Stiles was like an uncoordinated alpaca out on the dance floor as he danced to another bass heavy song but, for some reason, Derek found himself completely enthralled at the sight.
There was something so dizzying about the way Stiles gyrated his hips, the way his hands rubbed against his body, long fingers splayed against the skin of his exposed lower belly where his shirt had been rucked up, that Derek couldn’t possibly look away. There was something intoxicating about the way his head was thrown back, neck stretched in a way that made the tendons there stand out, and eyes closed in absent-minded ecstasy. It was clear that Stiles had forgotten all about the people around him, that he didn’t care what he looked like, didn’t care that the beat had left him hours ago.
Derek watched Stiles accidentally kick someone in their shin and couldn’t help but grin fondly when he sputtered and flailed while trying to apologize.
“You can admire but you definitely cannot touch,” the Rolex wearing guy next to Derek said. When Derek only raised a questioning brow, the guy said, “He’s married. I hit on him a couple times but that guy is definitely, frustratingly, faithful.”
Derek felt his eyebrows nearly fly off his face at that. “You…expected him to cheat on his partner for you?”
The guy was good looking, incredibly so, and had a neatly trimmed beard that Derek knew Stiles had a thing for. He was obviously filthy rich, if his clothes and his watch were anything to go by, but Derek couldn’t imagine how someone could have the amount of self-assurance needed to believe that anyone would risk ruining their marriage for a hookup with them.
“Have you seen that ass?” the asshole asked, looking at Derek as if he was crazy as he pointed at where Stiles was still apologizing to a stranger. “Of course I had to try and get him to take his ring off for a little while, if you know what I mean.”
Before Derek could politely punch the guy in the face, Stiles’ familiar scent filled his senses, which was all the warning he got before Stiles was draping himself all over Derek.
Brown eyes wide, Stiles grabbed Derek’s face in both hands and gasped dramatically, and Derek could smell the alcohol all over him him. “Derek?” he said in surprise. “What are you doing here?”
“What are you doing here with Theo?” Stiles gasped again when he turned around to face the asshole Derek had been talking to who gave them both an awkward smile. Stiles blinked at Theo and then Derek, brow furrowed. “Are you both frens?”
“No,” Derek snarled before the sleazeball could utter a single sound.
Theo swallowed nervously, tugging at his tie a little. “Uh-listen man, I didn’t know-”
“Wait, wait, lemme introduce you both firs’!” Stiles exclaimed, removing his arms from around Derek’s neck to flap drunkenly in Theo’s direction. “Derek,” he said, placing a gentle hand on Derek’s chest and offering him a fond smile, “this is Theo. Theo,” he continued, grinning at the him, “this is Derek, my ex-fiancé.”
Theo visibly relaxed, shoulders sagging with relief and his nervous twitch of a smile turning into a wider, more genuine grin. “Oh, thank god-”
“I am his husband,” Derek interrupted before Theo could say anything to weaken his already dying resolve to not get violent in public.
Theo suddenly swallowed in fear while Stiles burst out laughing.
“Yes, you are,” Stiles giggled, patting Derek on the head like a puppy. He turned to Theo with wide, mirthful eyes. “You get it? He’s no longer my fiancé because he is now my-”
“Husband,” Theo finished, a little bitterly, jaw clenching. “I got it. Loud and clear.”
“He’s the guy I was tellin’ you about!” Stiles rambled on. “My husband! Remember when you were telling me wha’ you wanted to do with my ass-”
“Uh, that-that was such a long time ago,” Theo stuttered, eyes terrified. “I hardly think it needs to be brought up again!”
“I hardly think your presence here is necessary. I suggest you leave before I decide to do something about it myself,” Derek said in a low, threatening tone. His eyes flashed crimson before he could gather the will to keep his wolf in and Theo nearly tripped off his bar stool trying to run away.
“But…but that was just a few days ago, D,” Stiles mumbled distractedly, running his soft fingers over the scrape of Derek’s stubble. “Why’d he lie?”
Derek let out a satisfied grumble low in his throat at the feel of his husband’s affection. “Mm, I wonder why.”
“By the way,” Stiles said suddenly, shifting to get comfortable on Derek’s lap, “what are you doing here? I thought you didn’t like clubs?” Before Derek could even start to say anything, Stiles tensed in his lap, clutching at the hair at the back of his head. “Oh my god, is there another supe in town? I’m not sober ‘nough to help, Der! Oh my god, is someone hurt? Holy shit, did Scott get kidnapped again? Oh no! Did you get kidnapped again?”
Derek rolled his eyes, wondering how he could possibly be in love with such a dork. “No, Stiles, I didn’t get kidnapped,” he said patiently, tangling his fingers with Stiles’. “I’m right here.”
The frantic glint in his eyes died down and Stiles smiled softly at Derek. “Yes, you are,” he repeated before pulling Derek close enough to press their lips together in a slow and gentle kiss.
There was an itch underneath his skin that he wanted to scratch right out of his body, but all Derek could do was helplessly wait for the hours to tick by.
The room was filled with important looking people; mostly men, mostly white. Important looking man holding a glass of wine. Important looking man treating a waiter like shit. Important looking woman talking about important sounding things with another important looking man.
Derek stood in a corner, mournfully staring at his empty inbox. He hated how childish his emotions were being. Stiles was three entire time-zones away and probably drooling all over his pillow in sleep, that was the only reason Derek wasn’t being live-texted every bite of his meal right then. But Derek felt irrationally lonely and sad, feeling as if he was missing something vital.
Usually Stiles accompanied him on all his business trips because he knew how much Derek hated being around people, how much the noise and smells of large crowds grated on his enhanced senses. Stiles knew how badly Derek needed a distraction before things got too much, too everything. He was always there to crack a joke, kiss Derek’s worries away, to keep him sane.
Derek wondered when Stiles had gone from annoying-loudmouth-kid-that-needs-to-get-away-from-me to comfort. To safety.
Huffing out a frantic breath, Derek rushed through the crowds out to the balcony and called Stiles without a second thought.
He was just about to end the call, thinking Stiles was way too deep into sleep to hear his annoying, I’m a Barbie girl ringtone when the ringing abruptly cut off, followed by the sound of sheets rustling and the voice he had been craving all night.
“D’rek?” Stiles asked, voice harsh and sleep-heavy. “Babe, you okay?”
Immediately, Derek felt stupid. “Uh, yeah, ‘course I am. I just-God, I’m sorry. I didn’t think of the time in L.A. Go back to bed-”
“No, no,” Stiles mumbled, yawning, and Derek heard more rustling. “I’m up. What’s up? What are you doing?”
“Just…” Panicking, maybe? Getting anxious to feel your arms around me? To see your stupid, drooling face right next to me? “At another stupid charity thing.”
“Charity isn’ stupid.”
“Yeah, but I don’t understand why there needs to be a party for it. Why can’t I just peacefully do the charity without having to do this?” Derek grumbled.
Stiles laughed and Derek smiled automatically at how warm the sound made him feel. “Aw, dude,” Stiles said. “I can’t believe I married a grumpy, old man.”
“Well, you’re stuck with me now,” Derek replied jokingly. “No take-backsies.”
“Same goes for you, mister. Through thick and thin, good and bad. Forever and ever.”
“Forever and ever,” Derek agreed, smiling hard.
Stiles hummed happily. “So, now that we’ve got that out of the way,” he said. “What is really up?”
“Nothing. I just told you.”
“There is that god forsaken ‘just’ again,” Stiles replied in mock offense. “Do you realise you say that word a lot when you’re being completely constipated about your feelings?”
“I learn something new about myself everyday,” Derek said drily.
“Tell me,” Stiles grumbled, drawing out the ‘me’ like a petulant child.
Derek rolled his eyes. “Just…” he started, not even realising that he was proving Stiles right. “It’s been three weeks since I’ve been here and I…I miss you.”
A pregnant pause followed his words and he wondered if Stiles had fallen asleep mid conversation again.
“Stiles?” he asked.
“Oh my god, that is so gay,” Stiles cackled and Derek sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose with his fingers.
“You are such a child.”
“Fo’real though,” Stiles said once he had managed to stop laughing. “You…All this time, you’ve been angsting about missing me?” Stiles asked, a hint of amusement in his tone.
“Is that a surprise?”
“No…but it’s nice to hear,” Stiles said earnestly. “And I miss you too. I miss you from the moment I wake up in an empty bed. I make two cups of tea before I remember you’re not there to bitch about how much sugar I put in mine. I trip on wet towels that I leave on the floor and then I just sit there and imagine how you’d shout at me for being careless while you do that freaky, werewolf-y pain-drain thing. I miss you so fucking much, Der. I want you here with me so bad.”
Clearing his throat to get rid of the ball of emotion lodged firmly in his vocal cords, Derek said, “Stiles?”
“Stiles,” Derek said.
“Yes, love?” Stiles whispered, looking at Derek with wide, innocent doe-eyes.
“Why is there a goat in our living room? Eating our couch?”
“Eating our-” With a supernatural speed, Stiles whipped around to march to the white, spotted goat quietly munching away at their sofa cushions. “Dog!” Stiles shouted, confusing Derek further. “We have already had a conversation about this! No. Furniture. Eating!” Cradling the little goat in his arms, Stiles walked back to where Derek was still standing frozen in the doorway, suitcase in hand. “So. Derek, this is Dog. Dog, this is Derek, your other dad,” Stiles said with a winning grin to his husband.
“No,” Derek answered and Stiles’ smile fell instantly.
“I said no, Stiles. We are not adopting it.”
“Don’t be disrespectful to your son, Derek Hale!” Stiles shouted, swatting at his arm. “It’s a ‘he!’ And you better remember it.”
“Fine,” Derek said, marching in and dropping his suitcase next to the obliterated coffee table. “We are not adopting him.”
“But Derek, look at how adorable he is!” Stiles said, hefting the little white and brown goat in Derek’s face. “We can’t just give him away! Besides, he already thinks I’m his papa.”
Derek glared at the goat, and then his husband. He had to admit, the goat was pretty cute. He had long, droopy ears and just as Derek was trying to harden his resolve, Dog gave a tiny, pathetic bleat that melted Derek’s heart into an enormous puddle.
“How long, exactly, have you had this baby goat?” he asked suspiciously.
“Baby goats are called kids, Der,” Stiles said sweetly, batting his eyelashes a little harder. “And I’ve had him for about…three and a half weeks?”
Derek narrowed his eyes at that. “And how long had you been planning this?”
Stiles suddenly seemed incredibly interested in petting the kid in his lap. “Um, ever since I found out about your New York trip,” he mumbled, side-eying Derek for his reaction.
“God, Stiles,” Derek sighed, running his fingers through his hair in frustration.
Stiles pecked him on the lips in apology, shuffling closer. “I’m sorry, but I really wanted a k-…goat. I really wanted a goat and I knew you’d never agree,” he said, pouting in a way that made Derek’s heart go off beat. “But I promise Dog is a complete sweetie-pie. I mean, he eats the furniture sometimes. And I still haven’t managed to potty train him. He wakes up at four in the fucking morning and runs all over the place, but I swear he’s a good boy. Deep down. Like, way deep down. Like, you’d need to do a colonoscopy to find the good in him-”
“Fine,” Derek interrupted, knowing Stiles could ramble for hours if allowed. “Fine. We can keep him,” he said, making Stiles give a high-frequency screech of joy. It was adorable to watch Dog try to keep up with another pathetic, little bleat. “But. If we’re keeping him, we’re changing his name.”
“Aha!” Stiles exclaimed with a smug grin. “I knew you’d try to overthrow my decision so I made sure he’d only answer to Dog. You can’t do anything but accept him now, Derek. You’re too late.”
Derek rolled his eyes at his overdramatic husband, scratching Dog under his chin, much to the little cutie’s pleasure. “Why a goat, though? Why not a cat or a dog?”
“It’s practice, Derek,” Stiles answered casually, but his suddenly frantic heartbeat gave him away.
“Practice for what?” Derek asked carefully.
Stiles scratched at the skin on the inside of his wrist, a nervous tick, as he kept his eyes trained on Dog. “For, you know, when we decide to start a family,” he said and his heart was beating so fast that it was making Derek nauseous and dizzy. “We can’t straight up get ourselves a baby. Thought we should get a kid before getting a kid.”
Derek couldn’t hold back the fond sigh pushing against his lips. “I can’t believe you got a goat just so you could say that stupid kid line.”
The heartbeat in his ears slowed slightly and Stiles threw his head back, laughing.
Derek pulled Stiles and the still cradled Dog into his lap, pressing kisses into Stiles’ shoulder. “What am I gonna do with you?”
“Love and cherish forever?”
“Stiles,” Derek groaned in exasperation and Adrian, the little traitor, giggled. “You can’t keep causing fights at Adrian’s parent-teacher meets!”
Stiles slammed down the jar he had been trying to open, making Derek and Adrian wince, and whirled around to face his husband. “Cause?’ What do you mean by ‘causing’ fights, Derek?” he seethed. “Are you implying that it was I, Stiles Stilinski, son of Sherriff John Stilinski, who started the fight?”
“I don’t care who started it, all I know is that it was you who threw the first cupcake!”
“Oh, so it doesn’t matter to you that Mariah was the one bragging about how amazing Lily is at art and how bad our kid’s drawing is?” Stiles exclaimed, waving his arms and hands around in anger. “How dare she say that? All children are special in their own way and it is so unfair of her to pit them against each other!”
“And you’re right, baby,” Derek said, putting his hands on Stiles’ hips placatingly. “You’re absolutely right. But if we keep fighting other parents at PTMs, we’ll just end up making things harder for our son.”
Immediately, the fight drained out of Stiles and he seemed so distraught at the thought of Adrian not having any friends because of him, that Derek couldn’t help but pull him into a bone-crushing hug.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered. “I just hate it when they look down at us like we’re really bad parents or something. We are doing our best and Adrian is such a good kid. We’re not bad parents.”
“We’re definitely not,” Derek answered, keeping an ear out for their son, who had learnt his thoughtless behaviour from his papa. “We even managed to love the evil out of Dog,” he said and Stiles huffed out a laugh against his shoulder. “No average parents could have done that.”
“Yeah,” Stiles said quietly before pulling back. “I won’t fight anymore. I promise that from today, I will be on my best behaviour. But we must remember,” he added, a calculating glint in his eyes, “that the past is in the past. Firmly in the past. The past is so very, very in the past that it is best to forget it. To forgive it.”
Derek let out a weary sigh and covered Stiles’ mouth with his hand before he could go on any further. “What did you do,” he said without inflection.
Stiles winced. “Um, I might have keyed Mariah’s car a little when you were calming things down a little inside.”
“Stiles,” Derek sighed again. He felt like he sighed a lot with Stiles. Especially the exasperated, why-are-you-such-an-idiot and why-am-I-in-love-with-you-anyway kind of sigh.
“Derek,” Stiles groaned, copying Derek’s tone. “It’s in the past. And as we’ve already established, the past is already done and over. We can’t change it. All we can do is regret and forget.”
“Daaaaad?” Adrian drawled from his room.
“Yeah?” Derek answered, leaning his head on Stiles shoulder as he waited for the inevitable bombshell that his son was about to drop on them.
“Dog pooped on my bed again.”
Derek was just about to sigh once again when Stiles made him pause with a hand on his chest. “There is an ‘and’ there,” he said knowingly.
“And I sat on it,” Adrian continued and Stiles and Derek both sighed.
“No, too formal.”
“There was an Emma in my year and I absolutely hated her. We’re not naming our daughter after someone so obnoxious.”
“Our first daughter,” Derek corrected, feeling oddly shy.
Stiles startled at the abrupt change in topic before grinning slyly. “Are you thinking of more children, Der?”
“I am hoping for more than two,” Derek answered honestly. “I’ve come from a big family and I want a big family. But we can stop at two if you’re not up for it? I’d understand.”
“I’ve come from an extremely tiny family, and I always thought that that’s what I’m comfortable with,” Stiles told him, absentmindedly running his hands through Derek’s hair. “But when the pack happened, I realised just how much I love always having someone there, always being surrounded by love and affection and noise,” he continued. He waited till Derek was looking directly at him before smiling and saying, “I think I’m comfortable with four children. Anything over that is a no-no. We’d go cray, Derek.”
“Four is more than enough,” Derek agreed, wide eyed. Although he loved the idea of a big family, he didn’t even know how they were going to manage having two kids. Especially if they were all going to be as naughty as Adrian.
“Oh, oh, oh,” Stiles exclaimed, suddenly sitting up in excitement, making Derek hiss as cold air entered their blanket. “What if, we have four kids and we name them Salazar, Rowena, Godric and Helga? We’d have our very own Hogwarts’ houses, Derek! And every time they do something bad, we could just go, ‘Ten points from Slytherin!’ It would be so awesome, dude!”
“Don’t call me dude,” Derek deadpanned. “And I think you’re forgetting that we already have a son and we’ve already named him Adrian.”
“That’s okay,” Stiles shrugged, getting out of bed. “I’ll just go and tell him his name is Salazar from today. He is a cunning little shit.”
“Stiles,” Derek groaned. “Get back in bed.”
“Aw, c’mon! Just imagine it! Adrian going to school and asking everyone to call him Sal,” Stiles said. “And everyone will just accept it, thinking his name is something cool like Salvador, and he’ll have to spend his entire life carrying the weight of knowing that his actual name is Salazar.”
“Stiles,” Derek said again, grabbing Stiles by the wrists and pulling him back into the bed. He rubbed his hands over his naked torso calmingly. “Just because your parents put you through hell by giving you a horrible name, doesn’t mean you have to do the same to your children. Children that, might I remind you, you love very much.”
Stiles flopped back onto the bed, crossing his arms and scowling petulantly. “Fine. Let’s name our future daughter something boring and nice like Adeline or something.”
“That’s actually not too bad.”
Stiles huffed, wriggling around restlessly before turning to Derek with an inviting smile. “Can we at least do the frick frack now?”
Derek scowled and pushed a pillow into Stiles’ face.
“Can we at least name her Beyoncé?”
“Stiles, I am literally going to ban you from opening your mouth ever again.”
Derek had felt alone for such a long time that even years after having his pack remade, he still couldn’t quite believe that this was real.
He sat in the middle of his living room, watching Stiles play Mario Kart with Erica and Isaac, while Boyd rolled his eyes at them at intervals. Scott was huddled up on the other couch with Adrian and Elena, telling them about the new puppies that had arrived at the clinic yesterday. Kira and Lydia were sitting on the floor next to Derek, making plans about how to convince the neighbouring werefox clan into letting them borrow their beastiary. Allison had brought her new girlfriend over and they were sitting in a corner, blushing like little kids as they held hands. Even Melissa and John had come over, though they normally preferred to stay home and sleep off their tiring work schedules.
It felt so good to feel the Hale house full again. Full of people, full of love, full of pack. After Kate, after Laura, after everything, Derek had never even dared to imagine that he could ever have this again, ever have happiness again.
But life had a funny way of surprising him.
“Dereeeeek,” Stiles whined, stepping over where Dog was sleeping in an empty pizza box and laying himself on top of Derek on the couch. “I am tired.”
“You have to be, after how badly you beat Isaac and Erica every single time,” he said, rubbing his hand up and down Stiles’ back soothingly, ignoring his betas’ booing at him.
Stiles chuckled. “Flattery will get you everywhere,” he said before letting out a tired moan again and shifting restlessly on top of Derek. “I’m not comfy.”
That was the only warning he got before Stiles was pushing himself inside Derek’s hoodie and letting his head rest on top of Derek’s chest with a content sigh.
Derek laughed. “Better?”
“So much better,” Stiles answered and Derek felt a surge of affection within him for the idiot he called his husband.
“I’m so glad I found you. I’m so glad I get to call you mine,” he whispered, not sure if Stiles could hear, not sure if he wanted Stiles to hear. “I love you so much,” he sighed, as if the words were being ripped right out of him.
Stiles wriggled again, pushing upwards and forcing his head through the narrow neckline of Derek's hoodie. Once out, there was no space for them to move about and Derek found himself going cross-eyed trying to look at Stiles.
“I know,” Stiles said simply. “I love you too.” He leaned forward to give Derek a peck, but ended up jabbing their chins together. Settling on an air kiss, Stiles forced his head back into the hoodie again and rested back on his chest. “Night night.”