Whenever his dad had a night shift, Stiles slept at Derek’s place. Stiles wasn’t doing so well anymore with his own empty house, and just knowing that someone else was in the same house, was doing wonders for Stiles’ peace of mind.
Stiles had asked Scott first, of course he had, but Scott was too busy with Kira, only sometimes sleeping at his own house, and even less of the time alone, so there really wasn’t any place for Stiles.
Derek had raised one inquiring eyebrow the first time Stiles had stood on his doorstep, pillow clutched to his chest, but he had readily stepped aside, providing shelter for Stiles without question.
So Stiles sitting on Derek’s couch, cup of freshly brewed coffee in his hands, wasn’t that strange of a sight anymore. Stiles spent more nights at Derek’s place than at his own house, given how many night shifts his dad was picking up lately.
Stiles had been awake for an hour before he even heard Derek shuffle around in his bedroom, and it took another ten minutes before Derek finally made the way downstairs. He really wasn’t a morning person at all, and it was a source of endless delight for Stiles.
When Derek walked past the couch, Stiles tilted his head back in anticipation, relishing in the little morning ritual they had established.
And right on cue, Derek trailed his hand over Stiles’ upper arm, his shoulder, until he could briefly cup his neck in his hand, blatantly scent-marking Stiles.
“Good morning,” Derek mumbled, clearly more asleep than awake, and to be honest, Stiles wasn’t doing much better.
So he was blaming his still fuzzy mind on what came out of his mouth.
“Morning, alpha,” he said, and it took both of them a second to realize what he had said.
Stiles tensed on the couch, while Derek faltered in his steps, both freezing up, not knowing what to do about this.
In the end they did nothing; Stiles forcefully relaxed himself on the couch and Derek continued his way into the kitchen and to his first cup of coffee for the day. When he came back and sat beside Stiles on the couch, Stiles had put some order to his thoughts and slightly leaned against Derek’s shoulder.
“Does it bother you?” he lowly asked, more into his cup than towards Derek, and Derek thoughtfully hummed.
“Why did you say it?” he asked, and Stiles could hear the unspoken part of that sentence. ‘I wasn’t your alpha, I wasn’t alpha for long, I wasn’t a good alpha.’
“Whenever I think of Scott as my alpha, I get nervous, worried. With him I always wonder when he will fuck up next, when he will not answer my calls, not show up for me. He is always more worried about how to not hurt anyone than protecting his pack and it makes me restless. When I think of him as my alpha, it stresses me out,” Stiles explained, and Derek nodded in understanding.
“But when I think about you as my alpha, I feel safe, protected. I know you’re always there, you’re ready to do what has to be done and you would never turn your back on me,” Stiles lowly explained, and Derek sucked in a surprised breath.
“I know you weren’t my alpha, and you didn’t have that title for long, but with Scott I only think about the danger I’m being put in, and what mess I have to clean up next. It’s different with you. I know that when I call you, you’ll pick up, and you’ll come for me.”
“I will always come for you,” Derek mumbled, and Stiles pressed more firmly into his side.
“I know that. And then the scent-marking,” Stiles said and hurried on when Derek tensed next to him. “You make me feel like I’m pack, like I belong.”
“You do,” Derek immediately said, and Stiles smiled into his coffee at that.
“I’m not so sure with Scott,” Stiles said with a shrug. “And thinking of you as my alpha makes me feel safe, makes me happy. And I’m not sure I can stop.”
“I’m not sure I want you to,” Derek replied and shifted around, so he could put his arm around Stiles’ shoulder and pull him into his side. “I’ve never felt much like an alpha, I was never meant to be one, but you make me want to try. I think for you, I could be a good alpha.”
“I know you would be,” Stiles said with conviction, because Derek had certainly grown into himself.
He would protect those he called pack, Stiles had no doubt about that.
After that morning, Stiles never really stopped calling Derek alpha. Part of it was because saying it made Stiles feel safe, settled into the knowledge that he belonged to someone who cared about him, and partly he did it because he hoped that if he just kept believing, it would come true.
Deaton loved to say that his spark worked on belief after all, and Stiles thought it couldn’t hurt to try.
“What’s up, oh alpha mine?” Stiles answered the phone when Derek called him and ignored the eye-roll his father sent his way.
“Did you see Scott’s new schedule?” Derek asked without greeting and he sounded tense and unhappy.
“For patrolling? Not yet,” Stiles said and wondered if Scott had simply forgot to send it to him, or if Stiles really hadn’t heard the phone.
“His plan is to let you patrol on your own,” Derek told him and while it hurt, Stiles couldn’t say that he was surprised.
Scott never did seem to remember that he was still only human.
“I asked Kira to switch her place with you, so you’re patrolling with me now,” Derek said. “I just wanted to tell you before you could freak out over the plan.”
“Thank you, alpha” Stiles breathed out and he hated how choked up he sounded.
But Derek had known that he would panic over going out alone but wouldn’t ask Scott for a change of plan. Stiles tended to just accept things when it came to Scott and he didn’t have words for how good it felt that Derek didn’t do the same.
“No problem,” Derek softly replied. “When you look at the plan, just remember that you’re taking Kira’s place.”
“Will do,” Stiles gave back, and Derek hung up on him before Stiles could thank him again.
“What did Scott want?” his dad suddenly asked him, small frown on his face and Stiles looked up from his phone.
“That was Derek.”
“You called him alpha,” his dad said, seemingly taken aback by that.
“Because he is,” Stiles said with every ounce of belief he could muster. “He is my alpha.”
“Thank god,” his dad whispered, and Stiles stared at him.
“I didn’t want to say anything, because I thought maybe I had the idea of pack down all wrong, but Scott doesn’t seem much of an alpha, especially not to you.”
“If only he could see it, too,” Stiles bitterly muttered.
“Is Derek treating you right, son? I know you’re spending the nights I’m not here at his place.”
“He’s a good alpha,” Stiles said and felt himself flush when his dad simply raised an eyebrow at him. “It’s not like that, dad,” Stiles said. “He is only my alpha.”
“Sure. When that changes, he’s coming over for dinner,” his dad said and pulled Stiles into a hug, effectively silencing Stiles’ protests.
Not that Stiles wanted to protest much.
Stiles kept close to Derek during the next pack meeting. He wasn’t sure if he was imagining it, but it felt a lot like he was intruding on a strange pack and he was restless. Staying close to Derek settled his nerves, because his alpha was there, and he was relaxed. So clearly there was no reason for Stiles to worry.
Allison and Isaac had cooked dinner this evening, and everyone was descending on the food like the literal animals they were. Stiles had learned long ago that he was better off waiting for the pack to be done, before he went in to get his food.
He had gotten more than one bruise trying to get to the food before and he had definitely learned his lesson. Stiles was a little bit miffed, though, that Derek had gone into the kitchen without a look back.
He could at least have waited for Stiles. He thought pack was supposed to be eat together.
Stiles startled badly when a plate with food was suddenly plopped down in Stiles’ lap. Stiles reached out for the plate on instinct, preventing it to fall down, before he looked up only to see Derek smile at him.
“There you go,” Derek said, and finally let go of the plate, after he was sure that Stiles had a good grip on it.
“Thank you, alpha,” Stiles earnestly said, and cursed himself when he flushed at Derek’s gesture.
“What the hell,” Scott suddenly said from behind Stiles and leaned over the back of the couch, so that their faces were on one level.
“Why are you calling him alpha?” Scott wanted to know, and Stiles looked up in time to see Derek cringe at Scott’s demanding and hurt tone.
“Because he is,” Stiles said, head held high and definitely not backing down on this.
“He’s a beta,” Scott said accusingly, and flashed his own eyes at Derek, forcing him to respond. “His eyes are still blue.”
“That doesn’t change that he’s my alpha,” Stiles snapped at him and threw a reassuring smile at Derek. “And he’s providing for me.”
Stiles absolutely delighted in the way Derek’s cheeks turned slightly red at that.
“I’m providing for you, too,” Scott complained, and Stiles couldn’t help but snort at that.
“Yeah, you’re providing for me to get hurt,” Stiles muttered, and Derek immediately smoothed his hand over Stiles’ hair and cupped his neck, effectively calming Stiles down.
“I’m your alpha,” Scott said, more whine than actual statement, and Stiles couldn’t help but roll his eyes.
“I’m sorry, but you’re really not,” Stiles apologetically told him, and watched Derek walk back into the kitchen, presumably to get himself some food, now that his pack was cared for.
It wasn’t hard to ignore Scott, because keeping a fond eye out for his alpha was much more important to Stiles right now.
When Stiles woke up it took him a second to get order into his thoughts. He felt drugged, which was more than likely true, and his head hurt like hell. He groaned, and immediately cursed himself when it attracted whoever had kidnapped him.
“Are you finally awake, little spark?” the guy asked, and Stiles rolled his eyes, even though the move hurt him more than he would have expected.
“My alpha will kick your ass, you little fucker,” he hissed at him and the guy laughed.
“What, the baby alpha? I don’t think so,” he mockingly said, and then laughed some more. “McCall is a weak and pathetic alpha and he will never find you.”
“I’d have to agree with you,” Stiles muttered, shaking his head in an attempt to clear it some more. “Which is why it’s not Scott who will fuck you up.”
“There is no other alpha in this pack, little spark. I would have noticed.”
“There is my alpha,” Stiles told him, voice hard and praying with everything he had that Derek was on his way to him.
He really shouldn’t have worried, because the skinny evil guy was still laughing at Stiles when the door to the basement suddenly flew open, leaving a dent in the wall.
“What the hell,” the guy yelled as he whirled around to face the new threat and Stiles could do nothing but smile.
His alpha had come for him.
Derek stalked into the room, clearly worried and so, so angry, but as soon as his eyes fell on Stiles, he relaxed slightly.
“Stiles,” he breathed out, obviously relieved to find him in one piece.
“Alpha,” Stiles said in recognition and suddenly Derek’s eyes flared red.
Going by the startled look on his face, it took Derek by surprise as well, but Stiles had hoped for this, had just waited for this if he was honest, and when he felt the pack bond between them snap into place, Stiles felt like he was coming come.
“Alpha,” he said again, tilting his head in submission at Derek and Derek allowed the shift to come over him, roaring until the walls shook and he was grabbing the guy who had kidnapped Stiles by the neck, lifting him clean off the ground.
“You took what’s mine,” Derek growled, and Stiles couldn’t say he felt too bad when he heard his neck snap.
He hadn’t been the first one to kidnap Stiles because he was a spark, and they all had more and more violent plans of ripping the spark clear out of Stiles. This was the first time Stiles escaped without so much as a scrap.
Derek dropped the body to the floor, not even wasting a second to stalk over to Stiles, ripping off his bindings without hurting Stiles.
“You’re mine,” Derek panted, struggling with the alpha power running through his veins, trying to reign in the stronger than normal instincts.
“I am,” Stiles immediately said, tilting his head back and allowing Derek to hide his face there, taking deep, gulping breaths, taking in Stiles’ scent.
“I am right here, alpha,” Stiles soothingly said and carded his hands through Derek’s hair, keeping him close and relishing in Derek’s display of possessiveness.
Stiles knew he would never have to fear anything as long as Derek considered him pack, as long as Derek was his alpha.