It’s two AM and Derek is babysitting.
He’s also questioning his life choices. Quietly, of course, because as any babysitter knows, you don’t wake up the kids just because you’re pissed at them – it will just make things worse.
Especially when the kids are two overgrown teenage werewolves.
Who, for the record, snore. Loudly.
Scott is off with Allison, and Stiles is – not here. This fact perplexes Derek. It’s not that he’s grown to enjoy the irritating kid’s company, no, nothing like that – he just – he’s just gotten used to Stiles, okay? Like an annoying and overly fond dog that slobbers all over you and chews up all your toys, but who you still find yourself missing when they’re gone.
He switches through the channels absently. So far, there’s absolutely nothing on TV save a rather disturbing documentary about the mating habits of wolves. He considers watching it just for the irony, and then thinks, no, no way, and settles on a show that seems to basically consist of vampires and porn.
He kind of approves. Secretly. Very secretly. In the most secret part of his – Forget it. He really needs some sleep.
He goes back to channel surfing.
“Billionaire, playboy and philanthropist Tony Stark left his beloved Stark Tower with the rest of the Avengers today to have a little R & R with extended family,” the news broadcaster is saying. “As a recap, Tony Stark – as Iron Man – assisted in defending the world early last year from supernatural forces –”
Derek raises his eyebrows at the TV. Huh.
“Tony Stark!” Isaac bursts out suddenly. Derek would have fallen off the sofa with surprise except, you know, he’s not that undignified. Definitely not. “Man, this guy is awesome,” Isaac continues, eyes glued to the television. The guy seems to have a supernatural ability to somehow sleep and be completely aware at the same time. Derek thinks that it might have something to do with his past, and feels himself soften a little.
“Huh. I guess. He seems like a pretty good guy,” Derek admits, a little reluctantly. “The Black Widow, though. She has all the traits of a good Alpha.” He nods, like this settles it.
Isaac shrugs. “Also, she’s hot.”
Erica doesn’t share Isaac’s ability to be aware of everything while sleeping, but she is scarily aware of any time Isaac may be even slightly male chauvinistic, which is just as scary, really. “Isaac,” she says coldly, and he shrinks back into the sofa a little.
“Okay. Okay. She’s attractive, good looking,” he rambles. Erica glares. “She’s – strong? Scary? Badass?”
Erica seems to think about this for a few moments. “Good enough,” she allows, curls up into a ball on the sofa, and falls back asleep, just like that.
Derek hates her a little, just for that.
“Why aren’t you asleep, dude?” Isaac says, frowning at Derek like he understands a little too well.
Derek scowls. “Can’t. Slept earlier,” he lies. Isaac gives him a skeptical look, but leaves it alone. Derek is far too thankful for that, but then again, lack of sleep and far too much shitty TV might contribute a lot to his newfound softness.
Ten minutes later, Isaac and Erica are both fast asleep again because their curiosity doesn’t last long on a good day, and they’re also far too lazy to even get up and go to their rooms, Derek is back to watching wolf mating documentaries, and he’s completely forgotten about Tony Stark and the Avengers.
This doesn’t last long, either.
“You’re joking,” Clint says.
“Of course I’m joking, this is all an elaborate joke because I really care that much about fooling you, Barton,” Tony says. He’s a little offended, really. Okay, not really. He would expect him to do something like this, too. But it’s the sentiment that counts.
Steve comments, because he’s just all bunnies and rainbows and chocolate, “I think it’s sweet.” He grins at Tony.
Tony grins back. Clint gags. Tony shoots him a glare. “Look, I want you guys to be kind to him, okay? Well,” he adds, throwing Natasha a look, “reasonably amicable. He means a lot to me.”
Thor pats Tony hard on the back. Tony’s sure he feels a rib or two crack, but doesn’t say anything, because he’s just a nice guy. “Do not worry, my friend! I will gladly welcome your godson in as I would one of my closest brethren.”
Bruce looks up from where he’s tapping away at his phone. He likes everybody to think that he’s doing important work, but Tony can clearly see from where’s he’s sitting that the guy’s really just playing Angry Birds. He doesn’t mention this, though, because he’s a dick but he’s not that much of a dick. “What Thor said,” he agrees, and goes back to Angry Birds.
“So, what, this kid isn’t like a teenage you, right?” Clint questions. He’s perched on the very back seat of the car, watching the flow of cars slowly stem as they get closer to Beacon Hills. “Because I’m really not sure I could take that,” he adds shamelessly.
“Of course he won’t be a teenage Tony, dumbass,” Natasha says coolly from the back seat where she appears to be sharpening her knife. Tony decides not to even ask. “He’s not even related to Stark.”
“Right here, Mr Rogers,” JARVIS pipes up, and Tony has never been more relieved for his AI. He pats the dashboard fondly as Steve takes a right. A very slow right.
“Whose idea was it for Steve for drive?” Clint calls from the back. “Was it the Old Ladies’ Committee?”
Tony shoots him a look. “Old Ladies’ Committee? Barton, you could do so much better.”
Clint pouts. “I know,” he agrees, “but Bruce’s muttering about Angry Birds is throwing me off my game.” As if in agreement, there’s a painful crunching sound and the iPod is propelled out the window.
Tony sighs. “Not again.”
Bruce sounds apologetic when he says, “Those helmets are just the devil’s work, okay? The devil’s work.” He slinks down in his seat, looking rueful.
Clint pats him on the back. “It’s cool, man. We totally get it,” he soothes. Bruce relaxes a little. Tony would hug Clint if he didn’t have to propel himself over the whole car to get to him. He really doesn’t want to deal with a Hulked-out Bruce on a trip to see his godson.
“One last thing,” Tony says, and he actually manages to make his tone stern. “No supernatural stuff, okay? This kid is very sheltered. He doesn’t know much of anything about the supernatural, so I don’t want you guys scaring the crap out of him. That means you, too, Thor,” he adds. Thor nods like a soldier going off to battle.
“No supernatural stuff,” the Asgardian repeats in agreement, and Tony wonders, a little pained, how long this is actually going to last.
Stiles is doing homework when his dad tells him the news.
He freaks the fuck out, obviously.
“Uncle Tony?” he yells. Literally, yells. His dad rolls his eyes, looking amused. Stiles jumps to his feet and then proceeds to run around the house, waving his hands about like a mad man and yelling, “UNCLE TONY’S COMING TO STAY!”
“Stiles,” his dad says when Stiles makes his run through the kitchen, “you never do grow up, do you? I swear to God, you did exactly the same as this when you were eight.” He looks a little fond as he says this, though, so Stiles doesn’t find him disapproving.
After returning to his room, throwing his Calculus homework a dirty look in a ‘I’m Totally Over You’ kind of way, he immediately picks up his mobile and dials Tony’s number. “Stark, you totally could’ve warned me,” he says into the phone as soon as his godfather picks up.
Tony sounds amused when he says, “Yeah, well. It was a last minute thing. I figured, you’ve got vacation, we want vacation, it totally works.” Stiles can practically hear him shrugging. “Besides, Steve wants to meet you.”
Stiles’ eyebrows nearly hit the roof. “Steve as in Steve Steve? As in Captain America, I’m-Totally-Besotted-With-Him Steve?”
Tony grumbles, “Yes, that Steve. Look, kid, I’ve gotta go. I’ll see you soon.” And then he hangs up.
Stiles isn’t offended. He actually isn’t, for once in his life, because Uncle Tony is Uncle Tony, and he may have this whole Pretending Not To Care but Actually Caring A Lot thing going on, but he’s really not one for etiquette. Many, many years with Pepper still haven’t quite drilled that into his brain.
Thinking about Pepper makes him think of strawberries and supermarkets and then supermarkets somehow merges into hospitals which somehow leads into thinking about Derek which, look, Stiles has never said his trains of thought were sane or logical. Anyway, he thinks about Derek and then he thinks about texting the guy, but he likes his arms and legs attached, thank you very much, and Derek kind of has this whole Do Not Contact Me Unless Entirely Urgent thing, so Stiles texts Scott instead.
That way, Derek will find out quickly enough anyway. Pack, and all that. Stiles doesn’t really envy that part of the pack life.
Tony’s coming to stay, he texts, because Scott will get the message. And probably wet himself with excitement, or something. Scott has this whole thing about Tony, something about respect and bravery and intelligence. Come to think of it, Scott has this whole thing about the Avengers. He still had his Captain America trading cards, and would probably swoon at the idea of meeting the actual Captain America.
Which, yeah, Stiles has to kind of agree, that’s kind of cool. That Stiles’ godfather is Tony Stark, the Iron Man, and that he just casually hangs out with guys like Captain America and brings them down for Thanksgiving dinner.
But then, Stiles has known Tony all his life, and knows all sorts of things like the fact that Tony wears Dora the Explorer bed socks and has a t-shirt with Captain America on it and secretly fangirls over Buffy.
So the whole respect thing? He’s totally got that down. But ‘Wow, what a badass motherfucker’? Yeah, no.
“Uncle Tony’s coming to stay,” Stiles tells the ceiling, falling back onto his bed, and if he lets out a kind of undignified squeak of excitement, then, well, the ceiling’s not going to tell anybody.
“Thor, why are you shirtless,” Tony says, and it’s not really a question. More of a statement of his lack of faith in life, like Thor, I think I’ve lost my mind or Thor, I haven’t had a Buffy marathon in six months. Six. Months.
Thor looks down at his chest like he really hadn’t noticed it until now. “I am not entirely sure, Tony, my friend.” And then it seems to dawn on him. “Oh, yes! Our friendly Widow ripped it off.”
Tony half-chokes, half-sobs. “Why did Natasha rip off your t-shirt?”
“This,” Natasha says, appearing at Tony’s elbow and nearly giving him a heart attack, “is why.” She shoves a t-shirt into his hands, and then turns and gives another identical t-shirt to Thor.
Tony lifts it up cautiously. On the front is the letter T.
“What,” he says, and yeah, that’s really not a question, either, is it.
Natasha says, “It was Thor’s idea,” and then disappears.
Which is how, an hour later, The Avengers find themselves lined up on the Stilinksi front lawn, and how Tony gets the pleasure of watching as his godson opens the door to a group of superheroes with t-shirts that go something like this:
S (Steve), T (Tony), I (Thor), L (Bruce), E (Natasha), S (Clint).
Stiles stares for a few moments, and then laughs so hard Tony begins to worry that he’ll burst a vein or something.
“Thor’s idea,” Tony says in way of explanation.
“I think it’s a great idea,” Steve defends, looking ridiculously happy. He steps forward, smiling warmly at Stiles. “I don’t know if Tony has mentioned me, I’m Steve.”
That just makes Stiles laugh even harder.
Derek is not jealous.
Scott is not about to melt in a puddle of ecstatic werewolf.
Also, what the fuck is Isaac doing in the back?
“Are you dancing?” Derek demands, disgusted. He’s really beginning to wonder about his life choices.
“No,” Isaac and Scott say at the same time, and then look at each other, scandalised. Erica just looks amused.
They pull up outside the Stilinski household, and Derek has hardly stopped before Scott is propelling himself out of the car and running into the house. Isaac follows at a more reserved but noticeably undignified pace, and Erica still looks amused, which might be a kind of default expression for her. Derek just scowls at everybody and everything.
Derek gets inside just in time to see Scott grind to a halt in the living room, wide-eyed and – well, whose idea was it to have him in Derek’s pack, again?
And then Derek looks around the living room, and has to do a double take. The Avengers, The freaking Avengers, are all crowded around the small TV in Stiles’ cramped living room. “I thought you said it was just that Stark guy,” he mutters to Scott.
“I thought it was!” Scott cries, looking like a little kid who’s just been told that Christmas has come early.
Isaac gapes. “Lycra,” is all he seems to be able to say, staring at the Black Widow.
Staring at the Black Widow. Jesus Christ, when the fuck did Derek’s life turn into a new installment of How to Save the World without Really Trying?
Stiles looks up from his spot next to Stark, grinning. “Oh, hey, Scott, Derek, Erica…um, and Isaac,” he says, giving the open-mouthed Isaac a strange look. “This is…” He shoots the others looks. They nod, seemingly signaling something. Derek just stares. Stiles continues, “Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanov, Clint Barton, Bruce Banner, and, well…Thor.” He throws the god a fond look. “Thor…?”
“I only go by the name of Thor,” Thor booms happily. And then adds, thoughtfully, “However, my fellow Asgardians may at times refer to me as Thor Odinson. My friend Clint tells me that in some circles I also go by the name ‘Thor of Great Sexiness’.”
Clint – Hawkeye – nods seriously.
Stiles looks at his best friend. “Did you just –” When Scott only stares at him, he shakes his head. “Um. Never mind.”
Thor is watching Derek strangely. Derek is not paranoid, for fuck’s sake – he is actually getting stared at by an Asgardian god. He doesn’t really know whether to be flattered or creeped out. “What are you looking at?” Derek growls finally.
Everybody turns to look at the two. Thor booms with laughter. “Hah! I knew it,” he says, like this explains something. “It’s an honour, my friend. I have not to this day met a werewolf, let alone an Alpha.”
Now everybody’s staring at Derek.
“Um,” Stiles says, looking around like his father is suddenly going to materialize, even though he’s gone down to the shops for milk. “Guys, that’s not really something we’re – um – open about. Here. You know. And stuff.”
Tony turns to look at Stiles. The two of them seem to have some conversation through meaningful stares. Derek feels a little put out.
He gets that he and Stiles are kind of on a Need To Know basis, he really does, he just thinks that Stiles’ godfather being in the freaking Avengers counts as pretty Need To Know. Because, seriously. Tony Stark.
Tony fucking Stark.
“So,” Steve – Captain America, Jesus – says tentatively. “I was thinking pizza for dinner?”
“I swear to God,” Stiles says, fighting the urge to bang his head against the kitchen surface as he gets the plates out for dinner, “you’re like my sassy gay uncle who’s desperate to give me advice on everything.”
Tony gives him a ‘Who Are You Kidding’ look. “C’mon, kid, that’s exactly what I am.” He ruffles Stiles hair, grinning and sitting down on one of the kitchen stools. “So, this Derek guy.”
Stiles definitely does hit his head on the surface then. “What?”
“I’m just saying,” Tony continues shamelessly, “he’s a looker.”
“He’s terrifying,” Stiles corrects.
“I know how much you like –”
“He can also hear you,” Stiles add meaningfully, shooting a look at the living room. “Y’know, seeing how he’s a freakin’ werewolf and everything.”
He immediately regrets it when a betrayed look lights up Tony’s face. “That, too! You’ve got supernatural business going on and you didn’t even tell me?” He shakes his head, hands clutching his chest dramatically. “You wound me, kid. You really do.”
“Well!” Stiles opens the fridge, pours Tony a glass of coke. Tony shoots him an even more wounded look. “No alcohol,” he says pointedly, and then goes on, “Well, it’s not like you haven’t exactly been busy lately, either! I mean, come on, becoming Iron Man, joining the Avengers?” He shakes his head. “And when you send me e-mails, what are they about?”
Tony cringes. Stiles grins evilly. “Oh, Steve made me a sandwich today,” he says, his voice rising a few pitches. “Oh, Steve brought a box of kittens home today. One of them had his eyes, so I kept the whole box.”
“That first one,” Tony says, looking scandalised. “Definitely not true. Steve can’t make a sandwich to save his life.”
Stiles gives him a ‘Really, dude?’ look. It’s a look he’s perfected. “Tony.”
“Fine! Fine.” Tony rolls his eyes. “But you can’t tell me you aren’t warm for this Derek guy’s form.”
Stiles gives him a look.
Tony pouts. “No? Crushing on him? Head over heels? Totes into that shit?”
Stiles walks out of the kitchen, plates balanced on one hand, glass of orange juice in the other.
Tony trails after him. “Howling for him? Loving that ass? I quite like the howling one, personally.”
Yeah, so Tony’s ‘no supernatural stuff’ lasts about thirty whole minutes.
This may not sound like much, but it’s a record. It’s such a record that Tony thinks it’s should be recorded as the biggest record of all the records. Or something. Well, the point is, it lasts about thirty whole minutes and then Thor and Derek ‘What Are You Looking At’ Hale decide to have a wrestling match.
And then it all just kind of goes downhill from there.
“Using the hammer is totally cheating, dude,” Stiles calls from his spot on a branch, watching the two circling each other.
“I can take it,” Derek says, scowling.
Tony’s got to admire the kid’s bravery. Also, his totally lack of self-preservation. That’s something Tony can identify with very well.
“Derek.” Stiles’ voice is that disapproving tone that means he cares, he really does, and that’s why he’s calling you out on your shit. “Look, I just don’t want you to get hurt, okay? Don’t be stupid.”
Thor, of course, immediately picks up on this and says, “I do not wish to cause harm to you, my friend!”
“No!” Tony and Steve yell at the same time, but it’s too late. Thor has already thrown the hammer to the side.
It knocks down ten trees and scares a herd of deer. Tony’s also pretty sure that Loki hears the bang it makes, all the way over in his prison cell in Asgard.
Derek looks alarmed. Also a little admiring. “What –” he begins.
“Pizza’s here!” Sheriff Stilinski yells from the other room, and there’s a rush as werewolf, god and human all attempt to get inside at once. “Slow down, there’s enough to go around,” the sheriff says long-sufferingly. “Tony, did you really have to order fifty pizzas?”
Tony shrugs. “You haven’t seen the way Thor eats,” he says.
“Pfft,” Stiles snorts, “you haven’t seen the way Derek eats.”
“Says the guy with the bottomless stomach,” Derek grumbles in return.
Stiles rolls his eyes. “Sour wolf.”
Derek growls at him. It’s not really a harsh growl, in Tony’s opinion. It’s more of an ‘I’m only doing this for the sake of maintaining my badass reputation’ growl.
Everybody pauses to stare at them.
“What?” Stiles says when he notices this, looking like a deer caught in headlights. “What?”
Erica and Natasha – Erica and Natasha, what – share a meaningful look. “I see what you mean,” Natasha says, delicately nibbling at her slice of pizza. She has a thoughtful look on her face. Tony doesn’t know whether to be amused or terrified. Probably terrified.
“No harassing my godson,” Tony says defensively. Stiles grins at him.
“And that will never cease to be weird,” Clint concludes.
“The helmets,” Bruce mutters to Natasha’s phone. “The freakin’ helmets.”
It’s midnight by the time everybody goes to bed. Thor sleeps curled up on the living room mat, hugging his hammer (Stiles isn’t even going to ask); Natasha is sprawled across the large couch, snapping at anybody who tries to get a space, too; Clint and Isaac have taken up the armchair, Clint hanging from the top and Isaac sprawled across the arm; Erica has stolen the guest room, and Scott is curled up next to the heater. Tony and Steve are snuggling on the small airbed Stiles’ dad pulled from the closet, and yeah, it’s kind of sickeningly adorable. More adorable than sickening, but whatever. Stiles will bite his own hand off before he admits to that particular thought.
“C’mon,” Stiles whispers to Derek, when the guy looks like he’s about to fall asleep on the living room table. He motions for the werewolf to follow him, slipping upstairs and into his room, closing the door softly behind him.
He half-prepares himself for an argument from Derek, but Derek doesn’t even say a word. He just collapses onto Stiles’ bed, curls up and falls asleep.
“Ooookay, then,” Stiles says, and then shrugs and curls up on the other side of the mattress. It’s cool. He’s down with this. Stiles and Derek aren’t exactly on the best of terms, but two people can sleep in the same bed without it being weird, right? Right?
“Stop thinking so loudly,” Derek mumbles, and Stiles huffs out a laugh and falls asleep somewhere between one breath and the next.