Chapter 1: The one where Peter moves into the Stilinski House
The problem is, Peter mused as he sat in the hospital, is that I need to branch out. And stop falling in love with my straight friends. He narrowed his eyes in thought. Well, it only happened with John, but still. Peter thumped his head back against the wall at the thought of John. The man had just lost his wife to childbirth and here Peter was thinking about his feelings.
A nurse came out and waved at Peter. "You can come back now," she said.
Peter jumped and followed her. "Has John...?"
She shook her head sadly and Peter winced. John hadn't seen his new son at all; he was so wrapped up in the death of his wife. Which Peter got, but his son needed him.
The nurse stopped in front of the nursery. "There he is," she said. "I'll get him for you to see."
"Great." Peter rocked back on his heels. He liked kids, hell, there were enough of them running around at the house, but this was John and Andraste's son. He was something special, Peter was sure of it. He watched as the nurse brought the baby boy to the window. Peter smiled. The kid was cute. He squinted at the name on the bed and chuckled. Andraste did have a sense of humor. He waved and pointed to the door. The nurse nodded and put Genim Arthur Stilinski back in his bed.
Peter made his way out of the maternity ward and downstairs to where John was sacked out. The doctors and nurses didn't make their newly elected Sheriff leave; they stuck him in a room and left the job of getting him to go home to Peter.
Peter sighed as he walked into the room. "I know you aren't asleep, so don't bother faking it," he said kindly.
John said nothing. He lay on his side on an unused bed, facing the door. Peter sat in a chair next to him.
"Genim, huh? Nice name. Gotta give the kid a nickname though. He'll get teased for that name. And no one can say it."
"It was for her father. You can say it."
Peter shrugged. "Well."
"I can't, Peter." John choked out.
"He's cute. You should see him."
Peter growled. He was losing his patience. "Can't what? See your kid? Live anymore? What?"
"All of the above."
Peter kicked the bed hard, jostling John. "Well, leave him to me before you kill yourself please. We don't want the state taking him do we?” Peter watched as John shut his eyes tightly and sighed. "I know, okay? God, do I know it hurts and it won't stop hurting, but Jesus John. You have a kid and he needs you, okay?"
"Help me, please, Peter," John begged, his voice tight.
"Yes, of course. What do you need?"
"I don't know anything about babies. Move in with me. Help me out here, Peter."
Peter blinked. He hadn't been expecting that. But, he had promised Andraste that he would look after John and her kid if anything happened to her, so he said, "Okay. I can get my stuff and move in tonight."
"Kid's gotta stay a few more days," John mumbled.
"Fuck that," Peter said as he stood. "Kid's healthy, we can take him now. Besides my mom and dad would love to see him."
John nodded and sat up. Peter helped him off the bed as his legs threatened to go out from under him. "Thanks, Peter," John said stiffly.
Peter turned the man to face him and gave him a big hug. "No problem." He pulled away with a smile. "I love kids. Now, you go get him and I'll get the car."
John looked pained, but Peter wasn't budging. John nodded and Peter smacked himself in the forehead as soon as his friend left. "Fucked, so fucked," he muttered to himself. Then he followed John out.
Chapter 2: The one where Peter takes the Stilinskis home
Peter pulled his car into the Hale driveway and glanced at his passengers. John was still out of it, resting his head against the window. Genim was sleeping in a car seat that Melissa McCall lent him. Peter had driven slowly the whole way, aware that the kid was too young and too vulnerable to be in a car seat, but John wouldn't sit back there with him.
Peter sighed and shook John's shoulder. "We're here. It’s too late for us to go ho–to your place. You guys can spend the night."
John nodded and stumbled out of the car, leaving Peter and Genim behind. Peter growled softly and turned to look at the baby, who was awake now that the car had stopped. "Just you and me for awhile, kid. Your daddy is having troubles right now." Peter got the kid out of the car, with little fuss and made his way inside. He found his parents, siblings, nieces and nephews all crowding around the doorway. "I'd like to come inside," he said sarcastically.
His dad, Albert, stepped forward, pushing the rest of the pack back inside. "Georgia put John in your room."
"Andraste died. John isn't handling it well. He won't even look at his son. And well, he asked me to move in with him to help him out. Just for awhile."
Albert looked pained. "Son..."
"I know, dad, but look. John isn't my mate, I just-"
"Just love him."
"Dad. Can we talk about this later? It's cold and Genim needs to get inside," Peter pleaded. He really didn't want to get into this now.
"Genim?" Albert laughed.
"Andraste had a sick sense of humor," Peter smirked.
"Going to have to name him something else. No way will any of our little ones be able to say that!"
Albert clapped his son on the back and they made their way inside the house. Peter's mother, Georgia, kissed his cheek and asked, "Does the little one have anything?"
"Out in the car. I couldn't carry it all."
She motioned her head and a few of the pack members went outside. Peter sat down on the couch in the family room and rolled his eyes fondly as the younger pack members climbed up next to him.
"He's cute," Laura whispered.
"He is," Peter agreed. Genim smiled and waved his arms around. Peter smiled back. "Do you want to hold him?"
Laura nodded, her eyes wide. Peter helped settle Genim in her arms and watched out of the corner of his eye as Derek inched closer. His seven-year-old nephew was always shy and wary of new people, even babies. Nine-year-old Laura had no such problems.
"What's his name?" Derek asked as he touched his uncle's knee.
"Genim Arthur Stilinski."
Peter laughed quietly. "We can call him Arthur."
"He doesn't look like an Arthur," Derek scowled. "I wanna hold him. Laura! It's my turn!"
Laura sighed affectionately. Peter smiled at her and took Genim back. She climbed down and let Derek take her place next to Peter, who situated Genim into Derek's arms comfortably.
"Stiles," Derek whispered and kissed the baby's forehead.
Peter's eyebrows rose in shock and he turned to his brother, Anthony, who shrugged. Peter rolled his eyes at his brother and got a rude gesture in response. Peter ignored Anthony and turned back to Derek.
"What did you call him?"
"Stiles. For his last name. I can say that and he doesn't look like an Arthur." Derek held Genim-Stiles-closer and frowned at Peter. "And it probably won't make the Sheriff so sad."
"That's a good name," Peter paused before asking. "Do you want to help me feed him?"
"Yes!" Derek cheered with a large smile on his face. Stiles cooed in response and Derek smiled down at him.
This isn't going to be pretty when we leave tomorrow, Peter thought. At the moment though, he didn't mind. He was just glad Stiles was a happy, healthy baby.
Chapter 3: The one where Peter almost regrets saying yes to John. Almost.
Peter sighed as he lay down in the guest room at the Stilinski house. He set the baby monitor on a nearby nightstand and thought about the past two days.
They had left his family home two days ago, and Peter had been right about Derek. The young boy almost threw a fit when he realized that Stiles would be leaving. He would only let his Uncle leave if Peter promised to visit.
“I promise, Derek,” Peter had said gently as Georgia rocked Stiles. “Give me a few days to settle in and then we’ll come visit and you can visit us too, okay?”
Derek glared and held out a pinky, “Pinky swear?”
Peter tried not to laugh as he hooked pinkies with his nephew and replied, “Pinky swear.”
Once that was taken care of, Peter put the Stilinskis in the car and drove off. John still seemed to be in a fog, so Peter didn’t talk until they were at the house.
“Does Stiles have a crib?” he asked quietly. They sat in the car, staring at the house. Stiles started fussing in the backseat, so Peter turned around and cooed at him, before turning back to look at John.
“Stiles?” John asked with a frown.
Peter pointed at the baby with a raised eyebrow. “Derek named him because he couldn’t say Genim and he doesn’t look like an Arthur.” Peter tickled Stiles’ feet, making the baby laugh, and continued, “And Derek didn’t want you to be sad anymore.”
“That was nice of him,” came the strangled reply.
“Crib?” Peter prompted.
“Oh. Yes. He has everything, Andraste, she bought everything she could get her hands on,” John laughed and wiped at his eyes. “The guest room is all set up too. Her mom was going to come down and help, but…”
“She’ll come down later,” Peter stated.
John nodded. He turned to look at Stiles, who was still giggling as Peter pulled at his toes. “I need to lie down.”
“All right. I can get my things and take care of Stiles. Just take a long nap, John.” Peter then watched his friend climb out of the car and make the trip inside the house. He moves like an old man, Peter thought, but grief can do that to you. The first thing he did was grab a sling his mother had made him. He wrapped the sling around him, like she had taught him. Then Peter placed Stiles in the sling.
“There we go, kid, safe and sound. Hopefully,” Peter smiled down at the baby. Once Stiles was secure, Peter carefully grabbed the bags he had brought from home and placed them in the front hallway of the house. Then he made two more trips to bring everything inside. After that was down, he made three trips upstairs to put things in the guest room and things in Stiles’ nursery.
It was then that Stiles made himself known, letting out a loud cry that had Peter wincing. “That would pierce anyone’s eardrums,” he muttered while placing Stiles on the changing table. “Werewolf or otherwise.” He paused in changing Stiles and closed his eyes. “Shit.” The full moon was in two weeks and he had no clue what he was going to tell John. “I guess I’ll worry about it later. You want some food? Should we see if Daddy wants some food?” he asked Stiles.
Stiles waved his arms around and accidentally smacked Peter on the nose. Peter laughed and kissed Stiles’ cheek. “I’ll take that as a yes.” He put Stiles back in the sling and made his way to John’s room. Peter knocked on the door and then walked in. The room still smelled mostly of the perfume Andraste used. John was lying down on his bed, on top of the covers, staring at her side of the room.
“Do you want anything to eat?” Peter asked. He wanted to comfort John, but didn’t think he had the right. At this moment, whatever Peter felt didn’t matter.
“No,” John muttered.
“Okay. Let me know if you do.” Peter shut the door quietly and went downstairs to make food for Stiles and himself.
And that’s how it had been for the past two days. John stayed locked up in his room, only eating if Peter shoved food under his face, and not looking at or holding Stiles. Add to that the fact that Peter had to hold back his feelings for John. The man didn’t want comfort of any kind and once yelled at Peter for asking how John was. Peter had just let John yell before leaving the room calmly and holding Stiles for a long time. The smell of the baby calmed him down faster than anything else.
Peter was angry at John. He knew what it was like losing someone like Andraste, but she would have been so furious at John for not treating their son right. He also knew it would be a long time before John was ready to move on from his wife, but Stiles needed his dad. If John kept up ignoring his son, Stiles’ first word would be ‘Peter’ instead of ‘Dada’.
Peter sat up with a groan and left his room. It was too close to John’s room and the smell of the other man was making Peter angry and full of longing. He growled, leaving the baby monitor behind, but grabbing a pillow and a blanket. Then he stalked into Stiles’ room and checked on the baby, before laying on the floor.
He stared at the ceiling before saying, “Kid, I’m screwed. I’m crazy about your dad, which isn’t a good thing, and your smell can make me calm, especially when I want to strangle your dad for being a jerk.” Peter paused, stretching his hearing out to make sure John was asleep, before going on. “That could mean two things. One, I’m not quite ready to contemplate for reasons of pain and heartbreak. The second, well. I wouldn’t mind the second. Your mom, she knew all kinds of things, but I’ll have to double check with my dad and Deaton.”
Peter closed his eyes, focused on Stiles’ heartbeat and drifted off to sleep.
Chapter 4: The one where we learn more about Peter’s past
As Peter slept, he dreamed of when he was younger. He dreamed of his mate.
Peter yawned as he stretched in bed. He was twenty-one and he already had his mate. Anthony was twenty-five and still unmated. Peter smirked as he turned to look at his mate. Colin was lying on his stomach, head turned away. His long black hair was fanned out on the pillow. Peter picked up a strand and twisted it around his fingers.
“Colin,” he said softly. He tugged on the hair and heard Colin grunt. “Colin,” Peter sang.
“Grumpy this morning?” Peter began to kiss Colin’s shoulders and moved down his back.
“It was a long night, you jerk. And stop smirking.”
“I felt it against my back.”
Peter hummed and flipped Colin over. He stared into his mates green eyes and smiled.
“Why are you so happy?”
“I’m happy to have you.”
Colin snorted and pulled Peter into a kiss.
Four years later, Peter was lying face down in his bed. He hadn’t let anyone in. He wanted to keep Colin’s scent for as long as he could. His dad knocked on the door and said, “Peter, please. We’re worried about you.”
“He’s dead,” Peter croaked, his throat raw from crying. “Colin is dead. My other half is dead and you want me to come out of my room?”
“Yes,” Albert replied calmly.
“I can’t even get payback because he died in a car crash. We were going to turn him the next day and he dies in a car crash before we can. That’s not fair,” Peter sobbed. He felt he had been crying for years instead of just two weeks.
“Life isn’t fair, son.”
“Fuck you! You don’t know how I feel! You and mom were mated at sixteen! Leave me alone!” Peter threw a lamp at the door and heard his father sigh and then leave. He buried his face in Colin’s pillow and howled.
Downstairs, the rest of the pack howled with him.
One year later, Peter ran into John Stilinski and his wife, Andraste, at a coffee shop. Peter’s coffee spilled down his front, but he didn’t mind. He was still numb from Colin’s death.
“Oh my god, I am so sorry,” Andraste said in a rush. She was tiny, coming up just under Peter’s shoulder. She grabbed some napkins and dabbed at Peter’s chest, but then stopped. “So, this is awkward.”
Peter laughed. It was a rusty sound, but nothing made him happy anymore. “That’s okay. I didn’t like this shirt anyway.”
“I thought it was nice,” John replied, holding out his hand. “Deputy John Stilinski, nice to meet you. This is my wife, Andraste.”
Andraste rolled her eyes at her husband. “John has horrible taste in clothes and loves to show off his title. Ignore him, I do.”
Peter laughed again. “You have a strange name, Andraste.”
“My parents are strange!” She said gleefully. “Über-hippies, I like to say.” She latched onto Peter’s arm. “You must let me make the coffee spillage up to you.”
“All right,” Peter said evenly. He tried very hard not to stare as John wrapped an arm around Andraste’s waist and kissed her forehead. “You could come home with me?” Peter suggested. “You seem new to the area and my family has lived here a long time.”
“We moved in three weeks ago,” John said. “We’re living in a shitty apartment, but we’ve got an eye on a house.”
“And you can change out of that horrible shirt!” Andraste exclaimed. Then she blushed slightly. “I mean…”
Peter laughed for a third time and waved her apologies off. “Don’t worry. I really did hate this shirt.” He leaned forward and whispered conspiratorially, “My brother gave it to me and he has horrible taste.”
Andraste laughed loudly and with her whole body. John watched her fondly and Peter felt a little of the ice around his heart melt.
Two months before Stiles was born, Andraste pulled Peter aside and said, “I know you’re a werewolf.”
Peter blinked and said nothing.
“My family has…magical abilities.”
Andraste sighed heavily and muttered, “Everyone is an idiot.” She glared at Peter, grabbed the front of his shirt, and pulled him down to her height. “Listen, if anything happens to me, I need you to take care of the baby and John.”
“Nothing will happen to you,” Peter insisted.
Andraste narrowed her eyes. “I know you lost your mate, but I’ve seen you around John.”
“I would never–”
“Shut up,” she said with a huff, releasing him. “I know that. If something happens to me, you have my permission. John’ll be an ass about it though.”
“Nothing will happen to you and we only have one mate.”
Andraste snorted in an unladylike manner. “Sure, dude. Whatever. Now promise me, you dick head.”
“All of it. Swear to me.”
“I promise that if anything happens to you, I will take care of John and the baby. I swear on Colin’s soul.”
“Done.” She stood up on her tiptoes and kissed Peter’s cheek. “Thank you.” Then she went back upstairs to lie down.
Peter watched her go feeling as if he just got manipulated.
“Peter?” a rough voice broke through his dreams. He shot up and looked around blearily. Peter was lying on the floor, next to Stiles’ crib. He couldn’t hear anything and wondered what was wrong.
“He’s, uh, fine. I just. You weren’t in your room and I thought maybe…”
“That I left because you are being a dick head?”
John choked on a laugh. “Yeah. Andraste. She would have called me that days ago.”
Peter rolled his eyes and stood. “Yeah. I guess it’s my job now.”
John made another laughing sound. He stayed in the doorway as Peter went over to the crib to check on Stiles.
“Do you want to see him?” Peter asked casually, not looking at John.
Peter heard John swallow and take a few steps forward. Peter didn’t move as John paused. He almost thought the other man would change his mind, but finally John came and stood next to Peter, looking down at Stiles.
“He looks…happy,” John said, one hand hovering over the baby.
Peter grabbed it and laid it gently on Stiles’ head. “He is.”
John leaned against Peter and ran his fingers over Stiles’ sparse hair. Peter inhaled and smiled.