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"This was a bad idea," Derek says.

He stops just inside the automatic doors, suddenly enough that Stiles thumps into the back of him, and it's like running into a wall. If said wall was made of warmth, and meat, and wrapped in dubiously clean leather. And really Stiles just needs to stop comparing things to other things because it never ends well.

"Hey, you're the one who wanted us to form a cohesive unit and bond and eat together and stuff, but hadn't actually thought to buy any food." Stiles pokes Derek until he snatches his finger and squeezes it. "Ow."

"I've been a little busy," Derek says pointedly. "Trying to keep everyone alive."

The growl on the end makes a woman with a basket eye them suspiciously, focusing immediately on the fading bruises on Stiles's face. Oh, and then she's judging them. Derek reluctantly lets him have his hand back in the face of her terrible judgment. Stiles can hear what Derek didn't say though. 'Trying to hold everything together, trying to fix everything that was broken, trying to look like I know what I'm doing.'

Stiles pokes him again, then retrieves his finger before Derek decides to bite it off.

"I told you to socialise. I told you to go out somewhere without anything murderous and supernatural happening. Maybe take the kids bowling or something? But did you listen? No. Now look at you, you're in a supermarket and you have no idea what you're doing because you've been living in the woods eating rabbits and the bark off of trees, and probably washing in some creek full of frogs. You realise you're supposed to be being a good influence right? You have like five kids now. They have to go to school, you have to help them with their homework and make pack lunches - pack lunches that do not consist of raw deer and bark."

Derek doesn't comment on any of that but he clearly wants to. His face says he wants to comment on it, and that there may be swear words and shoving involved.

"Supermarket," Stiles reminds him. "Also, you're being a good influence." He tips his head sideways. To where the entire Pack is watching them like they're waiting to take social cues from them, and Derek actually sighs and fixes some sort of less-than-murderous expression on his face.

It's a start.

"What do we need?" Scott asks, smothering the awkward moment with hopeful enthusiasm. As if he's determined that this will be the best day out ever. God help them. He's dragged a cart over and he pushes it helpfully towards Derek, who just lets it hit him in the thigh instead of attempting to take hold of it. Then Derek glares miserably at the cheerful, coloured fruit display like he'd rather be fighting the Kanima. Or maybe getting his arm chopped off.

"I told you to make a list," Stiles stage-whispers.

"Everyone just go and find some food," Derek growls.

Stiles rubs a hand over his face and smothers what wants to be a laugh because this is going to go so well.

Scott takes Isaac, possibly in the hope that Isaac will reach all the things on high shelves for him, and seriously, who is he kidding? Stiles is pretty sure Scott is Isaac's favourite thing at the moment. He'll pick up whatever crap Scott wants him to. Erica and Boyd march off with purpose. Stiles suspects they are going to be helpful as fuck to make up for trying to cut and run when it got hard. They're going to be so helpful that by the end of today Derek may murder them just to escape from their guilty little faces. Jackson is standing five feet away, probably smelling like moping, and guilt about trying to kill everyone. The others would probably know what that smells like, but Stiles isn't jealous about not knowing that at all. He could go his whole life without smelling any more of Jackson than was absolutely necessary.

And then there's Peter.

Peter is staring at Stiles, with that creepy little half-smile, looking completely innocent and nothing like the murderous psychopath that he is, and Stiles still doesn’t get that, at all. Why is he shopping with them?

"Seriously, what is he doing here?" Stiles says stiffly. "Who invited him?"

Derek pulls a face like he doesn't really know. Stiles doesn't like it.

Scott had immediately dragged Isaac over to the fresh fruit, standing next to a huge pile of melons, and they're close enough that Stiles can still hear them.

"You're supposed to squeeze it," Scott's saying. "To see if it's ripe." Scott's feeling a little guilty too, and Stiles has to wonder if that's why he's treating this whole thing like an adventure. Either way he's stacking Isaac's arms with melons like he absolutely has to find the perfect one. Isaac looks more confused than anything else.

"This is going to work you know," Stiles tells Derek. "They're not - you can't expect them to live in an abandoned warehouse, living on take-out and adrenaline. You have to give them a little bit of normal. They're sixteen years old. You have to make them feel like people too. This is better than..." Stiles stops and flails an arm helplessly because he doesn't want to say 'the way you did it.'

"Than what I tried to do," Derek says stiffly, because he can fill in the words just fine. "Which didn't work."

"Which is the only reason you're taking my advice, right? Since - well we've already established my decision making isn't exactly flawless, what the hell would I know?"

Derek grunts in a way that says nothing at all. But he's not angry, Stiles knows what Derek feels like when he's angry. He takes up more space, displeasure leaking off him in waves. Stiles doesn't know what that smells like either. He kind of wishes that he did, because knowing what sort of mood Derek is in sometimes would help. Because the only slider that seems to work is the one that goes between sadness and terrible rage. Stiles knows the kids mean something to him though. They're not just little wolf soldiers. And he has been trying, old Derek would make a decision and then blunder through it to the end, the best way he knew how, never admitting it was the wrong one, never admitting he needed help. No matter how fucked up things got. This Derek, seems to be more about the whole attempting to do things right, and sometimes even admitting when he's wrong and not being such a dick, trying to do something better. Stiles thinks there's the potential for new!Derek to learn more facial expressions.

The next time Stiles looks over at Scott, Isaac is blinking melon juice out of his eyes, holding the battered remains of what used to be a large and delicious rounded fruit, the look Isaac throws Scott is somewhere between hurt and embarrassed.

"Yeah, not that hard, dude." Scott says, and he's not even trying to hold his laughter, wiping bits of melon off Isaac's cheek with his sleeve. Stiles just knows he's going to have to have that conversation with Scott again, about accidentally flirting with people when you didn't mean it.

Stiles gets distracted by the apples, which Derek has no opinion on (Stiles senses that's going to be a theme.) But at least Derek starts moving when he nudges him, though he drags the cart behind him like he has no idea what to do with it. Stiles is pretty sure he's doing it on purpose. But when he tries to wander off Derek hauls him back, by fisting a handful of his shirt like he's afraid of being left by himself among the produce. So, ok then.

Should Stiles just get two apples for everyone? He's never bought groceries for eight people before. Only Peter probably doesn't eat apples, because he's evil.

Isaac wanders past - looking much less sticky - with a bunch of sad-looking bananas, which he seems uncertain about actually putting in the cart.

"Go on," Stiles says, and Isaac awkwardly tosses them in and - they officially have groceries.

"Those ones are bruised," Erica snaps, and puts the bananas Isaac threw in the cart back on the display.

When Stiles looks down again there are tomatoes in the cart, and lettuce. He's pretty sure the salad ninja is Jackson. Though he doesn't seem to have moved from where he's pretending he doesn't know any of them.

Erica settles her newly chosen bananas down gently, and then smiles uncertainly at Derek, like maybe she's expecting to be licked on the head. And, yeah, Stiles has put up with a lot from them but if that happens by the fruit and vegetables he's finding new friends.

Derek just nods, but that seems to be enough because her smile shifts into something that looks slightly less desperate.

"Is Jackson ok?" Stiles asks quietly. "Because I feel like he's a second away from fanging out and eating everything here."

"He'll be fine," Derek says, and he's not even looking. Jackson's been in the pack like ten minutes and the words 'special circumstances' were kind of invented for people like him. Stiles wonders if he could get away with punching Derek in the arm. He probably could.

"Really? Because two days ago he was a lizard, and also dead, and trying to kill us all."

They both look over at Jackson, who's staring at the potatoes in a confused sort of way, like he's trying to decide if he should eat them, or attack them, or maybe try and have sex with them. Stiles isn't sure he's had enough time to adjust from having a murderous lizard brain to having a semi-murderous werewolf brain.

"Stiles does have a point," Peter says helpfully, from somewhere behind him.

Stiles jumps, and then stabs a finger in Peter's direction, because the only person who gets to appear creepily behind him is Derek, and that's only because they have developed a relationship made entirely of creeping and life-saving, they have an understanding. He glares at Peter in a way that he hopes translates as you do not get to have an opinion on my opinions.

"Jackson, get over here," Derek says, and that is definitely his official 'do as you're told' voice.

Jackson scowls, then comes over. He hangs on to the edge of the cart, while pretending he's not doing it, and looks for all the world like a bored five year old who's been told he can't have any candy. But at least he's not trying to have sex with anything.

They round the next aisle to find Scott and Erica having a tug of war over a crushed selection of bread.

"Rolls," Erica hisses.

"Bread," Scott says angrily.


"You can't make sandwiches with rolls," Scott says, as if he can't understand why that wasn't enough to win the argument outright.

"I don't like crusts," Erica complains.

"Rolls are all crust, the whole outside is like entirely crust," Scott says, in a confused sort of way.

"You're an idiot."

"I like sandwiches," Isaac offers.

"Of course you do," Erica snarls, and gives the bag another tug. It's a hair away from ripping and showering everyone in dented slices of white bread. Stiles is pretty sure he will never find any of the werewolves threatening again if that happens.

"We'll have sandwiches," Derek says, grabbing the bread out of Scott's hand. Erica looks horribly betrayed. "And hot dogs," Derek finishes, and throws both in the cart with the air of a man who has made a decision and that's the end of it. "You think you can find something more pathetic to argue over?"

Scott looks appropriately ashamed. Erica's scowling, and Isaac looks like the confused little brother who doesn't understand why this is happening.

"Go and find hot dogs," Derek snaps, and they all squeak off across the shiny floor in different directions.

Stiles looks at Derek sideways.

"You realise it's too late to rethink your amazing plan to make a pack out of insecure teenagers, right? That's a thing you did, and now you have to live with the bratty, hormonal consequences."

"I will put you in this cart," Derek threatens.

"Would you, because that would be awesome, I kind of hurt my ankle earlier and it's been a little -"

Derek hits him with a loaf of bread. Which breaks, and showers crumbs everywhere.





Isaac puts four packs of hot dogs in the cart and then has a very loud argument with Jackson about the dog-to-roll ratio.

"It's to make you buy more, everyone knows that," Jackson says, and then refuses to talk to him any more. Because apparently even in the Pack, Jackson acts like he's adopted. Stiles thinks Derek should send him back and ask for a refund, because he's a terrible, terrible person.

Derek makes Jackson go get onions and he stomps off with an exhausting amount of drama.

Stiles has been wondering where Boyd went for a while, but he appears in the next aisle, face barely visible behind the armful of plunder he's carrying. He may have emptied the entire meat counter. That is a thing which may actually have happened.

"Eight people can't live on bananas, tomatoes and hot dogs," Boyd says, and dumps all the chilled meat he's carrying into the cart.

"He's right you know," Stiles admits. "There are a lot of you - of us. Though, wow, that is a lot of meat. That is a shitload of meat, and I know some people may argue that that isn't an official unit of measurement but I beg to differ."

Boyd's still trying to keep it all from falling out of the cart. But Stiles is distracted by the fact that Isaac has disappeared down the next aisle and so has Peter. He elbows Derek, who huffs out an angry lungful of air against the side of his neck.


"You might wanna keep an eye over there. Because I feel like if you leave Peter and Isaac alone together for more than five minutes then we're going to need to have a conversation with Isaac later involving dolls." Stiles tries to get a subtle look round the aisle but all he can see is the long curve of Isaac's arm.

"He's not going to do anything," Derek says. It doesn't sound reassuring though.

"You do realise he's the creepy Uncle, right?" Stiles feels like this is something Derek should already know. "He has a history of getting teenagers alone and encouraging them to do things. Also, we killed him once and he came back from the dead and tried to drive Lydia insane, and now he's grocery shopping with us. I feel like a little bit of caution is healthy here. Seriously if no one else is going to be horribly suspicious I'm just going to be suspicious enough for everyone." Stiles keeps shooting glances towards the cake aisle, until Isaac reappears, looking none the worst for wear, or violated in any way. Also, carrying cake, which Stiles is fully behind.

He puts one foot on the cart and one hand on Derek's shoulder hiking himself up until he can reach the Doritos. He throws eight bags into the cart, two of them miss and end up on the floor.

Derek pulls a face of extreme irritation and tosses half of them back.

"Seriously, seriously? I get stuff thrown out? I'm pretty sure Scott put beer in there. I don't know why I even try sometimes."

Erica bats the chips out of the way and starts arranging the ground beef into a tower at the end of the cart, with the bacon next to it. Stiles gets the feeling she just wants to touch it all. Werewolves are kind of possessive about their food.

"Boyd you are the best," she says with a grin.

Stiles doesn't miss the way Boyd kind of looks like he'd be willing to go and find more meat if necessary. As much as it would take to make everyone happy.

"Can we get lasagne?" Isaac asks, around the totally unnecessary amount of orange juice he's carrying. "I like lasagne."

"What?" Derek says distantly. Erica and Boyd aren't the only ones distracted by about forty pounds of raw meat. Oh, and what do you know Derek does have other expressions.

"This has bits in," Erica complains in Isaac's direction. "Gross."

"It'll be in the frozen section, straight over there." Stiles leans sideways on the cart and points.

"I'll get it," Scott says helpfully.

Jackson comes back with a neatly tied bag of onions, which Erica won't let him put in the cart until she's arranged everything to her satisfaction. At least not until Derek tells her through gritted teeth to just 'leave everything alone.'

Scott comes back with two boxes of lasagne, drops them in wherever he pleases, much to Erica's disgust. Jackson picks up one of the boxes and glares at it.

"This isn't meat, it's vegetarian, you idiot. This is soy."

Erica throws Derek a look of horrified betrayal.

"Oh my God, Scott put soy in the cart, he put fake meat in the cart, he's trying to kill us all."

"I didn't know it was vegetarian," Scott says testily. He picks the boxes up by the corners and takes them back where he found them, like he's touching something radioactive. "There isn't any lasagne left," he yells, after a minute's digging. "There's just frozen pizza."

"Don't get the frozen pizzas from here, they're shitty," Erica supplies with a scowl. "You always have to put extra cheese and pepperoni on them and the bases taste like cardboard."

"Check the next one," Boyd yells.

Scott does, and then straightens and shakes his head.

"Does anyone know how to make lasagne?" Scott asks hopefully.

He's met with a sea of sad blank faces.

"Seriously, there's eight of us and no one knows how to cook?" Stiles says desperately.

"I know how to make lasagne," Peter says slowly. "I know how to make a lot of things."

Which doesn't sound creepy at all, and of course Peter knows how to cook because what better way to worm you way into a house full of werewolves than to feed them. Stiles glares at him.

"A week ago you were evil, and dead, you really think we're going to eat anything you make?"

"I really like lasagne," Isaac says mournfully.

Erica looks torn as well.

"Maybe someone could supervise him?" Boyd says carefully.

Even Jackson looks like he's going to come down on the 'lasagne' side of the equation.

They're all traitors.

Except Scott who is totally on his side with this, because he doesn't trust Peter any more than Stiles does. He's still glaring at the freezer like this is all its fault.

"No," Stiles says flatly.

Isaac looks disappointed.

Peter tries to look harmless.

"I thought maybe some sort of non-threatening activity to show I'm not planning to murder anyone would be a good idea. Though I don't actually know any 'I'm sorry I tried to kill you,' recipes, and it probably wouldn't fit on a cake."

Boyd and Erica are laughing, but Peter's still looking straight at him, as if he's the one he wants to convince.

Derek takes a huge breath like he's about to tell them to stop fighting - and, oh my God, really, it's not like Stiles wants to be the one who crushes their dreams.

"Oh my God, I give up." Stiles throws his hands up, because really, why does he even bother? "Fine, but if he poisons you all it's your own stupid fault."

"Someone get pasta sheets," Derek says through his teeth.

Isaac squeaks off through the store and Stiles glares at everyone.




Stiles spends at least five minutes trying to work out how to carry more than four bottles of coke at a time. Because, damn it, he's not making more than one trip. He can carry two under his arms and one under his chin. Or he can carry two in each hand and one under his chin, every time he tries to combine the two techniques the bottles go rolling off, and he has to stop them with errant feet and he's pretty sure one of them is going to burst in a moment.

"Do you need a hand?" Peter's looming over him in a way that doesn't look immediately murderous but definitely gives Stiles flashbacks to when he was trying to kill everyone.

"No," Stiles says, from where he's crouched gargoyle-like among the bottles of soda, arms full. "No, I do not. I'm managing perfectly fine, thank you."

"Stiles, I really don't have any ulterior motives. Though your protective instincts are admirable."

"Don't think I'm going to fall for your creepy and sinister charm," Stiles warns him. Which, granted, may come out a little less determined than he hopes, because he's trying to hold a bottle of coke with his chin and mostly failing, and he's pretty sure he's partially unscrewed the one tucked under his arm, and everything is going to get very messy in a moment.

Peter's smile grows like a vine on his face.

"Which in no way means I find you charming." The coke is sliding down his chest and he manages to catch it under his wrist.

One of the bottles goes rolling across the floor and Peter stops it with a foot and picks it up.

"You can at least let me carry something. I'm sure I can avoid doing anything sinister and untrustworthy in the thirty feet back to Derek. You can watch me if you like."

Stiles glares at him, aware he's being immature about the whole thing. But, seriously, the man murdered people. They set him on fire and killed him, and now he's helping them choose what type of dip to have with their chips. This is Addams Family weird.

Completely aside from the whole 'possibly hasn't forgiven them for setting him on fire' thing.

"Stiles," Peter says gently, like he's being unreasonable.

Stiles glares for a beat and then wordlessly hands him four bottles and watches him slide the tops between his fingers and carry three in one hand.

He does watch him all the way back to Derek though, and Peter knows it because he's laughing.

"I hope you get carbonated beverages all over you?" Stiles mutters, and he knows that Peter can hear him and he doesn't care. "And then you're all sticky and unpleasant and you have to walk around like that for the rest of the day."

When Stiles gets back to Derek, Scott's leaning into the cart, trying to rearrange the chips by some system of his own. While Derek watches like he doesn't understand anything at all any more. Which is kind of hilarious. There's no space left for the bottles Stiles is carrying. Which sucks. He puts them on top of the meat, because it isn't like you can squash meat.

"Where are the eggs? Next aisle?"

"I already put eggs in," Scott says helpfully. "I did it when I got cheese."

"What, where?" Stiles peers in but he can't see any.

"Somewhere in there," Scott says with a frown.

"At the bottom?" Derek asks carefully. There's a tic in his jaw that Stiles is intimately familiar with.

Scott nods.

"Underneath the meat and the potatoes and the coke?" Stiles adds just to be sure.

Scott nods again.

Stiles leans in and fishes around until he can find the box. He pulls it out - and ok, yes, now he has a slimy hand.

The box dribbles pathetically, a mixture of snot-clear and canary yellow.

"Scott, I love you man, but you're an idiot."

"I thought it would be fine," Scott says helplessly.

"Just go and get another one."

Scott takes the box, makes a noise when the broken egg pools in his hand.

"Umm, what should I do with -"

"Just hide it at the back," Stiles says, and absolutely doesn't clean off his hand on Scott's shirt when he pats him on the shoulder.

Derek gets distracted by frozen chickens and Stiles gets to push the cart - for like five minutes. Because he crushes Erica into the cookie shelf, accidentally runs into Peter twice - and ok only one of them was accidental - runs over Isaac's foot, and knocks over a display of canned peaches. Why is it always peaches? Why do they always leaves peaches where innocent people can smash into them?

"I think one of the wheels is broken," Stiles protests, when Derek steals it back - not 'in the interests of public safety' as Boyd deems it - and because Derek is a mutant he manages to turn the entire thing around with one hand. "I hate all of you and your freakish werewolf strength."

Stiles gives in when they get to the canned food, he tugs open a bag of chips and starts eating out of it.

"Hey, I want chips too." Erica reaches into the cart and Derek scowls and drags it sideways.

"He's eating them," she points out, finger jabbed in Stiles's direction.

Stiles has too many of them in his mouth to actually reply to that.

"He has no self-control," Derek snaps.

"Maybe I don't want self-control," Erica protests. "Maybe I want chips."

Derek's mouth goes thin and angry, and rather than answer that he just takes the cart and all of the chips into the next aisle.

Stiles shakes the bag and offers it over. Erica grins with all of her teeth - seriously Stiles can see every one of them - and takes a whole handful, like an entire freakin' handful of chips. Never share your food with werewolves, seriously.

Just for that he doesn't bother to tell her that she has cheese dust all over her face.

They catch up with Isaac near the peanut butter, he's staring at the great mass of it with a longing that Stiles can feel from halfway up the aisle. He already has four jars stacked in one hand, balanced against his chest, a wobbly tower of delicious peanut-y goodness.

"No," Scott says simply, flop-squeaking across the shiny floor towards him. "No, dude, trust me, no."

Isaac throws him a questioning look, and Stiles is already laughing, leaning over the cart making noises into Derek's arm.

"What?" Isaac says, and then makes a sad, confused noise when Scott takes his peanut butter away.

"Have you ever tried to wolf out with a mouthful of peanut butter." Scott makes a face like he's relating a terrible war story.

And, oh my God, Stiles remembers that day. That was a good day. He'd laughed so hard he almost didn't make it to the bathroom. He regrets nothing.

"Don't do that," Scott warns. "Just trust me on that, don't do it."

"Dude, that was freakin' hilarious," Stiles says on the end of a laugh, because he can't stop replaying it in his head.

"Still not funny," Scott say, in a thready, traumatised sort of way.

"It will be funny until the end of time," Stiles says, and means it.

Scott shakes his head again, and winds an arm around Isaac's to tug him away. Isaac doesn't even try and stop him, he lets Scott pull him all the way back to Stiles. Then he stares carefully at the row of jellies and doesn't say a word, as if maybe Scott won't notice he still has an arm slung through his.

Yeah, they're really going to have to have that conversation.

"What's in the next aisle?" Stiles calls.

Boyd's nearly there, he flicks his head round to see. "Toothpaste, soap, shampoo, conditioner -"

"I need tampons," Erica says.

"I need condoms," Scott says and he abandons Isaac to find some.

"I'm not buying condoms so you can have sex with Allison," Derek says tightly, and tosses them back on the shelf.

Scott makes a pained face, and Stiles suspects he hasn't told Derek about the whole awkward break-up yet. Either that or he actually forgot about it himself for a minute.

"I want condoms too," Jackson says fiercely, as if the thought of people having sex without him is unbearable.

"If he's getting some then so am I," Erica mutters.

"I don't need condoms," Isaac offers, in a rejected sort of way.

"No one is getting condoms!" Derek snarls.

Which in no way makes everyone within a fifty foot radius turn and look at them.

"Good job on the inside voice there," Stiles says and pats Derek on the shoulder. After a minute he tosses a box of condoms into the cart and then points at the betas. "You can all share."

That gets him horrified looks from at least three faces.

"Oh my God, I didn't mean it like that, you huge freaks."

Stiles stomps off, because he's starting to feel like the parent and seriously, fuck that. He will sign up for the werewolf wrangling and the magical defence lessons, and the crashing his car into monsters. But he's damned if he's going to bake cakes and set curfews and sort out everyone's love life, especially not without getting laid at some point.

The next aisle is full of cat food, dog food, leads, collars and squeaky toys in a variety of cheerful, rubbery colours. Isn't that just the story of Stiles's life. He stares at the toys gloomily, occasionally squeezing one of them. The high pitched squeaking feels like a tiny victory.

He's pretty sure the looming shadow behind him is Derek, he doesn't have wolf senses but he's been loomed over enough to get a feel for Derek's particular flavour.

"You let Scott have the cart?" he says dubiously.

"No, I let Boyd have the cart," Derek says, and Stiles mentally apologises for doubting his intelligence to that extent.

"I thought you were getting territorial over your food."

"Technically it's everyone's food."

"But isn't it technically your food first?"

"There's a jar of pickles in there," Derek says, in a way that probably isn't supposed to sound as horrified as it does. Stiles doesn’t think Derek has been shopping with other people for a really, really long time. It's probably good for him in some way Stiles isn't going to point out or mention in any way.

"Dude, I promise to eat anything that scares you."

Stiles is expecting a glare, but he doesn't get it, what he gets instead is some sort of almost-smile. It's like a détente on Derek's face. Stiles squeezes the squeaky duck he's still holding some more, and it gives a high pitched quacky squeal of noise. Which is ridiculous and hilarious and far too loud.

Derek winces and then glares at him.

"I should get this for Peter." Stiles says. "I feel like I'm being too subtle with my words, and I just know he'll get into trouble if we leave him alone in the house with nothing to do."

Derek gives him a look.

"He could take it into a corner and just chew on it. What do you think, squeaky duck or squeaky bone?" Stiles squeaks them both as if he's seriously contemplating their abilities to entice someone into playing with them.

The corner of Derek's mouth flickers - Stiles did not imagine that, it was a thing that actually happened.

He picks another one off the rack, a squashed, mutated pig creature. It's the most hideous shade of bright pink that Stiles has ever seen. It doesn't squeak, it makes a sort of demented, pitiful honking noise instead.

"Or is he more of a honky pig sort of man?"

Derek laughs and - ok, fuck that was a thing. That was definitely a thing. Derek laughed. Though now his face is completely blank, like he's willing to deny all evidence that it did in fact happen.

Stiles squeezes the pig again.

Derek tugs the thing out of his hand. Stiles is fully expecting him to hook it back on the rack but he doesn't and, yes, Stiles approves.

"How about a collar and a lead?" he suggests.

"He would kill you in your sleep," Derek says, and now there's a half smile on his face, which is just over the line of genuine. It doesn't slip away the moment it appears either. Stiles thinks it suits him, he should dust it off more often.

"You know I would, I have no sense of self-preservation, like at all."

"Yeah, I've noticed," Derek says quietly, and Stiles totally knew he would wear Derek down eventually. If people hang around him long enough they either tend to end up liking him or wanting to murder him. Derek's not the first person to have tried both. Or to have walked the fine line between the two.

"So we've pretty much spent all your money on meat and junk food, but you haven't actually picked anything. You have to actually like something "

"I'm not fussy." Derek shrugs like it really doesn't matter.

"That wasn't what I asked, come on, tell me. I'm pretty sure the next aisle is ice cream, who doesn't like ice cream? Except you know people who are lactose intolerant or have a terrible fear of cows, or the severely diabetic - wow, ice cream is actually more complicated than I thought. But, hey, ice cream?"

Derek shrugs again, as if he honestly doesn't know. Stiles catches hold of his jacket and pulls him all the way there, much to his grumbled protest. Though Stiles knows damn well that if he didn't want to come all he'd have to do is stop moving and Stiles would come to an abrupt halt and probably fall down.

"There's one that has little marshmallows in it," Stiles offers. "That's actually a thing that exists."

That does get something, a brief, interested tilt of eyebrow and - holy crap - maybe Derek does like something.

"You like marshmallows?" Stiles knows he sounds surprised and triumphant at the same time.

Derek makes a non-committal noise.

"You totally like marshmallows don't you?"

Derek sighs.

"No, this is good, this is definitely good," Stiles encourages. "Even if I have to feed you marshmallows until you admit to it. Because seriously they're squashy as hell and you could probably get so many in your mouth." Stiles doesn’t even know what he's saying any more.


"No, because seriously, you know today wasn't just about them, it was totally about you too. Bonding exercises, communication, feeding your ragtag band of misfit toys."

Derek's looking at him now, and Stiles can't tell if it's a good look or a bad look - because he's already leaning in the freezer and pushing boxes aside, finding the one he wants and struggling his way free.

"Aha!" he thrusts said box at Derek.

"Marshmallows and ice cream, but seriously, you have to eat it now. You have to eat it or I will feed it to you myself."

Derek's mouth goes crooked and strange, and Stiles doesn't know what that expression is but it's different. Which is probably good.

"People will talk," Derek says flatly, and he's making a joke and he's terrible at it.

But Stiles is still taking it as progress.