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- Saturday, November 16th, 2013 -

Stiles spins in his revolving desk chair in his bedroom and stares despondently down at his phone. His best friend Scott was supposed to come over this afternoon so that they could check out the new Dark Souls sequel together, but Scott sent him a text a few minutes ago to cancel. Apparently, Scott's girlfriend Allison is having some sort of crisis, and he needs to be there to help her through it. Stiles doesn't begrudge his friend his relationship, but it's difficult when he himself has no one to call his own. His other friends all already have plans today too, so he's looking at an afternoon of boredom and loneliness. Nothing new there, really, which is pretty damn sad.

Just after Stiles has set his phone down on his desk, his dad knocks on his door. "Come in!" he calls. He spins one last time right as the sheriff steps inside. "What's up?"

"I'm gonna be heading out to shoot some hoops with the guys in a few minutes," his dad says. Sure enough, he wears a thin blue T-shirt, a pair of old shorts and some dirty trainers. "I left money on the kitchen counter so you and Scott can order pizza for dinner."

At first, Stiles is going to tell his dad to have fun and wallow for a bit, but then he reconsiders. "Actually, is it okay if I tag along?" he asks.

The sheriff frowns. "Why? I thought Scott was coming over."

Stiles plays off his disappointment with an insouciant shrug. "Nah, he had some relationship drama to deal with."

"Oh. Well, I don't have a problem with you coming, no. You've never wanted to before, though."

"Eh, who knows? It could be fun. Besides, I've only met like, one of your friends, so…"

If the sheriff sees through the front Stiles is putting up, he doesn't say anything. He stares for a few seconds and then nods his acceptance. "Sure, but you should get ready quickly. We need to leave in five minutes. I'm supposed to be at the court soon."

"Sure thing, pops."

Just two minutes later, Stiles has changed into more appropriate attire—an Ironman T-shirt and a pair of grey sweatpants. He races downstairs to meet his dad in the foyer, and then they leave the house, the sheriff locking the door after them. They get into his dad's car and make the drive across town to where the public basketball courts are located. Stiles doesn't offer much in the way of conversation during the ten minutes it takes to arrive.

"Here we are," his dad says as he parks on the side of the road. He unbuckles his seatbelt, gets out of the car, retrieves a bottle of water from the trunk and then leads the way over the grass to the artificial green of the outdoor court.

Right in the middle there is a group of seven men. They're all of varying ages, but every one of them is obviously at least a decade older than Stiles' eighteen years. From the friendly smiles on their faces, Stiles feels hope that they won't consider him an interloper.

"John! You took your time!" shouts one of the men. He wears sweatpants like Stiles and has his long red hair tied into a messy bun atop his head.

"Shut it, Kyle!" John throws back with a laugh. When he and Stiles reach the group, he makes introductions. "This is my son, Stiles. He'll be joining us today."

One by one, Stiles learns the names of the men and shakes their hands. The sixth man is the one he already knew—Jordan Parrish, a deputy down at the station—which just leaves one more.

"Hey, I'm Derek," the seventh man says, holding out a large, calloused hand.

Stiles stands there with his mouth hanging open like an idiot because…damn, Derek is probably the hottest man in existence.

Standing at just over six feet, Derek is broad and has muscles in all the right places, none of which are hidden beneath his tight red T-shirt and basketball shorts. His muscles are large enough to make Stiles think that Derek could probably bench-press him easily, but they're not so big that they're gross to look at. It's the perfect amount for Stiles' tastes. Then there's Derek's stupidly pretty face. His hazel eyes are enchanting and have crow's feet at the corners. His strong jaw is accented by dark stubble, and his kissable lips are curled slightly upward in a smug smile, like he knows exactly the reaction his appearance is causing Stiles to have.

Derek's hair is dark and cut short on the sides but slightly longer on top. Not so long that it would become a nuisance and get in his eyes as he plays, but just enough that Stiles could imagine running his fingers through it. And it's going grey at the temples too. It's the hottest personification of salt-and-pepper that Stiles has ever seen. He never thought he would have a thing for someone who's somewhere in their late thirties, possibly even early forties, yet here he is, deeply regretting his earlier decision to put on sweatpants that don't conceal the fact that he's half-hard.

"Is something wrong?" Derek asks him cheekily.

"N-no!" Stiles squeaks. He quickly shakes the sexy man's hand and turns away, knowing that he's blushing furiously. Thankfully, his dad is too busy talking to one of the other men to notice his predicament.

Derek notices, though. Stiles risks another glance and finds the impossibly handsome man still watching him, that cocky smile still in place and his eyes heated.

Fuck, Stiles is in trouble.

"Alright, let's get started," Stiles' dad speaks a minute later. He claps his hands once to get everyone's attention. "Stiles, did you want to play or just watch?"

Stiles blinks as he tries to get his brain to function properly again. "Uhh…just watch?"

"Was that a question?" Parrish teases, ruffling the teenager's hair.

"Hey!" Stiles squawks. He bats the deputy's hand away. "It wasn't a question. I'll just watch for now."

"Okay," his dad accepts. "You can keep score."

The eight men split into two teams, the first comprised of John, Parrish, Kyle and Derek, and the second made up of the other four. Stiles steps to the side of the court and observes silently as the first play is made, and then everything descends into chaos. It quickly becomes apparent that most of the men on the court are incredibly competitive, and Stiles' eyes widen as he realises that his dad is among them. He has never seen this side of his dad before, and he'd be lying if he said he didn't like it. It's nice to see the sheriff just letting loose and having fun for once.

Half an hour later, a timeout is called. Stiles' dad approaches him while wiping sweat from his brow. "Not getting bored yet?" he enquires, unscrewing the cap of his water bottle.

"Nope," Stiles responds. "Didn't know you still had it in you to go so balls-to-the-wall anymore."

The sheriff narrows his eyes facetiously as he drinks.

"Anyway, no, I'm not bored," Stiles reiterates, hands in the pockets of his sweatpants.

His dad nods and finishes rehydrating. "Sure you don't wanna join in?"

"Nah, I'm cool here. Cool as a cucumber."

"Suit yourself. Just jump in if you change your mind."

When his dad returns to the court with his friends, Stiles checks his phone. After seeing that no one has texted him, he looks up again and nearly drops the device.

Derek must have divested himself of his shirt during the break, and Stiles is even more attracted to him than he was before. He's unable to tear his gaze away from all that tanned, hirsute skin as the game resumes and Derek gets even sweatier.

Derek soon gets ahold of the ball and dribbles it to the other end of the court, expertly dodging and weaving between the members of the opposing team before he leaps high into the air and shoots. When the ball goes through the hoop, Stiles cheers and claps loudly. This causes Derek's attention to turn to him, and he blushes all over again when he is once more the recipient of Derek's cocky smirk.

It very much asks the question, "Like what you see?"

Yes, Stiles would respond if he could. Yes, he does. Very much so.

For the rest of the game, Stiles continues to watch no one but Derek. He doesn't think he could unglue his eyes from the older man if his life depended on it. He can do nothing but pant like a horny dog as Derek's skin glistens like a god and he eventually scores the hoop that wins his team the game.

Yeah, Stiles is in a whole heap of trouble.

* * *

- Saturday, November 23rd, 2013 -

A week later, Stiles feels like he hasn't been able to regain his bearings because Derek is suddenly everywhere. If Stiles isn't in school, the one place Derek can't be, then he's around.

He showed up at the Stiles' house for dinner a single day after the basketball game, which resulted in Stiles fumbling over most of his words while he sat opposite Derek at the dinner table.

When Stiles went grocery shopping the next day, he bumped into Derek in the cereal aisle.

And just yesterday, Stiles went to the movies by himself and found Derek already sitting in the back row of the theatre.

The man invited Stiles to sit next to him, and Stiles couldn't find it in himself to say no. He spent the entire movie taking nothing in, his mind too stuck on the thought that the whole thing felt a lot like a date, especially when Derek slung his arm over the back of Stiles' seat and lightly gripped the back of his neck with his hand. Stiles had at first wanted to ask him what he thought he was doing, but then Derek started to rub his thumb over the sensitive skin back there and Stiles lost the capacity to think altogether.

He knows he should probably say something. He maybe could've convinced himself that he was only imagining things during the basketball game. There was no way that Derek was actually attracted to him in return, right? No way would sexy-as-sin Derek Hale want anything to do with young, virginal Stiles Stilinski—not in a romantic or sexual sense, anyway. But after that afternoon at the movies…as much as Derek basically coming onto him goes against every ounce of logic Stiles possesses, that's irrefutably what's happening at this point.

Now if Stiles could only buck up the courage to do something about it.

He gets his chance when his dad is rushing about the house getting ready for work that evening. Stiles is sitting on the living room sofa watching Game of Thrones when he hears the sheriff swear from the dining room.

"Oh, motherfucker!"

Stiles is immediately concerned; it's not like the sheriff to swear like that. When he pauses the current episode and goes to investigate, he finds his dad stood next to the dining table with a credit card in his hand. "Dad? What's wrong?"

Looking up from the card, the sheriff shakes himself out of his reverie. "Sorry," he says. "I just found one of Derek's credit cards beneath the table. It must've fallen out of his wallet or something when he was over for dinner earlier in the week."

"And that's a reason to swear up a storm like that because…?"

"Because I don't have time to return it right now." The sheriff puts the card down on the table and rushes through to the foyer. "I'm almost late as it is. We've got a couple new recruits down at the station, and me being late wouldn't set a good example."

Stiles has a daring idea then. "I could take it back, if you want," he suggests, picking the card up.

The sheriff pokes his head back into the dining room. "Really?"

"Yeah, sure. It's not like I'm doing anything interesting anyway, and I've already done all my homework."

"I'd be grateful then, and I'm sure Derek will be too."

When his dad vanishes again, Stiles slips Derek's credit card into his pocket next to his phone and joins the sheriff in the foyer, his heart beating fast. "So…where does he live?"

* * *

Stiles stares up at Derek's house and swallows down his nervousness. He can't believe he's really about to do what he's about to do. It's so scandalous, and he's certain that if his dad knew the true reason he'd offered to return Derek's credit card to its owner, he would've freaked. But Stiles is eighteen years old—a consenting adult in the eyes of the law—and if it turns out that Stiles really hadn't been misreading the signals Derek has been sending him, there's not really any reason for his dad to get mad at him when he does something about those signals.

Maybe Stiles should feel bad for potentially endangering one of his dad's friendships, but he holds off any potential guilt by telling himself that it will be Derek's choice to do this with him. Stiles won't be making Derek do anything. That's all the convincing he needs in order to get out of his Jeep and walk up the path toward Derek's front door.

There's a light shining behind the curtains hanging in the bay window to the left, presumably from the living room, and there's a black Camaro parked in the driveway, so he presumes that Derek is home. No backing out now.

When he's in position, Stiles takes a deep breath and raises his hand to ring the doorbell. A musical chime sounds from inside the house, and while he waits for Derek to answer the door, Stiles notes the well-worn welcome mat beneath his shoes and the two neatly trimmed plants on either side of the porch step. Glancing behind him, he sees that the grass in the front yard is mowed short too, leading him to the conclusion that Derek stays on top of his household chores.

It's a stupid thing to be thinking about when he might be moments away from losing his virginity to a total DILF, but that's just the way Stiles' mind works.

Not too long later, there comes movement from the other side of the door, a latch clicks, and then the door swings inward to reveal Derek standing there in all his glory. It must be a casual evening at home for the man, at least judging by his attire. He wears a plain dark-purple hoodie that's unzipped all the way, showing off a strip of his hairy chest and abs, and paired with this is nothing but a pair of old and comfortable-looking jeans. Derek's feet are bare, and something about the sight of them peeking out from beneath the hems of Derek's jeans is both adorable and sensual.

When he finishes his inspection, Stiles returns his gaze to Derek's face.

"Stiles?" the man says, surprise in his voice and countenance. "This is unexpected. What're you doing here, especially this late?"

"I, uh…you left this at our house so…I wanted to return it to you," Stiles explains, proffering the credit card.

Derek's surprise is replaced by gratitude. "Oh, thank you," he says, taking the card and placing it on a small table to the left of the door. Then he regards Stiles closely, watching the way he squirms on the doorstep. After a few moments of this, he must take pity on him. "It's cold outside. D'you want to come in?"

Stiles nods and enters the house when Derek steps aside to permit him. Once the door is closed, he prays for courage. "So…" he says awkwardly.

Derek doesn't help him, just keeps staring, the sides of his mouth twitching.

Pursing his own lips, Stiles shakes his arms at his sides in an effort to rid himself of his nerves and tells himself to just go for it. He'll face the consequences—whatever they may be—after the fact.

Meeting Derek's pretty eyes, Stiles takes a step closer and then all but launches himself at him, crashing their mouths together. It's sloppy and uncoordinated and as soon as their lips touch, Stiles feels like he has only embarrassed himself by showing his inexperience in such an obvious way. Before Derek can reject him, he retreats, taking several steps backward as all the confidence he'd managed to scrape together leaves him like ashes carried away in a strong breeze.

He keeps his gaze on the floor and waits for Derek to say something, to say that this was a mistake and that Stiles should go back home and never talk to him again. But nothing happens. Derek is silent for so long that it unnerves Stiles and he just has to look. Steeling himself, he raises his head.

Derek finally speaks as soon as their eyes lock. "Not getting second thoughts are you?"

Stiles swallows tightly. "Uhh…what?"

With that now-familiar smirk firmly in place yet again, it's Derek who closes the distance between them this time. He keeps advancing even as Stiles backs away and doesn't stop until Stiles' back hits the wall. He lifts his arms and plants his hands to the wall on either side of the teenager's head, well and truly boxing him in. There are mere inches between their bodies now, and Stiles can feel the heat coming off of Derek, can smell his manly musk. They're basically the same height, but crowded as he is now, Stiles has never felt so small.

"I asked if you were getting second thoughts," Derek whispers. It's like he's sharing a secret.

Stiles can't look away from him now. "P-part of me is, I guess," he confides. "You could have anyone, and I'm just, y'know…me. Plus, you're like, twice my age."

Derek cocks his head to the side. "I was under the impression that our age difference turned you on."

"It does," Stiles admits, "but what about my dad? He wouldn't like this. I shouldn't have kissed you. I shouldn't even be here right now."

"Then why did you come?"

That shuts Stiles up again, and he feels the blood that's not currently in his dick rush up to his cheeks like he's the cliché blushing virgin. If the shoe fits, he supposes. Seriously, he's got to figure out a way to stop doing that around Derek. It's humiliating.

Said man doesn't move an inch. "You're eighteen, right?"

"Y-yeah."

"Then what's the problem? You want me. I want you. As far as I can see, that's all that matters."

Stiles arches a disbelieving eyebrow. "So you'd be okay with my dad never speaking to you again because you fucked his barely legal son?"

"Let me handle your dad. Yes, he'll probably be mad at first, but we won't be doing anything wrong. He'll get over it after a while."

"You sound so sure…"

"And I take it you're not."

"Not really. It's weird to be attracted to someone who's closer to my dad's age than mine."

"See, I think that's exactly what you want," Derek says salaciously. He brings his mouth close so that it's right next to Stiles' ear. "I think you want a nice, strong Daddy like me to take care of you, to take you in hand and make you feel things you've never felt before. Am I right, boy?"

"Fuck," Stiles mouths, his voice nonexistent.

Daddy kink has never been on his radar, not even after the rather vigorous and extensive research he did when he first discovered his sexuality and got his own computer. But something about Derek calling him his boy—and the thought of referring to Derek as Daddy in return—is titillating. His heart races in his chest and his breathing picks up slightly, and he can't stop a moan from slipping out when Derek nibbles lightly on his earlobe.

"Well? What's it gonna be, baby?" Derek asks him.

Stiles opens and closes his mouth several times before his voice comes back to him. Instead of agreeing through conventional means, he breathes out a needy, "Daddy…" and that's thankfully all it takes for Derek to get the message.

A moment later, Derek surges forward and presses him back into the wall with his incredible body, one hand cupping the side of his face and their mouths coming together again. To begin with, this kiss is just as desperate as the first, but then Derek coaxes Stiles to relax into it, not to rush, by rubbing his thumb back and forth over the elegant slope of Stiles' cheekbone.

Soon, Derek licks across the seam of Stiles' lips and slips his tongue inside when the teenager parts them, deepening the kiss but never increasing the fervour. He keeps it slow, and suddenly Stiles understands those stories of people getting goosebumps all over their bodies from such a simple act. It had seemed stupid to him before, like an exaggeration, but now he totally gets it. The scratch of Derek's stubble against his own smooth face, combined with the taste of him, makes Stiles' legs shake, to the point where, were he not sandwiched between the wall and Derek, he believes he might just melt into a puddle of goo on the floor.

When the kiss ends, Derek slips both hands beneath Stiles' thighs and hoists him up. Stiles wraps his arms around the man's neck and holds on as he's carried through to the living room. Derek walks around a black leather sofa and deposits Stiles in the small space between it and the coffee table before he takes a seat. He slings his arms over the back of the sofa like a king sitting on his throne. Stiles licks his lips as he imagines sitting at Derek's feet and worshipping him like he deserves.

"Before we begin," Derek says, his voice serious, "we need to clarify some things. One: you won't get vanilla sex from me."

"What do you mean?"

"I mean that I'm a very dominant lover, and if we do this, I expect you to submit."

Stiles' breath hitches. "Just in the bedroom, or…?"

Derek hums thoughtfully. "Definitely in the bedroom, but I wouldn't be against other forms of submission if you found you liked them."

"Oh. Okay."

"Second: I expect you to always call me Daddy."

This is what truly alarms Stiles. "Always?"

"At least whenever it's just the two of us. I'll leave the other times up to you, but know that you'd make me very happy if you called me that all the time."

"Even in public…and around my actual dad?"

"Again, that's up to you. Regardless, you'd best hold off on calling me Daddy around John until he knows about us."

"There's an 'us'?"

"If you want there to be. I'm definitely interested in making this more than a one-time thing."

Stiles has nothing to say to that, so he just nods.

Satisfied enough by the non-verbal answer, Derek moves on. "Lastly, let's talk safewords. We'll use a stoplight system—red means everything stops immediately; yellow means you need to take a break to either discuss something in more depth or get some more reassurance; and green means everything's fine, keep going. Repeat them back to me so that I know you understand."

Stiles does so.

"Good. I'll ask periodically for your safeword, and I expect you to give me one of them, but you can use red or yellow at any time. I can use them too, if I feel we're going too far."

Stiles nods.

Derek lets his dominant Daddy persona slip long enough to give him a tender smile, and then he's all business again. "Strip," he orders, tone brooking no argument.

Stiles scrambles to obey, sending his clothes flying before any sense of self-consciousness can ruin things. When he's naked, he awaits further instruction.

"Let me get a good look at you, boy," Derek tells him, licking his lips. "Turn around. Slowly."

Stiles resists the urge to cover himself and does a 360-degree turn. When his back is turned, he hears Derek hum his approval and feels some of his insecurities fade. Then he completes the turn and doesn't miss the bulge in Derek's jeans.

"Come here," Derek says, curling a finger at him.

Willingly, Stiles climbs onto the man's lap and sets his hands on his shoulders.

"I must have done something saintly in a past life to have such a beautiful boy in my lap," Derek says.

And there's that stupid blush again. It makes Derek chuckle.

"Don't deny it, baby," he says softly. "You're very beautiful. All that pale skin that I'm sure will bear my marks so well. Nice, plump ass that's just begging for a spanking and then a good, hard fucking. And a pretty little cock too." Derek curls a hand around Stiles' erection and gives it a few strokes. He stops when Stiles tries to fuck into his grip. "Ah-ah-ah, I didn't say you could do that, did I?" he chides, his expression a contradiction of disappointment and glee.

"N-no," Stiles stammers, going still as a statue.

"No, what?" Derek prompts.

"No, Daddy."

"Better. Now, I'm tempted to be lenient since this is our first time playing together, but I need to make sure my boy understands the rules."

Stiles worries at his bottom lip. "What d'you mean, Daddy?"

"I mean that I think I should still punish you to ensure you know that, when we're playing, you don't do anything unless I tell you to. That includes speaking without permission if it's not to use one of your safewords."

Stiles opens his mouth to protest, but a stern look from Derek has him snapping it shut again. Daddy didn't ask him to speak, after all.

"Good boy," Derek says proudly. "Lay yourself over my lap, facedown, and no rubbing yourself off on my legs. You don't get to come unless I give you permission."

Once Stiles is in position, his head pillowed on his crossed arms and his hard cock slotting into the space between Derek's thighs, he tenses up when he feels Derek's calloused hand on his bare ass. The man hushes him and just rubs over the round flesh until Stiles releases the tension in his body and goes limp over Daddy's lap. This must've been exactly what Derek was waiting for, because it's then that the first smack comes without warning.

Stiles cries out in shock and undoes all of Daddy's hard work. He only just hears him asking for his colour. "G-green!" he gasps.

"Good boy. I know it's difficult, but just try to keep from tensing up too much. It'll go smoother if you stay relaxed."

Easy for you to say, Stiles wants to snap back, but he resists. He doesn't want to make his punishment any worse.

The next smack still catches Stiles off-guard, but it doesn't affect him as much. He jolts but takes deep breaths to follow his Daddy's orders, and then the next spanks come quickly, one after another. Derek alternates between cheeks—left, right, left, right—and between the fleshiest parts and the extra sensitive stretches of skin where his ass meets the tops of his thighs. On and on it goes, and at first Stiles wonders why the hell Daddy bothered to warn him not to come during his spanking. He doesn't believe there's any way he could, not with the pain that burns hot across his ass cheeks. And yet his cock never softens, so there must be something about being spanked like this that some part of him likes, some part hidden deep down.

After a minute, Stiles mind goes hazy, his world narrowing down to the rough smacks of Daddy's hand. To how pleasure is beginning to emerge from the pain. Without conscious thought, Stiles rocks his hips lazily, fucking the tight gap between his Daddy's thighs just like he was told not to.

"Someone's being naughty," Derek observes, his voice low and dangerous.

Stiles stops again and whines, upset with himself. Every cell of his being wants to submit and be Daddy's good boy. Jesus Christ, how has Derek got under his skin so swiftly?

"You're a needy boy, aren't you?"

Stiles whines again, incapable of a proper verbal response, but the sound and the fact that he has ceased moving must be enough. Derek gives him five more spanks, each one getting progressively more painful until the fifth and final one has tears spilling from Stiles' eyes. Then Derek manhandles him back so that he is sitting in his lap, and Stiles tucks his face into Derek's neck with a sniffle. Daddy rubs both hands up and down his back, comforting him and murmuring words of praise, telling him how well he took his punishment and that he's proud of him.

When Stiles has calmed down, Derek forces him to come out of hiding and look at him. "You okay, baby boy?" he enquires, wiping the wetness from Stiles' cheeks.

"Yes, Daddy," Stiles responds. "Sorry…"

"There's no need for apologies now," Derek tells him. "Everything's forgiven. Just don't forget again."

"O-okay."

"Do you want to continue?"

His cock still hard and leaking, Stiles nods jerkily. "Wanna come."

"Oh really? Well, I've got good news for you then. Because you took your spanking like a big boy, I'll let you have an orgasm tonight."

Stiles perks up, his eyes excited. "Really?"

"Really."

"Thank you, Daddy."

Derek chuckles. "You're welcome, baby. Here's what you're going to do to get it: you're going to go upstairs and wait for me. My bedroom's the last door on the left. You're gonna kneel facing the foot of the bed, ass on your heels, hands on your knees, back straight and head bowed. You're going to hold that position until I get there and tell you otherwise. Colour?"

Stiles shivers and nearly comes then and there. "Green, Daddy."

"Good boy." Derek gives his ass another spank, this one light and playful. "Now up you go."

Stiles scrambles off of Daddy's lap and races upstairs, not stopping until he reaches the master bedroom. He pushes the door to behind himself and takes in the space, using it to get a better idea of who Derek is as a person.

The walls are painted a pale grey, which might have made the bedroom seem dull were it not for everything else making it feel homey and lived in.

Across from the door are several bookcases positioned next to each other. Every single shelf is filled with a large array of books, and a quick scan of the spines reveals to Stiles that they're organised into different genres and then by author. Derek's tastes are eclectic, and Stiles' fingers itch with the desire to pull some of them out at random to get a better look at them. But he refrains and turns in place to run his eyes over the rest of the room.

To his left is a large oak desk. In the middle of its surface is a shiny MacBook Pro, the screen closed, and the sides are taken up by piles of papers, a pot of pens and pencils, and a bunch of trinkets that seem worthless but must have some sentimental value.

The wall behind Stiles is taken up by a dresser and another door, which must lead to an en suite bathroom.

And finally, the main feature of the room is Derek's king-size bed. The headboard is pressed up against the right wall. The pillows all look ridiculously fluffy, and from a tentative touch, Stiles is pleased to discover that the red sheets are incredibly soft. He wants to slip beneath them and feel that softness against every inch of his naked body, but he can't. Not yet, anyway. He still has an order to carry out, so he walks over to the foot of the bed and sinks to his knees. The hardwood is uncomfortable on his kneecaps and bony ankles, but he pushes through it and finishes getting into the specific position he was told to.

He has just placed his hands on his knees and lowered his head when he hears footsteps on the stairs outside. He holds his breath as the sound gets nearer, and then Derek pushes the door open and enters the room. Stiles hears nothing else for a few moments, and it's so fucking hard not to lift his head again and look. But he was given an order, and he still wants more than anything to be a good boy for Daddy, so he stays exactly where he is, unmoving, not even his chest expanding.

"You're learning," Derek says eventually, putting Stiles out of his misery. "I'm glad."

Stiles releases the breath he was holding. His lungs thank him for it.

"I'm gonna get ready myself. Stay right there, okay, baby?"

"Yes, Daddy."

The footsteps fade into the bathroom, and Stiles hears the rustling of clothes, the tinkle of Derek relieving himself in the toilet bowl and then water spraying from a tap. Once all of that is done, the footsteps return and Stiles catches sight of Derek's feet out of the corner of his eye.

Derek walks over to him and sits down on the end of the bed. His ankles and calves are now also bare, which is just torturous. Stiles internally curses his Daddy for being such a tease. He's sure that if he were to disobey and look up, Stiles would see Derek completely naked. He almost breaks—the desire to see if Derek's cock is just as big and gorgeous as he imagines it is almost too much to fight—but somehow he finds the mettle to persevere.

"Very good," Derek compliments, patting the top of Stiles' head.

"T-thank you, Daddy," Stiles responds, the praise causing a bead of pre-come to form at the slit of his cock. He promises himself then that he'll keep trying as hard as he can to make Daddy proud of him. Apparently, as well as having a thing for submission and daddy kink, praise does it for him too.

Go figure.

"Since you're being so good for me, I'll let you take a peek at the cock you're gonna be sucking in a minute," Derek continues. "Look up."

Immediately complying, Stiles' mouth hangs open because, yes, Derek's cock and balls are everything he hoped they would be. Derek's balls are weighty, dusted with fine hairs and hang low between their owner's muscular thighs. They must be filled with so much come, and Stiles wants to be covered in it. Above them, Derek's cock sticks out somewhere around nine inches long. It has coarse dark curls at the base, is super thick, and it's uncut to boot. Stiles himself has no foreskin, so his attention is drawn to the wrinkled folds that still cover the head even though Daddy is rock-hard.

"Look at you," Daddy chuckles. "Already ready to take me in your mouth, aren't you, baby?"

Stiles realises that he's still gaping but doesn't close his mouth. It's true, so he nods.

"Good boy," Derek murmurs, stroking his fingers through Stiles' hair. "Keep your mouth open just like that and let me use you, okay?"

Stiles nods again.

Smiling, Derek stares with affectionate eyes for a few more seconds, and then the affection transforms into something darker and lascivious. With his other hand, he gives himself a few lazy strokes, and Stiles watches with fascination as his foreskin peels back from the fat head and then hides it again repeatedly. Something about it is indescribably hot, and his desire must show on his face because Derek tightens his fingers in Stiles' hair and drags his mouth closer to the head of his cock.

Stiles opens up even wider and gazes with trust and lust up at Daddy's face as the first few inches enter his mouth to rest heavy on his tongue. Derek leaves them there, and Stiles' eyelids flutter when a drop of salty pre-come hits his taste buds.

"You look so perfect like this, baby," Derek tells him. "On your knees for me, just begging for my cock like a needy slut. Is that what you are? Daddy's needy slut?"

Stiles can't exactly talk right now, but he makes a noise that he hopes gets his answer across.

"Yeah, I thought so. I'm very lucky to've found someone like you. I think I might just keep you, maybe tie you to my bed so you're available for me to fuck whenever I want. Would you like that?"

Stiles knows it's only a fantasy and could never actually happen, but he makes the affirmative noise again because…fuck, that's hot.

"Yes, I'm definitely gonna do that. Gonna make you Daddy's personal sex slave. Don't worry, though; Daddy always takes good care of what's his."

Stiles doesn't need the reassurance, but he appreciates it nevertheless.

For the next couple minutes, Derek slowly feeds Stiles more and more of his cock. He pulls out after every inch so that his boy can take a breath, and then he pulls Stiles right back onto his erection. Soon enough, the head hits the back of Stiles' throat. Stiles convulses around it but his Daddy doesn't relent this time. Derek holds him there and makes him take it, and fresh tears sting Stiles' eyes as he struggles for air. After the tears trickle down his cheeks, Derek finally lets him go, and Stiles falls backward and sputters as he refills his lungs with oxygen. When he has caught his breath again, he sits up straight.

"Colour?" Derek asks him.

"Green, Daddy," Stiles responds, his voice hoarse.

"Good boy. I know it's tough right now, but you'll learn to take me. Soon, you're gonna be able to deep-throat me without a problem."

Stiles glances doubtfully at Derek's spit-slick cock, but he doesn't refute the claim.

"Come on, baby," his Daddy says, pulling Stiles' mouth back toward his huge dick. "Let's try again. Since your mouth will be filled, if you need me to stop, just pinch my leg. Got it?"

"Got it, Daddy."

"Good boy."

There's that warmth inside Stiles' chest again. He'd do anything to keep feeling it, so he opens his mouth wide and takes several inches of Daddy's cock in one go. Thankfully, Daddy doesn't go deep enough to trigger his gag reflex this time and instead seems content to just let Stiles take as much as he thinks he can. To show his gratitude, Stiles begins to bob his head up and down without any instruction. It's a gamble and might disappoint Daddy because he hadn't actually been told to do so, but the gamble pays off when all that happens is the older man releases his hair and leans back on his arms, legs spread as he lets his boy suck his cock.

Stiles' jaw hurts after a while, but he keeps at it. The discomfort is more than worth the sight of Daddy's flushed face and the feel of a big cock in his mouth. He already loves sucking cock and looks forward to getting to suck Daddy's all the time.

Swiping his tongue over the slit once, Stiles moans when he gets another taste of Derek's pre-come. There's nothing like it. He wants more of it, so he stays with just the head of Derek's cock in his mouth and swirls his tongue around the head. He slips it beneath the wrinkled foreskin and is pleasantly surprised by what he finds. The taste that assaults him is musky and speaks of a long day's work. It's sweat, more pre-come and maybe a bit of piss, all trapped beneath Daddy's foreskin.

It's dirty and yet fucking amazing.

"Damn, baby, that feels great," Derek tells him, tipping his head back. "Keep doing what you're doing and you're gonna make Daddy blow his load."

Those are the magic words that have Stiles redoubling his efforts. He badly wants to taste Daddy's come, so he resumes bobbing his head and makes the blowjob as good as he can with his limited experience.

It works. Just thirty seconds later, Derek chokes out a warning and yanks Stiles off of his cock. Stiles is irritated at first because he thinks he's going to be deprived of Daddy's come, but his irritation disappears when Daddy holds him just a few inches from his cock and uses his other hand to finish the job.

"Here it comes!" Derek cries, every muscle in his body going tense.

Stiles closes his eyes just in time. Accompanied by a throaty moan, jet after jet of thick spunk splatters across his face. He's shocked by the sheer amount of it. It gets up in his hair and drips down his forehead. It splashes over his eyebrow and the bridge of his nose, and two pulses hit his lips.

When Daddy's orgasm ends, Stiles flicks his tongue out over his bottom lip and collects some of the semen that ended up there. It's thick and bitter and just as delicious as he hoped it would be. He runs his tongue all around his mouth and swallows down all the come he can collect, and then he stays where he is while Daddy finishes recovering.

"Wow, you make a pretty picture all covered in me, baby," Derek says when his breathing has evened out again. "Let me help you clean up."

Derek slides down to his knees in front of Stiles, licks the side of his face and then pushes some more come into Stiles' mouth in a messy kiss. He does this until Stiles' face is clean, and then he stays there for a few moments longer and simply shares the taste of himself with his boy.

Stiles loves every second of it. As rough as some of the treatment has been so far, moments like this fill him with joy. He can feel the affection practically pouring off of his Daddy. It's in the expert slide of Daddy's lips over his, in the touch of his hand on the side of his neck. Stiles has never felt so treasured. It's almost enough to make him cry for the third time that evening.

When he concludes the kiss with one final peck, Derek pulls back and grins at his boy. "You're gonna be great at giving head when I'm through with you," he says.

"Thank you, Daddy. I liked it."

"Yeah? You liked sucking Daddy's cock and eating his jizz?"

"Uh-huh."

"That's good, because I've gotta make sure my boy is well-fed, don't I?"

Stiles' stomach rumbles then, already hungry for more come to fill it. It'll have to wait, though, because Derek gets to his feet.

"Get up and bend over the end of the bed, baby," he commands.

Stiles hastens to obey, and once he's holding himself as he was told, he sees Daddy walk around the bed to retrieve something from the bedside table. Then he vanishes from sight again, and Stiles only knows where he is from the sound of his breathing behind him.

"Your ass looks so good all red like this," Derek says, skating his fingers over the enflamed flesh. "How does it feel?"

"It's still sore, Daddy, but I kinda like it," Stiles answers shyly.

"I'm glad. Do you want to know what's gonna happen next?"

"Yes, please."

"I'm gonna open you open up on my fingers, stretch you out good and ready for my cock. I've always had a short refractory period, and already I'm basically raring to go again. God, I can't wait to sink my cock into your pretty little hole and claim you from the inside-out. You want that, baby? Want Daddy's big cock inside your hole?"

"Yes, Daddy!" Stiles begs, arching his back to present himself even better. "Want it so bad!"

"Then hold still, boy, and I'll give it to you."

Stiles hears Derek pop the cap of something—lube, presumably what he got from his bedside table—and then he flinches when he feels a blunt finger at his hole.

"Shh, just stay calm and take deep breaths," Derek soothes him. He doesn't push inside right away, just runs his finger in circles around Stiles' rim, letting the boy get used to being touched in his most intimate place. Only when Stiles has relaxed again does Derek slip his finger inside up to the first knuckle. "You ever done this to yourself?" he enquires.

"A few times, Daddy," Stiles responds. It takes everything in him to get the words out.

"And did you like it?"

"Yeah…it felt good."

Derek goes quiet then and slowly thrusts his finger deeper, one knuckle at a time. Once he has reached the final knuckle, he pulls his finger out and applies some more lube before sliding it back inside and curling it in search of something. Stiles screams and nearly face-plants into the bedding when Derek strikes his prostate in a way he has never been able to achieve with his own fingers. It makes fireworks explode behind his eyelids, and he screams again when Daddy's talented finger strokes back and forth over that special bundle of nerves.

"If you think this feels good, just you wait," Derek promises him. "My cock's gonna feel a hundred times better."

Stiles thinks that's impossible, but any capacity for speech is stolen from him as Derek inserts a second finger and begins to scissor them apart. Derek must be reading his body language, because every time the pain of being stretched open verges on too much, he switches back to stimulating his prostate.

It's maddening. Stiles' cock aches between his legs and drips copious amounts of pre-come, creating a puddle on the hardwood floor. He wants desperately to finally orgasm, but he knows better than to ask for permission. He gets the feeling that he won't be permitted to come until his Daddy has at least got his cock inside of him.

Derek adds third and fourth fingers when Stiles has been stretched enough, and then he withdraws all of them and leaves the teenager feeling empty.

"Please…" Stiles whispers, his poor hole clenching around nothing.

"It's okay. Daddy's gonna fuck you now."

"Oh thank God…"

"Do you want me to use a condom, baby?"

"Hmm?"

"A condom. I'm clean, but I'll use one if you want me to."

Stiles considers it with all the brainpower he has remaining. Every lesson of safe sex that has been drilled into him both by his dad and Sex Ed at school tells him that he should say yes now, but he doesn't want to. He wants to feel his Daddy bare.

"Mmm, that's exactly the answer I was hoping to get," Derek says happily when Stiles tells him. Stiles senses him standing up and then feels his massive cock at his entrance. "Ready, baby?"

"Yes, Daddy. Want your big cock."

The first push in is difficult, even with how much Derek had prepped him. What with how massive Derek's cock is, Stiles supposes it's to be expected, but that doesn't make it any easier. He recalls Daddy's orders to keep breathing as more and more inches invade his body, until he feels the scratch of Daddy's pubes against his sore ass, meaning that every single inch is inside.

Stiles has never felt so full. His own erection has flagged a bit because it's painful, but as his body acclimates to taking something so huge, blood returns south and hardens him right back up.

"So tight," Derek grits out, hands on Stiles' hips. "Daddy's little virgin."

"N-not anymore," Stiles points out breathlessly.

"I guess you're right. Your virginity's mine now, isn't it, baby? So generous of you."

"Yours…"

Stiles isn't just talking about his virginity. Right now, with Derek's cock all the way inside of him, it feels like Derek has claimed all of him, like he doesn't belong to himself anymore. It ties into the filth his Daddy told him earlier, of him becoming a slave who exists only for his Daddy's pleasure. Not very PC, but still hot as hell to fantasise about in the moment.

When Stiles gives the all-clear, Derek pulls out most of the way and sinks back in, starting up a rhythm that Stiles would call glacial. He's not complaining, though. The pain has lessened to the point where he can bear it and the act of being penetrated is nice in itself, but the pleasure hasn't truly kicked in yet. Still, he puts his trust in his Daddy and is rewarded when Daddy changes the angle of one of his thrusts and his cock strikes Stiles' prostate dead-on. Stiles sees fireworks again, brighter and for longer this time.

Daddy wasn't kidding when he said that being fucked by a big cock would be even better than a few fingers. It definitely is. Stiles' body begins to move on its own, pushing back every time Derek thrusts forward.

"Eager," Daddy laughs, gripping his hips so hard that he'll probably leave bruises behind by the time they finish. "I'll give you what you want."

With the very next thrust, he fulfils his promise and takes the pace from zero to a hundred. His thrusts become vicious and unremitting, his hips smacking into Stiles' sore ass cheeks so hard that it's almost like Stiles is being spanked all over again. Instead of inspiring mostly pain in Stiles like being spanked over Daddy's lap had, the pain only pushes him higher, enhances the pleasure to the point where Stiles fears he might just come untouched.

"Daddy! I'm close!" he whines, gripping the sheets so tightly that his knuckles turn white.

"Yeah? You gonna come just from your Daddy's cock inside your slutty hole?" Derek growls.

"Y-yeah…"

"Do it, baby. Come."

The command is all it takes to tip Stiles over the edge. He blacks out as the pleasure consumes him entirely. He doesn't feel, hear or see anything for several minutes, and when he comes to again, he finds himself lying with his head on one of the pillows. He's alone in the bedroom and his hole is dripping with semen, indicating that Daddy came inside of him while he was out.

"Ah, you're back," Derek says as he comes out of the bathroom. He has a damp washcloth in his hand.

"Daddy…" Stiles rasps. The word is slurred, his tongue not cooperating.

"I'm here, baby boy," Derek coos. He climbs onto the bed next to Stiles and runs the washcloth over the teenager's body, cleaning him up. Stiles winces when Derek dips the cloth between his sore cheeks, and then Daddy tosses it in the direction of the bathroom without looking.

"I'll put it in the laundry hamper tomorrow," Derek explains, even though Stiles didn't ask. "For now, I think my boy needs some cuddles, hmm?"

Stiles nods sluggishly and closes his eyes in bliss when Derek wraps his muscular arms around him and pulls their bodies flush together. Their legs end up in a tangle, and Stiles hides his face in the centre of Daddy's chest, just breathing in the comforting scent of him. It's tinged with the raw scent of sex and sweat, but that just makes everything better.

After a while of just lying there and enjoying the closeness between them, relishing the sensation of Daddy's fingers in his hair and short nails scratching over his scalp, Stiles emerges from his hiding place and blinks tiredly at his new lover.

"You back with me properly now?" Derek asks him softly.

"Yeah. What happened?"

Derek sounds particularly smug as he explains. "I made you come so hard that you were sent careening into subspace, baby. That's what happened."

Stiles doesn't really understand what subspace is, but he doesn't have the energy to say so. He just accepts it and makes a note to do some research later. "Oh…"

"Will your dad be expecting you home tonight?"

"No. He's working the night shift."

"Then do you want to stay here with me?"

Stiles nods. "If that's okay."

"Of course it is. I love having my boy in bed with me. It's been a long time since I've had a boy in my arms like this. As amazing as sex is, I think that this is the best part—sharing in the afterglow."

"They're both equally amazing," Stiles argues.

Derek kisses his forehead. "Sleep, baby. I'll make pancakes for breakfast if you're lucky."

"Mmm…'kay, Daddy…"

Closing his eyes, Stiles is quick to drift off. The last thing he registers before going under is Daddy calling him his good boy.

Chapter Text

- Sunday, November 24th, 2013 -

When Stiles opens bleary eyes the next morning, he feels warm and the most well-rested he thinks he's been in a very long time. It takes him a moment to figure out where he is—the room is unfamiliar to his sleep-addled brain, but once it finally comes back online, he recognises Derek's bedroom. A huge grin stretches his mouth as he recalls the previous evening, the pleasant ache in his ass serving as another reminder that, yes, it did actually happen.

Bye, bye, pesky virginity, he thinks gleefully as he turns around to face his bedmate. And hello, the man I gave it to.

Jesus Christ, Stiles didn't believe that he could find Derek any more attractive than he already did, but something about seeing the much-older man like this, slumbering peacefully next to him, has his heart doing somersaults in his chest. To Stiles, Derek looks more handsome than ever, his face relaxed and his salt-and-pepper hair an adorable mess atop his head. 'Adorable' isn't an adjective he thought he would ascribe to Derek, but it seems undeniable to him.

For a long time, Stiles just lies there and stares, unable to tear his eyes away. He wants to stay there forever, or at least for the entire day, but he knows that just isn't possible.

Soon, Stiles is going to have to leave Derek's house and return to his own, preferably in time to beat his dad there. He could lie, stay longer at Derek's and say he slept over at Scott's when his dad finds their house empty and inevitably calls him to ask where he is, but he'd feel bad about doing it. He's going to have to lie to his dad enough, at least until he and Derek figure out where their strangely strong connection is taking them. Then they'll need to come up with a good way to break the news to Stiles' dad that his barely legal son is involved with a middle-aged man.

Stiles prays that said involvement will be a proper relationship. Derek did say yesterday that he was interested in what they did being more than a one-time thing.

They'll also have to talk about boundaries and stuff. Derek being his Daddy…it makes Stiles excited, but also confused and a little nervous. He'd heard about daddy kink being a thing before last night, and he actually really enjoyed engaging in it with Derek, but he has never really thought about what it would mean for someone to be his Daddy full-time. If it even has to mean anything at all. Stiles doesn't really know what he wants or how it would work, and he doesn't know how Derek sees them working either.

They obviously have a lot to discuss.

"You're thinking too hard this early in the morning," comes a deep, rumbly voice.

Stiles snaps out of his head and discovers that Derek is now awake and watching him, his hazel eyes shining in the sunlight streaming in through the curtains. "Sorry…"

"It's okay, baby. But you've got me curious." Derek reaches out and taps Stiles' forehead. "What's going on in that pretty little head of yours?"

Blood rushes to Stiles face at being called 'baby'. It's ridiculous how good that makes him feel. How safe. "I was just thinking about us," he answers quietly, finding it easier to look down at Derek's delightfully hairy chest rather than his face. "I have questions."

Derek chuckles. "I'd be surprised if you didn't. C'mon, baby. Let's get up, shower, and then we can talk over those pancakes I promised you. That sound okay?"

"Yeah. Thanks, Derek."

The older man pauses after flinging back the sheets, a reaction that has Stiles thinking back to yesterday, when he was told to call him Daddy instead of his name when they're alone. He corrects himself.

"It's okay," Derek reassures him. He presses his lips to Stiles' temple before getting out of bed. "It's going to take some time before it becomes natural."

Stiles wonders how the hell he got so lucky. Derek just seems so understanding about everything—and he's unbelievably sexy…fuck! Stiles must be the luckiest person on the planet.

"Aren't you gonna join me in the shower, baby?" Derek asks him, amused because Stiles still hasn't moved. He was too busy staring at his Daddy in all his naked glory.

"I'm coming!" Stiles squeaks, leaping out of bed too.

Derek chuckles again and leads the way to the en suite bathroom, which is immaculate and huge. The sink is to the right, with a medicine cabinet fixed to the wall above and the toilet next to it. Against the left wall is a clawfoot bathtub big enough to comfortably fit two people, which is definitely something that Stiles wants to try at some point. And finally, the wall opposite the door is taken up by a shower that an entire football team could probably fit inside of if they tried hard enough. It's closed off by glass that's frosted at waist height, with the door to enter in the middle and a metal bar bolted onto the outside on the right. From this bar hang two fluffy white towels.

Unlike the large white tiles that cover the rest of the bathroom, the tiles inside the stall are small and a warm, sandy brown. There are shelves built into the wall, also tiled, and when Derek opens the glass door and gestures for him to come inside, Stiles is amazed to see that there are several shower heads, each no doubt with amazing water pressure.

"I see someone's impressed," Derek comments, fiddling with the temperature settings.

"I'm impressed by everything to do with you, Daddy," Stiles responds. As the shower heads sputter to life, he rushes to close the door.

"That's good to know, baby. Now come here so I can wash my boy."

Stiles giggles and willingly steps closer. "You just want an excuse to get your hands on me again."

"Yes, but I don't think anyone would blame me. Not when my boy's so gorgeous."

Fuck, Stiles is blushing again. He bets he's going to keep doing that a lot whenever he's around Derek, especially if the older man keeps showering him in compliments. He's not used to receiving many, and the ones he does get are either from his dad, so they don't count, or they're from his teachers at school for getting another A on a test or something.

"Besides," Derek continues as he grabs a bottle of shower gel from one of the shelves, "being in the shower together like this gives you an excuse to get your hands on me too."

Stiles' dick perks up at this, rapidly filling with blood. "Really?"

"Mmhmm. If you're a good boy for me."

"I'll be good!" Stiles exclaims, slipping right into acting younger than his real age. He nearly salivates at the thought of finally getting to touch Derek as much as he wants. "I'll be the best boy!"

"You already are, baby," Daddy says. "Now, hold still so I can make sure you're nice and clean."

"Yes, Daddy."

Stiles' skin tingles and his eyes close of their own volition when Derek begins soaping him up, his large, calloused hands rubbing gently over the skin of Stiles' front. His dick is fully hard now, leaking and begging for attention, but, much to his disappointment, Derek bypasses it entirely and crouches down to wash his legs instead. He puts a hand on Daddy's shoulder to keep his balance when the man asks him to lift up his feet one at a time so that he can wash those too, and then he repeats the whole process with Stiles' back.

This time, Daddy does pay him some extra attention, two soaped-up fingers slipping into his crack to clean his tender hole of all the come that leaked out overnight. Stiles arches his back, sticking his ass out in an effort to entice Derek into doing more than simply cleaning him, but he's left disappointed again when all he gets for his trouble is a knowing hum.

"And lastly…" Derek says huskily, reaching around Stiles to hold his cock.

"Daddy!" Stiles gasps, instantly bucking forward into the slick hand around him.

"I thought I told you to stay still, baby," his Daddy warns him, his words quiet and spoken right next to Stiles' ear.

Stiles shudders and gets goosebumps all over. "Sorry, Daddy…" he says meekly, ceasing the urgent movement of his hips.

"There's my good boy."

It's torturous. Stiles has to stand still while Daddy presses up behind him and leisurely strokes him for several long minutes, never going fast enough or holding him tight enough for him to come. He can feel that Derek is hard too, his huge length slotted teasingly into the crack of Stiles' ass.

"Daddy, please…need to come," Stiles entreaties, leaning his head back onto the older man's broad shoulder.

"Yeah? How bad, baby?"

"Super bad."

Derek hums again and at first, Stiles dreads that he's not going to get what he wants, that Daddy is going to stop stroking him altogether. But, mercifully, after a few more loose strokes, the hand around Stiles' cock tightens and moves faster. Stiles struggles to keep his hips still, every instinct in his body telling him that he needs to fuck into Daddy's hand to get himself off, but he doesn't, the desire to be good preventing him.

A few moments later, Stiles cries out as he orgasms so intensely that he's left shaking in the aftermath. He sags back against Daddy's body and takes comfort from him as he comes down from his high, his seed flowing down the drain.

"There you go. Did that feel good?" Derek enquires. He nuzzles Stiles' temple and wraps both arms around him, holding him securely.

"Y-yeah…" Stiles answers breathlessly. "So good. Thank you, Daddy."

"You're welcome, baby."

They stand in place until Stiles has recovered, and then he turns around and kisses the man to really get his gratitude across. Derek smiles into the kiss and rubs his hands up and down Stiles' back.

"Is it my turn now?" Stiles asks once the kiss has ended. His cock is soft again, but the thought of washing Daddy in return still excites him to no end.

"If you want."

"I want. I want a lot!"

Derek grins, crow's feet out in full force. "Then have at it, baby boy."

Practically vibrating with giddiness, Stiles grabs the same shower gel Derek used on him and squirts out a big glob on his palm. He rubs his hands together and then attempts to decide where he should start. There's just so much tanned skin that he wants to touch, making his mind race so quickly that he ends up not being able to decide at all. He just stays there with his hands dripping with lather until Daddy makes the choice for him.

"Start with my chest, baby," the man instructs. "Just do exactly what I did to you."

Stiles nods, happy to follow orders. "Does that include making you come?"

Derek moans quietly. "We'll see, baby."

"I hope it does, Daddy."

"Oh, I know. I remember how much you loved touching my cock yesterday."

Stiles ducks his head and tentatively reaches out to place his hands on Daddy's chest. The feeling of solid muscle beneath his palms is amazing, and when Derek doesn't urge him on, he luxuriates in taking his time. He rubs his hands all over Daddy's big pecs and enjoys how his dark chest hair contrasts with the white suds. It feels nice sliding between his fingers too, silky-soft. When he risks a glance up, Stiles finds Daddy smirking at him, obviously knowing exactly what's going through his head. Stiles isn't embarrassed, though. Daddy likes touching him, and he's supposed to like touching Daddy as well, right?

Once his chest has been thoroughly soaped up, Derek puts his hands behind his head to show off his hairy armpits. "These next, baby," he says.

Stiles squirts out some more shower gel and does as he has been told. Oddly enough, he's still turned on. Armpits have never really been a thing for him. Thanks to Instagram, he's aware that they're a real kink for some people—he never sees a picture of a shirtless man without someone complimenting his pits in the comments—but he never understood it. He does now. Maybe it's just because they're Daddy's pits, and everything about Daddy turns him on.

"Now do my abs and then my legs," Derek says when his pits are all clean too. "Don't touch my cock."

"Okay, Daddy."

Stiles takes his time washing Derek's abs, feeling the dips and planes of muscle beneath his fingers, and then he sinks down to get Derek's legs and feet. The large muscles continue down here too, and it's tough not to get distracted because being in this position puts his Daddy's cock right next to his face. It would be so easy to open his mouth and suck it, to taste Derek's skin and the salt of his pre-come again, but he resists the temptation and stubbornly keeps his gaze on his task.

Once he's sure that Daddy's thick, hairy legs are clean, Stiles gets back to his feet. "Turn around, Daddy," he says, getting some more shower gel on his palms.

Stiles washes Derek's back and spares a moment to trace the thick swirling lines of the tattoo between his shoulder blades before moving lower. He never got a good look at Daddy's ass yesterday, and now he thinks that missing out like that was a travesty. Just like the rest of him, Daddy's ass is toned to perfection, perky and round and dusted with more fine black hairs. Stiles soaps up each cheek and just has to squeeze them a few times for good measure.

"Stiles…" Daddy warns him, his voice sending a thrill down Stiles' spine.

"Sorry, Daddy," Stiles apologises.

"No you're not."

"Mmm…maybe not this time, Daddy. Your ass was too nice not to, though."

Derek looks back over his shoulder, eyes gleaming. "I work hard for it, so thank you. Just don't go off-task again, or I'll have to give you another spanking so you don't forget. You don't want that, do you?"

Stiles both does and doesn't want to be spanked again. It hurt, and some of that hurt lingers even now, hours later, but it also felt good. Really good. The thing that stops him from pushing his luck right now is that it would be another spanking for the purposes of punishment, which would mean that he made his Daddy upset with him—and nothing sounds worse than that.

With that in mind, Stiles dips his soapy index finger in between Derek's hairy cheeks to clean his little asshole and then deems himself finished.

"All done, baby?" his Daddy asks him.

"Yes, Daddy."

"Alright, let's wash this all off and then go fill our bellies, hmm?"

Stiles frowns. "But you're still hard. Don't you wanna come too?"

Derek turns back around and regards Stiles closely, obviously thinking. In the end, he shakes his head. "Nah, I'm fine for now. But if you keep behaving for me, I'll give you a special treat the next time we see each other," he promises with a wink.

Stiles licks his lips, the desire to taste his Daddy's come again returning with a vengeance. He wishes he could taste it now, but he knows better than to complain. "Okay, Daddy," he agrees.

Derek ruffles his hair. "There's my boy."

After they've washed the last of the lather from their bodies, Derek switches off the shower and exits the stall, stepping onto the blood-red mat just outside. He takes one of the towels from the bar fixed to the frosted glass, wraps it around his waist and then grabs the second one. "Come here, baby. Let's get you nice and dry and then into some comfortable clothes."

Stiles allows himself to be pampered. He relishes Daddy's touch, the fluffy material of the towel feeling good against his skin. Once Stiles is no longer dripping water everywhere, Derek quickly dries himself off, they both apply deodorant and then Derek leads the way back into the bedroom. He takes Stiles to his dresser and opens a couple of the drawers, from which he pulls out two pairs of sweatpants, a grey tank top and a snuggly-looking green sweater. He gives one pair of sweats and the sweater to Stiles.

"Here you go. You can wear these until it's time for you to get back home," he says.

Stiles, loving the thought of being swamped in Daddy's clothes, snatches both garments from him and hurries to get into them. He almost falls over trying to put his feet in the legs of the sweats.

"Be careful, baby," Derek chides gently. "I'd hate for you to hurt yourself."

Nodding bashfully, Stiles finishes getting dressed and sighs in contentment when the sweater is on and he's surrounded by the scent of his Daddy, still detectable beneath the smell of whatever fabric softener the man uses.

"Right, time for those pancakes," Derek says after he's dressed as well, just as Stiles' stomach rumbles loudly.

"We definitely worked up an appetite last night," the eighteen-year-old muses.

Taking Stiles' hand, Derek brings him to the kitchen, which is just as big and clean as the bathroom. It's incredibly modern, with white and silver everything.

"Sit at the island," Derek says, pulling out a stool for him. "What d'you want to drink? OJ?"

"Sure!" Stiles chirps, already feeling at home.

"Coming right up."

Sure enough, just twenty seconds later, Stiles has a tall glass of orange juice in front of him. He sips from it as Daddy moves around the kitchen gathering ingredients. "Can I have chocolate chips in mine?"

Derek quirks an eyebrow at him. "Since you mostly behaved in the shower, I suppose so."

"Great!" Stiles grins. "Thanks, Daddy."

The pancakes don't take too long to cook, and then Derek gets out butter and syrup before setting a hearty stack of fluffy, delicious-smelling discs in front of Stiles and taking a stool on the other side of the island with his own. As they both dig in, Derek initiates the conversation that Stiles had thought they needed to have right after he woke up.

"Before we do anything else, we need to have that talk. We need to establish what's between us and what we both want out of it," he says, drizzling a modest amount of syrup over his stack.

"What d'you mean, Daddy?"

"For now, call me Derek. You need to be in a more mature headspace for this. It's important."

Stiles blinks. He thinks back to how he has been interacting with Derek since they got out of bed and his eyes widen. Wow, he hadn't been in a mature headspace at all. It felt completely natural to give up all control and let Derek dictate exactly what was happening, which enabled him to act like he had. It was almost like he was a kid again, in a strange way, without responsibilities or worries about what college he's going to go to once he graduates next year. It was just what he needed to relieve him of all of that stress.

But, in spite of all of that, now that he's come crashing back down to reality, all of his concerns are back—along with a new one: what would people think if they witnessed him like that?

Fuck, they wouldn't get it. Hell, Stiles himself doesn't get it.

"Stop thinking so hard," Derek says, leaning forward to tap Stiles on the nose with the handle of his fork.

"I couldn't help it. Everything's just happening so fast."

"It would be a lot for anyone to come to terms with, I know," Derek concedes. "But, good thing for you, you don't have to do it alone."

Stiles nods. That does make everything seem less daunting. "Right."

"So, first thing's first, what do you see this being between us?" Derek enquires.

"You mean…if I wanna be serious or not?"

Derek nods. "Yes. I know that we talked briefly about doing what we did yesterday again, but do you want just that, or do you want a proper relationship as well?"

Even with all the other things he still has to figure out, Stiles is ready to give his answer to this opening question straight away. "I want a real relationship with you," he says confidently.

Derek releases along breath. "Thank God. I would've taken you however I could get you, but I'm damn glad you said that."

"How could I not want that? You're like, literally perfect."

"I'm far from perfect, Stiles, but I appreciate the sentiment." Derek eats another bite of his breakfast and prompts Stiles to do the same. "Next question: leaving aside the issue of telling your dad about us, what's the biggest thing you were just worrying about?"

"Uh…I guess that would be the headspace I was in until a minute ago," Stiles says, watching as some melted butter trails down the side of his stack of pancakes. "It's confusing. I've never…I never knew I had it in me to act like that again or that I even wanted to, but it was almost intuitive to defer everything to you like I was really younger again. Part of me wonders what the hell's wrong with me, why letting you take care of me like that felt so good and so natural."

"There's nothing wrong with you, Stiles, so get that notion out of your head right now," Derek commands.

"But I'm eighteen! I'm graduating in a few months. Aren't I supposed to start behaving like an adult now? Y'know, going forward instead of back?"

Derek shakes his head. "There's no one way to do things, Stiles. I won't lie to you—a lot of people wouldn't understand, but they don't matter. Only what you and I think matters here."

"So, what? It would be fine if I wanted to act like a kid all the time? It doesn't seem right to me."

Derek hesitates, choosing his next words carefully. "Forgetting about right and wrong, does that sound like what you'd want out of life, to be my little full-time?"

"Your little?"

"That's what they're called—men and women who want to be taken care of by Daddies or Mommies. Littles."

"How does that even work?"

"Well, for some couples, it's a 24/7 thing. Other littles go out during the day, work jobs, and then, when they come home to their partners, they leave their adult persona at the door. Some only do it when the little feels stressed and thinks it's necessary. The degree to which they delve into their little personas differs from person to person too. Some go the full nine yards—crayons, sippy cups, clothes with trucks or pretty things on them, and even diapers—whereas for others it's more about the caretaking aspect, where they don't really act like children per se. They still have a Daddy or a Mommy, though, who'll make the decisions and take care of everything for them so that they don't have to worry about anything. Does that make sense?"

"Sort of… I don't really understand the more involved stuff, but I guess it's not for me to understand."

"From that answer, am I right in thinking that becoming a full-time little isn't what you want?"

Stiles thinks long and hard, and Derek gives him as much time as he needs. It's difficult to sort through all of his feelings, but he manages it in the end. "No, I don't want that. I loved you taking care of me, but I don't think I'm actually a…a full-on little. I don't want to be treated like an actual kid again, with the crayons and colouring books and stuff. Definitely not the diapers."

"Just to be clear—there wouldn't be anything wrong if you did."

"No, I know. I don't understand, but I'm not judging the people who do want that. They're not hurting anyone."

Derek accepts this answer easily. "What exactly do you want, then?"

"Being with you earlier felt amazing, having you make the decisions—there's no use kidding myself about that—but I don't want that all the time. I still want to go to college, get a job, and have some sort of independence."

"That's perfectly fine, Stiles."

"I-it is? You wouldn't mind me still being my own person?"

"You'd always be your own person, free to call things to an end at any time, even if we went for a more extreme arrangement, but no, I don't mind," Derek confirms, setting down his fork, his pancakes half-eaten. "To be honest, that isn't what I would want either."

"Then what would you? I still don't really get how the Daddy thing works outside of sex. And, come to think of it," Stiles adds, wrinkling his nose, "in hindsight, it's kind of weird that we did sexual stuff in the shower when I was in that headspace."

"You mean you didn't enjoy it?"

"No, I did," Stiles hastens to assure, seeing the frown on Derek's face. "I really enjoyed it, but something about doing that while I was acting younger than my age feels like dangerous territory to me."

"Ah. That's a common misconception to newbies in this scene."

"Huh?"

"That Daddies or Mommies who do sexual things with their littles must be sexually attracted to real children."

"I don't— I never accused—"

Derek holds up a hand. "I know you didn't, Stiles, but I need to make this very transparent."

Stiles shuts his mouth and puts his own fork down, listening intently.

"Could there be men and women out there who are only in this lifestyle because they get off on imagining that they're doing disgusting things with actual children? I'm not denying that there could be, but that's not me, and that's not any of the others I know or have interacted with."

"Who are you, then?" Stiles asks.

"I'm just a man who enjoys taking care of people. I always have."

"Have you had proper littles before?"

Derek nods. "I had one once, over a decade ago. It was back when I first got into the scene. It didn't work out because, as I said earlier, a full-time little isn't what I'm looking for. He moved on to a Daddy who could give him exactly what he needed, and since then I've only had casual things with boys that lasted no longer than a few days each. They were good boys, but none of them ever felt right. Like we fit together."

"And what about me? Do I fit? Am I what you're looking for?" Stiles tries to hide how hopeful he is for an affirmative response, but he isn't altogether successful.

"I'm looking for a boy who wants me to take care of him sometimes, to help him make decisions both big and small when it seems like things are getting too much for him." Derek sends Stiles a smile, his eyes soft, and there's no doubt in Stiles' mind that Derek isn't speaking hypothetically. He's speaking about him. "A boy who likes to be dominated in the bedroom and loves cuddles, who maybe needs a bit of discipline from time to time to make sure he stays focused. A boy who's willing to let go and give me his everything without worrying about judgment because he knows that, whatever happened, I would never judge him."

Stiles looks away, overwhelmed and touched.

"Who does that sound like to you?" Derek asks him after a moment of quiet.

Stiles gives a slightly wobbly smile. "It sounds like me."

"Exactly. We barely know each other, but I just have a feeling that you're the perfect boy for me."

Now that he has a definitive answer, Stiles feels brave enough to meet Derek's gaze again. "So we're doing this?"

"There'll be more things to work out as we go, but yes, we are."

"Awesome!" Stiles is so exhilarated that he leaps up from his stool, races around the island and climbs onto Derek's lap to kiss him passionately.

"Easy, Stiles!" Derek laughs, returning the kiss with his arms wound around the teenager's back.

"Sorry. I couldn't help myself."

Derek smiles affectionately and brushes Stiles' hair back from his forehead. "It's okay."

After a few more kisses, Stiles returns to his own stool and they both finish their pancakes in companionable silence. Once the plates and cutlery is all loaded into the dishwasher, Stiles spots the clock on the microwave and pouts. "I need to go," he laments. "My dad will be home soon."

"Let's gather your things, then," Derek says, putting a hand on the small of Stiles' back and guiding him in the direction of the living room, where they left Stiles' clothes yesterday.

"God, I don't want to go, though." Stiles sighs. "We only just got things sorted."

"I don't want you to leave either, but until you're ready for your dad to know about us, we can't do anything to arouse his suspicions."

"Yeah, you're right. Still sucks big time, though…"

In the living room now, Derek collects Stiles' jeans, boxers and T-shirt, folds them carefully and hands them to their owner. "How's this? You can keep my clothes for now, and we can text each other all the time when it's not feasible for us to see each other."

"That'd be good," Stiles assents. He gets his phone out of the back pocket of his jeans and is pleased to discover that the battery isn't yet flat. He unlocks it and gives it to Derek. "Put your number in here."

Derek taps the screen a few times, and then Stiles hears a chime from the master bedroom. "Now I have your number too. You can text me whenever you want."

"I will."

Migrating into the foyer, Stiles opens the front door and then lingers, his head tilted up for a goodbye kiss. He gets it, and then, unfortunately, it's really time for him to go back to his own house. "Is it weird if I say that I miss you already?"

Derek shakes his head. "Not at all. I know I'm gonna miss you as soon as you're gone."

"I think my dad has another night shift next weekend. We could go out or something, and I could sleep over again afterward," Stiles suggests.

Derek runs his fingers through the teenager's hair. "Yeah? Do you want me to take you on a date? Maybe out for dinner?"

"I'd like that. I've never been on a date before."

"Then that's what we'll do. And then, when we get back here…I'm gonna have my way with you again."

Stiles quivers with a fresh wave of arousal. "I can't wait."

"Me neither, baby. Now, you should go before I lose control, throw you over my shoulder and tie you to my bed so you can never leave."

"Fuck…" That sounds like a wonderful idea to Stiles, but he doesn't give in. Reality calls. "Bye, Daddy," he says, reluctantly stepping over the threshold.

"Goodbye, baby."

With that, Stiles turns and walks down the front path before he can change his mind. He gets in behind the wheel of his Jeep and waves when he sees that Derek is watching him from the open doorway. Derek waves back, and then Stiles sticks his keys in the ignition and drives off, holding onto the elation he feels from getting the finer details of his relationship with Derek hammered out. That they actually have a relationship is enough to stop his mood from plummeting now that he's on his own again. Stiles—geeky, awkward Stiles—is now in a relationship with a much older man who would definitely be a contender for the Hottest Man Alive trophy. Maybe even the Hottest Man Ever trophy.

Now he just has to figure out a way to tell his dad.

Chapter Text

- Monday, November 25th, 2013 -

When Monday morning rolls around bright and sunny, Stiles walks into school with a spring in his step. Nothing can bring him down—not even Jackson Whittemore, his bully since 3rd or 4th grade. He strolls through the hallways with his head held high and breezes right past where the other boy stands with his arm slung possessively around the shoulders of Lydia Martin, his girlfriend and the smartest and most popular girl in the entire school. Stiles doesn't even listen to the insult that Jackson throws his way. Just last week, he would've pretended it didn't affect him at all so that he didn't give Jackson the satisfaction, but underneath, it would've riled him up.

Now that he has Derek, though, it's like water off a duck's back.

"Stilinski! Hey, Stilinski! Don't ignore me!" Jackson yells after him, but Stiles just keeps walking, backpack slung over his shoulder and a jaunty tune in his head.

When he reaches the classroom in which he'll spend the next hour, he finds his best friend Scott McCall already sitting at one of the desks in the back. Stiles walks down the narrow aisle and takes the empty desk next to his friend, still humming the obnoxiously catchy pop song that was on the radio as he pulled his Jeep into the parking lot just a few minutes ago.

"You're in a good mood this morning," Scott observes, looking suspicious.

"Yup!" Stiles replies, popping the P.

"Any reason why?"

Stiles debates whether or not he should tell the truth. On one hand, Scott is his best friend and they rarely keep secrets from each other. But on the other, he hasn't told his dad about him and Derek yet, and he doesn't want to risk it getting back to his dad before he's ready for him to know. The sheriff should really hear the news directly from his son, and so, with some reluctance, Stiles lies.

"Not really. I just slept really well last night," he says. It's close enough to the truth that he doesn't feel too bad about it, his mood not soured at all.

Scott arches an eyebrow at him, obviously knowing there's more to it, but he doesn't push.

It's then that the bell rings and their Math teacher enters the room. Mr. Harris is an ornery man with dark hair and glasses, and he's had it out for Stiles since he started attending this school almost four years ago. Stiles makes a production of getting out his workbook and sitting up straight, not wanting to give Mr. Harris any reason to saddle him with detention later in the day. It wouldn't be the end of the world, and it would be far from the first time, but being trapped in a room with the teacher for any longer than he has to be isn't his idea of a good time.

As the man apprises the class of what today's lesson will be about, Stiles tries to listen intently, but it's difficult. While he's good at it, Math has never been his favourite subject, and his mind often wanders—which is usually the reason he's given detention. In spite of his efforts to be good, Stiles' mind swiftly fills with thoughts of Derek, as it has ever since they parted ways on Sunday morning. God, Stiles can't wait to see him again. He wonders where the man will take him for dinner that weekend.

"Mr. Stilinski!" Mr. Harris shouts suddenly, jerking Stiles out of his daydreams.

He looks around, confused. "Huh?"

Mr. Harris stands right in front of his desk with his arms crossed over his chest and a stormy expression on his face. "Are you paying attention?"

"Uhh…"

"Because if you were, then you'll be able to give the solution to the last problem we just went through." Mr. Harris' eyes are filled with sick pleasure. "Well? I'm waiting."

Stiles leans sideways in his chair to get a look at the blackboard, but the equation that Mr. Harris must be talking about is nothing more than a white smudge. "I don't know," he admits.

"Just as I thought," Mr. Harris says smugly, lowering his arms to his sides. "I'll see you in detention this afternoon, Mr. Stilinski."

Hanging his head with a sigh, Stiles pouts for the rest of the class and doesn't even attempt to pay attention anymore. His dad is going to kill him, and what would Derek say if he found out? The last thing he wants to do is make Derek mad at him, and he has a feeling that screwing up in school like he just did is a sure-fire way to accomplish that.

Can he keep it a secret? There's no rule that says Stiles has to tell Derek that he got detention, right? And anyway, it's Derek's fault he's in this mess anyway.

Stupid, sexy Daddy…

When the class ends, Stiles puts his untouched workbook away, picks up his backpack and trudges out of the classroom with Scott.

"Dude, what we you thinking about in there?" the other boy enquires. "You were totally spaced out."

"It was nothing," Stiles answers evasively.

"Really? Because you had a goofy-as-fuck smile on your face the whole time, so it must've been something."

"Just drop it, okay? I'll tell you later, but not yet."

Scott stops dead in his tracks, holding up the traffic currently in the hallway. He grabs Stiles' arm and pulls him to the side so that they don't get in anyone's way. "You're seeing someone!" he exclaims.

"What?! No I'm not!" Stiles denies, but he's so flustered that the lie is obvious.

"Yes you are! Who is it?" Scott asks excitedly. "Do I know her?"

Clamming up, Stiles shakes his head slowly. He's close to panicking as he remembers that he hasn't even told Scott he swings both ways yet. Yes, they tell each other nearly everything, but Stiles has never had a reason to reveal his bisexuality because he was always busy professing his undying love for Lydia Martin. Now Stiles has two big secrets he needs to tell his best friend.

Damnit.

"Well? C'mon, don't hold out on me, you dog!" Scott lightly punches Stiles' shoulder.

"Scott, seriously…" Stiles scrunches his eyes shut and pinches the bridge of his nose. "Not now."

"Fine," the other boy says shortly. "Be like that."

When Stiles opens his eyes again, he sees a hurt-looking Scott frowning at the floor. Guilt eats away at him for a moment, but then he tells himself that, even though they're best friends, he doesn't actually owe it to Scott to tell him everything about his life the second it happens. Scott did that when he managed to land a date with his girlfriend, Allison Argent, and then again when he lost his virginity to her a couple months later, but that isn't how Stiles operates. And if Scott is really his best friend, then he should understand and be patient with him.

"Scott, c'mon, man," Stiles says sadly. "I'm sorry, but I'm not ready to tell you yet. Why isn't that okay?"

The other boy raises his head again and purses his lips. "I guess I just feel like we've been growing apart lately. And I know a lot of it's my fault because I've been spending most of my time with Allison since we started dating, and I haven't exactly been helping my case when I ditch you like I did last weekend, but I just miss us, y'know?"

"Yeah…I know," Stiles says. He pats his friend on the shoulder. "I'm still not ready to tell you what's going on with me, but maybe we can hang out more this week. If you don't cancel again," he adds, winking to show that he's not actually upset. How could he be when it was Scott's choice to see Allison instead of him that led to Stiles meeting Derek?

Scott's expression clears of its gloominess. "Yeah, I'd like that."

"And I'll say this," Stiles continues, beginning to urge them toward their next class. "It's good—what's happening is very good, actually—but it's still a lot. A big adjustment. When I am eventually ready to tell you what's going on with me, I'm gonna need my best friend to ramble to and freak out with."

Scott gives a lopsided smile. "It's a date."

"Don't let Allison hear you say that or she might get jealous," Stiles teases.

"Whatever, Stiles. Like you could get me."

Stiles clutches a hand to his chest, feigning offence. "Oh please! I could totally score a real date with you if I wanted. Who could resist all this?" He gestures emphatically to his body.

Scott rolls his eyes and shoves him playfully.

When they reach their next class and take the only two desks that are still free, conveniently side by side, Stiles needs an extra bit of reassurance. "So…we're cool, right?"

"Yeah," Scott responds. "We're cool."

* * *

- Saturday, November 30th, 2013 -

When the day of Stiles' first date with Derek finally arrives, he's a jumble of emotions—excitement and nervousness war within him, the latter slowly winning. It makes him jittery as he stands in front of his closet, struggling to pick out an outfit. His phone is unlocked on top of his bedsheets, the text he got from Derek earlier today displayed on the screen. It told him that he should wear something casual, but Stiles still wants to look good for his Daddy, wants to show him that he's putting in an effort.

Now if only his mind would quit racing and his closet would suddenly fill with better clothes, he wouldn't be in such a state.

"Why the hell is all my stuff so damn stupid?" Stiles laments, throwing garment after garment over his head without caring where in his bedroom they land.

He usually likes his wardrobe, likes the graphic T-shirts and comfortable chinos and jeans that he has favoured since his parents decided he was old enough to start picking his own clothes, but none of them seem good enough for tonight. He should've gone shopping. He's known this date was coming for almost a whole week, so he should've prepared by buying a new outfit.

Isn't that what people do when they're getting ready for dates? Especially if they want to impress—and especially in Stiles' case, when it's his first date ever? Such a momentous occasion deserves a good outfit, but he's apparently inept, had spent too much time thinking of Derek and not the date itself.

What an idiot he is.

His heart races and he's close to tearing his hair out when his phone rings, the high he'd been riding all week completely obliterated by this unexpected crisis. He grabs his phone to see that Derek is calling him. He takes a breath and picks up.

"Hello?"

"Hey, baby," comes Daddy's voice, deep and soothing, "I'm about to leave to pick you up. I'm just calling to give you some warning."

Fuck, Daddy's so considerate. Why can't Stiles reciprocate with a nice outfit that shows he's taking their fledgling relationship seriously? He doesn't deserve Derek, he really doesn't. He's spiralling, and there's little that can bring him out of it again until he hits rock bottom. The only person who can usually prevent a crash is his actual dad, and he'll be working all night.

"Baby, are you there?" Derek asks him, sounding concerned now.

Clearing his throat, Stiles attempts to keep his voice level. He fails and stammers instead, giving himself away. "Yeah, I'm h-here," he answers, his tongue feeling big and unwieldy in his mouth.

"Are you alright? You sound off."

"Uhh…"

"That cinches it. I'm leaving right now, and I'll be there before you know it, okay?"

This only causes Stiles to panic more because in no sense is he ready for Daddy to arrive. "Wait!" he shouts down the phone, immediately wincing at the outburst.

Derek says nothing for a moment, the line filled instead by the sound of a car door opening and closing, and then he cautiously says, "Yes?"

Stiles wipes his free hand down his face. It comes away wet. When had he started crying? "I'm not…I'm not ready."

"Have you changed your mind about us?" Derek guesses, sounding incredibly sad.

"No!" Stiles denies. "No, I'd never do that."

"Then what is it, baby? Tell Daddy. I can't help if I don't know what's wrong."

"I…" Stiles swallows tightly. His heart still beats fast in his chest, but now that he's actually talking to Derek, his problem seems really pathetic. "I can't figure out what to wear," he mumbles. The quality of the call changes slightly, right before Stiles hears the engine of Derek's car start up. "You're not gonna drive while you're on the phone, are you?"

"Hands-free. Now, don't try to avoid talking to me," the older man says, his voice stern but still somehow comforting. "Repeat what you said before, baby. You were so quiet that I couldn't understand."

Stiles sniffles as he sits down on his bed. "I can't figure out what to wear," he says, louder this time. "My clothes all seem so dumb all of a sudden."

"And it's making you stressed?" Derek prompts.

"Yeah…"

"Gotcha. I want you to just keep breathing slow and deep, okay? Can you do that for me, baby?"

For his Daddy, Stiles thinks he would do just about anything, as crazy as it sounds. "Yeah, Daddy."

"Good boy. I'm almost there."

For the next few minutes, Stiles focuses on his breathing as he has been told, Derek talking nonsense to him all the while. He doesn't even really hear the words, but that doesn't matter. Just the sound of Daddy's voice is enough to keep him from spiralling any further down, and then the man tells him to come downstairs and open the front door for him.

Getting up from his bed, Stiles takes the stairs two at a time, his phone still clutched to his ear. He doesn't lower it until the door is open and he's wrapped in Daddy's strong arms.

"You had me worried, baby boy," Derek whispers, kissing the top of his head.

"Sorry, Daddy…"

"It's okay." Derek pulls away and uses his thumbs to wipe the rest of the moisture from Stiles' face. "Now, show me the problem and we'll work through it together."

Already feeling better now that his Daddy is here, Stiles leads the way up to his bedroom.

"Wow, you must've really worked yourself up before I called," Derek observes after stepping inside. "It's like a hurricane came through here."

Stiles hangs his head, ashamed. "Yeah…"

"Hey now, none of that," Derek says, putting his index finger beneath Stiles' chin to tilt his head back up. "I'm not mad."

"You're not?"

"No, baby. I'd prefer that my boy tidy up after himself, but I'm not mad." Derek cups his other hand around the back of Stiles' neck and grips it firmly, a touch that goes a long way to grounding him completely. "I get that you weren't in the best mindset when you did it, and it's an easy fix."

Stiles doesn't know what to say to that, so he says nothing.

"Let's get this sorted, hmm?" Derek squeezes Stiles' neck and them moves away, clapping his hands once. "First things first—let's pick up all these clothes and hang them back up."

With Daddy taking charge, lifting the pressure from his shoulders, Stiles goes around his bedroom and retrieves every article of clothing from where he'd thrown them earlier. There are a lot of them, and out of the corner of his eye he sees Daddy holding up each piece and inspecting it before he returns it to its hanger.

Five minutes later, Stiles' room is clean again. Or cleaner than it was. The clothes are gone, at least.

"Now, clothes for you to wear on our date," Derek says, working through the hangers.

"They're all dumb," Stiles murmurs, sitting down on his bed again.

"Why d'you say that, baby?"

"Because they are. None of them seemed right. I wanted to look good and everything I own seemed too simple or childish earlier."

When Derek stops what he's doing and turns away from the closet to face him, Stiles notices for the first time how his Daddy looks this evening. He almost drools.

Daddy's hair is artfully ruffled. His muscular legs are hugged by tight black jeans, and his torso is covered by a soft-looking purple henley with a deep V-neck. Completing the ensemble is a black leather jacket that has obviously been worn a lot but has also been treated with love over the years.

"Baby, my eyes are up here," Derek says amusedly, catching Stiles' attention again.

Raising his gaze, Stiles blinks a few times to clear his head of lust. "Sorry. I got distracted."

"I could see that."

"What were you saying, Daddy?"

"I was trying to tell you that I don't mind if some people might think your clothes are too childish for someone of your age," Derek responds. "I don't think that."

"You don't?"

"No." Derek steps closer and cups Stiles' cheeks. Stiles stares up into his eyes and wants to get lost in them. "It's completely fine for you to dress however you want, except for skimpy clothing in public—the possessive Daddy in me doesn't like the thought of others feasting their greedy eyes on my boy. And in case you've forgotten, you acting younger than your age sometimes—like right now, for instance—is kind of the whole point of our arrangement."

Stiles nods slowly. That makes sense.

"Do you like your clothes?" Derek asks.

Stiles thinks about it. Before he panicked earlier, yes, he did. He says as much.

"Then that's all that matters," Derek tells him. "And before you work yourself up again, I've basically just seen your entire wardrobe, and I love how you dress."

"Really?"

"Yup. I like you for you, baby, and that includes your sense of style, comic book characters and all."

Damn, this was just what Stiles needed. Seemingly without having to even try very hard, Daddy knew just what to say to make him feel better. No one's been able to get through to him so quickly before, not even his actual dad.

"Thank you, Daddy," he says. "I'm sorry for freaking out."

"You shouldn't be, baby. We all have emotions, and it's healthy to let yourself feel them. Besides, what I just did was all part of me being a Daddy. I was just taking care of my boy."

After placing a chaste kiss on Stiles' forehead, Derek returns to the closet and finishes rifling through it. He pulls out a pair of black boxers, some bright-red chinos and a Captain America T-shirt.

"How about these?" he suggests, holding them up for Stiles' approval.

Stiles remembers dismissing that exact outfit before Daddy called, but seeing them in the man's hands changes his mind. "They're nice," he opines.

"Then let's get you dressed."

Derek lays the clothes out on the bed, pulls Stiles up and strips him out of his current outfit—a ratty white T-shirt and a pair of grey sweatpants. Stiles doesn't even feel self-conscious about being naked in front of Derek, about the body that, until last weekend, he always thought of as thin, pale and unremarkable. They've already had sex, and there's just something about Daddy's presence that makes Stiles feel as if everything's going to be okay. The way Daddy looks at him as he helps him into the outfit they chose together also works wonders. If someone as attractive as Derek is looking at him like that, then Stiles must be something to write home about after all.

"There. All done," Derek says, smoothing the T-shirt down Stiles' torso.

"How do I look?" Stiles asks.

Derek smiles, his eyes full of affection. "You look beautiful. My beautiful boy."

The compliment makes Stiles blush furiously, which only has Derek's smile stretching into a full-on grin.

"Now that you're ready, do you have an overnight bag or something?" the bearded man asks. "If you're still up for coming back to mine after dinner."

Stiles shakes his head. "Just my toothbrush. I kinda liked that I smelled like you when I left last time, and I like wearing your clothes."

"You do, huh?"

"Yeah. They're so baggy on me that they make me feel snuggly and…safe. It's embarrassing, but I've worn your sweater every evening this week."

Derek chuckles. "There's nothing to be embarrassed about, baby. I like that you like wearing my clothes. It makes it seem even more like you're mine."

"But I am yours. I'm your boy, remember? You said so," Stiles points out.

"That's true."

"And you're mine. My Daddy."

"And what a fortunate Daddy I am. C'mon, baby," Derek says, taking Stiles' hand. "Let's grab your toothbrush and get out of here. I bet you're hungry."

At the mention of food, Stiles' stomach rumbles, proving Derek correct.

When they're in the foyer and he has put his shoes on, Stiles grabs his house key and follows Daddy outside. "Where are we going?"

"It's a surprise."

Stiles locks the door and puts his key in the pocket of his chinos. "Do I get a hint?"

"Nope," Derek replies. "But I'll tell you that it's pretty much my favourite place to eat in all of Beacon County. Their food is unparalleled, at least the stuff I've tried."

"Sounds good."

"Just you wait. Our bellies are gonna be stuffed full by the time we get back to my place."

Stiles hurries after Derek as Derek leads the way down the front path, to where his shiny black Camaro is parked on the side of the street. "Are we still gonna fool around?"

Derek smirks. "Once the food's settled, yes."

"Awesome! What're we gonna do?"

Derek opens the passenger door and helps Stiles inside. "Like dinner, that's for me to know and for you to find out. Just leave everything to me, okay?"

With anyone else, it would be tough, but Stiles trusts Derek like he has known him his whole life. "Okay, Daddy."

Derek buckles him in and kisses his temple. "Good boy."

Stiles is left alone in the car for a few seconds as Derek walks around the front, then his Daddy climbs in behind the wheel and starts the engine. "Ready?"

"Uh-huh!" Stiles chirps, his earlier anxiety completely forgotten.

"Then let's get this show on the road."

* * *

John Stilinski sits at his desk in the Sheriff's Station and pores over some paperwork. It's incredibly boring, but it has to be done, and he'd feel bad lumping it off on one of his deputies. He sips from a cup of cheap coffee as he reads, the brown liquid tasting bitter on his tongue but keeping him focused.

Until his phone rings in his pocket, that is.

It's rare that someone calls his personal number at this time, and not many people have the number in the first place. His first thought is that it's some sort of emergency, that maybe Stiles has been hurt, so he hurries to get his phone out so that he can answer the call.

A quick look at the screen erases some—but not all—of his concern. It's not Stiles calling him, but their neighbour, Mrs. Wilkinson. She's a woman in her mid-seventies who has always been a good friend to him. She used to babysit Stiles all the time when he was younger.

John hits Accept. "Hello?"

"Hi, John. I don't mean to bother you. I know you're working right now," Mrs. Wilkinson greets.

"It's okay. I'm not doing anything too important at the moment."

"Ah, well that's good."

"Yes. Not to be rude, though, but why are you calling?"

"Oh, right! I was just watering the plants on my windowsill when I looked up and witnessed something…strange. I wanted to check in and see if you knew about it."

John sits forward in his chair. "What is it?"

"It's Stiles. I saw him getting into a very fancy-looking car with a much-older gentleman."

Definitely odd, John thinks, but he staves off negative emotions by telling himself that there's probably some perfectly innocent explanation.

"And here's where it gets truly strange," Mrs. Wilkinson continues.

"Go on."

"Before they drove off, it looked like they kissed."

Okay, now John is beginning to understand why she called him. "That is strange."

"Yes. I know Stiles is eighteen now, but, as I said, the other man was quite a bit older than him."

"How old are we talking?"

"Well, I can't say for sure. I wasn't exactly very close to them, but I'd say maybe around forty or so? Very handsome too."

John immediately comes up with a theory. He hadn't missed how Stiles had looked at his friend Derek during the basketball game a couple weeks ago. It was obvious that his son developed a little crush that day, but as soon as the game was over, it was out of John's head. He thought nothing could possibly come of it anyway.

Now he's not so sure, but he needs more information.

"Can you describe the man to me? Any identifying characteristics?"

Mrs. Wilkinson hums on the other end of the line. "Well, he had short, dark hair, stubble, was around the same height as Stiles, maybe a little taller, and he looked like he visited the gym quite often."

John closes his eyes as his suspicions are confirmed. "I see," he says, keeping his voice calm so that Mrs. Wilkinson doesn't detect how shocked he is. "Thank you for telling me."

"Do you know what was going on? If I didn't know any better, I'd say it almost looked like a date!"

That's what I'm afraid of, the sheriff thinks.

"It's fine," he lies. "I'll look into it, but I should really get back to work now."

"Sure thing. Have a good night, John."

"You too."

When the call ends, John sets his phone down and leans his head over the back of his chair to stare at the ceiling. "Son, what are you doing?" he asks the empty room.

Chapter Text

- Saturday, November 30th, 2013 -

Derek is in excellent spirits as he and Stiles near their destination. For the majority of the drive, the pair have just sat with nothing but the radio to fill the silence. It's been comfortable, which bodes well for the future of their relationship. With the vast majority of the partners Derek has had in his love life, just sitting quietly together had been incredibly awkward. It was as if they both felt compelled to speak but couldn't think of anything of worth to say. But with Stiles, Derek doesn't feel the need to speak at all, and from the way Stiles stares out the front windshield, likely attempting to figure out where Derek is taking him for their first date, he guesses that his boy feels the same way.

After just over half an hour of driving, they reach the next town over, in which Derek's favourite diner resides. Aside from the good food, Derek thought that this would be a good place to go out while they're still keeping their relationship a secret. It's not in Beacon Hills, so it's less likely that anyone Stiles knows will see them.

"We're here, baby," Derek announces, turning off the road and into the parking lot of the diner.

"This looks…interesting," Stiles says, staring at the slightly rundown facade.

Derek chuckles and pulls up the parking brake. "I know it doesn't look like much from the outside, but just trust me."

Stiles nods right away. "Of course I trust you, Daddy."

Damn, just hearing Stiles call him that always sends a thrill down Derek's spine. He wonders if it will ever wear off. He hopes not.

"C'mon, baby boy, let's go get your belly filled," he says, unbuckling his seatbelt.

"Wait!" Stiles calls, grabbing his arm before he can open his door.

Derek pauses, concerned. "What's the matter?"

"Do I still call you Daddy when we're inside?" his boy asks, nibbling on his bottom lip. Even though the action is born of nervousness, Derek can't help but find it adorable.

"It's up to you, baby," Derek answers. "The rule was that you only have to call me Daddy if we're alone. Since we'll be around others, I don't mind if you call me Derek until we get back home."

"What if…what if people stare?"

"People are probably going to stare anyway, just because of the age difference between us," Derek reminds him, putting a hand on Stiles' thigh. He wishes he could reassure his boy that everything will go smoothly forever, but he never wants to lie to him. Even without being Daddy and boy, their relationship—should it keep progressing like Derek wants it to—will be anything but easy.

"It's up to you," he says simply. "Okay?"

Stiles takes a moment and then releases Derek's arm. "Okay," he echoes.

Derek gets out of the Camaro and walks around to the passenger side just in time to open his boy's door for him. Stiles looks up from beneath his eyelashes as he exits the car too, pleased with the considerate treatment. Good thing too, because Derek plans on always treating Stiles like his little prince—unless he's been naughty, of course. He barely refrains from grinning, just imagining the next time his boy misbehaves and earns a spanking.

After readjusting himself in his jeans, Derek takes Stiles' hand in his own and leads the way toward the entrance of the diner.

Pushing open the door, he steps inside and is greeted by the smell of grease and sugar. It makes his mouth water. The building is one big rectangle, with the entrance right in the middle and black-and-white chequered floors throughout. Immediately in front is a long counter with red stools along it like something out of the fifties. Against the windows are booths with red padded seats, old-school tables and metal napkin dispensers. An ancient jukebox resides on the left side of the room, from which oldies play on a constant loop from vinyl records. To complete the atmosphere, the two waitresses wear old-style uniforms made of light-pink fabric with white cuffs, collars and aprons.

"It looks better inside," Stiles observes, sounding surprised.

Derek shoots him a smirk and tugs lightly on his arm. "I told you to trust me. It's rough around the edges but care is taken where it really counts. You'll see."

Stiles rolls his eyes. "Yeah, yeah…"

Just then, the woman behind the counter sees Derek. She's around fifty, and the tag pinned to the left side of her chest reveals her name to be Cindy, which Derek already knew. "Oh, it's you again," she says with a feigned sneer. "What? Didn't get enough of me last time?"

Derek plays along. "You just know how to keep me coming back for more."

"I have my ways." Cindy laughs, her blonde ponytail swinging at the back of her head. She notices Stiles. "And you actually have company this time!"

Stiles tenses at Derek's side, so Derek squeezes his hand to let him know everything's alright. "Yup."

Cindy winks. "Lucky man. I'm jealous."

Derek snorts. "Get your own."

"Believe me, I'm trying. Anyway, you know the drill. Sit anywhere you like. I'll be right over."

"Sure thing. Thanks, Cindy."

The woman waves Derek off and walks through the door behind her that leads into the kitchen, leaving Derek to select one of the booths. He takes Stiles past several that are already occupied until he reaches an empty one right in the corner, which will give them some semblance of privacy. He stops Stiles by the side of the booth that faces away from the rest of the place. "Sit here," he says.

Stiles obediently slides into his side, which leaves Derek to sit opposite him. True to her word, as soon as they're seated, Cindy approaches them and hands them both menus.

"I'll be back to take your orders in a minute," she says before vanishing again.

"Choose anything you want," Derek tells Stiles.

The boy nods. "Okay."

Silence descends once more as they each peruse the menus. Because Derek has been here several times before, he has already decided exactly what he's going to order, but he keeps up the act because he'd hate to make Stiles feel pressured into choosing something quickly. It takes several minutes, but it's worth it when Stiles lowers his menu and shyly announces that he'd like to have a double cheeseburger with a side of fries and a strawberry milkshake.

Derek is impressed. "You're really a boy after my heart, aren't you?"

Stiles blushes and blinks confusedly at the same time. "Huh?"

"I was going to order the same thing, just with a chocolate shake instead." Derek reaches across the table and takes Stiles' hand. "A match made in heaven, I guess you could say."

Stiles ducks his head, but not in time to hide his smile.

When Cindy has come and gone again, taking their orders and the menus with her, Stiles starts a conversation.

"How did you discover this place?" he asks. "It's very…retro. Not that that's a bad thing."

"It was word of mouth, really," Derek responds. "I overheard a few people in Beacon Hills talking about it one day and thought it sounded interesting, so I checked it out the next time I was over this way. I'm glad I did. It makes me feel nostalgic."

Stiles tilts his head to the side. "How? Aren't you only like, forty or something?"

"Forty-one," Derek corrects.

"My point exactly. You weren't alive back in the fifties, so…"

Humming, Derek strokes his thumb over the back of Stiles' hand. It's more to keep himself centred than anything else. "I wasn't alive back then, you're right about that, but it still reminds me of my childhood," he says, his eyes on the tabletop between them. "When I was younger, maybe six or seven, my dad and I would sit together in the family room nearly every week and he'd show me his favourite movies. The feel of this diner reminds me of some of the places I saw in those movies, so coming here every now and then makes me feel close to my dad again."

Glancing up, Derek finds Stiles regarding him with understanding and sympathy.

"From how you talked about him, I guess that your dad's…" The boy trails off.

Derek sighs. "Dead? Yeah, he is. Both my parents have been dead for—" He takes a moment to think. "Twenty-five years now. Damn, has it really been that long?"

"You would've been sixteen," Stiles murmurs sadly, doing the math in his head.

Derek nods and swallows tightly. "I was. It was awful, but I still had Laura, my older sister. She was only two years older, but she stepped up and looked after me."

Stiles doesn't say anything else for a while, seemingly lost in thought. Then, once he's done with that, he opens and closes his mouth a few times, possibly debating whether or not he should say the words he's thought of. Derek squeezes his hand again, which urges him to just come out with it.

"Am I allowed to ask how it happened?" the boy enquires.

"A house fire," Derek explains. "Our parents, our Uncle Peter and his wife, and our younger sister Cora all died that night. Laura and I were each the only family the other had left."

"Please tell me she's still alive, at least," Stiles entreaties.

"She is," Derek confirms. "I don't see her very often, though. She lives in New York with her husband and their daughter."

There's the sympathy again, but Stiles doesn't leave it there. He takes his hand out from beneath Derek's and shuffles out of his side of the booth. Derek is at first concerned that something he just said has spooked the boy off, that maybe the conversation got too personal too soon. But then Stiles walks around to his side of the booth, sits down right next to him and hugs him tightly, skinny arms wound around his neck and hot breath on the shell of his ear.

Derek is too stunned to reciprocate the embrace right away, but when he gets his shit together he wraps his muscular arms around his boy and smiles faintly, his sadness mostly eradicated by such a display of affection.

And in public too.

"I'm sorry, Daddy," Stiles whispers, so quietly that there's no chance anyone else in the diner could hear.

"It's okay, baby," Derek says, turning his head to kiss his boy's temple. "It was a long time ago."

"Still sucks, though."

Derek knows that Stiles must be able to empathise at least a little because of his mother. John told him what happened to Claudia Stilinski shortly after he moved back to Beacon Hills a few years ago and they became friends. He doesn't bring it up. Stiles can tell him about that in his own time.

Over Stiles' shoulder, Derek catches the eye of another patron in the diner and is dismayed to note the judgment on her face. He glares at her, daring her to actually say something about him and Stiles, and that's thankfully all it takes to get her to look away again. While he's a good person, generally nice, he knows very well how to act if he doesn't want to interact with people. His sister used to refer to his eyebrows as the Eyebrows of Doom because, when he was filled with angst and grief in his late teens and early twenties, he became extremely skilled at using them to make people think twice about even coming close to him. It's good to discover that he's still got it.

"What's with the face?" Stiles asks him nervously, pulling back before Derek can school his features again.

"It's nothing, baby. I'm fine."

"I'm sorry! I shouldn't have brought your family up… I was just curious."

Derek silences him with a chaste kiss. "Honestly, baby, you did nothing wrong. If I didn't want to tell you about them, I wouldn't have."

Stiles calms instantly. "Oh. Alright then."

When the boy unwinds his arms from around Derek's neck, Derek assumes that he's going to go back to the other side of the booth, but he doesn't. He stays right where he is, their thighs pressed together.

"Aww, aren't you two just the sweetest!" Cindy coos as she stops by their booth again, a large tray balanced expertly on her palm. She sets it on the edge of the table and unloads two frosty milkshakes and two plates with their cheeseburgers and fries on them. "If it wouldn't be an invasion of privacy, I'd snap a picture of you two, you're so damned cute!"

Derek remains outwardly stolid, but inside he thinks that he and Stiles are indeed very cute together. But that's mainly Stiles' doing, not his.

"Uh…thank you, ma'am," said boy replies bashfully.

"Hey now, none of that ma'am nonsense," Cindy chastises with a wag of her index finger. "I'm not old enough to be a ma'am yet."

"Oh. Sorry?"

"That's alright. Just call me Cindy."

"Sure…C-Cindy," Stiles stammers, the name not rolling off his tongue right away.

The woman smiles at the effort. She tells them to enjoy their food and wanders off again, mumbling to herself about how cute men will be the death of her.

"She's a character," Stiles says, watching her go.

"She is."

Stiles lowers his voice and brings their heads close like they're sharing gossip. "Does she know? That you're a Daddy, I mean."

Derek shakes his head. "She doesn't, just that I'm a semi-regular around here."

"Really?" Stiles was obviously anticipating a different response. "It didn't seem like she was shocked to see you with me."

"While there will be a lot of people who won't understand right off the bat or even at all," Derek says, glancing at the other diner who'd been staring at them earlier, "there'll also be some who won't judge. Turns out that Cindy's one of the open-minded ones."

"Well, that's good. I'd hate to've made you uncomfortable coming back here again, seeing as you've said you like it so much."

Derek bumps their shoulders together. "If Cindy had been judgmental, it would've been her who ruined this place for me, baby. Not you."

Stiles just shrugs.

"Anyway, our food's getting cold," Derek says, thinking it best that they dispense with serious topics for now.

"Oh right!" Stiles turns his attention to their burgers. "It all smells really good."

"Just wait until you taste it. Their burger sauce is amazing."

Derek waits for Stiles to tuck in first before he picks up his own burger. He's both glad and slightly aroused when his boy takes his first bite and moans pornographically. "Good, huh?" he asks.

"So good!" Stiles exclaims before he has even swallowed.

"Don't talk with your mouth full, baby," Derek says before taking the first bite of his burger as well.

Stiles swallows. "You're the one who asked me a question while I was in the middle of chewing," he points out. The sass has Derek thinking that his boy has fully relaxed now.

"Cheeky," he says, arching an eyebrow at him.

Stiles just giggles, enjoying himself.

All in all, Derek would say that their first date is turning out to be a raging success.

* * *

When they arrive back at Derek's house, the first thing that Derek does is take the toothbrush Stiles brought with him and put it in his en suite bathroom for later. He puts it in the holder right next to his and just looks at it for a moment, his mind running away with him. It's a crazy idea to have so soon, but Derek is helpless to stop it. Something about seeing Stiles' toothbrush next to his fills him with joy and a sense of rightness he has never had with one of his boys before, and he really looks forward to the day they make it real and permanent.

"First date, remember? Don't get ahead of yourself," he whispers to his reflection.

Back downstairs, Derek tracks Stiles down in the living room. His boy is stretched out along the sofa, hands on his stomach.

"God, I'm stuffed," Stiles says, hearing Derek's footsteps.

"It was a lot of food," Derek agrees, feeling pretty damn full himself. He gets Stiles to move for a moment, and then he sits down with his boy's head in his lap and the TV remote in hand. "What do you feel like watching while our dinner settles?"

"I dunno."

"How about I flick through the channels and you just tell me if something catches your eye?"

Stiles turns over onto his side so that he's facing the TV. "I can do that."

Derek goes through about fifty channels before Stiles speaks up again on a marathon of some animated show called Rick & Morty. Derek has never seen it before, but he puts down the remote and starts running his fingers through Stiles' hair as they watch. He doesn't really get a lot of the jokes or the humour in general, but the show isn't bad. The fact that it makes his boy laugh a lot earns it a lot of points.

After four episodes, Stiles sits up and yawns. "Are we still gonna fool around, Daddy?"

Derek frowns. "That was the plan, but if you're tired, we don't have to. We can just go to bed and cuddle."

Stiles shakes his head ardently, waking himself up. "No, I still wanna do stuff."

"Are you sure?"

"Mmhmm." Stiles skates his fingers up the inside of Derek's thigh. "Aren't you?"

His cock immediately filling with blood, Derek grabs Stiles' hand before he can go any higher and pulls them both up from the sofa. "Oh, I am."

Stiles flutters his eyelashes. "What're you gonna do to me, Daddy?"

"You're about to find out."

Leading his boy upstairs, Derek enters the master bedroom and makes short work of getting them both naked. He draws Stiles close and kisses him passionately, their hard cocks pressed together between their stomachs. He gets lost in the kiss and the feeling of his boy in his arms. They fit so well together, Stiles' svelte body against his more muscular one.

"Daddy," Stiles whines against his lips.

"Yeah, baby? Is my boy feeling needy?" Derek teases.

"Y-yeah…need you."

Derek resumes the kiss, slipping his tongue into Stiles' mouth as he works a hand between them and wraps it around both of their erections. He strokes them slowly, pre-come already easing the way because both of them are so turned on. Stiles soon fucks up into his fist, so Derek lets him do the work for now, enjoying the way Stiles' six-inch erection rubs against the underside of his. The three inches Derek has on him make it even better, Stiles' circumcised head repeatedly bumping into Derek's glans, making his toes curl on the hardwood floor.

When his orgasm gets perilously close, Derek regretfully removes his hand and pulls away. "Get on the bed, baby. Hands and knees, facing the headboard."

"Okay, Daddy."

Stiles walks over to the bed with a seductive wiggle in his hips. Once he's in position, Derek retrieves the lube from his bedside drawer and kneels behind his boy.

"You've got such a nice ass, baby," he compliments.

Stiles shakes it at him, pale cheeks jiggling. "Thank you, Daddy."

Derek drops the lube atop the bed next to him and smacks both cheeks at the same time, the more dominant side of his personality coming out. "Who's in control here, boy?"

Stiles inhales sharply and every trace of playfulness recedes. "Y-you are, Daddy…"

"That's right. Now, you stay nice and still while I have my fun, okay? If you do that, I'll make sure it feels good for you too."

Stiles visibly shudders. "Yes, Daddy."

Satisfied, Derek leans down, kisses both of Stiles' ass cheeks right over his red handprints to soothe the sting, and then he spreads them apart to get at his boy's little hole. It's so tight again, almost like Derek hadn't wrecked it last weekend. Well, Derek thinks gleefully, he's about to wreck it all over again.

He forms his lips into an O and blows gently over Stiles' hole, his amusement growing when Stiles whimpers and his hole clenches up even tighter. He does this another few times and enjoys how it makes his boy more and more desperate, but his boy doesn't break. Stiles keeps holding his position, and Derek is so proud of him that he moves onto the next part of his plan. He brings his face closer to Stiles' ass and licks once up the crack, all the way from Stiles' perineum to the base of his spine. Stiles nearly shoots off the bed with that, finally cracking.

"Daddy!" he squeals, turning his head to look at Derek over his shoulder, his eyes wide.

"What's the matter, baby?" Derek asks innocently.

Stiles pouts and says nothing else, returning his gaze to the pillows in front of him. Derek grins and licks his boy again, stopping for a second to swirl his tongue around Stiles' furled rim.

"Taste so good, baby boy," he says huskily. "Did you know your ass was so sweet?"

Stiles whimpers again. "No, Daddy…"

"Well it is. I don't think I'll ever get enough."

For the next few minutes, Derek gives Stiles the rimming of a lifetime. He laps at Stiles' hole and wiggles the tip of his tongue against it, demanding entrance. He seals his lips around it and sucks, eliciting a litany of sexy sounds from his boy. When he finally manages to get the tip of his tongue inside, aided by his own saliva, Stiles' upper body falls down, his arms giving out so that his face ends up smushed into the bedding. He disobeyed, but Derek can't find it in himself to be mad. He knows how good it feels to be rimmed, and honestly, Stiles lasted longer than Derek thought he would.

"Daddy, please…" Stiles begs, hands fisted in the sheets.

"You want Daddy's fingers?" Derek asks.

"Yeah…"

"I want to hear you say it, baby boy. Tell me exactly what you want or you won't get it."

Stiles groans. Derek thinks he hears the boy say something about Daddies being mean and unfair, and then Stiles tells him. "I want your fingers, Daddy. Want you to open me up for your big cock."

"Yeah?" Derek gets up on his knees, slots his aching cock into the crack of Stiles' ass and thrusts lazily a few times. "You want this again?"

Stiles nods and makes a sound that's almost like a sob. He must be even more worked up than Derek thought he was.

"Say it, baby," Derek pushes.

"I want…"

"C'mon, you can do it. I know you can."

Stiles takes a shuddering breath and sniffles. "I want your cock."

"Where, baby?" Derek moves backward and puts his erection between Stiles' thighs. "Here?"

"Nuh-uh, Daddy. Want it in…in…" Another sniffle. "In my ass."

Derek hums thoughtfully and keeps up the act for another few seconds before deciding that he has pushed his boy enough for one night. Stiles has mostly been very good, so Derek doesn't have it in him to tease him any further. He doesn't have it in him to do that to himself, either. He's so aroused that he genuinely worries he'll blow his load too early if he doesn't get his cock inside of Stiles' pretty little hole within the next five minutes.

And at his age, wouldn't that be embarrassing?

"Alright, baby, I'll give you what you want," he says, picking up the lube.

For the next two minutes, Derek works his fingers into his boy's hole, relishing how it clamps tight around the digits.

"You ready, baby boy?" he asks after fitting a third finger inside. He slides them all out and slicks up his cock with the excess lube.

"Yeah, Daddy. Need you so bad!" Stiles answers, face hidden in the mattress now, his back a sinuous arch.

"Turn over. Daddy wants to see your face while he makes love to you."

Stiles is uncoordinated as he tries obey. To prevent himself from getting kicked in the face, Derek helps him and then insinuates himself between Stiles' thighs when his boy is on his back. Stiles' face is sweaty and his eyes are slightly red from tears. Derek kisses the salty moisture away and then curls Stiles' legs around his waist. Once he's sure that Stiles can keep them there under his own steam, he holds himself up by planting one hand on the bed next to Stiles' head and reaches between them with his other hand to aim his cock at his boy's greedy hole.

"Breathe," Derek tells him as he begins to push inside.

It takes a while. It's still only the second time Stiles has been fucked, and even with Derek's careful prep, his body isn't used to it yet. When Derek is fully sheathed, his full balls resting over the top of Stiles' ass cheeks, Stiles' face is splotchy and fresh tears have appeared in his eyes. They don't spill over, but they're still there. Derek lowers himself so that he blankets his boy with his body and kisses him tenderly, distracting him until the pain is gone.

"You can move now, Daddy," Stiles says eventually, breathless. He squeezes his ass around Derek's cock, spurring him on.

Derek withdraws just as slowly as he pushed inside and keeps a glacial pace with the next thrust. In spite of how worked up they both were, he wants to take his time and really enjoy it.

"So big!" Stiles gasps when Derek buries himself balls-deep again.

"All for you, baby boy," Derek promises. "Always all for you."

"Daddy…"

Gradually, Derek picks up the speed of his thrusts until he has something moderate going. It's enough to make Stiles scream but not enough for either of them to be in any danger of coming yet.

"There! Right there!" the boy cries, throwing his head back after a particularly well-aimed thrust.

Derek obliges and keeps his hips angled just so, providing his boy with as much pleasure as possible. He can't resist taking the invitation Stiles is giving him by presenting his neck like this. He lowers his mouth to the vulnerable column of flesh and bites and sucks on it, doing everything he can to leave his mark on his boy. He probably shouldn't. Leaving love bites on such a visible part of Stiles' body will only invite unwanted questions—especially if Stiles' dad sees them—but Derek is so caught up in the passion of the moment that he isn't thinking clearly.

All he knows is the clutch of Stiles' hole around his cock, taking him so well it's like Stiles was made just for him. The thought only exacerbates his possessive thoughts, leading him to worsen the hickey on Stiles' neck until there's no way anyone could miss it. When Derek stops and raises himself up on both arms to admire his handiwork, his hips still moving, he doesn't think that even a bunch of makeup could cover it entirely.

Perfect.

"Daddy, I'm getting close," Stiles warns him, digging his short nails into Derek's back.

Desiring to watch his boy's face when he climaxes, Derek takes Stiles' cock in hand and jerks him off in time with his thrusts. "Come anytime you're ready, baby," he grunts, fucking him hard now.

Just ten seconds later, Stiles goes off like a rocket, his come painting both of their torsos. It's like Stiles is marking him back, and that realisation is all it takes for Derek to achieve orgasm as well. He continues to fuck his boy through it, working his come as deep inside of Stiles' ass as he can get it, and then, when the pleasure ceases, he collapses on top of his boy, too worn out to be concerned about crushing him.

Stiles doesn't seem to mind, though, just holds him as they both come down from their highs.

Once Derek has enough wherewithal, he gently eases out of Stiles' tender hole and flops over next to him on his back, arms thrown carelessly above his head. Stiles immediately cuddles into his side, nuzzling his hairy chest.

"That was amazing, Daddy," he mumbles, tuckered out after an evening full of excitement.

"It was," Derek concurs. "You sleepy now?"

"Uh-huh…"

Derek should probably force them both out of bed, change the sheets and then get Stiles into the shower to wash all traces of their lovemaking from their bodies, but he can't be bothered. Plus, he kind of likes still having his boy's come on him, even if he knows from experience that it'll be all crusty and gross in the morning. With that in mind, he moves himself and Stiles just enough to ease the bedsheets out from underneath them, and then he covers them and kisses the top of Stiles' head after the boy has rested it on his chest again, eyes closed.

"Sleep well, baby boy," Derek says.

A moment later, he hears soft snores, signalling that Stiles has already drifted off. His heart grows bigger in his chest when he looks down and sees him sucking his thumb.

"My beautiful boy," he whispers. He's truly the luckiest Daddy alive to have found Stiles before anyone else could snap him up.

* * *

- Sunday, December 1st, 2013 -

The following morning, Derek drops Stiles off at his house. He steals a kiss before Stiles gets out of the Camaro, leaving him blushing furiously as he walks up the path to the front door. He doesn't miss that his dad's cruiser is in the driveway, meaning that he didn't manage to beat the man home this time. He hopes his dad didn't notice that he was gone and just assumed that he was still up in bed sleeping. If not, then Stiles has the excuse of spending the night at Scott's house all ready to go.

Entering the building, Stiles cautiously looks around for a sign of the sheriff and doesn't find any right away. But then he hears the clinking of ice against glass coming from the living room.

"Stiles? Is that you?" the sheriff calls. His voice sounds strange.

"Yeah, dad," Stiles calls back.

"Come in here, please."

Feeling apprehensive now, Stiles fights the instinct to go right back out the door and run all the way back to Derek's house. He can't guess what's happening, but a voice in his head tells him that it can't be anything good. The voice is proven right when he walks into the living room and finds his dad sitting in his recliner, still in his uniform with a tumbler of whiskey in his hand. His dad very rarely drinks—too many bad memories from just after his wife's death—so the sheriff drinking now means that he has been stressing about something big.

"Take a seat, son," John commands, gesturing with his free hand to the sofa.

"I was actually just gonna go do my homework—"

"That can wait. Take a seat, please."

Not knowing what else to do, Stiles sits down with his spine rigid and waits for the bomb to drop.

"We need to talk," he dad says, taking a sip of his whiskey.

"About what?"

The sheriff looks Stiles dead in the eye. "About what you were doing going out on a date with Derek Hale."

Stiles' heart stops in his chest. Bomb dropped.

Chapter Text

- Sunday, December 1st, 2013 -

Stiles can't do anything but breathe as his dad keeps staring unnervingly at him, expecting an answer. He can't figure out how to give him one. He doesn't even know what answer he'd give if he could get his mouth to work again.

What can he possibly say in a situation like this to smooth everything over? His dad is obviously upset with him—hence the whiskey—and Stiles doesn't want to make it any worse. But he doesn't want to lie either, and he really doesn't want to stop seeing Derek. He's caught between a rock and a hard place, and all he wants is for his Daddy to be here and take care of everything for him. Daddy would know what to do, what to say, to get rid of what is at best his dad's disappointment and at worst his dad's real anger.

That might just be Stiles' biggest fear. He loves spending time with Derek, but he's terrified. What if them getting closer until they're properly committed to each other—like Stiles believed they would before he entered his home—will in turn drive him and his dad apart? Why can't he have both?

Why does everything have to fall apart just when things were getting so fucking good?

"Stiles, I'm waiting," his dad says, his voice harder than before. He clearly doesn't like being ignored.

"Uhh…" Stiles swallows with difficulty, like he's got a lump in his throat.

"What are you and Derek up to?" his dad asks, rephrasing the question. He takes another sip from his tumbler.

"I don't…I don't know what you want me to say," Stiles whispers, looking down at his lap. He's acting like he's ashamed. He's not. He could never be ashamed of Derek, but right now, his dad is making him feel like he should be. He doesn't like it.

The sheriff leans forward and slams his tumbler down on the coffee table, the remaining liquid inside sloshing over the rim. "I want you to explain to me what the hell you were thinking."

Fuck, Stiles is really going to have to try to sort this out all on his own, isn't he? He takes a breath to calm his racing heart and sits up straight, projecting confidence he doesn't really feel. "Why does it matter? I'm eighteen."

"It matters because I'm still your dad and I say it does," the sheriff fires back. "Now answer the damn question."

"How did you even find out?"

"Mrs. Wilkinson saw you leaving last night and called me," his dad apprises. "Since you didn't come home again until a minute ago—and since you have a hickey the size of Jupiter on the side of your neck—I assume you spent the night at Derek's house."

"Oh…" Stiles averts his gaze and covers the hickey with his hand. Well then. There's no possible way he can skirt around the truth now. Not believably, anyway. "Derek and I are dating," he says honestly.

"You're dating," his dad repeats flatly.

Stiles nods slowly and risks a glance at his dad's face. He regrets it when he sees disgust. "Why are you looking at me like that?" he whispers, shrinking back on the sofa, all of his fake confidence gone now. "Is it…is it because Derek's another guy?"

His dad scoffs. "Please. You liking other boys wouldn't be a problem at all," he denies. "It's everything else!"

"The age difference, then," Stiles guesses.

"Yes! He's over twice your age, Stiles! And it's the other thing too."

Stiles thinks he knows what his dad's referring to now, but he has to ask just in case. "What other thing?"

The sheriff's lips curl into a grimace. "I know about Derek's…game."

Stiles just frowns, waiting for further elaboration.

"I used his computer once and found some of his bookmarks. It was an accident, but I know what he likes—the whole Daddy thing," the man says, spitting out the word 'Daddy' like it offended him.

"Way to kink-shame, dad," Stiles murmurs, blood rushing to his face.

The sheriff shakes his head. "I didn't have a problem with it before, not really. Whatever he wanted to do in the privacy of his own home was none of my business. As long as everything was legal and consensual, I didn't need to think about it. But to know that he's sucked you into it…it changes things."

"Why? I'm legal. I'm consenting—enthusiastically, if you really wanna go there."

"But why?" his dad asks. His anger fades for the first time and is replaced by a desperate need to understand. "Why do you feel like you need those things from him? Did I do something wrong? Wasn't I around enough?"

"You did nothing wrong, dad," Stiles is quick to refute. "It's not about you."

"But I know what you call him."

More blood rushes to Stiles' face then, so much that he feels a little dizzy and he's sure that he must look like a tomato. It's so awkward talking about this with his dad, reminding him of the time his dad had given him The Talk when he was a kid.

"Like I said, it's not about you," he tries to explain. "When I'm with him, apart from worrying about how I was gonna tell you about us, I'm not thinking about you at all. It's just me and Derek."

"I still don't get it, and I don't like it," the sheriff says, rubbing a hand over the stubble along his jaw. "Why couldn't you just date a boy your own age?"

"Dad…"

"I don't know what to think anymore."

Stiles is saddened but not surprised. As much as he'd hoped for a best case scenario, he'd been expecting his dad to react like this. It's almost like his dad is rejecting a part of him that he's only just discovered and had been beginning to explore with Derek's help. To know that the person he loves most in the world thinks that something that makes him happy is wrong…it hurts a great deal.

"I could date a boy my own age, but I don't want to," Stiles asserts, getting to his feet with his hands clenched into fists at his sides. He's covering up his hurt with a bit of anger of his own. It's a much easier emotion to handle. "I want Derek, and he wants me too. I'm not gonna apologise or stop seeing him just because you don't like it."

The sheriff doesn't respond, just keeps sitting in his armchair with his hand over his mouth and tired eyes.

"It's nice to know what you think of me, though," Stiles says, right before he storms out of the room.

He's running purely on adrenaline right now, and he can tell that it won't last much longer. He can't stay here while things are this fraught between him and his dad. He just can't. He goes upstairs, grabs the duffel bag he uses whenever he sleeps over at Scott's house from beneath his bed and stuffs it full of as many clothes as it can hold. Once that's done, Stiles squeezes in a few toiletries from the bathroom, zips it up and slings the strap over his right shoulder. Finally, he grabs his phone, his laptop, their respective power cords and his school backpack and is ready to go.

He just hopes that Derek won't take issue with him showing up on his doorstep like a lost puppy.

Going back downstairs, Stiles stops briefly in the foyer to grab his keys and then walks out the door without looking back. His dad doesn't call out to stop him.

* * *

Five minutes later, Stiles pulls to a stop outside of Derek's house and is glad to see that Derek's Camaro is in the driveway. He's so close to losing his shit, the various emotions he'd felt during his confrontation with his dad simmering just beneath the surface, so he quickly gets out of his Jeep and walks up the front path, not even bothering to collect his stuff from the passenger seat. He needs to feel his Daddy's arms around him right this second or he's going to have a breakdown right there on the sidewalk, in plain view of all of Derek's neighbours.

After he has reached the front door, he knocks on it hard enough to hurt his knuckles and waits impatiently for Derek to answer. The door opens after the longest minute of Stiles' life.

Derek looks at him bemusedly. "Stiles? What are you doing back here so soon?" he asks. His stunning hazel eyes fill with worry when he notices the inner turmoil that Stiles is doing an increasingly poor job of hiding. "Baby, what's wrong?"

And that's it.

His Daddy displaying such concern and care, showing that he actually gives a shit about what Stiles needs and wants, is all it takes for the teenager to burst into tears.

"Okay, come here," Derek coaxes, grabbing Stiles' hand and pulling him into the house.

Once the door is shut and they're in complete privacy, Derek wraps his arms around Stiles' shaking body and holds him tight as he cries, muttering soothing words in his ear. For Stiles, it's everything he needed. The tears keep falling because he needs to get it all out, but he already feels better to be back with his Daddy. He buries his nose in Daddy's neck and takes comfort in the musk of his scent and the warmth of his body pressed against his from head to toe. He holds him back just as tightly, fingers gripping the back of Derek's red henley so hard that he must be stretching and winkling the fabric quite a bit. Derek doesn't attempt to get him to ease up.

When Stiles eventually calms down, he leaves the safety of Daddy's neck and wrinkles his nose when he sees the state in which he left Daddy's shirt. The collar is soaked with snot and tears. Wonderful. What a good impression to make.

"Sorry…" Stiles says quietly, sniffling.

"It's okay, baby. It's just a shirt, and I have a washer for a reason," Derek says, his muscular arms still around the boy's body. "Can you tell me what's wrong now?"

Stiles nods and moves closer again, hiding in the other side of Derek's neck this time. "My dad found out about us. One of my neighbours saw us leaving for the diner and told him. He was waiting for me when you dropped me off."

"And I'm guessing from you showing up in tears that he didn't take it very well."

"Uh-uh…"

Derek rubs his hands up and down Stiles' back. "I'm sorry, baby."

"He looked so horrified," Stiles whispers.

"Do I want to know about what?"

"Pretty much all of it. You being older…the Daddy thing… God, he seemed to really hate that I wanted that." Fresh tears spring to Stiles' eyes as he relives it. "It was like he hated me."

They stand there for another few moments, and then Derek picks Stiles up in a bridal carry and brings him into the living room. He sits down on the sofa with Stiles cradled safe in his lap. "Tell me everything."

It's tough, but Stiles manages to relay his conversation with his dad to Derek. That Derek runs his fingers through his hair the entire time helps immensely.

"It's unfortunate that it had to go that way," the man says once Stiles has finished. "But I still believe that it'll turn out okay in the end."

Stiles closes his eyes, his face still tucked into Daddy's neck. "How d'you figure that?"

"You said he was drinking, right?"

"Uh-huh. Whiskey."

"Do you know how much he'd had before I dropped you off?"

"He wasn't drunk," Stiles replies, "but I don't think it was his first glass either."

Derek hums and leans the side of his head atop his boy's. "Well, there's one reason I'm sure. I don't think he'd have reacted like he did if he was completely sober. And as much as I know it sucked, baby, you have to keep in mind that your dad only just found out about us a few hours ago."

"I know, but…"

"No buts," Derek says, stern but still soft. "Think about it from his point of view for a moment. He finds out that his eighteen-year-old son—who's still in high school, I might add—is seeing a forty-one-year-old man. That would be tough for any parent to swallow, even with the knowledge that their kid was a legal adult. I don't know firsthand because I don't have kids of my own, but I'm sure that, no matter how old you get, part of your dad will always see you as his young child, with missing baby teeth and all. He's just trying to protect you and not doing a great job of it because it's all so fresh. Give it time, baby. I'm sure your dad will come around."

"But what about the other stuff?" Stiles asks, not ready to let it go yet. "Any reminder of the type of relationship we have is just gonna weird him out again. If he saw us acting like this…"

"We'll figure it out," Derek says with certainty. "Even if John never really gets it, that's okay. He doesn't have to. All he has to do is accept that it's what you want and not judge you for it. I've been friends with your dad for a few years now, and I probably have a different perspective than you because he's not my parent. I have more distance. It might take a while, but trust me when I tell you that he'll get there."

"And until then?" Stiles asks, his voice small.

Derek kisses Stiles' forehead. "I'll take care of you, baby. Until your dad comes around, and always."

The rational part of Stiles thinks it's a bit too soon to promise always, but he's in such a vulnerable state that he clings to the promise with everything he has.

"Okay, Daddy," he says.

Derek draws him out of his hiding place and gently brings their lips together. "Good boy," he says after a short kiss. "Did you bring some things?"

Stiles nods. "I left them in my Jeep."

"C'mon, then. Let's get you settled in."

Stiles gets off of Daddy's lap and sticks close to him as they head outside. He picks up his laptop and the power cords, but Daddy grabs both of his bags before he can pick them up too. The man shoots him a reassuring smile and puts a hand on the small of Stiles' back as they go back inside the house. The door closing behind them carries a sense of finality to it, but Daddy wisely doesn't give him any time to dwell on it. Instead, Daddy prompts him to put his laptop down on the coffee table in the living room and then to accompany him upstairs.

Once they're on the first floor, Derek enters the master bedroom and sets Stiles' bags on top of his dresser. He unzips the duffel, takes stock of the clothes Stiles hastily packed and then gets to work clearing some space in his drawers. Stiles just stands next to him with the iciness in his chest slowly thawing, warmed by the thought of them cohabiting. It's fast, just like the promise of always that Daddy made him a few minutes ago, but Stiles doesn't mind it. Even if him living with Derek only lasts as long as it takes his dad to accept his choices, he'll enjoy every second of it.

Just the idea of going to sleep sheltered in Daddy's arms every night and then waking up next to him every morning has butterflies proliferating in his stomach.

"There, all done," Derek announces, shutting the final drawer.

"You're sure you don't mind?" Stiles asks.

"I don't mind even a little bit, baby," Daddy tells him, giving him an Eskimo kiss. "Is it sooner than I thought it'd be? Yes, but that doesn't mean it's bad. I have my gorgeous boy in my home, in my bed every night. What could be bad about that?"

"Well, when you put it that way…"

Derek grins and moves them back out of the bedroom. "Since you're going to be living here for a while at least, I think it's time I gave you a proper tour. Does that sound good?"

Stiles is excited. "Yeah, Daddy."

"And then later tonight, I've got something planned that I think will make you feel even better. It's something I haven't done in a very long time."

The best guess Stiles is able to make is that it's something sexual. "You're not gonna tell me what it is, are you?"

Derek winks at him. "Nope. You'll just have to wait and see, baby. I will tell you that it'll be worth it, though."

Stiles pouts but doesn't argue. He's already looking forward to it.

Chapter Text

- Sunday, December 1st, 2013 -

As Stiles is given the full tour of Daddy's house, he's incredibly impressed. He thought it was a nice place before, but apparently he knew nothing. It's bigger than he thought it was, and every inch of space is utilised perfectly. It seems a bit much for just one man, but Stiles isn't judging at all. He'd say it's somewhere between his own house and the houses on the side of town where the Martins and the Argents live. Stiles has always liked his and his dad's home just fine—it's big enough and is homey, holding a lot of good memories from his childhood—but he'd be lying if he said he wasn't excited to live in Daddy's house, even if it's just until his dad comes around.

They begin on the first floor, Daddy's hand a constant presence on the small of Stiles' back. He's shown the two guest bedrooms and the guest bathroom, and then Daddy leads him into the study.

The walls are painted a light cream colour, contrasting pleasantly with the dark hardwood floor and the ornate wooden desk that's opposite the door. In the corner are a few metal filing cabinets positioned side by side, and the wall directly behind the desk is taken up entirely by tall bookcases stuffed with books, putting the ones Daddy has in his bedroom to shame. At first, Stiles thinks that the books are just more things that Daddy reads in his leisure time, but upon closer inspection, he discovers that every single book is related in some way to practicing law.

"You're a lawyer," Stiles says. He's surprised, and then he feels bad that he never asked what Daddy did for a living before today.

"I am," Derek confirms, scanning his eyes over the books too.

"I'm impressed. That's a tough job."

"It can be, but I like it."

Stiles looks away from the books and his gaze lands on several diplomas on the wall to his left, each framed and displayed equidistant from each other. The one right in the middle is from Yale University. "Jesus…"

Derek frowns and follows Stiles' gaze to see what's wrong. "What?"

Stiles gestures to the diploma that caught his eye. "You went to Yale?"

The frown doesn't clear. "Yes?"

"I'm kinda shocked. No offence. That's a very good school. Isn't it super hard to get into?"

"It is," Derek responds. "If I'm remembering it right, I think I heard once that only about seven percent of the people who applied the same year as I did actually got admission."

Stiles gapes. "Okay, wow… How the hell did you even afford that? There's no way my dad and I could."

A shadow passes briefly over Derek's face, there and gone in an instant. "My family was always well-off. My parents would've been able to afford to send me there if they were still alive, but then the fire happened, and…"

Stiles grabs Derek's hand and squeezes it. He regrets inadvertently bringing up painful memories again, but he doesn't change the subject; Daddy won't talk if he doesn't want to.

"After the fire, Laura and I got hefty payouts, both from the house insurance and the life insurance policies our mom set up. It was a lot of money, and I used some of that to pay for Yale. It cost nearly $300,000 in total. I might've been able to get a scholarship to make that number smaller, but I decided not to."

"Why?"

"Because I could afford to pay for it myself and then some. In my eyes, that scholarship money was better off going to someone who wasn't as financially lucky as I was."

"Makes sense," Stiles says with a nod.

"Besides, that money came from something terrible. I would've much rather had my family still be alive, but since that wasn't possible, I wanted to do something good with it. Help other people, y'know? That way, I didn't feel as awful having all those numbers just sitting in my bank account like they were mocking me."

Stiles moves to sit on the edge of Derek's desk. "Are you part of a firm or something?"

Derek sits next to him. "I was when I was living in New York a few years ago, but since I've been back in Beacon Hills, I've been working freelance. The Hale name still carries enough weight around here and my reputation is good enough that I get a decent number of clients. I can pretty much choose who I want to work with too, and more often than not I'll choose to work with someone who's down on their luck and either charge on a scale or help them pro bono."

Coming from anyone else, what Derek is saying would sound boastful, like they were only doing such things so that they could talk about them and get admiration from others. From the expression on Derek's face and the tone of his voice, Stiles knows that that isn't the case here. No, Derek truly believes in what he's doing. It isn't to fuel his ego at all. Stiles feels even more in awe of his Daddy than he did before.

"You're a really good person," he opines softly.

Derek shoots him a small smile. "I try."

"I'll have to see you in a suit sometime." Stiles waggles his eyebrows. "I'm sure it'd look super sexy."

"Mmm, maybe. If you behave."

Stiles smirks. "Oh, I'll be very good, Daddy. The bestest," he adds, playing up his role.

"The bestest, huh?"

"Uh-huh."

"C'mon, you," Derek says after a moment, breaking the sexual tension. He gets up and brings Stiles with him. "I've still got to give you the rest of the tour."

Stiles has seen most of the ground floor before, but never long enough to really take in all the details. He pays more attention now and continues to be impressed as Daddy takes him in a circle through the living room, the kitchen, the laundry room, the dining room and finally into the foyer again. Stiles thinks that's it, but he's proven wrong when Daddy brings him into the hallway that connects the foyer with the kitchen. They stop in front of a door that's built into the side of the staircase.

"And this is the basement," Daddy says, reaching for the handle with the hand not holding Stiles'.

Down another set of stairs, at first all Stiles sees is darkness, but then Daddy switches on the lights and he discovers that it's not a regular basement. Sure, the left wall has a few boxes stored there, each one of them labelled meticulously, but the rest of the space is taken up by various exercise equipment that looks ridiculously expensive and well-maintained.

"This is my home gym," Daddy explains unnecessarily. "I come down here a few times a week to stay in shape. Some of the guys use it too."

Stiles looks up at him. "The guys?"

"The other guys you met at the basketball game," Derek elaborates. "Your dad's been here a few times too."

"Oh, right." Stiles breezes past the mention of his dad, not wanting his mood to be brought back down. "That's generous of you."

"Well, it's better than them paying gym fees, and it's no skin off my teeth. Plus, it's kinda fun to have a workout partner every now and then, someone to spot you."

This fills Stiles head with images of him and Derek working out together down here, getting all hot and sweaty…

Damn.

His cock beginning to chub up, Stiles walks away from his Daddy so that the man doesn't notice and does a cursory inspection of all the equipment. He doesn't know what half of it is for, but he easily recognises the bench press and the state-of-the-art treadmill. There's also a metal bar bolted to the ceiling that he assumes Daddy uses for pull-ups. He's tempted to test it out himself but refrains because of how scrawny he is. He doubts he'd manage more than a couple before he had to give up, and he'd rather not embarrass himself like that in front of his Daddy.

"So…what do you think?" said man enquires after letting him look things over for a few more minutes. His voice is hopeful, like he wants Stiles' approval.

Stiles has no problem giving it. "It's awesome!" he says with a grin, bounding back over to Derek and wrapping his arms around his neck.

"You can try some of this stuff out sometime, if you want," Derek offers, placing his big hands on Stiles' hips.

"Sure, Daddy," Stiles assents. He's a little unsure because of his aforementioned scrawniness, but he trusts his Daddy not to judge him. Daddy has already seen him naked several times, after all, so he knows what Stiles has to work with. "You'll have to show me how, though."

"It'll be my pleasure, baby."

After sharing a quick kiss, Derek guides Stiles back up to the ground floor and checks the time on his phone. "I've got an important call from a client of mine coming soon," he says regretfully. "I'll have to take that in my study and it might take a while. Are you going to be alright alone here while I do that, baby?"

Stiles nods. "I'm sure I can find something to keep me busy until you're done. Maybe one of the books in your bedroom."

"Our bedroom," Daddy corrects him with a grin.

"Right." Stiles blinks a few times, taken aback. He didn't want to be presumptuous, but since Derek said it first… "Our bedroom."

"If you don't end up finding a book," Daddy says, pushing Stiles gently in the direction of the living room, "you can probably occupy yourself with this instead."

Stiles follows Daddy's finger to the entertainment centre, to the shelves that are below the section housing the TV. In one of them is a PS4, which Stiles never noticed before because the black of the system blended into the shadow of the shelf. "You play games?"

"Yeah," Derek responds happily. "Why? Does that surprise you, baby?"

It probably shouldn't, but Stiles has to admit that it does. "Sorry, you just didn't seem the type, is all."

"Old, you mean?" Derek says, raising an eyebrow. His badly concealed smirk lets Stiles know that he's not really offended.

"You said it, not me, Daddy," Stiles teases, grinning mischievously.

Derek harrumphs and then drops the act, sharing the grin. "Now you know better, baby."

Stiles gets excited now, happy to have something he can share with his Daddy. It's something else they can relate to each other about besides their mutual attraction, which will be good for them in the long run. "What sort of games d'you play? I don't see any game cases."

Derek just winks. "You'll have to boot it up to find out. I get games digitally because it's just easier. It sounds lazy, but there's no need to get up to change discs that way."

"Gotcha."

It's then that Derek's phone rings in his hand. He gives Stiles an apologetic smile. "That's them."

"S'okay, I'll be fine," Stiles assures him.

"I'll be as quick as I can," Derek promises before kissing Stiles' forehead and disappearing upstairs, his phone already held to his ear.

After he hears Daddy shut himself in the study, Stiles releases a breath he hadn't realised he was holding. He wasn't entirely truthful—he will be alright, but without the distraction that his Daddy always is, his mind is in danger of drifting into unwelcome territory. His eyes sting as he remembers the reason he's in Daddy's house in the first place, and he really doesn't want to go back there. He wants to stay in his bubble, safe with Daddy to comfort and protect him.

Stiles needs a different distraction, so he picks up the PS4 controller that's tucked next to the console itself and takes a seat on the sofa. He switches on the television, presses the button in the middle of the controller to turn on the console too, and once everything has loaded and he's met with the PS4 home screen, he nods approvingly as he goes through the row of icons. Each one is for a different video game. Like Derek's taste in books, there's a little of everything present—action and adventure, FPS, a few horror games…even a JRPG. Stiles hasn't played some of them but has wanted to, so it doesn't take long to find one to pass the time until Daddy has finished his work call.

* * *

That evening, Derek enlists Stiles' help in preparing dinner.

"What should we have?" he wonders aloud, looking over all the stuff in his pantry with his boy at his side.

"Well, we had something pretty unhealthy yesterday," Stiles says.

"So something healthier today, then?"

"Yeah."

"Any ideas?"

Stiles hums and taps his index finger against his chin as he thinks. A moment later, he takes a four-pack of tuna cans and a packet of pasta from one of the pantry shelves. "How about some sort of tuna-pasta bake? It's pretty easy to make, and we could have some salad on the side."

Derek agrees readily. "Fine by me."

After gathering together the rest of the ingredients and the glass dish to put it all in, Derek turns on the oven to preheat and then ends up standing back and watching as Stiles assembles everything by himself. From the way Stiles moves, it's obvious that he has a lot of experience with cooking, only hesitating occasionally because he's unfamiliar with the layout of Derek's kitchen. It makes Derek curious as he leans against the counter next to Stiles so that he can better watch him work.

"Do you cook often?" he asks.

"Quite a lot, yeah," the boy answers, wisely not looking up from where he's chopping tomatoes. "I used to cook with my mom before she died, and then I did it by myself. If I didn't, my dad would've basically lived off of junk food and that's not good for his heart."

Derek thinks back and can pick out a few times the sheriff has complained about his son badgering him to eat better. He hadn't realised that Stiles was actually cooking most of that healthier food himself. "Is your dad's heart bad?"

"It's not terrible, but losing one parent was enough," Stiles says, his voice quiet. "I'm going to do everything in my power not to lose a second to anything but old age."

If anyone can understand that, it's Derek. He puts a hand on his boy's shoulder. "You're a wonderful son."

Stiles stills for a split second before tipping the chopped tomatoes into the glass dish with the tuna and half-cooked pasta. "Doesn't feel like it sometimes."

"You're talking about your falling out this morning."

Stiles nods jerkily.

"He'll come around, baby," Derek reminds him. "Just have faith."

"Yeah…"

The sombre mood that has settled over them doesn't sit right with Derek. As his Daddy, he's supposed to keep Stiles happy, not bring him down. Wanting to fix his mistake, he spins Stiles around to face him and kisses him deeply, reminding him that he isn't alone. Derek is in this with him, and he won't leave. Stiles moans when their tongues slide together, hands clutching at Derek's shoulders. Derek keeps kissing him for a little while longer, until their stomachs rumble in tandem, reminding him that they're supposed to be making dinner.

He pulls back and ruffles Stiles' hair, happy to see that the gloominess has disappeared from the boy's countenance. It's replaced by blown pupils and flushed cheeks, clear signs of arousal that look so much better on him.

"Are you okay to finish up here?" Derek asks.

Stiles tilts his head to the side, watching him suspiciously. "Yeah, but why?"

"No reason," Derek says evasively. "When dinner's in the oven, come upstairs." He can't resist kissing his boy a final time before exiting the room with a wink.

In the master bedroom, Derek takes a pair of grey sweatpants and a cuddly red sweater from his dresser and places them beside the sink in the en suite. Next, he retrieves some bubblebath from the medicine cabinet and walks across the room to the bathtub, ready to make a start at delivering the surprise he promised Stiles earlier. He's going to do everything in his power to make his baby feel better if it kills him, and getting Stiles into a hot bath should provide Derek with the perfect amount of time to set up the first part of his surprise. He just hopes it all goes smoothly.

It's when the tub is almost filled that Derek hears soft footsteps behind him. He looks back over his shoulder and greets his boy as Stiles enters the bathroom.

"Are you gonna take a bath?" Stiles enquires.

"Nope," Derek replies, turning off the hot tap and pushing away from the side of the tub. "You are."

Stiles' cinnamon eyes widen. "I am?"

"Yup. You're going to have a nice, relaxing soak while dinner cooks, and then we're going to spend a quiet evening in together. Sound good?"

That's all it takes to get Stiles on board. "Sounds very good, Daddy."

"Let's get you undressed, then."

Derek helps Stiles out of his clothes and holds onto his hand as he steps into the bathtub. He doesn't miss that his boy is still half-hard from their kiss down in the kitchen. Once he has Stiles lying back in the tub, the bubbles going up to his neck and his eyes closed as he enjoys the warm water, Derek strokes a hand down the side of his face. "You just relax, okay?"

Stiles cracks open one eye. "Aren't you getting in with me, Daddy? 'Cause that would make this a thousand times better."

"Not this time. There's something else I need to do."

"What is it?"

"Don't you worry your cute little butt about it, baby."

Stiles pouts at him. "You're mean."

With a laugh, Derek puts the finishing touch on Stiles' bath by setting some soothing music to play from his phone and placing it next to the clothes on the counter. "I'll be back to get you soon," he says as he leaves the room.

After pushing the door to, he waits a few seconds to make sure that Stiles won't get out of the tub before Derek comes to get him. When nothing happens, he moves over to the bed, strips off the duvet and pillows and carries them all downstairs to the living room. He collects some more sheets from the linen closet and all of the chairs from the dining room and then stands there for a minute while he determines the best way to carry out his plan. Once a solid idea has come to him, he gets to work, already imagining the look on his baby's face.

It's going to be great.

* * *

When his Daddy has left the bathroom, Stiles lies in the tub and stares at the door, confused. He's tempted to get out and find out what Daddy is up to right away, but he stays where he is because he doesn't want to disappoint him by ruining the surprise. He sinks even further into the water, just low enough so that he can still breathe through his nose. The tub is unbelievably comfortable, and it's big enough for him to stretch his legs out fully without so much as a toe peeking out of the water.

Heaven.

The music lulls him into a state that's close to sleep, but he never lets himself actually drift off for fear of drowning.

Soon enough, Stiles loses track of time. If someone were to ask him how many songs had played by the time Daddy enters the bathroom again, he wouldn't be able to so much as guess. He blinks tiredly when Daddy shakes him gently, rousing him from his dreamlike state.

"C'mon, baby, let's get you out before you turn into one big prune," Daddy coaxes, taking his hands to assist him in standing up.

Feet on the bathmat now, Stiles stays still as Daddy lovingly pats him dry with a fluffy towel and dresses him in his clothes. He's nearly swallowed up by them. The material is so soft and smells so much like Daddy that Stiles never wants to take them off again. It's exactly how he felt after their first night together, when he'd gone back home in Daddy's clothes.

"Are you ready for your surprise, baby?" Daddy asks, sweeping Stiles' damp hair off of his forehead.

"Uh-huh," Stiles chirps. He knows his smile must be very dopey-looking.

"Come on, then. I can't wait to show it to you."

At the top of the stairs, Derek stops them briefly to cover Stiles' eyes and then brings him down to the foyer, their movements slow and cautious. Once they're at the bottom, they keep walking, and Stiles pictures their progress in his head the whole time. He easily figures out when they enter the living room, and he follows along as they make a wide berth around the sofa and coffee table, leaving them with their backs to the entertainment centre. The scent of dinner is strong in his nose, so Derek must have already served it and brought it in here.

"Ready?" Derek checks again.

"Yeah, Daddy. I wanna see already!" Stiles whines.

"One…two…three!"

When Derek removes his hand from Stiles' eyes, Stiles gapes. He'd still been under the impression that his surprise was sexual, but what's in front of him is something else entirely.

Daddy clears his throat next to him. "Do you like it, baby?"

Stiles doesn't respond right away, too busy staring at the blanket fort that the man has put together. The sofa has been turned around so that the back of it forms the back of the fort. The coffee table is gone, and two rows of chairs are on either end of the sofa, acting as the sides of the fort. Bedsheets are draped and pinned in place over the top of it all, leaving only the one entrance. Stiles crouches down to peer inside and sees a nest of blankets and pillows, in the middle of which is a tray that balances their dinner in two bowls. The last thing he sees are a few strings of fairy lights strung up just beneath the sheet that forms the makeshift ceiling, providing the fort with some illumination.

"I love it, Daddy!" he finally answers, the words coming out slightly breathless. "You really went to all this effort for me?"

Daddy's gaze is fond. "Of course. Now, let's go inside and test it out, hmm? Before our food gets cold."

Stiles bounds into the fort with a squeal, his Daddy right behind him. They both sit with their backs propped up against the pillows from Daddy's bed, bowls and forks in hand. "It's so cozy," Stiles says cheerfully, wiggling in place. "Like our own little world."

Derek chuckles. "That was the idea. Just pretend that nothing else exists but you and me in this moment."

The food is as delicious as Stiles thought it would be, and his mood rises even higher when Daddy tells him he really likes it too, practically gobbling his bowl down. He doesn't think he could feel any better than he does right now. It's such a contrast to how low he'd felt leaving his house after his dad confronted him all those hours ago, and it's all thanks to the man next to him, who has done everything in his power to make Stiles happy since they met.

Is it possible to fall in love after just two weeks of knowing a person? Stiles would've said no before that fateful basketball game, but now? As he and Daddy share a meaningful look, Stiles thinks that maybe—just maybe—it really is possible after all.

He takes his earlier assessment back. The bath wasn't heaven.

This is.

Chapter Text

- Sunday, December 1st, 2013 -

After they finish their dinner and some chocolate fudge brownie ice cream for dessert, Stiles and Derek lie together in their blanket fort with the TV on as background noise. Stiles is tucked up against Daddy's side with his head on Daddy's chest, a position that just about allows him to see the TV screen through the fort's opening. He barely pays attention to what's on, though. He's so comfortable and content that he has reached a state of complete inaction. He doesn't think or worry about anything, just exists in the moment, kept warm by the blankets and his Daddy's body heat.

Eventually, when almost half an hour has passed and their dinner has settled, Stiles' body reacts to being so near Derek. His dick hardens in his borrowed sweatpants and he lazily thrusts against his Daddy's hip. He's still acting without conscious thought, simply chasing the pleasurable sensation until Daddy's chest vibrates beneath his cheek as he laughs.

"Is my boy feeling playful?" Derek enquires, voice dripping with amusement. He switches off the TV and wraps his arm tighter around Stiles' back.

"Mmm…Daddy…" Stiles murmurs, still thrusting.

The older man is quiet and then uses the hold he has on Stiles to roll him on top of himself. Stiles finally becomes coherent again and lifts himself up to look at Derek with a confused frown on his face. He's met with a smirk, and then Derek spreads his legs apart so that Stiles' hips slot between his thighs and their crotches meet.

Stiles' bafflement only grows. He's not used to being on top like this, and he doesn't know how to proceed.

"Something wrong, baby?" Daddy asks him, reaching up to fist his hand in the hair on the back of Stiles' head.

Stiles' eyelids flutter at his Daddy's touch. "Y-yeah," he stammers. "What's going on?"

"What does it feel like?"

"I…I dunno…"

Derek hums quietly and tightens his grip. "No? Why don't you make a guess? You're a smart boy. I'm sure you can figure it out."

Stiles racks his brain, and the answer finally comes to him when Daddy curls his legs around his hips, digging his bare heels into Stiles' ass. "You want me to…?"

Derek grins. "To fuck me? If you're up for it, baby, then yes, I do."

The frown returns to Stiles' face. "But…you're Daddy."

"So?"

"I just thought…well, I don't know what I thought," Stiles says, averting his gaze to Derek's big chest instead.

"You thought that because I'm the Daddy and the Dom that I'd never want to bottom," Derek finishes for him. It's not a judgment. It's just a statement.

Stiles nods ashamedly. "Yeah."

"If you never want to top, then I have no problem continuing to do what we've been doing," Derek tells him. "But if you do, I'm definitely curious about what my boy's cock will feel like inside of me."

Stiles shuts his eyes with a groan, imagining it.

Derek chuckles. "Do you like that, baby? You want to slide your cock inside Daddy's tight ass? Want to know what I feel every time I'm inside of you? I bet you do."

Stiles can only nod, his hips moving again to grind their erections together.

"I thought so. Have at me, baby. For tonight, you can do whatever you want to me."

Opening his eyes again, Stiles looks down at his Daddy and swallows tightly, overwhelmed. He leans down and brings their lips together in a kiss, starting things off slow. He's incredibly nervous, just like he was the night he returned Daddy's credit card and Daddy fucked him for the first time. This is another first for him. He would really love to make it good and especially not to make a fool of himself by coming within two seconds of being inside of Derek.

Yeah, good luck with that, he tells himself.

For a few minutes, Stiles stays right where he is, just kissing Daddy and enjoying the lingering taste of chocolate on his tongue while he works up the nerve to move onto the next step. When he has it, he sits back and pulls Daddy up with him long enough to get him out of his henley, then he pushes him back down so that he can remove the rest of Daddy's clothes. Once he has, each item of clothing thrown behind him so that they land outside of the fort, he swiftly strips naked as well.

"What d'you want to do to me first, baby?" Daddy asks him huskily, tucking his hands behind his head.

Stiles doesn't know. He has never been in control any of the times they've had sex so far, so he can't decide where to start. There's so much he wants to do, so much skin he wants to touch. Like in the shower, he half expects and half hopes for Daddy to tell him what to do, but he's given not a single instruction. All he gets is another smirk. Turns out that Derek was serious when he said he'd be handing over control to Stiles for the evening.

Well then…

Stiles hesitates for a few more seconds before running his eyes down Daddy's well-muscled body one last time and zeroing in on the best place to begin—his cock. He's done this before. Just once, granted, but it should still be easy enough.

Moving backward, Stiles lies down on his front between Daddy's legs, putting himself in the best position to blow him while also giving himself the blankets to rut against. He puts a hand around Daddy's huge erection and gives it a few strokes before aiming the head down at his waiting mouth. It's a much different experience to his first blowjob, when Daddy had held him in place and fucked his mouth for all he was worth. Now, he's in charge. He controls how many inches he takes. He loved blowing his Daddy before, loved how Daddy owned him and made him choke on his cock until he cried, but he loves this too, just for different reasons.

As foolish a desire as it probably is, he wants to make this the best blowjob his Daddy has ever got. As he slowly bobs his head up and down, he keeps his eyes open so that he can look up the length of Daddy's body and watch him. It's for two purposes, really.

One: so that Stiles can keep drinking in how sexy he is with all his muscles and his hairy chest beginning to glisten with sweat.

Two: so that Stiles can catalogue the reactions he gets for everything he does.

He uses these reactions to figure out what Daddy likes best. A flick of the tongue here…an increase of suction there…every action has a different reaction—moans, blown pupils, Daddy biting his bottom lip almost hard enough to make it bleed—and Stiles finds every single one fascinating.

"Fuck! So good, baby boy," Derek gasps when Stiles wiggles his tongue against his glans. "So good for Daddy."

The praise lights Stiles up inside. He renews his efforts, factoring in everything he has learnt over the past few minutes to bring his Daddy to orgasm. He can tell when the man is getting close because Daddy's hips twitch with the urge to fuck up into the wet heat of his mouth. If said mouth wasn't full of cock, Stiles would be grinning proudly.

"I'm gonna—" Daddy warns him, his hazel eyes scrunched up.

To push Daddy over the edge, Stiles uses one hand to grip his full balls and uses the other to explore the shadowy space beneath. He skates his index finger down Daddy's perineum until he feels the furled skin of his hole, and that's all it takes. One simple touch and a flick of the tongue over his slit has Daddy moaning loudly and his cock jerking wildly as it spurts thick seed into Stiles' mouth. Stiles keeps his mouth on him through it and rubs his finger in small circles over Daddy's asshole, only stopping when Daddy's orgasm tapers off with one last feeble spurt.

His mouth filled with come, Stiles allows Daddy's cock to slip from his lips with a wet pop and swallows about half of the bitter fluid so that he can enjoy it more. He loves the taste of it just as much as the first time he had it on his tongue, so he swirls the load around his mouth and hums softly to himself, his attention firmly on Daddy's face. As soon as Daddy's eyes open again and his gaze locks with Stiles', his chest heaving, Stiles swallows the rest of the load and then makes a show of licking his lips. He thinks he probably looks a bit ridiculous, but Daddy doesn't seem to think so. The forty-one-year-old makes a sound that's shockingly akin to a growl, and his cock twitches with interest where it lies half-hard on his toned abs.

"So tasty, Daddy," Stiles says, licking up the length of his cock to make sure he missed none of his release.

"Yeah? Did my boy enjoy his treat?"

"Uh-huh!"

"I'm glad, baby."

Stiles hums before getting up onto his knees and tapping Derek's hip with a finger. "Can you turn over, Daddy?"

Derek winks at him and complies, situating himself on his hands and knees with his glorious ass pointed right at Stiles. He slips his hand beneath one of the pillows and tosses a tube of lubricant Stiles' way, revealing that their fooling around in the fort was part of his plan all along. Possibly him bottoming too.

Dropping the lube next to him, Stiles itches to get his hands on those hairy globes, and since he was told that he could do whatever he wanted to Daddy tonight…

He palms each cheek and squeezes them to test their musculature. Just like the rest of him, Daddy's ass is perfectly formed. It's delectably round and the definition of biteable. With that last thought, Stiles feels a bit devilish and leans down to do just that, sinking his teeth lightly into the supple flesh. Daddy startles, obviously not expecting it, but he doesn't attempt to move away or scold Stiles for biting him, so Stiles bites a tiny bit harder before releasing him and admiring the ring of red impressions his teeth left behind. He wonders if such possessiveness is what Daddy feels whenever he sees the hickeys he likes to leave on Stiles' neck.

Moving on, Stiles palms Derek's ass cheeks again and spreads them apart to get at his hole. More dark hairs surround it, and it clenches up tight when it's exposed to the air, just begging to be eaten.

How on earth is Stiles supposed to resist that?

Diving right in, he's mindful of his lack of experience and, to make up for it, tries to copy what Daddy has done to him before. He licks over the tight hole and prods at it with the tip of his tongue, seeking entrance. The taste of skin is different here, but not in a bad way. It's not unclean or unpleasant, and after a small adjustment period, Stiles finds that he rather likes it. He likes the act itself as well and really hopes that Daddy will let him rim his hairy ass many more times in the future.

"That's it, baby," Daddy rasps, arching his back to make it easier for Stiles to access his hole. "Just like that…such a good boy."

Emboldened by the encouragement, Stiles keeps it up until he finally manages to slip the tip of his tongue past the first ring of muscle. He stops rimming then, but only to suck a finger into his mouth and coat it with saliva. Once that's done, he slowly slides it into Daddy's hole and is amazed by how hot and tight he feels inside. God, how the hell is that going to feel around Stiles' cock? It seems more and more likely that he's going to come humiliatingly quickly when they reach the main event, but he has ceased caring.

He just wants to get there already.

Stiles thrusts his finger in and out a few times and licks around it to keep it nice and slick. One finger becomes two, and when he fits a third inside, Daddy speaks.

"Okay, that's enough, baby," he says. He moves away and turns over to lie on his back once more, his legs spread invitingly. "Come here."

Stiles eagerly crawls forward and kisses the man, his cock resting over his Daddy's, also hard again. Daddy cups his face and kisses him back, evidently not minding the taste of himself on Stiles' tongue.

When the kiss ends, he looks lustfully up into his boy's eyes. "C'mon, baby. Fuck Daddy good."

Stiles nearly comes then and there. The only reason he doesn't is because he clamps a hand around the base of his cock just in time to stop himself. He keeps it there for a while, and when his orgasm is no longer so close, he picks the lube back up and uses it to slick himself up. Aiming the head of his cock at Daddy's prepped hole, he's unable to look away as he gradually pushes all six inches inside. When the last one is in, his pubic bone resting against Daddy's perineum, Stiles raises his gaze to Daddy's face. He knows his expression must be one of shock, but he can't help it.

His earlier assessment was right. He's definitely not going to last long. Daddy's ass felt great around his fingers, but that's nothing compared to how it feels around his cock. His hand has been ruined for him forever.

"You can move, baby," Daddy says, stroking his fingers down Stiles' arms.

"I-I know, but gimme a moment. Just…wow…"

Derek chuckles, which makes his ass feel even tighter. "I know the feeling. Good, huh?"

Stiles takes a shaky breath. "Good doesn't even begin to cover it, Daddy."

"Take your time."

It takes far too long for Stiles to determine that he's ready to move, but when he has, he withdraws nearly all the way and tentatively thrusts back in, ready to stop the second his orgasm rears its head again. When it doesn't, he becomes more confident and picks up the speed a bit, a steady rhythm forming with the help of Daddy repeatedly tightening his legs around Stiles' waist, pulling him in with each thrust.

"You feel amazing, baby boy," Derek compliments. He tips his head back with a low moan. "Fill me up just right."

Stiles leans down and insinuates his nose beneath Daddy's chin, enjoying the scrape of his dark facial hair over his forehead. He stays there as the man wraps his arms around him and holds him close, trapping his cock between their stomachs. His grip is just loose enough for Stiles to keep moving his hips.

The whole thing is unbearably intimate. Stiles hasn't felt so connected to another person in his life, and he never wants that to change. He wants to stay in the fort with Daddy and take turns fucking each other forever. In an ideal world, he muses.

After a short pause, Stiles changes the angle of his thrusts and elicits a full-body shudder from his older lover. It's accompanied by an erotic choked sound and Daddy digging blunt nails into Stiles' back, all signs that Stiles must have found his prostate. It was an accident, but he runs with it and focuses on angling all of his thrusts at that special bundle of nerves from then on.

"Fuck!" Derek gasps. "Such a good boy, making Daddy feel so good like this…"

"T-that was the idea, right?" Stiles asks, a bit out of breath.

"Don't stop."

Stiles doesn't plan on it, but he ends up not really having a choice in the matter. All too soon, he picks up the speed of his thrusts and can't make himself slow down. The heat of Daddy's hole is just too much to resist, and his body ends up moving on its own, chasing the pleasure until it crests.

"Do it, baby," Derek whispers in his ear, sensing it. "Give Daddy your come."

Those words are Stiles' undoing. With a series of rapid, uncoordinated thrusts, he bites down hard on Derek's collarbone and pulses deep inside of Derek's guts, filling him up with jizz. He keeps moving through it, his thrusts shallow, drawing out the bliss until he stops coming and goes boneless atop his Daddy. Derek doesn't do anything to move him, allowing him to stay there. As his boy recovers from his earth-shattering orgasm, he runs his fingers through Stiles' hair with one hand and rubs up and down his sweaty back with the other.

When Stiles has the wherewithal again, he eases out of Derek with a wince and rolls over onto his back next to him, bumping into the leg of one of the chairs holding up the ceiling of their fort.

"Careful, baby," Derek says.

Stiles laughs tiredly. "Sorry, Daddy."

"It's okay. I just don't want you to hurt yourself."

"Or ruin your hard work." Stiles nudges the chair back into place with his forearm, too worn out to figure out how to work his fingers properly.

After he's sure that the fort won't suddenly collapse and bury them both in a pile of bedsheets and fairy lights, Stiles turns his head to look back at Derek. He's just in time to see him remove his hand from between his legs. He must have been fingering himself because his fingers glisten with a mixture of lube and Stiles' come, which he uses to jerk himself off fast and dirty.

"Damn, that's hot," Stiles says, in awe. He finds enough energy to move so that his head rests on Daddy's shoulder and he can watch from a better angle.

It only takes another twenty seconds—Stiles counts—for Derek to reach his second orgasm of the night. He obviously produces less semen than during his first, but a considerable amount still spurts from his slit and splatters across his hairy torso. After it ends, Derek releases his sore-looking cock, swipes his fingers through the mess he made and holds them up to Stiles' mouth, reading his mind.

"An extra dessert for my good boy," Daddy murmurs, watching fondly as Stiles sucks his come off.

Stiles blushes.

A short time later, he curls around his Daddy and shuts his eyes, his stomach full of good food and delicious warm seed.

"So, how was it?" Daddy asks him, kissing his temple.

Stiles grins lopsidedly. "It was…fuck, I can't even think," he answers, breathing in nothing but the lingering scents of their sex and Daddy's musk.

"That's great to know, baby. I still mostly top, but whenever the mood strikes…"

Stiles' grin gets impossibly wider because that was just what he was hoping to hear. Nothing compares to the feeling of Daddy's huge cock splitting his ass wide, but he would miss it if this evening was the only time Daddy ever wanted to bottom.

"So you have no problem with me topping every once in a while?" he enquires.

"Not at all."

"Awesome."

"I think so too. Now, I think it's time to sleep," Derek says, his chest expanding with a yawn. "I'll wake you up in time to get you ready for school in the morning."

"Mmm…'k. Love you, Daddy…"

Stiles is out too quickly to even realise the meaning of the words that just slipped out.

Chapter Text

- Monday, December 2nd, 2013 -

The following morning, Derek gets Stiles up early enough that he has plenty of time to get ready for school, just as he said he would before they went to sleep. Derek smiles at him and touches him more often than usual as they work together to take down the blanket fort—and Derek smiled and touched him a lot to begin with. Stiles enjoys it but doesn't know what to make of it, and when he asks Derek why he's in a particularly good mood, the man just looks at him funny, denies that anything is going on at all and coaxes him up into the bathroom for a shower.

When he's alone beneath the spray, thoughts run non-stop through Stiles' head. He's sad that last night is over, which means returning to the real world and acknowledging the problems between him and his dad. He's disappointed that Derek didn't get in the shower with him to distract him, but it was necessary. If they had showered together, they'd probably end up messing around and Stiles would be late. That wouldn't be a good way to prove to his dad that Derek is good for him.

His dad…

Stiles sighs as he tips his head back into the shower spray and washes the shampoo out of his hair. He wishes it could be different, that he could either go back and be the one to tell the sheriff about him and Derek and maybe get a better reaction, or that he could accelerate time and skip to everything being okay. Sadly, neither option is possible.

"Suck it up," Stiles tells himself, switching off the shower now that he's clean. "You can handle it."

"Handle what, baby?" comes Derek's voice from just inside the open doorway, startling Stiles. He hadn't heard the older man come in.

Stiles narrows his eyes at him facetiously, opens the stall and grabs one of the towels that are hung up outside. "Just reentering the real world," he explains. He goes to wrap the towel around his waist, but when Derek steps forward—now in the sweatpants Stiles had borrowed last night—and holds out a hand for it, Stiles lets Derek give him one last bit of pampering before the bubble they've lived in for the past twenty-four hours pops. "And worries about my dad are creeping back in."

Derek makes a sympathetic noise. He rubs his boy dry, takes his hand and brings him into the bedroom. "Would it help if I went and had a talk with him?"

Stiles waits by the dresser for Derek to get out some clothes. "Really? You'd do that?"

"Yeah. I was already planning on doing it anyway. Maybe if he's reassured that what's between us is serious and not just physical, he'll accept it sooner."

"Yeah, maybe…"

"Do you want to wear your own clothes today?" Derek asks him, switching topics to one that's less difficult. "Or something of mine?"

Stiles mulls it over. He'd look weird at school wearing clothes that are as baggy on him as Daddy's are, but it would still be comforting to keep a part of Daddy with him while they're separated. "Maybe just one thing."

"Like a sweater or something?"

"Yeah."

Derek purses his lips. "I have just the thing, but I'll have to get it out of storage in the basement. It should fit you."

Stiles' curiosity rises. "What is it?"

"You'll find out just before you leave," Derek says teasingly. He gets out the rest of Stiles' outfit—boxer-briefs, red chinos, and a white T-shirt with a picture of a cow bursting out of a large cake on the front—and leaves his boy to get himself dressed. He pauses at the door. "I'm gonna go make a start on breakfast. Any requests?"

"Not really," Stiles replies, stepping into his underwear. "I'm good with anything, Daddy."

Once Derek is gone, Stiles finishes getting into his clothes and goes back into the bathroom. He wipes off the condensation lingering on the mirror from his shower and checks himself over in his reflection. His hair is kind of a mess, parts of it still damp and others fluffy and sticking up all over the place, so he spends a few minutes trying to tame it into something more presentable. He doesn't really succeed with just a bit of water on his fingers, but after daring to peek inside of Derek's medicine cabinet—he wouldn't mind, Stiles is sure—he happens upon a tub of expensive styling wax that the man must put in his own hair sometimes.

Stiles uses some of it and is eventually satisfied with where he ends up. It's not perfect because he's no hair stylist and he's not used to using much product in his hair anyway, but it's no longer a mess. With a shrug, he puts the wax back in its home and exits the bathroom just in time for Derek to shout from the ground floor that breakfast is nearly ready.

Good timing, Stiles muses, walking out into the hall and down the staircase. He can smell bacon. It makes his stomach rumble.

"I hope bacon and eggs is okay with you," Derek says as he enters the kitchen.

"Please, you can never go wrong with bacon," Stiles responds, taking a stool at the island.

A minute later, they both start to slowly eat their food while Derek asks questions about the classes Stiles has that day.

Stiles lists them all, and when he gets to the end, his whole demeanour becomes despondent. "And then I've got Math last period…" he finishes.

"You don't like Math, then?" Derek guesses, chuckling at the expression on his boy's face.

"No, it's not that. I actually like it okay, but my teacher's kinda…" Stiles scrunches up his nose in distaste. "Well, he's an asshole, basically."

Derek frowns but doesn't chide Stiles for his language. "What's his name?"

"Mr. Harris."

Recognition appears in Derek's eyes. "Adrian Harris? Dark hair and glasses?"

"Yeah. How'd you know?"

"I went to school with him and heard he came back to teach here a while back. Sounds like he hasn't changed much. He was never the nicest guy."

"He always seems to pick on me as well. It's frustrating. He gave me detention for the millionth time last Monday, which led to Coach getting mad at me because it made me late for lacrosse practice," Stiles complains indignantly, but then he remembers that it only happened because he hadn't been paying attention to the lesson and quickly changes his tune. "Although I guess that time was mostly my fault…" he quietly adds, looking down at his plate.

Derek sits up straighter on his stool, bare chest puffing out slightly. "How so?"

"Well…it was the day after we ironed everything out between us, and I got sidetracked."

"By what?"

Stiles' cheeks heat up. "By you. It was hard to focus because…"

"Because you couldn't stop thinking about me?" Derek supplies, one eyebrow arched. The sides of his lips twitch as he suppresses a smile.

"Yeah. You're kinda hard not to think about!" Stiles defends himself, jabbing his fork in Derek's direction. "With all your sexiness and stuff! It's actually all your fault."

Derek's allows his smile to properly materialise, his eyes crinkling at the corners. "Well, that's flattering, baby, but I'll have to see what I can do to stop that from happening again. I can't have my boy misbehaving in class and getting in trouble now, can I?"

Stiles stares openmouthed. "Uhh…"

"But we'll worry about that another day," Derek continues, picking up his last strip of bacon and biting half of it off. Once it's in his stomach with his eggs, he keeps talking. "Just try not to get in trouble with Mr. Harris again today, okay? If you can do that for me, you'll make me very happy. I might even be convinced to take you out for ice cream."

When Derek winks at him, Stiles averts his gaze. A small part of him still thinks it should feel weird for Derek to sometimes speak to him like he's younger than he is. He's prevented from quelling it completely because of how his dad seemed to disapprove so vehemently, but he doesn't let it win. He damn well likes this relationship, and he won't let the voices in his head ruin it for him. It just makes him feel cared for, and he needs that every now and then. He believes that everyone does.

"Does that sound like a plan, baby?" Daddy asks him, smirking.

"Uh-huh. I'll be good, Daddy," Stiles answers earnestly. "I'm gonna get Reese's and caramel sauce on mine."

"Are you now? You're gonna be that good for me?"

The mere thought of disappointing Daddy is anathema to Stiles' whole being, so he nods earnestly.

"You'll focus in all of your classes, even Mr. Harris'?" Derek stipulates.

"Yes, Daddy."

"Good boy."

Five minutes later, once their cutlery and plates have all been loaded into the dishwasher, Stiles grabs his phone and backpack from where he'd left them upstairs in the master bedroom, brushes his teeth, and returns downstairs to find it deserted. He doesn't see any sign of Derek anywhere as he makes a circuit of the ground floor, which is odd because he didn't hear the front door open at all. It's as he returns to the foyer that he finds out where Derek got to while he was upstairs, the door that leads down to the basement opening from where it had been pushed to.

Derek emerges with something hidden behind his back and a glint in his eye. "You ready to go, baby?"

Stiles hums his assent and leans slightly to the side to sneak a peek at what must be another surprise for him, but Derek turns in place with him. "Daddy, don't be mean!" he whines.

"Mean? Does Daddy giving you one of his most treasured possessions sound mean to you?"

Stiles is forced to shake his head, but he can't resist pouting at the man, wanting his surprise already. "No…" he concedes.

"That's better. Now, we still have to complete your outfit for the day, so hopefully this will do just the trick."

Stiles recalls what his Daddy said earlier about having to get something out of storage and the pieces of the puzzle click into the place. That's why Derek was in the basement.

"Shut your eyes," Derek instructs.

Stiles complies, practically vibrating with excitement. He hears the shift of stiff fabric and Daddy stepping closer to him, and then he gets a whiff of leather, which is odd because Daddy is still tantalisingly dressed in only a pair of sweatpants.

"Okay, you can look now," Daddy tells him after several moments of tense silence.

When Stiles opens his eyes again, they go wide because in his hands Derek holds a black leather jacket. That explains the smell. The jacket is different from the one Derek wore on their date to the 50s diner, slightly smaller and older-looking but still well-maintained. The design and cut is simple, with silver zipper details at the two pockets near the bottom and several parallel lines of black top stitching over the shoulders. Reaching out to touch the end of one of the long sleeves, Stiles discovers that the leather, while still stiff, is surprisingly supple and smooth between his fingers.

He just knows that it'll be warm and comfortable.

"This is the jacket I used to wear when I was around your age," Derek explains, looking at it with fond reminiscence. "It was my eighteenth birthday present from Laura."

"And you're letting me wear it today?" Stiles asks, amazed.

"I'm letting you have it outright," Derek corrects.

Stiles is stunned and freezes in place. "Wait, what? Are you serious?"

"Deadly. Go on. Try it on."

Stiles isn't one to turn down such an offer, so he takes the jacket and slips his arms in the sleeves. He makes a few adjustments to get it to sit right on his frame, but once it's all in place, it feels like it fits him well. He holds his arms out at his sides and looks at Derek to get his opinion.

"It suits you, baby," Derek says, brushing imaginary dust off of his shoulders. "Just like I knew it would."

"You really don't mind me having it?" Stiles enquires. He'd hate to get his hopes up only to have them dashed. "Your sister gave it to you…"

Derek cups his cheeks in his hands. "I don't mind at all. It doesn't fit me anymore anyway, so it would just be sitting in my basement forever. This way, someone still gets some use out of it, and I can't think of anyone better to pass it on to than my gorgeous boy."

Stiles surges forward and beings their lips together. He injects all of his gratitude into the kiss and moans when Daddy's tongue invades his mouth. Daddy still tastes of bacon.

"I should go," he whispers regretfully when the kiss reaches its natural conclusion.

"You should," Derek agrees. "Wouldn't be good to be late. You might get detention, and then I'd have to spank you."

Stiles shudders in Daddy's arms. "God…"

Daddy bites Stiles' bottom lip, leaving a pleasant sting. "Ah, I see now. Something tells me that a spanking wouldn't be a very good punishment for when my boy is naughty, would it?"

Stiles can't admit it, so he ducks his head and hides in Daddy's neck, his face aflame all over again.

"I'll have to come up with another punishment then. Maybe withholding orgasms. Would that work?"

Stiles whimpers and grinds his rapidly hardening dick against Derek's crotch. "Daddy…"

"Yeah, I think that would work very well." Derek runs his hands down Stiles' back and squeezes Stiles' ass cheeks. "We'll save the spankings for rewards instead."

Fucking hell, he's trying to kill me, Stiles thinks. How am I supposed to focus in school when he leaves me hard and needy like this?

"Daddy, you're being mean again," he grumbles, leaning back to look at Derek with his pout back in full force.

"I'm sure you'll find a way to go on," Derek says with a laugh. He walks Stiles back toward the front door, opens it and picks Stiles' backpack up from the floor. After putting it on his boy's shoulder, he walks with him over the threshold and pecks him on the lips one last time. "Have a good day, baby boy. Try not to worry too much about your dad, okay? I'll be here when you get home."

Stiles doesn't even think about how Derek referred to his own house as Stiles' home. He just nods like it's all completely normal. Of course his home is with his Daddy. "I'll try, Daddy. When— Actually, you know what, never mind."

Derek tilts his head to the side. "What were you going to say?"

"When you see my dad today, can you make sure he's alright?" Stiles entreaties, unable to stomach the idea of his dad not taking care of himself, even if they're currently at odds. "Like, make sure he's not still drinking and he hasn't started stuffing junk food down his throat or something. I think there are still some leftovers in the fridge from Friday. They should be good, so get him to eat those."

Derek accepts the request immediately. "Of course."

Stiles breathes a sigh of relief. "Thank you, Daddy."

"It's no problem, baby. Now, no putting it off any more. Off to school you go!"

With much reluctance, Stiles walks down the font path to where he parked his Jeep yesterday morning. He gets into the driver's seat, puts his keys in the ignition and peers back up at the porch as he turns them. His Daddy is still standing on the doormat, watching him with a smile on his unfairly handsome face, and he raises his arm to wave when he sees Stiles looking his way. Stiles waves back, reluctantly returns his eyes to the road and sets off for school.

* * *

John Stilinski wakes up with a pounding headache. He picks his head up, looks at his surroundings and is dismayed to discover that he's still in his living room, fully dressed. He must have kept drinking and passed out on the sofa after Stiles didn't come home last night.

What is John going to do about his son? Just thinking about him and Derek exacerbates his headache like nobody's business. He holds a hand to his temple as he levers himself up into a sitting position and spots the empty bottle of whiskey on the coffee table. Jesus, how much did he end up drinking? He swears that the bottle was untouched when he got off work yesterday morning, his phone call with Elaine Wilkinson plaguing his mind. Yeah, he definitely got carried away.

"Good job, John…" he chastises himself. "Really mature way to handle your problems."

He should know better. He should've learned that drowning himself in alcohol isn't wise when he tried it after his beloved Claudia passed, but apparently he didn't.

It takes some effort, but John manages to push himself to his feet. He picks up the bottle, takes it into the kitchen and disposes of it in the container for glass recycling like he's hiding the evidence. He drags himself over to the coffee maker and switches it on, needing some caffeine to wake himself up properly.

He wonders what time it is. The sun's up, so it must be morning. Getting the time from the clock on the microwave, John frowns because Stiles should be getting ready for school right now, bustling about the house in his usual hurricane-like manner. So why is the house quiet?

John sighs when the answer comes to him. Stiles mustn't have come home at all, not even after John was unconscious. John can easily surmise where his son was:

With Derek.

"Such a damn mess," he mumbles, running a hand down his tired face. He suddenly feels a lot older than he is—too old to be dealing with all of this stuff.

He wishes not for the first time that Claudia was still with him. She would know what to do, or at the very least John would have someone with whom he could share his thoughts. They were the perfect team, and ever since she died, John has had to struggle through parenting Stiles all by himself.

It wasn't a burden—he loves Stiles more than anything else in the world—but raising a child with two parents is hard enough. Doing it on his own? He thinks that, were their positions reversed and he was the one who died instead, Claudia would've done a better job than him. If nothing else, John is sure that she wouldn't have confronted Stiles while well on her way to getting drunk.

Shaking his head at his past self, John pours himself a big mug of coffee and takes his first bitter sip. He can't be bothered to add cream or sugar to it. He doesn't deserve it anyway.

As he drinks, John ponders what his next step should be. Here he is feeling sorry for himself at home while his son is off staying with a much older man who likes to be called Daddy. Stiles should be living with him until he goes off to college next year, not with Derek. John still doesn't get it. With his eyes closed, he replays what he remembers of the talk he had with Stiles yesterday morning, searching for anything he could've said to avoid sending his son right into Derek's arms.

He doesn't like he finds.

The way he spoke to Stiles, how he dismissed him when Stiles bravely attempted to defend himself… John winces when Stiles' face flashes behind his eyelids, both stubborn and heartbroken because his dad had judged and disapproved of his choices. John doesn't relish the knowledge that he made his son look at him like that, and he'd give anything to go back and change how he went about things.

Why, oh, why did he dig out the whiskey?

When he has finished his coffee, John is no closer to sorting through his thoughts. They're all jumbled up in his head, a tangle of emotions that don't paint a very pretty picture. Again, he'd give anything to have someone to talk to, someone who could help him get his head on straight. But he doesn't. He'll have to work it out himself and reach a place where Stiles will be willing to talk to him. Until he does, there's no doubt in his mind that Stiles will continue to stay with Derek.

John feels a paroxysm of anger at his supposed friend.

How could Derek do that?

How could Derek touch his son?

Stiles is an adult, yes, but it's like an unspoken rule in John's circle of friends that each other's children are off limits. John would guess that it's like that for the vast majority of adult friendship groups, so what made Derek so special that he thought he could go behind John's back and take Stiles for himself? Derek is likely sleeping with him as well, and all while Stiles is still living at home.

John doesn't think he would be quite so annoyed if it happened even a year from now, when Stiles was already off at college and experiencing proper independence.

But that wasn't how it happened, so John would say that his anger is at least partially justified.

With the decision that he'll be having some choice words with Derek very soon, John sets down his empty mug and looks at the glass recycling bin again. He should really put it out. He grabs it, takes it outside and sets it down on the curb to be collected, his mood brightening slightly now that he's actually doing something and not just stewing in his feelings. He turns back around and retraces his steps up the front path, intent on having a shower to wash off how gross he feels. He makes it halfway before someone calls out to him.

"John! You're looking rough this morning," Elaine Wilkinson observes from where she stands watering the plants in her garden.

The need to be polite has John stopping in his tracks. "Hey, Elaine. I guess you could say that."

Elaine puts down her watering can and gives the sheriff her full attention. "Are you okay?"

John should really tell her that he's fine and continue to go about his business, but he doesn't. He sees an opportunity instead. Elaine already knows about Stiles and Derek—or at least she suspects it—and she has known Stiles for almost his whole life. John can't talk things out with Claudia, but Elaine might be a decent enough substitute.

"Actually, is it okay if I stop by in half an hour or so? I could use a talk," John requests.

"Oh, of course!" Elaine responds, perking up. She's obviously happy to have the company. "I'll put on some tea!"

Before John can say that he doesn't want any, Elaine has already disappeared into her house with speed that's surprising for someone of her age. He shrugs.

Seems he'll be having tea, after all.

* * *

"So, what's this all about, dear?" Elaine asks John once they're both seated on opposite ends of the floral-patterned sofa in her living room. Two cups of tea steam on the coffee table.

John picks his cup up purely to have something to do with his hands. "It's about Stiles," he replies.

"Oh?"

"Specifically, it's about what you saw the other evening."

The bemusement clears from Elaine's face and is replaced by realisation. "Oh yes, the man I saw him with. Did you manage to get to the bottom of that?"

John nods slowly. "Yeah, I did."

"Well, don't leave me in suspense, dear! My heart can only take so much anticipation at my age."

John cracks a smile. "The man you saw Stiles with was a friend of mine, Derek Hale. I actually introduced them when Stiles tagged along to a basketball game we had with a few of the other guys two weeks ago, and apparently there was a mutual spark between them because you were right—what you saw was the beginning of a date."

"Oh my!" Elaine clutches a hand to her chest. "That is a surprise. I thought my eyes must have been deceiving me."

"I wish that was the case…"

"You talked to Stiles about it, I take it?"

John sips from his cup, thinking that he'll need to use a toilet very soon with both the tea and the coffee in his system. "Yesterday. It didn't go very well."

Elaine picks up her tea as well and meets John's gaze without judgment. "Walk me through it, then."

Over the next ten minutes, John relays to Elaine as much of his confrontation with Stiles as he remembers. He's certain that he didn't forget much of it, so he's able to give her a good understanding of exactly what transpired. Her mouth twists into a grimace when he mentions the whiskey, but she doesn't interrupt, and by the time John is done, she's looking down into her tea with her brow furrowed in concentration. He allows her time to process everything he just told her and keeps drinking his own beverage before it has a chance to go completely cold.

"Okay, I think I've got it," she says eventually.

"You do?" John prompts, on tenterhooks.

"Before I give you my opinion, I have a question—this…'Daddy' thing you spoke of, what exactly does that entail?"

John racks his brain for the information he'd seen on Derek's computer a few years ago. "He likes being with people who are much younger than him and taking care of them. At least that's what I think. I don't want to even contemplate the alternative."

"Working under the assumption that that's true, here's what I've come up with," Elaine says, sitting up straight. "If Derek is the man you say he is, then it seems entirely feasible to me that Stiles would gravitate toward someone like him."

John is caught off-guard. "It…it does?"

"Yes."

"How'd you reach that conclusion?"

"I'm going to give you some hard truths right now, but please don't think I think ill of you. I know you did the best you could."

John becomes wary but forces his mind to remain open. "Alright."

"After Claudia passed, Stiles had just one parent, and because of your job, you weren't around that much," Elaine expounds. "Again, I'm not judging. It's just fact. Your job is very important, and I know Stiles well enough to feel confident saying that he would deny he missed out on anything while growing up with you as his father. But I believe that he did, at least a little bit. After his mother died, he missed out on truly being a child."

What Elaine is saying isn't as bad as John thought it would be, so he makes a gesture for her to keep talking.

"Because you were so busy, he was often on his own," the woman says. "I didn't mind stepping in every now and then to look after him while you were working and his friend's mother—Melissa, was it?—couldn't watch him either, but there was only so much I could do. I wasn't you, you see, so it wasn't the same."

John nods, listening to every word closely.

"Compounding that was the fact that your job can be very dangerous. I don't know if you recall, but Stiles used to have nightmares about some criminal taking you away from him as well."

This shocks John. He does recall his son having nightmares, but Stiles never told him what they were about. "He did?"

"He didn't tell you," Elaine correctly assumes. "My guess is because he didn't want to make you feel bad."

That sounds like his Stiles, John has to admit. His kind-hearted boy…

"So, as he grew, his need to keep his only remaining parent alive led to him not thinking like a child should. He worried for your safety all the time and did everything in his power to make sure you came home to him at the end of each day." Elaine smiles softly, displaying the affection she holds for the boy. "He actually asked me to help him with some cooking a few months after Claudia passed, said he wanted to learn more healthy recipes so that there was less chance of you dying."

John's eyes sting.

Elaine says nothing about it. "I've seen the two of you interacting from time and time, and it's not like it was with me and my children. You were still the parent when it came down to it, but there was more partnership there. You wanted to take care of him and help him grow into the best man he could be, and in return, he wanted to take care of you and keep you alive for as long as he could."

This part isn't news to John. He has always known that Stiles is mature for his age, but hearing it from an outsider's perspective is different. Stiles shouldn't have had to think like that.

Elaine delicately puts her cup back down on its saucer. "After all those years fretting about your safety…like I said, it seems only natural to me that Stiles would be drawn to a man who would take some of that pressure off of his shoulders. If Derek truly does that for him—and if there are genuine feelings there—I don't see an issue with it."

"Even with Stiles calling him Daddy?" John asks, still hung up on that aspect.

"So they're a little different. So what? They're not hurting anyone, and if that part of their relationship carries over into the bedroom, well…" Elaine grins. "Some of the things my late Henry and I used to get up to would put them to shame."

John gapes. He really didn't need to know that. "Oh."

"Sorry. Was that too much?"

John shakes his head in denial. "N-no…"

"Look." Elaine reaches out and takes John's hand in hers. "There's not much else I can say, and there's only so much we can assume. The only way you're going to find closure with this is if you talk to both of them and get the story straight from their mouths. My advice? Just bite the bullet and do it—and when you do, don't act like you did yesterday. Absolutely no alcohol, you hear me?"

John swallows tightly. "I hear you. No alcohol," he echoes.

"Good. I hope I helped you. I really do."

John puts his other hand over hers and squeezes. "You did. You've given me a lot to think about."

"I hope it goes well, John. You deserve happiness, and so does Stiles."

John hears what's unsaid. Elaine means that Stiles deserves to be happy, and if it's Derek that gets him there, John needs to accept it.

A few minutes later, he leaves Elaine's house and reenters his own. He stands with his back to the front door after closing it and stares up at the ceiling. He still has a lot of thoughts and feelings about Stiles' choices, but they're no longer quite as confused. "I'll make this right, Claudia," he whispers, pushing away from the door to retrieve his phone from the living room. He has a friend to contact.

Chapter Text

- Monday, December 2nd, 2013 -

Just after midday, Derek taps his finger against his steering wheel as he drives toward the Stilinski residence. Shortly after his boy left for school, Derek received a text message from John, asking him to come over at around lunchtime so that they could talk. As he promised Stiles, Derek had already planned on visiting John to discuss the state of their friendship and his rapidly developing relationship with John's son, so to him, it was almost kismet. He was still nervous, though, because the wording in the sheriff's text hadn't revealed much about how he was coping.

When he arrives at the house, Derek pulls up to the curb and cuts the engine of his Camaro. He sits there for a minute, bracing himself, and then gets out and walks up the path to the front door. It opens just before he reaches it.

"I saw you pull up," John explains, stepping aside to let Derek in.

When the door is closed again, Derek tries to gauge how John is feeling. John stares back, his hair recently washed and his jeans and white T-shirt both clean and free of stains or wrinkles. He's obviously dealing a bit better than he was when Stiles left the house yesterday, but his face is an inscrutable mask. Derek curses that John has tons of experience hiding his emotions thanks to his job.

"So…" he says.

"So."

"Should we sit down?"

"I don't know. Should we?"

Derek frowns. He's not used to feeling this uncomfortable or unwelcome in John's home, but he supposes it's to be expected. He hesitates for a moment and then walks into the kitchen, deciding that, to start with, he should follow through on the other promise he made to Stiles.

"What're you doing?" John asks, tailing him with a frown of his own.

"Checking for leftovers," Derek answers as he opens the fridge.

Like Stiles said, there's a Tupperware container of leftover food on one of the shelves—a tuna-pasta bake with a sprinkling of melted cheese on top, Derek notes with approval. He takes out the container, sets it on the counter and rummages around in the cupboards for a plate to dish the food out onto.

John huffs, displaying his first hint of emotion: annoyance. "I didn't say you could eat my food. You're not exactly in my good books right now."

"That's fine. It's not for me."

"Then who's it for?"

Derek glances at John over his shoulder. "You."

This erases the sheriff's irritation, surprise taking its place. "Me? Why?"

"Because Stiles asked me to make sure you were taking care of yourself while he's not here," Derek answers calmly. Once the plate is filled, he sticks it in the microwave.

"He did?"

"Yes. He also asked me to stop you from drinking if you still were. From the state of you," Derek looks John up and down again, "I don't have to do that part. Do I?"

John shakes his head. "No. I've got a bit of a hangover, but I haven't had a drop since last night."

"Good."

The frown appears again. "Where would you get off judging me anyway? I'm the one who has the right to be judgmental here."

Derek takes a deep breath to prevent himself from leaping straight into defending his relationship with Stiles. He'd go too hard and likely end up just making Stiles' dad even more angry with him. He hasn't been punched yet, so that bodes well. "How about we wait to hash all of that out until you've eaten your lunch?" he suggests, just in time for the microwave to beep obnoxiously. The kitchen is filled with the aroma of tuna and spices as Derek gets the plate out and forces John to take it from him.

"I never said I was hungry."

"Tough. Like I already said, Stiles wanted me to make sure you're taking care of yourself, so that's what I'm going to do."

"Like you care. If you did, you've wouldn't have gone behind my back and gone after my son."

"John, seriously," Derek says, not above pleading. "Food first. Then we'll talk."

John doesn't seem impressed, but he doesn't offer another argument and instead traipses into the living room to sit down on the sofa. Derek joins him, sitting awkwardly at the other end and staring off into the distance as he ruminates on how he should go about repairing their friendship. John is still evidently harbouring some negative feelings toward him, and Derek understands them to an extent. After all, he doesn't know how he'd react were their positions reversed; if he had an eighteen-year-old son and he found out that John was in a relationship with him.

Derek also played it off when Stiles first came to his house that fateful night, saying that he'd deal with the fallout of John finding out about them later. Now that the fallout is here, Derek wishes he'd taken the time to think things through properly so that he was better prepared. He doesn't for a second regret his decision to involve himself with Stiles, but the way he did it wasn't really the best.

Okay, good…maybe he can open with that. If he shows his genuine remorse that he hurt John, then maybe John will be more receptive to hearing the rest of what he has to say.

It's a start, at least.

"Alright, I'm done," the sheriff announces suddenly, putting his empty plate on the coffee table.

Derek sits up straighter and faces the other man.

For a moment, John says nothing else, just stares down at his own lap, but when he looks up, his expression is determined. "I've done a lot of thinking over the past twenty-four hours, and I had a good talk with Elaine about what I should do about you and my son…"

"Who's Elaine?"

"She lives next door. She's the one who saw you leaving with Stiles."

Derek nods slowly. "Oh."

"She helped me come to terms with a few things, but I haven't reached a decision yet," John responds. "That's where you come in."

"Okay."

"I love my son more than anyone else on this planet, Derek," John says. "There's nothing I wouldn't do for him. I also care about you, despite what you've done. When Elaine told me what she saw and then when Stiles confirmed it, I honestly didn't know what to think. It was like you were playing some sick joke on me, because there was no way you'd ever do something like that, right?"

Derek is still saddened that he upset his friend, but he refuses to feel bad about his very real feelings for Stiles. "John…"

"I was so angry at you, but Elaine talked a lot of sense," the sheriff continues like Derek hadn't spoken. "I'm still angry, but my mind is clearer now. I know that me reacting the way I did hurt Stiles a lot, so I want to sort this out."

"I want that too. I'd hate to lose your friendship."

"Even if we do reach an understanding today, I doubt we'll ever be friends like we were," John warns. He visibly regrets saying it, but he doesn't take it back.

Derek sighs, but he can't blame John. If he has his way, Stiles is going to be his boy for a long time yet, and it's reasonable that things between him and John would shift because of that.

"Anyway, I have some reservations and hang ups, and I need you to answer some questions for me before I talk to my son," John says.

"I can do that."

"I want honest answers."

Derek arches an eyebrow at him. "Even if you don't like them?"

"Yes."

"I'll try my best then."

"Good." John is silent for a moment, pensive, and then he speaks again. "What're your intentions with my son?"

Derek's eyes go wide. "Wow, we're jumping right to the important stuff."

"Just answer the question."

Derek fumbles to gather himself. "I'll admit that when I first saw him, I thought he was cute and I wanted him."

John wrinkles his nose, not wanting to hear about his son being viewed in a sexual light.

"Hey, you asked for the truth!" Derek defends himself, holding up his palms.

"Just don't go too far," John cautions. Derek gets the impression that John would really like to have a beer in his hand right now, but he doesn't leave to get one. "Aside from him being safe, there are some things a father doesn't want to know about his child."

"Right. Well, I liked him on sight, and after spending a bit of time talking to him when you had me over for dinner and then bumping into him at the movies, I found that I liked Stiles' personality too. But I never actually planned to do anything about it."

"Why?"

"I could tell that he was affected by my presence, but I was going to wait until he graduated. But…" When Derek trails off, wondering how much he should reveal without checking with Stiles first, John gestures for him to get on with it, impatience showing. So Derek keeps talking and hopes that Stiles won't be mad at him when he relays this conversation to him later. "When Stiles came over to my house to return the credit card I dropped here," he says, unable to stop himself from smiling at the memory, "he actually made the first move, and I just…let him."

John seems confused, like what Derek is telling him doesn't quite match up to what he had envisioned the start of Derek and Stiles' relationship being like. "Stiles came onto you first?"

Derek nods. "Yes. Why?"

"It's nothing," John says, evading the question one moment and then elaborating anyway the next. "I just…I know that Stiles is stubborn and determined sometimes, but I didn't think he'd be so bold. He's never really talked about romance or crushes or anything—aside from the crush he had on a girl at school for a while a couple years back."

Derek knows exactly who John means. "Lydia Martin. Stiles told me about her. She sounds…fiery."

John meets Derek's gaze coolly. "From what he rambled to me, she is."

Sensing that it would be wise to move on, Derek keeps talking. "Anyway, the next morning, we had a discussion over breakfast about—"

"Wait," John interrupts, going tense. "He spent the night?"

Derek blinks. "Yes?"

John grimaces. "I'll have to talk to him about that…"

"Why? He's a legal adult," Derek reminds his friend.

"Yes, but while he's still living at home and in high school, I'd like to be told where he is just in case anything happens," John asserts. He looks at Derek as if daring him to contradict him.

Derek doesn't. He doesn't address it at all, in fact, just carries on his tale. "The next morning, we had a discussion over breakfast about what was going to happen next and the type of relationship we were going to have—whether we wanted to leave it as just one night of fun, or if we wanted more. We both wanted more."

John takes this in but doesn't respond to it yet. "You still haven't really answered my first question."

"My intentions with Stiles are simple," Derek says firmly. "I like him and could easily see myself actually falling for him, and I know that Stiles feels the same way about me too. So I intend to keep seeing him for as long as he wants me."

The frown returns to John's face, and he bites the inside of his cheek. "How do you know that Stiles feels that way about you? He's young. He could change his mind very quickly."

Derek smiles again, recalling the words Stiles said to him at the end of the previous night. "I know because he told me."

"He told you what?" John presses, searching for specifics.

"That he loved me. It was right before he fell asleep last night, so I don't think he meant to say it. He didn't remember it this morning."

"Isn't that a bit soon? You've only known each other for just over two weeks!"

"For a conventional relationship, I'd agree with you. But not for us. The type we have requires a lot more trust, which we have in spades, and that sort of trust creates a quicker bond. It's the same with BDSM relationships. And anyway, feelings can just develop quickly for some people, everything else aside."

"I suppose I see your point."

"As for Stiles changing his mind about me further down the line, if he eventually did, well…I'd just have to let him go."

"You'd do that?"

"John, despite of what's happened, you still know me. I see myself as a good man. It might end up breaking me, but if Stiles ever wanted to leave, of course I'd let him go."

John watches Derek for a long time after this, but Derek doesn't really notice. He's too caught up in his own head, reliving the moment he heard those wonderful three words over and over again. He wanted to reciprocate over breakfast this morning, but when it became clear that Stiles had no idea what he said while half-asleep, he resolved to wait until Stiles said it for real.

"You really do care for him, don't you?" John enquires after a few more seconds, amazement in his voice.

Derek tears himself from his memories and reenters the present. "Hmm?"

"The expression on your face just now…" John sighs, all the fight leaving him with his breath. "My son is really in love with a forty-one-year-old man, and there's nothing I can do about it, is there?"

It's a rhetorical question, so Derek doesn't answer.

"Alright," John says soon afterward. "I still have to talk to Stiles, but…as long as you don't hurt him, I won't interfere."

Derek is surprised. He thought it would take more than this to bring John around. "Really?"

"Really. This wasn't what I envisioned for Stiles' life at all, but if you really make him happy, I won't stand in your way."

"Thank you, John," Derek says earnestly, feeling great relief. He would have been with Stiles regardless, but it's nice to know that Stiles won't be on the outs with his dad anymore. He'd felt awful when his boy showed up on his doorstep in tears.

John picks his plate up from the coffee table and takes it into the kitchen, leaving Derek on his own in the living room. The bearded man hears John put the plate in the dishwasher and the tap running, and then the sheriff walks back into the room with a tall glass of water in hand. He doesn't offer to get Derek one, but Derek doesn't mind. He has already asked a lot of John today, and their friendship will take a while to get back to a solid place. They're already starting to do that, so he's satisfied.

"Maybe you can help me with something else," John says as he sits down again.

"Anything," Derek assents easily.

"This whole…'Daddy'…thing, what's that about? I don't want to say anything to offend Stiles when we reconcile."

"Ah, yeah, that would be bad. Once was enough." Derek chuckles, the sound mostly humourless.

"Was he really upset after what I said before?"

"You asked for the truth, so…yes, he was pretty affected by it. He cried."

"Goddammit, John…" the sheriff murmurs to himself, shaking his head at his past self.

"It'll be fine," Derek comforts him. He feels they've reached a place where he's allowed again, so he reaches out and pats his friend's shoulder. "Just apologise and he'll forgive you. He's that kind of guy."

"I will."

"As for me being Stiles' Daddy, it means what we want it to mean. How much do you already know?"

"Not much, to be honest. That's probably why I was so judgmental at the beginning, because I didn't understand and was imagining all of these horrible things."

Derek is unfortunately used to getting such reactions, so he takes this one in stride and doesn't hold it against John. "Well, for Stiles and I, all it means is that I look out for him. If he has difficulty handling something, then I step in and help him. He still has his independence, if that's something you're concerned about. That was one of the things we discussed, that he'd still go about his life as normal—go to college, get a job, etcetera—but I'd be there whenever he needed me. It would just be in a slightly different capacity than a more conventional relationship."

"So you don't…" John shifts uneasily.

"Don't what?"

"You don't treat Stiles like he's a baby or a toddler or something. Right?"

Derek shakes his head. "I don't. He does act a bit younger than his age when we're alone together, but he's still in full control of himself. There are also no diapers, pacifiers, bottles or anything like that. Stiles didn't want to go that far."

"Oh. Good."

"There wouldn't have been anything wrong with him if he did," Derek says firmly. He can't rule out the possibility that, in the future, Stiles' wants and needs could become more involved as he continues to explore and discover his likes and dislikes. Derek has to make sure that John won't say the wrong thing or act the wrong way again if that day ever comes.

John peers disbelievingly at Derek. "There wouldn't?"

"No," Derek affirms. "I'm not saying it's common, but there's an entire community out there filled with men and women who want that. I experimented a bit with it myself before I realised that a more intense arrangement wasn't really for me. But, to me, as long as everything is between consenting adults, then there's absolutely nothing wrong with it. Does that make sense?"

John inclines his head, conceding that it does, at least vaguely.

"Anyway, I doubt you'll have to worry about hearing Stiles call me Daddy or anything for quite a while at least," Derek goes on. "He's not comfortable saying it around other people yet. It's just when we're alone for the time being. And if Stiles ever reaches the point where he does want the things I just mentioned, there's no doubt in my mind that he would never let you see him like that. It would only be in private, just between me and him."

"That's…relieving."

"Would you judge him?"

John mulls it over. "I'd try not to."

"That'll have to do for now. Just don't let him see it if you do. You'll only hurt him again and make him ashamed of himself, and neither of us wants that for him."

"That's what I did yesterday, wasn't it?" John guesses, disappointed in himself all over again. He doesn't dwell on it, though. "I won't show it. And who knows? I'll keep thinking about it, and maybe if the time ever comes, I'll be in a place where I can accept it."

"Here's hoping."

"Alright," John says, apparently satisfied with everything so far. "I've given you my blessing, but I don't want to hear or see anything, if you catch my drift."

Derek does. "You got it."

"And until he's graduated and officially moved out, I want to know if Stiles is staying at your house. And I don't want him staying there every night."

"Okay. And what happens if, at some point down the road, Stiles becomes comfortable calling me Daddy around you?"

John swallows tightly, but he doesn't look sickened by the concept. "Then I'll have to get used to it."

Derek smiles slightly. "I'm glad, because I sincerely believe it's what he needs. He spends a lot of time worrying about other people and making sure they're okay, or hung up on what they're thinking about him. He needs someone to take the weight of all that off of his shoulders every now and then. I'm more than happy to do that for him, and knowing that you accept him for everything he is should go a long way to making him happy and content with himself. He deserves that."

John sighs again, but it's not as sad an action as before. "He really does. He's such a good kid."

Derek stays for another few minutes and then takes his leave. They have nothing else to talk about, and he's happy with where his friendship with John is for now—not quite healed yet, but getting there. When he steps out the front door, John calls his name.

"Yeah?" he says, turning back around on the doormat.

John stands there holding the door open. "I'm going to spend the rest of the day coming to terms with everything. It all needs time to sink in, but could you tell Stiles to come see me after school tomorrow?" he requests. "And tell him that there's nothing that could make me stop loving him."

Derek nods immediately. "I will."

John gives him a grateful smile, the first smile Derek has got the whole time he's been at the house. "I'll see you some other time then."

"Yeah. Probably a lot more often," Derek notes.

"Probably."

With a wave, Derek walks down the front path to his Camaro. Before he drives off, he shoots Stiles a text to let him know that everything went okay. If he knows his boy—and he likes to think he's really getting to—then Stiles will have fretted all day so far, in spite of Derek telling him not to before he sent him off. It feels good to be able to alleviate such stress.

Once the text is sent, he puts his keys in the ignition and begins the short drive back home, already planning another date to keep Stiles' mind off of things for the evening. They won't have to go to the next town over this time, either, now that everything's out in the open. It provides a lot more variety as to what they can do together, and Derek can't wait to experience it all with his baby boy.

Chapter Text

- Monday, December 2nd, 2013 -

When he gets to school, Stiles takes a moment before getting out of his Jeep and walking inside the main building. He doesn't see his best friend Scott anywhere right away, so he walks through the halls to his locker by himself. A few of his peers glance his way when they notice the leather jacket Derek gave him—some of them with confusion on their faces because he has never worn anything like it to school before, and others with approval. It feels nice to be met with the latter for once. It makes him hold his head high as he turns the last corner and finally reaches his locker.

After transferring into it some books that he won't need until later in the day, Stiles slams the locker shut and turns to find Scott approaching him with his girlfriend on his arm.

"Hey, dude!" Scott greets when he reaches him. He pulls Stiles into a hug like they haven't seen each other in months instead of a single weekend.

"Hey," Stiles replies, waving at Allison over Scott's shoulder.

When the embrace ends, Scott steps back again and smiles at him. "Dude, where did you get that jacket? It's sweet!"

Stiles can't help but smile too. "Oh, it was a gift."

"From who? Where'd they get it?"

Stiles smooths his hands anxiously down the front of the buttery-soft leather. He doesn't want to talk about it right in the middle of the hall like this, so he says, "I'll tell you about it later, if that's okay."

Scott frowns but thankfully doesn't push. "Oh. Yeah, sure, I guess."

The bell rings then, and Allison taps Scott's arm. "We should get to class." She looks to Stiles. "You have English now too, right?"

Stiles nods. "Yeah. Let's go."

As a trio, they walk leisurely through the school to their English classroom, with Allison and Scott talking quietly to each other the whole way there. Stiles would usually feel left out by this, like he's the unwelcome third wheel, but he doesn't mind it today. He's actually happy for Allison's presence because it keeps Scott's attention off of him—if she wasn't there, he knows from years of friendship that Scott will very quickly get tired of waiting and ask him again about where he got his jacket.

Stiles is ready to tell Scott about him being bisexual and about Derek, but he'd prefer if the whole school didn't know yet. While Scott might not understand the part where Stiles is seeing a forty-one-year-old man, Stiles doesn't think the other boy will really judge him for it. He doesn't think that would be the case with the rest of the school, though, especially when it comes to some of the more popular kids. Specifically, if Jackson Whittemore ever found out, he'd probably be on Stiles' case and ceaselessly refer to Derek as his sugar daddy.

Or maybe something worse.

Sure, Stiles would know it wasn't true, but he doesn't like the thought of anyone else assuming that's the reason he's with Derek. He shudders just thinking about it. It's going to be a sad reality about their relationship wherever they go, he knows that, but he'd rather not experience such scrutiny unless it's absolutely necessary. Besides, it's his life—no one else besides him, Derek and his dad has any right to know anything about what he does outside of school unless he wants them too.

Inside the English classroom now, Stiles trails behind Scott and Allison to a set of desks in the second-to-last row. Speaking of Jackson, once Stiles is seated, he spots the lacrosse captain in the front row next to a head of luscious, strawberry-blonde hair. He swears that Jackson and Lydia are never apart, both walking around the school like they own the place, their noses up each other's asses. This used to bother Stiles. He deluded himself into thinking that, if he could just get Lydia alone, he could convince her that they were meant to be together. She'd toss Jackson aside like yesterday's trash, and together they'd ride off into the sunset. Delusions, indeed.

As he waits for the class to begin, he wonders what the hell his past self was thinking. That never would have happened, and it was foolish of him to chase after Lydia like a lost puppy for so long. She must have thought he was pathetic. That is, if she even noticed him at all. With the distance and perspective Stiles has recently acquired, he doubts she did.

Thank God that part of his life is over. He's much happier now that he's not living in a fantasy, now that he knows he didn't belong with Lydia at all.

He belongs with Derek. With his Daddy.

Just thinking about the older man is enough to make Stiles' stomach all fluttery and his heart rate kick up a notch or two. Without conscious thought, he turns his head, puts his nose on the shoulder of his jacket and inhales long and slow, breathing in the scent of leather and… It's probably just his imagination because the jacket was in the basement for years and couldn't possibly still smell of its previous owner, but somehow Stiles gets a whiff of his Daddy's wonderful scent, all masculine and spicy.

The power of the brain, he figures, not complaining.

When he's done, he sees Scott staring at him out of the corner of his eye. "What?" he asks nonchalantly, pretending that he did nothing out of the ordinary.

Scott shakes his head. "You're acting weird. Seriously, what's up with that jacket?"

Stiles struggles to come up with an explanation for his behaviour on the spot, but in the next second their teacher walks in and demands silence. Stiles is off the hook for now, but Scott shoots him a look that very clearly says they'll be revisiting this later. By then, Stiles will have hopefully come up with a good way to ease the other boy into knowing the best thing that he thinks has ever happened to him in his life. Fuck, does he hope Scott takes it well.

He doesn't know what he'll do if the reveal goes poorly.

* * *

During lunch, Stiles is sitting in the cafeteria with Scott, Allison and a couple of guys from the lacrosse team—Adam and Lane—who aren't lackeys of Jackson's. It's a pleasant time, really, even if the food today isn't all that appetising. Stiles mostly pushes it around with no interest in eating it while he listens to the conversations going on around him, offering little input himself. Scott and Allison are caught up in each other as usual, and Adam and Lane are in the middle of a heated discussion about whether Dark Souls 2 is a better game than its predecessor.

"You got it when it came out, right, Stiles?" Adam asks suddenly. Both he and Lane stare at Stiles, needing a tie-breaker.

"Uh, yeah, but I haven't beaten it yet," Stiles answers.

"Why not? It came out weeks ago! What've you been doing?"

Spending as much time as I can with a sexy-as-hell man in his forties who I call Daddy, Stiles thinks. He chuckles to himself as he imagines the looks he'd see on Adam and Lane's faces if he actually said those words out loud.

"I've just been busy," Stiles says instead, choosing to be safe. Scott is the first—and maybe only—person at school that he wants to tell the truth. Possibly Allison, by extension.

Adam frowns. "With what?"

"Just…stuff."

This catches Scott's attention, and he butts into the conversation. "He's been busy with his new girlfriend," he says teasingly, waggling his eyebrows.

Stiles' eyes go wide and his mouth drops open. Wow, what a traitor.

"Dude, since when do you have a girlfriend?" Adam enquires, shocked. "No offence."

"Some taken," Stiles responds.

"Is that where you got that jacket from? I've been meaning to ask," Lane says, sitting forward with his elbows on the table. "It looks cool."

"That's my theory, but I haven't been able to get it out of him yet." Scott brings out his puppy-dog eyes, which usually never fail to have Stiles agreeing to whatever crap he wants to do.

"Don't hold out on us! Who is she?" Adam asks excitedly, his very important debate with Lane all but forgotten.

Stiles glances around and finds four sets of eyes on him. "Uhh…you wouldn't know them," he says, avoiding the use of a gendered pronoun. He's pleased when it seems that none of the other three guys notice, but Allison gets a bit more speculative. She doesn't call him out on it, though, and Stiles trusts that she won't. She's not that kind of girl.

"Just give up," Scott says to Adam and Lane. "If he hasn't told me yet, he's not telling you two."

"Ugh, no fair…" Adam whines. "You could've been a bro and let me live vicariously, Stiles. I haven't gotten any since Ashley broke up with me, and that was over a month ago!"

"Wow, your poor balls," Lane says, patting him mockingly on his shoulder.

"I know, right?"

A minute later, Stiles' phone vibrates in the pocket of the chinos Derek picked out for him that morning. When he thinks that the focus is no longer on him, he takes the device out, unlocks it and finds a text from his Daddy. He holds his phone close as he reads it, lessening the chances of anyone else seeing the screen. The text reassures him that Derek just finished talking to the sheriff and everything went fine, and that he'll tell Stiles what happened in more detail when Stiles gets home. Stiles doesn't think the word 'relieved' covers the amount of weight that leaves him with that information.

He sends a text back to thank the man, and his phone vibrates again very quickly:

[DADDY / 12:05 p.m.]
You're welcome, baby. :) As for what we're doing later, I know we agreed on ice cream, but afterward, I've been doing some looking, and there's a small carnival about an hour away. I thought it might be fun to check it out. Sound good?

Stiles' expression is probably all sorts of lovesick, but he doesn't give a single shit.

[STILES / 12:06 p.m.]
Sounds great, Daddy. I can't wait! :D

Before Stiles can hit send, Scott acts like a douche and snatches his phone. He tries to grab it back, but he isn't fast enough. He can tell by the way Scott's face fills with confusion that his friend read the texts, and to preempt the questions he knows are coming, he leaps up from his seat, forces Scott to get up too and shepherds him out of the cafeteria, leaving their unfinished lunches behind and ignoring Adam and Lane when they shout after them to ask where he and Scott are going.

"Dude…dude…" Scott whispers as Stiles drags him down the hall toward a janitor's closet.

"Shut up. Not yet," Stiles hisses. When they reach the door, he wrenches it open, turns on the light and shoves Scott inside. Once the door is closed behind them, he waits.

"Dude…" Scott says again, like what he read on Stiles' phone broke him.

Stiles sighs and throws himself down on a stepladder that's pushed against the wall of the tiny space. "Just ask, Scott. You know you want to."

Breaking out of his shock enough to function again, Scott upends an empty bucket and sits on that. He watches Stiles closely, bafflement and a hint of horror practically radiating from him as he no doubt jumps to all sorts of conclusions. "Why do you have someone called 'Daddy' on your phone?"

"Because the person I've been seeing recently isn't a girl," Stiles replies, figuring that he might as well be honest. Cat's out of the bag now, as the saying goes.

"But…Daddy?"

Stiles shrugs, acting like he doesn't care when in fact his heart is beating rapidly in his chest. "That's what I call him when we're together."

The horror grows in Scott's countenance. "Daddy? Seriously? That's where you got the jacket from, isn't it? So he's like a sugar daddy or something?"

This is just what Stiles had been afraid of, but he supposes that—rationally, at least—he can't fault Scott for going there right away. He was expecting it to be a shock for his best friend, and at least he won't spread the misinformation like Jackson would, even if Stiles corrected him. "No, Derek isn't my sugar daddy. He is older than me, and he does have a lot of money, but believe me when I say that it isn't like that at all. I'm not with him because he has money and he can buy me stuff."

"I didn't even know you were gay," Scott says, looking down with a slightly put-out frown.

"I'm not," Stiles refutes.

"Uhh, didn't you just tell me you're with another guy?"

Stiles rolls his eyes and leans back against the wall. "There's more to sexuality than just gay and straight, buddy," he says defensively. "I'm bisexual."

"Why didn't you ever tell me?"

Stiles is surprised that this is what Scott is choosing to focus on right now, but maybe it's just easier for him. The other stuff will probably come afterward. "I didn't have any reason to. I've never liked another guy enough to want anything to happen with them before Derek came along. He's…special." When he meets Scott's gaze, he finds a different kind of shock there now. "What's wrong?"

"You've got a ridiculously sappy look on your face right now," Scott says. "It's the same one I saw in the cafeteria."

"Is that why you stole my phone?"

"Yeah… I wanted to see what was causing you to look like that."

"And you couldn't have waited until I pulled you aside after school and told you when we were alone?"

Scott at least looks contrite. "Sorry."

"Apology accepted. Just don't do it again. Anyway, I already told you, I'm not with Derek to get stuff. I…" Stiles pauses, unsure if he should tell Scott before he has told Derek, but in the end he decides to go for it because it will help his friend understand. "I think I love him."

"Whoa."

"What?"

"Nothing." Scott shakes his head. "I just…this wasn't what I expected at all. I just thought you'd been hooking up with some girl from school on the down-low."

"Well…now you know I'm not. I'm not 'hooking up' with anyone. It's a proper relationship, like you have with Allison."

"Just with an older dude," Scott states, like he's testing out the words. "Just how much older are we talking? Twenties?"

"Older than that," Stiles says cautiously.

Scott narrows his eyes. "Thirties?"

"No."

"Forties?"

"Derek's forty-one, yeah," Stiles admits.

"Jesus Christ, Stiles!"

"What? It's not that big a deal. I'm eighteen."

"Exactly! That's—" Scott takes a few seconds to do the math. "That's twenty-three years he has on you! That's crazy."

"No it's not," Stiles insists. "I guess I should rephrase—it's not a big deal to me. I don't care."

"Talk about robbing the cradle."

"Scott."

"Sorry, sorry! This is just a lot to wrap my head around."

Stiles inclines his head. "Join the club."

"Huh?"

"My dad found out over the weekend and had a tough time coming to terms with us too," Stiles apprises. "That's actually what Derek texted me about in the cafeteria. He spoke to my dad, cleared a few things up, and now I think we have his blessing."

Scott thinks about this closely. "Your dad's fine with it?"

"Not a hundred percent yet, but apparently he's getting there. Derek's gonna tell me more after school."

Silence reigns for a while. Stiles is a bit unsettled by it, but he allows Scott the time he needs if it means his friend will come around sooner.

Eventually, Scott asks another question. "So, the Daddy thing. What's that about?"

"It's just…a thing," Stiles explains vaguely. "And no, it has nothing to do with my actual dad or any kind of daddy issues, before you ask."

"Hey, I didn't say anything!"

"Maybe not, but you were totally thinking it, weren't you?"

Scott chuckles. "Yeah. Sorry."

"It's okay. Derek just…he makes me feel safe and cared for, and he helps me relax by taking charge of things when I'm stressed. It works for us. That he's the hottest guy I've seen in my life helps."

Scott still doesn't look entirely convinced. "So you call him Daddy?"

"Hey, don't kink-shame me, Scotty," Stiles rebukes.

"I'm not," Scott swears. "I just don't really get it, but it's you, so I want to. As much as I can, anyway."

"Let's just leave it with what I've already told you. I'd prefer to keep whatever Derek and I do in private…private, y'know?"

"Do you call him Daddy in the bedroom?" Scott asks, apparently not listening. "Have you guys reached that point yet?"

Stiles shifts in place, giving himself away.

"You have! You lost your V card. Good for you!" Scott holds out his fist.

Praying that it's still somehow dim enough in the janitor's closet that his blush isn't noticeable, Stiles bumps his fist against Scott's and then rests his hands in his lap. "Yup," he confirms. "There are no virgins in this room right now."

"Was it good? Did you bottom? What was that like? I've always been curious, but I've never had anyone I could really talk to about it before."

"You're curious about bottoming?" Stiles asks. "S'there something you wanna tell me, Scotty?"

"No," Scott denies right away. It's a bit too quick to be one hundred percent believable.

"So I'm not gonna hear stories about how you let Allison peg you in a couple weeks?"

Scott becomes bemused. "Peg me?"

"Y'know, pegging. Where a girl wears a strap-on and fucks a guy?"

Scott barks out a laugh before slapping a hand over his mouth. "Sorry," he says. The word is muffled, so he lowers his hand again. "Just a weird visual."

"Again, don't kink-shame."

"I'm not. I've just never thought seriously about doing anal myself, but I know it must feel good because, if it didn't, no gay guy would do it. So, going back to my question, did you bottom?"

Stiles shakes his head, half from exasperation and half from fondness. "Let's see… I'm not gonna go into too much detail because, again, I'd like to keep mine and Derek's sex life somewhat private, but yes, I bottomed, and it was weird at first but felt great when I got used to it. Derek took care of me."

"How great are we talking?"

"You're asking a lot of questions for a guy who says he's not interested in bottoming himself," Stiles points out, growing suspicious.

"Well…you never know," Scott mumbles.

"So you're considering it?"

"Maybe. I dunno. I'll have to think about it a bit more first, maybe do some experimenting."

"Well, if you do, don't talk to me about it, okay? I don't wanna know about any wild adventures you have fingering yourself."

"But who else am I gonna talk to about this stuff?" Scott whines.

Stiles looks at him, unimpressed. "Allison. Duh."

"But she's not a guy, and she doesn't have firsthand experience!"

Stiles tries to be strong, to stick to his guns, but Scott pulls out the puppy eyes again and he's lost. Bastard. "Fine! You can talk to me about it."

"Awesome! You're the best, dude."

Stiles bumps fists with Scott again. "I know."

"So have you tried topping yet?" Scott asks him, thankfully moving on.

Stiles nods. "Last weekend. And before you ask, yes, that was also amazing."

"I know, right?" Scott says happily. "I mean, I don't know what it's like to have sex with another guy and I don't have any plans to, but sex with Allison is…"

"Yeah, you've already told me in explicit detail, buddy. Let's not go there again, huh? I'm still mentally scarred," Stiles jokes.

Scott scratches at the back of his neck bashfully. "Sorry about that."

"No, you're not."

"No, I'm really not," Scott grins devilishly.

Stiles checks his phone and sees that it's almost time for the bell to ring and bring an end to the lunch period. He gets to his feet in preparation, and Scott does the same. The other boy stops him from reaching for the door handle by grabbing his wrist.

"He really makes you happy?" Scott asks.

Stiles' response is an immediate and ardent nod. "He does. He really, really does."

"Looking back recently, I can tell. You've seemed…lighter. It's still a bit weird to me, but it's your life. I support you."

Before Stiles can say anything else, maybe that he's grateful, Scott hugs him again. Stiles hugs him back, unable to stop smiling. In spite of the problems their friendship has gone through recently, what with Scott always seeming to prioritise Allison over him, he loves his best friend and feels extremely joyful to have his approval. It means a lot, and it's just one more thing that he can finally stop worrying himself sick about.

"I have an idea," he says when Scott pulls away again.

"What?"

Stiles informs Scott of the plans he made with Derek to go to the carnival later. "Do you wanna go too, maybe meet there? You can meet Derek and see for yourself."

Scott contemplates it for a moment. "Would Derek be okay with that? Also, it feels wrong to call a proper adult by their first name."

"You'll get used to it," Stiles says. "Hang on, I'll ask him."

Stiles texts Derek again and wishes for Derek to get back to him swiftly like he did earlier. He does, and Stiles' mood is raised even further. "He says he's fine with it, and that we should get there at around 6."

"Then sure, I'll go. Can I ask Allison too? Like a double date?"

"Yeah, that'd be good. We can hang out for a bit, go on rides and play games together and stuff, and then you two can go off and do your own thing, and Derek and I can do ours," Stiles suggests.

"Sounds like a plan to me. I'm in."

"Cool."

"Before we go out into the hall again, how much can I tell Allison?" Scott enquires.

"Uhh…you can tell her I'm seeing a guy and how old he is, but leave out everything else," Stiles answers. "And make sure she doesn't tell anyone else any of it."

"You got it."

As Stiles reaches for the door handle again, the bell rings, meaning that they need to start getting to their next classes. Stepping out of the closet, they're just in time to avoid anyone catching them and assuming that they were playing Seven Minutes in Heaven or something equally ridiculous and nauseating. Since Stiles doesn't have another class with Scott for the rest of the day and there's no lacrosse practice after school, they exchange goodbyes then and there.

"I guess I'll see you at the carnival," Scott says.

"Yup. I'm looking forward to it." It's not a lie, which Stiles is glad about. "Just don't eat too many corndogs and vomit everywhere."

"That was one time!" Scott pouts. "And we were eight!"

Chapter Text

- Monday, December 2nd, 2013 -

Once school has ended, Stiles gets in his Jeep and drives back to Derek's house, excited to do everything they have planned for the afternoon and evening. Derek is home when Stiles pulls his Jeep into the driveway. He finds him sitting on the living room sofa with the TV on. Derek sports a pair of dark-blue jeans and a long-sleeved red henley that highlights his muscles and has adorable thumbholes at the ends of the sleeves.

"Hey, baby," Derek says, patting the cushion next to him. "Did you have a good day?"

"Hi, Daddy," Stiles responds, not bothering to remove his jacket before he takes a seat—he kept it on all day and honestly never wants to take it off again. He happily snuggles close when Derek wraps an arm around his shoulders and pulls him in. "It was pretty good, yeah."

Derek kisses his temple and then, when Stiles tilts his head up, he gives his boy a proper kiss on the lips. "Did you behave yourself during Math class?"

Stiles nods. "It was close a few times, but yeah, I did. No detention today, as proved by me not still being stuck at school," he says proudly.

"Good boy."

Stiles turns to the TV, which Derek muted when he came in. "What're you watching?"

"Nothing, really." Derek switches the TV off altogether and sets the remote on the arm of the sofa. "Just passing time."

"In that case…" Stiles swings himself around so that he's straddling his Daddy's lap and puts his forearms over Daddy's broad shoulders. Derek holds onto his hips right away, his big hands both protective and possessive as he keeps him steady.

Derek gives Stiles a sexy smile. "What're you up to, baby?"

"Since you're not busy, and we've got time before we have to leave for the carnival," Stiles murmurs, tilting his head down but maintaining eye contact through his eyelashes, "you still have to tell me what happened between you and my dad and take me out for ice cream."

Derek raises both eyebrows. "Oh, I do, do I?"

"Yup!" Stiles chirps. "You promised this morning if I was good, and I was. Remember, Daddy?"

"Well in that case, I guess I have no choice." Derek keeps his grip on Stiles as he stands up, ending up with Stiles' legs wrapped around his waist. "Do you have any homework that needs doing tonight?"

"No, why?"

"Because that would've determined how long we stayed out. How about we kill two birds with one stone? We'll go out for ice cream, and then as we're eating it, we'll talk."

Once Stiles has enthusiastically nodded his assent, impatient to get his treat, Derek walks into the foyer with his boy holding onto him like a baby koala. Stiles remains attached to him even when Derek lowers his arms to his sides and raises an eyebrow at him. "You need to get down now, baby, unless you actually want me to carry you out to the car like this."

"I wouldn't complain," Stiles murmurs, nuzzling his Daddy's bristly jaw.

The man sighs deeply, but Stiles can tell he's not really annoyed. "Alright," Derek relents, "but don't be surprised if the neighbours stare."

"I'm cute and you're hot. Of course they're gonna stare," Stiles excuses.

Once Derek has got his keys, slipped on his shoes and checked that his phone is still in the back pocket of his jeans, he opens the front door and steps outside, Stiles still stubbornly clinging to him. Halfway down the front path, Stiles spots a woman a couple houses down watching them with a hand above her eyes to shield them from the sun. Her long red hair and billowy white skirt blow in the gentle breeze. Even from this distance and with half of her face hidden in the shadow cast by her hand, Stiles can tell that her expression is one of shock. He supposes it's not every day you see an eighteen-year-old holding onto a middle-aged man like he's much smaller and younger than he is, but he doesn't care and just waves at her jovially.

Stiles is still riding the good mood he got from his Daddy's text earlier and then his talk with Scott. It wasn't even affected by Mr. Harris subtly antagonising him for the entire duration of Math class, trying to get him to do something that would earn him another detention. Stiles didn't rise to the bait, and he was pleased to see as he walked out of the classroom that Mr. Harris looked even more irritated by him than ever. He behaved himself because his Daddy told him to, so he would've kept behaving himself until the school year was up anyway, but not giving Mr. Harris any satisfaction and pissing him off instead gave Stiles even more incentive.

"Now you've really got to get down, baby," Derek tells him when he's standing beside his Camaro.

"Ugh, fine," Stiles says petulantly. He uncurls his legs from around Daddy's waist and slides to the ground, his bottom lip sticking out.

Derek rolls his eyes at him and then leans in for another kiss. After it ends, he takes Stiles' bottom lip between his teeth as he pulls away, causing Stiles to hiss from the small bite of pain. "In the car, baby boy. Let's go fill your belly up with sugary treats."

Stiles is unable to keep up the petulant act anymore, his lips already feeling swollen. They're probably red too. "Okay, Daddy."

* * *

"Scott, relax. I'm sure they'll be here any minute and it'll all go fine," Allison says quietly from where she stands near the entrance to the carnival.

Scott stops pacing back and forth in front of her. "I can't help it. I'm nervous."

"Why?"

"Because I wanna make a good first impression," Scott answers. He moves to her side and shoves his hands in the pockets of his jeans. "I don't want to make this weird."

"Then you won't," Allison says confidently, linking her arm through one of his.

Scott looks at her with a smile, grateful that she's there to keep him calm. The sun hasn't set yet, but it's begun its descent in the sky and paints everything with a warm, orange glow, including Allison's pale skin. This evening, she has her shoulder-length hair tied back into a short ponytail on the back of her head. She sports minimal makeup, and she has changed into some light-blue skinny jeans, a black halter top and a red leather jacket. In short, she's beautiful, and Scott feels luckier than ever that he somehow managed to land her.

"What're you staring at?" Allison asks him after a while, bemused. "Do I have something on my face?"

"No," Scott replies. "I'm just looking."

Realisation dawns, and Allison's cheeks pink up. "You dork."

"A lucky dork."

Allison rolls her eyes but can't seem to stop herself from smiling as well, revealing that she's pleased with the compliment.

Scott stares for a few seconds longer and then returns his focus to the parking lot in front of them, which is already packed with other cars. He watches the road, waiting for Stiles' Jeep to appear. "What d'you think he's like?"

"Who?"

"Derek. Stiles has never had a boyfriend before—or a girlfriend—and he had to start with a guy in his forties. I'd never say it to Stiles' face because I don't wanna hurt him, but part of me's still a little weirded out by it. Like, how's Derek gonna fit in with us? Do we act like ourselves, make rude jokes and mess around stuff, or is it a good idea to act all mature around him?"

"Just be yourself, Scott," Allison says with certainty. "I'm sure he knows what he's getting into."

"If you say so."

"I do. So shh, I think they're coming now."

Whipping his head around, Scott frowns when he doesn't see Stiles' Jeep anywhere. "Where? I don't see them."

"I'm pretty sure I saw Stiles in the passenger seat of the black car that's parking back there."

Scott follows Allison's finger to the one of the few empty spaces in the back of the lot, which an expensive black car is slowly backing into. "Wow, that's…swanky."

Allison shrugs. "You said that Stiles said Derek had money, so it makes sense."

Together, Scott and Allison observe as Stiles and a tall, muscular man with short, salt-and-pepper hair exit the black car, link hands and begin walking toward the entrance to the carnival. On the way there, the man—Derek, Scott reminds himself—presses his lips to Stiles' temple for a moment and then gets a kick out of Stiles' reaction, Stiles' face turning even redder than Allison's did earlier. Scott has to admit that they look pretty good together, and seeing Stiles duck his head to hide his pleased grin has Scott smiling too. He has never seen this side of his best friend before, wouldn't have even guessed it existed, but it's definitely a good thing.

When they near the entrance, Stiles gets out his phone and taps the screen a few times. A second later, Scott's phone chimes, and he checks it to see a text from his friend which tells him that they're here and will be waiting in the exact spot that Scott and Allison are already standing. Scott doesn't send a text back because there's no point; Stiles and Derek will see them in a moment.

Sure enough, when he's a few feet away, Stiles looks up from his phone again and his steps falter. "Oh, you're already here," he says to the other couple.

"Yup. For about ten minutes now," Allison responds. "Scott was impatient."

"I was not!" Scott denies.

"Well…Scott, Allison, this is my boyfriend, Derek Hale," Stiles introduces, releasing his man's hand. "Da— Uhh…Derek, my best friend, Scott McCall, and his girlfriend, Allison Argent."

"Nice to meet you," Derek says, politely offering his hand to both of them.

When Scott takes it, he discovers that it's lightly calloused and pleasantly warm. He peers up at the older man and finds himself thinking that it's no wonder Stiles fell for him. He still believes himself to be straight, but fucking hell, if they both weren't already in relationships, Derek might just be the man who made him seriously reconsider everything he knows about his sexuality. He's still a little squicked that Derek is so much older, but he has to admit that time has been very kind to the man, the grey in his dark hair and the lines on his face working for him. That he obviously takes excellent care of himself helps, his muscles putting Scott's to shame.

Scott's a bit jealous, in all honesty.

"Uhh, Scotty?" Stiles calls, breaking the other boy out of his obvious and open-mouthed staring.

Scott blinks a few times, snaps his mouth closed and meets his friend's gaze. "Huh?"

Stiles' eyes shine with amusement in the warm sun. "You alright there?"

"Yeah, sorry. Just…got distracted."

The amusement grows. "I know. He's super hot, isn't he?" he whispers, still loud enough for both Allison and Derek to hear him clearly.

"I-I guess. I mean, I wouldn't know, but sure, if you say so," Scott says evasively. He's the one blushing now. All three of the others laugh good-naturedly at him, and Scott sighs and has to purse his lips to stop himself from joining in and encouraging them.

"Alright, enough teasing," Stiles relents. "Let's go in already. I'm craving some funnel cake."

"You just had ice cream," Derek says.

"So?"

Derek harrumphs. "Alright, but if you eat too much and throw up on me…"

Scott misses the rest of what Derek says when he leans in close and whispers it directly in Stiles' ear, but from the way Stiles' eyes widen comically and he smacks Derek lightly on his chest, it must be something sexual. Scott doesn't want to know, so he grabs Allison's hand and leads the way into the carnival, getting some money out of his pocket as they walk. He can hear Stiles bickering playfully with Derek behind him and chuckles to himself.

This is going to be an interesting evening.

* * *

After they've ridden a few rides, the group gathers together at one of the food stands and orders a bunch of food. Probably too much for just four people to consume, but Scott is all for trying. He'd eat it all by himself if he could, even if it gave him a stomach ache later. It'd be worth it.

Once they find an empty table, Scott sits on one side of it with Allison, and Stiles and Derek sit opposite them.

Allison starts off the conversation, cutting through any awkwardness that might have presented itself now that there's else nothing to keep them occupied. "So, Derek, what do you do?"

"I'm a lawyer," Derek replies as he steals one of Stiles' curly fries.

Scott is shocked that Stiles doesn't reprimand him for it. The last time Scott tried it, he learned the hard way never to get between his friend and his precious curly fries, lest he wanted to get his face bitten off. That Stiles doesn't get mad, only narrows his eyes at Derek for a second and then goes back to eating the rest of his fries, says a lot to Scott. There must be something really strong between them if Stiles is willing to share his food with Derek. With that observation, he tunes back into what Allison is saying now.

"Ooh, d'you work with a firm?" she asks, perking up in her plastic chair.

"I used to when I lived in New York," Derek says, "but since I moved back here a few years ago, I've been working freelance."

"I'll have to pick your brain about that sometime, if that's okay with you. I've been thinking of going into law." Allison puts a finger to her chin. "I don't know what field yet, though."

"Have you applied to any colleges?"

Allison nods. "Yeah, I sent applications to several who I've heard have good law programmes, but I won't hear back until spring."

With the discussion on college applications, Scott sinks a bit lower in his chair because he hasn't applied anywhere yet. His mother has been bugging him about it, as well as his boss at the veterinary clinic he works at part-time, but he's been putting it off. He should get on with it before his mother actually gets mad at him. He looks across the table and finds Stiles in a similar position, pretending to be very interested in his remaining few curly fries in hopes that Derek and Allison don't try to rope him into the discussion. He guesses that his best friend also has yet to apply anywhere.

They both really need to get their shit together.

* * *

Fifteen minutes later, once all the food has been eaten—including the funnel cake Stiles wanted—Scott and Allison go off on their own for a while, leaving Derek in the company of just his boy. He prefers it this way. He liked Scott and Allison well enough, and he had a good time talking to them—especially Allison—but he did find it a bit difficult to relate to them. He supposes that it's just one of the unique challenges that he and Stiles are going to face in their relationship. He'll have difficulty relating to Stiles' friends, and Stiles will probably be the same way with his.

They'll figure out a way around it, though. Of that, Derek is sure.

He slings his arm over Stiles' shoulders, keeping him close. "So, what does my boy want to do now?"

"I dunno." Stiles turns his head from side to side, taking in all the flashing lights around them, the attractions they haven't checked out yet. "There's still so much we could do."

"Since we've just eaten, we should probably let our food settle a bit before we go on any of the more exciting rides," Derek says wisely. He'd do it, but he'd rather not spend the night tending to a sick Stiles. "How about the House of Mirrors?"

Stiles agrees to go, so Derek leads him to where he remembers seeing it earlier. The line isn't very long, so after a short five-minute wait, Stiles and Derek step inside and proceed down a long and winding hallway. The walls are painted in a pattern of large red and blue triangles, and there are dozens of trick mirrors secured equidistant from each other along each one. Derek peers into them all with Stiles and actually finds their reflections pretty funny. In one mirror, they both appear like they've put on a hundred pounds, and in another they're thin as beanstalks. Even their heads are squished like cucumbers.

"These are so dumb," Stiles says when they're at a mirror that makes his head appear gigantic. Despite his words, Derek can tell that he's enjoying himself.

Derek nudges him along with a snort. "C'mon, baby, let's keep going."

Eventually, they reach the end of the House of Mirrors and exit back out onto the carnival grounds, other people milling around them in small groups and pairs. With Stiles' hand once again in his, Derek searches for another attraction for them to participate in and his eyes alight on a series of stalls positioned next to each other. The games are the typical carnival fare but could be fun.

"How about those next?" He points out the games.

"Yeah, sure." Stiles shoots Derek a devious grin. "I used to be pretty good at the ring toss. Think you can beat me?"

"I'd be willing to give it a go, baby."

"Then what are we waiting for?"

Derek allows himself to be dragged over to the ring toss, Stiles pulling hard on his arm. He's glad to see his boy having such a good time. That was the whole reason he suggested this place earlier, to keep Stiles' mind occupied so that he wouldn't be consumed by thoughts of reconciling with his dad the next day.

It seems that Derek has done that a lot the past few days, and he'll be glad not to have to do it for a while. Not because he's tired of it or doesn't like spending so much time with his boy, but because it will mean that Stiles' relationship with his dad is finally fixed and Stiles won't have that raincloud over his head anymore. Sure, Stiles doesn't really have a reason to be concerned right now, not when Derek told him over ice cream that the sheriff is already coming around to them being together. But Derek doesn't doubt that, if they had just stayed home, Stiles would secretly fret, and Derek simply can't have his boy feeling like that.

When they reach the ring toss, the man behind the counter greets them kindly, his dirty-blonde hair long and wavy past his shoulders. "Would you like to play, Sirs?" he asks.

"You bet your ass," Stiles responds, getting competitive already.

"It's fifty cents per turn. You get three rings, and you try to get them around these." The man gestures to the six rows of wooden rods that are affixed vertically to a flat board. They range in thickness, with the thickest ones at the back. "Small ones are worth one point each; medium are worth three, and the big ones are worth five. The amount of points you get determines the prize you win."

"Got it," Stiles says, obviously raring to play the game already.

Derek hands two quarters to the carnival worker and steps back to give his boy space. He watches intently as Stiles takes the three rings the worker gives him and readies himself to toss the first one. He gets it around one of the medium-sized rods in the middle of the board and misses altogether with the next ring, but with the last, he takes a deep breath to centre himself again and manages to get it around one of the thickest rods at the back.

It was a good effort, but Derek is confident he can beat Stiles' score. He applauds anyway.

"Alright! That's eight points. That's enough for one of these prizes." The carnival worker ducks down beneath the counter and reemerges with a box. "Choose any one you'd like."

Derek peers over Stiles' shoulder and sees that the box is filled with small trinkets of little value, the standard things he'd expect to see in a carnival like this. He doesn't offer any input since Stiles won the game and should get to choose his own prize, and he still says nothing when Stiles ends up selecting a cheap water pistol that's fortunately not already filled with water or any other liquid.

"Good choice," the carnival worker says before looking almost conspiratorially at Derek. "My son likes those too."

Derek smiles affably and doesn't bother to correct the other man. It's an assumption they're likely to get a lot, so there's no use getting mad about it now.

Stiles turns to Derek. "Are you gonna have a turn?"

"Might as well. Someone's got to show you how it's done." Derek winks.

Stiles scoffs. "Yeah, sure they do. Good luck with that."

"Oh, I don't know. I might surprise you."

After handing over another fifty cents and getting his rings, Derek rolls his shoulders and practises throwing one a few times without letting go of it. Once he has a good feel for its weight, he throws his first ring for real, immediately followed by the second and third. When he sees that they all went smoothly over the thickest posts, he smirks at his boy.

"I told you," he says smugly.

Stiles huffs. "Fine, I guess you're better than me. But I'll beat you at another one of these games, mark my words!"

"I'm sure you will."

"Sir?" the carnival worker calls, getting Derek's attention again. "Since you got fifteen points, you can choose one of the prizes up here."

Derek tilts his head back and scans his eyes over the stuffed animals that are hung up around the edge of the stall ceiling. There's a big variety of animals—bears, giraffes, tigers, lions, alligators…even a llama or two—and since Derek doesn't have the faintest clue which one to go for, he watches Stiles out of the corner of his eye. Stiles seems to be staring at one of the animals on the left side of the stall, so Derek walks slowly behind him so that he can see what has apparently enamoured his boy so. Standing in just the right position, he sees it.

"That one," Derek says, pointing to the animal Stiles was after.

A moment later, Derek has a teddy bear in his hands that's about the size of a human baby. Its brown fur is very soft and it has a baby-blue ribbon tied in a bow around its neck. He wonders what drew Stiles to this toy in particular, but he doesn't ask about it. He just thanks the carnival worker, puts his arm around Stiles' shoulders again and gives the bear to him as they walk away from the stall.

"Thanks, Daddy," Stiles whispers in his ear, quiet enough that no one else hears.

Derek kisses the side of his head. "You're welcome, baby. Now how about a rematch on another game, hmm?"

* * *

When it's nearing 8 p.m., Stiles and Derek decide to call it quits. Stiles got a text from Scott half an hour ago saying that he and Allison have left already, so he walks next to his Daddy back to the car. Getting in the passenger seat and buckling himself in, Stiles gets comfortable with his water pistol hidden in the pocket of his leather jacket and the bear Derek won him on his lap.

He can't quite figure out how he feels about having the bear, can't articulate it well, even in his own thoughts. When he saw it at the ring toss, it instantly reminded him of a teddy bear he used to have when he was very young, maybe five or six years old, only it had a green ribbon instead of blue. His mother got it for him, and Stiles took it everywhere he went for months and months, until the day he lost it. He cried for ages, but there was nothing anyone could do to get it back and eventually he forgot all about it, other interests and traumas taking the bear's place as he grew older.

Stiles looks down at this new bear and ponders what he should do with it. He wants to keep it because it's basically a gift from Derek and therefore means a lot to him, but he doesn't know what it means in the grand scheme of things. There's something…nice…about running his fingers through the soft brown fur and over the silky blue ribbon. It makes him feel calm, his mind no longer racing with endless thoughts. It's a bit like the feeling he gets when he's in his Daddy's arms, like he's safe and he doesn't need to think or worry about anything.

There's a part of Stiles that knows exactly what that means, but he isn't confident enough in himself to address it yet, so he ignores it.

He'll figure it out later. Maybe he'll talk to his Daddy about it, get some reassurance.

"Did you have a fun evening, baby?" said man asks, beginning the hour-long drive back to Beacon Hills.

"Yeah. Tonight was great, Daddy," Stiles answers. "Thanks for bringing me here."

"You're welcome. Perhaps we'll come again soon, make a tradition out of it."

Now that the excitement of the carnival is behind him, Stiles' eyelids begin to droop. It's been a long day for him, and he's definitely feeling it now. He slumps down in his seat and rests his head against the headrest, barely seeing the road in front of them or the streetlights flashing past the window to his right. Without thinking too hard about it, Stiles shifts sideways so that he's leaning against the door and clutches his teddy bear to his chest, enjoying the simple, innocent comfort of it.

"Is my boy all tuckered out now?" Derek enquires after a minute, voice quiet and fond. He must have glanced Stiles' way at a red light or something.

Stiles is already half asleep and can't offer up a proper response. All he can do is hum.

"I'll take that as a yes. Sleep, baby. We'll be home before you know it."

With the gentle rocking of the car and the vibrations of the tyres on the road beneath them, Stiles goes under not a moment later, still holding his teddy.

Chapter Text

- Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013 -

When Stiles wakes up in the morning, he has a moment of disorientation before he realises that he's not in the car but alone in Derek's bed. Derek must have carried him inside last night, and from the smell of bacon coming from downstairs, the older man has already been up for a while preparing breakfast. Stiles considers getting up too and going to join him in the kitchen, but then he glances at the clock on the nightstand and sees that he still has over an hour before he has to get ready for school, so he stays right where he is.

He'll get up when his Daddy calls him and no sooner.

He's too toasty and comfortable to move anyway, snuggled up on his side in just his boxers, with the blankets pulled up to his neck and the combined scent of them filling his nose.

Other than it being nice, Stiles thinks nothing of it for a while, and then what the sheets smelling so strongly of him really means hits him. He's been sleeping in this bed long enough for his scent to embed itself there. He grins widely, thrilled to spend many more nights here in the future. From what Derek told him of the talk he had with the sheriff yesterday, Stiles is aware that he'll probably have to move back in with his dad later today. But that's not enough to bring him down, to erase how ecstatic he is to have found his place in life already.

Others would warn him that it's just puppy love.

They'd say that, at eighteen, there's no way the romantic emotions he has right now are real.

They'd say that he should be prepared for them to disappear just as quickly as they'd come, and he won't be able to experience what real love is like for several years yet.

Stiles doesn't believe any of that crap. He just knows that his feelings for his Daddy are the real deal. Sure, his life is going to change drastically again when he begins attending whichever college he ends up being accepted to, but he just can't see him and Derek not going the distance. It's not because he's blind or naive or anything like that. Everything in him is just certain that he and Derek have something special, something most people would give anything for. He considers himself lucky that he found it so early, and he swears to himself that he will never take it for granted.

He'll never take Derek for granted.

After several minutes spent lying perfectly still, just pondering his life, Stiles rolls onto his back and feels something soft bump against his side. Lifting the blankets to inspect it, Stiles finds the teddy bear Derek won for him yesterday pressed against his ribs. Huh. Derek must've tucked him in with it last night. Or maybe it was before he left the bed this morning.

Stiles blushes at his actions yesterday. There's no way Derek would've missed how Stiles was cuddling the stuffed animal on the drive home, and he's more than smart enough to have jumped to the right conclusion. Derek tucking him in like he did is proof of that. It's similar to how a Daddy would treat their little, and from the way imagining that exact scenario makes Stiles' chest all warm and tingly, there's more to his identity as Daddy's boy than he'd originally thought.

This knowledge forces Stiles to confront what he'd been afraid to in the car. He can't decide how he feels about it all. He remains hesitant to consider himself a proper little, but there must be further he can sink into the role of boy without it feeling wrong. How deep will Stiles go? Will he eventually contradict everything he said before and end up as a full-fledged little? Part of Stiles balks.

But not all of him.

Fuck. What is he doing to do?

Derek said he didn't want a little. He evidently didn't judge Stiles for the teddy bear, but Stiles is still nervous. He sucks in a breath and holds it. They'll simply have to discuss it. Derek won't end their relationship just because Stiles is still discovering things about himself. After repeating that to himself several times like a mantra, Stiles exhales and clutches his bear to his chest, taking comfort in the sensation of its soft fur against his bare skin. It helps a lot.

A couple minutes later, Stiles hears footsteps on the stairs and sits up with the bear still held to his chest. The footsteps get closer, and then Derek pushes open the bedroom door and steps inside with a tray in his hands, on top of which is balanced a plate of food and a tall glass of orange juice. Like Stiles, Derek wears just a pair of black boxer-briefs, miles of tanned, hirsute skin on display like he's a greek god and the sunlight already streaming in through the window is the glow of the power he possesses.

It makes sense to Stiles, because in that moment, Derek has complete power over him.

"Oh good, you're awake!" Derek greets, smiling as he walks over to the bed.

"What all this?" Stiles asks, not even attempting to hide the bear. It's too late for that.

Derek sits down next to him, places the tray over his own lap and presses a kiss to Stiles' temple. "It's breakfast in bed for my good boy."

Stiles lights up inside. "What's the occasion?"

"I don't need a special occasion to treat my boy, do I?"

Stiles shakes his head. "I guess not."

When Derek picks up the knife and fork and begins to cut up the bacon strips and fried eggs on the plate, Stiles frowns with confusion. "You said it was my breakfast."

Derek doesn't stop what's doing, moving on to cut up the small stack of pancakes completing the spread. "It is."

"Then…what're you doing?"

Once he has finished, Derek spears a piece of pancake on the end of the fork and brings it to Stiles' mouth. "I'm feeding my boy."

His eyes wide, Stiles just stares. He wasn't expecting this. He wasn't expecting this at all.

"C'mon, baby," Derek coaxes. "Open up."

Unable to deny the command, Stiles opens his mouth, accepts the fluffy, syrup-slathered morsel and chews, still trying to get up to speed with what's happening. When he has, he leans into Derek's side and lets it go on, actually liking it quite a bit. It's another way his Daddy is taking care of him, and while not even a few weeks ago he would've felt disrespected if he were treated like this, isn't this basically what he wants now, at least partially? Apparently so, since he's not stopping Derek from feeding his cut-up breakfast to him, and he's still holding his teddy.

Yeah, Stiles is definitely going to have to look deeper into the whole 'little' thing and not dismiss it outright like he had before.

When all the food is gone, Derek takes the glass of orange juice and gives it to Stiles before he bends over the side of the bed to deposit the tray on the floor. Stiles takes a drink of the OJ and wonders if it's fresh. It tastes like it, the liquid cool, smooth and pleasantly tangy. It's not sugary-sweet, and there's no pulp in it either, so Derek must have put it through a sieve or something. How did Derek know that's how Stiles prefers his OJ?

"So, are you ready to talk?" Derek asks, sitting up again.

"About what?" Stiles says evasively, even though he knows there's no getting out of it and he doesn't really want to. His nerves are just a lot.

"You already know what."

Stiles takes his time finishing his juice, and Derek lets him, but then Derek takes the empty glass back, puts it on his nightstand and there are no more distractions to take advantage of. Stiles groans.

With a chuckle, Derek wraps his arm around Stiles' shoulders and brings him in close again. "It's not going to be that bad. I promise. I'll wait while you get yourself into a more adult mindset."

Turning his head, Stiles hides his face in Derek's shoulder. He'll talk, but he's not going to take the initiative, and there's no way he's going to find the nerve to look Derek in the eye. Not very adult, but it's the best he's going to be able to do right now.

"I'll go first then, hmm?" Derek suggests, correctly guessing that Stiles needs help. "We'll start easy: explain to me why you chose that teddy bear yesterday."

It's not a question or a request. It's another command, and Stiles can't refuse it. Damnit. In as few words as he can, he tries to vocalise his thought processes and feelings. He stumbles and has to take many pauses as he goes because even he isn't sure exactly what's going on his head, but he makes the effort for Derek. When he's finally finished, Derek rubs a hand up and down the side of his arm and interlocks the fingers of his other with Stiles'.

"So you're considering a bit more experimentation when it comes to what you want out of this relationship," Derek summarises.

Stiles nods slowly. "Basically. It just…the bear felt right, and you feeding me felt nice too. Not all the time—I'm still adamant about that—but every now and then, yeah. It's…nice."

"I have no problem with that, Stiles."

Picking his head up, the teenager meets Derek gaze. "You don't?"

"Not at all. We can even get some stuff, if you want," Derek offers.

"What kind of stuff?"

"Well, you won't know that you like something if you don't actually give it a fair shot, so some cute PJs would probably be a good jumping off point. Them maybe a bottle."

Stiles cringes. His immediate instinct is to shut all talk down right then and forget about it, but Derek has a point. There's a chance that Stiles will actually like it if he lets himself. "Alright," he whispers, the only response he's able to give in that moment.

Derek lays another kiss on Stiles' temple, telling him without words that he's proud of him. "D'you want to have input on designs and colours? It could be a bonding moment."

"I don't want something that's obviously…kid-like…for the pyjamas," Stiles stipulates.

"No cars, trucks or even pretty things then?"

"No."

Derek hums softly. "How about just some simple, bright colours? They'll be your PJs when you need to be small, but if anyone else ever sees them, they won't really be able to tell their real purpose."

Stiles considers it, maintaining his open mind. "That could work."

"Then that's what we'll do. I don't think we can really go to a store and get what we need." Derek purses his lips. "All the options there would be way too small since they won't be made with grown bodies in mind. I know there are websites for this sort of stuff, though, which'll provide clothing for grown adults who are littles. We'll sit down one of these days and go through everything together, choose some of the less obvious stuff."

That sounds like a decent plan to Stiles. He says as much, still timid.

"How about a bottle? What's your opinion on that?" Derek presses. He means well, there's no doubt in Stiles' mind of that, but it's too much.

"Let's leave that for now," he says, a hint of begging in his voice.

"Okay. I've got all the time in the world to help you figure out what you need to be as happy as possible."

Grateful for the respite, Stiles closes his eyes and kisses Derek on the mouth, parting his lips straight away for Derek's tongue. From the taste of the man's mouth, it's clear that he already ate his breakfast downstairs before bringing up Stiles', and Stiles is glad that neither of them have morning breath. It wouldn't have stopped him, but it definitely makes the kiss more enjoyable.

When it reaches its natural end, Derek points out that it's almost time for Stiles to begin getting ready for school.

"Ugh…it's gonna be a long day," Stiles complains. He sets his bear aside, gets out of bed and stretches.

"Why's that?" Derek enquires.

"Because I'm gonna be thinking about my dad all day without you around to keep my mind off it. I know you were hopeful when you left, but you know me; I'm a worrywart."

"Oh." Derek regards Stiles thoughtfully, and Stiles can almost see the lightbulb turn on above his head. "I might have a solution that'll help keep you focused."

His interest piqued, Stiles takes a step closer to the bed again. "I'm all ears."

"It might also be a good reminder to stay on task during Math class." Derek shuffles sideways, swings his legs off of the bed so that his feet hit the floor but stays sitting. "Take off your underwear and lie over my lap. Facedown."

Stiles gets an inkling as to what Derek has planned. He does as he has been told and wiggles in place a bit to get more comfortable. He can feel Derek's bulge get bigger and harder beneath his stomach but doesn't comment on it. It's not as if he has any high ground here, considering that he has the beginnings of a hard-on too. He suspects that, a few minutes from now, both of them are going to be fully erect and leaking. They'll still have to shower afterward, so maybe they can take care of their erections in there, rub off on each other or something.

Yes, that sounds great. Maybe—

"I'm going to spank you," Derek announces, bringing Stiles back into the present. He lovingly caresses the pale skin of the teenager's ass cheeks.

"Oh God yes…" Stiles breathes, excited.

Derek laughs. "I thought you'd like that. You did seem very eager for a spanking yesterday morning."

Now that the serious talk is over, Stiles slips back into his boy mindset. "Daddy, please…"

"Shh, baby boy, I'll take care of you," Derek hushes.

He rubs over Stiles' cheeks a few more times and then finally brings his palm down. He's gentle at first, using nowhere near the level of strength he's capable of. Each spank makes Stiles jolt in place, so badly that Derek has to use his other hand to hold him still as he continues to administer the spanking.

After a while, when the pain of each spank has begun to morph into a strange sort of pleasure, Stiles stops moving and every part of his body goes lax. The only part that doesn't is his dick, which only gets harder. Finally, when Derek kicks things up a notch and spanks him with more force, the flesh of his ass jiggling with each swat, Stiles loses all capacity to think. His mind is filled with white noise and the passage of time means nothing to him. It doesn't even exist. His world has narrowed down to the aching of his dick and the bright sparks of pain zinging up his spine from each time his Daddy spanks him. It's wonderful and over all too soon.

"That's it, there you go. Come back, baby," Stiles hears, Derek's voice sounding far away as he gradually returns to consciousness.

"Daddy?" he croaks confusedly. He sluggishly arches his back when he feels Derek caressing his ass again, soothing the soreness his spanking left there.

"There you are," Derek says fondly. "I lost you for a while."

Stiles doesn't understand. "Huh?"

Derek doesn't stop touching him as he comes back down. "How was your second time going into subspace?"

It takes him a moment, but Stiles' brain catches up. "That's what that was?"

"Yup. I sent you there the first time we had sex, remember?"

"Vaguely…"

"Well, I'm more than happy to've sent you flying." Derek moves his hand from Stiles' ass and runs it up the dip of Stiles' spine. "So how was it?" he asks again.

Stiles groans and thrusts lazily into the space between his Daddy's legs. The dark hairs covering the insides of Daddy's tanned thighs provide interesting friction. "Awesome," he slurs, his vision still slightly blurry around the edges.

"Well, you came out of it with just enough time to catch a shower without having to rush. How about it, baby?"

"Sounds good to me, Daddy."

Derek has to assist Stiles in getting back to his feet. His legs are wobbly, and when he takes a step they almost give out on him. Derek is there to keep him upright, though, and together they make it into the en suite bathroom without an accident. While Derek switches on the shower and gets it to the right temperature, Stiles turns his back to the mirror above the sink and looks at the state of his ass. Both cheeks are a shockingly bright shade of pink. He hisses through his teeth when he reaches behind himself to touch one of them.

"You'll be sore for a while," Derek tells him too late. "I'll put some cream on before I get you dressed."

Shrugging to himself, Stiles figures that some residual pain is worth what he just experienced. He'd do it again in a heartbeat, and he has a feeling that Derek was right. Not being able to sit down properly in class will definitely remind him of Derek's expectations of him.

The shower is equally as awesome as the spanking. They wash each other with lingering touches and hands on cocks, as has become their routine. After an orgasm each, Stiles' seed going down the drain and Derek's going down Stiles' throat, they get out of the stall, dry off and exit the bathroom to get dressed. As he said, Derek brings with him a tube of cream from the medicine cabinet and rubs it into the inflamed skin of Stiles' ass. The coolness of it is just what Stiles needs. It mitigates the sting to something that's actually quite pleasurable.

"Thank you, Daddy," Stiles grins, kissing the man on the cheek.

"You're welcome, baby." Derek grins back. "We can make it a regular thing, if you want. Not every day, because your ass needs a break in between, but I'd definitely be open to giving you a spanking every few days." He pokes the end of Stiles' nose. "If you behave."

Stiles giggles. "For more spankings? I can do that."

"There's my boy."

All that's left is to get dressed. Stiles is confident enough today to choose his own outfit, opting for brown chinos and a yellow T-shirt that will contrast nicely with his leather jacket. To Stiles' surprise, Derek goes for a pair of black dress trousers, a white tank top and a clean white shirt on top which he buttons up all the way to the collar.

"What's with the fanciness?" Stiles asks. "I mean, not that I mind. It's sexy as hell."

Derek smirks. "I have a meeting with a prospective client today. I've got to seem professional."

"Mmm, makes sense." Stiles looks at the way the trousers hug Derek's ass when he turns around to find a tie. "You'll have to get dressed up for me sometime. Could be fun."

"I'll think about it, baby." From the glint in Derek's eyes when he turns back around, Stiles knows it's already a sure thing.

Grabbing his phone from where Derek must have plugged it in to charge last night, Stiles walks downstairs with Derek and stops in the foyer to put on his shoes. They spent a bit too long in the shower and now he has to leave or else he'll be cutting it close. He doesn't regret it, though. A good orgasm and a hearty helping of Daddy's come will make any potential lateness worth it in his eyes.

"Have an excellent day, baby," Derek says, kissing Stiles' forehead. "Knock 'em dead."

Stiles wishes Derek good luck with his meeting and is out the door, ready to tackle the day with alacrity.

Chapter Text

- Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013 -

Derek was right about the spanking—throughout the school day, the constant soreness in Stiles' ass was a good way to keep him on task in his classes, but now that it's over and it's time to talk to his dad again, the soreness isn't enough to prevent him from being one nudge away from freaking out. His palms are sweaty as he holds the steering wheel of his Jeep in a death grip. He's not unconfident about what's to come, but that's as generous as he can be about his feelings. He just takes comfort in the fact that, if his dad changed his tune for some reason and contradicts everything he told Derek yesterday, he'll still have Derek to run back to.

"Don't think about that, Stiles," he tells himself as he turns onto his street. "It'll all go fine. Derek wouldn't let you come back here if he thought it would turn out bad."

That's enough to calm him down a bit.

After he pulls into his driveway and parks next to his dad's cruiser, Stiles cuts the engine, wipes his palms on his chinos, and stares with trepidation up at the house. He thinks he sees the living room curtain twitch, which means that his dad knows he's here. Not wanting to look weird by remaining in his car talking to himself, Stiles makes himself get out.

To feel like he does when he's approaching the front door is weird. He doesn't think he's ever experienced feelings like this when coming home before, not even if he got a bad report card or he and Scott pulled some prank at school that went so poorly that his dad got a call about it. Stiles stands in front of the door for a few moments to give himself another pep talk, and then he turns the handle and steps inside.

"Dad?" he calls out, pleased when his voice doesn't crack or waver.

"In here, son," his dad responds from the living room. It's so similar to what happened last time that it cranks Stiles' nervousness up a notch.

Stepping into the living room, Stiles sees his dad sitting on the sofa in his uniform. He's glad to note that the half-empty glass on the coffee table contains water and not whiskey.

"Sit down," the sheriff says, patting the other end of the sofa. "We need to clear the air."

"O-okay."

Fuck. So much for not stammering or anything.

"It's okay, Stiles," his dad reassures, looking guilty. "You don't have to be scared of me. I'm not mad anymore."

Stiles sits down stiffly. "You're not?"

"No. I've had some time to think, and…I'm not going to lie and say I get it, but I'm not mad."

"Oh."

The sheriff pats Stiles' leg. "Okay, how do I begin?" he asks himself, squinting at the coffee table as if it will provide the answer. "I don't want to make this a big thing again. First, I just need to know that you're happy."

Stiles gradually relaxes back into the sofa cushions. "I am. Derek makes me happy, dad."

"That's good." The sheriff nods. "I still don't know how I feel about the age difference between you two, and it's going to be a major adjustment seeing you together, but…I suppose it helps knowing that Derek's a good man. Finding out so suddenly—and in the way I did—made me lose sight of that, but I remember now. I know I can trust him with you, and that's better than you being involved with someone who'd only jerk you around. It would be easier if you'd found someone your own age who treated you well, but life doesn't always work out the way you think it will. It hardly ever does."

"So you're really not gonna try and stop me from seeing him?" Stiles enquires. "Or change your mind the first time you see us together? Like if you see us kissing—"

"Then I'll turn away," the sheriff interjects. "And it's not just because it's Derek, before you get defensive. Believe it or not, I wouldn't enjoy seeing you kiss anyone. You were the same way back whenever you used to catch your mother and I."

Stiles purses his lips. "I guess that makes sense."

"And I'm not going to get between you two. You've said he makes you happy and I believe you."

"Well…good."

"But I do still have some concerns and questions I need you to answer before I give you my official seal of approval," the sheriff warns.

Stiles tenses up again. "What are they?"

The sheriff reaches for his glass of water and takes a sip. He swallows, puts the glass back down and takes a deep breath before facing his son again. "Have you thought about how it's all going to work in the long run? I mean, really thought about it."

Stiles frowns. "I don't know what you're getting at."

"I mean your future together. I don't want to overwhelm you—and please don't take this as me attempting to sabotage your relationship because it's not—but things are going well between you and Derek now. Great. But what about the future? Even just in the fall next year, things'll change a lot. What's going to happen when you go to college? Depending on where you go, you could be all the way across the country, or even in a different country altogether. What'll happen with you and Derek then?"

Stiles opens and closes his mouth a few times like a fish. "I…I don't know. We haven't talked about that yet."

"If things are as serious as both you and Derek have said, don't you think you should?"

"Fine, I will," Stiles assures. He purposefully avoids mentioning that he hasn't even applied anywhere yet.

"Okay then."

"What's your next question? I wanna get through this quickly."

"Friends."

"What about them?"

"Because of your age difference, you're both at very different places in your lives and your friends all are too."

Stiles suspects he knows what his dad is talking about. "Yesterday, Derek and I went to the carnival in the next town over with Scott and Allison, and it seemed to go okay. It was a bit awkward at first, yeah, but once we got over that, everyone seemed to have fun."

"And the reverse of that?"

"Huh?"

The sheriff takes a moment to think. "Let's come up with an example. Say one of Derek's friends—who are my friends too, I'll remind you—gets married, or they do something even simpler like host a dinner party and Derek brings you as his plus one, are you going to be okay with that? You'll be surrounded by people in their forties and fifties, the only person there who's in their late teens or early twenties. What are you going to talk about?"

"I don't think that'll be an issue, dad," Stiles says right away. This is a question that has an easy answer. "You know I've always been good at talking, and I've gotten along well enough with all the deputies down at the station."

"Let's go another route then. There are twenty-three years between you."

"Yeah, and?"

"And that's a lot. It's fine now—hell, as much as I don't relish thinking about it, you might even find it hot—but in ten, twenty, or even thirty years? When Derek's approaching sixty or seventy, approaching old age long before you ever do, will it still be fine then?"

"Dad…"

"These are difficult questions, I know, but I'm asking them with your best interests at heart." Stiles' dad reaches over and places a hand over one of Stiles'. "I don't want to see you hurt, so I'm making you think about the tough things now. If you don't believe you can handle them, then better you get out now than potentially waste years of your life."

"I don't know, okay?" Stiles gets up from the sofa and walks around to the other side of the coffee table, placing it between him and his dad. He crosses his arms over his chest, protecting himself. "I don't know if Derek and I'll work out in the long run, but isn't that how every relationship is? Nothing's guaranteed, right? So why shouldn't I stay with him and see where it goes? He makes me happy now, gives me what I need now, and I think I do the same for him. And if that changes in the future and we break up? Or my feelings for him change? I don't like to think of myself that way, being that shallow, but if it happens, then it happens."

"I don't want to see Derek get hurt either," the sheriff says quietly. "He's still one of my best friends."

"I'm not planning on hurting him."

"Like you said: nothing's guaranteed." The sheriff runs a hand down his face. He looks suddenly older than he is, the lines in his face more pronounced. "Look, that's the final potential problem that I wanted to bring up, and now that I have, I'm done."

"You're…done?" Stiles asks anxiously, thinking the worst.

His dad gives him a reassuring smile, obviously reading him correctly. "Done with the tricky part of this conversation. I just want you to promise me that you'll talk seriously with Derek about everything I brought up today. If you can work through it now, it'll only help your relationship."

"Communication is key," Stiles says, reciting what he's heard several times before.

"Exactly."

"Derek and I have that in spades—we have to, with what our relationship is—so it'll be fine."

The sheriff stands up as well and walks around the coffee table to his son. "Speaking of that, I have one thing to say about it."

Stiles looks up at him warily. "Say it."

A second later, the sheriff hugs Stiles tightly, one arm around his back and the other hand cradling the back of Stiles' head. "I don't judge you for it, I'm not disgusted by it, and I don't hate you for it. There's nothing that could make me stop loving you, son, no matter what you end up needing from Derek. Even if the nature of your relationship goes…deeper."

Stiles hadn't realised how desperate he was to hear those words until they reach his ears. He raises his arms to embrace his dad in return and blinks as his eyes sting and begin to water. "You mean that?"

"I do. I don't understand it entirely, but it doesn't matter. You're my son, and I love you."

When Stiles speaks again, his voice is hoarse. "I love you too."

The sheriff stays there for as long as Stiles needs, letting him be the one who decides when the embrace ends. Once Stiles steps back, the sheriff returns to his seat on the sofa. "Now that the difficult stuff's out of the way," he says, "I have a couple final conditions. I've already said them to Derek, but I'll say them to you as well. One, you don't sleep over at Derek's house every single night. I want you to spend at least 3 nights a week here until you graduate. After that, you'll be moving out anyway for college, so you can do what you want then."

Stiles nods readily and sits back down too. "I can do that. What's the second condition?"

"I don't want to hear or see anything sexual between you two."

"Yeah, you don't have to worry about that," Stiles accepts with a grimace. "Ew."

The sheriff chuckles. "Then I guess that's it. You're the most important person in my life, and Derek's important to me too. I hope you'll be happy together, I really do."

Stiles feels elated. "Thanks, dad."

Chapter Text

- Wednesday, December 4th, 2013 -

Derek awakens early on Wednesday morning to an empty bed. Stiles went back to his dad's the previous evening, so Derek had to go to sleep alone. It shouldn't be a big deal because he's spent years by himself, and it's only been a few days since Stiles temporarily came to live with him. And yet, Derek misses his boy deeply. It feels wrong to wake up without him in his arms, snuggled close and snoring softly and cutely into the dark hairs on Derek's chest. Derek sighs and turns onto his back, his limbs akimbo. He doesn't like having this much space to himself anymore, and already he dreads having to get ready for the day alone.

Showering by himself…

Cooking and eating breakfast for one…

Not seeing his boy off to school…

It sounds terrible.

In an effort to distract himself, Derek reaches for his phone on the nightstand and checks his calendar to see what he has to do today. It's not much. He's got a meeting with a potential new client at 12, but that's it. It's a pretty empty day, really, which just means that he'll have even more time to contemplate his sudden loneliness. At least Stiles promised that he'd be sleeping over again today, so Derek has that to look forward to. It might make the day go by even slower, but it'll be worth it.

Just as he's about to set his phone back down and go have a shower, the device chimes as a new text message comes in, a popup appearing at the top of the screen. Derek's heart skips in his chest when he sees that it's from Stiles.

He can't hit the popup fast enough.

[BABY BOY / 6:43 a.m.]
I hate waking up with without you now. Sucks.

Derek grins, happy to know that Stiles is feeling the same way as him. He responds.

[DEREK / 6:44 a.m.]
I miss you too.

[BABY BOY / 6:44 a.m.]
Seriously, I barely got any sleep. I've just been lying here for the past hour waiting for my alarm to go off.

[DEREK / 6:45 a.m.]
Well that's not good. You need sleep for school, baby.

[BABY BOY / 6:45 a.m.]
Not like I could help it. *pouts*

Derek chuckles and shakes his head fondly.

[DEREK / 6:46 a.m.]
Speaking of school, shouldn't you be getting up soon?

[BABY BOY / 6:47 a.m.]
Are you still in bed too?

[DEREK / 6:47 a.m.]
Yup. Just lying here all alone with all this empty space.

Stiles doesn't respond for a few minutes. Derek assumes that his boy has got out of bed and is maybe choosing clothes or something. He's proven wrong when another text eventually comes in.

[BABY BOY / 6:52 a.m.]
Are you naked?

Derek snorts.

[DEREK / 6:52 a.m.]
Yes. Where are you going with this, baby?

[BABY BOY / 6:53 a.m.]
I'm naked too. ;) And I have a bit of time to kill before I absolutely HAVE to get up. Is that enough of a hint, Daddy?

Derek's eyebrows rise on his forehead and his dick twitches with interest beneath his sheets. Holding his phone in one hand, Derek reaches down and cups himself. Stiles has to get to school by 8 a.m., so he was right when he said he had time. Can Derek do this, though? He hasn't ever really sexted before, or even had phone sex. After a moment spent imagining Stiles touching himself to thoughts of his Daddy, Derek decides that, yes, he can definitely do this.

[DEREK / 6:55 a.m.]
Naughty boy. I'm getting hard just thinking about you.

[BABY BOY / 6:55 a.m.]
God, I can picture it, Daddy. Your cock all thick and leaking for me…I wanna suck it so bad.

The thought of his boy blowing him is enough to have Derek reaching full arousal. He kicks down the sheets and begins to lazily stroke himself with his free hand. It takes longer to type with just one thumb, but again, they have time.

[DEREK / 6:56 a.m.]
I'm definitely leaking for you, baby. I'm thinking about your red lips stretched around me as you try to get a taste of what you really want. So needy for my come, aren't you?

[BABY BOY / 6:56 a.m.]
I have a fantasy. Want me to tell you?

[DEREK / 6:57 a.m.]
Don't tease Daddy, boy. I might tell you to take your hand off of your pretty little cock, and then you wouldn't get to come today. Wouldn't that be a shame?

[BABY BOY / 6:57 a.m.]
Noooooooooooo don't do that!

Derek grins deviously. As he types another response, he stops stroking himself and rubs the pad of his index finger over his glans, his toes curling.

[DEREK / 6:58 a.m.]
You'd better tell me this fantasy of yours then.

[BABY BOY / 6:59 a.m.]
Fine, fine!

[BABY BOY / 6:59 a.m.]
It starts with us eating dinner together on your couch, our bellies nice and full. Then you say that you've got something special for me to have for dessert…

Derek moans quietly to himself.

[DEREK / 7:00 a.m.]
Go on.

[BABY BOY / 7:00 a.m.]
You take off your pants and boxers and tell me to get down on my knees between your legs. Without you even having to ask, I take your cock in my mouth, and all of it fits for once because you're still soft. You say I have to work for my treat.

[DEREK / 7:01 a.m.]
God yes, baby. What happens next?

[BABY BOY / 7:02 a.m.]
I rest my head on the inside of your thigh and start to suckle, gently at first but then with more force when I feel you hardening on my tongue.

[BABY BOY / 7:03 a.m.]
When that happens, I lift my head again and suck you for real. I'm desperate to taste your come because I'm so addicted to it already. You have no idea.

[DEREK / 7:03 a.m.]
Seeing as I'm the one giving it to you, I think I do.

There's a pause before Stiles' next text comes through. Derek assumes it's because his boy is giggling adorably.

[BABY BOY / 7:05 a.m.]
You put one of your hands on top of my head. You don't force me down on your cock or anything. You just rest it there. It makes me feel cared for and like I have to make you come not just because I wanna drink you down, but because I wanna make you feel good. Like I'm saying thank you with my mouth, but without words.

[DEREK / 7:06 a.m.]
Are you looking up at me?

[BABY BOY / 7:07 a.m.]
Yeah, and you're looking at me too. Your face is getting red and your eyes hold mine. I couldn't look away even if I wanted to.

[BABY BOY / 7:07 a.m.]
I suck you harder and do that thing you like with my tongue, and that's when I feel your hand tighten in my hair. It's all the warning I get before you explode.

Derek resumes jerking himself off, his hand moving rapidly now. He wants to get there in time with Stiles' fantasy.

[DEREK / 7:08 a.m.]
Are you still touching yourself, baby?

[BABY BOY / 7:08 a.m.]
Yeah. I'm close.

[DEREK / 7:08 a.m.]
Me too. Keep imagining it, Stiles. Just like I am.

Derek waits until his orgasm is nearly upon him before he shoots off another text.

[DEREK / 7:10 a.m.]
I want you to come. Now.

Derek doesn't get a text back, but he doesn't expect one. His phone slips from his hand as he finally comes, painting his own torso with his release. It splatters over his tanned skin and mats into his chest hair, into his treasure trail. The last couple spurts are feeble and end up dribbling down his hand to get into his pubes too, leaving him a complete mess.

As he comes down from his high, Derek wishes that his boy were there to clean him up. He knows that Stiles would love to lick the mess up. With a sigh, he wipes his hand off on the sheets and makes a note to wash them later before picking his phone back up. He still hasn't got another text, so he takes the initiative himself. He types out a few words and then reconsiders, switching instead to the camera app. He brings the phone close to his face so that he can get the right angle, and when his entire body is in frame, from his chest all the way down to his feet, he hits the button to take the photo. After double-checking it to ensure that all of his release is visible, the milky-white fluid contrasted nicely with his dark body hair, he sends it to Stiles with a message.

[DEREK / 7:14 a.m.]
Look what you did, baby. Did you come too?

A few seconds pass, and then his phone buzzes again.

[BABY BOY / 7:14 a.m.]
Yes, Daddy. Look.

A photograph comes in after the text. It features Stiles in exactly the same predicament as him. If Derek hadn't just come, seeing his boy in such a state might've got him there, possibly without any sort of stimulation.

[DEREK / 7:15 a.m.]
Very sexy, baby. Daddy likes what he sees.

[BABY BOY / 7:15 a.m.]
Thank you, Daddy.

[BABY BOY / 7:16 a.m.]
This was great, but I should probably get up now. Ugh.

[DEREK / 7:16 a.m.]
You should. I'll deny you your next orgasm if you're late for school.

[BABY BOY / 7:16 a.m.]
Know that I'm pouting.

[DEREK / 7:17 a.m.]
I'd bite your lip if I was there.

[BABY BOY / 7:17 a.m.]
Tease.

[BABY BOY / 7:18 a.m.]
Okay…getting up now. We should do this again next time I don't sleep at yours.

Derek wholeheartedly agrees. He sits up, stretches his arms over his head and then types another text.

[DEREK / 7:19 a.m.]
Definitely. We can even take it a step further, if you want. If your dad's fast asleep or not there, call me. I'd like to hear you when you come next time.

[BABY BOY / 7:19 a.m.]
Okay, Daddy. TTYL.

Derek frowns bemusedly.

[DEREK / 7:20 a.m.]
TTYL?

[BABY BOY / 7:20 a.m.]
Talk to you later.

[BABY BOY / 7:20 a.m.]
Grandpa. ;)

Derek huffs.

[DEREK / 7:21 a.m.]
Don't push it, baby. Have a good day at school. I'll see you this afternoon.

Derek has the urge to finish the text with a declaration of love, but he holds off. He doesn't want the first time he tells his boy that he loves him to be through text—Stiles deserves to hear the words in person. Of course, thinking such things leads Derek to panic internally. What if Stiles isn't ready to say the words back yet, or he feels like Derek is pressuring him? It's only been a few weeks, after all.

No.

He forces himself to take a deep breath and then lets it out again slowly. Such thoughts are toxic and will be what leads to the end of things, not premature claims of love. Stiles won't feel pressured or be weirded out, even if he's not ready to reciprocate. He's not that kind of person.

When Derek says those three words, he'll say them without worry, in the perfect moment—whether that turns out to be a moment of great importance or something everyday. Either will work because it's them. And if Stiles doesn't say the words back, it won't be the end of the world. Derek knows for certain that his boy cares about him a lot already, so Stiles'll get there eventually if they keep going the way they have been so far. Derek is confident in that.

Talked down from that ledge, Derek looks down at his phone to see a response he didn't hear come in.

[BABY BOY / 7:22 a.m.]
Can't wait, Daddy. <3

The heart makes Derek's chest feel warm. It's not the same thing as Stiles saying he loves him, but Derek is reassured anyway.

Locking his phone, he sets it back on his nightstand and reluctantly leaves his bed. Time to get clean and prepare for his meeting at midday.

* * *

When Derek returns home at just after 2 p.m., he rips off his tie, undoes the first few buttons of his dress shirt and heads into the kitchen to decide what he's going to cook himself and Stiles for dinner that evening. His fridge is getting pretty empty, but after rummaging through it and his cupboards, he finds that he still has enough ingredients to put together a quick beef stew. Before he makes a start at cooking it, he dashes upstairs to change out of his professional attire, lest he get stains on it. He selects a pair of grey sweatpants, a white tank top and leaves his feet bare as he pads back downstairs and reenters the kitchen to gather together the relevant ingredients.

Just as he has finished dicing all the vegetables, there comes a knock on his front door. At first, he's bewildered because Stiles knows by now that he can just walk in, but after checking the time on the microwave, Derek sees that Stiles shouldn't be home yet anyway. Shouldn't be here yet, he corrects himself. This isn't really Stiles' home.

Not yet.

It must be someone else.

Brushing his hands together to get rid of imaginary dirt, Derek walks into the foyer and looks through the peephole on his front door. He sees no one out there.

"What the hell?" he murmurs.

Maybe there was a delivery or something and the postal guy left the package on his doorstep. But no, that wouldn't make much sense either because he doesn't remember ordering anything. There's only one way to get an answer, so Derek cautiously reaches for the handle and opens the door. For a few seconds he just stares outside at nothing. There's nothing on his doormat, so the delivery theory is out. Just as he's considering that it was some kids playing a round of Ding Dong Ditch, someone suddenly appears on his left, startling him.

"Surprise!" they scream, leaping at him.

Derek catches them just in time and gets a mouthful of long, dark-brown hair for his trouble. He remains confused, and then he sees James, his older sister's husband, come out of hiding on his right.

It's Laura in his arms, then. It's this realisation that makes Derek hug her back. His confusion is still there because he wasn't expecting her to visit until around Christmas, but now he's excited too. He hasn't seen his sister in months, possibly even close to a whole year. It's been far too long and he has missed her dearly. They leaned on each other a lot after the rest of their family died, and since he was only sixteen at the time, Laura took over the role of primary caregiver for him until he was a proper independent adult. It made them even closer than they were before.

That Derek would be so far away from the last remaining member of his family was the only con to his decision to move back to Beacon Hills. It was almost enough to make him stay in New York, but Laura encouraged him to go. She knew that it was what he needed without Derek having to spell it out for her. She's always been good at reading and understanding him.

"What're you doing here?" Derek asks as the embrace finally ends and Laura steps back to stand beside her husband. He shakes James' hand with a grin.

Laura grins back. "Invite us inside, little brother, and we'll tell you."

With a roll of his eyes, Derek steps back inside the house and closes the door behind the other two. He looks his sister over properly, checking that everything seems alright with her. He doesn't spot anything amiss. In fact, Derek would say that Laura looks about as happy as he has seen her since he walked her down the aisle on her wedding day. Her hair is slightly wavy and comes down to just below her shoulders. She wears a cream-coloured cashmere sweater and a pair of jeans, and as usual, her face is almost completely free of makeup. She has never been a big wearer of cosmetics.

"You look good," Derek tells her.

"You too," Laura says. Her grin then fades into concern. "Although…"

Derek's own elation is put on hold. "Although what? What's wrong?"

The woman reaches up to run her fingers through the short hair at Derek's temples. "You're getting greyer. If you're not careful, you'll look like an old fart any day now."

Realising that his sister is teasing him, Derek scoffs and bats her hands away. "Knock it off, Laura."

"I'm serious!" she claims, even as her grin reemerges. "We could do something about it. Hey! I could dye it! How 'bout it, Der-Bear?"

Derek crosses his arms over his chest. "Not a chance in hell."

"Aww, c'mon! Brother-sister bonding time!"

"No."

"But it might help you find someone." Laura waggles her eyebrows.

"I don't need to dye my hair to find someone," Derek defends, thinking of Stiles. He knows that his boy actually likes that he's greying a bit anyway.

"But—"

"Honey," James interjects, putting a hand on Laura's arm. Derek is grateful. Since they got married, James has been a calming influence for her whenever she gets playful like this. The other man stares at Derek closely. "I think he might have someone already."

Laura's hair flies as she whips her head around to look at her brother again. "What? Why haven't you told me?!"

Derek stands there with his eyes wide and his mouth open. Fuck. He hadn't thought about this. How is he going to introduce Stiles to Laura and James?

While she doesn't know everything, Laura knows a bit about Derek's tastes. That's not to say she didn't want to know more, though, possibly all of it. Right after he discovered himself fully and she found out about it, Laura pestered him nearly non-stop, wanting details and to help him find someone who could make him as happy as James made her. She meant well, but Derek had swiftly shut that down. He's proud of who he is and loves the Daddy/boy relationships he has been a part of, but there are some things he doesn't want his sister to know.

So how will she react when she finds out that his newest boy is only eighteen years old? Stiles is the youngest person Derek has been with since he was around that age himself. And—

Shit! Stiles is going to be here soon, so Derek had better figure something out.

The longer he goes without saying anything, the more impatient Laura becomes. "C'mon, tell me!" she whines, shaking him lightly.

In a desperate attempt to take the heat off of himself while he thinks of how to tell Laura about Stiles—and that it's getting pretty damn serious—Derek redirects the conversation. "You still haven't told me why you're back in Beacon Hills," he points out. "I didn't think you were coming until Christmas."

Laura and James share a significant look. "We weren't going to, but there's been a change of plans," she says mysteriously.

"Well, don't leave me guessing for too long."

Laura points her index finger at him. "Fine, but if we tell you our news, you're telling us yours," she compromises.

Derek agrees with a tense nod. "Fine. Let's move this into the kitchen, though. I've still got to cook dinner."

Once James has hung up his coat, Derek leads the way. He offers both of them beverages like the good host he is and then directs them to sit at the kitchen island while he finishes putting together the stew. Of course, Laura doesn't listen to him. With her glass of water in hand, she positions herself shoulder-to-shoulder with him and badgers him some more.

"Looks like a lot of stuff for just one person to eat," she observes. "Even someone with a black hole for a stomach like you."

Derek glares at her. "That's because I planned on having a guest tonight. Just didn't think it'd be you and James."

"Who?"

"Nope. You first."

Laura tuts at him as she watches him dump the diced vegetables into a large saucepan. "Okay, here's the deal."

Before she can speak any more, the sound of the front door opening and closing reaches all of their ears and they turn to face the doorway. After checking the time again, Derek's face goes pale because Stiles' school day would have ended about fifteen minutes ago, which means…

"Daddy, I'm back!" Stiles calls from the foyer.

Derek can see him stopping to take off his shoes in his mind's eye, and the timing couldn't be worse. He didn't have a chance to ease Laura—and especially James—into the news first.

James shares another look with his wife, his countenance baffled. "Daddy?" he mouths.

Derek hangs his head. He's so fucked.

Chapter Text

- Wednesday, December 4th, 2013 -

Stiles enters Derek's house almost whistling a jaunty tune, he's so cheerful. Overall, he had a good time at school, which he thinks was the result of how he'd spent the early morning sexting with his Daddy. An explosive orgasm put him instantly in a relaxed mood, and his ass cheeks were just sore enough from his spanking the previous day to twinge every time he moved when he was sitting down. It ensured that he behaved himself, even when he was tempted to slack off or stop paying attention. Now, as he shrugs off his leather jacket and hangs it up on the row of coat hooks to the right of the front door, he looks forward to spending the evening and night with Derek.

"Daddy, I'm back!" he shouts, getting the man's attention wherever he is in the house.

Not getting an immediate response, he heads into the kitchen, his throat slightly dry. All thought of getting a drink is forgotten when he passes through the doorway and spots the two strangers in there with Derek. The two strangers who just heard him yell to his Daddy.

Fuck.

All three of the others stare at him. The woman is speculative, whereas the unknown man wears a frown that can't mean anything good. It's Derek's countenance that really makes Stiles uneasy, though. Usually, Stiles would be distracted by the sight of his Daddy's bare arms and send a mental thank you to whoever invented tank tops, but that's not the case today. Derek's eyes are about as wide as Stiles has ever seen them, and his face has an almost sickly pallor to it, like all blood is gone from it. Derek must have thought Stiles wouldn't arrive for a while yet, or maybe he forgot, which doesn't make much sense. But perhaps whoever the two strangers are caused him to.

"Uhh…what's going on?" Stiles asks warily.

"Yes, that's what I'd like to know too," the woman adds, turning to peer judgmentally at Derek.

Stiles tenses up at that expression, having got enough judgment from his dad when he found out.

Derek swallows and visibly collects himself. He steps away from the stove, approaches Stiles and wraps an arm around his back, his hand curling around Stiles' hip. "This isn't exactly how I planned on this happening, but I guess the cat's out of the bag now," he says with a nervous laugh. "Stiles, this is my sister Laura, and her husband James. Laura and James…meet Stiles."

No one reacts for a few moments, and then Laura says, "And Stiles is?"

"Uh…" Derek searches for the right words and shares a glance with the boy in question. "He's my…boyfriend?"

Stiles shrugs. If that's the way Derek wants to put it, that's fine with him.

Laura runs appraising eyes up and down his body, coming to some sort of conclusion. "And by 'boyfriend', what you really mean is boy."

Stiles blanches because she's right on the money. He hadn't thought she would know the nature of his relationship with her brother, but after a bit more thought, he realises that of course she would. Laura and Derek are siblings, and from the way Derek talked about her when they went on their date to the diner in the next town over, they're close and lived in the same town or city as each other for decades. Of course Laura would know her brother's tastes—duh—and of course she'd easily be able to guess that he's Derek's boy. The age difference would make it obvious to her.

James pipes up then, still peering between the other three with confusion. "What d'you mean by his 'boy'?"

Stiles leans in close to Derek and whispers in his ear. "He doesn't know?"

"It's never come up while he was around," Derek replies. "And I guess Laura respected my boundaries for once and didn't tell him."

"Yes, I did, and I think I deserve a medal or something for my efforts because it's been damn tempting," Laura says, nose in the air. Her lips curl slightly at the corners, showing that she's not really upset. "Am I allowed to tell him now?"

Derek nods and leads Stiles back out into the living room while the married couple converse with each other. He sits them both down on the sofa and lets out a long breath.

Stiles frowns and puts a hand on Derek's thigh. "Are you okay?"

"Yeah. They just showed up out of the blue not too long before you got here." Derek puts his hand over Stiles' and links their fingers together. "Just not how I wanted things to go, y'know?"

"I get that."

There's a tiny voice in the back of Stiles' head that insists Derek is acting like he is because he's ashamed of him and was never going to introduce him to his family. He shuts it down quickly, knowing with all his heart that that isn't the case and it's just his dumb insecurities talking, but the thought must have shown on his face for a second because Derek addresses the issue.

"It had nothing to do with you, baby," he says. He unlinks their hands and places his arm over Stiles' shoulders instead, pulling their sides flush together. "I just hoped it would all go smoothly, and I'd have everything planned out meticulously so that Laura and James would have no reason to disapprove. I didn't think they really would—not rationally—but…this isn't smooth, and I guess—"

"You have insecurities too," Stiles finishes, understanding. The voice in his head is silenced.

"Even at my age, yeah."

Stiles hums. "You saying that is kinda nice, in a way."

"Me being insecure is nice?" Derek questions. His eyebrows climb his forehead, causing deep wrinkles that are somehow incredibly sexy.

Stiles smacks Derek's chest lightly. "Oh, shut up, you know what I mean. It's just nice to know that you're not this perfect guy who has everything figured out. It helps."

"I suppose I can see where you're coming from. I've never been perfect, Stiles. I've told you before."

"I thought you were just being perfectly modest," Stiles teases. His humour is quick to recede when Laura and James join them in the living room, done with whatever talk they'd had. James eyes him a bit weirdly at first, but after Laura elbows him in the side, he lightens up and gives Stiles a smile that appears genuine. It sets Stiles at ease a bit.

"So, Stiles," Laura starts, sitting down next to him without invitation. "Let's figure out what kind of guy you are."

Stiles returns her stare, his unease coming back with a vengeance. "That sounds ominous."

"Laura, don't," Derek pleads, but the weariness in his voice makes Stiles suspect that he knows getting his sister to back off is a lost cause. If anyone would know, it's him.

Laura rolls her eyes at Derek. "Don't worry, little brother. I'm simply gonna find out what makes him tick. You can go get dinner sorted, though, if you're so desperate for something to do. In fact, I insist." She waves her brother off like she's shooing away a servant, which Stiles finds equal parts disrespectful and amusing. "The food on the flight was awful and I'm hungry. James?"

"Yeah?" the man responds, standing there awkwardly.

"You hungry?"

"I guess."

"Then there you have it." Laura smirks at her brother. "Go on. You have guests to feed!"

When Derek gets up, Stiles has half a mind to tug him right back down so that he's not alone for Laura's interrogation. From the glint in her eye that he'd call nefarious, he has a feeling it isn't going to be the most pleasant thing, but even so, he finds a well of inner strength and allows Derek to exit the living room. He's ready to face the music alone.

At Laura's insistence, he scoots sideways so that James can sit down on the opposite side of her.

"Alright then." Laura puts both of her hands on Stiles' and James' knees. "Let's all get to know each other, shall we?"

* * *

Derek is glacial as he finishes preparing the stew, his stomach churning and his mind occupied by what's going on in the living room. He can hear the voices but not the words, and every few seconds he fights off the urge to storm back in there and rescue his boy from his sister's nosy ways. He doesn't, though, both because it would give his sister more ammunition to use against him and because, in spite of generally being the caretaker in their relationship, he has complete confidence that Stiles will be capable of handling himself around Laura.

When he finally has all the ingredients cooking slowly over a low heat, Derek turns around and ventures back into the living room just in time to witness Laura and Stiles cracking up with laughter. Even James is smiling and lounges comfortably across his end of the sofa, which is unusual for him.

"Oh no…"

This is even worse that Derek feared. He'd wanted Stiles and Laura to get along, but not this well.

"What's wrong, Der-bear?" Laura enquires cheekily, even though she's smart enough to know the answer already.

"Nothing," Derek denies. "Things are going well, I see."

"Yup," Laura confirms, bumping shoulders with Stiles. "Seems I have a new best friend. He's so cute that I might just steal him for myself."

For his part, Stiles looks down, his cheeks heating up.

As there isn't room for four people on his sofa, Derek walks over to Stiles, has him stand up so that he can take his place, and then pulls him down to sit on his lap. It may be petty and make Stiles' blush even more intense, and he may be aware that Laura isn't serious at all, but Derek can't help but stake his claim a bit. Just in case.

Stiles is his, damnit.

"Relax, you don't have to go all caveman on us," Laura scoffs. "I've already got James, and it's not like I can give Stiles what he wants. No, I'll leave that to you, while we gossip at your expense."

This sets Derek's on edge and has him tightening his arms around Stiles' waist. Stiles doesn't complain. "What's that supposed to mean? Was that what you two were laughing about when I came in?"

Stiles nods. "Yeah, Laura was just telling me a few stories from when you were kids," he reveals, lifting his head up properly in spite of its redness. Now that he has spent a bit of time with Laura and James and she's done complimenting him, he must not feel as if he has to hide anymore. "She just got done telling me the story of how you used to have a major crush on one of your teachers in middle school and would go on and on about him during family dinners and stuff."

Derek glares at Laura. "You didn't."

Laura is entirely unrepentant. "Oh, I did."

"Don't worry." Stiles gives Derek's cheek a chaste kiss. "I thought it was cute."

"And funny, seeing as you were laughing…" Derek grumbles.

"Cutely funny. Besides, if it makes you feel any better, I'm sure everyone's had a crush on a teacher at some point."

Laura makes a noise of agreement. "True. I used to like my art teacher a lot. He was very handsome. Still, I never took it quite as far as our little Derek."

Derek groans and is the one hiding now, resting his forehead against Stiles' shoulder. "Laura…"

"No, no, it's great!" she insists. "Not every kid with a crush buys a bouquet of flowers from the grocery store with their allowance and tries to give it to their teacher."

Derek groans again, louder this time, and only reemerges from his hiding place when he feels Stiles run his long fingers through his hair. His only consolation for this humiliation is that it has Stiles looking down at him as if he's the most adorable thing Stiles has ever seen. It's a bit weird and it's usually the other way around, but Derek has to admit—even if just to himself—that being the recipient of such a look makes his chest feel all warm. As is her wont, though, it just causes Laura to make fun of him again, practically cackling at the sappiness on his face. Derek can't help it.

"Alright, alright, that's enough," James says, saving Derek from further torment.

"Ugh, fine, I'll stop," Laura relents with a sigh. "For now."

After giving James a grateful smile, Derek swiftly moves the conversation on before Laura can change her mind. "You still haven't told me whatever news you have that brought you here nearly a month early," he says.

"Oh, right!" Laura takes her husband's hand and both seem proud of themselves. "We're going to be spending Christmas with James' parents this year."

Derek is dumbfounded. "That's it? You could've told me over the phone."

"We know, but no, that's not it. It's news I didn't feel right not telling you face-to-face."

When Laura doesn't say any more but just grins at him, Derek huffs exasperatedly. "Well what is it then?"

Suddenly, Stiles jolts atop Derek's lap and he squeaks an excited, "Oh!"

Derek transfers his attention to him. "What?"

"Look."

Following Stiles' finger, Derek notices what he hadn't before. Laura has her free hand resting over her stomach. It's as flat as it has always been, but as realisation finally dawns, he suspects that it won't be flat for much longer.

"You're pregnant?" he guesses, amazed.

Laura nods enthusiastically, her eyes shining. "Yes!"

Gently getting Stiles off of his lap, Derek stands up and pulls Laura into his arms for a tight hug. "Congratulations," he murmurs earnestly.

He knows just how long both she and James have wanted kids. They tried for over a decade without any success, and then after some tests, they found out that there were issues with Laura's fertility which meant that, if she ever got pregnant, it would be a miracle. It crushed her, understandably, but apparently they kept trying without telling him. He couldn't be happier for both of them, and he already can't wait to meet his little niece or nephew.

After Laura ends the hug, Derek and James share a much more 'manly' embrace that basically consists of a simple pat to each other's backs, and then everyone returns to their seats.

"So when are you due?" Stiles enquires as he makes himself comfortable on Derek's lap again.

"The beginning of June," Laura reveals.

"That's so cool!"

Laura laughs. "D'you like kids, then?"

Stiles nods. "I've never thought about having any of my own in the future, but I'd've loved to've had a baby brother or sister or something. That wasn't in the cards, though."

"Why not?" Laura asks, frowning.

"Laura," Derek warns.

"No, I don't mind," Stiles reassures, patting the top of Derek's head. "My mom died when I was eight."

Laura's countenance becomes dismayed. "Oh, I'm so sorry!"

"I'm not gonna say it's okay, because it's not, but it was ten years ago and my dad and I knew it was coming. You don't need to be sorry."

"Still…I didn't mean to bring up bad memories or anything."

Stiles shakes his head. "You didn't. Now come on, let's not bring the mood down. Let's talk babies. D'you two have names picked out yet?"

This has Derek getting curious too. He listens intently to whatever Laura has to say next.

The woman rubs her stomach through her sweater. "We've got two names in mind, one each for whichever it turns out to be." She meets Derek's gaze. "If it's a girl…we're going to name her Talia after mom, and if it's a boy, we'll call him Nate after dad. It just felt right."

Derek's eyes sting but he doesn't actually tear up. "They would have loved that." He sniffs and then shakes himself to cast off the emotion. He cracks a joke to keep things lighter. "Uncle Peter would've been very offended that you didn't choose his name, though."

"He'd have to get over himself."

"Fat chance. If Nina couldn't get him to do that, no one and nothing would."

Stiles looks between them. "Who's Nina?"

"Uncle Peter's wife," Derek answers.

"Oh."

Laura giggles. "It's true. He always did have a big ego."

For the next half hour, things continue in the same vein. Derek isn't even offended when Laura tells more stories from their childhood. Because they're all told from an older sister's perspective, he doesn't come out looking the best in any of them, but he gets the chance to retaliate by apprising Stiles of Laura's exploits with her first boyfriend in excruciating detail. It's especially good when he gets to the part where she spent nearly a whole night in her boyfriend's car and got grounded for a month after their mother caught her sneaking back into the house early in the morning.

"What can I say?" Laura says insouciantly. "I like sex and we lost track of time."

Derek shakes his head in mock disgust. "Gross, Laura…"

"Like you're one to talk." Laura winks at Stiles. "And I'm sure you know that by now, don't you, Stiles?"

The teenager gapes at her. "Uhh…"

"Relax, I'm just pulling your leg," Laura smirks. "So, when's dinner gonna be ready, Derek? I'm eating for two now, so it better be soon."

Derek gets the time from the clock on the wall and is surprised by how much has passed. "It should be any minute now," he responds. Come to think of it, he can smell the stew in the air too, and it makes his mouth water.

Stiles leaps to his feet. "I'll go check."

A couple minutes later, Derek is back in the kitchen serving the stew out into four bowls while Stiles gets some cutlery from one of the drawers and goes to set the dining table. He hears Stiles laughing with Laura and James again and wonders why the hell he was so concerned when his sister showed up earlier.

Everything's going swimmingly, and he couldn't be gladder.

* * *

Later that evening, Laura and James take their leave. Derek offers to let them stay in one of his guest bedrooms, but they won't hear of it.

"We already booked a hotel nearby," Laura says. "Besides, wouldn't wanna get in the way of…y'know."

With another wink at Stiles, Laura and James drive off, leaving them alone. Derek shuts and locks the door and then turns around to lean back against it. Stiles remains with him in the foyer, seeming uncertain of what they should do now. Derek knows. He overheard something during dinner, after Laura asked Stiles what his plans were for college next fall. When Stiles hesitated and then didn't really have much of an answer to give at all, Derek could've smacked himself for not asking his boy that question himself before.

Stiles fidgets under Derek's scrutiny. "What's with the face?"

"College," is Derek's short reply.

Stiles gulps. "Oh. That."

"Yeah, that." Derek steps toward his boy. "You've really got no plans and haven't even applied anywhere?"

Stiles doesn't back away, but it's clear he wants to. "N-no," he stammers.

"I'm disappointed."

Stiles' expression twists into one of horror. "You are?"

"In you, yes, but mostly in myself," Derek explains, stopping when he reaches his boy. He cups Stiles' cheeks in his hands. "Why haven't you applied anywhere yet?"

The eighteen-year-old can't tear his gaze away from Derek's. "Because it's hard."

When he doesn't elaborate any further, Derek pushes him. "How? We're not doing anything else until you've told me the full truth."

"It's stressful! My grades are good, but I don't know what I wanna do. I've been putting it off, and then I ended up procrastinating on it for so long that I was too embarrassed to bring it up with anyone," he admits. His next words are so quiet that Derek almost doesn't hear them. "I just…got scared."

"That's not acceptable, Stiles," Derek chides him. "You could've come to me. Or before we met and solidified things between us, you could've gone to your dad."

"I know… It's just me being dumb, I guess."

"No putting yourself down." Derek lowers his hands from his boy's face and brings him into his arms. "You're not dumb. You just made a mistake. We all make them from time to time."

Stiles shudders. "Are you still mad at me?" he whispers into Derek's neck.

"I'm not mad, baby." Derek rubs his hands up and down Stiles' back. "But you still have to be punished."

Stiles whimpers his disapproval but doesn't do more than that.

"Since it's only the first time I'm having to punish you and you're usually so good, I'll go easy on you this time. Just don't take advantage of my kindness in the future, alright?"

"I promise, Daddy…"

"Okay."

Derek keeps holding his boy while he thinks. This is his least favourite part of being a Daddy—the punishments. He never feels good about it, would like to bring his boy nothing but joy and pleasure, but it's necessary. Stiles has to own up to his mistakes and grow from them, and it falls to Derek to make sure he does. In a way, it also serves as a punishment for himself, at least this time, because he believes he failed by not asking Stiles about his college plans—or lack thereof—any sooner.

"Alright, I know what your punishment's going to be," Derek says. "Come with me, Stiles."

Derek leads the way back into the living room and comes to a stop in the corner, where the walls are bare and there's nothing of interest to look at or touch.

"Really?" Stiles pouts, catching on.

"Yes. You're going to sit here in time out for thirty minutes and think about your actions." Derek points to the floor and doesn't speak again until Stiles has reluctantly sat down there, facing the walls with his legs and arms crossed. "I hope this will teach you to communicate your struggles to me with more freedom, because you not doing that hinders my ability to do my job as your Daddy. As I said before, that's just not acceptable behaviour. It's not what good boys do. Do you understand?"

Stiles bows his head, and his body language becomes less defensive. "Yes, Daddy."

"Okay. I'll be back to get you when your time is up, and we'll move on. Tomorrow after school, we'll discuss your options for college together."

It's tough to leave his boy alone there, but Derek forces himself to walk away because he's sure it's for the best.

Stiles has to learn.

Chapter Text

- Wednesday, December 4th, 2013 -

Stiles doesn't think he has ever been so bored before. He has only been sitting in the corner for a few minutes at most, but to him it feels as if hours have passed—and that's not just him being dramatic. The passage of time is unbearably slow when you've got nothing to do, nothing to focus on at all. All Stiles can look at are the smooth painted walls in front of him, and they get old quickly. He counts the few specks of dirt that are there several times over, attempts to make shapes or constellations out of them like they're stars in the sky, but they aren't enough.

He shuts his eyes instead, getting lost in his imagination. He thinks of himself and his Daddy in all sorts of compromising positions, but every time he comes up with something good, Derek's disappointed face intrudes in the dirty fantasy and brings him crashing back down to reality. It always happens so fast that his dick doesn't even have a chance to reach half-mast, which fucking sucks. Initially, Stiles feels annoyed and grumbles to himself about how stupid this all is, but after a moment of introspection, he gets a wake-up call when he realises just what the previous intrusions were:

They were manifestations of the guilt he feels for letting Derek down.

Him putting off applying to any colleges is the whole reason he's sitting here. It's meant to be a punishment, and Stiles has to hand it to his Daddy—it's not as dumb and childish as he thought it was when he first sat down. Well, it is childish, but then…isn't that the point? Plus, it's effective enough for Stiles to hate it. He hates sitting in the corner alone, but the only person he can blame is himself. He was naughty, so his Daddy had to teach him a lesson. Stiles is definitely learning it. He can hear Derek washing dishes in the kitchen and desperately wants to get up and grovel at his feet, but that's not how he'll get forgiveness. Staying in the corner and enduring his punishment is the only way to earn that.

So that's what Stiles does. With a sigh, he settles in for however much of the thirty minutes remains, just staring and pondering his mistakes. He doesn't attempt to lose himself in naughty thoughts anymore, because he doesn't deserve them right now. He can do that when his time is up.

It's just a shame that it takes so freaking long for that to happen.

When the noise in the kitchen finally stops and Stiles detects Derek moving back into the living room, he's nearing the end of his rope. Mercifully, Derek's return apparently coincides with the end of Stiles' time-out, because he approaches Stiles, sits down behind him and requests that he turn around.

"S'it over?" Stiles asks quietly, anxiously meeting his Daddy's gaze.

"Yes, baby," Derek confirms, taking Stiles' hand and gently pulling him into his lap. "Did you learn your lesson about how you should talk to me?"

Stiles nods and tucks his chin over Derek's shoulder. "I won't keep anything from you again, Daddy."

Derek hums and places a kiss to the side of Stiles' neck, making him shiver. "There's my good boy."

"So you forgive me?"

"Yes, you're forgiven, Stiles. Now we can move on with the slate wiped clean. I hated doing that to you. I much prefer holding you like this."

Stiles agrees. After a long time of forced solitude, he soaks up the contact like a sponge soaks up water. They sit there for a few minutes more, and while time still seems to pass slowly, Stiles doesn't mind it now that he has his Daddy with him. Daddy makes everything better, and Stiles wouldn't complain if they stayed there forever. Unfortunately, the man has other plans, as Stiles finds out when Derek moves one hand to Stiles' ass to support him as he pushes himself to his feet, putting his big, sexy muscles to use. Surprised, the teenager clings to Derek tightly, wrapping his coltish legs around his waist.

"Daddy!" he squawks, leaning back so that he can see the man's face again.

Derek chuckles and pecks the tip of his nose. "C'mon, baby," he says, carrying Stiles into the kitchen. "It's nearly bedtime, but we've got enough time left to do some shopping."

Stiles frowns and allows himself to be carried. "Shopping?"

"For PJs for you, remember?"

Stiles bites his bottom lip when their conversation in bed comes back to him. "Oh. Yeah."

"We'll pick out some nice ones for you to wear when you're here in the evenings. Won't that be good?"

In the kitchen now, Stiles shrugs as best he can before Derek brings him to the island and sits him down on a stool. "I guess."

Derek takes the stool next to him and pulls a shiny MacBook Pro toward them. The screen is already filled by a Chrome window with several tabs open. "I did some research while you were at school today and found a few sites that have good options for you to choose from," he explains, shifting closer so that their thighs touch. "You can pick out as many as you want."

Stiles is overwhelmed as Derek begins scrolling down all the different specialised websites he found. There are dozens of listings for juvenile-looking pyjamas in adult sizes and a variety of colours, designs and fabrics. Like Derek suggested when he brought it up yesterday, Stiles focuses at first on the simpler ones, the garments that are plain colours. Some are bright while others are more muted. He tells Derek to stop scrolling when he spots a listing that consists of a pair of long bottoms and a long-sleeved cotton shirt that looks soft and warm. Both articles of clothing are a deep blue, but the hems and waistband of the bottoms are red, as are the cuffs and collar of the shirt.

"You like the look of this one, baby?" Derek enquires, genuinely curious.

"I…I think so," Stiles replies. He pictures himself wearing it, maybe cuddled up into his Daddy's side on the sofa with his teddy in his arms. It doesn't weird him out but instead sounds so damn relaxing.

"Yeah, I like that one," Stiles confirms.

"I'll put it in the cart then, and we'll keep going."

For the next few minutes, Stiles picks out a few more pairs of pyjamas that are similar to the first set. Nothing too crazy.

And then he sees them.

"Wait!" he cries, clamping a hand around Derek's wrist as he goes to scroll right past another listing.

Derek looks at him, alarmed. "What's wrong?"

"N-nothing," Stiles denies as he loosens his grip. "It's just…that one." He points at the screen, at a set of baby-blue pyjamas that have little yellow ducks all over them.

Derek's eyes widen in surprise. "They look very cute, but I was under the impression that you wanted to start out simple."

"I did, but…"

"It's alright." Derek kisses his temple. "You're allowed to change your mind, Stiles. I have no problem adding those to the cart too."

Stiles turns and presses his forehead against Derek's shoulder, hiding his face. "Thank you, Daddy."

Once he feels up to it again, Stiles and Derek resume looking through all the websites Derek found, and in the end Stiles selects a total of seven sets of pyjamas. The one with the ducks is the most adventurous, the most obviously childlike, but they're also the ones that Stiles most looks forward to trying out. He also doesn't fail to notice that seven is the perfect number for him to have pyjamas to change into every day of the week, almost like he was subconsciously planning for a future in which he moves in with his Daddy full-time. Just the idea of it makes him want to cry out of joy.

You can have that, he consoles himself. Eventually.

"Is that everything you want?" Derek asks him, fingers hovering over the trackpad.

Stiles nods. "Yeah, that's enough."

"You did good," Derek compliments, going to the checkout on the three different websites Stiles' selections are on. "You'll look adorable in all of them, I just know it."

Derek's words make Stiles all tingly inside, but the sensation fades as he watches the man put in his payment details. He makes a choked noise when he reads the totals.

"That's expensive," Stiles says. "I dunno how I feel about you spending so much money on something that's just for me."

"It's not just for you, baby," Derek corrects, bumping their shoulders together. "It's for me too. To be honest, I can't wait to see you in all of these."

"It's still so much money…"

Derek shakes his head and finishes all three of the purchases before Stiles can get another word in. "It is, but I have no problem with that. This money would just sit in my bank account otherwise, and you're worth spoiling a bit. Or a lot."

"But what if I'm wrong?"

"What do you mean?"

Stiles frowns and picks at the fabric of his chinos. "What if I don't end up liking it after all? Then it's just wasted money."

Derek hums thoughtfully. "Yes and no. Yes, it would be a shame if it turns out it's not for you after all, but in my opinion, it's worth trying. No matter the outcome."

"But—"

"I'm serious, Stiles." Derek gently takes Stiles' chin and locks their gazes. "I want to do this for you."

There's no way for Stiles not to believe him wholeheartedly, not when Derek's eyes are so open and earnest. Derek hasn't lied to him before, so Stiles trusts that he's telling the truth and that Derek won't try to use any money spent on him against him in the future. Derek isn't that sort of man. He can be stern when he needs to be, as evidenced by him giving Stiles a time out earlier, but most of him's all soft and gooey.

While a tiny part of Stiles remains wary, he nods his acceptance. This is happening. He's really going to dip his toe into what it's like to be a little and find out once and for all if it's really for him.

He attempts not to get hung up on social norms. He knows that Derek would say such norms have no place here, and most of him agrees. He clings to that argument and embraces the part of himself that's excited to test things out. He still cringes internally at the thought of using a bottle, and in his current headspace, wearing diapers is a hard no, but he'll see how it goes. Stiles remembers how he was against dressing up in little clothes when he and Derek started this thing, and now look at him. He can't say that his preferences won't change even further.

He'll keep as much of an open mind as he can and not concern himself with what anyone outside of their bubble would say if they knew.

He'd only drive himself crazy if he did that.

Coming out of his reverie, Stiles leans forward and kisses Derek. Heat stirs in his gut when he tastes his Daddy's mouth, but before he can really get into it, his day catches up to him and he has to break things off to yawn.

"I guess my boy's all tuckered out," Derek observes with a smile.

Stiles finishes his yawn and smacks his lips. "Yeah. Sorry…"

"It's fine, baby. We can continue that another time." Derek shuts his MacBook, stands up and offers his hand. "C'mon, let's get ready for bed. You've got another long day of school tomorrow."

Upstairs in the master suite, Stiles and Derek take turns relieving themselves in the toilet and brushing their teeth at the sink, and then they return to the bedroom in nothing but their underwear. Slipping beneath the covers, Stiles waits for Derek to get in beside him and then rests his head on Derek's hirsute chest so that he can listen to his heartbeat. He wiggles in place a bit to get more comfortable, and when his eyelids start to droop, he doesn't fight them. He allows his exhaustion to claim him, and the last thing he's aware of before he falls under is his Daddy wishing him sweet dreams.

* * *

- Saturday, December 7th, 2013 -

At the start of the weekend, Stiles wakes up in Derek's bed to the smell of hash browns and coffee under his nose. He blinks open his eyes and spots Derek standing next to the bed with a tray of food in his hands, a sight that he has seen every time he's slept over at Derek's house over the course of the past week. Derek meant it when he said that he was going to spoil him, and Stiles has loved every second of it. It makes him feel special, and this morning is no different.

In fact, as Stiles sits up, he thinks that it's even better because today is the day—the day his pyjamas arrive.

"Good morning, baby," Derek greets, sitting next to him.

Stiles rubs his eyes to wake himself up fully and then peers at the delicious breakfast Derek prepared. "Mmm…morning, Daddy. Looks good."

Just like all the other times, Stiles doesn't pick up the knife and fork himself. Derek takes care of all of that for him, and all Stiles has to do is open his mouth, chew and swallow. He's fast turning into a very pampered boy, and he relishes every second of it.

"Are you excited for today?" Derek asks him after feeding him the last piece of food.

Stiles hums and swallows. "Yeah, I actually am."

"Me too."

"D'you know when they're coming?"

"Let me find out." Derek grabs his phone and goes onto the tracking app for the delivery service that all the websites use. "Sometime in the early afternoon, by the looks of it."

Stiles is disappointed, impatient to receive his new PJs. "But that's so far away," he whines, pouting.

Derek rolls his eyes and sets both his phone and the tray on his nightstand. When he looks at Stiles again, he winks. "I'm sure I can figure out a way to make the time fly by."

Easily picking up the hint, Stiles pushes back the sheets and climbs over into Derek's lap, his arms settling over Derek's shoulders. They make out for a while, Stiles moaning into the kiss when he feels Derek slide one of his hands into the back of his underwear and brush over his crack with a finger.

"Daddy, don't tease me," Stiles says against Derek's mouth.

Derek slips his finger into Stiles' crack and rubs over his dry hole. "Does my boy need me to fill him up?"

Stiles rocks back onto his Daddy's finger. "Uh-huh. It's been so long."

"It's only been a couple days since we had sex, baby," Derek reminds him, amused.

"Feels like longer."

"I have to agree with that." Without warning, Derek tips Stiles' backward and follows him down so that Stiles ends up on his back with Derek looming over him. "I'm going to send you so high that you'll forget all about being impatient, and then I'll give you a spanking before we get up. How does that sound, baby boy?"

Stiles moans again and arches up beneath Derek, brushing their chests together. "Daddy, please…"

"Alright. You just lie back and let me make you feel good."

* * *

At just after one o'clock, Stiles sits on the floor of the living room with the coffee table in front of him. He's in the middle of researching colleges on Derek's MacBook, narrowing down his choices and bookmarking those he believes look decent enough. Now that he's actually doing it, he can't recall why he'd been putting it off. He's thankful that his Daddy sat him down on Thursday afternoon and helped him make a start, otherwise he probably would have left it until the very last day, been panicking the whole time and made poor choices.

Speaking of Derek, the man enters the room a moment later, sets a glass of sparkling raspberry-flavoured water on the coffee table next to Stiles and sits down on the sofa behind him.

"How's it going so far?" he asks, his feet bracketing the teenager's hips.

"Pretty good," Stiles answers before taking a sip of his cool beverage.

"Anything promising?"

"Yeah, a few."

"That's good."

With those last two words, Stiles reads something different in Derek's voice. Something bad. He puts his glass back down and shuffles around to face him. "What's up?"

Derek shakes his head and smiles at him, but it isn't one of his usual smiles, bright or fond. It's wan.

"Derek, just tell me," Stiles entreaties. He purposefully doesn't call him Daddy, sensing that this is a serious topic that requires him to be in a clear and mature headspace.

Derek seems to struggle with whether or not he should open up, but in the end he does. "It's just…the idea of you going off to college is making me reconsider some things," he says. "I don't want that to spell the end of what we've got going here, and it wouldn't be the same to do this long-distance."

Sitting up straight, Stiles puts a hand on Derek's knee. "What are you saying?"

"I'm saying that…"

"Derek, spit it out. You're worrying me."

"Sorry. I'm saying that, when the time comes, I might look into renting this place out."

This isn't what Stiles had been expecting to come out of Derek's mouth, and he can't discern what it means right away. "Huh?"

"Wherever you end up going—whether it's here in California or on the other side of the country—I'll do whatever I have to to help you get there," Derek says, peering down into Stiles' eyes with steely determination. "And I'll come with you. If you want me to."

Stiles is dumbfounded in the best way. They've both already said they're thinking long-term when it comes to them as a couple, and to Stiles, this revelation only underpins that. Derek speaking about future plans like this… He knew that him falling for Derek was an inevitability very shortly after they met, but this only makes him more sure that he has already fallen. He's so damn in love with this man that he doesn't know how to handle it. He hasn't ever felt this for anyone before.

When he doesn't speak, Derek taps the side of Stiles' head with his index finger. "What's going on in there?"

Stiles can't hold it back. It's been a struggle to do so for as long as he has, and he has only managed it because it seemed too soon to him. But with Derek talking so openly about following him wherever he goes to college, Stiles stops.

"I love you," he says plainly, hoping he's not making a mistake.

Derek gapes, his expression vulnerable. Stiles can't decide if this is a good sign or not, but he finds out a few seconds later when Derek drags him up and into a fierce embrace.

"I love you too," Derek rasps, one arm around the small of Stiles' back and the other hand cradling the back of Stiles' head. "My brave, beautiful boy."

Stiles exhales his relief and laughs giddily. "Nice alliteration."

Derek laughs with him. "I try."

Pulling back, the pair share a passionate kiss that's full of their newly confessed feelings for each other. It leaves them both breathless.

"I'm so lucky I found you," Derek whispers when it's over, holding Stiles' face and stroking his thumbs over his cheekbones.

"Luck had nothing to do with it, in my opinion."

"No?"

"No." Stiles bows his head, a bit embarrassed by how cheesy what he's about to say is, but he makes himself. "I like to believe it was fate that led me to you."

Another kiss ensues, this one just as full of feeling. "I'll believe that too," Derek agrees.

"You'll really come with me?" Stiles asks.

Derek gives him another smile, and this time it's full of the affection Stiles is used to. He promises always.

Chapter Text

- Saturday, December 7th, 2013 -

For the rest of the afternoon, Stiles attempts to distract himself with various tasks—watching TV; reading a book; texting with Scott; playing video games with Derek—but none of that is enough to prevent him from always being aware of the time ticking away. The tracking app said that his PJs were supposed to be delivered in the early afternoon, but when four o'clock comes and goes with no knock on the door, Stiles gets increasingly antsy and annoyed. Derek must notice it because he rests his PS4 controller on his knee and checks the app on his phone again.

"The driver's running late, but it shouldn't be too much longer, baby," he relays. "See?"

Stiles looks at Derek's phone. There's a small map of Beacon County on the screen, which features a small icon of a van just outside of town.

"It's close to Beacon Hills," Stiles notes.

"Yup." Derek turns his phone back around so that he can see it himself again. "And further down, it says that there are only a few more deliveries to make before ours. I know it's not ideal, but you just have to be patient a little bit longer."

"I guess I can do that," Stiles sighs. His annoyance has faded, but he's impatient and wants to try on his PJs now. Still, he shakes the feeling off because his Daddy doesn't deserve to deal with it; it's not his fault that the driver's running late. "You wanna play more?"

Derek nods. "Sure."

For another half hour, Stiles actually manages to lose himself in the action happening on the TV screen. He doesn't so much as glance at a clock, which means that it comes as a surprise when he hears a loud knock on the front door. He startles and nearly drops his controller, but he saves it from the floor just in time. Derek chuckles at his antics and goes to answer the door, leaving Stiles alone in the living room nearly dying with anticipation.

This is it. He's finally going to know what it's like after several days of waiting, of dreaming about it every night—and in most of his waking moments as well.

"Alright, thanks!" Derek says in the foyer, right before the door closes.

"Are they all there?" Stiles asks, sitting up straight when the man comes back into the living room with three packages balanced on top of each other.

"They seem to be. I've got something from each website, at least." Derek sits back down next to Stiles and puts the boxes on the coffee table. "You're really eager for this, aren't you?"

"Yeah," Stiles confirms. "I have been since Wednesday. Your spankings've basically been the only things keeping me from getting sidetracked in school, and even then, there were a few close calls."

"I've been waiting for this too." Derek taps his chin with his index finger. "Maybe we can have a little fashion show."

"Maybe. Now c'mon, can we open them already?"

"Hang on. I'll go get a box cutter."

A few moments later, Derek returns to his seat and pulls the first of the three packages onto his lap. He cuts through the tape sealing it shut, pulls apart the flaps and makes a start at unloading the various sets of pyjamas that are contained within, each one wrapped individually in noisy plastic. He repeats this process with the other two boxes without letting Stiles see anything, only stopping when it's all done and they've got a short tower of seven plastic-wrapped sets of pyjamas between them.

"How about we take these up to the bedroom?" Derek suggests. "You can try them on, pick one to wear for tonight and we can put the rest away. Sound good?"

Stiles agrees only because it's the fastest way for him to actually get his hands on his new clothes. He tails Derek upstairs to the master bedroom, and then they work as a team to take the garments out of their plastic and lay them all out across the bed. Stiles thinks it's a good thing that the mattress is king-sized, otherwise they wouldn't have enough space for everything. He puts the last set in its place and steps back to stare at all of them, taking in their bright colours and soft-looking fabrics with awe on his face. He doesn't stop looking even as Derek comes up behind him and hugs him, his chin slotted over Stiles' shoulder so that he can see the pyjamas too.

Derek's voice is breathy in his ear. "What d'you think?"

Stiles is lost for words, something that happens very rarely for him. "They're…" he tries, but he ends up trailing off.

Luckily, Derek understands what he means anyway. "I know," he says, squeezing him tightly. "They're really something, aren't they?"

For a couple minutes, Stiles stands there in Derek's arms, unable to break free of the state of inaction the sight of his new PJs has shocked him into. But then Derek speaks again.

"Which one d'you want to try on first, baby?"

Stiles' eyes are immediately drawn to the blue set with the yellow ducks. He wants to put that one on far more than any of the others, to the point where he's a hundred percent certain it'll be his favourite and it'll be the one he's going to stay in tonight. But because of that, he decides to save it for last.

"Can we start with that one?" Stiles asks, pointing to the dark-blue pair with red accents.

"Sure thing. Let's get you out of these clothes then."

Stiles stands still as Derek comes around to stand in front of him and, with great care, assists him in taking off the day clothes he put on that morning. Others his age and older would feel weird being undressed like a kid again, but not him. Stiles relishes the attention and willingly raises his arms when Derek goes to peel his T-shirt from his torso. He puts his hands on Derek's shoulders when the man crouches down to take off his chinos and underwear, and then he's left completely naked. Were the situation different, his Daddy's face being so close to his crotch would have Stiles' dick perking up with interest, but right now he remains flaccid. This is totally innocent.

Picking up the pyjama bottoms, Derek assists Stiles in stepping into them and pulls them up his legs. He fits the waistband comfortably around Stiles' waist and moves onto the long-sleeved shirt, scrunching it up into a ring of fabric so that he can get the neck hole over Stiles' head with ease. A few seconds later, Stiles slides his arms in the sleeves and Derek pulls the shirt on all the way and smooths the fabric down his stomach.

"How's that, baby?" he enquires, taking a step back.

Stiles looks down at himself and thinks. The fabric is so nice against his skin—softer than any of his normal clothes. He wonders if it's just his imagination or whether the company who made the PJs actually uses softer fabrics to further play into the childlike aspect of them. Whichever is true, he likes them, especially when he holds his hands up in front of him and he notices that the sleeves are longer than usual, ending at the middle of his pinky finger. It makes the PJs feel even younger.

"I love them," Stiles says honestly, beaming at Derek.

Derek lets out a relieved breath and then grins beatifically back at him, the corners of his eyes crinkling. "I'm glad. I love them too. You look just as adorable as I thought."

Butterflies proliferate in Stiles' stomach. "Really?"

"Yes." Derek steps forward again and kisses the eighteen-year-old's forehead. "You make such a beautiful little boy, baby."

Stiles basks under the praise. He's slowly getting better at receiving compliments, mainly because Derek gives him so many that he has to. "Thank you, Daddy."

"You're welcome. D'you want to try on the next one now?"

"Uh-huh."

For the next few minutes, Derek repeats the process, dressing and undressing his boy in the other five sets of less adventurous pyjamas. Stiles loves every one of them too, and when it comes time for him to put on the seventh and final set, the one with the ducks, his heart is beating so fast in his chest that he fears it might explode. If Derek notices how much it's affecting him, he kindly chooses not to say anything about it.

When the duck pyjamas are on, Stiles dashes into the en suite bathroom to check himself in the mirror above the sink. Derek appears behind his reflection a few seconds later, and both of them are quiet as Stiles admires how he looks. He flicks his eyes to his Daddy's face and sees admiration in his hazel eyes as well, even more than he'd seen when he was in his other PJs. This just seals the deal. The duck pyjamas are definitely his favourite set, and he's already sure that he'll be wearing them a lot more than all of the others. There's just something so right about seeing himself dressed like this. It unlocks something deep inside of Stiles that he never knew was there. It's like he's truly comfortable in his own skin for the first time.

Unable to adequately speak his feelings, Stiles spins around and hugs Derek tightly, putting his gratitude into that instead.

"You're welcome, baby," Derek whispers, once again understanding his boy without any trouble at all. He kisses the top of Stiles' head.

Stiles calms down again soon. He leans back so that he can see his Daddy's face. "Can we go cuddle on the sofa, Daddy?" he asks, aiming to make the fantasy he'd had on Wednesday a reality.

"Of course. We can watch an episode or two of your favourite show before it's bedtime."

Derek puts a hand on the small of Stiles' back and leads him out of the bathroom, toward the bedroom door. Stiles has a last-minute thought and temporarily breaks away to grab his teddy from its home on the pillows of the bed, and then he returns to Derek's side and walks with him back downstairs.

What follows is a perfect evening. Stiles sits curled up next to his Daddy in his duck pyjamas, his teddy bear in his arms, his head on Daddy's shoulder and Daddy's fingers running continuously through his hair. Stiles can barely focus on what's playing on the TV, but he doesn't care. It's total bliss, his mind empty of any worries or responsibilities.

If this is what being a little is all about, then he can definitely get on board with it.

* * *

- Sunday, December 8th, 2013 -

The next morning, Derek gets another visit from Laura and James. He hasn't seen the other couple since they first got back into town earlier in the week, but he can't say he isn't happy to see them. After how well they'd taken the revelation of his and Stiles' relationship, he's not nervous to be around them anymore and welcomes them inside the house with open arms and a smile on his face.

"What brings you by today?" he asks, taking them into the kitchen. Stiles waves at Laura and James with a soapy hand and then goes back to washing their dishes from breakfast.

"Well, our flight back to New York is this afternoon, so I figured I'd spent a little extra time with my precious baby brother before then," Laura explains, messing up Derek's hair.

Derek squawks his disapproval and dodges out of the way. He fixes his hair as best he can without a mirror and glares at Stiles when he hears the teenager giggling at him. This just sets Stiles off even more, to the point where he ceases washing up altogether and accidentally gets some warm water all over the floor.

"Yeah, yeah, laugh it up," Derek grumbles. He steps up next to Stiles, careful of the spill, and whispers in his ear. "Keep doing that and I'll have to spank you."

This has its intended effect, Stiles' laughter cutting off suddenly and his cheeks pinking up. He looks at Derek with wide eyes, his pupils dilated with a sudden burst of arousal. Not wanting to actually embarrass his boy in front of Laura and James, Derek winks at him and then lets it go, turning back to his sister to engage her in conversation before she can notice Stiles' current state and tease either of them about it. Unfortunately, Laura is quicker on the draw than he is, and her lips are already curled into a smirk that can only be called evil.

"Hey, Stiles?" she calls, leaning forward to rest her elbows on the kitchen island.

"W-what?" the boy stammers, his pupils returning to normal now that the moment has passed.

Laura runs her eyes quickly up and down Stiles' body, her smirk somehow stretching wider. "Nice PJs."

This makes Stiles' eyes go wide all over again, but this time for an entirely different reason. He looks down at himself and swallows tightly, having forgotten that he's still dressed in his duck pyjamas from last night. Derek forgot too. It just seemed so natural to him to have his boy dressed like that first thing in the morning that it had completely slipped his mind when Laura and James arrived.

Fuck, he's not being a very good Daddy this morning. He's well aware that Stiles doesn't like the idea of anyone else knowing what goes on between the two of them, and he should have kept Laura and James in the living room while he sent his boy upstairs to get changed into regular clothes. He'll have to apologise later—after he gets his boy out of this situation.

Derek narrows his eyes at his sister, his disapproval real this time, and speaks hushed words to Stiles. "How about you go up and change?" he suggests. "I'll keep her busy."

Stiles swallows tightly, some kind of war happening behind his eyes. At first, Derek believes that Stiles is going to do as he says and take the escape, but in the end, Stiles doesn't. Derek watches, stunned, as his boy braces himself, holds his head high and then shakes it, choosing to stay.

"It's okay," Stiles says. When he meets Derek's gaze, Derek can see that he's still unsettled, but he's not giving into it. His brave boy. "I'm not about to shout it from the rooftops, but they've already seen, and they already know what we are."

After Stiles has resumed washing the dishes like nothing out of the ordinary has just occurred, his movements slightly stiff, Derek blinks dumbly at his profile.

"C'mon, Der, I don't care," Laura says, laying her mischief to rest after the exchange she just witnessed. "I think the PJs are actually pretty cute. They suit him. Right, James?"

Her husband simply nods, sensing that it's wise not to disagree.

Derek, unsure of how to proceed, says nothing.

"Anyway, I've got something to ask you," Laura apprises, her expression sobering.

Derek leans back against the counter next to the sink, sticking by his boy as a way of silently showing him support. "Sounds ominous."

"It's not. Or I don't think it is, anyway."

"Go on."

"Well, since it's my last day in town and I probably won't be back to visit you again for quite a while, given the baby and all, I wanted to ask you to come with me to the cemetery to see our family. I've been putting it off so far and have spent the past few days reconnecting with old friends instead, but I definitely want to do it before I leave. It'd feel like I'm disrespecting their memory if I don't." Laura walks around the island and puts her hand on Derek's arm. "Please?"

Derek is aware that the other two people in the room have stopped everything they're doing to await his response. He can feel Stiles' eyes on the side of his face.

It's a tough call. He tries to go to his family's graves a few times a year, but it always brings up the pain of their passing all over again and gives him trouble sleeping afterwards. It sometimes lasts for weeks, depending on how long he stays there and which memories return to the forefront of his mind. Cowardice almost has Derek saying no, but peering into Laura's hopeful face, he can't deny her. Maybe it won't be so bad to go with the company of someone else—particularly since that someone went through the exact same thing he did.

"Okay," he assents, keeping his voice steady so as to not display his apprehension. "I'll go."

Laura hugs him. "Thanks, little brother. I really appreciate it."

Not too long after the tension passes, Stiles finishes the dishes and Derek takes him upstairs so that they can both get changed into more appropriate clothing for a cemetery. Derek chooses a dark-grey henley and a pair of jeans for himself, and a yellow T-shirt and brown chinos for his boy. He decides to let Stiles dress himself this time. It will lead him back into a more adult mindset, which he knows will be necessary to spend time in a public space.

When they're both ready, Stiles grabs Derek's wrist before he can go back out into the hallway. "Are you sure you're really okay doing this?" he asks carefully.

"Yeah, why wouldn't I be?"

Stiles looks at him flatly, seeing through the act.

"It's not going to be the easiest thing in the world, I'll give you that," Derek concedes. "But it's about time I went anyway. Besides, I'll have Laura with me."

"And me."

This causes Derek to do a double-take. "What?"

"I'll be going too. As moral support."

"You don't have to do that," Derek tells him, even though he's touched.

"I know. But I lost my mom and that was one of the hardest things I've ever gone through. I can't even imagine losing so many more loved ones in one fell swoop like you and Laura. I'm going too."

Yeah, Stiles is definitely in a more adult mindset now, Derek muses. He's happy for it, though.

"Thanks," he says simply, taking Stiles' hand.

Stiles squeezes it. "No problem. You'd do the same for me at the drop of a hat, so don't even mention it. Yeah, you're my Daddy most of the time, but we're still equals and I still need to be there for you when you need me."

Derek admits that Stiles has a point. Still holding hands, the pair go back downstairs and join Laura and James in the foyer. They slip on their shoes and leather jackets and head out the front door with the other couple, the somber mood hanging over all of their heads like a storm cloud. It says a lot about how seriously everyone is taking this that neither Laura nor Stiles even attempts to crack a joke or make a teasing comment, as would be their wont at any other time.

"We'll meet you there, okay?" Laura says when they all reach Derek's Camaro in the driveway.

Derek nods. "Yeah, sure."

He watches as Laura and James walk down to the curb where they'd parked the car they'd rented after getting into town, and once they've driven off, he joins Stiles in his own.

"Let's do this," he says, sticking his keys in the ignition.

Stiles puts his hand on Derek's thigh as he backs out of the driveway. He doesn't let go for the whole ride.

* * *

- Monday, December 9th, 2013 -

Stiles jolts awake in the middle of the night to a pitch-black bedroom. He's disoriented at first, his brain sluggish as he wakes up properly, but when he turns over, searching for more sheets because he's cold, what woke him up becomes apparent and has him instantly alert. In the moonlight that shines in through the bedroom window, Stiles can see Derek tossing and turning in bed next to him with sweat beading on his brow. He wears a deep frown and the sheets are a tangled mess around his waist and legs, which explains why Stiles is cold.

"Derek?" Stiles calls quietly. He's hesitant to reach out and touch his lover in case he wakes up violently, but when Derek whimpers again, it's such a broken sound that's uncharacteristic of him that Stiles doesn't have a choice anymore.

"Derek, wake up. It's okay, it's just a nightmare," he soothes, tentatively touching Derek's bare shoulder.

"No…no…not them. Please…" Derek murmurs hoarsely.

Stiles shakes him gently. "Derek, c'mon, you're okay."

He sucks in a sharp breath when Derek jackknifes up into a sitting position, his chest heaving as he looks wildly at his surroundings. When he realises that he's safe in his bedroom, he runs his fingers through his hair and then pinches the bridge of his nose, his eyes scrunched shut as he calms himself down.

"D'you wanna talk about it?" Stiles asks, sitting up as well and putting a hand on Derek's broad back. He can feel the tremors racking through him.

"Not yet," Derek croaks.

"Alright."

Stiles waits patiently for the older man to gather himself, and once he has, he turns Derek's face toward his and cups his cheek, forcing their gazes to meet. He doesn't say anything yet, not willing to push Derek on something that's obviously so sensitive. He just strokes his thumb back and forth across Derek's bristly cheek and maintains eye contact, hoping that it will help him come back down from the unpleasant adrenaline high of whatever he dreamt about.

"Thanks for waking me up," Derek murmurs after a while. He kisses Stiles' palm.

"No problem. It looked like a really bad one."

Derek makes a barely-there sound of distress. "It was."

Still Stiles doesn't request an explanation, leaving it entirely up to Derek. This patience pays off when Derek lies back down with a sigh and beckons him to do the same. They lie facing each other, their heads close together on the same pillow and their legs intertwined.

"I dreamed about my family." Derek reveals. "The night they…"

"The night of the fire," Stiles finishes for him. He's even more happy that he woke Derek up. It saved him from having to relive that horror a second longer.

Derek blinks his eyes rapidly, holding back tears. Stiles has never seen the man like this before. Derek has always seemed so strong, like he has everything together, but every now and then Stiles has seen glimpses of something more vulnerable. He's incredibly grateful to be witness to such things, that Derek trusts him enough to see him on the verge of breaking down like he is in this very moment.

"You don't have to say anything if you don't want to. Or if you can't," Stiles reminds him. "I think I already know enough to piece it together."

With a sniffle, Derek gives Stiles a wobbly smile. "It always happens like this."

Stiles begins to rub his foot up and down one of Derek's calves. "What does?"

"After I go to see my family, it always triggers nightmares about that night again. Every single time. It's why I don't go that often."

"I wouldn't either," Stiles says.

When he's sure that this is all he's going to get out of Derek tonight, Stiles moves forward and kisses him, pouring into it every bit of tenderness and love he's capable of. Derek kisses him back for a few moments, wordlessly conveying that he appreciates Stiles being there for him.

"D'you think you can get any more sleep tonight?" Stiles asks when they break apart.

Derek shrugs one shoulder. "I don't know. Maybe."

With that answer, Stiles shifts backwards slightly across the mattress and holds the sheets up, away from their bodies. "Turn around."

Derek looks at him bemusedly. "What?"

"Just turn around."

Eventually, Derek complies with Stiles' wishes, turning over onto his other side so that his back is to Stiles. With him in position, Stiles moves closer again, drops the sheets and moulds the front of his body to Derek's back, spooning him. He enfolds Derek in his arms, the reverse of how they often sleep when they're in the same bed like this. The older man is tense at first, just as unused to it as Stiles is.

"Just relax," Stiles coaxes, his lips brushing over the back of Derek's neck. "We're not Daddy and boy right now. Just let me take care of you for tonight."

Derek fidgets a bit, getting more comfortable, but soon his muscles lose their tension. "It's been a very long time since someone's held me like this."

Stiles exhales a short breath of amusement through his nose. "It's nice, isn't it?"

"Yeah."

Stiles can't say how long they both lie there, but he guesses it takes just over an hour for him to sense a change in his bedmate. Derek's breathing becomes softer and more even as he falls back to sleep, and Stiles is pleased with himself as he shuts his eyes with the intention of following him. It feels good to return to the favour, to be there for Derek like Derek has consistently been there for him since they met just a few weeks ago. He prays that sleeping in his arms will stave off any further nightmares tonight, but if it doesn't, he'll still be right here to make his man forget about them.

Chapter Text

- Monday, December 9th, 2013 -

When morning dawns, Derek opens his eyes and stares at the wall as memories of what occurred in the middle of the night return to him. He can still feel Stiles' arms around him and soft breaths on the back of his neck, meaning that neither of them had moved at all after their little talk. He's grateful, because after he fell back to sleep, he wasn't plunged right back into his awful nightmares. He didn't dream at all, and he feels surprisingly rested, two very good things which he's sure were caused by the subconscious knowledge that his young lover was right there with him all night, more than happy to soothe his raw nerves should he wake in a panic again.

Derek turns over and admires how Stiles' usually animated face is relaxed in sleep and his lips are slightly parted as he breathes quietly. He runs his index finger down the centre of Stiles' nose and smiles when it wrinkles at his touch and Stiles makes a soft noise of annoyance.

"Wake up," Derek singsongs softly.

"Don't wanna…" Stiles whines, tugging the sheets up over his head.

Derek allows him to hide for a few seconds, and then he pulls the sheets out of Stiles' lax grip and pushes them down to their waists.

Stiles pouts at Derek with his eyes only half open. "No fair…I'm still tired."

"It's nearly time for you to get up for school, so I'm sorry, but you're going to have to wake up now," Derek says.

"Ugh."

"I suppose I can let you get another few minutes…"

Stiles shuts his eyes all the way again and snuggles into his pillow. "Thank you."

"But that means you'll miss out on your morning spanking," Derek finishes, knowing just what reaction this will elicit.

Sure enough, Stiles snaps open his eyes again and sits up, alert. "God, mornings suck."

Derek sits up too, the sheets pooling in their laps. "They can. I like to think I make them a bit better, though."

Stiles nods. "You do. I did it, but before I had you to wake up to in the mornings, it was a real struggle to drag myself out of bed every weekday. It exasperated the shit out of my dad."

"I can picture that. And what about when you sleep at home now?"

Stiles nibbles on his bottom lip and looks down at his lap as he responds. "Now I get myself up anyway because you'd be disappointed in me if I didn't."

Derek reaches up and brushes Stiles' hair back from his forehead. "Good boy."

They sit in contented silence for a few moments, neither one of them feeling the need to fill it with small talk. It's nice, but it gets Derek thinking again about the previous night. "I just wanted to say thank you for what you did last night," he says, moving his hand from Stiles' hair to rest on his shoulder, clasping it firmly.

Stiles waves away the thanks. "It wasn't a big deal."

"It was," Derek insists. "It meant a lot."

"Well…I love you, so of course I'd help you," Stiles says with a sweet smile.

Derek's heart does that fluttery thing at Stiles' admission. He'll never tire of hearing those words. "I love you too, baby." He flings the sheets down to the foot of the bed and leans back against the pillows, freeing up some more space over his thick thighs. "Now come here. You've been so good this past week that I'll give you an extra long spanking as a reward. Your ass is more used to it now, so I think you'll be able to take it."

Stiles willingly drapes himself over Derek's lap, his cute little butt raised up slightly so that it's in the perfect position for a spanking. As Derek tugs on the waistband of his pyjama bottoms, Stiles grabs his teddy bear and holds it to his chest, sinking right back down into his little mindset. When his pale cheeks are exposed, Derek rubs his palms gently over them to help his boy relax even further and grins when he feels Stiles' cock perking up against his crotch. It gets his own blood flowing south, and soon enough Stiles grinds down onto him, rubbing their erections against each other.

"You ready, baby?" Derek asks, stroking one last time across Stiles' pale ass cheeks.

"Uh-huh. Please, Daddy," the boy begs, pushing up into Derek's hands.

How can Derek say no?

* * *

After they've both washed, dressed and eaten their breakfast, Stiles walks with Derek into the foyer. He slips his leather jacket on over his red-and-brown flannel shirt, sits down on the stairs to put on his shoes and takes his time doing up his laces, his backpack nudging his right knee. He could easily say goodbye to Derek now, get in his car and drive himself to school, but there's something in him this morning that urges him to ask Derek to drive him.

He knows exactly what will happen if he convinces his Daddy to do that:

They'd get to the school, Derek would drop him off, and a bunch of other students would see and immediately begin speculating about who they are to each other. Previously, just thinking of rumours spreading about him and another guy—particularly one that's a lot older than him—would've had Stiles freaking out. But now that he's getting much more comfortable with himself, and with both himself and Derek recently confessing their love for each other…Stiles believes he's ready.

And so, when he has finished with his laces, he stands up and turns to Derek.

"Have a good day at school, baby," the man says, leaning in for a kiss.

Stiles gives it to him but doesn't get his keys and walk out the door afterward. "Actually, I was wondering something," he says instead.

Derek frowns confusedly. "And what's that?"

Stiles takes a moment to gather his courage and then makes his request. "Can you drive me today?"

Derek's expression turns from confusion into surprise. "I'd be happy to, but are you sure?"

"Yes." Stiles stands tall, radiating certainty. "My dad knows about us now and is okay with it, and I want everyone else to know that I'm yours too."

Derek peers into Stiles' eyes for a few seconds, gauging how genuine his words are. He must see what they both want him to, because eventually he nods his assent and walks around Stiles to get his keys from the bowl next to the front door. "Well, c'mon then, let's get this show on the road."

"Great!" Stiles grabs his backpack, bounds over to Derek and pecks him on the lips. "Thanks, Daddy. You're the best."

"I know."

Stiles shadows him outside, waits for him to lock the door and then accompanies him down the steps toward where Derek's shiny black Camaro sits in the driveway next to Stiles' Jeep. The two vehicles look very out of place next to each other, but in an odd way, it's their differences that also make it seem like they do fit.

Their vehicles are reflections of them, Stiles muses as he opens the passenger door of the Camaro and climbs inside. He's kind of rough around the edges like his Jeep, and he's usually happy and loud like the bright blue paint. Derek, however, is more sophisticated, calm and even-tempered, just like the Camaro.

Stiles spends far too long thinking about this, and he gets so into picking out all the little things their vehicles say about them that it's a struggle to keep up when Derek attempts to engage him in conversation about his upcoming classes.

"What're you daydreaming about?" Derek enquires, sending Stiles a patient smile as they wait at a red light.

"Nothing important," Stiles responds, demurring from sharing his silly thoughts.

"Must've been something interesting, though."

Stiles shakes his head and is still not going to reveal what he'd been pondering, but then he mentally chides himself for acting like that. This is his Daddy. Daddy won't think it's stupid, and he's said many times before that Stiles can tell him anything.

"Well, actually…" he begins.

For the remainder of the drive, he fills Derek in on his revelations. By the time they arrive at school, the conversation has turned into each of them giving the other whatever compliments they can, like it's a game to see who can come up with the most. Stiles finds it slightly embarrassing to be bombarded by so many words of praise, but he's pleased by each one and is grinning so wide that his cheeks hurt when Derek brings the Camaro to a stop just outside the school and pulls up the parking brake.

Before Derek can say goodbye to him, Stiles unbuckles his seatbelt, grabs his backpack from the footwell and gets out of the car. He leans down to look back inside. "Well? You coming?"

Derek stares back suspiciously. "What're you planning, Stiles?"

"You'll find out if you get out."

They have a short staring match, and then Derek gives in and unbuckles too. Stiles rights himself, shuts the passenger door and walks around to the curb, where Derek awaits. Just like Stiles suspected would happen, Derek's mere presence is enough to catch the attention of a lot of the students who have chosen to mill around outside until the first bell rings.

Stiles relishes their wide eyes and the salacious looks they send his Daddy. He relishes it all so much, in fact, that he isn't the least bit perturbed when he walks up next to Derek and some of the other students' lust turns into bafflement, like they can't believe such a hunk of a man would ever deign to be with him.

Sucks to be them, he thinks.

"Now you can tell me to have a good day," Stiles prompts when he's right in front of Derek, his backpack hanging from his hand.

"Don't think I haven't sussed out the purpose of this," Derek murmurs.

Stiles drops his backpack to the ground and slings his arms over Derek's shoulders, not the least bit contrite. "You gonna play along?"

"Mmm…maybe. You'll have to make it worth my while."

Stiles smirks. "How would I go about doing that?"

"I'll figure something out later. For now, I guess I can go with it. C'mere." Derek puts a hand on the small of Stiles' back, pressing their bodies together from head to toe. He cups the side of Stiles' face with the other.

As soon as their lips lock, Stiles hears a few gasps and even a cry of outrage from those around them, and he can't help but laugh quietly into the kiss.

"You're being very naughty," Derek whispers when it ends, their mouths remaining close.

"I regret nothing."

"Mmm, I bet you don't."

"Well…I guess that's my coming out officially taken care of," Stiles says, leaning back slightly so that he can see Derek's face.

Derek keeps holding him, ignoring everyone else. His eyes are all for Stiles. "How does it feel?"

"Pretty good, actually." Stiles glances around and notes the shock slowly receding from the other students' countenances. His eyes alight on Danny, a Hawaiian boy from the lacrosse team who's been openly gay for years now. Danny gives him an enthusiastic thumbs-up. They don't hang out much, given that Danny's best friend is Jackson Whittemore, the biggest asshole in the school, but it feels good to get the other boy's approval anyway.

Just then, the bell rings and a flurry of movement ensues. "I guess that's my cue," Stiles says disappointedly. "You'll be here to pick me up after lacrosse?"

"Of course," Derek confirms, kissing him one last time before releasing him.

"Can't wait."

"Kick ass out there," Derek says as Stiles begins walking away. He waves when Stiles looks back at him over his shoulder.

Stiles waves back and then continues walking until he reaches the steps leading up into the main school building. He walks through the halls with a lot of eyes on him, the news of the DILF in the parking lot spreading like wildfire through the rest of the student body. He doesn't mind and enjoys it for what it is. It'll be the hot gossip for maybe a week, and then somebody else will do something to get others talking and the facts that Stiles Stilinski isn't straight and that he was dropped off and kissed by a sexy DILF beside said sexy DILF's fancy car will be old news.

He enters his first class just before the teacher, narrowly avoiding being late. He spies Scott sitting near the back with an empty seat next to him, so he walks down the aisle and takes it.

"Hey," he says as he gets out his textbook.

"Hey," Scott echoes, watching him speculatively.

"What?"

"Are the rumours true?"

"What rumours?" Stiles plays dumb and fights to stop his lips from curling upward.

Scott rolls his eyes. "That you and Derek put on a show outside a few minutes ago."

Stiles allows his smile to break free. "Yup. We totally did, and it was totally awesome!"

Scott smiles with him and holds out his fist. Stiles bumps it with his own and then focuses on the lesson when their teacher clears her throat loudly.

* * *

At the end of the day, Stiles walks with Scott toward the boys' locker room for lacrosse practice. The rest of the team is already there getting changed, so they rush toward their respective lockers and hurry to catch up, stripping clumsily out of their clothes and into their red jerseys and shorts. Stiles has just retrieved his stick when Coach Finstock enters the locker room in his typical shorts and white polo shirt. The coach grabs his whistle from where it hangs on a black string around his neck and blows into it, creating a shrill ringing that gets every boy present to shut up.

"We've got a bunch of work to do before you're anywhere near ready," he says, his gaze flitting quickly over Stiles, Scott and another team member called Greenberg.

Stiles only half pays attention to what else comes out of Finstock's mouth, not seeing the point when he knows he'll remain on the bench for his last season here.

What feels like an hour later, the other team members and Finstock file from the locker room to go out onto the field. Scott is among them, always eager even though he'll be warming the bench with Stiles because of his asthma. Stiles himself is slower to get up and go outside, a decision that he regrets when he suddenly comes face-to-face with an ugly sneer. Apparently, Jackson hung back too.

"So, I guess someone got themselves a sugar daddy," the boy jeers, getting so close that Stiles has to take a step back so that their bodies don't end up touching.

Here we go. Stiles was expecting this unpleasant result of his coming out. In a way, he's glad that it's happening so soon. Best to get it over with.

"What do you want, Jackson?" he asks, making his voice sound bored.

"What I want is for you to tell me what this morning was all about," Jackson drawls, stepping again into Stiles' space. He doesn't cease until he has Stiles backed up against a row of lockers, immured. "D'you think you're hot shit now?"

"No. Was that all?"

"That's good, because you're not. You're still a loser. Letting that guy fuck you for some cash doesn't change that. Nothing will."

Stiles can see from Jackson's expression that the other boy is hoping to goad him into throwing a punch so that he can beat him up in the name of 'self-defence'. Stiles doesn't rise to the bait.

"Jackson, we'll be graduating in a few months," he points out. "Aren't you tired of this?"

Jackson hums and looks off to the left as if he's giving it some serious thought, but in the end he meets Stiles' gaze again and shrugs. "Not really. I still get a real kick out of reminding you of your place."

"Well I'm tired of it, and I'd really like it if you left me alone from now on," Stiles asserts. He doesn't bother addressing Jackson's claim that Derek is his sugar daddy.

"That's too bad. I'm nowhere near finished with you."

"Yes, you are," comes a third voice. Jackson and Stiles whip their heads around to the door to find Danny walking toward them.

Jackson backs away from Stiles at his best friend's approach, keeping his face impassive as if he and Stiles were just having a friendly little chat.

Luckily, Danny isn't fooled. "You should get out there," he tells Jackson. "Coach sent me back in here to see why the captain wasn't on the field pulling his weight."

"I'll be there in a minute."

"I heard what you were saying, you know," Danny reveals, arching an eyebrow at his friend. "About Stiles and the man he was with in the parking lot."

Jackson scoffs. "That was nothing."

"Sounded like something to me. That was one fine man. If I didn't know better, I'd think you were jealous."

Jackson sputters indignantly. "Me? Jealous of Stiles whoring himself out?!"

"He's not whoring himself out. I meant that you seem jealous of Stiles landing that man. I mean, if you were jealous, I wouldn't blame you. Like I said, that man was hot as fuck, and honestly, I'm jealous that Stiles got him before I could."

Danny shoots Stiles a quick wink.

Jackson shakes his head and glares. "You know I don't swing that way," he protests.

"Then what's the big deal if Stiles does?" Danny counters. He crosses his arms over his chest, a silent dare for Jackson to say something even vaguely homophobic in his presence.

"Because…because…" Jackson racks his brain for a response. "Because that guy was ancient! He's obviously Stiles' sugar daddy."

Danny looks to Stiles. "Is he?"

"No," Stiles answers simply.

"There you go then," the Hawaiian says to Jackson. "Seriously, Jacks, this has gotta stop. This kind of shit's not cool."

"But he's—" Jackson tries to say, but Danny speaks over him.

"I'm mean it! Lay off him. He's never done anything to you, so quit it. It's honestly sad at this point."

Looking like a kicked puppy, Jackson doesn't have anything else to say.

Danny sighs. "Okay, now get out on the field before Coach tears you a new one."

Grumbling, Jackson shoots Stiles one last scathing look before slinking from the locker room. Danny goes to follow him but reconsiders and walks back over to Stiles.

"I'm sorry about him," he says, scratching at the back of his neck.

"It's okay."

"No, it's not. It's never been." Danny sighs again, this one deep and long-suffering. "I dunno what to do with him. I love him, but he can be such a jackass sometimes."

An apt nickname occurs to Stiles then. "Jackson the Jackass," he says without thinking about it.

Danny laughs. "Yeah, exactly. Just don't let him hear you say that."

"I won't."

"I'll try to work on him, okay? If he messes with you again, tell me and I'll whip his ass into shape."

Stiles knew Danny was nice, in spite of the company he keeps, but he's stunned by this offer. "Uhh, yeah, sure," he accepts.

Danny lightly punches Stiles' shoulder and gestures to the exit. "Shall we?"

Stiles nods, still dumbfounded.

"Nice job with that guy, by the way," Danny says as they walk together out of the locker room. "He really was hot as fuck."

Stiles grins. "I know."

Chapter Text

- Monday, December 9th, 2013 -

Lacrosse practice goes about as well as Stiles was anticipating. It's more of the same, with Coach Finstock putting everyone through their paces for an hour while shouting their inadequacies at them the entire time. A few other students watch the proceedings from the stands, mainly the girlfriends of the team members. The only thing that's different is that Jackson avoids Stiles like the plague. Danny telling him off must have hurt his ego a lot to have that effect, but Stiles isn't about to complain or feel sorry for the blond boy; Jackson brought it on himself.

By the end of practice, Stiles is winded and sweaty, and Scott hasn't fared any better. Scott may actually be worse, doubled over and panting so hard that Stiles fears he'll have to make a mad dash back to the locker room to get his best friend's inhaler. But, thankfully, Scott's breathing slowly returns to normal on its own, no inhaler necessary.

"Damn, that was intense," Scott says as he stands up straight again and wipes his brow.

"You're telling me," Stiles agrees.

"Coach seemed especially pissed off today. Wonder why."

Stiles glances to his left, to where Coach Finstock is currently telling off Greenberg for how he performed today. He thinks he hears the words 'abysmal' and 'disgrace' in there somewhere.

"No idea," Stiles says.

"Poor Greenberg."

"C'mon, let's get out of here before Coach decides we need some 'encouragement' too."

"Good call."

Walking side by side with their lacrosse sticks slung over their shoulders, Stiles and Scott make their back into the locker room. Most of the rest of the team is already in the showers, and Scott swiftly strips off his jersey and shorts with the intention of joining them.

He speaks to Stiles when he's naked. "You coming?"

Stiles considers it, but then he remembers that his ass will still bear proof of the spanking he got that morning. "You go ahead. I'm gonna check something on my phone first."

"Okay."

Scott disappears in the direction of the showers without sussing out Stiles' concerns, and soon Stiles hears a few of the other boys teasing Scott good-naturedly about a fumble he'd had halfway through practice. It was quite legendary, in Stiles' opinion. Scott, in a move that was more characteristic of Stiles and his bad coordination, tripped over his own feet and face-planted in the grass. Fortunately, he didn't break anything or come away with a bloody nose, so it was business as usual afterward, Coach Finstock yelling at the team to get back to it before he made them all run laps.

While he waits for the other members of the team to finish up in the showers, Stiles gets his phone out of his locker. He might as well actually pass the time with it. When he hits the home button to light up the screen, he finds a text message waiting for him that came in only five minutes ago. A huge grin stretches his mouth when he reads who it's from.

[DADDY / 3:39 p.m.]
I'm outside in the parking lot whenever you're ready.

Stiles types out a reply, still grinning.

[STILES / 3:40 p.m.]
Be out soon. Waiting for the showers to be empty first.

[DADDY / 3:40 p.m.]
Why?

[STILES / 3:41 p.m.]
My ass is still red.

A few seconds later, another text comes in, and Stiles can read the amusement in Derek's words.

[DADDY / 3:42 p.m.]
Well then, take your time. Wouldn't want any of those other boys to see the proof of how good my baby boy was for me this morning, now would we?

And there Stiles goes, blushing again. God damn it, Derek, he thinks, shaking his head. He double-checks his surroundings to make sure that no one is close enough to read the text on his phone. When he sees that some of the other boys are beginning to emerge from the showers, towels around their waists and steam following them, he takes a seat on one of the benches, taps away from the Messages app and opens one of silly games he installed on there a while ago. He passes the time playing that, and once he believes that no one else is in the locker room, he decides it's finally safe enough to take his turn in the showers.

After putting his phone back in his locker, Stiles retrieves his shower gel and a towel, gets out of his sweaty jersey, shorts and underwear, and walks quietly toward the tiled space. When he gets around the wall that separates most of the showers from the locker room itself, Stiles stops in his tracks because he was wrong—someone else is still in here, and he stares at their back like a deer caught in headlights until they turn around and notice him too. Fuck. Of fucking course it's Jackson. Who else would it be?

"Oh, hey," the lacrosse captain says awkwardly, lowering his hands from his hair.

Stiles would really like to turn tail and run, but that would mean giving Jackson a glimpse of his red ass.

Jackson stares at him. "You just gonna stand there or what?"

"Uhh…"

"Cat got your tongue? I know I'm hot, Stilinski, but I didn't think you'd react like this to being alone together naked."

Stiles gulps and flicks his eyes down to Jackson's body before he can think better of it. He immediately looks away again when he gets an eyeful of the other boy's flaccid dick.

Jackson laughs at him, but it's not as mean a sound as it usually is. "Wow, I guess you really aren't straight."

Stiles shakes his head. "I'm bisexual. Not that it's any of your business."

"I guess you're right; it's not."

"What?" Stiles returns his gaze to Jackson, shocked that he would agree with him.

"I said that it is none of my business," the blond responds, tilting his head back into the shower spray to wash out his shampoo. He then bends down to pick his body wash up from the floor and squirts some out onto his palm.

"Oh," Stiles says dumbly.

Jackson sends him a slightly menacing smile as he runs his hands over his body. Stiles makes it a point not to let his eyes wander again, which he sticks to until he notices Jackson's hand moving back and forth down by his crotch. Against his better judgment, Stiles looks down there again and is mortified to have his suspicions confirmed.

"Dude, what the fuck?!" he squawks. He almost turns his back but catches himself in time. Instead, he stares at the wall above Jackson's head.

"Something wrong?" the other boy asks innocently.

"You're…you're jerking off right in front of me, that's what's wrong!"

"What's the problem? I thought you liked dicks, and it isn't just my ego talking when I say I've got a good one."

"Jackson! Stop it!"

"No. I'm being generous here and letting you see for yourself. C'mon. Look. You know you want to."

"I don't!"

"You totally do. Who you fuck is none of my business…unless you want it to be me."

Unable to believe the turn things have taken, Stiles removes himself from the situation by backing out of the showers, not caring how ridiculous he must look. When Jackson is out of sight, he scrambles to get back into his everyday clothes and hightails it out of the locker room without looking back. He'll just have to shower when he gets back to Derek's.

Stiles slows his gait to something more reasonable when he's in the halls. They're mostly empty at this time of day, but the odd student or teacher is still present because of some after-school activity or papers that need grading. It doesn't matter to Stiles. All that matters is getting as far away from Jackson as possible, even as the memory of Jackson's hard dick seems burned into his brain.

Damn, what on earth was Jackson thinking with that little display? There are two explanations, at least as far as Stiles can see:

One, Jackson was fucking with him and would've beat him up or spread nasty rumours if Stiles took the bait.

Two, Danny was wrong about Jackson being jealous of him having Derek and instead, Jackson was jealous of Derek having him—maybe Jackson has a secret crush on him, and he was serious about his offer to let Stiles look at him. Possibly even more, seeing as they were alone and no one else would've known, therefore leaving Jackson's reputation intact.

Ew. As if Stiles would ever do that. He wouldn't have dreamed of it even if he didn't have Derek in his life.

Fuck Jackson.

Just before he exits the main school building, Stiles takes a few moments to pack away the unsavoury thoughts. He doesn't want Derek to suspect that anything's wrong, because it's not. He's a bit weirded out and annoyed, but it's only temporary—in a few months, he'll be out of here, and there's very little chance that he and Jackson will end up going to the same college. No, Jackson'll probably go to Harvard or Oxford or Brown or some other Ivy League school that his parents will pay to get him into, and they'll never have to deal with each other again.

And Stiles? Well, he hasn't made his final selections yet.

He makes a mental note to do that once he gets home. Maybe he'll talk to his dad to get a better idea of what they can afford and then research what scholarships are available to him. His grades are great—a GPA of 4.0, the last time he checked, and he's second in the year, only behind Lydia Martin, Jackson's girlfriend.

Feeling calmer now, Stiles exits the school building and scans the parking lot for Derek when he's at the top of the stairs. He locates him swiftly. The shiny black car stands out on the left side of the lot, aided by the fact that there aren't many cars left. Stiles takes the steps two at a time and ventures across the lot toward the Camaro. When he's close, the driver's door opens and Derek gets out to greet him.

A frown appears on Derek's face once Stiles is next to him. "I thought you were going to shower."

"Uh, I changed my mind," Stiles excuses, offering what he hopes is a convincing shrug and smile. It's not.

"Stiles," Derek says sternly, still frowning. He puts a hand on Stiles' arm. "What's going on?"

"Nothing. Nothing's going on. Really."

"We're not leaving until you tell me the truth."

Stiles opens his mouth to try to convince Derek to drop it, but then he sees movement behind the man and no words come out. Jackson has just left the school as well, and when he reaches his silver Porsche, he stops as if sensing Stiles' gaze. The blond turns around and finds Stiles right away. He gets a funny look on his face when he sees who Stiles is with. Stiles can't decipher its meaning, what emotion caused it, because it vanishes just as quickly as it came, a mask sliding into place before Jackson gets in his Porsche and speeds away.

"Is it him?" Derek asks. He must have peered back over his shoulder after he saw Stiles' attention divert to something behind him.

"It's nothing," Stiles denies. He adds more before Derek can chide him again. "Jackson was just being stupid."

"How?"

Stiles debates for a few seconds whether or not he should tell Derek everything. He settles on yes so that he doesn't have a lie on his conscience, and explains what happened both before and after practice.

"Stiles…that's serious," Derek says, aghast.

"It's not. Like I said, he was just being dumb. I don't think he'll do it again."

"Stiles, that was sexual harassment, whether you see it that way or not," Derek explains, whipping back around to glare at the parking space Jackson's Porsche had occupied. "I think you should tell someone at the school."

"Derek—"

"I mean it. If you told your dad about what happened, he'd say the same thing."

Stiles sighs. "Just drop it, okay?" he entreaties. "I'm sure it was a one-time thing. Jackson was just messing with me."

"And if he wasn't? What then?"

"Then fine, I'll tell Coach or something. But only if he does it again."

It's obvious that Derek isn't satisfied with that answer, but Stiles holds firm. He won't be swayed on this. Perhaps Jackson doesn't deserve such consideration, but Stiles is hesitant to rat him out. If he does—and if Coach Finstock takes his side, which seems unlikely to Stiles—then Jackson could get in a lot of trouble, and they're getting so close to graduating. So he'll give Jackson the benefit of the doubt and assume that the lacrosse captain was fooling around once and won't do it again. And if he does, he'll stay true to his word to Derek and tell an authority figure then.

"I'm not going to convince you otherwise, am I?" Derek guesses.

"Nope."

"Alright. But the second Jackson even looks at you funny—"

"I'll run away screaming straight to a teacher," Stiles assents. "Now can we go? I don't want this to ruin our evening, especially seeing as I'm sleeping at home tonight."

Derek relents. He walks Stiles around to the passenger side of his Camaro and opens the door for him.

"Thanks," Stile says.

"You're welcome."

As Stiles buckles himself in, Derek gets inside next to him, and a few seconds later he drives out of the parking lot and toward his house.

"How d'you want to spend our evening, baby?"

Stiles thinks hard. "I dunno. We've got a few hours before my dad gets off his shift and I have to get home."

"We could go out for dinner," Derek suggests. "There's a new Italian place that opened last week. Or we could stay in instead. Either works."

Stiles' stomach rumbles as hunger rears its head, made worse by how much energy he'd expended during lacrosse practice. "Italian sounds yummy," he says, leaning his head back against the headrest.

"Italian it is. We'll get back to my place, you can shower and get ready, and then we'll go."

"Won't we need reservations?"

"Let me take care of all that stuff, okay?"

Stiles hums, content to let his Daddy do just that. "Okay."

* * *

When Stiles arrives home later on, his dad's cruiser is already in the driveway. He parks next to it and enters the house in good spirits again, everything that happened with Jackson gone from his head. Spending some quality time with Derek will do that, and now he's about to spend some time with his dad as well, something that they rarely get a chance to do nowadays. His dad works hard to keep the household running, and as the Sheriff, a lot of people rely on him. Stiles is proud of his dad, and as much as he would like them to have more time together, it's just not in the cards right now.

"Dad, I'm home!" Stiles calls as he slips off his shoes.

"In the kitchen!" comes his dad's voice.

Stiles kicks his shoes off to the side so that they're out of the way and goes to join his dad. The Sheriff is still in his uniform where he stands in front of the fridge.

"How was school?" the man asks without looking away from the shelves.

"Pretty good," Stiles replies. It's not a lie. School was pretty good, if he ignores Jackson.

"I'm happy to hear it. Have you already eaten? Nothing in the fridge is catching my eye, so we can order pizza, if you want."

"Nah, I had dinner with Derek."

At this, Stiles' dad shuts the fridges and faces him, his countenance honestly interested. "Anything nice?"

"Yeah, it was, actually." Stiles tells his dad about the restaurant.

"I'll have to check it out sometime, then."

"For sure."

In the lull that occurs in the conversation, Stiles moves over to the cupboards, gets out a glass and fills it with water. He takes a long drink before setting the glass on the countertop. He recalls the promise he made to himself earlier about finally choosing a few colleges to apply to. The preliminary research he did at Derek's is still waiting to be continued, after he emailed it to himself from Derek's MacBook.

No time like the present.

"Hey, dad? Can I get your opinion on something?" he asks. He prepares himself for his dad's disappointment when he tells him that he hasn't applied yet.

The sheriff sits down at the island, giving his son his undivided attention. "Sure, what's up?"

"It's about college."

"You haven't heard back from anywhere yet, right? I thought the deadlines weren't until the beginning of next year."

"They aren't. I, uh…" Stiles rips off the Band-Aid. "I haven't actually applied anywhere yet."

The sheriff's eyebrows climb high on his forehead. "Stiles…"

"I know, I know, you can save the lecture." Stiles leans back against the counter. "Derek's already given me one and punished me for leaving it so late."

The sheriff chokes on his own spit. "Punished?"

Oh shit. Stiles realises his mistake and hurries to cover it up. "Never mind. That bit's not important."

"Punished you like…spanked you?" the sheriff guesses, not listening to what his son just said.

"Dad, can we not get into this?"

"I just want to understand. I'm still wrapping my head around you and Derek doing…that. Are punishments a part of it?"

"Dad, please…"

"No, I want to know," the sheriff says stubbornly. He doesn't seem too uncomfortable, which is nice for him, but Stiles definitely is.

Stiles shuts his eyes. He doesn't really wish to speak about this with his dad, but he doesn't like the thought of rebuffing him either. It means a lot that his dad is trying. "Yes, Derek punishes me if I do something wrong," he reveals. "But no, spanking isn't a part of that."

"Oh." The sheriff takes a few moments to process this. "Your mom and I were never believers in spanking you if you behaved badly, so I guess that's good."

Stiles nods stiffly. He doesn't mention that Derek does spank him. It's just not for the purposes of punishment. "Anyway, can we get back to the whole college thing? Please?"

"Alright," the sheriff agrees. Hurt flits across his face. "So you told Derek first?"

"Uhh…yeah?"

"I see."

"It's not like that, dad."

"No, it's fine. As long as you talked to someone about it, I guess."

Stiles instantly feels guilty. He steps over to his dad and hugs him. "I'm talking to you about it now. I wanted to get your input."

The sheriff embraces him back. "Why would that matter? You can go anywhere you want. We'll figure out a way to get you there."

"It's not like I wanna go out of the country or anything. I've already got it narrowed down a bit."

The hug ends then, and the hurt has cleared from the sheriff's expression. "Can I see?"

"Yeah, sure."

Stiles retreats upstairs to grab his MacBook from his desk and then returns downstairs. His dad has relocated into the living room, so he sits down on the sofa next to him and rests his MacBook over his lap. After logging in and opening Chrome, he goes to his email and downloads the document that contains everything he'd found before.

"These are the places I was thinking about applying to," he explains once the document has loaded.

His dad leans in close to that he can read the small text. The document is laid out neatly. It's comprised of several different sections, one for each potential college, and each section includes the location, the price of tuition and the price of the application itself.

"Some good work so far, son," his dad compliments.

"Thanks."

"Seeing this list again, what're your instincts telling you? Ignore the money for now."

Stiles thinks it over carefully. He still isn't a hundred percent sure what he wants to choose as his major, so that doesn't rule out any of the choices in front of him. The only criteria he has to base his choice on is distance. He'd prefer not to go somewhere too far away from Beacon Hills. Derek promised to come with him wherever he ends up, yes, but Stiles would still prefer if his dad was close by too. It's horrible to even think about it, but just in case something bad happens, he wants to be by his dad's side as quickly as possible.

"Maybe Berkeley," Stiles selects eventually, pointing it out on the screen.

"That's close."

"Yeah."

"Is that the only one that sticks out to you?"

"No, but you asked me to follow my instincts." Stiles purses his lips. "It's not the only place I'd apply to anyway. Applying to just one place seems like a bad idea."

His dad nods his agreement. "It is."

"What did you do?"

"I joined the Police Academy," his dad answers, his tone basically adding, "Duh," to the end of his sentence.

Stiles snorts. "Right. Of course you did."

For another few minutes, Stiles goes through the rest of his options with his dad without much more in the way of results. There's just nothing that stands out to him.

In the end, the sheriff leaves him to it, announcing that he should really get something to eat and go to bed so that he's well-rested for his next shift in the morning. He wishes Stiles good luck before he goes upstairs, leaving Stiles to wrestle with his indecisiveness by himself.

What should he do? He needs to make choice and stick to it.

"C'mon, Stiles, you can do this," he mumbles, reading through his list for the fiftieth time.

Once again, nothing jumps out at him. He's got Berkeley, sure, but he's not exactly filled with excitement at the thought of going there.

Getting frustrated, Stiles shuts his laptop and puts it on the coffee table. He tips his head back over the back of the sofa and stares up at the ceiling, wishing the right answer would just appear to him already. Why is this so hard? It shouldn't be. Apart from Scott, every other senior he knows at school is already dead-set on what they want to do with their lives. Hell, even most of students in the grades beneath his aren't as lost as Stiles is right now, or at least that's the way it seems to him.

It's with this thought that Stiles turns his head to side and spots the laundry basket on the floor in the corner. It's filled with clean laundry, and right at the top is his dad's spare uniform, all folded up neatly. This gives Stiles an idea, and for the first time since he sat down with his dad, his heart is beating a bit faster in his chest. He takes it as the sign he was looking for.

Stiles picks up his laptop again and opens a new tab in Chrome. He has more research to do, but he feels like he's on the right track now.

Finally.

* * *

Derek sits in his living room with a tumbler of whiskey in his hand and his mood slowly souring. He had a wonderful time at dinner. The restaurant was a pleasant mix of fancy and rustic and had a welcoming feel to it, the staff friendly and the other diners not too quiet or too loud. The food was delicious too, and Derek even let Stiles finish off his spaghetti when his boy complained of still being hungry after eating his own meal.

But now that Derek is alone again, his thoughts circle back around to what Stiles had told him in the school parking lot.

Jackson…

Just thinking the boy's name makes Derek's blood boil. How dare he do that in front of Stiles! He was lucky that Derek wasn't there, because Derek doesn't think he could've held himself back from doing something they'd both regret.

Doing nothing about it now doesn't seem right, but what options does Derek realistically have? There's the option of letting John know so that John can speak to the school, but that would be a betrayal of Stiles' trust, and Derek would hate to risk making his boy upset with him. He doesn't have any previous experience to help him make a decision, which sucks. All he has is the talk of acceptable conduct in the workplace that he and his coworkers had all been given in the law firm he used to work at back in New York. As far as he's aware, there were never any cases of sexual harassment back then, all of his compeers minding their own business.

Plus, a high school isn't a law firm; even if something like that had happened back then, there isn't any HR department to speak to right now.

Fuck, Derek is stymied.

As he downs the rest of the whiskey in his tumbler, Derek supposes that the best thing for him to do is to keep a closer eye on Stiles to make sure that he really does tell someone if Jackson tries anything with him again.

God forbid.

It's not a conclusion that sits particularly well with Derek, but it's all he can come up with. With a sigh, he gets up, puts his empty tumbler in the kitchen sink and heads upstairs to sleep.

Chapter Text

- Tuesday, December 10th, 2013 -

In the morning, Stiles wakes up feeling peppy. It usually takes him a while to get himself out of bed, but today, he's up and in the shower just a minute after his alarm has blared in his ears. He just can't help himself—the decision he reached last night regarding his future fuels his enthusiasm, has him ready to tackle whatever challenges the day will present him with. Even the thought of potentially having another awkward run-in with Jackson can't bring him down, he's just that motivated.

Only one issue remains—how should he tell his dad and Derek about his choice?

Perhaps Stiles can just drop it on his dad the next time they see each other—which, judging from the delicious smell coming from downstairs, should be very soon.

Or maybe he can wait a while to tell his dad, until he's actually accepted into the Police Academy.

The only part of this that Stiles knows for sure is that he'll tell his dad before he tells Derek, or at least that he'll tell them at the same time. The Sheriff had seemed hurt that Stiles told Derek before him about his failure to apply to any colleges. He'd hidden it well after the first small crack in his expression showed, but Stiles doesn't want to repeat the same mistake.

He hopes that his dad will be touched that he's following in his footsteps and won't be worried about his son entering a profession that can be dangerous. That should be the case, but Stiles can't say for certain. Still, he has faith that it will all work out in the end—and like before, should the worst case scenario present itself, he'll have Derek's support while he waits for his dad to come around.

Once he's out of the shower and dressed in a pair of maroon chinos and a muted yellow T-shirt, Stiles descends to the ground floor and joins his dad in the kitchen.

"Hey, Pops," he greets, peering around his dad's body to look at what's cooking on the stove.—hash browns and bacon. Scrambled eggs are already cooling on two plates on the side. "You're actually cooking today."

His dad raises an eyebrow at him. "What was your first clue?"

"The smell." Stiles practically skips away to the fridge and gets himself a glass of orange juice.

"You seem like you're in a good mood this morning," the Sheriff observes. "Did you get college sorted last night?"

Stiles takes a sip of his juice before he responds. Should he tell him now? "Something like that," he says. He'll leave it until a bit later.

"Don't wanna tell your old man, huh? Fine, be that way."

Stiles rolls his eyes.

"Anyway, while I was getting ready for work, I had an idea," his dad says, sliding the bacon and hash browns onto the plates with the eggs.

"Lay it on me."

"How about you invite Derek over for dinner this Saturday?"

Stiles freezes with his glass halfway up to his lips. "What?"

The Sheriff brings the plates and two forks over to the island, puts Stiles' in front of him and takes a seat on the opposite side. "You heard me," he says as he digs in, spearing some hash browns on his fork and biting into them.

"Uhh…it's just unexpected, is all." Stiles makes himself start eating too. "Are you serious?"

"Yeah. Talking about you two last night got me thinking," the Sheriff answers. He clears his throat, and Stiles just knows he's replaying the awkward moment they'd had discussing Stiles being 'punished' by Derek. Thankfully, he moves past it swiftly. "I've talked to Derek about it, and I've talked to you, but both of those times it was just the two of us. I'm never going to really get used to the idea of you and Derek being together if I don't actually see it with my own eyes, and I want to get used to it because I get the feeling that neither of you are planning on it going away anytime soon. Am I right?"

"You are," Stiles confirms. "Derek even offered to come with me wherever I end up going."

The Sheriff's eyebrows rise on his forehead. "That was generous of him."

"Yeah, well…he's freelance and all, and it's not like he's hurting for money. Plus, I'd miss him, so I wasn't exactly gonna turn him down."

The eyebrows descend again. "I suppose that makes sense. Anyway, back to dinner. Will you ask him?"

Stiles nods. That his dad is continuing to make the effort means a lot to him. "I'll talk to him this evening."

"And ask him what he wants. Maybe I'll break out the grill again, if that sounds good to him."

Stiles stares at his dad judgmentally.

"And if you let me," the Sheriff amends with a huff. "I won't go too crazy on the meat, Stiles."

"Better not." Stiles narrows his eyes and points the end of his fork at his dad. "I'll be watching you like a hawk."

"Noted."

* * *

At school, Stiles goes about his morning as normal and steadfastly ignores Jackson's presence whenever they're in the same space. It's not too frequent, so it's not much of an issue. As oblivious as ever, Scott doesn't pick up on Stiles' unwillingness to even look in Jackson's direction during the classes they all share, which suits Stiles just fine. He just concentrates on his schoolwork and converses quietly with Scott whenever their teachers permit them to talk to each other.

It's during lunch when Stiles slips up for the first time.

He sits with Scott and Allison at their usual table, and he has the misfortune of taking a seat on the side that faces where Jackson sits with Lydia, Danny and a few of the other more popular kids a few tables away. This makes it more difficult to keep up his efforts, but he gets by until about halfway through the lunch period, when his eyes betray him by leading him to glance over Scott's shoulder. He catches Jackson's gaze, and the two boys stare at each other for several seemingly unending moments before Jackson looks away again, turning his attention to his half empty lunch tray.

Stiles, however, keeps staring. He frowns because it's not like Jackson to back down from a challenge—and maintaining a staring contest with Stiles and making him uncomfortable would definitely constitute a worthwhile challenge for the lacrosse captain. Scott and Allison are busy discussing what they're going to do after school, so Stiles is left to ponder Jackson's increasingly strange behaviour in peace. He's more than happy with this, because he wouldn't know where on earth to start if he had to explain to them everything that's been going on of late.

Stiles would think that Jackson's frown is a result of shame and irritation, but he doesn't believe that the other boy is capable of feeling the former emotion. Maybe he's being unfair, but years of seeing Jackson be nothing but cocksure and arrogant can't just be erased.

Tilting his head to the side, Stiles continues to pick at the riddle that is Jackson Whittemore for the remainder of lunch. He gets so in his own head that he doesn't hear the bell ring, and Scott has to shake him to get his attention again. After depositing his empty tray and slinging his backpack over his shoulder, Stiles sets out alone to his next class. He doesn't share this one with Scott or Allison, so he has no one to sit next to. Or at least that's what he thinks until he enters the classroom, scans the rows of seats for an empty one and spots Danny beckoning him over to the desk right next to him.

Surprised but not mad at it, Stiles heads down the aisle and takes it. "Thanks," he says, getting out his things.

Danny gives him a toothy smile that sets Stiles at ease. "No problem."

For the first half of class, he and Danny don't talk that much. Stiles doesn't really know how to initiate a conversation with the other boy yet, but after a while, Danny does it for him:

"So, what happened during lunch?" he asks Stiles, seeming genuinely curious. "You and Jacks were both behaving weirdly."

"You know me well enough to know what's weird for me?" Stiles teases, hoping to avoid getting into it.

"Point, but you gotta admit, you were both acting off," Danny insist. "Jacks basically wouldn't talk and you wouldn't stop looking at him, and after what I interrupted in the locker room, can you blame me for wanting to know?"

"I guess not," Stiles concedes. He taps the end of his pencil on his desk, a nervous tic. "It's just…I'm not really sure what to say because I don't know what was going on."

"Well, something must've caused Jackson to shut up like that."

Stiles swallows tightly and then sighs. He's aware that he could probably just say he doesn't want to talk about it and Danny would drop it with little trouble, but something about the other boy's open countenance and the concern he holds for both him and his best friend has Stiles' lips loosening.

"Something else happened after lacrosse yesterday," he begins, keeping his voice hushed so that no one else can overhear.

Danny's lips twist downward. "What? What did he do?"

"He, uh…" Stiles winces as he remembers. "He kinda made a pass at me. I think. Maybe."

This understandably shocks Danny, his mouth dropping open. "What?" he says, trying valiantly to recover his composure.

Stiles briefly explains what Jackson did in the showers, and he has to admit that it feels good to confide in someone else. Derek helped, of course, but to Stiles, there's just something different about telling someone his own age—especially when that person knows Jackson a hell of a lot better than he or Derek do.

"I can't believe he did that," Danny breathes, so flabbergasted that it's like his whole perception of the world has changed.

"I couldn't believe it either. I could've gone the rest of my life without knowing what Jackson's hard dick looks like."

Heat creeps into Danny's cheeks. "And you really didn't tell Coach or anyone?"

Stiles shakes his head and sets down his pen when his fingers begin to hurt. "No, I just got the hell outta dodge."

"Your boyfriend's right, Stiles. You should've told someone other than the two of us. Someone who could've actually done something about it."

Stiles didn't anticipate this response. "Even though that would've gotten Jackson in a lot of trouble?"

"Yes! He's my best friend, but if he's doing shit like this…"

The way Danny says the words 'best friend' sounds almost pained. Stiles guesses that it must hurt when someone you care about reveals themselves to be not entirely who you thought they were. He wonders if that's all it is, or if there was another reason it pained Danny to speak those words.

The goalie goes quiet for a while then, obviously ruminating on what Stiles told him. Stiles leaves him to it, refocusing on his work until the other boy is ready.

"I really need to speak to him," Danny says eventually. "I didn't have the chance before, but I'll make time now. This can't happen again." He looks determinedly at Stiles. "I'll get to the bottom of this. I'll make him talk."

"You will?"

"Yes. He'll speak to me. No one else is willing to put up with how much of a dick he can be, so there's no way he'll risk upsetting me."

"What about Lydia? Doesn't she put up with him?"

"No." Danny's lips tighten, which is odd because Stiles thought Danny liked Lydia. "Jackson would never dare to be an ass around her. She'd claw his eyes out for making her look bad."

Stiles shrugs. "If you say so."

"I do."

"Well, I guess I'll leave it to you, then. Let me know what happens, okay?"

The bell rings again a moment later, signally the end of class. As the other students in the room pack up their stuff, Danny holds out his hand, palm up. "Gimme your phone."

"Why?" In spite of his confusion, Stiles takes the device out of his pocket, unlocks it and gives it to Danny.

"Because I'm giving you my number. I'll text you later when I find out what Jackson's got going on."

"Oh." Stiles blinks a few times. "Thanks."

"You're welcome." Danny creates a new contact and puts in his details. "This way, we can also maybe see about hanging out sometime too."

"Really?"

"Really. It's dumb that I haven't done this sooner. I guess I just let Jackson's dislike of you keep me from reaching out sooner. I'm sorry about that."

Stiles waves away the apology. "It's cool."

"No, it's not. But at least I'm doing it now."

Stiles truly doesn't feel like there's a need for Danny to be sorry, but if it makes the other boy feel better to apologise, he'll let him. "Apology accepted, then."

"Thanks." Danny looks around the empty classroom. "I guess we'd better get outta here before we're late."

* * *

Once the school day has come to an end, Danny gets in his car and drives to the Whittemores' house. It's not too far from his own, but it's much more grandiose, with a huge yard, gates with an intercom and several original paintings by famous artists hung up on the walls inside. When he arrives, Danny notes that Jackson's car isn't with his adoptive parents' in the driveway. He must have beat his best friend here, which means that he'll have to interact with Jackson's parents on his own until Jackson gets here too.

Danny is disappointed but sucks it up, coming to stop next to the intercom and pressing the button. After being let through the gate by Jackson's dad, Danny parks off to the side in the large driveway, gets out of his car and approaches the front door. It opens just as he reaches it, and Jackson's dad steps aside to grant him entrance, dressed in a fancy suit like always.

Danny smiles amiably at the man, but his smile doesn't reach his eyes because he has never really liked either of Jackson's parents. They're both highly successful lawyers who have no issue flaunting said success, but Danny doesn't really have an issue with that. His thoughts on the matter have always been that they work hard for their income, and as such, they should be able to spend their money however they see fit without anyone judging them for it. No, Danny's issue with Jackson's parents stems from something else:

How they treat their son.

They're usually so busy that they hardly ever have time for him, and whenever they are around, they aren't the most caring individuals.

That Jackson was adopted probably doesn't help. It's not the same for everybody—and Danny doesn't know what it's like firsthand—but for Jackson, not knowing who his biological parents are or why they didn't keep him really got to him when he was younger, and he still bears those mental wounds to this day. Jackson has never actually said as much, but Danny knows that his best friend has always put a lot of pressure on himself to be the 'perfect' son so that his adoptive parents won't leave him as well. He does everything he can to make them proud, both in terms of his academics and in lacrosse.

Danny doubts that they'll ever actually be proud, never mind show it.

He remembers all of this while he waits in Jackson's bedroom. It's quite austere, at least compared to his own, with little decoration and few personal touches to make it homey. One of the only things Jackson's parents have allowed him is the games console in the unit beneath his flatscreen TV, but even how much time he spends playing that is monitored. It's a reason that, when they hang out, they usually do it at Danny's house. Danny's parents are much more easy-going.

The Hawaiian boy walks casually around Jackson's bedroom and looks at everything as if he has never been inside of it before. It's a way to pass the time, but even so, it seems like an hour passes before Danny hears another car come to a stop outside the house. It's followed by Jackson's voice echoing up the stairs as he talks to his dad. Danny doesn't listen too closely because his parents have always told him that it's rude to eavesdrop, but he can't help but hear Jackson's dad saying that he's been pulling some strings in order to get Jackson a leg-up when he follows his parents into law.

The man doesn't appear to detect the lack of excitement in Jackson's voice when he responds, but Danny does. It makes him feel bad for his friend all over again, but it's not enough to get him to put off this talk until another day. It needs to happen sooner rather than later, before Jackson stupidly decides to do something else to mess with Stiles.

As he hears Jackson's footsteps getting closer in the hall, Danny turns toward the door.

"Hey, what're you doing here?" Jackson asks him as he enters. He shuts the door behind himself.

"I just wanted to talk about some stuff," Danny says, moving over to the bed. He's comfortable enough to sit down on the foot of it, while Jackson remains standing.

"About what?"

"Stiles."

Jackson's face turns into stone as he schools his features and keeps all emotion sealed away. He crosses his arms defensively over his chest. "What about him?"

"It's about how you've been treating him lately. It's gotten even worse than it was before—and it was pretty bad back then."

"It's not a big deal," Jackson says. He turns away to face his desk and searches through the sheets of paper that are on it, but Danny can tell he's not really looking at any of them.

"Jacks…"

"What?"

"Can you look at me, please? I'm serious. You need to stop."

Jackson acquiesces, a few papers still in his hand. He avoids Danny's gaze, though. "What do you care? You've never given a damn about Stilinski before."

"Things are different now."

"Why?"

"Because now I know that things have escalated to the point where you're showing him your dick in the showers, that's why."

The colour bleeds from Jackson's face and the papers fall from his fingers. They flutter to the floor. "He told you?"

"Yeah, he did. He didn't want to at first, but I dragged it out of him."

"Oh what, you're suddenly all buddy-buddy with him or something? Gonna make him your new best friend?" Jackson snaps.

"That's not what I'm saying—"

"Then what are you saying, Danny?"

"I just want to know why you did that. I don't think it's because you've got a problem with Stiles coming out as bi because you didn't bat an eye when I came out. And I don't think you believing that Stiles has a sugar daddy would make you jerk off in front of him, because that would make no damn sense at all."

Jackson doesn't speak again. He just glares somewhere over Danny's head, even as Danny stands back up and walks over to him.

"Jacks, please just talk to me? Let me know what's going on."

"No," Jackson refuses.

Danny offers some of his theories instead, hoping one of them will elicit a reaction that'll lead him in the right direction.

"Even though it's not true, are you jealous of Stiles for having a sugar daddy?"

"What?" Jackson scoffs. "That's ridiculous!"

"Are you just messing with him?" Danny gets no reaction this time, and another thought occurs to him. "Are you…jealous of Derek for being with Stiles?"

"Who's Derek?"

"Stiles' boyfriend. Are you jealous of him? Do you want Stiles for yourself?"

Jackson sneers and pushes past Danny to throw himself down on his bed, his glower now aimed at the ceiling. "Fuck off with that bullshit. I'm not gay, you know that."

The denial is a bit too strong to be entirely believable. It stupefies Danny. In the past, he's never had a reason to believe that Jackson is anything other than straight, but now he's not so sure. Is that what this is all about? When Stiles came out—and put on one hell of show while doing it—did it hit on something buried deep inside of Jackson, something that wished he could come out too?

But then…where would that leave Lydia? Is Jackson bisexual or pansexual or whatever and genuinely in love with her, or is he gay like Danny and has just been using her all along? As annoying as Danny finds Lydia's obsession with keeping up appearances, she wouldn't deserve that.

He has to get to the bottom of this—but he has to do it delicately. If he's correct and Jackson isn't straight, then it's not right for Danny to force a confession out of him before he's ready. But he has to make sure his friend doesn't try anything else with Stiles too.

"You know you can tell me anything, right?" Danny says carefully. He moves over to the bed and sits on the edge, near Jackson's hip.

"Yes," the other boy replies grudgingly.

"And apart from what you did in the showers, you know I won't judge you for anything, right?"

Another yes.

"It seems kinda obvious, but if you aren't straight, it's okay," Danny says. "You'd still be my best friend. It wouldn't change anything between us."

Jackson's nostrils flare and his fingers clench in the bedsheets. "I know."

"No one else would care, either, if that's what you're worried about. The other guys on the team don't have a problem with me, do they?" Danny points out.

Jackson shakes his head slowly. "No. If they did, I'd kick their asses."

"Exactly. So you can tell me."

"I already did. I'm straight, Danny," Jackson insists. "I was just fucking with Stilinski because it's fun, but if it puts such a big bug up your butt then fine, I'll leave him alone." He turns over onto his side, giving Danny his back. "Now just leave it alone, okay?"

Danny can sense there's more that Jackson isn't telling him, but he decides against pushing his best friend any more. He'll try again another time. "Okay," he agrees.

"Thank you."

Changing the subject, Danny glances at the closed bedroom door. "Did I hear your dad talking to you about law school?" he asks.

"Yeah."

"Damn, that's a lot of work." Danny chuckles. "And pressure. I don't think I could do it or handle having all that weight on my shoulders when I actually started getting cases."

It doesn't escape Danny's notice that Jackson's shoulder rises up near his ear, but he doesn't comment on it.

"It won't be so bad," the lacrosse captain mumbles.

"Oh, I dunno…it's a lot."

"So everyone says." Jackson sighs and seems to curl in on himself, drawing his legs up so that his knees almost touch his chest. Danny isn't used to seeing his friend in such a vulnerable position, and it tugs at his heartstrings. It also gives him another idea:

Could it be that this is all connected?

"Don't bite my head off for this, but I've got one more question for you," he says as his idea finishes formulating in his mind.

"Danny…"

"No, just answer it, okay? Answer it honestly and I swear I'll leave it alone."

Jackson's reply is silence, which Danny chooses to take as his cue to keep talking.

"You think that Derek is Stiles' sugar daddy, that he…I dunno, that he buys Stiles things and takes care of him in exchange for company or even sex. Right?"

"Right," Jackson assents. "There, I've answered your one question. Now drop it."

"That wasn't it." There's enough space on the bed for Danny to lie down next to his friend, so he does. He lies on his back and folds his hands over his stomach, his gaze on the plain ceiling. "This is just a theory, so don't interrupt me until I'm done."

More silence, but Danny isn't deterred.

"Everybody has this idea in their heads of who you're supposed to be, and you do everything in your power to live up to that," he expounds. "You're 'supposed' to be the lacrosse captain. You're 'supposed' to be the best. You're 'supposed' to be straight. You're 'supposed' to go to law school. Maybe you even think you're 'supposed' to find a nice wife and settle down in a house with a white picket fence and 2.5 kids. But all of those expectations are slowly driving you insane, and you lash out. Stiles came out and is living the life he wants to live, and he's doing it on his own terms. In your head, he's letting an older man take care of him—taking the pressure off—and you're jealous of that.

"You did what you did in the showers because Stiles is the latest thing to make you question it all. Maybe you see yourself in Stiles, but you don't want to. It makes you angry. I guess it's even possible that you wanted him to take you up on your offer so that he'd mess things up with Derek and he wouldn't have him there to fall back on anymore—making him as miserable as you."

Danny takes a breath and looks at the back of Jackson's head. "How am I doing so far?"

At first, Jackson just lies there still as a statue, but then Danny sees the smallest movement of his head. It's like he was going to nod but caught himself.

"I guess it's just some stuff to think about," Danny concludes, sitting up. "D'you want me to leave you alone now?"

Jackson nods for real this time.

"Okay." Danny puts a hand on his friend's arm and squeezes. "I'll see you tomorrow."

He gets up from the bed, walks over to the door and opens it. Just before he gets out into the hall, he looks back over his shoulder at Jackson's form and sends up a small prayer to whoever may be listening that his friend will figure himself out soon.

And that he'll be willing to let Danny help him when he's ready.

Chapter Text

- Saturday, December 14th, 2013 -

On Saturday evening, when the sun has begun to set and paint the sky a pleasant orange colour, Stiles stands anxiously in the kitchen as he waits for Derek to arrive for dinner. Through the window above the sink, he can see his Dad outside in the back yard. The Sheriff has their old grill set up in front of him, as well as a tray laden with burgers, sausages and even a couple steaks. In his hand he holds a half empty bottle of beer, beads of condensation sliding down the glass. It's one of the six pack that's currently chilling with a bottle of sparkling water in a cooler full of ice at his feet. A short distance away, the patio furniture is set up for the meal, with a stack of three plates on the side closest to the grill and a large platter right in the centre. On top of this are all the bread rolls and hot dog buns, fresh and already cut open, as well as some condiments.

As for Stiles, he's in the middle of chopping up vegetables for a fresh salad. It probably isn't a good idea for him to be handling a knife when he's so in his own head, worrying about how the night is going to go, but he'll be damned if he lets his Dad get away with eating only a bunch of red meat.

Stiles is almost finished when he hears a knock on the front door. He immediately drops his knife on the countertop and leaves the salad half assembled to go answer it, his gait a bit faster than it needs to be. In the foyer, he stops, takes a deep breath and smooths his hands down the front of his beige shorts to rid them of the sweat that has suddenly appeared on his palms.

Once he believes himself ready, Stiles opens the door and has his breath stolen from his lungs when he sees Derek on the doorstep.

"Wow," he chokes out. He doesn't move aside to let Derek in because he's so stunned by how handsome he looks—seemingly even more handsome than usual. He doesn't think it's just his imagination, but maybe it's because they unfortunately haven't been able to see each other since Stiles stayed the night at Derek's on Wednesday.

Tonight, the man wears a pair of black jeans that are tight on his muscular legs and probably cup his plump ass perfectly. His torso is covered by a short-sleeved maroon henley that's just as tight as the jeans, the neckline of which is a deep V that shows off his collarbones and a teasing glimpse of his chest hair. There's no leather jacket in sight today, but Stiles doesn't miss it. It allows him to salivate over Derek's toned arms, his biceps bulging even though they're just hanging at his sides.

Derek's facial hair is a bit more grown out than Stiles is used to seeing it, creating a beard that's thick enough to prevent any of the skin beneath from showing through. It looks so soft that Stiles has to hold himself back from reaching up to find out if it really is. The hair on Derek's head is artfully swept back off of his forehead, and the grey that's sprinkled throughout the black strands shines in the waning sunlight.

"Are you gonna let me in sometime today?" Derek asks him teasingly, a hint of a smile on his lips.

"Oh!" Stiles hastily steps aside and shuts the door again when Derek has crossed the threshold. Alone together in the foyer, Stiles stares a bit more. "Did you…" he starts but trails off.

Derek arches a thick eyebrow at him. "Did I what?"

"Did you dress up a bit or something?"

Derek looks down at himself and shakes his head. "No more than I usually do."

"Oh."

"Why's that?"

Stiles can feel his cheeks heating up. "No reason. You just like look really nice, is all. I like the fuller beard."

Derek grins and leans in to peck him chastely on the lips. "Thanks. You look nice too."

"Not really. It's nothing special."

"Yes, really," Derek insists, checking Stiles out in return. The attraction in his eyes doesn't lie.

Stiles accepts the compliment. "Thanks, I guess. My Dad's already out back with the grill," he says. "He's been out there for a while. I don't let him get away with having stuff like this very often, so I think he's been looking forward to the food all week."

"I remember you telling me that when you moved in with me for a while."

Stiles remembers too, and now that everything's alright with him and his Dad, he looks back on that time with nothing but fondness. He still has to get through another half a year before he can firmly plant himself back at Derek's side, as per his Dad's conditions. That's not to say he doesn't like living with his Dad. He's just really looking forward to the day he can move in with Derek for real.

"Anyway, seeing as John's so desperate for food, I guess we'd better go put him out of his misery," Derek says. He grabs Stiles' hand and interlocks their fingers. "C'mon."

Stiles' anxiety instantly rears back up and kicks into high gear. This is the first time the three of them are going to be together in one place since his relationship with Derek came to light, and fucking hell does he hope it goes well.

* * *

At the sound of the back door opening behind him, John lowers his beer from his lips and turns around. It's strange to see Derek and Stiles walking out of the house together, hand in hand, their shoulders brushing with each step. His son with one of his best friends… It reaffirms to John that suggesting they all have dinner together was a good course of action. It'll help him get over the lingering strangeness of it all, and he meant what he said to Stiles earlier that week—he really does want to get fully on board with him and Derek, to better understand what drew them to each other.

As they get closer to him, John has to admit that, despite the newness of it all, Stiles and Derek do look pretty good together. He glances down between their bodies and notes how Derek strokes his thumb back and forth over the back of Stiles' hand seemingly without conscious thought, like he's subconsciously attempting to help Stiles calm. This has John raising his gaze to Stiles' face, and there he sees a maelstrom of emotions:

Pleasure, possibly from being with Derek after a few days of not seeing each other.

Cautiousness and nervousness that the evening won't go well.

Embarrassment…why?

John can't place the reason for the last emotion until Derek drops Stiles' hand in order to greet him with a friendly hug. As he continues to peer at his son over Derek's shoulder, he believes he figures out the final piece of the puzzle.

This is a very different situation, of course, but he recalls the time he brought his first serious girlfriend over to his parents' house to meet them when he was a teenager. He's not so old that he can't still understand how uncomfortable it can feel to interact with a significant other around family, especially when one is still so young and inexperienced. John is glad when, after Derek has released him with a couple strong pats on the back, the other man returns his hand to Stiles' and gives it a squeeze, continuing to silently reassure him that everything's alright, that he's here with him.

This action displays a level of care that John never doubted Derek possessed. He's always known that Derek has a good heart—he never would've befriended him if he didn't, after all. What's odd to him is that said care is likely a result of Derek being Stiles'…Daddy—damn, that word still trips him up—and not just a result of regular affection between romantic partners, at least in part. But he doesn't give voice to that oddness. John doesn't want to make his son any more embarrassed than he already is, so he pretends that everything is normal.

As John gets the meat cooking, Stiles retreats back inside with the excuse of finishing up the salad. John watches him go with amusement and then turns his attention to Derek.

"I hope you're hungry," he says, gesturing to the spread he prepared.

Derek whistles as he looks over it all. "That's a lot of meat. And yeah, I am. I skipped lunch specifically so I could stuff my face now." His stomach growls as if to prove it.

"That's good. You want a beer?"

"Sure."

John crouches down to get another bottle out of the cooler and offers it to Derek. The other man takes it, twists off the top with practised ease and takes a long pull from it, and then there's an awkward pause. John won't have that, so he decides to address the elephant in the room—or in the yard, as is the case here.

"I hear things are going well between you and Stiles," he says, aiming for a casual tone as he keeps an eye on the burgers currently sizzling away on the grill.

"They are," Derek confirms. "I've never had a relationship that felt so natural before."

John puts a few sausages on the grill next to the burgers. "I've never seen you in a relationship at all before, not since you moved back to town." He doesn't actually ask a question, but he hopes that Derek will still pick up on his desire for more knowledge about his love life. Luckily for him, he does.

"That's because I've never had a serious one since I've been back here," Derek says.

"Any particular reason?"

"I just never really connected with anyone, I guess." Derek takes another drink of his beer before setting it down on the edge of the grill. "I've had…flings, I guess you could call them, but as I said, nothing serious since before I left New York."

"You had something serious there, then?"

"I did."

"How did it end?"

"We really liked each other, but we just wanted different things in the end," Derek replies wistfully.

John can't help himself. "Like what?"

Derek meets the Sheriff's gaze with uncertainty. "You sure you want to get into this?"

While he's grateful for the out—and for Derek's consideration—John doesn't take it. "I want to know. You're one of my best friends, and it seems bad to me that I don't actually know that much about your personal life. I know vague details, but that's it. And seeing as Stiles is a part of your personal life now, now seems like a good time to rectify that." John turns the sausages and burgers over and is pleased with the char he sees on them.

Derek chuckles. "Okay. Just know that you asked for it."

"Bring it on."

"I got into the scene when I was in my mid-twenties," Derek begins. "I'd had a few different short-term relationships by that point, just experimenting and seeing what stuck, y'know? But nothing ever really did. When I was single again, I was in my apartment one night when I came across a website that, uh…opened my eyes, let's say."

"What kind of website?"

Derek levels John with a look that clearly says, "You really need to ask that?" and John clears his throat.

"Oh. That kind."

"Yeah. That led me to another site that was like an intro to BDSM, and something about it called to me. I looked into it a bit more and found out about a club that was hosting an open night for people who were interested in joining. I went."

"I guess I'm really ignorant about this whole thing, but you couldn't just walk in any old night?"

Derek shakes his head. "It's not like that. When you're in a community like that, a big deal is made about consent, privacy, and respecting people's boundaries. If the club was just open to anyone at all times, then there'd be a risk, however small, of someone walking in who a member didn't want there. Secrets could be revealed and there could be a lot of fallout from that. Plus, it helps to weed out the people who aren't serious about it, or the people who aren't good it or will abuse someone's trust—and things like that need trust. So yeah, access is restricted most of the time, and when it's not—like on the open night I attended—the owners of the club let members know so they can stay home that night if they don't want to deal with newbies."

John takes a few moments to consider what he's been told so far and has to admit that it makes sense. There are bad people in every walk of life—his job has taught him that very effectively over the years—so there must be bad people in the BDSM community too. As for privacy concerns, he considers sex to be a very private thing himself. He doesn't judge other people who don't feel the same way, as long as everyone's legal and consenting, but he wouldn't have wanted anyone else to know what he and Claudia used to do in the bedroom.

"I think I get it," he says.

At that moment, Stiles returns to the back yard with a filled salad bowl. He places it with the rolls and hot dog buns on the table before walking to Derek's side.

"What're we talking about?" he asks.

"Your Dad wanted to know how I originally got into the scene," Derek replies before John can.

"Oh." Stiles' eyes widen slightly.

"Want me to stop?"

"N-no, it's okay. I've gotta admit, I'm kinda curious about it too. You've told me a bit, but not much."

"Alright, then." Derek wraps an arm around Stiles' shoulders to pull them together and then addresses John again:

"Anyway, I went to the open night and something clicked with me. I didn't like everything I saw there, but then again, no one does. Not everything is for everybody."

As Derek keeps talking, John notices how Stiles' face gets redder and redder. The poor kid is probably uncomfortable as hell with his Dad being a part of a conversation like this one, but John doesn't end it. Stiles is uneasy about it, yes, but he gave Derek the go-ahead, and if it becomes too much, he can always speak up himself.

"While I was there, I really hit it off with a Dom, and he must've seen something in me because he agreed to take me under his wing," Derek reveals. "I signed up to become an official member of the club, and it went well for a while. But something still wasn't quite clicking for me. I enjoyed everything I was being taught, but there was still something missing.

"Then the club hosted one of its theme nights. I heard about it from the Dom I was training under and thought it sounded…interesting isn't really the right word, but I don't know what else to use."

"What was the theme?" John enquires, curious. He thinks he already knows, though, and he's proven correct when Derek gives him an answer.

"It was an age play night, for Daddies and Mommies and their littles," Derek says.

John briefly diverts his attention back to his son and sees that, sure enough, his face is as red as a beet now and he seems a second away from hiding it in Derek's shoulder. He himself feels similarly and is amazed that Derek says the words 'Daddies' and 'Mommies' so casually. But then again, Derek has had plenty of time to get used to it, and John hasn't yet.

"You could go to that? I'd assume that only the people the theme applied to could go," John says.

Derek nods and wears an expression that has John suspecting that this question is one that was asked often. "Any member could go to observe, but the only play or demonstrations that happened would be those that were relevant to the theme. It's not how it works in every club, but it was in the one I was a part of."

For the next few minutes, Derek relays the rest of his story back in New York and gives John a quick lesson on the ins and outs of BDSM and being a Daddy. John already knew bits and pieces of Derek's past, but the more personal parts are brand-new to him, so he pays close attention while putting the steaks on the grill to cook too.

He learns that BDSM is different for everybody who practices it.

Some are couples who do it in private, while others go to clubs like the one Derek was a member of and do scenes with people they aren't romantically affiliated with.

Some include sex in their scenes, while others don't.

There are even people who are actually professional Doms. They have a bunch of different clients who pay them for their services, and then they part ways again until their next session.

This part surprises John the most, and it's what makes him realise that he really had been ignorant to this. He has no desire to engage in any aspect of BDSM himself, but he has to say that hearing Derek explain the appeal people find in being either a Dom, a sub or a switch is fascinating to him.

A few minutes later, Derek moves on and John learns about how the other man had been taken in by watching some of the Daddies and Mommies in the club interacting with their littles. Something about those sorts of relationships had felt right to him in a way that even training to be a Dom hadn't. Derek talked to the Dom who was teaching him, and he was put in touch with one of the most well-respected Daddies in the New York kink scene, who was fortuitously willing to speak to him and answer any questions he had.

Derek learned more about what a relationship like that entailed, loved the caretaking aspects of it and so began working out what sort of Daddy he would be. He searched for his perfect boy but never found him. He found someone just after he turned thirty who he thought would work out at first, but the younger guy wanted something much more intense than Derek felt he could give him—a 24/7 dynamic, including pretty much every single aspect that being a little could have.

So it didn't work out.

"By then, I was getting tired of the politics of working in a law firm and New York had lost most of its lustre for me, so I thought it was a good time to move on. I came back here, and the rest I think you already know," Derek finishes, right as the steaks finish cooking too.

Perfect timing, John muses as all three of them start assembling their plates.

Nothing else is said for a few minutes as they all enjoy their food. John sits across the table from Stiles and Derek, who have positioned their chairs close together. By now, the extra blood has left Stiles' face.

Eventually, John thinks of another topic to bring up. "Stiles tells me that you're planning on going with him when he goes off to college," he mentions to Derek.

"Yeah, I am," Derek responds in between bites of his burger.

"You're really going to uproot your life again to follow him?"

"Of course. Why wouldn't I?"

John shrugs. "I don't know. It just seems like a lot to me to make plans like that when, realistically, you two haven't known each other for that long. But I guess I'm still thinking in terms of a regular relationship, aren't I?"

Derek takes a second to organise his thoughts. He sets his half-eaten burger down next to the salad on his plate. "A relationship like ours—or one that includes any form of BDSM—will always develop faster than usual. I already told you that when I came to speak to you after you found out about us," Derek reminds him, though not unkindly.

The memory returns to John. "Right."

"Besides, it would be difficult for me to do my job as Stiles' Daddy if he's on the other side of the country or something."

"I suppose that would be true." John glances at his son, who stares determinedly at his own plate. "I would've rather he told me, but if he felt like he couldn't, I'm happy he could tell you about college applications instead."

"Yeah." Derek bumps shoulders with Stiles, getting him to look up. They share a quick smile before Stiles goes right back to focusing on his food, almost like he's pretending the discussion John and Derek are having isn't happening. "I'm happy he told me too, if only so I could actually sit him down and make him actually look into it properly. It wouldn't have been good if he missed any deadlines."

It shouldn't, but this still catches John off-guard. "You just…told him to do it and he did?"

"Of course. It's in my job description to act in Stiles' best interests at all times, and it's part of Stiles being who he is to feel inclined to listen to me."

John doesn't say it aloud, but he's impressed and swayed a bit more into coming around to the whole Daddy/boy thing. He knows that his son is mature and isn't feckless—at least when he wants to be—but the knowledge that Stiles will have Derek to keep him on the right track, someone whose voice he'll actually pay attention to, makes John feel a lot better about Stiles' future. Not that he ever doubted his son would have a bright future, because he didn't, not even for a second. He's always known that Stiles is exceptionally intelligent and can be determined to a fault. It's just that Stiles can also sometimes be easily distracted.

It doesn't escape John that said teenager hasn't spoken much at all since he came outside with the salad. He gets why—it can he hard talking about this sort of stuff with a parent, especially with the Daddy thing layered on top of it all—but he would like to get his son's opinion on things too.

He attempts to bring him into the conversation. "And that's really okay with you, son?"

Stiles raises his head again and seems to steel himself. "Huh?"

"Your Dad asked you if you're really okay with me acting as a guiding hand for you," Derek clarifies.

"Oh." Stiles looks between the two men before settling on his Dad. "Yeah, it's fine." His blush returns. "I kinda like it anyway."

"That's good to hear, son." John means it.

"While we're on the subject," Stiles says, speaking fast as if he simply must get out whatever he has to say before he runs out of nerve. "I've actually decided what I wanna do about college."

John sits up straighter, and he sees Derek do the same in his chair next to Stiles. "I hoped so. So? Where are you applying?"

Stiles takes a deep breath and places his palms down on the table. John can almost see the nerves radiating off of him. "I'm going into the Police Academy instead," he announces.

John sits back in his chair, shocked. As far as he knew, Stiles had never even hinted that he was interested in pursuing a job in law enforcement. With his Dad as the Sheriff, the boy had done his research, of course, ever inquisitive, and he got into trouble a few times early on when he used to try to listen in on the calls John got on his police radio. He'd ask inappropriate questions, and John and Claudia shut that down very quickly because Stiles was far too young to be exposed to any of that unpleasantness.

Now? Now, John can't figure out how he feels about it.

"What made you decide to do that?" Derek asks Stiles, countenance inscrutable.

"It just made sense," Stiles answers, his posture stiff and tense. "I already know a lot about it because I grew up with it, and it would be cool to help people. I think I'd be good at it too. It just feels like something worth doing, y'know?"

"I do," John croaks. He's suddenly touched, the possibility occurring to him that Stiles could be doing this to follow in his footsteps.

"Are you okay with it?" Stiles questions the Sheriff warily.

John again ponders how he feels about it and gets mixed results. On one hand, he's proud of Stiles and wants to help him in any way he can, but on the other, he's scared because working in law enforcement can get dangerous sometimes, and it can mean long hours and very little sleep. Does he want that for his son? Not necessarily, but he doesn't bring his concerns up to Stiles because he doesn't want to discourage him. If this is really what Stiles wants to dedicate his life to—and Stiles' mien makes it clear that this wasn't a jejune decision—then John won't stop him.

He pushes back his chair and stands up. He walks around the table to Stiles and pulls him out of his chair too in order to hug him tightly. "I'm proud of you," he murmurs.

Stiles shakes against him and tucks his chin over John's shoulder. He clutches at the back of his shirt. He must've been even more worried about getting his Dad's approval than he let on.

"Thanks, Dad," Stiles whispers.

"All I'll say is to be careful," John warns him, ending the embrace. He puts his hands on Stiles' shoulders and holds him at arm's length. "Alright?"

Stiles nods ardently. "I will."

John goes back to his own seat and observes as Stiles has a similar moment with Derek. His friend is just as accepting and supportive as he was, and as Derek cups Stiles' cheek with his hand and Stiles leans into the touch, his eyes fluttering closed, John gets the distinct impression that he's intruding. Still, he doesn't look away because he needs to see this. It's good for him, will get him used to seeing Derek and Stiles together in the future. That was the whole point of tonight, after all.

Stiles, Derek and John stay outside on in the back yard for the remainder of the evening. The conversation flows easier now that the important stuff is all out of the way, and Stiles actually participates in most of it. It's like a weight has lifted off of his shoulders, freeing him up to be his usual convivial self. He banters with Derek, and there's an intimacy to it that speaks of a deep connection between them. It reminds John of how he and Claudia used to tease each other.

When Derek says something that makes Stiles throw his head back with a boisterous laugh, and Derek stares openly at him like he's never seen someone so enchanting, John's reservations vanish entirely. He finds himself smiling widely.

He's confident that everything will work out.

Chapter Text

- Monday, December 16th, 2013 -

Jackson is out of bed as soon as his alarm goes off on Monday morning. Time for another long week of school. As he showers, he takes comfort in the knowledge that there's a bright light at the end of this one—it's the last week before winter break, so he just has to get through five more days before he gets a full fourteen days of sweet relief from the pressures of his life. Or most of them, anyway—his parents will still be on his case during that time, and he'll probably have to see Lydia a few times too…so actually, it's not that much of a break.

His mood rapidly souring, Jackson finishes showering, dries off and gets dressed in the black jeans and light-blue T-shirt he chose the previous night. He blowdries his hair and then spends too long in front of his mirror titivating the light-brown strands so that each one is in the perfect place. Isn't that what a lot of his life consists of nowadays? Putting every part of himself in its perfect place so that no one will look too closely at him and discover the truth?

Jackson has thought for years that it's worked flawlessly, but apparently not.

He recalls when Danny payed him a visit the week before and, with one conversation, blasted his way past all of Jackson's carefully constructed walls to the scared little boy who hides behind them. He curses his best friend's perspicacity and perceptiveness, and then wonders what the hell he ever did to deserve Danny's friendship all these years. If their roles were reversed and Jackson had to put up with someone like himself, he'd have called it quits a long time ago. He knows he's a lot.

Jackson stares at his miserable reflection before burying all the emotions deep down, a very familiar task. It doesn't matter. What he wants doesn't matter—and besides, he doesn't deserve to be relieved of everything that's wrong with his life. Not after all the ways he's punched down and lashed out at people who are lower on the social totem pole than him—Stiles Stilinski, for example.

The other boy has always been such an easy target, and Jackson has known that if he ever got into trouble, his parents could easily get him out of it by waving around a bit of cash or some fancy lawyer words. It's not the best way to go about things, but fuck it, Jackson's a shitty person and it's too late to change that now. The only thing he's going to change about his behaviour is to leave Stilinski alone from now on. Danny sucked all the fun out of it anyway.

When his reflection matches the image he wants to portray to the outside world, Jackson retrieves his phone from his bedside table and exits his bedroom. From the landing, he can hear his parents talking quietly down in the kitchen. He takes a deep breath to ready himself for whatever they'll want to talk to him about this morning, and then he descends the stairs to join them.

"Jackson, you're up," his mother comments as he enters the kitchen. She sits at the island with her expensive laptop open in front of her, while her husband sits on the other side finishing off a bowl of fruit. As usual, both of them wear suits, hers black and his dark-grey with pinstripes, and her hair is done up in a neat bun on the back of her head. Never a day off in this household.

"Yeah," Jackson responds, walking over to the fridge.

"Your father and I were just finalising plans to take an early tour of the Harvard campus just after Christmas Day," his mother apprises, her gaze fixed to her laptop screen as she types away.

Jackson opens the fridge and peruses its contents for something vaguely appetising. "How're you gonna pull that off?"

"Your father is old friends with the Dean of the law school there, Martha Minow," his mother explains, still not looking away from her laptop. It's as if Jackson isn't important enough to her to even merit looking in his direction when she speaks to him. His Dad doesn't deign to look his way either. "She lives close to the campus, as you would expect, and has graciously agreed to take some time away from her family to show us around. It'll be during the holidays, of course, so the place will be mostly empty. It's a wonderful opportunity."

Jackson makes a noncommittal noise.

"We'll be flying over to Massachusetts on Christmas Eve. We've already booked flights, so make sure you're packed, will you?"

Jackson glares at the half-empty milk carton in the fridge. Yet another holiday spent somewhere else, huh? Why is he not surprised? Probably because his parents do this to him every single year—they make him go to some strange, usually affluent place where he knows no one and has no fun whatsoever. A couple times, they've at least agreed to take Danny with them, with Danny's parents' permission. Not this time, apparently. Not even the pretence of fun this year, only college tours.

Yay.

"Okay," he assents. The emotions he'd just locked away rattle dangerously in their boxes, and he has an unusually hard time keeping the annoyance out of his voice.

"Good. Now hurry up and have some breakfast. You'll be late for school otherwise, and I won't have you being tardy."

Not wanting to be around his parents for any longer than necessary, Jackson shuts the fridge and just grabs an apple from the fruit bowl on the middle of the island on his way out of the kitchen. In the foyer now, he grabs his school bag from where it's hung up on a hook to the left of the front door, slips on his shoes and races from the house before his parents can call him back to give him even more news he doesn't give a single damn about.

After he gets behind the wheel of his Porsche, he tosses the apple on the passenger seat, his stomach too in knots to even think about taking a bite. He sticks his key in the ignition and drives away from his house, and as the buildings pass on either side of him, he ponders why all of this is suddenly affecting him so much.

For years, Jackson has been able to ignore his parents' shit without much trouble, just going along with whatever they wanted from him with barely a peep or protest. But now? For the past week, the little things have really been getting under his skin, to the point where Danny noticed something was wrong with him and tried to talk to him about it. And fuck, Danny was dangerously close to being right on the money with all of his guesses.

Jackson was perfectly fine going about his life as it was:

He was going to go to law school like his parents wanted.

He's been dating Lydia, the most popular girl in school, for years, as was expected of the lacrosse captain. He's listened to her vapid thoughts, allowed her to walk all over him just like his parents.

He pushed himself to become the lacrosse captain and has maintained that position since Coach Finstock gave it to him.

But now? There's a part of Jackson that wants to say, "Fuck it!" and set fire to everything just to watch it burn. Nothing sounds more enjoyable to him. What would happen in the aftermath? How would everyone react once they find out that everything Jackson has presented to the world since he was a boy has been nothing more than a very convincing lie?

Would the student body of Beacon Hills High—and more specifically his teammates—be mad at him if he stepped down as lacrosse captain? It's likely.

Would his parents regret adopting him if he told them he wanted to pursue a different career, whatever that career may be? Possibly.

Would they hate him for doubting that a pretty wife and 2.5 kids is what he wants out of his personal life? Again, possibly.

Would Lydia slap him and never speak to him again for making a fool of her? Almost definitely.

And would Jackson care? Who can say? He might actually be happy without all of that expectation sitting heavy on his shoulders for once. But then again, apart from the ever-loyal Danny, he might be left with nothing, and is he willing to take that risk? So many questions, so few answers.

If Jackson thinks about it, he can easily trace his recent feelings of unrest to one source:

Stiles fucking Stilinski. Yeah, Danny was definitely right on the money there.

God, Jackson hates Stilinski so much. No, that's not right. He doesn't hate the other boy, but what he represents. Even though he doesn't want to, Jackson flashes back to the morning he'd seen Stilinski being dropped off at school by the older man Danny keeps insisting isn't Stilinski's sugar daddy. He comes to a stop at a red light and replays the scene from the moment he first noticed them.

It was the glimpse of the older dude's shiny black car that initially caught his attention. It looked incredibly expensive, but he already knew the vehicles all the other rich kids drove and none of them had that Camaro. So, his curiosity getting the better of him, he'd paused on his way inside the school to watch as the passenger door opened. And who should climb out but Stilinski?

That was odd enough in itself because Stilinski always drives that ugly blue Jeep that he holds together with duct tape. What made it even odder was the driver's door opening and a middle-aged man who was most certainly not Stilinski's Dad getting out of the car too. Jackson didn't want to think it, but as he watched the man—Derek, Danny said his name was—walk around the front of the Camaro to Stilinski, he thought that Derek was sexy as hell.

And when he and Stilinski kissed, well…

Jackson closes his eyes, still idling at the red light, and pictures the few moments Stilinski's lips had met Derek's. As much as he wants to stubbornly cling to his theory that Derek was just Stilinski's sugar daddy, there was a playfulness and a tenderness to the kiss that didn't match the theory at all. Even though it's just to himself, in the privacy of his own car, Jackson admits that he was wrong. He still doesn't understand it—doesn't get why seeing Derek cup Stilinski's face with gentleness and affection made him almost jealous, of all the absurd things—but whatever's between the two must be more than a simple exchange of money and material possessions for sex.

No! He takes it back. Jackson snaps his eyes open and peals across the intersection as the light turns green. He's not jealous. He doesn't want that. He doesn't want some hot man to cup his cheeks and kiss him with passion and love.

Who needs love? Not him. He's never really had it and he doesn't need it now. It's just Danny putting ideas in his head.

Stupid ideas.

He studiously avoids thinking any further about Stiles and Derek and how unhappy he is for the rest of the drive to school. He parks in his usual space near the front of the lot, which everyone else knows to leave empty for him, and exits his Porsche, desperate for the bell to ring so that he can have something to distract him. Even schoolwork would be better than more introspection.

Sadly, Jackson doesn't get his wish. He's still fifteen minutes early, and waiting for him right at the bottom of the steps leading into the school is none other than Lydia Martin.

As he could've predicted, she looks put-together. Her hair is straightened and pinned back from her face, and today she wears a cream-coloured button-up blouse with some sort of pattern on it and a brown leather skirt that goes down to just above her knees. Her lips are painted their usual blood-red, and her green eyes are enhanced by mascara and eyeliner. She obviously put a lot of time into her appearance before leaving her house.

Jackson can relate, because he did the same thing. It's exhausting, and as he stands next to his car, he wonders how she doesn't seem tired of the farce that is their lives. He's definitely getting there.

"Jackson, there you are!" Lydia says when she spots him. She waves him over, and he reluctantly goes.

"Hey, Lydia," Jackson says. This time, he can't keep his feelings out of his voice, and his tone comes off morose.

"Hey, baby." Lydia places a light kiss on Jackson's cheek, no doubt leaving a red lipstick mark behind. He wipes it off on the back of his hand when she isn't looking.

They walk together into the main school building, and as he already has everything he needs for the first half of his day in his backpack, Jackson lets himself be shepherded toward her locker instead of his own, their arms linked. He barely pays attention as she speaks to him about whatever she's got on her mind this morning—probably something about coordinating their outfits for prom next year, as she's been pestering him about for a few weeks now. It's still months away at this point, so Jackson can't for the life of him see the point of sorting it all out now. But that's Lydia.

"Jackson, are you even listening to me?" said girl asks him irritatedly.

Jackson turns back toward her and can't even guess how long Lydia was talking while he was spaced out. "Huh? What?"

Lydia frowns. "I'm trying to talk to you about going to the mall after school so that I can get your opinion on some dresses I've got my eye on. What's wrong with you today? Did you not get any sleep or something? You're not normally this out of it."

"No, nothing like that." Jackson takes a breath to compose himself, lest what he really thinks about going dress shopping with her slips out. Isn't that what she has female friends for anyway? "Go on," he prompts, already dreading what'll come out of Lydia's mouth next.

Although she's not fully mollified, the frown clears from Lydia's face and she chooses not to push him. "Well, are you gonna come or what?"

"I guess so."

"You guess?" Lydia repeats incredulously, like she can hardly believe he isn't as enthusiastic as she is.

"I mean, yeah, I'll definitely go," Jackson corrects himself. He plasters on a rictus smile.

"Okay then." Lydia's expression turns sultry. "And if you're lucky, I might stop into the lingerie store and get something there too."

"Can't wait."

It's a total fucking lie, just like everything else. At the beginning, sure, Jackson found Lydia attractive. She's a beautiful girl, and apart from Danny, he doesn't think there's a boy in the school who wouldn't give their right arm for a chance to take her out. A few of the girls probably would too. They'd all say he's lucky to have garnered Lydia's attention—and he knows he is, in a way.

Still…call him ungrateful, but for the past couple years he's found it more and more difficult to keep 'performing' whenever Lydia expects it of him. He manages it, but the idea of watching Lydia try on lingerie and having to act like he's salivating over her seems like more effort than he can muster today.

Thankfully, the bell rings a moment later, saving him from any further discussion. He walks Lydia to her first class like the dutiful boyfriend he pretends to be, and then he makes his way to his own and sits down next to Danny at the back of the room.

"You okay?" the other boy enquires, reaching across the aisle to put a hand on Jackson's shoulder.

Jackson nearly shrugs it off, but he doesn't. Danny doesn't deserve his rudeness. "Yeah, I'm fine," he murmurs, getting out his stuff.

"You sure? You look kinda…stressed out."

Meeting his best friend's gaze, Jackson feels guilty when he sees the genuine concern etched into Danny's features. "Don't worry about it. It's nothing."

He can tell Danny doesn't believe him, but he drops it with a quiet, "Okay."

Jackson leans against the back of his chair and taps his pen against his thigh, waiting for the teacher to begin so he can finally have the distraction he craved in his car. But before that happens, he can't stop his mind from racing.

He could unload on Danny, and Danny would listen and wouldn't judge him for anything, he's sure. Danny even told him as much when he visited his house last week. Hell, it might even help if he had someone to actually talk to, someone who had his best interests at heart and he trusted to help him figure out exactly how he's feeling and how to make it all better.

Jackson is mostly grateful that, since his visit, Danny hasn't brought up any of the stuff he talked about, has given Jackson space to contemplate what he said. But there's still a small part of him that wants Danny to push him. He might never speak up otherwise, and if that's the case, he can tell that the storm in his head will only build and build until he explodes and leaves his life in ruins. That was what he thought he wanted in his car earlier—to burn it down—but if he's going to destroy the fake life he's built, he'd like it to be on his terms. Not because he was too weak to hack it.

As the lesson finally begins, Jackson sighs. Now isn't the time or place to speak to Danny. He'll have to wait and see if he has the nerve to do it later—and if he doesn't, well…

An explosion it'll be.

* * *

Once school has let out, Stiles heads through the halls toward the parking lot, intending to go straight back to Derek's and spend the evening with him. When he gets outside, though, his plans change.

"Stiles, hey!" Danny calls, chasing after him.

Stiles waits for the other boy to catch up. "What's up?" he asks when Danny is next to him, the other students flowing around them like water around stones in a river.

Danny holds up a finger and his chest heaves as he catches his breath again, his tight red shirt stretching obscenely across the broad, well-sculpted muscles. Stiles ogles him for a few seconds, and then he catches himself and looks back up at Danny's face. A smirk stretches the Hawaiian's lips.

"Shut up," Stiles mumbles, rolling his eyes.

Danny chuckles good-naturedly and claps him on the shoulder. "Hey, look all you want."

"Nah, I'm good. I've already got a man to stare at."

"True."

Stiles takes a step backward so that the other students have more space to exit the school. He parks his butt on the low wall, and Danny sits next to him. "Did you need something?"

"Not need," Danny responds. "I was just wondering if you wanted to come to the mall with me. I've still got a few presents to get for Christmas."

Stiles' eyebrows climb up his forehead. "Uh, yeah, I guess I could go," he tells the lacrosse goalie.

"You guess, huh?"

"Yeah." Stiles slips his phone from the pocket of his chinos. "Just lemme text Derek that I'll be a bit later or else he'll worry."

"Things are still going well between you two, then?"

Stiles glances up from his phone. "Yeah, why?"

"Just wondering." Danny hums, and the sound is surprisingly sad. "I guess it's just because I've been single for a while now, so it's kinda nice to hear about a gay relationship going well. Seems like a rare thing."

Stiles finishes composing his text and hits Send before focusing entirely on Danny. "It does?"

"Yeah. I mean, there aren't many gay guys in this school at all, at least not any that are out. And then look at the media we've got. Fat chance if you wanna find a gay couple that's prominent in any mainstream TV show or movie, and if you do, it normally doesn't have a happy ending. Then there's the issue that a lot of guys are just out for a quick hook up. That's fine for them, but they look at you as if there's something wrong with you when you tell them you want something more. It's frustrating, honestly." Danny kicks a small rock that's by his foot, sending it skittering down the steps. "Sorry, I'm rambling. I'll stop."

Stiles doesn't like seeing Danny feeling down, so he gets to his feet. "C'mon, stand up."

Danny peers up at him confusedly. "What?"

"Just do it."

Cautiously, Danny acquiesces, and then Stiles pulls him into a tight hug. It's weird at first because he's not used to hugging Danny—in fact, the only people he's hugged in recent years are his Dad, Scott, Scott's mother, and Derek—but after a few seconds, the strangeness passes and it's actually kind of nice. Danny stands rigid in his skinny arms for a moment, caught off-guard, but then he reciprocates the embrace and pats Stiles on the back.

"You'll find someone," Stiles tells him confidently. "The perfect guy for you's out there somewhere."

Danny huffs out a short breath of laughter. "How d'you know that?"

"Because." Stiles draws back so that he can look Danny in the eye. "You're a great guy; everyone thinks so. And besides, I thought I'd never find someone, but look at me now! If I can find a guy as amazing as Derek, so can you."

The corners of Danny's lips curl upward in a soft smile. "I'll take your word for it," he says.

"You better. Now c'mon. Let's kick this Xmas shopping in the butt!"

Side by side, Stiles walks with Danny down the last few steps toward the edge of the parking lot. "Meet you there?"

Danny nods. "Wait by the entrance."

"Sure thing."

After sharing a fist-bump, Stiles parts ways with Danny.

Just before he drives out of the parking lot, he sees Jackson and Lydia getting into Jackson's Porsche. As if sensing him, the blond boy looks right back at Stiles, and Stiles is shocked by what he sees in his eyes. There's hatred—not too uncommon for Jackson—but there's also…dejection? Melancholy? Stiles can't put a name to it, but it sends shivers down his spine and disquiets him greatly.

Shrugging it off because it's none of his business, Stiles starts up his Jeep and leaves.

Chapter Text

- Monday, December 16th, 2013 -

After meeting at the entrance to the mall like they planned back at school, Stiles enters the huge building with Danny and all the other shoppers. It's not the most crowded he's ever seen the place, but there are still more people present than he would've expected for a Monday afternoon. He swiftly realises why after looking up and scoping out all the decorations that have been put up throughout the whole complex.

There are fairy lights and garlands everywhere.

In store windows, colourful signs promise prefect gifts for loved ones available for purchase within.

Christmas music blares from all the speakers.

But the main attraction is definitely the prodigious Christmas tree that's been put up right in the middle of the mall:

It must be 20 feet high, Stiles guesses. It glistens with lights, red glittery ornaments and silver tinsel, and at the base there's fake snow and a pile of prop presents that are neatly wrapped in red and green paper with gold ribbons and bows. Surrounding the whole thing is a short, white picket fence, which both adds to the aesthetic and prevents any over-eager shoppers from getting too close to the tree and potentially damaging anything.

Of course it's busy today, Stiles muses. It's the lead-up to Christmas. He was stupid not to think of this when Danny told him the whole reason for coming here was so that he could finish his Christmas shopping.

All of the decorations are very familiar to Stiles. He hasn't visited the mall during the lead-up to the holiday season in almost ten years, which is shocking now that he thinks about it. In recent years, he preferred to do most of his shopping online instead because it's more convenient that way, but his parents used to bring him to the mall every year when he was younger. It was a lot of fun, and Stiles used to look forward to it all year. But then, after his Mom died, he and his Dad stopped coming, both of them too aware of the third person missing from their family to get into the holiday spirit. Each Christmas since her death, Stiles has spent a bit of time with his Dad, but mostly he's gone over to Scott's house and celebrated with him and Melissa.

As Stiles stands there and takes it all in, he gets swept up in the cheer again. What had his past self been thinking? Sure, it's busy here, and sure, most of the merchandise in the stores will probably take bigger chunks out of his bank account than if he were to buy it online, but it's still nice being here. It reminds him of old times, of walking through the place with one of his parents' hands in each of his like they were in some cheesy Hallmark movie.

Stiles shakes off the memories. "So, who are we shopping for?" he asks Danny as they walk.

"I've got most of it already, but I still need to find the right things for my little sister, Jackson and Lydia," Danny answers. "Lydia's giving me the most trouble. She's got expensive and very specific tastes."

Stiles stares at him in surprise. "I didn't know you had a little sister."

"Mmhmm. Her name's Rebecca. She's eight."

"Cool."

"I guess." Danny smiles wryly. "She's kind of a pain in the butt most of the time."

"I always thought it would be nice to have a little brother or sister," Stiles tells the other boy. "Wasn't in the cards, though."

"Oh, right…" Danny's mien becomes somber and regretful, as if he's blaming himself for potentially bringing up a painful topic. He stops walking. "Sorry."

Stiles rolls his eyes and then grins to show that he's not actually upset. "Why're you apologising? It's not your fault my Mom died. It sucked, but it was years ago. It's just one of those things, y'know?"

"Yeah. Saying sorry's just something people do, though," Danny says. "Seems kinda dumb."

Stiles chuckles and begins moving again, urging Danny to do the same. "Anyway, all I was saying was that you should appreciate having a little sister. She might be annoying now—and I'm sure I'd find a little sister annoying if we were ten years apart like you two are—but I bet when she's grown up a bit, it'll be like having a best friend or something. That's what I've always figured, anyway."

Danny inclines his head. "I guess you're right. She's not that bad," he concedes. "Her My Little Pony obsession is getting out of hand, though. I draw the line there."

"I don't blame you."

"I could get her some stuffed My Little Pony toy or something, but I really don't wanna add to her collection."

"Keep it as a backup, then," Stiles suggests.

"What about you?"

Stiles peers at Danny, confused. "Me?"

"Have you got all your Christmas presents already?" Danny clarifies as they pass by the food court.

"Uhh, I think so." Stiles takes a moment to run through a mental list. His Dad, Scott, Melissa, Allison, maybe something small for Danny too…and Derek! "Oh shit!" he exclaims, smacking his forehead with his palm.

Danny raises both eyebrows. "What? You forgot someone?"

Stiles hangs his head and groans. "Yeah…"

"Who?"

"Derek," Stiles admits sheepishly. He's not used to having a partner to buy presents for, sure, so it's not entirely out of the realm of possibility that he could forget. But still, how could he?

"Oh wow," Danny says, patting him on the back. "That's pretty bad, dude."

"I know."

"At least he doesn't," the lacrosse goalie comforts him. "You can get something for him today and he'll never know. Your secret's safe with me."

"Thanks…"

"Now cheer up!" Danny gives him another couple pats on the back, these ones slightly harder. "It's nearly Christmas, so I can't have you being a Grinch, okay?"

Laughing a bit breathlessly, Stiles raises his head again and plasters on a smile. His guilt is already receding, Danny's words helping a great deal. Danny was right, after all—Derek need never know that Stiles nearly forgot to get him a gift. Stiles promises himself that he'll put in some extra effort to make his gift perfect to make up for it, even if he and Danny are the only people who will ever be aware of it. It'll allay the remainder of his guilt, at the very least, and then he can go about the rest of the days before the holiday without it weighing on him.

"Let's wander around a bit," Danny suggests. "I don't really have anything in mind, so I'll just wait until something jumps out at me."

"Alright," Stiles agrees.

* * *

An hour later, Danny has found presents for Jackson and Lydia but still not for Rebecca, and Stiles hasn't found anything he thinks Derek would love. There have been small things he believes Derek would like, but they don't seem like enough to him. It needs to be perfect. This is his and Derek's first Christmas as Daddy and boy, and so the present needs to be appropriately important—in his head, anyway. Maybe he's just being picky or outright ridiculous, but he won't settle for anything less.

"You'll find him something," Danny reassures him when he gives voice to his concerns.

"Doesn't feel like it." Stiles checks the time on his phone. "The mall won't be open for that much longer, and I'd prefer to get it done today."

"We've still got another hour or so," Danny says. He makes note of the stores closest to them before taking Stiles' arm and spinning them around. "C'mon, maybe a break to get some junk food in you will help, give you fresh eyes or something."

"I guess it can't hurt."

Stiles follows Danny back to the food court, his mouth watering as they get closer to all the sugary and greasy smells polluting the air. After a short discussion, they decide to go for something sweet instead of savoury and end up visiting Cinnabon for a box of four cinnamon rolls to share and a couple drinks—raspberry lemonade for Stiles, and vanilla iced coffee for Danny. It seems a bit out of season to be drinking cold drinks in December, but since it's California, the temperature never really gets low during the day. The drinks are refreshing anyway, the cool liquid sliding down Stiles' throat to sit in his stomach with the frosting and spiced dough of his two cinnamon rolls.

"I need to learn how to make these properly," Stiles says as he licks his fingers clean.

"Cinnamon rolls?"

"Yeah. I can make them okay, but these are still way better. I need more practice."

Danny grins conspiratorially. "I'm happy to be your guinea pig, if you need one."

"Sure."

After finishing their drinks, Stiles and Danny resume trawling through all the stores the mall has to offer. Stiles' feet begin to hurt from all the walking, and when it gets close to closing time he's still unsuccessful in his search. He's getting frustrated because he's sure the problem is with him and not with any of the stores. Derek would be fine with whatever Stiles gives him—Stiles knows this, and he's just making it unnecessarily complicated. But he can't help it.

He finds himself mumbling as he exits another store behind Danny, wondering quietly why it's so hard to find the perfect gift for his Daddy. Danny hasn't had any luck with his sister's present either, but he at least still has his backup plan.

With nothing else to do, Stiles tails the lacrosse goalie to another store that specialises in children's toys. This will be the most likely place to sell My Little Pony stuffed toys. Once inside, they peruse the aisles until they find the right one, and Stiles is astounded by the sheer number of stuffed animals on the shelves, the shelves themselves reaching nearly up to the ceiling. The store has a surprisingly large variety too: there are the official branded toys, which Danny searches through for the right one for his sister, and then there are the generic animals—stuffed bears, cats, dogs…even an alligator or two. They differ in size as well, from small enough to fit comfortably in the palm of Stiles' hand, to so big that they'd come up to his hip if he put them on the floor.

Stiles was never a big collector of stuffed animals when he was a kid. He had the teddy bear his mother gave him, as well as a couple others, but that was it. He was more interested in cars and other typical stuff society tells little boys they should like.

Now, Stiles surveys the range of stuffed animals here and finds himself drawn to several of them. There's the giant teddy bear with light-brown fur on the bottom shelf, and the black wolf about the size of a football on one of the middle shelves. He doesn't dare reach out and touch either of these, though, because he can easily pinpoint the reason for his sudden change of heart—it's because of what he's recently discovered about himself, and the developing little part of him is just itching to begin a collection of stuffed toys. Maybe just to have them. Maybe to play with them, which…no, he's in a public space, and he's nowhere near comfortable enough with himself to do anything like that outside of the privacy of Derek's house, especially when Derek's not here too.

"Stiles? You okay?" Danny asks him, snapping him out of his thoughts.

Stiles blinks at his surroundings. He whips his head around to make sure that no one else was in the aisle to see. "What?"

"I asked if you were okay. You were just standing there."

"Oh. Yeah, I'm fine," Stiles responds, nodding.

"Something catch your eye, then?" Danny presses innocently, appraising the selection in front of them. He has his gift for his sister tucked under one arm.

Stiles opens his mouth to say no, but no sound comes out.

Danny smirks at him. "Something totally did, didn't it? Which one?"

"Uhh…"

Danny smirks for another couple seconds, and then his face shifts into something different—something understanding. This freaks Stiles out a bit, because what does Danny have to be understanding about when it comes to him and stuffed animals? "C'mon, you can tell me," Danny promises, his voice lowered now so that only Stiles will be able to hear it. "If I'm off base or out of line, then just let me know, but I'm an open-minded guy."

"I don't know what you're talking about," Stiles fibs, breaking eye contact. His gaze ends up on the black wolf.

It's Danny's turn to scope out the aisle, and once he confirms that no one else is nearby, he leans in close and speaks softly. "So I didn't hear you calling Derek 'Daddy' a few minutes ago when you were frustrated by not being able to find anything for him?"

Poleaxed, Stiles nearly stops breathing and his heartbeat speeds up. "W-what?"

"Hey, no judgment here." Danny holds up his palm. "No one else heard, but I did. I can pretend I didn't, though, if it would make you feel better."

"You…you really have no problem with it?" Stiles can't help but ask. He wasn't anticipating this happening. Not ever. He was never planning on telling Danny about the real relationship he has with Derek, but apparently the cat's out of the bag now. At least it was Danny who overheard him and not someone more disastrous like Jackson.

"With what you and Derek get up to when you're alone? Hell no." Danny makes a face as if it's a stupid question in the first place. "Like I said, I'm open-minded. If it makes you happy, I say go right on ahead. Besides, I came across all sorts of stuff when I was trying to figure out if I was gay or not. You're not the first…person like that…that I've come across," Danny reveals. He deliberately avoids the use of the word 'little', as if he knows it would tip Stiles over the edge right now.

Stiles lowers his gaze to the floor between his feet. "Oh."

"I'm not gonna like, pressure you talk or anything. All I'll say is that if you wanna get a stuffed animal or two, go for it. No one will guess you're buying it for yourself, anyway. And if they do, they won't know the truth. It's just fear making you paranoid."

He's got a point, Stiles thinks. But am I brave enough?

"Hell, if you want, I can carry it," Danny offers generously. "Just give me the money and I'll pay too. I'm already gonna be paying for this My Little Pony crap and carrying it back to my car."

Stiles ruminates for a few minutes, while Danny waits patiently beside him. The anxiety in him demands he leave the store then and there and forget about the whole thing, but he doesn't give in to it. Yes, he wasn't planning on telling Danny about who he and Derek really are to each other, but now that it's out there, Stiles is surprisingly okay with it. Maybe it's just that Danny is the first person who found out and didn't have a negative reaction in any way—Laura was family and knew about Derek beforehand, so she doesn't really count. Whatever the reason, Stiles feels emboldened enough to walk forward and pick up both the big teddy bear and the smaller black wolf.

"You gonna give them to me?" Danny enquires.

"No, I've got it," Stiles replies. The price tag for the bear is proportional to its size, but he's not backing out now. He has the money saved up, so he's going to treat himself, damnit!

"Alright, then." Danny turns toward the checkout with something like pride in his eyes. "Let's get out of here."

Walking side by side with Danny, Stiles holds his head high and rides on the confidence he just found. He figures that, if he acts like nothing's out of the ordinary, everyone will believe it's true and pay him no mind at all.

Five minutes later, Stiles was proven right and he and Danny are out of the store without any sort of commotion at all. The woman working the checkout hadn't so much as glanced at him as she scanned the tags for his two new stuffed animals, and the other shoppers who were in line to pay were too caught up in their own worlds to even notice him.

Now, Stiles meanders out in the mall's main space with the black wolf in a bag and the bear under his arm. Again, no one else looks at him for more than a second.

"See? That wasn't so hard," Danny teases him, bumping their shoulders together.

"Yeah, yeah…"

Since there are now only a few minutes until the mall closes, they direct themselves toward the parking lot, progressing at a lazy pace. Stiles is a bit disheartened that he never found something great for Derek, but it's not the end of the world, despite feeling like it. He's still got a few days to try again, and if that fails him too, maybe he can come up with something more personal.

Perhaps that's the way to go, and he should get Derek something more meaningful. Now that he's on this train of thought, there's an idea niggling at the back of his brain, just out of reach. It's what he's been waiting for, he's certain, but he can't quite bring it into focus. He shakes his head and leaves it alone.

It'll come to him later.

"Is that Jackson?"

Stiles follows Danny's gaze to the store they're nearest to. It's for formal wear, and sure enough, he spies Jackson sitting on a padded bench inside. He's alone, but after a few seconds, Lydia appears next to him in a baby-pink dress and does a twirl for him, obviously after his opinion.

"It's a bit early for all that, right?" Stiles asks.

"Yeah, but with Lydia, it's expected," Danny says. "Knowing her, she's gotta find the right one, and I said before that she's got specific tastes."

"And she dragged Jackson into it."

"Yup."

Going dress shopping with Lydia Martin sounds like hell to Stiles—boy, has he come far—so he actually feels a bit sorry for Jackson.

"Poor bastard," he murmurs. Danny doesn't say anything for a while, and when Stiles looks at him, he sees a deep frown of concern on Danny's face. "What?"

"I'm worried about him," Danny says.

Stiles pays closer attention to Jackson, and like in the school parking lot, he reads a lot of emotions in his expression. He sees the expected boredom, because Lydia has no doubt kept him there for an age, but he also sees unhappiness and a trace of self-loathing. The latter must just be Stiles' imagination, but even so, it's enough to have him concerned for Jackson as well.

"You talked to him, right?" Stiles questions.

"Yeah. He didn't say much back, but I talked a lot. I've been letting him think on it since then, though."

"And?"

"I'm not sure it was enough, but I don't know what else to do. If Jackson doesn't want my help, I don't wanna force it on him. His parents already force enough on him."

This is news to Stiles. "They do?"

Danny purses his lips, possibly debating the merits of divulging this information to Stiles without Jackson's permission. He does it. "They want him to go to law school to become a lawyer like them."

That also sounds like hell to Stiles. Kudos to the people to do it and stick it out, but going to law school has never been on the table for him, not even when he was scrambling to find the right college to attend.

At that moment, Lydia's high-pitched, fake-sounding laugh reaches Stiles' ears. He watches as she bends down and plants a kiss right on Jackson's lips. She doesn't notice how he tenses up, just heads back to the changing rooms to presumably change back into her casual attire—although casual for Lydia is still pretty dressed up. With her gone again, Jackson trains his gaze on the floor of the store with his hands balled up into fists atop his knees, and this time Stiles is sure that the self-loathing radiating from Jackson isn't just his imagination playing tricks on him.

He's about to ask Danny what his opinion on all of this is, but the question is forced out of his mind because Danny appears almost…jealous. Of what?

It's Stiles' turn to ask if Danny is okay. The other boy nods slowly, his jaw clenched, and then he power-walks away. Stiles hurries after him, and just as they get outside, the Christmas music coming from the speaker system cuts off and a male voice informs all the shoppers that the mall will be closing in ten minutes.

"Danny, wait up!" Stiles calls, struggling to keep up with the huge bear under his arm.

Danny stops at the edge of the parking lot, and once Stiles has caught up with him, he's like his usual affable self again. "This was fun," he says. "We should do it again sometime, but I've gotta get back home. My parents'll be expecting me for dinner."

"Uhh, sure." Stiles doesn't know what to make of it, but if Danny doesn't want to talk about it, he'll respect that.

"See ya!"

With a friendly smile that doesn't entirely reach his eyes, Danny parts from Stiles.

"What the hell just happened?" Stiles asks the air next to him. This whole situation is just getting more and more confounding.

Chapter Text

- Monday, December 16th, 2013 -

When Derek gets home after a meeting with his latest client, the first thing he does is remove his red tie and undo the first few buttons of his dress shirt. He enjoys his job for the most part, but putting on a monkey suit has always felt stifling. The feeling has only got worse as the years have gone on, and together with demanding and occasionally snooty clients, it's enough to have him looking forward to retiring. With all the money in his bank account from his family, he could afford to do so right now without any hassle, but he knows he'd end up bored out of his mind. So he powers through and is just thankful that, if someone is too much to deal with, he can just say no now that he's not working for a law firm anymore and has no one above him to answer to.

With his tie and suit jacket gone, Derek casts off his foul mood and switches off his work brain. He focuses on the good things in his life, of which he has plenty—like tonight being another night during which Stiles will sleep over. He already can't wait for it.

Speaking of which, his boy's last class should be finishing soon. Derek checks his phone for the time and sees that, actually, barring anything unexpected like a detention, Stiles should have already got out of school a few minutes ago.

His excitement rising for an evening relaxing with his boy, Derek heads upstairs to change out of the rest of his suit, carrying his phone with him. He stands in his bedroom and contemplates the merits of a shower, but a quick sniff has him thinking he should he okay until the morning—and if Derek has his way, then both he and Stiles will be getting dirty later, and that would defeat the point of a shower anyway. After selecting a pair of grey sweatpants and a loose purple tank top, Derek makes short work of changing, and he returns to the bedroom just in time for his phone to chime from where he'd tossed it carelessly atop his green bedsheets.

[BABY BOY / 3:08 p.m.]
Going to the mall with Danny for a bit. Helping him with some Xmas shopping.

The news saddens Derek at first because it means he has longer to wait until Stiles is back with him, but he shrugs the feeling off. He knows that Stiles doesn't have many friends—in fact, he believes it might just be Scott and Scott's girlfriend, Allison—so he focuses on his gladness that his boy is apparently expanding his social circle, even if just a little. And although he doesn't know this Danny kid at all, he recalls Stiles telling him how Danny stood up for him against Jackson when they had that whole scene in the school showers, even though Jackson was his best friend. That already raises Danny's esteem in Derek's eyes, so he sends a response wishing them a good time and locks his phone again.

Now…what should he do?

He stands there for a few seconds before an idea hits him, caused by Stiles' text. The holidays are coming up, and so far Derek hasn't even thought about putting up any decorations. He usually doesn't bother with much, seeing as it's just been him for the past few years, but this year he's got Stiles in his life and that puts him in a more festive mood.

Plan of action made, Derek ventures back downstairs and then down into the basement. He ignores the gym equipment and instead searches through the boxes he has stored up against one wall. Luckily, he was meticulous when he packed it all away and labelled everything, so it doesn't take him long to find the two boxes of Christmas decorations he owns. He carries them all up to the ground floor and makes a final trip for the rectangular box that contains his fake tree—a rather pointed gift from Laura the first November after he moved back to Beacon Hills, because she knew he wouldn't bother to get anything to decorate the house for the holidays if left entirely to his own devices.

One of the two square boxes has only ornaments and tinsel for the tree, so Derek begins with the other one. After using a box cutter to cut through the tape keeping the box sealed shut, he finds a wreath right at the top and spends several minutes figuring out how to hang it outside his front door without permanently damaging either thing.

Next in the box are various holiday-themed tchotchkes which he arranges in random places on his entertainment centre:

A Santa with his sack of presents spilling open at his feet.

Another Santa in his sleigh.

A whole set of reindeer, one of their noses painted bright red.

A snowman with a coal smile on his face.

And finally, a house with a snowy roof and lights in the window that actually light up. He'll have to replace the batteries later for that feature to work, though.

The last things in the box are a few red candles with a cinnamon scent, which Derek puts on coasters in the centre of the coffee table.

After stepping back to inspect his work so far, Derek nods, satisfied, and moves on to the main feature: the Christmas tree. This takes far longer—putting it together, spreading out the branches so that it doesn't have any bald spots, and then putting on the lights, tinsel and ornaments—but it's worth it when it's all completed and Derek switches it on. He doesn't get the full effect because the sun's still up, but even so, seeing the tree all lit up and glittering gives him a satisfied feeling.

Turning it off again, Derek stuffs all the bubblewrap and crumpled packing paper back into the boxes and returns them to their places in the basement. Now all that's left to do is wait for Stiles to get home and see his reaction.

Speaking of his boy, as soon as Derek has retrieved a glass of water from the kitchen and sat down on the living room sofa, he hears the familiar rumble of Stiles' Jeep outside. He sets his glass down next to the candles and gets up again to peer outside through the living room window. He watches as Stiles climbs out of his Jeep and is glad to see a contented expression on the teenager's face. Derek takes it to mean that Stiles had a good time out with Danny, and he hopes that Stiles seeing his Daddy's house all decked out for the holidays will only raise his mood even further.

Derek's eyes widen when Stiles opens the back door of his Jeep and pulls out a huge lump of brown fluff with limbs. As the boy begins walking up the path to the front door, Derek moves away from the window and waits in the foyer for him to enter the house. It takes a few moments longer than it should, Derek guesses because Stiles has to rearrange the lump in his arms to have a hand free to grasp the door handle, but then the door swings inward and Stiles enters the house with a bright grin on his face that Derek mirrors. He can't help it—just seeing such open happiness on his boy's face will always make him happy too.

"Hey," Derek greets once the door is shut again. He steps forward to plant a chaste kiss on Stiles' mouth.

"Hey, Daddy," Stiles says back, readjusting the lump in his arms again.

"What's that you've got there?"

"Oh, uh…"

Derek is amazed when Stiles holds it out to him and he sees that it's a giant teddy bear. "Did you buy that at the mall?"

"Yeah. I saw it and couldn't help myself," Stiles responds, his voice shy like it's some peccadillo he has to confess to.

"It's cute," Derek comments, taking the bear from Stiles and looking it over more closely. As he holds it, images appear in his mind of his boy cuddling with it in his PJs, and the size of the bear makes Stiles appear smaller and even more adorable.

"You like it?" Stiles asks.

"It's not a present for me, is it?"

"N-no, but if you want it…it can be, I guess."

"That's okay, baby," Derek reassures, easily picking up on how much Stiles already doesn't want to part with the bear. "He's all yours. And yes, I like it."

"In that case, I also got this!"

The sound of Stiles' excitement returning is exactly what Derek had been aiming for. He waits as Stiles reaches into the bag he was carrying—which Derek hadn't noticed before—and extracts another stuffed animal, this one thankfully much smaller. Derek wouldn't complain if the black wolf was the same size as the bear—Stiles could bring pretty much anything into his house and he wouldn't complain, he's that wrapped around his boy's finger—but it would very quickly become crowded if Stiles went around collecting toys of that size all the time.

"What drew you to this one?" Derek enquires, taking the wolf too and examining it.

"I dunno. I guess it kinda reminded me of you, in a way," Stiles says, taking a step closer. His fingers flex at his sides, like he wants the stuffed toys back already.

Derek gives the bear back but holds the wolf up to his face for a better look at that too. "It reminded you of me?"

"Yeah. I mean, its fur is the same colour as your hair, and while you're usually in a good mood, when you're grumpy, you look kinda like the wolf."

Derek raises an eyebrow, not really seeing it, but he doesn't try to dispute Stiles' claim. He allows Stiles to take the wolf back too and leans in for another kiss, this one longer and more purposeful. He slides his tongue into Stiles' mouth to taste him and hums when he picks up a hint of sugar and cinnamon.

"Did someone buy himself a sweet treat while he was out?" he murmurs against Stiles' lips.

"Uh-huh." Stiles' voice is soft, dreamy. "Danny and I got Cinnabon."

"I hope you didn't spoil your appetite for dinner."

Stiles shakes his head. "Nope. I've still got room, Daddy."

"Good."

"I don't smell anything, though."

Wrapping his boy up in his arms is a bit difficult, what with the giant teddy bear between them, but Derek manages and lays a third kiss on Stiles' temple. "That's 'cause I'm not cooking anything. I thought we could order pizza, something nice and easy."

Stiles leans into Derek's touch. "Sounds good to me."

"But before we do that, I have a surprise for you, baby boy," Derek announces. He runs his fingers through Stiles' hair, sweeping it back off of his forehead.

"Does it have anything to do with the wreath on the door?"

"Yes, it does. C'mon."

Derek directs Stiles into the living room and stands back to witness whatever reaction the boy has. He doesn't really know what to expect, but in all honesty he isn't expecting much more than a couple compliments and another grin. Stiles turns slowly around, taking everything in, before coming to a stop facing the tree. Derek takes that as his cue and skirts around him to switch on the lights again, giving Stiles the full effect, before he moves off to the side, staying in a position which allows him to see Stiles' face.

"When did you do all this?" Stiles asks him, still looking at the tree with wonder.

"After I got home from work about an hour ago," Derek answers. "Do you like it?"

"Uh, yeah! Are you kidding? It's great!" Stiles places the bear and wolf toys safely on the sofa, treating them with care, and then he approaches Derek and places his forearms over Derek's shoulders. He scratches his blunt nails through the short hairs at the back of the older man's head. "I'd've helped you if you waited for me, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't like the surprise. Thank you, Daddy."

"You're welcome, baby boy," Derek murmurs, sensing that Stiles' gratitude is genuine. He's pleased with the reaction and rests their foreheads together.

"This makes me wonder what we're gonna do when the holidays actually get here, though," Stiles says.

"What d'you mean?"

"I mean like, how're we gonna spend it?" Stiles clarifies. "I usually go over to Scott's, but things are different this year. I've got you, and I'm actually in the spirit for once, y'know?"

"So…you're worried about someone being left out?" Derek guesses.

"Pretty much."

"It's just Scott and his mom, right?"

"Those two, and unless Allison's parents are planning on doing something different with her this year, she'll probably be planning to visit Scott's too halfway through the day."

Derek takes a moment to think before settling on a solution. "How about all of us—and by that I mean you, me and your Dad—go over to Scott's for most of the day, and then you and I can come back here for the evening? We'll have to check with Scott's mom first, obviously."

Stiles purses his lips. "I guess that could work."

"Okay. Do you want to talk to her, or should I?"

Stiles shakes his head. "I think it'd be better if I did it. She still doesn't know about you—not unless Scott's told her, anyway—and you calling her out of the blue and basically inviting yourself over for Christmas would be one hell of a shocking way to find out."

"Well, when you put it that way." Derek chuckles. "Now that that's settled, how about you go up and get changed into your pyjamas, and I'll order dinner."

Stiles nods effusively. "Sure!"

After pecking Derek on his bristly cheek, Stiles bounds from the room and Derek hears the sound of his loud footsteps ascending the stairs. He shakes his head fondly and goes into the kitchen to find the menu for his favourite pizza place in one of the drawers.

* * *

- Wednesday, December 25th, 2013 -

An antsy Stiles sits with Scott in the McCalls' living room. The house is filled with the delicious aroma of food as Melissa cooks in the kitchen with his Dad acting as her sous chef, while he and his best friend battle each other in Mario Kart like they used to do when they were younger. It's a tradition for them, to play competitive video games until the food's cooked, and then they'll all sit down at the dining table to eat together somewhere between 2 and 3 p.m.

This year, Allison is spending most of the day with her family, but Stiles' Dad is joining them rather than staying home and thinking mournfully about the woman he lost. That's definitely a good thing, and Stiles' nervousness is lessened by the quiet laughter he can hear coming from the other room. It reminds him of discussions he and Scott used to have about their parents potentially getting together. They even made plans to go all Parent Trap on them. It seemed inevitable back then, a single Dad and a single Mom being around each other all the time due to their sons' friendship. Now, while there's still a small part of Stiles that believes it would be good for both his Dad and Melissa, he knows better.

Just because two single people of the opposite sex get along doesn't mean sparks of a romantic or even sexual nature will appear. If it happens, then great, but if not, that's fine too.

That isn't the cause of Stiles' nerves anyway. No, the cause of those hasn't arrived yet but should any minute now. Derek.

Problem 1: Melissa. She appeared to take the news well that Stiles is dating someone who's much closer to her age than his own, but that could still change. Stiles trusts the nurse not to react badly, but Stiles can tell that he'll always feel this way when introducing Derek to other people who are important in his life. He's just glad that Melissa is basically the last person he'll have to tell for now.

Problem 2: the present he got Derek. After racking his brain the day after he went shopping with Danny, he finally came up with something he thought met his needs. It was tricky to pull off and involved a bit of underhandedness on Stiles' part, but it should be worth it. For the most part, he's confident that Derek will love it, but there's still that tiny voice in the back of his mind that insists he overstepped his bounds and Derek will be angry at him for it. Time will tell.

"Dude, relax, it's gonna be fine," Scott says, apparently noticing Stiles' distress without looking away from the TV. In second place in their current race, he shoots a red shell at Stiles—who's in first—and grunts his dismay when the other boy blocks the attack by holding a banana skin behind his kart.

"And you know that how?" Stiles fires back.

"Because my Mom's the best. You know that."

"Yeah…"

Stiles shakes himself. Scott's right. Even if Melissa is a bit unsure at first, she'll get used to it, just like his Dad did. That's not all he's worried about, but there's nothing left to do about his gift for Derek, so he might as well stop fretting over it and enjoy the rest of the day.

"God, that smells so good," Scott moans, sniffing the air when the scent of stuffing drifts into the living room, mixing with the scents of turkey and potatoes.

Stiles hums his agreement.

A few minutes later, just as Stiles and Scott finish their current cup in Mario Kart, the doorbell rings. Stiles throws aside his controller and leaps up from the sofa to race into the foyer. He gets there just as Melissa exits the kitchen drying her hands on a dishtowel.

"I got it!" Stiles tells her, gesturing for her to go back into the kitchen with his Dad. She narrows her eyes at him but acquiesces, leaving Stiles to answer the door alone.

His excitement at seeing Derek again building to intolerable levels, Stiles grabs the handle and pulls the door open with too much force. He scrambles to catch it before it bashes into the wall and exacerbates the scratches that are already in the paint there, and once it's under control again, he turns his attention to the man on the doorstep.

"Hey, come in!" he says breathlessly, moving aside.

"Someone's excited," Derek observes, entering the house. For the occasion, today he sports a green-and-red Christmas sweater and a pair of black jeans. He has a bottle of red wine under one arm, and from his other hand dangles a large bag of presents that he holds up. "Where should I put these?"

"Oh, in here with the others."

Stiles leads the way into the living room and directs Derek to the Christmas tree in the corner, at the base of which is an already sizeable pile of presents.

"I'd have thought you would've opened them already," Derek says as he crouches down and adds his own to the pile. He waves at Scott as he stands at his full height again.

"We would've usually," Stiles says. "But since you weren't getting here until now, we all agreed to wait."

"That's nice of you."

"I thought so. It's been torture."

Derek smirks. "I'll bet."

"Derek! Is that you?" the Sheriff shouts from the kitchen, getting the attention of the three men in the living room.

"Yeah, John!" Derek calls back.

"Get in here!"

Derek gives Stiles a reassuring smile before walking past him and into the kitchen to join John and Melissa. Stiles fights the urge to follow him and wins for a few seconds, but then it becomes too much and he has to at least peek his head in. He ignores how Scott eyes him amusedly as he scurries across the room to the doorway.

The crooked-jawed boy snorts. "Dude, chill."

Risking a peek into the kitchen, Stiles is instantly relieved when he spots Melissa and takes in the openly friendly expression on her face as she converses quietly with Derek and John.

"Told you," Scott whispers right in his ear. He walks past Stiles and into the kitchen, completely ruining his best friend's efforts to remain undetected.

With a sigh, Stiles goes into the kitchen too and steps up next to Derek, interrupting the conversation he was having with Melissa. She appraises the two of them, and her countenance shifts into something inscrutable for a few seconds when Derek casually drapes his arm over Stiles' shoulders. Then it clears, the affability returns to her features and she and Derek pick up right where they left off, not making a big deal out of it at all. Stiles definitely prefers it this way to some sort of fanfare, and some of the tightness in his chest dissipates now that the first issue has been resolved.

Now all he has to do is wait until it's time for presents…

* * *

An hour later, after a long meal filled with talk and good food, Stiles retires to the living room with Derek and his Dad, while Scott and Melissa prepare some warm drinks and eggnog for everyone to wind down with. Once the McCalls join their guests, everyone installs themselves on the sofa and in the two armchairs that are positioned in a U shape around one side of the coffee table. Stiles sits tucked under Derek's arm again, and he and Scott manage to rope the older man into a few more games of Mario Kart while they wait for their food to settle. The presents taunt Stiles from their places beneath the tree—one of them in particular—but the game is a good distraction, and he gets a lot of enjoyment out of thoroughly kicking both Scott's and Derek's asses.

"Alright, who's ready for presents?" Melissa asks the group when the last race in the cup ends.

"I know I am," Scott responds, switching off his Wii console and setting his controller next to his mug of hot chocolate on the coffee table.

"Who's gonna do the honours?"

"The honours?" Derek repeats, obviously bemused.

"Who's gonna hand out all the presents, is what she means," Stiles whispers to him.

"Gotcha."

"I guess I'll do it," Stiles volunteers.

Sliding out from beneath Derek's warm arm, he crawls across the floor to the tree and directs the gifts to their recipients. Once that's done, Stiles requests that Derek leaves his gift until last, and each person present opens one at a time at the same time.

Stiles ends up getting a new video game from Scott, and some stuff to tune up his Jeep from his Dad. When he gets to Derek's present, he's nonplussed by how small it is. It's about the same size as a ring box, which shocks him at first, but after he takes off the paper he finds that it's not the traditional velvet box and breathes a sigh of relief. He wouldn't rule marriage out in the future, but it's a bit early for that now.

"What is it?" his Dad asks him when he doesn't open the box. "Don't leave us all in suspense."

Glancing up, Stiles fidgets awkwardly because everyone else has finished unwrapping this round of gifts and is staring at him. He makes eye contact with Derek just before pulling off the top of the box and lowering his gaze to peer at its contents.

"It's…it's a key," Stiles tells his Dad, taking it out of the box and holding it up.

All eyes turn to Derek now, who smiles sheepishly at Stiles. "It's to my house," he explains. "I didn't know if it was presumptuous or not, but the idea hit me and I thought it was a good one."

Stiles is stunned. He already pretty much comes and goes from Derek's house as he pleases, but every time he's there, Derek is there too. This key is a clear invitation that he's welcome to go there even when it's empty.

"That's a big step," Melissa notes.

"It is," Derek agrees. "But it felt right."

Stiles can't find the appropriate words to convey how much the key, something so small, means to him. He ends up saying a simple, "Thank you," but his gratitude is evident in his voice, and he knows that Derek understands that he really appreciates this gesture.

"Alright, last round everyone!" Melissa says, putting her shoddily wrapped gift from Scott in her lap. "Everyone ready?"

Stiles' final gift is from Melissa, and it turns out to be the new limited edition copies of his favourite book series. He thanks her too, and then focuses on Derek, who left Stiles' gift to him for last like he was asked.

It's a flat rectangular package about the size of a 40" flatscreen television. He waits on bated breath as Derek tears one side of the wrapping paper off and stares down at the picture that's revealed beneath.

"How did you get this?" the man asks him, his voice filled with awe.

"It wasn't easy." Stiles leaves his presents on the floor and returns to his spot on the sofa next to Derek. "I noticed last week that you don't have any photos of your family in your house, or at least not any that I could find, so I got in touch with Laura. I had to go into your phone when you were in the bathroom one evening to get her number, and she sent me a copy of her favourite family photo from her place. I got it blown up and framed for you. Do you…do you like it?"

"Stiles…"

Derek removes the last of the wrapping paper from the frame and continues to stare down at the photograph. It features the entire Hale family gathered around a sofa in their old living room, and judging from how old Derek appears to be in it, it must have been taken not long before the fire destroyed it all. Derek's parents are in the middle, his Dad the spitting image of him. Derek himself is on the left side of the sofa with a grumpy frown, while Cora and Laura take up the right, both smiling. Peter Hale and his visibly pregnant wife stand behind the sofa, him looking into the camera with a palpable sense of pride and smugness.

"I can't believe you did this," Derek says quietly.

"Can't believe it as in I did a good thing or…?" Stiles prompts, bracing himself.

Derek finally wrenches his gaze away from the photograph to meet Stiles', and his hazel eyes are slightly glassy. "I've got a few family photos in storage in my basement. I never got them out because they were hard to look at."

Stiles deflates, fearing that he fucked up. "Oh."

"But…maybe that's changed," Derek goes on. "It's been years and it doesn't hurt as much to see their faces anymore. Maybe it's time."

Cautiously perking up again, Stiles puts a hand on Derek's bicep. "Really? You're not just saying that to spare my feelings, right? 'Cause if you don't like, you can tell me. I can take it."

"I'm not." Derek chuckles wetly. "None of the photos I have are as nice as this one. Especially the frame. It must've cost you a lot."

"Yeah, well…it was worth it, if you swear you really like it."

Derek sets the frame on the floor, leaning against the side of the coffee table, and turns sideways to face Stiles. "I swear, I really do like it," he says. He cups Stiles' face in his hands and brings him forward so that he can place a kiss to his forehead. "You did good."

Satisfied, Stiles' awareness of the rest of the room returns and he's startled to discover that it's now empty. Apparently, his Dad, Melissa and Scott cleared out while he and Derek had their moment together, and he's grateful because it makes him feel significantly less awkward about it.

For another couple hours, Stiles and Derek remain at the McCalls' house playing a few board games and hands of cards. Then it's time for them to go back to Derek's place, after they spend far too long figuring out the best way to transport the picture frame in the back of Derek's car. They wave goodbye to Melissa and the Sheriff, and to Scott, who is on his own way out to see Allison, before getting into their respective vehicles and driving to Derek's house, Stiles tailing the Camaro in his Jeep.

When they arrive, Stiles is the first to the front door, and his chest is full of all sorts of wild emotions as he uses his brand-new key to unlock it.

"It works," he says to himself. He didn't doubt it would, but something about actually using it surprises him.

"Did you think it wouldn't?" Derek enquires as he walks up the path behind him, the photo frame in his hands.

"No."

"Good, 'cause there's no way I'd give you a fake key. It has to work. After all, this house is going to be your home too, eventually. If you want it to be."

With that, Derek walks past Stiles into the house, and Stiles stares after him feeling like his life couldn't get any better. Of course he wants Derek's home to be his, and already he's counting down the days until graduation when he can move in for real.

Roll on June.

Chapter Text

- Thursday, December 26th, 2013 -

The day after Christmas, Derek has a relaxing morning in with Stiles. They start with a long lay-in with a slow round of lovemaking in the middle, which leaves both of their holes pleasantly loose and sore when they switch positions halfway through. This is followed by a shared bath to clean the sweat and come from their bodies, then by an indulgent breakfast. Once their bellies are full, Derek peers out the living room window and asks his boy if he'd like to go outside for a walk. They've both indulged in a lot of junk food because it's the holidays, so he makes the case that it would be good to burn at least a bit of it off before the New Year rolls around, and he doesn't feel like getting all hot and sweaty again in the home gym in the basement.

"Sure!" Stiles chirps happily, lifting his head from where he'd been resting it on Derek's hirsute chest.

"Let's go get dressed then. Somehow, I don't think your Dad would like it if we got arrested for public indecency," Derek jokes, referring to their half-dressed state. Given that it would just be the two of them all day, neither of them felt like covering more than their lower halves after their bath—sweatpants for him, and a fresh pair of pyjama bottoms for Stiles.

A couple minutes later, Derek locks the front door, intertwines the fingers of his left hand with Stiles' right and leads the way toward the main park in town. He doesn't expect to see many others around today, since most people will still be indoors recovering from yesterday or soaking up as much downtime as possible before their breaks end and they have to return to the slog of their 9-to-5's. This means that the park should be quite empty. He loves going there to experience a small taste of nature without having to actually immerse himself in it, and for it to be devoid of the usual screaming kids will be a blessing.

After Derek and Stiles get a few streets over from his, Derek notices that, unlike he thought, there are still a few others out and about. One or two get constipated looks on their faces when they notice him and Stiles walking hand in hand, but that's par for the course and Derek has more than enough confidence in himself and his relationship with his boy to just ignore them. The rest of the people out today don't so much as glance their way, heading with clear intent in the direction of whichever shops will have the misfortune of being open today.

They must not have prepared enough in advance. Derek is pleased that he himself doesn't have anything remotely chore-like on the agenda.

At the entrance to the park now, Derek is satisfied by the emptiness of the well-worn paths. He meanders with Stiles along them for a while, their pace sedate, and after about half an hour they come across a bench on the edge of the largest pond in the place. There are a few ducks swimming along the surface of the water, and Derek observes them for a while, Stiles' body a pleasant heat at his side.

But then the peace is disturbed when he hears someone excitedly calling his name from his left.

Turning his head in that direction, Derek spots Kyle, a friend of his and John's, ambling toward him with a small brunette woman. He hasn't seen the other man since the basketball game that brought him and Stiles together.

Speaking of Stiles, Derek is hit over the head with the realisation that none of his other friends yet know that he's started up a serious relationship with the eighteen-year-old son of the Sheriff. He's sure John wouldn't have told them either. It's a big wake-up call—he's really neglected his social life recently, basically splitting all of his time between work and spending time with Stiles. He's spent some with John too, on occasion, in an effort to make sure their friendship didn't suffer any more than it had to after their relationship understandably altered.

Quickly packing all of this away for later, Derek stands up and waits for Kyle and the brunette woman to reach him. Today, Kyle has his long red hair flowing freely in the wind, and he sports a green short-sleeved shirt with the buttons undone to just above his bellybutton, displaying a hint of his red chest hair. Elsewhere, he wears white shorts to the knee and flip flops. His companion is similarly casual—her hair is in a messy bun on top of her head, and she wears a tight white T-shirt, through which her black bra can be seen, and a pair of skinny jeans. Derek guesses that she's close in age to Kyle, somewhere in her mid-thirties.

"Yo, Derek, long time, no see!" Kyle greets when he reaches the bench.

"Yeah, sorry about that." Derek shrugs. "Life gets in the way, y'know?"

"Oh, I know all too well." Kyle wraps his arm around the woman at his side. "This is Sinéad, my main squeeze. Sinéad, meet Derek, one of my best friends—or can I still let you have that title, Mr. Stranger?"

"Hey, I said I was sorry," Derek repeats, biting his tongue to prevent himself from smiling. He knows that Kyle is only playing around. "It's nice to meet you," he says to Sinéad, reaching out for a handshake. Her grip is surprisingly firm for such a petite woman.

Kyle leans slightly to the side, peering around Derek's body. "Guess I'm not the only one who needs to make introductions."

"Oh…right." Derek steps slightly to the side to clear some space and gestures for Stiles to join them.

"Hey, don't I already know you?" Kyle asks right away, appraising Stiles with a frown.

"Uhh, maybe," Stiles responds hesitantly. He shares a cautious look with Derek. "We've met before, briefly."

"Oh yeah!" Recognition appears on Kyle's features. "You're John's kid!"

"Yup, that'd be me," Stiles confirms.

"Fancy seeing you two here together." Kyle peers speculatively between the two of them before settling on Derek. "Something you feel like sharing with the class?"

Derek's confidence in Stiles doesn't falter even a fraction, but he's slightly cautious because Sinéad is a wild card. He's sure Kyle won't have an issue with him and Stiles, free spirit that his friend is, but he doesn't know Sinéad at all.

"Stiles and I are together," he announces.

Sinéad has no visible reaction, but Kyle blinks a few times, dumbfounded. "For real?"

"For real," Derek echoes with a nod.

"Damn, I knew you liked to get freaky, but the kid of one of your best friends? You like to live on the edge, my man," Kyle chuckles. "Isn't he only eighteen?"

"Yeah, I am," Stiles interjects, his voice more steely than it was previously. "You got a problem with that?"

Kyle holds up both hands. "Hell no. I was just wondering. As long as you're legal, you can do what you want—or who. And now that I think about it, I actually did catch the two of you perving on each other pretty obviously during the game you came to, so I guess this makes sense."

Sinéad chokes on her own breath. "It does?"

"Oh yeah, Derek's always been something of a cradle-robber," Kyle answers. He elbows said man in the ribs several times, not stopping until Derek lightly pushes him away with a roll of his eyes.

"And him?" Sinéad goes on, pointing at Stiles.

It's Stiles' turn to roll his eyes, and he adds in a derisive snort for good measure. "Him is right here, and he can speak for himself."

Derek isn't used to seeing this side of Stiles, but he'd be lying if he said he didn't like it. As long as Stiles doesn't go much further, stepping into rude territory, then he'll say nothing to deter him. He's curious about Sinéad's reaction too. Is it just the shock causing her to act this way, and she'll get over it soon enough, or is she sincerely disapproving of him being with someone less than half his age? He hopes for the former—not for himself and Stiles, because Sinéad's opinion doesn't matter to them, but for Kyle's sake. He'd hate to come between them and potentially see Kyle get hurt.

Sinéad sighs and bows her head. "I'm being a bitch, aren't I? Sorry, that wasn't my intention. It's just…it's not every day you run into a couple like you two."

Good, it was the former option, Derek thinks. He suspected it would be, seeing as Kyle isn't the type to put up with anyone who's closed-minded.

Stiles seems to relax again with Sinéad's apology, and the tension that had been there fades.

"So, is it serious or just some fun?" Kyle enquires with a wink.

"Fun at first, then it quickly developed into something serious," Derek replies, looking at Stiles' profile.

"Yeah, I can see that."

"You can?"

Kyle nods, and the grin that stretches his mouth is nearly bright enough to rival the mid-afternoon sun. "Dude, you should've seen the sappy-ass expression you had a second ago," he says with glee. "I've never seen something more vomit-inducing." He sticks a finger in his mouth and mimes gagging, all in the name of banter between friends. After all, Derek supposes, you can't really say you're good friends with someone unless you can make fun of them a bit every now and then.

"Gee, thanks," Derek huffs, playing along.

Kyle changes the topic then. "Anyway, did you have a good Christmas?"

"Yeah, actually. Better than it normally is, anyway."

"Really? What did you do?"

Derek apprises Kyle of how he'd spent the day at the McCalls'.

"Oh wow, I thought you'd just do the usual and have your sister and brother-in-law visit you," Kyle says.

"Nah, she and James came earlier in the month. They spent Christmas with his family this year instead. What about you?"

For another few minutes, Derek converses with Kyle, with Sinéad and Stiles chipping in every now and then. Eventually, though, Kyle says that they should be getting back to his place as they've already been out for longer than they planned.

"We should all get together for another game sometime," Kyle suggests.

"Yeah, sure."

Kyle directs his next question to Stiles. "You'll come again too, right?"

Stiles nods warily. "I guess I could."

"Oh, you definitely should. That way, you can distract this guy over here," Kyle jerks his thumb in Derek's direction, "and make it easier for me to hand his ass to him. Consider it a personal favour to me."

"Uh, I dunno how good of a distraction I'd be, but I'm willing to give it a shot," Stiles agrees.

"It's settled then."

With a wave, Kyle and Sinéad take their leave.

"Well, that should be fun," Stiles comments, sitting back down on the bench. He stretches his legs out in front of himself.

Derek joins him, draping his arm possessively along the back of the bench. "You sure you don't mind coming with me?"

Stiles scoffs. "Please, a chance to see you all sweaty and shirtless? I don't think I'll ever say no to that."

Derek expels a short breath of amusement through his nose. "I knew you liked that."

"Duh. It's like, pretty much the whole reason I got so attracted to you in the first place," Stiles reminds him. "Who knows? If you hadn't lost your shirt, we might not be here right now."

"Wow, how shallow of you," Derek teases.

"Shut up."

* * *

Jackson walks a few paces behind his parents with his hands shoved in the pockets of his jeans. He has his head angled slightly downward, probably appearing every bit like the angsty teen he is, but he doesn't give a shit. Because his parents aren't looking at him right now, too busy talking excitedly to each other about the tour they're about to get of the Harvard campus, he doesn't have to make an effort to put up a front just yet. He ponders how he's going to get through the time this is going to take. He dreads it taking hours, and he's tempted to just turn around and walk back to the hotel his parents booked for their stay. He'd love to see how long it took his parents to notice that he was no longer with them, and then to see their faces.

"Ah, I think this is it now," his Dad says, catching Jackson's attention. He lifts his gaze to find that they're approaching one of the entrances to the campus—the Johnston Gate—and there's a strange woman dressed in a pantsuit waiting for them.

Well, too late to go back now.

"Martha!" his Dad calls happily, raising a hand to wave. He's dressed similarly to the woman, as is his wife. Neither one of them seem to own anything other than professional attire, not even when they're on vacation. Although, Jackson supposes, this can hardly be called a vacation, now can it?

"David, it's been a long time," the woman, Martha, says as the Whittemores reach her.

Jackson observes from the background as the two embrace, and then Martha shakes his Mom's hand.

"It's lovely to finally meet you, Christine," the Dean says. "David has told me a lot about you—when he remembers to email me, that is, which is rarely." She glares at Jackson's Dad.

"Guilty," the man admits bashfully.

It's odd for Jackson to see his Dad interacting with a friend like this. He tries to stay out of the house as often as he can, and away from his parents, so he doesn't often witness his parents with peers. He usually only sees them for minutes at a time around the house, when they've either brought work home with them or when they're lecturing him about what he's going to do with his life.

What a head trip.

Jackson wrinkles his nose when his Dad goes in for a second hug, and when the embrace ends, his Dad steps away and Martha's eyes alight on him for the first time.

"And you must be Jackson," Martha says.

"That'd be me," Jackson responds. He plasters on a smile so fake that even a blind person would be able to tell.

"What a handsome young man you are," the Dean compliments him.

"He gets it from me," David says with a cheeky grin. It's obviously a joke—Jackson's adopted, after all—but Jackson feels a frisson of annoyance anyway.

Without further ado, Martha leads the way through the Johnston Gate, the black bars large and imposing even in their beauty, and onto the college campus. This time, Jackson ends up at the front of the group, walking side by side with Martha while his parents shadow them. This way, he's forced to dig deep for the motivation necessary to act like he cares about everything she tells him. It takes herculean effort, but it pays off when Martha prattles on unaware of his inner turmoil and his parents don't interject to remind him of how lucky he is to be getting this opportunity. That's just the kind of thing they'd do—to constantly inform him of how fortunate he is for all the work they do for him. They'd never outright state that he owes them for it, but it's definitely implied.

God, fuck all of this, Jackson thinks as he continues to trudge along.

There are a few other people around, some students who must have decided to remain on campus during the holidays, and the odd professor. A couple people stop as they pass by to ask the Dean if she had a good Christmas, but the foursome are mostly left alone.

As the tour progresses, Jackson opines to himself that, while not somewhere he would want to attend if it was his decision, Harvard seems like a cool place to go. He likes the old look of the brick buildings, the ornate accents. It's obviously kept clean and well-maintained with a sense of pride. There's also a palpable sense of history here, the memories of the thousands upon thousands of people who've studied within the walls since the college was founded. It's mostly a pleasant thing to think about, but as with the majority of Jackson's thoughts of late, it's quickly ruined by a dark cloud.

This time, his imagination runs away with him and instead of focusing on the positive points he picked up on just moments ago, he focuses on the negatives—on the likely large percentage of students who nearly tore their hair out of their heads from the stress of studying at such a prestigious school. Jackson can easily envisage himself in their ranks if he really ends up studying law here, just wanting to get out, wanting the pressure to stop.

Damn Danny for putting that worry in his head.

Jackson can't help but fixate on it for the remainder of the tour, even as the Dean walks them by a café in one of the buildings and makes the claim that the food there is actually very good. It's closed now because it's winter break, so he'll have to take her word for it.

All in all, the tour takes approximately an hour, both because the campus is pretty damn big and because Martha wanted to make sure she was thorough. Jackson's feet hurt by the end of it, and he'd kill even for his unfamiliar bed back in his hotel room.

"Well, I'd say that's everything—even some of the things that won't necessarily pertain to your chosen career path, Mr. Whittemore," the Dean says with a smile as they emerge from the final building she wanted to show Jackson and his parents.

"It was a great tour. I enjoyed it thoroughly," Christine gushes. "It's all very exciting."

"Yes, I really appreciate you doing this for our son," David adds. "I can't thank you enough. This has been very eye-opening. Hasn't it, Jackson?"

With the question directed at him, Jackson holds his head high under his parents' scrutiny and manages a mostly convincing, "Yes, really eye-opening." He means it too, just not in the way his parents do. It did open his eyes to how fucking much he doesn't want to ever come back here, in spite of how nice it all seems on the surface.

"Now that we're done, how about we grab a coffee?" Martha suggests. "I could use one, and I know an excellent coffee shop within walking distance."

Jackson's parents are quick to agree, so he has to go along with it too, even though spending much more time in this little group is the last thing he wants to do. He can't fault the Dean for it. If he looks at it objectively, she's a nice lady—far too nice for him to understand how she's friends with his Dad, anyway. This gets him ruminating on the fact that, with the reputation he's cultivated for himself by acting high and mighty, a lot of people back in Beacon Hills would say the same thing about his friendship with Danny. This just depresses him even further, but in a small act of mercy, he's allowed to fall to the back of the group again, with no attention on him.

It takes roughly five minutes to arrive at the coffee shop. It's a small, cozy place with Christmas decorations everywhere, and it's mostly empty of customers, the square tables all free but one. The girl working is obviously bored out of her mind, and Jackson actually feels sorry for her for having to work the day after Christmas.

His parents hum and haw over the menu, which is written on several chalk boards on the wall behind the counter. They take far too long to decide what they want, causing Jackson to sigh quietly to himself. A second later, Martha catches his eye, and the strange expression on her face makes him uncomfortable, like she's seeing right down into his soul and doesn't like what she sees.

Blackness, maybe, although that sounds melodramatic in his head.

Turning away, Jackson curses himself for letting someone other than Danny see his facade slip, even if it was just for a second. Idiot.

"Jackson, what do you want?" his Dad asks him, apparently finally done with his own selection.

Jackson spares a second to read over the sea of chalk letters on the boards and chooses a drink at random, not really caring.

"Uh, chai latte," he says, before tacking a hasty, "Please," onto the end of it. Nothing gets his Dad going like bad manners.

The next little while passes by uneventfully. Jackson sits at the same table as his parents and Martha and cradles his untouched latte between his hands as it goes cold. He listens idly as the three adults catch up with each other, figuring that it at least gives him something to do other than sit there just as bored as the barista. His Dad has just finished regaling Martha with a 'funny' case he worked the previous year when Martha suggests that he and Christine get a head-start back to their hotel.

"But why?" Jackson's Dad asks. He sounds perplexed, thinking of himself as such a good raconteur that he simply can't believe anyone would ever suggest he stop telling them stories.

"It would give your son and I a chance to have a little chat," Martha explains. "I'd like to pick his brain."

Jackson holds in another sigh. His life just keeps getting better and better.

"But—" Christine pipes up, only to be immediately spoken over by Martha:

"I'm sure Jackson is capable of making his own way back to the hotel." She addresses him. "Isn't that right?"

Jackson nods, laughing in his head because he doubts that him getting lost was the source of his parents' reluctance to leave early. No, it was because, if they leave Jackson alone, there's an increased chance of him embarrassing them.

His Mom seems momentarily lost for words, and then she gets herself together again. Her lips are a thin line now. "Oh. Well, if you're sure," she assents tersely.

Jackson remains seated as Martha and his Dad stand to share one last hug. The man narrows his eyes at him over Martha's shoulder, a silent warning that Jackson better behave himself and not ruin this, and then he exits the café with his wife in tow and Martha takes her seat again. She finishes the last of her black coffee before speaking.

"I like your father, Jackson, but I swear he can be a chore to be around sometimes," she says, shaking her head.

Jackson leans back in his chair and rests his hands in his lap. "Uhh…yeah."

"Anyway, now that your parents aren't around to hear, let's speak frankly," the Dean goes on. She gives Jackson a genial smile meant to set him at ease.

"About what?"

"About your plans for your future. As I was showing you around, I got the distinct impression that it was your parents I was really supposed to be impressing and not you," she exposits. "Am I wrong?"

Jackson struggles to come up with a suitable answer. He just sits there with his mouth hanging open.

Martha nods. "From your reaction, I'll surmise that I'm not."

"I…"

"I'm going to give you some advice, and I would like for you to listen closely," Martha requests. "Alright?"

"O-okay."

"In my years as Dean—and just working in higher education in general—I've come across more than my share of pushy parents," the woman says, running her index finger around the rim of her empty mug. "As I said, I like your father, but he strikes me as one of those parents, as does your mother. There have unfortunately been times in the past in which a student has come to this school not because they really wanted to be here, but because it was what their parents believed appropriate for their child. Sometimes they change their minds and end up enjoying their time here anyway, but that's a best-case scenario."

Jackson finds himself unable to keep looking the Dean in the eye. He stares at his own mug instead.

"Now, if you can tell me honestly that you really want to come here to pursue a career in law, I'll have no trouble putting in a good word for you," Martha says. "Your parents are both venerated lawyers, so I see no reason you wouldn't make for one too. But if you can't, then we have a problem."

"We do?" Jackson questions despondently, his voice so quiet that it's almost a whisper.

"Yes—or I suppose the more accurate way to put it is that you have a problem."

"Oh."

Martha hums, her mien turning sympathetic. "It's much easier said than done, but if you don't want to be here, you need to tell your parents. Otherwise it will be a waste of everyone's time and money—and a waste of you, because I can see that you're a bright lad with a lot of potential in him to be great."

Jackson's lips curl upward without his volition into a wan smile. "Just from a couple hours, huh?"

"Yes."

Jackson has the nerve-racking sensation that whatever words come out of her mouth next will be pivotal for him. He isn't disappointed.

"So tell me, Jackson," Marsha says, her eyes holding his. "Do you really want to come to this school?"

Chapter Text

- Monday, January 6th, 2014 -

When Stiles wakes up early on the morning of the first day of school after winter break, he groans quietly and turns over in the circle of Derek's arms. He buries his face in Derek's chest and shuts his eyes tight, wishing that time would go backward so that he could enjoy a bit more free time before he absolutely has to get back to the grind.

He had a wonderful holiday filled with love, laughter and all sorts of other good, tingly feelings, and he really doesn't want it to end.

He wants to be able to lie in with his Daddy for hours every morning, until an appointment or meeting Derek has around lunchtime forces them to finally get out of bed.

He wants to spend all day with Daddy on the days Daddy doesn't have to work at all.

He wants to spend ridiculous amounts of time in his duck pyjamas while they cuddle together on the sofa and watch crappy movies, where he doesn't have to worry about anything because Daddy will take care of it.

He wants Daddy to take him out on lunch dates and not give a damn about the people who can't mind their own business. They might even turn it into a game, getting even more affectionate with each other than they usually would just to see what sort of reactions they'd get from the people around them. That sounds like fun to Stiles, now that he's over the dumb worries he'd had before and is a hundred percent secure in their relationship. Other people can take their opinions and stick 'em up their asses, as far as he's concerned.

The thought makes him giggle, which is enough to finally rouse the man holding him.

"Good morning, baby," Derek says, squeezing him tighter, just shy of the point of too much.

"Morning, Daddy," Stiles responds. He enjoys the rough quality Daddy's voice always has first thing like this. "Don't see what's so good about it, though…"

Derek chuckles and pulls back so that they can see each other's faces. "Is my boy feeling grumpy?"

"No," Stiles fibs, pouting.

"I think you are."

"I'm not. I'm just sad Christmas is over," Stiles explains. He pushes into the touch when Derek tenderly sweeps his hair off of his forehead.

"The post-holiday blues, huh?" Derek hums softly and smiles. "I remember those."

"You don't get them anymore or something?"

"I used to, but you heard what I told Kyle in the park—Christmas hasn't really been a big deal for me for a while, not until this year, so when it ended, I never really noticed."

Stiles frowns. "That sounds kinda…depressing."

"I guess it was."

"But you don't feel like that anymore, right?" Stiles asks hopefully.

"No, you definitely made this year—or last year, I guess—much more interesting," Derek says, just the reply Stiles had been after.

"Good."

For another minute or so, Stiles lies with Derek and doesn't speak, neither one of them feeling the need to break the silence. Then Derek fidgets.

"Hang on, I need to pee," he says, reluctantly sliding backwards so that he can get out of bed.

"Hurry back," Stiles tells him. "We need to get in all the cuddles we can if I'm gonna drag myself to school and get back into the swing of things."

Derek shuts the bathroom door with a huff, and Stiles turns over onto his back. He spreads his arms out across the sheets and stares at the ceiling, pondering what's going to happen today. He's got Chemistry just after lunch, which will suck, and after school, Coach Finstock will probably want to get right back to drilling the lacrosse team in preparation for the new season starting later in the year.

Stiles breathes out a long breath and scoots over to the side of the bed. He levers himself up on his elbow and peers down at where his giant teddy bear sits tucked between the bed and the bedside table. It's its home whenever he and Derek are sleeping, otherwise Stiles will put it against the pillows with the smaller teddy bear and the black wolf. Speaking of those two…Stiles surveys the bed and lifts up the sheets to look beneath them in search of the two stuffed animals. He had them close at the end of last night, but a hazard of even a restful night's sleep is that they end up in strange places or kicked off the bed altogether come morning. Stiles always feels horrible, like the stuffed animals have feelings. It's a tendency he had when he was younger, and it's recently been re-awoken with the discovery of his little side.

Eventually, Stiles locates the wolf down by his feet under the sheets, and the teddy Derek won him at the carnival is somehow on the floor on Derek's side of the bed.

He's just picked them both up and returned them to his arms when Daddy emerges from the bedroom. His chest his deliciously bare and his sweatpants sit low on his hips. He scratches his short nails through his happy trail as he makes his way back over to the bed.

"Ah, do we have company now?" Derek asks Stiles.

Stiles nods. "Yeah."

Derek slides back onto the mattress. "Won't the other one get lonely all by himself?"

"Huh?"

"Your other teddy. The big one," Derek clarifies.

Derek actively encouraging him to anthropomorphise his toys is a recent thing. Stiles was a bit weirded out the first time it happened, not long after he came back from the mall with the two newest additions. He thought it was odd enough when he did it himself, but it's just another part of their dynamic. It's not hurting anyone—and besides, Stiles likes having this aspect of childlike innocence back in his life.

"Uhh…I guess he might be," he says.

"Then why don't you get him up here too?" Derek suggests with a kind smile.

Stiles reaches down, plucks the big teddy from the floor and places it on the bed next to him. It comes up to his shoulder.

"There, isn't that better?" Derek says.

Stiles nods, because it is. It makes him feel all warm and cosy.

"You're the cutest, you know that, right?"

"I am?"

Derek admires him with his eyes shining with warmth. "Yeah. Sitting there in your PJs with your stuffed animals." He reaches out and thumbs one of the small teddy bear's soft ears. "Cutest little boy ever."

Stiles can feel the blood rushing to his face and looks down at his lap. "Daddy, stop…" he grumbles, but it's half-hearted. Secretly—or not so secretly, given the knowing smirk now on Derek's lips—he likes it when Derek gives him so much praise like this.

"Nope. My boy deserves all the compliments heaped on him," Derek claims. "Now get over here. I've got to give you those cuddles before your alarm goes off, don't I?"

Stiles shuffles closer, bringing his stuffed animals with him, and presses himself against his Daddy's side. As Daddy's arm comes around him and holds him securely, Stiles thinks that this is probably the biggest thing he's going to miss now that school's on again—being able to just be little with his Daddy for hours on end, sometimes even from morning till night, if he's really in the mood. It just makes everything so…easy.

After a few minutes of simply sitting in silence and enjoying each other's company, Stiles' phone blares with his alarm from his bedside table. He taps the screen to stop it and sighs.

"Guess it's really over, huh?" he says despondently, referring to the holiday bliss.

"It is, but that doesn't mean we can't still enjoy ourselves," Derek points out, rubbing his hand up and down Stiles' arm.

"I know."

Derek is quiet again for a second, and then he plucks the teddy and wolf from Stiles' lap and puts them next to the bigger teddy. "C'mon."

"Shower time?" Stiles guesses. He begins to slide off of the bed, but a gentle hand around his wrist brings him back.

"Not yet." Derek situates himself in the middle of the bed, his back against the headboard, and gestures to his lap.

"Oh!" Stiles perks up, delighted because it's been a few days since Daddy gave him a morning spanking. It's usually reserved for when he has to concentrate on work, either in his classes at school or on homework, the residual pain in his ass cheeks keeping him on track by reminding him of Daddy's expectations for him. A spanking is an excellent tool to raise his mood because he loves getting them so much, and now that school is back in session, it means he'll get more of them.

Damn, Daddy is smart.

Practically giddy with excitement, Stiles moves back across the bed and drapes himself over Derek's lap, already wiggling in place. He stills only when he feels one of Derek's hands on the back of his neck, and then the next thing he knows, his pyjama bottoms are off, leaving him in just his long-sleeved cotton shirt. As Derek smooths his other hand over Stiles' bare cheeks, Stiles shuts his eyes and his body relaxes completely—well, almost. His dick rapidly fills with blood and leaks against the material of Derek's sweatpants, the mere prospect of a spanking more than enough to get him going. Just before the spanking starts, Stiles detects Derek's hard cock too, right against his own, indicating that they're in the same boat.

The first swat always catches Stiles by surprise because Derek doesn't warn him. It's just more thrilling that way.

"That's it, baby," Derek murmurs, spanking his other cheek. "Your ass always looks so pretty when it's red with my handprints."

Stiles makes quiet sounds of pleasure, moans and soft mewls, as the spanking goes on. It doesn't take long for the meat of his cheeks to sting, but instead of turning him off, the slight bite of pain makes everything even better. Without thinking about it, he finds the leg of his big teddy in his hand and drags it closer. He ends up with his arms wrapped around its torso and his face hidden in its soft fur, muffling his noises.

When Derek spanks him one last time, Stiles pushes his ass up in a silent request for more, but Daddy knows better and doesn't bring his hand down on him again. Stiles is a bit disappointed, but any more and they'd risk it going too far, to the point where the pain overrode the pleasure and actually hurt. It's his Daddy's job to take care of him, so he doesn't complain and willingly rolls off of his lap when Derek nudges him. He ends up on his back, one hand still around the leg of his teddy bear and his erect cock sticking up needy from beneath the bottom of his pyjama top.

"Let's take care of that too, shall we?" Derek says, crouching over Stiles. He plants one hand next to Stiles' head and wraps the other around the teenager's cock.

"Daddy!" Stiles cries out, tipping his head back. He's so aroused that it won't take much to get him off.

Derek leans down and whispers right in Stiles' ear: "You gonna come for me, baby?" At the same time, he rubs the calloused pad of his thumb purposefully just beneath the head of Stiles' cock, stimulating his glans. "You gonna come all over your cute little pyjamas like a naughty little boy?"

That's all it takes—the combination of his Daddy's touch and voice sets Stiles off like a rocket, come spraying from his slit to splatter all across his torso. The salty fluid lands on and soaks into his pyjama top just like Derek said, and Stiles becomes a panting, sweaty mess. Derek works him through his orgasm and doesn't release his cock until the overstimulation becomes too much and he makes a noise of discomfort.

"Jesus, the faces you make when you come," Derek breathes, awe dripping from his voice now.

Stiles cracks open his eyes and blinks up at him, his brain not yet working at a hundred percent again.

"Never mind, baby boy," Derek says, sitting back on his heels. "Wow, did you make a mess of yourself."

Stiles looks down at his front and is amazed by how much he came. He doesn't think he's ever come that much before. "Wow," he echoes his Daddy.

"I guess you're really in need of a shower now." Derek chuckles, sliding backward off of the bed. When he's on his feet, his sweatpants are tented out obscenely.

Taking the hand that Derek offers him, Stiles uses it to pull himself up and follows Derek into the en suite bathroom. "Want me to take care of that, Daddy?" he enquires, pointing at the middle-aged man's obvious arousal.

Derek shakes his head and reaches for the bottom of Stiles' pyjama top. "Nah, I'm alright for now. That was just for you."

"Oh. Okay."

Derek pushes down his sweatpants and tosses both articles of clothing in the laundry hamper. "Unless…"

"Unless what?"

"Unless you really want to get your mouth on me," Derek answers with a wink.

Stiles' gaze is once again drawn to the monster between Derek's legs as the older man fiddles with the settings on the shower. He licks his lips. "I always wanna get my lips around you, Daddy," he says.

"Well then, I wouldn't be a very good Daddy if I didn't give my boy what he wants, would I?"

"No, you wouldn't," Stiles agrees, grinning mischievously.

"Come on, then." Derek walks backward into the shower stall and curls his index finger at Stiles, beckoning him inside too.

Stiles barely refrains from running, he's so hungry for it.

* * *

The first half of Stiles' day is entirely unremarkable. After drinking down Daddy's delicious come in the shower, washing themselves clean and eating breakfast together, he leaves Derek's house and drives to school thoroughly cheered up and ready to get back into the swing of things. His classes all progress as usual, Daddy's spanking doing its job and keeping him on task the whole time, until lunch rolls around and he enters the cafeteria with Scott and Allison. Allison remains with them while they're in line getting their good, but then she spots another girl she needs to speak to about something for a class they share, and Stiles and Scott are left to find a table for just the two of them.

It's busy as usual, but at the back of the room, Stiles locates a table that's mostly free, with just two other students sitting at one end of it.

"Over there," Stiles says, leading the way for Scott.

Once they're in place, sitting at the opposite end to their peers, Stiles tucks into his lunch and chats with his best friend. It's a few minutes into it that he finally notices something's off.

"Is everything okay?"

Scott takes a swig of his water and seems to wrestle with himself about something. He glances at their surroundings and then speaks quietly enough that only Stiles can hear.

"You remember what we talked about in the janitor's closet?" he asks nervously.

"Not really," Stiles responds, drawing a blank.

"Y'know, after you told me about you and Derek."

Stiles thinks for another few seconds and still comes up with nothing. "You're gonna have to give me more here."

"About me experimenting with sticking things up my ass, Stiles," Scott says with a little huff. He forgets to keep his voice lowered, and a small group of students walking past the table at the same time look at him askance. He lowers his head and hides his eyes behind his hand. "Fuck…"

"Oh, that!" Stiles can't hide his mirth, his lips curling up into a smirk as red appears in Scott's cheeks.

"Yeah, that," the other boy grits out.

Stiles waggles his eyebrows. "So? Has Allison pegged you yet?"

"N-no. I was just—"

"Hey! What're we talking about?"

Stiles and Scott both turn at the same time to see Danny sitting down with them. It's so unprecedented that neither of them have more of a reaction until the lacrosse goalie speaks again.

"Uhh, am I interrupting? Should I go?"

Stiles snaps himself out of it first and shakes his head rapidly. "No, I just wasn't expecting you, is all. You never sit here. You always sit with the other lacrosse guys."

"Yeah, well, I thought a change might do me some good," Danny excuses with a wave of his hand. "Scott? Is that alright with you?"

The crooked-jawed boy nods stiffly. He's clammed up now that he and Stiles aren't alone.

"So what were you talking about?" Danny asks before stuffing a small pile of rubbery mashed potatoes in his mouth. "Scott looked kind of embarrassed."

Said boy's mouth just hangs open, so Stiles answers for him.

"We were discussing some personal stuff." He intends to leave it at that, but then he takes in Danny's curious countenance and supposes that, if there's anyone else in the school who would be able to contribute to the topic Scott brought up, it would be Danny. "Weren't we, Scott?" Stiles prompts.

Scott narrows his eyes slightly and then recovers. "Yeah," he says uncertainly.

"What stuff? It's not anything serious, right?"

"No."

"He got…curious…after I came out to him, if you know what I mean," Stiles apprises Danny when Scott doesn't add any more.

Danny frowns. "Like, the questioning-your-sexuality kind of curious, or…?"

"No!" Scott shouts, yet again drawing the attention of others around them. His complexion gets even more florid.

"Then what?" Danny asks, bemused.

"Anal," Stiles says. "Don't be shy, Scotty-boy. How'd it go?"

Scott shoots Stiles a look that clearly says he'll be paying for this later, but then he speaks to Danny about what he got up to in the privacy of his bedroom over the holidays.

"I'm gonna agree with Stiles," Danny says once Scott has finished. His tone is casual and he keeps eating as he talks, something that Stiles suspects is intentional to put Scott more at ease. "You should speak to Allison if you wanna experience it properly. Your own fingers or even a dildo can feel great, especially when you get more adept at finding your prostate, but it's entirely different if it's someone else doing it to you. Plus, it'll save your wrist from cramping and ruining things."

"He's right," Stiles agrees.

"Ugh, but it's awkward!" Scott whines. "It feels weird to bring it up with her, y'know? Like, it's not what we should be doing, so why even try."

Stiles doesn't approve of that way of thinking. His expression becomes stern. "Don't talk like that," he gently reprimands his friend. "To hell with what's 'normal'."

"Easy for you to say…" Scott grumbles.

"Yeah, it is easy for me to say, 'cause I've already stopped caring. If I hadn't, Derek and I wouldn't be together."

"But…"

"Who cares what other people would say? You trust Allison, right?"

Scott nudges his food with his fork and doesn't lift his eyes from his tray. "Right," he confirms.

"Then that's all that matters. Friendly advice here, Scotty. A lot of people get up to a lot of kinky shit when they're alone, and it's nobody else's business. It's as simple as that. You don't have to go around screaming it at the top of your lungs to everyone who'll listen. It'll just be between you and Ali. Well, and me and Danny, but whatever."

Scott still seems unsure, so Danny adds in his two cents too. Stiles nods along.

"Alright, fine…I'll talk to her," Scott assents a minute later. Some of the colour drains from his face like he's about to be executed.

* * *

Jackson's mood couldn't be lower as he trudges through the school halls in the direction of the cafeteria. Ever since his trip to Massachusetts with his parents, he's felt like there's a hand gripping his heart and it won't let up. It just squeezes his heart tighter and tighter, making it difficult to breathe properly or get any sleep at night. He's like a walking zombie in the halls, and he knows without a doubt that he's one final push away from losing it.

He expects that push to be when he finally tells his parents what he said to Martha Minow in the coffee shop, when he was honest about his desires for the first time with anyone. It felt so good at the time to tell someone that going to law school is the last thing he wants to do, and the Dean was nothing but understanding and promised she wouldn't say anything to his parents.

However, as soon as he got back to the hotel and his parents hounded him about how it went, the dread settled in. Jackson hadn't had the nerve to speak the truth again, and he still hasn't told them now. That's the source of the tightness in his chest. As soon as they find out the truth, they'll take away their support and approval—whatever paltry support and approval they ever gave him, anyway—and he'll be on his own.

His worst fear is that they'll even go so far as to disown him, to kick him out of their house. It would ruin his reputation, because there's no way he'd be able to hide it for long from everyone at school. He'd not only lose his parents, but he'd lose the admiration of the other students, and then Lydia would dump him too because no way would she ever remain tied to someone who's not at the top of pack.

Not having to pretend with Lydia or anyone else anymore would be a breath of fresh air, but it would also be the end of him.

There's nothing Jackson can do to stop it now, though. It's inevitable—and coming sooner than he thought, as he discovers when he enters the cafeteria and zeroes in on Danny sitting with Stilinski and McCall.

Fuck.

Fuck, fuck, fuck!

Jackson stands just inside the large room and stares, unmoving. He can't believe this is happening.

His heart races in his chest and he feels sweat bead on his brow, and yet he feels cold at the same time. Taking a shuddering breath, Jackson locks eyes with Stilinski a second before he hightails it out of there. He can't be in that room with all those people, not now that he's finally going to crack. At least he can save himself the humiliation of having dozens of witnesses to his downfall.

Stumbling blindly on, Jackson finds himself in the nearest restroom. There's another boy already at the sinks. "Get out," Jackson spits at him. The look on his face is crazed enough that the other boy doesn't protest, and then he's alone.

He splashes his face with some water and hunches over a sink as he attempts to regulate his breathing. His breaths come out harsh and fast, making him feel lightheaded. It's an awful feeling.

Jackson's solitude lasts for another minute, and then he hears the door creak open.

"Jackson?" a voice calls. The most unwelcome voice ever.

Stilinski approaches him cautiously, and it's the sensation of Stilinski's hand on his back—of Stilinski trying to offer him comfort—that does it.

"Haven't you done enough?!" he seethes, whirling around so fast that he startles Stilinski.

"What're you talking about?" Stilinski dares to ask, backing up a pace when he gets an eyeful of Jackson's face.

"Haven't you taken enough from me? Now you're taking Danny from me too?!"

"What? Jackson, you're not making any sense. I just came in here to—"

"I don't care!" Jackson lashes out without thought and clips Stilinski's shoulder with his fist. Stilinski dodges out of the way and holds up his palms in an effort to placate him, but it doesn't work. Jackson has already gone off the deep end.

There's no going back.

"It's all your fault, you know," he says menacingly, his hands clenching and unclenching at his sides as he debates the merits of taking another swing.

Stilinski regards him warily, and yet there's still pity visible in his eyes. "What're you talking about?"

"You did this to me. I was fine before you decided to make out with your sugar daddy right in front of the school!"

Stilinski only appears more confused, but he wisely keeps his mouth shut as Jackson continues to rant at him:

"You think you're so fucking great, with your easy life and your easy relationship and a Dad who actually gives a shit about you. D'you know how lucky you are?" As he talks, Jackson stalks forward, pushing Stilinski backward until his back connects with the wall and Jackson can cage him in. He doesn't even know if the shit he's spouting makes any sense whatsoever, but he can't stem the flow of words now that it's begun. "You knew your life wouldn't be ruined when you came out, so you get to be with who you want, be who you want. You don't have parents who'll throw you away like yesterday's trash if you don't become a lawyer like them, even if the pressure of that threatens to crush you."

"Jackson—"

Jackson smacks his palm against the wall next to Stilinski's head. "I'm not finished!"

Stilinski clamps his lips shut again.

"Where do you get off? You've got all of that, and you still want more. Well, I won't let you. You can't have Danny. He's mine."

The door opens again as Jackson speaks those last two sentences. He tears his attention away from Stilinski to order whoever came in to get right back out, but the words die on his tongue because it's not some unknown interloper.

It's Danny.

"I'm yours, huh?" the lacrosse goalie questions, arching an eyebrow.

"Danny…"

"Can you step away from Stiles, Jackson?" Danny requests softly. It's like he's calming down a wild animal.

"No!" Jackson refuses, hitting the wall again. "He has to pay."

Danny takes a few steps closer, his movements slow. "What does he have to pay for?"

"He's trying to steal you from me."

"No, he's not. Jackson, come on, you know me. You'll always be my best friend," Danny reassures, his voice pained now.

"No you won't. You won't when you know who I really am. No one will…" Jackson is horrified when he feels his eyes burning. He blinks rapidly in an effort to clear them, but it's ineffective.

"What's this really about, Jacks?" Danny is close enough now to put a hand on Jackson's arm. The touch neither makes Jackson madder nor soothes him.

"My parents…"

"You had that tour of Harvard over Christmas, didn't you? How'd that go? When I didn't hear from you then, I just assumed you were busy."

Jackson can't manage more than short sentences now. "They're gonna hate me."

"Who? Your parents?"

"I told her. I told her the truth. When they find out…"

"Told who?"

Jackson stares unseeingly at Stilinski's chest. "The Dean. I told her I didn't wanna go."

Danny hesitates and then takes Jackson's hand in his, prying it off of the wall. Jackson has no fight left in him and lets himself be moved a few paces away from Stilinski.

"That's a good thing, Jackson," Danny says.

"My parents won't think so."

"It might take them a while to come around to the idea, sure, but eventually—"

"No. It's not just Harvard. It's all of it. It's all a lie, and they'll hate me for it."

"Oh, Jackson…"

Jackson almost forgot that Stilinski was still in the room with them, but he remembers when he sees movement in his periphery. He doesn't think he's ever been so embarrassed, because of all the people to see him like this, it had to be Stiles fucking Stilinski. And yet, he can't stop his eyes from welling up.

"It's him," Jackson insists. "He did this to me."

"No, he didn't, Jackson," Danny says. He cups Jackson's face in his hands and makes his best friend look at him. "Stiles didn't do anything to you."

"Yes, he did."

"Like what?"

Jackson takes a deep breath, and his next words get stuck in his throat. That's when the dam breaks for real, and to his horror, a sob comes out instead.

A second later, Danny's arms are around him and his face is tucked under Danny's chin as the tears come for real. He's never allowed himself to cry like this—not ever—so there's a lot he has to get out. He doesn't know how much time passes, and he doesn't hear the bell ring to signal that the lunch period is over. All he knows is that the pain and insecurity in his chest is forcing its way out, and he falls apart in Danny's arms with Stilinski witnessing every single second of it.

Chapter Text

- Monday, January 6th, 2014 -

Stiles just stands there, too stunned to move. He barely breathes, not wanting to make any noise to disturb the spectacle that's happening right in front of him.

When he'd seen Jackson watching him, Scott and Danny in the cafeteria, he'd been concerned by the expression on the lacrosse captain's face. It was complicated at first, a mixture of betrayal, hurt and anger, and then it morphed into something simpler—pure panic. Jackson left the cafeteria in a rush, nearly knocking over some girls coming in behind him. It didn't even seem like Jackson noticed them, like his mind was laser-focused on one goal and one goal only: to get out of that room.

With a quick word to Danny and Scott about what he saw, Stiles got up from the table and, against his better judgment, followed Jackson. It took a minute to locate him, but when he saw another boy dash out of the boys' restroom looking scared, Stiles got a hunch, ran with it, and found Jackson hunched over a sink, his shoulders up near his ears. He was shaking all over and his breaths were ragged and rushed, reminding Stiles of how he used to feel when he suffered horrible panic attacks for months after his mother died. Perhaps he shouldn't have touched Jackson, though. Stiles himself liked to be comforted when he panicked, but everybody is different, and he should've asked Jackson what would help him before doing anything.

He knew better.

Jackson turning on him and acting aggressive was something he should've seen coming. That seemed to be Jackson's default.

Still, Stiles never anticipated the words that poured from the blond's mouth:

"Haven't you taken enough from me? Now you're taking Danny from me too?!"

"It's all your fault, you know."

"You knew your life wouldn't be ruined if you came out."

"Your parents won't throw you away like yesterday's trash."

And then what he said to Danny when Danny came into the restroom after Stiles…

"They're gonna hate me."

Fuck.

As Stiles continues to stare, he doesn't know what to make of this. The picture he'd had of Jackson has just been thoroughly obliterated, and now all that's left is the crying boy Danny is barely holding together. It's a pathetic sight, and it helps Stiles reassess things. Has this been there all along? Every time Jackson lashed out at him and Scott, has he just been covering up all the turmoil he's apparently been hiding inside? Stiles has the awful feeling that yes, that's exactly the case.

It's a classic example of the saying, "Hurt people hurt people."

Another few minutes go by without a change. Stiles is at first surprised that Jackson has that many tears to cry, but then he suspects that Jackson hasn't ever really had the chance or allowed himself to cry over anything, at least not in a very long time.

Eventually, Jackson begins to calm down, and Danny makes soothing sounds in his ear to help him. When he comes up for air, the bell has long since rung, but no one in the restroom seems desperate to get to their next classes. Jackson's eyes are red, puffy and empty, like he's got nothing left inside. It's heartbreaking, and if he didn't fear setting him off again, Stiles would march right over to Jackson and bring him into a hug of his own. But Jackson wouldn't like that—and besides, Danny's got it. Danny knows his best friend far better than Stiles does, so Stiles trusts him to do what's best.

And yet, even after all the shit Jackson has put him through over the years, especially recently, Stiles would still like to help him in any way he can.

"I think it would be a good idea if you skipped the rest of the day," Danny says quietly, rubbing his hands up and down Jackson's back.

Said boy just sniffles like a little kid and keeps his gaze on Danny's chest instead of his face.

"C'mon. Let's get out of here. I'll skip too."

Danny walks Jackson toward the restroom door, and just before he opens it, he glances at Stiles over his shoulder and mouths that he'll call him later.

Stiles gives Danny a nod, and then he's alone. The silence is uncomfortable, so he exits too, just in time to witness Danny and Jackson disappearing around the corner at the end of the corridor, heading in the direction of the parking lot.

Not knowing what else to do with himself, Stiles walks toward Chemistry class, prepared to take whatever reprimand Mr. Harris will have for him.

It will be worth it.

* * *

Thinking that it would be a bad idea to take Jackson to either of their houses right now, Danny drives out of Beacon Hills. His friend doesn't say a word, just stares out the passenger window of Danny's red car looking numb. Danny can't figure out what to say to him now that he's no longer crying. He's always been good at lifting Jackson's spirits whenever his friend is feeling a bit glum, but this isn't like any of those other times. This is so much bigger, so much more serious, and from what Jackson told him back at school before he broke down, his entire future might hang in the balance.

All Danny is sure of is that he won't be leaving Jackson by himself anytime soon, lest he do something stupid.

Fuck, does Danny hope that's not the headspace Jackson's in.

"Right, I think this is far enough," Danny says, pulling over to the side of the road. It's deserted and he hasn't seen another car for miles, so this location should be good enough for some quick privacy.

Jackson continues to stare out his window, his temple leaning against the glass.

"D'you just wanna sit here for a while? Get your thoughts together?" Danny enquires. He'd best be delicate.

All Jackson does is stare. Danny thinks he won't get a response and is about to settle in for a long wait, but then the blond leans back in his seat and looks out the front windscreen instead, his hands held tight in his lap. He seems nervous, which Danny understands. Danny doesn't push him any further, just gives him all the time he needs. This turns out to be the right thing to do, because after another minute, Jackson finally faces him, his eyes full of regret, mortification and a heap of helplessness.

"I dunno what to do," Jackson says, his voice hushed.

Danny unbuckles his seatbelt and turns so that he's sitting sideways, his right leg curled up on his seat and his side pressed against the back. "About what?"

"About everything."

"You don't have to do anything," Danny says. He contemplates putting his hand on Jackson's leg but in the end keeps himself to himself.

"C'mon, be realistic…" Jackson sighs. "I'm fucked. Completely fucked."

Danny doesn't know how to reply to that, so he goes with something else instead. "What did you say to Stiles before I got there?"

Heat rushes to Jackson's cheeks. "Screw it. Might as well tell you since you're gonna hear it around school anyway, after Stilinski blabs."

Danny listens attentively as Jackson relays everything he said to Stiles before his arrival. His chest tightens and his heartbeat speeds up when he hears Jackson repeat his accusation that Stiles could come out without his life being ruined. The implications of that are astronomical, and—foolish though it may be—his mind runs away with him before he can stop it.

Way back when, when he and Jackson first met and became fast friends, everything was fine. They hung out all the time, had sleepovers at each other's houses and learned how to play lacrosse together. Then puberty hit, Danny realised he was gay and came out, and Jackson stuck by his side, showing support. But Danny never revealed the catalyst of his sexual awakening because he was terrified it would ruin their friendship, and he treasured that more than anything. Jackson was just so confident, so brazen—and so handsome, his attractiveness only increasing year by year as he grew into himself and lost the last of his baby fat. Danny couldn't prevent it, no matter how hard he tried. It seemed only natural that he would develop a crush on a boy like his best friend.

So conventionally handsome…

So good at everything…

But Jackson was straight and eventually started dating Lydia, and Danny pushed his feelings deep down, hoping they would never resurface.

What he told Stiles outside school last month was true—one of the reasons his relationships with other guys haven't worked out is because they're usually just looking for something casual. But there was also another reason—he could never have made a proper commitment to any guy when, deep down inside, he was still carrying a torch for his best friend.

Recently, his feelings have been intruding on his thoughts, making it difficult to act as if things are as they've always been. It's tough seeing Jackson kiss Lydia, but he grits his teeth and bears it.

Now, though…now that Jackson has basically just told him that he's not as straight as he's always pretended to be, Danny can't help but wonder if there's actually a chance of something happening between them in the future. If Jackson's bisexual and really does love Lydia, then no. But if he's gay, and Lydia's just been his beard all this time…

No!

No, don't even go there, Danny chides himself, shaking his head. This isn't the right time. He has to focus on what Jackson needs, not on his own desires.

That's what's important here.

"Stiles wouldn't tell anyone at school about you, Jacks," he assures, reaching out to touch him. He rests his hand on Jackson's shoulder instead of his leg, the safer option.

"He totally would. I bet right now he and McCall are laughing it up," Jackson grumbles, leaning into Danny's touch seemingly unconsciously.

"Y'know, I've tried to be understanding about it, but you really need to let go of whatever petty grudge you have against him," Danny says sternly, frustrated that Jackson is constantly looking to pick a fight with his newest friend. "As far as I can remember, Stiles has done nothing to deserve it."

Jackson scoffs and crosses his arms, unintentionally—or maybe intentionally—shrugging off Danny's hand. "Bull," he persists.

Danny suspects that this is a defence mechanism of sorts. Being irritated at Stiles might feel safe for Jackson. Familiar. "Think about earlier," he says. "Even though he knows you don't like him, Stiles went into the toilet after you to make sure you were okay. He didn't go in there to gloat or anything. Does that sound like a bad person to you?"

When Jackson harrumphs and faces his window again, Danny, not wishing to let Jackson change the subject and continue to suffer on his own, returns to what they were originally talking about. They can discuss Stiles further at a later point. "Please don't get mad at me for asking you this, but what are you so scared will happen if you stop living life how you think everyone else expects you to and live for yourself? I know your parents will probably be disappointed for a while, and I doubt Lydia will talk to you for a long time if I was reading between the lines right, but from where I'm sitting, that would be the worst of it. Everything else should go on as it normally does. Right?"

"It's not that simple," Jackson refutes.

"Then how is it? Help me understand."

"I just…I just can't."

Jackson sounds so crestfallen that Danny wants to hug him again and never let go. "You can't go back to how things were either. That was slowly killing you."

"I guess."

"It's what led to what happened in the toilet, so you know I'm right about this," Danny points out.

Jackson says nothing, but from the expression on his face, Danny can tell he heard him.

"Are you gonna tell Lydia?"

"Tell her what?" Jackson counters evasively.

Danny is unsure if this is really the right thing to push—outing someone before they're ready is reprehensible, after all—but it still seems like a simpler problem than the minefield that is the topic of Jackson's parents. "About…y'know," he says vaguely.

Jackson's eyes narrow. "Just say it," he grits out. "You obviously want to."

Danny takes a breath and does so. "About you being gay. Or at least not straight."

Jackson's breath hitches at the word 'gay', and when he breathes out again, it's shaky. "The first one," he whispers. "I'm the first one."

"Is that so bad?"

With a wry smile, Jackson shakes his head. "Not for you. That's not what I mean."

"Then what do you mean?" Danny asks, keeping an open mind. This isn't about him, so he doesn't read anything about his own sexuality into Jackson's reluctance to admit his.

"It's not that easy. It'll just be another thing for my parents to hate me for."

Danny frowns. Seems there's no avoiding the topic of Mr. and Mrs. Whittemore, then. "I doubt they'll hate you for being gay, Jackson. They've got no problem with me, right? At least not that I've noticed."

"No, but I think it's just that they don't care if it's someone else's son." Jackson's top lip curls briefly into a sneer. "Their own? That's different."

"Have they ever said anything to make you think that?"

Jackson looks down at his lap. "Not directly, but I've overheard some things."

"What sorts of things?" Danny is equal parts curious and scared. What sort of damage have Jackson's parents done to him, both on purpose and without even realising it?

"Just small things. They're not as accepting or PC as they want everyone else to think. It's all about preserving their image."

There it is again. Jackson, Lydia, and Jackson's parents are all so obsessed with what other people think of them. Danny has never understood. He himself is reasonably popular at school and comes from a great family, so maybe it's just something he can't relate to, and they'll never see eye to eye about it. Still, it sounds stupid to him. Sure, if the Whittemores' have such antiquated values, Danny gets that they might hide them from public ears for the sake of their careers, but why try to mould their son into who they want him to be instead of letting him find his own way?

Why make Jackson feel as if he can't be himself? Why fill him with self-loathing because he doesn't measure up to their expectations?

Isn't it a parent's job to put their child's needs ahead of their own?

Apparently not.

What terrible people. Danny feels vindicated in his dislike of them.

As far as he can see—and it's not just him blowing smoke up his own ass—the only person who has ever given a damn about Jackson's needs and wants has been Danny himself. Not even Lydia seems to care that much, even as someone who's supposed to love Jackson. She just walks all over him, makes him do whatever she wants. Forcing Jackson to help her get her prom dress sorted out months in advance is just the latest example of her unpleasantly domineering attitude.

With the exception of Danny, everyone who's close to Jackson makes it clear who they think he should be, and if he ever fell short, they would leave him in the dust.

No wonder Jackson ended up in the awful state he did.

"God, this is complicated," Danny thinks aloud, running his hand through his hair. Where to begin?

"Tell me about it," Jackson says with a snort.

Danny repeats his earlier question: "So, are you gonna tell Lydia?"

"I have to, don't I?" Jackson glances at Danny like he's hoping Danny will disagree with him, and when the goalie doesn't, he sighs. "When I think of having to kiss her or fuck her and pretend to enjoy it, I just…I wanna throw up."

Danny is already sure of this answer, but he asks another question anyway, ensuring that there's not a trace of condemnation in his voice. "Why did you get together with her in the first place?"

Jackson shrugs tiredly. "It just seemed like the right thing to do. I was already popular and athletic and got decent enough grades, like my parents wanted. The most popular guy getting with the most popular girl just seemed…inevitable, so I gave into it."

It's just as Danny suspected. "I'm sorry, Jacks…"

This gets Jackson to look at him again, his countenance bemused. "For what?"

"For not seeing how much you were struggling until recently. I could've helped you sooner and maybe you wouldn't have had so much pressure piled up on you until you crumpled."

Jackson shakes his head and is the one to reach out this time, curling his fingers in the red material of Danny's T-shirt. It's quite a childlike action, similar to how a toddler might cling to the hem of their parent's T-shirt. "It's alright. It was never your problem. Besides, I didn't want you to know."

"Well, I know now," Danny asserts, sitting up straight in his seat.

He's powerless to stop himself. He disentangles Jackson's hand from his shirt and links their fingers together instead. He's possibly pushing the boundary of what Jackson's ready for this early, and it's yet another instance of his hidden feelings rearing their head, but if Jackson suspects anything about this action, he doesn't mention it. All he does is cling to Danny's hand and return to looking through the front windshield, his other hand balled into a fist atop his thigh.

The best friends sit in silence for another few minutes, both deep in thought. Danny ponders everything he's learned this afternoon, racking his brain for solutions to Jackson's problems. He wishes he could just wave a magic wand and make it all better, heal the wounds that have been inflicted upon Jackson's heart and mind until he's whole and happy again. Truly happy.

When was the last time Jackson was content with himself? Before they were teenagers? Even earlier? And Danny never noticed. He permits himself a minute of self-recrimination and then pulls himself out of it.

Going back to the problems at hand, something hits him. Not a solution per se, but something that should at least allay one of Jackson's fears.

"You're worried your parents will kick you out once they found out you're gay, right?" he asks.

One of his eyes twitching, Jackson nods. "Yeah."

"Well, you shouldn't be. Since they're so hung up on appearances, it wouldn't look very good if they threw out their son for coming out to them, would it? I mean, what would everyone say? Their reputations would tank."

Jackson looks at him again, and there's surprise written all over his face like such a conclusion never occurred to him. "I…I guess."

"That doesn't help with getting them to actually be okay with it…" Danny grimaces. "But at least you'll still have a roof over your head."

"Maybe."

"And if worst comes to worst and they disown you anyway, I bet I could convince my parents to let you stay with us," Danny says, lightly shaking Jackson's arm with the aid of their joined hands.

Jackson looks hopeful now. "You think they'd really go for that?"

"Sure. They love you."

Danny wants to add, "I love you," but doesn't. They've never really been the type to actually say those words to each other, even in a platonic way.

Jackson squeezes his hand gratefully. "Thanks, Danny-boy."

"No problem."

Danny allows them a few more minutes sitting on the side of the road, and then another car drives past and shatters the illusion of privacy.

"Do you want me to drop you off at home, or d'you wanna come to mine instead?" he asks. "My parents are both at work, so they won't be around to tell us off for skipping yet."

"Yours," Jackson answers, reluctantly releasing Danny's hand. "Please."

"You got it, buddy."

Chapter Text

- Monday, January 6th, 2014 -

Stiles spends the rest of the school day unable to stop thinking about the scene he witnessed in the boys' restroom. No matter how many times Scott asks him for details on what happened, he doesn't tell him about Jackson's breakdown because it doesn't feel right gossiping like that. If Stiles were in the other boy's shoes, he knows he wouldn't want people talking about him behind his back, so in his eyes, the fewer people who know about the restroom incident, the better. He doesn't think it would help Jackson in the long run, either, and he does still want to help him. What he saw all but erased the feelings of animosity for Jackson he held for years, and it's honestly freeing.

After getting through lacrosse practice with a particularly irate Coach Finstock—who didn't like the captain and goalie of the team being absent one bit—Stiles sits behind the wheel of his Jeep and checks his phone for any messages he missed while out on the field. The screen lights up and a smile creeps onto his face when he sees one from Derek:

[DADDY / 3:11 p.m.]
Got a meeting and won't be back until around half four. Just let yourself in, okay?

Stiles types a text back, knowing that being around Daddy will be very effective at taking his mind off of Jackson.

[STILES / 3:57 p.m.]
Will do, Daddy.

Another text comes in almost as soon as Stiles sends his. His Daddy must be being naughty and using his phone while in his meeting.

[DADDY / 3:58 p.m.]
I have plans for you this evening. Be prepared.

[STILES / 3:58 p.m.]
Ooh, what kind of plans, Daddy?

[DADDY / 3:59 p.m.]
You'll find out later. Now be good and get home safe, okay? My client's coming back from the bathroom, so I need to get back to it.

[STILES / 3:59 p.m.]
Yes, Daddy. I'll be waiting. ;)

Stiles feels a frisson of excitement as he locks his phone again. He tosses it on the passenger seat and peels out of the school lot, driving just under the speed limit so he doesn't get pulled over by one of his Dad's deputies. That would be embarrassing, especially if they asked why he was going so fast.

When he gets back to Derek's, Stiles lets himself in using the key he was gifted on Christmas and goes straight upstairs, pondering his Daddy's plans for him. They sounded like sexy plans, and just thinking about having Daddy's big, calloused hands on him again has his cock filling with blood as he strips out of his clothes on his way into the bathroom in the master suite. He already washed all the sweat from his skin in the school showers, but he figures another quick shower can't hurt—especially because he couldn't pay special attention to making sure his ass was clean without raising a bunch of eyebrows and making things awkward for everybody.

Stiles takes his time in the shower, enjoying the water pressure and making extra sure every inch of him is squeaky-clean, ready for whatever Daddy wants to do to him.

Once he's done, he steps out of the stall, dries off with a large fluffy towel and picks his clothes up, wanting to avoid being scolded by Daddy. He tosses them into the laundry hamper before walking over to the dresser and opening one of the drawers that contains his clothes. His chest feels all warm as he looks over everything in there, as he remembers the day Daddy cleared the space for him.

Stiles has a lot.

He has everyday clothes like shirts, chinos, a couple pairs of jeans. Underwear and socks too.

He has a sweater or two, which he's worn whenever it's been cold enough to merit it outside. Not often, but it's nice to have them available anyway.

Last but not least—and best of all—Stiles has his pyjamas, which take up a drawer of their own.

Which to put on today, though? Or should he forgo clothing altogether and just greet Derek naked? Neither sounds like a bad idea. He knows his Daddy loves him in both states, either all skin or all cute in his PJs.

In the end, Stiles settles on a bit of both. He gets out his blue pyjama bottoms with the ducks on them, pulls them up his coltish legs and leaves his torso bare. This should be enough, whatever happens when Daddy gets home. His bare flesh will entice him, but just in case Daddy doesn't want to start playing around as soon as he walks in the door, needing instead to decompress from his meeting first, it'll leave Stiles comfortable enough until the older man wants to have his way with him.

Grabbing his big teddy, Stiles descends back to the ground floor to wait for the sound of his Daddy's car in the driveway. In the living room now, he switches on the TV, sits down and takes the blanket from the back to drape over himself, snuggling in with his teddy. He should really give him a name—it feels almost disrespectful to keep calling him the 'big teddy', like he's just an object. He's not an object to Stiles, not at all. None of his stuffed animals are, which leads to him feeling guilty for not naming them sooner. Stiles attempts to come up with a name that fits and doesn't find much success at first, but then one that just seems right pops into his head out of nowhere.

"Come on, Milo, let's see if there's something good on," he says, cuddling the bear into his side.

As he flicks through the channels, Stiles is amazed by how easy it is for him to slip into his little mindset like this. All he has to do is walk through the door of Derek's house, and it's like all the problems he has in his day-to-day life are left outside, where they can't bother him anymore. Of course, that's not actually the case. Even when he's being little like this, snuggling with Milo beneath the blanket on Daddy's sofa, Stiles' brain still has conflicting thoughts and emotions running through it, things he can't quite put away to deal with later.

On one hand, Stiles is looking forward to Derek getting home, but on the other, there's the small voice that won't shut up about Jackson. It's less pressing than it was at school, but it's still there, the stupid thing.

Fortunately, Stiles isn't given much more time to ruminate because, just a few minutes later, he hears Daddy's car pull up outside.

* * *

Derek feels emotionally drained as he exits his Camaro and walks up the front path to the door of his house. His meeting seemed to go on forever and involved him attempting to keep his client from crying too much. It's another day that has him reconsidering early retirement. As he opens the front door and steps inside the house, he thinks if he has too many more days like this one, he might just do it.

"Baby, I'm home!" Derek calls out, carefully putting his bag containing his laptop and important files on the floor.

Stiles' voice is quiet and slightly sleepy-sounding when he responds from the direction of the living room. "In here, Daddy."

The stress already beginning to leave him because he's home with his boy, Derek undoes the first couple buttons of his white dress shirt and enters the living room to find Stiles snuggled up on the sofa with his big teddy, looking so adorable that Derek's heart instantly melts. "Someone looks cozy," Derek comments, perching on the edge of the sofa next to his boy.

Stiles grins at him. "I am."

As always, Stiles' happiness has Derek grinning too.

After a moment, the eighteen-year-old's grin fades into a more content smile. "So, what, uh…what are we gonna do this evening, Daddy?"

Recalling the text he sent Stiles earlier that day, Derek feels his cock twitch in his underwear. He palms himself through his black slacks, drawing Stiles' attentive gaze. "You'll find out soon, baby," he replies, releasing himself and standing up. "First, Daddy needs a drink and to stuff his face with some junk food. It's been a long day."

After Stiles hums his understanding, Derek enters the kitchen and opens the fridge to retrieve a couple slices of the spicy chicken pizza that went uneaten last night. He gets himself a glass of cool water to wash them down and returns to the living room to get comfortable. Stiles leans into his side immediately, sandwiching himself between his Daddy and his teddy, so Derek drapes his arm around Stiles' shoulders and takes bites of his pizza with one hand. It's alright cold, but he wishes he'd warmed it up first in the microwave. Still, he's not getting back up now, so he deals with it.

"Can I have a bite?" Stiles pipes up when Derek is almost finished.

"Sure."

Derek holds the last slice to Stiles' mouth and watches as Stiles bites into it. He ends up feeding the entirety of it to him before they split the water too.

"Better now?" Stiles asks him after swallowing the last time.

"Yeah," Derek says, putting the empty glass on the coffee table. "That was just what the doctor ordered."

"Was it a tough day?"

Pulling Stiles even closer, Derek leans his cheek atop Stiles' head. "You could say that."

"Wanna talk about it?"

"I can't really tell you much, but let's just say that my latest client's case has been a particular ordeal for them, and being around that for extended periods of time can be draining."

Stiles pats Derek's stomach. "I hope it doesn't last much longer then, Daddy."

"Me too." Derek changes the subject. "What about you? How'd school go today? You had lacrosse practice, right?"

Stiles groans and hides his face in Derek's chest, no longer paying any attention to the TV. "Yeah. It sucked. Coach really let us have it."

"More than he normally does?"

Stiles is quiet for a few moments as if he's considering something, which turns Derek's idle curiosity into something more. "Our goalie and team captain weren't there today," Stiles says eventually, his words measured and careful. "Coach was annoyed because it threw everything off."

"I can see that." Derek considers pressing Stiles for whatever he was originally going to say and decides to go for it. If Stiles really doesn't want to tell him, he'll let it go. For now. "Who are your goalie and captain?"

"Uhh…"

There's that hesitance again.

"Danny's our goalie," Stiles answers then, his hand still atop Derek's stomach. "And our captain is Jackson."

Hearing Danny's name doesn't really instil any sort of emotion in Derek, aside from maybe a bit of happiness because he remembers what a good mood his boy had been in when he returned from going Christmas shopping with him. Derek can't say the same about Jackson. Hearing about him makes Derek's anger rise to the surface again. He'd almost forgotten about Jackson and what Stiles told him he did in the school showers. When Stiles never mentioned Jackson again, Derek just figured that the horrible boy learned his lesson and was leaving Stiles alone. He trusted that Stiles would tell him if anything else happened.

But now? Derek is reminded of all of that, and it takes him breathing deeply for a few seconds to control himself.

"Do you know why they weren't there?" Derek asks, calmed again now.

"Yeah." Stiles takes his hand back and picks at his own cuticles, a nervous tic. "I don't feel right saying anything else, though."

"Why not?"

Stiles sighs. "Because it's not my secret to tell. Jackson's going through something right now, and it's made me think of him differently. Danny was helping him through it, and that's why neither of them were at practice today. That's all I think I can really say."

Derek has always been good at reading his boy, has been right from the start, so he easily detects something else in Stiles' voice:

Amazement, pity, and…maybe some form of longing. Longing for what, though? As good as he is, Derek can't figure that one out.

"Well, as long as you know you can always talk to me about anything, I'll drop it," Derek says, putting a hand over both of Stiles' to still them.

"Okay, Daddy."

"Good boy." With that sorted, Derek supposes that it's time he initiates what he's been thinking about doing all day, giving both of them a worthy distraction from the areas of their lives that are causing them unrest. "You ready to play, baby?" he enquires, his dick showing interest again now that the time's here.

Immediately, Stiles perks up, sitting up straight with a light in his cinnamon eyes. "Yes, Daddy, I am!"

Hearing the excitement in his boy's voice, Derek does away with the blanket, throwing it over the side of the sofa, and makes a quick trip to the window to shut the curtains before getting to work on disrobing both of them. He takes his time to admire how his boy looks in his duck pyjamas and then takes them off. They join the blanket on the floor, along with Derek's clothes, leaving them both naked.

"Let's move him out of the way, hmm?" Derek suggests, plucking the teddy from the sofa. He puts him on the coffee table instead, facing away from them.

"What're we gonna do, Daddy?" Stiles asks, blinking up at him with feigned innocence that stokes the fires of lust in Derek's belly.

Instead of responding verbally, Derek pounces. He all but tackles the boy so he falls over to lie lengthways on the sofa, his body stretched out like an offering. Derek straddles Stiles' thighs, grabs his wrists and pins them above his head, putting him entirely at his Daddy's mercy. Stiles doesn't even attempt to struggle, just lies there completely docile, his cock hard and needy.

Derek leans down and captures Stiles' mouth in a kiss. He squeezes Stiles' wrists in a silent instruction to keep them above his head and then releases them, stroking his hands down his boy's arms and across his ribs. He comes to a stop with them on Stiles' hip bones, and at the same time licks across the seam of Stiles' lips, demanding entrance. When it's granted, Derek moans as the combined taste of pizza and his boy hits him, arousing him the rest of the way so his dick is just as needy as Stiles'.

He'll give them what both of their bodies crave very soon.

"I've got some frustration to work out," he murmurs against Stiles' lips.

"Do it, Daddy," Stiles whispers, his pupils so blown that almost none of his irises are visible. "Want it."

"Yeah? You want Daddy to fuck you hard, claim your little hole all over again?"

Stiles shudders beneath him. "Y-yeah…so bad, Daddy."

With a grin that promises all manner of sexy things, Derek lifts himself up and pushes Stiles' legs apart to create space for himself. He spends a minute or so kissing his boy and grinding their erections together, their pre-come preventing any chafing, and then he gets impatient. He tears his lips from Stiles' and holds his fingers to Stiles' mouth, arching one eyebrow to get him to open up for him.

"We don't have any lube down here, so get 'em nice and wet for me, baby boy."

Stiles says a quiet, "Yes, Daddy," before parting his lips and sucking Derek's thick fingers inside, maintaining eye contact the whole time. Derek strokes himself leisurely with his other hand, imaging that it's his cock Stiles is swirling his tongue around instead. It sounds so good that he almost changes his mind and fucks his boy's face instead, but he sticks with his original plan. He knows that Stiles' hole will feel even better, and it'll allow him to go harder, to be rougher, because he won't have to worry about choking his boy.

"That's enough," Derek says soon, taking his fingers out of Stiles' mouth. "Hold your legs back."

When Stiles does so, slotting his hands behind his knees and curling himself up so that his pink hole is presented to his Daddy, Derek rubs the pad of his saliva-slick index finger around the furled muscle to get Stiles used to him before sliding it inside, all the way to the last knuckle. Stiles is more than used to this by now, to having Derek's tongue, fingers and cock inside him on a regular basis, so Derek doesn't spare much time for being gentle. Of course, as Stiles' Daddy, there's always a part of him that's looking out for his boy's comfort, but today isn't really about that. No, today, the Dom in him has come out, ready to fuck out his feelings with the aid of Stiles' willing body.

He's such a lucky Daddy.

With a third finger, Derek deems that Stiles is ready to take him. He spits in his palm and uses his saliva to slick up his cock before aiming the tip at Stiles' hole.

"Ready, baby?"

Stiles nods stiffly, still holding his legs back like a good boy. "Ready, Daddy."

"I'm not gonna go slow once I'm in, so if you need me to stop, just say so and I will. Okay?"

Another nod. "Yes, Daddy."

The push in is difficult, but Derek persists until Stiles' body lets him inside. Once the head has popped past the rim, the rest is easier, and then Derek is buried to the hilt.

"Always feel fucking amazing, baby boy," he rasps, starting a pace that's not slow, but not too rough yet either.

Stiles just moans, his eyes rolling back in their sockets as Derek hits his prostate for the first time with unerring accuracy. Derek feels just a bit smug about that.

His impatience catching up to him, Derek grips Stiles' ankles tightly and holds them up as he speeds up the pace of his thrusts to something more punishing. The sofa creeks dangerously beneath them, the frame threatening to break, but Derek barely hears it. All of his focus is on Stiles' tight hole around his cock, clinging to him every time he withdraws. It's like Stiles' hole is a hungry mouth, always trying to suck him back in so it isn't left empty for too long. The visual is almost enough to send Derek careening to his orgasm way before he's ready for it, but he holds off and instead raises his gaze to Stiles' face, watching as it becomes progressively more florid.

After a while, the current position begins to feel awkward, the muscles in Derek's legs aching because they've been folded up for so long. At his age, he can't maintain this position as long as he used to, so he switches things up—not much, just enough to alleviate the soreness while also allowing him to continue fucking his boy.

He drops Stiles' legs to curl around his waist instead and drops forward, extending his legs out behind him so that his feet dig into the space between the sofa cushions and the armrest, giving him a decent amount of leverage. He holds himself up by putting a hand on the opposite armrest, which brings his face close enough to Stiles' that he could count Stiles' eyelashes if he had the desire. As it is, he's too busy enjoying how this altered position means he can get his cock that much deeper in Stiles' body, create more space for himself.

"Daddy!" Stiles cries out, digging his short nails into the shifting muscle of Derek's back.

"You getting close, baby boy?" Derek asks in between panted breaths. Sweat beads on his brow.

"Uh-huh! I'm gonna—"

Before he can even finish his sentence, Stiles' cock spurts between their bodies. He paints both of their torsos with his release, and the increased tightness around Derek's cock has his orgasm getting dangerously close all over again.

Fuck it, Derek thinks. We've got all evening. I can fuck my boy again later, maybe after I've put him down for a nap or something.

With this thought, Derek chases the pleasure instead of pushing it away, fucking Stiles so hard their skin slaps together and a few drops of sweat drip from his brow to land on the sofa cushion beneath Stiles' head.

A shower is definitely gonna be in the cards after this.

With a few more thrusts, Derek finally tips over the edge of the cliff, his body seizing up and his eyes clenching shut as he fills his boy with his seed, marking him from the inside-out.

"Fuck!"

He collapses atop Stiles when it's over, riding out the aftershocks. He pants into the side of Stiles' neck and enjoys the sensation of his boy's soft hands stroking up and down his sweaty back, holding him close. It seems to Derek that Stiles would be entirely content to stay right there for the rest of the day, trapped beneath his Daddy's muscled body, never mind that the weight must be a lot to take. Derek is tempted to do that too, to stay buried inside Stiles' body until he's raring to go again, until his cock thickens once more and he can fill his boy with a second load.

It's tempting, yes, but not actually feasible.

With a groan, Derek sits up and winces as their bodies separate. He sits there for a short while, gathering his energy, and then gets to his feet.

"Come on, baby boy," he says, holding out his hand. "Let's go upstairs and get cleaned up."

Stiles rubs at his eyes, worn out now, before he takes Derek's hand and uses it to pull himself up too. He's as clumsy as a newborn fawn, his legs quivering, so Derek crouches down slightly, puts one arm behind Stiles knees and surges back to his full height with his boy cradled against his chest.

"Daddy…" Stiles slurs. "Don't forget Milo."

Derek is confused. "Milo?"

"The teddy."

Derek stoops down next to the coffee table so Stiles can grab the bear before walking out into the foyer. He ascends the stairs. "You named him, huh?"

"Mmhmm. Felt bad, so…"

Derek hums and kisses Stiles' temple. "That's thoughtful of you."

When he's upstairs in the master bedroom, Derek vacillates between going through with the shower or just wiping his boy down with a damp washcloth. From how Stiles' eyelids are drooping, he won't be awake for that much longer, so Derek opts for the second choice. He walks over to the bed, gets Stiles to take hold of the sheets and walks backward toward the foot of it so that Stiles' grip pulls the sheets down. This means Derek doesn't have to mess around with trying to get the sheets out from beneath Stiles' body after laying him down.

"Wait here, baby," Derek murmurs, making sure Stiles' head rests on his pillow. "Milo'll keep you company until I'm back."

Stiles doesn't say a word as Derek ventures into the en suite and soaks a washcloth in warm water at the sink. He examines his reflection in the mirror and doesn't believe the few new grey hairs at his temples are just in his imagination. They must have come in recently, brought on by the stress of his most recent few clients. While he doesn't mind much, he frowns because it's still more than he would prefer to have at his age. He'll definitely have to think closely about what to do about it soon.

By the time Derek reenters the bedroom, Stiles has already drifted off, his soft snores filling the room, Milo clutched tight to his chest. He whines when Derek wipes the washcloth between his ass cheeks, cleaning the come that's leaked from his hole, but he quiets down again when Derek is done and pulls the sheets back up over him, tucking him in.

After a quick shower for himself, spending no more than two minutes in the stall, Derek gets into bed next to his boy and takes him in his arms, spooning him. He ensures that Stiles still has Milo with him before resting his forehead against the back of Stiles' neck and closing his eyes. The vigorous round of sex they engaged in downstairs did just what he wanted, and Derek soon finds himself falling asleep too, content to put his concerns about his job out of his mind until the next day.

Chapter Text

- Monday, January 6th, 2014 -

While Jackson still feels restless as he wanders around Danny's bedroom, he's less unanchored than he was when Danny led him out of school. Their talk in the other boy's car helped a lot, and if he stops himself from thinking about all the other issues in his life that have yet to be resolved, he can almost pretend that everything's fine and he's happy.

He's always happy with Danny. He'd say it's about the only time he feels that way.

He's always tense at home, walking on eggshells so he doesn't do anything to alert his parents to what a phoney he is.

He's always miserable with Lydia, both guilty for leading her on but unwilling to put himself in the firing line by coming clean.

He's always burdened with responsibility at school, keeping up the appearance of Mr. Popular and working hard to live up to the title of lacrosse captain.

All around, he'd say his life sucks ass, and Danny is the only saving grace. He doesn't want to impose all of his problems on his best friend, but Danny seems genuinely willing to help, and Jackson is just selfish enough that he doesn't turn said help away, needing the reassurance that at least someone is in his corner.

Currently, Danny is absent, having sent Jackson upstairs ahead of him while he sorted out some unhealthy snacks for them in the kitchen. Comfort food, he'd called it.

That's another thing with Danny that's so different from the rest of his life. He hardly ever lets himself eat anything unhealthy; when he's here, in Danny house, is pretty much the only time. Everywhere else, it's nothing but carefully planned out meals, workout regimens and protein shakes, basically putting nothing in his body just because he likes it. His body thanks him for it, sure, and he's in the best shape he could possibly be in, but it's a difficult standard to hold to all the time. As such, he always relishes the occasions Danny presents him with something else. They never overdo it—after all, Danny himself still has an impressive physique to maintain—but an indulgence every once in a while can't hurt, right?

Shaking himself out of his thoughts, Jackson pushes all of his problems to the back of his mind to deal with later. He doesn't want to think or talk about any of it for the rest of the day. Instead, he just wants to spend some quality time with his best friend, pretending that, tomorrow, his life won't finally begin crumbling when he sticks to his word and breaks up with Lydia.

While he waits for Danny to come up, Jackson surveys the room for something with which he can occupy himself. The colour pallet is warm and comforting, both in the paint on the walls and the sheets on the bed, a stark contrast to how cold and lifeless his own bedroom feels. He finds so many personal touches here too, far more than he has:

A few posters on the wall.

CDs spilling out from a rack next to a stereo system.

A board on the wall with all sorts of photographs pinned to it, most of which are of Danny with his family or friends.

Jackson takes a step closer to the board and examines the pictures in more detail, his anger at the unfairness of his life rising again when he sees that, in every single one, everyone is grinning and/or laughing. It's clearly a life filled with happiness, and before he can stop himself, he wonders what that's like. There are a few photos of him and Danny too, and even a couple that are exclusively of him that he doesn't remember being taken. He looks calm and relaxed in each one, yet another difference because the family portraits in his own home are all stoic, his mask firmly in place.

"Stop it," he berates himself, turning away from the board. "Stop thinking about it."

Danny appears in the doorway then, his muscular arms filled with a bunch of junk food and sugary drinks. "Stop thinking about what?" he asks.

"Nothing," Jackson lies with a shake of his head. He gives Danny a smile. It's mostly fake, but Danny doesn't call him on it.

The other boy shrugs and carries the junk food to his bed, where he deposits it without care. "If you say so."

Jackson approaches the bed and appraises the selection Danny brought up—sodas, potato chips, chocolate…there's a lot of it. "Did you just have all this stashed downstairs?"

"Yup," Danny responds, grabbing two PS4 controllers from beneath the TV that's positioned opposite the foot of the bed. He brings them with him and flops down onto his mattress, slouched slightly against the headboard. "You got a few games in you?"

Knowing how easy it'll be to lose himself in playing video games with his best friend, just like old times, Jackson accepts the controller and sits next to Danny, his legs crossed. The bed is big enough that they don't have to touch at all, but they still end up with their shoulders bumping and his knee rests against Danny's thigh. It's nice to have some more human contact, and for once, he doesn't allow himself to get hung up on how touch-starved he is. He just likes it, and Danny doesn't mind, so he'll take it.

"Think you can actually beat my ass this time?" Jackson asks with a smirk, referring to the last time they played together and he came out the champion.

Danny scoffs and pulls some of the snacks closer while his PS4 boots up. "Please, by the time I'm done with you, you're gonna be begging me for mercy."

Jackson snorts. "Fat chance."

* * *

Later on, hours after they stop playing video games—Jackson won the majority again—Jackson stands in the Mahealanis' bathroom and stares at himself in the mirror.

Danny's parents got home at around 5 p.m. and took their son downstairs for a bit, no doubt asking for an explanation as to why he skipped school. Jackson worried briefly that they'd send him back to his own house and he'd have to face his parents' wrath before he's ready—there's no doubt there'll be a reckoning, what with how both his parents have blown up his phone with several texts and calls that Jackson didn't answer. He ended up turning off his phone so he didn't have to deal with it.

His worries were unfounded, however. Whatever Danny said to his parents was enough to completely erase any disapproval or anger they felt, and they were more than happy to keep hosting Jackson. They even went so far as to splurge on some Chinese takeout for dinner, which they ate together in the living room with the TV off. They just talked, creating a relaxed atmosphere that Jackson wished he could experience more frequently. He didn't speak much himself, just listened to the good-natured teasing and stories Danny's parents told them from their respective workplaces. But it was a good time all around, he'd say.

Now, Jackson is sleeping over, continuing to avoid his parents. Danny is in his bedroom right now, setting up an air mattress for Jackson to sleep on. It's how they've done things whenever he's slept over since they hit puberty. Before then, they used to just both sleep in Danny's bed, but then morning wood made things awkward and Danny's mother bought the air mattress for Jackson to use.

He takes another minute to brush his teeth using a new toothbrush that was spare under the sink and then exits the bathroom, his bones weighing him down. He's so tired that he looks forward to lying down and going to sleep.

"You good?" Danny asks him when he's back in the bedroom. The air mattress is already fully inflated and set up with sheets, and Danny himself is in his bed, leaning up on his elbow. His sheets are pooled just above his waist, revealing that he's going to bed without a shirt on, and for some reason, Jackson stares for a few seconds at the smooth, tanned skin and sculpted muscles of Danny's chest.

Odd.

"Yeah," Jackson says, his voice coming out as a croak. He clears his throat and shuts the door behind him. "Thanks for letting me crash here again."

"No problem. Can you get the light?"

"Sure."

With the room plunged into darkness, the only illumination coming from the moon shining through the window, Jackson picks his way over to the air mattress, removes his jeans and lies down, ignoring how the plastic squeaks loudly as he wiggles to find a comfortable position. He ends up just lying on his back with the sheets pulled up to his armpits, his hands folded atop his stomach.

"You nervous about tomorrow?" comes Danny's voice. The question is whispered, like the dark means they can no longer talk at their normal volume.

Jackson peers up at the side of Danny's bed. He can't see him. "Yeah, I guess," he admits. "Lydia's probably gonna slap the hell out of me."

"D'you want me to be there?"

Jackson is touched that Danny would offer—of course he would; he's Danny—but he declines. "Nah, I've got it. I made my bed."

"Come find me afterwards, then," Danny entreaties. "I wanna make sure you're okay."

"I will."

"I guess we'd better get some sleep."

"Sure."

"G'night."

" 'Night."

He hears shuffling coming from the bed as Danny turns over, and then the only sound that fills the room is their combined breathing. Jackson returns his gaze to the ceiling and is disappointed to find that his eyes don't droop or itch with tiredness at all, despite how he felt coming out of the bathroom. He's wide awake now, and worst of all, he has absolutely nothing around him to distract his brain.

As the stress, worry and every other negative emotion and thought he's been suppressing all afternoon and evening threaten to assail him again, Jackson grits his teeth. He can't exactly play more video games because that would keep Danny awake, and that wouldn't be fair. And because he's a guest, he can't go downstairs to watch TV in the Mahealanis' living room either. He doubts anyone in the house would mind—if he was quiet enough not to wake anyone up, that is—but it feels wrong to him to just do whatever he wants here.

Maybe it's just the conditioning of all his parents' rules making him think this. They'd be angry as hell if he was still awake after they thought he should go to bed. It seems ridiculous to him that he still has a parent-enforced bedtime at eighteen, but as his parents say: "You can't succeed and get the grades you need if you're too tired to concentrate in your classes, Jackson!"

Assholes…

Jackson's breath hitches. That's the first time he's called his parents a name in forever, even in his head. It felt kinda good.

Yeah, they're total assholes, he continues, giving the ceiling a grin that might look a bit deranged. It feels good to finally call them out on their bullshit, even if it's not to their faces.

The fun doesn't last long, though. His mouth relaxes back into a thin line as he thinks about what their reactions would be if he called them out in person. They wouldn't be good, and it would just make matters worse because they'll already be mad once they find out what Jackson said to Martha Minnow back in Massachusetts.

Fuck.

"Jackson? You still awake?"

Jackson's eyes widen with surprise. He thought Danny was already sleep. His breathing was slow and even enough. "Yeah," he responds.

"Can't sleep?"

"Not really."

"What can I do to help?"

Jacks sighs. "I dunno. I'm tired, but I can't really shut my brain off, y'know?"

Danny is silent for about ten seconds, and then a shadow falls over Jackson, created by the moonlight as Danny leans over the side of his bed. "I have an idea, but you don't have to if you don't want to."

Slightly wary, Jackson looks up at the silhouette of Danny's head and broad shoulders. "Sure."

"Maybe it would help if you tried to sleep up here," Danny suggests tentatively. Jackson can imagine the slight frown he'd wear.

"Why?"

"It's just…whenever I used to have trouble sleeping, because of nightmares or whatever, it always helped to have a physical reminder that someone's looking out for me," Danny explains. "I just thought it might help you if you had the same thing."

"You want us both to sleep in your bed again?" Jackson asks doubtfully.

"Hey, we're eighteen now. I think that's mature enough to deal with any…awkwardness…that might come up."

The memory of how comforting it felt to have Danny's arms around him in the school restroom comes back to Jackson, and he supposes that his friend has a point. Danny has always been quite tactile, while Jackson kept his distance from people, only allowing Lydia to touch him as much as she wanted. He let Danny touch him too, from time to time, but never any more than what was socially acceptable between straight male friends. Danny has been out as gay for years, yes, but Jackson was deep in the closet, so that was all the contact it felt safe to accept. Since he'll be out himself tomorrow and thus won't be constrained by society's standards for straight guys—which he thinks now are kind of dumb, but whatever—he doesn't see anything wrong with more physical contact.

As long as it's from a person he explicitly trusts. Like Danny.

"Jacks?" Danny calls softly. "You haven't actually ended up falling asleep on me, have you?"

"No, sorry. I was just thinking."

"If you don't think it'll help, or it would make you uncomfortable, you know you can say no. It's no big deal."

Before Danny can take it back, Jackson flings back his borrowed sheets, stands up and crosses the two feet to the bed.

"Is that a yes, then?" Danny questions, already shuffling back across to the other side of the mattress.

"It's a yes," Jackson confirms, climbing on. "If you really don't mind."

"I wouldn't've suggested it if I did, dude."

Lying down again, this time on his side facing away from the centre of the bed, Jackson pulls the sheets tight around him and presses the side of his face into his pillow, his nose rubbing across the soft fabric. Danny's scent fills his nostrils, both familiar and yet somehow not at the same time. It's just because he's smelling it in a slightly different context than before, and he doesn't recall ever really noting the scent in Danny's bedsheets back when they were kids. It's nice, and instantly soothes him.

Danny moves a bit behind him, lying down too. "Better?"

"Yeah." Jackson shuts his eyes, his exhaustion finally catching up to him. "S'better."

"Sweets dreams, Jacks."

Jackson hums. "You too."

* * *

Sometime in the middle of the night, Jackson awakens briefly and registers warmth pressed up against his back, from head to toe, and a weight over his waist. Soon after he fell asleep, Danny must have moved closer and spooned up behind him, one of his arms thrown over Jackson to keep them together. Whether Danny did this consciously or it happened after he fell asleep as well is beyond Jackson, but he supposes it doesn't really matter.

Either way, it should feel strange. He and Danny have never spooned, not even accidentally when they were kids and didn't know what spooning was. Hell, Jackson has never spooned with Lydia either, both of them always preferring to keep to their sides of the bed if they happened to occupy the same one for a stretch of time—which, thankfully, hasn't been that often at all. So why doesn't it feel strange?

Jackson sleepily ponders this for a minute or so, but then he mentally shrugs it off and drifts off again, content.

* * *

- Tuesday, January 7th, 2014 -

At the beginning of the school day, Stiles enters his first class—Biology—and locates Scott in the back row, saving a seat for him.

"Over here!" Scott yells, waving a hand in the air as if Stiles hasn't already seen him.

Stiles takes off his leather jacket, Derek's scent wafting into his nose as he does, and takes the seat. He ignores everyone else in the room as he gets out his things, and then he looks to his left at Scott, who keeps fidgeting. "So, what did you do yesterday?" he asks his best friend.

"Oh, I did a lot," Scott replies vaguely, tapping a pencil against his desk.

"That sounds mysterious."

"Well…"

Stiles waits with an eyebrow arched.

"I might've talked to Allison about…y'know," Scott reveals, after glancing around to make sure no one else is listening in.

Both of Stiles' eyebrows shoot up his forehead. That must be why Scott is fidgeting so much. He's freshly fucked, a feeling Stiles knows very well. "Wow, you did? I thought for sure you'd keep putting it off."

"Me too, but she actually brought it up yesterday, when we were fooling around a bit."

"Really?"

Scott lowers his gaze to his desk as his face heats up. "Yeah. She knew I had something on my mind that was bothering me, and she kinda dragged it out of me."

"So how'd it go?" Stiles asks eagerly. "Avoiding too many details, 'cause I still don't wanna know that much about your sex lives."

"It was good, actually. Kinda hurt at first, but then it was really good," Scott says, grinning like a cat who got the canary. "The prostate's great!"

Stiles chuckles. "You don't need to tell me that."

"I guess I don't, huh?"

"Well, good for you, buddy." Stiles holds out his fist, and Scott bumps his against it.

A few seconds later, the teacher enters the classroom and calls for silence, so Stiles and Scott turn away from each other to pay attention. Stiles notices that there's a desk empty in the front row, next to Lydia Martin. He frowns, because that should be Jackson's spot. Maybe he's still ditching today.

The lesson proceeds as usual for about five minutes, and then the door opens and the boy himself trudges in, head bowed, looking nothing like the cocksure lacrosse captain he had before the holidays. Stiles observes as their teacher berates Jackson for being late and then sends him to his desk, where Lydia eyes him like she's seeing how different he's acting too. Still, all Jackson does is whisper something short to her and then shut up after the teacher glares at him and reminds him that he's already on thin ice.

"Weird," Scott murmurs.

You don't know the half of it, Scotty, Stiles thinks.

For the rest of the period, he stares at the back of Jackson's head.

* * *

Fuck, Jackson really doesn't want to do this. He'd love to flee, to go back to the security of Danny's house so he doesn't have to come clean to Lydia. He regrets his assertion the night before that he was capable of doing this by himself. If he could go back in time, he'd have said yes when he was asked if he wanted Danny to be here. He'd be much calmer right now if he had, he's sure of that. Danny would rub his back or something, or maybe even hug him again.

Jackson could really use one of those hugs right now.

Currently, it's the lunch period, and he's pacing back and forth on the side of the lacrosse field, his bag resting against the bleachers as he waits for Lydia to get here. He'd sent her a text after the last bell rang, and he's already been here for ten minutes, even though it feels like it's been hours. She should get here soon…

After another couple paces, Jackson raises his head to see Lydia storming across the neatly cut grass toward him with three of her friends following closely, her loose hair blowing behind her because of how fast she's walking. Fucking hell. Jackson wanted to do this in private, hence coming out to the lacrosse field, but apparently Lydia won't grant him that mercy. He's going to have to break things off with her with her friends close enough to hear every word, and then there's no way the news that Jackson Whittemore, Beacon Hills High's resident heartthrob, is gay and a liar.

"This day just gets better and better," he grumbles.

With every step that Lydia takes, closing the distance between them, Jackson's desire to go back in time increases. Instead of last night, he'd now like to go back to that morning, when he'd woken up with Danny still holding him. He stayed there for as long as he dared, and then, just before Danny's alarm went off, he scooted out of bed so the other boy wouldn't realise the position he'd put them both in and tried to get him to talk about it. Jackson enjoyed it, but he hadn't wanted to discuss it and potentially strain things between them.

Now, he wishes he'd stayed there and just let Danny spoon him all day. But…no, he has to face the music.

The longer he puts this off, the more difficult it'll be.

"Alright, what's this about?" Lydia demands as soon as they're in front of each other. Her friends stay farther away than Jackson thought they would, but they'll probably still overhear. "Are you finally gonna tell me why you've been acting so spacey today? And why you're wearing the same clothes you wore yesterday?"

"Uh, yeah, something like that," Jackson says, putting his hands in the pockets of his jeans to hide how much they're shaking.

"Get on with it, then. You need to put whatever's going on behind you before people start to talk and some other couple becomes the shoe-ins for prom king and queen. I'd actually like to eat today too."

Jackson takes a deep breath and is about to speak, but then, out of the corner of his eye, he sees Danny peering around the edge of the bleachers. Apparently, the goalie decided to come anyway.

Jackson's bravery is bolstered by the smile Danny sends him. He feels capable of doing this now. "We need to break up," he says, ripping the Band-Aid off.

Lydia has no reaction at first. She just stands there, motionless as what little colour she has drains from her face. And then:

"Excuse me?" she says dangerously, her eyes becoming so angry that Jackson fears he might actually combust.

"There's something I never told you, and I can't keep pretending anymore," Jackson goes on, getting it all out before he can lose the confidence Danny gifted him.

"It better be a damn good reason, Jackson," Lydia says. "Why?!"

"Because I'm— I'm—"

"What? What possible reason could you have for breaking up with me?" Lydia pushes, stepping even closer.

She's so close that Jackson takes a step back out of fear.

"I'm gay," he says finally, the words like acid on his tongue.

Lydia recoils, and her eyes fill with tears. Angry tears, but tears all the same. "You're what? Please tell me I heard you wrong."

"You didn't." Jackson looks off to the side, unable to maintain eye contact. "I'm gay, and I can't hide it anymore."

He soon realises that looking away from Lydia was a mistake. He's entirely unprepared when she lunges for him, smacking any part of his body she can reach with her fists. Jackson doesn't even make an effort to defend himself, knowing he deserves this and more.

"All this time? You've known you were gay all this time and you lied to me?!" she screeches. "You bastard! How could you use me like that?!"

"Hey!"

Out of nowhere, Danny insinuates himself between them, putting his hands on Lydia's shoulders and pushing her away from Jackson. He's still gentle enough not to send her toppling over.

"That's enough," he says sternly, taking his position in front of Jackson like he's his stalwart protector.

Lydia breathes heavily and two tears roll down her cheeks. She wipes them away with the back of her hand. "Oh. I see how it is," she says, grimacing.

"How is it, then?" Danny asks.

"This is why. You've been cheating on me with Danny, haven't you?" Lydia asks, moving sideways in an effort to meet Jackson's eye again. It's futile, though, because Danny moves with her.

"Lydia, you've got it all wrong," Danny insists. "Jackson and I aren't together like that."

"Sure. I've seen the way you look at him," Lydia sneers, directing her upset at Danny instead. Jackson feels awful about it, but he stays where he is.

Danny's spine straightens. "And how's that?"

"Please, don't even try to deny it. We both know what I'm talking about."

Danny doesn't say anything to the contrary now, which, to Lydia, confirms the accusation. She laughs humourlessly. "I knew it. Have fun with each other."

Without another word, she spins and marches off, her friends collecting behind her again as they gossip amongst themselves. She leaves Jackson feeling confused. What did she mean? How does Danny look at him?

"Are you okay?" said boy enquires, holding himself stiffly.

"As okay as I can be," Jackson answers, pushing aside his confusion for now. "Thanks for sticking up for me."

"Anytime."

"Wanna make a bet on how long it's gonna take for the news to spread?" Jackson jokes, but it falls flat.

Danny smiles at him again anyway. He's kind like that.

Jackson's stomach chooses then to growl. He was fretting so much about how it would go that he wasn't feeling hungry before. Now that it's over, his appetite has returned. "God, I really don't wanna go back inside right now."

"You'll have to eventually," Danny points out.

"I know. But I'd rather not walk into the cafeteria." Just the thought of all those faces staring at him makes Jackson's skin crawl.

"I'll go get us something, if you want," Danny offers.

Jackson nods, once again grateful that he somehow managed to keep someone so generous as a friend. He sits down on the bottom row of the bleachers, putting his head in his hands.

"Just breathe, dude," Danny says, squeezing his shoulder. "I'll be back with some food before you know it."

Jackson hears Danny's footsteps getting farther away, and then he's alone again. He lifts his head and focuses on the treetops on the other side of the field, watching them sway back and forth in the light breeze.

"That's the first step over with, I guess," he says to himself.

Next will come the most difficult task: facing his parents.

Kill him now.