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Future Dreams

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Stiles, relax. It’s okay. We’re going to find her.”

“This is exactly why my dad wouldn’t let me have a dog! He’s right! I’m irresponsible and immature! I don’t deserve to care for another living thing!”

“Don’t you think you’re being a little hard on yourself, dude,” Scott says.

“Scott, what are we doing right now?”

“Posting flyers for your lost cat.”

“And how long did I have Luna before she went missing—correction: before I lost her?”

“Uh, I don’t know. Like, 2 or 3 weeks…?”

“Right! Exactly! I designated putting myself in charge of taking care of something important and precious and I fucked up!”

Scott sees the genuine sense of failure on Stiles’ face as his eyes turn wet with tears he tries to fights back.

“You’re not a horrible person. Luna’s just missing, and we’ll find her. I promise.”

“I left the window open. I’m such an idiot...”

Scott takes the rest of the flyers from Stiles’ hand. “Why don’t you go home and wait for her, see if she comes back that way? That way you’re home, too. In case somebody she comes home. I’ll put the rest of the flyers up.”

Stiles wipes his eyes with his sleeve. “…It’s almost her dinner time. She eats with me while I do my chemistry homework.”

“Okay. That’s good. She has a schedule with you, a routine. Which means she’ll be hungry and find her way back home. You should go and wait for her.”

Stiles really doesn’t want to cease putting up flyers and asking random strangers if they’ve seen his beloved cat, but he’s exhausted with worry, and from roaming Beacon Hills on foot for the last 3 hours. Plus, Scott has a good point. Better he be home, in case she wanders back that way, or someone finds her and wants to bring her back to him.

Stiles nods. “Thanks, Scott,” he says, low and defeated.

“Want me to walk you back to the jeep?”

“No. Thanks though.”

Scott watches Stiles jaywalk across the street with slumped shoulders toward his jeep. He picks up the masking tape and staple gun and heads to the gaslight post at the end of the block.

»»»

Derek is reading The Age of Innocence for the third time in his life when he hears it. An odd noise, like a cry stuck between begging and annoyance. Without lifting his head from his book he knows: cat.

The meow comes again, accompanied with claws attempting to scratch at glass.

He lifts his head to take note of the animal. Luna. Stiles’ cat. The one he’s been obsessed over for almost a month now.

It’s big, feline eyes look directly at him, all sad and lonely, wanting to come in and be petted and fed. It’s a beautiful animal, Derek must admit. A Bengal cat, covered in spots like a leopard, long and agile like one, too.

It scratches again at the glass door, eyeing the werewolf, asking for help.

Why’d it come here? Stiles has never even brought it over here…

Derek closes his book and strides to the door. He opens it just a hair, but it’s enough for Luna to slip in and make herself comfortable. On the couch. Right in the spot he was sitting. Purring and looking at him adoringly.

Definitely, Stiles’ cat. It’s just as intrusive.

Her tail beats playfully on the cushions, no doubt getting hair all over it.

“I’m not feeding you. I unfortunately had to listen to 20 minutes of your owner describing the strict diet he has you on, 'of only the most expensive cat food', so no,” he says crossing his arms over his barrel chest.

Luna hops down off the couch and approaches him. She rubs her body all over his legs and feet, purring like mad.

Derek gives in. He can not; she's too adorable. He picks her up, cradling her like a baby, scratching her atop her head. She purrs louder. Happy.

“What are you doing here, huh? Stiles let you out? No. He wouldn’t let you out of his sight. Wonder if he even knows where you are…”

Luna bats at his bearded chin.

“Alright. Let’s get you home. I have a feeling Stiles has no idea where you’ve run off to.”

Derek holds her securely in his arms as he walks to the front door, grabbing his keys and jacket.

»»»

Stiles opens the door. Eyes red-rimmed from crying, cellphone clutched in his hand-- “Luna!” He snatches her from Derek’s hold with a relieved smile, and kisses her repeatedly all over her face. “Where have you been?! Do you know how worried I was?! I was panicking all day, you bad bad kitty!”

“You had a panic attack?”

“What,” he asks, finally acknowledging Derek. “No, but I was near one. I was so freaked out. Where’d you find her?”

“She came to me. At the house.”

“All the way out at Hale House?! How’d you get all the way there,” he says to the cat.

“She caught the bus,” Derek answers.

Stiles looks stunned for the briefest of moments, caught off guard before a smile breaks wide onto his mouth. He snorts. “Good one, sourwolf. That was actually funny.”

Derek shrugs with his usual disaffected look. He turns to step off the porch

“Wait. Where you going?”

“Home,” he says, a bit confused by the question. Where else would he be going?

“You don’t want the reward? I promised a reward if she was found.”

“I’m good without it, Stiles.”

“Well, at least let me do something for you. You don’t know what it means to have her back to me.”

“It’s fine, Stiles. Really.” Derek just wants to get home and finish his book. He's right at the part where Newland begs Ellen to be his mistress.

Stiles steps out onto the porch then. “Derek, look. I know we’re not friends, but it was really nice of you to bring Luna back home. I was really upset about her running off. I was actually really upset with myself mostly though.”

“Why?”

Stiles shrugged. “I just thought she was one more thing I fucked up by being a spaz.”

“You’re not a spaz, Stiles.”

Stiles rolls his eyes. “Really? You never thought that? Said that?”

Stiles might not be a wolf, but he’s great at detecting bullshit. “You’re not a spaz, Stiles. Really. You’re…” Derek shifts into his beta form, all red eyes and fangs!

“What?!” What’s going on?!”

“Stay here.”

“What? Out here? Why,” Stiles questions.

“It’s in the house,” Derek snarls, head tilted to the second story of the Stilinski home. Derek barges in, smelling the air, taking careful steps toward the stairs.

A loud thud from the top floor rattles the chandelier in the dining area!

“What the fuck was that,” Stiles whispers, still holding tight to Luna.

“Stay back, Stiles,” Derek barked at him in a hushed tone.

“Look, this is my house and if some asshole, or supernatural dickwad wants to burgle it and kill me, then I’m going to put up one hell of a fight before it happens.”

“While clutching for dear life to your cat?”

“You know, it’s amazing how you can still be a snarky jerk while shifted. I would have thought the fangs would make it too hard to talk.”

“I feel that way about you whenever your mouth is full of food.”

Stiles readies for a comeback, when a teenage girl hurries down the stairs! She turns to her right, then stops, looking lost and confused. “What the hell,” she murmurs. She pulls the headphones from her ears. She turns around to Derek and Stiles staring at her. “Daddy, why are we at grandpa’s house?”

“Hey, dad, can I—” a teenage boy starts as he trots down the steps into the foyer. “Wait, what? How’d we get at grandpa’s house?”

“That’s what I said,” the girl replies.

“Who are you,” Derek growls, standing protectively in front of Stiles.

Who are we,” the girl responds, sounding shocked. She and the boy exchange nervous looks.

“Well, answer him,” Stiles pipes up.

“Seriously,” the boy asks.

Derek growls at him.

“Oh, my God! Okay. Okay. Jesus, dad.”

“Dad? Dad,” Stiles repeats.

“What’s going on? I don’t like this. It feels weird,” the girl says.

She does look uneasy. And Stiles has the strangest desire to comfort her.

“Me, neither. This isn’t cool you guys. What’s happening? Is this a test or something, dad,” the boy says to Derek.

Derek looks at him curiously… He steps closer to him, sniffing the air between them. The boy remains in place, nervous but not scared, as Derek approaches him. Derek’s in his space, nose close to the boy, smelling him, trying to detect…something. “Werewolf,” he says softly. He turns wide-eyed and back to human form at Stiles. “What did you do?!”

“Me?! I didn’t do jack shit!”

“Stiles.”

“I didn’t!”

“Something happened. What did you do all day,” he says, looking stern with his arms folded.

“Don’t give me that accusatory tone! I told you. I didn’t do anything.”

“You didn’t acquire an amulet, or run into a witch, or do a spell…?”

Stiles looks sheepish.

Derek scoffs with a disapproving glare. “Well, which one is it?”

“I… might have…sort of…kind of…did…a lost and found spell. Well, it was supposed to be a lost and found spell. For Luna.”

Derek pinches the bridge of his nose. “Jesus Christ. Fucking teenagers…”

“Oh, fuck you, Derek! I just wanted to find my cat!”

“And you couldn’t do it the normal way? With flyers or something? How’d the spell go this wrong?”

“I don’t know. I… I had to improvise with an ingredient.”

“What ingredient?”

“...The spell needed water from the Nile River…and I might’ve used just plain tap water instead. But that’s only because I didn’t have the ‘blessed water from the Nile’!”

“Then you shouldn’t have done the spell!”

“I know! And I know I could’ve gone to Deaton, but he would have been such a tool about it and given me this whole long speech about ‘responsible magic use’ or something, and just denied me the stuff, so I did it on my own!”

“Clearly! And guess what?! Now, my kids are here!”

“Your what?”

“My kids,” he gestures to the boy and girl. “They’re my children. I assume.”

The boy and girl nod, confirming.

“I think you’re a little too young for teens, sourwolf. Unless you started, like, really young, which I hope you didn’t—”

“From the future, Stiles,” Derek huffs, annoyed.

Stiles takes a long look at both of them. The boy definitely looks like he could be Derek’s son: all dark hair, gorgeous eyes and stark eyebrows. The girl on the other hand, could be Derek’s, but Stiles thinks she may take after more of her mother. She has long, brown hair and a perfect nose. A pouty pink mouth and light eyes, the color of lilac. They’re gorgeous.

Why wouldn’t they be? They’re Derek’s children, Stiles thinks to himself.

“So…I time traveled your kids from the future… My bad.”

Derek shuts his eyes tight. Counting to 10 silently for patience.

“Can you guys stop fighting? Please. I know this is scary and weird and all, but it makes us uncomfortable,” the boy says.

The girl nods in agreement.

“Sorry. It’s just…something we do. A lot,” Stiles says.

The two teens exchange nervous looks again.

“You guys fight? A lot? Why,” the boy asks.

“Because he’s infuriating,” Derek replies.

“And he’s churlish,” Stiles counters.

“Yeah, but, you guys make up, right,” the girl asks, sounding hopeful.

“We just move on. No time for apologies when hunters are trying to kill you,” Derek tells him.

“There’s also no time for ‘thank yous’ apparently, either,” Stiles mumbles, but he’s sure Derek heard him.

“It’s the past. Things are different. They have yet to change. That’s all,” the boy tells his perceivable sister. She nods, understanding, accepting his attempt to make her feel better.

“What now then,” she asks.

“We go to Deaton. See what evasive bullshit he can tell us on how to get you two back to your time, I guess. What time is that by the way,” Stiles inquires.

“2039,” the girl answers. “Who’s Deaton?”

“He’s a vet. And he was the emissary for the Hale pack,” Stiles answers.

“Wait. You’re not the emissary, tata,” she asks.

“…E-Excuse me? W-W-What did you call me?”

“Why would Stiles be my emissary,” Derek asks.

“Wait. Let’s get back to you," he says, pointing to the girl. "What did you call me,” Stiles asks again.

Tata. Like I always do,” she says.

“That...That’s what I thought you said,” Stiles says softly, looking as though he’s a beat away from fainting.

“What does ‘tata’ mean,” Derek asks.

The teens turn to their “father” with confusion on their faces.

“'Dad'. Tata means ‘dad’ in Polish,” Stiles answers. And for the first time since Derek brought her back, Stiles lets go of Luna, riddled with such shock he doesn’t even notice her sprint for the window. Which he still has left open.

»»»

Derek opens the door. Scott comes barging in. “What happened? Where’s Stiles? What did you do to him?” Allison, Lydia, and Jackson follow inside after him.

“Calm down. He’s fine. He’s in the living room,” Derek nods further into the house. “I didn’t do anything.”

“He said it was an emergency.”

“And it is.” Derek steps aside, allowing Scott to walk deeper into the house to find his friend.

“Why is he even here?”

“Go. Ask. Him,” Derek grits through his teeth, annoyed already by Scott.

“Jesus, McCall, seriously,” Jackson snaps, just as aggravated. At least Jackson has some sense. The beta passes them and goes inside.

Scott glares at Derek as he follows Jackson’s lead, Allison holding his hand.

Lydia stays put. Eyes flitting around at everything. “The house is nice. You did a good job rebuilding it.”

“Thanks,” Derek says, closing the door.

“I didn’t think Erica had such sophisticated taste,” she says in that perfectly snide, Lydia way.

“Isaac designed everything, with Erica’s help. And her taste, is plenty sophisticated,” he snides back at her.

He doesn’t have to take this shit. They don’t have to be here. He told Stiles to call them because they’re his friends and he figured they’d want to know. To help. Not come to his home and be completely disrespectful. Especially about his betas.

“If you say so.”

“I do,” Derek says with a smirk. “Especially her sophisticated taste in boys,” he jabs about Lydia and her detrimental relationship with Jackson.

She doesn’t like that, as evident by her upturned nose as she heads into the living room.

Derek smiles, proud of himself, and heads into the living room, too. Boyd, Erica, and Isaac are already present, along with Derek’s kids.

“Okay. Great. Now that everybody’s here, let’s get started and figure out how to fix all this. Which I admittedly fucked up,” Stiles says, glancing at Derek.

“Stiles, what’s going on? Who are these two werewolves,” Scott interrupts.

“I’ll get to that, Scottie. Hang on a minute. Before that, I just want to say that I know we don’t all get along, and we’ve been doing nothing but working against each other, instead of with each other—”

“For fuck’s sake, Stilinski,” Jackson groans.

Derek readies to lay into him for being rude when—

“Show some respect, you ignorant reptile,” Derek’s daughter snaps at Jackson, eyes burning bright gold as she growls.

Jackson actually jumps back a little from the girl. Derek hides a proud smile on his face, but she catches it anyway and winks at him.

“I just wanted to say—before I was fucking interrupted—that this is a big one, and I think we’re all going to need to work together on this, because according to his outgoing message, Deaton is on vacation for 2 weeks, which I didn’t even think he did or knew was a thing normal people do.”

“He’s not on vacation. He’s at a convention in Boston, and he’s visiting his brother who’s sick,” Scott corrects.

“Regardless, he’s not here.”

“Just tell us what happened, Stiles,” Allison says.

“I tried to do a spell to find my lost cat and somehow brought mine and Derek’s kids from the future to here,” he blurts out quickly.

The room draws silent for a beat.

“Run that by me one more time,” Isaac says.

“…This is Claudia…my daughter. Our daughter. Mine, and Derek’s.”

Claudia gives a small wave.

“And this is DJ, our son,” Stiles finishes.

“You’re fucking with us. And I don’t have time for bullshit, Stilinski,” Jackson says, rising out of his chair.

“He’s not,” Erica says, looking long and hard at the two new wolves. She steps close to them and sniffs. “They smell. Like them. Like pack.”

Another heartbeat of silence fills the room before the wolves lunge to inhale DJ and Claudia...

Scott's eyes are cartoonishly wide. “They…They smell, like the both of you. Like—”  

“Like I gave birth to them? Yeah, seems male pregnancy is a thing with supernatural creatures and the humans they’re mated to, Scottie,” Stiles says. He’s trying to sound sarcastic, but Stiles is nothing if not a little rattled at discovering such a thing is possible. And happens to him years from now.

“Wait. So, in the future, you and Derek hook up, and have two kids,” Jackson asks.

“They don’t ‘hook up’. They’re married. And there aren’t just two of us. There's four,” DJ responds.

“FOUR,” everyone shouts. Stiles and Derek included.

“Yeah. Me, Claude, and the twins, Tally and Theo,” DJ replies with a shrug.

Stiles falls into an armchair. “Four… I let sourwolf knock me up three times...”

“Tally and Theo? After my parents,” Derek asks. He can't help the curiosity in his tone.

DJ nods. “Yeah. We call Talia ‘Tally’ for short.”

“My aunts used to call my mom that...” Derek remembers.

Stiles comes out of shock enough to take notice of the mournful, reminiscent look on Derek’s face at the mention of his family. Claudia gently touches Derek’s hand. And something inside Stiles warms a little at the interaction.

“How old are the twins,” Erica asks.

That’s what you want to know,” Scott shouts.

Erica shrugs.

“Eight,” DJ answers.

“How do we know you are who you say you are,” Lydia asks, because some logic and brass tacks needs to be implemented into this conversation. “How do we know you’re not changelings, sent here to kill everyone?”

Claudia rolls her eyes.

“And who are you,” DJ asks, folding his arms over his chest with a hard stare at the redhead, and looking way too much like Derek at the moment.

Lydia looks taken aback as though the question should be obvious. But by the look on DJ's face, she can see he’s serious. It throws her off a bit. “I’m-I’m Lydia. Lydia Martin.”

DJ shrugs. And?

“I’m a friend. Of your dad’s. Stiles’ friend. We’re pack.”

“No, you’re not,” he says blantantly. “We’ve never met you. Let alone heard of you.”

Lydia is a little shocked. Her pride wounded. Stiles doesn’t talk about her, and she’s not around. She’s not pack in the future.

“There’s only three other people in this room we know. And they’re pack,” DJ tells her.

“Who,” Allison asks.

“Certainly not you, huntress,” DJ says.

“Uncle Boyd, Uncle Isaac, and Aunt Erica. That’s who we know. That’s our pack,” Claudia speaks up.

The three betas exchange grins.

“You don’t know me? ‘Uncle Scott’?”

DJ scoffs. “We know of you. You made tata choose between you and dad. And chose dad,” DJ says smugly.

Stiles and Scott lock eyes, thrown by the news. They’re best friends. Brothers. For life. Always. They’d never… They’re pack. Family. They can’t drift apart, let alone have a nasty falling out. They need one another.

Scott snaps. “This whole thing is ridiculous! You’re both changelings, like Lydia said! There’s no way Stiles would ever be with Derek! He hates him! They hate each other! And Stiles is my friend! He’s in my pack! We’re loyal to each other, and you two are… You’re freaks,” Scott outbursts.

Derek’s face hardens at Scott’s yelling and name-calling his children.

Stiles breaks from the armchair. “Scott! Calm down.”

“No! They don’t know what they’re talking about! Dudes don’t get pregnant, and you wouldn’t with Derek! Especially with Derek! He’s an asshole!”

DJ’s eyes turn yellow and his teeth draw into sharp fangs. He snaps out the claws on his right hand. “I’d watch it if I were you.”

Scott gets in DJ's face. “Oh, yeah? And what are you going to do?”

Derek makes to break it up, but Stiles is there instantly, pushing between them. "Calm down guys. Really. Scott relax and DJ back down." 

Scott’s brow furrows and DJ raises an eyebrow, daring Scott to make the first move. This is ugly and there's about to be bloodshed on Derek's nice carpet. Scott's too dug in, but DJ still has an air of calm around him. He's just waiting on Scott.. So if anyone's got a cooler head...

“DJ back down,” Stiles tells him.

“Dad! He—”

“I said back down,” Stiles repeats sternly, knowing he has to at least have parental authority over the werewolf.

Reluctantly, DJ’s features shift back to human.

Stiles turns to his friend. “They’re not changelings, Scott. They are mine. And Derek’s. I feel that. I mean, Claudia is not only named after my mom, but she looks exactly like her! You smelled them! Changelings can do a lot, but duplicate a person’s smell…? No way. You know that. Now, I don’t exactly know what leads to them being my kids, but they are, and they’re stuck here, which means future-me is probably freaking the fuck out right about now, so we need to get them back home. To their time. I need help with that. Will you help me? Please?”

Scott scowls hard at the two teens, then at Derek… “No.”

“Really, Scott? After everything I’ve done for you?”

“Why should I help? You’re not in my pack, and I’m not in yours.”

“In the future!”

“Doesn’t matter what time! You choose Derek! And the last thing I’m going to do is help him and his stupid pack!”

“God. You are such an infant. Just an selfish infant!”

“Well, at least I’m not Derek’s pet!”

That one hurt. Way below the belt.

“Please, let me hit him, tata. Please,” DJ begs. Claudia, Boyd, Isaac, and Erica rise to their feet behind him, itching for something to go off, too.

Stiles is angry. Disappointed. Stunned. But most of all brokenhearted. Scott's being pissy, and mean, just to spite Derek, and holding unforseen events against Stiles that haven't even occurred yet. Fine. Stiles can be a dick, too. “No. We’re just going to let him go. He’ll realize soon enough that he can barely wipe his ass without me,” Stiles smarts.

Scott slams out of the room, and right out the front door! Allison chases after him.

Jackson gets to his feet. “Lydia.”

She hesitates. Curiosity, and something else Stiles can’t pinpoint, make her tentative in leaving.

“Lydia. Come on.”

Reluctantly, she lets Jackson lead her out of the house. They listen as the front door closes.

“…Well, that was pleasant,” Isaac jokes.

Stiles rolls his eyes at Isaac's attempt at humor.

“...Are you okay, tata,” Claudia asks.

“He just needs to cool off.”

“I didn’t ask about Scott. I asked about you.”

Stiles turns to his daughter, “I’m fine. Scott is—”

“A jerk,” DJ asks sarcastically.

“He can be,” Stiles admits. “And sometimes he’s the best friend a guy could have.” The sadness perfuming off Stiles makes the whole room smell tart, like fermented tea.

“It’s been a long night. I think everyone should get some sleep, and we’ll figure everything out in the morning,” Derek suggests.

“Um, dad," Claudia says, gaining his attention. Derek's a little surprised at himself at how swiftly that's come to sound good. "My room is Aunt Erica’s room,” she continues.

“And mine is Uncle Isaac’s,” DJ adds.

“It’s cool. Isaac and I will crash in the family room,” Erica compromises.

“Thanks, Aunt Erica.” They kiss her cheek and she blushes.

“Can we hug you two ‘goodnight’,” DJ asks. “It would feel kind of weird not to.”

Derek unfolds his arms, chancing a glance at Stiles, hoping he responses first so that he can follow his lead.

“Um, y-yeah. Sure,” Stiles says.

DJ and Claudia take turns hugging both Stiles then Derek. It should feel odd, but it’s not. It feels warm, and comforting, like the most natural thing in the world.

 

DJ and Claudia turn to head up the stairs--

“Hey. What’s DJ stand for,” Stiles asks.

“Derek, Jr.”

Derek wants to control the rapid beat of his heart, but he knows DJ can hear it when he shoots him a proud smile.

“Should’ve known,” Stiles smirks.

DJ and Claudia say their ‘goodnights’ one more time before heading upstairs to turn in.

“Thanks for giving up your room, Catwoman. You, too, Isaac. That was nice, and I’m sure they can use a bit of normalcy since this whole thing happened.”

Erica shrugs. “No sweat. They’re the Alpha’s kids, right?” She pecks Stiles’ cheek, leaving a big, red lip print. “Don’t worry about McCall. He’ll come around. With his tail between his legs.” She says ‘goodnight’ and saunters upstairs.

“So…you two get married and have kids… Fucking weird. But least they’re cute,” Isaac comments. He, too, then makes his way upstairs. Boyd simply pats Derek on the shoulder, then goes to his room quietly.

"Jesus," Stiles groans under his breath.

“…Are you sure you’re alright? Your best friend just walked out on you.”

“I know. I was there.”

“I’m not rubbing it in. I’m just—”

“I know, Derek. I’m just being a smart-ass. As per usual.”

Derek snorts.

“Did I just make you laugh?”

“Don’t tell anyone. I’ll lose my street cred.”

Stiles’ face brightens. “Two really funny jokes in one day. Must be my birthday.” Derek gives a genuine smile, and Stiles suddenly feels like he won the lottery. “Can you believe we’re supposed to be married, and with four kids? Maybe it’s not the future, but an alternate universe,” Stiles half-jokes.

“Maybe. But I don’t think so.”

“…Me, neither... Look, um, my dad is working a double, and I don’t exactly want to be home, by myself—”

“You can spend the night. You didn’t have to ask.”

“Yes, I did. But thank you.”

Derek nods. “You can have my room.”

“I don’t want to put you out.”

“Its fine, Stiles. I’ll sleep in the family room with Erica and Isaac.”

Boyd, Isaac, and Erica trot downstairs in their nightclothes, carrying pillows and blankets.

“Stiles can take my room. I can stay in the family room with Erica and Isaac,” Boyd offers, obviously having heard their conversation.

“Thanks, Boyd,” Stiles tells him.

The three betas disappear into the family room.

“See? Now, you’re not put out.”

Derek nods, letting it go before they spiral on a loop into their usual back-and-forth. “We’ll talk in the morning.”

“Right.”

“I’m going to call my dad.”

“Where are you going to tell him you’re at?”

He can’t tell the sheriff he’s with Scott. He might call Melissa, asking for Stiles, or trying to confirm he’s even there. And despite Derek being exonerated for killing his own sister, Derek assumes Stiles isn’t about to let his father know he’s spending the night at his house.

“With Danny. He’s met him. Knows he’s on the lacrosse team, and thinks he’s nice. Easy cover.”

“Right.”

“Where’s Boyd’s room? I think I’m going to turn in, too.”

“Up the steps. First door on the left.”

“Thanks. Goodnight, Derek.”

Derek watches Stiles head upstairs. “’Night.”

Chapter Text


Stiles flips the last pancake in the pan. The sausage is done, and there’s a mound of scrambled eggs waiting to be eaten before they’re cold.

“Stiles. What are you doing?”

Stiles flails. “Jesus! Wear a bell.” Stiles looks him over. Derek. In only a pair of loose-fitting pajama pants, his muscular, hairy chest bare and jet black hair mussed with bedhead. A pink flush warms Stiles' cheeks before he quickly turns back to the stove. “What’s it look like? I’m making breakfast.”

“Why? No one asked you to do that?”

“I know, but I was hungry, there was food, and I’m not the only one in the house right now. It’s called being nice. You should try it sometime. I hear people like it.”

Derek ignores his snark in favor of the fresh pot of coffee made. Derek takes note of Stiles in a clean pair of clothes. “You went home?”

“You didn’t hear me leave? Tsk. Tsk. Someone needs to get their wolfy senses checked. I wanted to let my dad know I’m okay, and thought I’d bring over a change of clothes for DJ. We’re about the same height so hopefully they fit him. Claudia can wear whatever Erica can give her.”

Derek did a quick mental inventory of all the outfits he’s seen Erica wear thus far, and he’s not so sure he likes the idea of his 15 year old daughter wearing such revealing clothing. Optimistically, Erica has an old T-shirt and pair of sweatpants she can lend.

“It’s so weird my son is here, with me, as a teenager—a whole year older than me, I might add— and we’re sharing clothes. This is definitely on the top of my list of strange, unexpected shit.”

“More strange than getting pregnant three times?”

“Did you know that?” Stiles turns off the stove, adding the last pancake to the pile of golden flapjacks he already has on a blue ceramic plate. “Did you know dudes can have babies?”

“It’s rare. Extremely rare. The mate of an Alpha in Spokane that my mother was friends with was pregnant. He’s the only pregnant guy I’ve ever known.”

“Was he a werewolf?”

“Human.”

“Bet he lost his shit when he found out.”

“No. Not really. He grew up in a pack, so he knew what could happen if he mated with an Alpha.”

“Only Alphas can knock up another guy?”

“From what I understand, but still, it’s really rare it happens.”

“Happened to us three times apparently.”

“Appears so.”

Stiles worries his bottom lip between his lip, looking past Derek's shoulder.

"What," Derek asks, because he knows that face. Better than Stiles would assume he does.

“Nothing. Just... Look, what Scott said wasn’t true. Isn't true. I don’t hate you, sourwolf. Its taken me a while to trust you, but…I don’t hate you. Believe it or not.”

“I don’t hate you either, Stiles.” And he honestly doesn’t.

Stiles nods. “Okay. Good… You’re still churlish though.”

“And you’re still infuriating.”

“But we don’t hate each other?”

“No.”

“I can deal with that. Progress,” he shrugs.

It’s Derek’s turn to nod.

“You know, I think this is the longest conversation we’ve ever had without you telling me to shut up, and me calling you an asshole.”

Derek gives a short laugh. He’s noticed, but finds Stiles commentary on the matter as eloquent and as asinine as usual.

Claudia yawns, fangs poking out a bit, as she enters the kitchen. “Tata, did you make breakfast?”

Stiles fixes her a plate and sets it in front of her at the “island.”

Boyd, Isaac, and Erica suddenly appear, with hungry eyes on the food at the stove.

“There’s enough for all. Where’s DJ?”

Claudia scoffs, pouring pancake syrup over her plate. “Is he ever up early,” she says, as if they should know.

Derek smiles as he watches her then shake hot sauce over her eggs. His father loved spicy, hot food, and always did that.

“His breakfast is going to get cold, and I got to get to school in a half hour,” Stiles says, sounding way more motherly than expected. “What,” he asks when odd stairs shoot his way. Claudia, though, gives him a knowing smile as she digs into her food. “I’m going to go wake him up.”

Derek is a moment away from protesting, because Stiles hasn’t eaten yet either and he’s the one that made breakfast, but also because DJ hasn’t anywhere to be that warrants him getting up early. But Stiles is already up the stairs with the extra clothes he brought over before Derek can squeak out a word.

»»»

DJ is sprawled across the bed so haphazardly that it makes Stiles want to laugh. He sleeps the same way, waking in the morning in a puddle of drool in some odd twist of limbs he has no clue how he ended up in.

Stiles puts the clothes down on a chair. He approaches the side of the bed DJ’s head hangs over. He shakes his shoulder. “DJ. DJ. Deej.”

The sleepy teen groans. “5 minutes, tata. Please.”

“Breakfast, dude.”

DJ groans again, and turns in the sheet. It pulls down revealing a gigantic, purple bruise on his neck the size of a fist.

“What is that on your neck?”

DJ’s eyes shoot open, wide and horrified at Stiles. He immediately covers himself with the sheet. “Nothing,” he answers guiltily.

“Is that a hickey?!”

“Um… Maybe?”

“Why do you have a hickey on your neck?! How did you get a hickey on your neck?! Why didn’t I see it yesterday?!” Stiles has no idea why he’s so…livid. Why he feels the need to grab DJ by the shoulders and shake the hell out of him.

“Which question do you want me to answer first?”

“All of them!”

“Well, see, um, it’s-it’s—”

“Derek!”

“Oh, come on, tata! Don’t call dad about this! Pleeeease! I’m begging. He’s going to turn it into something—”

“What’s wrong,” Derek asks appearing in the doorway.

“Dammit,” DJ grumbles under his breath.

“He’s got a massive hickey on his neck!”

“What?” Derek comes further into the room, right at his son. He lifts DJ’s chin with his hand, inspecting his neck. His fingers tighten at his son’s jawline. “That better not be a claiming bite.”

“God, dad, no! I swear! It’s just, you know…a hickey.”

“From who?”

DJ shrugs.

“Out with it. It’s not like we can go and find the kid and beat him up or something. This happens 27 years from now,” Stiles says.

“Then it shouldn’t be a big deal if I don’t want to talk about it, right,” DJ answers with a familiar slick grin, and suddenly Stiles has nothing but sympathy for his own father.

“Who,” Derek asks sternly.

And DJ can’t resist his parents at any age. Or any time and space it appears. “Bailey.” They have no reference for the name, so DJ hesitantly clarifies. “Shadow’s son.”

“I know Shadow. He and Laura used to date for a while when they were in high school. He’s the son of Alpha Lilly, in Del Notre County.”

“Well, he kind of gets made Alpha after Alpha Lilly disowns his daughter before he dies because she eloped with that hunter. Bailey is Alpha Shadow’s youngest son…and…sometimes…we…hook up.”

“But you do not allow yourself to be marked like that. You’re too young for that,” Derek tells him.

He rolls his eyes, like he’s heard this speech so many times. “I know. We were kissing and it got a little heavy and I wasn’t really paying much attention to what he was doing— Okay, that sounds lame as all hell,” he relents at his parent’s skeptical glares, “but I really didn’t mean for him to mark me up like this. Swear.”

“Why didn’t I see it yesterday,” Stiles asks.

“…Make up.”

Stiles scoffs.

“I wasn’t trying to be sneaky; it’s just you two made such a big deal about it last time, with Molly—”

“Molly? This is a recurring thing with you,” Stiles asks.

“Uh, yeah. He’s, like, a total man-whore,” Claudia teases, standing in the doorway, eating a banana.

“Shut up, Claudia!”

“Truth hurts,” she eggs on with a smug look.

He growls. She growls. He shifts—

“Stop! Now! You do not wolf-out on each other,” Derek barks at them. “Claudia, go see if Erica has any clothes for you to wear. And nothing of hers that looks…revealing, please.”

“Fine,” she sighs. She turns to leave— “Oh, that redheaded girl from yesterday is at the door. Boyd won’t let her in unless you say so.” Brown locks sweep into a breezy sway and she disappears down the hall looking for Erica.

“What’s Lydia doing here,” Stiles wonders.

Derek shrugs. He doesn't know either.

“Can she come in?”

Derek nods.

“Thanks.” Stiles turns to DJ. “This is not over.” DJ gives a defeated look, but nods. Stiles leaves the room.

“He’s right. This is still a discussion.”

“Only I would get busted by my parents during two different stages of time,” the teen says with a dramatic crash into his bed.

Derek can’t help but smile. He may look like Derek, but he’s all Stiles. He tosses the clothes Stiles brought on the bed. “Get dressed. Breakfast. 10 minutes.”

»»»

“What’s up, Lydia?”

Boyd steps aside, letting Lydia over the threshold. “You okay,” he asks Stiles.

“Uh, yeah. I’m good.”

Boyd nods and heads back into the kitchen.

“Okay. That was weird. Does he think I’m going to stab you to death with a katana,” she scoffs.

“I don’t know. Maybe he was just asking because of last night. Speaking of which, what are you doing here, Lydia?”

“Last night was a bit of a shock. To everyone. And because it was, I think people’s emotions are running far too high and getting in the way of what’s important.”

“I agree.”

“We need to figure out a way to get Claudia and DJ back to their time period. I’d like to help.”

“Why? Lydia Martin does nothing without an ulterior motive.”

“That’s you I’m afraid.”

“I’m sure that’s the both of us. What are you really doing here? You’re in Scott’s pack—”

“So are you.”

“He doesn’t think so. He all but kicked me out last night.”

“But he didn’t, Stiles. You’re best friends. He’s just shocked.”

“I’ll give him that, but he’s also letting how he feels about Derek cloud his judgment about what’s right.”

“Scott’s all puppy feels and raw nerve. He’s not an Alpha like Derek, or strategic like you. He can’t compartmentalize his emotions for what’s good.”

“And that’s why you’re here?”

“Yes. Partly.”

“The other part?”

“Why can’t I just help, Stiles? Why do you need to be so defensive about it?” She's trying to deflect but she's terrible at it.

“Because these are my kids, Lydia. They’re not aliens, not changelings, not from an alternate universe. They’re mine. Maybe not from this time, but from this world, and this life, so I care about them and what happens to them and why anyone would suddenly find them curious. God bless him, I love him, even now with him being a complete douche, but Scott’s not smart enough to send you as a spy, or a scout. This is all you. I don’t mind you helping. I just want to know why you want to.”

He’s not going to let it go. She knows this. Stiles is huge bullshit detector (because he himself spends so much time lying), so she knows not telling the truth isn’t the way to go with him. It won’t help with what she wants.

“Your kids don’t know me. You’ve spent years in love with me, practically obsessed, and your kids haven’t even heard of me. They don’t know Scott. He’s your best friend. He’s your brother, and they shun him. The little they do know about him makes them angry. They recognize this house as their home. They call Derek’s betas 'family'. Something happens to all of us. Something shifts, and we’re not the people we once were,” she says, seemingly bothered.

“It’s called growing up. It’s adulthood. The future. Things change. People drift apart, Lydia.”

“See? You sound so blasé about it. Like it’s already happened. This thing we’re all involved in, the supernatural, it’s made us close. After what Peter did to me… I think of us all as friends, but pack makes us something more, like family. A family that evidently breaks up in the future. I don’t want that. So, I want to know why it happens,” she confesses.

“So, what are you saying? You want to get to know my kids?”

“...Sort of.”

Stiles squints his eyes narrowly at her, looking deep... “You want to bleed them of information.”

“I’m not going to waterboard them!”

“I hope not! Derek would snap your neck in a second!”

“He’s protective. Of them, and his betas. I get that.”

“The whole ‘butterfly effect’ and all makes me weary of letting you do that. If we know something, we could screw something up big time trying to change it. We could like...make Donald Trump president or something!”

“I swear to never let that ever go down,” she says with nothing but seriousness in her voice. “I just want to ask them a couple bland questions. No details. I promise.”

“And what exactly are we getting out of your inquiry?”

“’We’?”

Stiles tries hard to not look so sheepish at his slip-of-the-tongue. When did I start thinking about Derek’s pack as “we?”  “I meant—”

“I know what you meant. I’m just trying to prove my point. I know Latin, Greek, Spanish, and French. I can translate anything you need me to. And you know I like puzzles and mystery just as much as you do. Plus, my research skills are a lot deeper than yours.”

“They’re adequate,” he bites back with frown.

She smiles at his jealousy.

“Let me talk to Derek about it. It’s his pack, and his kids, too.”

It’s the best she’s going to get out him so suddenly. She’s not going to push. “Okay. Thank you. Want to ride with me to school?”

“Um, no. That’s okay. Thanks though.”

She nods. He opens the door for her and she leaves.

Stiles returns to the kitchen. Derek, his betas, DJ and Claudia are there, polishing off the last of their breakfast. “Lydia, wanted—”

“We know. We heard,” Erica says.

Fucking werewolves.

“So,” he turns to Derek.

“I don’t know. Let me think about it. I’ll let you know later today.” Derek glances at the clock on the stove. “Fuck. I got to take you guys to school.”

“I’ll take everyone,” Stiles volunteers. “That way you can stay here, and don’t have to leave DJ and Claudia.”

“We’ll be fine if dad leaves for 5 minutes, tata,” Claudia says, dressed in a pair of jeans and plain, white tee. Her hair is up in a messy bun. She looks so much like her namesake it makes Stiles’ chest tighten.

“You’re going to give us a ride, Stiles,” Erica asks.

“Sure. Why not?”

“Thanks,” Isaac says, sounding a little shocked. “I’ll get my backpack.”

Isaac and Erica disappear for their stuff. Boyd grabs a Tupperware container and hands it to Stiles. “You’re breakfast. You didn’t get to eat.”

“You packed it for me?”

Boyd shrugs. “Cold scrambled eggs aren’t that bad,” he says before heading upstairs for his stuff.

»»»

When Stiles pulls into the parking lot at school, he’s immediately greeted with cold stares from Scott, Allison, and Jackson as they hover by the entrance door with Lydia, like it's The Wanderers.

Stiles stops right in front Scott. Boyd, Erica, and Isaac crowd behind him. “Can we cut the bullshit and work this out?”

“You’re giving them rides to school now,” Scott asks.

“Yes. So what?”

“Are you in Derek’s pack?”

“Why does that matter?”

“Because you’re not supposed to be. You’re my friend. You’re in my pack.”

“I’m not a toy, and I don’t want to be fought over by two big bullies!”

“So, Derek asked you to be in his pack?! You know he really doesn’t want you! He’s just using you to get to me! He wants me in his pack!”

“Oh, right, because the idea that someone, even Derek—especially Derek-- could think me useful, or an asset has to have some shady ulterior motive behind it! He can’t just think I’m smart and quick and logical! No, he knows we’re a packaged deal and if he wants Scott McCall he’s got to take Stiles, too, or better yet, use Stiles!”

“That’s not what I meant!”

“You’re un-fucking-believable, McCall. Completely unreal.” Stiles pushes past him, bumping his shoulder as he enters the building. Boyd, Isaac, and Erica follow him dutifully inside.

Lydia huffs and rolls her eyes. She stomps into the school, annoyed at the stupidity before her.

»»»

“Can we train,” DJ asks. "I'm feeling a little wound up."

Derek’s washing the dishes when he's a bit taken aback by the ask. Boyd is usually the only one that likes to train, or asks to. Isaac and Erica treat it like the chore he and his siblings used to when their mother would make them do their homework and then train before they even thought about watching TV or munching on food after school.

“Yeah. Of course.” And the excited looks on their faces makes Derek smile. “Let me put on some better clothes.” He turns off the faucet and heads to his room.

»»»

Stiles and Scott have 5 classes together if you count 6th period Lunch and 3rd period Study Hall. So suffice it to say, it was hard trying to avoid one another. They sat separately, ignored each other, and radiated so much tension that even Danny noticed, and ask if everything was okay.

“Just fucking dandy, Danny. Thanks,” Sties says, all tight-lipped and smarmy.

Danny backs off and doesn’t breathe a word to him for the rest of the day.

Allison gives him wounded, pitiful looks she seems to have picked up from her boyfriend all through first period Creative Writing. He has AP English and AP History with her as well, and does a good job of avoiding her big, sweet brown eyes by keeping his focused on the work assignments during class. It helps that Lydia is also in those classes, so Allison occupies herself with sitting and talking with her.

Boyd is in AP English with the three of them, too. He walks in and makes a B-line for the seat beside Stiles, leaning back in his chair and giving Stiles a soft smile. Stiles smiles back.

Study Hall isn’t so bad. They all strangely have it the same period, but Stiles winds up at a table with just Boyd, Isaac, Erica, and Greenberg, who’s working on a project with Erica in their Spanish class, though all he seems to be doing is ogling her cleavage while she conjugates verbs.

Stiles catches all the side-eye glares shot his way from Scott and Jackson at the table adjacent from them. Lydia and Allison are too busy flipping through magazines and gossiping.

Lunch, however, turns awkward quickly. He and Scott always sit together, but once he’s in the cafeteria, he spots Scott at their usual table, with Lydia, Allison, Jackson, and Danny. He readies to turn around and head to the library, when Erica slides up next to him with a kittenish grin. She loops her arm through his and saunters across the room to a table Boyd and Isaac have already occupied. Erica and Isaac don’t have lunch until next period, so they’re definitely skipping something in order to rescue him, and he’s grateful once again.

Stiles didn’t bother buying lunch today. He still has the Tupperware breakfast Boyd packed for him and eats that instead.

“So, you and Derek seem to be pretty okay with finding out you get married and have lots of babies in the future,” Erica starts.

“Not ‘lots’. Four. We have four kids,” Stiles answers with a mouth full of pancake.

“How are you not freaking out by all this? I mean, you even birth them all.”

“Oh, I am freaking out. The outward, massive panic will come later, trust me, but losing my shit doesn’t help DJ and Claudia. It just makes things worse. Especially for them. And I don’t want them scared anymore than they already are.”

“You really care about them. Like a dad. Like how a dad should.”

“Well, they’re supposed to be my kids, so of course,” he tells her.

“What do you mean ‘supposed’,” Boyd asks.

“Exactly what I meant. They’re supposed to be mine and Derek’s, but who knows what the future holds. Maybe things change. Maybe I step on a bug today and it means Claudia is never born. Haven’t you guys ever read A Sound of Thunder?”

Only Boyd nods.

“How about Back to the Future?” Now, Erica and Isaac get the reference. “Well, it’s like that. What happens here and now can greatly affect what happens with them later, so it’s best to try and keep things normal so nothing goes off the rails in the future, like a zombie apocalypse. Which is what I was trying to explain to Scott and get him to help us. This is big shit and we need all the help we can get with Deaton gone and on the east coast.”

“Do you think we should let Lydia help us,” Boyd asks.

“I don’t see how it couldn’t hurt. Although I am skeptical of what it is exactly about the future the red queen so keen on knowing, because, you know—”

Back to the Future,” Erica chimes in.

“Exactly, Catwoman.”

“You should talk it out with Derek,” Boyd suggests.

“Derek and I don’t talk. We argue until we do his plan and it goes horribly wrong, or we do my plan and it’s like pulling teeth with him to get a goddamn ‘thank you’ when it works.” Stiles is quickly reminded of an incident last month with two trolls. He and Derek spent an hour after the whole ordeal arguing, covered in troll guts and mud, until Derek finally gave Stiles the most forced 'thank you' on the planet.

“I don’t know. He might be interested in what you think. You never know,” Boyd says.

“What, like, you think he would want to consult with me or something?”

“Well…collaborate is more the word,” Isaac clarifies.

“Isaac. Goldilocks. Puppy. That’s why there are two packs in one territory: because there is no collaboration. I mean, look at us,” he gestures to them and Scott’s table. “It’s like the Jets and the Sharks right now. House Montague and House Capulet.”

“It’s annoying and awkward, but not as Shakespearean as you’re making it,” Boyd corrects.

“By the grace of God,” Stiles says. “But still. Why in the hell would you guys think Derek would be even remotely interested in my opinion about anything?”

Isaac shrugs, but the other two try to look indifferent. They’re failing. Well, maybe not Boyd so much…

Stiles is nothing if not shrewd. “Out with it. Now. No lies.” And he has no idea when he got the inclination he could be so demanding with Derek's betas.

“It’s nothing, really. It’s just… There’s something…different about all this, with all this happening,” Isaac says.

“Like what?”

They exchange anxious looks, as though they’re not sure if they should say anything… 

Stiles focuses his attention on the "weak link" within the trio-- Isaac.

“Well…uh, you know…things, like us. The three of us. We sort of feel…closer…to…you,” Isaac stumbles through. “Since your kids showed up, and been in the house, and you’ve been in the house, it feels like this other connection has been bridged.”

“A big connection,” Erica adds.

“And it makes us want to protect you...and listen to you,” Isaac’s eyes shift to his fellow betas, “…like an Alpha, almost.”

Stiles' mouth drops open. “Um…what?”

“This new situation kind of makes our wolves feel weird. You feel like pack, but like a big piece of pack.”

They’re skirting around something, Stiles can tell. His head buzzes nosily, sifting through stored knowledge, trying to figure it out… Mate...? Alpha-mate...? “Mate! Mate?! I feel like Alpha-mate to you guys?!”

“Not ‘like’. Are,” Isaac says, finally meeting Stiles’ stunted look. “You’re our Alpha-mate. You’re kids confirm it, just by being here, you know?”

“It feels more like family now, instead of us just sleeping at ‘Derek’s house’ and training. It feels more like what a pack is supposed to be,” Erica adds. “All the things Derek promised and said it was like when his family was alive. And there’s something in us, our wolves, that will protect that feeling and keep it safe with our lives.” 

“Is that why you wouldn’t let Lydia in the house this morning,” Stiles asks Boyd.

“The house is our den. Lydia is an outsider from another pack that has hostile feelings toward our Alpha, so, yeah. Plus, Claudia suggested I shouldn’t. I get the feeling your kids grow up with more traditional werewolf rules, like Derek,” Boyd answers.

Stiles can understand that, and something in him enjoys that notion. He’d love to know and see what that would entail, how Derek grew up and what it was like trying to be a normal family, while also being a supernatural creature.

“Well...I did not expect my week to get this heavy,” Stiles says.

“This was kind of last on my list of shit that might go down on Monday, too,” Boyd says in his usual dry tone. Nevertheless, it cracks everyone else at the table up—

Until a loud bang interrupts them! Scott. Slamming his tray down and storming out of the cafeteria! Allison huffs then follows after him.

And Stiles, strangely, for the first time ever, doesn’t give two fucks about Scott McCall and his precious feelings.

»»»

They’re incredible. They’re good at both offense and defense, at masking their scents, tracking, misdirection and deception, distraction, and surprise. Right now they’re swarming, boxing Derek in.

Claudia attacks first. She’s agile and fluid, all ballet and gymnastics with her moves of hard kicks and quick slashes with her claws.

DJ is different. He’s more strategic with his moves. Hard punches in soft, vulnerable places, quick and three steps ahead of his opponent. He’s focused, tough, and recovers easily, up on his feet and snarling within seconds of being tossed into a tree!

Derek couldn’t be prouder of the two of them, working as a team and using their skills, their techniques, not just as a means to defend but to protect. “Good.”

DJ and Claudia shift back to human, sweaty, breathing heavy with adrenaline pumping their blood and their hearts faster.

Derek’s shirt is torn to bits and caked in blood. The claw marks they gave him heal, as does the broken arm and cracked rib. “That was amazing. You two are amazing.”

They smile bright, happy with their father’s compliments.

DJ shrugs. “Well, you taught us. You and Uncle Boyd.”

“There’s no way I taught you guys to fight that well. Laura and I weren’t even that good.”

They catch the sad look that briefly waves over his face for a moment.

“You can talk about Aunt Laura with us. Its okay, dad. You can talk about Aunt Laura, grandma and grandpa, great-grandma, anyone. We like when you do,” DJ assures him.

“…I wish they could have met you. The both of you, and the twins. My mom would have spoiled you rotten, and Laura would have told you so many embarrassing stories about me.”

They hug him. And Derek can’t help but lift his arms, pull them closer, tighter, taking in their ripe scents, closing his eyes, and feeling happy. Genuinely happy. For a change.

»»»

“How was school,” Derek asks.

“Scott’s a dick,” Erica responds, sitting at the island and biting hard into the bright green apple she pulls from the fruit bowl.

Stiles, Boyd, and Isaac follow into the room after her.

“Hey, hey. We might be fighting but he’s still my best friend, so I got to at least pretend to defend him,” Stiles says, sitting his bookbag down. He grabs a stem of red grapes from the same fruit bowl.

Derek looks at him oddly.

“What?”

“Um, nothing. Just didn’t know you were coming over after school.”

“We sort of wouldn’t let him out of our sight all day, with Scott being, you know, a total tool,” Isaac tells Derek.

“I told them that Scott would never hurt me. Be a big fucking childish douche, yes, but hurt me, no. Just like I would never hurt him. Plus, why wouldn’t I come over? The kids are here. Where are they by the way?”

“Changing,” Derek says. “They wanted to train so I took them out to the Preserve.”

“They wanted to train,” Erica says with a grossed-out look on her face.

“Yes, Erica, they did. They actually find knowing how to fight and defeat their opponents something worthy of knowing, and they’re damn good fighters, too.”

“Really,” Stiles asks, beaming like a proud ray of sunshine.

“Yeah. They know a lot about combat strategies and weapons, too. They said you taught them that part, and how to shoot a gun.”

“Is there a zombie apocalypse in the future,” Isaac asks like the smart-ass he is.

“I don’t think so, but it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t know battle tactics and fighting techniques and weapons handling. I mean, have you not noticed all the monsters-of-the-week we’ve had to deal with? Not to mention, deranged hunters,” Stiles says. “When Derek’s training you guys, it’s not for nothing. Show respect and engage.”

Isaac and Erica actually look shamefaced.

Derek, however, is a little taken aback… “Um, thank you, Stiles.”

And now it’s Stiles’ turn to look surprised, because Derek Hale actually said “thank you.” “Uh, you’re welcome.”

They make eye contact for just a little bit too long before Stiles coughs and Derek clears his throat.

“I, uh, should go and do my homework, then get started on some research.”

“Yeah, and I should…” Derek doesn’t bother finishing his thought. He and Stiles split off into different parts of the house.

“I. Told. You,” Erica says in hushed tone to Boyd and Isaac. “You owe me twenty bucks, Lahey,” she says with a smirk as she struts out of the kitchen.

“Holy fuck." Isaac turns to Boyd. "Maybe there's one thing about the future that doesn't change,” Isaac says. 

»»»

“I couldn’t find much. Mostly spells about changing the past, but they’re obviously not relevant and only work within a 5 minute time frame.”

“I found an incantation that lets you visit your future self, like an astroprojection, but that’s all for this site,” Lydia says.

Lydia showed up without an invitation again. Derek let her stay when she claimed to have maybe, possibly, sort of found what they were looking for that would send DJ and Claudia back to the future. She had some strong leads, but nothing directly on the nose with what it is they needed, Stiles concluded.

But Stiles is clearly coming up short as well. “I loathe to admit this, but I could really use Deaton’s Obi-Wan Kenobi-ness right about now. Really? A convention in Boston?”

“He’s visiting family, too, Stiles,” Lydia reminds him.

“I guess the best we can do is keep digging until he gets back…in two weeks.”

“Not enjoying time with the kiddies?”

“Are you joking? I love them. They’re awesome. Derek and I did a great job with them— Are doing a great job with them…?”

“If you do say so yourself,” she says a little bitter.

“And your tone implies…?”

“Nothing.”

“Really?”

She takes a deep breath and drops the heavy spell book in her hand on the table. Here it comes: “I’m bothered by them. Not personally, just their presence.”

“Apparently. Seems the only people that aren’t are me, Derek, and his pack.”

“Something changes with our group in the future that causes a rift between us all, mainly you and Scott. That shift is clearly whatever happens between you and Derek romantically.”

“And you take issue with that?”

“Yes, Stiles, I do! You being involved with Derek turns things around and breaks up our pack, so yeah, I have an ‘issue’ with that.”

“You’re the last person I expected to have a problem with change.”

“It’s not change so much as it is comfort. I am not comfortable with most people, and admittedly, they are not comfortable with me. But I have something easy and reassuring with you, and Scott, Allison, and Jackson. With all the deadly things that happens in our lives from time to time, it’s nice to have familiarity. To have support.”

“I get that, Lydia.”

“Do you? Because you seem to be just taking this all in stride.”

“Did you not just mention the odd occurrences that plague our lives on a sometimes daily basis? Why does everyone want me to freak out about this?!”

“Because you not doing so, in your typical Stiles kind of way, gives the impression you want this to happen.”

He’s mute on a response to that for far too long…

“Oh, my God, Stiles.”

“It’s not that I want my future to be this, but it’s…it’s not a bad one. I have kids and I’m married, happily it seems, and I live in this badass house and I’m treated like I matter and most importantly, I’m not dead! Some hunter or some beast with fangs and claws doesn’t rip my heart out of chest! I have the best of both worlds! I’m normal, while also not exactly living normally. And aside from something horrible happening to my dad, that was my biggest fear: that through all this I don’t make it out okay. We may not be all together how you and Scott want, but we’re all safe and alive. Even my dad. So that’s my comfort. It doesn’t go as planned, but most things don’t, so I’ll take what I can get.”

She looks at him with soft, sympathetic eyes. He knows she understands, but still wants to be resolute in her opinion.

“Who knows what will happen in the future. I mean, Derek can barely tolerate me. I can’t even fathom how we could even be a couple, let alone raise a family. And maybe DJ and Claudia being here disrupts all that, and the fantasy never happens now. Maybe we know too much now. Maybe I fucked up by bringing them here and now I have some future where I marry Erica instead, or knowing my luck, meet some serial murderer online and end up at the bottom of a well. I just don’t see the point of everyone getting so worked up about this like Derek and I are already married. I think we should all just try and fix the problem in front of us instead of create new ones. That’s what I was trying to get through to Scott before he acted like the biggest cum rag ever.”

“You have fantasies about Derek?”

“What?” Because really, what?

“You said ‘and the fantasy never happens now’. So you’ve thought about having a family with Derek?”

“…No.”

“Well, that was convincing…”

“I have not had fantasies about raising a family with Derek Hale.”

“But you’ve had…other fantasies?”

She’s wearing a bright, teasing smile, because Lydia loves to torture. Lying to her should be easy; she’s not a werewolf, but she is scary as hell like one.

“I think it’s clear we’re not getting anywhere with anything tonight. We’ll do some more digging tomorrow,” he says closing his laptop. Avoidance is key.

She raises a smug eyebrow at him. “Right.” She grabs her backpack and stands just as Derek enters the room.

“You two find anything,” the werewolf asks.

“Nothing direct. We’re going to try again tomorrow. Where’s DJ and Claudia,” Stiles asks.

“Watching TV in my room.”

“I’ll see you at school, Stiles,” Lydia says.

“Thank you. For your help, Lydia,” Derek tells her.

Two ‘thank yous’ in one day from stern-face ‘Do-As-I-Say’ Derek Hale… Stiles is a little shocked, and so is Lydia apparently, if her gaped mouth is anything to go by.

“Uh, y-you’re welcome. I’ll see you both later.”

“Do you need a ride home?”

“Um, no. I’m good. Thanks. Goodnight,” Lydia says as she leaves.

“…That was nice of you. To offer her a ride home,” Stiles says.

Derek shrugs, like it makes perfect sense to do so. And it does. She’s a young woman driving home alone at night in a town infested with werecreatures. The chivalrous thing to do would be to offer her a ride home safely.

“I should get home, too.”

“You’re not staying?”

Stiles could swear there’s an ever so faint look of disappointment on the werewolf’s face…

“Uh, no. My dad’s shift is over in a half-hour and he thinks I’m at the library with a study group.” Derek watches him gather his things. “I’ll leave the spell books here and just swing by tomorrow. Is that okay?”

“Yeah. Sure.”

“Okay.”

And there’s that strange, lingering moment between them again. Like they should say something to each other, but there are a million things that are already floating in the small space separating them. Like soft whispers only they can hear.

“What’s a claiming bite,” Stiles interrupts, breaking the mood.

“What?”

“You told DJ that the bite on his neck better not be a claiming bite. What’s a claiming bite?”

“Oh, uh… There are steps taken to a werewolf mating with someone. Traditions. One of them is a claiming bite.”

“Still doesn’t answer my question, sourwolf.”

“Right. Um, when a werewolf finds their mate, or who they believe to be their mate, they declare them as such by putting a bite on their neck…during…sex.”

“Oh.”

This isn’t awkward at all.

“It binds them together for the rest of their lives, and lets other werewolves know that that particular person is claimed. So to tpeak.”

“Huh. Like a ‘stay-away-from-my-man-bitch’ kind of thing? Is it a one-time deal, or does the mate always have a claiming bite on my—their neck?”

“It’s a declaration at first, but their mate can leave marks on them occasionally if they need to. If they’re in another pack’s territory and have to signify who belongs to me—I mean, the werewolf, or if another pack is visiting their territory.”

“So it’s to declare a mate, bind them together forever, and tell other werewolves that their mated, or claimed?”

“Yes.”

Stiles is suddenly bombarded with mental images of pointed teeth behind a dark beard sinking into his neck. Licking, sucking, and nibbling there, right on the pulse point…

Derek’s nose crinkles a little, as though he’s suddenly got a whiff of something that smells potent.

Stiles needs to get out of here. Quickly. Before Derek completely detects the scent of arousal fanning from his body. “I’m going to say ‘goodnight’ to DJ and Claudia really quick,” he says a little too sudden and a little too loud. He bolts toward the stairs.

Smooth, Stilinski. Real smooth.

Chapter Text


Three days. Three more days of nothing from Deaton, Scott still pissed, Lydia helping out the best she can, and DJ and Claudia hanging out at Derek’s house.

“Well, I for one, am sick of this shit. My eyes are about to cross with all this damn Latin. We’ve gotten nowhere and I’m frustrated! I need a break,” Stiles snaps.

“Want to watch a movie,” Erica suggests.

“No. I need out. I need to be…out. Somewhere.”

“Yes,” DJ and Claudia simultaneously agree.

“No. Not you two,” Derek tells them.

They whine in response.

Stiles feels their pain. They haven’t left the house, Derek’s house, since being brought there, unless to go to the Preserve and train.

“They can get out of the house a little bit, Derek. No one knows who they are but us. Come on. They’ve been cooped up in here for days. We should take them out. It’s Friday night,” Stiles says.

“Yeah! We can say we’re Uncle Isaac’s cousins or something. Please, daddy,” Claudia says, batting her eyelashes and pouting at the Alpha.

Derek tries hard to remain stone-faced, but his daughter is looking hopefully at him with her big, violet eyes…

“Fine,” he relents.

DJ and Claudia hi-five.

“Where should we go,” Claudia asks excitedly.

“I don’t care as long as it’s out of the house,” DJ says immediately.

“Mini-golfing,” his sister suggests.

“Yes! I kick so much ass at mini golf,” Stiles adds.

“Is there even a put-put around here,” Erica asks.

“Yeah. It’s in Arcata,” Stiles answers.

“That’s the next county over,” Derek says.

“Even better to remain anonymous,” Claudia says.

Stiles shrugs at Derek: She has a point.

Derek rolls his eyes and sighs, which Stiles knows is Derek-speak for: “Fine. Let’s go.”

»»»

Stiles wasn’t joking. He does kick ass at mini golf. He and Claudia are destroying Boyd and Erica. Stiles can’t help but to laugh at the picture Boyd makes, holding the tiny golf club in his giant hands and his brawny body hovering carefully over the ball as he concentrates.

He hits it right into a small, makeshift pond. Stiles and Claudia giggle.

“Unfair! Stiles is a mini golf pro and Boyd and I have never played before,” Erica whines.

“I told you,” he laughs. He hands his putter to DJ. “Here. Sub for me. Your ‘aunt’ Erica feels she’s at a disadvantage from the squishy human.”

Stiles walks over to the bench Derek is sitting at and takes a seat beside him.

Derek hands Stiles a basket of cheesy nachos with extra jalapeños.

“You are amazing! Thank you!”

Derek just shrugs, but Stiles takes note of the small smile on his face before he sips from his drink.

They watch their kids play with Boyd and Erica. DJ shows Boyd how to have more control over the ball while Claudia and Erica look on. Erica snaps pictures with her phone.

“They’re good kids.”

Derek smiles to himself. “Yeah.”

“We must be awesome in the future.”

Derek chuckles. “Assuming.”

“We got to be. I mean, look at our kids. We kick parental ass,” Stiles says, sucking nacho cheese off his fingers. Derek hands him some napkins, which he takes gratefully. “Do… Do you think it would be wrong, to like, I don’t know, ask them a few questions? Nothing heavy! Just some small stuff.”

“There’s stuff I want to know, too, Stiles, but—”

“I know! I know! But aren’t you the least bit curious to know... some things…about…us? Like how we even became an ‘us’?”

“That is heavy, Stiles.”

“Yeah, but… How do we go from this, allies or whatever, to that? To marriage and kids?”

“I don’t know, but if we know we ruin… We could alter something we shouldn’t have.”

Derek's right. He knew he would be, but was hoping he'd at least be as curious as Stiles is. He can't help it. This whole thing is beyond incredible, and it's kind of killing him not to know how he and Derek become...he and Derek. “Yeah. You’re right,” Stiles says, looking sad and disappointed.

“…We could maybe ask them small stuff. About them.”

Stiles’ face brightens back up. “Yes! We could ask them stuff about them, but not us! That couldn’t hurt, right? Good thinking, smarty-wolf!”

“I’d rather we go back to ‘sourwolf’.”

“Aww. You like my nicknames.”

“I didn’t say that.”

“But you do.”

“I certainly do not.”

“I think you do. You’re eyebrows just said so.”

“What?”

Stiles wipes his hands completely of nacho cheese and turns his full body toward Derek, giving him his undivided attention. “Okay, so you do this whole communication thing with just your eyebrows sometimes and it’s hilarious.”

“You’re delusional.”

“I am not. I swear. It’s great. I’ve decoded them completely. To the point where I know when you’re lying. Like when you said you don’t like my nicknames.”

“There’s no hidden, morose code in my eyebrows, Stiles.”

“See? There! You so lied to me right now,” Stiles squeals with far too much glee in his voice.

“Fine. What are they saying now?” Derek makes a hard, blank face.

“They’re saying…you should get me a slice of pepperoni pizza and a Dr. Pepper to go with these nachos.”

Derek reaches into his pocket and pulls out a can of Dr. Pepper and hands it to Stiles.

“I am the eyebrow wizard!”

“Or, when I got you nachos, I also got you a soda.”

“Why was it in your pocket?”

“Weirdly enough, I’ve seen you try to eat nachos and drink at the same time before. It’s a FEMA level disaster.”

Stiles laughs loud and hard.

Derek’s attention shifts to the course. Boyd, Erica, DJ, and Claudia are making goofy faces at them just as Erica hides her phone. Derek and Stiles wordlessly flip them off. Erica takes another picture and they return to their golf game.

“Do you want to play,” Stiles asks.

“No. I’m really good and wouldn’t want to see you cry about it.”

“Did-Did you just call me out?”

“I warned you actually,” Derek smirks.

“Oh, my God. I have never in my life wanted to beat someone so badly at something as I want to beat you on this golf course right now.”

“Well, everybody has to have a dream, right?”

Stiles is flustered, because Derek Hale is trash talking him…about mini golf…and is sort of, kind of…flirting (?) with him about it… He thinks. Maybe. He doesn’t know. He’s never been flirted with before. But Derek’s smiling and making funny quips and Stiles is…blushing and can’t think of a comeback at the moment.

“Stiles. Are you daydreaming about something clever to say?”

“No. I was wishing you could physically make someone eat their words, and picturing how awesome it would be to shove them in their mouth.”

“Well, I’m grateful that’s not a possibility. You already have too much coming in and going out of your mouth a lot of the time.”

Stiles shrugs. “Plenty comes out, not nearly enough goes in.” He grins at the small, choked noise that comes out of Derek. It’s the only thing keeping him from being embarrassed by his sexual innuendo.

“Stiles.” And of course their little back-and-forth is disturbed by reality. Scott and Allison approach them. “What are you doing here,” Scott asks.

“Um…mini golfing,” he answers, because…well.

“With Derek?”

Jesus. Not this. Not now. “No. Actually, Derek and I were discussing the possibility of him putting things in my mouth.”

Stiles is proud of the snort he gets from the Alpha.

“Ew, dude. Are you serious?”

“The kids wanted out of the house, and all my research was pulling up nothing, so we decided to go out and came here. That all right with you?”

“It’s fine. Whatever.”

“You guys can join us,” Derek suggests.

“No. Thanks,” Scott bites back at Derek.

“I’m just trying to be nice to you, Scott.”

“You’re just trying to get me in your pack.”

“No. I’m not actually. I’m pretty happy with what I have now, with Boyd, Erica, and Isaac.”

“And Stiles?”

Stiles rolls his eyes.

“Stiles is attempting to fix a problem he created that’s involved me. We’re helping each other. There’s nothing wrong with that. I’m not your enemy, and I’m not trying to take Stiles away from you. He’s his own person and can decide what he wants to do by himself.”

“Scott, we came here to have some fun. Let’s do that and leave them to do what they were doing,” Allison suggests.

“I don’t know why you’re making this so difficult,” Stiles tells his best friend.

“Because Derek’s a liar and just using you and he hides things! Important things!”

“I am not using Stiles,” Derek says in what sounds too much like a snarl. “I don’t need to use him. Especially if the implication is that it’s to somehow get to you, because like I said: I’m happy with my pack, which translates into it not needing you, Scott.”

Before Scott can even respond, Derek walks past him and toward DJ and Claudia who've stopped playing with Boyd and Erica, looking concerned at the conformation between their father and Scott.

Scott snaps his golf putter in two, then stalks off into the mini golf center! Allison turns to go after him—

“Aren’t you tired of chasing after him in his fits,” Stiles says to her.

“Well, someone has to,” she bites back.

“No, they don’t. No one has to.”

She hesitates a moment, before running after her boyfriend, breezing by Isaac holding a large cardboard tray of food and drinks.

“Did I miss something,” the curly-haired beta asks.

“Just be thankful that you did. This is getting way to dramatic for my taste.”

“Stiles Stilinski isn’t thrilled by the soap opera that is now his life,” Isaac jokes.

“Pfft. You jest, but I’m truly not.”

“Two hot werewolves are fighting over you. I’m sure there’s some small fraction of you that’s a little excited by that,” Isaac says, resting the food on the table.

“Ew. Gross. Scott is my brother. That’s an incestuous notion you just put forth, my friend.”

“But Derek’s one of them, and he is definitely not your brother.” Isaac bites into a foot long hot dog.

Stiles looks over to Derek playing the next hole with DJ. They’re both smiling and laughing. It’s the same, gorgeous smile below the same stunning eyes and expressive eyebrows.

“No. Derek is definitely not my brother.”

Chapter Text


Stiles walks out of the building, approaching his jeep, when a car honks in his direction. He turns to find Derek and "the kids" waiting by the camaro. He walks over. “What are you guys doing here?”

“We came to pick you up after practice,” Claudia says with a bright smile.

“I see that. Is that a good idea?”

Derek shrugs. “No one knows who they are except us. And they’re around your age. People'll assume we’re all friends.”

“And you’re our responsible big brother,” Stiles teases, because he can not.

DJ and Claudia snicker. Derek rolls his eyes, but Stiles doesn’t miss the smile he tries to will from his face. “We’re going to go get burgers,” Derek says.

“I can’t leave my jeep.”

“We’ll come back for it. It should be safe here at the school. No one’s going to steal it,” Claudia insists.

“Because that would mean someone other than Stiles wants it,” Derek quips.

Stiles- 1. Derek- 2.

“You want some ice for that burn, tata,” DJ laughs.

“Werewolf’s got jokes,” Stiles grumbles under his breath as he climbs into the front seat. The others follow. “Where we getting burgers,” Stiles asks.

Arnie’s diner,” Claudia answers.

“They have the best curly fries,” Stiles exclaims.

We know,” DJ and Claudia exclaim, rolling their eyes as though it’s the billionth time they’ve heard him say that. Derek smiles as he slips on a pair of dark shades.

“I take it we eat there a lot,” Stiles blushes.

“Not really. We have dinner at home more than we go out to eat,” Claudia says, and the idea of family dinners every night makes Stiles’ heart flutter. “But dad brings you curly fries from there sometimes when you’re cranky or sad.”

“When’s the last time I was cranky or sad,” Stiles asks.

“When DJ was late turning in his college application for Brown and didn’t pick a safety school,” she says.

“You didn’t choose a safety school,” both Stiles and Derek snap at him as they turn toward the backseat.

DJ snaps his claws out and snarls at his smirking sister. “I wonder what would happen if I clawed your tongue out. Would you grow a new one?”

“Let me get this straight,” Stiles says, sounding way more serious and "motherly" than he intends to, “You not only didn’t pick a safety school, but decided to apply to an Ivy League school and turned in your materials to them late?!”

DJ retracts his claws. “Just a day! I can blame postage, you know. Snail-mail.”

“I somehow doubt the admissions board at Brown gives a damn about flimsy excuses such as that when considering undergads in the fall.”

DJ groans. He’s having the exact same argument in the past as he did in the future.

“You apply to 5 schools, Deej: your number one school, two backups, and your safety. How many did you apply to?”

Claudia snorts, loving her brother being lectured by their teenage parents.

“Just Brown,” he mumbles.

“Are you kidding me?!”

“Brown is the only school I want to even go to!”

“And what happens if you don’t get in?”

“Then I have a gap year and apply again in May!”

“No. You’ll apply again in May, and you’ll apply to your two backups and safety school, too. And don’t think you’re just going to be hanging out all summer either. You’re getting a job.”

“Oh, come on, tata! Lots of people take a gap year before they go to college. And I can spend it at home, helping dad with pack business. I’m the next Alpha anyway!”

“Really,” Stiles asks Derek excitedly for confirmation.

Derek nods. “Yeah. He probably is. Laura was supposed to take over for my mom.”

“Hey. I always wanted to ask you, how do Alphas hand over their power?”

“An Alpha can bequeath their power any time they want. It's the Alpha's discretion when they feel like their chosen beta is ready to lead the pack. And some Alphas hold onto their power until they die, and then their power goes to the next pack leader.”

"Does the Alpha always choose their eldest to hand off their power to?"

"Most Alphas do. Some leave their mate, or second-in-command to take over the pack, but that rarely happens."

"Why?"

"Usually when a new Alpha takes over, the second-in-command changes, too. Peter was my mother's...and I was supposed to be Laura's." Derek's quiet a moment as the car draws silent with him at mentioning his family, and how things were supposed to be. "...Mates are treated as an equal to the Alpha," he says, picking the conversation back up. "So when the Alpha stands down for the next, typically their mate does, too. Packs that are lead by the Alpha's mate are usually packs that lost their Alpha too soon."

“How long are Alphas in power before they step down from the ‘throne’?”

“15-25 years, depending on the pack.”

“It’s so weird to hear you ask questions, tata. You usually know this stuff like the back of your hand. Even more than dad sometimes,” DJ says.

“Don’t think I’m done talking about you, mister,” Stiles reminds his son, who deflates in response, looking a lot like Derek but with Stiles’ frown.

“Why Brown,” Derek asks, looking at DJ through the rearview mirror.

“It’s a literary school, with amazing writing programs. A lot of successful novelist come out of there. I want to be one. You know, before I’m Alpha.”

Stiles catches the smile on Derek’s lips.

“Well, I wholly support you becoming a writer, and an Alpha, DJ…if you can manage to turn a college application in on time,” Derek says.

DJ groans. “Can we move off me and talk about something else please?”

“Fine. We're done torturing you. What do you want to talk about,” Stiles asks.

DJ smirks wickedly. “Oh, I don’t know. Maybe Claudia letting Uncle Isaac’s son, Gaius, get to third base with her.”

Derek has to pull over to the side of the rode when Claudia launches at her brother baring fangs, and Stiles can’t stop laughing.

»»»

Derek ignores Stiles’ leg bumping up against his own under the table as they talk over burgers and milkshakes.

They’re sitting on the same side, knees knocking together, while Stiles tries to engage in a progressive lecture with Claudia on her “virtue,” and the importance of being “safe.” The poor girl looks ready to die of embarrassment while her brother giggles to himself.

Derek is trying hard not to wolf-out and go hunting for a boy that’s not even a thought yet.

On the way to the diner, Derek snarled about killing Isaac and “fixing him so he can never have children.” Stiles tried calming him down by “opening up a dialogue” and “not scaring her from being responsible and practicing safe sex.”

“I’m not having sex,” she snaps, wanting the torment to end. “…sort of.”

“Well, what exactly did you and Isaac’s son do,” Stiles asks.

Derek doesn’t know if he can’t take the direction this conversation is obviously headed toward. He wants to flee, but he’s boxed in, with Stiles having the aisle side of the booth.

“I am so not going to tell you that.”

“You will if you want this conversation to end like I do,” Derek tells her. Stiles is like a dog with a bone when it comes to evasiveness. A back-and-forth has started and he’s curious about their daughter’s actions; the human’s not going to let this go, and the sooner Claudia quits being insolent about information he wants, the less of a headache Derek will have.

She groans. “Is this what your talks are like with them,” she asks DJ.

“In the beginning, but as long as you tell the truth and listen to the lecture you’re good,” DJ answers.

“Fine,” she says. “First, me and Gaius are not like a thing, like boyfriend and girlfriend. We’re just friends…that made out for a while…and then I told him he could touch me. So there was no pressure, no forcing. I wanted to.”

Derek pushes his plate aside. Hearing his daughter talk about letting some boy fill her up isn’t very appetizing.

“And were you okay when he did touch you,” Stiles asks carefully.

“Well, yeah. It was nice, but I didn’t want to go any further and he was cool with that. And I didn’t have to touch him. I mean, he totally asked and I said ‘no’ because I was nervous, but he seemed okay with that.”

“Then what happened,” Stiles asks.

“We finished watching the movie, you guys came home from ‘date night’, and Gaius went back home. Probably to jerk off or something,” she says, taking a big bite out of her cheeseburger.

“Oh, my God,” Derek groans. DJ snorts hard into his chocolate milkshake.

“Well, okay. That’s all we wanted to know, Claudia. Thank you for telling us. We’re glad Gaius didn’t pressure you, and you didn’t pressure him. You respected one another’s boundaries and that’s important. There’s nothing wrong with sexual exploration.” He elbows Derek in the ribs, “Right, Derek?”

“Fifteen is too young for sex, and I will snap the neck of anybody that hurts you. Either of you,” Derek threatens.

“So not the point, sourwolf.”

“It was my point.”

Stiles readies to argue, but then closes his mouth, obviously thinking the better of it. Derek's admittedly curious about why Stiles suddenly backs down, then he remembers that Stiles knows. About Kate. Everything about Kate.

Pity, Derek thinks, but Stiles doesn't smell like sage. Instead he tries to steer the conversation on.

“Anyway, Derek and I—”

“It’s weird when you don’t say ‘dad and I’,” Claudia chimes in.

Stiles shoots Derek a flustered look. “Um, do-do you want me, or u-us, to say that?”

“No. You don’t have to. It’s just weird, you know? Because you guys are such a team, and saying it the other way makes it seem like you’re not.”

“Um, no, uh, we’re-we’re a team. Sourwolf and I can act like teammates…sometimes.”

“But you’re not really. You’re on Scott’s 'team',” DJ says with a tone.

“Hey, look, guys, Scott’s my friend—”

“Some friend,” DJ grumbles. “I mean, what kind of friend makes you choice between them and the love of your life,” DJ continues.

“’Love of my life’,” Stiles repeats.

“Yeah. That’s what you always say dad is: the love of your life, and your best friend. Which makes me really curious about what it is you could have ever seen in that redheaded girl,” DJ says, picking at the fries on his plate.

Derek feels surprisingly interested as well.

"Who told you I was interested in Lydia," Stiles asks.

"Aunt Erica," DJ says. "She said you moon all over her so bad it's gross."

“Uh, well, I-I don’t feel that way about her anymore, but… Lydia’s just beautiful and smart, and kind of scary, you know,” Stiles defends.

“And bitchy,” Claudia adds.

Derek can’t help it. The laugh is out of his mouth before he even knows it.

“Dad is all those things,” DJ says. “He’s beautiful, smart, and very scary.”

“Well, yeah, of course he is—” Stiles cuts himself off, flushing all over his face and neck. Derek hears his heart thumping like the wings on a hummingbird.

“So you have a type: sexy, but dangerous. Totally where Deej gets it from,” Claudia snarks.

“I don’t have a type,” DJ protests.

“You so do! You love you a good looking bad boy. Or girl. I mean, Bailey. Molly. April. Kendra. Steve. Yusef. Diana. That kid with the motorcycle that goes to Beacon Hills High--”

“Hold on. You guys don’t go to Beacon Hills High,” Stiles asks. They shake their heads. “Where do you go?”

Trinity Prep Academy,” Claudia answers.

“Private school?! We can afford private school?!”

Derek is just as shocked, despite the only appearance of so are his eyebrows flicking upward simultaneously. He can imagine them being stable enough to afford private school for their kids, but he’s a little taken aback at their children not attending their old high school. Werewolves are big on tradition, and it seems odd that his children don’t attend the same school he did, given they’re being raised in the same town, and it’s his territory. “Wait. Trinity Prep? That’s Satomi’s territory. We have her permission for you guys to go there? I know she’s not unreasonable, but I just thought…”

DJ and Claudia exchange looks.

“What,” Derek asks.

“We probably shouldn’t say anything, but Satomi died right before we were born. Her territory got raided in a pack war you were helping her fight. You won obviously, but part of the spoils was that you got her land when nearly her whole pack was wiped out. Beacon Hills isn’t our only territory, dad,” DJ reveals. “Beacon County, and the four counties touching it, is all ours.”

“Fuck,” the werewolf responds.

“Oh, my God. You made Derek swear,” Stiles giggles.

Derek feels like he can barely handle just the town of Beacon Hills. It’s more than a surprise to find out 27 years from now he’s Alpha to a total of five counties. His family hasn’t held that much land since the late 60s.

“So…is anybody going to tell me who Satomi is, or do I have to venture a guess,” Stiles says.

“She’s a werewolf—was a werewolf apparently. She lives in Trinity County. It’s her territory. She and my mother were friends. Why was there a pack war?”

“Derek, I don’t think that’s something we should know,” Stiles tells him.

“But if we know then maybe we can prevent it from happening.”

“It seems to me we already do.”

“Fine, but maybe we can know when it’s coming and make sure it goes as planned and save a few lives that end needlessly.”

“That sounds awesome, Derek, but impossible. What if we win the pack war, but because you got up 5 minutes early that day or Erica ripped out someone’s throat instead of clawing them, something else happens instead, like I die, or my dad, or you die? Or you lose your Alpha powers or something?”

“I would never let any of that happen.”

“You can try, but it doesn’t mean you’ll be successful.”

Derek scowls at that implication of him failing.

“I’m not being a dick here. You know that. It’s just… I know what it’s like to want to change the past, especially at the expense of saving someone you love, but I think in this case, if we keep watching the front door for what we know is coming, it might open up a window behind us for something we didn’t expect. The universe seems fucked a lot of the time, and it is, but a physical paradox we invite is going to make it even more screwy.”

“I know that. I understand laws of causality, Stiles. It’s...”

It’s just that Satomi is a friend, and a physical connection to my mother, my family, aside from my shitty, now-crazy uncle. It doesn’t feel right to let her die, too.

Stiles places his hand atop Derek’s, gentle and considerate, as though he heard every word in his head. Derek looks into bright, copper eyes that speak volumes of understanding, of empathy, and his neck grows hot and ears turn pink.

“Um, yeah. Sure. You’re probably right,” he says, drawing his hand away from Stiles’ touch.

“Really,” Stiles says, like he can’t believe Derek agrees.

The werewolf simply nods.

“I mean, we do pretty good it seems without knowing much and fucking with timelines. We get them,” Stiles says nodding to their children. “And our territory gets expanded, and everyone’s alive. I think that’s all right, right?”

Stiles looks hopeful, as though Derek’s response could either destroy everything, or create the heavens.

“...Yeah. Yeah, what we have is alright,” Derek agrees.

The Alpha wolf tries not to think too much of the smile lighting up Stiles' face, that quickly turns into a bashful smirk when their kids stare at them with knowing grins.

»»»

Stiles, Derek, their kids and Derek’s betas are in the family room watching E.T.: The Extraterrestrial (because Erica said she had never seen it, and Stiles couldn’t abide by that at all) when Lydia shows up, banging on the door.

Derek nods his approval, and Boyd goes to answer the door. The redhead barrels into the room with Boyd trailing behind looking mostly annoyed at her aggressive entrance. She grabs the remote and turns off the TV.

“Uh, excuse me,” Claudia says to her.

Lydia ignores her in favor of setting her glare on Stiles. “This is what you’re doing? Mini-golf and movie nights? I thought we were working on sending these two back to wherever the hell they came from!”

“Can you guys excuse us for a second,” Stiles asks.

“No! I’ve been researching and reading Old English and Latin and Greek until my eyes hurt and you’re here playing with the kiddies! I held up my end of the bargain and now I want what I asked for in return! Now!”

“Lydia, look, we’ve been talking about it, and we’re grateful for you helping, but it’s not a good idea if DJ and Claudia divulge major chucks of information about the future.”

“Oh, no way! I did not just get into some massive fight with Scott and Allison, my best friend, over helping you, to walk away with nothing. I want to know what happens to us. All of us. They have to tell me.”

“You got into a fight with Allison? Did Scott kick you out of the pack?!”

“He’s dumb, not insane. I walked away and said I’d be back. With information. So let the little ones spill.”

“Lydia—” Derek starts.

“You. Uh-uh. Don’t talk to me. I think I’ve been understandable civil in regards to you, considering you spent a good amount of time trying to kill me when you thought I was a kanima. Not to mention, your crazy uncle attacked me.”

“How is that Derek’s fault,” Stiles asks.

“It’s not," Derek snaps. "I have no control over my uncle and his bullshit. I’m sorry he hurt you, but I've already tried to apologize to you about it. Along with accusing you of being the kanima,” Derek states.

“When was this,” Stiles asks Lydia.

“Three months ago. I came to her house to explain and apologize and she turned me away,” Derek says.

“You never told me Derek tried to apologize.”

There’s a wrongness in her eyes, but this is Lydia Martin; she’s on a roll, and looking sheepish right now isn’t good for her argument.

“Why would she? She’s selfish,” DJ pipes up. “You want information? Fine. I’ll give you information,” he says, getting to his feet.

“DJ. What did I say earlier at Arnie’s. No,” Stiles reminds.

“No way, tata! I’m not going to sit here and let her walk into our den and start making demands and yelling at people and being disrespectful to dad! This is our house! And my fathers are Alphas! If you were a part of a real pack, you’d understand what your behavior means and be reprimanded for it.”

“But she’s not, DJ,” Derek tries to diffuse.

“So, I’ll give her a history lesson.”

“DJ—”

Tata ends up in a coma.”

The room quiets and turns still.

“He comes back home for the summer between his sophomore and junior years at college and there’s a fight with some shapeshifters. Dad tells Scott about them being a threat and asks him for help. Scott refuses until tata convinces him it would be in his best interest to link up with dad, just for this one fight. Dad comes up with a plan of attack, but Scott hates it. Tata fixes the plan, but Scott still hates it, being a whiny bitch about the whole thing. He only agrees to go along with it because tata says he should. During the fight, Scott deviates from the plan and almost gets killed, but tata is there and saves him, and gets hurt so bad he ends up in a coma for 3 days.”

“Holy shit,” Stiles whispers.

“Daddy doesn’t leave your side for one second while you’re in the hospital,” Claudia adds. “And you guys get really close after that. You end up being really good friends, and Scott can't stand it, like he’s being replaced or something. So, out of respect, daddy backs off, but by then…by then you said you were already in love with him.”

DJ continues, “You tell Scott and you ask him to be a good friend and support how much you love someone, even if he does hate them, but he refuses. He forces you to choose between him and dad. You choose dad, and that’s the sad fucking end of you and Scott. That’s the end of you and his crappy pack losers.”

“Well, not really,” Claudia says. “He moves to San Francisco after vet school or something. He comes back into town for holidays and stuff, to see his mom, but none of us talk to him. He tried once, at the grocery store, but you shunned him. We didn’t even know who he was at the time. You told us the whole story on the way back home.”

Stiles… Stiles doesn’t know what to say. How to react. He’s frozen at all the information hitting him at once. He nearly died, and Derek was broken up about it. They got close and fell in love. And Scott, his best friend in the world, just couldn’t accept it. He could be supportive of Stiles loving someone, and being loved back.

Everything in him is screaming that it’s a lie. Scott is nothing if not a true friend, who loves love and would totally support Stiles being truly, madly, deeply head over heels for someone. Even if it's Derek.

His dislike for Derek can’t outweigh their friendship… But there’s this festering pile of something rotten, right in the pit of his stomach, and he knows without a doubt what DJ said was true.

Stiles bolts from the room, hurrying upstairs to lock himself in Boyd’s room, slamming the door shut!

Derek immediately follows him up there. He raps lightly on the door. “Stiles.”

“No! I can’t right now!”

“It’s just me. Open the door.”

Stiles rests his forehead on the wooden door, trying to breathe easy.

“Stiles. Please.” Derek’s voice is soft, and full of concern. He’s never heard him sound like that before. “We don’t have to talk. I just want to know if you’re alright.”

Stiles takes a deep breath, gripping the knob tight, wanting to break it; for him to have the strength to shatter it into broken metal pieces.

Instead, he twists the door open, and Derek comes in, closing it gently behind him.

“Are you okay?”

“A coma! I end up in a coma! That’s fucking terrifying!”

“DJ shouldn’t have told you that. Any of it.”

“He was angry. At Lydia. She was being rude to him, to his family. I get that, but… A fucking coma! After saving that ungrateful asshole’s life and he can’t even…”

“You can’t hold faults against him for something he hasn't even done yet. Besides, we know now, what happens, which means things probably change. Maybe he changes. Maybe we don’t even become something now, and you and Scott can still be friends.”

And at that moment, something hurts, right in Stiles' chest. It’s like a thousand tiny needles prick his heart, all at the same time. And something he wasn’t expecting pops into his head:

I’d hate to lose you.

“Stiles, are you okay? Your heart’s beating really fast, and smell a little like lemons.”

“Lemons?”

“Citrus. Anxiety always smells tart, like lemons to me.”

Stiles can’t help but to smile, finding that interesting. “Do all emotions have a smell?”

“Most.”

Stiles wants to rattle off every feeling there is and ask Derek what each one smells like, but now’s not the time. “I should go.”

“You can stay the night here. If you want.”

“No. I want to go home. I need to sleep in my own bed tonight, and I’m sure Boyd’s pretty tired of the couch, and Isaac’s snoring.”

“...Okay.”

Stiles is certain this time the werewolf looks disappointed.

They reluctantly make their way back downstairs.

Lydia is gone. The betas are outside on the patio, and DJ runs up to Stiles, apologizing profusely.

Stiles tells him not to worry about it. He’ll be back in the morning to make breakfast and take the betas to school. He hugs him and Claudia ‘goodnight’ and tells Boyd, Isaac, and Erica he’ll be over at seven in the morning.

Derek walks him out. Stiles gives him a small wave when he climbs into his jeep and turns the engine over. He tries not to think too much about how Derek waits on the front steps until Stiles pulls out of the driveway and down the street.

 


“We want to see grandpa.”

“No. No. No. No. No,” Stiles says.

“Why not? He doesn’t know who we are.”

“He also doesn’t know about werewolves and how dudes can get pregnant.”

“Grandpa doesn’t know?!”

“I take it in the future he does,” Stiles says to his son.

“He’d kind of have to if you’re pregnant three times, Stiles,” Derek smirks like an asshole, making Stiles rolls his eyes.

“Please, tata. Seeing Grandpa always makes us feel better,” Claudia pleads.

“Oh, no. Don’t bat your eyes at me, young lady. Unlike the marshmallow here, I’m immune to your powers.”

Now it’s Derek’s turn to roll his eyes.

“And what exactly are you two feeling so bad about,” Stiles asks.

“…Telling you guys about how you and Scott aren’t friends anymore,” Claudia answers.

“And about you being in a coma. I’m sorry. That must have been really fucked up and scary to hear,” DJ adds.

Derek knows they feel bad. They spent the whole day moping around the house, hoping Stiles wasn’t angry, and that they didn’t cause some horrible rift in time because of it.

DJ’s a lot like Stiles; clever, but ruled almost entirely by his emotions. He let Lydia get the best of him in her fit last night, and now he’s haunted by what his actions might have caused. He has to learn to be more diplomatic in a crisis. He’s smart enough to get there, but still too young to school his feelings somewhat. With more training he’ll be a great Alpha when the time comes.

If it comes.

“It’s okay, guys. Really,” Stiles tries to reassure.

“Uncle Isaac said Lydia didn’t come to school today, and that that’s unlike her,” Claudia says, looking worried.

Both she and DJ appear nervous, like they screwed up beyond belief.

“Guys. Calm down. I text her during study hall. She’s fine. She said she ‘just needed a personal day’.”

They still look so sad and concerned.

Stiles sighs and grabs his keys. “Alright. Let’s go visit ‘grandpa’.”

»»»

“Stiles!”

“Down here, dad!”

The sheriff takes the stairs to the furnished basement to find his son, Derek, Isaac Lahey, and four kids he’s never seen before playing Monopoly. “Hello.”

DJ and Claudia get to their feet, fighting the urge to run up and hug their grandfather.

“I told you I was inviting some friends over.”

“I know. I just thought you meant Scott and Allison and the effervescent Lydia Martin.”

“No.” Which is all Stiles offers in regards to the mention of Scott.

“Do you really describe Lydia as ‘effervescent’,” Derek asks, fighting back a laugh.

“No!”

“Right,” Derek snickers. The betas make it worse by giggling under their breaths as well.

“Stiles. You’re friends…” the sheriff reminds.

“Oh, uh, yeah. This is Boyd and Erica. You already know Isaac, and you already know Derek, Isaac’s legal guardian and former murder suspect.”

Derek shoots him a glare that Stiles cares very little about.

“Murder suspect,” Claudia says with wide, shocking eyes.

“Oh, shit.” Way to scare your daughter, Stilinski, Stiles chastises himself.

“It was all a misunderstanding,” Derek assures her.

“Completely my fault,” the sheriff owns. “Which I will continue to wholly apologize for.”

“No need,” Derek says. “Wasn’t really your fault,” he says, eyeing Stiles.

Stiles shrugs. Said I was sorry.

“And you two. Who might you be,” the sheriff asks.

DJ steps forward. “My name’s DJ. I’m Erica’s cousin from San Francisco, sir.” He extends his hand.

The sheriff smiles and takes it. “Glad to know you’re hanging out with polite kids at least.” He turns to Claudia, “And you young…” His eyes fall deep into hers, staring, seeing something breathtaking and mysterious. “I-I’m sorry. It’s just… You look a lot like someone.”

“Someone you knew,” Claudia asks even though she’s very aware of who she resembles.

“Yes.”

“Was she pretty?”

“No. She was beautiful.”

It takes everything in Stiles not to burst into tears. Derek leans a little closer to him.

“Sorry. That must sound inappropriate.”

“No. I know what you mean.”

“…She had violet eyes, too.”

“Like Elizabeth Taylor.”

A wide smile cracks on the sheriff’s face. “Yes. Exactly like Elizabeth Taylor.”

Claudia smiles back. “But only lighter.”

“Only lighter.”

It’s a thing. A thing between them that they say. Stiles can tell. Their moment is nothing if not moving.

“You should play Monopoly with us,” she suggests.

“Oh, no. I don’t think you guys want an old man crowding in on your fun.”

“Actually, we’d like it if you joined us. Please,” DJ tells him.

The sheriff scans the room of nodding heads.

“Come on, dad. You can be the racecar.”

The sheriff smiles. He puts down his lunchbox, the two files from under his arm, and removes his gun belt carefully, placing it on an end table. He removes the magazine from his gun, along with the bullet in the chamber, not wanting to have a loaded gun in a room with a bunch of teens, before putting it inside the drawer of the end table. “Stiles, you and I both know I’m always the top hat.”

Stiles sighs, defeated, and forks over the top hat token to his dad. "Then what piece do I get to be now?"

"Here," Derek says, placing the thimble in Stiles' palm. "I'll be the racecar," he winks at Stiles with a flirty smile.

Stiles blushes, closing his fist around the token in his hand.

Derek Hale winked at him.

He opens his fingers, looking at the thimble there, suddenly wishing he had an acorn button to give back.

Chapter Text


Derek races through the trees, holding tight to Stiles’ wrist in his hand! The human is keeping up as quick as he can, huffing out quick breathes behind him. His heartbeat is fast, but not panicked; it sounds lyrical to the werewolf over heavy footfalls on crunchy leaves and soft earth.

They reach the edge of the preserve, near a 100 year old Banyan tree. It’s branches and leaves cascade downward, creating dark shade and cover.

Derek pushes Stiles’ back against the trunk and crowds against him, eyes flitting around the woods.

“You see them?”

“No,” Derek answers. “Don’t hear them either.”

“This tree smells,” Stiles complains.

“A family of raccoons live in it.”

“Well, don’t press me up against it! Those things are vicious!”

“Do you honestly think I can’t protect you against a raccoon?” 

“No,” he answers. “But I saw a picture online of a little girl who lost her nose to one that attacked her. It was awful.”

Derek lightly runs the tip of his finger down the length of Stiles’ upturned nose. “I’ll make sure to particularly look out for your nose then.”

Stiles licks his lips and swallows hard.

Derek doesn’t know what’s gotten into him. He’s finding himself becoming more and more bold with Stiles. He’s somehow cast aside his usual "gruffness" and eye rolling in favor of easy conversation and flirty comments, along with the seriously increasing desire the press his mouth against the younger man’s own.

His wolf doesn’t help, barking “mate,” “family,” “claim,” whenever Stiles is near. Especially when Stiles is near. Ever since DJ and Claudia got here, his wolf has been pacing, stalking, and waiting, for Derek to pounce on his prey and declare Stiles as his.

And why not? It’s evident that he and Stiles form a connection, create a bond, and happily raise a family with one another in the future. The idea of reestablishing the diminished Hale Pack anew excites Derek’s wolf, and if he’s honest, it excites him, too.

But he’s also ashamed. Stiles is 16 years old, and he’s twenty-three. He should know better. He should create distance and try everything he can to quell his wolf’s need. He should have better control. Better sense than to lust after a teenager. After all, he’s been here before, but on the other side of the fence.

But if he’s honest though, really honest, it’s not the current events that’s disrupted his life these past 9 days that are making him more open and relaxed around Stiles and his betas. It’s not his wolf either (despite how much he wants to lay blame at the animal’s feet). The unfiltered truth is that he’s thought of Stiles often, and at times not so "modestly," before a spell gone wrong gave him more than a glimpse into his future.

Stiles' flagrant awkwardness and sharp intelligence does something to Derek. Something fuzzy and ridiculous he likens to the bubble and fizz of a soda when you drink it. That tickling burn in your nose that makes you laugh. He feels that in his chest with Stiles sometimes. And it kind of scares the hell out of him.

“Is that the only part of me you’d protect,” Stiles asks, breathlessly waiting for a reply to his innuendo.

Stiles can be of little help against his wolf, too.

“What other parts of you should I look out for?”

“I don’t know. The really sensitive parts maybe,” Stiles says, pressing a little closer to Derek, who can’t help the low growl that rumbles in his throat and red light that circles around his pupils. Their lips are close, mere centimeters apart. “You said emotions have smells. What do I smell like right now?”

Jesus Christ. For a virgin with zero experience, Stiles does know how to entice someone...

“You smell like…like…” Derek can’t think over the loud sound of Stiles’ rapid heart. His wolf is so close to the surface telling him to “take.”

“Derek…”

His fangs drop. “God. You smell amaz—” Derek pulls back, looking past Stiles into the distance.

Stiles swears under his breath and a look of disappointed clouds his face. He leans against the tree and huffs with his arms crossed. Derek tries not to smile about it.

“Two. I think its Erica…and Isaac.”

“Great,” Stiles says flatly with an eye roll.

Sure enough Erica and Isaac come into view, running at full speed toward their Alpha!

They’re 20 feet away when DJ and Claudia fly down from the tall tree tops, landing perfectly on their feet before the two betas!

The four of them snarl and snap at each other, brandishing fangs and claws!

Erica and Isaac attack first, lashing out wildly at the Alpha’s children!

DJ takes on Erica, avoiding her claws swiftly, anticipating her moves. He gets hold of her and swings her around, tossing her several feet away and breaking her arm!

Claudia is all hard kicks and acrobatics as she destroys a confused Isaac, who’s being attacked so quickly, and so ruthlessly, he doesn’t have time to think!

Erica is up on her feet and charging toward DJ! He crouches low when she gets within reach. Hands on her stomach, he flips her over his shoulder! She lands behind him, hard on her back!

Isaac lands in the dirt beside Erica! Tired. Bloody. And beaten.

“Give it up, dad, and hand over tata,” DJ gloats.

Derek and Stiles emerge from their hiding place. “Where’s Boyd,” Derek asks.

Claudia swings up into the trees like an acrobat. Derek smiles at the amazed look on Stiles’ face as he follows her with his eyes.

She comes flying down with Boyd in her grasp. His wrists and ankles are tied with rope, and mouth closed with duct tape. She uses her claws to slash away the restraints. He pulls off the duct tape from his mouth. “Can I be the ‘flag’ and Stiles be the ‘decoy’ next time?”

“That. Was. So...badass,” Stiles exclaims to his children who blush at his praise. “Seriously! I can’t even… Derek taught you guys to fight like that?!”

The Alpha raises an eyebrow at the human.

“Well, not just dad, but mainly dad. And you and Uncle Boyd,” DJ answers.

“Who else taught you guys,” Stiles asks.

“Friends; a couple betas in our pack. Claudia spends more time training with Kira than anyone else.”

“Who’s Kira,” Stiles asks. “Wait! Don’t answer that if it’s a bad idea to!”

DJ laughs. “She’s just a friend of yours in our pack, tata. She’s a kitsune.”

“What’s a kitsune?”

“A werefox,” Derek replies.

“There are werefoxes? That sounds awesome!”

Erica and Isaac stagger over toward them.

“Oh, look. It’s the two who don’t think training is all that necessary and would rather lie around the house like slugs than know how to properly fight,” Stiles says with as much snark as he can.

“We get it. We suck,” Isaac says.

“But why do we suck?”

“Because we don’t train and listen to Derek,” they say in unison.

“Exactly. Two against three. Pfft,” Stiles gloats. “Let this be a lesson to you. Seeing as how Scott kicking both your asses at the skating rink wasn’t.”

They nod at Stiles’ lecture, and Derek is once again fighting his wolf about the boy.

“Alright. That’s enough. Let’s get you guys cleaned up and fed,” Stiles announces. The betas turn around, heading back toward Hale House. Stiles, Derek and their kids follow. A few beats of silence pulse between them before Stiles interrupts it. “So…you guys were in the trees for a while,” he says, sounding a lot less coy than he thinks he does.

“Uh-huh,” Claudia says with a grin.

“For…how…long?”

“Long enough, tata,” she says, then winks at him.

Stiles turns an embarrassing shade of pink, and Derek shakes his head that both his kids have inherited Stiles’ fondness for obnoxious teasing.

»»»

“Are you guys sure you don’t mind me intruding,” the sheriff asks.

“You’re not intruding if we invited you, dad.”

“And I thank you for inviting me, but it seems kind of weird, right? You guys don’t want to hang out with an old man like me.”

“You’re not as old as you’re making yourself out to be, and we wanted you to come to dinner,” Stiles tries to assure his father.

“Is this what you guys do when you hang out together?”

“We used to shoot each other up with heroin and have orgies until dawn but that got real boring, real quick,” Stiles mouths-off.

DJ snickers at the sheriff rolling his eyes at his absurd son.

“Hey, guys,” Stiles calls as he sets down dinner at the table, along with a serving bowl of brown rice and dinner rolls.

Boyd, Isaac, Erica, and Claudia come from downstairs, freshly showered and in clean clothes. Derek walks over to the table and hands the sheriff a beer. He nods a ‘thank you’ to him.

Derek takes his seat at the head of the table. Stiles makes to sit at the other end, but Claudia politely nudges him into the seat to Derek’s right. The sheriff sits on his left and the others fill the chairs in the center.

“Looks good, Stiles. What did you make,” Erica asks.

Chicken Piccata.”

The betas exchange impressed looks.

“Stiles is a really good cook,” the sheriff, John, remarks. Stiles smiles at his dad's compliment.

Claudia leans over to whisper to Stiles. He grabs the main course and serves Derek, his father next, and then himself. They rotate in that order throughout dinner: Alpha, guest, “Alpha-mate,” family, betas.

“I got to say I’m actually surprised this is what you guys do together. I just thought you all… I don’t know. All you and Scott do is play video games and hang out in your room. Where is Scott by the way?”

“Not here,” Stiles says curtly. “But yeah, we have dinners, sometimes breakfast together.”

“And go mini-golfing,” Isaac adds.

“We watch movies, too. Stiles made us watch all three Back to the Future movies,” Erica says.

“They’re good movies,” John responds.

“Not the third one,” Erica groans.

“Better than those old movies Derek makes us watch,” Isaac complains.

“They weren’t bad. I really liked Marty and Now, Voyager,” Stiles says.

Derek smiles at him and Stiles ducks his head, blushing when his father shoots him a quizzical look.

“I like old movies like da-Derek,” Claudia says, catching herself.

“Oh, really. What’s your favorite one,” John asks.

Sabrina. I even like the Harrison Ford remake,” she says.

The sheriff smiles fondly. “That’s a good one.”

Stiles can easily see that his father and Claudia have a strong bond in the future. They seem to have a connection and a lot of common interests. He likes that. A lot.

“We do other stuff, too. Like play chess and board games,” Claudia says. “You’re a serious Monopoly player by the way, Sheriff Stilinski. Can’t believe you sent your own son to ‘jail’ and took all his property.”

“I can,” Stiles pouts, earning a smirk from his dad.

“Bet you’re a pretty good poker player, too” Boyd remarks.

“Eh. Stiles better at it than me.”

“Really? I would have thought he’d have the worst tell,” Derek says.

John laughs. “You’d think so, but no. He’s a card shark, with a really good bluff.”

Stiles winks at Derek with a goofy, smug smile on his face. Derek rolls his eyes at him, returning a bashful smile to him. It’s the second time Stiles has caught his father’s eyes flit back and forth between he and the werewolf.

Shit.

“Poker sucks. I like Bridge,” Isaac pipes up.

“Really, you old biddy,” Erica teases.

“My grandma was in a bridge club and sometimes when she needed a fourth, I’d sub in. She taught me how to play.”

“Aw. That’s cute, Goldilocks,” Stiles says sincerely.

Isaac just shrugs, but there’s a swift look of sadness on his face at the memory of his beloved grandmother.

“So, DJ and Claudia, you’re in town for a bit,” John asks.

“Um, yeah," DJ says, quickly remembering their cover. "Erica was nice enough to introduce us to her friends and let us hang out with them while we’re here,” DJ replies.

“Your parents with you?”

The room turns still and silent for a beat at the irony of the question.

“Um, no. They’re back home in San Francisco.”

“Oh. That’s a shame. I was hoping I would get to meet them.”

Erica snorts loudly. Stiles fixes her with a glare.

“Maybe some other time,” DJ says.

“That’s odd that your parents let you come visit your cousin in the middle of a school year.”

“Um, uh, w-well, we have perfect attendance so missing a week isn’t that big a deal. Plus, my dads sent us our school work and we do it in between hanging out,” DJ recovers. “We just needed a break from the city, and my senior year is kind of hectic with college next fall and everything.”

“Where you going to school?”

“You’re interrogating, dad,” Stiles warns.

“Sorry. Occupational habit,” the sheriff apologizes.

“It’s cool,” DJ tells him. “I’m going to Brown.”

“Hopefully,” Stiles mumbles.

“Wow. That’s an amazing school. Good luck.”

“Thanks, gran—Sheriff Stilinski.”

“I’m sorry, but did you say your ‘dads’?”

“Y-Yes. We have two dads,” DJ says.

“Well, tell your fathers they raised really good kids for me please.”

DJ and Claudia’s faces brighten. “We will.”

Stiles and Derek exchange knowing looks again. And again they’re busted by his father.

Shit.

»»»

Stiles cooked dinner, but Derek made dessert and coffee. Banana pudding to be exact, earning comments that make the Alpha proud of his culinary skills. His father taught him how to cook and bake.

After dessert they convince Isaac to teach them all how to play Bridge.

When they’ve mostly got the hang of it, they split off into two groups of four. Derek, Isaac, DJ, and Claudia play on one team. Stiles, his dad, Boyd, and Erica play on the other.

Everyone seems to be doing alright with it except Erica and DJ. Erica is confused by the rules and DJ doesn’t like the game enough to play thoroughly. Stiles is thankful he and Boyd partnered up at their side of the table, because they are destroying Erica and his dad. 

Bridge is a long game, but he and Boyd are quick learners and Erica is drowning, so they win all three games swiftly. Claudia and Isaac were on the same team and win all their games as well.

Stiles makes to wash dishes when they’re done, but Derek dismisses him from the kitchen, tasking his betas with cleaning up what Stiles took the time to cook for them.

He’s a bit disappointed though; he was attempting to use cleaning up as an excuse to stay longer. It’s a school night, and his dad was nodding off on the couch beside Claudia and DJ. He knows he has to go, but he just isn’t ready to.

He shakes his dad awake and they say their ‘goodbyes’ before heading out with the rest of Derek’s banana pudding the sheriff couldn’t get enough of earlier.

They’re in the car, pulling away from Hale House, when his dad starts:

“So, was I really invited to this thing tonight because of my lovely company, or was it something else?”

“What? Why else would you be invited?” Stiles is genuinely confused about his father’s allegation.

“Nothing I guess. Just seems like maybe there was another reason I was supposed to be there.”

“No. Claudia suggested the next time we all have dinner together you should come. I thought it was a nice idea and really sweet of her to think of you.”

“There’s something about that girl…”

“What do you mean,” Stiles asks nervously.

“Nothing horrible. She’s an angel, but she… I don’t know. She just feels…familiar. Like I’ve known her for a really long time.”

“Some people just have that affect on us throughout our lives, you know? Maybe she was your daughter in another life. Or granddaughter.” Because Stiles loves starting fires he can’t put out. He can’t help it.

He watches his dad’s face scrunch up, thinking about it…

“I’m just fooling around,” Stiles says. His father may not be hip to the supernatural ongoings of Beacon Hills, but Stiles' very aware that he's still a good detective, and could come close to  figuring out who Claudia really is, given enough time.

“I don’t know. She’s just familiar, like I said. Her brother, too. A little bit, but not like her.”

Stiles shrugs.

“Ignore me,” the sheriff brushes off.

“Did you have a good time though?”

“I did. And thank you for inviting me. I’m sorry if I implied there was some ulterior motive to you and your new friends asking me to come over. I like them.”

“Yeah, they’re pretty cool once you get to know them.”

And Stiles wishes before all this happened that he did try and get to know them.

Boyd is reserved and tactical and smart, with a dry sense of humor he loves. Isaac wears his sarcastic hipster vibe like a shield and armor, but he’s really insecure, scared, and vulnerable most of the time. Stiles knows exactly what that’s like. And Erica. He had no idea she was so tough and strong. She can be a bit of a bully if not reigned in, but it all stems from years of being unnoticed until paid attention to for all the wrong reasons.

Then there are his kids. They’re…perfect. Not in the complete sense of utter perfection, but for he and Derek, and the lives they lead and what they eventually become, they are perfect. They’re normal teenagers, who seem to be able to balance their human world with their supernatural one. There’s no way they could do that without the values and rules and lessons he and Derek teach them. He’s proud of them, because it means what he and Derek have taught them is being taken to heart.

“At any point are you going to tell me what happened with you and Scott?”

“…I made new friends and Scott didn’t like that he wasn’t my one and only anymore. So we broke up.”

“I know you’re joking, but…did you and Scott actually break up?”

“What?! No! Ew, dad! No! Never! Scott and I are platonic soulmates and that’s it.”

“Okay. Okay. Okay. Understood… But I just want to say that if you and Scott, or any boy, were together…sexually…that’s okay. As long as you’re respectful of one another and safe.”

“W-What makes you think that I-I’d be interested…in…someone…like…a guy?” Stiles remembers his father easily dismissing him as being gay outside The Jungle. He's curious as to what exactly has shifted his opinion.

“I know my son. Even the parts of him he tries to hide, or cover up.”

“…I’m not hiding anything.”

“You’re allowed to love whoever you want and its okay. We’re okay. I love you, no matter what.” 

The sheriff squeezes his shoulder and Stiles turns his head to look out the window. He doesn’t want his dad to see him cry. Even if they are happy tears. “Thanks,” he says, sounding a little choked up.

John affectionately runs his large hand over Stiles’ head. “You’re welcome.”

 


Stiles’ dad is working late tonight, so Stiles decides to stay over after dropping Boyd, Isaac, and Erica off from school.

He and Scott still aren’t talking, so he opts to skip out on lacrosse practice and stay at Hale House.

Stiles finished most of his homework during study hall, so he spends about an hour helping Isaac with his chemistry homework. They both have Harris, but at different periods of the school day.

DJ in turn helps Erica study for her Spanish oral exam. He’s fluent in both Spanish and French, and can read Latin. Claudia knows Spanish as well, but also knows conversational Japanese for some reason... Stiles is stupidly proud when they tell him they know fluent Polish, too.

After everyone’s done with their homework, Derek takes them out to the preserve for training. Stiles stays behind to catch up on his reading for AP English.

When Derek, the betas, and younger Hales return, muddy and blood splattered, Stiles immediately yells at them for tracking “dirt and whatever the hell else is out there” into the house. He pushes them outside and tells them to take everything off and leave it on the porch. Even Derek.

Everyone obeys without question for some reason, and removes all but their underclothes. Erica isn’t wearing a bra today and not being the least bit shy about it. Derek has to smack DJ ‘round the head for staring at his “aunt” so inappropriately.

Stiles lets them back in, bringing a large laundry basket out front and dumping all their filthy shoes and clothes into it.

There are four and ½ bathrooms in the whole house, including the master bathroom. Derek lets Claudia shower in his bathroom. DJ uses one, while Isaac and Erica use the other two full baths. Derek and Boyd discuss training and what other fighting techniques and tactics they could possibly explore for the next session while they wait their turns.

Claudia takes long, hot showers and likes to leave a mess of water everywhere, along with clumps of hair in the drain. He has only himself to blame; DJ warned him. But he strangely finds it endearing. It reminds him of why he hated sharing a bathroom with his sisters.

One of the reasons he hated sharing a bathroom with them. The other being he couldn’t do what he’s currently doing, which is jerking off in peace.

Stiles has already been picking at his wolf (sometimes deliberately), but yesterday made it even worse. Stiles has inadvertently been taking on more and more of an Alpha-mate role, and the werewolf’s subtle acceptance of it is growing the attraction he has for Stiles.

First, with their near-kiss in the preserve, then Stiles cooking dinner for them that night with Claudia forcing him into the ‘Alpha-mate seat’ then whispering for him to serve Derek, his father, then himself. He’s glad they’ve decided to raise their children with traditional werewolf customs, but nevertheless, its making him stink with arousal. Something Erica has taken pleasure in as she gives Derek sly grins and the occasional wink when Stiles isn't looking.

Stiles’ father being there at dinner was also a thinly-veiled custom.

When a werecreature finds their mate, the smaller (or "weaker") pack is absorbed by the larger, more dominant pack. Like a ‘joining of families’ when humans marry. Getting to know John, inviting him over for a shared meal, in his den, is a display of trust and form of welcoming. Breaking bread with the pack, and Stiles' presence, would be seen as Derek openly asking the sheriff’s permission to mate with Stiles and allow them both into his pack.

Derek had wanted nothing more than for both Stiles and John to stay yesterday, but he was loosing small bits of reserve that he thinks the sheriff might have been picking up on. He thought it best if Stiles went home, even though he knew the human was stalling in his attempts to stay.

But regardless of Stiles’ absence, his smell was still everpresent and made his wolf prickly under his skin. Derek went to bed early, thinking about how Stiles smelled in the woods, how close their lips were to touching, and how disappointed he looked with them being interrupted.

Stiles showing interest is dangerous. And exciting. The thought of it makes Derek's fangs poke through his gums and eyes fade to rubies. 

He wants to sink pointy teeth into pale skin dotted with small moles, right at the pulse point of his neck. Leaving hungry bites there that purple-up and bruise around teeth marks for everyone to see—

“Oh, fuck!”

Derek comes all over his fist wrapped around his cock.

He leans his head against the tile wall, trying to catch his breath. He wasn’t expecting that. He wasn’t expecting his orgasm to sneak up on him like that. He usually has better control, and can “edge” a bit before he’s ready to come, but with the mere thought of giving Stiles a claiming bite, declaring the teen as his and announcing it to the world…

This is definitely getting worse.

»»»

Derek makes dinner. A really good steak and asparagus stir fry, and Erica offers to make dessert, a chocolate almond cake Stiles has two big pieces of.

Afterward, Stiles clears the table and washes dishes. Derek joins him and they stand side-by-side, touching shoulders, in comfortable silence as they clean up.

Isaac’s re-teaching Erica the basics of Bridge at the dining room table, while Boyd reads on the couch as Claudia and DJ watch some sitcom that has DJ cracking up with laughter.

Suddenly, the weres’ heads lift up and turn toward the door.

“It’s Lydia,” Erica groans.

Derek nods and Boyd goes to answer the door.

He returns with the redhead.

She appears timid and uneasy. Lydia doesn’t do timid and uneasy… “Hello, everyone,” she says softly.

Stiles smiles at her while the rest of the room regards her with a scowl.

“Is there something I can help you with, Lydia,” Derek asks bluntly.

“Um, I wanted to talk to you and Stiles. Privately. Please.”

“About what,” Claudia asks with a sharp tone.

“Claudia,” Stiles warns about her rudeness. The teenage girl deflates and stays quiet.

Derek reaches into his wallet and pulls out a couple of bills. He hands them over to Boyd. “Why don’t you guys go to a movie? Take my car. Keys are by the door.”

“I want to stay,” Claudia says.

“No. Go to the movie.”

“But daddy—”

He fixes her with a stern look with the thinnest trace of red around his pupils.

“Oh, my God! Fine,” she pouts, stomping out of the room and toward the front door! The rest of them follow.

“Sorry about Claudia. She…” He leaves the “doesn’t trust you” unsaid.

“No. It’s okay. I get it,” Lydia says.

Derek motions to the armchair adjacent to the sofa. Lydia sits. Derek takes a seat on the couch. Stiles joins him.

“…I don’t do much apologizing. So I’m sorry if I screw this up,” she starts. “You came over to my house and try to make amends. That was very big of you. You even tried to apologize in regards to Peter, which is unnecessary, but you attempted to anyway. I’m sorry that I rejected your apology without even hearing it first. That was rude,” she says to Derek.

“Thank you.”

“And I’m also sorry for using you, tricking you into resurrecting Peter. I never acknowledged how that must have made you feel. It was wrong.”

Stiles is actually a little shocked at that one. He never thought she’d take that back, or even acknowledge any wrongdoing.

“...Thank you, Lydia. And I’m sorry for trying to hurt you when I thought you were the kanima. I’m also sorry for trying to hurt Jackson when we realized he was the kanima. I know he means a great deal to you, and you’d be grief-stricken if you had lost him. I should have found a better way. And I should have made saving him just as important as stopping him.”

“Thank you.”

Derek nods.

Stiles slaps his knees with a grin. “Now was that so hard, guys?” 

“Don’t ruin it, Stiles,” Derek deadpans.

“I’m just pointing out that—”

“Don’t. Ruin. It.”

Stiles rolls his eyes and mouths “Fine,” to the Alpha wolf.

“We don’t have to be friends, but I’d like for us all to get along, and work together,” Lydia says. “Without incentives.”

“Except to stay alive,” Stiles chimes in.

“Goes without saying,” she tells him. “I don’t know what our futures are now, but DJ’s account of what you two have gone through…was a little rough to deal with.”

“Trying hearing you end up in a coma,” Stiles grumbles.

“I don’t like my family. I don’t like most people, and most people don’t like me, which may be why with all this life-and-death, supernatural stuff, I lean on you guys like family; you are to me. So it hurt to hear those things about us. About Scott. You and Scott are the glue that holds us together. A fracture in that is big and upsetting. Especially given it's all because you two fall for each other.”

Ten days ago Stiles would be protesting her last statement, citing laws of causality and paradoxes as an argument for the possibility of he and Derek never even becoming friends, let alone a couple with kids. Now, they’re sitting quietly, trying not to glance at one another.

“I don’t want to be apart of that. I want us to be the good guys. All of us. Especially with each other,” she says.

“Does Scott know you’re here, and that you feel this way,” Derek asks.

“He knows I’m Switzerland; that I don’t want us to fall apart, but I’ll do what I can to help your kids get back to their time, and whatever else Derek and his pack need here on out.”

“Did you tell him what DJ told us,” Stiles asks.

“No.”

“Did you tell anyone?”

“No. They have to come to this all on their own. Like I did.”

“Well, at least I know my best friend is being a jerk about this, and it’s not that he simply doesn’t care about me winding up in a coma.”

“Scott’s just threatened by Derek and hates that you bond with him down the road.”

“It’s not that. It’s not just that,” Stiles says evasively.

Lydia and Derek politely don’t ask him to elaborate.

“Thank you for coming over here to apologize, Lydia. And for being helpful,” Derek tells her.

“You’re welcome.”

They don’t know what to do next exactly. Lydia’s not making any moves to go, and Derek doesn’t want to be disrespectful and ask her to leave. Not after she came over to sincerely say she’s sorry and ask to keep helping.

Stiles decides to prevent the awkward silence from furthering. “Do you want a piece of chocolate almond cake? It’s really good.”

She smiles. “Sure.” She turns to Derek. “Is-Is that all right?”

Derek nods.

“Thank you. We’ll have cake and go over whatever new notes you have.”

“Oh. Uh, well…Um, see, we sort of…haven’t…been…doing…any research…lately.”

She raises a perfectly sculpted eyebrow at her friend.

“Well, you know, Deaton gets back in four days, and so we were just going to wait on him and see what he has to say since none of our research has turned up anything.”

She still shoots him an icy, judgmental glower.

“Cake. Then research,” she says firmly.

“Understood,” Stiles cowers to her.

Derek covers his mouth with his hand to hide a laugh.

“What,” she asks.

“Nothing. You’re just very…effervescent, Lydia.”

“Thank you,” she smiles at the compliment, not getting the inside joke.

“You’re welcome.”

Stiles shakes his head, biting his lip, trying not to smile. Or scowl. Because even when he flirts, Derek Hale can still be a complete dick.

Chapter Text


“I don’t know!”

“Oh, come off it, Stiles! Just be honest.”

“I am!”

“No, you’re not!”

“Lydia, I am telling you: I don’t know!”

“And why not,” she says, folding her arms under her breasts.

“Because… Because… Because it’s only been 12 days of the two of us being even remotely cordial to one another and I don’t think you can exactly fall in love with someone in a little over a week.”

“So, there’s an appropriate and predetermined amount of time in which someone can fall in love with another person?”

“No, but I doubt the minimum is only 12 days.”

“You were in love with me for years, and somehow have fallen out of love with me in what seems like mere seconds. Why is that?”

“Because you made your choice, and it wasn’t me.”

“Fair enough, but what else?”

“There is no ‘else’. You were aware of my feelings for you—everyone was aware of my feelings for you—but didn’t have the same romantic feelings for me; you love Jackson, why I will never understand, but you do. I accepted that, and have moved on.”

“People don’t usually go ‘cold turkey’ on an obsession without creating a new one to take its place.”

“You’re thinking of addictions. And might I point out, that I was neither obsessed nor addicted to you. I was just…infatuated. I was in love with you,” he says sincerely.

“And now you’re in love with Derek.”

“Why do you keep saying that?!”

“Uh, because it’s true. There’s nothing wrong with you falling for him, Stiles. Especially given our current circumstances.”

“I know that, but I keep trying to tell you that I’m not, and you’re not listening.”

“Because it’s complete bullshit. ‘The lady doth protest too much, methinks’. You want him, Stiles. Why can’t you admit that?”

“I… There’s…” She’s not buying it, any of it. She's eyeing him, waiting for the truth to come spilling out of him. He shouldn’t have tried to argue with her to begin with. She’s as sharp as a samurai sword, with evasiveness and lies as her foes.

“Stiles—”

“I’m sick of it,” he shouts.

“Sick of what?”

“…My stupid, masochistic heart. I am so sick of falling for beautiful, smart people that are so out of league they’re on another planet. I’m sick of being head over heels for someone that thinks I’m nothing but a spaz…or needs a werewolf to bite them to even know I exist. I’m sick of being rejected before even given a chance.”

The last thing he wants to do is cry in front of her. So he fights back the tears stinging in his eyes.

“…I’ve never realized how many apologies I’ve needed to hand out before.”

“You don’t owe me an apology, Lydia. You don’t have to apologize for having feelings for someone else,” he says flatly.

“But I could apologize for ignoring you when I shouldn’t have. For treating you like you meant nothing. For using you to make Jackson jealous. And for kissing Scott. I know that must have hurt you, and caused a problem between you two.”

“Clearly we got over it… If only to fall apart about something else entirely.”

“I’m sorry, Stiles. For all of that.”

She is. Truly. He sees it in her eyes, and the frown on her lips. But he doesn’t want to talk about it anymore. Too many hurt feelings are flooding through him and he just wants to let it go. He drops an old, leather-bound encyclopedia on her desk. “Let’s just go through the spell book one more time. We might’ve missed something.”

“It’s different this time. Derek loves you, too.”

“Jesus, Lydia!”

“You break down his walls, and make him think harder about his choices,” she persists.

“Derek’s a smart guy, Lydia. Not to mention a born werewolf. He’d have eventually figured all this Alpha stuff out on his own, which is all he’s doing now.”

“No. You’re balancing him.”

“Please stop.”

“Why?”

“I just told you. I already have unrealistic expectations. Don’t need to add anymore idiotic hope onto that.”

“I’m not. I’m stating facts. I’m telling you what I see.”

“Then those aren’t facts, Lydia! Unless Derek tells you himself that he has feelings for me then it’s just a guess.”

“But an educated one. You should make a move on him.”

Stiles’ mind quickly flashes to them in the preserve. Derek pressing him against that raccoon-infested tree. They’re bodies close, lips half an inch from a kiss… She's trying to be supportive. He knows that, but she's really just making his doubt worse. “No. I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

“You don’t give yourself enough credit.”

“Well, with my pattern of rejection…”

“He’s attracted to you.”

Stiles snorts.

“Stop that! Right now!”

Stiles is taken aback by her snapping at him. 

“Look, I may have overlooked you, and unfortunately don’t feel for you like you would have liked me to, but I do see a very good-looking boy in front of me. He’s sweet, with big Bambi eyes, a cute, upturned nose, and pink mouth that cracks into the best smile when something’s really funny. I see that, and it’s adorable. Derek sees it, too. And he's smart enough to appreciate it like he should. I mean, why not make a move? Aren’t you attracted to him?”

“You’re kidding, right? He’s… He’s Derek Hale. He’s gorgeous without trying, and sexy, even with all his brooding and crippling guilt.”

“And I bet you just want him to put his head on your shoulder and cry it all out,” she teases.

She’s only teasing, but there’s something about what she said that stings a little, that bites at his "foolishness." It’s his own fault for getting trapped in this conversation to begin with. He came over to her place to research and work. Not explore his developing feelings for a certain Alpha.

He was getting too distracted at Derek’s house for Lydia’s liking. They’re supposed to be researching, but for the last couple of days Stiles has spent all their research time bonding with DJ and Claudia, helping Derek’s betas with this or that, making dinner, or simply shirking aside investigation all together to watch TV, play bridge, or hang out in the preserve and watch the werewolves train.

Last night he and Derek were alone at the dining room table, eating dinner in dim light, flirtatiously bantering back and forth... Until Lydia cockblocked, believing their research to be more important than his dinner. They worked for about an hour, and then Claudia interrupted, citing she was bored and wanted him to watch The Dark Knight Rises with her. Stiles was out of his chair in the study room before Lydia could open her mouth to protest.

Earlier, during study hall, she demanded they do their supernatural work at her place tonight instead, away from all the diversions.

Or so they thought.

Since Stiles has been over her house, he’s gotten 6 calls from either his kids or the betas about how something works or where something is, seeing as how he’s apparently rearranged Derek’s entire kitchen, and handled their laundry for the last few days. He’s even had to break up an argument between Erica and Isaac while on the phone. Afterward, he asks to speak to Derek.

Lydia raised a perfectly sculpted eyebrow at him. They sound like "an old, married couple," she said. Thus, prompting their current discussion.

“I’m not trying to shame you about it, Stiles. You’re attracted to Derek. You like him. That’s fine. I just wanted to talk with you about it. Like a friend.”

He knows she was only trying to be conversational, especially after the awkwardness that’s gone down over the last week or so between them all. He can cop to overreacting a little about her curiosity. And he does need to talk to someone about it. He just wishes it were Scott.

“…We almost kissed.”

“What?! When?!”

"In the preserve. Monday, after school. The betas were playing ‘Capture the Flag’ with DJ and Claudia. I was the ‘flag’. Derek was ‘guarding’ me, and we got really close to each other, like kissing-close and our lips almost touched but then Erica and Isaac interrupted us.”

“Alright. So, then you know. He wants you, too. What’s with all the self-doubt?”

“It doesn’t feel…real. It seems more like he can’t help but want me. Like some sort of magic is making him. It’s not organic, or natural.”

“You can’t be this insecure. Seriously.”

He shrugs with a put-on smile. “All a part of my charm.”

“Stiles…” She shakes her head.

“Look, I’m really, really attracted to him. And I like him, despite the whole ordeal of him wanting me under false pretenses, but I know this story and how it ends. Especially for me and a guy that have done nothing but rile each other up and piss each other off until about a week ago. The best thing for me to do is suffer in silence and let time do its thing so I can get over it.”

“But you don’t want that. That’s why you’ve been blowing off research to hang out with your kids and Derek.”

“This whole thing is going to blow over and go back to normal once we get DJ and Claudia back to their time. I might as well get some perks out it all, because my best friend being a dick doesn’t exactly seem like a bonus.”

“What makes you so sure that's what’s going to happen? I’m pretty sure some stuff about the future is changed now.”

“Exactly. Like the possibility that Derek and I never become something,” he says, sounding so bleak yet tolerant of the whole thing. He turns his attentions back to his notes and the website on his laptop about magical potions and druid powers.

He can feel her eyes on him, and the sad, pitying look on her face. He ignores it in favor of the mound of papers with his chicken-scratch on them in front of him.

She grabs the spell book, carefully going through it, realizing Stiles is done, their talk over, and no amount of advice is going to change how he feels about anything he just said.

»»»

Deaton’s outgoing message on his cellphone and the service phone at the clinic is changed. Instead of being back in 2 days, he won’t be back for another week.

Derek thought he’d try both numbers again, in case the veterinarian decided to leave a number or email address he could be reached at while in Boston. Good thing he did, otherwise, they’d never know, and he certainly wasn’t going to ask Scott if he’d heard anything from his mentor.

He shakes his head bit at himself at the thought of the puppy-eyed beta wolf.

How the hell could I have ever thought I needed Scott, he thinks.

He used to think Scott was just scared and clueless, making his desire to help him, make him “family,” even greater, but his foul attitude toward him and his pack, then his childish descent from Stiles, let Derek see him in better lighting. Scott isn’t who he thought he was, and is a far cry from the adult he needs to be. Suffice it to say, Derek feels he dodged a bullet in this whole ordeal by not convincing Scott to be pack.

“You want to do one more,” Boyd asks, interrupting his thoughts.

They’re on patrol, canvassing the preserve. Erica and Isaac are out canvassing the town with DJ and Claudia. Derek sent his kids with them to keep watch over the two betas. Last time he sent them to patrol together he found them at the mall food court getting Jamba Juice and picking on some middle school kids.

“Yeah. We can circle around one more time, then call Erica and Isaac.”

“I think DJ and Claudia are keeping a good eye out on them,” Boyd smirks, reading Derek’s mind.

“How are my kids more mature than those two?”

“They’re born wolves. They understand responsibility, and like it.”

Derek nods. Makes sense. He remembers growing up and liking his mother tasking him to do something pack related, something that he could demonstrate his prowess with. It’s an ego thing with wolves, wanting to show off what you’re capable of, along with wanting to please your Alpha.

Boyd’s insightfulness is always something he enjoys.

They’re a lot alike, but for different reasons. Boyd’s a born introvert, and Derek was unfortunately made one by all the tragedy in his life. He doubts he and Boyd would have been friends in high school, but he’s grateful they are now.

They walk in comfortable silence for a while, passing a clearing and coming up on the lake, when Boyd disturbs the quiet:

“He likes you.”

Derek doesn’t have to ask. He knows who Boyd’s talking about. “Maybe,” he responds.

“You don’t think so?”

“I don’t know.”

“He smells like a candy cane when you’re around.”

Derek can’t help the shade of rose his ears turn. “Being attracted to someone is a lot different than mating with them.”

“Mating is instinctual with wolves, isn’t it?”

Derek nods. “When you know, you know.”

“So shouldn’t you trust that instinct if you feel that way about Stiles?”

“What makes you think I feel a certain way about Stiles?”

Boyd stops, making Derek stop as well. The beta gives him a dull look of: “Really, dude?”

“…He’s…kind of adorable,” Derek admits.

Boyd snorts.

“What?”

“It looked like it hurt for you to say that.”

“…I’m… I’m not good with…talking. About certain things. Sometimes.”

“I know. Me, too.”

“I know.”

They share a beat of mutual understanding. Boyd picks up his feet and Derek walks along side him.

“I thought he hated me,” Derek continues.

“No. Stiles doesn’t really hate anyone. Except maybe Jackson. He gets what Scott misses. The little things that are actually big things. Like being an ass to the local Alpha isn’t a good idea.”

“I called him a hyperactive spaz once. I didn’t even think he knew about that. Funny thing is I didn’t even mean it. I was just…”

“Venting?”

“Yeah. I was arguing with Scott. He said something about Stiles, and I just blurted that out. Didn’t think he'd run off to go tell him.”

“Really? Those two are as thick as thieves. Of course he would.”

“But Stiles wouldn’t.”

“And therein lies the difference between them.”

“One of the many differences between them,” Derek scoffs.

“Did you really think Scott would make our pack better?”

Derek stops walking. Boyd halts, realizing the Alpha isn’t beside him anymore, and takes a few steps back.

“I was wrong about that. I’m sorry,” Derek says.

Boyd shrugs. “I get it. Even with hating being a werewolf Scott’s still good at it. Plus, he was sired by Peter, so…”

“I was lonely, and Scott was the only werewolf around for a while.”

“Told you: I get it,” he playfully nudges Derek’s shoulder with his arm.

“Thanks.”

Boyd just shrugs again and they keep walking.

“Do you trust Lydia,” Derek asks.

“I don’t trust anyone that isn’t pack,” Boyd answers, making Derek smile to himself.

“Stiles trust her.”

“He used to be in love with her, too.”

“He’s a good judge of character.”

“He is,” Boyd admits.

“I don’t think she’s really up to anything. I get how she feels. Her pack with Scott is all she has. They’re the only people she can trust after everything she’s been through. She’s loved and protected with them. That’s what a pack is for.”

“We’re getting there.”

“You think so,” Derek asks, trying to not sound anxious about Boyd's answer.

“We’re learning with you. We just have to be patient with each other. DJ and Claudia help.”

“What are we going to do when they’re not here anymore?” It hurts him to say it, let alone think about it. They’ve already grown to mean the world to him. He can’t stand the idea of them no longer being with him here. But not acknowledging it would be denying reality, and he can’t afford to do that.

“They’ve learned everything from you, right? Then we’ll be fine.”

Boyd is definitely his favorite beta. “And Stiles. Wasn’t just me that raised them.”

Boyd stops again. “He wants you, so why not,” he asks sincerely.

“...He’s only sixteen, Boyd.”

“You’re not Kate, if that’s what you’re thinking.”

It’s always what he’s thinking when it comes to Stiles. He’s always worried about the intense daydreams and pornographic imagery floating around in his head when it comes to him. Kate used him, tricked him, but worst of all is that her façade covered up something even darker. Her abuse. He never thought of it like that when he was with her. He thought they were in love and doing what people who are in love do.

It wasn’t until the smoke had cleared and his home was a charred ruin did he really see her for the monster she was. It wasn’t until then that he had realized he’d been a victim of her cruelty, and in the most destructive and violating of ways.

“Kate set out to hurt you and your family. You wouldn’t hurt Stiles.”

He wouldn’t. Not ever, but— “Isn’t knowing better than him, but taking what I want anyway, the same thing?”

“Not if it’s what he wants, too. Not if you have permission.”

Derek gave Kate permission. And it still makes his skin crawl.

“Come on. Let’s finish patrol.”

Boyd’s eyes look defeated, but he nods his head, following Derek as they continue walking.

The best thing about Boyd is he knows when to stop poking.

»»»

Derek comes downstairs, freshly showered and in his pajama bottoms. He’s immediately hit with the smell of pine and birch, golden poppy, blackberries, spring water, and talc.

Stiles.

He wanders into the family room. Stiles is there, sitting on the sofa, wrapped in a blanket.

“Hey.”

“Hey.”

“My dad is working overtime tonight. He won’t be home until eight in the morning.”

“You don’t have to explain.”

“I brought you pizza.” Stiles points to the large pizza box on the coffee table.

“Okay.” Derek joins him on the sofa.

“How’d researching go?”

Stiles shrugs. “Couldn’t really find anything to help us with our problem. At least Deaton will be back in two days.”

“Deaton won’t be back for another week.” Stiles turns slack-jawed at the Alpha. “I checked his outgoing voicemail again, to see if he left another number he could be reached at or something. He’s staying in Boston for another week.”

“Oh,” is all the human says. Admittedly, Derek was expecting a bigger reaction. But he gets why there isn’t one. He feels the same way about it.

“What are you watching,” he asks, changing the subject.

“Nothing. Just some TV show about a chemistry teacher with cancer.” He switches to Netflix. “We can watch something else. Have you ever seen Somewhere In Time?”

Derek shakes his head.

“It was my mom’s favorite movie.”

“Let’s watch it then.”

Stiles smiles wide, and Derek fights his wolf not to kiss the fuck out of him.

Stiles cues up the film, then flips open the pizza box. Pepperoni, sausage, bacon, and black olives on one half, the other is just pepperoni. Stiles hands him a paper plate and napkin. He pulls a slice from the left half and drops it on Derek’s plate, then takes a slice of pepperoni for himself.

“How do you know I like my pizza like this,” Derek asks.

Stiles turns to look at him. “I pay attention,” he says with nothing but intent in his voice.

They share a moment. Just like all the unspoken heated ones they’ve had before…

But Derek directs his attention toward the TV when Stiles’ eyes fall on his lips.

Reluctantly, Stiles does the same.

You’re not Kate, and he’s not you, he reminds himself. But that doesn’t make it a good idea.

Even though he wish it were.

Chapter Text


It didn’t take long for him swing by, and Stiles knew it wouldn’t...

They’ve somehow convinced Lydia to play Pictionary with them. Drawing straws she ends up partnered with Derek, creating a frown on Claudia’s face. She’s such a daddy’s girl it makes Stiles ache and marshmallow inside.

Stiles winds up with DJ and neither of them are upset about it.

After a few rounds Erica and Boyd are in last place, Claudia and Isaac aren’t fairing much better, but Derek and Lydia are neck-and-neck with Stiles and DJ. The two teams have gotten strangely competitive as they go at it. Derek’s even taken to trash talking them, which Stiles tries to pretend doesn’t turn him on.

The last round went to the Alpha and the redhead, who even hi-fived when Derek guessed the jumble of lines and squiggles on the dry-erase board meant “fish tank.”

“We are kicking so much ass, Derek!”

“I know. Look how upset Stiles is.”

Lydia laughs. Genuinely laughs.

“That’s it! DJ and I are shutting this down. Right?”

“Abso-fucking-lutely, tata,” his son responds.

Stiles draws from the card deck, then smiles. They got this—

The doorbell rings.

“It’s Jackson,” Boyd says.

Lydia looks curious and just as surprised as everyone else.

Derek nods at Boyd. The beta goes to answer the door. He returns with Jackson, who appears awkward, nervous-looking. But it’s Jackson, so he tries to hide it under a false nonchalance.

Lydia approaches him. “Hey. What’s going on? What’s wrong?”

“Oh, um, nothing,” he answers.

“Everything’s okay?”

“Yeah. Sure.”

“Okay. Then…Then what are you doing here?”

“I, uh, just… I just wanted to see what you were up to. How the research was going and stuff.”

DJ rolls his eyes. “Did Scott send you here, man?”

“What? No. I came to see Lydia. My girlfriend,” he says looking offended. As though Scott telling him to go spy on them was so beneath him and his pride.

Stiles glances at Boyd. Boyd nods, having listened to Jackson’s heartbeat. It’s not bullshit. He really did come to see Lydia.

“So…like…what are you guys doing,” Jackson asks.

“Oh, uh, we took a break from researching to play a game. Pictionary,” Lydia answers.

“Is she kicking everybody’s ass,” Jackson asks with a smile.

“Yes,” “No,” Stiles and Derek respond. Derek smirks at him and Stiles fights with himself not to blush.

“We were just going into the next round. DJ and I are pretty fucking good, too,” Stiles says.

“’Pretty good’ is not great,” Derek tells Stiles.

“Derek is so awesome at trash talking,” Lydia gloats to Jackson.

“That’s cool,” he says.

There’s an awkward silence that fills the room. And it’s all on Jackson. He’s shuffling on his feet, looking around the room, like he’s waiting for something…

Stiles knows what it is. He’s been here before. A thousand times before. Standing next to cool kids as they do whatever, hoping they’ll ask him to join in. Jackson wants to stay. He wants to hang out with them. The cool kids.

But they can’t offer. He has to do it. He’s already made three werewolf faux-pas since walking in: (1) he didn’t acknowledge the Alpha and “Alpha-mate” as soon as he came in, (2), he didn’t thank the Alpha for letting him into his den, his home, and (3) he didn’t explain his presence (Lydia had to ask). It could’ve all been as simple as: “Hey, Derek. Hey, Stiles. I came to see Lydia, but can I hang out here with you guys? Thanks.”

The Alpha's home, their den, is their haven, their sanctuary. Where only family and pack are admitted without suspicion. And even then there are rules to be followed by pack, so there are definitely permissions that need to be granted for someone that isn't pack, in addition to showing up uninvited.

DJ and Claudia grow up with nearly every werewolf custom there is. So Stiles knows right now they’re annoyed at Jackson’s ignorance of them.

“Oh, my God, dude, you have to ask my dads if you can stay. They’re not going to offer since it’s their den,” DJ groans.

Jackson looks ready to bark angrily at DJ, but Lydia touches his arm, silently reminding him where he is and how that could lead to somewhere it shouldn’t go if he gets pissy. Jackson schools his scowl. He clears his throat. “Can… Can I, like, hang out…with you guys? ‘Cause, you know…Lyds is here.”

Stiles gets the odd impression that even if Lydia wasn’t here, Jackson still would have come over.

“Alpha Hale,” Lydia mouths to him.

“Can I hang out with you guys…Alpha Hale,” he repeats. Lydia smiles brightly.

“Sure. If Stiles is okay with it,” Derek tells him.

Jackson frowns. It’s no secret neither of them care all that much for one another, but during the last 13 days, Stiles really hasn’t given Jackson much thought to be honest.

“I don’t care,” he says. “You eat?”

“Food?”

“No. Small children,” Stiles replies.

The room chuckles lightly at Stiles’ sarcasm.

“I think there’s some pasta left. Some pie, too,” Stiles says, climbing over his kids to the kitchen.

“You made a pie, Stilinski,” Jackson asks taking a seat on the couch beside Derek.

Claudia shakes her head at him: Nope. Don’t think so, pretty boy.

Jackson gets it and stands back up…but all the other cushioned spaces are taken. Floor it is. He sits beside DJ.

“Actually Boyd made it. And it’s amazing,” Stiles says entering the living room and handing Jackson a plate of food. Another werewolf custom: Alpha-mate being hospitable to guests.

“Thanks, Stilinski.”

Stiles just shrugs and returns to his spot on the sofa beside Derek.

Derek leans into Stiles’ ear: “Are you really okay with him being here?”

“Yeah. Fine,” he whispers back. “Just interested to see where this goes.”

“Okay.”

“Thanks. For asking.”

“Sure.”

Stiles almost forgets where he is, losing himself in Derek’s eyes. Their lips close. All he has to do is dip his head a little and—

Jackson clears his throat.

Stiles and Derek quickly move apart from each other.

Stiles doesn’t miss the collective eye roll everyone gives Jackson for cockblocking. Trust me. I feel the same damn way, he thinks.

“Can I rotate in on Lydia’s team,” Jackson asks.

“No,” Derek says easily.

“Yeah, Derek and I are sort of kicking ass and taking names, sweetie. Maybe you can sub for Erica,” Lydia tells her boyfriend.

“Gladly,” Erica groans. Boyd shakes his head at her. They blame each other for their last place position. “Is there anymore pie?”

Stiles nods. Erica heads into the kitchen. Jackson takes her seat beside Boyd.

“Ready to crush it,” he asks Boyd.

“If you can draw a better sun than Erica I’m down.”

“How does someone not know how to draw the sun,” Jackson asks, chewing his pasta.

“My point exactly,” Boyd replies.

Stiles never gets enough of his dry wit.

“Stiles you’re up,” Lydia reminds.

He and DJ fist bump as he approaches the dry-erase easel Stiles let Erica borrow for her Spanish presentation…and lose the game by a point an hour later to Derek and Lydia who gloat for 10 minutes straight.

Stiles demands a rematch with Jenga played instead. Something he knows he’s fantastic at, but Derek reminds him it’s midnight, his curfew, and his dad’s shift ended 4 hours ago. Not to mention, Claudia’s been yawning non-stop since the game ended.

Lydia and Jackson leave first. Jackson has the preservation enough to thank Derek for “letting me chill here for a while,” and even shakes his hand before they go. Lydia gives Derek a nice peck on the cheek.

The dishes are already done. Erica did them while the rest of the group finished the game. He doesn’t have an excuse to stay now. So he just sort of lingers a bit until he and Derek are on the front porch talking for 20 minutes. About what he doesn’t know. He just remembers Derek smiled a lot and stood close to him.

Stiles says ‘goodnight’ to the betas and DJ, being nosy and watching them through the front window. 

Claudia, however, is practically dead to the world by the time he’s really ready to leave. He steps back into the house and watches Derek carry her upstairs. And it hurts more than it should to turn around and walk out the front door.

 


“Holy shit,” Jackson wheezes. “Why is this harder than lacrosse practice?”

“Because you’ve obviously never trained before,” Claudia answers.

“That question was rhetorical,” he glares at her.

She shrugs, not giving a fuck. Claudia hasn’t really cared for Jackson since meeting him, and he seems to snap tightly at her as well, but more than once today Derek’s caught a brief whiff of peppermint coming from Jackson’s direction when she’s around. That he's not exactly all too happy about.

“You don’t train with Scott,” DJ asks.

Jackson shakes his head.

“So, then, what do you guys do together?”

“…We don’t. Our girlfriends hang out, not us. And when Scott’s not with Allison, he’s with Stiles, doing whatever nerds do.”

Jackson receives a hostile glower from everyone at name calling Stiles.

“Sorry. Jesus.”

“So you don’t bond with each other, and you don’t train with one another. What do you do when something happens then? Is that the only time you guys are together like a pack? When supernatural shit does down,” Claudia asks.

“Stiles usually figures it out, creeping on his dad’s radio or going through his case files and stuff. He even knows how to hack into the FBI database. Danny showed him.”

“Who’s Danny?”

“My best friend.”

“He know you’re a werewolf?”

Jackson shakes his head. He wants to tell Danny. Really. But he’s afraid. Jackson is just as self-aware as Lydia. He knows he’s not liked and he doesn’t like many back, but for some reason Danny’s been able to break through that false exterior of his and see something good. Good enough to be friends with.

Danny’s the nicest guy on the planet, and to be his friend, his best friend, is something Jackson honors and respects. He doesn’t want to give up years of growing together, sharing secrets, hopes, and dreams, for Danny to be wind up terrified of him.

“If you’ve got a friend that can hack into a government database that protected, several times without being caught, then you might want to reconsider telling him you’re a werecreature,” DJ says. “Friends like that come in handy for a pack.”

Derek smiles. DJ is going to be a great Alpha one day...

“So Stiles is the only one in your ‘pack’ that gives a damn about anything that happens in this weird-ass town,” Erica asks. “Explains why it’s always Stiles who shows up at the den with all his research and shit asking us to help.”

“While Scott sits there with bitchface the whole time,” Boyd complains.

“I mean, what the hell was Lydia so on about if you guys don’t do anything? If you don’t care,” Erica continues. “Why the hell is Scott so angry about Stiles bonding with us? You’re not a pack. He’s whining about nothing,” Erica continues.

Maybe she’s being harsh, but it’s the truth.

Even after everything; after Gerard, Jackson becoming a kanima, Kate, Peter, and a slew of other villains and supernatural baddies, they’ve grown no closer. It’s still “the Scott and Allison saga.” It’s still Lydia and Jackson king and queen bee-ing all over school like once in awhile they don’t fight off a hive of fairies, or a coven of warlocks trying to sacrifice a bunch of “virgin maidens” in the preserve. It’s still Lydia and Allison having sleepovers, pouring over issues of Vogue, and whining about their boyfriends. It’s still Danny on the outs but growing more and more curious to their evasiveness.

Nothing’s really changed except everyone has each other’s cellphone numbers now, and most of the time Jackson prays no one calls him.

Truth of the matter is only Stiles and Allison really give a shit about what goes on at night in Beacon Hills. They’re the only ones with any real sense of duty and need to protect.

Scott treats being a werewolf like an annoyance he’s got to put up with. Like when he had asthma. Lydia comes along for the ride because she hates to be left out. Plus, she finds whatever her best friend and Stiles are involved in has got to be more interesting than her chemistry homework that night.

And Jackson… Well, Jackson admittedly just goes wherever Lydia goes. And lately she’s been hanging out at Derek’s with Stiles and Derek’s pack, so he was curious.

He didn’t know packs trained, worked on their control, and spent time together. He thought it was more Justice League than X-Men; everyone doing their own thing, but coming together to take on the bad guy.

He didn’t know it was supposed to be family.

“I think Lydia just likes the comfort of knowing we’re there for her, and each other,” Jackson tries to defend. “When she needs it.”

“But you’re not really,” Claudia says, sounding more sympathetic than instigative.

“…I know.”

Jackson gets now why Scott’s so pissed. Stiles is the thing holding them together. He links them together with his efforts to keep the town and its citizens in one piece, but now Stiles is gone. There’s no fine thread holding them all together. And even though they were all in different pockets, something about Stiles’ absence feels…wrong.

“We’re still learning how to be pack, too,” Derek tells Jackson. “But if you need something, help with anything, you can come to here. You can ask me.”

Jackson would never say it aloud, but he’s comforted by that. He nods his thanks.

“That’s enough training today. Let’s go back to the house,” Derek says.

 


“No. No. No. No. No. Please. Come on, dude. Come on,” Stiles begs his jeep as he turns the ignition, getting only a sad sputtering sound.

It’s raining. Torrential hurricane type raining.

It’s also eleven at night, so the mechanic’s closed 3 hours ago.

His dad is two counties over, helping the sheriff there sort out a murder case that’s spilled a little into Beacon Hills territory. So now they have to share information and work together for long hours of the night.

“Fuck!” He leans his head against the steering wheel. “One more time. Please. For me, Roscoe,” he begs. He turns the key. Nothing. Dead.

Stiles screams in frustration. “Fuck fuck fuck!”

He bites the bullet and calls a tow company to drop the jeep off at the garage.

Two hours. He has to wait two damn hours because of the rain, and what seems to be a mass suicide of vehicles that have just decidedly died on their owners tonight. He’s number ten on their dispatch.

Great.

He needs to call a ride, too.

His first instinct is Scott. Maybe he can borrow Melissa’s car. His thumb hovers over his name in the contacts, just above the call button…

He thinks the better of it and decides Lydia is a smarter choice. But as he scrolls down the list of names he stops on his

Screw it.

»»»

Derek’s there in 10 minutes, pulling along the curb behind the jeep.

He raps lightly on the passenger window. Stiles unlocks the door and Derek climbs in, hair wet and face sprinkled with droplets of water.

Goddamn...

“Hey.”

“You didn’t have to come now. I told you the tow truck won’t be here for two hours.”

“I know. But you were out here by yourself.”

Derek was worried. Derek Hale was worried about him caught in a rainstorm, brokedown in front of Mrs. Rockwood’s bakery and the antique shop. It's so damn simple, but feels like...everything. Stiles cups Derek’s face, leans forward and kisses him before the werewolf can do anything about it.

Derek’s lips are soft and beard smooth against his fingers, but prickly on his mouth.

Stiles has never kissed anyone before. Thought about it often enough. Especially in regards to Lydia, but it’s his first kiss, so it’s all hard lips and enthusiasm rather than spectacle and skill.

Derek fixes that. He tilts his head, making Stiles tilt his in the other direction, then licks at his lips with his tongue. Stiles opens his mouth a bit, and Derek slides his tongue inside seamlessly.

He starts slow, with little touches to Stiles’ tongue, but Stiles’ hands move to his shoulders, gripping there hard as he makes small, soft moans in Derek’s mouth.

Derek’s hand cards through Stiles’ hair and closes into a fist around walnut-colored locks. He opens his mouth wider, inhaling Stiles, turning their kiss hungry.

Stiles is a fast learner, taking cues well, and matches Derek’s greediness.

Derek breaks their kiss, rubbing his cheek into Stiles’ neck, kissing him there and dragging his fangs down the length of it.

Stiles knows he wants to bite. “Derek…” he says, breathless, making the werewolf growl.

Derek immediately lets go of the hand in Stiles’ hair as the pointed tips of his claws graze his scalp. “I’m sorry,” Derek says gruffly through fangs.

His eyes are red, teeth pointed, and claws out. Stiles didn’t think Derek could get any sexier. “It’s okay.” He leans back in to keep kissing, but Derek moves back a little. “What? What’s the matter?”

“I’m sorry. I should go wait in my car.” Derek pushes the door open and hops out before Stiles can object.

Stiles jumps out of the car, too. “What did I do?!”

“You didn’t do anything, Stiles,” Derek tells him, one hand on the door handle of his flashy car.

“Then why…?”

“I shouldn’t have let it go that far.”

Stiles deflates. “It’s your wolf, isn't it? He thinks he wants me…but you don’t.”

“…You think I don’t want you?”

“I mean, I get it with DJ and Claudia being here and your wolf, like, getting all pack crazy because of it. I just thought…”

You think I don’t want you,” Derek repeats.

“It’s okay. It’s fine. I just thought... I fucked up. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have made this—”

“My wolf and my human self are one and the same.”

“…I don’t understand.”

He looks pensive, like he doesn’t know if it’s a good idea to say what he’s thinking. If he should tell Stiles what’s thumping in his head.

Stiles waits. He knows Derek’s not good with words, with feelings, and saying what he’s thinking. He’s not good with expressing himself a lot of the time. It used to infuriate Stiles that all he offered was monosyllabic responses and cagey answers to necessary questions.

Until he found out about Kate and what she did to Derek and his family.

She was the reason Derek curled into himself, closed people off, while also having this desperate need for family. In a lot of ways she burned Derek alive in that fire, too.

“I’ve wanted you since…since the pool,” Derek confesses.

He’s stunned, doing nothing but standing in shock, and getting soaked in the rain pounding down on them. “That-That...was 7 months ago…” It’s amazing how doubting and self-conscious he feels instantly.

He doesn’t want me. Not for that long. He never said anything. Never did anything.

“You think I’m a spaz.”

“No, I don’t. I said that because Scott was fighting with me, yelling. He said he didn’t care about me or being a werewolf or what happened to my family. He said maybe they deserved it, and I snapped. I called him a moron and you a spaz and that you weren’t a real pack and going to get yourselves killed if you didn’t… It doesn’t matter. I didn’t mean it. I don’t think that way about you.”

“I love you.”

Zero to a hundred like always. He wants to regret it. Take it back. Swallow it down and never let it come back up, but he can’t. He blurted it out and now it hangs there between them as thunder rumbles in the sky.

“Stiles—”

“It’s not just because of DJ and Claudia. It’s… It’s you smiling at me, joking with me. It’s us finally fucking listening to each other and you talking about basketball with my dad. It’s you teaching Boyd, and Erica, and Isaac how to be good fighters and how to protect each other. It's you knowing what 'laws of causality' is. It’s you kicking my ass in Pictionary! I’ve gotten to know you in 15 days but it feels like 20 years we’ve been together and I like it. It feels good and I want it.”

“You’re sixteen, Stiles.”

“Don’t. That is a flimsy, bullshit excuse and you know it.”

“You don’t know what committing to me would mean. It’s more than just a bite on your neck and making dinner. It’s a lifetime of this. All of it.”

“I signed up for all this weird, supernatural shit the minute Scott got bit. I stayed by his side and helped my friend. I got to save lives and protect the people I love. I got to help get rid of the bad guys. And yeah, sometimes it’s terrifying, but I’m good at it, and I don’t know if I could stop being a part of it.”

“Stiles, you… I can’t…”

“…You’re not Kate.”

Derek’s eyes grow wide with Stiles calling out his insecurity. “She…” he starts. He tries. But it’s always—fucking always—hard talking about her. Which is why he never does. 

“I want this. I want you, Derek.”

“…I wanted it with her, too.”

“Are you going to hurt me?”

“I could never hurt you.”

“Then we don’t have a problem.”

“I don’t know if it’s that simple.”

Stiles steps forward. “We could make it that simple.”

Derek shakes his head slowly, like he's fighting against his own thoughts, trying to push away what his wolf is telling him to do. To take. "I'm broken, Stiles. And you deserve to be with someone that isn't."

"I know that, but I don't want to 'fix' you. I just want to make you happy. Don't you want me to do that?"

"...Yes."

"Then let me try at least."

Derek stares at him, eyes sunk deep into his, thinking, wondering… "You're so fucking infuriating." He closes the gap between them, pressing Stiles hard against his chest and kissing him wildly, all teeth and tongue that makes Stiles stop breathing and his brain turn to incoherent mush.

Someone loves him. Someone is in love with him. And it’s Derek Hale.

Derek Hale who’s holding him tight and kissing the hell out of him in a rainstorm.

The future has definitely changed, but maybe this part, the part about them, can stay the same.

Hopefully.

Chapter Text


Stiles has a boyfriend. He’s in a relationship. There’s someone in love with him and wants him close to hold and smile at and exchange ‘I love yous’ with. It’s only been a day, but it’s amazing. And also why he skipped school to stay at Derek’s with he, DJ, and Claudia.

Erica and Isaac groan about having to still go, but Derek shoos them out of the house. He even lets Boyd take his car to drive them there so he doesn’t have to.

Stiles makes breakfast and they sit in the conservatory together, eating happily and talking over their waffles and bacon.

Claudia talks a lot about Kira. Stiles remembers Kira is the kitsune in their pack, that his daughter seems to hero-worship a bit. Claudia mentions that Kira writes music reviews for an online newspaper, and has her own music blog that’s (according to Claudia and DJ) insanely popular and devoted to musical and cultural experiences like concerts, festivals, and music history. Claudia tries to slyly mention how Kira goes to Burning Man every year and told Claudia she’s more than welcome to join her next time…with her parents’ permission.

“I think I speak for both my present and future self when I say: ‘No.’,” Derek tells her.

“I’m going to go ahead and agree with Daddy Derek here and second that,” Stiles adds. “Nice try though,” he grins at her.

Claudia frowns.

After breakfast, DJ and Claudia clear the table and wash the dishes.

Stiles and Derek cuddle together on the couch. Derek reads through a collection of T.S. Eliot poems (like he’s not already brooding and dramatic), while Stiles mindlessly watches Judge Judy.

It’s amazing how comfortable and domestic they’ve become in just 16 days, and just how unguarded in one.

Erica squealed like a tortured pig this morning when she came downstairs and caught them kissing in the kitchen. She hugged and kissed them both with tears in her eyes like she just witnessed a marriage proposal. Derek tried not blush and scowl at her, but it was hard when Stiles’ cheeks pinked and he pecked Derek before turning back to the waffle maker.

DJ and Claudia walk into the family room after about an hour. They’re wearing shoes and jackets. “We would like to go out,” Claudia announces.

“Now,” Stiles grimaces. He’s comfortable and doesn’t exactly want to leave the house. Today is all about he and Derek and their gross couple-y-ness. Plus, he’s skipping school. Truancy officers scour the town, looking for offenders to haul back to Beacon Hills High. He’s caused enough problems with his father’s job. The sheriff’s son doesn’t need to be caught ditching school on top of it all.

“Yes.”

“Alright. Let me put my shoes on,” he groans, swinging his legs to the floor.

“No. We want to go out without you two,” DJ explains.

Stiles and Derek immediately protests. Their children match their voices with their own reasoning. They’re just talking over one another in raised voices.

“Stop,” Derek yells.

Everyone quiets.

“We don’t think it’s a good idea for the two of you to be out, driving around in Stiles’ rental, without a license, and by yourselves.”

“We don’t want to drive. We’re fine with walking,” DJ clarifies. “And as far as truant cops thinking were cutting class, Claude and I had our school IDs on us when we got morphed here, so if we get stopped we can show someone that we don’t even go to BHHS but Trinity Prep, which is in a completely different county all together.”

“Plus, if your concern is our safety, may we remind you that we’re werewolves. Born wolves who know how to take care of themselves a lot better than your betas can,” Claudia adds.

“I don’t know, you guys…” Stiles hedges.

“If you don’t let us get out of this house to just chill somewhere that isn’t in the confines of these for walls, we will sit here and cockblock you two so hard you’ll hate us,” DJ assures.

Stiles tosses DJ his cellphone. “Get out.”

“Stiles!”

“Get out now and don’t get into trouble,” Stiles tells them.

DJ and Claudia run as fast as they can from the house before he changes his mind. Or Derek comes after them.

“Stiles. Did you really just—”

“You want to complain or do you want to make out with some over-the-clothes stuff mixed in?”

Derek’s eyes bleed red.

“What I thought.” Stiles attacks his mouth!

Derek pulls Stiles atop him and they tongue kiss for what feels like hours.

Stiles feels Derek’s hard cock press against his own and grinds down on him.

“Stiles…” he moans.

Stiles never thought he’d hear his own name sound so good.

“Want to upgrade over-the-clothes fooling around to something better,” he says, licking at Derek’s lips.

Derek’s hands grip Stiles’ ass, rocking him forward. He crashes their mouths together and a greedy kiss.

They shift, turning on their sides, kissing slow and sweet now. Stiles lifts the hem of Derek’s shirt. He can’t resist the need to run his fingers along Derek’s abs and in the dark line of hair that disappears into his pants.

“Stiles. Are you sure?”

Stiles nods, because talking would require him to stop kissing Derek’s lips, and that’s the last thing he wants to do.

Derek carefully lifts the hem of Stiles’ shirt, tentatively touching his fly with his fingers.

He doesn’t expect for Derek to be…gentle. Not that Stiles minds. He likes that the Alpha is trying to go slow and be respectful. He was just anticipating for him to let his wolf go unleashed in their present situation.

Derek unbuttons Stiles’ jeans.

Stiles does the same for Derek, and unzips him, too. His long fingers trace down his belly button and slip into a soft nest of hair. Stiles’ dick twitches at the fact that Derek doesn’t wear underwear.

Christ. I’m doing to die.

Derek finally unzips Stiles and brushes his fingers past his boxers and around his cock.

Stiles gasps and can feel Derek’s smug grin against his lips.

Oh, yeah…? Stiles grabs Derek’s cock and smirks at the werewolf’s satisfied growl.

Derek’s lips break from Stiles’ and find his neck, sucking a hickey there. Stiles moans in response. Derek starts jerking him off, easy, but with a squeezing grip.

Stiles remembers he has Derek’s dick in his hand, too, and comes back to Earth enough to begin stroking him.

Derek’s about as long as he is but thicker. And uncut. His head is wet, and it’s nice to move his hand up and down the velvety shaft, feeling the skin pull back as he works him over at a steady pace.

Derek’s neck sucking turns to nibbles with careful fangs at his jawline.

He jerks Stiles off faster now.

Stiles matches his rhythm.

Derek swipes his thumb over the Stiles’ head. Stiles presses against Derek’s frenulum.

Derek growls, all feral and want. He turns his hand into a fast twisting motion and returns his lips to Stiles’ own. He licks into Stiles’ mouth.

“I can smell that you’re about to come,” Derek says, smooth and dripping with salaciousness.

“Oh, my God. Derek…” He wants to taste him. He’s been thinking about it since last night. Since 16 days ago. Since months ago.

They equal each other’s eagerness, stripping one another’s dick harder and faster, desperately wanting the other to come.

Stiles comes first, not being able to hold out any longer. It’s wet and messy and all over Derek’s hand, who keeps pulling on his dick past his orgasm.

Stiles presses on his frenulum again, making the werewolf howl and come in his jeans.

Stiles kisses him along his bearded face. He’s smiling. He just fooled around with Derek Hale and made him come. He’s entitled to smile.

Derek pulls his hand from Stiles’ pants and brings it to his mouth. Stiles stares wide eyed and amazed as he watches Derek lick his hand clean.

He swallows hard. His dick fatten back up. He takes his hand from Derek’s jeans, ready to do the same, but the Alpha grabs his wrist, stopping him.

He shifts their bodies allowing himself to hover over the younger man. He lifts Stiles’ shirt up to his armpits then takes his cum-soaked hand and rubs it on Stiles’ own stomach. He shucks Stiles pants down a bit, exposing his dick to the warm air in the family room. He’s hard again.

Derek sucks his middle finger into his mouth and slides it into Stiles’ jeans. The wet digit rubs against Stiles’ hole and the boy spasms and comes all over himself! Derek immediately rubs the mix of their cum into Stiles’ skin like lotion.

“Why’d you do that,” the human asks, recovering and breathless.

“So you smell like me. Like us.”

Us. It’s such a brand new concept, a new thought in Stiles’ head, but in his heart it feels vintage, treasured. Like they’ve been an “us” for centuries now.

Stiles sits up staring into Derek’s eyes. “I love you.”

“I love you, too.”

They kiss. Deep and owning. They’re not just together. Not just in love. They belong to each other now, and it’s tremendous and fated. Stiles knows it. Feels it.

Derek climbs off the sofa. “Come on.”

“Where?”

“I’m sleepy.”

“So we’re taking a nap and cuddling,” Stiles asks.

“Yes.”

Stiles pulls his pants over his ass and stands. Derek sweeps him into a fireman’s carry and heads for the stairs.

Stiles laughs and playfully smacks Derek's ass as he takes the steps two at a time.

»»»

Stiles pulls ingredients from the cabinet for the lamb stew he’s prepping. Isaac is writing in a leather-bound journal at the island while Erica paints her nails, Boyd starts I Know Why the Caged Birds Sings for their AP English class, and Jackson plays Candy Crush on his cellphone.

The front door slams shut.

Stiles glances at the clock on the stove. It’s nearly six. DJ and Claudia left hours ago. The betas have been home since three, bringing along Jackson who wanted to come over. Without Lydia.

DJ and Claudia enter the kitchen.

The bag of flour in Stiles’ hands slips from his fingers at the sight of DJ. Claudia’s reflexes enable her to catch it before it hits the floor! She rights it on the counter.

Stiles’ heart is pounding. Hands shaking. His mind is racing, screaming: mysonishurtmysonishurtmysonishurtmysonishurt!!!

DJ is dirty, hair wild, and shirt ripped with claw-like tears. His face, neck, clothes, and arms are blood-stained.

In an instant, Derek’s downstairs in the kitchen; red eyes, fangs, and claws. He must have smelled the blood and heard Stiles’ heart beating out of his chest.

Derek’s on DJ in a flash. He sniffs him, checks him for unhealed bruises and wounds with easy, light touches, lifting his arm, turning his head. DJ doesn’t complain. Doesn’t push Derek away or groan and rolls his eyes. Just lets him. Like he knows Derek needs to. 

“I’m fine, dad. Swear.”

Derek must take his word for it as his shoulders relax a bit, and claws retract. His eyes and fangs are still present though. He presses his nose into DJ’s neck, then his cheek, rubbing it there.

Scenting. Comfort. Relief.

DJ nuzzles him back.

“What happened,” Stiles asks, voice shaking, too terrified of the answer but knowing he needs to hear it.

“I’m fine, tata. Totally,” DJ says easily. “I just got into a fight.”

“With who,” Derek snarls, ready to kill.

“Scott,” he shrugs. Like its No. Big. Deal.

Gaped mouths watch as he walks into the fridge and pours himself a glass of orange juice.

“What? Run that by me again please,” Stiles says.

DJ’s eyes move to Jackson, then back to Stiles.

“I saw that. What,” Stiles snaps.

“That’s for Jackson to say,” DJ tells him.

“Thanks, dude,” Jackson frowns at being thrown under the bus.

DJ shrugs. Sorry.

“Well? Speak,” Stiles snaps again.

All eyes fix on Jackson. “I sort of told Scott that I needed to, um, talk to him later. And he said ‘just tell me now, dude’. I said I didn’t want to do it in the middle of study hall, in front of the girls, but he kept, like insisting, and so I…blurted out...that I…didn’t…want…to…be…in…his...pack…anymore.”

“Oh, shit,” Isaac says.

“What does that have to do with my child looking like he fell in a wood chipper,” Stiles asks.

“Well, Scott got all weird about it and asked why and I didn’t want to tell him, but he wouldn’t let it go, again, so I told him we were a shitty pack and that he’s not even the one who bit me, he’s not even a frigging Alpha, and that…I should…be with…Derek...instead.”

Stiles turns to his son. “How do you figure into this? And tell me the truth?”

“I don't lie to you guys. You’re both too fucking scary, and nosy, for me to even try. Not to mention, even attempting to in a room full of werewolves, two of which are my Alphas, would just be plain dumb,” DJ tells him.

Lying to your Alpha is considered gravely disrespectful, and punishable. Of what kind of punishment, Stiles has no idea, but it is considered a serious matter to be dealt with accordingly.

“Me and Claude went to the movies, then we went to the arcade, Arnie’s diner for onion rings, Yogurtland, and then to grandma’s park.”

Stiles and Derek’s faces crinkle, curious, at “grandma’s park.”

“Well, now it’s not grandma’s park, but it will be,” DJ says. “At the park there were some college guys playing soccer. They seemed cool and let us play with them. We were all having fun, they were really nice, but then Scott came out of nowhere, stomping on the field all pissed off and asking us where you were and accusing you and dad of 'stealing Jackson'. We kept trying to tell him you weren’t with us and that we’re just hanging out alone. I said ‘if you want to talk to my dads, you’re going to have to go to the pack house and talk to them, because they’re not here’.”

“He was being all huffy and arrogant,” Claudia says. “We were getting annoyed and the guys we were playing soccer with could tell and tried to step in, telling Scott to back off, and leave us alone.”

“One of the guys pushed at him a little when Scott got in his face, and that’s when it all went to shit. Scott flashed his eyes at the guy and snarled.”

Mumbles of “idiot,” “moron,” and an annoyed “really” come from the betas regarding Scott’s lack of control.

“So as much as I can’t stand the guy and don't want to be near him, I don’t want to be exposed and have a lynch mob with fucking pitchforks come after me even more. Claude and I grabbed him and ran for the trees by the pond. When we were far enough away I started laying into him about how dumb what he just did was, and that whatever bullshit animosity he has with dad needs to fucking end now, because he clearly doesn’t have good control and needs someone to teach him. Like dad.”

“Then he goes into some big rant about dad, so we start in on him and his hunter girlfriend and the fucking Argents and how screwed up they are,” Claudia says.

“It turned into a bunch of stupid yelling and name calling back and forth and I got tired of it. I told Claude we were leaving, but then he says he’s going to tell Grandpa everything. Everything.”

Stiles’ blood runs cold. He feels like he’s seconds away from a cold sweat and a panic attack.

Claudia continues, “I got up in his face but Deej pulled me back. I told him that the reason his whole ‘pack’ was falling apart was because he was a shitty leader that made shitty choices.”

“He growled at Claude… So I attacked him. That’s how the fight started. I hit him first,” DJ admits.

“And kicked his ass,” Claudia gloats. She and her brother hi-five. But their smug smiles turn to frowns when they notice Stiles. “Tata…?”

Stiles’ eyes are closed, hands in white knuckle fists. He’s breathy shallowly through his nostrils. Deep, furious breathes…

“Stiles,” Derek says. He puts his hand on Stiles’ shoulder.

Stiles flinches. “I’ll be right back,” he grits through his teeth.

“Stiles,” Derek calls.

“Clean DJ up,” he shouts, already out the front door.

The room is quite with all that's just been revealed. It's a lot to take in. Derek doesn't know what to do. If he should go after Stiles or stay here...

"I'm fine by the way. In case anyone was wondering," Claudia snarks. She snatches a carrot from Stiles' pile of dinner ingredients and takes a crunchy bite, smirking at Derek.

»»»

Stiles pulls full stop in front of Scott’s house. Melissa’s car isn’t there, but Allison’s is. He could give a shit. He’s a man on a mission and he’s pissed.

The door opens before he reaches the fist step. Allison.

“Your ‘kids’ are a fucking menace,” she barks.

“You might want to watch that. Especially since I’m not here for you.”

“They attacked Scott.”

“Yes, DJ did. After Scott kept pushing his buttons. He admitted it to me. My kids don’t lie.”

“But they do hurt innocent people.”

“Scott’s a lot of things in this scenario, but ‘innocent’ isn’t one of them. He provoked Deej and Deej unfortunately took the bait, but Scott apparently got his ass handed to him on a silver platter. Maybe you should have taken my advice 3 months ago and trained with Derek,” Stiles shouts past Allison into the house.

“Don’t you think this has all gone on far enough, Stiles?”

“Yes! I’ve been saying that for two weeks now! That’s your problem, Allison! Sometimes you're as stubborn as he is and you don’t listen! It’s probably why the two of you can’t stay together longer than a month!”

He’s livid and wants to throw jabs, lob barbs at whoever’s in his way.

“You’re one to talk.”

“But at least I’m working on it.”

“There’s nothing for me to work on! I didn’t turn my back on my best friend!”

“No, you just pat his soft head and tell him everything’s going to be alright and nothing is ever his fault. Way to be an objective hunter, Ally. Nice code you’re living up to.”

“You don’t get to comment on my family and our business.”

“I do when your batshit-crazy aunt rapes a 17 year old boy then burns his house to the ground with his family still inside. I do when your equally deranged grandfather kidnaps and tortures a couple of teenagers.”

She doesn’t like that. Stiles can tell she’s fighting everything in her not to slug him. He meets her cold stare with his own. He doesn’t want to do this with her. He likes her, but she’s putting herself square in the middle so fucks aren’t given.

“Really, Stiles?” Scott. Still in tattered, bloody clothes, appears in the doorway.

“Yeah. Fucking really, Scott.”

Scott folds his arms and scoffs.

“You want to talk to me man-to-man, or does your girlfriend need to be here for backup?”

Scott’s eyes flash, but Stiles’ isn’t impressed.

“Ally, can you give us a minute?”

“…Sure.” She pecks Scott’s cheek then stares daggers at Stiles before turning into the house.

Scott steps out onto the porch and closes the door behind him. Immediately, Stiles is on him, grabbing him by what’s left of his shirt and throwing him against the vinyl siding of the house!

“That’s my son, Scott! You’re my brother, but that’s my kid,” Stiles growls.

Scott knocks Stiles’ hands off him. “Your kid threw the first punch!”

“After he tried to help you and you provoked him!”

“And how exactly was he helping me?”

“You exposed yourself to strangers. Outsiders.”

“I can take care of myself, and I definitely could’ve taken care of a bunch of stoned college dudes.”

“You can’t take care of yourself. Nothing you’ve done has made that lie in your head true. You throw a hissy fit because I screwed something up and try to fix it with Derek’s help. You insult me and my kids and Derek when something gets too big for you to comprehend. You stomp away like a toddler whenever something you don’t like happens. You got Allison—who I like— lashing out at everyone for you. You threaten to tell my dad everything and then touch my son. You can’t take care of shit.”

“Derek is just using you. Why can’t you see that?”

Stiles groans, throwing his hands in the air. “What is wrong with you?! Why aren’t you listening?! You know what, fine. I’ll play along. What is Derek Hale using me for?”

“He’s just trying to get to me! He’s trying to use you to get to me! He’s turning us against each other!”

“No! That’s you, Scott!”

Scott takes a breath. “Why can’t you work with just me, and Allison, Lydia and Jackson to figure out how to get your kids back to their time? Why does Derek have to be involved,” he asks in an easy tone, softening his approach.

“Are you joking? They're not just my kids. Derek has an invested interest in what happens to them, too. I can’t just cut him out. What do you want me to do? Treat this whole thing like we’re a couple of divorcées? He can only see them on the weekends, every other Wednesday, and we switch off on holidays?”

Scott shrugs. Why not?

“Un-fucking-real. Do you know how awful that would be for DJ and Claudia? They don’t live like that! Derek and I are happily married in their future! Not at least working as a team would break their hearts! And I’m sorry, but if it’s between your hurt little feelings and my kids being devastated, I’m going to choose them. Every time, Scott.”

“Clearly. Just like you chose Derek.”

“Okay. Lydia didn’t tell you, so I’m going to.”

He shouldn’t. Knows he shouldn’t, but he’s had enough of this. He’s angry beyond belief, and at the one person he never thought he’d ever be this furious with. But Scott needs to hear every hard truth Stiles can throw at him, because Scott’s blinded by his own anger and it’s forcing the two of them to grow further and further apart.

“I end up in a coma saving your life. You don’t listen to Derek’s plan against some shapeshifters, almost get killed, and I save you, winding up unresponsive in the hospital for 3 damn days.”

Stiles appreciates the look of shock on Scott’s face. His friend at least still has his empathy intact about something.

“I’m in the hospital and Derek doesn’t leave my side. We become friends. We get close, and it turns into something really nice. Really good, for the both of us, but you just can’t get over your hatred for him and force me to chose. Something I’ve never asked you to do with Allison. Not even after her insane family did all those horrible and demented things. To us and to Derek. Not even after she stabbed Isaac a thousand times and shot arrows into Boyd and Erica. After all of it, I never asked you to dump her or told you to choose. You loved her and I understood that.”

Scott draws quiet. The truth, the facts, renders him silent.

“The fucked up part about all this is that you don’t even really hate Derek. You hate Peter. He’s the one you’re really pissed at, but he sired you, bit you, so it’s hard to focus all that venom directly at him. He’s your Alpha and you haven’t found another one, so your wolf won’t let you snipe about him. Derek’s just an easy punching bag for you. And it doesn’t hurt he’s Peter’s nephew, too.”

“…If it weren’t for Peter… I’m not like you, Stiles. I hate all this supernatural stuff. I don’t want it. I don’t want to be a part of it. I just want—”

“To be normal.”

Scott nods. This whole world was thrusted upon him without his permission. He was this awkward dork no one noticed all that much. He wasn’t special, and he didn’t want to be. He’s just always wanted to be normal.

“I don’t fault you for that, but it’s not in the cards for you anymore, Scottie. Normalcy for Scott McCall is gone, and this, Beacon Hills and its crazy ‘things-that-go-bump-in-the-night’ shit is unfortunately what you’ve inherited. All of us have. And you can hate it all you want, but we still got to deal with it as best we can. Part of that is you having to stop acting like getting bit by Peter was some sort of grave injustice. You’re stronger, faster, and can heal yourself if you’re hurt. I never hear you complaining about any of that. Or Allison.”

He’s not shamed, but he definitely hears what Stiles is calling him out on.

“You don’t have to like Derek either. But just respect I do.”

Stiles steps back.

“Stiles…”

“You know, we were normal before Peter bit you. It wasn’t exactly working out for us all that well. I like this more. Even if no one ever knows about it but us.” Stiles descends the porch steps. “Oh, and Scott, I love you, but if you ever put your fucking hands on my kid again, I swear to God I’ll let Derek kill you.”

Scott gulps hearing nothing but the truth in Stiles’ heart. The threat not the least bit idle. He watches Stiles climb into his rental car and head down the street toward Hale House.

»»»

Derek hears Stiles drop his keys on the kitchen counter. He's there not a second later. He grabs Stiles, yanking him forward, looking him over for injuries.

Stiles lets him a moment, relishing in Derek’s concern, before— “Hey, sourwolf, I told you: Scott would never hurt me. Just like I wouldn’t hurt him.”

“What happened?”

“We had words. Hopefully some of them sunk into his thick skull.”

“I’m sorry.”

“For what?”

“…Everything.” He’s sorry Peter bit Scott. He’s sorry he bit Boyd, Erica, Isaac, and Jackson. He’s sorry Peter attacked Lydia. He’s sorry Victoria killed herself. He’s sorry Allison lost her aunt and her grandfather, despite them being lunatics. He’s sorry Scott hates him, that he’s come between him and Stiles. He’s sorry DJ and Claudia have to go back, though he doesn't want them to.

“You have to stop thinking everything is your fault. That all you’re doing is the wrong thing.”

“...Most of the time I am.”

“Not this time. And I’d call ‘most’ an exaggeration. You’re trying; working at it. You’re a lot better at it now than you were months ago.”

“Seven months ago actually. Might have something to do with me trying to impress this mouthy, know-it-all kid ever since.”

Stiles blushes. “Oh, yeah? How’s that working out for you?”

“I don’t know. He seems like he is, but…”

“You can’t really tell? Maybe he should show you.”

“Maybe…”

Stiles pushes himself away from the counter and at Derek’s mouth. They inhale one another, hands in hair, moaning, and practically in each other’s shoes.

Derek pushes Stiles against the refrigerator, grabbing his legs and wrapping them around his waist, lips never breaking. They knock Isaac’s A- chemistry quiz and Erica’s detention slip off the fridge, to the linoleum.

Derek’s hands grip Stiles’ ass when they’re interrupted by someone clearing their throat. Derek growls and lets go of Stiles, whose mouth is red with stubble burn and an abusive kiss.

“This better be good, Whittemore,” Stiles grunts.

“Claudia said I should come and talk to you both,” he responds.

“About what,” Stiles asks.

“Jackson wants to be made pack, remember,” Derek reminds him.

“Oh. Well, that’s all you, right?”

“No.”

“I have a say?”

Derek nods.

“Really?”

“Yes.”

“Fuck,” Jackson exclaims under his breath. Only Derek hears and shoots him a raised eyebrow. Jackson bites his lip.

Stiles, however, giggles about his current license over Jackson.

“Stiles,” Derek says a bit stern.

Stiles rolls his eyes. “Fine. I’ll play nice I guess.”

Derek takes his hand and leads him to Derek’s office. Jackson follows.

Derek swings a chair around to the other side of the desk for Stiles to sit in. He tries to remember how exactly this went when his mother was alive and the Alpha. He was only permitted to some formal werewolf customs. Laura was the next Alpha in line, so she was always allowed into private meetings, ceremonies, and summits.

“You’re petitioning to be a member of the Hale pack. Is this your formal ask?”

“Yes. I am asking you, Alpha Hale, and Alpha-mate Stilinski—”

“Holy shit,” Stiles mumbles at the title.

“To be elected a member of the Hale Pack.”

Derek gets the impression his children might have coached Jackson on what exactly to say.

“To be in the pack you need not just my permission, and Stiles’ permission, but you need to be sponsored by someone already in pack.”

“Erica. She said she’d sponsor me.”

Stiles leans into Derek. “What’s a sponsor,” he whispers.

“Someone already in pack who finds him trustworthy and loyal enough to join. Someone willing to take blame if he turns out to be neither,” Derek answers.

“What happens to Erica if Whittemore doesn’t cut it?”

“…She’s thrown out of the pack and made an Omega.”

“No way! No fucking way to this!”

“Really, Stiles?! You’re not even going to give me a chance,” Jackson says.

“Not at the expense of losing Erica!”

“I’m not going to do anything that gets her into that kind of trouble!”

“Then what kind of trouble are you going to get her into?”

“You know what I mean! I’m not going to do anything shady! I’m here because I want to be! Erica knows that and said she’d take me on as a responsibility!”

“Jackson, Erica is not babysitting you. The pack isn’t a club. It’s a lifetime commitment. It’s you asking to be a part of a family, and all the drama and danger that comes with being in a family like this,” Derek informs him.

“…I know. That’s why… That’s why it seemed cool.”

Stiles rolls his eyes, believing Jackson has no idea what he’s asking to get involved in.

“Not like that. I don’t mean to make it sound so…asinine. What I mean is… McCall hates being a werewolf, even though he can’t see all the good it’s done for him, as much as the bad, you know? And…I actually really like it. It’s scary and fucking terrifying a lot of the time…but when we save someone, when we do the right thing, it feels good. Better than any goal I can score on the lacrosse field. I only hated helping out before because it didn’t feel like it did when I came over a couple days ago. It was still kind of…lonely. But you guys, you two, make it seem like more… It’s cool. Like I said.”

Derek lets a slither of the smile he’s fighting break over his mouth. Stiles turns to him with raised eyebrows; impressed by Jackson’s honesty, too.

“I’m not trying to abandon Scott. He’s just not offering much of what I need.”

“It’s your wolf. It has a strong desire for pack, for family. To be surrounded by those it trust and are like us. We have a stronger sense of that than Scott does because there are more of us and we share a space,” Derek tells Jackson.

“It’s not just that. I can choose to not be alone with either pack, but it only feels right with this one.”

“Wow. The Tin Man has a heart,” Stiles quips. Derek swats his arm to shut up. Stiles winces, rubbing the bruising spot.

“We’re talking about that later,” he hisses at Derek.

The Alpha just rolls his eyes in response. “Pack’s about discipline, Jackson. Listening. You have a temper and don’t take direction well.”

“Or at all,” Stiles adds.

“And your selfish,” Derek concludes.

“…I know. I’m asking for you to help me change those things. I want to be a better wolf.”

“This is the fucking Twilight Zone,” Stiles comments.

“Do you want me to hit you again?”

“You wouldn’t dare,” Stiles challenges. He cowers a bit at Derek’s answering glare.

“You made me, Derek. I asked you, but you did make me. So shouldn’t you, you know, teach me stuff? Care for me and take responsibility for me?”

He should, and he wants to. It admittedly hurt when Jackson sided with Scott without even really thinking about it. He suspected most of Jackson’s decision then had to do with Lydia, which he understands, but now, this time, it feels more like Jackson thinking on his own.

“Okay.”

“Okay?”

Derek nods. “Okay. Stiles?”

“Well, if I say ‘no’ I’ll be the asshole,” he complains. “Fine. He can be pack. Just don’t fuck up, because Erica vouched for you and her ass is on the line.”

“I know, Stiles,” Jackson huffs.

“Good. I’d hate for Derek to have to kill you.”

Jackson chuckles. Stiles snorts…but Derek is stone-faced.

“You…You-You really w-wouldn’t have to…kill me, right,” Jackson stutters.

“Hopefully not,” Derek answers. “You have to submit to me on the next full moon, in front of the whole pack.”

Stiles opens his mouth to speak—

“Not sexually, Stiles,” Derek groans.

“That's a legitimate question I’ll have you know.”

“I kind of thought the same thing,” Jackson admits.

“…You’re both idiots,” Derek scowls. He stands, extending his hand to Stiles.

“I'm also apparently a 19th century countess now,” Stiles says. He takes Derek’s hand anyway.

John is working late again, helping the sheriff in Siskiyou County solve a rape/murder that occurred in Dorris. Turns out a girl who went to Beacon Hills Community College was reported missing for 2 weeks. Her body turned up there in an abandoned parking lot.

Stiles nosed through his father’s case file to see if there was anything supernatural about it, but there wasn’t. Just a poor young woman who lost her life needlessly to human evil instead of the paranormal.

Stiles, therefore, was staying the night.

“Hey, um… Do I… Do I, uh, have to go home,” Jackson asks.

“Would you like to stay the night, Jackson,” Stiles teases.

“Is-Is that cool?”

“No. I don’t ever want you in this house again,” Stiles says, blank face, flat tone. Jackson looks crushed. Who knew he was that sensitive? “I’m joking. Go shower and put on some night clothes. Isaac might have some you could fit. We’ll eat the dinner I didn’t finish making and watch Looper.”

“I’m sensing a theme with your movie picks lately,” Derek smirks.

Stiles smiles. He kisses Derek’s cheek and exits to the kitchen.

“He loves you,” Jackson blurts out. “His stupid crush on Lydia annoyed me for a long time, but he never looked at her like…”

Derek’s not going to blush and smile shyly in front of his new beta. Or any beta. If he can help it. But he has no doubt Jackson’s not privy to the rapid patter of his heartbeat at the moment. He folds his arms over his chest. “Good to know,” he says, like he was just given directions to the gas station.

Jackson gets it. He bottles things up, too. Only sharing them with one other person: Lydia.

“Derek! Come help me,” Stiles shouts from the kitchen.

“You don’t have to yell in a house full of werewolves, Stiles!”

Jackson laughs. They can hear Stiles groan and grumble to himself at being reminded.

“You should probably get changed. Stiles has this thing about being late to dinner.”

Jackson nods. He heads upstairs.

He should have hugged him. Or shook his hand. A pat on the shoulder. Something. Anything.

It’ll get easier. Just keep trying, he tells himself. That’s all anyone can do. Try.

Chapter Text


Stiles wants to have sex. With Derek. Badly.

His wet dreams and masturbatory fantasies seem to have gotten worse now that they’re an actual couple. His thoughts wandering to Derek putting him on all fours and fucking him bareback cause him to burn the mushroom-stuffed tenderloin he was cooking for dinner. During study hall, he was too busy thinking about the night before, when Derek jerked him off, measured and teasing, to concentrate on helping Boyd with their AP English assignment.

With each make out session, each second base exploration that occurs between them, they inch closer and closer to home plate. And Stiles can feel Derek’s eagerness, and his hesitation, match his own.

He does research. That’s his job. He likes to be in the know and aware of what he’s up against. So it’s not surprising he’s spent many a late night looking up the mechanics of gay sex, along with the hazards, unexpected, and pleasurable sides of it. He’s a virgin with no experience except a big, romantic kiss in the rain with a sexy werewolf, that’s lead to mutual handjobs the following morning and since forth.

It’s overwhelming to think about it at times, but he wants this. He wants it with Derek. He wants to lose his virginity to Derek Hale.

So they talk, and Derek is unexpectedly responsive. He thinks they should continue at the comfortable pace they’ve been going at, and Stiles oddly enough agrees. The end result will be sexual intercourse, and though Stiles wants nothing more than for Derek to tear his clothes off and take him on the kitchen counter, he’s reminded of his research and his nervousness surfaces again.

He decides, once and for all, the pace they’ve been going is just fine for them.

Yet, the next day, after spending an hour and a half after school with Harris in detention for daydreaming (about a naked and sweaty Derek) when called on during class, Stiles feels the desire to move a little faster.

The werewolves come in a half-hour later when Stiles gets to the empty house. They’re filthy, having spent the afternoon sparing in the mud again.

Stiles takes Derek’s hand and leads him upstairs to the master bathroom.

They undress each other and climb into the shower. Stiles gets to his knees under the spray of water and takes Derek into his mouth.

He’s seen enough porn and read enough Cosmopolitan articles online to work through the mechanics of giving head, but there’s still a nervous edge to him as he moves his mouth up and down Derek’s shaft, hoping he’s doing an good enough job to get him off.

The older man tilts his head back and moans. His hands in Stiles’ wet hair as he tries hard not to fuck his mouth.

Stiles learned that lingering, and taking it slow, inch at a time, was good technique for getting your partner off. So he starts off with a deliberate; crawling movement of his lips to carefully take Derek to the back of his throat. If he can.

His flicks his tongue at the head, then traces it along the outline of his lips.

Stiles can feel the gentle tips of claws against his scalp, making him hard. Derek’s wolfing out, enjoying it. And Stiles is growing erect at the knowledge of it. He licks Derek from the base to the tip like an ice cream cone.

Derek growls.

Stiles wants to taste. Wants Derek to come. He closes his mouth around Derek’s cock, working him over faster, moaning as he does, and digging blunt fingernails into Derek’s hips.

He ever so gently scrapes his teeth along the shaft. Derek’s grip in his air tightens as he groans, raising off the flat part of his feet and onto his toes.

He’s close.

Stiles brings Derek as far back into his mouth as he can, then lightly tugs on his balls— Derek comes, holding Stiles steady as he pours down his throat.

Stiles swallows every drop.

He slowly pulls off Derek’s dick, looking up at him, ready to ask if it met with his approval, when Derek swings open the shower door— not bothering to turn off the water— and yanks Stiles off his knees.

He carries the human into the bedroom and drops him on the bed, soaking wet.

“Derek—”

The werewolf spreads his legs, drops to his own knees at the edge of the bed, and takes Stiles into his mouth.

Stiles lets out a moan he knows the whole preserve can hear.

Derek’s mouth sinks all the way down to the base of Stiles’ dick, taking the whole thing in. Stiles’ back bows off the bed.

Derek pulls back up, grabbing him at the base, and working him over fast with his hand and his mouth.

Stiles’ fist his own hair as he bites his bottom lip raw.

Derek’s middle finger slides between his cheeks and presses against his hole— Stiles comes, squirming as much as he can with Derek’s arm pinning him down.

Derek sucks him off through the aftershocks, the human coming down hard after his first blowjob, all heavy breaths and pebbled skin.

Derek falls onto the bed beside him, licking his lips, tasting Stiles there. “You okay?”

“We… We should have done that ages ago. Like when we first met ages ago,” Stiles says, flushed, and still a little breathless. “Jesus Christ, Mr. Hale.”

“You keep calling me ‘Mr. Hale’ and we might never leave this bedroom.”

“I don’t find that to be a problem,” he smirks. “Is it better than ‘Alpha Hale’,” Stiles jokes, but Derek’s eyes fade crimson at the title falling from his boy’s lips, eyes scanning his naked, damp body. Stiles swings his leg over Derek, straddling him. “I’d do that for you.”

“What?”

“Call you ‘Alpha’ when we’re in bed. I’d do anything you want. But you have to be open to things I want, too.”

“Like,” Derek asks, curious.

“Like pool sex. Sex in the back of the camaro. Sex in the woods against a tree. On the full moon. In my bed, when my dad’s working a double.”

“Is that it?”

Stiles shakes his head with a naughty, secretive smile on his face.

Derek runs a hand through Stiles’ hair, letting it cascade down his face. His thumb traces his lips. Stiles opens his mouth and Derek slips his index finger in. He sucks on it, eyeing Derek as he grinds down on him.

“I think the pack can fend for themselves as far as dinner is concerned tonight,” Derek says.

Already ordered a pizza, so keep it down, pervs,” Erica shouts from somewhere in the house beyond the closed door.

Stiles would be embarrassed if he gave a shit. He can’t. It’s impossible. There’s 200 lbs. of naked werewolf under him.

Derek nods at the door.

Stiles flails off of him, almost tripping 3 feet distance, and locks it…

 


The sheriff joins them at the bowling alley. He helps solve the case in Trinity County and decides to take the next 3 days off. Yesterday, he spends all day sleeping, in between watching ESPN and HBO documentaries. Today, however, the pack invites him to go bowling with them.

Jackson asks if he can invite Lydia.

They split into two teams. Derek heard Lydia was a fierce bowler and immediately drafts her onto his team over Stiles. He slyly grins at the glaring scowl Stiles gives him after declaring some ridiculous bowling vendetta against their team when his father decides to play against him, too.

With the sheriff here (and to be fair), Derek institutes a “no werewolf powers” rule while John is in the bathroom.

It’s the best out of five, on to their final game with the whole thing tied; next winner takes it all, which is two hundred bucks, ponied up by Derek himself. The losing team has to do some horrible dare Lydia cooks up when John and Derek get more corn dogs and nachos.

Derek’s not expecting Claudia to be such a good bowler. She’s on Stiles’ team. The cocky teenager manages to grin like an asshole at the Alpha every time it’s her turn and she sails the ball down the lane like it’s nothing. She’s made 4 strikes so far tonight.

It’s during her 5th one that James Gang’s “Song #49” blares through the alley.

Derek doesn’t catch himself singing along until he takes notice of the sheriff smiling at him.

“Sorry.”

“For what? But aren’t you a little young to know this jam,” John asks.

“…My mom loved classic rock. Always had the radio on while she cleaned every Sunday,” he shares.

“It’s a good song.”

Derek simply nods. The memory of his mother suddenly clouds his thoughts and leads him to the dark ones that caused her life to end so horribly.

“You’re a good man, Derek. I think she’d be very happy with how strong a person you’ve become. Despite all you’ve been through.”

Funny. I think she’d be nothing but disappointed, he thinks. “…Thank you,” he says though. “I’m still…learning.” His sight lands on Stiles, glancing at him a brief second. “Certain people help. Like these guys,” he says of his pack.

“Good. What about Stiles,” the sheriff asks before taking a pull of his beer.

Derek’s grip on his bottle of Budweiser tightens, nervous of what exactly John means. “Sir?”

John leans in close, giving a quick glance over to his distracted son. “Look, I know something happened between him and Scott. He won’t exactly say what, and neither will Scott. Melissa doesn’t know either apparently, but says Scott’s been moping around and frowning for two weeks now. I’m not asking you to tell me, but it had to have been something…major, for them to be fighting like this. I mean, Stiles seems… Well, he seems really happy lately actually.”

Derek smiles a little at that, knowing he’s part of the reason for Stiles’ current joy.

“But I know he misses his best friend,” John continues.

Derek knows that, too. He loves Stiles, and Stiles loves him, but he’s not a good replacement for Scott, and doesn’t want to be. They’re best friends. He remembers what having one was like and can see the hurt behind his whiskey eyes at their separation. “He does miss Scott, but don’t worry. They’ll work it out. It’s stupid teenage stuff.”

John nods. “That’s what I figured. Is it over Allison?”

“No.”

“Well, at least it’s not that.”

Derek chuckles.

“What about the Whittemore kid? Stiles told me they kiss and made up, but I never thought they’d ever go bowling together.”

“…The best thing about Stiles is his compassion. He likes to pretend to be selfish, but he really does care about people. He works hard trying to save them. Even from themselves. He’s good at it. Jackson needed some saving, Stiles decided to help, and Jackson let him.”

He doesn’t know where that came from. He doesn’t know where the desire to share something so reflective about Stiles came from. It’s honest and true, but… There’s something about the sheriff that makes him open up a bit more. Something more than friendly. Something comforting. Like home. Like Stiles.

“My kid,” John jokes, making Derek laugh.

“Yeah. Your kid.”

“Hey, dad. You and Derek done flapping your gums? It’s your turn. Hurry up so we can beat you and go home,” Stiles interrupts.

“You’re going to cry in about 5 minutes,” the sheriff threatens as he stands.

John wasn’t kidding. He bowls a 7/10 split and easily picks up the spare.

Unfortunately it isn’t enough, and Derek’s team loses.

Lydia takes the loss especially hard as it was her inability to pick up the spare from a 3/7 split that costs them the game. Not to mention, she’s also the one to have come up with the “loser’s punishment:” streaking naked through the lacrosse field at night.

The sheriff, however, gets wind of it in the midst of all their arguing and nixes the whole thing. “I better not get any calls about a bunch of naked teens running around the school at night. Understand,” the sheriff barks.

They nod with their “yes, sirs,” and “absolutely, sirs,” but Derek can hear the lie in every heartbeat.

“Derek.”

“I will make sure there will be no streaking, sheriff.”

“Good. I’m holding you to that,” he says.

They grab their coats.

Stiles is still gloating, annoying the hell out of Lydia, but making DJ laugh, as they head to the parking lot. He talks to his dead a minute before rushing over to Derek’s car. He’s staying the night, even though it’s a school night.

Boyd jumps out of the front seat and into Lydia’s car instead, letting Stiles ride shotgun in the camaro with the werewolf and their kids. It’s a werewolf custom that the second-in-command, or next Alpha, never ride with the Alpha, in case something were to happen with to the current Alpha. But it doesn’t always work out like that unfortunately.

John pulls off, waving to Derek and Stiles, before turning into the street.

Lydia drops Jackson off at Derek’s then heads home. He needs to assimilate better within the pack, so he’s been spending more time with them, staying over at Derek’s place for the last couple nights.

Derek was admittedly surprised when Jackson told him earlier today that he quit lacrosse for the rest of the season, wanting more time to focus on training and being in pack.

Stiles was equally surprised with him taking being a werewolf seriously. And without Lydia’s pushing.

Derek simply nodded and said “okay.”

He knows Jackson was expecting more of a reaction from him, but Derek couldn’t give it. For years he’s taught himself to expect the worse, particularly when things are going good.

That’s how life works.

That’s how his life works.

He has Stiles, a pack, a home, he’s an Alpha, and though it was a spell gone wrong, he’s managed to have children. He’s got a full house of devotion and crazy. Right about now should be the time things go south.

They usually do.

»»»

His father and Derek looked like they were bonding tonight. They were laughing, whispering back and forth, buying each other beers, and ganging up on Stiles with their trash talking.

He loved it.

He loves his dad joking around with his boyfriend and being invited to hang out with he and his friends. He loves Derek looking relaxed and smiling easily, laughing just as effortlessly, and having a good time.

Stiles thinks it must be what Derek could always be like if it weren’t for Kate and the disturbed bitch she was.

He’d loved for Derek to be like that all the time. He’s thought about it often enough.

Yet, there’s something about broken-Derek that he loves, too. He isn’t grateful or happy Derek was assaulted and his entire family murdered, but the tragedy of it has made him…deep. And dark.

Stiles knows it’s fueled by guilt and sadness, and for that, he has empathy. The utmost empathy.

But he’d be lying to himself if he didn’t admit the mysteriousness that cloaks Derek, the hurt, anger, and violence that plagues him, also intrigues him; draws him closer to the Alpha.

Stiles sees his pain, understands it, and wants nothing more than to help him through it. It makes him feel…needed, by Derek.

Stiles is every bit as selfish and conniving as he claims to be. Just not with the people he cares about. It just so happens that as of late his list of friends has grown. So those close to him see him as nurturing in his care for them, and ruthless in his protection.

And he is. Especially with his boyfriend, Derek.

The things that attracts him to Derek, pulls him in and makes him curious, also make him ache to care for him, to rid him of the demons and blackness he’s let shroud him.

He knows deep down that only Derek can make Derek better, but it doesn’t stop him from wanting to, and trying.

He’s persistent, to a fault.

Derek comes out of the bathroom in only a pair of black boxer briefs. He slips them off and crawls into bed with Stiles.

“Can’t wait to see you streak across the lacrosse field,” Stiles teases.

“Shut up.”

Stiles tugs Derek’s arm. The Alpha follows willingly, over Stiles’ body, caging him in his arms. Stiles’ eyes slip close as Derek runs the tip of his nose along the human’s jawline, then replaces the gentle touch with soft kisses.

Kisses that trail down his neck, his chest, over his nipples, and his stomach, turning into little bites that’ll no doubt be little hickeys in the morning.

Sties lifts his hips as Derek slides is underwear off.

“Derek… I want you to finger me.”

“You sure?”

Stiles nods.

Stiles finally admitted to Derek this morning that his biggest fear was the technicalities of anal sex. He doesn’t own any toys— too chicken to buy some, and only half-heartedly confessing to his sexual attraction to other men just a few months ago— therefore, is completely, 100% virginal in that area, and terrified of how much it would hurt.

No amount of research prepares you for that.

Hence, the steady pace of their sexual exploration; gradually turning their make out sessions more and more graphic, and hopefully easing both their worry about Stiles being “deflowered.” First, handjobs, then blowjobs and some anal touching, and now Stiles thinks he’s ready for Derek to go a little further.

“Have you really never done this yourself?”

Stiles shakes his head. “But I want you to.”

Derek edges down Stiles’ body, kissing him on his hipbones and inner thighs before taking him into his mouth. Stiles instinctively lifts his hips, wanting to push deeper into Derek’s mouth. Derek holds him down with a flat hand on his stomach.

He sucks him off leisurely, for what feels like hours, then pulls off his wet cock, and turns him over on his belly.

He leaves a path of tender kisses down Stiles’ spine that sends shock waves through the human’s body, making him moan and grind his pelvis into the bed.

He watches Derek lean over him into the nightstand. Lube.

“Shhh. Relax. It’s okay,” Derek whispers into his ear, rubbing his back.

His heartbeat must be loud and rapid in Derek’s ears. He might even smell like lemons.

He closes his eyes and reminds himself where he is. Who he’s with. Derek would never let anything happen to me. He’d never hurt me. He’d stop if I asked him to, and wouldn’t be angry. He loves me.

His breath evens. He can feel himself calm down.

Derek covers his body. His mouth at the shell of Stiles’ ear. “You alright?”

“Yes.”

Slick fingers slide through the crack of Stiles’ cheeks and lightly rub at his anus leaving him breathless.

Derek’s middle finger stays there, rubbing in what feels like a tease for so long Stiles thinks he might come.

Derek turns the motion into a circular one, winding around Stiles’ hole now.

He’s sweating, hands gripping the pillow at his head, and moaning lewdly. He can feel Derek’s hard dick against his buttocks, and hear the low growl behind Derek’s teeth in his ear.

The tip of Derek’s finger breaches into Stiles and he moans into his pillow.

Derek moves in and out of him, slick and wet, smoothly digging a little deeper with each push inward.

“Derek…”

The werewolf’s breath catches in Stiles’ ear with his finger all the way in. He slowly drags it out, then glides right back into Stiles with two fingers this time, third knuckle deep.

“I’m not going to last long.”

“I know. You feel so good, Stiles.”

He can feel Derek’s fingers curl inside him and graze something sensitive and wicked, making him shutter.

“I’m going to move a little faster. That okay?”

Stiles nods dumbly. It’s all he can do, eager and on the crest of coming.

Derek builds up his pace, fingering him steadily, twisting his fingers in and out of Stiles harder, faster.

Stiles stifles his cries into his pillow.

Derek growls into his hair.

Stiles feels the faint scratch of pointed teeth at the back of his neck. The heavy weight of the Alpha closed over him like a hug, and the rapacious dig of his fingers in and out of him, sweeping at his prostate is too much. He was already at the brink, trying with everything in him to stave off his orgasm, to have a little bit of stamina and last for his boyfriend, but he can’t.

He comes shouting Derek’s name in the bedsheets.

He’s barely caught his breath when Derek snatches soggy fingers out of him and flips him over into the wet spot he made. He shoves his fingers into Stiles’ mouth and grabs his own cock with his other hand.

Stiles greedily sucks Derek’s fingers, tasting raspberry scented lube and the tang of himself on his tongue, as Derek jerks himself off frantically.

“Do you know how good you look right now? Jesus, Stiles…”

Stiles moves Derek’s hand out of the way and strips his cock for him. Derek’s fingers rest on his chin, the tips touching his tongue.

“Oh, shit!” Derek comes, shooting on Stiles’ messy cock.

Stiles rubs their cum into his skin.

Derek yanks him into his arms, giving him a possessive kiss that makes Stiles feel faint.

His lips fall from his and look into heavy-lidded, brown eyes. “…I love you.”

Stiles cards his hand through raven-colored hair, tightening his hold around bulky muscle with soft hair tickling his chest. “I love you, too,” he says.

 


Deaton’s due back tomorrow. A piece of information Stiles and Derek have silently agreed to keep to themselves. Stiles isn’t so sure Scott even knows.

Claudia keeps shooting him odd looks; no doubt smelling the anxiety and sadness roll off his skin in smelly, citrus waves. He appeases her with faint smiles that don’t reach his eyes, hoping to avoid the inevitable question: “What’s wrong, tata?”

Then he’d have to answer. Then he’d have to tell the truth. There’s a good chance you’re going back tomorrow, sweetheart. And I don’t know if I can handle that. I don’t know if I can handle the void of your absence along with the fierce anticipation of when I’ll see you next, 27 years down the road.

Derek hustles downstairs and into the living room with a bunch of suitcases and duffel bags. “Stiles. Go home and pack a bag for the week.”

“What?”

“It’s your Spring break, right?”

“Well, yeah, but—”

“Go home. Pack a bag. Already talked to your dad and he said it was fine.”

Stiles knew what this was. Derek isn’t ready to say ‘goodbye’ either. He didn’t want to let go of the last 20 days either. At least not like this.

Stiles grabs his car keys and his cellphone. “Where are we going?”

“The coast. I have a beach house.”

Stiles notices Claudia and DJ’s face light up at the mention of the beach house. They’re clearly familiar with it.

Stiles kisses him. “Thank you,” he whispers, then heads out the door.

»»»

Derek calls Chris Argent, leaving a vague message to let him know they were leaving town for a week and Beacon Hills would be without its Alpha and his betas for a bit.

Lydia has plans to go to Rome with her parents for the break. Jackson’s parents left already on a trip to Maui, wanting him to tag along, but he bowed out at the last minute deciding to be with the pack instead.

Derek and Stiles pull up to the house. This time of year leaves the little, coastal town busy. Neighbors and their children swim in the water, barbecue, tan their skin, and play lawn games under the warm sun.

Derek hasn’t been here since the summer before his family was murdered. He’d have forgotten all about it if not for the memories he managed to make here over the years. His first kiss was with a kitsune who live inland and worked at her father’s bait shop every summer.

“Are we getting out any time soon,” Jackson whines from the backseat.

“Oh, um, yeah,” Derek says, unfastening his seatbeat.

Stiles, Boyd, Erica, and Isaac are already out of the jeep, marveling the house and water.

A group of middle-aged partiers wave drunkenly at them from a boat anchored in the water near their dock. Stiles and Erica wave back laughing.

Stiles approaches Derek, handing Claudia her bag from the trunk. “You okay, big guy?”

“Yeah. Fine.”

“You can tell me if you’re not.”

“I know. Just…haven’t been here in a while.”

Stiles nods. “Thanks for bringing us then.”

He wishes more than anything he could talk and be open the way Stiles is. He knows it’ll be the thing that breaks them if he doesn’t learn to try.

For now, Stiles gets it. He understands and reads between the lines of what Derek either leaves unsaid or tries to say when he makes an effort. He’s grateful for that, but knows ‘withdrawn’ and ‘closed off’ eventually become too much for anyone to deal with.

For now though, he’ll just bring Stiles close, kiss his lips and hope it says enough.

»»»

Stiles drags Erica and Isaac grocery shopping with him while the rest of the pack clean the house up a bit. It hasn’t been used in years. The furniture is covered in white linen, but the whole place could use a good dusting, and the plumbing needs to be checked.

When they get back, Boyd is sweeping the kitchen, DJ is vacuuming, Claudia has already made all the beds, Derek turns on the plumbing and gas, and Jackson is cleaning out the cupboards.

After helping Stiles put the food away, Erica and Isaac unpack and change into their swimsuits. They wait anxiously for Stiles’ permission to go. He gives it and suddenly the house is empty except for Derek whose outside firing up the grill.

When he comes back in for a beer (that Stiles bought with his fake ID) Stiles attacks. They’re making out in the kitchen; hands all over each other before Derek suggest they go upstairs.

Derek tosses Stiles on the bed, taking his clothes off then his own. They 69, sucking each other off and coming down one another’s throats, then shower together.

Derek helps Stiles prep dinner.

They get into a stupid spat about the horrible pop music Stiles is listening to on the soundock in the kitchen and his refusal to change it.

Stiles stops halfway through Derek’s argument to crack up laughing. It’s their first fight. As a couple. And it’s about a dumb Taylor Swift song.

Derek rolls his eyes and goes back to slicing boiled eggs for the Chef’s salad.

Stiles is seasoning the steaks when there’s a knock at the front door. He wipes his hands on the towel slung over his shoulder and goes to the door.

“Hi!”

He’s greeted by an hour glass figure tucked into a small, yellow bikini with a big, white smile, deep green eyes, and bright, red hair.

“Hello.”

“Am I bothering you?”

“Um, no. I was just prepping dinner.”

“Sorry. I’m staying two beach houses over and was wondering if I could borrow jalapeños if you have them.”

“I do actually.”

She squeals with joy. “Thank you! I’m making jalapeño cheddar biscuits. I get all my stuff ready to start baking and notice I don’t have the damn peppers. Just left the store without them. I’d forget my head if it wasn’t attached to my neck.”

“Stiles,” Derek calls from inside the house.

“Um, come in. Please.”

The woman steps into the house and closes the door. “Thank you so much for this.”

“Not a problem.”

She follows Stiles to the kitchen. Derek’s grabbing the pan of hot dogs and hamburger patties when he notices the woman.

“Oh. Hello,” Derek says politely.

Well, hello,” she says with a sultry smile.

And just like that, Stiles is murderous. “How many do you need,” he asks with a biting tone, wanting her out of sight as quickly as possible.

“Oh, uh, eight is fine,” she smiles…at Derek. “I’m Pearl. And you are?”

“Derek.”

They shake hands.

“Please to meet you, Derek,” she says, moving closer, heaving her breasts in his face.

Stiles slams down the peppers, wrapped in a dish towel, onto the island between them. “Here you go, Pearl.” He gives her a tight smile.

“So, Derek, what are you up to later? Maybe you could come down to my place a little later for some hot biscuits,” Pearl suggests.

The nostrils-flaring, glare Stiles sends the Alpha’s way could cut glass.

“Oh, no. I have plans here. With my friends. Thank you though.” Derek exits out the back door. Quickly.

“Now, that is a man,” she fawns.

“Peppers!”

She gives Stiles an odd look at his outburst.

“You asked me for peppers. Here they are,” he points.

She grabs them. “Oh! Right! Yes, thank you so—”

“I’ll show you out.” Stiles hurries her to the front door.

“Once again, thank you so much.”

“Uh-huh,” Stiles says, trying to urge from the doorway.

“Hey, um, do-do you know if your friend, Derek, is seeing someone,” Pearl asks.

“Yes,” is all he offers before closing the door on her.

He makes a b-line for the back door. “Can you believe that woman,” he snaps, breaking through the screen door with a thunderous slam! “’Hot biscuits’? Are you joking? And then she just throws her gigantic boobs all around the place like-like she’s in a bouncy castle! And how does she know we weren’t together to just go ahead and offer herself up like a tavern wench?! I mean, would she have flirted with you like that if Erica was here instead of me?!”

Derek drops the tongs on the grill and stalks over to Stiles.

“The whole thing was just rude! Especially since she came over here and asked me for a fav—”

Derek cuts him off with a hard, owning kiss. Stiles gives into it, running his fingers through Derek’s hair and moaning into his mouth…

Derek pulls back, separating their lips. “Onions.”

“What,” Stiles asks, a little light-headed from the kiss.

“Onions. I need the onions you sliced.”

“…Okay.”

Derek casually walks back over to the grill. Stiles turns back to the house—

“Stiles. It takes a lot more than hot biscuits to win me over. In case you haven’t noticed.”

Stiles tries to hide the blushing smile on his face as he enters the kitchen.

»»»

The rest of the pack shows back up an hour later, wet and laughing, as they devour the food.

Pearl has apparently made herself known by obnoxiously flirting with Boyd, too, pissing Erica off, and causing Isaac and Jackson to hold her back from sinking her fangs into the woman’s neck.

DJ it seems ditched everyone until Derek called for them.

Erica teases him about the girl he spent most of the sunlight with. He remains evasive about the whole thing, but Stiles is nothing if not curious in regards to who his son disappears off with.

He tries to pretend he’s the cool parent and not the ‘mother hen’, but he knows it’s a lie. They all do. His best course of action then is to wear it like a badge of honor he figures, and proceeds to ask questions about the supposed girl until Derek tells him to let up.

Boyd and Isaac clear the table when Stiles takes Derek’s hand, leading him to the dock. They walk down, sitting at the edge, feet dangling in the cool water with a billion stars over them.

They kiss, slow and warm.

Stiles crawls into Derek’s lap, deepening the kiss, tasting the sweet tomatoes and spicy jalapeños he ate on his burger.

They’re interrupted by a gaggle of college girls cheering them on as they whiz by on a speed boat. They wave like good sports before heading back to the house.

Jackson and Claudia are cleaning up in the kitchen, washing dishes and putting away the leftovers. Boyd’s out like a light on the sofa in the TV room while Erica, Isaac, and DJ play cards.

Derek settles in on the sofa, grabbing a book to read. Stiles goes back into the kitchen for a drink. It’s just Claudia, drying the last of the dishes; Lydia called Jackson. He’s out back talking to her.

“You having fun,” Stiles asks.

“I always have fun at the beach house. And Aunt Erica is just as crazy now as she is in the future,” Claudia answers.

“Scary thought.”

Claudia smiles, but its light with something behind it.

“You okay? What’s wrong?”

She shrugs. “Nothing. I just miss…you. Future you and future dad. And Tally and Theo.”

And just like that, he feels like shit. They shouldn’t have done this. It was selfish. Just because they weren’t ready to say goodbye, doesn’t mean DJ and Claudia weren’t ready to go.

They should go back tomorrow. He’ll talk to Derek.

“I don’t mean to bum you out, tata. Sorry.”

“What? No. I’m sorry. I was… I was thinking about something else.”

“What?”

“Oh, um… I was wondering…about, um…Tally and Theo. What they were like.”

“Pains in the ass. They are always in trouble. More than DJ even.”

Stiles laughs.

“Tally’s human, so she thinks she can get away with a lot more because of it, and Theo is attracted to mischief like a moth to a flame.”

“Sounds familiar.”

“And you always make me baby-sit them then yell at me when they do something bad! Like the time they shaved each other’s head, or the time Theo pooped in the neighbor’s yard.”

“Why’d he do that?”

“Daddy was mad the Gonzalezes kept letting their dogs crap in our front yard every morning and didn’t clean it up, and you said that ‘maybe we should shit in their yard and see if they like it’. Seems Theo thought you meant that literally.”

Stiles laughs so hard his face hurts.

“I’m your only good kid to be honest,” she grins.

Stiles pulls her into a hug and pecks her temple. “Maybe.” He looks at her. Really looks at her; eyes flitting around and drinking in every inch of her features. “You really do look so much like her. I think since you’ve been here it hasn’t hurt to miss her so much.”

“…You always say that.”

“I do?”

She nods. “You always say I help make every day she’s gone a little better.”

He looks into her lavender-colored eyes… “It’s true… I’m sorry.”

“For what?”

“Future me must have been freaking out for the last couple weeks. I know Derek must be going insane.”

“Probably not. You told me magic leaves behind a film, a residue. Dark magic leaves terror and doom in its wake, while good magic, light magic, leaves a trail of energy; a buzzing, like right before you’re about go down the first slope on a roller coaster. Good magic always restores. You’re worried, but I doubt you’re freaking out.”

“You’ve never seen me drop a curly fry on the ground. I’m a bit excitable at times.”

She laughs.

Jackson comes back in. “Stilinski, sometimes I wonder why you wanted her so bad,” he groans. They watch as he walks out the kitchen, further into the house.

“Lydia’s a bit pushy.”

Claudia rolls her eyes at his understatement. “I’m going to get out of this bikini and wash all this saltwater out of my hair,” she says. “Thanks for the talk, tata.” She pecks his cheek and runs upstairs.

He’s going to miss her like crazy. It’s not like he’ll never see her again, or some version of her, but there’s something special, significant, about her being here now that he’s having a hard time letting go of…

A vibrating noise knocks him out of thoughts. His cellphone.

SCOTT: Deaton just text me. Said he’ll be back later tonight and will open the clinic tomorrow.
SCOTT: Where are you?

He stares at the blinking cursor in the reply box. Staring at it so long his eyes blur into dancing spots.

His phone gyrates in his hand with his best friend’s goofy face popping up on the screen. Scott’s calling now.

And without even thinking about it, Stiles hits ‘ignore.’

Chapter Text


Scott’s been calling non-stop for the last 3 days. Stiles doesn’t answer, so he tries Derek. Derek answers once, responding with only two grunts then telling him the pack is gone and “will be back when we get back,” before hanging up.

Stiles finds himself a little surprised, and a little proud this morning though. He’s standing next to Jackson out back, helping him gut the fish he caught, when Jackson groans, frustrated with the barrage of chimes from his cellphone.

“Jesus, McCall,” he says, before shutting his phone off then cursing himself for getting fish guts all over it.

Stiles laughs until Jackson chucks a fish head at him.

Derek comes outside a few minutes later to break up the disgusting battle they’ve begun of throwing severed fish parts at one another.

Isaac records the whole thing on his own phone as Claudia cracks up laughing.

He means to tell Derek she’s homesick. That she misses her life in the future, her brother and sister, her friends, and her pack, but Stiles’ own selfishness reigns over him and he can’t.

He knows at this rate he’ll never let her and DJ leave.

If he could.

So he decided to get the most out what he has left, and prepare himself for the wreck he’ll become when they’re gone.

 


Fresh air. Fresh ocean air crawls into his nose. A rushing noise like blood rising fills Derek’s ears. His back is stiff. He’s lying on something hard, but malleable; coarse as he digs his elbow into it and it moves, his joint sinking.

Cold water jumps at his bare feet and his eyes blink open!

The beach. Shit.

It’s dawn. There’s still a blue tint to the sky as the sun makes a meager attempt to peek through it, streaking the horizon with shades of peach, blush and gold.

He’d stop to appreciate it if he weren’t so acutely aware of being both naked and tired. Thankfully, no one sees him sprint back toward the beach house.

He stumbles in through the backdoor like he spent all night drinking. His head is throbbing, body aching.

He turns on the coffee machine, rubbing his weary eyes.

The sound of footfalls down the steps and smell of pine and birch, golden poppy, blackberries, spring water and talc waft toward him.

Stiles.

“Mermaids,” he blurts out.

“What,” Derek yawns.

“Mermaids,” Stiles says, like its Derek’s fault for not reading his jumbled mind. “That’s why you’ve been sleep walking on the beach at night.”

“It’s not mermaids, Stiles,” he says, grabbing the giant beach towel Boyd left on a stool, and wrapping it around his waist.

Stiles disappears for a minute. The coffee machine beeps and Derek pours himself a mug. He takes a seat at the island when Stiles reappears with his laptop and sits down beside him.

“I’ve been doing research—”

“Naturally.”

“Everything you’ve been experiencing is the result of an interaction with a mermaid. Dammit! I wish I had the bestiary with me. Anyway—”

“It’s not a mermaid, Stiles.”

“Anyway,” Stiles starts, ignoring his boyfriend, “the sleepwalking, headaches like a hangover, you waking up closer and closer to the water’s edge for the last three mornings— it’s a siren, a mermaid, calling you toward the ocean. Sirens—”

“Sirens are beautiful women who lured sailors to their deaths with an enchanting song, causing them to crash their ship along the rocks of the coastline. I know what sirens are, Stiles. I’m not a sailor and it’s not a siren.”

“You don’t have to be a sailor, smart-ass.” Stiles shows Derek all the open tabs and windows on his lap of the research he’s done. “Mermaids are supernatural creatures, and mermaid sirens are supernatural creatures that maintain their powers and abilities by killing humans with your aforementioned description, or killing other supernatural creatures and absorbing their power, their energy. And what better supe baddie to steal powers from than a big, strapping, Alpha werewolf?”

“That would mean a weak siren is using the last bit of her powers to enchant me in hopes of gaining hers back at a 100%.”

“Exactly! And what would make a siren weak you ask?”

“I didn’t.”

“Environment and human oceanic development. Mermaids are sea creatures. Most stay deep within the ocean, but sirens are typically found closer to shore and coastlines where humans are. They need to be close in order to kill us and steal our ‘lifeforce’ that will sustain them. They also stay close in order to blend in to do that, but with climate change affecting our water and threatening oceanic life it’s become harder for them to carry on living. Not to mention, ship ports are far more populated and dangerous now than they were hundreds of years ago. Ports are where naval shipyards dock their vessels, meaning big fucking government property-owned ships make it a little hard to shift from fish to human and climb up the docks without anyone noticing.”

“Once again, it’s not a mermaid.”

“However, beachfront property is a lot easier to blend into the mix of, and it’s rife with humans for you— if you were a mermaid— to suck all our energy out of in order to maintain yours. You might even catch yourself a werewolf, or a five, if say a whole pack decided to vacay together at the beach. And less we forget all the mysterious drowning deaths that’ve occurred in the area over the last three summers. All the victims were male. Which is a bit sexist if you ask me, but whatever.”

“Stiles. I appreciate all this, but listen to me carefully now: It. Is. Not. Mermaids. Understand?”

Stiles stares at him, looking deep into the complex expression plastered on Derek’s face. “If it’s not mermaids then what is it?”

“I’m just… It’s just…” He shakes his head, dismissing the whole conversation.

“You can talk to me, Derek.” His voice soft and understanding.

Technically, he can, yes. But emotional strife makes it difficult to even express his hesitance in wishing to express…his hesitance.

“I don’t want to pressure you into sharing anything with me you’re not comfortable with sharing, but if you’d like to, I just want you to know I’m not asking for much. Just start slow, with something small,” Stiles tells him.

Derek’s amazed that he’s never seen it so clearly before. He knows he’s attracted to Stiles. In love with him. And until recently, he’s realized that they’re mates, too. Yet, he’s never really taken a closer look at who Stiles is to him exactly. He’s never really thought about what it means to have him as his.

Until this very minute.

Stiles completes him. In all the big, grand and corny ways two people complete one another, and in all the idiosyncratic, deeper ways, too.

He thought maybe they were rushing into this, not really thinking about what it all means, and just hurrying along a timeline they’ve both apparently wanted for awhile now.

DJ and Claudia feel like added pressure to forge ahead sometimes. They feel like approval, confirmation, that being together would be good. That it’s their destiny and sizing it now just speeds things along. They’re supposed to happen. They’re supposed to be an ‘us’.

But right now Stiles is looking at him with worried, honey-brown eyes, his bottom lip hugged between his teeth, waiting for Derek to…something. Anything.

For the past 3 weeks he’s being thinking they might be moving too fast. When really they’re going at just the right pace. He’s taking things slow, at Stiles’ level, when it comes to what they do in bed, and Stiles is sitting beside him now, telling the werewolf that he doesn’t have to confess his deepest fears and the stringent guilt that coats his insides like broken shards of glass. But he’s ready to listen when Derek is ready to talk.

He’ll wait. Stiles will try for patience, which Derek is well aware goes well pass difficult for the human; it’s not one of his many virtues.

He should say something though. Stiles went through the trouble of researching for him, concerned about his current bout of sleepwalking and migraines. If it’s not mermaids, he should at least tell his boy what’s actually plaguing him.

“…I’ve been thinking…a lot…about my family.”

“I get that. They must be etched into the walls here.”

“Yeah,” Derek nods. “They are.”

“…It’s still hard for me to go into my dad’s room sometimes. My mom’s vanity is still there. It’s empty, with all her stuff in a box somewhere in the attic, but… She used to sit at it in the morning, putting on her make up for work, and I’d sit on the bed and we’d go over my homework again before school. Then when we’d come home, I’d sit on the bed while she took all her make up off and tell her about my day.”

“…The first thing my dad taught me how to cook was spaghetti. In this kitchen,” Derek tells him. The smile on his face at the memory is immediate. “The first time Laura ever heal a broken bone was here, too. We were jumping on the bed and she slipped right off and landed horribly on her arm. She didn’t shed a single tear. Just waited for her arm to heal then went right back to jumping on the bed with me.”

Stiles reaches over and squeezes Derek’s hand.

“I dream about them. A lot. And every night we’ve been here so far… I thought I heard my mom calling me last night. It’s not mermaids, Stiles. Even though I wish it were.”

Derek stands and walks to the sink, dumping out the rest of his coffee.

“Derek—”

“I’m going to go for a run.” He doesn’t mean to be abrupt and cut Stiles off, but he’s starting to get that nauseous feeling he has when he remembers his family, and why they aren’t here anymore. He opens the back door to grab his running shoes off the porch— “What the hell…?”

“What?” Stiles rounds the island, crossing the room toward Derek.

At their feet, on the other side of the backdoor, are two pieces of jewelry, each one gleaming and bright.

“Mermaid,” Stiles concludes. “Yesterday it was a chrome hubcap and a ship’s bell. The day before, a bunch of quarters, and the day before that it was a fucking pot filled with silverware!”

Mermaids like brilliant, sparkly objects. They’re attracted to them. they give them as gifts to their lovers. And their prey.

Stiles picks up the objects at their feet. “A wedding band and a Rolex this time?! This is not you klepto-ing stuff in your sleep. You are being courted by a mermaid, sir.”

“Shit.”

So much for a peaceful vacation.

»»»

They pow-wow with the rest of the pack on what to do about the mermaid attempting to lure Derek to his death.

From what Stiles finds via Google, and what Derek already knows about mermaids, it’s hard to distinguish them from humans when on dry land. They don’t carry a particular smell like actual humans, but there’s nothing significant about their scent that could help in separating them from everyone else.

Even if there was, they can’t exactly storm up and down the beach, sniffing strangers, now can they?

And they don’t have the bestiary, so they have no clue as to how to destroy her if they did manage to locate her.

Exhausting all their other options for a plan of attack, they revert back to Derek’s original idea of using himself as bait…which Stiles hates, but has to live with, seeing as how there really is no other way to go about finding out who the sea creature is, and how to dispose of her.

Whoever she is, she seems to target Derek during late night hours, and when the beach is devoid of the throngs of people that normally crowd it during the day. The only thing they can do apparently is wait until Derek’s sleepwalking again.

»»»

Stiles is building a massive sandcastle with Isaac, arguing over the moat, when Pearl appears, jogging up to Derek as he sunbathes, bouncing her perky breasts.

“Hey you,” she smiles.

Derek lifts the dark Ray Bans on his face, squinting at the sun in his eyes, trying to make out the half-naked form hovering over him. “Um, hi. Uh, Pearl?”

“Yup. Want to take a break from tanning to help me kick some volleyball ass,” she smiles, tossing the volleyball in her hands into the air.

“Um…” Derek glances at Stiles. Who’s staring right at them.

Stiles sighs, but nods his okay. He has to trust Derek and stop letting his insecurities stir up his jealousies.

Derek’s my boyfriend, not hers. I know this. He loves me. He’d never hurt me.

Derek shrugs. “Yeah. Sure.”

“Me, too,” Claudia jumps up from her beach towel. She tears off her cover up, revealing a skimpy suit underneath that Erica helped her pick out in town.

Jackson sits up, tossing his phone aside. “I’ll play.”

“Great,” Pearl says. She makes her way further down the sand toward a volleyball net with a waiting group of twentysomethings standing by it with a cooler of beer.

Derek follows with Jackson beside him. Claudia gives Stiles a sly wink before catching up to them.

He has to be mature and understanding…but no one said he couldn’t have spies.

That’s my girl, he thinks proudly as he watches Claudia come between her father and Pearl when the sexy redhead gets a little too close.

»»»

Stiles. Is. Pissed. Like royally pissed.

Derek can smell it wafting off him like smoke from ash. And given his typical association with that smell, the last thing he wants to do is take in anymore of it over dinner.

The whole table is quiet. Just the awkward sound of forks and knives scraping against plates as everyone stares at their food, poorly pretending their Alphas aren’t wordlessly fighting, and the burning, angry scent hovering over them is just the grill.

Derek can’t take this anymore. That smell is getting to him, and the scowl on Stiles’ face could cut through metal. He opens his mouth, ready to speak and ask his betas to go for a long walk— when Stiles throws his utensils down.

Stiles throws his utensils down onto his plate with a loud clank. “Can I talk to you please?” He doesn’t wait for a response, breaking from the table and storming into the house.

“Good luck,” DJ and Claudia whisper to Derek. The betas nod.

He’s going to need it.

Derek pushes back from the table and follows Stiles in the house.

They head upstairs to the master bedroom. Stiles slams the door behind them.

“Stiles—”

“I am not mad at you.”

“Really now,” Derek frowns, not buying it.

“I’m not. I’m mad at that fire breathing slut!”

Stiles was being mature, and understanding, like he’s supposed to be. He even went out of his way to invite Pearl over for dinner tonight (as what he thought would merely be a polite gesture). She declined, already having plans for the evening, but said she could stay for a board game when Isaac innocently mentioned to her that they planned on returning to the beach house to play Pictionary.

Pearl maneuvered her way onto Derek’s team, which initially didn’t bother Stiles, seeing as how he was preoccupied in beating him rather than playing with him.

Isaac was Stiles’ partner this time, and they were a pretty good team. Not as good as the team Stiles and DJ made, but they were tied for second place with Claudia and Jackson and that’s all that mattered to the human’s competitive streak.

Stiles was far into the game to notice the little touches, flirty smiles, and inch-by-inch closeness Pearl pushed onto Derek. So when she and Derek won the first round, Derek knew his boyfriend was nothing if not shocked by her grabbing Derek’s face and planting a big, lipstick-stained kiss on his mouth!

The entire room fell silent like a monastery as Derek leap off the couch and away from her with his hands up like he was being arrested, staring at Stiles!

Pearl looked uncomfortable at the awed faces staring back at her…

She made a play for the Alpha. In front of the Alpha-mate and his children. In front of his whole pack. The sin of all sins. Their wolves were growling and snarling at her, but their human side’s were nearly catatonic.

Boyd was the first to speak, suggesting to her that she “should leave, as quickly as you fucking can.”

She did; swiftly and quietly.

Stiles stood abruptly and announced he was going to start dinner and hurried into the kitchen.

Derek ran upstairs to shower and get the offensive taste/smell of Pearl off of him. He stayed there, in their room, until Claudia called him down for dinner.

“I knew it wasn’t me! I knew I wasn’t overreacting to that slore!”

“’Slore’,” Derek asks.

“It’s a portmanteau of the words ‘slut’ and ‘whore’,” Stiles tells him as he paces the floor, fist clenched at his sides.

Derek tries with everything in him not to snicker. He doesn’t know what’s funnier: the word, or Stiles taking the time to explain its definition.

“I told her you were seeing someone but she just goes for it anyway! Who does that?!”

“Apparently, slores do,” Derek deadpans.

“Exactly!”

He really, really wants to laugh.

“I mean, what did she do? Assume you’re girlfriend isn’t here so it’s okay? And that’s another thing! Her rampant homophobia is disgusting! I never gave her a pronoun! She doesn’t know if who you’re seeing is male or female or dragon! What if you and Jackson were a thing? She’d have felt mighty fucking stupid then!”

“I wouldn’t call it ‘rampant homophobia’ so much as a ‘programming of convention’. Like most of the world.”

“That was an awful lot of words for ‘disrespectful thot’.”

“’Thot’?”

“It’s an acronym.”

“For?”

“That Hoe Over There,” Stiles says offhandedly.

The dam breaks. He can’t help it. Derek explodes into laughter. Hunched over and turning beet red, guffawing in between spurts of hyperventilated breaths.

Stiles is nothing but angry scowls as he tries to storm out, but Derek catches him around the waist.

“Let go of me before I knee you where I know it’ll hurt for days,” Stiles threatens.

“I’m not laughing at you,” Derek says, composing himself.

“Really now,” Stiles says, repeating Derek’s sarcasm.

“I’m not. It’s… Your jealousy is adorable.”

“I’m not jealous! She kissed you! I was jealous at the gross flirting, but then that bitch followed through and now I’m fucking livid!”

“I know.” Derek pulls Stiles even tighter to him. He dips his head to Stiles’ neck and places a gentle kiss where his neck and shoulder meet. “And it’s adorable. Like I said,” he whispers in Stiles’ ear.

“We’re not… We’re not done with this…this conversation,” Stiles tries to tell him as Derek licks a long stripe along his neck.

“She kissed me. I didn’t kiss her back. She’s gone and I want nothing to do with her. I’m here with you. What else is there to talk about?” Derek latches his mouth onto Stiles’ pulsepoint, sucking a hard bruise there.

He considers Stiles’ angry fit over when his head tilts back and he moans into the air.

Derek walks them to the bed.

He undresses Stiles, piece by piece, slowly, setting it all aside in a neat pile on the floor.

Stiles stands naked before him, hands twitching nervously. There’s something about Stiles’ anxiety with being stark naked in front of him that turns Derek on immensely. His wolf loves it. Loves seeing Stiles timid and shivering like prey… Maybe that’s it.

“Lean over the bed,” the werewolf says.

Stiles turns away from Derek and does as told. The bed is high enough off the floor for the tips of his toes to press into the carpet.

Derek sinks to his knees behind Stiles, eye level with his pale, round ass. He hasn’t even touched him yet and Stiles is shuttering. His heartbeat is loud in his ears. But it’s not nerves. It’s excitement. Arousal.

Derek smoothes his hand along Stiles’ spine. Stiles relaxes into the touch, taking calming breaths, tampering down his excitement. Stiles comes to quickly when he’s overly excited, and Derek’s in the mood for this to last as long as it can.

He kisses Stiles on every inch of skin of his lower half, body worshipping, then slowly drags his index finger south, slipping it between Stiles’ cheeks, all the way down to his taint. He traces his path back where he started, stopping to spread the human wide and bury his face in his ass.

Stiles whimpers into the duvet as Derek licks him open, fisting the comforter in his hands, drooling, flushed bright pink, and making the most amazing noises into the paisley pattern.

Derek controls his shift, fighting his claws that want to come out and poke into mole-spotted skin, and fangs that want to dip into the fatty flesh of Stiles’ pert little ass.

He lets Stiles touch himself, stroking his dick lazily to Derek eating him out in long licks and tongue swirls around his hole.

“God, you taste good,” Derek growls against Stiles’ skin, giving him a little bite on his left cheek. Stiles’ skin is warm, with Derek’s hand prints rose-colored against it where he holds him open.

He laps at Stiles’ hole with the tip of his tongue a few times before sliding it in.

Stiles shakes and moans into the mattress, letting go of his cock to ball his hands into the comforter again. “Derek,” he begs in a broken sob.

He’s not going to last much longer, so Derek lets loose, fucking Stiles on his tongue, sloppy, wet and hungry.

Stiles grinds into the mattress. His dick leaks all over it as he screams Derek’s name over and over again. He’s moving all over the place. Derek wraps his arms around his thighs, holding Stiles in place, sweating profusely, and continuing to taste his boy.

“Oh, God! Fuck! DEREK!” Stiles comes all over his own stomach and the bedding as electricity cracks through him like lightening and his vision whites out…

»»»

Stiles comes to. Derek is naked, crowded over his body, and fingering him measurably, coaxing him out of his unconsciousness.

“Hey, there.”

“Hey,” he says, dream-like but compliant.

Derek kisses him. Soft, chaste kisses on his lips that tingle and make his dick hard again.

“Derek?”

“Hm,” the werewolf responds, lips traveling to Stiles’ neck.

“…I want you to.”

Derek stops, pulling slick fingers from him, and lifts his head, looking right into Stiles’ eyes. “Are… Are you sure?”

Stiles nods.

“I need to hear you say it.”

“Yes. I’m sure. I want you to.” Stiles knows Derek’s listening to his heartbeat and taking in the smell perfuming off of him at his response. He’s telling the truth. He wants Derek to. He’s wanted Derek to for a while, for a hundred different reasons. None bigger than the fact that he loves him. And Stiles wants nothing more than to lose his virginity to the man he loves.

“Stiles—”

“I love you. This isn’t about anything but that. I mean, we’ve been working our way up to this for over a week now, which I know isn’t a long time, but I feel like we’ve been waiting for each other for a while. We finally have each other, and I don’t want to wait any longer. I’m nervous, but I’m not scared anymore. I just want to give myself to you…completely. Is that dumb?”

“No,” Derek tells him in a near-whisper.

“Was it really…girly?”

“Being honest isn’t girly.”

“When you said we were going to your family’s beach house, I kind of hoped we’d do it here. I didn’t plan anything. I just thought it’d be nice. Here, with the ocean and everything.”

Derek leans down and kisses him again. “It is nice.”

“I brought condoms,” he says nervously. “I know werewolves don’t carry diseases, but I brought them anyway, in case. Like if you wanted to use them or something.”

“Do you want me to?”

Stiles shrugs. “Up to you.”

“Stiles. If you’re not going to give me definitive answers about what I ask you…”

“No. I don’t want you to use them, but since I do kind of have the ability to get pregnant, I think you should,” Stiles says, trying to sound less wishy-washy in his decision.

“I think that’s a good call.”

Derek sits up, letting Stiles crawl from under him to rummage through his bag for prophylactics. He grabs one, returning to the bed, and hands it to Derek. It’s a magnum. Derek’s pretty big; long and thick.

Derek lies on his back and tears open the condom wrapper. Stiles grabs the bottle of lube off the nightstand. He watches Derek roll the condom down his erection.

“I want you on top,” Derek tells him.

Stiles nods. Derek wants him to set the pace so that he’s comfortable. If he were on his back, or stomach, or all fours the position could feel awkward and make it difficult to take him. If he’s in control then he’d be more at ease and less anxious.

Stiles straddles Derek. The Alpha’s hands smoothly come up his sides. “You’re…beautiful.”

“I was just thinking that about you.” Stiles flips the cap on the lube and squeezes a few drops on his fingers. He tosses the bottle onto the nightstand and slicks Derek’s cock.

“I should open you up more.”

“No. I’m ready.”

“You sure?”

“Just talk me through it.”

“Don’t rush. Go how you want to.”

Stiles leans down toward Derek. Their faces close. Derek steals a kiss, making Stiles smile.

He grips Derek’s cock, lining it with his anus.

“Breathe.”

Stiles nods, taking a deep breath. Derek’s arms come up, holding him.

Stiles pushes down on the head of Derek’s dick. He feels the tight pressure of it breach into him. Red rings glow around Derek’s pupils making Stiles’ breath catch.

“You okay?”

Stiles nods again.

“Don’t rush. Go slow.”

“Okay.”

His arms come around Derek. They’re hugging with Stiles on top.

Stiles slides down another inch, taking more of Derek into him. Derek moans and Stiles catches a glimpse of fangs in his mouth. “Are you going to shift?”

“Yeah. When I’m close. Sorry.”

“Don’t be,” Stiles smirks. He’d be lying if he said he hasn’t thought about being in bed with Derek, turning him on so fervently his wolf comes out. He really does have an attraction to danger and equates it with sex like Claudia said. But that’s an insight for another time. For now he’ll bask in his ability to make his werewolf boyfriend lose control.

He breaks from Derek’s hold, sitting up, and sinks down completely on Derek’s cock.

“Fuck,” Derek murmurs, his hands gripping tight to Stiles’ waist. “You okay,” he asks after a breath.

“Yes. You feel…really good.”

“Yeah?”

There’s still that tight pressure, and he hasn’t adjusted fully to feel of him yet, but for the most part, Derek inside him satisfies something within. Something that goes beyond sexual. It’s something warm within his chest that spreads to the tips of his fingers and toes.

“Yeah, but I don’t… I don’t know how…”

“However you want. Whatever’s good for you.”

Stiles hears the strained desperation in Derek’s voice. He’s fighting hard to be a good boyfriend and be patient, resisting the urge to flip them over and fuck Stiles stupid.

God, I want that.

But not this time. Not his first time. Derek’s in the lead for “boyfriend of the year” with just how lasting and considerate and selfless he’s being right now. But Stiles knows if he doesn’t do something, doesn’t move soon, Derek will snap and his wolf will take over.

Alright. You’ve done your research. Good research, too. Just get a pace going. An easy pace that’s secure for you and Derek’s pleasure will follow right along… I hope.

Stiles places his hands flat on Derek’s pecs; fingers in the nest of dark hair there. He slowly lifts up, dragging off Derek’s cock until only the tip is inside him, then slides back down with Derek nearly balls deep, filling him again.

He does it again. This time taking notice of delicious groan coming from his partner.

His eyes slide close as he works himself up and down slowly on Derek’s cock.

Derek’s hands move to his ass, squeezing hard, helping Stiles along as he gains a decent pace, and building a thrust.

Derek surges up just when Stiles comes down, and the rhythm of the quick move makes Stiles dig his nails into Derek’s chest.

Derek moves with him, doing it again. And again. And again. Until they’re in a groove.

They’re both panting, eyes open staring deep into each other’s. Derek’s eyes are shifted, his fangs dropped, and claws pricking the sensitive skin on Stiles’ buttocks.

Stiles runs his thumb along one of Derek’s fangs, making him growl low and enticed.

He speeds up his pace, going a little faster. Derek matches his enthusiasm and they work into a greedy cadence.

The awkwardness has faded and Stiles can only feel. Feel how good Derek is inside him. Feel how good they fit together. Feel the harmony they work into, racing one another to the peak of their excitement.

He wants this to last. Forever. But that’s nothing but wishful thinking. He’s almost there. Body taunt and rigid as Derek takes over, pumping into him. Stiles tilts his head to the ceiling, eyes shut tight, letting Derek drive into him, hard and deep now.

He hits Stiles’ prostate with a strong thrust, and without warning Stiles comes, screaming into the warm, musky air, and spurting ribbons of cum onto Derek’s stomach.

He’s weak, limp. He wants to fold and crash on his Alpha’s chest, but Derek sits up, holding him in his large arms, pushing his stiff cock into him still.

Stiles pulls his head from Derek’s shoulder. He’s shifted now. Beta form. His hands sweep through Derek’s hair as he stares into blood-red eyes and licks into the werewolf’s mouth; his tongue poked by a sharp fang.

Derek flips them over. Stiles on his back now. His grips the headboard and thrust. Hard. Once. The bed bangs against the wall.

He does it again.

And again.

And again.

Stiles wraps his legs around the small of Derek’s back, crossing at the ankle. Derek’s clawed hand cups his head, tilting it slightly so Stiles is forced to look at him.

“Come,” Stiles tells him. “Come. I’m okay.”

Derek rocks into Stiles ardent and dirty.

Stiles is throbbing, slick and sensitive. He feels ever drag of Derek’s cock as the werewolf braces himself on the headboard. He runs his hands down his sweaty chest and sticky abs. His hands are moist. He wraps one around his cock, bringing it to half-mast.

Derek hits this prostate again. Pushing against it angrily. Stiles melds into the bedding, biting his bottom lip red.

Words escape Derek. He’s all snarls and growls as he slams into Stiles, causing a shocked moan to bellow from his lips.

Derek’s head lifts, baring his neck, and he howls. Actually howls as he fills the condom between them.

Stiles shouts, too, coming a third time, all over his own hand.

Derek’s spent. Stiles pulls him close. They lay in each other’s embrace with Derek still inside him, panting for breath, sweating and aching. Content. Happy.

“I love you,” Derek whispers into wet, brown hair.

Stiles smiles. “I love you, too, sourwolf.”

»»»

Stiles waddles into the kitchen. He’s a little sore, and his thighs burn with bruises he knows he’ll see in the morning.

The house is dark and quiet. He doesn’t know when the betas got back, but he’s sure they took off when the smell of sex permeated the house. Not to mention, he and Derek weren’t exactly quiet. They never really are, and Stiles doesn’t feel the least bit guilty about it.

He’s having sex. With Derek Hale. Shying away from that fact is the last thing he’ll ever do.

He opens the fridge and takes out the pitcher of sweet tea he made before dinner and pours himself a glass. The cool drink barely kisses his lips when the backdoor opens, slow and hushed.

Stiles readies to scream and wake the whole house when he recognizes the crouching figure tip toe inside.

He flicks on the light above the stove— DJ.

“Shit.”

“’Shit’ is right, because you are in a mess of it, buddy,” Stiles snaps. “It’s 1:30 in the morning. Where in the hell are you coming from?”

“A party…with some college kids.”

“Are you joking?”

“Oh, come on, tata—”

“I thought you were in bed asleep, and apparently, that’s exactly what you wanted me to think! Is this something you do often?! Sneak in and out like a thief in the night?!”

“No! I…I was hanging out with this girl—”

“Oh, my God!”

“I’m not in love with her or anything. She’s cute and was willing to put out and I was just trying to get laid. That’s all.”

“’That’s all’, he says…”

“I’m just being honest.”

“Honest is not sneaking in the house in the middle of the night! What if something would have happened to you?! Were you not there for the pack meeting?! Did you miss the part about a mermaid out there trying to kill your father, DJ?! But no, apparently that’s not as important as getting your dick wet!”

“You’re one to talk,” DJ mumbles.

“I don’t need werewolf hearing to know what you said.”

“I’m sorry,” he says sincerely and shame-faced.

“It’s too late for that. Just go to bed, Deej,” he says with an allure of parental disappointment in his tone.

DJ picks up on it, if his slumped shoulders and frown are anything to go by. He heads upstairs.

Stiles suddenly feels the urge to call his dad and apologize for every lie he’s ever told.

»»»

“Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac. She’s always singing that song. At least it’s a good song. She only plays it this loud when she’s in a really good mood.

But I can’t hear my own thoughts. Jesus, mom, I’ve been reading the same sentence over and over again. We’re werewolves; we hear just fine without the volume turned all the way up…

Mom…. Mom… Mom…! Mom…!!

Why can’t she hear me?

*Oh, thunder only happens when it’s raining*

*Players only love you when they’re playing’*

*They say women, they will come and they will go…*

Dammit. I have to go ask her to turn it down.

Am I the only one bothered by how loud the radio is? Laura’s got to be annoyed. She hates Fleetwood Mac.

Maybe she’s out. Could’ve sworn I saw her in the living room with Uncle Peter though…

Where the hell is she? She was… She was in the kitchen, cleaning the oven… Laura’s MIA, too? And Uncle Peter.

The radio’s off. Where the hell is that music coming from…?

Mom…! Mom…?!

“Derek! Derek, can you hear me? Derek wake up! Derek.”

Howl. A howl. A wounded, hurt howl that stabs right into his chest. He practically feels it, a blossoming pain in his heart, making his eyes snap open. Stiles, hovering over him, looking terrified and relieved at the same time.

“Oh, thank—”

Stiles is flung backward, landing hard in the sand!

Pearl. With a mouth full of pointed, razor-sharp teeth and wide, yellow fish-like eyes, hissing violently in his face! Derek reacts, and wraps a clawed hand around her neck, choking her!

His eyes find Stiles, knocked unconscious on the shore. Waves rushing his body.

There’s noise. Chaos! His betas: Boyd, Erica, Isaac, and his daughter, fight each take on a hideous sea hag, draped in seaweed and slime! Jackson is knocked out cold against a log. DJ… DJ is crouched over on his knees. Derek can smell the blood. See it paint his chest and the hand clutching him there as he fights to heal himself!

The howl. His son was the howl that woke him.

Pearl thrashes in his hold, trying to claw his eyes out, catching him on the cheek with her bloody talons.

You touched my son,” he snarls, eyes burning crimson red at her. Derek grabs hold of the back of her head with his free hand, yanking on her stringy, smelly hair. She digs her nails into his forearm but he could care less. He can’t even feel it, too consumed with rage.

His fangs drop and he sinks them into her throat, tearing out flesh and green goop that oozes from her wound until her head lolls, nearly tore off her limp body.

Screams! Screams so loud, like Argents sonic emitters, piercing his ears! Derek collapses, covering his ears. He opens his eyes: they’re all in the sand, trying to shield themselves from the noise!

Its the hags, wailing and crying salty tears for their fallen leader at Derek’s feet!

Stiles, conscious now, and up on his feet, rushes toward Derek!

“Stiles, what the hell are you doing?!”

The human, appearing unfazed by the horrid sound, grabs something off to the side of Derek. A baseball bat.

“Stiles!”

Stiles charges toward the first hag in his sights and bashes her skull in!

Two other ones charge toward him! He knocks one off balance, making her stumble on trembling legs! The other two reach out for him as he turns around— Derek jumps to his feet, ready to rescue, but DJ is there, tearing out their throats with vicious claws!

Stiles pauses for the briefest moment before grabbing their son and pulling him into his arms, gripping him tightly. Less out of thankfulness, and more out of relief. DJ holds him just as fiercely.

Derek helps Claudia up and pulls her against his chest, then looks her over for injuries.

Boyd and Isaac approach. The last sea witch in their grasp, thrashing wildly and hissing. Erica helps Jackson wobble over.

“You okay,” Boyd asks Derek.

Derek nods. “Jackson?”

Jackson shrugs. He’ll live. Just a bump on the head.

“You remember anything that happened, big guy,” Stiles asks.

“…My mom. She was singing to the radio…but I guess not.”

Tata realized you were gone. I tracked your scent and we found you almost at the water’s edge. Pearl was there—”

“Kissing you,” Stiles says bitterly.

“Stealing your powers,” Boyd corrects.

“Through kissing,” Stiles adds. “Like it’s The fucking Little Mermaid or something.”

“Next thing we know these ugly sea bitches pop up out of the goddamn water,” Jackson complains.

“We attacked while Stiles tried to wake you up,” Isaac tells him.

“I heard you,” Derek says to his son.

“I’m okay,” DJ assures him. “She slashed me pretty deep. It was taking longer to heal but I’m okay, dad.”

Derek snatches him close anyway, burying his nose in his dark hair, smelling the top of his head and nuzzling him.

“What do we do with her,” Boyd asks of the siren in his grasp.

“We should kill her,” Derek says. “But we’ll take her to Alpha Lilly instead. It’s his territory. He’s bound to hear about this and I don’t want him angry about bloodshed we spilled on his land. Plus, I think he’d like actual proof he has a mermaid problem.”

“She’s weak. Not as strong as Pearl. Can she survive us taking her there? How do we make sure she doesn’t go ape-shit and kill us on the drive up,” Isaac asks.

“It’s not a far drive from what I remember. And the longer she’s out of water the weaker she is. We can take her if she decides to be bold.”

Boyd and Isaac drag the siren from the beach toward the house. Erica is right behind them with Jackson using her as a crutch.

Stiles hugs DJ one more time.

“I’m sorry, tata,” his son apologizes. Stiles just squeezes him a little harder before letting him go, headed for the house.

“How’d we do,” Claudia asks.

“You’re alive. That’s all I care about,” Derek tells her.

She snorts. “You’re proud. So proud it’s gross. Dandelions,” she says with a smirk. She follows her brother off the beach.

“Dandelions,” Stiles asks.

“Pride. It smells like dandelions.”

Stiles wraps his arms around Derek’s neck, hugging the ever-loving fuck out of him. He smells like bitter almonds and grapefruit. Fear, and anxiety.

“The next time I tell you I don’t like a woman that hits on you, just trust me that she’s a crazy bitch. Or a goddamn mermaid.”

Derek can’t help it. He laughs, lips pressed against Stiles’ temple. “I promise. Stiles Seal of Approval always needed.”

»»»

Derek and Boyd shove the sea witch into the backseat of the camaro with them. Isaac climbs into the driver’s seat.

Derek is right. She was already weak, having less power than Pearl, unable to handle the surface as well as her leader. She slumps against Boyd who looks disgusted with her doing so, breathing heavy like a fish on dry land. Which she is actually. As evident by the slowly growing scales on her human legs. They’re shimmering like sequins, like gasoline on pavement.

Stiles absently wonders if she’s only this hideous out of water. If she’s stunning with a long, gorgeous tail when in water.

“Stiles, get in.”

“What?”

“Get in. You’re coming with us.”

“But—”

“Erica.”

From inside the house, Erica saunters out with the come-hither swag she’s adopted since being turned. “Boss?”

“Stiles is coming with us. Make sure Jackson is healing okay, and DJ and Claudia are alright.”

“I have to babysit,” she whines.

“We’ll be back in an hour,” Derek tells her. He nods at Stiles, still surprised Derek even suggested he tag along.

Stiles climbs into the car excitedly. This is pack business. Official pack business. He’s never met another Alpha, let alone been in the midst of a werewolf meeting.

“Make sure DJ and Claudia don’t leave the house, and they help you get rid of the bodies on the beach,” Stiles tells Erica.

“How?”

“Burn them,” Derek tells her.

She groans like the put-upon teenager she is.

“I’ll tell you what? Next time a school of mermaids tries to kill Derek, and harvest his powers in order to not lose their own, you can come to the werewolf conference about what to do with a dying sea hag.”

Erica frowns, rolling her eyes, but she nods nonetheless, following orders like she should.

»»»

Alpha Lilly is a big, burly man as Stiles suspected. The type of man that wears only Wrangler jeans and flannel shirts, like he’s the paper towel guy. He’s stocky and intimidating, with a thick graying beard, and doesn’t take too kindly to being woken up from his sleep at nearly four in the morning.

But when he smiles, it’s warm and friendly. Like a guy you’d kill to have a beer with.

He gives Derek one of those smiles when the two of them appear on his doorstep.

He recognizes Derek immediately, smiling wide, drawing him in close for a back slapping hug. He looks deep into Derek’s face commenting on how much he resembles his mother, Talia Hale.

Derek smiles faintly, looking everywhere but at the Alpha, who’s smart enough to say no more on the subject.

Stiles never realized that the Hale pack tragedy might be common knowledge amongst werewolves and local packs. Why not? Almost an entire pack was murdered by a psychotic hunter. How could lycan circles not gossip about it?

Derek introduces Stiles and quick enough Alpha Lilly responds with: “He smells. Like you,” giving Derek a sly look and making the human blush.

Derek changes subjects to the situation at hand of the merwoman slowly dying in the backseat of his car.

Alpha Lilly steps from his doorway and toward the camaro. He peeks inside to sure enough find Boyd pinching his nose as the decaying sea witch leans against him, searching for breath. The whole car stinks like the inside of a whale. Isaac threw up the moment he pulled into the driveway.

The Alpha had no idea merfolk have inhabited his territory, believing most had gone nearly a decade ago, but thanks them, nonetheless, for “handling it.” He calls his emissary and No. 2 beta over to help dispose of the merwoman’s rotting, fishy body.

Stiles almost feels bad for her. He knows they can’t let her go, allowing her to return to the ocean, but she’s just a creature like they are, the wolves, and was merely doing what sirens like her do, trying to survive. It’s harder for her who can’t blend in as well as they can. In addition to her home being destroyed by human involvement.

Alpha Lilly’s emissary, and no. 2 beta, his son, Shadow, arrive minutes later.

His emissary drives a forest green mini cooper. She’s all bubbly smiles and flowing blonde hair. She looks more like a cheerleader than a wolf pack’s druid.

Shadow, however, screams born werewolf. He’s tall, lean muscle, deep, soulful eyes, and long, dark hair pulled into a manbun with a matching beard.

Jesus. It’s like they all read the same fashion magazine. Neckz-n-Throatz. The werewolf periodical for brooding Lycans, Stiles muses to himself.

Derek and Alpha Lilly explain everything to his son and emissary.

Shadow seems a reasonable, level-headed guy that knows how to listen and trust his father. His emissary, Kimber, on the other hand, asks more questions than obeys. She isn’t suspicious, just curious. A personality trait Stiles can appreciate.

Derek answers any and all her questions.

She suddenly turns to Stiles, “How’d you subdue her? White noise or seaweed venom ?”

“Um…baseball bat?”

Alpha Lilly chuckles. “Well, that’ll do it.”

“You want us to take her now, dad,” Shadow asks.

Alpha Lilly nods. Boyd and Shadow pulls the siren from the car. Isaac stands back, looking queasy again.

“A cove.”

“What,” Alpha Lilly asks Stiles.

“A cove. Is there a cove around here somewhere,” Stiles asks. “A cave cove perhaps, away from human development.”

“Stiles.” Derek apparently can already see where this is going.

“I’m just saying her whole underwater coven or whatever is dead. She’s the last one.”

“You don’t know that.”

“We could release back into the ocean at a cove, away from people, and contained…somewhat. She’s already weak by regular mermaid standards,” he argues. “She needed Pearl to go out and fin for her in order to stay alive in the first place.”

“Exactly. Letting her go would be pointless because she’ll die anyway without sustaining her power, which she needs humans and other supernatural creatures to do.”

“And also happens to be my point. Let her die in peace where she belongs. At least.”

“Stiles…” Derek sighs, looking into pleading brown eyes. “That’s not my call to make. This isn’t my territory.”

Stiles turns to Alpha Lilly, hunching his shoulders. Well…?

“This one’s a handful, isn’t he?”

“You don’t know the half of it,” Derek groans.

Stiles elbows him in the ribs at the comment. He’s not sure if that’s some sign of disrespect and he’s created this big faux pas, but he doesn’t care. He’s on pins and needles for Alpha Lilly’s answer.

The Alpha turns to his emissary for her opinion.

Kimber looks intently at the siren. Her legs are nearly covered in scales. “I don’t know how ‘contained’ a cave cove is, but I think we can handle it of she decides to act on her own. Or with help. And in that case I assume our friends from Beacon Hills will gladly come to our aid,” she says looking at Derek and Stiles.

Derek nods. “Of course.”

“Sure,” Stiles backs up.

“Shadow,” the Alpha calls on his son.

“I think we can handle some mermaids,” Shadow agrees.

“Okay. Take her to a cove then. I think there’s one about two miles north of here, along the coast. The secluded beach, not the nude beach,” Alpha Lilly says.

“Nude beach? Why weren’t we at that beach,” Stiles whispers.

“Because no one sees you naked but me,” Derek whispers back.

Stiles’ cheeks pink at his boyfriend’s possessiveness.

“There’s a tarp in the garage. Take my truck, Shadow.”

Shadow nods. He and Boyd carry the merwoman toward the garage. He stops, however, in front of Derek. “…I remember how beautiful your sister was. I’m sorry for your loss.”

Stiles remembers Derek saying something about Laura Hale dating Shadow when they were kids after he caught sight of the hickey on DJ’s neck.

“Thanks,” Derek says lowly.

Shadow and Boyd make their way to the garage.

“It’s too late to talk alliances, but you look like you could use a ginger ale,” the Alpha says to Isaac. “And my wife and daughters are up, watching us from the window.” He turns and waves to a dark-haired woman standing at the second floor window with a cluster of young girls around her. She waves back. “Come on in.”

They file toward the house.

“That’s a pretty big spark,” Kimber says to Stiles.

“I’m sorry?”

“Your spark. I see it. It’s pretty big. Don’t let the fact that it’s called a ‘spark’ fool you. Yours is pretty wild, and blue. Like mine.”

Deaton mentioned he had a spark, but he never really understood much of anything the evasive veterinarian usually says, so try to comprehend what exactly a ‘spark’ is was something he didn’t really dwell on.

“You’re rare, too. Most mates aren’t emissaries.”

Whoa. He may be a spark, whatever that entails, but he was definitely not an emissary. At least not presently. “Oh, I’m-I’m not the emiss—”

“You really should be marked, too,” she says before disappearing into the house.

Derek shifts a nervous glance between Stiles and Alpha Lily before silently slipping into the house himself.

It’s then that Stiles realizes that Derek didn’t mark him. He didn’t give Stiles a claiming bite when they had sex. He didn’t declare Stiles as his.

»»»

They return to the beach house an hour later, exhausted and with the promise to come back to Alpha Lilly’s home in a week in order to formally build an alliance between their packs.

From what Alpha Lilly and Kimber describe it sounds more like a barbecue than what Stiles anticipates as an official werewolf meeting. Regardless though, he’s excited to come back to the shore for it.

During their late night tea and cake conversation, he, Derek, and Isaac make sure to avoid all discussions about DJ and Claudia. They don’t lie but evaded a couple questions that would have stirred in the direct discussion of their kids. The last thing any of them want to do is to get caught in a lie. Especially after building trust with another pack. A large one at that.

Just living in the Alpha’s home alone was he, his wife, Diane, and their 5 daughters. Shadow had his own place with his girlfriend, and Kimber lived nearby, too, with her 3 year old son and her mother. The Lilly pack was a 25 member pack, excluding the Alpha’s eldest daughter, Josslyn, who was banished after secretly eloping with a hunter.

Stiles discovers some packs work with the hunters in their territories, and some have all together ignored them, and found any sort of interaction with them unacceptable. The Lilly pack is one such pack.

Alpha Lilly briefly mentions his oldest daughter being made Omega before changing the subject. It seems he’s as fond of talking about her as Derek is about his own family.

So they stick to safe topics like pack business: their territories, members, summits and conferences. When the conversation veers toward a lycan summit Derek is expected to attend, Stiles lights up like a star.

The idea, the concept, of werewolf packs meeting up to discuss land, enemies, alliances, trade, ceremonies, and the like make Stiles itch with the desire to badger Derek in allowing him to come with him when he goes. On Halloween of all dates.

But he’ll wait until they’re alone. And naked. Which he thinks will make it harder for Derek to say no.

Boyd and Shadow arrive back at Alpha Lilly’s house having left the sea witch basking in water near a cove close to where the Alpha described.

They shake hands and set a date and time for their talk next week. They’re thanked again for their help with the sirens and head back to the beach house.

Erica did as asked and burned the bodies with DJ and Claudia’s help, then waited up for them to get back. Jackson is asleep on the sofa in the TV room, and DJ and Claudia are asleep in their own rooms.

They rest of them crash into their beds, too, exhausted by the long night.

Stiles sleeps well until 11AM. Everyone is already up and out of the house except Derek, who’s outside, cleaning his car, trying to get the fish smell out of it.

DJ apparently made breakfast and left a plate of scrambled eggs, Canadian bacon, and toast in the oven for Stiles. Stiles inhales it in front of the TV watching Judge Judy.

He checks his phone. He has 5 new voicemails from Scott, and one from his dad.

His dad simply wants to know what time he’ll be back on Thursday. He text him that he’ll be back about mid-afternoon and attaches a picture he took of the sunset on the beach yesterday.

He sighs heavily then checks his voicemails from Scott. The first is him asking Stiles where he is exactly and to come back. He says he told Deaton about what happened and he knows how to fix it.

Delete.

The second is simply Scott telling him to call him back.

Delete.

The third is a little more hostile and urgent and bitchy, seeing as how Scott’s found out where he and the rest of the Hale pack are.

Delete.

The fourth one makes Stiles worry. Scott’s panicky and bitching about wendigos and two dead bodies and how “its Derek’s fucking territory! He should be here handling his own shit!”

The fifth and final one is passive-aggressive and whiny: “We got rid of the freaking wendigos. No thanks to Derek. Or you. Tell the Alpha he’s welcome, and that me, Allison, her dad, and Deaton took care of it. No one’s dead. We’re fine. If you care.”

STILES: I do care. I’m glad you guys are safe and took care of things. I’m sorry I wasn’t there to help. Was in the middle of my own supernatural fight.
STILES: We’ll be back on Thursday.

Later that night, Stiles tells Derek about Scott calling and the wendigos.

Derek looks panicked for a minute, as though he’s a beat away from running all the way back to Beacon Hills.

It takes Stiles almost 2 hours to reassure him that Scott and everyone else are fine, the wendigos are gone, and the territory is safe.

Derek feels guilty and irresponsible that they left and Scott was forced to handle a scary situation without backup. “He’s a strong wolf, but not a smart one. He could have seriously been hurt.”

“I love you.”

“What?”

“Do you want to know why? Oh, well, there’s a million and one fucking reasons why I love you Derek Stephan Hale, but particularly in this moment, right now, I love you because my best friend has been a dick to you since being turned. He’s been a really big dick since I screwed up a magic spell and caused our children to appear from the future.” Stiles climbs off the bed and backs Derek into the armchair in the corner. He straddles him. “But despite all his dickish behavior, you still manage to care about what happens to him.”

Stiles kisses him.

“I think that’s really sweet…and very sexy.”

Stiles takes the hem of Derek’s soft, white Henley and tugs it off over his head.

“I am really glad he’s okay. I’m also really glad there’s no longer a pair of wendigos roaming around Beacon Hills.”

His kisses along Derek’s neck, feeling the warm skin on his lips.

“But Scott’s been a bit selfish for a while now, and I think it might be my turn for a bit.”

Derek moans when Stiles’ hand drifts downward to his cock, nearly erect and strained in his jeans.

“Don’t you think? I mean, we’ve got one more day in this beautiful beach house, shouldn’t we take complete advantage of that?”

Stiles runs his hand between Derek’s thighs, making his hips lift, searching for somewhere to put his leaking dick.

“Yes,” Derek pants.

“Good. Me, too.”

 


It’s their last day at the beach house. They decide to make the most of it and spend all of it on the beach, from sun up to sun down.

At sunrise they gather at the docks and quietly watch it break the horizon.

Derek rents a boat and they take it out further into the water. Stiles make sandwiches and brings beer. They relax and play around in their own little world in between the girls sunbathing and Erica forcing all the boys to dance with her to the radio she brought along.

At some point, they’re convinced skinny dipping is a good idea, but Derek immediately nixes that plan. When Stiles asks why, Derek quietly tells him he can smell Jackson…when he’s looking at Claudia.

“I will fucking kill him,” Stiles seethes.

“You don’t have to, because there will be no skinny dipping. Besides, how comfortable are you with your kids seeing you naked?”

“Pfft. If they’re fine, I’m fine,” he bluffs.

“They’re wolves. Nudity— anyone’s nudity— is as dull as dishwater to them.”

Stiles rolls his eyes, but knows Derek has a point. He doesn’t want to see his kids nude, and he certainly does want them to see him nude.

They return the boat, only renting it for 4 hours, and head back to the beach.

Isaac and Claudia go for a swim. Derek and Boyd lounge in beach chairs, each with a book in their hands. Erica takes a nap under the huge umbrella she insisted Derek buy her, and DJ builds a sandcastle with a lonely little girl who asks for his help.

Stiles and Jackson somehow end up playing Frisbee with a group of high schoolers from the area. They invite them, and the rest of the pack, to a clambake later that night.

There’s at least 50 people at the clambake, which they quickly realize is actually a family reunion and not just a party. The patriarch of the bunch insists they stay.

“Why not,” Erica shrugs. “We were invited,” she says, grabbing a lobster tail.

Derek’s suspicious at first, given he smells at least two kitsunes and a werewolf amongst them, but simmers down a bit when an elderly woman approaches him and whispers: “Alpha Lilly said to make sure you enjoyed yourself,” she says with a wink before calling to her grandchildren.

They stuff their faces, but avoid the alcohol. They have no clue as to if there’s wolfsbane in it, but don’t want to chance it. Also, driving back tomorrow, hungover in a hot car, does not sound like fun at all.

They say their ‘goodbyes’ and ‘thank yous’ when the party winds down.

Stiles, however, isn’t done with their night, and grabs a bag of marshmallows, some chocolate, and a box of graham crackers from the kitchen.

Derek and Boyd build a fire for them to make s’mores.

They sit silently, staring at the fire and the visible stars in the sky, peacefully enjoying one another’s company without the necessity of words.

It’s so nice Stiles feels like crying.

He never thought he’d have this. Friends that feel like family.

Of course Scott is his friend. Beyond his friend; they’re brothers, no matter who’s wearing the asshole cap that day. He just assumed he was past hope. Past being liked.

He thought Scott was to be his one and only friend, and there was nothing wrong with that if it became true, but it didn’t mean he was okay with going through life as being seen as annoying, pestering, and invisible. He especially didn’t want to be seen that way romantically. A life like that is so lonely it’s miserable, and pointless.

He’s always been the type of person that needs other people. Not just as an audience to his ridiculousness at times, but to take care of, in hopes that they’ll take care of him, too.

There’s just always been something in him that makes being apart of this thing, a pack, feel right. Chiefly, with these guys. The Island of Misfit Werewolves. Complete with their own baggage and emotional traumas.

He belongs here amongst them.

He belongs with Derek.

“You okay,” Derek whispers in his ear.

“Yeah.”

“You sure?”

Stiles presses his lips against Derek’s. He’s gotten pretty good at kissing he thinks, if evidence points to the way he can make Derek relax and moan into his mouth.

“I’m sure,” he says, breaking their kiss.

Derek wraps the blanket around them a little tighter and places a gentle kiss on his temple. “You belong to me, Stilinski,” he says into fine, walnut-color hair.

“I was just thinking the exact same thing.”

 


The closer they get to Beacon Hills the quieter they become. They stop singing along to the radio, making lewd jokes about how mermaids could possibly have sex, and counting how many times they can make Boyd roll his eyes, which turns into a game of counting how many times they can make him smile.

They pass a road sign: Beacon Hills 30 mi, and suddenly the car draws silent.

Without really knowing why, Stiles turns the radio down, eventually clicking it off. He wonders if Derek, Jackson, Isaac, and Claudia are riding in deafening silence, too.

Their whimsical getaway has official come to an end, and the daunting reality of their actual dilemma is crashing down.

This morning, over an early breakfast, Stiles and Derek tell everyone Deaton is back from Boston and knows how to reverse the spell Stiles cast. The table falls quiet for a beat, then fake smiles abounded as they dig into their French toast talking of anything but the elephant in the room.

They pull up to Derek’s house. No one makes a move to climb out of the car. Neither does Derek and the rest in the camaro.

“We don’t have to go to Dr. Deaton’s now, do we,” DJ asks.

He shouldn’t encourage it. He’s already let this go on longer than he should have. He shouldn’t procrastinate anymore than he already has. “…No,” Stiles says. “We don’t have to go now.”

Stiles can practically feel Erica smiling, and notices Boyd’s shoulders slump, relaxed.

They climb out of the car, grabbing their bags, but Stiles stays behind the wheel.

Derek approaches his window. “You going home?”

“For a little while. To see my dad before he has to go to work.”

Derek nods. “Okay.” He leans into the car and kisses him. “Come over later.”

“I will.”

Stiles turns the engine over and backs out of the driveway. He catches the worried look on Claudia’s face as he turns toward the street. “I’ll be back for dinner,” he says, knowing she can hear him.

He watches her disappear into the house through the rearview mirror.

»»»

Stiles pulls into his driveway and sees him. Scott. Sitting on his front porch.

Stiles gets out of jeep, grabbing the BHHS lacrosse gym bag he used all week as a suitcase. “I don’t want to fight, Scott,” he tells him as he approaches the front door.

“Me neither.”

“Good.” Stiles throws his gym bag down and takes a seat beside him. “Wendigos, huh? What was that like?”

“Scary. Vicious, too, but not as bad as Jackson as the kanima.”

“Glad Chris Argent helped.”

“Me, too. But he kind of has to, you know? Still doesn’t like me and Allison together but whatever.”

“Exactly. Fuck him.”

Scott laughs. “I guess.”

They sit wordlessly for a minute, listening to the trees rustle in the breeze.

“This is the longest we’ve been mad at each other.”

“Yup,” Stiles agrees.

“I didn’t like it. I’m sorry.”

“I’m sorry, too.”

“…I keep having to apologize to you.”

“Maybe you should consider stopping your ‘shitty friend’ campaign then,” Stiles shrugs, teasing Scott.

Scott’s known him long enough to get it’s a joke… Sort of.

“I shouldn’ve ignored your calls. You were in danger and asking for my help. I would have known that if I bothered to stop being childish. I’m sorry. I’m glad you and Allison are okay. I’m glad Deaton knew how to help.”

“…I called you because I was scared. I didn’t know what to do and I needed my best friend here, who always thinks of a plan, to help me… And I called you because…because I wanted you to get Derek to help me… I needed him. I needed you both. And I was mad that you guys wouldn’t help me. Then I remembered why. Then I remembered how you two asked for my help…and I wouldn’t give it.”

“Scott, I wasn’t scared that I fucked up a spell. I was scared about the spell I fucked up. DJ and Claudia aren’t from some other universe, some other dimension. They’re apart of my future. A future I had no idea was capable. Every day I’m just trying to get through Harris’ class and survive whatever monster wants to maul me in the woods, but then I find out that I live through it all to be a husband and a father and fucking Alpha-mate! With Derek no less! Derek who I thought hated me! That’s big shit! That’s big scary as fuck shit! That’s what I needed help with.”

Scott looks sheepishly at his shoes.

“Do you really think I can’t research on my own? That I can’t just wait for Deaton to get back and fix what I fucked up? You think I can’t get Lydia to do some digging with me after a little carefully measured flattery? I can do all that. But what I wanted was my best friend to help me not lose my mind over it. Over the fact that I end up married to a guy I’ve kind of been crushing on for a while now. I wanted you to tell me that’s okay, and you’re still my friend.”

I am your friend, Stiles. I don’t care if you like a guy, or a girl. I’ve kind of known you might be into guys for a while now though…”

“See?! I needed to know that!”

“…Sorry.”

“…Apology accepted.”

“Bro-shake?”

They push off the porch and easily slip into the goofy hi-five they’ve coordinated. Stiles laughs and pulls Scott in for a hug.

“Your dad’s watching.”

“Did he hear anything?”

“I don’t think so. He’s only been there since you accepted my apology.”

“Good.”

They break from their embrace.

“You’re going to have to tell him, Stiles. About everything.”

“I know. I am.”

Scott looks a bit surprised. “Your heartbeat. It was… That wasn’t a lie.”

“No. It wasn’t. I’m going to tell him. I have to. I hate lying to him.”

“When are you going to tell him?”

“…After we take DJ and Claudia to Deaton.”

Chapter Text


Stiles hasn’t let go of Derek’s hand since they walked into Deaton’s clinic. He looks sad, and on the verge of tears. Scott notices Derek keeps squeezing his hand whenever Stiles’ eyes look glassy and wet.

He whispers low in Stiles’ ear and his best friend nods, giving a weak smile.

Erica, however, is full-blown crying. Boyd has an arm wrapped around her, looking as sorrowful as he can look, given his usual stoicism.

Isaac is quiet with his eyes on the linoleum. Since he’s walked in he’s looked at everything but the faces surrounding him.

Jackson even looks a bit bothered as he holds Lydia close to him. But his eyes stay on the girl.

Claudia, Stiles said her name was. After his mother, Scott remembers.

Allison turns to him, looking just as taken aback as he his. They had no idea Stiles and Derek’s kids managed to mean that much to all of them and their pack these last 4 weeks.

But then again, given how they reacted, why would they know?

They’ll have to wait years into the future to find out just how special those two kids are. And who’s to say they’ll get the chance even then? Their fates are definitely going to change now. The spell Stiles goofed brought them here and doing so changes a lot for them in the present and especially the future. And maybe part of that change is that he and Stiles lose touch anyway. Maybe having a big fight and vowing never to speak to each other ever again happens anyway. Maybe the unthinkable occurs and one of them dies…

And if Scott’s being honest with himself, that’s what he’s truly been angry about this whole time.

Stiles fucked around and caused a rift in their destinies. He fucked up their plans. He put a bunch of ifs and maybes into their lives. Life’s already full of enough uncertainty, but Stiles throwing untrained, botched magic into the mix just made it even more uncertain.

With Claudia and DJ’s sudden appearance, the future, everyone’s future, became now altered. An even bigger question mark. And Scott doesn’t like the unknown. He doesn’t like mystery. Because in his experience, mystery leads to danger and tragedy.

Mystery leads to him turning into a werewolf and killing his girlfriend’s grandfather.

“I remember your grandmother. She was a lovely woman. You look strikingly just like her,” Deaton says to Claudia.

She blushes. “Thank you.”

She does. There are still a few pictures around the Stilinski house of Stiles’ mother, and a slightly crinkled photo Stiles keeps in his wallet. Claudia is the spitting image of her. From her light violet eyes to her playful, warm smile.

“And you young man look very much like your father,” Deaton tells DJ.

He does look a lot like Derek. He’s tall and pale like Stiles, yet handsome and brooding-looking like the Alpha, but built like Isaac; less bulk, more lean, like a swimmer’s body.

“Thank you, sir,” he says politely, despite the misery in his eyes.

Scott would care more about it if he weren’t still smarting a little about their fight, and Stiles calling him out on getting his ass kicked.

“Alright. Well, it seems that the lost and found spell Stiles was attempting backfired and morphed into a transportation spell. Transportation spells are easy and can be reverted, even when the object being moved between time and space is an individual,” Deaton says, flipping through a giant, leather-bound, worn spell book.

“However, I’m curious as to why all of you waited until my return to perform the reversal spell. The incantation could have easily been translated by Miss Martin, who I believe has the ability to speak Latin, and the components needed are all here at the clinic. Scott has the keys. Not to mention, Mr. Stilinski is a spark and the one who previously performed the original spell. I’m not exactly sure why I’m needed.”

“You’re totally needed, Dr. Deaton,” Scott says. “Stiles and Lydia looked through all your books and couldn’t find anything that would help.”

“I see…” Deaton says, his thumb rubbing along the gutter of the spell book in front of him.

“What,” Stiles asks. “You sounded weird. What’s up, dude? What is it?”

“It appears the reversal spell has been torn out of the book,” Deaton answers.

“What,” Stiles exclaims, wide eyes and even wider hand gestures.

“Someone ripped the spell from the book,” Deaton reiterates.

Tension rises in the room as everyone trades nervous looks…until Claudia clears her throat.

“Um, yeah. About that…” she says, looking adorably guilty. She pulls a piece of rustic paper from her back pocket and unfolds it. The reversal spell.

“Oh. My. God,” Stiles says dramatically.

“Explain yourself, young lady. Right now,” Derek growls in a fatherly tone. It’s the first time he’s let go of Stiles’ hand since they got to the clinic. He crosses his canon-sized arms over his chest waiting to be enlightened.

“You are so dead,” DJ instigates with a teasing grin.

“I didn’t like set out to do it on purpose!”

“What do you call hiding information from us for a month?!”

“Helping…?” She chuckles nervously, looking a lot like her other father when he’s busted.

“You need to do better than that,” Derek smarts.

“It’s just… When me and Deej got zapped here you two were fighting and snarky and mean to each other, and it made me nervous and I didn’t like it and you guys weren’t together, and daddy your pack had this weird fracture and it all was just too fucked up! I wasn’t used to it, and I know this is the past and everything, and all of that is supposed to change over the years, but I just kept thinking about how it might not now because of the spell tata screwed up and I felt sick! Like puke type sick, because I know if the past is messed then the future will be different and I, like, couldn’t deal, and started freaking out because what if now you guys never get together and don’t get married and we don’t get born?! I mean, that’s damaging, you know?! So I found the spell on the second night we were here and I tore it out the book and kept it under my mattress. I thought maybe I could stay and, you know, influence some stuff,” she says, breathing heavy after her word-vomit.

“Like me and your father,” Derek glares.

“Well…yeah. I could smell this bitterness off you guys but under it was this really sweet, honey smell. I know you said love and hate don’t have distinct smells but I couldn’t think of what else it could be. I mean, there had to have been something between you two for you to get together down the road for our family to happen. For us to be happy. I thought that smell, the sappy one, was, you know, what mates smelled like when they’re…in love.”

Derek glances at Stiles who catches his eye briefly.

“Wow. You certainly are your father’s child,” Allison says with no real heat.

Scott nods in agreement. Of course Stiles’ clever daughter schemed all this without a soul knowing. And of course it’s for the sake of other people’s happiness. For the people she loves and adores.

“I just want to remind everyone I had nothing to do with this,” DJ reminds. Claudia sneers at him.

“Claude, I get what you were trying to do with me and your dad, but do you know what kind of hell you probably put our future selves through? You could have been back to your time ages ago and not left them—us so worried,” Stiles tells her.

“I know. But I thought this was more important. I needed to be here more. Even though it doesn’t matter now.”

“Why don’t you think it matters now,” Jackson asks. “Derek and Stilinski are totally boning.”

Derek rolls his eyes at his beta’s crudeness.

“You didn’t give tata a claiming bite,” she tells Derek.

“What’s a claiming bite,” Allison asks.

“It seals the deal between mates. It makes them partners for life and lets other weres and supes know they belong to each other,” Erica informs the hunter.

“Claudia, this idiot belongs to me,” Derek tells her. He takes Stiles’ hand and yanks him closer to him. “With or without a claiming bite. You, and your brothers, and your sister, are something that will happen in future. When the time comes.”

Stiles drops his forehead onto Derek’s shoulder, hiding his blushing smile there. “Definitely,” he whispers.

And for the first time Scott sees it. He sees that it’s real between them. They mean more to one another than a first love, or easy love, or forced love. It’s a genuine love. It’s a forever love.

He knows his best friend better than anyone, and he knows the thing happening right now, between him and Derek, is something that’ll consume every piece of Stiles from here on out. Nothing will ever be the same.

“Understand,” Derek asks her.

She nods, her eyes downcasted before her fathers. “Yes.”

“Now, would you like to tell us how you managed to keep lying to our faces for the last 25 days,” Derek asks sternly.

You…kind…of…taught…us…that trick,” she answers. “Half-truths and semantics. Weres can only detect fully blown lies. They have a harder time with lies that are more grey. Plus, you taught us how to keep our heartbeat steady under duress, in case we’re ever being forced to give information we don’t want to.”

DJ nods, confirming what Claudia has revealed.

“No way, Derek! You totally have to teach us that now,” Isaac pipes up.

“That is tactic to be used only against an enemy, Claudia. Not your fathers or your pack,” Derek snaps.

“…Sorry,” she says meekly.

“I’m not the only one who deserves an apology.”

“I’m sorry, tata. I’m sorry everyone. Even you guys,” she says to Scott, Lydia, and Allison.

Stiles groans, then claps his hands together. “Well, it seems my daughter has inherited my sneaky nature, which we’ll all have a good laugh about later, but for now I think it best if we get her and my son back to their time…no matter how much I feel like I’m going to hate that.”

Claudia rushes her fathers, wrapping her arms around them. Derek pulls DJ to them, too, and the four of them hold one another tightly.

Deaton draws seven oddly shaped marks on the floor with chalk into a circle.

Claudia and DJ let go of their parents finally with wet eyes.

“The next time you’ll see me I might be a little different. I might look different, too,” Claudia says.

“We’ll still love you. Both of you,” Stiles reassures her.

“Yeah, but…what if I don’t look like grandma anymore,” she asks as tears fall from her eyes. “What if I look more like daddy or great-aunt Julie or—”

“We’ll still love you, Claudia.”

Scott hears the truth in Stiles’ heartbeat, and he knows she can, too. Claudia nods accepting her father’s staunch declaration, because Stiles is nothing if not finite when it comes to how he feels.

“Give your aunt and your uncles a hug goodbye,” the human tells his children.

Claudia and DJ each hug Erica, Boyd, Isaac, and Jackson. Jackson’s arms linger around Claudia a bit longer than they should. He quickly shoves her away when he sees Derek’s eyes flash red at him and Lydia scowl.

Deaton motions for Claudia and DJ to step inside the circle of symbols. He places four candles at the north, south, east and west points around them and lights them.

“Stiles,” Deaton calls.

Stiles approaches. Deaton brandishes a dagger. Stiles already knows what’s probably needed of him, but it doesn’t stop him from looking queasy. Or Derek from looking nervous.

Deaton slices open Stiles’ palm then moves his hand over the north candle, dripping blood onto it, and turning its flame electric blue. The flames of the other candles flare the brilliant shade of blue as well.

“I need you to recite this, then manipulate a circle of mountain ash around the markings,” Deaton tells him.

Lydia steps forward to take a look at the spell. She whispers it in Latin into Stiles’ ear. He delivers every word perfectly:

Praeteritum caelum et sidera
Praeteritum augmenta lunae et solis ascendentis & descendentis,
Rogo ultimum Terrae reddere dona nocte.
Quaero quid ius terra mutata
et custodiunt illud totum denuo.
Peto fatum restitutus
in praesentia movere intendit.

Deaton spills the mountain ash into Stiles’ bloody hand.

Stiles tosses it into the air above his children, manipulating it into a wide circle, then letting it drop around them.

And just like that, within the blink of an eye, they’re gone…

The room is silent, save for Erica’s sniffling and the sharp intake of breath Stiles inhales.

Scott can smell the fermented, tart scent wafting off his friend.

Sadness.

He takes a step forward, but Derek’s already there by Stiles’ side. He leans into the Alpha and sobs into his neck. Derek’s arms come up, wrapping around him.

“Thanks,” Derek says to Deaton.

“You’re welcome, Alpha Hale.”

“We’re, uh… We’re going to go.”

Stiles’ face is still buried into Derek’s throat. He’s still crying.

“His hand needs cleaning,” Deaton says.

“I know. I have a first aid kit at my house. Thanks.”

Without another word Derek leaves with Stiles. Boyd, Erica, and Isaac follow. Jackson pecks Lydia’s cheek before walking out, too.

Scott’s never been in a helpless position when it comes to his best friend, and he’s certainly never been in the position of being replaced by someone else who can help him more. Better. It’s a new, uneasy feeling that he doesn’t like. And it’s exactly this feeling in the center of his chest that’s gotten him in hot water over the last few weeks.

Jealousy.

But he can’t afford to let his immaturity ruin things again. He and Stiles just made up yesterday. And Stiles isn’t just his anymore. He’s Derek’s, too.

“You didn’t seem surprised about Stiles and Derek. Or their future together,” Scott says to Deaton.

“Should I have been?”

“I was.”

“Now that I do find surprising,” Deaton says, patting Scott on the back.

Deaton’s always been acute. Vague, but acute, and it pricks Scott’s chest even more because despite it, Deaton doesn’t spend much time with Stiles, yet he still saw something between him and Derek.

Scott respects Deaton. Aside from the sheriff, he’s the only other important male in his life, and if Deaton sees the good that can come of Stiles’ relationship with the local Alpha then Scott’s going to have to learn to share. To compromise, and to adjust.

He has to get along with Derek.

»»»

Stiles stares up at the ceiling, arms folding across him, thinking. Wondering.

The door opens and Derek walks in. He climbs into bed beside Stiles and takes his hand into his own.

“I miss them already,” Stiles says.

When they got to Derek’s place, Stiles headed straight up the stairs into Derek’s room. He pulled the covers over him and cried until he fell asleep. He woke up about an hour ago, remembering where he was and what had happened. He’s been daydreaming about what his future could be like now ever since.

“Me, too,” Derek says.

“I screwed up.”

“Stiles—”

“I did, Derek. If I hadn’t performed that spell our futures with Claudia and DJ and the twins could happen exactly as it was supposed to. Now things’ll be different.” He sits up looking at his boyfriend. “What if you’re no longer Alpha in the future now? What if Peter comes back or something? What if Allison dies, or Erica and Boyd? What if Isaac moves to Europe? What if we break up and I end up dating a werecoyote or something?”

“And what if Scott gets made an Alpha somehow,” Derek asks. “What if you get possessed by an evil spirit? We don’t know, Stiles. All those horrible things could happen. The last thing I want is for them to, but they very well could happen. But that’s…life. Sadly. That’s what not knowing what’s in store for you is. We didn’t know we’re supposed to fall for each other and get married and raise a family, but we do now and it’s a possibility. A very real possibility.” He reaches up and sweeps the pad of his thumb along Stiles’ bottom lip. “If you’re going to sit here and blame yourself for all the bad probabilities, then take credit for the all the good ones, too.”

Derek doesn’t say much, playing his emotions close to the chest, but when he does… Stiles swings his leg over Derek and straddles him. Derek’s hands grip his ass with a hard squeeze making Stiles grind against his cock.

“I want my claiming bite. I don’t give a shit what we told Claudia. It is important, and we both know it. I want it. Now, Derek. I want to be yours.”

“And you’re not if you don’t have a bite?”

“You know what I mean. I want us to belong to each other completely. Why are you pushing back on this?”

“…Because I love you too much.” He sits up, Stiles still in his lap. “I know you don’t like hearing this, Stiles, and you think it’s an unfair argument, but you’re sixteen.”

Stiles tries to crawl off of Derek, annoyed with the direction this conversation is headed, but Derek holds onto him, keeping him in his lap.

“You’re sixteen,” the werewolf starts again. “And me mentioning that is not me dismissing your feelings for me as immature.”

“Feels like it. You told Scott that his feelings for Allison mean nothing?”

“Yes, but…Scott’s an idiot. And you’re a lot more mature than he is. Weirdly. You think things through more. Better.”

“Then why can’t you trust me when I say I want this?! When I say I want to be claimed by you?!”

“Because you are bigger than this, Stiles!” Derek pulls Stiles off of him and climbs off the bed, leaving Stiles confused and worried. “Stiles, you are smart and talented and a good person and you can do so much more and be so much more than an Alpha-mate.”

“You sound like my dad, or a guidance consoler! What are you trying to say…? Are you breaking up with me?”

“No!” Derek sees the tears forming in Stiles’ eyes. He returns to the bed and takes his hand, lacing their fingers.

Stiles squeezes their hands together, waiting as patiently as he can for Derek to gather his words…

“I don’t want to hold you back from anything. And I don’t want you to make a decision now, that you’ll regret later.”

“…Are you…speaking from experience?”

“Not with Kate. But with someone else. Someone I loved a lot. And maybe one day I’ll be strong enough to tell you about Paige, but right now—”

“Right now,” Stiles interrupts, “I need you to listen. I’m going to say this here and now, and I guarantee you I’ll say it five years later, 10 years later, and then 20 years later: I love you. I want you and every insane, dangerous thing that comes with being in love with you. And I want other things, too. Like going to college and traveling the world. But those things don’t have to be mutually exclusive from being with you, Derek Hale. I can have both. We can have both, and be happy.”

Stiles kisses him, running his fingers through sable-colored hair, and crawling back into his lap.

“So let’s compromise. If you’ve still fully appreciated my awesomeness by the time I graduate high school, then I promise not to go to school across the country, but you have to give me a claiming bite before I do. And if you manage to be a trusting, understanding were-boyfriend who will Skype me, text me, and come visit me while I’m at college,” he leans into Derek’s ear, “then I’ll let you marry me, Alpha Hale,” he whispers.

“You’re sure you’ll want to marry me 6 years from now?”

“You’re sure. What can’t I be?”

“It’s different for wolves.”

“But not with mates” Derek looks a little surprised. “I do my research, buddy. That’s my job. I knew we were mates before Claudia said it. Only half the time I was on my laptop at the beach house was for looking up mermaid lore,” he says of Derek’s reaction. “I probably know more about mates right now than you do.”

“Oh, yeah,” Derek asks with a teasing smirk. “And what do you know, smart-ass?”

“I know that there are mates, and there are mates. And we’re the latter. I know we are fated to be together. I know that in how it’s only been a couple of weeks, but feels like years. I know that in the awesome kids we raised. And I know that because I lied. Lydia choosing Jackson was just the nail in the coffin, but she actually stopped feeling so important when a certain, newly-turned Alpha kind of saved me from his beta.”

Derek kisses him, kisses him wildly and deep, making Stiles moan and card his hands through Derek’s thick, black hair.

Derek flips them over, putting Stiles on his back and settling between his legs. He takes Stiles’ shirt off and trails his warm mouth down is neck, his chest, and his stomach in hungry bites and licks.

He stops at Stiles’ navel; his head bolting upright the human’s lower half. “Scott.”

“You sure as hell better not be thinking about my best friend right now. Especially not after all that romantic shit I just said.”

Derek rolls his eyes. “No. Scott’s here. With Allison. And Lydia.”

“Why?”

Derek,” Erica shouts from downstairs.

“We could go find out.”

“Ugh! Scott loses 10 friendship points for cockblocking,” Stiles groans, grabbing his shirt and scrambling off the bed. He slips his shirt over his head and follows Derek out of the room and down the stairs.

Scott, Allison and Lydia stand in the foyer before the betas who glare at them suspiciously. Allison’s holding something covered with tin foil in her arms while Lydia has a bouquet of wildflowers in her own hands.

“Hey, dude,” Scott says nervously to Stiles.

They made up and are back to their old selves, or so Stiles believes, which is why he’s curious of his best friend’s apparent apprehension. “Hey, man. Everything alright,” he asks lightly, trying to soften Scott’s rigidness.

“Yeah, um,” Scott starts glancing occasionally at Derek, “it’s just I was wondering if you were alright, you know, after…after your kids going back to…” he shrugs, not knowing where exactly it is they’ve returned to.

“It sucks, but I’ll be fine. The possibility of them existing in the future has a higher probability than I initially thought,” Stiles says, winking at Derek, who rolls his eyes with at him with a faint smirk on his lips.

“That’s cool,” Scott tells him.

“Is it,” Erica snides.

“Well, that’s-that’s what I—we wanted to co-come over and talk to you about. All of you,” he stumbles through.

“Lydia says you guys have dinners together a lot,” Allison says nodding to the dish in her hands. “It’s roasted pheasant with fig.”

It’s an olive branch actually. And everyone hangs desperately in the silence as they wait for Derek to respond…

“Sure,” he says evenly. He steps toward Allison and offers to take the dish from her. She easily hands it over.

Derek nods to the betas who step aside to allow Scott and Allison into the house.

The betas follow behind them and Stiles takes the food Allison brought from Derek and pecks his cheek with a goofy grin on his face as he practically skips into the kitchen.

Derek closes the front door and Lydia hands the flowers over to him.

“You’re home is beautiful, Derek. Fresh flowers can make rooms livelier though,” she says politely.

She was rude and snarky the first time she came over, commenting on the décor and turning her nose up at him when he didn’t let her disrespect remarks slide. She’s apologizing. This is an apology.

“Thank you, Lydia,” Derek says.

She nods and joins the others further into the house.

»»»

No one’s said shit in 20 minutes and its driving Stiles crazy. He wants to break the silence with a sledge hammer, a chainsaw, a jackhammer— something, because he doesn’t know how much more of this awkwardness he can take.

He’s sitting in the Alpha-mate’s seat, to Derek’s right, knowing full well the werewolf can feel (and smell) the bubbling anxiety coming off him in waves.

Claudia taught him that when guests are present, breaking bread with the Alpha in his home, the Alpha-mate sits to the Alpha’s right, close to the Alpha in case said guests become a threat. Yet, ordinarily, the Alpha-mate sits at the other end of the table when only family and pack are present.

Scott raised an eyebrow curiously when Stiles served everyone at the table and shooed Allison away when she tried to help. No one ate until Derek, then Stiles, bit into their food, and Stiles broke from the table twice when Erica looked around for the salt, but couldn’t see any, and Isaac dropped his fork on the floor; Stiles went into the kitchen to replace it for him.

Stiles cleared his throat after a couple minutes and Derek’s betas gave tight smiles to Allison, telling her how good they thought the pheasant was.

It was the last time anyone spoke, until—

“Alright, people. I can’t take much more of this,” Stiles erupts.

“The pheasant’s actually not that bad, Stilinski,” Jackson says, heaving a big bite into his mouth.

“I’m not talking about the food, Jackson. I’m talking about this,” he motions his hands around the table. “The attempt to try is great, but no one’s saying what needs to be said. To each other. So if we want this to work, if we all want to get along better and fight on the same team, then an awful lot of fucking apologies need to go around.”

Stiles is right, but everyone lowers their eyes to their plates, picking at the bits of food there, too scared to go first.

“Okay, fine. I’ll go. I’m sorry Jackson.”

“Holy shit,” Jackson says, stunned he’s Stiles’ first apology.

“I’m sorry for not being respectful of your relationship with Lydia, especially that I know now that there was never going to be anything between us but friendship. I’m sorry to Lydia, for keeping her in the dark about everything for so long. I’m sorry to Erica for not realizing how badass and beautiful you were sooner. I’m sorry to Boyd for never recognizing the raw power of your awesomeness until you were turned by Derek. You’re the last person that should ever be ignored. I’m sorry to Isaac for being insensitive to you just because you and Scott were getting along. And I’m sorry to Derek.”

He turns to his boyfriend, “I’m sorry I didn’t trust you, for finger pointing, and for accusing you of shitty things I know you could have never done. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you how I felt about when I started falling for you. I was embarrassed, and didn’t think you could ever feel the same way about me.”

Derek grabs Stiles’ face and kisses him in front of everyone.

“I’m sorry I didn’t trust you, either. I’m sorry I made you think I didn’t care about you. I’m sorry I didn’t say all this sooner,” his whispers against Stiles’ lips.

“I forgive you,” Stiles whispers back, suddenly wishing they were alone for a proper pardoning.

“I’m sorry…to everyone at this table. Especially Stiles and Lydia and Derek. I’m not a good person, but I’m working on it,” Jackson says. Lydia squeezes his hand.

“I’m sorry we tried to leave you, Derek. I’m sorry I knocked you out and threw you in a dumpster, Stiles. I’m sorry I dug my claws into your leg, Allison, and I’m sorry about the ice rink, Scott. Even though you kicked our asses,” Erica says.

“I’m sorry I was such a snotty bitch to you, Stiles. I’m sorry I kissed Scott. I’m sorry I brought Peter back. I’m sorry you tried to apologize to me, Derek, and I turned you away. And I’m sorry I pretended to be dumb. Had I not, I could have been helping. I wasn’t honest and true to myself. Or the people around me. I’m sorry,” she tears up.

“I’m sorry I thought about leaving you, Derek. And I’m sorry I tried to help Derek kill you, Lydia,” Isaac says.

“I’m sorry I tried to leave you, too, Derek. I should have known better,” Boyd tells his Alpha.

Derek nods at them. His eyes a little misty.

“…I don’t know how to apologize for stabbing someone a million times, or shooting them full of arrows, or for my psychotic grandfather and equally demented aunt, or for hunters abusing their code, or keeping things from my best friend, flirting with her boyfriend, or breaking the heart of a boy who loves me with all of his,” Allison cries. “I’m sorry. I am so so sorry, everyone. I’m so sorry, Derek,” she says, tears rolling down her face.

Scott pulls her close with an arm around her shoulder.

“You don’t have to apologize for Kate. Or your grandfather,” Derek tells her.

“But I do. I believed them and didn’t trust my instincts, my better judgment, or the evidence in front of me. I was… I was just so angry, about my mom, and being lied to. I wasn’t thinking.”

“I think we can all be accused of not thoroughly using our brains as best we can,” Lydia says.

“But none of you hurt each other like I did,” Allison says.

“And here’s the time and place to right all that,” Stiles assures her.

Eric takes a deep breath. “I accept your apology,” Erica tells her. “I mean, you like, totally shot me full of fucking arrows, and it’s going to take a while to trust you, but… We’ll get there. We have to if we’re going to be a team, and I want us to be. I want to be the wolf your kids know me as,” she says in regards to DJ and Claudia.

Isaac and Boyd nod in agreement.

Stiles smiles through watery eyes.

“…I’m sorry that I can’t fix everything, and I wasn’t a better Alpha in the beginning. I’m sorry I wasn’t a better friend. I’m sorry I wasn’t trusting, and I jumped to conclusions. I’m sorry this probably won’t be my last apology,” Derek says.

“Nobody’s perfect, Derek,” Jackson tells him. “And nobody expects you to be. Just try and share more, dude. Trust more. And not just with Stiles.”

Stiles couldn’t have put it better himself.

There’s only one of them left now. All eyes turn toward the dark-haired boy with the puppy eyes and crooked jaw.

Scott takes a deep breath. He breaks from the table and stands. He takes a square piece of notebook paper from his pocket and unfolds it— four sheets of paper, front and back, of Scott’s loopy handwriting.

“Stiles, get dessert, and a pot of coffee. We’re going to be here for a while,” the beta wolf says.

Chapter Text


Stiles won’t stop shaking his leg. He reeks of nerves and anxiety.

Jackson barks at him about how loud his heartbeat is in their ears and how tart he smells. “God, I almost wish you and Derek were sucking each other’s faces off. That way you’d at least smell like Christmas,” he snaps.

“What,” Stiles asks, confused by the statement.

“Arousal, sex; it smells minty, like a candy cane,” Erica elaborates for him.

“Really,” the humans in the room asks, looking a little embarrassed.

Derek just gives a tight nod, annoyed at the direction this conversation could go in a room full of teenagers. But at least Stiles has stopped pacing the room, biting his thumb nail. For the time being.

Scott’s head tilts upward to the ceiling. “…Your dad’s home, Stiles.”

A still silence hovers over the whole room.

“Oh, my God. Oh, my God. Oh, my God,” Stiles chants in between short breaths.

Derek’s up, out of the armchair, in a heartbeat. “Hey, look at me. Look at me, baby.” Stiles’ eyes meet Derek’s. “Breathe. No panic attacks. It’s going to be fine. He’s going to be freaked out a little, but he’ll be fine eventually. Everything will be fine. Deep breaths.”

Stiles takes a shaky, deep breath. “Glad you think so, because I’m pretty sure he’s going to shoot you. In the face,” Stiles smarts.

“I will gladly take a bullet for you any day,” Derek assures his boyfriend.

Stiles hears nothing but the truth in that response, so he grabs Derek’s face and kisses him hard.

“Stiles,” his father calls from upstairs.

Stiles breaks his lips away from Derek to take three deep, long breaths.

“Stiles,” the sheriff calls again.

“Down here, Mr. Stilinski,” Scott yells back.

The sheriff trots down the stairs into the furnished basement. “Oh, hey, guys.”

“Hi, Sheriff Stilinski,” they reply.

“Okay. That sounds suspicious,” the sheriff says. His eyes dart from teen to teen. “What’s going on?”

The room draws silent again, adverted eyes on everything but the man in uniform in the middle of the room.

“Stiles,” John says sternly. “Is there something you and your friends would like to share with me?”

Derek gives Stiles a slight nod of encouragement.

“…Um, y-yes. C-Could you guys give us some privacy,” Stiles asks, despite there not really being such a thing with werewolves that can smell your emotions, hear your heartbeat, and eavesdrop 50 feet away.

Nevertheless, they file upstairs. Erica pecks his cheek as she bounces up the steps last. Scott turns to head up there, too, but—

“Scottie, man, can you stay,” Stiles asks his best friend.

“Um, yeah. Of course, dude,” Scott responds.

“Stiles, what’s going on? You’re scaring the crap out of me,” John tells his son.

“We just want to talk to you…but you kind of need to take your holster off first.”

“What?”

“Your gun, dad. Can you take it off and put it in the drawer? Please.”

The sheriff’s eyes move between Stiles and Derek, curious and narrow, but he unbuckles his utility belt and sets it down on an end table then steps away from it.

Stiles motions for him to take a seat on the pouffes. He does, while Stiles and Derek sit across the coffee table from him on the sofa. Scott takes up space in the armchair between them.

“Okay, so, dad—”

“You and Derek are dating,” the sheriff says, cutting Stiles off plainly, and looking very unamused.

Stiles stammers and staggers with unintelligible words as Derek just stares blankly at the sheriff. Scott’s taken to freezing completely like a possum, hoping to not draw attention to himself.

“W-W-What m-makes you… I mean, it’s-it’s— Uh… Look, dad, I-I-I can explain, um, all, it’s just I— Oh, my God.”

John rolls his eyes. “Stiles, stop before you have an aneurysm please.”

Stiles nods. And breathes.

“Good. Now, would you two like to talk to me about why you put up such a charade instead of coming to me about your relationship like adults? I mean, it doesn’t really bode well in your favor having used me if you want my permission to keep seeing each other,” John grimaces.

“W-What charade? How did we use you, dad?”

“Oh, come off it, Stiles. Enough! I figured out that’s why you were inviting me to hang out with you guys. Too see Derek in a good light. To see that all you guys do is have dinner and go bowling.”

“What?! No! Dad, not at all!”

“Sheriff Stilinski, there was absolutely not ulterior motive behind anything that was going on between me and Stiles,” Derek chimes in.

Stiles thinks back to his conversation with John in the car, when John asked if there were other reasons he was initially invite to Derek’s for dinner. “Dad, you were invited to hang out with us because we wanted you to. We wanted your company,” Stiles tries to reassure his father. He’s actually a little surprised his dad seems so hurt by his assumption. He must have really enjoyed being around them.

“Really, now,” the sheriff says with a dubious tone and quirked eyebrow.

“Yes,” Stiles exclaims. “We wanted you to hang out with us, to include you, because…because I know that we haven’t really been as close as we normally are lately—”

“Because you keep lying to me and hiding things, such as dating a man 7 years older than you.”

“…True, but I have not lied about the whole me and Derek-thing. That’s a new development, but about other stuff—which I am hopefully going to explain to you, and try to get through without having a panic attack— yes. However, first—”

“First, we’re going to talk about you and Derek?”

Stiles and Derek exchange nervous glances.

“…Yes,” Stiles says.

John sits up straighter, folding his arms over his chest. “Fine. I want all questions answered honestly, or we’re going to have a one big damn problem the moment I think I’m being lied to. Understand?”

“Understood,” both Stiles and Derek respond.

“Are you two having sex,” John asks, right off the bat.

“Shit,” Stiles curses under his breath.

“I’ll take that as a ‘yes’. Safe sex at least,” he asks.

“Oh, my God. I want to die now,” Stiles mumbles.

“Yes,” Derek answers.

Stiles glares at him like he’s been betrayed.

“Your father wants honest answers, so I’m going to give him honest answers. About everything. That’s what this conversation is for, remember,” Derek reminds Stiles.

Stiles groans, knowing he’s right, and the humiliation has only just begun.

“When did that start,” John asks.

“…Over Spring Break. At Derek’s family beach house,” Stiles confesses.

“Is that why you asked me if Stiles could go,” John glares at Derek.

“No, sir. Not at all,” Derek responds.

“Derek just thought it’d be nice for Isaac and his friends to go to the beach for the break and invited us all to the beach house. The sex part was… It was kind of… It was spontaneous. And nice,” he smiles at Derek as he remembers losing his virginity.

“Did you feel pressured into it,” the sheriff asks Derek.

“Oh, my God! No! Dad,” Stiles objects loudly. “Dad, I seriously can’t tell you how much of a gentleman Derek’s been with me, and how much thought he’s really given to what being in a relationship with me would mean! We weren’t trying to be sneaky about it, or lie to you, or trick you into anything! Derek’s a good guy that loves me and respects you! That’s why we’re here, doing this with you!”

John’s eyes narrow, spine straight and stiff, face hard and unreadable as he looks at the pair across from him…

“…My son seems to think you love him.”

“Because I do…even though he’s infuriating,” Derek says.

“And you’re fucking churlish,” Stiles grumbles.

The sheriff snorts at their banter. “And I take it you’re in love, too, Stiles.”

“Yes,” he answers, taking Derek’s hand.

“Is this why the two of you weren’t speaking,” John asks, looking at Scott, but pointing at his son and his boyfriend.

“Kind of,” Scott says shyly. “But that was, like, before I saw how happy Derek makes Stiles, and that he totally takes care of him, you know?”

The sheriff nods, eyes still, face taut as he thinks about Scott just said.

“I have to ask though, what exactly it is a 23 year old man sees in a 16 year old boy, despite him being my son.”

“Thanks, dad,” Stiles sardonically. The sheriff just shrugs in response.

“…Stiles may be a teenager, and a bit immature at times, but I wouldn’t call him a ‘boy’. I think he’s more of an adult than most people my age. I think his big heart, and how smart he is, makes him an incredible person, in light of his age.”

Derek sees Stiles’ cheeks pink and a bashful smile grow on his face as he shyly scratches at the back of his head.

“Well…you did tell me the best thing about him is his compassion.”

“You did,” Stiles beams.

“I did,” Derek answers. He could spend the rest of his life making that smile on Stiles’ face.

“I want to give you two a lot of trust,” the sheriff interrupts. “Not freedom, but trust. There’s a difference. But Stiles has been lying to me for months, almost a year now. About what, I don’t know, but I’d like to. I’d like to really give you, the both of you, my confidence. However, Stiles hasn’t earned it. Not in the least.”

Stiles looks guilty and smells of fresh thyme. Shame. Derek knows Scott can smell him, too, given the sad puppy-faced look he throws Stiles’ way.

“Dad…I know I haven’t given you the full truth, about anything, for a while now, but I just want you to know it’s been because I love you, and the last thing I want is for you to ever… I could never stand losing both mom, and you,” Stiles tells his father, tears rolling down his face.

“Stiles, what have to gotten yourself into,” the sheriff asks, voice soft and reasonable. “Kiddo, you have to believe that whatever it is, whatever is going in with you, is something I will try my hardest to understand and protect us from. I’m your dad. That’s my job. I take care of you.”

“…We’re supposed to take care of each other.”

“But that doesn’t include secrets and lies.”

“Which is why I want to be honest with you. We’re all sick of hiding things.” It’s Scott this time that gives him an encouraging nod, telling him to go on. That he’s strong enough to do this. “…Derek…is…not…human. Not completely.”

“Excuse me,” John says, already looking skeptical and annoyed.

“Uh, do you know what lycanthropy is, dad?”

The sheriff rolls his eyes. “No, Stiles. I don’t. Enlighten me.”

“Okay, well, it is the transformation of a human being…into…a…wolf. A werewolf.”

“Werewolf. Werewolves? Oh, Jesus H. Christ, Stiles! I thought we were really getting somewhere! I thought you were really opening up to me, and then you start this crap about goddamn werewolves,” John shouts, breaking from his seat.

“No, dad—” Stiles tries.

“What the hell is the matter with you?!”

Stiles stands from his seat as well. “Nothing! I’m trying to tell you something and I need you to be open about it and listen,” Stiles shouts back.

The sheriff’s on a roll. “Why in the blue fuck can’t you be honest with me and tell me the truth?! Is it because I’m not your mother?! Because you never lied to her!”

Invoking Claudia Stilinski into an argument is a sure-fire way for either of them to run cold and still. It halts all noise and creates a dirty, unclean feeling over the whole discussion. Stiles is almost weak-kneed at what feels like a low blow.

“And you two idiots are just sitting here letting him feed me this garbage,” he barks at Derek and Scott. “And to think I was willing to, wanting to, give you my trust,” he sneers at Derek.

“Show him,” Stiles says.

Derek’s eyes turn away from the steeling blue ones shooting daggers at him to look at Stiles; hardness in his usually soft, babyface and deep anger in his brown eyes.

“Show him,” he says again. “He doesn’t believe me. He thinks I’m a lying asshole, so show him.”

The last thing Derek wants to do is frighten Stiles’ dad, but Stiles is reeling and hurt and they truly need the good sheriff to believe them.

So, Derek shifts and John jumps back three feet with a curse, snatching Stiles with him!

Derek can see him eye the gun behind Derek on the end table. The werewolf is thankful Stiles asked him to take it off before they started talking.

“Dad, its okay,” Stiles says, the sheriff tightening his grip on Stiles as he holds him close. “I just told you Derek loves me and I love him. He’d never hurt me. And neither would Scott.”

Scott looks nervous, taking a deep breath before he shifts, too.

“Jesus,” the sheriff exclaims, inadvertently loosing his grip on Stiles, who takes the opportunity to cross the room quickly to Derek. “Stiles! Come here.”

“I’m fine,” he says calmly. He takes Derek’s hand into his and the werewolf feels better, relaxes a bit. He didn’t want to worry and scare the sheriff, despite knowing that would be inevitable.

He wants John’s respect and confidence like he offered. He wants him to not be terrified of him and what he is. He wants him to know he loves Stiles and would kill for him. Die for him. And with him being Stiles’ father, someone his boyfriend couldn’t live without, Derek would do the same for him, if it meant keeping Stiles from falling apart.

“I’m more than fine. I’m safe with Derek, and Scott…most of the time.” Stiles tilts his head upward to the ceiling. “Can you guys come down here?”

“I told you about shouting at werewolves,” Derek reminds, but Stiles just rolls his eyes as his Lydia, Allison, and Derek’s pack make their way down into the basement.

“Dad, just sit down and breathe, because that’s the only way you’re going to get through this,” Stiles tells his father.

John’s hands are shaking.

“Its okay, Mr. Stilinski. No one here is going to hurt you,” Scott says.

“D-Does your mother know you can d-do…that thing…with your face,” the sheriff asks.

Scott smiles a little. “Yeah. She’s kind of known for a while that I’m a werewolf.”

“You w-weren’t always?”

Scott shakes his head. “Derek’s the only born wolf here. And he’s the Alpha.”

“We’ll explain all that if you just sit down, take a breath, and listen to us. Please,” Stiles coaxes.

John’s eyes look around the room. Derek knows he sees just a group of innocent-looking teenagers, but knows his brain’s trying to put together that they’re also supernatural creatures, that technically aren’t supposed to exist in reality. Yet, with reluctant steps he returns to the pouffe he was sitting in before he started yelling at Stiles.

Everyone else files around the room, looking at the shaken man, waiting for Stiles to continue.

“Do you want to ask questions first, or do you want me to just talk, starting from the beginning,” Stiles asks his father.

“I, uh… The beginning. Start at the beginning. I-I’ll ask what needs to be asked,” John replies.

Stiles nods. “Okay. Well, let’s start at the beginning,” Stiles bites his bottom lip and sucks in a breath. “I convinced Scott to go looking for Laura Hale’s body in the woods…”

 


They’re out in the preserve, about a mile from Hale House, Derek’s house, surrounded by a fire and talking, laughing with one another. Allison brought graham crackers, giant marshmallows, and Hershey’s chocolate bars for them to make s’mores.

His betas are doing pretty good with their control, seeing as how the moon if full and bright tonight, shining down on them. Jackson looks a little nervous though, sitting close to his girlfriend, clutching her hand tightly as she leans into him.

He’ll be fine, and there’s nothing to worry about, Derek knows that. Jackson does, too, but Derek also understands all too well what the beta wolf is actually on edge about. He’s not good at letting people in, trusting them. He’s not as bad as Derek, but he’s certainly meaner in regards to his trust and abandonment issues, and his hidden insecurities.

Yet, in a few moments he’ll pledge to devote himself to these people, this makeshift little family they’ve created, that he’s asked to be a part of. He’s deciding to let people in. He’s deciding to attempt at being open and to share. That’s terrifying for anyone who’s never done it before, and Derek knows exactly how he feels.

“Hey, Derek.”

Derek’s knocked out of his thoughts about Jackson by Scott, standing next to him, rocking back and forth on his feet and appearing timid as he shifts his glances from Derek’s face and the ground.

“Can I, like, talk to you for a minute please? Pri-Privately.”

Derek has no clue as to what it is Scott wants to discuss, but he’s curious. He nods and they take a walk, a good distance from the bonfire, further into the trees.

Scott stops walking continues looking nervous, embarrassed almost.

“You alright, Scott?”

“Um, yeah. I, uh, just… I know we all did the whole apology thing, but I, um, wanted to say I’m sorry about something to you alone. I said something really horrible and mean to you once, when you were just trying to warn me and protect me and it was totally shitty and I am truly sorry. And this is 100% coming from me, like Stiles didn’t tell me to apologize for it, but we did talk about it and he was pissed, you know. Like pissed. But I just want you to know he didn’t tell me to do this.”

Derek nods, waiting for Scott to forge ahead.

“I said that maybe your family deserved to be killed by the Argents, and that had to be the shittiest thing I’ve ever said to another person. You didn’t deserve a comment like that, and you and your family certainly didn’t deserve to suffer like that. I mean, from what I know, it seems like your family were really good people, good werewolves, and the last thing that should have happen to them was Allison’s crazy aunt murdering them. They didn’t deserve to die, and you didn’t deserve to suffer such a big loss. You’re a good person, Derek, and it makes me happy that you make Stiles happy.”

Derek takes a deep breath and clears his throat, fighting back the tears threatening to roll down his face. “Th-Thank you, Scott,” he says, voice a little gruff. “I appreciate your apology, and I accept it.”

“Really?”

Derek nods. “Yes.”

Scott’s face lights up like a Christmas tree. “Awesome!”

Derek can’t help the smirk on his face at the goofy, happy grin on Scott’s own mug. Stiles is right; Scott’s dopey, buoyancy is contagious.

“Good. I’m glad. Thank you— Oh, and, uh, I wanted to say thank you for asking me if I wanted to be in your pack again. I’m good on my own, being neutral, you know. For now. With Allison and Lydia. But, like, if you ever need help, I’ll be there.”

“That’s good to know. And the invitation is always open.”

Scott nods.

Their charming moment, however, is interrupted by Stiles crashing through the darkness and running up to them, almost out-of-breath!

“Stiles. What the hell, bro,” Scott says.

“Did I miss it? I didn’t miss it, did I,” Stiles asks.

“No, you didn’t, but you’re not even supposed to be here right now,” Derek reminds him. “I thought you were grounded.”

“I am,” Stiles tells him.

And Derek suddenly is incredibly agitated, because that would mean Stiles snuck out. Which is the last thing he should have done if he’s attempting to get back into his father’s good graces. And part of that good grace, is allowing Stiles and Derek to continue their relationship (under the strict and watchful eye of the sheriff), which includes mandatory Sunday night dinners at the Stilinski home for the Alpha wolf, and only one sleepover a month for Stiles; provided he keeps his grades up, and doesn’t get himself killed while helping to protect the town of Beacon Hills from supernatural baddies.

And also, no sneaking out and lying!

“Stiles. I thought we talked about this. I thought you— we— were going to be on our best behavior for your dad,” Derek growls.

“Relax, sourwolf. I am.”

“Then what do you call sneaking out in the middle of the night?!”

“What? I didn’t sneak out. I have a temporary lift from my punishment to be here. I explained to my dad how important this was, and why he needed to let me come. I had to go over the role of an Alpha-mates to him all over again, but he eventually understood and go.”

“You mean you wore him down until he was annoyed and told you to get out,” Scott interprets.

“Precisely. So let’s get this shindig on the road because mama has to be back home by midnight,” Stiles says. “Oh, but wait.” He grabs Derek and kisses him.

Derek’s arms come up around Stiles, his hand carding through his brown hair as he deepens the kiss.

It’s been almost two weeks of Stiles being grounded and forbidden to be allowed to see Derek the whole time.

The day they revealed everything to the sheriff, they spent the entire night talking, clarifying everything to the sheriff. Everything they’ve tried to keep hidden and lied about, from the beginning ‘til now.

They discussed Peter, the Argents being hunters, Gerard, Kate, Matt, Jackson being the kanima— everything. And answered every single question the sheriff had.

At one point Melissa came over with a few pizzas and joined the conversation. John was none-too-happy with Melissa already being in the know, and lying to him as well, but the significant eye glances between she and the sheriff seem to indicate a later, more private discussion was to be had.

By then they’d moved on to pack dynamics and hierarchy and politics, with Derek having to explain to not only the sheriff but the rest of the room just how important Stiles’ role in a pack really is, and what it means as far as their relationship goes. Which in turn opened up and entire discussion of mates, mating and bonds. Derek could only answer half the questions posed to him, so they called Deaton who came over to fill in any gaps he could.

Everyone stayed over, and in the morning, Stiles, Allison, and Melissa cooked breakfast.

John pulled both Derek and Stiles aside after they ate to lay down some ground rules about their budding romance. They already have sex, so nixing anything intimate between them until Stiles turned eighteen would be moot. Not to mention, the sheriff knew his son and is aware that he’s a teenage boy; once he’s had sex, there’s no way he’ll stop, and attempting to put a halt on it would just open up another path of lies and deceit.

So, John simply told them that the goal is for them to take it slow, be respectful, and discreet in public. John also thought it imperative to get to know Derek better. Hence, the mandatory Sunday dinners.

All in all, Derek was grateful for the outcome of everything. He knew it’d take time for the sheriff to adjust, and for him to truly trust Derek and believe that he would keep Stiles safe and out of danger, but the point they had reached now was far better than Derek had expected.

Because he expected to be shot point blank, to be honest.

Stiles, however, was grounded for a month for all his past secrets and fibs, no matter the nobility behind them, and wasn’t allowed to see Derek until the end of his punishment. With the exception of today apparently.

“Uh. I’m just going join the others, since you two want to be gross,” Scott says, being happily ignored by the Alpha and his best friend as they continue kissing like the world is going to end.

»»»

The moon is full. Shiny and heavy. It’s closer to the Earth. A supermoon.

Isaac tosses another log of wood into the bonfire. A dustup of orange sparks floats up into the air then dissipates into nothingness.

“We should start now,” Derek says, feeling a familiar itch under his skin that’s getting harder to control.

Stiles nods and gives him a quick kiss. He takes a seat on a log beside Allison. He unfolds a blanket and wraps it around them both. It’s a chilly night, but the weres can’t tell. The moon, big, and so close, makes their blood warmer than usual, and their desire to shift and run wild through the trees, under the moonlight, avid and mystical.

Derek howls, long and loud before the fire.

Stiles smiles. He loves hearing Derek’s call.

The rest of the werewolves gather around the fire, too, and howl in response. Even Scott.

Stiles stands and brings forth Jackson to stand before Derek. “Kneel,” he tells him.

He does.

He might not have been allowed to see Derek, but it didn’t stop him from texting him late at night or during study hall. And sometimes sexting when his father was working. He had convinced Derek to get an email account, one the werewolf set up for himself at the public library, so they could correspond back and forth about what exactly happens at a pack induction, and what prey tell Stiles’ role in it would be. The last thing Stiles likes to be is clueless.

Derek turns to Jackson. “Jackson Whittemore. You were brought into this pack by choice, and by bite. I believe you have proven yourself in my eyes of your worthiness to stay. I have bared witness to your bravery, your skill, and your strength as a wolf. Though you still have much to learn, I believe doing so here, in this pack, will make you the best wolf you can be. Do you believe that?”

“Yes, Alpha I do,” Jackson answers.

“Trust and loyalty are a pack’s core. Can you swear complete allegiance to this pack, to me, as your Alpha, and trust in my leadership?”

“I can, Alpha Hale.”

“There’s no lie in your heart.”

“I would never lie to my Alpha. Lying to my Alpha would be disrespectful of the honesty he deserves.”

Derek smiles at his response. He’s pretty sure Claudia told him to say that, when the time comes. “Stiles Stilinski is Alpha-mate and emissary to the Hale Pack, and shall be shown the same reverence and obedience as you shall show me. Can this need be met?”

Jackson shrugs. “Yeah. I guess— I mean, yes, Alpha Hale,” he responds more appropriately.

“Stiles, do you object to Jackson Whittemore being admitted as a member of our pack?”

Jackson turns to him with soft, pleading eyes, but Stiles had his mind made up weeks ago. “No. I don’t.”

“Boyd,” Derek asks.

“No objection.”

“Erica?”

“I sponsored this idiot so he better be cool.” Derek eyes her. “It’s a yes. He can join us.”

“Isaac?”

“I do not object,” the curly-haired beta replies.

“There’s no opposition to you joining our pack. You are welcomed. We are now your family, and wherever we may be is now your home. The offer of family is now extended to you. You may take it and submit, or refuse.”

“I submit,” Jackson says.

Stiles places a hand on his head, tilting it downward in a bow. Derek snaps his claws out. He drags them in one bloody swipe along the back of Jackson’s neck.

Jackson thanks Derek, addressing him as ‘Alpha’, his eyes burning a golden yellow as they lift up to look at him.

Derek nods and his new beta stands.

Derek howls again and the rest of the wolves follow.

“Now, we run,” Derek says.

Derek and the rest of the werewolves, Scott included, strip out of their clothes.

“Go,” Derek tells them, and they take off into the darkness howling once more under the fat moon.

Derek approaches Stiles.

“You look good naked in the moonlight,” Stiles muses.

“You look better. I love you,” the Alpha says, caressing the human’s face gently.

Derek’s told him that a hundred times since their first kiss, and Stiles doesn’t think he’ll ever get tired of hearing it. He didn’t think the whole month that he’s grounded would be this bad, feel this bad. Make him miss Derek this bad. But it does, and he’s got two more weeks left if something deadly and crazed doesn’t start terrifying the town.

There’s a tiny speck of himself that almost wishes something would, just so they could be near each other. Even in a bloody and bruised battle.

If he feels this way with only him being grounded and the distance of 15 minutes between them, he can’t imagine what’ll happen with their bond after Derek gives him a claiming bite. Or when he goes to college.

“You okay?”

“Yeah. Just thinking about you and me.”

“What about you and me?”

Stiles shrugs. “Just you, and me. Naked. In the woods. Going at it.”

The Alpha’s eyes bleed red. He yanks Stiles forward and plants a hard kiss on his mouth leaving him breathless. “After I run.”

“Of course,” Stiles grins.

Derek winks at him, then shifts, taking off into the dark woods.

Stiles sits beside Allison and Lydia, feeling lovestruck and excited.

“Well, Stilinski, you definitely have the sexier boyfriend, I’ll give you that,” Lydia says, sipping from a thermos of hot chocolate.

Allison nods in agreement.

“Totally,” Stiles brags.

“He really does love you, Stiles. I think this could work. You know, with all of us,” Allison says, sounding hopeful.

He pulls her close, an arm around her shoulder. “Me, too.”

“What’s that,” Lydia says suddenly. Pointing to something growing closer and running at full speed toward them. It’s small, no bigger than a—

It leaps into Stiles’ lap, clinging to him for dear life!

“Luna!” His “treasured” Bengal cat! “Holy crap! Where have you been, young lady?!”

The cat meows, huddle and shaking against Stiles’ chest.

“Did the wolves scare you, girl? You sweet, precious thing,” he coos, petting her softly. “It’s okay. It’s okay.”

“Stiles. Is this the cat you were looking for with that spell you botched,” Lydia asks.

“Yeah,” he smiles.

“And you’re just now concerned about where she’s been?”

“Hey, I had a lot going on for about a month! Cut me some slack!”

Lydia just rolls her dark green eyes as she sips her drink.

“So it’s this little lady that started all the trouble,” Allison says, petting Luna happily. “She’s pretty.”

“Of course she is,” Stiles says, scratching under Luna’s chin as she purrs.

The wolves howl in the distance, and a terrified Luna jumps from Stiles’ lap and takes off in the opposite direction!

“Luna! Luna, come back!”

She’s gone. Disappeared into the night. Stiles sighs. Having lost her a third time.

“You really should get a chip implanted in that cat,” Lydia says.

“Or—” he starts.

“NO,” the girls shout back at him.

The last thing they need is Stiles Stilinski fooling around with magic again. No matter how close it’s brought them. And especially no matter how far it could take them.

Because sometimes it’s much better when your future, and your dreams, are a surprise.

Chapter Text


  • Danny becomes pack when Jackson finally tells his best friend that he’s a werewolf.
  • Everyone finds out Lydia is a banshee during the summer after a rogue omega bites her. Derek and Allison kill the feral werewolf.
  • Junior year, a new student comes to BHHS— Kira Yukimira. Stiles remembers a ‘Kira’ being mentioned by Claudia and DJ. When he finds out she’s a kitsune (and a clumsy, loveable dork) Stiles immediately befriends her and recruits her into the Hale Pack.
  • Scott and Isaac become close, forming a romantic/sexual relationship that includes Allison, but the three of them dissolve their poly-relationship halfway through their senior year of high school, though remain close friends and allies.

Stiles has an epiphany midway through his senior year: he wants to be a detective. And the requirements of such are that he first work as a police officer for two years, in addition to, obtaining two years of college credits in criminology.

Derek and the sheriff are immediately against the idea because 1) it’s a fucking dangerous job (no dangerous than werewolves and hunters, but hey), and 2) he was offered a full ride to Stanford University, which he would be throwing away if he decided to become a detective and attend Beacon Hills Community College with Scott.

Stiles knew two of the most important men in his life would find it a problem, and he was prepared. He digs his heels into the matter and announces that he already turned down all his scholarship money to Stanford and the due date for acceptance has already passed.

The sheriff is not happy. Not in the least.

Eventually, however, over time, John accepts Stiles’ decision, because he knows his son better than anyone else does, and he knows once Stiles’ mind is made up, it’s made up. There’s no going back. Derek, on the other hand, still manages to grumble and growl about it the rest of Stiles’ time at BHHS.

  • Upon graduating, Stiles begins to have frequent panic attacks when thoughts of his friends, his pack, splitting up and going off to different colleges, overtake him emotionally. Derek, the sheriff, and Scott assure him that nothing bad will happen to the town. The pack and it’s its allies will remain as close as they ever were.
  • Stiles forgoes Lydia's epic graduation party and decides to spend the night with Derek. They make love, slow and tender, and Derek finally gives Stiles a claiming bite.

Danny attends college at StanfordUniversity. Allison, Jackson, and Kira go to UC Berkley. Erica gets work at a local bar as a bartender. Scott attends BeaconHillsCommunity College with Stiles, and Isaac gets a part-time job as a librarian assistant at Beacon County Public Library.

Boyd begrudgingly attends school at UCLA when Derek forces him to go after Stiles filled out an application for him and sent all his materials to admissions behind his back.

Both Stiles and Derek feel Boyd wanting to put pack before school is a true testament to the reason he’s second-in-command, but know he deserves an education like the rest of group. So Derek pays for his tuition.

Lydia (with Stiles’ encouragement) decides to follow her dreams and attends school in Massachusetts at MIT.

  • She and Jackson try long-distance dating their first year of college, but quickly realize they’ve out grown one another and the 3,000 miles between them is harder than they thought. They break up.
  • Lydia only comes home during holidays and summers, but helps with research via Skype and phone calls. The rest of the pack, that are closer, manage to come home during those times and every other weekend.

Stiles and Derek move in together when he gets his Associates in Criminology from BHCC two years later. Derek and Scott help Stiles train to pass the sheriff’s department physical fitness exam.

  • Stiles passes all his exams with flying colors becoming a deputy at the sheriff’s department. His once apprehensive father couldn’t be more proud.

Stiles nearly dies after he, Derek, the pack, Chris Argent, the sheriff, and Deaton defeat a “fox demon,” or nogitsune, that possesses a deputy named Jordan Parrish. It’s the third time this year Stiles has gotten seriously hurt by jumping into the fray and Derek’s had enough of it.

He and Stiles get into the mother of all fights about it— Derek tells Stiles he can no longer fight with the pack, but Stiles is the last person that likes to take orders; boyfriend be damned.

Hurtful things are lopped back and forth, and can never be taken back.

Stiles calls it quits to their relationship.

He tries to apologize for the whole thing the next morning, but Derek is still too raw, too angry, from last night's bout, and refuses to accept Stiles’ apology.

Stiles lashes out about their break up by moving out and back home with his dad. He throws himself into his work and starts sleeps with anything with a pulse.

Derek takes their break up just as hard; withdrawing even further into himself and becoming distant after catching Stiles going home with another guy.

The sheriff makes him pull himself together, suggesting he get a job to occupy his time (and thoughts of Stiles). So Derek buys the shitty little bar Erica works at and turns it into a gastropub where supernatural creatures (with good intentions) can go and have an aconite beer and venison cheeseburger. It becomes a good way for Derek to busy himself, make extra money, keep an eye on his betas (Erica and Isaac bartender regularly), and spot any supes making their way into his territory, seeing as how the pub is located right at the edge of the county line, across the street from the motel.

  • Stiles is still pack, but tries his best to avoid pack meetings (which he once was adamant everyone— when available— attend), and has not once stepped foot into Derek’s bar. He and Derek send ‘need-to-know’ messages, supernatural intel, back and forth via Isaac.

They hardly look at one another at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and Derek shoves off to Maui for New Years with Boyd, Erica, and Isaac. Stiles rings in the New Year in tears. He and Derek talked about going to Hawaii for their honeymoon…

Lydia returns to California permanently after graduating MIT, and is not happy about the slutty, workaholic pessimist Stiles has turned into.

The claiming bite on his neck will forever tie him to Derek (in addition to a host of other things), but Stiles knows even if he didn’t have it, he’d always have a crippling desire to be close to him, to be his.

And Derek feels their bond just the same.

They're both just stubborn idiots who let a dumb fight drag them further and further apart.

  • Boyd is the last to graduate, with an English degree from UCLA. Derek and Stiles barely speak during the celebratory dinner, but manage to be cordial. Stiles even picks up the tab.

Around this time, a newly-turned, Omega wolf, Liam Dunbar, ends up in Beacon Hills when he’s expelled from Trinity Prep and his parents enroll him at BHHS. With Scott’s coercion, and Satomi’s influence, Derek makes him pack, along with his human friend, Mason. Scott, Allison, and Lydia (finally) officially join the Hale Pack as well.

Liam oddly imprints himself onto Stiles like a duckling to its mother, always asking for him, wanting him around, and aching for his approval. Stiles obliges, to help Derek out in training him, and because he genuinely likes Liam and Mason.

  • Mason works part-time after school at Derek’s bar, which is how he convinces Stiles to finally come check it out. From there, Stiles and Derek slowly begin to rebuild a friendship, over the coming months…

John and Melissa get married in September.

Derek brings a date to the wedding (Braeden) and Stiles. Has. No. Fucking. Chill.

He and Derek spend nearly half the reception screaming at one other in the parking lot, only to end up fucking each other stupid in the backseat of Derek’s car.

Stiles hasn’t been with anyone since Boyd’s graduation, but Derek still needs to get the smell of other people off his mate’s skin. And Stiles is boiling with rage at just how attractive Derek’s date is, and the nerve he had in bringing one when Stiles thought they were getting back to where they were 2 years ago.

The next day, Stiles sees his dad and Melissa off to Paris for their honeymoon (wedding present from the whole pack) with Scott, then heads to Derek’s place to talk. They’re mates, and being apart is making them act stupid and crazy; their break up was immature and shouldn’t have even happened. They should have worked things out like adults instead of calling it quits to everything just because they were upset with one another.

Derek apologies for the things he said, and trying to use his ‘I’m-the-Alpha’ authority on Stiles, of all people; he loves him, and was scared he was going to lose him. He’s lost so much too quickly and the last thing he wanted gone from his life was his mate. He’s not great at communicating, and was too quick to anger at Stiles being hurt and refusing to back down.

Stiles apologizes, too, because he knows all this. He knew why Derek was upset, what it all really meant when Derek was screaming and yelling at him after he was brought home from the hospital. Yet his own stubbornness got in the way of truly listening to Derek and the fear in his voice. He was too focused on being reprimanded like an insolent child, and told to hang back like the ‘weak little human’ of the pack. He’s not weak. He’s strong in so many ways, and being a cop should have added to his boyfriend seeing how much strength and authority he truly has, but it didn’t, Stiles had thought, and it made him seethe.

They were having too different fights with one another and it all got out of hand. It got nasty and vile, even after they broke up; Stiles sleeping around and Derek working hard to act like Stiles meant nothing to him.

Stiles also recognizes that Derek is a born werewolf, and mating, romantic relationships for him, are far more intense than human-with-human relationships. The need to protect and provide for is in his blood, so Stiles knocking on Death’s door, and refusing to slow down would of course be beyond problematic.

They forgive each other for being morons, then kiss and make up…3 times that night.

Stiles moves back in three days later. He and Derek have a courthouse wedding two weeks after (because they can't stand to wait any longer), and a mating ceremony in the preserve later that night.

  • Stiles serves as best man at Scott and Allison’s wedding the following year, and passes his detective’s exam.
  • Lydia and Parrish begin dating.

The year after is when all hell breaks lose.

A pack of Alpha werewolves blows into Beacon Hills, attempting to take it over, believing the newly formed Hale Pack is not as strong as it once was.

The ensuing war between them over the next 3 weeks results in the death of innocent humans, Jordan Parrish being turned, Deaton in a coma, half of the high school being blown to bits, Stiles being kidnapped (then rescued), Erica’s seizures temporarily returning, and Peter showing back up in town.

Stiles calls on their alliances with Alpha Lilly and Satomi’s pack for help against the Alpha pack. The Alpha pack is not only physically stronger than the Hale Pack, but also has a powerful druid/emissary, Jennifer, in their pack, and uses guerrilla warfare tactics against them. They’re always on their guard, paranoid, sleep-deprived, and scared.

However, Satomi, surprisingly, refuses to get involved; not wanting her pack in jeopardy, and Alpha Lilly is unfortunately dealing with his own problems. Namely the developing war brewing between his own pack and the hunting clan in his territory.

They’re alone in this and terrified and have to move underground to avoid getting killed.

But Stiles refuses to go down like this. He’s not a coward. Stiles does as much research as he can, digging for intel in seedy corners of the supernatural and begrudgingly working with Peter for info.

They discover that Jennifer and Kali, the Alpha pack’s second-in-command, are mates, and that Marin Morrell, his old guidance counselor, used to be the Alpha pack leader’s ex-lover; he’s still in love with her, and bitter about her leaving him, hence, his attempt to take over the town she resides in.

Stiles believes that by killing Jennifer, they can unravel Kali, who seems the most unstable (re: deranged) out of the pack. With her mate dead, Kali will become irrational and consumed with anger, weakening the pack and enabling them a better chance to take on the Alphas.

Danny finds Marin. Derek and John convince her to come out of hiding to help the Hale Pack defeat her unhinged ex-boyfriend and his psychotic pack of werewolves. It’s imperative she get involved before hunters come to town and kill everyone. Chris Argent is doing his best to keep “concerned” hunting clans at bay from Beacon Hills.

Peter, having avoided most of the foray into the pack war as he hangs back to interject with snide comments and bits of werewolf history and lore, pretends to double-cross Derek and fight alongside the Alphas, hoping to kill one of them in order to obtain Alpha powers for himself. Yet, Stiles sees right through his plan. He keeps it to himself though, and works with Lydia to find a spell to curse Peter with so that he may never become an Alpha.

Marin lures Jennifer away from the pack under the guise of wanting to set up a meeting between herself and Deucalion (the Alpha pack’s Alpha), her former lover, in order to ask him to stop the bloodshed he’s causing throughout the town. Jennifer refuses, threatening Marin, and nearly killing her, until Allison puts an arrow through the druid’s heart.

Stiles was right, and Kali goes mad at the loss of her mate. She attacks Derek alone, and without Deucalion’s permission. Derek claws her throat open, killing her.

Deaton wakes from his coma. His recovery is slow, but he manages to find the curse Stiles and Lydia need for Peter.

Allison and Chris create traps for the werewolves, and one-by-one, Derek kills the rest of the Alpha Pack. Having obtained all their power, Derek now has the ability to shift into an actual wolf, like his mother.

Peter is beyond pissed after having killed Ethan (Aiden? One of them) that he doesn’t have Alpha powers. Stiles gloats in telling him why, and Peter is livid…but continues to hang around, despite how much the rest of the pack wish he didn’t.

  • Alpha Lilly’s pack is nearly wiped out by hunters, but Derek and the rest of his pack, along with Chris, come to the aid of those left and kill the hunters responsible. As a result, Derek obtains the territory, seeing as how it’s without an Alpha, close to him, and he was an ally that came to the rescue; he leaves Scott in charge of it (Del Notre County). The 3 werewolves and 2 werecoyotes left from the pack move to Beacon Hills to join the Hale Pack.

Four months later, Stiles discovers he’s pregnant. The sheriff takes the news that male pregnancy is possible amongst werewolves shockingly well (and why not after all he’s seen?); he's too overjoyed with the knowledge that he’s going to be a grandfather to freak out and care as much as he should.

  • Boyd and Erica finally get married.

Nearing the end of his pregnancy (and starting at the beginning of Allison’s), Satomi’s pack engages in a war with a neighboring pack. Derek and Stiles attempt to help negotiate peace between Satomi and Alpha Roberts (from MendocinoCounty), but neither side like the terms of the treaty and walk away from the table declaring a war.

Both packs want the Hale Pack to fight with them, but Derek’s only interest is creating some sort of civility between them. Stiles is pregnant. He’s about to have their first cub, and the last thing Derek wants to do is fight in a war while Stiles is giving birth.

The rest of the Hale Pack don’t think Satomi deserves their loyalty after failing to come to their aid with the Alpha Pack, but Stiles understands the misgivings she had then.

Derek ultimately decides to stay out of it; waiting for the birth of his first born while the two packs have at it.

The whole war last only 5 days, with both packs suffering huge losses. Those left from the Roberts Pack head north to Canada, and the 3 werewolves, 2 kitsunes, and 5 humans from Satomi’s pack, with nowhere to go, join the Hale Pack.

One of which is Satomi’s second-in-command, a human named, Freya. Freya and Isaac immediately begin a romantic relationship.

And again, Derek absorbs both territories, leaving Boyd in charge of both of them. Giving the Hale Pack a total of 4 counties as part of their expanded territory.

Stiles gives birth to Derek Stephan Hale, Jr. shortly thereafter. They toyed around with possibly changing his name, but realized there was no name that suited him more when they laid eyes on him. And they wanted to continue to honor the young man that came into their lives as a seventeen year old boy for a month.

  • John retires, to spend more time with his grandchild, and because he’s admittedly getting older. Parrish is elected sheriff after John leaves the force.
  • Allison gives birth to she and Scott’s daughter, Natalie.
  • Isaac and Freya elope to Vegas-- much to Stiles' aggravation (Pack Mom!Stiles likes to be there for all his betas' milestones)-- and buy a house close to the pack house when they return.
  • Lydia is pregnant the following year. She's 6 months along when she and Parrish marry. They name their daughter, Beth.

As nasty coven of witches blows into town, wrecking havoc upon Beacon Hills’ citizens, and decide to activate the power within the nemeton.

Deaton discovers their plan and works with Stiles and Lydia to come up with something…but it’s too late. The nemeton’s power is unleashed when a young girl, Hayden, Liam’s girlfriend, is sacrificed on its roots, and chaos breaks out all over town.

Lydia can't stop banshee screaming at all the death plaguing their town, and Derek is having painful flashbacks of Paige, given the events. He finally decides to tell Stiles about how he unfortunately had to kill his first girlfriend after the bite didn’t take when he planned to make her a werewolf. That’s why this whole ordeal with the witches is making him more overprotective than usual.

Stiles understands, and tries to lighten things up by telling Derek he’s pregnant again, however, Derek’s too terrified to be as overjoyed as he was the first time.

Deaton discovers that they can’t cease the power the nemeton has, but they can slow it down at least. However, they need to do so with another sacrifice. Mason suggests they use one, or all, of the witches as the sacrifice. Hopefully their magic/power and blood will siphon into the nemeton and cease some of the chaos running rampant through Beacon Hills.

Derek, Boyd, Isaac, Erica, Scott, and Deaton go hunting for the witches. Stiles stays behind with Lydia, Mason, John, and Melissa. Jackson and Allison also stay at the pack house, but are mainly there for protection and defense, seeing as how the pack children are there, too.

Peter, Parrish, and a few betas are attempting to handle a kelpie situation brought about by the nemeton.

The house is attacked by the last of the coven! Sensing Stiles’ spark, they attempt to take him with them to absorb his power. Lydia manages to get ahold of Derek as Jackson, Allison, and John fight them off! Melissa and Mason usher the children into the attic!

The witches render Allison incapacitated when they magically revert one of her arrows back toward her and it stabs through her shoulder!

John is knocked unconscious, but Jackson manages to sink his teeth into one of them, ripping out her throat. He’s unfortunately rewarded with a poison spell and Stiles can do nothing but watch in horror as Jackson coughs up black blood until his last breath is gone…

Peter and Parrish get there before Derek. Peter snaps the neck of one of the witches trying to drag Stiles with her by his ankles!

The final witch escapes, flying off before anything can happen to her next.

The pack is overcome with grief at Jackson’s death. But Stiles is angrier than he can ever remember. Almost as angry as he was when his mother died.

They get Allison to a hospital and Deaton explains that the witches must be under the impression Stiles has an incredible power inside him to want to steal it so badly that they’d risk attacking the den of an Alpha werewolf in an attempt to kill his mate.

Stiles could give two fucks. Jackson is dead. His beta is gone, trying to protect him and his pack. So someone has to pay for that. And the rest of the pack agrees.

It takes them 3 days, but eventually Derek, Peter, and Chris find the last witch. Deaton binds her with a spell and they bring her back to Beacon Hills.

They haul her to the nemeton where Stiles drags an ancient dagger across her throat, without the slightest bit of hesitation, spilling her blood on the tree stump as he recites the spell Deaton told him to memorize. Afterward, he and Deaton carve ruins and wards into the tree's stump.

Kira and Liam are left in charge of making sure the witch's rotting corpse isn’t disturbed as it lies decaying atop the nemeton.

Gradually, over several weeks, the town’s supernatural activity slows down, but it feels hollow given they lost such a good friend in the end… They bury Jackson beside the graves of his birth parents.

The ordeal with the witches, the nemeton, and losing Jackson were like a shock to Derek's system. His past traumas were never dealt with, just cast aside and lived with. He has PTSD and it was ignited wildly with everything that occurred over the last two months. Stiles suggests he see a professional, and Derek thinks he might have to.

Marin, a trained psychiatrist, agrees to see Derek once a week for therapy.

Stiles gives birth to their second child: Claudia Siobhán Stilinski-Hale. She has the same violet eyes as his mother, and they just know they have to name their baby after her.

Although, Claudia they met years ago was a werewolf, this one is human.

  • Scott and Allison welcome their second child. Another girl, Isabella ("Izzie").
  • Freya gives birth to she and Isaac’s son, Gaius a year later, and Derek frowns at remembering Gaius was the boy Claudia let touch her. Stiles can’t stop laughing.

Mason leaves the pack. He wants to travel the world and put down roots somewhere that isn’t as dangerous as Beacon Hills can be. He’s no longer the invested, excited teenager he once was with all this; he’s a scared adult now and needs to get out. He hasn’t left Beacon Hills in years due to his loyalty to Liam and the pack, but he can’t anymore and needs to go.

Derek and Stiles give him their blessing, and Mason leaves for Europe.

  • Danny moves to San Francisco, a few hours away, to be with his kitsune boyfriend he met online. He’s still pack, but at a distance, and comes back home at least one weekend a month to spend time with all of them.

Stiles quits the force to spend more time at home with his kids and protect them from any danger lurking, but being a stay-at-home dad is slowly driving him a little mad. He loves his children, but every parent needs a break, and work provided that for him, and now he no longer has it.

Then Lydia comes up with an amazing idea and Stiles feels himself getting as excited as a kid at Christmas: a private investigator agency for supernatural creatures. For werecreatures who can’t go to the actual police with their issues, and founded by someone(s) who have access to certain law enforcement records, but can also go around the law if need be.

Sold! He, Lydia, and Allison open their own agency and work with Danny when need be for anything that requires hacking and forged documents. Occasionally, John helps them out as well.

They work mainly out of Lydia’s house instead of having a proper office in town in order to avoid suspicion, but mainly so that Lydia can stay with the kids while Stiles and Allison do the investigative leg work.

Their business starts out a bit rocky, with only a few trusting clients, but after helping a couple of wayward werecreatures, and solving a big case for a pack in San Diego, their clientele grows rapidly. They’re even asked to help solve a missing persons case in New Orleans.

Freya, Isaac’s wife, eventually becomes a part of their PI firm when their workload becomes too much to handle for just the three of them.

  • After two miscarriages, Erica is pregnant again. The pack holds a collective breath with her until she gives birth to her son, Vernon Michael Boyd V.
  • Stiles and Freya wind up pregnant at the same time in the spring. Freya gives birth to another son, Camden Lewis Lahey, while Stiles goes through a very difficult birth with his third child they name after Derek’s mother, Talia.
  • Allison is on baby number three by the time Danny and his boyfriend get married, and Peter starts dating a dancer (and werecoyote) named Yvette, who strangely seems to make him into a decent, likable person.

Scott’s father is killed in the line of duty. His partner comes to Beacon Hills to break the news to Scott and Melissa, and Scott loses it. He disappears without a word for two weeks then attempts to show back up like nothing happened. Stiles and Melissa rip him a new one. He's missed the birth of his son due to his absence.

Allison throws him out of the house and only lets him come over to see their kids.

After a month of sleeping on John and Melissa’s couch, Allison eventually forgives a very, very sorry Scott, and lets him come back home.

Stiles and Derek discover their daughter, Claudia, is a druid when she accidentally turns DJ into a toad when he doesn’t share a toy she wanted to play with! Deaton concludes that her strong power was obtained when Stiles was pregnant with her and she absorbed most of the energy from his spark. She’s the power the witches saw in him, Stiles assumes, because Stiles was never capable of magic like that.

Claudia being human already has Derek worried. Add magic to that and you have one very overprotective father.

Stiles and Deaton work with Claudia in trying to teach her how to control her powers.

Stiles is pregnant a fourth time, and after Talia’s difficult birth, he and Derek are more cautious than anything. But all is well when Stiles gives birth to their second son, Theodoric “Theo” William Stilinski-Hale.

  • Shortly thereafter, Peter is made a father, having a daughter, Malia, with Yvette. And it’s like The Twilight Zone with how mellow and happy he’s become.

Kira travels with Stiles to Portland, Oregon for pack/PI business with a family of kitsunes. There she meets a coffeeshop owner named, Upton, who takes a liking to her. They hit it off and Kira spends the night with him before heading back to Beacon Hills.

A month later she discovers she’s pregnant. Kira means to tell Upton but he has unfortunately disappeared. He was in the midst of selling his shop to a corporate chain when he met Kira. He took the money he got for it and moved out of the country.

Stiles and Danny offer to find him for her, but she declines their help. He was just a one night stand and not father material. She makes the decision to keep the baby and raise it as a single mother, with her pack as support.

She names Derek and Stiles as her daughter, Hannah's, godparents.

  • Derek opens another gastropub in Del Notre County.

Stiles and Lydia are taken to another reality after Lydia pisses off a fae queen at the bakery. Stiles tries to break up the ensuing argument, but it’s too late. The hostile faerie transports them to a reality where Scott is something called a ‘True Alpha’, Erica and Boyd are dead, Jackson’s in London, Isaac’s in Paris, Allison’s dead, Kira and Scott are apparently dating, Derek fucked off to God knows where with some girl, looking for Peter’s ex-lover (???), who also happens to be the mother of the girl Stiles is dating (???).

Neither one of them like this and want the fuck out now! Especially Stiles who anchors himself with Derek, his mate, his Alpha, but in this world Derek has just given everyone a big peace sign and drove off into the sunset with some badass mercenary.

He misses him. And his kids.

Lydia, however, seeks comfort with this reality’s Parrish, needing him near (or some version of him) to keep her calm and centered, which oddly makes younger, high school-Lydia seethe with jealousy.

They’re helping their younger, alternate reality selves deal with crisis after crisis, stirred up by some kid named Theo and some trio calling themselves The Dread Doctors.

Stiles’ alternate self finally bites the bullet and asks how did their realities turn out so different. They were on the same path, the same instances occurring, when something happened that must have propelled Stiles into a better future and his alternate self into a more bleak one.

Stiles doesn’t know if he should reveal anything to himself, but this Stiles is broken and in need of hope, something to hold onto, or maybe something/one to blame so he has a reason, a catalyst, as to why it all turned out so horribly this way.

Stiles tells him about Luna the cat, the bad spell, he and Derek becoming something real and good, and about the four children they love and raise together.

He can see the bright light of something hopeful on his face, and then his alternate-self tells him: “I miss Derek. I get why he left, but… I need him here.” Stiles remembers that there are an infinite number of universes out there and he wonders in how many of them is he in love with Derek.

Alternate reality-Deaton and both Lydias find a way for Stiles and his Lydia to return home. Stiles hates leaving them so fractured, scared, and alone. So ruined by death and abandonment, but he has his own world, his own life, to get back to. He has his own Derek who he misses and knows is probably going crazy missing him.

They leave, sorry to have intruded, and even sorrier to be living like they do...

Stiles bothers not to tell Derek that his dead sister, Cora, is alive and living in South America in the reality he visited.

  • Isaac caps off all the baby-making with twins, Olivia (named after his mother) and Jackson, named after his lost friend and pack-brother.

Beacon Hills County and their two territories stay pretty peaceful, and pretty quiet for a number of years, save for a succubus Peter’s girlfriend, Yvette, catches in their bed just before he rips her head clean off, a rabble of pixies who pollute the town with sex pollen for 24 hours— resulting in Derek/Stiles/Lydia/Parrish finding it hard to look at one another the next day when it wears off (*wink*wink*)— and a sickly, feral Omega wolf Derek feels remorseful about killing.

  • Mason visits for about 2 months, staying in a guest room at Stiles and Derek’s place. He earns his keep with free babysitting that allows Stiles and Derek a couple date nights and a long-deserved trip to the Bahamas for a week.
  • Danny and his husband divorce, but he stays in San Francisco, keeping up with his visits and helping with Stiles’ PI firm.

The pack's lives dissolve into a suburban bliss/chaos of work, kid-themed birthday parties, PTA meetings, band practice, science fairs, werewolf training, Parent-Teacher conferences, barbecues, car pools, lacrosse practice, college applications, full moon runs, basketball practice, winter formal, anniversary dinners, first crushes/dates, pack vacations, prom, camping trips, spelling bees, cheer camp, debate team, ballet class, driving lessons, werewolf summits with other packs, Christmas pageants, bake sales, fencing lessons, a werewolf convention in Austin, Texas that Stiles loses his shit over every year, a third bar in Mendocino County, etc.

Stiles suddenly looks up and he’s nearing forty and he has two teenagers. One’s off to college and the other makes it her mission to start and end every day with a fight…

 


EXCERPT

 

Stiles comes downstairs grumbling angrily to himself as he makes his way into the kitchen.

Derek comes in from his office watching as Stiles moves about the room sniping under his breath, ignoring him.

And to be honest, Derek isn’t so sure he wants to be noticed given the hard scowl Stiles has on his face and loud noises he makes as he slams the cabinet shut, slams the dishwashing liquid down, slams the cabinet shut again, throws a plate into the sink, and another plate, and—

“She hates me?! My own child looked at me, screamed: ‘I hate you’, then slammed her bedroom door in my face," he shouts, finally acknowledging Derek. "I never, not once, spoke to my dad like that! No matter how mad I got I never said something like that to him! Especially over a stupid concert!”

Stiles and Claudia have been at it all day. Truth be told they've actually been at it for the last year, but it's been at it's worse for about 4 months now. Sometimes for days. Weeks. Always ending with them screaming at one another and Claudia slamming her door. Or fucking off to Kira or John’s place to vent about how “unfair” Stiles has been that week.

John usually lets her sit and gripe to him, working off whatever frustration she’s feeling, then makes up the guest room for her to stay in. Kira, on the other hand, is always good about bring her home after they “girl talk.” Claudia’s usually calmer when she returns home from her grandfather’s or Kira’s place, and Derek sees that her tamed attitude eases Stiles a bit, too (needing a break from each other). But soon after there’s a stench of cinnamon and thyme clouding around Stiles. As though he’s ashamed he can’t be the one his teenage daughter opens up to.

But Derek is done. 100% fucking done with this. After the fight he just heard, he can no longer deal with this. And it has to fucking end.

“I mean, what the hell is going on with her, Derek?! What am I doing wrong?”

Derek can smell a tart, fermented scent waving off of his husband and he knows he’s on the verge of tears. Derek pulls Stiles into his arms. “You’re not doing anything wrong.”

“Really? Because she doesn’t yell in your face. She doesn’t tell you she hates you. You’re not the one fighting with her all the time and about every little thing. I can’t even ask her about her day without it setting her off on me and us getting into a screaming match! I hate it. I’m sick of it. It’s personal, Derek.”

Stiles’ eyes are wet with tears and Derek’s instantly furious. “It’s not personal, Stiles, and I am going to go up there and have a few choice words with our daughter.”

“No. Don’t," Stiles begs, holding tight to Derek. "It’ll just make her angrier and she’ll take it out on me even more. I don't have energy to deal with that right now.”

“I don’t care! You’re her father! She doesn’t speak to you like that, she doesn’t treat you like this! And she shouldn’t get to keep disappearing to Kira’s or your dad’s when she’s angry about not getting her way!”

Derek thinks about Stiles and Claudia’s fights over the last few months. They’ve gotten nastier and more volatile. Claudia’s taken to swearing at Stiles and ignoring him all through dinner like he doesn’t exist. Derek’s kept quiet; believing it’s just a phase and it’ll all blow over soon, but with him leaving her rude behavior for Stiles to deal with, she’s just gotten more and more bratty, and it’s breaking Stiles down.

There’s no one on this planet he loves more than his mate. And right now his mate is hurt and confused and worried. Derek wants to fix it. Needs to fix it. Even if it means going Alpha on his own daughter.

“Derek, don’t. Please. I just… It’s my fault.”

“How is our daughter’s shit attitude your fault, Stiles?”

“…Because I keep forgetting that she’s not our other Claudia,” he answers.

Derek wants to contradict Stiles’ response with…something, but he can’t, because he gets it. He sees what Stiles is saying, so he just nods.

She looks exactly the same as the darling girl that was transported into their lives 27 years ago. Sounds like her, and has her sweet smile and intriguing eyes like her grandmother. But she’s different.

That Claudia understood pack, family, and responsibility. She wanted nothing but closeness with those she loved, and gave everyone the respect she felt they deserved. She was a clever little thing with Stiles’ smarts and Derek’s heart.

This one, their daughter here and now, wears her face but shares very little of her traits. Most of the time.

She’s a typical teenager: condescending, sullen, miserable, aloof, selfish, and disobedient. Derek and Stiles get that, they really do, but even with such an understanding, patience can wear thin.

She’s also a bit of a mean girl which disappoints them fully. They’ve been called to the dean’s office at Trinity Prep more than once over how she treats other, "less popular" girls, at school.

They love their daughter to death, and would lie, cheat, steal, kill, and die for her and her siblings, but occasionally they have to remind themselves that she isn’t the same girl from all those years ago, and that it’s wholly unfair to compare them. They remind themselves often that shifts in time and space due to poorly performed magic spells have created differences as the years have gone by. They knew it would, and they knew better than to long for something that wasn’t going to repeat itself perfectly.

“It’s because she’s not a wolf,” Derek says. “Claudia, the first one, was a wolf, and she…she got things, understood things, that our Claudia doesn’t, and most of it is because she was a wolf. She’s a druid now. That’s mainly what’s different.”

“So druid kids are biological assholes,” Stiles drips with sarcasm. He loves his child, but referring to her as an asshole is pretty accurate of her behavior over the last year.

“No, but being a wolf made Claudia more…mature. Things that are ingrained in a wolf: the need for responsibility, the desire to please your Alpha, wanting to be the best at everything, the craving to protect and provide; these are all wolf traits that’s embedded in our DNA. It’s why the first Claudia was more…compromising,” Derek tells him.

“That…actually makes fucking sense. Have you been thinking about this,” Stiles asks.

“A little," Derek admits. "Didn’t really cement until you mentioned the first Claudia.”

Stiles nods, but there’s a frown on his face. Like a sad truth he’s being forced to swallow.

“Stiles,” Derek pulls him close. “I wasn’t saying that Claudia being a druid is an excuse to accept how she's been acting. I was just pointing out that it might be one of the reasons why she’s different this time.”

“…I’m just tired of fighting with her; of there never being anything reasonable between the two of us. I just… I thought this would be easier. I thought we’d be naturals and awesome at this. It seemed like we would be. Parenting is hard,” he whines, and it makes Derek smile.

“Maybe we’re spoiled. Maybe DJ and Claudia coming to us all those years ago made us think we had this in the bag and it’d be a cake walk.”

Stiles nods. “Maybe we got spoiled by the betas, too. After we became one pack it was just so flawless. Everybody fell into their roles and it was simple,” he says.

“I know,” Derek rubs his hands soothingly up and down Stiles’ arms.

Derek thinks of how polar opposite Claudia is from the future self she was supposed to be; she’s human, so most of her instincts, her priorities, are different than that of a wolf. She’s also a teenage girl. He isn't making excuses, just recognizing the facts. Facts that have been making for a rough ride during these formative, teen years. But the last thing Derek’s going to do is to keep letting Stiles suffer in it alone.

“CLAUDIA,” Derek shouts at the ceiling. DJ, Talia, and Theo are all wolves, and they forget sometimes they have to yell in order for Claudia to hear them.

“WHAT?!”

Stiles rolls his eyes at how she answers.

“GET DOWN HERE NOW,” Derek shouts back. He can hear her huff under her breath.

DJ still looks like the spitting image of Derek. He’s quiet though, and shy; thoughtful and reserved. He's so much like Derek’s own father it aches. He’s also more academic than athletic, despite being the captain of the basketball team at school. Yet, that’s primarily as a release for all his werewolf prowess that builds up at times. Especially around full moons.

He’s going to Princeton in the fall, which makes both Derek and Stiles proud, but also nervous, and a little sad that their baby, their first baby, is growing up and headed 3,000 miles away from them in 6 months.

He’s not as much of a player this time around. He’s gone on a few dates with a couple of girls and a boy from school over the years, but nothing serious. Nothing like Scott and Allison back then. Though Derek knows he does have a very big crush on a boy that goes to BHHS and is a Mathlete like him. Which unfortunately breaks the heart of Scott and Allison’s eldest daughter, Natalie, who happens to be madly in love with their oblivious son.

They never got to meet Tally and Theo, and in a way, Derek was grateful for it. He had no expectations or fears, and go to watch them grow up without any idea of who they’d become. Like a normal person. And in a life that’s anything but sane at times, he relished in the things that were.

Talia, or "Tally," is all Stiles. She talks a mile a minute, knows everything in the world, and wants to know more. She’s loud, eats like food goes out of style (burning it all off with the fencing classes Allison teaches every Saturday night at Beacon Hills Community College), argumentative, funny, talks her way out of all kinds of harmless trouble (that she drags Camden into with her), and she’s loyal to a fault at only 10 years old.

Derek tries with everything in him not to dote on her, but he can’t help it. She’s just like her father and it makes him coddle her, and indulge her, for being all the best, crazy parts of Stiles.

She’ll make a great second to DJ when he becomes Alpha.

Theo, their youngest, is 8 years old and the sweetest child on the planet. He’s kind and generous. Considerate and friendly and warm. He’s helpful, with the biggest heart. He’s been in trouble at school only twice, but for what Derek and Stiles thought were acceptable reasons, and defended him fiercely when called to the headmaster’s office.

The first time, Theo had defended a classmate against a bully, pushing him into the dirt (and growling at him) when the bully stole something that belonged to the other kid and destroyed it on purpose. They took him out for ice cream after being suspended from school for a day, but explained to him that physical violence is a last resort and he has to learn to control his wolf better when he’s upset.

The second time was just before Christmas break. Theo wasn’t so much in trouble as his teacher was concerned about him. She noticed he wasn’t eating at lunch for the past week. When Derek asked him about it, Theo confessed he’d been giving the lunch Stiles made him everyday to a homeless woman who lived in the park across the street from the school. He’d sneak over there quickly before Stiles came to pick him up and give her the food.

They had to have another talk with Theo about his tendency to makes friends with random strangers, but afterward, Stiles started packing two lunches for Theo everyday. Each time he’d tuck a simple note inside letting the woman know she was more than welcomed to call him and he’d do all he can to help her.

She never called, but she did send a note back once via Theo, simply saying “Thank you.”

He has four beautiful children, and wouldn’t trade them for the world. Even if it means having to growl at his daughter in order to put an end to her shitty posturing.

Claudia trots downstairs and into the kitchen, looking ever so bothered and annoyed as she taps on her cellphone. Derek snatches it right out of her hand! She opens her mouth to protest but he flashes his eyes at her.

“Did you tell your father you hate him,” Derek asks.

She glances at Stiles and rolls her eyes.

“You don’t talk that way to either of us.”

“Fine. Whatever. Gimme my phone back please.”

“Claudia—”

“Oh, my God! Am I seriously getting lectured again?!" She groans and slams her fist onto the counter!

“We are your Alphas and your fucking parents! So stop with the attitude,” Derek snarls at her.

She quiets, looking timid and a bit scared. Derek's never, never, flashed his eyes at his children before. And he's never snarled at them either.

“Sit.”

She takes a seat at the island.

“You have been a nightmare for a year now and your behavior has done nothing but gotten worse over the last few months. We’re trying, Claudia. We’re trying to give you space, to be understanding, to take our own parenting techniques into consideration— everything. But we’re tired now. Exhausted.”

“If something is going on with you, then now’s the time to tell us,” Stiles tells her.

"Oh, my God. No. There isn't," she says snidely. 

She’s not lying; Derek can hear her heartbeat. A small part of him was wishing there was something else going on with her, because at least he’d know she wasn’t being a brat just because she felt like it.

“You’re going to act like a member of this family from now on. You’re going to give us the proper respect we deserve. Which means there's going to be an awful lot of changes around here And I'm going to start by taking certain things away from you. Like no more cheerleading,” Derek tells her.

“Oh, my God! Are you joking,” Claudia shouts, breaking from her chair. Derek flashes his eyes at her and she flops back down with a scowl.

“No. I’m serious. I don’t like those snobby girls you hang around. I think they’re a bad influence. So you’re going to spend that time training with Deaton again to work on your powers. Just being a druid and your brother’s sister doesn’t guarantee you being DJ’s emissary when the time comes. You need to practice. I’ve told you this a thousand times.”

She scoffs, folding her arms over her chest.

“You’re going to train with Deaton, and if I hear one word about you being rude and uncooperative with him, you will be sorry.”

“…Fine,” she says softly, avoiding their eyes.

“You also don’t get your phone back until that D in English is brought up to an A,” Stiles chimes in. “And the C in history. If you need a tutor DJ will do it, but I doubt you will considering your teachers believe you understand the material, but you’re just lazy.”

She huffs.

“There’s also no TV, no going out unless it’s with pack, no running off to Kira and and your grandfather, no laptop or tablet—”

“How am I supposed to do my homework?!”

“On my desktop in my office. So I know for sure that you’re really doing your work.”

They’ve taken her phone away before. Stiles busted her using instant messaging and Skype to chat with her friends online.

“This is so unfair,” she grumbles.

“Wait. It gets better,” Stiles gloats. “All of your free time will be taken up by babysitting your pack-cousins until your attitude changes for the better. We’re not just your family. The pack is, too, and you’ve been distant and crappy toward them for a while as well. That ends immediately.”

“No cheer camp this summer either. DJ’s going off to college in September. I want us all together as much as possible before that happens,” Derek adds.

Tears well in her eyes as she pouts, but they know they have to stay strong. It’s been a year of the worst kind of behavior from her: sneaking out, drinking, lying, failing grades, back talk, and some random boy in her room Stiles never told Derek about.

Stiles caught them one afternoon on her bed, making out, with his hand up her skirt. Stiles threw the kid out and Claudia begged, begged, him not to tell Derek. He wasn’t planning on it. If he did, Derek would have found the boy and murdered him.

“And if we find out you bullied some poor girl at school again, we will send you to OMI,” Derek assures her, red eyes flaring. Claudia looks horrified. “Understood?”

She wipes her tears away and nods solemnly.

“Good.”

She stands to head back to her room—

“Wait. Apologize to your father for what you said,” Derek demands.

“...I’m sorry, tata. I don’t hate you.”

“Claudia, we love you, and we’d give our lives for you. We want you to know how amazing you are and how much better you can be. We want you to understand that to your very core. We’re not punishing you. We’re teaching you. And we demand respect for that,” Stiles tells her. “Okay?”

She doesn’t respond, too overcome with emotion, and just runs upstairs to her room in tears.

“Were we too hard on her,” Stiles asks.

“We put up with her shit for a year. I think everything we laid out was more than fair.”

“But threatening her with military school, sourwolf?”

“She was picking on a girl so bad she started having anxiety attacks. We didn’t raise her to treat people like that, Stiles. Think about all the assholes that tormented you in school. How happy would you have been if their parents shipped them off to reform school or something?”

Stiles chuckles dryly. “I would have loved it. Even fantasized about it with Jackson.”

“And then you’d have the effervescent Lydia Martin all to yourself," Derek teases. "And she’d swoon into your scrawny, pale arms, thanking you for rescuing her from her mean, mean boyfriend—” 

“Shut up. You’re the absolute worst. That was practically a hundred years ago.”

Derek can’t help the laughter bellowing deep from his belly at the bitter look on Stiles’ face.

“Can I come out now,” a little voice interrupts.

“Tally?”

Tally emerges from the walk-in pantry.

“Tally, what were you doing in the pantry? Why didn’t you know she was in there,” Stiles asks.

Derek doesn’t have a good enough answer, so he shrugs.

“I was going to make popcorn and went in the pantry for it, but then you and Claude got into one of your epic battles, and I so didn’t want to get swept up in that. I thought I’d wait it out until you guys were done, but then you came downstairs and started talking to daddy about it. So I stayed in there because it was super awkward after that. Would you guys really send Claude to military school?”

“Hopefully not,” Derek says, wrapping Tally under his arm.

“I mean, I know she’s been a big bitch—”

“Tally,” Derek warns lazily.

“—for forever now, and going to OMI like, really straightened out Natalie for Uncle Scott and Aunt Allison, but…I’d really miss her. She’s my sister, and she’s pack. Pack shouldn’t be separated like that. It’s bad enough DJ is going to school far away, you know?”

Derek kisses the top of her head. “Don’t worry about Claude. She’ll choose the right path.”

“If it makes any difference, I could feel her shame. Smell it, too. She wasn’t angry, but embarrassed. Like she was sad your guys were so mad at her,” Tally tells them.

“Is that true,” Stiles asks Derek.

“Yeah. She smelled like thyme, and her heartbeat was different; slower.”

Stiles hates the idea of his little Claude feeling like that, but he knows that talk needed to happen. “Well, maybe we got through to her,” he says.

“I’ll help you guys keep her in check,” Tally says seriously.

“I’m sure,” Derek rolls his eyes with a smirk. “Now go upstairs and finish your homework please.”

“What about my popcorn?”

“I’ll make it and bring it to you after you recite all the state capitals for me,” Stiles tells her.

“Ugh. So tedious. Fine,” she groans about her homework. She turns from the kitchen, then stops, “Hey. What did you two mean by ‘first Claudia’?”

Derek and Stiles clam up and freeze like statues, because holy shit.

“I can hear your heartbeats! What is it,” Tally asks with a bright, nosy smile on her face.

“N-Nothing you need to worry about,” Derek says, trying to sound stern.

She narrows her eyes at her fathers for a beat. “Alright. But you guys know I always find out what you’re hiding…”

And she does.

“I’ll give you 50 bucks if you pretend you never heard that. Forever,” Stiles says.

“Stiles!”

“Deal,” Tally says.

Stiles hands her two twenties and a ten from his wallet. She takes it and skips upstairs.

“What,” he says to Derek’s bewildered face. “You and I both know who she takes after, and the best we can do with her prying right now is cash to keep her quiet.”

“Did that ever work with you and your dad?”

“…No.”

“We’re fucked.”

“Totally.”

Derek cracks first, snorting loudly, then turning beet red at the wide grin Stiles answers back with. They’re laughing. Gut-busting, spontaneous loud laughter as they grip one another and fall to the floor in a fit.

They can’t help it. It’s gotten so ridiculous. This thing called their lives, where they have to blackmail their werewolf daughter to keep from asking questions about a spell her father botched when he was sixteen.

But despite all the chaos, all the weirdness, they wouldn’t trade any of it for the world. Ever.