“Listen, Derek, I'm aware that you're trying your best. And believe me when I tell you that you're doing fine with this whole parenthood thing but it's not enough. Clara and Benny need more. You are very busy with your job and Cora is in college in New York and, unfortunately, there are no other relatives who can help you,” Susanna said and looked at him compassionately.
The memory that he had no one but Cora left hurt because it was true. He had only Cora and the kids.
“I try to be at home as often as I can and even when I am not at home, they are well taken care of. Of course, I hire babysitters,” Derek contradicted, although he actually knew she was right.
He didn't need someone to only supervise the kids but someone to take care of all the other important things too. Someone who would do homework with Clara and go to therapy with Benny. Someone who would go to the beach with them or to the playground. Someone who would read them a bedtime story when Derek was late. Derek wished with all his heart that he could be that person for the kids, but he just had too much on his plate with the company at the moment. Fuck his uncle for causing so much trouble that Derek had to work 24/7.
After the death of his parents and his sister, Peter's betrayal and…and after what Kate wanted to do to Benny, everything was just too much. Sometimes Derek wished he had the luxury to just break down and cry. But that was no option. Somehow, he had to overcome all of this. Since the car accident where Laura, her husband and Derek’s parents died two years ago, his life changed so damn much. He loved his niece and his nephew as if they were his own children, but sometimes he just wasn’t sure if this was enough.
“But you don’t just need a babysitter, Derek. Your kids need more. Besides, your babysitters constantly change, because apparently nobody can handle Benny. You need a nanny. Someone who stays. And most importantly, you need someone who knows about werewolves. No offence, but you had to witness what can happen if the wrong people find out about the whole werewolf thing,” Susanna said resolutely.
The only reason Derek let a person talk to him like that was that Susanna practically knew him since he was still running around with diapers. She was Laura’s best friend since they were four and Derek was just born. Susanna was family. That she was Clara’s class teacher as well, was a lucky coincidence.
“Derek, you need someone you can trust and who has so much endurance that they don't give up so fast. Even if Benny refuses to talk, to take a bath, to eat or whatever else he apparently does to rile up your babysitters. Someone who does something fun with the kids. Did you know that Clara is always the only one who can never tell exciting stories about her weekend? It almost always sounds like she’s just sitting in front of the TV. She is only seven! Derek that’s not enough for a child,” Susanna tried to convince him.
And fuck, he didn’t know that. With horror, he imagined how bad Clara must feel about the whole thing. All the children were raving about their adventures and the time they spent with their family, only Clara had nothing to tell because Derek was too fucking busy with his work.
He had a bad conscience all the time anyway. He didn’t even need Susanna to confirm what he knew anyway: he was a bad father substitute!
Fuck! Laura and his mother would be so disappointed in him if they were still alive. But then he wouldn’t be in that situation. The children would have a real family and not a replacement father, who was too stupid to see that his girlfriend was a crazy bitch who almost had Benny burned alive. Talia and Laura had never liked Kate anyway and they never understood why Derek was with her. Why he gave up living as a werewolf in a pack for her.
In retrospect, Derek didn’t know either. He thought he loved her. Love? What a cruel joke!
Susanna was right. He needed a solution, the sooner the better.
“Maybe you are right, Susanna, but how should I find someone for this job? I can’t imagine that there are many people in Beacon Hills who know about werewolves, are trustworthy and need a job,” Derek snorted.
“Yeah. I do. I really know someone who would be perfect for this job,” Susanna answered and beamed at him.
Surprised, Derek looked at her.
“Okay? Who is this mysterious perfect person?”
“Stiles Stilinski," she enlightened him.
“Stilinski? As in the Sheriff's kid? Are you serious? I’ve never met him in person, but Cora told me a lot about him. He seems to be a hyperactive, clumsy teenager. And that’s the kind of person whom I’m supposed to entrust my children with? What the heck, Susanna?” Derek snorted.
Susanna couldn’t be serious about that.
He should hire a child to take care of his kids?
“Derek, we have known each other for twenty-seven years now. I was Laura’s best friend. I loved her like my own sister. Do you really think I would suggest something that would put her children at risk?” she asked with a deep frown on her forehead.
No, actually, he didn’t think she would harm Laura's kids. But Stiles Stilinski?
“Stiles is twenty years old, so he is no teenager,” Susanna explained.
Barely, Derek thought. At the age of twenty Stiles wasn't even allowed to drink alcohol in most states.
“Although he is still very hyperactive and talks too much, he is one of the most responsible and loyal people I know. He grew up with a werewolf as his best friend and his father was the Sheriff of Beacon Hills for a long time. I’m sure that alone makes him trustworthy. Besides…he should also know about Kate”, Susanna explained, and Derek had to admit that she had a point there.
It was thanks to Sheriff Stilinski that Benny was still alive. If the man hadn’t understood so quickly what was going on…Derek didn’t even want to imagine what would have happened.
“And why should someone like Stiles need a job as a nanny? He’s supposed to be in college by now. There’s no college in Beacon Hills and I don’t need anyone who only has time to work for me on the weekend.”
“Stiles is in desperate need of money. His father had heart surgery and is no longer able to work as a sheriff. Someone has to pay the hospital bills,” Susanna reported with a sigh.
“The Sheriff needs money for his hospital bill? I could...,” Derek considered.
“Forget it. The Sheriff would never accept your suggestion. But you could offer his son a very well-paid job, so he has a chance to pay off the debt. That would be a win for everyone. Stiles is also looking for an apartment. He could move in with you. You’ve got plenty of guest rooms.” Susanna said.
Derek was supposed to let a stranger live with them?
“You want me to let a twenty-year-old stranger stay with us? Susanna, are you crazy? I'm sure he wants to party and invite friends all the time. Besides, he might have a girlfriend or a boyfriend. I would go insane with all the scents of strangers in my house,” Derek complained.
“You'd have to tell him right from the start that you don't want that. I know this is all a lot, but it really would be for your benefits. And it would be good for the kids. You'd have a fixed caregiver who's always there. Think about it, Derek. You wouldn't have to organise babysitters every day, which sometimes are cancelling or refusing to come when Clara is sick. It wouldn't be a problem if you were a little late in the evening,” she tried to persuade him further.
Damn it, Susanna was right.
It would be a huge advantage and a big relief to have someone who would live with them. Especially someone who knew about werewolves.
“According to Lydia he is also a decent cook,” Susanna added with a smirk.
“Yes, my cousin is good friends with him."
"Okay. But won't he have to be in college right now,” Derek replied.
“He interrupted this semester because his father had a bad stroke two months ago. He seems determined to attend online courses in the fall, so he can help his father here. As I mentioned earlier, Stiles is very loyal,” Susanna explained.
Derek nodded. He was already convinced to try it. He could negotiate a rehearsal week with the boy and then see how it went.
“How can I get in touch with him?” Derek wanted to know.
“I’ll give you his number and you promise me you’ll at least try. For the sake of the kids. Please, Derek!” she begged.
“Okay, I’ll call him this afternoon. But don’t get your hopes too high, Susanna. I know we’re a handful. He might want to flee right away,” Derek warned.
“I'm sure that won't happen. You'll see, he is perfect for you,” she responded.
After saving the number in his cell phone, he stood up and said goodbye to Clara's teacher. But before he left, he turned around once more.
“Thank you, Susanna. Is everything else okay with Clara?” he wanted to know.
“I can assure you, Clara is one of the smartest girls in class. She only needs a nanny while you are at work.”
A little calmer, Derek went back to his car. He had taken the afternoon off for parents’ day. One of the neighbour girls was babysitting the kids. Derek was always afraid that Benny might shift for the first time when the kids were alone with a sitter. But he couldn't take them with him everywhere.
He could only hope that it would happen on a full moon night like most children. If Benny was really a werewolf as Derek assumed. Normally, werewolf children shifted for the first time when they were at the age of three or four.
At least this problem would be solved with Stiles. The Sheriff's kid would know what to do. Maybe Susanna's idea wasn't so bad. She was right, it would make things easier for Derek.
Derek thought he vaguely remembered the Sheriff's son. He had never met him in person, but when he went to the police station to testify about Kate, there was a picture of a teenager with a buzz cut, a pale face and many moles on the Sheriff's desk. So, Derek knew what to expect even though the boy was probably a bit older by now.
“Bye Lyds, and please say thank you to your Cousin. I owe her. A lot,” Stiles said through the phone.
“Yeah you do, so don’t screw it up! You need this job. You would be able to pay your dad’s hospital bills within two years. Derek Hale is obviously willing to pay a small fortune for someone to raise his kids,” Lydia pointed out.
This was incredible! Incredible and wonderful and overwhelming and so unexpected.
Derek Hale wanted to give him a job as a nanny. Although Stiles never thought he would end up taking care of kids (and a full household - Jesus), this was more than amazing. Even though he knew the job wouldn’t be easy.
First of all: two little kids were certainly a lot of work.
Also, there was this tragic family history. His dad had told him that four members of the Hale family had died in a car accident. If Stiles remembered correctly, Talia and Ben Hale plus their daughter Laura and Laura's husband were in the car. Laura's two children, fortunately, weren't with them.
Derek Hale had no choice but to adopt the two kids and also take over the guardianship of his younger sister Cora. About a year later, Derek’s girlfriend wanted to kill the youngest adopted child. Luckily, Stiles' dad was able to prevent it. The interrogation revealed that Derek hadn't told his girlfriend that he was a werewolf, and when she found out she went crazy. Like Freddy Kruger crazy. Jesus, the bitch wanted to murder a child. Who the hell did that?
To some degree, Stiles could understand that she was angry. He would be pissed too. You shouldn’t hide such important information from your partner. But to kill an innocent child? You had to be a monster to do something like that. She had spread wolfsbane around a car in which the little boy was sleeping and set it on fire. Somehow Mr. Hale found out and, of course, he wanted to get the child out of the car, but he had no chance. The wolfsbane was like an invisible wall.
Stiles' father had told him that Kate Argent was a member of a hunting family and she wanted to wipe out all werewolves. Since she apparently didn’t dare to take action against a full-grown werewolf, she tried to kill the child. She didn’t even know for sure if the little boy was a werewolf! How fucked up was this?
The other adopted kid was already six and so Kate was sure that it wasn't a werewolf. That was the reason Kate didn’t try to murder it. It was a rough story. Stiles’ father had been so wrecked by the heartbreaking sight of Derek Hale desperately trying to get into the car. But the werewolf didn’t even get close.
Thank god, the Sheriff knew that Derek Hale was a werewolf and he realized quickly what was going on. So, he was able to act fast enough. Wolfsbane didn't stop humans (thank god), so he was able to save the little boy’s life. Luckily, they found enough evidence to arrest Kate Argent.
Stiles was so nervous. After all, he had never worked with children before, but of course he was happy about this opportunity. Derek Hale not only paid him a large sum of money, but he also offered him a room to live. And that was more than welcome. Stiles knew he could move in with his father and Melissa, but at some point, you just don't want to live in your parents' house any longer. Especially when your father was in a new relationship. Stiles would feel like an intruder, no matter how often Melissa or his dad told him that he was welcome to stay in his old room as long as he wanted to.
Also, Mr. Hale had told him on the phone that he could live there for free and that he even didn't have to pay for the food. It was perfect. Almost too perfect.
When he arrived at the parking lot in front of the Hale house, he took a deep breath. The house was outside of Beacon Hills in the middle of the forest. Suitable for a werewolf family but a bit creepy. The building was actually intended for a large pack and therefore it was huge. Stiles wondered what Derek was doing with all the rooms. But at least it wouldn't be a problem for his new boss to find some space for him.
Even before Stiles reached the door, it opened, and a little girl stared at him excitedly.
“Daddy, daddy, he's here!” she yelled.
“Clara! I don't want you to just open the door. It could be anyone. How many times do I have to fucking tell you this?” Stiles heard a deep voice cursing.
He suspected that the voice belonged to Derek Hale.
“Oh, Daddy, you have to feed the curse piggy bank! You used a bad word!” the little girl screeched and jumped up and down excitedly. Her two long blond pigtails bobbed around her cute little face.
Stiles knew from the very first moment that he liked her. She was amazingly energetic, just like him.
What he had not expected, however, was the level of hotness of his new boss. Holy Christ! This man should come with a warning. Stiles had heard a lot about Derek Hale, but no one had prepared him for how attractive the man was.
Mr. Hale was about his size and, holy moly, the man was built like a Greek god. Under the light grey Henley, his abs, the broad chest and the unbelievable strong upper arm muscles were more than visible. He had black hair, an attractive three days stubble and the most intense blue-green-grey (Were they blue, green or grey? Stiles couldn't decide) eyes Stiles had ever seen.
Dammit! Stiles swallowed hard. In front of him stood the most attractive man that Stiles had ever seen, and he was not only his new boss but also a werewolf. And this meant that he probably could smell what was going on in Stiles’ head. Goddammit! Way to make a first impression.
If Derek scented something about Stiles' inner break down, he didn't show it. Thank God!
Stiles tried to get his shit together and ignore Derek Hale’s hotness as much as possible. He was here for the kids and not for the hot daddy...
Jesus! Wrong wording! Very, very wrong wording. Daddy was not a word he should use if he wanted to stay calm. He didn't even have a daddy kink but something about this guy in front of him turned everything Stiles was thinking into something sexual.
But thank fuck, the man would be at his office most of the time. The thought was reassuring (and disappointing - Jesus, he had to stop this!)
“Hello, my name is Stiles Stilinski”, Stiles said as politely as possible and reached out his hand to greet the werewolf. Derek lifted his eyebrows and looked at his outstretched hand.
“Sorry, but my hands are a bit occupied at the moment”, the werewolf said a little harshly and pointed to the child in his arms with his chin. The little boy watched Stiles curiously but timidly while he cuddled close to his uncle (Did they call him uncle Derek or dad? At least Clara already called him Dad. Stiles would find out if Benny did too).
The boy looked like a little spitting image of Mr. Hale. Only his hair was not so dark, but it wasn't as blonde as his sister's. Stiles figured that he had to be about three or four years old. The girl was a bit older. Maybe six or seven.
She beamed at him. On her head was a golden plastic crown and she wore a pink princess dress.
“Your Highness. It is an honour for me to make your acquaintance,” Stiles said and bowed slightly to the girl.
“You’re silly,” she said giggling and slightly blushing.
Stiles had to laugh. Children were always so delightfully straightforward.
“I know, Princess. So, I’ve been told many times,” Stiles agreed and winked.
“Are you playing knight and princess with me?” she wanted to know looking at him with bright hopeful eyes.
“Yeah, why not. Sounds like it would be fun. Am I the knight?” Stiles asked.
“No, you’re the monster! Benny's the knight. He has to defeat you and free me,” she clarified.
“Very charming, I am the monster. Pff. But okay. Not everyone can be the knight, I guess. But I hope you’re ready for a wild monster. I am very dangerous,” Stiles mock growled.
“Oh yes! Tiffany and Dora, our last babysitters, have always been such boring monsters. They were just lying on the carpet in the living room and playing with their cell phones. Besides, they never wanted the princess to have a sword. Tiffany said that if the princess can defend herself, she wouldn't need a knight,” the girl complained.
“That’s nonsense! It’s much easier for two people to defeat a dangerous monster! Why shouldn't the poor knight be happy when the princess helps him,” Stiles wondered.
“Yeah, I said exactly the same, but she wouldn't listen!”
The little girl took him happily by the hand and wanted to drag him into the house.
“Not so fast, Clara. I need Mr. Stilinski for a few minutes. We have to do all the adult stuff first. Then you can attack him with your rubber swords,” Derek Hale stopped the little girl.
“Eww, adult stuff is boring,” she stated.
“I know, honey, but it has to be done. Why don't you go to the living room with your brother and get everything ready? Mr. Stilinski and I will go to the study and take care of everything. As soon as we're done, he'll come to you,” Mr. Hale suggested.
“Okay,” she sighed.
Mr. Hale put the little boy down. Clara took his hand and pulled him into the house. Stiles followed his new (much too attractive) boss into the house and tried (unsuccessfully) not to stare at his ass. Damn! It was a fine ass!
Before Mr. Hale took him to the study to discuss all the details and do the paperwork, he showed Stiles his room. It was on the lower floor at the back end of the corridor. Stiles not only had his own very spacious room with a large flat screen, but also a private bathroom and a small terrace. It was amazing.
“Wow, I think I can live with that,” he muttered.
“I'm glad you like it. My bedroom and the children's rooms are upstairs. There are guest rooms upstairs too, but I thought you might want a little privacy. The children will stick to you like glue most of the time anyway,” Mr. Hale explained. “Do you have your stuff in your car? I was hoping you could start right away,” the werewolf said looking at him hopefully.
“Ahem, I just brought the things I need for a week. When you called, you mentioned something about a trial week,” Stiles replied.
Derek nodded then he sat down on the big bed. Stiles' bed. And that…that was an image that triggered so many inappropriate thoughts in Stiles’ mind.
Jesus! He had to focus. Goddammit.
“Listen, this job isn't going to be easy. Clara is human, as you may have noticed. But I suspect Benny is a werewolf. That means his first shift can happen at any time. A werewolf this age can't really do a lot of damage, but there are still things that are dangerous about it. His claws could hurt his sister or you. He could be shifting in the middle of a supermarket. There are many unknown variables and honestly, it gives me sleepless nights. I know it would be best if I could take care of him myself until he has found his anchor, but unfortunately, that's not possible. Since my uncle has left us with a large part of the business cash, I am struggling to keep the company afloat. If it was just me, I would probably just give up, but there are over six hundred jobs at stake. So many families from the area would be affected and the job prospects in Beacon Hills are not exactly rosy. So, I have no choice but to at least try to fix this mess,” Mr. Hale explained, looking at his hands.
Wow, Stiles hadn’t expected that the werewolf would tell him the whole truth right away. But he was happy about it. This made it easier to understand why he didn’t raise the children all by himself. He apparently had enough private money, although maybe not enough to rehabilitate the company. But if he did work so much to help the people in Beacon Hills, then it was…noble.
“Don’t worry, Mr. Hale. My best friend was bitten by a rogue werewolf when he was a teenager. He’s been out of control for a long time. And he’s shifted several times in public. I always managed to convince everyone that we’re just trying out cool Halloween costumes. I’ve got this, Mr. Hale. I promise,” Stiles tried to calm the man down.
The werewolf stared at him with an indefinable look.
“Maybe Susanna was right. Maybe it’s really going to get easier if someone's around who knows about werewolves,” Mr. Hale said and got up.
“Just a few more things. First of all: please call me Derek. I hate it when people call me by my last name when I'm at home. It feels like I’m still at the office.”
“Okay. You can call me Stiles if you want. This is not the name that is written on my birth certificate, but since no one can pronounce it, everyone just calls me Stiles,” Stiles answered.
“The second thing I wanted to tell you is that Benny doesn’t speak. Ever. He spoke pretty well for a three-year-old, but when the thing with…with Kate… happened…after that, he didn’t say a word. I’ll never forgive myself for not realising who she really was. Some of the babysitters tried to force Benny to speak or they punished him if he didn’t answer their questions. One babysitter didn’t give him anything to eat because he didn’t ask for it. Of course, I immediately fired her, but this has led him to retreat even more. Clara tries to involve him in everything, but you’ll soon realise that he’s not really playing along. He’s just watching,” the werewolf explained with a sad voice.
Stiles’ heart almost broke for the man in front of him and for the poor traumatised boy. Stiles would do anything to make them feel at least a little better.
“I would never force him, Mr. Hale…ahem Derek,” Stiles assured.
“Good. One more thing: I know this sounds unusual for a human, but I have to ask you to refrain from having visitors in my house,” the werewolf said and looked at him intensely.
“I understand,” Stiles replied, “it’s because of the scents, isn’t it?”
The werewolf looked at him in surprise. Almost as if he had expected more resistance. But Stiles knew from Scott how hard it was for werewolves to feel comfortable around foreign scents in their homes. And also, Stiles didn’t have a lot of friends. There was his best friend Scott, whom he loved like a brother. But he was a werewolf himself and therefore he would never visit Stiles here unless Derek would invite him. Also, he stayed in Seattle during the summer. Then there was Lydia, his second-best friend. The girl he was in love with for a long, long time. Until he realised that they worked out much better as friends. Maybe one day he could convince Derek to have her over, but it was also okay if not. He could visit her instead. And then there was Danny. Danny wasn’t a super close friend like Scott or Lydia. He was more like…an acquaintance…with whom Stiles sometimes had sex. But never at his dad's house or at Danny’s. These things happened only at parties or in the bathroom of a club. So, Derek had nothing to fear.
“Yes. Smelling the scents of people who aren't pack at home makes me restless. So, no parties, no visits, not even from your girlfriend or your boyfriend. I’m sorry. If that’s a problem for you, you should tell me right away,” Derek explained.
“No, that’s not a problem. There is neither a girlfriend nor a boyfriend, my best friend is in Seattle and I can meet Lydia anywhere else,” Stiles assured him.
“Good! We should get the paperwork done quickly. Clara is certainly waiting impatiently with her rubber sword,” Derek suggested.
Stiles had to laugh. Yes, he could imagine very well that she was a badass princess who was able to beat a monster to escape.
I hope you are ready for more cuteness!
“Okay, so I have to go now. I hope I can be back for dinner. You got my number if anything should happen, there is enough to eat in the fridge and the credit card is on the counter if you prefer to order take out. However, if you want to go out with the kids and you need a car, I would prefer if you take the SUV. It's in the garage. Your jeep…ahem…looks older and since... I just... I am sorry but since their parents... I want them to be safe. Besides, the children safety seats are already fixed in the SUV. The keys are next to the credit card on the counter,” Derek explained, and Stiles could only stare at him.
“You entrust not only your kids and your credit card to me but also the SUV. Wow! Are werewolves always so fast with trusting strangers,” Stiles wondered.
Derek did that thing with his eyebrows again, which wasn’t supposed to be as sexy as it was.
“On the contrary, I can assure you. Werewolves trust only very slowly. But I would know where to find you or your father if you were abusing my trust in any way,” Derek responded with a stern look on his face.
Then the werewolf hugged and kissed his kids and said goodbye. A few moments later he disappeared, and Stiles was alone with the two children. (On one hand, this was a relief, because the werewolf was very distracting. But on the other hand...)
“Now, let’s start,” Stiles said and rubbed his hands.
Clara screaked with pleasure. While Stiles was with Derek, Benny had changed into a knight’s costume. The siblings looked at him with expectation.
“Okay, that’s not how this works. You’re both dressed up. I’m just little old me. I need to be scarier,” Stiles explained.
“Ohhhh yes!” Clara yelled.
Stiles looked around to find some useful materials for his costume. After a while, he went to the couch and stuffed a few pillows under his t-shirt. This should be enough padding against the rubber sword strokes. Then he rushed into the kitchen and took a plastic bowl, which he sat on his head like a helmet. Finally, he tied a green plastic funnel in front of his mouth and nose with a binding thread.
“That’s it,” he announced proudly.
Clara laughed herself to tears about his costume.
“You look so funny, Stiles,” she giggled.
“I’m not looking funny! I look scary!” Stiles stated and growled. “And now I will catch a princess!”
Screaming Clara tried to flee but Stiles was faster. He grabbed her and carried her to the couch.
“Ha! Now you are captured in this cage forever, princess,” he said with a gravelly voice.
“No, no! Knight, you have to help me! Please!” she cried for help.
“Ha, your knight will never find us,” Stiles the monster replied.
But then something unexpected happened. With a small (very cute) growl Benny jumped forward and hit Stiles on his padded back with the rubber sword. Both Stiles and Clara stared at him in amazement for a few moments. Stiles decided to act as if nothing had happened even if this seemed to be the first time in a long time that the boy actively took part in a game.
Dramatically, Stiles threw himself to the ground.
“Ahhhhhhh, I am wounded,” he cried.
Laughing, both children began to beat the monster with their swords. Stiles was happy about his idea with the upholstery and the helmet. One should never underestimate little children. They were stronger than they seemed. Stiles for sure would be left with a few bruises without his costume.
It was unexpectedly easy to get along with the Hale kids. At first, they played princess and knight as Stiles had promised. Stiles had to kidnap the princess over and over again, and Benny freed her every time. With Clara’s help, of course. It was touching how easy it was to entertain the two. And Stiles was a little bit proud that Benny didn't only watch them.
Time flew by and before Stiles knew what was happening, it was noon.
"Time for lunch,” he announced after the princess escaped from her prison for the twelfth time.
Stiles took off his costume and went to the kitchen asking the kids to follow him.
"So, here is the deal. Everyone likes their sandwiches differently, so we'll do it together. Please take a seat at the table,” Stiles announced.
Then he fetched some cheese, ham, pickles, tomatoes, green pepper and boiled eggs and put them on the table in front of the kids. He also took a cutting board, a vegetable knife, as well as the bread and plates, and sat down with the children.
Clara's eyes became huge.
"We are allowed to decide for ourselves what we want on our sandwiches,” she asked in disbelief.
"Yes, but there is a rule. There must be at least one piece of vegetables on your sandwich,” Stiles explained.
Stiles cut the vegetables and the boiled eggs and both children nodded and grabbed the things they wanted. Clara stuffed almost everything into her sandwich, cheese, ham, a slice of the tomato, pickles, pepper and the egg. Then she tried to squeeze the whole sandwich between her little fingers so she could take a bite.
“Mmmmm…this is the best sandwich I’ve ever eaten,” she announced with a full mouth.
Stiles laughed and prepared his own sandwich. Capturing a princess made him hungry. Just like Clara, he filled his sandwich with everything. Benny, on the other hand, only took ham, a slice of tomato and the egg.
“Benny doesn’t eat anything that’s green,” Clara explained.
Benny looked at him frightened. Stiles' heart ached for the little boy who clearly thought Stiles would force him to take more vegetables. Jesus! What did the babysitters do to this poor boy?
“That’s good to know. Bon appetit, Benny,” Stiles said, hoping that that was enough encouragement for the boy to start eating.
Apparently, it was enough because Benny happily took his sandwich and after a short while, both children had emptied their plates.
Yess, (Stiles inwardly fist-pumped himself) that was the second success that day. Stiles knew there would be days which weren't that easy. But it was a good start. Stiles decided to try to get Benny and Clara to eat some fruit as well. However, there were only green apples and a whole watermelon.
“Okay, who wants some fruit?” he asked.
Benny shook his head. Stiles wouldn’t push the boy. He nodded understandingly.
“What about you, Princess?” he asked Clara.
She only shrugged.
“Okay, I’m going to cut the watermelon. Did you know that the watermelon is hiding her delicious red fruit pulp with her thick green skin?” Stiles told them.
Both children looked at him, clearly interested.
“Look, on the outside the watermelon is green, but on the inside...,” Stiles cut the big fruit in two halves, “on the inside it is beautifully red…”
Benny let out a surprised sound. Stiles cut the watermelon into smaller slices and removed the thick green skin. Then he put some of the red melon pieces on a plate and placed it on the kitchen table. Clara immediately grabbed a piece and after a short while, Benny also took one of the smaller pieces. Stiles thought it would be better not to comment on it, but he was overjoyed that Benny was eating the fruit.
After lunch, they cleaned up the living room and the kitchen together. Then, it was time for Benny’s nap. Clara was allowed to watch her favourite TV-show in the meantime.
Stiles tucked the little boy into his bed and wanted to leave the room, but Benny grabbed his wrist and pulled him on the bed (which was much too small for Stiles, but hey, who needs space for their feet anyway).
Stiles was a little surprised, as Derek’s description of the boy made him think that Benny didn't like snuggling. But Benny pressed his nose right on Stiles' neck. He took deep breaths and Stiles knew that this was pure werewolf behaviour. Derek was right. The little boy was a werewolf. Scott once told Stiles that he smelled like pine, forest floor and a hint of cinnamon.
Obviously, that was a soothing smell, because the boy fell asleep very soon, tightly cuddled up to Stiles.
Stiles didn’t know what to do. On one hand, he didn't want to move in order not to wake up the boy, but he also didn't want to leave Clara alone for so long. She was already seven and Stiles knew she was comfortable in front of the TV, but still...
But before he could decide what to do, the door opened quietly, and Clara entered the room. Surprised, she looked at Stiles.
“Benny fell asleep while scenting you?” she asked in disbelieve.
“Yeah, it seems so. Does he always fall asleep like this?” Stiles wanted to know.
“No…that’s…that’s how he used to fall asleep with Mom, but since... he never...” Clara stuttered.
“Oh,” was all Stiles could say.
Clara crossed the room and climbed onto the bed. Carefully she hugged her brother from the other side.
“I like you Stiles and I think Benny likes you too,” she whispered, and Stiles was glad she wasn't a werewolf because his heart was beating like crazy and a pleasant warmth spread in his chest.
Derek had to admit that he was nervous. More than once, he had his mobile phone in his hand and wanted to dial Stiles’ number.
What if something was wrong? What if Benny was huddled up in a corner crying the whole day? Or… or what if he ran away like a month ago? Jesus! Luckily, the boy hadn’t run to the creek. Derek still shuddered when he thought about it.
There were so many things that could go wrong. Derek was always restless when he had to leave the kids alone, but, for some reason, it was worse this time. And he knew why. Derek wanted this arrangement to work. It was just too perfect. It was a blessing that Stiles knew about werewolves and it was also reassuring that he was the sheriff’s kid. Two facts that made it easier for Derek to trust him.
Also, Clara seemed to get along with him right away. And Benny hadn’t immediately started to cry when he saw him. This was a sign of hope as Benny always cried when they got a new babysitter.
Nevertheless, you never knew... Stiles was very young. Actually, too young for so much responsibility. However, Derek knew that Susanna would never accept this objection because most of the babysitters Derek had hired so far were still high school kids.
“Boss, would you have a moment?”
Derek hadn't noticed that Erica had snuck into his office. He was sure she had knocked, but Derek had been too deep into his thoughts to pay attention to it.
“Yeah, sure. What’s up?” He wanted to know from his assistant.
“Mr. Chandler asks if we could postpone the appointment a little bit. There were problems with his flight. He can’t make it in time,” she explained.
Derek was sighing. Shit! Again, he wouldn’t be home on time for dinner. Damn it! At least for Stiles' first day, he wanted to be at home early.
“I know you probably want to go home to your family, but tomorrow your schedule is full, and the appointment is important, so...,” she said, regret in her voice.
“I know the appointment is important. It’s just… I hired a nanny, and today is his first day at work. I just hope everything goes well. Stiles would just be perfect for…”
“Stiles? Stiles Stilinski? Oh, my God! You hired Stiles?” she shrieked.
“Do you know him?” Derek wanted to know.
“Yes, I know him. I’ve been in love with him the bigger part of high school."
“Stiles is awesome! I had many seizures during my school days before Laura took care of me and turned me. Some kids made fun of me. They were really mean. Stiles always protected me. Although he was actually not very high on the popularity scale. He didn't care that he became the target of bullies like Jackson himself. Stiles was always my hero. Oh God, I really loved him. Unfortunately, he was in love with Lydia Martin and never saw me that way,” she said. “I didn't even know he was back in Beacon Hills. Shouldn't he be in college?”
“His father had heart surgery. Therefore he came back to Beacon Hills. That's also the reason why he works for me. He wants to pay his father's hospital bills,” Derek explained.
“Yes, that's so Stiles. He always puts the well-being of people who are important to him first. You couldn’t have found someone better than Stiles to take care of your kids. And the best thing is, he knows about werewolves," she stated.
“If you want, I’ll visit them after work and see if everything’s all right while you’re at the meeting. I’d love to see Stiles again," she offered.
Derek’s first reaction was to reject. He couldn’t explain why, but he didn’t like the idea.
He knew it was ridiculous. Of course, Erica was happy to meet an old schoolmate. But somehow Derek's wolf didn't like that she had been in love with him in high school even though she was with Boyd now. And the wolf also didn't like the idea that Stiles was in love with Susanna’s cousin. At least back then he was in love with her. Damn it! This was none of his business. Stiles had not even worked for him for one day, and Derek had already made demands on the boy. This was bad! Very very bad!
His inner wolf had immediately reacted to Stiles’ scent. Dammit, the boy smelled so good.
Of course, Erica knew him too well and saw right through him within seconds.
“Do I smell… jealousy?” she asked with a surprised grin. “Wow, you’re really jealous. Is it his scent? He smells incredibly good. Even Boyd had to admit that.”
Derek wasn’t going to answer that. The whole thing was embarrassing enough. Yes, Stiles smelled incredibly good, but that wasn't important. The boy was his employee, and Derek would never start anything with an employee.
Especially not with one who was only 20 years old. Derek wasn’t the type for casual sex and that’s all you could expect of such a young man.
After all, Derek came with a whole backpack full of drama and with two kids, who would always come first. So, he was exactly the wrong man for a 20-year-old who’s already been taking too much on his shoulders. If Stiles was even into men at all.
“Oh, boss, you’re really cute when you blush. I didn’t know you were into twinks," she said and winked.
“Damnit, Erica! No, I'm not into twinks. Besides, Stiles is as big as me and with his broad shoulders, he's for sure no twink. Apart from that, it’s not exactly the right topic for an office," Derek hissed.
“Someone must have looked closely at his new nanny. But I can see you’re still in denial. Anyway, I’m going to visit them after work. I’m so excited to see Stiles. And don’t worry, I’m taken!” she laughed.
Derek focused on his screen to avoid her smug grin.
“Oh, and by the way, Stiles and Lydia were together at the end of high school. But they decided they were better off as friends. So, there’s no reason for jealousy, boss," she added and disappeared from the room before Derek could throw something at her.
Dammit! That was none of his business! Stiles could be in love with whoever he wanted. Derek had met the boy for the first time less than six hours ago.
Maybe he should be unfaithful to his self-imposed principles and go out with Jennifer. The barista from his favourite coffee shop was clearly interested in him. Now that he had a nanny, he would even have time to sometimes go on a date. He wouldn't bring her home and he wouldn't introduce her to the kids but maybe it would calm his inner wolf to have at least sex from time to time.
Stiles must have fallen asleep beside the kids. When he woke up, he heard their giggling. Stiles was probably more tired than he thought, and, even if Benny's crib was cramped for three people, it was also very cosy.
“Ew, gross, Stiles, you drooled all over Benny's cushion,” Clara said laughing.
Still not quite awake, Stiles rubbed his eyes.
“Don't you know that monsters always drool? Especially drooling-monsters like me,” he bantered. “And right after their nap, drooling-monsters need something to eat. Preferably little knights or princesses,” he growled with a fake dangerous expression on his face.
Clara and Benny ran away screaming and laughing.
“We are not afraid of you. You would never eat us!” Clara stated.
“Oh, you never know,” Stiles said and winked at her.
Then he changed the pillowcase before they went downstairs where Stiles prepared a few cookies and some milk for everyone.
“I think my inner drooling-monster will be okay with cookies instead of knights and princesses today,” Stiles teased. “Do you want some, too?” he asked the kids and put everything on the kitchen table.
Of course, he didn’t have to ask twice.
“Cookies!” Clara cheered and her brother beamed at Stiles.
The children ate the cookies with great appetite, almost as if they hadn't had sandwiches just an hour ago for lunch.
“You should change so that your beautiful costumes won’t get dirty. We’re going into the woods,” Stiles announced after they had emptied the plate and drank their milk.
“Into the woods? But, ... Dad always says we can't go into the woods,” Clara replied confused.
“Oh, and your Dad is right. You shouldn't go into a forest alone, kids. You could get lost. But if I or your father are with you, it's ok,” Stiles explained.
Stiles wanted to spend the afternoon outside. His dad always said that fresh air was good for kids. Stiles and Scott had gone into the woods all the time when they were younger. It was their favourite place to play. One of their favoured things to do was to build a shelter. And that was exactly what Stiles had in mind this afternoon.
They found an ideal place near a group of trees and began to gather branches. The kids were immediately on board with his idea.
“We are building our own house! I can't wait to show Daddy,” Clara yelled excitedly.
“We're not building a house, honey, we're building a shelter. That's something else,” Stiles explained. “In a house, you cook and sleep, you watch TV or you play games. You spend a lot of time in a house. A shelter is something to protect you from rain or sun. But we’ll come here more often and have a picnic while we’re constantly improving our shelter. What do you think?”
“Oh yes!” Clara immediately screeched delighted. “Can we come here tomorrow to have a picnic? Please!”
Benny didn't say anything, but he looked at Stiles so pleadingly, how was Stiles supposed to refuse their wish?
“Yes, if I got this right, Clara, you won't have to go back to school until Wednesday. Your Dad agreed with your teacher that you could stay home for two days so you kids could get used to me. Therefore, we can have lunch here tomorrow if you want. We’ll pack a picnic basket in the morning. Maybe we can even make our lunchtime sleep here. I should still have old blankets in my car,” Stiles suggested.
“Yes, yes,” Clara chorused, jumping up and down happily.
Benny also jumped up and down. Although the boy did not say anything, Stiles clearly recognized that he liked the idea.
“We need as many branches, pieces of moss and rocks as possible. But nobody goes far away! I must always be able to see you,” Stiles warned.
The kids nodded their heads and immediately started their work. Stiles looked for larger branches, while Benny and Clara collected smaller ones, moss and stones. Stiles planned to build a teepee, so he leaned the big branches against each other and placed the stones on the ground to increase stability. Of course, they were not able to finish their work even after a few hours, but at the end of the day, their shelter looked pretty good.
“That looks pretty amazing, don't you think?” Stiles wanted to know.
“It looks almost like a real tent, but Stiles, when it rains, we still get wet in there,” Clara remarked.
“Yeah, that's right. We have to visit my father. I'm sure I still have an old tarp in the basement. We could put it over the branches,” Stiles considered, and Clara seemed satisfied with his answer.
Happily, they strolled back to the house. It was time for dinner and the kids needed a bath before Stiles could put them to bed. They were dirty and sweaty from all their work.
With a beating heart, Stiles thought about Derek being home for dinner. The werewolf was unfairly attractive.
Stiles sighed. It was certainly not the smartest idea to develop a crush on his boss. Especially not if said boss was a werewolf and was able to more or less sniff out his feelings.
But Stiles wasn’t sure what to do about it. Perhaps it wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact Danny this weekend. It’s been a few weeks since they hooked up. Of course, there was always the possibility that Danny had a new boyfriend or another booty call. But Stiles decided to at least try.
When Stiles was almost done with preparing his famous Spaghetti Bolognese, his phone vibrated. It was a message from Derek, who told him that he wasn’t going to make it for dinner.
Stiles had no idea if he should be happy or sad about it. The kids seemed to be used to the fact that their father wasn't at home for dinner, because Clara only shrugged with her shoulders and Benny didn't react at all.
“Then you have to read us a bedtime story, Stiles,” she commanded.
Stiles didn't mind. In fact, Stiles liked the idea.
While they were still enjoying their dinner, the doorbell suddenly rang. Stiles wondered who it could be. Derek had a key and the cleaning lady came only on Fridays.
Curious, Stiles went to open the door. He could hardly believe his eyes when he saw who was at the door.
“Erica Reyes!” he yelled in surprised.
Before Stiles was able to ask what she was doing at the Hale house, she had already embraced him in a tight hug. She was surprisingly strong.
“Wow, Erica. You're crushing me!” he complained.
She only laughed. “Stiles it's so good to see you! You must tell me everything. I haven't seen you for so long,” she chirped and walked past him into the house as if she had been there before.
Stiles followed her, still completely surprised.
“Hey kids!” she greeted and went straight into the kitchen.
“Erica!” Clara yelled delighted.
Okay, so Erica was here often.
“Do you want to join us for dinner?” Stiles asked.
“Yes, I’d love to. Derek is a slave driver. I didn’t have time for a lunch break today. I’m starving, but when he told me that he hired you, I had to come by,” she explained and filled her plate.
“You work for Derek Hale?” Stiles asked astonished. “I thought you moved away with your family.”
Stiles still remembered their last encounter. Erica had suffered a serious seizure and Stiles drove with her in the ambulance to the hospital. The seizure was much longer than all her previous ones, which worried the doctors and Erica’s parents. Stiles had visited her a few more times at the hospital. Erica never went back to school. Stiles had often wondered what had happened to her. Mrs. Stevens, his history teacher, told him that Erica had moved to a place where she had better access to medical care.
“We didn’t move far away. In fact, I never left Beacon Hills. My mother contacted Laura Hale after that horrible seizure. She was very worried because the doctors told her that my seizures would get worse. So, she begged Laura to turn me. Fortunately, Laura agreed,” Erica explained.
“You’re a werewolf?” Stiles yelled.
“Yes. I am a werewolf,” she answered.
That made so much sense. Scott’s asthma was also cured by the transformation.
“Wow, that's... it's cool. I’m glad you’re all right. Are you in Derek's Pack now?” Stiles wanted to know.
Erica shook her head, a sad expression on her face.
“I wish. My boyfriend Boyd and I haven’t had an alpha since Laura died. Derek is the Alpha, but he doesn’t want to be responsible for a pack. He thinks he wouldn't be a good pack leader and he has got enough to do with taking care of Laura’s kids. Since his Uncle Peter disappeared with the money of the company, and… after the horrible incident with Kate, Derek has had enough of family or relationship problems. I wish it were different,” she said sighing.
“But at least he kept me and Boyd as employees. I’m his personal assistant and Boyd helps him with the accounting. He is the only one Derek really trusts with the money and Boyd always was good with numbers. We are also doing online courses since we don't want to leave for college,” she explained.
“Wow, that's amazing. I want to attend online courses next fall too. I need to save some money to help my dad with his hospital bills,” Stiles explained.
“Derek told me everything. I’m glad your father’s okay. And you’re certainly the perfect person to look after Laura’s kids. I don’t think Derek could’ve found anyone better,” she said, and Stiles blushed.
Clara and Benny eagerly followed their conversation. Both of them already finished with their dinner.
“Okay, I’m going to put the kids to bed. If you want to, you could wait. Maybe we can watch a movie. I think Derek probably won’t come home for a few more hours,” Stiles suggested.
“Of course I will wait. You’re not going to get rid of me that fast. Take the kids to bed, and I’ll find us something to watch,” Erica replied.
When the kids were freshly bathed and their teeth were brushed, they put on their pyjamas and met in Benny's room. Stiles read “Emil and the Rat" to them. Stiles was surprised to find Astrid Lindgren’s books on Clara’s shelf. His mom loved the Swedish author and she owned every single one of her books. Stiles’ mother had read the Emil books to him when he was a kid. It was about a little boy who actually always wanted to do something good, but somehow everything turned out as a prank. At least to his father. Like the one time where Emil wanted to catch a rat in their kitchen with a trap. In the end, however, his father’s big toe ended up in the trap and Emil was scolded even though he only wanted to help. Emil always reminded Stiles of himself. Without even knowing it, the author described one of the first children with ADHD in children’s literature. At least in Stiles’ opinion.
Benny didn’t hear the end of the story because he was sound asleep long before Stiles finished the story.
Clara was very tired, too. She yawned a few times, but she really wanted to know how the story went. Then she went to her own bed and fell asleep pretty fast.
Stiles went back to the living room where Erica was still waiting for him.
“You’re good with kids, Stiles. Not that I’m surprised. You’re one of the nicest guys I know. Everyone loves you, they always did,” she said.
“I have different memories of my high school time. Jackson certainly never loved me,” Stiles laughed.
“Jackson is an asshole,” she stated matter of factly.
“True,” Stiles grinned.
“By the way, I decided for us to watch the first part of the Matrix trilogy. Should we watch in the living room, or should we watch in your room? I’m sure Derek gave you the room downstairs with the big TV,” Erica said.
“Yeah, Derek gave me the room with the big TV. I couldn't believe it at first. The room is amazing,” Stiles raved. “But as amazing as my room is, I think it’s better if we stay in the living room, so I can hear if the kids need anything. At least until Derek gets home.”
“Okay, let’s go. I hope Derek has popcorn in this fancy kitchen,” she laughed.
@passion_flower beta read this chapter. Thank you so much honey ^^
When Derek came home on Stiles’ first day of work, it was already dark. As always, when he only managed to get home so late, he felt terrible that he wasn't able to bring the children to bed himself. He knew how important it was, especially for Clara, to hear a bedtime story, to have some sort of routine.
Fuck. He was such a bad substitute for Laura and her husband. The kids deserved so much better. He could only hope that Stiles was not one of those babysitters who thought that the girl was already too old for a bedtime story. Derek considered that it was easier to just read something only to Benny since the boy fell asleep after a few sentences anyway. But Clara, too, still suffered from the loss of her parents and especially at night she still needed some attention. Which Derek thought was only too understandable. Derek himself still had nightmares because of the loss of his parents and his sister and because what Kate almost did to Benny. Of course, both of the kids would suffer from nightmares too.
Damn it, he should have talked to Stiles about this. But he had expected to be home in time. One more time he cursed his uncle for messing up their life even more. Wasn't it enough that they had lost people they loved? Did he have to steal the money so Derek had more problems to take care of? Fuck him!
He wanted to be able to spend time with the kids. Derek hadn't had a pack since all of them died but somehow, he considered the kids pack and his wolf wanted to be a good Alpha and take care of them.
When he entered the living room, he was surprised to see Erica sitting on his couch. Huh?
What the heck was she still doing here?
Derek knew that she wanted to visit Stiles when she heard that her former schoolmate (and crush) was working for Derek, but it was already ten o’clock.
“Hey Boss,” she welcomed him warmly.
Stiles was nowhere to be seen and Derek was happy that he had not found the two cuddled up together on the sofa. He knew it was childish because Erica was with Boyd and because it shouldn't matter to Derek what Stiles did and with whom he did it, but still…
“Where is Stiles?” Derek wanted to know.
“One of your kids was crying again. I am sorry we are occupying your couch, but Stiles thought it was better to stay in the living room, so he would be able to hear the kids. And it looks like this was a good idea. Benny has already woken up twice and Clara has also cried once. Stiles was always able to calm them down quickly, though,” she explained, and a warm feeling spread in Derek's chest. “However, he has been with Benny for some time now. I think he might have fallen asleep,” she continued, checking her phone for the time.
“I'm gonna go check on him,” Derek said.
“Okay, I think I should head home anyway. Boyd's probably wondering where I've been for so long. But now I remember why I always liked Stiles so much. Not only is he very funny, but he is also one of the nicest and most caring people in the world. You should have seen the way he read the kids their bedtime stories. I sneaked up on them and watched them all cuddled up together on Benny's bed. It was adorable,” Erica praised, and Derek had to fight a whole flood of feelings that began to stir in him.
On the one hand, the warm fuzzy feeling spread in him more and more as he heard that Stiles was reading a bedtime story to Clara and Benny. On the other hand, however, he also felt something like jealousy rising because of Erica’s open affection for Stiles. Derek knew it was stupid but there was nothing he could do about it.
Of course, Erica immediately smelled what was going on with him. Amused she looked at him and smiled.
“Don’t worry, boss. I'm not interested in Stiles that way. Not anymore. I love Boyd,” she stated winking at him.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. Stiles is working for me, that’s all,” Derek replied not able to look at her.
Erica laughed out loud.
“Yeah, of course that's all. But sadly your wolf doesn't seem to agree. But whatever it is, I'm sure you will figure it out. I’d better go now. Please tell Stiles I’ll call him,” she replied smiling.
Derek decided not to answer. What was he supposed to tell her? They both knew she was right.
“Good night, Erica. Drive home safely. I’ll see you in the office tomorrow,” he just replied.
After escorting her to the front door, he went upstairs to check on the kids.
Even before he arrived in Benny’s room, he knew that Stiles had actually fallen asleep next to Benny. Derek heard their quiet and even heartbeats.
So even though he knew what to expect when he entered Benny’s room, he wasn’t prepared for the sight.
Stiles was stretched out across the tiny bed. One arm was behind his head, causing his T-shirt to slide up a little. The other arm was wrapped around the boy who had buried his nose deep into Stiles' throat. It was obvious that Benny had fallen asleep while he was scenting Stiles to calm himself down.
Fuck! How was it possible that both Derek's and Benny's wolf accepted Stiles after just one day! Like…like he was pack.
Werewolves were not exactly known for trusting people easily. And as it turned out, it was the right thing not to trust too quickly. At least since the incident with Kate Argent had taught Derek that lesson.
Derek briefly considered waking Stiles, but he and Benny were looking so peaceful that Derek decided to let them sleep. However, he took a blanket from his bedroom so Stiles wouldn't freeze. (That the blanket would smell like Stiles later if he got it back, had nothing to do with it. Nope.)
It was almost a week later when Derek came home early on a Friday afternoon. He was able to leave the office on time for the first time in ages. When he opened the front door, the seductive scent of cookies filled his nose and he heard Stiles and the kids laugh.
“We should leave some of the cookies for your dad, too. I am sure he likes chocolate cookies as much as you do,” Stiles said, and Derek's wolf was overflowing with affection because his ma... because Stiles was providing for him too.
“Oh yes,” Clara cried. “Dad loves cookies! Mama always made some extra cookies for him.”
Derek was surprised. It was the first time he heard one of the kids talking about Laura without crying.
“That was very nice of your mom. My mother also always made chocolate cookies for me and Scott. For my dad, she had to bake oatmeal cookies. He had to pay attention to his diet because of his heart even back then,” Stiles said.
“Is your mommy in heaven, too?” Clara wanted to know, her voice sounding surprised.
“Yeah, little princess. My mother died when I was eight years old,” Stiles explained, and Derek held his breath.
He had completely forgotten that the Sheriff had lost his wife when his son was still a child. Derek remembered a conversation between his parents when they talked about that, it was a blessing that Melissa McCall took care of the Sheriff's kid as the Sheriff drowned his grief into work.
Wow, Derek became more and more aware of how Susanna was right about Stiles being perfect for the kids. He knew what it meant to lose a loved one.
“Do you believe that my mom and your mom met in heaven?” Clara asked shyly and Derek felt tears pricking in his eyes.
“That would be possible, little princess. My mom knew your grandma. Surely she knew your mom too,” Stiles explained objectively.
Derek was leaning against the doorframe now, watching Stiles talking to Clara about their dead moms. His wolf was pacing. He wanted to approach them and hug them. Of course, Benny discovered him immediately, but the two humans were too deep into their conversation to notice his presence. Clara nodded thoughtfully.
“I think our moms sent you to live with us,” Clara claimed.
Stiles patted her head in affection.
“Maybe you're right. Or maybe it was your grandma. Or all three of them,” Stiles laughed.
“Oh yes. Grandma helped them,” Clara eagerly agreed with him. “I’m so glad you’re here, Stiles. Dad was always so sad that he didn’t have enough time for us, and he was always afraid something would happen to us. Especially since... you know, because Benny is a werewolf. Now, dad doesn't have to worry anymore because you’re taking care of us,” she explained.
Oh God, Derek didn't deserve these kids. He swallowed down the lump that was forming in his throat.
“Hey, of course I’ll take care of you. I am your personal monster!” Stiles tried to lighten up the mood a bit.
But Clara was looking on the ground, tears were forming in her eyes.
“Kate… Kate said that... she said that dad and Benny are monsters...” the little girl replied sadly.
“Hey, princess. Look at me,” Stiles said and raised her chin with his hand.
“Do you know who are the real monsters? It's the people who are thinking such things. Benny is the sweetest boy I know, and even though I haven’t talked much to your dad yet, I know he’s a good man who loves you more than anything in the world. How can he be a monster?”
Clara nodded with tears in her eyes and hugged Stiles firmly. Derek felt a strong urge to do the same. Before Derek could embarrass himself, though, Stiles kissed Clara on her forehead, then he also kissed Benny on his cheek before he detached himself a bit from her tight embrace.
“We should clean the kitchen up before your dad comes home. Even if he likes cookies, he certainly wouldn't like this mess,” Stiles explained and rolled up his sleeves.
Of course, Stiles discovered him when he finally turned around. Startled, he stopped in his tracks immediately. Derek could only stare at him. He still had to pull himself together not to just hug him but Stiles smelled embarrassed and freaked out, and Derek wanted to tell him that there was nothing to be embarrassed about, that he was perfect and that Derek was happy he was here now. But nothing came over his lips.
“Daddy!” Clara yelled in surprise and threw herself into his arms.
But Benny also seemed to have smelled Stiles' distress, because he headed towards Stiles and tugged at his pants until the other man noticed him. Then he demanded to be lifted up by making grabby hands. When Benny finally buried his nose into Stiles' throat, Stiles calmed down a bit.
And this was really insane because only werewolves or pack members calmed down because of scenting or being scented.
This part isn't beta read yet but I hope you will like it anyway. ^^
Even after two weeks, it was still strange for Stiles to drive the new, sinfully expensive car that Derek had parked for him in the garage.
But Stiles had to admit that it had its benefits to drive a car with which he didn't have to be afraid that it would break in the middle of nowhere. Stiles loved his mom's old blue jeep more than anything, but especially when he was with the kids, it was better not to be stranded on the side of the road waiting for the tow truck.
Every day he took Clara to school and picked her up in the afternoon as he did right now. Benny was sitting in his seat looking out of the window while humming a song.
At first, Stiles worried that Benny would be afraid to ever get into a car again. After the brutal story with Kate, it wouldn’t have been a surprise if he never sat food in a car again. But to Stile’s surprise, the boy got into the car without hesitation. Stiles’ surprise only increased when he heard Benny’s voice for the first time, as the boy began to hum the melody of >Twinkle twinkle little star<. He seemed completely absorbed in his thoughts. Stiles almost cried because it was more than touching that the boy apparently trusted him.
Yeah, okay, humming wasn’t talking, but it was still a huge step in the right direction. The boy felt comfortable enough in Stiles’ presence to make any noise. For Stiles, it was a miracle.
A warm feeling spread inside of him and somehow it still seemed unreal that he was being paid so well for the job. Erika had told him that Derek had had a hard time with babysitters in the past and Stiles could only wonder why. Clara and Benny were the loveliest kids he knew.
The hardest part of his job was his boss. Not that Derek was mean to him or that he was dissatisfied with Stile’s work. No, that was not the problem. The problem was that the man was rarely at home and the kids missed him. Besides, the werewolf looked like pretty much any of Stile’s wet fantasies, so Stiles had a very hard time not to stare too much.
So while Stiles wanted Derek to spend more time with the kids, on the one hand, he was happy that he didn’t have to see his attractive boss so often on the other hand. Especially because there was always a risk that his boss would smell how much Stiles liked looking at him.
Jesus! That was an extremely embarrassing and frightening thought. The worst part was that the few times Derek came home earlier and spent time with the kids, he was so caring and lovely that Stiles almost forgot not to stare.
Stiles knew he was fucked. Derek was not only hotter than hell but also a good father and even though he was very reserved towards Stiles, he seemed to be nice. Fuck!
It would’ve been easier if Derek had just been an unscrupulous asshole. But no, the man had to be nice, too, even if it wasn't easy to recognize at first glance, because of his grumpy attitude.
A few minutes before they arrived at Clara’s school, Stile’s phone rang. He didn't dare to take the call. He was a sheriffs kid after all - never call while driving - his dad always told him.
However, he was afraid that something had happened with his father or Clara. So he quickly stopped at the side of the road and called back. It was Clara's teacher, Mrs Bennings.
Apparently, something had happened at school and she asked for Stiles to come to the classroom.
Dammit. Stiles could only pray it wasn't too bad. But Mrs. Bennings had promised that Clara wasn’t injured. Thank God!
Full of worry Stiles entered the school building with Benny in his arms a few minutes later. Clara's teacher was already expecting them. Clara was sitting in a corner of the room, her face swollen red from crying. Immediately Benny ran to her to calm her down. As soon as the boy was with her and they hugged each other, Clara started crying again.
"Oh, God, what the hell happened?" Stiles asked concerned hugging both of the kids as well.
“Thank you for coming, Mr. Stilinski. But I think it’s important. Since you’ve been with the Hale kids, Clara is clearly much more cheerful. Lydia was right, you are the right person for these kids,” Mrs Bennings said.
“Thank you for recommending me for the job. I'm so glad Mr. Hale hired me," Stiles replied.
“You are very welcome. So the reason why I wanted to talk to you is that while I see that Clara is much better, there are still many things that other children learn or experience at home that Clara doesn't," the teacher explained,
“What kind of things?” Stiles wanted to know.
“For example, riding a bike or swimming. I know Derek just didn’t have time for things like that. But the other kids sometimes make fun of Clara because of it. Of course, I try to stop them, but unfortunately, I don’t always notice it in time. And when I notice Clara crying in a corner, it’s already too late, even if I scold the other kids. The damage is already done."
Stiles felt anger rising inside of him. Sadly, he had a lot of experience in this regard himself. He knew kids could be cruel. In his childhood, some of his bullies even didn’t hesitate to tease him because his mother had died.
Troubled he took a deep breath and combed his fingers through Clara's hair. Poor little princess.
“What can I do?” He wanted to know.
“There are several things you could do. Clara should definitely learn to swim and to ride a bike, but besides that, Clara needs a friend. Someone who stands beside her. But if she’s never allowed to visit anyone and no one is allowed to visit her, this will be difficult. There is, however, a girl she likes and. . . and the girl’s parents have similar concerns about inviting someone over for a playdate... if you know what I mean,” Mrs Bennings explained looking at him meaningful.
"You mean she is a werewolf?" Stiles asked.
"No, Tabea Yukimura isn't a werewolf, she..."
“Yukimura? Is she related to Kira Yukimura?” Stiles interrupted
“Yes”, the teacher nodded. "She’s Kira’s little cousin."
“Oh, so she is a kitsune like Kira?” Styles gaped.
The teacher smiled at him.
“To be honest, if we had more nannies like you, knowing about the supernatural world, everything would be much easier. Yeah, Tabea’s also a kitsune. This is also the reason why Tabea’s parents are as hesitant to invite other children to their home or to let Tabea play somewhere else as Derek. But it’s becoming a problem. For example, Clara and Tabea were the only kids in class who weren’t invited to Tobi Brown’s birthday party last weekend,” Mrs Bennings explained and Stiles felt his heartbreak for the two little girls.
“Okay, I think I can handle that. Kira is an old school friend of mine. And even if Derek doesn’t want to smell strangers in his house, I’m sure I can figure something out,” Stiles said, his brain already making plans to invite Tabea and maybe other kids without bothering Derek.
But now it was important to take care of Clara. The little girl was still crying.
"Hey, princess," Stile said softly.
"Hey, St..Stiles," she hiccupped and tried to smile bravely.
"You want to tell me what exactly happened?" Stiles tried to get her to talk.
"Tobi Brown, a boy from my class, made fun of me. He said... he said that... that I was just a baby because I can't ride a bike. But how am I supposed to ride a bike if I don't even have a bike? Mrs. Bennings told him that it was rude to laugh at others just because they can't do something, but Tobi didn't stop. And some of his friends joined in," Clara explained while the tears were still running down her cheeks. "Then. . . then he said that's why he didn't invite me to... to his birthday party because I'm still a baby. . . " she cried and Stiles swore by everything sacred to him that in a month on her own birthday, he would plan the best birthday party ever for Clara. Even Tobi Brown would be green with envy.
"Okay, princess, listen. We'll get a bike for you and Benny and then we'll practice until you can do it as well as anyone else. And what do you think about inviting Tabea over for a playdate?" Stiles suggested.
Clara looked at him with big, wet eyes.
"Do you... do you think Dad will allow it?" she asked hopefully.
"We'll see about that, princess. But we will find a way. Maybe we could meet her at the playground or the library at first, what do you think?" Stiles suggested.
"You're the best, Stiles," she muttered and hugged him hard.
"I know," Stiles replied with a grin and kissed the top of her head. "I think we should go now. We have a lot to do and to plan today, little princess."
It was one of those rare days when Derek managed to get home early. He was sure that the kids would play in the living room or watching a Disney movie while Stiles was already preparing dinner in the kitchen. Or maybe Stiles was still out in the woods with the kids. Clara had told Derek often enough about their little adventures.
So he was all the more surprised when he saw the warning triangle standing in the driveway.
Huh? What was that?
Immediately, anxiety spread within him. Since the death of his family and Kate’s vicious attack on Benny, Derek always panicked when something was not as usual.
He parked the Camaro next to the driveway and got out of the car quickly. He tried not always to assume the worst but after his terrifying experiences in the past, it was difficult for him. With a hammering heart, he rushed towards the house.
From afar he heard Stile’s encouraging voice and the calm heartbeats of the nanny and the two kids. A little calmer he slowed down his steps.
“Yes, you can do this, Princess. Just put your legs up. Yes, that’s right!” the young man requested in an encouraging tone of voice.
When Derek turned around the corner and saw what was going on, he was more than surprised.
Both kids were properly armoured in bicycle helmets and knee- and elbow pads while they curved around with small, brand new bicycles. Bicycles that were certainly not there in the morning.
Clara's' bike was silvery shiny and had a basket on the steering rod. Somebody, most likely Stiles, had apparently dismantled the pedals. So the little girl pushed forward with her legs and then tried to keep the balance while she swung them up.
Benny had a blue walking bike. Satisfied with himself and the world he curved around in front of the garage without ever letting his feet completely off the ground.
What the hell?
"Daddy. Clara yelled enthusiastically when she discovered Derek.
"Daddy, look! Stiles is teaching me how to ride a bike. I have been able to balance without putting my feet on the ground. Look! Stiles says the easiest way to learn how to keep the balance is without the pedals. Like Benny's walking bike. Stiles promised I'll manage to learn it until the next weekend. Isn't this exciting? Now Tobi Brown won't be able to laugh at me and say that I'm still a baby. Stiles also wants to teach me how to swim and he thinks that I can meet Tabea for a playdate and.. and... he also plans a birthday party for me. He says we can celebrate at the Sheriff's house if you don't want all the smells of foreign people in our house. If you will allow it, it is. You will allow it, Daddy, won't you? Please...,' she babbled excitedly and suddenly Derek understood what this was all about.
Oh, God! Again, he had done everything wrong. He had always only taken care of the children's primary needs. He wanted them to be safe and he took care they had enough to eat but he had never thought of anything else. Of course, they also needed friends and normal kids activities such as cycling or swimming or birthday parties.
Goddammit, he really didn’t know much about kids and he couldn’t even blame it on not being their biological dad. Stiles had no children and apparently, he realised the problem.
Fuck! As happy as he was that Stiles did his job so well, Derek was a bit afraid that the kids might like their nanny more than him in the end. And Derek couldn't even blame them.
Fuck! He knew it was childish to think that way just because Stiles did a good job.
Stiles must have read the panic on his face because he approached Derek with an anxious look.
"I hope this is okay. Mrs. Bennings called me into class today after school to talk to me," Stiles explained. " I'm afraid I might have overstretched your credit card a bit, but I didn't want to just buy the bikes, but also the helmets and the pads for their safety. If that's not okay, then I can pay it, I. . . " the boy assured him and nervously chewed on his lower lip.
Derek felt a bit bad because he was so relieved that Stiles hadn't figured it all out by himself but had been led to it by Clara's teacher. Susanna was a teacher, she had to know these things.
Only when the sour smell of panic reached Derek's nose did he realize that he had not yet answered Stiles.
"What? No. Of course it's all right. I. . . I should have thought of these things. . . " Derek reassured and Stiles' shoulders relaxed instantly.
"Jesus, for a second I thought you were mad at me," the boy said relieved.
"Oh, God, no. Stiles, I am eternally grateful to you for taking such good care of my children. Our life has gotten so much better since you are with us," Derek confessed.
Stiles' radiant smile could have melted icebergs and Derek had to use all his willpower not to inhale Stiles' irresistible scent too openly.
God, it was too tempting to pull Stiles into his arms and press his nose against the boy's neck to inhale deeply.
Fuck, Derek wanted Stiles to always smell so happy.
"Daddy, do we have to go inside already?" Clara wanted to know, and with this, she brought him back to reality.
"No, no. I suggest you practice a little more while I take a quick shower and then order us something for dinner. Would you rather have pizza or Chinese?" Derek asked already knowing the answer. The kids always prefered pizza.
"Pizza!" Clara yelled and Benny nodded enthusiastically.
"Okay," Derek nodded, "Hawaiian pizza for you kids, meatlovers for me, and what do you want, Stiles?" Derek wanted to know.
"Oh, meatlovers and Hawaii are both okay with me," Stiles replied.
"Eww," Derek made a disgusted face. "You're one of those people who like fruit on their pizza." Derek mocked him.
"Yet, the way I see it, you're the only one here with a boring taste when it comes to pizza toppings. But all the better, then there is more for us," Stiles laughed and rubbed his hands contentedly.
Derek shook his head and headed toward the house. His inner wolf howled with joy at the prospect of dinner with Stiles and the kids.
Fuck this was so domestic and Derek wanted more of it. He didn't just want dinners, but also breakfasts and lunches and family celebrations and. . .
This path of thoughts was not very healthy. Thank God, Stiles wasn't able to scent moods.
He took another deep breath to calm his inner wolf. Maybe it really was time to start dating again. Or maybe his inner wolf just wanted to have a pack again? But Derek didn't deserve to have a pack.
Kate almost got Benny killed and that was Derek's fault. He hadn't sensed the danger. No, Derek never was Alpha material. Laura or his mom were trained to be good Alphas but he was not.
There was no other option for the children than to stay with him. He was their only living relative. Even though he was certainly the most incompetent father substitute in the world it was better for them to live with him than to stay in an orphanage.
But even if there was no better alternative for the children, he would certainly not take responsibility for betas. He did not want to disappoint more people who were dependent on him. It was bad enough that the children had no other choice and that he barely managed to keep the company solvent, thank you very much.
So, he had only the dating option to calm his inner wolf down a bit. However, Derek was not thinking about real dating. He was thinking about meeting someone a few times and having sex. But without any further obligations because he would never expose the children to risk again. Never!
Hello, my lovely Sterek friends. I hope you had a wonderful Chrismas. Thank God I was able to squeeze in some time to write. So here we go. The birthday party...
If there was one thing that Stiles loved, it was to plan parties, especially a birthday party for a child.
So he could live out all the fantasies and wishes he had as a kid. All the parties that he had missed in his own childhood. Not that he blamed his father. When Stiles was old enough to party, his mother became seriously ill and nothing was the same after that anyway. Not that his father didn't make an effort, but the sheriff didn't think of such mundane things as a child's birthday party.
Stiles knew how hard it was for his father to offer him a reasonably normal life. Stiles couldn't give his father enough credit for pulling himself out of the hole left by the death of Stile’s mother. At first, it looked like he was losing his father to alcohol, but the sheriff managed to stay sober. (using a lot of willpower and therapy)
Stiles also knew that his father was only making the effort to get his life back on track because of him. So even though he didn't get any big birthday parties, Stiles was grateful for everything his father had done for him. Besides, it wasn't that bad. He usually got at least a cake from Melissa and there were always gifts from Scott and his dad.
Nevertheless, such a birthday theme party was perfect for Stile's taste. It was no surprise that it had to be a princes and knights theme. And Clara wanted everyone to come dressed up. Although Stiles pointed out on the invitation cards that a costume was not mandatory. There were always children who didn't like to dress up. Stiles had to learn that the hard way when he once persuaded her to a Halloween party.
That's why he told Clara that no one should be forced to wear a costume. And of course, not every girl had to dress up as princes and every boy as a knight. Tabea, who had since become Clara's best friend, immediately explained that she refused to put on a dress. Stiles was very proud of Clara when she explained with a serious face that it didn't matter what costume Tabea wanted to wear or if she dressed up at all. The most important thing was that she would come to the party because without her best friend it wouldn't be fun at all. And so it didn't matter that some of the kids had other costumes as well. A boy from Clara's class, Jonas, came in a bear's costume. And Jenny was a pirate. But hey, of course, there were also bears and apparently pirates at the time of the knighthood.
"It's admirable what you're doing for these kids, Stiles," the Sheriff stated, patting him on Stiles' shoulders.
Stiles was busy taking the cake outside into the garden and hadn't even noticed that his father had come into the kitchen. Stiles had made the cake himself and he had to admit that he was a little bit proud of how beautiful it turned out.
"I have to admit that I enjoy this," Stiles confessed with a smile.
'There's so much I didn't think about when you were younger. Your mother would certainly have handled it better," the Sheriff sighed.
But Stiles didn't want to hear about it.
"Hey, Dad. Stop this, immediately. You did everything you could. I had a wonderful childhood," Stiles vigorously disagreed.
The other man looked at him sceptically.
"That might be true, but you deserved so much more. When I see what you do for these children. You arrange playdates, you teach them how to cycle, you go swimming with them. I should have done all of that," Stiles' father lamented.
'I'm sure you would have done that if you'd thought of it, Dad. Neither Derek nor I would have known about all these things if Clara's teacher hadn't pointed them out," Stiles replied.
“Yeah, but Claudia would have handled all of this better than I did. She’s always had more empathy than most people. I’m glad you have so much of your mother. You’re so much like her, not just visually. Sometimes it’s almost scary”, the sheriff said
Stiles smiled at his father.
'I'm sure she would say the same thing about you. We’re a lot alike in some things, too, Dad.," Stiles answered.
"Maybe I didn't do everything wrong, looking at what you've become," the Sheriff muttered.
"I think you did a great job, Dad. Look at me. I'm perfect," Stiles joked and gave his father a quick hug. "We should bring the cake outside. The kids are certainly hungry," he then suggested.
Stiles himself was no better. The Sheriff and Stiles didn't share many emotional moments, but when they did, they were usually a little embarrassed.
The kids dug in like hyenas on their prey. Within a very short time, they had eaten everything. It had to be said, however, that there were eight children (including Benny), in addition to the Sheriff, Melissa, Erika and Stiles himself. And the cake wasn't that big. Anyway, Stiles was glad that everyone seemed to like the cake.
Luckily, Erika had offered to help him and Derek had given her the day off for the special occasion. The werewolf, unfortunately, had to work. But this wasn't news. Neither to Stiles nor to the kids. However, he had promised to spend the weekend with the kids at the beach. Clara had almost lost it when she had found out about it. She said it was the best birthday present ever, except for the party. Stiles fervently hoped that would be able to keep his promise. Otherwise, Clara would be devasted.
After they ate the cake, Melissa and the Sheriff left. His dad had an appointment at the doctors and of course, Melissa went with him.
Stiles knew there was no reason to worry. It was only one of the Sheriffs regular check-ups. It would be fine. And thank God Stiles had not time to worry anyway because he had planned to play a lot of games with the kids. They played Mummy Wrap and made an egg and spoon race (of course with chocolate eggs not with real ones). Then they made a sack race and slaughtered a pinata stuffed with sweets. But the absolute highlight was the treasure hunt in the neighbourhood.
First, each child had to craft his own stick horse, with a long stick and a head made of cardboard, which the kids painted themselves. The kids loved it and Stiles was a bit proud of his idea to let them ride to search for the treasure. Stiles had to help Benny a little bit though. But in the end, every horse turned out beautiful and unique.
Stiles had already set off in the early morning to hide small clues throughout the area. He had buried the actual treasure box in a large flower pot filled with flower soil in his father's front yard. inside of the wooden box were eight small cloth bags. Each was filled with glittering glass nuggets, a lollipop, small colourful spinning tops and funny stickers. Of course, everyone got exactly the same. Otherwise, there would have been sad faces in the end. And Stiles only wanted to see happy faces.
When they got back after their treasure hunt, Stiles let the kids play a bit on their own while he prepared sandwiches and juice with Erica.
"I think you would be the perfect person to be our wedding planner, Stiles," Erica stated as she put a slice of cheese on a piece of bread.
Stiles had to laugh.
"Because of the treasure hunt or because of the cake?" Stiles wanted to know amused.
"Because of both. This is the best party I attended for years. All high school parties included. You're a natural," she declared enthusiastically.
"Thank you," he muttered blushing deeply.
Stiles was never good with getting compliments.
"By the way, Derek promised that he would be here by the time Clara unpacks the gifts. So he'd have to be here every moment," she said casually watching his reaction.
"Oh, I didn't know Derek was coming," Stiles replied, trying to calm down his heart.
Of course, he knew Erica could hear it anyway. But thank God, she did not comment it.
In fact, Derek managed to arrive before Clara unwrapped the presents. After the kids had devoured all of the sandwiches, they all scrambled into the large hanging tent that Stiles had bought for Clara.
Yes, Stiles had bought a fucking tent that looked like a knight's castle. And yes, he might have exaggerated a little bit, but even if his purse now had a small hole, he still had to buy it. It was perfect and also he needed a gift for Clara. They would fix it in her room above her bed so she would be able to sleep like a real princess.
Anyway, all the kids were sitting in the tent in a circle when Derek suddenly appeared.
"Daddy!" Clara cried and ran straight towards Derek.
"Daddy you have to look at all the wonderful things Stiles did for me. I got a tent that looks like a castle and we crafted stick horses and there was a treasure hunt and ... and I got so many presents. Look, daddy, so many gifts! And everyone came! And Stiles made this amazing cake but sadly you are too late. It's gone. It was the best cake in the world and..." she babbled enthusiastically.
"Okay, honey. You can tell me everything when we get home. But your friends are all waiting in the tent. You should go to them and unwrap the presents," Derek said, kissing her forehead.
It wasn't adorable that the tall werewolf squeezed himself into the tent as well to watch her unpack. No, IT WAS NOT ADORABLE!
When Stiles finally managed to turn his gaze away, he noticed Erica was watching him with an amused grin on her lips.
Luckily, she only raised an eyebrow but she didn't comment on it.
About an hour later, all the parents slowly showed up to pick up their children. Stiles sent Clara and Benny home with Derek. He still had to clean up all the mess.
But before they left, Clara hugged him tightly.
"That was the best birthday ever, Stiles. Thank you so much! You are the best nanny in the world" she whispered close to him.
For the second time this afternoon, Stiles felt tears prick in his eyes. But he refused to get too sentimental. Especially in front of Derek.
"Aww, the pleasure was all mine, princess," Stiles declared with a husky voice, brushing with his fingers through her hair.
Derek was suddenly standing next to him, Benny on his arm.
"I would also like to thank you, Stiles. I know this amazing birthday party went way beyond your job duties, Stiles," the werewolf said, and Stiles cursed his heart.
Had it to beat so treacherously fast. Derek had only thanked him, dammit!