“And so, when the brave FBI intern valiantly fought his way into the building to rescue his long lost love, he had to hope that he was there in time. When he finally found him, the relief was almost enough to make him fall to his knees, but he knew he couldn’t waste time. So, he saved his love from the clutches of his would be captors, and helped to carry him away from the chaos by looping one arm over his own shoulders, and with a strong arm wrapped around his middle, supporting him while they escaped.”
“Did they live happily ever after?” Claude asks at the same time that Lori says “But you saved Papa, right?”
“Wait,” Claude adds, his brow furrowing in a way that reminds Stiles so much of Derek that he has trouble remembering that Claude is adopted, “Is this the same story Papa tells about why your toe looks funny?”
“No, silly,” Lori answers on Stiles’ behalf, her eyes darting to where Derek is leaning against the doorway with an all too amused smirk on his face. “That can’t be the toe story, in the toe story Papa carries Daddy ‘way from the bad guys, 'cause Daddy’s toe got a boo-boo when he was a-rescuin’ Papa, and Papa was so sorry 'bout it, but they had to be fast, so he scooped Daddy up like a Prince and they runned away together. Right, Daddy? It’s a different story?”
Stiles takes a moment to glare at Derek, who is doing a terrible job of hiding his amusement behind the curl of his fist before looking back at their daughter. “Well, sweetheart,” he begins, trying to avoid letting his mouth gape uselessly while he tries to figure out the best way to answer that doesn’t include mentioning over a decade of bickering about this particular story, or the countless times Stiles had fantasized about his version of the story being real before he’d ever donned an FBI vest, or how in the end it has never mattered that the truth is somewhere in between, and that the only thing that matters is that the rescue happened and that at the end of the day he’d had Derek’s hand in his and they’d been able to get out and move forward. Together.
“The thing about stories-”
“The important thing,” Derek says, taking the few steps needed to cross from the doorway to where Stiles sits in a soft chair next to the twin’s beds. “The best thing,” he says, settling a hand on Stiles’ shoulder, letting his fingers ruffle the hair at the nape of Stiles’ neck and flashing him a genuine grin, “Is that your daddy and I saved each other.”
Stiles reaches a hand up to squeeze Derek’s where it rests on his own shoulder, adding, “Yeah we did. And we always will.”
Derek leans down to give Stiles a warm, chaste kiss, and Stiles lets the peace that that truth gives him settle over him like a blanket. When they both whisper “Always,” into the small space created when they pull apart, it’s followed by matching smiles (and eye rolls, because they are so married it’s ridiculous).
Claude’s “Okay, but I want the toe story tomorrow night, 'kay Papa?” breaks through the moment, but it’s still kinda perfect anyway.
“Toe story it is, kiddo!” Derek assures with a smile as he moves to tuck the kids in.
“But,” Stiles insists, “You have to tell it <i>right </i>, Der. My toe was nearly <i>obliterated</i>!”