It’s Sheriff Stilinski’s first day off in months and he sleeps in until ten o’clock. It’s a beautiful thing.
The house is quiet, so the sheriff assumes that Stiles is taking advantage of his weekend and is also sleeping in. A quick glance as he passes Stiles’ bedroom on his way to the kitchen confirms this. And then the sheriff freezes halfway down the stairs as his half-awake brain fully processes what he saw and he runs back to Stiles’ open bedroom doorway.
There’s Stiles, alright, curled up on the floor next to the bed, in his day clothes, fast asleep. This is not what has the sheriff doing a double-take; he’s found Stiles asleep in stranger places.
No, what makes the sheriff stare incredulously is Derek Hale, who is sitting on the floor next to Stiles and propped up against the bed. He, too, is fast asleep. The two boys (although Derek is technically too old to be called a boy) are surrounded by thick books and loose sheets of paper. Derek has a book opened on his lap and Stiles seems to be using a stack of papers as a pillow.
The sheriff is stunned into silence for a few minutes before he finally finds his voice and lets out a slightly strangled “What is going on here?”
It’s enough to wake Derek immediately, he straightens up against the bed, accidentally kneeing Stiles in the back and waking him up as well. Stiles flails around on the floor until he’s managed to turn himself to fully face his father standing in the doorway.
All three of them blink at each other for a few moments before Stiles flails his way into a sitting position using Derek as leverage. Derek just lets him, seeming to be frozen in shock, or fear. The sheriff remembers bringing Derek in for questioning as a suspect in Laura Hale’s murder and he hadn’t looked anywhere near as frightened then as he does now. It’s almost enough to make the sheriff smile.
“Dad!” Stiles exclaims. “What are you doing here?” The sheriff arches an eyebrow.
“I live here,” he says. “I think the better question would be: what is Derek Hale doing here? In your bedroom?” Stiles is opening his mouth to answer when a sudden realization strikes the sheriff and nearly makes his eyes bug out. “Has he been here all night?!”
“He, uh… yes?” Stiles answers, wincing. The sheriff just gapes in shock. He shakes himself to recover and puts on his Serious Business face as he points at each boy in turn.
“You,” he says to Derek. “Out. And you -“ to Stiles “- you and I are going to be having a very long discussion about this.” He steps aside to leave room for Derek to pass through the doorway. Derek doesn’t waste any time and he’s soon out of the room, down the stairs, and slamming out the front door.
The sheriff remembers talking to his son about Derek Hale.
The ‘Werewolves Are Real, Surprise!’ discussion alone had had to be done in parts.
He does actually feel better about Derek being around Stiles now that he knows that he is actually a pretty decent person who only looks like a serial killer. It doesn’t hurt that he also looks out for Stiles when supernatural disasters are happening. (His feelings about Stiles being involved with the supernatural in the first place are another matter entirely.)
He’s gotten to know Derek a bit better in the past few weeks since the Big Reveal. He likes Derek, he does.
However that doesn’t mean that he’s happy to find Derek in his son’s bed. With his son. Cuddling.
Only the fact that they’re both above the covers and fully clothed keeps the sheriff from heading for his shotgun. (He does like Derek, but that doesn’t stop Derek from being in his 20s and therefore too old to be sleeping cuddled up to the sheriff’s 17-year-old son.)
He leans against the doorway and studies the two forms on the bed. He’s a bit curious as to how they ended up in their current position. He, of course, knows about Stiles’ crush on Derek (a bit of info that Stiles had left out of their many talks, but the sheriff is neither blind nor stupid so, yeah, he knows), but he’s not entirely sure about Derek’s feelings for Stiles. He knows they definitely aren’t together.
So the cuddling. Why?
He decides that it’s time to find out. He straightens up in the doorway and clears his throat loudly and obnoxiously. It does the job well and both Stiles and Derek startle awake. They both blink owlishly at the sheriff before seeming to catch on to their current position.
They jump apart so violently that Derek falls off the bed.
“Oh my god,” Stiles mutters. Derek climbs to his feet, red in the face and making eye contact with no one. The sheriff just sighs and decides to take pity on him.
“I’m not even gonna ask,” he says. “Derek, you know where the door is.”
The sheriff would like it to be known that he is absolutely not panicking as he speeds to Deaton’s in his cruiser with the lights and sirens on.
Not panicking at all. Nope.
His cellphone is lying on the passenger seat. It’s been completely silent since he got the text from Scott about Stiles being treated for an injury at the animal clinic.
The sheriff hadn’t even known that they’d been hunting anything this weekend.
Scott is waiting outside the clinic when the sheriff pulls in. He looks rough: clothes torn and dirty and possibly bloody, there are scratches all over his face in various stages of healing. If Scott looks this banged up, the sheriff is almost afraid of what Stiles looks like.
The sheriff stumbles out of the cruiser and Scott leaps forward to steady him.
“Where is he?” the sheriff demands.
“He’s in the back,” Scott answers, leading the way inside. “He’s alright, Deaton’s just finished patching him up.” The sheriff nods, but he won’t be able to fully relax until he can see with his own eyes that his son is okay.
He follows Scott through the waiting room and past the Mountain Ash gate, where Allison (looking a bit worse for wear herself) is standing to let them through. They cross through the examination room, where Isaac is seated on the table while Deaton bandages him, and into the room at the back.
Stiles is there, and he looks like he’s been dragged across a dirt field (he’s scratched up and covered in mud) and with a square gauze bandage taped to one cheek, but he’s in one piece and sleeping peacefully. He’s sleeping sprawled across Derek Hale’s lap on Deaton’s beat-up sofa but, for once, the sheriff is prepared to ignore that detail. Derek is also asleep and looks like he could use a hospital, but he also has Stiles in a bit of a death grip and probably won’t be letting go anytime soon.
“Derek hasn’t really let him go since we got here,” Scott says, a small grin on his face. The sheriff doesn’t doubt that.
He watches the two of them for another minute (taking special interest in the steady rise and fall of Stiles’ chest) before he backs out of the room, closing the door behind him and Scott.
It’s nearly three o’clock in the morning when the sheriff gets home from his emergency call. He’s barely had a moment’s rest all day and all he wants to do is go straight to bed and get a few hours of sleep before he has to go in for his morning shift.
He notices a light on in the living room as he’s hanging up his jacket so he decides to check that out first. Possibly Stiles has fallen asleep in front of the TV again.
That turns out to be partly true.
The TV is on, showing a Netflix menu screen. Stiles is asleep on the couch. Derek Hale, the sheriff is quick to spot, is also asleep on the couch and seems to be being used by Stiles as a pillow.
It’s definitely the coziest the sheriff has seen them, but he can’t dwell on that because he’s too busy being distracted by the fact that the boys, the couch, the coffee table, and most of the floor are covered in, what seems to be, shredded paper.
Frankly, the sheriff doesn’t even want to know. He’s tired, his son is safe, and this is not his problem.
He heads straight to bed and hopes that everything will make sense in the morning (though it probably won’t).
Derek is in Stiles’ bed. With Stiles. Again.
They’re both asleep and curled around each other. Derek’s leather jacket is draped over the back of Stiles’ desk chair, and there’s a pile of shoes and jeans on the floor next to the bed. It seems a bit more premeditated than the last time the sheriff had found them both in bed together.
They’re also both under the blankets this time, too.
The sheriff frowns. Stiles is still 17, Derek is still 20-something. He thinks he should feel more angry than he does. Although, if he’s being completely honest with himself, he isn’t all that angry at all.
Whatever they are to each other (the sheriff hasn’t heard either one of them so much as breathe the word ‘boyfriend’, but he suspects); they care a great deal for each other. The sheriff is pretty sure about Stiles’ feelings for Derek (he’s been subjected to more than one rant about how “Derek needs to stop throwing himself into danger because he does have people who will care if he gets hurt”, the sheriff can put the dots together), but Derek has always been a mystery where his feelings and emotions are concerned. That said, the sheriff knows that Derek has enough trust issues to sink the Bismarck, so sleeping so easily in such close proximity to Stiles (more than once) says a lot (so does the fact that when Derek keeps ‘throwing himself into danger’ he’s usually throwing himself in front of Stiles).
So the sheriff won’t disturb them this time. He’ll just grab his phone charger and head back in to work to finish out his night shift.
But not before he leaves a note on Stiles’ nightstand about Derek staying for breakfast. He’d like to know exactly how often Derek spends the night and he figures they’re all long overdue for a talk anyway.
He does it without thinking, which is his mistake.
The sheriff has always been good about knocking when Stiles’ bedroom door is shut (especially after Stiles hit puberty). But sometimes he forgets, when he’s stressed or in a hurry. So far over the years, his slip-ups have always been fairly uneventful, the worst thing he’s accidentally walked in on Stiles doing is dancing to Taylor Swift in his underwear (Stiles had been 14 at the time; they don’t speak of it).
His luck on that front has apparently run out.
The sheriff is stopping by the house while on his lunch break because he’s just seen the latest cellphone bill and he and Stiles need to have words about how much data Stiles is using. He’s frowning down at the bill as he makes his way to Stiles’ room. Nothing out of the ordinary has happened so far today, so when he finds Stiles’ bedroom door shut he doesn’t even think about it before he opens it.
It’s somehow slipped his mind that Derek had stayed over the night before and most likely hasn’t left yet (it’s barely past noon). He’s also never really put much thought into the fact that Stiles and Derek are dating now, and that usually leads to a whole new sort of interaction that could happen behind a closed door (this isn’t the first time the sheriff’s walked in on them, though more often than not he’s found them asleep).
So, he opens the door without thinking and only has a moment to think that, huh, this really is the first time he’s actually seen Derek’s tattoo. Then his brain finally realizes exactly what it is he’s looking at and he all but throws himself back out the door.
He’s been noticed, of course. There’s a squawk from Stiles as Derek (clad only in a pair of briefs that hide nothing) immediately stops what he’s doing (the sheriff refuses to look directly at it) and throws himself away from Stiles. Stiles grabs his comforter and drags it up to his chin; completely covering Derek, who is now lying face-down midway down the bed.
“Dad!” Stiles wails.
“Sorry!” the sheriff exclaims from where he’s standing in the hall with his hands over his face. It’s hard to say who, out of the three of them, is more embarrassed right now. The sheriff makes an executive decision and uncovers an eye just enough to pull the door shut, and then he leaves because the phone bill can wait and he needs time to process this.
There will be a conversation about this new component to Stiles and Derek’s relationship, eventually (it’s probably time to revisit the safe-sex talk from when Stiles was 13).
But for now the sheriff feels like a trip to the hardware store is in order. He’s sure that door locks are fairly easy to install.