Scott and Stiles have lived in their apartment for about two months. It’s almost perfect to the way they want it. Scott has all his clothes contained to his room and the bathroom, and Stiles has the TV remote presets perfectly in place. They have their chores, conveniently placed on a little chore chart that Melissa had brought up during an early visit when they first moved in. They compete for pizza paid by the other person, a star being added if they’ve fulfilled all their chores first that day. For every ten stars, free pizza. So far, Scott is on his way to winning free pizza for life.
So they have their system down. Scott knows not to disturb Stiles when he first gets home from work, letting his best friend decompress from the day, and Stiles knows better than to knock on Scott’s door when he hears the crooning of Frank Sinatra through his door. (Sinatra happens to be Allison’s favorite- meaning that Scott is brooding deep inside his room over his love for Allison’s whatever that day.) They have their Terror Taco Tuesdays, and Lydia and Erica come over some times for a dinner.
Derek next door even fits into the system. He meets Stiles every morning for the elevator, and always says hi to Scott when he catches him coming down the stairs from Allison’s. Now that the baseball season is over, he still sometimes comes over for a root beer and takeout (except on Tuesdays, when Stiles sneaks his way into Derek’s apartment to hide from demons, or chainsaw wielding crazy people) after a long day at work himself.
But two months in, Allison comes to Scott and Stiles one night, after a huge torrential downpour of a rain storm, soaked and looking quite upset. Scott looks like he might have a conniption when he opens the door, but when Allison walks in, and takes off her jacket, Scott’s face lights up.
“Oh, Allison! She is so pretty! Is she yours?” Scott croons, and grabs the small white kitten from Allison’s arms.
“I was just coming from training with Dad, and she was just sitting outside the gym. She was scrounging around, and I just couldn’t handle it. I had to take her home. She has no collar or tags or anything. I might call the police later, and see if anyone has lost a cat. But I doubt anyone will claim her.” Allison says, and Scott nods.
“She looks a little underfed. Might have been eating on the street for a while, or not used to not being fed each day. I think this little one has been on her own a while.” Scott replies. “I think she’ll love your place.”
“That’s the thing. I can’t take her. Lydia, bless her heart, is allergic.” Allison frowns, and Stiles scoffs from the couch, having heard enough of the conversation.
“Yeah, I think she’s already met her pussy quota.” He remarks, and Scott gasps.
“Stiles! Don’t be crude. I mean… I mean, we could take her, right, Stiles?” Scott’s voice turns soft, and he cuddles the precious kitten to his cheek.
And no. Oh no. Stiles knows that look. He’s seen that look work in action, multiple times. Like that time Scott brought home the frog they found in the woods, or the time Scott brought home the baby bird they found in the woods, or the time, the one very time, Scott brought home a snail they found in the woods. Each time, Melissa crumbled like an old wall. Down she went. Eventually, the frog and bird were sent back to their homes, and the snail disappeared mysteriously, but Scott knows how to use that look. It was also the same look he used to get a girl in his chemistry class senior year of high school to convince her to take Stiles to prom because he had no date. She had accepted immediately, and Stiles was amazed.
“No! Don’t with the look!” Stiles tries, but already, the thought of being greeted when he got home from work, and someone to cuddle with on the couch wormed its way into his brain.
“But Stiles! She has no one! We are her parents now!” Scott cries, and Stiles groans. “Look at our little newly adopted baby!”
“Dude, fine!” Stiles exclaims, and throws his hands in the air. “But YOU need to get the litter box, and make sure she’s had all her shots and whatnot. You are going to be the responsible parent. I am going to be the loving parent.”
“You guys are so sweet! I’m just going to run up and get a shower. Can I come back down later so I can play with her?” Allison smiles, and Scott nods furiously, as though she didn’t even need to ask the question.
“Perfect! See you guys later!”
“She needs a bath, or something.” Stiles says, looking back at the TV. “You should probably get stuff.”
“Good idea! Watch her. I’m going to run out and get stuff. If Allison comes, just tell her I’ll be back.” Scott smiles, and runs to get his keys and jacket. He places the kitten softly on the couch, and scratches her ears. Then, he runs out of the apartment without even letting Stiles formulate an appropriate response.
“Welp, just you and me, kitty. What is your name anyway?” Stiles huffs, as the cat sniffs around on the couch where Scott had placed her. “Yeah, that’s a good one.”
About an hour later, Scott and Stiles’ apartment is full of people. Lydia and Erica are cooing over the thing as Isaac and Boyd look on, as if they know the pain Stiles is going through, and cannot wait for him to break. Allison and Scott are preparing everything for the new addition. They have already scheduled a vet date, and have cleaned the kitten the best they could that she could not do herself. Scott had bought her a litter box, a cat castle (Stiles could only imagine how that looked on the subway), and a few toys.
“So, what is her name?” Lydia asks, sitting next to Stiles on the couch. He’s barely left it all afternoon.
“We haven’t come up with one yet. I keep giving suggestions, but Scott doesn’t like any of them.” Stiles scoffs, and Scott rolls his eyes.
“Thorin is a boys name, and The Evil One is just weird.” He calls from the floor, where the kitten is playing on his lap with a toy mouse on a string.
“You are hopeless.” Lydia mutters from besides Stiles, and he smiles.
“Why not name her Kat-tidy? Like Kassidy, only kitten form?” Isaac suggests, and Boyd shakes his head.
“Yeah, but then her name would still be Kat. How unoriginal.”
“Why don’t you name her something normal? Like Devin or something?” Erica calls out, and Stiles glares at her.
“You heathen! You do not name a pet a people name!” Stiles retorts, and Erica chucks a fuzzy cat toy at him.
They’re in the middle of the great name debate when there’s a knock at the door. Stiles gets up from his spot on the couch and answers it. He’s in the middle of telling Lydia how Galadriel is a great name when he’s face to face with Derek. Derek is holding a bag of takeout and a six pack of root beer.
“Hey.” Derek smiles, and he looks worn to Stiles, as though he’s had a long day.
“Dude! I didn’t know you were going to come tonight. I hope you brought a lot of that takeout.” Stiles sighs, and opens the door wider to show Derek the mess in his apartment. Stiles expects to hear him respond that it’s okay, they can do this tomorrow or next week, but he hears a gasp instead. When he looks at Derek, he’s already half way into the apartment, food and drinks already placed into the lap of Isaac sitting on the counter.
“Who is this?” Derek asks excitedly, and woah. What? Everyone looks at Derek is some shock. This is the king of brooding, the Moody Man. Why is he getting so excited over a kitten?
“Well, we haven’t decided on a name yet. We were all discussing it.” Scott smiles, getting up and handing the kitten to Derek. He takes it tentatively. He coos at it, and woah. That does things to Stiles’ insides that make him seriously wonder if he’s going to die of cute.
“Aw, poor thing. Nameless. You can’t go with people names either. It’s unheard of.” Derek comments, and cradles the thing to his chest. It seems perfectly content to be there, nuzzling into the softness of Derek’s suit coat.
“Dude, she looks so relaxed there.” Isaac smiles, and Erica then yelps out.
“I got it! Name her Mjölnir! Call her Mew-Mew for short!” Erica looks as though she has just won the lottery. Stiles gapes at her, and flails his arms.
‘That is perfect!” he cries, and Scott sighs.
“Why? Isn’t that the name of Thor’s Hammer? Why would we name her that?
“Because only those who are truly worthy can pick her up!” Stiles and Erica exclaim at the same time, and then smile, high fiving each other.
“Mew-Mew. Hi, Mew-mew.” Derek pets Mew-Mew and she purrs perfectly against him.
“Oh, great!” Allison smiles, and Isaac laughs. Boyd looks at the whole lot as though they are crazy.
“Mew-mew it is then!” Scott laughs.
Mew-Mew turns out to be the fucking bane of Stiles’ existence. She is a little demon wrapped up in a fluffy exterior. She’s cute, don’t get it wrong, but she is a little shit who likes to make Stiles’ life a living hell.
The first time it happens, Stiles is almost late for work. He’s about to get into the shower when he sees it. There is shit in their shower. At first, Stiles thinks he’s dreaming. There is no way. But then he sees Mew-Mew saunter out of the hallway and into the bathroom. The look she gives him is definitely a challenge. Oh, hell no. Stiles spends time cleaning up the shit, and in turn, is late in taking his shower.
Now, it happens at least once a week. Mew-Mew is good about the rest of the house, but it always seems to be on the mornings that Stiles really needs to have everything go right and is way too tired to deal with anything.
Mew-Mew also spills drinks like no tomorrow. Stiles has been thinking about buying one of those thermos containers for his drinks. If she sees a glass on the counter, well, it must be in her way, because every time, it goes flying to the floor. They’re lucky they don’t use actual glass, but Stiles is getting tired of cleaning up water or beer off the floor.
The last straw, Stiles thinks, is that Scott thinks she’s the cutest living creature ever. She bites Scott all the time when he goes to pet her, only little nips, nothing serious, but Scott laughs every time, and he always gets his pets afterwards. She doesn’t bite Stiles, which he thanks his lucky stars for, but she makes the rest of his life hell, so he doesn’t really count it as a win.
And for some damn, god-forsaken reason, Mew-Mew loves Derek. Derek loves her back. It’s a match made in hell.
“Where is my precious?” Derek calls as soon as he enters Scott and Stiles’ apartment. He places down his briefcase and bag of takeout and kneels on the floor. Mew-Mew comes running from her hiding place, almost as though she knows his voice. She trots up to him, and requests her petting in the form of batting at his tie. Stiles thinks she is more doglike sometimes, but her love for Derek knows no bounds.
“Hello, darling. Look at you.” Derek coos, and Stiles rolls his eyes from the couch.
“Hello to you, too, Derek.” He says from the couch, and Derek snorts. He walks over to the couch with Mew-Mew scooped up into his arms, and a smile on his face.
“If I didn’t know any better, I would think someone was jealous.” Derek chuckles, and Stiles resists the urge to blush. It doesn’t help. Resistance is futile.
“Yeah, well good thing you know better.” Stiles responds instead, and Derek’s smile falls a little.
“How was work?” Derek asks, and Stiles sighs.
“Crazy. I was almost late again because of her royal highness here, and then people were just shitty. I just wonder how someone got into their higher jobs but can’t work a computer.” Stiles explains, and looks over at the two. Mew-Mew is purring softly at Derek, who is rubbing her ears. He looks as though he’s only listening half way.
“Should I leave you two alone?”
“Don’t be silly, Stiles. Mew-Mew and I are just good friends.” Derek teases, and Stiles laughs a bit.
“You know, you are grumpy like all of the time, except for with Mew-Mew.” Stiles says, and Derek shrugs.
“I have a hard time with people, you know that. I still have trouble talking to people, even you. But… but you don’t have to talk to animals. They understand feelings. They know how you feel, and can react the way you need them to.” Derek explains, and Stiles nods. “Maybe that’s why you think she’s the worst. She knows you feel that way. Give her a little more loving and she may just treat you different.”
“If she stops shitting in the shower, maybe I will. Little demon.” Stiles huffs, and gets up to grab the takeout. Derek doesn’t get up even when Stiles sits back down with a full plate of some sesame chicken. Derek looks halfway to dreamland, and Mew-mew is on his chest, purring away softly. Stiles cannot be mad at that, and sighs.
It’s way too cute, dammit. Derek, not the cat. She’s a little shit.
“Can you babysit her?” Stiles asks Derek one night, holding Mew-Mew in his arms in the hallway as Derek looks at them, smiling.
“Don’t trust her alone in the apartment?” Derek asks, and Stiles grumbles.
“No, I have to go out and meet my co-workers at a work function, and Scott is up at Allison’s. I don’t want her destroying anything.” Stiles asks, and Derek rolls his eyes.
“How about I come over? I can watch her in her own space. I promise I won’t let her wreck anything in your apartment.” Derek responds, and Stiles looks like that seems to be a good plan. He shoves Mew-Mew into Derek’s arms, and tells him that the spare key is under the mat, and he had to run now or he’d be late, and ran down the stairs, not even bothering to take the elevator.
“Hi, Mew-Mew. Your dad is weird.” Derek smiles, and cuddles into the kitten’s fur because no one is watching.
He closes his own apartment door after grabbing his keys. Then, he lets himself into Stiles’ apartment, and sets Mew-Mew on the couch. She yowls in protest, and hops to the floor. Derek watches her disappear into the depths of the apartment. He’s never gone any farther than the bathroom or the living room.
She returns a few minutes later, as Derek is filling her food bowl with some kitty food from a can. She’s carrying a toy mouse, and plops it down next to her bowl. She begins chomping down on her foot, and Derek sits on the floor next to her.
“You know, Mew-Mew, I really like your dads. Scott is so nice, and Stiles… well, Stiles, is…you know. Before they moved in, I had Erica, Boyd, and Isaac. Sometimes Lydia would bug me. I like being by myself, you know? But… But they bring me out of my comfort zone.” Derek says, and he suddenly feels stupid, talking out loud to a cat in the middle of an apartment that isn’t his. Yet he doesn’t want to stop.
“Everyone is so worried about me. My mom, my sisters. Even my Uncle thinks I’m some recluse who is going to wither away. Stiles makes me feel like that won’t happen. I just get so nervous around people. But he makes it okay, mostly because he acts like an idiot so I don’t feel alone, or feel like one myself.” Mew-Mew looks up from her bowl, and gives him a look.
“I know. It’s always been this way. I don’t know what to say, or think that I will sound rude. But Stiles? He says whatever is on his mind, doesn’t care. I still get nervous. He makes it so I’m less nervous. I… Mew-Mew, I think I might like him. Would that be okay?”
Mew-Mew licks her chops, and walks over to Derek, nuzzling into his hand for pets. Derek smiles, and scoops her up. He takes it as a confirmation and permission. Although for a split second he wonders why he would need permission from a cat. He sits them both down on the couch, and turns on the TV flipping through the channels. Mew-Mew uses his body as a tree, climbing all over him.
Derek finally settles on a trashy TV rerun, and lays on the couch. Mew-Mew does not appreciate her tree disappearing, and lands on his stomach, clawing him a bit. But she settles and falls asleep. During petting Mew-Mew and the ending of the rerun, Derek falls asleep.
Stiles and Scott return at the same time that night. Stiles opens the door, and almost yelps when he notices the lump on the couch. When he realizes it’s Derek, he smiles, and Scott snorts. Mew-Mew is fast asleep on his chest, and it makes for a truly adorable picture. Scott snaps a photo, and sends it to Allison immediately. She would totally appreciate it. Stiles, however, Stiles is a bit in shock.
He knows that Derek is attractive, and maybe has a crush- okay, totally has a crush- on him, but this? This is way too much for him to handle. He also takes out his phone and takes a picture. When he does, Mew-Mew picks her head up and runs away, most likely to Scott’s room to nip at him.
He lets Derek stay asleep on he couch. Only an hour later does Stiles hear him get up, and give him a drowsy smile before wishing him a good night and walking out the door heading across the hall.
He is so screwed.