I have this strange feeling that I’m not myself anymore. It’s hard to put into words, but I guess it’s like I was fast asleep, and someone came, disassembled me, and hurriedly put me back together again. That sort of feeling.
Everything Derek did in his life, he did for Stiles. He waited until Stiles was eighteen to start a proper relationship, he made sure the summer between high school and college was memorable, amazing, he watched him leave for college, he befriended the Sheriff (although that relationship eventually grew past having just Stiles in common to Derek spending time with his father in law), he helped Stiles out with school fees so Stiles didn’t have to take a part time job, he bought the house Stiles wanted, the car Stiles wanted. The first time Derek proposed Stiles said no, and Derek’s heart landed somewhere six feet south of his feet, Stiles said no but they stayed together.
‘Get over it, Derek, I’m still here.’ Stiles had shoved Derek back onto the bed and clambered on top of him, already undressing. Stiles wasn’t ready, so Derek waited for that too. He didn’t even propose again, Stiles just told him it was time they exchanged vows. Derek followed Stiles like the puppy he was, let Stiles rule his life, paid the bills, indulged Stiles when they decided to have children and Stiles wanted to work part time.
When the Sheriff died Derek waited for Stiles to get over his grief, he waited until Stiles allowed him to see the kids, on Stiles’s terms. He bought a place, chose it for himself, and even decorated it alone, no input from Stiles at all.
And the day the Sheriff’s will was read, that moment when Stiles turned up, when he had chased Derek away earlier and visited him again Derek got tired of indulging Stiles. Derek loved Stiles, and wanted to spend the rest of his life with Stiles, even now, even after the hurt, but things needed to change. Derek wasn’t going to be the doormat, the one putting everything into this relationship. Derek was an Alpha werewolf, and now he figured himself to be at least competent. He didn’t wake up the morning after his uncle died and suddenly become awesome, it took years of learning, training, getting things wrong, learning from his mistakes and carrying on, making things right again.
He did, he believed, do right by Stiles, he did everything on Stiles terms, but he realised now what the Sheriff had warned him about, he had let Stiles take advantage of him, take him for granted.
Derek went to talk to his lawyer about his family. Lilly and Harvey were biologically Derek’s children, but Stiles had adopted them from birth, he was their father. 'We have a case for full custody,’ his lawyer had said, crossing long smooth legs and flashing a winning grin. She was in her forties, and Derek remembered her trailing after her predecessor when he was a teenager. He had crushed on her then, but things had changed if her scent was anything to go by. She noticed him and for a second Derek was tempted, he’d been alone for a year. He didn’t want to be the cliché screwing his divorce lawyer, if they divorced that was.
Then he went for coffee with Boyd. Boyd was frank and open as always, 'yes Stiles takes advantage, grow a set Derek, your kids are probably going to be werewolves, man up and tell Stiles to get with the programme or get out,’ and other various phrases. Derek nodded his way through the conversation.
'Am I pathetic?’ He asked eyeing Boyd. His second in command shrugged a shoulder.
'No, that’s not the language I’d use, you love him, and you indulge him, it needs to stop.’ Boyd said. Derek nodded. 'I’m not saying don’t spoil him, just say no when you want to, fight back.’
'Do you respect me?’ Derek said picking at the napkin his cup was sitting on.
'I’ll always respect you after what you did for us, and I love you like a brother.’ Boyd added. 'I’m saying no more.’
Derek snorted and nodded at the same time. That’s why he chose Boyd, why he loved him, Boyd was blunt and honest, and Derek was a better person because of him.
Derek ate dinner in a diner, and openly flirted with the waitress. It made him feel good, releasing endorphins that he hadn’t felt in a long time. He waited until he figured the kids were in bed then swung past the house. He looked good and he knew it, leaning against the doorframe waiting for Stiles to open it. Stiles stared for a second when he did, his eyes roaming across Derek’s body.
'Hi.’ Stiles said almost shyly.
'Hi, I need to be somewhere soon; I just dropped by to tell you that we need that talk. I had a chat with a divorce lawyer today, and she seems to think I have a case for custody too, so…’ Derek let his words hang in the air. Stiles paled slightly and shifted nervously. Derek scented the air, he was alone, and save for the children, but there was a slight tint of arousal and apprehension.
'I…okay…’ Stiles stuttered over his words.
'Good,’ Derek said straightening his back, 'I’ll be over after four tomorrow, that should be enough time for me to play with the kids for a few hours and help you put them to bed.’ Derek took a step back. 'We can talk when they’re asleep.’
Stiles just licked his lips and parted his lips but Derek took the opportunity to reply away by turning and leaving, sending a short wave Stiles’s way as he got into his car.
Derek wasn’t lying when he said he had somewhere to be. His pack was delighted to see him pad into the bar, and Erica immediately wrapped herself around him, kissing his cheek. 'Dance, please.’ She pleaded with him, her puppy dog eyes making his belly churn uncomfortably.
'Okay.’ Derek let her lead him to the crowded dance floor. She wrapped her hands around his neck and they moved together, his hands on her hips. The rest of his pack mingled around and Derek spent some much needed catching up time, eventually slumping beside Jackson who just raised an eyebrow at him.
'Are you looking for someone to mount?’ Jackson asked bluntly taking a sip of his glass of amber liquid.
Derek flung an arm around Jackson’s shoulders. 'You offering?’ He teased. Jackson scowled at him and tried to shrug him off but Derek wouldn’t budge. 'I’m trying to get my family back together.'
'Seducing Stiles while he sits with the kids.’ Jackson said. 'Smooth.’
'Shut up. If Stiles isn’t interested in joining my family that’s his problem. I know you’ll run to Lydia if I don’t clarify this, so I’ll say it once. I love Stiles, I want him, badly, but I want my kids too, and even if Stiles won’t come back to me then I’ll certainly be making arrangements into taking steps towards spending more time with my children, as in, joint custody at least.’ Derek grinned at Jackson and stood up when Kelly, Isaac’s girlfriend reached for his hand.
'Alpha’s popular tonight.’ He heard Jackson mutter as he followed the brunette to the dance floor.
It worked, of course Derek knew it would, because when he went to visit his home when he told Stiles he would, Lilly opened the door and dragged him inside. 'Da!’ Harvey cried half walking half crawling towards him with arms outstretched. Derek hauled him up and Harvey went about scenting his father with his drool. Stiles was in the kitchen, a dish cloth tossed across his shoulder. He was rushing around from pots to oven, to chopping board. He looked good in baggy jeans, with flour on his nose and something like happiness in his eyes.
Lilly was in her element, and Derek and Stiles did a great deal of flirting. Harvey demanded attention as often as he could and Lilly was as precious as ever, ordering her parents around when they allowed it. When she pouted at Stiles suggesting bed time Derek couldn’t keep the smile off his lips when he heard Stiles promise Lilly she would see her Daddy a lot more often than she had lately.
When the kids were in bed Derek turned the iPod on low and sat on the couch while Stiles uncapped two bottles of beer. They sat side by side, knees touching. Derek was aware that some tight clothes, a home cooked meal and cuddles and kisses with the kids didn’t get them back together but it was a start.
'Did you want to talk?’ Stiles asked biting his bottom lip.
'I did.’ Derek said setting his bottle on the coffee table. 'Like Lydia told you this morning, because of what Jackson told me, I want my family back, and I’m going to get it, whether or not that includes you is up to you Stiles, but I’m not going to wait around forever, and I’m not a punch bag for your emotions, I’m not your doormat, so from now on things will be different.’
'Jackson thinks I should woo you.’ Stiles said. Derek smiled. In the early day’s Derek had done all the chasing, made all the first moves, and he had enjoyed it.
'Maybe Jackson’s right?’ Derek asked with a smile. Stiles laughed and Derek joined him.
They talked for hours, until Derek’s beer was warm and the clock was creeping past midnight. 'I should go.’ Derek said standing and stretching the kinks out of his back.
'Good night.’ Stiles said at the door, reaching a hand out to catch Derek’s elbow and brushing a kiss against Derek’s lips.
The next day a large bouquet of flowers arrived at work for Derek, and with a quirk of his eyebrow he read the ridiculous card from Stiles inviting him out on a date. Jackson smirked from his desk. 'Bitch,’ he muttered playfully.
Derek just laughed like he hadn’t done in a long time.
I wanted to write something angsty, I don’t usually, so here, have some Sterek pain.
‘Daddy!’ Lilly cried with her arms stretched wide running towards Derek.
'Hey baby.’ Derek knelt down and wrapped her in his arms, burying his face in her neck and closing his eyes, breathing her in. 'I missed you.’
'I missed you more.’ Lilly said in that tight little voice that meant tears weren’t far away. Moments later the salt tinged Derek’s senses and he pulled her tighter. He could feel the rainwater that was lingering on the sidewalk soak into the knees of his jeans, and the light mizzle that had been misting the air started to fall in earnest now. Derek curled himself around Lilly and stood up, carrying her to the front door.
He kept his head down, eyes on the path, and then the bottom of the door as a pair of white socked feet came into view, baggy jeans covering half of them. Derek ran his eyes up Stiles’s body, over stretched out knees, low slung hips and baggy layers. 'Hey.’ He said tentatively.
'What are you doing here Derek?’ Stiles asked with a frown. His heartbeat was steady, his scent natural. Derek remembered the days when Stiles’s heart would crash around his chest in excitement; his scent would reek of arousal, apprehension, delight.
'I got a few days off.’ Derek explained not letting go of Lilly. 'I tried to call first, your tone was dead, and you didn’t answer the home phone.’
Lavinia had spent the past two days hidden away in her room, nursing her wounds with whiskey instead of medicine. The weekend passed, and Lavinia had written into the ministry letting them know she was too sick to come into work Monday morning. However, with the shape the ministry was in she knew she had to go back to work. She had begrudgingly accepted, after almost a bottle that day, that she needed to return to work. Which meant bringing herself to a healer to mend whatever damage had been done. Her arm, she was sure, was broken in a least two places and not healing correctly as she let it hand at her side. Shoulder still purple, and ribs still tight when she tried to take in anything but shallow breaths - working would prove impossible this way. Drunk enough to work up the courage, Lavinia apparated (very carefully) at Viola’s doorway. The hospital was not an option. The place made her cringe. She felt guilty just showing up to Vi’s, giving her another Rowl to mend but she couldn’t think of anywhere to go where she felt safe. So she knocked with her left hand, anxiously standing outside her townhouse. Her breathe riddled with alcohol and her form shaky at best, jumping at any noise - even the noise of the door opening.