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When sparks fly

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When Stiles makes it past the first interview for the Gathering of Mages the last thing he’s thinking of are the repercussions of packing up all his shit and moving across the country. In all fairness, he’s completely blind-sighted by landing his dream job that any potential consequences of said dream job become such a non-issue that they may as well be white noise.

It’s only after he’s signed the contract submitting two years of loyal service to his fellow magic bros, which consists of druids, witches, wizards, alchemists and one pretty kickass shaman, does he actually realise that oh yeah, he needs to pack up his shit and move across the goddamn country.

Don’t get him wrong. That’s not a problem. He’s a flexible dude and they haven’t had a spark at the Gathering of Mages for a few centuries, so he knows it’s an incredible honour and testament to his skills. The least he can do is use up some flyer miles to transport his sparky ass to their head office in order to continue using said skills, especially with the promise of a pretty decent paycheck.

The real issue is that the head office is in New York.

Which hey, what’s the deal with New York right? It’s the city that never sleeps. Surely it’s Valhalla for a dude made up of 50 per cent magic, twenty per cent ADHD and thirty per cent additional boundless energy that cannot be defined or rationally explained. He and New York are a dysfunctional match made in heaven.

That would usually be the case. Except for the fact that while New York may be the city that never sleeps, it’s also known on an underground level as a city of weirdos. But not your regular run of the mill eccentric- I was once a billionaire but now I wear pants backwards and strike up random uncomfortable conversations with strangers- kind of weird. Oh, no.

Supernatural weird. Like New York is literally overrun with supernatural beings. All of which are either friendly, or not so friendly. Fun fact: the not so friendly are normally the ones that eat you.

And then there’s some that don't belong to either classification and fall to a rare breed of supernatural that is improbably promiscuous and kind of arousing. Those are the ones he really needs to watch out for.

And okay, he’s a spark. He knows how to handle any kind of assbackwards monster that discovers a taste for devouring his genitals- he wouldn’t have gotten the job otherwise. But there’s this self-sabotaging voice in the back of his head that just sighs forlornly at the idea and wonders if it’s worth all the heat. Because unlike the rest of his future colleagues, sparks tend to emit magical signatures like pheromones drawing every other supernatural beast to them.

One zap of magical juice is as simple as ringing a dinner bell. Which could attest for the lack of sparks available nowadays.

Natural selection at its finest.

He’s no spring flower, though. The last thing on his mind is personal safety. He’s just slightly concerned about the muggles he might be putting in danger through close proximity. Say like from a unit in a shared apartment block.

So he ventures onto craigslist and finds a couple places where risk to humans won’t be that high, flies out to New York for the weekend and goes apartment hunting.

The first one is a bust. It belongs to a goatman and while Stiles doesn’t discriminate, he isn’t at that level of desperation yet. So it’s pretty easy to pass up. The next one is a small unit with two shapeshifters. And while they’re friendly enough, he knows for a fact when food gets scarce they’ve been known to eat whoever is closely available. Namely, virile young sparks with their whole lives ahead of them. Before he leaves, he wards himself so they can’t mimic his form. Just in case.

By the fifth one, he’s starting to lose all hope of living as cheaply in New York as possible. But then he gets a good look at the place and quickly changes tune.

It’s in Brooklyn and it’s one of those really old four level brownstone apartments built around the 1800’s. They’ve restored it so it’s in pretty good nick, but before he even reaches the steps his fingers start buzzing.

So it’s also a pretty decent magical site, too. He’s already humming to himself, pleased at the good energy rolling over him in waves. Sparks can’t be too picky when it comes to good vibes and he’s pretty much sold as he climbs the short set of steps to the front door.

The woman he spoke to on the phone explained he needed to be approved first before the unit is his, but he’s more than willing to put some supernatural charm into the interview to get it. He totally wants to live in a mystical brownstone. Things are even more interesting when he feels the welcoming pulse of magic and the door opens before he can knock.

The foyer is empty, which he’d already sensed, but he steps inside anyway, mouth open in awe as he looks upward past the winding staircase.

“Who the hell are you?” a woman bristles, heels clicking on the marble as she stalks toward him.

He feels a pulse of familiar energy, recognising her as the one he spoke to earlier with the slightly raspy voice.

“Lydia, right?” he remembers with a grin, exposing his hand to shake. “Stiles Stilinski. We spoke on the phone.”

Lydia narrows her eyes at his extended hand and when he doesn’t drop it, permits her fingers to slip into his own. He doesn’t need the steady thrum to tell him that she’s a banshee. He’d known just by listening to her talk. She looks positively terrifying, but he can’t seem to stop smiling at her anyway. Sparks have no concept of survival, especially under the aegis of the powerful magic they're capable of wielding.

She releases him with a raised eyebrow that forewarns imminent danger. “How did you get in here?”

He shrugs. “Oh, that. Your house let me in.”

The house creaks in amusement at her displeased scowl. “Warlock?” she guesses, looking like she’s trusting him less and less with each passing minute. Stiles can’t help it if old magic likes him.

“Spark,” he says, and the tension leaves her shoulders a little.

“Let me show you the unit we have available,” she decides once he’s considered less of a threat.

It’s a little insulting that in comparison to warlocks the supernatural community basically sees sparks as pushovers and probable monster fodder, but if that’s gonna get him the unit then for once, he’s not going to bother to correct her. With a parting glance, Lydia leads them up the flight of stairs to the very top floor.

“So what do you do?” he asks to keep the conversation rolling and at least appear like a potentially sociable neighbour. Lydia mentioned that she leases a unit on the second level over the phone.

She twists to look at him with a careful flick of her curls and heavy disdain. “I scream,” she says like he’s a simpleton.

Stiles snorts, but flushes at her expression of impending doom. “No. I know but, like, um- professionally?”

“I’m a lawyer at Paranormal Associates,” she says in a tone that swiftly crushes the conversation with a fatal blow.

He figures silence is safer anyway, what with his proclivity towards foot-in-mouth disease, and by the time they reach the unit 4B, he’s only slightly out of breath. Lydia goes to open the door, but it unlocks and swings wide before she reaches it. He has to press his lips tight to hide the smirk at the liking the building's clearly taken to him. He has nothing against such blatant favouritism, nothing at all.

Lydia curses in annoyance, but he can’t help but notice her eyes flicker anxiously towards the door at the end of the hallway, labelled 4D. It’s polite not to use his magic to sense into other people’s apartments, but curiosity gets the better of him after her display. It’s just a cursory sweep, like a soft and tentative caress but the unit is empty of any life. Supernatural or human. Not empty enough that he can’t feel the leftover potent energy lingering behind the door. Something prominent in the supernatural hierarchy lives there.

Powerful.

He follows Lydia into his unit because yeah, he’s feeling that confident about this already. The apartment has a decent kitchen and bedroom with a pretty sweet cityscape view and an en suite. There’s no negative remnants left behind from the past tenant. At least, not in the living room. He’s picking up on something not quite right emanating from the bedroom, but.

That can be fixed, though. It is more awesome than anything he could’ve dreamt up. He’s just waiting on Lydia for the catch.

“Not going to lie, this is kinda perfect for me. The rent's decent and it’s got a great location and space. I’d be more than happy to sign a lease if you find me acceptable.”

Lydia ushers him back out into the hallway again. Then tries to lock the unit up but the key won’t turn because it seems like the building isn’t allowing her to do so. She seems to reach the same conclusion and gives up her efforts with a sigh. Stiles grins. Lydia shoots him a dirty look as if he’s to blame. “You don’t want to ask who your residents are?”

He shrugs and spins in a quick circle, arms outstretched in a wide arch. “Don’t need to. You’ve got an entire werewolf pack. A druid emissary in 1A, a hunter and banshee in 2A, a beta in 2B, beta twins in 2C, a mercenary in 3A, a werecoyote in 3B, two betas in 3C, a kanima and human in 3D, a beta and a pregnant kitsune in 4A, another beta in 4C and then you’ve got the Alpha in 4D. The rest are human.”

Lydia blinks. “You got all of that from spinning in a circle?” she presses, with notable fascination in her tone. “Your fingers are shooting sparks, by the way.”

Stiles laughs and shakes his hands out. The blue sparks sputter out and die. They normally do that when he’s nervous or giddy. "I got all of that from your phone call,” he clarifies a little smugly.

Lydia’s eyes widen slightly before she folds her arms and resumes looking eternally unimpressed. “Look, I’ll be honest. The last tenant didn’t work out and I’m not really meant to be leasing out the place without the Alpha’s approval first. He’s the one who owns the building.”

“I would never cause harm to your pack,” he says gently. “I just want to live somewhere that won’t put any humans at risk when the supernatural comes knocking.”

Lydia frowns. “You’re a magnet right? What makes you think we’re going to let you put us in danger?”

“For one, we’re much more resistant than humans and secondly-“ he gestures at 4D, sensing the pressure building behind the door just as it swings open and a wad of paperwork slides across the floor towards them.

It hits the edge of Lydia’s pumps. He tilts his head to read it before quickly realising it’s the tenancy agreement: all with the quick loopy handwriting of the building owner already signed below. Huh. Problem solved.

“Alright, I get it,” Lydia barks, bending down to scoop it up.

Even with the visible proof of the contract in her hands, he would never have guessed a sentient house could be so accommodating. Stiles manages to squint through the signature.

“Who’s Derek Hale?” he asks curiously.

She dumps the paperwork into his outstretched hands. It’s heavier than he’d imagined. Supernatural paperwork normally is. Higher risk of death means a lot more words to cover their asses. He has no doubt Lydia herself came up with this one.

“Once you sign this, you’re unofficially under the authority of Derek Hale,” she says. “If you can’t be a part of this pack then this place isn’t for you.”

The idea doesn’t actually bother him. Pack also means protection, but Stiles has got plenty to offer them as well. He's never been just a take kinda guy- he's all about the give. And he’s got nothing against mutual benefits for both parties.

Plus, he’s never been a part of a pack before. Or any kind of group really. Belonging somewhere might be good for him.

Being a spark can be pretty lonely. So he just shrugs.

“I don’t have a-“ he barely gets out before a door is opening downstairs, pen flying violently upwards before it whacks him up the side of the head.

“Um, thanks,” he says, rubbing his skull a little bemusedly as he signs the lease. The house lets out a shuddering sigh and several windows open as if it’s exhaling a breath of satisfaction.

Lydia seems both suspicious and impressed by the agreeable response. “Did you bribe the building or something?” she wonders.

Stiles shrugs, and waggles his fingers teasingly. “Just my natural charisma.”

The fact that both her and the building seem to snort is not entirely flattering.








Stiles returns a week later with a suitcase full of as much clothes as he’s allowed to carry through airport security. He even charms the suitcase so it can carry more without surpassing the limit. The rest of his stuff is being shipped in later on.

Lydia didn’t bother giving him a key and when the main doors open for him without question, he figures he doesn’t exactly need it. With the unfair amount of stairs to climb ahead of him, he reasons using a little bit of magic won’t give off too much energy. Better than dragging luggage up four floors.

So instead of suffering, he levitates the suitcase so that it hovers above him while he walks. His blood sings with the first trickle of magic he’s used since entering New York, and the house seems to hum with delight.

“Yeah, yeah don’t get used to it,” he grumbles to the building and starts climbing.

He makes it up to the fourth floor without seeing anybody, though he can sense his neighbours moving around in their units. Oddly enough, his door doesn’t open for him when he reaches it, so he’s left there puzzling out 4B and wondering what the building is trying to show him. The house better not be waiting for a secret magical password.

“What’s gives, dude?”

It becomes pretty clear what it wants when the door to 4D swings ajar.

Stiles’ mouth falls open.

The alpha energy ripples over him in a deluge, making his blood pulsate as the mountain of muscle bears down on him in the hallway. The potent lifeblood of an alpha werewolf is overwhelming now that he’s finally come across one. Betas and omegas have never been so distinct, or as rich in virility, as the guy right in front of him. He can’t help that his magic flares up in response.

Especially when this alpha is painfully gorgeous. Stiles is so surprised, he forgets the suitcase hovering above him. The spell releases with a twang and it drops heavily out of the air. There’s not enough time for him to catch it with his hands- or his magic- and he flinches, knowing it’s going to hurt, just as the alpha extends his thick, corded arms and plucks the suitcase out of the danger zone like it weighs nothing.

Stiles gapes at him, speechless. The guy’s perfectly stubbled jaw clenches with what can only be annoyance.

“Who are you?” the alpha demands, none too politely, as he dumps Stiles’ suitcase on the ground.

He doesn’t mind the unwelcoming attitude so much because he gets a pretty good view of the alpha’s ass as he bends over. When he straightens up and folds his muscular arms together, Stiles thinks he might actually burst out of the Henley he’s sporting. The expectant look on his face reminds him that yeah, those are words coming out of his mouth. And if he wants to make a good impression, maybe he should start considering answering them.

“What now?” he finally manages to reply, once remembering he can, in fact, speak English. His magic seems to be happily spritzing all over the place as an after effect of the alpha’s power, and it takes him a moment to reclaim control.

“Who are you, warlock?” the alpha presses, like he's not planning to ask again. Not without using some serious violence.

Stiles' temper flares at the pure hatred in his voice. Prejudiced much? “First of all I’m a spark, big guy, so get your classification right. And I’m Stiles Stilinski. I just leased out this apartment.”

The alpha is openly scowling now. “No, you didn’t.”

The building chooses that moment to swing open the door to 4B, as if to prove him wrong. Ha! Looks like grumpywolf can suck it. Stiles cocks his head to the side and offers a smug grin, before walking in to his new home. The luggage follows with a flick of his wrist as the alpha’s sudden curse rings in his ears.

The second footsteps tell him that he’s not far behind. “I didn’t even sign the contract,” he declares, petulantly.

Stiles is hardly going to explain that the building already did that for him, so he just shrugs and sets the suitcase down in the living room. Part of the lease didn’t include furniture, so he’s a little surprised to see there’s a couch already sitting there waiting for him. The room tingles now, with leftover negative pulses of something he can’t put his finger on. But from the way it appears to link to, and linger, around the alpha, Stiles thinks it’s to do with him.

It definitely hadn’t been as powerful last week.

“Someone died here, didn’t they?” Stiles guesses, inhaling deeply.

The alpha tenses, and the palpable awkwardness is interrupted by the bedroom door slowly opening. Interest piqued, Stiles peers through the open doorway at the bed and wonders what the building is trying to tell him. Was the girl murdered in the bedroom? Timmy fell down the well?

“How did you get a bed in here so fast?” the alpha demands, eyes wide with both fury and amazement.

Stiles raises his eyebrow, becoming more confused by the second. “Uh- I didn’t?” he says, framing it like a question.

“Would you quit it, already?” the alpha snaps, and Stiles finger’s crackle with defensive sparks before he realises that he’s yelling at the building.

Who it seems has provided Stiles with furniture. And isn't that pretty generous. Question is, where did it even get it in the first place? Bed, Bath and Beyond? His money is definitely on Beyond.

The building shakes a little in response to the threat, but even Stiles can tell it’s blatantly mocking the alpha and not actually remorseful. A magical house with a penchant for dismissing authority seems like the kind of tinder to start an inferno. Good thing he isn't into the quiet life of the supernatural spectrum. If that's even possible.

“Look, Derek Hale, is it?- can I call you Derek?”

“No.”

“Right so, Derek,” he says, ignoring the alpha’s rudeness. “I’m already here and I’ve paid the first months rent. I can also cleanse this room for you and help protect your pack by warding the building. There’s really no downside to me living here.”

Derek’s scowl deepens. “I don’t trust you,” he says. “You need to leave.”

And then he stomps forward to grab Stiles’ wrist like he's going to sling him across his shoulder in a fireman's carry and physically toss him out. His hand barely moves toward him when there’s a strange popping in the air and Derek gets pushed back by an invisible force. His boots screech gratingly against the woodwork, before he’s suddenly standing in the hall looking murderous as the door slams shut, locking in his face.

Stiles flushes with the heat of the encounter but years around his grandma taught him some manners.

“Nice meeting you!” he calls out through the door, already patting the building’s wall affectionately.

Good house, he mouths because otherwise Derek will hear him.

He sets to quickly unpacking all of his clothes because he starts work on Monday and he can’t exactly arrive naked. It’s only when he hears Derek’s door slam a little while later that he decides it's safe to venture out. He walks through Brooklyn, enjoying the nightlife as he finds his way to the closest market place.

It’s pretty sweet and he only gets followed by two curious werebeasts, who are more interested in the way he smells rather than what his insides tastes like. So that's a sizeably welcomed change, to say the least.

Once he’s in the market, he permits his senses to guide him to the place he needs to go.

As always, it doesn't disappoint. He ends up in some old man’s basement who sells him the ingredients he needs, at a pretty good price for a goblin. Stiles buys his own dinner because he’s in no mood to cook and there’s nothing in his fridge yet. He makes his way back to the apartment, chewing on the remains of his burrito and feeling pretty great about life in general.

His mood makes warding the house a cake walk. Especially when it’s so cooperative. Once he’s created the protective poultice, he places it into the mailbox and listens to it disappear into the building like it’s been sucked up a chute. It will allow the house more power when it comes to sensing, and barring, unwanted or malevolent guests.

It'll definitely keep out the supernatural riff raff, no problem.

The window panes rattle in gratitude and Stiles bumps his fist against the front doorknob when he sweeps past. They are totally bros. This house has got his back, he can tell.

Lydia is standing in the doorway of unit 2A, as he climbs the staircase. A pretty brunette peers behind her back, resting her chin on Lydia’s shoulder whilst wrapping an arm around her waist. “How did it go with Derek?” she wonders.

“About as well as it could’ve. He tried to kick me out but then the house swept him out of the room.”

Her girlfriend’s eyes widen. “The house kicked him out? Seriously?”

He nods, and figures the favouritism is not normal enchanted brownstone behaviour. Especially when he’s only been inside the building twice. And Derek literally owns the damn thing. Maybe magical brownstones are biased when it comes to other magic?

“What were you doing to the building just now?” Lydia asks curiously, with her fingers wrapped around a wineglass.

Stiles grins at her. “I just gave it an energy boost, is all.”

He extends his hand out to the pretty brunette. “Hey, you must be Lydia’s hunter. I’m Stiles.”

The girl’s lips curve into a soft smile. “I’m Allison. You’ve really stirred up the place. I’ve never seen the building take such a liking to anyone, except Derek.”

Stiles shrugs modestly. “I’m extremely loveable,” he explains, before handing over a jar of his own tea he usually carries on his person. Allison takes it with a curious look. “If you brew this it will help with your nightmares.”

Allison’s hand tightens around the jar, smile vanishing as Lydia hisses and moves to push her girlfriend back into the apartment.

“Hey, hey. I don’t mean any harm,” he promises, seeing their mistrust. “Sparks are just a little sensitive to stuff like that. Consider it a neighbourly gift.”

“Um- well thanks, Stiles,” Allison manages, and gingerly opens it up to take a sniff. “Passion flower and lavender?”

Stiles nods, impressed as Lydia leans in to inhale suspiciously. “You know your stuff.”

“Hunter,” she says with a shrug.

“Still impressed,” he retorts, then shifts his bags full of herbs from one hand to the other before he continues up the staircase with a friendly wave.

“Hey, Stiles,” Lydia calls, and he pauses on the next step. “Have dinner with us tomorrow night.”

It’s not an invitation. But Stiles is pretty good at taking direction when he feels like it. “Sure. I’ll stop by after I finish work.”

When he makes it to the fourth floor, he’s really beginning to soak into the easy energy encasing every inch of the place. And he knows he made the right decision. From what he's sensed, there won’t be a person in the building he’ll be at odds with. It's near impossible to butt heads in such a happy place. Except, maybe with Derek. But he’s gonna work on that.

There's something niggling at the edge of his senses, though. A sort of almost that nearly happened. Like an in-between. And he thinks it has something to do with his bedroom in 4B and the girl who died there.

The building doesn’t swing the door open straight away for him again so he waits there patiently for a moment, wondering what it’s up to.

“Hey, c’mon now,” he admonishes when no answer is forthcoming. “I thought we were house bros.”

Nothing happens. Some house bros. The building hums a little and then the door opens.

In 4D.

Just as Derek is stalking past the open space with nothing but a towel wrapped around his waist. He can actually see every individual water droplet coating his glistening chest.

Stiles’ jaw drops. Will he be able to sense it if Stiles pops an awkward boner down the hall? How far away does he need, in order to be in that safe zone? Not far enough. He lets out a soft sound, and Derek’s head snaps up like he’s sensing blood in the water. They kind of just stare at one another for a moment, before Stiles’ panics at being caught and tries to push his door open with much more force than required.

So, of course, it doesn’t budge.

When he looks up, Derek is furious, his ears a little red, and Stiles really wishes that his door would stop being so cruel. Derek stalks towards his own door, powerful muscle rippling with the movement and his mouth goes dry. It's unfair. Derek is hot like burning. His magic is tingling at all the alpha spirit flooding the hallway.

“Would you stop that already?” Derek snaps at the open space and if the building could reply, it would definitely be full of snarky comments.

Then he tries to tug his door closed. The way his muscles bunch show he means business but the door won’t move an inch. Magic against might. Stiles thinks he might rip it off its hinges before anything else happens.

He can’t help it, really. Watching an alpha struggle with something strength-wise is almost as impossible as a unicorn doing the frick frack with a Bonobo monkey. The laughter is out of his mouth before he realises how dangerous that is, and can swallow it. No wonder sparks don't last long. It's because they're idiots.

“Something funny there, mage?” Derek asks, dropping the door in favour of stalking towards him.

The building finally senses the danger and opens up to let him in. But his self-preservation instincts aren’t as great as the supposably inanimate entity. “For the second time I’m a spark, dude,” he says, rolling his eyes. “And yeah, not gonna lie, it’s pretty funny to watch a house make an alpha its bitch.”

Derek stops right in front of him, nostrils flaring with anger as he growls. “Oh yeah? And you can do better?”

It’s purely an ego thing that has him moving towards 4D to show Derek how it’s done. And maybe because his alpha spirit is riling up his own. It's nearly an outright magical pissing contest between their energies as they clash and try to assert dominance. There's a pointed kind of dance to it, that Stiles has never had the pleasure of feeling before but has to admit that he likes. And his magic certainly isn't flinching away from the chance either.

He waits until Derek is back inside, so he can have the satisfaction of shutting the door in his face.

Derek folds his arms over his naked chest and waits expectantly for Stiles to literally work his magic. With a grumble at the doubtful expression on his face, Stiles steps across the threshold and grips the edge of the door.

Whatever magic holding it there releases, and Stiles gets to enjoy Derek’s huff of surprise before the door is yanked out of his grip and slams shut. Then clicks. Locking him inside Derek’s apartment. With a practically naked, Derek.

Jesus.

He lets out a soft groan as Derek sighs and stalks out of the living room. “Get comfortable. You might be waiting a while.”

Then he closes his bedroom door, presumably to get dressed, and leaves Stiles alone to bask in his failure. He gives the door another tug, even croons softly with some choice persuasive words, but the building won’t budge.

Well, fine. He has work to do anyway. With a sigh, Stiles rouses himself and makes it to the kitchen to start searching for a pot.

He’s just got the water boiling and the first of his ingredients chopped and ready when Derek enters the room. Fully dressed, unfortunately.

“I didn’t mean that comfortable,” he says, startled. “What the hell are you doing?”

“I need a drop of your blood,” Stiles says in lieu of a greeting, not looking up from the pot as he tosses the first herbs into it.

“Why would I give you that?”

Stiles tries to keep the impatience out of his voice. This potion is pretty delicate. If he boils it too long, he’ll have to start all over. “Because in order to cleanse the bedroom where that girl died, I need a connection to what caused the negative energy. And the remnants are directly linked to your lifeblood, so to reinstate balance, I need a drop.”

Dereks eyes are narrowed, but he doesn’t argue in as much as suddenly sprout claws and prick his finger. Blood wells at the tip before he heals.

“Now?” he asks, already pushing his hand towards the potion.

Stiles waves him back with a gentle, but forceful, billow of air that is always subtle enough to go unnoticed but Derek pauses in astonishment, sniffing at something.

“Hold on a sec,” he commands, adding the last ingredient. “Okay, now.”

Hesitating, only briefly, Derek holds his finger over the pot and allows a drop to fall. The water immediately turns from violet to gold and Stiles takes it off the stove and pours it into a container, pleased with his handiwork. Derek looks curious despite himself and inhales deeply.

“What does it smell like?” Stiles asks, fascinated to know what kind of things a sensitive alpha nose might pick up.

“The woods,” Derek says, eyes fluttering shut with a soft hum of pleasure that tightens something in Stiles' gut. “A meadow. Sunlight.”

He pulls back gruffly, and tries to look apathetic, but Stiles can almost taste his interest. A smile pulls at his mouth.

“Were you using magic before, little warlock?” Derek asks, and Stiles blinks at him, amazed that he’d picked up on it.

He’d used barely any elemental magic to push Derek’s hand away from the potion. Normally, small stuff like that flies under the radar.

“The air crackles when you do,” he explains. “It tastes like lightning.”

“Huh, didn’t actually know it tasted like anything. Good for future reference.”

The building chooses that moment to open Derek’s door. Stiles cheers at the first sign of freedom and scoops up his potion and remaining herbs, making a beeline for the exit before the window of opportunity closes again. He doesn’t realise that Derek is following him until his unit’s negative energy hums louder at his presence. Definitely the link for the bad vibes.

Stiles ignores it all when he enters the bedroom, scooping his fingers through the golden water and already concentrating on good feelings of peace and relaxation. The water turns into a soft powder at his touch, which he then tosses into each corner already noting the lightness stealing into the room as it evaporates.

Once he’s done, he takes a deep breath and feels the building exhale with a grateful creak of floorboards.

“You did it,” Derek says, sounding faintly surprised which is a pretty offensive testament to his belief in Stiles’ skills.

“What did you do- kill the girl?” Stiles retorts, jokingly.

“Yes.”

He blanches at the bold declaration. Derek seems unfazed by his expression, so he's either psychopathic or feels justified in his actions. The brief flicker of guilt that rolls across Stiles' tongue, speaks a different story, though. He can also sense Derek's true goodness buried beneath his insurmountable strength and male posturing.

There's no real malignancy in him to be truly wary of, Stiles is certain.

“Was she a part of your pack?”

Derek grimaces. “She might have been, if her true nature hadn’t been revealed.”

So Derek nearly gave her the bite then. Dodged a bullet there if she was a bad seed, which seems true when considering the vibes that remained after her death. A sly maliciousness.

“And what was that?” Stiles wonders, starting to think Derek’s mistrust might not be as personal as he guessed. “A witch? A succubus?”

Derek turns away, shoulders tensed. “A monster.”

Very non-specific. How illuminating. Could that be who Allison is having nightmares about? Derek’s gone before he can ask, though. And the werewolf plot thickens.

He showers quickly after that and climbs into bed. The house even made it for him, sheets and all. He’s idly thinking about the interesting night, arguing with Derek in that loose fitting little towel before he realises that he’s hard. Achingly so.

He glances around the room, feeling for the magical presence that’ll tell him if the house might be watching. Little awkward to jerk it when a building can get all up in his business and start opening doors on him. As if in answer, the house helpfully opens up his window and shuts his bedroom door so the smell of jizz won’t be too obvious. Yeah, like that's somehow encouraging.

It’s a herculean effort not to touch his dick after that, but he still doesn’t trust it’s not playing a game with him.

He lets himself go soft and vows to rub one out in the shower tomorrow.

 

 





Stiles is ten minutes late to his first day of work. To be fair, he stopped to help the pregnant kitsune carry her groceries up to her unit on the fourth floor. She’s in 4A, introduced herself politely as Kira, and with so much to carry he couldn’t in good conscience just leave her to do it alone.

Kira turns out to be incredibly sweet and friendly. They’d worked up a great conversation too, travelling up the flights of steps and he’d promised to join her and her husband Scott for dinner on Tuesday, as a result.

But yeah, ten minutes late.

It’s fine. The Gathering of Mages aren’t exactly strict, but he thinks first impressions are important so he apologises profusely and offers some bullshit excuse about getting lost before being led to his cubicle.

A lot of his job involves dealing with spells gone wrong, consultations and advice. And as his magic involves the instinctive and hard to explain sort of stuff, most of those cases get directed towards him. The office is heavily warded too, so he can use as much magic as he wants without worrying about drawing in any dangerous and hungry, supernatural creatures.

The day is pretty long, but progresses fast because he’s so busy. By the end of it he’s feeling pretty satisfied with himself. He even fist bumps the shaman on his way out- they'd bonded over how unhelpful souls are in the spirit world during their lunch break. Spirits are basically that random stranger you ask for directions when you're lost, who knows you're lost and still sends you in the wrong direction anyway.

So yeah, definitely unhelpful.

Stiles feels for the man’s job, he really does.

The head office isn’t a far walk from his brownstone, so by the time he gets home, darkness has only just drowned out the sun. He makes his way up to his unit, taps the door fondly when the building lets him in without any tricks and freshens up a bit. He sprays some deodorant, puts on a clean shirt and switches his smart shoes for something more comfortable.

By then, he notices that more furniture has shown up, along with the rest of his possessions. Because all the delivered boxes are empty.

Frowning, he wanders from the room and inspects everything to see if anything’s missing, using a little magic to speed the process. Everything’s pretty much accounted for despite the building taking some liberties in arranging his belongings. It’s a super strange thing to get used to.

Except his lube and toys are gone.

Flushing with embarrassment at the idea that the building might just fling them at him at some inopportune time like the pen incident, or worse that someone else went through his stuff, Stiles stomps over to Derek’s apartment to demand an explanation. The door innocently swings open just as Derek walks past shirtless, sweat coating his skin from some kind of vigorous workout.

He pauses once he senses the open doorway and spins to stare at him.

“Did you touch my shit?” Stiles demands, trying to keep his voice level and his eyes focused on Derek's face.

“Your fingertips are shooting sparks, wizard.”

He rolls his eyes but shakes his hands out so that they sputter and die. “Spark here, remember? Yeah, my stuff was unpacked and some of it’s missing.”

Derek shrugs in an unconcerned kind of way. “The house does that sometimes. It keeps things. Just ask for it back. House,” he calls. “Give back-“

“No,” Stiles hisses with such intensity that the lights flicker.

Derek’s eyes widen before his mouth curls into a pleased smirk. He looks like he's relishing the moment right now.

“What did it take?” he purrs, leaning in close so that Stiles is nearly pressed against his naked chest. “Your porn?”

And Jesus, he smells good too. How unfair is that?

“Derek,” a woman calls, entering the living room and looking just as gorgeously sweaty as he does. And oh, clearly the house should know when to lock its doors. The last thing he wanted to do is interrupt anything. “Are you preying on your cute neighbour? I thought you were supposed to have better manners, you savage.”

Okay, Stiles definitely resents that. He's a pretty powerful dude alright. In an alternate universe, he might even be considered a sexual rival to this goddess for the alpha's attention. He is definitely not cute.

When Derek doesn't back away, it only makes matters even more uncomfortable, the air around them charged with a reactive energy. It's almost electric. His magic really needs to get a hold of itself around alpha essence because right now, prolonged exposure only seems to amp it up.

“Not now, Cora.”

Stiles’ stomach clenches, and he’s suddenly not just flushed and embarrassed. He’s also angry.

“Never mind. You’re clearly busy.”

This time when the door slams in Derek’s face, it’s all Stiles. The building's floorboards rumble a little beneath his feet in disapproval which he easily ignores. Still fuming, Stiles marches down to Lydia and Allison in 2A. For once, he actually has to knock on the door like a civilised person when it doesn’t automatically open.

So the building does understand privacy after all. Good to know. Allison answers and ushers him inside with a warm gesture. “Hey, Stiles. How was your first day?”

“Pretty eventful. I had to teach a guy how to unseal his butt.”

“Why the hell would he even use that spell to begin with?” Lydia demands from the kitchen, as Allison offers him a glass of red wine.

He accepts it gratefully and takes a seat opposite the kitchen island. “Idle curiosity gone wrong, I think.”

Allison smirks and huffs out a laugh.

“Thanks for the tea, by the way,” she whispers, when Lydia turns to start dishing their food out into bowls. It smells amazing. Stiles' mouth starts to water. “It really helped.”

Stiles shrugs. “Happy to.”

Lydia nudges him towards their dining room and that's when he finally notices how large their apartment is. “Did you bribe the house?” he wonders, gaping at all of the open space. His apartment definitely doesn't measure up.

She shrugs and sets the bowls down on the table, sliding one towards him.

“No. It was always this big when we leased it,” Lydia says. “The house does that sometimes, on its own. Most of the time when there’s an empty apartment it just disappears.”

Stiles drops his fork with a clatter. “The room vanishes? Where to?”

Allison shrugs. “Derek’s not really sure, but he guesses there’s another dimension involved.”

“Huh.”

That’s interesting. And a pretty accurate guess for an alpha who tries to act like he wants nothing to do with magic.

“Your apartment hasn’t been seen in about six months,” Lydia says taking a generous sip of her wine. “It showed up on the thirteenth.”

Stiles thinks back to that date, sensing something significant about it. He nearly falls out of his seat. “That’s the day I went searching on craigslist!”

Lydia’s eyes narrow. “It put the advertisement up on it’s own. We had no idea we’d be renting it out to anyone. The house chose the day Derek was unavailable so he couldn’t interfere.”

Stiles' hackles rise at the mention of Derek, temper rippling with magic before he manages to regain control. “What’s he got against magic, anyway?”

Lydia glances anxiously at her girlfriend but Allison’s gaze is unwavering as she straightens her shoulders and looks at him.

“My aunt lived there. She and Derek were sort of a thing except she was controlling and manipulative. She didn’t like all of the attention he was giving Kira because she’d just gotten pregnant- you know all those protective alpha instincts. So she tried to kill the baby.”

A soft gasp falls out of his mouth. What kind of sick person wants to hurt a pregnant woman and her foetus?

“With magic,” Allison continues. “She’s a hunter by trade like me and my dad and she knew physically there was no possible way to get near the baby when Scott and Derek were safeguarding it. So she hired some warlocks to help her.”

And no wonder they don’t trust magic. Jesus.

“What happened?” he asks, knowing for a fact that he’d met Kira that morning and her baby girl is both full of vivacity and good health.

“The house knew,” Lydia explains shortly. “The warlocks weren’t expecting resistance, so they were surprised when it warded Kira’s apartment from them. It locked them all in Kate’s room, which she tried to set on fire before the rest of the pack arrived.”

“Then Derek killed her,” Stiles finishes, musing over how such a terrible thing came so close to happening to disrupt this happy atmosphere. Lydia and Allison seem surprised that he knows that much already.

"Only after she tried to kill everyone in the building," Lydia adds.

His fury at such an injustice bursts forth.

“Your fingers are sparking,” Allison points out with interest, peering closer for a better look.

“The only reason we let you in here is because the house wanted you.”

Stiles frowns and thinks about it for a moment. This house didn’t just want him. It’s clearly gone out of its way to get him here. But why? There’s a sharp snap like an elastic band and Stiles is out of his chair in a flash.

“It’s alright,” Allison assures him. “The house is just not letting someone into the building. You’ll figure out what each noise means, soon enough.”

He wants to argue with her. Maybe this person is dangerous. The building has proven it has great instincts before but he should still go check it out just to be safe. A pressure lands on his shoulders, heavy enough to effectively push him back down into his seat again. Huh.

He stares across the table with wide eyes after it disappears. It seems like the building is trying to tell him it can handle it. Allison laughs but Lydia’s eyes narrow like she’s only just starting to figure something out.

“Wow, it really likes you. It never roughhouses anyone but Derek.”

Stiles isn’t going to lie, he loves it when the building starts messing with Derek. Particularly, because it makes the alpha so angry. But it's definitely weird to be on the receiving end of any magical force that isn't his own.

He settles back into the chicken stir fry Lydia made and picks up his chopsticks to eat without protest.

 







He’s fast asleep when someone starts banging on his door. Stiles rolls over with a tortured groan, entangling himself further in his sheets as he sits up and checks the nightstand.

It’s midnight. The witching hour. No way in hell is he gonna allow someone to attack him now. Not if their magic is at its peak.

He pulls himself free with a grumble and pads over to his door in his boxers, rubbing at his eyes and gathering magic into his hands just in case he needs a quick release of it. They’ve started banging again by then. When he swings it wide, there’s a very angry looking Abercrombie model standing there and a really cute Hawaiian guy who’s bent over in laughter.

“Uh, can I help you?” he ventures, wondering if maybe they’re drunk.

Abercrombie’s nostrils flare and yup, that’s Abercrombie kanima and human boyfriend from 3D.

“What the hell did you do to the building?” Abercrombie snaps. “It wouldn’t let Matt through the front door.”

The Hawaiian guy is wheezing now, with a restraining hand on Abercrombie’s arm but he manages to straighten up and wipe at his eyes which are crinkled with amusement.

“Thanks,” he says. “I’m Danny, that’s Jackson and Matt’s a real creepy asshole so whatever you did, was both appreciated and hilarious.”

Stiles shrugs, only a little unclear of the proceedings. “I’m Stiles, and all I did was increase the building’s warding power.”

“Matt is not that creepy,” Jackson argues, pretty much dismissing Stiles with a snort of disgust.

Danny only rolls his eyes. “He’s a drug dealer. Can’t get creepier than that.”

“If you’re trying to use medication to trigger your transition to werewolf, it’s not going to work,” Stiles says, figuring it’s less recreational and more of a douchebag idiot searching for quick fix to a deeper problem, kind of thing.

Jackson’s eyes widen a little and Danny sobers up pretty quickly, face serious. He certainly has their attention now.

“What do you know about kanimas anyway?” Jackson demands, trying to seem arrogant, but the hopefulness bleeds into his voice too much for it to be anything but.

Stiles sighs.

And that’s how he ends up seeing the inside of 3D, in his boxers, trying to show a jackass kanima how to find his true self and fix his inner turmoil at midnight.

“Okay,” Stiles says, spreading out easily on their couch. “What you need is some way to resolve whatever is in your past that caused the kanima to manifest. Do you have a master yet?”

Jackson and Danny exchange glances. “Kate. I think she tried to become my master the last full moon.”

“Alright,” Stiles agrees, cracking his knuckles together. “Where’s she? With her present it’s going to make it a lot easier to help you release your kanima and transition.”

Danny winces as Jackson’s hands clench into fists.

“She’s dead. But she was also a psychotic bitch, so no real loss there.”

Stiles’ brain catches up. “As in Allison’s aunt? The one who died in my apartment?”

Danny nods. “She tried to get Jackson to kill Kira, not realising that he only kills murderers in the kanima state.”

Damn, this woman really got her claws into everyone. It’s a wonder that they chose to stay in the building after what happened. Jackson looks both swathed with guilt and trying to appear tough and uncaring about it. He could probably do with some nightmare free tea, too.

“Do you have a significant object from your childhood? Or a possession that means more than anything to you?”

Jackson’s jaw is clenching and Stiles wonders if he’s stubborn enough to keep up his tough guy act that he’s actually going to self-sabotage himself. He hesitates a moment before he stomps over to Stiles and slips the gold band off of his wedding finger, dropping it into his outstretched hand.

“Oh, Jackson,” Danny murmurs softly as he interlocks their fingers.

His own matching wedding ring glints brightly and how in the hell can jerks like Jackson even be romantic about his feelings for his husband? Ugh. The tips of Jackson’s ears have gone red but he still manages to appear pissed off about the whole thing.

“Okay, firstly I need you to understand that for this to work, it’s going to take time. There is no easy fix for this, man. You have to work through your unresolved childhood issues alone in order to establish your identity. I’m going to imbue this with positive energy to help you do that and give you a little more clarity while you’re the kanima. But in the end, it’s all you dude.”

He presses the ring between his palms and feels the first trickle of magic stir in his gut like its being jerked out of him as the energy begins to flow. Once he’s done, he hands it back to Jackson who dubiously slips it back onto his finger.

The building almost shimmers as a ripple of heat passes through the air but then Jackson’s expression clears and he’s wrapping Stiles up in a bone crushing hug. He stares at Danny over Jackson’s shoulder, who’s gawking like Jackson’s grown two heads, which might not be as unusual as it sounds.

What? Stiles knows people.

“The euphoria will wear off in a little while,” Stiles says. “But you should, um- cement the bonds of affection in the meantime, to strengthen his sense of self in the talisman. Make sure you touch the wedding band a lot.”

Danny blinks in confusion when Jackson only squeezes tighter. Is it possible to still breathe through a collapsed lung? Stiles doesn’t want to have to know that answer.

“You should have sex,” Stiles says, a little bluntly when Danny still doesn’t get his meaning.

He finally manages to extract himself from Jackson's boa constricting arms with a hefty grunt of exertion.

Danny smirks, but steps toward Jackson with a hand sliding against his hip in concern as he tries to check he’s okay. His eyes widen when Jackson literally throws Danny over his shoulder and heads toward the bedroom without a word. The building helpful opens the door for them.

“Uh, thanks, Stiles,” Danny manages to call over his shoulder, sounding both bewildered and amused, before the door shuts behind them.

He sighs. Then wonders why it isn’t that easy to get himself laid as he climbs to his feet.

“I’ll just let myself out,” he grumbles, but the door swings wide for him and he offers a little bow of thanks to the building for not playing tricks this time.

He does not want to be around when Danny and Jackson do the dirty.









Derek is waiting by his door when he makes it back. And he's shirtless again, which is great but he's still kind of an asshole. A shirtless asshole.

"What did you just do?” he demands, hands out like he’s going to grab him as he presses into his space. “I just felt the house-“

His eyes lower to Stiles’ naked chest as if he’s just realised and snatches his hands back while he stares. Stiles is suddenly very aware of his nipples pebbling in the cold air because, of course, the building's chosen that moment to open a window and let a fresh breeze travel through the hallway. Gooseflesh rises on his bare skin.

Derek’s eyes stare unabashedly at his chest and Stiles quickly folds his arms, flushing with heat and hoping Derek doesn’t notice the sparking fingers.

“Just meeting some of my neighbours,” he says. “You know being friendly and approachable, like a polite person would do.”

Derek’s eyes narrow. “You used your magic. I could smell it from here.”

That’s pretty hardcore, actually. Stiles didn't think anybody could do that. “I was a floor below you in a different apartment. How did you even smell that?”

Derek glowers. “I’m the alpha.”

Stiles’ blood sings its agreement but he rolls his eyes at the overtly masculine behaviour. The building chooses that moment to release another gust of air, much more heavy duty than before but Stiles senses the sudden pressure and steps into the safety of his open doorway, so that it smacks Derek in the chest instead.

It pushes him all the way back to the opposite wall as if it randomly felt like forcing him into things. Stiles laughs.

“What the hell?” Derek gasps, a little out of breath, and Stiles waves as he disappears into his apartment.

“Night, Derek. Nice chatting.”




 


He meets Scott on his way out to work the next day.

“You’re Stiles, right?” the guy with a crooked jawline and a mop of brown hair asks as he grins. “I’m Scott. I just wanted to thank you for helping my wife yesterday. That was really decent of you.”

“Hey, no problem,” Stiles says, shaking his hand. “Happy to help out.”

“Kira wanted to know if you had any preferences for dinner tonight? And she wanted to thank you for keeping Matt out of the place. He makes her and Allison pretty uncomfortable and I’m not around all the time to keep him from getting in here.”

“It’s all the building’s work,” Stiles promises with an easy laugh. “I just helped it level up. And no, I’m not a picky eater. Anything will be great.”

“Awesome,” Scott says. “We’ll see you tonight, then. It’s great to have a friendly spark in the place. We don’t get much of those.”

Stiles doesn’t think Scott is trying to insult him. “Sparks?”

He shakes his head and claps him on the back. “Nah, man. Friendly people.”

Stiles can’t help but grin. “I met Jackson.”

“My point exactly, dude. Anyway, I gotta run to the clinic. See you tonight.”

He can sense a future epic broship with Scott. Stiles smiles all the way to work.

The day goes quick. He and the shaman- who he discovers is called Steve- figure out how to send spirit memos around the office. It’s all very efficient until someone starts sending offensive memos. Mostly just with lots of swearing and crude hand gestures.

Stiles only sends one. Because he’s a professional.

The day flies past and he stops at a bottle shop on the way home to buy a few bottles of vodka when an idea hits him. He does a meagre amount of grocery shopping- just the essentials, really- before he gets home.

The building hums out a welcome and he hurries up the stairs so quickly he thinks he levitates across the last part. There’s no sudden door openings today and when Stiles makes it to his kitchen, he packs away his groceries and quickly changes out of his work clothes.

He goes to the fridge to pull out the ingredients for Kira’s tonic. This one doesn’t need to be boiled, so he creates it in fresh stream water and infuses it with magic and honeyed flavours, sensing she has a sweet tooth. It will help ensure the baby’s health. After the hell they’ve been through, he doesn’t want them to have to worry about taking any chances.

He plans to specially ward their apartment himself tonight and maybe Kira herself, if she’ll allow it. He stores the tonic in one of his larger vials and then finds the wolfsbane he normally stores in his magical spice rack. He always seals it properly- so its not harmful to his fellow neighbours- but unstoppers it now in order to get to work, pulling out the bottles of vodka as well.

It takes about ten minutes to make his special brand of wolfsbane booze.

He makes it a bit stronger than the bottles found on shelves in the back rooms of most liquor stores. Kind of like his own brand of werewolf moonshine. He adds honey in that as well because werewolves have a taste for sweetness, too.

Once he’s finished, he realises the dilemma. He forgot to buy bottles to stock them in. But before he can head out back to the store, his cupboard door flings open and the right amount of bottles he needs come flying out onto the counter.

Even though he knows for a fact they weren’t there when he snooped through the place last night.

“Thanks,” he says aloud, then starts pouring equal amounts into the bottles. He makes enough for every werewolf in the building. Even Derek, cause he’s so generous.

The door swings open just as he’s putting the last stopper in the bottle.

“So you stole them,” Derek mutters, as he stalks into his kitchen.

Stiles blanches at the accusation before he follows the direction of his gaze. “Whoa, there. The house gave me these. I didn’t steal them.”

“Well, they’re mine.”

Of course, the building would think it’s funny to take them from Derek. Why does he keep forgetting it can be such an asshole?

“Is it okay if I borrow them for a bit? I’ll return them as soon as I can.”

Derek sniffs the air suspiciously. “What smells so sweet?

Stiles picks up the nearest bottle and hands it to him. Derek is careful not to let their skin touch as he accepts it, which is pretty dickish if he's thinking all magical beings are somehow sullied, but if he has an aversion to touch Stiles is gonna respect it.

“For you,” he explains patiently. “My own brand of werewolf booze.”

Derek opens it up to have a sniff and lets out a strangled sound when it assaults his senses. “I warn you, I make it very strong. Even alphas can get drunk off this.”

He knows most wolfsbane alcohol doesn’t do much to an alpha. He’s seen plenty of drunk omegas and betas in supernaturally friendly bars to know the system still works, though. But his own personal recipe packs one hell of a punch that even an alpha isn't immune to. He's all for equality that way.

“Who are the rest for?” Derek asks, still suspicious. Mistrustful.

“The rest of your pack. I made enough for everyone.”

He beams, proud of his work as he starts clearing up the mess.

“Why?” Derek asks. “What’s in it for you, alchemist?”

Stiles magic bristles, as if offended. “Probably because I’m planning on poisoning everyone.”

When Derek’s claws spring out, Stiles throws his hands up to the sky in frustration. “Because I want to get to know my neighbours and most of them are of the hairy variety. It’s called a friendly gift, Jesus, Derek.”

The alpha scowls and takes a huge gulp of the bottle, as if wanting to make sure Stiles really isn’t actually poisoning anyone.

His temper flares considerably. Sparks might shoot out of his ears pretty soon as they’ve been known to do sometimes. Like, what an alpha dick. Derek gasps with the burn of it after it slides down his throat and even staggers back a few steps as if no drink has ever hit him like that before. Stiles grins. When nothing else dastardly occurs, he raises an eyebrow.

“It’s- good,” he admits haltingly, like it causes him great pain to acknowledge people can be nice for no reason sometimes.

Stiles tries not to look too smug. “Not that this isn’t great building trust with you and all, but I have a dinner to get to.”

He scoops up Kira’s tonic and a bottle for Scott and heads out into the hallway.

“With who?” Derek asks, following close enough that Stiles feels the heat on his back.

Stiles points at 4A. “Scott and Kira.”

Derek growls and literally throws the alcohol that Stiles gave him towards 4D. The sudden violence of his throw is astonishing. Stiles gaps at him even as the door opens and the bottle gets sucked in like it’s just gone through a wormhole. The door shuts again with a snap. He almost expects the building to burp or something.

“What the hell, dude? If you didn’t want it, you could have just said so.”

Derek just looks at him like he’s an idiot. “I gave it to the house to put away.”

Stiles blinks. “And you couldn’t have just walked the ten steps towards your apartment because?”

“Because, I’m coming to dinner.”

What now? Is this alpha posturing again or what? Should Stiles zap him a little to snap him out of it?

“I don’t think you were invited-“ he tries to argue just as the building opens up Scott and Kira’s front door.

“Scott, Derek’s here,” Kira calls from somewhere in their apartment, automatically assuming it’s him. Probably, because the building only does stuff like that to Derek. At least, until Stiles showed up. Scott’s eyes widen when he notices the both of them are there together.

“You invited the warlock to dinner?” he demands, as if Stiles isn’t standing right there and can hear everything he’s saying.

“I did,” Kira says with a hard edge to her voice that Stiles hasn’t heard before, when she appears at Scott’s side. “And he’s a spark. Don’t be rude, Derek.”

“It’s fine,” Stiles promises. “This is for you, Scott,” he says passing over the bottle to him, then goes to pass the tonic to Kira. “And this is-“

Only Derek snatches it out of his hands. “You’re trying to give wolfsbane to a pregnant kitsune?” he demands angrily, shaking the bottle in the air.

The air crackles around them and for once it’s not Stiles, or the house. Kira’s eyes flicker orange before she knocks the vial out of Derek’s hand and catches it.

“What is this, Stiles?” she asks politely, unstoppering it to have a sniff. She sighs happily. “It smells lovely.”

“It’s a tonic to help with the pregnancy,” he offers awkwardly, still a little startled by Derek’s behaviour. He’s openly scowling now. “Two drops in your tea each night will ensure your baby’s health and the bottle is my own personal brand of wolfsbane vodka. Fair warning, Scott. It packs a punch.”

Scott’s tense frown directed at Derek falls away as he tugs Stiles into the unit. “Wow, thanks, man. That’s really awesome.”

“And what about you, Derek?” Kira asks, calmer now. “Are you staying or going?”

Stiles turns back to look at him in the open doorway and tries to seem non-threatening as Derek frowns. “Staying,” he says gruffly. Then, remembers his manners. “If that’s alright?”

Stiles notices how gentle his voice becomes and heat crawls across his neck at the twinge of arousal it pulls forth. Scott’s nose wrinkles slightly but he thankfully doesn’t comment. He heard Derek is protective of Kira, but it’s a different thing altogether seeing it in the flesh.

The tension is still there when Scott serves spaghetti meatballs but Stiles is the master of ignoring uncomfortable situations and powers through it like a champ. Derek relaxes only slightly when Stiles purposely sits furthest away from Kira and closer to the door in case of attack but unfortunately that only means he’s sitting next to Derek.

The alpha power rolling off him burns across Stiles' skin in such a tantalising way that he's close to popping an awkward proximity boner at the table.

He focuses his magic around him like a cape and lets it conceal his arousal from the sensitive noses present. Derek drops his fork with a clatter and turns in his seat.

“What did you just use magic for?” he demands, looking like he’s about to pick up the fork again and try to stab him with it.

Stiles leans back and hold his hands up in surrender, no excuses coming to mind at all in the wake of his scrutiny. “I- uh…”

“Dude, leave him alone,” Scott says. “The guy is literally made of magic. It’s instinctive.”

Derek drops it, but sniffs the air suspiciously like it might give him the answer that way. Stiles shoots Scott a grateful look, suspecting he knows exactly what he used the small burst for.

Kira smiles beautifully over the tension and offers Stiles seconds.

The rest of the night goes as well as expected. He finds out that Scott owns his own veterinary clinic where he doesn’t discriminate from animals and the supernatural kind. He’s basically a healer. Kira is a swordmaster and teaches her own classes whilst also helping out stunt performers in films. She’s just started maternity leave and Scott is frequently trying to convince her to keep her sword out of the living room when she works out.

They’re actually incredibly sweet.

They also bring Derek's story into the conversation when he doesn't talk or offer very much about himself. They explain he works in Central Park with the rangers and wildlife services and that he met Scott after he was bitten in the woods. Stiles offers to ward their apartment. Even mentions some ideas about warding Kira herself, but Derek won’t allow a word of it.

He shoots him down pretty hard but the interest in Kira and Scott’s eyes tells him the conversation isn’t finished.

It all goes to shit when Stiles asks to touch her stomach.

“Do you mind?” he asks, gesturing toward the bump. He can sense she's about twenty four weeks along by sight alone. “I always get a better sense of things when I touch them and I’d love to check everything’s going well in there.”

Kira smiles shyly and nods. His hands barely reach the ridge of her stomach before Derek appears out of nowhere and clamps his hand onto Stiles’ wrist to stop him.

The last thing anyone expects are for the lights to explode.

At the first skin contact, Stiles’ magical energy bursts out of him in a torrent, latching onto Derek’s as a soft little groan falls from his lips. When the lights burst overhead and glass starts raining down on them, Kira shrieks and Stiles throws his left hand up, shielding her as the air shimmers. His magic calms when it adjusts to the alpha energy, settling into a steady thrum of force.

He didn’t realise their combined energies could create such friction.

“Kira, are you alright?” he gasps, just as Scott’s reaches her, running his hands across her body to be certain that she’s unhurt.

Scott’s bleeding and some of the glass shards are still wedged in his skin.

The sting tells Stiles he’s in a similar boat, only without the capability of healing so quickly and only once he’s sure they’re okay, does he round on Derek. “What the hell is your problem?” he yells. “Do you realise how explosive alpha power is? And you choose now of all times to unload it on me?”

Derek drops the wrist of Stiles' right hand like it’s made of molten lava and not even the cuts on his face evoke Stiles' sympathy.

“Do not touch me again,” he snaps before turning back to Scott and Kira. He repairs the broken light with a twist of his fingers and the glass in Scott’s skin disappears so that he can heal. “I’m so sorry, dude,” he says. “It was so fast and my first instinct was Kira.”

Scott looks so grateful that Stiles could probably extract the essence of it and bottle it for later. “I’m glad it was.”

“Hey, it’s okay,” Kira promises gently, still a little shaken. “It’s not your fault and no one was seriously hurt.”

“Kira, Scott,” Derek croaks and Stiles feels a little better at the agony in his voice.

“No problem, Derek,” Scott concedes. “Just uh- maybe don’t do that again.”

Stiles is still bubbling with fury when the walls start shaking. “What the hell is happening now?”

Derek actually has the sense to look embarrassed. “It’s the house,” he explains with a heavy sigh. “It’s laughing at me.”

It’s clear after that, that the dinner is pretty much over. Scott leads Kira to the couch to rub her feet and Stiles tries not to roll his eyes when Derek pointedly doesn’t leave until he does. As they walk across the hallway in the darkness- because apparently they blew a fuse or something with that first touch- Stiles calms down a little.

“Look, I get you’re just protective of your pack which is understandable with all that’s happened. But there’s a point when over-protective shifts into negative energy that can be harmful to you and their baby.”

“You have glass shards in your hair,” Derek responds, and is his eyesight really that good that he can see in the dark? “And your arm is bleeding.”

Stiles sighs, and concentrates for a moment to remove it. “Great talk, dude.”

“Derek,” a deep voice murmurs as it appears on the fourth floor.

Two pairs of glowing golden eyes stare at them from the darkness.

“What gives?” a female demands. “We were in the middle of the Walking Dead finale. Did you piss off the building again?”

“Let me get to the fuse box, Erica,” Derek grumbles.

“Nah, it's cool. Let me,” Stiles offers, and extends his hands.

“Wait,” Derek says catching his wrist again, but this time he’s expecting it, so the only magic it unleashes creates this strange popping noise.

Stiles grits his teeth. “Did we not just have this talk?”

He lets go. “I just- what if your magic upsets the house?”

Stiles laughs. “Dude, me and the house are like epic bros right now. You couldn’t stop us getting along if you tried.”

“Great,” another female snarks as a pair of blue eyes join the scene. “Fix it, warlock.”

“No problem, werecoyote,” Stiles retorts, sensing the differing energies as what they are. Different supernatural species.

“C’mon, Malia,” Erica snaps. “He’s clearly a spark. They smell sweeter.”

Huh. Do they now? Stiles did not know that.

“Is this the new tenant the house brought 4B back for?” a deep voice asks. Stiles actually hears Derek’s muscles bunch in frustration. Is that a thing?

It’s totally a thing.

“I just need to concentrate for a second,” Stiles promises, and tries to focus his magic. The house just starts warming up when a door cracks open downstairs and he loses his thread.

“Derek fix the fuse already before I kick your scrawny, werewolf ass!” a woman calls, and the layer of her voice travelling up to them screams mercenary. Looks like he’s meeting half the building tonight.

“Shut up, Braeden. I’m working on it.”

Derek leans in and Stiles’ hair tickles his skin when the warm breath flows across his ear. A hand comes down on the back of his neck and his magic flares again. “Look- can you just…”

“What did I say about the touching thing?” Stiles hisses, jerking free of him. And this is just not working, he needs space, he needs to think-

He drops onto his ass and crosses his legs, focusing so that they all drift into background noise. The house begins to build in pressure, enjoying the magical flow between them as Stiles directs his mind’s eye on the broken fuse. The lights flicker on behind his eyelids and some of the betas cheer.

“Hey thanks, sparky,” Erica says, patting him on the shoulder when he opens his eyes. “What’s your name, again?”

“Stiles.”

“This is Boyd, my boyfriend,” she says pointing to the deep voiced guy. “We’re in 3C. That’s Malia from 3B and it’s her first time living out of the woods so don’t be offended if she’s a little rough around the edges. That was Braeden from 3A. You obviously met the guy in charge, Derek.”

Stiles can’t help it. He cackles. Erica raises an eyebrow at him, but her eyes glint with interest to know what’s so funny. Derek's scowl can probably be seen from space. “Please, you’re kidding yourself if you think anyone but the building is running things around here.”

He laughs again, because he’s remembering Derek fighting with that door a few days ago and waves goodbye as he heads to his apartment. The house swings the entrance wide for him before he gets there.

“Thanks, dude,” he says, patting the wall fondly as he disappears.

Erica can still be heard from the hallway though. “Did the house just open the door for him, Derek?” she demands loudly. “Are you no longer the favourite?”

“Shut up.”

Stiles is still grinning when the door shuts behind him.






 

It’s another day later before he finally gives into the temptation to jerk it. He’s been good since he’s arrived, too scared to be caught by the house and since it stole his lube, his options haven’t been too great. But when he goes to leave for work on Wednesday, Derek’s door swings ajar just as he’s risked the naked walk from shower to bedroom without a towel.

Stiles gets a fleeting view of his junk, which is an amazing gift that he should share with the world more often before Derek’s cursing and stalking past, offering up a perfect view of his quickly disappearing, toned ass.

He’s still hard by the time he gets to work. The day goes fast and he stops for lube on the way home, unable to take it anymore. Because he can't stop thinking about Derek's butt. He gets inside just as the door to 1A opens and an older guy with the wisdom of ages in his eyes is peering out.

“You’re the spark, aren't you?” the man asks. “I’m Alan Deaton.”

“Yeah. I’m Stiles,” he says, offering his hand to shake and hoping the bag he’s carrying isn’t totally transparent. That will be awkward.

“Good job on warding the building. I haven’t had the time to renew its protection.”

“Hey, it’s cool. Being a druid emissary is hard work. Oh yeah, that reminds me. I’ve got something for you.”

He opens his hand as his door unlocks upstairs. The jar flies happily down toward him and he snatches it out of the air. “Thanks,” he says to the house before handing it to Deaton. “It’s a rare type of mountain ash from my private stores. Very potent. You'll probably have more use of it than me.”

Deaton seems surprised, but takes it. “I- thank you, Stiles, that’s very generous. And welcome to the building.”

“No worries,” he says, and hurries up to his apartment where his half chub is steadily progressing to full hardness.

Derek’s door flings open naturally for once as the alpha in question emerges, scenting the air. “Are you cooking potions again?” he demands. “I smell lightning but it’s much sweeter. Heady.”

Stiles flushes in a hot second. “No idea,” he garbles out, sounding strangled as he practically dives through the doorway.

He comes furiously into his fist five minutes later, tugging frantically between his legs as his eyes roll back. He somehow manages to ignore the sparks shooting from his dick afterwards. Because that’s just ridiculous and has never happened before.

He probably just imagined it.

Stiles finally sets up his Xbox afterwards but then Scott brings over his playstation instead and Kira challenges them all to a couple rounds of Mario kart, ignoring Derek’s disapproving gaze as they shuffle into his apartment. Kira destroys them. But Stiles figures that’s because pregnant women have killer instincts.

It’s a lot of fun actually. Scott invites Isaac, another beta from 2B, and ten minutes later Malia, Erica and Boyd are there too. He manages to hand out some of his wolfsbane vodka and Erica gets a particular frightening twinkle in her eyes when they glow gold at the first sip.

He leaves the door open as an invitation. Braeden makes her way inside and she’s much scarier in person but pretty damn cool. The beta twins in 2C, Aiden and Ethan come in for an hour before they head out clubbing but Lydia and Allison don't show because they're upstate visiting Allison’s parents. Erica tells them Jackson and Danny still haven’t entirely left their bedroom for anything but work with a knowing quirk of her eyebrows.

Stiles is just happy to help.

It’s pretty late when the woman from 4C stalks through the door. Stiles has never met her before, but when her mouth opens wide with a sly smile once she sees him, he’s a little charmed by her inherent cynicism.

“Hey, Laura,” Isaac murmurs around a Dorito as she leans over to ruffle his hair, parking herself on the edge of the couch.

Erica and Kira are in the middle of a game and it’s getting a little intense. Kira’s eyes keep flashing orange and Scott is starting to look concerned from his position at her back with hands placed gently over her belly.

“And who is this delightful creature?” she wonders, taking a sip from Erica’s open bottle.

It's a definite level up from cute, so he'll take it. Her grin widens after the first taste before she takes another generous gulp.

“Stiles,” he says, recognising her energy. “You’re in 4C, right?”

“Yep. Always looking out for my baby bro.”

Stiles frowns and tries to think whose sister she could be.

“Derek,” Boyd supplies, kissing Erica’s neck almost apologetically when she loses spectacularly to Kira.

It’s another ten minutes before he can’t ignore the steady pulse of Derek down the hall any longer.

“Be right back,” he says squeezing around Isaac to reach the hallway.

Derek’s door swings open easily, so he just breezes right on through, searching for the grumpy alpha. He’s sprawled out on his couch, looking unfairly hot in his ranger gear, but his head cocks to the side curiously at Stiles’ entrance.

“Hey, dude,” he greets. “We’re all hanging out in my apartment if you wanna join.”

The girl from a couple days ago, twists her head up to look at him. Coral maybe? “Uh, your girlfriend's more than welcome, too,” he adds hastily.

Derek snorts and climbs to his feet, while the girl barks out a choked off laugh. “Cora’s my sister.”

“Right,” he agrees, flushing. “Even better.”

Then he realises how that sounds. Shit. “I mean, you know, family bonding within packs is great.”

“Did you use magic to open the door?” Cora asks, saving him from embarrassing himself further.

Stiles glances back at the open hallway with confusion. Does she not know about the building or something? “Uh-“

“The house opened the door for him,” Derek admits like teeth are being pulled.

Cora’s eyes light up. “Shit really? Yeah, um- yeah, let’s go Derek. I’m getting bored, anyway.”

She practically shoves Derek out into the hall. “So, Stiles. You mentioned you were single?”

Derek groans, and Stiles is really losing track of this conversation. “Uh, I didn’t, actually. But I am. Single, that is.”

Then Cora proceeds to try to shove them both into Stiles’ apartment at once and they end up pressed closely together, because broad shouldered Derek struggles through doorways when he's alone and adding Stiles to the mix just causes a flurry of extra limbs.

He winces when Derek’s bare arm brushes against his stomach, as the magic rises up in a wave. Derek rights them and encourages Stiles forward first, both hands resting on the sensitive ridges of his ribs.

The lights dim and flicker. Derek quickly pulls his hands back.

“What was that?” Cora demands gleefully, sensing weakness and poising to strike. Scott looks up from the game and reads the situation with such surety that it’s uncanny.

“Our lights have been doing that since the fuse blew, hey babe?” he observes, lying through his teeth.

But he phrases it like a question, so he doesn't blip on any werewolf radars. Bless him. Bless his future babies. Stiles owes him big.

Kira frowns in confusion before her eyes clear with understanding. “Oh, yeah. I'm going to fix it tomorrow morning though.”

Scott pats her hand and Stiles feels a rush of affection for them both as Cora slinks away, thwarted for now. Thankfully, Derek doesn’t touch him again. But that doesn’t stop Cora.

“Hey, Laura,” she calls innocently a few minutes later from her perch on Stiles’ kitchen bench. Laura turns, already interested by her tone of voice alone. “The house has been opening doors for Stiles.”

Laura’s sudden regard of Stiles is nothing less of predatory. “Has it now?” she purrs.

“Lydia told me it kicked Derek out when he tried to get Stiles to leave the apartment,” Malia says scratching her claws together, distractedly.

Stiles isn’t sure where this is going but he definitely doesn’t like it.

“Because he’s a warlock,” Derek argues, shooting Stiles a nasty look like it’s all his fault he keeps misclassifying him.

“Spark.”

“Not true,” Isaac pipes up. “Deatons a druid and the house wouldn’t even give him toilet paper when he ran out the other day.”

Stiles struggles to understand the hidden meaning here. “I think it’s fair to warn you all in advance that I’m extremely loveable.”

When Derek snorts, Stiles makes the chair he’s sitting on vanish so that he lands flat on his ass.

The room erupts with laughter. It’s entirely worth it when the walls start shaking as well.






 

It’s his third week in New York when he decides his dick needs a little more attention than good ol’ righty. So on Saturday night, he heads out to some of the clubs he’s heard are worth seeing just in order to have a bit of fun and maybe drunkenly make out with someone. But not with the express purpose of getting his dick wet.

He does have a good time. Makes out with a pretty blonde at the first bar whose sharp teeth soon reveal her as a fairy and not the nice kind. But she’s chill about it when he explains he’s not interested and doesn’t even follow him to try and eat him when he switches clubs. He comes across another alpha but his magic doesn't even perk up as she passes by, despite the fact that Stiles can still sense her.

For some reason his magic just doesn't give a shit. Not like with Derek. It's both weirdly disappointing and concerning. So he forgets about it.

He dances a lot. Works up a good sweat, which sort of heightens his spark magnetism a bit because the ones who flock to bump and grind it with him on the dance floor are mostly supernatural.

He attains a nice buzz without spending a lot of money. Sparks hold a lot of appeal, if at least for their high sensitivity and ability to bring about pleasure. So he gets bought a few drinks here and there but still scans them for drugs or potions.

Safety first.

He meets an incubus just as it passes two in the morning and he has a slick grin and sensual eyes that bring forth just how sexually unsatisfied Stiles has been feeling lately since his last relationship a year ago. With a human girl. It was so vanilla it may as well have been ice cream. Nothing wrong with that but for Stiles personally, it's definitely not what he wants right now.

The guy just finishes sucking a hickey onto his neck before he moves on to licking into the shell of his ear when Stiles realises they’re close to his apartment and hey, if they really want they can screw each other senseless there. He can tell the incubus isn’t starving. Not enough to kill him, anyway, so although it's maybe a little risky, it should be fine.

The incubus, whose name he didn’t actually catch, is more than happy to accompany him. Such a gentleman.

They stumble through the streets of Brooklyn and hey, Stiles is actually a lot drunker than he remembers because the incubus isn’t stumbling as much while Stiles actually needs to lean on him for support. But the air is fresh and he’s horny and this is so, so stupid. He’s totally going to do it though. The incubus’ hand has just wormed it’s way into his pants to grasp Stiles’ cock when they reach the brownstone steps.

Stiles chokes out a whine, knowing he sounds needy and desperate but he’s thinking with his dick and just wants to get off already. The incubus licks a line up his throat just as he slips free with a laugh and slumps against the door.

And it doesn’t open.

“C’mon, don’t cockblock me now, man,” he slurs. “That’s just cruel.”

“Who are you talking to, Stiles?” the incubus’ voice is like a caress and he shudders.

“The building won’t let me in.”

“Don’t you have a key?”

It’s not funny. His grass is literally being cut by a heap of bricks. Cockblocked by a brownstone. Buildingblocked. This is not how the night is meant to go. But suddenly Stiles is cackling, laughing so hard that tears are running down his cheeks. And then there’s a gate suddenly clanging shut, separating them.

Has there always been a gate on their front steps? Stiles has definitely never seen it before. The building starts buzzing like there’s a fly hovering right next to Stiles’ ear and he groans, dick rapidly losing interest when he thinks about how much he just wants to sleep instead.

The door blessedly swings open and Derek is standing there shirtless, rubbing his eyes as he yawns. He wakes up pretty quickly when he realises where he is. The faint pop tells Stiles he was dragged out of bed without permission.

“What the hell, Stiles?” he growls, going from confused to pissed off at the speed of light.

His nostrils flair as he notices the incubus trying to get through the gate. He can’t move past it though as if there’s a hidden force keeping him back.

Like the building.

“Oh, seriously, house? You’re gonna play it like that?” Stiles groans, and stumbles into Derek’s arms with a laugh.

His magic’s sudden rush of energy at the touch, sobers him a little. “You should go,” Derek says to the incubus and his voice takes on a deadly edge.

“Hey, no,” Stiles protests. “He’s with me.”

Derek finally draws his eyes away from the incubus and looks down at Stiles, half sprawled on the steps.

“When does the building not allow people inside?” Derek wonders, patiently waiting for Stiles’ brain to catch up.

He presses his hand into Derek’s skin and only then is he able to focus on the incubus properly. The easy smile, amidst a twisted face. Right, bad call.

“You should go,” Stiles says in a hollow voice.

The incubus tries harder, pushing a heady wave of lust in Stiles’ direction. He lets out a soft gasp and buries his face into Derek’s throat before his muddled brain catches up. Derek tenses but doesn’t push him away. Stiles doesn’t lick him, at least. That would’ve been hella awkward.

He pulls back, and manages to look the incubus in the eye when he gets control of himself.

“Go,” he says, layering it with his magic.

The incubus vanishes with a faint hiss.

“Jesus, Stiles,” Derek gasps. “I didn’t mean kill him!”

Stiles groans and tries to stumble past but Derek grabs at his bicep. “I didn’t,” he mumbles. “I sent him back to the bar and erased his memory.” He trips over a flat surface, having not even reached the stairs yet and lets out a heavy sigh. “At least, I hope so- ‘m pretty drunk.”

“Really?” Derek wonders sarcastically, so Stiles tries to flick him on the nose but gets his cheek instead.

“Hold still,” he chides, and tries to do it again.

Derek growls and snatches Stiles up and into the air as he throws him over his back. Stiles squeezes his eyes shut and tries not to puke. Jesus, how much did he drink? He drifts in and out but comes back when Derek starts swearing.

“Are you fucking me with this shit?” he growls, and from what Stiles gathers, they've reached the fourth level and the building won’t open Stiles' apartment door.

“Derek, buddy,” he whispers. “You gotta be gentle. House is never gonna love you, if you treat it mean.”

“Christ,” Derek mutters, and spins them toward his apartment. Whose door, Stiles notices, opens easily.

“See,” he points out. “Friendly?”

“Shut up, Stiles.”

He takes him into his room and dumps Stiles onto his bed. “I’ll sleep on the couch,” he gets out just as the bedroom door slams shut.

And locks.

“Jesus fuck!” Derek snaps, and punches the wood.

Stiles blearily raises his head. “What are you still doing here?”

Derek looks at his drunken struggle to climb under the blankets and pinches his nose in frustration. He pushes Stiles back, tears off his shoes and unbuttons his jeans before yanking those off for him too. It’s a miracle Stiles’ briefs don’t go with them.

He manages to figure out his own shirt and by the time that’s done, Derek’s already in bed with his back to him. His naked back, cause Derek is shirtless.

And Stiles is still sort of horny.

“If you so much as touch your dick, you die,” Derek hisses, and Stiles rips his hand away from the edge of his waistband like it's on fire.

“I’m sorry the building likes me better than you,” Stiles says unkindly.

Derek huffs out an angry breath. “God, you don’t even get it, do you?”

And suddenly he’s nearly uplifting the mattress as he turns over, pushing up against Stiles as he manhandles him. “What the hell?” he squeaks and it's-

it’s hot alright. Being moved around so easily like he could just pin Stiles down and- Derek is not helping the horny situation at all. When his chest presses up against his back, Stiles sort of swallows his tongue.

“You flail in your sleep. I can hear you down the hall most nights and you are not kicking me in the nuts.”

Whatever, they’re totally cuddling. As long as his dick behaves, he can do this.

“Seems fair,” he manages to reply without sounding like he’s dying.

It’s very easy to fall asleep to the rhythm of Derek’s breaths after that.







 

He wakes up tangled around something warm and solid.

When he gets his bearings, he realises his face is pressed up into Derek’s throat and that they’re chest to chest with their legs twisted around one another. If he presses a little harder he can probably feel the outline of Derek’s dick. He’s mulling over the pros and cons of that when Derek wakes up with a jolt and shoves him away like he’s contracted all of the venereal diseases in existence overnight.

Which, hey rude. Stiles flops weakly onto the other side of the mattress with a groan.

“What the hell happened?” he whines. “I did not drink enough to warrant this kind of hangover.”

Except, he can barely taste any alcohol. He just feels raw, like someone took a cheese grater to his skin for shits and giggles.

“It’s called a sex hangover,” Derek explains without sympathy. “That incubus pumped you so full of lust that it was like being drunk on euphoria. Welcome to the inevitable emotional drop.”

“Yay,” Stiles cheers weakly and slowly stretches to retrieve his clothes. The shirt comes back on the easiest. Then the jeans.

Once he’s done, he looks up to Derek watching him intently. “Wait. What are you doing here?”

Derek scowls. “I think you mean, what are you doing here. This is my bedroom.”

Stiles squints at the sheets. Huh. Not actually his.

Interesting.

“The house locked you out of your room and when I tried to go sleep on the couch, it locked me in here with you.”

Weird. Stiles is starting to sense there’s a bit of a pattern emerging. “Don’t you think it’s funny that out of everyone, the building messes with us the most? Like have you noticed it’s mostly screwing with us?”

Derek closes his eyes and inhales deeply and wow, does he look mad. Stiles hopes he didn’t kick him in any sensitive areas last night. He’s been known to do that. “No. I haven’t noticed.”

Must just be Stiles, then. He shrugs and tugs his shoes on, mumbles out a pathetic thanks for Derek taking care of his sorry butt then hurries out of the room like someone lit a fire under his ass. The building lets him into his apartment rather sheepishly.

See. Even buildings can feel bad about stuff. So why can’t Derek feel bad about being a jerk most of the time? Stiles doesn’t have the energy to ponder that for very long. So he whips up an omelette- magically of course, because he’s too lazy for that shit today- and settles into the couch to play some COD.

He falls asleep after a couple hours.

He dreams of hazel eyes, scowling stubble and eyebrows that just don’t quit. There’s heat and scorching friction, with slick to ease the way as he’s filled more deeply than he thought possible. Then there’s just relentless pleasure as he’s pounded into, rocking his hips to welcome each blissful thrust.

He gasps into consciousness with a hard on that could cut diamonds. He barely stumbles his way to the bedroom, pushing his pants down around his ankles as his hand works feverishly between his thighs.

He cries out in relief, hardly bothering to close the door as he sprawls across the mattress, working his cock like it’s a dowsing rod leading him to water. His fingers are slick with precum and if he had some patience he might finger himself a little. Draw it out a bit.

Except, he can’t wait another moment. When Stiles finally comes all over his fist, it’s with a breathy sigh and a faint popping in his ears.

He licks his chapped lips, surprised by the intensity of his orgasm. Was that because of the incubus last night? Or the cuddling with Derek? He doesn’t have very long to think because when he opens his eyes again, Derek is looking down at him in astonishment.

“Fuck,” Stiles squeaks, scrambling to cover his junk as his eyes widen.

“What are you doing here?” they both say at the same time.

Stiles frowns, a little come drunk and stupid because this is his room dumbass, but then he looks around properly. And holy shit, this is in fact not his room. What the fuck?

“I was in my room!” Stiles cries miserably as Derek turns his back and allows him the dignity of cleaning himself up with a wave of his hand before pulling his pants back up.

“What the hell, bro,” he yells to the building, once he’s presentable again. He punches a wall for good measure but it’s pretty ineffective. “Not cool.”

“It’s alright,” Derek says eventually when he’s got control of himself. “It happens.”

Stiles can’t be near the bed any longer and stumbles out to the living room. Derek follows without comment but Stiles can see his fists are clenched and knows he’s struggling not to punch him. Probably because Stiles just jerked off in his bed. Unintentionally, but still.

“It happens?” he snaps. “Has the house sent you somewhere you weren’t meant to be when you’re in the middle of something private?”

Derek’s lips purse. “Not exactly the same situation. But yes.”

The fight sort of seeps out of him. “When?” Stiles wonders suspiciously.

“Last night. I was asleep when the house sent me to the front door.”

That explains his bewilderment at least. But Stiles doesn’t think he can look him in the eye again. He scratches idly at his neck. “How- how much did you see?” he asks quietly.

Derek pauses as if he’s thinking about whether to be honest or lie. Stiles can pretty much tell, either way. Werewolves aren’t the only ones with skills.

“I watched you finish,” he admits.

Stiles is so angry, he blasts Derek’s door off its hinges on the way out.






 

He’s bundled deep into his burrito of sadness after work two weeks later, generally feeling ill at ease with the world when someone knocks on the door.

It seems like he’s never going to live through his humiliation, so best option is to wallow until he dies. He’s been avoiding Derek since the bedroom incident which turns out to be pretty hard because apparently they see each other a lot and he hadn’t exactly noticed. He even misses the perpetually grumpy asshole.

It’s a pretty lonely couple of weeks.

Kira took pity on him and tried to teach him sword fighting but Scott got so upset with her and the baby around weapons- even though Stiles did end up warding the baby- that they gave up. The building has been pretty quiet after he blasted Derek’s door off, so he has to free his arm from the blanket he's wrapped up in, in order to use his own magic to open it.

It’s actually been kind of boring without all of the unusual stuff happening.

Most of the pack has picked up on his and Derek's super intense vibes and have been leaving him alone. He’s lucky the brownstone's wards are so strong with the amount of magic he’s been using lately. It’s surprising no one has shown up with interest in a Stiles sample.

Scott comes into the room, bearing junk food and booze, both the natural kind and the one Stiles made for him.

“We know something’s wrong,” Scott announces as he sits down. “Derek won’t talk to anyone. The house isn’t doing anything cool and you seem really sad.”

“I jerked off in Derek’s bed,” he blurts out.

Scott kind of squints at him before taking a huge gulp of werewolf booze to prepare a reply. “Uh- okay. Where to start? Um- why dude?”

“Not on purpose,” Stiles argues, miserably. “I was in my own bed when the house moved me there.”

“Into Derek’s bed?”

“Just as I was-“

“Climaxing.”

“Jesus, Scott!”

“What. It’s perfectly natural. What did Derek do? Be an ass about it?”

“No, not really. I asked how much he’d seen and he said he’d watched me finish.”

Scott looks shocked before he schools his features into something more sympathetic.

“Look, don't beat yourself up. Weird shit happens here all the time, I mean, it's a magical house dude, weird shit is a given. And oh yeah, it’s full moon this Saturday so we’re all gonna have a pack meeting for it on Friday to celebrate. You should come. Distract yourself.”

Stiles smiles wryly. “I think the whole point of this burrito is to avoid Derek indefinitely.”

“C’mon, it's basically just an excuse for a party. Lydia’s hosting it this month so everyone’s planning to get drunk off the booze you made. Kira’s really excited for it.”

Stiles smiles proudly at that. “Seriously, Stiles, come. It’s not a big deal, guys cross swords all the time. Unless of course, you like Derek?”

The controller goes flying and smacks into a nearby wall. Stiles is too curled up in his blanket to lie convincingly enough and say he threw it. Stupid spark. Scott suddenly looks smug when Stiles’ fingertips start shooting sparks as well as if to further betray him.

“Nah, dude. Not like that. It’s just embarrassing. Count me in for Friday.”

He doesn’t like Derek right. He can’t.

Except. Well, Derek’s an alright guy. He’s an overprotective ass and he’s got a lot of attitude. Mostly sarcastic. But then he’s loyal. And loves his sisters even when they tear him to shit all the time. And he hasn’t burned the building down even when it pretty much only messes with him. And he's actually kind of unbelievably funny once he manages to relax a little.

Plus, he’s a really good cuddler. Like really good. And he took care of Stiles when he could have easily left him to that incubus.

What’s not to like? Fuck, and there’s also the fact that he’s been the subject of Stiles’ less than appropriate dreams lately, so the liking thing isn’t that far of a stretch.

Damn it, he’s totally crushing.






 

He explains his dilemma to Steve the shaman at work the next day.

“I don’t see the issue, Stiles,” Steve says. “Just tell him how you feel and ask if he feels the same.”

“But Steve, wouldn’t you rather a kind of guarantee that your heart won’t get crushed?” he counters as they wrestle a particularly difficult spirit back into the charmed microwave it flew out of.

What is wrong with the young mages of today, really? Why would anyone use magic to create this?

They get it back inside and the microwave issues a displeased beep that echoes somewhat hauntingly. Steve gets this super serious look sometimes- usually when the higher ups walk past- that means he’s connecting to his spiritual energy or he’s at least pretending to. He pulls that face now and reheats the microwave for two minutes, even with its continuous angry beeping.

It’s almost like club music. By then, bright light starts shining out of it as the spirit gets sucked back into the right dimension and they’ve got a real party going.

“Whoo,” Stiles cheers, high fiveing Steve the shaman who keeps his face serious throughout.

Jesus, he would make an excellent poker player.

“Life isn’t full of guarantees,” Steve says, sagely.

Stiles wants to punch him in his stupid face.






 

When he gets home it's late and he eats a box of cookies for dinner because he’s a grown man, dammit, and he's still wallowing. He’s sprawled across the couch, staring up at the ceiling and thinking about nothing when the buzzing starts.

“No way,” Stiles grumbles when the lights flicker and dance in this super cool and exciting way that makes his apartment look awesome. “You're gonna need to do more than that to earn my forgiveness.”

The pressure in the room increases and Stiles wisely pulls his feet in, startled at the amount of magic being exuded.

There’s a soft thump and the tension drops as his bedroom door swings invitingly open. Suspicious, Stiles stalks towards his bed, wondering what the hell the building has done now. He balks when he sees a shirtless Derek sprawled across his mattress in nothing but briefs. Fast asleep.

Stiles is starting to freak out that the house is trying to encourage him to keep the secret of his humiliating orgasm by killing Derek. After all, pretty much only he and Scott know. He's a lot disturbed by this sudden offering when he finally notices Derek’s breaths are coming a lot quicker. Like he’s having a nightmare.

Except from the way his cock slowly fills and starts to tent his briefs, he’s clearly not. This is a dream of the wet variety.

“Fuck,” Stiles breathes, too astounded to do anything, but just stand there and watch.

The guilt eats him up straight away but Stiles promises as soon as Derek touches himself, he’ll leave the room. Or try and magic him back to his own bed. Only Derek doesn’t touch his dick. At all. But tilts his head back to expose the curve of his throat instead and Stiles is so hard he wants to cry.

He watches Derek’s nipples grow taut and his mouth runs so dry it becomes like the Sahara. He can’t do this right? It’s pretty wrong. But in all fairness, Derek did it first. And he admitted to it.

Plus, Derek looks amazing all loose-limbed and relaxed like that. It's strange to see his face without the scowl. Stiles finally makes up his mind to leave at the first moan that escapes Derek’s mouth but when he turns, not only is the door sealed somehow, but there suddenly is no door.

They are in a room without a fucking door.

Stiles places his hand on the wall to express his concerns but the building only ignores him and hums softly, just as Derek’s moans start getting breathy. God, he can’t do this. Stiles parks his butt on the floor and faces the other direction, trying to focus on anything but Derek and his sex dream.

It’s impossible.

After a few minutes of torture, this delicious wave of alpha energy rolls over him and Stiles is compelled to look. Derek still isn’t even tugging at his junk when his balls press up tight under his dick and he comes in his briefs.

Untouched.

Stiles whimpers and that’s when Derek’s eyes fly open. He sits up slowly, like he already knows what’s going on and spots Stiles on the floor, resolutely facing the other direction before he sighs. “Your room?” he guesses and Stiles nods dumbly.

“Door lock you in?”

Stiles is almost too overwhelmed to speak. “There is no door.”

They both watch as a second later, it reappears. Derek waits a moment and the silence is killing Stiles, it really is. And he's still hard.

“Did you watch me finish?” he asks.

And Stiles wants the world to swallow him up.

“Yes,” he says and looks directly into Derek’s eyes, owning up to it as best as he can. Because he knows what he did wasn’t cool even if Derek did the same thing to him. Derek only shrugs and stretches, drawing Stiles’ gaze to the wet spot on his briefs.

“Guess we’re even, then.”

Then he strolls out of Stiles’ room unabashedly, half naked, easy breezy beautiful cover girl.

The fuck?





 

He’s just on his way out the door to the party when his dad calls. He stops to answer it, cause with all the Derek weirdness right now, he can stand to be a little late to Lydia and Allison’s. It's hardly going to kill him.

“Hey, Dad,” he says. “How’s it going?”

“Really good, kiddo. I just wanted to check in and see how you’re doing. I’m sorry it’s taken so long but we’ve been swamped here.”

“It’s cool. The job's been great. I love my apartment and most of the other tenants are pretty awesome.”

“And you haven’t attracted too many unwanted guests?”

“Nah, that’s the best part. The house is warded and it’s filled with old magic, so it’s got a mind of its own.”

His dad laughs, sounding delighted. “Good, they’re great security and always fun to be around. I lived at one in college and it took it upon itself to be matchmaker for Tony and Jarred. Kept locking them in bedrooms together or opening the door when one of them was naked in the shower. It was hilarious.”

Stiles nearly drops the phone. “Oh my God,” he gasps.

“You remember Tony and Jarred, don’t you?” his dad asks, confused at his reaction. “They came to visit a couple months ago. Their twenty seventh anniversary is coming up in July.”

“Yeah- yeah,” Stiles chokes because his chest keeps tightening. “I just. I have a party to get to, can I call you later, Dad?”

“Sure, kid. Love you.”

“Love you too, Dad.”

The phone clicks and Stiles just stands there dumbly.

Huh. Well, everything makes sense now. The seeing each other practically naked, getting locked into rooms together, even the jerking off. This fucking building has been trying to set them up.

Which is probably why the incubus couldn’t get in even if he wasn’t bad news. And why Derek answered the door. Jesus fucking Christ. And he’s pretty sure everyone else is in on it. Their reactions to the building taking a liking to him probably said it all. And that also means. Derek knows too.

“You asshole!” Stiles yells, and it’s entirely directed toward the building that’s been screwing with his life since he moved in.

When he blows his door off its hinges, it's completely intentional.

He stomps on over to Derek’s room but doesn’t open it because when he pushes his senses out they tell him it's already empty. The building starts to pick up on his fury and the lights start flickering as the floor begins to tremble. Stiles doesn’t even bother with the stairs, he just ends up standing right in front of Lydia’s apartment all of a sudden.

He restrains himself enough to not blow the door out, but it’s a close call. The humming increases, and Stiles lets his magic lead him to the essence it’s always automatically drawn to. The lights flicker more sporadically and a few people catch sight of his face and the sparks shooting out of his clenched fists and step aside. One of the twins actually laughs at him.

Most likely Aiden.

“Derek,” Stiles thunders. “Were you ever going to tell me your house is trying to hook us up?”

Derek's head snaps up, eyes wide and scenting the evident crackle of magic in the air. No one interferes when Stiles reaches him, burning with rage. He barely gets a fist full of Derek’s shirt before the pressure reaches a boiling point and the wind whips up around them, shoving them quickly into a dark place. Then the door slams shut and clicks.

And they're in Lydia and Allison's closet. Perfect. There are terrible puns about homosexuality to be made in here.

“What did you do?” Derek snaps, wrenching free of his grip and trying to open the door in the dark.

“What did I do? That was your stupid fucking apartment trying to play matchmaker like its been doing the entire time I’ve been living here!

The sudden silence reeks of guilt.

“You knew! You assface why didn’t you say anything? Instead you let me think I was the biggest pervert in existence!”

“I didn’t want to make you uncomfortable,” Derek shouts back. “The house is really sensitive to emotions and knew I was lonely. It didn’t mean any harm, except when it started to escalate things.”

“It literally trapped me in a room with you while you had what looked like the best wet dream of your life. I’d say that’s pretty escalated.”

Derek sighs, and Stiles can almost see him pinching the bridge of his nose. “I was dreaming about you,” he admits, quietly.

There’s a tense pause as Stiles tries to wrap his head around everything.

“When you were- that is. Were you thinking about me?”

Stiles gets his meaning. As if anything else, but the thought of Derek, is what he jerks it to lately. “Yes,” Stiles says. Did the house- is that what those dreams were? Fake?

“Did the house cause those too?” he asks in a small voice.

“No,” Derek answers reaching for his hand in the dark. His blood sings at the first touch. “The same way it didn’t cause this.”

Oh. Stiles had wondered if he's the only one who can feel it. “How did it know to pick me?” he asks, thinking there must be some kind of logical explanation for how he ended up in this place.

Derek shrugs and is he leaning closer? “I don’t know. It’s magical. I can hardly explain how it knows when I’m naked and you're walking past my door. I’m just glad that it opened it.”

“You are?” Stiles asks sceptically. “Why?”

Derek runs his nose along the side of Stiles’ throat, inhaling. “Because you taste like lightning and I’d like to date you.”

Stiles hesitates. “I don’t know. I’ll have to check my schedule- maybe I’ll call you.”

“You little shit,” Derek laughs, and he’s somehow finding Stiles’ mouth in the dark.

It’s a pretty fucking spectacular kiss, as first kisses go. Even if it’s hard to find the right spots to touch and Stiles accidentally- not so accidentally- licks Derek’s face multiple times. He grunts at that and lifts Stiles up, pushing their hips together as his legs wrap clumsily around Derek’s waist.

“When that incubus left that hickey on your neck, I wanted so badly to put my mouth on you,” Derek gasps in between frenzied kisses.

“After he hit me with that lust, I nearly licked your neck,” Stiles admits, laughing when Derek proceeds to do the same.

The hickey has faded by now but Stiles has no qualms directing Derek’s mouth to the phantom spot and letting him ravage his throat.

His dick is hard in his pants and he's half thrusting wildly against Derek as he scrabbles to get a hold of his ass. “I knew you’d be a handful,” Stiles croons when he finally gets his hands on the prize and squeezes.

Derek groans deeply in his ear like he can't believe Stiles can be that much of an idiot and still be attracted to him, before he pulls Stiles’ hips lower so their dicks finally match up.

The friction is absolute heaven and when Stiles starts shooting sparks out of his hands, he’s entirely okay with it. “You had no idea how badly I wanted to blow you on that bed,” he moans working his hips harder into Derek’s, openly panting now.

Derek’s teeth nip playfully at his throat. “I have your dildos,” he groans. “And lube. It showed up in my top drawer after I woke up in your room.”

Stiles wants to groan in annoyance but it ends up more high pitched and breathy than he plans. “I- fuck. I hate your house,” he gasps.

Just as the door unlocks with a click, swinging open and revealing them to the pack in Lydia and Allison’s living room.

Which is pretty much everyone in the building. Stiles flushes and Derek sets him on the ground quickly but the damage is way past done. They’ve both got sex hair and they look like a hot mess.

“One word,” Stiles warns them all. “And I will never make anyone wolfsbane vodka again.”

The apartment is blissfully silent as they make their getaway, though everyone is grinning like idiots at them, so there will be no escaping the inevitable mocking. They’re laughing as they head back up to the forth floor, hand in hand. The building lets them into Stiles' apartment without protest and Stiles leads Derek immediately to the bedroom.

“Wait,” Derek says, pulling him to a stop. “I mean it about the dating thing. I’m just as happy to take this slow.”

Stiles grins. “I agree. I was planning on taking you to bed to cuddle the hell out of you, but if it’s too much-“

“I can handle it,” he promises.

“You need to at least buy me dinner before you get in my pants, dude.”

“Oh, yeah?” Derek asks, already stripping off his shirt and kicking off his shoes. Stiles fumbles with his pants. “And that incubus was just a happy accident?”

“Low blow, man.”

Derek chuckles, tossing his jeans on the floor and wrapping his arms around Stiles as soon as he’s shirtless. He tugs him onto the bed with ease, pressing himself against Stiles’ back. He’s still a little hard so Stiles feels his dick pressing between his cheeks.

“Cheat.”

“Oh, I’m sorry,” Derek mocks reaching around to cup Stiles’ dick and he whimpers. “What was that hypocrite?”

It quickly becomes clear it's not possible. He's not equipped to handle some dude's junk pressed so thoroughly up against his ass without doing anything about it. Stiles bites his lip and grinds back, hearing Derek's sharp inhale before his hands come down to still his hips.

"Stiles," he warns, sounding a little breathless.

So it's not a warning, really. Just a friendly suggestion. His hands slip past his underwear to drag his cock out before Derek can stop him. "We can do dinner after," he argues. "We're not terrible people if there's dinner involved at some point."

Derek's already kissing along his throat. "Don't care," he grunts and tugs Stiles' briefs down the rest of the way until they're being flung across the room. Stiles is leisurely jerking it when Derek finishes removing his own underwear.

"I knew you'd be like this," he purrs softly as his fingers slide across Stiles' flushed skin. "A greedy little mage."

"Seriously?" Stiles demands, waving one of his sparking hands in the air. "I am literally sparking because I am spark, you dickweed."

Derek laughs and draws the fingers into his mouth. Stiles winces, worried that it'll hurt him, but Derek only thrusts with a little more vigour against his ass and slides his tongue across his fingers. Stiles moans and slips the thumb of his other hand over the sensitive head of his dick.

"Where else do you shoot sparks?" Derek wonders, after releasing his fingers with a slick sound. He pinches Stiles' nipple teasingly before easing him onto his back and straddling his hips. Stiles swallows audibly and tries to keep cool.

"Nowhere," he lies, and Derek's eyes light up with interest.

"Really?" he says. "You're kidding. Is it your dick?"

Stiles lies there like a starfish, speechless. Derek is somehow more impressed by his silence. It might have happened once but he has no guarantees that it'll happen again. He is not exactly the dick whisperer.

"Your fingers taste like it too, you know," Derek continues conversationally as his fingers trail down his chest. Stiles is breathing fast and too turned on by the proceedings to think of a witty rejoinder. "Lightning. I wonder if it's like that anywhere else."

His fingers press into the puddle of precum forming in the dip of Stiles' stomach before he smears it across Stiles' dick in small fleeting touches that set him on fire. Stiles' brain finally manages to catch up.

"You're welcome to taste and see," he offers, waggling his eyebrows and Derek sticks a finger slick with his own precum into his mouth to shut him up.

What he probably isn't expecting is that Stiles likes a challenge, so he sucks the digit in deeper and licks the taste of himself off of it.

Derek actually shudders on top of him and shoots him a glare like Stiles is ruining his seductive moment. He laughs, just as Derek bends over and swallows him down to the root. It twists into the strangled noise of a fish without oxygen and Stiles groans, long and low around Derek's finger as his hands drift down to thread into his hair.

He releases the finger with a wet pop and focuses on not jerking his hips too much into the wonderful heat of Derek's mouth. It's nearly impossible. He really knows how to suck cock. Stiles barely presses the palm of his hand to Derek's hollowed cheek before his balls draw up tight and he comes.

Derek swallows and pulls off, licking softly at the head when he sees that Stiles' dick is in fact shooting sparks.

"I don't even wanna know what that means," Stiles admits as he tugs Derek back up so they can make out idly on the bed whilst he gets his breath back.

He can feel Derek's cock pressing insistently against his hip and it makes his mouth water. His hands scramble for the drawer on the bedside table and Derek helps him pull out the lube. Werewolves can't get diseases and Stiles knows Derek can sense that he's clean so they decide to forgo the rubber.

The first press of Derek's finger is much more than he's done in a while. They're thicker than Stiles' and he feels so much fuller from one alone that he wants to savour it as long as possible.

When Derek adds another, Stiles arches his back in order to bear down more fully, grinding his hips against the mattress as his dick struggles to rouse again. By the third, Stiles is a sweaty heap of human flesh willing to do Derek's bidding for all eternity. And he's hard again.

"You done already?" Stiles asks. "If not, I think I'm going to blow another door off its hinges."

Derek presses deep, nudging along his prostate and the sparks start bursting from his fingers again. "No more breaking stuff."

"Then, hurry up," he snaps, groaning when Derek starts to rub.

Stiles' eyes roll back and it's only when Derek pulls his fingers free that he notices he's making the bed shake. Derek only laughs when it stops and Stiles shoots him a guilty look, drawing his magic back. But Derek's not complaining when he rubs lube onto his dick with a soft hiss, leaning closer to kiss him when they're chest to chest.

The tip of his cock pressing against Stiles' entrance is a blessing and he pushes down, searching for Derek to fill him. He presses in slow, keeps it short, but deep as he edges in inch by incremental inch. Stiles grips his left buttock to spur him on and Derek slams home with a grunt of surprise. When he's sure Stiles is ready, he begins to thrust in sudden bursts of strength just as the alpha energy starts rippling over his skin.

Stiles' magic claws through the pleasure to meet it and their energies embrace as one as their bodies meet for each thrust. Derek buries his face into his throat and takes hold of his hips, fucking into him hard as his body opens up for him so beautifully. When his teeth clamp down on Stiles' throat, he comes with a shout, the magic sizzling between them as he coats Derek's abs with his jizz.

Derek licks over the bite that didn't break the skin and picks up his pace, now that Stiles is still sensitive and clenching his dick tight. "Can I knot you?" he asks breathlessly, and Stiles is nodding furiously and somehow coming again when Derek finally lets go.

The combination of both their power snuffs the bedroom light out.

Stiles' laughter turns shaky when he feels the first insistent press of Derek's knot tying them together. It slips past the rings of muscle and keeps growing until Derek can do no more but grind his hips deep. Stiles is still fluttering easily around the unrelenting pressure, as sparks of floating light brighten up the darkness of the room.

He only gets soft flashes of Derek's face but he looks almost as blissed out and come drunk as he is, expression loose with satisfaction as he rolls them without separating so that Stiles ends up on his chest.

It's much easier to get comfortable after that.

"Dude, your dick is magical," Stiles croons working his hips a little around it, despite how exhausted he feels.

He's never actually felt this full before. It's indescribable.

"I'm pretty sure it's your ass that's magical. God, can you even feel how tightly you're wrapped around my cock? Jesus, Stiles, just like you were made for it."

Stiles clenches down just to be a little shit and preens at the orgasmic noise Derek makes as he does so. His insides feel a little slick with all of the come Derek's slowly pumping into him but surprisingly it just feels really, really good.

It feels even better when Derek licks a line up his throat to whisper in his ear. "My little spark."

Stiles is man enough to admit he comes all over himself with a whimper.








The first full moon run with the pack is interesting. Mainly because he's not a werewolf that transforms under the light of the moon. But he's adaptable and hangs out with Lydia, Allison, Danny, Braeden and Deaton instead, drinking oddly colourful alcoholic beverages he made that shoot sparks, while the howls echo in the distance.

And Jackson actually manages to turn into a werewolf for once. It's awesome.

Derek finds him later, transforms easily into his human form like sliding back into an old skin and they fuck wildly up against a tree in the woods.








They do eventually make it to dinner. They get burritos. And they cuddle.









Chapter Text









“Stiles,” Steve says solemnly. “You need to come and see what the new guy did to the second floor bathroom.”

He blinks up from his computer screen, where he’s typing a strongly worded letter encouraging an old wizard to stop turning the hobgoblins that live in the woods behind his house into flowerpots.

There have been some complaints. Mainly from the friends he’d been re-gifting them to, after the magic went awry and they’d started sprouting legs.

There’s one in the office at the moment, so they might be able to figure out how to reverse the spell and Stiles gave it to the new guy to tackle about twenty minutes ago. He rubs at his eyes and slaps his cheeks to wake himself up a bit before he looks at Steve the shaman.

“Sorry, what dude?”

Steve seems to try for his resting spiritual face, but he’s too enlivened to keep it up for more than a second before a grin breaks out. Whatever he’s about to tell him is juicy.

“Come and see what the new guy did to the second floor bathroom,” he enthuses, looking delighted by the wonders of life.

Stiles is not one to pass up anything that re-establishes his faith in the hilarity of his position at the Gathering of Mages and tumbles out of his chair enthusiastically with a matching grin. This has magical debacle written all over it. Stiles lives for those, he does. It's literally what he gets paid for.

“Greenberg?” he asks gleefully. “The flowerpot hobgoblin? Oh, please tell me it escaped and did questionable things in the office.”

Steve’s eyes light up. “Even better,” he promises, just as a spirit appears at his shoulder.

He whispers a quick command and sends it off to deliver his message. After the disaster with spirit memos when Stiles first started, no one's allowed to use them anymore and they'd followed the rules. Everyone except Steve.

He’s a stubborn soul. Stiles thinks he hears mention of Perkins, which can only mean the problem is water based since he’s been married to a naiad for nearly twelve years and is best qualified for these situations. If there’s ever a problem with the water cooler or sudden inexplicable monsoons originating in the lobby, they call on Perkins. He's a loveable guy, really.

Which means something interesting is definitely happening in the second floor bathroom. Stiles doesn’t need convincing for these kind of things. He just follows quickly after Steve with unabashed glee.

When he arrives at the second floor bathroom, it’s everything he could have hoped for. And more.

Hobgoblins are normally tricky and full of mischief on a normal day but one that’s been magically transformed into a flowerpot with legs is a whole lot worse. Probably because it’s less than pleased at the sudden species alteration.

And from the look of it, this one is on the warpath. It’s busted several of the pipes so that water is spewing everywhere, broken two mirrors and somehow left muddy footprints all over the walls while it runs frantically about.

This is the reason Stiles plans to apply for a longer service deal when his two year contract finishes at the end of the month. Right now, he absolutely loves his job. Because Greenberg is slumped on his ass with the toilet seat around his neck like a bizarre accessory, suit completely drenched in toilet water and a dazed look on his face.

It's pretty much Christmas at this stage.

Stiles might be concerned with his well being, if he isn’t already busy laughing uproariously at the yellow daisy flowerpot weaving furious circles around Greenberg’s legs.

“He escaped,” Greenberg announces unnecessarily and Stiles finally takes pity on him, letting sparks flare from his fingertips as he kneels down close to the floor tiles.

The flowerpot stops its tantrum, instantly attracted like a moth to flame at the first onset of his magic. When it gets within range, he grabs its legs and tips it upside down so it can’t run. It squirms violently but doesn’t get free and the soil stays firmly in the pot seeing as it's enchanted.

Stiles uses his other hand to help Greenberg up when Steve does nothing but stand there and try to look like he’s spiritually connecting to something. Like the spirit of a hobgoblin flowerpot. Instead of laughing his ass off.

If anyone else sees how he really acts around Stiles, they’d know how full of shit he is.

“You’re okay,” he promises, still grinning madly.

Greenberg looks decidedly miserable so he pulls him out of the blast zone and concentrates for a brief flash to super dry the guy’s clothes. It's the least he can do when Greenberg's given them such an entertaining debacle that will be talked about in the office for weeks. It's very possible he may not ever live it down.

Stiles doesn’t touch the toilet seat though because he’s not sure how sanitary it is and he’s also this close to losing composure and laughing again. Touching a disembowelled toilet seat whilst holding a pesky hobgoblin flowerpot by its stumpy legs will tip him over the edge. He just knows it.

He covers a sudden uncontrollable snicker with a hasty cough. “Why don’t you get rid of that,” he suggests calmly, pointing to Greenberg’s fashionable neck accessory. “And then come back to my cubicle and I’ll show you how to turn a flowerpot into a hobgoblin.”

Greenberg nods gratefully just as Perkins rounds the corner and stops dead with a look of horror on his face. The poor soul. He has his work cut out for him really. Stiles does not envy having to clean up this mess.

“What the hell did that?” he gasps.

Stiles helpfully brandishes the little culprit that is still wriggling in his grip as Perkins recovers his shock and starts scowling. “You do realise that just because my wife is a water spirit, that I don’t automatically have to fix every single problem that involves water? Haven’t you heard of a plumber?”

And yeah, that’ll do it.

Stiles can’t help it. It’s too much hilarity for any professional to take. He cackles all the way back to his cubicle.









He’s in high spirits when he makes his way home because let’s face it, that’s where Derek, his boyfriend, lives and the dude lets him touch his junk on a regular basis.

Plus, he’s part of an awesome pack, living in a kickass sentient house where they can always hang out and have fun.

He’s practically skipping toward the steps when his senses flare in warning of someone watching him.

It’s been harder lately. Since moving to New York, working in a magically warded building and living in an enchanted house- that will not let anyone inside that gives off a whiff of bad vibes- he’s become a little complacent.

It’s trickier to be on guard for supernatural creatures drawn to the essence of his magic when he’s protected day and night. The only spot of danger is whenever he’s out alone or walking home from work. Like right now.

Stiles’ shoulders tense and he hopes it’s not a wendigo. He is really not in the mood for one right now. Wendigos are literally the worst. They’re basically nature’s version of supernatural assholes. Nothing attacks him though, despite the energy just simmering at the edge of his fingertips ready to strike and he enters the building’s enchanted borders unheeded.

Safe.

He’s just about to write it all off as random jitters when he hears the footsteps behind him. Stiles experiences the exact moment that they cross over the invisible line but the confusion melts out of him at the first crackle of live energy.

Alpha energy. He barely turns and gets out a greeting before Derek is swooping in and capturing his mouth, fervently wrapping an arm around his waist as he lifts him off his feet.

Stiles accepts the reception with gusto and presses his body flush against Derek’s, amazed and thankful that Derek turned out to be the rare breed of improbably promiscuous and kind of arousing supernatural being rather than the not so friendly eating people alternative. He's so lucky.

Derek’s fingers scrape gently against the nape of his neck and Stiles groans deeply into his mouth as he struggles to reach around and grab a handful of Derek’s glorious ass. As they stumble through the main door, the air around them fizzles and after a faint pop there’s a disorienting moment when they both realise they’re not in the foyer anymore.

They’re in Derek’s bedroom.

They share a quick look of surprise as they break apart.

“What no mood lighting?” Stiles asks, directing the question to the house while he’s still wrapped around Derek. “Where’s the candles? The music? The lube?”

Derek laughs, just as the pressure builds with unrestrained magic and Stiles braces himself for the distinct possibility of regretting everything he's just said.

Never tease a magical house. It will definitely sass you right back.

The top drawer of Derek’s bedside table yanks open just as a stereo player Stiles knows belongs to Boyd comes flying into the room and plonks itself onto the desk. There’s an awkward pause as the music clicks over and Marvin Gaye’s, Let’s Get It On starts playing in the room, even though Stiles knows for a fact Boyd doesn’t own his CD.

Stiles flushes when Derek manages a dry look and can’t resist jamming a thumb into the already gushing wound.

“Where’s my can-?“

Something whacks him hard in the side of the head and he cries out in pain, stumbling backwards. Derek catches it before it hits the floor. They stare at the candle between them in bewildered silence while the music continues sensually in the background. Holy shit, that's both ridiculous and borderline creepy.

Derek releases him and sets the candle down by his bedside. It immediately lights itself. Stiles worries briefly that he might have murdered any romantic atmosphere brewing between them by goading the house. That is until Derek reaches into the open drawer and plucks out the lube with a wicked grin.

“Since we’re here,” he suggests modestly, like he’s performing some great charitable favour and Stiles grins so hard it hurts. “House, a little privacy?”

The buzzing edges off as the building leaves them to it even helpfully shutting Derek’s bedroom door with a snap in the process. Stiles is already moving back toward his boyfriend when Derek holds up a restraining hand.

“One thing,” he says, then goes to the stereo player and turns it off with extreme prejudice.

He doesn’t break it, though. Nobody messes with Boyd’s stuff.

“Good call,” Stiles agrees, and then they’re both rushing toward one another as eager and frantic as the first time they got biblically acquainted.

Derek makes every touch deliberate like the sexually attentive jerk he is and the slow boning really does stuff for him, okay? Stiles is a desperate and sparking, sweaty mess pressed tightly against his chest when he comes. With a punched out groan, Derek follows soon after.

Stiles just lies there grinning into Derek’s skin and running his fingers through his hair. After a pause, Derek pulls out gently and rolls to the other side of the bed. But not so far that his fingers aren’t still able to trail across Stiles’ chest. His eyes blink brightly in the fading light of the room before he leans down to mouth at Stiles’ jaw, peppering his face with kisses as he works up to his lips.

Stiles kisses clumsily and tries to tug Derek closer for some seriously deserved cuddling but the guy won’t budge. Which is so unfair because he literally just destroyed Stiles’ brain, to dust. The least he could do is take some responsibility and bring it back to life with the magic of his warm and comfortable arms.

Unlike Derek, werewolf extraordinaire, Stiles needs a few minutes to get his brain back online while his heart stops pounding from the rush of their earlier activities.

“Pack dinner at Scott and Kira’s tonight,” he says once the ability to speak comes back.

Derek is mouthing softly at his neck and grumbles an affirmative sound before his cell phone buzzes. Stiles might be offended at Derek leaving the bed so easily after sex if it isn’t for the way he continues kissing down his throat like he’s not finished and pulls away with a reluctant sound.

Derek is notably silent when he unlocks his phone and reads the text message. A second later he curses and starts searching for his pants.

“Something wrong?” Stiles asks, idly wiping his come off on a nearby item of clothing which turns out to be Derek’s khaki ranger shirt. Shit.

He shoots an apologetic look but Derek only rolls his eyes and after he throws a shirt over his ridiculous body, leans in to kiss Stiles again. Forgiveness tastes nice, it turns out. Stiles will clean it later, he’s just too relaxed right now to do anything but sink deeper into Derek’s bed.

“It’s fine,” Derek promises. “Just something at work. I probably won’t make dinner. Tell the pack, I’m sorry.”

And there it is again. The weirdness that’s been lingering between them lately. Stiles might not be a werewolf lie detector but his magic is sensitive enough to other people’s emotions that he can tell when they’re not being upfront with him.

Like now, say.

“But,” he protests, as Derek throws on a jacket and moves out the doorway.

Stiles half rises up on his elbows, utterly naked and jibbed out of some serious post coital snuggling when Derek turns back.

His eyes glint and the stare lingers in such a hungry way that Stiles’ dick twitches. Derek’s nostrils flare at the flash of arousal Stiles’ body is exhibiting as subtly as a charging elephant. Stiles is not above dirty tricks. He maintains eye contact as a finger slides down his body to touch himself. Even lets his legs fall open wider so Derek gets a front row view.

He let’s out a broken noise and grips the edge of the doorway as if to stop himself from re-joining Stiles on the bed. The sight of his claws digging into the woodwork tells him it is not as easy a decision as Derek tries to make it appear.

It a monumental effort when Derek shuts his eyes and manages to tear away with a growl. “You’re such a little shit,” he snaps and increases his pace when Stiles’ fingers drift down to his already slick entrance.

He can feel Derek’s come slipping out and barely lets out a breathy moan before the front door is abruptly slamming shut.

Wait, what?

For a second he’s shocked that Derek actually left when he so very clearly wanted to stay. He didn’t exactly say it’s a work emergency so why the hell is Stiles alone right now when they could be moving onto round two? Whatever flicker of arousal building in him essentially shrivels up and dies from the sudden slap of emotional rejection and he flops back onto the mattress with a disappointed sound.

It’s surprising the house let him go without attempting to intervene. That's usually the kind of thing it relishes.

Since they started dating, the building takes Stiles’ side in everything. No matter how small the argument. The rest of the pack thinks it’s hilarious.

Especially Laura and Cora, who had to deal with years of favouritism from the house towards Derek growing up. Their parents had left the building to all of them in the will, but Derek’s name is on the deed to the house. Mainly because- like Stiles suspects- the building had already changed the deed of its own volition.

Just like it did to get Stiles to lease his apartment. There’s no doubt it has a mind of its own when it comes to making decisions. So he has no problem with this favouritism.

It just means that whenever they get into a fight, that the house locks Derek out of 4B or sends him into random places in the building like the basement as punishment. One time Derek was so angry it dropped him into Deaton’s bathtub to cool him off. When he’d reappeared, drenched and covered in soap bubbles, Stiles had laughed hard and helped him out of his clothes so quickly that the argument was forgotten.

So if the building interferes Stiles usually feels gratified by it, especially when it kicks Derek out of their bed in the middle of the night and he wakes up to the loud crash. Stiles usually just laughs and joins him on the floor. Or helps tug him back into bed. Their fights burn fast and sputter out just as quickly when they end up angrily shouting their feelings at each other.

Communication is key. No matter how they manage it.

But this weirdness is a little different.

It started a week ago, when Derek skipped out on date night saying Laura desperately needed his help with something very nondescript and vague. Exhibit A of the weirdness.

He’s not going to lie, he’s a little hurt that Derek feels like he can’t tell him what’s going on. Especially when Stiles knows so much personal stuff about him now. He remembers how tight his chest felt when Derek explained his parents left to go on their annual anniversary trip when he was sixteen and were murdered by some trigger happy hunters. How they were left orphaned.

He knows how Derek’s first crush died because he’d wanted her to belong so badly to the supernatural side of his life that another werewolf had given her the bite but instead of making her one of them, it had killed her.

He knows all about Kate. How helpless and worthless she’d said he was and how he’d started to think she might be right. How inept he’d felt as the alpha of his pack when she frequently told him he would be the reason any of them died. How long it took him to feel confident as an alpha again after she died.

And fleetingly, Jennifer. Derek didn’t really say much about her but his expression was enough to summarise how badly they didn’t work out. Stiles even knows about the brief hook up he had with Braeden afterwards, when the horror of how close Kira came to dying was still fresh and they’d felt responsible for not catching her sooner. And were lonely.

Stiles knows all about it because Derek told him. And it isn’t one way either. Derek knows how confused Stiles was when his mother died young, the only spark in his hometown and he grew up with no idea who or what he was.

And all of those close calls when he’d accidentally released a burst of magic. The monsters that came after. The girls and boys he drew to him inadvertently with his spark. The few that stayed longer than one night.

Derek knows all of this too. There hadn’t been a need to screen their pasts from each other. It’s never hard to talk to Derek about anything, because they’re so comfortable saying whatever they feel. Even if it still takes Derek a while to formulate it into words.

They work well together, alright? They’re a pretty good team. They generally agree on what’s best for the pack and if there’s ever a disagreement on anything then they sulk or yell for a bit and make up for it with mind blowing sex.

Derek’s even met his dad. And no one’s met his dad. Not even the pack yet. They flew upstate to see him one weekend and Derek was so serious about making a good impression that he got all silent and broody on the plane trip over. Stiles was probably more touched by how nervous he was than the actual meeting itself.

It was both funny and alarming how well he and his father immediately hit it off. His dad didn’t even mind about the being-a-werewolf part.

Stiles has never been happier with his life. It’s so ridiculous, because the pheromones he gives off get stronger when he’s feeling really good and half of the pack keep sniffing him inadvertently whenever he’s nearby these days. And of course, Derek loves it. Stiles didn’t realise that alphas had such a scenting kink until he started dating one. But it’s great.

In fact, everything is.

Which is why he really cannot understand this sudden distance Derek is putting between them.

Stiles wallows for about a minute or so before he starts to feel a little uncomfortable with all the come starting to dry on his skin and climbs out of Derek’s bed and into his shower. The water is heavenly and he watches the red splotches left by Derek’s touch or his mouth rise up on his pale skin with interest. It’s hot, because it always reminds him how upset Derek got when he saw them the first time.

He had to explain how sensitive his skin is before Derek didn’t feel guilty doing it again. And again. Now it just makes his skin heated and his balls feel tight. He’s still too distracted by Derek’s behaviour for some self lovin' but.

He’s halfway through humming the chorus of Let’s Get It On before he realises what he’s doing. Huh. Turns out, it’s disturbingly catchy.

Stiles towels off with a snort of laughter and gets dressed. The house is suspiciously quiet when he moves out into the living room. He pauses on his way past the kitchen when he sees his coffeemaker sitting there. And scowls.

It’s been happening for a few months.

The house has slowly been taking his things and placing them in Derek’s apartment like it’s decided for them that their relationship is ready for the next stage. Without consulting them about it. Like they don’t practically live together already.

It’s only small stuff so far. A favourite shirt of his, his magical spice rack, his burrito blanket. It’s the kind of stuff he’d be expected not to notice missing until he comes across it again in Derek’s place. And now, the coffeemaker.

“I know what you’re doing,” Stiles says sharply. “Put it back.”

The pipes groan out their annoyance but the coffeemaker vanishes with a faint hum in the air.

He wanders over to Scott and Kira’s place and tries to shake the uncertain feeling that’s stirring through his gut. The door opens and Noshiko is already there to greet him.

She was born four months after Stiles first moved in and he’s never met a toddler more amazing and fantastic as Noshiko. The birth went off without a hitch, although Scott and Derek both fell apart when Kira’s water broke while practising yoga in their living room.

It was Lydia and Braeden who saved their asses. Stiles had to keep the two distressed werewolves from attacking the hospital staff during her labour and calmed Scott down enough for him to go in and support his wife. Jackson’s still banned from Calvary hospital for punching a male nurse in the face when Stiles’ back was turned though.

They named her Noshiko after Kira’s mother, who died when she was eighteen and the little girl immediately stole the hearts of every single pack member in the building. Especially Jackson, who keeps buying little baby clothes for her that Stiles knows cost more than his own weekly paycheck.

Danny thinks it’s hilarious how whipped he is.

Noshiko coos delightedly at the sight of him and stumbles forward with hands outstretched. Stiles laughs softly and scoops her up into his arms as he walks straight into the apartment. She’s nineteen months old and very precocious. They’re not sure who she’s taken after yet; supernaturally speaking. Whether it’s werewolf or kitsune. Or a mix of both. It probably won’t identify until she’s about six.

Stiles knows whatever she is, she’ll still have everyone wrapped around her dainty fingers. Smart girl.

“Where’s Mom and Dad?” he asks her when her arms wrap keenly around his neck.

Her eyes are wide and thoughtful like she can see into everything.

“Derek?” she asks, and it's pretty frightening how intelligent she is already.

Enough to notice that her alpha is missing.

“Sorry baby, he had to go to work.”

His voice changes a little as the uncertainty washes over him again and she places her tiny little hand against his cheek comfortingly like she can sense it. Like she understands what’s wrong. Jesus, she’s going to be alarmingly intuitive when she’s older. Noshiko points towards the kitchen after a moment so Stiles carries her there.

Scott, Kira, Ethan and Allison are standing around the table island when he enters. They’re in the midst of helping assemble tacos for dinner.

“Hey man,” Scott greets, eyes lighting up at the sight of them together.

Noshiko reaches out to grab his jaw affectionately and he smiles lovingly at his daughter.

Kira passes Stiles a drink and frowns when she notices he’s alone. “Where’s Derek?” she asks.

Stiles shrugs dismissively and tries to look casual. “He had a work thing. He said to tell you he’s sorry.”

Allison squeezes his arm in sympathy when he takes the seat next to her. “Lydia?”

She points vaguely in the direction of the doorway. “She’s coming up with Braeden. They went to grab some extra chairs.”

Ever since Kira went into labour, they’d bonded over the traumatic experience of being the only level headed members of the pack in the hospital besides Stiles and Allison. When they eventually come through the door carrying the extra chairs, Lydia is laughing at something Braeden’s just said.

She leans down and kisses Allison softly on the forehead as she slips by, while Braeden winks at Noshiko. Isaac and Aiden come in after them, carrying three chairs at once- the werewolf show offs. They’re all setting up the table ten minutes later when Danny and Jackson arrive.

Noshiko struggles free of Stiles and squeals with delight at the sight of Jackson, who flushes and scowls but still wraps her gently in his arms like she’s precious and might break as he hands over yet another bag of clothes to Kira. She tries to argue with him but the look he gives silences any protests. She accepts the present with a helpless glance in Scott’s direction. But he just shrugs and pats Jackson on the back before offering him a drink.

With so many pairs of hands, it’s really easy to move all of the taco ingredients to the table and start setting up.

Erica and Boyd soon arrive, though Boyd is carrying his stereo and frowns at Stiles as if it’s all his fault that the house unexpectedly stole it from him. It probably is. He sets it down in the corner and suddenly they’ve got some good atmospheric music playing.

No Marvin Gaye, thank Jesus.

They invited Deaton but he’s a bit of a recluse most of the time so nobody is sure if he’ll show even when they do set a place for him. Stiles ignores when Kira surreptitiously removes the extra setting for Derek. The only ones they’re waiting on are Malia, Cora and Laura.

Malia, surprisingly comes through the window, covered in leaves and looking pleased with herself which only means she’s been in Central Park again.

Nobody asks how she got up to the fourth floor when Stiles is pretty sure there’s no fire escape there. She ends up next to Kira, who gives her a welcoming pat and helpfully removes some of the leaves.

They’ve just pulled the taco shells out of the oven and started dishing out the cooked mince when Laura and Cora enter. Everyone greets them warmly, half distracted by their stomachs and Stiles sees them notice Derek not in the room without comment.

The no comment is a little unusual.

Ever since Stiles and Derek got caught in Lydia and Allison’s closet, they’ve done nothing but tease them mercilessly about their relationship. He’s shocked there’s no snarky comment about Derek leaving him already which he'd expected. It’s what they usually do. They take their roles as Derek’s teasing sisters very seriously.

Which. Unless they know what Derek’s up to? Or they know that Derek is planning to leave him and are trying not to give it away before the ‘we need to talk’ moment? Stiles sits there staring blankly at his empty plate as his gut churns.

“Stiles?” Scott calls distantly. “You alright, buddy? You’re making the salt and pepper shake.”

Stiles’ head jerks up to the sight of the salt and pepper dancing their way across the table while Noshiko claps with delight. He withdraws his magic sheepishly and they quickly topple over. Everyone is looking at him with a mixture of fondness and confusion. He flushes.

“Sorry. Just distracted by something at work.”

He accepts the bowl of mince and pads an even amount into the bottom of his taco cause otherwise he’s not going to fit anything. There’s a system to a good taco, okay. He knows the drill. When he’s done, he passes it on to Ethan who’s sitting on his right.

“What happened?” Laura asks, and Stiles nearly breaks the delicate taco with his fingers as he realises she’s talking to him and scrambles with a work related excuse.

“Uh- you know, just a bunch of hobgoblins turned into a flowerpots. The usual.”

She opens her mouth to say something more but Scott beats her to it. “Hey Laura. Your tacos here,” he interrupts, passing her the tray of warm taco shells so that she’s distracted.

Scott glances briefly at Stiles with concern and he shoots him a grateful look when Kira quickly engages her about the new job she’s just accepted.

The sight of them working together like that to protect his sorry ass only makes him feel a little more pathetic. What a power couple. And with a magical wonderkid daughter to boot. He wishes them all the luck with fending off sudden relationship weirdness.

The night passes without any further incidents. Once he gets food in his stomach, his mood considerably improves so that no one can tell there’s anything bothering him. They all seem mostly disappointed Derek isn’t around but no one seems to ask why which he finds strange and concerning.

He’d told Kira at the beginning but that was when only a quarter of the pack was in the kitchen. Someone usually asks.

Maybe they’re all in on it too.

Jesus, he’s getting paranoid. He might need the tin foil hat to complete the ensemble soon.

They finish up in the dining room and everyone who didn’t assist with the cooking, helps wash up. He’s idly drying a bowl with a dish towel when Laura wanders into his proximity bubble of self doubt again. She’s looking carefully at his face like she can sense something’s up, so he waves the towel around playfully and blows a kiss in her direction.

She rolls her eyes.

“So how’s the new job?” he asks passing the bowl to Malia who shoves it so hard into the cupboard that she nearly breaks it.

Overly enthusiastic is very much her style. Danny laughs and shows her how to do it more gently while Jackson stands there doing little but look superior and roll his eyes.

Stiles flicks him with soap bubbles and Jackson quickly gets back to work. Laura shrugs and dips her hands into the soapy water. A second later, she passes him a clean plate. “Like every other corporate business, really. Sexist, and utterly terrified that a woman might become more successful than them.”

“What do you mean ‘might’?” Stiles asks with a sly grin, passing the plate to Malia when he’s done.

Laura’s smile is both pleased and utterly predatory. “It’s alright. They’ll learn.”

Malia snorts. “If they don’t respect you, you should challenge them. Or eat their young.”

Laura’s grin stretches wider. “I’m planning on it.”

“Maybe without the eating of their young, though,” Danny suggests.

It’s only once all the dirty dishes are clean and stacked away, that they go and join everyone else in the living room. They’re curled up in various positions around the couch, as Isaac comes back into the room carrying monopoly under his arm. The couples quickly pair off into teams and Stiles ends up paired with Isaac while the rest of the singles- Braeden and Malia, Cora and Laura- team up together.

It gets competitive straight off the bat and Danny plays surprisingly dirty for someone who seems so nice. Jackson looks like he might cry proud tears at the sudden vindictive streak when Isaac and Stiles land on one of their properties and Danny just smiles victoriously.

It’s a lot of fun. And since it’s a game with no conceivable ending, besides bankruptcy- which Stiles and Isaac hit in the first hour- they play until it gets really late. It’s head to head with Cora and Laura against Jackson and Danny when Scott looks up from his position wrapped around his wife and Noshiko and checks the time.

“Crap, it’s late,” he says. “Sorry guys but we’re off to bed. You can continue this tomorrow night, if you want.”

They promise to keep the game rolling and everyone gets up with various degrees of reluctance and some grumbling. Braeden cracks her neck so violently when she stretches that most of the werewolves flinch.

They’re all streaming out into the hallway when Stiles finally gets the nerve to ask.

“So did Derek end up helping you with your emergency last week?” he probes, as Laura walks towards her apartment.

It’s a millisecond of hesitation but Stiles spots it.

“-Yes,” she says. “It’s all fixed. Tell him thanks for me.”

It’s a testament to her quick thinking how easily she lies for her brother. Stiles just smiles and kisses her on the cheek as his heart sinks. When the door to 4B opens and he doubles back to his apartment, Laura frowns at him.

“Aren’t you going to wait up for Derek?” she asks sounding confused when she gestures towards 4D.

It’s normally what he does if Derek has to go out late. Derek does the same thing when Stiles gets wrapped up in a case at work. Or he comes and meets him to walk him home. They haven’t been spending that much time apart these days. Well, they do. It’s just more often than not, they sleep together.

Maybe that’s the problem.

Stiles shrugs. “I’m tired. I’m just gonna go to bed.”

Cora normally crashes at Laura’s place when she comes to visit but since she’s started dating a guy on the upper east side she’s been practically living there. So Laura’s by herself. The pack can’t stop making jokes about Cora’s new affluent lifestyle. She even went to the Hamptons last month.

Laura accepts his excuse but he can still see her puzzled frown when he disappears into his own apartment.

He makes nightmare free tea cause he’s feeling some sweet dreams tonight and stubbornly ignores the sight of his coffeemaker because it’ll make him think about Derek.

And the weirdness. He just wants his burrito blanket to curl up in but it’s in Derek’s apartment and there’s no way in hell he’s venturing into there. The house will just lock him in. Dammit. He stomps into his bedroom, sets the tea down on the table and climbs wearily into bed.

He concentrates for a brief moment and a brick pulls free of the wall before a book pops out of the hidden space and glides easily toward him. It’s his own personal grimoire filled with of all supernatural knowledge he has accumulated by himself over the years. The space between the wall connects to another dimension so that the house can't mess with any of the objects hidden there, even if it wants to.

The grimoire falls open in his lap and he flicks to the page about hobgoblins and wonders how to keep them out of the old dude’s land so he won’t keep turning them into flowerpots. Break the cycle for good so Greenberg has less traumatising days in the office.

The tea brings out his wariness, so after a while he hides his spell book back in the wall and rolls over. He tries not to think of another particular object hidden there. And how it's been sitting there for months, waiting for him to work up the courage to withdraw it from its hiding place. To offer it to the person who makes him feel happier than he could ever have predicted.

The clock tells him it’s just past the witching hour. Derek can smell where he is and they do usually end up sleeping together, which just means that he’s not home yet. Must be some important fake emergency.

What a cheeseball.

He bristles, and lies down onto his back to try and meditate the negative energy away. It’s hard. The feeling’s really latched onto him without any plans to let go in the near future. But he’s a spark which means he’s got practise sorting out his own vibes. And after some Buddhist level patience, he’s able to look past his insecure emotions and reach a common understanding.

Derek will tell him soon. If not he’s just going to have to ask. Problem solved.

It’s much easier to fall asleep after that.

 






He’s woken by the movement of the bed as Derek slides in next to him. His hands are soft but sure when they wrap comfortingly around his stomach. Warm breath huffs reassuringly against the back of his neck as he's completely enveloped. Magic hums softly in his chest.

Stiles is floundering between sleep and consciousness when Derek presses a light kiss to his hair and pushes up against his back, settling in for the night.

He slips back into sleep without another thought.

 




 

 


When Stiles’ alarm goes off, Derek is already gone because his shift starts an hour earlier. The side of the bed he slept on is still toasty though when Stiles slides into it with a faint sigh. The imprint of emotions Derek left there are full of satisfaction and nerves. Stiles can't figure out what the combination of them might mean at all.

He eventually stumbles out of bed and throws on his suit in the dark, very nearly strangling himself with the tie when he trips over.

He goes to brew some coffee while munching on some crunchy cereal when Stiles realises it has vanished again. Of course, the house would think that’s hilarious. What an asshole.

He curses and makes plans to grab a coffee on the way to work whilst also fantasising about the house unexpectedly losing its roof for no apparent reason, other than to cool his temper. It helps a little and his mood is almost improved when he makes it to the stairwell.

Scott’s door opens just as he passes by.

“Hey,” he calls, when Stiles is so lost in his thoughts he doesn’t notice him. “Are you okay? What happened last night, man?”

Stiles frowns and the light above them shorts out. “Oh shit,” he sighs, glancing guiltily upwards. He really needs to stop breaking stuff. “I- just… things have been a little weird lately is all. I’m alright.”

Scott seems taken aback before averting his eyes and scratching the back of his neck. It’s classic guilty Scott behaviour and of fucking course, he’s in on it. Stiles sometimes forgets his friends are Derek’s pack first. That they keep Derek's secrets even if that means from Stiles.

The realisation kind of crushes his soul a bit, but whatever. He rolls with it.

“Maybe it’s just-“

“Look, I gotta go,” Stiles interrupts, not willing to listen to any of Scott’s attempts to lie. “I’m going to be late for work.”

He’s running twenty minutes early and they both know it but Scott doesn’t try to stop him.

Stiles makes it to the foyer before he notices that the door for 1B has reappeared again out of the corner of his eye. There used to be some humans in the building when Stiles moved in but since they’re not exactly involved in the supernatural underworld of New York, they were hardly aware of living in a magical house with an entire werewolf pack.

Before he moved in, the building didn’t do much unless Derek was involved which was why Derek lives on the fourth floor and the humans had been on the first. When Stiles turned up and the building got a lot more excitable any odd quirks of the apartments soon became impossible for them to ignore.

They’d all moved out within a few weeks thinking it was haunted. Stiles feels a little guilty that his magic caused so much trouble but then he remembers how freaking awesome their magical house is so he doesn’t let it bother him too much. Those humans are probably safer living elsewhere anyway.

The rest of the apartments on the first floor, besides Deaton’s, had vanished afterwards. Curious now, that one is back and what that means, he turns and heads towards 1B.

The door doesn’t open which only tells him the house is keeping this new arrival a secret until they get here. Just like it did with him.

He wonders who it might be when he walks out into the early morning sunrise. He hopes it’s not the Hale’s creepy uncle they’re always mentioning whenever someone complains about family trees in front of them. He's been lucky enough not to meet him yet.

His favourite coffee place is run by a couple of vamps who drink nearly as much coffee as they do blood. It’s only a block from the house and he heads there while the city gets to work around him, starting the new day. It's pretty empty when he enters because it's so early but he enjoys that about it. More time to talk about supernatural stuff with the baristas.

They make a mean cappuccino and he chats with the one at the counter called Richard who looks very much like a stoner. Mainly because he smells like one and Stiles has seen him smoking blunts on more than one occasion. He's great for a senseless talk whenever Stiles stops and waits there.

“Nah, man. I promise you, this new coffee bean is to die for,” the vampire encourages, handing him his change.

Stiles raises an eyebrow as he pockets it. “That’s some poor choice of words, dude, but I’ll bite.”

The other vampire, Eva, working the coffee machine laughs and bumps fists with Richard, giving Stiles an overly flirtatious wink before she passes over his coffee. But it's all harmless.

She knows about Derek. Had whispered some filthy comments about how much she liked him the first time Stiles brought him in to meet them. Watching Derek's ear turns red in embarrassment from the opposite corner of the cafe definitely had lessened his irritation at hearing her objectifying his boyfriend and made it easier to laugh at the situation instead. Eva didn't really mean it, well, she had, but not enough to be truly serious.

“It’s good,” she agrees. “Would I lie to you, Stiles?”

Stiles smiles warmly. “Not about the good stuff.”

The first sip takes him to a higher spiritual plane, it’s so awesome. He licks his lips and sighs out his satisfaction before he backs out with a wave.

“Hey, Stiles,” Eva calls suddenly and he turns back to listen.

Most of the time they give him the supernatural low down. Speaking to them is basically like listening to a supernatural news station. Vampires can gossip like nobody's business. They've had a lot of time to get good at it. Plus, they've seen a lot of shit happen.

She and Richard exchange glances. “Be a little careful tonight. There are some unsavoury characters about in the city at the moment.”

His skin prickles in agreement to their sudden warning. Which means they’re definitely not wrong. He’ll have to be on guard when he walks home tonight, that’s for sure.

“And they’re not as chill as us,” Richard adds helpfully, throwing Stiles a paper bag with a free cookie in it.

Because he is a saintly vampire with a sweet tooth.

He catches it with a grin. “Richard, my man, no one in this entire universe is as chill as you. But thanks, guys.”

He waves as he opens the café door. A thought catches him as he goes to leave and he sticks his head back in. “I heard there’s a new blood bank opening up on 6th avenue. In case anyone might be interested in that sort of thing.”

He winks before he goes and they laugh.








The day is interesting enough even without any hobgoblin flowerpots to keep it hilarious. A young witch two cubicles down from him, Cecilia, gets called out to tackle a particularly ungracious zombie that got itself stuck in Coney Island overnight. It was trapped after falling through a loose wooden plank of the boardwalk and nearly ended up in the Atlantic.

Stiles goes with her, because he’s one of the only people in the office who doesn’t freak out at the living dead, plus his cases are all finished since he convinced the old wizard to share the space with the hobgoblins.

Turns out when they’re not feeling mischievous, they like to do a spot of housework here and there so he just said to leave his door unlocked. When the old dude had woken up to a clean house, he’d been plenty surprised and feeling a lot less flowerpot happy.

Stiles told him the basics. Don't give them clothes and watch out for them when they get annoyed, but the old wizard seemed pretty pleased with the result.

So he goes and helps Cecilia keep the zombie distracted while she quickly re-attaches its arm and frees it before the rest of the humans start arriving on the boardwalk with their kids to visit Luna Park.

Humans don’t really notice the supernatural that much because they’re not looking for it, but kids see it a lot easier. And it’s a lot harder to ignore a zombie stuck in a boardwalk than an odd looking homeless guy that lurches past you like he’s drunk on the street.

Stiles repairs the woodwork and gives the zombie the name of his vampire café which isn’t too far a walk and one that he knows for a fact sells an interesting looking brain cake that he might fancy. They’re human friendly brains though, only taken from people freshly dead in the morgue.

The zombie grunts an affirmative sound, stiffly pats Cecilia on the back in a way of thanks when his arm doesn’t immediately fall off and staggers away in the direction Stiles pointed.

They head back to the office afterward. By then some more cases have piled up. Even a strange one involving a broom, an abominable snowman and some marshmallows and suddenly he’s got his work cut out for him for the rest of the day.

 








“So what’s up with your vibes man,” Steve interrupts, during their lunch break when he’s staring off into space and worrying about Derek again.

He hesitates for like a second before he remembers how awesome Steve the shaman’s advice can be. “There’s just been this thing lately,” he explains. “This weirdness between us. I can sense Derek’s hiding something from me. Like maybe he wants to break up or something.”

Steve frowns. “I’ve met Derek. He is not that kind of guy. Especially about you. Maybe you’re being too sensitive and imagining something that’s not there.”

Stiles sighs heavily. “Sparks are really in tune with other people’s emotions. It’s one of our perks. We just sense this stuff, whether we want to or not.”

Steve rolls his eyes and goes to his default facial setting of spiritual awakening. “Maybe you’re just…”

“I can confidently say that you got laid last night by a pretty voluptuous blonde of the Romani magic folk persuasion after a bit of a dry spell that lasted a month. Do not try to argue this point with me, dude. It will get very personal and embarrassing.”

Steve flushes a little but recovers pretty quickly. “It may not be what you think,” he offers wisely.

But Stiles isn’t sure he can be so easily convinced. “Maybe.”

When he’s back at his desk again, the time rushes by. He’s so busy with paperwork that when Steve ‘accidentally’ sets up a ghost re-enactment of the battle of Troy in the coffee room to cheer him up, he ignores it.

Okay, he watches about twenty minutes. He can’t help it if he happened to need coffee at the exact moment that ghost Achilles and ghost Hector fight to the death. Or in this case, until one pretends to be double dead. It’s great. It’s even funnier when he notices the ghost playing Helen is in fact and old fat dude with a beard and he still somehow pulls it off.

Stiles is laughing so hard, he pours hot coffee on himself.

It’s totally worth it.

He’s happy when the work day finally finishes and Richard and Eva’s warning is completely forgotten when he passes out of the lobby. Stiles’ isn’t exactly expecting Derek to be there waiting for him but it’s still twists a little that he’s not there. It’s irrational, but he sighs and heads off towards home, so entirely wrapped up in his feelings that he doesn’t notice his surroundings.

But he definitely notices the two vamps crowding some kid into a nearby alleyway ahead of him. Stiles’ magic bursts free, powerful and frightening, as it explodes outwards. He’s running before he gets a chance to consider it might be kind of stupid to square off against two hungry vampires.

“Hurry up. I’m thirsty,” the first one whines when the kid they’ve got trapped, snarls and slashes out with his claws.

So not a kid. A werewolf, then. The energy feels incomplete to him somehow as if he hasn’t achieved a correct balance. So he must be an omega. A lone wolf without a pack. The second vampire stops suddenly and inhales.

“Wait. Do you smell-?“

“Back off right now,” Stiles snaps, flashing bright light in front of their sensitive eyes in warning.

They shriek and fall back. The werewolf breaks free and edges toward him. Toward safety. They recover quickly because Stiles hadn’t actually been trying to hurt them. He will though, if he has to.

“Look,” he says, when they hiss. “You must be new here. Cause vamps in Brooklyn have much better manners. And they don’t feed on fresh blood.”

The taller vampire, the leader, laughs. “At first, we were just hungry and the werewolf had to do. But from the smell of you, you’ll taste much better.”

Stiles sighs. Vampires. Always black and white. And so melodramatic. Like seriously man? Leave the homoerotic subtext at home. “Look, dude. I’m only going to say this once. You should turn around, go home and get your blood from a blood bank or Bambi like everyone else. Don’t be an asshole.”

He tries. He really does. But hungry vampires are not good listeners. In fact, they’re basically the undead version of a self-centred asshat. The leader lunges with a snarl and with a click of Stiles’ fingers and a sudden whoosh of air, he vanishes.

The werewolf kid gasps just as the other vampire takes a step back in shock. “Holy shit. Where’d Dave go?”

Stiles gets ready to explain that his vamp friend Dave is clearly a maladjusted asshole and no good for him, when the police sirens sound up the street. The vampire curses and goes to run but Stiles freezes his feet to the spot with magic when he recognises the cop behind the wheel.

It’s Jordan Parrish.

They met a year ago when Stiles saved him from an Ifrit; an infernal jinn that burst from the Brooklyn Bridge subway station tunnel on Chambers St, literally covered in flames as it swooped down to make the unsuspecting cop his dinner. It was a pretty eventful evening actually. Derek was kind of pissed he'd missed it.

Parrish wasn’t as shocked afterward when Stiles tried to explain the underground supernatural scene that humans have no idea about. It was probably because Stiles sensed Parrish is something supernatural himself.

He told him as much but Parrish had no idea what besides a few death experiences that strangely ended up as near death instead when he somehow didn’t die. Stiles couldn’t sense anything further and figured it was an achievement level Parrish had to unlock on his own.

He still made a good friend out of the encounter though. It’s always nice having a cop aware of both worlds that need a bit of policing every now and again. And he’s definitely glad to see him now.

Parrish gets out of the car with a raised eyebrow. “No flying flame monsters tonight, Stiles?”

He shrugs and bumps fists with the guy as he glides past. “I was feeling something low-key.”

Parrish snorts and stops in front of the vamp with a considering look. “What were you feeling? Thirsty or bitey?”

The bitey ones are worse. Because they keep trying to make more vampire brethren. And that’s kind of uncool, especially when they don’t tend to ask permission first.

“Just thirsty,” Stiles answers when the guy doesn’t talk and struggles on trying to free his feet instead. It's a futile effort but amusing to watch all the same. “Tried to drink from our werewolf friend here. ”

The kid growls, as if offended by the label. “My name’s Liam.”

“I’m Stiles and that’s detective Parrish,” Stiles says then turns towards the cop. “His friend was bad news but he seems okay. Just thinking with his stomach and not his head. If you take him over to Queens, I think the clan up there will take him in.”

Parrish nods and cuffs the guy after Stiles magically imbues the metal with the power to resist vampire strength. He leads the vamp over to his police vehicle and the vampire goes quietly, seemingly bewildered by the way the night has progressed.

“But Dave,” he protests. “Where did Dave go?”

Stiles pats him on the back. “He’s fine, man. I sent him to the vampire council so they might advise him on better ways to feed without killing and drawing attention.”

The vampire looks a little sad but brightens at that. He even mumbles out an apology to the werewolf as he goes. Which hey, look what some positive reinforcement can do. Be the change you want to see in the world and all that. Parrish raises an eyebrow as he helps him into the back seat. Stiles shrugs and waves when they drive off into the night.

Definitely not as unsavoury as described.

See, it’s true what that snickers ad says after all. You really aren’t you when you’re hungry. Friend of Dave probably is a swell guy after he feeds.

Pleased, by how everything went down, Stiles turns to make a joke about food and vampire fangs to Liam when he realises he’s already slipped away into the shadows. As if he’s trying to disappear unnoticed. Which, hey now, Stiles knows he still needs help. He can feel it.

“Wait!” he calls and Liam actually hesitates a little, jacket pulled tight around his shoulders as he hunches over.

He looks pretty miserable.

Stiles’ realises that not only is he an omega but he might also be homeless. That’s not gonna fly.

“Hey, Liam, you have a pack?” he asks when he jogs over to him and catches up.

He looks a little suspicious but shakes his head, really fascinated with his shoes all of a sudden as if they hold the meaning of the universe. Stiles rolls his eyes. Typical teenage avoidance tactics.

“You a runaway?”

Liam shrugs, a little vaguely. Like hey, maybe my life might be awful but it’s easier not to talk about it. Screw that. That is not how Stiles operates at all.

“Parents human?” he guesses, figuring the only reason he would’ve left is if he was kicked out after being bitten.

Or he did it for their own safety. He definitely seems the self sacrificing type.

He and Scott will get along swimmingly. Oh. Wait. Right, of course. He suddenly understands who the new apartment has appeared for.

Naturally, it’s that simple. Find werewolf, then bring said werewolf home to house full of more werewolves. He should’ve figured it out sooner. It's pretty much basic math.

“You want one? A pack, I mean.”

Liam eyes light up but he tries not to look interested, wary around the stranger he doesn’t know. Stiles is going to have to work him up to the trusting part.

“I’m not sure your alpha would like that.”

Of course. Stiles reeks of Derek. It’s probably why he didn’t run away after the vampires let him go. He probably didn’t want to offend the alpha of the pack Stiles belongs to by leaving him as vamp chow.

“You’ll never know that, until you meet him. Come on, trust me our pack is pretty awesome. We live in a magical building that likes to pull pranks on us. We’re living the dream.”

Liam smiles a little and Jesus, he’s young. Probably sixteen or something. Stiles hopes he hasn’t been running around out here for too long. From the vibes of his omega spirit, it feels fairly new.

Freshly bitten.

Liam eventually agrees to follow Stiles home. If, just to see the place, because what teenager doesn’t want to see a magical house that is a jerk to everyone inside it most of the time?

Stiles still gets a bit worried when they reach the steps. Because even though he senses nothing but goodness in the kid, the house might not feel the same way. He’s careful not to touch Liam when he crosses the boundary so the building doesn’t think he’s cheating on Derek or something and rejects him based on that suspicion alone.

Then it will never let the omega in.

To his relief, there’s no protest when Liam cautiously walks up the steps and Stiles leads him inside. There is an entire werewolf pack waiting to greet them in the foyer though.

Oh. Awkward. Because they can still smell strange wolves being let into their territory from a couple miles away. Right.

Liam lets out a soft plaintive noise and drops his head, already trying to back out the doorway, but Stiles throws a desperate arm around his shoulders and tugs him forward.

Derek, who’s standing at the front of the group lets out a growl that sounds a little different than it normally does. As if it’s more emotional somehow like Stiles broke an important secret werewolf rule. It’s not a very aggressive noise but there’s another edge to it that makes Stiles uncomfortable. Guilty, even.

“Before everybody freaks out at the new omega in the building, I’d like to encourage some open minds.”

The rest of the pack watch with interest and Stiles spots Kira peering over the railing from the second floor with Noshiko, who waves at them without noting any of the tension. Of course, they wouldn’t let her anywhere near the new threat. They probably think Stiles is endangering them.

“Open minds? What the hell, Stiles. Who is he?” Jackson demands. “Noshiko is here.”

Stiles scoffs. “Because he’s a dangerous werewolf that an entire pack of werewolves couldn’t possibly restrain if something went wrong? C’mon, he’s barely sixteen!”

“I understand you meant well,” Allison starts in a placating tone. “But you could have called to warn us. What if someone had thought you brought him here under duress and killed him?”

“Then the house wouldn’t have let him in.”

“Not true,” Erica argues. “The house has been tricked before.”

Her tone tells him she’s referring to those warlocks that went after Kira. They’d cloaked themselves in order to gain entry into the building. But that was before Stiles increased it's warding power. He frowns at her because she’s also suggesting by default that his judgement isn’t that great either.

“Even so. Magic might rarely fool the house but it can’t do the same to me. My instincts are better than that.”

They fall silent when Derek’s eyes turn red. Liam whines softly in fear and tries again to break free. But Stiles doesn’t intend to give in that easy.

“Stiles,” Derek says, stepping closer. “You can’t just pick up strays and bring them here whenever you feel like it.”

Stiles’ hackles rise and it's entirely because Derek is being unreasonable and nothing to do with how stupid Derek’s face is and that he’s a big, lying asshole. “First of all, 1B showed up this morning. And I ran across him tonight when he was attacked by vampires. He’s an omega and he’s all alone out there, living on the streets. And he’s young. The house wanted him and it got him.”

His insides twist with hurt when Derek just sighs like Stiles is being difficult and says, “It’s not that simple.”

“Yes, it is,” he argues, pushing back. “You didn’t kick me out when the house brought me here and you’re not going to do it to Liam. The house let him in the boundary, Derek. It knows he’s not dangerous.”

Derek turns his back on him to walk away like the discussion is finished and Liam struggles a little harder to get free. He looks like he wants to dive out of the front door and never look back. And he can’t help it, alright. The thought that his accepting family might do this to some innocent kid- well, it makes him mad.

Really mad.

The lights start flickering, as the floors begin to shake with Stiles’ magic. The house groans when the pressure of it builds to an unnatural degree.

“He. Stays.” He announces in a deep voice that makes the hair rise on the back of his neck.

God, he sounds like the creature of the deep.

Derek stills and turns to meet his unwavering gaze. They share a long look. A silent battle of wills.

“Fine.”

Then Derek hunches his shoulders and stalks off without another word. As if he’s the one who’s somehow wronged in this scenario. He doesn’t even bother to ask if Stiles is okay after the vampire attack. And okay, he already knows Stiles’ power and that he can protect himself. But a little concern would be nice.

Stiles pulls his magic under control and close to his chest like a wounded animal. The rest of the pack shift uncomfortably as if torn between the both of them before they turn to follow their alpha. Right because the fact that Stiles is doing the right thing doesn’t matter. At all.

“Oh no, you don’t,” he thunders. “You are going to introduce yourselves to Liam like a neighbour would instead of acting like assholes.”

“You did literally just spring this on us Stiles,” Lydia snaps. “Forgive us for not jumping for joy.”

Stiles opens his mouth to argue before Kira cries “Noshiko!” and suddenly she’s standing right in front of Liam.

Noshiko quietly observes the new addition for a moment before she opens up her arms to ask him to pick her up. Stiles knows she’s not in any danger and from the look of it, so does she, but the pack rushes forward in alarm and suddenly Scott is there, lifting her up into his arms.

At the expression on Stiles’ face, he doesn’t back away from Liam though, thank God. Stiles is sure that would only have made it worse. The distrust is already simmering in the air around them. He spots Derek on the next floor up, drawn back by the sound of Kira’s distress. Even from where he’s standing, Stiles can see his claws are out. Ready to slash this kid’s throat.

God, they’re acting like it’s Kate all over again. He understands their concerns, he does, but they have to learn to start trusting again. They did it with him. Why can’t they do it with one of their own?

“You have to ask first, honey,” Scott chides gently. Then he looks at Liam for the first time and smiles in the friendly way he always does. God, Scott is a blessing to this planet. “Can she?”

Liam seems confused and a little frightened, but he nods just as Noshiko leans in eagerly to touch his face. He flinches at first, but relaxes when her little fingers trace along his skin curiously.

“Doggy!” she crows in delight and most of the pack laughs. The tension eases a little.

“Sorry,” Scott apologies. “She hasn’t mastered the word ‘werewolf’ yet. I’m Scott, this is my daughter, Noshiko and my wife, Kira.”

He gestures to Kira who’s made her way down to the foyer after Noshiko’s Houdini act and she waves before Noshiko clambers happily into her arms.

“I’m sorry, if we were rude,” he continues. “We’ve never come across friendly omegas before, so we’re a little wary.”

Liam manages a weak smile but Stiles can see he’s feeling a little more comfortable. “It’s okay. I’ve never met a pack before. It’s pretty overwhelming.”

Malia frowns and takes an inquisitive step closer. “Never met a pack? Then who bit you?”

“I don't know. He was a drifter passing through my hometown. And he was gone by the time I transformed.”

“But you can control your shift?” Laura questions.

Liam seems a little embarrassed by all of their attention. “Sort of?”

Stiles tries not to let it make him angrier than he already is. To bite someone is a huge responsibility and a lifelong commitment. There’s definitely no half-assing it. The werewolf who did this is lucky they’ve never crossed paths.

Though with a quick spell, he might track him down. It’d be pretty easy actually. He’s considering where to go from there when Derek walks down the stairs and pushes into Liam’s space. The omega immediately panics when he leans in to inhale and offers up his neck in submission.

Derek makes a soft noise before he swipes his hand across Liam’s face and Stiles can see how badly he’s shaking.

“You’re scaring him,” he says. “Explain what you're doing.”

Derek gives him a considering look, but complies. “I’m spreading my alpha scent on you so that others will know you are under my protection. It might make creatures think twice if they want to attack you again.”

Liam backs away a little but he’s not shaking as badly when his eyes flare gold. “Uh- I guess, that’s. I just- thanks.”

The pack closes in around him to help spread the scent a little better. After they pull back, he’s a little flushed, but Stiles can sense that his wolf is pleased. Accepted into the pack. Stiles watches the change when Liam’s energy finally balances out and smiles.

He won't be an omega for much longer. Stiles can almost feel the tendrils of energy as the transition to beta begins.

The door to 1B suddenly clicks and unlocks, sliding open invitingly as the werewolves cock their heads toward the sound. See? Who was right after all. Stiles, that's who.

“He needs training,” Derek says, already turning away. “Who will teach him?”

The silence makes Stiles want to smash something. But thankfully, it’s fairly brief.

“I will,” Scott volunteers, slinging an arm around Liam’s neck, because of course, he can count on Scott for anything. He’s the best. “C’mon, let’s get you settled.”

Stiles glances around. “Isaac, you’re a bit taller but you’ve got the same build. Do you have any clothes you can spare?”

Isaac nods and jogs up the stairwell to his apartment without any arguments.

The tentative touch of Derek’s hand as it slides into his own is entirely startling. He wants to pull his hand back, still a little angry at how Derek acted but he’s not that petty. Plus, his magic welcomes the touch. Always welcomes his touch.

“I’m sorry,” he says softly. “You were right. The house planned this. I just reacted when you brought a stranger through the door.”

The bottom of Stiles world drops out from under him when he realises what he means. Stiles sneaking in a werewolf like his ex snuck in those warlocks to kill Kira’s unborn daughter. Does Derek really see him like that? He still doesn’t trust him?

“You think that I- I’d betray you like Kate?”

Derek’s eyes go wide with disbelief. “No,” he mutters and pulls Stiles close, wrapping his arms around him. “It was a different instinct. But you’re right. Liam needs us and we can help him. We will help him.”

Stiles’ magic preens when his alpha essence wraps comfortingly around them. The tension settling in his lower back releases with a soft sigh.

“And there’s nothing else you want to talk about?”

Derek tenses in his arms but doesn’t pull away. “No. Nothing.”

He’s lying. Of course. But Stiles almost doesn’t care that much anymore.

Derek’s here and he’s an awesome hugger and Stiles feels much, much better. Who cares about weirdness? Weirdness he can live with. It’s not like it’s going to kill him. They’ll be fine. They’ve been together this long haven’t they? He draws back, only so he can press his mouth to Derek’s. It’s soft and chaste, but burns through his lips like liquid fire.

When they break apart, Derek’s pupils are blown. “You owe me some serious cuddling,” Stiles tells him reproachfully. It comes out more breathless than he plans.

His dick is getting hard with Derek pressed against it. What? The response is totally Pavlovian, he can’t even help it. It’s probably better not to fight the instinct.

Derek's eyes glint. “How about we work our way up to that?”

He’s already leading him up the stairs towards an apartment they can get naked in and considering how helpful the house is, that could literally mean every single one. They’re not assholes though, so they control their libidos enough to make it to the fourth floor as Derek drags him into 4B. And Stiles certainly isn’t going to argue. Please, he’s not that stupid.

They haven’t had much time lately but Derek’s obviously feeling the need to make up for it because he fucks Stiles long and hard on the couch. They’re so impatient they don’t even make it to the bedroom. But they definitely regret it ten minutes later when Stiles collapses on Derek’s chest in a big, sweaty heap with his knot locked tightly inside and his dick sparking between their stomachs.

He mouths tiredly at Derek’s shoulder and huffs out a laugh.

They don’t knot very often. Mainly because of time constraints and the mess they have to clean up after but it’s a sure fire way for comfortable intimacy. There’s nothing more intimate then literally being stuck together for about ten to twenty minutes. Or romantic.

“You’re the worst,” Stiles groans. “Who knots someone on a couch when the remote is over there.”

He points at the remote an entire universe out of their reach and grumbles. Plus it’s not that comfortable in Derek’s lap like this. His thighs are starting to burn. He can’t talk, but. Derek asked. He always asks first before knotting.

Stiles is the one who said yes. What a dumbass.

Derek snickers and gently scoops Stiles up and carries him to the bedroom. Stiles winces a little at the tug between them but it’s a lot less horrifying than he guessed. It’s even better when Derek carefully lays Stiles onto his back and starts thrusting his hips forward, grinding his knot in deep.

“What about now?” Derek murmurs softly in his ear, a little breathless.

Stiles curses as his dick hardens again. Seriously, again? Who’s he kidding, it’s no sacrifice.

“I said best,” Stiles snaps as his eyes roll back. “Oh God, you’re the best.”

Derek’s knot finds all the good spots and he cries out.

“Fuck, I love you,” Derek groans peppering kisses across his nipples.

Stiles’ balls feel tight all of a sudden. Jesus, Derek knows what that line does to him. Known it since the first time he said it. The cheating fucker. Stiles comes on the next thrust and sinks easily into the mattress, blissed out from so many orgasms. Derek is a machine.

“Yeah, yeah. Love you too,” Stiles grumbles when his brain comes back. “Now kiss me, you fool.”

Derek’s moan transforms into a choked out laugh as he bends down, bites the tip of Stiles’ nose and comes. Then bites tiredly at his lower lip.

Whatever. It counts.

 

 


 


It takes about a day for them to love Liam. An entire day. Stiles literally goes to work, comes home and they’re all in Scott’s apartment playing monopoly with the fresh beta werewolf.

Even Derek’s there. He wants to roll his eyes at all of the pack’s standoffish behaviour yesterday. They were totally fronting. The kid’s innocent blue eyes had won them over as soon as he’d entered the foyer. What a bunch of softies.

Stiles is quickly dragged onto Derek’s lap and listens to their plans on what to do with Liam’s education. Apparently, he wants to go to a human school. Braeden offers to make him a fake identity and pass him off as a Hale so they can pretend to be his guardians. Lydia says she knows how to forge his transcripts while Danny says he can hack into his old school and transfer data. It’s actually great to hear how willing they are to help the kid.

It’s definitely worth it when Liam smiles a little shyly before Boyd and Erica land on one of Jackson and Danny’s properties and go completely bankrupt in one move. It’s pretty funny actually when Erica nearly tears the board apart with her bare hands.

Boyd only just stops her but he looks like he’s experiencing similar violent thoughts towards it. Jackson pulls Danny against his chest affectionately as he begins to cackle. Danny's true evil is showing again.

“This is exactly what I want,” Stiles murmurs into Derek’s ear when the board finally loses the battle against a lot of pissed off werewolves and tips over with a crash, followed by immediate scattered laughter and applause.

Derek appears a little startled at the enthusiastic ferocity against an inanimate object. But seriously, has he not met his house?

“What is?” he asks rubbing soothing circles against the exposed skin of Stiles' hip.

“This,” he acknowledges, tipping his head towards the pack, his family. “Until I’m dead, man.”

Derek’s expression softens a little and he gently kisses Stiles’ forehead, smiling at the way his heart pumps faster.

“Okay,” he agrees like he can somehow guarantee that.

Stiles will admit he’s a big part of the picture.

 







There's even a lot of cooperating when Stiles finally tracks down the werewolf who bit Liam.

Turns out he isn't the only one eager to meet the dude. Most of the bloodthirsty pack members travel with Stiles and Derek for the happy reunion. They don't kill him or anything though. But they do enough to make him regret being such a dick before handing him over to the local hunters in the area that follow the code.

They know exactly what to do with a werewolf biting innocents.

And if he happens to arrive in their camp looking like he'd been run over by a truck and covered in a rash of green pus filled boils, no one questions it. Liam certainly doesn't want to know anything when they return, appearing very pleased with themselves.

Probably safer.








It’s date night tonight and as Stiles rushes out to work, he notices Derek’s still sitting in the living room on his cell phone. And is that Stiles’ favourite mug in Derek’s hand? In Derek's apartment? Of course, it is.

Stupid house.

He’s running too late to stop and chat but it’s hard not to overhear some of the conversation. Especially when Derek should be at work already. He’s an inquisitive guy, alright? Sue him.

“So it’s ready?” Derek asks and does he actually sound a little nervous? “And the size is-“

He senses Stiles blazing on through and shuts up pretty quickly. He scowls when Stiles trips over his own feet and he can almost feel those eyebrows telling him to slow the fuck down or risk breaking his face.

Derek’s eyebrows can sometimes speak more eloquently than he can. Stiles flushes a little with embarrassment but waves and hurries out the door before he dwells too much on the conversation and starts worrying about weirdness again.

Things haven’t been like that for a week actually so clearly they’re beginning to turn over a new leaf. He is a pretty big fan of ignoring things until they go away and what do you know, the system works.

Stiles is back to being idiotically happy and free of any doubts plaguing him in his relationship.

Naturally, it’s straight after this that practically everything goes to shit.

 







He and Steve work later than usual, so he calls Derek on his way out of the office to let him know he’s running late. Really late.

It’s safe to guess date night might become date morning. The last thing he expects when the phone picks up, is all of the yelling in the background, though. While the pack being loud isn’t that unusual, it’s a pretty random occurrence when it's nearly eleven o’clock already.

Won’t they wake up Noshiko?

“Hey, Derek,” he says, raising his voice a little to be heard over the noise. “Work ran a little late, so I’m just calling to-“

“Stiles? Hello?” Derek calls and he sounds frazzled. Stressed even.

What the hell is going on? Did the building throw everyone’s dirty laundry into the foyer after nobody changed the washing machine powder again?

“Derek, you there?” he asks, pressing his finger to his opposite ear to hear better. Steve raises an eyebrow. “Work went late and I’m on my way-“

“Don’t,” Derek says sharply. “Don’t come home.”

And then he just hangs up.

What the fuck? It hits him like a punch to the gut and his eyes are wide with shock and hurt when he stares at his screen. Because Derek just hung up on him without a word of explanation.

“What’s wrong?” Steve wonders, touching his shoulder in concern.

He tries to call Derek back several times but his cell phone just keeps ringing out. And that’s his answer isn’t it? God, he’s been so stupid.

“I think-“ Stiles mutters, numbly. “Derek, just dumped me.”

Steve’s smooth expression contorts into one of pure astonishment. “He what?”

“He told me not to come home and hung up on me.”

“Jesus, that’s cold.”

Stiles tries to call Scott, see if he can maybe shed some light on whatever the hell just happened but he doesn't answer either because right, Scott's known about this all along. Stiles skin feels too tight when he sees his fingers are sparking red as he stuffs his phone back into his pocket with resignation.

They've never sparked red before. It's always blue and that is definitely not a good sign.

“But I don’t even know… what happened? I don’t- Jesus, what am I going to do? I just renewed my contract here for an extra two years and I was about to sign a longer lease for my apartment. And the pack? My family. Fuck, does he mean he never wants me to come round again? I don’t understand. I won’t ever be able to see them-“

It’s- it’s… he can’t fucking breathe. Steve senses the incoming panic attack and quickly encourages Stiles onto the ground as he puts his head between his knees. His butt barely touches the floor before thunder rumbles ominously in the lobby and rain appears in a sudden deluge, soaking him to the bone. Perkins is gonna be so pissed.

“Oh, shit. Stiles, you need to focus right now on breathing. Okay, man? In and out. In and out. Do it with me.”

Steve’s voice is soothing and it’s easier to focus on it above the patter of raindrops before he realises he’s channelling soothing emotions from Steve into his skin. It helps. The fog between his eyes clears and his body stops fighting itself.

He flops onto his back into a puddle of water, exhausted. And suddenly very weary with the world.

You’re not dead, he promises. Derek’s a total buttface, but you’ll get over it.

It’s sadder because even he knows he’s lying. Because it’s not like he just lost Derek, the guy he’d maybe he’d been hoping to grow old with or whatever, but he also lost his pack, his house and everything else.

He focuses to make the rain stop but it takes a few tries. His magic feels sluggish and weak as he dries Steve's soaked clothes. Stiles is almost too devastated to fix his own but Steve won't leave until he does. After a minute he manages to dry himself with a heavy sigh.

But he's too drained to remove the water in the lobby.

Sorry, Perkins.

“Come on, Stiles,” Steve says gently, as he helps him back onto his feet. “We’re going to my place and we’re gonna get drunk.”

“And wallow,” Stiles adds hysterically. “Don’t forget the wallowing. Oh, God.”

He’s shaky as they make their way out of the lobby but Steve helps him walk by wrapping a supporting arm around his waist. Steve calls a cab because apparently he lives in West Village and is actually kind of rich and Stiles had no idea at all. Some friend.

Clearly, he’s failing in that department as well. Stiles is actually so embarrassed when the taxi driver makes a joke about the full moon and strange people out and about tonight and he bursts into manic laughter.

Because that’s exactly what he and the pack had been planning on doing after date night. They were going to roam the woods and everything. On a full moon run. Steve consoles him like a champ and he manages to get a hold of himself at the promise of booze and cheeseburgers- from this great joint around the corner from Steve’s apartment that he describes in great detail to distract him.

It works. He ends up feeling both sorry for himself and hungry. So win-win. Steve pays the driver and tugs Stiles out of the cab and leads him towards his building. It sucks because there’s no magical energy waiting to greet him at the door.

Stiles immediately hates it. He thinks he might make it rain again.

But Steve drags him up to his sixth floor apartment before he can do anything else. He sits Stiles straight on the couch and tells him to stay there while he gets the burgers. While he’s gone, Stiles pushes his magic down into his centre where it can't escape and makes his way over to the cupboard to get started on the booze. He also tries to call Derek again because he's pathetic.

No answer, though.

He’s a mess. His magic is so quiet now it’s like he’s lost it altogether. He just feels numb when he locates the bottle of Jack Daniel's and brings it back over to the couch. He spots a quilt draped over the edge, throws his phone onto the dining table, kicks off his shoes and starts making the burrito of sadness.

He’s all curled up inside it feeling like an absolute piece of shit when his phone starts buzzing.

It’s Derek.

Stiles can’t actually find a reason to pick it up. Not when he knows it’s going to be a longer break up speech that’ll just make him want to curl into a foetal position. He uncaps the Jack and takes the largest gulp possible just to feel it slide angrily down his throat. The cell phone finally rings out. Would you believe he starts crying?

It doesn’t matter, because he totally does. At least he doesn't make it rain in Steve's lounge room.

By the time Steve returns with their burgers, gently edging around Stiles like he’s a bomb about to explode, Derek has called twice, then Scott, then Lydia and Laura. For some reason that makes him more upset. He’s all cried out when Steve silently passes him the burger though. Stiles exchanges it for the bottle which Steve takes a long drink out of as if he’s preparing for a long night ahead of him.

He ain’t seen nothing yet.

“I told you about the weirdness,” he says eventually when he can find the words to speak. “Did I not mention the weirdness?”

“You did,” Steve agrees. “But is it possible that you’re confusing things a little? It just seems really out of character for Derek.”

Stiles flinches. “We do not speak his name,” he hisses and wow he’s a little drunk already isn’t he? If he's making intense references like that. “That name is now blacklisted. And he told me not to come home. It could not be any clearer than that.”

He takes a bite of the burger and it tastes great. The burger probably won’t ever dump him for no reason. Maybe he should start dating his culinary choices instead.

“I feel for you man, I do,” he promises. “But don’t you think this is all a bit strange?”

His cell phone rings again. Stiles doesn’t bother to look at it. But Steve does.

“It’s-“

“He Who Must Not Be Named,” Stiles snaps taking another angry bite of his burger.

“Yeah, that. Maybe you should answer it.”

Stiles laughs. “So he can dump me with a more in depth explanation rather than the two sentences he already gave? No, thanks. He can go eat a dick.”

Steve looks like he wants to argue but drops it and passes back the bottle. Bless him.

They finish off their burgers and both drink a lot more before they end up playing grand theft auto on Steve's Xbox. They’re pretty drunk at that point. There’s a lot less grand thefting than anyone would assume.

Stiles' phone keeps buzzing throughout the night as every member of the pack calls him. Even Liam who has a cell phone now, since Kira took him shopping after his first day of human high school. Spoiler alert: he loved it. Didn't wolf out or anything. Stiles rates that as a success.

They’re failing spectacularly on the Xbox and laughing pretty loudly with Stiles sounding much too unnatural to be even remotely believable when Parrish rings at three in the morning. And okay. He’s pretty drunk and kind of miserable and Steve might be cheering him up but he’s no miracle worker. Despite that, Stiles is still present enough to know he gave Parrish his number for emergencies only.

So he answers it.

“Parrishhh,” he sings. “Hope this isn't life threatening, cause I won’t be much help.”

“Stiles, are you okay?” Parrish asks sounding concerned. “Where are you?”

“I’m so drunk, man,” he slurs. “You don’t even wanna know…”

He can hear Parrish muttering to someone else in the background and oh no, his spidey senses are tingling.

“Stiles, tell us where you-“

He nearly hangs up but when he hears it's Scott and that he sounds panicked, he hesitates.

“Stiles? Stiles?” Scott calls, and there’s a scuffling sound when he grabs the phone off of Parrish.

“Where are you?” he asks. “What’s going on? Derek’s a total mess right now, you need to talk to him. We thought something had happened. Like vamps again. We’ve all been out searching for you. We just sent Derek home because he’s freaking out too much.”

Stiles sighs. “I’m at Steve’s, man. And don’t try and make me feel guilty about this. It’s not my fault.”

Scott frowns. “What are you talking about? What is happening right now? Are you leaving Derek for Steve?”

Steve overhears, chokes on the Jack he’s currently chugging and promptly starts a violent coughing fit while Stiles laughs at the accusation. What? It's funny, okay. Steve gets it.

“Wow. You really didn’t talk to Derek did you?” he laughs. “Then you’d remember the part where he dumped me.”

Scott makes a strangled sound. “I can’t even- you’ve got to come home right now and talk to Derek. Trust me.”

When he looks up at the screen again his player’s just been busted by the cops. Great. So he can’t play a criminal for shit, either.

But it doesn't matter because suddenly Stiles is wired, alert and without the crippling sadness at the forefront of his mind. So he’s got more room to feel. Because it's not all bad. The pack still cares about him.

Mostly he just feels angry. Really angry. Because Derek dumped him in a phone call rather than to his face like a decent person. Like what a dickweed. Bad things are definitely coming his way.

“Oh, I’ll talk to Derek alright,” Stiles promises, and does he actually sound like he’s preparing to unleash some highly potent, infuriated magic? Because at this point, it’s highly likely that he is.

Stiles is going to go home pack up his shit and leave. Maybe he’ll cut holes in all of Derek’s henleys or something. For science. And revenge.

If the house tries to stop his departure, he’ll blow it up. Steve will let him crash here until he finds a new place. And he’ll still visit his pack even if they’re standing around the carcass of his dead relationship right now. Either way, Derek will be seeing him. He’s definitely planning on yelling. A lot.

“Stiles, you are harshing on some hard vibes right now,” Steve points out and Stiles shoots him a dry look.

“Thanks for letting me crash. I’m gonna go and kill Derek now.”

Steve frowns and Scott makes a peculiar sound because werewolf hearing and all but Stiles hangs up before he can comment. His blood is fizzing so strongly with magic that he doesn’t even bother with a cab. He just takes another step and then he’s unexpectedly standing out the front of his building.

Which bad, bad idea. Do not drink and teleport. That could have gone horrifically wrong. He could've left his right arm back at Steve's or something. And he's going to need ol' righty to be taking care of his dick from now on. What a close call.

Stiles is out on the sidewalk, rethinking his life choices when the front door wrenches open and Derek comes charging out. Scott isn’t wrong, he does look like a mess. There are shadows under his eyes and his hair is sticking up in wild tuffs like he’s been continuously running his hands through it all night.

His face breaks out with relief.

Stiles grits his teeth and steps over the boundary with his fists clenched. How dare Derek be happy to see him. The jerk.

“Wait,” Derek starts. “Don’t-”

Something flies straight out of the house and hits Stiles in the side of the head. Hard. Not as hard as that candle, but Jesus, really? Couldn’t the house cut him a break every now and again? He's having a really shitty night after all.

“Ow,” he cries, and catches it before it hits the ground. “What the-?”

It’s a box. A goddamn ring box. For proposing. What even.

“Are you fucking kidding me with this?”

Derek’s jaw clenches before his face shuts down. “Look, I know this isn’t the best circumstances-“

“You dumped me!” Stiles snaps. “Several hours earlier over a fucking phone call.”

Derek looks panicked and takes a step forward as if he’s going to touch Stiles and oh, no, these are not the droids you’re looking for. Stiles hand cuts decisively through the air in order to stop him. No touchy. Not until Stiles knows he’s not going to magically transform Derek into a donkey for being such and ass.

“I-“ Derek runs a hand through his hair again as why does it seem like they’re shaking? “I wasn’t breaking up with you.”

Stiles is so angry, he almost can’t speak. Say what now? Seriously? His fingers are sparking but it's blue again which means his magic will work just fine when he kills his boyfriend. Jesus, their communication needs some fucking work. They are probably the stupidest couple in existence. If they still even are a couple at this point.

Which what? Like what is actually happening at this stage? Confusion, thy name is Stiles.

He’s so furious, he can’t look at Derek without imagining him being attacked by a swarm of angry bees.

“I can’t even with this right now. I need to sleep for like a billion years,” Stiles sighs, and edges around Derek to walk into the house. It’s more lurching than walking which quickly tells him he’s still a little drunk.

And bone deep tired. Not to mention pissed off. Everything is stupid and he may as well be a bad spark with the negative vibes seeping out of his pores right now. He’s going to need a major cleansing after this. Looks like it finally happened. Derek’s actually driven him to evil. Give the werewolf a prize.

“Wait, Stiles,” Derek calls. “We need to talk.”

Stiles laughs as he storms up the stairs. “Oh, so you are dumping me then? God, you're such a dick.”

Derek grunts in annoyance and hurries to catch up. “Dammit, Stiles. Will you just talk to me?”

“No, alright? You have put me on an emotional rollercoaster this past month. So, right now I’m going to bed. We can talk after.”

He reaches his apartment before he realises he’s still holding the ring box. It’s definitely an awkward thing to hand it back. But he does. Derek’s hand lingers a little when their fingers touch and he is totally playing dirty. Stiles can’t believe he’s in love with the guy.

Okay, he can believe it.

He’s not stupid, he knows they’re both assholes. Stiles is just more passive aggressive about it is all.

“I’ll talk to you later,” he promises.

Derek doesn’t argue which is a miracle in its own right. Stiles has never been happier to see his bed. He collapses onto it without bothering to change out of his work suit. He falls straight asleep.

With his shoes still on. Something he wouldn’t think possible after such an awful night that ripped his heart apart and basically shattered the world as he knows it. And he somehow even sleeps like a baby.

Must be the booze.

 


 


He wakes up to a crippling headache the next morning and Scott hovering over him, looking worried. He flips off the bed in surprise and lands flat on his face.

Naturally.

“No,” he whines. “Put that judgement away. I can’t look at it right now.”

Scott tutts like Stiles is the problem and he groans, twisting free of his blanket to stare at the werewolf. And he actually seems pretty upset. Huh. What do you know, he does care.

“Stiles, what happened last night?” Scott wonders. “You didn’t come home, weren’t answering any of our phone calls. We thought something happened. And now you’re back and breaking up with Derek? He’s not letting anyone into 4D to talk to him. Not even Cora.”

Stiles climbs wearily to his feet. “You know that’s not fair, Scott. He called me last night, told me not to come home and hung up on me. He didn’t answer any of my calls. What would you have thought?”

Scott’s expression is a little puzzled but he listens. Bless him, he listens. “Okay, we all know Derek’s not great at relationships, but you ignored all of us, Stiles. Even me. That hurt.”

Wow. And why did that not cross his mind last night? Right, cause he was too busy feeling sorry for himself. Bit of a dickish oversight. How did he end up being the bad guy in this as well?

“Shit,” he says. “I was upset and I didn’t think. I’m sorry. I owe the whole pack an apology.”

Scott shrugs and flops onto the bed next to him. “They’d probably appreciate it. Lydia wanted to rip your balls off.”

Stiles won’t deny that he whimpers a little and covers his junk.

“It was a very trying time,” he argues. “I wasn’t thinking straight and you didn't answer my call, either.”

Scott sighs. “Because we were all busy helping Derek. C'mon, Stiles, just talk to him already. The house has stressed him out enough.”

“The house?” Stiles repeats. “What does the house have to do with anything besides the sudden urge to throw things at my head?”

Scott gives him this look like he’s being dumb. “The house stole the ring yesterday when Derek put it down for a second and wouldn’t give it back. The whole pack searched the building for it before you could get home so it wouldn’t ruin the moment for him.”

Huh. So that’s what all that yelling was about. The pack trying to help Derek when the house was messing around with them again.

“I’m going to talk to Derek,” Stiles announces.

Because he actually wants to hear all of this from him. No offence to Scott's ability to humanise his troublesome boyfriend. Scott just nods understandingly and leaves the room so that he can get dressed and brush his teeth.

When he’s finally ready and makes his way out into the hallway, the entire pack is squeezed onto the fourth floor. Even Liam.

Cue disapproving looks.

“Alright, I know I’m not everyone’s favourite guy at the moment. I messed up by ignoring you all and I’m really sorry. But I am not the bad guy here and what’s going on is between me and Derek.”

“And the house,” Lydia adds with a dangerous tone that screams forgiveness pending.

Stiles sighs. “Trust me, we are going to have a long talk about the house and boundaries. I am not entering a serious relationship with an alpha and an enchanted house, believe me.”

Ethan snorts, but they all let him pass which leaves him feeling better about the whole thing. “I’ll make it up to you guys. Wolfsbane vodka all round! Except for you, Liam. Sorry bro, my dad’s a cop.”

Cora is still knocking on 4D when he reaches it. She frowns at him when Laura taps her shoulder and jerks her thumb in his direction. He might feel better if it isn’t more of a look-at-this-idiot kind of gesture.

“After you, dickface,” Cora says sweetly. See what he's dealing with? Unfair.

And hey now, that’s not very nice. How is he meant to cleanse his own bad vibes when they’re dumping more negativity on him? Not cool.

“I figured we might be past the kicking-Stiles stage.”

Laura actually flicks him on the forehead. Which what? Seriously, they’ve descended to physical brutality now? For shame. Stiles just narrows his eyes and Laura vanishes with a soft hum of his magic. Cora gasps. Jackson lets out a distinctive swear word in front of Noshiko that Kira hits him on the arm for.

“What the- house?” Cora says utterly confused.

“No, that was me,” Stiles offers cheerfully. “Laura’s fine.”

She reappears at the other end of the hallway, soaked to the bone and looking seriously pissed after the sudden dunk in Deaton’s bathtub. That move he stole from the house. What? Sometimes it has good ideas. It happens.

“Now, we’re even,” Stiles calls to her before trying to walk past Cora.

She holds a hand up to stop him.

“Only you would be stupid enough to think Derek would ever want to break up with you. Do you know that the house has never meddled with any of Derek’s relationships before? Not once before you.”

That’s probably because he’s made of magic. “Well…“

She somehow sees what he’s thinking. “Oh no. He dated a witch once. It has nothing to do with magic.”

Oh, Jennifer. So that must be why he couldn’t talk about that particular dating experience. Knowing his luck and extreme prejudice with anything magical, she probably dated him without expressly divulging her witchy background.

Stiles bets the house didn’t let that fly for long. God, Derek’s as bad as he is. They really do deserve each other. He’s kind of struck speechless for a little bit while his brain tries to process everything he's just learned. Cora just drives on through his shock like a mack truck.

“So you need to get over whatever insecurity that’s telling you what you guys have isn’t special and get your shit together.”

Seems simple enough.

“Yes, Ma’am,” he mocks with a salute.

“Can I punch him?” Laura asks from the back of the group. “Derek won’t mind that much, I think.”

Stiles flips her off, leans forward to press him palm to the door and it just opens.

“Look at that,” he crows, bragging shamelessly. “Sparks got them skills. You guys would be lost without-“

He doesn’t finish the sentence when some unseen force tugs him by the front of his shirt and drags him into the room. The pack’s laughter is distinctive when the door slams shut.

“God, you’re pushy for a sentient object,” Stiles mutters scowling and straightening his shirt when the pressure releases him.

Of course, the house's natural response is to throw something at his head. Again. This better not become a habit.

“Jesus fucking-“ Stiles cries rubbing the targeted area as he catches the projectile. “We need to talk about you throwing things at me, cause I am not okay with it. I am like the opposite of okay with it, alright?”

The house only hums pleasantly when Stiles glances down at the weapon of choice, heart beating faster when he realises it’s the ring box. Again. Last night he’d been too drunk to think about it very much, but now that it’s in front of him-

Yep, plenty of thinking over here. His fingers twitch over its edges, very tempted to crack it open and take a peep. Which is exactly what the stupid house wants. Probably the second he does, it’ll magically superglue the ring to his finger.

What an asshat.

“I can always bind your power you know,” Stiles mumbles grumpily. “Then you won’t be able to do anything.”

The room starts shaking like it did that first time Derek threatened the house. It was mocking him then and it’s mocking Stiles now. The little shit.

“You are such a dick,” he snaps and heads for Derek’s bedroom. Oddly enough, the commotion in the hallway and Stiles’ voice haven’t disrupted his routine at all.

Because he’s asleep.

Stiles takes two steps into the room and the door shuts and locks. Right. He should’ve seen that coming.

“You are on my list, buddy,” he promises, wagging his finger at the ceiling like the house has eyes instead of sensory magic. The energy in the room crackles a little in response.

Derek still doesn’t stir at the sound of his voice which is a testament to how much he subconsciously trusts Stiles even when he’s vulnerable. Stiles has to swallow around the lump of feelings that brings out. Because Derek is still a dumbass. And Stiles is still in love with him.

Go figure.

Stiles’ fingers are trailing softly through Derek’s hair before he even really thinks about it. That’s probably creepy right? He should stop. Except, Derek tilts his head into the sensation as he slowly wakes up and it’s stupidly endearing and-

Yeah. Derek sucks.

His eyes flutter open and the soft unfettered expression on his face hardens. Becomes guarded. It’s the worst.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to wake you,” Stiles whispers, pulling his hand back.

Derek’s eyes immediately drift to the ring box in Stiles’ hand and he sits up in the bed, resting against the headboard. “Are you ready to talk?”

Stiles nods and climbs onto the mattress, very aware of the polite distance he puts between them. Derek’s jaw clenches but he doesn’t comment.

“I’d been planning on asking you to marry me for a while,” Derek begins hesitantly. "Laura went with me to look at rings. I used work as an excuse when they called to say they’d got the sizing wrong. When you called last night, the house had just taken the ring and we were trying to find it before you got home. I wasn’t dumping you. I just panicked because I knew it wouldn’t be able to resist ruining everything when I’d tried so hard to make the moment perfect.”

Stiles has already figured out the gist of it. It’s still nice to hear, though. And from Derek. Finally.

“Yeah, I’m not going to lie the house is a raging dick,” Stiles says. “But can you really blame me for thinking it? You’d been acting cagey for a few weeks-“

Derek opens his mouth to explain but Stiles keeps talking. “And I know now you were just trying to keep the surprise and everything,” he reconciles. “But you know how sensitive I am to changes in emotional balance and it was pretty upsetting thinking you didn’t trust me with whatever was going on. You get that, right?”

“I do,” Derek says and reaches out slowly to take Stiles’ free hand. He does it slowly enough that Stiles can pull away if he wants and it makes his throat dry. The energy flares happily between them and Stiles won’t ever be able to forget what it feels like to touch him.

“I know, I hurt you and you didn’t deserve to feel uncertain of our relationship but it was really important to me that when I proposed it would be perfect. Why didn’t you ask me what was wrong?”

“I did!” Stiles protests. “Straight after you treated me like The Betrayer for bring Liam here. You said 'nothing' and I know when people lie to me, Derek. I didn’t know what to think.”

Derek’s eyes widen as he remembers. “I thought you knew. Or you were close to figuring it out. I didn’t even think of what you might be suspecting instead. I’m sorry.”

“Me too. I shouldn’t have just left and ignored everyone. But when you hung up and didn’t answer when I called back a few times I-“

“I was so focused on finding the ring, I left my cell in my apartment," Derek groans. "It was only around midnight that I looked for it when you didn’t come home.”

Stiles sighs. “Let’s just agree we’re both dumbasses.”

“We are.”

Stiles turns over Derek’s hand and has the sudden urge to kiss it but he’s still not sure if they’re cool yet. Gotta test those waters first.

“So are we- I mean, is it still alright if we keep doing the frick frack? Cause not gonna lie, I still love you.”

Derek lets out a frustrated sound and nearly tugs Stiles' arm out of its socket when he pulls their joined hands to his chest. “Stiles, I bought a ring. Of course, I fucking love you.”

Stiles grins and scrambles forward, kneeling on the bed when Derek releases his hand. He opens the ring box but faces it towards Derek.

“Will you marry me, dude?”

Derek groans and pinches the bridge of his nose before he starts to laugh. “Stiles, firstly that ring is for you and won’t fit my finger and secondly this isn’t where I pictured us getting engaged.”

Stiles drops the box and clambers into his lap, kissing him on the mouth. Derek’s eyes are alight with happiness. Frustrated happiness as only he does best.

“Who cares?” Stiles argues. “It already happened and if you say no, you’ll crush my soul. And as for the ring…”

Stiles concentrates for a second as the air around him shimmers. The gold ring appears in his open palm. From where he's been hiding it for several months in the hidden cache of his bedroom wall, right along with his grimoire.

“One ring to rule them all…”

“No,” Derek deadpans, pushing Stiles out of his lap at the Lord of the Rings reference.

He rolls a bit across the mattress but it’s totally worth it to see Derek’s face.

“Oh c’mon, that was funny,” Stiles laughs. “It’s charmed like Jackson’s ring but with what I feel for you. Just been sitting in another dimension waiting for the right moment. I’ve probably had this longer than you. And that by the way is the proper way to hide something from the house.”

Derek rolls his eyes but he’s grinning again. “Not everyone has magic, Stiles.”

“Shut up. You wanna marry me or not?”

“No. I just went to all this effort for nothing,” he says sarcastically, but lets Stiles slide the ring onto his wedding finger.

Stiles feels the moment the magic trickles out of the ring and Derek’s face goes soft with the memories and feelings he imbued it with. It’s adorable. His ears even redden a bit as well.

He put everything into that ring. Every single thing Derek’s made him feel since they’ve been together. All the good bits. Even some of the bad, like the arguments they remember fondly by the fantastic make up sex.

Because it’s them. Together. He’ll probably add the memory of their break up disaster some day. If he gets around to it.

“Aww, do you need a moment, boo-boo?” he teases when Derek swallows heavily.

If he cries, it’ll be so great. Stiles is gonna tell everybody.

“Don’t ruin this for me,” Derek growls, but he’s smiling when he fits Stiles’ ring onto his wedding finger.

Stiles barely spares it a glance before he giddily forces his way into Derek’s space again so he can enthusiastically make out with him. His magic is singing so loudly that not only is every light flickering in the room, he thinks it might be happening in the whole building. His fingers are practically shooting fireworks.

Oh, well. It happens.

Derek’s breathing heavily when they break apart and it's great because dude is his fiancée now. Holy shit.

“We need to have engaged sex,” Stiles hurries. “Like yesterday.”

Derek readily agrees and starts trying to strip off his clothes. But Stiles ain’t got no time for that. The weird noise Derek makes when they’re suddenly naked is both awesome and highly entertaining.

Hello? Spark much.

“Jesus,” he mutters, then seals his mouth onto one of Stiles' nipples.

Very nice.

Stiles jerks his hips down so their dicks can say hello and lets out a strangled sound.

“Come on, come on,” he urges climbing over Derek’s dick because he wants it in him already. That's enough foreplay. “Hurry up.”

“I need to prep you,” Derek says around kisses. “Don’t be stupid.”

“Already done,” Stiles moans trying to line them up and huffing with frustration when Derek pulls his hips away. “Derek.”

“Already? What, like magically?” Derek asks and Stiles notices how his pupils nearly disappear they’re so dilated. Wow.

“Yes. Now just-“

“Oh, God, Stiles that’s,” he fucks in quickly, the slick of lube easing the way as he buries in straight to the hilt. Stiles says a few choice phrases that are not in fact proper English, it feels so good.

And then Derek makes it better by pulling out again. Setting up a rhythm. Stiles tips his head back with pleasure and rolls his hips like he rides dick professionally. It's so good, he could cry. Derek bites at his shoulder to smother the noise it pulls from his chest and links their fingers together.

The ring on Stiles’ hand clinks against the bones of Derek’s interlocking fingers and draws his attention. He barely spares the thought that he’s riding his fiancée before his balls press tight against Derek’s abs and he comes all over his chest.

God, that's hot. Stiles brain just died, he thinks.

“You’re a menace,” Derek groans out, but he comes straight after, Stiles’ ass milking the orgasm out of him like he doesn’t have any choice.

Stiles pants desperately into Derek’s throat and laughs at the first insistent press of his knot. He always takes the time to ask if it’s okay, but Derek must’ve been so overwhelmed that he lost control. For once.

It definitely strokes Stiles’ ego. He doesn’t mind the new development one bit.

“Engaged knotting?” Stiles slurs around the pressure of Derek’s dick pushing deeper inside as it seals them together. It presses against his prostate and he nearly loses it.

There’s a large crash but Stiles is so distracted by moving his hips in a circle to keep Derek’s knot against his happy spot to notice. He comes again, weakly and with a desperate sound just as Derek starts laughing. It’s too bad his brain isn’t functioning enough to process why.

“Sorry, lost control. Wasn’t enough time to ask. And you blew another door off the hinges again,” he says carding his fingers softly in Stiles’ hair as he manoeuvres them into a comfortable position.

“Great,” Stiles replies, sleepily. “I love you.”

Derek kisses his forehead and pulls him forward as if trying to lock them more tightly together. Stiles has no complaints with that. “I love you, too. You okay?”

Stiles nods and lets out a happy sigh. “Perfect. Everything’s perfect.”


 





When they finally stumble out of Derek’s apartment, reeking of sex and laughing with their hands all over each other, their entire pack is at the door waiting.

Awkward.

Stiles blanches when they all cheer and someone pops the cork to a bottle of champagne. Derek looks sheepish when Erica and Laura come forward with a cake. Oh no. They both sense the danger and try to retreat but the door locks them out of 4D because the house is an asshole and will always be an asshole. Stiles totally loves it.

He gets a glimpse of the icing which reads 'congrats, on the sex' before they dump it on their heads. Did they just go and buy that while they were fixing their relationship issues with uncomfortably loud sex? Stiles could kiss them.

Everyone’s laughing, even Jackson, and Deaton’s even made his way out of the cave to witness the moment.

And even Steve, the shaman turned up. He’s standing beside the twins and Isaac and has his thumbs up as he grins like a lunatic. Jackson's giving him a weird look. But that's probably because of that one time Steve sent a spirit into the bathroom when Jackson was in there to scare the shit out of him after they'd first met and he'd made a typical Jackson impression.

Braeden seems to remember the moment quite vividly because she's laughing at Jackson's expression while Danny squeezes his arm.

Cora nods at him like she approves but she's soon distracted by Malia and Liam throwing small cake missiles at everyone, as Boyd's shakes the bottle and sprays the group with booze. Of course, not a single speck of food or champagne hits Lydia and by default, Allison. Everyone's laughing, screaming, and eating random bits of cake and it’s great. It’s perfect.

It’s everything Stiles ever wanted and somehow never thought he could get. With his pack. His family.

He doesn’t even mind being covered in chocolate cake. Especially when he gets to lick most of it off Derek’s face with as much enthusiasm as to make everyone in the vicinity uncomfortable. Namely Derek.

Whatever. They started it.

“Let’s see them!” Isaac demands loudly over all of the conversation.

Stiles wags the hand with his engagement ring in the air with a pointed smirk and catches Scott’s eye. He’s holding Noshiko as Kira wraps her arms around his waist and they’re all smiling at him so happily that it makes his chest hurt.

The house lets out a rumbling sigh of satisfaction as if it’s somehow responsible for making it happen, which ambitious much? Stiles and Derek totally didn’t need the outside help. Sort of.

Two seconds later the sprinkler system activates, soaking the entire group in water for no apparent reason other than to drench them. Any dreams of a calm married life are quickly doused. But who would want that pedestrian shit anyway?

The pack erupts with shrieks of distress and laughter and hurry towards Scott and Kira’s apartment for cover. Stiles is only too happy to take Derek’s hand and follow them.

And if he uses his free hand to reach over and pinch Derek’s butt, well, that’s no ones business but his own.

The walls still shake with laughter, though.











Chapter Text






When Stiles takes the stairs up to the rooftop of his magical building, Noshiko’s birthday present securely tucked under his arm and Derek’s warm hand in his other, it’s with the expectation that he has seen every strange and potentially horrifying thing the apartment has and will ever throw at them.

The thing about being a magical entity with unfathomable power and understanding of the universe, as humankind and the supernatural know it- is that sometimes Stiles is still wrong.

Derek goes to open the door all easy smiles and flushed skin- which explains why they’re twenty minutes late to Noshiko’s second birthday party and their libidos are well sated- before it swings wide of it’s own volition, slowly and ominously. Before Stiles had moved in to the mystical brownstone, he would never have thought that a pile of bricks could be so dramatic. Hard to deny the evidence now though.

Stiles can already sense the presence of foreign magic and Derek is just as instinctive when he frowns, trading mistrustful glances between them.

“I have a bad feeling about this,” Derek admits, pausing suspiciously at the slowly opening door.

“Foreign magic,” Stiles mutters, wincing as Derek’s grip tightens.

Magic steals into his fingers automatically, making them spark harmlessly against Derek’s fingers, preparing for anything to happen. Living in an enchanted apartment with attitude might seem like a fun and winning combination but Stiles has many memorable events that might argue against the fact.

“Good or bad?”

Stiles listens to the hum of it for a moment, unravelling it between his fingers. “Neutral actually. Which can only mean fey or…”

The door swings wide to proudly reveal the apartment's latest transformation. The roof is now a botanical garden’s wet dream. Stiles has never seen so much green and colour in grey New York before. He didn’t even think it was possible.

It’s literally become a fairy glen. They spot Kira and Scott first, looking equally bewildered but infinitely more excited as Noshiko dances spiritedly around the toadstools with a stream of fluttering colours darting past her. Fluttering colours. Oh. Of course.

Stiles’ eyes barely make out the delicate shapes of fairies before Derek’s urgently dropping his hand and rushing toward her. Even after so long, Derek’s mistrust of magic is irrefutable as he bends to scoop Noshiko into his arms, yanking her away from the suspected danger.

The fact that they flutter there listlessly in disappointment and not angrily, tells Stiles that they’re on the chaotic good side of the spectrum. They won’t harm her. Not that they’d get the chance in a pack full of fierce werewolves, hunters, mercenaries, banshees, kickass sparks and one powerfully uncooperative brownstone.

Noshiko’s in safe hands here.

“Derek,” Kira chides, swatting lightly at his arm as Scott’s eyes widen. “She’s fine.”

“Fairies,” Noshiko agrees sweetly, putting her little palm against Derek’s stubbled chin as he gains control of his unruly alpha instincts and realises that there is no real threat.

“Dude, chill,” Scott adds, stepping toward the cooler at his feet and pulling out a beer.

It's a new brand that the bar Boyd works at in Soho started selling and he'd brought a couple of six packs home for the pack to try. It was an instant hit.

There is the slightest edge of wolfsbane in it, enough for a wolf to feel it but not to poison a human if they drink it as well. Although, it's pretty much guaranteed to give said human drinker wicked weird dreams as an aftereffect. Derek accepts it blankly, still rearranging his understanding of the situation and Stiles smiles fondly as he moves over to join them.

“They’re okay,” Stiles promises. “If they had any malicious intent I’d sense it, trust me.“

“Derek,” Noshiko repeats, and her voice is clear and understanding as she smiles up at him.

In the past few months, she’s gotten very skilled at conveying whole sentences of meaning into one word.

Derek seems to catch what she’s saying because he kisses her forehead and gently deposits her amongst the toadstools, sheepishly offering Stiles his hand again as he accepts the beer repentantly from Scott.

“Sorry,” he mutters, visibly penitent.

“You don’t need to apologise, big guy,” Stiles promises. “Everyone is safe.”

Derek slides the thumb of his left hand across the band of his engagement ring, the flush of emotions Stiles’ imbued it with settling his anxiety. He’s been seeing a therapist lately with Stiles’ encouragement to face his deeply ingrained issues with magic and what happened between him and Kate.

So far, she seems to be really helping.

“Did you ask for this?” Stiles wonders as he squeezes Derek’s fingers supportively. “This looks freaking awesome.”

“Not really,” Kira admits. “We just thought we’d all have a nice birthday picnic up here but it seems like the house had a better idea.”

Stiles glances down at Noshiko’s wide, triumphant grin and smirks. “Yeah, the house.

Jackson smacks open the fire door, the heavy metal clanging against the back wall, arms full of presents and Danny at his side before he does a double take at the starkly modified rooftop.

“What the fuck?” he demands, sounding awed.

“Jackson,” Scott snaps, gesturing disapprovingly at his daughter who’s within hearing distance.

“Holy shit,” Danny agrees, wholeheartedly.

Lydia and Allison appear from behind a large Elder tree- which how did that even end up on the roof?- and they’re both flushed and giggling, hands all over one another before Lydia instantly recovers her terrifying disdain.

“Well done, you two. Any other curses you’d like to teach Noshiko?”

Malia leaps out from a large collection of Heather flowers, painted in the purple remains as she lands right next to Kira, feet bare and covered in soil.

“Shit,” Kira screeches in surprise and trips into Scott.

Noshiko laughs at Scott’s betrayed expression and Kira pats at his cheek apologetically as she recovers. “Sorry, honey.”

Stiles spots Deaton examining the flowers in bloom on a nearby Hawthorn tree. The Witches tree towers over him but the few fairies darting in and out of its leaves pay him no mind. For a clan whose entire home has been shifted to a rooftop purely for a little girl's birthday party, these fairies are disturbingly chill about the whole situation.

Isaac, who’s standing next to Deaton, shoulders hunkered down with strain is having a much less than pleasant experience as a swarm of them play with his golden curls. He seems like he’s fighting every instinct not to swat at them and Stiles tries not to laugh at the tension in the lines of his back.

Braeden is sitting next to Laura where they’re half concealed between a magnificent Oak and a wizened Ash tree as they inhale all of the different scents of the flowers with wonder, trying to guess what they are. There are blood red poppies, a rainbow of colourful pansies surrounded by the soft pastels of blooming peonies and every inch of the ground is littered with fragrant rose petals.

The house really went all out for this. Stiles is thoroughly impressed.

No wonder the building seemed so smug this morning. Erica and Boyd are well into the elderberry wine that the apartment seems to have so generously supplied and from the look of them, they’re not too long for this world. Stiles isn’t sure it’s good etiquette to get drunk at a two year old's birthday party but that doesn’t look like it’s going to stop them.

It doesn’t seem like it’s going to stop anyone. They’re probably terrible people.

Well, everyone except Liam. Stiles’ dad is still a law-abiding cop and Liam is still not allowed to drink. That doesn’t seem to stop him from helping Erica and Boyd time how quickly they can drain the entire bottle of wine though. Jesus, they’re all bad influences. No wonder Liam didn’t choose a life of homelessness and danger over living in a magical brownstone.

This is probably worse.

Stiles grins, energy within him brimming at the rush of nature and strange magic as he hands Noshiko’s present over to Kira. She accepts it with a shy smile, kissing his cheek before adding it to the ever-growing present pile. Without a doubt, by the end of the evening more than half of these will be revealed to be from Jackson, Stiles just knows it.

He loves Noshiko to pieces. They all do. Even the house is under her thumb.

“Where’s Cora?” Derek wonders curiously, looking around for the familiar mop of brown hair.

“She’s late,” Laura replies from the hidden copse of trees. “She’s with her new man candy.”

Derek grin turns sly. “Will we be meeting this young man candy at any point in time? I would like to know his intentions.”

“Cora’s intention will be to punch you in the face, if you do,” Braeden calls back, sounding equally delighted by the prospect.

Stiles figures the pack will meet him when she’s ready. Hopefully he can survive the introduction. Stiles knows for a fact that not many prospective partners have. Their family is a lot to take in at once.

“Where’s Steve?” Scott wonders with some concern. “He’s usually on time.”

Stiles snorts. “Just because he appears like he’s constantly staring into the cosmos and sifting between the veil of the living and the dead, doesn’t mean he can be trusted with a birthday invitation.”

As if to prove his point, there’s a sudden unexplainable drop in temperature before Steve the shaman is appearing a metre away, white faced and with the remnant energy of the spirit world still clinging to his skin. The way he appears is different to Stiles' teleportation; he simply melts into a gentle existence as the fuzzy outline of his form sharpens into a living, breathing human being.

Nowhere near as flashy or ostentatious as Stiles.

“Don’t ask,” Steve murmurs and before anyone can speak, he’s procuring a present and adding it to the rapidly growing pile with a forced calm that nearly puts Deaton to shame.

Derek seems to appreciate that Steve’s seen some things because he hands over his beer without question and Steve accepts it gratefully, guzzling from it like he’s spent weeks in satan's hot tub.

Stiles feeds him some of his calming energy, feeling Steve’s imbalanced spirit settle and resolves to ask him about it later when there’s no chance of traumatising children and pack members. There's an interesting backstory behind his arrival, make no mistake.

Steve bumps fists with him appreciatively before he’s being whisked away by Braeden since they have a penchant for getting up to no good whenever they’re together. They're a horrifyingly dynamic duo. Stiles can’t even remember how many pranks they’ve pulled at this point but the spirit world has lost any reverent sense of dignity that’s for sure.

And Jackson definitely knows to steer clear of them whenever they’re together.

Cora arrives only a few minutes later, artfully dodging any questions about her new boyfriend whilst shooting Stiles a beseeching look just as he opens his mouth to condemn her. The pleading look plucks his heartstrings just right like Cora guessed it would.

Magnanimously, Stiles drops it, keeping what knowledge he might have intuited to himself because it’ll be much more fun that way in the long run. Cora seems to appreciate it, though the relentless teasing of her boyfriend in the future is fair play. She and Laura still make fun of him and Derek, even now.

“Where are the twins?” Boyd soon asks and his usually, precise and grave voice sounds nearly incoherent.

That would be the fairy wine. Stiles knows for a fact that shit is potent, definitely stronger than his wolfsbane vodka. No contest.

“They’re bringing the cake Richard made,” Kira says, but glances at Stiles expectantly as she does so as if this might somehow involve him.

“What?” he asks. “Don’t look at me. Richard promised there wouldn’t be brains in this one.”

“For a two thousand year old vampire he is very unreliable,” Scott muses as he’s pulling out more bottles to pass around.

Cora's already disappearing to find Laura so Stiles only shrugs and accepts the beer, pressing his hip comfortably against Derek as their energies thrum together. “He is a stoner,” he graciously points out.

There better not be weed in this cake,” Kira hisses, sharply, eyes flashing electric gold.

“There better be weed in this cake,” Laura shouts loudly in response.

Noshiko helpfully pulls out a clump of grass and hands it to Scott. “Weed,” she agrees gravely.

There’s a shocked silence before everyone bursts into raucous laughter and the roof seems to shake in amusement.

Aiden and Ethan arrive a few minutes later, though Ethan nearly drops his half of the cake once he notices the rooftop's new transformation. Stiles’ magic is ready to catch it anyway so that potential crisis is somewhat averted. And that's a relief.

Richard made Noshiko a huge ladybird cake large enough to feed an entire pack and from the way the werewolves’ nostrils are twitching, he definitely didn’t mix up a cake he'd made for a zombie party with their birthday cake again. There are definitely no brains in this one, for sure.

Although Danny very pointedly chooses not to eat any- that had not been a nice birthday surprise for him at all.

The sun sets slowly into evening, the glow of the fairies in the trees illuminating the entire rooftop and the sight of such palpable magic is breathtaking. Braeden expertly lights the candles- though Stiles didn’t even see where she procured the matches from- and in the next moment everyone is singing Noshiko Happy Birthday as she claps along with delight.

The cake it turns out is delicious, Richard is a talented coffee and cake maker- and Stiles is in the middle of exchanging icing flavoured kisses with Derek when he feels it.

A sudden ripple.

Stiles pulls away, frowning as he tries to decipher what he’s sensing while Derek openly raises an eyebrow in question, nowhere near finished. The shudder that knowledge brings isn’t enough to distract him though. Stiles’ magic swirls uneasily, sharpening in response before he sighs in reluctant understanding.

It’s a sudden disturbance to the happy atmosphere, a disruption that will lead to imbalance.

For both of them. Fantastic.

“I have to go,” Stiles groans, miserably, feeling even more wretched when Derek’s expression tightens in bewildered distress. “And so do you.”

“So do I?” Derek wonders, frowning before he's gathering that it's a spark thing. “What are you sensing?”

“Something just happened,” Stiles explains heavily, finding it hard to keep the dejection out of his tone. “Something important. I have to fix it and you need to stop it.”

Derek won’t let Stiles out of his arms and he’s scowling at the unhelpful and cryptic words but that’s all Stiles is able to perceive so far. He can’t be clearer yet. The future is always so fickle.

“I need to stop it? Stiles, you’re drifting again. What’s going on?”

The inviting pulse of Derek’s energy slipping into his skin brings him back into awareness again. It happens sometimes when Stiles is focusing too hard, he’ll drift out of his body and go too far without a proper anchor.

Stiles hums quietly along with the building and Derek’s eyebrows climb higher in agitation.

The werewolves within hearing distance seem to hear his alarm and seemingly turn in one movement to stare at them. Thankfully, Noshiko’s too busy with her fairy friends to notice the change. Stiles experiences the sudden overwhelming rush of their concern, fear and tension like a punch to the stomach, twisting through his insides.

“A mage just used a lot of hate filled magic, evil magic,” he explains, still tasting the bitterness of it in his mouth. “I need to undo it and you need to go to Central Park right now. There’s something in the woods. Something malevolent.”

Derek quickly shifts into ranger mode. “Can you sense what type of creature it is? Are there humans nearby? Will I need backup?”

Stiles nods, even though the awareness isn’t any clearer. “You shouldn’t face it alone. No humans yet but they’re nearby and in danger. I can’t focus my magic enough to determine what it is since I’ve drunk too much. But it’s hungry. Really hungry.”

Derek nods, waving Isaac, Malia and Allison over since they’re the only ones sober. Isaac and Malia head over toward him instantly but Lydia clutches Allison’s wrist to prevent her and whispers something urgently into her ear instead.

Stiles’ intuition flickers outstandingly but the alcohol has dulled his senses enough that he can’t determine the specifics yet.

Whatever it is makes Allison give an apologetic shrug and offer Malia one of her flash grenades as an alternative to her not joining them which Malia gleefully accepts. Nobody thinks to ask why she brought them to Noshiko’s birthday party in the first place. Stiles isn’t sure if he should be concerned about that.

Liam offers to go but everyone shuts him down pretty quickly. He’s still too young and Scott’s barely taught him enough as it is, trying to balance family and work and training all into his busy schedule. The fresh beta seems a little indignant about not pulling his weight but ultimately concedes to his alpha.

“Are you back?” Derek asks, thumb caressing Stiles’ cheek as he nods, settling into his warmth. “The mage?”

“He’s a jackass but the Magical Keepers already have him,” Stiles promises. “But I’m the only one capable of cleaning up his mess. And it’s a big mess.”

“Let me know what’s going on when you can,” Derek mutters, squeezing Stiles’ hip and leaning in to kiss his mouth again, washing away the bitter taste of bad vibes. Stiles’ lips open with a sigh as he kisses back.

When Derek pulls away he’s flushed but somewhat calmer and more determined. “I love you.”

Stiles’ hand comes to rest on Derek’s heart, feeling it thrum between his fingers. “I love you, too. And whatever it is, Derek, it cannot be allowed to feed. Do you need a lift?”

Derek frowns at him skeptically. “How much have you drunk?”

“Three beers but it dulls senses not magic and I’m not even tipsy. I haven’t drank and teleported since the last time me and Steve hit that wall, trust me.”

Malia and Isaac are within touching distance now and Stiles beckons to them impatiently. “C’mon. Get a handful of the Stiles.”

They move in with matching grins and Stiles lets out a squeak of surprise at what they get their hands on while Derek just rolls his eyes in exasperation. Not drinking has somehow made them more rowdy.

“Choose a different handful, please,” Derek requests with a sigh.

They snigger but release Stiles, taking hold of his wrist and upper arm instead. Still flushing, Stiles gathers himself, channelling some of Derek’s energy to sharpen the flow as he breathes in deep and takes a step.

They end up standing right in front of the Bethesda fountain and it’s dark enough now that Stiles can only see the glow of red, blue and gold eyes and his own sparking fingers as it brightens their faces. They must make an odd sight.

Derek sniffs once before he erupts into a low, warning growl that sets Stiles’ teeth on edge.

“Wendigo,” he snarls as Malia and Isaac bristle beside him, affronted by the malignant presence in their territory.

Stiles groans long and loud. “Not those supernatural assholes,” he mutters. “They’re literally the worst. Maybe you should call Parrish? Get him to close the park to the public until it’s safe?”

Derek’s hand slides along his arm, soft but reassuring as he makes an agreeable sound. “Sounds good. It’s okay, we’ll get it. You need to get to work and undo that spell. What about Steve? Maybe he can help.”

When his dulled senses flicker assertively, Stiles realises with some surprise that Derek’s right. In this instance, Steve can probably help.

“This is gonna be fun,” Malia promises with some relish that should be concerning.

Isaac’s grim but determined, that is until a fairy disentangles itself from his hair and flutters about in confusion.

“Oops,” Stiles says, holding out his hand sympathetically. “You can come back with me to your friends.”

The fairy lands on his hand, the sharpness of its snapping wings displaying it’s offended before following with several imaginative swear words that sound like the chiming of bells.

“It’s not my fault,” Stiles protests kindly. “I didn’t know you were in there.”

“Neither did I!” Isaac snaps sounding appalled.

Unsurprisingly, that does not appease the fairy's temper.

“Be careful,” Stiles tells them. “Don’t let it feed under any circumstance. Totally serious here, that would be very bad. I’ll make sure there’s leftover cake for you guys.”

They all mutter out their farewells and Isaac and Malia take off into the trees as Derek presses forward and seals their mouths together. Stiles’ magic shorts out as he surges into it, nearly squishing the glowing fairy between them before Derek pulls back.

“Can you tell Scott and Kira I’m sorry this ruined Noshiko’s birthday,” he asks with a sigh. “The timing just didn’t work out for us.”

Stiles feels a pull and scowls at the fairy siphoning off some of their combined energy just for the taste of it. “That’s not for you,” he warns, but the fairy only flutters innocently at him.

“And did you see Noshiko before we left?” Stiles continues. “She didn’t even notice anything was wrong, her new fairy friends took care of that. Scott and Kira know you have to protect Central Park and they don’t begrudge you for it. You didn’t ruin anything, you never do.”

Derek mouth turns up, gratefully. “Thanks. I’ll see you later tonight?”

Stiles shakes his head ruefully. “I wouldn’t count on it. This mage unleashed a doozy.”

Malia and Isaac howl in the distance, calling to him impatiently in order for them to begin the hunt. Derek’s teeth sharpen before he howls back and Stiles watches him remove his shirt appreciatively in preparation.

“You’re shifting?” Stiles asks.

“Probably safer,” Derek replies as he’s unbuttoning his jeans. “Wendigos crave human flesh don’t they?”

Stiles scowls as the fairy tugs at his finger to bring it in closer for a better look. He does not intend to flash his fiancé's junk to a fairy just because it’s curious and potentially horny at the hint of any of Derek’s muscled glory. That is not a thing that is happening, no matter how hard it tries to yank him.

“Mm,” he agrees. “Good thinking. Call me later?”

“I promise.”

Stiles covers the fairy with his other hand so that it can’t see when Derek removes his underwear. But he definitely can. Stiles grins approvingly and takes a step forward without thinking, the fairy's musical sounding expletives ringing in his ears.

“Stiles,” Derek warns seemingly just as unenthusiastic to stop him. “You have work to do.”

“No fair,” he grumbles, but then he’s stepping away as Derek shifts and bounds into the trees, reappearing right back onto the apartment’s rooftop.

He releases the fairy and it flutters away to join its clan only after it’s flipped him off.

Stiles loves magic, he really does.

“What was it?” Scott wonders, sidling up to his left, eyes alert and apprehensive.

“Wendigo,” Stiles sighs, knowing that this is going to be a long month.

Scott’s veterinarian side rears its wonderful head. “There’s a clinic in Hell’s Kitchen near Gotham West Market that can rehabilitate it until it returns to human form. They’ll need me down there to help transport it safely once it’s captured.”

When he goes to move, Stiles’ hand comes out to catch his arm. “Whoa, whoa, hold it there, Scotty. They’re not catching it tonight and I’m pretty sure they’re not going to get it for several weeks. You can relax.”

Scott frowns. “But what about the humans?”

“Parrish is going to seal off the park, until they do. Hey, have you seen Steve?”

“Not since he and Braeden conducted that ghost rendition of ‘let it go’ from Frozen for Noshiko,” Scott admits. “The ghosts were pretty talented, actually. I think one of them might have been an opera singer.”

Stiles is sorry he missed it but sweeps the tendrils of his magic out in search for his colleague. He finds him tucked up in the roots of an Elder tree, humming softly to himself as several spirits whisper resonantly into his hair, vying for his attention.

“Oh hey, Stiles,” Steve greets, slurring his words a little. “Hey, where’s Isaac?”

Stiles frowns at him. Isaac? “He’s out hunting the wendigo with Derek and Malia.”

Steve’s expression flickers before his default serene face returns. “Right. Of course.”

“Why did you-?”

“Something happened at work, didn’t it?” Steve parses before climbing to his feet. “Let’s go. But if you teleport me into a brick wall again, I’ll make sure the ghost of an annoying dead relative haunts you for weeks.”

“That was one time,” Stiles protests, rolling his eyes. “I was drunk. You shouldn’t have demanded we get takeout at three in the morning.”

“I was hungry,” Steve argues peacefully. “Spirits kept touching my food and you know it tastes weird after they’ve touched it.”

“I know,” Stiles agrees, holding out his hand with a heavy sigh. A spirit ruined the taste of pizza for him for two weeks after it drifted aimlessly through it mid bite. “Let’s just get this started.”

Steve’s eyes widen a little as his expression sobers and Stiles notes his extrasensory muscles are at work. “Jesus, that’s a big mess to clean up.”

Oh yeah. Stiles sighs again and tries not to think about it too much. If he does it’s just going to piss him off and being an angry spark is not a good combination. Not right now anyway.

“Don’t I know it.”





 

Stiles is not the type of guy that complains. Alright, maybe he is but right now with the way his life is going: living in a magical brownstone, belonging to a pack/pseudo family and living down the hall from his hunk of a fiancé whilst being involved in an entire range of shenanigans as they plan their future wedding, one would think Stiles’ life is perfect.

And it is, really it is. His vibes are so good lately, his magic purer than its ever been throughout his entire life as a spark because he’s so deeply in love and unconditionally happy that it doesn’t seem possible that anything could be wrong.

Stiles knows things, okay, he can sense whispers through the airwaves which can spell out future doom and other general unpleasantness coming his way. This has nothing to do with that. And nothing is wrong per se, just one minor detail that’s been lacking from Stiles’ life for the past three weeks in the aftermath of Noshiko’s second birthday party.

See, the thing is, Stiles is actually incredibly busy. Since he renewed his contract for a further two years at the Gathering of Mages, everything seems like it’s kicked into full throttle.

And all because of goddamn Jumanji.

Not that board game specifically but the jackass evil mage got the idea into his devilish brain to imbue board games with a curse that spits its victims into a separate dimension within the game's universe as soon as they roll the dice. Stiles is pretty certain he stole the idea from Jumanji though- the evil mage's plan was fairly unoriginal- before they caught him and now there’s all sorts of copyright issues all over this mess.

And as if that isn’t a shitty situation enough, evil mage jackass actually possessed the forethought to bring his idea to life by breaking into a Hasbro factory and working his dark magic there. Two hundred and twenty board games later (before the Magical Keepers caught up with him) and evil mage jackass has already distributed them into toy stores for sale.

Perfect. Evil mage didn’t discriminate in his choices either and so far Stiles is rescuing people from Monopoly, Clue, Candyland and terribly enough Sorry!, Risk, Life and even on one notable occasion, A Game of Thrones: the board game. That had been interesting to say the least.

Thank God, the cursed board games give off a magical signature. Otherwise, Stiles might never be able to find them.

Since the evil mage cast his curse, Stiles has been meditating to locate the cursed games and teleporting all over the U.S. in order to track them down and pull people out of the dimensions they’ve been trapped in.

Most of them are human too so he has to wipe their memories afterward lest they reveal the supernatural world and go on a rampage. It’s definitely not a fun experience for any of the people he’s rescued so far. Once you’ve been trapped in a separate dimension you tend to see a lot of weird, mind boggling stuff.

Stiles is more than happy to be wiping memories particularly if it spares a family the trauma of Mr Monopoly, aka Rich Uncle Pennybags violently chasing them past GO with his wooden walking stick. Especially if it helps them sleep better in the long run.

But it’s a huge task to take on alone.

Cecilia and Steve have been helping him as best they can since they’re pretty familiar with different dimensions but in the end it all boils down to Stiles travelling through them to pull these people out. And as the only spark, he’s the most powerful thing working at the Gathering of Mages right now so if Stiles can’t figure out how to track them all down and fix it all of those people are pretty much screwed.

And nobody wants to be trapped inside a board game until the end of their days. Especially if it’s something like Scrabble.

So there’s been a ridiculous amount of work for Stiles to spread himself thin on and some days his magic is so low that the house can’t even recognise him at the door and refuses to let him inside. That is, until someone else in the pack takes pity on him and convinces it to.

It takes a lot of effort to exhaust his magic and although restoring it isn’t too much trouble and only takes several hours, the vulnerable state it leaves him in is not something to giggle at. And that’s a new low Stiles hadn’t planned on reaching every couple of days since this whole thing started.

He’s expelling so much energy that he’s a mixture of buzzed and exhausted, so crazed that if he passes a pack member in the morning on the staircase they now know to duck out of his way. Sometimes he doesn’t even bother to go home and he and Steve just crash at the office which isn’t too grand but it’s better than being snacked on because Stiles doesn’t have the juice to defend himself from anything supernatural on the trip home.

Derek’s been amazing about the whole thing, meeting him for lunch when he can, bringing him dinner if he’s available and they’re trying their best to work around it. See each other whenever possible.

But that’s hard enough since the wendigo popped up in Central Park like the supernatural asshole that it is and is currently roaming the area and attempting to eat people. Derek’s been working overtime to catch it for nearly three weeks now. But wendigos are fast, wily and ridiculously hungry for human flesh and he’s been having some trouble.

Most of the pack has been trying to help him, particularly Braeden and whichever werewolf happens to have claws free that evening but so far it’s eluded them.

It’s taking so long that Parrish couldn’t feasibly keep Central Park closed anymore and Stiles had to use his energy to ward the place so that anything human attempting to enter once dusk falls will have the sudden urge to be anywhere else. Luckily wendigos prefer to hunt at night when their senses are stronger so Stiles doesn't have to exhaust himself barring humans from the entire 843 acres during the day.

But he and Derek have been so busy they’ve barely had time for the short text messages admitting they’re still alive and the only time Stiles seems to be seeing the alpha lately is when they’re passing each other on the way out the door.

With Derek working all night in his attempts to capture the wendigo and sleeping during the day whilst Stiles works all day on retrieving board game victims from different dimensions and only sleeping at night and rarely earlier than three in the morning, there's not a lot of downtime for them to be seeing each other.

They haven’t shared the same bed in little over two weeks now and Stiles thinks that’s probably the biggest drawback of the situation. Even if it’s because he and Derek are both doing their best to help the innocent people of New York and all of the U.S (potentially more countries because Hasbro has international delivery, dammit) by keeping them safe.

It still feels like they’re just ships in the night though. And that is not a feeling he ever wanted to associate with his future husband. It's extremely depressing actually.

But more importantly, Stiles hasn’t been able to relax at all with Derek and just hang out, spend time with their pack like they normally do.

But even more importantly Stiles hasn’t had sex with his fiancé in three weeks. He hasn’t even had a spare moment to go solo to achieve an orgasm either. There's doesn't seem to be enough time for him to even think about touching his dick lately. It's a bad state of affairs.

And he knows Derek’s in the same boat and that sex isn’t the be all and end all of the world. Hell, some people don’t even partake in getting horizontal with each other but sadly Stiles is not one of those people. He’s a sexual being, in some ways it has a lot to do with how his magic stays so mellow.

Stiles doesn’t even want to think of the consequences if he leaves all of that untapped energy to build up for too long. He’s already blown enough doors off their hinges to last a lifetime.

If he had a second to stop and breathe between retrieving people from weird dimensions and rejuvenating his depleted spark every few days to compensate from the magic overload, he might be aware of what he’s neglecting. Might even have the drive to go a few acrobatic rounds with Derek. But that’s just not on the table right now especially when there’s so many people to rescue.

There’s not enough time in the world.

Stiles is in the middle of storming down the steps in their building, too exhausted to teleport as he hurries off to work at five am when Lydia bravely darts out into his path on the second floor’s landing, a stunning vision in her business suit as she essentially blocks him.

“What,” he snaps, frazzled and sharp as her expression darkens.

It’s an effort to still his desperate energy and present some semblance of calm in the face of Lydia's expectant stare. “Sorry, what’s up?”

“Allison has a question to ask you,” Lydia warns in a way that suggests if he uses that attitude on Allison, it will be the last thing he ever does. Stiles can respect that.

Allison appears at her shoulder as if summoned, smiling awkwardly but with an unbelievably hopeful look. “Hi, Stiles,” she says. “I know you’re busy, but I was just wondering if-“

“You’re pregnant,” Stiles says, with some astonishment, finally slowing down enough to sense the new change in her.

Allison’s eyes widen with delight and in the next moment she’s clutching onto Lydia with a gasp of joy and Stiles is hit by the strength of their combined happiness. Jesus, those are some lovely vibes to be soaking in right now. He wishes he could sit here all day and do just that but reality is not as kind at the moment.

“How’d you do it?” Stiles wonders elatedly. “A spell?”

Lydia turns back to stare at him, cheeks pink with pleasure and frowns like he’s a total moron but he can't help it, he only slept two hours last night so his mind is still foggy. “IUI,” she snorts. “When was the last time you slept?”

Right, artificial insemination, of course. Stiles ignores the question. “This is so exciting! Congratulations! Would you like me to ward the baby? Ward you? I suppose I could ward your apartment as well that would be-“

“No,” Allison says, surprisingly with a soft smile. “You’ve been running yourself ragged lately. We don’t need you to use your magic.”

Stiles frowns and has to blink several times in order to properly compute her meaning, permitting it to sink in. “Are you sure?” he wonders, but his voice already sounds daringly hopeful.

“I just wanted to know for sure if it worked and it did!” Allison gushes, excitedly. “Thank you so much, Stiles. Oh my God, honey, we’d better call our parents to tell them the news.”

Allison hugs him hard before disappearing back into their apartment but Lydia stays for a moment to eye him thoughtfully.

“How many board games are left?” she asks.

“Sixty two,” Stiles replies automatically.

He’s had the numbers memorised ever since he’d freed the first family. The steady drop from two hundred and twenty feels like accomplishment but it’s nowhere near enough. Stiles won’t stop until he reaches zero and everyone is back in their right dimension. If he ever comes across that evil mage, Stiles is going to kick him in the balls.

Hard.

“Don’t tell the pack yet. Allison will want us to do it together.”

“Okay,” Stiles grins, feeling insanely happy for them. They’re going to be wonderful parents. Derek’s going to lose it when he finds out.

Oh. Derek.

“You have to tell Derek first,” Stiles whispers urgently. “He’s going to go into overprotective bear mode.”

Lydia pauses considerably as she thinks it over. “I don’t think we should tell him yet. He’s got too much to deal with right now and once he finds out, he’ll send every available pack member to protect Allison and not himself while he’s hunting the wendigo.”

Stiles shivers at the truth of it and it terrifies him. “If he asks me I’m not going to lie,” he tells her. “But if that’s what you want, I won’t mention it until you’re ready.”

“Thank you,” Lydia says. “But Derek’s so distracted lately I’m not sure he could smell the difference and it’s way too early to hear the baby’s heartbeat.”

She’s right. It’s way too early for a werewolf to notice the change. Only a sensitive spark would be able to pick up on it. Stiles glances down at his watch and tries to remember when Steve said he’d start work this morning to help him. Was is six in the morning? Or five?

“You’re distracted lately too,” Lydia points out and Stiles can hear an undercurrent to her words.

“And?” he wonders, waiting patiently for the rest of it.

“Just don’t forget what’s important,” she mutters glancing back into the open doorway of her apartment. “And get some sleep. You look half dead already.”

“I’m trying,” Stiles responds. “And I could never forget.”

Lydia doesn’t seem as confident but she pats his shoulder reassuringly as he heads down the stairs again. He comes across Isaac in the lobby, nostrils flaring at the first scent of coffee and the lingering sense of friendly vampires.

“You’ve been to Succo Beans,” Stiles accuses, sounding manic.

Richard came up with the name of their coffee shop. Apparently it means bloodsucker in latin, 'bloodsucker beans' and even Eva agrees it's hilarious. Anyone who thinks vamps don’t have a sense of humour is dead wrong.

Isaac gets one look at Stiles’ face, his rumpled suit and his wild, wild eyes and hands over his coffee with a low whistle. “Jesus, Stiles,” he mutters as Stiles takes a long gulp, gasping out his delight and eternal gratitude. “When was the last time you slept?”

“I’m working on it,” Stiles promises, grinning when he tries to hand the coffee cup back and Isaac waves him away with a scowl. “I’ll brew you a whole tub of wolfsbane vodka, you delightful creature.”

Isaac shakes his head. “Yeah, right. Just try and sleep at some point today. You look worse than Richard and Eva and they’re dead.

“Alright, alright. Power nap. Got it.”

Isaac doesn’t look like he believes him because he rolls his eyes and passes Stiles with a disbelieving snort of amusement. Stiles can appreciate Isaac’s dry humour at pretty much all times of the day and goes to head out the door with a quick wave.

Malia and Liam come barrelling inside before he can, panting harshly. It’s too early for school yet and from the looks of it, Liam and Malia have been on one of their morning runs together again and it turned competitive. Very competitive considering how drenched in sweat they are. How lovely.

“Morning,” Liam greets cautiously, unsure of how Stiles will respond but his expression relaxes at the sight of a coffee cup in his grip.

It’s a sad fact that Liam senses it’s safer to talk to Stiles lately when he has caffeine in his system. He should definitely be concerned about that.

“Morning,” Stiles greets them, trying to sound cheerful. “Who won?”

“Me,” Malia announces proudly. “But Liam’s getting faster.”

“Sweet,” Stiles agrees, making an effort to muster up some enthusiasm. He’s been neglecting his pack a lot lately and the knowledge doesn’t sit right with him. “See you later,” he tells them, edging around their sweaty bodies and squeezing through the door.

He can hear the both of them as they race each other up the stairs, nearly bringing the house down with their thundering footsteps.

Once Stiles makes it outside, the building hums its goodbye and when he fondly pats the doorknob in farewell a welcome rush of energy zaps into him. Stiles jerks at the sudden power, feeling it invigorate him exponentially.

“Thanks buddy,” he murmurs, coffee in hand and more magic in his fingertips than he’s had in a long while.

It’s a good day. He and Steve rescue ten families and several college kids of all shapes and sizes from various board games. Only two of the groups were trapped in the world of Monopoly which is a relief. Surprisingly so far, it's Rich Uncle Pennybags who is the most violent being they’ve dealt with in all of the different dimensions.

The groups happily agree to have their memories wiped after they’ve somewhat calmed down.

Stiles understands, really he does.





 

He and Steve head back to the building at one in the morning, thinking they might start plotting on a map where the final remaining cursed board games are.

The house is deathly quiet as they slip inside and make their way toward Stiles’ apartment. It's a far cry from the explosive range of noise that Stiles knows and loves and he finds the difference somewhat unsettling.

Derek’s not there which means he’s still out in the woods somewhere and Stiles sends him a text once he sits down on the couch.

Hope the hunt’s going well. Down to 52 now, he sends.

Derek doesn't respond which means he’s probably shifted and left his phone next to his abandoned clothes somewhere.

In the meantime, Stiles lays out a world map they procured in the office and Steve retrieves a crystal to start scrying. He’s standing there all of two seconds until the apartment starts to buzz with the sound of increasing magic and Steve pauses, raising an eyebrow.

“What-?” he starts just before there’s a pop and he vanishes into thin air.

Stiles sighs impatiently. “Okay, that better be for an important reason or I’m grabbing Steve and we’re heading back to the office,” he tells the house and picks up the abandoned crystal and continues scrying.

He’s marked sixteen points on the map when Steve the shaman returns twenty minutes later, resuming his resting spiritual face that’s still tinged with the blustering edge of embarrassment.

“Where did it-?”

“Nowhere,” Steve denies without his usual edge of calm so Stiles decides to drop it.

He doesn’t have enough energy to focus on anything besides these board games at the moment.

With Steve’s help, they manage to plot out where the final fifty two remaining board games are all over the world and Stiles knows it’s going to take a lot of energy to teleport to all of these places. Too much for him to do it quickly and safely.

“Should you do the furthest ones first?” Steve wonders. “Or sort out the ones that are closest since it won’t expel that much energy and you can build up to the harder trips?”

Stiles hums thoughtfully and tries to be strategic about it. “I think right now, I'll probably leave the longer trips until later. I just don’t have the energy at the moment so if I try, I’ll probably end up in the Pacific Ocean.”

Steve frowns, tapping his chin thoughtfully as he considers the map in front of them. “Maybe the Gathering of Mages could hire some teleporters?”

“It won’t matter. I’m the only one who can move safely between dimensions and bring the people trapped there back.”

“Yeah, but maybe they can teleport you to these locations so that you can save some of your own energy for the task.”

It’s not a bad idea at all actually. Any reason to preserve as much of his magic as possible works for Stiles. It will be a sad day if Stiles finally loses the ongoing battle against Mr Monopoly, that's for certain.

“Do we know that many teleporters? They won’t have enough energy to go such long distances as I can so we’d need a fairly large group of them to do it.”

Steve shrugs. “The Gathering of Mages will find them.”

Stiles’ phone buzzes in the silence. It’s Derek and he unlocks his cell to read the message, already smiling at the sight of his name.

Think we might be cornering it. Glad to hear it. I miss u

Stiles' smile hurts a little as he hurries to reply.

I miss u too, he starts to text, aching with the need of it, to see his fiancé for more than five seconds before he blinks and everything goes black.

It takes a second with the glow of his cell phone to realise everything hasn’t turned dark, but Stiles has just transported himself without meaning to. One moment he was sitting in his apartment with Steve and now he’s standing in the middle of a forest.

It takes the rustling and the hint of an ancient ravenousness for Stiles’ brain to catch up with the proceedings.

Oh. He’s in Central Park.

And that’s not a werewolf growling. Perfect. That's just what he needs right now.

Magic surges powerfully into his fists but Stiles is still too weak and the flow of it is unfocused, bursting out clumsily and acting as more of a lure than a proper defence. That is not a great sign at all.

Stiles feels it draw the thing in closer, lured in by his sweet taste, the delectable hint of his magic. Jesus, he can’t draw himself together long enough to do anything about it. Not good. This is definitely not how he intended to die.

The wendigo slips out of the trees in one horrifying movement, contorted spine arched menacingly and the expanse of it’s twisted, hairy form warped into the ancient pose of a predator regarding prey. It’s tauntingly emaciated, the eternal punishment for consuming the flesh of man and Stiles stumbles back with a cry of alarm, sparks shooting out in all directions as he retreats.

It is pure luck that a spark strikes the Wendigo’s boned, hairy feet. For once, the spark catches and in the next moment a blaze erupts onto the monster's tuffs of fur, its inhuman screech of terror piercing his ears as it leaps back. The smell of burning hair is revolting and Stiles chokes on the taste of it, bent over and retching.

Derek's wolf form dives out of a nearby clearing already shifting back and his naked flesh jostles Stiles hard as he tackles him out of harm’s way. He lands carefully so that Stiles doesn’t hurt himself and what looks like Aiden and Ethan’s combined form and Boyd and Erica leap out after him, chasing down the wendigo.

By then the flame has been smothered and the wendigo turns tail and runs, faster than any creature Stiles has ever seen as it disappears back into the woods.

“What are you doing here?” Derek demands, voice panicked and furious as the energy bursts between them.

“I didn’t mean to,” Stiles cries miserably. “I was texting you, thinking about how much I missed you and the next second-“

“You were here. Jesus, Stiles. Are you alright?” he wonders before he’s burying his nose into Stiles’ throat with a contented sigh, soaking up the smell of their combined scents.

Stiles gingerly moves everything, searching for any possible injuries which is a hard thing to do with a heavy werewolf still on top of him. Besides a few minor scratches from the brambles that Derek tackled him into stinging sharply, he’s okay.

“I’m fine,” he promises.

“You smell exhausted,” Derek responds as Ethan, Aiden, Erica and Boyd are shifting back into their human forms.

Ethan and Aiden are still wearing pants and since Erica and Boyd can’t shift into a full wolf like Derek can or Malia can as a were-coyote without the assistance of the full moon, they’re still wearing clothes.

“You got a deathwish, sparky?” Erica wonders as she stomps over to confirm that he’s still alive.

“What the hell was that, Stiles?” Aiden demands. “We almost had it before you showed up.”

“Sorry,” Stiles offers, guilt eating at him. “It was an accident.”

“Leave him alone, Aiden,” Derek growls.

“At least you’re alright,” Ethan points out, helping Derek pull Stiles to his feet before nudging at his brother pointedly.

“Yeah,” Aiden agrees somewhat apologetically after he’s calmed down a little.

Stiles is surprised to notice he can’t stay on his feet when he lists suddenly to the side and Boyd catches him. Whoa, that final burst of magic drained him completely. Stiles is completely out of juice for the moment.

“Jesus, Stiles,” Boyd mutters, before sniffing at him delicately. “You smell different.”

“Cause my magic’s depleted,” Stiles responds, mixing his words disjointedly.

Derek steps forward and pulls Stiles into his arms again, intently feeding him the lifeblood of his alpha energy.

“I’m taking you home,” Derek announces with dignity, despite the very notable fact that he’s standing there butt naked. “Can you guys handle the rest of tonight without me?”

Erica rolls her eyes. “Yes, Derek. We can handle it. Go home.”

“Before he dies for real,” Aiden adds, offering his palm to Stiles’ skin.

His beta energy isn’t a strong as Derek’s but it is a nice offer that Stiles accepts gratefully. The rest of the pack close in on him, contributing a little of their energies as well and by the time they pull away again, Stiles is more or less lucid.

“Thanks,” he mutters, touched at the display.

Derek leads him quickly over to his pile of clothing while Ethan hands Stiles' cell phone back which he dropped in light of the wendigo attack. After Derek’s dressed, they head toward the nearest exit. His head still feels fuzzy even with all of the other energies he’s absorbed and Stiles thinks he really, really needs to sleep.

“You really need to sleep,” Derek says as if in agreement.

“Are you gonna stay?” Stiles wonders quietly. “It’s been ages since we even shared the same bed.”

He doesn’t mean it as an accusation but it’s comforting to see that Derek looks equally disappointed about that. “I will. I’m sorry I’ve been so busy lately.”

“So have I,” Stiles agrees tiredly. “But we’ll be finished soon and everything can get back to normal.”

“Normal sounds really good right about now,” Derek promises nosing at Stiles’ cheek as he helps him walk out of the park.

Brooklyn is too far for them to walk so Derek hails a taxi and once he helps Stiles into the car following closely behind, Stiles rests his head against Derek's shoulder and lets his eyes slide shut instantly. The male siren who’s driving the taxi has a soothing voice and Stiles relaxes into the beginnings of sleep.

When he opens them again, Derek’s just given a generous tip to the siren, thanking him for calming Stiles before he's shaking his shoulder gently to rouse him.

“C’mon baby,” he murmurs softly, and assists in dragging Stiles out of the taxi and into the safety of the house’s boundaries.

Once they take a step inside, there’s a welcoming buzz of growing power and in the next moment they’re standing in Stiles’ living room.

Along with nearly all of the pack.

“Thanks, House,” Derek says, before he startles at the amount of people standing there.

“Stiles,” Steve cries, pushing through Braeden and Liam to get to him. “Where the hell did you go? I knew it wasn’t the house because the energies are different but you weren’t in control and- hey man,“ he says catching sight of Derek and relaxing.

“Stiles is fine,” Derek promises everyone. “He just teleported into Central Park right into the path of the wendigo.”

Everyone has the chance to be suitably horrified, Scott particularly, before Stiles is alert enough to defend his own honour.

“Accidentally,” he adds as if that’s an important distinction to make.

“Go to bed,” Lydia orders without preamble.

“That’s the plan,” Derek agrees. “Steve, you wanna crash in my bed instead of Stiles' couch? The door’s unlocked.”

Steve scratches at the back of his neck as if he's unsure of sleeping in a bed Derek and Stiles share but doesn’t say no. It's not like they've been using it much lately anyway. “Yeah, man. That’d be great.”

“Alright, everybody out,” Kira calls softly. “Let the poor guys sleep.”

They pack files out after that and Stiles tries to make Steve promise to wake him up at five tomorrow. He changes it to seven at Steve and Derek’s equally dark expressions. Yeah, he should probably be trying to get as much sleep as possible. They're probably right.

Stiles forgoes the shower because he’s too tired, he can’t really remember the last time he showered actually though Derek could probably just sniff and tell him as they’re toeing off shoes, unbuckling belts and removing shirts and pants.

It’s so good to feel the softness of a pillow under his head and the heat of Derek’s chest pressed in close against him. The steady thrum of their energies is like a soft lullaby luring him to sleep.

Stiles drops off within minutes.






 

When Stiles wakes up at eight- dammit, Steve- it’s with the feeling that follows a good night’s sleep. Feeling refreshed, he listens to Derek moving around the apartment and gets up to suggest they share a quick shower together and maybe a quick something else.

But when he gets to the kitchen, Derek’s already in his ranger uniform, sliding a mug of coffee toward Stiles, another mug in his hand and looking just as rested as Stiles feels. The bags under his eyes don’t seem as gaunt as they did last night, his eyes brighter as he smiles apologetically at Stiles’ morning erection.

“Sorry,” he tells him. “Soon, I promise. Once we’ve got this wendigo under wraps, I’m all yours.”

“You better be,” Stiles groans. “Or I’m gonna explode.”

“Before you explode, I did want to run a change of pace in our sex life by you.”

It's too early for Stiles to fathom what the hell he's talking about. “A change of pace,” he repeats stupidly, not understanding.

“Or position,” Derek clarifies innocently over the rim of his cup.

Stiles’ coffee mug explodes.

“Jesus,” he gasps as Derek expertly dodges the hot coffee and the flying shards, handing Stiles a napkin as he retrieves another mug for him and fills it again without complaint.

Maybe he'd already been expecting that exact response. Has Stiles' magic become predictable? He never imagined he'd see the day.

Stiles tries to wrap his head around the implication of Derek's words. He didn’t even think Derek would want to do that, want to switch up positions so he’d never thought to ask, but now, the notion of trying that with Derek is enough to make his boxers feel painfully tight.

“Yes,” Stiles jumbles, mopping up the coffee clumsily. “I’d be into that. Oh, God would I be into that.”

“Good,” Derek says, smiling sharply and Stiles wonders how long he’s been sitting on that bombshell and Stiles hadn’t sensed it.

A while from the looks of it.

“I gotta go,” Derek admits, draining his mug and sticking it under the tap the rinse it out before placing it in the sink.

He comes around the table island to kiss Stiles’ cheek and Stiles can’t think straight. He's still thinking about a change of positions. He's never fucked an alpha before. Something tells Stiles he'd be really, really good at it.

“Have a good day at work,” Derek says. “Try not to push yourself too hard. You can do this, you don’t need to exhaust yourself. The board games aren’t likely to kill them the longer they stay trapped in there.”

“I dunno,” Stiles replies tensely. “Mr Monopoly is a surprisingly dangerous asshole.”

Derek shakes his head as if the idea is too much for him to wrap his head around before he’s disappearing out the door with a final wave. Stiles hurries to shower, draining his coffee on the way there and by the time he clambers in his erection has wilted.

It’s fine. There’s not enough time for him to jerk it anyway and he’d rather not have Steve wait around just so he can catch an early morning orgasm. He washes in a rush and stumbles out into the bedroom to get dressed just as quickly.

By the time he heads over to 4D to find him in Derek’s bedroom, he’s already gone. The sheets are ruffled with the bed made which tells Stiles that Steve slept there and his lingering energy hints at a strong desire for morning coffee.

Ah. So that’s where he’s gone off to.

When Stiles makes it down into the lobby, Isaac, Braeden and Steve are just stepping back inside.

“There you are,” Stiles laughs. “I thought the house kidnapped you again.”

Steve immediately blushes as Braeden and Isaac pause, clearly interested.

“The house is messing with you?” Isaac wonders and is it Stiles’ imagination or does Steve look more embarrassed?

“That’s strange,” Braeden admits before handing Stiles the extra coffee cup they clearly thought to buy for him and a paper bag with the promise of a gifted cookie.

Richard is a saint. A saintly vampire. He can have Stiles' firstborn if he asks for it. Or maybe not. Stiles might have already promised that to Scott.

Stiles loves his family. He really, really does.

“The house doesn’t pick on anyone but Stiles and Derek,” Braeden muses. “Maybe it’s because you two haven’t been home much lately.”

Stiles knows she’s said it without any blame but winces at the words anyway. Soon, this isn’t going to be such a problem. He just has to hold out until then.

“Thanks so much,” he whimpers at the first sip. “I totally love you.”

“If you truly loved me you’d help me with the clean up of my next case,” Braeden grumbles. “My employer wants me to capture a Kishi for him.”

Stiles frowns as he puzzles that over. “Your employer wants you to catch a two faced demon that has the face of a human man with a hyena on the back and jaws so strong that it can’t be removed from anything it bites? That Kishi?”

Braeden shrugs, unconcerned. “That’s the one.”

“Weird,” Steve agrees, sipping from his own cup.

“And you mean clean up for when the Kishi inevitably eats him?”

Braeden sips at her coffee. “It normally lures in attractive young women and eats them, but yeah, more or less.”

When Stiles has time, he’ll worry about that conundrum later. “Okay, you got it. I’ll help.”

“Thanks.”

“C’mon dude,” Stiles insists, pushing at Steve’s chest. “We gotta get to work.”

Steve unleashes his spiritual resting face on them all with the ease of a true bullshit artist. “Life is not simply all work and no play,” he offers wisely.

“If I kill you, I will definitely get away with it,” Stiles counters impatiently as Braeden grins at the threat.

Isaac rolls his eyes. “Says the spark who teleported into a wendigo infested park just because he missed his boyfriend so much. Yeah, Stiles you’re a serial killer in the making.”

“Thank you,” Stiles replies with mock delight as he tugs Steve back out the front door.

“Bye guys!” Steve calls cheerfully as he lets himself be dragged away.

The house hums out a farewell and Stiles is smiling as they make their way down the steps together, coffee in hand and ready to seize the day. Bring on the multiple dimensions, Stiles wants to get this thing done already.

Time to get to work.





 

They do pretty well for themselves without any teleporters, though head office does make a few calls and promises to have some wizards and witches available by the end of the week. Stiles sticks to the U.S in order to keep the magical strain to a minimum and finishes up his final trip of the day in San Francisco.

He pulls the small family out of the dimension with ease and he’s even left with enough juice to end the day coherently for once. He wipes their memories quickly because apparently some questionable things went down at Gum Drop Mountain with King Kandy in the game of Candyland, but not before the family decides to set the board game ablaze and watch its remains burn as they clutch one another in horror.

Fair enough. Stiles doesn’t blame them. He has to admit there's something satisfying about a cursed object going up in flames before his very eyes.

When he makes it back to the office, he and Steve crack open a bottle of wine to celebrate their progress. Stiles got through fourteen dimensions today- even he can’t quite believe his own skills.

Only thirty-eight poor suckers left to go.






 

By the time the teleporters show up to help on Friday- there’s only six of them- Stiles is down to seventeen board games all in the furthest countries location wise from the U.S like Russia, Australia, New Zealand and even Japan.

They’d decided to leave those ones so Stiles will have enough power to get there without depleting his magic. Teleporting to the other side of the world would take him down for several hours without energy but for a lone teleporter they’d probably end up in a coma for several days.

When Stiles is ready, the four witches and two wizards link hands, sharing the magical load and transporting Stiles with them.

After that it’s only a matter of days. By sharing their energy they’re able to cut Stiles’ job in half. They're able to make at least three jumps in one day, switching out witches and wizards whenever their powers are exhausted.

The last one ends in Australia and the final cursed board game of the unlucky two hundred and twenty- Jesus, that evil mage is a jackass- is Monopoly. Of course it is.

The family recover surprisingly well before he's even pulled them out of the dimension and one of the daughters memorably punches Rich Uncle Pennybags in the face before Stiles can.

They’re an impressive bunch. Stiles is almost sorry to wipe their memories but it has to be done.

When the circle of teleporters takes them home, Stiles can’t quite believe it’s over. He has to park his butt on the carpet in the middle of the office and do an extrasensory sweep for any lost signatures to be sure there aren’t any more cursed board games floating around. There aren't.

It’s over. This is finally finished. And Stiles can get laid again.

“I better be getting overtime for this,’ he tells the room as they erupt into applause and cheers of success.

Too many people pat Stiles on the back than what’s essentially necessary. Perkins hits him the hardest but that might be because Stiles brought that monsoon into the lobby a few months ago and left it there for him to clean up.

Steve shoots him two thumbs up from across the room, whilst somehow pulling off his spiritual, connecting-with-the-universe face and Stiles can’t help but laugh as he tips over onto his back.

The steady thrum of magic that always layers every inch of the building is like a comforting blanket settling over him and Stiles thanks all of the teleporters for their help in finishing this. Once he’s recovered himself a little finally accepting that this tremendously taxing case is finally over, Stiles files for a week of time off, citing needing that amount of rest to replenish his magic.

What he doesn’t admit is that he’ll be at full power once he gets home and meditates for a few hours but his bosses at the Gathering of Mages don’t need to know that.

Whatever. Stiles has earned it.

He sends a quick message to Derek, letting him know that he’s finished but doesn’t expect an immediate reply.

Since it’s dark now, he’s probably in the Central Park with whoever else is available, hunting down that wendigo. And since it’s a full moon tonight where werewolf power is at its peak and they can transform under the moonlight, Stiles is liking their chances.

Everything seems like it might be tying up rather nicely.

Steve heads over toward him as he pockets his cell phone with a wild grin lighting up his face. Not so serious now is he. Stiles doubts the higher ups will ever see this side of him mostly because he’s such an expert at concealment- even now Steve has his back turned to them, hiding his expression- and it’s a pity really. They’re missing out.

Steve the shaman is so much more fun than he makes himself out to be.

“Wanna go get drunk?” Stiles proposes.

“Yes,” Steve agrees solemnly. “Yes, I do.”





 

They head to one of their favourite haunts nearby and since it’s happy hour the whole place is abuzz. He and Steve only stay for one beer since it’s too crowded with people, most of them supernatural and a spirit keeps tugging at Steve’s sleeve, attempting to gain his attention.

“Oh hey,” Stiles remembers suddenly. “What had you so spooked in the spirit world a few weeks back?”

Steve the shaman winces. “Oh that,” he says conversationally, tearing off the label from his bottle in order to have something to do with his hands. “Just visiting family.”

“In the spirit world?” he demands.

“Yeah,” Steve sighs. “My Uncle passed a few months ago and since he knows I pass through the realms of the living and the dead, he keeps bugging me for spirit tips.”

“Spirit tips,” Stiles repeats blankly.

Steve rubs a hand across his face in consternation. “Tips on how to be a spirit in the spirit world.”

That does not seem like a thing a spirit should need tips on. “But-“

“I know, I know,” Steve agrees. “It makes no sense but he’s family so what can you do.” He turns all of a sudden to address the spirit pressed up against him. “Can you like chill for a minute? I’m off the clock right now but I’ll help you as soon as I get back into the office on Monday.”

The spirit releases a sigh like a final gust of breath before it shivers into nothingness.

“Man, they’re pushy,” Steve grumbles, before draining his beer.

“Wanna get out of here? Head back to my apartment and hang out with the rest of the pack?” Stiles asks, wanting to get home so he can celebrate with his friends and family. It's much more fun to get drunk inside an enchanted building rather than a crowded bar.

Steve hesitates for the slightest of seconds before his easy response rings out. “Sure,” he offers agreeably, waiting for Stiles to finish his drink.

Stiles drains it in one final gulp. “What was that?” he wonders as they’re pushing through the crowd to get outside into the cold evening air.

“What was what?” Steve repeats just as innocently.

“Yeah,” Stiles snorts. “That. My senses may be dulled and my magic near depleted but even I can pick up on that vibe. You got a problem with someone in the house?”

“No, man. Not at all.”

“Got a problem with the House then?”

“It’s a pushy bastard,” Steve acknowledges as they start walking back to Stiles’ apartment.

“No, that’s not it,” Stiles guesses. “But it is something. Just you wait til I get my juice back, then you’re in trouble, buddy.”

“Right,” Steve agrees doubtfully, rolling his eyes.

“I have time off work,” Stiles declares jovially to the open air. “I might get laid now and I’m gonna shower and sleep for the rest of the week.”

“I would not recommend attempting all three of those things at the same time,” Steve says, mock punching him in the arm.

Stiles helpfully shoves him along the pavement. What are friends for?

They feel its presence once they turn into Stiles’ street, Steve sensing it first because Stiles’ magic is still too dulled to properly perceive things. But he hears it nearly as fast as Steve feels it. They freeze on the pavement, not turning around to face the creature but not moving to run either. They probably wouldn't make it anyway.

They’re too far away to reach the safety of the building in time and Stiles knows for a fact that it’s fast.

“Oh no,” Steve groans softly. “I thought it was in Central Park?”

Stiles’ heart pounds violently in his chest. “I drew it in. Once it got a whiff of my spark I must’ve climbed to the top of the dinner menu. Sorry but I won't be much help. I think I’m all tapped out.”

“You’re tapped out,” Steve hisses incredulously. “What am I supposed to do? Summon Attila the Hun to stare it down? You can’t exactly fight corporeal monsters with spirits, Stiles.”

Even now Stiles can still sense the approach of Derek’s alpha blood from several streets away but he probably won’t make it in time. They need a plan. Thinking quickly, Stiles reaches his hand out expectantly. “Give me your energy.”

“I don’t have enough power to help you teleport,” Steve protest as he slips his hand into Stiles’.

Good thing Stiles has no intention of leaving. “I’m not teleporting,” he informs Steve. “I’m finishing this.”

Holding onto Steve’s fingers is enough to kickstart the slow pulse of magic within himself and Stiles spins them around to face the wendigo.

It barely takes a step before Stiles’ energy releases in a thundering explosion, splitting open the air around them as the creature he summoned appears.

The Leshy is taller than he expected, long beard made of twisting vines and living grass and his ancient green eyes regard Stiles for a poignant moment, considering. The sharpness of its thorns are as deadly as the tail swishing wickedly behind its back.

Stiles slips to kneel before it, offering his respect and jerking Steve down to join him, releasing his hand when its hooves clatter loudly across the pavement.

“Great Leshy,” he says, speaking to the Lord of Central Park. “I have brought you the enemy destroying your forest and endangering your animals.”

The weapon it carries hangs loosely in it’s grip, club pointed toward the ground as it turns with an ancient awareness to regard the wendigo. The sense of wrongness that emanates from the dark creature seems to make the Leshy's vines ripple.

“You do not belong here,” the woodland spirit booms in a frighteningly accurate rendition of Stiles’ voice.

They can imitate voices perfectly.

The wendigo regards the new threat for the barest of seconds, deeming the Leshy irrelevant before it darts in to attack. Stiles knows that its hunger is reserved for him but once it has sated itself on the meat from his bones it will turn to Steve for its next meal. And that is not an acceptable outcome.

“Stiles,” Derek cries, sprinting round the corner, two wolves hot on his heels as they rush to meet them.

He stops at the sight of the Leshy but one of the larger wolves tackles into Steve, pushing him out of the way when the Leshy takes a step backward and nearly pulverises the spot where Steve was kneeling with it’s hooves.

Stiles rolls out of the way, watching Derek in horror as the wendigo gets closer. The speed of its spindly limbs is always startling as it leaps forward to strike, the rushing agility no match for the lumbering slowness of a Leshy’s ancient form. There is no question of which creature will be the victor in this fight.

But then the Leshy moves with an astonishing swiftness that Stiles’ eyes are too slow to observe, club snapping up sharply and catching the wendigo under the chin with a sound like a thunderclap. It goes down hissing, dazed from the heavy blow and with two more powerful strikes against its skull, the wendigo is unconscious.

The Leshy turns back toward them, hooves clattering against the pavement as it approaches the spark stupid enough to summon it out of its forest in the first place.

Derek pushes forward then at the sight of the unconscious wendigo and only when the Leshy turns its age-old gaze upon him does he finally stop, kneeling at once before the mighty woodland spirit.

The Leshy rumbles out a deep warning sound that makes Stiles nervous. They’re not considered evil but they have lured wanderers into their lairs and tickled them to death on occasion so it’s definitely a mixed bag. And Stiles has no power to defend himself right now. Or the people he loves.

“You belong to the wolf underling who protects my forests,” the Leshy rumbles out in Derek’s voice and Stiles wisely decides not to correct him because he's not an object that can belong to anyone. “You will not be punished, spark. But heed this warning: do not ever summon me from my forests again.”

The Leshy casts no shadow as it turns, melting into the night until only several will-o’-the-wisps remain in its place. Wisely, no one follows them as the ghost light orbs float alluringly away, vanishing into the darkness.

The two werewolves transform, revealing themselves as Jackson and Isaac, the latter who pushed Steve out of the way and saved his life. Stiles is gonna owe him so much coffee for that one.

They’re naked but half of the pack are already rushing down the street having heard all the commotion and Kira thought ahead enough to bring them clothes. They’re way past the stage of being embarrassed by any of the pack's nakedness but Isaac’s skin is still flushed when he pulls his pants back on.

Jackson just seems put out by the entirety of the night’s events. Even more so when his husband isn’t among the group joining them. Maybe Danny’s working late tonight?

“You summoned the Leshy of Central Park,” Derek demands, awestruck and horrified as he helps Stiles to his feet, wrapping him up into a hug. “Do you know how dangerous a Leshy can be? Stiles, I’ve worked as a ranger there for six years and I’ve only ever laid eyes on it once.”

“That was a ballsy move,” Braeden mutters. “How did you know it wouldn’t kill you?”

“Hope?” Stiles wonders faintly, feeling lightheaded all of a sudden.

“You didn’t know for sure before you summoned it?” Steve demands angrily, dusting imaginary dirt off his pants. “What the hell, Stiles?”

Scott, thankfully saves his ass from a reply as always, approaching the unconscious form of the wendigo. “Guys, we need to get this thing ready to transport to Hell’s Kitchen before it regains consciousness.”

He moves to dart back into the apartment for some of his veterinary tools when a car starts up down the street, headlights flashing on before it trundles along the road toward them, stopping before Aiden and Erica. It’s empty driver seat stares accusingly at them all.

Stiles licks his lips, pausing to organise his thoughts around the warmth of Derek’s body- he still hasn’t let go yet.

“Does,” he begins, fails, then begins again. “Does the house own a van that I didn’t know about?”

“No,” Derek mutters into his neck but when Stiles pinches him, he snaps his head up to look. “At least, I’ve never seen one.”

Stiles pulls Derek toward the suggested magic van and lays his palm flat against it. “Oh yeah,” he agrees. “That is definitely house magic. House owns a secret van we never knew about.”

“That is so creepy," Erica announces, but sounds pretty happy about it.

"Who cares,” Scott grumbles, already opening up its back doors. “Let’s put the wendigo in it before it wakes up and eats all of us.”

With the whole group involved, they manage to move the creature into the back of the van though it stinks something terrible. It’s a real team effort. But they are definitely going to have to wash their hands after.

“Alright,” Laura says. “Who’s going to drive the damn thing there?”

It’s quite impressive how everyone starts talking at once, amazingly procuring excuses as to why they couldn’t possibly drive an unconscious wendigo that stinks to all hell all the way into Hell’s Kitchen right now. Especially when there's a slim chance it might wake up and attempt to eat them.

They're all quite vocal on the matter and Stiles slumps a little against Derek, too tired to even join in.

“Okay,” Derek shouts over the top of them. “Why don’t we just-“

“I’m pregnant,” Allison announces abruptly in the commotion as if now is the time to announce such a thing after Stiles and Steve very nearly died.

Seizing the moment maybe. Stiles probably wouldn't have picked this moment if it was him but everyone's different. As long as Lydia and Allison are happy, he's got no complaints.

The pack falls silent in an instant and Stiles sighs when Derek goes completely stiff against him. Bear mode engaged.

“What?” Derek gasps and the hopeful excitement in his voice really does something to him.

It does. Derek's such a secret sap it's ridiculous.

Allison smiles beautifully and takes Lydia’s hand. “I’m pregnant,” she repeats evenly. “I know now is probably not the greatest time to announce it, but we were waiting to tell everyone when you weren’t as distracted hunting the-“

Her words are lost in the sea of bodies as Allison and Lydia are swept up in a pack hug and now everyone's laughing, cheering and screaming over the top of one another and Stiles can feel a headache coming on.

Derek’s practically vibrating against him and Stiles can’t help but smile at his restraint. He's surprised the big overprotective alpha hasn't already dropped him to hurry over to Allison so he can vow to protect her and her young until the end of his days.

“Go on,” he encourages and Derek immediately lets go, inclining his head thoughtfully.

“You knew?” he realises, a little betrayed.

“I did,” Stiles admits. “They asked me not to tell. They didn’t want you distracted and putting yourself in danger but I wouldn’t have lied if you’d asked me about it.”

Derek’s fingers slide soothingly against the back of Stiles’ neck as he leans in to press his lips against his ear. “Okay, I understand. You can make it up to me tonight,” he murmurs before sealing his mouth onto Stiles’ throat.

He groans breathily when Derek pulls away. “Yeah, let’s… I- yeah,” Stiles babbles incoherently in response before Derek's slipping into the crowd, making his way to the centre and wrapping Lydia and Allison up into his arms with a blinding smile.

It’s a wonderful sight.

Stiles braces himself further against the side of the van and feels infinitely content. He’ll worry about how dangerous it had been to summon the Leshy with what little remained of his magic later. After he replenishes himself.

Scott decides he should take the wendigo since he knows the guy who works at the front desk of the clinic in Hell's Kitchen. Kira says she wants to go as well and when Jackson offers to baby-sit Noshiko in the meantime they tell him Danny’s already in their apartment right now watching her.

Jackson darts off toward the house in search of his husband and favourite niece with a wide grin already on his face. Isaac chases after him with a laugh and the rest of the pack slowly follows them back inside, someone vowing to crack open a bottle of something to celebrate.

Aiden and Ethan loiter at the back of the group like they maybe wanna give the wendigo an extra kick for good measure. Stiles waves them on and Laura wraps her arms around their necks forcefully with an accompanying smirk before dragging them back toward the building.

Steve’s cell phone rings just as Scott helpfully opens the passenger door for his wife and she climbs in eagerly. Stiles isn’t sure why Kira wants to see a wendigo clinic in the middle of the night but it’s probably more to do with the amazing restaurants that surround Hell’s Kitchen. He hopes they bring back some awesome take out for the rest of them.

They wave as Scott drives the building’s secret magic car away along with the asshole wendigo who's been keeping Derek away from him for weeks, disappearing around the street corner with nothing but the brake lights flashing in a parting farewell. Stiles is so happy to see it go.

“What?” Steve demands into his cell phone, sounding shocked and aghast, drawing back their attention at the sharp tone of his voice. “All of it?”

“What’s going on?” Derek asks, moving back to get his hands on Stiles again.

Steve hangs up with a curse. “My landlord just called, all of my stuff is gone and apparently the paperwork I filed for my new lease never turned up.”

That is not good. Stiles gets a very bad feeling just as the door to the building swings wide open and Isaac’s head pops out.

“Hey guys,” he calls, smirking. “2D's apartment turned up again on the second floor and there’s already someone’s stuff in it.”

Uh-oh. Stiles glances at Steve who's staring vacantly ahead, distinctly nonplussed.

“I think I might already know who,” Stiles yells back, grinning shamelessly at his friend and potentially new addition to the building.

“You don’t have to if you don’t want,” Derek mutters, jaw ticking in disapproval. The building’s going to be in huge trouble for this, no doubt. “But you’re more than welcome to live with us. You're here most of the time anyway and the pack would love to have you.”

“I can move all of your stuff back if you’re not ready for the circus that is our family,” Stiles tells him.

“Come live with us,” Isaac yells anyway, hearing the conversation from the other end of the street. “You can unleash spirits on Jackson whenever he's a douchebag.”

"I don't know that many spirits," Steve replies vaguely and Isaac bursts out laughing.

Ouch. Jackson's not that terrible. Mostly. Once people get to know him. Apparently it's not enough to stop the pack pranking the hell out of him at any given opportunity though.

But Steve still scratches at his neck like he always does when he’s embarrassed, skin flushing as Isaac chuckles, considering him intently and Stiles finally clicks. Oh. Oh.

“Well, since my stuff is already here,” he replies lightly, shrugging as if the universe has willed such a thing and not a terribly invasive, enchanted brownstone matchmaker.

Isaac grins charmingly and ducks back into the house, door slamming shut on its own as the windows rattle in excitement.

“It’s Isaac,” Stiles crows, gleefully once he’s out of earshot. “You’re into Isaac.

Steve struggles to retain his spiritual resting face but it’s a lost cause. The answer is written there for all of them to see.

“You could do worse,” Derek admits. “Isaac is a good kid.”

“I do not know what you are talking about,” Steve murmurs in his spaced out, connecting with the spirits voice.

“Bullshit,” Stiles grins and they head back over to the building together.

As soon as they step into it’s boundaries a small object is flying at Steve’s head, followed by the even thicker tenancy agreement. Thankfully, Derek plucks the wad of paper out of the air before it knocks Steve unconscious and skims idly through it. It seems thicker than Stiles remembers.

“How does it forge my signature so well?” Derek wonders faintly while Steve rubs at his head and inspects the key the house has thrown at him with a perplexed expression.

“You got a key?” Stiles demands. “I’ve lived here for more than two years without one and you get a key? I call house foul.”

Derek snorts, flipping the heavy paperwork together with a large snap before he hands it over to Steve. “You’re the house favourite. I’m surprised your name isn’t already on the deed.”

The house rattles with building magic and Stiles immediately ducks. “Pen,” he warns just as a door opens upstairs and such a weapon comes flying out.

In a display of surprisingly good reflexes, Steve reaches out and snatches it out of the air before examining the first page of the tenancy paperwork. “Jesus, this is intense. Did Lydia write this?”

“Yep,” Stiles declares proudly as a deeper rumble emerges, one that sounds like it’s coming from the building’s very foundations and it’s a sound Stiles hasn’t heard before and doesn’t recognise.

But Derek does.

“Oh no,” he sighs, pinching the bridge of his nose as if in response to what's coming.

Stiles squeaks as a roll of old parchment hits him solidly in the face. “Ow,” he protests, catching the projectile the building's launched at him in spite of the twinge of pain it offers. “We really need to work on your delivery system.”

The parchment is very old, dating back to when the house was built- 1800's kind of old. Gingerly, Stiles unrolls the paper, feeling the strength of magic that keeps it intact and unblemished by the ravages of time.

It’s the deed to the house. Never make a joke in front of an enchanted building when it is capable of hearing it. Stiles spots Derek’s full name and right next to it in unmistakable printed ink is-

“That’s me,” he gasps. “The house put me onto the deed!”

Derek reads the truth of it over his shoulder. “It even got your actual name on there,” he whistles, low and impressed.

Stiles can’t believe it. Nobody in the pack but Derek knows his full name since they’d tease him mercilessly for it until he dies. He pats the house fondly, not sure of what to say. It's a touching gesture and way better than a stupid key. Steve can suck it.

Once Stiles is done perusing the parchment and Steve has signed the lease, they place the offending paperwork into the building’s mail box and it sucks them up with a sharp sound, windows opening on a pleased exhale.

Stiles points at the building. “Alright, buddy. We talked about this. Consent issues. No more matchmaking. No meddling. Let Steve figure it out on his own.”

The house responds with a promising hum of magic and Derek rolls his eyes. “Don’t trust it. The house is absolutely lying. Prepare for uninvited contributions.”

Steve takes a deep breath as if to steel himself. “Let’s do this,” he says before stepping inside.

They follow him up the staircase and into the recently returned 2D and the layout is exactly the same as Steve’s previous apartment in West Village once they get inside and it is beyond strange to see it here in Brooklyn.

“This is so weird,” Steve breathes, examining everything to be sure it’s there, brow furrowing when it’s clear that all of it is the exact same place as he left it.

“Creepy,” Derek agrees, because he’s been to Steve’s place on more than one occasion as well and can recognise a complete replica when he sees one.

“Yup,” Stiles confirms before clapping his hands together.

“Okay, tips on how to survive a magical brownstone who likes to mess with everyone. If you have anything private you don’t want it taking and revealing in front of people at inopportune times, store it in a separate dimension. Store that shit in the spirit world, I cannot stress enough. The house doesn’t do anything without a reason so sometimes you have to be patient and wait for it to show you what it wants.”

“It won’t let any unsavoury characters into the house since Stiles increased its wards,” Derek continues helpfully. “And don’t use Fab Ultra 2X Liquid Laundry Detergent, Spring Magic it’s got formaldehyde in it, is basically cancer in a bottle and makes the house sneeze bubbles whenever someone uses it.”

“Oh and don’t go into a certain someone’s bedroom if you don’t plan to be trapped in there overnight,” Stiles adds, waggling his eyebrows suggestively.

“The door will probably disappear,” Derek agrees gravely but his expression is amused.

Steve looks like he’s having trouble taking it all in at once. “Are you sure this house isn’t evil?”

The floorboards rumble out a laugh as Stiles shrugs. “Probably not.”

“We’ll let you get settled,” Derek offers, hand sliding across Stiles’ waist like a promise as their energies flare together.

“Yeah, yeah, go have sex,” Steve grumbles, waving them away.

Stiles pats his shoulder fondly and they leave him to it.

“I’m so ready for this,” Stiles says as they enter the hallway. “You don’t even understand.”

Derek tugs Stiles’ body against his lower half so that he can feel where he’s already hard just from the suggestion. “I think I can relate.”

They barely take two steps towards the winding staircase that will lead them to the fourth floor when a door opens behind them.

It's another interesting development considering there wasn't a door there when they arrived and there's no gold lettering announcing it as a new unit to be leased to a future guest. Stiles frowns at it, unable to sense any danger.

But he’s not so good for sensing things yet. Give it time and he’ll be back to full power.

“Should we?” he wonders and Derek shrugs.

“Might as well have a look.”

They edge cautiously toward the door which swings wide at Stiles’ touch, revealing another dimension behind the door. If the fairy glen on the rooftop had been a botanical garden’s wet dream then the clearing awaiting them effortlessly puts it to shame.

At the welcoming hum of ancient magic, Stiles steps across the threshold without a thought, Derek darting after him with a curse as the door closes behind them.

“God, do you feel that?” Stiles groans, already hard and aching for skin on skin.

He spins around to face Derek and his expression is tight and wary, shoulder tense and body locked up in preparation to fight.

“Magic,” he hisses like it's a bad word.

Stiles feels the infinite sadness from his mistrust echo in the very breath of the air. This place does not want Derek to fear it. Some of it’s flowers even close up in response.

“No,” Stiles murmurs softly, edging toward Derek and pulling him into his arms. “Ancient magic. The kind that exists to bring joy and lightness into the world.”

Derek doesn’t respond but allows Stiles to gently draw him deeper into the clearing, trusting his judgement. Stiles toes off his shoes, wanting to feel the softness of grass against his skin and Derek does the same before Stiles is dragging them onto the forest floor.

The clearing is alive with immemorial energy, time worn and full of vitality as it flows across them in undulating waves. Stiles pulls Derek against him with a soft sigh, loving everything in this moment, the peace, the energy, the chance to lie with Derek and just be.

“What does it smell like?” Stiles wonders, amazed as Derek tilts his head down to rest upon his chest, listening to Stiles’ heartbeat.

“Like that potion you made the very first time you were trapped in my apartment,” Derek murmurs, relaxing into it oh, so slowly as the tension slips from his shoulders.

“It reminds you of my magic?” Stiles clarifies, immensely pleased that Derek could associate something as wondrous as this with him.

“No,” Derek says with a sudden edge to his voice. “It smells exactly like it. These woods, this meadow. The sunlight.”

Stiles’ heart beats faster at the thought. “Derek,” he breathes, keeping his voice even and careful. “I think we’re at the source.”

“The source?”

“The source of all magic,” Stiles whispers into Derek’s hair. “That’s why it smells the same.”

Derek stiffens only a little. “Is it dangerous?”

Stiles’ fingers trail lightly through his hair. “All magic in the wrong hands is dangerous,” he offers. “Do you trust my hands?”

Derek leans into them with a sigh before bringing Stiles’ fingers to his mouth to kiss them. “Yes,” he promises and Stiles groans at the heat of his mouth, pressing his cock into Derek’s hip and hissing at the pressure.

“Should we- here?” Derek wonders, already pushing back.

The clearing hums reassuringly and Stiles can sense its unwavering neutrality. Good and evil grows here. As it has done for all of time.

“Yeah,” he moans. “Yeah, please.”

Derek sits up in order to capture Stiles’ mouth. “I want-,” he begins hesitantly after he pulls away to breathe.

“Me too,” Stiles agrees and then they’re peeling off their clothing as quickly as they can.

Lube appears on a rock beside them and Derek rolls his eyes at it. “Classy, Stiles.”

Stiles puts his hands up, his pointedly lacking-a-spark hands. “Hey, don’t look at me. I’m still tapped out.”

Derek’s frown deepens. “I was just thinking we’d need lube and-“

His eyes narrow in concentration and in the next second, tea-light candles are appearing throughout the clearing and the brightness of the midday sun is settling into dusk as if a switch has been flicked. Well then. That's different.

Stiles stares at Derek in amazement. “You’re using magic,” he breathes, amazed.

“No, I’m not,” Derek protests as the candlelit clearing dances around them. “It’s just listening to my thoughts.”

Stiles isn't going to bother explaining that by channelling the magic in this place to suit his whims, Derek is in fact using magic. Especially when in the next second, he and Derek are completely naked.

“See,” Derek points out, a little smugly.

Stiles jerks up to get his mouth on him and Derek leans down, covering him with a groan as they move against each other. It's so good to be like this after so long that Stiles feels as if he might burst apart with it.

“How do you want to do this?” Stiles asks when they pull back to breathe.

“I don’t know,” Derek admits honestly. “I’ve never wanted to do this with anyone else.”

Stiles groans, dick jumping against Derek’s stomach, pre-cum sliding slickly between them. “If you’re on top you can control the pace better,” he explains thickly, watching Derek swallow.

“Yeah, that sounds-“ Derek breathes before getting his thoughts together. “I want to ride you.”

Stiles hisses, hips jerking uncontrollably at the picture. “Can I finger you?”

“Yeah,” Derek whispers, passing Stiles the lube so that he can slick his fingers up.

When Derek straddles him, pushing their cocks together as Stiles’ hand moves in between his ass cheeks, his face is flushed with anticipation. Stiles traces the rim of his asshole softly, teasing the area as it gives beneath his fingers, opening up. Gauging how ready Derek is from his open expression, Stiles carefully works a finger inside.

Derek pants but doesn’t show any discomfort as Stiles helps him to adjust to it for a few minutes before he slowly works in another. The heat of it is almost painful and Derek’s face is all confusion for a moment, testing to see if he enjoys what Stiles is doing just before Stiles locates his prostate.

“Fuck,” he groans, long and deep, dropping onto Stiles’ chest with a shuddering gasp and rolling his hips.

“You alright?” Stiles checks, knowing what Derek sounds like in the throes of pleasure but wanting to make sure.

“More,” Derek asks, pushing his hips down to receive it and Stiles obliges, mouth dry as he presses his third finger up past the knuckle.

If he had any of his magic left to give, his hands would definitely be sparking right about now.

He stretches his fingers apart slowly so that Derek can imagine what his cock might feel like inside him and Derek rocks his hips smoothly, warm mouth opening against Stiles’ chest. Stiles nearly blows his load at the touch of his tongue and thumps his head against the grass to regain some control.

“I think I’m ready,” Derek grunts a moment later, panting when Stiles’ doesn’t immediately move to help him. “Jesus, Stiles fuck me already.”

Stiles groans, withdrawing his fingers as Derek gets into a position that’s more comfortable, lining himself up with Stiles’ cock and wrapping his hand around him. Stiles is too gone already to do more than moan uselessly as Derek slowly lowers himself down.

The first touch of Derek’s inner heat is unbearable and he can’t stop staring at his face, the way Derek has to bite his lip to keep quiet as he gradually works Stiles’ cock into his body.

“Fuck, fuck,” Stiles whimpers. “Derek.”

Derek seems to understand his garbled plea because in the next moment he’s bottoming out, Stiles’ balls pressed against his ass as his cock jerks inside him with the urge to move.

Stiles keeps himself still, feeling the wash of energy rushing through him and with some shock he realises it’s his own, bubbling up inside, no deep meditation technique required to tap into the primeval magic. Derek’s alpha spirit surges in response and Stiles’ chest feels tight with the joy of feeling like his whole self again.

This is much more than he's been hoping for, to be close like this again.

Derek tests the waters first, pulling up a little before sliding down and their accompanying murmurs of pleasure speak of very good things. But when Derek nearly pulls all the way off of his cock, eyes shut tightly at the sensation, Stiles realises that he doesn’t just feel like his whole self again.

He feels stronger.

Stiles thrusts up just as Derek is pushing back down and Derek’s entire body loosens with a groan as his cock fattens up against Stiles’ stomach. It's a surprise, absolutely. Stiles’ fingers are sparking once he realises what’s happening.

Derek’s already knotting and Stiles has barely worked his dick inside him. Jesus, that's too much for him to handle right now. Not if he doesn't want to come too soon. Derek hasn’t seen anything yet but Stiles is going to make sure that he enjoys every second of it.

Stiles’ fingers come out to press against the meat of Derek’s thighs, holding him still as he starts out a good rhythm. It’s hard to angle for his prostate in this position but Stiles is determined and when Derek’s mouth falls open with a soft sound he knows he’s hit it.

After that he keeps his rhythm slow and unhurried, allowing Derek to feel every inch of him as he presses forward, pushing his cock in deep like it belongs there. The clutch of Derek’s body is almost too much, Stiles doesn’t think he can last much longer so he gets a hand around the fat knot of Derek’s cock, sealing his fingers around it tightly as he jerks him.

“C’mon Derek,” Stiles pants. “I’m not gonna last, you feel so good.”

Derek thrusts wildly into Stiles’ fist, working himself on Stiles’ cock hard as he comes.

At the sight of Derek’s orgasm Stiles loses it, rabbiting into Derek’s pliant body before his body stiffens up and he comes as well before collapsing back onto the grass.

Derek moves slowly, Stiles' cock slipping out of him as he rolls onto the forest floor, toppling down beside him. They don’t seem to care much that they’re a collective mess because Stiles buries his face into Derek’s throat and wraps his arms around him contentedly.

“We’re doing that again,” Derek murmurs tiredly as Stiles probes the soft furl of his entrance, inspecting for any damage, even if it would probably have healed by now.

Derek’s fine, if by the way he gasps into it. “Feels good,” he promises. “Used.”

Stiles groans as his brain pretty much implodes. That is not playing fair at all. Stiles is almost already prepared for another round.

“I’m so glad things might be settling down to some semblance of normal," he sighs. "Well except for-“

“The baby we need to protect,” Derek finishes for him, his alpha instincts already in full swing.

“I was actually referring to our approaching nuptials,” Stiles hums, not in the least offended. This is the Derek he’s in love with and he wouldn’t want anything different. “But yeah. I’m back to myself again so you bet I’ll be warding every inch of Allison and her and Lydia’s apartment, not to mention everything I get my sparky hands on.”

“You’re back to yourself again?” Derek repeats, confused. “I thought you needed a few hours to kick start your magic again after it's used up?”

“Not when we literally boned in front of the source of all magic,” Stiles grins, cleaning them up with a wave of his hand.

It’s not hard to miss that any of their essences which ended up on the forest floor have long since vanished, a parting gift of life energy to the source which housed them.

“Right,” Derek deadpans. “How did I not realise that sooner.”

Stiles smirks and kisses him hard. He is going to be having good vibes for weeks. Stiles isn’t sure if the extra power boost is a result of his overuse of magic lately, working a muscle until it grows stronger or if it’s a final boon from the source itself.

Either way, Stiles is sure as hell not complaining.

They doze there for a short time, happy to lie against one another and Stiles’ heart might burst with the wonder of it. When they wake up again, reluctantly pulling on their clothes, Stiles opens up the dimension door to lead them back into the building.

They barely make it into the foyer before Cora is coming through the front door, bottle of wine in one hand and Richard the vamp’s hand in the other. Her deer in headlight’s expression is priceless as Stiles grins delightedly at them.

“You’re the rich boyfriend from the upper east side?” Derek demands, shocked and pointedly eyeing Richard’s very not rich boyfriend clothes.

He is not playing the correct part that Derek predicted and Stiles thinks it's hilarious.

With what little energy he’s had lately, Stiles had sensed that Cora was dating a vamp but he’s surprisingly pleased to discover it’s Richard. He's a good egg.

“We’re vampires,” Eva snorts from behind the couple. “Of course we’re rich.”

Stiles bumps Richard’s fist in greeting. “Happy to see you, dude,” he promises. “Noshiko’s cake was delicious.”

“No brains this time?” Eva wonders, but her grin is sly as Richard winces and stares up at the ceiling as if in penance for the event in question.

He's never going to live that mistake down and since he's already dead, he's got an eternity to suffer for it.

“None at all,” Derek agrees, recovering some of his humour.

“Are you coming to Lydia and Allison’s dinner party then?” Cora asks them, the group heading up to the second floor's landing just as the door to 2D opens up to their left and Steve is tripping out of it.

“Hello,” he greets, recovering his serene expression.

“Steve?” Cora blinks. “When did you move in?”

Steve glances bemusedly at his watch. “About half an hour ago?”

Cora frowns thoughtfully and turns to her brother. “House matchmaking again?”

“Apparently,” he agrees, smiling.

Steve waves his hands. “I would like to state I am uncomfortable with this conversation and I work with the dead for a living so-“

“Oh hey, Steve,” Eva greets, stepping around Richard and Cora to hug him hello.

“Eva,” Steve says, surprised. “I didn’t know you knew these guys.”

“Please,” Eva snorts. “This is the only remaining magical brownstone in Brooklyn. Everybody knows the Hale pack.”

Stiles and Derek lead the group up to Allison and Lydia's door, hand in hand and smiling at the hubbub of noise roaming through the building, filling it with life. Cora pushes into their clasped hands, forcing them to let go.

“Alright, Stiles,” she says. “Lay it on me. How bad is the teasing going to be? Who’s my worst contender?”

“I’m not a fortune teller!” Stiles snaps, offended as Derek snickers over Cora’s shoulder.

“But you are a spark,” Cora retorts and he can’t really argue there.

He allows his senses to spread out, sparks flying merrily from his fingers. “Okay, avoid Laura, Jackson, Aidan, Lydia, Laura, Erica and Liam.”

“But that’s half the pack!” Cora protests. “And you said Laura twice! What about Rich? Will anybody be teasing him?”

"Trust me," Stiles promises. "Avoid Laura." Then he turns to wink at one of his favourite vamps in New York and he's not only thinking that because he brews the best coffee. “And nobody is gonna mess with Richard. They love him too much.”

Steve laughs when Cora curses viciously but still permits Richard to take her hand again. Apparently she's willing to make the sacrifice. “This family sucks,” she grumbles, but doesn’t really mean it.

If Stiles had to suffer the endless teasing of hooking up with their alpha, then Cora should at least suffer the consequences of dating their favourite vamp barista.

It’s only fair.

“We love you, too,” Derek replies, when they reach 2A and pause before the closed door.

The building hums and swings it wide for them, the sight of family and uninhibited laughter welcoming them in with open arms.

“After you,” Stiles teases, gesturing at Richard and Cora.

Richard, as always, is unconcerned by the events unfolding before him and squeezes Cora’s hand before they walk in together. The immediate wolf whistles that greet them sound promising. Stiles is sure as hell going to enjoy this.

Eva stalks in after them with a smirk, heading immediately toward Laura since they’ve gone out drinking together on more than one occasion and bonded.

Steve follows in after, Malia tackling into him instantly before leading him over toward the counter covered with booze. Stiles can’t help but watch the way his eyes linger on Isaac across the room, who's oblivious to the attention as he and Liam continue an in-depth discussion about something.

Stiles will bet it was his apartment that the house sent Steve into the other night. The fact that Steve managed to escape without Isaac's knowledge is a feat of itself. Stiles definitely never managed such a thing with Derek. Maybe he wasn't trying hard enough though.

Steve turns his head away just as Isaac seems to sense someone's gaze upon him, glancing around the room with a thoughtful frown. He only turns back to Liam when he doesn't catch anyone's eye.

Oh, yeah. The house is going to be all over that. Poor Steve won’t know what hit him.

“Ready?” Derek asks, smiling at him fondly as his fingers smooth over Stiles’ engagement ring.

“Just try and stop me,” Stiles laughs, before they cross the threshold into Allison and Lydia’s apartment together, magic pulsing elatedly between their interlocked fingers.







Scott and Kira do bring back awesome take out for everyone. Stiles could kiss them.









Chapter Text






“And you’re sure there aren’t any brains in this?”

Richard looks, not for the first time since Derek and Stiles came over for a private cake testing, that he wants to throw a fork at them. Or maybe give death-by-fork the old college try.

Stiles slides a sly grin over at Derek and tries not to laugh at the equally innocent expression waiting there. They might not be taking this as seriously as they should.

“I checked twice,” Richard mutters. “I always check twice now. Besides you would know if it was a brain cake, Stiles, you’d sense it with your witchy powers and Derek would be able to smell it.”

Cora pats his arm soothingly. “Ignore them. They’re just being dicks.”

Definitely true. But Stiles still feels the need to wag his fingers pointedly as they shoot off his magical calling card. “Spark,” he clarifies. “Wait- Hold up. Derek can smell it?”

He turns an accusing look at his fiancé. “You mean you knew and you still let Danny eat-“

Derek’s got a mouthful of cake and nearly chokes on it, waving his hand out to deny the suggestion. “I could smell something,” he manages, voice scratchy and Richard retreats to the kitchen and returns with a glass of water before any of them can blink. Derek drains it with a grateful look. “I just didn’t realise it was brains until it was too late.”

Stiles, who is in the middle of sampling the red velvet, finds himself grinning anyway. “Like you didn’t know it was brains.”

The suggestion offends him greatly. “Of course I didn’t,” Derek protests. “I’m a werewolf, not a zombie!”

Cora snorts before Richard takes the seat beside her again, throwing an arm calmly across her shoulder. Eva left once the shop closed since she had prior engagements but she'd also looked dangerously hungry so they hadn't convinced her to stay. Stiles isn’t willing to deprive her of her evening meal at the blood bank that's for sure.

“You know you don’t have to do them this favour,” Cora repeats, not for the first time. “You don’t even do wedding cakes. You shouldn't have to just cause he’s my brother.”

Stiles scowls at her. It is an accepted fact that Richard is the best supernatural baker this side of Brooklyn and he is not going to pass up the opportunity to have him bake their wedding cake. Especially with only a month left until their actual wedding is set to take place. It’s a good thing Richard doesn’t do weddings or he might not have been able to schedule them in at such short notice.

“He’s doing it because he’s my friend,” he insists, pointing his fork at her threateningly. “And because he’s a lot nicer than you.”

Some of Richard’s good humour shifts. “Stiles, I love you man but please don’t trash talk my girlfriend.”

With a shrug he cuts a piece of the yellow buttercake and scoops it on to his fork. “Yeah, that’s fair.”

Cora glares accusingly at Derek. “And where are you at right now? Thanks for defending me, bro.”

Derek only raises an eyebrow. “At which part? The part where you’re trying to get our cake maker to abandon us? Or the part where you came to our cake tasting when you weren’t invited?”

Cora grumbles to herself but quits arguing after that since he does have a point. When Derek moves to try some of the yellow buttercake however, Richard harshly smacks his hand away with the back of his fork.

“No, not that one,” he says. “Try this instead.”

“Richard,” Stiles starts, patiently. “You’re meant to be encouraging and give advice, not assault us with cutlery.”

“I am encouraging,” he says calmly. “I’m encouraging you both to try the Nutella cake with hazelnut buttercream and chocolate ganache.”

What kind of cake wizard is Richard anyway? Stiles is practically salivating at the description, already sold at Nutella. “Holy hell, just put it straight in my mouth.”

Derek smirks but Stiles can tell it’s one of his sexy smirks full of innuendo and can’t resist waggling his eyebrows suggestively right back. Richard isn’t paying attention but Cora pretends to gag when he turns to cut a sample slice of the Nutella cake.

“Ugh you guys are painful,” she groans, miming vomiting over the edge of her chair.

Stiles can totally make her regret that but he’s choosing to be the bigger person and not rise to the bait. Besides, there's no available bath tubs to dump her in like he did with Laura. Patience.

“You can always leave,” he suggests instead out of the kindness of his heart.

Cora only narrows her eyes. “We’re going on a date afterward.”

Well her uninvited presence makes sense now. Richard barely places the slice down onto the table before Derek’s swooping in and taking a bite. Stiles curses his slow reflexes until he sees Derek react to the taste. The look on his face is startlingly close to his orgasm face after he's gotten it into his mouth.

What a masterpiece. Stiles appreciates it very much.

“Stiles,” he groans, once he’s finished chewing. “Wedding’s off. I’m gonna marry this cake instead.”

“Bullshit you will,” he laughs, scooping out his own bite. It barely reaches his lips before the flavours are overwhelming his mouth and Jesus and sweet Mary, Richard is a wizard. “Because I’m gonna marry it first.”

“You two are so embarrassing,” Cora mutters but she’s smiling at them fondly so it’s all talk.

She secretly loves them, Stiles can tell.

“Why don’t you get married- with the cake?” Richard offers pragmatically as if he thinks he’s preventing some kind of argument.

Or catastrophe. But it's not like Stiles is willing to kill Derek over a cake. Except, well-

It's a pretty fucking amazing cake.

Stiles glances at Derek who pretends to mull it the decision over in great depth though he can see the way his mouth is twitching from holding in all his laughter. What an utter dork. Stiles loves him so damn much.

He pretends to sigh deeply even as he's leaning into Derek’s chest. “I guess I’ll have to settle for that.”

“Cool,” Richard says before he’s drawing out his book full of different cake designs. “Now you’ve just got to choose how you want it to look.”

They settle on a simple design after only some minor arguing and at least that’s one thing they can cross off the list. Their list of things to do in order to prepare for the wedding. Which is happening in less than a month. Stiles still can't believe it.

They’re so lucky that more than half of their tasks can be accomplished by magic when it would take months and months of careful planning for a regular human. They only want a simple wedding anyway. Just close family. And in the house or whatever secret garden it plans to outfit itself with on the day.

Maybe it will redecorate the rooftop like last time or just direct them to the source of all magic.

Stiles isn’t going to lie, he’d love to marry Derek in its presence. Whatever they’re planning on doing, the house is definitely involved and Stiles can already tell that it’s going to be a mixture of small disasters before the whole thing inevitably goes off with a hitch.

But honestly, they’ve saved themselves from nearly all of the pressure of wedding planning without half as much effort.

Magic is seriously the best.






When Stiles gets home from work, Lydia is already on the stoop waiting for him. Her thunderous expression tells him pretty quickly that something is wrong. And that he should most definitely be afraid.

“Hey,” he starts in greeting. “What’s-“

“You need to get Derek out of my apartment,” she mutters, agitated beyond belief. “Or I’m going to kill him.”

Stiles highly doubts that even though the look on her face is making him nervous. “What did he do?”

“He’s smothering the hell out of Allison and me. I don’t know how Scott and Kira ever dealt with him when he’s like this.”

“Well they’re nice for one,” Stiles points out, trying not to cower when Lydia’s expression shifts dangerously. “Don’t worry, I promise I’ll talk to him but if it’s such a problem you know you should be sorting it out yourself.”

Lydia’s scowl deepens. “I know that, Stiles,” she snaps as if he’s offending her intelligence by suggesting such a thing. “I just don’t-“

It’s not like Lydia to be unable to finish her sentences. Stiles steps closer despite himself, interested in what she has to say.

“Don’t what?”

“Don’t want to hurt his feelings,” she whispers as if she’s admitted some kind of terrible secret.

Stiles is swept up with an unreasonable amount of affection for her even if her expression gives the impression that if he speaks of this to anyone she may just flay him alive. But he knows she cares, even if Lydia tries to pretend that she could never be concerned by such a thing.

He can still sense the core of her feelings though. She wants to take care of her wife and Derek is usurping her role by being overly helpful and protective of Allison.

Lydia wants to do all that herself.

“I’ll talk to him,” Stiles promises, squeezing her shoulder gently. “Don’t worry.”






"Hey, you need to chill with Lydia and Allison," he tries to tell Derek as they're walking down the stairs to meet the rest of the pack in Ethan and Aiden's apartment for dinner and game night.

Derek is wholly startled by the words as if it's the last thing he might have ever predicted he'd say. He's so oblivious to his own annoyingly overprotective behaviour that it's like he doesn't even know he's doing it. The sad thing is, Stiles thinks most of the time that he actually doesn't. He really wishes Lydia hadn't spoken to him earlier.

Tact has never been Stiles' strongest game. He's not good at protecting people's feelings. But for Derek he wants to be.

"You know how you can get," he continues. "I've already warded their apartment and I'll ward the baby when Allison is further along. You know she's safe with Lydia-"

"But-"

"You're cramping Lydia's style," Stiles clarifies bluntly. "She wants to be the overprotective doting wife and you're taking that away from her."

Derek curses. "I didn't think I was as bad this time!" he protests. "I haven't even been following Allison around that much."

He such a sweet asshole Stiles doesn't know how Lydia could possibly be annoyed with him. "Babe, you've still been pretty bad. You just need to find your chill. Back off a little."

He knows that it's hard for Derek, especially when he wants to make sure that his pack is safe. Those kinds of instincts aren't very easy to fight. Half the time Stiles is ready to destroy anybody who so much as looks at a member of his pack wrong.

Maybe they could both stand to find their chill. Jesus, Stiles is probably just as bad as Derek.

"I'll try," Derek promises, but he doesn't sound too confident about it. They'll figure out the right balance eventually.

Ethan and Aiden's apartment is unlocked and the rest of the pack is already there setting up the right amount of chairs to seat everyone. Stiles can smell pasta and cheese and realises that Aiden's making his special baked ziti. They join the rest of the pack in setting the table with cutlery and plates and Ethan comes out with two casserole dishes full of vegetarian ziti for the few who don't like meat that much.

Aiden comes out a few minutes later with two casserole dishes full of the beef baked ziti and as always there's a mad scramble when everybody starts serving themselves.Derek rests his hand comfortably on Stiles' thigh while he gets a spatula and cuts a square out for Stiles first, knowing the werewolves at the table might eat the whole thing before the poor humans even get some.

Sometimes he wonders if Derek just forgets that he can do powerful magic. Still, he's giving him free food so who is Stiles to argue against it?

He summons a couple of bottles of Planeta Cerasuolo di Vittoria that he's been saving for the next time Ethan and Aiden cook. Several glasses appear on the table for those who want to drink it and Stiles has added only a pinch of wolfsbane to the bottle so it might affect the werewolves the same as the humans.

"Whoa," Derek murmurs after taking the first sip. "That is nice."

See? Stiles has good taste. In a lot of things. He helps pour out more glasses with his magic and then levitates them down the table to anyone who wants some. Allison smells the bouquet of Lydia's glass with interest. And any glasses intentionally pass over Liam who was starting to look at little too hopeful.

His dad would totally kill him and Stiles has plans to marry his hunky neighbour first. There's no way he's giving up the chance to do that for anything or anyone else.

Stiles is sure as hell gonna put a wedding ring on it and he's going to do it in front of all his friends and family. He slides his fingers across Derek's engagement ring, imbuing more of his excitement for their upcoming nuptials into the gold and watching as the sensation of it sweeps over Derek. His face goes a little slack with happiness and Stiles loves him so much when he draws Stiles' engagement to his lips and kisses it in return.

"Ugh," Isaac mutters. "Stop being cute."

Stiles flips him off before he starts peppering kisses across Derek's face.

Isaac can suck it.

Stiles glances at Steve when Isaac leans across him to grab one of the wine bottles nearby and sees the way his face goes a little pink as if he's at war with his own reaction to the close proximity. As per usual, Isaac is completely oblivious to him. And it's a miracle nobody else has figured it out yet. The last thing Steve needs is the pack getting on his back about it.

Though, Stiles has a feeling that Steve might be using some shaman like tricks to keep his feelings for Isaac under the radar. Good luck to him. He's not going to get away with it for long, living in a sentient house and only across the hall from the guy he's crushing hard on. Stiles can almost smell the imminent disaster and embarrassment approaching.

Poor Steve.

But then Derek is getting to his feet and tilting his head down for a kiss and Stiles totally forgets to feel sorry for him.

They clear out into the living room once they've done the washing up- and Stiles totally cheats and uses magic to speed the process- to start on some games.

By a wise unanimous vote they've given up on monopoly since Stiles can barely look at it anymore without remembering Rich Uncle Pennybags and shuddering, and Jackson draws out his set of Cards Against Humanity that Danny bought him for his birthday to play instead.

The only problem with that is that their pack is pretty much made up of a group of snarky assholes and their answers are so frequently bad that Scott's taken to just keeping his hands over Noshiko's ears, mouth continually opening up in horror. The answers that come from Aiden and Erica are probably the most horrifying.

Stiles thinks he's going to get a twinge from both continually wincing and laughing uproariously. Even Derek has a few good ones. Mostly snarky. And Stiles is all for that, especially when Derek insists on following the rules and not showing Stiles his cards.

As if he couldn't just concentrate a little harder and know every answer card that the pack are holding in their hands. Stiles lets Derek believe he's still keeping them secret and tries to decide on the most terrible reply in his hands to Allison's questions. He puts down his A Windmill of Corpses card and hopes for the best.

Allison raises an eyebrow at that answer but goes with the White Privilege card instead that Boyd put down.

The betrayed expression on Scott's face when Kira finally wins a round by shamelessly exploiting the Card Czar, who happens to be Laura, with her penchant for toilet humour, is totally priceless.

Stiles keeps summoning more bottles of wine so the pack starts to get a bit tipsy by the second round and he's pretending not to notice that Isaac is leaning more and more comfortably against Steve with every drink. Since Steve's face is thoughtful and connecting with the furthest outreaches of the universe, Stiles knows he's trying to keep his shit together. And mostly failing.

Ah, young love.

Danny wins the second round because his sense of humour is killer and nobody can be bothered to shuffle the cards again to start again so they end up perched around Aiden and Ethan's living room, drinking wine instead. Scott finally deems it safe to uncover his daughter's ears.

Eventually people start heading off to bed. Allison and Lydia go first, the latter shooting Derek a warning look to stop him from helping her wife stand up so that she can do it. Noshiko has fallen asleep on Scott's arm so he offers his hand to Kira and they take her off to bed together.

Isaac ducks into the bathroom for a moment, cheeks flushed from wine and Steve is staring again. Stiles can’t believe he hasn’t been caught out yet. Or that the house hasn’t even made a move. Probably biding its time.

“You know he’s not dating anybody right now,” Stiles offers, cutting across his blank expression.

“Who?” Steve wonders absently because he’s a shit.

Derek rolls his eyes but nudges Stiles silently in a way that means don't push too far. As if Stiles is the one with meddling problems here and not the nosy magical entity that insists on interfering in everyone's love lives.

“Fine, you wanna play it like that,” he mutters. “But he might not be single for long is all I’m saying. He’s got the golden curls of a freaking cherub, cheekbones you could injure yourself on and wears scarves, dude. Plus he's got that snarky asshole vibe going for him. He's a catch.”

Steve stands abruptly as if the urgency of making a move has only just been explained to him. “I just remembered that I have to leave,” he says evenly and then does just that.

The building even swings the door wide to let him escape. Either it feels sorry for him or the early stages of its matchmaking schemes have already begun. Stiles totally thinks it's the latter.

Derek snorts. “I think you broke him.”

The dude is a shaman. Dealing with lost and malevolent spirits is basically his day job. He's made of sterner stuff. Stiles only rolls his eyes and leans deeper into Derek, half in his lap and already savouring the steady hum of their bodies joined together. “He practically lives in the spirit world. It’ll take more than that to affect him.”

Laura must have watched Steve's hasty retreat because she walks on over with a glass of wine in hand and a frown on her face. “What’s his problem?” she wonders, inclining her head at the door Steve all but launched himself through a second ago.

“He’s pining,” Stiles mutters but changes tact at the warning look Derek shoots him. “Or something.”

Laura only raises an eyebrow putting it together quickly. “Somebody here? No wonder the house moved him in.”

“Don’t tease him,” Derek says. “He’s only just started adjusting. Don’t make him run for the hills already.”

But Laura only gazes at the both of them, unimpressed. “Like the building isn’t already going to do that on its own.”

And then she's walking off to join Braeden and Erica without any further comments.

The thing is, she's not wrong. Stiles has no doubt that the house is gearing up to make life very difficult for them all in the coming month. And that's not even on top of all the wedding planning it has to do.

Steve is in for a new realm of suffering and embarrassment.

Stiles knows from experience.

He's barely draining his glass of wine before Isaac returns from the bathroom, noticing the shaman like absence in the room immediately. "Where's Steve?"

Not interested, huh? Stiles gives Derek a pointed look but he only shakes his head, silently telling Stiles to stay out of it. But Steve is his friend, okay, he wants the guy to be happy. Not that he isn't already. Basically Stiles wants him to get laid. Is that a weird thing to want for one of his best friends? Yeah, it's probably weird.

Oh well.

"He went to sleep," Malia answers for them.

The disappointment on Isaac's face does not escape anyone's notice. Not even the house and it doesn't even have eyes.

God, they're screwed.






Stiles is sitting on the bench in Derek’s kitchen the next day, eyeing his fiancé hungrily as he sifts through his mail.

There’s nothing particularly exciting about it, except for the fact that Derek’s still wearing his ranger uniform, hair windswept and cheeks flushed from the trek home like he’s in the middle of some kind of sexy letter opening commercial. If that’s a thing that people are into. Stiles definitely falls under that bracket for sure.

It’s all very standard.

Except for the fact that Derek’s opening bills with his werewolf claws. Though technically for everybody living in this building that particular sight is standard. Stiles is swinging his legs back and forth, drinking in the lovely sight, especially when Derek’s forehead creases adorably after he opens the next one.

He’s not even really doing much of anything, nothing exciting, and yet Stiles is starting to get hard just watching him. The bliss of domestic life- boring tasks always make him horny beyond all belief.

Especially if Derek’s in his uniform.

Derek’s nose crinkles as if he’s found Stiles out but peers into the envelope instead, distracted by the contents. His expression hardens thoughtfully as if he's come across something outside the norm of a regular letter.

Is it the water bill again? Stiles already said he'd try to convince the house to stop making it rain on the days when it's sunny and the house is feeling particularly bored.

“What are you-?” he starts to ask before Derek upends the letter as if to tip whatever’s in it out.

A flow of purple powder pours into the cupped bowl of his palm. Stiles has seen it enough to know what it is. Wolfsbane. He doesn’t even pause, just leaps off the counter to smack it out of Derek’s hand.

He doesn’t let out a gasp of pain at contact on his skin not even as the powder hits the floorboards beneath them, but Stiles’ heart is still beating fast. Derek’s only frowning at the strangeness of it but a few minutes longer and that amount could’ve killed him. Would have killed him.

What the hell?

“That’s wolfsbane. What the fuck,” he says, lazy arousal all but forgotten. “Who sent it?”

Derek’s frown deepens but his gaze is focused on the messy floor. “Stiles,” he mutters with an odd hesitation but he’s pointing at the offending purple area. “It’s not wolfsbane.”

Confused, Stiles glances down a second later just in time to see the last of it disappear into the floorboards without a trace. Weird. It’s pretty rare for the house to clean up after them, since its interests lie in messing with people’s personal lives but he’s not going to begrudge the unexpected help.

“Are you sure?” he wonders, staring at the clean floor in disbelief. “It didn’t smell like it?”

Derek only shakes his head, sniffing his hand curiously as if that doesn’t make a strange picture. Stiles is willing to roll with it.

“It wasn’t wolfsbane. Probably just some stupid prank.”

Stiles is still staring at the deceptively spotless floorboards with a feeling as if he should know the hidden meaning behind it. The building doesn’t offer up any opinions either so he’s left unsettled and unsatisfied.

“Weird,” he says, hand settling automatically on Derek’s hip now he’s within reach.

“Weird,” Derek agrees before tugging him closer into a kiss.

They’re meant to be meeting Richard again later on in the evening to see the final designs for their wedding cake but since he’s a vampire and the sun is still setting, they’ve got a few hours to kill.

“Wanna watch a movie?” Stiles wonders, pulling Derek in between the open v of his legs.

Derek anchors his hands on either side of Stiles' hips and he is very happy with the situation. Maybe they should just skip the movie altogether. Stiles still wants to get him out of that uniform.

Or better yet, keep him in it. Even now that uniform is still giving him inappropriate boners. It's about time he did something about it. Stiles is practical like that.

“As long as it’s not another werewolf one,” Derek warns, mouth twisting like he wants to laugh but is fighting himself.

Stiles grins, waggling his eyebrows. “But Derek representation matters. Don’t you want to see yourself howling at the moon?”

Accurate representation,” he mutters, scowling as if every one of those laughably wrong werewolf films that Stiles has been making him watch lately offend him on a deep molecular level.

Which they do. Stiles kind of loves to see him get all riled up though. He can’t help it.

“Wanna play intercontinental rummy?” he suggests instead with a plaintive smile.

But Derek knows his innocent game too well and raises a suspicious eyebrow. “Trying to get in some extra practice before card night this month?”

Damn. Stiles grins and cups his hands around Derek’s neck just for the feel of him. And the rush of their energies pulsing in a delicate beat. “Lydia destroyed us last time. We need to reclaim our dignity.”

Derek actually laughs. No loyalty whatsoever. “What’s this ‘we’? You’re the one who lost so bad you had to do their laundry for the entire month without magic.”

He sounds much too smug about it. Stiles still feels it was unfair that they put a 'no magic rule' on the bet in the first place. That's unfair discrimination, that is.

“Wow, so supportive, husband mine, I can tell you’re really sympathetic about the whole ordeal.”

Derek goes still at the words and Stiles doesn’t understand what he said until Derek’s hands settle on his hips, gripping tight. “I like the sound of you saying that,” he mutters, gruffly in the way he does when something is really affecting him. “Husband.”

Stiles shivers a little at the tone of his voice. Yeah, he definitely likes the sound of it as well.

“So you want to?”

“Yeah,” Derek admits. “You could use the help.”

“Just for that we’re gonna make it strip poker,”

Derek is infinitely more interested now. “You know it is probably the quickest way to get you naked.”

Stiles is grossly offended by this statement but that's mostly because it's slightly true. He used to be really great at cards, that is until the rest of the pack caught on to the fact that he was using his sensory magic to cheat. Then they enforced a 'no magic' ban. And now he's terrible.

Really terrible. But Stiles is also stubborn and unwilling to admit defeat.

“Prepare to eat those words, buddy.”

Derek gets him naked in under five minutes save for the burrito blanket that Stiles wraps himself in, in silent protest of being swindled so quickly.

He might be more upset by that fact if Derek didn't immediately drag him and the burrito blanket into the bedroom straight after.






Stiles wakes up beneath Derek’s arm which is pinning him to the bed and thinks he might still be dreaming.

Because the walls have turned green.

Green. He blinks a few times just to be sure and when the colours still haven’t gone away, he pats Derek’s arm to rouse him, swallowing uncomfortably around the very bad feeling rising in his throat.

“Derek,” he whispers, voice low since it’s still probably too early for them to be awake on a Saturday. “Can you see that?”

He doesn't wake up immediately. Stiles has to shake him for a while longer until Derek finally stirs with a grumble, rolling towards Stiles rather than away from him. Then he opens his eyes. And yep, he can see the green walls too. Derek frowns for a long while, blinks a few times for good measure before he realises that the colour isn't going away. Then his frown deepens considerably.

“Stiles, the walls are green.”

No shit. “So you see it too,” he mutters, vaguely unsettled. “Has this- uh happened before?”

Derek’s already pushing himself up onto his knees and gazing about the room, mouth parted as he thinks. “No. Should we check-?“

“Yeah,” Stiles agrees, feeling his stomach drop all of sudden with the bad vibes he’s sensing.

They pad out of Stiles’ bedroom and the walls of the living room and kitchen are green as well. As if this might be an everyday occurrence. The house would normally do something this strange for a gag but for once, Stiles thinks this isn't a joke. Derek takes one look at the walls, shoulder’s tensing, before he storms out into the hallway to see if it's the same out there.

He’s wearing boxers at least, so he's not completely naked, though on close inspection they’re clearly Stiles’ since they’re much too tight around his hips. Stiles doesn’t need to be distracted by Derek's ass so he forces himself to focus and follows him out into the hallway.

Scott and Kira are already standing there, Noshiko in Scott’s arms since he’s not letting her touch the equally green walls. Stiles peers over the railing and sees Braeden, Danny, Jackson and Steve all staring up at him in confusion. The expression on Steve’s face is what makes Stiles the most nervous. He must be able to sense the bad vibes too.

And that is not at all a good sign.

Stiles straightens up and moves to touch the closest part of the building that he can find. Bile rises up in his throat at first contact when his fingertips brush the wall and he’s retching and choking before Derek spins around and pulls him back.

“What the hell, Stiles?” he demands, panicked and gripping his hand tight. “Breathe. Tell me what’s happening?”

Stiles manages to get a hold of himself now that Derek severed the contact with wall but nausea still churns through his gut. Man, that did not feel good at all.

“I think,” he manages once he can breathe properly again. “That the house is sick.”

Derek laughs at first until he realises that Stiles is serious. “No,” he says, voice surprisingly sharp. “It’s only messing around right? This is a joke.”

And then he’s tearing off down the staircase to see if the rest of the building is green as well. Denial does not look good on him at all. And the sight of it is only upsetting his stomach more. Stiles glances at Scott and Kira who have clearly figured out that this is serious going by the concerned looks on their faces.

Laura stumbles out of her apartment with impressive bed hair before he can speak, rubbing tiredly at her eyes and then rubbing them again when she first sees all of the green.

Mouth twisting, Stiles goes to follow after his distressed fiancé and tries to ignore the sudden hollow sensation of dread in his chest as he does.

The walls are the same on the third and second levels and by then Derek’s heavy footsteps have drawn mostly everybody out of their apartments.

He catches Allison’s eye when he passes her on the second floor. “Stiles,” she starts, frowning. “The green?”

But he can’t wait around to give her the answers she wants. Mostly because he doesn't have any. Stiles has no idea what is happening right now. So he follows after Derek instead, panic mounting with each step.

Eventually he seems to run out of steam in the lobby but the way Derek is standing there stiffly only brings out how serious the situation is. Something is definitely wrong. Their building is sick. How does a magical house even get sick?

The rest of the pack has joined them by then, crowding the lobby and muttering amongst each other. No one is daring enough to touch the walls like Stiles did.

“Derek?” Liam says bravely, interrupting everyone. “What’s going on?”

He's too agitated to reply, just turns on his heel and walks out the front door as if he needs to see the building from the outside to be sure. Stiles silently waves at them all to stay there and goes after him.

Derek is facing the house, frozen on the steps, mouth twisted and visibly trying to keep his emotions in check. He always likes to grumble about the house so Stiles never exactly realised how much it matters to him. It's upsetting to see Derek so torn up over what's happening. But he's always been fronting when it comes to the house, Derek loves it as deeply as any other member of the pack.

Stiles reaches his side and turns to see what he’s staring so hard at. The curse falls out of his mouth before he can minimise his reaction and spare Derek's feelings.

Because the usually vibrant red bricks have lost their colour, paler than usual as if they've been washed away when the magic itself has sat there untouched and unaffected for hundreds of years.

Magic.

“Derek,” he says, urgently. “The powder.”

Realisation steals into his limbs and Derek comes alive with it again, darting back into the house as if he’s going to run up the entire flight of stairs to collect the envelope from his apartment.

“Wait!” he calls, catching up to him in the lobby.

It's a testament to how agitated Derek is that it takes him a second to stop and listen. By then Stiles is already calling down the envelope with his magic. Already he can sense the sole presence of his own magic, there’s no house to give him any assistance this time.

What the hell kind of purple powder was that?

The envelope flies towards him but Derek snatches it out of the air first, bringing it to his face and inhaling deep before Stiles can mention maybe that’s a bad idea. Since barely a handful of the stuff appears to have knocked their sentient building on it's ass.

Derek doesn’t keel over to the side dead in an instant so that’s a good sign, but Stiles isn’t sure he likes the way his face screws up tighter in open frustration.

“It’s human,” he announces, staring at Stiles beseechingly. “But it’s not hunters.”

“Pass it here,” he asks, hand already outstretched.

Derek still hesitates to give it to him anyway. “It does something to magic, Stiles.”

He’s touched at the concern and that Derek would actually think of protecting Stiles’ magic first. But he doesn't always need to hold things to be able to feel them. It just makes the vibes much sharper, that's all.

“I won’t touch it,” he promises and levitates it out of Derek’s grip before he can do anything else.

It hovers near his face and Stiles concentrates, drowning out the worried looks from his family as they watch him work. The unusual silence that has fallen around them for the first time since he met them is painful to experience. Stiles didn't even know that they could do quiet.

There’s not very much he can read from it except what Derek has already said. The person who sent this is human but not a hunter. The feelings he’s picking up aren’t so much malicious as calculated. This is a part of somebody’s plan for the house. To drain it of its magical energy. And strength.

“It is human,” he agrees. “But this is a deliberate move not an outright attack on the pack.”

“They’re hurting our building,” Boyd says carefully. “That is an attack on us.”

Stiles doesn't disagree with him. If he had any room to feel anger right now instead of bone crushing worry, he'd probably be lighting these assholes on fire.

“What does this mean?” Braeden wonders. “Are humans trying to destroy the building’s magic?”

Aiden’s eyes slide towards Allison’s stomach where she’s only just starting to show and Lydia seems to be having the exact same thought. Derek’s already watching them and it's not a stretch to guess that he's silently horrified.

This couldn't have come at a worse time. And with the house taking sick days it's going to leave them dangerously vulnerable.

“The wards,” Isaac warns, stepping forward but that’s not the biggest issue right now.

They’re weak but still holding. What Stiles needs is to figure out a way to reverse or impede the powder’s affects on the house.

At least that’s what he’s thinking before the wards fail in the next breath and vanish completely.

Derek stiffens like he’s been hit but he couldn’t have possibly sensed the magic falling away even if he is the alpha of the building. Stiles realises the problem a moment later when Erica curses colourfully and the front door slams open.

There’s a stranger standing there as if they've been waiting for this, one that Stiles has never seen before and instantly doesn’t like the look of. The timing of his arrival is damningly convenient just after the building can no longer sense the intention of it’s visitors and bar them.

The concern for his pack seems to grow taut and strained at the sight of the man.

“Now that’s the warm welcome I was expecting,” he says, poking at charm like a snake plays at docile before it strikes.

Stiles instinctively vanishes the envelope when the man’s eyes slide curiously toward it. Then his eyes settle on Stiles instead and he regrets showing that small display of magic even if the man is a beta werewolf and unsurprised by it.

“So this is the little spark you managed to lure in with your alpha charm?” he guesses, eyeing Stiles closely as he steps through the front door. “My, my nephew. He’s a prize.”

Stiles frowns, not at all enjoying what the stranger is insinuating or the hungry look in his eyes. Subtly, he draws back even as Derek inserts himself between them. “Peter,” he says, evenly more composed than he was a minute ago. “What are you doing here?”

It clicks then.

“As in Hale? As in your creeper Uncle?” he demands, eyeing Peter with increasing dislike.

That guy has got some major bad vibes working for him. He has no doubt if the house hadn’t been hit by some bullshit evil powder that Peter would never have made it past the gate.

As if that doesn’t make him seem more suspicious already.

“Unfortunately,” Laura mutters and Peter puts his hand to his chest in mock hurt.

This is so not what they need right now. Derek looks ready to toss him out. And Stiles is already silently hoping that he will. He really does not like this guy.

“You wound me,” he says. “And here I was hoping to join my nephew and share his special day.”

“We’re not getting married for another month,” Derek says, eyes narrowing sharply and folding his arms in a clear defensive stance.

Stiles gets a little lost in the way his muscles bunch.

“Well I had to meet my nephew’s spark first didn’t I?”

“His name is Stiles,” Derek snaps, agitation steadily increasing.

Just as Stiles mutters at the same time, “I’m Stiles.”

Peter glances between them with a sly smile. “Oh and how sweet, you even share the same thoughts. Stiles, was it? I’m Peter Hale.”

He extends his hand around Derek to shake but Stiles knows if he accepts it he’s more likely to hurl than if he'd rubbed his entire body against the walls again.

Out of the corner of his eye he can see Isaac grinning madly when he pointedly doesn’t accept Peter’s handshake. Steve is just as bewildered as Stiles feels standing next to him.

“You can’t stay here,” Lydia says and her tone is hard. “There’s no room available.”

Peter waves a hand airily. “Just have that lapdog house of yours whip up one for me.”

Stiles grits his teeth to hold back his anger and Derek’s back tenses. “Lydia’s right. It’s not possible at the moment.”

But he knows that’s not going to stop him at all. And he’s right. Because Peter just smiles wanly at them. “Then I guess I’ll just share with Laura.”

Stiles doesn’t need to stare at Laura to know she’s not remotely pleased about this. Nobody here is actually happy to see Peter and that’s fairly telling about what kind of person he is. Scott seems like he wants Peter to waltz right back out the front door before he's thrown out. Even Kira, is scowling and her kindness is supernatural levels of unflappable.

“You’ll sleep on the floor,” Laura mutters.

Peter only smiles. Stiles is really not enjoying the sight of it.

“Is your new job really going so badly?” he asks, smiling wider. “That you can’t even afford a couch?”

“Peter,” Derek starts, losing his patience.

Stiles is just about ready to bodily toss him from the premises because the house is clearly not up to that task right now.

“Laura has a couch,” Danny says. “But she didn’t offer it to you. You take the floor or you head right out that door.”

The unfriendly tone is still surprising, coming from Danny. There’s a lot of bad history here that Stiles didn’t know about. Personal history. What exactly has Derek’s Uncle done to them all?

“Put a muzzle on your human, lizard boy,” Peter snaps at Jackson who tries to launch at him even as Danny and Erica take a hold of his arms to hold him back.

That’s it. Stiles doesn’t even think about what he's doing but in the next second, he’s stepping out from behind Derek and staring Peter down, magic burning in his fingertips.

“You don’t talk to them like that,” he says, voice thundering with a layer of powerful anger.

His fingers are sparking and Peter’s eyes glint with pleasure rather than fear, eyeing the magic keenly.

“I don’t care who you are. You speak to my family like that again and I’ll make sure you never step foot in New York for the rest of your life.”

Peter’s eyes shine and Stiles hates that he’s enjoying this, hates the way that he’s been looking at him ever since he showed up. As if he’s an object he wants to possess.

“And what are your thoughts, Alpha?” Peter wonders, voice syrupy sweet as he turns toward him.

Derek reaches out and takes Stiles’ sparking fingers and Stiles can’t help but note the way Peter’s mouth twitches at the gesture. That Derek would willingly touch magic without flinching. Stiles didn’t think he’s met a bigger asshole before. Or a person that he actually wants to punch in the face.

“I think Stiles said it all,” Derek says, stiffly. “If you can’t respect everyone here then we’ll throw you out on your ass. We don’t have to let you stay here, remember that.”

“Oh I will,” Peter promises and nearly everybody in the lobby can hear that he’s lying. “Scout’s honour.”

God, Stiles really wants to hit him. But he somehow even more certain that Peter would enjoy it. He shivers without meaning too and feels sick again.

Peter slinks past the rest of the pack and takes to the stairs, disappearing with a slick grin toward Laura’s apartment.

She waits until he disappears before rounding on Derek. “You let him in my apartment?”

Derek sighs and runs his free hand over his face, stressed out and on his last nerve. “I can’t have him in my apartment. I don’t want him anywhere near Stiles.”

Well that’s a new development. Stiles glances at him in surprise. Since when has Derek switched his attentions from protecting Allison and her baby, to Stiles? And why does he need protection exactly?

“Huh?”

“Peter’s obsessed,” Derek says bluntly. “With sparks.”

Say what now?






"He what?"

Stiles feels even more queasy at all of the sudden bouts of sympathy pouring in his direction. He understands. They wouldn’t want to suffer Peter’s attention. If he had the choice then Stiles wouldn't be either.

Laura grips Stiles’ shoulder tightly but it’s grounding and filled with comfort. “Ever since our parents died, he’s been kind of obsessed with power. It’s no wonder he find out about sparks.”

Naturally. Because he's basically the unluckiest spark in existence. Of all the monsters his magic has ever lured in, Peter is by far the worst. Stiles does not like this at all. But then Derek squeezes his fingers gently in an attempt to make him feel better so maybe it's not so bad.

“Why sparks?”

“Why else?” Derek says. “I don’t need to tell you how rare and powerful you are. Rare because they're only born every few hundred years and I’ve never heard of a spark that can do the things that you can do.”

His inner ego preens at that but he’s also horrified that it means creeper Peter will be showing an uncomfortable amount of interest in him.

“You knew about this-?” Stiles starts, faintly. “And you still invited him to our wedding?”

Derek pulls him in closer. “No, I didn’t invite him. And nobody told him what you are. He must have been keeping tabs on us since the last time the house threw him out.”

Stiles tries to keep the dread out of his voice. “Yeah, about that. Don’t you think the timing and his arrival is kinda blatantly suspicious?”

“Dude, it’s totally suspicious,” Scott agrees. “But you've got to admit we can keep a better eye on him if he’s here.”

“And Laura can stay with me if he gets too much,” Braeden offers because she's secretly a nice mercenary. But also scary and badass.

Definitely a good idea. Laura seems eternally grateful for it and he doubts that she'll be staying in her unit if it's the choice between Peter and not-Peter. Steve still looks unsettled, glancing urgently between them all.

“Stiles you should ward the house,” he says. “Until we can heal it.”

He’s right. Nobody is safe now. And Stiles is a sitting duck if he uses his magic now, luring in more creatures that want to eat him. His pack is in danger, the longer the wards are down. .

“I’m gonna ward your apartments as well,” he insists. “So Peter can’t get into them.”

“Good idea,” Allison says and Stiles knows that she’s more concerned about the house and Peter’s sudden arrival than she’s letting on.

He’d planned to wait to ward the baby once she was past the first trimester but now it might be safer to do it. With the situation as dire as it's starting to seem, they're going to need all the protection they can get.

Stiles heads outside to start placing the wards, letting go of Derek’s hand but feeling him walk out after him.

“Do you need me for this?” he asks. “Will warding such a large area drain you?”

“It’d be safe to place my magic into a talisman and use that to protect the house. That way it’s draining the talisman until I top it up again.”

“Should we use something from the house?” Derek wonders, frowning at the building. During the short time since they left it, the red bricks have grown paler. “Won’t that strengthen the connection?”

“Yeah,” Stiles says surprised. “It will. Since when did you get so good at this?”

Derek only shrugs modestly but without any of the usual humour. What’s happen to the building has really shaken him up. Stiles is just as upset. He’s not used to the place being so like a non-magical house .

“I’ve got the master key to the whole building,” he says, looking around for witnesses before removing it from underneath a loose square of stone on the main steps.

He places the stone back and passes Stiles the old key after he's gotten his hands on it.

Stiles feels the brief, lagging jolt of the building’s magic before it slips away from them and he really hopes that the powder has only rendered it dormant without destroying it completely. He could imbue it with magic again no problem but it wouldn’t be the same building that it used to be. Or even have the same personality.

And that’s not good enough.

Stiles takes Derek’s offered hand and covers it with his own, still clutching the key. He feels the pull of their energy and weaves it softly into the object, feeling it grow hot beneath his fingers. Since all his work fixing the cursed board games, Stiles’ reserves have grown exponentially and the task is a simple one.

The wards burst out between them, expanding rapidly and reaching the previous boundaries the building had set. Derek hums a little, staggering under the strain of it so Stiles stops drawing from him and reaches into the core of his own magic instead.

He powers the wards easily enough, though he is sweating by the time the spell has finished.

“The wards aren’t as strong as they were before,” he admits. “Because they’re not sentient like the building’s ones used to be. It can’t read intentions just the people who belong here and those who don’t.”

“Good,” Derek mutters, slightly out of breath. “I don’t want any visitors here while the place is so vulnerable.”

Stiles resists the urge to grimace. “And when the wedding finally comes around? What do we do then?”

Derek looks shaken. “You don’t think we can get the house back to itself before then?”

He’s flattered by the faith in his abilities and all but sorting this out will be tricky especially when he’s not sure what the powder has actually done. Let alone factoring in the time constraints and a wedding event looming over their heads. This might take some time.

“I hope we can,” Stiles says grimly, trying to be optimistic but they’re walking back inside and the green walls are still staring accusingly at him.

This is a mess.

And it’s all his fault. If Stiles hadn’t knocked Derek’s hand then the powder might not have hit the floor and been absorbed by the house. He’s the one who made it sick. Maybe worse than sick.

Stiles doesn’t know what happens once a house dies, but he thinks it can’t be good.

“I’ll ward the apartments,” he mutters, pulling away from Derek and ignoring the strange way his expression shifts.

The pack is still waiting for them and Stiles realises that the last thing he wants to do right now is look in their eyes and see the accusations there. This is his fault after all. Poisoning a house that Derek’s had since childhood. God, some spark, huh?

Stiles lets go of the blame for a moment, knowing it won’t do his magic any good if he’s trying to protect his family. He starts at the first level with Deaton’s apartment and the building must be in a bad state because he’s ventured outside to stare carefully at the walls.

“You see anything like this ever before?” he wonders, figuring that it can’t hurt to ask.

Deaton makes an ambiguous sound and presses his face close enough that his nose almost touches the surface. “No, but it’s definitely not good.”

“You’re telling me,” he mutters and raises his palm against 1A, feeling the protective magic press into the wood. Deaton watches him until he’s finished.

“That will keep unwanted guests out of your apartment.”

“Thank you, Stiles,” Deaton says. “I’ll consult my library. Perhaps I can find some information about a cure for sentient magic that has been poisoned.”

“Thanks,” he says, already moving onto Liam’s unit next door.

Liam hurries up to his side, flushed and looking a little guilty. “So do you think you can keep the wards up?”

“I know I can,” Stiles declares. “Though it might make it harder to bring guests over for a while.”

He inclines his head pointedly at the door where he knows for a fact Liam is concealing a girl.

Liam gets more flustered than he was a second ago. “It’s not like that,” he whispers, though there’s probably no point with all the heightened hearing the pack has. “Hayden only came over to study.”

“On a Saturday?” Stiles says, impressed and maybe a little teasing. “Either she takes her education very seriously or she really likes you.”

But Liam avoids his eye, jaw clenching in order to keep his temper under wraps. He’s only just started to get some control from Scott’s teaching and Derek’s been overseeing his training as well whenever he can spare some time but he's nowhere near perfect. Liam's still got to get all that anger under control.

“Maybe… both,” he admits a second later, scratching at his chin with embarrassment.

Stiles doesn’t want to get into the birds and the bees with this kid right now but he can’t not say anything. “Don’t feel the need to rush into anything. Do whatever you want at your own pace and if you need condoms-“

“Jesus, Stiles!”

“Don’t ask me. Ask Scott.”

“We’re not-“

“Just don’t be a shit, okay?”

Something determined makes itself known in Liam’s eyes. “I won’t,” he promises.

Stiles heads on up to the second level next and Derek must have said something to the rest of the pack because they’ve only just started to walk back to their apartments.

Aiden, Ethan, Isaac and Steve are mid-conversation when he reaches the second landing. Stiles waves his hand awkwardly and gets started on Isaac’s door.

“So what happened with this powder?” Isaac asks after Stiles has finished and moved onto Ethan’s and Aiden’s door.

“Somebody sent it to Derek in the mail. I thought it was wolfsbane so I knocked it out of his hand and the house absorbed it instead.”

“So it’s your fault,” Aiden says bluntly.

Yikes. But he’s not wrong.

“Yeah,” Stiles agrees heavily. “It’s my fault.”

He doesn’t feel the need to defend the action. At the time he thought he had been protecting Derek and he doesn't regret doing that. That doesn't mean that Aiden isn't wrong though. This is his screw up and he has to do his best to fix it.

“Shut up, Aiden,” Steve says, defending him anyway, calm demeanour gone. "It’s not anybody’s fault here. We should be focusing on the dick who sent it to us.”

“Pointing fingers won’t fix the house,” Isaac mutters, agreeing. “We may as well be smart seeing as somebody is obviously trying to mess with us.”

That observation is way more accurate than Isaac seems to realise. Somebody is clearly messing with them and Stiles wants to know why.

“Who’d be stupid enough to do that?” Ethan wonders, shaking his head.

Stiles doesn’t answer but finishes up warding their door and moves onto Steve’s. He’s not surprised to sense a thin layer of magical essence already there.

“What is that?” he wonders, feeling it ripple beneath his magic.

“Just my own precaution,” he admits, voice soft and vague again. “To keep the house from meddling.”

“Meddling with what?” Isaac wonders interestedly and Stiles casually ignores him to start building on Steve’s wards instead.

Steve is going to have to sort that one out on his own. He might not have to try very hard though, Isaac has proven that he's all but oblivious when it comes to people having feelings for him. Maybe he'll never figure it out.

“My things. Can’t have the house selling them on eBay.”

“That did happen to Jackson once,” Ethan admits and Stiles wants to laugh, but his eyes are drawn toward the green walls again and any humour, falls away.

“That should keep anybody you don’t want out of your place.”

Stiles reaches the stairs before Aiden tries to call him back. “You can fix the building can’t you? It won’t be like this forever right?”

He can’t turn back and answer. Because, for once in his life, Stiles is not sure he knows how to.

Erica, Boyd, Jackson, Danny, Braeden and Malia are all waiting for him on the third floor, half crowded in the doorway of Malia’s apartment, drinking coffees of various sizes to wake themselves up.

Stiles nods in greeting and moves towards Braeden’s apartment. Laura descends the stairs to join them before he’s finished the protective enchantment, carrying a bag full of clothes.

“You’re leaving already?” he says, startled.

Laura scoffs. “I’m not spending more time with Peter than I have to. I locked my bedroom though to keep him out of it. You got some booze in there, Brae? I think I’m gonna need it.”

Braeden grins and waits until Stiles is done to swing her door open wide. “Welcome to my fine establishment.”

They disappear into the doorway but Erica is already hot on their heels. “I need me some of that,” she agrees, following after them, though she does pause to pat Stiles’ gently as she passes.

Stiles moves to Malia’s apartment next and they step out into the hall so that he can get to work.

“I don’t want Peter to stay here,” Malia declares resentfully. “He smells like an enemy.”

“Isn’t he your father?” Danny wonders bemusedly.

Stiles loses the thread of magic completely as he spins to face her. “That creep is your dad?”

Malia only shrugs. “Still smells like an enemy though.”

He’s got so many questions about that but Boyd shakes his head at him behind Malia's back so he drops it and returns to work on her door. It's a little harder to concentrate now that he knows that new information though. He manages to ward Malia's apartment eventually.

He moves onto Erica and Boyd’s next, wondering how the hell Peter ever fathered anybody. He is definitely not father material. Malia heads on back into her room alone but doesn’t shut the door.

Stiles hears her open up her window and the clang of her feet hitting metal as she scales down the building.

Body tips his head and listens to her leave, waiting until she’s out of earshot before explaining. “Peter never stayed with her mother after she got pregnant. Then her whole family died in a car accident except her step father and Malia transformed for the first time and ended up in the woods. Peter knew she was a were-coyote and could’ve survived the accident but never looked for her. He basically abandoned her.”

Stiles can’t believe Malia has been through so much. “How did she end up here?”

“Derek found her,” Danny explains. “Were-coyotes are mostly nomadic. He thinks some hunters herded her into New York to kill her but she came across Derek instead and he and Scott helped her change back.”

“Jesus,” Stiles manages once he’s finished with Erica and Boyd’s place and moved onto Danny and Jackson’s.

“We’re monsters, Stilinski,” Jackson drawls. “How else do you expect people should treat us?”

“Hey, don’t talk like that,” Danny says. “Nobody should be treated that way, no matter what species they are.”

“Doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen,” Boyd points out. “Or that it’s not going to happen more frequently now that the house can’t protect us.”

Stiles’ energy flares as he completes the wards. “I’m going to protect you,” he says. “Until we can get the house back to normal again.”

Boyd only stares him down unflinchingly. “For Allison and Noshiko's sake I really hope so.”

“We can take shifts,” Jackson mutters stubbornly. “Guarding Allison and Scott and Kira’s apartments.”

“It won’t get to that,” Stiles insists. “I got this. I promise. I’m gonna make sure that whoever poisoned the house regrets it.”

“Let us know when you figure out who it is,” Boyd says, cracking his knuckles. “I’ve got a few words to say to them.”

“We all do,” Jackson mutters, eyes narrowed.

Stiles doesn’t doubt it. He’s walking towards the staircase to head up toward the fourth floor when he hears footsteps behind him. It’s Braeden and he knows that whatever she wants to say is serious.

“You do know what this is, don’t you?” she asks. “What it means.”

No, but she clearly does. He raises an eyebrow and waits for her to continue.

“They sent a powder that clearly looks like wolfsbane- to a house full of werewolves and played on that fear. Of course it was going to end up on the floor where the house would be exposed to it. They planned it that way.”

Stiles thinks she’s probably right about that. They are a pack made up nearly entirely of werewolves. That powder could have been any colour but they made it look like wolfsbane. He wishes they hadn’t had so much forethought about it, then maybe this wouldn’t have happened.

“It’s classic strategy,” she explains. “You cripple your enemy’s strengths which protect them and make them more powerful than you- and then you attack.”

A shudder passes through him.

But that’s not going to happen. “The wards will hold,” he says.

“Just don’t undermine the threat we’re facing right now,” she says. “I’m sure as hell not gonna.”

The arsenal that fills her spare bedroom with a promise of death and pain can prove nothing else than how much she means business. They need a mercenary on their side right now, Stiles has never been more happy that she’s a part of his family when she takes off downstairs again. No doubt to celebrate the suckiness that is the house and Peter’s unwelcomed arrival.

That would make anyone want to get drunk.

Stiles almost wishes he could follow her. But he’s still got Scott and Kira’s apartment to ward.

They’re waiting for him at the edge of the staircase. Noshiko smiles and waves but even her smile is grim. She knows as well as her parents exactly what is going on right now.

“Stiles,” Scott greets. “How are you doing? Still have enough energy to ward our apartment?”

He’s not doing too bad. This might be the last unit he can ward for a while.

It doesn’t matter so much. Laura will be staying in Braeden’s room so she’ll be protected and Derek’s an alpha and he’ll be sharing Stiles’ bed anyway. He doesn’t really need to ward either of their apartments straight away. It’s not as urgent as protecting the rest of the pack is.

“Just saving all my best stuff til last,” Stiles jokes, but it falls a little flatter than usual.

Scott knows what’s wrong immediately. So does Kira.

“Don’t blame yourself for this,” she says. “I would have done the same thing if I thought it was wolfsbane.”

“Yeah,” he mutters. “But that’s what they were counting on.”

“The house knows you didn’t mean it,” Scott says. “C’mon you know it loves you.”

Which is probably why Stiles feels so much more terrible about it.

“I'm worried,” Kira says. “How are we supposed to keep Noshiko from touching the walls?”

Stiles glances at their daughter and the way she’s straining toward the green walls even now. “It’s not contagious. It shouldn’t affect her.”

“You don’t seem that confident,” Scott says, concern rising.

“I don’t know for sure,” he admits. “When I touched it I nearly ralphed but I think that was sensitive spark stuff.”

Scott stares at the wall for a moment, then determinedly sticks his palm flat against it before Kira or Stiles can stop him.

“Scott!” she gaps but Scott only shudders and slowly withdraws his hand, unharmed.

“I think it’s okay,” he promises. “Just feels kinda wrong to touch.”

Kira finally puts Noshiko on her feet and stops trying to prevent her from moving. Noshiko takes a shaky step and solemnly rests her hand against the wall. Stiles watches her, remembering the unpleasantness of the feeling as it shudders through her.

She pulls away eventually, her brown eyes wide.

“Sick,” she declares gravely, then raises her hands up to be lifted by her parents again.

Scott picks her up this time and they step aside to let Stiles get at their door.

“Where’s Derek?” Kira wonders when Stiles starts channelling his energy into safeguarding their apartment.

He doesn’t answer until he’s finished the protective spell. “Probably making sure Peter isn't up to anything creepy or in his apartment silently regretting ever letting me into his building.”

“He’s not thinking that,” Scott says sharply. “He doesn’t blame you, dude.”

“He should. I blame me.”

Scott tries to take his arm but Stiles won’t let him. Somehow it doesn’t feel right to be doing this right now. Not when he should be working on fixing the house. They have bigger problems to be dealt with.

“I gotta start on a protective poultice. Hopefully it’ll slow the affects of the poison. See you guys later.”

They look like they want to say something but Stiles hurries over to 4B, unlocking it with his own magic and heading straight for the kitchen. He draws out his strongest ingredients out of his herb rack and turns on the stove, boiling some fresh stream water.

He doesn’t follow a conscious recipe but lets his instincts guide him, imbuing his magic once the saucepan is taken off medium heat. The crushed herbs have darkened, the scent of them stronger when he carefully shovels them into the centre of a spare cloth. He ties it together with twine and the final result is onyx in colour, scents rich and filled with flavour.

This will help improve the condition of the house. The dark poultice is filled with goodness. It’s powerful.

Stiles puts the saucepan in the sink, turns off the stove and hurries down the staircase. All the way to the bottom. He’s panting once he makes it outside and heads over toward the mailbox.

It doesn’t instantly open beneath his fingers as it’s rusted and unused. Though more accurately, because it hasn’t been eased open by the building’s magic. He manages to jimmy it wide enough to place the poultice inside.

The building doesn’t immediately swallow it up.

It takes a few minutes. In those few minutes Stiles adds more of his magic into the brickwork of the building, slowly encouraging it to accept the poultice.

Eventually, it disappears and Stiles feels the house shiver beneath his touch. There’s no immediate difference but the poultice is slow working and hopefully it will be able to help in some way.

He hesitates before returning inside, suddenly feeling the weight of someone’s eyes on him. Watching him. Watching the house. He doesn’t like how it makes him feel, under a microscope, pinned to the concrete, trapped.

There’s a calculating edge to it that Stiles knows he should be worried about. He doesn’t turn to look at them, but continues calmly into the house again somehow sensing it’s better that they don’t see his face.

Whoever it was they’ve clearly identified him as the magic user of the house.

And with the building in danger, he’s the only magical force standing between them.






He manages to shake the bad vibes by the time he reaches the fourth level. Stiles hesitates at the sight of his apartment door sitting wide open though.

It doesn't take a spark to guess who's in there waiting for him. Stiles steels himself for a confrontation and storms inside.

“Get out,” he says as soon as he's through the door.

Peter is sitting on his couch, resting easy after he’s clearly gone through as much of Stiles’ stuff as he can within the five or ten minutes he'd left the place unattended.

Jesus, they weren’t kidding around. Their Uncle Peter is a total creep.

“Not much of a friendly spark are you?” he says, conversationally as if he’s the one being slighted after breaking into Stiles’ unit.

“Depends on who I’m dealing with,” he says, striding toward the kitchen to clean up the herbs because his wolfsbane stock is also in there and he wouldn’t put it past Peter to steal it.

And poison his entire family. He hasn’t taken any though once Stiles checks to make sure. Yet.

“And I don’t recall inviting you in here,” he continues. “So I’d like it if you follow my advice and get the hell out.”

“Advice huh?” Peter continues, idly picking at Stiles’ burrito blanket with interest.

One for a fact he knows still smells of the sex he and Derek had last night. Stiles vanishes it out of Peter’s hands and into his bedroom which he locks.

He doesn’t cringe because he’s not embarrassed, he’s annoyed. Peter knew exactly what that smelled like before he touched it.

No surprises he’s a pervert too.

“Not a threat?”

“Not yet,” Stiles mutters though he’s just about gearing up toward one after the day he’s having.

And he wants Peter to get the fuck out of his apartment already.

“Derek’s lucky he found you,” Peter says, unwilling to acknowledge how unwelcome he is. Stiles wants to teleport him to Antartica and leave him there. “The perfect addition to the pack. It’s no wonder he sought you out.”

Stiles scoffs, not in any mood to be playing this game. He turns and starts filling up the sink with warm soapy water, clearing away the mess he left on the bench. “Derek didn’t seek me out. The house brought me here.”

“But of course, the house listens to anyone doesn’t it,” Peter continues slyly. “It’s not as if it only ever obeys Derek.”

Wow. It's been all of ten minutes since he's showed up unannounced and Peter is already attempting to drive a wedge between him and Derek. That's got to be some kind of disturbing record.

Stiles drops the utensils into the water once it’s high enough and with an unreasonable amount of force. They clatter heavily when they sink to the bottom. “It’s a sentient house. The whole point is that it can make its own decisions.”

“Decisions to send Derek the most powerful creature it could possibly find to ensure the continued strength of the pack.”

The floorboards groan in warning, feeble and struggling to interfere when Peter tries his hand at sneaking up on him. Stiles’ hands are stuck, furiously scrubbing the pot clean but he feels Peter invading his space even if he didn’t hear him crossing the room.

He slams Peter backward and away with a flick of soapy fingers, dripping them onto the floorboards as he watches Peter nearly hit the opposite wall with the force he used.

The sounds the building struggled to make even now, in an effort to protect him makes Stiles’ heart wrench.

“You don’t touch me,” he booms and his voice has become deep and unnatural sounding. “You think you're clever don’t you? That I don’t already know what you are? That I can’t taste the fetid desperation at the very core of you? I know and I will kill you before you endanger my pack.”

Peter’s eyes are wide and excited. He is shaken even if he makes a point not to show it.

“My, my, spark. You are powerful.”

And then he’s barely getting to his feet before Derek is slamming through the door.

“Stiles?” he calls, rattled. “I felt your defensive magic-”

His expression shifts once he sees Peter. “What the fuck are you doing in here? Stiles-“

“I’m fine,” he hurries, voice returned to how it originally sounds.

The force of his wrath surprised him, he didn’t think he could feel such hatred for someone before. But he wasn’t lying. He meant it. He’ll kill Peter if he tries to hurt his pack. Or Derek.

He’s always know he’s not entirely good. And he’s not entirely bad either. Neutral. Capable of both good and evil. Sparks have always existed with dual moralities inside them.

But it’s been some time since he’s let the other side win out.

Derek catches Peter by the scruff of his shirt and bodily tosses him into the hall. Stiles is too distracted by Derek’s display of strength to bother being concerned Peter hasn’t just brained himself on the green walls. Not that much of a loss.

He comes back a second later, slamming Stiles’ door shut behind him hard enough to rattle the wood. “What did he do?”

“I came back from giving the house a poultice and he was in the living room,” Stiles explains bitterly. “He went through my stuff. He had his hands all over my burrito blanket, you know the one you fucked me over last night-“

Derek’s face twists up with disgust. Not at the sex but at the fact that his Uncle was clearly overly interested in invading their privacy by smelling and touching something that carried traces of an intimate moment.

“God, he’s taken this too far,” he mutters, infuriated. “I’ll throw him out in the street.”

“No, don’t,” Stiles says. “Scott’s right. We can watch him if he’s here. I’m not afraid of him.”

He doesn’t mention that his magic is completely drained and that throwing Peter across the room sapped the last of what he hadn’t used up warding the house. If Derek hadn’t have come-

Well, Stiles might not have been completely helpless. But taking on a werewolf without magic would not have been fun that's for sure.

Derek’s not willing to drop the conversation so easily. “What else did he do? I know he did something. You threw him all the way into the living room.”

Stiles sighs, drying his wet hands. “He tried to touch me. Thought he was being crafty sneaking up when my back was turned. I could read his intentions from a block away.”

The information does not make Derek feel better. “He is not coming to our wedding,” he insists, fists clenching. “I’ll hire security if I have to, to make sure he doesn’t. Did you finish the wards okay?”

He nods. “Every unit is warded except for yours, Laura’s, which I’m not wasting energy protecting when it’s inhabited by that asshole, and mine.”

Derek frowns harder. “You didn’t ward your own damn apartment? Stiles-“

“I’m completely tapped out right now,” he finally admits. “That throw drained what I had left.”

He waits a second but then has to ask. Not because he believes Peter, but because he trusts Derek. “I know Peter was just playing mind games but he basically tried to insinuate that you had me brought here intentionally and that you’ve been after a spark for a while. I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t ask, but when we first met, that was the first time you’d ever heard of me right? It was the house that brought me here?”

“Fucking Peter,” Derek curses, but he’s not offended by the question. “It’s okay, I’d have to ask too. No, that was the first time I’d ever heard of you which is why I wasn’t –as welcoming as I could have been.”

Stiles remembers Derek trying to throw him out on his ass before the house had to intervene and tries not to snort. “I thought so.”

He's quiet for a moment but then his eyes land on the place where Peter was thrown into the wall and makes a strangled sound of frustration, dragging his hand across his face. “What a mess.”

“I’m sorry,” Stiles says quietly. “I should have realised it was never wolfsbane. This is my fault.”

That startles Derek more than anything else. “What? No, it’s not. I’m the one the envelope was sent to. I’m the one who opened it.”

Gladness overwhelms him for a moment at the knowledge that Derek doesn't automatically blame him.

“Let’s share the blame,” he suggests, relieved when Derek reaches out to touch his face.

His chest feels a little lighter but he’s no less worried about the house than he was before.

“Okay,” Derek agrees, managing a small smile before leaning in to kiss him.

He waits halfway though, checking to see if Stiles wants to after what just happened. There’s nothing in this universe that could possibly stop him. Stiles kisses him hard and drags his hands through Derek’s hair, pulling him closer.

“Allison will be fine tonight,” he says once he pulls back. “I’m not letting you out of my sight.”

Stiles is definitely okay with that. “Works for me.”

But he isn’t as willing as he thought when Derek tries to initiate some happy times in the bedroom later on. Stiles goes along for a little while until things start heating up too much and then he pulls away.

“Are you alright?” Derek wonders, still reaching for him.

“I can’t,” he admits. “Not until-“

“You’re punishing yourself for the house,” Derek guesses with an amazing amount of perceptiveness.

Stiles sighs and rolls away. “I just don’t think I’ll be much fun until this is over.”

“Hey,” Derek says, catching his shoulder. “You don’t have to be fun to spend time with me. I’m not marrying you for the fun parts.”

Jesus, he’s too sweet. He doesn’t know how he ever thought Derek was just an overbearing asshole when they first met.

He’s so much more than that.

“Thanks,” Stiles replies, voice a little shaky as he gets to his feet. “I’m gonna have a shower.”

“Sure,” Derek says, easy and without pressure.

Stiles heads toward the bathroom but spots the burrito blanket draped across the chair before he leaves the room. He pauses, staring at it for longer than a second and wishes he wasn’t completely out of juice because he’d be lighting that thing on fire by now. Since Peter tainted it with his slimy fingers.

“I’ll get you a new one,” Derek promises. “There’s no way in hell we’re keeping it now.”

Stiles seconds that sentiment. “If I had any juice, I’d light it on fire right now.”

Derek smiles but doesn't doubt that he is absolutely serious. “Lets save the pyrotechnics for later.”

Probably safer. Stiles nods and heads into the bathroom to wash off all of the bad feelings he’s accumulated since he woke up in Derek’s arms that morning.

It takes a while. The water actually runs out for once, since they don’t have a magic house kind enough to extend their hot water anymore. He doesn’t know if he’s crying or if it’s just the cold water running down his face, but either way he doesn’t care.

He wishes Derek never got sent that envelope. He wishes he’d taken better precautions to protect the house that always protects them. Ever since he boosted its strength when he moved in, Stiles has hardly done any maintenance on the house at all. And he should have.

The house might be sentient but it still relies on the people living within its walls to keep it safe. Stiles has failed pretty abysmally in that area. He’s been a terrible bro.

By the time he steps out, he’s covered in goosebumps and shivering. He dries off and climbs into some comfy sweatpants of Derek’s before ambling back into the bedroom.

Derek’s texting someone in bed when Stiles goes to clamber in next to him. But Derek holds his hand up first to stop him, not looking up from the screen as he moves over so that Stiles can slide straight into the spot he was sitting in. It’s toasty and warm but Stiles still sticks his cold feet in between Derek’s calves anyway.

He grimaces but it doesn’t make Stiles laugh like he usually would. Instead he sighs and buries his face into Derek’s chest, feeling it move with every breath.

“Have you eaten anything today?” he wonders, but he already knows the answer even as Stiles shakes his head and presses into him harder.

Ten minutes later the rest of the pack is squeezing into Stiles’ bedroom, carrying drinks, garlic bread and a tower of pizza boxes. Peter is very notably not present and Malia still hasn’t returned from her trek through the woods. She probably wants to be alone for a while to process Peter's return.

Stiles’ stomach rumbles at the smell of hot food but doesn’t move out of Derek’s arms. “There’s not enough room,” he mutters.

“We love you too,” Lydia says, helping Allison sit down on the vacant side of the bed next to him.

Allison smiles warmly at her wife and squeezes Stiles’ arm comfortingly once she’s settled in. It’s a good thing the both of them are wearing pants.

Scott is carrying Noshiko on his shoulders and pulls her up into the air, moving her around like she’s an airplane before depositing her on top of Stiles’ toes. She crawls up towards them with a giggle and very carefully places her tiny hand on Stiles’ forehead.

“Sad,” she’s says, offering her critical diagnosis.

She’s not wrong. Stiles nods as Kira sits down at the head of the bed, careful to avoid their feet unlike Scott.

“That’s right honey,” she says. “We’re all sad about the house. So we’re going to be sad together.”

Stiles squeezes Derek a little tighter once he realises exactly who he must have been texting earlier.

Erica is carrying the pizza tower and carefully places it between Kira and Allison with a flourish, opening the box of the pizza on top and handing out slices. Stiles counts eight boxes but the pack will clean the whole thing up without much trouble.

Isaac, Laura and Boyd leave to gather chairs from the dining room or from Scott and Kira’s place and everybody else finds available spaces on the floor or the chair and sit down. It’s easier to fit so many bodies when half of them end up on each other’s laps. Any excuse, really.

Ethan ends up on the chair near the burrito blanket and wrinkles his nose. “Gross, you guys.”

“This is my bedroom,” Stiles points out. “What do you think we do in here?”

Scott very emphatically points at his daughter behind her back and shakes his head to tell him to change the subject. But Ethan’s eyebrows still crinkle.

“Ew, did Peter touch this?” he demands and for a brief pause the pizza slices being consumed at a rapid pace are forgotten.

Derek tenses considerably. “That’s not all he did.”

“We’re burning that after,” Laura says, disgusted. “And then we’re burning Peter if he ever does something so pervy again, oh my God.”

“What happened?” Jackson demands. “What else did he do?”

Stiles is too busy eating pizza to answer. Derek takes up another slice and tears into it with an unnecessary amount of force. “He said he was meeting some friends for dinner to get away from me but then went and broke into Stiles’ apartment instead to snoop through his things.”

“And to creep me out,” Stiles adds darkly. “Ugh. He’s pretty much the slimiest thing I’ve ever met.”

“And he tried to touch Stiles,” Derek continues to the collective exclamations of the entire pack.

Steve, who can sense exactly what Peter is better than anybody else in the room, is distinctly alarmed.

“But Stiles threw him on his ass,” Derek says proudly and he flushes a little at the grins and evident praise.

It wasn’t nearly as impressive as Derek is making it out to be.

“And big guy here tossed him out of the apartment,” he finishes.

He doesn’t mention that Derek could sense his defensive magic and that's why he came running. Stiles has no idea what to think about that.

They’ve always had a strange connection. Derek could smell him doing magic from several floors away when he’d first moved in before the even started dating. He’s much more sensitive, to magic, or Stiles’ magic than he realises.

He'll ponder that a little more when the sickness of the house isn’t hanging over their heads.

“Should’ve thrown him out the window,” Braeden mutters and Laura laughs.

Nobody disagrees with her.

“What has Peter done, exactly?” Steve wonders, while Stiles is thinking the same thing. “All of you start harshing on some serious vibes whenever he’s mentioned.”

Boyd opens the third pizza box when the first two are cleaned out. “He’s done a lot of terrible things,” he says. “To all of us.”

“He’s a grade A Asshole,” Allison says. “He wanted to throw me out of the house after- Kate. Then he tried to manipulate Lydia into doing something that would’ve gotten her disbarred-“

“He messed with my head,” Lydia growls, her dislike clear. “He was controlling me for two days before Allison realised what he was doing.”

Her wife takes her hand and squeezes it as if apologising for not figuring it out sooner.

“You had a client who was a spark,” he guesses. “Didn’t you?”

“Yeah. He wanted to know where she lived. Wanted to contact her about the case I was representing her for.”

“Did he?” Steve asks, visibly concerned.

“No,” Isaac says. “She was killed by a Hydra serpent before he got to her.”

He doesn’t want to know what kind of magic she must have been using to lure a Hydra to her. Probably something heavy. Definitely not good.

"Peter's the one who bit Scott," Derek mutters quietly but Kira must still hear it because she scowls at the memory anyway.

Stiles shivers. He definitely didn't know that.

As soon as they empty the last box, Ethan tosses the blanket at Derek and they all head out into the street. Derek gets Stiles to throw on a shirt first before they go though as he does the same, not wanting to offend any old ladies with their nakedness.

“You’re not really going to burn it are you?” Kira checks, glancing around the area nervously as if Parrish is about to jump out from behind a bush and charge them with an offence.

Boyd and Erica merely grin and disappear up the street to steal a trash can.

“We are definitely burning it,” Lydia declares, arm around Allison’s waist. “It will be cathartic.”

“What are we burning?” Malia wonders, sidling up to Isaac, covered in dirt and frowning.

“This blanket,” Laura explains. “Long story.”

Malia only shrugs, uninterested in explanations, crowding around the blanket and rubbing her hands.

Erica and Boyd return a minute later with a trashcan looking much too pleased with themselves. Partners in crime, apparently. Stiles knows that life.

“Anybody have any matches?” he asks. “Hate to be the voice of reason, but I’m all tapped out at the moment.”

“I’ve got a flash grenade,” Allison offers, withdrawing it from the purse she has slung across her shoulder.

Derek looks like he’s about to have a heart attack. “You’re pregnant,” he gasps, hand to his chest as if his old fashioned sensibilities have been grossly offended.

Allison only shrugs at him as Lydia’s smile deepens beside her. “So? What’s that got to do with anything?”

“It’s not safe,” Derek insists but she only rolls her eyes and hands the grenade to Erica.

“I know what I’m doing, Derek,” she says patiently.

That doesn't mean he’s not about ready to lose his shit anyway and Stiles needs to hide his grin before he gets himself into more trouble.

“I’m not saying you don’t it’s just-“

“Derek,” Kira says. “Chill. Now sit back while Erica blows up this trashcan.”

“Can I pull the pin?” Malia asks, gripping Erica’s arm.

“Hell yeah,” she says. “But I wanna throw it in.”

Boyd reaches out and kisses her forehead. “So proud of you.”

Erica elbows him to shut him up but she’s grinning when she hands the grenade over to Malia.

“We should step back,” Derek suggests and they all take a couple of steps backward, surrounding the trash can.

It’s a good thing not many cars use this street. Besides, of course, the houses’ creepy murder van parked across the road. Malia’s fingers are swift and clever, pulling the pin and passing it to Erica quickly. She eyes the trash can determinedly and throws the grenade into it with a gentle arc so it doesn’t go off mid-air.

Derek covers Stiles’ eyes even though he’s already slammed them shut and the bin explodes a second later. He pulls Derek’s hand down but keeps a hold of it as they watch the bin tip on its axis, rocking back and forth before settling again.

Definitely impressive. Smoke billows out of it in a rapid torrent and Stiles feels a twinge of regret at the pollution they just created.

“Sorry environment,” he mutters.

Erica’s not having any of it. “Oh c’mon, Stiles. It’s not like people put flash grenades in trash cans every day.”

And he can’t exactly argue with that can he? The smoke increases a second later when the sparks catch on the material of the blanket and it lights on fire.

Kira pulls out a bag full of marshmallows and Steve actually cackles at the sight of them. Isaac grins at the reaction and the rest of the pack turn to stare at him, but Steve’s connecting with spirits face has returned and he’s apparently trying to pretend it never happened.

Stiles snorts and watches the rest of the pack dive into the bushes separating them from the neighbours in order to draw out sticks for the marshmallows to be roasted on.

When Derek hands him a stick, Stiles has to admit he’s had Saturday nights about as strange as this since moving in. No complaints whatsoever though as Kira hands out marshmallows and he moves eagerly towards the flames.

“This isn’t gonna like poison us is it?” Laura wonders.

“One way to find out,” Aiden says, shoving a cooked marshmallow into his mouth.

Well that’s one way to do it for sure. He chews and waits a minutes after swallowing.

“Nah, it’s fine.”

And that’s how Stiles ends up cooking marshmallows over the carcass of his and Derek’s love blanket that Peter bad touched in the middle of the street on Saturday night.

All in all, not a terrible way to spend the evening.

At least until he can see how well the poultice affected the building tomorrow morning and decide the next course of action.

Only time will tell if it even works.






The poultice seems to be doing something. At least, the house doesn’t lose more colour than it already has and Stiles spends his Sunday pouring over his grimoire and trying to uncover any information pertinent to sentient houses.

He doesn’t find anything worth helping.

Stiles doesn’t head into work on Monday because the house still isn't any better. He calls in, explains the situation and then puts in for a week off which they grant. It probably helps that he's still got heaps of brownie points with the higher ups since the cursed board game debacle he sorted out. They're very understanding about the whole thing and Stiles has to admit it's strange to request time off in order to stay home and take care of his sick house.

He doubts that ever happens to them very often.

Instead with all the newly acquired free time at his disposal, he ends up researching every single poison known to man and trying out the different antidotes once he brews them. For the first couple of days Stiles visits the market he buys his magical herbs from so frequently that he draws the attention of a manitcore and has to leave abruptly.

He uses yarrow, witch’s grass, hyssop, Solomon’s seal, red sage, betony, rattle snake root, and even devil’s shoestring but to no real effect.

None of the ingredients, and none of the antidotes he brews using them seem to make a difference. He knows that there’s a pointed bit of information that he’s missing and that this is the reason the house isn’t getting any better but it’s hard not to start losing confidence in his abilities. Especially after the sixteenth antidote he’s administered does nothing more but add dark green spots to the walls.

At least Noshiko things they’re pretty.

Derek helps him out of his frustration at night when he's home from work but during the day, Stiles is living off coffee and crackers, snacking only when other members of the pack remind him to eat.

In the meantime the house stops opening doors for people. Not that it’s being intentionally stubborn or anything. Stiles actually thinks that it literally doesn’t have the strength for it anymore. Every two days he needs to replenish the talisman so that the wards don't weaken and without a clear solution coming along, he’s starting to get worried this problem has him spread too thin.

He’s not sure anymore that he can protect his pack and keep the magical entity that's turned his life into some kind of living circus disaster, alive.

Peter mostly keeps out of his way when the other pack members are around but it's a different thing when they're not. Unfortunately, as soon as Stiles ends alone, the beta werewolf is all over him like a rash. Stiles has taken to enshrouding himself in a protective force field so Peter can’t touch him and by the end of Wednesday evening, he’s fed up and locking Peter in other rooms to keep him at bay.

It might be easier not to worry about it if he didn’t already sense Peter’s intentions aren't remotely good. And much more nefarious than Stiles has room to deal with right now.

The pack helps whenever they can. But nearly all of them have day jobs and Liam goes to school.

Boyd is home most days because he normally takes night shifts at the bar and Allison is still working but has plans for maternity leave the week before Stiles and Derek’s wedding. Kira is home but she’s got her hands full with Noshiko and works weekday evenings when another pack member, or Scott, will be home and can look after their daughter.

Malia isn’t working at the moment since she normally assists Derek whenever he’s got a big project on in Central Park, but she wants to be around Peter about as much as Stiles does so he doesn't bother her.

The protective bubble and trapping Peter is working so far. Stiles doesn’t have the time to think about different kinds of solutions beyond that.

When the simple poisons don't pan out he starts to expand his antidote testing. And then he searches for harder to get ingredients next. Whatever this poison is, he has no doubt that it’s a complex one. A convoluted and complicated poisons need convoluted and complicated antidotes.

So Stiles teleports first to southern Florida, in search of a Ghost Orchid since the absence of leaves on the flower make it a powerful natural ingredient. He grinds it up into a powder, ignoring the soap like odour it produces and sprinkles it throughout the main hallways. Despite watching the antidote being absorbed by the floorboards, the house remains quite and the walls stay green.

The soap smells still lingers though and Stiles feels like all he actually did was just clean the floors.

He tries to order in some rare ingredients for the latest antidote and when he finds out it’s going to take little over a month to ship in, Stiles just teleports straight into the Sinharaja Rainforest in Sri Lanka at around eleven at night to locate the Kadupul flower that only blooms at that time and dies abruptly before dawn. Stiles is careful to imbue the flower with life and healing energy before he cuts it because they often die once they’ve been picked as well.

As if it's not already complicated enough.

The whole process is incredibly delicate and Derek comes home to watch Stiles brew the antidote on his lunch break, amazed by the sweet fragrance of the flower filling Stiles’ apartment before he places it into the boiling water.

It’s probably the only Kadapul flower Derek will see in his lifetime. Since they’re so rare. Unless of course Stiles feels the need to teleport to Sri Lanka again. It would be a pretty romantic gesture.

Derek sticks around to see Stiles administer the antidote and although the house makes a soft sigh as if a balm has been placed upon it and the red bricks get a little bit more colour into them, the green walls still aren't going anywhere.

He thinks maybe he might be on to something though. With a bit of tweaking, that antidote might be able to cure the house completely. That is until the colour in the bricks fade again before Derek returns home at the end of his shift, bearing gifts of take out to get as much food into Stiles as possible. He’s never been less hungry though when he observes the paling brickwork announcing another failed antidote.

Stiles wants to tear his hair out.

The pack don’t let their disappointment show, but he knows that they’re relying on him to fix the house and he’s clearly failing at it. That doesn’t sit well with him.

He’s made up of magic. He should be able to figure this out.

On Thursday any appliances brought in by the house stop working and the creepy house van Scott likes to use whenever he needs to transport large injured creatures to his clinic won’t start.

Stiles can feel more of the magic slipping away each day. It’s probably one of the worst things he’s ever had to experience.

And Steve’s been just as sensitive to it as well. From the bags under his eyes, when he passes Stiles in the hallway on the way to start his shift at the gathering of Mages, its not hard to guess that he hasn’t been sleeping much since the house was poisoned. The rest of the pack are just as upset but they can’t feel it as vividly as he and Stiles can.

Except maybe for Noshiko. Scott tells him she hasn’t been sleeping well either when sees him in the lobby Friday morning.

The pack has already promised to help him as much as they can now that the weekend is almost here and they don't have jobs and appointments keeping them busy. He appreciates the offer, but it doesn't sit well with him that it's been an entire week and Stiles is nowhere near to coming up with a solution.

So he makes a last ditch effort and teleports to the Luzon rainforest in the Philippines to acquire a Jade Vine. The trip there and back finally drains him completely of magic and Stiles locks himself up in his apartment so Peter can’t try any shifty business while he works on brewing the antidote.

It takes four hours to concoct because it’s so finicky and by the time he’s finished it, Stiles is sweaty, pissed off and praying to all the higher powers that this actually works. If he ever figures out who is behind this- and Stiles is very certain that he will sooner or later- he plans to make them very sorry.

For a brief minute when he feeds the antidote to the building via the kitchen sink drain, he starts to hope that he finally lucked out. But then the pipes make a rattling groaning sound and the house is regurgitating the entire potion back up into Stiles’ face. Typical.

He’s crying frustrated tears when Derek gets home but permits himself to be guided into the shower to get cleaned up. It’s a testament to how high strung Stiles is, that Derek doesn’t even laugh at him. The house did basically projectile vomit on him, usually he'd be all over that. Just another reason that proves Stiles isn't coping very well under the pressure at the moment.

If Derek had actually laughed at him, Stiles might have spontaneously combusted. The shower at least makes him feel marginally better before he gets dressed into something comfortable and goes to find his sweet fiancé who wisely decided not to laugh in his face.

He's in the kitchen and already cooking dinner and if he had the energy he'd probably hug him. Derek even tries to feed Stiles the biggest portion, which is awesome and all but he's so worried he can barely manage to eat any of it.

It tastes delicious though. That probably make Stiles feel worse.

What a week.

He's never not been able to understand magic before. A part of his skill set is the ability to sense what’s wrong without needing to consult a grimoire or a recipe book. His magic is instinctive, but even his own instincts are betraying him here.

And he’s still nowhere close to figuring out what is wrong.

Some spark.

Stiles pats the wall whilst he’s climbing into bed when Derek is in the bathroom brushing his teeth. “Don’t worry,” he promises. “I’m gonna make you all better.”

It’s a sad state of affairs that the building can’t even manage a weak reply anymore.






Stiles wakes up to fully replenished magic and a shadowy figure standing at the foot of his bed.

He reacts before his brain catches up with him, magic bursting out and slamming the person into the opposite wall. They hit the surface hard, Derek grunting into alertness beside him before he hears the gasp of pain from a voice he recognises.

“Steve?” he hisses, but there’s no point, Derek’s wide awake now, claws out and squinting through the darkness. “What the fuck are you doing in here?” he demands, only a little guilty at the way Steve is wincing and favouring his right side.

He’s definitely going to bruise.

“I’m sorry,” he says, miserably. “I didn’t know what to do. It woke me up and I thought maybe you can do something-“

He’s not making any sense. “Steve, what-?“

“What woke you up?” Derek asks, already out of bed and ready to slash something.

Most likely Peter.

“The house,” Steve continues, his usually breezy tone replaced by dread. “It’s dying.”

And the world feels like it's slanting sideways all of a sudden. “What?”

“I know what it's like when something’s about to leave the realm of the living,” Steve continues, distressed. “It’s fading, Stiles. It’s dying.”

He doesn’t wait for a further explanation. He rises out of bed and in the next second he’s standing outside the front of the house in nothing but sweatpants before approaching the mailbox.

When he opens it to peer inside the black poultice he created has turned a sickly shade of milky white, announcing that the restorative spell stopped working. He removes the poultice, shuddering as the feeling of nausea returns before he’s re-joining Derek and Steve in his bedroom.

“The poultice didn’t work,” he announces, unnecessarily. “This is beyond my magic. We need help.”

Derek’s panic only makes him feel like a bigger failure. And now the stakes are much higher

“You need to call Parrish,” he says, searching for a reasonably clean shirt to throw on.

Derek’s still half asleep and not with the program yet. “What?”

“If this was a human who sent the envelope then we need a human solution,” Stiles reasons. “Maybe they left fingerprints or something.”

He withdraws the envelope from the other dimension he stored it in yesterday, letting it hover so nobody can touch or contaminate possible evidence as Steve hurries into the kitchen to fetch a zip lock bag. When he returns, Stiles drops it into the plastic and lets Steve seal it all up.

“Did you parents ever keep a manual for the house?” Stiles asks Derek. “A self-help guide in case something like this ever happens?”

Derek looks for all the world as if he’s trying to sift through every living memory available to find the answer. “I don’t remember,” he mutters, frustrated. “But if there was something like that it would be in the basement.”

“We have a basement?” Stiles and Steve say in unison.

“Yeah,” Derek mutters, already dialling Parrish on his phone. “C’mon let’s go.”

He doesn’t bother with a shirt and Stiles really wishes that he did because he can’t deal with any Derek related distractions right now. Not when the house hangs in the balance.

A horrifying thought occurs to him. “Steve,” he mutters as Derek leads them outside into the hall, trying to keep quiet since the rest of the house probably isn’t awake yet. The walls are a pale green now as if the life essence is finally being sucked out of the place. “What happens if the house does die? Does the entire thing vanish?”

Steve is finally starting to cotton on to what Stiles is getting at and his wide eyes don’t spell good news. “With every living thing still left inside it. Shit, Stiles. I don’t know for sure. This is the only sentient house I’ve ever heard about.”

Something clicks in Stiles’ brain then. “I’ve heard of another.”

Derek’s talking to Parrish in hushed whispers, apologising for calling him so early before he walks straight into somebody else climbing the staircase. Stiles’ magic surges but he learnt his lesson the first time and uses his senses to identify them first. It’s a good thing it’s not Peter. Stiles can’t deal with him right now.

“Isaac? What are you doing?”

Isaac’s blue eyes shine through the darkness. “I thought I heard- is Steve-?”

“Yeah, I’m here,” he says, sounding a lot less calmer than usual. “Did you need me for something?”

“I heard- are you hurt?” he asks, and Stiles finally catches up with what he’s getting at.

Isaac heard Steve’s cry of pain. From two levels below. Stiles can’t help but find that significant. Did it wake him up?

“Oh yeah, he is. I thought he was Peter so I threw him into a wall. If you feel like drawing the pain of the bruises I caused that would be great.”

“In life,” Steve tries, but Isaac has already gently taken hold of his arm. “There are no shortcu- holy shit what is that? That’s good.”

Stiles has had his pain drained on more than one occasion. It is definitely a great feeling. But he doesn’t have time to wait around for them right now, especially since Derek’s gone on without them. He hovers down several flights to catch up without making much noise just as Derek is finishing up his call.

“Jordan is heading straight on over,” he says. “He’s going to take the envelope to the forensic lab. He’s got a buddy in there willing to pull a Saturday shift for him.”

“Thank God,” Stiles whispers as they hurry towards the lobby.

Derek pauses before Deaton’s apartment and turns towards the staircase instead, disappearing into an alcove that Stiles always assumed led nowhere. He opens the door silently and tries for the switch but the lights aren’t working and Stiles doesn’t need to guess why.

He summons some glowing orbs and lets them roam sluggishly through the air above them, lighting the wooden stairs that lead down into the basement.

“What did Isaac want?” Derek wonders. “Did Peter-?”

“No,” Stiles says quickly. “He heard me going all Carrie on Steve’s ass and came up to check he was okay.”

“Wait he heard you or he heard Steve?”

“He heard Steve,” Stiles says pointedly. “Try and tell me they’re not already boning.”

Derek only snorts as he reaches the basement floor. “I’m pretty sure we’d be able to smell that if it were true.”

There are plenty of ways to hide that fact but Stiles heads straight for the first box he can reach instead of replying. They don't have time to discuss Isaac and Steve's potential love life.

“I’ll take the left,” Derek says, wading through the piles.

Isaac and Steve join them ten minutes later and even in the dim lighting Stiles can still see Steve’s flush.

“This is going to take years,” Isaac points out and Stiles has to agree with him since he hasn’t even gone through one box yet.

“What the hell, Stiles,” Steve mutters. “Magical shortcuts apply here.”

Oh shit. Right. What is he even thinking right now? Stiles smacks his forehead because apparently he doesn’t even have his head on straight anymore. He lets his magic sweep out around them, trying to reel it in when it’s overly interested in Derek instead who shivers under the attention.

Naturally it settles on the box in the furthest corner. Derek is the closest to it.

“That one,” he says, gesturing at the box that’s sagging to the left from how heavy the contents within it are.

Derek's barely starts towards it before Stiles feels the wards ripple.

“Somebody is trying to get through the wards."

He's not expecting Derek to curse and drop the box he’s just lifted into his arms. “Oh shit, with everything I forgot. It was supposed to be a surprise-”

“Wait-“ Stiles says, recognising the energy. “Is that my dad?”

“I’m sorry. I thought it would be a nice to have him come and stay a month early. You know, get to know the pack before the wedding and everything. We were going to surprise you.”

Stiles is still trying to get his brain back online. “My dad is here. To stay in a dying house- that also contains Peter.”

Of fucking course that's what happening right now. Perfect.

And then as if to make matters worse, Derek and Isaac go unnaturally still, tilting their heads to listen to something.

“Fuck,” Derek curses, trying to rush forward but tripping over the box he just dropped. “Stiles!”

“Peter’s coming down the stairs,” Isaac hisses and Steve smacks his forehead at the progressing situation and even Stiles can hear the footsteps now.

Fuck. Stiles doesn’t hesitate. He just turns on his heel and reappears on the front steps before his father just as Peter is opening the front door.

Stiles doesn’t even look at him, merely slams the door closed in his face with a wave of his hand, locking Peter back inside. He grabs onto his father’s coat and escorts him across the line, bringing him into the safety of the wards.

“Hey Dad,” he says a little breathlessly, pulling his father into a hug.

“Some surprise,” his father says once he lets go, shaking his head ruefully. He frowns at the strain in Stiles’ expression. “Where’s Derek?”

Stiles takes a deep breath. “Okay short version. Somebody has poisoned the house which is currently dying right now unless we can figure out a way to save it. We’re also not sure if its death will mean the building ceases to exist along with anybody who's in it when it happens and since it’s a poison I’ve never seen before I can’t do anything to help."

"And if the situation isn’t enough of a clusterfuck, Derek’s creep of an Uncle, who is uncomfortably obsessed with sparks, has shown up unannounced and is sleeping in Laura’s apartment and most likely stirring up more shit right now. In all the mess, Derek forgot that you were coming and I’d really rather you not be within an inch of Creeper Peter so maybe it’s better if you just turn yourself around right now.”

His father only blinks at him a few times. “Jesus Stiles. Slow down and repeat again.”

Stiles does. Sheriff Stilinski whistles once he’s finished. “Some timing, huh? How long til the wedding? A month?”

“About yeah,” he agrees, shifting anxiously.

He loves his dad, really. But he just doesn't have the time for this.

“Jesus, kid. Well I’m definitely not going anywhere now. How can I help?”

He’d been expecting that. Stiles is both frustrated and unbelievably relieved. “I need you to contact Jarred and Tony. They lived in that enchanted house in college didn’t they? See if you can find out if they might know something to help us. In the meantime, keep as far away from Peter as you can.”

“Can do.”

“He can stay in my apartment,” Liam announces, appearing suddenly at Stiles' right. “I can room with Malia.”

He nearly jumps a foot and singes all of Liam’s hair off in the process. It's by a small margin that he manages not to.

“Liam,” he gasps, glancing at the front door, which is very much still locked.

His eyes narrow.

“Have you been out all night, son?” Stiles’ father asks, parent mode engaged.

Liam colours. “I was out walking with Hayden.”

“It’s five am, kid,” John says. “And you’re wearing jeans and heavy boots. Wanna try that again?”

And there goes cop mode too. Liam’s in real trouble now. Stiles wants to laugh or cry out with frustration. Probably both.

“Liam, this is my dad, John Stilinski.”

His father shakes Liam’s hand but he’s still frowning about the out-all-night issue. Stiles isn’t feeling so hot about it either.

“My dad, the cop,” he clarifies pointedly and watches Liam stiffen.

Sheriff Stilinski unleashes his best cop stare, the tell-all-and-maybe-things-won’t-be-so-bad-for-you expression. Liam glances at Stiles for help but he’s already cracking under pressure. Stiles very suddenly remembers what it was like to be sixteen and supernatural with a Sheriff for a father.

“We weren’t drinking!” Liam promises and he winces in sympathy when his father’s expression hardens.

Rookie mistake. Never admit any guilt whatsoever. That’s like lesson one.

“But you were out all night, weren’t you?” Stiles counters, pinching his nose.

There’ll be hell to pay for this. Liam is so grounded. He’s so lucky Stiles came across him first and not Derek.

“It’s not a school night,” he tries to argue but Stiles is not having any of it.

“It doesn’t matter. We’re not safe right now. The house is dying and I can’t protect you if you’re not within my wards. You should have known better.”

Liam’s expression loses some of its mulishness. “Wait- the house is dying? I thought it was only sick?”

Stiles turns away. “It's worse than I thought. Alright, I need to work so you should hurry up and get inside. Head on over to Allison and Lydia’s- they’re usually up this early so they can feed you and read you the riot act.”

“I'm sorry,” Liam mutters, sticking his hands into his pockets and heading up the steps to the front door.

Stiles unlocks it for him and thankfully, Derek succeeded in removing Peter from the lobby since he’s not there waiting to pounce.

“Doubt I need to tell you you’re grounded but you totally are. No going higher than the second floor for a week!”

Liam likes to get up to mischief with Erica and Boyd so this is a punishment Stiles knows might get through to him.

“How am I supposed to sleep at Malia’s if I’m not allowed on the third floor?”

Dammit.

“Fine,” he mutters. “You can go as high as the third floor. But no 3C. No Boyd and Erica.”

“Aw, c’mon, Stiles,” Liam tries to protest. “Alls I did was sleep on her floor!”

“You slept in her bed and we all know it,” he shoots back. “Lydia’s and Allison’s now. And I’ll know if you don’t.”

Liam huffs but obeys. He's a good kid. Stiles knows he wouldn’t have left if he knew how dire the situation was. Awkward as it is, Stiles knows he didn’t run off to that girl’s house to have sex. He suspects that Liam was actually comforting her about something but doesn’t let his magic pry any deeper.

He has to respect Liam’s privacy.

“You’re good at that,” his father says, impressed. “Parenting.”

Stiles only sighs. “Thanks, Dad. So Jarred and Tony-”

“I’ll call them right now,” he declares, passing Stiles his bag in order to search his pockets for his cell phone.

Derek comes out to greet them before he starts dialling. Stiles watches his father break out into a smile at the sight of him and they shake hands. “Some time you’re having right now aren’t you?”

“Not what we were expecting,” Derek admits. “Come on, we’ll get you settled somewhere as far away from Peter as possible.”

“Liam’s apartment,” Stiles says. “He’s gonna share with Malia while Dad’s staying here.”

He doesn't mention that there's a very high chance that there may not be a house to be staying in very soon. There's no point getting everyone into a panic.

Derek’s expression shifts. “Did I see him sneaking through the front door a minute ago?”

“You did,” Stiles replies. “He stayed out all night. Slept at a girl’s house.”

“Is he-?”

“Grounded? Currently be chewed out by Lydia and Allison? Yes and yes.”

Derek nods and takes the bag from Stiles, leading them into Liam’s unlocked apartment. It’s a little messy but Stiles cleans that up with his magic and changes the sheets for his father to sleep on a freshly made bed.

His father whistles at the sight of it. “Never gonna get used to that.”

“Did you eat breakfast?”

“On the flight over but it was terrible.”

“To Allison and Lydia’s it is then.”

His father starts dialling Jarred as they walked up to the second floor. “Hey Tony, sorry to call so early but it’s an emergency. Is Jarred around? I need to ask you both a question.”

Stiles leaves him to it and catches up with Derek instead. “Peter pull any other tricks?”

“No,” Derek admits, grimly. “He slunk off after we met him in the lobby. Who are Jarred and Tony?”

“Some of Dad’s college buddies. They lived on campus in an enchanted building together. Tony was the head of the fraternity so he knew the ins and the outs of their house the best. I was hoping maybe they might know something.”

“Good idea. I’m gonna call Cora,” Derek says. “So she can ask Richard and Eva if they might know anything. I mean they’ve lived long enough maybe they know of something like this happening before.”

Stiles wants to smack himself again. “Shit. I didn’t even think of them.”

“It’s okay,” Derek soothes. “We’re going to save the house. Don't worry.”

The optimism in his voice sounds really promising and Stiles wants more than anything to believe him. It’s hard to feel so confident when he has literally no idea what they’re dealing with.

“If Peter’s the one who did this-“

“We’ll make him regret it,” Derek promises, real fury layering his words.

His father finishes up the call with a frown. “Sorry, son. The house in college never got sick. Jarred and Tony didn’t have much to say.”

He tries not to feel disappointed. “It’s alright. It was worth a shot anyway.”

Stiles feels somebody pressing against the wards again. “Oh, that’ll be Parrish. Can you take my dad? I’ll be back once I let him in.”

“I got it handled,” Derek says, squeezing Stiles’ fingers as the energy hums through the touch.

No time for that either.

Isaac and Steve are still in the basement so Stiles reappears there first to take the zip lock bag Steve’s still holding onto. He nearly runs straight into them carrying the large box Stiles pinpointed with his magic up the wooden staircase.

“Jesus, Stiles,” Isaac swears, nearly dropping his half of the box.

Stiles takes the weight off of the both of them and levitates it into the lobby hallway. “Steve, do you still have the envelope?”

A spirit appears at his side and seems to withdraw the ziplock bag from within its chest. Stiles is both fascinated and surprised by the sight.

“I didn’t know spirits could touch corporeal objects,” he observes, accepting the envelope with only marginal shuddering at the leftover spirit essence.

“They can once I’ve touched the object first. I’m the bridge or whatever.”

That’s a lot more disturbing than Stiles could have anticipated. Isaac appears kind of captivated by the information though rather than grossed out. That's probably a good sign.

“Thanks dude,” Steve tells the spirit which fades into nothingness a second later.

“Is Parrish here?” Isaac guesses.

“Yeah,” Stiles says before sprinting up the stairs and heading straight for the main doors, nearly running into Peter’s chest if not for the force field he throws up at the last second.

“I thought we got rid of you,” he says coldly, wanting to move around him but Peter is blocking the goddamn door.

“What can I say? I get attached to things.”

“Like a parasite,” Stiles snaps and then nearly drops the bag after he says it.

Shit. Why didn’t he think of that before?

“Get out of the way,” he says and when Peter only looks like he’s going to try and turn it into a game, Stiles shoves him to the side with a burst of magic.

He heads out the main doors and locks them behind him, impossibly happy to see Parrish standing there in civilian clothes.

“Thank you for this,” he pants heavily in the way of greeting, handing over the envelope. “It means a lot.”

“Anything I can do,” Parrish says. “Feels like we’re all having a really bad couple of days lately.”

Stiles frowns, unwilling to leave Parrish in the cold without bothering to check he’s alright. “What’s going on with you?”

“I’ve got a deputy out sick,” he explains. “But it doesn’t feel right. I think something else might be going on.”

“Trust your gut,” Stiles says. “You’re probably right.”

“Yeah, maybe,” he replies, uncertain or unconvinced. “But in the meantime I’ll head on over to forensics and see if I can get you a print. If I beg she can probably get it done by this afternoon and don’t worry about supernatural discretion, she’s a mermaid.”

Huh. Stiles has yet to meet a mermaid. Apparently they're a lot of fun at parties.

“We owe you big time for this.”

Parrish smiles and carefully stows the envelope into the inside of his jacket. “Just throw another barbeque once you’ve got your house all fixed and we’ll call it even.”

Stiles manages a nod before an idea reaches him. “Actually, do you mind if I send my dad along with you? He can help but I’d also rather keep him as far away from Derek’s Uncle as possible.”

Parrish only shrugs. “I don’t have an issue with it. He’s a Sheriff isn’t he? Yeah, I’ll bring him along.”

That’s good. Parrish will keep his dad out of trouble. Stiles concentrates and then his father appears beside them, crouched over like he was just sitting at a table a second ago. He has a fork full of what looks like pancakes lifted to his mouth. To his credit, he doesn’t completely lose his shit, but finishes off the bite of pancakes and straightens up, mustering some dignity.

Stiles vanishes the fork with a twitch of his fingers.

“Wanna head down to Parrish’s precinct?”

“Jordan Parrish?” his father says, reaching out to shake his hand after he's finished chewing. “Stiles told me about you. Yeah, sure I’d love to.”

“You can bring the results of the envelope back when you’re done.”

His father clearly knows that he’s being sent away for his own protection but he must be able to see the stress in Stiles’ eyes because he goes along with it without much protest. He's probably also interested in meeting more supernatural law enforcement- they never had much of them in Stiles' home town.

He watches them walk down the street together and doesn’t go back inside until they’ve safely turned the corner.

“Stiles,” someone calls and he turns to see Cora and Richard standing on the boundary. “Let us in already.”

He darts forward to drag them over the boundary protecting the house. “Derek called you?”

“Yeah, five minutes ago,” she gasps. “Laura only said the house was sick a week ago but now it's dying? Derek’s lucky we were nearby. Richard ran us all the way here.”

Richard isn’t even sweating which makes sense since he’s dead. “Man, the house is in bad shape,” he observes, staring at the building.

“No shit,” Stiles mutters, dragging them towards the front door. “But I think I might have just figured out what’s wrong with it.”

Then he’s sprinting back into the house. Peter is gone, again, honestly what new nefarious thing is he up to now? And Steve is no longer where he was five minutes ago.

Which is a problem. Because he needs another magical person to bounce ideas off of.

“Steve? Steve!” he shouts, not caring anymore about the pack’s losing sleep.

Wild excitement is making his movements more frantic, fuelled by the faint hope that he might actually be able to save the house. Steve pokes his head out over the railing of the second floor and so does Derek. Stiles grabs Cora and Richard’s hands and reappears at Derek’s shoulder a second later.

Richard says a bad word and Cora goes really pale. He probably should've asked before teleporting but it's too late now. He'll apologise later.

“What if it’s a parasite?” he demands, without bothering to mention the guests he’s transported in, unable to keep the excitement out of his voice. “Not poison.”

Steve’s eyes widen. “It would make sense. A poison for a sentient house of this scale and power could never be as fast acting as this one has been. But if a parasite was draining the magical energy-“

“What the hell is going on?” Braeden shouts from a level above.

“The house is dying!” Cora shouts back. “But Stiles and Steve think they can save it.”

“Well tell them to hurry the fuck up then,” Laura yells. “The walls are practically white.”

“But the powder, Stiles,” Steve starts to say but the answer comes like it's been thrown in their faces.

“A void beetle!” they shout.

“And when you crush up a void beetle the colour of it turns-“

“Purple,” Richard answers first. When they turn to stare, he only shrugs. “What? I know things.”

“Shit, Stiles,” Steve crows excitedly. “I think this is it! Where was the point of entry?”

“My apartment,” Derek tells him. “But we haven’t been in there since it happened-”

“Can you extract the beetle then?” Lydia demands, having opened her apartment door so that the rest of them can listen in. Stiles can see Liam waving around a mouthful of pancakes sitting next to Allison.

Liam’s stack is nearly tall enough to reach his chin. Some punishment.

“The beetle’s essence,” Steve clarifies for everyone else. “Its dead but void beetles are so dangerous that their remains can still drain magical energy.”

“There’s a Carolina Reaper in my spice rack can you make the-“

“Already on it,” Steve promises, darting up the stairs.

“I’m gonna work on coaxing the void beetle’s remains out of the floorboards.”

Derek takes his hand like he’s intending to go with them and Lydia only rolls her eyes. “That was like the nerdiest conversation I’ve ever listened to in my life.”

Stiles is so relieved that he finally knows what to do that he’s not remotely offended. He drags Derek up towards the fourth floor, leaving Richard and Cora with Lydia. By then Peter has opened Laura’s apartment door at all the sound of commotion.

“My, my,” he starts to say. “What’s all the-“

But Stiles just slams the door in his face again with a twitch of his fingers and they keep running.

“God, I love when you do that,” Derek admits as he gets the door to 4D open.

Stiles can’t believe it took them so long to check Derek’s apartment. The floorboards are a chalky kind of colour and when they reach the spot where the powder first struck, the small patch a startling bone-white.

“Jesus,” he mutters and lays his palm flat against it to start drawing the powder to the surface.

“Stiles,” Isaac shouts but they can still hear him from the hallway. “There’s a fucking shadow thing circling the house.”

Cursing what it could possibly be now, Stiles hurries over towards Derek’s window although Steve is already supplying the answer.

“It’s a wraith!”

Just perfect. They cannot be dealing with this shit right now.

“Open the window,” he instructs Derek, already channelling magic into his hands when he rushes forward to help.

He barely gets it open before the wraith is flying past again, clearly circling the dying house like Isaac said. The first touch of Stiles’ magic when he hits it directly is too much and the contact completely incinerates it. Dererk's eyes are wide with shock but Stiles is already running back to the spot in the kitchen.

One problem down. Stiles lays his palm down, slowly starting to draw the beetle’s powder upward. Right now it feels like it’s sitting somewhere in the basement. God, he hopes that he's not too late.

A sharp pain erupts in the side of his skull, threatening to break his concentration.

“There’s a crowd of people trying to break into the house,” he mutters, gritting his teeth. “I can only focus on one thing: the wards or the house.”

Derek doesn’t even hesitate. “The house. Choose the house.”

Stiles smiles grimly. “I already did.”

He redoubles his efforts while Derek heads out into the hallway and starts shouting a couple of code words that Stiles hasn’t heard before. The effect is immediate though, Stiles can feel each pack member shift into attack mode as they retreat up to the higher levels so that when the crowd of attackers finally burst through the front door there’s nobody to greet them.

There’s the bang of a flash grenade though and Stiles wonders how many of them Allison carries around just for fun.

He concentrates harder, feeling the powder as it’s drawn, slowly, inexorably towards him. By the time it’s reached the fourth level the shouts and scuffles have grown louder.

“Stiles,” Derek says, urgently in his ear, panicking. “C’mon.”

“Almost there,” he says. “I hope Steve is ready.”

The door bangs open a second later and there are strangers walking into Derek’s apartment, holding crossbows and claws. Derek growls at them, a fierce alpha growl that’s all threat and unflinching power. The youngest looking one at the front of the group seems bored by the sound and Stiles has the weirdest idea that this kid is leading the group.

Wait, no. Not a kid.

A were-coyote.

His cronies drag in Steve who’s still carrying the bowl, thank Christ, and Isaac whose nose is bleeding.

Stiles wonders where the rest of his family is and why the sounds of fighting have stopped before another woman is dragging Allison into the room, claws around her neck.

Oh shit. Isn’t that the icing on top of the cake? Derek’s going to combust if he hasn’t done it already.

“Now come on,” the kid says. “Bring the rest of the family in here. I want them to watch me kill their alpha.”

Stiles resists letting anger overwhelm, still drawing the powder closer as they pull the rest of the pack into the room.

Deaton has a black eye, Malia’s arm is broken but healing and she’s missing more than half of her claws, Erica’s chest has been slashed and seems to be oozing something green that is making it impossible for her to stand without swaying. Lydia is covered in bruises and her long flowing hair is unnaturally dishevelled, Boyd is unconscious and being supported between Ethan and Aiden who are covered in blood and have their hands tied in front of them with wolfsbane covered ropes.

Laura’s teeth are bared but her hands as tied as well and Braeden’s clutching a wound on her abdomen that’s bleeding profusely enough for it to spill down her thighs, skin paler from so much blood loss. Jackson is half transformed, curled protectively around Danny who is cradling a broken wrist.

Richard is holding Cora who’s unconscious from a nasty gash at the side of her head and there’s a wooden stake sticking out of his chest, but Richard is surprisingly chill about it.

He feels a swooping sense of relief that Scott, Kira and Noshiko aren’t among them. Or his dad.

And of course, Peter is nowhere to be found. Like they didn’t need more of a reason to think he’s involved in this.

The were-coyote glances at the bowl in Steve’s hands suspiciously. “What’s that?”

“Chilli,” he explains in his typical spaced out voice, though Stiles can hear him lay it on a lot more heavily than he usually does. “Want some, dude?”

His eyes are unfocused, expression blank and Stiles has never respected his connecting with the universe look more than right now when the kid turns away with a sound of disgust. As if he’s a huge stoner in the middle of the munchies and not carrying the only antidote that has any chance of saving the house right now.

Steve is a fucking genius.

A second later two men are dragging Liam into the room and tossing him at Lydia's feet. But Liam isn't even looking at her. His mouth has fallen open and he's staring at the ringleader like he doesn't quite recognise him. “-Theo?”

“The kid from school?” Derek demands, incredulous.

“Lydia,” Malia mutters quietly seizing the sudden distraction. “Scream.”

But the kid, Theo, only laughs at her. “Oh, but she can’t,” he says. “She might kill the baby.”

Stiles hates to admit it but he’s right. The sound is too powerful and Lydia knows it, especially after the look of pure loathing she unleashes upon the were-coyote instead.

The air fizzles a second later, lightning crackling through the house before the sounds of two bodies hitting the outside wall interrupt them.

Theo sighs and pinches his nose. “I thought you took care of the kitsune,” he snaps, openly irritated.

And Stiles feels his first thrill of fear.

They didn’t just plan for this attack, they planned for all of the pack members and learnt their abilities as well. How long have they been watching the house?

Stiles is so glad that he sent his father away with Parrish.

“We were,” the guy to his left promises. “She just-“

Theo sends two more goons out after her. And Scott. And Noshiko.

The powder is just under the surface of the floorboards now so Stiles throws his hand up, sealing Scott, Kira and Noshiko within their apartment with the strongest wards he can muster.

“None of that now,” Theo says, mistaking the use of magic as an attempted attack and in the next second one of his minions is retrieving a container, ripping it open and handing it to Theo.

Just in time for Theo to throw a bagful of void beetle powder in Stiles’ face.

Distantly, he can hear Derek yelling but he's too focused on the powder trying to rip him inside out.

He chokes on it instantly, some of it falling into his open mouth and he can feel it trying to burrow into his skin, searching hungrily for the core of his magic.

He curls into a ball, coughing, choking even as he redirects a burst of powerful magic to his fingertips, drawing the powder towards it. He can feel it flowing through his veins and shudders at the twisted sensation. But channelling his magic as a way to lure the powder from his heart, his magical core, is actually working.

His fingers are burning hot, scalding to the touch and if he wasn’t a spark, his flesh would probably be blistering. The heat is the only thing strong enough to burn out the void beetle. When his fingers are steaming and sparking purple sparks, Stiles knows he’s succeeded.

But he’s of not help to anyone until all of the powder is gone from his system.

And that doesn't change the fact that the house is still dying.

“You’re all so arrogant,” Theo continues in a snide voice. “Living in this magical building and acting like you’re the most powerful pack in Brooklyn. Bragging about it. You’re just begging to be challenged. And I can’t believe how easy it was, but you have weaknesses don’t you? Once the house couldn’t protect you anymore you all fell apart. Such a soft pack."

Malia growls but Theo barely even bothers to look at her. "Kind of pathetic, actually. And now even your mighty spark can’t save you.”

Stiles breathes evenly, watching the last of the purple sparks shooting out of his fingertips through half closed eyelids as Theo tries to get some of his men to restrain Derek. But there’s no point using that many, Derek’s whole family is here and they’re threatening people he cares about so he doesn't resist when they force him to his knees.

Stiles’ fury burns as hot as his fingers but he waits. He waits. Steve gives a little cry and breaks free of his captor, rushing to Stiles’ side.

“Oh man, oh man,” he repeats, checking Stiles’ face and seeing he’s perfectly fine. “You’re killing him!”

Steve lies so shockingly smoothly that even Stiles’ magic has some trouble picking it out. He doubts any werewolves could hear it. Jesus, how long has he been hiding that particular talent?

“That’s too bad,” Theo says, unaffected as he starts to approach Derek, claws drawn. “I wanted him to watch his alpha die. More dramatic that way you know?”

Steve tips over the bowl with his foot when he tries to rouse Stiles and Stiles actually feels it hit the mark Steve intended it to.

Holy shit, Steve did it.

Because nobody ever takes him seriously do they? The shaman who can communicate with the dead and move in and out of the spirit world. Where's the strength in communicating with ghosts? Steve the shaman is constantly being underestimated.

He realises now how carefully Theo has planned for this moment. Each pack member has been attacked a certain way as to drain their strength or stop them, even the human members. But not Steve.

What could he possibly do besides send a few ghosts after them?

Steve falls back into the mess he’s made of the floorboards and some of Theo’s gang laugh to see him struggle, not realising that he’s activating the antidote.

Stiles continues to writhe and choke, jerking his elbow into the exposed skin of Steve’s arm, flooding his body with a hit of powerful magic so that it flows through Steve like a conduit before slamming into the floor.

The house shudders like it’s been jumpstarted and Theo mistakes the action as it flares back into existence again.

“Well it’s finally dead,” he says bluntly. “And now it’s time for your alpha to join him.”

The building is still rebooted itself, gathering its energy and Stiles knows it won’t be able interfere in time. So he leaps to his feet before Theo’s claws come into contact with Derek’s throat and cradles his face between his hands.

Hands that are still burning hot enough to melt metal from expelling the powder. They sear a brand into Theo’s flesh. He wrenches free with a terrible scream, collapsing backwards onto the floor and clutching his burns before the excruciating pain of it tries to force him into unconsciousness.

But Stiles is going to allow that. At least not yet.

He shakes the heat out of his hands, using magic to keep Theo awake.

“You messed with the wrong family, kid,” he says before putting his hands to the floorboards and giving the house everything he’s got.

The walls groan and shift at the flood of magic, pale greens and whites rapidly fading as it expands, drinking in the energy flowing into it. Steve even offers some energy of his own. The amount of power being unleashed makes the air crackle violently.

Stiles doesn’t stop until he’s completely drained. Until he’s got nothing left to give and then he stares at the rest of Theo’s gang and their horrified, awestruck faces.

“You were too cocky,” he says. “The house is way too annoying to be taken out by the likes of you.”

All of the windows and doors within the apartment open and close in a rhythm that Stiles swears is dramatic applause. One of the guys at Derek’s back makes a desperate lunge for the alpha but there’s a happy whizzing sound and then every single one of their attackers vanishes.

The house draws the rest of the chilli into the floorboards and in the next second there’s the sound of a freight train letting off steam as all of the windows open again. Stiles isn’t sure he’s ever seen it this playful but he’s so glad it’s back.

“What kind of chilli is that?” Cora demands.

Steve only grins. “Carolina Reaper- hottest pepper in the world. It’s a cross between the Ghost Pepper and the Red Savina Habanero. And the only way to get rid of a void beetle- by scorching it from existence.”

Braeden stares at Stiles instead, frowning. “And you just keep that pepper lying around for a rainy day?”

Stiles shrugs modestly and tries his best not to laugh at her raised eyebrow.

The house must have released his wards on 4A because Kira and Scott who's carrying Noshiko come barging through Derek’s front door a second later. Kira looks like she’s about ready to electrocute everybody with the size of the sparks crackling from her fists.

“Fuck,” Scott says, once he realises everyone is safe in spite of the fact that he’s holding his daughter and she’s clearly listening to every word he’s saying.

“Is everyone alright?” Kira asks, a little breathlessly as the lightning leaves her fingers. “Where did all the intruders go?”

“The house took care of them,” Derek admits, from his position on the floor.

He looks amazed by everything that's just happened.

Stiles stumbles a little against the counter, utterly exhausted but a familiar magic is already curling around him and in the next second, he’s sitting in Derek’s armchair.

“Good house,” he murmurs tiredly as the rest of the pack manage broken cheers just before the house dumps water on all of their heads.

There’s some emphatic cursing before they realise that it’s not actually water.

The green ooze seeping out of Erica’s chest washes away and the ropes around Laura, Ethan and Aiden disintegrate. Braeden stops bleeding as the wound on her stomach knits itself back together and Boyd and Cora wake up spluttering while Danny holds out his healed wrist in amazement. The stake buried in Richard’s chest vanishes.

Even Lydia and Deaton’s bruises disappear.

Man, the house must be really happy to be back. Stiles emphatically echoes the sentiment.

“What kind of water is that?” Isaac mutters, touching his nose which is no longer broken and bleeding.

“Not water,” Steve says, collapsing back onto the floorboards with an earthy laugh.

Malia tackles into him a second later, crowing with delight.

Stiles doesn’t really give a shit. He’ll worry about the magic not-water later. Right now all he’s concerned with is how easily it healed his entire pack.

If it works, it works.

Allison tugs her wife into a relieved hug and then everybody is scrambling to hold each other. Stiles has never felt more relieved in his life.

Derek slowly gets up from his knees and moves over to him, gently touching his face. “You saved us,” he whispers. “You saved the house.”

“Nope,” he admits, cheerfully. “That was all Steve.”

“And you.”

He goes for modesty but fails miserably at it. He brought a magical house back from the brink of death, okay, he deserves to brag about it. “Maybe a little.”

“Wanna see the house from outside?” Derek wonders. “Check it’s back to its usual self?”

Stiles nods. “You’re gonna have to wrap me up in your beautiful muscular arms though, I just used up all my energy.”

“Your energy, not your legs,” Derek mutters but he’s flushing at Stiles’ compliment anyway.

He realises that Stiles was more than half serious when he staggers after standing. Derek just snakes his arm around Stiles’ waist to keep him upright and leads him toward the door.

“Oh, are we lighting another trash can on fire?” Erica asks excitedly, regaining her enthusiasm now that the deep slash across her chest is gone.

“We missed out on that?” Cora complains. “Why does nobody tell me when we do cool stuff anymore?”

“No more trash cans,” Stiles warns but they follow them down to the lobby anyway.

Stiles tunes out his chattering family and focuses on the warmth of Derek’s hands instead.

“Some week off, huh,” he says. “You should ask for another week so you actually get a break for once.”

“I should hey,” he agrees. “Technically I did get hit by the essence of a void beetle.”

Derek loses some of his humour. “How did that not chew up all of your magic like it did the house?”

“I’ll explain later. Now I just wanna soak in our success.”

Derek doesn’t appear to have any problems with that because he smiles and squeezes Stiles’ hip. When they finally walk outside the house isn’t the vibrant red that they’re expecting.

It’s purple.

Stiles frowns up at it and they all watch as the colours change from purple to blue, to green, to orange, to a bright hideous yellow that he wants to burn from his eyelids.

“That’s new,” Laura admits, with some amusement.

“That’s going to draw the attention of the neighbours,” Aiden observes, smirking at the kaleidoscope of colours shifting across the brownstone.

Of course, Peter chooses that moment to slip through the front door and join them.

“And where have you been when we were under attack?” Derek demands, fists clenching. “Or did you send Theo yourself?”

“My dear nephew your spark sealed me into Laura’s apartment and I couldn’t escape.”

Stiles rolls his eyes. “Bullshit I did.”

He shut the door in Peter’s face that’s all. Either Peter’s a liar, a schemer or a coward and Stiles can see from the expressions on his pack’s faces that none of those people are welcome here.

“Alright, Uncle,” Cora says. “You’ve had your fun. Now it’s time to leave.”

“But I’m staying for the wedding,” Peter protests, sneering now. “You need me to protect you now that the house is powerless.”

“It’s not powerless,” Erica insists, gesturing at the colourful building behind them.

Peter turns to stare at the brownstone and sees how it’s clearly still alive and kicking and then the charming expression on his face vanishes.

He lunges at Stiles next, who's still out of juice and unable to defend himself but Derek is already rushing forward to intercept him. Peter barely gets his claws around Stiles’ neck before there’s an explosive bang and Peter is being thrown across the house’s boundaries and dumped into the middle of the street.

Isaac laughs but Lydia looks furious. “He was trying to get his claws in your neck to control you. That’s what he did to me. That’s what he’s been meaning to do all along.”

Definitely a nefarious plan, if he'd succeed.

Stiles only shrugs. “It wouldn’t have mattered much. I don’t have any magic in me for him to misuse right now.”

“Do you think he was involved in all this?” Braeden wonders, gesturing at the house.

“He definitely knew too much,” Derek agrees. “Either way he was trying to profit off the house being sick so it couldn’t protect Stiles.”

“What a shit head,” Kira mutters and Scott doesn’t bother protesting anymore.

Noshiko’s heard enough curse words to swear like a sailor by now.

“We’re done with him,” Derek announces. “That’s the last straw. He’s never coming into the building again. You hear that house?”

The house rumbles out its agreement.

They turn to watch Peter as he gets to his feet but he doesn’t look back at them like they're expecting. Instead his expression twists with rage as he glances rapidly around the street. His eyes continually sweep over them as if they’re not there.

Oh.

Peter spits on the ground because he’s a terrible human being before he finally stalks away. Stiles doubts that's the last they'll see of Peter Hale.

The pack is silent for a few minutes, watching him.

“That’s also new,” Allison notes but she’s smiling broadly at Lydia.

They clearly don’t have to worry about their baby being in any danger now.

“Is the house,” Steve begins, pausing as if he can’t believe it. “Invisible?”

Derek’s smile is nearly blinding. “I think Stiles might have boosted its strength again. It’s got some new tricks.”

Boyd whistles long and loud and everybody is definitely on board with that new update. It's a lot harder for people to attack them when they can't actually find the house that they live in. Stiles is totally into this new feature.

“That’s great and all but doesn’t that mean we won’t be able to see it either?” Aiden demands but Laura is already rolling her eyes at him.

“Find out,” she offers and shoves him over the boundary.

Aiden twists to keep his balance but when he turns back, he’s still staring at the house and all of them crowded together on the front steps with his mouth hanging open.

“Weird,” he admits. “You’re there but you’re all distorted behind some kind of force field.”

“Cool,” Cora declares and jumps out after him. “Whoa. Rich, you gotta see this!”

Richard follows after her but at a much slower pace. “Neat,” he agrees.

Half of the pack scrambles to go outside the boundary and see for themselves but Stiles is too tired. Liam lingers guiltily at his and Derek’s side.

“This was all my fault,” he tries to tell them. “I told Theo about the house because he’s supernatural and I wanted to be friends- I thought he’d like it. I wasn’t bragging.”

“It’s not your fault,” Derek says. “Theo was just an asshole.”

Liam looks as if he feels a little better to hear that from his alpha. “Do you think he’s dead?”

Stiles considers it. “I don’t think so. The house probably draws the line at straight up murdering people. He’s definitely somewhere he doesn’t want to be though.”

Hopefully Antartica.

Maybe the house will send Peter there next.

Stiles can only hope.




They find out exactly where the house sent Theo and his gang an hour later.

Parrish and his father return and they discover that the building actually has the power to choose who to reveal itself to when they walk in past the boundary without help. The entire pack has only moved into the lobby by then, recounting their fights with the assholes who broke in whilst watching the house slowly repair itself.

Erica points proudly to several of the holes in the walls where she tossed a number of Theo’s henchmen before one of them got in that lucky slash on her chest.

“Derek?” Parrish calls as he walks through the front door, staring at the house. “Did something happen here?”

“Yeah, we were attacked,” Laura answers. “By a bunch of goons.”

“How many exactly?”

They argue for a while before settling on a number. “I think eleven. Plus their ringleader.”

Parrish glances at Stiles’ father who is smiling now. “The ringleader didn’t happen to be some asshole were-coyote with severe burns on either sides of his cheeks in the shape of handprints would he?”

“That’s the one,” Cora confirms, smirking.

“Well they all turned up in my holding cell about an hour and a half ago. Thank your house for all the paperwork I have to deal with now. And we got the results back.”

“Why did it take so long for you to get here?” Stiles wonders.

“The partial print on the envelope was Hayden Romero’s.”

Liam lets out a soft wounded noise and Stiles winces. Bet he didn’t know that about his new girlfriend. But Stiles doesn’t remember sensing bad intentions from her when she was in the house. There’s something else going on.

“But her sister is the deputy I was telling you about Stiles,” Parrish explains and now it’s starting to make sense.

“Valerie Clark. I know Hayden. She’s a good kid. I knew she wouldn’t have done this unless she didn’t have a choice. So we went over to Deputy Clark’s apartment to check on her and that’s when we figured out she was being held hostage by two of Theo’s guys. Theo was using Hayden’s sister to blackmail her into helping him.”

Scott reaches out and pulls Liam under his arm. “It’s okay. You couldn’t have known.”

“But I should have,” he argues, visibly upset.

Liam shouldn’t be so hard on himself. It’s not like anybody else figured it out either. Besides Parrish.

“I don’t know about you guys,” Isaac says. “But I’m tired and hungry and want this to be over already.”

“Take-out?” Danny suggests.

“Not pizza again,” Jackson tries to protest. “Something that doesn’t clog up all of my arteries.”

“You’re a werewolf,” Cora mutters, smacking the back of his head.

“So?”

The house shivers with the release of heavy magic and Stiles hears a door open up between the second and third floor.

Stiles finally gets around to making introductions for his father and the rest of the pack before they all walk up together. Even Parrish decides to join them.

He wasn’t wrong. There’s a door on the staircase between the second and third landing which Boyd opens and walks into first.

Stiles smells the food right away. The house has produced a communal kitchen and dining area big enough to fit the entire pack without having to fetch extra chairs.

And it’s apparently felt kindly enough after their assistance in saving it to fill the table with a ridiculous amount of food.

“Do you think it’ll taste weird?” Laura wonders, sniffing at a roast chicken with evident suspicion.

Malia grabs a handful of curly fries and shoves them into her mouth. She shrugs. “Tastes good.”

Derek helps Stiles into a seat and then everybody is scrambling to sit down and load up their own plates.

The feast that the house has loaded up on the table is basically a visual representation of a balanced diet. Though there’s probably more food from the bottom of the healthy pyramid than necessary. Carbs definitely. Not that Stiles has any issue with it. He’ll keep an eye on his dad though.

“Do you think this is permanent?” Derek asks him after he’s finished chewing.

The magic doesn’t feel temporary. And they’ve needed the extra space for their weekly pack dinners for a while now.

This room is perfect.

“I think so.”

Stiles’ dad is grinning at him a few rows down, looking delighted to be in an enchanted house again. It is definitely a good place to be. Stiles rests his head against Derek’s arm with a tired smile.

Steve heads on over after he's loaded his plate up with food. "I heard what Derek said to you before about saving the house."

He ducks his head. "I didn't do-"

But Steve's not having any of it. He pokes Stiles' hard in the shoulder to make him listen. "You did. Don't you realise? That whole week you were feeding the house antidotes-"

"And failing," he mutters, annoyed.

"You were feeding it magic, Stiles," Steve emphasises. "You were feeding the void beetle magic. That's why it took the house so long to feel the effects because the beetle was feeding on the antidotes instead. Without you we would have lost the house on the first day. That's probably why that Theo kid delayed so long in attacking the place- he was waiting for the house to die first."

Huh.

Steve pats his shoulder encouragingly before going to sit down.

The thing is, is that Stiles thinks he might be right. All those potions and antidotes that he thought were huge failures actually ended up doing something anyway. Protecting the house.

"I'm really proud of you," Derek says. "I know you've been giving yourself a hard time this past week but if Steve's right, then it clearly wasn't for nothing."

Stiles steals some pasta off of Derek's plate. "Happy accident."

And he is happy about it, that all that work actually did count for something even if at the time he didn't realise it.

Now that the house is bigger and better than ever before and he doesn't have to expend all of his energy worrying about it, Stiles is definitely going to be making good use of their mattress tonight. If Derek is up for it.

He doesn’t even care how exhausted he feels, maybe Derek will even be nice enough to just take the reins and let him lie there. Stiles really wants an easy orgasm. And a good night’s sleep.

He probably should ask for another week off from work. But knowing his luck, some other big bad would make an appearance and try to light his eyeballs on fire or something. Some sacrifices have to be made when living in a sentient building.

Stiles would gladly pay it ten times over. The house literally just made them a feast.

What could be better than that?






Stiles finds out exactly what about two hours later when everybody turns in for the night- the house even did the dishes for them, what a champion. They could definitely get used to this.

Derek smiles and takes his hand, leading him back towards 4D and Stiles is too wiped out to even feel their energies dancing between their fingers right now. “There’s something I read that I want to try- if you’re willing to trust me.”

Well that’s no cryptic or anything.

Stiles frowns, watching the flush on Derek’s face and making a leap. “Is this a sex thing? I really hope it’s sex thing.”

“It’s sex thing,” Derek says. “If you’re still- I understand.”

But Stiles is already going for the buttons on Derek’s jeans. “Are you kidding? All that shit is done, I’m ready for you to blow my mind again.”

Derek snorts at that. “That’s a lot of pressure to put on one person.” But he’s already dragging him into the bedroom, helping Stiles’ questing fingers get his pants open.

They stumble onto the bed with way too much laughter and Stiles is suddenly very offended by the amount of clothing that the both of them are still wearing.

“Ugh,” he groans. “We have to do this the slow way.”

He waves his very non-sparky hands for emphasis.

“No other person has suffered like we have,” Derek mutters with a bite of sarcasm that Stiles loves beyond all reason.

“Clearly,” he says just to watch Derek roll his eyes.

He manages to get his shirt off but in his enthusiasm gets it tangled around his arms, only half off of his chest. When Derek laughs at him for a good five minutes without even helping him get free, Stiles curses him to the realms of hell but doesn’t actually have the energy to free himself.

“Help me, Derek,” he groans. “I’m old and weary.”

Derek outright cackles at that before he stops being a dick and moves in to help Stiles get his arms out. “You’re barely twenty six.”

“Old and weary,” he declares insistently when Derek starts helping him out of his pants.

“I’m older than you,” Derek grumbles but leans in to kiss Stiles’ exposed chest so he’s clearly not that upset.

“By like three years. You’re like the rugged lumberjack man who sweeps me off my feet. So quit talking and start sweeping.”

“You’re terrible,” Derek deadpans but he’s finally yanking Stiles’ pants down, along with his underwear so he really has no complaints.

Stiles flops his arm out half-heartedly to the drawer where they normally keep their lube but it doesn’t seem like he’ll be able to reach it. He clicks his fingers a few times but he really is wiped out. There will be no levitating lube this night, no siree.

“Unfortunate,” he mutters before levelling his gaze upon Derek again expectantly.

Derek, who’s in the middle of wriggling out of his jeans, unleashes his 100 Per Cent Done™ face and they stare at each other unblinkingly in silent challenge.

A silent sex challenge.

“Goddammit,” Derek mutters, caving first and Stiles grins with triumph when he gives up on his jeans in order to stretch over Stiles and retrieve the lube for him.

The added bonus is that his crotch nearly ends up in Stiles’ face. It’s barely any effort to pull Derek’s jeans and underwear down.

And then Derek’s erection is kinda just sitting there in front of Stiles’ face and really, what else is he supposed to do with that? He leans up to get Derek into his mouth and nearly loses concentration by trying not to laugh when Derek groans and drops the lube onto the floor.

“Stiles,” he gripes but his voice has gone all soft and shaky like it does when he’s really enjoying himself.

He tries to redouble his efforts but before he can really get going, Derek is pulling back.

“Hey,” he protests but Derek’s already tilting down to kiss him so he’ll just have to settle for blowing his brains out some other time.

He retrieves the lube for a second time, twisting out of his jeans and underwear completely until he’s finally naked.

Stiles isn’t sure what he should be expecting but when Derek coats his fingers with lube and reaches back to start prepping himself, he starts to get a very distinct idea.

Oh yes. It’s that kind of party. Stiles is totally up for that. Derek preps himself quickly and Stiles has a feeling that he’s working up to the new position or whatever it is that he wants to try. He’s almost a little disappointed to see Derek rushing it though, but at the same time Stiles thinks he might come before he can even do anything.

Finally, Derek must deem himself ready because in the next moment he’s climbing astride Stiles, gripping his cock to line himself up before starting to sink down.

Stiles groans long and loud and so glad that Derek’s going to be doing all the work right now. He waits it out, adjusting before starting up a careful rhythm, arching his hips and encouraging Stiles to move against him.

He got enough left in him to jerk his hips every few thrusts but otherwise Stiles lies there and soaks it all up, sinking into the climbing pleasure building in his chest and trickling into his gut.

Stiles hates to be a party pooper but when Derek keeps going, riding him deep into the mattress, he’s not so sure exactly what’s supposed to be new here. Because they’ve done this- they’ve done this a lot- and Derek gave the impression he wanted to try something.

“Weren’t you gonna-?” he starts but Derek rolls his body harder against Stiles’ dick, stealing the words from his mouth.

“Trust me,” he says and Stiles wants to argue that he does, but Derek hasn’t done anything yet.

That is before he’s reaching out and placing his hands onto Stiles’ chest.

For a second it feels like he’s been anchored down and despite the swooping sensation in his gut, nothing else much seems to change.

Until he starts to feel it.

“God,” he chokes, suddenly unsure if he’s coming or if he’s already come and is coming again.

“Want me to stop?” Derek checks, looking a little worried like maybe he’s going to pull his hands away.

Stiles wants to lock him down ASAP.

“Don’t stop,” he begs, losing himself to the rush of energy pouring into him.

Alpha energy.

Derek’s done this before.

He does it every time they touch, exchanging energies, intertwining and coiling spark and alpha together. But never like this. Jesus, it feels like Derek is giving him everything. The energy is rolling into his body in shocking waves whilst his cock is still buried deep in Derek's body and the dual sensations are killing him.

Stiles thinks he might already be dead.

He probably is dead and has already ascended into a higher plane. One where Derek is destroying him with sex.

It shouldn’t be possible. Stiles is drained. Conked out. Zero sum. But his magic flickers in his chest anyway like Derek’s alpha energy is slowly coaxing it out just like he’s about to coax out Stiles’ orgasm.

Sparks erupt from his fingers and this time they're red with energy. Derek's energy.

Stiles groans, invigorated and breathless as he shoves his hips up, latching onto Derek and pounding out a messy pace that has little to no finesse because he can hardly think straight.

“Oh God,” he gasps, feeling Derek’s energy build and build.

The thing about an alpha is that they don’t get tapped out like Stiles’ magic does. A werewolf is constantly healing, regenerating itself and Derek’s alpha energy is exactly the same.

This could go on for days. But Stiles’ mouth falls open with a silent cry and comes instead. Good thing because otherwise he might have exploded.

Derek shudders on top of him and comes just as Stiles barely gets his fingers around his dick.

Whoa. He didn't even know that energy transference could feel like that. He's going to be getting inappropriate boners every time Derek touches him now- not that he doesn't already.

Slowly, Derek peels his hands off and the place where they rested is still warm with unnatural heat, leftover from the connection. Gingerly, he climbs off of Stiles and rolls over and Stiles is still riding the endorphin rush and exchange of energy that it’s no problem for him to get up and fetch a towel to clean them up. He runs it under some warm water first.

Derek looks extremely satisfied when he returns and starts wiping the come off his stomach.

“That was amazing,” Stiles breathes, kissing him hard. “Where did you even read about that?”

“Energy transference,” he sighs, already sounding sleepy when Stiles wipes carefully between his cheeks, clearing up his own come and swallowing hard at the sight of it. “I found it in a book.”

“You’re incredible,” he insists. “I didn’t realise how much I needed that. This past week really took it out of me.”

Derek steals the hand towel and throws it toward the laundry basket before he’s pulling Stiles down to cuddle. “Thank you.”

That doesn’t seem right. Stiles feels like he should be writing sonnets about how good their sex just was. He did mostly just lie there and thoroughly enjoy himself.

“For what?”

Derek only draws him in closer. “For caring about the house enough to save it. For always protecting the pack. For not being what I expected. For being you. Take your pick.”

For that, Stiles lunges forward to kiss him on the nose. “Damn, you’re good,” he admits, teasingly.

“’m serious,” he says. “I’m so glad the house brought you here.”

“I’m glad I met you,” Stiles responds, trailing his knuckles through Derek’s hair. “And you’re not dead.”

That’s an important distinction to make. No offence to Richard or anything.

“Same,” Derek agrees with a contented sigh.

Hopefully Parrish figures out some charges that will keep Theo and his gang in prison for a while. Though he’s not sure that the attempted murder of a house will gain any traction in court. They can only hope.

Stiles climbs under the covers next to Derek and gets comfortable. It’s a good thing too because he feels the building start to hum a second later with rising magic.

“I have a bad feeling,” Derek mutters pulling the covers up to his neck as if to protect his naked chest from potential attacks.

He's inclined to agree because the house has always had a weird sense of humour. He could probably take a whack at guessing though.

“Bet it’s Isaac and Steve while they’re in the throes of passionate lovemaking.”

“Ugh, Stiles,” Derek mutters. “They’re our pack mates.”

That doesn’t seem to be an issue for the house though. Because Derek’s bad feeling rings true a second later when Steve and Isaac appear in his bedroom right in the middle of said passionate throes.

“Oh God, are they naked?” Derek groans from behind the hands he’s using to shield his eyes.

They’re not, thank God but there's definitely some hefty making out going on.

Steve stiffens and pulls back violently as Isaac turns towards them and flinches. He’s already kind of flushed from all the kissing but his face goes a deeper red when Stiles laughs and waggles his eyebrows at them in greeting.

Steve is literally already fading from existence before Isaac sees it from the corner of his eye and realises what he’s doing.

“Hey,” he protests, catching Steve’s arm before he flees to the spirit world. “If I’m suffering through the embarrassment of this then you’re doing it with me.”

Derek still hasn’t lowered his hands. “Naked. Yes or no? Please be no.”

Stiles laughs harder as Steve struggles to keep his expression vacant but Isaac is still holding his hand so it’s clearly not just a random make out session. There are feelings involved on both ends.

“Not naked,” Steve insists. “Why would the house even send us here?”

Derek slowly and suspiciously lowers his hands before relaxing. “It’s bragging,” he mutters. “Probably thinks it’s a skilled matchmaker by now.”

The way the walls start to shine a little brighter somehow makes Stiles think the building is preening at the compliment.

Isaac is almost tomato red by now. “I am extremely uncomfortable because you guys are naked under there and I can very clearly smell what you’ve been up to. I’d appreciate you not ratting us out until we figure out what we're doing and in the meantime we never speak of this again.”

“Never again,” Derek declares as if he’s making a blood oath.

Stiles is still grinning wildly. “Probably best we don’t shake on it.”

Steve even cracks a smile then and Isaac is cursing and dragging him out of Derek’s bedroom.

“Bet you they end up dating before the wedding,” Stiles says once they’re out of earshot and the door to Derek’s apartment has closed.

“I’m not betting on our friends,” he says.

“Cause you know I’m right,” Stiles counters, snuggling into Derek’s side again.

He is impossibly warm. Stiles will never have to worry about cold feet when sharing a bed with the furnace that is Derek Hale. Obviously he chose his future husband well.

Derek sighs. “I'd hoped that nearly staring death in the face might mean the house would stop causing so much trouble.”

“Who are you kidding?” Stiles laughs. “With the boost I gave it, the house is going to be a billion times worse.”

And he’s looking forward to every minute of it. Feasts and invisible walls are just the beginning.

“Still wanna get married?” he teases when he’s gone quiet for too long.

Derek pulls him closer and they settle down into the middle of the bed together, energies greeting one another with a tenderness that moves beyond magic.

It's something stronger.

“How else am I going to be able to call you my husband?” he wonders, smiling.

But Stiles only waggles his eyebrows suggestively. "I can think of a few ways."







It's a sex thing. Stiles is totally referring to a sex thing.

Derek's cool with it.