Chapter 1: Surprise
I Might Care What You Say
/ / / Surprise \ \ \
Stiles opened the door with a laugh. On the other side was a woman carrying a capsule for a baby and she looked like she had not slept nor eaten in days.
"Does Derek Hale live here?" she asked looking like she was on the verge of tears when she saw Stiles instead of the older werewolf.
"Yes," Stiles said making sure his smile was reassuring. "He's out at the moment, gone for a run. Do you want to come in?"
She looked around nervously, the baby in the capsule made a timid gurgling sound and she jumped with wide eyes before nodding and coming inside. Stiles stepped out of her way and then closed the door to usher her into the living room. Lydia stood up immediately seeing the stranger; the woman looked back at Stiles before stepping into the living room and placing the baby carrier down.
"He shouldn't be long," Stiles said noting the way she sat close to but not next to the capsule. "Would you like some tea or something to eat?"
Her eyes brightened at the mention of food but she shook her head.
"A cup of tea," Stiles insisted. "Lydia?"
The redhead glared at him for a second not wanting to miss out on whatever was going on but Stiles didn't want to leave the two women alone at the moment. Lydia turned and left the room nodding at Stiles' soundless suggestion of food with a roll of her eyes.
"Can I help?" Stiles said.
"I don't know what to do you see," she said clasping her hands together tightly and whispering. "I think I'm losing my mind."
"I'm sure you aren't," Stiles said. "What have you seen?"
"He's not normal," she said again biting at her lip. "At first everything was fine but now…"
The baby gave a short whine and cry and the woman started and looked at the carrier with a heartbreaking mixture of fear and worry.
"Is something wrong with the baby?" Stiles asked gently.
"Sometimes," she whispered.
"May I have a look?"
She flexed her fingers, her breath rapid as she pushed the hood of the capsule back revealing a baby, blinking green eyes slowly. He had a sharp little nose and Derek's eyes.
"He's Derek's," Stiles said quietly his stomach twisting.
The woman nodded. "We met last year and it was fine, it was what it was and I was going to do it alone but something isn't right with him," she let out a sob and began to cry. The baby followed soon after her.
Stiles was torn between comforting the woman and the baby when Lydia came back into the room. She looked at the crying baby with fear and Stiles took that as his signal. He crouched down before the baby and smiled at him, he ran his fingers of his soft, sparse black hair and dropped his voice down while Lydia steered the woman over to the couch.
Something Derek had explained to Scott slammed back into Stiles' mind. It's a gamble whether a made werewolf's child will have the gene but for a born werewolf the gene is hereditary and dominant. He looked down at the baby with understanding.
"Claws," Stiles said tracing his finger over the little boy's hand. "Pointed ears and teeth, his eyes change colour and he growls."
There was a gasp behind him. "How did you know?"
"He's just like his father," Stiles said undoing the straps holding the baby in but then he paused. "May I?"
She nodded but looked worried. "Be careful."
"Father?" Lydia asked forcefully and Stiles belatedly realised it was the second time she had said it.
"Derek," Stiles said and hugged the baby nice and close to him, he tucked the little boy's head against his neck like the werewolves did when they were scenting him and rocked on his feet back and forth. The baby's cries died down quickly and Stiles could feel the little huffs of breath against his neck.
"Please be careful," the woman said again.
Stiles was about to started when "…I'm sorry, I haven't asked. What's your name?" Stiles said apologetically. "I'm Stiles."
"Megan," she said wringing her hands. "You really shouldn't have him that close to your neck."
"It's okay," Stiles said. "He probably likes to be nice and close. Have some tea."
"I made you some sandwiches," Lydia said and placed the plate on the woman's lap. "Have some."
"I know what I'm doing," Stiles said. "Please, trust me."
"I don't want you to get hurt, his…claws are sharp."
Stiles pulled the baby back from his neck and the little boy blinked up at him sleepily. "Good thing you don't have teeth yet, mister. Now let's have some hugs and you can sleep some more." Stiles tucked the baby back into him snuggly and went back to rocking slowly like he had done for his cousins when they were younger. "What's his name?"
"Logan," the woman said and then looked horrified. "Teeth?"
"He's safe and so are you," Stiles said walking over next to her. "Please have some tea and eat something. Derek and the others will be back before it's dark."
She nodded and ate watching him the whole time while Logan slept on his shoulder and drooled on his shirt.
As the light outside of the windows was fading and Megan was on her second cup of tea there was a howl off in the distance. Stiles smiled gently at the woman on the couch as Lydia stood to go outside and cut the wolves off before they came inside transformed. Stiles had a feeling if she saw that Megan would run out of here screaming.
"What is going on?" Derek said with a scowl as he stepping into his living room. He stopped still as he took in Stiles holding a baby and then his eyes flicked past Stiles to Megan. "Megan?"
"Hi, Derek," Megan said coming to stand next to Stiles but she made no move to collect the baby. Even Stiles could see how much she wanted to touch him but was afraid to. Stiles twisted the baby around in his arms so that Derek could see his little, tiny, baby likeness.
"He's mine," Derek said stepping forward and then froze. "How old is he?"
"Six months two weeks ago," Megan said. "That's when things..."
"I'm sorry," Derek said and scooped the baby out of Stiles' arms. The baby made a nose of displeasure but Derek held him anyway. "That's when we present."
"Present?" Megan asked. "You know what's wrong with him?"
"There's nothing wrong with him," Derek said. "He's a werewolf."
"Oh," Megan said just before she sunk down onto the floor and cried. Stiles sighed in Derek's direction and dropped down next to Megan to tug her into his side.
"Don't worry," Stiles said. "It's not nearly as insane as it sounds."
"Werewolf," Megan said with a hysterical bark of laughter. "I don't know what to do with a werewolf; I was barely coping when he was just a baby."
"I'll raise him," Derek said firmly even as the baby began bawling at him.
Stiles looked up at Derek in disbelief as Megan sobbed into his shoulder.
/ / / TBC \ \ \
Chapter 2: Help
I have much more of an idea of where this is going now..enjoy.
/ / / Help \ \ \
Lydia started to laugh while Stiles was still staring at Derek in disbelief with Megan sobbing into his shoulder. Derek turned to glare at her while Logan's face crumpled in on itself and he cried.
Stiles wasn't sure who was the most surprised when Derek curled the baby into his body and patted him on the back. The baby quietened down slowly, little flutters of cries without ever stopping.
Suddenly Megan pulled away. "He's hungry, oh, he'll be hungry, let me get the formula," she clambered up and went for her bag rummaging around in it until she came out with two bottles and a little sectioned off container full of powder.
"Can I help?" Stiles asked as she looked around with confusion.
"I need boiling water," she said quietly.
Stiles nodded and led her into the kitchen, he didn't need to have supernatural powers to hear the traipse of people behind him. Everyone but Stiles and Megan crowded into the dining room while Derek stood in the middle of the two spaces and watched Stiles boil the kettle for Megan who was tentative as she set about preparing a bottle for Logan.
"Do you need anything else?" Stiles asked. "He'd be on solids now, right?"
Megan smiled at him gently. "Yeah, but…the last of the things I packed was used up at breakfast, this is okay for his lunch and I'll sort out everything else for tonight."
"What do you need?" Derek said suddenly startling Megan. "I'll send one of them out to get it."
Megan looked at the crowd in the dining room and sighed. "He's only eating vegetables at the moment. I can sort it out."
"He's mine too," Derek said smoothing out the rough edges of his voice – a hard earned ability. "I would like to help and they are all just being nosy, I can ask them to leave."
Megan swallowed. "Who are they?"
"My pack," Derek said bluntly.
Derek nodded and Megan was saved having to respond when the kettle clicked off, she turned and poured boiling water into the bottle, she shook the powder from one of the parts of the container in and then shook it before leaving the lid off to cool, she filled the other up as well but didn't add anything just left it to cool. When she turned around she looked somewhat more composed than she had.
"Would you like to feed him?" Megan asked Derek.
"Yes, the offer was genuine," he continued. "I want to be a part of his life."
Megan looked utterly exhausted for a moment while she looked at Derek and then nodded. "I need baby cereal and fruits and vegetables."
"Write a list and," he turned to look at his pack, assessing each one in turn as he did so. He didn't look pleased by what he saw. "Danny and Isaac will go and get it."
Isaac looked pleased with himself at Derek's obvious trust and Stiles had to concede that if Derek decided that Logan was family then he'd do whatever he could to protect him…Derek's first year as alpha had been horribly bad but once he'd accepted that he needed help, right about the time one of the alpha pack had almost removed him from his torso, things had gone much more smoothly.
It hit Stiles suddenly…Derek was a father; the little baby in his arms was his. Stiles felt sick and suddenly wanted nothing more than to sneak out of the house. Scott made a quiet sound and it jolted Stiles out of his own thoughts and he found the whole pack staring at him strangely. Stiles smiled and turned away from them. He busied himself getting a few glasses and plates down from the cupboard. The wolves were always hungry and thirsty after they came back from a transformed run. He set himself to filling a jug and then moved onto making sandwiches. Lydia and Scott were suddenly on either side of him, helping as he kept his back to the rest of the pack.
"Here," Megan said behind them. "Just move your arm and tuck him in a little. There you go."
Stiles heard the quiet sounds of Logan eating behind them.
"He's a good eater," Derek said quietly.
"He is, do you have some paper?" Megan asked.
Stiles could hear one of the werewolves step forward quickly to find the things for Megan while Stiles pulled the last slices of bread from the bag. He finished making the sandwiches but handed the large plate to Lydia with a tight smile to take over to the werewolves. Stiles turned and watched as they each carefully took a single sandwich and ate it obscenely slowly given the way they generally fell on the sandwiches with snarls as though they hadn't eaten in months.
"That's all the fruits and vegetables that I know he can eat," Megan said. "Just so you know what he can eat but we only need a few pieces to get through tonight."
Derek gave Danny and Isaac a look and both the wolves nodded – they would come back with enough food for weeks and the knowledge made Stiles relax a little, like the world had not completely altered.
"Is there anything you need?" Stiles asked. "If you've been on the road?"
"No," Megan said. "I will sort myself out. Do you know of a motel in town though?"
"You can stay here," Derek said with the alpha tone and then blinked and tried again. "I would like it if you did."
"Danny," Stiles said turning to the man. "Mind giving me a lift back into town. I came with Scott but I need to get back."
"I can take you," Scott said.
Just as Megan turned to him. "You're leaving?"
Stiles opened his mouth and then he really looked at the worry on Megan's face. "I have some things I need to do but if you'd prefer I can stay and do the other things tomorrow."
Megan shook he head but Stiles could see the way she really didn't want him to leave. For a moment he desperately wished he didn't seem to be the type of person who could always make anyone comfortable and willing to talk to him, trust him.
Stiles smiled at her and ignored the way Derek was attempting to catch his eye. "You know, I think I should stick around, I'm sure everything can wait."
"It's almost time for Logan's nap," Megan said. "I have a fold-a-cot in my car can I set it up here somewhere?"
"There are a few spare rooms," Derek said. "You can have any one you want."
Megan nodded slowly. "I'll just go and get it out of the car."
"Let me come and help," Stiles said following her out of the kitchen.
"I'm not sure what exactly I've walked into," Megan said when they were outside. "I knew he was strange but I never expected all of this."
Stiles sighed. "He is not a very talkative guy and he might come across a little intense but family is very important to him."
"He looked like the lone wolf type," Megan paused to let out a strained laugh. "I mean-"
"I know," Stiles said. "I get it, really I do but…ah crap, right, so Derek lost his family when he was a teenager and he has been both fearful of having one and looking for one ever since so he will want to be part of Logan's life."
"I thought I could do it alone, I haven't had anyone in a long time either and I thought that it would just be me and Logan and that would be okay. It's been tough, a lot worse than I thought it would be, and I don't know what to do with a werewolf."
Stiles shrugged. "In my experience a lot of hugs…the pack calls it scenting and pack time, but it's just one big arse hug, and then calm…a lot of calm. Other than that they are pretty normal most of the time."
"They?" Megan hefted the folded down cot out of her boot and laid it out on the grass before grabbing a duffle bag as well. "Do you think Derek would mind me doing some washing, or is there a laundromat in town?"
Stiles smiled. "I'm not a werewolf and Derek will be happy to let you do some washing, come on I'll show you where everything is."
"And you're safe? With them, I mean…not being a werewolf?"
Stiles grinned. "Of course I am, they all have excellent control and Derek is very good, he will be able to teach Logan everything he needs to know."
Megan nodded but she didn't seem to be even focused on Stiles or their conversation anymore. He left her to her thoughts, grabbed her bag and led the way into the house. He took her to a spare room, one of the larger ones that was close to both the bathroom and kitchen. He watched as she quickly put the cot up having obviously done so a number of times. Stiles could see that she was still utterly focussed on herself and not on him at all. When she was done he watched as she tugged a plastic bag from within the duffle and followed him to the laundry. Stiles had never spent much time in this room but he knew how Derek organised his cupboards so he was able to find everything she would need.
Derek appeared at the door moments after she turned the washing machine on, Stiles stepped out of the room and left them alone ignoring the look from Derek as he did so.
"He fell asleep," Derek said shifting Logan gently in his arms.
"I'll take him."
Stiles twisted so that he could watch the gentle, tentative way that Megan took Logan from Derek's arms. She looked up and smiled gently at Stiles before she went back to the room he had given her.
By the time he was back in the kitchen the wolves were all staring at him with a mixture of worry and pity.
"Oh shut up all of you, I'm fine."
"Stiles," Scott said.
"No!" Stiles whispered harshly. "It's absolutely nothing at all, it never was. Just leave it the hell alone."
"Megan's going to have a sleep while Logan is," Derek said as soon as he came back into the kitchen.
"Stiles," Scott said. "Allison called me and needs me to come home, are you ready to leave?"
Stiles smiled at him. "Sounds good. We'll be back later."
"Stiles," Derek said.
"Call if you need us to bring anything back," Stiles said with a bright smile before he grabbed his satchel and followed Scott out of the house.
/ / / TBC \ \ \
Chapter 3: Denial
/ / / Denial \ \ \
As soon as Stiles and Megan were out of human earshot Scott turned on Derek, he kept his voice pitched low due to the baby eating in Derek's arms but the flash of amber eyes negated any warmth the voice might have given his words.
"How could you do this?" Scott started.
It seemed that was the exact opening Lydia had been waiting for and she glared at Derek more harshly than any werewolf he had ever met. "Who is she? Did she mean anything at all to you? Or was she some easy fuck that you forgot about? It must have been really important to you of you could treat Stiles like this."
"Did you see his face?" Scott continued. "How could you do this to him?"
Derek let his eyes flash red and stared down his beta…and attempted it with Lydia who didn't even pretend to look scared. "You do both understand that babies take nine months to grow right, he's six months old. It all happened fifteen months ago."
"Not just both," Erica said. "I'm annoyed at you too, you always tell the male werewolves don't sleep around and if you do you better fucking make sure you don't get her pregnant."
Derek glared at her imitation of his voice.
"You have been making little moon eyes at Stiles for more than fifteen months," Scott said harshly and the baby paused in his drinking so Scott dropped his voice back to the soothing tone he had been using. "He won't put out for you so you find someone else and then you can't even follow your own fucking rules?"
"This has nothing to do with Stiles."
"San Diego," Boyd said finally.
"It must have been when you were there," Erica continued. "She did say she'd travelled to get here. That was just before the incident with the bear creature."
Derek nodded. He pulled the empty bottle from Logan's mouth and tried to remember the exact way his sister had held his nephew before the fire. He knew there had been a trick to it but he didn't think he had it right even as the boy turned into Derek's neck and breathed wetly on his skin.
He was a father. He was responsible for this little baby who looked so much like little Patrick had. But then, he and his sister both got their looks from their father. He stopped paying attention to his betas as he patted the baby's back vowing to do a better job of protecting him than he did protecting Patrick or his mother. He felt the burp as well as heard it, feeling Logan's little chest expand and contract out of rhythm with his breathing. Derek continued to pat the boy's back and he twisted his head so he could properly drag his son's…his son's, core scent into his lungs and let the wolf learn it. This was more than pack, this was his family and this little boy was so much more vulnerable than anyone Derek had been close to in years. For a brief moment he wondered if he'd have to move to San Diego, he didn't like living in a city and it would make it harder for him to protect Logan but if he needed to…if Megan couldn't be convinced to move here then he would have to work out who should be given the position of leader while he was away. Stiles was the sensible choice but he was human and he could never hold that position even if the betas all deferred to him more than they should. He would have to step up training exercises to see if he could force anyone into stepping up.
Derek felt Logan's breathing change, deepen and slow down and he knew that his son had fallen asleep in his arms and it made his chest tighten.
"Derek!" Lydia said shrilly pulling him back to his pack.
Derek scowled at them. "Right, Stiles and I are not dating, we were not dating fifteen months ago and we are not now. I do not have to justify my actions to you. Yes, I should have checked in on Megan to make sure she wasn't pregnant but things here prevented me from going to San Diego. Stiles is an adult and I'm sure he is aware that people have sex. Stop acting like a cheated on him right now, if you cannot be civil leave and calm down. I have a son now and that is more important than any perceived slight you see against another member of this pack."
Neither Scott nor Lydia looked pleased…in fact none of his pack did but Stiles would understand, about Logan and about why the relationship they had been moving towards would need to be put on hold for a while. Logan needed to be the most important thing in Derek's life, he was Derek's son. And when things with Logan were settled he and Stiles could finally put what happened that summer after Stiles' graduated behind them and move on. At the moment the human was shocked, they were all shocked, but everything would be fine.
"He will understand," Derek said firmly to everyone as he heard Stiles and Megan go into the laundry. They had obviously finished with the cot so Logan would have a place to sleep. Derek found he didn't want to let the baby go but he knew he had to.
Derek took in the dubious looks of his betas and shook his head before he left the room; they really should know Stiles better than that. They were underestimating the human. Derek believed that right up until the moment when he walked into the laundry and Stiles turned and left. Derek watched Stiles watching he and Megan out of the corner of his eye before he continued on back into the kitchen.
Derek felt the sudden loss of weight and warmth in his arms sharply. He trailed behind Megan as she went to the spare room and tucked Logan into the cot. It was a plastic and mesh cot with a little mattress and Derek knew he would need to get something better, as soon as possible, maybe this afternoon ready for him to sleep in tonight. Derek didn't want to leave, he wanted to sink down on the floor next to the cot and watch Logan.
"Thank you," Megan said startling him out of his thoughts. "I really wasn't sure what you would do when I got here."
"I just mean," she yawned widely, her jaw cracking, before she continued. "I didn't think you'd be into babies and to suddenly have one."
Derek stepped further into the room and closer to her. "I want to be in his life, he is my son and family is very important to me."
Megan smiled. "That's what Stiles said."
Derek nodded and was about to say something else when she yawned again. "Would you like to get some sleep? We can talk later."
Megan took a deep breath. "Do you mind if I have a shower? I have been driving for a couple of days and I just…I thought I was insane and to know that there is a reason even though it's an insane reason…it's a relief."
"Megan," Derek said remembering all of the 'speaking to people nicely' tips that Stiles had given him over the years. "For as long as you are in Beacon Hills I would like you to think of this as your home, yours and Logan's."
Megan stared at him for a moment. "You're different here than you were when you were in San Diego, I like it. I know this is all about Logan but thank you."
"You are his mother," Derek said. "So it's about you too."
Megan didn't say anything but she looked shocked at Derek's words. He found her some towels and showed her the bathroom and left her to it.
"…just leave it the hell alone," Derek heard Stiles say once he was far enough away from Logan that he wasn't concentrating all of his hearing on the boy's steady heartbeat. Derek stepped into the kitchen to find Stiles looking as defensive as the voice had sounded and the betas all looking worried.
"Megan's going to have a sleep while Logan is."
"Stiles," Scott said. "Allison called me and needs me to come home, are you ready to leave?" Derek didn't even need to heart Scott's heart to hear the lie.
Stiles smiled at him. "Sounds good. We'll be back later."
"Stiles," Derek said wanting a moment alone to speak to the other man. Stiles must be misunderstanding something and Derek had a feeling that it would be better to sort things out now.
"Call if you need us to bring anything back," Stiles said refusing to look Derek in the eye, his voice and smile brittle. Derek didn't know what the betas had said but they certainly hadn't made this any easier.
Derek watched as Stiles and Scott left the house and then glared at the remaining members of his pack. "I'm going to buy a cot, do not leave this house, protect Logan and Megan," all of the wolf's eyes widened a little at that. "Until I get back, understood?"
They all nodded so Derek grabbed his wallet, keys and phone and left out of the kitchen door. He waited three steps and then turned to glare at Lydia.
"Please," she said mockingly. "Like you know how to shop for anything."
"No," Derek said.
"Where is the baby store?" Lydia asked.
Derek took a moment to think about it.
"Exactly," she said and walked past him. "Don't think that this means I don't think you're an idiot but as you are also stubborn I'll just be here to pick up the pieces."
"Everything is going to be fine," Derek said. "He's in shock, he'll understand."
Lydia scoffed as she slid into the passenger seat of his car. "I hope you have your credit card."
/ / / TBC \ \ \
Chapter 4: Family
/ / / Family \ \ \
Stiles, Scott and Allison came back a couple of hours later.
"Derek's still out shopping," Erica said as soon as the three walked in through the front door.
"Ha," Allison said walking straight into the lounge room and eyeballing Jackson out of the seat she wanted. "Derek, shopping?"
"He went to buy a cot," Jackson said flippantly. "For his son."
"Good," Stiles said looking around the living room.
"They are both still asleep," Boyd said. "Heartbeats very steady the whole time."
"Megan didn't look like she'd been sleeping…did someone take care of her washing?" Stiles asked.
"Yeah," Isaac said. "And we bought everything on the list but I have no idea what to do with it."
"It needs to be cooked and mashed," Allison rubbing a hand over her stomach. "I will tell someone what to do but I'm pulling the pregnant card so I don't need to stand at the stove."
Stiles laughed, Allison was eight months pregnant and had been pulling the pregnancy card, with great success, since the moment the werewolves had smelt the pregnancy on her. "I'll do it, come on."
Unsurprisingly, the rest of the pack trailed in behind Allison and Stiles.
"So," Allison said. "The general suggestion is that each food should be introduced over three days with things that have already proven to be safe for the baby."
"He can't have an allergy," Isaac said. "He's a werewolf."
Allison smiled. "Better safe than sorry."
All of the betas nodded.
"The fruits can just be mashed or blended…does Derek even own a hand blender? Or a food processor?"
"Yes," Stiles said. "Are you reading ahead of the class again?"
Allison smoothed her hand over her stomach again, something she did regularly. "I can't sleep much so I'm reading the books I had saved for after…dammit, Derek stole this baby's position as first in the pack."
Scott slid his arm low around his wife's back. "But she'll be the first girl."
"I've told you," Allison said. "I think it's a boy."
"Smells like a girl," Scott said.
Stiles stopped listening to their argument, it occurred often and they both changed sides just as often unable to decide what they thought the baby would be. He opened the fridge and laughed to himself at the sheer amount of food in the fridge. He shook his head and began emptying all of the fruits and vegetables out of the fridge.
"Hell," Allison said pausing in the middle of the argument. "Did you leave any cauliflower in the shop?"
Isaac blushed. "Derek said to get everything."
"Not everything in the shop," Erica said with a smirk.
"Okay," Allison said looking over the food. "Everyone gets a job."
Erica began to leave the room.
"I will tell Derek all about anyone who doesn't help," Allison said. Erica rolled her eyes. "And that thing that happened last full moon."
Erica turned around and grabbed the watermelon off the counter.
"Okay, so the fruits get peeled or seeded or whatever and then mashed and frozen. Isaac, can you do a run down to the supermarket and get a heap of those big ice cube trays with a cover?"
Isaac nodded and slipped out of the house.
"And get me a bunch of bananas," Allison turned to Scott who nodded at her to say Isaac had heard, Scott lifted an eyebrow at her. "I just really want a banana."
"What about the vegetables," Stiles asked.
"Cooked and then mashed as well," Allison said.
The pack set to work under Allison's instruction getting things ready for having a baby in the house.
"Wow," Megan's voice was sleepy but Stiles was the only one surprised to hear it.
Stiles turned to look at her with a smile. "Sleep well?"
"Better than I have in weeks; Logan hasn't been sleeping well since he turned six months and neither have I."
"It's the noise, Derek and I were talking about it, oh, sorry, this is my wife Allison," Scott said and Allison stood to shake Megan's hand. "Derek said that if our baby is a werewolf their changing senses will be very hard to get used to. I understand really, I slept terribly for a while after I became a werewolf."
"You weren't born one?" Megan said.
"No, I was sixteen when I was bitten." Scott said but didn't bother to elaborate on how he was turned. "None of us were born werewolves except for Derek."
Megan nodded and blinked a couple of times before she turned to Stiles where he was leaning on the counter next to the stove. "Can I help?"
"You can tell us if we've done it right," Jackson said. "Because I will not be doing this again."
Allison explained what she had had the pack doing and Megan looked shocked when she saw everything they had made for Logan.
Isaac was the first to speak up. "Because he is Derek's and he needs to eat."
"But this is…too much."
"We just want to help," Stiles said. "Would you like some tea?"
Megan closed her eyes and took a couple of shuddering breaths. "I…"
"Let's go into the lounge room," Allison said cupping Megan's elbow. "Scott'll bring us a cup of tea."
"Okay," Megan said allowing herself to be led out of the room. The pack went back to their work.
"I don't understand this at all," Megan said to Allison as soon as they were sitting. "None of them know me. They don't even know if I'm telling the truth about Logan being Derek's and they are all just…I wasn't expecting any of this."
Allison smiled at Megan carefully. "He is a werewolf, so that is a pretty good indication. What did you come for?"
"I didn't know what was happening with Logan, he started growing hair and growling and his eyes would change and he wouldn't sleep and I just didn't know what was going on. I don't have any family and I thought I was going insane. I needed help so I came out here because I thought maybe he could help. I…I was…I don't know."
"Well," Allison said. "Here is the thing about werewolves, they are protective and helpful to the pack and Derek, after a lot of missteps…actually really it was more Stiles than Derek but technically it's Derek so…" Megan's eyes were clouded with confusion. "Sorry, right. Derek is the alpha of the pack and family is part of the pack, so now that Logan is here they all will want to help. It's like walking into a kind of co-dependant family of people who are all quite…special."
"Is your baby going to be a werewolf too?"
"I don't know," Allison said smoothing her hand over her stomach and feeling the movements under her palm. "They might be."
"How do you feel about that?"
Allison smiled softly. "I don't care if they are or they aren't, I just want them to be healthy and it's enough that Scott and I got here in the end."
"You had trouble."
"My father really wasn't impressed with Scott, or the fact he's a werewolf but he's had to come to accept it now, I think the grandchild has something to do with it."
Megan smiled gently. "It's nothing like you think it will be, it's so much better and so much harder than you expect."
"You've been doing it alone?"
"I have some great friends but yeah, I haven't had family in a long while and I wanted Logan so much."
"I know they can be overwhelming and it will take some getting used to but the pack will be here to help you, like one big family and you can trust them all. I do."
"I-" Megan was cut off when the front door opened and Lydia swept into the room.
"I'll get one of the others to help," she said walking straight into the kitchen. Derek walked into the house moments later carrying a large box making it look much lighter than it must have been.
"Megan," Derek said turning to the lounge room. He set his box down and Megan could see what it was. "You're awake. Is Logan?" Derek looked around as though the child was hiding.
"No, what is that?"
"I'll go and help the rest of the pack," Allison said rising slowly and leaving the room.
"I bought a few things for Logan," Derek said with a smile. "I only went for a cot but…Lydia organised Allison's baby shower and seemed to be so sure that I would need it all."
"You bought a cot?" Megan asked surprised and then looked at him more closely. "All?"
Derek looked at her seriously. "He is my son, he is family and I want him to be comfortable."
Megan smiled. "I'm very pleased about that."
"We need to talk though," Derek said. "About your plans."
"I don't know what my plans are," Megan admitted. "I'm not sure if I'm going to have a job to go back to. Or what I'm going to do…I don't know anything about werewolves."
Derek sat next to her. "If you don't have anything to go back to you could move here."
Megan stared at him in shock. "You don't know me."
"But you are the mother of my child, so you are pack and-"
Megan held her hands up and shook her head. "I don't know what that means."
"It means that you are family and I want to help, it means that if you and Logan go back to San Diego I will move too, to be near him."
"Here," Stiles said walking into the room suddenly. "Something to drink," he put the glasses down and turned to leave the room as quickly as he'd come into it. Derek stared behind him for a moment.
"I…I have to think about this," Megan said standing up. "I'm…I…this is…I'm not sure what I was expecting but this wasn't it."
Derek pulled away from her. "I know you are his mother, but I am his father and I want to be in his life, as much as I can."
Megan nodded before she slipped out of the room.
/ / / TBC \ \ \
Chapter 5: Confusion
/ / / Confusion \ \ \
Logan woke just as Megan was about to leave the house to sit out on the front porch. She detoured around and went into her room, she would never admit to it but there was a moment of fear…would he be normal or would he be a werewolf? There were steps behind her and she knew she couldn't slow down. She held her breath and let it out in a rush of pleasure when she saw his lovely little face as it should be. He smiled when he saw her and she scooped down to pick him up.
"One of your pack said he wouldn't sleep well with noise," Megan said as she laid him on the bed so that she could get her portable change mat out of her bag.
"He won't," Derek said. "Not at first, it takes time for him to get used to his senses but eventually they will settle and he'll go back to sleeping the way he did before."
Megan nodded. "That's good; it's been hard while he's not sleeping. This is the longest he's slept in weeks."
"It's quiet out here," Derek said reaching out to tap Logan on the nose making the baby laugh. "That will help, natural noises always do and you have more help now. Was he sleeping in your room in San Diego?"
"Not anymore," Megan finished changing him and nodded at Derek to take him, the man lifted him quickly into his arms. There was no hesitation or double checking to make sure he hadn't changed while they weren't looking, none of the things she hated herself for.
"I'll get the pack to help clear out the room next door and set up all the things Lydia insisted I buy. I'm sure you want him close to you. You can trust us with him but I know that you don't know us yet."
Megan didn't respond, she didn't know how to. She had been giving serious thought to leaving him on Derek's porch and running back to San Diego when she was driving out her. She had been wondering if that might not have been a better thing since she had decided to ring the doorbell. She knew what her son was now, knew she wasn't insane but she didn't know if she could do this…she hadn't been a very good mother so far, too tired, too scared – all the time. And now here she was with this group of people who were not terrible at it, they quietened him down and weren't terrified that he would scratch them, weren't sitting on the floor next to his cot debating their sanity while he growled at them.
And then there was Derek, offering his home, offering his…she wasn't quite sure what he was offering. It had been a one night stand, fun for them both but she'd known he wasn't really available. She had a type – she was sure he wasn't married, she'd learned that lesson the heartbreaking way but she knew he wasn't looking for anything more and neither was she. It was all quite perfect. Then it wasn't. Megan could understand the desire to do the right thing, she respected it but this was overwhelming, everything Derek seemed to be offering was overwhelming.
She watched as he walked out of the room holding Logan and wondered for a moment what would happen if she simply left, grabbed her bag and walked out the front door. She might never forgive herself, she knew that, but she had barely known what she was doing with an average…perfect, five month old, she had no idea what to do with a six month old werewolf. Megan sank down onto the corner of the bed, her brain was telling her werewolves didn't exist – they were in movies and books but they weren't real. Except her son had grown hair he shouldn't have, he had claws and had started to growl while his eyes flashed electric blue. She still wasn't entirely sure she wasn't lying on the bathroom floor having a hallucination while Logan screamed bloody murder.
Megan stood to wash her hands and then closed her bedroom door and sunk down onto the floor with her back to it. She looked at Logan's travel cot and tried to work out what to do from here. She just needed a moment, just a moment, and then she could go back out there.
/ / / \ \ \
Derek walked into the kitchen and the work stopped.
"While I think he is very cute," Erica started eyeing Logan carefully. "Never leave me alone with him."
Derek watched Stiles as he scrubbed at the dishes that had been used to make Logan's food.
"He certainly drools like a dog," Jackson said vaguely disgusted.
"He's teething," Scott said. "Both James and Emma drooled a heap when they were teething."
Erica let out a bark of laughter. "A teething werewolf, excellent."
Scott rolled his eye at Erica. "He needs something to gnaw on."
"Umm," Scott said looking thoughtful. "I think Mum gave them…a biscuit?"
"Rusks," Stiles said without turning around. "She gave them rusks."
"That's a biscuit right?" Scott said.
"We'll get some," Derek said, he cocked his head and listened as Megan shut herself in her room. He knew none of this could be easy for her, so, even though he wanted to know what her plans were, so he could make his own, he wasn't going to push. "I need Boyd and Isaac to start moving the furniture out of the room next to where Megan is."
"Why?" Isaac asked.
"That's where Logan's room is going to be," Derek said. "Put it all down in the basement, except the chest of drawers."
"Oh, Allison," Lydia said suddenly dragging Allison from the room. "You have to see the clothes we bought for him."
"Jackson and Danny," Derek continued. "There is a heap of stuff in the back of the car, get it out and take it into Logan's room. Danny, you're in charge of organising the furniture to be put together. It needs to be done before he is ready to sleep again and it should be safe enough to protect your own liver – which is what I will rip out if you do a bad job."
"Motivation for the grumpy Alpha," Erica said bumping into Stiles' elbow but the human ignored her and continued to scrub at the pot in his hands.
Derek watched Stiles, his back rigid and he was oddly focussed on washing the dishes – especially since Derek had a very good dishwasher next to Stiles' knee. Derek had been so sure that Stiles, of all people, would understand how Derek felt about family. Stiles had always been the most aware of any of the pack and he, more than any of the others, had been the one to remind Derek, time and again, that his pack was now his family. Stiles couldn't be upset that Derek had slept with someone over a year ago, after all Stiles had been in a relationship then.
Derek could hear Isaac and Boyd moving furniture and the chatter of Allison and Lydia going out to the car to look at all the clothes Lydia had purchased. Derek had not even bothered to look at the clothes just handed over his credit card when instructed knowing that clothes and Lydia was a topic best left alone.
"We filled your freezer with food for Logan," Erica said. "I don't cook even for little people who look like you."
Derek eyed Erica. "Lydia has something on you?"
Erica rolled her eyes.
"Thank you for organising them with the food, Stiles," Derek said and the human shook his head.
"It was Allison," Stiles said without turning.
"What was me?" Allison asked when she came back into the room.
"You organised Logan's food," Stiles said into the soapy water.
Derek handed Logan to Allison with a smile and grabbed Stiles' elbow to lead him out of the kitchen and into the lounge room. Stiles turned to him with a questioning looking without actually meeting the Alpha's eyes.
"We need to talk," Derek started.
"Yes," Stiles said. "I think we might."
"Why are you acting stragnely?" Derek asked staring at Stiles until the human met his eyes.
Stiles stared at him for a moment, as though he was deciding what to say, then he shook his head. "You have a son."
"I do," Derek didn't intend to smile but it crept over his face anyway. "I didn't know."
"I noticed that," Stiles said tilting his head and frowning at Derek. "Why hadn't you checked on her, I know you checked on the others."
"Others?" Derek asked surprised.
Stiles let out a bark of laughter. "You are not nearly as inscrutable as you think you are. The pack – well some of them, are aware when you go off and have sex. You normally disappear again a month later, if they're women, to check things out and make sure you aren't going to be a daddy."
"You know about that?"
Stiles looked at him like he was stupid. "Did you think I could miss it? After everything?"
"That bear," Derek said. "It got busy and I…didn't go back."
Stiles nodded. "Figures that the one time you weren't overly careful you'd end up with a little were-Logan."
"I should have gone back when things settle down."
"Yeah," Stiles agreed. "But when do things ever really settle down around here? You didn't go back and now you have a son, going back wouldn't have changed the eventual outcome."
"I could have saved her thinking she was insane when he started to change."
"It's so much cuter on a six month old than on Scott," Stile said with a smirk.
"Wait until he is finished growing his teeth," Derek said. "You won't think it's so cute."
Stiles nodded and looked out of the window. Derek wasn't sure what he needed to say.
"Was that all it was?" Stiles asked quietly.
"You and Megan was it really only a one off?"
Derek tried to work out what Stiles was really asking when the other man turned to him – obviously impatient with Derek's silence.
"You're going to San Diego," Stiles reminded him, glaring at Derek. "A month ago you…" Stiles cut himself off and looked over Derek's shoulder. "And now you are leaving?"
"What I said a month ago hasn't changed," Derek said. "But other things have and he is my son, I need to be in his life."
Stiles nodded. "I understand that."
Stiles' eyes slammed back into Derek and he looked furious. "Of course I understand that, that's what makes this so shit. Because I respect your desire to be in his life and everything you want to do to help but that doesn't stop me from being angry."
"It was fifteen months ago," Derek said again waiting for someone to pay attention. "Fifteen months ago you were still angry over what happened before you went to university. Not to mention the fact you were with your boyfriend at the time."
"You think I'm angry because you went to San Diego and had sex with someone?"
Derek looked confused for a moment and then nodded.
"That's not why I'm angry."
"Good, because it was just sex."
"Was it?" Stiles said bitterly. "Though I remember, of course, just how little sex can mean to you."
Derek let out a low growl and Stiles stepped back.
"Sorry," the human said immediately. "I shouldn't have brought that up."
Derek glared at him for a moment and then pushed down his annoyance. "If it's not that I had sex with her, why are you so annoyed?"
"Because you told her she's pack, because you let her in without a fight, because she didn't have to work for years to earn a little kindness from you," Stiles hadn't looked at Derek throughout his admission and Derek wasn't sure what was worse, the fact he couldn't look at Derek or the tone he spoke with.
"A lot has changed over the years," Derek reminded Stiles.
"And a lot hasn't," Stiles said, his eyes sliding over Derek's full of painful memories. "You're still pushing me away."
"That's not what I'm doing."
"That is exactly what you're doing," Stiles said with utter conviction, looking at Derek without blinking.
"Why do you think that?"
"She's pack?" Stiles asked. "I almost died for you and I wasn't allowed to be in your little pack but she is?"
"She is the mother of my son," Derek said rationally. "Of course she is pack, he is family."
"And that's all it takes? Have your baby and you get a free pass into Derek's pack."
"It's not a free pass; she is the mother of my son."
"And I saved your life, again and again, I convinced half your pack to come back to you and I wasn't even good enough for you to listen to me. I wasn't allowed in your pack, I was not important enough no matter what I did and she just walked in?"
"I thought you, of everyone, would understand about how I feel about family."
"She's not family."
"She's the mother of my son, so she is in my life now," Derek said again, he couldn't work out how to explain this to Stiles in any other way. Logan was family, more than pack, and since he was family and she was his family, she was, therefor, pack. He opened his mouth to try again and stopped at the look on Stiles' face.
Stiles nodded. "Okay, fine."
"What is that supposed to mean?"
"It means I'm leaving," Stiles said grabbing his coat and leaving the house.
Second later Lydia and Scott stormed past the lounge room and out the front door.
Allison followed at a slower pace. She handed Logan back to Derek and sighed. "That wasn't a very good way of handling things."
/ / / TBC \ \ \
Chapter 6: Skills
I should be working on my third to last assignment EVER (and I mean that this time, not like last time) but instead I'm doing this...enjoy!
/ / / Skills \ \ \
Megan woke with a start and then a wince. She was slumped over against the door and her ribs were aching. She took a moment to rub them before she realised what had woken her. Logan.
She climbed up with a grimace and left the room, following the sound of his cries until she made it into the kitchen to find a group of terrified looking werewolves and her crying son. His eyes found hers…his electric blue eyes but she took a deep breath and moved over to him. She remembered how sure Stiles had been that he wouldn't be hurt and prayed that Stiles had known what he was talking about.
"Thank God," one of the wolves said and rushed out of the kitchen past Megan.
Megan collected Logan and pulled him into her chest, she held him nice and tight as she looked at the unnerving expressions on the faces around her – they all looked like she had for the last six months.
"He's hungry," Megan said. "Did you leave anything out?"
"We tried to feed him," Derek said and Megan turned to him when his voice didn't sound quite right. She noticed that his eyes were red and she took a step back from him.
"W-what?" Megan asked, about to finish with is wrong with your eyes when Isaac stepped forward.
"This," Isaac said shoving a bowl out at her.
"Okay," Megan said. "What is it?"
"Potato and pumpkin," Isaac said.
"Was it too hot?"
Isaac looked to Derek and then around the room. "We were supposed to heat it up?"
Derek growled behind her and Megan held Logan closer.
"Put it in the microwave for twenty seconds and then stir."
Megan stopped watching them to pull Logan away from her chest; he was back to normal though his eyes were wet. "I'm so sorry, sweetheart," Megan bounced him close and kissed the tip of his nose. "I didn't mean to fall asleep."
"He's been upset since Stiles left," Erica said looking at Derek. "Maybe they would have known to heat the food up."
"You didn't think of it," Isaac defended as the microwave dinged and he pulled the food out to stir it.
"I don't do babies," Erica said looking down her nose at him. "There is a reason I practice safe sex…on several levels. I do not want one of them."
Derek growled again and Megan moved a little to make sure she wasn't in the line of…whatever might occur. She went to stand next to Isaac.
"Test it with your pinkie knuckle, it is clean, right?"
Isaac looked at his knuckle and then nodded. He slipped it into the mush and then turned to her with a confused look. Megan smiled and did the same then shook her head. "Another ten seconds. Did you buy any cereal it's a little mushy and some cereal will bulk it up."
Isaac nodded and rushed to the cupboard. He came back with six boxes of cereal. Megan decided to laugh rather than freak out about the fact they had purchased six different types of baby cereal. She pointed to the one that she normally bought and Isaac returned the rest to the cupboard. She held the baby out to the werewolf who looked terrified for a moment. Seconds later Derek scooped him up and held him so that he could see Megan while she added some cereal, stirred and got the food to the right temperature.
Megan turned around and then frowned. "You're going to need to hold him while I feed him."
"I put together the high chair," Danny said and then Megan saw it sitting next to the table. It was nicer than the one she had at home. She turned back to Derek. "Will you put him in there?"
Derek walked over and she watched as he very carefully settled Logan into the seat. Megan pushed Derek into the one in front of it and handed him the bowl and spoon. Derek smiled at her and then offered Logan a spoonful, the baby accepted it and once satisfied that it was perfect opened his mouth for more.
"Does anyone know what happened to the bottle I filled with hot water earlier?" Megan asked after having looked around.
"I put it in the fridge," Isaac said wrenching the door open with an unfortunate squeak and handed it to Megan. She thanked him and set the kettle to boil.
"We bought more bottles," Derek said even though his eyes didn't leave Logan's face.
"They need to be washed and sterilised before he can use them," Megan said. "This one is fine for tonight."
"I bought one of them too," Derek said. "Lydia insisted it was necessary."
"Where is Lydia?" Megan asked. "And Stiles, and Alice?"
"Allison," Danny corrected but didn't offer anything else. All of the people in the kitchen seemed to be staring at Derek. Megan followed their lead while she waited for the kettle to boil.
Erica flounced over to Megan and sighed. "Stiles left because he and Derek had a disagreement."
"Oh," Megan left it at that and went back to preparing Logan's bottle.
"Thank God you woke up," Erica continued. "Someone who knows what they're doing."
Megan looked at Erica in confusion; she barely knew what she was doing.
"This lot are useless," Erica threw over her shoulder.
Megan blinked at them all, noticed the sudden relief on most of their faces and the tight hunch of Derek's shoulders as he watched Logan like a hawk. None of them seemed as comfortable with children as Stiles or Allison did. Logan was happy so long as he was being fed and Megan placed the bottle next to Derek's elbow.
"He's hungry," Derek said.
"It's after his dinner time," Megan said. "I shouldn't have fallen asleep but I didn't even mean to."
"You're tired," Isaac said. "Coffee?"
"Thank you," Megan said accepting the cup with a smile.
"Logan's room's finished," Boyd said stalking into the kitchen, he gulped down a large glass of water with his back to everyone else.
"His room?" Megan asked.
Derek finally took his eyes off Logan. "I mentioned setting him up in the room next to yours, it is probably not the best room for a baby but for now it will do."
"For now?" Jackson said from the doorway, he was the one who had rushed past her earlier but the lack of crying had dragged him back to the kitchen. "We carted all of the old furniture down to basement and put together baby furniture."
"You didn't have to put together all of the furniture," Derek reminded him with a 'stop whining' tone.
"Can I see it?" Megan asked.
"Of course," Derek said feeding Logan the last spoonful of his meal. "Does he have the milk immediately?"
"Showing me can wait until he's done." Megan moved to grab the bowl but Isaac beat her to it and carried it to the sink to wash it out while Logan grabbed at the bottle as soon as he saw it and dragged it to his mouth. Megan sat and watched as Derek stared at Logan who drank down his formula with zeal and paid Derek almost no attention. When the boy was done Derek pulled him awkwardly out of the high chair and tucked him gently into his chest rubbing at Logan's back.
"You're good at this," Megan said quietly but the room was silent around her even with people sitting or standing in the space.
"I remember holding my nephew when he was this age." Derek didn't say anything else and suddenly Megan wondered where his family was, Stiles had said he didn't have one but he had had a nephew. Megan didn't think it was her place to ask even if she wanted to.
Derek stood and led the way into the room next to hers. There was a chest of drawers against one wall with open drawers full of baby clothing.
"It's all clean," Derek said. "Washed and dried, I used the laundry detergent that's gentle for werewolves so he shouldn't have any problems with it."
Megan looked at Derek in confusion. "Why would he have a problem?"
"Strong smell," Derek said. "Some of the chemicals that are used in them can be irritating. Werewolves don't have allergic reactions but they can be irritating."
"Oh." Megan didn't know that, she had used the same one for his clothes that she had always used for her own and wondered if she had been irritating him this whole time. There were so many things she didn't know about her own son. The day she brought him home from the hospital was the day she assumed would be the worst, the one where she would know almost nothing but it never occurred to her that just as she was falling into a rhythm with him everything would suddenly change again.
"The one you use," Derek said and to Megan's horror she could see him sniffing the air. "Smells of chemical flowers."
Megan lifted her arm and sniffed it; the scent was barely noticeable hidden beneath the smells of being in her bag and car for the last few days. She turned back to the room and tried to focus on that instead. The chest of drawers was next to the door for the walk in closet and Megan could see some boxes in there. Nappies and wipes, not the brands she had been using – probably another werewolf thing; though she did tend to buy the cheaper brands. Across from them both was a cot, dark wood to match everything else in the room, there was a mattress on the bed and a bright green and cream sheet covering it with a teddy bear blanket folded up at the base of the mattress with a pillow on top.
"Thomas bought me this baby sleeping bag," Megan said. "It keeps him warm and he can't get tangled in the blankets."
Derek stepped forward. "It can get cold out here."
Megan nodded. "I washed it before…oh, I fell asleep."
"We took care of it, they are sitting in a basket waiting for you," Isaac piped up from the doorway and it was the first time Megan realised that, what remained of, Derek's pack had followed them in and was standing at the door.
"Thank you," Megan turned around again and picked up the blanket – it was soft and a part of her simply wanted to bury her face into it so that she wouldn't have to see everything these people had accomplished for her son in an afternoon.
"Everything's washed," Erica said. "Allison called to remind me that everything had to be washed for him."
"Thank you," Megan held the blanket to her chest and walked over to the change table, boxes and jars and tubes were sitting on the shelf below the flat top that held a plastic change mat. There was a draw under the shelf and a cupboard under that but she didn't open either of them not sure if she wanted to see anything else. Megan had been working off a single income and she had a good job but it was just her and her maternity leave so she had bought second hand furniture and had been gifted hand-me-downs from some friends with kids. She hadn't been able to give Logan things as nice as Derek had managed in a single day. She didn't judge him for doing so, she knew he had money – had known that night they spent together and Logan was his son but in the long list of things that were making Megan feel like the most useless mother in existence this was simply the end to a spectacular day.
Then Logan began to fuss and Megan turned to see the people at the door disappear like smoke while Derek looked down at Logan with confusion.
"Why is he unsettled?" Derek said. "He doesn't need to be changed."
"How can you tell?"
"I can smell it," Derek said.
"You can smell when he has done a wee in his nappy?"
"Of course," Derek said like the question had been stupid and Megan realised that once again werewolf was something she did not understand at all.
"Did he burp?" Megan lifted the baby out of Derek's arms and hugged him close, she didn't like to admit to herself that she was watching his little fingers for claws as they wrapped around one of her fingers. She rubbed at his back while Derek shook his head and a moment later Logan burped and slumped in her arms.
When Megan looked up Derek looked wistful for a moment while he was running a finger down Logan's back.
"Do you want him back?" Megan asked.
Derek shook his head. "You haven't had him much today."
"It's fine," Megan said and held Logan out to Derek. "Would you like to help me bath him?"
Derek took a moment to look terrified and then nodded. "I bought one of them too."
"He's too big for them," Megan said. "He ends up dumping all the water out when he splashes. But, you have a bath."
Derek followed Megan into the bathroom and helped where he could while Logan splashed water and made noises and looked to be having an excellent time. Afterwards, when he was dry and warm tucked into Derek's arms, full from his night bottle, he fell asleep. Derek placed him into the cot and stood for a few minutes simply watching him, he would have stayed the whole night, spent the time learning more about his son's smell and sound and the way he slept but Megan pulled him from the room eventually and turned the light off behind them.
Megan spent the rest of the evening walking Derek through her nightly preparation for the next day. They cleaned and sterilised the bottles, unpacked the things they would need all the time for Logan and Derek listened attentively to Megan's explanation of how her days went. Megan wanted to ask him about werewolves but she didn't think she felt up to the answers.
Derek instructed his pack to stay away the next day so that he could spend it with Megan and Logan, getting to know his son and giving everyone a day off before their work week started.
/ / / TBC \ \ \
Chapter 7: Learning
/ / / Learning \ \ \
Sunday morning Derek woke before Megan, he could hear Logan's breathing – slow and deep and he focussed on it as he walked down the stairs. He could hear Megan sleeping as well as he put the coffee on and listened intently to his son's breathing and heartbeat. He heard it change and was at the door before Logan had even made a noise. Logan looked up at him with recognition and Derek let his eyes change, felt his mutton chops grow out and his teeth elongate. He smiled down at the little boy who stared up at him for a moment before he smiled at Derek. Derek pulled back the change and collected Logan out of the cot, the scent of wet nappy had hit him as soon as he went into the room so he laid Logan out on the change table and tried to remember what he had seen Megan do the day before.
He undid the tabs at either side of the nappy and pulled it back just as Logan's eyes opened a little wider and the smell hit him. Then his shirt was wet and Logan was smiling as he peed on Derek.
"Shit," Derek hissed and covered the baby's genitals back up with the front of his nappy. Derek looked down at himself with a frown. His black shirt was wet and he could feel the wet heat sinking down to the waistband of his pants. "Did you do that deliberately?"
The baby looked up at him.
"He's done that to me a couple of times too," Megan said behind him yawning. "I'll change him if you would like to go and have a shower."
Derek nodded and walked back up to his room and the shower. When he came back down Megan was in the kitchen making Logan's breakfast.
"He has cereal in the mornings with some pureed peach and yoghurt, he loves yoghurt." Megan explained when he leaned on the bench next to her.
And that was how they spent their day, Derek following Megan through her day with Logan. On Monday their day went along in much the same way.
After breakfast he had another bottle and then Megan dressed Logan for the day. Dipping into the clothes that Lydia had purchased for the first time.
"Who picked out these clothes?" Megan asked looking through the drawers with an odd look on her face.
"Lydia," Derek said. "Why? Did you think I didn't buy them?"
"You wear a lot of black," Megan said and then held up a sky blue onesie. "Don't seem like the type to pick out green sheep."
Derek inclined his head but didn't say anything else. He tried changing Logan again and didn't get urinated on though he did make a number of mistakes that Megan corrected him on. Logan slept after they took a walk outside in the woods and Derek changed to run the perimeter, just in case, while he slept. Logan woke for lunch and Derek followed Megan's instructions to prepare and feed Logan cauliflower and carrot mush.
"When he sleeps after lunch," Megan said biting her lip. "Do you mind if I go into town to get some things?"
"Of course not," Derek said. "Just tell me his schedule and he and I will be fine."
Megan forced a smile out and went back to eating her own lunch while Derek prepared Logan's bottle. He had missed six months but he didn't want to go on not knowing how to do these things for Logan. Derek contemplated how hard it must have been for Megan alone but he made sure not to ask her about her plans or question her too much until she had relaxed somewhat. He hadn't missed the slightly manic look in her eye last night.
"Is there an internet café in town?" Megan asked.
"I'll get you the password for my system," Derek said carrying Logan into his office with him. Logan burped just as Derek dug out the paper Danny had written all the information on. "Danny set everything up; if you have any problems his mobile number is on the sheet too."
Megan thanked him and while Derek put Logan down she slid into her car and drove away.
Derek split his time between listening in to Logan to make sure he was still sleeping comfortably and working in his office. He was halfway through an issue when Logan's sudden cry startled him out of his concentration. Derek went into Logan's room to find the baby red faced, transformed and wailing. Derek picked him up and Logan curled his hand in Derek's shirt, the little sharp nails tearing holes in the fabric. Derek paid it not attention and pulled Logan close. The baby wasn't wet, he shouldn't be hungry but Derek took him into the kitchen and gave him some yoghurt as it was easy to reach without letting go of Logan. Logan refused the yoghurt and continued to cry. Derek felt every sound sinking into his brain and was aware of the tightening of his muscles as he tried to think of something else to do.
The doorbell rang and Derek rushed to it with Logan wriggling and sobbing in his arms. Derek wrenched the door open to find Stiles on the other side.
"What are you doing here?" Derek asked frozen, he didn't expect to see Stiles again until Derek had worked out a way to explain things.
"Here," Stiles said dumping a bag at Derek's feet and slipping Logan out of Derek's arms. He walked into the lounge room and snagged the blanket off the back of the couch so that he could wrap it around Logan.
"What is it?" Derek asked staring down at the cream bag resting on his right foot.
"A couple of books and other stuff you will need," Stiles said rocking. "What's wrong with him?"
"I don't know," Derek admitted. "He woke up from a nap and was crying. He's not hungry and he doesn't need changing."
Stiles started to bounce on his toes. "When Scott and I would look after his brother and sister they always liked to be bounced."
Derek dropped the bag Stiles had brought with him on the coffee table and watched Stiles carefully. Logan was still crying though there were breaks in the noise as he sucked in air.
"Change," Stiles said.
"Change," Stiles said. "Your werewolf, see if that face surprises him out of being upset."
Derek let the change overtake him. "He saw it earlier and it made him smile."
"Of course it did," Stiles said bouncing Logan and showing the baby Derek. Logan paused in his crying, looked at Derek and growled. Then he turned into Stiles and rested against his chest. "Well, that worked," Stiles said after a moment of silence.
"Why are you here?" Derek asked.
"Would you like me to leave?" Stiles asked raising an eyebrow at Derek.
"No!" Derek said quickly. "Though I didn't think you would be back."
"Have a look at what's in the bag," Stiles said and turned around. He pulled Logan further away from his chest. "Hello, Logan, aren't you cute today? Now that you aren't so upset."
Derek growled and Stiles stopped making faces at the baby. "What to expect when you…" Derek looked down at himself and then glared at Stiles. "I'm not expecting."
"Keep reading, it's the first year book plus a couple of other ones the lady at the coffee shop suggested."
"The owner, four kids, really magical with a coffee bean, there are printouts too."
Derek continued to look through the bag while Stiles pulled the rug from around Logan, since the baby didn't feel cold at all, and threw it out over the hardwood floor. He sunk down with Logan still in his arms and laid the baby down.
"Development charts?" Derek said. "He's a werewolf."
"And a baby, there are non-werewolf things you will have to teach him…like mono-syllabic words and compound sentences."
Derek growled at him again.
"Your Daddy is very funny, would you like to roll? Do you roll? Rolling is fun," Stiles grabbed one of Logan's toys, scattered on the floor from after lunch play, and put it just out of the baby's reach. They watched as he rocked back and forth for a moment before he twisted over and started dragging his stomach across the floor to the toy.
"What are you doing?" Derek asked.
"It's a precursor to crawling," Stiles said. "It's all in the printouts."
"No," Derek said slipping onto the floor next to Stiles and watching his son grab at the glowing worm. "You are annoyed at me, why are you helping?"
"I," Stiles said pointing to himself. "Am the research guy, it's why my books are so awesome and it's saved your arse. I may not be very happy with you, and I have valid concerns which we will be discussing, but I quite like Logan so I'm going to do what I always do and push aside how I feel to help you. But, we will need to talk because you don't know anything about Megan, not really."
Derek stared at Stiles for a long while as the younger man playfully wrestled the toy from Logan and moved it a little way away causing the baby to start to drag himself along again to get to it.
"Stop staring, Derek," Stiles said. "This is what I do."
Derek wasn't sure why that explanation didn't make him feel any better about anything.
/ / / TBC \ \ \
Chapter 8: Plans
/ / / Plans \ \ \
Stiles stood up and handed Logan back to Derek when Derek lifted his head, cocked to listen to Megan's car drive up from the road.
"I'll be by tomorrow," Stiles said tapping Logan on the nose.
"What?" Derek followed behind him confused. "We never talked, you said you wanted to talk, you just played with Logan for two hours."
"I'll come by tomorrow," Stiles said again and slipped into his shiny, dark blue jeep. He passed Megan as she drove into the clearing where Derek's house was built.
"Was that Stiles?" Megan asked when she climbed out of the car. She was carrying two bags and seemed calmer than she had when she left.
"Yeah," Derek said. "Came out to give me some reading materials."
Megan frowned at him.
"Stuff about babies," Derek said.
Megan smiled at Logan as she walked past. "I'll just put these away."
Megan disappeared and Derek took Logan into the kitchen, he tucked the baby into the high chair and made himself a drink. He refilled Logan's bottle of water and handed it to the baby before he drank the health shake. Megan joined them a few minutes later and put some things into the fridge before she turned around and smiled at them.
"You seem happier," Derek said.
"I talked to my boss," Megan said. "He said so long as I keep to the deadlines he will hold my job for me and I was able to get a few things that I need."
Megan shook her head gently. "I'm a graphic designer. I have been working from home a lot since even before Logan was born. But I do still need to go in occasionally and I kind of just left without telling anyone or giving it much thought."
Derek nodded. "Sorry, I should have remembered that."
"And you work for your family…only, Stiles said you don't have any family."
"I run my family's business," Derek said. "Which is why I was in San Diego."
"Yeah," Megan turned away from Derek to look at Logan.
"Do you need to do some work?" Derek asked. "I can look after Logan."
"I would like to stay for a couple of days…maybe a week or so," Megan said finally looking up from Logan. "I don't know what will happen in the future but for now…I'd like to take some time to think about it.
"As long as you want," Derek said. "I meant it, you can think of this as your home."
Megan frowned at him. "I don't understand you at-"
There was a knock on the door and Megan motioned Derek to answer it.
"Hey, Derek," Isaac said shyly with his hands shoved into his pockets. "I thought I'd drop by and see if you needed any help."
Derek pushed the door open wider. "Come in."
"Hi, Isaac," Megan said when he came in. "If you are sure you're right with Logan, I will do some work?"
"Go," Derek said with a smile. "Isaac and I will sort it out."
"Is she staying?" Isaac asked as soon as she was out of earshot.
"For a while," Derek said and watched the way Isaac relaxed in relief.
"I was worried that Stiles was right and you were going to go to San Diego."
"I might," Derek said. "If she takes him back there I have to go with her, he's my son and a werewolf, he will need me to teach him how to control it."
Isaac looked worried but he nodded. "Of course."
"I was about to go outside, maybe a walk in the woods," Derek said. "It's good for their developing senses, would you like to come?"
Isaac nodded and followed Derek out through the kitchen door to the backyard. There was a paved section with a patio and chairs but they continued out into the weak sunlight and Derek found a clean, dry patch of grass to sit Logan on.
"There isn't much light," Derek said looking into the trees as he sat down next to Logan.
"What do we do?" Isaac asked sitting so that Logan was between he and Derek.
"I can't remember," Derek muttered under his breath. He could remember this, remember his father taking his first grandchild out into the backyard, into the sun and wind and all of the scents and sights of the wild. He could remember them sitting on the lawn while Derek had been too busy with homework and thinking about Kate (who he hadn't been supposed to be thinking about at all) to have paid what his father was doing any attention. But then, he hadn't known that they would all be dead by the end of the year.
Isaac pretended he hadn't heard and twisted until he was lying on his stomach resting on his elbows. "Hello, Logan."
The baby drooled at him.
"When I was little," Isaac said. "I had a dog who drooled like that…it wasn't cute on her."
"Did you just compare Derek's son to a dog?" Erica asked as she walked out of the forest and dropped down to sit on Isaac's backside.
"I don't sit on grass," Erica said with a wriggle.
Isaac rolled his eyes and Logan's eyes flicked to Erica but it was too much and he toppled over onto his back, he laid there for a moment and then wriggled around until he turned over and started gumming at the grass.
"Actually, I can see the comparison between dog and Logan."
Derek growled at her.
"Jesus, you can't take a joke," Erica said.
"Logan is family and he is not a joke," Derek said, some of the alpha voice slipping in. Logan turned his head and looked at Derek when he heard it.
"Right," Erica said. "I don't get it, you've been all freaky father of the fucking year since he rocked up and yet you have avoided dating and babies like the plague for as long as I have known you."
"That isn't actually a reason," Erica said. "Because this seems like a terrible idea. You and Stiles were about to stop killing us with the will they, won't they," Erica could feel the little hitch underneath her of Isaac's hidden laughter. "Then Logan comes along, with Mummy in tow, and you just welcome them in without a care in the world as though you know this woman beyond what faces she makes when she comes and throw over Stiles. Honestly, I don't care if you and Stiles ever work your shit out but you pout when he's pissed at you and the baby with the one night stand deal is making him well pissed."
"I do not pout," Derek started. "He is family so it doesn't matter if it's a terrible idea or bad timing or anything else because he is here and he is mine so I will do whatever I can to help him and his mother, who didn't ask to have a werewolf son and will need all the help I, and the rest of you, can give her."
"She looks pretty freaked out," Isaac said.
"Do you think she'll just bolt and leave you Logan?" Erica asked.
"It would be better for him if she doesn't but I don't know," Derek said. He didn't like explaining himself to anybody but about the time he almost died at the alpha pack's hands and Stiles, with his trusty pet Scott, had rolled in and saved the pack, town and Derek's arse he had started to…grudgingly, share.
"Okay," Erica said simply and pulled herself up and off Isaac's arse. "I only came by to see if he was still here. I'll see you on Wednesday for the pack meeting."
"You aren't staying?" Isaac asked.
Erica made a sound like she believed Isaac was stupid. "I've been over this, I don't like kids, I actively try not to have one, why would I hang around with someone else's?"
"We used protection," Derek said with a sigh, they had been over this but Erica could be a little dense, and deliberately bitchy, at times."
"Ninety-seven percent, dude, ninety-seven percent."
Erica began to walk back into the woods.
"What's that?" Isaac asked.
"The reliability statistics for condoms," Erica called out as she disappeared out of sight.
"Shit!" Isaac said.
Derek frowned at him. "Have you never read the box?"
"No wonder you make us all check…oh, shit, sorry."
"Never mind," Derek said and he scooped Logan up to take him inside.
Megan was waiting at the door for them. "It's Logan's dinnertime."
"I know," Derek said. "I can do it."
"It's fine," Megan said with a half-smile and Derek realised it was the first really genuine one he had seen on her since she had arrived. "I got a bit of work done."
"She's calmer," Isaac whispered just loud enough for Derek to hear. Derek nodded his agreement and watched Megan prepare Logan's dinner. She was calmer, more relaxed, Derek wasn't sure what she had done in town but it had helped her.
/ / / TBC \ \ \
Chapter 9: Pattern
/ / / Pattern \ \ \
It took Derek a while to work out what was going on.
/ / / \ \ \
On Tuesday, Lydia called and invited Megan to lunch with her and Allison. Megan looked to Derek with confusion.
"Go," Derek said. "It did you good to go out yesterday so go and have some fun, I can look after Logan."
Megan looked hesitant and Lydia turned on the charm until Megan had agreed without even being aware of what she was doing. Derek had taken Logan back out to the lawn in the backyard while she got dressed.
Minutes after the sound of Megan's car disappeared, the smooth rumble of Stiles' jeep caught Derek's attention. Soon after Stiles was sinking down onto the grass next to Derek.
"You're back," Derek said after Stiles had said hello to Logan.
"I said I would be," Stiles said without even looking up from the staring contest he seemed to be having with Logan.
"Megan's gone to lunch with Lydia and Allison," Derek said.
"That's good. I found some information out about programmes for toddlers in Beacon Hills; apparently the baby splash is a lot of fun."
"Programmes," Stiles said super slowly. "You take the baby along and they do developmental exercises, sing nursery rhymes, that sort of thing."
Derek frowned at Stiles.
"Okay," Stiles said. "I'll just let that settle in a bit. Have you had lunch?"
Derek shook his head.
"Think we should before Logan eats anymore grass?"
Derek tore his eyes away from Stiles to look at Logan. "Yes, lunch."
"We can have a picnic."
Derek nodded and picked Logan up.
"With an actual blanket."
"There is nothing wrong with the grass," Derek said firmly.
"No," Stiles said. "But still, so, my publisher is asking me to speed the book along."
Derek followed Stiles into the house trying to work out when Stiles had stopped being mad at him and started acting like nothing had changed. They ate their lunch, outside, on a blanket, basking in the weak sunlight, and later Derek took him inside for his nap.
Stiles received a text message minutes later and apologised before he rushed out of the house.
Megan came home ten minutes later with a smile.
"Had fun?" Derek asked.
"I did," Megan said with a smile. "Any problems?"
"None…have you heard of baby splash?"
Megan shook her head with a confused look and disappeared into her room to work. Derek went into the kitchen to get a drink before he went to do some work and found more printouts from Stiles sitting on his keyboard when he made it to his office.
/ / / \ \ \
Two days later Allison called Megan and asked if it was possible to meet up at her house for afternoon tea so they could discuss having a newborn.
"You've met most of my friends," Allison said with a smile in her voice. "They haven't got kids – I was hoping we could have a chat."
"I'm not sure I am the right person to help," Megan said.
"Of course you are, you have a six month old, and I make really good pie," Allison said enticingly. "Any flavour you like."
Megan laughed. "Okay, sure, I'll come by. What time?"
"Oh whatever time you like," Allison said. "Maybe when Logan's sleeping…I mean you can bring him if you want but I thought you might enjoy some adult conversation."
"That's good, he goes down about one so I'll be there around then?"
"Excellent, see you at one."
Stiles drove up to Derek's house at quarter past one just as Derek was walking away from his spot outside of Logan's room sure that his son was sleeping. Derek has the door open before Stiles is even on the front porch.
"The programmes look good," Derek said turning back into the house with Stiles following so he could make them both a cup of coffee.
"They do," Stiles said. "I gave the information to Allison as well for when their kid is old enough."
"Allison called Megan so they could talk about babies," Derek said.
"Where is Logan?"
"Good," Stiles said and pulled an envelope out of his pocket. "Then we need to have that talk."
Derek followed Stiles into the kitchen and watched as Stiles placed the envelope down and then took a seat on the other side of the table. Derek took the seat that was obviously supposed to be his and looked down at the yellow envelope. It had obviously been opened more than once and one corner had been bent quite deeply and then unfolded. Derek didn't reach out for the yellow packet watching Stiles instead.
"I think you need to have a look at what's inside before we talk," Stiles said with a grim expression.
Derek opened the envelope and pulled the papers out and knew why Stiles had suggested he look at them first. The top sheet was a police report from seven years ago in Los Angeles when Megan was picked up for drunk and disorderly. Behind it was a juvenile warning for vandalism from a suburb in New York state.
"You had her background checked?" Derek asked.
Stiles smiled at him sadly. "Logan is yours but you don't know her."
Derek ground his teeth together and went back to the papers. There was a financial background, details on all the places Megan had lived since she was a kid in New York and a summary of her social media posts both since Logan was born and then another on beforehand. One highlighted posted was from the weekend they had spent together that led them directly to this situation.
"This is detailed," Derek said reading through her background finding even more information than he had seen in his first glance.
"I know people," Stiles said with a shrug.
"I wouldn't ask him to jeopardise his position as one of the fine deputy sheriffs in this town by getting him to run vaguely illegal background checks."
"You asked your father?" Derek asked with surprise.
"For some unknown reason he likes you so when I told him what was going on he offered to look into her for me."
"And the rest of the information?"
"In helping you and this pack stay alive for the last ten years I have met a great number of unsavoury people. A number of them owe me favours for helping them stay alive so I called in a couple of them."
Derek kept moving through the information.
"The rest I found myself." Stiles said when Derek had been silent for a long while.
Derek collected the papers together and slid them back into the envelope. "Fine, just tell me what the final decision is."
"She has a very small safety net in the bank but she has been living in San Diego for five years, before that she lived in LA even after she graduated from UCLA. She has been in the same job for three of those five years. I have run every hunter family, and their outliers, we know and I haven't been able to connect her and none of them have shown up in San Diego in the last six months. Allison is keeping an eye on her father but our truce should protect Logan. Overall, she doesn't have anything dark and disturbing in her past that I could find. It doesn't mean she is clean but it does mean we at least know more about her than we did when she came."
Derek nodded once and stood up. He kept his back to Stiles as he put the coffee pot on.
"She is part of this now," Derek said finally when he turned around. "It doesn't matter what her past is."
"Of course it does."
"She's the mother of a werewolf. There is nothing that can break that, she is part of this."
"But what if she can't be trusted?" Stiles said. "What if she turns around and decides that the fact her son is a werewolf isn't enough to keep her from freaking out and screaming about werewolves from the top of her lungs and causing us all issues."
Derek folded his arms across his chest and tried to keep a hold of his temper.
"So this is what you wanted to talk about?"
"I understand that your priority is Logan and he is safe because he's a six month old but Megan is an adult and we don't know anything about her. Parents have been known to react badly to their children being supernatural creatures."
"I'm not kicking her out."
"Of course not but I'm just trying to provide you with the information you don't want to ask for."
Derek glared at Stiles but he could understand what the human was doing, it was what Stiles always did. He would investigate the things that came after the pack but this was different and Derek needed Stiles to understand that.
"No matter what her past is I will support her because she is the mother of my son."
"How far will that support go?" Stiles asked. "Is she more important than the rest of your pack?"
Derek stared at Stiles refusing to answer.
"Because that is what is at stake," Stiles said. "If she isn't trustworthy then the pack will be the ones who are in danger. I am relatively safe, I'm human, but if she brings the hunters here after your pack then someone might die and if she threatens the secret of werewolves then the other packs will come after you and even Logan won't be safe."
"I need you to leave," Derek said looking over Stiles' shoulder. He needed to look through the information and think about what Stiles had said without having Stiles in the house with him.
"Okay," Stiles said standing up. "I just wanted you to have all of the information."
"I know, now, please go."
Stiles nodded and walked out.
/ / / \ \ \
It took Derek three days to contact Stiles.
Thanks for info. She is his mother until I know something different I'm going to help her.
The next day Megan went to the shop leaving Logan behind because apparently shopping with a baby was not a pleasant time. Stiles called a few minutes after she left to ask if he could come by for a visit. Derek agreed and Stiles was opening his front door three minutes later.
"Were you parked at the start of the driveway?"
"Of course I was," Stiles said holding up the green paper bag. "I come with conversation cupcakes."
"They are cupcakes and we still need to have a conversation."
"She is his mother," Derek said firmly.
"I know," Stiles said with a sigh. "Let's eat cupcakes and then we can talk."
Derek nodded and grabbed Logan off the blanket on the floor of the lounge room. He carried the blanket and the strange little glow worm that Logan loved and took them through into the kitchen. Stiles took the blanket and laid it out for Logan before he put the kettle on.
"Coffee?" Derek asked as he settled Logan on the blanket and enticed him with the worm. Stiles nodded and didn't bother to turn around.
"This is for Logan," Stiles said handing him a plastic toy with a ring at one end, a plastic ball full of tiny balls in the middle and a plastic disc full of water at the other end. Derek looked at Stiles questioningly. "You put it in the fridge and the water section is cold and chewable it can help with teething."
"Thank you," Derek said with a smile.
"Okay," Stiles said later when he had a cup of tea and Derek had his coffee with the cupcakes spread on the table and Logan on his stomach on the floor gumming the tail of his worm. "I agree with you – she is Logan's mother."
"Because she is his mother I am going to support her as much as I can. I want to do anything I can to help her. A child should have two parents, a family that they can trust."
"Derek," Stiles said a few minutes later picking at his cupcake instead of eating it. "That is a…I mean…yes, every child should have a family."
Derek smiled at him.
"You didn't need to be defensive," Stiles said later. "I am not attacking your decision to help her. I just wanted you to have all of the facts before you did."
"Thank you. I like how much you look out for our pack."
Stiles smiled at him. "Isaac was saying you have been taking him outside and exposing him to nature."
"It's good for his instincts," Derek said. "I remember my dad taking my nephew out and it was important but I didn't spend much time with them. The things I remember were all from when I was older and testing and using your abilities – learning how to control yourself."
"I have been talking with a werewolf in Australia on a chat board, would you like me to ask him about it. He has a couple of kids."
"You are talking to werewolves?"
"I like learning and if it can help us in the future, what's the problem?"
"I wasn't aware," Derek said shortly. "Would you like to come out with us?"
"Sure, let's go."
Derek could feel that Stiles still wasn't happy with his decision but the human was at least being supportive. They went outside and carried Logan further than the backyard, down into a dense section of the forest and then Derek sat down on the forest floor and watched Stiles as he followed him down.
"What do you do?"
"Not much," Derek said. "Just exposing him to the scent, sounds and sights of the forest, he changes each time when he smells things so I think that is his strongest sense."
They spent almost twenty minutes in utter silence sitting in the forest while Logan stared up at the moving leaves above him with his wolf out.
"Derek," Stiles said just before they reached the edge of the forest on their way back inside. "I understand what you are doing but you might need to talk to your pack."
"They are avoiding the house, except for Isaac who comes out every night, they have only come for the pack meeting on Wednesday and Scott glared at me the entire time."
Stiles smiled. "He's a good friend."
"And a terrible beta."
Stiles shrugged. "They need to know what you're planning and you need to be clear."
"You've been telling me to be clearer for years."
"And one day it will sink in," there was a noise from the other end of the house and some empty bags in the kitchen when they walked through the door. "I'm going to leave. Bye."
Derek watched him disappear quickly out of the front door but it didn't make sense until Megan came back into the kitchen to scoop Logan out of his arms and carry him into the living room with a wide smile. As he watched her walk away he realised that Stiles was only in the house when she wasn't.
/ / / TBC \ \ \
Chapter 10: Choices
/ / / Choices \ \ \
Megan was surprised at how often Derek's friends tried to involve her in things. Lydia had invited her to lunch, Allison had invited her to come over for tea and a discussion and it kept happening. Isaac was over every night to help Derek with Logan and he always found time to ask Megan how she was. Jackson and Erica avoided Logan, and by extension her, like the plague but everyone else made sure to ask her how she was, ask about Logan. She had two of the best friends in the whole world back home, and more than just the two of them, but even they wouldn't have welcomed Derek in so readily if he came back to San Diego with her.
She hadn't believed him the first time he had said he might, she didn't think anyone would just change their whole life like that and yet he had said it more than once. Isaac looked sad and resigned if it came up when he was in the house and Megan couldn't help but wonder if Isaac had a crush on Derek. She knew there was something going on between Derek and Stiles not that she had seen Stiles since that first day. She saw him driving to the house, or away from the house, and once in town but she hadn't been in the same room with him since that first day. She assumed it had something to do with the way Derek kept talking about them being a family for Logan. She hadn't dissuaded him; she hadn't done anything to indicate she wasn't interested because it was such a comforting idea. She had been alone for a long time and she'd never allowed herself to have something permanent that wasn't friendship and even then she'd assumed Thomas and Sam would eventually leave her like everyone else had done. Logan was permanent, she had been so excited to have a child but the more time she spent here the more she realised that there were so many things she couldn't give him that Derek could.
She pulled out her phone and looked at her favourite contacts list, a grand total of two people. She tapped on the top one and listened to the ringing.
"Megan," Sam's voice washed over Megan and she couldn't help but smile.
"Where have you been?"
"Beacon Hills," Megan said quietly. Suddenly the call took on a slightly distant sound and the next voice wasn't Sam's.
"What do you mean Beacon Hills?" Thomas' voice was loud and confused.
"I needed some help." Megan explained.
"We would have helped you," Sam said firmly. "We would always help you."
"You couldn't help me with this," Megan said. "There was something wrong with Logan and I came up here since this is where his dad is."
"His dad?" Sam asked. "The super-hot one-weekend-stand that left town without knowing he'd knocked you up?"
"And you drove all the way up there without telling us?" Thomas asked. "We've been worried about you."
"I told you I was going to be away."
"A text saying that you were going away for a couple of days and asking us to water your plants does not reassure us that everything is okay with you." Thomas said and Megan could almost see the irate look in his face.
"Are you okay?" Sam asked.
"I am," Megan said slumping back on the chair. Derek had taken Logan for a drive while he went to get some things and it was strange to be in the house without anyone else there. "Derek's been really nice about everything and he's been amazing with Logan."
"This is the guy you swore looked allergic to kids when we talked about you telling him he was going to be a father?" Thomas asked and Megan sighed.
"I didn't know what else to do, it turned out to be a hereditary thing and he's helping me learn how to cope with it," Megan had been trying to work out how to explain why she had left so suddenly and why she was going to be staying in Beacon Hills for a while. "And that is why I'm going to be staying here for a while longer."
"What's wrong with Logan?" Sam asked urgently. "Why didn't you tell us?"
"It's like an allergic reaction," Megan said. "Not life threatening but it wasn't something I understood so I came out here."
"You're being evasive," Sam said. "What aren't you telling us?"
Megan paused for a moment, she couldn't tell them about werewolves – not just because they wouldn't believe her but Lydia had been very clear that first lunch. The werewolf thing was a secret, the type you took to the grave. If she didn't protect the secret her son might be the one who was hurt. Megan loved Logan and she would do whatever she could to protect him even if she didn't know how to help him. Even if the werewolf thing terrified her. "Derek wants us to get together, like a family, and…I don't know."
"Don't," Sam said. "Unless he really is that hot and then think about it."
Megan let out a bark of laughter and then she collapsed back into the bed. "I am so grateful he's helping Logan but…I'm fairly certain he's in love with Stiles and I don't think he actually wants to be in a relationship with me so much as he wants Logan to have a family."
"Then don't get involved," Sam said.
"Unless you think he's going to stop helping you with Logan," Thomas said. "Then string him along until you get what you need from him."
"Seriously?" Megan and Sam said together.
"You kept telling me to tell him," Megan continued. "Now you want me to use him?"
"I want you to do anything you have to, to protect Logan," Thomas said. "I'm a little attached to the kid."
Megan smiled. "I know you are."
"Can I help him?" Thomas asked.
"No," Megan said apologetically. "I'm going to stay here for a while longer until I make a decision."
"Where are you staying?" Sam asked.
Sam let out a huff of laughter.
"He went out a bought all the furniture for Logan to have a room and his friends have been helping and they have invited me to lunch and been really accepting."
"Even Stiles," Thomas asked. "Has she been nice too?"
"Really?" Thomas said. "Shame I wasn't the one who met this Derek then."
Megan rolled her eyes even though her friend couldn't see her. "Stiles was very helpful when I first got here but I think he's a little annoyed that his crush is asking me to live with him and raise our son."
"He wants you to move there?" Thomas asked.
"He said if I come back to San Diego he'll come too."
"Shit," Sam said dragging the word out. "He sounds a little 1950s."
"No," Megan said. "I think he just really wants to be in Logan's life. He doesn't have any family either, just this group of friends who are all really supportive and nice – well most of them."
"What do you want to do?" Thomas asked quietly.
"I want to do what's best for Logan and I need Derek's help to do that."
"What about work, what about your apartment, what about…us?"
"I miss you," Megan said rather than answering. "I am still working and I was hoping you guys would keep an eye on my apartment."
"Of course we can," Sam said and the way she said it told Megan she was glaring at Thomas as she was speaking.
"What are you going to do about Derek?" Thomas asked.
Megan let out a sigh. "I can't be with someone because we have Logan and I can't lead him on."
"If I need to come out and kick his arse, you let me know," Thomas said.
Megan laughed and Thomas let out a hurt sound. She could hear Derek's car outside and even though she wanted to never stop talking to her friends she knew she needed to sort things out with Derek first.
"I have to go," Megan said. "I will call you, I promise."
"You had better," Sam said. "Take care of yourself."
"I will, bye."
"Bye," Thomas said and Megan hung up.
She went to the door and opened it. Derek walked in carrying Logan who was asleep and looked angelic.
"He fell asleep on the drive home," Derek said and walked past her to Logan's room. Megan went into the kitchen and made them both a drink trying to ignore the twist of nerves in her stomach. She really believed that Derek was only interested in them having something more because of Logan but she wasn't sure if he would rescind his offer to let her stay if she told him she only want him to help Logan.
"He was very good today," Derek said coming in and grabbing a glass for some water.
"I'm glad," Megan said and then blurted. "We need to talk."
"Okay," Derek went and sat at the kitchen table and Megan shoved her hands into her pocket and looked down at the floor.
"I would like to stay, I am worried about Logan – I don't know anything about him being a werewolf. I love him but I know that you are the person to be able to deal with all of this werewolf stuff."
"I will help him, I will always help him."
"I know," Megan said attempting to smile. "That is why I called my boss earlier. I explained the situation…Logan apparently has a hereditary allergic condition that you are helping me get a hold on. He has extended my time here. I will need to fly back in a couple of weeks and I'm not sure what will happen then. I need my job to pay for my apartment, and Logan, and everything else."
"I will help."
"You can't," Megan said. "And…that's the other thing, I appreciate everything you are doing but…I'm not interested in anything more. I just want your help with Logan."
Derek's eyebrows squeezed together and he looked confused. "Of course, this is all about Logan."
"Good," Megan said with a relieved smile but she wondered if she had been reading Derek wrong – perhaps he hadn't been implying they should be together. "So long as we agree, we're in this for Logan."
"He is the most important thing," Derek agreed.
"Are you okay with me staying here for a while longer?"
"Honestly," Derek said suddenly looking over her shoulder. "I would like it if you stayed forever. I don't want to lose him."
Megan nodded. "I can't promise you anything beyond when I need to go home."
Derek nodded. "I understand."
"Thank you, for everything, for what you have done with Logan and for me. I really appreciate it. I was struggling and since I've been here it's been better and…I know that is because of you and your friends. Thank you."
"You don't need to thank me," Derek said looking at her again. "You are his mother and he is my family so you can count on me for help whenever you need it."
Megan and Derek sat in silence for a moment and then Megan nodded and grabbed her drink. "I'm just going to go and do some work while Logan's asleep."
Derek nodded and relaxed once she was gone.
/ / / TBC \ \ \
Chapter 11: Confrontation
/ / / Confrontation \ \ \
When Derek woke up the next day he called Lydia.
"Lydia, I need you to take Megan out today and don't forget to tell Stiles."
"Sure, and I have no idea what you are talking about."
"Excellent, bye," Derek said hanging up. He knew that tone it was the one she used when she was lying but you'd already caught her. She refused to admit defeat but she would do what he needed her to.
When Megan went out for lunch and shopping with Lydia Derek waited in the lounge room for Stiles. Like clockwork seven minutes later Stiles knocked on the front door. Derek opened the door and smiled at Stiles.
"Come in, we need to talk."
Stiles looked at him carefully. "Sure."
Derek led Stiles into the lounge room where a cup of Stiles' favourite tea was sitting on the table.
"Were you expecting me?" Stiles asked.
"Well Megan went out," Derek said. "So, of course I was expecting you."
"Yes, oh, why are you only here when she isn't?"
"It just seemed easier," Stiles said and picked up his cup of tea for something else to focus on.
"Because I don't want to put myself through that."
"Though what?" Derek knew he sounded annoyed but he was exasperated with Stiles who was looking at him like he should understand what Stiles was trying to say and Derek was confused.
"Through watching you and Megan." Stiles said quietly but his posture was hurt and protective and Derek couldn't work out why.
"I want to help you," Stiles said his hands curled into fists. "I like Logan, he's amazing, but you cannot ask me to come here and spend time with you and her."
Stiles looked at him like he was stupid. "A month ago you sat me down in this fucking room and you told me you wanted us to be together, that you wanted us to have something permanent. You told me you wanted a long term relationship."
"And you said you wanted to be sure," Derek said glaring at Stiles with his arms folded. The same old hurt and disappointment from that day flooding his system.
"Because the last time we did this you ignored me when we weren't naked and horizontal. I wanted to be sure because if you changed your mind when I was in love with you again I wouldn't have been able to…I…last time it was…horrible."
"I apologised for that," Derek said.
"I know but that doesn't fix everything and it hasn't changed the fact that I was gutted when it happened so I wanted to be more careful this time."
"And I accepted that."
"And then a month later you are offering some one-night-stand a place in your house and in your pack and you have a child together and you so obviously want to be with her so that you can give Logan a family and I am trying so damned hard to do the right thing and help you with Logan but you want me to also spend time with you and your new girlfriend?"
Derek took a step back and looked at Stiles. "I have never said anything about wanting to be with Megan."
"You said you wanted to make a family with her and Logan, you told her to think of this as her home, you told her to stay, you said you would leave," Stiles sounded broken on the last word and Derek stepped forward only to have Stiles step back.
"He's my son and a werewolf, I need to be there for him," Derek said, his voice softer. "But I told you, right at the beginning, that I meant what I said a month ago."
"I know," Stiles said wrapping his arms around himself. "I know that you need to be there for him but it doesn't stop this from hurting and I didn't want to have to watch you start your little family when I feel like I lost something. So, I come when she isn't here because it's easier."
"I never wanted to be with her," Derek said.
"You told me last time I was here that Logan deserved a family."
"A family doesn't mean that I have to be with Megan only that we have to both be there for Logan. I just need some time to work out what I am going to have to do with Logan."
Stiles sat down and looked up at Derek. "But…everything you said…I thought, you don't want to be with her for Logan?"
"No, I want to be with you, but I need time."
Stiles looked down at his hands.
"But," Derek said sinking down into a chair across from Stiles. "Yesterday, Megan said she was going to stay for a while longer but she said she wasn't interested in anything but my help with Logan."
"Everyone thinks I was offering her a relationship?"
"So…" Derek said finally but couldn't work out how to finish his thought.
"Everyone thinks that you threw me over for her," Stiles said.
"Which is why Scott's been growling at me every time I see him?"
"Right," Derek said. "I wasn't expecting that."
"Do you understand why I've been avoiding being here when she is?"
"Are you going to San Diego?"
"If he goes I have to go."
Stiles nodded sadly. "Of course."
"But I still want you, Stiles."
"But I'm not sure if I can wait while you go off and raise your son."
"I might not have to go."
"But if you do, you will and then what? Do you expect me to follow you? What does that mean for me? I understand he is your priority and I know why you are making him the most important thing in your life but I can't just wait around for you forever. So you are going to have to make decisions because I'll wait for a while but I'm not going to wait around forever and I cannot wait until Logan is an adult who is ready to leave the house."
"I don't know what's going to happen."
"I know," Stiles stood up and walked over to Derek who looked up at him. "And I'm not asking you to work it out right now but I can't be a second thought in this. So you do need decide how important I am to you. I can be part of this but I won't be an afterthought to your son."
Stiles leaned over and cut Derek off with a kiss. Derek pushed up into the press of Stiles' lips and curled his hand around the back of the human's neck to pull him more firmly into the kiss. Stiles went willingly, kissing Derek with all of the feelings he was holding onto.
"Take your time and be sure," Stiles said pulling away.
"I can't choose between you and Logan."
Stiles grabbed the sides of Derek's head and pulled him up so that Derek's back was stretched. "I am not asking you to. Listen to me. All I need to know is if you are willing to do this, willing to give it everything or if I have to be a second thought. I need to be a partner in things not simply another member of your pack. We are separate from you and Logan and I would never, ever, ask you to neglect your relationship with him but you would have to be willing to put in the time and effort into a relationship with me too. That is what you need to decide."
Derek nodded and Stiles ducked down for one last, quick kiss and then he let go of Derek.
"I'll leave you to think about it."
"Wait," Derek said standing up and walking to the doorway. "Does this mean you are going back to ignoring me?"
"I won't ignore you but I think you need some space to think about everything we've talked about."
"I don't want space," Derek admitted quietly.
Stiles smiled apologetically. "But we both need some." And then he turned and left.
/ / / TBC \ \ \
Chapter 12: Pack
/ / / Pack \ \ \
The next day was a Wednesday. And Wednesday was pack day. The last one had been a disaster and Derek could understand why now.
Scott, while agreeing to be part of Derek's pack had never lost the older pack ties that linked he and Stiles together and Derek knew that if it came down to a straight decision between Stiles and Derek that he would be losing a beta. Lydia was a valuable member of his pack, she was immune, smart and vicious in her own way, but she loved Stiles – not in the romantic fashion that Stiles had once wanted but if there was one person in the world whom Lydia actually trusted with her life and secrets then it was definitely Stiles. The rest of his pack liked Stiles, respected him, and they had been vocal in their support of Stiles as his partner.
If every member of his pack had viewed Derek's interactions with Megan as an offer of something that Derek had already offered Stiles then he could understand why they were less than happy with him.
Derek called Mario at the local pizza place and ordered everything that his pack liked, plus some extras for delivery during the pack meeting. He bundled Logan up in something warm and they went out to buy drinks and snacks and anything else that he could think about. Derek handed Logan a rusk as they were walking around the supermarket and he wished this was the first time he had had to have a pack meeting to placate his pack. Derek had known more alphas over the years than he cared to count and most of them would never do something like this – their word was law and yet his pack of misfits needed something different and Derek had been forced to change to keep them. He hadn't wanted to be this type of alpha, the type his father had been. That type of alpha ended up dead and Derek didn't want to die as young as his father had.
In the end he had had no choice but to become the type of alpha has father would have wanted him to be, though Derek didn't trust it. He knew that one day the lack of an authoritarian line of command would hurt them. Even while he knew he needed to be better than he had been for his son.
After everyone finished work they began to slowly trickle into Derek's house. They always came in slowly, normally Stiles would be the first there since he didn't work an actual job – or occasionally he would simply never arrive if he was lost in his writing. The rest of the pack would come whenever they had finished work and been home to change. These nights weren't about the wolf so much as they were about the people in the pack. These meetings hadn't even been Derek's idea but he was glad for them now.
Stiles hadn't come to the last couple of pack gatherings. Not since Logan had arrived. Tonight he was the first one there, holding an apple pie and smiling at Derek. Derek hadn't even been sure if the human would come; not after the day before but he was happy to see him. Derek followed Stiles into the kitchen and watched him put the pie away and get himself a drink.
"Stop staring at me," Stiles said. "I told you I'd wait, I'm not about to demand an answer now."
Derek accepted the drink from Stiles.
"Full moon on Monday," Stiles said. "It'll be Logan's first."
"I know," Derek said. "I'm going to ask Megan to spend the night with Lydia. His first full moon might be too much for her."
Stiles nodded, full moons were a bit much for most humans. "Where is Logan?"
"He's having a bath."
Stiles smiled. "Does he get bubbles?"
"Apparently bubbles are bad for babies," Derek said.
"But they are so much fun."
"Maybe when he's older."
Derek turned his head when he heard the front door close, Scott and Allison.
"Stiles," Allison said with a broad smile when they walked into the kitchen. "You're here."
Stiles shrugged. "Derek and I had a chat."
"You probably won't need to lure Megan out of the house so much," Derek said watching Scott who was looking at Stiles carefully. Stiles jerked his head and Scott followed him out of the house.
Allison looked around the food in the kitchen. "So, you worked out why everyone has been so worried."
"Until she gives me a reason I am going to support her."
"Good," Allison said with a wide smile. "I trust her, she's scared and she's not sure if she can do this but she is a good person."
Derek hadn't wanted Allison in his pack but he had discovered that she was a fairly good judge of character. "What does your husband think of your opinion?"
"He is worried that she is going to make his best friend very upset and at the moment that is clouding everything else."
Moments later the front door opened and Derek could hear most of the rest of his pack coming into the house.
Allison reached out and grabbed Derek's wrist. "Don't fuck up this chance."
Derek looked at her but she levered herself up and started walking out towards the lounge room. Derek watched her walk away thinking about her pregnancy and the one he had missed with Megan and Logan.
A few moments later Megan came into the kitchen with Logan in her arms. "Do you want to come and say goodnight?"
Derek nodded and collected Logan out of her arms. "He can stay up a little while, right?"
Megan nodded and Derek could see that she was tired.
"I've got him."
The kitchen door opened and Scott and Stiles came back in.
"Are you coming to pack night?" Stiles asked smiling at Megan even as he ducked down and smiled at Logan. "Aren't you cute today?"
Derek handed Logan over and Stiles bounced him before he turned him around and held him so that Logan could see Megan and Derek. Logan drooled happily.
"No," Megan said. "I don't want to intrude."
"You're not intruding," Stiles said. "We just watch movies and eat junk food and hang out. You should stay."
Megan looked at Derek and Scott and ran her hand over her face. "I don't know."
"Come on," Stiles said sliding his arm into hers and shifting Logan. "Just for a little while."
"I haven't seen you around here for a while," Megan said allowing Stiles to lead her out of the room.
"It was just a misunderstanding between Derek and I."
"Okay," Megan said. "What movie are you watching?"
"I don't know," Stiles said. "I'm not sure whose turn it is."
"It's yours," Derek called out and heard Scott's huff next to him.
"Excellent," Stiles said. "I have the best taste of anyone in the pack."
"I don't trust you," Scott hissed behind Derek and the alpha turned to look at him.
"You never have," Derek said. "Why should this change anything?"
"He deserves better than you," Scott said glaring at him. "He's always deserved better. He did when you were using him for easy sex after high school and he does now that you are throwing him over for someone else."
"I'm not interested in Megan."
"I know," Scott said. "Stiles explained it all. The thing is though that you have never proven yourself, you've never done anything to prove to anyone that you are willing to be in a relationship and having feelings for him is not enough. You need to be willing to open up to him; you need to be willing to share some of yourself with him."
Derek's eyes narrowed but he didn't say anything.
"Until you are willing to do that don't even think about having a relationship with him," Scott continued stepping closer. "Being in a relationship like that, like what Allison and I have, means you have to be willing to let them in. I want you to think about that before you make your decision."
"You think I won't do that? That I won't let him in?"
"Have you ever done it before?" Scott asked. "You have been keeping everyone at a distance since we met, I don't believe that will ever change."
Scott watched Derek for another moment and then turned and walked out of the kitchen.
"What did Scott say?" Stiles asked startling Derek.
Derek turned around to look at him. "He told me not to hurt you."
Stiles smiled. "Of course he did."
"He's right you know. I only end up hurting people."
Stiles rolled his eyes and stepped over to Derek. "If you make this decision for anyone other than you and I then you will regret it. Forget what others think just worry about what you want."
Stiles smirked and kissed Derek, quick and dirty.
"Didn't I mention that I don't play fair?" Stiles said grabbing a couple of bags of chips before he grinned and left the kitchen.
Derek thumped his head back into the cupboard behind him and then followed Stiles into the lounge room. Derek's pack, with Megan and Logan, were sitting around the area and the TV was all ready to play some movie. The pack turned to him when he came in and from the look on the wolves' faces they all knew what Stiles had said in the kitchen. He took his place between Isaac and Stiles. Logan was on Isaac's lap and Derek pulled his son into his own arms.
"What are we watching?"
"Well," Stiles said. "I asked Megan and she said she has not introduced Logan to the wonders of Star Wars so…"
"He's too young for Star Wars," Derek said.
"I know," Stiles said with a smile. "So, we're watching the Smurfs. But, the old school TV show, not the CGI thing."
"I have the Smurfs?" Derek asked but Stiles just rolled his eyes at the alpha and hit play.
When they had watched an episode and Logan was growing heavier in Derek's arms he stood up and took his son to bed. Megan was comfortable on the couch between Allison and Lydia and when Derek came back to look at them he was pleased to see Megan being a part of the pack. She had gone out with Lydia and Allison and she'd spent time with Isaac and Boyd when they were at the house but she had never spent time with them all like this. During the previous meetings Megan had hidden in her room.
"Megan," Stiles said when Derek had retaken his seat next to the human. "I would like you to have my pick. Derek has a pretty impressive collection of DVDs that we all brought over the years. No one is allowed to comment or judge, Erica," Stiles glared at the female beta who shrugged at him. "So you can pick anything you like."
"I don't…" Megan looked at Stiles' open face and nodded. "Are you sure?"
"Of course he is," Lydia said. "Pick anything you like."
Megan nodded and stood. She took her time looking through the movies in the bookshelves around Derek's TV.
"What are you doing?" Derek whispered to Stiles.
"I'm not playing fair," Stiles said with a grin.
/ / / TBC \ \ \
Chapter 13: Plan
/ / / Plan \ \ \
Stiles drove over to Derek's house the next afternoon thinking about his plan. He didn't want to rush over there again too quickly. Stiles timed it to be after Logan woke up from his afternoon nap, when Derek and Megan would both be focussed on Logan. Stiles knew that she worked when he was asleep, that she worked whenever she could and he knew she was worried about her job and going back to San Diego alone because Lydia and Allison were his friends first and they were both doing everything they could to help him.
Stiles had felt like he was losing Derek and he had only just accepted how much he wanted the alpha werewolf. Now, knowing that Derek wasn't lost to him, Stiles was going to do everything he could to get what he wanted.
He wanted Derek.
Derek who was contrary and closed off. Derek who did not know how to share anything he felt with anyone. Derek who hated having to be more open with his pack – less autocratic. Derek who was gorgeous and broken. Derek who Stiles had loved when he was eighteen and had believed something that Derek had never encouraged. Derek who broke his heart before he went to university. Derek who had tried to keep him out of his pack no matter what Stiles had done. Derek who looked at his son like he was perfect and did everything he could to do the right thing by him. Derek who told him that he wanted Stiles too.
Stiles knew all of the bad things about Derek, he had known him for over ten years but he also knew all of the parts that were good, the hidden parts that he wanted to get to know better. Scott had told him what had been said the night before and Stiles agreed – it would be almost impossible to have a relationship with someone who would not let you in – let you be a part of their life. Stiles had faith though, that if Derek could tell him…could admit out loud that he wanted Stiles then Stiles could have faith that Derek would let him in at least a little. Stiles had proven over the years that if Derek gave him a little then Stiles could worm his way in until he had more.
Stiles wasn't worried about Logan. He didn't worry that the existence of Logan would stop Derek from reaching out but he was worried about Megan. She was in control of Logan and if she went back to San Diego then Derek would go with Logan. Derek had been without a family for so long, telling himself he didn't want that family. He had been alone for so long that he would grip family tight and hold on with everything he had. Derek pushed everyone away but Stiles knew that he did it because he was afraid. That type of bone-deep terror that came from losing the people you loved most. Stiles understood it, had felt it since his mother passed. Stiles still had his father and for a while Derek had had Laura but then he lost her too. Derek had lost everyone and if Stiles felt like this having lost only his mother he couldn't imagine how much worse it would be when he had lost his entire family.
Megan had control over Logan and she was also struggling. She had come to Derek for help and he had done exactly what he should. She had been so surprised at how much Derek wanted to be part of Logan's life. She was overwhelmed by motherhood and Stiles knew that Derek was helping. Stiles was going to make sure that the whole pack was there to help her, to show her the type of help she could have if she stayed here.
There were a few things that worried Megan. She felt overwhelmed being a mother, she didn't know how to deal with her werewolf son, she worried about her job, and she had a life in San Diego. He couldn't do anything about her missing San Diego but he could help with the werewolf son stuff. He didn't want to overwhelm her about the job either but there were always other options. He'd save that for after they had developed a better friendship.
He wanted to help her see that Derek's pack was here to help. Erica and Jackson were immediately out since they were more scared of children than they were of wolfsbane. Lydia and Allison already had a relationship with her and had both readily agreed to spend more time with Megan since they both liked her. Isaac and Boyd were already coming out to Derek's regularly and both Megan and Logan liked them. Scott was still wary of Derek on Stiles' behalf but he was also willing to help her feel at home here.
Stiles grabbed his satchel as soon as he arrived at Derek's house.
"Hi," he smiled at Derek when he walked into the house. He wanted to reach out for the other man and kiss him…actually, his desires were a lot less innocent than that but Derek was holding his son so Stiles resigned himself to a smile and a brush on his fingers against the skin of Derek's forearm.
"Hello, Stiles," Megan said coming out with a bottle of water for Logan.
"You're here," Stiles said with a smile.
"You're here to see Megan?" Derek asked. Stiles could see the hint of jealousy in the little wrinkle between Derek's eyebrows and he smiled.
"I came with information."
"For me?" Megan asked.
"For you, about little baby werewolves. I am the research person and I wanted to give you some information now that you've settled in a bit."
"Oh," Megan's eyes shifted to Logan and she nodded. "Thank you."
"A friend of mine," Stiles said leading the way into the lounge room. "He's Australian and he has a couple of kids – they are both werewolves and he gave me some information for you on how they grow, milestones, what to expect. It's only what his family knows from experience but that's pretty impressive since his mum had four kids."
Megan took the print outs.
"I can go through them with you or you can just read them but I thought they might help. I know having a comparison helps a lot of people."
"Thank you," Megan looked through the first few pages. Stiles had asked Lucas, his Australian werewolf contact, for help a number of times over the years but the other man hadn't been as excited about anything like he was about sharing information about werewolf babies and how they grew up.
"I just want to help," Stiles said. "If there is anything I can do please let me know. I know I haven't been around since you got here but I'm always here to help if I can."
"This is great," Megan said with surprise awe in her voice. "Thank you."
"Have you had a chance to look around Beacon Hills?" Stiles asked after she had been flicking through the pages for a few minutes. "There are some lovely little nature spots and the next town over is quite nice as well."
"Oh no," Megan said. "I've been too busy."
"Maybe one day you and I can go, leave Derek here with Logan, and have some fun."
Stiles smiled broadly at Derek who had a little frown of confusion on his face.
Megan looked confused for a moment. "I don't want to take you away from your work."
Stiles shrugged. "I can do it anytime."
Megan bit her lip for a second and Stiles could see her plucking up the courage to ask. "What do you do?"
"Oh," Stiles said with a laugh. "I'm a writer, so I can work anytime."
"Anything I'd have heard of?"
"He's being modest, his last novel was on the New York Times' Bestsellers List," Derek said.
"What's your last name?"
"Stilinski," Stiles said. "But I write under a pseudonym. Tyler O'Brien; named for my mother's maiden name and my middle name."
"Oh my God," Megan said. "I love your books."
Stiles' felt his mouth stretch into a wide smile even as his face heated. "Thank you."
"My friend Sam gave me the books when I was pregnant and I devoured them. She is going to be so jealous when she finds out I know you."
Stiles ducked his head. "So, what are the three of you doing?"
"I was just saying to Derek," Megan said going with his change of topic. "That I have some work I need to finish and email to my boss so he was going to go out for a while with Logan."
"Would you like to come?" Derek asked suddenly.
"Yes, please," Stiles said with a smile. "That sounds nice."
"You don't even know where we're going."
"I don't care," Stiles said and turned his smile on to Megan. "So long as you can get your work finished."
"Thank you," she said her goodbyes and left them alone.
"Is this still you not playing fair?" Derek asked when they were all in his car.
"This is me looking after my friends and family," Stiles said.
"And which am I?"
"Well that is entirely up to you, isn't it?" Stiles smiled at Derek while Logan made contented noises in his carseat. "So, where are we going?"
/ / / TBC \ \ \
Chapter 14: Visitors
For SpaghettiTacos - congratulations. I am scurrying to finish my Kirk Spock Big Bang but I stopped to write this for her. Enjoy...
/ / / Visitors \ \ \
On Friday afternoon Allison invited Megan to go baby clothes shopping with her. Derek had a meeting in town at the same time so Stiles volunteered himself and Scott to look after Logan. Derek drove Megan to Allison's and left Stiles and Scott with the baby.
Stiles had laid Logan out on a play mat and they have practiced his crawling while Scott watched. When Logan grew sick of the game Stiles let him back the green frog and simply watched Logan roll around happily for a while. Eventually, it was time to eat and Stiles handed Scott the baby and went into the kitchen to make his bottle.
"Why did I agree with this?" Scott asked rocking Logan as the little boy whimpered at him.
Stiles tested the formula and collected Logan from Scott, swapping the baby for the bottle. He bounced Logan as he swung until Logan stopped making the noise. Scott held up the bottle and Logan reached out for it eagerly and brought it to his mouth.
"You agreed because we want Megan to enjoy her time here, you agreed because you are going to be a father soon, and you agreed because I asked you."
Scott scoffed. "Do you think this is going to work?"
"I hope so."
"Do you really like him that much?"
"I love him, as you know, you stubborn arse."
Scott smiled at him. "I don't want him to hurt you again."
"I was naïve last time," Scott glared at him. "I'm not saying that it was all my fault. What I am saying is that I expected something because I wanted it. He never offered me anything but sex and he stopped when he knew that I felt more than he did."
"He also used you as bait, repeatedly, against that giant cat thing."
"A were-tiger." Stiles reminded him even though he knew that Scott remembered exactly what it was.
"That thing was bigger than a horse."
"It was kind of terrifying."
"And she wanted you to be her sex-bunny."
"Maybe if she had have asked nicely."
"How can you joke about it? She almost killed you. He put you in that situation and she almost killed you."
Stiles moved Logan in his arms. "What would I have done if he'd told me the plan?"
"Then you would have chosen to do it," Scott said. "I thought you were going to die and he didn't even seem to care. So long as he stopped her he would have done anything."
Stiles let out a breath. "I was mad at him for a long time, you know that."
"I'm still mad at him."
"I know," Stiles said. "And I shouldn't have encouraged you to hate him but…I was so mad at him for using how I felt about him to get what he wanted. Then I stopped."
"You never told me why."
"Do you remember Jane?"
"Weird stalker girl from your writing course."
"Yeah," Stiles said. "So she and I slept together a few times and she thought it meant that I wanted to marry her and be her baby daddy."
"I remember," Scott said. "There were carnations."
Stiles smiled. "Right, so exchange me after high school with her and me then with Derek."
"I was her," Stiles said. "You weren't there, I didn't care that he was using me. I refused to see it because I wanted something else."
"And he took advantage of you," Scott bellowed. Stiles took a step back and Logan startled and began to cry. "Shit, sorry."
Stiles rocked and settled Logan while he glared at Scott.
"And I took advantage of the fact Jane had a crush on me to have sex because I felt like crap after everything with Derek. I had my reasons and Derek had his. This is different. I…waited isn't right, I didn't make any moves until he actually said something. Until he put himself out there."
"He still doesn't know how to treat you, when Logan came he ignored you."
"That night, he told me what he said a month ago was still how he felt. If he won't talk to me I tend to jump to conclusions. I shouldn't do that just like he should be a little more open."
"You tend to jump to the right conclusions; you knew I was a werewolf."
"I do not jump to the correct conclusions when it comes to Derek or our relationship."
"I still say you are asking for pain until he learns to open up."
"He admitted that he wanted me and that he has feelings for me. For now that's enough."
"It wasn't when he told you." Scott grabbed Stiles' shoulders. "Please stop rocking."
"Sorry," Stiles hadn't even realised he was doing it but when he looked down Logan was in his arm, one arm thrown out and sleeping with his mouth open. "…put him to sleep though."
"I'll need to remember that," Scott said and they walked Logan into his room and tucked him into bed. "I'm scared."
"They are so breakable," Scott said looking down at Logan. "Allison is going to be fine but I'm going to be crap at this, aren't I?"
"You won't be crap," Stiles said. "A little useless at times but I'm sure you won't be crap."
"That was almost comforting."
Stiles shrugged. "I tell it like it is."
"What do you know? You're gay."
"Bisexual," Stiles corrected. "Or did you miss the part where I was just talking about a woman I slept with."
Scott shrugged. "Whatever."
"That was awfully politically correct."
"I don't care who you sleep with so long as it isn't Allison and you don't tell me any details when it's Derek."
Stiles thought for a moment. "I am comfortable with that. But, I would suggest going far away if your wife and Lydia corner me after it happens."
The smile fell off Scott's face.
"Scott, I will be okay."
"I don't want you to get hurt."
"Then lock me in your basement."
Scott smirked. "I have chains down there."
Stiles covered his mouth and dragged Scott out of Logan's room. "They're my chains too."
"Possession and all that crap," Scott said with a shrug. "You're going to completely ignore me, aren't you?"
"You mean like you did when I suggested going after the daughter of a hunter might be a bad idea?"
Scott stared at Stiles for a moment. "Video game?"
Stiles went into the kitchen and found snacks while Scott organised the game console. They played something violent and even though Scott could rip Stiles in half if he ever chose to, Stiles kicked his virtual arse in the video game.
Stiles took the killing blow and turned to Scott to find him listening to something carefully.
Scott twisted and stood to walk to the front door. Stiles followed him and watched as a car came into view between the trees and drove towards the house. When it arrived a man climbed out of the driver's seat. Tall and blonde and the second best good looking man that Stiles had ever seen in his life. Stiles felt his stomach twist a little in interest.
"Dude," Scott whispered quietly. "Put it back in your pants."
Stiles huffed out a laugh until the passenger side opened and the man's female counterpart slid out of the car, tall and curvy and…well, Stiles was torn about who he should be salivating over.
"Shit," Scott said on a release of breath.
"Yep," Stiles agreed.
"Hi," the man said walking over, he had long legs and Stiles could see the outline of muscles beneath his fitted t-shirt. "We're looking for Megan. She said this was where she was staying."
"And you are?" Scott asked, his voice sliding into protective territory.
"I'm Thomas, and this is my sister, Sam, we're friends of Megan."
"She's mentioned you," Stiles said stepping past Scott. "She didn't say anything about you coming out though."
"It's a surprise," Sam said smiling up at Stiles.
"She isn't here at the moment," Stiles said. "I'm Stiles and this is Scott. Would you like to wait for her inside?"
"Yes, we would, Stiles," Sam said coming up the stairs, she touched Stiles' arm as she walked past. "We've been driving for hours."
Stiles looked at Scott as soon as the two had walked past the werewolf and into the house but Scott shook his head. They were human and thus proved no threat to a group of werewolves.
"Is Logan here?" Thomas asked.
"You drove up from San Diego?" Scott asked ignoring the question.
Sam smiled. "Oh, you love him already."
Stiles smiled at her. "He's lovely."
Sam nodded. "Where is Megan?"
"Out with Derek," Stiles said.
"The father," Sam said with a speculative look on her face. "Are they trying things out?"
"No!" Scott said firmly.
Sam lifted an eyebrow at him. "Oh, are you his boyfriend?"
"No," Scott said with a smile. "I have a wife."
"In my experience," Thomas said. "One does not preclude the other."
"True," Stiles said just as Scott cocked his head towards the front of the house.
Sam smirked at Scott. "Good ears."
"The best," Scott said, flirting with all the confidence of a man who didn't care if he received the attention.
Derek's car pulled into the front yard and the four of them went outside to wait. As soon as Derek had stopped Megan's door opened and she flew out of the car and threw herself at Thomas who caught her.
"What are you doing here?"
"Missed you," Thomas said with a smile and Sam dragged Megan out of her brother's arms so that she could hug Megan.
/ / / TBC \ \ \
Chapter 15: Suspicious Minds
Sorry, RL well and truly got in the way. As did my Big Bang story. Hopefully, things will be a touch more settled now and I will be able to updated regularly again. Enjoy...
/ / / Suspicious Minds \ \ \
Derek watched Megan engulfed in the arms of the woman who had just arrived. He had heard her on the phone with both Thomas and Sam while she had been here but he hadn't expected them to drive to see her. Derek thought about the coming full moon which would be Logan's first. Having them here now was a bad idea, especially if they would still be here when the moon began to exert its pull on Logan in earnest. The first full moon was hard for any werewolf and while it would not be as bad for a baby as they always felt the pull to a lesser degree than adults with all of their developed and overwhelming emotions.
He would need to have a word with Megan about how long they were staying. Derek watched her, she was ecstatic to see them and he did not want her to think her friends were not welcome. He wanted her to feel as at home here as she did in San Diego. He wanted her to stay here as long as he could keep her here. The longer she was here the longer he had Logan here and he never wanted to let Logan leave. Before Derek even had a chance Stiles was sliding into the place next to Sam and smiling at her widely. Sam returned the smile with something open and welcoming that made Derek watch her more closely as Stiles slid his hands into his pockets.
"How long do we get to enjoy your company?"
"We have to be back Sunday night," Sam said turning to Stiles. "You're going to have to show me around while I'm here."
Stiles laughed. "I would love to…there are lots of things to see."
"It didn't look like it on the way out here," Thomas said with his arm slung over Megan's shoulders.
"Natural beauty," Stiles said with a smile. "Anyone for tea?"
"How about some coffee?" Sam asked. "We brought some of these muffins that Megan loves, we can share them."
"I do love muffins," Stiles said and started for the house.
Derek watched as Sam followed him inside. Derek could see Thomas' eyes following Stiles as well as he began explaining all of the amazing things about Beacon Hills. He didn't particularly like the way that Sam looked at Stiles but he really didn't like the open appreciation that was all over Thomas' face. Derek walked towards them quickly slipping in the door before Scott – who was more focussed on watching Derek than he was getting inside.
"Got some competition?" Scott whispered as he walked past.
Derek glared at Scott but kept moving. He listened for Logan as he followed Stiles' heartbeat into the kitchen. His son was still asleep.
Thomas was sitting at the table with Megan and Sam all three of them looking at Stiles as he moved around the kitchen. Derek made sure his face was welcoming as he walked over and stood next to Stiles who was reaching up into the cupboard for cups. Derek's eyes lingered on the slash of pale flesh exposed between Stiles' top and pants. He noted that he would be able to make a triangle out of the three freckles exposed if he had a pen. Stiles twisted his head to look at Derek while he pulled the cups out.
"What are you doing?"
Derek shrugged. "Helping."
Stiles smiled at him and shook his head.
"What?" Derek asked annoyed.
"You don't need to-" Stiles stopped when the front door slammed.
"Derek!" Derek turned and walked out of the kitchen, he knew Stiles was behind him even if the human couldn't have heard the harsh whisper. They found Erica standing just inside the door with her hands clasped on the door handle behind her.
"What are you doing here?" Derek asked quietly. "You should be at work."
Erica's eyes flicked to Stiles before she rolled up her sleeve. The long veins in her forearm were starkly blue against her pale skin.
"I'll keep them occupied," Stiles said turning and walking back into the kitchen.
"What happened?" Derek asked allowing half his focus to slide back towards the kitchen and Stiles.
"Birthday cake," Erica sighed. "She's some new fucking age hippy or something and she thought a poisonous flower crystallised would be an excellent addition to the mixture. I couldn't smell it because she'd done something weird when she preserved it and didn't know it was there until about five minutes after I finished the damned cake."
Derek sighed; edible plants were all well and good. They could be used for medicinal purposes and had always been a friend to werewolves but ignorant humans could accidently kill a supernatural being with the simplest, little, pretty purple flowers.
"Two of Megan's friends are here," Derek said. "I'm going to have to take you out to the Huntsman's Cottage to detox."
Erica nodded and Derek ducked down to catch her shoulder so that he could help her to walk out of the house. The Huntsman's Cottage was further back into the woods and had been where Derek's grandparents had lived when they had been alive. They both died before the fire and their house had still been standing when Derek made it back to Beacon Hills. It was far enough away from the main house that his newest guests would not be able to hear Erica as she was forced to endure the time it would take to expel the wolfsbane from her body. He got her into the house and down on the couch before the sound of someone running towards them reached his ears.
"Hey," Scott said as he burst through the doors. "Stiles said you were checking on some of the trails because you'd been hearing animal sounds in the middle of the night to cover for any noises that Erica makes. I have the detox tea and Allison is calling Lydia for a girls' night tonight. I will stay with Erica so you can get back up there. Stiles has already organised brunch tomorrow for everyone so that Megan's friends can meet the pack. Best get up there before Sam decides she is going to take him back to San Diego with her."
Derek glared at Scott who laughed and went into the kitchen to begin brewing hot water for the tea.
"You jealous?" Erica asked. She was paler than she had been when she arrived but she was still smiling at him.
"Of course I am not jealous," Derek said starting for the door. "I don't have anything to be jealous about."
"You still haven't made a move," Erica said causing Derek to stop.
"And I saw the way Sam was smiling at him." Scott called out from the kitchen.
Derek didn't bother to respond to either of them. "Call me if you need anything." Then he turned and left.
Derek changed and ran back towards the house. He was still within the trees, though he could see the clear back lawn, when he heard the squeal. He ran the rest of the way in and found Sam hugging Stiles tightly. When Derek walked into the room she pulled away.
"You have to tell me everything about the next book and everything else you have ever written. I love the books, so much, I can't even tell you how much I love your books." Sam pulled away from him and looked at Megan. "How could you not have told me that you met fucking Tyler O'Brien? I have all of his books," she turned back to Stiles. "I have all of your books. I even bought them again for my kindle instead of just illegally downloading them."
"Thank you," Stiles said with a shy smile.
"Thomas has read the books too," Sam said.
"They are very good," Thomas said much less excitably than his sister but he was smiling up at Stiles still.
"Oh, forget about him," Sam said. "It's better than very good."
"They are," Derek said walking into the room and sitting next to what he assumed was Stiles' previous seat.
Stiles turned to him with a surprised look on his face. "You've read them."
Derek frowned – why would Stiles be surprised; the whole pack had purchased the books as soon as they had come out, refusing Stiles' attempts to give them free copies. "Of course I've read them."
Stiles smiled, bright and wide and Derek felt himself responding with one of his own.
"You've been in my study, they're in my bookshelf." Derek said quickly shifting in his seat.
Stiles shrugged. "You never said anything."
"I've also read the reviews," Derek said. "You don't need my opinion."
"No, but I would like it."
Derek tipped his head slightly and stared at Stiles.
"When is the next book coming out?" Sam asked causing Stiles to turn and look at her.
He sat down and pulled her down next to him causing his hip to be pressed snugly into Derek's thigh.
"It's coming out in a couple of months. I've just received the first edit from my publisher."
"Is it from the series? Or a stand-alone?" Thomas asked.
"Series," Stiles said. "Though I'm working on a new trilogy."
"About?" Sam asked.
"A quest story…"
Derek stopped listening for a moment when he heard Logan make some noises that meant he was awake. When Derek came back to the conversation Thomas was talking about something to do with fae and Megan was staring at him.
"Was that Logan?" Megan asked him.
"Let's go and get him, I wanted to talk to you about something."
Derek didn't want to leave Stiles alone with Sam and Thomas but he stood anyway and followed Megan out of the room. Instead of stopping at Logan's door she continued on to her own and walked inside waiting for Derek to follow her.
"Is it safe for them to be here?" Megan asked as soon as the door was closed. "With the wolves and Logan and the coming full moon?"
"So long as they leave by Sunday they are completely safe. My werewolves are under control. Though, you need to keep them out of the woods."
"Erica ingested some wolfsbane someone used in a cake. They probably thought it was a more edible plant than it is, she's detoxing in the Huntsman's Cottage."
"It's a small cottage further into the woods," Derek explained. "It's where my grandparents lived when I was young."
"I'll keep them out of the woods then," Megan said. "I didn't know they were coming."
"It's nice to meet them," Derek said. "I'll sort out rooms for them later."
Megan frowned at him. "Why?"
"They are your friends. They are welcome to stay here while they are visiting."
Megan closed her eyes and dropped her chin down onto her chest for a moment. "I'm taking advantage of you but I really would like them close, I've missed them."
"I'll go and get Logan then."
Derek nodded and walked out of her room. He collected Logan, changed the little boy's nappy and by the time he had made it into the lounge room he could hear Megan pouring boiling water into his bottle.
Derek walked into the lounge room to find Thomas and Sam with Stiles sandwiched between them. Thomas' hand was wrapped over one of Stiles' knees as he told Stiles about something. Derek didn't realise he was growling quietly until Logan began to giggle against his chest. Everyone turned to him but Derek noticed that Thomas' fingers didn't peel away from Stiles' knee.
Derek wasn't sure, however, who looked more delighted to see Logan – Thomas or Sam, though the smile on Stiles' face was awfully close. Derek would normally have handed Logan to Stiles – pleased that the human liked his son so much, but he knew he couldn't with Megan's friends there to see her and Logan.
Megan walked into the room behind Derek and handed him the bottle. Derek decided that meant he could just find himself a spot to sit and feed Logan himself. He would have preferred to sit in the same spot he had had before but he took one of the other seats instead and finally allowed Logan at the bottle he'd been staring at. Logan drank heartily as he always did after a nap. When he was done Derek handed him to Thomas who finally let go of Stiles knee and stopped telling him about his work as a policeman to cradle Logan to his chest.
Derek did not like the way that Thomas looked at Stiles but the way he was looking at Logan was a different matter. Thomas smelt delicately of worry and he held Logan gently but Derek could see that he liked the baby. Logan batted at Thomas' chin and looked around the room after staring at Thomas for a couple of long minutes. Derek slid his hands under his thighs where he was sitting on the soft chair. He was glad that Megan had had the support of her friends. He was not jealous of the fact that Thomas had been there when Derek wasn't, that he had seen Logan grow when Derek had not even known he existed. Derek tore his eyes away from Thomas to find Stiles watching him with soft eyes.
/ / / TBC \ \ \
Chapter 16: Questioning
/ / / Questioning \ \ \
"Derek," Megan said pulling his eyes away from Stiles'. "Would you mind watching Logan tonight? I'd like to do something with Thomas and Sam."
Derek turned to her fully and she could still see the slightly vulnerable look in his eyes that Stiles would have recognised. She had never expected him to be so accepting of her and Logan. She didn't know how she was going to take Logan back to San Diego, if she would be able to take him away from Derek. Now that she knew him better she knew it would kill him to lose Logan. She believed him when he said he would go with them but she wasn't even sure if that was a fair thing to any of them.
Derek's face cleared and he smiled. "Of course."
"Thanks," Megan said with an answering smile and went back to watching Thomas with Logan. He had never spent much time around children before Logan and even though he was still a little wary of Logan he did like the child. She always liked to watch him with Logan. Sam waited another two minutes and then reached over Stiles and demanded Thomas hand Logan over.
Stiles stood up suddenly a few minutes later. "I should get going."
Megan watched as Derek watched Stiles. She could see the way that he obviously did not want Stiles to leave warring with the dislike of the way Stiles was sitting sandwiched between her two friends.
Derek shook his head and stood up as well. "I'll walk you out."
Stiles smiled and then turned to Sam and Thomas. He ducked down and dropped a kiss on Logan's head. Her friends had been hugely helpful since she had had the baby but Stiles was so comfortable with him, so natural and he obviously loved her son. She knew, when it eventually happened, he would be a good stepdad.
"Bye," Stiles said to Thomas and Sam.
Sam looked up at him with a smile Megan recognised from any night she was really in the mood to find someone to hook up with. "We'll see you tomorrow, right?"
"Brunch," Stiles said. "It's Saturday, no one wants to get up too early."
"Can't wait," Sam said reaching one hand out for Stiles' forearm. "See you tomorrow."
Stiles smiled again. "You'll get to meet everyone, it'll be great."
"And don't forget you promised to show us around," Sam said holding Logan in the crook of her elbow and refusing to let go of Stiles' arm.
"I won't, tomorrow afternoon?"
Sam beamed and Megan allowed her eyes to flick over just to see the look of simmering jealousy on Derek's face. The corner of his jaw was ticking and Megan bit down on the inside of her cheek to keep from laughing at him. Derek needed to get his arse in gear where Stiles was concerned because even though the human was obviously a smitten kitten eventually he might grow sick of waiting for Derek to sort out his issues. Though her friends might just help him along with that particular issue.
"Sounds brilliant," Sam said with a wink. She let his arm go with a squeeze and Megan watched as Thomas stood up, tall and blonde and tan next to Stiles' dark hair and pale skin. They were striking next to one another but she preferred the way Stiles looked next to Derek. There was something about the way they stood next to one another, almost like their bodies were curved into each other even when they were standing straight, that she found hopeful.
"It was nice to meet you," Thomas said, standing too close to Stiles. "Thank you for the excellent chat. I can't wait to read the book."
Stiles flushed at the praise of his work and she thought back to the fact that the younger man had seemed so shocked at Derek having read the books. She had even seen them sitting in his office, the spines lightly broken from reading. She wondered how much the people around Stiles told him how amazing what he wrote was. Every book of his that she had read had been an easy read, captivating and rich but overall it was something she could sink into and enjoy reading even when he was delving deeply into backstory and world building.
"Thank you," Stiles said moving his hand out to shake Thomas'. "I'll send you a copy when I get them."
Thomas grabbed Stiles' hand and shook his head. "Don't, I like going in a buying them. Who knows, maybe I'll even come out for the book tour."
"That would be good," Stiles said and shook Thomas' hand and then stepped back. "It was great to meet you both, I'll see you tomorrow."
Derek's hand was low and possessive on Stiles' back as they walked out of the room. She assumed that Stiles wasn't actually going home but rather off to check on Erica so they wouldn't see either of them for a while.
Megan stood up and moved over to the seat Sam and Thomas were sharing. They made space for her between them and she sunk down into the couch. She could feel their warmth on either side of her and she rested her head back and just relaxed into their presence. Megan wasn't sure how long had passed when Sam moved next to her, standing up.
"Logan's wet, I'm just going to change him."
"No," Megan said moving to stand. "I'll do it."
"Nah, you just keep using Thomas as a pillow."
Thomas pulled her back down and Megan gave in. She explained how to get to Logan's room and watched Sam walk away.
"I've missed you, Rabbit."
"I've missed you too." Megan twisted around until she could look up at Thomas. "I needed Derek's help."
"He loves Logan."
"He does," Megan confirmed. "Nothing at all like I thought he would be."
"But there's nothing…you know…between you."
Megan shook her head. "Only our son."
Thomas nodded and Megan allowed the silence between them to stretch. She heard Sam coming back to the room and decided now would be as good a time as any to discover what her friends were up to with Stiles.
"What are the two of you doing?" Megan asked when Sam came back with a happy Logan in her arms.
Sam looked at her innocently.
"What are we doing?" Thomas asked with an obvious smirk.
"Well," Megan said. "You're not gay, or bisexual, and you keep hitting on Stiles and you," she turned to Sam. "If you were any more obvious you would need to climb into his lap and start giving him a lap dance."
Sam laughed loudly. "He's fucking Tyler O'Brien; I would give him a lap dance."
Thomas closed his eyes and shook his head. "Too much information."
Sam shrugged. "It's kind of amusing to watch Derek glare at us both jealously as well though."
"That is my main reason for doing it," Thomas admitted. "You said there was something going on there."
"There is," Megan said.
"Well, no shit; a blind, deaf, mute could tell that Derek wants to shimmy up Stiles like a howler monkey."
Megan sat back into the chair. "That is not actually a mental image I needed."
Sam grinned unrepentantly. "No, seriously, give it a chance to percolate. It's a good mental image."
Megan knew Thomas' incredulous look matched her own.
"Fine," Sam looked down at Logan deliberately. "I'm ignoring both of you. Logan and I are just going to have a little play on the mat."
Megan felt Thomas laughing silently at her side as Sam slid off the couch and put Logan on his playmat.
Sam fiddled with the toys that dangled off the two arches that crossed over the mat. Logan began shuffling towards the dragon headed rattle that had obviously been left there by Stiles and Scott when they had put Logan down for his nap.
"This is pretty cool," she said turning sliding the switch over that turned on the music.
"Derek went and bought a heap of stuff the first day I was here. Scott's wife is pregnant and I think Lydia bought everything she saw at the baby shower. More keeps appearing too, I don't know if that's Derek or the rest of them."
"Tell us about them," Sam said. "This little group that has stolen you."
"They haven't stolen me," Megan said. "I just needed help."
"We would have helped you," Thomas said firmly.
"I know," Megan knew they would but she had thought she was insane and in the end coming here, coming to Derek, had been the best option. "So, you've met Stiles-"
Sam laughed. "Honestly, what are my chances?"
"None," Megan said. "Not just because he likes Derek but because I like Stiles, he's been very helpful – except for a period where he didn't come by much but I think he thought I was interested in Derek so…understandable him not wanting to see me really. I know you aren't interested in anything other than bragging rights."
"Tyler O'Brien," Sam said again but then her face cleared and she looked at Megan seriously. "He's a good guy isn't he?"
"Yeah," Sam looked down at Logan. "Probably best if I stay well away from him then."
Megan wanted to go down there and hug Sam who was still hurting after her last venture into a relationship. Megan knew Sam would just shrug her off though. She was a good person but she had terrible taste in men, only wanted to have sex with the good ones and tried relationships with the terrible options.
"You deserve better than someone in love with Derek anyway," Megan said.
"Think of all the fans I could annoy by telling them I'd slept with him though," Sam said shaking off the moment of melancholy.
"So," Megan said changing the subject. "You've met Stiles, and Scott, Scott's wife is Allison and she's pregnant – just about to have the baby too. Her best friend is Lydia; she's the one who took Derek shopping for all the baby things. Lydia and Allison have been taking me out to lunch and inviting me to afternoon tea since I arrived. I was surprised for a while since they are so obviously Stiles' friends more than Derek's but they have been so nice and Allison keeps asking me for advice."
"I knew you weren't nearly as useless as you pretended to think you were," Thomas said.
Megan let out a huff that could almost be confused with a laugh and shook her head. "I hope I've helped her."
"I know you have," Sam said. "After all, Logan's alive and in no way damaged."
"Then there is Isaac and Boyd, Isaac has been coming out the most. He is here almost every day and spends time with Derek and Logan. He is so sweet and shy and I have this overwhelming urge to bake him biscuits."
"I want to meet him." Sam said with delight.
"He is cute," Megan admitted.
"And Boyd?" Thomas asked rolling his eyes at them both.
"He is a giant, and quiet. I can't get a read on him at all. He has come out a number of times but he's always so quiet. Erica and Jackson avoid us at all costs because they don't like kids but when Derek asks they come out and help. And that just leaves Danny, who is smart and has a wicked sense of humour." Sam's eyebrows lifted. "And he's gay."
Sam sighed. "Did we come to the gay capital of northern California?"
"I don't know but they are all insanely built, they often go around shirtless and they don't have any self-consciousness about it at all."
"I can't wait for tomorrow," Sam said.
"I can." Thomas said. "What are we going to do tonight?"
"Anything you want," Megan said curling her legs up under her. "We can go out and do anything. Logan goes down early so we are pretty free."
Sam stretched out on the ground turning over to look at Megan. "Anything you want."
"I should like to go to the moon."
"And see the queen?"
"A movie?" Thomas asked seriously.
"And dinner," Megan said. "There is a really nice Chinese place in town. I went with Allison and Lydia. You'll like it, the owner is fun."
"Plan!" Sam said and lifted herself off the floor. "I need to go to the bathroom."
"Do you know where it is?" Megan asked.
"I found it when I was changing Logan."
"Do either of you want a drink?"
"Water?" Thomas asked. Megan nodded and left the room. When she came back Thomas watched her closely. "You seem comfortable here."
Megan busied herself sorting out the glasses and the jug of water for a moment. "Derek asked me to treat it like my home while I'm here."
"When are you coming back to your actual home?" Thomas asked when she was sitting next to him again.
"I don't know," Megan said curling her head into his neck. "I don't want to take Logan away from Derek, and I do need his help."
"What's wrong with Logan?"
Megan bit her lip – she hated to lie to Thomas but she didn't want to expose Derek or her son to any more danger. She thought back to the conversation she had had with Derek about what to tell her friends. "He has a form of lupus, it's genetic and Derek is trying to help me to manage it. Honestly, for Logan, it's going to be a while before I can came back to San Diego. If at all. I need Derek's help."
Thomas sighed next to her but he didn't say anything else.
/ / / TBC \ \ \