„I would like to name her Riley.“
It takes Stiles twenty-three hours and fifty-eight minutes to choose a name.
In his defense, he would have come up with a name sooner, had he not spent most of the past twenty-four hours reduced to blubbering one-word sentences and exclamations.
That one had gotten him a swat on the back of his head, but Stiles figures his Dad had absolutely no moral high ground in that situation.
After all, he’d prompted Stiles’ undignified squeak when he’d barked at Deaton and demanded to know what the hell his biologically impossible grandbaby was supposed to come out of.
His dad is going to have a grandbaby, because Stiles’ sperm is clearly magic and somehow managed to knock up his boyfriend.
Also, he’s going to be a daddy.
He’s still not used to it yet.
He doubts he’s going to be used to it any time soon.
He’s freaked out, is what he is.
He’s also smiling like a lunatic and cooing at Derek’s chiseled abs, because that’s his baby in there and Stiles is nothing if not adaptable when it comes to supernatural freaky werewolf shit.
Stiles might already be approximately ninety-nine percent in love.
Plus minus one percent, because he also hasn’t slept in nearly thirty-two hours and he’s not entirely sure he isn’t, in fact, hallucinating the entire situation.
Derek turns on his side to look at him, his face illuminated by the light of the moon that’s streaming into their bedroom.
He looks … not pregnant, that’s for sure.
Stiles has seen the evidence on Deaton’s ultrasound machine though and he’s definitely not fooled for even a second.
“Do you love it?”
It’s entirely possible that Stiles is looking like a sleep deprived lunatic when he stares at Derek with wide eyes.
However, his baby-daddy is looking as stunned as Stiles still feels, so he guesses they’ve both kissed their sanity goodbye and Derek won’t judge him.
“It’s … nice?”
Stiles kind of maybe wants to judge the pregnant – holy shit, pregnant, my boyfriend is fucking pregnant – love of his life for failing to master dramatic inflection even at the most pivotal, life-changing moment of their lives.
However, he’s also madly in love with him, so Stiles figures he can be forgiven for discussing the question of their miracle ass-baby’s name with the passionate tone of a man inspecting a ripe tomato at the farmer’s market.
Stiles blinks, suddenly realizing that he really needs to step up his game and stock their fridge with fresh produce rather than leftover pizzas.
After all, he’s pretty sure that fruit and vegetables are just what a pregnant werewolf tummy needs and Stiles absolutely won’t have anyone judge him on being a horrible provider.
He stares at the aforementioned pregnant tummy and for a moment it’s like it’s growing in size, rounder, and rounder, until it’s as ripe as a beefsteak tomato, full and taut and ready to burst into a splatter of red, juicy …
Stiles shuts that thought down hard and presses his face into Derek’s blessedly unmarked skin with a terrified whimper.
Stiles has gone insane.
He also desperately needs some sleep.
“I really love the name Riley, though,” he mutters, his voice a little muffled because his lips are smushed against Derek’s abs.
Derek’s voice is a little strange.
Choked, almost, as if he’s trying to get it out amidst a sea of emotions.
It isn’t until shaking fingers card through Stiles’ hair that he realizes he’s been falling asleep while kissing Derek’s belly.
“Are you okay?”
Stiles is ridiculously tired, but the sight of Derek’s wet eyes is like a bucket of cold water, alarming enough to have him scramble up the bed so he can cup Derek’s face.
“Derek? Are you okay?”
He’s asked him that very same question for what feels like a thousand times this past week; ever since that first morning Derek mentioned he was feeling a little – weird.
Weird – possibly the understatement of the millennium.
"I’m okay. I really, truly am.”
Derek smiles, wobbly but genuine, and for the first time since this whole thing started Stiles actually believes him.
“What if it’s a boy?”
Scott frowns at Stiles, his furry eyebrows screaming judgment.
However, he’s also holding an IKEA instruction manual, so Stiles figures his skepticism isn’t aimed at Stiles’ killer daddy-instincts but rather at the baby-crib from the Swedish part of hell.
"What about it?” Stiles asks with a grin, dipping the brush into a bucket of lovely rouge pink.
“I’m just saying,” Scott continues, finally dropping the manual and raking a clawed hand through his hair.
“It could be a boy. You guys need to figure out a name for a boy, too.”
“It’s a girl!” Stiles says with conviction, emphasizing it with a spirited stroke that leaves him with pink paint splatters all over his face and hair.
“Or you could just go ahead and actually find out. You do know my mom offered to take a picture to one of the OBGYNs at the hospital and ask them for an expert opinion, right?”
“We could, but where’s the fun in that? Also, there’s no need. Riley is going to be the most precious daddy’s girl in the world!”
“Does Derek think so, too?”
Stiles raises an eyebrow, watching in amusement as Scott rifles through the mess of screws and bolts with a slightly manic expression on his partially wolfed out face.
“Of course he does,” he says, setting down the paint bucket to take mercy on Scott when his side-burns begin to quiver.
“I still think you should have gone for a more gender neutral color. Just in case it actually is a boy.”
Stiles groans loudly, followed by a triumphant grunt when he fishes the right screw out of the pile.
“You sound like my Dad, jeesh! Besides, you’re all wrong! It’s a girl! I know so, because I’ve planned a ton of daddy-daughter dates that we’re going to go on as soon as she’s old enough to walk! I’m going to call them Radventures! You get it? Riley and Dad Adventures! It’s going to be awesome! I already have a list and everything!”
“He’s actually made a whole binder.”
Derek sounds amused as he peaks into the room, his eyes crinkling when he takes in the disassembled crib and the pile of screws on the floor.
“Paint fumes!” Stiles exclaims, glaring at Derek reproachfully and waving his paintbrush for emphasis.
“Werewolf,” Derek reminds him patiently, as if he hasn’t had a variation of the same argument multiple times a day for the past weeks.
For the past eight months, really, but Derek is tactful enough not to point it out.
Stiles sighs but doesn’t put up a protest when Derek walks into the room and carefully maneuvers himself to the floor, sitting down next to Scott and patting his Alpha’s shoulder encouragingly.
“Need any help?”
Scott shakes his head, looking, if possible, more crazed than ever.
“You’d think that his inability to assemble an IKEA crib was a threat to his True Alphahood or something,” Stiles says conversationally, setting down the paintbrush so he can wrap his arms around Derek’s middle.
Derek lets out a happy sigh and leans against Stiles’ chest, clearly grateful for the chance to rest his back.
“Weren’t you going to take a nap?” Stiles chides gently, rubbing his hands up and down Derek’s round stomach.
“I was. Your offspring had other ideas,” Derek replies drily.
Stiles kisses his ear in apology, looking over his shoulder and raising his eyebrow at the unmistakable movement in his mate’s swollen belly.
“Riley! Remember that talk we had about Papa needing his rest so he can grow you until you’re big and strong and ready to come out?”
There’s an enthusiastic kick against Stiles’ hand and Derek grunts out a laugh, his own hands joining Stiles’ and rubbing gently.
“They’re plenty strong already. Any stronger and I actually am going to explode.”
“No exploding, thank you!” Stiles says quickly, briefly thinking about ripe tomatoes and shivering involuntarily.
Derek laughs, like he knows exactly what Stiles is thinking about, then grunts when the baby kicks up its acrobatics to Olympic levels.
“Easy, precious girl! Daddy’s got you,” Stiles coos, pulling up Derek’s shirt to rest his hands on the taut skin of his boyfriend’s nine months pregnant stomach.
As usual, the skin-on-skin contact soothes Riley instantly and Derek lets out a relieved breath, craning his neck to peck a kiss on Stiles’ jaw.
“I love you,” Stiles whispers to both of them, pressing his nose against Derek’s head and inhaling deeply.
Stiles doesn’t have a werewolf’s sense of smell, of course, but even his human nose is picking up on the changes in Derek’s scent, sweeter and richer than it was before the pregnancy.
He can’t wait for Riley to be born, but in that moment Stiles almost wants to freeze time, feeling happier than he’s ever been with Derek cradled in his arms and their clasped hands cradling the precious cargo underneath Derek’s heart.
Scott looks at his phone in approval, grinning dopily through his fangs.
“Oh yeah, this is definitely going to go on the wall!”
Stiles ignores him, because there are smudges of pink paint all over Scott’s still shifted face and the whole thing is possibly ten kinds of ridiculous.
There are also two Stiles-sized pink handprints on Derek’s belly, as Stiles realizes when he prints out a copy of the picture later that evening.
“See? Definitely a girl!”
Stiles beams triumphantly and manages to only hit his thumb once when he hangs the newly framed picture right over the crib.
Derek watches him from the rocking chair, gently moving back and forth as he strokes his belly.
“It’s a boy!”
“… huh !” Stiles exclaims, staring back and forth between a highly amused Melissa and a thoroughly exhausted, yet smugly grinning Derek.
Then, he doesn’t say anything for a while, because Melissa gently places the most perfect baby in the world in Stiles’ arms and Stiles is far too busy falling in love.
“Did you know?”
It’s been five hours since Stiles became a daddy and even though he means to sound a little accusatorily he can’t quite manage, given that he feels like he’s going to burst with love at any given moment.
Derek stops staring at their little boy to give him a tiny smile, looking a little hesitant, a little love-drunk, and a lot exhausted, because a twenty-two hour labor certainly isn’t a joke.
“Yeah. Not for sure, obviously, but I had a feeling. A pretty strong feeling, actually.”
He nods his head, beckoning Stiles closer.
“Are you mad at me?”
Stiles’ mouth drops open, because he clearly just went and procreated with the most ridiculous man in the entire universe.
“What? Of course not!”
I’m never going to be mad at you ever again, Stiles thinks, taking in the dark circles under Derek’s eyes, his still swollen belly, his disheveled hair, and his dry lips, uncharacteristically chapped because Derek’s werewolf healing is clearly occupied with fixing the gruesome little number their baby’s head did on his private parts.
“I’ll remind you of that the next time you bitch at me because I ate the last of your Reese’s Puffs,” Derek says sweetly and Stiles blinks, because he’s clearly saying his thoughts out loud now and should probably get some sleep.
The baby lets out a soft coo and Stiles promptly decides that sleep is for losers.
He bends down and presses a soft kiss to the baby’s head, inhaling deeply and wondering how he spent the past twenty-eight years without his tiny son’s sweet baby smell.
“He’s perfect, Derek! How did we manage to make something so perfect?”
Stiles looks up at Derek, wide-eyed, and Derek’s answering smile is blinding, even though his eyes are starting to look decidedly droopy.
“You still could have told me though. At the very latest before I went and painted the entire nursery in rouge pink!”
“I did ask you if you were certain you wanted to make such a gendered color statement. Also, you’d already bought the paint,” Derek reminds him gently, earning him an accusatory little huff.
“I could have returned it! I had the receipt and everything!”
Stiles sighs wistfully, tracing a finger across the baby’s plump cheek.
“He would look good in rouge pink though. He’s got your skin tone, I think.”
Stiles hums in consideration.
“Oh well. I guess it’s never too early to offer alternatives to a toxic masculinity lifestyle.”
Derek smiles, leaning his forehead against Stiles as he looks down at their sleeping baby.
“So? What should we name him?”
Stiles can feel Derek’s forehead scrunch up in a frown before the werewolf pulls away to look at him in confusion.
“What do you mean?”
Stiles gestures at the baby, frowning back.
“What should we name him? He’s definitely not a girl! I know that for a fact because he peed in my face when I changed his diaper thirty minutes ago.”
Derek chuckles, clearly reliving Stiles’ first heroic adventures of parenthood.
“We’re going to name him Riley. Obviously.”
“But he’s not a girl.”
“Stiles,” Derek says patiently, shifting the baby in his arms so they both have a good look at his face.
“His name is Riley. You’ve been calling him Riley for the past nine months. He’d be incredibly confused if you started calling him something different now.”
Derek smiles when Stiles gapes at him, shaking his head in fond amusement.
“Besides, Riley is a unisex name, so it’s perfectly fine for us to stick with it. Why do you think I agreed to it in the first place? Strong feeling, remember?”
Stiles cocks his head, reasonably sure that he’d totally pull off a reproachful frown if he wasn’t currently drowning in a gooey soup of love and parental pride.
The baby – Riley – lets out another little coo and Stiles’ heart melts when Derek carefully places him in Stiles’ arms.
He’s warm and solid and perfect, a grounding little weight in Stiles’ arms that somehow manages to simultaneously make him feel light with joy and heavy with responsibility.
“Well, well. I guess you and I will get to go on our little Radventures after all.”
Derek kisses Stiles’ temple and holds him close and Stiles has never felt more at peace in his entire life.
“Are you sure he’s yours?”
Jackson frowns skeptically, his gaze flitting from a scowling Derek to a glaring Stiles to a happily babbling Riley, who’s all laughs and smiles and currently trying to smother Jackson’s cheek in slobbery baby kisses.
Jackson’s frown deepens, but Stiles definitely doesn’t miss the twitching at the corners of his mouth when Riley claps his chubby little hands together and lets out the most adorable giggle in the history of man- and werewolfkind.
Derek’s former Beta is an asswipe, obviously, but it’s not like Stiles himself hasn’t occasionally pondered how in the world he and Derek managed to produce the happiest, bubbliest, and giggliest baby in the entire universe.
Sure, Derek’s no longer quite as taciturn and grumpy as he used to be, back when his idea of fun was lurking in dark corners and hiding in abandoned train cars, but his ass is certainly ten times more bubbly than his personality.
And yeah, Stiles has kind of managed to get his sarcasm under control, but it’s still simmering under the surface, currently very tempted to fire off a cutting remark that would send Jackson running right back to London.
Together, his and Derek’s combined genetic material is a terrifying recipe for grumpy faces, scowling eyebrows, lousy communication skills, and a tongue sharp enough to cut glass.
Definitely more likely to produce a terrifying evil overlord than a bubbly ray of sunshine, who wants for nothing more in life than a belly full of warm milk and copious amounts of snuggles.
It’s biologically impossible, really, but Stiles did manage to knock up his male boyfriend with his freaky magic sperm, so maybe their happy, giggly baby actually makes perfect sense.
“I’m just saying,” Jackson continues, finally losing his battle and flashing Riley a big grin when the baby rubs his head against the Beta’s chest like a cat.
“Unbelievable,” Jackson mutters, but he obviously can’t stop smiling.
Stiles gets it though.
He hasn’t stopped grinning in five months.
When Riley figures out that arms are made for hugging, he uses his newfound superpower to hold onto Stiles’ neck whenever the opportunity presents itself, purring so contentedly that Stiles can’t help but question Derek’s pedigree.
Derek emphatically refuses to admit the possibility of a were-cat in the Hale family tree and treats Stiles to a long lecture about scenting instead.
When Riley figures out that his adorably chunky legs are made for walking, Stiles sheds a couple of proud daddy tears, spams the pack group chat with videos, and angsts about the possibility of his little boy running off to become one with the woods.
When Riley falls asleep on his chest that night, completely tuckered out from his first eventful day on two wobbly legs, Stiles voices his concerns out loud, only for Derek to peck him on the nose and lovingly call him a dum-dum.
It doesn’t take too long for Stiles to realize that he really is a dum-dum, because Riley uses his newest skill to become their adorable little shadow, wanting to be near them at all times.
He’s also absolutely thrilled to discover that he can now toddle over to the pack members to demand cuddles instead of having to wait for them to get the hint already and takes liberal advantage of his position as the packs’ favorite little snuggle-bunny.
When Riley is 18 months old, Stiles takes him on his first real Radventure to the playground in the park, finally daring to let his little werewolf son loose on the toddler population of Beacon Hills.
Riley enjoys the swing, he squeals in delight when he goes down the slide with his daddy, and he absolutely loves the sandbox, though Stiles isn’t quite sure whether his son is thrilled about the possibility of getting dirty or the other toddlers he can play with.
“What a well behaved little boy!”
“How cute he is!”
“Such a gorgeous, happy little man!”
“You must be so proud!”
It’s safe to say that Riley is a big hit with the moms, aunties, and grandma’s at the park and Stiles comes home equal parts brimming with pride and sweating with mortification.
“The next time you can go and have your cheeks pinched by grannies with ominous intentions!” Stiles grumbles, raising his eyebrow when Derek snorts.
“Well, then it wouldn’t be a Radventure now, would it? Also, I doubt the Grannies of Beacon Hills are meeting at the playground to hatch sinister plots.”
“Yeah well, it is Beacon Hills,” Stiles grins, pulling out his phone to present approximately five thousand pictures of Riley in the sandbox.
“At least that explains why I just had to clean sand out of his ears,” Derek muses, shaking his head reproachfully.
He tries to look grumpy, too, but then he kisses the tip of Stiles’ nose and Stiles isn’t buying the grumpiness for even a second.
When Riley is two and a half years old, Stiles takes him on a Radventure to take a picture with the mall Santa.
He starts questioning his wisdom halfway through the line; sweat beading on his forehead when he listens to the tenth toddler completely losing it upon faced with the horror that is Santa Claus.
Riley is asleep for most of the commotion, tuckered out from an exciting afternoon that has so far involved eating cookies, staring at Christmas lights, and picking out a handsome little outfit for his Poppa John’s Christmas get together.
His chubby cheek is smushed against Stiles’ neck in an instinctual scenting gesture, his little werewolf body throwing off almost as much heat as the furnace Stiles sleeps next to every night, and the closer they get to the end of the line the more Stiles frets, hoping that his son won’t throw a tantrum when he wakes him up to dump him on a stranger’s lap.
Not that Riley’s prone to throwing tantrums per se, but Stiles has heard horror stories about the terrible twos and he’s not going to be the unsuspecting parent getting caught in the crossfire.
Riley starts waking up when there are only two people in front of them and Stiles kisses his cheek, nuzzling their noses together as Riley blinks sleepily.
“Are you going to get your picture taken with Santa?” Stiles prompts, trying to sound as cheerful as possible to drown out the next toddler who’s currently screeching right into the poor mall employee’s ear.
“Unca Body?” Riley exclaims, wide-awake instantly as he looks around with a hopeful expression.
Stiles gapes, not quite sure whether to laugh or to cry when he realizes that his toddler has not only figured out Santa isn’t real at the tender age of two but that he also remembers Boyd dressing up as Santa for the pack Christmas a year ago, even though he couldn’t even pronounce Boyd’s name back then.
“Nope, sorry little buddy. Not Uncle Boyd,” Stiles begins, but then the stressed mall photographer motions for him to go, go, go and Stiles hurries to plop Riley on Santa’s lap, holding his breath when his son gives him a look of utter befuddlement.
Stiles can’t say he blames him, given that the last Santa he met was a grinning, tall, muscular black guy and this one’s white, short, generously proportioned, and looking like the world is coming to an end.
The photographer sounds a little deranged, possibly regretting all of his life choices.
“Smile!” Stiles encourages, grinning as widely as he can when Riley doesn’t stop looking back and forth between him and a Santa that he clearly considers to be utterly preposterous.
His eyebrow game might not yet be as strong as Derek’s, but Stiles can definitely see potential here.
“Ho, ho, ho,” the mall Santa says, his tone that of a man who has given up on joy and life.
Stiles doesn’t have to be a werewolf to smell how miserable the poor guy clearly is.
He’s just about to go and rescue Riley – or the Santa, truth be told – when Riley beats him to it.
“Hi!” he beams, slinging his tiny but strong arms around the mall Santa’s neck and pecking a kiss on his cheek.
For a moment, the poor mall Santa looks as stunned as Stiles feels.
Then, he shakes his head and his lips widen in a genuine smile, the first that Stiles has seen on his face since the little boy with the cotton candy threw up all over his shoes.
Stiles ends up getting the first photo for free.
When he hands it to Derek, the werewolf doesn’t stop laughing for almost ten minutes.
When Riley is three years old, Stiles takes him on a Radventure to pet the bunnies at the local apple orchard.
It … doesn’t go well.
Derek yanks open the car door before Stiles has even switched from driving into parking mode.
Riley holds up his arms and howls louder, his little body trembling with hiccups and misery.
“Stiles! What happened!”
Derek has once again lost his tenuous grasp on inflection, but Stiles doesn’t really blame him.
It’s been gut-wrenching enough to have to see Riley’s big tears and listen to his anguished sobs on the entire car ride home – he doesn’t even want to imagine what it must be like to have to smell his heartbreak, too.
There’s a creak of metal and Stiles is pretty sure that Derek has just destroyed the car seat in his frantic attempt to unbuckle his distressed cub.
When Stiles gets out of the car, he comes face to face with a half wolfed out, frantic papa werewolf, his nose pressed against Riley’s forehead and his eyes glowing at Stiles over the top of their son’s head.
Stiles sighs, seriously contemplating whether he should just go ahead and cry as well.
“He just … he just wanted to pet the bunnies.”
Then, he groans.
“Yeah,” Stiles agrees, the guilt once again sitting heavy on his chest.
They’re in Riley’s favorite hiding space in the den, otherwise known as the pillow fort behind the couch that Riley absolutely refuses to let them take down because the couch smells like every member of their pack and obviously there’s no better place to build a pillow fort than where it smells like pack.
It takes more than half an hour of snuggles and five pieces of chocolate until Riley calms down enough to explain his misery to his papa.
“I just wanted to pet the bu-bu-bunnies!” he finally gets out, his lips wobbling and tears spilling out of his hazel eyes once more when he hides his face in Derek’s shirt and lets out a mournful little howl.
“I didn’t think they’d react that way,” Stiles says miserably and Derek shakes his head, tugging Stiles closer with his free hand.
“It’s not your fault! I should have realized when you mentioned it last night and told you it wasn’t a good idea.”
“Why don’t they like me, Papa?” Riley sniffles pitifully, his hazel eyes wide and sad and ugh, Stiles is never going to stop feeling guilty about this for the rest of his life.
The Radventure had started so well, too, with tasty apple cider for daddy, fresh apple juice for Riley, and a lovely piece of homemade apple pie that they’d shared a la mode.
Then, the owner had taken them on a little tour through the orchard and she’d even allowed Riley to pick some apples and eat one, which he’d done while throning on Stiles’ shoulders, his cheeks bulging and flushed red with pride and happiness.
Finally, they’d been allowed to say hi to the little bunnies in the garden and things had spectacularly gone south.
Stiles hadn’t even realized that bunnies could shriek in terror, but he’d definitely gotten the memo when he’d sat Riley on the ground and the bunnies had lost their collective shit.
“I just wanted … I wanted …”
Riley bursts into tears once more and Derek rocks him with practiced ease, smushing their cheeks together in a calming scenting gesture.
“You’re a little wolf cub, don’t you remember?” he says gently and Riley nods with a hiccup, looking up at his papa in confusion.
“See? The bunnies could tell that you’re a little wolf cub, too. That’s why they were a little scared of you – they didn’t understand that you’re a very nice wolf cub.”
“A little,” Stiles mouths, shaking his head when the shrieks of terror once more ring in his ears.
“But why? I just wanted to snu-snuggle them!”
Riley’s hazel eyes are swimming in tears yet again and Derek kisses his forehead, somehow managing to keep smiling even though Stiles himself is thisclose to dissolving into a puddle of guilt and misery.
“You know how Daddy sometimes tells you funny stories and sometimes you ask him to tell you stories that are a little bit scary?”
Riley nods, turning his head to look at Stiles as if he needs his daddy’s reassurance.
Stiles nods as encouragingly as he can and shifts closer, wrapping one arm around Derek’s shoulder and hugging Riley with the other.
As puppy piles go, this one is a little small, sure, but Riley finally manages a little smile of his own that is like balm to Stiles’ frazzled daddy-heart.
“Well, the bunnies’ parents tell them scary stories, too. But their mommies and daddies don’t tell them about dragons and the abominable snowman. Their mommies and daddies like to tell them scary stories about wolves.”
“But why?” Riley repeats, looking incredibly confused.
“Wolves are nice! They love snuggles and they love pack and they play the best games!”
“I know that,” Derek says patiently, smoothing a dark lock out of his tiny son’s forehead.
“But the bunnies have never actually met a wolf before, so they didn’t know that all those scary stories are not true.”
Riley sniffles once more but he no longer looks quite as sad, much to Stiles’ relief.
“Can we go back tomorrow, then? So Daddy can tell them that the stories aren’t true?”
Derek shakes his head, smiling encouragingly when Riley lets out a disappointed sound.
“Sorry buddy. But if you wait just a little, you’ll be big enough to tell them yourself. Wouldn’t that be better?”
“Okay, Papa,” Riley says after a long pause, followed by a tired yawn.
“Do you want to take a little nap? Should Daddy take you to your room?” Derek asks and Riley instantly shakes his head, sleepily rubbing his tiny fists against his eyes.
“No. Stay here. With Daddy and you.”
“Alright then,” Derek agrees, flashing Stiles a soft smile as he stretches out and gets comfortable on the cushions.
Stiles lies down with them, rolling to his side so he can prop up his head with one hand and drape his other arm over his little family.
Riley is out like a light soon after, wedged in between Derek and Stiles with one hand grabbing Derek’s thumb and the other fisted in Stiles’ shirt.
“When he’s older?” Stiles whispers, after he’s certain that Riley is fast asleep.
“Old enough to understand that he’s an apex predator and those bunnies are always going to make a run for it,” Derek whispers back, shaking his head with a sad but fond smile.
“Should we get him a puppy?” Stiles asks, adding “What?” when Derek barely muffles his snort.
“Not until he’s mastered control of his wolf we aren’t. If the puppy turns out to be an Alpha as well they’re going to tear the house apart in the first two hours and I really don’t want to have to replace the curtains yet again. The three times when he was teething were definitely enough!”
“If the puppy turns out … wait a minute? You’re trying to tell me he’s going to be an Alpha?”
“No doubt about it,” Derek whispers proudly, softly caressing Riley’s cheek with his free hand.
“But … he’s a snuggle bunny! He’s the sweetest, softest, kindest little boy I’ve ever met in my entire life! How is he supposed to grow into a growly, terrifying Alpha?”
Derek rolls his eyes.
“Alternative to toxic masculinity, remember? There’s no rule that says a strong leader can’t be kind, gentle, and compassionate.”
“Point,” Stiles agrees, feeling deservedly sheepish.
“Besides,” Derek continues, looking at Stiles with a reproachful expression.
“We can’t just go and get him a puppy just because you feel a little bad about what happened. Growing up as a born werewolf isn’t always easy. I know it’s hard to watch, but we all have to learn eventually.”
He knows Derek is right, of course, but that doesn’t mean he has to like it.
“He just wanted to snuggle them because they were so cute and tiny though. If not a puppy then what else are we supposed to get him?”
“He wants to snuggle something cute and tiny?”
Derek’s lips stretch into a soft smile, his hazel eyes sparkling bright when he holds Stiles’ gaze.
“You know … I might actually be way ahead of you on that one.”
“Huh? What do you mean?”
Derek’s smile gets a little wider when he carefully grasps Stiles’ hand and gently pushes it against his belly, covering it with his own palm.
“We’re going to get him something cute and tiny to snuggle with. He’ll just have to wait a little while longer. About eight months or so.”
Stiles’ breath catches in his throat.
He stares at Derek, wide-eyed, feeling like his brain is in need of a serious reboot.
His face must be ahead of his brain, though, because he can feel his mouth stretch into a grin so wide he’s probably in serious danger of splitting his face.
Derek lets out a shaky laugh of his own, relief and love shining from his eyes and making Stiles’ heart do crazy things in all the good ways
“Are you sure?” Stiles whispers, though he doesn’t really need the confirmation.
Not when he can see the happiness in Derek’s eyes and feel the tiny but unmistakable swell underneath his fingertips.
“Surprise!” Derek whispers and Stiles leans over to kiss him, rendered completely speechless by how ridiculously in love he is with everything about this man and their little family.
They’re still kissing when the big brother-to-be wakes up and demands cocoa.
“I would like to name him Charlie,” Stiles tells Derek later that night, his palm protectively cupping the pregnant werewolf’s little belly.
Charlie turns out to be the cutest and tiniest little girl that Stiles has ever seen and Riley is absolutely inseparable from her from the moment they place her in his arms.
He begs to help Stiles change his baby-sister's diapers, tells her stories while Derek’s feeding her, and he absolutely insists on singing her lullabies every night, one tiny fist gently covering an even tinier one.
He’s also the first one of them to get her to smile.
Derek and Stiles don’t mind at all.