"I want to move out." Lydia tells him on the sixth day of the festival.
Peter nods. He'd want to move out too. And like hell was he moving into the same home as the former Mrs. Martin. Or anywhere Mr. Martin knew the address to. Receiving wolfsbane in the mail had only been fun once and he had no desire to try it again.
His mate raises an eyebrow, her face expectant. It was very similar to the look she wore when she stopped running and turned to face him during the Chase. She had pepper sprayed him when he changed back at her bidding and climb a tree during his distress and lobbed silver beads at him.
"Where should I have my mail forwarded?" She asks.
"I have an apartment in the city." Peter says.
"I can't leave Beacon Hills yet." She says firmly. "I can't leave my friends in this very trying time." Funny how she says friends yet Peter could have sworn he heard "subjects."
"We'll have to find a place here." She decides. "I prepared for this and I have a list of apartments and homes for rent to check out, unless," she raises an eyebrow. "You want to buy a house. The numbers of experienced real estate agents is another list."
"Let's look at both," Peter suggests.
"Right." Lydia nods decisively. "I have my stuff packed up. You should probably pack up your car."
Peter chuckles as his mate lets herself into his car. Very strong spirited that one.
"You're letting her get away with that?" His little sister asks.
"I believe it's called the honeymoon phase." Peter smirks. "But you should do as she asks and start loading her things in your truck."
His sister huffs and stomps away.
"Obviously, Allison and Scott will reside with us, until they go to college." Begins an epic argument between the Argents and Ms. McCall. "Since we have the room."
"I don't know what you mean." Melissa says flatly. "My three bedroom house has enough room for two teenagers and myself. I'm closer to the high school than what your blood money has paid for, and I won't try to kill Allison in her sleep unlike some parents."
Victoria's mouth twists, just so, and Melissa growls. Chris pats the knife clipped to his belt. "Just making sure it's still there." He explains.
Most of their parents' conversation goes over Allison's and Scott's heads. They're sitting closely together, looking over a notebook and speaking seriously.
"We should call the landlord and let him know we'll be moving in next week." Allison considers. "And beginning making the deposits."
"I'm so glad you're so smart." Scott says. "I wouldn't have been able to do this by myself."
"You'll always have me." Allison smiles and squeezes knee. "Besides, it's thanks to you I got that job at the coffee shop."
"It was nothing." Scott mumbles with a blush. "I just knew Josh from lacrosse and he said he'd put in a good word for you."
"It was something." Allison says firmly. "It was a good thing you did for me. And now we have more than enough to afford rent and bills for the next six months. That's a wonderful thing."
"Yeah, yeah it is, huh." Scott beams at his wife.
He'd been waiting for the Festival of Red since he met Allison at the beginning of the school year. He'd looked at her and just known there was no one else in the world who could fill the position of Mrs. Scott McCall than her; although, Allison insisted on be called Allison Argent-McCall because she was a feminist. Or at least he thinks that's why. That week had been a confusing one that involved a lot of conversations about women's suffrage and equal work equals equal pay. Stiles and he had sat down and pretended to listen while flicking paper footballs at each other when she wasn't paying attention.
"Fuck you, you god damn--"
"We should probably begin buying household necessities while our parents are busy." Allison says. "Maybe we'll see someone at the store!"
"Oh! Do you think we might see Stiles?"
They leave unknown to their feuding parents, a good thing, because the three were later arrested for noise complaints and assault by Deputy Patton. Arrests and convictions were frowned up when applying to colleges and universities, and when asked his professional opinion on Allison and Scott moving out on their own, Deputy Patton threw all his support behind them that the lawyer the Argents hired was stumped.
"I feel like I should be more uncomfortable with the idea of my seventeen year old son sharing a room with a twenty-four year old." John shares with Cynthia.
"But you don't." She says knowingly.
"But I don't." He agrees and drinks more of his beer. "I like the idea of someone being home with Stiles when I'm at work. It wasn't too long ago if I left him alone longer than two hours he and Scott would be sitting in the station while my deputies lectured them."
Cynthia smiles. "I will miss Derek's cooking. You should take complete advantage of his ability."
"The boy cooks? I like him more and more." John says.
"He's also very good at minding children." She continues to share. "And the laundry has been his chore since he was ten." She frowns thoughtfully. "He isn't very good speaking to repairmen, delivery men or mechanics, although that may depend on your perspective. We usually get discounts when we send him, but also requests to use a different provider."
"Huh." John says. "What does he do for a living?"
“He does a little bit of this and that for me.” Cynthia says, waving her hand.
“That’s not vague or mysterious.” John says, deadpan.
Mr. Whittemore and Mrs. Mahealani owned a law firm that thrived on the sixth day of the Festival of Red.
Everyone wanted some sort of legal help. There were contracts to draw up between two families wherein one of or both of the particapants were still in high school. For example, who would live where while the minor attend school? What if someone mated with someone from out of town? The basics. Then there were the emancipation papers to draw up for a handful of minors that resented the idea of being legally married and still under their parents’ thumbs. There were wills to make. Divorces to file, engagements to dissolve, unexpected separations to deal with.
(It was little surprise to Mr. Whittemore when he sees Lydia Martin’s emancipation papers and forms for a legal name change. His son’s former girlfriend had always been the type to see years ahead of everyone else, and he would have gladly considered Lydia as his daughter if things had worked out between Jackson and her. He’s already received thirteen calls from Mr. Martin. Thirteen. He carefully looks over her paperwork and smiles, sharply, because Mr. Martin had annoyed him and happily expedites her paperwork.
But Lydia Martin’s (soon to be Lydia Hale and Mr. Whittemore could hardly wait to see where the girl would end up with the doors that name opened for her) paperwork wasn’t the only to keep Mr. Whittemore and Mrs. Mahealani busy. There was the McCall-Argent case they were representing completely pro bono for Scott McCall and Allison Argent because of headlines. An Enforcer and a werewolf desiring to break away from their families to live the happy ending together? Oh yes. The good press their office would receive would more than make the case worth it.)
This is how the Whittemores could afford a guest house on their property that was far enough, most believed the house to actually be a separate piece of property. Jackson and Danny used to use it as a clubhouse when they were younger and obsessed with Indiana Jones and Pirates of the Caribbean and a temple that needed discovering was need or a pirate ship. As they grew older and a base of operations was needed less, Mrs. Whittemore took the opportunity to seize her guest house back and begin to decorate it to her eye.
“Hard to believe this used to be the Temple of Chocolate Chips.” Danny chuckles.
Jackson agrees. The last time he’d been in here, there had been drawings, scribbles, maps and a bunch of other bizarre shit decorating the walls. There had been a constant fort of sheets and pillows in the living room, the two bedrooms set up as the brig and secret cave of Doom. The kitchen had been constantly stocked with snacks so the two boys could literally play until they dropped. Now, the house was like from a magazine spread and he felt a slight pang that his childhood had been erased so neatly.
“Looks like your mom didn’t replace the floor.” Danny smiles and taps the hard wood for Jackson’s attention. There were scuff marks, scratches and dings and Jackson can’t stop his smile. Raising werewolf boys was difficult. Danny and Jackson had always been inseparable, even when they were mad at each other and always fought it out immediately rather than find an adult or wait a week to make up.
“She’d have to replace the cabinets.” Jackson agrees.
The contract his dad and Danny’s mom drew up stated Danny and Jackson would live together in the Whittemore guest house (Danny’s grandma currently lived in theirs) until they at least graduated high school. Danny’s parents would pay for college tuition for the both of them while Jackson’s would financially support them until they found career niches of their own. What went said, and loudly, was how neither Mr. Whittemore or Mrs. Mahealani cared if they ever found careers since they should focus on family. Focus on giving their loving parents grandchildren to adore and love.
They weren’t very subtle.
What makes a submissive beta wolf? What allows certain humans to be invited to the festival? The answer is the carrier gene.
Jackson would know.
He tested positive for the carrier gene when he was thirteen. It wasn't well known information, even amongst the werewolf community. Everyone believed it had to do with the force of personality and alpha traits. But Jackson had known better.
He remembers the beginning of his junior year in haze of panic and relationship drama. With every day inching closer to February and the damn festival, the more tense things got between him and Lydia. Their fights were loud even without his werewolf hearing and more than once Jackson had to be benched from practice because he was hitting his teammates too hard.
Then there was Danny. At some point, his easy friendship with the other werewolf that has existed his entire life became hard. It was like their every action had a double meaning to it and he'd never admit it, but he'd been so afraid of the thing developing between them that Jackson tried hard to push Danny out of his life. Their fights had been the more quiet and hurt kind that had made Jackson feel guilty for weeks, but he still persisted because he was terrified of what was probably going to change.
Danny had found Jackson in minutes of the Run beginning. He'd backed Jackson against a tree, breathing hard. A strange wolf stumbled upon them and Danny had roared, shaking the birds from the trees and after that no wolf dared come into the little area Danny had Jackson trapped in. Jackson remembers seeing Claire Frost hiding fifteen feet from them in a bush, and later as one of the Unchosen. "Why didn't you come to me?" Danny had asked quietly, voice deathly soft. "Why didn't you say something?"
Jackson had looked away, unable to look into amber eyes. "Say no, Jackson and I'll walk away right now. We can pretend this never happened."
Jackson hadn't said anything. He'd just looked at the ground by their feet and deliberately bared his throat.
"It's like the last few months have been in the Chase." Danny had laughed. He put his mouth by Jackson's ear. "Thank you."
It lead to this moment, two months later and Jackson is staring at the pregnancy test, his mind rewinding all the facts about carriers and thinking, I'm seventeen.
Jackson always did have to be perfect. It made sense even in this he was an overachiever. He had to the perfect body, hair, car, grades (there was a reason Lydia could put up with him) and sports record. He had been made captain sophomore year. Now, there was going to be a baby.
Their parents had suggested they live in the Whittemore guest house since the Mahealani family's was being used by his grandmother. Just until after they graduate or found their own place, which ever came second. It was a nice townhouse Jackson and Danny used to play in until they got too old to be spies or adventurers.
"Well you know how our parents wanted grandchildren? Looks like I'm going to be your baby mama." Jackson considers his words before discarding them. "And this is probably something you don't say over a text."
"Probably not." Lydia smirks and his head jerks up.
He'd been so involved in his thoughts he hadn't sensed Lydia enter his room. Odd considering who she was now mated to. He should have been able to sense Alpha Hale's beta's mate and wife.
"I would personally wait him out. Danny's smart and he'll eventual figure out what's different about your scent. You've only been living in each other's pockets for fourteen years. He's going to notice." Lydia says confidently.
"What are you doing here, Lyds?" Jackson asks but a smile is tugging at him.
Danny's reaction would be priceless if he waited the scent change out. Lydia was friends with them both. She had used to joke she was dating them both when they’d been freshmen, before sex was introduced to their relationship. In middle school, the three of them had been inseparable. Her advice was good.
"I wanted to tell you my new address." Lydia smiles. "Peter and I are moving to the Alexandria Apartments. Number twelve."
"Damn." Jackson says impressed. "He's pulling out all stops to impress you, isn't he?"
Lydia continues to smirk. "He knows what he has."
She sits next to him on his bed and grabs his hand. They sit together for a long time. Until Danny comes home from his community service project for NHS and flops down on the other side of Jackson.
"Our lives are strange." He says as a greeting.
Lydia and Jackson laugh and laugh harder at his curious stare.
Stiles doesn't catch on for a ridiculous amount of weeks, edging into three months when he finally catches on. Derek, ever since the festival, has been spending his nights with Stiles and his days fulfilling his pack duties. He feels ridiculous for not noticing sooner, especially since Derek has his own drawer, half of the closet, toothbrush, towel, pillow and side of the bed.
His dad must have known Derek lived with them. His dad got paid to notice things. So that means he probably invited him. Stiles has kind of been in very firm denial ever since he realized all the Hales lived in Halesubria and there was an eight-five percent possibility Derek and his family expected Stiles to live with them and abandon his dad all alone in their house, so all the things he didn't want to deal with, he ignored. He aggressively ignored it, he just hadn't realized his skill of denial actually made him unaware of Derek moving into his room and life.
And to think, all this time he's been walking the walk of shame in his own house when his dad obviously knew Stiles was not abstaining.
He could have been coming downstairs in his rumpled pjs and suspiciously flaky skin instead of struggling with water temperature and where his arms go in his shirt. Derek could have been eating breakfast without a shirt all this time. Stiles feels cheated.
The day of the Chase, Derek had woken up a greedy, sex hungry monster that pounced Derek every opportunity he had. Whenever Stiles imagined his sex life, he never imagined he'd be particularly kinky.
His porn folder was mild compared to the BDSM, orgies, sadomasochisim and edge play that lurked in the dark corners of the internet. Nice consensual sex was Stiles' preferred. He had no warning that he'd be the type of guy to push his wolfy (husband and mate sounded too responsible member of society for him) against walls, floors, ambushing him in his car, the woods, anywhere Derek was still for more than five minutes and Stiles wasn't forced to do or pay attention to anything else. And this is Stiles. He has a lot of attention to spare, that he needs to divide and divide to be a reasonable human being. It's only when he has to do things like drive or cook, things that will maim him if he isn't paying attention, that can keep him on his best behavior.
And his dad. His dad is an instant boner killer.
And Derek's parents.
But that's it.
Apparently voyeurism and exhibitionism do it for him. Which is nowhere near as bad as what does it for Jackson and Danny.
Sure, it's summer now and it's been four months since the whole run and get caught marriage proposal thing, but Jackson and Danny are seriously giving everyone a run for their money in the sexathon everyone else has been participating in. Not even Allison and Scott are that bad and they've been living together, all alone, since the middle of March. And when Stiles and his human nose can smell sexy times happening in that apartment, you know the smell is strong.
Derek mentioned something once about excess hormones when Stiles whined about seeing Jackson jump Danny in the middle of a pick up game of lacrosse but he also kissed Stiles so messy and deep, Stiles kind of forgot he was complaining.
Peter and Lydia still made Stiles uncomfortable to think about. Not so much the vast age difference that bothers everyone else but because Peter was Lydia's bitch as far as he could tell. Derek tried explaining, something about lulling Lydia into a false sense of security but the parallels were starting to draw a little close to his own relationship, which Derek must have realized because his mouth shut with a click and a glare.
"It's part of the whole werewolf thing," Scott explained when Stiles politely excused himself, re: scrambled from the kitchen tumbling, almost nose diving to rush to the bathroom to run the sink and shower while he called Scott. "We want to prove to our mates that we can give them whatever they want to be happy. And Stiles, you're easy. You want your dad, food, W.O.W. and sex." After that, Stiles calmed a tad, enough to be horrified when Scott began explaining how that same urge was working in their archnemesis' relationship.
"I think Jackson wanted to be pregnant, so Danny knocked him up. I mean, Jackson's got issues and has everything he could want so maybe Danny is fixing those. I don't know. I'm not exactly fluent in douchebag."
Besides Derek's stealth moving in -- "Son, we helped him move in. We made a day of it. I don't know why you're just now noticing." -- Life also now includes weekly dinners at the Hales'. It had originally been weekly breakfast, but Stilinski men were dead sleepers unless otherwise needed and Derek was adopting their Sunday tradition of sleeping until one.
Hale family dinners could consist anywhere from five people to twenty. There was Cynthia Hale, her husband, Laura, Madeline, Natalie, Peter, Lydia, Mary, Rose, Sam, Angela, Derek, Stiles and his dad on an average Sunday night.
They would arrive at four in the afternoon so Derek could be put to work like a good house elf, "Stiles, he cooks. Meat. Real food. Manly stuff. I'm getting rid of you before I get rid of him," while his dad talked to Derek's parents about non-work related subjects like stupid shit their progeny have engaged in.
Stiles usually spends his time with Derek's younger sisters because Laura and Lydia had formed an unholy alliance. (The reason he didn’t find sanctuary in Derek’s domain was simple. Dinner would not be made if Stiles and Derek were left in a room unsupervised for longer than the afore mentioned five minutes, especially since the second Sunday dinner their families had and nothing had been made. Except peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. After that, Stiles had been banned from the kitchen unless someone wanted to play chaperone.) Last time he innocently hung around those two, he overheard Lydia sweetly asking about how a pack could branch away from the main pack, and Laura sweetly mentioning dominance battles and there being an alpha in Black Rock, Nevada that really didn't deserve the title. And how the Hale pack is big and really should be split into three separate packs. Honestly, it was sounding too much like government class when anarchy vs. democracy was ever brought up.
Stiles would be lying if he said he wasn't scared.
There were good and terrible things about being married at seventeen. Like Derek was a health freak but one of the good ones who actually knew how to make kale tasty. After watching Stiles and his dad grocery shop with barely concealed horror, Derek promptly banned both Stilinskis from making dinner and lunch. "Breakfast," he said. "You're on your own."
Which lead into one of the worst things about Derek to ever Derek in his house. Derek taught the werewolf kids how to be good little werewolves after school.
School that Stiles still went to.
As in, Derek got to sleep in, all warm and cuddly while Stiles had to wrench himself from Derek's side and into the shower or else he'd be late and he didn't need his teacher judging him anymore than necessary. They already blatantly stared at his hickeys and stubble burn. Stiles dared any one of them to have someone built like Derek at home and resist having mind blowing orgasms. He dared them.
Scott, the traitor, said it was all Stiles' mind.
Scott was also convinced the restraining order that existed between his mom and Allison's parents was all a misunderstanding.
Stiles was pretty sure the only one misunderstanding the situation was Scott.
And when he whined to his best friend's wife? mate? better half she stared at him for a confused moment before brightening. "I can talk about werewolf sex with you!" And no.
"Why can't you talk to Lydia about it?!"
"Because thinking about her having sex with Peter kind if freaks me out."
"Yeah." Stiles agrees. "That's totally ephebophilia right there."
"And Jackson and Danny are surprisingly vanilla. I mean, they've had sex in every dimly lit corner and dark alley, but they're so tame." She continues.
"And why does that mean you can come to me?!"
"Because you and Scott have a lot in common."
"Yeah, but I don't think that translates into sexual kinks."
Which leads to Stiles learning way too much about Scott. And what'd you know, they do kinda have too much in common. Stiles' eyes have been opened to a completely new side of Allison. He's a little shocked if he's being honest. He should introduce her and Derek. They'd get along great.
Stiles has a theory his mom and Ms. McCall had been a part of a government program when they were pregnant that made him and Scott twins. Just without the genetic material sharing. Like on a soul level.
The sex store Allison drags him to, is thankfully, miles and hours away from Beacon Hills due to Stiles' sheriff father and Allison's denial coping Enforcer parents. Allison had considered making a day of it and inviting Lydia, but they both decided the best way to keep potential mortifying secrets a secret is if only two know about it.
The first thing Stiles noticed about the sex store was they checked Allison's ID and stared at the obviously werewolfian love bites making Stiles' neck purple-red before waving him into the store. Apparently he was slutty enough to not need his ID checked. Great.
There was a truly impressive selection of DVDs, including a National Geographic on werewolf mating habits. There was a wall of costumes, little stands full of sensual bath and massage oils, lubricant, half a wall dedicated to books and sex toys like handcuffs, whips, dildos and feathers dotting the store with a decorative flare.
There was a black curtain in the back of the store, and honestly, Stiles didn't think he was ready to see behind the curtain if they had dildos with spikes, spikes, in the front. What the hell could be hiding behind a black curtain? Allison sadly made him find out.
It was the xenokink side of the store. The first half dedicated to the human side of sensuality, but behind the curtain Stiles caught book and DVD titles like the Pack and I, An Omega's Diaries, and a werewolf sex guide.
Stiles was sure if he was still a virgin, he would have had a panic attack by now.
“I'm scared. Please hold my hand."
Allison smiles, a little uncertain now that she facing a wall dedicate to your pet human's care and welfare. "I think the cashier might think we're together?"
"And I'm okay with letting her think that. As long as Scott and Derek don't find out. Ever." Allison pecks him on the cheek and with fascination, Stiles watched the cashier glare at them with new disapproval. "She works in a sex shop and gets all Mother Pram in us because she thinks we're cheating on our wolfy people. Do you think she has the Hale pack on speed dial?" Allison tilts her head in thought.
"You know my dad never could figure out how werewolves knew they were being cheated on when they used lube is supposed to mask scent." They both stare at the cashier and she glares harder. "Right."
Dubious nature of their relationship aside, Stiles walked out of the shop the owner of several books because research is fucking important when it comes to his body or Derek's while Allison walked out with a bag full of horrors she said she'd figure out as she went.
"I'm a kinetic learner." She explained.
Stiles' out of town trips did not end with Allison unfortunately.
When junior year ended and summer was a day in, Danny came knocking on the door, the most patient of patient faces on, with Jackson sulking by his side and a baby shower invitation. It was yellow with cute phases of the moon bordering it. "You're invited." Danny says. "And if you could give one to Scott and Allison, that'd be great." And as simple as that they left Stiles' porch, Stiles staring at them with his mouth open.
"What? I don't understand what just happened."
Which leads Stiles to baby shopping with Peter and Lydia. Thankfully, Derek was also there to look just as confused and trapped as Stiles felt at a boutique Peter insisted on, and made Lydia get all rosy eyed."We have the same tastes."
"Well, my dear, you are refined."
It was enough to subtly creep him out and want to gag.
They ended up picking out a gaggle of stuffed animals because according to Derek and Peter, baby werewolves started early on the whole stalking and maiming your prey thing. Any child of Jackson's, Stiles had strong feelings, would love to tear the stuffing out of all three giant baby smothering rabbits simply because they were cute. Lydia insisted on getting the expectant two the leading line of organic soaps and diapers. Stiles felt an infant, even Jackson's, wouldn't care what kind of diapers he had, but she insisted.
It would have been a very pleasant trip if it hadn't been for the following comments: "Wow. The Whittemore boy sure is doing his parents proud having children so early in life. I mean, his parents hadn't had to wait seven long years for even a hint of grandchildren."
And: "If it's motherhood you're afraid of Stiles, there are classes to remedy your anxiety."
And: "Derek, I don't know how you do it. Having a mate like Stiles. If Lydia hadn't expressed her utter displeasure at having a child before 2018, she'd already be decorating the nursery. Has Stiles threatened you with the removal of your genitalia too?"
And: "You might as well be pregnant and barefoot now Stiles, because I am going to academically thrash you into being a housewife."
And those were the remarks Stiles can remember without bursting blood vessels in his face.
Derek had been Zen. Nodding along with the occasional head shake.
"How did you do that?" Stiles flails. "Ignore everything they said?"
Derek smirks. "I was busy thinking about sex. With you. In the stuffed animal pen." And the mental image of that made Stiles grin like a loon and happily survive the drive home with Peter and Lydia knocking the barbed comments higher and higher until they practically named Derek's five kids (there's the triplets Jasmine, Jasper and Jeremiah and the oldest girls Lupo and Selina, one named after the deputy from Eureka and the other Catwoman) and where they'll go to school and grow up to be like.
Derek is right. Another point in his favor. It's hard to be terrified when he's too busy being aroused. A state of mind Derek was actively encouraging if his smirk indicated anything. His eyes absolutely wicked.
"Boys, cut it out." Peter says. "My mate is more power control oriented in the bedroom and needs more preparation than scent." Which was more than Stiles ever wanted to know about Lydia Hale. Lydia Martin, he would have sold anything to learn about her bedroom kinks. Now he feels like he's perving on his great aunt. "Classy." Lydia huffs and crosses her arms.
"But true, my dear." And now that's Scott's pointed it out, Stiles can see the power dynamic war those two keep fighting.
The baby shower is the social event of July, and Strikes would be lying if seeing a fat Jackson didn't fill his heart with secret glee. He looked cranky and miserable and Danny was a freak because he kept cooing and fawning like it was cute. Maybe Danny had a humiliation kink? Whatever. Each to his own.
Stiles peeks a look at Derek who seemed way out of his depth surrounded by young adults and middle age professionals. "How are you a pack dignitary?" Stiles asks in disbelief.
Derek bares his teeth in a mockery of a sweet smile, but whatever Stiles still adores it. "A pack really doesn't want to meet me." Which, apparently, Derek helped his mom police all the smaller packs that found solace under the Hale umbrella. His dad and him, out of morbid curiosity and hunger -- take out didn't compare to Derek's cooking and Derek's been gone for days now -- decided to look into police reports about the neighboring packs, their crimes and how they suddenly turned angelic.
There was photos.
It wasn't pretty.
No one died, but if Stiles had been attacked like that, he would have wished he was dead. One pack, the Grangers, were beaten into an inch of their lives for preying, also called eating, they'd been eating, humans. "Um," Stiles says because the only side him and his dad had been aware of was Derek's grumpy morning persona, his godlike ability to feed them, his sexual habits that Strikes hopefully knew way more about than his dad and that he was family orientated guy.
The evidence of Derek being violent and vicious was hard to imagine.
"I think it'd best if we forgot about this." His dad says slowly and they close the file.
That lasts for all of seven minutes as they eat their crappy salads. "Do you have any more reports about the packs he's been sent to?" Stiles asks as his dad digs through the filing cabinet helpfully decorated with moon and wolf stickers.
The sheriff didn't always look through the reports the Hales filed, leaving that to Rose Hale, their liaison. He did look at the headline ones, but mostly the sheriff and the state of California left the werewolves to themselves.
"My son is legally married to a mob enforcer." The sheriff says blankly.
"Oh my god. This is so awesome! My wolfy is a bona fide badass. Why didn't he tell me?"
Obviously the two Stilinskis differed greatly in opinion about Derek's profession.
"Finding out you bitch slap other werewolves into good behavior almost makes up for the fact you didn't tell me to begin with." Stiles mumbles two days later to a Derek who thought he could sneak into bed without Stiles noticing.
The bed had felt empty without Derek, never mind that he'd been sleeping in it just fine for seventeen years and with Derek for only five months.
Stiles kept his eyes closed because tired, duh, but he was sure Derek's eyes were wide and he was floundering to calm his damsel in distress mate. Yeah. Not Stiles, buddy. Stiles favorite comic book hero was Batman. Tall, dark and tortured with an awesome bitch slap of fury. Which kind of explained a lot about Stiles' attraction to Derek. Have comic books been influencing his sexual orientation all this time? Hmmm. He'd have to write DC.
"I didn't' t know how to tell you." Derek says finally after Stiles had time to wonder if Jean Grey was the reason for his attraction to Lydia. Lydia was pretty Phoenix worthy.
"‘Hey, Stiles, I bring the wrath of the Hales down upon any pack not obeying my mom's orders' would have been a good place to start." Stiles says and now he's awake.
He moves around until his Derek blanket gets the hint and pushes to his arms and Stiles didn't mean for this to lead to sex but Derek's arms were very nice to look at. And if he was looking at his arms, it only made sense to look at his shoulder and neck and by then, he smells enough for Derek to give him a pointed look. "What?" He asks defensively. "I am a virile young man who just found his wolfy life partner who has been gone for days in his bed. I think they’re be something wrong with my dick if it wasn’t even a little interested in this situation."
Derek's expression softens slightly, reading in between the words and hearing: "I illegally looked at your background and slept on your side of the bed and I missed you and your crazed violently happy expression." Speaking Stilesnese is an art form that Derek is a natural at.
And as these things frequently go, one thing leads to a sweaty overheated Stiles convinced he's gone to heaven and a smugly satisfied Derek sniffing his collarbone. Stiles has not met a situation that does not lead to sex, cannot be solved by sex or is an aftermath of the afore mentioned.
"You don't mind." Derek says but Stiles can clearly hear the question.
"Dude, I figured you were a little more violent than most when you tore Nate a new one for calling me your little woman."
"Don't call me dude." Derek says. And really? That's what he picks up from that? He's drifting towards a place where dreams come true when he hears Derek whisper, "I love you too."
Derek doesn't leave a lot.
The Granger pack was the first in four months Derek has had to leave. But it opens the flood gates. Derek is called out again two weeks after he comes home and Stiles responds maturely by hugging him goodbye with the intent to call and text, which he does.
To Derek, he's as sweet and happy as can be. To his dad even, Stiles is polite if a little distant. It's to everyone else, including the pack's messenger that bears the brunt of a prissy Stiles. Privately, Stiles makes a list of all the reasons Derek should never be allowed to leave again with Scott and Allison and various other classmates add to when Stiles begins to get unreasonable.
The list goes as follows:
- Brings grades down by .20%
- The bed is cold
- There is no healthy food
- No one to keep me company
- No one to keep me from being bored
- There's no good reason to go to bed
- Helps with insomnia
- Nothing pretty to ogle
- No snarky comments
- No sex
- No kissing
- No hugs
- No wolf cuddling
And then the list goes on in multitudes of handwritings:
- Stiles mopes
- Stiles is an asshole
- He laughs meanly
- He eats my curly fries
- Has not left my couch for two days
- Does not shower as often
- Does not eat well
- Spends a disturbing amount of time face down on your pillow
- Won't shut the hell up
- Goes shopping with Lydia -- there was a reason they were kicked out of the mall!
- Calls Scott a potato
- Watches reality TV with Jackson
- Has meaningful conversations with Victoria Argent that includes removing blood from clothes and husbands having dangerous jobs
Scott manfully presents the discovered and added to list to Derek after the fourth time he left Beacon Hills to conclude pack business. "You don't understand our pain." Scott says sadly.
The List of Reasons Why Derek Can't Leave For Longer Than Two Days is a touchstone in their relationship. Seriously. It only took to the fall of the new school year for Derek and Stiles to admit what everyone already knew to each other (consciously that is): they loved each other dearly.
And then the Whittemore/Mahealani baby was born.
(The topic of surnames was a minefield for any of the same sex pairings the festival produced that resulted in slamming doors and holes in walls. Even Allison had been known to try shooting an arrow through Scott about this topic.)
The baby was born in November.
Now, Alpha Hale would have loved thinking her son and his mate would be giving her a grandchild after seeing Rosalie Whittemore-Mahealani's tiny fingers and toes and adorable tuff of hair. That they would be more open to the idea. But Alpha Hale knew better. One look at the little girl and Stiles turned right back around.
"It isn't natural! That little person came out of Jackson! For a person she's tiny but to come out of a ten centimeter opening? No! Now way! It's not possible!" And Derek's obvious relief made her twitch.
Her son was adamant on denying her happiness, wasn't he? For his ears alone she growls, "Eventually, you will have a child, Derek. Don't think I can't change his mind." Which began the tradition of Stiles always sitting at her side at Sunday dinners. She was subtle of course. "Here's a few pictures of Juliet and Merc. Rose's twins. They'll be turning five in December."
"They're adorable!" Stiles coos. "I didn't know werewolves could shift so early."
"Oh, yes," she nods. "And they're the best around this age when it's all puppy fur and milk teeth." Derek glares at her but she smiles sweetly at him. She had warned him. And her project with Stiles was operating on a five year plan.
There was a five year plan.
There was also the topic of Derek and Scott, arguably two of three most important people in Stiles' life. Just not in the same room.
"When you said you were like brothers, I didn't think meant mortal enemies, Thor-Loki brothers."
Completely deadpan, Derek says. "He has wronged my family and I must avenge them."
Stiles gives him a dirty look. "Sure, now you develop a sense of humor."
Except Scott had wronged one of the Hales, okay maybe not mortally or fatally, but it was enough that Derek's extended family all gave Scott the stink eye.
"What did you do?" Stiles asks they change for lacrosse. "Because whatever it was they are holding a grudge."
A semi guilty expression makes itself at home on Scott's face and Stiles preemptively slams his forehead on his locker door. "It's Allison related. Isn't it." Stiles was sure about this, he didn't even need a question mark he was so sure. Slowly, Scott nods.
"You know how you said it wasn't a good idea to date an Enforcer in training? Well. The Hales disagreed until Allison's aunt started going around shooting them with wolfsbane. I mean Deaton fixed them! And they sort of put a ban on Allison and I seeing each other-"
"That you ignored."
"--That I ignored and led to Allison's aunt trying to set fire to the pack's territory."
Stiles stares at his best friend like one of them was sane and it wasn't the one with the initials SJM (on a side note, Stiles initials were G"S"JS even if he told everyone they were indeed SJM like Scott's because most people nodded along before realizing Stilinski did not start with an M.).
“I am a terrible person for trapping Derek in the same room with you. I really am. I think I need to go say sorry with mouth, and by that, I mean a blow job.” It was important to be as specific as possible with Scott, and that fact it made Scott cringe was just a perk. Truly. Stiles was too nice of a person to not over share his sex life with his best friend, even when his best friend’s wife (Scott and Allison were totally apart of the responsible society with their jobs and bills and apartment) loved to share the details of theirs.
“Oh my God. I’m sorry.” Scott cries, his hands over his ears. "I'll apologize to them!"
Derek, when he first thought about mating, never thought he’d mate with someone like Stiles. Ever. If it had been a possibility sooner, Derek would have the whole nine yards of matrimony bliss going on right now.
‘Though it was be strange and creepy (maybe the most creepy thought Derek has had in relation to Stiles and he had quite a few already) because Stiles would have been ten when Derek was seventeen and participating in his first festival. But Derek could not imagine anyone else as his mate. Only Stiles because Stiles was –
Stiles was a lot of things that Derek didn’t think he had the proper vocabulary to express what Stiles meant to him. Stiles didn’t give a damn about Derek’s worrisome traits even after being faced with them at point blank range, the gun smoking. He would shrug and laugh or they’d have sex. It was an amazing sort of life he was leading now.
Which lead him to his current problem.
Derek has yet to complete the third challenge. As unofficial as it was, most werewolves still completed the third task in some way.
Ten months after the Chase and Derek was worrying at it.
All of Stiles’ little friends were able to figure it out, and yet Derek was still one of the only ones who hasn’t done anything to prove his worth to his mate.
(Stiles could call Derek his wolfy all he wanted, but Derek was calling the younger man mate because humany sounded vaguely speciesist.)
Scott got Allison an apartment and a job.
Peter got Lydia her freedom from her parents.
Danny got Jackson a baby.
Derek got Stiles…nothing.
It didn’t sit right with him.
But he didn’t know what Stiles wanted. When Scott had told Stiles keeping him happy was simply, he’d been irritatingly right. The thing was, Stiles deserved so much. Everything Derek could give him, but he didn’t know where to start. Videogames? A book? Laptop? Derek was at a loss for a gift that would prove to Stiles that Derek was a worthy mate. Stiles had run all the way to Cedar Copse. That was significant.
He’s dealing with the Bishop pack – a small pack that had been giving the local vedmak that Deaton owes a favor to a headache – when he spots it. Stiles has started his own magic lessons with Deaton. A fight Derek almost lost because Stiles refused to believe him when he said Stiles had magic, or something. It’d taken an intervention of thoughtful faces for Stiles to agree to get tested for it and he proceeded to set a protection circle on fire. Not magical Derek's ass.
“He really is too good for you.” Laura had scowled. “A Spark. Your mate is a Spark. Jesus.”
"Way to raise the bar, Derek." Nate had whined.
The vedmak had Derek sitting in her living room -- colorful with afghans draped everywhere, other yarn creations and cat fur from at least six cats that Derek could identify while the vedmak made lunch before he leaves -- when he spots the basket of trinkets by the window sill. They were colorful and he’s bored. He identified cat fur. That had to be telling. He pokes at them, picking some up to see them better when he picks up a brown leather bracelet, like a cuff or a wrap, decorated with purple beads. The vedmak comes back as he’s admiring how the beads looked in the sunlight.
She sets the tray down and clicks her tongue. “Do you like it?” She comes over to Derek’s side and takes the leather bracelet from his hands. “Amethyst beads. For protection against.” She gestures towards herself and Derek’s mental supplying the word magic for her. “But no use to shape shifters. Doesn’t work.”
“How about for Sparks?” Derek asked.
Her eyes go wide and she throws her head back and laughs. “Ah, that’s how it is. It will work. Keep it, take to your mate.” She hands it back to Derek. “Now come eat. It will help your healing.”
He keeps the amethyst bracelet in his jacket pocket for days, debating to give it to Stiles or not. It is a nice bracelet. Magical protection which Stiles could do more of if he was serious about training as a Spark. It’d be good. A good gift for a good mate. But Stiles wasn’t good. He was great, wonderful, everything Derek and his wolf had been waiting for. Derek’s looking for perfect.
The decision is taken from his hands when Stiles senses it the next morning. “Okay, there’s something in this house that’s driving me nuts. And I’m pretty sure it’s coming from your jacket. Did the vedmak douse you with something?” Derek is struggling to wake up, there was something in his jacket he didn’t want Stiles to see yet. What was it?
“Uh, Derek? What’s this?” Stiles asks and Derek sees something purple and bleary when he remembers.
“It’s yours. If you want it.” Derek says and turns his face back into the pillow.
He falls back asleep, he got back late, and wakes up to Stiles curled next to him poking the amethyst bracelet he clasped around his wrist and reading a book about geology. The purple beads are sparkling with mini storms and Derek is convinced he needs a few more hours of sleep if he’s imagining storm clouds inside of rocks.
“Good afternoon.” Stiles says. He kisses Derek on the cheek. “Thanks for the magical protection. Deaton has been on my ass about me leaving myself vulnerable to the spirits. And it stopped taunting me. I think it wanted me to wear it now rather than later.”
“It thinks?” Derek asks raspy.
“Well, it has feelings. Magic is way more sentiment than people give it credit for.” Stiles defends. “It’s not like it’s going to go Skynet on me or anything so calm your fur.” Stiles appears thoughtful. “That and I think the woman you got it from had a crush on you. It likes me a lot for me being a stranger.”
“She was in her sixties.” Derek says. “She had six cats.”
“Love doesn’t know a number.” Stiles says sagely. “And are cats a sore spot with you? Do you have desires to chase them up trees?”
“I’m going back to sleep.” Derek declares.
He rearranges Stiles who yelps, wrestling Stiles onto his side so Derek could duck his face in his neck. Spooning. Derek never thought he’d reach the point in his life he’d be spooning with another human being, yet here he is. Sniffing into Stiles’ neck while Stiles grunts and makes himself comfortable, reading the book sideways. He’s nuzzling Stiles, his chest rumbling in contentment and he’s dozing when Stiles begins wiggling, his stomach grumbling.
“Food, Derek.” Stiles whines.
"Then go get it." Derek mumbles back.
"You have to let go for that." Stiles says. "We've talked about this. Your arms are like a straight jacket. I'm not able to move if you don't want me to."
"Then I guess no food." Derek sighs, intent on going back to dozing.
He feels Stiles' struggle in his hold, barely containing a smile at Stiles' sad efforts when he feels Stiles' tongue on his face. Derek jerks back, suddenly more awake than he wanted to be. He glares.
"I am not above eating your face." Stiles claims. "I haven't eaten since yesterday because of reasons that do not pertain to the list. And I know you are too because your stomach has been trying to communicate with me for the past thirty minutes."
"Fine," Derek groans and prompty pushes Stiles out of bed.
"Ow! You ass!"
"I'll be right downstairs. Don't touch anything."