‘It’s a nice neighbourhood,’ Tracy insisted, helping Theo move the last of the boxes into the apartment. It was on the fifth floor in a large, brick building, that stood proudly at the richer end of town, with two large, some multilevel apartments on every floor.
Theo admired the view of the city through his large windows ‘I like it. Let’s just hope the neighbours aren’t a nightmare.’
Tracy threw him a look ‘You’re the nightmare, Theo.’ She teased, examining his empty fridge ‘I can show you where all the good shops are? My sister lived a few blocks from here for years, I know this place like the back of my hand.’
He rolls his eyes ‘you’re an idiot.’
‘And the only member of your pretty much non-existent pack.’
Theo glowered at her, as the two began to walk down the stairs ‘I’m an Alpha, you’re a beta, seems like a pack to me.’
Tracy touches his shoulder ‘I was only teasing.’ She says gently ‘I know it’s a touchy subject-‘
‘We’re not talking about it.’ And he continues down the steps.
She watches after him a moment, before following. She knows Theo’s wanted a bigger pack for quite some time. But everyone they seem to like is either annoyingly human or part of a pack already or…not really interested. Because Theo is…well, he can be a little evil, on occasion. That’s why Hayden left. But he’s got a good heart, deep down. Tracy knows that. As long as you’re loyal to him.
Theo likes the apartment.
Everything about it seems absolutely wonderful.
But as he lies down to go to bed, he hears thumping and yelling from upstairs.
He glares at the ceiling, but ignores it at first.
It goes on for half an hour, and Theo doesn’t have the patience for that.
He marches up the steps, which are dimly lit, to the apartment above his, and knocks three times, sharply.
‘Liam! Liam,’ comes a voice ‘I need you to settle down for daddy, I just have to answer the door, come on, come on-‘
Great. A single dad who is obviously incompetent.
‘Listen here, you fucking idiot!’ Theo yells through the door, and the noise falls silent at the profanity ‘I don’t care how much of a terrible father you are, you and your kids have to keep the noise down!’ His eyes bleed red for a second, before the anger ebbs away and he takes a breath. Okay, maybe a little overkill, but it should have got the message across.
There’s some thudding, and then the door opens, and the words die on Theo’s tongue.
It’s an Omega. A fox Omega, with a squirming four year old attached to his leg, and a six year old behind him- they smell like hybrids…fox and wolf. The young man looks a few years younger than Theo, dressed in his pyjamas, hair sleep rumpled and messy, shirt threadbare, hanging loosely off his skinny frame. But it reveals, healthy, creamy skin, and his eyes are gorgeous. Amber, and embers and they sparkle-
‘You ever talk to me like that again,’ the Omega hisses, little fangs resting on his plush bottom lip, body vibrating with anger, but managing to hold it off as his little cubs cower behind him. ‘I will have you kicked out of here faster than you can even blink, Alpha.’
Theo stumbles backwards ‘I didn’t- I’m sorry-‘
‘Daddy?’ The six year old whines from behind ‘who is that?’
‘Our new neighbour, Isaac,’ the Omega glares at Theo ‘just go back to bed sweetheart, I’ll be there in a second.’
Isaac looks reluctant to leave, but drifts away. The four year old wraps himself tighter around the man’s leg, eyes angry at Theo, and snuffling into the amber eyed Omega’s knee, whining at his father’s distress.
The man strokes his fingers through the younger’s hair soothingly, and turns to Theo. Theo breathes him in. God, he smells good. Like home and sugar. With dark hair and wide eyes, he’s tall and slim, and pliant looking. But he’s fierce. ‘Now, whatever you name is-‘
‘Theo,’ Theo fills in pathetically, and the man glares at him
‘Theo,’ he amends ‘I’m sorry if we kept you up, I’m- it’s been a very stressful evening. I’ll try to be more considerate. But you won’t ever speak that way again whilst my children are here. Capiche?’
‘I’m sorry- I am-‘
‘I don’t care.’ And the door was slammed in his face.
Theo stared at the wood, before thumping his palm against his forehead. Great, that’s just great, the most beautiful Omega he’s ever seen in his entire life, and he’s just gone and fucked it up, and it’s all just peachy.
Theo’s panting in the lobby of the building, back from his early morning run, sipping water before heading upstairs for a shower, when he sees the Omega and the two boys.
The boys are beautiful, just like their father.
The older one, Theo remembers, Isaac, is fine and lean, with blond hair and a neat posture. And the younger one, seems just as cuddly, with blond hair, and they both have blue eyes, and look up at their father like he hung the moon up into the sky.
The Omega kneels before them, and does up the younger one’s laces. Theo listens;
‘Liam, honey, it would be a really nice present for daddy if you didn’t fight with anyone today, how’s that?’ He looks up, and presses a sweet kiss to Liam’s nose, and the boy blubbers unhappily
‘But they make me so angry, daddy!’
‘I know they do, honey, I know,’ and he nuzzles his son ‘just remember to breathe. Be calm. Try to control your were, okay?’
Liam nods obidiently, and the omega turns to Isaac, who smiles softly.
‘Isaac, you just continue being you, yeah?’
Isaac beams ‘yes, daddy,’
They haven’t presented yet, but they both look like Beta’s to Theo.
The Omega stands, hoisting Liam onto his hip and holding Isaac’s hand and they leave into the brisk morning air.
Theo goes unnoticed.
He takes a long, hot shower, and dresses in some fresh clothes, and spends the rest of the morning putting away the last of the boxes, till he’s happy with his apartment, and opens all the curtains letting the bright light sweep in.
He decides it’s time to get some lunch. Tracy had been helpful in recommending places, but he wanted to get a feel for the area himself, find his own places to relax and unwind.
‘Come on!’ He hears an urgent whine, as the Omega rushes up the steps. Theo stands at the top, watching as an older Alpha follows ‘my heat is starting like now, Peter- if you knot me in the next few minutes it might only last a day or two-‘
‘Stiles,’ Peter lets himself get dragged ‘if I bit you, your heats would be scheduled and shorter anyway.’
‘Peter please,’ Stiles pouts (Stiles, Theo likes the name. It rolls off the tongue. It suits the Omega) ‘you know I love you, but not like that, and I just want your fine alpha body pounding me into the bed. Most alphas would jump at that chance. After all, I am one saucy mama.’
Peter snorts, and Stiles beams, turning and then freezing at seeing Theo stilled at the top of the steps.
Peter frowns, wrapping his arms around Stiles worriedly ‘is that him?’ Stiles nods, and Peter growls
‘You like mocking single parents, do you?’
‘No! No-‘ Theo shakes his head ‘It was a mistake, I’m honestly so, so sorry, Stiles. I’ll make it up to you, I swear. Your children are- they’re the most beautiful children I’ve ever seen. They’re adorable and they look just like you.’
Stiles smiles warmly and Peter rolls his eyes ‘they are pretty cute, aren’t they?’
‘Stiles,’ Peter rumbles, scenting Stiles’ neck ‘about pounding you into the bed?’
‘Oh yeah,’ Stiles hums, letting his eyes shut dazedly, before turning to Theo ‘you’re forgiven, we should go out for coffee- I could show you around? Nnhhg Peter! H-how about it?’
Theo nods frantically, and the two race past him.
Well. That happened.
He sits in the cafe he’s found, a nice little place on the corner by a dormant road, and drinks his coffee.
It isn’t unusual for Unmated Omegas to have Alphas just for their heats. It helps the manage them, make sure they don’t last for too long. And Stiles obviously wanted his heats shorter. Wanted to be in the right state of mind to look after his children. And Peter was…Peter was older. An obviously very capable Alpha, and Theo scrunched his nose at Peter offering the mating bite. His inner wolf riled at the thought, and then he remembered Stiles’ no. Firm, unrelenting, serious.
It’s quiet that night, as Theo lies in bed. The children must be staying with someone, because there are no tiny footsteps, and only if Theo listens very carefully can he hear the faint squeaking of the mattress.
He groans, and presses his face into the pillow.
Two days go by with no interaction between the two of them.
When there’s a chipper knock at his door.
Theo opens it, and jerks at the sight of Stiles, Isaac and Liam. They’re all bundled up, ready to go out. ‘We’re about to go the park,’ Stiles says, ‘we were wondering if you wanted to join us?’
Theo nods before he’s even processed the words, and he grabs his coat and keys and wallet, and walks out with them. Stiles makes conversation easily, pointing out different parts of town, and telling Liam to mind the roads, and squeezing the base of Isaac’s neck as the boy behaves perfectly.
The park is large, with green fields, and Theo can sense the magical charms on it. A park specifically designed for weres, then. Stiles sits on a bench, and Theo sits hesitantly beside him. Isaac and Liam stand in front of them.
‘Sweethearts,’ Stiles rubbed his face tiredly ‘the idea of the park is to play.’
‘But daddy,’ Isaac makes a little fist with his hand and sniffles ‘he was mean to us.’
‘He apologised, honey,’
‘I don’t like him.’ Liam stomped his foot, and his eyes burned blue, and Stiles kissed his forehead
Theo smiled softly at them ‘Isaac, Liam,’ he said quietly ‘I am really, really sorry. I was mean and horrible, and I should never have said those words to you, or your daddy. I feel very bad and I won’t ever do it again, I promise.’ He holds out his pinky finger.
Isaac takes it slowly, linking their promise, but Liam just turns and runs to the park. Isaac joins him.
‘I am really sorry, Stiles-‘
‘It’s alright,’ Stiles smiles at him ‘I know the stress of moving.’
Theo ducks his head shyly ‘you’re great with them. Honestly. I’ve never seen two children so in awe of their father.’
Stiles quirks his lips, so a little dimple forms in his cheek ‘I’d do anything for them. They’re the best things in my life.’
‘Oh, yeah,’ Stiles wrings his hands ‘he died, about…three years ago. Just after Liam was born. He was…the best Alpha in the universe. And I know a lot of Alphas. I know you, my brother Scott, and you know, Peter.’
Stiles laughs ‘his name was Derek,’ and his voice is fond ‘and he was tall and gorgeous and muscled beyond belief, and I remember thinking every single day I woke up and saw him beside me, how is this greek god of a man mine?’ Stiles grinned at the sky, before his eyes became sad ‘he was killed by a kanima. I didn’t know how I’d…I mean, the two of them are…’ he shakes his head and smiles again ‘but I know he’s up there,’ Stiles nods at the clouds ‘watching over us. Gotta keep moving forward. And it’s not like I don’t seem him. He’s in them.’ He watches Isaac push Liam on the swing ‘in their smiles, and their bunny teeth.’
Theo watches Stiles’ face. ‘He’d be very proud.’
Stiles whistled through clenched teeth ‘I’m not so sure. I mean…I’m sleeping with his Uncle, aren’t I? He’s probably being sick.’ Stiles laughed warmly ‘poor Derek, I’ll make it up to him in heaven.’
Theo hummed ‘Peter seems to…to really like you.’
‘Peter and I go way back. Like…I was fifteen, sort of back. He’s great, super creepy, but a good guy. Really funny. He became Alpha after Peter died, and I…I don’t know, I sort of expected my heats to stop, but they didn’t, and Peter had always…he’d always made it very clear he wanted to be my mate, but I was Derek. I loved Peter like a friend, not like that. He helps me through my heats, but I’m not sure how much longer than can last. You saw him the other day, he’s getting attached. He wants more, and I can’t give him that. It feels wrong to lead him on. I don’t want to hurt him. I try being clear, but it just…it gets difficult, you know?’
‘You could find another Alpha for your heats,’ Theo nods ‘you’re…you’re gorgeous, anyone would be happy too,’
Stiles blushed ‘I thought you might find me attractive,’ the dark haired man teased ‘but I wasn’t sure. I had an inkling.’
‘So you’re clever, too,’
‘Part fox,’ Stiles nodded ‘very clever creatures.’
Theo grinned ‘I can tell.’
They walk home, with Isaac and Liam giggling and running ahead, and then they get to Theo’s apartment, and Stiles hugs him, and Theo saves the scent to memory. ‘This was good, Theo. We should do it again, yeah?’
‘Please do. Bye Isaac, bye Liam,’
‘Bye Theo,’ Isaac squeaked, before rushing upstairs, Stiles following. Liam hovered a moment, before sticking his tongue out at Theo and running upstairs.
Again, turns out to be three nights later.
Theo’s been listening to Liam and Isaac argue over who the purple transformer belong too, has heard Stiles screaming at a guy named Boyd over the phone for letting his dad eat a burger, and heard Stiles singing Taylor Swift whilst cleaning the apartment over the hoover.
There’s a knock on his door, and Theo knows it isn’t Stiles.
He opens it and looks down to see Isaac.
He’s dressed in a white shirt and grey jeans, and he smiles softly ‘Um…daddy wanted to invite you for dinner? He’s just setting the table now, it’ll be ready in fifteen minutes.’
‘I would love too.’ Theo beams ‘I’ll just grab some shoes, would you like to come in?’
Isaac nods, and steps inside the pristine and elegant apartment. He looks around curiously, but doesn’t touch anything, and Theo sits on the couch, pulling on his shoes.
‘You’re the most well-behaved six year old I’ve ever seen,’ Theo notes, and Isaac flushes
‘I just do what makes people happy.’ He says honestly, admiring the white of the carpet ‘I don’t understand why people fight. Daddy says I’m a drop of gold.’ He grins ‘like in Aladdin! There’s a whole room full of gold!’
‘I think you’re pretty priceless,’ Theo ruffles his hair, and the two of them walk upstairs.
He likes Stiles’ apartment.
It’s warm and cosy and smells of beef, and there are pictures and paintings framed all over the walls, and Liam is currently gripping Stiles’ shirt.
‘Another kiss, daddy!’ He giggles, and Stiles kisses his nose ‘another! Another!’
Stiles chuckles, nuzzling him ‘yes yes, but daddy has to serve up dinner, ah look,’ Stiles grins at Theo ‘I’m glad you decided to come. Hope you like beef.’
‘I love it.’
Liam snuffles unhappily, and strops to the living room. Isaac helps Stiles’ with knives and forks, and so Theo heads to the living room. He sits beside Liam on the couch, and Liam crosses his arms.
‘Hi, Liam,’ he says softly, and Liam peeks at him, before looking away pointedly ‘I’m still sorry, you know. It isn’t good to be angry at someone for so long. Being angry doesn’t make you feel very good inside, does it?’
Liam falters, and he shakes his head solemnly ‘it makes me feel achy.’
Theo presses his lips together ‘do you mind if I try something, Liam?’
Liam nods, and Theo puts his hand on the base of Liam’s small neck, looks him in the eyes
‘I think you’re amazing.’ He says, and Liam falls pliant in his hands.
Theo grins. An Alpha’s praise. The pups are missing out on it.
They eat dinner, and Theo helps Stiles put the kids to bed, and they stay up and drink a glass of wine, cuddled and intimate on the couch, before Stiles kisses his cheek, and heads to bed.
Theo likes to admire Stiles.
It’s a habit he’ll never want to get rid off.
Stiles raised Isaac and Liam into wonderful children, who are currently shifted and yipping around the apartment, and Stiles is shifted into his fox form, grooming his paws, and occasionally his pups will curl into his side, and Stiles will lick them, before they go off and play.
Theo’s in human form. So someone can open the door, or answer the phone, and he likes the easy acceptance.
Theo answers the Skype call without thinking, and ends up staring at an Alpha he’s never seen.
‘Um…hi?’ the alpha goes, he has floppy brown hair, and Stiles jumps over lazily upon hearing the voice, and settles on Theo’s lap, raising his pointed nose at the camera. ‘Stiles,’ the alpha rolls his eyes ‘this is not the way to introduce me.’ He grins ‘I’m Scott,’
‘Theo,’ Theo grins, he draws a hand down Stiles’ body and the fox chatters happily, relaxed, and Scott beams at seeing his brother so happy
‘It’s great to finally see you, Theo. Stiles talks about you all the time.’
Stiles growls warningly but Scott waves him off, so Stiles nuzzles into Theo’s stomach, as he listens to the two alphas talk about Liam and how well Isaac’s doing.
The first time Theo kisses Stiles, it’s like sparks and music behind his eyelids.
They’d been washing up from dinner, which escalated into a bubble fight, and then smiles had given way to lips, and lips to kissing, and Theo knew he had found his soulmate. Right here. In the form of a snarky little fox who could lead an army and nurse a splinter.
‘I love you,’ Theo whispers when they pull apart, and Stiles nuzzles his neck
‘I love you, too,’
Theo moves into Stiles’ apartment.
Liam flourishes with an alpha’s influence in the house, his anger issues settling down, and Isaac likes seeing his daddy so happy.
Tracy visits and is immediately besotted, and Scott pats Stiles on the back, and the Sheriff takes Theo out for a long walk. And they talk about Derek. The Sheriff tells him to be good, to love Stiles, to stay alive.
Theo has a pack.
Theo has a family.
And it’s beautiful.
‘I called-‘ Stiles grips the counter suddenly, and Theo’s beside him in an instant ‘I called Peter- my heat- it’s-‘
‘You called Peter?’ Theo growls, and Stiles mewls
‘We hadn’t talked about it, I didn’t know if-‘ Stiles hunches over in pain, and Theo draws as much of it as he can.
‘Of course I want too, Stiles, but I…’ Theo grits his teeth ‘I understand if you’d rather have Peter-‘
‘I’d rather have you!’ Stiles cries out, baring his neck ‘I want you to bite me.’
Theo salivates, stepping back ‘you- you can’t make that decision whilst your in heat. I want too, Stiles, god I want too.’ He shakes with need, and Stiles gasps for breath
‘Fine. After. For now, call Peter, tell him not to come, and then for gods sakes, knot me.’
‘Is this Peter?’
‘Who is this?’
‘This is Theo, Stiles’ boyfriend. I’m going to take him for his heats from now on. He’d tell you himself but he’s currently-‘
‘Theo! Theo knot me! Theo, if you aren’t inside me in ten seconds-‘
‘Ah I see, are you going to bite him?’
‘Not this heat. But I will.’
‘Do you love him?’
‘More than anything.’
‘And does he love you? Does he want the bite?’
‘Then you, Theo, are very lucky.’
‘I…I’m sorry, Peter.’
‘Don’t be. As long as you make him happy, I’m happy. And if you’re ever too tired during one of his heats, I’ll be more than happy to take over for you.’
Derek watches with Laura by his side.
She smiles ‘Isaac’s amazing. He’s honesty amazing. Look at him, seventeen years old, doing all those classes. He’s like Lydia. And Liam, god look at him, he loves Hayden beautifully,’
Derek half smiles, he watches Theo swear at the oven as he pulls out the pie he’s making for their anniversary.
Laura holds Derek’s hand ‘does it hurt? He still thinks of you.’
‘He shouldn’t.’ Derek purses his lips ‘he should think of Theo. Theo makes him happy. Theo makes him forget me.’
‘He could never forget you.’
Stiles doesn’t. Sometimes, when he’s cleaning, he murmurs to himself and Derek delights in hearing it. ‘I’m serious, Der’, if you’re up there, could you come down and give me a hand? These dishes aren’t going to do themselves.’ ‘Seriously? Traffic on a Sunday? What kind of world do we live in, Derek?’ ‘Derek, I’m praying to you, let Isaac’s test go okay. That kids been running himself ragged.’ ‘Der…do you like Theo? I mean…I still love you, but I love him too. I do.’
Derek sighs, watching as Theo fusses over the roses that spill nicely over the blue vase in the centre of the table. ‘All I ever wanted was for him to be happy.’
Laura sighs ‘he is.’
Derek’s heart warms as he sees Stiles, Theo, Isaac and Liam cuddle onto the couch, watching Iron Man, and Theo teases Liam about Hayden, and Liam playfully kicks at him.
His family are doing okay.
And that makes Derek happy.