Sheriff John Stilinski would be the first to state openly and with only a teeny, tiny bit of bias, that Stiles was brilliant. John had seen it first hand, his son’s cleverness developing through the years despite his sometimes crippling ADD, as well as the grief of losing his mother, which no kid should ever have to live through. But as clever as Stiles was, he was still only 17, coming up on 18 a lot faster than John was really comfortable with, and as such, he didn’t really have the skill to keep up the mountain of lies he’d been feeding his father for close to two years.
It was inevitable for John to find out, really.
Not that he didn’t spend a month or so asking himself if he was losing his mind or if he was just so desperate to find an explanation that didn’t make his son look like a drug dealer or a serial killer that he was willing to ignore simple laws of nature. But eventually there was just too much evidence piled up, and one good conversation later, which involved both blackmail (“I keep telling you you’ve got nothing on me!” “Like those key cards you definitely weren’t copying to break Scott and Kira into the station evidence lock-up?” “Okay, shutting up now.”) and copious grounding (“You can’t ground me for three months, dad, I’ll be 18 in two weeks!” “And do you want to keep living here, or do you want to move out on your birthday?” “…Three months it is, then.”), the truth came out.
As much as John had seen the evidence with his own eyes, he really needed a little time to digest the fact that his son had been risking his life on regular basis for the past two years, running around with actual, real-life werwolves, for the love of god, so Stiles telling him that Melissa McCall was in on it was the best news John had heard all week. He decided to risk her wrath by waking her up early on her only Sunday off in two months, because frankly, he thought a crisis of this magnitude had a good chance of earning him some fellow parent sympathy, and he wasn’t ashamed to admit he needed it.
It was gratifying how quickly her face turned from murderous to tired understanding when his first words were: “Stiles told me.” It was enough to make her open the door and pour him a couple of generous fingers of scotch at barely nine am. Hell of a woman, Mrs McCall.
He downed the drink as she watched with sleepy eyes, her slipper-clad feet tucked under herself as she curled up in an armchair. She looked younger like that, still in her pajamas and what might have counted as a bathrobe a few hundred washes ago, and John suddenly felt depressingly old, having counted the gray hairs in the bathroom mirror only this morning before leaving the house. Again. He’d come home from a night shift an hour or so early, only to find his son not sleeping in bed as he definitely should have been at 5 am on a Sunday, and he’d been about to start calling people when Stiles had wandered in, immediately trying to convince John that he was simply up early and had been for a run, and frankly John found it insulting that Stiles thought he’d actually buy that.
So ignoring the bags under both their eyes, John had poured them some coffee, and then they’d had a goddamn talk.
“He looked so relieved,” John said to Melissa. “Like he’d wanted to tell me for ages. Hell, he told me as much, but… the look on his face…” John sighed. “I can’t believe he didn’t trust me with this. He kept saying that’s not the reason, but I can’t help but wonder when we became like this. When he started lying. Is it some kind of teenage rebellion? Or am I just a horrible parent?” He tried to make it sound light, but it was the same worry he’d had constantly gnawing at him since Claudia died. How was he supposed to do this alone?
Melissa sent him a small smile. “Teenagers always think they know best. You know this, John. Did you tell your parents when you started dating Claudia?”
“Hey, now, that’s different-”
“Is it?” She gave him a searching look. “Didn’t you tell me once that you weren’t sure how they’d react to you two marrying so young? That asking for forgiveness had been easier than asking permission?”
John had to admit she had sort of a point. Not that the situations really compared, but he had in fact been so sure he knew exactly how his parents would have reacted that he hadn’t hesitated to lie to them. Stiles had probably assumed that John would have locked him up in his room until he turned 18, which, granted, was a really tempting option. But John knew his kid. It wouldn’t have helped anyone. But John also knew monsters, and the whole excuse of keeping him safe via ignorance was something they needed to talk about more. At length.
“I still wish he’d told me,” John said, borderline pouting, because he was the wronged party here, dammit!
“I know.” Melissa got up and patted him on the shoulder as she headed for the kitchen. “I’m gonna need some coffee, and I’ll bet you could use something to wash down that drink. I have to say, you’re probably taking this better than I would.”
It could be just because Melissa was still half asleep or that John was dead on his feet, but something about the way she said it rang a really loud bell in John’s head. Maybe she meant that if Scott had been the human kid running with wolves she would have considered locking him up as well. But there was something…
“Oh really?” he said casually. “How do you figure?”
She snorted. “Oh please, if I’d been the sheriff and my son told me he’d been dating a 26-year old murder suspect behind my back for the better part of a year, I’d have arrested the son of a bitch for statutory rape in a heartbeat.”
John had had a long day and an even longer night. First a double shift and then coming home to what amounted to no less than a family crisis, so in hindsight John was aware that his reaction probably wasn’t something to be proud of. A flock of birds took flight from Melissa’s back yard, startled by the shouting.
“WHAT?! Are you telling me my underage son is sleeping with Derek freakin’ Hale?!” John yelled, shooting out of his chair. “I’m gonna kill the son of a bitch, and I don’t care if he is a goddamn werewolf, I am gonna find a way to do it slowly and painfully!”
Melissa stared at him for a few long moments and then crossed her arms over her chest with a scowl. “Maybe you should start with Stiles. He swore to me that he’d tell you this week. He kept saying he wasn’t ready to tell you the whole werewolf deal, but I knew you wouldn’t be a dick about this,” she said pointedly, “and he needed to cut down on the secrets between you.”
“How can I not be a dick about this, Melissa?! My son is dating a man I arrested! A leather-wrapped serial killer wannabe, who as it turns out is also a werewolf and has in fact killed people!”
“If Stiles told you everything already, then you know it’s not that simple.”
“It is when it comes to my only son!”
“Your son,” Melissa said firmly, “who has been carrying this all alone for almost two years. Your son who managed to stay alive and relatively sane through all of it. And frankly, if you saw Stiles with Derek, you’d see that if anyone here is being coerced it’s him. I don’t think he knew what hit him when Stiles decided they should be a thing.”
John deflated somewhat, because yes, that did sound like Stiles. Not many people could withstand his resolve when he sunk his teeth into something. “How the hell did you even know?”
To his surprise, Melissa chuckled. “Oh god, it was the condoms. Scott hasn’t made it much of a secret that he’s having sex after I found out, and as much as I don’t like it, I want him to stay safe, you know? So him buying condoms at the drug store didn’t raise that many small-town eyebrows. Except, I knew he had a stash of his own at home. A significant stash,” she added with a slight shudder. “So him buying more raised a few questions and… well… you know Scott. Not great at standing up to interrogation.”
Something in John unclenched slightly, even though the thought of his son having sex with a grown man did still make his stomach turn. But if he was staying safe…
“It’s even more funny,” Melissa continued, “because apparently werewolves don’t get STDs, but Stiles is obviously not about to risk anything, so. There you go. You raised your son to be as safe as humanly – or otherwise – possible. Pat yourself on the back.”
John felt numb as he slowly slumped back into his chair. “If you’re making coffee, I’m gonna need it topped off,” he sighed.
“I’ll leave the bottle out,” she nodded, and disappeared to the kitchen.
Hell of a woman.