Of course the situation merited a pack meeting, but this was one Stiles was looking forward to. He stood by the door in the "living room" of the house and practically vibrated with his anticipation of the reactions of the others. Scott looked at him strangely, obviously nervous because Stiles was already at the house and, historically, when Stiles was this eager about something, the results weren't always ideal. Stiles smiled at him as Scott sat down on the couch and wasn't shaken by Jackson's dirty look either.
"Dude," Scott hissed before Boyd or Erica showed up, "why weren't you at the store? Isaac and I were getting worried." Stiles saw that Scott really had been worried and he smiled at his best friend, past transgressions forgiven for now.
"You'll find out in the meeting. That's part of it," he promised, patting Scott on the shoulder.
"Did the other pack come after you again?" The urgency in Scott's tone resulted in Stiles feeling guilty about not telling his best friend earlier, but vindicated because Scott proved to Stiles' more skeptical side that he cared. Stiles wanted to spill, but he only patted his friend's shoulder again as Erica and Boyd entered the room.
Once the two were sitting and had noted that Stiles was present and unharmed, they looked to Derek in confusion because they could see no reason for the meeting. Everyone else did the same and Derek pushed off of the wall, ready to address the unspoken question.
"The other pack has been handled and I think it's safe to say that they aren't going to come back." There were a few alarmed, questioning looks following. "Yes, they showed up again and after their Alpha finds out about this final encounter, he'll give up his pursuit of Stiles."
The rest of the pack looked confused and they obviously noted a change of some kind. Stiles had expected them to notice something different, but he was quite satisfied that they didn't know what it was.
"How do you know?" Scott asked. More than curious, he looked suspicious and Stiles once again felt a little guilty, though he wasn't sure why. Still, he noted the emotion's presence.
"Because he was around during the final confrontation," Stiles answered. He went on to explain because Scott looked very confused. "I was stopped by them on the way to the store and, from that, a fight emerged. Derek was there. I was there. We fought them off and everything's good now."
Jackson scoffed. "What did you do?"
Stiles turned on him and glared. "I happen to have a very powerful weapon at my disposal that I would happily demonstrate for you." His eyes narrowed further and he felt the tension in his temples again. By now he knew that it meant his eyes flashed or completely changed color. When it happened, the color was dull, dark red, not quite as vibrant as the Alpha's simply because Stiles was human. While Derek called the pack together, Stiles had watched his eyes in the mirror, learning how to control the flash—because his eyes flashing in front of his dad was the last thing he needed—and marveling at the fact that it even happened.
The eyes of everyone in the room widened and Scott's flashed as he stood up. "What did you do to him?" he demanded of Derek.
Derek raised his eyebrows at Scott and his eyes flashed red. Stiles groaned and put himself between the two. "Nothing, Scott. He didn't do anything to me. Nothing bad anyway."
"What's that then?" Scott asked, gesturing toward Stiles' brown-again eyes.
"'That' is one of the benefits I get from being mated to an alpha werewolf," Stiles answered, giving Scott his best 'back down' look.
"What?" The question came from most of the pack, causing Derek and Stiles to sigh simultaneously.
"I accepted the claim that came from Derek's wolf."
"The wolf claims the only person who's able to be a werewolf's mate," Derek interjected.
"The basis for the claim involves a lot more than eligibility, though, and the wolf doesn't choose lightly because werewolves mate for life and it has to be right for all of the benefits to apply and for the mate bond to be as strong as it's meant to be. There has to be a connection and the claim is the wolf's confirmation that the person is the right one. The claim then has to be accepted by the other party and once it is the two are mated," Stiles explained in a rush. The blank looks persisted and Stiles managed to not roll his eyes.
"I accepted when I went off after the wolves that were going to kill Derek because apparently me being claimed protected me. Even if the wolves had dragged me off and their Alpha had bitten me, it wouldn't have done anything. To break the claim, they had to kill Derek—and if they'd done that they would have gotten all of us, so you're all welcome—and I realized that, so I went after them and helped run them off." It was strange to talk about such a personal thing that had happened so privately. Derek looked pleased and possibly proud, though, so Stiles didn't dwell on the feeling.
Erica looked interested. "What kind of benefits are you talking about?"
"I'm glad you asked," Stiles said, turning toward her happily. "As far as I know, increased speed, sharper hearing, the eye-flashing thing, and I'm stronger than before, not as strong as you guys, but stronger than regular humans." She nodded, looking impressed.
"What are you going to do about your dad?" Isaac asked and Scott looked just as interested in the answer. Stiles' enthusiasm faded a little and he bit his lip because he'd thought about that obstacle and knew what he had to do.
"I'm going to have to tell him soon and hopefully he won't find out before I do." It wouldn't be the easiest thing he'd ever do, but Stiles was sure that he was able to convince his dad that this new, permanent development in his existence wasn't a bad thing and that the four year age difference wasn't a problem. He'd also have to explain everything and disappoint him with the knowledge that Stiles had been lying to him for almost a whole year. His dad wouldn't be happy about it, but Stiles was confident that he would accept everything eventually. "He's not going to like it, but he deserves to know, and I'm sure the fact that we've made it alive this long will convince him that it's not the worst thing that could happen to me."
Scott looked dubious—and he had right because he knew Sheriff Stilinski better than the others in the room—but it appeared that he was rounding on acceptance of the reality in which his best friend was mated to his Alpha. He exchanged a look with Stiles to inform him and Stiles nodded in appreciation, allowing a smile onto his face at his friend's unnecessary-but-welcome approval.
Derek was behind him then and he rested a hand on Stiles' shoulder. The teenager felt his smile grow to accompany the warmth in his chest. "And that ends the pack meeting. You're all free, and strongly encouraged, to leave now," Stiles said brightly.
Everyone grudgingly got up and left and Stiles smiled as he watched his extended family get into vehicles and pull away from the house. When the rest of the pack was out of both Stiles' and Derek's hearing ranges, the Alpha turned the teenager toward him. "Are you sure that your dad isn't going to be a problem?"
"Pff, don't worry about him. I'll handle all of that, hopefully when you're not around and he doesn't have a gun strapped to his belt." A flicker of worry flashed through Derek's expression and Stiles sighed, putting his hands on his Mate's shoulders. "He's not going to be a problem, I promise." Something in his expression must have been convincing because the tension in Derek's body vanished and he leaned into Stiles, resting his forehead against the human's.
"Alright, I trust you."
The simple statement widened Stiles' eyes in shock and put a smile on his face, making him lean away from the Alpha to gape. Once the words sunk in completely, he lunged at Derek, putting his arms around the werewolf's neck and kissing him, feeling an overwhelming, expanding feeling in his chest.
"I love you," Derek whispered when Stiles was breathing.
Stiles simply smiled, eyes still closed, and whispered back, "I love you, too Sourwolf."
Thanks again, everyone, for all of the support in its various forms. =) This is the end of the story, but keep watch because I have some more in the works. I'm glad you guys have liked this one so much.