Universe: Teen Wolf
Character/Pairing/s: Sheriff Stilinski, Stiles, Derek, Isaac
Spoilers/Warnings: Through S2
Word Count: 3,335
Summary: Derek and Isaac are wrong.
Dedication: Sonia- because why the hell not. (I really want pizza now btw)
A/N: I have been up to my ears in coverage all week and I just needed a break from reading everyone else’s writing to doing a little mindless writing of my own. After an hour, these are the sad, sad results.
Disclaimer: No harm or infringement intended.
Granted, the Sheriff hasn’t known either of them for very long in the grand scheme of things, but he’s a quick learner and a good observer. From what he’s been able to gather, he now knows the following about Isaac and Derek.
When something goes wrong in Derek’s life, his first instinct is to blame himself. In Derek’s eyes, bad things happen to him because he deserves them. Because he’s not a good person.
When something goes wrong in Isaac’s life, his first instinct is to blame no one. To Isaac, bad things happen because they’re supposed to. Because they’re inevitable.
Derek and Isaac may look at the world in vastly different ways, but the thing the Sheriff has learned they have in common in that respect is that they’re both wrong. The Sheriff is much older than either of them and he knows this as absolute.
For The Sheriff and Stiles, when something goes wrong, they hug it out, maybe even cry a little, and then forge on as best they can because they know that while bad things happen sometimes, good things sometimes happen too. It’s the potential for good things to happen that keeps people going day in and day out. It’s the good things that he and Stiles have learned to look for, to expect and feel deserving of.
And as far as the Sheriff is concerned, this is the way it should be. Good things are the only things that Derek deserves. They’re the only sorts of things someone as young as Isaac should ever expect.
This irrepressible sort of optimism, even in the face of horrible, horrible things, is kind of a Stilinski way of life. It’s his gift to his kids. All of them.
And he knows. He knows that this is Derek’s pack and Derek’s territory. But the Sheriff still considers it his pack and his territory too, not in a way that is supposed to infringe on Derek’s ridiculous alpha-ness of course, but more in a way that’s meant to reassert the fact that this isn’t an issue of ownership so much as one of home and family. In either case, this pack of werewolves is the Sheriff’s as much as it is Derek’s. The Sheriff’s going to make the Stilinski part of life their way of life even if it kills him. (And sometimes it comes really close to killing him.)
“I’m uncomfortable,” Derek says through gritted teeth, though he remains completely still all the same, almost like he’s too scared to move. Either that or too guilty.
The Sheriff’s arms around him are firm and unyielding. They’re still at the hugging it out part of the Stilinski dealing process at this time.
“Just let it happen,” Stiles suggests helpfully from the side, where he has Isaac in a full body monkey hug that looks incredibly uncomfortable for both of them. Stiles stubbornly holds on anyway.
“Am I being punished?” Derek asks next, though he somehow manages to inflect the question so that it doesn’t actually sound like a question. He sounds like he hopes he’s being punished, because he still thinks everything is his fault.
“Nope,” the Sheriff says simply, and hugs Derek a little more tightly, even though he’s disgusting and covered in dried blood and dirt and garbage.
“I feel like I’m being punished,” Isaac says miserably even as he clings to Stiles, mostly because he doesn’t want to drop him and then break him and feel bad about it for the rest of the night. They’d already had enough of that tonight. For forever.
Isaac is in a similar state of dishevelment as Derek is except with less blood. Stiles doesn’t care because he knows the hugging part is the most essential part of the process. Even when Stiles was lying to the Sheriff and he couldn’t trust his kid for all he loved him, they still always had the hugs if nothing else.
“I’m fine,” Derek points out, after the hug continues well past the duration of what he considers appropriate. The Sheriff continues to hold on. “It’s not my blood.”
“He’s fine,” Isaac agrees, squirming slightly. Stiles doesn’t let him go either. The Sheriff is proud. “We’re not hurt.”
The Sheriff doesn’t need to see it to know that Derek’s eyebrows are furrowing with self-loathing, that he wants to pull away because he doesn’t think he deserve this, however small a comfort it is. “It’s you that I’m worried about,” the alpha eventually grumbles, voice a dark growl that could be intimidating if it wasn’t so obviously layered in grief and fear. “I could have…”
“Nope,” the Sheriff says, and cuts Derek off before he can finish that sentence.
Isaac makes a soft whimpering sound in the back of his throat. “But you both could’ve been…”
“Shhh,” Stiles soothes, because for all he can be a loud-mouthed smart-assed little shit sometimes, when it comes to the people that matter to him, the Sheriff knows Stiles has the biggest heart in the world. He’ll forgive pretty much anything and everything. What happened tonight in the grand scheme of things barely counts as anything.
The werewolves sigh and submit.
Stiles and his father take it a sign to relax their shoulders and really lean into their hugs.
It’s a long coping process, but it really works. Eventually Derek and Isaac relax a little bit too.
For a while, they all just breathe.
What almost happened earlier was that Isaac and Derek could have ripped out Stiles and the Sheriff’s throats respectively, when the two werewolves had been put into a chemically induced haze of anger and confusion while the four of them had been locked in a small room together. The wolfsbane tipped arrows they’d been hit with had a special brew laced into the heads, one that, according to Deaton, was meant to induce a blind, murderous rage in werewolves as it splintered their control. Visiting hunters who professed to follow the code had poisoned Isaac and Derek before throwing them in the rusted out old lumber mill near the edge of the preserve with an unconscious Sheriff and an unconscious Stiles. According to Chris and his men, the morally questionable out-of-towners were planning on having the Stilinskis’ bodies show up, mangled and bloody, to prove that Derek and his pack were a threat, and then open season on the group of them for the murders they hadn’t meant to commit. The added bonus would be that after the fact, Isaac and Derek would probably be so guilt-ridden by the blood on their hands that they wouldn’t even put up much of a fight when the hunters found them. The Sheriff thinks it had all been a very roundabout way of making Chris look like the sole sane hunter in a profession that clearly invites psychopaths into the fold with open arms.
But none of that had happened ultimately, because even in the face of wolfsbane induced rage, good things can happen. Not to say the Sheriff hadn’t been scared out of his wits for a little while there, had thrown Stiles behind him and considered, however briefly, the gun in his holster with the poisoned bullets he’d gotten from Chris inside the chamber.
But that thought had been as passing as Derek and Isaac’s attempts to kill him. Because the Sheriff knew good things could happen, even in the face of all the bad. It was what the Sheriff had been thinking to himself as he’d taken his gun out, kicked it aside, and, in a moment of desperate bravado, crossed his arms. Then he’d taken a deep breath, and told himself to calm the hell down. His heartbeat pounding in the werewolves’ ears probably wasn’t helping his case.
Like he’d hoped, his actions had confused his rage-addled young charges, and before he knew what he was doing, he’d shaken his head at them and said, in the same tone of voice he grounded Derek with, “You realize if you go through with this, you’re making your own pancakes tomorrow.”
Stiles had let out a wheezing sort of sputter in disbelief from behind him at that, but it did stop Derek mid-lunge, his red eyes pausing in confusion as to why his prey wasn’t afraid. And taking that vaguely condescending tone with him.
The Sheriff thinks that maybe he should have been more afraid at the time. But he just hadn’t been able to really, really muster up the right kind of fear in that moment. All he could think as Derek had paced angrily around him was that he’d seen Derek pair socks and buy groceries and stare at the complicated ingredient label on a package of store brand tomato sauce in utter confusion while Stiles railed at him about the evils of preservatives and nasty chemicals. He’d watched Derek fail at working a universal remote properly and rip apart the cord on the lawn mower because he’d pulled it too hard on accident. He’d heard Derek fart in his sleep after one too many burritos on burrito Monday. Given all of that, given how normal and young and hilarious Derek could be, the Sheriff just hadn’t been too worried about feral alpha Derek, at least deep down in his heart. Again, the Sheriff probably should have been, all things considered, but in that moment, thinking about the kid who slept on his couch most nights and ate Cheerios like it was going out of style kind of made it impossible.
At least he now knows where Stiles gets his completely broken self-preservation instincts from.
Stiles, feeling the need to suddenly prove it, had chosen that exact moment to peek out from behind the Sheriff’s shoulders, brow furrowed and considering as the two werewolves circled, clearly still pissed as hell but not really knowing what to direct that anger on since the two puny humans in the room weren’t scared of them anymore.
“Dude,” Stiles said, and the sound of his voice had drawn both sets of glowing eyes directly to him. The low growling noises coming from both of them had also revved up a little again, and the Sheriff nearly turned around and smacked Stiles upside the head for it.
But then Stiles took the lead, because as much as he was the Sheriff’s teenage son, he was still growing up, getting a little bit closer to becoming an adult every day and learning slowly how to take charge of situations like this. He’d stepped around his dad slowly, starting with his hands up in a gesture of surrender before reaching out slowly with his fingers extended towards Isaac in offering, like he was trying to let a frightened animal catch his scent, make it familiar. “Dude, Isaac, I basically smell like you and everyone you love, you have no reason to be angry with me,” he’d soothed.
Isaac’s growling had died down from there thankfully, though it remained a constant rumble in the back of his throat, like he couldn’t help it. The Sheriff blamed the drugs.
Derek prowled around the edges of the room in the meantime, all tense and snarling, but in a helpless sort of way, in a way that reminded the Sheriff of when Derek wanted to ask for seconds on ice cream but was kind of way too embarrassed to do it in front of everyone, or when he didn’t get that pop culture reference because he was older than the rest of the pack and he had no idea what a One Direction was.
Isaac, miraculously, deigned to let Stiles put a hand on his head before too long. “See? Bros,” Stiles murmured, some of the tension easing out from his limbs when Isaac didn’t immediately rip his fingers off.
Then a light went off in his son’s eyes, in a way that made the Sheriff simultaneously hopeful and wary. Stiles could be as brilliant as he was impulsive, and the results of those things ran the gamut of utterly amazing and so stupid it was laughable.
“We’re pack, right?” Stiles had pressed after a moment, scratching his fingers into Isaac’s scalp a little. “The guys behind that door, on the other hand,” he began, shrugging, “…they’re the ones who shot you. I know you’re mad guys, but are you mad at the right people?”
Both sets of glowing eyes had turned magnetically to the door Stiles was indicating with his chin in eerie unison, as if they hadn’t considered that. Which they probably hadn’t, sine the rational parts of their brains weren’t supposed to be functioning under the influence of the wolfsbane. The door keeping them trapped in the lumber mill was heavy and metal and ancient. It had also probably been chained shut from the outside.
From there, the low growling increased in volume again. A more potent rage than before flashed behind Derek and Isaac’s eyes.
The Sheriff had to hand it to his kid, he was really, really good at deflection.
“Door won’t break down easy,” the Sheriff had warned Stiles, voice low.
Stiles’s response had been to look around at the walls of the old building in a telling sort of way, taking in how the whole structure was crumbling and musty with age and disuse and heavy weathering. “Kinda funny how no one thinks about reinforcing the walls when they make their evil bad guy lair out of the stereotypical abandoned old building in the woods, isn’t it? How old is this place again?” he asked.
“Gold rush days, I think,” the Sheriff shrugged.
Stiles snorted. “Circa 1850?”
The Sheriff had felt a small, slightly vindictive smile tugging at the corners of his mouth. “Something like that.”
From there, Stiles had looked at the werewolves, then the walls. “Well okay then. I’d try the walls, guys.”
And then Derek had darted off like a shot, as if Stiles’s go ahead was all he’d been waiting for. The Sheriff very vividly remembers how the alpha grew into something monstrous and deadly in the shadows before he ended up slamming through the old wooden walls like they were made of paper, diving headfirst into the unsuspecting hunters keeping guard on the other side.
Isaac had followed a breath later, no less terrifying, and the two Stilinskis had slumped into a disbelieving heap in the middle of the floor immediately afterwards, just like that. Screams and crashes came from the other room in rapid succession.
“Dude, we are badasses,” Stiles had breathed in eventually, adrenaline no longer pumping enough to keep him upright as he’d leaned into the Sheriff’s back. The Sheriff remembers his son blearily offering him a celebratory fist.
The Sheriff had rolled his eyes, but ended up bumping his knuckles against Stiles’s anyway, despite the fact that they might have just signed the death (or at least very maimed) warrants of a half dozen other human beings. He hadn’t been able to feel too broken up about it in the end, though, because they’d tried to kill his kid. Luckily, that had been about the time Scott and the others arrived with Chris and his goons in tow, a little bit late but not so late that the effort to pick Stiles and the Sheriff up and carry them out of the destroyed old mill wasn’t greatly appreciated.
After that, things had gone back to simple in the Sheriff’s book, and his original plan in the immediate aftermath of their kidnapping and drugging had been to make the late-arriving Argents and Co. take care of their former visitors once they’d countered the effect of the wolfsbane used on Derek and Isaac. Then he’d figured that maybe there would be pizza and sleeping like the dead for a solid sixteen hours before Saturday breakfast chaos commenced in his kitchen the following morning.
What he hadn’t expected was the weighty guilt fest that followed, that had started the minute they began the drive home. Derek had refused to look either the Sheriff or Stiles in the eye while Isaac simply refused to look at anything but the tops of his sneakers.
It had been patently ridiculous.
Which is why they are in the Stilinski living room right now, hugging instead of pizza-eating or sleeping. The Sheriff is pretty sure if he hadn’t latched onto Derek the minute they were through the doors, the alpha would have instantly run off into the night somewhere to work out in a corner and chant mantras about what a horrible leader he was. Isaac probably would have stared at nothing for a long time and meditated on what he was expected to do if his new home was just as suddenly torn from him as his first one had been.
Stiles, and it said a lot when Stiles was the only other rational being in the room, had been looking at his dad like he couldn’t believe what his life was and that he wanted fungus and other weird vegetables on his pizza when they were done here.
Then he’d latched onto Isaac at the exact same time the Sheriff had pulled Derek in.
And so here they are.
The Sheriff looks at the clock on the wall just behind Derek’s shoulders. Two minutes. A good, two minute hug should do the trick.
So he holds on for ten seconds longer before loosening his hold a little and grunting a gruff, “Good?” at Derek.
Derek huffs a quiet sigh of resigned amusement against the Sheriff and nods. “Good.”
“Great,” Isaac agrees hastily, which prompts Stiles to pull back enough to ruffle Isaac’s curls with both hands. Isaac gratefully subsides to try and bring some order to his hair again.
The Sheriff and Stiles look at each other. “Pizza?” they say, at the exact same time.
Derek looks kind of shyly hopeful at that, even as he smooths the front of his bloody, crusty, ripped up T-shirt down a little. “Mushroom?” he asks tentatively, like maybe it’s okay to want something nice for himself, to let himself deserve it for once.
Isaac smiles crookedly. “Pepperoni,” he counters, like he expects it, like it’s his inevitable pizza topping.
The Sheriff beams and can’t help but feel accomplished, can’t help but feel like he did that. He claps both of them on the shoulders and shoves them towards the stairs. “Clean up,” he says.
Then he adds, a smirk twitching at the corners of his mouth, “Your pizzas will probably be here by the time you get out.”
The werewolves light up a little around the eyes and obediently pad to the bathrooms to shower and change. The Sheriff knows Derek will use his bathroom, and that the alpha already knows where the spare towels and clean clothes are. Just like the Sheriff knows Isaac is a teenage boy and kind of disgusting so he’ll probably just use an old towel he digs up from some godforsaken corner of his room.
Stiles gives his dad a long look once they’re gone.
“Nice,” he says after a beat, and manages to say so many more things than that with just one word.
The Sheriff grins and grabs Stiles right after that, pulling him in for his hug, for their moment of relief and disbelief and hope for great things to happen tomorrow. “Love you too, kid,” he says baldly, while Stiles just clings to him and smiles into his shirt.
“You’re still not getting bacon on your pizza,” is what he ultimately says, nose smashed against his dad’s shoulder and relishing every moment of it.
The Sheriff sighs and ruffles Stiles's hair before he goes to order dinner. He gets two large mushroom pizzas and two large pepperoni pizzas.
Because Isaac and Derek both deserve good things.
One day they'll know it just like the Sheriff knows it.
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