Derek closed his eyes and opened the door.
He hated so much that he kept going back. He hated so much that this is where he found himself going at the end of the night. He would wake up every morning and swear that he wasn’t going to do it again.
By the end of the day he was usually at her door.
He felt like his skin was too small, he felt out of place, he felt like he had made the wrong decision, he felt like he was all alone, even in the middle of the pack.
He felt like going to see Stiles.
He missed Stiles.
So he would go to see Meg.
He’d like to say he couldn’t call Stiles, but that wasn’t true at all. He knew that he didn’t have the right.
He wasn’t a fighter. Not anymore. His legend was as the McCall Pack’s mediator. He was known across the packs as being a pacifier. They would call upon his services from time to time. Nobody called for him to fight.
He hadn’t fought for Stiles; he had burned that bridge with his silence. Derek figured that it would happen one day; he knew before Stiles was even legal that something like this would come. Derek just figured that it wouldn’t hurt so much.
So he visited Meg, it was the only way to stay a little bit sane. In her apartment he could forget for a few moments that he had to move on.
It didn’t take long to cross the small apartment to Meg’s room. He opened her door. She wasn’t asleep, or pretending to, like usual. Instead she was sitting on the bed. Her legs were drawn up to her chin and on the bed was one of those white and purple pregnancy sticks.
He wasn’t stupid; Derek wasn’t even going to jump into denial on this one. For a second he just looked at it and he felt his entire life change.
The thoughts ran through his head lightning fast, when they settled all that he was left with was the idea that it seemed unsanitary to have a stick that she peed on just on the comforter.
He didn’t say that of course, because he was not the talkative type. He also knew that Meg as an expert at knife throwing. Derek did not want a pregnancy stick embedded in his forehead. He wasn’t Stiles; he didn’t say everything he thought.
Derek realized that his first clear thoughts on becoming a father were about cleanliness and Stiles. That pretty much said it all right there. Meg just looked at him, her eyes red from crying.
“I don’t want it,” Meg said, their first words about the matter.
He knew that it didn’t really matter what she wanted. Werewolf abortions weren’t possible, weren’t something that could be survived. The healing power of the body didn’t allow for it, save cutting out the uterus. It just wasn’t done.
Wanting wouldn’t change anything. The reality was all there was.
He was having a kid. She might not want it, but he did.
Every fiber of his body ached with wanting. In his mind’s eye he saw flashes and home. He didn’t realize how much he wanted it, now he never wanted anything more. He thought that he had given up on hope, on possibility, but it slammed into him with the power of an anvil falling on his head.
“I want it,” Derek said his voice raw. “I want this kid.”
She looked at him and let out a bitter laugh. “Of course you do.”
He moved towards her, he couldn’t look at anything but her still flat belly. He knelt in front of her and looked up at her.
“I want him,” Derek said, his eyes looking at her. “Or her. Anything you want. Anything.”
Meg blinked and something in her softened. “I wish that I could believe that this was something to do with McCall’s agenda and not just you making another poor life decision.”
Derek stayed on his knees.
“Damn it Hale,” she said, standing up and pacing. “Why do you do this? Why would you even consider putting yourself in a place where you have to be so goddamned trusting. Paige, Kate, that guy in New York, Jennifer, Marco last year? The guy was a siren; you knew it and you let him in anyway. You’re so godamned easy to find a way to torture and then you sit there, devastatingly important to my pack’s enemy and you sit there and offer me whatever I want. I could own you; I could destroy you and your pack. What the hell is wrong with you?”
Derek looked down at his lap. He had often thought the same thing.
Meg came down and knelt next to him.
“My parents used me as a bartering chip,” Meg said. “My pack instilled in me loyalty to pack above all things. Anything that happens between us is fair game for them to use. That is what I know. My loyalty is to my pack.”
Derek looked at her solemnly. “No it isn’t.”
“There is nothing above pack,” Meg said vehemently.
Derek reached down tentatively and touched her stomach. “My mother always said that pack was primary, but family was first.”
Meg blinked back tears. “My mother said to do as I was told and listen to my grandfather.”
Derek hadn’t moved his hand.
“They will always be my pack,” Meg said quietly, putting her hand over his. “They will always come first to me, it was beaten into me.”
He knew. He had always known. He knew that sleeping with her was probably not going to end any better than any of his other relationships, but they had found something in the dark.
They weren’t friends, but they weren’t adversaries.
Meg looked up at him. “You gave me a place, this is the first time in my life that I’ve ever been out from under their thumb. I won’t do that to a child, not now that I’ve learned differently.”
“I want my kid,” Derek said.
“You’re a fool,” Meg sighed. “I can’t because my pack is my pack, and no child should be taken into that. We aren’t like you. Any child that I lay claim to will be nothing more than a piece on a chessboard. It can’t be part of me.”
“You’re his mother,” Derek said. “Or hers.”
She looked at Derek with wide eyes. “I’m going to upgrade you to an idiot. Do you know how much I could take advantage of you being the mother of your child?”
Derek looked pained. “Why are you even telling me this?”
“You’re the only person that I’ve ever met who has been screwed over more than me.” Meg told him quietly.
Derek looked up at her, his eyes holding all the betrayal that he had ever gone through.
“I don’t care,” Derek finally said.
“Idiot,” she said, and this time it was almost heartbreakingly fond. “I can’t promise that I won’t be any better to you in the future, but this is yours. Name it after your family; keep it far away from me. It will be yours, and only yours. If you promise to keep it away from my family and me, I can be your incubator.”
“Meg,” Derek said, finally standing up. “It doesn’t have to be like this.”
“We’re gong to stop sleeping together,” Meg continued, ignoring him. “We’re gong to stop exchanging bad stories of our life. You’re going to treat me like I am some chick you were forced to be with. You’re going to have a kid, name it after your family, and make it your kid, part of your pack. Your job now is to keep it safe, especially form me, from my family.”
“Meg, we can protect you,” Derek said. “You don’t have to decide right now, you don’t have to do that. You’re part of us now, we can protect you.”
Meg leveled her head. “No you can’t Derek Hale.
Derek was torn.
“Now is the time that you leave,” Meg said. “I know that you’re probably going to buy a book and hover and tell me all about what I’m going through, but you don’t get to come here at night any more. I’ll talk to Deaton and we’ll figure it out, but you and me is done. We’re not nice to each other, this is what I’ll give you.”
“And my baby,” Derek said quietly.
Her hands went to her stomach and her face softened at the reverence in his voice. “You’re going to be a dad.”
Derek stood in the middle of the room, there was a knot in his throat at the thought of adding to his family, but there was also a knot in his gut at the thought that Meg had just told him that she was going to betray him at some point.
He had absolutely no idea what he was supposed to do now. Fortunately Meg made the decision for him.
“You go now Derek,” Meg said softly.
Derek hesitantly walked out of the room, looking at her, wanting her to change her mind. She didn’t and he walked out of the house, to his car. He sat in his car, attempting to process everything that had just happened. He was all wrapped up in the expectation of betrayal and the elation that he was soon going a father. Followed by mind numbing panic about both of the things.
He had no idea how long he was sitting there before his cellphone rang, breaking the fragments of thoughts that were surging through his head. He picked it up and put it to his ear on autopilot.
“I’m thinking about becoming a lifeguard, can I put you down as a reference?”
The voice was slightly slurred, presumably a little drunk. Derek hadn’t heard that voice in six months and just the lilt of it was like a close range shotgun.
‘I’m pretty sure that lifeguarding does work by word of mouth,” Derek found himself saying, leaning back in his seat. “You have to take tests.”
“Pffft,” Stiles said. “I kept you up for two hours. I’ll show them your picture and I’ll totally get the job.”
Derek closed his eyes. “You held me up.”
“Somebody’s gotta,” Stiles said. “You sink like a stone.”
Derek’s fist wrapped around the steering wheel. He could hear the creaking of faux leather and the pop of his joints, but he didn’t care. He had totally spun off of anything resembling an axis.
“How’s school?” Derek asked, he needed this conversation to keep going, it was really the only thing that made sense to him at the given moment.
“Dude, they love me,” Stiles said, the statement held too much enthusiasm. Stiles sounded miserable, Derek could commiserate.
“You’re annoying the hell out of them,” Derek said.
Stiles gasped. “It’s like you don’t even know me.”
“No, it’s like I do,” Derek replied.
They talked, or Stiles talked and Derek added a word here or there. It didn’t seem like anything had changed. He could almost pretend that this was just another night that they were back where they had been, that he wasn’t struggling with wanting to convince Stiles to stay versus being handfasted.
He listened to Stiles’s run on, drunken, wildly tangential story. He didn’t follow a bit of it, but he listened as he sat in his car. He hadn’t heard that voice for six months and he drank it in.
He was having a kid and Stiles was keeping him from drowning like a stone.