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Find It In Our Hearts

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It had been a very long time since Derek had had to make his life fit with anyone's but Laura's and he had had some reservations about how it would work once he had Claire with him under the Stilinskis' roof. He was surprised with how easy Stiles and his father made it.

Derek had worried that the Sheriff -- with his well-meaning meddling and use of the word "son" -- would try to treat Derek like the sixteen-year-old son he had living under his roof with all questions and rules that that entailed but Stilinski never tried to make Derek's personal life his business. He never asked beyond politeness about what Derek did with his days or nights or invaded the small bit of space he'd carved out for himself in the Sheriff's home. Derek was surprised but pleased, and it helped him relax into his new surroundings, reminding himself that any man who had Stiles for a son probably had more to him than what his day job might suggest.

Then there was Stiles who always seemed to want to do things for both Derek and Claire. He cooked meals and offered to do Derek's laundry when he did his own; he was always ready with some piece of advice he'd read on the internet or was there to help with Claire whenever Derek turned around. It wasn't even like it was out of character for Stiles, not even from Derek's perspective, but it was still disconcerting to have Stiles always underfoot, especially when Derek found Stiles disconcerting in general, even if it was usually in a good way. It was why Peter had found Stiles such an amusing point on which to needle Derek since his return and it had been bad enough when he'd seen the kid a few times a week, usually as Scott's shadow. But now, it wasn't like he could really escape and sometimes he wasn't sure he wanted to because Stiles made it easy to accept help when Derek wasn't all that used to it.

But, most importantly, there was Claire.

Everything about her was amazing. From her simple delight over the things that caught her attention to the frown of consternation she got when one of the adults did something that displeased her, Derek couldn't get enough of it, of learning everything there was to know about her. He knew Stiles was worried because she was a quiet child but Derek had heard enough stories of his own childhood to know that he'd had a similar disposition at her age and any natural inclination toward a subdued personality had probably only been magnified by the care she'd received in her earliest years. Derek questioned Claire about it whenever he could think to do it without overwhelming her and while what she had to say didn't sound like abuse exactly, Derek couldn't help the anger that welled up in him when she mentioned things in passing or said things to herself in play that told him that Gerard and his daughter hadn't been ideal caretakers. That anger was never more immediate than when they talked about monsters.

From what he could gather -- and Derek gathered, even as he imagined Peter smirking in his head -- the Argents had not told Claire anything about werewolves directly and, much like Allison, she wouldn't have learned about the reality of the hunter life until she was older. But Claire was a child and children believed in monsters and it was obvious that Claire believed more so than many. Her fears of monsters under beds and in closets had not been soothed by her caretaker or her family but had been confirmed over and over, at least according to Claire. And it might've been unkind, but Derek didn't have a problem believing that Gerard or Kate would build on a child's fears to lay the bedrock they'd need for the hate they'd want to instill in her when she was older. It especially galled him knowing that they'd done it, knowing that Claire was bloodkin to werewolves, knowing that the same supernatural blood ran in her veins that did in Derek's.

She and Derek talked about monsters a lot themselves, especially before bed. She'd only been there a few nights before she had become convinced they were hiding in the bushes outside her bedroom window and Derek had had to bite his own tongue to remember he didn't want to be the Argents. He wanted to assuage her fears, not make them worse.

"There aren't any monsters, Claire," he told her, after having checked under the bed and in the closet, then in Stiles's closet while the teenager keysmashed on his computer, grinning at Derek as he led Claire through the second floor sweep. Finally he had settled her back in bed, only to have to check under her bed again, then the window, glaring down at the bushes beneath her window to scare away the ones she said she saw out there. "See?" He turned away from the window after he shut it with a snap. "All gone."

"Are you sure?" she asked, serious in a way that was in direct contrast to her messy hair and pink pajamas. "Because we didn't check under Stiles's bed, they might be there."

"I'm sure there are very scary things there," Derek said before he could stop himself. "But no monsters, I promise."

Claire hugged her stuffed rabbit close to her, still giving him that look that said she doubted him. It reminded him of Laura and the pain cut through him. "They might come in when you leave."

He could hear Stiles's voice in his head, lecturing about reinforcing support when preschoolers sought it out. "Do you want me to stay?" he asked. "To make sure they don't?"

She relaxed immediately, already scooting to one side of the bed. "You'll stay?"

"If you want me to," he said, already shrugging out of his jacket.

"All night?"

"Until you fall asleep," he said. "The monsters won't get you."

Claire seemed fine with the compromise as she snuggled down under her blanket. "Stiles said no shoes in the bed," she reminded him as he sat down on the edge to toe off his boots.

Derek wisely kept his opinion of Stiles and his rules to himself. Once he had piled his jacket and boots on the top of the toy chest, Derek killed the lights and stretched out on the side of the bed nearest the window, the side where Claire had made the space for him. He could see in the dark almost as well as he could in the light so he glanced over at the little lump that Claire made under the covers, breath slowing and eyes closed. He could tell she wasn't asleep, though, but she wasn't tense either, so Derek let himself drift on the sound of her breathing and the fainter ones of Stiles moving around in his room down the hall. He wasn't sure how long he did before he felt Claire shift beside him until she was curled right up against him instead of her own side of the bed.

"Something wrong?" he asked in a whisper, as she pushed her face against the collar of his T-shirt.

He could feel her shake her head against his skin. "I like the way you smell," she said as if that explained it.

Derek let his fingers touch her cotton-clad back for a moment, as he breathed in her scent. "I know what you mean."

The next day, it was Stiles who banished the monsters, not Derek, when he presented Claire with a glittery spray bottle that he told Claire contained a magical potion that repelled monsters and Derek knew really contained watered-down FeBreze.

"This is why I don't have any monster problems," Stiles explained to Claire as he tied her shoes and Derek shamelessly eavesdropped from downstairs. "I spray this and bam! Nothing scary is climbing in my bedroom window."

"Really?" Claire asked.

"Yup," Stiles told her. "Well, except for your dad, but he's not so bad, right?"

Claire laughed and Derek rolled his eyes, deciding to let Stiles’s comment without further discussion, at least for the time being.

They had been living with the Stilinskis for just over a week the first time Stiles had come up to him at breakfast, looking strangely ill-at-ease. "So, I'm taking Claire to the park," he said.

"Okay," Derek said because it wasn't an unusual thing.

"And then to the library because they have this reading program for kids," he continued, eyes big and uncertain as he watched Derek warily, like he was waiting for some kind of outburst.

Derek dropped the piece of toast he'd been eating. "Is there a reason you're telling me this like it's a big deal?"

Stiles scowled at his tone but then just sighed. "Allison is going with us," he admitted. "Then she's going to spend the afternoon and evening with the Argents. My dad will pick her up tonight."

"Oh," was all Derek said because now understood why Stiles seemed to be braced for a fight. "I guess it's time."

"It looks like they want it to be a weekly thing," Stiles said. "Anyway, I just wanted you to know that your calendar's free, man, if you've got things to do, you're good."

Derek ended up spending the day training Isaac at the old depot, putting the beta through his paces in a way that seemed to be doing the job better than his first tries at training had. He tried not to focus on those weeks of failure with his once three-strong pack and instead on the progress Isaac had made since.

"Not bad," he said, as Isaac fended off the inevitable ass-kicking from Derek a little longer. "You're improving."

"Thanks," Isaac said, a hint of sarcasm in it as he looked up at Derek from the floor. "Any chance that means we can call it a day?"

"Just means I'll be harder on you next time," Derek reminded him.

"That's fine but I do have plans tonight," Isaac said. "I'd like my ribs to heal up before I head to Dr. Deaton's."

"Have it your way," Derek said even as he hauled his beta up from the floor. "Just no whining later."

"No whining, got it," Isaac grinned. He watched as Derek started to throw his training equipment back into the chest he kept them in before he asked, "So how's it going with you?"

"With me?"

"You and your daughter," Isaac said. "And living with Stiles."

"It's...fine," Derek said. "Everything's fine." Derek tried to keep the warning out of his voice because he knew that Isaac would have questions, especially since Derek hadn't exactly entertained many when he had first announced that he was moving with the Stilinskis to care for his daughter.

"That's exactly what Stiles said, too," Isaac said with a laugh.

"You've talked to Stiles about it?"

"No but he called Scott the other day when we were hanging out," Isaac said, and Derek tried not to sneer at the reminder that his one remaining beta had gotten so friendly with Scott who still refused to join his pack. "Did you guys practice that as an answer?"

"No," he said. "But it's fine. Weird, yes. But fine. And it's definitely worth keeping my daughter away from the Argents as much as possible."

A shadow passed over Isaac's face with the mention of the Argents. "Definitely," he agreed. As much as Derek hated that Allison had almost killed Isaac out of her grief-driven need for vengeance, he was glad that something had happened to finally press upon Isaac the danger that hunters -- all of them -- presented to wolves. He had hoped that his near-death at Victoria Argent's hands would've done the same for Scott but, of course, it hadn't, at least not where Allison Argent was concerned. After a moment, though, the mischievous look was back on Isaac’s face. "Stiles said I could come over for dinner this weekend and meet Claire if you wanted," he continued. "And I heard he makes a mean spaghetti sauce."

"It's not bad," Derek admitted.

Isaac shook his head, laughing, and Derek was pretty sure he had missed something but Isaac waved away his curious look. "I guess I'll see you Saturday then."

Derek shook his head. "Tomorrow, here. More training."

When Isaac groaned, Derek's smile bared his teeth.


So Stiles didn't actually die from too much exposure to Derek but, in his mind, it was a near thing. Over the next week, Derek managed to be underfoot every time Stiles turned around and even though he never seemed to be looking for Stiles, he always stumbled upon him until Stiles was contemplating vacating the premises in favor of Scott's house, even if Scott happened to be at work at that particular time.

When he called Scott to tell him this, his best friend just snorted in laughter and hung up on him.

Claire balanced it all out, though, because Stiles was pretty fond of her, even if she did come along with her big, broody dad and even if watching them together was half the reason he thought he was going to die. It was unfair that Derek could just do that, could just turn into this person that could be soft and kind and who wreaked havoc on Stiles's ability to function. But Stiles still liked Claire and it usually ended up being just the two of them when he spent time with her. She was definitely the cutie pie he had originally suspected despite the startling resemblance she shared with Derek both in looks and in personality. Somehow the same scowl that often made Stiles want to punch Derek in the face was nothing short of adorable from Claire and she made it often, especially when it came to Stiles. But he had it on good authority that Claire thought he was funny and she always lit up when he announced their plans together, so he figured he was doing something right.

One of the things he was making sure to do was getting Claire out around other people, especially other kids. From what Allison and then Derek told him, she had spent most of her childhood surrounded by adults and creepy ones at that. It was probably why she was whip-crack smart and scarily well-behaved but Stiles didn't think it was any way to grow up. Kids needed other kids.

The park was a favorite place to go, not too far from Stiles's house and typically brimming with other kids around Claire's age right around lunch. They were almost regulars after two weeks of impromptu play-dates, so much so that a few moms waved at Stiles as he and Claire walked up that morning and one of the kids, another five-year-old named Aubrey, ran up to tug Claire over to the swings almost immediately.

"She's making friends?" Allison asked from where she sat on a bench at the edge of the playground equipment, smiling a little as she watched Claire and Aubrey make a beeline for the swings.

"Looks like," he said, throwing himself down next to Allison on the bench. He dropped Claire's sparkly backpack between them. "I hope so. Social interaction is important at her age."

Allison raised an eyebrow. "What book did you get that from?"

"Several," he said, refusing to be ashamed. He was, after all, the Research Guy. "Anything special planned for her night with you guys?"

Allison shook her head, tucking her hands closer to her body. "No, just what we used to do," she said. "She seemed to have a good time last week."

"I didn't say she didn't," Stiles said. "I was just saying."

"I know," Allison said, with an edge to her voice. "So was I."

They lapsed into an awkward silence, one that was little better than their first try at co-mingling with Claire from the week before. Stiles assumed it was going to take time but they were supposed to be the reasonable ones, which is why they were the household liaisons. So far, they hadn't done a very good job at it. Instead of worrying about Allison, Stiles kept a watch on Claire, eyes following her movements as she pumped her legs on the swings, gaining height and speed thanks to a helping hand from Aubrey's mom. Teresa glanced up and gave Stiles a wave, which he returned, before she went back to swing duty for her daughter and Claire both. When Stiles looked away, he noticed Allison was watching him out of the corner of her eye.

"What?" he asked.

She shrugged. "Nothing."

He sighed. "We really need to do better than this."

"Agreed," Allison nodded. She still wasn't quite looking at him. "I'm not sure how."

"Yeah, I know what you mean." Stiles groped for a neutral topic. "So...what's up? How's your dad? Read any good books lately?" At the blank look that earned him, he waved his hand. "Just pick one and run with it."

"Okay," she said. "Um, nothing's up really, I guess. My dad is fine, even though I know you don't really care."

"That's not true," Stiles protested before she could answer the all-important book question. "Generally, I don't want anyone that I know personally to die or anything. Except for Jackson."

That actually got a laugh out of Allison. "My dad will be glad to hear that," she said, a hint of their former camaraderie in the teasing. "I'll make sure to pass it along."

"You do that."

"Actually..." Allison trailed off for a moment, thoughtful. Then she continued. "He has been asking me about you."

"What? Why me?" Stiles wanted to know, the idea making him a little uncomfortable. He'd had just about enough interest in him from Argents over the last few months.

"Not sure, maybe because you're helping with Claire?" Allison shrugged. "He's asked about you and Derek a lot. I think it weirded him out that Derek smelled Claire on you in the first place."

"It weirds me out, too, but I couldn't exactly stop him," Stiles told her.

"He seems worried that you two are close," she explained. "Maybe he thinks Derek will try to turn you or something since he's short a pack member."

"Yeah, no thanks," Stiles said with a shudder. "But Derek wouldn't. I mean, obviously he will but he won't. Not me." He had almost pointed out that Derek didn't bite unwilling people but then that would bring the specter of Victoria Argent up between them again and Stiles didn't want to deal with that again anytime soon. And he did have that much faith in Derek -- he wouldn't bite Stiles without his consent.

Allison broke off their tentative eye contact which told Stiles she was thinking of Victoria even though he had held his tongue. He sighed, and looked out across the playground to check on Claire. He was slightly alarmed to see that she was no longer with Aubrey and Teresa, who were now both standing near another bench where Teresa was doling out crackers and a juice box to her daughter. Stiles's eyes snapped back to the swings and he breathed a sigh of relief when he saw Claire was still there, pushing herself back and forth while the little boy in the next swing over chatted at her. He'd been watching Claire and her new little companion for less than a minute when he noticed some kind of movement at the corner of his vision. Considering the park was swarming with people, he wasn't sure why this particular flash caught his attention but it did, drawing his gaze toward the edge of the sandy area that housed the playground equipment. There, he saw a man standing by himself just outside of the ring of parents and kids. There wasn't anything particularly special about the guy but when Stiles followed the guy's line of sight to see that it rested on Claire, Stiles's hackles rose.

Before he had realized it, Stiles was on his feet, marching toward the strange man. He heard Allison make a noise of surprise behind him but it didn't slow him. "Hey," he called out as he took another step.

"Stiles? What's wrong?" he heard Allison ask.

He paused and glanced back at her, then gave in to the need to check on Claire once again. She was still on the swings, unperturbed. "That guy," he began, looking from Allison back to the spot where he'd seen the man -- only to find that he was long gone. "Oh."

"What man?" Allison asked. She had Claire's sparkly backpack slung over one shoulder.

"He was right there," he said, pointing. "He was being creepy and watching Claire. I guess I scared him off."

"What was he doing that was creepy?" Allison wanted to know.

"He just was," Stiles said. "I have, like, a sixth sense for creepiness."

"I think it's just called paranoia," Allison said.

"Paranoia's just another word for survival instinct these days," Stiles replied. "And seriously, you want an example? I knew Matt was creepy way before anyone else did. No one would listen to me."

Allison gave him a look that said she didn't remember it that way but she didn't say anything. It gave Stiles a chance to voice one of the thoughts that crossed his mind. "Your dad isn't being creepy, is he? And having one of his guys shadow you or Claire or both?"

"What? No!" Allison shook her head, dark hair spilling everywhere. "He's barely in touch with the other hunters. He's...pulled back."

Stiles wasn't sure if that made him more or less concerned. While all hunters were pretty creepy and dangerous, at least Chris Argent was a danger they had more or less come to understand. New hunters, like Derek feared, or ones that didn't follow the code meant way more trouble than ones following the Argents. Stiles was especially concerned if ones outside of the Argent circle knew about Claire. "Your dad's home, right?"

"Yeah, for Claire," Allison said. "Why?"

"I'm going to walk you guys to the car and then I want you to go straight there, okay?"

"Stiles," Allison objected as she trailed behind him as he made a beeline for Claire.

"Please don't argue, okay?" he said. "Just do it and then you and your dad can laugh about how crazy I am but please keep Claire safe, like somewhere like your house with your dad and his million guns and other deadly devices." Louder, to Claire, he said, "Come on, cutie pie, time to go see Uncle Chris, yeah? Get those last few swings in before we go."

Claire frowned, looking entirely too much like her father as she pointed out, "We just got here."

"And now we're leaving, kiddo," he said. "Chop, chop."

Claire was clearly unhappy with the change in plans and Stiles hated it too because she was generally a good kid but he still hadn't shaken the creepy-crawly feeling sliding across his skin ever since he'd caught sight of the stranger. "I know you like the park," Stiles said in apology as Claire shuffled to his side, giving him a good pout as she took the hand he held out. "But you're going to spend the day with Uncle Chris and Allison and isn't that more fun than the park? We come here every day!"

"I guess," she said, still looking disgruntled.

Allison hid a snort of amusement behind her hand. "I'll make it up to you, Claire," Allison promised. "We'll do all that girly stuff that I know Stiles and your dad don't do with you."

"What have I told you about eteronormative-hay ap-cray in front of the kid?" Stiles demanded. "None of that! I can paint toenails and curl hair just as good as you can, Allison Argent. And make-up looks great on me."

Allison grinned, all teeth and round cheeks and twinkling eyes. "Oh, I bet it does."

When Stiles finally bustled them off into Allison's car, they were both grinning, even if Claire didn't understand why exactly.


Stiles didn't breathe easy until he got the text from Allison a few minutes later that they had arrived at her house safely. He knew she thought he was being paranoid and he wasn't even saying that he wasn't, but with all the weirdness they'd seen in the last few months, he didn't see a problem with being cautious, especially where Claire was concerned. The reality of Claire's parentage was more than just a shock to Stiles's perception of Derek and another reason he was glad Kate Argent was dead; it put her in the crosshairs of two groups that hated each to death on a good day. Both the hunters and werewolves would have a reason to hurt her, despite her connection to both groups.

With a little extra time on his hands, Stiles decided to get a little grocery shopping done, so he made a quick stop to restock the things they had run low on, then headed back to his own house, debating with himself about what to do with the rest of his afternoon. He could've called Scott or even Isaac if he wanted to hang out, but he was pretty sure that Scott was at work and while he liked Isaac well enough, they really weren't to the one-on-one buddy stage yet. By the time he got home and was struggling with the first few bags as he dragged them into the kitchen, Stiles had settled between a nap -- glorious, indulgent, midday nap -- and making up some much needed time with his favorite swords-and-sorcery MMO. Both had their pros, both had their cons and both were things he hadn't done in a while, definitely not since Claire had started to take up so much of his time.

All of his carefully weighed analysis flew instantly out of Stiles's mind when someone hefted the bags out of his arms like they were feather-light.

Stiles inwardly cursed werewolf strength so he could ignore the undignified meep of surprise he made at Derek's unexpected appearance.

"What are you doing here?" he asked, grouchy.

"Thanks to you, I live here," Derek said, like Stiles wasn't awesome for helping Derek with Claire. Stiles scowled at Derek's back as the werewolf continued up the porch steps toward the kitchen. "Any more?"

"Bags?" Stiles yelled back.

"What else?"

"A few!" he called back. "But I can totally get them, man, it'" Stiles's trailed off as Derek pushed by him and grabbed the rest of the bags from the Jeep. "Or not."

Stiles refused to thank Derek for his help or allow his horny little subconscious to focus on how hot Derek was in his wife-beater -- seriously, his life, why -- so Stiles concentrated on putting away all the crap he'd just bought with a single-minded concentration that his doctor would've admired had he been present to witness it. "You didn't answer my question," Stiles pointed out. "You're usually out doing whatever it is you do this time of day."

"And you're usually at the park with Claire," Derek said, leaning against the counter, apparently content to watch Stiles put groceries away. "So I could ask you the same question."

"Allison took her back early," Stiles hedged, eyes focused like lasers on the open cabinet in front of him. "So I had some time for shopping. No biggie."

"Your heart is about to jump out of your chest," Derek observed. Stiles jumped when he thought he felt the ghost of a touch near his elbow. "Try again."

"I'm being paranoid," Stiles said, ducking around Derek toward the fridge. He clutched the container of light sour cream like it was a lifeline. "Probably."

"Probably?" Derek repeated. "Stiles!"

"Okay!" He tossed the sour cream into the fridge and closed the door before he turned back to face Derek. "There was this guy, okay? At the park. He creeped me out and I thought he was watching Claire. I went to scare him off and suddenly he was gone. But I made Allison take Claire and leave just to be safe."

Stiles had seen Derek face down all kinds of danger but he had never seen him look as alarmed as he did at the thought of Claire in danger. "I'm going to get her."

"No!" Stiles grabbed him by the arm to stop him, even though it wouldn't do any good if Derek decided to shake him off. "I made Allison text me when they got there. She's safe with Argent, Derek. If there's anything out there, he'll protect her."

"If?" Derek asked as he pulled away. "You're not sure?"

"No," Stiles admitted. "Allison wasn't convinced felt off, you know? I can't really justify it or even explain it. But seeing him...there was something up."

Derek crossed his arms, eyes watching Stiles's face. Stiles wondered what he saw -- the fear or the uncertainty. "It wouldn't surprise me," he said at last. "I don't trust hunters and I've heard there are new ones in town. I can imagine that if they knew about me, that they wouldn't be trying to figure out where you and Claire fit."

"What do you mean fit?" asked Stiles. He had given up on the pretense of shelving the groceries and they remained spilled across the counters.

Derek looked uncomfortable but he explained. "Werewolves just don't..." He rolled his shoulders, less like a shrug and more like he was trying to knock something loose. "We don't just go around surrounding ourselves with people who aren't pack. But you're not and you're not a wolf. Claire would make sense if they figure out who she is to me, but you..."

"But you have humans in packs, right?" Stiles said. "Like Claire."

"Yes," Derek agreed. "But she's bloodkin -- human kin of born werewolves are still pack. The only other time you have humans in a pack is..." This time it was his neck he rolled, like he had the worst cramp in history.

"Is...?" Stiles prompted, along with a little 'keep it rolling' gesture with his hand.

Derek rolled his eyes. "Scott and Allison," he said. "Jackson and Lydia." He raised an eyebrow at Stiles. "Do you catch my drift?"

"Ah, yeah," Stiles said, looking away. "I do." Derek didn't need to say anything else to make it clear that non-blood-related humans seemed to make their way into packs mainly on the strength of sexing with a werewolf who was part of the pack. Which definitely left Stiles out of the typical hierarchy because no one was sexing him, unfortunately, especially not the prudish werewolf standing in his kitchen, as much as Stiles might've been willing to go there. Stiles cleared this throat, ready to move on before his leaking scents and pheromones and bitter disappointment wafted toward Derek's nose. "So what does it mean? If these new hunters are watching, I mean."

Derek seemed to relax a little too with the topic shift. Stiles wondered if he was just uncomfortable with the topic of sex or if reminded him of his own past relationship with Kate. "It means you need to be careful," Derek told him.

"I'm not going to let anything happen to Claire if I can help it," Stiles promised.

"I know that," Derek said. "That's not what I meant. I meant you, Stiles. You need to be careful. You're human and that makes you vulnerable."

"I'm always careful!" Stiles protested.

"You've been kidnapped twice since I met you," Derek pointed out. "And that doesn't even factor in all the other times I've had to save you."

"I had never been kidnapped before I knew you, maybe that should tell you something," Stiles said.

"That you're an easy target?" Derek asked with a smirk.

"That wasn't what I meant!" Stiles scowled. "You're the reason trouble usually shows up anyway."

"I know." Derek's words were soft, harder still to hear because he had turned away, presenting Stiles with the sight of his broad, muscled back. "Just...try to be more careful."

Stiles had to admit he was a little stunned by both the turn of events and Derek's apparent concern about him. He knew that Derek had saved him on several occasions and that he had helped the werewolf in return and, while he had come to understand his own reasons for what he did, he had never really questioned Derek's. He had always just assumed that the werewolf figured that the Sheriff's son dying on his watch would be bad form or something. "Yeah, okay," Stiles said. "I don't look for trouble, you know."

Derek snorted at that and his face was settled into lines of disbelief by the time he turned back to Stiles. "Your best friend is a werewolf."

"That was kind of an ipso facto thing," Stiles reminded him.

"You let an alpha and his daughter move in with you," Derek continued.

"That was more my dad's idea," Stiles said.

"You threw a Molotov cocktail at Peter," Derek said. "You drove your truck into the middle of a confrontation between a wolf pack, a family of hunters and a kanima."

Stiles thought for a minute and decided that maybe Derek had a point. "I just want to help."

Derek's face eased with some kind of soft emotion and it made Stiles's breath catch in his throat because it seemed to be aimed at him. "I've noticed."

The moment stretched until Stiles couldn't handle it anymore. "Anyway! I'm going to finish with these groceries, then I'm going to take a nap," he said. "Safe enough for you?"

"For anyone else maybe," Derek said but he was backing away, heading out of the kitchen. "But if anyone...."

"Yeah, yeah," Stiles bitched, rolling his eyes. "Message received, big guy." Stiles turned back to the spread of cans still waiting for on the table. "And don't forget about dinner tonight," he said, not bothering to raise his voice much even though he knew Derek was already out of the room. "My dad wants to talk to you!"

Stiles didn't need werewolf hearing to know that Derek wasn't exactly thrilled with that.

He smiled and busied himself with the remaining groceries.