I own nothing – obviously.

Written for this prompt over on LJ - Awkward courtship fun times. Derek is courting Stiles in the way that all male animals go about impressing their mates. Giving them practical (if weird, like, Derek gives Stiles 10kg of steak) gifts, making a nice home (he starts renovating the old Hale house), weird shit like that. Stiles is oblivious, and Scott keeps sort of helplessly hinting at what Derek is doing to little effect. Make me giggle and squeal into my pillow anon!

I don't have a beta for this fandom yet so all mistakes are on me.


It started with a stag. Well, most of a stag.

Stiles came home from school and found his dad's cruiser in the driveway. His dad was pulling double shifts all weekend and definitely was not supposed to be home. Understandably panicked, this was his family after all, Stiles slammed through the front door, throwing his bag haphazardly into the living-room, and hared through the house in search of the sheriff.

"What's wrong?" he yelled, spotting his dad in the backyard and screeching through the door, "What's happened? Is there a problem? Why are you..." he cut off as his feet slid from under him and landed him ass-first in a pile of goo, knocking the wind right out of his chest.

"What the hell?" he gasped as soon as he could refill his abused lungs.

"Stiles don't," the sheriff started but Stiles already had his hands up in front of his face. His red-slime-and-goo covered hands. Warm, red slime-and-goo.

"Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God," he yelped, feet squeaking in the mess as he tried frantically to back up, aware that his awesome jeans were being ruined by gooey gooiness. "What am I sitting in? No, no, don't tell me, oh my God!"

His dad sighed and went to fetch the garden hose, allowing Stiles an uninterrupted view of the body six feet from his still-flailing toes. The stag was impressive – or had been until something had ripped its throat out and dumped its bleeding carcass on the Stilinski lawn.

"I'm sitting in stag goo, aren't I?" Stiles asked, pleading eyes turned up to the sheriff who stood over him with a half-fond, half-exasperated expression.

"Stand up, come on," his dad encouraged, turning the hose on him as soon as he found his feet. The water was freezing but it was better than bloody carcass so Stiles bit his lip and took it without complaint. Well, mostly without complaint.

Once Stiles was done bitching and the sheriff had (finally) turned off the hose – with a little too much regret Stiles felt – they stood shoulder to shoulder inspecting the addition to their garden.

"Must have been a pretty big animal to do that," the sheriff commented after a while. Stiles remained silent, busy battling his stomach which was kinda adamant on adding his lunch to the mess ruining their grass.

"Can't say I've ever seen a predator leave behind such a big meal before," the sheriff continued, "not without taking a bite or two."

Stiles lost his battle.

/

"...a dead stag dude!" Stiles exclaimed, trying to claim Scott's attention from his phone. It wasn't an easy task. "On my lawn. Can you even hear me right now?"

"Stag?" Scott frowned like his brain was having a hard time connecting the word with an image. "On your lawn? Why was there a stag on your lawn?"

"Dead stag!" Stiles repeated, huffing internally, "Kinda missed the most important part of that sentence dude. Bleeding all over the grass. Throat torn out. Like just lying there!"

"Did you like it?"

"Fuck!" Stiles yelped, jumping and whirling simultaneously, only Scott's werewolf reflexes stopping him from landing on his ass again, "Dude! Noise making! We've talked about this. Sneaky sneaky, not cool."

"Well, did you?" Derek asked again, eyes intense and ears apparently hearing selectively.

"Just when I think you can't get any creepier," Stiles muttered, eyebrows shooting up when Derek's expression remained the same. "We're talking about a dead stag. On my lawn. Why would I like that?"

Derek frowned.

"It gooped on my lawn," Stiles said slowly, "I landed in it. I got stag goop on my favourite jeans."

"You landed in it?" Scott repeated gleefully, apparently tuning in for the mortifying part, "Dude that's hilarious!"

"No," Stiles corrected, squinting at Scott as he belly-laughed, "my hands were in stag juice, that's not funny at all. Do you know how many showers I took before I got that off me?"

"You didn't like it?" Derek asked, scowling now.

"No!" Stiles yelled, exasperated beyond the point of sanity, which was the only explanation for the fact that he was yelling at the Alpha in his own home...den...home, whatever. "It was dead on my lawn," he continued in a far more indoor voice, "What am I supposed to do with that?"

"Eat it."

Even Scott, who Stiles had seen legit chow down on thumper during a wolf-out, looked at Derek like he'd lost his mind. Stiles sent up a silent prayer of thanks for sanity.

"That wasn't so silent," Scott commented, squinting at him. Stiles ignored him.

"Eat it? Are you sick?" He leaned in close to Derek, checking his eyes. "Are you high?"

"What?" Derek snapped, shoulders hunched defensively, "Stag is good meat. High in protein."

Stiles opened his mouth to retort but Scott's elbow landed in his ribs, hard enough to fracture something.

"Dude!" Stiles moaned, clutching his side, "What the hell?"

Derek shoved past them and wrenched the door open.

"Scott. Training. Now."

Scott followed his Alpha, casting an accusing frown over his shoulder at Stiles, who could only shrug helplessly in reply.

000

"How can anyone even live here?" Stiles whispered. Of course his whisper was like an echo in a cave to the wolves. "Seriously, there's like no roof! I can see the sky! The sky, Scott!"

"Stiles, shut up!" Scott snapped, sending two very pointed eyebrows in Derek's direction. Derek who was...striding purposefully in their direction. Shit!

"Shit," Scott moaned, already sidling away from Stiles, as if distance would save him from The Wrath of the SourWolf.

"Dude!" Stiles complained, trying to grab at Scott's arm, but he was outfoxed by freaky werewolf reflexes and then Derek was there. Looming.

"What's wrong with the house?" Derek asked, voice strangely earnest. Stiles shook his head frantically, looking around for Scott to bail him out. Scott, because he was a traitor and a deserter and a bad friend, was nothing more than a back disappearing into the gloom. Leaving Stiles with Derek. Who was waiting for an answer to his question. Fuck!

"Your house?" Stiles squeaked, scrambling desperately for a lie, "Absolutely nothing is wrong with your house. The 'Hi, I'm an axe-murderer, please come in and let me introduce you to your insides' look really works for you and your, you know," Stiles flapped a hand in Derek's general direction, very carefully not looking him in the eye, "mood."

Stiles trailed off under Derek's terrifyingly intense stare, biting his tongue hard in an attempt not to make anything worse. Derek's eyes were definitely not red, Stiles was counting this as a win.

You don't like it," Derek stated, "It...bothers you."

"No!" Stiles scoffed, shoulders bunched up at his ears. Derek gave him a look. "Well, it's not that it bothers me so much," Stiles scrambled for words, "More, you know, you're the Alpha and you have a pack and it might be nice for you, and them, and any future visitors, to have somewhere to go that didn't leak or smell like charred wood and dea...oh my god, don't kill me!"

Derek was really looming now, toes of his boots bumping Stiles trainers. Stiles squeezed his eyes shut tight and tried to brace himself for whatever surface his back would be meeting today. He really hoped it wasn't the wall this time because he legit worried it'd bring what was left of the house down around their ears. Derek would be fine with his superhero healing abilities but Stiles, well, not so much.

After a minute of silent nothingness, Stiles braved a peek through his lashes. Derek...well, Derek didn't look mad exactly but his eyebrow was twitching. Yep, definite twitching of the eyebrow area. After a moment it stopped. Huh, interesting.

"What would you do to improve the situation?" Derek asked in his frighteningly flat tone, the one that always made Stiles brain go mushy with the need to quickfleehide. Derek took a half step towards him, eyes glittering scarily and Stiles needed to get a hold of himself right the fuck now.

"Uhh," he said, stalling for time, "Well, you know, like a roof for starters. Maybe windows and doors to keep the wind outside. A working kitchen. A working toilet, come to think of it. A shower? It can't be fun to have nowhere but the creek to clean up after rolling around in the woods all night. Foxes pee in those woods, you know."

Derek glowered. Stiles definitely did not squeak. Much.

"A couch or two, maybe a tv to take the edge off of full moon nights."

"You're not here on a full moon," Derek pointed out.

"But your pack are," Stiles insisted, "and they get antsy those three days. It'd be good to have something for them to focus on that wasn't, you know, the agony of the change and the incredible urge to tear limbs from breathing bodies."

"This is what you want?"

"Dude, it doesn't matter what I want," Stiles countered, "Although not getting splinters in my ass and not having to pee in the woods would be a big improvement to my visits here. You're the Alpha right? It's your job to give your pack somewhere to be. Somewhere safe and, I don't know, den-like. Right?"

"Right?" Stiles repeated as Derek just stood there staring at him, not wolfed out in the slightest but also, somehow, not really human either. Eventually he gifted Stiles a nod and disappeared into the darkness of the wreckage. Stiles bent over, hands on his knees, shaking from the adrenalin. Apart from the, you know, ability to tear him to shreds with tooth and claw, there was something about Derek that put him right on edge.

Scott appeared suddenly, grabbing Stiles arm and dragging him out of the skeletal house and into the jeep. He was not happy.

"What wolf bit your ass?" Stiles clamoured, trying to prise Scott's fingers from the dents they were making in his arm. Scott just glowered at him and climbed into the passenger seat. Halfway down the road Scott turned to him suddenly.

"You. Are a pain in my ass, Stilinski."

/

When his phone rang two Saturday's later, at the ungodly hour of 6am, Stiles fell out of his bed scrambling for it, instantly awake and worried about his dad. That worry intensified when he saw it was Derek's name on the screen. For the past two weeks Scott and Jackson had become more and more surly every day, Jackson returning to shoulder-barging Stiles at every opportunity.

"Derek, what's wrong?" Stiles started as soon as he'd flipped his phone open. "Is it Jackson? Is he okay? Is it Scott? Oh my god, has he mauled someone? Oh my god, was it Allison? Are there hunters after you guys? I mean..."

"STILES."

The tone had Stiles swallowing the words bursting to get out instantly, nearly choking on his aborted sentence. He could hear Derek's breathing at the other end of the line. How did someone manage to convey annoyance just by breathing?

"Get over here." And he hung up.

Twenty minutes later, Stiles was screeching to a halt outside the Hale house and half jumping, half falling out of his jeep in his haste to get to his friends and the source of the problem. The sight of three shirtless werewolves lifting timber was not what he had been expecting.

"Uhh," he coughed, taking a moment to calm his racing heart before making his way slowly towards the trio, "What's going on guys?"

Both Scott and Jackson gave him filthy looks before turning their backs to him. Ooookay. There was a low growl and Jackson looked at Derek, brows lifted in surprise.

"Dude you have got to be kidding!" he exclaimed, but Derek merely glowered harder and Jackson sighed, a noise echoed by Scott, before they both lifted their shirts and put them on again. Then they continued completely ignoring Stiles presence. Weirder and weirder.

"I thought there was an emergency?" Stiles asked, whilst absolutely not staring at Derek's chest. Was that even real? No one had that many muscles surely? "That'd be the only reason you'd call me at 6am on a Saturday, right?"

When he finally managed to tear his eyes from Derek's absurd stomach, he found Derek watching him, not moving, not even blinking. Creepy. Stiles cleared his throat to break whatever weird 'kill Stiles' trance Derek had gone into this time.

"Well?"

Derek seemed to shake himself, before making an odd abortive gesture to the wreckage he still insisted on calling a reasonable place to live.

"We're fixing up the house."

"Yeah?" Stiles prompted after waiting a few silent stare-filled minutes for more information that was evidently not forthcoming. Derek frowned.

"It was your idea," he said, with a look that tacked an unvoiced 'idiot' on the end.

"Riiiight."

Derek turned back to his work and Stiles just sort of stood there, feeling useless and hungry. He made a few attempts at conversation but all he gained was a scowl from Derek and silence from Scott and Jackson. After another awkwardly silent five minutes, Stiles sidled towards his jeep.

"So you guys seem to have everything under control," he babbled, fingers easing onto the door latch, "so I think I'll just go and..."

"Sit down," Derek snapped, suddenly there and insinuating himself between Stiles and his means of escape, bringing his half naked body way too close for comfort. Stiles stumbled backwards and nearly tripped over the tree stump Derek had obviously been herding him to. There was a flash of something that looked almost like satisfaction in his eyes, but Stiles only had a moment to be startled by it before Derek was hammering again.

At 10am Derek sent Scott for breakfast, and at lunchtime he sent Jackson. Stiles was starting to fear the end of the world. He wondered if there was such a thing as a werewolf apocalypse. He hoped not because all his planning up until now had been for a zombie apocalypse and it just hadn't occurred to him to revise his plans. A clear mistake.

"Shut up," Jackson yelled over his shoulder. Derek smacked him on the back of the head. Stiles stared, gobsmacked, then began to furiously adapt his zombie plans to include werewolves.

/

"Scott, dude, you are killing me right now!" Stiles whined into the phone held to his ear by a shoulder as he struggled up the stairs to his bedroom carrying an armful of snacks, his backpack and a stack of homework notes, "Not only have I been dragged to Derek's every night and weekendfor the past three weeks to sit on a tree stump and watch you guys be silently industrious, but now you're calling me to talk about Derek? Seriously? I mean he's...in my room, Derek is in my room, I gotta go."

Derek looked up from where he was sitting on Stiles bed, surrounded by what looked like catalogues of bathroom furniture. Stiles didn't even know they did those.

"Uh Derek, you're in my room."

"You have food," Derek replied, apparently to a question Stiles wasn't aware he'd asked, before getting up and snagging a bag of tortilla chips from its perch under Stiles arm.

"You're in my room and I wasn't here," Stiles tried again, positively marvelling at the way Derek's hand was unerringly finding the open bag and then his mouth whilst his eyes remained fixed on Stiles face. "Don't you think that's a bit...stalky?"

Derek remained silent except for the quiet crunching of his teeth through Stiles crisps. Human teeth though. So that was, you know, good. Derek threw some catalogues. They hit Stiles thighs before landing on his shoes.

"Bathroom stuff," Derek said round a mouthful of food. Stiles tried not to grimace. Failed. He picked up the catalogues and looked at them quizzically.

"Choose," Derek snarled.

"You want me to choose your bathroom stuff?"

Derek looked at him and the squint of his eyebrows certainly suggested he was thinking poorly of Stiles.

"Okay," Stiles agreed, quickly flicking through the pages. Derek watched him a few more seconds before nodding in approval and returning his attention to destroying the crisps.

After five minutes of uncomfortable silence, broken only by Derek's steady crunching, Stiles asked without looking up, "Umm, you do know you're shirtless right?"

/

"So, am I getting to see inside?" Stiles asked, trying to crane around Jackson's shoulder to get a glimpse into what still looked like a burnt-out shell. He was starting to worry about the amount of work they were doing with no discernible payoff.

"No," Jackson replied, shoving him back towards his tree stump. Huffing, Stiles went and settled down to watch Jackson and Scott move things around. Jackson's shoulders really were quite wide, far wider than Scott's. Not that Stiles thought Scott wasn't attractive or ripped, because he clearly was, but the way Jackson's t shirt strained suggested a denser musculature than...

"STILES!"

He jumped guiltily, head snapping to Derek who was working a few feet away, lifting things that Stiles was fairly sure normal people would use some kind of machinery for. Derek glared. Stiles couldn't look him in the eye so he looked him in the shoulders. Which, yeah ,were wider than Scott's and Jackson's put together. Broader chest too. He hadn't seen Scott or Jackson with their shirt off since that first 6am call-up but from what he remembered, Derek had more abs too. More abs. Was that even a thing? Not that Stiles was counting as such, but he was secure enough in his own masculinity to recognise that Derek was a pretty damn hot guy.

When he realised what he was thinking he blushed, eyes darting up to Derek's face. Derek, for want of a better expression (mostly because this one almost gave Stiles some sort of nervous seizure) preened.

"This is boring," Stiles griped, mostly to hide is embarrassment at being caught ogling the hottest but surliest wolf in the West, "All I do is sit here, when do I get to seeeeee?"

"Not yet," Scott grunted back without looking. When Stiles whined in reply, Derek dropped the log he was holding and turned to him.

"What do you want, Stiles?" he snapped, clearly exasperated.

Before Stiles could open his mouth, Scott sniped "Lydia," in what he clearly thought passed for under his breath. Everyone heard him just fine.

Both Derek and Jackson were now staring at Stiles with matching scowls. Shit! Scott looked...frightened, which must have been because he knew Stiles was going to kill him.

"Lydia?" Stiles scoffed, "Don't be ridiculous, that's...well, that's completely out of the realms of reality."

Both Jackson and Derek's noses twitched and their frowns deepened. Stiles was going to murder Scott slowly.

000

It was Friday night when Stiles came home to find Lydia Martin, trussed up and gagged on his bed. He stood for a minute just staring because holy shit, really? An indignant squeak and a red-hot glare had him moving to her side at double pace. He removed the gag and then wished he'd left it til last.

"STILINSKI! WHAT THE HELL IS THIS?"

Stiles had a moment to truly appreciate how someone who had been gagged not four seconds earlier could find the reserves of breath to bellow at quite that volume before she continued.

"Is this some sort of joke?" Lydia advancing on him snarling was, scouts honour, scarier than the times Scott had tried to eat him. "Are you going to explain to me why I was grabbed from behind, gagged, tied-up and dumped here in your house? Or should I be speaking to your dad?"

"I don't know!" Stiles rushed, trying to placate the seething girl before him, "I was in town. I didn't know you were gonna be here! Didn't you, like, see your...um, attacker?"

Lydia gestured to the floor where a torn piece of fabric lay. It looked...kind of familiar but Stiles couldn't quite place it. He squinted, trying to join it together with whatever memory was floating around in his brain.

"It's a blindfold," Lydia said, slowly like she thought Stiles was slow. Which she probably did come to think of it. "But I got it off," she finished, flipping her hair and managing to look haughty despite her crumpled clothing and chafed skin.

"Look Lydia, I really don't know how you ended up here or who would have thought his would be funny..." he trailed off as Lydia's expression went from seething to molten.

"This has got Jackson written all over it," she hissed and stomped out. When the slam of the front door echoed up the stairs, Stiles slumped against the wall and took a deep breath before firing off a text to Scott.

/

"...why aren't you more surprised?" Stiles sniped down the phone, "I don't think you understand what I'm saying Scott. Lydia Martin was tied up on my bed. What is up with that?"

"Why don't you ask Derek?" Scott replied.

"Derek? Why would I ask Derek? Who is climbing through my window right now like the creeper he is, I gotta go Scott." Stiles hung up and swung his desk chair around to face the invading werewolf.

Derek dropped some new catalogues into Stiles lap and tipped his head back, sniffing the air in a way that Stiles absolutely did not find fascinating.

"Dude, can you at least try to act human around me?"

Derek looked at him, eyes shining in the low light. "There was a girl here."

"Yeah," Stiles agreed, "I came home and Jackson had tied up Lydia Martin and dumped her on my bed."

"Jackson?"

"Yeah, I mean who does that? Who just ties someone up like they're some sort of thing and dumps them in someone's room? Even as a joke?"

"You think Jackson...I thought you wanted the Martin girl?" Derek's jaw was twitching like this whole conversation was giving him whiplash. Stiles felt for him, he really did.

"Well yeah, but more in an unattainable fantasy way, not in a real-life way," Stiles replied, watching in trepidation as the jaw twitch became a full-on tick. "And obviously not like that. People can't just give you someone."

"Why not?" Derek looked genuinely confused. Well, Derek's actual face was expressionless but Stiles had learnt how to interpret the different levels of expressionless...ness.

"Sometimes I don't even know how you're alive," Stiles said, marvelling a little bit. It was hard to believe Derek was for real at times like this.

"Then what do you want?" Derek asked tilting closer and his voice was so plaintive that Stiles answered without thinking.

"I want my mom back."

Derek reared back, his non-expression clearly showing surprise and a hint of frustration. Seriously, there should be an exam in interpreting-werewolves-failure-to-emote – he'd ace it.

"Obviously that's not possible," Stiles continued so Derek wouldn't think he was nuts, "so maybe I'd just like the one parent I have left to hang around for a while, you know?"

"Yes," Derek answered, surprising Stiles, "I do know."

They sort of looked at each other for a bit until Stiles wondered, out loud because it was Stiles, if they weren't having some sort of bonding moment and Derek growled and shoved at the new catalogues. Colour this time.

"For decor," he grumbled.

/

That weekend Stiles finally got to see the secret building project. Scott pulled his hands away from Stiles eyes and Stiles saw...a charred, skeletal house.

"Umm, guys," he started nervously, wondering if all three of them had had some kind of collective seizure. Didn't strokes bring on delusions? Or was that drugs? Stiles was really going to have to start paying attention to those pamphlets his dad brought home.

Scott hissed in annoyance and shoved Stiles forward, where he promptly slid on his ass through a hole in the floor...and bumped down twelve smooth, polished wooden stairs.

"Holy freaking crap," he breathed, looking around the former torture-basement. Somehow it had been transformed into a cosy...yep, den was the only word for it.

Squashy-looking couches crowded around a plasma screen (and crap, Stiles hadn't been aware Derek even knew what a plasma screen was), which was on! (hallelujah electricity!). The far end had been dug out and Scott led him down the hallway, whilst Derek loomed silently in the fully-functional yellow kitchen, to show him the black tiled bathroom (fully equipped with the furniture he had chosen), the crash-room Derek had installed for unexpected werewolf slumber parties (and wasn't that a step up from a half-torn, perpetually damp mattress) and pointed out the closed door that indicated Derek's room.

When he got back to the living room, a bit dazed, Jackson was already slumped in the couch with a blissed-out look on his face. Come to think of it, they did look comfortable.

"You did good man," Jackson slurred at him, eyes pleased, and Stiles couldn't figure out what he was talking about because all Stiles had done was sit on a tree stump and point at colours.

"Well?" Derek demanded, and Stiles tipped his head back to look up at his frowning face. Upside down it just looked like he had the world's grumpiest-looking smile.

"It's ace," he said and Derek's mouth twitched. "Just the den you guys have been looking for."

000

"What the hell is this?"

Stiles looked at the grubby A4 poster his dad had slapped on the counter in front of him and then back to his dad's wrathful expression. Wrath was not a good look. Wrath meant that Stiles was looking to kiss his freedom goodbye for the foreseeable future.

"Uh, a poster?" Stiles hazarded. The sheriff's hands clenched. Not a good hazard then.

They're up in every store in town," his dad gritted, "and every store for two towns in either direction!"

"Dad, blood pressure," Stiles yelped, alarmed at the colour his face was going, "Calm down and sit." Stiles took a closer look at the posters.

"Holy crap, are these..." he started before the sheriff broke in with a snort.

"Yes Stiles, these are posters with my face on them and a list of everything I am not allowed to purchase, along with suggestions for healthy alternatives!"

Stiles goggled because he might have thought about doing something like this but he'd never have managed to pull it off, no way no how. History had taught him store clerks don't listen to babbling sixteen year olds.

"I have no idea..." he started but the sheriff held up a hand.

"Save it Stiles," he said, voice still aggravated, "Just...don't do it again, okay?" Stiles could only nod because, what the hell?

Just before he closed the door his dad turned back and added thoughtfully, "I'd love to know what you blackmailed those clerks with though. They were so terrified that even flashing my badge didn't get me bacon."

"You can't eat bacon!" Stiles yelled to a closed door. Damnit! He looked at the poster again. Not his work but still...impressive.

/

"I think it must have been your mom," Stiles said to Scott at the lunch table, confident having thought about it all morning. "She's the only person I can think of who's scary enough to pull this kind of coup. I need to buy her some flowers. Or chocolate! Or bath salts! Moms still like bath salts, right?"

Jackson was staring at him, mouth gaping, and Scott was just shaking his head with a sad expression. Huh, Stiles was sure bath salts would have been a hit with Mrs McCall.

"I thought you were meant to be the stupid one?" Jackson asked across the table. Stiles fully expected Scott to do some semblance of wolf-out, but he just shrugged his shoulders until Jackson muttered, "fucking ridiculous" and finished his lasagne.

000

"Oh my god," Stiles wailed, clutching Scott's arm, "I want one!"

"No you don't," Scott replied automatically, making Stiles squint at him.

"What? Yes I do. Dude, you don't even know what I'm talking about!"

"I don't need to see to know whatever it is is a bad idea," Scott said trying to resist Stiles manoeuvring. Mistake! Stiles was the master of manoeuvring and now Scott was staring at a girl walking three pups.

"No!" Scott moaned, "Stiles, you do not want a puppy!"

"I do," Stiles whined, making big eyes at the frolicking pups across the street, "Look at them and their giant paws! I'd be an awesome dog-owner Scott, you know I would!"

Scott looked constipated but Stiles didn't really register it, constipated being a common expression for a Scott without Allison. Scott grabbed him by the shoulders and put his body between Stiles and the frankly awesome display of heart-meltingly cute.

"Scott, what the hell dude!" he cried, trying to crane over Scott's shoulder. Scott shook him, face still and serious.

"Stiles, are you sure you want a puppy?"

"What?" Stiles replied, pulled out of the surprise of Scott wearing a serious expression by a yip across the street. One of the puppies had leapt on top of another and the three were now involved in a puppy pile, the girl walking them reduced to helplessly fond laughter. His whole insides melted. "I do," he moaned.

Scott sighed and Stiles was fairly sure he muttered "goddamnit" but there were puppies so it wasn't like Stiles was paying that much attention to emo-without-Allison Scott.

/

How Derek managed to climb in Stiles bedroom window without making a noise would forever be baffling to him. Derek had a body like a tank, it shouldn't be possible to swing through someone's second floor window without so much as a 'hey, thought I'd drop by and scare you outta your skin' foot thump.

Of course Derek, being a fanged ninja werewolf stealth master, announced his presence in a suitably stealth master way, which is to say the first Stiles realised he was not alone was when a squeaking, wriggling ball of fur landed in his lap.

"What the hell dude!" Stiles yelped, shoving back from the desk in a panic. The only reason the wriggling furball didn't land squat on the floor was because it had already sunk its claws into his thighs.

"Ow ow ow ," Stiles moaned, half hunched over as he pried the furball free of his flesh. It immediately made the sort of noise that was clearly a reprimand (and wasn't it depressing that Stiles was being reprimanded by something a few weeks old that had known him all of five minutes) and proceeded to chew at his forearm.

"Why," he moaned up at Derek's impassive face, "Is this your way of killing me without actually doing the deed yourself? Or did you want to torture me before my untimely death? You didn't want me to leave behind a good-looking corpse so you brought a hell-hound to help with the disfigurement?"

Stiles made the mistake of looking down at the fiend munching on his skin and went immediately mushy at the sight of piercing blue eyes staring back at him.

"Oh look at you," he crooned instantly, lifting the puppy closer. It promptly sunk its teeth into his shoulder. "Spirited," he continued, still smitten even though those teethe were sharp and probably, no definitely, drawing blood. Derek leaned close, just over Stiles shoulder, and made a complicated noise in his throat that wasn't quite a purr but wasn't entirely a growl. Immediately the needle teeth withdrew and the pup made a plaintive little whine then settled in Stiles arms. Stiles was fairly sure he'd have to hand in his man-card after this (ha, like he even still had that!).

"Dude, did you just communicate with the puppy?" Stiles stared at the puppy agog because although the expression was for Derek, his eyes couldn't quite leave the fluff bundle. "That does nothing to dissuade me from dog jokes, just so you know."

"Cub," Derek replied, voice menacing as usual, "and he has to know his place in the pack."

"Has to know his place in the...wait, what?" Stiles actually did manage to turn around this time. Derek looked back, face expressionless. No change there. Derek had two expressions – 'rage' and 'nothing'.

"Cub? As in cub? As in howl-at-the-moon, eat-raw-meat, live-in-a-pack, wolf cub?"

Derek looked at him and Stiles interpreted his 'nothing' look to mean 'obviously you dim-witted teenage moron, what the hell else would I bring to your bedroom at 11pm on a Tuesday night?'. The follow-up sneer was a definite 'idiot'.

"Wait, where the hell are you going?" Stiles whisper-called to Derek's retreating back because the pup...cub...wolf (fuck!) seemed to have fallen asleep.

"Home," Derek answered, one leg already slung over Stiles window-sill until Stiles whimper stilled him. He raised an eyebrow, which Stiles took to mean 'talk away'.

"Dude, you brought me a cub!" he hissed. The cub wriggled its tiny body and both men froze until it let out a sort of meeping sigh and settled further into Stiles hoodie. Stiles took a relieved breath, his arm and shoulder starting to really sting now, not to mention his poor ravaged thighs, and continued. "Where did you even get a cub? What am I supposed to do with it? Why me? Why not take it to a wolf? Or a vet? Or...something?"

"Don't you want it?" Derek rumbled with a frown, shoulders tight with...something.

"How am I going to explain a freaking wolf cub to my dad?" Stiles asked, genuinely panicking now. Derek had brought him a wolf cub. And expected him to what? Raise it? Like some sort of backwards Jungle Book? Actually, yeah, the cub did look like a Mowgli come to think of it...

"I don't know," Derek admitted, eyebrows so low now it looked like they were planning to communicate with his cheekbones.

"Dude, I can barely look after myself and my dad, never mind your pack of ridiculously teenage freaking werewolves, I can't..." He trailed off as his eyes strayed back to the cub because he couldn't but oh, he really wanted to.

"He can stay at my place," Derek said coming back through the window, only to stab a finger in Stiles face, "but you're responsible for him. Before school and after school, feeding and exercise and whatever else he needs."

"Shit, seriously?" Stiles gaped at Derek then grabbed a t shirt from his hamper and carefully laid the sleeping cub in it before handing the bundle over. Derek's blank expression was clearly asking 'wtf?' so Stiles kindly explained.

"He's very young so he needs a scent that's, like, home to him you know? So, well, mine. Since he's mine and everything. Right?"

Derek looked...well, Stiles wasn't entirely sure but it wasn't far off Scott's constipated look. Huh, three expressions. Stiles looked at the cub with greater admiration.

"I'll be over first thing in the morning, but he'll need feeding every couple of hours and you'll need to get bottles and milk and something for him to sleep on and..." Stiles chattered happily, holding Mowgli in one hand and googling with the other. Derek looked...yep, that was definitely a fourth expression.

/

When Stiles got to Derek's at 7am the next morning, he found Jackson and Scott on the couch, heavy-limbed and heavy-eyed, whilst Mowgli bounced between them, chewing on their shirts and making the cutest growling noises Stiles had ever heard.

He absolutely could not help the noise of abject adoration that slipped from his mouth, causing both werewolves and wolf cub to look up.

"Thank god!" Jackson snapped, Scott nodding in agreement even as he yawned wider than the Grand Canyon. Mowgli threw his head back and howled, before taking a flying leap off the sofa and scrambling to Stiles feet, clearly begging to be picked up and petted.

"Stiles." Derek stood just in the hallway, bare-foot and bare-chested, hair mussed from sleep but eyes alert as ever.

Stiles instinctively froze half-way to the floor before he remembered that he'd been invited and he was definitely meant to be here and this was his dog, damnit...err, wolf...whatever.

"Morning Derek," he replied cheerfully, scooping Mowgli up for some frantic face-licking.

"Figures," Jackson mumbled, earning a death-glare Hale-style. Stiles absolutely did not smirk at that (except he totally did). He stopped smirking when he realised both Scott and Jackson were heading to the door.

"Uh guys, where are you going?"

"Home," Scott responded around another massive yawn. Stiles had definitely never needed to see Scott's tonsils quite so clearly.

"Shower, change, eat," Jackson added and Stiles could only watch them disappear until he was left alone. In the Hale house. With Derek. And Mowgli.

"Mowgli!" Stiles knew his voice held a bit too much relief, but he ignored it and got down to play with the wide-awake cub. Derek, the total creeper, was still half naked in his own hallway. Just...watching them. Except he was mostly watching Stiles. Well, not exactly mostly. More exclusively.

"Breakfast?" Derek growled after legit fifteen minutes of staring and not much else. The hairs on the back of Stiles neck were standing on end and the back of his knees were damp. Stiles squeaked. Derek, of course, took it as consent. The big creeper.

000

"I hate algebra," Stiles moaned, bashing his forehead into Scott's shoulder a little harder than was strictly necessary. He moaned again, this time for a different reason, rubbing at the sore spot. "What is the point in it? Will we ever use it? Are algebra hating aliens going to invade and can only be fought off with our superior equation-solving skills?"

"Are you saying," Scott began, a totally weird gleeful expression on his face, "that you'd like for all your algebra homework done for the whole year?"

"What?" Stiles asked, distracted by the positively malicious air surrounding his best friend, "Wait, for the whole year? Heaven!" Stiles leaned back, imagining a world where all his algebra was complete. Scott just smiled at him. Stiles shuddered cos, yeah, waaaay too many teeth.

/

The pile of completed algebra homework on his desk still came as a surprise. The handwriting was curt (and Stiles couldn't even explain how he knew that about hand writing but it was) and not Scott's. Stiles figured it was an apology for how much he'd been ditched for Allison lately and decided to accept the lovely gift and quietly hope Scott hadn't bullied one of the smarter kids the year below to do it. Hopefully he'd at least paid them.

000

"I kinda wish I could meet you wolfed-up, without the trying to eat me bit," Stiles threw into the conversation, mostly to shut Scott up talking about Allison because really? All freaking day? He was not expecting Scott to grab him by the shoulders and dig his fingers in until Stiles yelped and tried to twist away. His eyes were deadly serious.

"Stiles," Scott's voice was urgent, "Take that back right now."

"Alright alright, jeez!" Stiles leaned back, out of Scott's range, rubbing his bruising shoulders, "Not you obviously. You're a bit too loose with the fangs. Just, you know, someone in control of their wolf."

It was a thought to jar Scott, but it was still a thought Stiles had had a few times. He'd never gotten a chance to be up close to a wolf that didn't involve running for his life, and it's was kinda hard to get a good look through horrified adrenalin-fuelled tears.

"Stiles," Scott moaned, eyes closed, expression wretched. Stiles had no idea what his deal was now.

/

He woke up because something was snuffling him. Something large and hairy which, when it pulled back, was definitely not Mowgli. Mowgli's eyes were blue, not red.

"Oh my god," Stiles moaned lowly, clenching his eyes closed tightly, "There is a werewolf in my bedroom and it's snuffling me. Okay, if you aren't Derek then you should probably leave because this territory is, like, taken? If you are Derek, umm, could you be a lot less wolfy and maybe a little less in my bedroom?"

There was a low noise, not quite a growl but a definite...threat. The authority screamed of Derek's grumpy eyebrows and perpetual non-smile.

"Okay, Derek then," Stiles breathed, staying as still as he could with the Alpha all up in his space, "Never thought I'd say this but I'm missing your face right now. Your very very human face."

The werewolf stilled a second, head tipped like it was listening, then started snuffling at Stiles skin again. A nose touching his chin made him meep. He resisted initially but a growl put paid to that idea, and Stiles allowed wolf-Derek to manipulate his jaw until his head was tilted back, baring his throat. Where his trachea was. Which was being mouthed now. By a werewolf. Oh shit!

Stiles tried hard to control his breathing, certain panic would not help in his staying alive agenda. He tried to remember what Derek had taught him when they were talking about Scott and his wolf-outs. He conjured Derek's stern face behind his eyelids and heard his voice, "Don't run, don't resist, don't yell."

Yeah, he was going to die.

"Derek," he tried but his voice was squeaky and thin, "Buddy? You're really freaking me out right now. Derek?"

Wolf-Derek merely shifted his massive head down Stiles throat and though he was momentarily grateful, it fled when wolf-Derek forced his head under the duvet and shoved his muzzle into Stiles armpit. What the ever loving fuck? He sniffed there for a while, breath hot and damp, registering all of Stiles smell, including his fear, oh my god.

"Seriously Derek," Stiles squeaked, "I really would prefer you didn't eat me. I'd like to live. Think of Mowgli!"

Wolf-Derek ignored him but his head moved onto Stiles stomach, sniffing through the material of his t shirt before shoving it up with his nose and licking his bellybutton. Licking it really intently too. In fact Stiles was pretty sure he didn't know his own bellybutton as well as wolf-Derek's tongue did. He squirmed and tried to push at wolf-Derek's ridiculously massive and terrifying head, but wolf-Derek ignored him like he wasn't even there. Except for the bellybutton licking.

Wolf-Derek moved further down Stiles body and suddenly Stiles would have happily taken bellybutton licking every night from a terrifying werewolf over what wolf-Derek was doing now, which was nosing at his freaking dick, oh shit!

"Derek, Derek, what the hell dude!" he hissed, trying to wriggle away from the werewolf's questing mouth but wolf-Derek merely snarled in a way that turned Stiles spine to water and clamped teeth around Stiles upper thigh, not biting but making it clear that he could if he wanted to. Stiles, because he was a lot of things and one of them was still alive, took the hint and stopped moving. Possibly breathing too.

After a long moment, wolf-Derek continued on his quest to strike fear into the heart of everything Stiles by sniffing and nudging his groin, shoving in harder with his gargantuan shoulders, forcing Stiles thighs further apart. When that nose slid lower and sniffed, the implication that there was a wolf tongue that wanted to be inside his boxers tasting had him 0.3 seconds away from a full-blown, probably-end-up-werewolf-chow-but-fuck-it-because-that-werewolf-was-smelling-his-genitals freak out.

Right when Stiles was hovering at the point of no return, wolf-Derek moved away from his junk (hallelujah and praise everything!), licking the skin above his hipbone, tasting his inner thigh and laving the soft part at the back of his knee before settling at his feet and just going to town. Usually that would be ticklish, but there was nothing funny about a humongous, hairy man-beast licking intently between his toes like they were hoarding the last scrape of ice-cream and wolf-Derek's tongue was the spoon.

Finally, finally, wolf-Derek's head withdrew from the bed, but Stiles kept his eyes (and hands) clenched tightly closed. There was a dip in the bed at his shin and a pressure, light and quick, on his thigh.

"What the hell was that, Derek?" Stiles asked in a small voice.

"The wolf wanted to meet you," Derek replied in a voice that was just decimated. Stiles cracked an eyelid and the sight only made him clench his eyes tighter closed again, until the blackness behind the lids exploded in reds and whites. Derek was sitting on his bed. Correction, naked Derek was sitting on his bed.

"Mission accomplished," Stiles replied and fell silent, probably due to the trauma of being used as a giant popsicle by a not-so mythical creature. There was stillness for a while, then Derek stood up. Stiles opened his eyes to make sure there would be no more wolfing out and wished he hadn't. Derek was still butt-ass naked, and now his boner was eye-level. Derek, who had just let his toothy alter ego get all up and personal with Stiles...person was naked in his room with a freaking boner, which Stiles couldn't seem to tear his eyes from. This was just so fucked up!

A polite clearing of the throat had Stiles eyes shooting up to meet Derek's...amused? Oh my fucking God, amused! face. Stiles, manfully, squealed and pulled the duvet over his head. He heard Derek chuckle as he climbed back out of the window then spent the rest of the night convincing himself that he hadn't because Derek laughing? There was a mind-fuck he just did not have space for right now.

/

"Dude, he was wolfed out in my freaking bedroom," Stiles insisted, dragging Scott closer, "Then he had a boner. A boner! In my bedroom!"

Scott just looked at him. Like Stiles was the crazy one.

"Are you serious?" Scott asked and Stiles thanked the lord and baby Jesus because Scott was finally getting it! "You have no idea why these things have happened? Really?"

"I know!" Stiles crowed, triumphant in the way that only the agreed-with could be, "It was totally, wait, what did you just say?" Come to think of it, nothing about Scott's previous sentence sounded like 'yes Stiles, my Alpha is a crazy, naked, boner-wielding nutcase, that's just how he rocks'.

Scott rolled his eyes. Rolled. His. Eyes. Stiles had to suppress the urge to smash his head into the nearest wall because how was this his life right now?

"I'll give you the stag because even I didn't get that one but the cub? The house renovation? The thing with Lydia? The thing with your dad? The thing where all of your algebra homework for a year appeared, complete and correct, on your bed? The meet-and-greet with a werewolf? You have no idea where any of this is going? Seriously?"

Stiles stared at Scott, who kind of blurred out as little werewolf-shaped tiles started to drop into place in his head. The click was practically audible. Scott sighed and walked away, leaving Stiles to his horrifying ephiphany.

/

He barged through the door and flung his bag at the coffee table, where it made a satisfying thump. Derek was lounging on the couch, Mowgli at his feet, looking completely relaxed - except for the fact that Stiles could see the air of poised around him. It terrified him. But, because he was Stiles, he ignored this emotion and soldiered on anyways.

"Am I being courted?" he demanded, and Derek's face slid into an expression that made Stiles toes curl in his shoes; half amusement, half irritation, all simmering, roiling want.

"Oh my god, I am being courted. By a freaking werewolf!"

"By the Alpha," Derek growled, suddenly there, in Stiles personal space like it offended him or something. "By me."

"I ... uh..." Stiles stuttered, brain for once blessedly quiet and still. It was a shame Stiles couldn't enjoy it on account of him having an aneurism. He was fairly sure he was as close to a panic attack as he'd ever been, right up until Derek's mouth, warm at his ear, whispered, "Stiles, just breathe."

And Stiles did.

Once his heart was less likely to burst, Derek pulled back and grinned. Not an I-will-tear-your-throat out grin, or an I-am-Alpha-hear-me-roar grin, but an honest to God grin grin. Stiles would have fallen over if it wasn't for Derek's arms, solid and steady at his sides.

"So...courted?" Stiles started, inexplicably relaxed with everything out in the open and Derek's body, warm and known, right against him.

"Yep," Derek agreed and swooped in for a kiss.

000

Stiles stumbled into the living room later in the evening to find Scott, Jackson and Mowgli snuggled on the couch watching some football game on tv.

"You!" he accused pointing at Scott, but his voice slurred a bit from...activities, and his finger shook from lack of energy. "You didn't tell me. You didn't even hint!"

"Are you kidding?" Jackson squawked whilst Scott moaned and hid his eyes, "All we did was hint. You're denser than concrete!"

"I am not," Stiles tried to protest but it came out a sort of garbled mess.

"Jesus, you aren't even wearing pants!" Scott moaned, "And you have hickies! Hickies, Stiles! I really didn't want to be thinking about you having sex. With my Alpha, oh god!"

Stiles looked down, almost surprised, at his bare legs sticking out from under Derek's t shirt whilst Jackson made gagging noises behind his hand.

"Stiles."

Everyone froze and Stiles turned automatically, like his bones had been called and had decided to ignore his brain function for being too slow. He stumbled toward the shape of Derek, shadowed in the hallway and heard him snap a warning to the two whimpering werewolves before he was firmly guided back to Derek's room.

Well, Derek's bed.

fin


Thanks for reading, feel free to leave me your thoughts.