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a little advice for aspiring fires

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Stiles hated silence. He really did. And that was one very silent dinner table. Stiles had resorted to grumbling to himself in his brain, which only happened when his mouth was stifled to silence. Stupid Derek with his stupid monosyllabic answers. Just because he was an alpha didn't mean he had to do the whole tall dark silent type act. After all, Stiles was an omega and he hardly ever played the damsel in distress. Nor was he particularly matronly. Nor did he swoon at the thought of being overtaken by an alpha. So. Case in point, Derek Hale falling to archaic stereotypes? Not cool.

And he was hardly going to start catering to that broody, moody, rude attitude-y (this could go on - he was going crazy with the all the silent silence) alpha. So he cleared his throat. Loudly. And - success! - Derek's hazel eyes lifted from the table. Stiles grinned. "Hey there, Hush Hush McZipped Lips. Trick question: How was your day? Feel free to not summarize your answer in five words or less."

True to form, Derek managed to not say any words, and just gave a shrug and a positively cavetrollish grunt. Stiles made a face. He was this close to dropping his forehead to the table, roper etiquette be damned. "Dude, isn't it, like, omega cruelty to make me sit here in oppressive silence all night? I know you kind of own me now, but the least you can do is just say enough so it isn't so freaking awkward all the time."

Derek’s eyes were sharp when he peeked back up and Stiles grimaced.

“Stop talking like you’re my pet,” Derek grumbled, and Stiles had to laugh.

“You know you just gave me a command, right?” Derek’s frown deepened and Stiles lifted a forkful of potato to his mouth. “Almost like a master would do. To his p-”

“Don’t say it.”

"Well what do you want me to think?” Stiles rolled his eyes. “I mean... you buy me, take me home, give me a bed, feed me, and that's it! What, you want an omega just to... furnish your home? I know, I know - I compliment the drapes, but geez.” He sat back and glared into Derek’s openly surprised face. “I've got to tell you, I am prime omega territory here. If you hadn't already bought me, some other alpha would have totally been on this already. So the obvious conclusion to buying an omega but not talking to him, not even fucking him, seems to be that you just wanted a low-maintanence pet." Stiles crossed his arms over his chest and cocked a brow. Yeah, after months of this, he was feeling pretty damn comfortable being snippy with the uninvolved alpha. "Are you going to teach me tricks? Show me off to your friends once I'm really broken in?"

Derek stood up suddenly, pushing his chair back from the table. He glared back at Stiles for a short minute, and then took his plate to the sink.

Stiles watched him go. He sniffed. “It’s the freckles, isn’t it? All my little imperfections!”

Truth was, he didn’t mind it as much as he could have. He knew he didn’t have it bad in the Hale house. Not bad at all. The possibility that an abusive alpha could have been the one to have bought him at the fancy-schmancy auction, brought him home, and used him was not lost on Stiles (though being at the mercy of those muscles couldn’t be the worst thing in the world). Not that he would have ever suffered at the hands of terrible violence; luckily, the alpha instinct was to protect an omega at all costs. He counted his lucky stars on a daily basis that he wasn’t a beta - for the love of his ever-running mouth, he would have been torn to shreds a thousand times for annoying as many alphas as he did.

But that didn't change the fact that he had now been living at this house for two and a half months, and had pretty much only inteacted with the dark mystery that was Derek Hale for meals (and 'interacted' was a generous term for their stifled companionship). Otherwise he was just left alone, and it was driving him crazy. He kept worrying that the alpha was going to jump out of a dark corner and decide that even though his first heat of the year hadn't yet hit, he'd want to breed him at any given moment. But then there was another fear on the opposite end of the spectrum: Would Derek even touch him when his heat came on? Or would he continue being all standoff-ish and leave Stiles to suffer all on his own without offering anything to quench his -ahem- thirst?

And when he wasn’t anxious about being pulled into Derek’s Batcave/secret lair/possible torture chamber of a bedroom (the monochromatic wardrobe, frequent shirtlessness, and Derek’s unsettling fondness for leather made him wonder) for an impromptu ravishing, he was dying of boredom. He’d asked Derek on his second night at the manor, still nervous and twitchy and completely unable to stop his mouth, if possibly any of his furniture or wares would turn out to be sentient beings and burst into song à la Beauty and the Beast, and it had just earned him a taken aback expression.

The only time of the day that he enjoyed was when he got a call from his dad, or sometimes Scott. His dad was always apologizing when Stiles voiced his complaints, and though he denied it, Stiles sometimes wondered if what he was really apologizing for was Stiles' lot in life as an omega. And Scott had recently just started babbling about this new girl at school. The school that Stiles no longer attended, ever since he had put himself up for sale, and was thereafter sold to the highest bidder. Or possibly the only bidder, as was probably the case. After all, for a budding omega, Stiles was a fairly late bloomer - hadn't really matured until he was seventeen.

It wasn’t like he had much of a choice in the matter, even though omega rights had come a long way in the past few decades. Omegas were allowed to find their own alphas if they so wished, and the act of selling them off was no longer obligatory, as it had been a mere century ago. Now there were pills - suppressants - that fought the heat, and ones that masked the overwhelming pheromones, allowing omegas to choose whether they wanted children or not. There were laws that protected omegas from being bred against their will, from underaged omegas from being taken from their homes by alphas who felt their claims were staked, from any number of atrocities that had befallen omegas from the dawn of time.

But the auction business was still up and running, now almost exclusively run by the wealthiest and most prestigious alphas. Thanks to the laws set in place, the only way an omega could be legally put up for auction was if the omega had admitted themselves for bidding. And Stiles had done just that.

He was the last of the Stilinski line, and his father - thanks to Stiles’ antics - was out of a job, had been for a year, and, well. Being mated would kill two birds with one stone: Stiles would be able to carry on his family’s genes, even if it was under another name, and he would take the burden of an extra mouth to feed off of his father’s shoulders.

Stiles took his dish to the sink, and started cleaning up the kitchen. He didn't really have to; he had never been told to clean up, but figured that he had to earn his keep somehow. Maybe this is why Derek really bought him? As a maid that smelled really good and posed no threat to his authority? Well, whatever, he would stop worrying about what the emotionally stunted man wanted, until he just... told him. Though that seemed fairly unlikely at that point. Maybe eventually Derek would just get bored of him and give him back. It wouldn't be that strange, really; there were only two people in the world that could stand him, and they didn't really have a choice: his dad because they were related, and Scott because neither of them could really get any other friends - they'd both been painfully socially awkward ever since they'd met, and while it worked for them, it didn't really appeal to other people.

Regardless of his sadly lacking social circle, Stiles was going to have to get some conversation or he was going to explode. Seriously. It’d be messy and Derek would probably get even more emotionally constipated having to clean up bits of Stiles brought on by...

… severe boredom. Yeah, he needed a distraction from his own brain.

And finally, that boredom was alleviated by... puzzles.

Seriously, puzzles. Derek had come in one day, put a huge stack of boxes just inside the door to Stiles’ room, and walked away without any sort of explanation. A lot of puzzles, the type with the teeny tiny pieces, and a whole lot of them. And then he just left.

"Hey, what am I supposed to do with these? Is this like a toy? You're getting your pet a toy so that I won't get bored? Or, you know, you could actually pay attention to me!" There was no response. Not like he'd be expecting one. Oh god, he was a pet. He needed affection, dammit! No wait, attention. He meant attention.

Okay, maybe some affection would be nice, too.

Even his not-so-handsy alpha dad had been careful not to leave Stiles untouched for even a day. Omegas were notoriously responsive to (and somewhat dependent on) physical touch, and the old man had always been good about wrapping an arm around Stiles’ shoulders when he could, clapping him on the back, reinforcing positive behavior with big bear hugs.

Weren’t alphas supposed to respond to their omegas’ needs?

In fact, he was so starved for contact that the one day that Scott came over to see him that week, Stiles didn't care that all he was talking about was the new girl, didn't even care that he called her twice in their hour together. All Stiles wanted was a freaking hug, was that really too much to ask?

Well, he got his hug, and then Scott left. For a date. Of all the times for his friend to grow a love life. But Derek was going to be home soon, and he always insisted on eating together, so it was almost that time.

What Stiles definitely wasn't expecting was the door to his room suddenly opening without any warning, and when he saw the alpha, eyes glowing and nostrils flaring... well. He may or may not have squeaked. Those eyebrows were seriously terrifying. “There was a beta here."

“Holy mother of- shit, dude, knock much?”

Derek just glared and gripped his doorframe like he was trying to strangle it. Or not strangle Stiles. The boy swallowed. “Uh. Yeah. Scott. You know. I’m sure I’ve mentioned him once or twice or like a million times. He showed up and we spent, like, an hour here.” Derek’s expression didn’t change. A little ball of something acrid in the pit of Stiles’ stomach swelled. “What?” he snapped. “I’m not allowed to have friends over?”

The alpha’s head dipped low. “That’s not...”

“It’s definitely what this sounds like, Derek.” Stiles pushed away from his desk and gestured wildly at it. “This is the third thousand-piece puzzle I’ve done this week. Is this seriously what you expect from me? No connection to anyone - not even you, you frickin’... brick wall of a man - just... just sit here and put together giant fucking puzzles until you want to bone? Because I’m going nuts here, Derek. Fucking batshit bananas. I can’t get out because of my fucked up hormones, I can’t go to school because I’m a bought man, and now I can’t have friends. Awesome.”

Derek looked almost... constipated, Stiles decided. Yup, constipated. Emotionally constipated. And he was shaking. "I don't like you... smelling like him. It's everywhere." His hand was turning white, holding the door frame so tightly. "You can have friends. Just don't... smell like them."

"Uh..." Stiles started, because really, his mouth must have a death wish or something. "How exactly could I have friends over and not smell like them? It just kind of happens. Scott is just a beta, you shouldn't be getting territorial." Then he looked down to the bed, glancing at the half finished puzzle. "Besides, if it bugs you so much, you could always try to cover up his scent."

Derek blanched, and Stiles felt almost insulted. Wait... nope, definitely insulted. “Hey, you bought me, remember?” he sneered. “If you didn’t actually want me, you should have picked someone else.”

There was seventeen seconds of silence -Stiles counted- and then Derek stepped forward. "I... want you. I really... want you." And really, that was practically a speech coming from him. Stiles could feel the moment his heart went from normal to whoa-there-Speedracer and he backed away slowly, hands held out before him.

“Nuh-uh. You may be ab-licious and you’ve got a jawline to die for, but in the two months I’ve been here, you’ve probably said all of fifty words to me.” Derek stopped in the middle of his room, that grumpy little frown right back on his face.

“You talk enough for the both of us.”

“Yeah, heard that one before. Doesn’t cut it.”

Derek closed his eyes and gave one small nod. Then he turned around and went back to the door. "Fine."

"Hey wait! What are you- you don't have to run away! Just talk to me! It isn't the end of the world you know. Look, I'll even shut up so you can do all the talking. This is me, shutting up, like right now. Alright, so... you should talk. And I'll shut up."

He was given nothing but Derek's back for the longest time. Stiles could smell him - Derek's scent, in his room, and he realized it had been the first time Derek had actually set foot there since Stiles had moved in. His sense of smell was nowhere near as good as a werewolf’s, but eu d’ Derek was distinctive.

"We could, uh... get to know each other. Beyond our respective manila folders. Honestly, I couldn't care less what your blood type is, but I'm... I'm pretty interested in your favorite movies and other stupid stuff."

"You obviously don't know what shutting up means," Derek said, and even though Stiles couldn't see his face, he was almost positive that that was supposed to be a joke.

"Ah, well the shutting up really only works when you start talking. So do you wanna... sit down? Here, it's a big bed, plenty of room." Stiles plopped down and patted the bed beside him, inviting Derek.

The alpha turned to give him an incredulous look. "You really think that's the best idea?" he asked, and Stiles had to grin.

"You're kinda snarky. Awesome. I thought you might totally be emotionally dead." He gestured at Derek's... everything. "Snark makes you spicy."

"Spicy?" Derek asked with a raised eyebrow. But then he stepped forward hesitantly, and sat on the very edge of the bed. "I'm not sure what you want me to say."

Stiles shrugged and shot him a goofy grin. "It's not about what I want you to say, dude. It's just basic communication. You know - how was your day, how's your life, what's your favorite color, are you allergic to chocolate because I could kill for some brownies - that sort of thing."

"My day was fine, my life is fine, I don't really have a favorite color, and I'm not allergic to chocolate." Derek shrugged, pointedly not looking at him. "I don't really see what that accomplished."

Stiles rolled his eyes and tossed a pillow at Derek's face. Which he caught. Dammit. "Don't be such a souralpha. What you just said there? Not spicy. C'mon, Derek, you've gotta have some interests." Derek just gave him a long, wordless stare. "Hobbies. Pastimes. Holy shit, you don't just go off and broodily sit in the woods all day, do you?"

Derek frowned, flexing his hands against his knees. "I really don't see why it matters."

"It matters! How could it not matter? We're going to be mates for the rest of our lives. I'm going to have your fucking -” werewolf, appeal to the werewolf “- cubs! I should at least know your hobbies!"

Yeah, maybe conversationally baiting an alpha who also happened to be a werewolf with cubs wasn't the best idea he'd ever had. Derek's nostrils flared and he did that piercing stare thing that made Stiles feel like he was being peeled apart, layer by layer. "Uh. Well. I mean-"

 

"You're right."

 

"I - well, yeah, but you don't have to sound so grouchy about it."


Derek sat still for a second, just staring at him. Then, "I want you to like it here. I want you to like... To like me. I didn't want to do anything with you before you liked me. So... There."

Stiles' mouth opened and shut for a minute, but luckily, silence was Derek's forte so he didn't make any comments about a bad fish impression. (Or a good fish impression, for that matter.) "I, uh... didn't know this was gonna turn into a middle school romance thing."


"It's not a middle school romance thing. It's a respect thing. Just because you were born an omega, that doesn't mean you shouldn't have a choice about this." And at that, Derek shut his mouth, obviously deciding that he had said quite enough for one night. He stood up, and just waited there awkwardly. Stiles made a little noise of recognition before leaping up and shuffling over to the door with his weirdly polite alpha and gestured toward the hall with flourish.

“Well. This was. Nice.” Derek snorted and turned, but Stiles grabbed his arm. “No, really. Okay, so it was weird and awkward too, but that’s just how things start.”

“Things.”

Stiles waved a vague hand between their bodies. “You know. People connecting. Relationships. I can’t really like you if I don’t know you, so, y’know... feel free to try the whole talking thing more often.”

"Alright. See you at dinner." There were a few seconds where they just stared at each other, and then Derek suddenly leaned forward, before Stiles could jerk away in surprise, and kissed his neck. And then he was gone.

… What the fuck?

What the actual fuck just happened?

Stiles was left gaping at the empty doorway for a good five minutes, his hand clamped over the warm, tingly feeling on his neck. Unexpected. That was a good word for what the fuck just happened. Some others were surprising, befuddling, unsettling, confusing... maybe arousing.

Maybe.

Which was dumb because it wasn’t even a kiss kiss - more of a mouth-press than a kiss. And it was weirdly polite. Like they were in the Victorian era and Derek was bestowing a gentlemanly kiss upon a lady’s knuckles. Except it was Stiles. And a neck.

Well, there was about another hour until dinner. Which meant it was time for more puzzles. Stiles gave a long sigh, and sat down on his floor, deciding to put the kiss out of his mind completely. After all, it was a kiss to his neck, it wasn't like anything big. Even though he suspected that the heat in his cheeks was from blushing and had been going on since Derek had left.

Dinner was... surprisingly not awkward. Derek didn’t open up exactly, but he made eye contact with Stiles through the whole meal (and seemed to be attempting to keep doing so when Stiles was looking away, resulting in The Piercing Stare tearing at his very soul until he managed to look back again. The result of this was several disastrous attempts at maintaining a clean fork-to-mouth experience). “Do you cook all this?” Stiles eventually asked, gesturing at the food on the table. “‘Cause you don’t exactly strike me as the masterchef type.”

"I pay a beta to make all the meals and deliver them. She drops them off every day, still warm, so that I don't have to heat them up." Derek had another bite, still not taking his eyes off of Stiles.

"Oh... that's interesting. And not really surprising, frankly. So, um, how about you tell me about your family?" At the look Derek gave him, he quickly backed up. "I mean, not family, haha, why would I say family? I just meant... tell me about your wolf form!"

Derek raised a brow and Stiles tried to backtrack. It was... surprisingly difficult. “Yeah, can’t think of anything good to backtrack to, Derek. You’re gonna have to come up with conversation now. I can only do about ninety-nine percent of the work here before this whole relationship building thing starts to seem a little one-sided.”

"I just... I'm not very good at this. I haven't really had to talk to people for a few years." Derek finally looked down at his food, giving Stiles a break from the constant unblinking stare.

“Well!” His clap seemed to startle Derek out of whatever reverie he was diving into. Surely that was good news? “Time to dig you out of that shell! I think we should go somewhere together and... uh, okay, that face is telling me maybe we should start slow? Slower than a trip out of the house, apparently.” Derek blinked at him from across the table and Stiles nodded. “Fair enough. Baby steps. Why don’t we do something you like to do. Anything at all that isn’t puzzles.”

Derek blinked, and gave a short nod. "I like to hunt. And work out. And-" But at that he quickly cut off, and didn't look like he was about to continue.

That just wouldn't do. "Oh no no no, you can't just stop there. Come on, what else do you like to do? You have to tell me now!"

There was that Piercing Stare again. Maybe he should just call it the Derek Stare.

“I build furniture.”

Stiles blinked. “Okay, so... your hobbies include muscle building for recreation and muscle building as a result of productivity. No wonder you’re so built. So why do you build furniture?”

The alpha almost seemed to have trouble getting it out, cleared his throat. "I donate them. To charities that are having auctions. The ones I'm making now are going towards funding for the local animal shelter." He was looking away again, and Stiles was sure that he saw a light blush creep up his cheeks.

"Oh... my... god! That is so... well, I guess ironic, because I never would have thought that you would do things for charity, but it's so cute! You have to- I mean, could you show me?"

Derek snorted into his cup. “Not if you’re going to call it cute.”

“Oooh, someone’s a little insecure in their masculinity.”

That earned him a glare. Stiles didn’t mind. He liked the fact that Derek’s range of emotion extended beyond polite constipation.

He started thinking that the conversation was finished, and worked on his meal. And then, "I'll show you tomorrow."

Stiles knew his mouth was hanging open, and that there was still some food in it. He hastened to close it and swallow. "Right, alright, that's cool. And I won't call it cute. I will call it rugged, and manly, and... sexy."

"Sexy?"

"Yeah, sexy."

Derek was giving him the Stare again. He pointed his fork accusingly at the alpha. “Look. I’m allowed to think a big, bad werewolf alpha making chairs for the good of orphaned puppies is attractive, okay?”

“Never said you couldn’t.”

“Yeah, but you were wearing this incredulous face.”

And Derek smiled a tiny smile, which was really more a twitch of his lips, but Stiles counted it as a smile. "Tomorrow," he said again, as if Stiles would forget about it or something. He didn't think he could forget about it if he had wanted to.

… That was what his life was reduced to: Getting we’re-going-to-a-theme-park-excited to walk down a set of stairs in his own house to look at furniture. All those damn hours wasted on putting puzzle after puzzle together was brainwashing him. Boredom-washing him.

“Okay. So after that, what are we going to do? I mean, I could go for bench pressing a whale or whatever too, but I don’t think my stamina and yours are on equal ground, you know?”

"You could start with a catfish."

And there! That was definitely a joke! At Stiles' expense, but it was definitely a joke. "Wow, uh yeah, sure, catfish. That was kinda funny, you know. Maybe I'm rubbing off on you a bit. You'll be cracking jokes left and right pretty soon!" He sniffed. “And now that the obligatory positive reinforcement coddling is over, I’ll have you know that I could absolutely bench press at least a baby dolphin.”

“Underwater?”

“Okay, funny guy, I changed my mind. No jokes for you.”



The door was unremarkable, just another door, one Stiles had never even really noticed before. Derek took out a small key and unlocked it, then turned on the light on the staircase. They started down, and Stiles was watching his steps, not used to such steep stairs. At the bottom, there was another light Derek grappled for, and he just looked around the large basement for a few seconds.

It was an organized mess, huge slabs of wood and bolts of fabric situated in piles and stacks against the walls. The rest of the room was cluttered with sanding tables and power tools and beautifully crafted pieces of furniture that were just a polishing away from being ready for auction. Wherever he walked, clouds of sawdust followed.

In the corner there was one fully completed chair, the wood grain brought out by a deep stain. He was a bit worried he would get some sawdust in his eyes, because they were open so wide. "Wow, this is..." He glanced back to the stairs, where Derek was still standing, waiting for his reaction. "Sexy. Very definitely sexy."

That got him the Raised Eyebrows and the Rueful Snort, but he could tell Derek was pleased. Stiles bounced on a plush, old-fashioned-looking armchair before springing up to move onto the next cool thing. “No wonder you always smell like cedar. I was starting to think you had a secret stash of hamsters or something.”

"Hamsters?" Even more Raised Eyebrows, but Stiles wasn't going to stop just because of that.

"But seriously, this place is a mess. How can you do anything in here? You could die from like, sawdust poisoning or something. Hey, I could clean it for you! It would be better than doing puzzles. When is the auction? Will there be cute puppies there? I wanna go see cute puppies."

“Okay.”

Stiles spun about on his heel and grabbed onto the back of a nearby chair before he toppled over. “What, seriously? That was so much easier than I thought it was going to be.”

Derek frowned. “Do you really feel that confined here?”

“Uh.” Stiles blinked. “Yeah? Dude, I haven’t even left your garden since I arrived. Nearly three months ago.”

The older man pressed his lips together. "It's- it's not like I forbade you to leave."

Now it was Stiles' turn to raise his eyebrow. "Seriously? I know how possessive an alpha can get of his omega. You being a werewolf too is like the cherry on that claim-crazy sundae. I wasn't just going to go out for a stroll. You kind of went nuts when Scott just came over for an hour and gave me one hug. Which I needed."

“It just wasn’t a scent I was anticipating in my home. Or on you.”

“Yeah, and that would happen, like, all the time if I was out and about like a free man.” And there was the broody face. Stiles grimaced. “Look... I get it. Sort of. I’ve read the books on werewolves and on alphas, so I understand at least some of the stuff your instincts are going through. And neither of us know when my heat is coming, so we’re both a little twitchy. After I have it, though, we’re gonna need to have a serious talk about how severely cabin fever and no physical contact affects Stiles in everyday life.”

Derek stepped off the last step, and dragged his hand along an unfinished chair leg. "Physical contact..." He phrased it almost like a question, but a mostly rhetorical one. Well. Fuck that.

"Yeah, physical contact. I'm an omega, it just makes my skin itch not to be touched. It's just like I'm not in the right body, which is why I was so happy for Scott to come over." Derek looked up and through him in that way that wasn’t as though he didn’t see Stiles but saw right through him instead. His mouth was suddenly very, very dry. “You, uh... didn’t read up too much on omegas before you went browsing for one, did you.”

“Why didn’t you tell me sooner?”

Stiles shrugged, peering down at a power sander. “I kinda took the hint when you didn’t touch me until after I’d been here for a week. Accidentally. And even then you looked like you’d stuck your hand in shit or something.”

Derek gave a small nod and walked forward. "Any physical contact?" He hesitantly put his hand on Stiles' shoulder. "Like this?"

"Uh... well I guess... normally a bit more though. Oh, but yeah, that's... well, way better than not touching at all." Personally, he liked hugs the best. The bro hugs that Scott gave him were fine, but his favorite contact was a full on, arms squeezing, chests touching hug. Not that he ever got them very often. But even with the awkward shoulder touching, he was already leaning into it, instinctually wanting more.

And like Derek could read his mind (or his body language. Stiles’s heart rate was practically soaring from just the curl of a hand on his shoulder) he pulled Stiles closer, and without skipping a beat, Stiles curled his arms under Derek’s jacket and burrowed against the alpha. He couldn’t tell if the rumble in Derek’s chest was a warning growl or a werewolfy purr, but either way, he wasn’t going to be deterred. Scott had understood his need for contact, and had kept his arm wrapped around Stiles’ shoulders for nearly as long as his visit allowed, but this was something he hadn’t been able to enjoy since the last time he’d seen his father. Stiles was drowning in the sensation of another warm body against his, and it was like the buzzing livewire under his skin had finally calmed.

Yeah, that was definitely the werewolf equivalent of a purr coming from the big bad wolf.

Finally, Stiles pulled away, and for the first time in months, he felt calm. And possibly a little drunk. Damn, drunk off of Derek. "So, ah, right, that was, mmmnhm... good, is what I meant. Yeah. Good. Amazing. Uh, damn, we, we should do that again. Hugging. At least once a week. Would be good. Or more, if you want more. But I'm going to. Going to go, I mean. Upstairs. Puzzles and stuff. Nice... Stuff. Furniture. Nice furniture. Yeah, puzzles." And then he managed to stumble up the stairs, trying not to think of the strange look on Derek's face he'd left him with.

He'd have time for a little retrospect after he spent about an hour making high-pitched muffled noises into his pillow.

Chapter Text

"So." Stiles cleared his throat and tried not to sound as off-the-wall excited as he really was. "Would it cause some kind of problem for your wolfy instincts and your alpha need to please if I told you how much I wanted one to twelve of this fuzzy bastards?"

Derek stared down at the swarm of excitable puppies Stiles had riled by just sitting down in their midst. A Dalmatian mix, two unidentifiable mutts, and a three-legged mixed breed pup had beaten the rest of the hoard for the opportunity to climb into Stiles' lap.

"It's supposed to be a fundraiser, Stiles, not a petting zoo." Derek sat in a hard chair, trying to ignore the medium sized dog that trotted over and sniffed at him from a bit of a distance.

"Well, maybe they would raise more money if it was a petting zoo. I mean, your furniture is amazing, but how could anyone refuse this widdle face?" Stiles said, lifting up one of the puppies to look at Derek. The puppy started licking his hand, and the omega let out an awww.

Then he burst into laughter and crawled over to a dour-faced chow pup. "This one looks like you!"

The Scowl was back. Stiles truly envied him for those expressive eyebrows. Despite the fact that they were the size of continents, they didn't seem to deter him from getting second glances from the many young women (and several men) milling about the auction. Stiles' eyebrows didn't get him any action. "It doesn't."

"It does. Look at that sour face." Stiles lifted the armful of black fuzz and shuffled over to Derek on his knees. "And you both have the same coloring!"

"I really don't know what you're talking about." Derek looked away from the little puppy, up to the stage where they were starting the auction. Normally, he liked to bid on a few things as well, which is why he had wanted to come. Then he glanced back to Stiles. "If- ah, if you see anything... let me know."

Stiles was pretty sure he knew what Derek was suggesting, but he wanted to make absolutely certain before his assumptions made an ass of him. "Um, well I see a lot of things, since we’re aiming for specificity here. Like all the puppies. And the floor. And the fence. And you. And the chair. And-"

"I mean anything you want."

Stiles beamed and sat back on his butt while the puppies clambered onto him like ants on a picnic blanket. He spread out his arms, palms up. "All of them."

"Anything you want in the auction. The puppies are mainly here for show."

Stiles was clearly not paying attention to the goings on of the auction house. He wrinkled his nose and played with a bloodhound pup's floppy ears. "If I wanted well-made furniture worth thousands, I'd just ask my big, strong alpha to make some for me."

"I didn't mean the furniture. There are other things that they auction off. I heard there were a few dinners with celebrities."

At that, Stiles had to laugh, which had almost nothing to do with the puppy licking his ear. "Yeah, because you wouldn't mind me smelling like a celebrity from going to dinner with them."

Derek gave him The Eye, but Stiles was pretty good about not being phased by that anymore. He was more amused than anything else. (It probably helped that a half-grown Great Dane with a limp and a torn ear was bumping its nose against Derek's hip.) "Nah, I don't think I'd want to have dinner with some vapid, attractive celebrity when I could have it with a broody, attractive werewolf. Because I'm pretty great like that."

"There are other things." Derek said, obviously trying to ignore Stiles’ nonsensical rambling. "Just keep watching and tell me if you like anything."

Stiles wasn't about to leave his little furry heaven, so Derek wandered off for a bit, presumably to discuss business-y, alpha-type things with other big name alphas, but he never went very far. He was always within eyeshot. The teenage part of Stiles was annoyed that he had to be watched over like some sort of baby someone else might snatch away, but the omega part of him felt nothing but relief. He wasn't the only omega in this sea of alphas, but it was a near thing.

He smiled and waved over the edge of the puppy gate at the sour-faced werewolf and tried not to feel too smug at his poorly hidden delight at Stiles' attention. And Derek was so delighted. He could see that little nose-wrinkle from a mile away, and Derek had to look away because if he didn't, he was going to burst into raucous laughter.

Okay, maybe that was a slight exaggeration, but a boy could dream.

When they brought out the food, Stiles had to tear himself away from the puppies, because he was a teenage boy and there was free food within walking distance that was all for his consumption. He went to sit at the table with Derek and a few other ridiculously attractive people he’d never seen before in his life. "Wow this looks amazing! So much meat..." He instantly stabbed a steak that was placed before him, practically moaning at the sight of it. He didn’t even notice the look he was getting from the other alphas seated around them until Derek draped an arm over the back of his chair. Stiles looked up from his plate and recoiled almost instantly at the gazes of at least half a dozen alpha humans (and a couple of werewolves, if Derek’s warning from when they had first entered the auction pavilion were true). “Wow, you’re all a lot more intimidating than I expected. Hello.”

Derek must have given them all a Look, because everyone turned back to either their plates, or up front to see what they were selling now. Stiles glanced up and saw a beautiful vase being wheeled onstage by a couple musclebound alphas. The thing probably reached Derek’s height, covered in symbols and drawings painted expertly onto the porcelain with a soft blue dye. "Hey, that's cool. Check out the designs... Derek, do you think I could eat this with the puppies?"

The look Derek gave him told him exactly what he thought about that, so Stiles sighed and tucked back into his meal. Feeling bold and a little cheeky, and having never actually eaten beside Derek before, Stiles stole a stalk of asparagus from his alpha’s plate and stuck half of it in his mouth before Derek could do anything about it.

In a few quick minutes, while the prices for the weirdly popular vase kept going up and up, Stiles finished his steak, and quickly stood. "Going back to the puppies! Uh, I'll be back for dessert." He turned around, glad to be away from all those alphas. They were probably very nice people, but their stares were just... penetrating.

At the pen, the one-legged boxer lab mix licked his face, its little stub moving as it tried to get closer. Stiles just melted. It was so tiny and scrawny, but its brown eyes were wide and earnest and sweet. He cupped its... er... her silky brown ears and rubbed her happy little puppy face until she turned to gnaw on his wrist. “What a sweetie, yes you are,” he cooed quietly, rubbing a hand down her body. “Who’s the cutest puppy in the playpen? Who has the best smile?” Her cool nose pushed into his palm and suddenly Stiles was having difficulty not scooping her into his arms and cuddling her tiny heart out.

He was mainly playing with her, even though she wouldn't show him her belly, Stiles figured she wasn't trusting enough, which made sense. They brought out the dessert, which he returned for and ate quickly, and bit his lip to keep from laughing when Derek got a bit of chocolate icing on his cheek. He couldn't decide which would be better, leaving it there or taking it off with his finger and licking it like they always did in the movies. So he tried to subtly swipe at his own cheek with his tongue to demonstrate where the chocolate was and how easy it would be to... and yeah, he’d gotten Derek’s attention in a dark-eyed way that meant he wasn’t paying attention at all to what Stiles was trying to convey...

So. Stiles sighed and wet a napkin with his tongue, reaching over to wipe the sweet smudge from the corner of Derek’s mouth.

When he stopped, he glanced around at the other alphas, who all seemed to be staring right through him. The lady alpha gave a laugh. "Your omega is so... domestic." Stiles just couldn't tell if that was a compliment or an insult, but by the look on Derek's face, he took it as a threat.

“Uh.” Stiles lifted a hand and waved. “Hi. Wanna not talk like you’re pretending I’m not here?”

Her eyes narrowed, but she didn’t look upset. Derek sure did. The she-wolf smiled cooly. “My apologies.”

“‘S cool,” Stiles sniffed and stuck a fork in Derek’s fancy-schmancy crème brulee. When he felt The Stare on the side of his face, Stiles scooped off a bit of his strawberry pie and settled it on top of the creme brulee’s unbroken surface as a peace offering. And also to make up for whatever of his alpha’s dessert he decided to take in the future.

"So, I think I've fallen in love with the three legged dog. She's the best little puppy in the world. I would call her Trike. Ya know, because she has three legs." Stiles grinned and tried very hard to ignore all the alphas. Why did Derek have to pick this table? By the smell of it, the table beside them had at least three betas in it.

“No,” Derek said, and Stiles scoffed at his that’s-the-end-of-that tone.

“Oh, come on. You have to love puppies a little bit if you made all that furniture to help them get their chow and better living conditions. You didn’t really expect me to come here and not beg for a dog in need.”

“No,” Derek said, a little smirk curling at the corners of his lips. “I mean, if - if - we get a dog, you’re not giving it such a terrible name.”

Stiles' eyes widened, and he practically jumped out of his chair. "You mean we can get her? That's awesome! Alright, not Trike, how about Trois, or Tres, or Drei, or any other thing that means three because cruel irony is like the best way to name a living creature. Or Matilda, that would be good too. You aren't just jerking me around or anything, are you? ‘Cause man, I am so gonna flip shit if you change your mind about getting her."

"Are you sure you want that one? I imagine she would have some health problems. There are other ones that would be easier to take care of."

“Matilda.” Stiles tried to convey through the intensity of his gaze how very sure about it he was. “Once you meet her, you’ll fall in love, too.”

“I can smell her all over you.” Stiles blinked and Derek leaned over, carving a piece of pie from Stiles’ plate and sticking it in his mouth, hazel eyes playful. “And the rest of them. You smell like puppies.”

After giving a pout at the lost piece of pie, (so he was a hypocrite about dessert, who wasn't?) Stiles shot him a teasing grin. "Are you jealous of the puppies? You know, they were licking me, too. Most of them even showed me their naughty bits. Not that I was looking, I mean, totally not into bestiality, but you should definitely be jealous. A hug with a puppy is so much sweeter than a hug with you." In his mind, Stiles couldn't really decide if that was true. Derek had been making absolutely sure to give him a hug every other day at least, along with several awkward shoulder pats in between. And, even though Derek obviously didn't know how to act human, he was a damn good hugger. Almost too good.

“You’re lying,” the alpha retorted simply, licking the remnants of Stiles’ pie from his fork. “I can hear your heartbeat, remember?”

“Right, because it’s a piece of cake forgetting that you’re a werewolf.”

A couple of older alpha males across the table chuckled at that and Stiles suddenly remembered that they weren’t alone. Which, uh, he didn’t know how he could have possibly forgotten in the first place, really.

A lady who looked like a beta, even though he was too far away to smell her, went to the front, telling them that the auction was over, and directed any buyers to a booth near the stage. Stiles was surprised when Derek stood up. "Oh, what did you buy? Was it a dinner with a celebrity? It was a pop singer wasn't it?" Derek just gave him a look, so Stiles waved him off. “Go on, break my heart. Go hit it off with some famous ultra-attractive beta. I’ll just waste away as the omega-bride, alone in the manor-”

“Shut up, Stiles,” Derek huffed, tossing his napkin at Stiles’ face as he walked off to claim his prize.

Because it was taking him such a long time, and the blond alpha to his right was looking at him creepily, Stiles went back to the puppies. A woman was starting to put them in their kennels to take them back to the animal shelter, but he stopped her from putting Matilda in hers. "Hey, so if we wanted to adopt her, what would we have to do?"

"Oh, well you could come to the shelter tomorrow, if you want. There is some paperwork you'll have to fill out of course." She gave him a little smile as she rubbed the pup’s dark ears affectionately. "I was a little worried about how she would adapt. The old owners didn't pay much attention to her, and she got her leg broken. It got infected, but the family never did anything about it, which is why they had to amputate it. But now she's walking fine, seems to have gotten used to it."

“How old is she?” Stiles asked, scratching under her chin and grinning goofily when her pearly whites came out to gnaw on his fingers.

“From what we can tell, just a couple  months old. She’s already been through quite a lot in her short life, so we’re definitely hoping she’ll go to a good, loving home.” The beta girl smiled, her braces winking under the bright showcase lights. “Boxadors do really well in paired alpha-omega households. They’re good with children, very playful and mild mannered.”

Stiles grinned at the beta, and gave another rub to the puppy's head. "Yeah? Well, I bet she'll fit right in." After all, it wasn't like his and Derek's relationship was very normal, so a three legged dog might be just the thing they needed. Stiles leaned forward to kiss her floppy ear and she licked a stripe up his chin for the effort before the beta put Matilda back in her cage and a warm hand pressed against the small of Stiles’ back.

"We should get going. I gave them our address so they can deliver the vase," Derek said quietly, as if it was a secret, and, fuck, Stiles just wanted to melt against him. It seemed like his need to be touch kind of intensified when the one doing the touching was an alpha. Or maybe just Derek.

"Ah, right.... wait, vase?"

But Derek didn’t answer for the longest moment, and if Stiles listened close enough, he could swear there was some really low rumbling going on in the warm warm warm body shuffling up really close behind him and oh fuck, even the puppies were going quiet, this was... uh. Uh.

Words. Words would be really good. Words would be easier to come by if Derek would stop leaning over Stiles’s shoulder like that and brushing his bristly jaw against Stiles’ ear...

And then, finally, "Come on, let's get home." Derek was stepping back, but of course he couldn't just let that happen. Stiles realized after Derek stopped that he had grabbed his hand, and was tugging him closer. When he realized it, he let go, and gave one of his awkward laughs.

"Ha, right, let's... blow this pop stand. Be like a tree and leaf. Be like an atom and split. Be like a baby and head out. Dude, please stop me, I seriously have dozens of these and I have no buffer on my own."

The corners of Derek’s lips twitched and he twisted his hand around in Stiles’ to curl their fingers together before guiding him out of the pavilion. “It was the one you liked,” Derek said out of the blue after they passed the refreshment table and made it to the sidewalk toward the car park. Stiles blinked.

“What?”

“The vase,” Derek huffed.

"Oh... I didn't know you liked it too. You could have said something instead of looking at me all weird. Just a little heads up that we actually like the same thing, you know."

"I hate it. But you liked it," Derek said easily.

Stiles stopped, and there was a tug on his hand. "You... What? Dude, when I left the table, that thing was at like ten thousand! Are you insane?"

Derek just gave him The Stare, his eyebrows high enough on his forehead that if they reached any higher, Stiles feared they might disappear into his hairline. “I just... thought the designs were cool! Holy cow, Derek, it’s a vase.”

But then Derek started getting that look that gave the impression that he was impatient, but really meant he was feeling like a kicked puppy, and that just... wouldn’t do. All the books said that alphas naturally, instinctively strived to please their mates, and it was intensified in alpha-omega relationships - especially if the pairing was yet unbonded. Stiles ran a hand through his hair and tightened his grip on Derek’s with the other. “No, that’s... Sorry. Thank you, Derek. Really. It was pretty cool, and the house could use a little more character.”

At a glance, Derek's facial expression hadn't changed, but Stiles could just tell somehow that that had made him happy. "It stays in your room. I don't really need all those fertility runes in my dining room." He started towards the car again, and Stiles rushed to follow him.

"What? Since when is a vase a fertility symbol? Isn't that those big pictures of penises they had in Pompeii?"

Derek gave him The Eye and ducked into the car, Stiles scrambling to follow suit. After buckling up, he stared the alpha down until Derek cracked. “The vase isn’t the symbol; it’s all the artwork. A nearby indigenous tribe donated it. It’s mostly elderly antique collectors who go for things like that, but...”

"Oh crap, are you serious? I'm an omega, and now I'm gonna have some kind of voodoo witchcraft fertility thing in my room? Oh my god, I could probably get pregnant from those long hugs!" He glanced over at Derek sheepishly as he started the car. "But... I will still totally chance it. Please don't stop... hugging me." Dammit, that was possibly the most pathetic thing he had ever said in his life. And that included asking Lydia Martin if she would love him forever if he licked her feet when they were seven. Dark days.

Derek glanced over at him as he turned the key in the ignition, and Stiles was too embarrassed to even look away. “It’s probably disrespectful to call it a ‘voodoo witchcraft fertility thing’,” he finally grumbled, and Stiles’ head fell back against the headrest with a thump.

“That is so not a problem here, Derek.”

He pulled out, and was silent until they reached the end of the parking lot. "Do you not want it? I could always sell it off if you want. I'll lose money, but that isn't really a problem-"

"Yeah, obviously, since you bought it in the first place. But no, I still like it, even if it does mean some weird sex thing. It'll be great." Stiles glanced over to him, a smile twitching at his lips. "But you're still agreeing about the puppy? Because I just don't know what I would do without Matilda. Who would I give my never-ending affection to?"

And Derek’s stare would have penetrated the flesh off of a lesser man. Luckily, his eyes were focused on the road. Driving safety? Very important. Stiles tried not to grin too hard and patted his leather-clad forearm. “That was a joke, of course. If I need to give my never-ending affection to something, it’ll be all those puzzles I’ve spent so many hours getting to know. Intimately.” His voice dropped. “Every curve. Every corner. Every crevice...”

"It's a good thing the puzzles take care of you then." There wasn't exactly a smile on Derek's face, but it was pretty damn close. "Alright, tomorrow we'll go get the dog. You had better train her and everything, I don't want to clean up any messes."


"Don't discriminate just because she's a mutt," Stiles sniffed. "Matilda would make all her poops with love."

"You know, I'm starting to suspect you don't always think before you speak."

"And I'm starting to think you have a sense of humor."

Derek gave a small smile, keeping his eyes on the road. But then it waned. "I'm sorry about the other alphas... I knew one of them and she wanted me to sit at her table."

"No worries," Stiles yawned, stretching his legs out as far as they'd go and settling back with his arms folded across his stomach. "I think it's just inherent in you alphas to be kind of creepy by nature."


"... I didn't like you being near so many unbonded alphas." Derek said it like it was just a fact. He wasn't angry, didn't seem to be jealous, it was just how he felt. Stiles was pretty surprised he said it like that, actually.

Curling a hand over Derek's forearm, Stiles squeezed and gave him what he hoped was a saucy wink. "You know I only have room for one unbonded alpha in my life. And my ass." And then Derek started to sound like he was choking, so Stiles pulled his hand away.


The next morning, Stiles woke up early and was dressed and ready before Derek even left the house. The alpha looked at him with a raised eyebrow, and Stiles shot him a huge grin in return. "Can I come with you? I wanna go get Matilda."

"A puppy is a lot of responsibility, Stiles," Derek began, but Stiles was quick to cut him off.

 

"Not to rain on your parade of condescension, but if you can't trust me to take care of a dog, how the hell are you gonna trust me to father your children?" Derek's entire aura shifted into something else, but he conceded to the point with a curt little nod and slipped into his shoes.


At the animal shelter, Stiles was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of animals making noise in the kennels. They had brought about ten puppies to the fundraiser, but here there were full grown dogs, tons of kittens, and even more full grown cats. They even had a small animal section, full of guinea pigs and hamsters and rats. But Stiles was just looking for Matilda, had eyes only for her.

"Three-legged pooch, a boxer mix... the lady had a name for it yesterday, hell if I remember..." He was trying to describe her to one of the volunteers, hands sweeping and curling in broad gestures. "Sweet as pie, cute floppy brown ears?"

"Oh, you mean Spot," the young man said, recognition dawning on his face. Stiles turned to Derek and raised his eyebrows in a way that he hoped properly conveyed the message, And you thought MY name was bad? "Here, let me take you back to her so you can confirm it."

They went down a hallway, and Stiles did a sideways whisper. "Spot? She doesn't even have spots!" He shook his head, but then they went outside into the kennels. There was one row that seemed to have most of the puppies, and there in the center was little Matilda. Stiles beamed when he saw her, leaning over the rail.

All the little puppies barked, but Stiles paid them barely any mind. When the volunteer pulled her out of the cage, her tongue was lolling and happy, and her legs wiggled with the effort to get at him, and Stiles laughed. "See?" he told the alpha, who stood broodingly by the door. "I told you she's perfect. Look at this face." Matilda half whined, half growled, and gnawed on the side of Stiles' hand.

Derek rolled his eyes, but Stiles could tell he was happy. Super happy. About to burst into song happy. Stiles definitely wasn’t projecting. "Alright, we have to fill out papers or something? And then we can take her home?"

"Yeah, pretty much. Have you owned a dog before?" And after that, they spent at least half an hour answering questions and doing the paperwork. Stiles was impressed by how thorough they were. Obviously they wanted all these animals to go to a good home.

Stiles clipped the new purple leather collar on her that they'd picked up at the store before arriving and attached the matching leash, guiding the hobbling little dog out the door. When she nearly tripped Derek the second time by bouncing around his feet, Stiles scooped her up into his arms where she was content to lick at his neck.  

"You know, she's going to get big and you won't be able to do that. Then we will have a fully grown hyperactive dog on our hands. Which means I'll have to deal with two of you." It was pretty obvious that Derek was trying to pretend that he didn't like Matilda, but who could resist her charm?

"Maybe that's how I'll build muscle," Stiles mused, burrowing his nose into the shampoo-tangy puppy scent of Matilda's head. "As she grows and grows, so will my mahscles." Derek totally got a kick out of his Arnold impression, even if his face didn’t show it.

"I really don't think it works that way." They got in the car, and Derek spent a minute arranging a towel he had brought on the back seat.

Stiles watching him silently for a while. "You know she's gonna be sitting on my lap the whole ride, right?"

"You're going to rethink that decision when she pees on you," Derek said, glancing in Stiles' direction.

"She won't."

"She's an excited puppy. Of course she will."

"Nope, she loves me too much. If she has to pee she'll go over to you to do it. Besides, they said that she was almost totally trained already. I just have to take her outside a whole bunch because she has such a tiny bladder." Stiles grinned over at Derek, who eventually climbed into his seat and started the car. Once they started moving, Matilda kept falling over, unable to balance at all.

Stiles was caught between finding it adorable and feeling bad for finding it adorable. She whined and struggled to make a place for herself on his legs, so he bundled her against his stomach and scratched all the way down her spine over and over again until she was too content to move around. Finally, with a little huff of a sigh, she fell asleep with her face nestled in the crook of his arm. "See?" he told Derek smugly. "She didn't pee and she proves yet again that she's the cutest thing in the world. What can't our girl do?"

"You're biased," Derek huffed from the drivers seat. "She'll sleep in your room though. And I expect she'll have troubles with the stairs, being so small and missing her front leg. We might have to help her."

Stiles scratched behind her silken, floppy ears and sighed happily. "Fine by me. But you know, you're gonna have to bond with her, too. Now that you've had a little practice with me, maybe you could, y'know, baby step your way into a relationship with this other creature who is basically dependent on us?"


He sighed and glanced over to them. "I’ll pet her if that's what you mean."

"No," Stiles chuckled, "like, cuddle her and play with her and stuff. You're a werewolf - you probably know better than I do how to please her."

"Dog jokes?" The omega glanced in Derek's direction and nearly choked on his own tongue at the dour expression he saw there. "Original and tasteful."

"Sorry, my sense of humor doesn't really have boundaries for werewolves. But on a related note, do you like being scratched? Like if I scratched behind your ear would you start wiggling your foot? Because I could totally do that in return for all the hugs and stuff."

Derek actually growled at that, and Stiles felt a shiver crawl up his spine. He couldn't tell whether the feeling was bad or not. Matilda woke instantly, her ears perked, nose pointed straight up toward Derek. Then she growled back, and Stiles couldn't contain himself. "Aww look, you ruffled her feathers. It's okay, Mattie girl, he's just a big ol' sourwolf. He doesn't mean any real harm. Apologize, Derek."

"Apologize?" And he'd be damned if that wasn't the frostiest he'd ever heard the alpha's voice go.

"Yes, apologize. To Matilda."

"I'm not going to apologize to a dog. She wouldn't even know what I was saying. If anything, she should be apologizing to me for growling." Derek pulled into their driveway, pushing the button to open the garage door.

"You were the first to growl. Besides, Matilda is way too cute to have to apologize. Just look at this face!" He held her up so she could see out the window. "This is your new home! How do you like it? You're going to have so much fun here."

She wiggled and scrabbled around in one of Stiles' arms while he tried to balance her, wind up the leash, and get himself out of the car with the other. Stiles set her down when the car door was closed and walked out of the garage with the hobbling puppy in tow. "I'm gonna let her wander around the yard so she can do her business and get familiar with everything." He waggled his eyebrows. "You can join us if you like."

"Because I want to stand around for ten minutes waiting for a dog to take a shit. Just make sure you pick it up after." And with that, Derek went inside the house. Stiles didn’t even try to suppress his grin and strolled to the back yard, unclipping the leash from Matilda’s collar.

"Alright, just you and me then. We'll have more fun anyway. I'm not really sure he knows how." Matilda yipped and stumbled over her own legs, and that was that.

Chapter Text

Another month passed, and Stiles was getting antsy enough for the both of them. Heats came bi-annually for omegas, and his first (and terrible) heat was already five months and seventeen days behind him. He could tell his anxious tension was affecting Matilda - she would whine at him more often, try to curl up in his lap even though she was getting bigger every day, and it made Derek growl until he realized what he was doing and left the room.

Not to mention that he now required a hug at least once a day, and started feeling strange if Derek was away for more than two hours. He worried the alpha would start to think he was too clingy, but everything he knew about alphas said that he should like it. Derek had pretty much kept to leaving it up to Stiles to initiate any touching or interaction outside of the daily hug-fest, and Stiles was wondering if he would even want him when his heat hit.

Eventually, they had escalated to full-blown snuggling on the sofa, Stiles curled up in Derek’s lap with his side pressed all along Derek’s torso as the alpha folded him up neatly in his arms. The wolf’s breath was hot against his ear and sent shivers down Stiles’ arms but he couldn’t make himself lift his head from Derek’s neck for nearly hours at a time. There was always a low rumble in Derek’s chest when this happened, and only intensified to become actual growling when Matilda came too close.

Sitting on his bed, Stiles was trying to teach the puppy how to roll over, but she only wanted to lick his face. Then the door opened, and Derek walked in. "Dude, I know this is your house and everything, but you could at least knock. What if I was masturb... Mastering a video game..."

Derek thankfully ignored that, and he sat on the very edge of the bed. There was something in his hand that he kept fiddling with. Stiles recognized the familiar dark purple box right away, the product that took up nearly half the adspace in television channels “for omegas”. He couldn’t help it: his jaw dropped. “Suppressants?”

The alpha glanced up and his eyes gave all the answer Stiles needed. Unfortunately, the affirmative didn’t make him any less confused. That was the brand that was so lauded for its excellent heat-long birth control as an added bonus to suppressing rampant omega hormones, an expensive top-shelf item because it was so effective. But didn’t Derek want to breed him? Wasn’t that the whole point of this?

Derek must have scented his mounting distress because he was by Stiles’ side in a heartbeat, curling an arm around his middle and pressing his nose to the side of the omega’s neck. “Calm down,” he rumbled, and for better or for worse, Stiles’ body obeyed.

After his heartbeat had gone back to normal, Derek let him go and held him by the shoulders. "I... don't want you to misunderstand. Obviously you already have, but... You're seventeen. And I want you to have the option. With this, you won't get pregnant, and it should dull your heat symptoms, so you would be able to choose if you... want to. I... well, I’d have to stay away or something, but I still want you to know that you have the choice. I'm not going to force you to do something you don't want to do. Which means I wouldn't force you to take these pills if you didn't want to... Unless you do want to... This all sounded better in my head." Derek pulled away and looked down, scratching his dark hair as he avoided Stiles' eyes.

“You want to wait?” Stiles asked. “Uh, for the - the breeding, I mean. Obviously. That’s really the only... wait, you can’t stay away, Derek.” He blinked. “Do you have any idea how bad an omega’s heat is?” Derek just looked back at him. He looked like he was suppressing a poignant eyebrow lift. “You don’t understand. I can’t do another heat alone. I seriously thought I was gonna die the first time. It was... awful. There’s so much physical and mental and emotional need, and I can’t do that alone, not ever again, so-”

“Stiles.”

His mouth shut so fast that his teeth clicked together and Derek curled a hand around the back of Stiles’ neck. “This was intended mostly for the cub... situation,” he finally said after Stiles had leaned into him and nearly closed his eyes.

"Right... good, right. So wait, do you not want cubs at all? I thought that was all alpha werewolves thought about, just getting a big family, or a pack or whatever. You don't want them at all?"

Derek shook his head. "I do want cubs, but I can wait. I want you to want them as much as I do."

And that, that made Stiles stare at him. Was this even a thing? An alpha, who had bought him, wanted to wait until he was ready. Seriously? "Is this a trick or something? Are you trying to see if I'm ready to be bred or something? Are you going to get angry if I take them and do something horrible like take Matilda away?"

He received a little growl in response and Derek pulled Stiles into his lap, which couldn’t have been the easiest thing to do; Derek wasn’t much bigger than Stiles, after all. “When have I ever played tricks on you?” he asked tersely. His hand was too hot on Stiles’ thigh. “Much less something as cruel as punishing you for being in control of your body.”

"Sorry, just trying to wrap my mind around this. So, if I start taking these... I won't get pregnant, and you won't be disappointed or anything? At all?" Stiles was looking at the package, at the tiny pills inside of it.

"I promise I won't be at all disappointed." He tightened his grip on him. "In fact, if you started taking them, I would probably feel a lot better. Otherwise I’d feel like I was pressuring you into it."

“You’re an alpha,” Stiles said, and shrugged as well as he could with a clingy werewolf apparently hell-bent on drinking in the scent of Stiles’ shoulder. He felt calmer now that he was back in territory he could understand - things that scientists and studies had tested, not blindly guessing at this abnormal alpha’s train of thought. “That’s your thing. Not, uh, the pressuring part. As an alpha you instinctively feel the need to claim your omega and, er... plant yourself... inside and wow this got weird fast - and the werewolf part is just looking to expand your pack. I get it, Derek. This is what I signed up for. You don’t have to extend any courtesies.”

Derek sighed and pressed his face even more into his shoulder, almost like a reprimand. "There’s a time for instinct and a time for rational thought, Stiles. I don't care about you knowing what you were getting in to. Just, please, just think about it. If you start taking these a week before your heat, it will still be effective, but since we're not sure when it will hit, you should probably start taking them soon. If you want to take them." He put the pills down on the table, on top of Stiles' book. "Maybe you could even talk to your dad about it. If it helps you decide. I don't want either of us to regret anything in a situation this important." He curled back up around Stiles immediately, and it was obvious that the omega wasn’t the only one feeling the needy effects of his oncoming heat. “You’re young. Give yourself more time.”

“Why did you buy me then?” he muttered, tucking his face into the collar of Derek’s leather jacket.

He hadn't actually been expecting Derek to answer at all. "I saw you and you just looked helpless. I got … protective pretty fast, and couldn't let any other alphas take you."

"So... you bought me because I looked helpless? Way to make a guy feel flattered, man."

Stiles was surprised to hear a little chuff of laughter. “Your scent was vulnerable. It was... enticing.” Something about the way he said it made Stiles think he was substituting that word for something a lot heavier. “Luckily, I was the only werewolf present for the auction at the time. Only I could smell it on you. You were the only omega up for bid with so much anxiety. I didn’t think. I just reacted to your scent.”

"Seriously? Come on, there had to be at least one other nervous omega  there. I couldn't have been the only one. I mean I was sweating bullets, so they had to be at least a little scared." Sure, Stiles had been one of the youngest omegas at the auction, but still!

“The only one,” Derek confirmed, and damn him, he was smiling.

“I can hear your smile, Derek Hale.”

“I thought it was odd,” he went on, like Stiles hadn’t spoken. “Since the omegas at auction have to put themselves - yourselves - up for bid, it struck me as odd that one would be so nervous. I’ve been to a few; they coincide with charity auctions sometimes. There’s always a lot of anxiety, certainly, but not real fright. I thought...” He paused, and Stiles felt the arms around him tighten. “I thought you might have been coerced into it.”

Stiles shrugged against him, and grinned when Matilda let out a whine for being ignored. "I wasn't, you know. It's just... I got my dad fired, pretty much, and I had just had my first heat, so I figured my dad would get half the money from the auction, and then he wouldn't have to take care of me, so it was all for the better." If Derek were looking at his face, he would have seen an odd grin in place. "But I kind of have a thing for research, and the night before I’d looked up a whole bunch of things about alphas – statistics and studies and stuff. I was too stubborn to back out of it, but in a room full of intimidating alphas, with everything I had read... Well, obviously you could, uh, smell it."

Derek glanced up. “And judging by your knowledge on the subject, you also took into account the likelihood of werewolves.” His hazel eyes struggling to conceal his amusement. They were really very appealing and close. To. Stiles’ face. Like the rest of Derek’s face. His very attractive face. What was he talking about again?

“It occurs to me in this moment that we’ve never kissed. Isn’t that weird? I’d say it’s weird, considering we’re about to do this whole heat thing. Not to mention, we’ve gotten pretty cuddly. Granted, our snuggleometer reads that we’ve only been increasing cuddle capacity at a snail’s pace, but...”

There was an awkward few seconds of shuffling leather against Stiles’ cotton t-shirt. "I... wasn't sure you wanted that. The touching was necessary, kissing isn't. We can just wait for the heat if you want-"

Before he even closed his mouth, Stiles was craning his neck and kissing him. Just a soft press of lips, nothing daunting or damning. He even held Derek’s surprised gaze (though he had to cross his eyes attractively to do it), and couldn’t help the smile that curled up from his amusement. Stiles pulled back after one more and smoothed an imaginary crease in Derek’s collar. “Now. That wasn’t so nerve-wracking.”

Derek blinked at him, and quickly recovered, trying to not seem like that had completely blown his mind which, of course they did - Stiles was a kissing master. "Yes, well. No, you definitely didn't smell nervous." He cleared his throat loudly, and Stiles moved out of his lap so he could stand up. "Right, so think about the... pills. And I'm going to start working from home, so in case your heat starts..."

Stiles nodded, and when Derek didn’t move, he blinked. “No, yeah, that’s great. Probably the best idea you’ve had in a while.”

The alpha’s impressive eyebrows lifted. “You’re not letting me go.” Stiles followed his gaze to where his hand was curled firmly around Derek’s wrist. He tried to let go, but it was... surprisingly difficult.

“Uh.. right... Yeah, so my hand doesn't seem to want you to go." Stiles said with an awkward laugh. "Um... You could... Stay? I mean, I was gonna go to sleep soon, and I just know Matilda would be happy about it. Yeah, that's a good reason."

He would go to his grave swearing that the expression Derek wore in that moment was a relieved one. Tension in his shoulders that Stiles hadn't even noticed began to melt, and Derek nodded. "I'll need to shower and get ready for bed first," he said when Stiles began to give him an expectant look. His hand slowly uncurled itself from Derek's skin, but he just had to be sure.

"And you're definitely coming back."

"Yes," he said simply with an unreadable expression on his face, and then he left. He certainly wasn't one for unnecessary words. Not that Stiles minded; in fact, Derek's silence was beginning to grow on him. Stiles lifted Matilda into the air, groaning at the extra weight. "You had better be on your best behavior. Oh who are we kidding, it's me who has to be on good behavior. Oh damn, he's gonna know I drool. And kick in my sleep. And occasionally talk. Wow, I am really a shitty bed partner. No wonder Scott never wanted to sleep over."

She snuffled and settled awkwardly over his legs. He played with her ears for a bit and finally cupped her cheeks to look into her big brown eyes. "Okay, baby, you're gonna hafta... not be here? Aww, don't give me that look, Mattie-boo. You know how our sourwolf gets. All possessive and touchy and growly and oookay, getting some thoughts I shouldn't have with you on my lap now. Here we go..."

Stiles took a brief shower in the adjoining bathroom and changed his clothes to take as much of her smell off of him that he could. Then, after a short should I/shouldn't I session with his own brain, Stiles stripped the sheets and covers from his bed and, yeah, okay, the pillowcases too, Matilda might have drooled on those, and quick as you please he remade his bed with clean linens from the closet.

The look she gave him was one of betrayal as he set her outside the door. "Sorry, little miss."

He put the old sheets just outside the door for her to make a bed in, but as soon as the door was closed she started whining. "I'm sorry! You know I really love you the best!" Stiles started wondering how he could eventually get Derek used to her so that he wouldn't get possessive anymore.

Derek hadn’t returned until after Stiles turned the lights off and curled up in his freshly made bed, hugging a pillow to his chest and trying to ignore his precious baby's cries for him.

 

.... They stopped pretty quickly when the sound of shuffling feet and a low growl came from outside his bedroom door.


It opened, and Stiles could see Derek's silhouette before he closed the door. "Well, fancy meeting you here. Take your shoes off and stay awhile." Stiles realized that his voice was maybe a tad bit higher than normal, but there wasn't really anything he could do about that now, was there?

Matilda gave one last muffled whimper and seconds later, a warm, hard body was pressing up against his own. Stiles didn't waste a moment on coyness and went straight for the jugular (so to speak). He wound himself around Derek like an octopus and would apologize later. When he actually felt sorry.

 

"You really went to great lengths to remove her scent," Derek grumbled. It was his amused grumble. Stiles felt the instinctually-omega part of him preen.

 

"And did I do a great job or what?"

 

"Hardly," Derek huffed. "She's saturated your room with it."

 

"Hey! She so has not. I made sure she never piddled in here, ever ever."

 

"That's not what I meant."


Stiles huffed, but just cuddled in closer. "You know, eventually you're going to have to stop being jealous of her. I mean, just imagine when there's a baby!" At the look Derek gave him, Stiles backtracked. "I mean, a baby when I want a baby, and not before, definitely not before we're both ready, because that's the only time we should think about that."

That seemed to calm Derek, and he pulled the blanket over them, resting a hand on the omega's stomach.

Stiles' breath hitched in his chest and he felt everything inside him tighten and curl. His dick was taking notice of the incredibly intimate - wow - caress and Stiles keened softly.

"Are you alright?" Derek asked, obviously not misunderstanding the sound at all because he sounded almost amused. Stiles gave a slightly breathless laugh. "Yeah, I'm fine, just... Damn, I thought your hugs were amazing, but apparently it was nothing compared to cuddling in bed. Yup, my omega brain is definitely very happy right now."

Derek's growl was doing nothing to dissuade certain anatomy from getting achingly stiff ridiculously fast. He felt Derek's lips brush along his forehead, nose burrowed in Stiles' short hair, and the omega didn't even realize he'd begun mouthing at Derek's jaw until a hand slid under his shirt and cupped his hip.

The younger man swallowed past a lump in his throat, and when Derek squeezed Stiles’ skin, Stiles couldn't stop his hips from twitching forward, his boner bumping against Derek's leg. He belatedly realized that he could feel the matching erection against his.

"D... uh, Derek?" he asked, and there was the crack he had definitely not missed since puberty. Derek's answer was little more than a rumble against his skin, and Stiles' eyes fluttered closed of their own volition. "You're not gonna just pull away at some point, are you? Like, this is happening?"


He got only a low growl in response, so Stiles pulled his head back to look at him. But when he did, his heart skipped a beat in surprise. Bright, unnatural red eyes were staring back at him, and he gasped when Derek moved suddenly, rolling over on top of him, pressing their hips together.

There were teeth on his shoulder - practically in his shoulder - and then a tongue and more teeth and then there was the matter of the crazy-good slow rut Derek was manoeuvring against his hip that more or less cut the circuits in Stiles' brain. He was way too close to heat (or too close to Derek) to maintain a solid thought for longer than two seconds at this point. Derek moved hot and heavy against him, his body responding to each of Stiles' gasps and little cries with stuttering cants of his hips. As if Stiles needed any more proof that he was affecting Derek as much as Derek was affecting him.

"Ah, fuck, Derek." Stiles gripped his shoulder, lifting his hips, and yeah, that was definitely a growl. The alpha pushed him back down, and Stiles understood that he was meant to stay still. He whimpered as he felt claws pressing against his shoulder, not piercing the skin yet, but it would only take a little more pressure.

The thought was way, way hotter than it should have been, and Stiles whimpered as his cock leaked from the thought of those claws and teeth pushing just a little deeper... Wow, he was more kinky than he’d thought. Derek had never been so pushy before, never this animalistic, and fuck if this domineering aspect of him wasn't nearly enough to make Stiles come without a single touch.

But there was touching, there was a lot of touching, practically his whole body had some part of Derek Hale pressed up against it, and the most important parts were grinding against each other. The only problem was that they were both still clothed, and Stiles was about to come in his pajama pants like the inexperienced teenaged omega that he was.

He could have wiggled out of them. On any normal occasion, he would have. If it were anyone but Derek Hale dry humping him into the mattress, he would have definitely pushed them back to do so. Unfortunately, the odds (read: hormones and heat pheromones) were not in his favor, and within minutes, he was shouting Derek's name above the growls and the biting and the everything, and yeah, Derek was definitely pinning him with his teeth, holy fuck. Stiles came so hard he wasn't sure he could keep from passing out.

The alpha kept rutting against his limp body, eyes almost glowing by that point. But, right as his hand tightened and his claws dug into Stiles' shoulder, his hips stuttered and finally came to a halt.

Stiles could actually see the red in his eyes fading, and he felt the claws retract into dull nails. The younger boy knew he wasn't far from passing out, but he was starting to worry when Derek started glancing around as if he just woke up, dazed and befuddled.

"Welcome back," Stiles murmured, not really all that surprised to find his voice hoarse and raspy. Despite the dull aches in a few choice locations around his body, Stiles was feeling pretty damn content, and totally ready to just lie back for a night of sleeping and cuddles. Derek seemed a little slow to get the memo, and Stiles ran a hand up his arm, squeezing one rock-solid bicep. "C'mon. Sleep. Best plan."

"I... hurt you."

Stiles thought about all the things he had read, about alphas not wanting their omegas damaged, but he had always expecting a little rough sex, and if all he got away with were some nail marks and a bite, he thought he was doing pretty good. "Yeah, well, it’s not like it's gonna change me into a werewolf, right? Pretty sure you have to be born one. So, sleep?"

But Derek looked like he still wasn't totally out of that animal mindset, because in the soft light of the moon, Stiles knew a kicked puppy expression when he saw one. Derek looked like he was about to tuck tail and run. So Stiles reached up to cup his neck and stroked Derek's stubble-rough jaw with his thumbs. "It didn't hurt," he offered quietly as Derek's perceptive wolf eyes took in the puncture marks along Stiles' flesh. The omega could only hope they didn't look too bad. "You got my brain swimming in dopamine and serotonin and all the good stuff. You kept it from hurting. Stop making that face."

Somehow the words didn't seem to be getting through, because Derek was pulling away and rolling out of the bed. But Stiles couldn't let that happen, and he knew that he would have to be very, very blunt. "Don't go all self-sacrificing, shameface on me. If you really want to know, I liked it, because I'm a kinky bastard and way too close to my heat. Now please, I really want to go to sleep, and I would rather you be with me, because once again, close to my heat. It feels really good when you’re touching me. I get restless when you’re not."

He tugged at Derek’s shirt when the alpha didn’t move, and - and - well. Well, Stiles was just going to have to appeal to his wolf then, if the human side wasn’t going to be rational. So Stiles let go of whatever dignity he had left and let out one tiny, quiet noise of distress before releasing Derek’s shirt.

Sure enough (and almost surprisingly) that was all it took. Stiles found himself captured in protective alpha-mate arms, warm breath fanning over his ear. “You did that on purpose,” Derek growled.

“Yeah, but you’re not letting go now, so I’m having trouble feeling bad about it.”

They stayed like that for a while, and Stiles glanced up at him. "You know... we could get out of these pants. Just saying. It would probably be a lot more comfortable. And we could sleep."

"What if it happens again?" Derek asked, his voice rumbling in his chest so Stiles could actually feel it.

Stiles shucked off his sticky undergarments and donned a pair of clean boxers from a drawer before he pulled Derek all the way down onto the mattress and tucked himself against the alpha’s body. “If it happens, it happens. And it probably will. Lots of times. Maybe even almost every time we have sex.” He bared his throat and grinned widely. “You have one of those magical healing werewolf tongues, right? So start licking.”

Derek glared at him, but went willingly. "It's not magic." But he bent his head to Stiles' shoulder, running the flat of his tongue over the marks and the metallic taste of blood. The omega closed his eyes, imagining that he could feel the marks healing, the skin stitching back together. Mostly it was hot and stung. And then it was itchy. And then... nothing but a little sore. Once Derek pulled his head away, Stiles reached up and ran his fingers over... nothing.

“What do you mean it’s not magic? You just healed me in, like, five minutes! Did you even leave a hickey?”

"It's not magic, it's a combination of a clotting agent, and a-"

"Yeah yeah yeah, whatever, it's magic." Stiles waved him off, and then was cut off by a long whine from outside the door. "Hey... do you think you would get all growly if I let Matilda sleep with us? I feel really bad about leaving her out of the room. She always sleeps with me on my bed."

“Yes,” Derek grunted in that charmingly cavemannish way of his. “I will get ‘all growly’ if you let her in.”

“Okay, okay, wolf marking his territory, got it.” Stiles let himself be scented by the alpha’s mouth and sighed in contentment. “You’re gonna have to make it up to her, though.” Derek huffed against him, but didn't protest. "That's the real reason you want me to take the pill, isn't it? So a cub won't be stealing my attention... alright, so I won't be bringing that up again, going by the look on your face. Yeah, just filing that away under T for Things Derek Doesn't Want to Talk about." He waited a tick. “It’s a really long list-”

“Didn’t you say something about sleep?”

“See, you sound like a grouchy Gus, but really you’re just a-”

Derek nipped at Stiles’ nose, and then his lips, teeth still razor-sharp and extraordinarily careful, but it was enough to shut Stiles up in a heartbeat. “Sleep.”

"Right, sleep, that's what that's called. Well then, uh... goodnight." Stiles shifted his eyes to the window, and then back to Derek's face.

The alpha lifted a hand, and with two fingers, he closed Stiles' eyes himself.

Chapter Text

When he woke up the next morning, the bed was empty. It made his raw omega instincts keen and ache, which was just ridiculous. They’d only slept together once, more of a furious rut than anything, and...

And everything smelled like Derek. Stiles humbled himself by pressing his face into the pillow Derek had occupied only once and breathed in his scent. What a state his heat put him in.

He went to the door and opened it, grinning as Matilda brushed past him into his room. "Hey girl, sorry you had to sleep in the hall last night. Come on in." He went to lift her up onto his bed, and sat down beside her. Then his gaze fell on his nightstand, and to the package of pills. Well, if he was going to take them, he should probably start now.

Popping the first of the heavy-duty pills from the bright purple foil, he noticed Matilda’s curious gaze on him and sniffed. “Don’t you look at me with those judging eyes. There will be other heats. All my damn life. Derek’s right - I’m too young for this. If Dad taught me anything, it’s that parenting isn’t just an easy thing, and since our special werewolf friend and I still haven’t really had any great bonding experiences outside of last night - which I will not be telling you about, missy, you’re just a baby - so... we probably... definitely aren’t ready to be parents together.” He glanced down at the little white pill in his palm. “Not that I’d trust me either with the duty of taking care of a kid. Can’t blame the guy. Bottom’s up!”

He took the pill, hoping offhandedly it wouldn't conflict with his Adderal. Probably should have thought of that first. How did Derek even get it? Weren't you supposed to go to a doctor to get a prescription? Well, maybe it was different for the alphas who bought their omega. Ownership right's or whatever. He probably shouldn't go down that line of thinking now that it seemed he and Derek might have a shot at a somewhat decent companionship. And with that, he vaulted himself up off the bed, calling Matilda to follow him so she could do her morning business, all thoughts of the pill out of his mind.

Derek glanced up at him from the stove in the kitchen when they came back inside. His eyebrows lifted when Stiles stepped closer. “You took it.”

“Yeah. You can smell it?”

The alpha shrugged and went back to staring at his... pan of simmering water. Stiles sidled up next to him and did his very best not to reach out and just start touching. Every omega inch of him itched to be rubbed against Derek’s frame, but he reeled it in. Plenty of time for that when the heat struck. “Sooo.... breathing in the vapors?”

“Making tea.”

"Wow, that seems very British. Um, so I have a few questions about the heat. My last heat went on for eight days, so how are we going to deal with things like food and water? And Matilda, she won't do well on her own for eight days. And I really doubt either of us will be in control enough to really cook or take her out for a walk. My last one, I was pretty much locked in my room the whole time with my dad feeding me through the door whenever I was of a mind long enough to unlock it."

“Don’t worry about it,” Derek said. Didn’t even spare him a glance. Stiles swallowed.

“Okay. I’m gonna assume that means you’ve already taken care of it.”

That did earn him a sideways glance. “Of course I have.” And Stiles let out a relieved sigh.

“Thank God. I was half worried you might be underestimating the intensity of the situation.”

“Not for a second.”

Stiles went to sit down at the table. "So do you have someone to take care of Matilda? Because just leaving food out for her won't do, you know."

Derek turned off the oven, poured tea into two mugs, and dipped in the tea bags. "I don't really know anyone that would take her, so I asked your father."

Aaand there went Stiles’ balance. All the way down. Ass, meet floor. “You asked my dad? You. Asked my dad.”

The alpha lowered a teabag into the boiling water without even turning to face his fallen omega. Hmph. So much for protective instincts. “Is it really so hard to believe I’d make contact with your father? I’m your heatmate.”

"Right, you do realise my dad is a- was a cop, and is therefore very good with a gun, and usually very protective of me. And- Wwait, is he coming here to pick her up? Am I going to be able to see him? Oh please say yes! I wanna see him so bad!" Stiles pointed an accusing finger at Derek. "And if you say anything about me missing my daddy... well it's true, but just don't say it."

Derek finally turned and looked at him, the expression on his face one of tight amusement. “Why are you still on the floor?”

“Because in my excitement, I’ve forgotten how to properly stand up. I might make a fool of myself trying. Don’t comment on that, either. Just - go back to making your tea!”

“Your tea.”

"Our tea," Stiles countered, and finally stood back up. "When is he coming to pick her up? Is he allowed to stay for awhile? I mean, I've been seriously missing him. It might be weird being so close to my heat, and with you there, but he was with me for my last heat so I guess it's nothing he's never seen before."

“I don’t mind,” Derek answered gruffly, rifling through a cabinet to pick out a couple of mugs and setting them beside the stove. “You’re going to have to entertain him alone.”

“Why?”

Derek glanced in his direction, one eyebrow cocked. “I can’t imagine it would be comfortable for him to have to sit in a room for hours with the man who bought his son in an auction and will be fucking him blind in a matter of days.”

Thank goodness Stiles didn’t have anything in his mouth but air to choke on. “Uh, well, when you put it like that...”

Derek put the tea down in front of him and sat down as well. Stiles sniffed at it before blowing and taking a sip. "So, when is he coming to pick her up then? I mean, it's been five and a half months since my last heat, but since it's just my second one, there is a big chance that it won't be exactly six months."

"He said he could come over on Wednesday. He seems to love you very much, you know. Misses you even though you talk to him every day on the phone."

“I’m all he’s got left,” Stiles muttered, rubbing his neck where Derek had spent the last night making a chew toy out of him. “Even if I am a burden. Family’s important.” Derek was eerily quiet after that, so Stiles forced a grin and took another sip of tea. “Not that I should bring that up around you, Mr Birth-Control-Enforcer.”

"No, I- I agree, family is... important." Derek was acting strange, and Stiles was beginning to think they were broaching on a subject that made Derek uncomfortable.

"Well, at least we both agree on that. Considering we are eventually going to have a family, it's good that we both think it's... important." He reached over and touched Derek’s hand before he could convince himself that it was a bad idea and ducked his head, smile soft. “I’ll take care of my dad for a couple of hours. We’ll make lunch. You two can meet over food or something. It’s hard to be awkward when you’re stuffing your face, right?”

Derek shrugged, sipping his tea. "That would be safe. You still don't smell like heat, so you probably have at least a week. So I guess it’ll be alright if we all have dinner. Just make steak." And that was the end of that conversation.


“Dad!” Stiles jumped headlong into his father’s arms, knocking him further back from the threshold and onto the porch. Harry Stilinksi grunted in surprise, but wrapped his son up tightly in his arms. He was saying something, but Stiles couldn’t quite catch it, so caught up in the feel and familiar scent of home his father carried with him wherever he went.

"Stiles, Stiles! I kind of need to breathe!" His dad patted him on the back, and Stiles pulled back, grinning bigger than he had in weeks. Well, alright, days. "Hey! I think I grew taller! I'm as big as you now! Man I've missed you so much!" He went in for another hug, just unable to get enough of his father. Harry finally sighed and returned the tight embrace, giving Stiles one of his great, fantastic, super, splendid, spectacular bear hugs.

“Missed you too, kid,” he wheezed, and Stiles laughed, pulling back moments later. He looked into his father’s eyes for the first time in what felt like ages, and just when he thought he might possibly start to cry, Harry cleared his throat and glanced up. “You sure upgraded, didn’t you.”

Stiles was confused, but saw his father glancing around the huge house. He snorted. "Yeah, big and empty. Ah, but this is Matilda!" he said as the puppy hobbled up to them. By now she was almost up to Stiles' knee, and he knew she would probably just keep growing. "Isn't she beautiful?"

His dad looked surprised seeing her. "Oh, how did she lose that leg?"

“The shelter people said it was an infection, and thanks to her previous owner’s negligence, it had to be amputated.”

Harry squatted down in front of the dog and offered his hand, which she sniffed warily before allowing him to scratch behind her ears. “Bit young to have had a previous owner, aren’t you?”

“That’s what I thought! But I would have never met my baby if it hadn’t been for her whole situation, and at least she doesn’t act like it bothers her.”

“Your baby, huh.”

Stiles grinned and scratched her ears. "Yeah, of course she's my baby. Doesn't she look like me?" He threw an arm around his dad's shoulders. "Don't agree with me."

He brought Harry to his room, telling him everything about Derek and living in the Hale manor. He even told him about the suppressants, and his dad admitted that he was relieved that they would wait for it. After getting his dad to spill about everyone in the town and dragging him to each of the Hale Manor's six seperate bathrooms ("Who in God's name needs six bathrooms?" "I KNOW."), they went to the kitchen to cook dinner.

The thought occurred to Stiles mid-cooking that it might be a good idea to introduce his werewolf husband-of-sorts to his father - properly, that is - before they actually sat down to eat. A thought that popped up conveniently as he heard footsteps ascending the basement stairs.

He left Harry to watch the cooking vegetables while he dashed off to intercept Derek by the basement door.

"Hey! No, don't run away! Alright, you have to meet my dad. His name is Harry, by the way, don't just call him my dad." Stiles pulled Derek along by the arm to the kitchen. "Dad! Hey, I'm bringing Derek in!"

The next thirty seconds were... interesting. If  interesting could be defined as ‘quiet and super tense’. Stiles opened and closed his mouth a couple times before letting his lack of filter do the talking. “Sure, I probably could have waited to introduce you until after he’d washed the sawdust from his... sweaty body... and changed his tight clothes... But I didn’t, and there’s no backing out now, so-”

“Stiles,” the other two muttered in unison, and Stiles couldn’t stop the bark of laughter.

“Oh man. Synchronized in your mutual exasperation. That’s awful. Gotta love it. Since it doesn’t look like you’re ready to hug yet, why don’t you go shower, and we’ll finish up here.”

Derek nodded and quickly turned around to go upstairs. Harry was giving him that weirdly fatherly look. "What?" Stiles said quickly, trying to get the awkwardness out of the air.

"Well... He's certainly an alpha. I guess it's true what they say, all alphas are... You know." He shrugged, and turned back to the frying pan.

"Are you trying to say he's hot? Oh my god you are aren't you? Dad, you're over twice his age. And also an alpha. Plus, I'm kinda pretty much married to the guy."

"I didn't mean--! Dammit Stiles, stop trying to finish my sentences. I don't think he's hot."

Stiles spread his arms out and cocked a knowing grin at his dad. "Come on. You think he's a little hot."

"At least I can rest assured our genes will be carried on in an aesthetically pleasing manner."

"You saying our kids are gonna be cute?"

Harry pointed a wooden spoon at him. "The offspring of a Stilinski is bound to be adorable. Never forget that, son. I've warned you. It'll be your turn to warn your own children soon enough."

"It's a burden and a curse," Stiles agreed.

They both shared a grin, and Stiles bumped up against his father's side. It was nice, it felt like old times. Before he had cost his father his job, and before he had gotten his first heat and sold himself to the auction house.

Just then, Matilda licked the back of his leg, and Stiles couldn’t really bring himself to regret it.

"You gonna tell me how you've been treated now that we're face to face and you can't skirt around the subject?" Harry suddenly interjected into what Stiles had thought was a comfortable silence.

"That turned somber really fast."

"Well, I can't see any obvious bruises or anything, so that's a good sign..." Harry was looking him up and down, eyes straying on his neck. Oh god he was looking for hickeys.

Stiles groaned as he pulled out plates and set the table. "Dad, seriously? Look, I'm being treated just fine. He even let Scott visit a couple times. And he got me a puppy." Great, how was he supposed to tell his dad that Derek was treating him way better than he had figured, with the whole making sure Stiles wanted it thing.

But Harry just watched him dubiously over the sizzling green beans and steak, so Stiles snatched the spoon from his hand and got to poking the searing food. "Dad, come on. You know how protective alphas are with omegas - especially their bonded omega."

 

"Yeah, and I know better than anyone how quickly that possessive instinct can turn to violence."

 

"Dad." Stiles' mouth was set in a firm line. "Believe me - he's been a perfect gentleman. A little too much of one, if you ask me." The last bit was grumbled, but Harry still must have heard it perfectly well, because he groaned.

 

"I'm not gonna look into the implications of that, son."


Stiles gave a shrug and flipped over the steaks. "Look, I told you about the suppressants. They were his idea. And trust me, I'm pretty sure he thinks I'm an egg that can be broken at the slightest pressure. I'll be perfectly fine, no need to do the shot gun talk. You didn't bring one, did you? Dad, please tell me you didn't bring a gun."

Harry gave him an incredulous sideways glance. "You and I both know that I don’t carry a firearm anymore, Stiles-"

"So you did."

A beat. "Yeah."

"Go put it in your car. Derek's a werewolf, remember, he could probably like smell the gunpowder or something." Stiles bumped his dad from in front of the stove, taking over for the time being.

Harry left, mumbling to himself about protecting his only son, and Stiles couldn’t help but smile fondly for it.

Almost immediately after the front door closed, Derek came clomping down the stairs and poked his head into the kitchen to frown at Stiles. "He left?"

"He'll be back. He just had to go put his weapons back in the truck."

Derek sidled up next to him, and Stiles almost couldn't help himself. He turned, taking in the sight and scent of his squeaky clean heatmate, all dolled up in a charcoal grey form-fitting sweater and jeans that - oh yeah, those were cupping his ass beautifully. And he smelled fantastic.

"Stiles," Derek mumbled, bumping against his shoulder. "I can smell your arousal over the burning meat."

"Shit!" Stiles turned off the heat and pushed the pan away from the burner.

Harry came in when Stiles was taking the steaks off the burner, and once again looked Derek up and down. "Well, glad you could join us then." He went to the stove and took out everything else they were eating, and helped Stiles put it all on the table.

They all sat down, and the thought struck Stiles that it had probably been a bad idea to seat those two right across from each other. It just made it easier for them to glare.

Well. His dad was glaring. Derek didn't mean anything by it - that was just his default expression. "Oh wow, guys, seriously, stop trying to burn each others' faces off for like five minutes and stick this food into your mouths because it has got to be the most scrumptious meal in the galaxy. The galaxy."

And now they were glaring at each other while stuffing their faces. But then eventually, his dad seemed to soften, if only just. "So, I just want you to know that if anything happens to my son, I won't hesitate to kill you. I know how to make it untraceable."

"Dad!” Stiles’ fork clattered to his plate. “Dinner without death threats please!"

Derek just met Harry's gaze patiently. "It's not your job to protect him anymore; it's mine. You don't need to worry."

"Oh. My God." Stiles buried his face in his hands. "You two are seriously the most embarrassing, overprotective -"

Aaaand, that was a hand on his knee. Derek hadn't broken his poker face, but damn, his omega hormones were settling down like magic. The bastard was using his biology against him. This was payback for last night, wasn't it? Well... touche.

"Yes, it's now your job to protect him. Which means from yourself too. Stiles may not have seen the extent of the damage a werewolf can do to someone, but I know it all too well." Harry thankfully hadn't noticed the hand, or he probably would have been freaking out more.

Biology or no biology, this dinner was going to the dumps, and Stiles couldn't help from banging his head on the table dramatically. "You realize I'm right here, don't you? Seriously, I'm the room. And feeling pretty insulted over the fact that you guys talk like I'm a child that needs protecting."

“You’re an omega about to go into heat, Stiles. On the vulnerability scale, that makes you somewhere around the equivalent of an infant.” Harry shot him a look. “You think I don’t remember how you were five months ago?”

Stiles grimaced. “Yeah, well, don’t think anyone involved will forget... that... but seriously, Dad. It’s gonna be fine.”

Finally his dad looked at him. "I know, son, I just... want to be sure. I need to know that I can trust this guy."

It was strange... suddenly Derek wasn't all Big Bad Alpha as he leaned forward, eying Stiles’ dad seriously. "Mr. Stilinski, I want you to know that protecting your son is extremely important to me. I've taken precautions to guard this house during Stiles' heat. He'll be safe in my hands."

“Those hands? Super safe.” Definitely not going to mention how they turned into claws when Derek was feeling extra frisky. Not the time for that. Probably never the time for that. Harry still didn’t look completely satisfied, but he seemed to relax just a little.

“Stiles told me about the suppressants.”

“DAD.”

"If you didn't want me to bring it up you shouldn't have told me," Harry said quickly, eyes still on Derek. "I want you to know that I approve of and appreciate the decision. I never thought it was a good idea for teenagers to be bred."

Derek didn't even blink. Did he ever blink? "I would never force him into something like that."

“You guys look like you’re soul searching there with your... strong alpha stares. Okay, I’m gonna go put my dishes away and...” Derek squeezed his knee and Stiles twitched. “Uh. Never mind. I’ll just sit here and watch you two stare each other down.”

Stiles gaped at them both. Not for the first time in his life, he almost wished he were born a beta so he could have avoided all of this overprotective crap. (And he wanted to kick the omega part of himself that relished in the intensity of their affection.)

His dad offered to help with the dishes, but Stiles insisted that it wasn't a big deal and he would do them later. It was only in part because he thought Derek and his father shouldn't be in the same room anymore.

And if he noticed that the dishes had been done while his father was occupied elsewhere, well. That was between Stiles and Derek's secret domestic side.

Chapter Text

Stiles gave his dad a huge hug, loathe to know that he would have to let go. But then he pulled back, wiping furiously at his eyes. Not that he was crying or anything. "Alright, um, take good care of Matilda for me. She's completely house trained, and likes going on long walks, and she likes sleeping on the bed. I gave you enough food for three weeks, so you don't run out, just in case..."

His father leaned in from the doorway, Matilda’s leash in one hand, the other pulling Stiles close. In a rush of affection, he pressed a hard kiss to his son’s temple. “I know you won’t be in the right mind for it,” he grumbled, “but if you need anything, you call me, y’hear? I will be on my way in a heartbeat.”

“Oh stop it, you sentimental old fart. Look, you’re making my girl upset.”

Harry gave a smile, and scratched behind her ear. "I'll take good care of her, so you don't have to worry. Just... have a good heat, son."

"Yeah, I will. Thanks for taking her dad. I'll... see you when you drop her off." Stiles gave a sideways grin, and seriously, he was not crying.

He waved at his dad and Matilda as they backed out of the long drive, all the way up until they were so far away through the trees that he couldn’t see them anymore. Only then did Stiles close and lock the door with a short sigh.

“I took care of the dishes.”

“Geez!” Stiles nearly jumped a foot in the air. “Dude, come on, you can’t just... you’re gonna give me a heart attack one of these days. Seriously.”

And then there was a hand on the small of his back, and his heartbeat began to calm. "Alright, so now that that's finished, we should, uh... Is there anything else we need to do to get ready for this thing? I mean, it's going to be coming up quickly... a few days maybe. So we should probably prepare."

A low rumble was Derek acknowledged that he’d spoken, at least. “I’ve taken care of it.”

“Really? All of it?”

Derek’s breath fanned over the back of his neck. “While you were with your father. Stored non-perishables and bottles of water in my room.”

“What about my room?”

The laugh that followed was so dark and deep that goosebumps shot down Stiles’ arms. “We’ll be in my room.”

Stiles huffed, crossing his arms. "Oh come on, my room's good! Nice sturdy bed, soft carpet, trendy drapes... You know, I haven't been in your room at all. I don't really even know where it is. I just know it's somewhere upstairs." He turned around to face Derek. Who was looking at him, for lack of a better word, hungrily. Stiles held his breath and checked... yeah, yep, not heat time yet. “Or, uh... I guess I’ll be finding out?”

“Definitely.” Derek brushed his thumb over Stiles’ bottom lip, and when he realized his mouth was dropped open, he quickly shut it. “When my alpha reacts to your omega, well, that’s the classic tale written in your textbooks - we both go a little out of our minds, rounds upon rounds of endless fucking - “ Stiles swallowed thickly “ - but when the wolf is taken under by the alpha’s instincts, it’ll want you completely covered in my scent. I think it would be safer to just start in my room so nothing goes wrong. Since the wolf will decide it wants you there anyway.”

Stiles swallowed thickly. "Ah, well... yeah, g-good idea. Do you want to sleep there tonight? To get the whole... scent covering thing started? So that I'm completely... scented?"

The alpha gave a single nod. "That would be good. Right now you just smell like dog and your dad."

"Haha, right, I guess I'll just go take a shower then?"

Derek wasn’t even trying to be subtle with the whole staring-openly-at-Stiles’-mouth thing. Then his sharp eyes flicked up to Stiles’ and he practically melted. This had better be an effect of early symptoms of heat. Dammit. “Yes.”

Stiles waited for a moment, just staring into Derek’s eyes, until finally he cleared his throat. “Um. I can’t... with you standing here... looming and... uh...”

"Do you need help?" Derek asked, his dark eyes seeming to stare right through him.

And, damn, asking if he needed help showering? Yes, definitely yes. NO, that was supposed to be a no. He had been taking showers since he was nine, he could damn well take one by himself now! Stiles took a step back, so that he wouldn't just be surrounded by Derek. "N-no, totally fine, just... I'm gonna go..."

Fuck, did Derek have to look totally wolfish and attractively menacing when Stiles was trying to do the simplest of things, like walking without tripping over himself? Apparently that was a yes. Stiles only stumbled once over a rug and tried to keep from sprinting up the stairs, fully aware that wolves just loved to give chase. What he least (or most, no, bad thought) needed was an out of control horny werewolf charging at him this close to his heat.

Finally he got to his room and into the adjoining bathroom with little trouble. As far as he knew, Derek was still downstairs somewhere, but that really shouldn't be anything he was thinking about. Stiles turned on the shower, took off his clothes, and stood under the scalding stream for a full ten minutes. This was going to be a very, very difficult, rewarding, long, amazing heat. He could just tell.



“Seriously, dude, you need to get a humidifier or something,” Stiles groaned, his head falling forward onto the table. “My skin’s so dry and tight and... ugh. I’m gonna go shower and exfoliate or something. Spread some lotion until I’m baby-soft again.” He tossed down the UNO cards he’d convinced his dad to bring over when he came for Matilda, and pushed his chair back from the table.

Derek was staring at him with what Stiles would describe as 'heavy eyes', and he had a really hard time walking away from him. The whole day he had hardly left Derek, practically plastered to his side besides bathroom breaks. In fact, one time he had even followed the alpha into the bathroom before realizing what the hell he was doing, and managed to get out of there with the excuse of wanting his toothbrush. Yeah, he wasn't really proud of that excuse, but he was operating under severe pressure at the time. The pressure of not making a complete ass of himself. He wasn't even sure it'd worked.

Didn’t help that Derek was standing up, either. “Uh. You planning on coming too?”

“What?” Oh. He didn’t even know he’d stood up. Like his body was acting of its own volition. Yep, he looked properly confused.

“You look like you’re about to abandon your post, buddy. I guess we could go to bed after. I’m kinda tired, now that I think about it.”

The older man didn't say anything, just lead the way up the stairs. He didn't join Stiles in the shower, though Stiles wouldn't have minded if he had. After all, as soon as his heat hit, he wouldn't really have much of a choice.

Once out of the shower, he felt much better, though still a little off. Like he was about to come crawling out of his skin. As soon as he climbed into the bed, Derek was all over him, sniffing his neck and hugging him close. "You smell like soap," he said, grumpily. Stiles snorted.

“Yeah, and it’s a good thing you haven’t done anything all day to make you smell bad. I’m getting your not-gonna-get-out-of-bed-for-anything vibes, so it’s fortunate that you don’t desperately require a shower. Though you could have come in and taken one with me, I s’pose.” Derek growled. “Whoa there tiger. Sorry I didn’t offer before.”

"Go to sleep," Derek said, which, alright, but weren't they talking about showers? "You need rest."

"Are you saying I look tired?" he asked defensively, but then there was a hand on the back of his neck, pulling him forward. Stiles closed his eyes for a kiss, but instead Derek just pressed their foreheads together. He couldn’t see him, but Stiles could feel that stare, and he shivered. “Okay, mother hen, I’ll sleep.” Not a single damn textbook had told him just how cuddly werewolves could be. Derek was seriously the most snuggly person Stiles had ever met. He was starting to give Matilda a run for her money.

They both fell asleep pretty easily. Maybe Derek was right, and he was tired. Far more tired than he realized, apparently. Stiles didn't even dream that night, far too exhausted.

It was only a few hours later when he woke up, and it seemed his brain had woken up a good long while after his body. Stiles had his face pressed into the pillow, rutting his aching erection against the bed sheets. He must have said or done something, because a minute later, there was a deep, guttural growl rising behind him and yeah, those were teeth in the back of his neck, and fuck, how could he ever have thought they’d be anything but arousing? He was coming just from the feel of them, coming hard, and Derek didn’t even give him time to feel spent before he tore the pajama bottoms down Stiles’ legs and threw them somewhere into the darkness of the room.

Derek growled, rutting against Stiles' ass, teeth digging into his pale skin. The omega let out a whimper, pushing himself back against the erection. He could feel the knot, inflating slowly as it slid against his skin, between his cheeks.

"Stiles," Derek muttered as he pulled his teeth away, now licking at the drops of blood welling up. Stiles might have said something then, or it might have just been a noise to substitute for aborted words, but Derek’s body seemed to find it reason enough to come right then, all over Stiles’ back. Derek had never sounded more like a wolf than in that moment, feral and pleased, and when he’d finished, he began a slow slide down Stiles’ body, his teeth skimming over freckled skin

Stiles tried to lift up, to turn over, but there was a strong clawed hand at his shoulders pinning him down. Derek got to his cheeks, biting down on one of them. Stiles was helpless to do anything but moan. And then the hand was gone, and he felt it -oh god- spreading his cheeks apart. He needed it so badly. To be filled. To be knotted and bred. Why wasn’t Derek inside him yet? Stiles jolted and cried out when Derek’s tongue pressed inside of him, followed by two fingers, and fuck if Stiles’ body didn’t accommodate him instantly. It was too good. Stiles came again, wet on the sheets, just from the sensation.

As he had a few seconds to come down from the intensity, he felt something hot against his leg, and realized that Derek had orgasmed as well, oh god, just from eating him out. As that tongue thrust once more, three fingers pushing in beside it, Stiles was hard again, clutching at the sheets. "Puh-please..." In his current state, Stiles didn't even realise how cracked his voice sounded, much less had he the wherewithal to be embarrassed about it. Begging should work. Derek responded well to begging. Oh fuck, he hoped Derek would respond well to it, because if he didn’t get that big, thick cock inside of him, he was going to die.

Maybe he accidentally said that out loud, because that was definitely a subsonic level growl coming from the vicinity of his ass.

It didn't matter though, because the fingers and tongue pulled out of his hole, making Stiles give a pathetic whimper. He needed to be filled, stretched, bred, needed it now, needed it more than he needed air.

And then, everything was right as Derek's thick cock pushed its way inside, Derek letting out a needy growl as he bottomed out seconds later. He gave no more time for Stiles’ body to adjust to the most welcome intrusion than it took to ravage his neck with those teeth again before he started to fuck Stiles fast and hard. Derek was saying something (and wasn’t it a laugh, a tiny part of his brain piped up, that the wolf was so talkative when Stiles was rendered speechless) and it was too hard to try and listen, to comprehend, so Stiles simply agreed, over and over, curving his body back as if to fit Derek impossibly deeper inside.

And then suddenly, Derek was pulling him up, a strong arm wrapped around Stiles' chest, and he was sitting back, thrusting up into him now. Derek was gripping his chin with fingers tipped in claws, mouth right by his ear as he mumbled incoherently about filling and breeding and owning and touching, and Stiles couldn't even manage that much, jumbled sounds leaving his wide open mouth. His legs spread over Derek’s thighs as he tried to lean back into the alpha, his arms terribly, awfully empty. Stiles came and came, his hands scrabbling back to claw at Derek’s neck and shoulders and hair.

Then he knew nothing but soft, heavy whiteness. When the world slowly pieced itself back into focus, their position had not changed, but Derek was still, and Stiles nearly whined for it until he realized that he simply couldn’t move. His knot was firmly planted inside Stiles.

Derek was holding him firmly against his chest, forehead against his shoulder, still muttering, but making a little more sense. ".... full, so tight, mmnm fuck gonna breed you, breed you so full..." He was giving small tiny thrusts, moving his knot against Stiles' prostate, driving him crazy. But the haze was fading - not completely, but enough for him to lean back against his alpha, as much his alpha as he was Derek's omega, and concentrate solely on the amazing stretch he was feeling.

He probably came before Derek was able to slip the knot out - in fact, Stiles was fairly sure he must have. But his shouts were hoarse and his throat was parched. He slipped forward and straight onto his pillow when Derek pulled his dick free. Within seconds, something cool was being pressed against his burning hot cheek and Stiles blearily grabbed for it as Derek tumbled back into bed behind him, kissing and licking the marks on the back of his neck.

Stiles bit open the top of the water bottle, and took a few gulps. He managed to get it closed before dropping it to the floor, and rolled onto his side facing Derek, curling up against his chest. "D-damn... Guess not the -ugh- worst way to lose my virg- virginity." And he either passed out before hearing what Derek said to that, or the alpha just remained quiet. He'd try to convince himself it was the latter.


“Eat?” Derek asked later, when the sun was high and streaming through the thin curtains. Stiles was barely awake, and even if he were fully functional, the word was so deeply entrenched in a gravelly rumble that Stiles was hardly able to pick it out. As it were, there was a werewolf with a hand between his legs, just fingering his thoroughly used entrance while simultaneously palming his cock, seemed to have been doing so since before Stiles woke up, and. Well.

He wasn't thinking straight.

“Mmwha?”

"Eat." It wasn't a question that time, but dammit there were still two fingers thrusting in his hole, feeling the wetness there, and Stiles could already feel the need, though much less potent than a couple hours earlier.

"Mmm, Derek, ah, please..." Perhaps it was the fingers that were keeping the intensity away, keeping him just on the edge of his heat. But he couldn't exactly eat anything like this, besides Derek's cock, which, fuck, might just be what was going to happen. There was another grunt and Derek nosed at his temple, spreading his fingers wide just to make Stiles keen.

“You. Need to eat.”

“Fuck me.”

A quiet hiss, and then he was being flipped over onto his stomach, and Derek was pressing into him without preamble.

Stiles let out a shout, pushing back against him, catching him by surprise. Derek was pressing into him hard and fast, though at a slower pace than the first time. Now, Stiles actually got a hand under himself, and was able to stroke his aching cock. The omega panted against the pillow, his chest expanding almost too quickly. He came once, and then when Derek knotted him, there was a lot of fumbling with hypersensitive nipples and the head of Stiles’ dick that resulted in a second coming and a valiant effort from his cock for a third.

But as soon as Derek’s swollen knot shrank, he pulled out and moved somewhat awkwardly over to the closet. He came back and settled on the floor against the bed, coaxing Stiles to him on stiff and achy limbs into his lap. The omega was still burning up, so Derek made him drink half a bottle of water before he opened a can of fruit with his claws and fed the soft, syrup-sweet pears and peaches and grapes to his boneless mate. Stiles wasn’t even of a mind to be properly cautious of the talons that so delicately slipped the fruit into his mouth, though when his tongue followed the curve of them and tried to suck them past his lips, Derek’s warning growl reminded him to keep alert.

Half way through the fruit, Stiles could feel the alpha's cock begin to slowly harden. "Y’ know..." he slurred between bites, "is it always gonna be like this? The sex I mean. You only like it from behind?"

There was a growl as he pressed a piece of peach against his lips. "You didn't seem to mind."

"Hard to when you've got a fucking national treasure up my ass."

Stiles accepted the fruit, and the next two Derek passed his way, chancing a little lick when a drop of juice dribbled down Derek’s palm. There was barely more than a purr elicited from that action, so he continued to lick and kiss the warm flesh there. Underneath the fruity syrup, he tasted salt and sweat and himself, and yep, there was his heat flaring right up. Derek pulled his hand away and tugged Stiles’ body close before he opened another can. “Not done.”

"F-f-fuck, Derek, eat later, please, fuck me, your dick's right there, so close. Just fuck me, I need your cock..."

There was a deep growl, and another piece of fruit pushing at his lips. Stiles took it in his mouth, just holding it there, sucking at it obscenely, rubbing up against Derek's swelling cock.

And his alpha was nothing if not obliging.

Derek curled his hands around Stiles’ thighs and spread them wide, pulling him back and up just enough to seat Stiles on his cock. The omega let out a quiet, blissful keen and let gravity pull him down as Derek thrust shallowly up into him, his hands braced around Stiles’ stomach.

It was such a small movement, but to Stiles it felt amazing, being completely filled with it. And then there was a slimy piece of fruit pushing into his mouth, and he let out a long moan around it. He could barely taste the sugary chunk, but the feel of it sliding down his throat almost made him come right then.

Derek’s teeth nicked the side of his neck, just under his ear, and a thumb brushed over Stiles’ bottom lip. Like a child he mouthed at the fingertip instinctively, drawing it into his mouth and sucking the sweetness from it as Derek pushed into him harder and faster. When the alpha came, Stiles let out a gasp, and Derek cradled his chin and reached down to rub Stiles’ cock against his belly until he was shouting and his own come dribbled down his chest.

He was once again held in place by the knot, growing used to the stretch. Stiles dropped his head against Derek's shoulder, looking up at him through hooded eyes. "Seriously. Next time. Face to face." He was full with Derek's seed, and thought about it, all of this, leading to a baby. But no... something was wrong with that... but he was meant to be bred, that was why he was there.

There was a heavy, achy thud in his chest every time his heart beat and he didn’t know why, couldn’t grasp it, but it didn’t feel right, didn’t feel good, and he had to close his eyes to try and force the feeling away. Derek curled up around him and made a noise like a scorned pup - it took Stiles a moment to comprehend that Derek’s wolf was reacting to Stiles’ despair. His mate. So he cleared his throat and nuzzled the side of Derek’s neck. “Eat?” he muttered teasingly. And it shouldn’t have been enough. But it was.


After three days of endless fucking and surviving on not much more than army rations, Stiles was beginning to get sick of food from a can. Derek was asleep beside him in the well used bed, after a whole session with Stiles' legs wrapped around his neck. The kitchen wasn't too far away... Even a piece of toast would be good right now.


Or like a big, juicy steak. Or the entire cow. Stiles wasn't picky. Just anything that wasn't dried or canned. He carefully detached himself from the exhausted werewolf, pausing briefly to brush a fond hand over his sweat-sticky brow, and crept out the door.

There was an ache all over his body from stretching and being bitten and grabbed and pinned down and pulled against and fucked into various surfaces, so it was a little hard to pinpoint exactly what made walking down a flight of stairs the most difficult. All he knew was that the come dribbling down his thighs was the most uncomfortable.

He got to the kitchen finally, and leaned heavily against the counter. "Bread, bread..." He looked around and finally found a loaf, thankfully already cut. He popped a couple slices in the toaster, and went to sit on a chair. Or collapse on a chair, depending on your point of view.

Stiles ran a hand through his short hair and winced when his fingers snagged on what was most assuredly come (but less assuredly whose come). Would it be too risky to take a shower? Showering would, of course, end up being showering with Derek, and that could be good. That could be really, really good. He should probably find the butter and jelly in the fridge before his heat kicked in again, because it would be a bummer to be hit with a wave before he made it back upstairs.


What he wasn't expecting was to completely burn the toast. They were completely unsalvageable. So he had to put in brand new slices at a lower setting.

... Just as he could feel the next wave coming on.

Stiles pressed his forehead against the cold counter, waiting for the toast. He was burning up, already aching with the horrible emptiness down below. He opened his mouth to call for Derek, but all he could manage was a whimper. It was hot, too hot, and the ache was building so quickly in him that he felt dizzy with want. Stiles flinched and opened his eyes when the toast popped up. The rising tip of his dick made contact with cool, smooth wood, and Stiles shuddered once throughout his whole body before rocking against the cabinet.

The toast flew out of his mind as he clenched his ass, groaning against the counter. He needed something, he needed Derek's cock, needed to be filled. He looked around the counter, and there by the sink was a long plastic ladel. The handle was thick, and curved thicker before tapering off... Without hesitation, Stiles gripped it, and sank to the floor.

It was cold and too hard, and this time as he pushed the plastic handle within himself, Stiles' whimper was less than quiet, his entire body shaking with need. He couldn't be bred by this, couldn't be held down or bitten, and it just wasn't right, but it was all he had, just like the first time, and he felt no real pleasure at all when he jerked himself off to his completion.


He didn't even have a minute’s reprieve, and his cock didn't even bother going soft. Stiles twisted the handle in himself, trying to angle it just right to hit his prostate. But it wasn't right, he wasnt used to the ladel handle at all. But then there were hasty footsteps, and a deep growl that went straight to his erection.

Derek was crouched before him in a heartbeat, and Stiles reached for him like a child after pulling the ladel out and dropping it to the floor with a clatter. Derek was speaking, saying something, biting it out, but Stiles was too far gone and pushed until the alpha fell backwards with Stiles sprawled on top of him. "Need," he panted, rubbing his chin over Derek's stubbly jaw, gasping at the prickly burn that spread hot shivers through him like wildfire.


Derek grunted, grabbing onto his sides with clawed hands. Stiles was rubbing himself over him, not even having the presence of mind to find his entrance with Derek's cock.

But then the alpha was lifting him up, and Stiles started worrying that he wasn't going to fuck him, wasn't going to breed him.

The very thought was enough to make him cling to Derek, fingers slipping over the alpha's broad, sweaty back, digging in with his nails for purchase, his face buried into the crook of Derek's shoulder. "Please," he babbled feverishly, "please breed me, please, please, need you, need you inside, Derek, I'll be good, I'll be so good, please..."

The only thing he got in response was a fierce growl, and then his back was against the table and he was looking up at Derek. Finally, finally, Derek was filling him up, thrusting in with a quick stroke, having more power behind the thrust when he was standing up. The alpha's grip was tight enough to bruise, and he manhandled Stiles beneath one of his calves, tugging it up to hook over his shoulder. Stiles' back arched as Derek pounded into him, the thick head of his cock slipping over his prostate when Derek pulled back far enough, filling him up, tipping him over the edge of orgasm for the second time in the kitchen.

Soon after, Derek slid fully inside, pushing his knot passed Stiles' tight ring of muscles before it was firmly inside. They both lay there with heaving chests, moaning at every small movement.

Stiles groaned, fisting his hands in nothing but air. "I was so close to having toast."

Derek's answer was no more than a grunt as he closed his eyes and rested his cheek against Stiles' knee. His hands, sans claws, kneaded gently at the tight muscles in Stiles' thigh. "Should let me take care'f it."


"Sorry... Wanted food, needed you." It didn't really make sense, but Stiles mind wasn’t really in it to win it. He closed his eyes, calming down and letting his body relax against the table. Slowly Derek was able to pull out, and then he lifted Stiles up and started carrying him up the stairs.

"Toast," he mumbled against his heatmate's collar, drawing the word out until Derek maybe-almost-chuckled.

 

"I'll get it. If you promise to stay in bed."

 

"But shower..."

 

"Sleep. Then toast. Then shower."

 

"With butter?"

 

Derek might have pressed his lips to Stiles' forehead before he nestled him deep into the messy nest of blankets and pillows that was their bed. "On the toast or in the shower?" He was making jokes now. It was a damn shame Stiles was too sleepy to appreciate them.

Chapter Text

Throughout the days, Stiles noticed their fucks becoming less urgent and slower, lazy though the need hadn’t dampened. Most of their time was still spent sleeping or fucking, or fucking in the shower, or eating and fucking, but there wasn't the desperation for it like there had been at the beginning of the week.

When it finally seemed to be over, and his empty, throbbing need dulled to nothing, Stiles was surprised to see it had been nine days. A full day longer than his first one, which, when he thought about it, wasn't that surprising considering he had an actual mate this time.

He rubbed at his eyes and with herculean effort managed to roll over onto his stomach, one arm thrown over Derek's chest. Everything hurt and it was awesome. "Der'k."

 

The alpha grunted, but other than the short sound, he didn't stir. Stiles yawned. "Now that there's no worry about me being drowned by a fuck-happy werewolf, whaddaya say we take a ridiculously long, very manly bubble bath? Soak these poor muscles into good health again, hmm?"


Dark eyes stared over at him with suspicion. "Y'don’t smell like heat anymore."

"Nope... It's been nine days, so I really doubt my body could take any more of it." He scratched his nails against Derek's stubble, mouth spreading into a grin. "But seriously, bath?"

Derek was quiet, just staring at (or into) him. Stiles smiled and found that even his mouth was sore. "I know you have to have bubbles somewhere in here. You definitely strike me as the type of guy who secretly loves bubble baths. Me? Not so much of a secret."


"That's... You want to? Have a bath with me?" Derek asked, eyes guarded as they looked at him.

"No, actually I quite like stewing in my own filth. Come on Derek, if you don't stop acting weird I'm totally gonna give you a bubble beard." Stiles pulled away and rolled out of the bed, groaning at the ache in his legs.

Derek followed quietly behind him like a puppy, leaning down to start the bath water ("Make it hot. No, hotter. Come on, after nine days of pounding me into walls and tables and floors, you're gonna treat me like I'm delicate? Thaaat's what I'm talkin' about.") and helped Stiles ease his way down before the omega coaxed him in as well.


As Stiles got Derek to scrub his back, ("Seriously, it's probably covered in your come!") the alpha finally spoke. "I don't understand. You're not in heat anymore. Why do you want to do this with me?"

Stiles glanced over his shoulder, not sure that he understood. "Right, who would want to be in the bath with the chiselled god who they just spent nine days fucking."

But Derek just continued to scowl broodingly, and Stiles' eyebrow shot up. "Do you seriously know nothing about omegas? Like, at all?" Derek didn't respond. Again. Typical. "If you think your wolfy attachment issues are bad, then trust me when I say an omega's heatmate is pretty much sucked into a vortex of affection and vomit-inducing couply-ness from the first heat and beyond. My body pretty much needs you now. And will continue to need you. Frequently. As in, all the time." He glared. "So if you're thinking of going back to bi-weekly hugs and stolen glances across the table, I'll have to kill you. Dead."

Derek was silent for a minute, but slowly resumed scrubbing his back. "You couldn't kill me," he said finally, his voice much lighter than it had been a few minutes ago.

"Fine, I wouldn't kill you, but you would be feeling the pain. But we won't even have to go there, because as an alpha, you just can't let your omega go, can you?"

He meant for it to be teasing and playful, but then Derek said, "No," in the most sincere, soft fashion, and Stiles just could not deal with the little bundle of emotions that cropped up. Leaning back, he effectively pushed Derek's hands away and leaned fully against him in the rising water. Stiles sighed, chancing a downward glance at his body and wincing at all of the dark bruises and bite marks and scratches he'd been ignoring until then.

Derek started licking one of the bite marks on his shoulder. Stiles let his eyes slide closed, the exhaustion of not having a proper sleep in over a week catching up to him. "You were really talkative during sex, you know. Not that I could understand most of it. But I -ah- understood enough to get the gist of what you were trying to say." He knew he must be blushing, remembering the mumbled words.

"Was it bad?" he asked, and Stiles had to laugh.

 

"Just the usual heat stuff. Possessive alpha jargon. Lots of rogue 'mine's and talk about how many cubs you were going to fill me with." He sniffed. "If you're really planning on being as ambitious as you said, we're gonna need a bigger house."


Derek seemed almost mortified, obviously not remembering talking like that at all. "It was just the heat. I still stand by what I said when I gave you the suppressants."

"Hey, no problemo, I got pretty heated up there too. Started thinking about a baby, or a litter, or a pack or whatever. Oh dude, will I have a litter? Because if I have more than, like two babies at most at one time, my body will never be the same. And being skinny and lanky is pretty much all I've got going for me." Stiles was amazed at how his mouth continued to run no matter how tired his body was.

Derek's voice was hardly louder than a dull rumble. "I don't know about that. I think you'd be... very appealing, round with my child." Stiles' heart skipped and began to beat in overtime then, and in the back of his mind, he almost sort of regretted taking the suppressants. That was definitely just the last sneaky tendrils of his heat talking. "When you're older," Derek amended, his hands splayed over the omega's stomach. Stiles swallowed.

"When I'm older," he agreed.

His dad dropped off Matilda the next day, and she seemed so happy to see him. Harry stayed around for a while, but admitted he had a date and had to get going. After that Stiles practically pushed him out the door, giving probably useless dating advice as he did so, ending with a very awkward parting shot when he hollered, "Safe sex is good sex!"

It probably didn't help that Derek lurked around some short distance behind him at all times like a prowler. Stiles couldn't fault him for it, though. He was feeling pretty clingy, too. You wouldn't think it from his stiff expression, but Derek was letting off some serious happy puppy vibes when Stiles pressed up against him just to touch at frequent intervals in the day.

It was a few days later when Scott came for a visit. It was actually the first time he and Derek had met, but Derek had worn his glare from the get go. Even when Stiles was sitting right at his side, arm looped snugly through Derek’s, he just knew that he was glaring daggers at Scott the whole time.

When Stiles untangled his arms from around Derek's, the hand about his fingers tightened and Stiles muttered low enough for his friend to remain clueless, "Calm down, Cujo. I'm gonna spend some time with Scott in the yard. With Matilda. Who will protect me should any terrible thing befall us."


He was about to pull away when Derek said his name. Stiles looked back to him, and just loudly enough so he was sure Scott overheard, he said, "Don't let him touch you."

"Okay, crazy jealous alpha. Don't worry, no reason to bring out the 'Where did he touch you' doll, alright? Seriously. Just out in the garden." He stood up and turned to his friend, giving a 'what can you do' shrug, and they walked outside.

Scott glanced over his shoulder once they were out in the garden and leaned in to whisper, "I know we were always told mated alphas were possessive, but geez."

 

Stiles shrugged. "Yeah, I thought so too, but it's not all that bad."

 

His friend blinked slowly at him. "It doesn't seriously bother you that he told you not to touch me?"

 

"I dunno. Not really? I mean, I guess it should, but Derek usually has his reasons, and he's not gonna do anything but get handsy if we accidentally brush against each other. Handsy in a good kinda way," he was quick to amend when Scott side-eyed him.


"Dude, even if it's a possessive thing, that's really weird." Scott became distracted as he got a text, and Stiles watched a smile spread over his face as soon as he looked at it.

"Who're you texting? Because it used to be that you texted me and your mom, and you definitely wouldn't look like that if it was your mom." Stiles tried to peek at the text, but Scott pulled it away, making Stiles reach for it. "Come on! You know I won't stop ‘til I find out!

Scott hollered and Stiles squawked as they pitched over, tumbling down headfirst into a bed of wine-red lilacs. Matilda barked and hopped around, riled by all the excitement, bumping into Scott and licking Stiles' neck and face. They both wheezed and groaned and laughed alternately and Scott pushed playfully at the puppy's rear to get it out of his face. "You're always so pushy!" he chuckled, and Stiles glanced over at him smugly.

"It comes with the territory. Now are you gonna tell me what foxy young thing you're texting or - wow, are you blushing?"

"Shut up..." Scott looked down and gave a shrug. "It's that new girl Allison I told you about last time. We're kind of... dating?"

Stiles looked surprised, maybe a bit too surprised. "Seriously? How did that happen? You usually get an asthma attack as soon as you talk to a girl! But hey, good for you dude, that's awesome!"

"Yeah." Scott's face morphed into this dopey pile of mush and when he met Stiles' eyes, his own were glazed. "She's really great. Like. Really great. She's got these eyes, and this great smile, and - "

"Hold on there, Aladdin. If you're about to wax lyrical about this magical enchantress, I'd rather not do it face-down in a bunch of flowers."

Stiles sat up, brushing himself off. "So, just when I leave school is when my best friend decides he wants to have a love life. And she actually went out with you? Did you hit that?"

His friend frowned at him, blushing. "Shut up, you're the one who just went through heat. I don't think her dad really likes me. He wants Allison to be with an omega. He kinda freaks me out, but she's totally worth it."

Stiles' jaw dropped. "Wait, does that mean she's an alpha?" His eyes bugged out when Scott nodded. "You're attracting alphas now?"

 

He got a punch in the shoulder for that. "You're not the only one who can do it."


Stiles gave a huge grin at that. "That's awesome! It's just not every day an alpha crushes hard on you, dude. Wow."

"Yeah, she's kinda newage, goes against even her own instincts. Not what you'd expect from an alpha. She's just... perfect. You don't even know. I would be hanging out with her now but her grandpa is in town."

"Gee thanks - me, your friend of fifteen years, is now second to your booty call." Stiles hung his head exaggeratedly.

Scott playfully shoved him, and then they both had to dodge the enthusiastic dog jumping in between and around their legs. "So tell me about, uh... you and tall, dark, and scowly."

 

"And broody. And dreamy."

 

"... You didn't actually just say dreamy."

 

"Hey, if you can moon over your alpha, I can certainly moon over mine."


They played around with Matilda for a while after that, and at one point Stiles saw Derek staring at them from a window. Scott called him an omega bride when he waved at him, right before he started gushing about his girlfriend again.

Stiles listened like the phenomenal friend he was for all of half an hour more before he held a hand up to halt Scott's verbal progress. "As much as I'd love to hear you go on about Allison's favorite flavor of coffee creamer -"

"You have to go inside?" Scott's brow furrowed, and Stiles felt a spike of protective annoyance for Derek's sake. His heatmate might not fart rainbows with every step like Allison, but he didn't deserve to be regarded as some sort of controlling asshole.

"No, I just wish you'd change the freaking subject."

"Oh... Um, yeah sorry. She's just so amazing. Do you know she shoots a crossbow? Not to hunt or anything, because she loves animals."

"Of course she does. How is Lydia? I would love you forever if you told me she broke up with Jackson." Stiles would really have to try hard to change the subject, apparently.

"Huh? Oh, uh, I don't.... know? I've been a little preoccupied lately."

 

"With Allison."

 

At least Scott had the decency to blush. "Yeah. I can ask her, though. She and Lydia are friends."

 

"Oh, that's great," Stiles groaned. "You get to hang with two feisty alpha ladies, and I..." He paused. "Well, maybe I don't have it so bad, but that's not the point!"


Scot sniggered at him, scratching behind Matilda's ear. "So you do like it here though? You're not... unhappy?"

Stiles was actually serious for once in his life when he said, "Yeah, I'm glad I'm here now."

"Really? You're not just saying that because he might hear you with his freaky werewolf powers?"

Narrowing his eyes, Stiles muttered, "I'm not bullshitting you just to keep my mate off my back, Scott. Oh, don't give me that look - you should have been listening during that week-long lecture in sex ed about werewolf dynamics. Derek is my alpha and my mate, so if you're ever thinking about crapping on him in the future, don't."

Scott held his hands up in defense. "Hey, alright, I'll stay away from your alpha then. Sorry, didn't realize you cared that much. Last time I was here you said he didn't even touch you."

"Well obviously that's changed. You saw how clingy he is now," Stiles said, waving a hand toward the house. "And he may not be all newage and un-possessive, but I have as much choice in everything as I did without an alpha, and he gives me my space when I need it and affection when I don't, and-" Stiles cut off short, realizing what he had been about to say.

"Sounds like he's in love with you," Scott said, and Stiles could hear the joke in his tone, laughed at it automatically, but his heart had picked up a quick and flustered rhythm.

 

"Yeah, well, I'm hella lovable once you get past my prickly exterior. Like a cactus."

 

"Cacti aren't lovable inside."

 

Stiles rolled his eyes. "Ruining the metaphor, Scott."

 

"You ruined it by just saying it."


Stiles stood up then, grinning as Matilda scrambled to stand up with him. "I'm thirsty. Wanna go inside? I'll make sure Derek doesn't go all predatory at you again."

"Right, like that's possible. Maybe I should just go now. Allison should be finished with her family soon, hopefully I'll be able to see her." And damn him, Scott looked so happy that Stiles just couldn't ask him to stay longer.

"Fine, but you're not allowed to abandon me for your new alpha."

Stiles pulled him into a tight hug before seeing him off, waving until Scott’s mother’s car was on the path down the woods. It was a shame that Scott had to go so soon, because Stiles did miss his friend - he missed a lot of things from his life before Derek. But he was coming to find that, despite all the stuff he'd missed about his unbonded adolescence, he probably wouldn't change the way things had turned out. He had a sweet puppy and an attentive mate. He'd always expected a lot less of his future.

Of course, the second he and Matilda were back in the house, he was being crowded against the closed door. “You touched him,” Derek grumbled.

"Uh... oh yeah, I was trying to get his phone and we both fell. Totally awesome. Are you gonna try to, like, cover up his scent or something? If so, might I suggest you carry out your wolfy urges by furiously fucking me against this door?" Stiles looked at him hopefully, but with the look in Derek’s eyes, it was obvious that no, that wouldn’t be happening. Damn.

But then Derek actually pinned him against the door, and Stiles started thinking maybe it would happen, and if it was happening or not his cock was definitely interested in the proceedings. “Can’t do anything about your scent on him,” he was mumbling, rubbing a rough cheek over Stiles’ chin and jaw and down the side of his neck, “so I’ll just have to smother it with mine.”

“Wh... what f... for... uhn, I know you can feel my dick, holy shit, are you really gonna ignore that?”

"That boy reeked of alpha," Derek growled against his neck.

"Apparently you are gonna ignore it." Stiles sighed, just managing not to rub himself up against Derek's leg. "Yeah, his girlfriend is an alpha. So what?"

And that, that was a very wolfy growl. Very wolfy indeed. "What do you think might happen if an alpha smells you on her mate and thinks you're in the way?" He was licking Stiles' neck, and Stiles would have been more turned on had it been more sexual and less like a puppy licking you to get the residual gravy off his skin. So since he was being cockblocked by his own heatmate anyway...

“C’mon, nothing’s going to happen to me. Even if Allison weren’t allegedly a completely sweet and kind-hearted girl, your alpha-ness reeks up the place. No one’s gonna try and contend with you.”

Derek let out a sound that was almost like a whimper, but more manly. "I don't want to take that chance." He grabbed Stiles by the hips and pulled him away from the door, locking it with the dead bolt. "There are more powerful alphas out there. If one of them took you..."

"Hey buddy, don't worry. Luckily I'm pretty unappealing as a mate," Stiles chattered as Derek manhandled him out of the foyer, snuffling at his neck while Matilda trotted along behind them. "I seriously don't know how you put up with me. I really doubt there’s any other alpha in the world who could take my constant chatter and ability to completely lose focus. Perfect example, right now I just realized that this place really needs some color in it. All this white and beige, it's depressing, dude."

He was unceremoniously shoved onto the sofa and Derek covered Stiles’ sprawled body with his own. The alpha was bulky and heavy with muscle mass, but it wasn’t an unpleasant weight. Definitely less so when Derek situated himself half on top of Stiles, one leg slotted through both of the omega’s, his hands wandering and claiming with scent all over Stiles’ body. “You’re an idiot.”

“Aww, is that affection I hear creeping into your voice?”

"No." But it totally was. "And you're wrong."

Stiles waited a full twenty seconds for Derek to continue, but he didn't, so Stiles had to push, because, hey, it's what he does. "Wrong about what? The decor in here? Because I'm pretty sure I've seen way more interior decorating shows than you have."

"About you. You are a... very desirable omega."

“Well.” Stiles was flattered, but come on. “You kind of have to say that, sugarmuffin. You bought me.” He ran a hand through the short, soft spikes atop Derek’s head. “It would reflect poorly on you if you thought you’d made the wrong decision about what’s desirable and what’s Stiles. Not that I’m not a great catch - obviously I am - but, well. You know.”

And really, when did they start having a relationship conversation while Derek was literally lying on top of him? But the alpha seemed determined. "When we still ran in packs, a werewolf alpha would want a mate that could defend themselves, someone to fight for. An omega mate that was intelligent, who could resolve conflict. A pack would listen to the omega, because the omega was strong and determined. You would have been the perfect omega for my pack."

Stiles fingered the hair at the nape of Derek’s neck until the muscles in the alpha’s shoulders and back began to relax and his body deflated against Stiles’ and that hypnotic rumbling pseudo-purr started up deep in his heatmate’s chest. “I, uh... I’m more of a conflict avoider than a resolver, but the sentiment is there, so... thank you.”

Derek made a noise that might have been a laugh, might have been a sigh, and rubbed his stubbly chin over the sensitive skin at the base of Stiles' throat. "The day you realize you were being such a self-conscious idiot, you're going to shit yourself from embarrassment." And Stiles laughed.

Chapter Text

A half year passed, and two weeks before Stiles' third heat, Derek handed him the iconic purple box with a meaningful look. Stiles glanced sideways at him, having expected the gesture. "Hey, remember that birthday I had a couple months ago? Party, streamers, you looming behind me like a tall, hot shadow all through the celebration? I'm eighteen now, technically an adult."

"You're still young. And you should choose to take these until you don't want to, anyway." Derek set the box down on the nightstand, the nightstand on Stiles' side of the bed, because really, his old room was basically regulated to junk storage anymore. And sometimes doubled as Matilda's room when Derek was feeling particularly possessive. The jerk wouldn’t even let her near their bed.

“So... how long are you planning on strongly suggesting I take these?” Derek shrugged.

“Until you don’t want to anymore. I’m not trying to force you to do anything against your will, Stiles, and that includes becoming a parent before you’re ready for the responsibility.” He grimaced. “You’re finishing high school late because of me. You should be able to start living however you like before settling with cubs.”

“Having your kids won’t be the end of my life.”

Derek scowled. “You’re practically a child yourself. I just don’t want you to be overwhelmed by trying to balance out college options, a career, mate cycles, and our cubs.”

Stiles snorted at that. "Come on Derek, how many bonded omegas do you know that have gone to college? Hell, I'm amazed that I'm going to be finishing high school." He shrugged, staring down at the package. "Even now, a mated omega doesn't really have many career options. If we do, it's normally like daycare or something involving kids."

"But you don't have to. If you want to have a career, you should be able to. You don't have to feel like since you're a mated omega you're forced to stay in the home and take care of the kids. Kids that we don’t even have, or... or need at the moment." Derek looked genuinely frustrated. Stiles felt that unmistakable warmth of fondness bubbling up inside of his chest, but Derek just scowled. “Don’t give me that look, Stiles. You’re smart. You were at the top of your class even after you’d been gone for four months. You can’t just shrug that intelligence off because omegas are expected to be child-bearing machines.”

Stiles’ brow furrowed. “I thought you wanted kids.”

“I do.” Then, suddenly Derek was all up in his personal space. Stiles wondered what took him so long. “I want them with you. And one day, I‘d like the house to be full again.” Stiles touched his palm with gentle fingertips as Derek tried to push the thoughts of his birth family back. “But if you don’t use your talents to do something you love with your life, there’s no point to living. So take the damn suppressants.”

Stiles rolled his eyes and pulled Derek down to the bed with him, pushing him down to his back. A small spark of thrill went through him, as it always did when Derek didn't resist. "Alright, I'll take them, don't start flipping out. But you have to promise me that when I do want kids - and I will - you won’t try to talk me out of it. I'm a big boy, I can make my own decisions, and you have to let me make those."

There was an almost hungry look in Derek's eyes as he gave a short nod. And then Stiles popped the small pill out of its tin foil packet, swallowing it dry.

//

Derek needn’t have worried.

Four years, six months, and ten hours later, Stiles yawned so wide he nearly cracked his jaw. The wane light of the computer screen in his lap at its lowest brightness setting washed over him and the side of Derek’s sleeping face where it was pressed against his hip. He was always quick to fall asleep when Stiles’ programming code flashed across the screen. He’d worked on it late into the night and nearly fell asleep sitting up more than once, but finally it was ready to be sent to Danny for a proofreading.

Stiles closed his laptop down and put it aside, careful to not move away from Derek. Stiles grabbed the packet of suppressants, knowing that for them to be effective for his heat, he needed to start taking them soon.

They lay innocently in his hand as he glanced down at Derek. Really... he was attending college online, he had a job that he loved. It kept him busy and at home, which was perfect, since he didn't really like leaving for very long, omega instincts kicking at him restlessly when he was away, especially so close to his heat.

Dammit, this was all because Scott came over with his and Allison's new baby. She was a bouncing bundle of chubby cheeks and stubby toes, and Stiles would be damned if she wasn't the cutest thing in the universe. Beatrice had obviously inherited his mother’s dimples, and looked almost nothing like Scott.

He was just lucky they hadn’t come over at the end of the pregnancy so close to Stiles’ heat, reeking of poorly masked lust and ripe with the glow of baby-happy pheromones, or he might have lost it.

Stiles set the bottle back on the table and wriggled down to lie with his pseudo-husband, eyes wide in Derek’s direction though he could not see. Until his eyes adjusted to the darkness, Stiles traced the alpha’s face with his fingertips. He hoped that their first would have Derek’s eyes. His heart ached at the thought of a round little thing with big, hazel eyes and the darkest lashes and thin, feather-soft down for hair. A little girl to have a not-fight over whether to name after Derek’s lost sister or Stiles’ lost mother, to delight and coo over and roll around in the garden with Matilda; for Derek to smother with his fiercely protective brand of love (though a boy would do just as well).

He nodded to himself, resolving to talk about it with Derek in the morning.

//

~~

Of course things didn't really go as planned. When did they ever? Matilda had eaten a bee, which had stung her throat, and they had to take her to Scott at the clinic. It was a day full of worry for Stiles, and Derek didn't seem very happy about it either. The next day, of course, was enough to kick the thought of pills and pregnancy out of his mind entirely as they kept her close, feeding her antibiotics and watching her like a hawk for any signs of disturbance.

It was out of his mind after that for four days, until Derek sat beside him on the couch as he was watching TV. "You haven't taken the suppressants."

Stiles grunted (he’d really started to take after Derek in the worst of ways), tugging gently at the alpha’s hair. “That is perhaps one of the most non-sexy things you can say to the person whose neck you’re nosing at like that. My dick was about to get the crazy idea that you might want some long-overdue fuckery.”

Derek huffed against his jaw. “I sucked you off in the shower just an hour ago.”

“Long. Overdue.”

"You're very good at changing the subject." Derek nibbled on his ear. "You smell... different when you take them. Your heat’s coming within the week. Normally you would have taken them by now."

"Aren't you just the brawniest detective I’ve ever seen." Stiles sighed and pulled away, because if Derek was determined to talk about this, he didn't really want to do it with an erection. "I didn't take them. You're correct. You get a gold star for sniffing me out." Aaand there was his give-me-an-explanation-before-I-get-really-frowny frown. “I didn’t want to,” he said slowly, “so I didn’t.”

“This is about Scott having a baby, isn’t it.”

Stiles scoffed. “Uh, no!” A beat. “Okay, maybe just a little, but not... not really. I’m ready, Derek. I want to do it now.”

There was silence, but then Derek nodded. "Alright."

Stiles didn't even realise his mouth had dropped open. "Seriously? There’s no way it’s that easy! You always have something to argue about!"

"I promised that I wouldn't say anything when you decided to wanted kids. If you’ve decided that now is the time, then I agree with you." He pushed Stiles’ jaw up with his fingers and the omega let his mouth be closed with the tiniest of clicks and then Derek was kissing him, which was always just the nicest thing. Stiles let the kiss go on until the credits in their movie began to roll and then he pulled back just enough to rest his forehead against the alpha’s.

“And you’re seriously totally cool with this?”

"Are you asking me if I'm fine with starting our pack? I’m a werewolf, remember." He pulled Stiles close, arms around his waist.

"Right, stupid question. Oh wait, no it isn't, since you've been my suppressant supplier for the past five years." Stiles rolled his eyes, leaning into him.

Derek dragged his teeth over Stiles’ ear and Stiles tried not to pop any inopportune boners in the middle of their Very Important Conversation. Which Derek seemed ready to contribute to now that his voice had gone all sensual and low and husky and - okay, the boner was just a given, but he’d ignore it for now as long as Derek was talking. Which he was. Better tune in. “- the birth control was only one of the side effects of the suppressant. If you aren’t taking them, your pheromones are going to be significantly more potent and intoxicating. We’re going to have to take measures to keep you safe and fed and hydrated if I’m not going to be able to keep my head.”

At that, Stiles's eyes went comically wide. "Wait, what? You haven't exactly been the most level-headed person while I’m in heat anyway! You're gonna be even crazier, holy shit..."

"Are you regretting it? There’s still time to change your mind."

"No, no, not regretting it at all. Damn, so a week of even more furious fucking. Well, at least it'll be memorable."

“For one of us.”

Stiles blinked. “Oh, you’re... you’re not joking. At all.” He frowned. “Textbooks say unsuppressed heats almost never result in an alpha’s memory loss. Sure, you’re guided purely by lust, but the cases where the alpha is so fuck-crazy that his memory is affected is rare.”

“Textbooks have no idea how scrambled my mind gets with you in heat.” Oh, Stiles was not going to blush at that... Damn. He was weak. “I’m not saying it’s sure to happen, but I want you to be able to defend yourself if I get too crazy. So you’re going to call your father tomorrow and have him bring you some pepper spray that will work on werewolves.”

He groaned and covered his eyes with a hand. "God, that will be the most awkward conversation we’ll have had since he gave me the omega talk. Yeah Dad, just need this in case my werehusband goes batshit crazy trying to fuck me into the floor. Thanks!"

"Awkward is better than hurt," Derek replied, and, well, duh. But still. Stiles sighed. His dad would at least be glad they were taking precautions.

Derek nosed at his temple. “And you don’t have to use those words, you know.”

“What, you think I could just ask my dad for some industrial-strength pepper spray and just let him draw his own conclusions?”

“Yes.”

Stiles patted Derek on the shoulder. "I think the whole point of this is to not give my father a heart attack. Whatever, I'll just go over there and charm him with my charming charm. It's never worked before, but there's always a chance."

The alpha looked at him with what Stiles liked to call a smile on his face. "Do you have any more programing you have to do tonight?"

"Nope. Since I’m going into heat in a few days, I let Danny take over for a while. He didn't like it but I sent him a picture of you fresh out of the shower, so we're even."

Derek’s impressive eyebrows lifted and Stiles was quick to amend, “With a towel on. Obviously. Your muscles are great, but what’s below the belt is all mine.”

“I thought you were taking those pictures to get me riled up, so I didn’t react,” Derek grumbled. “If I’d known you were going to send them out freely -”

“Oh stuff it, Mr Modesty. Don’t act like you don’t use every possible opportunity to take off your shirt. Surely you knew that eventually people who aren’t me were going to see.”

The look he received was very Not Impressed, but Stiles smiled anyway. "So, since I don't have any work to do... we have all this free time. I wonder what we could do with it. Such a hard choice... We could watch TV, or we could do housework, or we could-" He was quickly cut off by an insistent mouth against his own, and considered the subject sufficiently concluded.

Chapter Text



For the ninety-first day in a row, Stiles awoke to the soft scrape of fingernails against his stomach, sliding over taut skin and curving back up with a smooth palm, over and over, completely ignorant of his erection.

"Mmmm. Don't wanna wake up yet. Go back to sleep."

"Sorry," the deep voice said next to his ear.

"Wasn't talking to you. Talking to the octopus in my belly." Stiles looked over his shoulder at Derek, cracking a smile. "You can stop feeling me up now, you know. It's all fat."

“It’s my cub nestled inside my mate,” Derek purred with such complete and utter contentment that Stiles’ heart was just as quick to jump as his cock.

“S-so what, you’re just gonna rub my stomach until the kid is born? Like a puppy or something?” Derek didn’t even bother verbalizing his answer, just rumbling pleasantly in affirmation and cradling Stiles’ abdomen in his large hand.

The ringing phone ruined it. Derek got up to get it, and Stiles worked to find a comfortable position, which was getting more and more difficult with each passing month. He wasn’t exactly round yet, but he was definitely getting there, and it didn’t make for the most comfortable night’s sleep.

After a few minutes, Derek came back into the room. The look on his face made Stiles groan, knowing that it wasn't good news, whatever it was.

"My uncle… Peter. He’s been arrested for… for attacking people. Humans,” he grumbled, his face frozen in the expression Stiles knew to mean that he was distressed. “He was thrown in a holding cell for werewolves."

Stiles peeked over his pillow at the pacing alpha and sighed. Somehow he doubted he’d be joined back in bed for some snuggling and maybe an good old-fashioned good morning blowjob. “Your crazy uncle who brainwashed his nurses back at the hospital where he was pretending to be a coma patient?” Derek grunted the affirmative. “Okay. So what does that have to do with you?”

"He's my uncle, Stiles, and he... needs help. You have to understand, he never used to be like this. He was kind, and considerate... it was the fire that made him go crazy." Derek sighed and sat down on the bed. "I thought that after he was mated, he’d be better. He was for so long. I don’t know why now, of all times, he… He's in New York.” Derek looked up, discomfort written all over his face. “I have to go see him. Try to get him some help."

Stiles’ lips parted as he realized what Derek was trying to say. “Oh. Uh. Okay, that’s fine, right? I can manage on my own. I’m an adult. And hey, this will be our first time really apart since we met. It should be interesting to see how you handle it.”

Derek ran a hand over Stiles’ back. “Me?” he asked with a playful sort of gruffness.

“Yeah, you, ya big teddy bear. You probably couldn’t last a week without snuggles from me.”

Derek gave a small smile, but then he was back to serious face. "Call me if anything happens, and I'll come running back. Make sure you have everything you need, and don't forget to take those vitamins, and stay hydrated. And-"

"Yeah I get the idea, I'm a fragile, pregnant omega who can’t survive a week alone, alright? When do you have to go?"

Derek’s jaw set and he slid a hand under Stiles’ shirt to palm at his back. Skin-on-skin contact always calmed the wolf, and it eased Derek’s mind. Stiles liked to watch the fretful lines on Derek’s forehead begin to disappear. “I’ll go today,” he said. “To get it over with. I’ll book a flight and be there by tonight.”

Stiles nodded, eyes moving over the stupidly handsome planes of Derek's face. "But... you won't be away too long, right? ‘Cause I'm pretty sure I'll go crazy if you're gone for more than like a week."

"I'll make sure it's no more than a week. Even if I have to come back here and then go back." Derek kissed him on the chin, and then on the neck. "I... should pack." But he made no move to get up.

Stiles reached up to tangle his fingers in Derek's hair and pulled him down for a real kiss. But he let him go after a short moment and smoothed a thumb over the dark stubble along Derek's jaw. "Book your flight," he said. "Pack your things. Whatever time you have left, though, I expect you to come back to bed. Is that understood, soldier?"


He gave a nod, and then Derek left to get started. Stiles figured that any chance of sleep was gone, so he opened his laptop to program a new part of the game he and Danny were currently working on. Eventually, after packing faster than should be possible, (probably managing by taking minimal clothing and the barest necessities of toiletries) Derek came back to bed and watched him work, squeezing between Stiles and the headboard and wrapping around him from behind.

He tucked his nose into the crook of Stiles' shoulder and just breathed, cradling his stomach and pressing him so close that if Stiles didn't know better, he would have thought that Derek was trying to meld their bodies. "Hey, genetically speaking, I'm supposed to be the touch-starved one."

 

"I'm about to leave my mate and my cub," Derek grumbled. Stiles laughed quietly.

 

"The wolf's getting pretty jittery, huh?"

 

"It's the reason I can't let go right now."


Stiles made a humming sound, cupping the back of Derek's neck. "Well I can't say I'm complaining."

But, unfortunately, Derek had to leave to catch his flight a few short hours later. Stiles practically had to push him out the door, even though it felt so wrong to do it. The baby in his stomach turned and pressed a limb against his stomach, and he rubbed at it. "It's alright. Daddy will be back soon."

Walking back into the house after Derek's car disappeared through the trees was like wading through some thick, heavy metaphor that Stiles couldn't properly come up with at the moment because his cravings for dessert would only let him make syrupy comparisons, and the odd little ache in his heart felt anything but sweet.

With nothing else to do, Stiles went back to his programming, but mostly ended up Skyping with Danny. He wasn't angry or disappointed or anything, because he did realize that Derek had to do this, didn't really have a choice, and if he did have a choice, he would stay home. It still didn't feel very good.

Derek had said he’d call once he reached New York, and Stiles tried not to clutch instinctively at his phone every three seconds like a man possessed. He tried to occupy himself with a long shower, a bit of baking, and a very failed napping session whereupon he simply curled up on Derek’s side of the bed and stared listlessly at the phone atop the bedside table.

When it finally rang several excruciating hours later, Stiles snatched it up before it was even through the first ring. "Derek?"

"...You were waiting by the phone, weren't you?"

"Pfft, no, don't be so full of yourself, okay yes, yes I was. Like a fretting mother waiting for her kid to call at their first sleepover."

There was a chuckle at the other end of the line and okay, yeah, Stiles missed him way too much. He hadn’t been gone for even a day and already his heart ached. He’d just have to swallow that feeling and ignore it. “Interesting simile.”

“I’m full of them.”

"How are you doing? I shouldn't be too worried about the squeak in your voice, should I?"

Stiles cleared his throat at that. "It's a manly squeak. And yeah, I'm fine, it just feels weird without you here. And you have been gone this long before, just out in town or at work, but I know that you're all the way in New York." He heaved a little sigh, but changed the subject. "Have you seen your uncle yet?"

Derek made one of those quiet little grunts that was a verbal sign that he was probably exhausted, but didn’t want anyone to know. “The plane just landed. I’m waiting in the aisle for them to attach the walk way.”

The smooth pads of Stiles’ fingertips grazed the bump of his stomach beneath his shirt. When Derek had said he’d call as soon as he was in New York, he really meant it. Practically down to the minute. Stiles closed his eyes and nuzzled the Derek-scented pillow under his head. “Separation anxiety getting to you too, huh?”

He expected Derek to deny it, but the alpha was always full of surprises. "Yes. I could physically feel the distance when I was in the plane. It hurt."

"Are you sure that wasn't vertigo?" Stiles chuckled indulgently, but he didn't believe it. He could feel it too, if he paid attention, but he could put it off as the feeling of the small cub moving around in his belly. "But, it's not too bad, right? You have to keep your head there, to help your uncle."

"How could I keep my mind here when my heart is back home with you?" It would have sounded romantic if not for the rumble of a growl in Derek's voice. Stiles couldn’t even fight of the schmoopy grin melting over his face.

“You didn’t actually just say that, Der-bear,” he teased. “You’re gonna have to go away more often if it turns you into such a cheesy pile of goo.”

“No.” The sound of a thousand voices crackled and surged mutedly behind Derek’s voice. “Next time I go anywhere, you’re coming with me. This is ridiculous, Stiles. My wolf is practically insane with worry.”

“Hearing my voice doesn’t help?”

A soft, low rumble on the other line was almost drowned in the noise of the crowded airport. “A bit. The plane ride was torture. The few other werewolves on the flight were reacting to my wolf’s agitation.”

“Yikes.”

“One was a flight attendant.”

“Derek, we’ve talked about you affecting non-pack with your broody emotions.”

"It's not like I can control my wolf, Stiles. It just knows that it's far away from my mate and cub, and that it isn't good." Derek's voice changed, like it got closer to the mouthpiece. "I found my bag. I'll get a cab, and go straight to the holding cell. I don't want to be here any longer than I have to."

Stiles agreed wholeheartedly. "Yeah... get back as soon as you can. Please." He could already feel his need for physical contact begin to well up, possibly amplified by the pregnancy. It really wasn't fair that his body seemed to be against him. He could have sworn he heard a little whine, but whether it was his or Derek’s, he really couldn’t say. “‘Cause I... miss you, and it’s dumb because it’s only been, what, twelve hours? And I’m already acting like a tragic widow or something, lying in bed half the day. On your half. I probably shouldn’t be telling you this. The embarrassment’s gonna hit any minute now.”

"It's alright... I took one of your shirts from the laundry basket so I could smell you when I sleep," Derek said quietly into the phone, obviously not wanting anyone else to hear, and Stiles could just imagine the blush that must’ve been on his face.

"Alright, not so embarrassed anymore. Thanks." He knew Derek was going to hail a taxi soon, and that eventually he’d have to hang up, but for the life of him he couldn’t bear to stop. “We’re really pathetic. I think the only sort of people who get like this are the ones who are really insecure in their relationships. That’s what I’ve read, anyway. Not that I’m insecure in our relationship. Like. At all. I’m the securest of secure. I’ve got my super aggressive pregnant omega scent all over you, which is only super appealing to omegas and alphas alike, and I can only imagine how great it smells to werewolves, which wouldn’t be so bad if you weren’t smoking hot... You didn’t take your leather jacket, did you?”

"Uh..."

"God dammit, you're wearing it right now aren't you? You're gonna get mauled by every werewolf there. You're probably gonna be mauled by everyone, come to think of it. Derek, just remember that werewolves mate for life, and I would be seriously pissed if you decided that another omega was a better choice. And hell hath no fury like a pregnant omega, so watch out, because- Hey, why are you laughing?"

"Stiles, I promise that if anyone tries to hit on me, I'll scare them off, alright? With my teeth."

“I think you are severely underestimating how sexy you are when you bare those teeth. Even from a completely unbiased standpoint, I’m pretty sure people could develop kinks with your teeth. And your... everything else. Could you try not to be so attractive for like five minutes, please? For my peace of mind?”

And he was laughing again. Dammit. "I promise to try my hardest to be unattractive. Now, you sound like you need a nap. I'm guessing you didn't take your normal midday nap, because you were waiting by the phone. Am I right?"

"...No, I didn’t... But can you blame me? I kept thinking about the hostesses on the plane making googly eyes at you and asking if you wanted to join the mile high club, and you thinking it was some kind of air miles points thing, because you have no idea about anything like that. Just so you know, in future, you're only allowed to join the mile high club with me."

“Why do you always assume I won’t understand any pop culture references?”

“Because it’s not a pop culture reference, Derek, it’s just a... thing... and anyway, I can’t put the phone down right now.”

“Why not?”

Because his mate’s voice sounded so light and wonderful and sexy and amused and fuck, Stiles missed him. “Because if I let you off the line, we’re both going to end up looking at the blank screens of our phones and wishing we hadn’t hung up, but worrying too much about bothering the other to call again and entering a vicious cycle of agony that can just be avoided if we don’t stop talking.

They ended up talking all through Derek's cab ride, Stiles chattering more than Derek, but it made them both feel better, feel as if they weren't so far away. But when Derek arrived at the police station, he really did have to end the conversation. Stiles pouted to himself, and then went to the kitchen to get some chocolate ice cream. Ice cream always made everything better.

Maybe not as good as Derek coming back... but better.

Chapter Text

With Derek gone, it was ridiculously hard to sleep. Stiles got maybe an hour of sleep at a time, but each doze always ended in him waking up in the middle of Derek’s scent, clutching his pillow as his heart raced to accommodate the ache in his chest. For two nights he suffered this, and finally on the third, he gave up on the possibility of sleep altogether. Instead, he brought one of Derek’s shirts from the closet and carried it downstairs to the living room where he curled up with the shirt bundled under his head, Matilda on the floor below, and the television playing the Lifetime channel.

Which was how he ended up calling his dad at one o'clock in the morning, crying hysterically. "Dad, I love you. I just want you to know that I love you s-so much! There was a commercial, and a dad hadn't seen his son for years, and then Cats in the Cradle was playing, and... it was just so s-sad!"

"Stiles, calm down,” John grunted drowsily. “You're just emotional because of the pregnancy. Your mother used to do the exact same thing."

Stiles snuffled into his sleeve, scratching Matilda’s head when she rested her chin on the edge of the sofa cushion to watch him. “If you talk about Mom, things are only gonna go downhill from here.”

“So I don’t get to share with my only son, who is having a child and some serious emotional issues, about his mother’s and my experience with pregnancy hormones?”

“I can tell it’s a conversation you’ve just been dying to have,” Stiles said with a hiccup of laughter, rubbing the back of his wrist under his wet eyes.

There was a chuckle from the other end of the line. "Fine, don't take advice from a man who's been through this before. Up to you. Why are you awake, anyway? Derek usually has you in bed by a reasonable time."

"Don't make it sound like I have a bedtime, Dad! I’m an adult. And... Derek isn't here. He... had to go to New York." Stiles tried very hard not to whimper at that, but he was pretty sure it didn't work. And... yep, that was Dad’s alpha noise. It was little more than silence, but there was just a certain tension over the line and a little noise that lifted from the back of his throat that made Stiles’ inner omega feel grounded and restless all at once.

“Are you going to tell me why he left my son - his pregnant omega - home alone?”

"It, Dad don't freak out, there really was no other choice. His uncle really needed help, and it's only for a week, tops. Seriously Dad, it's not like I'm anywhere close to delivery, I'm only like four months along. And he's been calling me pretty much every few hours, if not more."

But Harry was still all alpha, and still driven by his instincts. "I should come over. Or you could stay here until he comes back. You shouldn't be alone."

“Yes,” Stiles blurted before he could think, and then rewound. “Uh, wait. Maybe? I haven’t had much sleep, I’m not thinking straight. It’s really unnecessary, Dad, don’t worry about it.”

“I’m coming over.”

“But-”

Don’t argue with me.” Oh wow, there was the alpha tone that really never came out unless his dad was being as serious as a heart attack. He’d always done his best never to use his advantage as an alpha over his omega son, and Stiles could count on one hand how many times he’d heard that voice aimed at him. His entire body stilled and was only roused when Matilda began to lick his hand.

“Okay,” he responded quietly.

It took about a half an hour for his dad to get there, and as soon as he did Stiles hugged him for a full five minutes. And then Harry made him crawl into the bed, and promised not to leave the room until he was completely asleep, which really did help. Stiles managed to get six hours of sleep, much longer than he’d had since Derek left.

Stiles woke up to his dad burning pancakes. He was rubbing his eyes as he followed the charred scent down to the kitchen, a broad grin slowly curling at his lips. "I've been away from home for five years, and you still can't cook. I suppose this means you've been eating fast food this whole time?"

Harry rolled his eyes. “No, Mom,” he sighed, and maybe Derek was right when he said Harry could sound exactly like Stiles when he wanted to. “Believe it or not, I’ve been sticking to that damned health regimen that you put on the fridge a hundred years ago.”

“Sarcasm?”

The elder Stilinski tried to give him a dry look, but the laughter in his eyes gave him away. “Only partially. I’ve kept to it pretty well for someone who doesn’t have anyone checking him daily for McDonald’s receipts.”

"As long as you go to the doctor once a year for a checkup. I want little Timothy to know his granddad," Stiles said, rubbing his stomach.

"It's a boy?" Harry asked, surprised.

Stiles laughed and shook his head. "We decided not to ask yet, but every day I think it's gonna be different. Today apparently I think it's gonna be a boy." And they hadn't talked at all about boy names, but they’d continued bickering about what it would be for a girl. Harry’s lips twitched. “I’d say I bet Derek is hoping for an omega as a firstborn to make things easier on himself, but we both know that that’s not really how it works.”

“I really think that might be a backhanded compliment coming from you, father mine.”

"Hey, I was surprised as anyone when you turned out to be an omega. But I guess it was for the better." Harry was still trying to salvage the pancakes, but Stiles pushed him aside.

As he spooned fresh batter onto the pan, Stiles tilted his head to the side. "I don't really care what it is. As long as he's happy, being girl or boy, omega, alpha, or beta. As long as they don't turn out to be like Jackson. Now he is one omega that must have been a handful." Stiles snickered at that, peeking at under the batter to see the color.

Harry snorted, bumping his shoulder against Stiles’ and staying there like that, just touching shoulders as Stiles made pancake after pancake for his father and himself. He appreciated it more than words could express. Stiles hadn’t associated any of his physical or mental aches beyond just missing Derek, but with his father there and open like that, he realized how touch-starved he really was after just a few days alone.

The non-burnt pancakes were really good, and Stiles even found some strawberries for them to put on top. But Stiles made sure to sit right next to his father, who seemed to know what he needed, because he would occasionally touch his knee or his shoulders or his wrist. And, just because he could, Stiles would steal strawberries off his father's plate.

Just when they were finishing up, Harry tilted his head to the side. "I think I hear a phone ringing."

Stiles’ jaw stopped in the middle of chewing a strawberry and listened hard, and sure enough, the light, galloping clicks of Derek’s ringtone (Sexy Back, okay, yes, don’t ask) echoed from his room upstairs. Nearly knocking over his chair in his haste to stand, Stiles dashed up the stairs as quickly as he could with a fist-sized cub growing inside him (not to mention all the pancakes... eurgh) and managed to miss the call by all of three seconds. The screen was lit up with the message THREE MISSED CALLS and he winced, pressing the talk button immediately to call Derek back.

"Stiles?! Is that you? What's going on! I'm coming home right now, I can be there in ten hours-"

"I'm fine! Sorry, I... My dad came over. I've been downstairs with him, but I'm fine, Derek, sorry I worried you. Please, you don't need to come home, your uncle needs you."

There was the obvious sound of relief from the other end. "When you didn't answer, I thought... I was so worried, Stiles. You're killing me."

He huffed, making sure not to smile because Derek would definitely hear that over the phone. “What, you think that just because I spent the last few days waiting by the phone for you that means I’d always do it? Please. I’m not that needy.”

“Well,” Derek grumbled, “I am. I’ve already booked my flight. I’ll be home late tonight.”

Stiles felt his heart jump at that. "Are you sure? What about your uncle?"

"He's doing better. We had a discussion today with his attorney. There really isn't anything else I can do here." Derek's voice went a little quieter, a little more desperate. "And I need to see you."

Everything in Stiles ached at that tone of voice. He swallowed thickly. “Good. Come home quick, Derek. I don’t know how we thought we’d last an entire week of this.”

“We were young and foolish.” Oh no. Derek was making jokes. He really did miss Stiles.

"Yes, good for you, so funny. Don't freak out when you get home and smell Dad. I've warned you. And when you get here, you had better be prepared for a whole bunch of cuddling. Like, you're not getting out of my arms for at least a week. I seriously need you, and I don't care how omega that makes me sound."

“Two.”

“Huh?”

“Two weeks,” Derek growled. “Minimum. I hope you’re comfortable wherever you choose to be when I get home, because you won’t be moving for a long time.”

“This is just making it worse,” Stiles harrumphed.

They talked until Derek reached the airport and he was forced to hang up. It was only then when Stiles remembered his dad downstairs, and realized that he had pretty much stuck him with cleaning up. He made his way downstairs, apologizing before he even got to the kitchen. "Hey Dad, sorry about that. It was Derek. He's coming home today!"

“I figured,” Harry said, a little smirk playing at the corners of his lips. When Stiles’ eyebrows rose in silent question, he said, “Your steps were awfully light for being as round as you are.”

“Rude!” Stiles laid a protective hand over his stomach. “All of this cushion is to adequately protect sweet baby Susan from the cold, cold world - yeah, feels like a girl now, shut up Dad.”

Harry laughed as he finished off the last of the dishes. "I guess I shouldn't complain. This is the first time you've put on weight since you were seventeen."

 

"You enjoy making fun of your one and only son, don't you?"


"It is by far my favorite pastime."

Stiles squinted at him. "Knowing you, that would be the case."

Harry threw an arm around his shoulders, squeezing him. "You should have a nap before he gets here. I'll tidy up a bit so it doesn't look like such a pigsty, and then I'll leave. I have a feeling that I should be very far away from here when he comes back."

"Father mine, I have no idea what you could possibly mean by that," Stiles sniffed. But he dutifully hugged the man and even kissed his cheek, a big, sloppy affair that had Harry laughing and trying to push his only son away.

Stiles brought Matilda up with him, since he was tired of sleeping alone, so no matter what Derek said about it, he got her to sleep on the bed with him. With the heat of the warm body beside him, it was much easier to fall asleep, even though she smelled like dog.

It must have been the sleep exhaustion coupled with the security of knowing his father was downstairs that finally conquered Stiles' excited jitters for Derek's homecoming, because within minutes, he was fast asleep. He slept long and exceptionally hard for eight and a half hours, and woke blearily when Matilda hopped off the bed (for the third time that day, but Stiles didn't know that). He yawned so wide that he nearly cracked his jaw and glanced at the clock beside his bed out of habit.

Stiles was halfway stripped in the bathroom with the hot water turned up high that he remembered Derek was supposed to be home tonight. A tiny, gleeful noise of anticipation bubbled up from within him and he hastily wriggled out of the last of his clothes, jumping in the shower for a quick scrubbing. Stiles brushed his teeth and toweled off with the speed of a thousand men and nearly tripped over himself to get back to his room. He changed the sheets before he dressed because he wouldn't be needing just Derek's scent anymore; he'd have the real deal. Goosebumps broke out over his body from excitement (and likely also the cool air blowing against his bare wet skin. He'd need to get dressed after that bedding was changed.). Matilda was keen on his enthusiasm as she hobbled around the room behind him, her butt wagging furiously.

He dragged the old bedding down the stairs and tossed it in the laundry room before coaxing her out the doggy door (Derek had applied that to lead into the back garden so Matilda had access to the woods when it was unlocked, but made the little door lockable so they could keep her from going out when it rained or whenever they saw fit to keep her inside, which Stiles had because he could not bear to be in a completely empty house, but that wasn't a problem anymore because Derek was coming home!)

And then he heard the small click of the front door. Stiles made a mad dash for it… Well, as fast as he could four months pregnant. He skidded into the foyer right when Derek was taking off his jacket, and he ran to him.

The strong arms wrapped around him, mindful of his belly, but still tight. "It's alright, I'm home now,” Derek rumbled right into his ear. “Calm down, Stiles."

"Me?" Stiles croaked, fisting Derek's shirt in his hands. "Look who's talking! Your face is about to merge with my neck. Which, fuck, don't stop or anything. Derek, I missed you so fucking much." He was overwhelmed, and he could feel his own pulse racing, but Derek's heart was beating just as fast. Stiles could feel it pounding out of sync and - whoops, he'd started palming Derek's chest under his shirt without realizing it.

"Thought I told you to be someplace comfortable," Derek muttered, his teeth scraping Stiles' skin in an achingly good way. The omega caught himself humming and didn't bother to stop.

"You tell me a lot of things."

Stiles closed his eyes when Derek began mouthing at his neck. "Bed," he said simply, without a thought of how to get there because he didn't want to pull away for even a second.

Derek seemed to know how to fix that, as he picked Stiles up, wrapping the omega’s legs around his waist. "Hold on tight." He walked to the bedroom, making sure he had a strong hold the whole way.

And Derek didn't even drop him onto the bed when they finally got there - he just sat down on the edge of Stiles' side and trailed his blunt fingernails over the small of Stiles' back, nuzzling his jaw and scenting him as well as he could with their clothes on. Stiles didn't even want to break away for a second to remove them. His entire body was heavy with relief as his fingers twisted in Derek's hair.


"You know what, you're not allowed to leave again. Missed you way too much." Stiles sighed as Derek rubbed his stomach, over the slight bulge.

"I wouldn't leave again. Not you, and not my cub. It was too hard." Derek lowered them both onto their sides, just touching each other.

Stiles wriggled himself between Derek's thighs and allowed Derek to pull his shirt off, then Stiles', and then they were skin to skin. Derek scented him, rubbing his prickly chin over Stiles' jaw, his neck, his shoulders, rumbling deep within his chest like a big, ripped, super hot cat. Yeah, Stiles was out of his mind at that point. He hummed to himself when Derek started licking up his shoulder to his neck. Even though he had been able to have contact with his dad, nothing could compare to being in bed with his alpha, his mate. And Stiles could tell that Derek felt the same, the way he kept moving against him, running a hand down his back and in front to his belly. It was like paradise after so long apart.

When Derek finally started nosing at the sensitive spot just below Stiles' ear, the omega shivered and half-whined. "Whenever you're done indulging your wolf, I'd like to point out that you've been home for the better half of an hour and we still haven't even kissed."

At that, the alpha pressed needy lips to his, slowly exploring his mouth. Stiles hummed into it, content to just let it progress.

The hunger never died, but the initial urgency softened over time, and what had begun as a reclaiming turned into an easy comfort for the both of them. They knew each others' mouths, the way they worked, how they kissed. Derek held a fixation for plumping Stiles' lips with a gentle suck or a tug of teeth, and Stiles loved the challenge of tongues as he lazily drew them over Derek's sharp canines.

There was one time where Stiles had to get up because the baby kicked his bladder, but after that he quickly crawled right back into the bed into Derek's arms. Then, nestled against his chest, Stiles looked up at him. "You didn't tell me what happened with your uncle."

Derek pressed his mouth to the top of Stiles' head and lay there quietly for a few long moments, rubbing Stiles' hip and his back and the curve of his belly rhythmically. "His mate died last week," Derek mumbled, and his other hand came up to cup the back of Stiles' neck. "He - the emotional sever was so fierce that he - he went insane." Stiles could feel and hear his alpha's heartbeat thud heavily against his chest and tilted his head up to plant a soft, soothing kiss to his throat. "He wasn't even able to talk to me to convey that much until this morning. That's why I called, and why I had to come back so quickly. You have no idea, Stiles, I..."

 

"Hey." The omega caught Derek's roaming hand and situated it firmly over his belly, tangling their fingers and giving them a squeeze. "I understand. That's... it's okay, Derek. I'm here. We're here, and we're safe."


Derek pressed their lips together, needing to feel Stiles even more. “ I don't think I would be able to come back from that. Not from losing you."

"Hey, hey, who’s losing anybody? We're both young and healthy, as long as we don't go on any sky diving trips in the near future, I think we're pretty good." He smiled in the hopes of encouraging Derek to do the same, or at least ease up a bit. “We’ve got an entire pack to build together,” he said, and as always, the mention of pack was enough to make something very good shift in his mate’s eyes. “We’re gonna fill up this house, remember?”

"Starting with this one," Derek said, feeling the bump again, as if he hadn't just spent an hour at least touching it.

"Yeah, starting with this one." Stiles grinned and kissed Derek wetly on the mouth. They kissed until Stiles was dizzy with want and Derek pulled back, breathing raggedly against his mouth.

“How many?” he asked, voice barely more than a subsonic growl, and Stiles couldn’t stop his toes from curling if he tried. Yeah, that was Derek’s crazy wolfman face. He was definitely excitable at the prospect of procreation. Stiles would only have to use the prospect in dire times of need.

Stiles hummed, thinking about it. "Well, I imagine that after five, my body would just be a lost cause. But, if it is, then there really wouldn't be a reason to stop, now would there?" Stiles teased. He was surprised by Derek suddenly flipping him on his back and sucking at his collar bone. "Oh, wow, okay... You know we can't really get pregnant again right? I mean I'm already pregnan- alright, apparently we're doing this now."

“We’re doing this now,” Derek agreed, reaching down to cup Stiles through his pajama pants, and... well. Yes. He’d definitely missed this. “I’m going to strip you down and suck you,” he growled, as if Stiles’ dick wasn’t interested enough, “and after you’ve come, I’m going to come all over your thighs and your chest and your stomach and you’re not gonna clean it off until you reek of my scent. And in the morning, when you complain about it, I’m going to take you to the shower and fuck you so deep and long that your body will think it’s in heat again. Now take off your pants.”

Yeah. Stiles was totally up for that.

Chapter Text

The wailing hadn't stopped for two hours, and Stiles was freaking out. "Derek, did you find the binky yet? What if he's sick? I think he has a fever!" He was rocking the fuzzy baby with a desperately contained urgency, trying to get him to calm down.

 

Finally Derek bustled into the room, binky in hand. "He's a baby werewolf, Stiles, we're naturally hotter than humans. But... I guess we could call Scott's mom? I mean, she would know all about this stuff, right?"

 

“At two in the morning?” Stiles cradled the inconsolable infant’s head to his chest, his heart beating a mile a minute. His baby was sick, he was certain of it - Alexander was normally so mild-mannered. He’d spoiled them with his sweet demeanor and infrequent tantrums in his short three months of life, and this must have been payback for their slacking.

 

"I don't know! Are you holding him right? Look, here, let me-"

 

Stiles turned so that Derek couldn't get to the baby. "Back off. I'm the omega, alright? I should know how to do this! Maybe I could try feeding him again..." This was so horrible, worrying about Alexander, and at the same time being so sleep deprived that he could almost fall asleep standing up. "Try purring to him like you do sometimes, it seems to calm him down normally."

 

“I don’t purr,” Derek huffed, but he must have been exhausted because the withering look Stiles gave him made him... well... wither. He shuffled closer, ducking his head down slightly to touch his temple to Stiles’ and leaned in close to the baby, despite what must have been a terrible affront to his sensitive werewolf hearing. The alpha pressed the back of his hand to Alexander’s cheeks and forehead, and they both flinched at the high-pitched keen the touch produced from their son.

 

“What a big noise such a tiny thing can make,” Stiles murmured, pulling back to gently hike the boy up higher toward his shoulder and rubbed his back. Itty bitty fists gripped at his shirt and made Stiles’ heart lurch. “Go see if the milk’s ready. Maybe he’ll take some now.”

 

He was back with the bottle in a minute, testing if it was the right temperature. "Mrs. McCall said we could call at any time... What if he really is sick? Or has an ear infection, don't babies get those a lot?"

 

"I think so... But it doesn't seem to be his ear." Stiles once again tried to get him to eat, but Alexander kept turning his head away.

 

"...Maybe he doesn't like the nipple? You could try yours..."

 

A muscle in Stiles’ jaw ticked. “We’ve been over this, Derek. It’s painful for me and he doesn’t get enough, so he’s irritable and I’m irritable and nobody goes home happy.” Good thing Derek had a decent sense of self preservation and wasn’t about to make some stupid quip about how they were already home.

 

But they’d already tried everything - changing him, trying to feed him, rubbing his back, trying to burp him, trying to rock him, and nothing was working. He couldn’t even properly feed his son from his own body. Stiles felt a lump of shame form in his throat and choked back a sob that would match Alexander’s. He was a terrible parent.

 

Derek wrapped an arm around Stiles' shoulder, calming him down the only way he could. "It's our first cub, Stiles, there is nothing wrong with calling for help. This is the first time since he was born that we haven't known what to do, and I would say that is quite the accomplishment."

 

The omega sniffed and touched his nose to the downy hair atop Alexander’s head, taking in his clean baby smell and swallowing thickly when for the first time, his cries began to soften. His throat probably hurt from all the screaming. Stiles stroked the cleft at the back of the baby’s neck sympathetically. “It’s just luck,” he mumbled, kissing Alexander’s ear. “Xander’s been exceptionally good to us.”

 

"And we should be good to him, by asking someone who would know exactly what is going on. If you don't want to wake her up, we could just call the hospital, someone there will be able to help us." Derek rubbed Xander's head, glad that he was quieting down a little now. Stiles nodded, resting his cheek on the baby’s head.

 

“Call her,” he conceded. “If she doesn’t pick up, we’ll call the hospital.”

 

So Derek disappeared again and Stiles was left murmuring nonsensical, gentle words to the little boy mewling with what must have been pain, or at least intense discomfort.

 

Derek came back, phone in hand. "She was about to go to work, so she was already awake. She says it sounds like colic."

 

"Oh my god that sounds so bad! What is it? Do we have to go to the hospital? Are they going to have to do surgery?" Stiles held Alexander close to him.

 

The alpha listened to the phone, and then shook his head. "She says it isn't a big deal, just something to do with his stomach. And..." Once again, he listened. "Normally it can be fixed by rubbing his back. The base of his spine."

 

Stiles nodded, setting to massaging his baby’s back immediately. “Anything else?” he implored. Derek’s eyes stayed focused on his in the dim light of the nursery as he silently waited for Melissa McCall to direct him.

 

After a while, Alexander stopped crying, and seemed to fall asleep as Stiles continued to massage his back. "Hey, I think it worked! Tell Miss McCall that I love her." He quickly zipped his lips when Alexander twitched, and Derek gave his quiet thanks to Scott’s mom before hanging up and moving in toward his mate and cub.

 

“He can sleep with us tonight,” he said so softly that Stiles had to strain to hear him.

 

"Good, he always sleeps better with us," Stiles whispered back, and wondered if it was really Alexander that slept better with them, or if it was them that slept better with him. He moved around Derek, cradling the baby against his body. They shuffled down the dark hall to their bedroom, Matilda trotting after, and sitting obediently outside the door as Derek got in on his side and took the lightweight, droopy form of their son so Stiles could crawl in on the other side.

 

They tucked Alexander between them on his belly so they could take turns rubbing his back.

 

Eventually, once Xander was fast asleep, they tangled their fingers together on his small back. "He might sleep through most of the night this time. He seems pretty tired." Considering he hadn't slept all day because of the colic.

 

"Won't he get hungry? He missed his meal this evening."


Stiles yawned, inching closer to the bundle of warmth that was their child, kicking out gently to fit a foot between Derek’s ankles. “If he does, one of us will just have to go get him some more milk,” he muttered, squeezing Derek’s fingers.

 

They were silent for a while, and both began falling asleep, the small body between them. But they were both woken up quickly when he moved. They waited silently to see if he would start crying again, but it seemed that Alexander had just wanted to move in his sleep. They both gave a thankful sigh. “He looks nothing like my side of the family,” Stiles whispered into his pillow, knowing that Derek would be able to hear him. “Which is fine, by the way - I’d wanted him to look like you. But I think my dad is upset.”

 

Derek shrugged, rubbing the hair on Xander's back. "Werewolf genes are the more dominant. Because he is a werewolf." He gestured to the dark hair, which was still very soft, where when he grew older, it would become coarse.

 

“Sooner or later we’re gonna have to have a kid that looks like me. I’m going to give the ‘sure it’s awkward now, but it will only get worse as time goes on so just learn to suck it up and develop a sense of humor’ talk at least once. Gotta bond with my offspring somehow. God knows if I don’t, they’ll all end up being broody body builders.”

 

The alpha chuckled, and leaned over to kiss Stiles on the corner of his mouth. "Chances are we'll have at least one omega, who might take after you. But I'm sure they'll have your sense of humour, at least. That is kind of a hard thing to avoid."

 

"Well not if they get to be rebellious teenagers, and I'm just the weird dad who always makes embarrassing jokes! Dammit, I am going to be that dad, aren't I?"

 

“Yes.” Stiles definitely would have protested if there wasn’t a dozing werebaby between them. Whether Derek’s tone was fond or not was totally inconsequential. “One of us has to be.”

 

“Yeah, yeah. Maybe if you’d loosen up a little bit, /you/ could be the dorky one and I could work on my abs and billion other muscly muscles. Just shoot me if I ever buy a Hawaiian print shirt. That’s when you know I’ve gone too far.”

 

That was definitely a smile, and Stiles told himself that it was to his joke, instead of Xander nuzzling his face into Derek's hand as he slept. Then the alpha looked back up at him. "Whatever happens, you'll always be a wonderful father. I don't want you to forget that, or think you're not good enough. You're amazing."

 

“Oh stop,” Stiles murmured bashfully, playfully curling his toes against Derek’s heel. “No, I didn’t mean that, feel free to continue showering me with praise. I totally deserve it.”

 

Derek huffed, and just moments later, the tiny, fuzzy bundle between them mirrored the noise. Stiles thought his brain might explode from the cute.

 

Stiles sighed, looking down at Xander. "I can't wait to have another. Though... I think we should wait. I wouldn't want two babies under twenty months old."

 

"I was thinking the same. And next time, we'll know more what we're doing."

 

Stiles snorted. "Yeah. In our dreams, maybe." And Derek reached over, stroking his cheek in that sentimental way he had. Stiles was always torn between melting and vomiting when Derek got too sweet.

 

"After the third, we'll probably know something. Credit us that."

 

"Hopefully the others are as easy as Xander is." Derek looked over at Stiles. "We both really need sleep. He'll start crying if he gets hungry or needs a change."

 

With a wide yawn, Stiles curled his fingers over Alexander's back and closed his eyes. "And the big, strong alpha daddy's gonna take care of that, right? And let his poor omega sleep?"

 

"Yes. Go to sleep now. I'll take care of him, you need the rest." It had been a long time since either of them had gotten a full night sleep, after all.

 

Oh yeah. Stiles was lucky to have bagged this alpha. He'd have to thank him for that. After sleeping, though. Long after sleeping.

 


 

 

Xander seemed to grow quickly, at least in Stiles' eyes. Before they knew it, he was a talkative three year old, and they had another on the way. It was only about a month along, and wasn't showing at all yet, though it probably would be in no time at all.

 

Alexander had spent the night with Stiles' father, leaving the night and morning all to Derek and himself. And that was was why Stiles woke to the pleasant experience of Derek plastered behind him, slowly thrusting into him. "Somnophilia strikes again," Stiles rasped, his throat dry from sleep and disuse, eyes fluttering shut as Derek manhandled his thighs to spread them wider as he rocked up and against his mate now that he was awake.

 

There was a grunt against his shoulder, and Stiles shuddered when Derek made a small thrust which hit his prostate dead on. He reached down for his own cock, fully hard, and squeezed the head, eyes shut.

 

They both shuddered when Derek's cock slipped out and instead of repositioning himself, Derek stuffed two of his fingers inside of Stiles without preamble and teasingly probed in and out, slicking his own precome around and just barely kissing Stiles' prostate with his fingertips every so often. He mouthed at Stiles' shoulder when the omega began to whimper.

 

"Please Derek, ah, please!" Stiles pressed his ass back, feeling the alpha's erection. Then he took out his fingers, and slid back in. Stiles let out a long moan, stroking his cock in time with the short thrusts.

 

It was good, so good, and then he felt it again- Derek slipped out. Judging from the half pleasurable, half annoyed grunt, Stiles concluded that it wasn't an intentional move, and he couldn't help it. He snickered. "Problems back there?" Stiles got a little spank for that (which definitely didn't make his cock twitch in his hand. Nope).

 

Derek pulled his hips closer and kept them there as he thrust back in again, in control of Stiles so he could decide where he went. He grunted against his ear, hips snapping forward faster and faster.

 

And just like that, with Derek's hands encircling his hips, teeth on the verge of piercing his skin, cock stuffed so far inside him that he could practically feel it in his throat, Stiles came. He gasped and shouted when one thrust dragged across his prostate and made him jerk and tremble with all of his body against the alpha.

 

Almost as quickly, Derek's knot pressed inside, stretching Stiles wide until it was all the way in, nestled snugly at his entrance. Stiles closed his eyes and heaved a shuddering sigh. The knotting always made him feel so full, so connected with his alpha, so impossibly close with him.

 

Derek hadn't noticed that he was growling (or "purring" as he'd refused to let it be called. Out loud) until after he started coming down, like Stiles hadn't noticed that there were teeth embedded in his shoulder until Derek tried to gently pull them out. His tongue laved over the wound apologetically and Stiles lifted a hand up and back to slide into his hair so he would know that he was forgiven.

 

"So... we have about two more hours until Dad drops Xander off..." Stiles said, looking at the clock, and lifted an eyebrow. "And since it's pretty hard to get some alone time when he's here, I think we should have shower sex. Because I really love shower sex. And we really need a shower."

 

The snort at his neck and little shakes of his body told him that Derek definitely found his desire for sweet watery shenanigans all far too funny. “Give me a minute,” he huffed, pressing open-mouthed kisses to Stiles’ neck. “Knot’s not even down yet.”

 

"Yeah I think I know that, it's in my ass isn't it? I'm just planning ahead. It's what I do." Stiles gave a small moan when the knot moved lightly inside him again. He put his hands on Derek's shoulders so he wouldn't move. They lay there for a good ten minutes of silence before Stiles shifted and whimpered. “I thought this -unh- wasn't supposed to take as long when I'm not in heat."

 

“Five to thirty minutes, Stiles,” Derek mumbled. That was his blissed out voice. He wasn’t planning to move for a good long while. Damn. “And it’s been awhile.”

 

“You’re telling me. I was starting to forget what a dick felt like wedged up my ass. Ah, memories.”

 

Derek started nuzzling the back of his neck. “So poetic.”

 

It took about twenty minutes until Derek was able to pull out. The shower took the better part of an hour. So in the end they only had half an hour to clean up the house before Derek looked up from washing dishes. "Come on, they're here." And Stiles was reminded of a puppy running to the door when someone knocked as Derek shuffled over to the front hallway.

 

“Papa!” Xander giggled, and Stiles rounded the corner in time to watch Derek stoop low to swing him up, and when he stood tall again, the child’s face peeked over a broad shoulder. He smiled sweetly as Stiles neared, and of course his heart melted. "Hi, Daddy," the child crooned, clenching and unclenching his little fist in mimicry of a wave.

 

"Hey baby!" Stiles went to give him a hug, smiling over at his father. "Thanks, Dad." Then he was looking back to his son, still in Derek's hold. "Did you have fun with Grandpa?"

 

"He let me put the siwen on! It was so loud!"

 

“Oh did he?” Stiles side-eyed Harry, who didn’t even have the gall to look ashamed. “Gee, I can’t remember the last time he let me put on the siren.”

 

“‘Cause Daddy is a gwown-up!” Xander giggled.

 

“Yeah, but Daddy was a kid once.” He sniffed dramatically. “You are privileged, child. Never forget that. Father mine, ye who picketh favorites, are you hungry? Derek made omelettes.” Xander gasped, and... yep, that was two alphas falling under a baby’s spell. Alexander’s hands cupped Derek’s face and he looked deeply into the elder wolf’s hazel eyes. “Yummy omele’s?”

 

"With bacon," Derek added, as if there needed to be more incentive for the kid to eat. The poor kid had been brought up on those omelettes.

 

Harry patted Stiles on the shoulder as they went to the kitchen. "You look well rested. Now that you're pregnant again, I would be fine taking my grandson any time you need a break."

 

Stiles knew he was blushing, remembering all the... resting he and Derek had been doing. "Uh, yeah thanks Dad. Well, sounds like you would rather spend time with him than your own son anyway. Siren, really?"

 

"You should know by now that people only suffer through parenthood so they can get to be grandparents and spoil their grandchildren."

 

Stiles wrinkled his nose and playfully shoved Harry’s arm before dragging him in after Derek to force-feed him one of the Hale alpha’s famous table-sized omelettes. Afterword, Alexander bid Harry a tearful goodbye, and sickly-sweet promises were exchanged about the next time Harry promised to see him (“Next week, Gwanpa?”) and finally Derek let loose his previously contained desire to scent his son.

 

They spent an hour on the couch, just cuddling, and Stiles rolled his eyes and was about to leave after the program finished on the television when his little, lovely son reached out to him, and said that he needed to "smell happy too". Which was really much more cuteness than one man could handle, so Stiles was forced into the doggy pile (wolfy pile?), with his son and his lover. Even though he was pretty sure he already smelled maybe a little too much of Derek.

 

Alexander climbed awkwardly into Stiles’ lap and tugged at his shirt, his face sweetly concentrated. “Baby too?” Xander said, remembering with Stiles’ shirt rucked over his belly button that he probably should ask permission to do this.

 

Stiles grinned, and was reminded of the short weeks after his last heat when Alexander had come home and asked Stiles why he smelled different. He had worried that he could still smell Derek on him. When Derek told him Alexander had caught the scent of Stiles' pregnancy, that had prompted an only too interesting discussion about how much of the miracle of birth they'd be telling their child at such a young age. Stiles nodded his permission to be touched, and then Xander rubbed his cheek over his bare stomach. He was really glad that the boy wouldn't get his fangs until his baby teeth fell out, because his normally hazel eyes were glowing blue at the moment.

 

"Just wait a few more months," Stiles said, running a hand through Xander's thick, soft hair. "I'm gonna be so big that you won't even be able to fit in my lap."

 

Alexander giggled. "How big?" he asked. They'd played this game before. Stiles leaned in close to his face and grabbed him, pushing him back to dangle his head over Stiles' knees. The boy shrieked with laughter.

 

"So big you'll fall off my lap!"

 

"No, don't let me fall, Daddy!"

 

"Oh nooo!"

 

As they play wrestled, Derek watched from beside them, content just look on with a little smile on his face. This was what paradise was, he decided. This was what he had thought he would never have when most of his family had died in the fire. He almost didn't know how his life had become so perfect, but it obviously had everything to do with Stiles, the terrified omega he had bought so long ago.

 

"Help, Papa!" Alexander cried, his chubby arms waving about in the air as Stiles dipped him over his knees again. "He gonna dwop me!"

 

Derek harrumphed and jostled Stiles' shoulder, making a playful grab for their son.

 

Xander rolled on the ground, laughing as he was tickled by both his parents, and Matilda came into the room to see what was going on now.

 

She nudged Derek's knees, her butt wagging and tongue lolling from all the excitement. Alexander clung to Stiles' shoulders when the omega lifted him back up. His cheeks were bright red, and his little chest heaved as he gulped in air. "Daddy!" he scolded, gripping Stiles tightly. He pressed his face to Stiles' chest and sniffed. "Good smell, Daddy."

 

"Mm," came Derek's rumble as he leaned in close, nudging Stiles' neck with his nose and getting his sniffy wolf on, too. "Very good."

 


 

 

Jane was born seven months and twenty eight days later. She was a little premature, and much smaller than Xander had been, but she had a set of lungs on her that made Stiles believe she'd probably make it as a swimmer or a singer. But no matter how she screamed, she would make up for it by being irresistibly adorable with her big brown eyes and the longest lashes ever to be graced on a baby.

 

Two years following that, Laura was born, and from the second she was brought home, Alexander was wrapped around her teeny, tiny finger. He would carry her around and play with her and more than once, Stiles found him trying to change her diaper in the early hours of the morning. Jane, of course, had no patience for either of them, and much preferred chatting incessantly at her alpha father while he carved intricate patterns on furniture in the basement.

 

Altogether, Stiles loved being a parent. It was tough at times, and messy, and exhausting, but it was all worth it at the end of the day.

 

Alexander had lost all his baby teeth by the age of nine, and his fangs were starting to grow in. Erratically and without prompting, he could shift into his beta form, something he'd been trying to gain more control over. Which meant long hours spent in the woods with Derek. Stiles would have felt left out, except that after every session, Xander ran home to spare Stiles no details about every outing, almost as though he wanted Stiles to have experienced it, too.

 

To Stiles' great surprise, Derek's feelings on the matter of an omega's place in the home hadn't changed since before Stiles had given up his suppressants. And for all Stiles had read about alphas, he had never really expected to see someone with Derek's aura and physique to stand hunched over a sink, scrubbing burnt macaroni and cheese from a Sleeping Beauty princess plate, or playfully wrestling teeny tiny socks on a wiggly, giggly baby's feet. But he was pleasantly surprised every day.

 

On a sunny afternoon in spring, both girls were inside, Jane playing nicely with Laura in the living room. Stiles grinned at them, ruffling their hair as he went by. "You two get ready for lunch. I'm going to get your brother." Two years ago, Derek had set up a play set outside, with a slide and a couple swings, where Stiles assumed Alexander was playing. It had been the cutest thing when the boy had wanted to help set it up, and ended up turning screws and such, obviously so proud that he had helped his dad build it.

 

Matilda's whine was the first thing he heard, and the second was a pitiful whimper coming from... not the swings. Stiles' eyes darted around the garden. "Xander?"

 

"No Daddy, don't come over here!"

 

Oh no. This was the sort of thing his dad had always looked so harried over when he was a kid, wasn't it. "Babe, you've gotta know that when you say that, I have to come see what's going on."

 

There was a sniff, and a rustle of leaves. "I'm sorry Daddy... I didn't mean to, it just happened! No, Daddy wait!" Stiles paused on his way over to the bushes.

 

"Xander, whatever it is, you have to let me see..." Stiles was about to push the leaves apart, but then the boy stood up. Stiles was pretty sure he had a heart attack when he saw the blood on his son's shirt and hands.

 

"I'm fine, Daddy, I -" Stiles cut him off, dropping to his knees and pulling his son close to check him for injuries.

 

"Don't tell me you're fine when you're - where are you hurt? What happened?" The tears in leaking from Alexander's eyes dripped messily from his chin, and he looked about five seconds away from wailing.

 

"Are you gonna be mad, Daddy?" he whispered, sounding all of five years old when he did. Stiles’ heart seized painfully and he tried to keep his head.

 

"No, Xander I'm not mad. Just, please, what happened?" He couldn't find the wound, and a lot of the blood seemed to be on and around his face. "Did you hit your nose with something?"

 

But the boy shook his head and pointed at the ground behind him. There lay a fat quail, obviously dead, and covered in blood.

 

Stiles nearly deflated with relief. He leaned back and rubbed a hand over his face. "Okay," he said after a deep, calming breath. "Okay. Alright. I'm not mad, Xander, don't cry. Shh. We won't tell Papa you shaved about three years off my life. What happened?"

 

The boy hiccupped and wrung his hands in the hem of his shirt. "I was swinging, and the bird was limping, b-because it was hurt. And I wanted to help it but, but... I didn't mean to! It just happened! My teeth grew and then I- I..." Alexander started crying all over again. "I chased it... an' I bit it," he finished, tears mixing with the blood on his cheeks.

 

"Show me your teeth," Stiles gently commanded, and when Alexander did, they were still the longer, sharper result of a partial shift. He cupped his son's cheeks when the boy closed his mouth up tight. "You didn't do anything wrong, Xander." Stiles kept his voice firm and reassuring and as in control of the situation as he could be - yeah, he'd have to thank his dad for giving him a model to work from. "Trust me, I know a lot about werewolves, and this is just, you know - you're changing," and wow, he'd never actually thought he'd have to give any sort of puberty talk before he accidentally caught his son having Private Morning Time in the far, far future. But hey, since when was his life normal?

 

His baby's big nervous eyes were on him, and he was just so worried that Stiles had to gently tickle his neck to change the expression. "You've got a little wolf inside you that's trying to be one with you, and it's gonna be scary sometimes, but this is natural. Perfectly normal. In fact," he rolled his eyes exaggeratedly so Alexander was sure not to miss it, "Papa will probably have pride coming out his ears that you were able to catch a bird."

 

No longer crying hysterically, Xander just gave a sniff and rubbed a hand against his shorts. "But it was hurt."

 

"I couldn't catch a bird even if it was injured." Stiles offered him a grin. "Now, lunch is ready inside, which will taste a lot better than a quail, let me tell you. But I think we should get you cleaned up before you go in. We don't want Papa to have a heart attack like I just did." Stiles was trying to rub some of the drying blood off with his thumb, and actually had the urge to lick it. Realizing that was way too old aunt-ish, he stood up. "Will you be alright if I go get a cloth from inside?"

 

Xander nodded and scrubbed at his eyes. Stiles kissed Alexander's temple and brushed the dirt from his knees. "We'll get your skin cleaned off out here first and then we'll go inside and you can change your clothes so you won't freak your sisters out with the blood, okay?"

 

He nodded, still trying to rub his hand clean. "They'll still smell it though."

 

Stiles leaned forward and kissed the crown of Alexander's head, which was mercifully free of blood. "It's alright, you can tell them if you want. Now don't move, I'll be right back, okay?"

 

The minute Stiles opened the front door, though, he was intercepted by a very familiar brick wall. Derek's eyes were bright red and piercing as he grabbed Stiles by the arms. "You're alright?"

 

"I'm Stiles," the omega joked. Derek wasn't laughing.

 

"Why do you smell like blood?" His head shot up. "Where's Alexander?"

 

"Calm thyself, Captain Conclusion-Jumper," he said, patting the alpha's chest. "Our little man just wolfed out. Kinda like you're doing now, except his was completely accidental and freaked him out. Which, yeah, you probably need to not go near him right now if you're gonna do this whole spastic overprotective snarly alpha thing. I only just calmed him down."

 

Derek pulled back, obviously forcing his eyes to go back to normal. "What happened?"

 

"Well, he helped a little with the quail population. He's fine, it was only one bird. Now go get a change of clothes ready for him while I grab a cloth." Stiles rested a hand on his shoulder, and leaned up, kissing Derek on the mouth. "I haven't seen you scared in a while. Is it weird that I find it appealing, in the sort of a-mighty-alpha-only-shows-vulnerability-to-his-family sort of way?"

 

He would have continued if he didn't hear a gagging sound from behind Derek. Jane rolled her eyes. "Gross!"

 

"Hey, you're too young to find romance gross. You're supposed to blindly accept that your parents are sweet on each other. Also, where did you learn to roll your eyes in proper context, young lady? You're five years old!"

 

Derek huffed against his neck and pulled Stiles to his body - not quite a hug, more like a little reassurance of his warmth - for a short moment before he let go and went to get Alexander's clean clothes.

 

Laura blinked up at him, her tiny hand held in her sister's. "I'm hung'y."

 

"I know sweetie, just give us a few more minutes, alright? Then it's grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch!" He quickly went to get a cloth wet, worrying that Xander had already been outside alone for long enough, feeling bad about the bird.

 

The poor boy was shuffling from foot to foot, and hadn't moved an inch closer to the house. He chastised Matilda for sniffing curiously at the quail, and when Stiles clapped loudly, she heeded him. "House," he commanded, pointing toward the back door, and the old girl made a chuffing noise and hobbled off. "Sorry about that. I got waylaid by about a dozen other Halinskis." The stoic little face cracked a tiny grin at that and Stiles smiled back, cleaning the dried blood from Alexander's face and neck and arms. "Papa's got your clothes in the house."

 

But at that, Alexander's eyes went wide. "You didn't tell him did you? Dad'll be so angry! He's trying to teach me to control myself! I don't want him to be mad..."

 

As he wiped his cheek clean, Stiles shook his head. "He wasn't angry at all. He might have been a little pleased that his first kid is such a good hunter." He kissed the now clean cheek.

 

"But..."

 

"You're only nine," Stiles said firmly, ruffling the boy's hair. "Nobody expects you to be perfect at this. Your father and I are so proud of you. You're doing exactly what you need to do at your age. Stuff like this is going to happen. Even Papa loses control of his wolf sometimes." Alexander gaped at him, totally bug-eyed, and Stiles nodded. "It's true. I've seen your father lose control many times. That's part of being a werewolf, I think. Sometimes it just takes over."

 

Once his skin was all clean, Alexander and Stiles walked back to the house, holding hands. "I don't like killing things though. The bird was hurt! I wanted to help it!"

 

And this was something Stiles knew very well about his big-hearted son. Once when he was four he had burst into tears when he stepped on a worm. "It's alright, there are other ways you can help the animals. Like you always help Matilda up the stairs when she has trouble." And seriously, the first time he had seen his five-year-old son lift up the fully grown dog, Stiles had almost fainted.

 

"Just 'cause she needed to be carried," he sniffed, rubbing his nose.

 

"Yep. You noticed right away when she needed your help, and you gave it to her. You're good boy. You could kill a million birds and your father and I wouldn't love you any less."

 

"A million?" Alexander asked incredulously.

 

"I mean, sure, that's a bit excessive, but why not? A werewolf's gotta do what a werewolf's gotta do." And Alexander giggled at that, which meant Stiles was definitely winning here.

 

Once they were inside, it was obvious that Derek had gotten the girls into another room so they wouldn't see the bloody t-shirt. And there were the clean clothes, folded on the table next to the couch. "Here you go. If you give me your shirt now, I'll probably be able to get all the blood out." Thank god for cold water and soap.

 

He saw Alexander stiffen out of the corner of his eye after the boy had taken off his shirt and when Stiles turned to follow his gaze, Derek glanced momentarily at him from the doorway to the kitchen before slowly turning his eyes back to Alexander. For all that Stiles loved his boys, he knew very well in his heart of hearts that neither of them were very good at communicating. To be frank, they were pretty terrible at it. That was definitely Derek's uncertain, awkward face. Stiles straightened up and squeezed Alexander's shoulder. "Derek, Xander caught a quail in the garden. Can you remember the first time you caught a bird?"

 

"I was twelve," Derek mumbled, his eyes never leaving Alexander's face. Stiles beamed.

 

"Did you hear that, kid? Big bad alpha dad was three years behind you."

 

And then, tentatively Xander gave a little smile. "Really?"

 

Derek nodded and walked forward, clasping a hand around the back of his neck. "Good job. The girls are hungry." The last part was said to Stiles, obviously thinking his role as a reassuring father had been fulfilled.

 

Stiles rolled his eyes, and oh, hey, maybe that's where Jane learned it from. "Alright, no need to get all mushy," he mumbled sarcastically, and helped pull the new shirt over Alexander's head. "Come on, I guarantee my grilled cheese will taste better than anything you could have caught, alright? I bet you’re hungry."

 

Alexander nodded, ducking his head and scurrying into the kitchen - but not before Stiles spotted his flushed cheeks. Stiles held Derek back for a moment when their son disappeared and lowered his voice so that the little werewolf pitchers with their big ears couldn't overhear him. "You need to talk to him about this later," he mumbled into his alpha's ear. "There's only so much a non-wolfy dad can do to reassure their kids that killing other creatures isn't necessarily bad."

 

Derek huffed, obviously not looking forward to any type of real talk with his son. "I just told him I caught a bird when I was twelve. Isn't that enough?"

 

"Well, not everyone in the world is well versed in the language of Derek as I am. And he's gonna need real words, not grunts, and full sentences please. Tonight. I'll take the girls to my dad’s so you can have the whole house to yourselves, and be all manly with him." And the look that Stiles gave, there really wasn't any room to argue with. And if there was, it was obvious Stiles wouldn’t drop the subject until he got what he wanted anyway.

 

"Remember the last time we were apart?" Derek mumbled, and was he smirking? Yes. Yes he was. And also, wow, hot breath and teeth against his ear when the children were just in the other room.

 

"Just for the night," Stiles said between clenched teeth and Derek cocked an incredulous brow, the dick.

 

"How long did you say it took you to crawl into my side of the bed? Three hours? Four?"

 

Stiles grinned and smooched his alpha on the cheek, making sure it was extra wet. "Fine, we'll be back before bedtime. And besides, this time I'm not pregnant, and we both have adorable kids to cuddle. I'll give you two hours, and I expect you to make Xander feel awesome. The whole evening." They could last an evening. That was practically a trip to the grocery store.

 

“Eww, they’re kissing!” Jane squealed in the kitchen, to which Stiles called back, “Nope! Just me! I’m the kiss monster!” He bared his teeth at Derek and scrunched his brow before hissing and growling and walking into the kitchen with his fingers poised like claws, eliciting shrieks from their three hungry children.

 

After they had lunch, they all helped clean the kitchen to various degrees (Laura basically brought her plastic dishes to the sink), and the three kids played together for a while. And after dinner Stiles got the two girls ready for the trip to Grandpa's house. Xander asked why he wasn't going, and Stiles gave Derek a look, and he was quick to say that they were going to have girl time. Which made Jane laugh and say that Daddy wasn't a girl, and neither was Grandpa.

 

Stiles conceded to the point as they walked out the door, little Laura on his shoulders, and then... Derek and his son were alone. For a moment they both stood silently, staring straight at the door. Then, slowly, they glanced at each other. And Stiles wasn’t there to break the silence. A little bit of panic rose in Derek’s brain. Was he really incapable of communicating with his own child beyond walks in the woods? Not normally. This hadn’t ever been a problem before. It had to be the subject material. No, that couldn’t be it - if there was anything he could talk about, it was wolf instincts.

 

Derek glanced down at him and cleared his throat. "So, Xander, you... well, you know that-"

 

"Yeah Dad, I know." Alexander offered a little grin and grabbed his hand. "I did a full chin up this morning! I wanted to show you! I'm getting strong!" And he looked so proud of himself, pulling his father along to the gym room.

 

Of course, once Stiles was home and the children were put to bed, after baths and brushed teeth and re-scenting snuggles between the four wolves while Stiles showered, the omega heaved an exasperated sigh upon learning that Derek and Alexander hadn’t really talked about anything at all. And there might have been a few little grumbles about how their nine year old son did not need sculpted abs, so if Derek kept encouraging the routine (and, in fact, if Alexander ever made it past one chin up) they were going to have to make a few changes.

 

But all Derek really had to do to quiet him was to lean in close and press his mouth to the hollow of Stiles' throat, planting kiss after kiss until Stiles' speech stuttered and stopped, and his hands moved to clutch wildly at Derek's back, and then -

 

"You think it's so easy to shut me up, all you have to do is paw at me? Fat chance! I have a point to make here!"

 

Well... Derek had never really wanted anything easy.