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Wake Me Up

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When Stiles wakes, he has a tube down his throat.  He struggles—who wouldn’t?—and tries to gasp around sterilized plastic as his lungs are filled without his control.  Gagging, he reaches blindly for it, fingers fumbling as he hears the hiss of compression off to his right and feels the rise and fall of his chest.

He panics.  Of course he panics.  The monitor on the otherside of the bed starts beeping, and he feels his heart hitch, trip over itself, and then take off like he’s running for his life.  He claws at the tubing, hands slow and uncoordinated, arms thin—so thin, so pale, more so than ever before.  Tears are clouding his vision; he gasps and gives a violent dry heave, shuddering with violent disparity.

Hands catch his.  They’re firm and rough, and they keep Stiles from harming himself any further in his blind terror.  Stiles pushes, strains, but in a moment just as quick as his awakening to a room that is too bright, too clean, too unfamiliar, he is completely exhausted again.

“Stiles,” someone calls out to him.  Scott? His father?  “Stiles, you need to stay calm until the doctor gets here.”

Not Scott.  Not his father.

“You’re okay.” He says, and Stiles doesn’t know who is being reassured as he pushes again, but those hands hold him still.  “You’re okay.  Everything is going to be fine, Stiles.”

Stiles doesn’t believe him.  He knows.  He knows with something deep and electric that nothing will ever be okay again.


His throat still feels raw.  He stares out the window, expression pinched, and his entire body aches.  There’s a tightness over his chest and along his scalp.  A paper cup full of ice chips sits on the nightstand next to his cot, but the starched sheets already remind him too much of sitting in bed with his mother.  There is an itch under his skin; he just wants to get out of the hospital.

The movies get it all wrong.  There’s nothing glamorous about a coma.  Stiles is affronted, for a moment, that Sandra Bullock would lie to him like this.  He doesn’t feel well-rested or calmed or at peace.  If anything, he feels more dead than alive.

The door opens.  Stiles doesn’t have to look to know who it is.  Peter is the only one who visits him during the day.

“You still haven’t eaten anything.” Peter says.

Stiles glances over.  “Been busy.”

The new depth of his own voice tends to surprise him still.  It’s not much, but to him it’s drastic.  Everything is so different.

“With what?” Peter asks.

Stiles shifts the blankets aside, points his feet with a slow curl and then flexes them.  Peter lifts a brow, resting his elbows on his knees as he leans closer.

“Impressive,” he says, tone conveying otherwise.

“For human healing, yeah.” Stiles retorts, tossing the blankets back over his feet.  “When the doctor talked about atrphy, I thought it would be a lot worse.”

Peter hums.  “Keep it up and you’ll be tripping over yourself again in no time.”

“Rude.”

“Not really.” Peter says, sitting back again. “Just honest.”

“You? Honest?” Stiles replies and he would lift his eyebrow in echo of Peter’s expression if it wasn’t for the way it made the skin over his scalp go taunt.

He knows that there’s a scar there.  Saw it a day after he woke along with the one over his chest, jagged and angry on his skin.  It was striking, seeing it stretched over his skull.  Like lightening over his skin, and he’d never been so startled to see himself older but with a very familiar buzz cut.

Jaw flexing, his focus turns back to the window.  He hears Peter sigh.

“The world must’ve ended while I was out.” Stiles says.  “If you’re being honest these days.”

There’s a lengthy pause.  “Six years is a long time.  People change.”

“You’d know.” Stiles says, hands flexing over his lap.  “Wouldn’t you?”

“I’m very familiar with the sensation.  While it’s unpleasant, it does wear off after a period of time.” Peter tells him.

“Whatever.” Stiles mutters.  “Go home.  I’m tired.”

“You know that’s not going to happen, Stiles.” Peter replies.

Go home,” Stiles snaps and the lights in the room flicker; neither of them are exceptionally surprised, it’s been happening off and on since Stiles woke.  “I don’t want you here.”

Peter’s jaw flexes, and Stiles looks over to see his lip curl up into a sneer as he stand from his chair.  “I’ll see you tomorrow, Stiles.”

Looking away sharply, Stiles feels his heart clench, a painful tightness in his chest just under his ribcage.  His temples give a slow, dull throb in reply, fingers tremling as he curls them further into the sheets draped precariously over his lap.  Peter sighs again.

At the door he pauses, voice low.  “Wake up soon.”

Stiles shuts his eyes as the door clicks quietly behind Peter.  Like so many times before.


Peter says the same thing every time he leaves: I’ll see you tomorrow, Stiles.  Wake up soon.

He’s been saying it for six years now.  For as long as Stiles was in a coma, Peter has sat at his side every day. And every day he would mutter that same phrase before he left.

Stiles only knows this because he remembers.  He remember every second of it, even though during his long sleep he mostly remembers a floating sensation—on endless, listless streams of black carrying him deeper into the nowhere that was only lit by the stars behind his eyelids. Waking was enough to shock his system into remembering years that had gone by in relative stillness.

And to remember that out of the entire Pack, Peter is the only one that has stuck around. Peter is the only one who still visited him aside from his own father.  Stiles isn’t sure who it makes him more angry with—Peter or those who seem to have abandoned him.

It’s been a week and a half since Stiles was able to fully wake up—the first week or two Stiles spent struggling to understand where he was, what was going on, what had happened.  It was disorienting, only being able to wake up for a few minutes at a time, but eventually he managed complete awareness and with it came memories.  The doctors warned his father that he might have dysantharia on one of the first days, but when Stiles opened his mouth to ask Peter why the fuck he was there, they all knew that he wouldn’t have to struggle with that disability.  

Peter is still at his side at least once a day.  He always brings a book with him, and sometimes Stiles expects Peter to start reading to him—because he remembers hours of that too, of Peter’s voice reading classics, scifi, murder mysteries.  Mostly they just sit in silence these days.  Stiles takes a great deal of comfort in it.

He hates that Peter has somehow mastered the ability to read his needs so easily. 

“You gonna grow your hair back out, kiddo?” John asks, fingers crossed over as he leans forward with his elbows on his knees, smiling crookedly at Stiles.

Stiles rubs a hand over his scalp, hair already a bit longer.  “Been thinking about it.  Might help hide the scar.”

“Worse comes to worse and you just have to shave it off again, right?” John says.

“Right,” Stiles gives him a tight little smile.  “And if people ask about it, I can just tell them I was attacked by a very angry shark because I read that punching it in the gills was a good idea.”

John snorts.  “Stiles.”

“Well, it’s either that or a terrifying feat of bravery while rescuing a poor kitten from a very tall tree.  Heroically.” Stiles grins, head tilting slightly.  “Which one seems more likely to get me laid?”

Shaking his head, John laughs.  “Neither, dumb ass.”

“Love you too.”

John’s expression softens, but there are so many more wrinkles there that Stiles doesn’t remember.  So many hardships that he’s missed.  That he’s probably helped cause.

Jaw flexing, Stiles looks down at his own hands.  “When can you take me home?”

“Soon, kiddo.” John says.  “Real soon.  Doc says you’re just about ready to start in on the real physical therapy.  I imagine maybe another week or two since you’ve got all your faculties in order—and I can take care of what you can’t do on your own.”

“Okay,” Stiles nods.

John stands, placing a warm hand on Stiles’ shoulder.  It’s almost too hot for him to handle.  Stiles has been so cold for so long.

“Soon, Stiles.” John promises.  “I gotta run—“

“Work, yeah, I know.  Some things won’t ever change.” Stiles smiles.  “Get gone, old man.”

“I’ll come by tomorrow.  Same time?”

“Sure,” Stiles nods again.  “I’d like that.”

Just as the sheriff is headed for the door, it opens and Peter falters for a moment.  John offers him an easy smile, and Peter dips his head in reply.

“How are you doing today, Sheriff?” Peter asks.

John shakes his head.  “Same old, same old.  Shift starts soon.  Glad to see you’re still visiting my pain in the ass over there.”

“Of course,” Peter smiles, all teeth.  “It’s my pleasure.”

Stiles watches as John pats Peter’s shoulder when they pass one another.  He waves a slow hand when his father smiles back at him, and only focuses on Peter once the door is shut again.  There’s a book in his hand; Stiles wonders where he keeps finding them because he can’t really imagine Peter at the local library or at the small book shop on Main.  It doesn’t seem like his thing.

Taking a seat, Peter relaxes back in the chair, eyes intent on Stiles’ face.  Stiles feels Peter’s gaze trace over his features before meeting Stiles’ eyes.  He smiles, slow and lazy, fingers drumming over the spine of his book as Stiles frowns at him.

“That’s still weird.”

“Six years is a long time, Stiles.” Peter says, like he’s stuck on the same track, like Stiles hasn’t heard him say that a dozen times before.  “A lot of things change.”

Stiles’ expression shutters.  “Like you?”

Peter pauses, then gives a small nod.  “I suppose you might think that.”

“Are you saying it’s not true?”

“Yes.”

“Then why are you here?” Stiles asks.  “Why were you here?”

Peter sighs, heavy and burdened, with a dramatic roll of his eyes before he gives Stiles a dry look.  “I’ve been where you are, Stiles.  And I know exactly what it is like to be alone.  I know how crazy it can make a person.  Frankly, I’m not that cruel.”

“What did you think would happen?” Stiles frowns.  “That I’d wake up and start the apocalypse?”

“With your talents, Stiles.” Peter breathes, eyes flashing faintly, blue and hungry.  For what, Stiles doesn’t know.  “I wouldn’t put it past you.”


“You invited him to dinner?” Stiles asks as his father wheels him up the driveway.

John huffs out a laugh.  “I wouldn’t be the first time.”

Nose wrinkling, Stiles twists to look up at his father.  “Tell me he hasn’t been in my room.”

“No one has touched your room.” John says, low and firm.  “Not since the accident.”

“It wasn’t an accident, dad.”

“I know,” John sighs.  “Let’s get you inside.”

His dad wasn’t lying when he said no one had been in his room.  In fact, aside from cleaning it up to keep it from gathering dust, it looks completely untouched.  His economics homework is still laying out over his desk.

Leaning against the door frame, Stiles pants faintly, taking the sight of it all in.  He inhales deep and long, pressing to the wood and finding strength there.  The warmth of the Earth welcoming him home, a safe-haven from all that had happened; for the first time since he woke he feels a familiar heat at the tips of his fingers, just out of reach, but finally there.

The lights flicker on.  His dad clears his throat. 

Looking over, Stiles settles back down into the wheel chair with a soft sigh.  John wheels him in without another word, taking him to his desk.  Stopping there, John leans against the edge of it, smiling a smile that’s much more of a grimace.

“I know it’s not much.”

“It’s perfect, dad.” Stiles says.  “A little tragic—maybe creepy. But perfect.  Thank you.”

John nods. “I thought… I thought that if—when you woke up, you might like to have something that was still the same.  That was still yours.”

“It’s perfect.” Stiles repeats.

“Good,” John’s shoulders ease, smile softening.  “I also, uh… I got you something.”

“Dad, you really don’t need to—“

“It wasn’t anything.” John shook his head, standing and moving over to the closet; he pulls out a box with a brand new laptop on the cover, and hands it over with a laugh when Stiles makes grabby hands.  “I was going to give you a new one after graduation anyways.  It’s not much, but it’s nothing to shake your head at.”

Stiles peels it out of the box, running his fingers over the sleak surface with a hum.  Smiling, he beams up at John, holding it close to himself.

“It’s perfect.”

“It’s nothing. I have to make up for at least five birthdays.” Johns says, then blinks and rubs a hand over his jaw.  “Jesus.  You’re gonna be twenty-three this year.”

Stiles just grins.  “Hey, that means I can get drunk and you can actually know about it.”

John rolls his eyes, patting Stiles’ shoulder.  “Like I didn’t know before,” he says.  Stiles laughs as John walks out the door.


Stiles spends the rest of his day catching up with what’s going on in the world.  It’s… Well, it’s a lot.

Things still haven’t settled down in the Middle East.  There isn’t war, but there are still areas that aren’t safe for anyone to go to thanks to some sparse religious extremists.  Not that it’s any better in the US—a year previous, the WBC pulled a Jesus juice mass suicide after one of their own members had gone out of control.  Australia placed at least third in every event at the last Winter Olympics.  There was a revolution in North Korea. 

And Stiles isn’t really sure how to feel about their tighter gun control laws.  Not because he doesn’t think they’re for the better of the country, but because of the tragic events that finally pushed the laws into place.  The assassination of their first female president by some Men’s Rights “activist.”  It makes him feel conflicted.

When there’s a soft knock on his door jamb, Stiles barely pulls himself away from the screen; he’s far too engrossed with Ryan Reynold’s Deadpool to care about the werewolf just outside of his bedroom.

This is the second time, Crossbones.  Three strikes and you’re out.  Remember that.”

“Stiles—“

“Shh,” Stiles holds up a finger, eyes on the screen, lips twitching as Wade slumps against a wall, holding a wound over his abdomen dramatically only to let out a loud belch.

Oh, man, that chimichanga is really biting back.”

Peter snorts and Stiles huffs out a small laugh of his own before hitting the space bar.  “What can I do for you, undead and creepy?”

“I’m not sure you’re ready for that particular conversation.” Peter replies.

“Try me.”

“Oh, I will.” Peter promises, eyes intent on Stiles’ face.  “Just not yet.”

“Creep.”

Shrugging, Peter steps slowly into the room.  “Guilty as charged.”

It earns him a faint smile.  Then Stiles glances down, letting out a soft sigh. 

“My dad told me,” Stiles mutters.  “About some of the things you did that I—Some of the things I couldn’t have known about.”

“Did he?”

“Yes,” Stiles looks back up, frowning at Peter and holding out his hand.  “And I just wanted to say thanks.  I don’t know why you did it, but it helped my dad out a lot.  And it—It kept me from being dead, so thank you.”

Peter stares at him for a long moment, head tilting, and then he takes Stiles’ hand in his.  There is a shock of heat—finally, finally—and Stiles gasps, lips parting at the quick rush of it up his arm.  It eats at the cold in him, chips it away, and the lights above their heads flicker as static rings in their ears. 

Stiles tries to pull away, but Peter’s fingers tighten around his.  The man’s jaw is tight, eyes glowing, and Stiles stares up at him as something thrums between the two of them.  After a moment, when the lights have stopped and the noise is gone, Peter releases Stiles’ hand—but Stiles’ entire body is still tingling. 

“Why are you here?” Stiles asks in a breath.

Peter adjusts his shirt, smile distant.  “Dinner.  Your father invited me.”

“Not here at my house,” Stiles shakes his head, fingers curling and uncurling in his lap.  “I mean here in my room.”

Peter holds his gaze.  “To help you down the stairs.”

An abrupt laugh flies over Stiles’ lips, loud and clipped.  Peter doesn’t look amused. 

So not happening, dude.”

“You either come willingly or I carry you.” Peter replies, expression wry.  “It’s your choice.”

Stiles just turns his focus back onto his computer screen.  “Not happening.”


“I fucking hate you.”

“Hush, I gave you fair warning.”

Stiles pinches at Peter’s butt  in retaliation, hanging from the were’s shoulder like a wet towel.  He gets a smack on the curve of his own ass in return.  Stiles yelps.

When Peter carries him into the dining room, John laughs.  It only grows louder as Stiles flails slightly, the world “traitor” on his lips.


It takes a while longer for Stiles to officially get back on his own two feet.  There’s a lot of physical therapy, and Stiles thinks that he might be sore for the rest of his life but things progress quickly—the doctor said that the first six months show the most results.  He doesn’t remember the last time he was so dedicated to something that was solely about himself. 

He starts taking walks every day.  He has to use a cane, muscles still weak but growing stronger, and he makes it just a little bit further each time.  It’s on his fourth outing, after he’s become accustom to being outside again—so many noises, smells, sounds—and accustom to the new sensation of life pulsing around him that he realizes he’s not alone.

“Come on out, jackass.” Stiles says.

“Such harsh words,” Peter says, hands shoved casually in his pockets as he steps out to walk in stride with Stiles down the path.  “You wound me.”

“No,” Stiles replies, eyes flashing faintly— a vibrant gold deep in the amber of his irises similar to that of a Beta.  “But I could.”

“Yes, I suppose you could.” Peter hums, standing a bit straighter.  “You’re getting stronger.  I can smell it on you.”

He means it in more ways than one.

Stiles nods, focus falling back to the path before them.  His legs are steady but his steps are slow.  Peter keeps idle pace with him. 

“It’s a slow process.  But I can feel it too.” Stiles says with a quiet voice, almost a whisper, like if he speaks of it too loudly everything will fall apart.  “It wasn’t like this before.  But then I woke up, and it’s like the world is welcoming me back.  Like it’s feeding a fire in me that used to be nothing but a—“

“Spark.” Peter says.  “A spark.”

Stiles shudders.  “I wouldn’t have made it without it.  Whatever it is.  The spark is the only reason I’m even alive.  I can—I don’t know how, but I can feel it.  I know it.  I know a lot of things these days.”

“I know.”

“Is that why you stuck around?” Stiles asks, and it isn’t accusing.  It’s curious and simple.  “I know you like power.”

Peter’s expression remains carefully distanced.  “Do you?”

“C’mon, dude.  You’re all about the power.  Like full on rage-boner power.  With a capital P.” Stiles shoots him a dry look, brow raised.

“And you certainly have the potential to be very powerful.” Peter nods.  “I’ve known that for a while.”

“Since I was bleeding out?” Stiles asks, coming to a slow stop.  “Or since you offered me the Bite?”

Peter turns to face him, smile small and wicked and full of promise.  “You know the answer to that.”

Eyes flickering over Peter’s almost completely unchanged features, Stiles searches for something. His shoulders slump when he can’t quite find it.  “Is that the only reason you stayed?  Six years is a long time.”

Tilting his head, Peter holds his gaze.  After a moment, nothing but the smell of damp earth between them, Peter glances away.  He sighs like it’s the end of the world.

The wind shifts.  It twines around them, and Stiles feels it at the edges of his clothes, trying to seep into his skin.  But there’s a light in his chest, like a beacon, glowing and growing warmer by the second. Energy gathering like static.  It weighs upon them, thick and crackling, and when Peter meets his gaze with eyes that are electric, Stiles feels it still.

“When I was in a coma, I didn’t have anyone.  I was in a near vegetative state, just lying there, for years.  With no one.”  Peter says, and Stiles’ lips part.  “I wouldn’t wish that fate upon many people, Stiles.  Certainly not you.”

“Why not me?”

“I have my reasons.  And you are not at the top of my kill list.” Peter replies.  “These days, you aren’t even on it.”

“So you visited me every day to what?  Keep me sane?”

“Yes,” Peter nods, shuffling a touch closer, voice lowering.  “And no.”

Stiles doesn’t move, knuckles going white as he grips his cane.

“Yes, it was to keep you from losing your mind.  It was a possibility that I put effort into preventing.  I could smell your energy changing the moment your heart stopped beating—like ozone and spice.”  Peter continues, moving to walk around him, gaze appraising and admiring at the same time.  Something like liquid fire pools low in Stiles’ abdomen when their shoulders brush.  “I didn’t want what happened to me to happen to you.  I didn’t want you to know what it was like to be alone.  And I didn’t want to deal with what would wake up in your place if I hadn’t tried something.”

Peter rounds him to stand practically chest to chest.  He reaches up, eyes not once leaving Stiles’, and traces over the scar with a touch that’s so soft it’s almost non-existent.  Stiles can feel it all the way down to the balls of his feet.  He recognizes reverence when he sees it.

Dropping his hand back down, Peter sighs.  “The other reason I stayed was purely selfish.  And incredibly power hungry.”

Stiles snorts, indelicate but amused.  “I kind of figured most of that out already.  I just want to know what it is that you want.  What do you get out of this?  A powerful, ex-comatose, twenty-something year old who you can barely get along with?”

“Loyalty. I was loyal to you,” Peter says.  “Now I want it in return.  I’ll protect you, if you protect me.

“You want me to be your Pack.” Stiles blinks.  “A Pack of two.  With no Alpha?”

Peter smiles—and it’s sharp and predatory.  Like all Peter wants to do is eat him.  “Well, a Pack of three with your father.  He’s been very good to me these last few years.”

“Don’t get weird.”

“Honestly, Stiles.” Peter reaches up again, slowly pressing his palm to Stiles’ cheek, giving him plenty of time to pull away.  Stiles doesn’t.  “That’s all I’ll ask of you.  Loyalty.  Pack.  We don’t need an Alpha.”

“Peter—“

“Think about it,” Peter says, eyes glinting as he drags his thumb over the high line of Stiles’ cheek bone.  “And remember.  I’m asking for more than just power.  I’m asking for a place at your side.  In whatever way you want that to mean.”

Stiles hesitates.  “I’ve been asleep for a long time, Peter.  For years.  And I remember almost every second of it.  I know you were the one that stuck around.  I remember everything you’ve ever said, and I remember knowing that none of it was a lie.  Just like I know this isn’t a lie.”

Peter’s jaw works for a moment, and Stiles knows that it’s a big risk for him to have Stiles read him so simply, so easily.  “And?”

“And I know you’re the product of shitty circumstances.  That you regret certain things and not others.” Stiles licks his lips, pulling from his touch.  “I refuse to be something you end up regretting.”

Peter frowns.  “What do you mean?”

“I know you,” Stiles says.  “More, probably, than I ever really wanted to know.  But I do now.  You ran out of bullshit snark in the first few months, Peter, and I actually remember most of that too.  About your family and everything—Everything before.  But I was asleep.  So while I may know you, you don’t know me.”

“I don’t?”

“Not enough.” Stiles insists.  “So we wait.  Protection is—That’s fine.  Whatever, I’ll lob someone upside the head with this stupid cane if I have to.  But we aren’t Pack.  Or anything else.  Not yet.”

When Peter smiles again, it’s all teeth.  “Not yet, then.  I’m a patient man.  I can wait.”

Stiles rolls his eyes.  “Yeah, whatever.  Don’t start counting chickens.  Walk me home.”

“Ask and you shall receive.”

Chapter Text

“Faster, Stiles.” Peter taunts, right on his heels, looking more and more were than man by the second, grin feral and dangerous.

Stiles’ breath catches in his throat, heart rabbiting beneath his ribs, and Peter laughs.  Stiles takes a sharp turn around a tree if only to gain an inch of space between them.  It earns a low growl, and Stiles shivers even as a wide smile spreads over his lips. 

They’ve been doing this for the last week.  After walking, running came easily, and with the new heat pumping through Stiles’ veins, he grows strong quickly.  Originally, Peter had just run with Stiles.  They’d jog through the Preserve, and if Stiles needed it, Peter would help him back home when his knees locked or he couldn’t push himself any further.

Somehow, though, running together quickly escalated into chasing.  Stiles would be lying if he said he doesn’t get a thrill out of it.  The rush of adrenaline, the way it makes the blood in his veins boil; it’s addicting.

When Peter finally gets sick of playing the cat to Stiles’ mouse, he pushes forward with a rush of extra speed.  He takes Stiles down in one easy move, their bodies meeting harshly, but he makes sure Stiles gets pressed down into a gathering of leaves and brush to cushion the fall.  Stiles laughs, twisting around beneath Peter to face him, and Peter returns the expression with a crooked one of his own.  It’s in these moments that Stiles knows he’s not the only one enjoying himself, feeling the contentment, the thrum of excitement, the pulse of desire coming off of Peter in waves like a slow crest of heat over Stiles’ skin.

“You’re getting faster.” Peter breathes.  “I’m almost sweating.”

“Thanks,” Stiles pants drolly. 

“You’re welcome,” Peter hums.

For a moment, Peter’s eyes drift down to the part of Stiles’ lips and he thinks that Peter might actually kiss him this time.  It’s just another game they’ve been playing.  Dancing around each other, testing the water, Stiles still too uneasy to just dive in and Peter refusing to drown by himself.  Time has passed, though, and Stiles knows that Peter isn’t planning on going anywhere.

It might have wigged him out pre-coma, but instead Stiles find the oddly placed loyalty strange and comforting.  His trust in Peter, despite the often unequal balance in the man’s morals, only cemented further as time passed.  It helps that Stiles has started to understand and control his awakened abilities better and can read a great majority of Peter’s true intentions.

A lot of them involve waiting for Stiles to be fully healed before enacting a plan of seduction.  Plans which Stiles really can’t bring himself to mind much.  Especially when they involve things like this.

“You look wild,” Peter says, body pressed flush with Stiles’ as he brushes a leaf out of Stiles’ growing hair, leaning in to take a deep breath of him.  Stiles’ body thrums with energy that bleeds and pulls between them on contact.  “You smell wild.”

“Do I?” Stiles tilts his head just enough to look curious—all the while tempting Peter with the line of his neck.

“Yes,” he replies tightly.  “Like a rainstorm.”

Breath heavy, Stiles places a hand over the soft cotton of Peter’s shirt.  He pushes him back just enough for their eyes to meet.  Gold glows around his pupil, and there is a flash of light and then a deep rumble of thunder.

Peter’s brows lift.  “New trick?”

“Something I’m working on.”

“Impressive.”

“Thank you.”

Rain patters down from overhead.  It isn’t heavy and nowhere near as powerful as a storm, but it’s a slow drizzle that will undoubtedly soak them if they don’t find some kind of shelter from it soon.  Peter’s body shields him from the most of it, gaze burning into Stiles like he’s the best thing that Peter has ever seen.

Fingers push through Stiles’ short hair, and it’s nearly the length it was when Stiles was in high school.  Stiles leans up into the touch, feeling Peter trace over the long scar hiding there.  He feels Peter let out a pleased sound more than he hears it, vibrations humming up Stiles’ arm and into his own chest as Peter’s eyes flicker blue.

“We should get you home,” Peter says, shifting against him, lips twitching as Stiles moves in echo and reply.  “You might catch a cold.”

“I don’t think I can get sick that easily anymore.” Stiles confesses, breathy, like he’d just finished running again.

“All sort of surprises,” Peter mutters and leans in if only for a moment.

Gripping Stiles’ hand in his, he hauls Stiles back onto his feet in a swift easy motion.  They stand in one another’s space, breath mingling between them, and only break apart when there is another flash of lightning.  “Let’s get out of here, hm?” Peter says.

They jog all the way back to Stiles’ home.  The light is on in his father’s office, and Stiles knows he’s waiting to make sure Stiles is home safe before heading to bed.  He thinks it’s sweet but a little sad, and guilt pits like tar in his stomach, thick and sticky and unsettling.  Under the awning, he hesitates before the front door, water rolling over his skin, hair matted down.

When he turns around, Peter’s eyes are on his chest where his shirt clings to muscles that are redeveloping and filling back out nicely.  Stiles knows he’ll still be lean and lithe.  If it means that Peter will keep staring at him like that, Stiles doesn’t really give a shit.  He lets his own gaze trail along the breadth of Peter’s shoulder, and he wants.

He wants everything Peter has to offer.  He wants the loyalty, the companionship, the goddamn heat in his gaze; everything.  But Stiles has made stupid decisions before.  He doesn’t think that he can handle going into this if it will eventually mean losing the one person—aside from his father—that stayed by his side.  The one person that cared enough to stay, even if it was for mostly selfish reasons.

“Peter,” Stiles starts.

Peter just nods, brows pinching slightly as he assesses the way Stiles is holding himself, takes in the heady scent of spice.  “I know.”

“We can’t.”

“I’m not asking you to,” Peter says.  “I’m patient.  I’ll wait.”

“For how long?”

“Until you’re ready.”

“I want Pack,” Stiles says, shifting from foot to foot.  “I think I’m ready for that.  If that’s something you still want.”

“It is.” Peter nods, drawing in closer.  “You’re alright with that?  Just me and you—and by extension your father?”

“Yes.” Stiles presses back against the front door.  “It’s unconventional.  No Alpha.  Only a Beta, a spark, and a police officer.”

Peter brackets him in, hand at either side of Stiles’ head on the hard wood of the door.  “We can bring in others if we want.  And we’d have an Alpha.  Of sorts.”

“Who?” Stiles grins, eyes bright and playful even as he presses back further.  “You?”

“No,” Peter shakes his head, expression grace, and he leans in until his lips just brush Stiles’ ear.  “You.”

Stiles shudders, head tilting for him again.  He hears Peter growl, low and deep, and then Peter drags his nose up and over the line of his neck, stopping just under his jaw to scrape his teeth over the pale skin there.  Groaning, Stiles sinks a hand into Peter’s hair, and it’s wet and much softer than Stiles’ expected.

Nails dragging bluntly over Peter’s scalp, Stiles gasps as Peter licks sweat and rainwater off of his skin.  Peter draws him closer; one hand cradles the back of Stiles’ head as the other presses to the small of Stiles’ back.  Objectively, Stiles knows that Peter is doing more than just scent marking, but he feels branded wherever Peter touches, and the spark in him flares under the attention, feeding off of that heat.  Shivering, Stiles turns his head, dragging his own scent up over the curve of Peter’s neck.  Peter’s growling goes lower until it’s almost a purr, and then Stiles bites.

He doesn’t draw blood, but it’s a close thing.  Peter stiffens, jerks against him as he pins Stiles back against the door with a dull thump.  For a long second, Peter stops breathing.  His hands flex over Stiles’ body, and he inhales with a shuddering hitch.

Stiles,” Peter hisses, strained.  “I need you to stop before I do something you might hate me for.”

Stiles releases him a second later, the tip of his tongue running alongt the edge of his teeth, and Peter follows the motion avidly.  “You’ve seemed to enjoy me hating you in the past.”

When Peter smiles, it isn’t exactly nice—eyes hungry and glinting with something wicked.  “You look positively edible when you’re angry.” He says, voice low, the hand at Stiles’ back slipping lower.

“What if you never get any more than this?” Stiles asks on a breath, words rushing out in a way that gives Peter pause.  “What if this is all I can give you?”

“I won’t stop trying,” Peter mutters, and it’s almost a threat.  “But I’ll take it.  Whatever you offer.  And whatever you want, I will gleefully give.”

Stiles trembles, abdomen tight, and he knows exactly what he wants.  He’s just not ready to take it.

“Because I’m powerful?”

Peter nods. “Because you’re strong and wild and just dark enough.  Because you’re an asset, an ally, and a friend.  You’re Pack.  Because you could destroy me—destroy everything and yet you don’t.”

“I—“ Stiles’ voice wavers, and he clears his throat.  “I need to go inside.”

“I know,” Peter says.  “Tell your father I said hello.”

“I will.” Stiles says, and Peter pulls away.  There’s a thrum of heat, like thread keeping them connected, and Stiles wonders how far it will stretch.  “I’m probably just gonna crash.”

Peter gives him a knowing little smile.  “I’ll see you tomorrow, Stiles.” He hears Peter, even as the man walks out into the rain towards his car; Stiles closes his eyes and feels the connection between them like pure electricity.  “Wake up soon.”


“So we’re what?” John says, sitting back on the couch, eyes on the TV but brows furrowed.  “A one wolf werewolf Pack? I’m included in this?”

“Peter knows that I want you safe,” Stiles shrugs, munching idly on the popcorn set between them.  “If anything were to happen, you’re under his protection as well as mine.”

“Because you’re a wizard now?” John teases.

“Dad.”

“Does that mean I’m supposed to protect him?” John asks, grinning to himself.

“If it ever comes down to it, yeah.  You’d protect him almost as much as you protect me.” Stiles says, glancing his way.  “Are you okay with that?”

“Stiles,” John pauses the show, twisting to face him.  “Out of every one of the people who I expected to stay by you, or at least check on you, Peter Hale wasn’t anywhere on that list.  But he was there every day.  He read to you, talked to you—kid, he helped me with expenses for your care.”

John lets out a long, heavy breath. Stiles waits.

“I didn’t have any expectations of him, and yet he somehow exceeded every single one.” John shrugs, smiling faintly.  “I mean, he was kind of a prick about.  He’s still kind of a prick about it.  But he stayed.  I’d be happy to call him Pack or family or whatever.  Okay, kiddo?”

Stiles grins.  “Yeah.  Yeah, okay, dad.”

“Just… Try to keep him from killing anyone?”

Stiles just laughs.


“So you’re looking at college?”

Stiles grunts noncommittally.  He’s too focused on the shelves of books in front of him, eyes roaming over titles.  Peter sighs, picking at a piece of lint on his shirt, leaning heavily on the stacks so that it wobbles.  Stiles shoot shim a dark look.

“You’re looking at colleges.” Peter repeats, brow raising.

“Yeah.  Online stuff.” Stiles grumbles, shouldering Peter out of the way to reach for a fantasy book entitled Dragon Bones.  “I can’t mooch off of my dad for forever.  I was thinking IT or something else I could set up at home.”

“That’s the second in the series,” Peter advises, plucking the book away before handing him another.  “Start there.”

“Thanks,” Stiles mumbles as he skims over the synopsis on the back.

“You’re welcome.” Peter grins, arms crossing over his chest.  “And you don’t need a career, Stiles.  I have plenty of money.”

Stiles smiles to himself.  “I’m not mooching off of you either.”

“Nonsense.  I insist.” Peter follows after him as Stiles heads down the isle, a devious little grin playing over his lips.  “Think of it as a gift.  Or as a bribe.  Whichever sits better.”

“Peter,” Stiles chides and rounds the corner down another isle.  “Why would you even need to bribe me?”

“A few reasons,” Peter hums, drawing close, hands in his pockets to keep from reaching out.

“Peter—“

Stiles?”

Liam’s got these wide eyes and wow, he’s gotten tall too.  Not as tall as Peter or Stiles, but taller.  Older. 

Stiles falters and blinks as Peter presses up against his back.  “Um.”

“Oh, my god.” Liam says, moving in close as if to pull Stiles into a hug—but stopping just shy of it when all Stiles does is press back against Peter.  "I didn’t—When did you get out of the hospital?”

“A while ago.” Siles tells him, shoulders tight and knuckles white as he grips the small stack of books flush to his chest.  He relaxes slightly when Peter rests a hand at his hip, feeling heat tingle through his bones.  “How’ve you been?”

“Um, good.  I’ve been—“ Liam’s nose wrinkles.  “I’ve been good.  And you?”

“Better,” Stiles replies—and he means it in more ways than one.  “Much better.”

“Cool.  That’s really cool.” Liam nods, eyes staying to Peter’s hand and back.  “Am I the last one to hear about you being back?  I’ve been busy at Santa Cruz.”

Stiles shakes his head.  “I wouldn’t know.”

“Oh.” Liam frowns.

“Are you ready to head back now, Stiles?” Peter asks, and he looks all too pleased with himself.

Stiles bites the inside of his cheek to keep himself from smiling or rolling his eyes or both.  “Yeah.  I’ve got enough to last me a week or two.”

“We can always come back.”

“I know.” Stiles glances over his shoulder at Peter, grin crooked and little bit charming; Peter squeezes at his hip, and Stiles looks back to see Liam frowning.  “Nice seeing you.”

“Uh, right, yeah.” Liam nods.  “I’ll—I’ll see you guys around.”

Stiels lets Peter guide him away, hand warm at the small of his back.  He lets him pay for the stack of books and comics and lets out a genuine laugh when Peter whispers something in his ear because they both know that Liam is still watching.  When they get to Peter’s car, a sleak Mercedes with all kinds of new gadgets that Stiles had geeked over the first time that he’d gotten into it, Stiles sits in the passenger seat with a carefully blank expression on his face.

Without a word, Peter starts the car.  He drives them back to Stiles’ house, coming to a slow stop out front and kills the engine.  There’s a moment of quiet, and then Peter turns to him.

“You’re angry.”

Stiles’ hands flex in his lap, and when he meets Peter’s gaze with eyes like fire, the werewolf smiles.  “Yes.”

“I know that feeling too.” Peter nods.  “I felt it the first time I saw Laura after I woke.  After her and Derek abandoned me.  I understand, now, why they did it.  Back then, I didn’t.  It’s one of the reasosn I ripped her in half.”

“I want to hurt them.” Stiles breathes.

Peter smiles.  “If that were true, I’d help you ripe them all to pieces.  But it isn’t.”

Stiles looks away, eyes fixed on his house.

“What you want is for them to feel what you feel,” Peter adds.  “To know what it’s like to be completely left behind.  To be discarded.  How it feels to have your chest torn open and everyone just watches as you bleed.  You want them to suffer.”

Peter reaches out to him, settling a gentle hand on Stiles’ shoulder.  He shifts but doesn’t shrug it off.  They’re both quiet until Stiles’ finally meets Peter’s eyes again.

“They left.” Peter says.  “But you’ve survived for this long.  You’ll live through this too.”

“I thought maybe something—Fuck, I hoped something happened.” Stiles’ voice cracks, and tears come unbidden and unwelcome.  Peter thinks it’s the prettiest thing he’s ever seen.  “I hoped they’d been hurt or whatever and that’s why they stopped coming.”

“They weren’t hurt.  They didn’t care.” Peter states bluntly.

“Fuck you.” Stiles snarls.  “It’s called tact, you cunt.”

“I’m just being honest,” Peter sighs, like he’s tired of saying those words.  He probably is.

Stiles knows.  It just hurts.

“Well why don’t you fucking stop.” Stiles sneers, jerking from his touch and climbing out of the car with sharp movements.

Peter follows him. He catches Stiles by the elbow, pulling him back around with a harshness that he has never and will never reserve.  They both know it will bruise, and both are happy for it—though, for very different reasons.  Stiles moves to strike him, and Peter catches the blow before it can even land.

“They don’t care, Stiles.” Peter says again, terse and clipped, grip tightening.  “They don’t care about everything that you sacrificed for them.  They don’t care how many beatings you took or how many times you nearly died.”

“Shut up.” Stiles hisses, trying to pull free and failing—always failing.

“They didn’t care, Stiles.” Peter continues.  “They only saw you practically dead in a hospital bed.  They visited for a while, but they didn’t care enough to see you through it.  They aren’t like you, Stiles.  They don’t know how to be devoted to something.  To someone.”

Stiles feels one of his knees go weak for the first time in weeks.  Peter catches him, holds him close, and gives him a grimace of a smile.

“The worst part is,” Peter says softly, sweetly, arm secure around Stiles’ waist as he leans heavily against Peter’s chest.  “They aren’t bad people.  They’re just shitty friends.”

Stiles’ laugh is more like a sob and the tips of his ears turn pink.  The sound of it quickly turns slightly hysterical, and Peter just holds him through it.  The ground shifts and trembles very subtly beneath them.  Peter pays no mind.

Chapter Text

“This is so not my doing,” Stiles insists.

It’s been raining for three days straight ever since Stiles spotted Liam and Peter broke it to him brashly.  Peter gives Stiles a dubious expression even as he drags the boy close so that they’re huddled beneath an umbrella together. 

Stiles rolls his eyes—“Oh, shut up.”—and trots quickly through the puddles to get to the entrance of the grocery store faster.

“Keeping my mouth shut has never really been my forte,” Peter replies cheekily.  “Unless you’d like to keep my mouth occupied with something else, I just can’t see it happening.”

“Cunt.” Stiles says as they walk through the sliding doors, and Stiles offers a smile as an old woman side eyes the two of them when she passes; Peter shakes out the umbrella as Stiles unzips out of his sweatshirt and grabs a cart. 

“You wouldn’t have me any other way.”

Stiles shrugs. “Maybe I’d have you a lot of ways.”

Peter actually fucking smirks, like some Bond villain, and draws in close to whisper low and inviting into Stiles’ ear.  “I’d definitely be the one having, Stiles.  And you’d love every second of it.  I’d make sure of that—over and over and over—“

“Public.  We’re in public.” Stiles grumbles, rubbing at his ear as his cheeks color a sweet pink. 

Peter chuckles.  “You think that would stop me?”

There’s that heady scent of arousal and spice that Peter so enjoys smelling on Stiles’ skin.  Muttering tohimself, Stiles pushes the cart onward, heading for the produce.  He whispers a barely audible “way to be a creep” under his breath, knowing full well that Peter can hear him.

Peter trails along after him, helping gather the items on their decidedly wet list of things to buy.  They speak idly, comfortably, teasing each other here and there.  It’s normal these days, spending all of his time with Peter at his side.  Frankly, it’s a reminiscent of being back in the hospital.

Except now when Peter makes jibes, Stiles can return them.

“I really ought to take you shopping.” Peter says, upper lip curling in a sneer as he plucks at the ratty old cotton t-shirt that Stiles has on.  “At least you aren’t wearing plaid for once.”

“You obviously haven’t seen my boxers today.” Stiles chirps, too busy comparing one cake mix to another. 

Peter crowds him against the shelves, Stiles’ back to his chest, hands resting carefully at Stiles’ hips.  It isn’t a new move, and Stiles eases into it, taking in the heat Peter has to offer.  The older man breathes Stiles in, scent marking him briefly and earning small laugh for his antics.  They both know that it’s more than simple Pack bonding.

Fingers flexing, Peter rests his chin on Stiles’ shoulder and glances between their options boredly.  Stiles mutters quietly to himself, practically static in Peter’s hold, energy bright and humming to the surface. For a moment, Peter forgets himself, too lost in the ebb and swell of Stiles’ essence—heady and bittersweet and positively addicting.  His lips bursh over the thump-thump of Stiles’ pulse, just under his ear, and Stiles shudders.

Peter,” he says, wary and scolding at the same time.

Peter hums. “I thought you were offering to let me see you in your boxers.”

“Like you haven’t already,” Stiles retorts.  “I’m surprised you got away with murder for so long considering how much you fucking suck at being stealthy.”

Making a face, Peter shrugs. “Maybe I wanted you to know I was there,” he mutters, inching Stiles’ shirt up just enough for his fingers to brush over skin.

Stiles tilts his head around to meet Peter’s gaze, finding it warm and content on his own face.  “That’s supposed to make it better?”

“Yes.”

Huffing out an amused sound, Stiles looks back to the cake mix.  “It doesn’t.  Chocolate fudge or chocolate chunks?”

“You didn’t mind at the time,” Peter says in a low rumble.  “Did you know you smell like citrus when you’re excited?”

“I learn something new every day,” Stiles mumbles mockingly.  “I’m thinking the chunks because dark chocolate.”

“I can think of a few things that taste better,” Peter replies, breath hot at Stiles’ ear.

“Is one of them that ganache you made last week?” Stiles asks glibly, despite the flush on his cheeks.  “Because that was awesome.”

Peter chuckles.  “I thought you’d like it.”

Love.  Love is the proper expression for my undying adoration of that ganache.”

“Cute.”

“Aw, thanks.” Stiles says and then laughs, placing the fudge back on the shelf.  “You’re a real dick.”

“You like it.”

“Doesn’t change your status. Once a dick, always a dick.” Stiles says gravely.

“Is that--?”

“So it’s true.”

Derek’s voice is rougher than Stiles remembers.  He sounds strained, and judging by the way his jaw flexes, he’s just barely keeping himself in check.  Stiles lets his gaze flicker over him, and he’s surprised to see Derek so worse for wear.  Like he’d been on the road for too long.

Feeling Peter stiffen at his back, Stiles drops a hand over where Peter’s was slipping away from his hip.  He holds it there, his own fingers flexing alongside of Peter’s, and threads his through Peter’s as heat blossoms in the center of his palm.  It is comfort for the both of them.  All Derek sees is Stiles holding his uncle’s hand.

“You’re awake.” Derek says on a breath.

“Yep,” Stiles nods.  “Have been for a few months now.”

“Why didn’t you--?” Derek’s gaze stray to Peter, narrowed and accusing. “Why didn’t you let us know.”

Stiles shrugs a shoulder.  “Must’ve slipped my mind.”

“Slipped your mind?” Derek says between grit teeth.

“Yeah, you know, that thing that happens when you forget something that was important.  That mattered.” Stiles replies, slow and distanced, and Peter doesn’t try to hide his smile when he hears the edge in Stiles’ voice.  “You’ve done that once or twice, haven’t you, Derek?”

 “Stiles—“

“Listen, Derek, it’s really nice seeing you, but I’m kind of in the middle of something.” Stiles says.  “So unless you have something life or death to tell me, I really don’t give a fuck about anything you have to say.”

Stiles pulls from Peter, tossing his item into the cart and moving to push by.  As they pass, Derek catches Peter by the arm, claws and fangs coming out to play.  Peter lifts a brow, head canting slightly.  Stiles falters, glancing between the two of them.

“Can I help you?” he asks.

“Whatever it is that you’ve done, whatever lies you’re feeding him? Stop now.” Derek growls, low with warning.  “Stop before Scott comes home.”

“And what will your True Alpha do, Derek?” Peter mocks, sneering over at him.  “Scold me?”

Derek’s growl pitches even lower, eyes flashing in a wordless threat.  Peter tenses, but Derek falters as Stiles steps between them.  The earth shifts beneath their feet with such severity that boxes come toppling off of their shelves, lights flickering overhead.  Derek’s eyes go wide as Stiles gives him a look that promises a lot of things—none of them good.

“Back off,” he says.

Derek releases his grip on Peter’s forearm, and there’s blood there from the shallow cuts his claws left, but it’s enough to make Stiles square his shoulders.  His jaw flexes and Derek takes a slow step back as everything seems to settle once more.

“Touch him like that again and we’ll find out if werewolves can survive evisceration.” Stiles says, and it’s even more eerie because it sounds so casual, his tone soft.  “Do you understand?”

Derek’s voice is harsh with strain.  “Yes.”

“Good.” Stiles smiles, taking Peter by the wrist.  “Let’s get out of here.”

When they’re back in the car—cart left abandoned in the store along with their food and umbrella—and dripping wet from the rain, Stiles pulls Peter’s arm to himself.  He looks it over, fingertips touching the marks that are already gone, a frown marring his features.  Peter watches him, expression reserved, fingers twitching as Stiles’ thumb trails over the lines of his palm.

He tilts his head, brows going up in silent question when Stiles finally meets his gaze again.  Stiles’ eyes search over his face, lips parting, and Peter waits.  Peter always waits.

Stiles moves before he thinks.  He leans in, hand coming up to curve over Peter’s jaw, and Peter meets him halfway.  Lips slant over slip, mouths opening instantly as their tongues twine together. Stiles cants his head to let it go deeper; he doesn’t know why he’s surprised to taste mint in Peter’s mouth.

It’s a bit frantic.  Stiles ends up in Peter’s lap, sucking at Peter’s tongue as the other man pushes his hands up the back of Stiles’ shirt.  His palms are just rough enough and scalding up over the curve of Stiles’ spine.  When Stiles drags his teeth over Peter’s lower lip, Peter groans and pulls Stiles impossibly closer, their cocks pressing together from behind confining layers of wet jean and cotton.  Stiles shifts against him, friction making him gasp, and he lets out a needy little sound.

“Shh,” Peter hushes, a hand dropping down to curve over the swell of Stiles’ ass.  “I’ve got you.  I’ve got you, Stiles.”

Their mouths meet again, and it’s messy and slow.  The kisses are drawn out, languid, and it helps them both settle from the slight frenzy that they’d fallen into.  Stiles’ heart rate slows, his lips dragging over Peter’s lazily, and Peter grips the back of his neck to keep him close even as he breaks back.

“We keep going and there won’t be any stopping.” Peter tells him, voice low.  “Are you ready for that?”

Stiles’ shoulder slump, hands resting over the damp cotton of Peter’s shirt where it clings to his chest; he rests their foreheads together and sighs.  “No,” he mumbles.

“Damn," Peter says, lips twitching up.  “I was really looking forward to watching you come in your pants.”

Stiles pinches him.  “I need to get you a t-shirt.  It’ll say World’s Biggest Douchebag on the front.”

“Keep calling me names and I’ll have to find a way to keep that pretty mouth of yours busy with something else.” Peter grins, sharp but playful, fingers tracing along the waistband of Stiles’ jeans, humming when Stiles shivers. 

“Jerk,” Stiles says.

Stiles,” Peter warns even as he leans up.

“Psychopathic son of a—“ Peter’s lips are insistent against Stiles’.  He lick his way past the part between them, thumb brushing softly behind Stiles’ ear.  Stiles breaks it a moment later.  “We should stop.”

“No, we shouldn’t.” Peter says against his mouth, nipping at Stiles’ lower lip and moans as Stiles’ hips twitch.

“Peter,” Stiles breathes, hand pressing to his chest firmly even as his fingers curl into the material there.  “Stop.”

Jaw working, Peter pulls back, looking up at Stiles and letting the desire in himself show with an unabashed flash of blue.  “Okay.”

Stiles shudders.  “Sorry.”

“Don’t apologize.” Peter shakes his head, and he keeps Stiles close even as the younger man shifts as if to slip out of his lap.  “Just know that I’m probably going to jerk off thinking about your mouth later.”

“Oh, my god.” Stiles laughs, face turning red as he buried half of it in a hand.

Peter’s grin broadens.  “And I know you’ll do something very similar.”

“Jackass,” Stiles says, tone fond.  “Take me home so that I can ward it.”

“You know wards now?”

“Nope,” Stiles shakes his head.  “But I’ve got the Argent’s bestiary and the power of Google.  I’ll figure it out tonight.”

Peter hums.  “Raincheck on dinner and movies then?”

“Stop making it sound like it’s a date,” Stiles’ nose wrinkles.  “My dad is going to be there.  The weekly dinner thing was his idea, not mine.”

“I can help you with the wards then.” Peter says decidedly, moving Stiles back into the passenger seat.  “We could even do my apartment.”

Stiles buckles as Peter starts the engine.  He tells Peter to go to his apartment first, and Peter turns left instead of right outside of the parking lot.  Halfway there, the only sound keeping them company is the back and forth of the window wipers over the windshield, Peter clears his throat.

“Not that I don’t appreciate it,” Peter says.  “But why did you do that?”

Stiles blinks.  “I thought—I mean, I thought that was kind of obvious with the super sense and how majorly hot you are—“

“Not the impromptu game of tonsil hockey, Stiles, do keep up.” Peter smiles, eyes on the road ahead of them.  “Though that was nice too.  I meant what happened with Derek.”

“Oh. That.”

Peter glances over, catching sight of the harsh lines of Stiles’ face.  It makes something in him twist.  As Stiles meets his gaze, there is a lingering sensation of need that Peter is growing more and more familiar with.

“You’re Pack.” Stiles says firmly.  “We protect each other, remember?”

“I recall a conversation along those lines,” Peter nods. 

“He tried to hurt you.” Stiles shrugs a shoulder.  “And I’m not okay with that.  I—I care about you.  I don’t want to see you get hurt.  We’ve both been through enough of it, I think.”

Pulling into the parking space outside of his apartment building, Peter comes to a slow stop.  The engine keeps running, pumping warm air into the cab—mostly for Stiles’ sake—and Peter twists in his seat to look at him.

Stiles is staring down at his lap, left leg bouncing.  Reaching out, Peter eases a hand over Stiles’ thigh and gives a gentle squeeze.  Stiles swallows, gaze flitting up and then away again.

“I could feel it.  Your panic.” Stiles mutters.  “I don’t even know if you knew you were panicking, but I did.  You’ve gotten stronger since they left, but I know you don’t feel strong enough.  I also know that you’re getting stronger every day, and the more you touch me the better we both seem to get.  But it’s Derek.  It’s your favorite nephew—your only nephew, and you aren’t completely insane anymore.”

Stiles pauses.  He glances up again, and Peter is staring at him like he’s the best thing that he’s ever seen.  It makes Stiles hesitate, if only for another moment.

“You asked me to be loyal, Peter.” Stiles says.  “To return the loyalty you showed me.  That’s exactly what I did.”

Peter reaches out, fingertips grazing over Stiles’ cheek.  “I’m going to kiss you again.  Thought you should know.”

Guiding him close, Peter brushes their lips together softly, slowly.  Stiles’ breath catches, hand coming up to curl loosely around Peter’s wrist as he leans into his touch.  There’s a buzz under his skin, and he wants it to never stop. 

“Yeah.” Stiles nods, their noses bumping.  “Yeah, okay.  Just one more time.”

Peter smiles before sealing their mouths together. 


Stiles stretches, languid and lazy over the sheets.  His limbs feel heavy, easy with sleep, and he groans out a soft sound at the stream of light through his windows.  It’s way too early to be awake. 

There’s a tap-tapping at his window.  Stiles grunts out a sound, rolling over onto his side, brow furrowed as he hides a head beneath his pillow.  He tries to think about happy thoughts—like the way that Peter kissed him, or the easy touches they shared while setting up wards at Peter’s apartment the night previous before heading back to Stiles’ for dinner.  The knocking at his window grows more insistent.

Stiles lobs a pillow at it.  “Go away, Peter.  Use the fucking front door like a normal person, you have a key for a reason.”

The knocking stops abruptly.  Stiles blinks over at the window, seeing Derek’s jaw flex.  For a moment, Stiles wonders if everything that happened was a strange dream, but then he sees Derek press his palm flat to the glass and the wards etched around his window glow an eerie green.

Huffing, Stiles slides out from beneath the sheets, padding over to the window.  He puts his hands on his hips, regarding Derek for a long and quiet moment, head tilted.  He purses his lips and shakes his head.

“I’m not letting you in, dude.” Stiles says, voice tired.

Derek frowns.  “Stiles, please.  I just want to talk.”

“Talk from there, eyebrows.” Stiles mutters, scrubbing the back of his head with the palm of his hand, turning away and stretching up, up onto his toes as he walks over to his dresser. 

“At least open the window, Stiles.”

Stiles waves his hand and the latch clicks.  “Open it yourself.  But if you try to come in, I’m pretty sure you won’t like what happens.”

A slow breeze rolls in, and Stiles closes his eyes as he catches the scent of a storm coming.  He digs around for a t-shirt, pulling something old and blue up and over his head, scratching at his stomach as he turns back around. 

“What do you want?”

“Stiles,” Derek’s gaze is pleading.  “I don’t know what you remember, or what Peter has told you, but—“

“But what?” Stiles cuts him off.  “Why are you here, Derek?  It certainly isn’t because I woke up from a coma.  Or, I guess this is your usual MO, isn’t it?  Showing up after someone has woken from a coma?”

Derek’s jaw flexes.  “You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“I don’t?” Stiles tilts his head.  “Explain it to me then.”

“Peter is—“ Derek huffs, nostrils flaring.  “Peter’s dangerous, Stiles.  He’s using you.”

“And what does he get out of it?” Stiles retorts.  “What’s he using me for, Derek?  Do you even know?  Or are you just spouting off bullshit at the mouth.”

“Stiles—“

Derek cuts himself off, shoulders going tight.  His eyes flicker over to the door just as it opens and Peter steps in.  He doesn’t seem surprised to see his nephew there, and he gives Derek a smile that would look pleasant if it wasn’t for the hint of fang and the blue glow of his gaze.

“Isn’t this sweet,” Peter says.  “Just like old times, isn’t it?  Sneaking in at all hours.  I wonder if the sheriff would shoot you if he knew.”

“I don’t doubt it,” Stiles mutters, arms crossing over his chest. 

“And he wouldn’t shoot you?” Derek replies, eyes hard on Peter’s, claws distending as he lets out a low growl.  “After all you’ve done?”

“Well, if he knew what I was doing to Stiles these days, I’m sure it would be on the table.” Peter purrs, strolling in and pulling Stiles close by the waist. 

Derek grips the wood of the jamb, muscles going taut, and as he moves to launch into the room the wards flare up red and angry.  Magic catches him before he can even enter and launches him back out of the window and off of his roof.  Eyes wide, Stiles rushes over to the window sill, leaning out and staring down at Derek where the other man is groaning, laying on his back, smoke wafting off of his skin from the yard. 

A hand curls around the back of Stiles neck and he shudders.  Peter guides him back away from the window, shutting it and locking it with a sharp motion.  There’s a rigidity about him and Stiles finds tension coiling low in his stomach, unpleasant and unwelcome, as Peter pulls away from him and heads for the door. 

“Peter,” Stiles calls after him.

He comes to a stop a few paces away, inhaling deep before cracking his neck.  “I’m getting Derek off of your property.  Get dressed.”

“What’s wrong?” Stiles takes a step forward.  “And don’t tell me nothing, you and I both know that you can’t lie to me.  Not for real.  Not anymore.”

Peter turns to face him, eyes raking down over Stiles’ body.  “Tell me one thing, Stiles.  If Scott comes back—if they all come back and beg you to open your window and let them in, will you?”

Stiles frowns.  “What do you--?  What?  You think that just because they interested now that I’ll be interested back?”

Yes.”

“They left me, Peter.” Stiles snaps.  “You didn’t.”

“And now they’ve returned,” Peter says, voice low. 

“What do you--?” Peter gestures to the window and Stiles’ frown only deepens. 

Stiles moves slowly.  He trips slightly, stumbles, and stops in front of the window.  His lips part at the sight of Scott standing in his yard, hand over Derek’s shoulder as he stares up at Stiles through the window. 

Everything stops for a moment.  Like Stiles is suspended in space; he can’t even breathe, can’t make his lungs work, can’t can’t can’t

Peter turns him around by the shoulders, hands firm, and it’s the only thing that Stiles can feel.  His fingers are numb and he’s shaking and he can’t breathe.  It’s like waking up all over again, and Peter’s eyes are the only thing he can focus on, the heat of his hands the only thing that warm on his body because he’s suddenly so cold that his teeth are chattering. 

Stiles,” Peter grips his jaw, keeping their gazes locked, and raises his voice.  “Stiles, you’re okay.”

The light shatters above them, but Stiles sucks in a hitching breath.  Peter nods, muttering words of encouragement, the hand at his jaw line easing down over his throat to curl behind his neck.  It steadies him, but not much.  Not enough.

“I don’t—I don’t want them here, Peter.” Stiles says in a rush, voice tight, and Peter’s brows furrow.  “I don’t want them here.”

“Okay,” Peter replies quickly.  “Okay, we’ll get them to leave.  I’ll make them leave, Stiles, it’s okay.”

Once Stiles calms, Peter waits with him, watching as he pulls on a pair of pajama pants before he walks downstairs with him.  Stiles hesitates at the front door, jaw clenching, and he feels Peter hovering at his side.  A hand comes down tentatively, gently over the back of his head, nails raking over the back of his scalp, and the rigidity in Stiles’ posture lessens.

“I can kill them, if you want.” Peter offers.

Stiles barks out a soft laugh.  “We’ve talked about this.”

“Have we?”

“No killing on sheriff’s property.” Stiles says, fauxly solemn, but he gives Peter a smile that’s small and tired.  “You know, I really thought this drama bullshit ended with high school.”

“Technically, you never got to leave.” Peter replies. 

Stiles elbows him.  “Jerkwad.”

“Ooo, bringing out the big insults.” Peter grins, pulling him close, voice lowering.  “But I’m serious, Stiles.  Do you want me to take care of them?”

“You’re twisted,” Stiles mumbles, eyes falling shut.  “But thank you.  No.”

Peter sighs one of those heavy ones that he hasn’t had to do since before they decided to be Pack.  “Stiles.  If you—If you want to be back with them—“

“No,” Stiles shakes his head.  “I don’t care about the whys. You’re Pack.  I’m with you, Peter.  Not them.  Not anymore.”

Peter holds his gaze, steady and quiet for a very long moment.  His brows furrow, and he frames Stiles’ face with his hands, eyes searching his avidly.

“You’re not lying.” He breathes.

“You’re Pack, Peter.” Stiles says firmly, his hands pressing over Peter’s.  “You’re family.  They weren’t here.  They don’t have a right to my loyalty anymore.  Okay?”

Peter’s lips thin.  “What do you want, then?”

“They can’t come in, but they can hear.” Stiles says.  “Which means they’ll know that I’ll meet them in my time, where I choose.”

There’s a knock on the door.  Stiles sighs. 

“It’s Scott.” Peter tells him.

“Tomorrow,” Stiles says, voice raised just enough.  “Lookout Point.  Dusk.”

Stiles,” Scott’s voice comes muffled through the door, desperate and pleading, and Stiles can feel the sorrow there—the regret.  And he’s spitefully happy that Scott feels that ache.  “Please, just open up.”

“Tomorrow, Alpha McCall.” Stiles snaps.  “You left.  This is my territory now.  We play by my rules.”

Peter’s smile is almost blinding.  His pupils have blown wide, the supernatural blue of his irises lighting up for him.  Stiles returns the look with a crooked grin of his own. 

“I’ll be there,” Scott says, terse, through the wood of the door.

A moment later, after they’ve gone, Peter is still holding Stiles’ face between his palms, thumbs brushing along the high line of his cheeks.  Hands coming up, his fingers curl loosely around Peter’s wrists, and for a second Stiles thinks that their pulses might have fallen in sync.  They don’t kiss, but somehow it feels much more intimate.

Chapter Text

“Scott’s back in town.” Stiles says quietly, shuffling his food around on his plate.

John blinks over at him.  “What?”

“Scott,” Stiles repeats.  “He’s back.”

Shaking his head, John sighs.  “And what does that mean for our little ragtag Pack of ours?”

“Nothing,” Stiles tells him, setting his fork down.  “Nothing yet.  It just means that I have to handle it.”

“The last time you handled anything involving them you died, Stiles.” John bites out, gaze hard on his son’s face, and Stiles is struck by how much older his dad looks.  “I’m not letting it happen again.”

“Peter will be with me every step of the way.” Stiles promises.  “You know he’ll take care of me.  But you can come too, if you want.  To make sure.”

“When?”

“Tomorrow night.” Stiles says.

“Peter will be with you?” John asks.

Stiles rolls his eyes, grinning faintly.  “Yeah, dad, I’m twelve and need a babysitter at all times.  Thank the Gods for Peter Hale.”

“Okay,” John huffs.  “Fine.  As long as he’ll be with you.”

“You gonna marry me off to him next?”

“Considering how much he just donated to the police station, I just might.”

Stiles gawks.


“Come over.”

Stiles blinks, hair sticking up at odd angles, smacking his lips as he glances over at the clock.  “Peter, it’s three in the fucking morning.”

“Come over,” Peter repeats. 

Frowning, Stiles sits up, brow furrowed.  “Is something wrong?”

The line goes dead. 

Stiles ends up speeding the whole way over.  He runs at least two stops signs, and he doesn’t even have shoes on when he finally hussles up to Peter’s apartment door.  It’s unlocked, and he barges right in without a second thought. 

He skids to a stop, out of breath and fresh out of bed, staring over at where Peter is standing by the large window that overlooks a good part of Beacon Hills.  Peter’s arms are crossed over his chest, a hand rubbing over his mouth as he drags his eyes away from the florescent lights and over to Stiles.  He looks so serious, and Stiles feels a weight drop in his stomach that he thinks might be his heart—but that’s a little too sentimental for him to handle.

“What is it?” Stiles asks.  “What happened?”

Peter pushes away from the window, striding over, shutting and locking the door behind Stiles with a soft click.  He brushes back by without another word, and Stiles catches his arm in a firm grip that he knows Peter could break in a second.

“Peter, what in the actual fuck is--?”

An arm slips around Stiles’ waist.  Peter hauls him close, until their flush from shoulder to thigh, and Stiles nearly loses balance as their legs tangle—one of Peter’s thighs pressing between Stiles’.  Peter's mouth is on his not even a second later, and it's abrupt and fervent, and Stiles doesn’t understand what’s happening but it feels good.  He thinks that might be all that matters. 

His fingers curl over Peter’s biceps, clinging to him, and Peter cants his head as his lips part Stiles’ just enough to allow his tongue to enter.  A low moan hums between them, and Stiles isn’t sure who made the sound; he just knows that his lips are tingling and that his heart is racing and Peter is kissing him like it’s the end of the world.  Fingers tangle into Stiles’ hair, pulling faintly, and Stiles whines as Peter pulls him even closer.

Stiles pushes at Peter’s arms and stares at him, eyes wide and brows furrowed as Peter tries to kiss him again.  “What are you doing?”

Peter’s jaw goes tight.  “Isn’t it obvious?”

“No,” Stiles shakes his head.  “No, this isn’t obvious at all—“

“I want everything, Stiles.” Peter says, keeping him close, head ducking as he drags his lips over the line of Stiles’ jaw; Stiles shudders, gaze going hazy.  “I want everything before someone takes it away again.”

“I told you,” Stiles breathes, sinking a hand into Peter’s hair as teeth graze over the heavy beat of his pulse.  “I told you that wasn’t going to happen.”

“You don’t know that.” Peter growls, grip going painfully tight.  “You don’t know that you won’t fall for whatever puppy story they have to tell you.  That they left for good reasons—college, life, whatever.  I won’t let them take you from me.”

Stiles inhales sharply, head tilting for him as he feels the rough slide of Peter’s stubble drag over his skin, reddening it.  “They won’t.”

“I’m a selfish man, Stiles.” Peter says against his collarbone.  “I’m selfish and greedy and I don’t care.  You’re mine, do you understand?”

Stiles opens his mouth to reply, but then Peter’s lips slant over his again. His heart is pounding and he knows that Peter can hear it.  Hands guide him back, firm but not quite rough as they press him against the wall right by the door.  Peter kisses him until his lungs ache, and then pulls away just enough, mouth dragging down along the length of his neck as Stiles arches for him.

“Peter.”

Fingers push at the cotton of Stiles’ shirt.  The sound of material ripping is loud, almost deafening, and Stiles feels cool air for the briefest moment before Peter’s hands are on him, searing over his skin like a claim.  He pushes it down and off of Stiles’ shoulders, and Stiles doesn’t even protest as Peter bites at the crook between his neck and shoulder, hips twitching forward reflexively and groaning as his cock presses to the hard muscle of Peter’s thigh where it is pinning his legs open. 

“Peter.”

He growls against Stiles’ collar, hands drifting down to Stiles’ hips, thumbs dragging over the jut of bone there as Peter admires taut muscles.  Stiles trembles, gasping, lips red and tender and open as he breathes in and out heavily while Peter noses along the line of his shoulder, mouthing over every inch he can get to.  Peter’s grip tightens at his hips and pulls; Stiles tosses his head back, the expanse of his neck baring to Peter as the other man guides and push-pulls his pelvis forward and back slowly.

His abdomen flexes, pleasure hot in his belly, and Peter just keeps moving him.  Pulls him and lets him rut against his thigh, eyes blue and vivid, tracking over each change in Stiles’ face.  Stiles’ nails drag angrily down over Peter’s shoulders, and they would leave lines of red if there was skin for him to get at but there isn’t.  Peter just grunts and jerks Stiles’ hips forward more harshly.

Peter.”

“You’re beautiful,” Peter breathes, repeating the motion and Stiles moans, low and broken as he paws at Peter’s chest—needing to grip something, anything, needing to be grounded.  “You’re fucking beautiful.”

“Peter, please.”

“Please, what?” Peter asks in a low growl, and Stiles’ eyes are dazed, glossed over with the sensation of it—the heat curling, twining, twisting to overwhelming heights as the lights in the apartment begin to burn brighter and brighter and brighter.

“Stop.  Peter, stop.”

Everything stills.  Stiles pants heavily, eyes wide and jaw slack.  Peter’s hands are still firm on his hips, and Stiles whines faintly as his cock twitches from beneath his sweats.  He can see Peter’s jaw work, and he knows that he wants to finish it, wants to watch Stiles fall over the edge and tumble deep into the depths with him—and Stiles wants that too.  Wants it so bad.

“What is it?” Peter asks, voice shaking slightly, taut from head to toe.  Just waiting, waiting, always waiting.  “What’s wrong?”

“I don’t—I’ve never—“ Stiles shakes his head, and tears of something akin to humiliation burn at his eyes. 

Peter groans low from the deep in his chest and cups Stiles cheek in one of his hands.  “I’ll take care of you.  Let me take care of you.”

“Not like this,” Stiles whispers.  “Not because you’re--  Not because you’re scared.”

For a moment, Peter looks absolutely livid.  His fangs start to elongate, eyes still glowing blue, and Stiles feels the definite prick of a claw just under his jaw.  Stiles swallows thickly. 

Peter laughs; it’s harsh and brittle sounding, and Stiles feels a pit growing where there once was heat.  Fingers curve gently over the smooth expanse of Stiles’ neck, and when his cock twitches again, Peter tilts his head.  Leaning in, he rests his forehead against Stiles’, their noses brushing as their breath mingles, hot and heavy between them.

“Are you trying to look out for me, Stiles?” Peter asks, so soft that it’s almost a whisper.  “Are you making sure I’m not entering into a sexual act for the wrong reasons?”

“Safe, sane, and consensual.” Stiles mutters, cheeks coloring for a different reason than arousal.  “You aren’t thinking very sanely right now, dude.”

“I very sanely am aware of how much I want you moaning beneath me in my bed, covered in sweat and your own come.” Peter growls and Stiles lets out a soft “jesus” under his breath.  “Or on top of me and covered in sweat and your own come.  Either way.”

“Peter—“

“Let me take care of you,” Peter mumbles, their lips brushing on each word.  “Let me show you.  Let me make you mine.”

Stiles’ chest aches.  “But I’m already yours.”

Peter doesn’t even hesitate.  His hands drop just enough to grip Stiles around the thighs, hauling him up until he wraps his legs around Peter’s waist.  Stiles braces himself on Peter’s shoulders, leaning down to plant wet, languid kisses to Peter’s mouth as he carries him back to the bedroom. 

He lays him out over the comforter, and it’s plush and soft under Stiles’ back.  Breaking away from Stiles’ mouth, Peter runs his hands up over his sides, fingers climbing the ladder of his rib cage as his eyes lock on with the scar over his chest.  Even after all of this time, it’s still so vivid on his skin, dragging down from his left pectoral to just right of his belly button.   Peter cants his head, taking the sight of it in, fingertips trailing gently over it.

Stiles catches Peter’s hand with a grimace, drawing it away from the puckered white skin.  “Don’t.”

“Do you still feel it?” Peter asks softly.

“Do you still feel like you’re on fire?”

“From time to time.” Peter nods.  “It ripped you open?”

Stiles swallows.  “Said it wanted to eat all the warm sparkly bits on the inside.  Hit me over the head pretty hard first.”

“They should have protected you.” Peter frowns.

“I was the bait,” Stiles shrugs a shoulder.  “It’s not the first time.”

“No,” Peter nods.  “But it will be the last.”

Stiles curls a hand into the bottom hem of Peter’s shirt and gives a sharp tug.  “You’re ruining the mood.”

“There was a mood?” Peter asks, grin stretching over his face, teeth sharp.

“There was one,” Stiles nods.  “And now there’s not.  And it’s nearly four in the morning.”

“You can sleep later.” Peter promises, leaning down, one hand settled by Stiles’ head as the other traces down Stiles’ sternum with the curves of his knuckles.  “Right now, I want to see you break into a million pieces.”

“Are we--?”

“No.” Peter says, fingers carding through Stiles’ hair.  “Not unless you decide that’s what you want.  Because when I finally fuck you, sweet boy, it’ll be because you asked me to.  I might even make you beg first.  Just to be sure.”

Stiles lets out a tight breath, nodding.  “Okay.  Then, what--?”

“Do you trust me?”

Stiles’ teeth click together as he snaps his mouth shut.  His brows furrow together, the wrinkle between them frankly endearing, and he frowns.  Which only deepens when Peter obviously holds back a smile. 

“That’s a stupid fucking question, Peter Hale.” Stiles retorts.

“Good,” Peter purrs, taking Stiles’ hands in his and raising them above his head.  He presses them down against the pillow, kissing him for a lingering moment, and then breaks away.  “Keep those there.  Shut your eyes.”

“Seriously?” Stiles squeaks, the tips of his ears going pink.

“Trust me.”

Lips pursing, Stiles regards him for a long moment.  Without another word, he lets his eyes shut, lashes long against his cheeks.  He hears Peter breathe out a long, shuddering sound—pleased and reverent—and feels his face go warm.

It starts off slow.  Simple touches.  Fingers tracing along muscle, lips following.  A tongue dragging over one of Stiles’ nipples so that he arches up and gasps loudly into the room around them.  Stiles’ fingers curl into the pillow over his head, and Peter traces over the skin just below his navel. 

He’s already hard.  Peter tucks a finger under the elastic waistband of Stiles’ pajama pants and pulls back just a bit before letting that material snap back against his skin.  Stiles hisses, eyes opening into narrowed slits.  Lowering himself down, Peter leaves a trail of kisses that are more like bites, unapologetic and sharp enough to make the muscles beneath Stiles’ skin try to contract away. 

Peter palms him through his pants and Stiles moans, toes curling.  His nose drags along Stiles’ hip as he inhales deep and slow.  “I’m going to have fun taking you apart bit,” Peter nips at the jut of his hip. “By bit.”

He tugs Stiles’ pants and boxers down with one swift movement.  Stiles’ face feels like it’s burning, and he almost moves to cover himself.  Peter strips him down, then leans back over him, hand curving over Stiles’ jaw to guide him up into a long kiss.  As their tongues meet in a slick-slide that is slowly becoming more and more normal, Peter wraps his fingers around Stiles’ length and gives a slow pump.  The mewl Stiles lets out, muffled against Peter’s lips, is sugar sweet.

Peter gets him off the first time just like that.  His hand on Stiles’ cock, their mouths pressed tightly together, palm just slicked by sweat and Stiles’ precome.  He thumbs under the head of him, touches him in ways he hasn’t touched himself, and it’s ridiculously, embarrassingly quick.  When he gets close, tension coiling, Stiles’ toes curl until the heat is too overwhelming, too much for him to contain.  He ends up palming at Peter’s back, tugging at his shirt, and writhing as Peter’s hand works him over with just the right amount of roughness.

Peter,” Stiles pants, bucking up, teeth gritting together as he feels light catch somewhere inside of him, fire bursting into existence and searing across his nerve endings until there is nothing but the heat passing between them. 

“Go on,” Peter goads him, mouth working against his between words and breaths.  “Come for me, Stiles.”

That’s all it takes.  Peter’s hand on him, Peter’s teeth grazing over Stiles’ lower lip, Peter’s words burning him up from the inside out.  He spills out over Peter’s hand, over his own abdomen, moan lost as Peter practically swallows the sound down whole. 

Peter works him through it until Stiles is trembling, whining, eyes dazed when he finally breaks the kiss again.  He watches, almost absently, as Peter licks up the mess of Stiles’ come from his fingers.  Breathless, Stiles’ brows go up his forehead and Peter grins down at him.

“You’re not seriously doing that.” Stiles mumbles.

Peter chuckles, kissing him again.  “I like the way you taste.”

“You’re so fucking weird,” Stiles says, but he catches Peter’s hand and sucks one of Peter’s fingers into his mouth, drawing it out long and slow and languid.

Peter growls.  “And I’m not even close to done with you.”

Stiles grins, stretching out beneath him.  “Challenge accepted.”

Peter doesn’t suppress the roll of his eyes.


“I can’t feel my toes.” Stiles mumbles, draped over Peter’s chest as light filters in through the curtains. 

“Good morning,” Peter hums his reply, fingers pulling at Stiles’ hair gently, earning a soft groan.  “Well, afternoon.  I thought you might sleep the day away.”

“Your fault,” Stiles says.  “Kept me up all night.”

“And you’ve got the marks to prove it.”

Stiles’ head pops up, hair sticking up in odd tufts.  “You marked me?”

Peter’s fingers trail over one of the many hickeys at Stiles’ neck.  He gives a crooked grin, gaze flicking back up to Stiles’. 

“You don’t mind, do you?” he asks.

“You’re such a cunt,” Stiles says and flops back against him. 

“You like it.”

“No, I like your mouth.” Stiles yawns, stretching against Peter’s side.  “Might be my new favorite part of you.”

“It won’t be for long.” Peter tells him.  “Believe me, the second I get you bent over something, my—“

Stiles blushes, covering Peter’s mouth with one of his hands.  “Yeah, yeah, whatever, I get it.  You’ve been gifted by the Gods with a great dick.”

Peter says something, but it’s too muffled behind Stiles’ palm for him to make out clearly.  Brow furrowing, Stiles tilts his head; Peter huffs out a tight breath through his nose and pulls Stiles’ hand away, kissing the inside of his wrist. 

“Having no sexual experience is nothing to be embarrassed about,” Peter tells him glibly and gets a dry look from Stiles that’s positively comical considering the mussed look of him.  Peter lets out a pleased sound, cradling Stiles face in his hands and drawing him close.  “You look fantastic.”

“Dude,” Stiles’ nose wrinkles as Peter kisses him.  “I’m not the only one with morning breath right now.”

Peter laughs.  “Problem?”

“Yeah, man.  Come on, I thought you were still trying to seduce me, here, and you’re doing it with icky morning breath?”

“You are impossibly picky,” Peter retorts.  “I don’t know if it’s worth it.”

“My ass is totally worth it.”

Peter hums.  “I don’t know—“

“Shut the fuck up,” Stiles swats his shoulder, shuffling out from beneath the sheets.  “I’m using your toothbrush.”

Watching Stiles walk towards the bathroom, Peter looks far too self-satisfied.  The squawk Stiles lets out in the other room, catching sight of himself in the mirror, makes the towel he gets thrown in his face totally worth it.  

 

Chapter Text

Stiles’ leg keeps bouncing and he chews at the edge of his own thumb.  He can tell by the way Peter keeps eyeing him that he must just reek of anxiety.  The light is dimming around them, sun sinking beyond the horizon, and Stiles can feel night creeping over the Preserve.

They don’t speak.  They don’t have to. Peter doesn’t press in close to offer comfort, and Stiles doesn’t ask him to because it’s not how they work.  It’s not what Stiles needs.

“You’re tense,” Peter says.

Stiles glances his way, brow lifting drolly.  “Am I? I hadn’t noticed.”

Peter bites the inside of his own cheek.  He doesn’t say anything else, but he watches as Stiles fidgets. 

There’s a crackle of energy in the air.  The early evening is heavy and damp; the air around them only further weighted by the wards Stiles had marked in the mud at their feet.  It’s a strong line, a statement more than anything, that is drawn around Stiles, Peter, and Roscoe.  The barrier settles Peter somewhat, knowing that Stiles has blocked himself off to any advances in a literal and figurate sense, but his gaze doesn’t leave the tight line of Stiles’ shoulders.

There’s a thrum of life that isn’t animal. Stiles stands straighter, squares his jaw, and Peter moves from where he was leaning against the side of the car to step closer.  He rests a hand at Stiles’ lower back and leans in.

“Evisceration is still an option.”

“I refuse to fall to your evil, evil sways.” Stiles retorts with a dry expression.  “And if you decide to kill somebody, take it a state or two over and never ever tell me.”

“You’re really sucking the fun out of all of this,” Peter says, lips twitching.

Stiles gives him a crooked grin.  “That’s not what you were saying earlier.”

Peter actually looks embarrassed for a moment.  “I underestimated you simply because you’d never given a blow job before.  It won’t happen again.”

There’s a crack just beyond the visible brush.

“They’re here,” Peter says, low in Stiles’ ear.

Stiles’ fingers brush against Peter’s abdomen as he takes a step forward, over the wards, and Peter’s jaw goes tight.  “I know.”

Scott’s eyes are red as he emerges through the trees.  “Stiles.”

“Alpha McCall,” Stiles replies, tone light.

Scott flinches.  “Stiles, I—“

“We’re here because you wanted to talk.” Stiles cuts him off.  “Not because we’re old friends having a reunion.  There’s no need for pleasantries.”

“But we are old friends,” Scott says.

Stiles tilts his head, frowning.  His gaze drifts, taking Scott in as Derek emerges at his side.  He’s struck by how much older they both look, standing side by side, and yet still so young. 

His jaw works.  “I’m not your friend anymore.”

Scott lets out a punched sound.  “Stiles.”

“Say what you need to,” Stiles says, clipped, and he hears Peter shift behind him.  “Then leave.”

“Leave?” Derek scowls.  “Beacon Hills isn’t yours, Stiles.”

“It became mine the second you abandoned it.” Stiles retorts.

His eyes are locked on Scott.  The accusation doesn’t need words.  Scott winces.

“That’s not what I did,” Scott shakes his head, holding out a placating hand as he steps forward.  “I didn’t abandon you—“

“You left me.” Stiles says.  “You left me, Scott.  How is that not abandonment?”

When his voice shakes, Peter presses in close, stepping over the barrier to join him.  He settles a hand at the back of Stiles’ neck and squeezes. Stiles stands up taller as Derek growls. 

Scott glances between them.  He inhales, eyes going wide, and he rubs over his own jaw as his gaze strays to the ground.  Reaching out with his other hand, he sets it on Derek’s shoulder mostly to balance himself, and the older man glances over with a curious scowl.  Scott shakes his head, and Derek looks back over to Peter and Stiles.

Stiles feels his stomach twist.  There’s longing in his chest, tight and overwhelming, at the sight of Scott and Derek reading one another so easily.  It’s something that he knows they used to be experts at—Scott and himself—and he grits his teeth at the blatant evidence of his own replacement.  It hurts.  Peter drags a slow thumb in a spiral under Stiles’ ear.

Derek takes a deep breath, lip curling up into a sneer.  “What is he doing to you?”

“Nothing he didn’t ask for.” Peter replies for him.

“I’m not here to talk about me and Peter,” Stiles adds, tone firm and boding no space for argument.

Derek tries anyways.  “Well, we’re going to, Stiles.  I don’t know what he’s said to you, what he told you, but whatever it is—it’s not true.  He’s—He’s taking advantage of you.”

“Peter hasn’t told me anything I didn’t already figure out for myself,” Stiels says, hands flexing at his sides.  “It was kind of easy to put two and two together when I woke up in a hospital bed with only Peter at my side.”

They both flinch this time.  Stiles takes some sense of satisfaction in that.

“Which brings us back to our main topic,” Stiles continues, eyes narrowing.  “You left.  Both of you.  Beacon Hills is no longer your territory.  And neither am I.”

“Stiles, I didn’t leave you.” Scott says, voice strained.  “If I could have, I would’ve been right at your side but it was—It was hard.”

Stiles shrugs a shoulder; Peter doesn’t hide his smile. “I’ve been lying in the same bed for six years.  How hard could it have been?”

“Things changed, Stiles.” Scott argues.  “I went off to school.  My mom got transferred closer to me.  Pack followed.  Life happened, Stiles—“

Not for me.”

Scott stalls completely.

Stiles’ breath comes pointed, measured.  He’s rigid, shaking subtly, and it’s as if only Peter’s hand at the nape of his neck is holding him together.  Scott’s expression pinches—pained.  Stiles takes a sick kind of delight out of it.

“Life didn’t go on for me, Scott.” Stiles says, and the ground shudders beneath their feet slightly; Scott shifts uneasily.  “I was in a coma.  Laying in a bed for half a decade as the world went by—and you didn’t even visit me.”

“I did.  I did, Stiles—“

“For the first few months,” Stiles hisses.  “And then you left and never came back.”

“I couldn’t.” Scott shouts.  “I couldn’t come see you like that.  Hooked up to those tubes.  In that bed—“

“You put me in that bed, Scott!”

Stiles’ eyes flare gold.  The night feels heavy around them—stifling.  Derek stands a bit straighter, gaze tracking from Stiles’ eyes to Peter’s face accusingly.

Scott’s eyes go wide.  “Stiles—“

“You put me there,” Stiles barrels on, tone sharp, and he’s not shaking anymore.  “You offered me up on a fucking platter, and when shit went wrong you took off.  You put me there and left me there.”

“I didn’t mean to,” Scott protests, shuffling forward, hands reaching out pleadingly.  “Stiles, please, I didn’t mean to.”

As he draws closer, there’s a rush of static.  Electricity crackles, and Stiles’ eyes burn amber.  Barely a foot away, Scott gasps as a shock runs along his nerves, stumbling back even as Peter snarls and moves to step between them.  Scott’s eyes are red, hackles raised at the perceived threat Stiles is, and Peter’s claws descend with a sharp snick as he stalks forward to ward Scott off.

Catching Peter by the back of his shirt, Stiles tugs.  Peter goes willingly, letting Stiles pulls him back behind the wall of the barrier he’d drawn just as Derek steps up to Scott’s side—completely wolfed out and ready to attack.  Derek pauses before the barrier like he can smell it, letting out an enraged rumble, eyes vivid as he glares over at Peter.  Stiles’ jaw flexes, working, and he huffs out a sharp breath.

“Clap a leash on your attack dog,” Stiles says to Scott, eyes not leaving Derek’s face.  “Or I’ll do it for you.”

“Derek,” Scott says with a clipped tone.  “I’m fine.  Peter didn’t even touch me.”

“What have you done to him?” Derek asks.  “What have you turned him into?”

Peter’s lip curls up as he sneers at him.  “I haven’t done anything.  I just waited for him to wake up.”

Scott,” Stiles grits out.

Eyes still red, Scott strides forward and places a firm hand over Derek’s shoulder.  “That’s enough.”

Derek inhales sharply.  He finally settles, stands up from his defensive crouch, and meets Stiles’ gaze.  Scott’s hand stays firm at his shoulder.

“What did he do to you?” Derek asks.  “You’re not—What are you?”

“I’m strong.” Stiles says, shrugging.  “Peter has little to nothing to do with that fact.”

Derek’s jaw goes tight.  He glances between them, nostrils flaring, but he doesn’t say anything.  Stiles’ attention falls back to Scott.

“Beacon Hills isn’t yours anymore.” Stiles says.  “Your Pack moved on.  From the town and from me.”

“I’m sorry,” Scott replies in a whisper.

Stiles knows he means it.  “That’s too little too late.”

“I know.  I’m still sorry.”

“You’re welcome here.” Stiles shifts, rolling his shoulders, still clutching at the back of Peter’s shirt.  “I won’t try to keep you or any of your Pack away from the town—but stay away from me and mine.”

Scott looks pained again.  “Stiles—“

“That means me.  That means my father.  That means Peter.” Stiles shakes his head.  “That means anyone who I add to my Pack if I choose to.  Run-ins are understandable.  It’s a small area.  But don’t seek any of us out.  If you do, I won’t be so kind.”

Swallowing around a protest, Scott nods.  “Alright.  Okay.  I’ll let—I’ll tell them.”

“Good.”

“You can’t take the territory.” Derek shakes his head.  “It’s been Hale land for centuries—“

“And the eldest Hale is still in ownership of it.” Stiles retorts.  “You left. Peter stayed.  He has a right to this land that is much larger than your own.”

“That’s bullshit—“

“Are you going to move back, then?” Stiles’ brow lifts.  “Take care of the land? Walk the boundaries?  Protect the people here?”

Derek looks down at the leaves beneath their feet. 

Stiles nods.  “Peter does.  You’re welcome here, but that doesn’t mean you have any right to it.”

“And to you?” Scott looks at him, so hopeful.

Stiles blinks, nods, and sighs softly.  “And to me.  I’m not your friend anymore.  Someday I might be an ally—but I’ll never trust you enough to be your friend.”

“Stiles, I—“ Scott’s voice breaks, and he goes to reach out to him again, faltering just before the barrier.  “I’m going to make it up to you, okay?  I’m going to find a way to fix this.”

“It can’t be fixed.” Stiles says, lips thinning.  “But you’re welcome to try.  As long as you stay away from me.”

“I’ll figure it out.” Scott insists.

Stiles nods, but it’s small and a bit sad.  He smells like doubt.  “Okay.”

“So I guess that’s—That’s it?” Scott hesitates.

“It is.”

Scott nods, shuffling back a step.  “Uh, can I--? Can we, like, shake on it?”

Stiles grimaces.  “I’d rather not.”

Scott swallows, nodding again.  “Yeah.  Right.  Okay.  Um.  Call me?  If you need anything—call me.  My number’s still—It’s the same.”

Breathing deep, Stiles offers a polite smile.  “Okay.”

“Okay.”

Their goodbyes are clipped.  Derek still doesn’t look happy.  Stiles wonders if he’ll be a problem.

By the time Stiles is in the driver’s seat of the jeep, his hands are shaking.  Peter doesn’t comment, but he keeps an eyes on him as they pull away from the clearing.  The quiet in the cab of the car is choking.

In the rearview mirror, Stiles sees Scott watching them drive away.


The car idles outside of Peter’s apartment.  His fingers flex over the steering wheel, breath measured.  Peter doesn’t touch him.

“Do you want to come up?” Peter asks.

Stiles shifts and the driver’s seat groans under him.  “Is that smart?”

“What’s the worst that could happen?” Peter tilts his head.

“I could fall into bed with you when I’m not in my right headspace.” Stiles says, glancing his way.

“Are you worried you’ll regret it?” Peter frowns.

“Not the sex.  And not you.” Stiles shakes his head.  “But the timing.  I want it now—but I don’t know if it’s because I want a distraction or if it’s because I’ve got all the closure I need and I'm looking to move on.”

Peter hums.  “I can distract you without taking it that far.”

Stiles huffs, laugh amused but short.  “That’s so not the healthy option, dude.”

“I wouldn’t say it’s unhealthy.” Peter protests.

Sighing, Stiles’ head thumps back against the headrest. He kills the engine, but leaves the keys in the ignition.  Peter shifts next to him, lets his belt buckle hiss back into place between the car door and his seat.  His jaw works as Stiles keeps his gaze straight ahead.

“You trust me, don’t you?” Peter asks.

“You know I do.” Stiles rolls his eyes.

“Stiles,” Peter’s brows pinch together.  “Look at me.”

Huffing, Stiles’ head lulls over. He meets and holds Peter’s gaze, lips pursed into a thin line.

“Happy?”

Peter sneers. “Don’t be childish.”

“I am childish,” Stiles snaps.  “I was in a coma for six years, Peter.  By all accounts, I am still very much a child.”

“You haven’t been a child for quite some time.” Peter says, voice low.  “Don’t play dumb.”

Stiles swallows around a dry mouth, the only light coming in from the streetlamp outside, highlighting the lines of his cheekbones.  “I don’t know what you’re—“

“After the Nogitsune.  Handling Hunters who were torturing your friends—who tortured you.  Protecting your father.  Dealing with your best friend turning into a werewolf and all that came with it.  Should I go on?”  Peter’s asks, sharp, but his expression softens.  “I have a feeling you haven’t been a child since your mother died, Stiles.”

Stiles’ eyes go hard.  “Get out.”

“Stiles—“

“Get out of my car, Peter.”

“No.” He sneers.  “I overstepped, but that doesn’t mean—“

Get the fuck out of my car, Peter.”

Peter’s growl is pitched low.  He reaches out and snatches up the front of Stiles’ shirt in a clawed hand.  Baring his fangs, he grips tight, and Stiles doesn’t bat a lash.  He doesn’t force him out of the jeep either—not like they both know he could.

The air is thick.  The nighttime is cool outside, but there is heat that is swelling in the cab.  Fog eases up the windows, blurring the world around them.  Stiles looks angry enough to spit.  Peter keeps his hand secure in Stiles’ shirt.

“Here’s what you’re going to do—“

“I don’t want to deal with this, Peter.” Stiles warns.  “I just dealt with something really shitty, and I feel shitty about it.  Please, don’t add to the shittiness.”

Peter’s jaw works.  “Come upstairs.  Let me distract you.”

“I don’t want that, Peter—“

“I’m not talking about sex,” Peter snaps.  “Let me make you dinner, okay?”

Stiles’ shoulders slump slightly.

“Just dinner.” Peter says again, a bit softer.  “Maybe we’ll read a bit or watch TV.  No sex unless you decide that’s what you want.  I want it—I want you, but I won’t touch you unless you give me the go-ahead.  Okay?”

Stiles lips thin again, like his worrying them with his teeth.  He lets a hand settle over Peter’s where the older man is still clutching his shirt.  Peter’s grip eases so that their fingers can tangle loosely.

“Come upstairs with me.” Peter says.  “Let me take care of you.”

Stiles snorts, shaking his head as he squeezes at Peter’s hand like a tether holding him down.  “I can’t believe how ridiculous my life is.”

Peter lifts a slow brow.

“The fact that, not even an hour ago, I told my best friend since elementary school to essentially fuck off.”  Stiles mutters.  “That I was in a coma and I woke up with super powers.  That I’m about to go upstairs with someone who tried to kill me, who I helped kill on one occasion, who I used to absolutely hate until a few months ago.  You don’t see it?”

“See what?”

“How… funny this all is?” Stiles asks, laughing in a breath, but he looks more tired than amused.

Peter smiles, a bit crooked and a bit bemused.  “Second thoughts?”

Stiles is quiet for a long moment; Peter’s hand tightens in his.  “No.”

“Then let’s go upstairs.” Peter says, soft but firm.

Stiles nods.  “Okay.”

Chapter Text

“But it went well?”

“Dad. Seriously?” Stiles’ brow goes up from where’s he’s sprawled in the chair across from his father.

John shrugs, shifting some paperwork over his desk.  “It’s a question.”

“Well, nobody died.” Stiles mutters, and John gives him a look.  “What? You asked.”

“There’s nothing—“ John sighs, eyeing his open office door as he lowers his voice.  “No supernatural repercussions that we should be worried about?”

“No, dad.” Stiles smiles, leg bouncing slightly.  “It ended… amicably. You might see them around, but they know my rules.”

“Rules?”

“They stay away from us. Me.” Stiles replies softly.  “Unless accidentally or necessarily.”

“Ah,” John nods slowly.  “And Scott was okay with that?”

“No. He’ll deal with it though.  He’s… It seems like he’s grown up a lot.” Stiles says, expression pinching a bit.  “Derek might be another story.  We’ll see.”

“But otherwise things are…?”

“Resolved.” Stiles breathes, shoulders going lax.  “I got my closure—shitty as it is—and took care of the situation.”

John nods slowly.  “And you and Peter?”

“What about me and Peter?”

“I’m old, son.” John smiles, crooked and bemused.  “Not dumb.”

“He’s old too.” Stiles says.

“Yeah,” John leans back in his chair, lacing his fingers over his chest.  “About twice your age.  Me and your mother had a pretty big age gap, you know.”

“Oh, my god, dad. Are you—Are you trying to, like, set me up with him?” Stiles nose wrinkles, but he’s smiling.

John shrugs, thumbs drumming idly.  “Well, it’s either that or I start trying to set you up with one of my deputies—but you already get into enough trouble when you aren’t dating a law enforcement officer.”

Stiles shakes his head.  “I seriously can’t believe you right now.”

“Stiles,” Johns says, tone sobering slightly.  “I’m serious.  He’s… He’s been very good to you—to both of us.  While we don’t always see eye to eye on certain topics—particularly moral ones—he cares about you.  And that’s what matters to me.”

“You’d totally sell me off to him in marriage for a goat and some trinkets right now, wouldn’t you?” Stiles asks.

John grins.  “I wouldn’t even ask for the trinkets.”

“Oh, my god.”

“I’m just saying,” John holds up a placating hand. “You’ve been through enough.  Do what makes you happy, kiddo.  If that means Peter Hale, that means Peter Hale.”

Stiles huffs.  “This so isn’t what I came here to talk about.”

John snorts, eyeing the salad at the edge of his desk. “Consider it payback.”

“Hey,” Stiles holds up a cautionary finger. “Don’t knock it ‘til you try it. There’s chicken in that.”

“Still not a hamburger.”

“I swear, I’m totally not the twenty-something in this relationship—“

There’s a soft knock on the open door. Stiles glances over his shoulder, and Deputy Parrish offers him a polite smile.  Stiles is quick to return it.

“Am I interrupting?” he asks.

“Definitely not,” John says.  “What can I do for you?”

“Mrs. Hutchinson is causing a scene at the grocery store again. I’ve got Greenburg down there, but—“

“We both know Greenburg,” Johns finishes with a sigh, pushing to his feet even as Stiles mouths a shocked ‘Greenburg?’ his way.  “She’s demanding to talk with me?”

“Afraid so,” Parrish grimaces. “Sorry again for interrupting.”

“Honestly  not a problem. I’ve not doubt my son will make plenty of other lunch appearances until the day I retire.” John mutters, giving Stiles a dry but fond look even as his son beams over at him.

Parrish doesn’t try to hide his smile.  “It’s nice to have you back around, Stiles.”

Thank you. See, pops? At least someone appreciates me around here.” Stiles says, gesturing to Parrish.

“Don’t inflate his ego any further.” John warns as he shrugs on his jacket.

“Of course not, sir.” Parrish chuckles, shifting to let the sheriff by.  “It’s nice seeing you, Stiles.”

Stiles waves, smiling wide.  “You too, Deputy.  Watch after my idiot.”

“I can still ground you.” John calls back.

“You can try!”

Parrish laughs softly.  “Sure thing.  And um… Stiles?”

“Yeah?”

“We should meet up sometime.  Talk.”

Stiles tilts his head, sitting up a bit straighter.  “About?”

“I think—Well, I think you know.” Parrish says, palming the back of his head.  “I don’t really um… I don’t have anyone I can talk to about it these days.”

“Of course,” Stiles nods.  “I’d be happy to.  We’ll have coffee sometime.  And you can always give me a call if you need anything.”

“Thanks,” Parrish smiles, bright and grateful.

“No problem.” Stiles returns the look.  “Make sure my dad doesn’t stop by the diner on the way back.”

Parrish nods.  “You got it.”


When Peter finds Stiles, it’s late in the afternoon.  Stiles is breathing in slow and steady somewhere deep in the Preserve.  His steps are soft over the brush as Peter trails close behind him.  He only stops when Stiles does.  Peter knows that Stiles can feel him, can sense the thrumming life of him—they’d talked about it, one of his new abilities off of a list that seems ever expanding. 

There’s a good three yards between them.  The sun is filtering through the lines of trees that surround them, highlighting Stiles’ cheekbones as he turns to look at Peter.  Tilting his head, Peter draws in a bit closer, leaves crunching beneath his feet, the whole world smelling like forest—musty and thick—and something melancholic. 

“Stalking me again?” Stiles says, a bit fond and a bit breathy.  Peter can see his breath.

“Old habits,” Peter shrugs, padding forward and stopping just at his side to reach up and place a warm hand at the back of his neck.  “How long have you been out here?”

“A while.”

“What are you doing?”

Stiles makes a miniscule gesture down to the small trickle of a river he’d been walking along, bordered by a mess of rocks both small and big.  “This is where it happened.”

“Where what happened?” Peter frowns, grip tightening at his nape.

“Where I died.” Stiles breathes.

Peter’s gaze goes to the mess of leaves and dirt and decay.  “How’d you find it?”

“Took a while.” Stiles says, leaning back into his touch as he crosses his arms over his chest. “But I sort of… sensed it out.  Once I got here, I just knew.”

Peter is quiet for a moment.  “And why were you looking?”

“Dunno. Something I needed to see, I guess.”

Stiles scuffs at the ground with the toe of his shoe.  His eyes are locked on the bank, and he shivers heavily.  There’s a cold bitten flush at his cheeks, his nose, the tips of his ears.  Peter traces idle circles into a spot beneath his ear.

There is a stiff breeze.  Stiles shudders, brows furrowing as his expression twists in distaste.  Goosebumps rise over his skin, and Peter fails to bite back a laugh.  Stiles swats at his hands when he tries to pull him back against his chest.

“I’m trying to do a thing, dude.”

“Practicing for your audition as Hamlet?” Peter asks.  “You’re certainly acing the brooding expression.”

“Don’t be a dick.” Stiles sneers, but lets Peter tug him close to press to the heat of him.  “I’m trying to bring myself… dramatic closure.”

“Really?” Peter snorts.  “Stiles, you aren’t living in a soap opera.  Coming here won’t provide you any insight—“

“Peter, seriously, you’re ruining my jam.” Stiles mutters. “I was trying to be deep.”

“Did you find what you were looking for then?” Peter asks, nose pressing to Stiles’ temple.

Stiles hesitates. “No.”

“Then why don’t we get out of here?” Peter says, arm slipping around Stiles’ waist.  “You’re cold. The sun will be setting soon. Let’s get you out of here.”

“You’re very insistent.”

“Always.”

Stiles pauses, then lets out a burdened sigh.  “Yeah.  Okay, fine.  Take all the fun out of it.”

Peter presses his grin to Stiles’ neck, tightening around him enough to pull Stiles off of his own two feet.  Laughing, Stiles flails slightly, but then goes heavy like deadweight in Peter’s hold. The older man doesn’t even grunt. Stiles tries to pinch at Peter’s forearm, and gets a bite for his efforts.

“Unhand me, you neanderthal.” Stiles says, but he’s laughing.

“Pulling out the SAT prep words again?”

“Cunt face.”

Peter grins.  “That’s more like it,” he says and Stiles complains the whole way as Peter drags him along.

Chapter Text

“You know,” Stiles says, hovering in front of the collection of records, beer dangling from the fingertips of one hand.  “Considering how much time I’ve been spending here, I think I should get a drawer.”

Peter doesn’t look up from where he’s setting the table.  “A drawer?”

“Yeah, you know.” Stiles says over his shoulder, setting his drink down on the shelf and reaching for a vinyl copy of Beggar’s Banquet.  “A drawer.  A place to keep spare clothes when I spend days on end sleeping on my boyfriend’s couch.  I’ve pretty much stayed here all week, dude.  I can’t keep wearing your clothes.”

There’s a sharp clatter.  Stiles blinks lazily over at him, slipping the record out of its sheath with ease.  Peter stares at him, expression guarded as he tilts his head, silverware discarded on the tabletop.

“Problem?” Stiles asks, tone pleasant and gaze knowing. 

Peter moves around the table, padding forward, and he catches Stiles’ face between his hands.  Their mouths meet, and it’s just as messy, just as hungry as the first time.  Stiles curves away a second later, letting out a muffled sound, but he’s smiling with the kiss breaks.  He holds up the record, brows raised pointedly.

“This is a classic, Peter.  Even I know that.” Stiles says as Peter frowns.  “I’m not gonna let you wreck it just because you want to stick your tongue down my—”

Pulling him back close, Peter’s mouth slants over his hard.  Stiles knows it’s because they haven’t touched like this since the meeting with Scott, knows that Peter had been waiting for the go-ahead.  He moans, lips parting for Peter as the older man cants his head to lick past Stiles’ teeth.  Hands still framing Stiles’ face, Peter presses in until Stiles is wedge back against the shelves.

Groan muffled, Stiles lets him overrun his senses.  There’s a sharp clatter of noise as Stiles drops what he’s holding to reach for Peter’s shirt.  He breaks the kiss abruptly, eyes wide even as he curls his fingers into the material of Peter’s shirt collar.  He glances down at the record, lips pursing.

“That’s a damn travesty,” Stiles mutters.

Peter sighs, resting his forehead against Stiles’ temple.  “You’re ridiculous.”

“You like me anyways.” 

“Too much,” Peter admits.  “You can’t take it back.  I won’t let you.”

“I’m not taking it back,” Stiles says.  “Sorry for making you wait.”

“You’re mine, then?”

“We’ve already had that conversation.”

Peter smiles, cants his head, and lets his teeth graze Stiles’ lower lip.  “When did you make up your mind?”

“Three days after the meeting with Scott,” Stiles shudders.  “I decided I was done punishing myself.  That I want everything you have to offer.  That I’m done being a complete chicken shit.”

“So eloquent.”  Peter snorts but kisses him anyways.

Stiles hums, hand gliding up the back of Peter’s neck.  His fingers sink into Peter’s hair, and Peter loops a loose arm around Stiles’ waist to pull him flush.  Shuffling forward, Stiles’ winces at the sharp crack beneath his foot.  Peter laughs as Stiles pulls back again.

“Seriously, dude—”

“I’ll buy a new one, Stiles.” Peter says against his mouth, plucking him easily off of his feet and pivoting them away from the broken record. 

“You’re so wasteful,” Stiles grumbles, but then Peter is licking his way back into Stiles mouth.

Blunt nails dragging over Peter’s scalp, Stiles moans but it’s lost against Peter’s lips.  Peter’s arm tightens at his waist, holding him up and flush to his chest; Stiles’ toes barely brush the floor, head canted down so that their kiss could deepen more easily.  Their noses bump, the scruff at Peter’s chin chaffing over Stiles skin, and Stiles chuckles against Peter’s mouth.

Peter’s hands feel hot through his shirt, like a brand at his ribcage, at his hip.  For a moment, Stiles feels very small in Peter’s hold, wrapped up in him easily.  His heart stammers over the beat, and Peter lets out a low rumble.  It’s soothing—which somehow makes Stiles more nervous.

Their mouths break apart, and Peter admires the mess he’s made of Stiles’ lips.  Breathless, Stiles’ eyes flutter shut, and his grip tightens in Peter’s hair as Peter kisses a trail along his jaw. 

“You don’t think boyfriend is too juvenile?” Stiles asks, panting faintly.

“Of course I do.” Peter bites the spot just beneath Stiles’ ear.  “Lover would be better—but I’ll take what I can get.”

Stiles’ fingers trail down the back of Peter’s neck.  “You’d settle for me?” he asks, tone teasingly sweet.

Peter leaves kiss over his pulse.  “Absolutely.”

“I can’t believe you—” Stiles gasps, eyes opening as Peter sinks a warm hand up the back of his shirt, along the curve of Stiles’ spine.  “I can’t believe you waited this long.”

“I would have waited another six years for you, Stiles.”  Peter inhales deep, nose tucked just beneath Stiles’ jaw. 

Stiles swallows.  “Dinner will get cold.”

“Let it.”

“Peter—”

“I haven’t touched you since before the meeting with Scott and my nephew.” Peter grunts, keeping Stiles close.  “Let me touch you.  Let me have you.”

“Have me?” Stiles asks in a whisper, and he knows that he smells like raw arousal.

Peter pulls back enough to meet his gaze, sets Stiles onto his own two feet, thumb pressing into a knot of tension beneath Stiles’ right shoulder blade.  Lips parting, Stiles groans, eyes going heavy.

“Have you.” Peter repeats.  “Let me take you to bed.  Let me show you everything.”

Stiles lifts a slow brow.  “You gonna take me on a magic carpet ride?”

“Not quite.” Peter smiles, sharp but fond.  “Although, one of these days, I’m going to get you a special kind of high.  I think you’d enjoy it.”

“I’m not sure how I should feel about that.” Stiles blinks at him.

“I’m all about indulgence.”

Stiles’ lips thin as he bites back a smile.

“So let me indulge you.” Peter adds.  “Let me spoil you.”

Swallowing thickly, Stiles hesitates and then nods.  “Okay.”

Peter plucks Stiles back off of his feet.  He totes him off to the bedroom, their lips meeting along the way.  They stop at the foot of Peter’s bed, and Peter places Stiles down onto the edge of his mattress.  Pulling back, he lets his gaze drift over Stiles’ features, and Stiles feels his cheeks warm.

Framing his face between his hands again, Peter drags his thumbs along the high line of Stiles’ cheekbones.  Stiles lips part, and Peter kisses him again, lingering. 

“Strip for me,” Peter says as he pulls away, striding towards the bedside table and opening it.

Stiles licks his lips, peeling his shirt up and over his head before dropping it to the floor.  He shirks out of his pants and his underwear in a clumsy move.  By the time Peter is back at his side, pressing him back against the bedding, he only has one sock dangling on the toes of his right foot.  Craning his neck forward, Stiles catches Peter’s mouth against his again and shivering at the sensation of Peter’s clothed body pressing flush with his own.  Stiles drapes his arms around Peter’s shoulders, fingers curling into the sinfully soft cotton of his shirt and giving a little tug.

They part long enough for Peter to pull his shirt off and toss it away, and then they are chest to chest.  Stiles is already hard, heart humming away beneath his ribcage, and Peter sets the lube he retrieved aside in order to drag his palms over Stiles’ skin.  Peter bites down on the plump flesh of Stiles’ lower lip, and Stiles hisses.

“You’ll tell me if I need to stop,” Peter says as he trails along Stiles’ jaw.

“I will?”

“Yes,” Peter says.  “If you need to stop, we’ll stop.  You say the word.”

“Stop.” Stiles gasps just as Peter’s lips press to his adam’s apple. 

Peter freezes.  Stiles shivers beneath him, lips parted and kiss-bruised.  He waits for any kind of protest out of Peter, but none come.

“Okay,” Stiles says.  “Keep going.”

Peter growls, teeth grazing his neck as he slips an arm around Stiles’ waist, moving them up the bed.  Hips lurching up, Stiles lets out a desperate little sound as his cock rubs against Peter’s hip, and Peter chuckles as he pushes Stiles’ hips down against the mattress. 

“Easy, lover.”  Peter says.  “We have all the time in the world, and I plan on having you come for the first time tonight with my fingers inside of you.”

Stiles groans, face burning.  “You can’t just say stuff like that, dude.”

“Yes, I can.”  Peter replies, pulling back and meeting his gaze.  “And do you know why?”

Stiles squirms faintly.  “Why?”

“Because it’s true,” Peter says, voice holding no room for argument, and Stiles swallows thickly.  “Is that alright with you?”

“Yeah—Yeah, um, yes.”  Stiles nods.  “Very alright.”

“Good,” Peter says, hands slipping down to Stiles’ thighs and spreading them wider slowly.  “Cant your hips up for me.”

Licking his lips, Stiles tilts his hips just as Peter asks.  He watches with avid eyes as Peter shifts, kneeling between Stiles’ legs as he uncaps the lube.  Peter smoothes a slow hand up under Stiles’ left thigh, pressing it up, gaze gaging Stiles’ reactions with a studious kind of attentiveness.  Hands flexing in the sheets, Stiles gasps faintly at the touch of slick fingers gliding down between his cheeks.

“Tell me if I need to stop, Stiles.”  Peter says again, leaning forward and kissing the inside of Stiles’ knee.

Stiles nods a bit haplessly.  He clutches at the sheets, spine curving up faintly as Peter works at the tight ring of muscle.  Peter starts with one finger, easing it in and crooking it just so.  It doesn’t take much to find just the right spot to touch, and then Stiles is letting out a sweet sounding keen as he instinctually rocks down.  Peter chuckles, pleased, and starts slicking Stiles up as he stretches him out. 

Twitching, Stiles gasps out these soft noises as Peter works him open steadily. It isn’t long before Peter has a second finger in with the first, and through a fog of lust, Stiles is surprised at how easy this is all going.  He supposes, sort of distantly, that it’s likely due to Peter’s vast amount of patience. 

Peter’s free hand wraps around Stiles’ cock where it’s weeping precome against his own abdomen.  Grunting, Stiles’ hips buck sharply, and then sensation is overwhelming him for the first time that night.  He comes in thick streams over his stomach and Peter works him through it—hand stroking slowly over the length of him as his fingers spread Stiles open.  A faint curse falls over Stiles’ lips, and he whines.

“Stop—Stop,” he breathes.

Peter stills, brows pinching together.  “Are you alright?”

Panting, skin prickling with sweat, Stiles nods.  “Yeah, I’m just—Just a second.”

Peter nods.  “All the time you need.”

Cheeks flush, Stiles drapes an arm over his eyes, lower lip catching between his teeth as Peter pets a sticky hand against Stiles’ hip.  Stiles’ nose wrinkles, but it’s surprisingly comforting even though Peter is smearing Stiles’ own come on his skin. 

“Okay.”  Stiles mumbles.  “I’m okay.”

“You’re sure?”

Stiles meets his gaze and nods.  “Yeah.”

Peter just shifts his fingers, and a whine comes unbidden from the back of Stiles’ throat.  “I could watch you come like that all night.”

Stiles shifts his hips subtly, testing the feeling, and Peter obliges by sinking his fingers deeper.  Stiles curses and Peter mutters quiet praise as he sets a pace, fingers moving in and out of Stiles in a way that leaves the younger man writhing.  He’s sensitive, hot and tight around Peter’s fingers, gasping out these little sounds as Peter works him over. 

By the time Peter eases a third finger into him, Stiles is hard again, and he almost sobs at the stretch of it.  It doesn’t hurt, Peter has eased his muscles too well for that, but it makes him ache deep inside in a way that makes him buck up onto the thickness of Peter’s fingers.  He hadn’t realized he felt empty before now, before Peter filling him.  It feels a bit like a revelation, and he’s glad he doesn’t accidentally say that out loud because he knows Peter would tease him about it for the rest of his life.

Heat burns along his nerve endings, and he’s close when Peter finally pulls his fingers free.  Whimpering, Stiles reaches for him, pawing needily.  Peter hushes him with long kisses, coaxing him over onto his stomach and up onto his hands and needs.  He slides his fingers back in with more slick, and Stiles groans headily, rocking back even as his thighs tremble.  Peter keeps him steady, one hand at his hip, as he thoroughly fucks Stiles’ with his fingers, letting out a pleased rumble as Stiles ruts back. 

The room is hot, and Stiles’ fingers bunch into the fabric of the bedding.  Peter leans over him, chest flush to Stiles’ back, and licks at the sweat on his skin.  Stiles quivers, panting open-mouthed and almost dazed as Peter keeps him right there on the edge for what seems like forever before he finally wraps his other hand around Stiles’ cock.  It takes one or two strokes, and then Stiles is coming with Peter’s name on his tongue, jerking in his hold as Peter bites down hard enough to bruise at Stiles’ shoulder.

“Fuckfuckfuck,” Stiles gasps, spine bowing as his length gives a feeble twitch as it softens in Peter’s hand. 

Peter scatters kisses along the line of Stiles’ shoulders, releasing his cock and wrapping his arm over Stiles’ chest to keep him steady.  “Can you keep going?”

Stiles huffs, head hanging between his shoulders.  “Just fuck me already, Peter.”

Shuddering, Stiles hears Peter groan and then feels the older man pull away.  Stiles drops the second Peter is touching him anymore, slumping forward, leaving his ass in the air like he’s presenting himself.  He listens, eyes fluttering shut, as Peter unzips his fly and he can hears the material slide down over Peter’s thighs and anticipation coils tight in Stiles’ gut. 

Hands slide up the backs of his thighs, and Stiles props himself up onto his elbows to look over his shoulders at where Peter is watching him with dark eyes.  Thumbs slide up between Stiles’ cheeks, spreading him, and Peter kisses the pert curve of his ass. 

“I’d prefer to have you facing me,” Peter says against his skin.  “But this position will be easiest on you.”

Stiles moans softly, nodding.  “Okay.”

“It won’t be like this every time,” Peter says, like it’s a threat, but it feels like a promise.  “Next time, I’ll have you begging before you ever come.”

Stiles breath catches, and he shifts restlessly, cheeks burning faintly when Peter chuckles.

“Would you like that, sweet boy?”  Peter asks.  “Could have you sit in my lap, on my cock, while I stroked you and kept you on the edge for hours.”

Whining, Stiles shifts again.  “Peter, come on.”

“You’re fucking beautiful,” Peter mutters, kissing up his spine.  “And I’m going to take my time, unraveling you, just to see how wrecked you can get.  But tonight, is about you.  Tonight, I’ll give you anything and everything that you want.”

“Then fuck me,” Stiles says.  “I want you inside of me, Peter.  Like, yesterday.”

Peter hums, tugging Stiles close and finding his way between Stiles legs.  “Of course, Stiles.”

Peter lubes his length with a few pumps of his hand.  Briefly, Stiles wonders how long Peter has been hard, and he takes satisfaction in the fact that Peter found getting Stiles off so arousing.  Draped over Stiles’ back, Peter lines up and presses in.  There is pressure, but it doesn’t hurt, and Stiles lets out a guttural sound as Peter pauses halfway, withdrawing, only to slide back forward.

He does that, slow and steady, taking cues from the hitch-catch of Stiles’ breath as he eases into the heat of Stiles’ body.  Peter bottoms out and Stiles whines, muscles clenching and clinging around the girth of his new lover.  Rutting subtly, Peter pants against the nape of Stiles’ neck, and he warps his arms securely across Stiles’ chest and stomach to hold him close.  Stiles spreads his legs as if to beckon him deeper.

“You feel so good around me,” Peter breathes, rocking forward more firmly, but never quite withdrawing.  “Like you were made for me.”

Stiles shakes.  “Move.  Please, move.”

Peter does.  He sets a steady, but slow pace.  Stiles appreciates it; it’s already overwhelming, the feeling of fullness and the way Peter’s cock drags over that bundle of nerves inside of Stiles that leaves sparks striking along his nerve endings.  They move together, perfect tandem despite the newness, Stiles moving back to meet Peter’s forward thrusts. 

They go slow like that until Stiles is close to begging, the please that falls over his lips cracking slightly.  Peter shifts position, grips at Stiles’ hips and the pace hitches quicker, harder as Stiles lets out these beautiful mewls.  He drags Stiles back onto himself, presses into the slick heat of his body, and Stiles loses himself in the rhythm, cock hard and bobbing between his legs. 

Stiles comes after what seems like forever, back bowing down, cry wrecked as it sears through him.  Peter fucks him through it, telling him how perfect he sounds, and Stiles clutches at the sheets as aftershocks leave him shuddering near violently.  Slowing off, Peter pets at Stiles’ hips again and withdraws completely.  Stiles lets out a broken little sound at the empty feeling, peering up at him in confusion when Peter turns him over.

Pushing Stiles’ hair away from his sweaty forehead, Peter smiles down at him, settling between his legs again.  He touches him, traces muscle over skin until Stiles settles a bit once again.  Peter kisses him, and it’s more unfinessed than usual, Stiles’ already too fucked out to function properly.

“How are you doing?” he asks when he’s finished laying claim to Stiles’ mouth.

Stiles swallows, reaching up and curving his hand over Peter’s jaw.  “Fuckin’ great.”

Peter chuckles, lips slanting together chastely.  “Good.  Can I keep going?”

“You’re gonna melt my brain.”

“That’s the idea,” Peter smiles. 

“Keep going,” Stiles mumbles, pliant as Peter hauls him close, legs draping over Peter’s thighs, practically in his lap.  “Wait, like this?”

“I want to see you come.”

Stiles groans.  “I don’t—Peter, I can’t—”

“You can,” Peter assures, stroking soothingly over the ladder of Stiles’ ribs.  “You will.  Are you ready?  Or do you need longer?”

Stiles shakes his head.  “Now.”

“Insatiable,” Peter grins, guiding himself back into the welcome heat of Stiles’ body, their gazes locked; he groans at the expression Stiles makes.  “Gods, look at you.”

The pace Peter sets is much faster than before.  It isn’t rough by any means, though Stiles knows that would be fantastic too, but it’s a new angle and it’s quicker.  Stiles is breathless in a matter of seconds, clutching at Peter’s shoulders as sensation leaves him drowning.

His toes curl, muscles going taut beneath pale skin.  His hips jerk up, and he can see Peter losing himself in it nearly as quickly as Stiles is.  They swallow down each other’s sounds as they kiss between Stiles’ gasps, the obscene noise of skin on skin almost as lewd as the moans Peter keeps coaxing out of Stiles’ mouth.  It takes a while to get Stiles hard again, pleasure so acute it is almost like agony, but in the sweetest sense of the word. 

When Stiles finally comes a fourth and final time, his eyes roll back and static charges the air.  Peter doesn’t touch Stiles’ cock, pushing him over the edge with just the thrust of his hips.  Stiles comes, nails dragging angry lines over Peter’s shoulders, cry choking off halfway over his tongue, and for a long moment all there is for Stiles is ecstasy.  The lights in the entire building burn bright, almost blinding, before bursting with loud pops of sparks and glass. 

Stiles comes back to himself and Peter is staring down at him with wide, glowing eyes.  The room is dark, but Stiles can make him out easily in the dim light.  Slack and twitching, Stiles whines as Peter rocks and ruts in deeper.  Peter moves, cradling Stiles close like he’s the most important thing in the world, and Stiles’ jaw hangs slightly open and slut-slack as Peter moves in him. 

“—so perfect, Stiles.”  Peter mumbles between kisses, growing a bit frantic, and Stiles spasms with small keens at the shocks of pleasure that is more than overwhelming.  “If I was an Alpha, I’d knot you right now.  Make you mine forever.  Breed you.  My perfect, beautiful boy.”

Peter releases into him with a grunt.  Stiles moans at the feeling of liquid heat filling him, and Peter’s words leave something in him tingling and aching with a want he won’t quite understand until days later. 

They settle, Peter still buried deep into Stiles’ body.  Peter pets through Stiles’ hair, and Stiles offers up a dazed little smile.  They kiss, for a long quiet moment, still catching their breaths, before Peter finally moves again. 

Clean up is quick.  Peter wipes Stiles down with a warm washcloth, pulls the comforter off of the bed so that they can settle beneath crisp sheets, and then curls around Stiles with a possessive arm around his waist.  Stiles starts to drift off the second Peter curves around him, and Peter kisses the bite he left at Stiles’ shoulder.

“Goodnight, Stiles.”  He says.  “Wake up soon.”

Stiles smiles.


When he wakes, it’s to a heavy hand at his hip.  There is no panic. No fear.  Stiles feels surprisingly light. 

For the first time in a long time, he thinks things might actually be okay.