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betrayed by bones

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Stiles gets three texts on a perfectly ordinary Thursday night when he has no interest of getting back out of his pajamas when his bed is lulling him back for more procrastinating of schoolwork and late night TV to binge on like a seductress lover pulling him into the sheets, all from Scott begging him to go to the woods with him. He supposes that it's just his life in a nutshell, because last Thursday when he wanted to go out, nobody had written back to his texts and maintained a perfect radio silence.

Derek thinks something's strange in the woods, Scott's first text says, perfectly vague.

think you should come along says the second.

helping best friend out or reruns of that 70s show reads the third in a deceptively clever guilt trip that Stiles refuses to stumble over. The fourth text comes right after he finishes the third, solemnly promising not more than an hour.

He's not really in the mood for dying a gruesome accidental death tonight (last Wednesday would’ve worked with that physics test Stiles forgot to study for throwing him into anxiety attacks), but he also doesn't want to be the giant hypocrite who won't investigate something completely innocuous in the darkness when Scott agreed to looking for half a body even when he was still a mighty chicken shit. Besides, if he's lucky, he'll avoid the untimely murder and manage to make it back home with only three instances of tripping over twigs.

Stiles spares himself the mental argument of weighing Scott's persistence with his desire to marathon a television show he's seen four times and just throws on a hoodie, stomping all the way to his car and grumbling about the cold as he goes.

If only one of these days their treks through the woods with Derek and co. would result in something other than maiming and snarky banter, Stiles might be more up for crawling out of bed.

It only takes him a few hours to figure out that he was entirely wrong and that he would gladly take snide sarcasm while he's being agonizingly maimed over the disaster that he inadvertently stumbles into that night.

--

"Oh, gross, Jesus Christ," Stiles violently curses with a faceful of mud. He writhes through the goo, finding slippery purchase on the ground and pushing himself up to a slightly less demeaning position. "I'm covered in this stuff!"

"Just relax," Derek says, hauling him up by the arm.

“Easy for you to say, you didn’t just faceplant into—eugh, what is this stuff?” Stiles drags his hand down his cheek and comes away with sticky goo, shining dusty pink in the moonlight, and a glob drips down from his nose. He looks down at the puddle that is definitely not harmless mud and back at his glistening hand, slightly petrified of what monster limb he might start growing or what inoperable ailment he's just obtained.

“What’s wrong?” Scott asks, stepping into the moonlight to glance at Stiles’ sticky hand. “Oh. Stiles, it’s all over your face, man.”

Stiles smears a generous glob of the substance off his eyebrow and lets it dangle from his fingertips, thick like syrup and oozing off his hands in thick droplets. Derek’s grip on his arm tightens like he needs to keep Stiles on a leash just to keep him from falling face first into more questionable substances, a precaution that Stiles takes offense from.

“Nobody else touch it,” Derek instructs, staring down Isaac and Peter. Isaac dutifully steps back. Peter steps closer to peer at the goo from a safe distance.

“Do you know what it is?” Scott asks.

“No, but it’s probably nothing good,” Derek looks at Stiles, still wiping it off his cheek with his sleeve, and his mouth disappears into a thin line of annoyance. “Get it off.”

“Working on it!” Stiles gripes. He feels more of it drip from his nose down to his upper lip, and honestly, how terrible could this stuff be. Stiles has seen his fair share of dangerous liquids in the past few months, and if anything, this looks like someone’s bottle of children-safe berry body wash burst open on the ground. In the woods, but still. It can’t be that bad.

He sticks out his tongue to clean off his upper lip, cleaning off the stickiness there with one swipe of his tongue. Derek barely has time to dig his nails into his arm before he swallows, and promptly, everybody freezes.

“What?” Stiles mumbles around his sticky mouth. Derek’s face has contorted into an ugly blend of infuriation and disbelief, like it’s hard for him to believe that anybody could be this rash and stupid, and Stiles frowns at him. “What?”

“Why would you,” Derek grits out. Stiles can think of an endless number of possible ends to his question, ranging from test my patience so very much to trip over a tree root the size of your pinky finger, but Derek stops himself and starts anew, still seething. “Did you just eat that?”

Stiles shrugs, trying his hardest to prove that he’s absolutely fine, but then an overwhelming wave of dizziness smashes in like someone’s clocked a hammer over his head and his knees buckle. Okay, not absolutely fine, then. He reaches out for support and Scott’s hand shoots out to steady him alongside Derek’s grip on his arm.

“Not feeling so hot,” Stiles says just as he starts seeing two distorted moons ghost in front of him in the sky. Two moons? That’s not right.

“What’s happening to him?” Isaac’s voice, sounding very far away, asks in alarm, and Stiles feels Derek shake his head above him. He feels his thighs quake like holding up his torso is much too heavy, much too hard, and then something that feels like a rabid thunderstorm bursts to life in his chest and the world spins off its axis.

The last thing he sees before he collapses is Peter's pinched face curiously looming over him, and then the blackness takes over and his knees buckle out from under him.

He should’ve kept his eyes on the two moons.

--

“—sure he's just fine.”

“Then why did he pass out?”

“—probably just running too hard—”

“He ate that stuff on the ground. I saw him lick it. That can't be good.”

“It was an incredibly stupid move. Why would you lick something on the ground.”

Stiles groans. He can't even be unconscious in peace, not in this life with these friends.

The longer the voices argue, the more he feels his hope for sleep drifting away. And that's when he remembers—still fuzzily at best—that he’s not even supposed to be sleeping. It's not a lazy Saturday morning and it's not naptime during math class, it's a Thursday evening that Stiles would have been perfectly happy spending in his bed watching reruns of Buffy while pretending to do English homework. And then he remembers running through the woods, stumbling eloquently over a gnarly root, and promptly ending up with mud over his most comfortable jeans and a mouthful of god knows what. God knows what is never good, not in this town, and Stiles feels himself deflate in horror.

And then he passed out, if his memory is correct, right in front of everybody while Derek was still trying to haul him to his feet and keep him moving. He remembers feeling fuzzy in the head, even a little tingly in the midsection. He still feels tingly, like the soft prickles of tiny needles are tickling him in the torso. He stirs.

“See, he's fine. He's awake.”

Stiles jumps when he peels open his eyes and right there, littered around the bed he’s pillowed on, are three faces poised over him with an array of facial expressions that go from concern, impatience, and mild interest. Derek notices a moment later that his eyes are fluttering open and promptly crosses his arms, waiting for lucidity or even the best explanation in the world as to why Stiles felt the need to lick the mysterious shiny gunk smeared over his face to leave his mouth.

“Nnngh,” is all Stiles' mouth can think to say. Something twinges, like maybe he was knocked into a few walls during the precarious carry up to Derek's loft and now his body is feeling the bruises come to life. He shifts on the mattress—one fleeting glance at the bare decor and flat pillows intuitively tells him he's sprawled on Derek's unimaginatively decorated bed—and frowns up at the faces peering down at him like he's a science experiment gone wrong.

“Something's weird about him,” Scott says instantly. “Stiles? You okay?”

Stiles tries to nod, but Isaac takes great pleasure in piping up before he can. “That weird thing is his personality.”

“What do you feel?” Derek says next, all clinical rather than comforting. His hands are clenched where they're curled into fists into the crook of his elbows and his eyebrows are suffering from a severe pinching that makes him look like he's expecting Stiles to implode right there on his mattress. Stiles frowns harder because he's pretty sure Derek's more worried about the state of his mattress than he is for Stiles’ wellbeing.

“Um,” Stiles feels around for words that can accurately describe the tingling prickling his bloodstream right now. “Did I get electrocuted?”

"No," Derek deadpans, looking less amused by the second as Stiles stares at the ceiling trying to remember all the specifics. What was it he swallowed? It tasted like bath salts, like he was licking something clean that was too full of chemicals to let his tongue brave. He wrinkles his nose and tries sitting up. Derek pushes him back down with one arm. “Sit down. We have no idea what's wrong with you yet.”

“Plenty,” Stiles grumbles, swatting away Derek's hand. “I just—I don't know. I feel really hyperaware. Of everything. Of my body. Definitely my body.”

Derek and Scott exchange an uncomfortable look over Stiles’ body that they do little to be discreet about. Derek looks profoundly disturbed like he'd very much like to step back from whatever infestation Stiles seems to have ingested when he took a nosedive into the puddle that should, by all means, have been an innocent collection of rain. There is something so very wrong in this town.

“What's the matter with him?” Peter's voice floats over from a room away as he approaches, and Derek gets out of the way to allow for yet more ogling at Stiles like he's a brand new zoo exhibit. “Well. Aside from the obvious, of course.”

The sarcastic comment begging to be let loose from his throat dies the second he sees Peter step up to his bedside. His eyes land smack dab on the dangerously deep v of his t-shirt, right where a smattering of soft hair is gathering on his chest, and instantly, the tiny tingles akin to being shocked by a fuzzy carpet turn into full blown bolts of lightning. Stiles feels unsuppressed, unadulterated, unequivocal want hit him like the climax of a thousand wet dreams, feels it run through his veins like the urges are nesting inside his very organs, and what happens next is undoubtedly the most embarrassing reflex that his instincts have ever encouraged him to do.

He lurches across the mattress, grabs Peter by the fabric of his flimsy t-shirt, and fuses his mouth onto his neck like the sweat in Peter's collarbone is the nectar he needs to survive. It's not until he's licking up Peter's jaw that his ears turn bright red and his heart speeds up, because honestly, what the hell is he doing.

He tries to back away, tries to scramble up the bed where it's safe and quiet and he has control over his own hands, but his body refuses. It feels like he's magnetized, his body melding itself into Peter's torso like he needs the touch of his skin on his fingertips just to stay sane. He can't pull away, so instead, he hollers for help and screams like a madman who isn't in control of his own functions anymore.

Thankfully enough, the shrieking of horror seems to alert enough attention to snap everybody out of the shock paralyzing them, and promptly, three pairs of hands haul Stiles forcefully away from Peter until he's returned to a more favorable distance. Stiles is mortified. Stiles is never leaving the house again, except perhaps, to move far, far away where nobody saw him aggressively molest Peter Hale's neck. He still feels the urge to scream, and wonders if it would solve anything other than turn this situation up from Fairly Concerning to Straight Up Terrifying.

He looks up and there's Peter, wiping Stiles' spit off his neck and watching him with a reserved fascination like he has no idea what to make of Stiles' tongue ravishing his throat, while the pressure of Derek's grip on his arm turns from blood pressure cuff to vice-like talons sinking into his skin. Stiles is just as horrified.

"What the hell was that?!" Scott exclaims, his hands equally firm on Stiles' shoulders. Stiles' feet are still pushing desperately at the sheets like all they want is to propel out of Scott and Derek's grip and return him to Peter, and Stiles fears what may happen when the restraint of their hands go away.

"Oh my god," Stiles breathes out. "Oh my god. I so didn't—I really didn't want to do that. Really."

"Jesus," Derek groans. "Did you swallow a goddamn love potion?"

"What? Those exist? Oh god, no. No, no, no, no no no."

"Shut up," Derek growls at him. He looks extremely fed up, like if somebody told him years ago that his life would be reduced to being cooped up in a shabby loft fixing the problems of adolescent teenagers he'd happily clock them in the face and get on with his day. "We have to get to Deaton. He's better equipped to handle this than anybody else." He swivels around and lets go of Stiles' arm, Stiles' body reveling in the renewed strength right before Isaac replaces him. "Peter, stay away from him."

"I'm fine with that," Peter says, even though he's still looking at Stiles with an air of curiosity like he'd much rather investigate the symptoms than walk away. The look unnerves Stiles, like his curiosity stems from his morbid desire to see if Stiles would beg to be touched and teased under this sort of supernatural persuasion.

He walks to the door with Derek in tow, and they barely make it five steps away from the bed when Stiles feels the electricity practically hold his body captive as a tightly coiled ball of tension tears through him. He keens, low in his throat, and whines, "Peter!" just enough to sound painfully desperate. He feels the distance between them like a tow truck's hook tethered into his stomach, urging him closer and closer with pain as an incentive. He whines again and Peter stops.

"He's in pain," Scott tells them. "You can't leave him like this."

Peter takes another step closer and Derek promptly stops him with a firm hand on his chest. Peter rolls his eyes.

"That hardly seems productive," Peter says, shrugging off his hand and approaching Stiles. God, Stiles wishes he wouldn't, if only to keep his pulse from rocketing past the speed limit and his hands from itching to vanish down his pants, even if it hurts to have him at a distance. Werewolves, he could handle; paranormal sexual inclinations toward Peter Hale, he never signed up for. "He probably just needs contact.

He leans in and grabs Stiles' wrist, fingers encircling the fragile bone there. Stiles feel his body relax, feels his feet calm and his legs stop writhing. Hesitantly, Isaac and Scott pull away their hands. Stiles takes a deep breath and stares at the hand blanketing his wrist in an oddly soothing grip. It feels like his entire body has stopped boiling, and slowly, the overwhelming urges to rocket into Peter's arms subsides. The touch sustains him and he reaches out desperately to fist Peter's shirt in his hands and find more skin to press against.

"Just wonderful," Derek mutters grimly. "You're physically connected to a sixteen-year-old kid. This won't get either of you in trouble at all."

Stiles glares because he is definitely not in the mood for a recap, but he says nothing, because Derek is unfortunately completely right.

--

“—so based on the fact that he probably ingested whatever it was he fell on when he tripped and Peter was the last person he saw before he passed out, the effects could either be digested quickly or be stuck until Deaton finds an antidote, which isn't exactly good news because—Jesus. Peter, can you just. Can you do something?"

Stiles isn't even listening, even as Derek pulls his sour face out. He's way too occupied trying to drape his arms around Peter's shoulders and lick his cheek, especially as the urge to do so gets stronger still. It's a little disconcerting, particularly considering that only a few hours earlier a hand on his wrist was enough to satisfy him. If his desires are only on the up and up, Stiles is a little worried as to exactly how bad this could get. It's not like rationalism can come in and save the day, not when it's taken a backseat to primal feelings like lust and need and hunger and Stiles can do little to school his brain into valuing logic over molesting Peter Hale in front of his best friends.

"I would love to," Peter drawls, all the while trying his hardest to subdue Stiles and pull him gently off his torso. Stiles isn't swayed. "He's very persistent."

Stiles groans, wanting very much to bellow a few choice words into Peter's ear if his wandering hands wouldn’t completely contradict them. Apparently, his body needs this much more than his dignity needs to be rescued, so he settles for a growl of frustration as he breathes in the musk of Peter's neck.

Derek exhales, a slow, exasperated sigh like he's the one most affected by the highly illegal PDA occurring in his own living room right about now. Stiles can assure him that he can think of at least two people who are taking it harder than he is, the first being himself, and the other his dick, which has yet to stop stirring in his pants like he's waiting for the party to get started so he can hump Peter's leg.

"Anyway," Derek grits out. "Deaton also told me that this doesn't affect personal emotions, so no matter how much he might want to sleep with you, Peter, know that he still sees you for the terrible human being that you are."

Stiles misses the grade A battle of snarky eyebrows that occurs between Derek and his uncle, too busy nibbling on Peter's collarbone like it's his life mission to do so. Peter's still attempting to peel him off him into submission, but the firm pushes of his broad palm on his hips and stomach are making matters much worse than they're actually improving the situation.

"What is it?" Peter grits back with just as much acid in his voice as Derek.

"It's a form of wolfsbane," Derek says. "It affects Stiles just like the wolfsbane at Lydia's party did, except… in different ways. Obviously."

"But that wore off," Scott points out. "It only lasted one night."

"All forms of wolfsbane work differently, especially in different dosages. We'd be better off finding the antidote as quickly as possible than waiting for this to wear off," Derek sends a pointed look in Peter's direction. "Before the Sheriff finds out."

"I think it's pretty obvious I'm the one being coerced out of my pants here."

"Tell that to Stiles' dad. The Sheriff."

"Thank you, Derek."

Stiles misses yet another shooting of hard glares across the room. He's already succeeded in creating four hickeys on Peter's neck, all which are rapidly fading away, but would much rather let his tongue continue with its work than face the repulsed expressions of Scott, Isaac, and Derek all giving Stiles and Peter a wide berth of room as if frightened of possible contagiousness.

"Stiles, just try to hold it in as much as you can until we can fix this," Scott pleads. Peter succeeds in pushing Stiles to arm length, leaving Stiles room to collect his breath and straighten his clothes. Everybody’s staring at him like they’re stuck between disgust and sympathy, and Stiles finds himself at the same crossroads.

“Easy peasy,” he promises, quite breezily, and fixedly avoids looking at Peter to keep from stoking the fire in his belly.

So of course, it’s not all that easy.

--

Thankfully for Stiles, who tries his very hardest to wash his brain of the entire memory of the last few incredibly humiliating hours, long durations of contact sate his body for a blissful stretch of time in which it is just him and his overwhelming desire to gag up all recollections of the evening in his room.

He makes it back home after midnight and sneaks upstairs in an empty house just in case his father is snoring on the sofa, collapses on the bed with a quiet TV on in the background to distract him from his own horrifying thoughts, and sleeps through the night fine.

By morning, however, his luck has run out, and all he can think of is touching Peter Hale.

He tries jerking off first thing as he tumbles out of bed, desperately hoping that his own hand will suffice in curbing his insufferable hormones. He locks the bathroom door and stuffs his hand down his pants, firmly thinking about things like the beautiful waitress at the crab shack he and Scott braved a few weeks ago, or the curve of Lydia's cleavage in low-cut dresses, or even how watching Titanic used to get him hot and bothered. It doesn't work.

He tries for a good ten minutes to get himself to the edge before it starts feeling like an endless taffy pull that inevitably results in chafing and he all but shouts obscenities to the ceiling. He doesn't remember the last time he was this sexually pent up, like somebody has lit a fire of sparkling need in his belly that's found its purchase on dry wood and there's not a single fireman around to hose it down. Stiles definitely needs to be hosed down.

Not ready to give in so easily, he tries for another five minutes like a true champ, ditching the fantasies of naked women washing cars and letting his mind focus on Peter. Peter in deep v-necks. Peter without a v-neck. Peter laying on top of him without a v-neck or any other articles of clothing. The fire inside him goes from stovetop explosion to disastrous forest flames, increasing his frustration by levels he didn't know were possible, but does nothing to help him come.

He wastes another two minutes shouting at his dick like it's committed a terrible betrayal to him that it can never repent for before he caves and he fumbles for his phone. His fingers twitch the whole time he tries to make it to his contact screen, and when he dials, he wonders if his teachers would take "out of my mind with horniness" as a valid excuse for not showing up to school. He's guessing no, which is quite unfortunate for him.

"I need you," Stiles all but pants as the call is finally picked up.

"God," Derek groans on the other end, sounding supremely uncomfortable. Stiles can practically see his rolling eyes materialize in front of him. "I'll get Peter."

The phone rustles like it's being jostled from one hand to another, Stiles' ankle tapping out a nervous rhythm on the ground the entire time. His pants are still pooled in a heap down by his ankles and he feels like an absolute idiot.

"Stiles," Peter's smooth voice says into the phone, and even the way he speaks words and slick and slow is turning Stiles on. "I have the feeling you didn't just call to chat."

"I need you," Stiles says again, much more loudly than before. He hears Peter carefully exhale on the other line like he's still considering how to handle the situation, like if teasing would be appropriate right about now.

"We're going to Deaton's today to see if he learned anything about fixing this," Peter tells him. "Meet us there. And for god's sake, don't go to school."

--

The eleven minute drive to Deaton’s is not exactly fun. Stiles drives the entire way with a relentlessly stiff cock that refuses to listen to reason, and by the time he jerks to a stop in the parking lot, he knows his self-control is officially on vacation.

It takes Derek and Peter another excruciating ten minutes to arrive, almost like they were sure a leisurely detour to Starbucks was definitely a good idea, and when the car pulls up and Derek steps out, Stiles is ready to sob with need.

"Tell me he's there," Stiles begs. Derek nods, fixedly not looking at him the entire time as if the situation is too awkward for eye contact, and Stiles all but throws himself to the opposite side of the car to wrench open the passenger door.

He gets a whiff of Peter's cologne and he's like a shark smelling blood in the water, his primal instincts taking over until he finds himself pinning Peter against the car and wrapping his arms around his neck like they're a couple reunited at the airport. It's incredibly embarrassing, especially with Derek clearing his throat only a few feet away while he tries his hardest to keep his eyesight vertical and address only the sky.

"Is this the new way teenagers say hello?" Peter asks, sounding thoroughly amused, and then Stiles' mouth latches onto the pulse point under his neck and Peter's hands promptly fly to Stiles' hips.

Peter is oddly complacent about the tongue on his neck for the next invigorating two minutes while Stiles' heart rate returns to normal and lets him breathe air once more. Drug addicts probably feel just like this for days when they're stuck in withdrawal, right up until they cheat and break into their hidden stash. Stiles can't exactly blame them when so far relapsing back into Peter's arms feels like getting to wolf down a buffet after weeks of starvation.

Derek's the one to finally pry Stiles away, muttering that's enough all the while. Stiles keeps his fingers furled around Peter's elbow the whole time to sate the monster living rent free in his stomach, absolutely refusing to hold hands even for the sake of his own sanity. He keeps telling himself on repeat that this nightmare is blissfully temporary, so it's a little disconcerting when the first thing he sees upon entering the clinic is Deaton's uneasy face.

"It's not permanent," Deaton assures them five minutes later in the back room while Stiles slowly deflates. "But it won't wear off on its own either."

"But you have an antidote, don't you?" Stiles persists.

"It's quite rare, just as the wolfsbane you stumbled upon is as well. Finding it will be a small challenge," his eyes land on Stiles' distraught look of utter horror and he flashes him an enigmatic smile that does little to mollify Stiles’ panicking. "But it won't take too long."

"So we have nothing to worry about?" Derek asks from the corner. He's taken to separating himself from Peter and Stiles' combined unit as if he's the boy who lags behind an entire aisle when he's at the grocery store with his mother in the pure shame of being seen out and about with his family.

"Not with the antidote," Deaton assures them. "But in my research I did come across something rather alarming that I ought to warn you about." He turns directly to Stiles, looking quite grim. "Wolfsbane is lethal to humans as well as werewolves, Stiles. The urges it makes you feel, you can't ignore them."

The heavy or else hangs wordlessly in the air. Stiles bites the bullet and asks, "Or?"

"Trying to deny your body what it wants is like keeping water from a man dying of thirst," Deaton says. "Even if the effects are just in your head, your mind is convinced of what your body needs and will not be dissuaded. You feel a pain grow when you're not together, don't you?"

Stiles nods. He isn't a fan of where this is going.

"That pain will become stronger and stronger should you refrain from seeing him, touching him. It can injure you greatly if left untreated."

“…is injure me greatly just a euphemism for kill me?” Stiles asks dryly.

“Pretty much,” Deaton deadpans with eyes that are deadly serious. Stiles wishes the guy would crack a joke once in a while.

So Stiles was right when he was sweating out of every possible inch of skin during junior year’s formal and watching his dreadfully boring life flash behind his eyes while Peter kneeled over him with blood on his mouth. Peter Hale will definitely be the death of him.

--

“What are we going to do,” Stiles moans in hopelessness when they leave Deaton’s without so much as a thumbs-up as reassurance that Stiles will eventually get his logic back, let alone survive. He’s back in his Jeep, repeatedly slamming his forehead on the steering wheel while flipping off the deities that think his life is one big cosmic joke. In his passenger seat to keep Stiles from swerving into a ditch should he be overcome with a wave of need, is Peter, who looks at Stiles like he’s not fond of the histrionic reactions.

“All you really need is contact,” Peter says. “There’s an obvious solution.”

“There is?” Stiles asks. Peter cocks his head to the car key until Stiles revs up the Jeep and points airily down the road in the direction of his house.

“Drive to your house,” Peter demands. “We’re going to use your backyard.”

Stiles sends Peter derisive eyes even as he backs out of the parking lot, curving into the main street and heading for home. If Peter’s idea is getting naked and succumbing to whatever crazy urges Stiles’ body is encouraging, he’s not doing it with the threat of grass stains on his back and worms crawling into his ass. If they absolutely have to hanky panky, Stiles is doing it indoors.

“What’s the plan?” Stiles asks the second they wander into the backyard. Peter plants himself across from him, far too many feet away for sex. Stiles feels the desire scratch down his back like nails and wishes he was closer, just close enough to grab by the wrist.

“You need to touch me, and you need me to touch you, right?” Peter says, and Stiles nods. The resulting grin that forms on Peter’s mouth is slightly disconcerting. “I can do that.”

“What are you—”

And without a shred of warning, there's a fist in Stiles' face, straight on his nose, and Stiles reels backward, cupping his face as what he's sure is a waterfall of blood trickles out of his nostrils.

"What the fuck?" Stiles howls, pinching the bridge of his nose. "That's my moneymaker you're taking swings at!"

He pulls his fingers away, and sure enough, dots of crimson are sprinkled on his hand. He wonders if hitting back would be beneficial when he's fighting a seasoned werewolf, and settles for an indignant outstretch of his arms instead to convey his anger.

"You need contact," Peter repeats, holding up his fist. "Still contact."

He steps toward Stiles again with his furled hands poised, and promptly, Stiles stumbles backward to avoid another hit to the face.

"Are you kidding?"

"And you might as well learn."

Stiles dodges yet another step, and he's pretty sure Peter's reflexes are better than that, like he's slowed himself down for Stiles' pathetic survival instinct. "Learn what?"

"How to fight," Peter says, like it's obvious. "Learning how to fight a werewolf is just a bonus."

His hand swipes down below, catching Stiles off guard, and his ankles are promptly pulled out from under him. He blinks and his vision goes vertical, a startlingly blue sky assaulting his retinas as his back hits the dirt. His shoulder bones feel the throb of pain instantaneously, and no matter how much sense it makes for Stiles to be schooled in physical combat, he's much too ticked off to appreciate the barrage of embarrassing assaults. He glares up at Peter, the constant ache of his lust intermingling with an equally ardent rage, and for a second, he can't tell if his arousal or his outrage is stronger than the other.

He gets to his feet and tries to land a hit on Peter's chest that Peter steps swiftly out of the way from. He hits again, and watches as his fist swerves through nothing but air.

“Are you even trying?” Peter drawls, not even slightly out of breath as he sidesteps Stiles’ next flailing fist. He slips in just in time to seize Stiles by the neck, his grip just lax enough to keep him breathing. He looks horribly unimpressed by Stiles’ antics, or rather, his lack of them, and gently squeezes his hand. “Do you even know where to hit?” He lets go, his finger trailing delicately down Stiles’ jugular. “The neck is fragile. You should’ve gone for that.”

Stiles smacks his hand off and kicks, his shin making contact with Peter’s groan. Werewolf or not, he’s pretty sure a critical hit to the family jewels can do a moment’s worth of damage if nothing else, and Peter goes down onto his knees with a poorly veiled grimace of pain. Of course, he drags Stiles down with him, and Stiles has little warning before he’s being yanked to the ground once more.

“Jesus Christ,” Stiles swears as he’s dragged onto his back. He’s still not sure if this is working or if his anger is just masking his bubbling desire, but he has to admit that right now, he’s more focused on tearing off Peter’s face than he is his clothes.

Peter’s forearm lands on his throat, keeping him in place, and Stiles is really getting sick of constantly getting stuck with the underhand. Peter’s looking at him like he’s waiting for Stiles to learn his place since the only thing between him and living past adolescence is Peter’s arm refraining from suffocating him blue, or maybe like he’s waiting for Stiles to do something, challenge him, kick him in unmentionable places again. Stiles is definitely considering it.

“You’re basically dead,” Peter rolls his eyes above him, squatting over his torso. The second Stiles’ body realizes that he’s just one thrust upward away from making contact with the delicious friction of his hips, Stiles feels the exercise lose its value. He grits his teeth and bites his lip hard enough to bleed to push the urges down, anything but indulge in them. He’s usually amazing at self-control, can always stop himself from touching something that isn’t his in museums or eating the cookies put out for the guests, except for now, when all of that hard training of restraint has gone flying out the window.

He fastens his legs around Peter’s hips and tries to roll them over and flip Peter on his back, which works for about two seconds before Peter grabs him by the jaw and strikes their foreheads together.

“Ow, fuck!” Stiles groans, because that’s going to be a bruise. “You headbutted me?”

“Yes,” Peter says like they’re discussing the weather. “What are you going to do about it?”

If this is his attempt at offering assistance in Stiles’ survival, Stiles isn’t buying it. Besides, aside from a few close calls, he’s still alive and kicking with help from his ever helpful baseball bat and sharp wit and unbelievably uncoordinated ability to stagger away from a scene of danger at a relatively fast pace. He doesn’t need a self-defense class, he needs contact. He needs to feel things, like skin and sweat and bare flesh.

He acts impulsively, leaving no time for his brain to filter his ideas, and then his hands are grabbing Peter’s ass through his jeans, not sure if he wants to attack or molest, and it catches Peter by surprise. For about a second, right before Peter’s clawed hands dig into Stiles’ hips. He feels the claws like a warning—or maybe they’re totally unintentional, awakened by Stiles’ boldness alone—and his body seizes up.

“Hmm,” Peter finally says, dragging his claws up Stiles’ sides. “I give it a seven out of ten. Certainly took me by surprise. But your follow-up—basically nonexistent.”

He’s so close, close enough for Stiles to be intoxicated by the smell of his shampoo alone, and his body prickles with the familiar pulls and pushes of desire. It’s definitely an unsettling feeling when gravity seems to be pulling him upwards rather than down, like it’s his most valuable mission to slot his and Peter’s legs together and breathe in his scent. Peter’s still looking at him, waiting for his next move before ultimately caging him into a headlock, and Stiles takes his chance while it’s there.

He surges up and kisses him, his body practically singing a symphony as he does. Peter’s lips, as unresponsive as they are, are giving him insight into all of life’s unanswerable questions, letting him get a glimpse of his dead relatives, feeding him energy, and then Peter roughly pulls away.

“Two out of ten,” he deadpans, eyes dark. “You’re not learning.”

Stiles fists his hands in Peter’s hair and yanks, tousling it out of its sleek state. “Stop it. You have to—I need. I need this.”

Earn it,” Peter growls, pinning him on the ground, and Stiles all but dislocates his shoulders trying to roll them over so he can land the upper hand. Peter has no intentions of letting him, so Stiles resorts to playing dirty and elbowing him repeatedly in the ribs. He tries his hardest to arch up, lean into his mouth, lick up his neck, but Peter pushes him flat on his back until the only thing he can struggle with are his toes.

“I don’t want to do it either,” Stiles growls. “But I need to if I want to live, okay? And I don’t know why you’re struggling so much because this is literally life or death for me! Life or death! And I know for some of us, coming back to life is old hat, but I only have one go at this, buddy! So just get over yourself and help me!”

He’s panting by the time he’s finished, hot and bothered and extremely high-strung. He doesn’t care why Peter’s making this so hard, if he wants to hear Stiles beg or if he really is that concerned about statutory rape laws, but Stiles is done with the wrestling around the issue. He needs to feel and kiss and have sex a few times in the next hour alone, and he’s done pretending he can ignore the issue. He can’t.

Peter looks down at him, completely silent, like he’s considering his words or Stiles himself. His outburst might have been enough of a surprise to quiet him, and Stiles takes the opportunity to roll out from underneath his grip and get to his feet, trying in vain to brush the spots of dirt off his pants. Peter follows him, elegantly returning to his knees, and gives him the polite smirk of a gentleman who holds doors open for ladies and then wreaks havoc to the stock market behind their backs.

“Of course I’ll help you, Stiles,” Peter says, the courteous grin going nowhere. “Would you believe me if I said I was concerned for your virtue?”

“No,” Stiles dismisses promptly, and then Peter’s holding his hand out for a cordial handshake.

“Until this is over, then,” he agrees, waiting for Stiles to slot their hands together. Stiles stares at his palm like he’s waiting to get horribly pranked, and then can no longer resist the consuming urge to touch him. He grabs his hand and lets Peter shake it. “I’ll be the picture of compliance. But Stiles,” he pulls Stiles closer until they’re close enough for Stiles to lean in and lick his nose. “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

And then he’s letting go of his hand and smoothing the wrinkles out of his shirt, back to presenting himself with the utmost of nobility. Stiles would be worried if his body wasn’t calling the shots right now, but it is, so instead of probing further into what the hell he means, he pushes him up against the garden shed and drags his tongue up his neck for the next half an hour, and Peter lets him.

--

Stiles has never been this thirsty in his entire life, and four formerly full water bottles and guzzling Gatorade down his front do little to quench him.

He's itchy and restless, the same twinges of electric tingles nestled in his gut for days keeping him alert and awake as he rolls back and forth on the bed. His stomach's already clenching in the dull pain of separation, a pain that has Stiles both frightened and curious of what the repercussions would be if he lets the pain mount. He hasn't had too many encounters with wolfsbane, but from what experience he does have, he knows that it isn't exactly helpful in survival and might as well be deadly. Granted, dying with dignity instead of refusing to touch Peter Hale might be a graceful way to go, but he's not sure he's okay with dying when he's never parasailed, never had sex, and never gone to Mexico with Scott.

He doesn’t remember the last time he needed to feel so badly. It was certainly never a feeling that couldn’t be solved with his own hand. Hormones are a part of life when living as a teenage boy, but this, right now, this is much more than an onslaught of hormones. It feels like his skin’s on fire with the need to touch skin, Peter’s skin. Stiles is mortified with himself.

He toes curl inward and outward in his socks as he tries his hardest to think of other things. Maybe it’s all in his head, just an elaborate mind-bending maneuver like the wolfsbane at Lydia’s party. It’s just a matter of seeing through the lust into reality, a lovely reality in which Stiles doesn’t want to violently rip off the clothes of a man who once threw him headfirst onto the trunk of a car.

Unfortunately, thoughts of manhandling do the exact opposite than turn him off, and before Stiles can help it, his pants are feeling uncomfortably tight and his dick is taking an interest in his body’s desires. He grabs the sheets and curls them into his fist, taking a deep breath as he closes his eyes and concentrates. He thinks about the horrific time when he was eight and walked in on his grandmother naked. He thinks about the idea of his father finding him necking in his room with a man twice his age. He thinks about his naked grandmother and his father catching him together. He groans.

“God, you reek.”

Stiles jolts up in bed, eyes wide open as he hurries to scan the room of whatever voyeuristic werewolves have found it necessary to climb undetected through his window. Of course it’s Peter, standing nonchalantly by Stiles’ desk and taking in Stiles’ pitiful form, from his tented jeans to his slick lip thoroughly bitten out of frustration. Stiles feels the ache in his chest get harder as his fingers itch to pull him in. He wishes he had better self-control.

“Holy god,” he moans, partly because his body is already whining to be touched and partly because Peter’s surprise entrance just shaved a few extra years off his life expectancy. “What?”

“You reek,” Peter repeats, slowly this time, “of sex. Or rather, of the irrepressible need to have sex.”

Once again, Stiles wishes he had a clever comeback at the ready, but everything Peter’s saying is true. It does feel irrepressible, whatever it is infesting his normally logical body, and as much as he knows it’ll cause nightmares later when this is all over, right now he wants nothing more than to beg for Peter to give him what he wants. He throws his hands over his face to hide his desperation, and suddenly, Peter’s perched on the edge of his bed and his fingertips are trailing down his side. He jumps and feels his entire body heat up to volcanic temperatures.

“Don’t,” Stiles warns, already feeling the need to yank Peter on top of him. God, Peter probably enjoys this, the way Stiles is practically foaming at the mouth for him and can’t do anything about it.

 

“I thought contact helps,” Peter murmurs innocently, his fingers hitching up Stiles’ shirt to rest on his bare stomach. The touch feels rivals the relief of jumping into a pool on a scorching hot day, like a second of clarity is bursting through the haze of needy arousal at Peter’s palm stretching over his abdomen.

“I need more,” Stiles admits, feeling his face heat up a second later. Against his better judgment, he looks at Peter and watches his eyebrow raise in question.

“Oh?” Peter says. His voice is soft and intrigued, like Stiles saying exactly what he wants out loud is much more satisfying than Peter flat out indulging him. Everything with Peter is a struggle, Stiles knows that. He wishes it could have been Derek he looked at first, who would have begrudgingly helped him alongside threats warning him to never mention this ever, ever again, but then he looks at Peter’s muscled arms and strong neck and his body seems very much pleased that Peter’s the one affected versus anybody else.

“I can’t—” He takes another deep breath and tries to muster up the energy to glare at Peter for teasing, always teasing. “I can’t handle it, it hurts.” He reaches out to grab Peter’s thighs, just to hold him there and squeeze. It’s not enough, he needs more. “Please.”

A corner of Peter’s mouth turns up, pleased and amused. “Since you asked so nicely…” he moves to slowly straddle Stiles’ hips, ignoring the way Stiles bucks upward and keens for more, and slips out of his shirt. The fresh skin on display is enough to drive Stiles’ brain into a cloud of need, and instantly his hands are scattering up his chest, gripping the soft warmth of his shoulders. Peter grabs his wrists, an infuriating confinement as his hands fidget to drag down Peter’s chest, and pins them by his head. “Keep your hands to yourself.”

He’s so cheeky that Stiles groans, frustrated out of his mind. Here he is, panting like he’s in heat while he tries to rub his hips upward into Peter’s and free his restrained wrists, and the only thing keeping him from panicking is the knowledge that none of this is his own free will. There is no need for a homosexuality crisis, and there is no need for introspection as to why he finds Peter fucking Hale to be the most attractive being on this earth, not when it’s all the wolfsbane continuing to give his life hell. He wonders if telling himself this enough will keep him from feeling like he wants to flush himself down a toilet when it’s all over and he still has the memories of Peter’s hands flitting down his thighs.

“Peter,” Stiles breathes out, his body arching upward for more, always more, “I can’t. I need—”

“I know,” Peter purrs, his voice low and sultry like honey, and it does little to help Stiles’ libido. He growls and Peter takes pity on him, letting go of his hands to unzip his jeans and pull them down to his knees.

God, this is embarrassing. He’s practically sobbing with need while Peter straddles him and stares down his tented underwear, and the second this is over, he wants someone to pull these memories from his brain one by one or he’s going down for permanent hibernation. He lifts his hips the second Peter shimmies his boxers out of the way, trying not to let his face heat up with the embarrassment of Peter’s cocked eyebrow at the glance at his dick and failing miserably. He’s about to tell Peter that he’s very much about to die with lust, his brain nothing but a swirl of hazy desire, when finally, Peter finds mercy for him and wraps a hand around his erection.

It feels so much better than his own hand ever did. It feels better than chocolate cake on his birthday, or taking the first exhilarating plunge down a rollercoaster, and it leaves Stiles wondering if anything will ever compare as he lets loose a waterfall of curses sure to make his grandmother writhe in her grave. He scrambles to grip the sheets, the pillow, the nearest limb that can withstand his white-knuckled grip, and he closes his eyes to block out the smug grin on Peter’s face as he all but reduces him to a pile of whimpers. His hand is steady like he knows exactly what he’s doing, like he knows exactly how to get Stiles begging, and his wrist turns on the upstroke and Stiles swears he sees a glimpse of heaven flash behind his eyelids.

“Oh god,” Stiles groans. His hypersensitivity is making the slightest brush of Peter’s thumb feel like the angels themselves have descended from the skies to deliver him pleasure of the highest caliber, and he ruts desperately up into Peter’s grip. His fist feels loose around him, like he’s purposefully waiting for Stiles to plead for more, and unfortunately, Stiles has no dignity to refrain from doing so.

“So responsive,” Peter’s mumbling, like he’s positively fascinated at the way Stiles’ body arches toward him and keens for more. Stiles opens his eyes, fully ready to glare, but the sight of Peter’s chest flexing and his hand pumping Stiles’ erection has him tipping his head back in utter bliss.

“You think?” he manages to gasp out. Peter’s hand unexpectedly trails up his chest just in time to tweak his nipple and Stiles responds with a heady moan that doesn’t go unnoticed. “More.”

Peter huffs like Stiles’ impatience is a large inconvenience in his day and squeezes Stiles’ hip. “Fine,” he says. “Roll over.”

The fear that Stiles should be feeling isn’t there, replaced entirely with a longing, itching urge to come, and for just a second, god, is he glad that this is Peter and nobody else. Peter won’t hesitate, won’t worry about hurting Stiles or bruising his purity. He’ll give Stiles exactly what he needs and then some, perfectly willing to go as hard and desperate as Stiles wants even if he doesn’t beg for it out loud. Maybe lacking a moral compass is ideal when it comes to rough, aggressive sex, which happens to be exactly what Stiles needs to stay alive at the moment in comparison to slow, gentle touches.

He flips over and feels a thrum of thrill run through him as Peter slides his hands over his ass cheeks, rubbing his thumbs right near the crack while Stiles bites onto the pillowcase and edges his thighs apart just in time to have Peter run his palms up his legs.

“Please,” Stiles begs, beyond caring. “Just c’mon already.”

He tries to find friction between his cock and the sheets before Peter puts a palm on the small of his back to still him. God, the bastard is enjoying this too much, but it just so happens that Stiles is too. He stifles his moans in the soft cotton of the pillow, furling his fingers around the rumpled sheets while Peter goes back to massaging his ass. Stiles can imagine the satisfied, feral look on his face without having to look over his shoulder to check, and instead of scaring him, it only turns the temperature up past boiling. He’s dying, he’s sure of it.

And then Peter’s tongue is flat against his opening, licking slowly upwards until he’s sucking marks into the knobs of his lower spine. Stiles all but sobs and this time he really is dying, slowly and torturously and perfectly all at once. What a way to go, his brain vaguely manages to put into a thought, right before Peter descends on his entrance again and teases his tongue over it. Stiles sucks in a breath and doesn’t realize he’s chanting yes, yes, yes until his ears register the sound of Peter chuckling, the vibrations of his laughter landing right on his ass.

Stiles rolls his hips and Peter stills him with his hands once more, gripping bruises into his hips as he tongues his hole and sets up a rhythm that has Stiles sobbing into his pillow. What other sixteen-year-olds with more nervous ticks than fingers and an incurable case of sarcasm like Stiles can say that they’ve been eaten out to the point of passing out? Stiles wants to know. Stiles wants to start a fucking club.

“Peter,” he hisses, over and over, and he knows how much Peter’s ego is inflating at the sound of his name whispered reverently like a frantic prayer. Peter can build a fucking shrine for himself for all Stiles cares as he long as he keeps his tongue moving like that.

His tongue slides in his asshole a moment later, warm and wet and heavenly. Stiles wonders if he'll be clawing holes in the sheets anytime soon at the rate this is going. His tongue traces the rim of his entrance before his mouth fastens around him and sucks, actually sucks, and Stiles bites onto the pillowcase until his teeth hurt. He's close, his mind spinning and his entire body shaking with need, and every lap of Peter's tongue over his ass pushes him closer and closer to boiling point.

“C’mon, Stiles,” Peter murmurs directly on his entrance, his tongue flicking out to lave over his furled opening once more. “Give in.”

Peter’s voice is like sex personified, deep and husky like growls of dominance, and then Peter’s teeth sink into his ass as a hard bite and Stiles loses it.

He’s not sure if he blacks out, but he certainly loses pockets of time that leave him foggy-brained and quivering in the damp sheets wet with his own come, and then there’s Peter’s hands squeezing his thighs to bring him back to life and his room slowly comes back into focus. He rolls over and grabs Peter by the neck, reeling him in by pure instinct to connect their mouths and make use of the residual bursts of passion still coursing through him like zaps of voltage.

The kiss is good, almost as good as the one Stiles’ anger fueled alone when he was pinned to the dirt with Peter looming over him ready to put him into a headlock, and then there are Peter’s claws pressing into his neck making crescent indents threatening to break the soft skin. It feels like a challenge for Stiles to push further, and he does, his tongue pushing past Peter’s lips and arms winding around his shoulders. He feels like a famished man dipping into a creek for water, kissing Peter senseless until his lips are raw and swollen and the coiling hunger in his chest relaxes.

He pulls back and there’s Peter, close enough for Stiles to count every bump and knick on his cheeks, and Stiles is reminded at how weird this is. His ears turn pink and the discomfort of sitting in a puddle of his own come settles in, and Peter smirks like he can read Stiles’ mind from the front cover all the way to the epilogue. He slips off the bed, Stiles’ arms falling from his shoulders, and throws his shirt on over his head.

“Hnnn, wow, okay,” Stiles says, unintentionally out loud, and Peter smirks at him. His lips are still shiny from eating Stiles out, slick with spit, and Stiles tries to convince his body that two minutes is much too short of a reboot time. “I think that’ll keep me okay for a while.”

“Good,” Peter says, and he’s still looking at Stiles with a hunger he doesn’t try to hide as Stiles tries to buckle up his pants again. “And Stiles? Nice ass.”

And then he’s out the window making Stiles feel like he just ordered a fast and dirty hook-up from the seedy part of the phone book, except his body is so halcyon and his heartbeat is so lazily pleased that he can do little to worry about it.

It’s just sex, Stiles’ mind supplies helpfully, and Stiles goes to sleep with that thought wrung through his brain on repeat.

--

It’s Thursday night when he wakes up from the pain.

It’s an ache different than the usual twinges in his stomach that feel like someone’s mistakenly sunken a fishhook into his belly, more like there are nails digging into his heart and a hammer slamming them deeper, almost as if the pain has migrated six inches north just for a change of setting. He takes a breath and tries to curl up, twisting his alarm clock around so the bright numbers can assault his retinas. 2:31am.

He has a math test tomorrow that he’s going to need a well-rested brain for, not one that’s addled with exhaustion because his hormone-driven body is jonesing for a fix that’ll keep him sane for a few hours. God, this is so impractical. Whoever the sadistic bastard was that realized that wolfsbane was the best weapon for revenge, agony, and a lifetime worth of humiliation should probably be beheaded.

The pain shoots through him again, this time pulling a wince from his mouth as a knife seems to drive its way right into his heart. His pulse speeds up, the pain turning from dull to insistent within minutes, and Stiles realizes that it’s getting worse. He needs Peter closer if he doesn’t want to start ripping apart his own chest just to remove the daggers he’s sure are stuck in his organs, and a part of him has the humor to wonder if that’s at all ironic considering his previous experiences with Peter usually involved putting as much distance between him and Stiles as possible to ensure his survival.

The pain shoots through him again like a fresh stab, and Stiles pinches himself in the ribs to try and divert his brain’s attention elsewhere. The pain doesn’t feel like the electricity Stiles remembers, nothing like the magnetic pull of arousal distorting his thoughts. It feels raw and heavy, much worse than a gravitational tug toward sexual release and skin contact. Another pulse of agony hits Stiles straight in the heart and that’s when he realizes what the problem is. He laughs, extremely dryly, and doesn’t feel any better.

Heartache. It’s fucking heartache. The wolfsbane doesn’t only affect his constant need for contact, but also his need for intimacy. Something even deeper than meaningless touches and dirty sex. Stiles hates himself so much right now.

He knows he isn’t in a position to drive with the pain forcing him to double up and breathe through his nose every thirty seconds, but he doesn’t think he has much of a choice, not with his heart holding him hostage for cuddles or late night movies or hair braiding or whatever it is the heart wants. He climbs out of his warm bed despite the chill in the air and throws the jacket slung over his desk chair over his pajamas and slips into his sneakers, slipping out the door with minimal creaking down the hall.

The streets are empty, gratefully, allowing him to screech to a halt whenever his chest seizes up with stinging spasms. By the time he reaches the fourth red light and has a chance to breathe, it feels like bees are swarming around his ribcage looking desperately for a way out while their stingers pierce his heart over and over again and wait for the swelling to push them out to freedom. Stiles speeds his way through the pain, thanking the vacant streets for not judging his violent swerves and sudden stops every time the ache hits again. He hopes to god Peter’s at Derek’s apartment and not hiding in a mysterious lair that Stiles won’t ever be able to find in time. Dying at Peter’s Hale hand—or rather yet, his lack of hands—is his most disturbing thought since imagining Coach’s missing testicle.

When he finally makes it, he feels like throwing up violently into the foot room of his car from the dizzying throbs of pain, getting out of his Jeep just in time to race up to Derek’s door and raise all hell banging his fist on the echoing metal. He doesn’t relent, his hand knocking hard on the door until it’s finally jerked open by Derek, who looks sleep-mussed and unimpressed up until he notices Stiles’ hand clutching at his chest and his uncommonly pale face.

“Peter,” Stiles grits out, and hopes that’s enough of an instruction. Derek pulls him in by his elbow and Stiles feels the rusty chains tightening on his heart let go for a moment, giving him enough hope that Peter’s here and not wandering around in the forest looking for deer to eat.

Derek keeps him upright by his forearm until Peter shows up, and Stiles doesn’t know how long it takes. All his brain allows him to remember is Peter coming out of the shadows and his eyes zeroing in on Stiles all but hanging off Derek’s steadying arm. He realizes then, rather sourly, that his life is literally in Peter’s hands, and he wonders when his life’s prospects got just as bleak as they have become.

“Take care of him,” Derek is saying above him, passing him off to Peter, and the second Peter’s hand slides across his arm, Stiles can tell. The pain lessens marginally, but not nearly as much as it should, and something that sounds suspiciously like soft shhhhing wafts over to his ear.

“Don’t shush me,” Stiles grits out, head down and breathing shallow as Peter guides him. He follows him blindly into a dark corner of Derek’s loft, not bothering to muster up the energy to pick up his eyes and make sure Peter isn’t running him into walls.

“I was trying to be soothing,” Peter scoffs with an air of faux indignation that Stiles very much wants to surgically remove. “But apparently we’re a tough crowd.”

Stiles grumbles and suddenly, he’s being pushed onto a cool leather couch nestled in the shadows, wondering where Derek went and if living the rest of his life buried in the crook of this sofa until the embarrassment of having to seek out Peter Hale’s touch in the middle night is finally digested would be practical. His father would understand, he’s sure.

Pain shoots through him again and then Peter’s hand is palming him through his woolen pajama pants, tracing the seam and feeling for his cock, and Stiles stills his wrist. He looks up and shakes his head, Peter’s face contorting into one of quiet surprise.

“Not that,” Stiles says. He looks down at the wrist in his grip and slides his hand down until his fingers are wrapped securely around Peter’s knuckles, squeezing. “Something else.”

“What do you need?” Peter asks. Stiles squeezes his hand again as if hoping the gesture speaks enough that his words won’t have to explain the situation, but Peter’s face shows little light of recognition as impatience spreads over his features instead. Stiles grunts, wishing he could explain this without saying goodbye to yet more of his rapidly dwindling pride. He tugs on Peter’s fingers.

“Come here,” he says quietly, just in case Derek’s around the corner eavesdropping. He doesn’t want anybody to ever know about this, not even himself, really, and Peter goes willingly down onto the side of the couch, perched on the edge. Not close enough, not nearly.

“What do you need?” Peter asks again, enunciating this time. Stiles hates his body so much.

“My heart hurts,” he mumbles, under his breath because any louder and he’ll combust from the mortification, his grip going slack around Peter’s fingers. “I just—I don’t know. I need something else.”

For a few moments, there’s silence. Stiles waits for the laughter, or even worse, the heavy sighs of inconvenience letting Stiles knows just how much trouble he always ends up being. The weakest human, the most vulnerable of the weaklings, the clumsy boy who gets himself poisoned by wolfsbane. Peter exhales gently, and then, he’s slipping next to Stiles and draping an arm around his shoulders. It feels a lot like cuddling, or a subtle attempt at encouraging it if nothing else. The chains around his heart loosen yet more and Stiles feels a fraction of the tension in his chest relax.

“I’m surprised,” Peter murmurs atop his head, sounding dreadfully amused. “I thought you were only in this for the hot sex.”

Stiles snorts. Peter’s side is pressed up firmly against his, a warm torso and solid legs tight against his own. It makes him feel complete and happy, all the things that Peter shouldn’t have to help with, but then Peter’s fingers start trailing up and down his arm like trickles of raindrops and Stiles resigns himself to his body’s inexplicable desire to curl into Peter’s chest. He smells of shower gel and feels soft, his chest rising and falling at a reassuring, steady rate, and the fact that Peter even knows how to provide honest to goodness human comfort boggles his mind. He nestles his face into the softness of his t-shirt and breathes in the relief of pain ebbing away from his chest and hates how every stroke of Peter’s fingers over his arm pulls away more of the ache.

“How do you even know how to do this,” Stiles mumbles on his chest. He feels content and sleepy and swaddled by a cocoon of safety and intrinsically wishes he wouldn’t. Suddenly, he wishes that he could’ve let Peter jerk him off and feel automatically better, a thought that would’ve sent his past self into fits of humiliation not a week ago. Still, sex is a lot easier to explain away as a primal need than cuddling and intimacy is.

“How to do what?”

Cuddle,” Stiles specifies. The need to be as nasty as possible nags at him like snide comments will somehow contradict the sentiment of burrowing into Peter’s chest and slinging a leg over his knee. “Empathize. Be a human. The usual things normally out of your reach.”

Peter pinches him in the arm. It’s so unbelievably harmless in comparison to the way Peter used to drag him through a parking garage by the scruff of his neck that Stiles can’t bring himself to feel offended about it.

“Do you know how to be quiet,” Peter grumbles, and he takes the opportunity to yank at Stiles’ hair.

Probably not, Stiles thinks. He slides his hand around Peter’s waist, touching the skin curving around his hip and letting his fingers memorize the warmth of his flesh. Sometimes it amazes him how he and Peter are made of the same elements, the same amino acids and skin cells and bodily functions, like all it would take is one tweak of the brain and Stiles could easily become Peter. Or, stranger yet, that Peter was Stiles, the same innocuous thoughts and snarky banter before the need for power and manipulation set in. Peter’s hands are still in Stiles’ hair, resting in between the strands, and it feels more human than ever.

“My mom used to stroke my hair,” Stiles murmurs. He tests the waters. “Do you miss your family?”

He feels Peter’s body tense up for a fractional second that Stiles’ body, blanketed over him, doesn’t miss. Then Peter’s hands are gently raking through Stiles’ hair, nothing but wandering tugs and gentle pets, and he replies, “Obviously.”

“Tell me about them,” Stiles’ mouth whispers, and he has no idea where that came from. Peter goes rigid, shifting under Stiles’ weight to hide his reaction, and for a few quiet moments he’s completely speechless. Stiles wonders if he’s crossed a line, but then Peter starts talking.

He falls asleep right when Peter is telling him about his sister’s incessantly strong perfume and her perfect smile, and doesn’t know for how long he keeps talking even after he’s deep in the arms of slumber.

--

Stiles wakes up seven hours later with his back twisted, his limbs groggy, and his mouth drooling over Peter’s shoulder.

He’s already supremely late for school to the point where if he’s lucky, he’ll make it to lunch and can beg his math teacher to make up the test on extremely unrealistic word problems that he missed because he was snoozing his life away, and the first thing he realizes after he picks his head up from Peter’s t-shirt is that Peter, who is already wide awake, did not find it necessary to wake him up and remind him that mildly important things like education and gym class are eagerly awaiting him. The second thing he realizes is that he’s sporting an erection the size of an independent island nation that’s pressing insistently into Peter’s leg. Oddly enough, the fact that he spent the previous night snuggling with Peter and letting him comb his fingers through his hair is the more embarrassing incident that his brain is having trouble processing.

“What time is it?” Stiles slurs, settling for common ground. Casual, nonchalant, totally-didn’t-nestle-into-your-chest-like-an-affectionate-kitten common ground.

“Ten,” Peter drawls, shifting under the weight of Stiles’ body. He says nothing, but his grin speaks loudly enough that Stiles knows he’s perfectly aware of the hardness growing between their bodies. “Have any sweet dreams?”

His grin is only growing, like this is the most hilarious moment he’s ever found himself wedged in, and perhaps it is, if his morbid past is any indication at how much humor he’s been exposed to in his life recently. Stiles shifts, worming the other direction and scanning the apartment, now brightly lit with the yellow glow of the morning sun, for Derek’s frame puttering about a room away. His familiar brooding shadow is absent.

“I’m not apologizing for last night,” Stiles grumbles, leaving no room for argument. “It wasn’t my idea. This entire nightmare is not my idea.”

“Right,” Peter says. His grin morphs into something wicked that Stiles wouldn’t trust from a mile away, and then his hand slithers down Stiles’ leg and squeezes his groin. “So this isn’t your idea either?”

This is not playing fair. Not at all, not that Peter has ever been known to play fair or Stiles should expect him to. The hand palming his crotch doesn't relent, squeezing lightly, and Stiles feels a familiar heat rise in his midsection. Apparently, spending all night with his hands draped over Peter's body was not enough to please his insatiable hunger for Peter's touch. He'd be worried about the ascension of his urges if he wasn't incredibly glad that his desire was purely sex oriented right now instead of pushing him to seek out more cuddles.

"What are you doing," Stiles grits out, even as his body leans into Peter's touch like a flower arching into the sun.

Peter raises an eyebrow. "So you don't need me to touch you?"

He pulls his hand away, sliding his arms under his head to prop himself up, the very epitome of conceit. Stiles feels his dick all but shriek at him to get his hands back on him, around him, on top of him, as quickly as possible, and wishes his body and his mind could agree on something lately.

"You're enjoying this," Stiles says. Peter does nothing but casually shrug, and it sucks that Stiles really wants, needs to kiss him. He last four seconds before his toes start curling and he says, "Jesus. Fine. Touch me."

"Are you sure you don't want to cuddle some more?"

Stiles goes to punch him in the arm and naturally, Peter catches him by the wrist and pins him against the couch. He twists them over until he's bent over Stiles, legs tangled together like this sort of wrestling is lovers' routine for them. Peter still has the barest hint of a challenge on his face, a slight tug at the corner of his lips giving him away, and quietly he whispers, "Do you want to try that again?"

Stiles actually feels his warm breath on his face, that's how close he is, close enough to breathe in his aftershave and count the shades of blue in his eyes, and he feels something different than the heartache, different than the lust, pluck at him. And then Peter is leaning in and kissing him.

Despite his earlier griping about having to deal with a hormonal teenager hanging off his arm twenty four seven, Peter seems to enjoy this. He kisses Stiles back slowly and deliberately, exactly the sort of kisses that everybody should share right after waking up, and Stiles finds himself melting into it like he was built for this special brand of laziness. He could probably lay here on this sticky leather sofa all day letting Peter bruise his tongue with quick nips to his lower lip that leave him breathless much too quickly.

He doesn't know how long their tongues brush until Peter's hands start trailing down Stiles' chest, tickling his sides with his fingertips ghosting downward to his hips. Stiles presses upward, trying desperately to slot their bodies together and find the relief his body needs as it starts rapidly descending to his baser urges, reveling in every single noise of agreement Peter murmurs on his lips. He really is enjoying this, not only because he gets to see Stiles beg for him physically and verbally, if the bulge pressing into his thigh is giving him a clue.

Oh god, a bulge pressing into his thigh. Peter's hard, and his evident arousal sets Stiles' body on overdrive. The lust grows inside him like a flame roaring through a gas station, his need to be as close as possible to Peter clawing at his skin. He can't touch enough of him quickly enough, and he all but forces himself to pull back from his mouth to breathe.

“You—you're hard.”

Peter raises his eyebrows at him like he's slightly dim. “The hypersensitive squirming teenager under me might have something to do with that.”

It sounds simple enough when he says it like that, all cocky smirks and grinding hips that has Stiles slightly incoherent. It is sex after all, good sex if Stiles gets to throw in his opinion, so Peter shouldn't exactly be complaining. And he doesn’t seem to be, a feral, animalistic drive taking over him as Peter leans back in to kiss him. It’s still lazy, but now there’s an edge of hunger in their touches as Stiles feels his responsiveness encourage all of his blood to shoot down to his cock. He’s incredibly hard, hard to the point of slicing diamonds with his dick, and he cants his body up into Peter’s just to feel him through the flimsy fabric of his pajama pants.

Man, Stiles has really been underestimating first base up to this point. The feeling of Peter’s tongue swiping languorously across his while their lips angle together and their noses brush is like getting slowly but steadily drunk on a trickle of vodka slipping down his throat. He tangles his hand in Peter’s hair, soft from sleep, and trails his mouth down the stubbles on his cheek to the coarse facial hair littered on his jaw. He feels it burn his lips and licks over the sharp angles of his neck anyway, needing more, constantly more. His lungs are already burning for air and he’s still in all of his clothes.

“Can we,” Stiles breathes on his neck as Peter’s hands skate down his thighs, “y’know. Please.”

Peter chuckles, right next to his ear, and drags his thumbs up Stiles’ inner thighs until he shakes. “What’s in it for me?”

“I’ll suck you,” Stiles tells him, and the idea sends a thrill through his body that instantly lets him know that he’s just stumbled upon a tremendous idea. He pulls himself from Peter’s neck to study his face, who appears to be weighing the pros and cons before he gives in with a sly smirk and lies obediently on his back for Stiles to do his best.

“I suppose I could let you, for survival,” Peter says, smiling all the while as he brushes his thumb down Stiles’ cheek, like he’s imagining the curve of his lips fastened around his cock. Stiles doesn’t bother giving his wit the attention he craves, too busy pulling his pants down and outlining the angles of his hipbones after ridding him of his boxers. It’s amazing how much his body wants this, to mark and lick and suck every skin cell from Peter’s body onto his tongue just to stay alive, and Stiles doesn’t give it too much thought as he reaches out to slip his fingers around the base of Peter’s erection. He swallows, only slightly nervous.

He’s never thought much about the idea of putting another guy’s dick in his mouth, but now that he’s here, faced with one nestled in his grip, it’s not nearly as horrifying as it probably should be. Peter’s length is thicker than Stiles, a warm weight in his palm, and his mouth is watering at the mere sight. Stiles wonders if he should invest in some good-natured experimenting after all this over and he’s back in a logical state of mind, mostly because he doesn’t remember the last time ogling a body got him so high strung, male or female.

“Don’t have all day, Stiles,” Peter says from the other end of the couch, shifting his hips. Stiles bites him in the hip in response and revels in the way Peter jerks at the unexpected teeth entering the equation, right before he goes in headfirst and takes the head of Peter’s cock into his mouth.

His body reacts immediately, his lungs finally unfolding as Stiles licks a stripe down to the base of his length and swallows down as much as he can. He’s far past the ridicule at this point, much too focused on how Peter’s breathing turns shallow and his fingers clench on the sheets like Stiles is evoking actual contributory emotions out of him that aren’t just snarky comments and diabolical grins. If sex is the way to humanize Peter Hale, Stiles has just stumbled upon the secret of the century.

He tastes salty and it floods his senses as he hollows his cheeks and sucks, listening carefully to Peter’s vulnerable moan that his mouth’s work is to thank for, pressing his tongue flat against the underside of his dick. Peter’s making soft noises, quiet noises of admiration that just barely escape from his mouth, and Stiles seeks them out eagerly and chases them with his tongue, licking around the crown of his dick again and again until Peter’s bucking into his mouth without guilt and Stiles can do little but hang on for the ride. His stomach is already tight with a tautly coiled pleasure, and he wonders if he’ll even have to touch himself or if Peter’s cock, deep in the wet heat of his mouth, will be enough.

He lets Peter fuck his mouth, his jaw starting to feel the soreness as he spreads his lips and keeps his tongue steady. Peter’s demanding, knows exactly how he wants to come, and Stiles is feeding off of his authority like his body wants nothing more than to be bent over the nearest flat surface and fucked into abandon. All he really needs is contact, intimacy, endless touching, and Stiles satisfies himself by grasping for Peter's hips and taking in as much of Peter’s cock as he can.

Peter gives him no warning except for one stuttering push of his hips into Stiles’ mouth when he comes, Stiles swallowing what lands on his tongue without thinking twice. He should be overheated and raw and hoarse all over, but instead, he’s so turned on he feels like he just might float overhead with the energy erupting inside of him, and he comes without any touch on his dick necessary. His hands hiccup over Peter’s hips and his mouth falters, and he all but collapses on top of Peter’s thigh as the waves of his orgasm crash through him like high tides at the beach.

“Well,” Peter says a moment later after he’s regained his composure, nothing but a slightly coarse edge to his voice as he speaks. “That definitely wasn’t the worst selfless thing I’ve ever done for somebody else.” Stiles rolls his eyes on his thigh, pillowing his sweaty forehead on his leg. Peter lifts his head just enough to notice that Stiles is slumped, practically dead to the world, on the bottom half of the couch. “Did you come just from blowing me?”

He sounds impressed and a little aroused if the sultry tone of his voice is anything to go by, and Stiles refuses to say anything on the principle that he knows his voice sounds like he just left extensive dental surgery. “Nnn,” he all he contributes, peeling himself off Peter’s naked leg and carefully sitting up.

“Where are you planning on going?” Peter asks as Stiles moves to slip out of his soiled pajama pants.

“I have a test,” Stiles grumbles, and his voice sounds exactly as wrecked as he predicted. “And you know, responsibilities.”

“Do you always make a habit of showing up to school in come soiled pants?” Peter asks him idly from where he’s still lounging, unashamedly naked, on the couch.

“Aw, fuck,” Stiles groans just as he picks up his jeans.

“Just stay here,” Peter says loftily. There’s something in his voice, something like he wouldn’t actually mind Stiles staying even though he usually never minds bringing up how little time or tolerance he has for teenage boys suctioned onto his naked body. “You shouldn’t be going to school anyway.”

“What?” Stiles asks, but he’s slightly distracted by Peter’s still naked, totally naked form. Damn him. Damn himself, and especially his hormones.

“I thought you could improve your blowjob skills,” Peter suggests. “I don’t mind donating my body for charity. See, Stiles? I’m a lovely person.”

Stiles wants to scoff and sneer, but then Peter shifts his hips and spread his thighs just enough inches for Stiles to notice, and Stiles feels the tug of inseparableness pulling at him again. Okay, maybe this could be better than going to school.

Two orgasms later, Stiles thinks he can make up his math test any day of the week anyway.

--

"Please don't say anything,"

Derek stares down at them, completely devoid of words. They could have avoided this is if Peter had listened to Stiles’ idea and they had gone to Stiles’ place instead. His dad is swamped at work and there happen to be uneaten pop tarts in his kitchen that Stiles would’ve begrudgingly shared, but Peter insisted he was in no mood to have a sleepover at an underage adolescent’s house. Stiles should have put his foot down.

It’s not cuddling, Stiles maintains firmly, it’s sitting on the same couch while there’s a movie playing. Peter’s hand just happens to be on Stiles’ thigh and Stiles interlocks their ankles for reasons completely unknown, but it’s not cuddling. He needs contact to survive

“We’re not cuddling,” Stiles feels the need to say out loud. Derek says nothing. “I have a condition.”

“…all right,” Derek finally ends up saying, sounding uneasy at best. He’s eyeing Peter like he’s warning him not to take advantage, and Stiles feels the strong urge to tell him he’s already been ravaged plenty of times in the past few days tickle his tongue. He bites it back for his own sake. This curse really does come with some strange urges, that’s for sure.

He’s not even really watching the movie even though he’s valiantly trying to pay attention. Something about Bruce Wayne holding an expensive function and the occasional mandatory fight scene so Batman can show off his skills—which is just strange, because Stiles normally loves Batman. Tonight, his brain can’t concentrate on the screen or the characters, not with Peter’s hand stroking slowly from his knee to his thigh. It keeps the pain away and it keeps him sane, but it also manages to send him into a whirlwind of lust. He can only smell Peter, the musky scent of his sweat, and can only see the way his fingertips curl into Stiles’ leg. Derek seems to notice.

“Is this necessary?” Derek probes.

“You’d be surprised,” Peter says, eyes not tearing off the TV for a second. “Stiles has all kinds of needs.”

Stiles gapes and considers smacking him upside the head, except it feels a little too much like schoolyard flirtatious banter for him to indulge in it. He is in no mood to tell Derek about his extensive needs, whether it be his aching desire to get off with Peter’s hands as much as possible or his equally strong need to touch him carefully, innocently, and nestle into his chest. It’s a miracle Peter’s being quiet about it; he doesn’t need to see Derek’s pinched face as he bites back his own sickened comments at Stiles’ bizarre urges.

But Derek only stares for a few more seconds before he can no longer stand the sight of the two of them curled up on a couch that can easily seat five, and he retreats to the window of the loft to stare at them from a safe distance like a paternal chaperone making sure things stay PG.

“Did he hear us yesterday?” Stiles asks when he catches Derek’s dark eyes across the apartment.

“You mean when you gave me a blowjob?” Peter asks him for clarification with a perfectly innocent smile. “Don’t think so.”

Stiles goes to hit him in the chest and Peter easily catches his hostile fist, curling his fingers around it and settling it down in his lap. It pulls all the color out of Stiles’ face to watch him blanket his fist, almost like he knows how to comfort and console even past the point of pulling Stiles into his chest. Even if he doesn’t understand it, he knows how to, and it makes Stiles wonder if Peter would be downright charming if not for the history of violent murder.

“This wolfsbane is the worst,” Stiles mumbles out of the blue an hour later as Batman gets to work gunlessly disarming the hoard of bad guys. Batman would never find himself in a situation like this. Batman is awesome.

“Hmm, it’s not that bad,” Peter says, and moves his hand from Stiles’ thigh to curl around his neck and dig his thumb into his hairline in a soft massage, and the touches are so soothing and electrifying that Stiles forgets his point.

--

"Let me introduce you to a little concept called compromise," Stiles grits out over the phone one day later after a supremely sexually frustrated afternoon. "I went to Derek's last night. You can go to my place this time."

"Hmmm," Peter murmurs. "And should I use the front door and have a chat with your dad on the way upstairs?"

"Ha ha," Stiles resists throwing his phone down the toilet out of sheer frustration. "I endured Derek's stink eye all of yesterday."

"So in return, I'm supposed to endure your octopus snuggling?" Peter asks. Anybody, anybody but Peter Hale would be easier to deal with. “You can come over here.”

"Freaking werewolves," is all Stiles is in the mood to sputter out, not ready to go on a rant that his entire neighborhood can hear from their basements, and hangs up with a resounding finality.

Maybe all he needs is an ant-acid. Maybe the pain in his heart is all in his head, nothing but imaginary toothpicks and imaginary saws hacking into his chest. Maybe all he needs is a good ten hours of rest. Stiles doesn't even have to say his excuses out loud to know that he's horrible at rationalizing.

He throws himself onto his bed, the very epitome of dramatic exasperation, and toes off his socks and jeans before he hides himself in his sheets. If he can't tell that reality is lurking out there, reality can't see him either.

His phone vibrates under his chest two minutes into the suffocating himself with his pillow, and Stiles wrangles his arm under himself to grab it and answer it. It’s Peter, which has Stiles wondering if ignoring it would be the wiser choice, but he’s in pain all over like somebody thought it’d be a good idea to run him through a paper shredder a few times.

“You know, Stiles, there are other ways to achieve intimacy,” Peter’s saying, his voice tinny through the phone.

“You bastard, you said you’d cooperate,” Stiles growls, not bothering to peel himself off his pillow.

“I am,” Peter says coolly. “Tell me about your mother.”

“Excuse me?”

“Just do it,” Peter hisses. He’s not nearly as threatening over the phone when Stiles isn’t in danger of being slammed into various household objects, and Stiles considers denying him. He contemplates it for a few moments. “Stiles, would you listen for once.”

“She was a lot nicer than you, that’s for sure,” Stiles gripes, rolling over on his wrinkled sheets trying desperately to find the most comfortable position that subdues the pain. “She used to make pillow forts with me.”

“That’s good. What else?”

Stiles frowns, because this is absolutely none of Peter’s business. Even Scott doesn’t know some of this stuff, Stiles too concerned with keeping his favorite memories safe in his heart. “She used to read me comic books before bed to help me fall asleep.”

“My mother used to feed me applesauce,” Peter says in return.

“You had a mother?” Stiles asks. His scathing expression doesn’t translate over the phone as well as it would’ve in person. “I always thought Satan dropped you off in the woods to be raised by wolves.”

“You’re not as funny as you think you are, Stiles,” Peter mutters. He sighs, like Stiles is too much for him to bear on an average day’s allowance of patience, but keeps talking anyway. “I had a father too. When I was younger, he taught me how to dance. I could dance circles around you, did you know that?”

“How do you know I’m not classically trained?” Stiles shoots back. “I could be a master in—in the art of ice skating dance for all you know.”

“Somehow I doubt it,” Peter says. “I had a lot of siblings too. Do you wish you weren’t an only child?”

“It’s okay. I have Scott. We get each other in trouble and fight over the remote, so he’s basically already my brother.”

“You feel better, don’t you?”

“I—what?” Stiles blinks and realizes that the pain is dwindling, oozing from his fingertips and toes like water washed off his body. He clenches his fists and sits up, as if waiting for the pain to hit him full force once more, and wonders what black magic just took place. “What did you do?”

“Amazing,” Peter breathes. “For somebody as smart as you are, you’re clueless about human feelings. To think that I’d be schooling you in them of all people is laughable.” He chuckles over the phone, smug as ever. “Intimacy isn’t only holding hands and snuggling on a couch, Stiles.”

“Wait. You mean—sharing memories is all it took?”

“Anything sentimental would’ve worked,” Peter says. “It was a hunch, but it worked.” There’s a pause, and then he softly says, “Sleep well, Stiles.”

Stiles stares at his phone long after it disconnects. This wolfsbane really is bizarre, not only because of the effects it has on him but also on the effects it has on everybody else. He never would’ve thought in a million years that Peter would know how to cure an ache for intimacy, or that he’d even bother to call back to take the pain away, or that he’d be there for anybody but himself. The information is overwhelming at best to digest.

He falls asleep a few minutes later pain free and unwound, every muscle in his body soft and pliant, and it’s not until three hours into the night, too foggy with slumber to notice, his window creaks as it's pried open and Peter's dark form slinks in undetected. He crawls into bed, manhandling Stiles as he goes to make room, and Stiles doesn't notice him until he wakes up in the morning pain free with his body slung over Peter's torso. Huh.

His first thought is Peter's not the bad, and the second his mind so much as pieces the words together, Stiles goes rigid.

This is Peter Hale. The Peter who communicates through a wall of sass and cares about his own skin more than he does about the good of the world. He’s the type of person who would let a baby’s stroller roll away or ignore the grandma who needs help getting across the road. He’s a selfish monster, and Stiles feels like his body has forgotten that fact. He’s too wrapped up in the lust and the cuddling to remember all the fear and resentment that should be there, used to be there in flashing neon colors.

Yeah, this definitely has to stop.

--

Despite all of Derek’s instructions and Deaton’s advice and Scott’s pleas to stay out of school while he’s afflicted with a tendency to pass out when he goes a few hours without Peter’s touch, Stiles grabs his backpack and drives to school that day, passing all the speed limits as he goes.

He’s not stupid, he’s just determined. Determined to prove that he can usurp the veil pulled over his eyes keeping him from seeing through the wolfsbane, that he doesn’t need to sit at home like the vulnerable human he is while his friends run the track in gym and fall asleep in science class, and that he absolutely doesn’t need Peter Hale. That last one is imperative, and Stiles won’t take his body’s disobedience as an answer. He’s going to school, and he’s going to be a normal kid. Totally unaffected.

First hour is fine, just like second. He grins through the entire lesson, extremely proud of his own restraint, and he pats himself on the back during passing period as his legs carry him without so much as a quiver of need. He can do this.

It’s third hour when he starts feeling a little sweaty. He first notices twenty minutes in that his forehead is dotted with dampness, just tiny beads of sweet and tiny shivers in his wrist keeping his hand from sitting steady on the paper. It’s so slight, so unnoticeable, that Stiles firmly refuses to notice it, and he works even harder on holding his pencil stable and focusing on the equations on the board.

He has fourth hour with Scott, and he refuses to do anything but wave cheerfully as Scott walks into the classroom and stops dead when his eyes fall on Stiles. He rushes over to his desk, backpack slipping off his shoulders on the way.

“What are you doing here?” Scott is saying, low and worried, and Stiles pats him on the head as reassurance.

“I’m fine,” Stiles tells him with a default smirk on his face. Something is digging into his stomach—tweezers, scissors, maybe samurai swords—but he can stand without falling over. That’s probably progress. “Totally fine.”

“What?” Scott asks, sounding terrified. “But Deaton said that if you don’t—”

“Scott, read my lips, I’m totally okay,” Stiles says firmly. “I don’t need Peter, and I’m not dying.”

“But you do—”

Scott gets ushered into his seat by the teacher and the ringing bell before he can finish his thought, and Stiles spends the entire period pretending he doesn’t notice Scott’s worried eyes staring directly at him all hour long. Because he’s fine.

Lunch is just fine too. Stiles makes it through the lunch line without falling over, and even better, he finishes his fruit cup without the overwhelming urge to throw up, never make use of his appetite again, and faint in his soggy breadsticks from the pain. Isaac and Scott murmur the whole time while Stiles picks at his food in low, infuriating tones that Stiles’ ears can’t pick up, not with the high-pitched ringing banging on his eardrums. He’s still fine, he’s had worse.

“Dude, you look terrible,” Scott tells him.

“Thanks, Scottie,” Stiles flashes him a grin as a sultan warrior drags an axe through his middle. He’s almost positive that’s reality right now, anyway. He closes his eyes and says over and over again I do not need Peter Hale, do not, do not, do not. Maybe if he says it fifty more times, it’ll be convincing. Scott interrupts him with a hand on his shoulder.

“Should I go get Peter?”

“No! Jesus, no,” Stiles shouts. He looks up from his food, blurry and multiplying under his unsure vision, and tries to focus in on the filmy figure of Scott in front of him. He manages a smile and grabs the table to calm his shaking fingers. “Don’t bring Peter here, god, no.”

“Stiles, you’re going to pass out.”

Stiles stands up to prove him wrong, which happens to be a terrible idea. The world starts spinning, the entire lunchroom turning like a lopsided carousel ride, and he feels desperately for the table to stay upright. It feels like someone’s performing surgery on him right now to remove his stomach, no anesthesia necessary, and it’s pain and angered lust and heartache all at once pulsing through his abused body. He sags and ends up in Scott’s arms to keep him sturdy.

“Oh my god,” Scott mumbles, and vaguely, Stiles sees Isaac get to his feet too to shield him from the hundreds of chattering students in the cafeteria starting to watch the spectacle. It all sounds like white noise to Stiles, like a TV left on too long. “I’m getting you to the nurse.”

“No, no,” Stiles protests, trying to stumble to his feet without Scott’s help. He’s all but herded out the door like a dying deer, and he tries to find his footing. He loses it. “Can’t explain—she won’t know what to do. Locker room.”

What?” Scott asks, even as he winds Stiles’ arm around his shoulders and starts hastening them toward the locker room. The hall is hazy, foggy, and this pain is so much worse, more relentlessly persistent, than the times he couldn’t get to sleep and needed Peter’s chest to pillow his head on.

They make it to the locker room faster than Stiles’ would’ve guessed—then again, he’s fading in and out—and the room is dark, like all the gym kids are busy running circles on the field, completely oblivious of the kid suffering to death on the cool floors. He thinks maybe the shower would help, just a steady stream of cool water, but then Scott’s setting him down on the nearest bench and keeping him awake with his strong grips on his shoulders.

“I’m okay,” Stiles is saying, determined to prove so even if he bleeds out right here in the locker room. He fists Scott’s shirt in his fingers just to feel something solid under his clammy touch. “Don’t get Peter.”

“Stiles, why not?” Scott asks him helplessly. His face looks torn between running off to tell Isaac to drag Peter here if that’s what it takes and listening to Stiles’ firm demands to leave him out of this.

“I don’t need him, that’s why,” Stiles feels a scream rip through him at the next stab of ruthless pain and realizes his body isn’t supporting his argument very much. “I can’t, I can’t need him. He shows up every time and makes it all better.”

“Isn’t that a good thing?”

“No!” Stiles wheezes, feeling his breathing fall from his mouth in short gasps. “The more I see him, the more human he seems, and I know—I know he’s not.”

“What?” Scott asks, and Stiles doesn’t need to focus in on his fuzzy face to see the confusion.

“It’s not just sex, it’s—it’s movies and him telling me about his dad—fuck.”

“What’s wrong about hanging out with him?” Scott’s asking, hasty now as he sees Stiles start to sag in on himself. “We all know it’s just the wolfsbane.”

“Because I enjoyed it, Scott. Fuck,” the pain sears behind his eyes, dots of black mottling his vision. “It’s not just the wolfsbane, I know it isn’t. God, kill me now.”

And then, somebody seems to hear his wish, because the next thing he registers is tumbling off the bench and the last of the dark brown glow of the locker room vanishing from his vision.

--

The first thing Stiles hears when he comes back to consciousness is, “You’re the stupidest clever kid I’ve ever known in my entire life.”

Stiles feels the frown grow on his face before any of his other functions come back to life. Well, at least he’s not dead. He would’ve had no idea how to explain that one to his dad. He starts remembering exactly how he got here, from the locker room to Scott’s face and the debilitating pain. Jesus, this is his second fainting spell in the month. He really ought to move somewhere safer, like Florida. If it works for senior citizens, he can surely handle it.

“Huuurgh,” his mouth finds it appropriate to gurgle out. He remembers being in the locker room trying to focus on things like the solid floor beneath him or the sunlight streaming into the room through tiny windows and falling onto the locker doors. He remembers Scott kneeling beside him, fading in and out, and horrible pain, like labor and torture and fifty paper cuts all at once. It felt like he was being ripped in two slowly, agonizingly, and then he remembers falling on his ass into fetal position and the world fading away. He remembers being a stubborn idiot, but then again, he is alive, so maybe he’s not that much of an idiot after all.

His mouth is dry and his eyes feel sandy like someone sprinkled dirt onto his face while he was out cold, and he tries to drag his hands over his face and rub life back into his cheekbones. He tugs on his left hand and finds it occupied.

“Stop it,” Peter’s voice registers in his ear. “Surely there are better ways to die than to make a point of how undesirable I am.”

He sounds extremely unamused like he’s ready to slit Stiles’ throat with his claws if he dares make a single sound of protest again, and Stiles manages to peel his eyes open. Things are very, very white. Surely this isn’t heaven. Surely Peter Hale wouldn’t ever make it to heaven.

“What,” Stiles tries to piece a sentence together. “Where am I?”

He looks to his left and sees a pillowcase decorated with colorful, dreadfully out of season snowmen. He only knows of two places that are perfectly fine using tacky bedding, one being his grandmother’s house, and the other being the school nurse’s office. The flimsy blue curtain is pulled around Stiles’ cot to keep the peeping toms at bay, and up ahead, a ridiculously bright lamp pulls him further from his sluggish state of slumber.

“The nurse’s office,” Peter answers for him. “The nurse is off being distracted by Scott and Isaac. I have a better question. Why the hell is a hormonally charged, supernaturally influenced kid about to die from wolfsbane attending high school?”

His eyes drill into Stiles, completely devoid of his usual edge of sass and perpetual nonchalance, and Stiles has no answer that won’t force him to be swallowed whole by the mattress out of humiliation. He looks down and that’s when he sees that his fingers are threaded with Peter’s, keeping them firmly connected lest Stiles tries to run off on another suicidal spree that ends up with him collapsing in the middle of English class as he fruitlessly tries to prove how easy it is for him to live without Peter.

He guesses that most of it is stupid. It is the wolfsbane and all of its effects that’s responsible here, not his own natural attraction and genuine urges, and Stiles is ninety-three percent sure of that. Running off and ignoring the pain until he was nearly delirious was probably a bit of an overreaction.

“God, I really hate you,” Stiles groans, trying to unsuccessfully yank his hand free. Peter grips it more tightly until nearly all of the blood cuts off from his fingers.

“That seems a little melodramatic,” Peter says loftily. “I haven’t even tried to kill any of your friends in at least a year.”

“Because you’re not that bad,” Stiles grumbles. He grabs the pillow and stuffs it over his face if only to silence his own rambling mouth. “Wolfsbane is the worst.”

Peter lets him stew under the pillow for a good minute before he pulls it away and tosses it to the floor. “Not that bad? That’s the best you have?”

“Yes, that’s the best I have,” Stiles grumbles. He looks down at their intertwined hands and wishes he would just let go already. His fingers are warm, so warm, and they curl around Stiles’ like he’s been sitting here for hours tracing the shape of his knuckles. Stiles wonders if throwing up would be appropriate considering that he’s in the nurse’s office and he has no idea what reaction to drum up to all of this.

“You can get over your conflicted soul,” Peter tells him. “Deaton has an antidote.”

Stiles scrambles up on the bed, awake instantly. “What, really?” He breezes cleanly over the conflicted soul bit because he’s in no mood to start a tussle here in school with a man twice his age. Not everybody in his grade is quite aware of how much of a freak he is quite yet, thank you very much.

“Yes, and we’re getting all this taken care of. You and I can go back to being indifferent acquaintances with a bumpy past who occasionally help each other for the sake of more important things. I’ll save you the trouble from even having to wave at me in the supermarket.”

He flashes Stiles a grin, the kind of smile he expects out of salesmen and politicians, all teeth and no feeling, and it doesn’t make Stiles feel very accomplished. Peter lets go of his hand and pats him on the wrist like a distant father before he gets to his feet and readjusts the lapels of his jacket, ready to ride to Deaton’s and push this ordeal in the past. Stiles follows him and slips from the squeaky mattress, watching Peter flex his fingers like he still feels the warmth of Stiles’ hand in his.

“Hey,” Stiles pipes up on a whim. “Until we get to Deaton, can we—can you help me out?”

He nudges his hand into Peter’s, wondering when his life was degraded to the point of asking Derek’s uncle to hold his hand discreetly between their bodies until the antidote of a paranormal love potion set him free from his primal urges. Peter looks down at his open fingers lingering by his hip and smirks.

“You really are an idiot,” Peter says. He slots their fingers together, and Stiles feels the warmth of contact spread through his chest like ticklish needles one last time.

--

The drink swilling around in a clear glass under his nose is purple, smells of floral perfume, and is foaming at the surface like bubbles in bath water. Stiles isn’t exactly sure about drinking it.

“Just chug it, huh?” He asks, swirling the contents this way and that. Peter is next to him peering over at the concoction with a curled lip. “Is this shade of purple really found in nature?”

Deaton offers him nothing but a wordless shrug as response, completely unhelpful in reassuring Stiles, and Stiles supposes there’s nothing to do but stick his mouth in tongue first and down all five gulps of it. He brings it to his lips and drinks, trying not to taste as he does.

It trickles down his throat like syrup, thick and slow, and Stiles doesn’t feel any different as it slides down to his stomach. His mind stays clear of the dizziness he remembers the first time, his knees and feet sure and steady under him. There is no urge to pass out, which Stiles is unbelievably grateful for if only to avoid yet more bruises on his behind.

“Well?” Peter speaks up after a few moments. “Is that it?”

“It should be over,” Deaton says. He steps over to Stiles and lays a hand on his shoulder. “How do you feel?”

Exactly the same, Stiles thinks. He was sort of hoping there would be theatrics, like a monster spilling from his chest or a spectacular waterfall of poison projectile vomiting from his mouth. It was a bit of a letdown. He looks over at Peter, waiting for that inevitable pull in his tummy edging him closer just to breathe, and feels nothing at all.

“In control of my own tongue,” Stiles ends up saying. “Which is something I definitely took for granted.”

He looks at his hands as if waiting for them to start twitching, fidgeting, aching for contact, but his body is still and perfectly at rest. Peter looks at him as if waiting for the same thing, but then Deaton’s shuffling behind his table and telling them that he’s glad to be of service and that’s that.

Stiles leaves feeling absolutely nothing, and wishes he would.

--

Stiles goes home that night without a single twinge of pain pulling him in the opposite direction. Instead, he goes to his room with a mountain of homework that comes with spending two weeks out of school because of a debilitating sexual virus, the lingering taste of an antidote that sits on his tongue like minced grass stuck in his teeth, and an odd loneliness that comes without having the constant need to be close to someone just to breathe freely.

He guesses he should be happy. Things can go totally back to normal. He can go back to pretending to spend his evenings studying for the SATs and running around the woods behind Scott to chase down whatever monster of the week has materialized out of an eighties horror movie. He’s the same kid, give or take the fact that he’s gained sexual experience in the past few days and happens to have shared those experiences with a man who he was convinced was nothing but a hungry wolf borrowing a human’s skin suit.

But there’s not much he can do about it. He’d sooner pitch himself off the school roof and splatter to his death than drive over to Peter’s place, scuffle his shoes, and ask him where they go from here. So he doesn’t worry about it. He cracks open his backpack, pulls out an unfairly monumental pile of papers, and tries to concentrate on his English homework.

What makes Frankenstein a monster, and who is to blame for his crimes? Asks question number one of his English packet. The question seems to drive home like an arrow to the gut, and Stiles finds himself sneering at the introspective bullshit in front of him. He needs a break. He needs pizza, or a nap, or a movie.

He grabs his jacket and leaves, unwilling to spend the entire night confined to a tiny room and encroaching blue walls, and drives over to the only video store left in town. The lit letters flicker in the darkness and the aisles are empty of customers, everybody busy spending their nights holed up in the houses or dancing their night away at parties. Stiles doesn’t care, he just wants to grab a few horror classics and scare the shit out of himself watching them in his room.

He strolls over to the horror aisle, rifling through the cheesy modern favorites and looking for the old time heroes. Maybe if he’s lucky, the original Frankenstein movie will be here and he won’t have to reread the book just to remember what the hell the point was when he writes his essay. He finds the 1973 version of The Exorcist and picks it up, considering it.

“I wouldn’t,” a voice says to his left. “If you want real terror, go older.”

Stiles looks over, and sure enough, there’s Peter.

“Y’know, stalking is kind of tacky,” Stiles says slowly. “Don’t you have anything better to do?”

“I can’t check up on the kid who used to be super glued to my dick?” Peter asks him. He says it like they’re discussing the weather or tomorrow’s forecast, not like they’re talking about Stiles’ need for sex and touching for the better part of a few weeks, and Stiles hates him for his infuriating nonchalance.

“Not anymore,” Stiles tells him. “I got some sense.”

Peter chuckles at him, like his snide attitude is downright adorable. “Nobody tests my patience quite like you do, Stiles,” he says in a voice so low Stiles would’ve been cowering at the sound of it a year ago. He’s grown familiar with his threatening shtick by now, just like Derek’s, all murderous eyes and huffing breaths and then—quiet.

“Then why did you bother helping me?” Stiles asks him, his mouth pulled into a frown. “Why didn’t you just let the kid with the freak wolfsbane condition suffer?”

Peter steps forward, just a few inches. If it’s an intimidation tactic, Stiles refuses to do anything but stand his ground.

"Why did you do it?" Stiles repeats, pushier this time.

"Why did I do it?"

"Yeah. I mean, I know why I did it," Stiles says. "So why did you?"

Peter glares at him. "I think you mean why didn't I let you die," he looks away, like he's considering, and fixes Stiles with a sardonic grin. "There's just so much paperwork that goes with a dead teenager."

"Wow, I really don't believe you," Stiles says. "You've done worse than let some kid suffer before."

"What do you want me to say, Stiles?" Peter advances on him until they're an inch away from being nose-to-nose, his breath gusting over Stiles cheek. His lip curls and something ominously serious takes over his face. "That I thought about touching you long before you begged me to? That I wanted to see you fall apart under my hands and see you absolutely, irreparably wrecked? That having your mouth watering for me was more exhilarating than coming out of a coma?" His stare is hard and unforgiving, eyes boring into Stiles' until Stiles feels discomfort prickle his neck and the strong urge to look anywhere but directly Peter's eyes.

"Did you?" Stiles asks. He doesn't notice until he's stepped away that Peter's backed him into the shelf, a stack of movies jabbed into his backside and a possessive arm caging in his head.

"Maybe I did," Peter says softly as he steps back. It sounds like it might be the most fucked up unromantic confession of tolerance on the planet and Stiles can't help the laughter that tumbles from his throat because of it.

"Oh my god," he says when he's finally done chuckling and Peter's dark gaze has morphed into a confused glower at his snickering. "Man, I really don't like you. I don’t. I don't care about the guy who spent hours jerking off to me in his lair. I don't care if you wanted to make me your creepy sex pet—I don't care about that side of you at all. You know when I actually enjoyed spending time with you?"

Peter's shoulders are immeasurably tense, and he doesn't seem to be up for answering. Stiles barrels on without him bothering to ask for details.

"When you actually pretended to be a human for once. When you sat there and watched movies with me and played with my hair because I told you my mom used to do the same thing. What the hell was that about, man?"

Peter looks murderous by now, almost like he can't believe Stiles brought up the hair stroking or is even daring to say any of this to his face, but Stiles is way too far gone to concern himself with being mauled in this video store. He spent weeks being held at gunpoint by his own body unless he stayed latched on Peter's side like a piece of unshakable seaweed; a small rant of honesty is a drop in the embarrassment bucket by comparison. Finally, after a few minutes of silent huffing, Peter speaks.

"You don't like the part of me," Peter says slowly, like he's still processing Stiles' words, "that wants to have sex with you?"

"Oh," Stiles says, caught off guard, which has Peter adopting a Cheshire grin on his face in seconds. "Um. That was, I mean. I didn't hate it."

"You didn’t hate it?” Peter parrots. He steps in closer again, dragging his hand down Stiles’ cheek. It feels soft and animalistic at the same time, like a bear trying to comprehend tenderness.

“Are you here for a reason,” Stiles finally asks, refusing to step away. “Or are you just here to feel me up in a video store?”

Peter snorts, like Stiles continues to amaze him with the bravery he never had the chance to show on the lacrosse field. He stares at Stiles like he’s waiting for him to say something, maybe confess something, and when Stiles stays silent and his countdown of patience ends, Peter steps away. Stiles feels his lungs breathe in again as if he was waiting too, waiting for Peter to show some bravado and kiss him roughly against the cliché films. Instead, he reaches around Stiles’ back to pick up a movie.

“I came for a good movie,” Peter says smoothly. “Obviously.”

And then he’s gone, the bell of his departure clinging over the store door. Stiles wonders who’s the stubborn one in this scenario, and finds himself stuffing at least seven horrible movies in his arm just to make sure he has a solid distraction tonight.

--

Stiles really misses missing Peter.

It’s one of the strangest feelings in the world, Stiles thinks. He misses not only Peter and the soft side of him Stiles got a glimpse of deep in the night or over a fleeting phone conversation, but he misses the way his entire body would ache for him. The memory of the pain is much easier to deal with than the actual pain, his mind only remembering the constant dull throb of sadness that wouldn’t cease until they were hip-to-hip. It’s amazing how easy it is to get to know somebody—or at least, understand them—when you’re always touching, always near, always joined by skin contact.

“If I tell you something really weird,” Stiles pauses, amending his words, “like really, really weird, what would you say?”

He looks up at Scott from where he’s schooling him in Guitar Hero without so much as a second look at the TV—fumbling fingers sometimes find their calling on a plastic guitar, he supposes—and takes in Scott’s furrowed eyebrows. He’s not sure if he’s concentrating or listening.

“How weird?” Scott asks a moment later. “What happened?”

“Remember the whole sex wolfsbane, crazy about Peter Hale thing?” Stiles brings up with a nonchalant laugh. In his peripherals, he sees Scott nod carefully. “Remember what I told you in the locker room?”

“You remember any of that?” Scott asks him, sounding surprised. “I thought you were out of your mind. Scratch that, I thought you were dying.”

“Yeah, well,” Stiles shifts, wondering if there’s a delicate way to put this. “You do remember, don’t you?”

“Yeah,” Scott says. “You were upset because… because Peter told you about his dad. And movies. You watched movies. Right?”

“I just—now that the wolfsbane’s gone, I feel like I’m seeing things a lot more clearly. And—this is the really, really, really weird part—I think I actually, y’know. Miss seeing that side of him that doesn’t want to kill people.”

“Peter has a side that doesn’t want to kill people?”

“I’m pretty sure. At least seventy percent,” Stiles considers the math. He makes it seamlessly through the chorus and tries to focus only on the notes while waiting for Scott’s response,

“And you miss him,” Scott says slowly. “Are you sure you don’t just need to get laid?”

“Ho, ho, Scott, trust me, I’ve gotten my fair share of sex these past few weeks—”

“Okay, okay! Jesus,” Scott’s fingers fumble on the guitar and a chorus of boos is chanted from the TV. “Does he miss you?”

“I don’t know,” Stiles shrugs. “He sort of—told me he wanted to do stuff with me before the wolfsbane came up.”

Scott’s guitar screeches through a fresh set of notes again, and this time, he doesn’t better correcting his handiwork as the song rolls to an end and the scores tally up. He turns to Stiles. “When did this happen?!”

“I dunno, a few days ago,” Stiles shrugs again, trying to be as casual as possible. “Why?”

“That’s—I don’t know, a big thing to admit, Stiles,” Scott says. His eyes are humongous, like he’s amazed at how much Stiles is missing the point right now.

“So, wait,” Stiles backpedals, putting down his guitar. “You don’t mind that I. Well. Enjoyed spending time with Peter Hale?”

“It’s really, really weird, just like you said,” Scott admits. “Am I the right person you should be having this conversation with?”

“Who else?”

“Uh, Peter?”

“Yeah, that’s a plan,” Stiles scoffs. “I just go up to him and say ‘hey Peter, I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t mind seeing what’s under the psychopath exterior. Do you want to play a few rounds of hide the salami again?’ That’s hilarious. Priceless.”

Because honestly, he’s lost enough dignity already these past few days. And admitting to Peter freaking Hale that he likes his face and his personality and even likes matching wits with him is a little too much to handle. If Peter wants to see him again, he can come to him.

He scrolls through the song list again, firmly done with the conversation, and lets Scott pick the song he wants to fail at this time.

--

Stiles has been studying too long, he’s sure of it.

Frankenstein’s monster is walking casually toward him in an abyss of dreamlike white, donning a v-neck and holding onto a cupcake that Stiles would very much like to take from him. Definitely studying too long.

“You’re the worst, Stiles,” the monster rumbles in his direction, and Stiles scoffs.

“What?” he says, because arguing with a monster sounds like a good idea. “You’re a monster.”

“That’s racist,” the monster says right away. “You should be ashamed. Why don’t you go have sex if you want to so badly?”

He starts poking him in the ribs, over and over, and Stiles has no room to wiggle away from his annoying hand.

“Ugh,” he groans. “I don’t want to have sex.”

“You’re lying to yourself,” the monster tells him in a perfect impersonation of Peter, which has Stiles reeling. It’s still poking him in the stomach. “It’s cute.”

“Am not,” Stiles maintains. He thinks planting his fists on his hips might help sell the childishness of how he feels about the situation, but decides against it.

“So stubborn,” it says, and then, "surely there are better places to sleep," and Stiles realizes that the finger persistently digging into his stomach isn't a dream.

He snaps awake the second his body realizes it too, losing several skin cells that were connected to the English textbook his cheek was elegantly draped over for drooling purposes as he sits up as if electrified. His room comes back to him, as well as the studying, the inability to focus, and the bizarre poking. The poking is still going, so Stiles looks down and finds that the finger jabbing itself repeatedly into his side connects to an arm that connects to Peter’s broad chest. He's holding what appears to be the Holy Grail if the smell of coffee wafting over to his nose is giving him the right impression.

"Interesting sleep schedule," Peter mentions, checking his watch. "I thought you could use this."

He hands over the coffee, which saves Stiles from the humiliation that would have come from begging for the shot of caffeine, and Stiles takes three gulps without bothering to extend thanks. It's prepared exactly how he likes, with an extraordinarily unhealthy amount of sugar and a splash of milk, and it leaves Stiles wondering exactly how transparent he is to the werewolves in his life if they know his coffee order without even having to ask for tips.

"I have to start baby proofing my window," Stiles mutters around the coffee cup lid as he downs half of it in one go.

"I went through the door," Peter says airily, picking up the haphazard mess of Stiles' papers piled up on his desk and sifting through his report cards. "Stopped for a snack in the kitchen. Lovely crackers in the pantry."

"God, and barricading the front door," Stiles groans. "My dad—"

"Is blissfully unaware of the company his son is keeping," Peter says just as Stiles snatches his detention slips out of Peter's grip to stuff in the wastebasket. Peter purses his lips at him. "That's not very nice."

Stiles gapes, waiting for more. Waiting for anything other than cool, casual indifference and an annoyingly nosy interest in snooping around Stiles' room. He scrubs his fingers through his hair, wondering if ripping his scalp off might make a statement. "How the hell can you do this?" Stiles asks him, barreling on when he's met with nothing but Peter's inquisitively raised eyebrow. "How the hell can you stand there like nothing happened and everything is totally normal?"

"Oh, Stiles," Peter simpers like he was waiting for this particular topic to pop up. "Isn't that what you wanted? For us to pretend like I had never seen the way your entire body convulses when you come?"

That makes Stiles sputter out a good mouthful of coffee. Damn Peter, and damn the way he's always trying to get a rise out of Stiles while innocently hiding behind his eloquent words.

"What?"

"Or maybe you wanted me to forget the way you were panting at my door because you needed me to cuddle you and listen to your deep, dark secrets," Peter continues, unflinching. I suppose this is the might-as-well attitude people embrace once they realize their special spot in hell has already been reserved for them, no refunds or cancellations available. "Or the way your tongue was all over my body like you were trying to map it out with your taste buds. You want me to act like none of it happened, right?"

"No!" Stiles screeches. "Shit. I mean, yes. I certainly don't want you bringing it up every time you see me, that's for sure. Aren't things between us weird enough already with the whole tortured me for information and then I helped set you on fire thing?"

"I was hoping you having your mouth on my dick would help you overcome that particular experience," Peter paints a smile on his face as Stiles rolls his eyes.

"That was wolfsbane. Wolfsbane! As in, wasn't my idea!"

"And what about now?" Peter grills, and suddenly his fingertips are pulling at the underside of Stiles' chin, dragging along the soft skin there. "What do you want to do?"

"Finish my homework," Stiles says around the full-body shivers he can't repress, not when his body has already taken to associating Peter's touch to mean slick kisses and grinding hips. Peter tsks and leans in closer, his hot breath ghosting over Stiles' ear.

"Do you still want to touch me?" Peter whispers, each word tickling Stiles' ear. "Stiles?"

Even the way he says his name sounds like a goddamn challenge. Stiles grabs him by the jaw so his ear isn't in danger of being seduced by a wandering tongue and stares him straight in the eye.

"If I say no and you hear me lying, will you let it go anyway?"

Peter tips his head to the left. Pure condescension, like he expects Stiles to know him better. "What do you think?"

"You'd tear off my clothes even though this is my favorite shirt and start licking places I can't mention without someone slapping an R rating over my mouth until I gave in," Stiles says, because he does know Peter. "So fine. I am attracted to you. And you know what? I even miss you. I even told Scott that I miss you. You know how embarrassing that was? But I'm not doing this. Nobody would get it, and guess what? I have no valid excuse as to why I'm sleeping with the homicidal werewolf."

Peter stays quiet for a while, eyes staring into Stiles' like he's unlocking the hold his brain has on his secrets and all but reading his diary. Stiles hates it when he does that, and he steadfastly looks away.

"Ex-homicidal," Peter finally says, leaning over to trace his finger along the rim of Stiles' coffee cup. "I'm quite rehabilitated when it comes to revenge sprees. I prefer mildly sociopathic if you have to label me." Stiles would laugh if he was feeling anything other than dumbfounded amazement right now at Peter's ability to completely breeze over the important parts of Stiles' words that he practically had to push from his throat just to say them out loud. "What if I told you that this coffee I gave you is laced with wolfsbane?"

Stiles blinks, and blinks again. Then he looks over at where Peter's finger is circling his lid as casually as ever and frowns hard.

"You didn't," Stiles says instantly. He'd be feeling dizzy and light-headed and ready to pass out from the fog descending over his rational thought, and he's one hundred percent lucid right now.

"I probably didn't," Peter admits with a shrug. "And I probably wouldn't. A little too crass for me. But let's say I did. You wouldn't be able to control yourself around me." He trails off loftily like he's leaving a million suggestions that all shoot straight to Stiles' dick hanging in the air, and then he smiles. He looks wicked and delicious and like he's practically daring Stiles to kiss the smirk off his lips. "That is... If anyone asks."

God, Stiles really hates Peter. He hates that perpetual smirk on his face, and he hates his ridiculous facial hair, and he hates how he breaks into his house and eats his crackers. He hates how he thinks of everything. Stiles probably hates himself more, though, because despite all of those things he still lunges forward into Peter's mouth and kisses him.

It still feels good, which Stiles feels thrum through him as unending relief, the only difference being the all-consuming need to speed this up, to reach the end, to touch as much as he can as quickly as possible. Stiles wouldn’t mind slowing things down a bit, just to breathe in between kisses and savor the touches. Peter’s right here, perfectly willing to bend to Stiles’ wants and needs, and he has absolutely no reason to rush through tonight.

The kiss is different too. The angle is off, Stiles’ nose jammed into Peter’s and his mouth off-center on Peter’s lips. It’s awkward like his first kiss with Peter probably should’ve been if he ever would’ve had one without the wolfsbane. Stiles is betting on never. He pulls back and catalogues Peter’s expression, the pleased smirk replaced with something more raw and human. His eyebrows are knitted together like he can’t quite believe what he’s seeing in front of him, like Stiles continues to amaze him every time he doesn’t think and goes for the worst possible decision without a second thought. There’s something on his face like he wants to remember Stiles voluntarily kissing him to mentally file into his first every victory that didn’t come as a result of bloodshed, and Stiles stays perfectly still until his face relaxes once more.

“Can’t believe that worked,” Peter says, a slow grin crawling up his mouth. “Are we easily persuaded?”

“You bet,” Stiles says, and leans in to kiss him again. It’s better this time, their mouths slotting together right and their hands suffocating each other in their mutual need to get infinitely closer till not even atoms can fit between their bodies. Peter’s warm all over, his body a hot line of skin waiting to be discovered in front of him, and Stiles licks into his mouth with purpose.

Peter hauls him up from his chair by the waist, no longer interested in bouncing around the inevitable. He all but drags him to his feet and tosses him onto the bed, Stiles winding his arms around Peter’s neck to drag him down with him. He still feels like he’s been drugged, except this time it’s a drug he’s completely aware of so he can rejoice in the high that comes with it. Peter crawls on top of him, eyes glinting with something feral, and that’s when Stiles remembers that Peter’s wanted to do this for a while. Before the wolfsbane, before the necessity set in. Stiles grabs him by his shirt to stop him.

“How long?” he asks, just as Peter dives in for Stiles’ neck to leave peppered bites up his jaw.

“What do you expect?” Peter rumbles against his throat. It makes something jolt in Stiles’ pulse, like how intrinsically dangerous this is, and how easy it would be for Peter to ruin him right here and now in his personal space, and Stiles shuts his eyes and decides to trust in Peter’s better side. He knows it’s there, maybe it just died under the constant barrage of expectations for it to stay dormant. Maybe it needs a little faith, so he ropes his hands around his shoulders and tilts his neck to give Peter’s tongue more access. “The way you use your tongue all the damn time, the way you always squirm. Irresistible.”

He pulls back from Stiles’ neck, lips shiny and slick from where he’s been sucking purpling marks into Stiles’ throat, and lets his eyes rake reverently up and down his body. His eyes are dilated and his hands are firm on Stiles’ hips, so Stiles grins and yanks him in closer.

“Irresistible?” he asks, chuckling all the way. Peter smirks.

“If I didn’t know better, I’d say you knew it too.”

And before Stiles can defend his honor, Peter is pulling impatiently at his t-shirt to tug it over his head and toss it carelessly aside under the bed. Stiles doesn’t mind; he doesn’t think he’ll be needing it. The same goes for Peter’s shirt, so he gets to work ridding Peter of his as well and dragging his hands down his chest and feeling his stomach flutter under his touch. The urge to touch and explore is still there, stronger than ever, and it makes Stiles wonder if he always wanted to try this and the wolfsbane only amplified it to unbearably hot levels. He leans in to lick over Peter’s nipple and grins when Peter’s answering shudder shoots straight to his dick.

“Take your pants off,” Stiles says, and it feels good to be making demands that aren’t proceeded by desperate sobs of need. He’s in control, he’s so in control for the first time in weeks, and he’s going to milk it for what it’s worth. Peter doesn’t seem to mind, shimmying out of his pants and letting Stiles push him on the mattress in submission.

“Pushy,” Peter comments with a raised eyebrow, looking as casual as ever, and Stiles can’t wait to wipe that smug look off his face. He leans in to kiss him, thorough and hard, and it goes from commanding to heated to downright fiery in seconds. Stiles could probably do this all day, just kiss and kiss until his lips are raw from the soreness, but then he remembers the expanse of skin on display south of Peter’s mouth and decides to keep sightseeing his way down his torso.

He thinks, as he lets his tongue taste every crevice of his stomach, that maybe he should be protesting this more. He has no valid excuse when this is over except for the very real I wanted to to back up his choices, but oddly enough, his urge to keep going is much stronger than his urge to stop. Maybe it’s because he’s a teenager, or maybe it’s because Stiles doesn’t care what everybody else is going to think. He spent weeks under the lockdown of a mind-snatching love potion-esque wolfsbane, he goddamn deserves to get laid by his own will.

He palms Peter through his boxers next, feeling the fullness of his half-hard dick with a curiosity he didn’t have time for before. He’s warm and begging to be touched under Stiles’ hand, so he slides down his underwear and slides his fist around Peter’s length. He looks up and there are Peter’s eyes, watching him intently, and Stiles feels his body jolt.

“Going to get your pretty mouth on me again?” Peter asks, and Stiles shakes his head. Peter’s answering pout is engrained into his memory.

“Nah,” Stiles dismisses. “I want you in me. You know, all the way.”

Peter rolls his eyes even as Stiles pumps his cock, which Stiles thinks is an impressive feat. “Can’t believe I’m sleeping with someone who calls it going all the way,” Peter says, rolling his hips up into Stiles’ touch. “Didn’t like the part of me that wants to sleep with you, remember?”

“You’re right,” Stiles says, the conversation cropping back up into his memory. “Tell me about your childhood. All the nitty gritty details.”

“Pardon?”

“I told you,” Stiles says as he takes off his pants and flings them across the room to land on top of his English homework. “I like the part of you that reminisces and shares and shows himself to be an actual human better. Get talking.”

He pulls Peter up by his shoulders, climbing into his lap and grinding their naked cocks together as he sets to work finding Peter’s most sensitive spots. He lets his tongue travel up to his ear, circling the pulse point on his neck while Peter’s hands slide around to the small of his back and lower still to squeeze his ass, and lets their dicks slide together.

“Fine,” he acquiesces. “I was about eight pounds when I was born. Give or take a few ounces.”

Stiles bites him in the neck and Peter retaliates with a sharp slap to his ass, Stiles’ hand rummaging in his nightstand to find the bottle of lube he knows is stashed under his socks. Peter’s hands are firm on his ass as he struggles to find it, kneading his hips and rubbing his thumbs down his vertebrae. He knows exactly how to touch and where to touch, and this time Stiles is going to savor it. He finds the lube and all but forces it into Peter’s hand where his fingers are traveling up his spine, fastening his lips on the stubble on his jaw.

“Keep going,” he mumbles. He hears Peter open the cap on the tube a second later and grins against his neck. “What did you do for fun? Soccer? Science experiments? Cannibalism?”

Peter’s finger, slick with lube, slides down the crack of ass, effectively silencing the rest of his smartass comments. He rubs his fingertip over his hole before sliding in to the knuckle, swallowing Stiles’ answering gasp with two fingers pushing onto his tongue. Stiles slides his tongue between them, licking off the taste of skin and salt.

“Cooking,” Peter says. “And singing. I’m a wonderful singer.”

His finger builds up a rhythm faster than Stiles can choke out another question, sliding in and out of his entrance at a slow, tantalizing pace. He slips his fingers free from Stiles’ mouth and taps his chin until their mouths connect and they kiss again, more urgently than before. It’s a great distraction, because Stiles barely notices when Peter seamlessly slips in another finger and grinds their erections together as he does.

“What about school?” Stiles asks when they break away, determined to be an asshole about this. Peter grins like he expected nothing less, his slick fingers still wet from Stiles’ tongue rubbing over his swollen bottom lip.

“Can’t complain,” he whispers, twisting in a third finger until Stiles is biting his lip to stay quiet. “My teachers loved me. I was very charming. Still am.”

“Whatever you say,” Stiles says, his voice hoarse, and that’s when Peter pulls his fingers free and grabs him hard by the hips, his nails leaving imprints on his flesh.

“I’m getting the feeling you’d like to stay on top,” Peter whispers into his ear. Stiles can get on board with that. Peter’s hand, still slick with lube, is stroking his dick, and it feels amazing. It will still feel amazing three years from now. Stiles didn’t know why the hell he ever thought it wouldn’t ever compare to the wolfsbane-induced lust that he could barely see through, not when this is of his own will, of his own devising, and completely unnecessary. He’s doing it all because he wants to, not out of survival, and it feels sweaty and hot and exactly what sex should be.

He kisses Peter again as fumbles for the lube and coats his dick, taking his time if only to listen to Peter let loose quiet moans at the touches, before he settles himself into place and Peter aligns his dick with his opening. He knows it’ll hurt, and it does as Stiles pushes down, but it’s a crystal clear pain that he can focus in on, nothing like the consuming, hazy pain he’s used to. It does pull at his stomach or render him helpless, it spurs him on to continue and wait for the pleasure to settle in.

He’s out of words by the time Peter’s inside him, wholly and fully, and he doesn’t think he ever will have words again. Not to describe this, not to so much as squeak out syllables. Peter swivels his hips, just a tiny shift of his pelvis, and Stiles keens.

“Still good?” Peter asks him. Stiles nods.

“Still good,” he tells him, and then Peter reaches out to grab him by the wrist and thread their fingers together. He pulls his arm in until he can plant open-mouthed kisses on the inside of his forearm, his teeth scraping down to his wrist all the while. This is intimacy, Peter buried inside him and their sweaty palms stuck together while they breathe in sync. Stiles knew he was fucking human.

He starts moving a moment later, thighs shaking as he rolls his hips up and slides back down again. He’s glad they’ve never done this before if only to preserve this clear, perfectly clear memory of this, no wolfsbane fogging his mind and urging him to go faster and harder. This is slow and strong, their bodies finding their own rhythm and their own conversations as their hips move together. It’s so simple, just a push of Peter’s hips and the sinking of Stiles’ thighs and they’re joined, Stiles panting and groaning the entire time. For once, this is embarrassing in all the right ways.

Peter snaps his hips up once, and again, and once more, until Stiles is seeing stars explode. Right there, right there, and he’s not sure if he’s thinking or speaking or both at the same time, his mind and body back to being one cohesive unit. It feels incredibly freeing, and he rocks harder down onto Peter’s dick. He wants to see Peter’s face, wants to see what he looks like when he gets what he wants, Stiles, without any elaborate maneuvers or manipulation or even wolfsbane to muddle it all up.

“Amazing,” Peter is saying, quietly and reverently, and he pulls apart their hands to grab Stiles by the cheeks. “Fuck, Stiles.”

Yeah,” Stiles is saying, their bodies speeding up. He’s bubbling all over, content and warm and pulled closer and closer to the edge. He wants to see what it’ll feel like, if it’ll be disorienting or finally, finally clear and fervent and easy to remember. He steadies himself with a hand on Peter’s chest, the other fumbling to hold his wrist, just to feel him warm and shaky under his fingers, and feels his body respond to all of it.

When Peter comes in him, hand still working Stiles’ cock as his face is suspended in ecstasy and just the barest hint of sharpness slips over his teeth, Stiles feels the movement of his hips stutter. He feels as full and complete as ever, and then Peter pumps his cock with a renewed vigor and Stiles feels himself fall closer to losing it, closer to coming—

“That’s it, Stiles,” Peter’s murmuring. “I have you.”

“Promise?” Stiles chokes out, so close, and Peter fastens his mouth around his wrist in a wet kiss and a sharp bite in reply. Stiles feels the skin break and whimpers as he comes.

He lands on top of Peter, spent and sweaty, and he barely musters up the energy to pull his arm from Peter’s lazy grip and examine his bleeding wrist. There, just barely, a dot of red blood comes to the surface and Stiles smacks Peter hard in the thigh.

“Why are you biting me, you freak?” Stiles asks, smearing his thumb over the mark and wiping the blood away. His thighs are still shaking, come making him feel sticky and warm and extremely satisfied. He should probably clean up, if he can ever convince his body to move ever again. He feels like a Lego who just got disconnected from their bottom half, in the best of ways.

“You liked it,” Peter waves off breezily, nails scraping up and down Stiles’ chest. His bed is way too small for both of them, Stiles pressed against the wall and Peter hanging off the mattress. They’ll have to work on that, because Stiles refuses to ever have sex in Derek’s apartment ever again under the pure fear of ever being caught by said man necking his uncle.

“Maybe,” Stiles admits, eyes already drooping. He has so much homework to do, and he has no time to sleep. Peter’s hands, gentle on his stomach, are convincing him otherwise quite well.

“Once,” Peter is murmuring into his ear, hands brushing over Stiles’ lips as he speaks, “I pranked my sister by putting purple hair dye in her shampoo. I was grounded for two weeks.”

Stiles blinks. “What?”

Peter props himself up on his elbow next to Stiles, his fingers still continuing their slow journey up and down his abdomen. “I thought you wanted all the gory details of my childhood,” Peter says. Stiles grins.

“I do,” he tells him. “But grounded for two weeks? I thought you said you were charming.”

Peter rolls his eyes and settles on top of him, massaging his hands down his chest, and Stiles realizes that he definitely isn’t going to get any homework or sleep done tonight.

Worse things have happened.

--

It’s a whole two weeks later when Stiles gets a text from Scott buzz his phone to life, a blissfully uninteresting two weeks that were perfectly free of late night excursions through the trees.

you wanna come out with me derek and isaac tonight? Scott’s text asks him. Another says derek says you can if you promise to stop tripping over into lethal substances. A whole five minutes pass before the next one comes in. No more than two hours.

Stiles ignores them. He’s still recovering from his mountain of math homework, and there is a box of leftover pizza downstairs practically calling his name. He doesn’t have time to fall into traps or lose a limb.

Ten minutes later, his phone buzzes again. It’s Peter this time, and all it says is My place has oral sex. Are you in?

Stiles smiles and supposes, just maybe, this might be a cause worth leaving the house for tonight.

But this time, he’s watching where he’s stepping.