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Once again at the request of [personal profile] ceitfianna: Teen Wolf-how did you get into it? When did you first fall for Stiles? Sterek, what fanfic should I read? Anything you can think of.

I'm not 100% sure Fi realizes how potentially dangerous it is asking me to write about "anything I can think about" about Teen Wolf, because it's a bit of an obsession these days, but I'll try not to go too crazy.

Starting from the beginning, I first became aware of Teen Wolf on Tumblr while the second season was airing, which I guess makes it summer 2012. My initial reaction was something along the lines of "haha an MTV show about werewolves. lol." Basically all I knew was there are teenagers, and werewolves, and several of the Avengers/MCU fans I followed on Tumblr seemed to enjoy it and posted awesomely ridiculous stuff like this fanvid.

Fast-forward several months and Emily Grace quit Glee and needed a new fandom. She picked Teen Wolf, and we all laughed, because, haha, Teen Wolf, enjoy that, we won't be pulled into your nonsense. Except then she started tweeting delightful bits of episodes, like for instance how of course Lydia just happens to read archaic Latin. And the series just happened to be available on Netflix, so what could it hurt to watch the first episode, right? I watched the first season pretty quickly, and just in time, Netflix added the second season.

The thing about Teen Wolf is it's both really fun, and unconventional in some ways, and sometimes really frustrating and awful. The first season is campier than the rest, but a little bit self-aware about it. There are scenes that you expect to play out one way, because that's how teen dramas always go, that actually go in a different direction, like Allison Argent unashamedly admitting to her father and aunt that she was rooting through her aunt's suitcases... to find a condom. All of the main characters are delightful. Even the ones that at first seem horrible have some depth. On the downside, as the seasons go on, continuity and character development get messier every episode. Nobody's quite sure whether Derek is 22, 26, or 35. Werewolf abilities change to fit the moment. Even though the show is awesome for featuring many women and people of color, they're also more likely to die, while white male villains live. That said, despite the problems, my love for these characters keeps me coming back.

I was drawn to Stiles pretty much immediately, because he's the sarcastic, kind of awkward, geek. That's basically catnip for me. (Fi, I have tons of headcanons about Stiles—some I've talked about at Milliways—but that could fill its own post.) I knew going into it that Sterek was Teen Wolf fandom's Destiel—the slash pairing that a huge, vocal part of fandom loved, but would probably never be canon. Through most of the first season, I really wasn't sure where the Derek/Stiles shippers were coming from. They were rarely even in the same scenes! And then along comes episode 9, in which murder suspect Derek shows up in Stile's bedroom, Stiles cons him into taking his shirt off multiple times, and Derek saves Stiles from getting killed by a deranged alpha. That's when I got it. They're the pair that get on each other's nerves but become reluctant allies and save each others lives while snarking at each other and generally having great chemistry. And though the show has at times hinted strongly that Stiles, at least, is bisexual, they are so never, ever actually getting together on the show.

Luckily, there is fic. So much fic. Just the other day, I saw that AO3 hit 20,000 fics in tagged Derek/Stiles. As with any fandom, a lot of them are crap, but plenty of them are REALLY GOOD. It's important to note that a lot of fic bears little resemblance to the actual show, and I don't just mean the coffee shop AUs. A lot of fic conventions came to be during the first season hiatus and have continued to be relevant, despite further developments on the show. The biggest thing is a lot of fic features a functional werewolf pack where the characters work together and share information. Ahahahahaha. Stiles often has magical abilities of some sort. Characters are handwaved back to life very often, especially Derek's dead family. Oh, and knotting is a thing.

There are some popular fic tropes that I really like, for instance Laura Hale being the sarcastic, overbearing older sister, or Stiles, Lydia, and Danny being human BFFs. Some others really bug me, like Stiles resents Scott's wolfiness/relationship with Allison/friendship with Isaac or Stiles becomes pack mom. (Stiles is not nurturing. He is extremely loyal to only a few people. He does not have a desire to feed the world waffles.) Basically the more I've read, the pickier I've gotten, in particular with characterization of Stiles. (Derek is less consistent on screen, so there are more interpretations of Derek that work for me.) Anyway, without further ado, here are a few fics that I'd recommend:

Canon-ish: (but all jossed now)
Crash Landers by gyzym (T)- Stiles starts leaving notes on Derek's windshield. He doesn't really know why. Then Derek starts leaving notes in return.
Hide A Life of War by Etharai (E) - Stiles and his father are held hostage, but Stiles has learned some badassery hanging out with werewolves all the time.
(In My Hand) The Golden Bough by Chandri (T) - Stiles's great aunt comes to visit and he learns a bunch about his mother, the Hales, and himself. A fantastic fic that definitely hasn't had the attention it deserves.

Completely AU:

Gravity's Got Nothing On You by zosofi (E) - Derek pays Stiles to pretend to be his boyfriend while Laura's in town, and Stiles has some trouble with a pair of weird antiques. (And then read all her other TW fics. She's one of my faves in this fandom.)
Fireman Derek's Crazy Pie [Cheeseburger Baby] by owlpostagain (T) - Derek is a firefighter and Stiles keeps accidentally setting off the dorm fire alarm. Laura feeds Stiles cheeseburgers and pie.
Flying Changes by otter (E) - "Derek's a dressage rider with a reputation for frowning and making people cry. Stiles is an acrobatic stunt rider whose resume includes medieval-themed dinner shows and the actual circus. Derek's an Olympian, he doesn't need this shit."

Got another topic suggestion? Go here to suggest something! (In the absence of which I will continue rambling about looking for jobs.)
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