Universe: Teen Wolf
Character/Pairing/s: Derek, Sheriff Stilinski (with trolling by the rest of the pack)
Spoilers/Warnings: Blanket spoilers through S2 (also there's crack)
Word Count: 2,280
Summary: Companion Piece to "Picking Up Strays"- Derek is grounded.
Dedication: Christina, because I should be writing a TW spec instead of TW fanfic.
A/N: Maybe this can be a series. I don't even know. I have ideas, okay. I'm sorry. I should be working on my grad school apps, but I just really wanted Derek to be grounded.
Disclaimer: No harm or infringement intended.
Derek is grabbing a drink and a snack in the Stilinskis' kitchen after a particularly vicious battle with a Leprechaun when the Sheriff runs into him on his way to work.
Derek might be drinking directly out of the milk carton when it happens. Again.
He twitches, fighting back the inexplicable impulse to shove the jug back into the fridge, slam the door closed, and pretend the whole thing never happened. Then he gets mad at himself for being intimidated by a human man on the wrong side of forty who makes his pack breakfast on Saturdays and secretly laughs at puns.
It's ridiculous. If it really bothers the Sheriff, Derek will just go and buy a new gallon of milk later, when his ribs aren't still busy knitting themselves back together after a night of bloody, mortal combat with tiny, tiny men. All Derek wants to do is wash the taste of little Irish fairies out of his mouth.
Derek knows the Sheriff knows all about the Leprechauns, because Stiles told him. Stiles must have told him, because Stiles tells his father everything now, all the time. But judging by the look on the Sheriff's face, the Sheriff doesn't care about the Leprechauns. All he seems to care about is Derek drinking milk directly out of the carton.
Derek twitches some more. Guiltily.
And that is why the Sheriff and Derek end up standing in the kitchen staring at each other for a moment, Derek waiting for some kind of fallout from the whole thing while holding the milk carton and wiping at the half-formed milk mustache he can feel sitting on his upper lip with as much dignity as he can muster.
Eventually though, the Sheriff just lifts his eyebrows high on his forehead and graces Derek with a resigned huff of air.
Under the weight of it, Derek has to forcibly remind himself that he's a grown man and not a child. Even though the Sheriff's unimpressed expressions make him feel like one sometimes.
"You were warned," the Sheriff says after a beat, pointing at Derek. "And now you're grounded."
Derek's eyebrows furrow, because he'd been expecting to get kicked out, or yelled at, or something more reasonable. Not grounded. "What?" he asks after a second, kind of disbelievingly.
"You heard me," the Sheriff answers, and goes to the cabinet. He grabs Derek a clean glass and gives him a pointed look as he holds it out in offering. Derek plainly remembers that exact same pointed look being used on Isaac the other night at dinner, when Isaac had stolen all of Scott's tortillas and blatantly tried to lie about it. "I told you if you did it again, you're grounded. So now you're grounded." The Sheriff's voice is completely reasonable when he says it. And authoritative.
Derek's indignation swells, even as he feels himself reaching out to accept the proffered glass automatically. "I'm twenty-three," he points out as he takes it, because that should mean something here.
The Sheriff snorts like it actually doesn't, but Derek is adorable for believing it might anyway.
Derek reluctantly pours himself a glass of milk while eyeing the Sheriff warily the whole time. For a middle-aged human man who likes horrible word play jokes, he can be strangely intimidating when he wants to be.
"There, was that so hard?" the Sheriff asks after Derek puts the milk back in the fridge, crossing his arms over his uniform.
Derek has no idea how to react to that even tone of voice in any way besides defensively. To be fair, he hasn't had a father for a really long time now. It's like trying to relearn how to conjugate verbs in a foreign language you haven't studied since the beginning of high school. Ultimately, all that comes out of your mouth is garbage.
"You can't ground me," Derek protests, because garbage or no, it seems to make the most sense, argument wise. It comes out lame-sounding and not fearsome or authoritative at all though, even to himself. The way he's clutching a glass of 2% milk in both hands probably doesn't help either.
"Watch me," the Sheriff snorts, and grabs his car keys off of the hook on the kitchen wall. He heads out the door without another word, and Derek watches it shut behind him with a deep sense of inexplicable foreboding.
When Derek goes back to the living room to join Isaac and Stiles a few minutes later, glass of milk in one hand and a handful of packaged chocolate chip cookies in the other, the look on his face must be pretty fearsome, because they both immediately stop their idiotically titled Post-Leprechaun Halo Tournament of Victory and regard him warily.
"Something the matter, big guy?" Stiles asks after a beat, because of course he's the one of the two to break the silence. Isaac just kind of shrinks back on the couch like he's bracing himself for something horrible and possibly scarring.
Derek scowls. "Your dad just told me I was grounded," he mutters, because he's still trying to figure out how that's even possible. Maybe they will be helpful and explain what it means.
But they aren't helpful, not even a little bit. In retrospect, he probably should have known that they wouldn't be.
When they hear Derek's predicament, all they do is look at each other. And then promptly burst out laughing.
"Dude, you are so screwed," Stiles guffaws, while Isaac hunches over a little, eyes crinkled in silent mirth.
Derek glares at them both as he sets his milk and cookies down on the coffee table. "He can't ground me," he repeats, more for his own benefit than theirs.
"That's what you think," Stiles tsks, and offers Derek the Xbox controller with something a lot like pity in his eyes. It still doesn't outshine the amusement though, not by a long shot. "You want next?" he asks.
Derek growls audibly and snatches the controller from him. "He works all the time and I don't live here. He can't enforce it," he says, ignoring the fact that most of them are over here more often than not nowadays anyway. So much so that there are extra toothbrushes labeled with each of their names on them sitting in a cup inside the medicine cabinet in the bathroom.
He spends the next two hours in denial by savaging the idiot-brothers at Halo, and eventually, he completely forgets about being grounded at all.
The next day, Derek is promptly reminded of it. He also finds out exactly how the Sheriff plans on enforcing his ridiculous punishment.
He sighs as he sees the flashing red lights of a patrol car in his rearview mirror. Eventually, a very tall, very large man in uniform steps out of the car and approaches Derek's driver's side window, tapping on the glass jovially and looking at him with a mixture of amusement and exasperation. Derek grudgingly rolls down the window and peers up at the Deputy warily.
"Is there a problem, officer?" he asks, as pleasantly as he knows how.
The Deputy tips his hat a little and adjusts his very cliché aviator sunglasses. "Afternoon, Mr. Hale," he intones, in a voice equal parts pity and equal parts not, "Aren't you supposed to be grounded right about now?"
Derek stares at him incredulously. "You have got to be kidding me," he says, as the irritated disbelief blossoms into something a lot like horror when he realizes what's happening here.
The Deputy grins. "It's probably best if you just serve your sentence quietly, kid," he says, and for a moment, the pity outweighs the not in his voice. "Sheriff don't make any promises he doesn't intend to keep."
"This can't be legal," Derek protests.
The Deputy just shakes his head, pulls out his ticket pad, and writes a note on it. "Don't fight it. Only ever gets worse if you fight it," he says, like he's giving friendly advice from the perspective of someone who has seen this before. Derek wonders, vaguely, what he's writing on that damn pad right now, but before he can ask about it, the Deputy finishes and waves him on with a shark-like grin before turning around and strolling back towards his patrol car.
"Have a nice day, Mr. Hale," he calls out over his shoulder as he leaves.
Derek bangs his head against the steering wheel.
Derek gets cornered at the grocery store later that afternoon by a fresh-faced Deputy that looks younger than he is by a year or two. The kid, gap-toothed and shaggy-haired, smiles amiably at Derek in the cereal aisle and says, "Mr. Hale, from what I hear, you're supposed to be grounded."
Derek glares at him and wordlessly grabs the package of Cocoa Puffs he's supposed to replace because he finished Isaac's last box yesterday morning. He storms to the checkout line, where the lady behind the register – Marge, her nametag reads – shakes her head at him sadly, looking at him like he's dying of cancer. "Poor baby," she murmurs under her breath, and pats Derek's hand when he gives her the money for Isaac's stupid cereal.
He flees the supermarket a few minutes later, with the gap-toothed Deputy waving at him from inside the store windows. As he peels out of the parking lot, he looks over his shoulder and sees that the Deputy is grinning as he writes something in his ticket pad.
Derek gets pulled over three more times on the way back to the Stilinskis', and he's pretty sure someone in the Neighborhood Watch blows a rape whistle at him when he parks his car in front of the house.
By the time he finally makes it into the Stilinskis' house, the rest of the pack has already gathered for their traditional Monday afternoon afterschool feeding frenzy. Derek is too furious to be annoyed that no one saved him any Jalapeño Poppers.
The Sheriff is there as well, sitting placidly in the middle of the melee, making Boyd wash his hands before he eats and sneaking cheese sticks when Stiles isn't looking because Stiles is too busy taking fresh batches of frozen snack foods out of the oven.
Everyone goes completely still and quiet when Derek storms into the kitchen, though.
And not in the good old, afraid-for-their-lives-because-the-Alpha-is-angry way either. In fact, it really looks like all of them are trying their hardest not to snicker. Which doesn't matter. He's shoving all of their heads into tree trunks later.
For now, Derek's eyes center on the Sheriff.
The Sheriff just looks back inscrutably, sipping milk from a glass as if in challenge. Eventually, the silence is broken by the sound of a beep that means the he has a new text message.
The Sheriff calmly reaches into his pocket and pulls out his phone, tsking at something he sees on the screen. "Five violations of your grounded status today, Derek," he announces. "That almost beats Stiles's last record."
Stiles winces from where he is using a spatula to remove pizza rolls from a baking pan, sounding like he's having some sudden and horrible PTSD symptoms.
And with that, Derek suddenly realizes what those damned Deputies had been writing in their damned pads all day. He feels violated and impressed all at once.
"What the hell does that even mean?" Jackson eventually pipes up, while swatting Scott's hands away from his plate of dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets.
Scott blinks and adds, testily, "No one told me Derek was grounded."
"All it means," the Sheriff clarifies, eyes drifting from his phone to Derek, "is that Derek is cleaning up once we're done and he doesn't get dessert after dinner." Pause. Stare. "Fair?"
Everyone looks at Derek.
Derek might make something vaguely like a choked-off whimpering sound in the back of his throat because he knows for a fact that Stiles made flan for dessert tonight, but clamps down on it before it can evolve into a full-blown whine. He's an adult, after all. "Fine," he grumbles eventually, and thrusts the bag with Isaac's stupid box of Cocoa Puffs in it at his beta irately. "That's. Just. Fine."
He stomps over to the cabinet, gets a glass, and pours himself some milk. It feels a lot like surrender in a way, but then again, Derek thinks he's starting to learn when to fight and when to lie back and bare his throat to a superior force.
Wordlessly, the Sheriff raises his own glass of milk in amused salute. Or maybe acknowledgement.
Then again, he's also Stiles's dad, so it might just be to gloat.
That night, the Sheriff makes up the couch for Derek to sleep on, and before he heads upstairs, reaches out to squeeze Derek's shoulder fondly, like he can't help it. "Don't be too disappointed in yourself," he starts around a gently amused grin, while Derek scowls (not so) impressively back at him. "You're the Alpha of a pack of ridiculous teenage werewolves. I am the Alpha of a group of highly-trained, well-armed law enforcement officials. There was only one way this was going to end, kid."
"I'm not a kid," Derek grumps back by rote, though he supposes that when the Sheriff puts it that way, he can grudgingly admit that his utter defeat at the hands of this man makes a horrible, perfect kind of sense.
So he does what any smart Alpha would do in his situation. He spends the rest of his week-long sentence camped out on the Stilinskis' couch, doing chores, skipping dessert, and thinking very seriously about what he did.
Because he's grounded.