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great power, not so great responsibility

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Derek's known for a long time that the world is a fucked up place. Losing his family -- his mom, his dad, Laura, even Uncle Peter -- has made that abundantly clear. Being stuck with a stubborn juvenile wolf that won't listen to advice, won't fucking think about anything but himself and his wants has only turned that clarity to crystal.

But, this?

This is completely beyond his imagining. This is beyond anything that he could have thought up in his wildest nightmares. It's wrong on so many fucking levels that he just doesn't know were to begin.

It's unnatural.

There are standards of behaviour that are supposed to be met, niceties adhered to, dynamics to be followed. The interactions of the pack are not about power, it's about family and different shifting abilities and skills. It's about responsibility and defending the pack.

It's about leadership and protection of the weak.

What it's not about is being goosed by a cold nose and having an alpha acting like a hyperactive puppy. There's not even the minimal dignity of cub behaviour. Not here.

This is all dog.

Stiles' whole body is wriggling, front paws and head close to the ground while his tail wags in manic circles.

"Stop it." Derek demands, but Stiles only yips in response, shaking his head. "You're an alpha. Alphas do not play fetch, chase their tails or stick their noses in people's crotches, Stiles!"

Stiles makes a huffing sound as he rolls his eyes and sits back on his haunches, tongue lolling.

Derek can feel his frown lines becoming permanent as he meets Stiles stare for stare.

Stiles wags his tail, brushing leaves from side to side.

Derek narrows his eyes. "No."

Stiles looks unconcerned, curling his tongue and widening his jaws in a yawn. Derek knows he's being mocked, but there's not much he can do about it. He can't leave Stiles out here by himself, he'd find some way to get into trouble.

Stiles is still giving him that look, the one that makes his eyes -- that strange mix of brown and red that looks like blood amber -- into his own version of "cub-wolf eyes".

"I hate you so much right now." Derek grumbles, crossing his arms stubbornly.

Stiles shifts forward and nips at the leg of Derek's jeans, almost dancing in excitement, and Derek?

Folds like a wet newspaper.

Contrary to popular belief, he's a fucking soft touch. Sighing and apologising to his ancestors, Derek hauls back and flicks the frisbee into the air.

Stiles chases after it, leaping high and twisting to catch it with his teeth, and Derek has to duck his head to hide his smile.

It might be unnatural, but how can he not in the face of such unabashed joy?

And when Stiles bodychecks him to the ground, starting with fur and finishing in a tangle of arms and legs and pale, smooth skin, Derek comments, "You're an embarrassment to all things wolf."

Stiles shrugs, spits the frisbee off to the side with a grin. "Whatever, dude. This is freaking awesome!"