Stiles' instinct upon seeing Derek and Isaac stretched out together is to bolt like a frightened bunny. He gets down the stairs à la Snagglepuss, exit stage left. The only thing missing is the cartoon music. It feels like his legs do the crazy wheeling thing the whole way down.
He makes it to the garage before he realizes what he's doing. Going back to Scott's isn't the answer. Stiles didn't run from werewolves and he didn't run from kanima'ed up Jackson and he didn't run from his baby so he wasn't going to run now, from his own house and what probably wasn't even going to be a confrontation. Derek and Isaac were pack, and that meant... okay, Stiles didn't know what exactly. It didn't seem to be his business. But it was separate from what he had with Derek, what they were building around the Puppy. So he made himself march back inside, into his living room, and sit on the love seat like he didn't care because he didn't. He was fine.
Just— In his bed? The one he'd been sharing with Derek? Really? Stiles sighs and throws his legs over one arm and tilts his head back against the other to look up at the ceiling. He wishes that they hadn't been in his bed, their bed, of all places. That fucking stung, even though Stiles wasn't sure he had any right for it to.
In stressful situations, Stiles has a tendency to talk to himself but now, he can’t. Derek and Isaac are both werewolves who could hear him all the way down the street, never mind one floor up. He resigns himself to drumming his feet against the side of the chair and fishing out his phone.
I hate life. he texts Scott. It's the only alternative.
Scott replies u said. whatd it do now? so fast that Stiles wonders if he wasn't waiting for this text. Maybe. More likely he was clutching his phone in the eternal hope of Allison finally reopening lines of communication. Still it feels good to get that kind of instant gratification.
Derek and Isaac are in my bed.
2gether?! D: D:!!!!
Stiles texts a frowny face back but tells Scott not to come over when he offers to. He also declines the offer to kick Derek and Isaac's respective asses because well, Derek's pregnant and also, they haven't done anything wrong, have they? It's not their fault that he feels gut-punched and heartsick. They didn't make Stiles read more into Derek saying they'd try than he meant.
That was all Stiles. Only, no, fuck that. They were currently in a green zone of sorts, but Derek thought Stiles was good enough to fuck, to call for his sex emergency, but he's not enough to talk to like he clearly was with Isaac, to look at like, like... Stiles covers his face with a pillow and groans into it because fuck it. He could admit to himself that he was jealous that Derek was looking at Isaac in a way that was sweet and gentle and, goddamnit, maybe loving.
Stiles wants that, the loving part at least. He doesn't even need the sweet and gentle parts. Derek can still be growly and grumpy and defensive and angry so long as Stiles can get some more of the loving Derek he's gotten glimpses of. He doesn't know how long he's felt like this. He knows that he's wanted Derek since before the sex emergency, definitely.
The first time he saw Derek all sulky and creepy in the woods was confusing. Stiles was confused a lot that year. Scott, Danny, Jackson, the girls from the Jungle, Boyd – Derek was just one more confusing guy on the list of Confusing Guys Who Confused Stiles when there was still Lydia and Allison, and well, Scott’s mom if he was going to be really honest. That had been before the solution to that confusion revealed itself to Stiles in the fairly comfortable identity of bisexuality.
All things considered, Stiles has been forced to rethink that assessment of himself, with the werewolf thing. Maybe it was bicryptosexuality because he thought Derek, Boyd and Erica were all sexually attractive, so definitely bi, but werewolves were technically cryptids. Then again, Derek's biology did seem sort of intersexed at the moment. They'd conceived the Puppy so that stretched the male thing, didn't it? Well, unless carrying the Puppy was a seahorse situation, which Stiles didn't think it was.
As always, the mere thought of the Puppy threw Stiles train of thought right off the rails. It happened every single time because, God, the Puppy was a thing, a little living being that was getting more and more real every second. According to Deaton, the Puppy was technically in the second trimester and how crazy was that? How crazy, amazing, scary, and great?
Not the point, Stiles tells himself firmly, dragging his mind away from the idea of painting the guest room green, like the forest behind Derek's ruin of a house. Green would be good because boy or girl, woodsy was a good style for a baby werewolf. He'll have to tell his dad. He's good at stuff like that. The point, he reminds himself firmly, is that this thing, with Derek, it's not news.
The man's been speed-dial number 8 in his phone for over a year now. Stiles has gotten over that phase where he gets hard every time he sees Derek (and wow wasn't the first semester of sophomore year so much fun for him what with the instant hard-ons in addition to the initial werewolf insanity) but he still... wants. He wants enough that he is lying here doing nothing at all but actively fucking hurting over the tableau in his bedroom.
All in all, Stiles thinks he's doing a decent job at mixing the sharp pain and unearned angst up with a righteous fury but the sound of heavy footsteps on the stairs distract him. Stiles wonders how much weight Derek's put on, if any. Deaton would know. Derek would kill them both if Stiles asks so naturally that’s all he wants to do in that moment because screw confrontation, man. Who needs it, right?
Isaac shoves Derek into the room. Neither of them have shoes on so Stiles can clearly see the fact that Derek's toenails are less nail-y and more claw-y, and the same on his hands though nothing else looks different. Isaac, on the other hand, looks perfectly normal if deeply exasperated.
He gives Derek another shove. Derek growls at him but Isaac just clicks his teeth and growls back. It's the most inhuman thing Stiles has ever seen them do, including killing people with their jaws. He can't help but stare at the silent fight they carry out, because oh does Derek seem to relish a silent fight, before Isaac gives a shrug that clearly conveys 'fuck it' and gives his Alpha another poke.
"Derek has something he'd like to say to you," Isaac says, giving Stiles a shy smile. "And that would normally be my cue to leave. But since the two of you seem to be completely incapable of making progress if you're not under observation, I'm going to chill on the couch while you guys talk."
"We're not children," Derek mutters like this is a protest he's made more than once.
Isaac gives Derek a look that is just as cutting as any sarcastic barb Stiles has ever uttered. Derek actually has the good grace to seem chagrined. Stiles would be moved to applause if he weren’t still stinging so badly over seeing Isaac looking down at Derek in their…his (fuck he hates this) bed.
"Really? Because I'm being forced to referee your DTR conversation. That's pretty childish if you ask me."
"I'm officially forgiving you a little for knowing that term and presumably the series it comes from, Lahey," Stiles grumbles. "But only a little."
Derek looks confused, his eyes going a little bluer in the overhead lighting. "DTR?"
"He's not a fan of Dorm Life. His loss," Isaac says with a shrug. "Surprising exactly no one. Derek," Isaac presses his fingers together, "what did we just talk about?"
"Defining the— Oh." Derek gaze drops down to his bare feet. He drags his big toenail-claw over the carpet for an interminable length of time before he retracts the claws on his feet completely and says, "Stiles, things are complicated."
"I don’t think that's news to anyone, not anymore but we were making serious progress. Jesus, I mean, you and me, we're—" He glances at Isaac, but Isaac has his phone out and is clearly only paying attention in a you two cannot be left unsupervised or you will destroy everything in a twenty foot radius sort of way. "We decided to try to be more. Hell, I thought that's what we were doing."
Derek lifts his hand and rubs the back of his neck in response which does nothing but make him look guilty and cause the bottom of his grey t-shirt ride up. Stiles gets a flash of the thin strip of skin just beneath his navel which is all it takes really. Just that and he's breathless.
His stomach's not starting to curve or anything. He's still got that ridiculous six-pack and probably will for another month or two, but even so? It does the most unfair things to Stiles brain knowing his baby is beneath that gorgeous skin. No, really, he's not exaggerating here; the impulses are actually insane. He has the desire to drop to his knees right now and pull Derek’s shirt over his head so he can press his cheek to the warm skin. So he can be as close to both Derek and the Puppy at the same time as possible.
It also makes him want to knock Derek down in one of the tackles he's been learning from practice on the lacrosse defensive line and push Derek's shirt up so he can lick every inch of skin he can. Stiles wants to find out if Derek tastes more like him now that the Puppy's a little bigger, a little more established, or something new, or exactly the same as he had that one time months ago. So. Yeah.
Utterly batshit right? Right. Only his mouth is moving and that's never a good thing.
"We skipped to the end. Kids are supposed to come last, after dating and sex and marriage. I mean, I didn't even get to see you, you know, face to face."
"Stiles, you and I both know that what happened that night isn't the issue."
"It is though. Because you called me. You picked me. And I came and I, fuck, Derek, in bed it's okay for us to curl up like kittens in a fucking box, but if I go to kiss you and you pull away. But Isaac?" Stiles tries super hard not to sound wounded or petulant. He comes off sounding like a five year old who dropped his ice cream cone on the pavement in July instead.
"It's not that."
"It's really not," Isaac agrees, not looking up from his phone. "He's not my type, Stilinski."
"Then what? Is it the wolf thing? Because I already told you I'd take the bite. I meant it. I still mean it." The scariest thing is that he really fucking does mean it. Being a werewolf isn't something he exactly wants. It's done some fucked up, scary shit to Scott and Isaac. Not to mention Boyd and Erica, wherever they are. He's seen them go Dark Side, seen what wolfsbane and hunters and the instinct can make them do.
The crazy thing is that Stiles isn't actually that worried. He'd have Scott and Derek and Isaac to help him through the changes and Derek as an alpha would never call him to kill some poor bus driver. He'd even have anchors going in. His dad, the Puppy, Scott, Allison, now Derek and Isaac. Those are all worth staying human for and Stiles knows that, if push came to shove, he could figure out some way to hang on for them even in the worst crisis.
"It might even be fun. We could have moonlit family picnics and stuff." At that, Derek turns absolutely green. "Oh my god. Crap. Your family didn't do that did they? I just hit a nerve didn't I?"
"I have to—" Derek says, then runs into the kitchen. He vomits into the sink like his stomach is being ripped out his throat. Stiles doesn't know if he hit a nerve or if this is morning sickness but he's at Derek's side an instant later and so is Isaac.
"It's not black is it?" Stiles asks, going on his toe to try and see over Derek's shoulders as he heaves. There's no answer and that's not okay because Stiles really needs Derek to be throwing up gross but normal colored vomit. Any thing on the spectrum is fine, really ranging from pinkish to green to that awful brown so long as it's not the thick black bile that Derek spewed onto the floor of the veterinary clinic when he was honest to god dying.
Isaac is taller than both of them and peers over them both, curious. "You want to know what color his puke is, Stilinski? Seriously? I mean, ew."
"Isaac, is it black, yes or no?"
"It's, I don’t know, vomit." He arches his eyebrow hard as Derek convulses again. "Dude, Derek when the hell did you eat Skittles? You're upchucking the rainbow."
Okay, really enough of this. He gives Isaac a hard shove in the side and says, "Go grab a washcloth or something." Stiles is silent as Isaac disappears in that weird way all werewolves seem to have. Then he turns on the cold water to wash away the mess in the sink. It actually is multicolored, a nightmare of undigested candy that Stiles wishes he could ask about. Was it a craving or does Derek just like Skittles? What is his favorite candy anyway? Everyone's got one; Stiles' own are Red Vines, his dad likes Nerds and Scott is a freaky goober who's actual favorite are candy corn. It's the tip of the question iceberg Stiles feels like he's floating on.
For the moment, Stiles can ignore that. Derek is sweating like a human after an entire practice of Finstock's suicide drills. It's something he could fix, he knows he could, and he will once he figures it out and Isaac gets back with the wash cloth. He takes a deep breath and settles for letting his side brush against Derek’s as it swirls away into the pipes.
Stiles is pretty freaking proud of himself for only asking the one question that matters right now. "You okay?"
"Ugh. Yeah. I guess that's it huh? Morning sickness? Guess the cub doesn't care that it's night out.” Derek says, not lifting his head. He just stares down at the flow of the water into the drain. A drop of sweat joins the tiny whirlpool and they both stare down.
Isaac reappears with a dry washcloth, looks the two of them over quickly then vanishes again. Stiles takes that as an all clear from the referee and places a tentative hand on Derek's back, giving him ample time to pull away. He doesn't. "Unless my joke was that bad."
"Good. I'd hate to lose my touch now." With the other hand he soaks the washcloth and pats cool water on the back of Derek's neck. His dad used to do this for his mom, when the medication made her sick and she was sweating and miserable. It always worked on her and to Stiles relief, it seems to work on Derek too.
His shoulders relax and so do the muscles in his neck. Then Derek starts talking, actually talking about things that matter. Stiles wants to hold his breath for fear he'll ruin this moment. Instead he keeps gently cleaning away Derek’s sweat, adding a little cool water when he thinks its needed.
"We did though, do stuff under the moon." Derek admits. It's soft and sad and Stiles finds himself rubbing slow circles on Derek's back without thinking. This easy intimacy, if nothing else, is something they've worked hard for over the last few weeks and he's not letting it go even if things are weird now. "Religious stuff mostly. Weddings, namings, coming of age celebrations. We had parties too, holidays kind of like christmas but not the same. We had different days but the point was the same - be with your family, eat too much food, watch TV, harass your cousins.”
"I want that for the cub, you know? Named under the moon, after a hunt, surrounded by pack. That's the way it should be. Not…” Derek’s head droops so low his shoulders are above his ears. “Not like this. Broken."
"Yeah but not bad broken. We're like Lilo and Stitch broken."
At that, Derek rests his arms on the edge of the sink and lifts his head to look at Stiles. His raised eyebrows are a clear ‘what the fuck Stiles’ if Stiles' has ever seen one.
"You know, at the end? When the alien cops come to take Stitch away and he goes over to Nani and Lilo and says, ‘This is my family. I found it all on my own. Is little and broken but still good. Yeah, still good.’” Stiles moves his hand up to knead Derek's tight neck. "Maybe it's broken like that. That's not so bad is it?"
"God, I haven't seen that movie since I was like... fifteen."
"Lilo and Stitch is a classic of neo-Disney cinema."
Derek levels him with what would be a glare if the corner of his mouth weren’t twitching. “One,it's creepy how accurately you can reproduce the Stitch voice and two, neo-Disney cinema is not a thing.”
“Neo-Disney is like…Okay, I don’t know if it's technically a thing but its what I call anything after they stopped hand-drawn musicals but before Pixar really took over that isn’t also Studio Ghibli.” He holds out his hands, wash cloth and all. “We can totally debate this or you can just admit that my Stitch voice isn’t creepy, it’s adorable.”
Derek smiles at him. It doesn't reach all the way to his eyes, the vomiting seems to have worn him out too much for that. It’s definitely real though. When Stiles smiles back Derek sighs and concedes, “All right. Maybe it's a little cute."
The moment lasts for longer than Stiles could’ve hoped. So long that it makes Stiles brave and, more importantly, to take a flying leap into the hard conversation they’ve been avoiding for what feels like forever at this point. “Derek?"
"Why am I the last person on earth you're ever willing to talk to? I thought we were doing this together. We agreed but you'll go to Deaton, my dad, Isaac. Everyone except me. Did I ruin everything by going through the heat with you and then, I don’t know, trying anyway? Because I didn't really have a choice."
Before Stiles has a chance to finish explaining, Derek's smile vanishes and he's puking again. It's different now. Like they're coming from his chest rather than his stomach. At any second, Stiles expects to see black poison spray forth instead of just a little more ugly, brownish bile.
When he's done Derek throws himself back against the stove, staring at Stiles horrified. He's only six years older than Stiles. Sometimes that's a lot and sometimes, like now, that is absolutely nothing. Twenty-two is practically a child when it's that terrified.
"Goddamnit," Derek roars, grabbing whatever's closest, which just so happens to be an empty glass that held juice this morning and hurls it at the wall. It hits the wall with the full force of werewolf strength behind it and explodes, sending glass splinters raining into the sink. Three more glasses, a plate, and a casserole dish meet the same fate and there are two fist-shaped holes in the wall before Derek stops, panting like he's run a minute mile instead of just thrown a few things across the room.
Stiles had moved out of the way after the first glass, taking a seat in one of the kitchen chairs. Isaac came in after the second before making the wise decision to slink back to his room to hide. Stiles chews on a cuticle studying Derek. He waits as Derek takes some deep breaths and a few swigs of water from the tap which he spits into the sink to wash the taste of sick from his mouth before he asks, "Better?"
"Yes. No. It's just—Hormones. It's fucking hormones and magic and everything I am gone wrong."
Stiles is out of his chair in an instant, right up in Derek's face. "No, okay? No. Deaton said this male werewolf pregnancy thing was a thing born-wolves could do so, that's means this is natural so how can you even—The Puppy, Derek. How can you say that about the Puppy? It's not wrong. It's perfect and it's ours."
He wraps his arms around Derek because he can’t help himself. Stiles needs to hold him, regardless of what Derek wants or needs. This moment isn't about Derek. It's about Stiles and Stiles needs to be holding onto the person carrying his baby right now, please, because he can't think those things, can't let them even be imagined, let alone heard.
"It's ours. It's going to be gorgeous and powerful and smart and ours. That's because of you. So you're not wrong either. You and the Puppy are the most amazing thing that's ever happened. You guys can never ever be wrong okay? Ever." He tightens his arms around Derek's shoulders. "Freaking ever, Derek, you hear me? So shut the hell up and don’t say that again. God."
Arms winding around Stiles’ waist, Derek tucks his head into the crook of Stiles’ neck. He can feel the wetness there, the shaking that sends tremors rippling through Derek's entire body as they stand there. A part of Stiles is grateful, that they're like this. He doesn't know if he'd be able to stay calm if he had to see Derek cry. Just knowing that it's happening is bad enough.
"I'm sorry," Derek says finally. The words are muffled by Stiles’ shirt because he hasn't lifted his head. "I didn't know you felt like you didn't have a choice. I thought—I thought I managed not to—I'm so sorry Stiles." His arms tighten around Stiles, just a little.
Stiles feels sick because oh, God, right. Kate. Fucking Kate fucking Argent and her fucking evil fucking ass. Stiles wants to find some sort of magic spell that would bring her back to life just so he could kill her for leaving wounds like this on Derek because this isn't what he meant. He didn't mean this at all. Damnit.
"To be clear, I meant just the heat because I couldn’t leave you like that. You were in actual pain. Everything else, Derek, everything else, I picked. I could've walked away. You told me I could walk away. I had a choice at every level to get away: from the sex, then from you and the Puppy. I didn't."
"That's because you're a good person Stiles."
"No. I'm a selfish person. I didn't want to. I've been down here sulking because you were all cuddled up with Isaac and not me. I wanted to be the one you talk to and touch like you were touching him. Dude, want is pretty much the name of the game here when it comes to how I feel about you, even before the heat. You probably know that. I bet that’s why you called me."
Silence. Dead fucking silence. Yeah. Stiles suspected as much. Wolf senses are all super-stoked on shit like fear so arousal is probably easy to pick up on too. There's no way Derek didn't know Stiles wanted him before. Unless he had a magic werewolf sinus infection or something.
"That's what I thought."
"It wasn’t the only reason."
"But it was a reason. It's still a reason, for me at least, wanting you, wanting to be with you. I thought I was pretty clear about that the last time we had to have one of these painful conversations about our feelings, but obviously not."
"Obviously," Derek agrees. His voice has all its typical grim gravity back but he still hasn’t lifted his face from Stiles' shoulder. That's okay. Stiles has the ability to work within this framework.
Turning his head so that he's speaking softly, directly into Derek's ear he says, "I really want to kiss you." He proves this point by brushing his lips over the shell of Derek's ear and into his hair. "Can I?"
Only when Derek's hands are actually on him does Stiles appreciate how fucking huge they are. Pressed against his back, flat and warm, then fisted in his hoodie and pulling closer. The size rather than the power behind them leaves Stiles stunned every time because they're basically the same size if you don’t count Derek's extra ripply muscles which make his shoulders seem broader than they actually are. But their hands? Not so much. Derek's hands are large and they speak louder than the words he can't get out when he pulls Stiles a little closer. He doesn't lift his head, but his hands relax once Stiles is close enough and then slide under the hem of his shirt to rest against the skin of Stiles' back.
Okay. Right. That's not incredibly, bone-meltingly intimate or anything. It's not one of the most intense moment's in his life or anything, holding Derek like this, the sharp points of skin to skin contact on his lower back the only points of connection through what feels like a mile of fabric. Derek starts to stroke his thumbs up and down slowly, gently, a rhythm that feels like the consent that Stiles hopes to hell is the yes he's reading it as, because he turns his head and kisses Derek's temple.
"So can I?"
"I meant yes, idiot." He lifts his head and licks his lips. It's a nervous gesture but it makes his lips shine in the yellow light of the living room. "That you can kiss me."
"Oh, thank god," Stiles gasps and tilts his head to the left so he can press his lips to Derek's. It's the first time they've kissed since the heat and when Derek's lips part, oh, it's so much better. They're both sane, present in this moment together. Derek pulling him in with flat palms pressing into his back, insisting that he come closer.
Stiles fits into the curve of his hips like he belongs there, gears locking smoothly and making him brave. He cups Derek's neck with his right hand and his jaw with the left. Derek opens just a little more and so does Stiles, feeling like the bell has rung and this fight is finally over.
"Couch," Stiles says only it comes out garbled since he won't dare pull his mouth away from Derek's. It may be stupid, but Stiles is honestly afraid that if his lips stop touching Derek's this will end. He cannot, have that, okay. He just can't. This is too good, slow and sweet and perfect. There's not even any tongue but it's the best kiss Stiles can imagine.
Derek's never been chatty so Stiles is going to take the way lowers them both onto the couch with werewolfy smoothness as a hell yeah. It certainly feels that way. Stiles ends up on top somehow, he's not exactly sure, but he likes it up there. He's got Derek underneath him, all hard planes through their clothes. It's extra awesome because like this Derek's hands are free to slide up under his shirt to rest on his spine and between his shoulder blades.
Derek is breathing deep, making a rumbling sound in his chest that Stiles can actually feel. It's almost... "Dude." Stiles lifts his head and looks down at Derek. His face relaxed but his eyes are Alpha red, a strange combination that makes him look almost drugged. "Are you purring?"
Derek glares but his face is too relaxed. His eyebrows only make a half-hearted attempt to pull together in a scowl. "Werewolves don't purr."
"You are. You are purring."
"I am not purring. Cats purr."
"You are. The makeouts are so awesome that you're purring. Are you going to purr for the Puppy too, with it, like, on your chest while it's sleeping?" He sighs at the thought. "Because that may be the most amazing mental image of all time. It'll be adorable."
Derek's eyes flash a little brighter but there's a hint of a smile behind the red. "Baby at least if you wont go with cub."
Stiles dips his head and kisses him again. "Puppy," he says, his nose pressed against Derek's, so he can still see his red eyes. It's just so freaking reassuring. Derek's been so faded for so long that seeing the Alpha in him makes Stiles want to crawl into Derek and start all over.
He's about to do just that when Derek pulls away. Awesome. Now Stiles feels like the biggest asshole of all time because hi, issues. They both have them and maybe he's pushing it? If he's learned anything from Scott and Jackson's relationships its that when in doubt, apologize. "Shit, sorry. Sorry I-"
"No, you're good. This is good." Derek punctuates the point by giving Stiles hips a squeeze before pointing up at the ceiling. "Isaac. He wanted to remind us that we’re not alone in the house.
Right. Super werewolf hearing. Stiles somehow forgot about that with super werewolf hotness underneath him, touching him and kissing him and generally being all around him.
"He started it. He can deal." Stiles declares because this is his house. Besides, they're in the living room where his dad could get off his shift and walk in at any point between now and midnight with no way to know. So, all clothes are pretty much bound to stay on anyway.
Even if they weren't, even if they were going to have full on whips and chains spilled-lube sex right here on the couch, Stiles thinks his point stands. Isaac was the one in his bed with his... well, his Derek. Stiles is going to need a better word for what they are seeing as they never did define the relationship. Maybe later, if Stiles can be assed to get Scott referee, because he’s had enough of Isaac being in his business. Seriously.
For right now though, Stiles thinks ‘fuck it’ and kisses Derek again, careful like they are together only this time its wet and a little sloppy. That's okay though because Derek opens for him. He opens and Stiles wants to cry. It feels like he's been waiting for eons for this, a chance to be together like people instead of mindless animals. Derek may be a werewolf but he's more than that, just like Scott, just like the Puppy’s going to be. Derek deserves better; hell, Stiles deserves better and when Derek's tongue glides between his teeth, Stiles is sure that they finally have a chance.