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Wrapped Around Her Finger

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Ever since John and Claudia were married, they both knew they wanted to have a child as soon as they were ready. Claudia never really specified if she wanted a boy or girl, just determined in having a child all their own. John, on the other hand, had been hoping for a baby boy. He imagined taking him fishing, teaching him lacrosse, maybe even taking him to the range.

It didn’t matter, because the minute the nurse set her in his arms, John knew he would love her with all his heart. She squirmed, hands grabbing at nothing mid-air as she smacked her lips together. He smiled, choking back a sob as her tiny hand wrapped around his index finger, holding tight and refusing to let go.

Needless to say, John was wrapped around her little finger from the beginning. He was there for every scraped knee and bad dream, constantly scooping her up in his arms as he tried to brush her tears away.

The best part was that John still brought her fishing and taught her how to catch a lacrosse ball. And on her sixteenth birthday, she’s proved John right by being one of the best shots on the police range—her target hanging up on the wall of fame in the station.

After Claudia’s death, John had a hard time raising Stiles on his own. She hated her name and refused to be called it, especially after Claudia’s passing. John sat with her all day after the funeral, and was nearly passed out when he felt the tug on his sleeve. He looked down at his daughter, surprised when she shoved a paper at him.

“Stiles?” John read her scribbled handwriting.

“Like our last name,” Stiles answered.

“You sure you want to go by Stiles Stilinski?” John asked as he looked down at her. The only answer he got was a sharp nod of her head. “Okay, kiddo. Stiles Stilinski it is,” he replied, placing a delicate kiss on top of her head as she hugged him tightly.

“Thank you, daddy,” she softly stated in reply.

~*~

John would be the first to admit that he wasn’t the best at raising a little girl. But he thought he did all right when it counted. He thanked his lucky stars for Melissa McCall—the woman was an angel and helped with Stiles whenever she could. It was a blessing that Scott and Stiles were best friends and nearly inseparable. After Claudia’s death had hit John particularly hard, struggling with falling head first into the bottle, Melissa took Stiles most nights, trying to give John enough room to deal with his grief in a way that wouldn’t affect Stiles.

It was rough, but every day since then, John was more thankful than anything to have Stiles with him. He often thought of what would have happened if he and Claudia never decided to have a child. If he was left here alone, he wasn’t sure he’d be able to hang on. Stiles made it all worth the struggle—to see that smiling face running up to his cruiser whenever he picked her up from school; to have someone complaining about eating healthy; to have someone driving him up the wall about a million different things but also making him laugh.

John had many surprises when it came to raising Stiles, most of which resulted in being called into the principal’s office. It started about a month after Claudia’s passing.

John received a call from the school in the early days of May, asking him to come in because his daughter was caught in the middle of a fight. Immediately, John jumped to the conclusion that she was being bullied. His heart twisted at the thought of his daughter with a busted lip, or a black eye. He was somewhat relieved before completely terrified when he came into the office to see an nine year old Stiles sitting with her arms snuggly crossed over her chest, an angry pout across her lips.

“You okay, kiddo?” John asked in concern as he knelt in front of his daughter.

Stiles’ eyebrows were knit together tightly, angry tears still gleaming in her eyes as she focused on the carpet next to John’s shoe.

John took her silence as a good sign that she wasn’t physically hurt. His eyes drifted to the boy sitting a few chairs away from Stiles, starting to put more of the clues together. The little boy was holding a wad of bloodied tissues against his nose, holding his head up. His entire face was red from crying, and he couldn’t stop staring at Stiles with pure hatred.

“This isn’t good behavior, Sheriff,” the principal sighed as he entered the room.

“I want to know what that kid did to upset my daughter,” John demanded as he stood up, his hand still holding Stiles’ tiny one as she stared down.

“The kids were in the middle of making crafts, and the next thing I know, Stiles was up from her chair, on top of Billy as she continually punched him,” Stiles’ teacher explained.

“She’s a freak!” Billy yelled as he pointed at her.

“And you’re a bully!” Stiles yelled back as she moved to get up, ready to lunge at Billy once more.

John wrapped an arm around her waist, picking her up to prevent her from running anywhere near Billy.

“This is the behavior we’re talking about,” the principal explained.

“Stiles, stop it,” John harshly whispered as he set her down on the ground next to him.

Stiles released an angered huff of air, moving to cling once more to John’s hand as she stared daggers at Billy.

“Stiles, what happened?” John sternly asked as he turned to look at his daughter.

Stiles remained silent, not looking at her father.

It wasn’t until they got home, Stiles locked away in her room, that John found out the truth. He received a call from Melissa, an explanation from Scott about why Stiles had attacked Billy.

John gently knocked on Stiles’ door, entering after the small silence was all that answered him. He remained silent as he moved to sit on the edge of Stiles’ bed, eyes scanning her back as she refused to turn and look at him, remaining curled up in a ball on the bed.

“Scott’s mom called,” John started.

Silence.

“Scott said that you were making crafts for Mother’s Day,” John continued. “He said that Billy said you weren’t allowed to make any.”

“He said I didn’t have a mom,” Stiles finally choked out. “He said I didn’t have one, so there was no point in me making anything.”

“That wasn’t right of Billy,” John softly replied.

“He took the paper away from me and wouldn’t let me have it. He was laughing,” Stiles sniffled as she spoke.

“That little shit,” John harshly snapped without realizing it.

“Daddy, that’s a bad word,” Stiles stated as she turned to look at him.

“Well, Billy was really bad today,” John answered, reaching out to help Stiles sit up, pulling her into his lap. “You know what Billy said wasn’t true, right?”

“But I don’t have a mommy anymore,” Stiles answered, wiping her tears away with her sleeve. “Mommy’s gone.”

“Mommy’s no longer here, but she’s still looking out for you,” John replied, trying his best not to cry in front of Stiles. “And she’s still your mommy. And she still loves you.”

Stiles wrapped her little arms around John’s neck, holding onto him tightly as she uttered a muffled, ‘I’m sorry, daddy,’ into his uniform.

“I’m sorry you had to deal with that,” John answered.

John let Stiles drive around in the cruiser with him that night, ordering her curly fries and a milk shake to cheer her up. He even let her reply to Maria on dispatch through the radio, and flick the lights and siren on. And if he gave Billy’s parents a stern phone call that night after Stiles fell asleep, he’s never let his daughter know.

~*~

One of the last times John was called into school was in Stiles’ last year of middle school. John wasn’t surprised when he came into the office and found a thirteen-year-old Stiles sitting much the same as her nine-year-old self had the day she broke Billy’s nose.

Stiles had her arms crossed over her chest, boring a hole in the carpet between her shoes. Instead of looking upset, she looked down right angry that she was stuck sitting there.

“What happened now?” John jokingly asked as he stood in front of Stiles.

“Jackson’s an asshole,” Stiles mumbled.

“Language,” John answered. He couldn’t help but feel a small swell of pride when he caught sight of whom he assumed was Jackson, sitting with an ice-pack on his eye. He knew the Whittemores were lawyers, and Jackson was rumored to be as spoiled as they come, if Scott and Stiles were to be trusted in their descriptions.

“Why did Stiles allegedly hit him?” John questioned before the principal could open his mouth.

“It was during gym class,” the principal started.

The Sheriff and principal immediately turned around at the sound of the office door slamming open. A wheezing Scott stumbled his way towards them. It was evident that he had run from wherever he was to make it here.

“Please, Sheriff Stilinski,” Scott started to beg between gasping breaths. “Please don’t arrest Stiles.”

“I’m not going to arrest her, Scott,” John almost sighed.

“She’s too young to go to jail,” Scott continued as he leaned against the front desk.

“Again, she didn’t kill anyone, so I’m not arresting her,” John answered.

“Yet,” Stiles mumbled as she glared at Jackson.

“She shoved Jackson because he took my inhaler,” Scott explained as he took a puff from said inhaler. “He was bullying me.”

“Is that true?” John questioned as he turned to Jackson.

“I’m the victim here,” Jackson started.

“Doesn’t answer my question,” John stated.

“You can’t interrogate me, I’m a minor,” Jackson started.

Jesus, he is a lawyer’s kid. “I’m not interrogating you, I’m asking as Stiles’ father: what did you do to upset my daughter enough to make her allegedly punch you?”

“Jackson tried to grab her, she dodged him and he hit his eye on the lacrosse goal,” a sudden third voice added to the story, causing everyone to turn and look at the person standing in the doorway.

“Derek was there!” Scott stated, excited that they had a witness.

“Were you, son?” John asked with a serious tone, turning his attentions toward the boy.

“I was, sir,” Derek replied as his eyes wandered over to Stiles before focusing back on John.

John turned to look at the principal, crossing his arms over his chest in a direct challenge. Stiles was let off with a detention and a warning, Jackson received the same—much to his parents’ disappointment.

~*~

“Are you going to be at the game tonight?” Stiles called from the kitchen, trying to finish packing her father’s lunch before he ran out the door.

“You’re not playing, are you?” John asked as he fed his belt through the loops of his pants.

“No,” Stiles droned as she came out of the kitchen, lunchbox in hand.

“Why not? You said the tryouts went great,” John answered, reluctantly taking the lunchbox from his daughter.

“Yeah, but Jackson is co-captain,” Stiles answered, crossing her arms over her chest as she rocked back and forth on her heels. “I gracefully bowed out.”

“What about the other captain?” John asked, reluctant to admit that he hadn’t paid great attention to which local teenager was raining champion of lacrosse.

“That would be Derek,” Stiles replied, ducking her head. “But anyways,” she dodged continuing that line of questioning. “I’ll be in the bleachers, cheering Scott on.”

“Well, I’ll try to make it to join you, kiddo,” John answered, leaning forward to place a kiss on Stiles’ forehead. He pulled back, pausing his actions to leave as he reached a hand up to inspect a stray strand of Stiles’ hair. “It’s getting pretty long,” he absentmindedly commented.

“Yeah,” Stiles answered, pulling back from her dad’s reach as a blush crept on her cheeks.

John remembered the day Stiles had cut her hair. She was nine. It was during the summer, when Melissa and John had a schedule set up—Melissa worked most day shifts, while the Sheriff worked during the nights—switching off who could watch Scott and Stiles. John remembered going to pick up Stiles and Scott, surprised when Melissa met him on the porch. He remembered sitting outside the bathroom door, silently waiting for Stiles to come out as a whining Scott begged her to let him open the door.

“He’s not going to be mad,” Scott quietly whined. “I want breakfast, Stiles.”

“It looks awful,” Stiles huffed, the sound of utensils clattering onto the bathroom sink.

“Your dad will fix it,” Scott answered, closer to the door.

“Scott, don’t!” Stiles almost yelled as the doorknob turned and the door opened up.

John wasn’t surprised to find his daughter yanking Scott backwards, unknowingly forcing the door open faster. He slowly took in a deep, sharp breath when he saw what the two children were talking about. Stiles’ once long hair was chopped into jagged pieces, strands of hair covering the floor around Scott and Stiles’ feet along with the array of scissors used.

“Oh my,” Melissa’s voice sounded from behind John.

Scott looked from John to Melissa, terrified that he was going to get into trouble once more.

“It wasn’t Scott’s idea,” Stiles bravely stated. “I asked him to help.”

“If you wanted a haircut, I would have taken you, kiddo,” John answered as he stood up.

“I want my head shaved,” Stiles boldly stated.

Scott frowned, looking down at Stiles’ hair on the floor.

John paused, evaluating the determination in Stiles’ eyes. “Okay,” he finally stated.

Melissa remained silent by John before stating with a sigh, “I’ll get the razor I used for Scott when he got lice.”

“That was one time, mom!” Scott called after her as he chased her down the hall.

It wasn’t until later that night, when John overheard Stiles and Scott speaking in hushed whispers, that he knew why Stiles didn’t like her hair anymore.

“You look weird,” Scott mumbled.

“Better weird than making my dad sad,” Stiles answered.

John pressed against the doorframe as he listened to their hushed tones.

“Your dad always smiles when he sees you,” Scott corrected her.

“Not all the time,” Stiles replied. “Some times … he just looks at me and frowns. He gets a really sad look on his face, like after …”

“After your mom?” Scott offered.

“Yeah,” Stiles softly stated, her voice wavering. “I remind him a lot of her.”

“You still look like her,” Scott replied. “I look like my dad. It can’t be helped.”

“If I look like a boy, I’ll look less like her,” Stiles answered.

John never said anything to Stiles about hearing her conversation with Scott. He noticed how she kept her hair short after that, drowning herself in boy’s clothes—mostly men’s plaid shirts and converse. He made a constant attempt to tell her how nice she looked, no matter what she wore. He always smiled whenever she came running up to him whenever he picked her up from school or Melissa’s. He focused on what he had rather than what he lost. He let her find what she was comfortable in, never making a comment about how she still looked like her mom, now more than ever as she wore a face plastered with determination.

“Does it look bad?” Stiles asked as she tugged at one of the hair strands at the base of her neck.

“No,” John immediately replied, pulling himself from the memory. “You look really pretty.”

Stiles smiled, before moving to usher her dad out the door. “Hurry up or you’re going to be late.”

“Sheriffs are never late,” John answered.

~*~

John was late to the game. He however did make it in time to see the giant turn of the game. He was impressed with the quality of players Finstock had managed to wrangle together. He cheered beside Stiles and Melissa, ushering his daughter to go down to the field. He remained back with Melissa, both of them spotting Stiles jumping into Scott’s arms as they celebrated. As much as they both wished for Scott and Stiles to actually date one another, the two refused to even entertain the idea. Stiles would make vomiting noises as a grimace crossed Scott’s face—they were more siblings than friends at this point.

John kept a sure eye on Stiles, not wishing to lose her in the crowd. He conversed with Melissa as they waited for the rest of the crowd to file out of the field. He noticed Scott wandering away from Stiles as he met Allison half way.

John paused his conversation with Melissa as he caught sight of Stiles talking with another player—number 8.

“Who is that?” John immediately asked when he noticed Stiles continuously ducking her chin, shyly smiling as the boy released a small laugh.

“Who? 8?” Melissa asked as she peered over at Stiles and #8.

“He’s flirting with my daughter,” John defensively stated.

“That’s Derek,” Lydia finally answered John.

“Derek? Isn’t he co-captain?” John recalled, asking Lydia for confirmation.

“Yup,” Lydia answered. “He’s Beacon High’s star player.”

John was all for Stiles dating, but he felt the sudden pang of protective fear rising up his spine as Derek rubbed the back of his neck nervously, an obvious tic most teenage boys did when asking someone out. He groaned when he noticed Stiles nod her head excitedly, a small wave of relief washing over Derek.

Claudia, please help me, John prayed as Stiles came rushing over to ask him about staying out a little past curfew tomorrow, in order to go on a date with Derek.

~*~

John never wanted to know certain things about his daughter’s dating life. He however did take pride in intimidating any boy that came near his daughter.

Stiles flew down the steps the minute the doorbell rang, all in attempt to beat her father to answering the door. She clutched onto the door as she half hid behind it, taking in the sight of Derek standing on her porch in his letterman jacket and a single rose in his hand, almost looking lost.

“Hi,” Stiles shyly greeted him, her joy bubbling up as she couldn’t stop smiling.

“Hi,” Derek replied with equal shyness. He shook his head as he offered Stiles the rose. “From my mom’s garden.”

“Thank you,” Stiles joyously replied as she took the rose from Derek’s hand.

“Are you going to stand in the doorway all night?” John questioned from his spot in the kitchen’s doorway. He caught Stiles flinching before turning and glaring at him. He also noticed how Derek paled somewhat at hearing his voice.

To this day, John stuck with his defense that it was not entirely his fault every boy in town was afraid of dating Stiles. Stiles’ first date was in middle school with that Greenberg kid. John was in the middle of cleaning his gun when the kid arrived, not after. He was merely placed in an inconvenient moment at which point Greenberg thought he was going to be shot for even looking at Stiles. The next day, news of Greenberg’s ordeal in dealing with the Sheriff was all over the school. None of the boys even tried to look in Stiles’ direction after that—and if it gave John a peace of mind, it didn’t bother him to hear Stiles complain about it every time a boy flinched at seeing the Sheriff and Stiles pass them.

“Sorry, sir,” Derek replied, looking at Stiles for a gesture that it was safe to enter.

Stiles moved to the side, letting Derek walk in some. She moved to hook her arm around Derek’s, holding onto him in a protective manner.

John recognized it as the move she always used when she wanted something bad enough. He looked upwards as he sighed, gathering himself.

“I want her back by 11,” John stated as he looked at Derek. “And every hair on her head better be in the exact same place she put it before she left.”

“Dad!” Stiles growled through gritted teeth.

“We’re going to the movie theater, sir,” Derek started, clearing his throat some. “And then to Gabby’s Diner.”

John arched his eyebrow in curiosity. Gabby’s Diner was constantly frequented by his deputies, and everyone in town knew it was a place to go in order to avoid trouble.

“Very good,” John answered. “If you two are having fun, I’m not objecting to … 11:30, but that’s as far as I’m pushing it.”

Derek and Stiles both nodded, looking like witnesses for the defense.

“Okay, go have fun,” John ushered them to leave.

Stiles turned with Derek, happily exiting the house together. John was surprised that as he moved to shut the door, only to see Stiles plopping back onto the porch.

“Forget something?” John asked as he held the door open.

Stiles smiled as she leaned forward and hugged her father. “Thank you, daddy.” She happily skipped off of the porch, rushing down to the Camaro before John could even put it all together.

John smiled to himself, happy that Stiles was more cheerful than she had been in months. He felt confident that Derek could manage not to break Stiles’ heart. It was then that John realized what kind of car Derek was driving when he heard the engine roar to life.

“I’m going to have a heart attack before I’m fifty,” John groaned as he tried not to worry about his only child cruising around town in a muscle car with a teenage boy behind the wheel.

~*~

John liked Derek.

Derek was similar to Scott, in the respect that he started to hang around the house more and more, offering to help John out with menial tasks. He was the star player of the lacrosse team, often been overplayed until the point he always fell asleep on the Stilinski couch after practice and games. He always acted respectful to John, until he finally recanted to calling him by his first name opposed to ‘sir.’

John was confident that Derek both respected him and Stiles enough to not push the boundaries John set in place. He almost rather that Stiles spend her time with Derek, constantly keeping her out of trouble and only occasionally allowing her to time to snoop about his case files.

John enjoyed the way Stiles lit up whenever she had her nose in her phone, texting Derek whenever she could. He was happy whenever he came home to Stiles and Derek making dinner. He even ended up having a photo of them on his desk, something he often hid when Stiles barged in with a salad in hand, not wanting her to know that he kept the photo she jokingly gave him as hers and Derek’s first photo as a couple.

John thought he was going to have a heart attack when he came home to find Stiles and Derek horizontally reclining across the couch. He should have guessed something was up when he heard the music playing when he reached the porch. Before he could look away, he caught the sight of Derek’s hands visibly on Stiles’ arm and shoulder, nowhere near daring to dash under her clothing—much to his relief. He clamped his eyes shut as he tried to forget that he saw Stiles and Derek making out, practically joined together at the mouth. He cleared his throat loudly, hearing a muffled shriek followed by the sound of someone falling off the couch.

When John opened his eyes, he saw Derek scrambling up from the ground as Stiles shot off the couch. He sighed, shaking his head as Stiles stammered, blocking Derek from John’s direct line of sight.

“Dad, what are you doing home?” Stiles’ voice was high pitched as she straightened the wrinkles in her shirt.

“I took a shift off,” John answered as he moved towards the kitchen, determined to clean out his lunchbox instead of lecturing.

“Um, Sheriff Stilinski, I’m sorry—” Derek started as his ears burned pink, ducking his head in embarrassment.

“No, you’re not, son,” John answered. “Just make sure you keep it out of the bedroom. I don’t need a grandchild yet.”

“Dad!” Stiles shrilly snapped.

“I’m the one that had to walk in on my only child making out with her boyfriend. I’m the victim here,” John smiled when he heard Stiles groan.

~*~

John almost regretted that he was home to hear the fight that forced Stiles and Derek apart.

“You’re a coward!” Stiles’ voice yelled, followed by the sound of something being thrown against the door, probably Derek’s leather jacket. He had left it at the Stilinski’s for a few weeks, Stiles always leaving the house to go to school with it wrapped around her.

“Would you—” Derek voice was low and quiet as he spoke.

“I think you should go,” Stiles sternly stated.

“Stiles, don’t—”

“Don’t what? Don’t be upset that you’re breaking up with me because coach is worried about his precious state championship?”

“I’m not breaking up with you,” Derek exasperated. “I just have to focus on school work and lacrosse right now.”

The room was silent, causing John to lean against the hallway wall as he listened to it all unfold. He told himself that he wouldn’t get involved, that he would let Stiles live her life and own her choices. But the man would be damned if he didn’t feel the need to go in there and protect his little girl from heartbreak.

“I think you’re right,” Stiles finally stated. Her voice was calm and collected as she spoke. “We should take a breather.”

“Stiles, I never said—”

“I’m saying,” Stiles firmly stated. “I have to focus on academics and stuff, with college coming up. It will be easier … staying away.”

Another pregnant pause followed, the sound of silence making John cringe at the entire situation.

“What … what about homecoming?” Derek hesitantly questioned.

“You should go with the lacrosse team,” Stiles’ voice was strained, a tone John knew well as her holding back her tears.

“I don’t want to go with them,” Derek challenged. “I asked you because I wanted to go with you.”

“I think it’d be better if we didn’t together,” Stiles weakly stated.

“Fine,” Derek curtly snapped. “Who are you going with then?”

“Matt’s been asking me,” Stiles stated.

“Matt? That pervert has been eyeing you—”

“He’s completely fine with me,” Stiles immediately countered.

John knew that was a lie. He knew, because Stiles had punched Matt in the face for inappropriately placing his hand a little too low on her back. He was happy that Matt refused to press charges, keeping the whole incident hushed. Apparently it was so hushed, Stiles didn’t bother to tell Derek.

John finally put all of them out of their misery by knocking on the door, announcing himself. “Hey, kiddo,” he quietly stated as he opened to door. “Afternoon, Derek,” he stated, as he side-eyed him.

“Sir,” Derek nodded his head in greeting. “I should get going,” he stated in defeat, grabbing his jacket off of the floor by the door, where Stiles had thrown it. He turned to look at Stiles, frowning as he murmured. “I’ll see you in school.”

Stiles remained quiet as she crossed her arms over her chest. She merely nodded as Derek slipped past John.

John never made an attempt to talk to her, merely inviting her for a ride in the cruiser that night, knowing how happy that used to make her. She hesitated before finally nodding yes. She remained mostly quiet during the shift. It wasn’t until that night, when John got up to go to the bathroom, that he heard his daughter’s small sobs coming from her room. He sighed to himself, knowing that even though he promised not to meddle, he couldn’t stop himself from doing something.

~*~

“Sir?” Derek asked in surprise when he saw Sheriff Stilinski standing outside the locker room. “Is everything okay? Is Stiles all right?” He asked in a panic. He saw Stiles on the bleachers during the first half of the game, before he was flattened onto his back by the opposing team for not paying attention to the game.

“Stiles is fine, Derek,” John stated in a reassured tone. “But I came here to talk about the two of you.” He couldn’t wait any longer, having suffered through observing the longing looks Derek kept giving as he looked at the bleachers, just how Stiles tried to turn towards Lydia and pretend she wasn’t aware of it.

“I don’t think I can—”

“Don’t argue with me, son,” John stated as he moved from leaning against the wall. “Stiles doesn’t know I’m here, and I’d prefer it that way. She would never let me hear the ending of it.” He carefully eyed Derek, noticing how tense the teenager looked.

“Stiles is as stubborn as her mother,” John finally stated. “She’ll never admit that she was in the wrong, and in my experience, it’s easier to just accept that you’re wrong,” he joked. He turned to look at Derek when he realized joking may not be the best thing in this situation. “But she’s a romantic, like me.”

“I don’t know what to do,” Derek finally admitted. “Everyone expects me to be the star of the game—to carry it. I don’t want to let anyone down, and instead I’m letting her down,” he frowned as he collapsed against the hallway’s wall.

“I’m telling you this, son, because it’s going to take one hell of a romantic gesture to win her back,” John explained.

Derek remained silent as he looked down at his helmet.

“Do you love her?” John asked.

Derek looked up at John in surprise. He hesitated before nodding. “Yes, sir, I do.”

“Good,” John replied. “Don’t break her heart, because I’d hate to have to shoot you.”

Derek let a small smile pull at his lips.

“She'll cool down once you talk with her. You don't have to choose.”

“It's not a matter of choosing,” Derek weakly stated. “I love her, and I don't even like playing. Or half the team.”

“What are you waiting for?” John asked as he gestured towards the door leading to the field. “Go make a big romantic gesture that will have the town talking for weeks.”

Derek nodded, turning to run out the door. He halted before turned to John. He hesitated on moving forward.

John almost rolled his eyes before he pulled Derek into a hug. “It doesn’t get easier, but it does get a lot more amazing.”

“Thank you,” Derek said as he released the Sheriff, finally going and running out of the door.

John shook his head. He looked upward, smiling to himself. “I wish you were here to see this,” he quietly announced as he thought of Claudia.

~*~

Derek planned on running straight to Stiles when Coach grabbed him, forcing him out onto the field. He stumbled, eyes scanning the bleachers as he watched for Stiles, seeing her talking with Lydia. He couldn’t stop himself from looking at the huddled group of his fellow players before shaking his head. He pulled his helmet off, running back over to the sidelines and moving towards the bleachers—towards Stiles.

“Where the hell are you going, Hale?” Coach yelled as he grabbed Derek’s arm. “The goal is that way!”

“I quit,” Derek quickly stated as he kept his eyes on Stiles as she continued to talk with Allison and Lydia.

“Quit?! No, no, no. You can’t quit before the game is through,” Coach denied Derek’s statement. “Who the hell would replace you?”

“Scott,” Derek gestured towards him as he looked up from his seat on the bench. “I’ve been practicing with him. He’s pretty good.”

“McCall?” Coach asked in disbelief. “He has asthma.”

“It’s a lot better!” Scott hopefully replied as he clutched his helmet in his hands.

“I don’t even like lacrosse, Coach,” Derek explained, trying to get out of his grasp.

“Like it? This has nothing to do with liking it. You think I like it? You don’t have to like it to win it,” Coach replied.

“That makes no sense, Coach,” Isaac stated from next to Scott.

“Shut up, Lahey,” Coach snapped.

“I don’t like playing,” Derek stated as he finally pulled out of Coach’s reach. “I quit because there are more important things in my life.”

“This is about Bilinski, isn’t it? You’re punishing me because she didn’t make the team, right?” Coach asked, prepared to plead with Derek to come back.

“No,” Derek honestly replied. “I just hate lacrosse, and love her.” He turned his attention towards the bleachers as he ran over to them.

“Goddamn it!” Coach yelled before turning to Scott. “You heard him, McCall, now get out on the field!”

Scott quickly stood up, almost losing his balance as he snatch his helmet from where it fell to the ground.

“Oh my God, is that Scott going on the field?” Melissa asked as her attention turned back to the game.

“Scott’s playing?” John asked as he looked. He immediately caught sight of Derek running up the bleachers’ steps, making his way towards them. He smiled to himself, realizing what he was doing.

Stiles turned back to the field when she heard her father ask if Scott was playing, smiling when she saw that he was in the huddle. She cheered his name, holding up part of Allison’s sign that had Scott’s number on it. She paused when she couldn’t find Derek’s white ‘8’ among the group of red jerseys.

“Where’s Derek?” Stiles asked. She caught sight of a red jersey running up the bleachers’ stairs. Her eyes widened when she saw noticed it was Derek.

Derek moved through the rows of people, excusing himself to Lydia and Allison as he moved to stand next to Stiles.

“Derek, what the hell are you doing?” Stiles demanded as she gestured towards the field, as the game continued to play out. “You need to—”

Derek placed a finger to Stiles’ lips, shushing her. “I don’t care about lacrosse. I don’t want to go to college for it. You were right when you said I don’t even play for myself.”

Stiles incredulously looked at Derek, her eyes slightly widening in surprise.

“I’m telling you the same exact thing I told Coach,” Derek started. “I hate lacrosse, I always have. But I love you. I have for some time, now.”

Stiles was shocked, almost speechless that Derek just admitted that he loved her for the first time. She reached up, moving his finger from its place pressed against her lips. “You told Coach you love him?” She questioned, trying to make light of it.

“You just ruined my entire romantic gesture,” Derek answered with a faint furrow of his eyebrows. “The moment’s gone and—”

Stiles cut Derek off by kissing him, pulling him in tight as she wrapped her arms around his neck. “I love you,” she stated against Derek’s lips.

“Derek,” Stiles partially protested against his lips. “You have to go back out there. You have a game to finish. I’m sorry, but I didn’t want you to choose—” Her words were cut off when Derek kissed her once again, merely stating that he didn’t care. She blushed as he mumbled another ‘I love you’ before they continued their kissing, ignoring the cheers of the crowd as Scott scored the last goal.

“You’re fine with this?” Melissa asked John as she gestured towards Stiles and Derek.

“I’m letting his parents worry for once,” John answered as he moved to cheer on Scott, discretely keeping a side-glance on Stiles and Derek.

~*~

Ten Years Later

John waited for the nurse, smiling when she gave him the okay to enter the room. He poked his head in first, catching sight of Derek’s back first, noticing the way he some what paced, his arms slightly rocking. He then saw Stiles, moving closer to her.

Stiles smiled when she saw him, reaching a hand out to her father. “Hey, daddy,” she weakly stated, her voice hoarse. “They said you just got here a while ago.”

“I may have sped,” John smiled as he placed a gentle kiss against Stiles’ hair.

“I’m glad,” Stiles admitted as her eyes wandered over to Derek.

John’s eyes followed after Stiles’, catching sight of the pink blanket in Derek’s arms made his breath catch. He was both excited and scared to lay eyes on his first grandchild.

Derek smiled as he turned towards John, taking the few steps necessary to stand beside him.

“Claudia Natalia Stilinski-Hale,” Stiles stated with a smile. “Meet Sheriff John Stilinski—your grandpa.” She released a watery laugh when her dad’s hands trembled a bit as he reached for her before hesitating.

“You can hold her,” Derek stated in reassurance as he offered her up.

John moved to hold her, cradling her head appropriately as Derek placed her in his arms. He stared down at her, unable to see anything but Stiles. He couldn’t help being sent back to that night, remembering holding Stiles against his chest as he softly cooed her to sleep, Claudia resting in the hospital bed.

“See?” Stiles weakly stated as Derek sat on the edge of the bed, lifting his arm for her to rest her head against his chest. “I told you he’d be wrapped around her finger.”

Derek released a small chuckle as he leaned down to kiss Stiles. “I think Stilinski women just happen to do that to most men in their life.”

John smiled to himself as he continued to look down at his grandchild, his heart swelling with love. “I don’t really mind.”

In all honesty, John couldn’t wait to be the babysitter on call. He couldn’t wait to see her almost everyday and watch her grow up, just like Stiles did. He was just happy he now had two precious girls in his life, never more thankful that he managed to scare Greenberg and the other boys off and welcome Derek into both his and Stiles’ lives. He knew he was going to need help when it came to tag teaming this handful duo.