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IMG_1302aw by Krista Espino

Y’all know my obsession with mer!Stiles but what about professional merman!Stiles and single dad!Derek whose little girl is obsessed with mermaids?

Derek understands it’s probably not healthy to try indulge all of his daughter’s impossible wishes, but she rarely asks for anything and if she wants a mermaid for her 6th birthday he’s going to find a way to make it happen.

Enter Stiles - professional merman. Derek isn’t exactly sure if a dude is quite what his daughter wants in a mermaid but between not wanting to ruin the surprise and the fact she pretty much squeals MERMAID!! MERMAID!! MERMAID!! when she sees anything that even slightly resembles a fish, he thinks a guy will be fine. 

Derek is expecting…well, he’s not actually sure what he’s expecting. Do professional mermaids grow up wanting to be professional mermaids or does the job just come with a particular…lifestyle, like surfers and lifeguards and people way too obsessed with Disney? Whoever Derek is expecting to show up at his door though, it certainly isn’t someone who greets him by saying, “holy shit, you’re gorgeous” followed by “wait, I mean…holy shit you’re gorgeous.” Derek hasn’t felt his cheeks turn red since he was fifteen, which is why he’s totally not to blame when all he manages to say in return is, “do you come with your own tail?”

“Why, you planning on supplying one for me, big guy? I do have my own tail but if kitting me out in a different one is something you’re into….” he winks, like he was fucking born to, and for a moment Derek is kind of terrified he’s accidentally hired a hooker who thinks Derek has a weird mermaid fetish. 

“Um…no….that’s….okay.” He swears he used to have better game than this. Not that he’s trying to flirt with Stiles. He hired him for his daughter’s birthday party, for fuck’s sake. There are rules. He’s almost certain. 

“Great, well, if you could just lead me to the pool….” Stiles squints. “You….do have a pool, right? Once someone hired me to sit in a bathtub all day and while you might think getting paid to sit around in bathtub all day is the world’s best job, believe me when I say it’s not.”

Half an hour later, Derek blushes again - this is really getting out of hand - when Stiles knocks on his back door, panting, “okay, so, I know my website says professional and please trust me when I say I am but…could you help me get my tail on? Usually I have my buddy Scott to help me set up but it’s his anniversary today and, well,” he shrugs. Derek doesn’t stop blushing for the rest of the day, in fact. Especially during lunch when the kids go inside to watch The Little Mermaid and Stiles flops up onto the pool side, the moles scattered all down his neck and chest doing funny things to Derek under the glare of the sun. Not even the way Stiles’ nose starts to burn puts him off. All it does is force Derek outside, awkwardly standing over Stiles, shyly holding out some sunscreen. 

It doesn’t help that Stiles is perfect with the kids, either. No question is too silly for him and he even manages to coax his daughter’s friend Isaac to the edge of the pool even though Isaac is frightened of mermaids and the only reason he came today is because his daughter promised to hold his hand all day and protect him (which Derek noted fondly Isaac couldn’t stop talking about all week, according to his older brother).

The real problem starts, however, when his daughter asks Stiles if he will fall in love with her daddy because her daddy deserves true love because he’s he bestest daddy in the whole world and mermaids always always make sure when they fall in love it’s the “big explody” kind of love, right? You’re not an evil mermaid, are you Stiles? You won’t try to drown my daddy if he kisses you, will you? 

No, sweetheart, I won’t drown your daddy if he tries to kiss me.” He looks over at Derek, waggling his eyebrows. Derek, god help him, has never been so endeared in his life. 

See, daddy,” his daughter yells, putting her hands on her hips. “I told you.”

Stiles bites down on a laugh and Derek crosses his arms, raises an eyebrow at her. “Lacy, what have I told you about trying to set daddy up with strangers?”

“But Stiles isn’t a stranger, daddy. He’s got a tail.” 

Derek sighs, leading Lacy into the house. “I’m sure Stiles already has a lovely mer…person waiting for him at home.”

“You won’t ever find love if you don’t take a chance, daddy,” Lacy pouts, sounding scarily like Erica whenever they get onto the topic of his love life (which is horribly frequent these days).

“Yeah,” Stiles call after them, “take a chance, daddy! I promise, we merfolk don’t bite.” He pauses. “Much.” He winks and Derek blushes for probably the 100th time that day.

He hates everything.

Except, he really doesn’t because after putting Lacy to bed, he comes back down stairs to find Stiles’ number on the envelope of cash he had left out for Stiles to take. 

We merfolk don’t have use for money but if you want to buy me dinner some time, we do like to eat.

P.S. Curly fries are optional but highly encouraged.

P.P.S. If you bring me this money instead of curly fries, this relationship is not going to work. 

(Spoiler alert: Derek doesn’t bring Stiles his money. Instead he puts it in a box, still inside the envelope, which neither of them touch until Stiles proposes five years later when they use it to buy celebratory engagement pizza and that fancy ice cream that Lacy loves so much - which she henceforth insists on calling “finally ice cream” because, well…..finally.)