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Prince Among Wolves

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With Halloween just around the corner, the weather had only just begun to dip into that crisp state of almost-cold; which was a temperature perfect for hustling wee werewolves out into the backyard for a few hours to help them burn off some energy. Stiles had situated himself on the patio table again, making sure to keep an eye on the twins while simultaneously texting his dad about the restraining order on Kate and trying to get an essay cranked out before Derek came home.

Lately, Andy and Olly had been easier to keep occupied since two massive packages mysteriously appeared on the doorstep the week prior. Derek later opened them to reveal a set of electric ride-on cars in their respective shades of hot pink and dark blue. Andy’s scream was bloodcurdling when Derek busted out the Rapunzel decal and slapped it on the hood, and Olly plunked down and blubbered when he got his own set of stars and planets to spatter all over his own car.

Stiles couldn’t help but grin to himself, remembering the way Derek had been so delighted with at their reactions--like being the cause for their happiness was a gift just for himself. It was even better when Andy and Olly had started zooming around the back yard and Derek had pulled Stiles aside just to bury his face up against Stiles’ throat and hold him tight. It might have been a simple gesture, but Derek had held him like he was made of something precious and fragile--something adored.

The advantage to having little werewolves around was that they were free miniature alarm systems. When Andy pulled her car to a sudden stop and scrambled out with a squeal, echoed only by Olly’s, Stiles knew Derek was home.

He shut his book, hopping to his feet and jogging after them to keep up with the fast toddling of Andy and Olly on a warpath. They ran around the side of the house, arms stretched for Derek even as he struggled to get out of his car with his briefcase and empty coffee mug. He saw the twins coming, though, and quickly put both items down to grab Andy at full speed. Olly was right behind her and Derek knelt down on the gravel driveway to hug both of them tightly.

When Stiles finally caught up, it took him less than a second to realize Derek was clutching to his children with a near-desperation. He hovered, waiting until Derek got whatever it was out of his system, and then knelt down to pick Andy up while Derek grabbed Olly.

“Something wrong?”

Derek frowned, shaking his head to let Stiles know he would tell them later. Stiles shrugged, rocking in to Derek’s personal space to peck a kiss into the corner of his mouth. Derek didn’t react much, seemingly distracted by his thoughts as he carried Olly into the house with Stiles right behind him.

After a good half hour of family time together, Derek had the twins plunked down in front of the TV while he pulled Stiles into the kitchen. It took him a second to find his words, and when he did, it was like each syllable was forced between his teeth. “Peter posted a video of Andy having a tantrum in the office.... it’s not going over well with the public.”

“Not going well as in...?” Stiles pushed, moving to lean up against the counter next to Derek and bump shoulders with him. Derek’s frown deepened.

“As in...things are being said about my ability to provide for my children--and if I really deserve to be head of my parent’s company.”

Stiles snorted, shaking his head and blurting, “no offense, but your uncle is a total asshole. I’m not even surprised--it sounds like something he would do.”

Derek twisted his head, staring at Stiles in a way that reminded Stiles that, yeah, there was kind of a huge elephant in the room about Peter and what he’d said to Stiles that they were supposed to be ignoring.

“What did he say to you?”

Stiles shrugged, wondering why his palms felt sweaty and his heart was speeding up when he wasn’t supposed to be making a big deal about this. “Not to me, really. Just… stuff about Andy...and I might have mouthed off.”

“Define ‘mouthed off’.” Derek snapped, though there was more tired acceptance than aggravation in his tone. Stiles shifted from foot to foot, shrugging for the umpteenth time like he could shake off the anxiety that came with the prospect of confrontation. Derek’s jaw twitched, pushing off from the counter heading for the coffee maker. Stiles picked at a hangnail on his pinky, absently watching Derek prep the coffee maker.

Flicking the machine on, Derek turned around and gave Stiles a flat stare. “So you’re just not going to say anything, then?”

“It doesn’t matter. It’s over and done with.” Stiles reasoned, chest tight.

The scowl was back on Derek’s face, this time deeper and more frustrated than ever. “Why won’t you tell me?”

“Why would I tell you? What would that accomplish? Dude, if you fire him or whatever, you pretty much go back to working all the time!” Stiles blurted, gesturing vaguely and then crossing his arms before he did something stupid like swat Derek on his ridiculously muscular chest. The next sentence came out of his mouth involuntarily when he hissed, “I’d rather take a counter to the face than have the kids lose you again.”

The mug Derek had been pulling from the cabinet let out a deafening crack before falling to the counter and shattering. Derek was still holding the broken pieces of the handle he’d snapped when he whirled around to stare at Stiles with a disbelieving look.

“You what.”

Stiles cringed, scrunching his face up and peeking over at Derek. “Theoretically speaking?”

Derek looked ready to rip the counter out and throw it through a window, the way his eyes were practically bugging out of his face. “Really, Stiles? Because it sounds like this was a theory that Peter put into practice.”

Oh yeah, Stiles forgot about the fact that werewolves had that annoying habit of knowing when people were lying. He shrugged, “well, in the great words of Rafiki, it’s in the past--”

Stiles.” Derek put down the broken mug pieces onto the counter a little more forcefully than necessary.

“What, Derek?” Stiles hissed, “you can’t exactly tell me that you wouldn’t have done something crazy to get back at him, would you?”

“What did he do?” Derek crossed over to him, reaching out to grab his upper arm. “Did he hurt you in any other way? What did he say to you?”

“In his defense, I did kind of deserved it? Well, no, I didn’t...but...” another shrug, “I didn’t like what he was saying about Andy...so I tried to punch him in the face and he shoved my head into the counter. I kind of forgot the whole super reflexes thing you guys have.”

Derek reached up, cupping Stiles’ temple and rubbing a thumb over his hairline like he could stroke away the pain that would no longer be there. He hesitated, finger brushing the light scar from where Stiles had knocked his head weeks ago. “You should have told me.”

“No, I shouldn’t have.”

Pulling away, Derek sighed like Stiles was being the difficult child in their discussion. “I had a right to know-- he’s my uncle, and he hurt you, and he said things about my daughter.”

“Telling you wouldn’t change anything! He still would have said it! He’s testing you, seeing how far he can push, don’t you see that?”

“Don’t you see that?” Derek bellowed, throwing his arms out. His voice was loud and sharp, cutting straight through Stiles and making him cringe involuntarily. “Don’t you see that letting him get away with those things isn’t going to stop him from doing them again? Or do you think just ignoring it is going to make it go away!”

“It doesn’t matter!” Stiles snapped back, “It doesn’t matter because he’ll win either way! At least if I don’t tell you, I don’t run the risk of forcing you back to working those ridiculous hours again! Do you really want to lose all of this so easily?”

“That’s not the point, Stiles!” Derek slammed his hand into the counter. The broken mug bits rattled and one tipped off the edge, hitting the ground and shattering into even smaller pieces. An ear-splitting howl came from the entry and both men turned to see Olly falling to his bottom as he burst into tears. Andy was standing next to him with wide, frightened eyes. In her hands was a movie case, fingers white-knuckled with how tightly she clutched it. She must have been wanting to ask them to watch a movie with her and the shouting had frightened them both. Guilt flooded Stiles, knowing that one of the worst things he and Derek could do would be to fight in front of the kids.

Derek hurried to pick Olly up, shushing him and rocking his small body as he squirmed and kept crying. Stiles quickly came over to lift Andy up, holding her tight while she wound her small arms around his neck.

“Are you going to leave again?” Andy asked in a tiny voice. Stiles felt his heart break, and he shook his head while brushing her bangs from her forehead. They were getting long--growing out into a cute, wispy style that gave her an impish look.

“No, sweets,” Stiles assured, “we were just arguing about something--like you do with Olly when you think you’re right and Olly thinks you’re wrong.” Olly was still going strong, sobbing into Derek’s throat and tearing at his shirt with little claws. Stiles headed for the living room, glancing back to see Derek following before he looked at Andy and gave her a small smile.

“Hm,” Andy snuggled into his lap, watching as Derek continued to try and comfort her brother. “Daddy broke a cup.”

“Yep,” Stiles confirmed, “he’ll clean it up, too. Here, why don’t you trade spots with your brother? I think Olly needs some poppy cuddles.” It sent a thrill through him to say those words, and he smiled before he could stop it when Andy obediently wiggled out of his lap and Derek handed Olly over. Olly instantly clung to him, small fingers curling into Stiles’ shirt.

“Please dun fight with daddy!” Olly pleaded, sniffing loudly. Stiles reached for a tissue from the box on the table, handing it to Olly so he could use it to wipe his nose.

“It’s okay, Olly. We’re not fighting anymore. Everything is fine.” Stiles assured. Olly scrunched up the tissue, slowly bringing it to his face and blinking at Stiles with big, wet eyes.

“Promise?”

Stiles nodded, “I promise.”

It seemed like that was enough to satisfy Olly, because he made a tiny sound of contentment and then blew his nose. Stiles waited until he handed the dirty tissue over, taking it and leaning to the side to dump it in the trash can by the arm of the couch.

When Stiles glanced up at Derek, he was expecting Derek’s ‘we’ll finish this later’ face. Instead, what he saw was begrudging acceptance--like Derek finally understood what Stiles had been getting at about how Derek was needed at home more than anything. It was a huge weight off of his shoulders, enough that Stiles could truly focus on holding Olly and comforting him without worrying about the future. There was a teeny bit of pride swelling somewhere deep inside of him to know that Derek’s stubbornness wasn’t winning against his love for his family, and maybe even for Stiles.

Unthinking, he reached out to grab Derek’s hand--the one closest to him, resting on Andy’s leg. Derek twisted his palm up, lacing their fingers together. Stiles couldn’t help but grin a little in relief and a little in encouragement. Derek peeked over, the corners of his mouth pulling into a return smile of his own. They’d get things straightened out, as long as they had each other.

Most nights, Stiles either went home or stayed over depending on his dad’s work schedule and how much homework he had. After putting the twins to bed, Stiles lingered for as long as he could before knowing his dad would be waiting for him to come home. Derek saw him to the door, holding Stiles hostage in the doorway for as long as possible with tiny, feather-light kisses until Stiles finally pulled away and headed for his jeep.

He spent the evening watching reruns of NCIS with his dad, bickering over a case of Blue Moon (which Stiles had nabbed on his way home, snickering maturely over the name the entire time he was in the purchase line) and a bag of tortilla chips with the healthiest salsa Stiles could find at nine on a Thursday night. Unlike his high school days, Stiles was already getting exhausted by the time they’d gone through their fourth episode, spending more time yawning than actually sniping comments back and forth with his father.

Going to bed with a belly warm from beer and a heart light with the special, unique contentment that came from being with his dad, Stiles fell asleep quickly and easily.

He showed up at Derek’s bright and early the next morning, setting up coffee for Derek and then waking him by sitting on the bed and using his lips to tickle the sensitive spot just behind Derek’s right earlobe. It was probably one of his favorite things about getting up early--that, and the moment that Olly and Andy would inevitably come demanding wakeup cuddles.

Olly was crankier than usual when he got up, whimpering and refusing to let go of Stiles even when Derek was heading out the door. He kept his face in Stiles’ chest all morning and spoke in as few words as possible--most of them mumbled. Andy took it in stride, letting Olly hog Stiles’ attention and occupying herself with attempting to build the biggest castle in the history of ever with her and Olly’s combined Legos.

It was afternoon by the time Olly finally pried himself away, and that was only because he didn’t like the way Andy was building the towers on her castle and felt the need to police her against using all the colors willy-nilly. The peace didn’t last long, because after lunch, Olly pitched a fit the second Stiles tried to put him down for his nap.

Stiles didn’t figure it out until he sat down on the edge of Olly’s bed and noticed a dark spot in the center of the bed. He stared, leaning towards it and giving a sniff. He didn’t need werewolf senses to pick up the stench of urine--and he didn’t need werewolf hearing to catch the way Olly’s breath hitched loudly before he burst into tears from his spot in Stiles’ lap.

“Olly,” Stiles began softly, reaching up to wipe tears from his cheeks, “did you wet the bed?”

Olly blubbered, pushing Stiles’ hands away and scrubbing his eyes, nodding furiously as he bawled harder. “M’sorry!”

Chest clenching, Stiles cradled Olly to his body, rocking him and making loud shushing noises. “It’s okay, Olly, it’s okay. It happens, it’s not bad. You’re not in trouble.”

“I din’n’t mean to!” Olly cried, shoving his face into Stiles’ collarbone. “I’m not s’posed to no more!”

“Hey,” Stiles cupped the back of Olly’s head, stroking his soft hair, “everyone has accidents, that’s okay. You just didn’t wake up to go potty in time, that’s all.”

“No,” Olly moaned, curling up into a tiny ball, “I hadda bad dream an’ I di’n’t wanna get up.”

“Ahhh,” Stiles said lowly, heart aching for the small child in his arms, “that’s even more normal. Sometimes I get so scared when I’m awake that I almost pee myself, you know!”

Andy peered into the room and Stile made a shooing motion at her, holding a finger to his mouth to let her know she shouldn’t make a peep. Sometimes Olly got easily embarrassed if Andy was around when he did something wrong. He got competitive with her, and this was definitely something Stiles knew Olly would not like Andy to find out about. Andy put a hand over her mouth in a mimic of Stiles’ gesture, and then nodded before popping back out of the doorway. Most likely, she’d gone back to her room and was going to wait for Stiles to come tuck her in.

Stiles rubbed Olly’s back, mentally telling himself to reward Andy later for behaving so well. He ducked down to lay a kiss on the crown of his head. “Wanna tell me what your dream was about?”

Olly shifted, shrugging his shoulders a little and sniffling. There was another beat of silence, and then he quietly whispered, “I hadda dream you nevah came back.”

Stiles’ heart shattered into a thousand, million pieces as Olly whined and curled in close. He wrapped his arms around Olly, shaking his head and taking a second to find his words. “Olly... I’m so sorry you dreamt that. I promise I’ll never ever leave again, okay?”

Desperately, he hoped it was a promise he could keep. Knowing that his fight with Derek had affected Olly so deeply that it stuck with him even after Stiles had gone home. Olly must have gotten up in the middle of the night and realized Stiles wasn’t there, and it had scared him into thinking that a repeat his and Derek’s falling out was going to happen. Stiles could still remember the way Olly had sobbed and screamed into his arms after he’d finally seen Stiles again. That couldn’t happen again--it shouldn’t have even been in Olly’s mind at all.

Olly shoved his face into Stiles’ throat, breathing in with a stuffy nose and making little whuffing noises as he nodded and used Stiles’ scent to calm himself. Stiles gave him a little longer to calm down before carrying him into Andy’s room. Andy was already snuggled in with her Rapunzel doll, and Stiles pulled the covers back to tuck Olly in with her.

“Can Olly nap with you, sweets?”

Andy nodded, sleepily turning and throwing her arm over Olly’s shoulder. Olly snuffled, snuggling in close to Andy. Stiles pulled the quilt over them both, bending down to give each child a kiss on the head before he got up and headed back into Olly’s room.

He changed the sheets, putting a fresh pair on and throwing the soiled ones in the wash before going to call Derek.

The first call went to voicemail, so Stiles spent a half hour cleaning up before calling again in case Derek had been in a meeting. This time, when Derek picked up, Stiles blurted out the first thing that he’d been thinking.

“Olly wet the bed last night.”

A pause, and then Derek said, “I thought they were over that.”

Plopping on the couch, Stiles sighed. “He had a bad dream...did he come to you at all last night?”

After a second of uncomfortable silence, Derek muttered, “I told him to go back to his own bed,” in a sheepish, guilty voice. Stiles held back the urge to smack his forehead, instead flopping back with a grunt.

“Seriously?”

“I thought he just wanted to sleep with me again!”

“Come on, dude! You didn’t stop to think maybe he had a nightmare?”

“Are you seriously blaming me for Olly wetting the bed?” Derek snapped, sounding hurt more than anything.

Stiles didn’t feel like he was blaming Derek for what had happened, but he sure as hell felt kind of pissed that Derek had turned his son away in the middle of the night. Wasn’t it a parent’s prerogative to give stupid o’clock cuddles when needed?

“No, but I’m totally blaming you for making him go back to bed last night instead of seeing what was wrong.”

“I was tired, Stiles!”

Standing, Stiles crossed his way over to the kitchen to get himself some juice. “That’s not really an excuse. I mean, come on. Every parent has to put up with the nightmares and kids crawling in the bed at night when they’re upset. You can’t just tell him ‘no’ because you’re tired.” He cursed when some of it got on the counter, setting the phone between his ear and shoulder and looking for a paper towel to clean it up.

“I’m not perfect, Stiles,” Derek said wearily, the fight already gone out of him. It was such a stupid, simple thing to say, and it drove Stiles out of his mind.

“You don’t have to be perfect to take care of your kid. He wouldn’t go down for his nap because he didn’t tell me about the bed until I tried putting him to bed. He’s napping with Andy because I have to wash his quilt and air the mattress out. He cried for like, an hour.”

An aggravated noise came from the other line before Derek mumbled, “I’m still figuring this all out.”

“Huh?”

“I’m nothing like I was last year, Stiles. Sometimes I forget, okay? I forget and then you do a really good job of making me feel like shit about it.”

Stiles tensed, hand tight around his cup of juice as it froze halfway to his mouth. He clenched his teeth, chest aching with guilt and a burning sensation that he couldn’t really identify. “Sorry,” he spat, “I didn’t realize you hated me that much.” Derek didn’t hate him, though, and Stiles knew that. Still, it didn’t stop his mouth from blurting out things just for the shock value in an argument.

“You know that isn’t true,” Derek growled, “you know more than anything that I don’t hate you.”

“Yeah...” Deflating, Stiles sipped at his juice, “I know. I just...”

“I get it,” Derek interrupted, “I do. There’s a lot going on right now, neither of us are really...”

“Rational?” Stiles grinned despite himself. He set his juice down, heading for the hall to peep in on the children. Their naptime would be over soon, but sometimes they got up early if they weren’t too tired.

“Yeah, that.”

“It’s fine, I said some stupid stuff too. Don’t feel so bad. I know you don’t hate me.” Stiles creaked the door open, chest freezing when he caught sight of an empty room.

“I don’t. I lo--”

“The kids are gone.” Stiles blurted, having pushed his way through the room to try and find some trace of them. “Hang on, I just--” Stiles rushed out of the room while Derek demanded answers on the other line. He shouted for Andy and Olly, scouring the living room, Derek’s room, and even the guest room for them.

There was nothing.

Derek was screaming through the phone, and Stiles brought it up to his ear, “Derek--Jesus, Derek, the kids are gone.” Just saying it was like flipping that switch from panicked to full blown terrified hysteria as he wrenched open the back door and stared into the empty yard. “Fuck. Fuck--they’re gone, Derek!”

“Stiles, you need to calm down,” Derek snapped, “you can’t find them if you’re panicking. Did you look in the yard?”

“The yard’s empty, Derek!” Stiles screamed, choking on a sob when a thought hit him. “The river.”

“What?”

“Fuck, the river!” Stiles didn’t think, just dropped the phone and bolted through the yard and towards the river that wasn’t far from the house. Andy and Olly were so little--they couldn’t swim yet. Stiles knew they wouldn’t be able to keep themselves up in a fast current. They might have been werewolves, but they were still practically babies.

There had been so many times that they had begged to play in the water but Stiles had refused because the water ran too fast for it to be safe for them. Some tiny, rational part of Stiles told him that Andy and Olly would never go to the river unsupervised--but it was outdone by the larger part telling him that his children were gone and he needed to find them and save them before it was too late.

He reached the river with a loud scream of Andy’s name, followed quickly by Olly’s. With winter just around the corner, the current was faster than ever as it rushed over rocks and stone. Stiles didn’t think, leaping in and hoping that maybe they had just slipped and were somewhere under the water. He didn’t know how concussions worked with werewolves, but he did know that it could, at the least, daze them long enough to let the river sweep them under.

The river was ice cold, robbing Stiles of the breath in his lungs. He choked on Olly’s name, splashing and struggling his way downstream the best he could. “Andy! Olly!” his voice was growing hoarse, clothes sticking to his skin and body already shivering violently. He ignored it for the panic eating away at him, fingers scrabbling through the water, desperately searching for the small bodies he was equally terrified to find.

Stiles didn’t know if he was sobbing or if it was just water splashing up on his cheeks, feet slipping over rocks and his palms getting scrapes and cuts each time he tried to remain upright. “Andy! Olly! Andy, where are you? Olly, please!”

He was quaking, body soaked and chilled to the bone. Each breath was like icicles stabbing into his lungs, wretched and heavy. They weren’t here--there was no way they would have floated faster than Stiles could run downstream.

The only other place they could have gone would be down the road--the road that was open and exposed and practically begging Kate or someone else to come find them and take them away.

Stiles dragged himself out of the water, jogging his way towards the house. He went around the side, doing his best to ignore how the weight of his watered down clothes was making his entire body feel a thousand times heavier than normal. His breath was coming in short, wheezing gasps--he’d lost the children and Derek was going to hate him. Derek would kill him if Stiles didn’t end up killing himself from sheer exhaustion, first. He might have had a restraining order against Kate, but that wouldn’t stop her from being able to take the children if she came across them.

He hit the forest next to the road, stumbling and trying to look for small footprints--shaking when he realized there were too many fallen leaves to even be able to find any.

“Andy! Olly!” Stiles called out, coughing and then tripping over a root that had him crashing to the ground. He couldn’t breathe, coughing again and then hacking until he started to heave dryly. Stiles pushed himself to his feet, stumbling and sucking in a pained, sharp breath before he pushed himself to keep going.

“Olly! Andy, where are you?!”

The sound of tires screeching on the road had Stiles freezing in place. He squinted, peering through the trees and almost bursting into tears when he recognized the sleek black shape of Derek’s camaro. The driver’s door opened and Derek clambered out, hands cupping his mouth as he shouted Stiles’ name in a loud bellow. Stiles swallowed heavily, heart ready to beat out of his chest as he stumbled his way towards the road.

“I’m sorry, I’m so sorry,” he wheezed upon breaking through the trees, “I lost them, Derek. I lost them!”

Derek shot forward and Stiles barely caught a glimpse of Andy and Olly peering at him through the dark, tinted windows of the camaro’s back seat. Every last iota of energy that Stiles had been clinging to left him in a rush of relief. “Jesus-- holy God,” Stiles sobbed, legs giving out. He would have crashed to the ground if Derek hadn’t reached him just in time to catch him. Stiles couldn’t stop trembling, eyes locked on Andy and Olly in the car.

“Fuck, Stiles. You’re soaking wet.” Derek cried, lowering Stiles to the ground as he barely kept himself from hyperventilating. Derek caught on quickly, sliding his arms around Stiles’ back and holding him tight, one hand warm as he rubbed it along Stiles’ back.

“They’re okay, we’re okay. They’re fine, Stiles. They were walking down the road. I found them when I was heading home. Everything is okay. They’re safe.”

Andy and Olly scrambled their way out of the car, rushing over and crawling all over Derek until he moved enough so they could squeeze in and cling to Stiles.

Shakily, Stiles pulled them into his arms as Andy cried, “we thought you di’n’t want us any’moah!”

The laugh that came from Stiles was more hysterical than anything. He swallowed it back, shaking his head furiously as Derek dragged all three of them into his arms. They didn’t stay like that for very long--not when Stiles’ tremors were getting so bad that his teeth began to rattle. Derek stood, quickly hustling them into the car. He didn’t even make a peep when Andy and Olly sat in Stiles’ lap in the driver’s seat instead of getting into the back. They were only going up the road, anyway.

Derek still cranked up the heating in the car, side-eyeing Stiles every chance he got and frowning deeper and deeper at the way Stiles shook and clutched to the children. He bustled them all into the house as soon as he pulled up to the driveway. When Andy went for the couch, Derek pointed down the hall, “No. Both of you go to your rooms. You scared Stiles half to death and you made me come home from work because of it.”

Stiles expected them to protest, but instead Andy drooped like a kicked puppy as she took Olly’s hand and they shuffled their way down the hall with sniffled apologies. Stiles had never seen them so ashamed in all his life. It was kind of nice to know that making Stiles worry out of his mind had been enough of a guilt trip for them to actually obey punishment without hesitation.

Without wasting another second, Derek pushed and hustled Stiles towards his bedroom. He shut and locked the door before turning and practically wrenching Stiles’ shirt off. “Get out of those. I can hear you shaking from across the room.”

Stiles had no qualms in obeying, instead shucking out of his jeans and boxers while Derek shifted through his drawers for some of Stiles’ spare things that had gotten left there at some other point in time.

“I’m sorry,” Stiles rasped, putting on the clean boxers and t-shirt Derek gave him. “I panicked. If I had just walked down the road--”

“Shut up.” Derek snapped, pulling the comforter off the bed and bundling Stiles up in it. He shoved Stiles onto the bed, making him sit before going to get a towel from the bathroom.

Swallowing the lump in his throat, Stiles watched silently as Derek came back and started to scrub at Stiles’ hair. He didn’t have a lot of hair--but it was still just enough that it dripped ice water down onto his face and neck. The look on Derek’s face was intense as he wiped away all the excess water. Finally, he sighed, “You didn’t do anything wrong, Stiles. Christ, you’re...”

Derek hesitated, kneeling down between Stiles’ legs and pulling the towel down so it rested around Stiles’ shoulders. “You’re a great father,” he said vehemently--in much the same way Stiles had said to him all those months ago.

The breath in Stiles’ lungs left him in a woosh, heart thundering rapidly against his ribs as he reached out to drag Derek into a kiss. Derek surged up, cupping his face and pushing him against the bed. Stiles went with it, legs falling apart so Derek could slot between them as he kissed back with fast, frenzied gasps coming between each press of their lips. Derek bit and sucked and kissed like a man starved, palms burning hot as they roamed all over Stiles’ body.

Stiles didn’t want this to end, wanted to soak Derek up and never let him go. Derek’s teeth bit into his mouth, leaving it bruised and swollen and marked so fully that Stiles was pretty sure his dad was going to give him disapproving looks for days.

Just when Derek’s hands were fumbling to pull Stiles’ boxers down, Andy’s voice was loud and screechy as she hollered out, “Issit ten minnits yet?!”

It snapped the mood in half, and Stiles wrenched away from Derek’s lips with a cackle. He buried his face into Derek’s throat, grinning like an idiot as a swell of affection hit him right in the gut until he felt ready to burst. “Kids,” he chuckled, “gotta love ‘em.”

Derek pulled away, just enough so he could stare down at Stiles with a fond look. He reached up, the back of his knuckles tracing the curve of Stiles’ cheek. “Yeah,” Derek’s thumb brushed the underside of Stiles’ eyelid as he came down to steal a gentle kiss, whispering, “you too,” into Stiles’ mouth before sealing their lips together.