At the abrupt wail from his baby Derek flopped out of bed, limbs thrashing, hit the floor in something like an inept superhero’s three-point stance and sprang into the small adjoining room.
Stiles had heard the wail too—which had been a single note and so was more accurately a cry—but the vigorousness of his husband’s exit from bed and swift if neither fluid nor elegant movement from mattress to floor to baby’s room had awakened Stiles fully.
Since Teo wasn’t crying Stiles could’ve laughed at what he’d witnessed, then cooed at what he saw next, once standing in the doorway.
The vigilant, protective daddy held Teo in his arms and was mushing kisses on his baby’s face. Teo, all troubles forgotten, had a fist at his mouth but was smiling around it.
The vigilant, protective daddy, it should be noted (Stiles definitely noted it), was also naked daddy.
Obviously Derek’s boxer briefs had stayed wherever Stiles had tossed them after removing them for the pre-dawn Valentine’s Day blow job he’d given his dear husband.
"He slept through the night again." Stiles sounded amazed and pleased regarding their darling child’s latest milestone.
It wasn’t the first time but was still a new thing so still merited headlines.
Gurgling and grinning on the changing table Teo stuck out both his arms for his papa. Stiles held the closer one, with the drooly hand, out of his way and leaned over for a quick kiss.
"Happy first Valentine’s Day, Teodor."
Upright he kissed Derek, on the cheek at first, then Derek, remaining focused on cleansing baby butt and re-diapering it, turned his head so his lips were accessible, for a second kiss.
"Happy Valentine’s Day, again," Stiles said, and Derek echoed.
Naked daddy. Of course there were all kinds of connotations to the phrase but the literal, completely unclothed Derek changing his baby’s diaper—it did something to Stiles.
He wished he could give naked daddy another bj, at the very least.
But in about three more seconds Teo would be demanding food (he’d been particularly emphatic about that after every night he’d slept through so far) so Stiles excused himself to pee, promising he’d be right back to get Teo to the kitchen, where his num-nums were.
It had become habit, after six months of being awakened in the middle of every night for feeding, to wake up in the dark. But in that night’s dark Stiles’s eyes had opened to quiet, to only Derek’s breathing.
So he’d wriggled around till he’d got into position, tugged down his husband’s undies and sucked his dick, an early Valentine’s Day gift. Of course Derek had wakened with the first tug but seemed to get the gist of what was happening rather immediately.
After complete removal of his briefs Derek spread his legs, Stiles got between them and delivered the kind of blow job that was in the top ten of Derek’s secret Things I Love About Stiles list.
Despite confining his noises to quiet whimpers and whispered moans, Derek had clamped a pillow over his face, so that their still sleeping child stayed that way, especially when Derek climaxed.
In honor of the treat it was not to have to get out of bed and feed Teo a bottle, Stiles had contented himself with some kisses and the satisfaction of feeling like a devoted, sexually-gratifying spouse when Derek asked him if he wanted an orgasm too.
"’S OK. Go back to sleep, hot stuff," Stiles had whispered, feeling generous, even selfless, pulling up the bed covers around them and thinking, nonetheless, now Derek owed him a favor he could call in at any time—and it wouldn’t necessarily be for sex, either.
No doubt Derek was aware of that too, despite rapidly and peacefully returning to dreamland and deep sleep, where he’d remain till Teo’s cry a few hours later startled him awake.
Securing Teo in his throne—which is what Stiles called the highchair, being the seat of power from which Teo hurled preverbal commands to be fulfilled ASAP, the more S the better for those commanded—Stiles poured out a handful of baby food puffs on the little tray top.
Derek had insisted on finding recipes for homemade puffs, to be certain of their healthy nutritious ingredients. He’d tasted many in his testing and, worse, made Stiles eat them too, to make sure they’d melt in the mouth instantly.
Stiles had threatened divorce, finding the puffs so disgusting. But Derek did not buckle under any such false threats, reminding Stiles he’d eaten Cheetos by the ton through high school. Now that was disgusting.
The puffs did undeniably serve a useful purpose: At that moment they were tiding over a hungry baby while Stiles warmed some formula and prepared some cereal.
While still perfecting his grasp Teo had discovered that licking the sticky crumbs from his hands, after he’d thoroughly hammered the puffs to smithereens in his requisite slapping of the highchair tray, was another way to eat them.
"Food puffs," Stiles would cheer in his commercial voice-over voice, "as much fun to smash as they are to eat!"
Derek entered the kitchen then. He was clad in only a pair of worn sweatpants, forcing Stiles to concentrate on stirring banana yogurt into Teo’s cereal, to cool and flavor it, not on thinking about his husband’s hardly concealed junk.
"Here. Feed Tay while I scramble an egg for him?" he requested. "And you can have the rest of this yogurt."
In turning to take a seat Derek showed a hint of butt cleavage.
Stiles silently groaned. Maybe he was going to call in that debt sooner than he’d imagined, and for nothing other than sex, too.—And he’d had plans for that debt, goddammit.
Meanwhile he further distracted himself finishing breakfast for his baby as well as for his bae and for himself—which they’d eat while feeding Teo, because multi-tasking was impossible to avoid these days.
That included discussing plans for the day. They’d both decided to ignore their actual paying jobs to make an occasion of a minor holiday, visiting grandparents to show off Teo in his Valentine’s Day outfit.
But for the moment, one on either side of their gleeful child, elated that his daddies were both providing him nums, said daddies were eyeing one another—Derek eyeing Stiles for the distinct scent he emanated; Stiles eyeing Derek for the suspect look on his face.
"You’re rethinking your answer to my question earlier this morning, aren’t you," Derek smirked.
"It’s possible I was hasty," Stiles confirmed.
"Owh!" Teo interjected, after too long a pause between spoonfuls.
As soon as Stiles looked at him Teo opened his mouth wide.
"Your point being, sir?" Stiles addressed the little one, who after another mouthful of mashed up scrambled egg, went "Mmm!" as perfect order was restored to all the world once more.
"So…?" Derek thought he was resuming the prior line of discussion.
"So," Stiles retorted, "you know a diaper change is imminent, then probably a bath to wash the food puff stuff out of his hair and everywhere else he’s got it, then we dress him up for Valentine’s Day." After a pause, "Somewhere in there we get dressed too."
"You didn’t buy a Valentine’s outfit for yourself," Derek asked, then added, with some trepidation, "or for… me… did you?"
"For you? Right now I’m thinking you can just hike up those sweats to your balls, don a pair of wings and you’ll look like a burly cupid!"
Stiles’s tone was his standard snarky but the gleam in his eyes was wanton.
"Maybe just my usual pants and shirt instead," Derek suggested, calmly.
Then he drained his coffee and started stacking plates, bowls, cups.
"Suit yourself," Stiles concluded, choosing not to point out the pun in his response, instead feeding the last spoonful of eggs to Teo.
When he brought the empty plate to the sink he gave Derek’s butt a firm, meaningful squeeze then hurriedly plucked Teo from his chair and scurried up the stairs with him.
Derek shook his head, pretty sure he was going to get tackled to the bed as soon as Teo went down for a nap later.
Back on the changing table after his bath, Teo was contentedly watching his daddies.
One daddy was spreading lotion on his baby’s sturdy little body and limbs.
The other one was standing behind (actually he was pressed against) the busy one, applying kisses turning to nibbles the nearer he got to Derek’s neck. At his neck Stiles started biting a little, right at one of the "spots" that made Derek squirm and wriggle.
Derek reminded Stiles they were literally in front of their baby. Stiles guaranteed Derek their baby had no idea what he was witnessing. Derek reminded Stiles he reeked of pheromones and their baby had a more-than-human sense of smell—
"And isn’t smell-memory one of the strongest—" Derek started to ask.
"’Smell-memory’?" Stiles abruptly cut in. "Do you mean sense memory?"
"Yes!—Isn’t sense memory one of the strongest triggers—"
"Ugh!" Stiles huffed. "Fine!" But before backing away he stuck his hands down Derek’s sweatpants, gripping an ass cheek in each one.
"You are so getting pounded later, Mr. Butt," Stiles promised, parting with a final peck on Derek’s neck.
Teo giggled. Without doubt it was a coincidence. Derek was holding up Teo’s legs by his feet and probably had tickled him with a random thumb-rub across a sole. Teo could not possibly comprehend sex-talk at six months of age, Derek assured himself. Still, he looked his boy in the eyes and whispered, "If there’s therapy in your future, I apologize."
Stiles returned with baby clothes draped over an arm.
Teo’s outfit for Valentine’s Day Stiles had spent days finding and assembling: a onesie with an actual red bow tie attached and with imprinted squiggly lines down the front to resemble a pleated shirt. Where buttons would be there were little red hearts. There were imprints of black suspenders too. Black baby jeans and soft black shoes completed the picture, topped off with a gray knit hat that declared "lil heartbreaker" inside a pink heart.
Then Stiles had to take a dozen photos at least, knowing that in only a few weeks (or less!) none of these items would fit the growing baby any longer.
More time passed packing the carry-all, with diapers, food, toys, an extra supply of bibs, since Teo was teething, and all the other innumerable necessities for an outing with an infant.
Derek, as he’d said he would, put on his typical sober tones, earning snorts and faux-snarls from his mate, though Stiles’s only departure from his usual attire was his graphic t-shirt, bright red, which bore a bold "STUD" over an outline drawing of a muffin.
Finally dressed and packed, Derek hoisted the carry-all, Stiles picked up Teodor, and the trio commenced their day out.
Talia was waiting on the Hale House porch, had obviously been there already. She beamed a broad smile as she neared the Prius, even before it had come to a halt, her eyes on Teo in his car seat.
She politely stood by till Stiles handed him over.
Stiles still found it amazing that the Hale pack Alpha, renown throughout the country, even overseas, and sometimes nearly kowtowed to like a ruler of olden days, turned completely gushing grandma over her littlest grandbaby. Deference to the alpha was not expected of youngest pack pups, of course, but Stiles had been assured by both Derek and older pack that even baby Teo sensed his alpha’s power. To Stiles Teo appeared only to adore his grandma, though after they’d scented each other he looked on her with wide, wide eyes.
Grandpa Malcolm, who’d been finishing up lunch preparation, came out at last and only then did Talia seem to become fully aware that her son and son-in-law were there.
"Hello, Mom, remember me?" Derek snidely remarked as he kissed her.
"Just hush," Talia chided.
Even at their elevation in northern California, spring was already underway, the preserve’s trees leafing out abundantly. The air, always sweet there, made even little Teo tilt back his head and sniff.
"Grandma’s garden isn’t blooming yet," Talia told him. Still, everyone walked along its bed, noting the varied bright greens.
A few violets already dotted the grass, here and there.
Stiles and Derek held hands as they walked.
Once indoors, after Teo’s jacket was off, full appreciation of his holiday garb led to another round of grandmotherly gushing, as well as more photos. But it was clear someone needed his nap by then. So Teo got a bottle and went down for some sleepytime while the adults enjoyed the elaborate lunch Malcolm laid out.
Derek was grateful his husband had stopped perfuming the local atmosphere with his desire once seated at the Hale dining table.
(Its cessation would be temporary.)
Teo’s nap was a short one. The bestowal of presents, new rattles he could easily grasp and shake and a ring with brightly colored things that clattered together when Stiles shook it in front of him, got Teo back to full attentiveness.
Talia didn’t let him leave without a lot more kisses.
By the time the little family arrived at the Beacon Hills police station, to visit Big Poppa Sheriff, Teo was alert and babbling away.
A small gauntlet of deputies and clerks, even gruff older officers, carrying on about Teo in his tuxedo onesie, had to be gotten past first.
Teo’s reaction to strangers, Stiles was learning (with Derek’s instruction) was based mostly on how they smelled. Everyone in the station must have smelled great that day because Teo was all smiles—which turned to excited squeals when his Big Poppa appeared. He broadcast a loud "Mbah!" that could’ve meant any number of things.
Squirming in Stiles’s arms, Teo reached out for the Sheriff and Derek heard his father-in-law’s heartbeat uptick.
"Hey, kiddo, puttin’ on the ritz today," the Sheriff remarked at the sight of his grandchild’s outfit.
He took Teo from Stiles’s arms and planted a single kiss on the boy’s forehead.
Teo’s response was to grab his grandfather’s nose.
"Uhhhm," the older man reacted.
Stiles immediately handed the Sheriff a soft cloth, to wipe away the wetness.
"He’s cutting another tooth, Dad. Keep it," Stiles advised. "There will be drooling."
On the pretext of showing off his grandson—despite nearly everyone present in the little station having already seen him—the Sheriff walked away with Teo. The truth was he really relished his rare one-on-one time with the boy, apart from his fathers, who tended to hover.
But Stiles and Derek weren’t so much about hovering that particular day, so after minimal small talk (Derek managing to contain his surprise that Stiles had kept it minimal) they’d made their way into the Sheriff’s empty office. Derek took a seat and Stiles, with no prior discussion, just situated himself in Derek’s lap so that he was crosswise. He’d sat in these chairs many times and knew they were rock-solid enough to support the added weight.
"Happy Valentine’s Day, Sweetwolf," he said, having only to whisper because Derek had brought his face close to Stiles’s soon as Stiles sat down.
They rubbed their noses together, like new lovers.
"Happy Valentine’s Day, Stiles," Derek replied, feeling light of heart.
With his arms round Derek’s neck Stiles completed the circuit and they kissed, one kiss after another, their smooches the only sound in the quiet room.
Yes, they’d been "that couple," defying norms like the cooling of ardor after a few years married. They’d remained the pair found making out in a corner at a Halloween party or New Year’s soiree. If they celebrated birthdays or anniversaries at a restaurant they reserved booths and sat beside one another. They’d still had sex marathons on long weekends, sometimes on ordinary weekends—until Teo arrived. For the past six months they’d been exhausted, distracted, even frustrated to the point that sex and romance had lost status as priorities compared to rest and any chance at sleep. But even Stiles, who’d never had long-term concrete plans for becoming a "family man" could no longer imagine life without his baby boy, no matter the sacrifice.
It would be cause to smile, to anybody with any insight into their private life—which insight nobody had—that as soon as Teo started sleeping through nights, allowing them some uninterrupted hours to themselves, the first thing to come creeping back was Stiles’s and Derek’s sex life.
Valentine’s Day, despite their awareness of its mercenary reason-to-be, they’d always made much of, with gifts, little romantic gestures, stocking up on treats and exotic foods so they could spend the day in bed, watching schmoopy movies and making love.
It was pure coincidence that their first Valentine’s Day with a kid should fall the same time their kid became a little less demanding of all their time and energy. It felt like a breather, or a magical gift, so that the imposing, maybe even forbidding interior of the Beacon Hills Sheriff’s office was not entirely inhibiting to them.
Stiles felt sure Derek was attuned to Teo’s heartbeat, wherever in the station the Sheriff had taken him. Derek was certainly attending to Stiles’s mouth with a kind of undivided attention.
Stiles’s hands wandered, though their range was confined to above the belt due to his arrangement across Derek’s lap. His fingers he definitely kept away from Derek’s mouth because, Stiles’s fingers/Derek’s mouth—the jail was too close by to risk the consequences. Derek, too, kept his hands from certain zones on Stiles’s body—and Stiles had more of those zones than the average human—because sooner or later the Sheriff and Teo would return.
Sooner it was.
Stiles felt Derek tense, pull back.
"He’s crying," he announced.
Stiles gasped, "What?" flopping to his feet.
By the time both got to the office door the Sheriff was nearly there, Teo in his arms, a pout in full force and big tears plopping from his eyes. He reached for his fathers, either one, but Stiles was first so he enfolded the boy against his chest and soothed him with kisses and consoling sounds.
Sheriff John looked guilty. "Johnston got a little too enthusiastic with peek-a-boo," he explained, as if admitting a fault of his own.
Derek gave a tissue to Stiles, who gently dabbed at the tears. "Aww, Tay, baby," he comforted.
Some yards away Deputy Johnston appeared, his expression sheepish.
"Sorry," the man said.
"Don’t worry about it," Stiles declared, with a dismissive wave of his hand. Then as soon as the offending deputy was out of sight Stiles looked his dad right in the eyes and pronounced, voice serious as all hell, "You’re demoting him, right?"
"Stiles." The Sheriff rolled his eyes.
"I want his badge."
"Stiles," the Sheriff repeated, more curtly.
Sensing Derek’s anxiousness Stiles passed Teo to his daddy, for his turn at providing solace. Stiles took his own dad by the shoulder and they all returned to the office. Teo was settling down rapidly but they wouldn’t leave till he’d calmed down completely and the Sheriff had held him again, since the man looked so distressed at having been party to his grandson’s upset.
But it was the police department and, even in dull little Beacon Hills, not a place for socializing. So, after everyone was "all better," after a little more Teo-centric conversation, after an invite to Sunday dinner for the Sheriff, the Stilinski-Hale trio headed out.
There were plans for the remainder of the day. None of them included cooking. So they stopped at Derek’s favorite market, one that sold organic foods prepared on the premises, including organic desserts. They picked out some tasty things they’d reheat for their dinner, foods not even Derek knew how to cook.
Teo was already sleeping when they got home. The hours visiting, the short nap, the episode of scary peek-a-boo—for a baby it had been a lot of work. His dads made a two-man task of undressing him and once in his crib it didn’t require werewolf senses to tell how deeply into sleep Teo sank.
Stiles and Derek knew they had non-parental time to spend.
What Stiles did first, though, was rush from their bedroom, leaving Derek standing there perplexed until he heard a drawer open in Stiles’s office.
Derek hastily slipped into his office and stealthed back to the same place and position in their bedroom by the time Stiles returned, now holding a box gift wrapped in glossy, lurid pink.
They’d agreed to lowkey Love Day, but there was no way either could just ignore it.
"This is for you, moon of my life," Stiles declared, presenting his gift.
Derek felt suspicious instantly—something about the box’s contents—so he deflected. "I thought I was your sun and stars, and you were my moon."
Derek tore away the wrapping with uncharacteristic lack of finesse. It appeared to be a box for clothing items but something small and solid thumped around inside it. Something with a faint but definite scent.
The clothing was underwear, one pair in black mesh, another in some very sheer material of pale blue; the third was a red thong.
"Underwear," Derek said.
"Sexy underwear," Stiles corrected.
Derek mustered a scowl he really couldn’t deliver as genuine. "Isn’t it a known fact that giving sexy underwear is actually a gift for the giver?" he proposed.
Stiles scoffed. "It’s not like you’re not going to reap some benefits too!"
To the dubious expression on Derek’s face Stiles responded: "We’re two very resourceful people, Derek! We’re going to prove we can be successful great parents and a sexually satisfied couple—at the same time." He paused. "Plus, I got us some assistance."
Derek held up the tiny second gift and shredded the paper from it. Inside the vividly printed little box was a little brown bottle, "Esencia del Amor" on its label.
"Stiles," Derek cautioned.
"There’s a lycanthrope botanica in Chico. The proprietress swore this was sure to get even the most fatigued werewolf… up and running. Figuratively speaking. Or—literally." Stiles grinned, then took the bottle from Derek and unscrewed the cap.
"Stiles," Derek warned, this time seriously.
"OK!" He held the open bottle a few feet away from Derek.
"I can still smell it, Stiles."
Stiles saw his husband’s pupils dilate.
"Oh boy. OK. That’ll do." He screwed on the cap and stuck the bottle in his pocket. "Looks like I’ll be leaving a positive customer review on Carla’s web site."
Stiles stepped up close to Derek. "You OK, babe?" He proffered a kiss.
But Derek just stood there, quiet.
"Umm, is that for me?" Stiles asked, pointing to a flat rectangular box on the bed.
That seemed to bring Derek somewhat back to earth. "Yeah," he answered, handing Stiles his gift, pre-wrapped in white paper with rows of miniscule red hearts and a flattened red bow.
Unwrapped, "AZTEC CHOCOLATES" the box top proclaimed.
"Aztec, hunh?" Stiles remarked.
"They’re my family’s favorite chocolatiers.—Not actual Aztecs, the family that owns the company."
"Yeah, got that," Stiles scoffed. "Didn’t Aztecs kind of invent chocolate?"
Inside were two dozen candy pieces, dark and milk chocolates, square and round, with different finishes.
"The Aztecs called it a gift from Quetzelcoatl," Derek informed, but Stiles knew that; he knew a lot about chocolate.
"That mean there’s chili in some of these?" He looked over the assortment.
Derek did some sniffing. "That one, that one and that one," he pointed out.
"Any plain old, pure, sweet chocolate?" Stiles asked, his voice getting husky, as if the smell of chocolate was also an esencia del amor.
Derek picked out a square piece, topped with a perfect swirl. Stiles opened his mouth, let his tongue protrude a little, and Derek daintily set the candy on it.
The usual Stiles Stilinski food-moan ensued as he savored the rich taste. Then, sucking the remnants from his teeth, he said, enunciating carefully, "They thought chocolate was an aphrodisiac too." (Cue eyebrow wiggle.)
Derek had watched it all, the chewing, the savoring, the weird movements of Stiles’s mouth as he’d sucked down the chocolate traces. Stiles had watched, meanwhile, Derek lifting the hem of his Henley till it reached his nose. He peeked over the fabric with a dreamy gaze.
Despite Derek’s sexy torso now on display, exposed, it was the look in his eyes that grabbed Stiles’s complete attention.
Baffled, "What are you doing?" Stiles begged to know.
Derek’s head was bowed a little, his hand clasping the shirt over his nose and mouth, like a mask. He made no answer. His eyes, though, Derek’s eyes, aimed at Stiles, weren’t only a kaleidoscope of hazel and aqua, soft green and gold, they signaled an array of states, coy, teasing, lustful, vulnerable, eager.
Stiles put down the candy box and pounced on him.