geenoway: (wrote what)
[personal profile] geenoway
Title: Sign of the Apocalypse
Author: [personal profile] smallearthcat
Pairing: none
Rating: PG
Summary: Derek starts being affectionate. Stiles is completely weirded out.
Disclaimer: All things Teen Wolf belong to the MTV, I own none of it.
Author notes: Comments and con crit. are much appreciated.

After they defeat Gerard, Stiles sort of expects the pack to fall apart. Erica and Boyd were on their way out anyway, and since Scott's been in and out so often, it's practically a given that he, Stiles, and Isaac (Scott's new biggest fan) are definitely out. Jackson never did well playing by other people's rules, which would leave pretty much just Derek and Peter. Some pack. Only, that's not exactly what happens; not even close.

Jackson, it turns out, now has everything he ever wanted. Lydia, the whole 'fangs, claws, and fur on a full moon' thing, and a pack that essentially has to be there for him. Erica and Boyd turn up the next day, worse for the wear, but with more information on the alpha pack and seemingly no desire to leave again (not that Stiles blames them; he saw firsthand what Gerard had done).

Scott is the strangest recruit, though. He's never cared for Derek that much, and given the way he very nearly sold everyone out for Allison, Stiles wouldn't have bet on him caring much about the pack now that Gerard's gone. It starts to make a little more sense once he figures in the fact that with Allison out of the equation for now, Scott's got no reason to keep his distance, and because of Isaac, actually has a reason to stay.

And Stiles? Well, he'd like to think he could keep himself out of it all, help his dad stay safe, but he knows that would only last until Scott came to him for help, and then he'd be right back in the thick of it. Better to just go with it now and save himself the trouble.

So, the upshot of it is that they're on the fast track to being a real pack where everyone gets along and everything is sunshine and puppies. Yeah, as if any of their lives are like that. They argue about stupid things all the time, which almost always causes Derek to growl and/or frown, but it's...nice. What Stiles imagines having lots of siblings must be like.

Possibly the weirdest thing of all, though, is that Derek, against all odds, starts showing actual affection for them. All of them, even him. At first it's just tentative smiles, when someone does something right or they work together and end up with better results than expected. To be honest, the first time Stiles sees Derek smile, he almost falls over in shock. Of course, so does the rest of the pack, which means that even though he almost certainly has a stupid look on his face, everyone else is too busy looking at Derek to notice and make fun of him.

If it had just been a few smiles here and there, Stiles probably would have gotten over it more quickly, because really. Everyone deserves to be happy once in awhile, even someone as perpetually grumpy as Derek. But no, it starts creeping into a friendly pat on the back as a form of goodbye, an arm around the shoulders to steer someone in the right direction, and once – very memorably for Stiles – a comfort hug.

It starts happening so often that Stiles finds himself thinking increasingly of Derek, even when there's no reason to, even when he's pretty sure he's thinking of something else entirely, only to wind up realizing he's been analyzing Derek's actions and trying to find a pattern. It's distracting, is what it is, and Stiles' life has too many distractions already. He wants to tell Derek to knock it off, to go back to threats and violence, something predictable.

Only, he doesn't really want that, especially when it never was a necessary prerequisite to get his help. He might, under pain of death, admit that he kind of likes this new side of Derek, and not just because it means there's less of a chance he'll somehow end up hurt. No, he likes the way it turns Derek into someone who's actually sort of approachable, someone Stiles would voluntarily spend time with.

The rest of the pack seems to agree, if the changes in their attitudes are anything to go by. It's not that they get soft or anything, but everyone seems to be in better spirits on a more regular basis, even though they're still training hard and trying to hone their skills. Everything seems to be going so well, in fact, that that 'waiting for the other shoe to drop' feeling starts creeping up on Stiles. It makes him sort of twitchy, expecting someone to jump out and try to kill him at every turn, regardless of where he is or who he's with.

So, he keeps his eyes peeled and an ear to the ground, even though he's sure one of the others is much more likely to notice something off before he is. He doesn't think he's acting too far off normal, at least not until Derek takes him aside one day with an arm around the shoulder (still weird) and says, "Why are you so nervous around the pack all the time?"

"Nervous? Me? Nonsense. I'm just, uh..." Stiles can't even believe he's at a loss for words now, when his silence is about a million times more incriminating than any anxious-sounding babble he could come up with.

"You are, though." Derek drops his arm from Stiles' shoulder and steps back, obviously trying to get a read on him, and when Stiles relaxes a fraction, Derek's eyes narrow in speculation, and Stiles knows he's not getting out of this conversation without spilling his guts. "I still make you uncomfortable."

"Not really." Derek's glower is back in place, at full force. "Not any more than you ever did," Stiles says defensively. "But you've been kind of nice lately, and I can't help it if my automatic response is to wonder if it's a sign of the apocalypse."

"You liked things the way they were, then?"

"No! I mean, look, I am totally behind a new, more approachable Derek. The pack's gotten closer, everyone's mellowed out a little bit, I worry for my safety less. Things are looking pretty good right now, but is it going to stay like this? Of course not! Something new and twice as evil as anything we've seen so far will come along and rip us apart!"

"So this is a calm before the storm kind of feeling? Everything's good, which means that something terrible is coming? Is that it?"

"Maybe," Stiles admits sullenly, wishing he hadn't said anything at all.

Suddenly, he's engulfed in Derek's arms and pulled tightly to Derek's chest. It's better than he remembered, although that could be because the one time it had happened before, he'd been a little frantic over the very real possibility of Scott bleeding out before he managed to heal. Stiles takes a shuddery breath and wraps his arms around Derek's waist, because this? This makes him feel like things might actually be able to stay as good as they are. Ridiculous false hope, probably, but right now, he'll take it.

It's at least a minute before Derek finally lets go and pulls away, but Stiles is still disappointed when it happens. Derek gives him a knowing look and a soft smile, like he can read all of that just from Stiles' body language. And who knows, maybe he can.

"Try not to worry so much. Whatever comes, we'll get through it."

And Stiles believes him, because if Derek can still think that even after losing his whole family, there must be something to the sentiment.


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September 2016

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