No one told him it was this hard. Okay he knew parenthood would be no walk in the park and twins well that was going to double everything from diaper changes to spit up. And with a baby, with two babies, sleepless nights where a given. But hey it wasn’t like he slept before anyways. Still this was more than he signed off for. Why hadn’t anyone warned him? Was this like some cosmic payback or something? For all the shit he put his Dad through because even if it was no one deserved this hell on Earth. Really someone should just put him out of his misery.
Yes he loved them. He loved his sons more than life itself but everyone has a breaking point and his was fast approaching. He needed help and now. Where the hell was his supposed loving husband? He should be helping here.
Stiles agreed to be the one to take time off work. Not really by choice mind you but more because he was able and Derek, well it’s not like he can just suddenly say “hey pack listen I’m taking maternity leave from my alpha duties see you in six months”. No the supernatural world waited for no one and with the pack’s size and status it made it impossible for Derek to take even a few days off.
Part of Stiles wondered if maybe they should have waited. He had no regrets about having them but he wished that Derek was around more for them. This was an important time in their lives. They were growing so fast and he was missing it. It was weighing on him more every day.
Slipping out of the nursery and into the bathroom Stiles knew if he wanted a shower now was the time he wouldn’t get a second chance and smelling himself he really really needed it. Maybe it would make him feel better? He needed something to lift his mood up.
With no sounds coming from the nursery Stiles made his way into the kitchen. He soon learned why the boys where unusually quiet as Derek was sitting at the kitchen table the twins balanced on each knee. A sight that normally would warm his heart and cause him to melt into a pile of goo but even a shower and the adorable sight would not lift his mood.
“Morning,” Derek greeted in his “I am ridiculously happy” voice. Well at least one of them was.
“Yep,” Stiles managed heading straight for the fridge.
“How where the boys?” Derek asked not even looking up as he proceeded to kiss the tops of their heads. Another thing that would normally cheer him up instead causing anger to rise.
Derek got to come and go as he pleased. He could sit there and coo at the boys, play with them, and then leave before the crying and the pooing and the spit up started. Derek didn’t have to stay at home. He got to talk with adults. Stiles doesn’t even remember the last time he talked with someone who could reply back with words other than a handful of noises.
“Well maybe if you got up every two hours with them instead of whatever it is you do at night you’d know,” he snapped ripping the lid of the carton of milk before chugging it not even bothering with a glass.
Stiles understood why Derek had to leave at all hours. When someone from the pack called he answered. Logically he knew that. He understood that. He used to get up and go with Derek. But logical had left the building a long time ago.
“Very funny.” Derek chuckled finally glancing up to his husband only to have his smile wiped right off his face. Stiles wasn’t laughing, Stiles was deadly serious. “I do stuff for them.”
Stiles snorted. “Uh huh.”
“Get up on the wrong side of the bed this morning?” he tried to get a smile out of him but Stiles wasn’t having it.
“I slept in a chair for your information.” Stiles shoved the carton back into the refrigerator. “Take out the garbage.”
Derek stood up placing the boys gently into their play pen. “Stiles.” He walked up to his mate. “Stiles what’s wrong?”
“Wrong? What would make you think something is wrong?” he sneered. His brain kept telling his mouth to shut up to shut up to shut up. But when has his mouth ever listened to him?
Derek reached out to him but before he could even touch him Stiles flinched away. “Stiles talk to me.”
He shook his head. “You don’t want to talk to me right now Der. I’ll say something I regret. Just go. Take out the trash and just go deal with whatever latest Alpha crises is going on.”
Derek frowned, his brows pinched together. “Stiles you know I have to take care of the pack. I don’t have a choice.”
“Of course I know. Who do you think you’re talking too? I used to be your partner. We dealt with these problems together. No one knows better than me what comes with running a pack.” Stiles glared.
“Then what is it?” Derek tried to understand.
Stiles almost laughed. He really didn’t get it did he. “What is it? Well what it is is that I am only one fucking person. I can’t do all this,” he waved his arms around gesturing to the general area, “by myself. I have no idea have single parents do it. Really they deserve awards. They are miracle workers. And I’ve got twins on my hands. I’m drowning here.”
“But you’re not alone. You have me. We’re in this together.” Derek rubbed his hands down Stiles arms.
Stiles pushed him off. “Yeah that’s rich. Please you’re here for a few hours and somehow you time them perfectly because those are always the easy hours. You aren’t the one who gets up twenty times a night because one of them is crying. You haven’t changed the hundreds of diapers because they are poop machines. That’s all they do sleep, cry, and poo and sleeping is apparently optional. You didn’t even notice that today was the first time I’ve taken a shower in nine days. Nine. And no I’m not exaggerating I counted. So yeah you’re a great help.”
Derek was frozen speechless in front of him. He hadn’t realized how difficult this has been for Stiles. He just assumed it was all going well because Stiles would have told him if they hadn’t been. But now really looking at him he could see the deep black circles under his eyes, how his body was thinner like he had lost quite a bit of weight, and the stubble covering his face as he obviously hasn’t bothered shaving in weeks. Stiles had always been the one to hold things together. In high school Stiles was the one to keep Derek’s pack and Scott’s pack together so they could deal with the Alpha’s and Stiles had been the one to form the new pack in the first place. He had brought them together. And when they dated Stiles was the one who kept their relationship from falling apart when Derek was sure he would screw it up. Now, now Stiles was the one falling apart and it was time for Derek to hold things together.
Stiles swallowed his mind catching up to his words. With Derek standing their wide eyed and silent he knew he had fucked up. “Listen I’m just… I’m just tired. Take out the trash and go to work. Show them what a great Alpha you are. I’ll be fine.”
Stiles turned away grabbing the basket of laundry. The way the boys went through clothing he had to do laundry daily. He didn’t get very far when Derek snatched the basket from his hands.
“Wha-?” Stiles exclaimed surprised.
“I’ve got this,” Derek assured him.
“No Derek. You have to go. Just give me some coffee and I’ll be good to go,” Stiles tried to convince him but honestly looking at him Derek couldn’t believe it took him this long to figure out what a mess Stiles was right now. When was the last time he slept?
Derek placed the basket down cupping his annoying spastic wonderful husband’s cheeks. “No you’re not and I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to realize. Go to bed I’ve got the boys.”
“Derek you’re needed,” Stiles pointed out.
“Scott’s been wanting more responsibility. He can handle it and he’ll call me if he can’t,” Derek promised him leaning down to press a kiss to his lips.
Stiles melted tears of exhaustion trickling down his cheeks. He was too tired to fight. Too tired to do anything honestly. So he just nodded trying not to fall apart more than he already was. “Okay.”
Derek ushered him off to bed. Of course that was when the twins started crying. He could do this. Stiles had been taking care of them for months. Derek was their father he could take care of them.
He learned quickly just what kind of hell Stiles had been living in. It was a good things he loved those boys as much as he did. That’s all he’s saying.