because the road is all that matters
It's weird how time passes when things are kind of going right.
The rest of the summer isn't as angst ridden as Stiles would have expected it to be just a few weeks ago. He and Jackson are kind of… making progress, even if they haven't yet really, well… mated.
What bothers them the most, actually, is the fact that by being together, they are hurting Lydia. And they love Lydia. It's a fact. Just because they are destined to be together or some such crap it doesn't mean that feeling goes away – it's still there, and it keeps being strange, because it feels weird to be jealous of the feelings they have for someone who they aren't in a relationship with.
They try to reach her, of course. First a few calls, which she doesn't answer. Texts she doesn't reply. E-mails they don't know if she gets or not.
And then Jackson writes her a letter, two weeks before school is supposed to begin again – a long letter, ten pages long, actually – which he offers to show to Stiles before sending, but he says it's not necessary.
They are mates, but they aren't a single person.
She sends Stiles an e-mail after that, telling him he better make Jackson happy, or else. After that, they talk a bit.
To be completely honest, both Stiles and Jackson consider asking Lydia for a relationship with the both of them.
And then they see her – four days before school starts, back in Beacon Hills, hair flipping over her shoulder, and a disdaining look aimed at them, and it becomes clear they just… can't.
Lydia deserves better than to have two people in her life who have the weight of forever on their shoulders, in a way she doesn't.
It's not easy, but they manage. Lydia refuses to be near Peter at first, but she's welcome to pack meetings and training sessions, and she's probably the only person Jackson trusts Stiles with without growling a bit.
School starts, and Allison is not there. They hear, through gossip and random comments, that the Argents have left town, and no one really knows where they went. Scott mopes for about a day, Isaac looks hurt for about a week, and then they seem to make some progress, if the holding hands thing they keep on doing at school is any indicative.
Jackson and Stiles are the talk of the school as soon as they set foot at the premises. The werewolf has some serious possessive issues that won't go away just because they survived some Alphas. While that's what made them realize they couldn't keep denying what they are, it didn't solve all their problems, as it's made clear by Jackson the day Harris mocks Stiles in class, and the boy throws their teacher against the blackboard.
He is suspended for two days after that, the Sheriff has to come and talk to the principal, but an investigation made among the students makes it clear that Harris isn't fit to teach. So, even if Jackson is pissed off, and Stiles's dad keeps dropping hints about abusive relationships, there's a bonus at the end of it all.
They make progress in heaps and bounds some days, and in others it's like they are back at the beginning, barely containing the urge to kill and maim the other. The day Jackson keeps interrupting Lacrosse training every time someone tries to check Stiles, or when Stiles keeps provoking Jackson on the day of the full moon just to irritate him: they are far, far from perfect. But they are making some progress.
Slowly but surely.
Lydia is always a concern for the both of them, and the day she starts dating some Senior – the president of the Senior Class, actually – it's like they are both being dumped and released somehow.
Jackson stops being so possessive to start being attentive, and there's a huge difference there. Stiles stops shoving Jackson away every time Lydia shows up in a room, and relaxes instead.
They are… fine.
Sex is an issue that comes up as soon as they start being comfortable enough around the other that make out sessions aren't a thing they only do when something stressful happens.
Jackson is all for doing it, and Stiles isn't really sure – not because he doesn't want it, because come on, have you people seen Jackson?! – but because he's a bit afraid of what it will mean.
It's… definitive. It's the seal of forever on them being… them for the rest of their lives, so, yes, he is truly and completely afraid of that.
And then a rogue hunter happens three days before Christmas, and he takes Isaac away.
And because they are mated, because Scott has overcome his issues with Allison far faster than Stiles can do with Jackson being a jerk, he can locate Isaac fast enough that he isn't hurt, has not a scratch on him.
The hunter is dealt with by the Sheriff, who ends up arresting the man for kidnapping, and everyone goes home safe.
That night, when the Sheriff is still out working, where he'll be till sunrise, Jackson comes through his window, and Stiles doesn't even let him all the way in before he's kissing the living daylights out of him.
His mate is taken by surprise, and when he notices Stiles's hands are shaking he has to take a step back, and try to understand what's going on.
It becomes clear what's happening when he hears Stiles mumbling "It could have been you."
He hugs Stiles to him for a moment, taking in his scent, his trembling body, the thick smell of fear permeating the air, and shakes his head.
"It wasn't" he answers, but Stiles is already shaking his head.
"It could have been! And we wouldn't have found you that fast, because I'm a jerk!" Jackson doesn't say anything, just stares, because he feels as if the smallest word out of him will make Stiles fall apart, "I'm in this, Jackson. I'm not afraid of this anymore, and we haven't… done it yet because I'm being a jerk!"
"Stiles, if you want to wait…" he starts, because they've had this conversation a hundred times before – for Jackson sex is sex. He's done it for the first time when he was fifteen, and it never occurred to him that it should be special, or different or magical or anything. It was good – hell, sex with Lydia was amazing – but it wasn't a life changing decision.
With them, though, with them it is. And if that scares Stiles, he's ready to understand, because Stiles puts up with a lot of crap from him.
"I don't!" Stiles says, staring at him as if he's only then realizing this, "I don't want to wait. I'm…" he takes a deep breath and stares directly into Jackson's eyes, "I'm yours."
And his voice, his heartbeat, it never wavers, it doesn't shake, it doesn't even blip.
As far as first times go, it's not perfect. Jackson pulls him hard enough that he stumbles, and then they laugh instead of kiss. Even when their clothes are being taken off, a giggle or a chuckle is heard, and Stiles stumbles out of his pants with not a single trace of grace in the whole movement.
Jackson is way too excited, and can't quite control his claws, so Stiles has to help him with his pants and boxers, and his hands are shaking the whole time. Their eyes keep meeting, and every time it happens, Jackson's eyes flash blue, and Stiles shivers just a bit, because Jackson being a werewolf is kind of a turn on he didn't expect to have. They get naked, and half their clothes won't be wearable anymore, because of the claws involved in the whole getting naked process, and Stiles is trying to remember all that he has ever read about sex between man, and Jackson keeps pushing him towards the bed and nipping at his neck, right over he first bit Stiles, months ago.
There is a whole lot of moaning and groaning and begging involved, but neither of them would ever admit to it. Stiles has lube in a drawer, and Jackson has a condom in his backpack. Jackson wants to prepare Stiles, but he wants this too much, his eyes keep changing, and he can control his fangs, and the whole face changing thing, but his claws keep coming out, and so he sits back and takes deep, deep breaths as he watches his mate prepare himself to take him.
It's intoxicating. The way Stiles bites his lips, groaning with the intrusion of his own fingers, the way he can't stay still even doing this. The want in Jackson's eyes, the way he's tearing Stiles's sheets apart with his claws but doesn't try to touch Stiles, knowing he'd hurt him.
The way they just… trust the other not to do something that could get them hurt.
That is what is perfect about this.
Stiles takes Jackson's wrists and pins them over his head as he settles over Jackson's body. He stares into the bright blue eyes of his mate, knowing the pressure he has on his hands are nothing, and yet Jackson doesn't take his hands away. Jackson takes a deep breath, and tries not to move, not to thrust up as Stiles settles over him, around him, groaning quietly, mumbling incoherently a stream of words that go from Sweet Jesus to topping from the bottom, baby, that have Jackson laughing breathlessly, because Stiles feels amazing.
Jackson not so much at first, because Stiles has never done this before, and just because they are mates it doesn't make sex flawless or not messy, or even without pain.
Stiles takes himself in his own fist, biting his lips, and Jackson starts meeting his small thrusts with his own, until he can finally feel Stiles relaxing more, and start enjoying this.
He pulls Stiles to him, adjusting their bodies so they can continuing moving, and kisses him sweetly, almost chastely, in a perfect contrast with what they are doing. And then they break apart, and Jackson's hand is on Stiles neck, the other – clawless, thank God – hand moving with Stiles's one on him, driving him wild for a bit, until he falls forward over Jackson.
He keeps moving, tightening his hold on Stiles, careful not to hurt him, though, until all he can see and smell and taste is his mate.
They are strangely quiet after it. Stiles is always talking and moving, and yet now he's a solid weight on Jackson, moving only enough to breathe for a few minutes.
"We are so doing this again, like, a thousand times" he finally says, and Jackson laughs at him, taking his face on his hands, and kissing his lips again.
"Forever" he whispers, and Stiles smiles at him.
"Okay" he says back at him, and turning them around a bit, so Stiles is safely in his arms.
They fall asleep like that.
The Sheriff finds them like that the next morning, and that's a whole conversation Stiles could have lived without, but it's almost worth it because of how pale Jackson gets when the Sheriff puts his gun on the table.
It's not perfect. It's not without its great problems, but it's their life.
Stiles honestly believes this is as good as it gets.
After so many years living with the supernatural, Lydia still marvels at the fact that they turned out okay, after all they've been through.
They are alive, which is a surprise, but even more than that, they are happy. All of them, all of their pack.
She's not married yet, thirty is, after all, the new twenty, and she has no interest in giving up her career just yet to have a kid, and that's all she can see herself settling down for – someday, in the future, but not now.
Like her, Derek is not married either, will probably never be, and she has a suspicion, because of a conversation she had with Stiles many, many years ago, that Kate Argent's death killed a part of Derek with her.
Peter has girlfriends, but has never settled down. Sometimes he gets too quiet, staring at her with something in his eyes that either makes her want to comfort him or get away from him, and when she finds a picture of his old mate she has to admit she looks like her a bit now that she's older.
She doesn't comment on it, and neither does he, and they ignore this one more connection they have.
The pack hasn't grown all that much, truly. Isaac is not ready to be a father, he doesn't know if he ever will – maybe when he finally accepts he has to go to a therapist to conquer this fear he has that he'll be just like his dad. A fear Scott seems to share, and if they aren't all a study case for bad parenting, Lydia doesn't know who could be.
The only ones with kids are Stiles and Jackson.
It hurt so much, all those years ago, when they first got together, the way she hated them both so freaking much. But as time went by, she could see the way they simply… worked.
The way Jackson would protect and defend Stiles in a way she would have never allowed and that Jackson needed to do. The way Stiles would complain about it, but be pleased with it all the same, because he had always been afraid no one would ever want him enough to fight for him. It was in in the way Stiles pushed Jackson to be better, to do better, not as something to see, but as a person. How Stiles got Jackson to laugh, carelessly, as she had never seen him do before. How Jackson would make Stiles melt in an embrace, as if he was finally home.
The way they fight all the freaking time, and it never ends badly.
"It's called teething, Jackson. You should recognize it, seeing as you grow fangs at least once a month!" Stiles gripes, irritated to the point of boiling, "It happens to every baby, even your son, ok?" he completes, bouncing their baby boy in his arms, and the child squirms and cries pitifully, a chew toy in his mouth the whole time.
"I know what it is, Stiles, I'm just asking if there's anything I can do to stop the crying! He's in pain, it's not fair!" Jackson answers, and just like that Stiles's irritation melts away in a smile, and he takes a step closer to his husband, rubbing a hand on his arm, using the hand not holding the six-month old baby.
"It'll pass, okay? It's a phase."
Jackson nods, still looking indignant with his son's pain, and takes Stiles and the baby in his arms, holding his family close.
Jackson is a Lawyer, like his dad. They have a firm together, and he's awfully good at it. Stiles is a writer, and, as Lydia likes to tease him, a stay at home mother, because he can't bear the thought of leaving their baby with a nanny yet.
The garden at the back of the Whittemore House is full with the sounds of the pack. Danny and his werewolf boyfriend, Nick, the only addition the Hale pack has done in almost fifteen years, cuddling on a bench. Isaac and Scott talking quietly to Melissa and John Stilinski, a couple they should have seen coming, and yet, it was a surprise when it finally happened. Derek engaging Jackson in a conversation just so he would leave Stiles and the baby alone for a moment, a grateful look exchanged between the human and the Alpha. And her. Looking at what is now her family.
They've survived some crazy years of high school, a tough problem regarding colleges, because they couldn't be away from their Alpha or each other, hunters that thought they could make a name for themselves taking out a whole pack. They are alive.
It is, as Stiles said once, still in high school, as good as it gets without being fiction.
And it is enough.
Well, this is it! It's done!
Thank you so much for your comments, reviews, kudos, favs and general support of this story! Especially for the patience as I went almost two months without updating it.
A special thanks to sheewulf, who made some amazing art for this story, dfdw, therandomnerdette, bnkn62, and jessejamesbentley who are amazing people who reblog and like posts about this story on tumblr. Seriously, guys, you are great.
Thank you again!