On Photobooths and Fall Weather
» Rating: G
» Additional tags/warnings: Pack feels, fluffy little nothings, less than 1k
"This is a stupid idea," Derek says. He's giving the photo booth camera a baleful, baffled glower, the kind he usually reserves for leafy vegetables and girltalk. On the screen, his face is surrounded by pastel cartoon flowers.
"This is a great idea," Stiles corrects him, pointedly ignoring the toothy leer Peter gives him when Stiles is forced to use a hand on his thigh for balance. "This is the best idea anyone has ever—Scott, no, what are you doing, you need to be on the left!"
"I thought Allison could sit on me," Scott says with a frankly idiotic smile.
"Aw, baby," Allison coos, "that's so sweet, but don't you think we should ask Boyd first?"
Scott (and now, most of Allison as well) is cozily ensconced in Boyd's lap, because as every cheerleading captain knows, big girls go on bottom. In this case, that means Derek, Peter and Boyd are looking pained and long-suffering as the rest of the pack clambers in over them, hiding twitches and winces whenever someone's elbow or knee hits a sensitive place. Stiles belatedly realizes his hand is still on Peter's thigh, jerks it away, almost overbalancing out of the booth.
"Go ahead," Boyd says, with a martyr's long sigh. Erica, who has her arm laid over his shoulders and most of her weight on his hip, scoots onto Derek to make room for Allison. Her legs drape over Isaac's lap where he sits between Derek's knees, and Isaac gives her grin and runs a threatening finger over the arch of her bare foot.
"Do not even start," Stiles warns them. "Jackson, Lydia, c'mon, you're holding up the picture!"
"I... think we'll sit this one out," Lydia says, still outside the booth. She and Jackson are arm-in-arm, staring at the messy pile of pack members in the booth with identical expressions of snobbish horror. "Look, a lane just opened up—"
"Non-optional bonding moment."
"Just get in here," Stiles says grimly, and reaches over to yank back the curtain.
There's a lot of shoving, and shouting, and completely unhelpful suggestions ("Maybe you should just get out and go around to the other side, Jackson." "Maybe you should just get out and go fuck yourself, McCall.") In the end, Lydia sits with Allison on Boyd, who looks distinctly more pleased with this arrangement— especially when Scott is shunted over into Erica. The two of them together slowly crush Isaac into a horizontal position. Jackson trips and falls into the footwell, and every attempt he makes to get up again is completely thwarted by the tangled legs of nine other people.
"Stay there," Stiles orders, because hey, he's in the picture (well, his hair is in the picture, and after all isn't that where almost all of Jackson's charm and personality lies?), and because Stiles is reasonably sure the only reason they're all still in the booth is because of werewolf super-strength.
Stiles ends up in Peter's lap. Of course. Peter tucks his chin over Stiles' shoulder and smiles winsomely at the camera, and over Scott's head Derek's eyes narrow to tiny, murderous slits.
Stiles rolls his eyes, smacks the hand creeping around his waist and leans in to flick through the backgrounds. "So, dudes and dudettes, do we feel like balloons, or—?"
"Just take the picture," they bellow back.
"Holy crap, alright! Balloons it is. Say cheese—"
The photographs are hilariously awful.
Between Allison and Lydia, Boyd looks like an explorer in the jungle, peering out through a waterfall of red and sable hair. Isaac is barely visible, a knee and a slice of killer cheekbone his only contribution to most of the photos. The most they ever get of Jackson is his eye and one nostril, lit up and bleached pasty white by the flash, leaving the rest of them as nothing more than shadows with glittering animal eyes.
Of course, the werewolf eyeshine alone would have obliterated each photo no matter what positions they were in, but through experimentation they learn that it's not as bad if no one is looking directly at the camera. Scott solves this problem by looking stupidly adorable, eyes squeezed closed as Allison kisses his cheek. Derek solves it by glaring at Peter, in twenty-three of their twenty-four photos.
About halfway through, Isaac succumbs to temptation and there's one picture where Erica is thrashing and screaming like a loon, most of their faces obscured by her flying hair and Isaac's arms, brought up to defend himself from her glittering purple claws. Behind her, though—
"Can I see them?" Derek asks, on the way to the car.
"No!" Stiles clutches them protectively to his chest. He has real photographic proof that Derek Hale can, in fact, smile without looking like a psychotic baby-murderer, and he's not jeopardizing it for anything. "These are going straight in the scrapbook and there's nothing you can do about it."
"I just wanted to look at them," their alpha mutters. "Jackson, stop it."
"Scott will stop too, if he knows what's good for him."
And the Hale pack makes its way home on a cold night in September, moon hung like a pearl on the endless black velvet sky.