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Tell Me I'm Perfect (But Tell Me the Truth)

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“Papa, you’re burning the pancakes again.”

Frazzled, Stiles drops the orange halves he was trying to juice and leaps across the kitchen to the range, where two pancakes smoke in a frying pan. He curses and turns off the flame while both of his children stare at him disapprovingly.

“What?” he demands. “Listen, I know I’m second-best to Daddy-”

“Not second,” Kelsey says. “Grandpa is second.”

Stiles rolls his eyes. “Fine, third.”

“No,” Patrick cuts in. “Aunt Cora is third.”

“If I say fourth, are you going to contradict me?” Stiles asks warily. He doesn’t wait for a response. “Who wants cereal?”

“Daddy!!!” his children cheer joyously as Derek enters the kitchen. Stiles mutters something about ingratitude and the pains of childbirth under his breath.

“Hi, cubs,” Derek says with effort. He looks like he’s been run over by a truck, only worse. Stiles cringes at his greenish pallor.

“Bad today?” he asks sympathetically. Pregnancy is no joke.

Derek just nods. “I wasn’t even going to get out of bed, but it smelled like you might be burning the house down.” He steadies himself on the corner of the countertop and looks like he wants to just curl up and go to sleep right on top.

“Ugh, between you and your children I feel like I’ve got my own personal Gordon Ramsey following me around.”

Derek smiles weakly and actually does lay his upper body across the marble counter.

“Okay, buddy,” Stiles says, “back to bed.”

“Are you sick, Daddy?” Patrick asks. The four-year old looks like he might burst into tears at the sight of this frail version of his hero.

Stiles and Derek haven’t told the kids about the pregnancy yet; too soon. In a fit of paranoia Derek even suggested not telling them until the baby was born so that they didn’t have to worry about one of the kids letting the news of a pregnant dad slip out at school. He’d offered to wear 3XL sweatshirts to mask the belly, but Stiles said the kids would never fall for Derek voluntarily wearing something that wasn’t conformed to his body. He’d earned an extra-special glower for that one.

“Mmmm,” Derek hums into the counter. Stiles pats his head and responds to Patrick. “He’s not feeling too well, no. Which cereal can I get you?”

Patrick looks at the ceiling as he ponders this momentous question. “Peanut butter puffs,” he finally decides. Kelsey pipes up from her graphic novel that she’ll take the same.

No sooner has Stiles opened the box, a hint of the scent of peanut butter hitting the air, then Derek lurches over the vegetable sink set into the counter and throws up.

“Why, why, does peanut butter smell that way?” he cries.

Kelsey and Stiles watch their father with bugged-out eyes. They’ve literally never seen Derek sick in their entire lives because, well, werewolf.

“You’re going back to bed,” Stiles orders, hauling Derek up off the counter and handing him a box of saltines. “Nibble some of those and wait for me upstairs.” Derek starts to protest and Stiles smacks his butt cheeks, which elicits a mini death-glare.

“There’s the man I married,” Stiles grins. “You’re still you in there. Now get out of here. I’ve got this.”

“But I always get them ready for school,” Derek says, gazing at the kids longingly.

“I can handle it, I am an extremely competent parent.”

Three out of four Hale-Stilinski’s fix Stiles with a skeptical look.

“Hey!” he says. “When did Papa become the bad guy?”

Kelsey, through a mouthful of cereal, says, “You’re not bad, you’re much more fun than Daddy. You’re the fun one and he’s the serious one.”

Stiles smirks and Derek frowns.

“I’m fun,” Derek mutters as he slinks out of the kitchen. “I’m a lot of fun.”

Stiles can’t help giggling and the kids join in just because they can’t resist their dad’s laugh. Derek pokes his head back in the kitchen and stares at them all murderously. Turning to Stiles he hisses, “I’m going to need some olives,” then disappears.

“That was odd,” Stiles says. He hears a werewolf stomp pissily up the stairs.

“How long is Daddy going to be sick?” Patrick asks.

Stiles sighs and picks up their now-empty cereal bowls. “I don’t know, sugar booger. Probably a few weeks.”

Kelsey looks at Stiles with pure fear. “So you’ll be making all the food for weeks?”

“Probably,” Stiles shrugs as he adds their dishes to the growing pile in the sink that he promises himself he’ll get to later. Really.

Kelsey and Patrick look at each other and then run from the kitchen screaming, “Daddy, Daddy, don’t be mad, and please get better, we need you!”

Stiles rolls his eyes and swears he can feel Derek’s smug satisfaction from upstairs.

“At least I’m the fun one,” he sighs.

It’s going to be a long nine months.