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Of mice and men

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When Stiles comes home after school, for once not lingering and staying at Scott’s, what he hears makes him frown and cock his head curiously. His dad is swearing and muttering, sounds of disgust appearing from time to time. What the hell is his dad doing?!

Curiosity piqued, he follows the sounds of his father and goes to the kitchen. He has to refrain from snorting (with great effort, he might add) at the sight that greats him. His dad is on all fours on the kitchen flood, the bottom panel of the kitchen cabinets taken off, and a flashlight in his mouth as he gesticulates wildly with his arms in the opening. 

‘Yo, daddy-o, whatcha doing?’ He leans against the doorframe and watches, amused. He has a pretty good idea of what is happening here.

His dad jumps at the sound of his voice, to enraptured with whatever it is he’s doing to have heard Stiles come in. John looks at his son with a frown, then back at the gap under the cabinets. ‘Mice, Stiles. Mice!’ He says, as if that explains everything.

And it does. Because as much as Stiles admires his father, he can fairly admit that mice are his kryptonite. The man cannot stand the little critters. It’s not fear, per se, but more like a heavy disgust and intolerance. 

‘Shall I leave you to it, then?’ He’s joking, and his dad could probably tell, if he wasn’t so concentrated on the mice not coming out again. He’ll help his dad with pleasure, but he’ll have some fun in the meantime. 

His dad startles again, frowns deeper, and then seems to understand what he just said. There is a kind of panicked relief in his eyes. Panic at the idea that he would need to deal with this on his own, and relief at the reminder that he can now give the burden of chasing mice to his only son. 

The man stands up, dusting himself, then uncharacteristically fidgets (of all things).

‘Well, ah, I actually have to go to work, just got called in. You know how it is. So if you could…?’ And he gestures widely to the mess at his feet.

Stiles does snort at this point. Because, when his dad is stressed, he’s really a bad liar, but he’ll be nice and not let him know. He knows perfectly well that his dad wasn’t called to come to work, because mice or mice, he would have had been gone by now if that were the case. Still he takes pity on the man.

‘Sure thing, pops. Leave the critters to me!’ And he rubs his hands together with a smirk, ignoring the sigh of relief his dad lets out at the news.

After that, his dad can’t get out the front door fast enough.

Ladies and gentlemen, his dad, the Sheriff of Beacon Hills...

 

**

 

A week later, Stiles is climbing the stairs to Derek’s loft when he hears a commotion inside and hurries in.

‘There! Grab it, Derek!’ There’s a tremendous crash of something heavy hitting the floor, then the noise of something breaking as it follows down.

‘Well done, Derek. Magnificent reflexes as always. It’s not like we needed the lamp anyway…’ Peter is as sarcastic as ever, but Stiles can hear the tinge of stress in it (and he won’t wonder too long about how he knows Peter well enough to hear that kind of thing in his voice, without even seeing him).

‘I don’t see you try and grab it, Peter!’ And yes, that’s definitely an annoyed growl. The kind that used to be followed by a shove into a wall and a threat to tear out a throat with his teeth. Not good. Derek is rarely so bad tempered these days.

Stiles hurries along, glad to have thought to take his bat with him instead of leaving it in the car (and it’s not that he had a feeling or anything, he’d just wanted to see if Peter knew any way to infuse the bat with mountain ash to give it a little oomph).

‘Shit! There it goes! On your left! The other left!!’ Another thud and something else breaking. Not good at all. Peter is always complaining that they should mind the furniture. What the hell managed to get past the protective runes and into the Hale loft?!

When he finally opens the loft’s door, he doesn’t know what he expected, but what he sees isn’t it. Blood maybe, and some kind of monster of the week. Instead, there are two grown ass werewolves, fully shifted into beta form, looking around them wildly, keeping an attentive eye on the floor and radiating discomfort, if not outright fear.

What the hell?!

He must have said that out loud, if the (impressive) jump of surprise both men make is any indication. And that another thing that just spells WRONG. Even during combat or stress, they’re both usually much more in tune with their surroundings. They should have heard Stiles running down the hall and opening the door, if not recognise the sound of his jeep parking in the front.

Both Hales look at him as if they don’t really know what to make of him, with the bat at the ready to help defeat whatever it is that invaded pack territory.

Then they blush, and Stiles had a moment to wonder if maybe he’s been sucked into an alternate universe, when a blur of grey runs out from under the sofa and goes to perch on Peter’s left foot. 

The squeak Peter lets out and the quick to chase the mouse away are so out of character and surprising, that Stiles doesn’t really understand what he just saw, until Derek yips and flails, landing on his ass and screams (really, literally, screams) ‘Mouse!’ before getting back up and nearly running to Peter to, it seams, take cover.

‘Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me!’ 

Stiles turns around and goes back out the door.

‘Stiles! Stiles, come one! You have to help!’ 

‘Fuck that! I’m going back home. You’re grown ass werewolves! Deal with it!’ 

The door of the loft bangs behind him as he marches back to his car. Once nicely seating behind the wheel, he can’t hold back any longer and howls with laughter. Oh my god! He really hopes they can hear him from the loft. They need to know that he will never let them live this down.

 

**

 

Sitting cuddled up to Erica, Stiles cannot hold back a snicker at the face Boyd is doing. Besides him, Erica cackles. Both of then are probably enjoying this much more than they should.

Boyd, the usual so stoic, unreadable Boyd is grimacing and all but whining at them, while he hold a squirming mouse by the tail, as far away from his body as possible. 

The Hale men had both charged him with finding the mouse that had ‘attacked’ them a couple days earlier, and though both had done it, he wasn’t any more comfortable with it than they were. Stiles must admit that he does take it with better grace than the other two.

He’s glad he agreed to Erica’s invitation to spend the evening at the loft watching movies. To see Boyd’s composure break is priceless and he’ll need to find an appropriate gift for his Catwoman to thank her of this privilege. 

There are a few more broken pieces of furniture than when Stiles arrived earlier, and Boyd has somehow lost his shirt during his merry chase, but the culprit is finally caught. 

Erica and Stiles had categorically refused to help Boyd, and the wouldn’t budge. The only two that might (might) have been able to force them to give a hand had been conspicuously absent when Stiles arrived.

‘What the hell am I supposed to do with it?!’ Boyd’s voice is suspiciously high, which sets Erica and Stiles off again. Boyd tries to scowl at them, but his eyebrow are to busy being disgusted with that he’s holding for the expression to stay for more than a couple of seconds.

Stiles catches his breath before he answers. ‘You could kill it. Or release it into the wild. Deaton might find some use for it. Maybe feed it to a snake of some sort.’ 

He’s shrugging before he’s even finished with the options and he knows that he doesn’t really sound interested. He really couldn’t care less about the fate of one mouse. Though it might be interesting to adopt it for the only purpose to release it periodically into the Hale loft to see them dance to the music.

‘Actually…’ 

Erica looks at him and notices the evil glint in his eyes, which sets her off again.

‘No. No, Stiles. I am not giving this thing to you. No way.’ 

Stiles is standing now, advancing towards Boyd, even as the taller man backs up. Boyd then makes a run for the door, still holding the mouse in hand.

The door is left open in his wake and both Stiles and Erica cackle evilly at Boyd’s reaction, before high fiving each other, and setting up to watch a movie.

 

**

 

If after that some very realistic looking remote controlled mice make an appearance in the Stilinski household or the Hale loft, well, no one can actually prove that Stiles is behind it.

Erica cackles along with him every single time.