* * *
Thursday, April 14, 2011
16 and Pregnant was not supposed to be an inspirational TV show.
Then again, Stiles wished that was the extent of her problems. None of those girls had to deal with being pregnant with the baby of a murder-happy narcissistic 30-something werewolf who had recently returned from the dead.
With her personal habit of growing claws and fangs when irritated added into the mix, it only made matters all the more complicated.
Stiles was a teenaged, pregnant werewolf. Which, in her opinion, was absolute bullshit.
Oh, and the god-awful icing on this nightmare cake was that Stiles couldn't even manage to figure it out on her own and be secretly pregnant in peace. No. That would have been too easy. Instead, her potential-baby's future cousin, her current Alpha, the guy who tore out her baby-daddy's throat and killed him, got aggressively nosy and literally sniffed it out.
The last thing Stiles thought she wanted to hear was Derek Hale telling her she smelled 'weird'. Except, a few moments later, he outclassed himself and turned Stiles' entire world on its head by telling her something even worse.
She didn't smell 'weird'. She smelled pregnant.
Which was why she was standing in the bathroom of her house late in the morning on a school day, staring at three different pregnancy tests. All three were telling her the same thing.
"It only takes one time," she mocked aloud. "No fucking shit."
Stiles grabbed the tests and threw them into the bathroom trash. Then, suddenly realizing her dad used this bathroom, started to bundle up the bag. Except. No. That would be suspicious, too.
How often did Stiles take out the bathroom trash? Um. Never, pretty much.
So Stiles fished out the sticks, and went into clean-up mode. She got the boxes, the instructions, the tests themselves, the receipt, and even the bag they'd been put in when she bought them (with cash, a county over, thank god), and hurried out to her jeep. She felt like she was carrying a bomb or something. Precious cargo.
The bag, tied up with everything inside, was tossed into first dumpster she came across.
Stiles got back behind the wheel and drove out toward Derek's loft.
It was a minor miracle she hadn't broke down and started having a panic attack. Because, fuck. It wasn't exactly like she had the money to pay for an abortion. Stiles wasn't even sure she wanted an abortion.
Okay, no. Not entirely true. She absolutely wanted an abortion, but that was a sort of knee-jerk reaction to the whole situation. Because she was sixteen. And while her father wasn't going to kill her for the whole 'pregnant teenager' thing, he wasn't that kind of dad, he would be disappointed. Probably a whole lot more disappointed than the whole restraining-order-and-getting-him-fired ordeal.
Worse, he'd demand to know who the father was. And how would she explain that?
Oh, the father? Peter Hale. You know, coma burn-victim guy? Went missing a few months back? Yeah, he cornered me at the winter formal and coerced me into a creepy car lot with him where he turned me into a werewolf. It's okay, he totally asked me first. I said 'yes', by the way. And then I sort of lost my mind and had sex with him against a car with his dead nurse stuffed in the trunk. Then we went out to the preserve so I could help him kill Kate Argent. It's okay, she deserved it. Afterward, his nephew, Derek, remember Derek? The guy who didn't kill anybody? Oops, my bad. And afterward, Derek ripped out his throat and killed him. But it's okay! Because a month ago, Peter used some kind of creepy mind control on me to bring him back from the dead. So it's all cool now. Really.
Yeah. That would go over great. She could just see it now.
But the thing was... she wanted an abortion for purely logical reasons. Like, her age. The father. Her father. The fact that Beacon Hills was beginning to shape up as a real life Hellmouth. The fact that Stiles was a werewolf now.
Shit. The baby would probably be a werewolf too.
Could babies even be werewolves? Did they grow babyfangs alongside babyteeth? Was that a thing? Was it a gradual sort of thing? Was it some sort of waiting game? Did born werewolves have a sort of double-puberty? Wow, that would suck. And not just for the kid, but the parents, too.
And, see, there was the flipside of that whole 'to abort or not to abort, that is the question' issue. She kept thinking about this whole thing like she was going to have this baby.
Was it pregnancy hormones? Did that happen this soon? Werewolfy instinct taking over? Was that a thing? Or was there just a part of Stiles, intrinsic to her, that wanted to have the baby?
Stiles parked in a secluded area near Derek's, hidden from street view. Not that many people drove through this area, not even patrol cars from the sheriff's department. But her jeep was pretty distinctive on its own, and pretty much everyone at the station knew what the Sheriff's daughter drove. The last thing she needed right now was her dad hearing that Stiles' jeep was spotted in this part of town, pretty much ever, but especially when she should be at school.
Sure, he'd be getting a call sooner or later that she wasn't in class, but she could bluff her way out of it with the excuse of period cramps or something. Not that she'd had to deal with those recently. Hell, she might not have any for a while to come. She still didn't know.
And while Derek Hale might possibly be the worst person in the world to give advice to anyone, ever, as far as Stiles was concerned, he was also the only person who knew about her current predicament.
Which was why she stormed into Derek's loft without checking for signs of life before loudly declaring:
"I don't know what to do!"
Unfortunately, Derek didn't seem to be there.
Worse still, Peter was.
"Shouldn't you be at school?" he asked, even as he managed to sound completely uninterested in the answer. Peter was sitting on the couch, sprawled out and eyeing her in a way that wasn't entirely comfortable for Stiles to be the subject of. His gaze sharpened slightly, and added, "Don't know what to do about what?"
Stiles swallowed audibly. Audibly even to totally, one-hundred-percent human ears.
"Um. School project?" she said, without thinking.
Peter gave her a mocking look, letting her know just how unbelievable that excuse was.
"Whatever. Where's Grumpy Gus?"
Peter smirked at the irreverence she had toward Derek, and waved a hand idly in the air.
"Off gathering lunch."
Stiles paused, refusing to ask. No. She had to ask.
"Like," she raised her hands and curled in her fingers, "rawr, say goodbye to Bambi's mom?"
"Bambi's dad, actually," Peter corrected.
Stiles eyes went wide and round with surprise. "Really?"
"No, you idiot. Like exchanging currency for takeout. I'm starting to reevaluate my opinion of your intelligence," Peter said sharply.
"Whoa, hey, no. That it not the way you talk to the—" mother of your child, she very nearly said, before amending it with a wavering voice to: "Me. Not the way you talk to The Stiles." Smooth. Real smooth.
"The Stiles?" Peter asked incredulously. Apparently his estimation of her was dropping even further.
Which, well, good. Good. Peter not considering her interesting, or clever, or registering her as anything close to 'threat' or 'important' could only be a good thing. Right.
"Mmhmm," she hummed in affirmation, nodding with bright, wild eyes, willing him to believe there was nothing strange or weird about this situation at all.
Peter sighed and pushed himself up off the couch, giving her an odd, considering look.
"So, why are you really here, Stiles?" he asked, eyes narrowing, taking in the manic air around her and somehow seeing all her secrets, she was sure.
"School project," she repeated, this time sounding more sure of herself.
"Which only my darling nephew can help you with, I'm sure."
Peter clearly didn't believe a single word she said. Even without supernaturally-enhanced senses, it was probably easy to figure out Stiles was lying through her teeth. Sometimes, and usually at the absolute worst of times, Stiles could be an absolutely terrible liar.
It was like she was cursed.
Peter came closer to her, making Stiles feel something akin to stalked prey. Which, so not cool. She was a badass predator now. It was entirely unfair that Peter managed to make her feel so cornered so easily.
Even worse, the look on Peter's face underwent a quick series of emotions. Cool disinterest, curiosity, sudden intense interest, and then, worst of all, confusion.
And Stiles could guess exactly what he was confused about, what with the completely unattractive way his nostrils were flaring.
"I should go," she said, shuffling back toward the door. She didn't dare turn around and leave her back to him. The last time she did that, he pinned her to a car and knocked her up. Okay, so she'd been a willing and enthusiastic participant at the time. And it wasn't like she could get any more pregnant at this point, but it was the principle of the thing.
She might be a predator now, but Peter was predatory and unashamed about it. She would have to be an idiot if she turned her back on him.
Her refusal to turn and leave as quickly as inhumanly possible meant that she saw the exact moment recognition hit Peter.
His hand shot out and grabbed her by the arm.
"Who touched you?" he growled, and, shit. Yep. Stiles was starting to feel aroused.
Stiles cursed her inappropriate fear response, and not for the first time. It was what got her into this situation in the first place.
"What?" she asked, stalling as her eyes looked anywhere but at Peter.
His nostrils flared again, drawing in her scent. His hand squeezed painfully tight around her arm for the briefest moment and instantly relaxed, holding her more loosely than before. She could probably break out of his grip now even if she was wholly human.
Instead, she shuddered a little, standing completely still. She couldn't look at him, but she couldn't bring herself to walk away, either.
"Who. Touched. You?" he asked again. "You're pregnant," Peter said. She was surprised his eyes weren't glowing blue, that he wasn't showing a hint of claw or fang. He sounded out of control, but by the looks of him, he was holding on to his humanity quite well. Or maybe he really did come back significantly diminished, like he claimed.
"Um, about that," Stiles said, a hint of near-hysterical laughter creeping into her voice.
"That's why you're here," Peter said flatly. "To speak to Derek. Because you're pregnant."
Oh god, he thought Derek had knocked her up.
Stiles didn't know whether she should be relieved where Peter was taking this, or if she should just blurt out the truth. Stiles had always been on somewhat shaky terms with the truth, but she thought, perhaps, this wasn't the sort of thing she should try to prevaricate or bullshit her way around.
Not because she owed him or anything. Fuck that noise. She'd claw out Peter's throat herself if he thought he could tell her whether or not to keep her baby. (And there she went again. 'Her baby'. Great.)
So. There it was. Stiles was starting to think more and more that she was going to keep it. And, well. She could only think of a small handful of people who'd make worse fathers than Peter Hale, but there was a surprisingly strong part of her that wanted to at least give him the chance to prove her wrong.
"Because he's the only other person who knows," she said, surprising herself with her honestly. Well. Go broke or go home. "Surprise! It's a... actually, I don't know what it is other than a baby. Because it's probably too early to tell, and also I only just took a pregnancy test this morning in case Derek's nose was malfunctioning. Well, three pregnancy tests, because you never know, right? But I guess it's definitely a baby? A werebaby? I don't know how that works. Will it come out of me with sideburns?! Is this the part where I get you a cigar? Or is that only after the birth? Also, I'm sixteen and can't legally buy tobacco products, but, you know, I also can't legally have sex in this state, and, well, we both know how that turned out."
As Stiles rambled on, and on, and on, Peter's fac ran through the gamut of emotions yet again. Rage, irritation, confusion, understanding, horror.
It was the horror that finally did her in. She was not going to cry, damn it, she just was. not. going to cry at all. But her eyes did well up with tears, the traitors, and she tugged harder than necessary to break free of his lax grip around her forearm.
"Right. Well. This was fun," she said, voice far steadier than she would have expected, "but I should go."
"It's mine," Peter said dumbly, half question, half statement of disbelief.
"Unless werewolves are capable of asexual reproduction, um, yes. Considering you're the only one I've—. Well." Stiles looked heavenward and sighed. "This whole conversation has been sufficiently embarrassing as it is. So, I'm gonna..." she gestured lamely toward the door.
Peter nodded slowly, then put out his hand and quickly drew it back in an aborted move to stop her.
Hah, 'aborted'. Fuck. Stiles was so fucked. Or, she had been. Which was why she was in her current predicament. Shit.
Then Peter's voice broke through her inner turmoil.
"You said you don't know what to do."
Stiles frowned at him, gearing herself up to tell him that she didn't care what he thought she should do.
"Tell me once you've figured that out."
"Why?" she asked suspiciously. Which... okay, it wasn't that she wasn't suspicious of his motives; she wasn't, despite what anyone might think, an idiot. And Stiles was fully of the belief that one completely trusted anything Peter said at their own peril. But at that moment she felt more surprise than suspicion. She definitely hadn't been expecting that response.
"Because whatever you decide, I'll take care of the financial aspect. At the very least," he told her, without a hint of what he was feeling leaking onto his face or into his words.
'At the very least.'
That was... comforting?
She didn't know what she felt about that, actually. So, instead of opening her mouth and digging herself into a hole, or a bigger hole, really, Stiles nodded.
She walked backwards toward the door, stumbling when she hit the wall sooner than she'd thought.
Stiles had thought being a werewolf would cure her of her klutziness. Every other werewolf she knew seemed to have preternatural gracefulness and agility. Stiles just got over-sensitive smelling and hearing, the occasional anger management problem, and the ability to accidentally break things even more easily than before.
It really wasn't fair.
Stiles twisted around to push open the door and bolted out of there as quickly as possible. She didn't know where she was going, but she was leaving for wherever it was immediately.