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Title: Ride a Cock-Horse: Chapter One
Author: [personal profile] kyrenekyorl
Pairings/Characters: Derek Hale/Stiles Stilinski, Sheriff Stilinski, Talia Hale
Rating: G
Word Count: 4,368 (this part)
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: When Derek was ten his mother started dating again. She didn't ask him if this was okay, but she did ask before inviting the guy she was dating over for dinner.

Author's Note:So far this fic is Gen, just a cute kid-fic with Derek and Stiles being kids. It's tagged as Sterek because that is where I see their dynamic as being headed but I can't make any promises as to how often this will be updated or how fast it will move.

Like my other stepbrothers fic this is an alternate universe version of the Sheriff and Talia who are cool but not as cool on as the show, and everyone is human. Unlike that fic Derek isn't an only child but since Laura is living with their father and there's no Cora he might as well be. And clearly Stiles lost his mother much earlier than he did in canon.

"Ride a Cock-Horse"
Chapter One"

by kyorl

When Derek was ten his mother started dating again. She didn't ask him if this was okay, but she did ask before inviting the guy she was dating over for dinner.

He was the town Sheriff, Stilinski, and he had a five year old son who came to dinner too. Derek had really wanted to say "no" but he also wanted his Mom to be happy, and he could tell that saying "yes" would make her very happy. So he said "okay" and she smiled at him, and he hoped this was going to be a one-time thing.

They arrived right on time, and Derek's Mom made him answer the door because she was right in the middle of chopping an onion. Derek wasn't exactly thrilled by this, but he knew he'd get in trouble if he just left the Sheriff waiting so he went.

Sheriff Stilinski was kind of handsome, Derek allowed, with piercing blue eyes, but mostly Derek's attention was taken by the little boy clinging to the man's pant leg. The Sheriff was older than Derek's Mom, but his son was younger than Derek, way younger.

He was tiny, too. Just a stick figure that was all skinny arms and legs, with a big head and huge brown eyes that didn't look anything like his father's blue eyes. His lashes were so thick he almost looked like a girl. In fact, he had a moist red bow of a mouth that made him look like a girl too. That might be why his hair was buzzed so short. Or maybe that was just to keep it easy to manage.

"Hello, Derek," the Sheriff said, and he talked like he was talking to another grown-up, not a ten year old boy. Derek liked that, even though he wasn't sure the Sheriff meant it. "As the man of the house, I'm going to ask your permission to come inside."

Derek opened his mouth to reply, probably to say something his Mom would call snarky and yell at him for, but before he could speak, the Sheriff's son piped up in a loud voice, "He isn't a man, Dad. He's just a kid."

The Sheriff frowned down at his son, who evidently wasn't shy after all, despite the way he was hiding behind his Dad's legs.

"Stiles, what did we talk about in the car on the way here?" he asked, squatting down so that he could meet his son's big brown eyes. Derek wondered what kind of a name "Stiles" was.

"I dunno," Stiles mumbled, in a tone that indicated he really did know.

The Sheriff sighed, but to his credit he held onto his patience, reaching up to grip Stiles' short-shorn head in one big hand. " We talked about how important it is to be polite and make a good first impression tonight."

"Why?" Stiles asked, and Derek labeled him a dumb little kid in his head until he went on, "Isn't it a bad thing to make someone think you're one way when you're really another?"

Derek was a little surprised by this argument; mostly because a five year old had made such a good point.

His father, though, took this in stride. "That's true, but I want you to be polite all the time, Stiles."

"Even when Derek's my new big brother?" Stiles asked plaintively.

The Sheriff choked a little, turned red, and shot Derek an almost panicked look. "Don't rush things like that, Stiles," he admonished sternly. "After all, we're only meeting Derek for the first time tonight, and his mother and I are still just dating."

"But, Dad," Stiles said, kind of whiny sounding, "Derek's Mom makes you happy. You smile more now than... ever!"

The Sheriff looked sad and upset when Stiles said this, and Derek almost felt like he could understand why, but he didn't quite get it. He didn't mind standing here watching the Stilinskis engage in a little family drama, but here came his mother, down the hall.

"Derek, are you keeping our guests waiting on the doorstep?" she asked, and she didn't sound angry, but there was the potential for it in her voice.

"Sorry," Derek grunted.

"No, no," the Sheriff protested, standing up and keeping a hand on Stiles' head to hold him still. "I was trying to get Stiles to use his manners. It wasn't Derek's fault at all, and he was perfectly polite."

"Not like me," Stiles piped up irrepressibly.

"Sorry, baby," Derek's Mom said, smiling at him now. Since Derek probably would have said something impolite if Stiles hadn't interrupted, he wasn't too offended. "Come on inside," she instructed.

Once they were in the hall and the door was closed, Derek's Mom squatted down to Stiles' level, giving him her prettiest smile.

"Hello, Stiles," she said, holding out her hand for him to shake. "I'm happy to meet you. Your father talks about you a lot."

Stiles nodded. Derek expected him to mouth off the way he'd done to Derek, but evidently Derek's mother actually did make him shy.


"I just put dinner in the oven, so it'll be about twenty minutes before I have to go back in the kitchen," Derek's mother said, standing and shooing everyone into the living room. "Does anyone want drinks?"

"I brought wine," the Sheriff offered. "But that would probably go better with dinner. Besides, it's not as though the boys can have any."

Derek noticed that his Mom's cheeks turned a pretty shade of pink, and he wondered why.

"Would you like some juice, sweetie?" she asked Stiles, and he nodded silently, thumb back in his mouth.

Derek didn't really want juice, but he knew he wasn't allowed soda so late in the day, even on a Friday evening.

His Mom went to get the drinks and without being prompted, Derek led their guests into the living room. Stiles whined when his Dad pulled his thumb out of his mouth, but he didn't say anything about it, just leaned heavily against the Sheriff's knees once the man had sat down.

"So, Derek," the Sheriff said, grabbing Stiles around his skinny middle and lifting him onto his lap, where he perched looking like a cranky kitten, "Do you play any sports?"

Derek thought this was a dumb question, like maybe the Sheriff had read a book about how to get along with your date's children, but when he grudgingly admitted to liking both baseball and basketball -- mostly because he knew his Mom would be coming back in a matter of minutes -- he found himself in a real conversation about both sports, and the Sheriff seemed to actually listen to what he had to say, even after Derek's Mom had brought in the drinks and sat next to him.

She joined in, too, because she liked sports and because she was Derek's mother and had seen him play, but Stiles stayed quiet, and every once in a while his Dad had to tug his thumb out of his mouth with a wet pop. He whined every time, but he was still snuggled back against his father's chest, sipping his juice, and listening to them all talk with big eyes.

It wasn't very long before dinner was ready, and once they were at the table, the grownups started mostly talking to each other. Derek didn't mind. He'd rather talk to an adult than a kid his own age most days. He knew the Sheriff was really mostly here for his Mom, and he felt weird having to talk about himself so much anyway. His Mom just knew all the most important things about him; he didn't need to tell her. She asked him questions when she had to, of course, but mostly she didn't have to.

Instead, Derek turned his attention to Stiles. He'd expected the kid would be a messy eater, and he kind of was, but not as much as Derek had thought. He was watching his Dad talk to Derek's Mom with narrow eyes, his round-cheeked face intent, and Derek wondered what he was thinking about. He wondered if he was supposed to be distracting the younger boy somehow.

Then dinner was over and his Mom said, "Why don't you take Stiles to your room to play." And he knew that the answer was yes.

The Sheriff looked a little worried, but he didn't protest, just poured himself and Derek's Mom some more wine.

"Come with me," Derek said to Stiles, tilting his head. He had an older sister, Laura, who was living with their Dad, but she'd left when Derek had been younger than Stiles was now, and he didn't have any other siblings, so he wasn't sure how to deal with this tiny creature.

"You're not the boss of me," Stiles informed him, but he padded after Derek willingly enough.

"What do you want to do?" Derek asked as he opened the door to his room. Normally he wouldn't let a stranger in here, much less a little boy, but something about Stiles seemed different. Derek kind of liked Stiles' father, even if he didn't want to. Not only did he make Derek's mother happy, but he treated Derek with respect, almost like he was a grownup too. And Stiles seemed to be okay for someone who was almost a baby still, though Derek was going to have to get to know him better to be sure.

Which was what he was about to do, in fact. Even if it had been his Mom's idea, not his own.

"Do you have a computer?" Stiles asked, his eyebrows going up as he looked around Derek's bedroom with wide eyes.

"No, just my Mom does," Derek said, hoping that Stiles wouldn't want to take apart any of his Lego dioramas. He'd worked hard on those and he was proud of them.

"What about game systems?"

Derek shook his head. There was a Playstation in the living room, but that was where their parents were, so they couldn't go out there.

"Ooh, comic books!"

Derek winced as Stiles dived at the pile of Batman comics he kept on the bottom of his bookshelf, but he couldn't protest. Some of the stories were probably too adult for a five year old -- in fact, Derek was pretty sure if his Mom had ever paged through them she'd have said they were too mature for him -- but it was too late to stop Stiles now. At least Derek didn't keep them pristine or anything, since comic books were meant for reading. Speaking of which....

"Can you even read yet?" he asked, following Stiles and sitting down next to him.

"I can already read at a second grade level," Stiles told him haughtily, wrinkling his snub nose in a way Derek would never tell him was adorable. Even though it kind of was.

"Prove it," Derek challenged, scooting over and peering at the issue Stiles had picked up.

Stiles really could read some of it, which really surprised Derek, even though he hadn't thought that Stiles was lying, exactly. Stiles did fumble a little, because he was only five, but even Derek didn't always know all the words in his comics, so instead of making fun he helped Stiles with the hard words and sat there patiently while he worked his way through almost two whole comic books.

Then Stiles evidently got bored, and jumped up off the floor, headed for the Legos on top of Derek's dresser.

"Don't touch them!" Derek yelped, going after him quickly.

"Wasn't gonna," Stiles said defiantly, clasping his hands behind his back and raising his chin. "Daddy said if I break anything tonight I'll lose my tee vee priveeges for a week."

"I think you mean privileges," Derek corrected, but he felt relieved nonetheless.

Stiles stuck his tongue out at him, then crowded in closer, standing on tip-toe in order to see, fingertips just barely clinging to the edge of the dresser. "Did you make these yourself? They're cool! Is that the Bat Cave? Uh-uh, the Joker is in it. He's probably gonna wreck it all. Hey, do you have any Legos that aren't up here? I wanna make one of these! Can I?"

Derek felt a little stunned by this barrage, and he wondered if he was expected to answer all of those questions or just the last one. "Uh...."

"Legos?" Stiles prompted, eyes huge and liquid as he stared hopefully at Derek.

"Uh, yeah," Derek stuttered. "They're in the closet, I think."

Stiles watched hopefully as Derek dug around until he found the big plastic box with all his old Legos in it. He didn't know if he really wanted to play with them, but Stiles was excited and Derek was supposed to be keeping him occupied and out of their parents' hair.

Derek got them both set up at his desk, even though he had to stand beside it while Stiles knelt up on the seat of his chair. His legs got a little tired, but there wasn't room on the chair for both of them, and they needed a flat surface to work on.

Stiles built half a room that he said was a crime scene, which made Derek a little weirded out, then he got distracted and tried to create an airplane. That didn't go so well, even with Derek helping, so he took it apart and made a big pile of... Legos.

"It's a mountain," he informed Derek loftily. "Gandalf lives at the top. With Magneto."

"You know they're both played by the same actor," Derek told Stiles cautiously. It wasn't like he had figures for Gandalf or Magneto, so Stiles would need to use his imagination.

"I know," Stiles said, tongue sticking out of the corner of his mouth as he started pressing white Lego pieces on the top of his pile. "See? Snow!"

Derek supposed he could see that it looked like a mountain... sort of. He wasn't sure whether Stiles was being lazy or thinking big, with his "mountain". At least he hadn't gotten fussy when he'd realized his plane wasn't going to work out.

Stiles did seem to be getting sleepy, though, rubbing at his eyes, and yawning. Derek excused himself to go use the bathroom, and he peeked in on their parents. They were snuggling on the sofa, sipping wine and talking in quiet voices and Derek crept away before they could see him. He didn't want to disturb them when they looked so happy, even though it was getting late.

"Do you want me to read you more comics?" he asked, when he came back in the room and found Stiles looking at his bookshelf.

Stiles shook his head and grabbed an old picture book that Derek's Mom had gotten for him. "Read me this," he demanded.

"What's the magic word?" Derek asked, even though he was already reaching for the book.


Derek rolled his eyes. "You're supposed to say 'please' when you want someone to do something for you," he instructed.

"You sound like my Dad," Stiles said, but he curled up against Derek's side next to his bed, as Derek opened the book.

"Your Dad's a nice guy," Derek told Stiles, opening to the first page.

Stiles didn't say anything, just leaned heavily against Derek's upper arm, his round, soft cheek pushing on his shoulder and waited for him to read. So Derek started reading.

Stiles made Derek read slowly, so that he had time to examine all the pictures. Not that Derek minded. It had been a long time since he'd been young enough for his Mom to read this to him, and it had been on of his favorite books when he'd been Stiles' age.

"Which is just what Ida did," he read as he reached the final page. Then he closed the book.

"Would you rescue me if I was taken away by goblins?" Stiles asked, craning his thin little neck up to look at Derek.

"We're not brothers yet," Derek felt the need to point out.

"My Dad likes your Mom a lot," Stiles murmured, leaning into Derek again, all warm and solid. "And she likes him. Bet they get married. And then we'll be brothers."

"Yeah, okay then," Derek said. "But you know there's no such things as goblins, right?"

"Bet you can't play a horn neither," Stiles returned. "Or ride on the wind."

Derek snorted out a little laugh. "It never said she was riding the wind."

"The pictures said so," Stiles said. "Sometimes pictures say more than words."

Derek turned back to the pages in question and he didn't want to agree with Stiles, but he couldn't really argue either.

Stiles had his thumb in his mouth, his fat red lips even redder and moist as he sucked on it. His eyes were half closed, his cheeks flushed, and a sleepy smell was coming off of him, something warm and spicy, not at all the funk of a little boy.

Derek liked him better like this; quiet and sleepy. He seemed more cuddly when he wasn't moving, and Derek just wanted to take care of him.

"Come on," he said, standing up and taking one of Stiles' hands in his own, leading him into the bathroom. Stiles grunted around his thumb, then took it out and protested when Derek gave him his own toothbrush with toothpaste on it.

"Don't wanna."

"You're falling asleep and you can't sleep without brushing your teeth," Derek told him reasonably, squeezing his shoulder lightly.

Stiles grumbled but he scrubbed his mouth clean. Derek had to get out the old stool he'd used when he'd been smaller, so that Stiles could reach to spit in the sink.

"Climb on the bed," he instructed, and when Stiles did, he took off his shoes.

"I can't sleep without my nightlight," Stiles said, frowning at Derek with pouty lips and big eyes. "It's shaped like a moon."

"I'll leave the door cracked and sleep with you," Derek offered, because it was easier to tell Stiles and himself that he was comforting Stiles than to admit that he was tired too and kind of wanted to go to bed.

He was glad that his Mom and Stiles' Dad were having a nice time talking, but it was way past his bedtime and he was pretty sure it was way way past Stiles' bedtime. Derek had that gritty feeling in his eyes, his skin felt tight, and his arms and legs felt heavy, so curling up under his covers with Stiles sounded really good.

He gave Stiles his pajama top to wear over his undies, even though it was huge on him, and he put on the bottoms. Stiles had his thumb in his mouth again, watching Derek move around the room with sleepy eyes.

Derek thought it might get weird when he got under the covers with Stiles, but Stiles just snuggled up against him and Derek put his arms around him.

"S'dark," Stiles mumbled around his thumb.

"Not that dark," Derek told him, hugging him tighter. "I'll keep you safe."

"I'm not scared," Stiles said, a little resentfully, but he was still curled up close to Derek, his free arm curling around him in a half-hug.

"Okay," Derek said easily because he wanted to sleep, not get in a fight.

He had nodded off by the time their parents came looking for them, and Stiles was sound asleep and drooling around his thumb.

"We're sorry, baby," Derek's Mom said, running her fingers through his hair as the Sheriff carefully lifted Stiles' limp body out of the little nest they'd made together in Derek's bed. "We didn't mean to take so long."

Derek was privately convinced that it was the wine that was mostly to blame, especially since the Sheriff wouldn't want to drive until it had worn off, but he didn't say anything about that.

What did come out his mouth was, "If you guys get married, I won't mind sharing my room with Stiles."

He was looking at the tiny body curled up in the Sheriff's arms, and it was dark in his room, but he thought his Mom probably blushed. All he could concentrate on, though, was the way his arms and chest felt cold and empty without Stiles in and against them, and the way he already missed the smell of the other boy.

His mother mumbled something, but Derek was already falling asleep again, even though the Sheriff was carrying Stiles away and his Mom was picking up Stiles' shoes and pants from Derek's floor.


It turned out that once their parents got married -- which, to the surprise of absolutely no one, they did before six more months had passed -- they all got a brand new house, with enough rooms so that Derek and Stiles didn't have to share after all.

"This way it isn't you moving into Stiles' space, or Stiles moving into your space," Derek's Mom explained to him. "It'll be a home that belongs to all of us equally."

Derek privately thought that this was more important to his Mom and the Sheriff than it would be to Derek or Stiles, but he was smart enough not to say so. Unlike Stiles, Derek didn't just say everything that came into his head no matter how bad an idea it might be. He was ten years old so he wasn't overflowing with tact, but he knew how to handle dealing with a parent.

He did like the new house, though he missed his old room. Stiles kicked up way more of a fuss and Derek got to feel superior about the mature way he had handled it. Even though he did feel a little bad when he saw Stiles crying. His face turned red and he didn't look cute anymore, but he looked sad and tragic, and Derek gave him a tight hug before he thought that it might be a bad idea to do so.

From the way Stiles clung to him and his sobbing eased off into hiccups, it must have been a good idea instead of bad. Both the Sheriff and Derek's Mom looked surprised, but they both seemed pleased, Derek thought. Though mostly he was paying attention to Stiles.

It took a while to get Stiles used to the idea of the move, but eventually things calmed down.... Just in time for the wedding. Then it was the grownups freaking out about everything, though at least Derek's Mom didn't cry, the way Stiles had done.

Though if movies had taught Derek anything, it was that his Mom would probably cry during the wedding. That was a ways off, though.

Derek helped by keeping Stiles occupied. That meant more playing with Legos and reading comic books, but he was okay with that. Sometimes Stiles got whiny and annoying, but most of the time he was kind of fun to play with. Especially once Stiles' Dad got a new camcorder for the wedding and let Derek use his old one and he used it to make movies with himself and Stiles. They broke his lamp and Derek needed a bandaid on his knee, but for the most part they had a good time, playing Batman or Harry Potter. Together they stayed out of their parents' hair and had some cool stuff that they would be able to show their parents once all the craziness of the wedding was over with.

It was pretty obvious that the craziness wasn't going to stop until after the wedding. Derek was looking forward to that, even though it meant he and his Mom would be living with Stiles and his Dad. That would take some getting used to, but the Sheriff had already told Derek that he wasn't expecting to take his real father's place, and Derek liked the Sheriff way more than the man he could hardly remember, who had taken Laura away with him, so he thought the Sheriff being his Mom's husband was going to be okay.

And he liked Stiles a lot when the kid wasn't driving him crazy. So that part of it was okay too. He'd never been a big brother before, but it didn't seem to be too hard and his Mom told him he was doing a good job at it when she took the time to notice.

But then someone that the Sheriff knew named Mrs. McCall started watching them, and she had a son Stiles' age named Scott who Derek didn't like.

Scott was small like Stiles, and had asthma, which meant he sometimes had trouble breathing, but he was annoying like most little kids were and he was kind of smelly and Derek didn't feel protective of him he way he felt for Stiles. And the worst thing was when Stiles started playing with Scott more and calling him his best friend. Then Derek was really mad and sad.

Derek's Mom noticed, even with almost all her attention on the wedding, and she sat Derek down to tell him that he could make friends his own age. Which, duh, he knew that. He just didn't want to. And he didn't want Stiles making friends his own age, because Stiles should belong to him....

But Derek didn't say that to his Mom because then she'd lecture him about being selfish or something.

And then the wedding finally happened and things were okay, mostly. Because Stiles could say that Scott was his best friend all he wanted, but it was Derek he was living with!

Living with Stiles wasn't perfect, of course. He could be incredibly annoying; as though it as a talent he was determined to develop. But he belonged to Derek, and so Derek put up with Stiles at his worst without too much complaining. He did complain sometimes, because that was what family did. But Stiles was his brother now. He wasn't Laura, he was younger than Derek, but he was family and Derek loved him.

Stiles belonged to Derek now, no matter who he said his best friend was.


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