Derek sat in the middle of a really huge pile of wooden boards. He had a couple dozens of little bags with various screws on his lap, a box of tools right next to him. He was hyped up and all ready to assemble stuff. The only problem was, well, along with the cardboard boxes that seriously cluttered the space he had and deserved their fate, he might have lost the assembly instructions. He had a couple of screwdrivers, a hammer, just in case, and he had a pretty impressive set of hex keys, from the teeny tiny one he believed could be replaced by a toothpick, to the one almost as thick as his thumb. He had wrenches, too, plus a fair amount of good intentions and fervor.
He had no idea, though, what to do with all that stuff now.
Looking retrospectively, taking everything out of the boxes all at once might have been a mistake, too. All the furniture pieces had the same colours and looked very much alike. Especially that he forgot to even implement some kind of a system. Like putting everything apart from one another. Now, he had what looked like a huge bonfire ready to be lit, an armful of metal bits to bind the wood together and less and less time to finish.
“You sure you can handle it?”
“Yes, Stiles, I can. I’m a grown man.”
“Let me know when you can drink.”
“Not fair, dude. I can help you with that!”
“Don’t you have places to be, people to see, stuff to do? Come back in the evening, it’ll all be ready and waiting to be tested.”
“Need me to bring my laptop to test your desk?”
“There’s a bed in here, too.”
“How are you doing, nephew?”
“Do you need any help? I mean, not me. But I could make Boyd come and help you. He’s big, might come in handy.”
“No, thank you. I can handle some furniture thank you very much.”
“Where did you put all the boxes?”
“I burned them, didn’t need them anymore.”
“What about the manuals?”
“I have them somewhere in here. Go away.”
Why, why did he ever agree to buy furniture at this Swedish shop of misery? It’s like those Swedes found their hobby in cutting beds, desks and closets into pieces and then making them absolutely impossible to put back together. Their peaceful, Nordic characters must be just a cover-up for their messed up sadistic personalities.
How else could Derek explain why the furniture-assembly was not coming along even remotely as well as he expected? Once he thought he had made some progress, a part went missing, just to show up when he had decided to change his approach and maybe do it more vertically, or maybe put those two together like that, or maybe...
Ah, screw it. He had wasted three hours before realizing the progress he had made was... unsatisfactory. Actually, all he managed to do was an even bigger mess.
“Isaac!”, he yelled.
His beta came immediately (how could he not!) and looked around with a baffled look on his face.
“What happened here? A hurricane?”, Isaac asked.
“Shut up. Do you know how to put those things together?”
“Maybe, I’ve never tried...”
“I need you to try. For now, all I have that’s usable and ready is this huge bean bag chair. And I didn’t even want it, I only bought it because Stiles liked it.”
“Why would you need a bed, this thing is big enough to sleep on... If you’re forced to,” Isaac said, trying to calm Derek down and stop him from what could possibly turn into a furniture bloodbath. A sawdust-bath.
“But it’s not big enough for--”, Derek stopped abruptly, realising he didn’t have to explain his reasons to a beta, especially not to his own beta.
“For both of you to sleep on it, I get it,” Isaac mumbled. “Stiles is one lucky cookie. Look, Derek, I’d like to help you, I really would, but what you have here could be used as the test they make you take before you join this club for geniuses...”
“Yeah, that one.”
“How do you know, did you take the test?”
“Go figure. Fine, you can go. Class dismissed, and if you as much as peep a word of that to anyone--”
“Your secret is safe, worry not,” Isaac reassured him hastingly, making his way to the door. That was the closest thing to a “thank you” he could ever expect.
When the door closed behind him, Derek threw a screwdriver across the room, making a dent in a wall. Well, that’s where the chest of drawers is supposed to go anyway...
They’d been wandering through the store for an hour and a half, and Derek still hadn’t found anything he’d like. Stiles had, but after all, he liked surprisingly many things.
“Hey, how about those?”, the teenager said, pointing to a plain wooden set. “They’re not too colorful, simple, but nice, huh? What do you think? Too simple? Maybe they are too plain, after all, you’re a big sour lonewolf, not a hermit. You’re right, we need something that’ll say ‘it’s a hot, dark alpha’s room’, you know, not using skulls and bones of small animals maybe, but you know - to show the incomers that you’re a serious guy with good taste in both furniture and guys--”
“Do you plan on becoming a fixed piece in my room?”, Derek interrupted him, using the pause Stiles had to take so that he won’t suffocate.
“A true work of art, don’t you think?”, Stiles said, grinning, and moving on to another set of furniture.
Finally, they made a choice that suited both of you. Derek’s new furniture, for his apartment - to replace all that old crap he’d had there - would be black and white, with a hint of chrome. At least, that’s what Stiles decided, Derek just went with it, because he didn’t hate that idea.
“Okay, I think I’ve made some progress here.”
“Really? What did you make, nephew?”
“I have a closet, a table and two chairs,” Derek said, prouder than ever.
“Did you buy those stuff?”
“No, I bought a desk, a chest of drawers and a bed, but thanks for raining on my parade.”
“At your service,” Peter said, turning around and walking down the stairs.
Right now, Derek was in a complete slump. He actually put together something he didn’t even buy, but the parts fit surprisingly well, even though an astonishing amount of them was left scattered all over his bedroom floor.
He was seconds away from starting to chew on the boards out of sheer frustration. Unhappy and grumpy, he disassembled all his creations and started from the very beginning.
Peter was downstairs. Where the furniture actually existed in the state the makers intended it to. Plus, there was a kettle and he could use some tea. Now that Derek moved out, he’d been feeling a bit lonely from time to time, not having another adult to talk to, or to piss off.
Just as he was pouring the hot water into a mug he could swear Derek stole from the house, he heard a loud noise, something between a thud and a crash. Seconds later, he heard heavy footsteps on the stairs and Derek paraded past him and got into the bathroom, rummaging through the first aid supplies he had stashed there.
“Got splinters in my hand.”
“I punched something. Might’ve broken it, too.”
“How should I know?”, Derek growled, trying to pick the splinters out with a needle and pouring hydrogen peroxide over his hand.
“What did it look like?”
“Like a black piece of wood, just like everything else in my bedroom.”
“What if it’s important?”
“Then I’ll fix it. For now, it’s not important, it’s broken.”
“When is Stiles coming to admire your woodwork, pun intended?”
“In two hours, and shut up.”
“How’s he doing?”, Isaac said, coming in and sitting on a couch.
Peter looked at him with amusement.
“Why do you think I’m still here?”
Isaac looked up the stairs as much as he could. He could hear the clinking of screws and tools, the knocking of boards against one another, and a lot of curses that made him blush a bit. He wasn’t aware there were so many possibilities in the language.
“How much time does he have left?”
“About an hour, maybe a quarter more.”
“Is he going to make it?”
“I never doubt my nephew. Okay, I do, I do a lot. I’m just sorry we won’t be here to see the lovers’ spat over the unfinished furniture.”
And that was the exact moment when a piece of wood that looked a lot like a bed’s leg flew through the apartment and his a wall right beside the window. After a moment of tense silence, Derek stomped downstairs, picked it up, shot Peter and Isaac the dirtiest look he’d had in store for them and walked back up.
“How’s he doing?”, Stiles asked, walking in as quietly as he could. He put a bag with Chinese food on the kitchen counter making almost no sound whatsoever.
“Bad. Very bad. It’s hilarious,” Peter whispered.
“Why are you lurking here anyway? Go home!”
“Okay, fine, I’ll leave. But I’ll be back, soon, to get the fresh gossip. He won’t let anyone upstairs and I need reports.”
As Peter left, Stiles walked slowly up the stairs to the bedroom. He was expecting the armageddon of broken things Derek was bound to commit in there. The bigger his surprise when he saw that all the furniture was ready, neat and nice, right where he thought they should stand.
“Hi, sourwolf,” he said cheerfully. “I see you’ve made it!”
“Sure I have. It was a piece of cake.”
“I’m sure it was.”
“Peter told you I had problems, huh?”
“He may have mentioned a slight delay, yes. But it all looks fantastic. And, I brought my laptop, see, it fits perfectly on your desk, and looks amazing on it, too! Now that’s established, we have a bed to test.”
“Oh, we do, we so do. I just need to shower first--”
“Forget it. Come here, my handyman you,” Stiles purred, giving Derek his best, signature come-hither look and taking off his shirt.
Derek pushed him onto the bed and took off his.
Peter came back two hours later to see Stiles, just sitting in a chair in his pyjamas, finishing a box of noodles.
“Where’s Derek?”, the werewolf asked.
Stiles just pointed his chopsticks up, eliciting a puzzled look from Peter.
“The bed broke,” the teenager explained.
“Nah, we had sex on the bean bag chair,” Stiles said calmly, enjoying Peter’s expression which clearly meant that was more than he cared to hear now. “Did you know he broke a part of the bed? And fixed it very poorly? Plus, he forgot half of the screws and didn’t tighten the rest properly. Now he’s up fixing it.”
“And I can hear you!”, Derek yelled from the bedroom.
“Good, I wasn’t trying to be quiet!”, Stiles responded.
“You never do, after all, if you know what I mean,” Derek laughed.
“Okay, I’m leaving!”, Peter said, turning around and marching out. That was way more than he could handle. Right now, or any other time.