take down Peter and the way she looked at him, she counted on it.

 

Chapter Text

By Monday Stiles' room looked like a serial killer's wet dream.

There were newspaper clippings, floor sketches of Peter's mansion, pictures of pack members, pictures of houses of pack members and that was only the beginning. Red yarn connected what needed connecting and sometimes Stiles just connected things like a picture of Peter with one of his ugly mansion just because.

His dad wasn't sure how quickly they could transfer Melissa here, the doctors were still debating if she could go home or needed to stay in a hospital for a little while longer and if so they needed to find one near the pack's place, so John promised to send over Peter's file.

Stiles and Lydia hadn't said it out loud but they both, and probably the whole pack, knew that this wasn't about putting Peter in jail. They were planning to murder him, plain and simple.

Stiles had known that it wasn't an easy task but with Lydia at his side he knew they would find a way. He had been ready to do it on his own and he hadn't really cared if he died in the process or not. But that had been before he had Derek, before had a pack. They needed him, especially now.

The betas were constantly seeking out the alpha couple for comfort. Stiles didn't know how often he was absently scratching a wolf behind the ear while he was on the phone or doing paperwork. Or Stiles was just there when Charles needed to talk about Loreen or when Ellen needed a shoulder to cry on when she was thinking of her husband. Or he distracted the kids when they were asking for their missing parents.

Stiles had thought that it would be solely his role, the alpha's mate's role, but Derek was doing the same. A pat here, a kind word there or he got up in the middle of the night to fix a bottle for Stacy if Derek happened to be the one waking up first when she started to get fussy.

On Monday Stiles had to go to school again.

He picked up Sean before school so he didn't have to face his first day back alone. It felt like his first day all over again except that now he wasn't just the new kid, he was the human kid in a werewolf pack that was in the middle of a bloody pack war.

After almost a week the news coverage had calmed down but everybody at school had seen it. When Stiles walked through the doors, everybody paused to stare at him. Now he got how Lydia must have felt after she had been running around naked in the woods for a few days. It had been when Peter had tried to turn her, he knew that now, but back then she had been a freak and everybody had stared. Stiles too, he had to admit.

Stiles took a breath, squared his shoulders and then walked down the hallway with his eyes straight ahead. Sean was only a step behind him and the closeness made him miss Scott but he didn't have time for that.

When school was finally over, Stiles couldn't get to his jeep fast enough and he only breathed easier when he was back with his pack again. Sean came with him and they had the intention to study for the chemistry test the next day but then Becky and Benny got into a fight and it ended with Stiles patching up Benny in the bathroom while Derek and Ellen were lecturing Becky to not use her claws in a fight. Benny only had a few scratches and his crying abated to little hiccups rather quickly but the boy clung to Stiles for almost half an hour before he was ready to leave the bathroom.

Nobody had been sleeping well the last few nights and living in close quarters didn't helped to calm the fried nerves.

When they finally left the bathroom Sean was gone, most likely to find Isaac and Mark. They spent every spare minute renovating the apartments.

Isaac was in command of that operation and with Mark and Sean he had formed a rather efficient crew that worked surprisingly well together but everybody was welcomed to help.

Stiles had learned first hand how freeing it could be to rip out floor boards and he suspected that he wasn't the only one who used the chance to work out some frustration.

The next few weeks went by rather quickly.

Megan and Lydia started school with Stiles while Benny and Becky went to a different school. Stiles didn't like leaving the twins alone for the better part of the day but there was no other option. At least he was listed as their emergency contact along with Ellen and Derek and he made sure that there was always somebody there to pick them up.

"I just hope they won't get into too much trouble." He muttered under his breath when he watched them leave for their first day.

It was Megan's and Lydia's first day as well and together with Sean they entered the school as a solid group.

"Look at those freaks." Was the first thing Stiles heard but he couldn't make out the speaker.

"Lovely." Lydia commented and flipped her hair back over her shoulder. Then she walked down the hallway with murder in the clack clack of her heels.

In moments like this Stiles remembered why he loved her so much.

None of them was a werewolf and neither Lydia nor Sean were pack but from that day on they were the Wolves. It was meant mockingly at first, an attempt to bully and harass them, but Stiles took it in stride and Megan and Lydia were not ones to back down easily.

If he was honest, it was kind of scary how well Megan and Lydia got along. When they walked down the hallways of the school as if they owned them, they were noticed. And not in the "that's the pack's bitch and his loser friend" way Stiles and Sean got.

With everything going on, Stiles almost missed his own birthday. But everybody was still in grief so it felt wrong to celebrate anyway.

Stiles had totally forgotten what day it was, and after months of waiting for the day he would turn legal that meant something, so it took him completely by surprise when one morning Derek shifted in the middle of the pack pile.

"Happy birthday." He said. He was looming over Stiles, staring down on him as if he couldn't quite believe that Stiles was actually there. With gentle fingers he pushed some stray hairs out of Stiles' face and then he leaned in for a tender kiss.

Around them some of the pack were still sleeping but some were already awake but for the moment Stiles didn't care that everybody was looking at them. It was Derek's naked butt out in the open for everybody to see anyway. Not that anybody cared about things like that, they were all sleeping naked in the den by now without thinking twice about it.

There was an "aww" coming from Ellen and an "eww" from Benny but Stiles just ignored them and chased after another kiss.

Jeremy wiggled his way between them and placed a wet kiss on Stiles' cheek as well.

"Happy birthday." He proclaimed loudly and grabbed Stiles' face with both hands to keep him in place for another wet smack.

There was a round of hugs and Happy-birthdays and by the time the pack let him out of the den Erica had pancakes ready for all of them.

Since it was a school day they had to keep the celebration short but presents were promised for later and when Derek kissed him goodbye, he whispered into Stiles' ear: "We have the evening for ourselves."

Stiles left the house with a broad grin on his face that grew even wider when Megan sing-songed: "Somebody is going to get laid tonight."

"I hope so." Stiles grinned at her. "And there better be a knot involved."

That shut her up rather quickly. Face beet red she stared out of the window until they stopped at Sean's to pick him up.

Since the pack had moved into the loft, Stiles and Derek had slept in the den every night. They hadn't done more than the occasional kiss for weeks now but it was hard, pun totally intended, to get some time alone with his mate while there was the whole pack camping in their living room.

He didn't know what Derek had in mind but it better involved a horizontal surface and a locked door.

"What's up?" Sean climbed into the back seat next to Megan.

"Stiles is fantasizing about Derek's knot." Lydia informed him.

"I'm not." Stiles protested and wiped the dreamy smile off his face.

"Just drive us to school without hitting something." Lydia sighed. "And keep the drooling to a minimum."

It was the longest school day in the history of school days. By the time the final bell rang, Stiles was fidgeting in his seat, anticipation humming in his veins and his cock had been in a semi hard state for hours.

However, when they came home there was the pack waiting for him with cake and presents so his alone time with Derek had to wait for just a little while longer.

Shopping for his birthday hadn't been high on the pack's endless to do list and the knew pack members didn't know him well enough for personal presents anyway so Stiles got quite a few gift cards.

Gina and Jeremy had painted pictures for him and the twins had made birthday cards with way too much glitter. Stiles loved them. He made a show of putting the pictures and cards on the fridge which earned him hugs from all four kids.

The main present from the whole pack was a candle light dinner at an Italian restaurant Stiles had wanted to try out with Derek for a while now.

So for dinner time the pack kicked them out of their own home.

"My place is yours tonight." Isaac said and in a lower voice he added: "There's lube in the nightstand."

"Why does he have lube in the nightstand?" Stiles wondered on their way out of the building.

"I don't want to know." Derek answered and laced their fingers together.

They walked the short distance to the restaurant and the whole time they were holding hands.

The first few minutes felt weird. For weeks now they hadn't spent any amount of time alone with each other and for a moment Stiles didn't even know what to say.

He didn't want to talk about the fire or about the things they still had to do until the pack could truly settle in. He didn't want to talk about school either or how worried he was about his dad and Melissa.

"Do you realize that this is our first date?" He blurted out just to say something.

"We did things kind of backwards." Derek admitted and hid behind his water glass.

"I have to inform you that I usually don't put out on a first date." He winked at his mate. "But I can be persuaded to make an exception for you."

"How generous of you." Derek answered dryly.

The meal was delicious and by the time the waitress brought out their dessert, they were leaning in to each other, comfortable in the closeness and talking in hushed voices. Stiles didn't even care what they were talking about. He fed Derek a strawberry and then licked the flavor right out of his mouth.

"We should go back." Derek kissed him with a hint of red eyes. It could have been the candle light but Stiles knew better. There was hunger in those eyes but he was pretty sure he wore the same expression.

"I want your knot tonight." Stiles whispered in his ear and a minute later Derek was basically dragging him down the street back to their house. Stiles would have laughed if he hadn't been so horny.

The morning after this eighteenth birthday Stiles didn't bother with covering up the impressive bite mark Derek had left on his neck.

Stiles went to school, wearing Derek's mark like a badge.

 

Chapter Text

They had their first real date. Derek hadn't even realized that they hadn't been on one until Stiles pointed it out.

It was perfect. They had a table a bit at the side where they had some privacy. The candle light dinner came with actual candles on the table that made Stiles' eyes shine like liquid amber. Derek spent the whole evening just looking into those eyes.

Over dessert they started to feed each other strawberries and when Stiles leaned over to kiss him, slipping his tongue into Derek's mouth right here in the restaurant, Derek just cupped the back of his head to hold him close and kissed back.

Stiles' mouth tasted like strawberries and Derek couldn't get enough of it. He did, however, had the sense to leave the restaurant before he explored that thought farther. The food was really good here and it would have been a shame to get banned from the place for public disturbance. Even if Stiles would have found it hilarious.

They couldn't get home fast enough, Derek wasn't even sure who was dragging who at this point, all he knew was that he was dizzy from the arousal coming off of Stiles in waves and that his already half-hard cock started to strain his pants. Stiles was in a similar state and they spent the elevator ride up with kissing, fingers buried in each other's hair. When Derek slipped his leg between Stiles' thighs, his mate started to ride it shamelessly.

Thankfully, the door to Isaac's apartment was unlocked, Derek wasn't sure if he had the brain capacity for keys right now. Neither of them was willing to let go of the other one even for the short moment to operate the door anyway. They stumbled in, still kissing and with roaming hand, and it took them a moment to notice their surroundings.

There was guitar music playing in the background on a low level and through the ajar bedroom door shone the soft light of candles.

"I hope those haven't been burning there on their own for too long." Stiles muttered and went over to have a look. "I want to put that bed on fire tonight but not like that." He wiggled his eyebrows and Derek rolled his eyes in return.

"I'm sure he sensed us coming closer and lit them just a moment ago." Derek followed his mate to where he stood in the doorway. He stepped up behind Stiles, slung his arms around him and hooking his chin over Stiles' shoulder he had a look in the room.

"I'm not sure if Isaac is a closed romantic or if he's a sarcastic asshole who's mocking us with all this." Stiles said after a moment of stunned silence. There were candles burning on every surface, their warm light turning the plain bedroom into something right out of a Hollywood romance.

"It's your birthday." Derek reminded him and nuzzled Stiles' neck.

"It's Isaac." Stiles shot back but angled his head to give Derek better access. Derek just hummed to that and tucked at Stiles shirt to indicate that they were wearing way too many clothes. Getting the idea Stiles lifted his arms and let Derek help him out of his shirt. The candle light gave Stiles' skin a golden shine and Derek couldn't wait to explore every inch of it.

They didn't have the chance to get intimate like this very often since their pack had gotten bigger and by now the marks Derek had left on Stiles' skin had faded. Time to change that.

"Mine." Derek said, sucking at Stiles neck until the blood came to the surface. Satisfied he licked over the spot.

So far Stiles had only lost his shirt, something they needed to change very soon, but first Derek had to make sure that his mark was on Stiles' neck for everybody to see.

"Mark me." Stiles kissed his jawline. "Leave your marks all over me. Show me that I'm yours." He whispered the words into his ear, accented with little nips at Derek's throat. "Mark me, alpha."

The last word did it. Derek let out a growl and then almost ripped the pants off Stiles. Then he threw him face first on the bed and crawled in after him, looming over his mate who didn't even try to turn around. Stiles just lay there, bare and naked and his neck was just begging for Derek to sink his teeth into.

"Derek." Stiles groaned when Derek bit down hard enough to bruise.

He nipped at the nape of Stiles' neck and then he slowly worked his way down his spine. Soothing every bite with little licks and kisses, he marked Stiles' back until he reached the swell of his butt. He nipped at the sensitive skin there before he took the cheeks in his hands, kneading and spreading them, exposing Stiles' hole.

"Derek, please." By now Stiles was writhing under him, shamelessly humping the mattress. The scent of precome hung in the air, driving Derek wild. Spreading the cheeks with his thumbs Derek dove right in, plunging his tongue into the hole.

Stiles let out a strangled cry, clawing helplessly at the sheets, but Derek held him firmly in place while he sealed his lips around the opening and sucked.

Derek ate him out until his spit was running down Stiles' balls and Stiles was a trembling mess under him.

"Touch me." Stiles whined but didn't make an attempt to reach for his own cock. "Please, touch me. Derek, please."

Taking mercy on him Derek slid his hand under Stiles where his slick with precome cock was trapped under him. Still fucking him with his tongue Derek gave his erection a few quick strokes and Stiles came messily over his hand.

Derek gave his hole a few more flicks with his tongue before he urged Stiles to roll over.

"You're beautiful." He said in awe at the sight of his mate lying stretched out in front of him. There was come smeared on his half-hard cock and stomach, his skin shone with sweat and he had dreamy eyes and a stupid grin on his face.

"I love you." Stiles said, his eyes unfocused. "But an awesome rim job is not going to get you out of knotting me tonight."

"We have all night." Derek reminded him and kissed him on the mouth.

Stiles front was miles of smooth, unmarked skin and he really needed to change that. He took his time, paying extra attention to Stiles' throat and nipples and by the time he came down to his groin, Stiles' cock was already twitching with interest again.

Derek thoroughly cleaned him up, lapping up every bit of come.

"I swear." Stiles hissed when Derek licked up the length of his cock. "If you make me come like this I am going to kill you. I want to come on your cock and I doubt that I'm going to be up for a third round any time soon."

Derek let his beard scratch over the sensitive skin of Stiles' inner thighs, that should take care of that problem.

"You asshole." Stiles hissed but fisted his hands in his hair to keep him in place.

Stiles wasn't known for his patience so it didn't surprise Derek when Stiles yanked him up for a hungry kiss and then demanded: "Your knot in me. Now." He kissed him again, catching Derek's bottom lip with his teeth. "We need lube. Lots of lube."

He twisted out from under Derek and leaned over the side of the bed to open the drawer.

Then Stiles fell out of the bed in a fit of laughter.

Derek peered over the edge to make sure that his mate was okay but Stiles just lay there, holding his sides, screaming with laughter.

Derek raised an eyebrow at him but Stiles had trouble breathing right now so instead of an answer he just gestured wildly at the open drawer.

"Well, that answers your earlier question." Derek said, fighting for a stern face. "Isaac is a sarcastic asshole."

Like promised there was lube in the drawer. It read bacon flavored in bold letters. And there was a note: "Side of bacon for the sausage."

Derek managed to keep a straight face for a few seconds longer before he broke. By the time he could breathe again, tears were streaming down his face and his sides were aching.

When Stiles climbed back on the bed, they made the mistake to look at each other and for a moment they were both fighting to keep the next fit of laughter in but the next second Stiles collapsed on top of him and the whole bed was shaking with their laughter.

They didn't dare to look at each other after that and slowly their breathing evened out.

Suddenly there was a poking finger at Derek's by now flaccid cock.

"Still not getting out of knotting me tonight." Stiles said darkly and poked him in the balls.

"With bacon flavored lube?" Derek cracked an eye open. "I'm not going upstairs to get our lube." The whole pack was up there, no way was he going there to get lube.

"If that's what it takes to get your knot." Stiles answered in grim determination. He slid down the bed to get on mouth level with his cock. "But first I have to get this baby up and going."

"Could you not call it baby?" Derek groaned but the closeness of Stiles' mouth to his cock alone perked his interest.

Stiles just gave him a wicked grin and took the tip of his cock between his lips.

"Your mouth is going to be the death of me." Derek dropped his arm over his eyes and just let Stiles do whatever he wanted to do down there.

"There you go." With a wet plop he let go of Derek's straining cock. "I want to ride you."

Without looking at the bottle, they wouldn't get to actual fucking tonight if they looked at that damn thing again, Stiles got a good dollop of lube and coated Derek's shaft generously with it. The smell filling the air was too strong, too chemical and nothing like bacon at all which at the moment counted as a good thing. Derek didn't know if he would be able to stop laughing if that stuff actually smelled like bacon.

Stiles used his moment of distraction to swiftly sink down on Derek's cock. Then he sat there, head hanging and eyes closed, until his body had adjusted to the intrusion.

Derek grit his teeth and clawed the sheets to keep himself from just grabbing Stiles and make him take it. But then Stiles fell forward, bracing his hands on Derek's chest, and started to ride him in earnest.

When Derek brought his hands up to grab Stiles' hips, they were clawed but Stiles didn't even lose his rhythm when the sharp tips scratched over his skin.

"C'mon, alpha." Stiles leaned into his claws on the small of his back. "Fuck me. Take me. Mark me." He slammed down on Derek with every word and Derek felt his forming knot catching on his rim with every thrust.

"Alpha!" Stiles screamed, baring his throat, and that was it. With a roar Derek took control. He shot upright, his teeth sinking into Stiles' neck and with a sharp thrust he forced his knot past the tight ring of muscle, locking them together.

Derek's knot was pulsing against the tightness of Stiles inner walls, sending pleasant shocks through Derek groin with every shallow thrust. It was more grinding than thrusting, they were firmly locked together, and judging by the uncontrolled spasms rippling through Stiles, his knot was pressed right against his prostate.

Stiles made a noise deep in his throat and then he went rigid in Derek's arms. The waves of his orgasm took Derek over the edge right with him.

If it was another orgasm or just impressive aftershocks, Derek didn't know, but Stiles tightened around him again, his spent cock dribbling more semen and then his second orgasm hit Derek like a train. He threw his head back in a howl, claws digging into the meat of Stiles' ass, while he pumped his release deep into his mate.

Stiles sagged against him, boneless and heavy in his arms.

"That was good." Stiles breathed against Derek's chest and Derek felt him smile. Still coming down from his own orgasm, Derek carefully eased them down until he was lying on his back with Stiles on top of him.

Gently he carded his fingers through Stiles' sweaty hair and listened to his mate's even breaths while he waited for his knot to come down. Seconds later Stiles was asleep but Derek was content with just lying there, the comforting weight of his mate on his chest.

When he finally could, he carefully slipped out of Stiles and then, without waking him, he rolled him off his chest.

Derek got out of bed to blow out the candles, he wasn't taking any chances here, and to turn off the music. Then he cleaned himself and Stiles up and slipped under the covers with him.

 

Chapter Text

In the morning Stiles stood in the bathroom and examined the impressive bite mark Derek had left on his neck in the mirror. For a long moment he was debating with himself if he should cover it up or not. In the end he said fuck it. He was eighteen now and nobody could say anything about him having consensual sex with his mate.

Lydia gave him a proud smile when he came out of the bathroom with the mark still on display.

The pack came together over breakfast and there were more knowing looks and grins but all in good manner and Stiles didn't mind. He did, however, almost strangled Isaac when the beta asked if he wanted some bacon.

"I'll make you eat the whole bottle." Stiles promised darkly but then Benny asked "What bottle?" and suddenly every adult at the table found something very interesting on their plate.

"You knew." Stiles realized, gaping. "All of you."

"Hard to miss when you fell out of bed with laughter." Ellen said casually while she tried to distract Benny with cacao.

"Why did you fell out of bed?" Benny didn't let himself get distracted that easily. "Were you jumping on it? We're not allowed to jump on the bed."

The whole table resolved into laughter, only leaving the kids with confused expressions looking between them.

"I think this is about mating." Becky said wisely and snagged the cacao from her brother. "Adults get all weird when it comes to mating."

Benny frowned at her but took her word for it.

"School." Stiles just wanted to leave. "We need to got to school. Now!" With that he bolted from the table, followed by Lydia and Megan who had trouble walking because they were laughing so hard.

Behind them there was still snickering, Isaac the loudest, but Stiles just slammed the door shut behind them and then he stood in the stairway, hands braced on his knees and body shaking with laughter.

"Just remind me to never trust Isaac with lube ever again." He said once he could form actual words again. "And from now on I'm going to carry some lube with me all the time."

"For lube emergencies?" Megan asked and shook with a new fit of laughter.

"Did you actually use it?" Lydia asked, hiding her mouth behind her hand. Stiles suspected a huge grin behind that.

"Yes, we actually used it." He said with a flail. "Do you want details?"

"No!" Came the answer from behind the door. It sounded like Mark.

Right, werewolves and their freaking hearing. If it hadn't been for Jeremy and Becky also being able to hear him, Stiles would have been tempted to give them a few details but this way he just huffed, adjusted his backpack on his shoulder and strode towards the elevator.

By the time they reached the school they had composed themselves and when Stiles entered the building he wore Derek's mark on his neck like a badge.

"Dude, what?" Sean hissed at him when he finally noticed it on Stiles' neck. It was on the wrong side so Sean hadn't seen it in the car. But now there was no way to not notice it. Stiles just gave his friend a proud smirk.

With Stiles in the lead and Megan, Lydia and Sean right behind him, they walked down the hallway like they owned it. The girls did it every day but for the first time Stiles felt that confidence as well. He was the alpha's mate. His alpha had left his mark on him for everybody to see and Stiles owned it.

There were looks, of course there were looks, but Stiles didn't let them bother him.

Word got round quickly and somehow Mrs. Hanson heard about it as well and of course she asked him to see her after school.

"Stiles." She greeted him with that concerned tone of hers. "How do you feel?"

It was her opening for him to tell her how bad the pack treated him but he never gave her that satisfaction.

"Awesome." He answered truthfully. Since the fire this was the first time he truly felt good. "Celebrated my birthday yesterday." He yanked down the collar of his shirt to show off the mark.

"Stiles." It sounded almost like a sigh. "I know it can be exciting and you have to stay with Derek, I know that, but you don't have to do this."

"I want to do this."

"He's dangerous." She tried again. This was getting old. "I just want you to stay safe."

"I am safe" There was no safer place than in the middle of his pack. But that thought cast a shadow over his good mood. Laura's pack had thought the same.

"Derek is in the middle of a pack war." Mrs. Hanson reminded him.

"I know what has been on the news." Stiles said. He had seen it but he hadn't liked it. There had been little fact but lots of speculations. Just enough to get people worried. "It's not like that."

He stood and didn't let her hold him back.

"Derek is my mate and since I'm eighteen now, there is nothing you can say against that." He reached for the door. "I won't have this conversation with you again."

With that he left.

At his jeep Lydia, Megan and Sean were waiting for him. Only Megan was actually pack but Stiles felt better in their company.

Stiles was pretty sure that Mrs. Hanson was not allowed to talk about the stuff he told her during their sessions but the next day everybody knew that he thought that he was Derek's mate. He wasn't sure if that was a step up from being the pack's bitch but he didn't really care either.

There were other things on his mind.

Melissa was finally allowed to leave the hospital and as long as somebody was there to take care of her, she could go home.

"The first apartment just got ready." Stiles told his dad when John called to tell him the good news. By now all the apartments were in various states of renovation but the one Isaac, Mark and Sean had started with had been proclaimed finished a few days ago.

"We don't want to impose. You have others who need it more than us." His dad said but Stiles cut him off before he could start about renting something near by again.

"It's cool, Dad." Stiles assure him. The second he had said that he wanted one apartment for his dad and Melissa, he had to spill his beans about Scott to the pack. After that the whole pack had agreed that they would get the first apartment.

Besides, nobody felt good about Stiles' father still living in Beacon Hills.

Stiles would have loved to grab a few pack members, preferably some with werewolf strength, drive to Beacon Hills and help his father to get all their stuff. But he didn't want to endanger his pack like that. So they agreed that John would just take with him what he could fit in the car and leave everything else to get sold with the house. They could replace he had to leave behind, Stiles just needed to convince his dad to accept that Derek would pay for most of it.

What Stiles could do beforehand was to grab Derek's credit card and Boyd, he was the most levelheaded one, and go on a furniture shopping spree.

Isaac had put in a new kitchen as part of the renovation but other than that the apartment was empty. So Stiles made sure that his dad and Melissa had at least beds, a couch, chairs and a table. Everything else they could get over time.

Somehow throw pillows appeared on the couch and there were suddenly rugs on the floor and the linen closet was filled with sheets and towels and stuff like that. Stiles suspected Ellen and Erica but he had to admit that the apartment looked less like a sterile hospital room with just a few details added.

The big day was a Saturday.

Early in the morning John called Stiles to tell him that they were on the road and Stiles even spoke a few words with Melissa who thanked him again for giving them a place to stay. According to John she was doing really good but would still need some time and therapy.

When he ended the call, Stiles wasn't sure if Melissa actually wanted to live with the pack. Staying in Beacon Hills was not an option, they all knew that, but Melissa didn't really have a choice on where to go.

Stiles made a mental note to talk to her in private once she was here, just to make sure that she knew that she didn't have to stay with the pack if she didn't want to. This was just the quick solution, she was more than welcomed to stay and make it a permanent one but she didn't have to stay.

Stiles smiled to himself, that sounded a lot like what Derek had told him when he had followed him here. And in the end Stiles had stayed. He just hoped that it would be similar with Melissa.

John and Melissa arrived late in the evening and Stiles and Derek were the only ones waiting for them in the parking lot. They had agreed that they would let them arrive first and swarm them with pack later.

The second John got out of the car, Stiles flung himself at his father, embracing him in a tight hug. Until now he had feared that Peter would do something to prevent them from leaving Beacon Hills but the alpha either didn't know that they were leaving, unlikely because John had officially quit his job and had spent the last week preparing Deputy Parrish to take his place until there would be a new sheriff. So it was more likely that Peter didn't care about some humans. Especially not a human pet's father and a dead omega's mother.

Either way, John and Melissa had made the ride safely and that was all Stiles cared about.

Melissa greeted him with a warm smile and a sideways hug out of the car while John got a wheelchair from the trunk. Stiles stepped aside to let his father help her into the chair, both working together in practiced movements.

Derek had stayed in the background, helping John with the chair and their bags, but now he stepped forward.

"Mrs. McCall?" He offered her his hand. "I'm Derek."

"Melissa, please." She said and shook his hand with a smile. Stiles didn't need to have werewolf senses to tell that she was freaking out on the inside.

Derek must have noticed as well because once the introduction was over he stepped back so that John could take over the chair and wheel her towards the elevator. Stiles fell in step next to them and he used the chance to have a real look at her. Back in the hospital she had looked pale, more like a shadow of herself. She wasn't quite back but there was more of the woman Stiles knew.

She was still thin but her cheeks had a healthier color and her eyes were bright and clear. However, she held herself as if she was in pain and the way Derek's hand was twitching his instincts were telling him to help her with that. Stiles doubted that she would allow it, though. In the hospital Isaac had taken her pain but back then she hadn't really noticed that the werewolf was doing it and not the painkillers.

"This is your place." Stiles announced once they reached the right door. He stepped back while his father pushed the wheelchair farther into the apartment.

"It looks great." John said and Stiles could tell that he was fighting with tears. Stiles couldn't even imagine how the last few weeks had been for him. He hadn't let on to it but he must have lived in constant fear of what Peter would do next.

"It's just the basics for now. You have to put in your own stuff later." Stiles started to babble because he was in real danger of bursting into tears right now. "But at least you have a couch, right? If you don't like the color, blame Boyd, he said that gray goes with everything."

"Stiles." His father interrupted him and threw an arm over his shoulder. His other hand stayed firmly on Melissa's shoulder and she leaned her head against his arm. "It's perfect. Thank you." He turned to Derek who once again had stayed back.

"Thank you, Derek."

"You're pack." Derek said, clearly uncomfortable. "You're family."

 

Chapter Text

Derek could tell that Melissa didn't trust him. Worse, she was terrified of him. Her heart was beating in fear and he smelled the anxiety all around her.

Derek did his best to stay back, letting John and Stiles handle the situation. He would have just left, they didn't need him here, but that felt wrong. He didn't want to give the impression that he didn't care about the humans.

But when Stiles asked if they were hungry after the long ride, Derek was quick to volunteer to go upstairs and get some leftover dinner for them.

"Everything okay?" Stephen asked, already fixing a tray for him. Ellen and Boyd were with him in the kitchen, not so subtly sniffing the air in hope to gain some information without outright asking. Everybody else was already in the den but Derek felt their eyes on him. If they had it their way, John and Melissa would be here right now but his pack understood that they needed some time to get used to the idea of living with the pack now, especially Melissa who was still injured.

"They had a long ride." He answered vaguely. "Some food and a good night's sleep is all they need."

Before there could be more questions, Derek grabbed the tray and headed back downstairs.

"The pack comes together for the meals, you should join us." Stiles just said to his dad when Derek entered the apartment. "But you don't have to, nobody would be mad if you don't want to jump in head first. Hey, I remember when I first came here, I was terrified, and the pack was smaller back then." For a second his voice became distant and Derek wasn't sure how Stiles felt about his early days with the pack. He had been terrified, that much had been obvious, but now he sounded like it was a fond memory.

John would join the pack meals, Derek was sure of that, but the way Melissa went rigid at the mention of getting near the rest of the pack, Derek doubted that he would see her at his table any time soon.

But knowing with what kind of ideas about werewolves Stiles had come, Derek didn't blame her. Her son had been bitten against his will and then Peter had just abandoned him. Without an alpha Scott had attacked his own mother, leaving her in a coma, and when she woke up she had to learn that Peter had killed her son afterwards.

It really didn't come as a surprise that she didn't trust werewolves in general and Derek as an alpha in particular.

So once he had delivered the food and had made sure that they had everything they needed for now, he excused himself.

Stiles kissed him and used the chance to whisper: "Don't worry, it's going to be okay."

"I know." Derek assured him and after another quick kiss, he left.

He didn't linger to find out if there were comments about the kissing.

The kids were already sleeping and the rest of his pack had settled down in the den as well so Derek just shrugged off his clothes, slipped into his fur and curled in with them.

Hours later Stiles joined them. Derek woke up just enough to mold himself into Stiles' side before he drifted back to sleep.

The next day was Sunday which meant no school and no getting up early.

Today, however, there was a strange tension in the air.

"Pancakes." Erica announced and didn't even bother with clothes before she started swirling though the kitchen. Once mixed the batter needed a few minutes to rest, or so Erica always said and she was the Queen of Pancakes, and she used that time to slip in the bathroom and get some clothes on. But that was more to protect her from splatters of hot oil than for modesty, Derek guessed.

His pack had never been shy but compared to Laura's pack they had been a bunch of prudes. Now clothes were more or less optional. Given how often the wolves shifted from one shape to the other, clothes were rather impractical.

Erica made an extra plate of pancakes for the ones downstairs and while everybody was stuffing their face with pancakes, Stiles grabbed the plate and a bottle of syrup and slipped out of the loft.

Everybody noticed but only Jeremy gave the closing door a puzzled look.

"Where's he going?" He asked Boyd who was cutting a pancake for him.

"His dad and Melissa want pancakes, too." Boyd replied easily.

"Don't they want to eat with us?" Jeremy looked around for somebody to explain it to him. He understood that his mom wouldn't come home to eat with them so the thought of Stiles' dad not wanting to be with them probably was the most horrific thing he could think of.

"They don't know us yet." Derek answered when Boyd threw him a helpless look.

"I want to see them now." Jeremy decided and tried to wiggle his way out of Boyd's lap.

"You'll meet them later." Derek said firmly but it still took some convincing until Jeremy went back to eating his pancake.

Derek could tell that Jeremy wasn't the only one eager to meet Stiles' dad and Melissa, but the adults knew the story behind Melissa's injuries so they understood that she was wary to meet a whole pack.

However, half an hour later John came upstairs with Stiles to bring back the dishes and to thank Erica for the pancakes.

Since John already knew Derek and his old pack introductions were a bit easier but there was still an awkward silence after the names were said and the hands were shook, but then Jeremy, who had been hiding behind Megan's leg, asked loudly: "Why does Stiles' mom not want to see us?"

Stiles and his father shared a pained glance while the rest of the pack backed off a little to give them some space.

"Melissa is not my mom." Stiles crouched down in front of Jeremy who was still mostly staying in the safety behind Megan's leg. "But my dad and me? We care a lot about her."

"Is she pack?" Jeremy asked, glancing up at John but then fixing his eyes on Stiles again.

"Yes." Stiles answered easily and Derek just wanted to kiss him for that. "Yes, she is pack. But it's still new to her and she's a little bit scared."

"Why?"

Derek bit back a groan and most of the adults, especially John, did the same. He wasn't sure if he was ready for a round of why questions but Stiles just grinned at the little boy.

"Because of the big bad wolves around here." He said. Then he leaned in, having a closer look at Jeremy. "Are you a big bad wolf?"

Jeremy shook his head vehemently, a knowing grin already on his face.

At least Megan had the sense to get out of the way when Stiles jumped the little boy and a second later they were rolling on the floor.

John just looked at his son who was now pinned down by a pint-sized werewolf, begging for mercy, then he looked at Derek.

"You really sure about that mate thing?" He asked with a raised eyebrow and Derek didn't even bother to hide his smile.

Then, with a shriek, Gina joined in and a second later the twins were in the mix as well. This time Megan wasn't quick enough and went down with them when a wolfy Becky tried to dodge through her legs.

Derek had an eye on the brawl on the floor, Becky and Jeremy knew that they had to be careful when they played with the human pack members but on the other hand, they were kids, but he was more watching John.

Derek wasn't sure what he was reading in John's face but seeing his son playing with the kids did something to the man.

When he excused himself, he didn't want to leave Melissa for too long, John was deep in thoughts but he promised to come upstairs to pick up dinner for himself and Melissa in the evening.

Derek didn't see Melissa the whole day but Stiles assured him that she was doing better.

"She just needs time." Stiles said. He was the only one going downstairs that day but Derek trusted his judgment. The pack would meet her when he said that she was ready for it.

Derek didn't know how it happened but the next day he found himself suddenly alone with the three little ones. The older children were at school, Isaac at campus and the other adults were somewhere in the building, working stuff off the to do list Isaac had left them with. The renovation of the other apartments was still going on and even if Isaac wasn't there all the time, it was his project and the others were just cheap help. Not that anyone minded. Even Sean still showed up every day after school to work with Isaac.

John had been upstairs earlier but he had left with Mark to do some groceries.

"Just us now." Derek said to Gina who hadn't let go of his left leg for a while now. Some days she was just clingy like that and instead of an answer she nodded into the back of his knee.

It was time for Stacy's bottle so Derek stood in the kitchen, Stacy in one arm, fixing the bottle with the other hand, and Gina a little monkey around his leg, when he noticed that one kid was missing.

"Jeremy?" He asked into the loft but even if he couldn't see the den with the kitchen shelves in the way he could tell that there was nobody else with them in the loft.

"Have you seen Jeremy?" He asked Gina but only got a head-shake as an answer. Through the pack bond he could feel that the boy was still close and in no distress so Derek fixed the bottle and started feeding Stacy before he went in search for his little beta.

Gina didn't even bother to walk on her own, she just put her feet on top of his foot and tightened her grip around his leg.

Derek was just glad that Stiles wasn't around to laugh at him. Or Erica, she would take pictures.

With the two kids firmly attached to him, Derek followed the bond in search for the third one.

Of course the beacon in his head lead downstairs to the ajar door of John's and Melissa's apartment. Biting back a curse Derek knocked at the door.

"Melissa?" He asked. "Is Jeremy with you?"

There wasn't an answer so Derek shouldered his way into the apartment.

He wasn't sure who looked more surprised, Melissa, when she saw him with Stacy and the bottle in his arm and Gina the spider monkey around his leg, or Derek himself when he noticed her in the wheelchair at the window with a sleeping wolf pup in her lap.

"I'm sorry." She said with a delay. "I didn't mean to … he just came in and I …" There was sheer horror on her face.

"He was eager to meet you." Derek tried to look as less threatening as possible which shouldn't be hard with two little kids on him. "I told him to not bother you."

Jeremy blinked his eyes open but at the sight of his alpha he hid his face under his paws, he knew exactly that he had been caught doing something he shouldn't be doing.

"I don't mind." She closed her arms protectively around the little ball of fur as if she feared that Derek would do something to him.

"I see that." He adjusted the baby in his arm which Stacy commented with some unhappy half-cries because the bottle had slipped out of her mouth.

"Just sit down until she's finished." Melissa said and then shrank back into her chair, terrified by her own boldness.

"Thank you." Derek sat down and a second later Gina was snuggled in his lap as well. Across from him Jeremy offered his belly for a rub and after a long second Melissa sank her fingers into his soft fur.

 

Chapter Text

Like usual Stiles brought Megan, Lydia and Sean home with him after school. By now Sean only went home to sleep, sometimes not even that, and Stiles had the suspicion that his parents were glad that he wasn't really around to see them argue. Divorce was now a thing that was happening and when Sean did show up at home his parents both tried to convince him to stay with them once they would part ways.

Stiles had witnessed it first hand when he had been over one afternoon and he felt sorry for his friend who had to endure that every day.

However, Sean had turned eighteen not long after Stiles and in his mind Stiles was already going through the apartments they had available for the pack in search for a spot to fit his friend in. He had a feeling that it was only a matter of time until Sean would become a beacon in his head.

At their place the girls immediately went upstairs, talking about a movie they wanted to see, and Sean went in search for Isaac. Since the renovation had started Sean and Isaac spent a lot of time together, not that Stiles minded, he had enough on his own plate and not always time for his friend.

Stiles wanted to check on his dad and Melissa before he went to see if he could get his mate alone for a few minutes before he had to take care of more pack problems.

The paperwork never ended and there was always a pack member who needed an open ear or just a belly rub and if nothing else Stacy needed a new diaper. Most of the time Megan took care of the latter but Stiles had changed more diapers over the last few weeks than he would have ever imagined.

To his surprise Stiles found his dad with Stephen and Mark in one of the the apartments busy with putting in a new floor.

Stiles didn't like the idea of Melissa all alone in a still unfamiliar place so that was where he headed next.

What he didn't expect was to find his mate there as well. Melissa had Stacy in her lap while Derek was making coffee in the kitchen. And a wolf Jeremy was chasing Gina through the apartment.

"Coffee for you, too?" Derek asked without even looking up when Stiles entered the surreal scene. Last time he'd checked, Melissa had only stayed under the same roof as the pack because she didn't have somewhere else to go. Especially Derek had terrified her.

And now Derek was in her kitchen, making coffee.

"Sure." Stiles answered and went to greet his mate with a kiss. "What's going on here?"

"Jeremy sneaked out to visit her." Derek said as if that explained the coffee thing.

Stiles took his and Melissa's coffee mug and even managed to get them safely over to the table without tripping over the little wolf running circles around his legs. Gina stood at the side, hands over her mouth, just waiting for Stiles to trip. He flashed her a triumphant grin when he set the mugs on the table without spilling one drop.

"You've grown into your limbs." Melissa commented and the sadness in her eyes washed the smile right off Stiles' face. She would never see Scott grow into the man he had been supposed to be.

Stiles didn't know what to say to that. There was nothing to say.

When Derek came over with his own cup of coffee, Melissa threw him a glance and Stiles remembered clearly the hushed conversation he had with her just yesterday. The one where she had said under tears how sorry she was for Stiles and where he had tried to assure her that Derek wasn't Peter, that he was happy with Derek and even if they weren't mates, Derek would never treat a human in his pack less than one of his betas. Even a claimed one.

She hadn't believed him. But the way she was looking at Derek now, she was getting there.

Derek was almost at the table when Jeremy barreled into him. With his insane werewolf reflexes Derek not only managed to not spill his coffee, no he also caught Jeremy by the scruff of his neck and with a growl he lifted the pup up to eye-level.

Melissa let out a strangled sound and opened her mouth in protest but before she could say something, Jeremy shifted.

The fur in Derek's fist vanished and the naked boy landed swiftly on his feet with a giggle. He hit the floor running and two steps later he was in his fur again.

Derek just growled after him and sat down at the table.

"Looks like you lost your bet with Ellen." He said calmly without looking at Melissa.

"I wouldn't say that." Stiles answered with a smug grin.

"What bet?" Melissa asked, eyes on the kids who were back to their chasing game.

"Who masters the fluid shift man to wolf first, Mark or Jeremy." Stiles explained but then remembered that Melissa hadn't met Mark yet. "Mark has been injured in the fire and Derek had to bite him."

"And Jeremy just beat him to it." Derek hurried to say, probably to gloss over how Mark had become a werewolf.

"Man to wolf." Stiles emphasized the first word, waiting for Derek to catch on. "As long as Mark masters it before Jeremy has to shave regularly, I win."

Derek stared at him as if he only now realized how evil his mate was but Melissa couldn't help a smile which she tried to hide behind a hand. Which Stacy took as in invitation to play with her fingers.

Even with a dose of caffeine Melissa grew tired rather quickly, Stiles could tell, so when they had finished their coffee he and Derek gathered the kids and left. Stiles made sure to let his father know, tough, he would help her over to the bed for a nap.

"I should have thought of the kids as an ice breaker." Stiles said when they released Jeremy and Gina in the loft. Stacy had fallen asleep in Stiles' arms and he put her down in the bed Sean had stolen from his parents. The nights Stacy stayed with them in the den but over the day it was safer to put her somewhere where nobody would stumble over her. Also, she had started to roll onto her belly and Stiles was just waiting for her to get more mobile.

"She thought I would bite Jeremy's head off." Derek said unhappily.

"She doesn't know you." Stiles slung an arm around his mate's waist and drew him close. "But I think you impressed her with how you dealt with the kids." Or that he dealt with the kids at all. Stiles couldn't imagine Peter bottle feeding a baby.

"Just give her some time." Stiles brought their lips together for a tender kiss but it stayed at that because behind them Gina made smacking noises and Jeremy even shifted just to join her.

"We need to steal Isaac's place again." Derek whispered into his ear.

"Only if we bring our own lube this time."

"Deal."

They sealed it with a kiss but Stiles doubted that they would get much alone time until their apartment was ready. There were just too many people around.

Right on cue Ellen and Charles were back from wherever they had been, loaded with bags. Clothes for the kids, Stiles found out a minute later and then he had to help Jeremy trying on all the new stuff.

The new pack bonds had settled in Stiles mind, by now he could tell all the beacons apart and knew how far away a pack member was and if they were content or not, but there was one beacon still missing in his head. His dad. It was only a matter of time until his dad would become pack by association and Stiles couldn't wait for it to happen.

So when one morning he woke up with a new connection forming in his mind, his first thought was that it was his dad. The bond was still forming, he doubted that anybody aside from him and Derek was able to feel it, and he couldn't get much information from it just yet but after a moment he realized that it was coming from the wrong direction. His dad was downstairs with Melissa but the bond was pulling him upstairs.

His second thought was Sean but then he remembered that his friend hadn't stayed over tonight.

Stiles looked around to see if anybody else was awake and feeling it but the pack was still sleeping and only Derek had his eyes open. He was looking in the same direction. Upstairs, Stiles' room, where Lydia was sleeping.

While Stiles was still trying to wrap his head around the fact that Lydia was pack, Derek left the den and went upstairs. Stiles expected him to go to Lydia but instead Derek went to his own room and came back a minute later in his running clothes.

Without a word or sparing Stiles a glance he left for a run.

He wasn't back by the time they had to leave for school.

Lydia didn't say anything and Stiles wasn't even sure if she already felt the forming bond.

Derek didn't acknowledge the bond when they came back home that day and he avoided Lydia as much as possible. By now Stiles was pretty sure that Lydia felt it but she didn't bring it up either.

Derek wasn't sure if he could trust Lydia, Stiles got that, but avoiding the topic wasn't helpful either. However, Derek successfully dodged every attempt to talk about it.

A few days later everybody felt the bond but nobody said something about it. The whole pack just watched and waited and Stiles understood that this was some kind of test. The way Derek handled this would decide if this pack was going to work out or not.

And there was nothing Stiles could do to help. He just made sure to be there for his mate and for Lydia as well without pushing.

As far as he understood pack politics, Derek had to either officially accept her in his pack or kick her out. And he needed to make up his mind soon. The longer he hesitated, the weaker he looked and no pack would accept a weak alpha. It didn't matter how much they liked Derek as a person, the betas would leave or even challenge him, it was instinct.

It was late in the evening and they were about to settle in for the night. The kids were already in the den and the adults were about to join them. It was Lydia's cue to retreat to her room as well.

"Lydia, wait." Derek held her back.

The whole pack paused, even Becky and Benny who had almost been asleep perked up at the sudden tension around them. Everybody was watching Derek who stood in the middle of the room, waiting for Lydia to turn back to him.

Head held high, she stepped closer but Stiles didn't need to be a werewolf to know how anxious she was. This was it. In a minute she would be either pack or get kicked out of the building.

Stiles knew his mate, he had no doubt that Derek would make the right decision but he couldn't help but hold his breath as well. Letting her into the pack meant trusting her. And Derek had some issues with that. Not that Stiles blamed him.

Derek studied her for a long moment.

With one step he closed the distance between them and then he laid his hands gently on her shoulder.

Lydia must have seen the decision in his eyes because when he leaned in, she bared her throat for him.

Derek didn't bite hard and he used his human teeth but even from a distance Stiles could see the forming bruise. Derek nuzzled her neck and licked over the sore spot and after a moment Lydia just crushed into his chest, clinging to him for dear life. For a long moment her sobs were the only noise in the loft but then the pack breathed out as one and the tension left the room.

Nobody spoke. The pack went back to getting ready for the night as if nothing had happened but they made room for the newest pack member when Derek led her over to the den.

 

Chapter Text

Derek had known that this day would come. Lydia had been living with them for weeks now, she was a friend of Stiles and together they were planning to murder Peter. Sometimes they spent hours in the war room that Stiles' room had become.

Lately John joined them quite often.

Lydia becoming pack had only been a matter of time. Like John and most likely Sean and maybe even Melissa one day. It didn't come as a surprise but still.

However, when Derek woke up one morning to a new bond forming in his mind, he could feel the whole pack shifting in his mind to make room for another member, he got totally blindsided by it.

Stiles was feeling it as well, he could tell, but he doubted that the rest of the pack knew. Yet.

Derek's first instinct was to run so he did just that. He had enough sense to change from fur to running clothes before he bolted out of the loft, though. He needed space. And time to think.

It might have been a coward move but he made sure that Lydia and Stiles were at school by the time he got back. The rest of the day he hid behind his work and for once the pack let him be. They might not sense the new bond yet but through their own connection with their alpha they could tell that he was in distress and needed to be left alone for a while.

Dodging Stiles was harder but with a pack this big and still so much to do, it was rather easy to avoid a serious conversation.

He knew that time was running out and judging by the looks Stiles gave him, his mate knew exactly what this meant for the pack.

Derek liked Lydia, that was not the problem. He just wasn't sure if he could trust her. He had trusted before and had lost everything.

He had just lost Laura. And a lot of people he had called pack at one point. He had to thank Lydia that he hadn't lost Laura's whole pack along with his sister but that was also part of the problem.

Lydia had been pack by association before and she had betrayed her alpha. She could do it again.

She could still be working for Peter. Her actions spoke against it and Stiles trusted her but deep down Derek wasn't sure.

Kicking her out would be the safe option and his pack would accept his decision, even Stiles, but he knew that she had nowhere to go. She couldn't go back to her family in Beacon Hills and even if Derek gave her enough money to start over somewhere else, Peter could easily track her down. He had a good foothold in the sheriff's department in Beacon Hills and connections all over the country, Peter could find a person if he wanted to. And Derek had no doubt that he would kill Lydia if he ever got the chance.

The only safe place for her was in a pack. Besides, the bond wouldn't have formed if Derek wasn't ready to take her in on some subconscious level. She came in through association with Stiles but in the end it was the alpha she formed a bond with.

Stiles didn't push and Derek was grateful for that. They both probably knew that he had already made his decision. He just needed to build up the courage to actually do it.

So Derek took a leap of faith and accepted Lydia in his pack.

After the symbolic bite he led her to the den where the pack welcomed her.

"I'm proud of you." Stiles whispered in his ear and clung to him just a little more tightly than usual, hands buried deep in his fur. Derek let out a huff and flicked an ear but let his head drop to Stiles' shoulder so that his mate could reach that spot behind his ear more easily.

The next few days Derek waited for things to go south. He didn't know what exactly he was waiting for, just something. He doubted that Lydia would kill him in his sleep, though. She had more than enough opportunities for that before she had become pack, she had lived with them for weeks.

Stiles' room became Sean's for the times he stayed over night and Lydia joined them in the den every night. That was the only visible change in their arrangement and it was kind of anticlimactic.

They hadn't interacted much before she became pack, she spend most of her time with Stiles or Megan, and now they weren't quite avoiding each other but Derek wasn't seeking her out either. Which he probably should, she was his newest pack member and the bond was still forming, but this time Derek dropped that task on Stiles and he only felt a little bit guilty for that.

He had, however, not counted on Lydia having her own opinion on that.

The apartments were in different states of renovation and when Derek had asked Isaac where he could get useful his beta had sent him to the one they had barely touched so far.

"The kitchen has to go out." Isaac had said and so now Derek stood in the middle of the destroyed kitchen in his wife-beater and old jeans, covered in sweat and dust, but with a satisfied feeling in his guts. Sometimes ripping something apart just felt good.

Now he only had to carry all the broken pieces out to the container Isaac had standing behind the building for weeks now. Derek had no idea how often Mark or Isaac had made the trip to dump all the debris but for sure they hadn't made their last trip yet.

But he had to say, the apartments came around nicely. Since they had focused on the one for John and Melissa, the others were a bit behind but they were getting there.

Derek put his hands on his hips and took in the sight around him. He would carry out the heavy stuff like the fridge, dish washer and oven but he was tempted to leave the shattered pieces of the cupboards for somebody else to take care of.

"Derek?" Lydia pulled him out of his thoughts. She stood in the doorway, or what was left of it since somebody had already ripped out all the door frames, and she looked out of place with her expensive shoes, dressed in skirt and blouse.

"Yes?" He turned towards her and wiped his hands on his jeans. If it was late enough for her to be back from school, he should probably finish up here anyway.

"I wanted to say thank you." She stepped closer, carefully making her way over the clattered floor. "For, you know, letting me stay."

"Lydia." He let out a sigh. He never really wanted to talk about this but the fact alone that she had sought him out with no-one else around made it clear that she wanted to talk about it. "I'm not letting you stay." He restrained himself from making air quotes, Stiles was definitely rubbing off on him. "You're pack, you belong here."

"But you don't trust me." It wasn't a question. They stood close now and she was studying his face. "I know about Kate."

So she understood.

"It's not your fault." He washed a hand down his face. "I just …"

Suddenly she slung her arms around his waist and rested her head on his chest. For a second he just stood there, not sure how to react. For a stupid moment he wanted to point out how filthy he was and that she would ruin her blouse but then she started talking.

"You're not like Peter." She said in a soft voice. "You let me stay even when I wasn't pack. You treat the humans in your pack like you treat the wolves. Even the claimed ones, Stiles told me."

Reluctantly Derek closed his arms around her shaking frame.

He knew how Peter treated the humans in his pack. How he claimed them as some kind of sick punishment or just for his own entertainment. But Lydia was different. Stiles had told him about how Peter had tried every way he knew to bind her more firmly to him. How he had tried to claim her without her consent which was rape, plain and simple, and how he had tried to turn her. Which had ended with her running naked through the woods for several days when her body rejected the bite.

And after all that she had not only helped Stiles save Laura's pack, she had sought refuge in Derek's pack. She had no reason to believe that he was any better than Peter. Given, she had seen Stiles and knew that he was treated well but that didn't guarantee that Derek would treat her the same way. And still she had stayed.

Derek closed his eyes and hugged her closer. Maybe it was time to trust again.

"I'm here." He said. "You're safe now."

Something in her broke open and the first sob escaped her lips.

"It's okay, I'm here." Every sense told him in how much distress she was, even through the bond he felt it, and the wolf in him whined in need to make it better.

He rubbed her back and stroke her head and just let her cry. When her legs gave out under her, he gently eased her down without letting go of her.

When Stiles came looking for him, he found them still in the ruins of the kitchen. Derek sat with his back to the oven he had been about to carry out, his legs stretched out and Lydia nestled into his chest. Like an overgrown toddler she had cried herself to sleep in his arms.

"Derek, you in here?" The last word died on Stiles lips when he caught sight of them. Then his whole face lit up in awe.

Derek didn't dare to speak, he didn't want to wake her, and for once his mate kept his mouth shut as well. He just stood there for a moment longer, looking at them.

Stiles mouthed a "I love you" and then he turned on his heel and left.

Derek heard the other members of his pack in the building, some were working in the other apartments, some where upstairs in the loft, but nobody came in here. He wondered if Stiles had put a do not disturb sign at the front door. He wouldn't put it beyond his mate.

He held Lydia in his arms until darkness crept into the room. His ass had gone numb a while ago and he didn't really feel the piece of plaster digging in his thigh any longer either but he didn't move. He didn't want to wake her.

He didn't know how well she had slept while she had stayed in Stiles' room but he was sure that it hadn't improved since she spent the nights in the den with the rest of the pack. They were all still grieving. There wasn't a night without nightmares and more or less silent tears.

He doubted Lydia that had a good night's sleep in a very long time. Sleeping like this, on the dirty floor of a demolished kitchen with him as a pillow didn't sound that comfortable but he got that she needed to be close to her alpha. The rest didn't matter.

It was dark when she finally stirred.

"Where are we?" She asked groggily when she finally sat up. She brushed the hair out of her face with her fingers, looking around as if she needed time to figure out where she was. To her human eyes it must be completely dark by now.

"Careful, there's a lot of stuff on the ground." Derek got to his feet, his ass and leg tingling when the blood started to flow again.

"Did I fall asleep on you?" The horror was clear in her voice even if Derek couldn't really make out her features in the dark. She stated to move backwards and stumbled over a chunk of a cupboard.

"It's okay." Derek grabbed her wrists to stabilize her. She went very still at that and for a moment the only sound was her rapidly beating heart.

"Just don't move, you'll break your leg." He let go of her and she immediately relaxed and even gave him a shy smile.

In the end he carried her out of the kitchen bride style and if he used the opportunity to nuzzle her throat, she didn't complain.

 

Chapter Text

Stiles really should have snapped a picture of them huddled together in the remains of that kitchen like some post-apocalyptic survivors, he thought with a little regret. But at least now, after Derek and Lydia had properly bonded, finally, things could settle down in the pack.

He would never get used to Lydia crawling into the den naked, though. By now Stiles himself had succumbed to werewolf sleeping etiquette, he had felt stupid to be the only one wearing something for the night and sleeping with nine more or less grown wolves was hot and not in a sexy way but in a I'm-dying-of-a-heat-stroke kind of way. And fur on his skin felt nice, sue him.

At least he was over his crush on Lydia because he still could admire her beauty but didn't pop an inappropriate boner every time he saw her naked. Which was every night now and with children in the den with them it would just be wrong. That was probably the reason Derek slept in his fur in the den. Stiles loved him no matter the shape but four legs, thick fur and a cold nose didn't do it for him.

Even Melissa got used to the pack slowly. Now whoever was watching the little ones took them downstairs for a while almost every day and Melissa liked having them around even if they tired her out rather quickly.

In the afternoon it was Megan most of the time, she had basically adopted Stacy and Jeremy, and it didn't take her long to take her homework with her. With so many people in the loft, Stiles' room looking like a serial killer's den and most of the building in various states of remodeling, it wasn't easy to find a quiet place to do homework. They had taken over Isaac's or Boyd and Erica's place before but the betas needed their places for themselves from time to time as well.

So Megan brought her homework and soon Lydia joined her. Stiles already used every excuse to check on Melissa and his dad anyway so he was there as well. And when Sean wasn't helping Isaac, he joined them too. And of course Becky and Benny.

John and Boyd one day went out and came back with a large table and more chairs.

"My back aches when I see you crooked over the coffee table or on the floor like that." Was the only thing John had to say to that.

Everybody now could sit properly while doing their homework so Stiles was the last to complain. And it was his father's silent welcome for the kids.

So they sat at the table with books and notes and other various school items while Melissa sat at the side, feeding little Stacy or just keeping her occupied, and Jeremy and Gina running circles around them. It became a common sight.

John and Boyd had hit it off before and now they were often found together. Stiles was just waiting for Boyd to offer his dad a job at the security company he had running with Erica. A job with flexible hours that would allow John to still take Melissa to all her appointments. But Stiles guessed that the beta wanted to give his dad and Melissa some time to settle in first.

The apartments came around nicely, thanks to Isaac and his construction worker skills, wherever those came from, and soon everybody would have their own place. Stiles was looking forward to having a door again he could shut in everybody's face to get some privacy with Derek. He had no illusions that the bed that would come with said door wouldn't be for sleeping and he was looking forward to that, too. The moments he got alone with Derek were few and far between.

With the pack stopping being refugees and slowly starting to actually live here and becoming a pack, Stiles could focus on the big goals. Mainly killing Peter.

But then one day at school Sean pulled Stiles into an empty class room.

Stiles had noticed that his friend was acting kind of off but he had thought it was because of things at home so he hadn't asked.

"I think I feel Isaac in my head." He dropped a bomb Stiles had not seen coming.

"Come again?" He asked but the panicked look on his friend's face told him that yes, he had heard right.

"It started yesterday." Sean was pacing up and down the room, not really looking at Stiles. "At first I didn't really notice but when I woke up this morning he was in my head." He pointed at his head to illustrate his point.

"Do you feel anybody else?"

"No." Sean stopped long enough to shake his head at him before he turned around and walked down to the teacher's desk again.

Stiles took a moment to check the pack bonds, he couldn't feel everybody due to the distance but he did feel the connection to Isaac. Who he didn't feel, however, was Sean.

Stiles was the alpha's mate, he had felt Lydia only seconds after Derek had felt the forming bond. And Lydia had told him that Derek had been the first she had felt in her mind. Pack members bonded to the alpha, the rest of the pack just kinda came with that.

So Sean feeling Isaac and nobody else didn't make sense. Unless …

"What does that mean?" Sean came to a halt in front of Stiles, pulling him out of his thoughts. "Am I becoming pack? Am I pack?"

"Would that be a bad thing?" Stiles asked, testing the waters. If he was right and he was pretty sure that he was, becoming pack was just a side effect of what was happening here.

Sean paused to think about the question. A few months ago he would have been running at this point but on the other hand, a few months ago he wouldn't have formed a bond with the pack.

"No." He finally said. "But my parents would be pissed." He said it as if that wasn't a bad thing either. Stiles grinned at him.

He managed to calm his friend down and send him off to class with the promise to talk about this after school.

Stiles, however, stayed back and called Isaac.

"Do you feel Sean?" He asked instead of a greeting.

"He bonded into the pack yesterday." He answered. "It was only a matter of time."

"Yeah, I know."

Sean spent so much time with the pack, especially Stiles and Isaac, but more Isaac lately, Stiles realized, that Stiles had been waiting for a while now for Sean to become pack by association. What Stiles hadn't predicted, was a different kind of bond.

"Is that a problem?" Isaac asked carefully, probably wondering why Derek hadn't accepted Sean in the pack by now.

"Not a problem." Stiles hurried to say. He chewed at his bottom lip, not sure how to break it to his beta. "It's just that I don't feel him."

"You don't?" There was clear disbelief in Isaac's voice.

"And it looks like you're the only one he's feeling." Stiles said and then waited for Isaac to figure it out. He was the one who had pointed it out to Derek and now it was Stiles' turn to return the favor. He was probably having way more fun with this than he should but he was glad that the beta wasn't in the same room as him so he couldn't see the big grin on Stiles' face.

There was a long moment of silence at the other end, long enough for Stiles to turn from gleeful to slightly worried.

"Isaac?" He asked.

"I'm here." His voice was small and Stiles wondered if it had been a good idea to tell him over the phone.

There was another long pause before Isaac spoke again.

"Did you explain it to him?"

"No." Stiles hurried to say. "I wanted to be sure first." And unless Isaac told him to, it wasn't his place to tell Sean.

"Could you …" Isaac cleared his throat. "Could you be there when I tell him?"

"Of course." He would hold his beta's hand for this if Isaac needed that. "And Isaac?"

"Yes?"

"Don't let yourself pressure into something you don't want."

"But …"

"Talk to him, he'll understand."

They agreed that Isaac would pick them up after school so they could drive somewhere private to talk. There were too many people around at their place for that kind of talk.

Lydia, the goddess that she was, didn't ask questions when Stiles told her to take the jeep and drive Megan home after school. She just took the keys, gave him a fierce hug and then left to find Megan.

"Why is Isaac picking us up?" Sean did ask questions, though.

"Because we need to talk. About …" He pointed in the general direction of his head, this was nothing he wanted to talk about in the middle of the crowd of students heading towards the exit. The whispers and looks had died down, somewhat, but he didn't want give them more ammunition.

At least now The Wolves, as the other students had dubbed their little group, were all actual pack even if none of them was a werewolf.

Isaac was running late, no surprise there, he was freaking out right now, Stiles felt it through the bond. It was bad enough that he shot Derek an I'm on it to prevent their alpha from rushing to Isaac's rescue.

Need help? Derek answered immediately.

No. Talk later.

When Isaac finally did show up, Sean and Stiles were the only ones left in the parking lot. By now Sean was visibly worried and Stiles didn't want to know what was going on in his head.

"Don't worry, we're not going to put you in a shallow grave or something like that." Stiles tried to joke but the glance Sean shot at him told him clearly that that thought had crossed his mind.

"And it's not some frat initiation bullshit to make you pack either." Stiles added and then ushered Sean into the back of Isaac's car.

Stiles hadn't thought about where to go but Isaac drove them out to the forest they had used on the full moon a few times now. The weather wasn't the best for hiking and the spot was kind of remote so they would be alone out there.

They didn't speak during the drive and even Stiles kept his mouth shut. Through the rear view mirror Isaac kept glancing at Sean as if he had to make sure that the teenager was actually there. He probably thought that Sean would run once he realized what the bond with Isaac meant but Stiles doubted that. Sure, it would be a shock but Sean had come a long way. And what had Derek said? A bond like this didn't form if not both parties were ready for it.

But Stiles still wanted for this to happen without the whole pack witnessing, this was something private. Stiles wasn't even sure if he should be here for this but Isaac had asked him to come so here he was.

Isaac parked the car and then almost ripped off the door in his attempt to get out as quickly as possible. If he just needed to get out of the car or away from Sean, Stiles couldn't tell.

Isaac didn't speak and Sean made sure to keep the car between himself and the agitated werewolf which left Stiles to do something to lessen the tension.

"To make it short." Stiles stepped in front of the car so that he could face both of them. "You." He pointed at Isaac. "Feel him." He pointed at Sean. "And you." He jabbed the air still aiming at Sean before he switched over to Isaac. "Feel him."

Both of them nodded but only Isaac knew where Stiles was heading with this. He looked pained but he also threw hopeful glances at Sean.

"But you." Back to Sean. "Don't feel anybody else from the pack yet."

Stiles spread his arms for the big revelation.

"Congrats, you're mates."

 

Chapter Text

Derek got roped into babysitting again. He had no idea how but here he was, playing Where's the baby? Diego style with fangs and all with Stacy. He would never admit that he had seen that movie but Stacy enjoyed it, though.

Ellen had taken Jeremy and Gina to the park, the older kids were at school, Isaac at campus and the rest of the adults were doing their own thing. The only one left in the loft was Charles who had retreated to Derek's room. Since someone had mentioned Loreen earlier today he was in a mood and needed some time alone. Derek got that, sometimes a word or a scent or just something reminded him of Laura and the grief just overwhelmed him.

"We're probably a bit loud." Derek said to Stacy who squealed in delight. He doubted that Charles wanted to hear baby laughter while he was mourning his daughter. "Wanna visit Melissa?"

Stacy gave him a toothless grin which he took as a yes.

So far Melissa had failed to come upstairs but John had joined them for a few meals. On those occasions Stiles switched places with him and went downstairs to keep Melissa company. He often returned from those visits deep in thoughts and for the rest of the day he clung to Derek.

Derek didn't know what his mate and Melissa were talking about but it was most likely Scott. On those days they didn't see John again once he went back to her either.

Melissa liked having the kids around but she kept her distance to most of the adults. Derek only visited her occasionally, most of the time it was Boyd who spent a lot of time with John lately and as an addition to that with Melissa as well.

Derek grabbed everything Stacy would need along with his laptop, maybe he could drop Stacy on Melissa and get some work done. He was in the middle of translating Maria's book and even if she wasn't pushing, she knew about his situation, he didn't want her to wait too long. Besides, he had quite a few more contracts with her institute and those had deadlines he intended to keep.

"Melissa?" He knocked and let himself in. Since the whole building was now theirs, the apartments were open to everybody at all times. Especially since the wolves spent so much time in their fur and locked doors were just inconvenient without opposable thumbs.

"In here." She answered. Like most of the time she was in the living room, her wheelchair angled that she could look out of the window but had the door in her line of sight as well.

By now she was strong enough to move the chair by herself and it was only a matter of time until she could walk again. She already had a cane waiting for her and she did her daily exercises with that goal in mind.

Derek had offered her the bite but she had panicked at the very thought of it and he hadn't mentioned it again. At least there were enough humans in the pack so that she knew that it was okay to stay human. And Stiles had probably talked to her about that as well.

"Somebody wanted to see you." Derek said. Stacy played along and made a delighted noise when she spotted Melissa. She made grabby hands at her and Derek had to tighten his hold on the baby when she tried to launch herself at Melissa.

"Hey." Melissa made at the baby and Derek put Stacy in her waiting arms.

For a moment Derek just watched the two together.

"I was trying to get some work done." He finally said. "It's time for her nap but she's wide awake."

"I got her." Melissa assured him, not even looking at him. She was too busy cooing at the baby who was playing with her hand. At the moment Stacy was trying to figure out how much of Melissa's hand fit in her mouth.

Derek put the bottle and the ever present cloth in easy reach for Melissa, she would probably want to wipe baby spit off her hand soon, and then he set up his laptop.

They didn't speak and for a while they both just enjoyed the domestic scene.

At one point John poked his head in but when he saw that Melissa wasn't alone, he left again once he had made sure that she had everything she needed.

Derek didn't need to see Boyd to know that his beta was waiting in the hallway. He and John left a few minutes later.

"I'm glad that John found a friend." Melissa said when they were alone again.

Derek raised an eyebrow at her and waited for her to elaborate.

"Don't get me wrong, I love him." Her focus was still on Stacy and she probably didn't even notice what she'd just said. "But he was fussing over me all the time. It was …" She shook her head with a little laugh.

"Suffocating?" Derek suggested.

"Yeah."

For lunch Derek made them sandwiches and at least Stacy had the decency to fall sleep right then so they could eat in peace. Derek put the baby in a nest of blankets on the floor where she was in no danger of rolling over the edge like she would on the couch or the bed. She was getting more mobile with every day. Derek dreaded the day she figured out that she could get around on four legs way better than with crawling on her belly. At the moment she did neither but it was only a matter of time.

Derek didn't know if it was because of Stacy or because the only thing they had in common was Stiles but at some point Melissa got dreamy eyes and told him about the day Scott had come home from kindergarten and had told her that he'd found a Stiles.

"I had no idea what he was talking about." She shook her head, still in fond disbelieve. "What the hell is a Stiles?"

"I'm still trying to figure that one out." Derek admitted which earned him an honest laugh from her. It was a good sound.

After lunch she retreated to the bedroom to have a nap herself but she stopped Derek when he attempted to gather Stacy and his things.

"She's sleeping." She pointed out. "No need to risk waking her. And you can probably use a quiet place to work."

The kids invaded her living room on a daily basis but today had been the first day Derek had even thought about taking his work here as well.

Reluctantly he sat back down but then he was alone, Stacy was sleeping and maybe he could actually get some work done before somebody came looking for him.

He felt the pack members moving around in the building and there were the noises from where somebody was working in one of the apartments. Ripping tiles from the wall, it sounded like, but he couldn't tell if it was Mark or Boyd. They were the only werewolves in the building and humans wouldn't rip tiles off with their bare hands.

A little more distant Derek felt some of the other pack members, Stiles' school was just on the outskirts of what he was able to sense.

A wave of worry came from his mate but it was gone quickly. Derek had stopped trying to keep up with the emotions he sensed over the bond he shared with Stiles. Especially at school it was a roller coaster.

Then Isaac flared up in distress but it was low key enough that Derek didn't worry. However, Isaac stayed distressed. Derek didn't know what had happened at campus but he already made a mental note to give Isaac some extra cuddles once he got home. Not that either of them would call it cuddles, though.

Stacy did him the favor and actually slept for almost two hours. Stiles and the others would be back soon so Derek finished up and then shut down his laptop.

The feeling of distress he was getting from Isaac was getting worse up to the point where he thought that his beta was having a panic attack.

Derek was already half-way at the door to find the nearest pack member to keep an eye on Stacy while he went to get to Isaac, when his phone informed him that he had a message.

It was from Stiles and only read I'm on it but that was enough to put Derek at ease. Whatever was going on, Stiles was handling it.

Need help? He shot back but wasn't surprised when Stiles declined his offer with a promise to talk later.

Later turned out to be about an hour later. By now Stacy was up and hungry and Derek was in the middle of fixing her bottle when he got another message from Stiles.

Sean and Isaac are mates, Stiles informed him. Derek almost dropped Stacy and the phone but managed to catch both just in time. Stacy grunted disapprovingly but then ignored him in favor of her bottle.

What? That was not what he had expected. But it did explain what he was sensing from Isaac over the bond.

They bonded. Came Stiles' answer seconds later. I can't feel Sean and I bet you can't feel him either. But they feel each other. Mating bond.

Where are you?

In the car. They're talking outside.

Derek didn't know what to say to that. He had hoped that Isaac would find a mate some day but he hadn't pictured Sean in that role. However, they had spent quite some time together lately, Derek couldn't deny that.

But Sean was a hormonal teenager, Derek knew a thing or two about those, and Isaac was Isaac. It wasn't Derek's place to tell but he hoped that Sean and Isaac talked about it. He didn't want is beta to get hurt.

Derek didn't even know if Stiles knew about Isaac being asexual.

Did Isaac tell you? Derek wrote, not sure how to phrase the question in case Isaac hadn't told Stiles.

That he's ace? Yes. Stiles answered immateriality. He was probably bored in the car while Sean and Isaac were busy with each other. Why Stiles was with them in the first place Derek didn't know and he didn't dare to ask. With Stiles he had learned not to ask.

I think he just told Sean. Came Stiles' next message.

How's he taking it?

They're hugging.

Sean came home with Isaac and they went straight to Isaac's apartment where Derek met up with them. They needed to talk.

As Isaac's mate Sean would form a bond with Derek and as such with the pack as well soon and Derek wanted to make sure that the teenager knew what he was agreeing to when he accepted the bond he had with Isaac. Not that he really had a choice.

"The bond is there." Derek told them. "You can't change that. But it's up to you what you make out of it."

"We'll figure it out." Isaac said and the way he had his arm around Sean's waist Derek knew they would work it out. When he had pointed out the bond Derek had with Stiles, Isaac had empathized that it didn't have to mean anything sexual if they didn't want that. So Derek wasn't really worried here.

Then Isaac straightened and Derek knew what the next words out of his mouth would be. There was a protocol to follow for this.

"Derek Hale, my alpha." He said formally. Sean blushed and was nervously looking around so he did know what Isaac was about to say. "This is my mate, Sean Fisher. Will you accept him in your pack?"

"Your mate is welcomed in my pack." Derek answered easily but then he looked at Sean. "If he wants to become pack."

In the end it was Sean's decision. He could say no. Things would become complicated if the didn't want to become pack but he could say no. And they would make it work, somehow.

Instead Sean locked eyes with Derek.

"Please." He said and bared his throat for the symbolic bite.

 

Chapter Text

Stiles sat in the car and tried to not stare too openly at Sean and Isaac. They were sitting under a tree now, talking.

Stiles had his phone, he had reception and his battery was charged, he was content waiting until they were done talking. Which might take a while.

Stiles knew that Derek had felt Isaac's distress earlier so he used the time to update his mate and to warn him that there was a new pack member coming his way.

"You okay?" Stiles asked, when the love birds were finally ready to go home. He directed the question at both of them and both gave him a nod.

Sean looked a bit shell-shocked, but that was expected. In the last hour he had found out that he had a mate, what asexuality was and that he had basically joined a werewolf pack by accident.

Stiles used the ride to tell them that Derek wanted to see them before they dropped the mate bomb on the pack. And to educate Sean on the logistics of becoming pack.

At the word bite Sean cringed but Stiles hurried to emphasize the symbolic part. Sean spent more time with the pack than he was actually at home so Stiles had no doubt about his answer to the pack question.

Back home Sean and Isaac headed for Isaac's place while Stiles took the stairs up to the loft. He gave Derek a quick kiss in passing but didn't bother sticking around. This was Derek's part.

"What's up with Sean?" Lydia greeted him when he entered the loft.

"You'll find out soon." Stiles promised her. If he was right, everybody would know in a minute, at least about Sean being pack.

Lydia gave him an unimpressed look but he just grinned at her.

It was almost dinner time and everybody was in the loft. Since Stiles hadn't been home in time Ellen had taken over the kitchen with the help of the twins and Stephen. Jeremy and Gina were running around, Megan had a crying Stacy in her arms and there were at least three different conversations going on.

All that came to a halt the moment Stiles felt a new connection forming in his mind. Even Stacy stopped crying and stared with wide eyes into nothingness.

"Sean, right?" Erica broke the silence. "About time."

Then she carried on setting the table with Benny. And that was it. After a moment everybody was back to what they had been doing, except for Stacy who seemed to have for gotten why she had been crying in the first place, not that anybody was upset about that.

However, Lydia was still eyeing Stiles.

"That wasn't all, was it?" She asked in a low voice.

Before Stiles could say anything to that, the front door opened and Derek stepped into the loft. Followed by Isaac and Sean. They were holding hands.

"Awww." Lydia made, immediately catching on.

The trio stopped in the middle of the room and by then the attention was on them.

"As you've noticed." Derek raised his voice which wasn't really necessary with the whole pack forming a loose circle around him and the mated couple. "Our pack as become bigger. But that's not all." He stepped aside, leaving Sean and Isaac alone in the center. They shared a glance and blushed adorably and it wasn't really necessary to say more, it was obvious what they were.

"Sean is my mate." Isaac said with a steady voice and a challenging look around. Not that anybody would say anything against it. Mating bonds formed when the couple was ready for it. And Derek had already accepted Sean in his pack not that anybody objected about that either. Sean had been kind of pack longer than most of them.

The ring of people closed around the couple and suddenly they were in the middle of a group hug. Somehow Stiles wiggled his way close enough to Isaac that he could whisper in his ear.

"I'm happy for you." He said and he wasn't the only one saying something along those lines.

Sean stayed over night but he and Isaac retreated to Isaac's place later that evening. The loft had become a clothes optional zone a while ago so Sean had seen various pack members naked before, it had lost it's awkwardness around the seventh time, but he wasn't quite ready to join the pack pile for the night.

"That's totally okay." Stiles assured him. "Nothing you're not comfortable with." He emphasized the last part in hope Sean got the hint when it came to Isaac as well.

It was two days later, already late in the evening, when Sean stood in the door of the loft, eyes rimmed red, hair disheveled and fingers cramped around the handle of a bag.

Derek and Stiles were both on their feet to rush to him immediately but Isaac beat them to it.

"What happened?" He asked and led his mate into the loft. Stiles had sensed that something was going on with Sean but he hadn't expected to see him like this.

They sat down on the couch, Sean in the middle with Isaac and Stiles at his sides, while the rest of the pack tried to give them some space.

Only Derek hovered in the background and Jeremy, who only knew that a pack member was upset, climbed into Sean's lap and hugged him, his cheek squished into his chest.

"We argued." Sean answered Isaac's question with a delay. "Dad's moving out and he wants me to go with him." He paused to wipe his nose with the back of his hand. From somewhere a tissue appeared and he took a moment to blow his nose. "But Mom wants me to stay with her. They didn't even ask what I want. They're both convinced that I want to stay with them." He paused again, leaning into Isaac. "I exploded. I told them that I don't want to stay with either of them."

Stiles knew where this was heading. It wouldn't be a problem. Mark and Lydia had already agreed to become roommates so Isaac had a place waiting for his mate.

"Told them that I'd move in with my boyfriend." He gave Isaac a sheepish smile. "Kinda accidentally dropped the gay bomb and the werewolf bomb on them, dunno what shocked them more. Then I just packed a bag and here I am." He snuggled closer to Isaac but his eyes were searching for Derek.

"Can I stay?" He asked in a meek voice. "Please?"

"You're pack." Stiles hugged him from the side. "Of course you can stay."

He felt Sean relaxing in his arms. Jeremy gave him a wet kiss on the cheek and then he buried his nose in the crook of Sean's neck. Stiles and Isaac held on to him as long as he needed it.

That night Sean did sleep with them in the den.

Stiles woke up to Derek dashing out of the pack pile. He blinked his eyes open just in time to see Derek fluently shift from wolf to man, reaching for his jeans before he really had hands.

Alarmed Stiles sat up.

"What's going on?" He asked. Around him the wolves were up in alarm now too and even the humans startled awake.

"There are strangers in the house." Derek said with his head tilted, listening.

Stiles was on his feet and searching for his clothes along with everybody else. Through the pack bonds he felt the simmering panic. They were thinking of fire. They were thinking of Peter.

Everybody but Sean.

"My parents?" He asked, his eyes wide and he was clinging to Isaac. The bond in his mind was still forming and he was probably overwhelmed with the pack's reaction to strangers in the house.

Derek considered it, listening to the noises from outside and sniffing for a whiff of their scent, and Stiles wasn't the only one holding his breath.

"I think so." He finally said. "I'll see what they want."

The pack relaxed slightly but stayed alarmed.

When Derek stepped outside to meet their guests, Stiles was at his side and Isaac and Sean right behind him.

They found Sean's parents in front of Isaac's apartment.

"Sean." The women Stiles recognized as Sean's mother yelled at the sight of her son. "Thank god."

"Who are you and what do you want?" Derek stepped in her way when she tried to rush to her son. She stopped short and took a step back when she realized who was standing in her way.

Sean's dad, however, came right up into Derek's face.

"You can't do that. That's kidnapping." He told Derek, letting anger taking over his fear. "You're lucky we haven't called the police yet."

"Sean, baby, are you okay?" While the men were glaring each other, Sean's mom tried to wiggle her way past Derek.

"Okay, stop!" Stiles snapped. "Can we not do this in the stairways? And just for the record, nobody kidnapped anybody."

He ushered all of them into Isaac's place. A minute later the Fishers were sitting on Isaac's small couch, Sean in the chair with Isaac standing next to him while Stiles dragged the two chairs from the kitchen over.

"I'm eighteen." Sean told his parents. "I can do whatever I want."

"Not if you hang out with werewolves just to piss us off." His dad looked uncomfortably around the room and then lowered his voice as if it was possible that the werewolves didn't hear his next words. Even Stiles with his human ears heard them loud and clear. He didn't need to be a werewolf to smell his fear either.

"They won't just let you leave." His dad whispered.

"Sean, please." His mom pleaded. "Come home with us. You can stay with your father if you want to. Just …"

"I don't want to stay with Dad." Sean said, leaning into Isaac who stood at his side. "And I don't want to stay with you either." He added.

"You can't just impose on Mr Hale." His mother tried to reason without looking at Derek.

"He's not imposing." Derek said and crossed his arms in front of his chest. Despite the chair waiting for him he remained standing, glaring down on the Fishers. "He's pack."

"You can't do that." Mr Fisher was on his feet and for a second it looked like he wanted to punch Derek. "I watch the news, I know what you did to your sister's pack. My son is not going to be part of your power trip."

"Enough!" Stiles was between them in an instant. He saw Derek's jaw twitching and he knew that his mate was fighting for control.

Mrs Fisher seemed to have some common sense as well because she grabbed her husband's arm and dragged him back.

"This is all your fault." She hissed at him but plastered a smile on her face a second later. Mr Fisher wanted to say something but his wife cut him off.

"I apologize." She said with that fake smile firmly in place. "For my husband and my son. We have our problems and Sean might have been caught in the middle of it. He's in his rebellious phase, I'm sorry he chose you to get back to us. He won't bother you any longer." She gave Derek a nod and then turned to her son. "You are coming home with us, young man."

Sean threw a glance at Derek and at the same time he reached for Isaac who took his hand without even looking. Isaac's eyes were on his mate's parents, watching and wary.

"No." Sean said. He stood up, still holding on to Isaac. His father gave their joined hands a disapproving look but before anybody could say something, he continued. "I don't think you've been introduced. Mom, Dad, this is Isaac, my mate. You know my alpha Derek and that is his mate Stiles, I'm going to stay with them."

His parents just gaped at them.

"You can't do that." Mr Fisher yelled but Stiles wasn't sure who he was yelling at.

"I'm eighteen, I can."

 

Chapter Text

Of course Sean's declaration that he was eighteen and could do whatever he wanted wasn't the end of the discussion. It was the start.

Helpless Derek could only watch as things escalated in front of him.

At first Sean's parents tried to reason with their son, mixed with accusations directed at Derek and to an extent Isaac. Derek doubted that the Fishers had yet realized what a mating bond meant, but at the moment they weren't listening anyway.

It took only a few minutes for them to start yelling at each other. By now they were standing in the middle of the room, facing each other, and it seemed that they had totally forgotten that they had an audience.

It started with accusing each other to be the reason their son was rebellious and was hanging out with werewolves like they were some kind of gang. In their eyes gang and pack were probably interchangeable, Derek guessed.

Somewhat awkward Derek listened to them arguing and when he glanced over to Stiles, he found his mate at an equal loss. Sean was leaning into Isaac who stood at his side with a stoic face but Derek could tell that his beta didn't like the situation. He flinched at every loud word and was caught between stepping between Sean and his parents to protect his mate and fleeing the room to get away from the family drama.

Over the bond Derek felt the whole extent of his beta's distress and the way Stiles glanced at him, he felt it too.

Derek would have loved to give Isaac an out but he knew that there was no way that he would leave his mate in a situation like this. Sean wouldn't be in any kind of danger but that was not the point, this brought up memories for Isaac.

"Isaac." Derek started nevertheless but Sean was quicker.

"When you're done yelling at each other, I'll be outside." He had to raise his voice to be heard over his mother yelling at his dad.

"This wouldn't have happened if you cared one bit for this family." His mother didn't even notice when her son grabbed his boyfriend's hand and dragged him out of the room.

"And if you had spent some actual time with him instead of going shopping with your friends he wouldn't get fucked by a werewolf." His father countered.

Derek didn't want to be here. He didn't want to listen to this. This was way too personal and he really didn't need to know what Mr Fisher had done wrong four years ago or who had forgotten their anniversary or who's parents they hadn't visited often enough.

"Unbelievable." Stiles said, shaking his head, and the look he shared with Derek was equal parts amused and pure horror. "No wonder he wants to get away so badly."

If the Fishers even heard him, Derek couldn't tell. At the moment they were arguing over who failed more at birthday presents.

Derek was considering to follow Sean's example, grab his mate and leave, when somebody else entered the apartment.

"What's going on here?" John asked in a voice that was used to having the authority. He wasn't a sheriff any longer and he wasn't wearing his uniform or carrying his gun but years of practice didn't just vanish like that. He stood in the door, demanding answers.

To Derek's surprise it went through to the Fishers. They stopped mid-sentence and turned to the new person in the room.

"Who are you?" Mr Fisher was the first who found his voice again.

"John Stilinski." He introduced himself. "Stiles' father."

A minute later Derek and Stiles had been kicked out of the apartment and John was talking to the Fishers.

"You think they'll listen to him?" Derek wondered.

"He's been in the same boat." Stiles didn't sound sure either. He scratched the back of his head and gave the now closed door a skeptical glance. "Same boat, rougher waters."

At least Derek didn't have to claim Sean. But he had made him pack without asking his parents first.

"He's eighteen." Stiles knew exactly what was on his mind. "And he and Isaac have shared a bond even before you made him pack. He's been pack for quite a while now."

Stiles slung his arm around his waist and led him up the stairs.

By now the pack was up and ready for breakfast, they were just waiting for Derek and Stiles to join them. And for Erica to make pancakes.

Isaac and Sean sat curled up on the couch with Gina and Jeremy who were determined to cuddle them to death. Jeremy was wedged somewhere in the middle, Derek only saw his feet sticking out of the pile. The children didn't really know what was going on but just like Derek and the rest of the pack they felt that two pack members were upset.

Derek knew that the only reason Isaac wasn't in his fur right now was because he might had to face Sean's parents again but it was possible that he would stay on four legs for the rest of the day once the intruders were gone.

"Why are your parents yelling at you?" Gina asked, arms slung around Sean's chest and head resting on his shoulder.

"Hell if I know." Sean sighed. The curse word drew a giggle out of the kids and Sean couldn't help but smile.

Derek ran a hand over Isaac's head and gave Sean an encouraging smile but let them be for now.

By the time Erica had enough pancakes ready to feed the whole pack, the door opened and John stepped in. Behind him were the Fishers but they stopped in the door, not sure if they were welcomed in the den or not. If he was honest, Derek wasn't sure if they were welcomed either. On one hand they were the parents of a pack member and as that an extension of the pack but on the other hand, they felt like enemies.

"Come in." Stiles made the decision for him. "You have to try Erica's pancakes."

At the sight of the whole pack, and Derek had to admit that ten adults and three teenagers were intimidating, they shied back. For a second it looked like they would bolt but then Mrs Fisher spotted her son with Isaac and the kids on the couch and she set her jaw and walked into the alpha's den.

Derek didn't know what John had told the Fishers but it was enough to bring them here. Both their heart-beats hammered loudly in his ears and every werewolf in the room could hear it as well but nobody commented on it.

On the couch Gina wiggled her way out of the small pack pile and marched over to them.

"Why where you yelling at Sean?" She demanded to know, fists on her hips and a scowl on her face.

For a second everybody stared at her, somewhere behind Derek Stiles tried to keep a straight face, he just knew, but then Mrs Fisher crouched down to get on eye level with Gina.

With that she earned some points at least in Derek's book.

"I wasn't really yelling at Sean." She said with a nervous glance around. She smelled of fear and her heart was rapidly beating in her chest but she managed to sound calm. "I'm just worried."

"You shouldn't yell at him." She said in a serious voice. "You should tell him that you love him."

"Should I?" She asked, clearly amused now.

"Yes." Gina nodded. "Because you could die and then you haven't told him that you love him."

Speechless she gaped at her.

"Sorry." Before Derek could even react, Stiles was there and swept Gina up in his arms. "She recently lost her parents in a fire." He said and then locked eyes with Mr Fisher. "You might have heard about that in the news."

The following silence was deafening.

They were saved by Jeremy demanding pancakes, though.

Things got a little better when they sat down for breakfast. Derek knew how afraid of werewolves Sean had been in the beginning and his parents weren't any different. The Fishers sat between Sean and John, shielded from the rest of the pack. Sean's parents tried their best to play nice and managed to not argue for once and they actually tried to get to know the people their son wanted to live with from now on.

Since John stayed with them, Stiles took a stack of pancakes downstairs to Melissa.

After breakfast Megan took Stacy and the other kids to visit Melissa as well and the adults piled out to not crowd the Fishers farther. Mark even managed to coax Isaac into leaving his mate's side with a question about the renovation and after Derek silently promised to keep an eye on Sean, Isaac left with him.

Now Sean and his parents were quietly talking at one end of the loft while Derek took care of the dishes and pretended to not listen in to them. So far they were actually talking like adults and what he got from Sean with his senses and over the bond told him that Sean had things under control.

For some reason John had stayed with him and was now drying the dishes.

"The pack is growing recently." He said, taking another plate from Derek.

Not sure where this was heading, Derek just kept washing the dishes. They needed a bigger dish washer. But Isaac had already threatened that once he was done with the apartments, which would be soon, Stephen and Megan were in the middle of moving into the first apartment with Stacy and Jeremy, he wanted to take on the loft. A bigger kitchen, a permanent den big enough for the whole pack to sleep in and probably a million other things Derek didn't really want to think about.

"Stiles is waiting for me to become pack as well." John continued.

"You are pack." Derek said and reached for a towel, this didn't sound like a conversation he wanted to have while he was up to his elbows in soapy water. "We haven't formed a bond yet but you are pack."

"I know." John fiddled with the already dry plate in his hands. "Stiles told me that it's only a matter of time until I'll form a bond with you."

"But you don't want to?" Derek guessed. He was thinking of John as pack but not everybody wanted to be pack.

"It's not that." John put the plate away and let out a sigh. "You're family and I want to be pack."

Derek waited him out.

"It's about Melissa." He finally admitted. "She could be pack too, right?"

"Of course." Derek hurried to say. "If she wants to." He wasn't sure about that. She was only slowly getting used to the pack and not once had she initiated contact.

"If I become pack but she isn't there yet …"

"John." Derek took the towel out of his hands. "You would be pack by association. Bonds like that don't just happen. They develop when the person is ready to join the pack. When I claimed Stiles." He paused, raping his son was not what he wanted to discuss with John. "It was an instant bond. Same with my betas, the second I bit them, symbolic or to turn them, we formed a bond. But a bond by association is different."

"What do you mean?" John was listening.

"As long as you're worried what will happen with Melissa if you leave her, you won't form such a bond with me." Derek explained. John would never physically leave her but becoming pack would put a gap between them that could drive them apart, he understood that.

"There will always be a place waiting for you and Melissa in this pack." Derek assured him.

John gave him a grateful smile but before he could say something, Mr Fisher's voice cut him off.

"You're not going to move in with one of these things!"

 

Chapter Text

Sean left that day with his parents and Stiles didn't like it one bit. Isaac didn't like it either and stayed the whole weekend in his fur. Except for the moments when he had to direct something on the construction side, then Isaac suddenly stood stark naked in the middle of what would be Stiles' and Derek's living room, just to tell Ellen that that color went on a different wall.

Moments like that told Stiles that his beta was okay and that he knew that Sean would be back. However, aside from that Isaac stuck close to Derek or when the alpha was not available he stayed glued to Stiles' side. The rest of the pack was there for him as well and on Sunday, puppy Jeremy took his nap on Isaac's furry back.

On Monday Stiles picked up Sean like always and he climbed into the jeep with a big bag. He had left clothes at Isaac's place before but this looked a lot like he was preparing to move in with his boyfriend.

"Did you deal with your parents?" Megan asked from the backseat and even Lydia looked up from her phone with interest. Not that she was fooling anyone with her disinterested attitude.

"Neither of them want me to stay with the other one." Sean said with a wicked smile that made Stiles proud. "So they both kind of settled for if I can't have him, at least he/she can't have him either."

"And they're okay with the whole werewolf thing?" Stiles asked because that had been the main issue here. That his mate was a man was not the problem, that he could sprout claws was.

"They're not happy about it." Sean shrugged. "But when I pointed out that I've spent months with the pack without getting eaten they kind of lost that argument. And then they spent the rest of the Sunday to argue over who neglected me more to drive me into the arms of a werewolf."

Megan snorted and Lydia hugged him from behind.

In his mind Stiles was already planning an epic pack night to welcome Sean back. But that would have to wait until Isaac and Sean left their apartment again. Issac would want his mate for himself for a while, that much was for sure.

Mark had now officially moved out of Isaac's place so the couple would have the apartment for themselves. Not that Sean knew about that yet, it was something Isaac wanted to tell him himself.

Since Lydia was now pack, Mark would share an apartment with her. As long as he let her make all the decisions when it came to the decor she wouldn't even murder him. Not that the pack members spent that much time at their own places anyway.

When the next day John wheeled Melissa into the loft to join the pack for dinner, Stiles knew that his pack was coming together quite nicely.

With the pack happy and content, he had time to focus on the big things. Like Peter.

Stiles spent hours in his room with Lydia and on occasion with his dad to find the perfect way to kill the alpha.

The investigation of Laura's murder had led to nothing, the case was officially still unsolved and would stay that way. Same with the fire at the pack house, it had been arson and murder in six cases but with a whole pack as suspects, of which some were deputies, it was impossible to pin it on somebody. Of course they gave each other alibis.

And since those cases were part of a pack war, human authorities were not that interested in solving them anyway.

Thanks to Lydia Stiles knew every detail about Peter's mansion, his habits and how many pack members were likely to be in the mansion at any given time.

But they had yet to come up with a plan that wasn't outright suicidal.

"We should just hire a hitman and sniper him from afar." Stiles huffed in frustration.

"We don't want to bring in an outsider." Lydia dismissed the idea. "And the pack would rip him apart. You don't want somebody else get killed over this."

"No, I don't." Stiles had to admit. He dropped on his bed without losing sight of his murder wall. It was all there, he just needed to figure it out.

Peter had built his mansion on top of the ruins of the old Hale house. It was a concrete block in the middle of the preserve and with his pack patrolling the area it was next to impossible to get anywhere near the mansion without being noticed.

Peter had kept the tunnels under the old house for emergency escape purpose. That had been news to Stiles and they may could make use out if them somehow.

"He's paranoid, he always needs to have an open escape route." Lydia had told him. "He's afraid of getting trapped in a burning house again."

Derek and Laura hadn't been home when the original fire had happened but Peter had been right in the middle of it. He had been the only one they had gotten out alive but barely. He had been in a coma afterwards and for a while it hadn't looked like he would ever wake up again.

He had woken up, unfortunately, and promptly went on a vendetta to avenge his family. After he had killed Kate Argent everybody thought that that was it but as it turned out he'd come back a psychopath.

"Why did he use fire against Laura's pack, then?" That was one of the things Stiles didn't understand. But who understood any of Peter's actions?

"Maybe it's symbolic." Lydia dropped next to him on the bed.

A year ago Stiles would have died of a heart attack if he ended up with Lydia on his bed but now he just drew her close into a hug and together they fell backwards. She snuggled into his chest and started to play with the string of his hoodie.

"We'll find a way." She said softly. "We'll make him pay."

A year ago she would never have shown him this vulnerable side of her but now, when what Peter had done to her came back to haunt her, she easily sought comfort with him or Derek.

"Maybe we should burn down his house." Stiles mused, playing with her hair.

"I know how to make self-igniting Molotov cocktails." She offered.

"Of course you do." Stiles let out a laugh. That was his goddess.

"But I doubt that that's enough to set that monstrosity of a fortress on fire." She tightened her hold on him, just clinging to him for the moment. "And he would just escape through a window or the tunnels."

And they wouldn't be able to trap him inside with mountain ash like he'd done with Laura's pack. Besides, Stiles wasn't a cold blooded murderer. He wanted Peter dead but he didn't want to kill his pack to get him. Maybe Jackson, that asshole kind of deserved it.

Even after days of brooding over this, they weren't any closer to actually having a plan so when Isaac dragged him and Derek downstairs to the apartment that would be theirs, Stiles welcomed the distraction.

"It's finished." Isaac proclaimed with a proud smile on his face. Then he stood back to let them explore their new home. He tried to not let on to it but Isaac was nervous. It wasn't just an apartment, it was a gift to the alpha couple, a place where they could retreat to, a place they could call theirs. A home. Of course Isaac was nervously awaiting their judgment.

So far the rooms were empty except for the kitchen which was only separated from the living room by a counter. It was rather small but they wouldn't use it much anyway. Stiles would still cook the pack meals upstairs in the loft.

They had a living room, a bedroom and an office, all with dark hardwood floors and creme walls. The bathroom had a bathtub and a separate shower with several shower heads. Both big enough for two people.

"I love it." Stiles proclaimed. The bedroom even had the same view over the park as his room upstairs in the loft and he really liked that.

"Thank you, Isaac." Derek was more direct with his gratitude and had his beta in a fierce hug, nose buried in his neck. When Stiles joined the hug, he could feel the tension melting out of the beta.

"You did a really good job here." Stiles told him. "Thank you."

Now they only needed furniture to put in their new apartment and since Stiles and Derek couldn't be trusted to make such important decisions on their own, they found themselves shopping for furniture with Lydia and Erica a few days later.

Stiles had learned to pick his battles and Derek didn't really care about optics, as long as the bed and the couch were comfortable and he had a table to put things on he was content, so they ended up trailing after the girls who were picking out stuff for them.

Like with the place they had prepared for his dad and Melissa, things went into their cart Stiles would have never thought to buy. Because rugs? Who needed this many rugs?

Lydia just gave him a look.

"You'll be grateful for them." Erica promised with a knowing smile. "That floor is hell for your knees." She winked at him and Stiles could only gape at her.

"You haven't just …" He hurried after her but she only laughed. "I'm not … okay probably I will but that's none of your business. Derek stop laughing."

By now people were staring at them and which Erica apparently found hilarious.

Erica and Lydia had agreed to furniture in dark brown and accessories in lighter shades of brown and creme. Stiles didn't really care but he had to admit it would look great.

The furniture was delivered a week later and the whole pack helped to get their stuff downstairs and to turn the apartment into an actual home.

Even Melissa was curious enough to have a look and promptly got roped into watching the kids with Boyd and Megan. Keeping Jeremy from tripping one of them on the stairs was a challenge which took all of Boyd's attention while Megan and Melissa tried to keep Stacy and Gina occupied.

All in all moving in was a very smooth operation.

They ordered pizza for an impromptu house warming party because they were all too tired to cook and Stiles suspected that Derek wanted to have his pack around for as long as possible to cover up the smell of fresh paint and everything new.

Stiles made sure to order extra garlic for their garlic bread to help with the scent thing. Garlic was better than chemicals and he had learned that werewolves really liked the smell of home-cooked meals. It gave them them a warm feeling of family and pack. If he'd known that before Laura's pack had joined them, he would have made sure to cook fresh for all of them every day. Now he knew and now he had the helping hands to pull it off for the whole pack every day.

After dinner, when Stacy had long fallen asleep and Jeremy was fighting a losing battle against dropping eyelids, Stiles ushered the pack out.

"Tonight you'll have to make do without your daddies." He told them, not even trying to hide his lascivious grin. "We have a lot of stuff to christen."

Before Benny could ask what that meant, Stiles closed the door with a final thud and leaned his back against it. Derek was in his space a second later, his mouth hungrily on his.

"We don't have that much to christen." He said between kisses while his hands slipped under Stiles' shirt.

"Are you kidding me?" Stiles broke the kiss to look him in the eye. "We have a bed, a couch, the chairs that came with the couch, the coffee table, the kitchen counter, the shower, the bathtub, this door and miles of walls." He nipped at Derek's bottom lip. "Plus, I really want to find out if those rugs are really as good for my knees as Erica claims them to be."

 

Chapter Text

"That's a lot to christen." Derek said, his mind swirling with all the possibilities. "We won't leave this place for days."

He took Stiles' bottom lip in his mouth and gave it a hard suck. Stiles moaned and his hips bucked into Derek, the hard line of his erection grinding against his hipbone.

"Ellen will leave food at the door for us." Stiles smashed their mouths together, his fingers tangled in Derek's hair. "But the kids won't leave us alone for that long. Let's find out what we can do in one night." A wicked grin spread on his face.

"I think you're overestimating our stamina." Derek told him but then Stiles found the claiming spot on his neck and Derek stopped thinking. Stiles licked and kissed there for a moment but then he sucked a good chunk of meat into his mouth and bit down as hard as he could.

Derek groaned and his knees buckled under him and all he could do was to claw blindly at Stiles.

Stiles didn't let go for long sweet seconds, holding him upright while Derek's body jerked and spasmed helplessly in his grip. The coppery tang of blood filled his nose and still Stiles just bit down harder.

Derek almost came from Stiles' claiming bite alone but then his mate eased off and brought their lips together.

Tasting his own blood on Stiles' lips Derek took over and plunged his tongue into Stiles' mouth. The kiss was rough, all teeth and raw need, and when Derek bit down on Stiles' bottom lip, the taste of his mate's blood mixed with his own.

"Mark me." Stiles threw his head back against the door, baring his throat. Without even thinking Derek buried his teeth in the offered skin. He didn't bite hard enough to draw blood but Stiles would wear the imprints of his teeth for days. Satisfied with the mark, he gave it a few soothing licks and then nipped his way up to Stiles' ear.

"Want to suck you." He said, nibbling at the ear lobe. He slipped his hands under Stiles' shirt, roaming over miles of unmarked skin. He would take his time with that, later.

Without waiting for an answer Derek sank to his knees and by the time his knees hit the floor, Stiles was already frantically working his fly open.

Derek sucked him hard and fast, with Stiles' fingers clenching in his hair, holding him in place and a constant stream of "fuck" and "Derek" and sweet moans falling from his mouth. It didn't take long for Stiles to spill his release and when Derek came up again for a hungry kiss, Stiles licked his own come right out of his mouth.

Then, finally, Stiles' hand found its way into Derek's pants. His long fingers closed around his shaft and with his thumb he smeared precome over the head. When he started to jack him it was still on the dry side, too rough, too fast and almost painful and Derek loved every second of it. Mouthing at Stiles' marked neck Derek bucked into his fist.

It took only a few strokes and Derek came all over Stiles' hand. When Stiles offered it to him, Derek cleaned it up, taking care of every sinfully long finger.

Then they just stood there, dicks still hanging out of their pants and heads resting on each other's shoulders.

"That was the door." Stiles was the first who found his words again. "Bed next?"

Derek laughed. He didn't bother lifting his head, he just laughed into Stiles' neck and a moment later they were both shaking with it.

They did make it over to the bed eventually where they undressed and Derek spread Stiles out on the silky sheets.

With the edge taken off neither of them was in a hurry and Derek took his time to worship the miles of smooth skin in front of him. He licked and kissed every inch of it, leaving red bite marks on his way.

By the time he was satisfied with the marking, Stiles was littered with the imprints of his teeth and he had beard burns on the soft skin between his legs.

They were both hard and leaking again but Derek took his time to prep his mate thoroughly before he pushed in.

He fucked him slow, with rolls of his hips and shallow thrusts, taking him apart with every agonizing slow second of it.

"Derek, please." Stiles brought the words out between moans and those sweet noises Derek would never get enough of. "Please."

Derek felt his knot swell and now it caught on the rim with every thrust, making Stiles whimper.

"I'm going to knot you." Derek promised but he wasn't sure if Stiles was even there enough to hear him.

Seconds later they were locked together firmly. Derek ground into him, his knot working Stiles' prostate mercilessly, and when he reached for Stiles' neglected dick, he cried out and came it hot spurts. He clenched down on Derek's knot, milking it, and Derek tumbled over the edge right behind him.

Stiles was asleep before his knot had come down enough for Derek to slip out. So he carefully jostled them into a more comfortable position until they lay spooned together and then he drew the blanket over both of them.

"Guess we're going to christen the rest tomorrow." Derek said with a low chuckle and kissed his mate good night on the nape of his neck.

He didn't even remember slipping out of Stiles but when Derek woke up Stiles lay spread out all over him. It was still night, the room barely illuminated by the street lamps outside, and Derek only distantly wondered how Stiles had managed to clean them up without waking him, before he snuggled back into his pillow and drifted back to sleep.

The next time he woke, Stiles was sucking his dick. It wasn't even a real blow job, just soft licks and kisses along his shaft and all over his balls and then Stiles took the tip in his mouth and suckled.

"What are you doing?" Derek asked the lump under the blanket but he was not really awake enough to do more than lay there with his arm over his eyes and enjoy Stiles' hot mouth all over him.

Since he was awake his dick actually started to take interest in what his mate was doing down there but Stiles didn't show any intention to up his game.

Stiles drew the laziest orgasm Derek ever had out of him, leaving him drained but deeply satisfied.

Grinning like the cat that got the cream and the canary Stiles came back up from under the covers and cuddled into him.

"Morning." He said cheerfully but Derek wasn't up for words just yet. "You can return the favor in the shower."

Stiles probably regretted his words when Derek ate him out in the shower until he was shaking and begging for a hand on his cock but Derek just spread his hole with his thumbs and tongue fucked him until he came untouched.

Before Stiles even had time to collect himself, Derek manhandled him out of the shower and braced him on the sink.

"You forgot the sink on your to christen list." Derek told him. Stiles was still lose from his knot earlier and the rim job just now and Derek just pushed in in one hard thrust.

When they came out of the bathroom, there was a knock at the door and when Derek opened it, he found a tray waiting for him. A stack of Erica's pancakes and a large pot of coffee along with other goodies.

"Thanks, Ellen." He said, sure that she would hear him. How she had known that they were done in the bathroom, he didn't want to think about too closely.

"Door, bed, shower, sink." Stiles counted on his fingers while they had a lazy breakfast in bed. "We're making progress."

They managed to knock the couch off their list before they had to admit defeat.

Stiles sat in his lap, panting into his shoulder, with Derek's knot still buried deep in him. He had just squirmed his way through another orgasm. The second one on the couch. He had cried in pain when Derek had touched his dick to help him climax once again.

"You okay?" Slightly worried Derek cupped his face. Stiles was the one who had taken his knot a few times and he was the one who was covered in bruises and bite marks. Plus how many orgasms? Derek had lost count.

"Just don't touch my dick or ass for at least a few hours." Stiles said, squinting at him with only one half-open eye. "Can't believe I just said that."

"I doubt a few hours will be enough." Derek chuckled.

Stiles gave him a dirty look but sagged into his open arms. Until his knot came down, they weren't going anywhere. Stiles was still twitching around him, milking the last spasms out of his dick, and by now Derek too had to grit his teeth at the overstimulation but he could only wait until he could slip free.

They were both sticky with sweat and come but they just made themselves comfortable on the couch and took a nap.

At dinner time hunger drew them out. They showered together but aside from the fact that Derek couldn't keep his hands off the marks he'd left on Stiles' body, especially the one on his neck, they weren't really up for more at the moment.

When they went upstairs, of course the whole pack was there, even John and Melissa. Especially they made Stiles a bit uncomfortable and in his attempt to hide that he was walking funny, he waddled even more. Derek rolled his eyes at that and when his gaze met John's, they both had trouble keeping a straight face. Melissa, however, tried really hard to not stare too openly at the almost black mark on Stiles' neck.

The rest of the pack was not that cautious and they openly cheered at them when they sat down at the table.

Becky took a sniff at Derek and then turned in disgust, muttering something about mating under her breath, what only led to more laughter from the adults.

Gina used the moment of distraction to climb into Stiles' lap for a hug. But then something caught her eye.

"Did Uncle Derek turn you?" Gina stood on Stiles' thighs, examining the mark on his neck closely.

"He didn't turn me." Stiles pried her hands off his neck and tried to shift into a more comfortable position for his sore butt without throwing her off his lap. At least that was Derek's interpretation of his squirming.

"Why did he bite you, then?" Bracing her little hands on his chest, she studied the mark with a puzzled look.

"I marked him." Derek plucked her off his mate who sighed in relief when she wasn't digging her hands into his abused chest any longer. "So everybody can see that he's mine."

Stiles turned an adorable shade of red at that.

"As if there was any doubt about that." John muttered but not unkindly. He reached over to ruffle his son's hair. Turning an even deeper shade of red, Stiles looked like he just wanted for the floor to open under him.

Derek leaned over to kiss him but Stiles ducked out of the way and sank his teeth into Derek's neck. And he didn't let go once he'd made a point. Like yesterday Stiles bit down hard enough to draw blood. Derek bit back a moan. He had still Gina in his arm so he tried to keep his noises appropriate for children but those were lost anyway when the whole table erupted in cheers.

When Stiles finally let go of him, he grinned at him with blood on his lips.

"Now everybody can see that you're mine."

The mark was already healing but the blood stayed on his skin and Derek didn't wipe it off.

 

Chapter Text

Melissa still got tired rather quickly, especially with the kids around, so after dinner John wheeled her out. Knowing that his dad would help her to bed and then wouldn't come back upstairs in case she needed something, Stiles went with them.

Besides, he still had some homework to do and he wouldn't get any done with the pack around. He could go to his own place now but it didn't feel right to be alone. Since he had joined the pack he'd never been alone for longer periods of time and since he'd become Derek's mate it felt even more wrong.

His dad and Melissa weren't pack, yet, but it still felt right for his non-existing inner wolf to keep them close.

"You and Derek look happy." Melissa said once they were in the privacy of their apartment. Looking happy and being happy where two different things and Stiles could tell that she wasn't convinced of the latter.

By now Melissa joined the pack for dinner most of the time and the kids spent quite some time at her place but she was still a bit wary when it came to the adult werewolves, especially Derek as the alpha.

"We are." Stiles said, absently rubbing his fingertips over the bite mark on his neck. It still felt tender and when he poked it, it throbbed in dull pain. He loved it. And he loved even more that he'd found a way to mark Derek for longer than a minute as well. Eventually the blood would flake off but for a while everybody could see who the alpha belonged to.

He must have spaced out because when he blinked, he found his dad and Melissa looking at him with identical expressions. The fond but still patronizing look only a parent could master. First boyfriend or first successful use of the potty, it all got the same expression. Usually accompanied with a tearful "They grow up so fast." but at least that was cut off by a yawn from Melissa.

"He's a good alpha and a good man." Stiles felt the need to emphasize because Peter. Since he wasn't hiding the marks Derek left on his body any longer, even his dad had sometimes still doubt in his eyes.

While John helped Melissa to bed, she was getting better but still needed quite some help, Stiles set up shop on the table. He had to put away the things Becky and Benny had left lying around and some math stuff he was pretty sure belonged to Lydia before he had even enough room to spread out his own work.

John and Melissa might not officially be pack but it didn't even occur to the kids to treat them anything but pack. And judging by the amount of stuff that had wound up in their place, neither his dad nor Melissa minded.

Stiles was almost done with his essay for history when his dad came back into the room and sat down at the table with him.

"How was the first night in your own place?"

"Do you really want to go there?" Stiles asked and shifted once again to find a more comfortable position for his sore butt.

"Is this what you want?" He became more serious, now openly studying Stiles. Searching for tells, Stiles realized. He wasn't a sheriff any longer but some things just stayed.

"Yes." Stiles said, meeting his eye. "We love each other and we have a pack to care for."

"That's a lot of responsibility." John said carefully. He didn't say things like college or mention his age but it was all there in his tone. They had this conversation before.

"I don't have to do it alone. That's how a pack works." Stiles answered. A pack with a mated alpha was stronger because they both carried the responsibility. And the pack members helped each other wherever they could so the alpha didn't have to micromanage every little thing.

It had taken some time. They had taken in a lot of people in a very short time and everybody had to figure out where they stood in the pack but by now they had settled in. They were a pack.

His dad couldn't understand that, not really, not until he became pack himself. But for now he accepted it with a nod.

"How's Sean doing?" He changed the topic.

"Except that his parents sicced Mrs Hanson on him?" Stiles let out a groan. School hadn't been fun the last few days. Their little group had been dubbed The Wolves even before Sean and Lydia had become pack, and nobody even was a werewolf, but somehow word had gotten around that Sean was pack now and that he had a werewolf boyfriend and the rumors were up again.

"Is she giving him trouble?"

"She's trying to give him the same spiel she has given me." Stiles pushed his almost done homework aside and leaned back in his chair. "That Derek just wants to strengthen his pack with new members. That being a human in a pack is not as cool as they tell you and that Isaac probably just wants sex."

John stayed quiet. That wasn't far off from what he had thought about Derek in the beginning as well. Hell, Stiles hadn't been any better.

"How does he take it?" John asked after a long minute.

"Compared to his parents Mrs Hanson is harmless." Stiles assured him. "He's fine. Isaac is probably cuddling him to death right now."

"I doubt cuddling is all they do." John said with a pointed look at Stiles' neck. "If they are anything like you and Derek, I don't even want to think about what they're doing right now."

"They're not like us." Stiles said, not sure if he should tell his dad about Isaac's sexuality or not. But when he looked up, he found a raised eyebrow directed at him and now he had to say something.

"Isaac's not interested in sex." He finally said. "He's asexual. I don't know what they're doing when they're alone but I doubt it's anything like what Derek and I do." He grinned at his father, not even trying to hide the lecherous thoughts invading his mind.

"I don't want to know." His dad raised his hands in defeat. He shook his head as if he wanted to get rid of unpleasant pictures in his head.

"I don't know what they've worked out, but they seem happy." Stiles went back to the Sean and Isaac topic.

"And Sean is okay with that?" He seemed doubtful. "I mean, he's a teenager. Usually those brim with hormones."

"I don't know how they're doing it but Derek says they both smell content." Stiles shrugged. "And I don't sense anything off over the bond coming from them, so I guess it's none of my business."

"When has anything ever been none of your business?" His dad asked but didn't push the topic.

For a while they talked about daily stuff, nothing special and Stiles just enjoyed having his father here. There had been a time when he'd thought that he would never see him again and he still wasn't quite used to living under the same roof as him again.

Then Derek came looking for him with Jeremy on his arm and Gina on his heel.

"They don't want to go to bed without a good night kiss from you." Derek rolled his eyes at that but he wasn't fooling anyone.

A second later Stiles had two kids in his arms who did their best to suffocate him. Jeremy with his werewolf strength had a good grip around his neck while he nuzzled into his skin. The hot little puffs tickled but Stiles just angled his head to give him better access.

Gina wasn't a werewolf and as a human not that keen on scenting but she hugged him from the other side and put wet little kissed on his cheek.

"You said one good night kiss." Stiles protested with a laugh. Over Gina's head his eyes met Derek's and for that look he would let the kids eat him alive.

"You haven't kissed me once." Gina pointed out and placed another kiss on his cheek with a loud smack. Jeremy giggled at that sound and then he started to litter the other half of Stiles' face with kisses as well.

Apparently a human tongue was insufficient for good kisses and a second later a long wolf tongue swept over Stiles cheek.

"Here, Uncle John wants kisses too." He handed the puppy still dressed in his clothes, and he really needed to keep his phone in reach for occasions like this, over to his father.

"Uncle John?" His dad asked and took the puppy more out of surprise than anything else. Jeremy didn't waste time and started to lick his face as well.

"You're not his dad so you're his uncle." Derek explained. He was watching them with soft eyes and a sappy expression. "To the kids every adult in the pack is their aunt or uncle."

John didn't correct him on the pack part but he was busy with preventing Jeremy from squirming off his lap. The puppy was still wearing his clothes but they weren't made for his current body and were restricting his movement which he clearly didn't like. He didn't change back, though.

"You're going to strangle yourself." John said and gently peeled him out of his shirt. "There you go. Better?"

Jeremy gave him a happy dog laugh and licked his nose.

"The kid suits you, Dad." Stiles teased. "Thinking of giving it another go?" His eyes darted over to the bedroom door. There was a guest room which officially was John's but as far as Stiles knew it never had been used.

"After raising you?" His dad shot back. "Thanks, I'm fine with playing uncle."

Not that Stiles had been serious, he doubted that Melissa would be up for a child even if she were back to one-hundred percent.

"But I wouldn't mind playing grandpa at one point." John added with a nod at the kid in Stiles' arms.

Stiles almost kicked Gina off his lap with his flailing.

"Dad!" Stiles yelled at him.

"Just saying, kid." John grinned at him and then went back to giving Jeremy a belly rub.

"Not cool, Dad." Stiles adjusted Gina in his arm, she was poking at some tender spots with her bony elbow. "Besides, it's not as if Derek can knock me up."

"Not for the lack of trying." His dad said with a sigh. "The walls are not as thick as you think they are."

"God, kill me now." Stiles groaned and sank deeper into his chair. He didn't dare to look at Derek and just tried to hide behind Gina. He had plans for the rest of the night, they still had some stuff to christen in their apartment, but at the moment life as a monk looked very appealing.

"Lydia could kill you if you want." Gina offered. "She knows science." She paused, a calculating eye on Stiles. "But I don't want you to be dead."

"I don't want me to be dead either." Stiles hurried to say. He mentally kicked himself for saying something like this in the first place. "Besides, Lydia's pack, she's on our side. She only kills bad guys." Like Peter, but he didn't say that.

"I'm glad she's on our side." His dad added. He had spent quite a few hours with them in the war room and he knew first hand how ruthless she could be. She wanted Peter dead even more than Stiles did.

And if she hadn't warned them, Gina and Jeremy wouldn't be here right now.

"Yeah, me too." Stiles said but his mind was on other things. Lydia was on their side. Lydia the banshee who predicted death was on their side.

The banshee was on their side.

Suddenly everything clicked into place.

A plan formed in Stiles' mind. It was risky, murdering somebody always was, but this was the first plan that looked like it could work.

"Stiles?" Derek asked, concern in his voice.

"I know how to get Peter."

 

Chapter Text

Peter Hale wasn't sitting in his mansion all day, thinking evil thoughts and planning evil things. He knew that most people saw him that way, even members of his own pack, but it wasn't true.

For one, he had a pack to look after and even if they weren't as tight-knit as the pack he'd grown up in, he did care about them and wanted them to be happy. But they were all adults so he didn't kiss every boo-boo better and he wasn't one to offer an open ear and a tub of ice cream to heart broken pack members.

Then Peter had social obligations. He tried to avoid them as much as possible but there were people to meet and wheels to grease if he wanted to keep the upper hand in Beacon Hills and the rest of his territory. Since he had taken over his niece's territory as well, there were a lot of new connections to make. And he couldn't trust Jackson with such delicate matters.

The boy was his second in command despite the fact that there were older and more experienced people in the pack. Jackson was his first beta no matter how much of a spoiled brat he was. Even when Jackson's so called mate had betrayed them and had warned Laura's pack, Jackson was his first.

However, Peter hadn't expected Lydia's interference. He hadn't planned for anybody getting out of the house alive and for sure he hadn't planned on Derek to strengthen his position with a bigger pack. Peter still had the stronger pack and bigger territory but still, Lydia had thrown a wrench into his plan and he didn't like that.

She had been an intractable nuisance from the very beginning. A powerful banshee, yes, but too independent. And for some reason unclaimable no matter how often Peter had tried before he had handed her off to Jackson.

The beta seemed to enjoy her mediocre performance in bed and even tried to make her his mate. It didn't work that way but Peter didn't tell him otherwise. He might have a soft spot for that idiot. When he didn't feel the urge to strangle him.

Jackson had been there when Peter's own niece had abandoned him. Jackson had been the only one who had sought out Peter when he'd been in a coma while Laura and Derek had left him to rot when he'd needed a pack the most so he had little remorse over killing his niece.

And third, Peter actually had a job. Not that dealer of supernatural objects was something you would put on your curriculum but it helped against boredom.

It was the latter that kept him busy today. A client was looking for a Sumerian tablet that had been sold and resold over a dozen times over the last two hundred years but had disappeared in the seventies. It was a puzzle to solve, something to keep his mind busy.

When he had first heard of his profession Jackson had given him a puzzled look and had asked if he was some kind of Lara Croft. Peter would have preferred Indiana Jones but he guessed that his beta was a tad too young for that. Either way he didn't travel the world to raid ancient tombs, most of his work he did over the phone or via internet. Sometimes he even wrote actual letters.

He did travel to examine an object in person but most of the time things came to him. He had a network of experts that did most of the legwork for him. Professors and scientists of a broad spectrum of specialties, from archaeologists to linguists, for whatever matter, Peter knew the right person to ask.

And for the more hands on work he knew people like Braeden.

"This one was a bust." She said and over the phone Peter heard the noises of a busy street, cars and people speaking Italian.

"It was worth a try." Peter said solemnly.

"I'm heading out to Nice in the morning."

Peter hmmed to that. There was a private collector in Nice who might have been in the possession of the tablet he was looking for twenty years ago but that was an even colder lead than the antiques dealer in Genoa. But it was still a lead.

"It's not much but I'll send you what I've found here." Braeden said and then they ended the call.

While he waited for her message, Peter went over the documents he had in search for new ideas. That thing had survived World War II and from an archaeological point of view it had been there yesterday so it had to be somewhere.

Buried in his work Peter didn't look up when there was a knock at the door. His current private pet, Tim or Tom or whatever, entered the room with a tray in his hands and a quiet "Your tea, alpha." on his lips.

He set the tray on the edge of desk and for a moment the only sounds in the room were his rapidly beating heart and the cling of porcelain when he set up the tea with slightly shaking hands.

"Anything else, alpha?" He asked with his eyes on the floor and the now empty tray like a shield in front of his bare chest.

Peter was about to dismiss him, he had work to do, but the second it took him to finish reading the last sentence was enough to spike his pet's anxiety. His heart sped up, now a sweet staccato in Peter's ears and a wave of fear hit his nose.

Peter pushed his chair around to fully face his pet.

"Since you asked so nicely, pet." Peter purred and almost laughed at the desperate grip his pet had on the tray. As if a piece of wood could shield him from his alpha. "On your knees."

Peter leaned back in his chair while he let his pet suck him to full hardness. This one wasn't the best at giving head but it was good enough to calm his mind and let his thoughts wander.

The more disinterested Peter was, the more desperate his pet got. If he couldn't satisfy his alpha there would be consequences, he had learned that lesson the hard way.

"Eager little pet, aren't you?" Peter buried his fingers in the thick hair of the human, holding him in place. He struggled in his hold but Peter overpowered him easily and fucked his mouth until his pet was in real danger of suffocating on his cock.

When he let him pull off, his pet was barely conscious and strings of bile were hanging from his chin.

Peter hauled him upright and bent him over the desk. His ratty jeans, the only piece of clothing the human was wearing, hung so loosely on his narrow frame that Peter pulled it down without undoing it and with only a bit more spit to ease the way, Peter buried himself in the waiting heat.

With one hand on the nape of his neck and the other on his hip, he held the human in place, not that that was necessary any longer. His pet had lost his fire and it was probably time to find a new toy to play with.

His mind drifted to Stiles. That one would have fire for a long time. He remembered a beaten and bruised Stiles and even then there had been fire in his eyes. Given the chance he would kill Peter. Claiming him would have been fun and if he was honest, he still couldn't quite believe that Derek of all people had beaten him to it.

Peter fucked his pet hard, drinking in the pained whimpers and when the human cried out in pain, his body writhing under him, Peter came deep inside him with a satisfied grunt.

When he slipped out and let go of him, his pet tried to get up and away from him but since he was still hobbled by the jeans around his knees he toppled over and landed hard on the floor.

Peter watched him struggle to righten his jeans but then he noticed the cup of tea.

"You spilled my tea." He picked up the cup and sure enough drops of tea fell back on the wet saucer.

"I'm sorry." He was still lying on the floor but by now he had his jeans up again. "I'll bring you a new cup, alpha."

"You better." Peter muttered and with a quick flick of his wrist he threw the remaining tea into his pet's face. He gasped but more out of surprise than pain, in the cup the tea had cooled down by now.

"And while you're at it." Peter reached for the steaming pot. "Make me a fresh pot as well."

His pet's eyes went wide when he realized what was about to happen but he wasn't quick enough to scramble away.

Peter emptied the whole pot over his body.

It took a while for the screaming to stop.

Still crying and barely standing his pet put everything back on the tray and then slowly made his way out of the room. While he waited for his tea, Peter went back to work. Injured like his pet was, it might take a while for him to come back.

The phone drew him out of his work a few minutes later, though.

"This is Rick." The man at the other end said as if Peter wouldn't recognize the voice of his own pack members.

"What can I do for you?" If he called him directly and didn't go through Jackson first, this had to be important. And since Rick was one of Beacon Hill's deputies it couldn't be something good.

"I don't know if it means anything." He played it down. "But Stilinski just called Parrish."

Peter waited a second for him to continue. Which he didn't. Suppressing a sigh he asked: "Why?"

"I don't know." Rick answered. "But he told Parrish that he shouldn't hurry if he got called out to the preserve tonight."

"Did he say why?"

"Parrish asked that too but Stilinski just said that he didn't need to worry about that." Even over the phone Peter heard him shrug. "That's all I know, thought I better tell you."

"You did the right thing." Peter said, his mind swirling with possibilities. The Sheriff had left Beacon Hills a while ago, presumably to follow his son. He most likely was Derek's by now.

"What are you planning, Derek?" Peter asked into the empty room. He had wondered if Derek would do something stupid like challenging him after Laura's death but it had been weeks.

Still deep in thoughts he barely noticed when his pet came back with fresh tea. He was still whimpering and barely standing and Peter wondered if he would die from infection this time.

After his pet had left the smell of blistered skin and scorched flesh still hung heavy in the air. That smell still haunted his dreams. Peter closed his eyes and he could almost taste ash in the back of his throat.

It had felt right to deal with Laura's pack the same way Kate had dealt with Talia's but he didn't have the courage to witness it. While Jackson and a few pack members with the assistance of his pet had set the house on fire, Peter had stayed back like a coward. He hadn't watched the news, he didn't want to see the burned ruin or the pictures of the victims, but he had still dreamed of fire the nights afterwards. He deserved it, he guessed.

Peter had build his mansion on the ruins of his old life, quite literally, and he had build it with fire in mind. It would take a lot to set this house on fire and even if somebody managed to do that and somehow managed to block the doors and windows as well, he still had the tunnels.

He would not get trapped again, he would not die in a fire.

It wouldn't hurt to patrol the woods more tightly tonight, though. Peter reached for his phone to call Jackson when it started ringing. On the display he read the last name he expected to see.

"Lydia." He greeted her with the friendliness of a shark. "Didn't think to hear from you again."

"I hear fire." Her voice sounded hollow and far away. "I hear them scream. They're burning."

Everything in Peter went cold.

"Please." Her voice broke. "Please don't do it again. Please, Peter, not Derek's pack as well."

 

Chapter Text

"You know, there is a chance that Peter will accept your challenge." Stiles said.

They were lying in bed in their dark apartment but they were nowhere close to sleep.

"I know." They had been over the plan over and over again and it was risky, Derek knew that, but it could work. Besides it was the only plan they had and Derek doubted that they would come up with something better any time soon. And waiting for Peter to die of old age was not an option.

If they didn't act, he would. Rather sooner than later. Derek just wanted to live in peace with his pack but with Peter out there, it wasn't possible. Not in the long run.

"You don't have to do it." Stiles continued. "We can think of something else."

Stiles snuggled closer, resting his head on Derek's chest and Derek carded his fingers through his hair. Maybe for the last time, tomorrow one or both of them could be dead. They wouldn't sleep, not tonight, and they wouldn't have some weird we-might-die-tomorrow sex either. They were just lying in bed, holding on to each other.

The pack was upstairs in the loft and they should probably be with them, it was possible that this was the last night for some of them as well. Or for the pack. Without an alpha there would be no pack.

"Satomi will take them in." Derek said, not quite putting his fear in words. "And I called Maria, she'll help as well."

If they failed, at least what would be left of their pack would have a place to run to. The kids would be safe.

"Even if he accepts your challenge." Stiles continued, his breath puffing over Derek's naked chest. "You can still win, fair and square."

It was possible, they might be even now. Peter still had the larger territory and the bigger pack but Derek was mated and even if his pack was smaller, they were bonded tighter.

In a way that was Peter's fault. When he'd killed half of Laura's pack, leaving them without an alpha and with so many losses to mourn, they had turned to each other and they had found strength in that.

They were a pack forged in fire, literally, and they were bonded in a way Peter could never understand. Some of Peter's own pack members just barely accepted him as their alpha and if there were humans in his pack at the moment, Lydia wasn't sure if the one she knew of was still alive, Derek was sure they outright hated him. Lydia hated Peter enough to turn on him.

Derek felt it. Even now with a floor between him and the rest of the pack, he felt the closeness through the bonds, he felt the strength of his pack. A pack grew stronger with number but that wasn't all.

"I have a strong pack." He put at least part of his thoughts in words.

Stiles glanced up at him but for once he didn't speak.

Like predicted they didn't sleep that night and in the wee hours Derek slipped out of bed and Stiles followed him without a word. They both felt the pull of the pack bond. They didn't bother with clothes or even turning on the lights, Stiles trusted him to guide him safely out of their apartment and up the stairs to the loft.

The pack made room for them and surrounded by his pack Derek actually drifted off to an uneasy sleep.

When it was time to say goodbye in the morning, they tried to keep it as lighthearted as possible for the sake of the kids but they all felt that something big was going on.

"Are you coming back?" Gina asked with big eyes and Derek didn't know what to say. He wasn't planning of dying but it was a real possibility, they all knew that.

To his surprise it was John who crouched down in front of the little girl.

"We want to." He said and drew her into a tight hug. Gina might not know what they were planning but she knew that it was dangerous. She clung to John and whispered in his ear: "You have to come back."

John put the girl in her grandfather's arm and kissed Melissa goodbye.

"Go, get him." Melissa locked eyes with him and Derek knew she would be with them fighting in the front line if she could.

John held her gaze for a long moment before he gave her a sharp nod. Then he turned and left the loft. Derek and Stiles were right behind him, followed by the others.

In the car John called Deputy Parrish to get their plan in motion and with that there was no turning back. The deputy knew that something would happen tonight but more important, they were counting on one of Peter's guys getting wind of it.

Through the rear view mirror Derek glanced at the jeep following him but then he put his eyes straight ahead on the road. They could do this, they could win.

It was already dark when they arrived in Beacon Hills. Derek didn't bother with driving into town, he drove directly out to the preserve.

A barrier was blocking the way to the mansion, Peter didn't like cars coming out here uninvited. Derek knew that from earlier visits and Lydia had confirmed that it hadn't changed.

They parked half a mile down the road. If the pack was patrolling the woods, they shouldn't immediately notice them here.

Lydia's call was the key to their plan and they waited to the last moment for that, they didn't want to give Peter too much time to think.

Derek watched Lydia, who was sitting alone in Stiles' jeep to not blow her cover with a noise from somebody. Even from the distance he heard every word and if he had been at the other end of the line, he would have believed her. She even looked terrified of her own vision. Her voice cracked when she begged Peter to not burn Derek's pack alive and it sounded so real, for a moment Derek wasn't sure if she was faking it or not.

If a banshee said that there would be death and fire, there would be death and fire. He just hoped that Peter was the only one going to die tonight.

"Think he bought it?" Stiles asked when she had ended the call and got out of the car. She just gave him a look.

"We shouldn't waste time." Derek intervened before Stiles could launch into a rent. They were all on edge but it was too late for second thoughts, they had to do this. Now.

Derek drew Stiles in for a fierce hug and a quick kiss, they might never see each other again, and then he turned and started walking into the preserve. He didn't want to look back, it was bad enough that he felt his mate's emotions through their bond, he didn't need to see it on his face.

Stephen and Ellen fell in step behind him and it was eery how much like Laura's walk into these woods this was. With the only difference that Boyd and Isaac were with them as well. The two betas didn't stay at his side and melted into the woods instead. They knew what to do.

Laura had come here to talk.

Derek was coming to challenge Peter.

He didn't need to see it, he felt Stiles and the others moving in a different direction. His mate had his father, Erica, Mark and Lydia with him and Derek just hoped that it was enough. If things went like planned Stiles would be the one facing Peter and Derek would have loved to surround him with all the wolves he had but it would have looked weird if Derek didn't have a few strong pack members with him.

The rest of the pack had stayed home, in Sean's and Megan's case under protest and Charles hadn't been keen on being left behind either, but if their plan failed, the kids would need them.

They didn't speak while they walked down the path leading to Peter's mansion. They could have just taken the barrier apart and drove up here with the car but this would give Stiles and the others time to get into place. Plus, it was more dramatic, werewolves stalking through the woods. Stiles' words, not his.

It didn't take long before they were noticed.

Derek's step didn't falter and he kept his eyes straight ahead, even when he noticed the two werewolves shadowing them. He wouldn't be able to see them anyway. They wanted to be noticed but not seen.

They were so fixed on him that they didn't seem to notice Boyd and Isaac who were on their way to flank them.

Derek almost rolled his eyes at that but kept walking

The mansion was just around the corner, when a familiar trio stepped in his path. Derek stopped and crossed his arms in front of his chest. Ellen and Stephen fell into formation behind him, mimicking the trio in front of them.

Jackson and the twins kept their distance but it was clear in their stance that they wouldn't just let Derek and his escort pass.

"What do you want?" Jackson asked after a long moment, the twins silent shadows behind him.

"Your alpha murdered my sister in an unfair fight." Derek raised his voice and he was sure that he would be heard even inside the mansion. If Peter was still there, he would hear him. "Your alpha murdered six members of her pack without giving them a chance to leave his territory."

He paused to let the words sink in. Judging by the frown on Jackson's face, he knew exactly where this was heading.

"I'm here to challenge Alpha Peter Hale." Derek said loud enough for everybody to hear.

Jackson laughed. He threw his head back and laughed.

Derek just waited him out patiently.

"You're joking." Jackson composed himself rather quickly and made an angry step towards Derek, jabbing his finger at him. "Leave now. Run with your tail between your legs and hide." He stepped even closer, his face now only inches from Derek's. "And maybe, just maybe Peter will let you live for a little while longer."

Now Derek did roll his eyes at him.

He was an alpha, he was quicker and stronger than the beta in front of him so when Derek snapped his fangs at Jackson he almost bit his nose off. The red glow of his eyes reflected in Jackson's wide open ones before the beta stumbled backwards with a curse.

The twins were at his side in a heart-beat, ready to attack, but they hesitated at sight of the alpha baring his fangs at them, flanked by equally shifted betas.

Instead of attacking they averted their eyes and just dragged Jackson back.

Jackson glared at Derek but when the alpha let out another growl, he was quick to turn to the twin to his right.

"You heard him." He shoved the beta in the direction of the mansion. "Tell Peter that Derek's here."

The beta ran and Jackson watched him for a moment before he turned back to Derek who had retracted his fangs and was now just standing there.

"Coming here is the stupidest thing you could have done." His arrogance was back. "Saves Peter time, I give you that, maybe that will put him in a good mood and he kills you quickly." He gave Derek a feral grin but that vanished when Derek raised an eyebrow at him. Jackson might be Peter's second in command but he'd never grown a backbone.

"We'll see." Was all Derek had to say to that. With his arms crossed over his chest he waited for either Peter to accept his challenge or for their plan to work. Strangely, he was content with either. He would fight Peter if he had to and who knew, he might even win.

Then the first Molotov cocktail flew and the world burst into flames.

 

Chapter Text

Stiles adjusted his clammy grip on his bat while he followed Lydia through the woods. By now they were surrounded by trees and Stiles had no idea where they were going but he trusted Lydia to know the way.

His dad was walking right next to him, gun loaded with wolfsbane firmly in his hands, and if he had something to say about the useless bat Stiles was carrying around he kept it to himself. Stiles would love to bash in Peter's face with it and he knew that Lydia was fantasizing about killing Peter as well but if he was honest, it would be most likely one of the wolves who would get the honor. Or his dad would just shoot him.

But Stiles still stood by his weapon of choice, you never know when it might come in handy.

"Over there." Lydia pointed in what to Stiles looked like a random direction but Erica squinted her eyes and nodded, so there probably was something there.

A minute later Stiles stood at the well hidden entrance of Peter's escape tunnel. A metal door with no way to open it from the outside. According to Lydia this was the only way out of the tunnels, every other entrance had been blocked off completely to prevent intruders.

"Okay, stay back." Stiles gestured for them to get some distance between them and the entrance, they didn't want Peter to notice the trap too soon. There was nothing they could do to hide their scent expect for at least trying to stay out of the wind but even if they managed to do that, they couldn't conceal their heart-beats.

They hid as best as they could, hoping that Peter would be confused enough so that they could overwhelm him.

"Don't bother with questions." Stiles was crouched in some bushes right next to his father with Lydia at his other side but he knew that the wolves were able to hear him as well. "Just shoot him as soon as you have the chance."

Erica had her gun with her as well and that might give them an advantage. Nobody expected a werewolf to carry a gun.

On some level Stiles hoped that they would just shoot Peter and be over with it but he knew that even wolfsbane bullets might not be enough to stop a werewolf. Especially an alpha.

Waiting had never been Stiles' strong suit and the longer he sat there, waiting for something to happen, the more antsy he got.

"What's taking them so long?" He asked, chewing on his bottom lip.

His father shifted next to him, probably to say something, but then a fireball erupted in the night, followed by a second one only a moment later.

"Whoa." Stiles made in surprise and landed hard on his ass. He had known that this was coming, had been waiting for it, but it still took him by surprise. The orange glow of a fire shone through the trees but it was too far away to see what was burning. Hopefully only the walls of the mansion and the fire should die down once the liquid had all been used up but they were in the middle of the preserve. Stiles wasn't sure how dry everything around here was. He had checked the weather report but only to make sure that it wouldn't rain today.

Fascinated he stared at the flickering light and for a moment he felt like he had when he'd been speeding up to Laura's house.

The fire was already dying down but it did bring back memories. And not only for Stiles. From across the clearing he felt Mark who was fighting to keep it together and if he dropped some fangs in the process, Stiles didn't judge him. Over the bonds he felt Derek, Stephen and Ellen as well, all three of them fighting with their own demons.

But if this was this bad for them from the outside, how bad did it have to be for Peter who had been in the middle of the fire then and was now trapped in a building with flames licking up the walls again?

Especially with Lydia's call earlier there was no way that Peter wouldn't panic.

"Get ready." Stiles whispered, while he scrambled back to his feet as quietly as possible. The bat lay heavy in his hands and he let the weight comfort him.

To Stiles' human ears it was still quiet, the only noise his own blood rushing in his ears so he kept his eyes fixed on the door where Peter should appear any second now.

Or he was already fighting with Derek. That was a possibility, too.

They didn't speak but then Stiles saw some eyes flaring up across from him, Erica's way of telling him that she'd heard something.

"Showtime." Stiles mouthed to himself.

The door opened.

Peter stood there for not even half a second before he leaped into the air, eyes glowing red and claws out, a black figure against the orange glow behind him.

Stiles had only enough time to recognize their target before his father fired his gun and across from them Erica did the same. This was not the time for proper werewolf fighting etiquette. If they hit, Stiles couldn't tell because Peter was just gone.

A moment later Mark crashed into a tree right next to him and even Stiles heard the sickening sound of cracking bone at the impact.

The alpha let out a roar, a call for his pack, and if they wanted to win this, they had to do it fast. Ignoring Mark for now, he would check on him later to find out if he was even alive, Stiles dashed forward, swinging his bat.

Peter was on Erica now, shaking her like a rag doll. She had lost her gun but was making good use of her claws.

John fired again and again, all shots finding their target, but Peter didn't even flinch. He just dropped Erica who went down and didn't get up again and then he tackled John.

They hit the ground in a heap of limps but the human stood no chance against a werewolf. They rolled around until Peter was on top and he raised his clawed hand for the final blow.

Time slowed down for a second but then Stiles brought down his bat right on Peter's temple.

The werewolf rolled off his father with a pained growl but he was on his feet in a swift move and then the bat was ripped out of Stiles' hands.

"Stiles." Peter said in a calm tone, almost as if this was some kind of social meeting. "A pet shouldn't do a wolf's work."

"I'm not a pet." Stiles gritted out and stepped back, now painfully aware of the fact that he stood here without a weapon in front of an angry alpha werewolf. His dad was still on the ground and even Stiles smelled his blood.

Which left only Stiles and Lydia standing, neither of them posing a threat to Peter.

"I should have killed you when I had the chance." Peter said. His shirt was wet with his own blood, at least some bullets had hit him right in the chest, but he didn't seem bothered by it in the slightest.

"But I thought being Derek's pet would be punishment enough." He continued without a care in the world. But Stiles didn't let himself get fooled by that. Peter kept an eye out for his surroundings and he stood with his back to the entrance of the tunnel, the only direction he knew was safe for him. The werewolves may be down for now but he wasn't stupid enough to fall into Hollywood villain stupidity.

"Surprise, Derek treats his humans like people." Stiles said, trying to keep Peter's focus on him. So far Peter had failed to acknowledge Lydia and he wanted to keep it that way. Stepping a little to the side and with that forcing Peter to turn with him to keep him in sight, he even managed to get his father out of the line of fire.

Knowing about their last trump, John scrambled away on his own and Stiles forced himself to not think about the fact that John wasn't just running.

"Derek has always been weak." Peter said, also playing for time. His pack was coming and once they were here, it would be over. Peter wanted to say more but he was cut off by Lydia.

She didn't say a word, she didn't let out a battle cry. She just threw the bottle with all she had. It hit Peter on the shoulder and burst into a ball of flames.

Screaming Peter went down.

Stiles watched in grim satisfaction while Peter fought a losing fight against the flames.

He thought it was over.

But then Jackson burst out of the bushes and when he saw his alpha on the ground, he had the sense to use his jacket to put out the flames. If it was doing Peter any good, Stiles didn't know but he was too stunned by the werewolf's sudden appearance to do anything about it.

Once again it was Lydia who reacted. She picked up Stiles' bat and didn't hesitate to beat the living shit out of Jackson. He didn't even see it coming.

Then all hell broke lose.

Suddenly Derek and his betas where there as well along with the twins and more of Peter's pack. In the brawl Stiles lost sight of Peter but he stumbled over his father, who had managed to get out of the worst and was now sitting with his back against a tree. He was holding his side and even in the poor light Stiles saw the blood.

"I'm fine." John assured him but his breath was too labored to make it sound convincing. He needed a hospital, they both knew it, but that would have to wait until they had won this fight.

With their alpha down or even dead, Peter's pack was only an uncoordinated bunch of wolves, lashing out at everybody.

On the other side was Derek, an alpha, who had five strong betas with him and they fought like one. Even Erica was back on her feet and not taking prisoners.

Stiles didn't see Mark among them but he did feel the bond to his beta so at least he was alive and being a werewolf he would most likely stay that way.

What Stiles, however, did see, was Peter. Heavily burned but still alive, the alpha was crawling back to the entrance of the tunnel.

"That bastard." Stiles yelled, already on his feet to go after him but then he stopped. He couldn't just leave his father. Not like this. He could die while he was gone.

"Stiles, go." With a bloody hand his dad waved him off.

"I'll be back." Stiles promised before he sprinted after Peter.

Nobody else seemed to notice the escaping alpha and Stiles had to doge more than one clawed hand. If Peter managed to get inside and lock the door, it would be over. By the time they would have broken down the door he would be healed and the rest of his pack would be here.

Somebody crashed into him and Stiles had to catch himself on a tree to stay on his feet which cost him precious seconds.

Peter was right at the door.

Stiles cussed under his breath but he was too far away.

But then another figure appeared in the entrance of the tunnel. It was just a silhouette against the darkness and Stiles didn't recognize him but Peter did. He let out a pleading sound that Stiles even heard over the growling of the werewolves fighting around him. Peter stretched out his hand for the man to help him.

Instead the man raised a gun, it might be Erica's, with shaking hands, aiming straight at Peter's face. Even with the shaking, at this distance it was impossible for him to miss.

For a second Peter just stared up the barrel or into the other man's eyes, Stiles couldn't tell, and then the back of Peter's head exploded.

Chapter Text

Derek had a stare-down with Jackson which the beta was clearly losing which would have been funny under different circumstances. Now Derek just tried his best to not look like he was waiting for all hell to break lose.

Then the first Molotov flew, it must have been Isaac's, and a second later the second one hit the walls of Peter's mansion.

There was still a line of trees separating them from the building but the flames were clearly visible through the branches, outlining the corner of the house.

Derek couldn't breathe.

It was like back then. Suddenly Derek was a teen again, running up to the burning remains of his life. Next to him Stephen and Ellen gasped and Derek felt their flare of panic and a little more distant he felt Marc as well.

Derek fought down his own panic, his pack needed him.

"What the …" Jackson and the remaining twin just stared dumbfounded at the fire and then they took off running.

Derek and his betas followed them just in case Peter did come out the front door. Other wolves came running and for the moment Derek and his pack were forgotten while they all just stared helplessly at the burning building.

The flames were already dying down and it didn't look like they were in danger of a real fire in the woods but the cocktails had been well placed, licking up to sides of a corner and covering a few windows. There was no chance that they would actually set the concrete on fire but it was rather impressive, Derek had to admit with morbid fascination.

The sight of the flames, the smell of smoke and burning leaves, it did bring back memories for Derek and he hoped that it was the same for Peter.

Stiles counted on it.

Triggering a burn victim like this wasn't a nice thing to do but they weren't here to do nice things.

"What do you think you're doing here?" Jackson was the first who remembered Derek and his pack and suddenly Derek was standing face to face with the beta. Jackson had four wolves with him and that make him feel strong but Derek also had four wolves, Boyd and Isaac were at his side now, and he was an alpha.

The outrage died on Jackson's face but before he could make up his mind if he dared to attack Derek or not, a howl echoed through the woods.

An alpha calling for his pack.

Jackson didn't spare Derek another glance and just ran.

Derek was right behind him and he got in a few licks but the beta was too focused on getting to his alpha to actually care about Derek.

Then Peter screamed.

The smell of smoke and burning flesh hit Derek hard and he needed to shake his head to dislodge the images coming up in his mind. The burning house, his dead family in the morgue. Even Mark and Loreen in their sterile hospital beds.

Derek stumbled blindly for a few steps before he caught himself enough to pursued Jackson.

When he came into the clearing, the first thing he noticed was the burned body on the ground that was Peter. The alpha was alive, but barely.

Derek went straight for him to rip his throat out and end it once and for all but somebody tackled him from the side and after that Derek was just fighting whoever of Peter's pack came into range.

He did find a moment to seek out his mate and he breathed easier when he saw Stiles, seemingly unharmed, at the sidelines with his dad. John didn't look so good but Derek wasn't sensing blind panic coming from Stiles so he hoped that he wasn't injured too badly.

The next time Derek glanced over, Stiles was gone. Of course his mate went right back into battle, it didn't matter that the enemies were all werewolves and as such stronger and faster than Stiles let alone were naturally armed with fangs and claws.

Derek tried to make out Stiles in the middle of the fight but two of Peter's betas were on him and Derek had more than enough to do with keeping them at a distance. The smell of blood was heavy in the air, almost covering up the smell of fire and burning flesh, and his claws were dripping with it, some of it his own.

Then a gunshot echoed through the woods.

As if their strings were cut, Peter's pack stopped fighting. They all froze, one or two actually dropped to their knees, eyes wide in disbelief.

Derek knew that feeling. Losing the bond to his alpha, it was one of the worst things he'd ever felt in his life. But seeing Peter's pack like this only brought him grim satisfaction. They had done the same to Laura's pack without a second of remorse.

"No!" One of the twins yelled and leaped for the person who had shot Peter. Derek was sure that it was Stiles he was aiming for but instead he sank his fangs into a man Derek had never seen before.

"Tommy!" Lydia's voice cut through the night and she was running towards the man but it was too late. Isaac got the twin off him and threw him into a tree where he sank down in a heap but the other man was on the ground as well.

Some of Peter's wolves were already running and the remaining ones didn't stand a chance against Derek and his pack but some still wanted to fight. Seeking revenge or a quick death, Derek didn't know and he doubted they knew either. When a woman with dead eyes came after him, he caught her by the throat, claws pricking the skin.

"Your alpha is dead." He growled at her. "Run. Now!"

The last words were directed at all of them and after a confused second they did run. Some were limping and the other twin had to almost carry his brother but they were leaving. Even Jackson. He was the last to leave. And not because half his head was just a bloody mess and he was barely standing.

He lingered at the treeline, eyes never leaving the smoldering remains of his alpha as if he expected him to come back.

Then he nodded to himself as if he finally accepted that his alpha was gone.

Slowly Jackson turned and walked away.

"Derek!" Lydia screamed for him. "We need you here."

Running over to her, he had a look around. Stiles was back with his father, talking quietly to him, Isaac and Ellen were with Mark who was still on the ground but at least conscious. The others all looked worse to wear but their injuries didn't seem too bad.

When he came closer, Derek had his first real look at the man who shot Peter. He was lying with his head in Lydia's lap, clinging to her, while she was pressing her hands into the gaping hole in his side. The werewolf had ripped a good chunk right out of his side.

But that was by far not the only wound the man had. Only dressed in a pair of jeans his injuries were on display, cuts and bruises and raw flesh. He even smelled sick.

"He's dying." Lydia had her hands deep in the wound in the hopeless attempt to stop the bleeding. "You have to bite him."

Derek hadn't thought that the man was even conscious but at her words he started to fight.

"No." The word was barely a whisper. "No, no, no, no." He puffed the words out with every rapid breath.

"Please, Tommy." Lydia broke down crying, she even let go of the wound with one hand to stroke his hair. "Trust me. Please."

The man wasn't a werewolf so he had to be a human Peter had claimed. His whole body spoke of the abuse he had endured and Derek wasn't sure if turning him would do him a favor. With his bond broken, his mind must be already breaking as well and he didn't know if the bite would be enough to keep him sane.

"I won't bite you without your consent." Derek sank to his knees at his other side and gently took his hand. If nothing else he could take the pain. The man tried to fight him for a moment but he was too weak.

"Tommy, please." Lydia wasn't giving up on him just yet. Being human in a pack of werewolves they probably had formed their own kind of bond.

"I know you don't trust him but trust me, okay?" She pleaded. "Can you trust me?"

His eyes had become distant but now he focused on her.

Derek didn't think that he was even there enough to make a decision but then he brought out a raspy "okay".

That was all he needed. Without hesitation he sank his teeth into the man's, Tommy's, neck.

When he sat back and wiped the blood off his mouth, the man had lost consciousnesses.

"It might be too late." Derek said. And even if the body accepted the bite and the man survived, they didn't know what state his mind would be in. He had been claimed but the bond broke. It was possible that they had acted quick enough but they would only know for sure when he woke up. If he woke up.

Stephen took over the pain draining for Derek and he hurried over to the other injured human.

John was still sitting with his back against the tree and in the dark he looked paler than he should. There was a thin layer of sweat covering his face but he didn't look as if he was about to die.

Stiles and Boyd were at his sides and the beta was already taking care of the pain.

"How bad is it?" Derek crouched next to them.

"I'll live." John answered and the fact that he was the one answering put Derek at ease.

"I already called an ambulance." Stiles shook his phone which he still had at his ear. On the other end Derek heard the operator talking. "They'll be here in a few minutes."

"What about him?" Boyd nodded towards where Stephen and Lydia were sitting with Tommy.

He must have known what it meant for him if he killed Peter and he had done it anyway. Whoever he was, he was a brave man but also a deeply hurt one and most likely more ready to die than to live. Derek still wasn't sure if giving him the bite had been a good idea but chances were slim that he would actually survive.

"Is that Thomas Barns?" John asked, craning his neck in hope to get a better view of the man.

"I don't know." Derek had to admit. "Lydia calls him Tommy."

John nodded knowingly. "Tommy Barns, he went missing about a year ago. I always suspected that Peter had something to do with that but I never …" He didn't have enough breath for the rest of the sentence but it was clear what had happened here. Somebody disappeared without a trace and the sheriff could only wait for him to turn up in a ditch or as a case for Eichen-House.

Erica went to open the barrier for the ambulance and to show them where to go and a few minutes later professionals were taking care of John and Tommy.

Somebody must have informed the sheriff's department as well, or they got suspicious when the werewolves at the station suddenly panicked over their sudden omega status.

"That's not how I wanted to see you again, sir." The man who had to be Deputy Parrish greeted John when he was wheeled towards the ambulance. If John had a witty answer, Derek missed it to the oxygen mask the paramedics put over his face.

Two deputies were examining Peter's burned corpse and Derek wondered what kind of consequences they were facing here. Not that he really cared. Peter was dead and Derek hadn't lost one of his pack. As far as he was concerned this was a victory.

Stiles rode with his father and Lydia stayed with Tommy while Derek gathered the rest of his pack and together they walked back to their cars. They needed to get to the hospital.

 

Chapter Text

Stiles rode with his father in the ambulance and in the light of the car he finally saw the damage. He almost fainted.

There were deep gashes over his dad's torso and was there bone showing in one place? Peter had used his claws on him and his whole upper body was soaked with blood but it looked like the ribs had protected him from more serious injuries.

"He'll be fine." One of the paramedics told him with an assuring smile and coming from a professional, Stiles believed her. When his dad had said the same earlier Stiles hadn't been convinced.

He had seen Mark back on his feet. The wolves were all a little banged up but they were already healing, Stiles could feel it. Derek was still there, a strong and pretty much alive beacon in his head.

Peter was dead.

They did it and they came out alive. Euphoria washed over him and Stiles felt like whooping and laughing and maybe a little silly dancing but he had to sit here, wedged into a corner while the paramedics were working on his dad.

Stiles saved the victory dance for later. Maybe he could convince Derek to turn it into victory sex. But that would have to wait until they got home.

At least they would be able to go home soon. John was the only one needing medical attention and at the moment Stiles hoped that a few stitches and bed rest was all he needed. Maybe a blood transfusion to replace what he'd lost.

It took him a while to notice that there was something else. Someone else. The weakest of weak connection in his mind. For a moment Stiles had totally forgotten the man who had shot Peter.

Stiles had been so concerned about this father that he hadn't paid much attention to the man but now it was hard to miss that there was a connection in his mind that hadn't been there before.

It was so weak that at moments Stiles wasn't sure if it was still there but it flared up again every single time.

They arrived at the hospital where they wheeled his father away, leaving Stiles lost and alone in the waiting room.

"Stiles?" Lydia called his name and then she was holding on to him for dear life. Shaking with sobs she just clung to him and Stiles hugged her back. He didn't even mind that her hands were up to her elbows covered in blood.

"Is any of this yours?" He asked, stroking her hair. It was matted with blood as well.

"It's his." She rested her forehead against his chest, not quite ready to let go. "It's all Tommy's."

"How is he?" He knew that Derek had bitten him to save his life but that was all he knew about this Tommy.

"Ethan." She cleared her throat and raised her hand to wipe the tears off her face but Stiles stopped her before she could smear blood all over her face. Gently he wiped the tears off with his thumb.

"Ethan, he attacked Tommy." She said. "There was so much blood. So much." Only now she seemed to notice her hands. She tried to wipe them on her pants but the blood was already too dry for that. Over the bond Stiles felt the rising hysteria and he reached for her wrists before she could work herself into a full blown panic attack.

"Let's clean you up, shall we?" He asked. He led her over to the nearest bathroom and on the way he took stock of himself. He wasn't injured but he had blood on him as well.

While they washed their hands and faces, Lydia continued to speak.

"Tommy was claimed." She said with her eyes fixed on her hands. The water running down the drain was red. "Derek bit him, you think that saved his mind?"

Stiles didn't know.

"He didn't want the bite." Lydia said in a low whisper. "He wanted to die."

That made Stiles pause. Paper towels clenched in his hands, he needed a second to process what she'd just said. Cold dread settled in his stomach.

"Derek bit him against his will?"

"What? No!" She hurried to say. "I … I ask Tommy to trust me. And he said yes."

Stiles thought about it for a moment. According to his dad Tommy had been claimed by Peter a year ago. He didn't want to think about the physical and mental damage the alpha had caused during that time. And then there was the broken bond. If Tommy pulled through and the bite took hold, which was still a big if, his body would heal but what state his mind would be in … Stiles didn't want to go there.

"He's in surgery, right?"

She nodded.

"You should be there when he wakes up."

Lydia was the only one he knew. The only one he trusted. Stiles doubted that Tommy would feel comfortable with werewolves around but he would need Derek. He needed his alpha while the bond was still forming. And he needed his alpha to control his werewolf side.

Standing in an hospital bathroom, washing blood off his hands, brought back memories of what would happen if a freshly bitten werewolf was left omega.

Stiles threw the paper towels into the bin with more force than necessary and then he hurried out of the bathroom. And ran right into his mate.

"Stiles." Derek breathed against the skin of his neck. Relief washed through him and Stiles couldn't tell if it was his or his mate's but it didn't matter. They held on to each other for a moment, nuzzling each other's neck in search for the familiar scent. They only broke apart when Lydia threatened to kick Stiles' ass if he didn't move out of the way and let her out of the bathroom.

"Everybody okay?" Stiles asked when they moved over to the waiting area. Everybody was there and even if they looked worse to wear, they were werewolves, their wounds had already healed. Which didn't have to mean that they were okay.

So Stiles made the round, hugging every one of them and let them nuzzle his neck. They needed to make sure that he was okay just as much as he did.

"We're good." Erica said but didn't even bother to stop running her nose from his collar bone to the spot behind his ear and back again.

"I called Sean to let him know we're okay and that Peter is history." Isaac informed him with grim satisfaction in his voice.

That was one thing off Stiles' to do list. And before he could think of the other things on that list, a nurse came looking for him.

"Your dad's waiting for you."

His dad was lying in a hospital bed but he was still in the ER and not in a room so Stiles figured that he would be allowed to leave soon. He had his right arm in a sling and there were bandages poking out from under the hospital gown.

"Hey." Stiles said when he entered the cubicle.

"Don't look at me like that." His dad brushed him off, when Stiles was trying to read him. "Three cracked ribs, a dislocated shoulder and stitches. I'll be fine."

Stiles wasn't that convinced. Punctured lung and concussion were on his mind and he wondered if the doctors had checked for those. They most likely had, it was their job, but a small voice in the back of his mind just didn't want to shut up about possible complications.

"Stiles." His dad drew him out of his thoughts. "Stop. I'm fine."

This time Stiles nodded, his dad would be fine.

Right on cue another nurse came in with paperwork. After that they would get prescriptions for painkillers and antibiotics and then John would be free to go.

"Just make sure that he takes it easy for a few days." The nurse told Stiles and then laughed at the sheer horror on John's face.

"Let your son take care of you for a while, Sheriff." She teased.

"You have no idea what you just did." He groaned and didn't correct her on the sheriff part. "He's going to throw the whole pack at me."

Now she did look uneasy, eyes shifting over to Stiles as if only now she remembered the rumors that were most likely going around in Beacon Hills.

"It's not like that." Stiles said but didn't know how to explain it to her. "Derek's a good alpha." He finished lamely but by then she was already hurrying to get away from them.

"Don't blame her." His dad said, shifting uncomfortably in his bed.

"I just want to go home." Stiles dropped in the chair next to the bed and reached for the paperwork. The sooner they got this done the sooner they could leave.

At least that was what he was telling himself. There was this weak little beacon in his mind that told him that they would be stuck in this hospital for a little while longer.

Tommy was still in surgery. They didn't have to work miracles, they just needed to keep him alive long enough for the bite to take hold. If it didn't take he would die anyway. But for now they could only wait.

Stiles didn't stay alone with his dad for long.

Isaac sneaked in first and just silently stepped up behind Stiles to rest his chin on his shoulder and hug him from behind. If they weren't in a hospital, Isaac would be in his fur by now but he would be equally plastered to Stiles.

Boyd and Erica were next. Erica joined the little group hug while Boyd sat down on the bed at John's other side. A minute later they were talking about the job John should have started next week at their company. Now that would have to wait for a few more weeks but that was not the point.

Stiles watched his dad and his beta, quietly talking about things he had no clue about, and warmth spread in his chest.

"He's okay." Erica whispered in his ear and slowly the tension melted out of Stiles. His dad would be okay, he had most of his pack around him and his mate was just down the hallway with the rest of the pack. For a moment Stiles managed to let go.

"Did you check for other humans?" His mind wasn't build for running idle.

"Tommy was the only one." Isaac answered with his nose still in the crook of Stiles' neck. "The rest are wolves."

That was another thing they needed to think about. Peter was dead but his pack was still there, now a bunch of omegas. As the alpha that was mainly Derek's problem but Stiles was his mate so it was his problem as well. He didn't want to take them in, most of them were assholes, but they couldn't just let omegas run wild in their territory either.

What would they even do with a territory this big? It was the old Hale territory, finally united again, and Beacon Hills had been the center of it. The alpha had always lived here but Stiles didn't know if he wanted to come back here. Could Derek hold a territory this big from the outskirts?

"You worry too much." Erica said and sat down in his lap. This way she could hug and nuzzle him without ruining her back.

Stiles uffed at the sudden weight in his lap but she just glared at him, daring him to comment on it.

Then with a snap the connection in his mind took hold. The three wolves felt it too. They all froze, eyes going distant while their minds shifted to make room for the new pack member.

"Looks like he made it." Isaac said and Stiles wasn't sure if the beta thought it was a good thing or not.

Chapter Text

Derek sat on a couch in the waiting room with Lydia and Mark wedged to his sides and Stephen and Ellen sitting in chairs near by.

They were waiting for news on Tommy.

When a doctor came by to tell them that Tommy was out of surgery, they all breathed in relief.

"That's good, right?" Lydia asked the doctor. It hadn't been easy to convince him to tell them more than that Tommy was alive, they weren't family, but then Derek pointed out that he was Tommy's alpha and things went a little smoother after that.

"He's fighting." Was the doctor's answer to Lydia's question. He wasn't used to counting in werewolf healing so Derek and his pack were slightly more optimistic that Tommy would make it than the doctors. If he held on for a little while longer. If his body accepted the bite.

Nobody mentioned it but they were all thinking of Loreen.

Mark was even quieter than the others and Derek wondered if he was thinking of the fire, the events of the night had brought back some memories for all of them, or if he was thinking about the time when he had been the one fighting for his life in a hospital bed.

An hour later Tommy had been transferred to a room in the ICU and after some debating Lydia was allowed to see him. Derek would join her once it would become necessary.

After Mark and Loreen, who had also been heavily injured when he had bitten them, Derek settled in for a long wait. So it took him by surprise when not half an hour later the connection in his mind took hold.

Derek still didn't know what to do with his newest member, he knew next to nothing about this man, but he followed the beacon in his head to his room nevertheless.

He found Lydia sitting next to the bed, holding the injured man's hand, and said man lying there pale and with blueish shades under his eyes. He had an infusion in his arm and an oxygen support under his nose but he was breathing on his own and his monitor showed everything in green and wasn't frantically beeping so Derek guessed that everything was fine.

"How is he?" He asked. Tommy was still sleeping but he was healing. There were bruises on his face and on what was visible of his chest along with cuts and burn marks and what looked suspiciously like fresh blisters. All of that was already healing but the old scars would stay. And Tommy had quite a few of those.

Derek tried not to stare too much, it felt like he was invading the other man's privacy.

"I think he's waking up." Lydia said in a low voice.

Right on cue his eyelids flattered open and he took in a sharp breath.

Then suddenly his heart-beat skyrocketed and the monitor went wild. Thrashing in his bed Tommy fought against the infusion and the thing on his face and Lydia's hands on him.

"Tommy, it's me." Lydia tried to get through to him. "It's me, Lydia, I'm here."

Derek stayed back, she had a better chance to calm him down, but he kept an eye on them. Tommy was a newborn werewolf who had no idea how strong he was.

But once the attachments were gone, when the needle of the infusion ripped out Derek winced from just seeing it, the man calmed down a bit.

By the time a nurse came rushing in his heart was still beating rapidly which the monitor didn't like one bit but he was focused on Lydia and it seemed to ground him.

In hushed voices Derek and the nurse had a short discussion about the infusion. She wasn't convinced, patients weren't supposed to just rip out needles, but since the point of entry had already healed, she was okay with dropping this on the doctor in charge and went in search for him.

"Tommy, you with me now?" Lydia asked and leaned over to look him in the eye. "You're safe now. I promise. Nobody is going to hurt you."

He nodded but his gaze shifted over to where Derek was standing and his heart was still beating faster than it should.

"That's Derek." Lydia introduced him and it felt safe to step up to the bed. Tommy went rigid at that but when Derek didn't come closer, he relaxed slightly.

"He had to bite you, your remember that?"

"I'm your pet now?" His voice came out flat and his eyes, not meeting Derek's, were dead and empty.

Derek couldn't answer, there was a lump in his throat and his vision swam with unshed tears.

"No." Lydia answered for him. "He's your alpha but he's nothing like Peter. I swear. Tommy?" With a gentle hand she turned his head so that he was looking at her. "Trust me, okay? Just for a little while?"

"You don't have to stay with me if you don't want to." Derek finally found his voice again. "But at the moment you need an alpha."

"Why didn't you let me die?" He asked and curled in to himself. His whole body shook with suppressed sobs.

Derek couldn't stand it any longer. On of his betas was in distress and the wolf in him whined to make it better. Carefully to not spook the other man farther, Derek sat down on the edge of his bed and reached for his shoulder. The man froze, waiting for what Derek would do now. He expected pain, expected to get hurt again, that much was clear, so he didn't know what to do when Derek did the opposite.

In black lines the pain disappeared in Derek's arm but the man didn't relax under his touch. This had to be a trick. Something to lull him in until Derek would hurt him again.

Derek knew those thoughts, he had been there with Isaac before. But Isaac had come around, Derek hoped it would be the same with Tommy. Things like this needed time and a lot of patience.

"Is there somebody you want us to call?" Derek asked. According to John he had gone missing over a year ago, there had to be somebody out there looking for him. "Your parents, maybe?"

"No." He shook his head, face hidden under his arm. "There's no-one."

But the offer alone seemed to do something for him. He didn't quite let down his guard but when Lydia reached for his hand, he let her take it.

When Derek had claimed Stiles, he had thought that he would never see his father again, Derek remembered, so making this offer might have gained him some points in Tommy's book.

It was just sad that there was nobody to call. Things would be easier for Tommy if he had his family to help him. Now he was completely at Derek's mercy and it would be hard to proof that he wasn't like his uncle.

Tommy was healing and when he was at a point where he didn't need help with the pain any longer, Derek left the room. With only Lydia around he might get some rest.

After this Derek needed his mate and he wanted to check on John anyway.

He found them still in a cubicle in the ER where Stiles was just helping his father into a shirt. Since he had one arm in a sling, the buttons didn't close but it was good enough for now.

"Dad, you need to …" Stiles started but was cut off by his father.

"I know." He snapped and swatted Stiles' hand away. "Would you just …?"

Derek had no idea what they were arguing about but it was amusing to watch.

"Ready to leave?" Derek asked.

"More than ready." John let out a groan and snagged his pants out of Stiles' hands. "I don't need help with those."

Father and son glared at each other over the pants but in the end Stiles let go of them.

"How's Thomas doing?" John changed the topic. "How is he taking everything?" As the sheriff John had seen other of Peter's victim, he probably had a pretty good idea in what condition the new beta was.

"Not so good." Derek admitted. "He trusts Lydia and he seems to be clear in the head." He had no idea what he would have done if his mind had turned out broken. "But he's afraid of me."

"I figured that." He fiddled with his pants but didn't attempt to put them on. "Listen, I need to ask Melissa first but we have a guest room. Maybe he feels more comfortable with us."

The guest room he was talking about was actually meant to be his bedroom but as far as Derek knew John had never used it. The kids had taken it over to store their school stuff in there.

"Thanks, that's probably a good idea." His first thought had been to put Tommy and Isaac together, but his new beta might do better with humans around. "As long as Melissa is okay with it."

With that settled John returned to the task of getting dressed but before he and Stiles could launch into another argument over that, Erica burst into the cubicle.

"Derek? There are some of Peter's pack here." She informed him. "They want to talk to you."

"I'll see what they want." He had a pretty good idea what they wanted. They were omegas now and they needed an alpha. And it was common to take over most of the pack along with the territory.

"I'm coming with you." Stiles said and threw the pants at Erica. "Erica is going to help you with your pants, Dad."

"Erica is not going to help me with my pants." His dad yelled back but Derek doubted that he stood a chance against Erica.

"Are you going to take them in?" Stiles asked while they walked down the hallway.

"Let's talk to them first." Derek didn't know most of Peter's pack. He had kept contact with Peter to a bare minimum.

They found five werewolves waiting for them in the parking lot.

"You have to be kidding me." Stiles blurted out when he noticed who the leader of the little gang was.

"Haven't you taught your pet some manners by now?" Jackson asked Derek with disapproval written all over his face.

"Okay, shithead." Stiles was not one to get ignored that easily. "There goes your not existing chance to ever join our pack."

"Looks like you need somebody with a firm hand in your pack, Derek." Jackson said, his old confidence back.

"What do you want, Jackson?" Derek crossed his arms in front of his chest, waiting for him to actually say it.

"Alpha Derek Hale." Jackson raised his chin. "I'm asking for a place in your pack for me and these werewolves. We're strong fighters and will strengthen the pack and your position as the alpha."

"No." Derek said firmly. "At least for you, Jackson. As for the rest of you, I don't know you so I can't make this decision just yet."

"What?" Jackson gaped at him. "You can't do that. I'm …"

"You're an arrogant asshole." Stiles filled in for him.

"Who do you think you are?" Jackson flashed his eyes at him. "I don't know what this little shit told you about me …"

"You do know that you're insulting my mate here, right?" Derek interrupted him with a raised eyebrow.

"But he's a pet." One of the others said, disgust clear in his voice.

"Aaaand you're out." Stiles pointed a finger gun at him.

Derek didn't know him but his uniform identified him as one of the deputies. And judging by what he'd heard from John about those, he was pretty sure that he didn't want one of them in his pack.

"I'll ask Lydia and Tommy." Stiles decided. "See if they can vouch for one of them. Or for anybody in the pack."

If these were the men Jackson deemed worthy, Derek doubted he wanted them in his pack but there were others.

"The pet's still alive?" Jackson still didn't know when to keep his mouth shut. "And you want to ask him?"

For a moment Jackson just stood there, waiting for Derek to tell him that this was all a bad joke, but when it became clear that this wasn't a joke, he threw up his hands.

"You are as weak as Peter always said." He turned around and started walking away. "I don't want an alpha who lets humans run the pack."

After a second the deputy followed him but the others stayed, looking expectantly at Derek.

Chapter Text

Wiping the smugness off Jackson's face never got old and Stiles watched with delight when realization hit and the omega turned in defeat and left.

"Meet me here again in an hour." Derek said to the remaining werewolves. "You'll get an answer then."

Stiles fell in step with his mate and together they went back inside. Once he was sure that they were out of earshot he asked : "Are you really considering taking them in?"

"Not them." Derek dismissed the idea. Stiles hadn't thought that he was actually considering it, these were the prime assholes of Peter's pack. "But there might be others we should consider."

"I'll ask Lydia and this Tommy guy." Stiles rocked on the balls of his feet while they waited for the elevator. "How is he anyway?"

"Scared."

"And we're back to one word answers." Stiles teased him but the second the doors closed behind them he used the chance for a filthy kiss. "But I've some ideas for this mouth."

He still hadn't quite come down from his adrenaline high but he feared that once he crashed, he would crash hard and he would prefer that to happen after they had left Beacon Hills.

"I have some ideas myself." Derek chased after his mouth and let his fingers dip under the waistband of Stiles' jeans. Stiles let out a groan which Derek used to slip his tongue into his mouth.

"Can't we just get stuck in here?" Stiles asked but then the doors opened and they had to let go of each other. Of course Isaac was just down the hallway, raiding the vending machine, and the knowing grin on his face put a real damper on Stiles mood. Bacon lube came to mind.

Before Isaac could say anything, Stiles hurried off in the other direction.

When he entered Tommy's room, he found the new werewolf awake in his bed with Lydia at his side and they were talking quietly. But that ended rather abruptly the second the man noticed Stiles.

"Hi, I'm Stiles." He introduced himself. The man accepted it with a nod and didn't lift his head to look at him. "I'm Derek's mate."

At that the man shrank even farther into himself. In the light of the day he looked young, in his early twenties at most so probably around Isaac's or Erica's age.

"It's okay." Lydia assured him while she gave Stiles an apologizing smile.

"There are some of Peter's pack out there." He settled for leaving the awkward steps of getting to know each other for later and launched right into the problem at hand.

"What do they want?" Lydia's tone was cold, she knew exactly what they wanted.

"A place in the pack." Stiles said. "But we already scared off Jackson and Deputy Asshole. And I doubt we want the rest of the bunch that came with them."

"We don't." Lydia said firmly.

"Figured that much." Stiles dropped in the chair at the other side of the bed. Tommy might relax a bit if he wasn't looming over him, besides, Stiles was tired. It had been a long day.

"Question is, are there people in the pack you'd like to take in?" He asked, lounging in the chair, not even bothered by the hard plastic edge digging in the base of his skull.

Lydia pursed her lips at that, thinking.

"Tommy?" She asked.

"It's not my decision to make." He answered quietly, clearly uncomfortable with being addressed in the first place.

"I know you don't know us yet." Stiles said, sitting up to show that he was taking this serious. "But you're part of this pack now, for as long as you want to stay, and Derek won't accept anybody you don't want to have around."

"Ethan and Aiden are strong fighters." He said, still not looking at Stiles.

"Yeah, I know." He let the sarcasm drip off his words. "They almost beat me to death. They're first on my list of people I don't want in our pack."

Now Tommy lifted his head and had a real look at him.

"You're Stiles Stilinski." The way he said it made Stiles wonder what kind of stories he had heard about him.

"The one an only." He spread his arms.

"You're the one Derek claimed right out from under Peter's nose." He said in awe but then the suspicion was back. "But you said that you're the alpha's mate."

"I am."

"But …" Confused he looked over to Lydia. But then something dawned to him. "You're his mate, of course he turned you. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to …" At a loss for words he shrank back, making himself as small as possible.

"I'm human." Stiles said gently. "Derek didn't turn me."

"Human or wolf, it doesn't matter in this pack." Lydia explained. "We're all pack members."

It would take some time to convince him of that but once he was living with them, he would see for himself. But he had a long way ahead, Stiles knew that.

"So, is there somebody you'd like to have in the pack?" Stiles brought them back on topic. "And just so you know, everybody who has ever hurt one of you is out." That was more meant for Tommy, Stiles knew that Lydia would never even consider nominating one of her abusers, but he figured that it would be easier for him if he wasn't singled out.

In the end they couldn't name a single one.

"They're all just a bunch of assholes, good to know." Stiles clapped his hands and stood. "Okay, I'm going to tell Derek to just kick them out of our territory, shall others deal with them."

Tommy watched him with big eyes, he probably wasn't used to anybody daring to talk like this even if the alpha wasn't around.

Lydia stayed with Tommy and it was painfully obvious how he breathed easier once Stiles was leaving.

He found his mate in the hallway with his dad and Deputy Parrish.

"I don't want you to get in trouble for this." His father just said to the deputy when Stiles joined them.

"Don't worry about it." Parrish waved him off. "Two alphas go out in the woods but only one comes back, happens all the time." He gave Derek a look. "You challenged Peter Hale, we have witnesses for that, even Jackson Whittemore confirmed it. As far as I'm concerned this case is closed."

"Thank you, deputy." Derek said sincerely and through the bond Stiles felt his relief. He slung his arm around his mate's waist and placed a chaste kiss on the corner of his mouth.

"Ready to go home?" He asked and Derek nodded, rubbing their cheeks together.

"As soon as Tommy is ready." Derek said after a moment. "And I have to …" He made a gesture in the direction of the entrance where the werewolves were still waiting for an answer.

"Just send them to hell." Stiles told him. "We already have the ones worth keeping."

Derek was strong and warm and for a moment Stiles just leaned into him, the world could go and fuck itself for a little while.

"Stop staring." His dad interrupted the nice moment and Stiles blinked an eye open to find out who he was addressing and found Deputy Parrish staring at him and Derek.

Closing his eyes again, Stiles snuggled more firmly into Derek's chest.

"Derek's not like Peter." His dad said.

"I see that." Parrish said. What to make out of his tone Stiles didn't know but if he was honest, he didn't really care what the people of Beacon Hills thought of him or Derek or their pack. They had each other, that was all that was important.

By now he understood why werewolves still preferred to keep to themselves. Humans just didn't understand.

"C'mon, let's send some wolves to hell." Derek slung his arm around his shoulder and led him out of the building. Stiles clung to him and let the guy with the supernatural strength carry most of his weight but when they stepped out into the parking lot, he was walking at Derek's side, showing that they were equal. Not that the wolves waiting for them would understand that.

When they came closer, the werewolves almost stood to attention, each of them eager to present themselves. As if Derek cared about physical strength.

"I have consulted the former members of your pack." Derek said in a voice that Stiles had dubbed his alpha voice. It did things to him. But now wasn't the time to explore that thought. "And we all agreed that we don't want any more of Peter's pack."

He paused to let the words sink in. Stiles didn't even bother to hide the broad grin spreading on his face.

"You and every other omega has 48 hours to leave my territory." With the authority of an alpha he threw Peter's former ultimatum back at them. They reeled back as if they'd been slapped and if they had tails right now they would be tucked between their legs.

Stiles half expected one of them to do something stupid, like attacking the alpha, but they just stood there as if they couldn't understand what had just happened.

"Have you seen their faces?" Stiles didn't even bother to wait until they couldn't hear him anymore. "That was awesome. You going all alpha on them."

Derek gave him a shy smile and an adorable blush crept into his cheeks.

"Oh my god." Stiles blurted out. "How are you even real? One second big bad alpha and the next adorable puppy? You know what, I'll call you alpha puppy from now on. Or adorable alpha. Or, you know what …?"

"Stiles?" Derek didn't even dignify him with a glance. "Shut up."

"You love me and you know it." He yelled after him. The asshole didn't even stop walking.

"Sometimes I've no idea why." He muttered just loud enough for Stiles to hear.

The only thing keeping them still in Beacon Hills was Tommy and Stiles had no idea how he would take leaving with them. But there was no other way, he was a freshly bitten werewolf and he needed his alpha.

When they entered his room, they found Tommy and Lydia in the same position as before. And just like last time, Tommy abruptly stopped talking and when he noticed that it was the alpha couple standing in the door, a flare of panic reached Stiles over the bond.

"Peter's pack is gone." Stiles gave them the good news.

Derek stepped closer to the bed.

"How do you feel?" He asked. When they left Beacon Hills depended on Tommy, if he wasn't ready yet, they would wait. Stiles knew that and he knew that Lydia knew as well. Who didn't have a clue was Tommy.

"I'm good, alpha." The man answered, his eyes fixed on the blanket over his legs.

"My name is Derek." He said and sat down on the edge of the bed. "What about you? How do you want me to address you?"

Tommy froze and Stiles could almost feel him searching for the hidden meaning, for the trap.

"Lyds is calling you Tommy." He stepped up behind his mate, resting one hand on his shoulder. "But she's Lydia. How shall we mortals call you? Thomas, Tom, Tommy?" He paused. "TomTom?"

"You can call me whatever you want, Alpha Derek." He was still not looking at them.

"Just Derek is fine." He let out a sigh. "And this is not about what I want, what do you feel comfortable with?"

Stiles was holding his breath for his answer. He didn't know why but this was something big for the man. Jackson and the others had referred to him only as pet and he wondered it that was the name he had gone by in Peter's pack.

"Tom?" It was more of a question than an answer and so low that Stiles barely caught it. "You can call me Tom?"

"Nice to meet you, Tom." Derek said.

 

Chapter Text

Derek wanted to resurrect Peter just to kill him again.

Introducing Tom to the other pack members had gone as well as expected, Derek was still surprised that he hadn't died of a heart attack when Erica had scented him. It had been worse then when Stiles had come into the pack but thankfully even Erica had notice it and had backed off immediately.

Now they were on their way out of Beacon Hills and Derek hoped that Tom would calm down over the ride. He and Lydia had the back of Stiles' jeep to themselves with Stiles driving and John in the passenger seat.

Derek and Stiles had come to a silent agreement to surround Tom with the human members of the pack but Derek had made a mental note to talk to Mark and Isaac in private once they were back home. Mark was probably the best choice to help Tom to adjust to his new werewolf nature, he had been there just a few weeks ago and sometimes he was still struggling with control.

And Isaac …

Interacting with Tom reminded Derek a lot of his early days with his beta. Back then Derek had only just become an alpha and Isaac had been his first beta and they had struggled to find their roles in their little pack of two. But that had only been the cherry on top of the crap pile that had been their life back then.

Just like Tom Isaac hadn't been able to look him in the eye and his mood swings had put a real strain to their relationship. But they had worked it out. It had taken time but Isaac had learned to trust him. Eventually Isaac had dared to believe that Derek would never hurt him.

Derek didn't know if Tom would ever get there but if anybody could understand what he was going through, it was Isaac.

The way his beta had looked at the new pack member, Derek was sure that he already had a pretty good idea of what was going on in Tom's head.

It was late in the evening when they finally arrived home but even Jeremy and Stacy were still awake and waiting for them.

Derek had called Charles earlier and he knew that at least Isaac and John had called their mates as well, so everybody knew that Peter was dead and that they would bring home a new pack member.

The second Derek stepped into the loft, he was caught in an epic group hug. There were hands and noses all over him and for a while he just let himself drown in the scent of pack and the feeling of his pack all around him. Somehow Stiles wiggled his way to his side, making the alpha couple the center of the hug.

When they finally broke apart, Derek had to take a deep breath to clear his mind. Only then he noticed Tom, John and Melissa watching them from afar. They were pack, all of them, but he understood that they were not quite ready for a pile hug. Or for the epic pack night they would have tonight. But even if they didn't stay for the night, he was sure that they would at least stay for a little while before they would retreat to their own place.

Erica was already on the phone to order pizza for all of them and the rest was making themselves comfortable after the long ride.

Isaac had Sean plastered to his side and he was nuzzling his mate's throat as if he hadn't seen him in years. Across from them on the couch sat Stephen with Charles and Megan, already animatedly telling them about their fight with Peter.

There were glances at Tom but they knew to not ambush him. The new beta hid behind Lydia and through the bond Derek felt his anxiety.

"You're Tom, right?" Gina marched right up to him with Jeremy in tow. The twins hovered in the background, they were itching to meet the new pack member as well. Only a sharp look from Ellen kept them from standing right there with the little ones.

Tom nodded, obviously not sure what to do with the kids in front of him.

"Can I show you your room?" Gina asked while behind her Jeremy climbed up to Melissa's lap for a better view.

"My room?" He looked over to Lydia for help but she only gestured a "go with it" at him.

"It's Uncle John's room but he doesn't use it." Gina explained, already marching over to the door. "We tidied up and Megan made us dust it. And Sean put new sheets on the bed."

The only reason Tom did follow her was because of Melissa ushering him from behind with her wheelchair. John was last, his good hand on the handle of her chair.

The last thing Derek heard before the steel door fell close behind the little procession was Melissa telling Tom that he was more than welcomed to stay with them.

"I told him about Scott." Stiles sneaked up behind him and stood now plastered to his back with his arms tight around his torso. "So, you know, he would be prepared for the wheelchair."

Derek hmmed to that. He would be surprised if that had been his mate's only reason to tell him. Stiles always had a hidden agenda. But he had to admit, Melissa's story would most likely make it easier for Tom to stay with them.

"He knew about Scott. The pack was talking about him." Stiles continued but now his voice had a hard edge. "It was a joke to them. The whole pack has been laughing their asses off about the omega who almost killed his own mother." Stiles tightened his hold on him and rested his forehead on the nape of Derek's neck. Derek felt the wetness of tears on his skin.

"A fucking joke." Stiles repeated, choking on the words.

"It's over." Derek twisted around to gather him in his arms. "We got him. Peter paid for what he did."

It wasn't enough, it was never enough, Derek knew that. He hadn't felt better once Peter had killed Kate. Some nights the guilt still tried to pull him under.

It had gotten better lately. With Stiles in his arms and a pack around him that loved him. He had gotten better. But it would always be there, he couldn't change the past. Stiles had to live with what Peter had done. Same with Melissa and John. Everybody from Laura's pack. And now Tom. They had to live with it. But it could get better.

John and Melissa came back upstairs with the kids but Tom preferred to stay in his own room for now.

When the pizza arrived, Derek put three slices on a plate, Tom was still healing and needed some calories, and carried it downstairs. He put the plate on the dining table before he went over to his room.

"Tom?" He knocked at the door. Behind it he heard a sharp intake and a rapidly beating heart. "Can I come in?"

"Come in."

Tom was standing next to the bed, visibly shaking.

"Are you hungry? There is pizza." He gestured at the table behind him.

It did feel like a victory when Tom actually sat down at the table.

Derek got them glasses and apple juice and after a moment of prompting Tom reached for a slice of pizza.

"Thank you, alpha."

After the first slice he was eyeing the other two on the plate but he didn't dare to take more.

"You can eat as much as you want." Derek inched the plate a little closer. "Your body is still healing." And he needed to put on some weight, he was way too thin, but Derek didn't point that out.

Seeing that his beta was eating, Derek relaxed and leaned back in his chair. It had been a long day and he was looking forward to just curling in with the rest of the pack in the den.

He sagged deeper into the chair with a content sigh.

Tom froze with his half-eaten slice of pizza in the air. Then he dropped it on the plate and was out of his chair before Derek could make sense out of his behavior.

"I'm sorry, alpha." Suddenly Tom was on his knees, crawling closer until his head was almost between Derek's spread thighs. He hadn't even noticed how he was sitting.

"I forgot to take care of you." Tom's voice trembled and so did his hands when he reached for Derek's fly. "Please forgive me, alpha."

"Tom, stop." Derek caught his hands and gently pushed him back.

"I can make it good. Please, let me." He tried again, but when Derek held him back again, he dropped boneless to the floor. "Please, alpha, I'm sorry." Shielding his head with his arms, he was waiting for the first hit.

Derek dropped to the floor next to him.

"Tom, it's okay." He reached for his beta but Tom flinched away. "I'm not mad. It's okay."

At a loss what to do, Derek did the only thing he could think of. He stepped back and hurried to shed his clothes.

A second later he ducked his wolf head under Tom's arm and let out a low whine. Tom shrieked back but when Derek flattened himself to the floor and rested his head on his paws, Tom stopped.

"What …?" He started but couldn't quite form the question.

For a moment they just looked at each other.

On his belly and with little whining noises, and he was really glad that Stiles wasn't here to call him adorable alpha again, Derek inched closer until he could butt his head into Tom's palm.

Patting his alpha had most likely on top of his no-no list so far so Derek wasn't surprised when Tom didn't move his hand.

It took a while but in the end Tom was sitting with his back against the leg of the table with Derek's head in his lap. He was still reluctant with actually patting him but they were getting there. At the moment Tom's hand was on his neck, just resting there, and Derek thought it was a good start.

With Isaac, and to a degree Stiles as well, it had helped when he'd put on his fur. It sometimes made things easier.

Since he couldn't speak in this form the other one usually didn't feel the need to keep up a conversation but if he wanted to talk, Derek couldn't talk back or interrupt, he was bound to just listen. It helped.

"Peter never …" Tom started but bit his tongue. Derek let out an encouraging huff. "I've never touched a wolf before." He said it with such awe that Derek believed him. And it made his blood boil. Tom had been claimed, he had been part of the pack. Just as every other pack member he needed touch and closeness, it came with the bond. And he had never touched one of the other pack members? Had he slept alone night after night?

Tom must have sensed his anger and went rigid, waiting for what Derek would do next.

Slowly to not spook him Derek lifted his head and then he licked his fingertips. If it was an apology or a promise he didn't know.

Derek didn't know the details but he was getting the picture now. Over the last year the only touch Tom had gotten was when Peter had been molesting and abusing him. He had never felt the comfort of the pack, the closeness.

Those were wounds that wouldn't heal over night. If ever.

So Derek just lay there and when Tom reluctantly started to scratch him behind the ear he hummed in content.

Tom didn't start to talk. But when he started to sob and finally broke and basically collapsed on top of Derek, he let him cling to him and cry into his fur.

The others must already be sleeping in the den by the time Stiles came looking for them.

Exhausted Tom had fallen asleep on top of him and didn't even stir when Stiles came into the room.

"My dad and Melissa have crashed at Boyd and Erica's place." He said in a low voice and didn't come closer to not wake Tom. "They won't bother you tonight."

Derek let out a low wuff. He would have liked to join Stiles and the others in the den but Tom needed him more tonight.

"You're a good alpha, you know that, right?" Stiles said and through the bond Derek felt his love. He was glad for his fur so Stiles couldn't see him blush. But his mate was already out of the door anyway.

Chapter Text

The next few days the pack was more clingy than usual. They could have died. Peter could have wiped out the whole pack. They were all shaken and needed to make sure that everybody was still there.

There wasn't a moment in which Stiles didn't have a child clinging to him or a wolf pressed to his side or just somebody seeking him out for a hug and some scenting. Not that he minded.

Quite the opposite, Stiles needed to reconnect with the pack almost as much as Derek did.

Plus, there was so much to do.

Since Derek was Peter's only remaining relative, it was up to him to decide what to do with his body. Derek didn't want him to lie with their family so he was cremated and his ashes spread in the preserve. Being the only living Hale also meant that Derek inherited Peter's part of the Hale estate.

Derek spent a lot of time these days on the phone with his lawyer.

Then they had to decide what to do with the mansion and with the ruins of Laura's house.

Aside from the human problems, there were also quite a few werewolf problems to think about.

For example, could they hold a territory this large just from the outskirts or should they move back to Beacon Hills, the center of the territory?

Stiles and Derek spent quite a few evenings discussing these things, sometimes with various members of the pack, sometimes alone but at the moment they were just weighting their options.

Their biggest concern at the moment was Tom. The beta rarely left his room and only joined their meals because he had the feeling that he had to. He didn't speak much and retreated to his room as quickly as possible after every meal. Lydia spent a lot of time in his room as well.

He did, however, open up to Melissa. And it was her who tricked him into spending more time with the pack. By now she could walk with a cane but not for long and for coming upstairs she still preferred the chair. She could move around in the chair quite well on her own and everybody, including Tom, knew that she didn't really need somebody to wheel her around but when she asked him to help her to get upstairs, he did it eagerly. And he stayed until she wanted to go back to her own place.

It had the side effect that Melissa spent more time with the pack as well and Stiles wasn't sure who was using who as a crutch but as long as it brought the pack closer together he wasn't complaining.

The kids, especially Gina and Jeremy, adopted Tom in an instant and just like Melissa, the beta got roped into watching them or helping with homework without even realizing.

He avoided most of the adults and when Derek or Stiles addressed him directly he still couldn't look them in the eye but by now he dared to turn his back on them. It was progress.

Stiles didn't know when or how Isaac had managed to gain Tom's trust but he was the only other adult aside from Melissa he actually liked having around.

Sometimes Tom and Isaac disappeared for hours and when they came back they were content and even Stiles could smell the forest on them. He pictured them running through the woods in their fur, just quietly burning some energy, but he never asked.

The first night Tom joined them in the den, in his fur and lying in the outskirts of the pack pile, Stiles' felt like bursting with pride.

Stiles woke to Erica standing over them with her phone in her hand, taking pictures. This time it wasn't him she was taking pictures of, though.

Tom was still sleeping, still on the edge of the pack pile, but over night the kids had moved over to him. Even Stacy had somehow managed to make her way from the center of the pile where she had been sleeping in Megan's arms to Tom where she now was sleeping draped over his front leg. Becky and Jeremy were in their fur next to the beta while Benny and Gina lay criss-crossed on top of him.

It was a sight worth a few pictures.

When he woke up, Tom didn't know what to do and over the bond Stiles caught a spike of panic. Tom's predicament ended in a wrestling match with all kids involved. Stephen had just enough time to snag Stacey out of it before she could get hurt.

Not much later they were all lying on the floor, panting, and for once Tom seemed content.

Derek gave him a quick scratch behind the ear in passing and Tom didn't even tense, he just lolled his tongue happily.

With that much going on Derek and Stiles rarely found time for themselves. They did manage to escape to their apartment for half an hour now and then and Stiles was determined to make the most oft the short time they had. When they came back to the others they were both disheveled and reeking of sex and more often than not Stiles was sporting an impressive bite mark on his neck.

The first time Tom saw it, he avoided Derek more than usual for the rest of the day but he did seek out Stiles the following day.

"I'm sorry." He said and Stiles didn't even know what he meant but then Tom stepped closer and hesitantly reached for the mark on his neck. "I can help you with the pain. Isaac showed me how to do it."

His fingers still hovered over the mark, never quite touching.

"It doesn't hurt." Stiles took his hand between his. "I'm okay, he doesn't hurt me."

Derek had told him that Tom had thought that he owed his alpha sexual favors so it wasn't hard to guess what Peter had asked of his claimed human.

"It's not like that." Stiles said, holding his gaze. "Listen to my heart."

He didn't know how good Tom was with hearing lies but it was the only thing he could think of.

"I love Derek." He said and then waited for his heart to confirm the truth behind his words. "He never hurt me and he never will." Another pause. "I'm with him because I want to be with him."

Stiles didn't know how much the beta could read in his heart-beat or if he could smell how content he was. Stiles even tried to communicate it over the bond.

"Derek is not abusing me." He said and at least some of it had to have gotten through to Tom. At least enough to put him at ease for now. Given time he would see for himself how Derek treated his mate and his pack members.

Those short sexy times with Derek where good but they never had time to drew it out which meant no knot for Stiles. Among other things.

So when one evening the pack basically kicked them out of the loft, telling them that the kids would survive a night alone just fine and that the daddies should take some time in their own apartment to have some adult time, Stiles didn't say no.

"You sure we have the whole night?" He asked once he had locked the door of their apartment behind them. It felt strange to be alone with Derek without already thinking about what they had to do afterwards.

"As long as there's no emergency …" Derek didn't sound that convinced either and for a moment they both stood there, not sure if they should trust the truce.

Stiles half expected one of the children to come after them with whatever was on their mind but everything stayed quiet.

"If there is an emergency while I have your knot in me, they'll just have to deal with it." Stiles decided. Then he literally jumped Derek, wrapping his legs around his waist and his arms around his neck.

The werewolf didn't even falter and when he put his hands on Stiles' ass it was more for grouping than support, not that Stiles was complaining. He just wrapped himself tighter around his mate and brought their mouths together.

"I love how you can just manhandle me." Stiles said between kisses when Derek just walked them over to the bedroom. "Too bad we're still wearing our clothes." Another kiss. "You could fuck me into a wall. Holding me up the whole time. I love it when you do that."

"Like this?" Derek changed direction and instead of dropping them on the bed, he went for the nearest wall.

Stiles' back collided with it hard, forcing the air out of his lungs, but then Derek pressed his hip between his spread legs, pinning him to the wall.

He didn't even need his hands to hold Stiles there so he had those free to roam over Stiles' sides and chest.

"Fuck." Stiles bucked his hips but it was like he was humping a rock. Derek didn't give an inch and the line of his erection pressed firmly into the dip of Stiles' hip. There were at least two layers of jeans too many between them but even like this, the pressure against his straining cock was delicious.

Somehow Derek managed to get Stiles out of his shirt without dropping him and then he hurried to get out of his own.

At least they were skin to skin in the upper department now and Stiles was desperate to explore every inch of exposed skin with his hands and mouth.

Now Derek did start to move, grinding his groin against Stiles'.

"You're going to make me come in my pants." Stiles screwed his eyes shut in his attempt to not come from dry humping in under thirty second like a horny teenager.

He felt Derek grinning against the soft skin of his throat and he knew he was doomed.

Derek started to move his hips in agonizing slow circles but he kept a firm pressure on Stiles' dick, never giving him a chance to catch his breath.

Stiles held out for maybe a minute longer but then he threw his head back with a strangled cry and bucking into Derek he creamed his pants.

"There." Stiles went limp, trusting Derek to hold him upright. "Are you proud now?"

"Very." Derek nuzzled his neck but then he eased him down. Stiles' legs didn't quite work just yet so he let gravity pull him down to his knees and since he was down here anyway he could do Derek a favor and do something about the bulge in his jeans. He was awesome like that.

They did move over to the bed eventually, Stiles preferred knotting on a comfy surface, thank you very much, where Derek took his time to open him up while he littered Stiles' front with little nips and kisses.

Since this was their second round neither of them was in the mood for fast and dirty and Derek slowly worked up to four fingers before he even considered putting his cock anywhere near Stiles' ass. By now Stiles was hard again, his skin on fire from what felt like a million marks Derek had bitten and sucked into his skin and he was more than ready for his mate's knot.

"C'mon, fuck me." Stiles pleaded and he didn't care how desperate he sounded. "Please, Derek, I want your knot. Please."

"Okay." Derek kissed him on the mouth. "Okay, take a breath."

And with that he pushed in slowly. Even with the prep Stiles felt the stretch but he just relaxed into it.

"Good?" Derek asked.

"Move."

Derek moved slow and sweet and it would take them forever to come like this but Stiles didn't want it any other way.

Stiles came on his knot without a touch to his dick.

"Fill me." He grit out, riding out the aftershocks and clenching around the knot deep in him. "C'mon, alpha. Fill me."

"Mine." Derek bit down on his neck and pumped his release into Stiles.

Later, when they had cleaned up and were lying in bed together, content but not quite ready for sleep, Stiles drew his mate close, draped a leg over him and rested his head on his chest right over his heart.

"Do you feel that?" Derek asked into the silence.

Stiles didn't need to asked what he meant. He felt it. There were two new beacons blooming in his head. His dad and Melissa.

"About time." Stiles muttered and snuggled closer to Derek.