Pregnancy was a beautiful thing. It was a kind of biological miracle, really. Bringing new life into the world was only part of the rewarding journey. The body changed to accommodate the little bundle of joy, and it was a privilege to share your nourishment, your experiences, and your life with your soon to be child. There was nothing about it that wasn't wonderful.
At least, that was what Stiles had been led to believe.
In actuality, Stiles had been pregnant six weeks, and all he really felt was tired all the damn time. And the morning sickness! That shit should have been called always-and-forever sickness, because the notion that it was limited to mornings was a dirty lie. If he wasn't asleep (or curled up on something wanting to be asleep), he was usually bent over the toilet.
That's where he was now, an unwilling participant in the return of that morning's high fiber cereal and fruits to the world. It didn't taste nearly as good the second time around.
He heard the sound of the bathroom door being opened, but didn't look up from where he had his eyes pressed against his arm on the side of the toilet bowl. "I have decided I want a trade," he mumbled as he listened to the tap of the sink being turned on. "You can be pregnant, and I'll take knotting duty." He shivered as a cool, damp washcloth was dabbed against the back of his neck.
"We could see of there is something you can take for the nausea," Derek suggested softly, almost as if he were afraid talking too loudly would trigger more vomiting.
Stiles just shook his head against his arm. "Other than my baby vitamins, I don't want to take anything." He was a bit neurotic about it. He'd stopped taking his Adderall too.
"So, you're just going to complain about it?" Derek asked, his thumb swiping along the shell of Stiles's ear.
"Damn right," Stiles said, lifting his head finally and looking at his mate. He smiled and closed his eyes as the cloth was drawn along his cheeks and forehead, wiping away sweat and cooling his heated skin. "If I am in pain, everyone's going to know it." He opened one eye and looked at his mate. "You should know this by now."
"Oh, I do," Derek replied before he let out a sigh of the long suffering. "Come here." He got his arms under Stiles and lifted him up gingerly, carrying him out of the bathroom and into the living room.
He set him down on the love seat, which had been padded with extra pillows and some plush blankets. It was practically a nest now, a place for Stiles to comfortably watch TV or play on his 3DS for hours at a time. He could also nap, huddled around a body pillow. Or, when Derek joined him, it was a place for cuddles and lazy make out sessions.
Right then he really needed to get some work done. He had very mistakenly believed that he would be able to do the same amount of work that he normally accomplished whilst he was pregnant. But really he was just too tired and ill to do much more than stare at the ceiling as the chipper Pokemon themes played in his hands on his lap. He didn't want to do coding or website design. He didn't want to do anything but let Derek spoon feed him jello, because that was one of the few things that was easy to keep down.
It hadn't come to that yet, though Stiles could probably convince his alpha to do that if he asked in a pitiful enough voice.
After setting Stiles down, Derek went into the kitchen and fetched a bottle of water and some saltines. Ah, blessed wonderful husband. Stiles accepted them with a smile, unscrewing the top of the bottle and sipping at it. Derek stood near him, glancing around like he was trying to think up something useful to do.
One of Stiles's things about his pregnancy that he liked most while simultaneously being the most annoying was that Derek had taken over absolutely everything. He cooked, he cleaned, he shopped and he did the laundry. Stiles only managed to do a load of dishes or even make himself a sandwich if Derek wasn't looking. He was always immediately found out and bustled back to a place where he could rest. No amount of complaining about bed sores would stop the man's motherhenning.
Derek only accomplished this by taking a leave from his job. He was the boss, so he was allowed to do that. Stiles was sure that he had threatened his employees to only call him in an absolute emergency and made them swear on pain of death. His cellphone had been exquisitely silent in the past few days when constant supervision had begun, coinciding with the beginning of Stiles's morning-to-night sickness.
Stiles had made him swear that he would let him handle himself more after his first trimester, or else he was going to exile him to the couch.
Finally, Derek moved around the loveseat, done going through a checklist in his head Stiles guessed. He maneuvered his legs under Stiles's and curled up against him, his ear against his chest, and he let out a contented huff.
Stiles smiled as he stared at the top of his head, before he capped his bottle of water and put it on the end table that had been moved into his reach for convenience and laziness. His fingers went to Derek's dark hair, nails running lightly along his scalp. "You're being very quiet, Snugglewolf," he said, playing with the black strands lightly. "Something on your mind?"
"Your heart is pounding," Derek rumbled, nuzzling him with his cheek. "I can hear it from another room if I listen hard enough. It's faster too."
"The beauty of sharing my body," Stiles said, as he tugged the short hairs on the back of Derek's head gently. "It's working super hard. That's probably contributing to why I'm tired all the time."
Derek gave a noncommittal noise at that, his hand sliding down to settle over the barest of swelling of his stomach. There was nothing to be felt through his skin, though Stiles often laid there with his hands in the same place so he understood the appeal.
"You're not going to move, are you?" Stiles asked as he tried to make little triangle peaks in Derek's hair.
Stiles gave a sigh like he was annoyed but really he couldn't be farther from it. He loved his silly wolf and his cuddles. "Okay then, you asked for it." He dug his 3DS out of the recesses of the pillows, leaning it against Derek's head and starting to play Animal Crossing.
Derek didn't move, as promised. And eventually he started to snore, which distracted Stiles from his fishing.
At eight weeks, Stiles was scheduled for his first ultrasound. Of course it was at the Omega One Clinic, but at least this time, Stiles wasn't alone. He sat beside Derek as he filled out the paperwork. Everything was just fine until he got to the page titled Procedural Explanation.
"Aw, what?" he said, already whining. Derek looked up from his game of Fruit Ninja, promptly losing, to give him a questioning look. "What the hell is an internal sonogram? I thought they were just gonna squirt stuff on my stomach and do an ultrasound." He made a vague hand gesture before he leaned back and stuck out his bottom lip in a pout.
"Sonograms can detect smaller fetuses easier. Ultrasounds are for when you are farther along," Derek supplied easily, and Stiles gave him a wide-eyed look. "Well I read the books we bought." That wasn't accusatory at all.
Stiles huffed at him maturely. "I was going to read them. Eventually."
"Before or after our kid graduates high school?"
Stiles opened his mouth to lovingly call his mate an asshole, but a nurse came out and called his name. They got up and moved over to her, and Stiles handed over his paperwork before they followed her back to the examination rooms.
"Do you need to use the restroom before seeing the doctor, Mr Stilinski?" the nurse asked over her shoulder.
"I'm good," Stiles replied as they were shown into a room.
He hopped up onto the examination table as Derek took the visitor's chair next to it, and the nurse took his blood pressure. He was taken back to his last appointment at the clinic and suddenly was awash with dread as he imagined Ms—no—Dr McCall walking through that door, ready to stick something in his butt.
"Okay," the nurse said as she moved back and put the arm cuff thing away. He knew the name, something like sphygm—sphygmom—momano—whatever. "Go ahead and remove your pants and underwear and put this over your lap." She handed him a thick, soft paper sheet. "The doctor will be with you two in a moment."
"Thank you," Stiles said as she was leaving, and he got down from the exam table and toed off his shoes, moving them with his foot under Derek's chair. He paused, looking down at his feet. "Should I take my socks off?" he asked, looking to his mate.
Derek just raised his eyebrows. "I don't think it matters."
Stiles put his hands on his hips. "I don't exactly want to be a half naked dude in socks. Last time I had to take off clothes it was all of them, so I didn't have this dilemma." Derek apparently didn't understand the gravity of the situation, because all he did was stare. Stiles made an annoyed grunt before he pulled off his socks and threw them at his mate, his pants and undies following shortly afterward.
He got back up on the table, spreading out the paper sheet on his lap. He looked over and watched his mate fold up his discarded clothes, and he was about to say something before he paused as he felt something familiar. Oh. Oh no. He immediately began to fidget. "Shit," he said softly.
Derek looked up at him. "What?"
Stiles stared down at his lap, before he sighed and shifted anxiously again. “I gotta pee.”
Derek just blinked once. “You told the nurse—“
“I know what I told the nurse,” Stiles said, before he let out a loud keening whine. “I didn't have to go then!” He shifted again, growing increasingly more uncomfortable as the urge to pee grew the more he thought about it. “Crap, craaaaap.”
“You should ask if you can go before the doctor comes in,” Derek told him, and Stiles immediately gave him the most pathetic look, pushing out his bottom lip. Derek sighed. “Do you want me to ask?” At Stiles's pitiful nod, he rolled his eyes and stood up.
Derek didn't get very far though, because the doctor opened the door and came in, smiling at them. “Hello, Mr Stilinski, Mr Hale, how are we doing today?”
“Good!” Stiles blurted before Derek could say anything, and he just gave his mate wide eyes when he looked at him. “All's well here, yup. Things are awesome.” It was too late to run and pee if the doctor was already in here. He didn't want to be an imposition on her. He tried to communicate that to Derek with exaggerated eyebrow movements.
The look his mate gave him in return could be described as 'God, you are so embarrassing.'
The doctor glanced at Derek and then back to Stiles before she cleared her throat. “Right. Let's get this show on the road then.” She moved over to the table and unfolded the stirrups from their slots, before she told him to lay back and put his feet up. “Okay, scoot down a bit.” Stiles did so, cringing as the paper underneath him made loud crinkling noises. “More.” More crinkling. “Little bit more.” At this point Stiles's toes were curling as he was legitimately frightened he was going to tumble off of the table. “Okay that's good.”
Stiles reached out for Derek's hand as the doctor pulled over the sonogram system, which to him looked like the old computer monitors his dad had to suffer to use at the police station. His mate came to his side, taking his hand and brushing his lips across his knuckles. Stiles would have appreciated the gesture more if he weren't freaked out about the way the doctor disappeared under under the sheet, urging his legs farther apart.
“This is the internal ultrasound wand,” she said, holding the device up over the sheet for them to see. “I'm just going to put a condom and some lube on it, and then we can see how you're doing in there.” There was the sound of foil wrapper, and Stiles took a moment to wonder if medical companies couldn't think of a better way to cover that kind of probe. “There's going to be a bit of pressure,” she told him, pulling him out of that thought.
Stiles made an interesting little noise at said pressure, squeezing Derek's hand, and his mate moved closer, curling his free hand over the back of Stiles's. He vaguely registered the doctor detailing exactly what she was looking for, because it honestly felt like she was digging for gold. His eyes went wider and he let out a strangled sound as the wand pressed up against his bladder, and he chanted 'hold it, hold it!' over and over in his head.
“Oh, this is beautiful,” the doctor said suddenly, before she stood up, turning the screen toward them as she held the wand inside him against one spot. “You can see two gestation sacs here.” She pointed at the outlines, each with a little white blob inside. “And two barely formed fetuses.” She grinned at them. “Congratulations, gentlemen. You're having twins.”
Stiles knew that this was a moment that new parents dreamed for, that true affirmation that life was growing inside of him and all of this was really happening. It was beautiful, and he should have something poetic to really punctuate it. But, what came out of his mouth was a sharp bark of, “Ha! Called it!” He immediately covered his mouth with his hand, snorting a laugh into his palm. “Sorry,” he said, the word muffled.
Derek shook his head, though his smile was fond.
The doctor didn't seem to mind. She paused the screen and removed the wand, quickly and methodically reproving and disposing of the condom before she turned to them. “How many copies of the image would you like?”
They ended up getting several copies, that way Stiles could hand them out and say, 'Look at the creatures we have spawned!' One was going on fridge. Derek wanted to frame one for his desk in his office. It made Stiles feel all warm and squishy inside to think of his mate gazing at the picture while at work.
After that they were free to go, so Stiles got dressed and promptly went to find a bathroom. Luckily there was one right across the hall, because he was ready to explode. Feeling much better afterward, they moved away from the examination rooms and toward the exit. Stiles had one of the sonogram images in his hands, and he was gushing over it when another nurse called after them.
She hurried up to them. “Sorry, sorry, Mr Stilinski, I'm sorry, but we forgot that we need to check your sugar levels. We need a urine sample, please.” She held a cup out to him.
He stared at it, before he groaned as Derek tried to cover his snorting chuckle with a cough.
“Don't hint at it,” Stiles told Derek as they walked up the driveway of the Stilinski house. “He doesn't even know that we were trying to get pregnant, so I want to phrase it in a way that surprises him the most.” Derek just lifted his brows at him. “But also doesn't give him a heart attack. It's a delicate operation.”
“He's your father. I'm not going to say a word,” Derek told him as they came to a stop in front of the door.
“What did you tell Cora and Peter?” Stiles asked, and Derek looked away guiltily. “Did you tell them?”
“I told Cora,” Derek replied, shoving his hands in the pockets of his leather jacket. “Since she's studying abroad, she won't be able to be here for the birth. She wants pictures though.”
“Then pictures of our perfect little babies she shall get.” He was already imagining little costumes for them to wear in their first pictures. They could be little pirates, cowboys or bumblebees. They were going to be the most beautiful babies on the planet. “And Peter?” Stiles pressed, tilting his head.
Derek let out a little grunt. “He'll find out someway or another.”
“That's not ominous,” Stiles said with a sigh, before he pressed the doorbell, putting on his biggest smile.
John Stilinski answered the door, looking surprised for a second, before he smiled warmly at them. “Hello, boys,” he said, stepping back and letting them in. “I didn't expect to see you two today.”
“I might have called the station last week to see when your day off this week was,” Stiles admitted as he moved inside with Derek behind him.
“You could have just asked me, you know,” his dad said as he led them into the living room. When they didn't sit down, he put on his worried cop face. “Is something wrong?”
Stiles looked at Derek, and they shared a bit of silent communication, before he cleared his throat. “No, Pop, nothing's wrong,” he said, waving his hands a bit wildly in a way that he had meant to be dismissive and assuring. “You may want to sit down though.”
John's eyebrows scrunched together into their 'this is going to be bad news, isn't it?' position, and he crossed his arms. “I'm going to go ahead and not do that, son,” he said. “What is this about?”
Stiles felt like he was in trouble now, like he'd been caught sneaking into the house at 2am and the next day was a school day when he was a teenager. This wasn't the tone he had meant to set. He had preferred the look his father had when he was handed a gift on Christmas and was wondering what amazing thing it could be. This was the look he got when he was dreading how much bail would be, and that had only happened once!
“Uh,” Stiles said, floundering and trying to figure out how to salvage this situation.
“It's good news, John,” Derek said from just behind him. “Very good news.”
John peered at Derek for a long moment, before his eyes moved back to Stiles. His arms uncrossed, and he set his hands on his hips, impatient now. “What is it?”
Well, Stiles's whole plan was out the window, so there was no reason to draw out the anticipation any longer. He sighed and dug inside his jacket for the sonogram image, holding it out to his dad. “Guess who's going to be a grandpa. Here's a hint: it's you.” He grinned and glanced at the picture in his hand, before he quickly turned it upright when he realized he was holding it wrong.
John reached up with a tentative hand, taking the image and holding it gently like he was afraid he was going to hurt the tiny little beings featured. He made a small noise, his brows bowing and his chin quivering. Oh God, oh damn, if John started to cry, then Stiles was going to cry, and that would be way too much crying for one household.
“Twins?” John asked in a strangled kind of way, and Stiles couldn't do anything but nod, most of his vital organs taking up residence in his throat. John grabbed him by the front of his shirt and tugged him into a hug that enveloped the whole of him. Stiles held him with a kind of desperation, curling his hands into the back of his shirt and swallowing as he tried not to break down into sobs.
“I'm so proud of you, son,” John said in a broken whisper against his ear. His big, strong arms tightened around Stiles, making him feel smaller but so safe, so loved. “I wish your mother was here to see what a wonderful man you've become. She would have been so happy.”
That broke the dam, and Stiles let the tears flow, soaking his dad's shoulder and letting out little choked noises as he tried to be quiet. His dad's hand moved up and down his back, and the sentimental words kept coming. He barely even remembered his mom since he had been so young when he'd lost her. He only knew what she looked like from the pictures around the house, but it was his father's words about her that he treasured most. To think about her now brought up a vivid image of her smile in his mind. He missed her, and he was going try his best to be a great parent in her honor.
“Where do you think you're going?” John said, and Stiles lifted his head to look at Derek, who had stepped back, probably in an effort to not intrude on the moment. “Get over here.” His dad made a gesture at him, and the moment Derek was within reach he grabbed his arm and tugged him into the hug. Derek grunted when he collided with them, but John had his arm securely around him in half a second so he wasn't going anywhere.
Stiles laughed, adjusting his arms to he could hold them both, and soon his mate relaxed into the hug. At the brush of Derek's lips against his forehead, Stiles turned and pressed his damp face into his neck.
It was an untold amount of time that they stood there, having manly emotions like manly men before John drew back a little with a kind of smile Stiles rarely ever saw on his face. It was mischievous, and Stiles knew that what came out of his mouth he was not going to like.
“Say, Derek, have I ever showed you Stiles's baby pictures?” John asked.
“No!” Stiles cried immediately.
“No, I don't believe you have,” Derek responded, ignoring Stiles's protest.
“I'll go get them. It would be nice to know what you are in for.”
When John turned to go, Stiles tried to grab him and stop him, but he was wrangled into Derek's arms and lifted bodily to sit on the couch. Derek restrained him there as John went to search for the photo albums. “Traitor! Fiend! Beast! Mutineer!” Stiles whined, wriggling as best he could and only managing to kick one of his shoes across the room by accident.
As it turned out, Stiles was a bit of a funky looking baby with big ears and a kind of crazy, creeper smile. Looking at this kind of evidence, he had to change his mind and agree with Derek when he said that hopefully the babies would take after his side of the family. John maintained that Stiles had been the most beautiful little baby in the world, even when he didn't blink for extended amounts of time and just stared at people like he was trying to absorb their souls. He kept insisting that any babies that Stiles had would be just as perfect.
Stiles wanted to tell Scott and Allison about his pregnancy face to face rather than over the phone, and it was a week before they were all able to coordinate their schedules. Stiles leaned against Derek in the booth they'd managed to snag at the restaurant, playing Temple Rush on his phone as Derek watched over his shoulder. He spotted his friends coming and said a soft apology to the little explorer as he got devoured by monkeys, before he smiled at them. “Hey, guys.”
“Hey, sorry we're late,” Allison said as she slid into the booth.
“We had a little issue with our babysitter being late,” Scott clarified as he got in after her.
“The only reason we still keep her is because Scott's too nice and won't let me find a different one,” Allison complained, picking up the menu with the specials on it.
“She's a good kid. She just needs a chance to prove it.”
“She's had like thirty chances, Scott, and you know it.”
“If she's late again, we can find a different one.”
“You said that last time. And the time before that. And—“
“Anyway!” Scott interrupted, though he was smiling as he did so, and Allison huffed next to him before she went back to looking at the menu. “How are you guys doing? It's been a while since we've all gotten together. Zoe misses you, Stiles.”
“I miss the little munchkin too,” Stiles replied with a grin. “Things are good. Derek's job is good. My job is good. The game I've been working on for the past year is finally completed, which means I can stop seeing that code in my sleep. I'm pregnant. My boss wants me to design a website for a national bank, which is one of the biggest jobs I've ever—“
“Wait, what?” Scott interrupted at the same time Allison smacked her menu down and said, “You're pregnant?”
Derek chuckled next to him as Stiles pulled out the sonogram picture and showed it to them. “Yup! And it's twins, which means we are officially winning.” He nearly stuck his tongue out at Derek when he reached forward and took the picture from Stilies's hand to turn it right side up. “So that means you two better get busy making another if you want to catch up.”
Scott and Allison leaned their heads together, letting out a synchronized 'aww' at the kidney bean sized little blotches. Stiles couldn't blame them. They were adorable little white spots.
“Allison and I have talked about having another kid,” Scott said as he took the picture and pulled it closer to his face as if he was trying to make out features. Next to him Allison made a disgruntled noise in her throat, and he looked over at her, blinking at her narrowed eyes. “Was I not supposed to say that?”
Allison just sighed and shook her head a little. “It's not like it was official or anything.” She rolled her eyes to Stiles and Derek. “We've talked about it here and there. The only thing we've decided is that I'm going to carry our next child.”
“Oh,” Derek said immediately, surprising everyone and apparently himself if his face was anything to go by. “I mean, that's great.” He then proceeded to be very interested in the menu.
“Careful, Sourwolf, your traditionalist alpha role views are showing,” Stiles said with a grin.
“No, that—,” Derek tried before he growled out a sigh as Stiles began to pet his face.
“Shh, it's okay, I forgive you, even if you would rather just have me barefoot and pregnant at all times,” Stiles told him, his smile just getting wider.
Derek grabbed his hand and kissed his palm. “You know what I meant,” he rumbled, before he looked back at Allison. “I do think it's great, though, that you want to carry your next child.” He was also showing emotion. It was astounding. Allison smiled at him in return.
“Secretly you want to be a mommy,” Stiles continued to tease, and Derek just rolled his eyes. “Very secretly.”
Derek rolled his eyes harder.
"I can't believe you haven't decided yet," Stiles said as he sat on the examination table and watched Derek pace a trench into the floor.
"It's a difficult decision to make," Derek countered, fingers caressing his stubble. His eyebrows were pulled down into an intense arrow of concentration.
Stiles just rolled his eyes. "Actually it's easy. We need to know the genders of our babies so we know what color to paint the nursery. I am not subjecting our kids to a blinding, gender neutral yellow." He set his hands on his swollen belly, rubbing it through the soft material.
They were at the sixteen week mark of the pregnancy. When they had called to make the ultrasound appointment, they had been told that they would most likely be able to find out the sexes of the babies. Ever since then, Stiles and Derek had been going back and forth about it.
Stiles was all for finding out because that meant they could start buying clothes, bedding and toys suited for little boys or girls. It also meant that when they had the baby shower, the gift givers would have a better idea about what to get. Derek countered that if they waited to find out, then they could have that moment in the delivery room when the doctor lifted the baby up like a prized and announced 'it's a boy/girl!'. It was a good point, Stiles had to give him that, but it was his only point.
“Dereeeeeek,” Stiles whined as his mate continued to pace. “C'mon, decision time is now. The doctor's going to come in anytime now. Don't make me do the Jeopardy theme, because you know I will.” Derek just gave him a look. “You're being really sentimental there, Cuddlewolf. It's not like you.”
Derek sighed through his nose, before he moved over and set his hand over Stiles's belly. “I'm allowed.”
Stiles laid his hand over the back of his mate's, tilting his head at the apprehension on Derek's face. “Are you freaking out on me?”
Derek raised his eyes, pulling his lips to one side. “A bit. It's just—learning the genders makes it so...” He took in a breath and let it out. “So real.” He lifted one shoulder into a shrug.
Stiles did his best not to laugh, but it really was amusing to him that Derek was so concerned with something Stiles had accepted months ago. “The brats are definitely real if the way they dance on my bladder is anything to go by.” He reached out and tugged Derek closer by the front of his shirt, smiling as his mate's forehead leaned against his. “If we find out the genders, we'll better know what books to buy. I know you like being ready for anything. Don't you want to study up on how to parent a little girl? There are definitely some discussions I'm not prepared for.”
That made Derek give a low rumbling laugh in his chest, and he pressed a kiss against Stiles's cheek. “Would you blame me if I become extremely protective of her?” he asked, his lips moving along Stiles's skin and making him shiver.
“You kidding?” Stiles said, turning his head to nudge Derek's nose with his own. “If we have a daughter, she doesn't get to date until she has a PhD and a black belt.” That earned him another laugh, and he put his arms around Derek, holding him close. “It'll be okay. Promise. You know that we can overcome anything with our combined awesomeness.”
“For some reason, that actually makes me feel better,” Derek mumbled into his neck.
Stiles shivered at the contact. “As it should.”
Derek pulled away from him as the door opened and the doctor entered, and she smiled at them brightly. “Hello, Mr Stilinski, Mr Hale, nice to see you again.” She moved over and set up the equipment as Stiles leaned back on the examination table and Derek took a seat next to him. As she worked she commented positively on the amount of weight he'd gained as it was shown on his chart. Then she had him lift his shirt and spread a bit of jelly on his stomach.
“Everything looks good,” she said after a minute or two, before she turned to them. “Your babies are in good positions to determine the sexes. Would you like to know?”
Stiles looked at Derek, who lifted his eyebrows in surprise at the final say being left to him. A lot of emotions flitted over his face, but Stiles reached out and grabbed his hand to give it a reassuring squeeze. Finally Derek nodded. “Yes, we do,” he said, lifting Stiles's hand to his lips to brush his lips along his knuckles.
“Alright,” the doctor said, turning the screen toward them. “Fraternal twins, a boy and a girl. They're both growing well and have very strong heart beats.” She turned a knob on her machine to increase the volume.
The heart beats were steady, thrumming things that were almost in sync. Hearing them made Stiles's breath catch in his throat, and he suddenly realized he was wrong before. Now the pregnancy felt truly real to him. Not only could he hear the fluttering beats of his babies's hearts, he could feel them deep in his being. His hand tightened on Derek's, and his mate moved closer, his face bright with wonder. He could tell Derek felt the same.
This was the true beginning of their family.
Every-five-minutes sickness gave way into only-occasionally sickness, and now that Stiles's body wasn't rejecting food it wanted all of the food. At the same time. That meant his cravings got weird, becoming combinations that got him odd looks and sighs from his mate. It wasn't his fault that his babies wanted curly fries dipped in caramel. Also chicken and waffles was a common food, and it didn't matter that he had never considered it before he was pregnant.
All he wanted right now was cookies and cream ice cream with pickles. It was his first craving involving pickles, so he thought he was doing well. He loaded up a bowl with the ice cream before getting out the jar of pickles. He immediately ran into resistance, when the lid refused to give way and leave the shriveled cucumbers in vinegar unprotected.
"Oh, c'mon," Stiles complained, straining as he fought with the lid. His hand slipped, and he wiped it on his pants before trying again. No dice.
Great. First he was sick and tired all the time, then all of his clothes stopped fitting, and now he couldn't open jars. This was just adding insult to injury, and he had thought buying maternity pants with elastic waistbands had been bad.
"Not fair!" he cried out, setting the jar on the counter and glaring at it. "You and I are now enemies," he told it as he braced his hands on his hips. "Denying a pregnant person nourishment is just plain cruel."
"Who are you talking to?" Derek asked as he wandered into the kitchen, empty cup in hand, and he opened the fridge and grabbed the soda that Stiles wasn't allowed to have. He had been in the study for the past couple hours handling the work he brought home with him.
"My nemesis," Stiles replied, glaring at the jar and hoping that the weight of his stare would increase the pressure inside of it enough to pop the seal. "I can't open the jar of pickles, because I'm all soft and fat now, and apparently all my werewolf strength has gone out the window.” He looked over at Derek when he heard a snort, and he narrowed his eyes. “You're not supposed to laugh at that. You're supposed to shower your mates with compliments.”
“I'm sorry,” Derek said, not sounding the least bit sorry as he moved over and went for the jar. “Let me open—“
Stiles snatched the jar away before he could finish and rushed around the kitchen island to put it between them. “No, no, I don't think so. We're not going to do the big strong alpha and his weak little omega routine.” He batted Derek's hand when it reached over to him, hurrying away with his jar of pickles.
“You're being ridiculous,” Derek said after him.
“Your face is ridiculous,” Stiles replied as he hunched over the jar and tried to open it again.
But then Stiles stopped as he felt a strong shift in his stomach, causing him to let out a short noise of surprise. He held the jar of pickles against his chest as he laid his hand over the place where he had felt the movement, his eyes going wide as he felt a little bump against his palm. Oh goodness, was that... He felt it again and let out a weird little laugh, turning toward his confused mate.
“Here!” he said, setting the jar of pickles down on the island and grabbing Derek's wrist to put his large hand against his stomach, right below his belly button. The look of surprise and absolute glee on Derek's face made Stiles wish he'd had a camera.
“I wonder which one that is,” Derek said as he moved closer, spreading his fingers out along the stretched skin of Stiles's stomach.
“I'm not sure,” Stiles said, before he smiled as the baby gave a quick one-two with its feet. “But I have a feeling we'll be signing them up for kick boxing lessons in the future.”
Derek laughed softly at that. “They feel so strong already,” he said, putting his other hand on Stiles's stomach, maybe in hopes that the other baby would join in performing freestyle karate.
“What did you expect with the perfect genes they have?” Stiles said, putting his hands on his hips and straightening his back in a kind of heroic pose. “Super Omega at your service.”
Derek was perfectly accustomed to Stiles's brand of silliness, so he just shook his head a little and drew back. His eyes slid to the side, and Stiles noticed the jar of pickles there on the island, completely unprotected, and they both went for it at the same time. Unfortunately Stiles didn't get to it first, and he let out a creative string of curse words at Derek grabbed the jar and opened it with a 'pop!' Then the asshole just offered it to Stiles oh-so-casually, a smug look on his face.
“No more belly touching privileges for you,” Stiles said as he took the jar and took a big bite out of one of the pickles, moving back over to to his bowl of ice cream.
“We'll see how long that lasts,” Derek commented, coming up behind him and kissing the side of his neck.
Stiles's mouth was too full of dill to threaten that it wasn't a good idea to challenge him like that.
When Stiles wasn't being annoyed at Derek's overbearing attentiveness, he was taking complete advantage of it. Stiles could probably get away with anything if he made his eyes wide and pushed out his bottom lip all pathetically. Derek crumpled in the face of a soft and heartfelt little 'please'.
That was how he ended up curled up in his loveseat nest, receiving the best damn foot massage on the planet. His mate knew just where to dig in his thumbs and where to go light. It reduced him to a puddle of Stiles flavored goop, and the only thing he could do was groan in pleasure.
"You are my favorite," Stiles breathed out on a sigh.
Derek grunted affectionately, dragging the pads of his thumbs up from his heel to his toes. "Favorite what?"
"Everything," Stiles slurred, his coherency quickly depleting. He made a vague wave with one of his hands. "General favoritism."
"Good to know," Derek replied, rubbing between Stiles's toes with just enough pressure that it didn't tickle but instead felt fantastic.
Stiles gave a pleasured whine, before he licked his lips. "No, you don't understand. I could write sonnets about your magical fingers." He sighed as Derek set that foot against his thigh and started working on the other one. "I could write a play. I got decent marks during the Shakespeare section of my high school reading. Just watch me."
"I already need a translation for half the stuff you say, Stiles. Don't make it any more difficult for me."
Stiles took in a deep breath. "And the long, slim digits upon his hands were masterful," he said, putting on a very bad English accent as he did so. "Such a talent did he possess that flesh turned pliant, willing to be kneaded like the dough of baker's bread."
Derek laughed deep in his belly, a rich noise that made Stiles's smile turned goofy and sweet. It made him want to kiss him breathless if he'd been willing to move. When Derek laughed like that, he did so with his whole body and face. His eyes crinkled, his nose scrunched and his teeth flashed. He was hunched over, his shoulders shaking. It was beautiful, and it was reason #156 out of a million why he loved this man.
But Stiles didn't get to enjoy the laughter for very long, because Derek suddenly sat up ramrod straight and looked about as alert as he had ever seen him. He tilted his chin up, nostrils flaring as he scented the air. Stiles tried to do the same, but his senses had been so muddled lately that all he could smell was the earthy scent of his mate and the sweetness of his own pups mixing with his personal smell.
"What is it?" Stiles asked, pushing himself up more.
Derek tilted his head, his ear going toward a noise, and he narrowed his eyes. "There's a car coming up the drive. It's unfamiliar."
"Maybe it's some very brave Jehovah's Witnesses," Stiles suggested as lightly as he could, though Derek's suspicions were making him nervous. It wasn't common for people to come onto the Hale property outside of the moonlit runs.
Derek didn't say anything to that, but after a moment his eyes went a bit wide. Then the doorbell rang and Stiles wasn't able to ask, because his mate was up and walking to the door. Stiles strained his neck to look after him but there was a wall in the way. What had Derek so on edge? He heard the door open.
"I'm back from Italy!"
Oh. Well, that explained it.
Peter Hale came into the living room, all smiles with bags dangling from his hands. "Hello, Stiles," he said, coming over to stand next to the loveseat. "Has anyone told you that you are glowing lately?"
"That's just the radioactive mixture of odd foods I've been inhaling lately," Stiles said witheringly, trying to smile.
"Ah, well, I'm glad to see you are healthy. I got a rental car the moment I landed and came right over. When Cora told me you were pregnant—" He turned and gave Derek an irritated, betrayed look. "—I was concerned. You were never one for self-preservation."
"Thanks, Peter," Stiles said, furrowing his brow as he tried to interpret that backhanded compliment.
"I was going to tell you," Derek said, refusing to be intimidated.
"No, you weren't," Peter said lightly, and he didn't seem too wounded. "But that is alright." He lifted the bags from one hand and set them in Stiles lap. "You won't believe the expansive baby boutiques I found in my travels."
Stiles stared at the bags, almost dreading the things he was going to find. "Oh. Great." He poked a bit of pink present tissue peeking out of one of them.
"But first!" Peter said, holding up the bag in his other hand. "I got Chinese." He smiled knowingly at Stiles when he eyed the bag with a mixture of deep want and worry. "Don't worry, I got chicken in clear sauce and steamed vegetables for you."
Stiles had to smile, moving the bags off of his lap to get up. He set his hands on his belly when Peter's eyes went to it immediately. "That sounds delicious," he said, though he was a bit apprehensive about how nice Peter was being.
Derek's face was expressing what Stiles was feeling, like he was expecting a landmine in the bag. But Peter just shook it at him before moving toward the dining room. "And I got you sesame beef, o' secretive nephew of mine." He started pulling the containers out of the bag, dividing them all up.
Derek looked at Stiles, lifting his eyebrows, and Stiles had to smile because a) sesame beef was Derek's all time favorite food and b) he was aware Derek didn't know how to handle acts of kindness without expecting strings attached. Stiles patted his arm before taking him around the elbow and pulling him toward the food.
"So Cora wouldn't give me any details," Peter said after they had sat down and started to dig into their food. "Once she realized I didn't know about the pregnancy, she shut up about it." He brandished a shrimp on his chopsticks in Derek's direction, because he wasn't letting that go apparently. "So tell me, have you found out the gender yet?"
Stiles's mouth was full of broccoli, so Derek answered instead, "It's twins. A boy and a girl."
Peter looked genuinely excited about that, his eyes brightening and a smile spreading his lips wide. "That's wonderful," he said once he had swallowed. "Have you thought about any names? I have it on good authority that the name 'Peter' is quite popular these days."
It wasn't often that Stiles and Derek wore the exact same look, but the expressions of exasperation they had were perfect mirrors of each other.
"Alright, fine," Peter said, relenting, before he put a hand over his heart and played at saddened. "But just know that I am deeply hurt that you won't even consider it."
Stiles glanced at Derek and saw him roll his eyes so hard that it must have hurt.
After they ate, Peter bustled them back into the living room so he could sit with Stiles on the loveseat as he opened the bags. Derek didn't look happy about there not being room for him, but he settled in the armchair on Stiles's other side. Stiles wanted to make a joke about separation anxiety, but he knew that would earn him some growling.
The first bag he opened had baby blankets in them. There were three: one a robin's egg blue, the next a pale yellow and the final one a gentle lavender. They were almost impossibly soft, and Stiles couldn't help but smile as he ran his fingers over them. He wanted to rub them against his face or curl up with them and take a nap. He could tell Peter knew, because he was smiling softly when Stiles looked up.
"These are amazing," Stiles said, and Peter just inclined his head a bit, smiling a little more.
The next bag had bottles in it. They weren't just normal ones though. They were they specially designed ones meant to limit the amount of air bubbles in the formula and be easy on fussy little tummies. Stiles had to appreciate the foresight.
The last bag had stuffed toys in it, one white rabbit and one brown bear. They were both almost as soft as the blankets, and Stiles felt emotion welling up in his throat as he thought about his babies hugging these toys as they slept. They would never be frightened of the dark or monsters under their beds if they could hold onto their soft little friends.
Stiles looked up when Peter laid a hand on his wrist gently, and he saw the question in the man's eyes. 'Are you okay? Did I do good?' Stiles sniffed loudly before he tossed his arms around Peter's neck and held him tight. Peter stiffened in surprise, before he swallowed thickly and brought his arms up around Stiles's back.
"Thank you," Stiles whispered around the heart stuck in his throat.
When they drew away, Peter held onto his hand, and Stiles could swear his eyes were glistening with moisture. "I want to be involved in their lives," he said, giving Stiles's hand a squeeze as he looked between him and Derek. "If I can. If you'll let me."
Stiles looked over at Derek, whose eyebrows were bowed, and when Derek gave a small nod he offered Peter a bright smile. "They're going to need as much family as they can get."
Peter's grin was brilliant.
After that they all talked for hours. Stiles talked about his symptoms, such as the whenever-it-felt-like-it sickness and the tiredness. Peter wrinkled his nose at a few of the food combinations he was craving. Then they moved on to Derek's job and the activity of the packs in the Beacon Hills clan. Finally Peter regaled them with his travels, about all the places he'd seen and the people he'd met.
It was nearly midnight when they all realized how long they'd been chatting, and Peter moved to leave. He hugged Stiles again, more confidently this time, and at the door he gave Derek's shoulder a squeeze.
"This means we have a free babysitter," Stiles said as he sat in his computer chair, slouched down enough so that he could balance a bowl of pretzels on his belly. "So that's a plus." They had been talking about the encounter while they were both working on their separate jobs. Well, Derek was working and getting things done. Stiles was frantically trying to catch up on his work while simultaneously procrastinating and playing Spider Solitaire. His work method was a specially honed craft.
"Mm," was Derek's opinion as he hunched over his papers, writing fast with his pen. He'd have ink smudged on his fingers when he was done, like he always did. It was strangely adorable to Stiles.
"We're still not naming our son after him,” Stiles said as he shoved a few pretzels into his mouth, turning his office chair toward his mate.
Derek shook his head. "Not a chance."
"What should we name our son?" Stiles asked, stretching out his legs and digging through his bowl to find a pretzel with a ridiculous amount of salt on it. "And our daughter for that matter?"
"Mm," Derek grunted again, apparently not very invested in the conversation.
Stiles huffed, before he lifted his pretzels off of his belly and stood up, abandoning his work because he couldn't make himself focus. He's have a flash of brilliance later and get everything done. "It's all up to me then. Oh, I know," he said as he walked out of the room. "Luna! That's an awesome name for a little werewolf girl."
"I don't think so!" Derek called after him.
"Oh, now you care?" Stiles teased as he set his pretzels on the low table next to his loveseat nest then curled up on the mass of pillows and blankets. "C'mon, you have to see the brilliance of my choice."
"Luna is a terrible name for a werewolf," Derek insisted as he got onto the loveseat too.
Stiles draped his legs over Derek's lap as he shuffled down and got comfortable. “I think you mean awesome. Sometimes you get your words mixed up, but I still love you.” He grinned as Derek just rolled his eyes like the master of exasperation he was.
“It's perfect!” Really, what better name for a werewolf girl than one that had to do directly with the moon? Honestly he didn't know why all female werewolves weren't named 'Luna'. It seemed so obvious.
“Do you really want our daughter to be that girl? Her classmates will think we're hippies.”
To that Stiles huffed out a laugh. “My mom was into all kinds of new age stuff and named me after my hippie great granddad, and because of it people can't even pronounce my first name. We can't possibly do worse than that.”
Derek stared at him for a long moment, before his eyes flicker up, to the side and then back to Stiles's face. His shoulders sagged. “Touché.” He set his hand on Stiles's belly, giving it a gentle rub. “I still don't like 'Luna' as a first name.”
Stiles set his hand over Derek's, moving it down to wear the babies were lazily moving around inside of him. Maybe Derek was right about the name. No matter how awesome it was, it wasn't personal. There was no familial connection. “Hey,” he said, and Derek looked up from his stomach to his face. “What about Talia?”
Derek looked surprised for a second before his expression melted in something sweet and heartfelt, his smile soft. “Talia Luna Stilinski-Hale,” he said, testing it on his tongue, before his smile went wider. “Sound like our girl's going to be a little badass.”
Stiles burst out into laughter, covering his face with a hand and snorting into his palm. “Damn right she does.” He sighed as he laid his hands over Derek's on his stomach. "What are we going to name our son?"
"What about Johnathan?" Derek suggested.
Oh, that was Stiles's heart in his throat. He tried to swallow before he croaked out a, "Yeah?" Derek nodded, and Stiles felt his face strain from the serious amount of smiling his was doing. That would make his dad so happy. "What about a middle name?"
"I'm not sure," Derek replied, shifting so he could lean over and nuzzle his cheek against Stiles's belly. "Do we want to use the name of someone in our pack?"
"That's a lot of choices," Stiles mused as he ran his fingers through Derek's hair, his fingernails scraping his scalp lightly and causing his mate to rumble out an appreciative sound. "If we choose only one person, someone might feel left out. Johnathan Scott Isaac Peter Vernon Daniel Jackson Stilinski-Hale." Stiles downright giggled. "Just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it?"
Derek huffed a hot breath against Stiles's hip. "Spaz."
"Yes, but I'm your spaz." Stiles continued to gaze up at the ceiling, his fingers working through Derek's hair slowly. "Hey," he said after a minute, looking down as Derek tilted his head up. "What was your father's name?"
"Andrew," Derek replied, his brows bowing up.
"Johnathan Andrew," Stiles said slowly, carefully enunciating and getting a taste of the name. "Johnnie Andrew. John Andrew Stilinski-Hale." He grinned down at his mate. "I like it!" He ruffled Derek's hair, earning an affectionate growl. “So, it's decided then. We have names.”
Derek rubbed his hand over Stiles's belly, thumb catching on his navel. “Are you sure you don't want Talia's middle name to be your mother's?” he asked, rubbing his cheek into Stiles's hip.
Stiles smiled a little, but he shook his head. “No, I think she'd prefer if we went the hippie route.” He chuckled as Derek sighed in response. “We'll have enough stories to tell our children about the people they're named after anyway.” He ran the hand that was tangled in Derek's hair along the underside of his stomach. “I can't wait.”
Derek gave a noise like 'hn' in response, before he pushed Stiles's shirt up enough to reveal his stomach. “We don't have to wait until they're born to start telling them stories,” he said, his voice soft and contemplative.
“Is this where you start cooing at my stomach?” Stiles teased, allowing Derek to shift him around until he was wrapped around his stomach, lips against the stretched skin and ear against Stiles's heart.
Derek just grunted as he got one arm under Stiles and rubbed his stomach with his hand. "Can you hear me, little Talia?" he murmured softly. "Your grandmother was a strong, beautiful woman. She was the leader of the Hale pack, a matriarch in every sense of the world and the strongest alpha I had ever seen."
Stiles sighed contently, closing his eyes and running his fingers through Derek's hair as he listened to his mate low voice. He could imagine the man using the same calming tone as he told their babies bedtime stories or soothed them after nightmares.
"The leaders of other packs always looked to your grandmother for her wisdom. She was very serene when came to pack business, and she never lost her temper. But other than that the most vivid memory I have of her was her laugh. She used to laugh so loudly, and she always got the hiccups." Derek paused for a moment, brushing his lips along Stiles belly gently. "I wished she could have met you two."
Stiles's brows came together, and he slid his hand down Derek's neck to his back, rubbing between his shoulderblades. He could feel the emotion coming off his mate in waves. He may not make it obvious, but he didn't need to. Stiles could sense it so strongly that he might as well have been crying.
Even so, Stiles didn't interrupt him.
"You may not be able to meet one of your grandfathers, Johnathan, but you'll like the one you have. I like him, even though I was sure he was going to blow my head off when I started dating his son."
Stiles let out a shocked laugh at that, before he covered his mouth with his hand.
Derek went on unbidden. "In hindsight, we probably should have waited until he had changed out of his Sheriff uniform before we told him. The way he casually set his hand on his gun spoke volumes. And then one day when your dad was at college, he took me out to lunch and gave me the scariest shovel speech in the history of shovel speeches."
Stiles gasped. "He did? This is the first I've heard of this!"
Derek tilted his head up, smirking at him. "He did. He said 'Son, I don't care if you are a powerful, up and coming alpha pack leader. If you hurt my kid, I'll spread your body parts all over Northern California.' It was really intimidating because he said it so casually, he might as well been talking about the weather. I might have blabbered something like 'I won't, I promise, don't kill me.' But I don't remember exactly."
Stiles gaped at him, before he suddenly snorted out a laughed then deteriorated into a mass of giggles. His whole body shook, especially his belly, and Derek just held onto him until he settled down. He needed to call his dad later and chastise him for threatening his mate then tell him how much he loved him.
Derek nuzzled his stomach once he was calm again. "There is one thing all your grandparents have in common. They all love their children fiercely. When I ran with my parents under the full moon, I felt invincible because I had their strength to support me." He shifted to look up at Stiles. "And your grandpa John—I've never seen a man so proud of his son before."
Stiles drew in a shaky breath. Oh no, time for the tears. C'mon, don't be emotional.
Derek swallowed, a soft smile crossing his lips. "I only hope that I can be as good a father as your grandfather is and that I know your dad will be."
Stiles made a strange, tiny strangled noise he before his pushed the heels of his hands against his eyes as a torrential downpour of tears suddenly exploded from his eyes. He couldn't help his sobs as they were pulled from him almost violently. "F-fuck," he gasped out, sniffing and trying to gain control of himself.
Derek shifted so they he could lift up and kiss the back of one of Stiles's hands and then the other. "I love you, Stiles," he told him softly, before he pressed his lips to his damp cheek.
Stiles whined before he tossed his arms around Derek's neck, sobbing and not even trying to stop it. "It—it's hormo—mones!" he keened, realizing the transparency of that lie.
"Of course," Derek said, rubbing his back. "Let it out. I've got you."
Stiles knew he did. He knew he was safe and loved, and so were his babies. So he cried until he couldn't anymore. And even when he fell silent, they continued to hold each other.
Stiles shouldn't be allowed to do complicated things alone. At least, that was the conclusion he was coming to as he sat on the floor of the nursery with crib parts spread around him. He couldn't make head nor tails of what went where, and he swore that most of the bolts were missing. Or maybe he'd lost them.
Derek had told him that they could put the cribs together when he got home from work that day, and Stiles should have listened. Instead he had wanted to surprise Derek by getting something done himself. He'd been absolutely worthless in painting the nursery—baby blue with puffy white clouds and lavender trim. He thought he could at least put a crib together, but he hadn't anticipated a million parts. Maybe he should have looked at the instructions.
Stiles dug into his hoodie pocket, pulling out his phone and scrolling through his contacts before he found the number. He put it to his ear and waited through the ringing before he smiled when his target answered. "Scooooott," he said, trying to sound extra friendly. "Hey, I got a question."
Scott sighed, but it was fond. "What do you need, Stiles?"
"How good are you at crib assembly? I'm trying to put together the ones for the twins, but I'm not having much luck. I'm starting to think I may actually need Derek and his degree in architecture." He picked up a large bolt, holding it to his eye and looking through it.
"I managed to put Zoe's crib together just fine. I can come over after my lunch meeting," Scott replied.
"Oh, who're you with?" He tossed the bolt back into the pile.
"Isaac. We're figuring out what food and drinks to serve at this month's run."
"Oh right," Stiles said, feeling a flash of jealousy like he did whenever anyone mentioned the runs. Since he got pregnant, he was advised not to shift due to changing internal organs being a danger to the babies he was carrying. So he was pretty envious of everyone else. "Bring him with you. The more help the better."
There was some shuffling as Scott moved the phone away from his mouth and spoke to Isaac. "Okay," he said after a moment. "We'll be there in a bit."
"Cool, thanks," Stiles said, hanging up after they said their goodbyes. He looked around himself at the circle of crib parts before he shook his head and climbed to his feet with much effort. He put his hand on his lower back as he waddled out of the room.
"I need about thirty pickles," he mumbled as he made his way slowly down the stairs and went toward the kitchen. But he stopped when the doorbell rang, and he turned toward it with a blink. Not even Scott with his dare devil driving could get to his house that fast. When he opened the door, he was a bit surprised. “Oh, hello Peter,” he said, and the man there grinned at him.
“Hello, Stiles, how are you doing?” Peter asked, flicking his eyes to Stiles's stomach briefly before moving back up.
“I'm good,” Stiles said, his hand moving automatically to rest over the swell of his belly. “Derek's at work if you were looking for him.”
“I figured he might be. But I came here for you,” Peter said, revealing a bag that he had hidden behind his back. “I found this and thought of the twins.”
“Oh,” Stiles said, taking the bag and stepping to the side to let the man inside. “Thanks. You don't have to keep buying gifts, you know.”
“I know,” Peter said lightly as he moved past Stiles. “But I've always wanted to be that uncle the spoils the kids in the family rotten.”
“Well you're off to a good start,” Stiles said as he looked into the bag, finding onesies covered in cartoon animals. He had to smile at the almost ridiculous cuteness. “These are great.”
“There's something poetic about a baby werewolf covered in bunnies and squirrels,” Peter said, showing his bright white teeth as he grinned. “What are you up to today?”
“Well, I was trying to put together the cribs for the twins, but I failed rather spectacularly.” He shrugged as Peter gave a friendly chuckle. “Scott and Isaac are coming over later to help out, and I'm going to just linger around and watch like a taskmaster.”
Peter laughed again. “I take that means you and Derek have painted the nursery?”
“Derek did. I watched and criticized.”
“Can I see it?” Peter asked, glancing toward the stairs.
“Sure,” Stiles said, and he started his glacial ascent of the steps. Peter didn't say a word about his slowness as he followed behind him. “We tried to keep it as gender neutral as possible,” he said as he moved over to the white dresser that was covered in smiley faces, taking the onesies out of the bag and putting them in a drawer.
“It's very nice,” Peter said as he looked around, before his gaze settled on the mess of crib parts on the floor. “Where did you put the instructions?”
Stiles came over next to him, rubbing his belly. “Um. Somewhere.” Honestly he vaguely remembered throwing them at one point, but that was because they seemed to be in Italian, Japanese, fucking Latin and every language but English. “I got a bit frustrated.”
“Understandably,” Peter said as he rubbed his chin, before he turned to Stiles and took him by the elbow. “Here,” he said as he led him over to the rocking chair, which he promptly melted into. “You sit, and I'll try to decipher this puzzle.”
“You don't need to do that,” Stiles said, though he was perfectly willing to let him, mostly because he was not moving from this chair for at least three hours. He was now so glad that they'd gone with the hugely, almost unnecessarily padded rocking chairs instead of the classic wooden ones.
“I know,” Peter said again, flashing him the same smile, before he sat down and started organizing the parts of the crib according to size and function. “When Derek and his siblings were babies, I was too young to be of much help to Talia and Andrew.” He had located the instructions and spread them across his lap. “Not that I didn't try.” He picked up to parts and magically made them fit together, even when Stiles had tried at least five times to do the same thing. “I was very determined to hold and feed any baby I was in contact with.”
Stiles smiled softly as he ran his hands absently over his belly. “That's sweet.”
Peter didn't look at him as he nodded. “Talia used to tell me I was destined to be a dad.”
Halting his hands, Stiles stared at the back of Peter's head sadly. “Oh,” he said, not really sure how to respond to that.
Peter turned toward him, bringing up a knee to set his elbow on it before he laid his chin on his arm. “It's okay. Really, it is. I actually like the idea of being a great-uncle. I can shower your kids with gifts and get all the love while I leave you guys with the gross stuff, like diapers and running noses. And colic. I do not envy your sleepless nights.”
“Gee, thanks,” Stiles groaned, rolling his eyes and settling back to watch Peter make a crib out of the destruction of parts somehow.
The crib was starting to look like something when the doorbell rang again, and Stiles started to get up but Peter was already on his feet and gesturing for him to stay put. Stiles watched Peter walk out, straining his hearing. He heard Scott sounding surprised and Peter's laughter, and it only took a moment before Peter, Scott and Isaac all filed into the room.
Stiles waved lazily at them. “Hey, guys.”
“Holy shit, you're huge,” Isaac said immediately, before he covered his mouth and quickly gave a muffled apology. Stiles just huffed at him. “How far along are you?” He moved over and went to his knees in front of Stiles, lifting a hand and waiting for Stiles to nod before he touched his belly.
“Twenty-five weeks,” Stiles said as he set his hand on the back of Isaac's and moved it to where the feel of the heart beats was strongest. He had to smile at the childish gaiety that covered Isaac's face. Then he laughed when Isaac leaned in and rubbed his cheek along his stomach, and Stiles patted his curls. He understood the urge to become a cuddly wolf, especially this close to the full moon. Derek did the same thing.
“Hey, Isaac, aren't you going to help us?” Scott asked as he sat down across from Peter to assist in the great crib assembly adventure.
“In a minute,” Isaac replied, still dragging his cheek back and forth along Stiles's belly.
Isaac didn't end up helping, instead clinging to Stiles like a limpet, but Peter and Scott managed to put the cribs together just fine without him.
In the days that followed, Isaac began to rival Derek in vigilance over Stiles, which was both adorable and hilarious. Isaac was on break from his classes, so that meant he was hanging around the Hale-Stilinski house, waiting on Stiles hand and foot. And Stiles couldn't bring himself to tell Isaac to go home, because he seemed so happy to bring Stiles food and play video games with him. At least Isaac was marginally good at the games and didn't toss the controller when he died.
Stiles could tell that Derek's annoyance was growing towards Isaac. He wasn't sure if he felt like Isaac was intruding on his alpha duties or what, but every time Stiles mentioned that he wanted a drink or some crackers or whatever and Isaac rushed to the kitchen ahead of Derek, his mate's nostrils flared like an incensed bull's. He also caught the narrowing of Derek's eyes every time Isaac came over with a pint of ice cream, a different flavor each time, and Stiles pounced on it like he was ravenous.
The final straw was when Isaac was over and they were all watching TV. Isaac was in the armchair, and Stiles and Derek were on the loveseat, Stiles's legs draped over Derek's lap. Derek got up to go to the bathroom, and Isaac asked if he could nuzzle the babies. That meant he was wrapped around Stiles's belly when Derek came out of the bathroom, taking up the space that the alpha had vacated.
Derek exploded. “Get out!” he roared, eyes glowing red as he pointed a clawed finger in the direction of the door.
Isaac was off Stiles in a heartbeat, stumbling away with terror written all over his features. Stiles sat up straighter, looking at Derek with wide eyes. “What the fuck's the matter with you?” Stiles demanded, earning a loud growl that made Isaac give this tiny, pathetic whimper. Stiles turned toward Isaac and reached out for him. “Isaac, it's okay—“
“No, it's not!” Derek said through gritted teeth, before he bounded over the loveseat and got very up close and personal with Isaac, who sank in on himself and tried to look very small, his eyes on the ground. “You've been getting way too personal with my mate, and I want it to stop!” Derek grabbed onto Isaac's arms and shook him. “Do you hear me?” At Isaac's meek little nod, he turned and pushed him toward the door. “Now go! I don't want to see you until the run!”
Isaac didn't even look at either of him as he fled, stumbling over himself.
Stiles heard the door open and close with a snap, and he strained his hearing to listen for the distinct sound of Isaac's bicycle tires on the gravel of the drive. When the sound faded to the nothing, he turned to look at Derek. His mate was staring at the door, his features human now. There was a set to his jaw, the one he always got when he was reviewing his actions. Derek glanced at him, and Stiles just frowned at him.
Derek stepped toward him, and Stiles held up a hand. “I don't think so.”
Derek halted, blinking at him. “What?”
“You know damn well what,” Stiles told him, furrowing his brows and glaring up at him. “Why did you do that to Isaac? He didn't do anything wrong.”
“He was too close to you,” Derek tried.
“So?” Stiles asked, crossing his arms over his belly. “He wasn't doing any harm. He just wanted to cuddle the babies for a minute. I told him he could, so it's fine.”
“He's been a total nuisance for the past few days. He's always here, and he's always in the way! I feel like I'm tripping over him.” Derek threw up his hands.
“It's nice to have him here, especially when you're at work. What are you saying, Derek? That I can't have friends over?” Stiles asked, his voice starting to raise.
“No, of course not—“
“Do you think I'm going to run off with Isaac?” Nearly yelling now.
“Then what's your damage!” Definitely yelling.
“He's doing my job!” Derek screamed back, though instead of angry and super wolf-like, he sounded desperate and just a bit scared. He swallowed hard as Stiles stared at him with eyes wide. “I'm your mate,” Derek started to explain, coming close and dropping down onto his knees in front of Stiles, his hands coming up to rest on his swollen belly. “And these are our children. I'm supposed to be the one who brings you ice cream, wraps around you and sticks by your side constantly.”
Stiles glared at him for a few moments more, mostly to draw out Derek's well deserved pain, before he rolled his eyes and reached over to grab Derek's head. He pulled his mate close, laying his cheek against his stomach, before he started petting his hair. He waited until Derek's shoulders sagged to speak. “Isaac is not a threat to your position as my mate. So can you stop it with the 'me Alpha, you Jane' routine? You're skirting the line between protective and possessive.”
Derek tried to lift his head, but Stiles held him down. “No, you don't get to speak, just listen. I like having Isaac around. He's my friend. Most importantly, he's pack. That means he's family.” He sighed and nestled down further, letting Derek lift his head to look at him. “Honestly I think hanging around me does as much good for him as it does for me.” Derek's eyebrows lifted, before his eyes flitted away and he swallowed. “If you don't want him to come around as much, that's fine, but don't punish him for loving us.”
Stiles watched all kinds of emotions cross Derek's face before it finally settled on total regret. Derek turned his eyes back to Stiles's face, and he opened his mouth to say something, but Stiles put his finger on his lips. “And another thing,” Stiles said in an even voice. “I decide when someone is too close to me, not you. If I don't feel threatened, neither should you. If you can do that, then I'll tell Isaac to cool it with the falling over himself to tend to my every whim and leave some for you, okay?” Derek nodded, satisfied with that. “Great, now call him and apologize for being a dick.”
Derek's face fell. “Stiles—“
“Now!” Stiles commanded, pointing off, and Derek grumbled before he got up to go find his phone. Smiling triumphantly, Stiles pulled the blanket off the back of the loveseat and curled up, listening to Derek's reluctant voice as it filtered in from the kitchen.
The night of the run was chilled since it was January, but at least it wasn't snowing. Not that is snowed much in mid-California, but a few flurries still made Derek fussy about Stiles's clothes and blasting the heater. Stiles had let Derek convince him to stay inside for the past two runs because it had been freezing, but this time he wanted to be outside. He had to stick out his bottom lip and whine about the need to have the moon's rays on his skin before Derek grumpily relented.
Stiles managed to persuade Derek that he didn't need to attach the space heater to three extension cords and put it on the porch, because “For fuck's sake, Derek, I'm wearing three pairs of socks and Uggs. I'm fine!” He still ended up wrapped in a cocoon of blankets in his rocking chair, which Derek had carried down the stairs and outside for him. Derek wasn't satisfied until he was so bundled up that all that could be seen were his glaring eyes.
There was a howl in the distance, and Derek's head snapped to it, his hands flexing at his sides. It was a howl of a request, probably another alpha in the Beacon Hills clan looking for an audience with Derek. But Derek didn't shift and run to it, instead gazing out into the woods, before he looked at Stiles then back out. Then he bounced a little on his toes when the howl was repeated. He looked at Stiles imploringly. He had responsibilities, but he didn't want to leave his mate.
Stiles rolled his eyes as hard as he could. “Go, Sillywolf,” he said, his voice muffled by the blankets. “I'm not going to burst into flames if you leave me here.”
“I'll be back as soon as I can,” Derek said, before he shifted into his wolf form, tall, sleek and black as coal with gleaming red eyes. He lifted his head and let out a howl to let the other alpha know he was coming, before he sent one last look at Stiles then bounded off.
Once Derek's furry butt disappeared into the shadows, Stiles began struggling against his bonds and eventually got his head and arms free. He let out a gasp into the cold air, white billowing in front of him, before he leaned back again and just enjoyed the night. He could see the full moon shining through the tree tops, huge and white and pulling at his skin. He wanted to shift so badly, but he wasn't going to risk it.
After about two minutes he was bored. Usually he was running around like a fool, panting and rolling and chasing little creatures though he never knew what to do when he cornered them other than give them apologetic looks and run off after something else. Maybe he should have brought his 3DS out with him. His bottom half was very much tangled in blankets, and getting untangled to go inside would be a pain. He glanced around as he tried to think up alternatives.
He spotted a wolf peeking at him around the corner of the house and immediately recognized the sandy brown coat and yellow eyes. “Isaac,” he said, and the wolf ducked back behind the house. Stiles felt bad. Even though he had assured him through phone calls and texts that everything was okay, Isaac hadn't come around. Derek's freak out really must have done a number on him.
“Hey, it's okay,” Stiles called to him, and Isaac looked around the corner again. “I promise. Come here.” Isaac shook his head and laid down, hiding between his big paws. “Oh, c'mon,” Stiles called to him in his most friendly voice. “I'll let you listen to the babies.” Isaac looked tempted for a second, before he looked away like he felt guilty for wanting. Okay, time for a last resort. “Please?” Stiles asked, making the word small and soft.
Isaac lifted his head, before he looked out into the woods, probably searching for Derek. He got up and came around the corner to trot up to Stiles and sit down near him but not close enough to touch, lowering his head again. He was the perfect image of a kicked puppy, and it broke Stiles's heart.
“Isaac, don't do that,” Stiles said, leaning over and reaching before him. He was just far enough away that Stiles couldn't touch him. “C'mon,” he said, straining. “I'm really pregnant here, buddy. This is kind of unfair to me.”
Isaac bumped his fingers with his nose, before standing and stepping closer, and Stiles immediately rubbed his soft ear with his fingers. Isaac made a tiny sound, before he moved closer, his eyes on the lump of Stiles's stomach that was barely discernible with the amount of blankets he was covered by. Stiles smiled and managed to unwrap himself a little more so Isaac could sit right next to him and lean his ear into his belly.
Stiles pulled a blanket back over his arms, his hand still on Isaac's head, scratching between his ears softly. "You know this means you won't be able to escape babysitting duty," Stiles mused as he leaned his head back and closed his eyes. Isaac nuzzled him like that was perfectly okay with him, and he smiled. "Yeah, we'll see if you think that when the brats are crawling all over you."
Isaac sighed against his belly, and Stiles went quiet, just enjoying the night air and the company. He wished, again, that he could shift, that way he could snuggle fur to fur with Isaac or maybe entice him into a game of chase. They would have wrestled and rolled around if Stiles had any say in it, because he loved to rough house.
Isaac's head jerked off of his belly, drawing him out of his thoughts, and he opened his eyes to find Derek standing a few feet from them, still wolfed out. Whining, Isaac tried to step away, but Stiles held his neck, pulling him back against his belly.
"It's okay, it's okay," Stiles said, rubbing his ear again. He looked at Derek, who was just watching them. "Isn't it?" His tone was low, a warning. Derek had better not freak out again.
Instead of growling or attacking, Derek walked up to them, sitting at Stiles's feet. He leaned his ear against Stiles's belly, his nose an inch from Isaac's. When Isaac gave a soft, questioning noise, Derek licked his nose with his broad, pink tongue, startling both Isaac and Stiles. Derek just huffed, bumping his nose under Isaac's chin before closing his eyes and resting his head against Stiles's belly.
Isaac lifted his eyes to Stiles, who just smiled at him and stroked his ear. "Told you," Stiles said, and Isaac's lips turned up at the corners.
After the run things returned to normal, or as normal as it could be with Stiles waddling around with what felt like two melons in his stomach. Isaac started coming over again, though not as frequently and he stopped cuddling Stiles's stomach and beating Derek to the kitchen at Stiles's request for snacks. His wolf seemed content to just be near Stiles, falling into the backdrop now that the moon was waning. Now all they did was mostly play video games.
One night when Derek was home, Isaac suggested they all play Mario Kart and then chose Rainbow Road, which resulted in a lot of growling and yelling. Isaac was evil.
Stiles was dreaming about that when he abruptly woke up in the middle of the night with the desperate need for something salty. And cheesy. He looked over Derek's form at the clock, wincing before he turned on his side. Derek was going to be so pissed about this, but Stiles was having a serious craving. And three weeks from his due date, ignoring those cravings was like cutting off a limb.
He set his hand on Derek's chest and gently shook him. “Derek!” he hissed, and Derek groaned, turning his head away, so Stiles shook him a bit harder. “Derek, wake up!”
Derek mumbled something incoherent, before his eyes slowly opened and he lifted a hand to rub at them. “Wha?” he grumbled, barely even human right now.
“I'm hungry,” Stiles told him, biting his lip in a kind of ashamed way.
After gazing blearily at him for a moment, Derek draped his arm over his own eyes with a sigh. “Whaddya want?”
Stiles smiled into Derek's shoulder, before he propped his chin up. “You know those big, soft pretzels you sprinkle with salt and put in the microwave? I want those covered in Cheez Whiz,” he told him, putting an intense amount of feeling behind his words.
After being silent for a few heartbeats, Derek lifted his arm and looked at Stiles. “We don't have that.” They stared at each other, and Stiles puffed out his bottom lip, causing Derek to groan with feeling. “Oh, come on, Stiles,” he downright whined, before he looked at the clock. “It's 2:15 in the morning, and you want me to go to the store?”
“Because you're the kindest, bestest mate ever?” Stiles tried, and Derek muttered something murderous in response. Time to bring out the big guns, even though he knew Derek was going to rage. He was not going to be denied his salty, cheesy mess. “Isaac would go get them for me.”
Stiles could have sworn the room temperature dropped by a few degrees as Derek narrowed his eyes at him, flashing red. Stiles made a tiny noise, trying to be as pathetic as possible, and Derek huffed before getting up and starting to put on clothes. The alpha muttered as he did so, his words all jumbled together so they only made sense to him, his movements jerky and annoyed.
“I love you,” Stiles sang at him, and Derek literally went 'grr' before stomping out of the room.
Stiles listened to Derek blunder like a groggy mess down the stairs and out the door, and the Camaro purred to life a moment later before it moved down the drive and out of hearing range. He curled around Derek's pillow, breathing in his scent and feeling with his cheek the cooling warmth his alpha had left behind. He felt bad about rousing Derek from a deep sleep and making him go out into the night to get him food, but really he was craving like nobody's business. He'd go out himself, but he was so warm and comfortable!
Piling the pillows up behind him, Stiles propped himself up and grabbed the TV remote off the nightstand, pointing it at the opposite wall. He might as well be entertained as his mate hunted and gathered. He hissed at the light that filled the room as the TV turned on, blinking his eyes as the watered a little bit. He settled on watching Kitchen Nightmares, because watching Gordon Ramsey yell at people was always entertaining. And the crap food that was cooked for the first half hour didn't make his cravings any worse.
Stiles was totally fine for quite some time, smiling almost smugly as Gordon Ramsay bleeped his way through a total travesty of a restaurant. Yeah, you tell them Ramsey. Don't let them get away with anything. Then a commercial came on for Neosporin, the spray kind for scrapes and light cuts. There was a little girl playing on a swing, and she fell off, scraping her knee. She cried very loudly and dramatically, running to her mom who pulled out the product and sprayed the minor wound. Then the mom held the little girl and soothed her sobs with gentle words and kisses.
For some reason this struck a strong, resounding courd in Stiles. Soon enough, he would be that mom. Essentially. He was going to be easing boo-boos and kissing away tears. God, was he ready? Was he able? Was he going to be a good parent? Or was he going to be that parent that just never gets it?
These thoughts caused a violent, hiccuping crying spell that had Stiles keening out loud as tears soaked his shirt. He wanted so badly to be a good parent, but he had no way of knowing whether or not he would be. He couldn't predict the future. Fuck, he needed to start reading those books they'd bought ASAP!
“Stiles?” came a soft voice from the doorway. Stiles looked over to find Derek staring at him with wide, confused eyes. He was holding a plate in his hand, and Stiles could smell the tangy scent of the Cheez Whiz.
Stiles just sobbed harder. Derek rushed over to him, setting the plate on the nightstand and curling into the bed to pull Stiles into his arms. Questions followed out of Derek's mouth as Stiles clung to him, shaking and crying into Derek's shoulder. Was he okay? Why was he crying? Was he in pain? What happened? Did he get the wrong food?
He breathed in desperate 'heen-heen's, sucking air through his teeth. “There was a—a little guh—girl and she scraped her knee and—and she was so sad!” he cried, digging his nails into Derek's arm. “What if—what if our kids start crying be—because they're hurt and we ca—can't make them stop? What if I'm a ba—bad dad and our kids huh—hate me?” He was inconsolable now, worse case scenarios dominating his brain. “We don't have—have any Neosporin!”
Derek shushed him gently, rubbing his back and kissing his hair. “It's okay, Stiles,” he said gently, but loudly enough to be heard over Stiles's sobs and sniffles. “Everything's going to be okay. We'll learn to be great parents together, I swear.” He swayed back and forth slowly, rocking Stiles. “Our children are werewolves. If they scrape their knees, they'll heal in seconds. If they cry, we'll kiss their tears away and tell them how much we love them.”
Stiles felt his eyes close as he listened to Derek's words, letting them sink in and calm the hitching of his breath. He sniffed loudly and dropped a hand to his stomach, dragging in a ragged breath when he felt a bump against his palm.
“You're going to be a great dad, Stiles,” Derek went on, lips moving against Stiles's forehead. “You care, and that's important. If you're worrying this much now, then you're on the right track.” He drew back so Stiles could look up at him, finding a soft smile on Derek's lips. “Though I'm pretty sure this is a serious attack of pregnant person hormones.”
Stiles let out a blubbery laugh, before he dropped his head against Derek's shoulder. “Shut up.”
Derek hummed at him, before he kissed the back of his neck. “We can stock up on Neosporin just in case.”
Giving a watery smile, Stiles sniffed loudly then sighed, before he lifted his head to look at his mate. “Thanks. Sorry for being crazy.”
Derek shook his head. “Never be sorry for being you.” Oh God, if Derek didn't stop the crying was going to come back. “You have a snot bubble,” Derek added, indicating to his own nose. Well, that would do it.
Stiles made a face, not sure what to do about that. His shirt was already a wreck, so he could use that. But Derek was already leaning over to pluck some tissues off the nightstand and bring them over to wipe Stiles's nose for him. Stiles felt distinctly five-years-old as Derek cleaned him up, turning the tissues around to dry his tears. But he had to appreciate the mindfulness that Derek was showing him.
Derek was going to be an awesome father.
After kissing at his cheek and face for a minute, Derek drew back to look at him. "So," he said, before he lifted one brow. "Do you still want your pretzel? Because going to WalMart at this time of the morning is like walking into an alternate universe where everyone has huge, crazy eyes and nobody speaks." He widened his eyes to play at traumatized, and Stiles gave a kind of squealing laugh.
"Yes, gimme," Stiles demanded, shifting back against the pillows again but still draped partly over his mate. Derek turned and fetched the plate, handing it over, and Stiles promptly inhaled the pretzel like a starving man.
"How does that taste?" Derek asked as Stiles dragged his finger along the plate to get the wayward cheese.
"Like a cheesy, bready, greasy salt lick," Stiles replied, before he sucked his finger into his mouth. "And I'm going to eat like five more tomorrow—today. Shut it, it's not tomorrow until after I've slept."
Derek just snorted as he took the plate, setting it on the nightstand before he snuggled close to Stiles. He snuffled at his neck and kissed along his jaw. "Feel better?" he asked, lips moving along his skin.
"Mm," Stiles replied, smiling big and stupid. "Much."
"Good," Derek said as he peppered kisses along Stiles's face, making him giggle and snort. But when Stiles leaned into the attention, Derek just kept it up, kissing every inch of his face and neck. Then when Derek kissed specifically over his moles, because he had memorized their positions, Stiles gave a kind of guffaw and hugged his arm tighter.
It was when Derek kissed Stiles's mouth that the mood changed. It was a slow, sweet slide of lips that had Stiles draw in a sharp breath. Derek growled deep in his chest, pressing in tighter and urging Stiles's mouth open so his tongue could dart in. Stiles moaned as their tongues wrestled, before he sucked hard on Derek's, corners of his lips quirking up as Derek gave a deep, meaningful growl.
Stiles had to draw back when his stuffy nose made his breaths all bubbly and his lungs hurt, but Derek didn't mind, instead taking to kissing down his neck. "I can't possibly be sexy right now," he whined as he tipped his head to the side and swallowed.
"Of course you are," Derek told him, hot lips moving along Stiles's skin and raising goosebumps in their wake. "You're beautiful. You always are."
Stiles wanted to disagree, wanted to tell him he was fat and slow and constipated most of the time, but really he ate up his mate's compliments like candy. He brought a hand up to Derek's hair, running his fingers through the already mussed up strands (Derek always had impressive bedhead) and scratching short nails along his scalp. Derek rumbled and sucked at his bond spot, making him whimper and arch up against him.
Derek moved back and helped Stiles out of his tent of a sleep shirt, leaning in to mouth along his collarbone then down to flick over a sensitive nipple. He rumbled as Stiles's other hand came to his hair, just resting there as his mouth continued down. He kissed a tender path along his swollen stomach, nosing and licking stretch marks and nipping his navel, an innie turned outie from the pressure behind it.
Stiles giggled, squirming, and cuffed Derek's head gently, and the bastard winked at him.
Sitting back, Derek moved one broad hand under the small of Stiles's back to lift him up and help him out of his boxers. Stiles let his mate take care of him, making soft, appreciative noises as kisses were laid along his skin. He sighed as his legs were spread and his thighs were laved with a hot tongue, his eyes fluttering closed. He couldn't help but smile as the underside of his knee was nibbled. He wanted to grab Derek's hair again and hold onto him, but reaching around his big belly was a bit of an issue.
Going willingly when Derek turned him onto his side, Stiles groaned as Derek pressed up against flush to his back, wondering when his alpha had managed to pull off all his clothes. Magical asshole. He smiled when Derek grabbed a pillow and shuffled it underneath Stiles's belly, adding to the long list of things that he did to be so perfectly attentive.
“Sorry I haven't been in the mood lately,” Stiles murmured, stretching his neck out as Derek kissed and licked it. For the first five months of his pregnancy, he had been horny almost all of the time (despite his throwing up and tiredness), which meant he had pounced his mate at every possible opportunity. Then his constant lust just dropped to nothing overnight, leaving him pretty unfeeling. Derek hadn't pushed and had left him alone. He could feel himself getting hard now, but it was more than sex driving him. There was a deep intimacy this night.
“You need to stop apologizing,” Derek said as he kissed the constellations of moles and freckles along his shoulder and back.
“Sorry,” he said cheekily, and he grinned as Derek growled into his spine.
Derek leaned away, rummaging through the nightstand for the lube. Imagine their surprise when they discovered that his pregnancy also meant the cessation of his self-lubricating abilities. It was like his body was saying 'you've already fulfilled the point of sex, so you don't need to have it right now.' When paired with supreme horniness, those were some serious mixed signals.
Even so, Stiles couldn't deny how much he loved Derek pressing one slicked finger into his hole, feeling the resistance ease. He sighed as it slid in and out slowly, before another joined it. He released a tiny cry as those fingers spread, reaching back over his shoulder to grab onto Derek's hair and moan as the action caused his mate to pepper kisses into his neck and shoulder.
“Ah, Derek,” he whispered, pressing a hot cheek into the pillows. “Do it. I'm ready now. C'mon!”
Derek chuckled darkly against his skin, expertly aiming the tips of his fingers right against that spot that made Stiles moan. “But I'm having fun,” Derek said as he rubbed that spot again, and Stiles shuddered and rocked his hips back. “I like reducing you to a mess,” he murmured against Stiles's ear, the smile in his voice so audible. “I like making you beg.”
Stiles's body quaked, but he narrowed his eyes and lifted his hand up high in the air before bringing it down hard on Derek's meaty ass. Not tonight.
Derek yelped in response, which was the best thing Stiles had heard in a week. “Fine,” Derek huffed petulantly into his shoulder, before he gave his prostate one last vengeful stroke then pulled his fingers away.
Stiles shifted as Derek's arm came underneath him, crossing over his chest and holding onto his shoulder. Derek's other hand lifted Stiles's knee up as he moved those last few inches closer ad pressed into him. Stiles couldn't help but moan and arch as much as his belly would allow, rocking back into Derek. He wasn't sure when having Derek's cock inside him, dragging along his clenching inner walls and over that place that reduced him to goo, would be a feeling he would get used to, but it was not now.
“Derek,” he keened, putting his head back, and Derek immediately worshiped his neck and jaw with sweet kisses. “Oh fuck, so good.” He could feel the contained might in Derek's thrusts, the way his cock drove into him so powerfully without even an ounce of pain. It was enough for his own hips to lose the steadiness of their rhythm. He couldn't keep up when pleasure exploded up his spine every time Derek's hips smacked against his ass.
It was Derek's noises that really did it for him though. They were soft, deep little 'ah's and 'nng's, breathed against Stiles's neck. His skin absorbed the sounds like a kiss, pulling the heat of his breath inside and storing it in his heart. Fuck, Stiles loved this man. He loved him so much it was inexplicable. Why was Derek so—so something that he reduced Stiles's impressive mental collection of creative adjectives to dust?
Stiles brought up his arms to hold the strong one over his chest, turning his head to catch a glimpse of Derek's glowing red eyes. “Kiss me,” he whispered, hardly even audible, and Derek surged up against him, claiming his mouth. A swipe of a tongue here, a nip of a lip there, and Stiles was done for.
Derek swallowed his noise as Stiles came, clenching down on him and digging his nails into his arm. Derek followed soon after with a pleased sigh, filling Stiles with a heat that rolled up his back and down his thighs. Then there was nothing but their soft panting to be heard in the quiet room, dark except for the light from the TV playing over their forms.
When had Derek muted the TV? Stiles must have missed that while he was crying his eyes out.
Derek laid another soft kiss on his lips and smiled. “You taste like salt and cheese,” he told him, and Stile gave a squeaky laugh. Derek leaned over to get more tissues and clean them up, before he pulled the covers over them and held Stiles as close as he could. He kissed him again, before he shoved his face into the crook of Stiles's neck happily.
As Stiles's eyelids were drooping and he was listening to Derek's breathing even out, he hoped they remembered to put Neosporin on the shopping list.
The date of Stiles's c-section was a week away, and he was so ready to stop feeling like a whale. He wanted to be able to move faster than a walk. He wanted to be able to shift. He wanted to be able to eat sushi, which was especially strange because he didn't particularly care for it but being denied it made him want it. He wanted to be able to see his feet!
Most of all he wanted to meet his babies.
Derek was at work, and Stiles was curled up on his nest, watching Isaac try to teach Peter how to play Super Smash Brothers. He felt a painful jab in his stomach and made a little noise, rubbing his hand over the spot. He willed his daughter or son to hold off on the river-dancing for a few more days. A few minutes later he felt it again and grunted. That didn't feel like a jab now that he thought about it but instead like a fist squeezing his insides.
"Ow!" he whined when it happened again, more painful now that he wasn't distracted.
Peter and Isaac both snapped their attention over to him. "Are you alright, Stiles?" Peter asked as Isaac sat there looking terribly concerned.
"Yeah," Stiles said, rubbing his belly. "Just—just cramps or something."
They stared at him for a moment longer, before they went back to their game, though Stiles knew they had their ears trained on him by the angle of their heads. He pretended like nothing was wrong, watching them beat the tar out of Pikachu and Luigi before the feeling happened again.
"Augh, son of a bitch!" he cried, clutching his stomach. He heard both Link (Isaac) and Princess Peach (Peter) die spectacularly as they rushed over to him. Isaac took his hand, and he promptly squeezed it.
"You're having contractions, aren't you?" Peter asked as his hands hovered over Stiles because he didn't know what to do with them.
"We should time them, right?" Isaac suggested, rubbing his hand up and down Stiles's arm. "I read that you should count the minutes between contractions to better judge when the babies are coming."
Stiles huffed and tried to sit up more to relieve some pressure on his stomach. A dam broke, and fluid rushed out of him to soak the stack of blankets underneath him.
Isaac made a weird shrieking sound as Peter leaned over and scooped Stiles up. "Babies are coming now!" Peter said as he rushed him to the door, which Isaac stumbled over himself to open. Then they were outside, and Peter was laying him down in the back seat of his car. “It's going to be okay, Stiles,” Peter insisted as he grabbed onto one of the seat belts and then floundered for a second. “Hold onto that,” he decided, handing it to Stiles before straightening and shutting the door. Seeing Peter losing his composure was not helping Stiles's anxiety level.
Isaac got into the passenger side, struggling with his own seat belt for a minute because he has his phone pressed against his ear. “Fuck, it went to his voicemail!” he whined as Peter got in and revved the engine. Isaac hit buttons on his phone as Stiles moaned pathetically in the backseat. “Derek, pick up!” he screamed into his phone as Peter's tires spun on gravel before finally propelling them forward.
Isaac mumbled something growling and incomprehensible before he gave a loud sigh. “Derek, it's Isaac,” he said, Stiles mewed through the haze of pain. “Stiles's water broke, and me and Peter are taking him to the hospital. I'm going to keep calling you until you pick up your damn phone!” He hung up and turned in his seat to look at Stiles. “It'll be okay. We'll go get him if we have to. Promise.” He grabbed Stiles's hand and gave it a squeeze.
Peter peeled into hospital parking lot with a screech of his tires, and Stiles was vaguely sure he parked in the fire lane, but he honestly didn't care. He wrapped his arms around Peter's neck as he was lifted out of the car, and yup, that was definitely dinging of an idling car as he was rushed away and through the emergency room doors. The noise around him became a bit muddled as a bunch of people started talking at once. He heard something about his water breaking and how he needed to get into surgery right then, but he was too busy cringing into Peter's neck to look up and place the voices with faces.
Stiles whined as he was placed in a wheel chair, a nurse telling him she was going to take him for surgery prep. He grabbed onto Peter's hand and held tight. “Wait, I can't go yet,” he bit out through his pain, his face a vision of pleading as he stared up at them. “Derek's not here. He has to be here. They're his kids. He has to—“ He cried out with another contraction and squeezed Peter's hand. “I can't go in alone!” He could feel tears welling up in his eyes and racing down his cheeks.
Peter looked at him, all kinds of emotions flitting across his face, then turned to the nurse. “Can I go into surgery with him?” He covered the back of Stiles's hand with his free one.
“Are you family?” the nurse asked.
“I'm his mate's uncle,” Peter growled at her, and she relented with a nod.
Stiles was only vaguely aware of the things that happened next. He was swept into a room where a doctor checked his dilation then ordered the surgery room prepped stat. Then he was undressed and put into a gown, before being reeled about on a gurney. They stuck an IV in his hand, and things got especially woozy.
When he blinked his eyes open, he was feeling light and airy, and he couldn't feel a damn thing below his chest. He glanced around at the medical staff then down at the blue curtain that made it impossible to see what the doctor was doing. He thought he could feel some tugging around his stomach area, but it was so disconnected that it might as well have been a million miles away. His eyes landed on Peter next to him, and he immediately let out a titter of a laugh. Peter was wearing a hair net! His color was definitely hospital gown green. Stiles wished he had his phone.
Peter was also still holding his hand.
Stiles couldn't really lift his head, but he swiveled his eyes around like the best of them. Peter was smiling softly down at him like he was about to start calling him beautiful, and Stiles didn't know if he could take that. “What's going on down there?” he asked, hoping to prevent the man from bursting out in purple prose.
Peter's brow twitched up, before he glanced over the curtain. “About what you'd expect,” he replied, patting Stiles's hand.
“Is it like that chestburster scene from Alien?”
Looking a bit traumatized now, Peter stared with wide eyes over the curtain. “Thank you for that mental image, Stiles.”
Stiles grinned sloppily, squeezing Peter's hand as best he could with the limited feeling he had in his fingers. He was so glad he was here. He would have preferred Derek, but he would take what he would get. Besides, he'd been waiting nine fucking months to make that joke.
A nurse appeared next to him, and he looked over to find a little bloody thing with a squishy face. His breath caught in his face as he looked at the baby, who was squirming a bit and making these teeny noises that were more amazing to his ears than a solo violinist playing the most heartfelt song. “Oh—oh God,” he sobbed, wishing he could touch the baby but unable to move his arms.
“This is your daughter,” the nurse said with a smile, before she laid the wiggling baby against his shoulder, her little face in his cheek. She immediately stilled and gave this precious little coo.
Stiles felt hot tears stream out of the corners of his eyes. “Talia,” he hiccuped, nuzzling her with slow, gentle movements. “Her name is Talia.” A tiny hand pawed at his neck.
Soon another nurse came up with Johnnie, setting him against Stiles's other shoulder. He had two bloody, scrunched up babies on him and he had never been happier. Peter looked on with eyes brimming with moisture.
Stiles was sown up and moved to a comfortable room, and the moment he was settled Derek burst in through the door looking harried. “I came as fast as I could,” he said, coming over to take Stiles's hand, the one Peter wasn't holding. “They wouldn't let me into the surgery room.” Derek leaned over him and rained kisses down on him. “I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry,” he kept saying.
“It's okay,” Stiles croaked, throat raw from crying uncontrollably not ten minutes ago. “You're here now. And don't worry, when these drugs wear off, you'll wish you weren't because I'll be cursing you and everything you stand for.”
“I'm not going anywhere,” Derek said against his forehead, before he drew back to kiss Stiles's knuckles. “God, if I had known—“
“You couldn't have,” Stiles said, putting an end to that guilt escapade right there. “Peter was there for me.” He shot Peter a little smile. “So was Isaac. Even if I didn't have my alpha, I had my pack. I was fine.”
Derek looked over at Peter, his face expressing so many things, but the most prominent one was 'thank you.' Peter smiled back, swallowing thickly.
“Isaac left me at least ten voicemails and thirty texts. He contacted everyone else too. The entire pack is here now,” Derek said, looking back down at Stiles, who just blinked at him. “The waiting room is filled with agitated werewolves.”
Stiles tilted his head, his mouth working for a second. Everyone was here? They had all dropped what they were doing just for him and his little ones? God, he didn't know what to feel about that, other than bursting joy and pride in his pack. He definitely didn't know what to say, but he eventually blurted out, “Even Jackson?”
Derek smirked at him. “Even Jackson.”
Stiles grinned stupidly, sighing as he settled back further into the pillows. He felt so safe and loved that he would have danced across a rainbow had be been able to feel his legs. He was starting to ponder unconsciousness when the door to the room swung open and two nurses wheeled in a pair of werewolf twins.
“You must be the other father,” one nurse said, and he realized she had been the one to show him Talia in the surgery room. She was smiling brightly at Derek, who looked a touch like a deer in headlights. “Ready to meet your daughter?” She lifted the tiny girl out of the basket, clean now and wrapped in a cute blanket covered in ponies, and set her gently into Derek's arms.
Derek's face was like sunshine after a storm. He held the tiny werewolf in his arms and gently brushed his fingers along her chubby cheek. “Hello, my little Talia,” he said softly to her, sitting down slowly in the chair next to Stiles's bed. “I'm your daddy.” He leaned in and gave her the tiniest kiss. “And I love you.”
Stiles was going to start crying again in 0.5 seconds if he kept watching this, and no one would blame him. But then the other nurse stepped over and lowered Johnnie into his embrace. He was wrapped in a blanket covered in bright yellow ducklings, and he was staring up at Stiles with eyes so wide and confused. He was so perfect. Stiles couldn't help but smile brightly at him and make fishy kissy faces.
“Stiles,” Derek said gently to him, and Stiles looked over to find him grinning widely. “Our daughter definitely inherited one thing from you.” Stiles just blinked at him, and Derek leaned in to show him Talia's little face. Stiles gasped when he saw it.
Talia had a beauty mark just above the her top lip, just to the side her her adorable, perfect little nose.
“She looks like Marilyn Monroe!” he breathed out, and Derek chuckled.
Peter leaned over the bit a bit to get a look, before he snorted with a smile. “That one's going to break hearts left and right.” That made Stiles and Derek chuckle.
There was a knock on the door, and they all looked over to find Isaac with the side of his face completely pressed up against the glass. “Can I see the puppies!” he yelled excitedly at them, his breath making fog.
The nurses giggled at that, and one of them turned to them. “You can have a few people in, but you need your rest, Mr Stilinski, so try to keep the visit short.”
A few people turned into everyone almost immediately, dozen or so faces all squished together to look at the babies, and so much squealing and cooing. Was Jackson crying? Peter managed to get a hold of Cora on Skype, and she squeaked at them from the screen of the iPad, waving at the babies and demanding as many pictures as possible. Lydia was using her phone to record them, and he really wish she wouldn't because he probably looked absolutely gross.
Zoe was sitting next to knees, staring at the babies with big brown eyes. Scott had her by the shoulders, stopping her every time she tried to reach over and poke a chubby cheek. Stiles was too tired to referee a toddler, but later he'd be introducing his babies to their big sister from another mister.
“Alright, alright, time to let the parents alone,” came Doctor McCall's commanding voice as she marched into the room and started herding everyone out, first Boyd and Erica, then Lydia and Jackson, Danny and Ethan, an extremely whiny and reluctant Isaac, then her son, Allison and Zoe. Peter hadn't moved, and she came over to grabbed him by the elbow, hauling him away.
“But Melissa!” Peter cried, a confused Cora retreating with him.
“Don't you 'but Melissa' me, out!” She shoved him out, shutting the door on his face and earning an 'ow!' for the action. She just huffed then turned to them, walking over to the bed to look at the most perfect twins on the planet. “They're so beautiful,” she crooned, waving her fingers at them before she straightened up. “I called your father, Stiles. He's out on a call, but he should be here in about an hour.”
“Oh,” Stiles said, eyebrows going up. “Thank you, Mrs McCall.” He had been so overstimulated with so many people around that he hadn't even noticed his dad wasn't there.
“Of course, sweetie,” she said, patting his knee. “Get some sleep, okay?”
Stiles nodded, smiling softly at her, and she sent Derek a smile before she went out, leaving them with their blissfully sleeping twins. He looked over at his mate, who met his eyes with a smile. “We're parents,” he told him softly, very aware of the gently breathing form against his chest and the tiny, fluttering heartbeat.
“You ready for eighteen years of constant worrying?” Derek asked him, lips quirking up at the edge.
Stiles snorted. “Not sure. I'm definitely ready to be able to drink soda and take my Adderall again.”
Derek pressed his lips together so he didn't laugh loud enough to wake the babies. He didn't say anything else, just leaned over to connect their lips.
Stiles didn't remember falling asleep, but the soft sound of voices roused him from a dreamless doze. He blinked at the dimmed lights of the room, slowly turning his head until he found the source of the noise. Derek and his dad were sitting next to the window, their chairs pulled so close together that their knees were touching. Derek had Talia, and his dad had little Johnnie. They were a beautiful sight, their heads almost leaned together as they talked in muted tones, matching looks of wonder on their faces.
“Why is it that I never have my phone when I want to take a picture of something?” Stiles slurred, grinning at them when they looked over. “First Peter in a hair net, and now two grown men cooing over infants.”
His father gave him a watery smile, before he slowly stood and moved over to Stiles's side. “Why did you tell me you were naming my grandson after me?”
“Oh, did I fail to mention it?” Stiles said, playing at innocent, but his dad gave him a very familiar look that meant he saw right through it. “Surprise.”
“Surprise indeed, you little ah—“ He stopped, looking down at the owl eyed baby in his arms, before he looked back at Stiles. “Brat,” he conceded. Stiles had to laugh at that, because his dad censoring himself was not something he got to see very often.
Stiles just gave him a winning smile that had his dad rolling his eyes before he smiled back. His dad sat down on the edge of the bed and started telling him about when Stiles was born, how little he was, how big his ears had been, how he hadn't stopped screaming until he'd discovered peek-a-boo. The tales had Stiles laughing until he sighed and sank back into the pillow.
When he woke up again, his dad had fresh and hot curly fries waiting for him. He could have cried, he loved his dad so much.
It was a painful hour in the morning when Derek was in the kitchen, his eyelids heavy with two days of nearly no sleep, heating up water to warm the formula in. He swayed a little, weary not only from the lack of rest but from the balancing on a razor's edge every time Talia and Johnnie cried. When one baby cried, the other started up too, wailing out a chorus of tiny werewolf screams. He was both dreading and greatly anticipating their howls.
But Derek didn't mind it one bit. He loved holding his children, rocking them and kissing away their malcontent. He was joyous when they enthusiastically suckled from a bottle, eyes wide and flitting around curiously. And he couldn't even fathom the level of cuteness of their tiny burps. Johnnie always found burping hilarious, and his laughter was amazing. Talia was always so amazed and gave shrieks of delight when they made silly faces at her. His children were perfect, absolutely perfect, and there wasn't a thing that could convinced him otherwise.
He tested the formula on his wrist, before he wrapped the bottles in a towel to keep them warm, hurrying up the stairs. As he went, he wondered if there was a device they could buy to put in the nursery to heat up bottles. There had to be. It would be infinitely more convenient than going up and down the stairs. He vowed to look that up online later.
He stopped in the doorway of the nursery, struck dumb by the vision of loveliness before him. Stiles was sitting in one of the rocking chairs, holding both of the twins in his arms and rocking gently. He was humming a soft, sweet tune, eyes closed and rays of the early morning sun filtering in through the blinds to play along his face and hair. Despite how tired Stiles was, it was like it didn't affect him. He was gorgeous and serene, and Derek felt his heart in his throat.
This was his family, his mate and his babies, so perfect and peaceful. He loved them. He loved them so much he couldn't breathe at times. They were all his, and he was going to protect them with every ounce of his being. That ache that he had long carried was soothed, and he was now complete.
Stiles sighed softly and opened his eyes, smiling once he saw Derek there. He looked down at the calm twins and took a deep breath, letting it out through gently parted lips. “Don't you love this family of ours?” he asked quietly.
Derek's heart seized, and it was all he could do to smile, nodding.