Derek is going to kill him.
Not literally kill him, probably. Maybe. Hopefully. But he will definitely look at Stiles with his most impressive bitch face, and Stiles will wilt underneath the power of that gaze like a tiny, trembling flower. Not because he hasn’t got the balls to withstand Derek’s bitch face, but because he knows exactly what that bitch face will be hiding: Derek’s hurt. And if there’s one thing Stiles has learned in the three years they’ve been together, it’s that Derek’s hurt is like fucking kryptonite.
Because, okay, Derek is a good provider. He’s a great provider. It’s just that his need to provide is hardwired into his wolf brain, and he told Stiles he’d fix the loose step on the back porch, and the fact that Stiles obviously didn’t believe him and tried to fix it himself will make him a grumpywolf for years. Well, days. Well, hours, but the hours will be bad enough, okay?
And the fact that Stiles hurt himself while trying to fix the back step will probably make Derek retreat deeply into his dark cave of self loathing and man pain, and then Stiles will feel bad too, and it will turn into a vicious circle of guilt and self recrimination and stomped-on feelings for both of them.
It’ll be just like that trip to Ikea all over again.
Stiles very carefully sets the nail gun aside, and considers his options.
He is home alone.
Derek is in town doing the grocery shopping and Claudie is at kindergarten.
His dad is at a conference in L.A. and not due back until tomorrow.
The rest of the pack is away at college. None of them will be home until Thanksgiving.
Really, he has no other options.
He sighs and uses his free hand to pull his phone out of his pocket.
It could have been worse. He could have left it inside.
Stiles tries very hard to concentrate on the positive while he dials Derek’s number.
“Stiles?” Derek answers immediately.
“Heeeey,” Stiles says in the worst fake casual tone in the world.
Derek can probably hear the pain in his voice. “Are you okay? What happened? Is the baby coming?”
“The baby is right where you left it, big guy,” Stiles tells him. “But you know how you told me not to fix the back step, because you’d do it?”
Derek’s answer is a low growl.
“About that,” Stiles says, looking down at his injured hand and trying not to panic at the sight of all that blood. “Well, I may have nailed myself to the porch.”
“It’s a flesh wound,” Stiles tells his dad the next day, waving his bandaged hand in his face.
His dad looks at him, then looks at a glowering Derek, then looks back at Stiles again and just shakes his head.
“There I was,” Stiles says, slurping on the milkshake his dad brought him from town. His dad is seriously the best. “Stuck at home, bored out of my skull, and I thought, ‘Hey, I can fix the step!’ One accidental stigmata later, and here I am.”
He beams, but his dad doesn’t look very amused.
And neither does Derek.
“What’s a stigmata?” Claudie asks from her primary viewing position on her grandpa’s lap.
“A type of praying mantis,” Stiles tells her, and what the hell? Lately he’s got into this terrible habit of bare face lying to their daughter. The crazier the lies, the better. Luckily Claudie is too suspicious to believe anything that comes out of his mouth.
“Grandpa?” she demands.
John Stilinski rolls his eyes. “Really, Stiles?”
Last week his dad had to explain that the Higgs boson particle wasn’t a glam rock supergroup from the seventies. He’d done that part pretty well. It was watching him try and explain what it actually was that’d had Stiles in hysterics for hours afterward.
Before Stiles can hear how he’s going to explain the stigmata, Derek grips him by the shoulder and steers him out of the living room and into the kitchen. Unfair!
“Stiles,” he says, and his expression is grave.
“Seriouswolf,” Stiles says.
Derek doesn’t even take the bait. Instead he backs Stiles against the counter and corrals him there with a hand on either side of him. “You could have been seriously hurt. You’re lucky you didn’t give yourself any nerve damage.”
Stiles knows. He just...he hates being cooped up in the house and feeling useless. “Der...”
Derek takes one hand and rests it against his very pregnant belly. “Stiles.”
He doesn’t even have to say anything else to make Stiles feel guilty. Because yes, Stiles should have been more careful. Because yes, the child he’s carrying, the crazy magical gift inside him granted to him by a mage from an alternate reality, is the most important thing in their lives.
Stiles hears Claudie giggling from the living room.
The equal most important thing.
“I’m sorry, Der,” he whispers. “I just get stir crazy, okay?”
“I know.” Derek lifts his hand and cups Stiles’s cheek. “I know you do.”
The last few months have been hell.
Blah blah magical pregnancy, gift from another dimension and all that, but Stiles is terrible at being under house arrest and it’s not like he can just pop into town to grab some takeout or go to the store or see a movie, can he? He’s a pregnant guy. Even in Beacon Hills, where most people have learned to turn a blind eye to the weirdness or risk going certifiably insane, that shit is not going to fly. Ever since Stiles started to show, he’s been stuck at home, and it’s killing him, okay? It’s killing him.
“Hey,” Derek says, and swipes his thumb gently under Stiles’s eyes.
Stiles didn’t even realize he’d started crying.
He’s also hormonal all all fuck, and it’s driving him insane. He has weird crying jags, followed by the desperate need to consume as much food as he can, followed by feeling so ridiculously horny that last week he almost jerked off to an episode of The Clone Wars. Ashoka is hot, okay?
“Oh, fuck,” Stiles whispers, and drops his head onto Derek’s shoulder. Derek’s arms close around him. “I’m sorry. I’m so stupid.”
“Shh. You’re not stupid.” Derek rubs his warm hands up and down his back. “I know being stuck home all the time is driving you crazy.”
“And the waddling,” Stiles mutters into Derek’s shoulder.
“You don’t waddle,” Derek says, and Stiles can hear the fond, exasperated smile in his voice.
Stiles jabs him in the ribs softly. He knows he waddles.
“Three more weeks,” Derek says quietly. “Three more weeks.”
“Yeah,” Stiles sighs, closing his eyes. “Yeah, I know.”
“And when the baby’s here, the first thing we’re going to do is go to the diner and order all the curly fries,” Derek promises.
Stiles hugs him closer.
The worst part about being a nineteen-year-old married pregnant guy—the worst part, not the weirdest part, because there is nothing in Stiles’s life right now that is not absolutely fucking crazy—was having to postpone college. Stiles made the very logical and grownup decision that he couldn’t wander around campus looking like he was smuggling a watermelon under his shirt, but he misses it, a bit. It was supposed to be great being home with Derek and Claudie, and he knows he can always go back to school when he’s ready, but Derek and Claudie are actually rarely home. Derek is working, and Claudie is at kindergarten.
Stiles is pissed about that.
Not the kindergarten thing. The Derek-has-a-job thing.
“A man needs a job, Stiles,” his dad had said when Stiles had tried to bitch about it to him.
And of course his dad would say that. Mostly because it’s his dad’s fault. Not that Derek doesn’t look totally hot in his deputy’s uniform—which is a whole other thing Stiles has to deal with. It’s the same uniform his dad wears. It shouldn’t be hot—but Derek actually doesn’t need a job at all. Stiles has seen his bank statements, okay? Hell, Stiles is entitled to half of everything on those statements. Derek wouldn’t have to work a day in his life if he didn’t want to, and they could still eat caviar every day. If, well, it wasn’t disgusting. The point remains, Derek doesn’t need a job, and he only became a deputy because Stiles’s dad pretty much strong-armed him into it. As much as a middle-aged human could actually strong-arm a werewolf. There had been a lot of emotional manipulation, okay? Derek might be a big strong alpha, but he’s no match for a determined John Stilinksi.
It’s just that the house is so empty during the day, and Stiles is so fucking bored.
Everyone he knows is out having jobs or being at college—or going to kindergarten—and Stiles is trapped in the house with nothing to do except watch TV, check out porn on the internet, and eat Cheetos. And, sure, in theory that sounds like the perfect lifestyle, but Stiles is itching to actually get out of the house and do something. Anything.
Alan Deaton visits every couple of days, but even that’s not as exciting as it should be. Stiles should be in the middle of his emissary training, learning how to use the spark inside him to manipulate the elements and cast wards, but Deaton put a stop to his training once he got pregnant. Something about not wanting to screw around with magic when Stiles’s pregnancy depended on it. Stiles gets that, he supposes. The one thing he’s learned about magic is that everything is balanced. So he doesn’t want to fuck around with it and risk harming the baby. Not that Deaton is sure it would but, as he told Stiles with a smile, there aren’t exactly a lot of case studies on pregnant male sparks. It’s nice to be special.
So now when Deaton visits they do mostly research stuff. It’s okay, but it’s nothing Stiles couldn’t do on his own.
Still, Deaton always brings him curly fries.
So there’s that.
He also examines Stiles every time.
That’s weird, right? Having a vet examine him? Stiles has learned to roll with the punches though.
“So,” he says on a Saturday afternoon, “are my ankles supposed to be swelling up like this?”
“It’s perfectly normal,” Deaton assures him.
Stiles has long ago stopped snickering whenever Deaton says anything about this is normal. The shine has definitely worn off. “Really? Because I’m starting to panic that I won’t be able to wear socks by tomorrow.”
“Your body retains more fluid during pregnancy,” Deaton tells him. “Also, the baby is putting pressure on your pelvic veins, which impairs the flow of blood back to the heart and causes swelling in your extremities. It’s called edema. It’s quite common.”
Stiles leans back in his chair. “Ugh. The sooner this thing is out, the better.”
Deaton almost smiles at that. Coming from him, it might as well be a belly laugh. Deaton is the least emotionally demonstrative person Stiles knows. And Stiles knows Derek. “Not long to go,” he says.
Stiles huffs. “That’s what everyone says.”
When Deaton leaves, Stiles lies on the couch, eats his curly fries, and falls asleep.
Stiles has started having nightmares. He hasn’t told Derek. Because they’re dumb, okay? In his nightmares, he’s chained down and there are dark-robed figures, faces covered by hoods, cutting into his abdomen with huge motherfucking knives. And Stiles is screaming at them not to touch his baby, but they keep cutting. The bad guys are from every clichéd horror movie Stiles ever watched as a kid. It’s possible they even chant in backwards Latin. Really, Stiles should be pissed at his subconsciousness’s clear lack of imagination. Usually though, by the time he gasps his way back into wakefulness, Stiles is just too damn relieved the nightmares are over to critique them.
He’s scared, okay?
He’s scared of how the baby is going to come into the world. He’s scared of the Caesarean, even though he knows he shouldn’t be. Deaton and Melissa have it under control, and it’s not like Stiles is any stranger to blood loss, pain, and emergency surgery. It’s a side effect of running with wolves. But for some reason with the baby added to the mix, everything is a million times more terrifying.
Derek doesn’t know the specifics of the nightmares, but every time Stiles jolts awake from one, Derek is there, rubbing soothing circles into his skin and murmuring sleepy sounds of comfort in the darkness.
It’s ridiculous to be scared. Stiles might not have done this before, but Deaton is a vet and Melissa is a nurse, and combined that has to be equal to an obstetrician, right? And then there’s magic. A kickass version of Stiles from an alternate reality made this happen for him and Derek, just like he’d made it happen for him and his alternate version of Derek. This baby might be unchartered territory in this reality, but the fact that Claudie even exists is proof it’s happened before. And if kickass mage Stiles could deliver his baby safety, then of course awkward thought-he-was-channeling-power-once-but-it-turned-out-to-be-indigestion Stiles can do it too. Right?
Stiles lies awake trying to shake off the unsettling tendrils of another nightmare, while Derek rubs his thumb over the palm of his hand.
“Three more weeks,” Stiles whispers in the darkness.
Derek shifts closer and places his other hand over Stiles’s belly. “You’ve got this, Stiles.”
“We do,” Stiles corrects, wishing he could shed that fucking dream.
“Yeah, we do,” Derek murmurs.
Stiles waits until Derek falls asleep before he climbs out of bed.
He pads quietly down the hallway and opens the door to the nursery.
Sometimes, when Claudie is asleep and the house is quiet, Stiles likes to let himself into the nursery and turn on the lamp, and just sit. The nursery has been ready for months. The walls are painted yellow, and there’s a Little Red Riding Hood mural opposite the crib. Isaac painted it. He’s totally artistic. A side effect of those pretentious scarves of his, probably. It’s a cute mural. Red and the wolf are holding hands. There’s no blood or creepy sexual overtones anywhere to be found.
Above the crib, the mobile that Stiles bought Claudie is already hanging.
The room is light and airy and perfect.
They never got to do this for Claudie. They never got to prepare for her. She just magically appeared one morning in a cardboard box on the front porch of Stiles’s childhood home.
When Stiles’s dad finally found out, Stiles and Derek shared custody. Claudie spent half her nights sleeping in a crib beside Stiles’s bed and the other half in a crib in a corner of Derek’s loft. She had to wait until Derek had rebuilt his family’s house before she had a room of her own. In some ways it was good, because she got to choose what she wanted for her own room. But Stiles likes this too. He likes the quiet emptiness of this room. He likes knowing that it’s here, waiting for their baby.
Stiles sits down in the armchair in the corner and rests his hands on his belly. The baby is asleep, he thinks. Do babies sleep in the womb? Does Stiles even have a womb? It’s weird, and Stiles tries not to think much about the actual biology at play here. Hadn’t he told Derek once that he knew where babies came from? And they sure as hell didn’t come from two guys.
But it’s also incredible.
Stiles falls asleep in the armchair, his fingers laced over the baby.
“Tata,” Claudie says the next morning, her expression serious. “When is the baby coming?”
“Three weeks,” Stiles tells her. “Well, two weeks and six days.”
Claudie narrows her eyes, and looks pensive. Or evil. It’s hard to tell some days, especially since she’s looking more and more like Derek every passing day. Not that Derek is evil. But he has got the world’s greatest resting bitch face, and even though they’ve been together for three years Stiles still can’t always tell if he’s thinking about what they need to put on the grocery list or plotting the bloodthirsty murder of everyone who has ever wronged him.
“Do I have to like it?” Claudie asks.
Evil. Definitely evil.
“The baby’s part of the pack, Claudie,” Stiles tell her. Every childrearing book he’s read warned him that this would happen. There’s too much of a gap, or not enough of one, or something, and now Claudie is always going to hate the baby and it will be awful and terrible and when they’re adults they’ll never talk, and only get together to scream and fight over the will when Stiles and Derek die.
Derek, who has listened to countless variations on this theory, always just shakes his head and mutters something about how that’s not how it works in werewolf packs, but Stiles thinks he’s just humoring him.
Claudie gives a put-upon sigh. “Well, I’m still going to be the alpha of it!”
“Daddy is the alpha,” Stiles reminds her.
“But I’ll be the alpha after him!” She narrows her eyes. “So the baby is going to have to listen to everything I say!”
“Is that so?”
“Yes!” Claudie juts out her chin stubbornly.
Stiles pats her on the head. His sweet, mercenary, ambitious little hellspawn. “Well, maybe my little alpha can help me make some pancakes for Daddy’s breakfast, okay?”
“Daddy says you’re not supposed to do any work.”
Stiles raises his eyebrows. “Really? Well, okay then. Let’s just wait until Daddy wakes up and has a shower and eventually meanders his way downstairs on this glorious lazy Sunday morning, and then maybe he can make the pancakes. I’m sure we won’t have to wait more than an hour or two. Three at the most.”
Claudie races to drag the mixing bowl out.
By the time Derek gets downstairs, the pancakes are half eaten.