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Heretics and Bastards

Chapter Text

Peter never really liked staying at court when his sister felt the need to flirt and smooch her way into richer men’s beds, the widow who spun webs of information and lies, intel. They were always dreadful. So instead he took a stroll through the lovely countryside of this godforsaken and cold land. His sister had relied on him to follow her into their court, she had wanted to take the best of the family she had said. She brought Peter because he knew the language and he gave excellent and merciless advice. She had taken children with her of course, her oldest, Derek and Laura, at the age to be wed off, she hoped to find her daughter a man in the court, make her position higher and more permanent here. Being a noble. She had taken her younger very very clever child, get her some education maybe, and her bastard brother. Cora had been pleased, she loved Peter, Derek and Laura did not.

He rode slowly through the outer circle of the capital, on his way out of the godforsaken and gloomy town when the townspeople started crowding around in the square further ahead. If it was a riot he didn’t know, he didn’t particularly care, whatever it was about it would surely end in a fight. The buildings were small and picturesque here, the stone-cottages tightly knitted together, no doubt housing more than one family a house down here. In a while he would be out the gate and just outside in the houses there, they were definitely living more than a family per room.

He guessed he should count himself lucky, a lot of bastards were usually thrown out into those situations, no matter their poverty common people had proven themselves to care for those no one else cared for. Bastards were left on doorsteps to strangers and nunneries every day, he could’ve been living here, not here in the cold and gloom but in a town like this one back at home, selling bread or begging in the streets. His father had always reminded him, that the streets had been an option and that he had been a kind man to keep Peter, but he’d never really been a kind man beyond that.

 Peter studied hard, harder than his sister and brother had when they had been his age. He excelled in almost everything his father threw at him, but not all. He was a great scholar, speaking most all languages that would be needed for hundreds and thousands and miles from home. He was an even better swordsman. He was a great strategist and could’ve been a very good warlord, he was an excellent charmer and even better at intimidation, but his father was never impressed. He was satisfied that he didn’t bring him shame more than being illegitimate, but he never cared for him. No matter how smart, strong or witty he was his father would never recognize him as more than a lucky bastard who he kept for his own bidding. Even when his brother died when he was sixteen and Peter had been hoping that his father would see him, and maybe even legitimize him as his true son, he hadn’t.

Talia was a good leader, a loyal and just leader for the family, she more than deserved the title as head of the family, Peter never wanted that, but he wasn’t even a true member of the family once his father passed, and he had to be in his sister’s good graces just as he had his father, he had no right to nothing that the others had. Talia was a good leader and she loved him, he had money, he had power and he had ladies and men lined up, but he was still the Hale family’s bastard to anyone but the family. So, when court were doing most of whatever they were doing, Peter did something else unless he was requested or nicely asked to, but today he wasn’t so they could do their lunch on their own.

 

He didn’t seem to get by the mass of people, his horse stomping impatiently at the ground as he tried to get through the mass of common folks. His ticket came with guards bellowing to pass to the centre of attention and Peter shamelessly rode after them through the mass of people parting like the plague had returned once more.

“There they are, Guards, the boy, he did it again, we kept them in there.” A vicious looking man rumbled proudly and the guard sneered.

“Good, now leave it to me.” He said as he stepped of his horse, his eyes were dark and his looks reminded Peter of that of a crow’s. Peter dismantled his own horse. Whatever could a guard want with a boy? True was the fact that he didn’t know how old this Boy would be but it didn’t rest well in Peter’s ears.

“What about my reward sir?” the man asked, still his voice was heavy with pride.

“You want a reward for selling out the neighbour boy?” he asked and stepped closer to the older ragged man. “Very well, here.” He said and dropped a few coins on the ground, five pieces of gold glimmered in the mud as the man dove after them. Not a lot for men like Peter of not even for men like the city guards, but for the people out here it was a saving grace. The guard sneered disgustedly at the man digging in the mud as he strode towards the bolted door. No one left, everyone anticipating the horror that was undoubtedly about to happen. The guard drew his sword and the others stepped down from their horses and did the same. The holdings were torn from the sparse door to the house and the crying of both adults and a child pierced the silence on the square.

 

“Get him out, if the parents is trouble, take them too.” He smiled and the other guards nodded and went inside with their swords drawn. People started hurrying off, leaving with their children as the screaming and crying continued.

“YOU CAN’T TAKE MY SON” a woman rushed out, a guard taken aback of her charge towards the door stepped back, getting his throat pierced by the small knife in her hand as she cried for her son in a foreign language, Peter doubted the guard understood, but he did. The guard in charge, the sneering crow, seemed to be smiling as he drove his sword through her.

“Mooom!!” a young child tried to rush towards her and Peter felt rage boil. He couldn’t have been more than ten, at the most. An older man stopping him and holding him near almost crushingly.

“Let him go and hand him over to us Stilinski.” the older man cowered around his son as the guard yelled at him. Peter couldn’t just stand there.

“What do you want with the boy to the point that you need to rob him of his mother?” Peter asked and he knew they would recognize him as a noble. Not as a Hale but as a noble, and he would have to answer.

“The king has requested that all guilty shall be collected Sir.”

“Guilty of what, he’s a boy!” Peter protested

“Heresy, Sir, we are to let no one go free, no matter age or status. You surely understand.” He sneered and pushed past Peter to drag the boy from his fathers arms.

“Let the boy go!”

“Please don’t take my son, not my boy!” Peter watched from behind a muscled guard as they pulled them apart and the boy was dragged into the carriage, into the cage like he was an animal. They then proceeded to strike down his father before the carriage even started rolling.

“Let this be a warning to all, death awaits those who hide heathens and those guilty of heresy in their homes or simply by not telling us!” he bellowed again to strike fear into them all at the square. Peter watched the boy as he cried for his parents and the carriage left the mass of people in distress.

 

“I knew that boy was an odd one, let’s pray he didn’t infect the other children! Foreigners from ungodly places.” he heard an older woman say before she hurried off. The boy looked back the whole way and Peter would never forget his face, the way his eyes had a depth he couldn’t explain and the moles that dotted his pale skin. He hoped the boy would be shown mercy and get a quick and painless death.

“my boy.” He heard the whisper as in a dream, faint and hollow in the same crude and rough language as before. “my family.” Peter sprung to action quicjer than he thought himself capable of. He carried the man inside, maybe he could save the father when he couldn’t save the boy. He spent the day treating the wounds as he would a wounded warrior on the field. Quickly but efficiently. He sat with him until he woke up. Until he was sure he would make it through the night. He left a pouch of gold on the table before he left.

“I know this doesn’t do anything for your pain, but it will give you peace for a while. I’m so sorry I couldn’t save your boy.” The father just cried as Peter talked but grabbed his hand before he left.

“Thank you Sir, for trying to save him, and for saving me.” He was asleep before Peter could respond.

They always spoke of Peter as a hardened man, a vicious and evil man. He wasn’t a nice man, there was no question about that but he wasn’t evil, he wasn’t naïve and he never lied to be nice, he was honest and people despised honest. But a part of him wondered why he an evil man would save an already lost father from death when he had just had the worst thing imaginable happen to him.

 

 

“I need to see the heretics that the guards in town captured today.” He said the minute he made his way to a guard inside the castle walls, his boots echoing in the empty hallway.  

“On whose orders my Lord?” the royal guard bowed and Peter angered.

“Mine.” He said harshly, the guard didn’t move to speak. “NOW!” he needed to try to save this boy.

“I’m sorry my Lord but they have already been executed, there is no time to spare anymore for debacles, they seem to be spreading among us.” He looked sad as he said it and Peter nodded in defeat before he turned and walked away. Derek and Laura seemed to pick up on his state of gloom and were particularly pleasurable for the coming weeks, even months when the sadness he felt for the child and for the now lonely father left with no one didn’t leave him. Cora was as always, a pleasure to be around, her childish antics making him enjoy the mundane things in his life in court once more. Every month he sent the father, Stilinski, a basket of finer food, some coins and a letter. It took him to almost three years before he got a response, and when he did the letter was penned by a woman, telling him that he should stop sending the man letters and things to remind him of his loss. He would be alright, there were people to take care of him and support him in his loss. Who would support Peter through his failure of saving the boy? He stopped writing but he still sent money sometimes, just in case, he figured he was easing his guilt, he felt like he could have done something. After a while the money kept coming back with the errand boys he sent them with, the Stilinski man had gone.

 After all, his father always said that with a title one could succeed with everything.

Maybe not in saving lives.

Chapter Text

Five years later

Stiles didn’t know up from down anymore, he had always seen things, since he was a small child. The past, the present and sometimes the future, and they were never wrong. Never had been. He’d once seen himself, but older, he’d been sitting and working on something and a few years later he’d been just there, and he’d known he’d been there before, only this time he didn’t cut himself on the knife he used, he knew that if he did what he’d done when he’s seen himself he’d get hurt.

It had escalated from there, and he’d seen people he didn’t know but would later learn had been dead for years, he’d see strangers in the future and he’d seen the new king before he’d been coronated. It had been a while now. But maybe that wasn’t strange. He’d only seen once since they had taken his sight. He didn’t know why they hadn’t burned him with the other that day they took him all those years ago but the guard that grabbed him had been adamant that there were people that didn’t want him dead. Someone they called Duke. There were a lot of Dukes here in the capital.

They had tried pressing visions out of him, but he’d never learnt how to just demand them to come. They tried to kickstart his sight but nothing happened when they wanted to and when it did they never really got the answers they wanted, Stiles had no control over the things he saw and it seemed that the harder they pressed him and the more scared he got the less he saw.

 Brunski they called him, the guard, the mean one whose nose looked like a beak. He was mean. No matter what they tried they couldn’t get what they wanted. Sometimes they got things of interest and they got nicer but there were apparently Lords that got tired of waiting most of the time.

They had burned another body in his place when they took him for his crimes. Brunski wanted to make money out of him, out of his sight. He tried so hard to please him, he was always comfortable when Brunksi was happy with him. One of the other guards taught him how to read when he’d been doing really well and gotten them information they could sell. It took three years of trying and only sometimes getting the visions they wanted. Who got married, who died, who lived, how could they stop it, and so on. Then Brunski tired. Stiles wasn’t scared, because he’d seen his future, he was older, handsome even. He’d also faced the older man’s rage before and he knew that one day it would be to much, that one day he might just slip up and hurt him for real but he would be alright, he was laughing about something in the visions he’d had, he’d been laughing with what he thought of now as a stranger, he was happy, and then he’d gotten back into reality and when he hadn’t been able to answer Brunskis questions he’d gone into rage. The next day he blinded him, Stiles guessed he found it poetic. Brunski also figured out that he thought it would take his sight too, and it seemed to at first. It wasn’t until a month after they’d dumped him back out in the streets that he’d had a vision again. He hadn’t seen since then at all, in any way, and he didn’t know up from down anymore.

He didn’t know what he looked like but he dragged his fingers over his body sometimes, tried to figure out if he looked like he had in his vision yet. He knew he was older now, it had been years. He hadn’t laughed much, and not like in his vision so he guessed he wasn’t there in time yet, he still had some distance left to go before he got happy. They had dumped him outside the walls, he hoped he could maybe get into the outer circle, maybe his father was alright. Every day he tried to ask the guards if he could pass, every day they said no but by now they had stopped pushing him away and stopped ridiculing him, they just sighed, said no and sometimes gave him some bread before they turned him away. One day he just walked up, he didn’t even ask anymore, it was raining outside and he knew he was getting sick. He knew he wouldn’t get in, and now there wasn’t even hope. They wouldn’t let a sick boy, inside the gates who didn’t have a home there, they wouldn’t even let a noble boy in. Well they would let him if he was sick or not, they’d rush him to a physician faster than they got rid of plague-ridden bodies but he wasn’t a noble, he wasn’t even a boy anymore. He was damaged and frozen and so, so tired.
“I’m sorry boy, you can’t pass through, no coin or housing: no entry. Why do you persist in coming back?” the guard asked as he stood there shaking.

“I need to go home.” He said, as every other time they asked. The guard sighed and he heard a rustle.

“Then tell me your family name, if they are inside there we will let you through.” He’d made the mistake of telling them the first time, and the fifth and so on, until it became useless. Once they had looked it up outside of their list they had been told that the Stilinski boy was dead and executed and that the list was correctly updated on houses and their families. They thought Stiles had stolen his name. So he was sleeping between the small cold houses of stone, housing way to many and with way to much criminal activity. Once a new guard had even told him to try his luck at the brothel, said he’d even go visit if he was there. The other guard had punched him and given Stiles his entire piece of bread. He guessed he’d given him a sad look too.

Stiles shook his head at the guard and said what he always did. “I’m not dead.” But maybe his father was. But he hoped. He just needed to get in and home so that he could know. He heard someone approach behind him and he tried to get out of the way but he felt a hand on his shoulder and he shivered at the touch. He couldn’t see the person who touched him and unknown always equalled Brunski in his head. What if he knew Stiles’ had visions since he blinded him. “There you are.” He heard a young and happy voice say, but he couldn’t fathom why someone would be looking for him.

“He’ll be going in with me.” The other boy said and the guard sighed.

“Then what are your family name and how do you know eachother.”

“McCall, and. He’s uhm, my brother?” the other boy tried and Stiles knew he’d failed. He could barely stand and this other boy couldn’t lie to save a life. Seems like he was trying though.

“He’s not your brother, he’s been at this gate almost every day for the past year, and the few times he hasn’t shown we’ve been waiting, worried he’d lost his life.” He cleared his throat. “You have a gold coin boy?” he asked the strange boy and the deafening silence told Stiles that no, he didn’t and he heard the guard sigh.” Look at me boy, this boy is not your brother but is he perhaps a neighbour’s child?” the guard said and Stiles didn’t believe it. Was he helping them? Was he getting in? Had they really worried the days he hadn’t shown? A gold coin was a lot down here, even for the guards, they were guards which wasn’t bad but they were only outer wall guards. The royals didn’t care for the good guards here, there were five more walls and five more heavily guarded locked gates, they could afford to lose the outer circle in case of a siege. He finally believed the guard when he’d said that if he’d had a gold coin to spare he would’ve given it to the kid. Desperate times and Stiles believed that, his father had been a guard, not a city guard but he'd been one and he'd never earned as much as a gold coin.

“Yes, exactly, my neighbour.” Scott said happily.

“Good, I let you and your neighbour inside, not you and a strange but persistent boy alright?”

“Yes Sir.”

“Good, now, you.” He said and Stiles knew he spoke to him so he nodded “once you get in there please never come back out on your own again. I won’t be able to get you in again.” He whispered and the other guard cleared his throat as another pair of footsteps came closer. The guard shoved them aside and Siles thought that maybe they had played him as they took the other person’s name and let her inside the walls.

“Now, go, make yourself blend boy. Take care.” He said as he led Stiles through the gates. He might have cried a little and the other guard patted him on the back wishing him luck. Stiles turned and mumbled a thank you, he hoped the guard understood why.

“Persistent that one.” One of them said.

“He can get a better life in there, even begging is easier in there.” The good one agreed and Stiles walked slowly next to the strange boy who just saved him.

“Who are you?” he asked and turned towards the boy as soon as they stopped.

“I’m Scott, what’s your, woah!” he said as Stiles not so gracefully dragged his fingers along his face. He needed to know how he looked. He did it all the time on himself, he didn’t get as clear a picture of Scott as he did himself. He had smooth skin, no beard, yet. His jaw felt uneven but he felt kind. He was kind-hearted and Stiles smiled at him.

“I’m sorry, I just wanted to know what you looked like. I’m Stiles.” He said and retracted his hands.

“No, it’s, it’s fine. I didn’t realize you couldn’t see, I probably should have with the uhm.”

“With what?” Stiles asked nervously and touched the skin around his eyes.

“No, shit, I’m sorry. It’s just they’re glassy, your eyes, my mom is quite good at healing so I should’ve maybe understood.”

“Oh. Isn’t she scared?” he asked and he cursed himself. He shouldn’t question the person who could help him. He didn’t know how to find his way to his fathers house.

“Of what?” Scott sounded confused.

“Being accused of herecy?” he whispered and shuddered.

“They haven’t taken anyone in the last two years, and she isn’t a witch or anything, she’s a midwife and sometimes she patches up those who have nowhere else to go!” he defended and Stiles nodded dumbly.

“I’m sorry.”

“Why did you want to get in here? Do you know anyone here?” Scott asked.

Stiles was thankful for the change of subject. “I need to find my father, he thinks I’m dead.” Stiles heart was beating hard in his chest. “I need to find my way home!” Scott grabbed his arm and asked him questions about where to go.

“It was by the square with the smaller well, our neighbour sold flowers, colourful ones. By the gate to the middle circle. Do you know it?” he held his breath and Scott just pulled him along and then let out a small yes, as if he’d been nodding but forgotten to speak out loud.

“Next to the one who sold flowers right?”

“Yes, yes! To the left.” he breathed and Scott squeezed his hand and led him slowly towards the building.

“Here it is.” Scott knocked as he said it. Stiles held his breath. He heard the door open and was about to jump at the man who opened but it was a females voice who spoke.

“Yes? What do you boys want?” she asked nicely. Stiles almost started crying

“We’re looking for uhm, a,” Scott began

“Stilinski? Is he here?” Stiles asked, his voice almost breaking.

“Not sure what you would want from that family but there hasn’t been any Stilinskis here for years. Heard they were ungodly heretics, pagans, so I wouldn’t keep looking boys.” Stiles just nodded and turned away.

“Thank you.” He said and the tears came silently. He had no idea where Scott led him but he didn’t really care, he just walked in silence and stopped when Scott did. Scott didn’t speak either.

Scott let go of his hand and told him he’d be right back and he knew Scott would be, because he knew that Scott was a kind soul, he’d felt that. He couldn’t see but he could still feel things, but still he worried, what if he left him there now, broken and sick. Scott came back a while later and led him into a house he would assume, he heard someone else clattering around and then there was another hand on his shoulder, more petit but rougher than Scott’s and he jumped.

“I’m sorry honey, here you should drink this, you don’t look too well.” She said and Stiles just took the cup. She seemed nice too, kind, but brutally protective.

“Stiles, I’m sorry but” Scott paused before he heard his mother clear her throat and Scott continued. “why did you think the Stilinski man could help you find your dad?” Stiles knew he wasn’t being mean or hurtful, he knew that if someone was accused of witchcraft or herecy you fled the other way but he felt the way his family name was dragged in the mud, the way it was spoken like a curse by anyone he’d ever heard say it.

“He’s,” stiles felt his head throbbing. “he’s my dad.” Scott’s mother made shocked sound, on the verge to a gasp so he assumed she’d heard about it all, she tried to be subtle in hiding it but Stiles understood. “Is he dead? Did they take him too?” he asked, his voice small and he felt like a child again.

“I don’t know where he is child but he’s not here anymore, no one knows what happened to him.”

“He’s dead isn’t he. He’s…” he felt his breath sharpening, he couldn’t breath and his head was feeling like it was going to explode. Maybe it did. He felt that he fell over, his cheek on the cold stone flooring and then he saw.

Nothing made any sense, he was playing with his mother like he had when he was small and he was again, the Stiles he saw was maybe three, chasing after a hen outside the small cottage. The one they had before they had to relocate to the capital. His father could get another job there, the winters got harder and harder, they couldn’t live on their own, they didn’t have a farm, just a small garden and a cottage.

It changed in a blurr that made him dizzy to the point that he wanted to vomit. His father was pacing but smiled as soon as Stiles walked over to him. “Do you want to go buy some nice vegetables for the soup tonight?” And Stiles had preened, he hadn’t been allowed to go alone before and now he was able to go alone and decide what to buy? He had been nervous but he’d been extatic too.

He wanted to scream as it changed again, the dizziness making everything spin so violently he thought he might break. But there he was, his father was older, his hair was grey and Stiles think he wept, he felt like he wept. His father was sitting in a soft looking chair, he looked sad though. He just knew that this wasn’t in the past, this was in the now. His whole body vibrated with the knowledge. His father was alive, and he was somewhere better than Stiles was. There was housing and better jobs in the outer circle but there wasn’t soft looking chairs or cups in anything other than clay or wood out here. His father was alive and in a better standing than before. Then everything faded and went black. No more dizziness or headaches. Just silence and darkness and Stiles smiled.

He woke up and Scott rushed over, asking what happened. “Your eyes, they were, they.” He tried to not panic but Stiles had figured he couldn’t see anymore, but he could and he’d seen his father.

“He’s alive.” He said his voice raw. “He’s alive Scott, I thought he was dead but he’s not, he’s in an upper circle.” He smiled and Scott made a sound of distress above him. “He’s alive!”

“Your eyes turned white! What is going on?!” he seemed panicked but Stiles couldn’t really care, he’d leave. No one wanted to shelter someone like him, no matter how long since they last took people, he was seen as a dark omen in the eyes of the common people, a Heretic, he needed to leave. But his father was safe somewhere, sad, but safe.

“I’m sorry, I’ll leave.”

“No, what? No! Are you sick? Can we do something about that?” Stiles just listened as Scott spoke on and on about if Stiles could say what it was so his mother could help him.

“She can’t help. I see things Scott, things I shouldn’t. I didn’t think I could anymore but I saw my dad and he’s safe now.” He said and Scott huffed like he didn’t believe him.

“Are you possessed?” Scott asked almost whispering, and Stiles felt horrible about the fact that he seemed scared.

“No, I. I just see things sometime, I have visions of things happening. I’m going to leave I promise.” It killed. He said and swallowed. His mother had died to save him. Because he could see. His father, he believed his father was dead for years because he stood up to Brunski when he shouldn’t have. He was a danger to people. Brunski had told people he was a warning, maybe he was. People should stay away.
What if they wouldn’t tell and what if he was really careful and didn’t let people see that he got a vision, if he got one again that is. Maybe he could be safe here, he could help them with whatever they needed until they tired. Maybe that would be alright, maybe no one would get hurt. Maybe.

 

Scott wouldn’t let him go, he figured he should sneak out, get away but Scott would find him, he couldn’t really hide if he couldn’t see anything and he could never go back out away from the safety of the outer circle. He should probably get away from them so that they could be protected but he couldn’t, he was selfish but he needed them. Scott never asked more off his family but sometimes it was like he was about to start talking about it but he ever did. Someday Stiles knew he’d want to talk to Scott, only a few weeks into their newfound kinship and he knew he’d find a brother in Scott. Maybe the gods sent him help anyway, even when it seemed like the world was going to disappear from under his feet, even when he started to doubt the fact that his gods were real.

Melissa, Scott’s mother, persisted that he stays too and he just couldn’t fight it. He swore that he’d help with anything, but she just dragged her fingers through his hair and told him it didn’t matter, he was family now. Scott had laughed and hugged him and Stiles had smiled, but he was worried. He didn’t want to be a burden. It wasn’t like he could work, but he’d try to help them, in any way he could.

“Melissa, don’t go to the well today.” Stiles said a night a couple of weeks after he’d started to get comfortable, unsure why.

“Did you see that?” she asked sceptically. She played along but never really believed. Stiles had a feeling she thought him a lunatic on top of him not sharing the faith of the land. She didn’t seem to mind but she didn’t really believe him either.

“No, I. I just know. Please.” He said and it must’ve worked because she came home, and she hugged him long and hard. He never found out what had happened at the well but he didn’t want to know. They believed him after that, they held their distance at first and it started to feel like he should leave again. Stiles tried not to let it hurt him but Scott quickly broke down and stopped tiptoeing around him and soon after Melissa did too and soon they were all back to being alright with eachother. He had these feelings that something would happen from time to time but he rarely to never saw something again for the longest time.

Chapter Text

 

“Peter Hale! Always a pleasure to run into you.” Deucalion sneered and Peter was sick and tired of people sneering at him. “My Lady,” he continued sweetly to the lady Peter had been chatting with. His sister was adamant he should marry, bastard or not, there were women desperate to stay in court, desperate enough to marry a court ladies bastard brother. Laura had started to warm up to him outside of their own home, seeing how people usually treated him.

“To what do I owe the pleasure Duke.” he had no interest in doing this longer than necessary.

“Couldn’t help to notice that the sweet Lady here seemed cornered.”
“On the contrary Lord Deucalion, I find Lord Hale utterly interesting, we share the disdain of being here. Good night Duke.” She said and walked off leaving the two men on their own. Where she had used Duke as his title Peter had simply used it as a nickname for the Archduke.

“Yet, she let herself be frightened off, you have no business here Peter, tell me, why do you accompany your sister to these things when you have no claim real to anything?”

“Business Deucalion, because when my sister might be very good at these things I’m excellent at them and she trusts my judgment, like when I strongly recommended she turn your proposal of marriage down.” He smirked and Deucalion looked infuriated. “Good night, I have a lady to find.”

“Ah yes, a lady of questionable virtue, suitable for the bastard.”

“Good, then I need have no moral qualms of further destroying her virtue then, marriage is a ridiculous concept anyway.” He didn’t know what possessed him to say it, but he had always found marriage a strange concept. Many men did, but in a court closely tied with the belief of a new God you should keep those thoughts to yourself.

 

“Lady Talia!” a large man bellowed and Talia smiled kindly. Peter was ready to find the lady from earlier and propose a rather ungodly meeting.

“I may be widowed Count, but I’m still a Duchess, not just a Lady of this court.” She said and somehow she made it seem like it wasn’t a reprimand, but make no mistakes, it was.

“Of course, my apologies.  I heard about Lady Laura’s engagement to Lord Parrish, you must be happy they found love in one another.” He said and Talia smiled broadly.

“It does please me that no intervening was needed, true love is better than any other marriage, no matter the status, now Count, me and my brother have other business to attend to.” She courtsied and Peter bowed and then they fled.

“To the kitchens.” Talia whispered and Peter followed. They laughed as they made it to the winecellar and found a nice bottle. They always had a rivalry of sorts but they never hated eachother, Talia loved sneaking away wine and food from her father and have tiny feasts with Peter and their brother and when and if caught she always took the blame. Peter never dared. His father wasn’t evil, but he was intimidating and more than a little ashamed of Peter.

“I know you hate court Peter, but haven’t you found someone to share your time with? Find yourself a wife Peter! It saddens me to see you lonely brother.”

“Talia, we both know I ‘love wallowing in self-pity and being lonely is the easiest way to be bitter about my status’.” He countered and she sighed.

“I know father did a number on you, but you don’t deserve to be lonely, I don’t care what he thought about the matter, but you are as much of a loving man as any. You were never wallowing in self-pity, you’re scared he was right, don’t let him be right, don’t start to be bitter, that’s what he wanted from you. I don’t want that Peter, no matter who or where or whatever you need to make it happen you have my support. Just don’t become the bitter wallowing man father wanted you to be, because you’re getting closer every year Peter. Enjoy life. I would lose all my entertainment if you stopped being snarky to everyone who belittles you. I love seeing regret on their faces.” She said and hugged him. He smirked, he loved that too.

“Fine, maybe I just need some wine, but not too much. There is a lady with questionable virtue who requested my presence. “ Talia raised her eyebrows but just placed two cups on the table instead.

Peter should probably feel bad for snickering and flat out giggling with Talia about her children but god sometimes they were horrible. Derek was always grumpy and he was pretty sure he was defiling the princess behind her husband’s back, impressive but it irked Peter, she was almost as old as him and Derek was not. Laura was being good as usual, sassy and good and well he couldn’t complain but why was she always so good, Talia wondered if she had been to strict or if Laura had been better at hiding her mischief than she herself had been. Peter knew it was the last one, after all he had caught her with both wine and making out with the kitchen boy. Cora never bothered hiding it and Peter adored her. He taught her languages so that she could learn how to cuss suitors off without them knowing. She was going to go far in court, very political that one. She’s tell then to go to hell in less than polite ways while keeping a sweet and innocent face and then politely excuse herself. Many men thought her flirting or one had even taken her swearing as a positive answer to the proposal. When she’d whispered the word to him in his own language he’d been furious and she’d laughed all the way to Peter’s chambers to have someone laugh with her. And that he had.

“Go bed your lady, but Peter, try to look for love too!” she said as she led them out into the great hall again and Peter nodded curtly before walking off to find the fair-haired lady.

 

 

He bumped into his less than enthusiastic nephew on the way to the lady’s chamber. There weren’t that many years between them as one would assume.

Talia had gotten her first children with her husband at seventeen, Laura and Derek came with an hour between them and Peter remember being eleven years old and being horrified over the fact that babies came out of his sister.

“Derek, been defiling some lovely young lady?” he asked and Derek blushed, it was sweet really. There was a door opening from where Derek just left and Peter smirked, if it was the princess he’d never let Derek forget that he knew. Only it wasn’t. It was the princess’ Lady, her friend. Her older friend. That woman had been about twice Derek’s age when they started seeing eachother and he knew Derek had been seeing this mysterious lady since they got to this godforsaken land at he’d been sixteen. Lady Argent had the audacity to smirsk and wink at both Peter and Derek before she left. Peter felt the anger rise as Derek blushed. He wasn’t a lady about to be wed off but Kate had a reputation for ruining and take whatever young boy that struck her fancy at the time and she had not been focusing on Derek only. That Peter was sure off. The Argent also thought ill of the Hales for getting both status and landholdings in a land that wasn’t their own, or not even from a very supportive land. Talia held the land because her husband had left it for her, considering he was from this cold hole he could do what he pleased and the people in charged hadn’t cared, this way they had in some way, weak but still, a treaty with the Hales and the queen of their land. She still held her own land in high regards and had her titles even there, which bothered the Argents. According to them, Hales had nothing at all to do here.

“Derek,”

“Uncle Peter it’s not what it seems like!” he said and Peter sighed, of course it was and Derek knew that he had figured it out.

“Yes, it is, but here is what you may not ever do with any of the Argent family and that is telling them anything about our family. Considering we’re not shunned yet I figure you haven’t so far and all I ask is that you keep it that way and that you stop this!!” he said as low but arsh as he could. Derek may be almost twenty-one and a highly wanted young man in prospect of marriage, he was even betrothed, but he was still a boy in a way. He was also about to get married very soon if his mother got her way and she usually did.

“Why should I stop it? I like her, she isn’t like all those fancy girls who are holier than thou! It’s not like this Paige girl is rushing over here from wherever over oceans to marry me.”

“Because they want this family out of here and preferably permanently! You stop this right now and I won’t tell your mother, god knows what she’d do if she knew.” She’d been furious at Peter once for striking up a conversation with a man at a ball that turned out to be none other than Christopher Argent, he hadn’t known, god knows he wouldn’t have tried to bed him if he had. He didn’t know what kind of feud they had or how deep it ran, there were something that Talia was keeping from him but he didn’t mind he knew what he needed to know to stay away. And so should Derek. Who seemed to actually realize that he had a mother with very strong principles that would not shy in making this relationship end. He knew Derek was flirting with satan itself. He’d heard the stories. In a family of hard and ruthless hunters and marksmen, the one with the expertice in weaponry and torture devices were actually the nicest one, and it sure wasn’t Kate. Never caught but had numerous allegations of murder and manipulation with poisons and sex. Her father and herself currently in a smaller feud with Deucalion and his followers, apparently, they had a smaller project together that one of them screwed up in some way, apparently gotten rid of something useful. Probably some odd weaponry. He never listened when morons argued.

“Derek I’m serious, don’t get involved in that family, not only for your own sake but for all of ours. Do you get me?” he asked and he tried to be supportive, the boy wasn’t exactly the brightest in the social network of the court.

“I get it.” He murmured grumpily and stalked off towards their chambers in the other wing. He needed to keep an eye on that boy or he would follow his heart or balls into any mess. He neither wanted or needed to get dragged into the politics of whatever fighting was going on at court and especially not with families that didn’t like them, not if they were teamed up. Because whatever fight they had between then, the Argents and Deuc, they would want the Hales down before each other. Talia was a too powerful woman for them and Peter would bet his life on the fact that they would both gladly get rid of her no matter what fight they were in. He went back to his chambers instead of finding the lady, she could wait until tomorrow when the mood had returned.

Chapter Text

Scott came in to the house and groaned as he fell into one of the cots in the corner.
“I’m too tired to move.”

“What did Deaton make you do today?” Stiles asked and felt around for the carrot slicing it as neatly as a blind person could.

“Goat-baby. You know Mrs Grisham? Her goat gave birth and I had to deliver a goat-baby. It was so cool. Deaton thinks I can be good at this, being an animal doctor. But it is so tiring.”

“I can only imagine. You’re good Scott, helping helpless tiny animals!” he said and dumped carrots into the pot. He’d gotten pretty good at cooking the last year or so, practice makes perfect Scott said as he kept getting burns and making a mess out of everything.

He had a system now. Sometimes Scott would use something and then don’t put it back in the same place and it was as if it was lost forever until he or Melissa put it back. It had taken a while for Scott and Melissa to adjust to him and the fact that he couldn’t see anything. It was a lot of bumping into things that changed places all the time until Scott had realized that maybe they should keep everything in one place.

“What are you two boys up to?” Melissa asked as she walked inside. “Smells good Stiles.”

“I delivered a goat baby today!” Scott exclaimed and rushed to the table instead.

“That’s great, does that mean I get help at work?”

“No, no way.”

“Human babies needs to be delivered too.” She laughed and Stiles imagined Scott, however he looked, with a big frown on his face. Scott had told him he had hair that couldn’t be controlled and that he and his mother had the same sort of curls, and he’d felt the slight unevenness in his jawline so he had a pretty good idea.

“If I turn around with a plate now will I throw it in someone’s face by accident?” he asked as he filled one of the wooden bowls with soup.

“No sweetheart you won’t, we’re sitting at the table.” Melissa said and snickered. “Do you want help?” she asked, she never asked if he needed help only ever if he wanted it. That felt kind of alright. Shit had been hell for the longest time, one day he couldn’t see anymore and he never realized how much he depended on being able to do that. He’d figured it out eventually and then he’d gotten used to having to memorize steps and the feel of many different things under his fingers. Sometimes he wanted help, but he rarely needed it.

“No, it’s fine I’m a strong independent and capable young man. The women at the age to be wed are crowding around me obviously. Me and my wonderfully good soup that may have the wrong herbs in it seeing that they feel the same in their pots. If it’s minty you know why. Enjoy!” he said as he placed a bowl on the table and turning for the next. He heard a careful tasting and knew that Scott had taken the bowl. He had taken just the right herb but Scott was so easily tricked and he tasted it like he would if it possibly contained poison.

“I’m sure it’s fine Stiles.” Melissa said as he placed her bowl down. He took his own and sat down, letting Scott break him a piece of bread.

He’d learned the way out to the small marketplace by now and sometimes he went to get vegetables or eggs for the supper, from time to time he walked to the inn and he used whatever he’d seen when he was with the guards, the fact that they had no use for it didn’t mean no one had. So, he usually found people who could use the information and hoped they would be willing to pay for it.

The first time he’d taken a gamble, no one knew him anymore, the Stilinski boy with the weird name was dead and he was the boy who listened, so he told the inn-keeper that he sometimes overheard information and that he would be willing to sell it for some coins. The inn-keeper were probably, or most definitely the richest person in the entire outer circle, after all he was the only one handling gold coins on a regular basis. He could move up into a better circle whenever he wanted, and probably more than one step, which was more than most could only dream of down here. It cost a gold to get into the outer circle if you didn’t live there and were on their fancy list of residents and those who could pay that could usually pay the fee to go higher, closer to the castle and nobles circle, but many stayed here, for whatever unfathomable reasons.

Those people were Stiles’ goal.

Maybe he could sell what Brunski obviously could, he’d tried outside of the walls, but people just pushed their way past him. Maybe he could actually do it in here. Turns out he could. If the inn-keeper believed him when he told him he never knew but every time he came in with something the inn-keeper just nodded, wrote down what he said and gave him some silver coins. He’d said that if he had information that deemed true and worthy he’d get coin, but the first message of information where to be free and a test. When he came there a week later the inn-keeper payed him for other information and so it continued.

He bought some extra vegetables and bread with the coin and it made them all less hungry. It changed everything. Melissa hated it. But she never stopped him, she knew they needed the extra coins for winter.

 

“You saw something.” Scott stated and gave him a mug of water. Stiles laid on the floor, exhausted.

“It was the great fire, the year I was born, I don’t understand, I wasn’t born here. Why would I see another lands disaster?” his visions always seemed to have a meaning but not this one. He hadn’t seen anything but a great fire, walls aflame and trees ablaze.

“The great fire?” Scott asked chocked. “Your born the same year as me?! I thought I was older than you!” he ecxclaimed and Stiles laughed.

“I’m not that skinny! I can’t help I’m lithe and not made of muscle from lifting cattle or whatever.” He said and Scott snorted. “Maybe that was why I saw it? Time’s been a bit sensitive since well, since then.” He said and Scott just squeezed his hand.

“We’re seventeen man, ready to wed and start families and what not.”

“Damn. Scott?”

“Yeah buddy?”

“Why have you never asked what happened to me?”

“Wasn’t something I wanted to bring up, it’s sensitive right?” Scott said like it was a matter of fact and maybe it was. “I don’t want to bring up something that you might not even want to think about, I know I wouldn’t like it.”

“Yeah.” He nodded, what Scott said made sense

“But you know you can come to me if you want to talk about it right? I won’t ever judge you or condemn you, you’re my brother now.” Scott said carefully and Stiles all but threw himself on Scott in a deadly hug. “You’ve been here for what, two summers? Of course you’re family!” he continued and he had no idea what that meant.

“Well, we may be in the age to wed but I’m not really gonna get there anyway.” Stiles huffed and Scott sighed dramtically and laughed.

“Why not? You’d be a good husband.”

“Yes Scott, I’m the most wanted man at the age to wed in ever, I’m a foreigner with old gods, as in plural, I’m also blind and I sometimes see the future, I’m great if you want to never have any coin, want to be scared of getting burned alive at a stake and want to get weird and unholy glimpses of what coming may.”

“You’re impossible man. I’m sure there are plenty of people out there for you.”

“I’m sure there is Scott” he said and Scott seemed pleased so he figured he hadn’t noticed he was being sarcastic.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

There was a man, he was vaguely familiar but he didn’t know him. He was running from the castle. He sprinted through stables and looked outright vicious. But he wasn’t evil. Stiles knew that. He didn’t know how but he knew that he needed to find this man, he was being chased and he needed help. It wasn’t anything special about the dark moonlight the man was running in but he knew this was tonight. The man ran all the way out into their circle, out into poverty and mud. His eyes blue, hurt, mourning. A wound slowly oozing blood at his side. Stiles could see him run though the rain, between small houses and up to the well. He looked lost and as he searched for a way out from the square guards caught up to him with gleaming blades. 

He jerked awake and threw himself off the small cot besides Scott in the corner and accidentally kneed him in the crotch.  Scott let out a groan and a whimper.

“What are you doing?” he complained and Stiles didn’t stop long enough to answer until he had a pair of trousers on and was well out the door.
“I’ll be right back.” He said with shaking voice. He had to act now.

He heard Scott shout after him and he knew Melissa would wake up.

“I’m sorry I’ll be back in a heartbeat!” he said before he closed the door and ran. He hoped he counted his steps right even if he were running. He counted fast and ran faster. He kept getting to close to walls or to other things that might not so gently have nudged him on his journey.

As he came to the square he calmed himself and walked to the well. A few seconds later he heard heavy steps from his left. He threw himself in the right direction and the impact was harsh and direct. They both went down into the muddy ground.

“You need to get in there right now!” Stiles said and pointed to what he assumed was Deaton’s stable. He hoped it was. “The stable.” He added just in case.

“What?”

“Get in there!” he said and pushed at the man as they got up from the ground.

“Alright alright! Thank you.” He said and pulled him along.

He felt the other man press against him in one of the two very small booths. He heard the rumbling of ten or so guards steps against the ground as the ran into the square.

“Find him! Make sure he’d dead before you bring him back.” Stiles knew that voice. Brunski.

The heavy breathing of the both of them were the only thing he could hear for a time after that. He sat still and hoped they wouldn’t be found. He didn’t dare rise or even make sound for the longest time. He was lucky the man dragged him with him into the cot otherwise he’d been standing there having a reunion with Brunski and the thought of it made him feel almost sick.

“Are they gone.” He asked as low as he could after a while. He could hear the other man’s breath hitch and he knew he was wounded worse than he’d seen.

“Why do you ask me, you’re the one with the hole in the fence.” He snarked. “But yes they are.”

“I can’t see doucheface.” He said and pushed lightly at the other man before making a gesture towards his eyes,

“interesting.” He said and Stiles would bet money that he was looking at him like was watching an enigma.  “thank you for saving me.” He said and Stiles couldn’t help but to feel thrown off at the statement. Most would have asked how he knew, this man didn’t seem to care, in the best way possible.

“No problems. We should get that wound looked at, the woman I’m living with is a healer, you should come with me and get that checked.

“I see, well I would be stupid to say no to that wouldn’t I.” he asked and he could feel him rise beside him.

Stiles didn’t even care to sugar-coat it he just spoke. “Yes, you would be.” He stood up and grabbed onto the man to guide him to their cottage but instead he feels the surge of power flow through him. He gasps as feelings rushed through him and he sees a woman crying to him, not him. The blue-eyed man.

“I promise you I will find who did this Talia! I swear I will find the coward who did this and laid it on my shoulders. For Laura.” He said as the woman sobbed.

“I know, I know Peter. They think you heartless to us but I know you loved my girl. Promise me you will come back with him. Find Derek!” she cried.

She’d said it all with so much anger in her eyes Stiles thought he was about to explode.

“Hey kid!” the other man was probably just inches from his face. He just stood there, feeling a bit light headed. “What was that!”

“I’ll help you find him.” Stiles said instead and he felt the man go rigid.

“What did you say?” he sounded almost dangerous and Stiles swallowed heavily.

“So like, I saw them chasing you. In the same way I just saw you talking to a woman about finding someone named Derek?” he half stated and half asked. The man took a trembling step backwards but quickly regained his posture and remodelled his face into cold and calculating once more.

 

“Shit.” Peter said and rubbed his eyes with his non-bloody hand. Who was this boy. He was just as paranoid as the next nobleman when it came to what was actual truth and what was brewed together for you to eat up and believe as truth. There was no way that the news of him “murdering his niece” had travelled this far this fast and the boy was about as scared of him as Peter was off not finding his nephew alive.

He’d told Talia he’d find him. He’d told her to believe them, make it look like she will believe every single word they say about him, that he was jealous, that he hated her children for getting his father’s name. She’d sworn to play by their ruled, keep herself and Cora safe. Cora would hate him for a long long time. She’d live with the lie that he had killed and kidnapped half of her family. He was not going back without Derek.

“Why were they even chasing you?” he heard the boy ask after a few steps towards what he assumed was the right way to the boy’s home. Peter had stayed silent after the boy had told him he could See. He’d only heard legends before. Of kings of old having seers, to predict their future and the safety of the kingdom. Of seers being rare and in between, highly valued before religion became a matter of the kings.

He’d thought of them as stories, as rumors of old. He never thought he’d meet one himself one day. Of course, back then they had been property of the courts, used like tools but they had also been treated with luxury and respect like they were royalty, they just couldn’t leave. Few had wanted to. If the books and legends were to be believed. Maybe they were and maybe they weren’t.

“When you find out things you shouldn’t know, people will do all it takes to make sure you don’t talk.” He said. The boys rolled his eyes and he knew he had a habit of being cryptic at times but he couldn’t just tell this boy anything, there was something about him he didn’t trust.

“Yeah, don’t I know it.” He said and Peter thought about that for a while. He liked this boy. He couldn’t see him, he had barely hesitated about telling him how he knew Peter was wounded, he was special. He wasn’t cowering, or scared, merely cautious. And that was clever. Peter respected clever, he did not ever respect dumb. “So, when we get to the one cottage with a three-legged goat outside it we’re there.

“You have a three-legged goat?” Peter asked rising an eyebrow.

“Of course not, the man next door has, the goat can’t produce milk, is to skinny to eat so he kept it as a pet of sorts. It only has three legs because Scott and Deaton had to cut one off when he was sick.” He explained and Peter just hummed in response.

He stopped the boy and told him he could see the goat when he did, the boy just nodded and steered him to the door next to the goat. The housing was small, not as in a cozy small room at the court but as in too small for three people. There was a boy, seemingly a bit older than the one who led him here and a woman with dark curly hair who looked like she was about to give the boy the yelling of his life. He spoke before the other two had the chance.

“Peter here needs your help.” He said and the other boy just rushed forward along with, what peter would assume was his mother.

“Stiles! I don’t... Shit.” The other boy said as his mother lifted Peters shirt. “We’re gonna have to burn that wound.” He said and the woman nodded. Peter steeled himself against the fire.

“Stiles, I need you to hold his shirt up and Scott, you need to hold him and I will close the wound.” She stated calmly and Scott nodded. The boy, Stiles, looked like he was ready to pass out.

“There is a lot of blood isn’t there. I can’t stand blood. Shit.”

“You can’t even see it, breathe and hold his shirt.” The woman said, harshly but not in the slightest unkindly.

“True. Alright.” He said and Peter felt his slim fingers find the way to the hem of his shirt.

“Alright, Peter, was it?” she asked as she placed a piece of metal into the fireplace. Peter nodded and clenched his jaw. He was getting a bit dizzy. “I need you to bite down on this,” she said and held up a piece of leather. “it’s going to hurt a bit.” She walked over to the fireplace and picked up the scrap of metal and he placed the piece of belt in his mouth and nodded at her.

“Oh man.” He heard the boy exclaim as the metal touched his wound. He didn’t remember falling asleep but he remembered waking up by the smell of beets and carrots cooking.

Chapter Text

He woke in bits, tiny glimpses of the people around him, far of voices and sounds reaching his dreams. Once he woke up fully Stiles was standing over him, peeling of a wet rag from his forehead and frowning.

“I would assume that you are awake judging from the grumpy sounds you are making.” He said folded the rag neatly.

“I don’t feel like I want to be.” He groaned.

“Nasty wound. I wouldn’t want to be awake to feel it either. But awake means there’s soup.”

“That does not sound bad at all, heavenly even.” Peter said and sat up with a groan. It would take a while before he could get a hold of a horse and ride off, not to say even walk to get one.

“These are some very fancy pieces of clothing. Should I worry about having you here?” the woman asked as the boy, no Stiles carefully placed bowls of soup in front of them all after she’d helped him over to the table.

“Not because of my clothing, no. I do seem to have made myself some enemies though so maybe there is a need for worry. Not that I think they’d ever look for me here. No spoiled rich nobleman would hide in the slums. No offence.” He said as he looked down at the food. It wasn’t much but he had expected less.

“How is that not offensive.” Stiles huffed as he sat down. The other boy shrugged and started ravishing the soup.

“Are you implying you’re not one of the spoiled nobles?”

“Oh I am spoiled alright but I aim to surprise, I also have great ability to adapt that much of the higher people just don’t have.” He said and smirked. It was as if Stiles had felt it.

“Goddess, do you always brag when you visit the lower townsfolk?” Stiles snorted into his soup.

“No, I suppose I do not.” Peter said as he thought it through. He usually bragged all the time, it had a tendency to piss people off and he loved pissing people off.

“Have you ever even been here before?” he asked and he seemed more on edge now. Like he was ready to defend the slums.

“I have, a few times passing though but a few years ago I, I found a reason to stay for some time.” He explained and the boys features softened.

“Was it love?” Scott asked and Stiles looked like he was about to roll his eyes, although Peter assumed that would be quite a feature. He wasn’t scarred beyond that of his eyelids and that of the weird discoloration of his eyes but he seemed to have a hard time moving his eyes around.

“No, it was death.” He said instead and Scott paled.

“Sorry.” He said and seemed sadder the castle hounds when they didn’t get to hunt.

“Sucks.” Stiles agreed and Peter just hummed.

“Wasn’t my loss, but it stuck with me.”

“There was a lot of that going on for a while.” The lady, Melissa spoke and the others nodded.

“I would assume so since there seems to be a permanent firepit in the square.” He hadn’t intended for the comment to be anything but a simple comment but he seemed to have struck a nerve.

“I’m going to go out for a while.” Stiles said and rose. He looked confusingly at the others and Melissa just shook her head. The door closed before she spoke.

“We don’t know much about Stiles before he came to us. Just that he was on the outside of the wall pleading to get home to a father that was no longer there. Certain subjects are sensitive. He’s terrified of himself, not because he thinks himself dangerous but because he can never rest, doing what he can do is dangerous. It might have been long since the court gave orders to find witches and heretics but it’s still the biggest fear he has, the biggest fear we all have to be honest.”

“But you can’t abandon him.” Peter stated and Melissa just shook her head.

“No we can’t." she took a big breath. "I don’t think he saw you as a threat.” She said calmly.

“Until now. I understand.” He said and he to rose form the table and walked outside careful not to bang his head in the low arch of the doorway. The cottage was much smaller than it seemed from the outside, a tiny firepit and three small cots along with a table. Peter didn’t dislike it though, it seemed more like a home than his quarter at the castle, more personal. Well outside he spotted the boy sitting next to the goat and he sat down next to him.

“You know, I meant it when I said it, I’m grateful for you saving my life.”

“But?” the other man asked, worry lacing his voice and Peter sighed, not because it was a hardship to explain himself but because he seemed to have closed off and that bothered Peter, he wanted him to keep open up and smile. It seemed like there was some kind of ease when they spoke, a feather-like touch of trust.

“No buts, it’s safe with me.” He said and let his hand rest on Stiles shoulder. Maybe calling him a boy would not sustain anymore, the other man was all lean muscle and long limbs, not nearly as childish as he seemed. “Everyone has secrets, who am I to judge yours.”

“Thank you.” Stiles said and smiled a crooked smile. Peter found it much endearing, he smile back even though the man couldn’t see it. He had a feeling he’d know anyway. It felt like he could gaze into the very deep of Peter, see into his soul.

“I can never claim to know what it feels like carrying that around but I know how it feels to be an outcast, needless to say it doesn’t even compare but I know the loneliness and the pain Stiles. It never does good to dwell.”

“Because you are running from the kings-guard?” he snorted, not irritated but amused.

“No, because my father did everything to make me feel unwelcome in my own family. I became the perfect warrior, the perfect leader and the perfect son, but I was still a bastard that everyone despised.”

“I’m sorry.” Stiles said and gave him a timid smile.

“No don’t be, it strengthened me, what I’m trying to say is that I won’t be the one to betray your trust. I’ve had enough of that for a lifetime, wouldn’t want it for someone else.” He looked over the cobblestone to the house on the other side, a little girl playing with her brother in the mud.

“Thank you" he said. After a while of silence he spoke again. "Was he an evil man?” stiles asked as the girl showed the boy into a puddle of mud once more and lauging evily. Peter liked her. A little warlord din the making.

“I guess he could’ve been much harsher on me than he was but he as hardly kind.” Peter settled for. He never laid a hand on him, never been cruel like that. Not himself at least.

“My father was the most amazing man ever. He was the sun on rainy days, cheered us up when nothing else could. I have no idea where he is now, I just know he’s in a better place.”

“I’m sorry about that, seems like you found a new family that loves you.”

“Yeah, he’d like that.” Stiles smiled and the boy at the cottage opposite of them started crying as his sister played a little well rough. “You should sleep some more, you slept through the day but a night’s sleep will do you well.”

“I guess it would.” Peter said and rose slowly from the ground and they retreated into the cottage once more.

 


 

 

“Hey handsome, wake up.” Stiles said as he threw Peter’s pants at him.

“Wha, yes.” He said and yawned the sleep out of his body. He felt well rested and fine. Until he moved. It wasn’t nearly as bad as the day before and if it weren’t for the fact that Stiles could see the future he’d question how good it felt in comparison. It wasn’t the strangest thing to happen to him these days so he just accepted that it felt better and rose from the cot. He’d felt a bit bad to be honest to steal it from Stiles but he’d been adamant that he take it and told him he’d share with Scott and Scott had just grunted a yes in response.

“Here, eat.” Scott said and gave him a piece of bread and a cup of water. He was struck by how kindly these people took to those in need. Shared the room and food they had. He started thinking as he ate.

“I’m off to Deaton. He’s going to teach me fix and set bones!” Scott sounded way to happy for Peter’s taste about that but he couldn’t disagree that it was a good thing to know. Being a physician was a good trade, healing was a blessing in a town like this.

“I’ll see you when you come back.”

“I’m going to go too, Evelyn’s child is sick again, I’ll be gone most of the day.” Melissa said, both looking and sounding sad, Peter would guess the child had less than a lifetime to live.

“Take this.” Stiles dug up a pouch of red and green herbs and handed them to Melissa. “hopefully it will speed her recovery this time.” He continued and Melissa put in her sachet and walked out. Peter figured that something like that herb had been used on himself.

“What were those herbs?” he asked and Stiles smirked.

“Wouldn’t you want to know?” he winked.

“I very much would yes.” He said and smirked back.

“Well, they’re hard to come by here, rare, but they grow everywhere in the north. It’s called Echinacea, it’s a flower really.” Stiles explained and shrugged his shoulders. Like it wasn’t a discovery worth bragging about.

Peter looked at him and smiled. “That’s what you used to make me feel like I’ve been resting for over a week?”

“Maybe.” He seemed to want it to be a mystery but Peter knew that yes, it was what he’d used.

“Have you eaten Stiles?” peter asked and stiles looked at him like he’d grown a third head.

“Ah, no not yet. I need to get to the market first.” He said and blushed. Peter suspected that they bought their goods in ratios and that he’d skipped out on food this morning.

“Good, I’ll come with, the least I can do is buy you some bread and meats.”

“What.”

“Meats, and bread. You usually eat it but I have no idea what you icepeople do with it. This is the furthest north I’ve been.”

“The furthest?” he asked peter seemingly shocked and ignoring the banter about northerners. “Like you’ve never been beyond this point of the land?!” he seemed honestly perplexed.

“Why would I have, I’m from the south Stiles, I think it’s cold and gloomy enough here.” He said amused, Stiles shock and his animated expressions more than amused him, they made him happy.

“Woah. You should go sometime. It’s amazing. It’s beyond all you’d ever imagine, so much forest, mountains and animals! Lakes and rivers everywhere and there’s snow, not always but during winter there is snow. I miss it.” He said almost without taking a breath.

“Not fond of the cold at all I’m afraid, but I do believe you when you say it is amazingly beautiful.”

“We used to live just above lake Ogrom, so very much north. Summers there are like the winters down here, and the summers here are beyond warm.” Peter knew Lake Ogrom, not that he’d ever been there, he spoke the truth, he’d never been further north that Beacon Hills. Why would he need too?

But he knew the lake, everyone did, it was said to house beasts and creatures of the ocean stuck in the hole since the land was covered in ocean itself. It was the largest lake in the three lands and made the frankly very big Royal lake seem like a pond for children to splash in. The lake was surrounded of mountains and trees, like a protective shell from the outside world. It was said that if you swam across it you would gain the knowledge of its inhabitants. No one had ever crossed, for one it was too large to cross and for the rest it was too dangerous. No one knew what existed out there.

“Summers here are what I’m used to, the only weather we have. But I do fear that my sister is starting to get attached to this place and our cousins should be happy to stay in the keep I would believe.”

Stiles turned towards him as if he was looking at him and seemed genuinely interested in his home lands. “What about you, where do you want to be?”

“That Stiles, I am incapable to give an answer too. I’ll let you know when I’ve figured it out.” He chuckled. He’d never wanted to do anything but to prove himself, it was a selfish task but he needed people to either fear him or respect him no matter the cost. He’d rarely thought about leaving where he went when he got there, it felt like giving up and giving in. Admitting that he wasn’t a noble like the rest and that wasn’t something he could do.

Stiles looked questioningly into nothing and  rose from his chair “You don’t seem like the nobles I’ve met. You’re not a horrible man.”

Peter looked at the man, and Stiles almost blushed under his gaze. “I would believe that I am not, but it stills begs the question which noblemen you’ve met.”

“The horrible ones.” Stiles answered as it was a matter of fact and Peter guessed that it was. He’d met them himself, the pompous bastards that thought they owned the folk lower in the hierarchy like slaves and also treated them as such.

“It’s a shame. Some of us are not so bad.” He said and ushered Stiles out the door.

“I’ve started to see that. Who are you even to come here and stopping my prejudice in it’s tracks.” he smiled and Peter smiled too as he pulled a makeshift hood over his face.

“Oh keep on being skeptic. That’s healthy in small doses, until you become paranoid.”

“That ship has sailed my friend. Let’s get to the market. Tell me if you need to stop and rest for a while, it’s a bit of a walk.” Stiles smiled and started to walk. Fingers tapping lightly at his thigh, as if he was counting his steps. Peter wondered all the way over to the marketplace what it was with this man, this boy that had him on edge and smiling more than he had in weeks before.