Okay, we’ve all read stories where Stiles changes body wash/cologne/whatever and it interacts badly with his body chemistry and smell really bad to the wolves. What about the opposite? Companies change what they make all the time, so what if Stiles’s favorite soap or whatever isn’t being made anymore and he switches to something else that goes like AMAZINGLY well with his body chemistry and all the wolves keep trying to sniff him because he smells so good and Derek gets SO FUCKING POSSESSIVE, even though he and Stiles aren’t dating or anything.
He starts out feeling self-conscious, which he thinks is a perfectly reasonable reaction to the weird way he smells now. Well. All right, not weird, per se, but different. He wasn’t kidding when he told Scott he planned on complaining to the manufacturer; he’s been using their product for years, and this is how they repay him? By discontinuing the soap he’s used since he graduated from Johnson’s Baby Wash? They’re going to be getting a strongly-worded letter about the value of customer loyalty.
Meanwhile, he’s finally used up the last of his carefully hoarded stash, and today is his first day using the new stuff, and everything just feels slightly off.
He gets the first hint that something strange is going on when he stops at the gas station to grab a Slurpee. Lisa Macabee is working behind the counter, and Stiles is reasonably sure that this is the first time she’s ever bothered to actually notice his existence. The smile she gives him is downright flirtatious; he’s so thrown by it that he can’t do more than stumble back to his Jeep in a punch-drunk daze.
But that’s nothing—nothing—compared to what happens when he makes it to the pack meeting.
"Woah woah woah, dude, back up!”
"Sorry." Scott’s eyes are wide, and he still seems to be straining towards Stiles even as he forces himself to step back. "You just … what is that?”
"What’s what?" Stiles rubs at the side of his neck, over the skin that’s tingling where Scott’s nose brushed against him.
"You smell different."
"Ugh, I know. I had to start using that new soap today, and it’s really weirding me—um. Guys?" It’s Stiles’s turn to have his eyes widen as he stumbles back from the swiftly-advancing betas. His back hits the wall and he lets out a nervous laugh. "If this is some sort of weird werewolf prank, I’d really rather you didn’t—"
If asked, Stiles will swear to his dying day that the noise he makes then is a manly bellow and not the startled, high-pitched squeak that comes out of his throat. Erica is practically plastered along his front, her face buried in the juncture of his neck as she takes in his scent in deep, deliberate breaths. Isaac and Boyd are caging him in on either side, sniffing at his hair and down to his ears and neck. Between the nuzzling and the huffs of air against his skin and the constant low, pleased rumble coming from all three of them, Stiles finds himself wracked with shivers and suddenly not at all sure that he wants to move, after all.
"Um?" he manages, eyes meeting Scott’s over Erica’s head. The fact that Allison’s hand on his arm seems to be the only thing keeping Scott from joining in is sort of the opposite of comforting. "A little help?"
There’s a roar then that has the betas scattering, despite a trio of disappointed looks and Erica’s hand briefly clutching at his shirt, as though she’s seriously considering just ripping it off to take with her. In the blink of an eye Derek has interposed himself between Stiles and the rest of the pack, and there’s nothing remotely pleased about the growls still spilling from his throat.
"Get ahold of yourselves," he snarls. "The next person who puts a hand on Stiles without his express permission is going to be picking it up off of the floor. Understood?"
They all nod, and if, when Stiles edges his way out from behind Derek he sees them still sniffing hopefully at the air, he decides they’re all better off pretending he didn’t notice.
"Are you all right?" Derek asks gruffly. Stiles shakes himself free of his haze of what-the-actual-fuck and nods.
"Yeah, I’m good. They weren’t hurting me, just." He lets out a nervous laugh. "I guess the new soap is a hit?"
Derek doesn’t answer, too busy snarling at Boyd who’s trying to edge closer again, and Stiles rolls his eyes.
"All right, we’re here. But I still don’t see why—" Jackson cuts off as he steps inside, shouldering past an annoyed-looking Lydia and creasing his brow in concentration. "What’s that smell?"
"Not you, too," Stiles groans, and hey, this mess might actually end up being worth it for the horrified look on Jackson’s face.
"Don’t even think about it," Stiles says when Jackson steps forward, and he edges just a little bit closer to Derek. "Hope you don’t mind if I stick by you," Stiles adds in a low voice. "Since you seem to be one of the few remaining sane people around here."
"I don’t mind." Derek’s wearing the smuggest look that Stiles has ever seen in his life, and if his nostrils flare as Stiles steps into his personal space … well, he’s sure that’s probably just a coincidence.