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Off The Record

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It doesn’t start because Stiles thinks Isaac is hot.

He just, he wants that to be clear. On the record, Stiles had no intention of messing around with Isaac Lahey when he first told Derek Hale that he was making the executive decision to absolve Derek of all pseudo-therapeutic fight-club-related duties surrounding Isaac on account of Derek’s extreme stupidity and clear lack of qualifications. On the record, Stiles was only interested in ensuring that he and as many of his less-obnoxious classmates as possible made it to graduation in one piece.

Off the record, he wasn’t blind.

*****

Isaac is really looking forward to gagging Stiles.

Stiles is always making them talk about things before they do them. Isaac spends a lot of time talking with or at or near Stiles, and he usually feels better afterward, but he thought sex would probably involve fewer words than this. Granted, he’s having sex with Stiles, so it’s possible he should have known better. Stiles only shuts up for maybe five seconds at a time if the orgasm was really good. Silence is going to require some small amount of imposition.

“So, hey, I know we agreed that anything that involved me hitting you was probably the worst plan in the invention of planning even if it would also be hot enough to melt the actual sun, and I always assumed that the reverse was true, but I just keep thinking about it and since we never actually discussed it I figured it couldn’t hurt to ask you to reconsider your hypothetical stance on, um, hurting me. Like, for the greater orgasmic good, you know?”

Isaac has Stiles pinned to the bed with his wrists above his head, hips working fast but apparently not fast enough, and he lifts his mouth from Stiles neck and growls “swear to god I will put a sock in your mouth.”

“You knew what you were getting into when you put your hands down my pants, dude. I mean, I can understand that maybe there was some confusion when we’d only known each other for a year and seventeen stakeouts and three weeks of flour wars in the kitchen, but I think we’re officially past the point where you get to try and bring me back to the store.”

“Not gonna bring you back to any stores, where the fuck would even sell you, this is why you need something in your mouth,” Issac sighs, pushing himself up until he’s straddling Stiles’ chest. Stiles’ pupils are blown; it’s very satisfying. “You make no sense, and you hurt my ears. And my head, if I try to pay attention. You should be quiet.”

“Are you asking me if there are better ways I can occupy my mouth?” Stiles asks, squirming around under Isaac now that his legs are free, hips pushing up behind him. “Because I think you might be, and I think I might like where this is going.”

“Not asking,” Isaac says, tugging down his zipper, “and next time, we should try the quiet thing.”

“Only gonna work if I’m gagged, sorry dude,” Stiles says, and Isaac can hear the hope behind it.

“Well, yeah,” he sighs, shifting forward and silencing Stiles. “I was counting on it.”

*****

Isaac is pretty sure that someone who is technically supposed to be his babysitter probably shouldn’t be this much fun. Usually, he thinks, the person supervising is supposed to be a Good Influence, and god knows, he could use one. But he got Stiles instead, and while Stiles is a lot of things that Isaac enjoys very much indeed, this does not bode well for Isaac’s moral development.

Not that he’s complaining.

“How many laws are we breaking again?” he asks from where he’s perched on Stiles’ bed, watching Danny hack into a database he didn’t think existed until three minutes ago.

“None,” says Danny, at the same time as Stiles tosses a koosh ball at Isaac and says “thirteen.”

“Thirteen,” Isaac repeats. “That’s above our usual average.”

“Well, you know, desperate times and proportional measures and all that,” Stiles says, at the same time as Danny sighs and says “you know, you guys really don’t have to make this stuff a habit.”

“It’s less a habit and more a compulsion,” Stiles explains, leaning over Danny’s shoulder to trace some of the Sanskrit on the screen. “So we do have to, actually.”

“It’s for the greater good,” Isaac says, so solemnly that Stiles spins around to stare. He keeps eye contact for a long moment before his mouth twitches at the horror on Stiles’ face.

“Oh thank god,” Stiles laughs, while Danny rolls his eyes at the monitor. “Dude, don’t scare me like that. I am not the Stilinski who eats veggie burgers, my heart can’t take it.”

“Sorry,” Isaac promises, looking up from under his eyelashes, “it won’t happen again.”

Stiles stares at Isaac. Isaac blinks, slowly. Danny hits a few keys unnecessarily loudly.

“Fuck,” Stiles exhales, rubbing a hand across his scalp.

“I’m just gonna go,” Danny says, pushing away from the desk. “Don’t call me if you need anything else found, okay? Have fun with the ancient Hindi or whatever.”

“I will,” Isaac promises. Stiles is looking from Danny to Isaac with an expression that promises several long conversations but a very worthwhile payoff.

Isaac likes that look.

*****

Stiles is the prettiest picture Isaac has ever made. His hands are tied to the headboard because he can never remember to keep them where Isaac puts them, and there’s a blindfold over his eyes and a handkerchief in his mouth. He’s strung out and writhing and completely focused on Isaac’s fingers ghosting along his ribs.

“That’s nice,” Isaac sighs, grinning when his fingers catch on a nipple and Stiles arches off the bed. “Now,” he says, dragging his hands down Stiles’ belly, “show me what you want.”

*****

It’s not that Stiles is cocky.

He’s a teenage boy and he thrives on adrenaline, but the past year has done a pretty convincing job of letting him know exactly how vulnerable he is. Sarcasm is no longer his only defense, but in a match between, say, a twitchy teenage human boy and an adolescent werewolf who flinches when Stiles lifts his arms too suddenly and who is never going to be cornered again, Stiles has his money on the one with claws and fangs and ghosts to fight.

(They can smell fear, he knows.)

So it’s not that Stiles is cocky, when he tells Isaac he doesn’t scare him. It’s more that he understands exactly how volatile this is, and like fuck is he leaving it to Derek or Scott. There really can’t be any room for scared in this equation.

(And the thing is, Derek is scared of Isaac. Stiles had assumed that he, of all people, would know better than to be terrified of the smell of someone else’s pain, but maybe it makes sense. Derek’s too caught up in his own angst to be able to hold anyone else’s trauma. Which is fine, this is what Stiles is here for. Besides, you don’t leave a ticking bomb with someone who likes to cut fuses.)

So Stiles isn’t cocky. He’s realistic, and he employs common sense, and he trusts Isaac as far as he can throw him, and because of that previously-mentioned common sense, he doesn’t throw him.

*****

Isaac has been remote all day, and Stiles is out of ideas. They did their homework, and made waffles for dinner, and Isaac actually for the first time made it through an entire meal with Stiles’ dad, but Stiles is pretty sure that’s because he isn’t hearing anything that the people around him are saying.

This has happened before. Once a week, usually, maybe once every two weeks if they’re lucky, though Stiles suspects that just means it’s happening on one of the rare days he and Isaac spend apart. Stiles is never able to bring him out of it. He’s tried watching movies, he’s tried blowjobs, he’s tried teasing Isaac until Isaac would normally knock him into a wall, he’s tried elaborate recipes and comfort food and video games and porn and even painting Isaac’s nails with polish that he stole from Lydia’s locker when Isaac spaced out and didn’t hear the bell at the end of math class, and he’s still never found a way to keep Isaac from falling asleep too early that night, curled on the far edge of the bed, and then waking Stiles up with his thrashing.

So this time, Stiles has a plan.

He doesn’t mind just sitting with Isaac on the bed, fighting trolls on his laptop while Isaac sits with his legs over the sides and his hands between his knees, chewing on his lip, but he thinks Isaac might. His dad left for a night shift half an hour ago, and his campaign is pretty much finished. Showtime, he thinks, and snaps his laptop shut. Isaac doesn’t move or look up, but Stiles sees the muscles in his back jump at the noise. He pushes the laptop under his bed and kneels up beside Isaac on the mattress, reaching his hand out slowly to grip Isaac’s chin and turn his face until they’re looking at each other.

Isaac is silent.

Stiles doesn’t smile. “Hey,” he says, quietly. “How many people are in this room?”

Isaac blinks a little focus back into his eyes. “Two,” he says.

“That’s good,” Stiles murmurs. “And how many people are you thinking about right now?”

There’s a pause, and Stiles brings his other hand around, slowly, to rub over Isaac’s collarbone. Isaac inhales and closes his eyes and says, “two.”

“Same two?” Stiles asks, because he only asks Isaac questions he already knows the answers to.

The “no,” is soft and slight, and Stiles rubs his thumb over Isaac’s lips in reward. Isaac is stone still, but when Stiles presses in he parts his lips for it.

“Okay,” Stiles says, rubbing his hand over the back of Isaac’s neck and his thumb over his front teeth. “So what’s going to happen now is that I’m going to help you focus on the people in this room.”

For a half a second, Isaac zeroes in on him, just long enough to raise his eyebrows and start to smirk. And then he swallows his laugh and his mouth goes lax against Stiles hand, his shoulders pulling in under Stiles’ hand until Stiles squeezes at them.

“Right,” Stiles says, “like the opposite of that.”

Isaac doesn’t say anything when Stiles rids him of his shirt and lays him down across the bed. “All you need to do is focus on my hands,” Stiles says. “I’ll take care of everything else. You just need to be here.”

But Isaac doesn’t stay with Stiles. Stiles runs his hands across his chest, down his ribs, around and over the flat of his stomach, and Isaac’s eyes are blank and unfocused and not at all in a sexy way. Stiles skates fingers across nipples and collarbones and the front of his throat, and Isaac is still going in and out and mostly out.

“No, hey,” Stiles says, “that’s not fair. Come on, I’m gonna give you an orgasm, the least you can do is pay attention.” Isaac’s eyes angle sluggishly at him and then close, and Stiles sighs, and then inhales and steadies himself and forces his heart and his tone slow and perfectly even, makes himself feel and sound deliberate and firm. “No. No, that’s not what we’re doing right now. We are having a conversation, and you are making eye contact, and I am touching you. That’s what’s happening. Now. Open your eyes.”

Isaac’s eyes flutter open, his gaze hitting somewhere beyond Stiles’ forehead.

“Thank you,” Stiles says, “that’s good.” He rubs a thumb beneath Isaac’s bottom rib, hears his breath catch and nods. “That’s it. Just like that.” He moves his hands, dragging them up his chest and over his shoulders and then back, and when Isaac’s eyes fall away again, he starts talking. “It’s been kind of a weird day, you know? I mean, I guess you don’t know, what with you being off in Lahey-land all day--was it all day? I didn’t see you until after lunch, what was this morning like? That’s probably too hard a question right now, we can table it. Which, speaking of, did you see Danny at lunch today? Because I mean. He fit into that shirt like he was actually born in it. Please tell me you saw this.”

Isaac’s staring at the wall over Stiles’ shoulder. Stiles sighs, and then decides not to do that again. He reaches out, grasps Isaac’s chin and steers him back to Stiles. “Isaac. Pay attention to this.” He brings a finger on his free hand down to skirt a nipple, and says, lowly, “scale of Scott to Lydia, how sinful did Danny look today?”

“Jackson,” Isaac says absently, “or a nine,” and Stiles snorts and close his fingers around the nipple, all rolling pressure and a hint of nail the way Isaac likes.

“I wouldn’t ever put Jackson above a six. Well, 666, maybe, but I think that’s a different scale.” Isaac’s breath catches when Stiles twists with his fingers, and Stiles grins and lets go. “If you want more,” he says, “you have to explain why you are giving Jackson a nine. What is your thought process here, and where did it go so terribly wrong?”

Isaac tries to follow Stiles’ hand with his chest, getting up on his elbows, and Stiles flattens his palms against him and bears him back downs into the mattress. “I mean it,” he says, “I’m not just giving this away for free. What is it about Jackson? His abs? His hair? His personality? Are you just really perversely attracted to douchebags?”

Isaac blinks slowly at Stiles. Stiles keeps one hand running across Isaac’s stomach and hovers the fingers of his other over his chest. Isaac blinks again, and Stiles quirks an eyebrow and flutters his fingers and waits.

“Obviously,” Isaac says, and Stiles’ hand is dropping and working before Stiles can process the answer.

“Hey,” he says, “hey, hurtful! On a scale of Derek to Jackson, I am, like, in a whole other dimension. A much nicer dimension. With less leather, and more orgasms, and also delicious baked goods and maybe sometimes threesomes with Danny as soon as we figure out how to persuade him. Danny is all that is good and right in the world. Danny doesn’t have threesomes with douchebags.”

“Guess we’re shit out of luck then,” Isaac murmurs, and Stiles grins and runs his thumbnail under the band of Isaac’s boxers.

“Well,” he says, “that’s why I will be the one asking. You can tag along if you leave your pack jacket behind. Speaking of! Why don’t I have one yet? Everyone else got one! Lydia made Jackson buy her three. Allison already owned like five. I want a leather jacket, I feel very left out.” Isaac is looking at the wall over Stiles’ shoulders, and Stiles stills his fingers. “Some reassurance,” he says, “would be acceptable right about now.”

Isaac turns his head back to Stiles. “Sorry, I lost track.”

“Yeah, I noticed,” Stiles says, scratching lightly at his stomach. “But you’re back now, so, reassure me and maybe I’ll stick my hand down your pants.”

“Am I supposed to reassure you that Derek will give you a makeover if you ask nicely and don’t tell anyone, or reassure you that you aren’t a douchebag?” Isaac asks, squirming into it.

Oh my god, is that what happens?” Stiles can’t believe it, though in retrospect, maybe he should. “Is it some initiation ritual? Oh my god, it totally is, isn’t it. He bites you, and then he takes you to Macy’s and makes you over. Shit, no wonder you all have perfect fucking hair now.” He drags his fingers up and down Isaac’s ribs and across his chest, considering. “This explains so much. Did he take Jackson? Like, congratulations you aren’t a deathlizard anymore, let’s go shopping? I bet Jackson could buy the entire Macy’s though, Derek should make him fund my makeover. It definitely includes a haircut, right? I mean, I think I’m doing okay there, but if Derek does Jackson’s hair now, he should definitely do mine. Does he? I’ve noticed that it’s looked even douchier lately.”

Isaac is still looking at him, and Stiles grins and leans down to kiss at his neck. “Mmm, you’re doing really well,” he says upon resurfacing. “How are you feeling?”

Isaac’s eyes slip away, just like they always do whenever Stiles asks that. When he stays silent, Stiles reaches up and taps his chin, dropping his free hand. “Hey,” he says, “we’ll keep tabling that one, that’s fine. Does Derek in fact style Jackson’s hair? Inquiring minds want to know.”

Isaac lifts himself up onto his elbows and narrows his eyes at Stiles. “Are you literally only touching me when I pay attention to you?” he asks, irritated. Stiles grins--irritation represents actual engagement, this is awesome--and drags his hand to Isaac’s waistband, waggling his eyebrows.

“You’re a smart guy,” he says, “I think you’ve got a handle on cause and effect.”

“This is idiotic,” Isaac informs him.

“Okay, no,” Stiles says, sitting up and swinging a leg over Isaac until he’s straddling him. “Your job isn’t to worry about that. Your job, right now, is to tell me whether or not Derek styles Jackson’s hair, and to let me touch you.”

There’s a moment where Isaac stares at him, his chin up and his shoulders back, and Stiles breathes and waits.

“You’re allowed to want this, you know,” he says, quietly, when it’s gone on long enough. “It’s okay.”

Isaac’s entire face jumps.

Stiles watches him for another beat, and then reaches up, gets one hand on the back of his neck and the other pressing against his collarbone. “This is the part,” he says, “where we lie down. Do that for me.”

Isaac does.

“Thank you,” Stiles says, shifting his hips down. “So we’re just gonna do this, for a little while. And you can move, if you want, or you can just let me. And you can talk, if you have things you want to talk about, or you can let me take care of that, too. The only thing you have to do is stay here, and let a nice thing happen to you. Got that?”

Isaac twitches up against him, and Stiles chuckles. “Yeah, you got it. Like I said, you’re a smart guy.”

For the next few minutes, Stiles focuses on rocking his favorite half-breathed sighs and murmured vowels out of Isaac. He’s still babbling, soft questions about yeah, like that? and still with me? awesome, and hey, focus on this, this is way more fun, and slowly, inch by inch, Isaac’s body goes warm and loose and open under him.

“Okay,” Stiles says, “this is good, this is working. Okay. I need to move so I can get a hand--”

“No,” Isaac says, and his arms lock around Stiles’ torso. “Stay. You should...you should stay.”

Stiles looks down at him, at eyes that are screwed shut and shoulders that still somehow manage to hunch in even as his arms stretch up, at the long line of his throat, and he swallows and says, “yeah, okay. Yeah, I can do that, I can stay. Here, just let me...”

It takes a few seconds and some squirming, but Isaac doesn’t let go and Stiles gets his hand where it’s needed. “Thank you,” he adds as an afterthought while he gets Isaac’s jeans open. When he looks back up, Isaac’s eyes are open and his eyebrows are furrowed.

“What are you thanking me for?” he says, bewildered. “I think it’s probably supposed to be the--aaah--the other way around. Yeah that’s, that’s, that is definitely something I’m thankful for, ahhh.”

Stiles watches Isaac’s eyes close and his head tip back, rides out the bucking of his hips and adds a twist on the upstroke. “Thank you,” he says, because Isaac isn’t going to last long and he wants to get this in before he starts to whine, “for telling me what you needed. That’s really good.”

Isaac inhales sharply through his nose, his whole body twisting up against Stiles, and Stiles ducks his head down to bite a kiss against his throat. “You’re doing so good,” he says. “Come on, there we go.”

It takes another minute, the blood rushing in his ears when Stiles feels his grip get slicker and faster and Isaac pants and twists beneath him, and Stiles chants a steady “come on, that’s good, let it, come on.” When Stiles licks hard and long down his throat Isaac gasps and shakes and comes, sounding almost surprised and making Stiles’ shirt stick to his stomach.

Stiles stays curled around Isaac until he feels his heart slow down to something that approximates relaxation.

“So,” he says, tracing spirals across his collarbones, “how many people are in your head right now, and how happy are they?”

Isaac grabs Stiles’ hand and flips them over. “You know, I don’t think I really have a head right now,” he says, yanking at Stiles’ shirt.

“That works,” Stiles promises, “that is also a one hundred percent acceptable outcome, and so is whatever you’re planning on doing down theeeeeah. Down there.”

Isaac slithers down the bed and takes Stiles’ pants with him. “Stiles?” he says, nudging his thighs apart with his shoulders and settling on his belly between them. “Keep talking.”

“Yeah, yeah, I can do that,” Stiles breathes, and Isaac smirks and issues a final warning before he lowers his head.

“Make it good.”

(Isaac falls asleep that night to Stiles arguing with himself as he sorts the pack members into the X-Men. He wakes up twice, but Stiles just squirms on top of him and pulls them both back to sleep. It’s not the best night Isaac’s ever had, but it’s easier than anything he was expecting when he woke up from a nightmare that morning.)

*****

“You baked me a cake,” Stiles says.

“Happy Birthday,” says Isaac.

Stiles checks the clock over the oven, just to make sure. “It’s six-thirty in the morning,” he says. “We have to be at school in an hour.”

“You can have cake for breakfast,” Isaac says. “Your dad already did.”

Stiles takes a closer look. That explains the missing piece. “You know he’s not supposed to do that,” he says. “He’s supposed to have a banana for breakfast, and that new yogurt we’re trying.” Isaac starts to roll out his spine, pulling back from the island with his lip curling, and Stiles rolls his eyes and grabs the pan. “Oh come on, you know what I mean. Regardless of what you knew, he knows better. Where is he?”

“If I come downstairs at four in the morning and find someone who does not actually live here baking my son a cake in my kitchen, I will have the first slice for breakfast,” says his dad, coming in from the living room. “Happy birthday, son. I made the frosting.”

Stiles blinks at his dad, and then turns to look at Isaac. Isaac is leaning against the counter, inspecting his nails--which is ridiculous, the polish came off weeks ago. “You two baked me a cake,” Stiles says. “Together. While I was sleeping.”

“Sort of,” his dad says.

“And no one died,” Stiles says, just to make sure. “No one got mauled, no bodily injury occurred, everyone is a-okay?”

“You know I’m house-trained,” Isaac says mildly, raising an eyebrow as he looks up from his fingers.

“Eat your birthday cake,” says Stiles’ dad. “And take your meds. I’m going to go upstairs and grab your loot, contingent on you leaving a slice for me to take to work.”

He leaves the kitchen, and Stiles can hear his feet on the stairs. Isaac comes over to him and starts cutting out a slice.

“The cake is my present,” says Isaac.

“Yeah, I figured,” Stiles says, taking his piece.

It tastes like happiness.

“He didn’t do much,” Isaac says, when Stiles moans. “And he used the frosting recipe I’d already picked. I had to tell him how to do everything, I would have done it by myself.”

“It is adorable,” Stiles tells him, “how jealous you are of my dad. Come on, you should eat some, I bet we can eat this whole thing for breakfast, today is going to be awesome.”

*****

(“He stayed in the kitchen with you,” Stiles says that night, because he needs to know. “He didn’t just dive out the window when you came downstairs.”

“Well,” his dad says, “when I came downstairs, he was hiding. In the living room, I think. But he left all the supplies on the counter, and I just told him it was a good idea and he shouldn’t let me stop him.”

“You didn’t say anything about him breaking in to make me a cake,” Stiles checks. “Because I think that would have been topical.”

“I didn’t think that would be a particularly productive line of discussion,” his dad says. “I just stuck around long enough to make the frosting, then I left him alone.”

Stiles stares at him.

“You have a boyfriend who can’t get out three words to me without calling me ‘sir’ and who breaks into our house in the middle of the night to make you a cake because Facebook told him it was your birthday,” his dad says. “I can pretend to be surprised.”

“He isn’t my boyfriend,” Stiles says. “Have another piece of cake.”)

*****

“Oh my god,” Stiles moans, faceplanting into his physics textbook. “Can we just kill Harris?”

“Okay,” Isaac says without looking up, and Stiles feels the room swing around him.

“Wait, what, no,” he says. “No, that is not your line, that is not what you are supposed to say!”

Isaac does look up this time. “Why not?” he says. “He’s an asshole.”

“Because,” Stiles says, “because, because...”

Isaac raises an eyebrow, smirking.

“Because!” Stiles claps his hands together, “Killing people is wrong!”

Isaac raises the other eyebrow.

“It is!” Stiles says. “And against the law! And not...something...we...”

“You’re just embarrassing yourself,” Isaac says.

“We aren’t going to kill Harris,” Stiles says. “It would make Scott sad.”

“But Harris is making you sad,” Isaac says, “and I’m bored.”

“It’s definitely not happening dude,” Stiles says, and he isn’t disappointed.

*****

“I don’t understand why you’re telling me this,” Lydia says, swishing her iced tea around in her hand. “You said you knew exactly what you were getting into, when you picked him.”

“I did,” Stiles says, “I did, and I do, nothing’s changed. You just wanted an update, so, there you go. He would totally help me kill Harris, if I meant it.”

“So don’t make those jokes around him then,” Lydia says, bored. “Problem solved.”

“Actually, what I was thinking,” Stiles says, “is that next time, I mean it.”

Lydia smirks and straightens in her seat. “Get me a refill,” she commands, “and when you come back, I want to hear your list.”

He wouldn’t have thought it possible, but Lydia Martin somehow got extra awesome right around the time Stiles got over his crush.

*****

(He does wonder, for the briefest moment driving back home, if maybe he and Isaac should renegotiate the whole not-boyfriends thing, if his crush is as well and truly dead as he thinks it might be. It would be one less lie for his dad.

It’s just not enough to make up for anything, is the thing.)

*****

Stiles is waving a flyer at him, and Isaac is pretty sure this is a joke.

“Cats!” Stiles says. “Who doesn’t love cats?!”

“Are you high?” Isaac has to be sure.

“High on my latest and greatest idea!” Stiles shoves the flyer at him. “Look! The shelter is having an adoption open house this weekend, we can go look at the cats! Look at them!”

Isaac takes the folder and does not encourage Stiles with any facial expressions or additional words. Sometimes this works.

Typically, this is not one of those times.

“Sooooo,” Stiles says, and he is actually bouncing, Isaac hates his entire life, “which one is your favorite?”

“No,” Isaac says.

“No?” Stiles repeats, frowning. “Is there actually a cat named No? Man, that is so awesome, we’d have to get that one, it’s like our duty, let me see.”

“No,” Isaac says, a little louder and a little slower. “This is idiotic.”

“Your face is idiotic, and this is a brilliant idea,” Stiles says. “There are totally cats that help with anxiety, I was reading about it, we need like twelve between us. I really liked the tabby, I think his name was Greg? He looks soothing.”

“I don’t want to know which book you got this idea from,” Isaac says. “You promised not to do that.”

“It was a book Ms. Morrell gave me, and there was actually some helpful advice mixed in with all the trust-your-elders and the-world-needs-balance crap. And dude, did you miss the part where I want half of them? Come on, we’re totally going, it opens at 2pm tomorrow. It’s a date.”

“We don’t do that,” Isaac groans, and he swears to god, if Stiles fucks around with that, too...

“That is a figure of speech and you know it,” Stiles sighs. “I will give you a blowjob if you’ll look at cats with me. My life is not in any way pathetic in this moment.”

“Not in this moment, no,” Isaac agrees. “This is pretty much everyday levels of pathetic right now.”

“And you love me for it,” Stiles says, grinning and hooking his fingers into Isaac’s belt loops. “Another figure of speech, let’s go upstairs, come on come on come on.”

*****

Isaac thinks every single cat in the place might be hissing at them. “I told you,” he says when Stiles’s smile starts to twitch at the corners, “I fucking told you.”

“This is a surmountable issue,” Stiles says. “We’ll just ask to see the ones that tolerate dogs, it’s gonna be fine.”

“It’s not me” Isaac says, and he’s actually a little delighted with this turn of events. “I never had any trouble with the cats at, at Deaton’s, that was only Scott. They loved me. I am not the problem here.”

“I don’t have any idea what you’re implying,” Stiles says. “It sounds like crazy talk to me. This is why we need a therapy cat.”

“Stop calling it that,” says Isaac.

“Therapy cat therapy cat therapy cat oh that one isn’t hissing, excuse me, we would like to try petting that lovely little feline over there,” Stiles says, trying to pull Isaac along by his elbow, steer them over to the cat, and flag down an employee all at the same time. The flailing does at least attract enough attention that someone comes over and takes the kitten out for them; on the other hand, it terrifies the kitten so much that it gets put back immediately.

“This is ridiculous,” Isaac says as Stiles’ smile falls. The tiny black kitten in the cage next to his head hisses and tries to swipe at his hair, and Isaac whips around and hisses back.

For a moment, the kitten stares at Isaac, and Isaac stares back.

It starts to purr.

“Oh no,” Stiles says faintly.

“We’ll take this one,” Isaac announces.

*****

“I know I have a rule about asking these things,” Danny says, “but dude, what the hell happened to your face?”

“Injustice,” Stiles mutters, at the same time as Isaac grins and pulls out his phone to show off pictures, saying “Cthulhu.”

“Bless you,” says Danny.

“No,” Isaac explains, handing Danny the phone with the slideshow of Cthulhu’s greatest moments--shredding Stiles’ red hoodie, using a sleeping Stiles’ head as a scratching post, gnawing on Stiles’ ankle--all queued up. “This is Cthulhu.”

“I still think we should have called it Death,” Stiles says, resentful. “Destroyer of worlds. Or of Stileses.”

“He hates everyone equally,” Isaac says. “Stop pouting.”

“Not you,” Stiles grumbles into his ice cream. “He loves you.”

“Well, somebody has to,” Isaac says, at the same time as Danny slips an arm around Stiles, pulling him closer on the bench and saying “I bet I know how to cheer you up.”

Stiles chokes on his neapolitan. “Are we doing this? For real this time?”

“Don’t ruin this,” Isaac orders, and Danny grins and knocks their ankles together under the table.

“Look,” he says. “It’s the middle of summer. We don’t have school. We don’t have practice. I’m bored. And since those claw marks on your face are apparently from the world’s most adorable kitten instead of a full moon for once, I’m willing to bet you guys are, too. This is a big achievement for you guys, boredom. I am willing to help you celebrate this.”

“That thing is not adorable,” Stiles starts, and Isaac kicks him.

“Well that’s very kind of you, Danny” Isaac says over Stiles’ pained howl, and what do you know, Danny loves the head tilt and looking-up-from-under-the-eyelashes as much as Stiles does. “We’ve always loved that about you.”

*****

“So,” Stiles says, and he’s bouncing and clapping his hands and chewing on his keys, “how do we want to do this?”

“With fewer clothes, probably,” Isaac suggests, shutting the door, and Danny rolls his eyes and crosses over to where Stiles has landed by his desk.

“How about you let me take these out of your mouth,” he says, and plucks the keys out from between Stiles’ lips where he’s been worrying at them, “and we put something else in instead, yeah?”

“Yeah,” Stiles breathes, “yeah, yeah okay that works--” and Danny cuts him off with a kiss.

Isaac’s always wondered what Stiles looks like, getting kissed.

It’s a nice view.

Danny and Stiles break apart. “Fuck,” Danny breathes, and Stiles pants out “fuck me,” and Danny laughs and tips their foreheads together and says “you’re an ambitious little baby gay, aren’t you.”

Isaac checks that the door is locked behind him and starts toeing off his shoes, and Stiles splutters, “excuse you, but Isaac and I have been messing around for, like, an extended period of time, do you know the things this bed has seen? He tied me up and went down on me for an hour last week and wouldn’t let me come until he was done--”

“And I gagged you when you wouldn’t stop bitching about it,” Isaac adds helpfully.

“Yeah, and I totally got my revenge two days later with the popsicles, I’m still really proud of that, but the point is, Daniel,” Stiles says, hooking a hand around the back of Danny’s neck and running his toes up the back of a leg, “I am not a baby gay. Unless you’re into that. I can be flexible!”

“Oh I’m sure you can be,” Danny drawls, though he looks impressed. He leans back in and captures Stiles lower lip, and Isaac thinks this is good, someone needed to stop Stiles’ mouth before it ran away from him again.

Isaac and Erica have never actually landed a threesome, but they’ve done the lead-up more times than Isaac can remember, and he knows how to do this. He pads over to Danny and Stiles, slips behind Danny, gets his hands in Danny’s front pockets and his mouth on Danny’s neck. Danny moans, and Stiles breaks apart from him long enough to get a hand in Isaac’s hair before chasing Danny’s mouth again.

Isaac is focused on sucking a hickie onto the back of Danny’s neck (Stiles always makes him put them in places easily hidden by his shirts; Isaac would like to leave one mark on someone for the world to see, and he isn’t examining it, just seizing his chance) when Stiles brings his leg up around to hook behind Isaac’s knee and pulls them all in closer together. Danny dominos forward with a surprised oh jolted out of him, and confused squirming turns purposeful when Stiles inhales sharply through his nose and arches up against him.

Isaac eases his fingers out from Danny’s pockets where they’re pressed between two pairs of hipbones and slides them up. It takes a minute, to squirm his hands under shirts and up two separate torsos and around two different nipples, but when he starts to twist his fingers Stiles and Danny groan in synch, and Isaac smirks against Danny’s neck.

“Okay,” Danny says, and he’s panting. Isaac is pretty proud of himself. “I had plans for this, and they definitely included watching you two make out.”

“We can do that!” Stiles says, tugging on Isaac’s hair, and Isaac pinches his nipple and raises an eyebrow when he gasps. Danny laughs.

“But first, first, I need to make sure to do this,” he says, turning carefully in Isaac and Stiles’ arms until he’s face-to-face with Isaac.

Isaac blinks, and Danny smiles. “This okay?”

“I promise I don’t break,” Isaac says, and he leans forward and pulls him in.

*****

Isaac kisses slow and dirty and deep, like he wants to take you apart inch by inch with his tongue, Danny learns. It feels dangerous, like Isaac might disassemble him and then pull out his heart and eat it, and it’s the hottest kiss he’s ever had.

They break apart and Isaac is smirking when Stiles squirms out from behind Danny and comes to stand beside them. “So if you’re going to make out with a werewolf, there’s a trick you should know,” he tells Danny. “Well, a couple, but this is the first one.” He grabs Danny’s hand and brings it around to rest on the back of Isaac’s neck. Isaac’s eyes lock onto Stiles, and Danny watches both of them watch the other. Stiles raises his eyebrows. Isaac rolls his eyes, and Stiles laughs once, low and dark. “Yeah, yeah we’re doing this. Okay Danny. Grip him, and squeeze.”

Danny does, saying “that sounds unnecessarily dir--” before Isaac cuts him off with a moan, his head rolling back and his knees buckling. Stiles wraps his arms around Isaac’s waist from the side, grinning wickedly, and Danny press his fingers harder against the nape of Isaac’s neck and thinks he’ll never run out of ways to underestimate them. He’s glad they’re on the same side.

Stiles and Isaac are kissing now, wet and easy and familiar, and Stiles laughs against Isaac’s mouth. “Dude,” he says. “We’re having a threesome with Danny.”

“Why do you think you are still allowed to talk,” groans Isaac, and Danny grins and detangles himself from them.

“If we want to do that,” he says, “we should probably have fewer clothes. Maybe we could even get on the bed.”

“Yes,” Stiles says, “yes, we can do all of those things. Any of them. Anything you want, really”

It takes a minute, for Stiles to thrash his way out of his shirts and Isaac to be the last one to pull off his pants, but in the end Stiles flops back on the bed and pulls everyone down with him in a tangle of legs and warm skin.

Isaac lifts himself up on his elbows, licks across Stiles’ throat, and then gets a hand on Danny’s face and kisses him over Stiles, humming in the back of his throat when Danny breaks away to nip at his jaw. Isaac drops a hand down to pin Stiles to the bed by his shoulders, and Stiles arches and rocks his hips up against Danny’s leg while Isaac bends back under Danny’s mouth on his neck.

“I think,” Isaac gasps, and Danny maybe feels a little smug that he got him panting, too, “that Stiles would really love it if you would make him just hold still, Danny. Wouldn’t you Stiles?”

“I wouldn’t be opposed,” Stiles says, trying to pull Danny down against him with his legs. Danny looks down at Stiles, and then up at Isaac, and when Isaac raises his eyebrows and looks meaningfully at Stiles’ attempts to drag Danny down with his knees, Danny grins and says “well, then.”

Pinning Stiles is easy enough, especially with Isaac up by his shoulders, looking amused and a little condescending and a lot like the cat who got the cream. Stiles tries to roll up against him, and Danny presses him back into the mattress. “We’re going to stay here for a bit,” he announces. “I’ve never seen you this still before, I want to remember this.”

“That’s just because you never saw him after Jackson got him,” Isaac says, sliding his hands down Stiles’ arms to pin them by the pillows. “I keep meaning to steal some of the leftover venom from Derek, it would be very handy.”

“No talking about supernatural creatures in bed!” Stiles says, twisting his head around to glare at Isaac when Danny shudders at the memory. “Or Derek, we made a rule.”

“But Jackson is fair game?” Danny asks, rolling his hips down and watching how Isaac’s eyebrows come together when he laughs at Stiles choking on air in surprise. “I’m not sure how I feel about this.”

“We can totally swap them this time, we can call it The Danny Exemption,” Stiles gasps, resuming attempts to squirm his legs out from under Danny. “But why is no one concerned that Isaac apparently thinks poisoning me is acceptable foreplay?”

“Concerned is different from surprised,” Danny says carefully, sitting up and trapping Stiles’ legs, and Isaac winks at him and leans down to kiss Stiles. Danny takes a minute to appreciate the view. It’s not something they ever do around other people (“we aren’t dating,” Stiles had explained in the car, “we’re just both single and horny and really, really, spectacularly good at making each other come,”) and now that he’s seen, Danny thinks maybe they should charge for it.

Isaac pulls away with a bite, and Stiles’ lips are swollen dark red. Danny’s spent one too many labs or late-night meetings or pregame speeches contemplating Stiles’ oral fixation, and every idle fantasy or stray observation is running through his mind now at a fevered pitch. Stiles looks at him and worries his bottom lip between his teeth, and Danny’s thumb comes up automatically to sooth the bite.

He doesn’t notice Isaac’s hand on his cock until Isaac squeezes around him, lightly, and pulls up. “It’s a nice mouth,” Isaac says. “Makes up for a lot. Wanna switch? I’ll hold his legs, you come up here.”

It’s the best idea Danny’s ever heard.

There’s a moment where Stiles almost squirms free when Danny moves up to straddle his chest, but Isaac swings down to sit on his legs and Stiles whines in the back of his throat and drops his head against the pillow Danny pulls down, sounding defeated. “This is okay?” Danny checks. “That’s a good noise?”

“Trust me,” Isaac says, running a hand down Danny’s side and then pushing him forward a bit more, “the only way this could be better for him is if we were up against a wall.”

Stiles is nodding violently, eyes wide, so Danny smiles and eases himself into Stiles’ mouth and says “please remember what you are doing and don’t forget you have teeth.”

Stiles remembers. Stiles actually spends the next five minutes so perfectly focused that, if Danny had any blood left in his brain, he might wonder if it was really Stiles blowing him. As it is, though, Stiles licks and sucks and hums and moans and only gags once, and Danny rapidly forgets his name, age, and any lycanthropy-related reasons he wouldn’t want to do this all the time.

“He likes it when you talk,” Isaac says at one point, one hand playing over Danny’s chest and the other resting on his ass. So Danny talks, streams of yeah, can you take a little more? and holy shit, your mouth, Stilinski, and how do you two ever get anything else done holy shit that eventually dissolve into streams of vowels until he chokes off with a cry and spills down Stiles’ throat.

He’s vaguely aware of being moved off of Stiles and onto his side, of Isaac crawling up Stiles and kissing him loud and long, of Stiles saying, voice scratchy, “you think he liked it?” and Isaac groaning and saying “I don’t know, what do you think,” and reaching down between the two of them. Danny comes to right around when Isaac sits back up on Stiles’ thighs, keeping one arm pinned while he fists Stiles’ cock. They’re both completely focused on each other, Danny thinks, making eye contact that borders on telepathy while Isaac rolls with Stiles’ thrashes (they’ve weakened, a little) and works his hand up and down.

There’s a rhythm to them, Danny realizes. Isaac always skates his top teeth across his bottom lip before he changes how he has his hand, and Stiles has his free hand up around Isaac’s neck, dragging him near and then letting him pull back in time to the rolling of Stiles’ hips, steering him down sometimes for a kiss that slips and slides and always, always seems to end in a bite.

He’s never seen Isaac this relaxed.

Stiles’ babbling slides into a constant deluge of cursing as Danny starts to harden again, and then Isaac bites his lip and arches his eyebrows and flicks his wrist and Stiles shouts “MOTHER of god” and comes...everywhere.

Isaac slithers down Stiles and starts licking him clean while Stiles stares at the ceiling and makes happy little noises to himself.

“Holy shit,” Danny says. “Why didn’t you guys tell me?”

“We did,” Isaac says, lifting his head from Stiles’ torso. His mouth and chin are smeared white. “We told you you were missing out. We told you a bunch of times.”

“Yeah, well,” Danny says, pushing himself up on his knees and over to Isaac, “I think some of these visuals might have been helpful.”

“Derek would kill us if we made a sex tape,” Stiles says, and Danny rolls Isaac off Stiles, ignoring the way Isaac’s disappointed mutter of “wasn’t finished” goes straight to his dick, and straddles him. Isaac shifts beneath him experimentally, and Dany reaches down and captures his wrists.

“Oh, this is cute,” Isaac says.

Danny leans down to kiss him, vaguely aware of Stiles sitting up behind them. Isaac opens his mouth for him, and when Danny slips his tongue in, the world tilts and the air wooshes out of his lungs, Stiles’ laugh ringing in his ears.

“So that’s how I look when you do that, huh?” Stiles says, and Isaac laughs and presses Danny into the mattress and says “your eyes get a little bigger, I think.”

“So that doesn’t work for you, then,” Danny says, watching Isaac. Isaac frowns, mock-thoughtful, and grinds down. Danny think this might mean he’s forgiven.

“Chains don’t work for me,” Isaac clarifies. “It’s mostly just funny, when humans think they can. This work for you?”

“Not actually the biggest fan of being the one held down, actually,” Danny says. “It’s usually the other wa--”

His eyes process Isaac’s flight to the other side of the bed before he feels it.

Stiles shoves him back down and turns, slowly, towards Isaac. “Danny,” he says, calmly, “did you object to being held down, or is it just not your usual thing?”

“Not my usual thing,” Danny says, and he copies the methodical way Stiles is breathing.

“Okay,” Stiles says. “That’s good. That’s great, actually, because it means that there is nothing wrong and that no one did anything not-okay and that we can all just take a breath and come back, because misunderstandings happen and are usually just really funny in retrospect. Right?”

It’s disconcerting, Danny thinks, watching Stiles go from delighted to steel in the blink of an eye. “Right,” he says.

Isaac is half-standing off the edge of the bed, his eyes flicking back and forth between Danny and Stiles. “Hey,” Stiles says. “Look at me. I clearly look like someone who knows what the fuck I’m talking about. Don’t I, Danny.”

He looks naked and kind of filthy and definitely delicious. “Yeah,” Danny says, and the laugh is genuine because what the fuck is his life.

“Listen to his heart, you know he’s telling the truth,” Stiles tells Isaac. He turns his head to look at Danny. “You are telling the truth, right? Swear to god I’ll...”

“I’m fine,” Danny says. “The tension is kind of a boner killer, but I’ll survive.”

“That is an easily remediable problem,” Stiles declares, flapping a hand at him and turning back to Isaac. “So here is how we move on. I’m going to kiss you. You are going to breathe. You will probably feel better. If you don’t, then we’ll put our clothes back on and go find whatever Cthulhu has destroyed and make sandwiches. And if you do feel better, and still want an orgasm, then we can keep our clothes off and finish this. And then, again, sandwiches. They never tell you this in porn but threesomes burn a lot of calories. Sound good?”

“You are out of your fucking mind,” Isaac says, and Stiles laughs and walks forward on his knees across the bed.

“Well, obviously,” he says, and then he’s got Isaac by neck and they’re kissing.

*****

Stiles keeps kissing him until Isaac feels warm and almost drowsy with it, leaning against Stiles until they fall backwards and Danny laughs.

“You two...” he trails off, and when Isaac opens his eyes he’s smiling. “You two have this down to an art, don’t you.”

“More of a science, really,” Stiles says, breaking away and leaning up on his elbows to look at Isaac. “So. Clothes or orgasms, what do you think?”

“Mmm,” Isaac says, and he swallows and reaches out to pull Danny close enough to kiss. “The second one, I think.”

“Hypothesis confirmed,” Stiles crows, and then he squirms out from under Danny and Isaac (Danny kisses him just as firmly as before, and Isaac wants to drown in it,) and gets up on his knees besides Isaac, hand on the back of Isaac’s neck.

“So what does work for this one,” Stiles tells Danny, “besides letting him be in charge, or having him hold onto something if you want his hands out of the way, and also popsicles, is blowjobs. Now, that may just be my mouth, but I think we’d all be very interested in finding out, wouldn’t we.”

Isaac and Danny’s foreheads knock together when they nod. It’s grounding. Stiles laughs, and that is, too.

At this point, Isaac is grounded enough to survive a lightning strike, he thinks.

Stiles is usually good for that.

Danny, it turns out, is good for blowjobs. Really good; so good that Isaac is arching back against Stiles, fingers scrabbling at the sheets, breathing too loudly through his nose and biting almost through his lip until Danny pulls off and clears his throat and says “hey, you can be as loud as you want. Promise I’ll find it flattering.”

“And I’ll think it’s a challenge,” Stiles whispers in his ear, free hand scratching across his chest, and Isaac drops his head back and pants and moans and howls and, with a rush of heat, comes.

*****

Derek can hear them bickering as he walks up the drive and comes inside, but that’s nothing new. What is new is coming into the subway car and seeing Isaac sitting with an arm draped around Danny’s shoulders, pressed against him shoulder to hip to knee, while Stiles sits at their feet, reclining against their knees.

He sees Jackson standing stiffly against the opposite wall, arms folded and eyes huge and face rapidly approaching supernova, and he turns around and walks right back out.

Everything makes a lot more sense now.

He calls Lydia, tells her to hurry up and get here because her boyfriend is about to break again, and then he goes back down to the car. His memory of Scott’s first howl has gotten fuzzy and stale; Jackson’s face right now looks like a promising replacement. Even on his worst days, at least Stiles and Isaac have never teamed up to try and get under his skin.

(Derek is always aware of the nonzero chance that, some day, under the right circumstances, Stiles and Isaac might team up against him for something slightly more important, and he’s been aware of this since the day they showed up to pack meeting smelling like the same soap. He mostly tries not to think about it. It’s the risk that comes with letting them mess around on their own so much, and Derek allows it because he isn’t willing to do what Isaac apparently needs in order to stay on the right side of homicidal. If Stiles doesn’t mind the sex, more power to him; if he does, Derek still doesn’t want to think about it.)

*****

They’re coming back to Stiles’ house after the pack meeting, pulling into the driveway, when Isaac sniffs the air and smells someone new.

“Is there supposed to be someone in your bushes?” he asks, and Stiles slams on the brake and then drags a breath in through his nose and guides the jeep smoothly to the usual parking spot by the porch.

“Depends,” he says, lightly, even as he’s reaching under the seat and pulling out the handgun Isaac isn’t supposed to know he keeps there. “How do they smell?”

Isaac drags in another breath, tries not to choke on the calm, focused hate. “Like magic,” he says. “And a little bit like...”

Stiles waits, but Isaac can’t finish. “This is important,” Stiles says, quietly. “I have a pretty good guess at what that face means, but I need you to tell me. Who do they smell like?”

Isaac’s skin crawls, and he feels too big and too small, and he lets his fangs slip out and says “Dad.”

“Thank you,” Stiles says. “Still in the bushes?”

“Yes.”

“Do they know we’re here?”

“Don’t think so.”

“Awesome. I’m gonna reach in front of you, get to the stuff in the glove compartment. Do they smell like they used to be dead, or?”

“No,” Isaac says, and digs his claws into his hands until he can focus. “It isn’t him. It’s just the...” He wants to throw up, or wake up, or die. He swallows. Licks his lips. “We’re in trouble.”

“Nope,” Stiles says, slipping vials and snuff boxes and bullets into his pockets. “Pretty sure the only one in trouble is the fucker in my bushes. Let’s go say hello.”

Isaac fumbles with his seatbelt, and Stiles is standing next to his side of the jeep by the time he finishes it. “Hey Isaac?” he says, leaning against the door. “If you have a choice, go for the person who isn’t me, okay?”

Isaac feels his claws start to retract, and while his grin is all fang, it’s also halfway sincere. “I’ll see what I can do,” he says, and Stiles grins back.

“Awesome. Let’s go on a witchhunt.”

*****

Isaac comes up behind her from the woods while Stiles puts a bullet in her arm from around the side of the house, and they break her circle and her trance easily enough. That doesn’t matter.

They test out their truth serum, and she’s a sister from the Six Rivers coven. The coven isn’t happy with all the wards the pack finally got up around the town in June, disrupting the natural order so their friends could sleep safely. That’s good to know, but it doesn’t matter much either.

This is only the beginning, she says. This was merely the first strike; kill their families, just punishment, send a message. Then the restoration.

It didn’t work, Isaac tells her. They all heard the howls filling the night while they waited for the serum to kick in, and he’s felt them in his bones. Lydia’s parents are fine. Erica’s aren’t. Jackson and Boyd drove them off; Danny’s safe.

There’s a car coming up the driveway, and Isaac says, Stiles.

The wrath will be seventy times greater now, she says. But right now, that isn’t what matters.

Stiles, Isaac says.

What did you say, Stiles says. Who were you here to kill? Here, at this house, who was this--and he shakes a doll in her face, lines like veins drawn all over it and a knot for a heart--meant for?

The sheriff is at the corner of the house, yelling STILES, and the witch is laughing, and Stiles puts the gun to her chest and shoots.

That matters.

*****

The sheriff knows about werewolves now.

*****

It’s three days after Stiles killed someone and Isaac wolfed out in front of the sheriff and bolted into the woods when Isaac gets a text from Stiles.

stop skipping school. come over this afternnon.

So he isn’t in jail, then.

Isaac’s pretty sure that, if he doesn’t show, someone will track him to the graveyard. He’s smelled Derek a couple of times, which means Derek wants him to know they know where he is. If he waits long enough, someone--probably, hopefully, not a McCall--will show up, and he can bait them, and get slammed around a bit, and forget, again, for a minute, how it feels to have to walk over to someone waiting to teach you a lesson.

But there are witches to kill and a pack to protect, and Stiles asked, and for all Isaac knows, Stiles might need some protection, too.

So he goes.

Stiles is in the kitchen, covered in flour and smelling like too many vegetables, and he doesn’t look up from the stove, saying “when was the last time you ate?” as he puts the tart in.

Isaac crosses over to him. He manages to wait until Stiles shuts the oven and straightens up (scanning, limbs hanging straight and back relaxed and the skin on his arms as pale as ever,) and then he takes Stiles by the shoulders, carefully, and turns him around, and starts to dust the flour off his face.

“What are you--” Stiles starts, and then Isaac starts pulling his shirts aside and running fingers across his collarbones and down his ribs, and Stiles inhales sharply.

“Oh. No. No, listen to me,” he says, grabbing Isaac’s hands. “I’m fine. That’s not. That’s not ever going to happen in this house, okay?”

Isaac checks.

“I can feel that, you know,” Stiles says. “Listen to me. If you only believe me about one thing, believe me about this. That’s never going to happen here. You know this. Okay?”

His voice is fierce and his heartbeat is steady and Isaac listens to both of these things and breathes and nods.

“Okay,” Stiles says. “Okay. That’s good. We’re good. Have you eaten at all today?”

“Probably,” Isaac says, and Stiles squeezes his wrists and lets go.

“Okay then,” he says. “Sandwiches, ice cream, popcorn, movie. Eat, watch, talk. Everything is okay, but there is information to share, and we need to be on the same page before my dad comes home--yes, he is coming home, yes, you will be here, yes, he saw you, yes, it’s going to be fine. You are in a non-existent amount of trouble. I’m grounded for the rest of my life, but we both know that doesn’t mean anything. My dad is just going to want to talk a lot. Put those away, it isn’t that kind of talk, I told you, we don’t do those here.”

*****

Pack meetings are at Stiles’ house now. The sheriff says that plausible deniability set sail a year and a half ago, or at least when he saw his son murder someone. At that point, he might as well commit.

“Besides,” Stiles adds, “you have a duty to the citizens of this town. Serve and protect. You can’t do that if you don’t know what to protect them from.”

“We can talk about how the hell I was supposed to do my job for the last year and a half later,” the sheriff says, and Stiles throws a leg casually over Isaac before he can finish flinching and says “speaking of protection, Isaac’s staying with us for a while.”

“No,” says Derek, automatically, at the same time as Isaac says “what? Why. No.”

“As long as we’re doing the war of the witches,” Stiles says, still sprawled, utterly calm and perfectly focused, “there will be a werewolf in this house.”

“Stiles,” his dad says, “this isn’t necessary.”

“We wouldn’t be having this meeting,” Stiles says, and from when he’s sitting Isaac can feel every single muscle in his body stutter, “if Isaac hadn’t been there. This is not a discussion.”

Mrs. McCall says “I’ll drive your things over,” and Dr. Deaton says “we can redo some of the warding after this is done,” and Mr. Argent says “let’s move on to strategy,” and Lydia smiles viciously and Jackson’s arms tighten around Danny’s shoulders and none of the wolves say anything at all.

*****

It’s probably a good thing for Cthulhu, having a stable home. He keeps leaving dead mice in Stiles’ shoes, so Isaac thinks he’s adjusting nicely.

Isaac thinks the sheriff would probably be less impressed if Isaac left a dead body on the porch, so Isaac’s adjustment is taking a little longer.

(It might have impressed his dad, though.)

They’re at the table, eating soup that Isaac suspects was actually made with holy water, and Mr. Stilinski asks Stiles what he’s going to hear at parent-teacher conference. The next thing Isaac hears is Stiles saying, his voice very fast and very controlled, “Dad, go. Go.

That’s the first time it happens.

The tension in the house decreases after that, somehow. Stiles makes his dad a mountain ash amulet and puts all his whatever-it-is into it, and the next time it happens (they’re combing through the files on the table, and Stiles says we aren’t negotiating with them, and Mr. Stilinski says I think that’s a little extreme, and Stiles says well they should have thought of that before they went after our families, and Mr. Stilinski says well, as your family, and Stiles says it didn’t have to be the Reyes’, it could have been you, and Mr. Stilinski says damnit, Stiles, and Isaac’s claws take a gouge out of the tabletop,) the sheriff stays in the room.

“So this is a thing that happens, now,” the sheriff says.

The third time it happens is in the middle of a pack meeting, and Derek and Mr. Argent and the sheriff have a furiously whispered argument in the hall.

(“The hell were you thinking, you pull a gun on the kid, of course he’s going to go all the way out, we had it under control,” snaps the sheriff, and Chris Argent hisses

“I was thinking about the very human child sitting with his arm around him, actually--”

“I think we’re past the point of pretending that Stiles is a child, let alone not perfectly capable of --” says the sheriff, interrupting, and Chris Argent spins on Derek, saying

“Did you know your Beta was losing it? Did you?”

“No, the sheriff seems to have neglected to pass that information on.” Derek says, forgetting his alpha voice has no effect on either of them, and Mrs. McCall sticks her head out the door and says

“Excuse me? Yeah, hi boys. Listen, we can hear you in there, and Stiles says that unless you want it to happen again you need to nut up, shut up, and come back to the discussion about the people trying to raze the town. We can finish this later.”)

It takes two months before it stops happening. It never happens at school, because Derek starts showing up as a substitute teacher (the staff gets swept by food poisoning, and then the flu, and the secretary’s computer thinks Derek has certification and top bidding,) and at the house the Stilinskis have a policy of determined calm and feigned normalcy. Isaac isn’t allowed to be alone with the sheriff, but he’d been avoiding that already. Stiles and his dad argue all the time about food and movies and the legality of various strategies, and Isaac can’t focus on anything and is constantly dropping or forgetting or shifting and breaking things, and

and nothing ever happens.

And Isaac never stops waiting for it, but it’s one week, and then two, and then three, and Isaac remembers that he’s fast enough and strong enough, now, that the fangs and claws might be overkill.

Besides, there are witches to hunt.

*****

They’re baking, because that’s what they do, because Stiles bought a recipe book for vegan desserts and they’ve been working their way through them, because Stiles has a sweet tooth and a too-human father, because Erica and Lydia and Allison aren’t back from negotiations yet and there isn’t anything else to do but bake a cake, and Isaac says “you know, carrot cake was my dad’s favorite.”

“We can throw this out,” Stiles says. “We can bake a different one, here, let me.”

“No,” Isaac says. “It’s mine, too.”

*****

They spend Christmas as a pack huddled around the Stilinkis’ kitchen table, pouring over translations and runes and maps of coven allegiances, eating cheap Chinese food and inventorying their arsenal. The meeting ends when the sheriff has to head out for his shift, and after the pack disperses, Stiles sucks Isaac off under the mistletoe.

“Merry Christmas,” he says, when Isaac’s slid down the doorframe and opened his eyes again.

“I thought we had a job tonight,” Isaac says, checking the clock. Ten more minutes probably won’t matter.

“We do,” Stiles says, spreading his legs when Isaac reaches for his fly. “I just figured we could do the traditional exchanging of the gifts, first.”

“Not all of your plans suck,” Isaac allows. “Do not say it, don’t ruin this.”

*****

Scott is really, really mad at Stiles. So is Derek, and so is Mr. Stilinski, and so is basically everyone besides Mr. Argent, who mostly just looks impressed.

“Hey,” Stiles says, “I didn’t do anything.”

“You killed three people,” Derek says, slowly.

“They were hunting Isaac,” Stiles says. Isaac nods and tries to look sad or scared or small or anything besides smug.

“And why were you two running around on coven grounds in the middle of the night after Christmas?” asks the sheriff. He looks like he has a headache.

“Those were coven grounds?” Stiles says. “I guess that explains the witches.”

“We don’t kill people, Stiles!” Scott says, for the fifth time.

“I know you don’t,” Stiles says. “And you didn’t have to. Why has no one touched the pie yet?”

*****

It’s February seventh, which means it’s been two years, which means Isaac spends the day feeling like he’s choking.

“You gonna tell me what’s going on?” Stiles asks, handing Isaac another plate to dry. Isaac takes it, stares at it, forgets to try it until Stiles taps it.

“It’s February seventh,” he says, finally.

“Yeah. Does that mean something I should know?” Stiles says, rinsing off a cup.

“I’m thinking about sending Jackson flowers.”

“Okay, yes, this is definitely something you should warn me about, can we do like a candid camera thing? Are you going to sign a card and leave it with them, so he’ll know it’s you?”

“I was also thinking about putting some on my dad’s grave stone,” Isaac continues, and Stiles drops his handful of silverware into the sink.

Shit Isaac, I didn’t...”

“I want to go upstairs,” Isaac says.

“Yeah,” Stiles says. “Yeah, let’s do that.”

After, when Isaac can feel most of his body again and Stiles has a hand in his hair, rambling about whether or not sending the witches valentines counts as psychological warfare, Isaac rolls the fingers of Stiles other hand between his own and interrupts and says

“I want to talk about my dad.”

And Stiles is quiet, and Isaac tells him that he and his dad used to have Star Wars marathons every New Years Eve (only the originals, none of the prequel crap, though Isaac had liked them well enough,) that his dad’s favorite movie was Saving Private Ryan so Isaac still knows most of the lines, that when he was little the whole family used to go get ice cream at Maryanne’s every Thursday night. That he’d taught Isaac to dig graves when he was ten years old, that Wednesday night was always spaghetti night, that sometimes, when Isaac was really good, they’d go bowling. That his dad knew the best ghost stories. That he would have been fifty three this year.

“My mom would have been forty seven,” Stiles says.

*****

They win the war of the witches when May turns into June and Lydia realizes that losing could keep her from Stanford. They spend the next two weeks re-warding Beacon Hills, and the victory doesn’t sink in until Stiles and Isaac are sitting on the porch, watching the sky warm from grey to pink to blue, waiting for the rest of the town to wake up.

“Holy shit,” Stiles says. “We’re graduating today.”

“Magic,” says Isaac, straight-faced.

“No, dude, don’t you get it?” Stiles says, getting up on his knees on his chair, throwing his arms wide. “We survived. We won. We actually fucking made it.”

“I think we can kind of survive a lot,” Isaac says, carefully.

Stiles collapses back into the chair. “We survived,” he repeats, quieter.

Isaac watches the sky, and waits.

“So,” Stiles says, rubbing his palms against his knees, “what’s next?”