It wasn’t that Stiles had taken his mating commitment to Derek lightly.
Granted, Scott had sniffed suspiciously at his neck the day after Derek had made him his mate and there had been some uncomfortable questions – mostly about Stiles’ age and the fact that they had only dated for two years – but all overall, the pack had taken the news rather well.
Not that Scott had any room to talk, really, considering he would have probably mated himself to Allison within a week after falling in love with her, had he not been completely clueless about how werewolves worked back then.
Stiles had thought about it … quite a bit in fact.
He had researched the implications and when he had proposed to Derek – or offered his neck for the bite, really, you probably couldn’t call it a proper proposal if the wedding took place five minutes afterwards with no official witnesses and the two parties in question being gloriously naked – he had known what he was doing.
He had not regretted it since.
Derek was at times insufferable, grumpy, impossibly to read, and painfully determined to shoulder the weight of the entire world.
He was also kind, loving, generous, and made Stiles feel like he was the most precious person on the planet.
He was also quite hot, but that was more an added bonus.
Ok, it was a big bonus, but Stiles prided himself on having priorities after all.
Being separated from Derek while he was away at college was torture, and although he and Derek weren’t officially living together, yet, they might have well been, seeing how Stiles spent almost all of his free time at Derek’s place when he was home from school.
The separation anxiety was probably a mate-thing, but Derek had laughed at him when he had voiced that theory, arguing that Stiles really needed to stop reading Supernatural kink fan fictions.
His Sour Wolf had, however, snuck into his dorm room on more than one occasion in the first year after their mating, which had led to a very panicky call from Stiles’ roommate during class, wondering why a grumpy man with evil eyebrows and a leather jacket was sniffing Stiles’ sheets and growling dangerously.
His roommate had moved out in the middle of the semester.
Derek had yet to admit that he had actually growled at the boy for spreading his scent all over Stiles’ half of the room.
The mate-separation anxiety – Stiles was still certain that was a thing – had lessened after their first year as mates and now, with their two-year mating anniversary approaching, Derek was almost relaxed whenever he kissed Stiles goodbye before he went back to school.
He had also become better at controlling his jealousy rages, which, in Stiles’ humbled opinion, was also a total mates-thing.
Either that, or Derek had just shown self-restraint in their first two years as a couple, before the mating bite had given him the ‘excuse’ he needed to go all cavemen style on Stiles’ ass.
Then again, Stiles loved it when Derek went all cavemen on his ass.
It usually came with glorious orgasms.
Coincidentally, Stiles was also planning glorious orgasms for their anniversary.
“Dude, seriously, I did not need to know that!” Scott whined that evening, shaking his head like he was trying to get the mental image out of his brain as he was sitting on Stiles’ pathetically small twin bed, which came with the dormitory life-style.
They had managed to pull a few strings and were now rooming together, which, for the most part, was a very enjoyable experience for both of them, although Scott currently looked like he would never enjoy anything ever again.
“It’s our second mating anniversary, I want it to be special! Even more special than the first one. Which was really awesome. And hot. Man, was that ever hot. Dude, the hotness factor of that night was …”
Scott held up his hand with a pained groan.
“I remember, in vivid detail, there is no need for you to repeat it.”
He shook his head.
“I know you’ve been mated for two years, but still, it seems kind of strange to me at times that my best friend is part of an old married couple, you know? Makes me feel a little old almost. I am sure your dad feels the same way, right?”
Scott frowned when Stiles suddenly froze, looking at him in concern.
“Stiles? What’s wrong?”
Stiles opened his mouth, then closed it again, his eyes widening as he looked at Scott in horror.
“Dude … my dad!”
Scott opened his mouth, then closed it with a snap.
When he spoke next he sounded deeply resigned.
“You never told your dad about being mated to Derek?”
Stiles nodded, certain that he was currently turning alarmingly pale.
“Holy crap, man! I mean you’re like married to Derek. I know the ceremony was kind of .. uhm … unconventional, but still, you probably should have told your father about that!”
He looked at Stiles with compassion and also, Stiles was disgruntled to note, a tiny bit of judgment.
“My mom would have killed me if I had gotten married without telling her.”
Stiles squeaked. There was no other way to call it.
“I’m dead. So dead. Deader than a doornail dead. Please comfort Derek at my funeral.”
He froze again.
“Not that way though, I imagine I’d be a super jealous vengeful ghost coming back to haunt all of Derek’s future lovers from the grave just to get back at him for all this growling and jealous scenting in the past two years, but still, so dead!”
“Your dad is not going to be happy but I think he might go after Derek first, giving you time to leave the country.”
“That sounds more like him. Scotty, I messed up!” he whined, raking his fingers through his hair.
“You and Derek both I imagine, I mean it’s not like Derek went and asked your dad for your hand before he did … things to you.”
“I have to call Derek! We need to tell my dad!”
Scott laughed, wincing apologetically when Stiles shot him a betrayed look.
“As much as I’d like to hear Derek freak out over the phone, I got a date with Allison. Don’t worry Stiles, your dad will come around – eventually.”
He was gone before Stiles could even decide which pillow to throw at him.
Scott McCall could be the most supportive friend in the universe – unless he was mocking you for forgetting to tell your dad your second wedding anniversary was coming up, apparently.
He was definitely dead.
“Slow down … Stiles … listen! I cannot understand what you are saying if you are babbling like that! Slow down and speak in normal sentences!”
Derek sounded sleepy and a little annoyed when he picked up the phone and Stiles took a deep breath, trying to calm himself.
“Derek! We got married!”
There was a pause; then Derek sighed.
“We became mates, Stiles. That goes much deeper than a conventional marriage.”
“Which makes this even worse, awesome!”
There was silence on the other end of the line and Stiles groaned.
“If you are jumping to conclusions right now Derek, I swear I … will not defend you when my dad goes after you with a gun. For, you know, not getting his permission before you essentially werewolf-married me two freaking years ago. And then not telling him about it for, you know, two freaking years! Of course my unwillingness to defend you will stem from the fact that I will already be dead at the time, but you know, the point remains valid.”
There was more silence and finally Derek spoke again, sounding utterly resigned.
Stiles laughed hysterically.
“Crap is the right way to put it! Seriously Derek, how are we going to tell my dad we got married and then just conveniently forgot to tell him?”
“Mated, Stiles, mated! There’s a difference! And that’s what we’ll explain to your dad!”
“You mean you’ll explain that mating goes much deeper, is much more profound and thus totally not worthy of telling him about?”
“… probably not.”
“Well, what else do you suggest then? Should we claim that it just happened this weekend? That it was a heat of the moment elopement?”
Stiles shook his head, even though he knew Derek couldn’t see.
“The entire pack knows, it will come out eventually and then he’ll be really pissed. Nah, we need to tell him. The sooner the better.”
“What do you suggest we do then? Invite him to our second mating anniversary party?”
Stiles smiled, despite his distress.
“Are we having a party? That could be fun!”
Derek’s chuckle sounded somewhat strained.
“No, we are not having a party. Not for a second anniversary, that’s just obnoxious. I was joking anyways, it would be like hammering the truth home with a sledge hammer.”
Stiles scratched his chin, deep in thought.
“A quiet dinner then. On our anniversary. We’ll invite him and then, casually, explain to him the significance of the evening and hope he doesn’t get upset.”
“There is nothing that could go wrong with that scenario, obviously.”
“Don’t trash-talk my idea Sour Wolf, we’ll have to tell him one way or the other and this way we can at least butter him up with some steaks and good wine before we tell him he has had a son-in-law for two years.”
“I guess … it’s just that … alright. You know your father better than I do. I say we do this at my loft, though, he won’t have access to his guns there.”
Stiles grinned sheepishly.
“Good thinking Smartypants Wolf. We’ll buy the good steaks, the ones I never let him eat normally, maybe that will be enough to soften the blow.”
He swore he could actually hear Derek roll his eyes.
“You might be overestimating the power of a good steak my love,” he said and Stiles grinned.
“That’s where you’re wrong. You should never underestimate the power a piece of meat has over a Stilinski!”
There was a long silence and when Derek spoke next he sounded like he was trying not to burst out laughing.
“Oh believe me Stiles, I am well aware of the power a piece of meat has over a Stilinski. Pun intended.”
Stiles was torn between crying and smirking, but in the end the smirk won over.
Even in the direst situations, he was still the master of puns – regardless of whether they were intentional or not.
In Derek’s esteemed opinion it took Sheriff Stilinski, who had more than twenty years of law enforcement experience under his belt, approximately two seconds to figure out that something was up.
Of course he wasn’t a hundred percent sure what had tipped his as-of-yet-unbeknownst-to-him-father-in-law off exactly, but he had some pretty good ideas, most of which had to do with the nervousness that was radiating from Stiles in tidal waves.
That or the fact that his mate was currently using the exact tone of voice he had used during his sophomore year when he had tried to come up with a good explanation for his and Scott’s presence at the gay club.
Sighing heavily, Derek fled into the kitchen area and flipped the steaks, trying his best to tune out the conversation between father and son at the dining table, which was becoming more and more stilted by the minute.
He forced himself to pay attention to the steaks, which were, after all, the key ingredient to the recipe for disaster-aversion that Stiles had cooked up.
As far as his mate was concerned, his father would be much more willing to accept Derek as his son-in-law under the influence of a juicy piece of meat. Literally, not figuratively.
Groaning, Derek closed his eyes for the briefest of moments.
Constant exposure to Stiles really had turned his mind into a gutter.
The sight he returned to when he brought the steaks to the table was, there was no other way to put it, actually somewhat amusing.
Stiles was sweating, his eyes darting back and forth between Derek and the Sheriff and his mouth stretched into the fakest smile Derek had ever seen.
The Sheriff, meanwhile, looked just about ready to start interrogating, his suspicious expression only softening a tiny bit when Derek quickly put the biggest steak on his plate.
“So … Derek,” the Sheriff began once Derek had gotten seated as well, his blue eyes narrowed as he stared at the werewolf.
“Anything new and exciting in your life? And I mean really, don’t leave anything out, feel free to share whatever you think I should possibly know.”
Derek coughed uncomfortably, quickly glancing at Stiles, who seemed just about ready to throw himself out of the window.
“I mean it, tell me anything, you are a very important part of my son’s life and I feel that I should know more about you and what is going on with you.”
Derek could definitely see where Stiles had gotten the more manipulative (“I’m convincing Derek, not manipulative, manipulation is such an ugly word!”) aspects of his personality when the Sheriff turned his gaze towards his son again, staring at him intently as he cut into the steak and plopped a large bite into his mouth, chewing so menacingly that he could have given many werewolves a run for their money.
For a moment there was silence in the loft, just about long enough for Derek to heave a deep sigh because Stiles hadn’t even waited until dessert to spring this particular piece of news on his father.
Then Sheriff Stilinski started to choke.
Granted, it had been a huge chunk of information to swallow all at once, but as he performed the Heimlich maneuver Derek desperately hoped the reason for the choking had been the half-chewed piece of meat his father-in-law (technically he was a father-in-mate but that sounded wrong for so many reasons) had accidentally swallowed upon Stiles’ red-faced announcement.
For a moment the only sound in the apartment was the Sheriff’s labored breathing as all three men stared at the soggy chunk of meat on the floor, studiously avoiding each other’s eyes as the silence dragged on.
Derek could tell Stiles was working himself into a panic attack and if he was completely honest, he was halfway there himself, suddenly convinced that his biggest nightmare (well, one of them, but one that was pretty much near the top of the list) was coming true – that the Sheriff would refuse to give them their blessing and Stiles would end up choosing his father over him.
“I don’t believe this!” the Sheriff finally barked and Derek’s heart plummeted even further towards the ground.
“I’m so, so sorry Derek!”
His confusion must have shown on his face because the Sheriff whirled towards his son, fixing him with an icy glare.
“How could you hide this from me for two years? Did you really think I would object to this, after Derek has proven just how much he loves you over and over again? Did you ever stop to think how this would make him feel, that your mating was so embarrassing to you that you would keep it from your own father?”
Stiles’ terrified expression turned into anguish instantly.
“What, no, that’s not at all what …”
“No Sir, I never felt like that, quite the contrary actually …”
“I’m not done yet! Make no mistake Derek; frankly, I’m disappointed in you, too, that I’m only hearing about this now, but do the two of you really think that I didn’t notice something changed? My son isn’t the only person in our house who has a claim on being a researcher, I investigate and research for a living and a blind man could have noticed the change in the two of you after you became mates! You might not notice it if you don’t know him well enough, but my son has never been this calm in his entire life and that’s because he feels safe and content in a way that I haven’t been able to provide for him ever since we lost his mother. The same goes for you Derek! You used to look at Stiles when he wasn’t paying attention and I could see your fear that he would be taken away from you all over your face. Now when you look at my son your face, your posture, everything about you says that you feel at peace, that you are happy, that you finally feel safe again. A child with no social skill development would have been able to figure out the two of you had taken a significant step in your relationship!”
Sheriff Stilinski was still frowning as he stared at the two dumbstruck men in front of him, a smug smile spreading over his face at Stiles’ gaping fish impression.
“And besides, he left my house with a fancy suit and came back with a fresh mating bite, that really wasn’t subtle at all. Of course at first I thought you had given him a turning bite and I was kind of ready to arrest you again, but it quickly occurred to me that no self-respecting werewolf would continue to stumble around like an uncoordinated giraffe even if it was to hide his true nature, so I checked the books for the alternative myself.”
“Hey!” Stiles protested, but there was no heat behind it, his face doing a complicated thing where he obviously didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry as he stared at his father.
Sighing, Sheriff Stilinski rubbed his eyes and when he looked at the two men again he was smiling fondly.
“I wasn’t a hundred percent certain, not until you just confirmed it, but I was pretty damn sure that you two were at least headed in that direction. And I couldn’t be happier for you. Both of you! Even if you robbed me off an opportunity to the proud father of the groom at the wedding! And just so you know, as far as I’m concerned I will refer to the two of you as boyfriends until I get that ceremony!”
When Stiles spoke again he sounded suspiciously congested.
“Sorry about that Dad,” he said, blushing when his father scoffed, “You better be!” before pulling him in for a hug.
When they separated, Derek hesitantly held out his hand, eyes widening when the Sheriff exclaimed, “Seriously?!” and pulled him in for a hug as well.
“Stilinski men always hug it out, son, and since you’re an honorary Stilinski now I’m afraid you’ll have to deal with it,” Stiles’ father remarked when they pulled apart, his grin widening as he looked between his son and the werewolf.
“Unless my kid’s a Hale now? Hale-Stilinski? That’s quite a mouthful, to be honest, so for the sake of the children you might want to stick with Hale.”
Stiles and Derek sputtered simultaneously.
“Children? Which children?”
This time Sheriff Stilinski’s sigh was decidedly exasperated.
“My grandchildren, obviously! Plural, because it’ll take at least two to make up for the two years that you kept this life-changing event from me!”
“Uhm … Dad? That’s going to be a bit … difficult maybe? You know, lack of a uterus and all that?” Stiles squeaked, helplessly gesturing between himself and Derek.
Groaning, Stiles’ father crossed his arms over his chest.
“However these grandchildren will come to be, I will love them dearly! Now, what’s for dessert?”
“If you think about it, it kind of makes sense though that it didn’t occur to me to tell my dad about us being mates for so long,” Stiles remarked later that night as he was draped over Derek’s back, his arm firmly wrapped around the older man’s waist.
“Is that so?” Derek asked, already half-asleep in his post-orgasmic haze and Stiles nodded into his shoulder.
“I mean, don’t get me wrong, I know what we are to each other, I knew what I was getting into, but we don’t really live like a conventionally married couple, you know? I mean, I still have my room in my Dad’s house and we don’t technically live together yet, even if I do spend almost all of my time here when I’m home from university. We don’t have a shared bank account, we don’t have a pet, we haven’t even talked about kids, we’re just …”
“You’re 22 years old and getting an education in another city, I’m 27 years old and working, which is why – I’m sure you agree – we should probably table the children-discussion for the moment. Pets, too, while we’re at it, I really don’t want to sit here with a dog that’s constantly pining for you while you are away at college, I’m doing enough of that on my own as it is. As for the living situation … that’s just how things are going to be for now, but that doesn’t mean my feelings for you will change or how you fit into my life will change. Whether we have a marriage license or a shared bank account doesn’t matter to me and we will do all these things when the time is right. That time isn’t now, but that doesn’t mean that I’m unhappy. Quite the contrary, actually,” Derek replied softly and Stiles nuzzled against his neck.
“I’m happy, too, Derek. Really happy,” he whispered, his voice getting more and more sleepy and Derek inhaled deeply, reveling in the strong, secure heartbeat of his mate that proved his words to be the absolute truth.
The werewolf had almost fallen asleep himself when Stiles patted his abs, his voice teasing when he spoke.
“One more thing Derek, just to be sure – seeing how my Dad really stressed the however part of the ‘however these grandchildren come to be’ speech, there’s going to be no biological-laws-defying-werewolf-mojo surprises, right?”
“Let me make use of your love of alliterative themes to answer your question: Silly Stiles. Silly, silly, silly Stiles.”
Stiles chuckled, the warmth of his hand a comfortable weight on Derek’s stomach.
“Whatever you say Daddy Derek, whatever you say.”
His mate’s voice was barely above a mutter now and Derek was reasonably sure that Stiles wouldn’t even remember this part of their conversation the next morning, which was why he didn’t feel too weird about resting his hand above Stiles’ own, linking their fingers together on his abdomen.
Daddy Derek didn’t really feel right to him, but as he listened to Stiles’ even heartbeat to lull himself to sleep he couldn’t help but wonder if he’d make a good Papa one day.