Disclaimer: I do not own Teen Wolf. For fun, not profit.
Note: Setting is post-season 5, so there are minor spoilers.
This was too much. Scott wasn't sure when he crossed the line between "I can handle this" and "no one could possibly handle this," but he was certain it happened even before he was semi-murdered by his own beta, and, oh, God, how was he even supposed to add THIS to his to-do list? Did it take priority over keeping an eye on Liam? Over graduation? Of course it did! This was about Mom. But Mom was also a grown woman. Right. Of course. She could take care of herself; they'd had this argument. But, he was the man of the house...right? He could almost hear Lydia Martin calling the notion antiquated, so he mentally edited himself. The Alpha. He was the Alpha and Mom was more than just Mom; she was pack. He was supposed to keep an eye on her. It was his job.
"...And what if I do ask her? And she tells me that it's true? Which, I know I'm right because I smelled him in her bedroom. But she had to know I'd smell him and know, so she knows I know, right? So why hasn't she brought it up? This is seriously something that should be brought up! I should bring it up. Do I even want to bring it up though? No. Definitely no."
Scott let out a growl of frustration and threw himself down onto his mattress, face first. There were moments when he felt like the past few years didn't exist, like he was still some awkward teen with asthma, venting to his equally awkward, if somewhat more daring best friend. The more things changed, the more they stayed the same, True Alpha transformation or not.
"I don't know what to do," he finished, his voice muffled.
"Scotty-boy, you really need to check your priorities," Stiles noted, flipping through a stack of papers. "Shouldn't you be more concerned by the inevitable supernatural disaster that's going to happen at graduation? Or the fact that half the school now knows what you are but seems to be ignoring reality? So what if your mom is bang-err-" He quickly checked himself without even seeing Scott's eyes flash red, "having relations with Derek Hale? It's not like he's jailbait or trying to seduce her into becoming part of his evil plans, a-la Peter. And he's proven he's not an enemy. At the moment. So what's the problem?"
Scott snorted into his blanket, trying not to be distracted by the alluring, faded scent of Kira still clinging to its surface, then rolled his head so he could see his best friend. Stiles was currently occupying the entire bedroom floor with one of research quests, half of which seemed to be abandoned scholarship applications, the rest print-outs of information on a current string of missing persons cases.
"You're not concerned by this?" Scott said, frowning. "You of all people should be the one freaking out. You're the one who rambled on for ten minutes about how Derek must be 'up to something' because he came back into town."
"I did?" Stiles made a face. "Well, that does sound like me. But that's completely unrelated. I'm suspicious of everyone."
Scott pushed himself up. "And aren't Derek and Braeden still together?"
"Nope." Stiles popped the word, sounding pleased with himself. "Apparently there was a parting of ways when he realized her career didn't mesh with his lifestyle choices. Or so says the rumor mill. There might have been some other problems too..." Noticing Scott's raised brow, Stiles shrugged. "I'm spending too much time with the ladies in our pack," he excused. He raised a suggestive brow in return. "But, according to your suspicions, apparently so is Derek Hale."
He received a pillow to the face. Scott sat up a bit straighter. "Seriously, man. How am I supposed to tell my mom she can't date him?"
Stiles coughed on his own chuckle. "Seriously? Uh, you don't. But if you do, can we record it? Because I imagine Melissa's expression is going to be priceless, you know, the one she'll be wearing right before she rips you open like a bag of potato chips."
"You're not helping."
Stile sighed. "Oh, come on, man. Is it really so bad? Derek's...well, he's grumpy, but he's not as homicidal as the last Hale she dated. Well, accept for that one time...and that other time...which wasn't his fault and, wow, I'm not exactly painting a nice picture."
Scott's eyes widened with worry. "How did this even happen? I mean, first I come home to Mom and Derek sitting in the kitchen, having coffee, laughing..."
"The horror," Stiles noted.
"And then," Scott went on, "she starts disappearing off to do 'errands', coming home smelling like..." his nose wrinkled in disgust "...sweat and lust."
Stiles raised a hand, but didn't wait to be called upon.
Scott ignored him. "And the last time she went out, she smelled like she'd just showered. You know what that means, right?"
"Good hygiene habits?"
"Then this happens?" Scott shook his head. "His scent. In her room."
Stiles reached up, patting him across the shoulder. "It's hard, dude, when your parental unit starts seeing someone. But you're leaving for college soon. This was bound to happen. It's part of leaving the nest, or the den, as it were...You're just going to have to face the fact that you're no longer the center of her universe. She's going to have other men in her life now, dudes coming and going, hanging curtains, roofing the house, painting her shutters."
"No one is painting my mom's shutters!" Scott blinked, realizing what he'd just said. "Wait..."
A shit-eating grin broke Stiles' face. "Yeah. Uh, like, the last three times I've been over, your mom has mentioned fixing the blinds and curtains in her bedroom while she's at work and you've 'forgotten' each time. Now your windows are mysteriously well-dressed. Who knew Derek was such a handyman? But, apparently, when he came back into town, he and Melissa ran into one another, she gave him an extreme lecture on not being here when the pack needed him, and he tried to make it up to her, and you, by helping around the house. Not that you've noticed how much effort he's put in trying to make it up to you. Seriously, he's patched like seven holes in the dry wall and put up a new screen-door. How did you not notice that?"
"They're not dating?" Scott ran a hand down this face. "So, you were just letting me go on and on over the past few weeks, worrying about my mom having...you know...with Derek, and you knew the whole time?"
Stiles opened and closed his mouth. "Yes."
"You suck." Scott chuckled with relief. "So they're just...?"
"Friends. I think they both needed one."
"Oh thank God. What about the shower?"
"And the happy-pants?" Stiles asked; Scott cringed. "Yeah, the hospital offers free membership to the gym. Your mom finally took them up on it since she figures she should be in top shape to deal with our supernatural shenanigans, but she doesn't want you to know she needs help keeping up with the pack. Also, turns out, your mom is a human woman who enjoys the way well-toned bodies look in spandex. Who knew?"
"Ugg, thanks for that," Scott sneered. "Well, I'm just glad she's not dating him. Not that I hate Derek...well, not anymore. But I just...I don't picture her with him. It would be weird."
"Still holding out a torch for Mom and Dad?" Stiles asked.
"Our twenty year plan," Scott replied with a smile.
Stiles laughed. "It's still right on track. We'll wear them down eventually." He stood up, stretching, and then tossed himself down onto the bed beside Scott. "Okay, so now that that's out of the way, let's talk missing hikers."
Scott opened his mouth to ask what Stiles had figured out then thought better of it. There was another question lurking at the back of his mind. "How did you know?"
"Because my dad is Sheriff, and he tends to notice an uptake in missing people."
"No." Scott rolled his eyes. Was there some sort of pack memo he was supposed to be receiving? Did everyone know he was worrying over nothing? He wouldn't put it past Lydia and Stiles to be combining their efforts to collect information on everyone. "About Mom lecturing Derek and them becoming friends? How'd you know about the gym? And how do you know that Derek is going to re-roof the house?"
Stiles shrugged. "Derek told me."
Scott's mouth opened in shock. "He 'told' you. Willingly?"
"You wouldn't think so, but the guy is surprisingly chatty after sex." Stiles blinked innocently at him. "Oh, guess I should have mentioned the other reason I knew your mom wasn't dating Derek. Sorry?"