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One Happy Family

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It’s a very rare moment when Stiles wakes up with Derek still in their bed, and when he does wake up that way, he takes advantage of it. He rolls over, curling himself around Derek’s back. Derek is hot, radiating warmth just like he always is, and Stiles kisses the curve of his spine to feel the heat on his lips. Even after seven years, he still feels the spark of pure emotional electricity when his mouth touches Derek’s skin, and he knows Derek can feel it too, because his husband gives a low rumbling sound of agreement. The comforter over them makes everything cozy warm as Derek rolls over, pulling Stiles against his chest. He never opens his eyes as he finally speaks, his voice a deep and gruff sound, heavily burdened by sleep. “Mornin’...”

Stiles can’t help the soft smile on his face, his hands finding their rightful place on Derek's chest before sliding higher to curve over his strong neck. He kisses Derek’s chin, a slow and sloppy press, wanting to share the smile. It’s appropriately contagious, because Derek’s lips curl upwards as well. “Merry Christmas,” Stiles says quietly, his voice a soft hush.

“Merry Christmas…” They hold each other for a long moment, basking in the warm glow of the breaking winter morning, and then Stiles is being rolled onto his back. He huffs out a laugh, keeping himself as still as the world around him, and Derek’s body slides between his legs. They slot together perfectly, Stiles’ checkered sleep pants riding up his legs at the stretch of his thighs around strong hips, and Derek’s lips find his. Sleep breath and morning stubble meet, and Derek pulls back to speak into the small space between them. “Are you my present?”

Stiles gives a shaky nod and they are kissing again. Even after this long together they still have times where they are rough. Sometimes, they come together, passionate and needy, demanding to be a part of each other in ways only they can provide. This is not one of those times, especially as Stiles’ stomach roils with his normal morning unsettlement. Instead it’s gradual and careful, full of adoration and sweetness. It’s a comfortable display of how perfect they are together, a slow build up of love.

Too slow, as it were. Derek pulls back, Stiles’ arms almost not letting him, and his head tilts in a telling way that makes Stiles sigh and fall back against the pillow. “I hear little feet…” Derek mutters, and Stiles rolls his eyes.

“She always has such perfect timing, doesn’t she?” They share a fond expression, and Stiles presses his hands once more on Derek’s chest, this time to push him away. “We should probably get to her before she gets any ideas about the presents.”

It takes them a little while to pull themselves together, but soon they are making their way down the stairs. The room is just how they left it the night before, plate filled with only cookie crumbs and cup of milk empty. The only difference is the little head of dark brown curls worming her way beneath the bottom of the freshly cut tree, grabby hands tugging at ribbons and paper alike.

“Erica…” Derek’s voice is carefully judgemental, and Stiles laughs, because Erica obviously hadn’t been listening for them coming. She jumps, causing the tree to jingle and shake, and scrambles out to where she can see them.

“I didn’t open them, Papa!”

Stiles yawns and glances at the clock on the wall, wondering if a present everyday is what he needs to do to get his five year old awake and aware this early for school. “And if we didn’t show up?” She doesn’t answer, but she gives a squeal of laughter as Derek picks her up, carrying her to the couch. They all curl up together and Erica is all smiles and warmth, the same warmth Stiles felt as soon as he woke up. It’s the warmth of love. “How’d you sleep?”

She squirms, looking far more like a worm than a wolf, and it’s clear that talking is the last thing she wants to do. Her eyes keep darting quickly to the tree before sliding back to the two of them. Stiles keeps his face straight, and eventually she lets out a whine, wringing her hands together. “Daddy, you said this morning!”

He can’t keep it in any longer and laughs, looking at Derek to share the humor with him. Derek lets her go, allowing her to climb down to the floor. “Okay… one at a time.” She runs back to the tree, and makes quick work of pulling the brightly wrapped presents out as Derek’s arm curls around Stiles’ back. “How long did it take us to wrap those again?”

“Three nights?” Stiles sets his head on Derek’s shoulder, and watches as three nights worth of work is gone in all of fifteen minutes. Every toy and dress she opens has a squeal coming from her mouth, and she quickly runs to hug her fathers before running back to the next one. It’s exhausting just to watch how excited she is, but Stiles also knows they did well. Her joy is pure and amazing to see, and they all but bask in it and their own pride. She talks a mile a minute as she unwraps, discussing her future plans with every last gift, and Stiles wonders if he had been the same way as a kid. He would see his dad later, so he’ll have to ask.

Finally the last gift is opened, and Erica seems at a loss for what to do next, her eyes traveling over the mess of paper and boxes she created with her little claws for any hint of something she missed. When it becomes clear she opened them all she turns back to her fathers, grinning sheepishly. “Can I play before we go to grandpa’s house?”

“You’re not done yet.” Her eyes light up as her Papa’s words sink in, and Stiles feels excitement start in his chest. This is going to be the best one yet. Derek points to the bookshelf in the corner, and sitting on top is a small book with a bow on top. Erica follows his gesture and scrambles across the room, grabbing it.

“It’s a book!”

“It’s a special book. C’mere, we’ll ready it to you.” She listens to Stiles’ words, and soon they are all curled up again. He waits for her to make the connection as the bow is taken off.

It hits her like lightening, her whole body jerking forward. She looks wildly between them before pointing at the cover. “That’s us!” She cries joyfully, and she’s right. The cover is an illustration of the three of them, Erica standing between her two parents and holding their hands as they walk in the woods. The cartoonish art is perfect for a kid’s book, bright and happy.

“You're right… why don’t you show off your reading skills for us, honey?”

Erica beams with pride at the idea of showing off, settling down between their chests and reading the front cover. “One Happy Family.” She sounds out, and her reading is slow, some of the words stuttered and shaky, but she gets it and opens to search for more. Every page has artwork on it, though they are all fully human in the illustrations. Hard to explain teeth and fangs to an artist on this particular job. She pauses on the first word before recognition lights her eyes gold. “Erica! That’s me!”

“Yeah, that is you. Keep going.”

She nods and her little finger follows the words. “Erica loves her daddies.” She turns her head and grins in agreement, before continuing on to the next page and picture. “Erica is happy.” The art shows her with her hair in the window, her little tricycle beneath her. “Erica has a lot of…”

When she pauses for too long, Stiles offers help, not wanting to ruin her happiness. “Friends.”

“Erica has a lot of friends.” Allison is in this one, Scott and Kira’s young, olive skinned girl with straight black hair. The pages continue on, depicting Erica in her default happiness. “Erica is smart. Erica loves books. Erica has a big house. Erica is happy. But Erica is missing…”

“Something.”

“Erica is missing something.” Her sense of completion of sounding out the sentence is eclipsed by her confusion, and she looks up at Derek for reassurance. The picture is the three of them eating dinner, and Derek nods at her to tell her to keep going. “Erica has daddies who have a sur… surprise for her.” Stiles has to cover his smile at how nervous she seems as she turns the page. The final two sheets have no picture, just large letters and Erica reads it softly, sounding it out carefully.

As the words sink in she jolts again, that same lightening excitement sinking through her, and she turns around to face them, the book falling to the floor without a second thought. “Erica is going to be a sister!” She yells out, the second time much louder as her excitement becomes too much to contain. “Erica is going to be a sister?”

Derek’s cheeks have to hurt as badly as Stiles’ do, because his smile is just as large. “You’re going to be a sister, Erica.”

Erica looks between the two of them, practically hyperventilating. She starts talking several times, Is and Ands and Buts, before she finally finishes her sentence. “Am I gonna get a brother or a sister?!”

Her large brown eyes, wet with emotion finally settle on her daddy, making the connection. Though she knows nothing of serums and magic and the pain and sweat that goes into these things, she knows who did it for her five years ago, and Stiles sets his hand on his own stomach to confirm it. “A brother.”

The crying comes much quicker than they expect and both men push forward to comfort her, sharing slightly amused and panicked looks as they rub her back and wipe away shining, crocodile tears.

“What’s wrong, honey?” Derek asks, the trembling of laughter clear in the undercurrent of his voice.

She’s gasping for breath as she cries, small fists rubbing at her eyes, and when she finally speaks it’s shaky and stuttering. “I’m… I’m just… so happy!” She collapses into more wails, burying her face into their shirts and wiping snot on their pajamas.

Stiles can’t even bring himself to feel bad about laughing, and he blames the laughter for how much his eyes are tearing up. He doesn’t know what Derek’s excuse is when he meets his eyes, but he thinks Derek will agree with him when he says, “I am too.”