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If I Had Any Other Option

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Knowing his fifteen year old son is upstairs having sex, is making John queasy. He has long since given up on his dinner, and is slowly nursing a glass of whisky. It had been tempting to just leave the bottle by the glass, but he needed to keep his head straight. Truth be told, John is a little afraid of what he’ll do if he drinks a glass too much.

Upstairs, the bed is creaking rhythmically. If John had ever thought about it, he’d figured Stiles be as loud in bed as he is in life. Only the occasional moan or growl can be heard though, thankfully, and John knows the pair upstairs is too far gone to be considerate of him.

The knock on the door is both a welcome distraction, and brings more dread. After all, the only thing that could be more awkward than listening in on this, would be having company while doing it.

“Mrs. Hale,” John says, gesturing for her to enter. “Come on in.”

“Thank you, Sheriff,” Talia Hale says.

She is smiling, but he can see both the spark of humor and the overlying worry in her expression. Just as John closes the door after she’s entered, a loud whine sounds. It’s followed by a groan. The bed stops creaking.

“Second tie?” Mrs. Hale asks, as he takes her coat and hangs it up.

“Yes.” He presses his lips together, knows it’s not her fault as he ads; “Stiles screamed the first time.”

Her face softens, “Do you regret letting them?”

John’s shoulders slump just a little, he shakes his head. Remembers Stiles’ last heat. It dragged out for two agonizing weeks, his body knowing he had a mate that wasn’t there. Two long weeks where Stiles was first uncomfortable and snappy, locking himself up in his room. Then John would wake up by Stiles’ nightmares or restless sleep – but unable to soothe him after the first couple of days. At the peak of the heat, Stiles was delirious. His fever ran so high John had to soak him in cold water, and finally call the Doctor.

“Do you want anything, Mrs. Hale? Tea? Coffee? Something stronger?”

“Considering the circumstances, I think we can call each other by first name,” Talia says. “And I’ll have a whisky please, if that’s what you’re having?”

He fetches a glass for her, and pours. It’s tempting to top off his own too, but he chooses not to. Talia lifts her glass in an ironic toast, before taking a sip.

“Did you check on them?” She asks.

“Just briefly, maybe half an hour ago. When Stiles screamed I needed to…”

Stiles slumped onto his front, eyes glassy and half closed. His forehead shiny with sweat and mouth half open to draw in shallow, shuddering breaths. Derek, still partly clothed, on top of him; pressing him down into the mattress. When the door slid open, Derek turned red eyes on John; fangs dropping in a low snarl. There was no blood that John could see in the half dark room, but that didn’t mean there wasn’t any. John didn’t dare step in to look closer at either of them, not with the two of them still tied. A part of him was glad for it, he didn’t want to see any more details than he already had.

“I understand,” Talia says. “I would’ve looked in to, they shouldn’t be left unchecked under these circumstances.”

These circumstances. Right.

“Stiles room is right upstairs, if you want to…” John says. “I’d like to know if they’re bleeding.”

Not that they would do anything, unless there was risk for a serious injury. It would still ease him to know if Talia could scent anything. She nods, her high heels soundless up the stairs.

It is only a minute before she returns, sitting in the chair opposite John again.

“A little bleeding,” she says, “nothing serious though. And I saw a mark on Stiles neck, so it may come from there.”

Christ, what must that room have smelled like to her? John’s human nose picked up the scent of an omega in heat and an alpha in rut, but from down here he can’t even smell sex. Thankfully. Talia must be, and god knows what else.

“Did Derek recognize you?” John asks. “I think he might’ve tried to claw my eyes out if I’d stepped into the room.”

Talia actually chuckles. “It’s his first time as well, he’ll learn to control himself soon – it’s always more difficult for werewolves.”

“Don’t I know it,” John sighs. Remembering the feral werewolf who had stalked the town two just weeks ago, when her mate went into heat. They had to shoot her with a sedative, and then fetched the omega to lock the pair up in a heat room.

“Sometimes I think the world would be a much simpler place if everyone were betas,” Talia says.

“I agree.” John sighs again.

For a brief, intense moment, he desperately wishes Claudia was here. She would have known the right things to say, the right things to do. She should be sitting here in John’s place, talking to Talia. He palms his face and just breathes.

After a moment, he rises and heads over to the sink to wash up. Talia probably won’t mind, and he needs something to do with his hands.

“So,” he says. “How are the rest of the family? Your youngest must be getting big, aren’t they?”

*****

It takes another forty-five minutes before the bed upstairs starts creaking again. By then, John and Talia has moved into the living room and the TV is turned on low. Talia stepped outside briefly to phone her husband and update him. John actually manages to nap briefly, then snaps awake when Stiles cries out.

He’s already on his feet, when Talia grasps his wrist.

“It wasn’t a bad scream this time,” she says, gently.

Right. He sinks back down, lets his head fall back and stares up into the ceiling. Right.

*****

In the early morning hours, John startles awake from a light sleep again. There are stumbling steps down the stairs.

“Dad?” Stiles whispers, his voice hoarse.

He’s wrapped up in a blanket. Bare feet and calves. He’s pulled on a t-shirt, but his neck is lined with hickeys and bite marks. He looks to be out on his feet, actually swaying a little. But his eyes are clear. Not even twenty-four hours.

“Are you alright?” John rasps, reaching out to grip Stiles’ upper arms. He almost pulls him into an embrace, but stops himself. Then he thinks, fuck it and hugs Stiles tightly.

Stiles doesn’t hug back, his arms trapped between them holding onto the blanket. But he’s nodding.

“Yeah, yeah. I’m fine. I don’t think it’s over yet, but I feel a lot better.” He gives a small grin when John lets him go. “I just, I knew you’d be worried sick so…”

“Is Derek asleep?” asks Talia from behind them, and John had almost forgotten she is here.

“Yup,” Stiles says, then quickly adds; “He’s fine too.”

Talia lets out a relived breath. She moves into the hall to pick up her handbag, pulls out two apples and protein bars.

“I wasn’t sure what you had at home,” she says, “so I brought some things.”

“Good thinking,” John says. He heads into the kitchen and grabs two glasses, fills up a large pitcher with water. Both he and Talia starts for the stairs.

“Dad!” Stiles says, “I don’t think you two want to go up there it’s…”

He makes a wide gesture that John can’t interpret.

“Gross?” He fills in.

“Yeah,” Stiles says. “And it smells like…”

“You, and Derek, and heat sex?” Talia says now.

Like it would be a big surprise. Without needing to even look at each other, both him and Talia continues up. In the bedroom, Derek is lying on his side. His eyes are moving restlessly beneath their lids, and his arm is stretched out across the bed. Suddenly he is a far cry from the monster John saw on top of his son earlier. Now it’s just a boy again, barely a year older than his own.

After placing the glasses and the pitcher on the nightstand, John goes to open the window. The room really does need to be aired out. Meanwhile, Talia sits on the very edge of the bed. She strokes her son’s brow. The sheet is drawn up over Derek’s hips and the bottom half of the bed. On the top half, at least, there are no blood stains.

Stiles stands in the doorway, small and impossible young in John’s eyes. “Are you in pain?” he asks.

“No, not really,” Stiles says.

“You’re probably just running high on endorphins,” John says. “I’ll leave some stuff out in the bathroom for you for later.”

Stiles steps in and sits on the bed, reaching for the water. Drinks half of it in one gulp. John presses a protein bar into his hands, glares when he won’t take it.

“I’m not hungry, Dad!”

Derek has opened his eyes. There is still a ring of red around his pupils. He looks first at his mother, then at Stiles and John.

“Derek?” Talia says. “How are you feeling?”

“Mom?” Derek blinks up at her. “What are you doing here?”

He sits up, carefully keeping the sheet tucked around him. A blush is creeping up his chest and neck. John knows he is glaring, and Derek cowers under his gaze.

A slap on his leg snaps John out of it.

“Quit it,” Stiles hisses.

John offers Derek the second glass of water, and the boy hesitantly takes it. Talia strokes back his sweaty hair from his forehead, before placing a palm on his forehead.

“John called me,” she says. “You know we decided he and I would keep an eye on you and Stiles the first time.”

She doesn’t wait for him to answer, instead pushing the glass up towards his mouth. “Now,” she continues, “are you feeling alright?”

“Fine,” Derek says.

He looks over at Stiles, nostrils flaring as he scents the air. Carefully, he reaches out with his free hand and strokes his shoulder. When his gaze flickers to John, he hastily pulls his hand away. It’s ridiculous, considering what the two of them has been up to for the last hours.

“Stiles? You okay?” Derek asks.

“Yes. Just… feeling the awkwardness here.”

“We will leave you alone,” Talia says, rising. “We just wanted to see you were alright. It seems like the worst of Stiles’ heat has passed, right?”

She turns to Stiles, who nods. “Yeah, I still feel itchy but the worst went away like… super quick.” He glances at Derek, who actually smiles.

Seeing those looks, John feels something twinge in his chest. Not a bad feeling, but not really a good one either. They are just, they are much too young for this. Their bodies has made a choice for them, of course the minds will follow.

“Eat something,” John says. “And I’ll know if you haven’t before you do things I never want to think about again.”

“Dad!”

“Yes, sir. I’ll make sure Stiles eats something too.”

Just as John closes the door, he sees Derek leaning in to kiss Stiles softly, gently, on the mouth. One of his hands strokes down his face. Deciding that whatever they whisper after that are private, John shuts the door and heads downstairs again.

Talia is already putting on her coat.

“I’ll come back tomorrow, if that’s alright?” she says.

“Of course, I’ll give you a call if anything happens,” John says. “Let me walk you out.”

He really needs the fresh air.

He follows her to her sleek, black car. Watches as she climbs in. She’s quite beautiful, for an alpha, just like her son. If nothing else, Stiles will have something to look at. As soon as he thinks the thought, he mentally rebukes himself. John knows it’s not really Derek he is mad at, but these circumstances – the world.

“I’ll see you tomorrow then, if nothing else,” John says.

“Yes,” Talia says, and then smiles. “Oh, and welcome to the family, John. To both you and Stiles.”

With that, she closes the door and speeds away. Jesus, if not even their alpha can hold the speed limit it’s no wonder the pack members get speeding tickets so often.

The air is cold, and his skin pebbles quickly. But he stays out in the front yard, just breathing. It’s quite a beautiful Saturday morning.

If the boys are alright by lunch, he’ll go for a drive he decides. Just to really get out of the house for a bit, god knows he needs it. Standing there, he realizes that this is only the third day of Stiles’ heat. The third day, and it’s almost over. Derek is here to stay. Talia’s made a point, they are family now. John will not think about his son being mated at only fifteen. At him and Derek not really having a proper choice. At his son finding someone he’s so compatible with, maybe too compatible with.

With a deep sigh, John heads back inside to keep watch over his boys.

 

The End