Stiles had, had her sexual epiphany early in life. Granted she was pretty sure most people hadn't taken her seriously when, in the third grade, she'd declared that she was going to marry Lydia Martin, but that was beside the point. The point was that she had long ago acknowledged and accepted her love of lady parts. So really she shouldn't be freaking out about this, like, at all. It was just a crush. She could deal with crushes; especially unrequited crushes. Cause yeah, Lydia?
And into Jackson.
Which really didn't say much about Lydia's taste since Jackson was the biggest douchebag and suckiest liar Stiles had ever met (both of which pretty much fell into the "very bad things column" when said douchebag had been turned into a werewolf. Seriously what had Devon been thinking?) Not that Stiles had much room to talk considering that she currently seemed to have a perpetual lady boner going on for one Devon Hale, resident alpha and all around terrifying werewolf.
Who was also ridiculously hot.
Devon wasn't hot the way Lydia was (not that she couldn't be if she wanted to be; she'd just have to spend less time running around the woods hunting down innocent little bunny rabbits and more time doing her make-up or whatever it was Lydia did to look like she'd just stepped out of the cover of Vogue and fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck. Now she was imagining Devon in low cut shirts and tight mini-dresses and heels and she so did not need whatever fantasy those mental images were going to cook up, cause yeah, had she mentioned the perpetual lady boner she already had going on?) she was more comic book super lady than covergirl. It totally worked for her though, because Devon? Could be covered in sweat and dirt and God even blood and she'd still look about a million times better than most women would at their most dolled up.
Seriously how was her life fair?
The worst part of all of this was that Stiles was beginning to notice a trend here. She had a type. Apparently she had a thing for assertive, take charge (read: mildly to extremely terrifying badasses) who were completely out of her league, go figure.
It wasn't that Stiles was hideous or anything. She didn't have a hump back or a lazy eye or any number or other deformities she could have ended up with seeing as she was apparently the sidekick in a supernatural drama, but she wasn't a Lydia, or an Allison, and she certainly wasn't a Devon. Her hair seemed to have a mind of its own most days, and she'd always preferred comfort to high fashion, but she wasn't so ridden with teenage angst that she couldn’t appreciate her good points too. She'd been pretty lucky so fair in the pimple department and she had rocking boobs if she said so herself (she'd tried to get Scott to confirm it for her once but he'd turned a pretty interesting shade of red and spluttered so much that she'd dropped the conversation for fear that he might have an asthma attack.) So yeah, she was pretty, but pretty in an average sort of way, which was leagues bellow the kind of pretty Lydia Martin and Devon Hale were.
As if all that wasn't enough Stiles was pretty sure Devon had to know about her little crush, because, yeah, super werewolf senses. So unless of course Devon just thought Stiles was perpetually horny she totally knew. Which, okay, to be fair could totally be a thing given that she was a teenager and, you know, hormones. Stiles didn't think she was that lucky though so clearly Devon had to know. She'd at least spared Stiles the embarrassment of ever actually mentioning it though so Stiles was pretty much eternally thankful for that. It wasn't like she could just avoid Devon till the humiliation subsided after all, since apparently, human or not, she was part of the pack by transitive property of Scott.
Which was why Stiles was here.
In the woods.
If Stiles wasn't absolutely positive that Devon wouldn't actually follow through with any of her threats Stiles wouldn't be here (probably) but that didn't make the place any less creepy. Especially not when months earlier Stiles had watched Devon kill (Jesus, she'd even helped) her crazy uncle just outside this house. Stiles knocked on the front door of Devon's horror house (Stiles wondered how Devon could even live in the place where her family had all died, if for no other reason than the fact that Stiles seriously doubted the old Hale house had electricity. Or running water. Or a roof. Which left Stiles wondering where Devon showered and okay, yeah, so not a road she needed to go down when there was a werewolf within scenting distance) but didn't bother to wait for an answer before going in. Stiles figured that if Devon really didn't want her here then she'd know by now.
Freaky werewolf senses.
"Yo Dev-" her tongue suddenly felt too large for her mouth and she was tripping over syllables and sounds and oh God why was it always her "-on"
Stiles swallowed thickly, trying to stop herself from staring but it was really, really difficult when Devon was dropping down from the door frame, hair sticking to her face and neck in nothing but a pair of loose sweatpants and a sports bra.
Of course she would walk in on Devon working out. "Jesus Xena couldn't you have put on like a shirt or something?" She really hoped she didn't sound as strained as she thought she did, but Stiles didn't have much confidence in that. Devon just raised an eyebrow at her (a little on the thicker side, but not unpleasantly so, and that didn't surprise Stiles. She really couldn't imagine Devon plucking) scenting the air in that way that was both a little creepy, and somehow sort of hot (how was this Stiles life? How?)
"What are you doing here Stiles?" Devon growled, and Stiles was always surprised by how smooth her voice was. No matter how many times she heard Devon speak she somehow always imagined her voice would be more gravely than it was, rough, like Christine Bale as Batman. Devon would make a kickass Batwoman. Batwoman was a lesbian right? Not that Stiles knew for sure Devon was a lesbian. She hoped she was, or you know at least bi. Not that either of those things would really improve Stiles chances of course. Not when being part of the pack meant that she was constantly hanging around girls like Lydia and Allison and even pretty boys like Jackson, and had to be compared to those standards. The more she thought about it the more she realized just how ridiculously pretty all her friends were (and when had she started to consider Jackson and Lydia friends rather than dick and goddess respectively?) Totally not fair.
"Um." Stiles brain seemed to falter for a moment. Why was it only when she was under pressure to speak that her near constant stream of babble ran dry? "Jackson! Right! Yeah, so you need to have a talk with Jackson because he seriously almost wolfed out on a guy at school today. Not that the asshat didn't deserve it for calling Danny a fag," Stiles liked Danny. He was one of the few other “out” people she knew, and despite being best friends with Jackson he was a pretty cool guy. She wondered sometimes just why a guy like Danny would be friends with Jackson, but she could only assume he stayed friends with Jackson for the same reasons she stayed friends with Scott (despite his frequent Allison related stupors and those nasty incidents where he almost killed her.) "but he called him that from like the other side of the cafeteria. You know, like, way too far away for a normal, non-wolfy person to hear?"
Devon growled low in her throat and ran a hand through her short hair in a way that had Stiles reminding herself not to stare. Not that the reminder stopped her, but hey, at least she'd tried. God, as if it wasn't hard enough to focus when Devon wasn't practically half naked in front of her, every movement showing off those very nice muscles that Devon had clearly worked for. It didn't occur to Stiles that months ago she'd have done a double take at the fact that she'd gone out of her way to report the latest wolfy mishaps to Devon.
In the months since Peter's death it had become natural for Stiles to keep tabs on the werewolves (she'd already being doing it for Scott since he'd first gotten the bite) and then report in to Devon. At first it had been Devon showing up in her room (Stiles thought she should probably do something about her window given the frequency with which werewolves seemed to like to enter her house through it, but somehow it constantly got pushed to the bottom of her to do list) every week or so demanding to know if anything had happened that she needed to know about. Stiles didn't know why Devon didn't just go to the wolves themselves but it was questions like that, that tended to get her thrown against walls. Somewhere along the line Stiles had just started going directly to Devon anytime something was up, and now it was practically routine.
Devon pinned her with a hard stare and it was all Stiles could do not to squirm as she thought of normal, human green eyes that somehow managed to be as intimidating (and she totally wasn't secretly thinking any other verbs to describe them, nope, not at all) as glowing red ones. "Tell me everything." It was a command, plain and simple and while Stiles seemed to make it a habit to defy authority when it suited her, she plopped herself down at the mostly sturdy table in the charred remains of the Hale's kitchen to hash things out. Which was how Stiles found herself sharing a pizza (she was pretty surprised anyone would deliver to the middle of the woods let alone a house that was probably condemned, but she wasn't going to complain) with Devon (who was still in those stupid loose sweat pants and sports bra, Jesus Christ) as they discussed the pack and training ideas.
It never crossed her mind that the half of the pizza Devon seemed to be casually avoiding was covered in her favorite toppings.
Stiles laughed as she pulled confetti from her hair and a cry of "Happy Birthday!" echoed in her ears. Despite the best efforts of the pack the party wasn't exactly a surprise (Scott could barely keep a secret to save his life, the one exception being that the entire town somehow didn't know he was a werewolf, but Stiles chocked that mostly up to luck and the fact that Scott had her awesome self, watching his back) but it didn't mean Stiles was any less moved when she was lead out behind Devon's house (which they'd finally started to fix up, thank God) to a picnic table full of food and presents, the whole thing decked out in streamers. It was hands down one of the best parties Stiles had ever had, with the only awkward moment occurring during the opening of presents. Seriously, Stiles hadn't expected Devon to get her anything, the fact that she'd let them use her house for all of this, covering her yard in streamers and confetti and a piñata (that Stiles was completely, unironically, pleased with) was more than enough even if the rest of the pack didn't seem to agree. The party faux pas passed quickly though, and by the end of the night it seemed to have been forgotten by all that Devon had been the only one not to give Stiles a present.
Stiles hadn't expected anything from Devon, she really hadn't, even if the slight pang in her chest when she realized there wasn't anything from her might have said otherwise. She figured that after a day of forced socializing Devon would be off brooding in some dark corner of her house or out hunting a deer or doing whatever it was she did when she was all by herself in that big creepy old house, so Stiles was understandably shocked when she turned around from her computer to find Devon leaning casually against her window sill (like she hadn't crept in like some freaky wolf ninja.)
"Jesus fucking Christ!" Stiles cried, holding a hand to her rapidly beating heart. She sent a silent thanks that her dad was at work and not here to come bursting in with his gun drawn. It would be a little awkward to explain why Devon Hale, former suspected mass murderer, was in her room and had somehow avoided the front door. "Seriously you know what a door is right?" Stiles asked the other woman as she collapsed back into her chair. Stiles was trying to ignore the fact that she was wearing her completely unflattering pajamas in front of the woman she still had a ridiculous crush on (and somehow it had just managed to get worse with time.)
As usual Devon ignored her complaints, instead stalking forward and shoving something into Stiles face. It took her a few moments of cross eyed staring to realize that it was in fact a long, thin box. "Will you just take it?" Devon demanded after it became clear that Stiles just intended to stare at the thing.
"I- What?" Stiles asked, brow furrowed in confusion.
"It's a birthday present you idiot." Devon growled, not quite looking at her. If Devon was anyone else Stiles would have sworn she looked embarrassed, and was she blushing? The idea kind of caused Stiles' brain to stutter to a grinding halt. "I didn't have a chance to give it to you earlier."
"What you mean like when everybody was giving me presents?" Well at least her brain hadn't completely shut down, Stiles thought as the rest of her mind came back online.
"Will you just open it?" Devon demanded, looking way more annoyed than someone who was giving somebody a birthday present had any right to look. Now that Stiles knew what it was though she eagerly took the box, wrapped in simple blue paper. She tried to ignore the happy flips her stomach was doing at the fact that Devon actually had gotten her something, and instead got to work ripping the paper off.
Her breath caught when she saw what was inside. The small necklace wasn't particularly fancy or expensive but the cameo front depicted a beautiful lily in full bloom and it was that, that had Stiles at a loss for words. Her mind flashed back to a night months ago, days before the anniversary of her mother's death when she'd told Devon her mother's favorite flower had been lilies. Stiles still wasn't sure what had prompted her to tell Devon that piece of information, but she had needed to talk to someone, anyone about her mother. Her father didn't talk about her anymore, the subject still an open wound, too tender to prod, that Stiles wasn't sure would ever really heal. She couldn't blame him for not wanting to talk about her mom, no more than she could blame him for the hours he had to work to support them both, but that didn't mean that Stiles didn't need to talk about her sometimes. The truth was it was starting to feel like her mother was nothing more than a fairytale she'd made up as a child, something perfect and beautiful, but not real and Stiles didn't want that. She didn't want to forget. So she'd gone to the only person who she trusted to understand, the only person she'd trusted not to look at her with pity, and she'd talked.
Apparently Devon had listened.
"Devon--" Stiles wasn't sure what she wanted to say, but she knew she needed to go to bed soon because her eyes were starting to sting. She must have been on the computer for too long or, or maybe Devon had let in some pollen when she'd come in through the window. Stiles didn't think she was allergic to anything but these sorts of things could develop later in life.
"Open it." she said softly, saving Stiles from having to figure out just what it was she'd been going to say, and it was then that she realized the necklace was a locket. Stiles felt herself smiling, and then laughing when she saw the picture Devon had chosen to put inside. It was one Stiles had forced them to take, insisting that they needed a photo of the whole pack together. It had taken them ages to set up the camera and all get arranged in front of the Hale house, and even then their best take had been a disaster. Scott and Allison had ended up making eyes at each other instead of smiling for the camera, and Jackson seemed to be keying up for an argument with Lydia (who looked perfect as always, and was smirking like the cat who'd caught the canary and got the cream.) Devon was scowling at the lot of them, and Stiles was laughing at whatever it was Lydia had said to Jackson.
As far as Stiles was concerned it was absolutely perfect.
"Thank you." She whispered softly, running her finger over the lily.
Devon shrugged awkwardly, hands shoved into the pockets of her leather jacket and still not quite looking at Stiles. After a moment though she moved forward, pulling the locket from the box. "Move your hair." Derek mumbled, reaching around Stiles to snap the locket into place. Stiles was sure even without her werewolf senses Devon would be able to hear the way her heart was beating, because to Stiles it sounded like the organ was trying to make a break for it. It took Devon longer than Stiles thought it should to clip the locket on and she wasn't sure whether or not she was thankful for that. She was close enough that if Stiles just turned her head she'd be able to brush her lips against Devon’s cheek, or maybe her neck, and the thing was she wanted to. She wanted to so badly it almost hurt.
Before she could do anything stupid though Devon finally pulled away. "Happy birthday Stiles." and Stiles could swear there was a look in Devon's eyes she'd never seen before, but for the life of her Stiles couldn't figure out what it meant. Before she could give it too much thought though Devon was gone as quickly as she'd arrived.
"You could have used the door you know!" Stiles called out weakly a few moments after Devon had disappeared, but Stiles couldn't be sure she'd heard her.
Stiles bag fell to the ground with a dull thud as she suddenly found herself with her back against the wall. Devon had made it a habit of manhandling Stiles since the early stages of their acquaintance (Stiles had a working theory going that werewolves were just inherently tactile and somewhere along the line Devon had gotten that crossed with her violent impulses, but she was still working on gathering all her evidence; she was thinking about making a PowerPoint) but she usually at least waited till she’d scared the crap out of Stiles with her crazy wolf ninja skills before she started pushing Stiles against things. (And clearly there was something wrong with Stiles because threats to her person and growly manhandling should so not be getting the kind of responses from her it was. Jesus she was fucked. Except not, which was sort of the problem and, wow, way to be both classy and cheery, Stiles thought sarcastically.)
“H-hey Devon.” She couldn’t help the slight tremor in her voice. It wasn’t that she thought Devon would hurt her (she’d long ago realized that Devon’s bark was worse than her bite, at least as far as human-pack was concerned. . . .and now she was thinking of Devon biting her with teeth that were just shy of fangs, along her neck and shoulders, and damn her hormones were on the ball today weren’t they?) but she was also close enough that if she wanted to she could make a decent go at trying to count Devon’s eyelashes.
“Do you want to die? Is that it?” Devon demanded in her best I-am-the-Goddamn-Alpha voice that was sending some totally situationally inappropriate shivers down her spine. Did all teenagers have these problems or was Stiles just special?
“Um, no?” Stiles said with her best attempt at an innocent smile. The thing was for all Devon’s scary cryptic-ness Stiles did know what she was talking about, at least this time. As a rule Stiles was supposed to stay away from the woods (and especially Devon’s house) on the night of the full moon. Pack or not Stiles was still a tasty human flavored puppy snack to a bunch of wolves that could only sort of control themselves on a good day. Besides, now that there were no murderous alphas on the loose, and Devon was watching Scott’s (and Jackson and Lydia’s) back she was pretty much totally okay with that. She still didn’t like to think about the night she’s tried to keep Scott on lock down, and so never having to do that again was a major plus in Stiles’ book. The thing was though that sometimes when Stiles got an idea it was pretty much all consuming, and Stiles’ impulse control had only ever been so-so anyway. The fact that one of those ideas had required her to be in the woods, and just so happened to coincide with the full moon had just been unfortunate timing. In her defense she’d expected to be done long before moonrise, and so had felt totally safe in traipsing around the woods. But as they say about the best laid plans of mice and men…
“You were in the woods on the full moon!” Devon roared, literally roared, eyes red and just a hint of fang peaking down from still mostly human teeth. Stiles didn’t think it was possible but Devon managed to crowd even closer to her, practically pressing herself flush against Stiles. Stiles prayed that Devon chalked the pounding of her heart up to fear. “What do you think would have happened if I hadn’t been there?” she growled, eyes still burning red.
Stiles winced, because she knew what would have happened if Devon hadn’t shown up when she had and saved her sorry ass: she would have ended up as puppy chow for Jackson. Stiles hadn’t thought it was possible but Jackson seemed to have even less control over himself than Scott had, had. He was fine when there was someone like Devon or Lydia there to kick his ass into place (and didn’t that have some interesting implications that Stiles was totally not going to think about,) but on his own he was an absolute mess of wolfy instinct. To be fair he had gotten better in the months since he’d been turned, but the full moon wasn’t like a normal day at school. Truthfully Stiles couldn’t even blame him for almost eating her the night before, because she knew how shitty his control was (she’d been trying with Devon to come up with a more effective way to teach him control, but Jackson had apparently secretly been a big mess of emotions long before all this, and the bite had just cranked that up to eleven) and she knew she shouldn’t have been out there in the first place.
“I-“ Stiles licked her lips nervously, not sure what to say. She knew that she was in the wrong here, and she couldn’t even think of a good defense for it this time. Devon growled low in her throat, and Stiles couldn’t help herself from peeking up at Devon. Her eyes were still that intense red that had become so familiar over the past months. Without thinking her tongue darted out to swipe over her lips again. It was a nervous habit she’d had for years, like biting her pens or more recently fiddling with her locket. Devon’s eyes seemed to zero in on the motion as she leaned forward slightly. Stiles thought she could almost feel Devon’s breath on her face and for one crazy moment Stiles was sure that Devon was going to kiss her. Just as quickly as the moment came though it was gone.
“If I ever catch you anywhere expect here, in this house, during the full moon again I will rip your throat out.” Devon promised with a growl. Stiles eyes flew open (and when exactly had she closed them?) when she realized that Devon’s voice was a good few steps away from her, well out of her personal bubble.
“With your teeth?” Stiles joked weakly. Her legs felt like jello and even though she was no longer being held against the wall she still stayed leaning against it for support. Devon growled warningly in response, but there was something the slightest bit off about her. Then she was gone so quickly that Stiles had to wonder if she was taking lessons from Batman. “We really need to talk about your door aversion!” Stiles called after her, and for once she was glad for her mouth’s apparent ability to act without conscious consent from her brain. Stumbling over to her bed Stiles let herself fall face first into her pillow, her frustrated groan muffled by it.
Stupid sexy werewolves.
Stiles could tell you the exact moment when her life went from average to crazy supernatural drama, that one was easy to pinpoint. It was trying to figure out when she’d gotten so used to the crazy that it had become the average that was harder to pin down. It hit her just how strange the whole situation was when she was painting the living room of Devon’s house (that was finally looking less condemned monster movie and more livable; if one ignored the crazy ass cellars of course. As a rule Stiles didn’t like to think about those cellars and how much death and pain they’d seen. She especially didn’t like to think of the tearful confession Allison had made to her and Lydia one night of what she’d watched her aunt do to Devon in those cellars. Stiles wondered sometimes if Allison had forgiven herself yet for not doing something to get Devon out of there.) Her jeans were covered in the blue paint Devon had finally settled on for the living room (some shade in between navy and a light, cool grey that Stiles couldn’t remember the name of) and so were parts of her arms and face. Lydia was outside supervising as Jackson and Scott unloaded the furniture they’d gotten (mostly from second hand shops despite Lydia’s insistence that she and Jackson could foot the bill for better. Lydia’s father was still trying to buy back her affections) and Allison was making them all lemonade. Devon was upstairs somewhere, going through rooms that they’d left mostly untouched. It was all so normal and domestic that it brought Stiles up short. Somehow even with werewolf training and her bi-monthly pizza slash alpha-werewolf baby sitter conference meetings her life was more normal now than it had been before Scott had been bitten. Sure she still researched bizarre, obscure topics that most people never even knew were a thing, let alone got curious about, and she had more books on werewolf lore than would probably seem healthy if her father ever found them, but that wasn't so different from before. She'd always liked a good wikiwalk. Now though she also went to the mall with Lydia and Allison, watched movies with people who weren’t Scott, or her dad, and was dragged along to do things like bowl (Stiles pointedly ignored the fact that she and Devon always get stuck as a team, when all the other couple-- wait no, not other, the couples. She and Devon got stuck with each other when the couples paired up.)
She wiped at the sweat on her forehead (who knew painting could be so tiring?) as she smiled at the wall she’d managed to finish. It made Stiles happier than she could say to think that soon Devon would be living in a real home again instead of the burnt out shell she’d been stuck in for so long. Stiles didn’t know why Devon insisted on staying here at all when it was awful and dank and more char and holes than house instead of just going to a motel 6 or something, but at the same time she sort of did. This place was all that Devon had left of her family, of her pack, and maybe it was also a little bit to punish herself for not being able to save them (and that thought made Stiles' stomach twist and ache to the point where she thought she might actually be sick so she did what she did best, and pushed the problem away and ignored it) but Devon had a new pack now, she had them. And Stiles knew they’d never be able to replace the people she’s lost (the way she knows no one was ever, ever going to be able to replace her mom even if her dad ever managed to gather up enough pieces of his heart to try dating again) but she also knew that at least they'd dull the ache. Stiles looked at the ceiling, and couldn’t help wondering if Devon was okay up there, sorting through the few untouched remains from the fire. She wondered how much had actually managed to survive after all these years.
Stiles had always been the type to follow her curiosity, act first and apologize later when she was inevitably caught; which was why she found herself making her way up the stairs instead of going to the kitchen for lemonade and cookies (the store bought kind, but it had been Scott’s turn to bring snacks and that was far safer than letting him touch an oven.) She justified it to herself the way she justified most things she did that concerned Devon Hale: if the other woman really wanted to stop her she could, and she could do it easily. When Stiles found her Devon was sitting on the floor of a room Stiles had never been in before. She could see the places Devon had touched, the thick layer of dust leaving a visible memory of her presence. There was a small bottle in her hands, and she looked a little like she’d just had the wind knocked out of her. That alone made Stiles more cautious than any threat, or wall slamming ever had.
“Hey sourwolf.” Devon startled slightly at the words, as if she hadn’t been able to hear Stiles coming, like she couldn’t hear a whisper across a crowded room. Stiles felt her caution hardening into something heavy and unpleasant that sat in the pit of her stomach, and for a few long, agonizing moments Stiles just stood there in the doorway, the silence weighing heavy in the air until finally it was broken by Devon of all people.
“This was my mother’s perfume.” She whispered. Her voice was softer than Stiles could ever remember hearing it, and there was something painful and vulnerable in it that had Stiles thinking of lilies and trying to hang on to fairytales. The bottle was a rich amber that seemed to glow when the light hit it right. It was also empty. It was a pretty bottle but Stiles didn’t recognize the brand (not exactly a surprise, she wasn’t exactly a perfume connoisseur.) From the way Devon was holding it though Stiles couldn’t help thinking that it was absolutely priceless. She wondered what it had smelled like; if Devon’s mother had let her wear it too, maybe on special occasions; she wondered if Devon’s mother had worn it often enough that to Devon it had been as integral to her scent as the smell of coffee had been to Stiles’ mom.
For all Stiles was often accused of being incapable of ever shutting up she knew when to be silent. She didn’t always adhere to that knowledge, but that didn’t mean she didn’t know. So without a word she sat down by Devon, let the silence wash over them both. She wasn’t sure if Devon had more to say or if that one comment had been enough, but Stiles could wait, and most surprisingly of all she wanted to wait if it meant Devon would tell her more. She wanted to know what that bottle meant to Devon, wanted to know what it had been like growing up in this house full of people, if she’d had a favorite cousin, or room, or color. What had Laura been like? What had Peter been like before the fire and the grief had driven him mad? She wanted to know everything Devon was willing to tell her, and then a little bit more and that should probably have scared her more than it did. Then again Stiles had always been good about pushing away problems till they went away.
Hours later, after paint had dried, furniture had been moved, and dinner eaten Stiles crept back into that room and took a picture of an empty bottle with her phone.
Stiles wondered how it was that Devon hadn’t starved living on her own. It really shouldn’t have surprised her how bad Devon was at keeping her kitchen stocked (this was a woman who had thought it was perfectly alright to live in the burnt out shell of her childhood home with no electricity or water or even a full roof for going on six months after all. And okay so she had been on the run from the law for a couple weeks of that, but that still left months of living like a caveman, cavewoman, whatever) but she was twenty-one; Stiles expected better from her than nothing but a half-eaten box of Captain Crunch and the left over Chinese take out from the night before. It had been mildly jarring to realize that Devon was apparently worse than her dad at remembering to buy groceries, which was why she was here, in the grocery store, with Devon. Stiles just couldn’t trust her to shop for herself apparently.
Stiles chewed on her pen as she looked over the list of groceries she needed to pick up for herself. Her dad handled most of the shopping, but after the time he’d tried to sneak in whole milk in place of the skim he was suppose to be drinking there were just some things she didn’t trust him to pick up. Stiles absentmindedly grabbed a carton of strawberries and put them into the cart. Allison had brought some by last month, and they hadn’t even lasted the rest of the day so those were a must. Pausing for a moment Stiles decided to grab another; it wasn’t like they were going to go to waste with the way Devon inhaled them (which she totally did no matter how slyly she tried to do it.) It was as she was adding them that Devon added a bag of peaches as well. Stiles stared at her incredulously for a moment, before asking in confusion “I thought you hated peaches?” Which really was an absolute crime because peaches rocked, and yeah okay they were sticky and the juice got everywhere but that was half the fun of eating them.
Devon gave a half shrug, not even bothering to explain why she’d buy food she didn’t even like, but whatever, Stiles would make sure they didn’t go to waste at least. “Grab some carrots would you? You need something besides red meat in your diet. Actually does rabbit count as red meat? Oh hey if you pick up some sherry I can totally make that chicken and dumplings thing again. You know the one with the broth I brought by last month?” Stiles was staring at her list again, and she wondered if she should try to sneak some tofu into dinner again next week. Sure her dad had caught on last time, but maybe if she had the whole meal done before he got home he wouldn’t notice. Stiles grabbed some skim milk for herself and debated what to get for Devon before settling on a carton of two percent; she figured werewolves could handle fat better than forty something sheriffs could.
It was nice, Stiles decided, having somebody to do the shopping with (and Devon’s nose certainly came in handy for picking the best produce.) Usually by this point Stiles' mind would have already wandered away from her, bored with doing the shopping; it was the main the reason that her dad still did most of the shopping despite his busy schedule and the fact that Stiles did most of the cooking. Somehow though it was easier with Devon there with her. Maybe it was because she could let her mind jump between Devon and choosing the leanest cut of meat, but no matter what it was the point was that it worked.
“Are you seriously trying to tell me you’ve never had Nutella? Like ever?” Stiles demanded, sounding more than a little horrified (which really was completely justified because it was Nutella they were talking about here.) “Oh my God this is why you’re so scowl-ly all the time isn’t it? You’ve spent a lifetime deprived of the wonder that is Nutella. It all makes sense now.”
Devon gave her a look that Stiles knew well: it was something that was halfway between exasperation and an apparent disbelief at what she heard coming out of Stiles’ mouth. Devon gave Stiles that look a lot. “It’s just chocolate Stiles.”
“Just chocolate? Just chocolate? Um, are you forgetting the hazelnut part? And the part where it’s got like, freaking magic pixie dust sprinkled over the top?” Stiles gestured wildly as she spoke and sounded as if she’d been personally victimized by Devon’s comments, but the other woman just rolled her eyes.
“Pixies aren’t real.” Devon pointed out which, okay, was so not the point here.
“Says the werewolf.” Stiles shot back.
Devon didn’t say anything else, just rolled her eyes again. She did however put the Nutella in her cart, which Stiles so counted as a win. Grinning Stiles pumped her arm in the air, pleased with her victory and somehow managed to completely missed the small smile that flitted across Devon’s face for a moment before she was able to smooth it back into her normal expression.
“I thought you already got milk?” Devon asked raising an eyebrow at the carton Stiles had just added to the cart.
“Well yeah, but this is buttermilk. It’s different.” Stiles explained with a shrug. “You use it for pancakes and biscuits and stuff.” Devon didn’t question its presence further, which didn’t surprise Stiles since, for one, Devon was the Strong Silent Type (which totally deserved mental capitalization as far as Stiles was concerned) but also because Devon was totally a pancakes person. Not that she’d ever said as much, but Stiles had sense for these things. Jackson? Clearly a waffles person.
By the time they’d finished their cart was full of all the essentials (and then some) that Devon would need to be able to eat like a real person instead of a wild wolf. The trip had also lasted at least three times longer than most grocery store stops Stiles went on so she was more than ready to get out of there. Devon looked ready to go as well; well okay she looked ready to go to Stiles. To anyone who didn’t know Devon she probably looked as aloof and broody as ever. It was the little things that gave her away really; the set of her shoulders, and the way her eyes would dart to the nearest window every few minutes was all Stiles needed to know that Devon was ready to get out of there. Stiles was pretty sure her impatience to leave got a lot more clear to everyone else the minute Stiles broke out the coupons though.
“Stiles.” Devon growled in her level one alpha voice. Stiles had taken to categorizing the different tones Devon took with them ages ago, and level one was really nothing too worrying. Okay so if they hadn’t been in public it might have constituted a wall slam but here in the open she was totally safe from retribution. Besides, Stiles wasn’t going to let them get over charged just because Devon wanted to go.
“Don’t be such a sourwolf this will only take a minute.” Stiles shot back as she flipped through her pile of coupons, and making a triumphant sound whenever she found a useful one. Devon made a small noise that was halfway between a growl and an exasperated moan, but didn’t comment further. (Stiles pretended she wasn’t filling the sound away for later, less innocent uses.)
Their arms laden with bags they made their way back to Devon’s car (and as much as she loved her baby Stiles had to admit that Devon had a really kickass car) Stiles grinned at Devon smugly. “You see how much you saved because of my coupons? And you wanted to just go and not use them.” Stiles scoffed.
“Just shut up and get in the car Stiles.” Devon said, trying to sound annoyed. Her lips twitched into the barest hint of a smile though, and this time Stiles caught it.
“You smiled! Oh my God you totally just smiled didn’t you? You had fun. Admit it you totally did!” Stiles crowed triumphantly, and this was even better than the coupon thing, because Devon had smiled.
It was still a major win.
“Shut up Stiles” Devon said, but her lips were still twitching slightly and that was more than enough for Stiles.
Stiles shifted from foot to foot outside Devon’s door, her hand once more slipping into her bag to grasp the box there. She’d checked the thing at least twenty times since she’d left the house, and she was starting to question her compulsive need to make sure it was still there. Suddenly the door in front of her was opening, cutting off Stiles' self-examination. Devon leaned in the door frame looking exasperated. “Stiles you’ve been standing out here for ten minutes, what do you want?”
Okay so maybe she should have psyched herself up before she got to Devon’s place. “I um,” she licked her lips, fidgeting a bit. Stiles took a breath, and pulled the box from her bag. “Happy Birthday” she said holding out the neatly wrapped box. The paper was white with bright polka dots, and a brighter ribbon.
“Stiles” Devon said slowly, as if she wasn't sure what to make of all this “it’s not my birthday.”
“Well yeah, I know that,” Stiles replied like it was obvious. “but I mean it’s not Christmas or any other gift giving holiday and you’ve had a birthday recently. Okay within the last year at least. And it’s not like I gave you anything for that, so… present.” Stiles shrugged, awkwardness beginning to creep in. “I mean I guess you could say it’s like an unbirthday present if you want to.”
Devon blinked, clearly unsure about what to think of the nonsense Stiles had just spewed. And okay she knew that it was a bit… weird, but Stiles wasn’t exactly good at waiting. She wanted to give this to Devon now, not whenever a convenient, conventional gift giving time arrived. “Well, aren’t you going to take it?” Stiles said, still holding out the box. She was starting to get why Devon had gotten snappy with her when she hadn’t just taken the necklace box all those months ago: this was awkward. Devon took the box, but she continued to look at Stiles like she was some strange animal that Devon had never seen before, and so wasn’t quite sure what she’d do. Which okay was a little ridiculous because she was pretty sure Devon could have her on the ground or pressed to a wall or something in no time flat if she tried anything (and oh she was so not going down that mental path right now. Stiles seriously looked forward to the day her hormones decided to calm the fuck down, because this was getting ridiculous.)
Devon started to turn the box this way and that, and Stiles had never figured Devon for the shake her presents before opening them type. “Ah be careful!” Stiles panicked. “It’s sort of fragile!” Now Devon looked more curious than confused (though there was still an edge of disbelief there that Stiles didn’t completely understand. She knew how she’d gone about this was weird, but it wasn’t that weird right?) She turned back into the house without inviting Stiles in, but she left the door open and that was as good an invitation as any as far as Stiles was concerned. The house was a far cry from what it had been when Stiles had first met Devon. For one thing it had a proper roof and walls that were painted instead of charred. There were even some pictures of the pack on the wall (courtesy of Stiles and Allison.)
When Stiles got to the kitchen Devon was leaning against the table, still eyeing the present like it might try to bite her if she wasn't careful. Stiles had never realized before how nerve racking it could be to wait for someone else to open a present. Sure she’d had times when she’d been practically vibrating from excitement waiting for someone (usually Scott) to open a birthday present that Stiles knew they were going to absolutely love, but this was different. Her stomach shifted nervously and for the first time since she’d gotten the idea Stiles wondered if perhaps she’d crossed a line she shouldn’t have. It was too late to take it back now though, and Stiles wasn’t even sure she would have if she could. She lost to the urge to chew on her lip nervously as she waited, fingers tangled in her locket chain. She could see it the moment that Devon recognized just what it was that was in the box.
“I took a picture of the bottle after you showed it to me, and I did some research to find out what brand it was. I just, I thought you’d like to have some of it. I mean, I know it’s not exactly the same or anything but I just figured…” Stiles babbled, feeling the need to explain why she’d tracked down the perfume that Devon had showed her, and then ordered a bottle of it. She couldn’t explain it though, not really, not without telling Devon how she had used to bury her face into her mother’s clothing after she’d died. How some nights the smell was the only thing that kept the panic attacks away, kept her grounded and sane. And Stiles knew it wouldn’t be the same for Devon; knew that to Devon scent was so much more complicated than the perfume a person wore or the soap they used but it was still a part of it. Stiles couldn’t give her back all of it, couldn’t give her back the little nuances of her mother’s scent, but she could give her this one thing, and Stiles hoped that maybe it could be enough. “Devon? Okay I know you’re like the strong silent type and all, but can you please say something here? I, I mean did I screw up or something? I swear I was just trying to help.” Stiles needed to fill the silence. It felt like she was being crushed by it, and the longer Devon just stood there staring at that bottle with that blank look on her face the worse it got.
Finally, finally, Devon looked up and said something. “How did you…?” she whispered. “How did you find this?” And it was then that Stiles realized that Devon must not have known what perfume it was either, must have known the shape of the bottle, the smell of it by heart, but not the name. And why would she have known it? Most fifteen year old girls didn’t know what perfume their mothers wore even if they did know what it smelled like.
“I’ve got mad research skills.” Stiles joked weakly, shrugging her shoulders. The moment seemed to stretch on between them, and there was a tension in the air that was practically palpable. “Devon-“ Before Stiles could finish her thought and try to break the tension in the air Devon was right there in front of her, pulling her close into what Stiles realized after a moment of short circuiting was a tight hug. Stiles froze, not sure what to do or say before her arm slowly came to wrap around Devon. Devon didn’t say anything, instead she just held Stiles close, face buried against Stiles neck, just under her jaw. She wondered what she smelled like to Devon. Was it a pleasant sent or did her emotions always come through too loudly, muddling everything else until all Devon could get from her was sensory overload? She wondered what it was like to be able smell a person’s fear or joy or lust, and did things like comfort and sympathy have a smell? Did love?
They stayed like that for a while, and Stiles tried to memorize the feeling of having her arms wrapped around Devon. When Devon finally pulled away Stiles felt suddenly cold despite the fact that it was July in California. Devon didn’t thank Stiles for the gift and she didn’t need to. Stiles could see it in her eyes, feel it in the way Devon had held her. She could see it in the small, fragile smile Devon was giving her, and that was more than enough.
They’d started having training days a few weeks after Jackson had been turned. At first Scott and Jackson had complained that it was just Devon making up excuses to beat them up (something Stiles couldn’t completely disagree with,) but it did actually seem to be helping with their control so they’d mostly stopped whining. Stiles had a feeling that had more to do with Lydia mocking them for being afraid of getting beat up by girls (which they were, frequently) than with any actual charitable feelings toward the training though. Usually Stiles would sit back and watch the action with Allison (watching Lydia and Devon hand Jackson his ass never got old) but some days, like today, Allison would play the role of “hunter.” It had made Allison more than a little uncomfortable the first time, but once it had been pointed out that she’d be giving them a better chance of surviving if they ever faced off against real hunters (sometimes Stiles wondered what it was like in the Argent house now that all the secrets, even Kate’s, were out in the open. Did they ever talk about it, or was it just this unspoken tension that hung in the air? Because Allison’s parents had to know where it was she was running off to all the time, had to know what she was becoming a part of, and even if none of her wolves had ever broken the rules Stiles knew there was no way they could be okay with this. Just the thought of ever having to choose between loyalty to her dad and protecting the pack left her feeling sick, and it wasn’t even a realistic possibility for her the way it was for Allison …she hoped) she’d relaxed.
After a while of watching the werewolf version of tag the heat was starting to get to her; they were on the cusp of August and it certainly felt like it. Stiles sighed happily as the cool air of the inside hit her, and she took a moment to just savor it before making her way to the kitchen. Since the first trip to the grocery store Stiles and Devon had made a habit of doing their shopping together. It was a good deal: Stiles made sure Devon kept her kitchen stocked, and Devon helped keep Stiles from getting too bored or distracted half way through. Her dad might not have known why Stiles had suddenly decided to take up the grocery shopping but he certainly hadn’t complained about the decrease in his work load. Stiles grabbed a bag of lemons from the fridge as she contemplated the fact that sooner or later she was going to have to tell her dad that she was more often than not spending her free time with Devon Hale. Sure she’d been cleared of all the murder charges (it wasn’t like they’d had any actual evidence besides the word of a sixteen year old boy who, no offense meant to Scott, was not the brightest crayon in the sixty-four pack. Which made sense since Devon was, you know, innocent,) but that didn’t change the fact that her dad had arrested Devon before (and at Stiles say so at that. She winced just thinking about that particular incident. It had seemed like the logical choice at the time, but it didn’t change the fact that they’d dug up Devon’s sister and then blamed Devon for her murder.) Her dad was bound to have questions, valid, logical questions like ‘didn’t you think she was a murderer?’ and ’Why are a bunch of high schoolers spending all their time alone in the woods at a twenty-one year old’s house?’ (which, okay, when she thought about it that way really made it sound like they were in some kind of cult. Did a werewolf pack count as a cult?) Good questions or not though they were questions that Stiles couldn’t really answer, because they all lead back to the same big fuzzy secret.
…or they lead to her ridiculous crush on Devon. Neither of these were topics of discussion she really wanted to get into with her dad who owned guns, and could probably buy more guns from the Argents. Hell he might even get a discounted if they knew he was planning on shooting Devon. And she needed to push that train of thought away now before she started imagining Mr.Argent telling her dad about wolfsbane, and anything else they had up their sleeves to make werewolves hurt.
Instead she focused on stirring the large pitcher of lemonade she’d made, hands sticky with lemon juice and grains of sugar. Stiles glanced out the window and saw that the rest of the pack was still in the midst of their exercises; Devon was standing off to the side yelling instructions at them like the world’s most frustrated pee wee soccer coach. She couldn’t help the fond smile that spread across her face at the sight. This was what her life was now, this was her pack, and maybe she and Scott had been a pack before either of them had even known what that meant, but this was different. It was so much more, so much bigger than her or him or any of them really, and for all the crazy that had, had to come into Stiles' life to get them here she wouldn’t change it.
Now-a-days she thought Scott wouldn’t either.
Devon berated Jackson for something and Stiles let herself stare just this once. It was safe enough to indulge she decided; with Devon as distracted as she was and with a yard and a wall between them Stiles didn’t think there was any chance of Devon catching her. And okay so maybe this wasn’t the best way to get over her crush, Stiles admitted to herself as she pulled some fruit from the fridge (eyes still darting back to the window every chance they could,) but with all the death and supernatural crazy in their lives she thought she should be allowed to let herself have this one, little, ordinary vice. She was only seventeen after all.
Stiles filled a plate with the fruit she’d cut up (pointedly ignoring the fact that there was a suspiciously high ratio of strawberries to orange slices) grabbed the lemonade, and pilled it all onto a tray that she'd found at a yard sale weeks ago. Outside Devon was scowling at the boys who were laid out on the ground looking like they wanted to die; Lydia looked exhausted too, but she also looked like the cat who caught the canary (and Stiles could only hope Lydia looked that smug because she’d gotten one over on the guys, because otherwise she should probably be on her toes. Lydia was still a goddess as far as Stiles was concerned, but the thing was she was one of those old school goddesses who accepted human sacrifices and messed with mortals for shits and giggles.) “Who’s thirsty?” Stiles called out lifting the tray a bit higher, and okay maybe that had not been such a good idea because this thing was getting heavy.
The thought was barely done processing when suddenly Devon was there taking the tray from her hands. “I got it.” Devon muttered, before turning to growl at the eager betas that were crowding around Devon to try and get at the lemonade. Stiles stood dumbfounded for a moment before she realized Lydia was looking at her. Her smile was knowing, and the minute she realized Stiles had caught her it grew into something that had Stiles more than a little worried; Lydia was looking at Stiles the way Lydia looked at math problems that had the rest of their class begging for death.
This could so not be good.
It was a Saturday, just the right side of warm and sunny when Stiles realized she had absolutely nothing to do. Scott and Allison had a date planned, Lydia was spending the day with her father (and that was probably a good thing since Stiles had been waiting for the other shoe to drop ever since Lydia had given her, her calculus smile. If it was anyone else Stiles would have considered herself safe by now but this was Lydia she was talking about here) and Jackson was spending the day with Danny (who despite all of Jackson’s not so subtle hinting pleas had still not been let in on the big fuzzy secret. Danny was a good guy, but Stiles thought of hunters and Kate Argent and she couldn’t blame Devon for being wary of sharing) which left her pretty much to her own devices. She thought about going to bother Devon, and she made it as far as the forest before she was sidetracked by the sudden urge to go wandering. In all the time since Scott had been bitten (and didn’t that feel like a lifetime ago, the days before werewolves were real seemed strangely blurry. Like the time before had been wrapped in this haze that Stiles hadn’t realized was there until she was out of it, and yet somehow it hadn’t even been a full year since it had all begun) Stiles had become more comfortable roaming the woods than she’d ever been before. Which really was pretty strange when you considered that it was wandering around the woods when they shouldn’t have been that had gotten them involved in all of this in the first place.
Stiles wandered for a while before she found a meadow with a particularly lush patch of grass and decided to watch the clouds. She sighed happily as she collapsed into the grass, breathing in the scent of earth and the forest (and if she happened to associate that scent, with just a hint of leather added to it, with a certain sourwolf, well, that was neither here nor there.) Stiles wondered sometimes where she’d be right now if she hadn’t dragged Scott into the woods that night. Everything that had happened had been set into motion long before then, Stiles knew that; she knew it still would have been happening, Peter and his revenge and crazy Kate just looking for an excuse, but would she have still been pulled into it all? Or would she still be sitting in her room, waiting for something to happen to her? She wondered where Devon would be, still with Peter ignorant of the fact that what had happened to Laura had been cold and calculated or (and Stiles chest tightened painfully at just the thought) dead from a wolfsbane bullet or a million other possible things? Would she have ever known Devon as anything but one of the Hales who had made it out of the fire? It was a strange, disorientating thought, made worse by the idea that she wouldn’t have even known to miss her sourwolf.
Suddenly a shadow was falling over her, obscuring her view and cutting off her train of thought. “Stiles?” Devon asked, managing to sound something Stiles wouldn’t quite call curious. “What are you doing?”
“Cloud watching” she said with a half shrug. It wasn’t really a lie; Stiles had been watching the clouds. ...She’d just been paying about as much attention to them as she usually paid to Finstock. “That one looks like a platypus.” She said pointing to a random cloud, and Stiles had no idea if it actually looked like a platypus. It probably didn’t, but it’d be pretty cool if it did. She’d totally have to take up tarot cards or something then to see if she had any divination abilities. It would certainly come in handy with this group. Maybe then she’d even be able to predict how Devon would react if she ever found out about Stiles' Big Gay Crush (capitalization totally necessary,) assuming her wolfy senses hadn’t already let her know of course.
Devon just glanced at the cloud Stiles had pointed to and raised an eyebrow at her. Ok so it looked like that was a no on the platypus resemblance then. Then without warning Devon was sprawling out on the ground next to her, and Stiles turned to stare. Her disbelief must have been written on her face because Devon growled (and were Stiles ears deceiving her or did Devon actually sound a bit embarrassed?) “What?”
“Nothing, nothing” Stiles assured her, and Stiles couldn’t keep the (mildly goofy) grin from her face as she turned away. The silence hung between them but it actually wasn’t a bad silence, but eventually Stiles' need to speak outweighed it. “What do you think that one looks like?” Stiles questioned pointing at another cloud. Which somehow lead to a mostly one sided argument over the differences between moths and butterflies, and then to the fact that Stiles had apparently gotten Devon addicted to Nutella (not that Devon would admit to it, but Stiles knew she was.) It’s the most fun Stiles has had in a while and then Devon laughed and suddenly it’s was a million times better. Devon’s laughter seems like it was pulled out of her against her will, like she'd surprised herself with the sound of it, and maybe she had. Stiles couldn’t actually ever remembering hearing Devon laugh before, and it mades Stiles feel warm to know she was the one to cause it, mades her want to do whatever it took to hear it every day for the rest of her life.
Their fingers brushed when Stiles' arms flopped back to the ground, and for a moment Stiles forgot how to breathe. She didn’t pull away (and it was because she didn’t want to make this out to be something bigger than it was, at least not to Devon, she told herself, but deep down she knew that’s a moot point anyway. She knew Devon could hear the way her heart raced and stumbled, as if it was tripping over itself) but she expected Devon to. It was the longest minute of Stiles' life or at least that’s how it felt in the moment, but when it was over Stiles realized Devon wasn’t pulling away either. They weren’t holding hands, they were barely even touching really, but it was enough to push Stiles into a realization she’d been putting off for weeks, maybe even months now.
“That cloud looks like a buffalo” Stiles said, breaking the silence and pointing with the hand that wasn’t brushing Devon’s. She marveled at how normal her voice sounded when it felt like she was about to come apart at the seams. Devon made a sound that somehow managed to wordlessly convey just how ridiculous she thought Stiles sounded (there was just a hint of her laughter in it and it was almost too much for Stiles) and Stiles thought, with just an edge of creeping hysteria ‘I love you. I’m in love with you.’
Trying to stop Lydia Martin when she had her mind set on something was like trying to stop a tornado by standing in its path and waving your arms around. Which was why when Lydia texted her telling Stiles they were going to be getting coffee the next day she just sighed and asked Lydia when and where; it was better for her long run.
Stiles sipped at her drink (that was probably more sugar than actual coffee but that was what made it so good as far as Stiles was concerned) watching Lydia over the top of it while she waited for her to make her move. She felt more than a little like a rabbit or calculus, and the irony of this whole situation was not lost on Stiles. If six months ago someone had told her that not only would Lydia Martin be giving her the time of day but would also be inviting her to get coffee, she’d have thanked them for being such a good, supportive friend. If that same person had then told her she’d be more suspicious than deliriously happy she’d have called them crazy (not that she wouldn’t have been suspicious, she might have been infatuated but she wasn’t Scott. She just would have been too happy to care) and yet here she was. “So…?” Stiles lead awkwardly, weaving a straw wrapper between her fingers.
Lydia was smirking at her again. Lydia smirking was more than a little terrifying. “You have the hots for Devon.” Well Lydia certainly didn’t mince words, Stiles thought as she stared at Lydia like a dear caught in the headlights.
The headlights of very, very, very large truck.
Being driven by a werewolf.
Stiles took a large gulp of sugar coffee and Lydia surveyed her while she leaned against a perfectly manicured hand. “I w-what? What would give you that idea?” Stiles laughed nervously. She wasn’t sure why she was denying it when Lydia could hear her lies in the way her heart stuttered, and probably would have been able to even before she was a werewolf.
“Cute,” she said still smirking “but one, that is nowhere near your usual quality of lying, you sound like Jackson,” Stiles winced at that one, low blow. “And two, in case you haven’t noticed you’re practically Devon’s house wife.” Ok so that one threw Stiles for a loop. Since when was she Devon’s house wife? Ok so she’d helped pick out the new kitchen cabinets, and they did the shopping together, and sometimes Stiles brought over meals for Devon but that was just a habit she’d picked up from before Devon had, had a working kitchen. And maybe sometimes she just cooked there instead, but that was because it was more convenient, and then they’d have left overs for when the pack was over. Scott and Jackson ate like their parents weren’t feeding them properly and even though Allison didn’t like to talk about it Stiles knew that Argent family dinners had been strained as of late so eating with the pack was something of a relief for Allison. Which reminded her, she was going to need to pick up some more detergent, she’d promised Scott she’d try to get that blood stain out of his shirt so his mom didn’t start asking questions that he couldn’t answer, and maybe—oh.
Wow, so apparently Stiles hadn’t just become Devon’s house wife without noticing it, she’d become the pack’s mom too. Lydia inspected her nails as if she hadn’t just decided to throw Stiles’ entire world view into question here. “Holy shit.” Stiles said, leaning back heavily into her chair.
“Finally getting it mom?” There was something seriously disturbing about being called ‘mom’ by someone who had been the star of pretty much all of Stiles’ sexual fantasies for the majority of her adolescence.
“Man this is totally unfair.” Stiles complained after a moment of stunned silence, trying to hold back a pout. “I don’t even get any of the perks of being Devon’s wife.” And okay so maybe the complete lack of sex made them more realistically married, but it was still totally unfair.
“We can fix that.” Stiles wouldn’t have been surprised if she ended up with whiplash with how fast her head had moved to stare at Lydia.
“We can?” Stiles questioned in disbelief, because yeah Stiles was pretty sure that even if Devon did like women she was still way out of Stiles league.
Lydia shrugged, and sipped her coffee (that Stiles wasn’t entirely convinced wasn’t flavored with the tears of her enemies.) “We just need to dress you better. Something that shows off your boobs, you have good boobs.” Stiles resisted the urge to fist pump, because she totally knew it, and having Lydia’s confirmation was infinitely more satisfying than getting Scott to admit it (not that he ever had since she was pretty sure the idea of thinking of her as a girl was too much for Scott’s brain to take without overheating.)
“Really?” Stiles asked, sounding perkier than she had been for most of the conversation.
Lydia regarded her frankly, and Stiles felt a bit like one of those dog show puppies; she resisted the urge to open her mouth so Lydia could inspect her teeth. “I wouldn’t do you,” Something Stiles was plenty aware of, and had been for years. “but that doesn’t mean you aren’t doable. You actually don’t need that much work, and we don’t want to do anything too extreme, it’ll just make her suspicious,” Lydia mumbled something else but it was too soft for Stiles to make out, when Stiles asked Lydia just rolled her eyes and said “If you can’t figure it out yourself I’m not going to be the one to tell you.” Which was pretty not cool but Lydia was giving her tips on how to maybe make Devon find her appealing so she wasn’t going to rock the boat.
“Like I said we don’t need to do much.” Lydia said as they made their way through the mall. “Lip gloss is a must for you, but you don’t need to add any color just some shine.” By the end of their impromptu shopping trip Stiles felt like her head was going to start doing that thing from the exorcist, complete with pea soup and everything. Lydia thankfully hadn’t bought anything too out of her comfort zone, she still had her t-shirts and her plaid just now with some V-necks and push up bras added to the mix. Stiles was grateful to realize that Lydia wasn’t trying to change her, not really, just enhance her. It was a relief because for all her complaints of being made the sidekick or that she was the only normal person in a group of crazy super people (and Allison totally counted as a super since she was apparently now Arrowette, the second one, not the crazy mom) she actually liked who she was.
Stiles collapsed onto her bed and let out an exhausted sigh. As she rolled over her locket chain twisted, drawing her attention to it. Stiles smiled softly at it, running her fingers over the lily that had become so familiar in the months since Devon had given it to her. Not much had really changed since Stiles’ realization that what she felt for Devon was maybe, possible kind of definitely more than just a crush. It was a little terrifying to realize just how much of herself she’d invested into the pack and Devon without even realizing it (her conversation with Lydia today was proof enough of that) but somehow it wasn’t a bad terrifying. It was probably the strangest mix of emotions that Stiles had ever had. She wanted so much more than what she had, but at the same time she was…she was content. When she was just sitting around eating pizza with Devon, talking about the pack, and training or when they were just out shopping together it felt like that was maybe all she needed for forever. Stiles sighed and buried her face into her pillow; as if werewolves hadn’t complicated her life enough, she’d had to go and have feelings too.
So if anyone is interested I've been developing a playlist I associate with this verse: "It's Time" by Imagine Dragons (Stiles PoV), "Boats and Bird" (Devon's PoV) and "Slow Vines" by Gregory and the Hawk
Stiles did her best to resist the urge to lick her lips; she’d decided to try the new lip gloss Lydia had gotten her earlier that day and it felt…strange. It made her lips sticky and it tasted a little bit like strawberries (Stiles wasn’t going to think too hard on whether or not that was a coincidence or if Lydia was just that much of a diabolical mastermind) and she was pretty sure it was a bad idea to lick it off just for the taste. “Hey dad could you grab the plates?” Stiles called as she pulled the lasagna from the oven. Between her dad’s job and the time Stiles spent with the pack it sometimes felt like she never really got to see her dad anymore. It hurt, sometimes, if she thought about it too hard, but it was easier than it had been before. Before when it had just been her and her dad and Scott she’d always been able to feel the absence of either of them too much, too clearly, and even if she tried to fill it up with whatever crazy idea her mind was giving her at the moment the ache was still there. It was different now though, her family had expanded. Family had become Allison, and Lydia, and God even Jackson; it had become meals with Devon, and shopping trips, and perfume bottles and lockets and secrets that weren’t so much secrets as they were things that the others just wouldn’t understand shared between them.
Even if she had all that now though it didn’t mean she didn’t miss just spending time with her dad sometimes. So she savored the nights where they could just sit and eat a meal together like a normal family. “Looks good.” Her dad said as she brought over the food.
“So does the salad.” She reminded him pointedly. He rolled his eyes at her, but still took he took some salad, so win for her.
There was something slightly off about the atmosphere as dinner started and Stiles wondered if her dad had figured out she’d slipped some tofu into the lasagna. “So, Mrs. Smith tells me you’ve been grocery shopping with “that Hale girl.” ” Stiles choked on the water she’d drinking, and she wondered if her dad had been waiting for her to take a drink.
“I, um, what?” ‘Smooth, Stiles, smooth’ she thought sardonically. She really should have considered Mrs. Smith, and Stiles cursed her own oversight. Mrs. Smith was their elderly neighbor who seemed to keep herself going by sheer force of will and the power of gossip. The woman had been keeping tabs on her for as long as she could remember so of course she’d eventually see them at the supermarket and tell her dad. Stiles had always known that eventually her dad would find out that she was friends with Devon; she’d just kind of expect that eventually to be sometime in the unknown future and on her terms. She hadn’t even had any time to think up a good cover story, damn.
Her dad looked amused by her reaction which was maybe a good start? Or a horrible one, she really couldn’t tell. “You want to tell me why you’re picking up milk with somebody I arrested for murder?” he asked, brows raised.
“She was exonerated!” Stiles responded defensively.
“You were the one who had me arrest her.” Stiles winced, low blow, low blow; she didn’t exactly like thinking about that whole incident.
“I was wrong.” She said looking off to the side. Okay this conversation was so not going in a good direction right now. Damn it this was not good, she had sort of been counting on that time to prepare and figure out what to say before they had this conversation.
He nodded. “You were, put that girl through the ringer too.” Okay now he was just trying to make her feel bad. “Still doesn’t explain why you’ve been shopping with her, on multiple occasions if you believe Mrs. Smith.” Damn that old woman.
“We’re friends.” Stiles said after a moment of floundering for a believable lie. If it was anyone else she’d have tried to misdirect the conversation, but her dad knew her tricks too well for that.
“A friend you go grocery shopping with.” He stated in disbelief. “Are you dating her?” he asked seriously, eyes narrowed. Stiles had come out to her dad her freshman year of high school, not long after she’d accidentally come out to Scott. He’d taken it well; not that she’d expected anything else exactly, but there was always that fear that he wouldn’t accept her. She couldn’t explain the relief she’d felt when her dad had pulled her close and told her he’d always love her no matter what.
Somehow Stiles didn’t think he’d ever factored Devon Hale into that. “No!” she exclaimed, flushing brightly. She couldn’t quite look him in the eye, and when she licked her lips nervously the strawberry lip gloss almost felt like an accusation.
There was an almost palpable silence before her dad sighed in resignation. “But you want to be.” It wasn’t a question, they both knew that. Stiles shifted uncomfortably in her seat, she couldn’t really deny it. Well she could but there wasn’t much point when her dad would know she was lying, and this wasn’t exactly a situation that was going to be changing anytime soon.
“She’s not a bad person.” Stiles said, shifting the food around her plate.
“I never said she was, but she’s an adult Stiles…” her dad trailed off and Stiles winced.
“She’s not that much older than me dad, and it’s not like we’re even actually doing anything. I don’t even know if she’s interested in women.” Stiles thought of Lydia and how she seemed to think Stiles had a chance with Devon, but that wasn’t a sure thing. Just because Lydia thought it didn’t make it true; though if Lydia ever found out she’d thought that, Stiles would be so screwed.
“Stiles…” Somehow Stiles had a feeling this conversation was going either exactly how her dad thought it would or exactly the opposite.
“I can talk to her about mom.” Stiles twisted her locket chain between her fingers, and the silence that fell over the table was almost unbearable. Her mom had been amazing, and when she’d died it had left a gaping hole in both their lives that neither one of them knew how to fix. Most days it seemed like the best they’d managed to come up with was to put a bandage over it and hope that not talking about her would make the pain go away. If Stiles was honest with herself it was suspiciously similar to how she dealt with most of her problems.
Stiles glanced up at her dad who was moving his lasagna around his plate like he’d forgotten what he was supposed to be doing with it. Suddenly though he stopped, and his nose wrinkled in confusion “Did you put packing peanuts in the lasagna?” Stiles blinked and stared at what her dad was now poking with his fork.
Stiles couldn’t help giggling at the look on his face. “It’s tofu!” She managed to get out between giggles, which turned into full blown laughter at the disdain her father clearly held for the substance. Soon enough he was laughing with her, and just as they were finally calming down they made the mistake of looking at lasagna again. Once the second bout of laughter subsided and they smiled at each other, former awkwardness seemingly forgotten. Neither of them brought the subject of Devon or Stiles’ feelings for her back up, both trying to casually stay on other subjects, and if the snickers they couldn’t keep in anytime one of them came across a piece of tofu helped to smooth the conversation along that was neither here nor there.
They washed the dishes together, and one minor soap bubble fight later the leftovers were in the fridge and the dishes were put away. Stiles was halfway up the stairs when she heard her dad call her name. “Yeah?” she said, leaning over the banister; mind already half on the research she had to do for the pack and the Chemistry homework she’d been putting off.
“You know I’ll love you no matter what right?”
Stiles swallowed heavily, and ignored the stinging at the back of her eyes as she smiled at him. “I know dad.”
“Good.” The sheriff nodded, and Stiles turned to head back up stairs. “Your mom would be proud of you.” He added quietly.
Stiles resisted the urge to lick her lips as she made her way up to Hale house, she really didn't want to have to reapply her lip gloss again (she'd never realized how much she licked her lips till she was consciously trying to avoid it.) They'd decided that some pack bonding that didn't involve Devon beating anyone up (as fun as that was to watch) might be in order, so, movie night. Stiles had decided that this was a good a time as any to try some of the new clothes that Lydia had picked out for her. The bra was actually pretty comfortable, but she was glad her dad and been at work when she left. Comfortable or not it was like her boobs were suddenly just like, hey we're here!, something she wasn't sure her dad was quite prepared for. The V-neck was probably helping with that now that she thought about it. Otherwise though she was pretty much wearing what she always wore. Stiles wondered if it would actually make much of a difference. "I brought cheese doodles." Stiles called as she opened the front door, not bothering to knock.
"Hey Stiles!" Allison greeted cheerily, from her place cuddled up against Scott. "New clothes?" Stiles blinked, not sure if it was really that obvious or if it was just Allison being her usual sweet, observant self. Sometimes Stiles thought that half the reason she was as okay as she was with losing her best friend to his girlfriend was the fact that Allison kind of completely rocked, and was pretty impossible to hate.
"Ah, yeah, Lydia took me shopping." she said, with a half embarrassed shrug.
"I am not watching The Notebook again!" she heard Jackson yell as he followed Lydia into the living room.
"Oh, you wore the clothes, good." Lydia said with a nod as she completely ignored Jackson. Lydia stalked around Stiles inspecting her work; She seemed satisfied with what she'd found for which Stiles was relieved; she wasn't sure what Lydia would have done if she'd decided that Stiles had somehow messed up her work somewhere between getting Stiles the clothing and here. She suspected that she didn't want to find out though.
"Damn it Lydia!"
"Will you shut up, we aren't watching The Notebook." Devon growled as she stalked into the room looking as intimidatingly hot as usual; Lydia pouted, and Jackson cheered. "We're not watching your sports movie either." she added, because Devon was equal opportunity when it came to shutting down her betas. Devon looked over at where Lydia and Stiles stood, and Stiles was disappointed to realize that Devon kept her gaze firmly on Stiles' face. Damn, maybe Lydia was wrong after all, because Stiles knew her boobs were looking good right now and Devon seemed to be looking at anything but them. Stiles licked her lips without thinking, and the taste of strawberries had her glancing away from Devon, a light flush on her face. Clearly this had been a bad idea. When Stiles glanced back over at Devon she seemed to be starting at some point over Stiles shoulder; she resisted the urge to glance back and see what Devon was staring at. "We're watching Pulp Fiction." Devon said with all the authority her alpha status gave her.
Stiles felt her disappointment over the lack of inappropriate glances fade away at that, and she bounced slightly as she fist pumped. "Sweet!" Jackson groaned, clearly unhappy with Devon's choice. "Dude are you kidding me Pulp Fiction is classic. How can you not love it?" She demanded as she turned to Jackson. Pulp Fiction was probably on her list of top five favorite movies of all time.
"Why am I not surprised." Jackson muttered moodily as he went to go sit in one of the arm chairs. Stiles stuck her tongue out at him behind his back.
Lydia smirked at Stiles before draping herself on the side of the couch that hadn't been claimed by Scott and Allison. Stiles didn't really understand why when clearly the clothes were not working as well as Lydia seemed to think they would, and-- oh. It was only then that Stiles realized that the only thing left to sit on was the love seat that Lydia had insisted Devon buy. Stiles wasn't entirely convinced that Lydia hadn't made Devon order it with something like this scenario in mind. "Um, I'm going to get a bowl for these." Stiles said, holding up the bag of cheese puffs; the longer she could avoid having to sit on that thing with Devon the better.
Stiles wasn’t sure exactly what she'd been expecting when she'd decided to wear her new clothes tonight; it wasn’t like she’d thought the minute Devon saw her she’d like, fall to her knees and declare her undying love or just ravish her on sight, but she’d been expecting some kind of reaction. Maybe even just a, ”oh hey you bought new clothes?”. Clearly she’d been expecting too much. Stiles sighed as she turned back toward the living room, and nearly dropped the bowl of cheese doodles as she screamed (just a little.) “Jesus Christ, will you please make noise or something!” Stiles begged as she leaned back against the counter.
Devon didn’t bother to apologize for scaring her half to death (not that she ever did, so Stiles wasn’t really surprised) but she didn't say anything else either. And okay, fine, Devon kind of had the silent werewolf ninja creeper thing down to an art but that didn't make it any less awkward. Stiles stared at Devon, hoping she'd say something soon because silence was not Stiles' friend and if Devon didn't break it Stiles would, and she'd probably end up embarrassing herself in the process.
"I like your shirt." Devon finally blurted out before stomping out of the kitchen. Stiles could only stare at the door for a good few minutes before looking down at her boobs in wonder. She was never going to doubt Lydia again.
When Stiles made it back to the living room, cheese puffs and popcorn in hand, she was still feeling equal parts pleased and confused. Jackson was looking exasperated, Lydia looked smug, and Devon was glaring at the wall, so everything was pretty much par for the course there at least (Scott and Allison were still there too, cuddling on the couch, but Stiles had almost mastered the ability to tune out their PDA so she mostly ignored them.) That was when Stiles remembered that the only place left to sit was with Devon on the loveseat. In theory she could always take the floor, but that would make it pretty obvious she was trying to avoid sitting with Devon; besides if this really was all some sort of plan Lydia had concocted Stiles didn’t want to know what would happen to her if she didn’t play her part. Stiles dropped the cheese doodles on the table but kept the popcorn for herself; if she was getting through tonight without making a complete fool of herself she’d need something to occupy her mouth with. She winced at her own mental wording.
Stiles was painfully aware of the way Devon’s leg was pressed against hers. If she really pressed herself against the arm rest she could put a bit of space between them, but Stiles wasn’t sure how long she could keep that up when even gravity was working against her. Part of her wanted to just relax and enjoy the nonviolent touching, especially after that shirt comment of Devon’s, but the truth was that Stiles had never been in a position where there was even a remote possibility where the object of her infatuation might be interested back. Stiles knew how to pine, she had years of experience with pining, but if Lydia was right then Stiles was in uncharted territory here. Stiles was like a dog that had finally caught the car it had been chasing, she just didn’t know what to do now (and wow of all the people to accidentally quote in regards to her relationship woes her mind went with the Joker? Seriously?) Stiles expected that she wouldn’t be able to relax at all, but before long she found herself getting lost in the movie.
“Oh man this is my favorite part!” Stiles whispered excitedly, turning to grin at Devon before her brain stuttered to a grinding halt. Somewhere along the line Stiles had slid further into the center of their little couch and her side was now plastered against Devon’s. She realized she’d grabbed Devon’s thigh to get her attention, as if she’d been afraid that Devon was going to miss this part of the movie, and she wasn’t sure whether or not she should pull away as if she’d been burned or leave it there and hope Devon didn’t disembowel her. “Um” Stiles floundered, the movie now the farthest thing from her mind. Devon was just sort of staring at her, but that could mean a lot of things with Devon, and Stiles hadn’t managed to categorize this particular look yet.
Stiles wasn’t sure how long they stared at each other before Devon was jerking her head, toward the movie, the action somehow looking stilted and awkward which was odd for Devon. “It’s a good movie.” she murmured as if trying not to disturb the others; the other werewolves in the room. The werewolves who could hear her heartbeat and literally smell awkwardness, and she was so screwed. Why was she friends with these people again?
Devon’s comment gave Stiles an out at least, and she turned back to the movie, hand moving away from Devon’s thigh to go for the popcorn. Causal, Stiles could so do casual. “It’s pretty much one of my favorites.” Stiles said, glancing at Devon from the corner of her eye.
Devon muttered something that sounded almost like “I know” but Stiles wasn’t sure she’d heard her right. She swore she heard Lydia snickering though. Cackling, she mentally corrected herself. She almost thought she heard Lydia cackling, because snickering wasn’t really what evil geniuses did, and Stiles couldn’t imagine Lydia doing something as undignified as snickering anyway. “Popcorn?” Stiles offered, for lack of anything better to say and a need to say something.
After Pulp Fiction Lydia somehow conned them all into watching something in French that only Lydia could understand without the subtitles. It was supposedly some deep introspective film that was critically acclaimed and had won all sorts of awards throughout Europe. It took fifteen minutes for it to put Stiles to sleep.
Stiles groaned turning her face away from the light, as she tried to bury her face into her pillow. Distantly she noted that her dad must have changed detergents. She wasn’t sure what he’d changed it to exactly but it reminded her of the forest, of something warm and spicy, and it made Stiles want to just bury her face in her pillow and breath. She’d have to tell her dad to buy this one again. Then she felt her bed shift underneath her and Stiles suddenly remembered she’d never left Devon’s house. Suddenly awake Stiles closed her eyes tighter, not sure she was ready to see what she knew she would. Not sure if she was being brave or stupid Stiles opened her eyes, and yep that was Devon’s stomach she’d been nuzzling against. Wow her abs were ridiculous, how did she even? (Stiles wasn’t sure whether to be disappointed or relieved that her sleeping self hadn’t managed to cope a feel.)
Three things registered with Stiles now that she was actually awake. The first was that it was light out, which meant that she’d stayed at Devon’s all night (and wouldn’t that be fun to explain to her dad when she got home.) The second was that there was a blanket laid over her, and since she was kind of pining Devon in place what with her being sprawled over Devon’s lap and cuddling her, someone else had to have put it there. Which meant that someone had seen them like this. Damn, knowing the pack there were definitely pictures too. She wondered what she’d have to do to get ahold of them.
The third thing Stiles realized was that Devon was totally awake right now.
Well there went trying to sneak off before Devon woke up, like this was some kind of shameful one night stand. Deciding to bit the bullet Stiles turned to look at Devon as if she wasn’t sprawled all over her, and clinging like some kind of cuddle barnacle. “Ehehe h-hey Devon.” Smooth, Stilinski, smooth.
Devon stared down at her, and wow had Devon slept all night sitting up like that? Ouch, if Stiles had done that she’d have a total crick in her neck right now. Stiles wondered if super werewolf healing would take care of that. She knew from Scott that even if he healed superfast it still hurt when he did things like get a paper cut, or had his fingers broken. Did that mean that lady werewolves still had to deal with, like, PMS? Wait, wait, whoa, if alcohol didn’t affect werewolves would Midol? Because the idea of having to get through her period without pain killers and copious amounts of chocolate sounded like hell to Stiles, and that wasn’t even taking into account whether or not their periods could coincide with the full moon. “I have bacon.”
“Huh?” Stiles said intelligently. She might have gotten slightly distracted thinking about werewolf periods, and she wondered if Lydia would kill her if she asked her about it. It wasn’t like she was a guy though so she could probably get away with asking.
“Breakfast. I could make us bacon for breakfast.” Devon said slowly.
“Oh, yeah sure, that’d be great!” It had been awhile since she’d been able to have real bacon for breakfast. Bacon was on the top of her list of things her dad wasn’t allowed to eat, so no matter how much she loved it, it wasn’t getting anywhere near their house. Stiles scrambled up when she realized she was still lying with her head in Devon’s lap, though she would have happily stayed if she thought Devon would let her. “I could make pancakes.”
It was surprisingly easy to share the kitchen with Devon. Stiles darted around like some kind of deranged hummingbird when she cooked, and her dad had long since learned to just leave her to it, but Devon seemed to be able to maneuver around her without much trouble. Stiles wondered if it was a werewolf thing. As far as Stiles could tell she and Devon were the only ones still here, and Stiles wasn’t sure what to think about the fact that apparently even Scott had left her here with Devon. As far as she knew Scott hadn’t yet clued into the fact that she was kind of a little bit completely in love with Devon. It wasn’t exactly a conversation she was looking forward to, no matter how cool Scott was with the fact that she liked lady parts. She decided she could put off thinking about it for the time being since there was bacon and a sleep ruffled Devon to enjoy. It was completely unfair how endearing Devon looked with bed head.
Even Stiles was embarrassed by the noise she made at her first bite of bacon, but hey, it wasn’t her fault that Devon made it just the way she liked it (so crispy that it was just the right side of burned,) or that she hadn’t had bacon in ages. Her fault or not though, she still flushed brightly at the disbelieving stare Devon was shooting at her. “I’m just going to, um, bathroom.” Stiles fumbled, hands fluttering about like they were trying to figure out what they were for. Stiles winced at the sight of her own reflection once she reached the bathroom. Her hair was a complete mess, and the mascara she’d worn last night was smudged (she was suddenly very glad she hadn’t tried to put on any eyeliner.) She really did look like she should be preparing for a walk of shame.
At least she’d be able to brush her teeth, she thought as she rummaged through the bathroom cabinet. After Scott had come back from one of the pack’s wolfy forest adventures with rabbit fur stuck between his teeth Devon had made sure they had a large supply of disposable tooth brushes, and mouth wash on hand, if only to have to curb Scott’s future freak outs. Remaining make-up washed off and breath minty fresh Stiles was much more relaxed when she got back to the table. She was amused to realize that there’d been a significant decrease in the large pile of pancakes Stiles had made. She knew Devon was totally a pancakes person.
Breakfast passed comfortably after that. It was a different feeling from sharing dinner (mostly Stiles thought it was because they weren’t discussing pack business,) but still nice. She wasn’t surprised to find that Devon took her coffee without sugar, but she was surprised by just how much half and half she put in it. Devon covered her pancakes in jam instead of maple syrup, and just rolled her eyes when Stiles called it blasphemy. Stiles had to resist the urge to lick the jam from the corner of Devon’s mouth where it smudged, and hid her expression behind a mug that was full of a concoction that was more sugar than coffee. It was almost too easy for Stiles to imagine spending all her mornings like this.