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Every Rose has its Thorns

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Derek has only been on three dates with Stiles, not including the time he spends at Stiles' shop, letting his stab a needle into his flesh.
"It doesn't even hurt!" Stiles protests, any time Derek complains.
"You're right, it doesn't. I just like to give you shit."
Stiles sticks out his tongue, slathers some petroleum jelly on Derek's arm, and keeps tattooing.

They've known each other for almost three months, the dates are just far and in between because of their schedules. Derek sees Stiles more when he's getting tattooed than when they're on dates.

"So Derek," Stiles had said the first time he walks into his tattoo shop. "How do you go from no tattoos to a half sleeve?"
"I saw how fascinated Rose was, and I figured why not."
"That's why you're getting a Teen Titans tattoo?"
"Rose loves Teen Titans, and Powerpuff Girls as a matter of fact."
"What do you do, sit around and make her watch shows from the early two thousands?"
"Basically, kid's shows these days are trash."
Stiles laughs,
"You should just get a whole sleeve of things Rose likes. That would be amazing." Stiles says excitedly.
"Yeah, and give you two thousand dollars?"
Stiles laughs,
"Fifteen hundred. Friends and DILF discount."
Derek shoves at him and Stiles cackles.

He'd been wearing long sleeves around Rose since he'd gotten his tattoo started, but today, when he was picking her up from Kristen's, he wore a white short sleeve t shirt, showing off his tattoo. Kristen lived in a brick townhouse on the very edge of the city, about forty minutes from Derek's own house.

Kristen opens the door, looking a mix between irritated and bored, how she always looks around Derek. Kristen was beautiful, there was no denying that. She had long brown hair, a heart shaped face and brown eyes. Her makeup is done, and she's wearing a dress, he can only assume she's going out with some man.

"Hey." Derek says.
"What the hell is that?" Kristen asks, grabbing his arm. She studies the lines of his tattoo, mouth a straight line, "Isn't this that show she likes?" She asks, dropping his arm.
"Yeah, teen titans." Derek says, rubbing at the back of his neck.
"That's the Derek I know, always doing something to please someone else, never for yourself." She says turning her nose up. "Rose, let's go! Mommy's got places to be!"
"I'm not trying to please her, she's my daughter, she thinks I hung the moon no matter what I do, but-"
Kristen makes an irritated noise and rolls her eyes, turning her back to him,
"Rose! Come on!"

Derek balls his fists and tries not to get angry. He didn't do it for Rose to please her or make her like him, they already had a great relationship, he'd just wanted, maybe this was a mistake. He feels close to tears when Rose runs into his legs.
He crouches down and pulls her into his arms,
"Hi baby."
"Daddy," Rose says pulling away, "What is this?!" She asks, grabbing his arm. "Teen titans!" She screams.
"Yeah." Derek says with a laugh. He meets Kristen's eyes and she raises an eyebrow,
"Give me a hug Rose."

Rose runs to her mom and gives her a hug,
"Bye mommy!"
"I'll see you Wednesday night honey." And then she shuts the door.
"Can I see again?" Rose asks, as Derek grabs her bag from her.
"When we get home, we've got a long ride."

They end up eating McDonalds for dinner and watching Home. Derek lays in bed for a long time, thinking about Kristen and their divorce. He had thought things were good. Well not good, but okay. But they hadn't been. Kristen had sat down, hair still wet from her shower, glasses on,
"Derek, I want a divorce."
"I want a divorce."
He stares at her, and she sighs, twisting her hair into a makeshift bun.
"You've stopped living Derek. You're thirty years old and you've stopped living. I mean you get up at the same time every day, even weekends. You eat the same thing for breakfast, you work at the same boring ass job. You're not spontaneous, or fun, or, anything. You're boring and predictable and I just can't do it anymore. We barely talk, and when we do its some random bullshit you think is important. The sex is awful, I mean there's nothing here for me."
Derek gapes at her,
"What do you mean there's nothing here for you? Five years of marriage is nothing? Our daughter is nothing?"

Kristen sighs, adjusting her glasses,
"Derek, I've been having an affair since six months after we got married. I didn't even know if Rose was yours! I mean, I'm glad that she was, you're a wonderful father, you are. But, God. I can't do this for another fourteen years. I can't do this for another fourteen months! I need this Derek."

It's Derek and Stiles' fourth date when Stiles comes to his house. Rose is at her mother's for the next four days, and Derek had told Stiles he would cook. He hears a knock at the door, and throws the towel over his shoulder and heads to open the door. He's not prepared for Stiles to be standing there in his doorway, messy hair and wearing a plaid button down shirt, rolled up to his elbows.
"You look great." Derek says, pulling him in.
"You look like a professional little chef." Stiles teases, pecking his cheek.

They talk and drink wine, the second bottle opened before dinner is even done. Stiles makes him feel easy, relaxed, not boring. He goes on about his days at the shop, and cool tattoos he's done.
"Okay, I think it's done." Derek says, getting to his feet. He's definitely tipsy, and he finishes his glass of wine before opening the oven. He had made chicken Parmesan.

"Oh my god!" Stiles says, uncorking a third bottle of wine. Derek had only intended for them to drink the two, but he's certainly not going to tell Stiles that. Besides, it's sweet and cold and bubbly and will go good with dinner. "This looks amazing!"
"Thank you." Derek says handing him a plate of food.
"Oh my god." Stiles says through a huge bite of food, "This is so good!"
"Thank you." Derek says, taking a gulp of wine.
"Honestly, you need to cook for me for like ever!" Stiles shoves another bite of food into his mouth and Derek laughs.
"Oh really?"
"Yes! Marry me. I'll provide the snark and sexiness and you provide the food and rationality."

Derek barks out a laugh,
"Sexiness huh?"
Stiles frowns, waving a fork at him,
"I am plenty sexy."
"I don't doubt that." Derek teases.
"Oh you're an asshole! I retract my marriage offer!"
"Oh no, don't do that!"
Stiles sticks his tongue out,
"Too late."
Derek frowns,
"Oh damn."
Stiles takes another bite,
"Okay, fine, the offer still stands but I am not forgetting that you laughed at my sexiness."
"Well I guess I have a lot to make up to you then, fiancée." Derek says, raising his wine glass.
"Well yeah. I would be an idiot to give up a sexy young chap like you. Maybe after we're married I'll get my tattoos done for free."
Stiles laughs,
It's silent for a few minutes, both of them eating and drinking.
"You would really marry me?" Stiles asks, cutting his chicken into tiny pieces.
"Sure." Derek says.

He laughs,
"I don't think sure is an acceptable answer."
"Why not?"
"Because it's yes or no."
"It's crazy, that's what it is, but fine. Yes."
Stiles rolls his eyes,
"You won't."
"I will." Derek protests.
"Fine, tonight."
"Tonight?" Derek asks, taking another drink of wine. The alcohol must be making him hear things.
"Tonight. Right now. All you need is an officiant."
"Where are we going to find one? It's nine thirty at night."
Stiles sighs,
"Derek, it's California. Nine at night is like three in the afternoon. Let's go."

The thing is, Derek is actually religious. He goes to church most Sunday's, well he hasn't since he and Kristen had divorced because it's embarrassing, but he does on Easter and Christmas. He says grace before every meal, and prays. He takes Rose to a bible study class for kids once a week. Which is why he doesn't understand why he is standing in front of Stiles, and a smiley black woman who is going to marry them. It's not like Stiles isn't amazing because he is, Derek could fall in love with him, easy. He probably already has a bit. But he's already drunk, and this sounds fun, and it could be something, and he doesn't want to lose this. And this is probably the stupidest decision of his life, but he does it.

Stiles slips a plastic ring on his finger that they had bought in a gum ball machine while they were waiting for the officiant, and he slides one on Stiles' finger. Stiles beams at him, eyes slowly tracking his movements, and then he grabs his face with both hands and crushes his lips to Derek's. Stiles is a good kisser and he tastes like leftover wine and Derek kisses back messily.

The first thing they do as a married couple, after taking a selfie of course, is go to McDonalds.
"I'm hungry as shit." Stiles complains, arm linked with Derek's. "And I'm going to be hungover as fuck." Stiles says, leaning into Derek's chest.

When Derek wakes up, his head is pounding. He stares up at the ceiling, wishing he had forgotten last night. To be able to wake up and be in shock, had to be better than waking up and knowing you'd been a fucking idiot.

He doesn't realize Stiles is awake, until he feels him tracing patterns on his bare chest. He looks down and Stiles is looking at him with wide hopeful eyes,
"You have freckles on your chest."
"Oh." Derek says.
Stiles gives him a close mouthed kiss,
"Good morning husband."
"Good morning." Derek says, clipped.

Stiles sighs,
"Let's skip to the regret and go straight to the dirty married sex."
Derek purses his lips, eyeing Stiles.
"You want to have sex, with me?"
"Yes! Dude, you're smoking hot. And also, you're my husband." Stiles says, gauging Derek's reaction.
"That is true." Derek says slowly.

Stiles settles over top of Derek, straddling his hips and pressing a gentle kiss to his mouth. Derek opens up immediately, he loves Stiles' kisses. It's not long before the kisses start getting rougher, Stiles biting at his bottom lip, not even separating fully to breathe, just panting against each other's wet lips. They're both hard in no time, and Stiles' hips jerk against his every once in awhile.
"What do you want?" Stiles pants eventually, tweaking one of Derek's nipples.
"I want," Derek pants, hips jerking.
"What do you want baby? I won't know if you don't tell me." Stiles teases into the shell of Derek's ear.
"I want, I want," but Derek doesn't know what to say. He doesn't know what to do, because while Stiles is attractive as hell, sitting on Derek's hips, red flushed down his torso, tattooed skin slightly sweaty, he's never done anal, and he's, scared. Because he's boring and typical and doesn't do new things, a sour voice says in his head.

"Der? Der? What's wrong?" Stiles asks, grabbing his face.
"I, I," Derek pushes him off as gently as he can and rushes to the bathroom. He doesn't lock the door, just shuts it, and splashes handfuls of cool water on his face. He's an idiot. He's an adult. He has a kid. He has a job. He should not have done this. He should not have done this.

Stiles finally tries the door handle, and pushes into the bathroom slowly.
"Derek? Are you okay?"
"Depends on your definition of okay."
"We don't have to," Stiles sighs, "We don't have to talk about it right now. You can just come back to bed and we can order room service."
Derek doesn't look up from watching the water swirl down the drain,
"Look, I don't know you very well. You don't know me very well, and yeah we were tipsy, or drunk or whatever, but I think we should try. I mean we have chemistry, right? Why not just skip a few steps?"
Derek nods, shuts off the water,
Stiles guides them over to the bed, and while he orders room services, Derek lays his head on his chest. He finds more comfort in his tattoos than he should.

So they go almost a month without doing anything more than make out and grind on the couch. Derek hasn't told anyone they're married, and they're in the car on the way to pick up Rose when Stiles blurts out,
"Are you asexual?"
Derek almost swerves off the road,
"Asexual. Are you?"
"Why do you sound so surprised?"
"Because why the hell would I be asexual?!"
"Derek, we haven't done anything. Which is fine, but the first time we tried to do anything, you freaked out. I'm just asking, I want you to be comfortable enough to tell me."

Derek's grip on the steering wheel tightens,
"I'm not asexual." He says firmly.
"Is it me? I know I'm not the most attractive but-"
"Shut up." Derek says quickly. "You're beautiful. And that is definitely not the problem, I jack off, a lot."
Derek can feel Stiles looking at him,
"What is it Derek?"

"I haven't, I've never, been with a guy before. And, um I'm not good at sex with women, so, I just know it's, gonna, like be bad and stuff."
"Der, just because you haven't had sex with a guy before, that doesn't mean you're going to be bad at it. And you know what they say, practice makes perfect." Stiles says, nudging him.
Derek presses his lips together and nods,
"Hey, I didn't marry to you to have sex, but I'm willing to help you and try. We can go at your own pace, but the fact that you've never been with a man isn't anything to be embarrassed about. And hey?"
Derek looks over and Stiles smiles,
"I jerk off to you a lot too."
Derek feels his face flush,
"Maybe we can try, like later."
Stiles smiles again, reaching over to rub Derek's thigh,
"I'd like that babe."

"Do you want me to come in?" Stiles asks as they pull into the driveway.
Derek looks at him,
"If you want. I mean, you may as well. We are married."
"You told her that?" Stiles asked surprised.
"Oh hell no!"
Stiles laughs,
He gets out and grabs Derek's hand as he leads them to the door. Derek rings the doorbell, and just as the door is about to swing open, he drops his hand.

His ex is pretty, in an 'I'm a privileged rich white woman who is also attractive and I know it' way. She has long brown hair that falls in perfect curls, and her blue eyes are narrow and assessing.
"Hey Kris, this is Stiles. Stiles, this is my ex wife Kristen."
He reaches out to shake Kristen's hand and her face settles into an uneasy smile,
"Hello, nice to meet you. Rose!" She calls, turning away from them.

Rose runs into Derek's legs and he picks her up, kissing her forehead,
"Hi sweetie."
"Hi daddy! Oh my gosh! Stiles! Are you guys going on another date?"
"We sure are." Stiles says, patting her back.
"And you get to come." Derek says, taking her bag from her. "Say bye to your mom."
"Bye mommy!"
"Nice to meet you Kristen." Stiles says.
"Mhm." She says, looking him up and down before shutting the door.
"Well that went well." Stiles mutters.

"Daddy this is my favorite restaurant!" Rose says as they pull into the Olive Garden parking lot.
"Is it?" Stiles asks, getting out of the car.
"Yes! They have soup with pudge noodles!"
Stiles laughs, unbuckling her booster seat,
"What is a pudge noodle?"
"Ya know, pudge." She says.
"I really don't know what you're talking about."
"Pudge! But fat, but fat is a mean word so pudge!"
Stiles looks up at Derek who laughs and holds the door open for them, shaking his head.

Dinner goes great, and Derek is glad that at least Stiles and Rose have a good relationship, even if his and Stiles' is weird. When he comes down from tucking Rose into bed, and reading to her until she had fallen asleep, Stiles is still sitting on the couch.
"Hey." Derek says, sitting next to him.
"Hey, Rose asleep?"
"Yeah, she was tired."
"That's good." Stiles says awkwardly.

Derek rings his hands together, staring with sudden interest at his knees,
"Do you want to try doing something?" He asks quietly, all too aware of Stiles' eyes on him.
"What do you want?" Stiles asks.
Derek keeps his head down,
"I, want what you want." He says quietly.
"That is not consent, Derek." Stiles says fiercely.
"No, I know, I want, I just,"
"You need to tell me what you want. If you don't want sex, tell me that. But don't assume that I'm so disgusting that I'm just going to do what I want with you. Don't ever think that of me."
"I don't!" Derek tries, but Stiles is already yanking his shoes on, and heading out the door.

Derek doesn't sleep that night, and he considers skipping work the next day, for the first time in his life. He doesn't.

Things get more tense from there. Stiles spends money on tattoos and takeout for the three of them. He tries to convince Derek to miss work, more than once, so they can stay at home and snuggle, and Derek wants to, considers it, which is what makes him more upset. Even though the argue a lot, it's the look on Stiles face when Derek sits him down and says that he wants to give Stiles a blow job that keeps him going. It's not even the blow job, it's Stiles' tender touches, and the way he rubs Derek's back after and tells him how good he was. Derek traces his fingers over Stiles' tattoos and sleeps until past noon the next day. But after that it's back to shit. They argue all the time. About Kristen, about work, about money, about their farce of a marriage.

"If I'm such an immature little child, why did you marry me Derek? Huh? You love to say that I don't know what the real world is like, then why did you marry me?"
"Shut up. You are immature and you don't know what the real world is like! I have to work! I don't get to just fuck around like you. I have someone else to provide for, someone else who depends on me!"
"I'm your fucking husband!"
"Why do you keep pretending this is a real marriage?"
"What do you mean a real marriage? It's real according to the state of California. I think that tops being real in Derek's head."
"God, you're so irritating."
"So, I'm irritating, childlike, have my head in the clouds, don't have a real job, I'm just a shit person aren't I Derek? I just don't get it then. If I'm so horrible, why did you marry me in the first place?"

"I was fucking drunk!" Derek roars, sending Stiles stumbling backward. "I was fucking drunk! And I knew, in the back of my mind that it was a stupid idea and I did it anyway. You are a child Stiles! You are six years younger than me, and I already have one child who depends on me, I don't need another. You don't know shit about me, or my life, so I'm tired of you acting like you do. I know that legally, you're my husband, but the truth is I've known people who work at the grocery store longer than you!"
Stiles doesn't say anything, he just walks out. Tears are blurring his vision and he walks out without his shoes.

Derek calls Stiles sixty seven times in the next two days. When he doesn't call, he texts. He misses two days of work for the first time in his life. He's just thankful he doesn't have to pick up Rose until Friday.

He hasn't talk to Stiles and he hasn't showered in two days, when he decides he's going to the tattoo shop to talk to him. He pulls on sweats and a hoodie, shoving one of Stiles' beanies on his head and getting in his car.

Erica glares when she sees him, and jumps off the counter when he tries to walk back to where Stiles normally sits.
"No. He doesn't want to see you."
"Erica, I need to-"
"No!" She snaps.
"I'm sorry-"
"Fuck your sorry. I don't want to hear it."
"I need to talk to Stiles." Derek says, trying to push past her.
"He's not here!"
Derek glares at her, but leaves.

On Friday, he finally gets it together. He showers, and goes to pick up Rose.
"Where's Stiles?" She asks, as he buckles her in.
"He's at work. Should we go visit him?"
"Yeah!" Rose says excitedly.

They pull up at the shop, and Derek helps Rose out of the car.
"Hey Erica!" She says happily, reaching her arm to touch her tattoos. Erica lets her, glaring at Derek,
"Dirty move." She says angrily.
"It's not a move."
"It is. And you're a bastard."
Derek looks down,
"I know. I just, I need to see him."
"He's not fucking here! You need to stop showing up to my place of work with your shit Derek!"

Rose backs away from her immediately at the swearing, and grabs her dad's hand. Derek leads Rose out of the shop, and concentrates on buckling her in.
"Daddy?" Rose asks when they're back on the road.
"What honey?" Derek asks, throat thick.
"Why was Erica being mean to you?"
"It's, it's a grown up thing."
"It's best if you don't worry about it."
"Okay daddy. Can we get pizza for dinner?"
"Sure baby."

That night, Derek lays in bed, calling Stiles over and over, tears in his eyes. Stiles picks up at 3:17.
"Derek, please. I can't do this anymore." He says, throat thick with tears.
"I'm sorry." Derek chokes, tears falling, "Please just let me explain."
"What do you want to explain? I'm not your husband right?" Stiles taunts.
Derek yanks at his hair in frustration,
"I, i, if I tell you I need you to just be quiet and let me say it. Cause like, I don't know how to say it out loud so I have to concentrate, so I'm trying okay." He chokes.

"My dad left when I was really little, and I was the oldest in the house. My older sister was off at college and my mom needed help with the younger kids. We managed for awhile, then we lost the house. A single mom and four kids. It was horrible. I would find little odd jobs around town to do until I could get a real job at fifteen. Money made the world go round in our eyes. I would bust my ass there every day. I would miss last hour to get some extra money and I'd give it all to my mom.

"You just, you had to work. Anyway, I never really dated before Kristen because I was busy with school and work. Kristen was really great and we got along, so after a year I asked her to marry me. I'm surprised she lasted as long as she did, if she truly felt how she felt when she told me she wanted a divorce. She told me that I was boring and had stopped living. She said I worried too much about work and money and giving Rose structure. She said I wasn't fun or spontaneous. She said the sex wasn't good. She said that, she said that when she was pregnant she didn't even know if Rose was mine." He hiccups. He takes a break to sob for a few minutes.

"That was the worst thing, losing my wife was hard, but I couldn't imagine losing Rose. I couldn't. I can't. But I had been saving so that when Rose came we would have enough money to stay home with her, for six months to a year. Kristen didn't want to stay home that long, but I did. But when she announced that she wanted a divorce, a few months after Rose was born she took half my money. You know, divorce attorney's and all that. Um, I couldn't stay home with Rose and afford my own place and so she, had to go in daycare. And that really hurt too, like. The one thing I wanted and I couldn't even had it." Derek wipes at his nose with his sleeve.

"When I met you, I thought you were attractive sure, but I'd never been with a guy or anything. Everything I do with you is so, not me. I mean I got a fucking half sleeve tattoo! I got married! And I guess I just keep doing things to prove that she's not right, to prove that I can do something that's not planned. That someone can, love me again, because I'm not boring. That's not your fault obviously, and I do really like you, and I think we've been doing good but, you don't want to be married to me Stiles. You need to get out while you can."

"Derek, sweetie. First, I need you to know, that whether we stay married or get a divorce, I am not taking any of your money. That is your money. I'm not taking your money, property, anything."
"You say that now, until I make you angry and you want to hurt me."
"No." Stiles chokes, "I swear on my life I will never do that. Never. Money obviously gives you comfort that you cannot achieve without it and I would die before I took that from you. But Derek, you can't live your life for other people. You can't get married to another human being to prove that you can. I know it was just an elopement, I know it wasn't like you were giving me something that I wasn't expecting, but I thought we could at least try."

"And now you don't want to try?" Derek asks.
Stiles sighs,
"If you want to try, even start to try, there has to be a lot of changes."
"I know."
"You have to talk to me. Actually talk to me, like you are now."
"I will."
"You have to let me in. We have to get to know each other better. We have to get to know each other's weaknesses, such as one of mine is getting in my face and screaming about how drunk you were when we got married."
"I'm sorry."
"It's okay, we just have to learn together."
"Can you come over?"
"I'm at your door." Stiles says, just as the doorbell rings.

Derek rushes downstairs, throwing open the door, phone still pressed to his ear. Stiles is standing there, phone pressed to his ear,
"I swear we can make this something amazing, we just have to try."
"Okay." Derek says, and leans in to kiss him.