Stiles finds Bug prowling the school parking lot after school one day. She's doing normal innocuous kitten things like butting her head up against car wheels, chasing small insects, and looking generally adorable, which is why Stiles gets suckered into thinking Everything Is Going To Go Fine.
"Aww," he says. Stiles has basically been programmed by the internet to find kittens knee-knockingly adorable, okay, and this one is a stunner - silky black, with bright green eyes - and she (he?) is staring up at Stiles like it's her (his?) only hope.
"Awwwww," Stiles says again, whispery, and then throws a quick look over both shoulders because there are creeping werewolves everywhere who do not need this kind of blackmail on him. "You're just an itty bitty kitten, aren't you?" and the kitten stares up at him with wide, cloudy little eyes, and Stiles feels his insides melt a little more.
Obviously the only course of action is to tuck the kitten into his button-down and take it home.
Aside from some county fair goldfish that never lasted more than a week, this would be the first pet Stiles ever had. His mom had been allergic to anything with fur, so his early years had been filled with stuffed animals rather than the living kind. And the option was there after his mom died, obviously, but early on that would have felt a little too much like he'd tried to replace her with a golden retriever, which - whatever, weird - and then his dad always spent too much time away from the house, or at least too much unscheduled time, and Stiles was self-actualized enough to realize he had enough on his plate without a pet. Plus, if he was honest, taking care of his dad and Scott was kind of like having a pet; there were scheduled feedings.
So. New pet. New pet which totally needed a name. And a name, obviously, was everything. There was a reason he went by Stiles.
"Not that this is my area of expertise," Stiles declares, and runs his hand over the top of the kitten's head, scratching down to the belly, "but I'm pretty sure you're a girl. And you're a Stilinski, obviously," and she meowed up at him like she knew exactly what he meant. "I don't know, I'm feeling something Miss Kitty Fantastico-esque, if you get my meaning," and he let her chew on the tip of his finger for a second. "Miss Kitty Fantastico. Miss Jenny - Miss Lily - Hmm, Miss Lizzy? Miss Lizzy Stilinski?" She was still chewing. "Maybe get you some food first though, huh? You seem hungry. Or teething. Though I'm pretty sure kittens don't teethe." Note to self: text Scott about kitten things. Like whether they teethe.
A cursory Google search revealed that tuna and milk were actually a pretty bad combo for a kitten - "television has betrayed me!" - so Stiles grabbed a post-it from his desk and scribbled down a list of kitten supplies: collar, food and water bowls, litter, litter box, kitten food, toys, call Deaton to schedule her shots.
"Ready for another ride? The people at Petsmart are gonna love you."
"You could be a Selina Kyle, obviously," Stiles says, and watches her bat at one of the dangly bunches of feathers he'd bought. It looked like a third grader's art project gone wrong, but Kitty seemed to love it, so. "Then again, maybe too on the nose, huh? And Selina Stilinski sounds awful. Felicity? She was always a character. Felicity Stilinski." A meow. "Yeah, maybe not."
cats have milk teeth, Scott texted back. they fall out 3/4 mos. you have a kitten?!?
yup, Stiles texted back. bring her in for shots tmrw?
duh. Then - what if she doesnt like me ???? WHATIF ALLISON IS ALLERGIC TO KITTENS?????
It was weird, right, that it was nice just to have a kitten to talk to? Stiles breathed in heavily through his nose. "I've obviously been spending too much time with actual animals."
At that, Kitty rolled her head up and gave him what could only be described as kitten bitchface.
"Oh lord," because it just sinks in where he's seen that look before. "You're a Lydia," and when Kitty - Lydia - yowls at him, he knows he's doomed.
"Lydia Stilinski," he says, and goes back to scritching underneath her chin. "Okay then."
And still later -
Stiles sighed. "While I have accepted the fact that you are the only Lydia Stilinski that will ever happen - you know, ever - you still definitely need a middle name. Something less stalker-y." And not Renee, which is totally not what Lydia's middle name is. Stiles didn't look at the school records, or anything.
Kitten-Lydia is a bit patchy in the sunlight. A kind of rusty-red undertone that looks a bit like a -
"Ladybug! Miss Lydia Ladybug Stilinkski." Then after a moment, because he does have some sense of preservation - "Bug for short, obviously."
That night when Stiles went to bed he made sure his door was shut tight, that the food and water bowls were filled, and that the litter box was set just so in his bathroom - not that he expected Bug to be housetrained right off the bat, but if she was that would be great, obviously, and as Stiles's kitten she was clearly a cut above the average - and when he turned off the light he heard the pitter-patter of her little feet across the floor, until all he could see were two glinting red eyes staring up at him from across the room.
It's surprisingly comforting. Like having a little wolf guard his door.
And what, Stiles snorts to himself, did that have to say about his life that he found it comforting.
He's only a little worried when it looks like Ladybug hasn't eaten any food the next morning. Maybe he got the wrong kind, or maybe she should still be with her mom, or something. Maybe she's having separation anxiety from the school parking lot. Stiles suffers from the complete opposite, but he's not gonna judge.
In lieu of the circumstances, however, he decides to skip his shower. "C'mon Bug," he says, and gives one of the t-shirts on his floor a sniff. It's just Scott, after all, and he's probably had Stiles's stench in his nostrils long before this whole werewolf business. "We're gonna go see Scott. You're gonna love him. Or you will be Stockholmed into it, as so many have."
Another little meow from the floor, and then a tickling feeling at his foot.
"Careful, Bug, I don't want -
And then a chomp of teeny tiny but rather unimaginably sharp teeth. In his feet.
"Motherfuuu- frigger, right, ouch, Bug, what the heck," and Stiles stumbles over to bed. His foot is actually bleeding, oh crap, what if he gets rabies, his dad is never going to let him keep Bug. "You menace," he accuses, and Bug just stares up at him. Licking blood from her fanged little teeth, and then following the droplets all across the floor. With her tongue.
The first thing Stiles does is Not Panic. Seriously. No panicking. On a scale of one to Peter McCrazyWolf is back, this is probably a dealing with Professor Harris one-on-one situation; so a two, maybe a two-and-a-half. Stiles probably just a mild case of supernatural-based PTSD. Like how when people get out of the military and start seeing threats everywhere even if it's the boring old suburbs. Stiles is seeing supernatural things everywhere because he's spent the last six months getting mauled by three - count 'em, three - different kinds of supernatural creatures. His brain's just working over-time. He doesn't actually have a vampire kitten. That is ludicrous.
Scott, he texts, tell me havng a vampire kitten is LUDICROUS and no I dont mean the rapper.
All he gets back in response are question marks. So much for expecting help from that corner.
"A vampire kitten. I found a vampire kitten. Why wouldn't I," Stiles whispers, slowly feeling his soul kind of crumbling into supernatural despair while Bug bites at his finger - which is, admittedly, disturbingly adorable. "You were waiting for me in that parking lot, weren't you? Lurking."
"Too late to take it back now. I'm onto your vampish ways." Stiles debates, briefly, locking Bug in the bathroom. But no. If horror movies have taught him anything it's that the virgin always lives - but also, if you have it trapped, never let the monster out of your sight. "C'mon Ladybug, we're going for a ride."
"Before I say this," Stiles declares, "I would like to remind you of all the times I have personally saved your ass, and everybody else's asses, and been generally awesome despite being pretty the only human member of Team Hale, and state that I am totally not having a breakdown. This is not a breakdown."
Derek stares at him.
"I think I have a vampire kitten."
It takes about thirty seconds, but Derek finally rolls his eyes. "Have your mental breakdown inside the station," and Stiles hustles in without making a single crack about living arrangements.
"This is Bug," Stiles announces, "and she is a vampire kitten."
The betas look from Stiles, to Bug, to Derek.
Derek shrugs. "Scott texted he was having some kind of breakdown."
"So you come to us," Erica gushes, and does a little eyelash flutter for good measure. "Awww."
"Doesn't really look evil," Boyd says, and Isaac does one of his head-tilt, half-shrugs of agreement.
Granted, even Stiles has to admit that Bug does not look particularly evil or vampiric when lying on her back and meowing, but Peter never looked particularly evil in the beginning either, and how wrong was that.
"Just wait," he insists, and Derek's face takes on a little more manpain.
Erica lets Bug wander into the crook of her arm, all curled up and suspiciously cute. And then she stares into Bug's eyes while Bug stares back, no blinking, like they're communing. And then Bug reaches up to bat at Erica's nose, gentle, like a vampire kitten handshake - seriously, Stiles gets a little creeped out. Shivers, and not just because the train station could sub in for an icebox.
"It's like the vampire abyss stared into the werewolf abyss and decided they need to be bros," he whispers, horrified, and Isaac ducks his head down to grin.
"The contract is sealed," Erica declares, because she knows how freaked out that's going to make Stiles. "Bug's real name is Istasha, by the way."
"Don't even joke, oh my god," and now Boyd is the one laughing at him. "You know I can't tell when you're joking, right? Stop playing around with the human, it's not nice."
"It's a kitten," Erica insists, and that's about when Bug tries to take a chunk out of her face.
"What did I tell you," Stiles says, when the screaming (and laughing) and frantic phone calls to Deaton have finally stopped. "What did I tell you."
"Maybe it's rabies?" Isaac suggests, and Stiles turns his most withering stare on him.
"When has it ever," Stiles huffs, and concentrates on petting Bug just behind her ears. Her vampiric, blood-thirsty ears, "been as simple as rabies?"
"Well," Deaton says. "It's definitely a vampire kitten."
Not rabies, Stiles mouthes, and Isaac rolls his eyes.
"She's a little malnourished, which is probably why she tried to take a bite out of your face." Erica sniffs, but honestly, the little chuck had already filled right in, fast-healing werewolves shouldn't get so pissy about minor flesh wounds. "A full-grown human vampire needs about a pint every few days, and that's a generous feeding schedule. Extrapolating from Bug's size - a pint would last her months even when she's larger. Once you start feeding her regularly, she shouldn't need more than a few licks of a blood a day."
"So we don't have to -" Stiles tries to ignore the way his throat tightens up. Who knew he'd gotten attached to her so quickly? "We don't have to kill her, or anything."
Deaton smiles beatifically at him. "I shouldn't think so. I don't know how she'll react to other cats, and I'd recommend you keep her indoors, but it seems like a very particular set of circumstances in which another vampire animal could be created."
Which - biting, draining, the drinking of blood... Deaton probably had a point there.
"You hear that Bug?" Stiles coos. "We totally don't have to stake you and bury the ashes near running water." The betas were laughing behind him, but who cared. "Though I should probably get used to having a permanent paper cut, huh? For your bitey little face. Your precious bitey little face."
"Does she like werewolf?" Derek asks, and shoulders Stiles aside.
"Uh, Derek -"
"Shut up," Derek says, grows his claws out with one little flick of his fingers. Bug hisses. Ears gone flat on the back of her head until Derek slices open the flat of his other thumb and lets the claws. At that point Bug looks a little mesmerized by the blood, actually, and Stiles is going to start being way more careful about cutting himself shaving.
And it turns out Bug likes werewolf just fine, actually, judging from the way her gray-pink little tongue is lapping at Derek's thumb. And the way she's purring.
"Oh!" Stiles says, "that's so -" Derek stares down at him. "Not... adorable? Or sweet. Obviously. Definitely not either of those things. Thanks for the blood."
"You're welcome," Derek says, and it's totally not even the weirdest thing Stiles has ever had to thank him for. "I can stop by to feed her every few days." Behind them, someone coughs something that sounds like 'subtle', but Derek ignores it. "I'll drive you home," he says, as Bug claws her way up his arm to perch on his shoulder.
new & frightening unholy alliance btween Bug&Derek, he texts, and doesn't even care when Scott sends back more question marks.
By the time Derek parks in front of the house, Stiles has Bug tucked up under his arm and is halfway out of the car before he has a terrible, terrible epiphany. Really. It's the sort of thing he wishes he could unthink, but now that he has, there's no ignoring it.
"We sort of - I mean, far be it from me to point out an as-yet-unmentioned crucial detail of this whole thing, but - hey, who made Bug a vampire?"
Derek let his head fall forward against the steering wheel.
"Pack meeting?" Stiles suggests weakly, and pulls his cell back out of his jeans.