“So, what's the plan for the big one-oh?” Boyd asked, with a smirk.
“I have a suite booked at the Regal.”
“That big posh hotel downtown?”
“Yeah, that one.”
“Derek, you dirty dog!” Boyd laughed, throwing a grease streaked rag at his best friend's head.
“Get your mind out of the gutter,” Derek laughed, turning back to the car engine in front of him.
“Are you seriously telling me you and Stiles won't be getting up to a little naughty sumthin sumthin on your tenth wedding anniversary? Because if that's true, I'm gonna have to whoop your ass. If there is ever a time to have a dirty weekend, this is it.”
“Trust me, we don't need an excuse,” Derek smirked.
“Good man. I mean, I don't swing that way but I'm not blind. Your husband is one gorgeous little...”
“And I would leave it there, unless you wanna be wearing my foot as a shoe?”
“It means I'm gonan kick your ass, dumbass.”
“I thought it was some kinky shit.”
“Boyd! Just stop, what is wrong with you today?”
“Sorry, sorry, I'm just excited. Ten years, it's a big deal.”
“You're aware that it's not your anniversary, yeah?”
“Shut up. I was your best man, dude. I get to be a little happy about it going the distance. Anyway, I'm the one that introduced you two so I think I get to do a little bit of victory teasing when you reach a fucking decade of marriage, ok? Think about how many of our friends got together around the same time as you two. Scott and Allison, Jackson and Lydia, Isaac and that Marissa girl, me and Janet...how many of those couple are still together now?” Derek shook his head. “Dude, it was not a rhetorical question. Answer me!”
“Damn right none. I mean, in a lot of ways it was for the best. Janet was all kinds of crazy and I got my baby Erica now so I came up trumps.”
“Yeah, yeah, I know Erica is a babe. And I warned you about Janet, but you were all like 'She's so misunderstood, she's a good person, you just have to dig deep.' Pretty fucking deep, brother.”
“Yeah, yeah. You were right, I was wrong. I should have listened to you blahblahblah.”
“Are you gonna be doing any work today, or are we spending the whole day taking a trip down failed relationship lane?”
“Sorry,” Boyd grabbed a wrench and wandered around to the other side of the engine. He leant against the car and fixed Derek with another grin. Derek groaned and rolled his eyes. “Let's get back on track. You and Stiles. Still wedded bliss?”
“You know it is.”
“How's little man?”
“What's he doing when you go away for you weekend of dirty, sweaty...”
“He's staying with John,” Derek interjected, not wanting to hear what Boyd expected him and his husband to be getting up to on their anniversary. He had always thought Boyd had an unhealthy obsession with his marriage and this was just confirming it.
“He know what he wants for his birthday yet? Erica's crazing me for ideas.”
“It's like three months away. Tell her to chill.”
“He's gonna be five.”
“I'm aware, thank you.”
“Isn't that like a big birthday?”
“Well, he's gonna be starting school this year right?”
“Oh God, don't remind me. Stiles is freaking out about it.”
“Something about his baby growing up,” Derek said with a chuckle.
“You sure that's not what you said?” Boyd said, with a knowing grin.
“I hate you.”
“You love me.”
Derek was saved from the conversation as his phone began to ring insistently in his pocket. He fished it out and checked the caller ID. He frowned slightly when he saw it said Home. Stiles didn't normally call him at work.
“Hey Stiles, everything ok?”
“Caleb? What's up kiddo?”
“Papa fell down.”
Derek felt his breath catch in his throat and his heart thud in his chest.
“What do you mean he fell down?” Out of the corner of his eyes, Derek saw Boyd look up, his face etched with concern.
“We were watching TV and he said he didn't feel well, then he was sick and he fell down.”
“Is Papa awake?”
“I don't think so...Papa?” Derek swallowed at the way his sons voice sounded so frightened when he asked for Stiles. “Daddy, he's shaking.”
“What do you mean?”
“He looks like how he looks when we tickle him.”
Shit. Stiles flailed a lot when he was being tickled, like he'd totally lost control of his limbs.
“Listen to me kiddo, ok? Boyd's gonna phone an ambulance to come look at Papa,” Derek said, looking up into Boyd's eyes that widened in shock before he was fumbling to get his phone out of his pocket. “He's gonna tell them that Papa had a fit and they're gonna come and help him, ok?” Boyd nodded and began to relay everything to the emergency services whilst Derek focussed on his scared son, resolutely not thinking about the fact that Stiles was fucking seizing for some unknown reason and Caleb was alone. “Me and Boyd will come home as soon as he's spoken to the ambulance men ok?”
“Good boy. I need you to be a big, brave boy for me now, ok? I need you to get one of the cushions from the couch and very, very carefully put it under Papa's head, ok?”
“Ok, Daddy. I'm gonna put the phone on the table.”
“Ok baby.” There was a muffled thump over the line and Derek focussed on listening to the faint sounds coming over the line. He could dimly hear his sons footsteps and he thought he might throw up when he realised he could hear a quiet shuffling sound, accompanied by the occasional thunk that could only be the sound of Stiles' having a fucking fit on their living room floor.
“I did it, Daddy.”
“Well done. Is he near the coffee table?”
“Can you move it? Just move it away so he doesn't hurt himself on it.”
“Ok,” Caleb replied. Boyd gripped his shoulder and turned him, pushing him towards Boyd's SUV and then running round to the drivers side.
“The shop,” Derek said, noticing they hadn't locked up.
“I got it!” Came another voice and Derek glanced round to see Isaac running towards them. Boyd threw him the keys and then slammed the driver's door.
“Derek, get in,” Boyd shouted and Derek stopped wondering when Boyd had called Isaac and just climbed in, thankful that Isaac only worked in the coffee shop down the street.
“I'm here, baby,” Derek said, keeping his voice soothing even though he felt like he was on the edge of losing it. “Me and Boyd are in the car. We're on out way. Is Papa on his side?”
“Ok, I want you to very carefully, tilt Papa's head up slightly. Just don't push it too hard, ok?”
“Daddy, I'm scared.”
“I know, you are baby, but you're doing so well and I'm coming, ok? I just need you to do this one last thing.” A quiet clatter announced that Caleb had put the phone on the coffee table again to do as he was asked.
“I did it,” he said, after a few moments.
“Well done, baby. I can see the house, I'm almost there.”
“He's stopped shaking, Daddy.”
“Good, good.” Derek pulled the phone away from his ear to check the call time. “Did you call me as soon as Papa fell down?”
“Good boy. I'm here,” he said, as Boyd swerved into their driveway. “I'm gonna hang up now, but I'm right here.” Derek was out of the car before it was fully stopped and he flat out sprinted up the driveway and barrelled through the front door.
“Daddy?” Caleb came running out into the hallway and Derek could see the tear tracks that stained his son's face. He pulled him into a tight hug, but he regretfully had to keep it brief. It took everything in him to pull away but he needed to get to Stiles. “Go sit with Uncle Boyd, ok?”
Caleb nodded and ran to Boyd's open arms, falling into them and beginning to sob in earnest. Derek pushed down the urge to just join him in his tears and ran through the living room, dimly registering the sound of sirens approaching.
He couldn't stop the strangled sob that escaped him when his eyes fell on Stiles. He looked dead. He was pale and so unnaturally still that for a second, Derek was convinced he was gone. Stiles was never still, never motionless. He was always moving, always gesturing, always so alive. Derek shook himself and rushed to his husbands side, hands ghosting over the length of his body, too scared to touch him but too desperate for the reassurance of the warmth of his skin to stop himself from brushing his arm delicately just to prove it wasn't icy cold.
“Through here,” Boyd said and two paramedics made their way into the living room. The woman approached them and offered Derek a reassuring smile.
“Hey, my name's Emma. Are you his husband?”
“Yes, yeah I'm Derek.”
“Hey Derek, can you step to one side for me?”
“Of course,” Derek mumbled, pushing himself back against the armchair, drawing his knees up and hugging them to him.
“Can you tell me what happened?”
“I don't know. I was at work, my...my son, Caleb, called me.”
Emma glanced over to where Caleb was peaking out from Boyd's neck.
“How old is your son?”
“He did all this?”
“Yeah, I told him to. Is it wrong?”
“No, not at all.” Emma smiled at him and then looked back at Caleb. “You did great little man.” Caleb let out shy smile. “What's you husbands name?” Emma asked.
“Stiles?” Emma confirmed and Derek nodded. She leant down and placed a gentle hand on Stiles wrist. “Stiles? Can you hear me?” She carefully picked up Stiles' hand. “If you can hear me, I want you to gently squeeze my hand. Can you do that for me?” Derek just caught the twitch of Stiles fingers as they fluttered around Emma's grip. “Good, that really good, Stiles. You've had a seizure. Derek's here and Caleb's here too. He's just fine. He did a great job.”
At the mention of Caleb's name, Stiles' eyes fluttered and his whole body twitched.
“No, no don't try and move. We're gonna take you to the hospital now, ok?” Emma looked up to her colleague who headed outside.
“Can you think if anything that could have caused Stiles to have a seizure?” Emma asked and Derek shook his head.
“No...no he's...he's never had one before. I mean, he's been a little unwell the last few days and he's been complaining about headaches.”
“That's good. Any details you can give us, Derek, would be very helpful.”
“Uh, the seizure lasted about four minutes. That was the length of the phone call.”
Emma nodded and then bent back down to Stiles when her colleague returned with the gurney. “Stiles, we're going to move you now, ok? We'll take you to the hospital and get a proper look at what's going on.”
Stiles mumbled something incoherent and Derek pushed himself to his feet.
“You wanna ride with him?” Boyd asked. “I can follow with little man?”
“Is that ok?” Derek asked Emma.
“Of course, we can squeeze you in,” she said, with a reassuring smile.
Derek watched them load Stiles carefully onto the gurney and then reached out to carefully lace his fingers with Stiles. He stood to one side as they loaded Stiles into the back of the ambulance and rubbed a hand anxiously across his face.
Caleb came running towards him and Derek picked him up, holding him tightly against him and burying his face into Caleb's hair. Boyd finished locking up the house and came and stood beside them, offering a sad smile to Derek who couldn't conjure up one in return. He disentangled his son's arm and legs and let Boyd pluck him from his arms. Caleb let out a whimper and reached out to Derek who couldn't help but lean and press a kiss to his son's forehead, letting him wrap his tiny arms around his neck and cling to him.
“Derek, we need to go,” Emma said, softly at his shoulder.
“I gotta go with Papa, ok baby?” Derek said and Caleb let go with a pout and a nod.
“Don't worry, we'll be right behind them,” Boyd told Caleb, rubbing a hand up the boys back in a soothing motion.
Derek climbed into the back of the ambulance and took hold of Stiles' hand.
* * * * * * * * *
Caleb was sleeping on Boyd's lap and Boyd himself was dozing with his head lolling back against the chair. Derek managed a soft smile at the sight and then looked across at where John was sat across from him.
John Stilinski sighed and raised an eyebrow at his son-in-law.
“No. I won't be ok until someone tells me what the hell happened.”
“Scott won't rest until he figures it out and Melissa's helping him. With both the McCall's on the case, it won't take them long.”
“I just want to know why this happened. I...I did some googling while they were checking him over.”
“Derek,” John groaned.
“I know, I know, it's the best way to scare yourself to death. But...some of the things that cause seizures...”
“Stop it. Going down that road will only worry you even more.”
Derek looked at his husbands sleeping form and swallowed down the whimper that had been trying to claw it's way up out of his chest since they'd arrived at the hospital.
“He looks so peaceful...when I got there he looked...I thought he was d...”
“Don't. Don't think that,” John said sternly and Derek sniffed and blinked away the tears that were threatening to spill down his cheeks.
As if on cue, Stiles' eyes cracked open. Derek was on his feet in seconds, leaning over Stiles and gently squeezing his hand.
“Baby? Can you hear me?”
“Yeah, it's me. It's ok, I’m here.”
“He's right here. He's sleeping, he's fine.”
“Wh...what...?” he coughed and John appeared at Derek elbow with a glass of water and a straw. Derek moved aside and let John approach his son.
“Hey, kiddo,” John said. “Take a sip but take it slow,” he instructed, easing the straw past Stiles' lips and letting him take a couple of sips before pulling it away.
“What happened?” Stiles asked, voice clearer but still more of a croak than usual. Derek and John both sat down, Derek instantly taking Stiles' hand in his own.
“You had a seizure. We don't know what caused it yet, but Scott's working on it,” Derek said, keep his voice low, steady and soothing.
“A seizure? What the fuck?”
“I don't know, babe.”
“Caleb was amazing,” John said and Derek saw Stiles swallow. “He called Derek and did everything he asked him to. Got a pillow under your head, moved everything out of the way and managed to tilt your head back.”
“Taking after his Uncle Scott?” he said and, like he'd been waiting outside the door the whole time, Scott walked in.
“Hey buddy,” he said, grabbing the spare chair and dragging it over beside John. “How you feeling?”
“Pretty drained,” Stiles replied.
“That's to be expected. We're trying to figure out what caused your seizure so I need some help from you. Derek said you'd been having headaches and feeling unwell, anything else you can think of?”
“Uh...well, I felt dizzy all day and I threw up a few times. I've been feeling pretty weak in general and all the lights feel too bright.”
Scott stood up and turned on a side lamp before turning off the main lights, plunging the room into a warm glow.
“Yeah, thanks,” Stiles said with a smile.
“No problem. Anything else?”
“I guess...my vision's been playing up.”
“How do you mean?”
“Blurry, sometimes I'm getting a little double vision.”
Scott was jotting everything down, keeping a careful bland doctor mask in place and giving nothing away but Derek felt wrecked and he knew it was showing on his face.
“Why didn't you say anything?” he asked, quietly.
“I thought I was just tired. I didn't want to worry you.”
Derek shook his head and gave Stiles a look that clearly said Well, bang up job on that front and Stiles tightened his grip on Derek's hand.
“Ok, I'm gonna ask mom to come through and prep you for a CT scan, ok?”
“A CT scan? Why?” Derek demanded.
“Derek, let Scott do his job,” John said.
“I am letting him do his job I just want to know why my husband needs a fucking CT scan.” Derek didn't realise his voice was rising until he practically shouted the last word, frustration and worry building up to a crescendo and demanding a release in some way, any way. Boyd flinched awake and his movements startled Caleb, big blue eyes immediately latching onto his Papa.
“Papa?” he said, reaching out towards Stiles who was giving Derek a look he knew all too well. It was the look he gave Derek when he needed to take a breath and calm himself down.
“I'm sorry,” Derek mumbled almost immediately, picking Caleb up out of Boyd's lap and depositing him on the edge of the bed where he could hold Stiles' hand. Stiles reached out and grabbed Caleb, pulling him close against his side and wrapping his arm around him.
“Don't sweat it,” Scott said. “I get it. We're all worried and freaked out. Mom will be up soon,” Scott said, patting Stiles foot and heading out of the door.
Boyd got to his feet and stretched.
“Good to see you're awake, Stiles,” he said.
“Thanks Boyd. For everything.”
“Hey, no worries man. You, Derek and the little man are practically family.”
“Don't feel you have to go,” John said.
“It's fine. I should probably go check on the garage and then answer the million messages I've got on my phone asking what's going on.” He looked at Stiles, just able to meet his eyes over the top of Caleb's head. “Everyone's really worried about you.” Stiles smiled softly in response.
“I'll see you out,” Derek said, leaning down and pressing a kiss to Stiles' forehead. “Don't let them take you before I get back,” he said and he knew he sounded stupidly desperate but Scott was right, he was freaked out and the lack of answers was seriously starting to fray his already worn nerves.
Boyd gave Stiles a quick hug and then led the way from the room. He waited until they were outside before he turned, gripped Derek's shoulder and pulled him into a firm hug. He pulled back after a few moments but left his hand resting on Derek's shoulder.
“You ok?” he asked. “And don't just say yes. This is me.”
“They don't know what it is,” Derek said. “Stiles told Scott all these symptoms and he wants to do a CT scan and that's gotta be something bad right? I mean, it's gotta be.”
“Dude, you cannot freak out right now, ok? Stiles and Caleb need you. I guarantee Stiles is more freaked out than you are so you need to keep it together.”
“But...Boyd, what if it's really bad? What if I lose him? I can't...shit,” he couldn't hold the tears back anymore but he reached up to brush them away. Boyd pulled him into another hug and let Derek cry into his neck like it was nothing and Derek clung to his best friend and let himself crumble, if only for a minute.
“He's gonna be fine. This is Stiles. He's one of the strongest people I know and he is going to be fine.”
Derek nodded even though he couldn't let himself believe it just yet. He wouldn't believe it until Scott told him and even then, it would take a while before he was convinced.
“I should get back.”
“What do you want me to tell people? They're all asking but I don't want to cross the line or anything.”
“Just tell them the truth. We don't know what the fuck happened.”
“Remember, I'm only a text or a phone call away.”
“I'll keep you updated,” Derek said and clapped Boyd on the shoulder. “Thanks Boyd.”
“Shut up,” Boyd replied, with a grin that was a shadow of his usual banter. “Love ya brother.”
“Back at ya,” Derek replied, giving a wave and heading back into the hospital.
* * * * * * * * * * *
“I could take him back with me.”
“Might be best. It's getting late.”
“I don't wanna go.”
“I know, bud. But it's way past your bedtime. Your Daddy will still be here and he'll let us know as soon as Uncle Scott has any news on Papa. He's in the best place, bud, but it's no place for little boys to sleep if they don't need to,” John reasoned.
“Go home with Grandad.”
“Caleb, please. Remember when I said I needed you to be a big boy?”
“I still need you to be a big boy, ok?”
Derek picked Caleb up and hugged him to his chest, rocking him gently. They were in Stiles' room but Stiles wasn't there. He was still having the scan and without him in the room, Derek was feeling more on edge than ever. He didn't want to let Caleb out of his sight but he was four years old and he shouldn't have to sit here and watch his Daddy struggling to keep it together whilst his Papa was confined to a hospital bed.
“I am so proud of you,” Derek whispered into Caleb's hair. “I love you so much.”
“I love you too, Daddy.”
Derek kissed the top of Caleb's head and passed him to John.
“I'll take him back to yours. Easier that way.”
“Sure, sure,” Derek said.
“You let me know if you hear anything?”
“As soon as.”
John pulled Derek into a brief one armed hug and Derek struggled not to cling to him. He didn't want to have to wait here on his own but he knew it was best to get Caleb settled.
John turned and left the room, Caleb waving dejectedly at Derek over his Grandad's shoulder, and Derek was alone. He sunk back into the chair and let his head fall into his hands.
* * * * * * * * * * *
“Do you want me to wait until you can get your Dad back?” Scott asked and Derek let his head drop. He knew it. He knew it was bad news.
“No,” Stiles said. “Dude, just tell us. You're freaking me out.”
“What did you find?” Derek asked, still looking down at where both his hands were wrapped around one of Stiles'.
Scott seemed to take a moment to collect himself and Derek thought he was going to explode with nervous energy.
“It's a brain aneurysm.”
A booming, throbbing silence filled the room.
“A...brain...a brain aneurysm?” Stiles stuttered.
“We're lucky. We caught it early.”
“Oh God,” Derek said, resting his head on his hands and trying to focus on not having a panic attack.
“Listen, it's gonna be ok. It hasn't ruptured yet and it's small. It's in a place we can operate on, so that's our next step.”
“Surgery?” Stiles breathed.
“It's gonna be fine,” Scott said.
“Where's Caleb and my Dad?”
“Do you want me to call them?” Derek asked.
“Ok,” Derek forced himself to stand and kissed Stiles knuckles before leaving Stiles and Scott to go over things and heading outside. He found a bench and sunk into it, grabbing his phone from his pocket and going into his contacts. He knew he should go straight down to John's cell but right there, second from the top, was someone he couldn't help but call first.
It rang twice before the call was answered.
“Derek?” Boyd said.
Derek couldn't get any words out. All he could do was take a strangled gasp and then begin to sob.
“Derek? Shit, Derek, what's happened?”
“Are you at the hospital?”
“Answer me. Are you at the hospital?”
“Ok. Do you want me to call John and get him to bring Caleb up there?”
And that right there was one of the many reasons Boyd had been Derek's best friend since they were fifteen years old. No matter what, Boyd always knew exactly what Derek was trying to say, knew exactly what he was thinking and feeling, what he needed. He knew when Derek needed space, when he needed a hug, when he needed a beer. Boyd could just read him in a way that only one other person had ever managed, and Derek had married the other one.
“Ok, good. Listen, I have to go so I can drive but I'll phone John and pick him up from yours and we can be there in ten. But before I go, I want you take a deep breath and get your control.”
“Boyd...I can't...” Derek said though the sobs still catching in his throat.
“Yes you can. I need you to because I need to know what's going on so I can tell John, and Stiles needs you to because he needs you to be strong. Are you hearing me?”
“Yes,” Derek said and took a deep breath, letting it out with a shuddering sigh.
“You with me?”
“It's a fucking brain aneurysm.”
There was a beat of silence.
“They're gonna prep him for surgery.”
“Derek, if they're going for surgery that's a good sign. It means they can repair it or cut off the blood flow to it which means it can be fixed. It could be worse, they've caught it in time so you need to stay positive.”
“I know...but it's fucking brain surgery.”
“I know, man. I know it's scary. Imagine how Stiles feels. He needs your strength more than ever right now. I'm gonna go. Are you steady?”
Derek huffed a laugh at the reference to their younger years when they would always ask each other if things were steady. Where he and that guy going steady? Was Boyd feeling steady after replacing most of his blood with alcohol the night before?
“Yeah man, I'm steady. As I'll ever be.”
He hung up without another word and took a second to compose himself. He sniffed and rubbed his eyes to get rid of any lingering tears and then made his way back inside. He crossed Scott in the hallway who stopped him with a hand on his arm.
“Are you ok?”
“Not really but...I'm here.”
“Ok, listen, he's gonna be fine. The surgeon that's gonna be performing the surgery is a friend of my Mom's. His names Alan Deaton and he's the best there is. He's in good hands.”
“Good. They're gonna be up to prep him for surgery in about half an hour.”
“That soon?” Derek said, looking at Scott in surprise. Scott nodded.
“We want to get him in as soon as possible.”
Derek couldn't think of anything to say to that so he simply nodded and carried on on his way. He eased the door open and slipped inside Stiles' room.
“Hey,” Stiles murmured.
“Hey,” Derek replied, crossing towards the bed and not even bothering with a chair. Stiles seemed to anticipate his every move, as usual, and shifted over on the bed so there was just enough room for Derek to settle beside him and carefully mould himself to Stiles' side.
“I'm scared,” Stiles whispered after a few minutes.
“Me too,” Derek said, honestly. “But it's gonna be fine. You're in good hands, Scott assured me your surgeon is the best and they've caught it early. You're gonna be fine.”
Stiles relaxed under him and Derek bit his lip to prevent traitorous words like 'probably', 'maybe' or 'I hope' from slipping out. He didn't need Stiles to know that he was only repeating words of comfort he himself had received and he certainly didn't need him to know Derek wasn't sure of them at all.
Stiles needed hope and reassurance, not a husband wobbling on the edge of despair.
For the next ten minutes, they didn't speak. They simply lay together, Stiles rubbing a hand up and down Derek's arm as if, deep down, he knew Derek needed comfort and Derek in turn rubbed soothing circles into Stiles' hip with his thumb.
The door opened quietly, but Derek heard it anyway and slowly pulled himself away from Stiles and slipped off the bed. Caleb came running in and Derek picked him up in one smooth movement and deposited him in Stiles' arms. John hugged him quickly and then headed towards his son whilst Boyd remained in the doorway and motioned out to the corridor with his head.
Derek followed him out and was pulled into his best friends arms without a word. He clung back but he didn't cry. He was being positive now. Tears were negative and he refused to give in again.
“He's gonna be ok,” he murmured.
“Yeah, he's gonna be fine,” Boyd replied.
Please, please let him be ok.
* * * * * * * * * * *
Derek startled awake with a gasp and flailed around until he located Stiles on the bed. The machines steady beeping reassured him and he sighed, scrubbing a hand across his face and looking over at where Caleb was tucked up in a small cot one of the nurses had provided. No amount of bribing or pleading could convince Caleb to go home and when John tried to take him he screamed blue murder and they gave up.
John was sitting in his chair, staring at Stiles with the tips of his pressed together fingers resting against his lips. He glanced over at Derek when he flinched awake and let his hands fall into his lap.
“He's fine,” John said, instantly. “Scott came in and checked him a few minutes ago and everything's just fine.”
Derek nodded and got to his feet to stretch.
“I'm gonna grab a coffee. You want anything?”
“No, I'm ok, thanks,” John said, turning back to staring at his son.
“Keep an eye on them for me,” Derek said, as he left the room.
“Always,” John replied.
Derek walked down the corridor towards the cafeteria but stopped when he realised there was a crowd of familiar faces slumped in chairs all the way down the hallway. Boyd stood as soon as he saw Derek, and Erica whipped round at the movement, blonde hair fanning out and hitting Isaac in the face. Alison sat beside Isaac, baby bump growing bigger everyday, with Lydia sat on her other side and Kira beside her. Lydia's fiancé, Aiden, was stood with his twin brother Ethan and Ethan's boyfriend Danny. The only one missing was Jackson but since he was in London on business it wasn't exactly unexpected.
“What are you guys doing here?” Derek asked.
“We wanted to be here,” Allison said, simply.
Derek nodded. He wanted to ask why? What did they think they were going to achieve by being here? But even in his current emotionally charged state he knew that would be a cruel and unnecessary thing to say.
Really, he understood. The desire, the need to be there. It didn't matter that they couldn't do anything, they just had simply be there...just in case.
“I was gonna grab a coffee.”
“Want some company?” Boyd asked and Derek nodded.
The two of them headed off and fell easily into step.
“How's he doing?” Boyd asked.
“Well, Scott said the surgery was a success. They wanna assess him when he wakes up, to be sure, and they'll do a follow up scan in a week or so.”
“What, do they think there might be...like brain damage or something?”
“Honestly? I have no idea. I stopped listening as soon as I knew the surgery went well. I kind of zoned out and fell asleep. But I...had a bad dream...I couldn't shake this feeling...”
“Let me guess, you'll only relax properly once he wakes up. When you can tell for yourself that he's fine?”
Derek didn't answer for a few moments and the only sound was the rhythmic marching of their feet.
“Scott said we need to keep an eye out for the symptoms making a reappearance. You know, because once you've had one you can get more. We could go all through this and he could get another one anyway and we might miss it and by the time we realise what's happening it could be too late...it could have ruptured and he'd be dead before we even knew it, he could....”
“Stop,” Boyd said, grabbing Derek's arm and forcing him to stop. “You cannot think like that. We all know the symptoms now. He knows the symptoms. If he got them again he would tell you and we would catch it in time.”
“You don't know that.”
“You don't know we wouldn't,” Boyd said.
Derek couldn't really argue with that so he just nodded and carried on walking. Boyd was right, he didn't know anything and needed to shake his defeatist mood. His husband and his son needed him.
* * * * * * * * * * *
It was a few more hours before Stiles woke up and as soon as he did, Derek knew he was ok.
“Hey Der-Bear,” Stiles croaked with a smile.
“Hey Shale,” Derek replied, grinning when his husband laughed. Derek hardly ever called him Shale anymore but it was one of his favourite nicknames for him. They may have kept their own surnames when they married, but Derek liked the way Shale just made it clear Stiles was a Hale...and if Stiles had called Derek Derlinski on a couple of occasions...well, he was just fighting fire with fire. “How you feeling?”
“A bit woozy but I think I'm ok.”
“Good...that's....God, that's good to hear you say.” Derek said, leaning down with a sigh and resting their foreheads together.
* * * * * * * * * *
“Ok?” Derek asked as he helped Stiles into the passenger seat.
“Derek, I swear to God if you ask me if I'm ok one more time I will swing for you.”
“Ok, ok, sorry. Jesus.” Derek stalked, grumbling, around the front of the car and climbed in the drivers side.
“I'm fine, baby,” Stiles reassured him, reaching over and resting a hand on his knee. “I promise, if I start feeling dizzy or sick I will tell you. But you can't just jump to aneurysm every time I feel a bit queasy, ok? You keep on like this and you're gonna worry yourself into a heart attack.”
“Two weeks ago you collapsed, convulsing, in front of our four year old son and then had brain surgery. Forgive me if I'm not quite relaxed about your well being just yet.”
“Derek, I get it. I swear, I understand. But I really am fine.”
Derek sighed and linked their hands together.
“I know. Sorry,” he said, raising their joined hands and pressing a kiss to Stiles' knuckles.
“You don't need to be sorry,” Stiles said, smiling.
Derek pulled up outside their house about ten minutes later and glanced over at Stiles in time to see his face light up.
“Happy Anniversary, Stiles.”
“It's not what I had planned. I was gonna whisk you away for a romantic weekend. But, given the circumstances, I improvised.”
The entire front of the house was decorated in fairy lights. Two huge banners stretched across the bottom windows. One read 'Welcome Home Stiles' and the other said 'Happy Anniversary Shale and Derlinski'.
The front porch was crowded. John and Boyd stood together at the bottom of the steps, the smile on John's face threatening to split his face in two. Scott stood with Caleb on his hip and Kira at his side, Allison was perched on a chair with Isaac stood behind her. Lydia, Adian, Ethan, Danny, Jackson, Erica, Melissa...all their friends were waiting for them, to welcome them home and celebrate a decade of wedded bliss.
“I love it,” Stiles said, glancing away from the house to look over at Derek. “I love you.”
“I love you too,” Derek replied, and leaned across to pull him into a searing kiss.