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Fight Me, Helen

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Stiles is running late. He’s so very, very late and as he gets out of his SUV at the elementary school he mentally berates himself for doing this again. It’s not his fault though, really. The evening had snuck up on him without his consent and before he knew it, he had two missed calls and six texts from his husband asking where he was.

He manages to skid into the classroom full of other parents right about the time there’s a change of speakers. He spots Derek’s dark head near the front and does his best to quietly sneak up there, an open seat waiting next to him.

“You’re late,” is what he’s greeted with, Derek not even bothering to turn his head as he watches the next woman come to the podium, his eyebrows drawn down in temper over his eyes.

“I’m sorry, boo. I don’t know what happened, I looked up and it was 6’o’clock. What did I miss?”

Before Derek can answer, Stiles shoulder comm comes to life and he’s scrambling to turn it off, the people around them side eyeing him harshly. He finally manages to make the thing go quiet and offers a sheepish smile in apology to the room. Derek snorts under his breath, trying to keep the amusement off his face to keep up the appearance of being mad.

“You couldn’t even take off the vest?” he sighs, as the woman at the front of the room clears her throat to begin speaking. Stiles looks down at the bulletproof SWAT vest he’d completely forgotten he was even wearing and shrugs, a smirk finding its way to his lips.

“That’s not what you were saying the other night. No, Stiles, keep the vest on. Just the vest.” Derek growls threateningly in response and one of the parents directly in front of them turns around to glare, their face a bright red. Stiles out right grins back, his own eyebrows coming up in a classic “What can you do?” formation. The parent turns back around angrily, whispering loudly to their own partner.

In the front of the room, the next woman begins to speak.

“I would like to take this opportunity to lodge a formal complaint against the Hale twins. Now, I hate to make such an issue of this, but my son came home the other night and asked me if his father and I loved each other anymore because he didn’t think we were having enough…sexual relations! When I demanded to know where he had even heard such a thing, he said Scarlett Hale knew her fathers loved each other and when asked how, Damien had said because he could hear them! I do not want to be the one to have to do this but obviously theirs is a house full of vice and little to no shame. I demand there be consequences!”

Stiles had dropped his face into his hands about halfway though, muttering a quiet “Fuck.” Beside him, Derek had tensed to the point Stiles began to worry he would leap from his chair and strangle the soccer mom and peeked through his fingers to check for claws or red flashing eyes.

“Mr. Hale? Mr. Stilinski? What do you have to say to these charges?” It’s the principal who asks, his gruff old features not conveying an opinion on the matter either way.

Before Derek can fully stand, Stiles is shoving him back into his seat and leaping to his own feet, his right hand automatically resting at the gun on his hip as he tries to compose his thoughts.

“I’m sorry to hear you received such a shock from your kid, Mrs. Brewer, but we don’t believe in hiding from ours. If they have questions, we try to answer them as sincerely and genuinely as possible. That includes any discussion of sex. But it was never our intention for them to pass any judgment on other children’s parent’s proclivities or allude to any of their parent’s own. We will try to be more clear in instructing them as to when it is appropriate to discuss such things and in what company.”

In his peripheral, Stiles can see most of the other moms snickering at his response, all except for Helen Broom, Pansey Brewer’s best friend. She looks like she’s swallowed a lemon and Stiles would be concerned for her health if he cared at all. Which he doesn’t.

“I think that would be very wise, Mr. Stilinski. This is the third complaint in four months brought against your twins and I think we can all agree that this seems to be getting a little out of hand. However, there will be no consequences at this time. Now, if there are no other issues, meeting dismissed. See you all next time.”

Derek is on his feet and stalking towards the door before Stiles can even turn around. He moves to follow him, hoping to catch him before he makes it all the way out so they can at least raid the snack table but there’s a tug at his arm holding him back. He looks down to find Pansey’s bright red talons wrapped around his upper arm and feels dread make his stomach swoop.

“Mr. Stilinski? I just wanted to say that I’m sorry to have to do this again. I know how hard it must be for you to get off work and I just wanted to say I admire how you always manage to be here, despite. You know, your boyfriend doesn’t do so well at these things without you.” She’s practically purring the last part, her eyes raking very obviously over Stiles form as she smiles in what must be her version of winningly. Even her husband suggestively wiggles his eyebrows at him over her shoulder, the urge to cringe making Stiles shudder.

Eventually, Stiles not so subtly snatches his arm out of her grip. “Husband. Derek is my husband. We’ve been married ten years, Pansey. Your son has gone to school with our kids since preschool. Which is around the time you made your first complaint, so I know you must recall. Anyway, I’d like to get home now. Please stop making up reasons to have these meetings. Next time I’m going to let Derek handle this and he will not be so kind or composed.” And with that, he dislodges himself from the conversation, picking his way through the crowd to where he can see Derek in the midst of his own discussion with Helen Broom at the snack table.

As he gets nearer, he can hear Helen’s voice rising in distress and he puts on a little speed in hopes of stopping whatever commotion is about to break out. He’s almost arrived when Derek picks up Helen’s 9x12 pan of Betty Crocker brownies and upheaves them all over the table. There’s a shit-eating grin on his face as he calmly states “Fight me, Helen.”

Her outraged shriek is so loud that Stiles has to resist covering his ears, coming to his husband’s side just in time to cut off the woman’s maddened charge.

“Whoa! Whoa whoa whoa, Helen, he was just kidding! Look, I’m sorry about the brownies, I’m sure they were delicious. Here, just come by the bakery and I’ll have Derek make some of his special peanut butter ones just for you, alright? Totally free. They’ll be the best brownies you’ve ever had.” Reaching behind him blindly, Stiles is searching for Derek’s hand so he can hopefully drag him out of there sooner than later. A strong grip finally finds his and he feels relief course through him, happy he can finally get them both out of this disaster of a meeting.

“Okay! Awesome! Thanks, Helen! We’ll be seeing you! Remember, Hale’s Bakery on 5th! You can’t miss it!” They’re already out in the hallway before her scream of “I’m allergic to peanuts!” echoes out the door.

Stiles is giggling all the way out to their cars, full blown laughing by the time they reach them. He stops in front of their SUV, having to hold on to the side of it he’s cracking up so hard, bent over at the waist. After a few minutes, he looks up to find Derek chuckling too, his anger having dispersed enough to find some amusement.

“I cannot believe you told Helen to fight you! Are you crazy? She was going to try and gouge your eyes out with her nails, Derek!” Stiles is wiping tears from his eyes when Derek pins him to the SUV, burying his face in his husband’s neck in embarrassment.

“I don’t know what came over me. I’m just so tired of them finding excuses to talk about us and the kids.”

Stiles runs one of his hands through the hair at the back of Derek’s head, his other arm coming up to wrap him in a hug as he makes soothing noises. When Derek draws his face back enough to look up at him, he’s still flushed with shame and Stiles can’t resist kissing his nose.

“Nah, I don’t blame you, boo. Besides, have you seen your biceps? I bet you could take Helen the Horrendous any day. You could have a bake off and when you win, we could make out on stage while you accept your crown and she cries into her box brand cake.”

Derek groans but smiles anyway until Stiles is kissing him on the mouth this time, his noises becoming much happier very quickly. They stay like that for a little while, just content to be wrapped up in each other after a long day apart.

Suddenly, from across the parking lot, someone yells, “Get a room!”

Stiles rolls his eyes before he turns and grabs on to the side of the SUV, standing on the foot rail to be able to see over the top of the vehicle as he yells “FIGHT ME, HELEN!” back.