So, in light of the way everything went with Until I wrap myself inside your arms I cannot rest, I decided to actually finish this fic before reposting it to this site. Please note that the two 'verses have absolutely nothing to do with each other.
At this point, I only have plans for this one fic in this particular 'verse, but I haven't ruled out entirely the idea of writing a oneshot for it here and there.
The song for this chapter is Alanis Morisette's Hand in My Pocket, because it fits Stiles and Isaac to a "T".
By the time the cruiser is pulling out of their driveway, Stiles has finished putting away the dishes he and his dad used for their dinner, though the scents of onion and falafel and tzatziki linger in the air. He opens the downstairs windows to help the smell dissipate, because as appetizing as the food smelled while the were eating it, neither of them will want to wake up to it three days from now. He'll have to leave the tupperware his dad will bring back from sharing the fruits of his son's labor with the office tonight on the counter to air out, but that's something to worry about later. For now, there is a bidding war Stiles aims to win for a supply of mountain ash on Ebay.
He hadn't believed Dr. Deaton a few weeks ago when the vet told him that was where he found most of his supplies, but that same night, Stiles had checked online, and sure enough, an almost infinitesimal set of sellers on the site dealt with the nearly non-existent market for materials meant for either combatting or healing the supernatural. It makes an odd sort of sense - if someone knows what to look for, then they will find it, and if not, then on a site like Ebay, which carries out thousands of deals on a daily basis, no one will be able to accidentally stumble upon the evidence of the supernatural world. Which is how, two weeks ago, he'd bought a small arsenal of several different species of wolfsbane, and the day before, he knew the moment the first bid for the mountain ash came up.
Whoever is fighting Stiles for that mountain ash - and it isn't Dr. Deaton, because Stiles had called to ask before he ever placed a bid, which means he feels no guilt about deciding his need for the stuff takes more precedence over some unknown entity - needs to either be prepared to lose, or refreshing his page every few seconds, because the deal closes in less than thirty minutes, and Stiles plans to watch the bidding price right up until the end. Climbing up the stairs, he hums the Batman theme to himself, thumb tapping out the beat on the rail.
It's when he stands in the doorway to his room that he realizes he is not as alone as he previously believed, and he blinks, surprised by his visitor for the evening. "This is new."
Lifting his head from where he had apparently been smelling his pillow, Isaac looks up at him sheepishly. "Um, yeah. Hi, Stiles." He rubs a rueful hand through his curls and then suggests, "I can go, if you want."
Plopping himself in his computer chair, Stiles shakes his head and shrugs, trying to play this off as no big deal. "You're not bothering me. I'm just gonna be on the computer, so you're welcome to stay as long as you want." He turns to pull up the tab with what he wants, and then asks his unlikely companion, "Did you need something?"
It's quiet for a while, and Stiles lets Isaac work up to it, sensing that whatever drove the other boy here is a sensitive topic, and oddly reluctant to send him off. He wasn't lying when he said he isn't bothered by Isaac's presence - it's nice simply having someone else with him, regardless of how out of the norm it might be. It could become normal, if they both wanted. Who knows? Maybe it will.
Finally, he hears Isaac swallow softly and then say, "It smells like Scott in here."
Oh. "Oh. Uh - well, that makes sense, I guess. He's slept here enough over the years, and his mom started making him keep clothes here after he came home messy a few too many times when we were younger." Which Stiles will insist to his dying day was never actually his fault. Not that Mrs. McCall or any of the other concerned parties ever believe him. "Do you need to talk to him, or something?"
"Or something," Isaac mumbles, before saying, "But this is good, for now if - if you don't mind." There's something going on here that Stiles feels like he should understand already, something incredibly familiar about the way Isaac is acting, but it refuses to coalesce into an actual answer, staying instead on the fringes of his conscious mind (which, admittedly, might have something to do with how crowded his mind already is with other things, but that isn't exactly anything new, so - it shouldn't be this hard).
Before he can stop himself, he offers to let Isaac borrow one of Scott's shirts. "He has his own drawer." He points lazily toward the right one. "But you probably could have figured that out on your own, right?"
"Right. Um - and you're sure that it's alright?"
"Yeah, I mean, why wouldn't it be?" There's a reason, but like the other thing, it just isn't coming, so Stiles is just going to pretend that all is right with the world, and the next time Scott comes over - whenever that will be, since he literally cannot remember the last time his friend was in his room - if Scott takes issue with it, he knows all the ways to wheedle his friend's forgiveness out of him, and is fully prepared to not only take the blame for this, but to use those tactics shamelessly, because for whatever reason, Isaac is in his room, acting shy and timid and needy, all of which are things Stiles hasn't seen in the guy since before he took the bite, and somehow it all comes back to Scott.
Instead of answering, Isaac asks another question. "Any idea where he is?"
Stiles actually knows exactly where Scott is.
Although things with Allison are still nowhere near perfect, they're working on being friends, which is good for more than Scott's control over his wolf. It's allowing him to form something stronger than a temporary truce with her father, who is now the head of their entire clan of hunters - because apparently there's far more to the Argent family than those aware of the supernatural in Beacon Hills have been led to believe up until now, and depending upon how things are handled, that could be great for everyone, or completely horrible. Considering the fact that where it counts, the natures of Chris and Scott's personalities are actually far more similar than they are different, it seems likely that the relationship will prove a positive one, for which they should all be extremely grateful.
Stiles certainly is.
Right now, Scott is with Chris, discussing plans for dealing with the alpha pack, because Chris won't talk to Derek or Peter - not that anyone could blame him, since the man isn't holding a grudge, but he doesn't trust either of them after everything that has happened, which ultimately is not all that different from how he felt about them before, but now it's likely that his feelings will never change.
"He's off being Mr. Diplomat," which is still weird for Stiles to think about, since it's Scott, but whatever; they all have to mature at some point, "and discussing ways to keep the rest of the town from getting caught in our friendly neighborhood alpha pack's crosshairs."
Isaac makes a soft humming sound and then Stiles hears him rising from the bed and then opening what he assumes is Scott's drawer. The drawer closes and there is a rustling of fabric, followed by the slight creaking that signals Isaac's return to the bed.
After that, things are quiet, Stiles becoming so absorbed in his self-appointed mission that although he can sort of feel Isaac's presence in the back of his mind, it is almost as though he forgets until fifteen minutes later, when he becomes the proud owner of ten pounds of mountain ash. He startles poor Isaac with a celebratory whoop, and proposes that he bake cookies and help him study for the chemistry final to make up for it (and also to help banish the sort of lost look Isaac has in his eyes, because it triggers something protective in Stiles that he typically only feels when his dad drinks a little too much or stays up too late and accidentally says something about his mom). Although Isaac assures him there is nothing to make up for, he accepts the offer and winds up watching him bake chocolate-chocolate chip cookies as he snuggles into one of Scott's worn out and faded hoodies, every once in a while lifting his wrists to his nose and sniffing in a way that is somehow adorably delicate but at the same time indiscrete.
They eat the entire batch while studying moles and covalent bonds and memorizing the basic facts about the first sixteen elements on the periodic table until they're both nodding over their textbooks, and then Stiles selects a toothbrush out of the pack of what was originally ten at the local Dollar Tree and gives it to Isaac, completely bypassing any discussion over whether or not he will be staying the night, and they take turns getting ready for bed. It's almost summer, and Stiles is a little concerned that Isaac will burn up wearing Scott's hoodie while he sleeps, but Isaac simply takes off his jeans and forgoes getting under the covers. It shouldn't be so easy, falling asleep lying next to someone who, until today, he has barely spent any time with outside of school and life-endangering situations, but it is, and the two of them are out not long after laying their heads upon the pillow.
In the morning, Stiles makes apple turnovers, which the two of them eat their way through on the way to school. Before Isaac parts ways with him to head to his own locker, Stiles puts a hand on his arm. "If you want to come over for dinner tonight, I'm making meatloaf."
"Won't your dad be there?" Isaac fiddles with the edge of the royal blue t-shirt he pulled out of Scott's drawer earlier in the morning, since Stiles convinced him that Scott wouldn't mind. He couldn't exactly let him go around in yesterday's clothing, could he?
"Yeah, but I mean, it'll be fine. Trust me, most of the time, my dad is like a big teddy bear. Grumbly, but generally harmless and prone to giving bear hugs."
Scott shoots Stiles a confused, slightly disbelieving look as soon as he sees Isaac wearing one of his shirts during chemistry, but then they have to take their final, and there really isn't ever a good time for the two of them to talk about it, even at lacrosse practice that afternoon, since Scott has taken Stiles' spot on the bench. Jackson must smell Scott and Stiles all over Isaac, because he keeps sending curious glances between the three of them, but thankfully nothing ever comes of that, either. The lack of questions is bound to come to an end eventually - especially since they have a pack meeting scheduled for Friday night, which is in two days, but at least they don't have to deal with it right now.
That night, his dad takes one look at the nervous kid leaning against the island in his kitchen, and raises his eyebrows at Stiles. Stiles shrugs eloquently, and so the good sheriff decides to take it in stride, welcoming Isaac to the Stilinski home. He still feels like the kid got a raw deal when he was taken in for questioning about his father's murder, and if this is an opportunity to help make up for that somewhat, then he isn't about to take it for granted. After that, Isaac relaxes marginally, and the night goes on in relative ease, the two boys retreating to study with a plate of freshly baked brownies - of which Stiles only allows his dad to take one.
They fall into a pattern over the next few days. Stiles will drop Isaac off at the Hale house to check in with Derek and Peter, who are overseeing the reconstruction, and then Isaac will make his way to the Stilinski home, where Stiles is somewhere in the process of making dinner and the sheriff is either looking at a case or doing paperwork. Somewhere along the way, they eat, Stiles bakes, and then studying happens. On Thursday night, Stiles bids on a few more pounds of powdered wolfsbane, and promises Isaac that no, it is not meant for anyone in the Hale pack - except maybe Peter, when Stiles is having a particularly bad day. But most likely not.
Having someone to take care of helps Stiles more than he anticipated when he first set out to get rid of some of Isaac's leanness through home cooked meals and baked goods and sleepovers which have somehow progressed to snuggling. It gives him something to focus on when strategizing and studying are not enough, as well as someone to talk to while his dad works late hours, and soothes an emptiness which he had been aware of for a while, but uncertain how to handle, because Stiles may not ever have had many friends - for the longest time, it was just Scott - but he is a social creature, and living inside his own head for so many weeks has not been healthy.
More than that though, Isaac seems more content than he has in all the time Stiles can remember knowing him, and Stiles would like to keep him that way. This is why, on Friday morning, Stiles corners Scott in the parking lot after sending Isaac on into the building, and asks Scott for a favor which is not, in fact, among the top ten weirdest things he has ever requested from his best friend. Seriously. There is a list, and this does not even come close to making it.
"So, could you maybe bring me some of your old clothes when you come to the pack meeting tonight?"
Scott takes his time looking up from where he had been securing his bike to the bike rack. "I think you mean could I bring Isaac some of my old clothes, but yeah, I guess."
Fidgeting, Stiles bobs his head and rubs the hand not holding onto his book bag over the back of his neck. "Thanks, man."
"Look, Stiles, I don't know what is going on, but you would tell me if there was something I needed to know, right?" Uhg. This is the reason he wanted to avoid this conversation until he couldn't anymore. And it's just so confusing, because Scott is looking at him in that earnest way that says, I'm here for you, and I love and accept you, bro, that Stiles hasn't had directed at him in such a long time, and he has no idea why Scott is choosing to use it now, of all times. Stiles is fine. Good. Great, actually. There is nothing new about Stiles to support or accept.
"Um, always, buddy." He huffs a disarming laugh and then carries on, because apparently this is something Scott needs to hear, and Stiles has quickly resigned himself to not understanding the reason for it. Among the first rules of being friends with Scott is accepting the fact that nine times out of ten, Scott's reasoning only makes sense in his own head, because the guy was just born seeing the world a bit differently than the other six billion anthropoidal members of its population. "You know me - I tend to overshare. It's kinda my thing."
After eying Stiles for a bit longer, as though searching for a sign that he is holding something back - which, really, that's so unnecessary at this point, since all Scott needs to do in order to verify something someone says is listen their old ticker for a few beats - Scott nods and changes the subject after uttering a tentative, "Yeah, okay."
When school lets out for the weekend, Stiles drives the familiar route to the Hale house, and promises Isaac that he will be back in an hour and a half for the meeting. There is a package at his front door when he gets out of the Jeep, and he may or may not pump his fists in victory, because that came just in time for tonight.
According to Dr. Deaton, it is possible to control which supernatural beings mountain ash guards against; it all comes down to intent and force of will. Stiles has plans for that if he can actually get it to work - which it should, since getting the mountain ash to work at all is the hard part. He believes that it works now, so he should be able to believe other things about it, as well, and what better way to test himself than against an entire pack of werewolves?
He brings the box into the house and deposits it in his room to mess with after he finishes making the spicy chicken casserole he started working on last night, along with the ginger-apricot muffins which he suspects he will spend half the meeting defending from all the bottomless pits in the pack. Except for Isaac. Isaac can have all the muffins he wants.