I don’t know why this affected me so much, but like… I need an entire fanfic based off of this phrase. “Stiles is always interested in love.” I mean. Goddamn.
Stiles grew up surrounded by love. He was swaddled in it that very first day in the hospital, wrapped in his mother’s arms as his father kept his hands on both of them, reassuring himself that they were there, they were real, and they were his. His family, his to love and protect and cherish and lean on. He was loved so much, his mom blessed him with a name that only she could whisper in secret, that only his dad would try to stumble through, while everyone else remained baffled and removed from knowing him.
He grew up in that love. He learned his first words and made his first steps surrounded by two people who were there to cheer him along and catch him when he fell. They loved him enough to let him introduce himself as Stiles, loved him enough to call him that when he asked. They were there to hold his hands on either side his first day of pre-school, and they were there to introduce him to his Kindergarten teacher. When he cried, his mother wiped up his tears and kissed his cheeks and sang his true name in his ear while tickling laughter from his lips.
He grew up, and he began to understand that he was lucky enough to have something none of his friends seemed to: his parents didn’t just love him, they loved each other. Scott’s parents constantly fought, Lydia’s parents were divorced, and Jackson’s parents spent so much time trying to please him they were too busy for each other. But not Stiles’ parents. They made time for each other. They made time for him. Every morning when his mom served their breakfast, his dad would reach out and brush the back of his hand over her cheek. They would kiss before he rushed out to the sheriff’s department. At night when Stiles regaled them with stories of his day, they would lay on the couch wrapped in each other’s arms. They were in love and everyone could see it — especially Stiles.
And when his mom got sick: when her clothes began to hang off her body and her hair began to fall out in clumps, when her voice grew smaller and smaller and her eyes seemed to get lost in where she was looking — that was when Stiles saw true love. Because that was when it stopped being about the little day to day routines that his parents made time for. That was when it became a desperate, violent, futile attempt to fit “the rest of their life” into a matter of months. Stiles watched as his dad made his home in a hospital chair and clung to her hand whenever she was awake. He saw the way his mom struggled to look strong and well whenever either of them were paying attention to her. He listened as she made him promise that he do well in school, listened as she made his dad swear that he’d love somebody else someday, listened as they planned her perfect funeral.
And he watched her wither. He watched her slowly disappear into the hospital bed. And he watched his dad pretend like everything was going to be okay — because his mom was calmer when his dad was smiling. Because she accepted her morphine easier when his dad asked instead of begged.
Because: they both did a little better when they felt loved.
She died the same way Stiles was born. Swaddled in hospital blankets, in the arms of the two people who loved her most in the world.
He didn’t know why they had that love, and Scott’s parents didn’t. Why his mom could whisper his name in her last moment of breath and he could know she loved him, while Jackson failed to feel the same. How his parents managed to stick together through thick and thin and life and death, while Lydia’s couldn’t even make it through their daughter’s first grade.
He didn’t know yet what it was, but he wanted it for himself one day.