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Not Graded on a Curve

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Things went reasonably well with the rescue of the Betas, all things considered. Meaning that it was a shitshow but at least no one died. That's become a win for them. Awesome.

They look bad enough that when the Pack comes limping home from facing the Alphas, half carrying their lost members plus a new girl, Stiles’s dad takes one look at them and says “I think we should bring Melissa in.” Stiles opens his mouth to say she already knows, because she does, and he told his dad as much, but he doesn't stiles finish. "On all of it. Alpha Pack nonsense and all."

Stiles doesn’t have any objection to that. He might have, once, but considering how much blood is on the skin and clothes of people he loves? Yeah, he’s cool with it.

Scott, on the other hand, is amping up for a full-fledged meltdown over the idea of his mom getting more involved in the werewolf business than maternity assistance, but his dad takes him outside for about forty-five minutes and when they come back, he’s resigned but willing. He won’t tell Stiles exactly what his dad said, but it must have been pretty life-changing if Scott’s ready to come out to his mom as a werewolf.

“You all try and rest,” his dad says gently. “Stiles, you and Derek can have my room. Jackson, go home.” When Jackson opens his mouth to protest, Dad cuts him off. “Your parents are probably worried and technically, your restraining order against my son and Scott is still in effect. Everyone else-” Stiles watches as his dad waves a hand then pinches the bridge of his nose. “Feel free to take turns cleaning up. Just - girls in one room, boys in another.”

Then he pauses and looks at Stiles and Derek and then at Isaac and, for some reason, Jackson which, what the fuck? Stiles does not want to know.

“Actually, you know what? Sleep wherever you want. Just, no sex, alright? That's all I ask. No one have sex under my roof for the next twelve hours. Let’s at least pretend there are normal rules in my home for tonight, please?”

Stiles’s “Sure, Dad,” is lost in a chorus of “Yes, Sheriff Stilinski”s. He thinks he may have heard Derek say “Yes Dad” though which, if he wasn’t having an auditory hallucination, may be the only good thing to have happened tonight.

“And nobody do anything stupid until I get back.” He points a finger at Derek. “Especially you. I swear to God, son, if you go into labor or something while I’m gone I’m going to be so pissed, it’ll be my eyes that turn red.”

Derek looks exhausted but he manages to smile a little at that. “Yes, Dad.”

Holy shit. That was real. That was really real. Stiles may actually start crying. If he does, he is going to blame sympathetic pregnancy hormones. That’s a thing that happens after all. He’s read the medical cases.

“Alright. I’ve got to go to work but I’m bringing Melissa back here when her shift ends. I want everyone looking human when I get back.”

“Dad,” Stiles says, putting on his best ‘everything is fine, we are all doing great’ grin despite the tears stinging his eyes. “I think you and I are the only humans in the room. Come on. Don’t fall into stereotype traps. We’ve come so far.”

Scott snickers and his dad throws up his hands. “Whatever. You know what I mean. I’m not trying to be, I don’t know, speciesist. Just don’t be covered in blood.” He levels a glare at Derek and Boyd, Erica, and the new girl in particular. Stiles is suddenly really glad Derek made him stay home. “She’s in for enough of a shock as it is.”

“We got it,” Derek says softly. “It’ll be handled.”

“Good. One of you has some sense, thank Christ.” Then he steps forward and grabs Derek by the back of the neck and kisses his forehead. He does the same for Stiles, then Scott, then Isaac (to the surprise of everyone but especially Isaac). Isaac. “If you boys ever go out like that again without telling me, I’ll be the one you’ll need to be afraid of.” He doesn’t wait for a reply, just jingling his keys with his other hand and stranding out the door to his cruiser.

Stiles doesn’t know about everyone else but he feels super awkward. He looks at Scott and sees that awesome, they’re on the same page with that. Derek, though, he’s got this dazed look on his face that says loud and clear that he’s feeling things. Isaac is just staring on the floor while cradling Erica in his arms while Jackson looks like he wants to dump Boyd and bolt. The new girl is standing on her own steam and looks just as worn-out as everyone else but she’s on the awkward train with him and Scott.

“So,” Stiles says, rubbing his hands together. “Showers. All in favor say ‘aye’. Aye.”

Everyone else ignores him, splitting up to find their what they need except for Scott who raises his hand. “Aye.”

“This is why we’re friends, dude.”

Derek sighs heavily and shakes his head. “I can’t believe I let you fuck me on a regular basis.”

He jostles Stiles a few times getting past him on his way towards the stairs in a way that probably looks aggressive from the outside. It shakes Stiles teeth in his head but it also lets him know that Derek’s kidding. Stiles isn’t sure but he thinks there might have been an invitation in there to join him in the shower. It’s been months but he’s not sure. He's still learning Derek’s nonverbal cues.

It also has the added bonus of making Jackson’s face pinch up like he just ate a tablespoon of wasabi sauce and shout, “Dude, TMI,” at his retreating back. For that, Stiles can forgive his baby mama pretty much anything.

His dad’s room has an en suite so once they go in, they won’t have to leave again until they get hungry. He takes it upon himself to grabs sweats and T-shirts out of their room and then waits cross-legged on the bed for Derek to clean up. He wants to join him but he’s not sure and with all that blood… He’s just not sure.

It turns out to be a good plan because Derek doesn’t seem to want to talk, shocker, but he also doesn’t dawdle either. He’s done in under five minutes instead of spending half an hour like the diva he normally is. He comes out wrapped in a giant beachtowel that hasn’t seen use since his mom was alive. The hideous orange and pink and bright aqua blue reminding Stiles just a little of the shirt he’d made Derek put on to entice Danny as cousin Miguel. He doesn’t say that because Derek’s had a clearly shitastic night and he is learning to keep his mouth shut, miracle of miracles.

“Here.” He holds up the clothes and Derek gives him a grateful smile. He pulls on the sweats but leaves the shirt hanging from Stiles hands which means that they’re pretty much done so Stiles tosses the shirt away and reaches for the covers. As if they’d gone back in time and that was he was waiting for invitations again, that’s Derek takes that as his cue and crawls beneath the covers and curls into a tight ball around his belly before Stiles can even properly remove the day pillows. Shit.

“Derek-“ Stiles begins, a question about the recovery mission on the tip of his tongue then stops. “Shove over to the left, yeah?” The left side of was his dad’s side. Since his mom died, Stiles always had slept on the right when he crawled in bed with him (which had been a lot after Scott was turned, more than he was proud of but not so much that he was willing to stop). He was just more comfortable on that side and what they’d learned, over the course of Derek’s pregnancy thus far, was that when Stiles was comfortable, Derek was more willing to get comfortable and this time is no different.

The old springs creak as they arrange themselves and Derek cuddles into his side. He’s broad and solid, with a layer of softness over all the hard muscle except for the taught curve where the Puppy grew and made Stiles feel downright fey. Except, curled up like he was, Stiles actually feels like he’s big enough to be able to shelter him.

“Hey, it’s fine.” Stiles reaches over and turns off the lamp.

Outside the room, he can hear his friends moving around the house. He doesn’t know what Derek can hear. Everything, no doubt. He’s going to have to do better to get them back on track.

“Relax, okay? Deaton hooked me up with a new way to do the mountain ash and I put it up around the house when everyone got home. We’re all good.”

“We’re not,” Derek whispers. Tears wet his neck in the dark. “I’m can’t do this. I’m not strong enough.”

Oh goddamnit, Stiles is ill-equipped. He’s not really ready to be a dad and he’s not used to being a boyfriend. He’s only really gotten the hang of being a son and a friend. There’s nowhere online to tell him how to do these things, the supportive thing. Everything he can think of is either total weaksauce or dismissive. All that Stiles can manage that isn’t immediately wrong is to say his name and stroke the hair on the back of his neck, the way his mom used to for him.

“Do you, uh, want to talk about it?” It sounds lame. It is lame but but if he doesn’t makes the offer, there’s always the chance that Derek won’t know he can. He’s dumb that way. He has to remind himself of that as he charges ahead. “I mean, I know you probably don’t. Tonight’s like it’s been a whirlwind of shit for you. But you can though. You can always talk to me, okay? I’ll always listen.”

There’s a long silence after that. Stiles thinks maybe Derek’s fallen asleep. He starts to drift himself. Then Derek says, “Cora’s my sister.”

Well, okay then. Stiles is wide the fuck away now. Only Derek’s weight against him, still tucked into his neck, keeps him from jolting upright. “Sorry, Cora the new girl?”

Derek makes a hum of ascent. “She was dead this morning. Now she’s in the guest room.”

Oh. Fuck. “Derek.”

“She’s alive. She’s been alive this whole time and I didn’t know. How can I have this baby if my sister’s been alive this whole time and I had no idea.” He finally lifts head head and his eyes glow in the dark but it’s not with Alpha red this time. Instead, pain and insecurity and guilt and shame and loss beam out of his eyes like lasers into Stiles’ freaking soul. “How can I take care of anyone if I couldn’t-“

“Hey. You got her out and that vault didn’t you? You didn’t even know she was there. Like, I am impressed, okay?” He takes that gorgeous face in his palm and feels the softness of his beard-stubble growing in under his palm. The hormones are making his facial hair grow faster and thicker so by the end of the day it’s less five o’clock shadow and the beginning of fur. “I mean, hey, you took care of the pack in that fight and then you brought everybody back to Casa Stilinisk where it’s safe for clean-up and crash post-mission. Even Jackson. That is some A plus Alpha mom action right there. I cannot wait to see you apply those judgement calls to the Puppy, okay? Clearly you know what’s up.”

Derek’s stare takes on a are you fucking kidding me tone but Stiles has been getting that for so long he is totally unmoved. It is a great argument. “We’re going to be fine. We’re going to be fine. Best Alpha dad-mom of all time and even if you’re not, we don’t have to worry about that for awhile.”

“We have to worry about it pretty soon, Stiles.”

“Not for a couple months.”

“Before then. Listen.” He covers Stiles’s hand on his face with his own. “I shifted all the way to wolf tonight and barely got back. At some point, that’ll happen again but I won’t be able to turn back to human again until I give birth and I've got no way to know when it'll happen until it happens.”

"Like labor?

Yeah but usually its at least a month before the birth. I mean, it's pretty early to have started.

That’s a valuable piece of information he really should have had earlier. “You’re going to be stuck as a dog? For how long? I’m calling Deaton.”

He starts to sit up but Derek catches him by the arm and holds him down. Stiles tries to break free but, ha, werewolf. It feels like like fighting a concrete wall and without construction equipment the result is just as futile.

“A wolf, not a dog. How many times do I have to tell you and you don’t need to call Deaton. There’s nothing he can do now.”

“Because you knew.”

“Yeah. Transformation makes all of this possible. I just…” His thumb starts to move on Stiles arm where he has hold of him. “I didn’t think it’d happen so early, when things are so fucked up.”

“And we can’t do jack about it tonight.”

Derek nods. “Exactly so just.” He tugs again. There’s nowhere for Stiles to go. “Come to bed.”

“I’m in bed. I’m in bed and I’m freaking out. Do you feel better? Because you’ve transferred all your freaking out to me. ”

Derek smiles at him, the soft one that makes the corners of his eyes crinkle up. “Yeah. I do.”

“Oh.” Stiles deflates. He’s still freaking out but if Derek isn’t stressing out then hey, his work here is done. He’s used to being an anxious wreck. It’s like his full-time job at this point. “Well. Good then.”

Derek’s smile grows just a little more. “Good.”

“I can’t believe you didn’t tell me. You’re going to get stuck as a fucking dog and you didn’t tell me.”

“Wolf, not a dog. I am not a dog. And Jesus, Stiles, what did you think? That I was going to give birth out of my ass?”

Actually, yeah. “Actually-“

“No. No. Don’t talk. It’s better for everyone if you don’t talk.” But he’s grinning now, the one that’s like sunshine and makes his eyes blue like those pictures of the water off the coast of Tahiti, not like the dry ice, a weird bump-in-the-night blue of before that says that cuddles are a go. Stiles takes advantage of the good mood he’s somehow tricked Derek into even if he is quietly freaking out and trying to figure out if the wolf transformation is going to turn him into a girl dog or a hemaphrodite and if Cora Hale joining the pack is going to be a blessing or a curse because the Puppy does not need to gestate in even more stress than it already has, because it can wait.

It can all wait. The Betas are back. Everyone is safe. They’ve got each other. Melissa is going to find out and they can stop telling lies to one more person. For the next few hours, at least, everything is okay. They’re okay.