There's a certain inevitability to the fact that not only did he come back to Beacon Hills after trying his hardest to escape, but that he ended up doing what his dad did. He wasn’t sheriff. That job belonged to Alice who he remembered from when he used to hang around the station. But he was a deputy, signed and sworn. He might have guessed he’d turn out to be a private detective, slightly shady and skirting the edge of the law. He would have rocked a fedora. But it felt right to be a cop. Returning home? That he wasn’t so sure about.
He was blaming Scott for this as soon as he worked out how. Possibly it was the endless stream of emails. More probably it was the guilt Stiles felt at not seeing his god-daughter/niece-in-all-but-name for too long. Skype didn't really cut it. And there was something nice about being back in a place where he knew all the shortcuts before the escaping criminals. He hadn't sold the house after his dad had his heart attack. The last set of tenants had given their notice three weeks before he was offered the new post. And... Stiles kinda missed the old place.
Melissa told him that everyone had missed him but Stiles wasn't sure how to say hi to them after he'd basically left and never looked back. But he was busy with work and Scott and Clara so he'd put the whole Derek and the pack mess out of his mind and settled. Settled down, settled in, settled for a quiet life.
Then he pulled over a speeding black car on a routine traffic sting and it all went to shit because Stiles was exactly that lucky.
The minute the driver tugged down his sunglasses with his index finger and just glared at Stiles, Stiles felt all of sixteen again. It got even worse when his passenger leaned across and looked out of the window and grinned up at him.
“Stiles! You’re here!” Then she was gone and scrambling out of her side. His old teacher – friend, possibly? – hovered beside him with her arms open. “Can I hug you when you’re all on duty? And, uh, stopping us for crime?”
Stiles shook his head and reached out for the hug. “Hey, Ms. Blake.”
“Jennifer, Stiles. You can call me that now, surely.” She gave him another squeeze before stepping back and looking him over. The look strayed beyond friendly pride – just for a moment – and Stiles would have chalked it up to his imagination if she hadn’t matched it with a grin that slid way too close to naughty. “Derek?”
Derek clambered out of the car, his movements as smooth and, yeah, sexy as ever. He was still wearing a leather jacket. And while there were a few wrinkles around his eyes now Stiles was looking as he snapped his sunglasses off and maybe even a few silver hairs at his temples, Derek still looked like half of Stiles’ masturbatory fantasies come to life. “Hey, Stiles.”
“What? No hug?” Stiles hooked his hands in his belt while Derek shoved his in his pockets and looked like there was no chance of any hug, ever. From either of them. Ever.
“Why are you here, Stiles?” Derek still wore the blank expression Stiles had been sure Ms. Blake had trained him out of.
“New job. You like?” Stiles did a slow spin on the spot, showing off his neatly-pressed uniform. Derek’s eyes snapped up to his when he glanced over his shoulder. “Got to take what you can get in this economy.”
Derek glanced over to Ms. Blake. No, Jennifer. Who tilted her eyebrow at him coolly. “You should come to dinner, sometime. Catch up. Tell us how you’ve been.” The invitation, for all its vagueness, sounded genuine and Stiles found himself nodding.
“Now, we have to talk about your speeding.” Stiles tried to look serious as Jennifer lost it, stuck her hands on her knees to hold herself up as she laughed so hard she couldn’t stand. She even snorted. Stiles grinned at her for a moment before turning to Derek and pasted a serious deputy expression on his face. “I’ve got quotas to fill, but people’s driving has really gone to shit since my dad…stopped. So, tell me it was for urgent werewolf business and I can just shoo you off.”
Jennifer let out another wail of laughter and grabbed onto Derek’s shoulder. Stiles shook his head and fixed Derek with another stern look. He could only keep it up for a moment before he gave in to the urge to grin. Derek looked – he had the expression that Stiles used to call “trying to feel things” that was a mixture of exasperation and anger shuttered up under steel control – and ground out, “We were late to the movies.”
“What were you going to see?” The question slipped out before he could properly censor it.
“Whatever was playing,” Jennifer answered, her eyes rolling at Derek. “The air-con went out in the loft and someone didn’t manage to fix it.”
“It is hot, right?” Stiles chewed at his lip until the urge to point at Derek and laugh passed. It was a near run thing.
“Only this one-“ And Jennifer nudged Derek’s shoulder. Stiles watched in fascination as Derek shot a fond look at Jennifer, a soft smile on his face. Suddenly, Stiles was unaccountably jealous – at their closeness, at their sheer ordinariness. They’d made something of a life together and Stiles was rattling around his old house too sad to move into his father’s bedroom. “This one doesn’t feel the heat like I do. So we compromised.”
Stiles looked between them for a long moment. “You could use my house. Until it gets fixed.” Stiles wasn’t sure why he offered, something about amends and being a responsible adult and a gut deep affection and trust he still had for Derek and Jennifer even if he was never going to actually voice it. “I’ve got room. And working, relatively recent air con. And, you know, space.”
Derek turned his full attention to Stiles, opening his eyes wide, really taking him in. “You sure?” he asked, quiet and soft, his voice strangely compassionate. “We didn’t really leave on the best of terms.”
“I went to college, man. And I… grew up, I guess. A bit anyway.” Stiles couldn’t look away, Derek’s eyes pinning him in place. “I kinda get you a little more. Where you were at. What you were saying.” Stiles shrugged, feeling the uniform shirt pull tight across his shoulders.
“What about Scott?” Derek took his hands out of his pockets and let them hang by his side. “Won’t he mind?”
“You can help me babysit. That’s revenge enough.” Stiles grinned, wryly. Clara made him regret everything he’d ever done as a kid that might have been construed as mischief because she was returning it, like, a thousand times.
“Yes.” Jennifer shot Derek a silencing glare. “To everything. I’ll even drive so there’s no more speeding, Mr. Deputy Stiles.”
Stiles tapped the woven name badge he’d spent entirely too long sewing onto his uniforms, just like he remembered his dad doing. “Deputy Stilinski, ma’am. I go by my Sunday name these days.”
“I thought your name was G-“ That was as far as Derek got before Jennifer slapped her hand over his mouth and silenced him.
“Thank you, Deputy Stilinski. That’s what Derek is saying.” Jennifer even sounded apologetic for all she was sporting her most disreputable grin. Stiles found himself liking this version of his old English teacher. He’d seen glimpses of it in class, more when she’d been around Derek back when he was still a teenager. But he could see himself spending time with her, as an adult, he supposed. And that set off some pretty inappropriate thoughts about what other adult things he could be doing and Stiles shut down that train of thought before it even got started.
Instead, Stiles laughed at her before fishing his keys out of his pocket and twisting his front door key off the ring. “There’s a spare set in the kitchen drawer beside the refrigerator. But this will get you in the front door. No need to break in through my window.”
Derek took the key, fingers brushing against Stiles’ for a moment. “And miss out that nostalgic moment?”
“You’re probably too old to make it up to the top of the porch anyway.” Stiles quite enjoyed baiting Derek. Always had. Looked like he always would. Especially when Derek sneered at him, flashing a little fang and Jennifer just laughed at him along with Stiles.
He waved them off and grabbed the speed gun from the front seat of his assigned cruiser. He did have a quota to make, another three hours on this road and then a slow patrol of the town before his shift was over. Unless anything happened and, nowadays at least, the possibility of that was near zero.
Stiles tried desperately not to over-analyze his off-the-cuff offer to Derek and Jennifer. And he definitely tried to steer his brain away from any naked type thoughts about them. It had been ages since he’d gotten laid. That was all. He wrote a half-dozen tickets and waved quite happily at kids who decided to wave at his cruiser like he remembered kids doing to his dad’s cruiser back when he’d snuck a ride. There was a little part of him that ached. He’d used to whine about his dad being the Sheriff, complain that he could never buy weed or get invited to any parties. Grudgingly he’d come to accept that was ninety percent his own unpopularity.
One thing he hadn’t counted on was the way his stomach tightened when he pushed open the door to hear the sounds of people in his kitchen, listening to the radio and talking and cooking. Maybe he’d made a mistake not selling the house, moving back in. It had seemed like the most economical thing to do – he’d only be using the rental income to rent elsewhere anyway. But the memories of his dad and even his mom made them seem even more permanently gone.
“Hi, honey, I’m home!” he shouted, to shake away the memories. They’d never been that kind of ‘Leave It To Beaver’ household, so he was able to lay the sarcasm on thick.
Derek appeared in the hallway. “How was your day, honeybun?” he deadpanned.
“Pulled over the worst driver in the history of Beacon Hills. Think you know him.” Stiles unfastened his gun, kicked off his shoes and popped another button on his shirt. “What? No kiss?”
Derek startled at that, momentarily, before settling back into his more impassive demeanor. “You hungry?”
“I could eat. Just let me grab a quick shower? It’s hot out.” Stiles headed for his dad’s – for his – office to stick his gun in the safe. “You find everything okay?”
“It’s been a while but I remember the house.” Derek ran his hand over the wood surround of the doorway. “Like visiting with an old friend.” He raised his eyebrow at Stiles and then stalked off, to terrorize some lettuce or something. Stiles shut his mouth. Derek was almost being sentimental.
“So, what’s been going on with you guys?” Stiles had imparted a very brief history of his college career and police academy training as prompted after he’d rushed through his shower and flung on an old, worn t-shirt and trotted barefoot to the kitchen. Someone had set the table and Stiles felt weird sitting between Derek and Jennifer. Normally he ate on the sofa in front of the TV but it was nice to sit and shovel down pasta at the table instead for all the oddity of Derek Hale and his ex-teacher being his company.
“Werewolf or other stuff?” Jennifer asked, forking some salad into her mouth. Derek very pointedly cut his up before sticking it in his mouth. Jennifer didn’t care, chewing noisily. Stiles just chugged some water and shrugged. “Because Beacon Hills High is still as strange as ever. Even without the likes of you and Isaac and Scott. And Lydia.” Jennifer started telling him about some of the classes she’d taught last semester, talking about teachers who’d retired (most of them) and stuff like that. Stiles had heard some of it from Scott, but it was fun listening to Jennifer. She’d always had a knack for storytelling.
“And werewolf stuff?” Stiles kicked at the silent Derek beside him, before half-waiting for his head to be slammed into his plate or something. Derek just raised an eyebrow.
“Cora is getting married. I think she’ll invite you. She’s got this guest list that’s a mile long.” Derek shrugged. “But she wants this whole huge white traditional thing.”
“That’s your werewolf news? No epic battles with creepy villains? No fucking – what was it? – ‘I’m the Alpha now’ bullshit going on?” Stiles crowed with laughter as Derek shot him a flat look from under his eyelashes. “No little innocent bunny rabbits being threatened?”
“Nope.” Derek shoved some pasta in his mouth. “Although, now you’re back…”
Stiles actually chortled at that all through the rest of dinner. And the clean up. And the weirdness that was squabbling over what movie to put on. Moving to the living room brought with it a whole new set of issues. Obviously Derek and Jennifer took the sofa, where he’d normally sit. He didn’t want to settle in the recliner and he couldn’t see the TV from the other chair which was basically in the window to catch the best light. In the end, Stiles stole a cushion and settled on the floor, his back against the sofa and pressed play.
They would watch the movie, toss back and forward a few comments, and Stiles would have that sense he was a kid again, not that he’d ever exactly sat and watched a movie with Derek back then. He was more likely to have stitched up some insane wound. Pressed burning wolfsbane into an open wound. If Derek was bleeding on the sofa, it would be more like the old days. Or if Scott and Isaac were lounging around, perhaps. Danny, even, after the shitstorm with the Alpha Pack. Then Stiles would make some comment about his job, or Derek would mutter about the wedding cake tasting and they were adults again, too much time passed between them forcing the conversation back into silence.
Then Stiles fell asleep.
He didn’t mean to but he’d gone on shift at seven, and he was full of food, and the movie was dull and, well, basically he was out of excuses that didn’t involve the fact Derek’s leg was comfortable. Really comfortable.
He woke slowly, hazily, to the soft voices above him.
“I could carry him?” Derek sounded dubious. “He might not-“
“He’s so worn out, though.” Jennifer’s hand skated over his hair. “It’d be cruel to move him.”
“He’s not a kid. He’s… Stiles.” Derek’s voice didn’t contain any mockery, just a gentle acceptance and Stiles felt another hand brushing through his hair. “He’s waking up now anyway.”
Stiles blinked his eyes open and pushed himself up. “I’m a shitty host,” he said, as much to cover the awkwardness as anything. “Let me get you towels and show you where the bathroom is. Although you kinda already know that. Um. Upstairs.” He half tripped as he led them up the stairs, Jennifer’s eyes dancing at his idiocy and Derek looking half embarrassed for him. He knew that feeling well.
The guest room was still full of boxes from his move, stuff he had honestly just been too lazy to find a place for. He wasn’t about to make them use his tiny bed. So he pushed the door to his father’s room open and waited.
The room wasn’t a shrine to him, or anything. It wasn’t creepy. Stiles, along with Scott and Melissa, had packed up the clothes for Goodwill, thrown out years’ worth of bank statements and pay slips and sorted a lot of the accumulated junk that his dad seemed to have hoarded. Stiles had carefully made the bed and just left the room after that, closets mostly empty, dressing table bare. It still felt as if his dad would come out of the half-bath en-suite and ask him what he was up to.
“There’s-“ He had to cough to clear the dust from his throat. “There’s towels in the hall closet. And you can use the shower in there or the bath in the hall or whatever. I’ve got another day shift to go before the weekend so I’ll be out around half-six but you guys know where everything is and I’ll just-“ Stiles shuffled out of the doorway, trying to maneuver around his guests. “Not that you need to go to bed. I’m just, you know, sleepy and stuff.”
It was Derek who stopped him with a hand on his shoulder which slid up to just lie at the back of Stiles’ neck. For a second, Stiles was sure Derek was going to do something else. Something his reverted to teenage brain interpreted as pulling into a kiss or a hug or some kind of physical closeness. The moment hung heavy between them all until Jennifer came to give Stiles another quick hug, one arm around Stiles and the other around Derek’s waist. It was…nice. Intimate. Something Stiles could get used to, weirdly.
He coughed again, and they dropped their arms and that was that. He’d done his duty. Go him. “And I’m going to just-“
Derek was in the kitchen, eyes still heavy with sleep, pajamas loose around his hips and shirt nowhere to be seen, when Stiles came down in his uniform the next morning. It sent a pulse of something like want or need through Stiles. He accepted the offered mug of coffee and remembered exactly how long it had been since he’d had someone be there in the kitchen when he got up to make him coffee.
It made him ache how much he wanted this kind of domesticity. Maybe he should look into getting a roommate, help split the utilities. He knew he liked his space but he needed to have more human contact outside of Scott, Melissa, Clara and the criminal element of Beacon Hills. Or maybe it was just something about Derek, here and now, who had formed a good part of Stiles’ bisexual awakening (he tried not to think about the Jackson hate-sex thing he’d had going on for a while if he could help it) and the fact that Stiles was disgusted by how good he still looked.
Derek just leaned against the counter and blearily slurped at his mug. Stiles checked the time, swore softly, and leaned over Derek to grab his travel mug and a couple of cereal bars. He’d get some breakfast at the station but it would be of the deep fried variety and he was trying not to tempt his genetic fate. Pouring the coffee into the mug took seconds and he was heading to the door when Derek snagged his arm and pulled him close. Stiles was too startled to even attempt to fight against werewolf strength as Derek drew him into a loose embrace against – again, Stiles was really aware of this – his bare chest and pressed a rough, stubbly kiss against his temple.
Stiles was really fucking ready to blame this on Derek’s half-awake state and him thinking he was Jennifer or just anything when Derek had to blow all that out of the water. “Have a good day at work, Stiles.”
Yup. He’d said Stiles’ name. Maybe Stiles was the one still asleep. He pinched himself as he stumbled along the hallway to the office, strapped on his gun and came out of the room to find Derek standing there, two mugs in one hand and Stiles’ travel mug and cereal bars in the other.
“What?” Stiles couldn’t help forcing it out. It was basically all he could say as he took the mug and stuffed the bars in his pocket. “What was that?”
Derek looked guilty, the red flush on his cheeks again. “Can we talk about it later? Dinner tonight?”
“Sure.” Stiles grabbed his keys, suddenly eager to be away. He knew what ‘we should talk about it’ meant. It meant he was getting screwed and not in the pleasant fun way either.
Of course, any vague plans that Stiles might have had to work out what the hell Beacon Hills was going to throw at him now were basically thrown out of the plane into the Marianas Trench by news of a break in at the high school. He spent a lot of time standing in hallways he used to know as well as the back of his hand and taking statements from custodians (“Just some kids playing a prank”) to the Coach (yeah, Finstock was basically the same) and the few kids who’d discovered the smashed window and the mess of books and papers inside the principal’s office. Which Stiles also knew pretty well.
And he had a bad feeling about all this.
There was no evidence of super-werewolf powers, however, as there were no handy claw marks or evidence of someone shedding all over the carpet. Stiles knew because he’d looked really closely. The principal told Sheriff Alice that he couldn’t see if anything had been taken but Stiles knew something had. It was police instinct or his supernatural spidey senses or something but he knew that there had been a purpose here. It wasn’t just kids pranking while bored during the summer break.
He took a set of the crime scene photos home, thinking he’d look over them with a beer and take-out when he remembered his house guests. Stiles was already three hours late when he opened the door and too bone-weary to really want to have the sort of conversation he thought he might be having. He wondered if he could postpone telling Jennifer that her boyfriend was a cheating bastard until the morning.
Derek and Jennifer were curled up on the sofa when he came in, watching something mindless. They looked at home and Stiles knew Derek would pick up on the stutter of his heart.
But it was Jennifer who unfurled herself from the sofa and came over to him as he was undoing his gun. “Hey, Stiles. We read what happened.”
“It’s probably nothing,” Stiles lied. Derek would get that too. “Just a long day.”
He expected Jennifer to keep her distance but she just kept coming. Then maybe he expected a hug – she seemed to like those and Stiles did too so that was cool – but Jennifer just kept coming closer and pressed a dry kiss to his cheek, standing on her tiptoes to reach him. Stiles felt he’d missed a step somewhere.
“If Derek gets to, so do I,” she said, patting him on his shoulder. “Now put that away and come and eat.”
Stiles took a long moment to get moving.
The ringing of his cell woke him suddenly out of a deep and apparently dreamless sleep. In fact, Stiles would swear he hadn’t moved since collapsing into his bed the night before. He could hear movement in his dad’s room but he ignored that as he fumbled for the loud, buzzing nuisance.
It was Scott.
“You’ve got to help me,” he begged. “Mom got called in to work and Chris was going to take Clara but he’s out of town and I can’t take another day off.”
“Wait.” Stiles scrubbed his hand over his face, mouth twisting wryly as he remembered his dad doing that when faced with some of Stiles’ more intrepid adventures too early in the morning. “You need me to look after Clara?”
“Can you?” Scott sounded pretty desperate and Stiles could just imagine the serious puppy dog eyes.
Stiles sighed. “Sure. Give me twenty minutes?”
“It’s your day off, right?” Stiles could make out Clara on the other end of the phone. “You’re not on nights or anything? Cause I could probably ask Isaac.”
“Just bring her over. I’m going to shower so I don’t offend her nose or anything.” Stiles let Scott laugh at that before he cut him off. It was only when he was in the shower that he realized that he should possibly have alerted Scott to the fact Derek and Jennifer were in the house.
Equally, he should possibly warn them about Hurricane Clara.
He hovered in the hallway, towel clutched around his waist when the door to his dad’s room opened to reveal Jennifer. She was wearing pajamas – little cut off cotton shorts revealing long, tanned legs and a white wife beater so thin that Stiles could see the dark outline of her nipples. She had her hair up in a ponytail, utterly casual and half-awake. And suddenly Stiles was aware of how little clothing both of them were wearing.
Jennifer smirked at him as if she realized what he was thinking. Which was probably true judging by the slow meander of her eyes down Stiles’ chest to the cut of his hips where the towel was threatening to descend. His cock was also mildly on board with the idea even if his brain was telling him all the ways Derek would eviscerate him if Stiles came on to his girlfriend.
He’d been ready for the awkward, weird conversation that was going to happen over dinner except for the fact that Derek had received a phone call as they’d sat down to eat, something to do with a pack territory thing that Stiles had ignored. Jennifer refused to talk without Derek there, asking Stiles about his day, asking if her classroom was going to be a mess when she went in on Friday for a planning day. Then she told him all about her plans for her planning day and the school admin and these ideas she had about what they could do to revive the defunct school newspaper and Stiles had fallen asleep on the sofa beside her before Derek had come back.
“We’re going to have another visitor for today,” Stiles blurted out, training his eyes on Jennifer’s collarbone. “Scott’s kid. She’s…fun.”
Jennifer broke out of her stretch. “You want help with her?”
“She’s an ‘all hands to battle stations’ kinda kid.” Stiles winced. “It’s probably karma.”
Jennifer let out a throaty laugh, rough with sleep still. “Lemme in the shower. Derek’s in the en-suite and he takes forever.”
“Things I did not know,” Stiles muttered, as he headed into his room to grab some clothes. As he turned to close the door, he noticed Jennifer staring at his back, or, more precisely, his ass. She didn’t look at all repentant when he noticed her noticing. Instead she threw him another one of those smirks and headed in to strip off all her clothes and get wet and naked and soapy and, shit, Stiles just didn’t know what to think.
Maybe he should sign up to one of those dating websites like Zuze had suggested last year.
The McCalls didn’t bother with doorbells when it came to Stiles’ home so he wasn’t shocked when the door was flung open with a bang and a small, dark haired hellion pounded through the house yelling his name. He froze in place, trying to be as silent as possible as the feet came nearer, sounding like a herd of wildebeest more than a single solitary child.
“I’ve found you!” Stiles knelt to accept the hugs and kisses offered to him by Clara. He was still on his knees when Scott trailed in, half a doughnut in his mouth and his hands full of bags.
“Hey man.” The greeting was mangled by the tasty treat and the crumbs Scott sprayed weren’t all that attractive either. But Stiles knew his friend well enough to understand him. Scott dumped Clara’s things on the kitchen table, stuck a box containing the rest of the doughnuts on the counter and waved. He was just about out of the back door when he paused, swiveled round and fixed Stiles with a glare. “It smells like Derek in here.”
“Yeah. Well.” Stiles stood up, steering Clara to the table and helping her up into a seat. “Derek and Jennifer are staying here while the air con is out at their place.”
Scott fixed Stiles with a dark stare, one he had to have learned from his mother. “Stiles? Really?”
“I offered.” Stiles shrugged. “I thought we were over the whole ‘he’s not my Alpha’ thing. Like, years ago.”
Scott nodded as Stiles handed over a peeled orange to Clara and left her to play with her food while he started moving the bags to the floor. They would probably need every toy in them to keep Clara entertained. “Yeah. He’s just, you know, still Derek.”
“And he’s one of the good guys, remember? And you’ve got ten minutes to make it to the clinic which is just enough time so don’t get caught by my colleagues. There’s quotas, remember.” Scott hesitated in the doorway for another long moment before nodding emphatically and heading off. Clara caught Stiles’ eyes and they silently started counting together. They got to five before the door opened again.
“Bye Clara. Be good, sweetie!” Scott blew a kiss at his daughter before slamming the door again. Stiles and Clara started giggling. Stiles started the coffee and listened to Clara’s chatter while he still had the energy. They’d done this often enough that Clara waited until Stiles had swallowed down a couple of the doughnuts and half a cup of sweet, sweet coffee before she started demanding a plan for their day together.
The discussion about why the park was acceptable but the zoo probably wasn’t ground to a halt as Derek wandered into the kitchen and headed straight for the coffee. He was dressed, which was an improvement (okay, not an improvement. Derek should never wear clothes. It was like one of those laws of nature things) on yesterday morning but he didn’t seem much more awake than he did yesterday.
He was awake enough to snag a doughnut.
Clara was staring at him, her mouth wide open. The look Derek shot her wasn’t too far from a mirror of her confusion.
“You’re a werewolf like Daddy,” Clara said, after drawing in a huge breath.
“Seriously? You’ve never met Derek?” Stiles looked between them and didn’t miss the look of pain that flitted across Derek’s face. “What did Scott do?”
“I stayed away when he asked.” Derek shrugged. “It was before she left.”
“Okay. Well. Derek, this is Clara. And Clara, this is Derek. He’s an Alpha too, like your dad. He’s staying with me while his house gets fixed.” Stiles laughed at the way Derek returned Clara’s wave. Then Clara was scrambling out of her seat and grabbing onto Derek’s leg and not letting go. Stiles had been the victim of Clara attachment a few times. She wasn’t quite a fully-fledged werewolf yet but she had some of the strength already.
“Derek – let me…” Stiles paused in the middle of offering to extricate Derek from Clara’s grip as Derek very slowly and carefully reached down and offered Clara a lift up. She all but jumped into his arms.
Clara was definitely the one in charge, ordering Derek to carry her through the house so she could explain to Derek what she did – coloring in, napping, cooking Stiles dinner, tea party. She looked at Derek rather speculatively during her rendition and Stiles had a sudden image of Derek, stubble and all, sitting down to share pretend cakes and drink from empty plastic cups with the little vixen. She was sharing her plans to go to the zoo when Jennifer came to join him at the table, where Stiles had settled with his coffee. “Zoo? I love the zoo.”
“Park.” Stiles said it louder to emphasize his point. “We can go to the park.”
Jennifer leaned against him. “But it’s been years since I’ve been to the zoo.” She smiled, soft and kind, before placing a kiss on Stiles’ cheek. He was half tempted to ask her to stop but it was also kinda nice. He glanced in panic at Derek who was nodding at them over Clara’s head, eyes dark. Stiles had a moment of feeling like one of those little rabbits he used to tease Scott about eating. He felt like prey.
In his panic, the words just tumbled out of his mouth. “Zoo. Okay. We have three of us. We can totally do this.”
Derek took the middle seat on the sofa when they got home, sun beaten and exhausted. Or, at least Stiles and Jennifer were, legs aching from walking around and around the baking hot zoo. Most of the animals had lain in the shade (sensibly) and Clara had spent a lot of time poking her fingers through bars and flitting from place to place. Derek was her favorite perch when she needed someone to carry her, but Stiles and Jennifer had done their part too.
Clara also talked non-stop, even when she was drinking and eating.
“Okay. It’s no longer cute.” Jennifer waved her hand at where Clara was arranging her new soft toy animals into a tea party configuration. Stiles reached his arm along the back of the sofa and patted what he could reach of her shoulder. “Are you sure she’s Scott’s and not yours?”
“I’m blameless,” Stiles protested. He also hurt. His feet, his back – shit, he was definitely getting old.
“It’s because she’s a werewolf.” Derek was the least affected of the three of them, but even he showed signs of wear and tear around the edges. He was also sporting a tiny painted butterfly over one exquisite cheekbone. Clara had insisted that they have matching face paintings, for all her butterfly was larger. They were both pink and purple. “And she’s definitely Scott’s kid.”
Clara was frowning at the table and the animals. She couldn’t get them to sit right or arranged evenly. She looked close to tears – something Stiles would have expected hours ago. But Derek waylaid the brewing tantrum by sliding to the floor in front of the yellow plastic table Stiles had picked up at Goodwill and helping the animals balance against the edge. Clara beamed at him.
On the sofa, Jennifer tipped sideways until her head was pillowed in Stiles’ lap. She let out a soft groan. “I love your sofa. So comfortable.” She muttered the words into Stiles’ pants as she curled up and apparently dropped off to sleep. Stiles didn’t want to wake her so he relaxed back against the cushions and just watched as Derek was gifted with the tea time tiara and made to stick his little finger out. Stiles knew his pain.
It was nice, lying here, at the end of the day, a beer in his hand and company around him. He felt he imposed on Scott and Melissa a lot and there was the occasional night out with the other deputies, but there was something about those long lonely evenings when he had only himself and the TV for companionship.
Derek caught his eye, smiled at him again with that slow, knowing smirk, before turning back to Clara’s demands and playing along with her chatter and her imagination.
Scott came in quietly but Stiles was still awake, if only just. Derek and Clara had served up a pizza salad for dinner – pizza base, tomato sauce and a salad on top. Stiles wasn’t sure about the lack of meat but he didn’t have to cook or clean so he wasn’t complaining too much – and then they’d all settled on the sofa for some quality Disney time. Clara had arranged it so Derek was in the middle again and then they’d all sort of used him as a giant pillow.
Stiles never wanted to see the judgmental look in Scott’s eyes ever again.
“Hey, dude. Your kid is actually asleep.” Stiles pointed to where Clara was sprawled out, a little bit of her holding on to all three of them.
“She does that. At home, usually.” Scott’s frown softened. “She must feel safe around them. Around Derek.”
“Well, duh.” Stiles kept his voice soft but he rolled his eyes hard. Scott grinned at him. “Now she’s all yours.”
“Yeah. Mom’s got her tomorrow.” Scott started to extricate the small figure from the sofa. “You okay?”
Stiles nodded, feeling Derek stir beside him. He shooed Scott off before pushing himself out of the warm, comfortable spot he’d ended up in. He locked the door behind Scott and did his slow circuit of the ground floor, checking windows. That had always been his dad’s job – Stiles’ if he was out on night shift – and the familiar routine settled the nerves in his stomach.
Derek and Jennifer were awake when he got back to the living room.
“Nightcap?” he offered.
“Got any whiskey?” Jennifer stretched her arms out above her head. “Or some wine.”
“I think there’s whiskey.” Stiles knew there was whiskey. He had a fifth stashed in the office but there was a dusty bottle of his dad’s still in the side cabinet. Stiles fetched that and three of his mom’s crystal tumblers. It seemed right. He also grabbed ice from the freezer while he was up.
“So,” Stiles started and then stopped. He didn’t really even know what question he wanted to ask. He also didn’t know where to sit. The chair was too far away and he wanted to face both of them. In the end, he settled on the coffee table, hands dangling between his knees, cradling his glass.
Jennifer took a sip of her drink before pressing the glass to her neck. She looked at Derek who was more unsure. Stiles knew he was unsure only because his face took on that blank stillness he knew so well from the days Derek was pretending to be all in control.
“Okay. Do you remember Derek and I breaking up in your Senior year?” Jennifer began. Stiles nodded. Everyone remembered that. Derek had taken up residence in the old Hale house again for three weeks and then thrown himself in front of a bullet intended for Scott. A wolfsbane bullet. He’d nearly died. “There were more reasons than just me being fed up with werewolf shit.”
Derek huffed out a laugh when Stiles looked at him curiously. The tips of his ears were pink and the flush started spreading down across his cheekbones. “It’s hard to admit to your girlfriend that you’ve also been thinking about the seventeen year old son of the Sheriff.”
“I was prime meat back then. And still, you know, sadly virginal.” Stiles tilted his whiskey in an ironic toast. “You could totally have helped with that.”
“You were seventeen.” Derek pressed back into the sofa, looking like he wanted to disappear into the cushions. “It was complicated.”
“So that was then.” Stiles swallowed his drink. “And you were my-“
“Teacher. Which is a whole world of no.” Jennifer grinned at him. “That was one of the complications.”
Stiles’ heart lurched as he took in another breath. “What about now?”
“Well, you grew up, Stilinski.” Jennifer shifted until she was within easy touching distance of Stiles. “We’ve talked about you. Before. In bed.”
To anyone else, that might be too much information but Stiles felt a slow curl of heat unfurl deep in his belly. “Yeah?” His voice was raw and probably revealing just a little bit too much of the hope he could feel. “Like a one-time thing?”
Derek shifted closer, careful to let Stiles see his every movement. “If you want.”
“There’s more on the table?” Stiles swirled the remains of the whiskey. “If I want?”
Derek looked between the two of them. In the end it was Jennifer who took pity on him. “Stiles, I’m not saying that this has to become more than it is – friends having benefits. But Derek doesn’t really do casual. He wouldn’t – and I wouldn’t – be doing this with anyone else. It’s you, Stiles. You’re…special.”
“Normally people say that when I’ve done something ridiculously stupid.” Stiles finished off his drink. “Not because they want to fuck me. Or, you know. Whatever.” Stiles winced at himself but he didn’t miss the way Derek’s eyes flashed red quickly before returning to his usual intense green-blue. Jennifer just laid her hand on his leg.
Stiles let out an enormous yawn. That broke whatever tension was building and everyone let out a laugh. “Can I think about it? Or is this like a take me now, lose us forever kinda deal?”
“Clara wipe you out?” Derek looked unsympathetic but he reached forward and cupped the back of Stiles’ neck with a gentle hand. “You didn’t even get to wear the tea party tiara.”
Stiles started to reply before Derek was suddenly much closer, his head tilted and his mouth closing over Stiles’ softly, but with intent. Stiles hesitated for a breath before pushing back, parting his lips slightly, just enough to say yes and more and please. He let out a soft groan as Derek pulled back but didn’t object too much because Derek’s mouth was almost instantly replaced by Jennifer’s. Her lips were softer, less firm somehow, but just as determined to drive him insane.
He was panting when they both pulled back to give each other a deep kiss. It was hot to watch and Stiles felt his half hard cock give a hopeful twitch.
“Okay. Now I gotta go to bed.” He pushed himself up. “I’m off tomorrow and there’s no Clara and I should get groceries and-“
Derek got to his feet and tugged Jennifer up too. “Bed sounds good.”
“What I meant was- You guys can just stay here and watch a movie or whatever.” Images of them making out some more also flew through Stiles’ brain. It was something else his imagination was well on board with. Jennifer just caught his hand in her free one and started pulling him up towards the stairs.
“Bed time,” Derek said, firmly. There might even have been a little alpha in his voice. “After I wash off this face paint.”
Stiles found it easier to laugh this time.
He woke, suddenly, in the middle of the night. He wasn’t sure why he woke up, or what woke him. He didn’t think he’d been dreaming or anything. But he was awake and driven to sit up in bed. In fact, he wanted to get out of the bed he was pretty fed up with sleeping in and do something. He settled for stumbling through to the bathroom and peeing.
He still felt restless.
Stiles hovered in the hallway. He could go get a drink of water. Maybe he should catch up on something he’d TiVoed. He hesitated, his hand on his door, ready to push it open, when he heard a small noise, a cut-off moan, from the bedroom Jennifer and Derek were in. Suddenly everything seemed to be clear to Stiles.
He pushed the door open slowly. Derek was laid out on the bed and Jennifer was sliding his loose, soft pajama pants down. His dick was already hard, stiff against the sharp cut of his groin. Jennifer’s hair was loose, hiding her face. Her top was missing too, discarded off the side of the bed, and Stiles could make out the curve of her breasts in the glow of light through the shades from the street lights. It made everything dark and a little golden and made them look like statues, too perfect, too smooth to be real.
Derek was watching him and he caught Jennifer’s hand to make her look round, see Stiles too. Stiles was aware of the fact he was only in his boxers and he knew that they wouldn’t be hiding the way his cock was hardening.
“Made a decision?” Derek could have been mocking him, but it actually sounded like a proper grown-up question. “You sure?”
Stiles swallowed and nodded. He had made this decision. He’d possibly made this decision the very moment he invited Jennifer and Derek to stay in his house. He tripped as he made his way to the bed, clumsy with something beyond his usual ill-fitting skin. Jennifer knelt up and swung herself off Derek as Stiles came to a halt. He had no idea how this was going to work. Should he take off his boxers? Was that presumptuous? Who used the word presumptuous nowadays anyway?
“Lie down, Stiles.” Jennifer pointed to the bed and Derek shuffled over to leave a space for Stiles right in the middle. He could do that. The sheets were warm from their bodies and it smelled like them too, something a little sweaty and sour and sweet all at the same time. Stiles was vaguely aware of Jennifer leaving the room but Derek was kissing him and they were mostly naked and that was all Stiles cared about – hands following lips after a moment’s hesitation – until Jennifer settled on the other side of him and then he was being kissed by her while Derek moved on to leave a dark mark on his neck. How did Stiles know Derek was leaving a mark? Well, he bruised easy and Derek wasn’t soft and gentle anymore.
“What do you want, Stiles?” Derek growled in his ear as his fingers snuck below the waistband of Stiles’ boxers and wrapped around his cock. Jennifer’s hand stroked over Derek’s, Stiles’ exposed flesh, before dropping down to cup his balls. “Who do you want?”
“Do you want us both?” Jennifer’s eyes were dark when she pulled back, intent. Derek’s grip on Stiles’ tightened, forcing Stiles to buck back against Derek’s very interested cock and suddenly it seemed like an amazing idea. Hotter than porn, that was sure. No one here was faking anything. Plus there was the whole strange affection thing he had going on as well.
This wasn’t going to be casual for him either.
“I can’t…” Stiles couldn’t speak as Jennifer lowered herself down to suck a matching mark to Derek’s on the other side of Stiles’ neck. “Everything.”
Jennifer broke off to grin at him. “You happy for me to take charge?” Stiles nodded and Derek just pressed against his side even firmer. He had a feeling that he was going to enjoy Jennifer being in charge. Even if it brought back inappropriate school teacher thoughts. “Derek’s going to let you fuck his face while I open you up and then you’re going to fuck me while Derek fucks you and – now this is important – you’re not allowed to come until then.”
Stiles didn’t even need to think about it before he was being manhandled to his knees by Derek - who seem just as on board as Stiles was – with Stiles holding on to the headboard and Derek opening his mouth wide and swallowing him down, licking and sucking and basically doing everything in his power to make Stiles come. That was before he felt Jennifer’s fingers, slick now, pressing at his hole. He couldn’t help but buck into Derek’s mouth, feeling the groan Derek let out all the way to the soles of his feet.
It took all of Stiles’ self-control not to come. He was suddenly really glad he wasn’t seventeen and going off like a geyser any more. Not that this would ever have happened back then. He bent his head down until it hung between his hands, forehead grounded on his arms. Jennifer wasn’t messing around – there were two fingers driving into him, scissoring and twisting and he was rocking back into that as much as he was sliding his cock further and further down Derek’s throat. It all made him shiver.
Just when Stiles thought he couldn’t take anymore and was starting to feel the crackle that always presaged his orgasms, Jennifer pulled out, tapped Stiles’ ass and, when he turned to see her, caught his mouth in a messy kiss. Stiles shifted with the kiss, letting his cock slide out of Derek’s lips, then tasting himself as Derek took over, Jennifer moving off the bed to grab two small foil squares.
Derek looked disappointed but Stiles was a little glad. “I got tested but, uh, it was a while ago.”
Derek kissed him quickly, Jennifer mouthing against his shoulder for a moment. “We can- You can get tested. Together. If-“
“Yeah. Condoms now. For now.” Stiles didn’t really want to have this kind of conversation when all his brain was chanting was nakednakednaked. He had no idea how Derek was even managing to maintain conversation with how hard his cock was. Stiles ran his hand up it, just to feel. He loved the feel of a cock, blood warm and soft but hard all at the same time. The idea of it inside him sent another shiver through him. He wanted this.
Derek rolled Stiles’ condom on first, before Stiles returned the favor, hand shaking. Lying on the bed, Jennifer had her hand between her legs as she watched them, eyes flickering shut and then forcing themselves open so as not to miss moment. Stiles knew how she felt.
“Ready?” Derek ran his hand over Stiles’ hair, tangling his fingers in it for a moment before pulling free. Stiles kissed him, quick, not trusting himself, before he knelt in between Jennifer’s legs and couldn’t resist dropping a kiss to one of her breasts. He liked boobs – they were more awesome because he, you know, didn’t have them – and he felt kinda amazing about the way she arched into his touch. He was too much of a gentleman to ignore the way she was tugging at his hips though. Derek’s hand guided him in and Jennifer held him close while Derek pushed into him.
It was almost too much for a moment, utterly surrounded by warmth and skin and breath that didn’t belong to him. Stiles had never experienced anything like it and he knew he was going to be addicted, instantly. One hit and he was always going to be coming back for more. He grabbed tight to Jennifer’s hand, pressed it back to the bed beside her head as Derek bottomed out, his, thankfully, blunt teeth pressing into Stiles’ shoulder. Stiles was shaking so hard he was threatening to blow apart. At least that’s what it felt like.
Then Derek began to move.
He rolled his hips, slow at first, forcing Stiles to move with him, until they’d built up a steady rhythm. Stiles could only focus on his hold on Jennifer, the slight edge of pain that was sliding rapidly into something that Stiles relished, loved. The sort of thing that made him beg for more and harder and faster. He felt Jennifer shuddering under him and knew he couldn’t hold off much longer.
“I’m going to-“ He felt it polite, a warning. But Derek seemed to take it a challenge, shifting behind him until his cock was hitting exactly where Stiles needed it. His orgasm was a freight train, a screech of lights and noise in the darkness. He was still shaking when Derek pulled out but incapable of doing more than mouthing against Jennifer’s throat and just feeling Derek stripping his cock, hard and rough. The warm spatter of come against his ass was almost as gratifying as the low, loud groan of relief Derek let out.
The sheets were sticky, kinda damp, as they all collapsed on them, Stiles in the middle once more. He didn’t want to move, not even when Derek’s hand started finger-painting with the drying come on his back and Jennifer kept stroking her hand over Stiles’ cheek, chasing her touch with her nose, then her lips. It was the middle of the night and he was tired and he’d just come his brains out and he knew Derek was moving around, cleaning him up, moving him around.
“Did we break him?” Jennifer asked, leaning up for a kiss from Derek before pressing against Stiles again.
Derek tugged the sheets up. “He’ll recover. Fast.” Stiles felt a smile being pressed into his back, before Derek arranged himself for sleep, arm across both his waist and Jennifer’s. “He always does.”
Stiles had a sense he was supposed to take umbrage at that, but he was warm and comfortable and sleepy and spent.
The doorbell ringing woke him out of the pile of limbs he was enfolded in. Stiles fought his way free of the sheet, the arms trying to hold him back, and grabbed his boxers as he stumbled out of the bedroom towards the piercing sound.
He was not impressed to see Scott and Clara when he located the locks.
“Really?” Stiles leaned against the doorframe and rubbed his hand over his face to try and wake himself up. “I thought your mom was on duty today?”
“She got called in to cover and you’re off and you have Derek and Jennifer to help and-“ Scott was already pushing Clara’s gear into Stiles’ hallway when he straightened up, eyes very, very wide. “They seem to have helped you a lot. You didn’t answer your phone.”
“Yeah, I left it in my room last night.” Stiles wondered if the slightly smug grin on his face was overkill but he reckoned Scott deserved it. This was only phase one of his revenge. “Before I got well and truly-“ He noticed Clara watching him with big eyes. “Tickled. Royally tickled.”
“Is Derek still here?” Clara asked. “You smell like him.”
“From the tickling.” Scott said, his voice a little strangled. He looked torn for a moment before shrugging and offering Stiles his fist to bump. “As long as you’re sure?”
“Yeah.” Stiles kinda wanted to hug Scott for all his personal growth but he was definitely on the gross. “Although your munchkin is putting a crimp in the plans I had for today.”
“I don’t want to know.” Scott waved as he trotted back to his car. Clara waved back until he was out of sight.
Clara regarded him with a look of poorly disguised calculation on her face. It reminded Stiles of himself. “Can we go back to the zoo today?”
“Park,” Stiles said, firmly. “After I shower.”
“And put on some clothes. I don’t think they let you on the slide in only underwear.” Stiles steered Clara to the kitchen to put on some coffee.
The three of them were sitting on a bench far enough from the other adults and kids to have some kind of privacy. Stiles had even bought them all ice cream.
“This is not what I consider a first date, Stiles.” Jennifer’s eyes were dancing as she reached around Derek and poked Stiles in the shoulder. “I expecting wining and dining.”
“Will you accept me grilling some steaks and cold beer? At least, for tonight anyway?” Stiles kept his eyes on Clara as he felt Derek lean against him. “That’s food and alcohol.”
“Have some kind of dessert and we’re good. Chocolate? Pie? Chocolate pie?” Jennifer ran her hand over his shoulder, fingers curling around the nape of his neck, before she returned to eating her cone.
“I like chocolate.” Derek put in. He waved at Clara who was gesturing rather peremptorily in his direction. “I think I’m being summoned.”
“You don’t have to.” Stiles sucked in a breath. “You can just let me deal with my stuff, you know.” And even though he could feel the ache in his back that told him he’d been fucked and he was wearing hickeys like a goddamn necklace, he still wasn’t sure, certain. They’d been together so long. “You can just call me when you want dinner.”
“Don’t be stupid.” Derek patted his leg before pushing up going to help Clara onto some kind of bouncy lamb thing.
“What Derek means,” Jennifer said, as she moved closer, “Stiles, is that he wants to deal with your stuff. We both do.” Stiles could make out a mark in the shape of his mouth under the collar of her blouse, which made him feel slightly possessive. “You have no idea of the things we want to do with you. And for you.” She pulled down her sunglasses and maintained a slightly crazy and intense form of eye contact until he nodded. “I’m also looking forward to caning someone who’d bear the marks for more than three seconds. If you were at all into that.”
Stiles just about choked on his ill-advised mouthful of ice cream. Jennifer just gave him a wide grin and settled against his side.
It took a few minutes for him to regain, you know, the capacity for speech. And he made sure he caught Derek’s eyes across the playground before he leaned close to Jennifer and whispered right into her ear. “I’ve got access to these really strong handcuffs and I’ve always wanted to try them out.”
Derek snapped off the tail of the lamb Clara was making him rock. Stiles could definitely up for this.