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When Peter Hale returns to Beacon Hills Stiles has to hear about it from his father.

“Guess who I saw at the graveyard yesterday?”

Stiles shifts the phone to his other ear, juggling his bag of sad, I-Am-Single, groceries as he shoves the key into one of the four locks on his apartment door. He hasn’t been kidnapped since that one time in senior year, and he would like to maintain that record, thank you very much.

“A dead ringer?” Stiles can’t help himself. He really can’t. At least he and his dad are able to talk about visiting his mom’s grave without stifling the awkward sadness between their words anymore.

His dad sighs. “You can’t help yourself can you?”

Stiles finally manages to get into the apartment and he shoves the groceries on the counter. Now that he doesn’t live with his dad he can buy all the pop tarts and oven pizzas he wants. So there.

“Who did you see, Dad? Besides a bunch of dead people?”

“Peter Hale.”

Stiles goes numb. His keys hit the floor with a clang.

“I hadn’t seen him since I had to interview him for those animal attacks. Remember? Back in your junior year. After the ones in your sophomore year? God, there were a lot of animal attacks those two years.”

“Yeah, ha ha.” Stiles laughs a bit hysterically. “Must have been all that deforestation forcing the cougars down from the mountains… Or global warming.”

He can practically feel his dad’s disappointed glare. You’d think Stiles would be better at lying to his dad after all these years, but no. He’s still a terrible, awful lying liar from liarsville.

“Anyway, there he was. He still looks exactly the same even though he’s gotta be in his fifties. Some people have all the luck.” His dad complains.

“Aw, Dad you know you’re a total silver fox.” His dad snorts over the line. “Did you, ah, say anything to him? Ask him what he’s doing here? How he’s feeling about current affairs or local politics?”

“Of course not, Stiles. He was standing next to his family’s memorial stone. That’s not actually a time you approach someone for small talk.”

Stiles’ hand is clenching the kitchen counter so hard his knuckles are turning white. “That’s great dad. Really awesome. Amazing even, but, um, I’ve got to call Scott about a… thing.”

“A ‘thing,’ huh?” His dad sounds amused. “Just like old times.”

Staring at the phone, Stiles wonders, not for the first time, if his dad knows more than he lets on. Things with his father had improved after the supernatural events died down in senior year, and Stiles no longer had to use every last breath to lie. But he still can’t bring himself to tell his dad the truth, especially after working so hard to protect what was left of his family from the things that went bump in the night. Now that his dad is not so much retired as terrifying new recruits he’s far enough from the line of fire if Peter Hale does decide to, well, Pull a Peter.

Plus, Melissa probably told him years ago.

Dad would totally be a dick and let Stiles squirm in his lies.

“Yeah, like old times. Gotta go. Love you. Bye.” Stiles hangs up and immediately phones Scott.

Who doesn’t answer. Nice to know some things never change.

“Scott, buddy, call me back as soon as you get this. Everyone’s least favorite uncle is back in town and probably plotting our deaths as we speak. And if I die first it’s because you never answer the phone! Also, you left Allison’s casserole dish here last Wednesday.”

He doesn’t bother calling Derek, just texts him a brief “yor creepy uncle wz cn creeping n d graveyard!!!” As a thirty-seven year old man, Stiles can text in complete sentences, but he refuses to become one of those losers.

Without waiting for a response, or even putting his groceries away, Stiles grabs his keys from the floor and runs down to his car.

It’s a short drive from his apartment to Hale territory. Once he turns down the dirt road it’s only about a two minutes before the house comes into view. Fifteen years ago the pack staged an intervention with Derek, forcing him to either tear it down or rebuild it. Derek had pouted for about a month, but then hired a construction crew. Boyd, Erica, and Isaac moved in eight months later. It’s beautiful.

Stiles hits his breaks, tires screeching to a stop outside the front door. He has his gun in his hand before he leaves the car.

The door opens and Boyd walks out. He’s in his courtroom suit, and he looks a little constipated.

“Where have you been all day?” Boyd asks in a loud, piercing whisper. “I can’t believe Derek invited him over. This is awkward and I can’t watch it anymore.”

Boyd disappears before Stiles can ask him any important questions, like, ‘what the hell are you talking about?” He mentally braces himself for a scene that makes Boyd uncomfortable and walks in the front door.

Derek and Peter are in the kitchen. Having coffee.

What?

Stiles deadpans, “Run, Derek, run. Peter’s here to kill us. Thank God I got here in time.” Derek doesn’t even have the grace to appear embarrassed; he stands there, examining his kitchen counter with every appearance of absorbed interest.

Peter’s smiling placidly, like a hyena, “Hello, Stiles. Or is it Sheriff Stilinski now?”

This is the moment Scott texts him “U didn’t know? He’s Bin bak for, like, 2 days. cn U brng dish 2 bar 2nt?”

Stiles opens his mouth, closing it again when nothing comes out. “Why am I the last to hear about this? Seriously, guys, I’m the freaking Sheriff. I thought we’d gotten over our communication issues.”

Derek frowns, “Scott was supposed to tell you.”

Stiles holsters his gun and rolls his eyes, “That’s such an awesome plan, Derek. Good job. Trust the man who once forgot I’d been kidnapped.”

“Again?” Peter asks incredulously.

“Shut up, Peter,” Stiles snaps. “No wait, don’t shut up. Where have you been? Why are you here? When are you leaving?”

Peter ticks off his fingers as he answers Stiles, “In therapy. None of your business. That’s up to Derek.”

Stiles blinks, “You’ve spent the last twenty years in therapy?”

“I had some emotional issues,” Peter admits. 

“That’s… hilarious.” Stiles decides.

Derek kicks Stiles out soon after that little exchange. He claims ‘talking to Peter without the sarcastic commentary.’ Whatever.

Stiles stays outside next to his car, giving half his attention to sending indignant texts to everyone in the pack and the other half on the house.  He has mace laced with wolfsbane in case Peter gets lippy. Stiles waits outside a long time. His ice cream has probably melted all over his kitchen by now. After about an hour Peter comes out of the house and walks over to Stiles. Stiles’ fingers twitch, wanting his gun, but he stands his ground, studying Peter as he approaches. He looks a little older, with more lines around his face, but there’s no sign of gray hair or, you know, homicidal urges.

“Congratulations on your reelection.” Peter says as he pulls on a jacket he doesn’t need. “I hear you went uncontested for the third time in a row.”

“Are you attempting polite conversation with me? Because that makes me nauseous.”

Peter lips quirk, “See you around, Stiles.”

He walks off down the path – back straight, head down, hands in his pockets. Stiles knows that fucker’s up to something. He feels in all the way down in the Stilinski gut. And the Stilinski gut is never wrong.

Stiles goes back inside. Derek is washing the mugs in the sink, and he’s not quite meeting Stiles’ eyes.

“You can’t seriously let him stay,” Stiles says as politely as he gets in these circumstances. Which is not at all.

Derek exhales loudly, placing the mugs on the counter. “Stiles -”

“No! Don’t you ‘Stiles’ me! Remember that time he tried to kill us? Which time, you ask? Oh, good question! Let me try to narrow it down a bit.” Stiles throws his hands in the air.

“Before the fire, Peter was… Stiles, he had this unhealthy fixation on the Dodgers and refused to let anyone talk to him during Buffy episodes.” Derek bows his head, “What happened to him was my fault.“

God, Stiles just wants to go home and eat ice cream until his feelings disappear. “No, Derek, it’s not. We’ve been over this.”

“I’ll never not blame myself, Stiles. You, of all people should, understand.” An image of his mother, wasting away as cancer ate at her, silences Stiles. Derek smiles ruefully.

“I don’t trust him.” Derek continues, “Not as far as you could throw him.”

“Thanks.” Stiles grumbles.

“Peter doesn’t want back in the pack. He’s not staying in the house, and he’s not asking for forgiveness. He just,” Derek sighs. “He wants permission to stay. He just wants time to try.”

“There shouldn’t be any trying.” Stiles waves his hand between Derek and the open space where Peter stood. “Remember what he did to Laura? Scott? Lydia? Me? He’s a sociopath, and he’s only here because he wants something. A bad something.”

“I know.” Derek whispers.

“Then why aren’t we dragging his werewolf ass out of town?”

“He’s my uncle.” Derek says. “He gets time to try. I owe him that much.”

Stiles rubs his hands over his face. Maybe if he covers his eyes he’ll find the strength to resist werewolves and their emotions.

Apparently not.

 “Fine,” he snarls. “You don’t owe him shit, but fine! And he’s not invited to the Christmas party or Sunday dinners.”

“I’m not stupid, Stiles.” Derek crosses his arms and leans against the counter, “Obviously we’ll watch him, and prepare for him to Pull a Peter, but, for now, give him time. See how things go.”

Stiles nods, picking absently at his uniform pants.

“Out of curiosity, what did he say when you first saw him?”

Derek’s eyes pull at the corners as he grins, the lines there the only sign that Derek is well into his forties. “He said, ‘don’t hit me.’”

“Tell me you did.” Stiles says, grinning.

 “Of course I did. I owed him that much.”

***

Stiles hits Scott as hard as he can. It hurts him more than Scott, but it’s the principal of the thing.

“Hey!” Scott whines, pouting extravagantly and not even bothering to rub his arm.

“That’s for not telling me Crazy Peter’s back in town.” Stiles hisses, slamming the casserole dish down on the table. “I had to hear it from my dad, Scott. My dad.”

Scott frowns, “I thought Boyd was supposed to tell you.”

Stiles stares at Scott in disgust. “You’re buying me beers for this. Beers. Plural. And then you’re driving me home when I get wasted.”

Scott agrees, well natured as always, and waves down the bartender.

“I don’t get it. Why are you at Derek’s howling for Peter’s blood?” Stiles demands as soon as their drinks come.

Scott thinks for a moment. He’s still wearing his work clothes, probably came straight from the veterinarian clinic. Dr. Deaton retired to Oxnard a few years ago, and Scott’s name has been on the door ever since. Stiles can’t believe that a man he witnessed fail chemistry twice has VMD printed after his name.

“I had the urge when I first heard he was back. I wanted to remind Derek of all the times he tried to kill us, but then I remembered that Allison tried to kill me.” Scotts face goes pensive, “Everyone in the pack tried to kill me really, except you. And Boyd.”

“Boyd’s awesome,” Stiles says, taking a sip of beer. “Man, high school was rough.”

“And I can’t really be pissed about the life I have today,” Scott admits. “I mean, I’m not sending him a ‘thank you’ card anytime soon, but, as long as he leaves me and my family alone, I’ve got no problem with him.”

 “What does Allison think of this?” Stiles needles, unwilling to let this go.

Allison quit the family business right after her grandpa went wack-a-doodle. After college, she got accepted to Berkley (oh, man, Scott’s Four Year Mope was epic) and graduated with a degree in Social Services. She got a job with the county, removing kids from abusive homes. Stiles works with her sometimes, but he mostly goes as the legally required escort. Last month, Stiles watched Allison floor a man twice her size after he took a swing at her. It was awesome.

“Allison’s not thrilled, but I think she still feels guilty about Kate.”

Of course she does. At her graduation party, Allison got completely hammered and sobbed to Stiles about how she wished someone would have just noticed what her grandfather was doing to his kids. How if someone had just noticed no one would have died in that fire. Stiles held her hair as she puked and tried to process Allison’s explanation of why she became a social worker.

“I think she’s more confused than upset.” Scott says, and that seems to be the theme of the day.

Scott drops Stiles off at his apartment after they finish up at the bar. They exchange one armed bro-hugs, and Stiles promises to babysit the twins next week.

 Climbing the steps to his apartment, Stiles notices that someone finally rented out apartment 2A. Mr. Jacobs was having a hard time with that one. It was right by the stairs, overlooked the parking lot, and was directly below his. Not a whole lot of people wanted to live in a loud location, with a bad view, and directly under the town’s Sheriff. Maybe now Mr. Jacobs will stop giving him the stink eye.

***

The next day Stiles is hung over. Of course. It gets harder to bounce back with every year.

He’s barely out of the shower when his phone rings. It’s Deputy Sanchez. Some hikers found a body in the park. She’s on scene right now, but the press are starting the sulk around. Stiles quickly turns on the local news and the reporter’s already interviewing one of the hikers.

 Great. Awesome. He’ll be right there.

Sanchez is waiting for him at the park with a cup of coffee and a handful of Advil.

“You’re a beautiful human being, Sanchez.” Stiles says, gratefully taking the coffee and dry swallowing the pills

“Davis said you were at the bar with Scott last night,” Sanchez explains. Stiles glares, but his staff is even less concerned with personal boundaries than the pack.

“Don’t you guys have anything else to talk about?” Stiles asks, almost despairingly.

“Nope,” She says gleefully. “Hazards of a small town life.”

They walk over to the area of the park that’s been circled in crime scene tape. The press is swarmed around the forensics van. Sanchez glares at a woman with a long lens camera.

“The body’s a woman.” Sanchez says as soon as they’re out of the press’ hearing range, her voice professional. “No identification. Strangulation is the suspected cause of death based on the marks around her neck.”

Stiles knees down next to the body. Jane Does eyes are wide and lifeless and there’s deep bruising around her neck. It’s gruesome and sad, but bodies stopped bothering Stiles long ago.

“She looks like she in her late thirties, maybe early forties.” Stiles mutters as Sanchez takes notes, “she’s wearing nice clothes, so not homeless or transient. Drag marks in the grass suggest she was dumped here and murdered somewhere else.”

Stiles stands up, “Have forensics do a full sweep of the area. Run a DNA analysis for identification. Get a brief statement together and go talk to the press. Reassure them this isn’t an animal attack; we don’t want another panic like that one after the rabid raccoon.”

It would have been funny except people, remembering the events of 2012-2014, went completely ballistic. PETA got involved, condemning Beacon Hills on national television for its “primitive and barbaric” behavior. The media reporting on the story dredged up the past ‘animal attacks’ and Derek was an utter nutcase, panicking about Hunters returning to their territory and visions of everyone’s brutal death. Stiles still got headaches when he thought about it.

Sanchez makes a face, “Why do I have to talk to the press? Where are you going?”

“Because it’s your turn,” Stiles says. “And I have someone I want to talk to about this.”

What? Peter turns up in town and suddenly there’s a violent murder. Coincidence? Yeah, right.

At the station, Stiles runs Peter’s name through the database. If he used a card to pay for a hotel it will pop up on the computer. It takes Stiles a while to figure out the database. Usually he has the lead tech find and run the social security number, but the head of the department was fired for being a jack-ass and they haven’t found a replacement yet.

An address pops up on the computer. 

 “Oh you’ve got to be kidding me.” Stiles moans and bangs his head a couple times against the desk. That doesn’t change what’s on the screen, though.

Stiles knocks as rudely as he can on apartment 2A. Peter answers, wearing jeans and a black t shirt. His feet are bare and his hair is wet.

‘What?’ Stiles brain screams.

Peter honestly looks surprised to see him, but Stiles doesn’t buy that for a minute.

“Oh, please,” Stiles sneers,” like you couldn’t smell or hear that I live above you.”

Peter scowls, “everything smells like the baby in 2B. And werewolves automatically filter out sounds unless we’re focusing. How do you think anyone in my family got through puberty?”

Stiles has a mental image of being able to hear his dad masturbate, “Oh, gross.”

“Especially Derek,” Peter over shares gleefully.

“What are you doing here?” Stiles shouts, spreading his arms to encompass all of Beacon Hills.

“It’s the only apartment complex in Beacon Hills.” Peter says, eyeing Stiles warily. “What do you think I’m doing here?”

“Gee, now that you bring it up, have you strangled anyone to death recently?”

Peter’s eyebrows shoot up, “If I say ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about’ are you going to believe me?”

“Of course not,” Stiles says, “You waltzed into town and someone’s murdered. That’s doesn’t feel like a coincidence to me.”

“First of all, I’m more of an urban tango kind of man,” Peter causally scratches under his jaw in a way that makes Stiles want to break things. “Second, I remember there being a lot more blood whenever I killed someone.”

Stiles stares, throat working soundlessly. “Well I can’t argue with that.”

Mrs. Simmons from 2B chooses that moment to walk out of her apartment with Baby Simmons in a stroller. She glares at Stiles, pausing only to beam at Peter who waves in return. Mrs. Simmons is still pissed about the parking tickets, Stiles sees.

“I’m coming in to search your place,” Stiles says as soon as Mrs. Simmons disappears in the elevator.

“By all means,” Peter steps to the side. Stiles moves forward only to be obstructed by Peter’s hand on his chest. Stiles stops, surprised, and glances up.

 “Let me know when you get a warrant.” Peter says, smiling pleasantly as he shoves Stiles back and slams the door in his face.

Stiles shakes his fist, “I’m coming back with that warrant.”

“Have a nice day, Sheriff,” Peter shouts, muffled from behind the door.

“Douche.” Stiles mutters.

“That’s unprofessional.”

“When I’m unprofessional you’ll know it!”  Stiles kicks at the door, ignoring the awkward pause that follows for the sake of his sanity.

***

Stiles storms into the District Attorney’s office. Boyd’s in the middle of lunch, sitting at his desk shoving handful of curly fries in his mouth. Stiles can’t eat curly fries anymore. They give him heartburn.

“I need a warrant to search Peter Hale’s apartment.” Stiles demands and flings himself dramatically into a chair across Boyd’s desk. Boyd, unfazed by the theatrics, doesn’t even pause, barely raising an eyebrow as he chews.

“Why?”

“He had something to do with that Jane Doe today, and you know it.” Stiles points out indignantly.

“I don’t actually,” Boyd says with a calm rationality that has driven prosecuting attorneys to tears. “Do you have any forensic evidence that wouldn’t make me look like an idiot in front of a judge?”

“It’s Peter!” Stiles grabs a fry from Boyd’s desk. “What? He comes back into town and there’s a murder within the same week? There are coincidences and there’s -”

“Circumstantial evidence?” Boyd finishes with a grin, pulling his fries away as Stiles reaches for another one. “Stop it. You’ll get heartburn.”

Somewhere his dad is laughing hysterically.  

“Why is everyone on his side?” Stiles isn’t whining, damn it.

“I wasn’t there for the Peter Situation. The first time I met him was when he saved me from the Alphas back in junior year. Then he just sort of sulked in corners, made a few sarcastic remarks, and left.” Boyd looks Stiles up and down, “I don’t have the same kind of grudge against him that you do, but if Derek’s willing to give him a shot, why aren’t you?”

“Cause its Peter,” Stiles shouts.

Boyd smiles placidly and makes a shooing gesture towards the door, and Stiles loves him like a brother, he does, but right now he really wants to punch him in the face.

“Come back with evidence and I’ll get you a warrant. In the mean time, fuck off. It’s my lunch break.”

The forensic evidence comes back a few days later. Miss Jane Doe turns out to be Mrs. Rachel Williams from Morro Bay. She lived in Beacon Hills until her husband, one Mr. Kevin ‘Scumbag’ Williams went to prison for several charges of aggravated assault, domestic abuse, and drug possession. He’d been given fifteen years due to some pretty damning evidence Stiles’ dad presented in court. It was one of his dad’s last cases before he retired from field work. Stiles sends Sanchez down to search the motel room Rachel Williams charged on her visa card while Stiles tracks down his dad at the gun range where he’s making the trainees cry again.

“Stiles!” His dad grins and waves through the glass. After the cadets fire off their last round, his dad barks some orders at them before walking out to meet Stiles in the observation room. “Did I forget about a lunch date?”

Stiles shakes his head, “I’m here on business, Dad.”

Immediately his dad shifts to Officer of the Law mode and nods, “What do you need?”

“We found Rachel Williams strangled to death in the park last week.” Stiles pulls out a picture of the crime scene and watches his dad grimace. “Do you remember anything about her that might help us out?”

His dad frowns, “Rachel Williams? She testified against her husband. Pretty enthusiastically if I remember correctly. Once he was found guilty she moved, but I’m not sure where to.”

“Anything else?”

“Kevin Williams was released last month.” His dad looks pained. “Got out early on account of good behavior.”

Stiles nods, they had sorted that out as soon as the body had been indentified, “Did Rachel Williams seem like she still had feelings for her husband? Any reason she’d try to seek him out after his release?”

“God, no” his dad exclaims. “Last time she spoke to her husband she told him she’d rip his balls off if he came near her again.”

“Then what was she doing here?” Stiles asks, more to himself than to his father.   

His dad shrugs. “Figure that out and you’ve got a motive.”

Stiles pauses, “Could Kevin Williams have killed her?”

“Definitely. Without losing sleep at night. He was that kind of man.” His dad has this look of weary suffering on his face. He hates that look.

“Could he come after you?” Stiles voice turns sharp. His dad thinks for a moment.

“It’s a possibility.”

Stiles’ phone rings. He excuses himself and walks a few steps away from his dad, not quit willing to let the man out of his sight. From the smile playing at the corner of his dad’s mouth, he knows exactly what Stiles is up to.

“What’d you find, Sanchez?” Stiles prompts.

“Bus tickets, Sheriff.” Sanchez sounds excited, reminding Stiles of himself when he was first joined the force – so eager to please. “Rachel Williams came into town about two weeks ago by Greyhound.”

Stiles takes out his notebook to jot down some dates. Greyhound stops off in Beacon Hills on Sunday and it’s the only bus line that runs into town.

“There’s something else,” Sanchez pauses, and Stiles hears papers rustling in the background. “Divorce papers.”

“There’s our motive,” Stiles says. “Now we just need the killer. Any sign of Mr. Williams?”

“No sir, but I’ve got a forensics team here sweeping for prints.” She sounds hopeful.

“Good job. Let me know if you find anything.” Stiles checks the time. “I’m going to see if I can find any witnesses that put Rachel Williams on the bus.”

“Thanks, Sheriff. I’ll call as soon as we find anything.” Sanchez is so eager she’s squeaking.

His dad is glaring at the cadets through the window when Stiles joins him.

“Maybe now would be a good time to take Melissa on that vacation she’s been bugging you about?” Stiles murmurs. His dad nods absently, watching one of the cadets jump as he drops the gun he was disassembling, pieces scattering all over the floor.

“I was never that young, right?” Stiles asks.

His dad grins, wide and affectionate.

Stiles feels his throat go tight. “Oh, shut up.”  

***

An hour later, Stiles is knocking on the door of 2A again. The elevator dings and Ms. Simmons walks out. Stiles gives his best ‘Just Doing My Job, Ma’am’ smile. Her eyes narrow. This woman has the power to resist Stilinski charm. She’s either an alien or related to Lydia. Abort, abort.

“Are you harassing Mr. Hale again?” Ms. Simmons demands as the door of 2A opens. This time Peter is dressed in a business suit and tie. Stiles scowls, trying to convey his deepest loathing. Bastard looks like a freaking GQ model.

“Is Sheriff Stilinski harassing you?” Ms. Simmons demands. “He’s an absolute Nazi when it comes to parking tickets.”

“As someone who comes from a long line of Polish Jews, I find that comparison mean and hurtful.” He admonishes jokingly. Ms. Simmons just glares some more.  Stiles doesn’t know why he bothers; haters always gonna hate.

Peter smiles at Ms. Simmons who actually melts. Can someone ooze charm? Or do people call that ‘being smarmy’ nowadays? Stiles does.

“Thank you for your concern, Christine, but the Sheriff and I are old acquaintances. In fact, Stiles was just coming in.” Peter grabs Stiles by the arm and drags him through the door. Stiles shoots Ms. Simmons a somewhat nervous smile as the door closes in her face.

Peter has his head cocked, and his eyes are distant. If he were a dog, one ear would up.

 Stiles realizes that Peter still has a loose grip on his arm, and he’s close enough to see the stubble starting to grow on Peter’s jaw line. Peter’s beyond attractive, all Hales are, but Peter hasn’t been this close to him since that night on the lacrosse field, and it makes Stiles tense in ways he hasn’t been in years.

As if reading his thoughts, Peter’s eyes sharpen into something assessing, focusing on Stiles. Ms. Simmons must have finally moved to a safe distance. Nosy bat.

“Save me from single mothers.” Peter smiles, but then Peter’s never stops smiling. It’s what makes him extra creepy. Stiles steps back. Peter’s hand drops easily away from Stiles’ arm.

“What’s with the suit? Just come back from a funeral?” Stiles glances around Peter’s apartment. He can’t see past the entryway, but there are shoes lined up against the wall, and several coats hanging on hooks above. There’s even a bowl for keys nearby. Stiles should get one of those.  

Peter loosens his tie, “Job Interview, but close enough.”

He leans against the wall and raises an eyebrow expectantly.  Stiles wonders if he knows what he looks like, leaning against the wall with his tie loose and the top few button undone. Staring at Stiles with those intensely blue eyes like he’s daring him to do something about it. Jesus Christ, no wonder Ms. Simmons is all up in his business. If Stiles were still sixteen he’d be tripping over himself.

“I need to ask you a few questions about that woman we found in the woods.” Stiles says instead, pulling a photograph out of his pocket.

“Should I get my lawyer?” Peter’s expression is uninterested, ever-present grin around the corners of his eyes acting like a buffer, keeping any real emotions hidden. 

Stiles grits his teeth. “No. You’re no longer a suspect.”

 “No?” Peter crosses his arms making his shirt pull against his biceps. “How disappointing.”

“Don’t go all weepy on me.” Stiles says sarcastically and pulls out a photo of Rachel Williams they downloaded from the database. “Seen this woman before?”

Peter reaches over, maintaining eye contact as his fingers brushing against Stiles’, taking the photo.

“She was on my bus.” Peter observes after studying the picture.

Stiles takes out his notebook. “Where did you see her last?”

“On the Greyhound bus. I was traveling from Pasadena and she was on the bus when I transferred lines in Morro Bay.” Peter hands the photo back. “The bus was full, but I remember she was on the phone all night with some man.”

Stiles writes down the dates and a reminder to have Sanchez check into Rachel’s personal life. “Did you overhear anything significant?”

“She was nervous about seeing someone.” Peter pauses, “I wouldn’t have thought twice about her, but she was absolutely terrified. I could smell if across the bus.”

Biting his lip, Stiles finishes his notes and puts the notebook and photo back in his pocket. He looks up at Peter who’s tracking his movements carefully. Stiles realizes that he, for all intents and purposes, is alone with Peter in his territory, and Peter isn’t exactly inviting him to take a tour. He swallows and Peter’s eyes zero in on his throat.

“So job interview, huh?” Stiles asks quickly, just to break the silence, not because he actually cares. “Didn’t really picture you as the nine-to-five type.”

Peter makes an elegant gesture with his hands, “This apartment isn’t exactly free.”

“The insurance money isn’t enough to cover it?” Stiles immediately wants to claw his face off. Way to bring up the death of the man’s entire family. That’s not a trigger or anything, genius.

The smile finally disappears from Peter’s face, “That’s Derek’s money.” 

Cue awkward silence number two. Stiles is on a roll.

Lately, Derek’s been walking around with this excited and hopeful expression that makes Stiles tense because it’s only going to be that much worse when Peter stabs them in the back. Stiles has spotted him hanging around town with Peter, having coffee – heads bent low in conversation – or sitting at the bar watching a game.  By ‘spotted’ Stiles means he blackmailed Erica, Boyd, and Isaac into reporting all Derek’s little family get-togethers, and then inserting himself nearby in case Peter tries anything. Hey, a few years ago he would have planted a listening device on Derek, but he’s grown as a person.

 “Well, that’s, uh, good. I’m going to head back to the office now. We might need you to come in to make an official statement later on.” If Stiles had a cowboy hat he would totally be tipping it right now, but he doesn’t so he just shuffles around until Peter opens the door for him.

Stiles stops just before passing Peter in the doorway, and leans close. Peter exhales sharply, his breath warm against Stile’s cheek.

“Welcome to Beacon Hills, Peter.” Peter blinks once and Stiles swears he sees his mouth drop open just a little. “If you do anything to hurt Derek I’m going to mace you with wolfsbane until your eyeballs melt.”

Stiles turns and walks away. He feels eyes boring into the back of his skull but he doesn’t look back, not even when he hears the door close with soft snick.

***

“You said that?” The look Allison shoots give is long-suffering. “Isn’t that a little melodramatic?”

Allison helps Stiles bring the pizza boxes into the kitchen. Sunday dinners have a usual rotation of pizza, Chinese, and Thai. With eight werewolves it’s better to find places that deliver in bulk.

“Yeah, don’t tell Erica. She’ll laugh at me.” Stiles agrees putting the pizzas on the counter.

Erica waddles into the kitchen. “Boyd already told me. You never really did grow out of the theatrics, did you?” She grabs a whole box to herself and leaves.

Stiles and Allison let her blatant theft go unacknowledged. No one gets between a pregnant Erica and food. Not after the last time. It’s amazing, really, that she thinks it’s okay for her to judge other people’s theatrics.

Mark wanders into the kitchen, “Uncle Stiles, we’re ready to start the movie. Is the food ready?”

Allison and Stiles exchange glances and back away from the counter.

“Yep,” Stiles braces himself. “Come and get it.”

The next five minutes in the kitchen are absolute madness. Scott’s telling Lizzy she can only have two pieces at once, not four, while Mark sneaks out with five, only to be dragged back into the kitchen by Derek. Amy and Nick argue over who get that piece of Hawaiian pizza because it has the most pineapple and Lord forbid they pick any of the other four hundred slices. Boyd, Isaac, and Scott pile six pieces each on to their plate, only stopping because of the glare Allison’s directing their way.

Sunday diners were established one week after Amy’s birth. Derek started inviting everyone over for takeout under the guise of pack bonding, but everyone knew it was because Boyd had this crazed glint in his eyes. Having everyone over gave someone else a chance to hold the baby while Erica showered and Boyd passed out on the couch. Sunday dinners are a weekly ray of hope for those with kids and a source of entertainment for those who don’t. Derek and Isaac live with Boyd, Erica, and their kids at the mansion, so it’s pretty much only Stiles. He doesn’t mind. He gets to be the cool uncle.

After everyone filters out of the kitchen, Allison opens the fridge and pulls out two beers, handing one to Stiles.

“I can’t believe you’re so nonchalant about this,” Stiles says, picking up a meat lover’s. “Remember when he murdered your aunt in front of you?”

“Remember when my aunt murdered his whole family in front of him?” Allison responds coolly. “Remember when Kate and I tried to kill Scott?  Remember when I tried to kill Derek while Boyd, Erica, and you were tortured in my basement? I don’t really have the right to point fingers.”

“How about that time you watched Kate electrocute me and didn’t try to help?” Derek yells from the next room, “Doesn’t that get a mention?”

“Are you guys done remembering? We want to start the movie!” Isaac shouts.

It’s Amy’s turn to pick. They’re watching Star Wars because Stiles has trained her well.

“Relax a little,” Allison whispers, patting Stiles on the back. “At our age we have to choose our battles a bit more carefully.”

Allison and Stiles join the others in the living room as the movie starts. About halfway through, Isaac gets a call that Mrs. Wigmore is in labor (“Now? Right now? After three weeks of false contractions?”) and has to leave. By the end of the movie, all the pizza is gone and the twins are passed out with Nick on the floor and Amy’s eyes are drooping suspiciously.

After everyone else has either gone upstairs or gone home, Derek walks Stiles to his car. Stiles stopped protesting long ago, when he realized the extent of Derek’s paranoia and understood how lucky he was that Derek let him live on his own.

“How’s the case?” Derek asks.

Stiles sighs. He knows this is Derek’s way of checking up on him, but Kevin Williams is a sore subject right now.

“Trails gone cold.” Stiles says, “Williams skipped parole and no one’s seen him since. We tracked down Rachel’s boyfriend. He’s coming into town Thursday to make funeral arrangements and give a statement.”

Derek puts a hand on Stiles neck, “I don’t have to tell you to be careful.”

“Please.” Stiles huffs, “I was born careful.”

***

“Everyone, I’d like you to meet Peter Hale, the new lead tech for our Technology and Cyber Terrorism Department.” The County Commissioner introduces.

Stiles spits out his coffee all over the broad room table.

“What!” Stiles shouts, standing up so fast his chair falls over. No member of the Board even blinks and the Commissioner continues as if Stiles hadn’t spoken at all.

“His job is to improve firewalls and provide technological methods of law enforcement. If you ask him to debug your computer he’ll probably break your kneecaps.”

Peter raises a hand and waves, “Hi.”

“Now unless anyone has anything else to contribute,” the Commissioner stares pointedly at Stiles until he sits down. “I suggest we get started.”

Stiles spends the rest of the board meeting glaring at Peter across the table. Peter ignores him, taking notes on his Pad and sitting there in his obnoxiously well-fitting suit. Stiles is going to talk to HR about this.

Stiles ambushes Peter at lunch.

“No please, sit down,” Peter says flatly, not bothering to look up from his newspaper. “Interrupt my meal.”

“How did you get here?” Stiles hisses.

“A doctoral from Caltech,” Peter informs him. “It took me twenty-seven years, but, in my defense, I spent six of those years in a coma.”

“But why are you here?” Stiles growls. “In my place of employment.”

Peter turns the page of his paper, unconcerned, “Well, it was either here or Best Buy, but I’m a little overqualified for that, don’t you think?”

“I know you’re playing an angle, Peter,” Stiles rips the newspaper out of his hands. Peter’s eyes flash steel blue for a second and his empty hands clench before he folds them in his lap.

“Look,” Peter says, low and angry. “When I’m up to something, I’ll make sure you’re the first to know. I’ll start lurking in alleyways and cackling until you get the memo, but, right now, I’m here to work things out with my nephew. This isn’t exactly a delightful romp for me, so I’d appreciated if you’d get off my back a little.”

 “When I’m on your back you’ll know it!” Stiles yells and the entire break room falls quiet.

 “You want to think that statement through before you commit to it?” Peter admonishes wryly as people slowly start talking amongst themselves again.  

“What I mean,” Stiles barrels ahead because if he thought through all his awkward statements he’d still be in high school, “is don’t try that self-righteous persecution complex shit with me. Not after -”

“What are you looking for exactly?” Peter interrupts, leaning forward until his face is inches from Stiles. “An apology? ‘Dear, Stiles, sorry for that one time I terrorized you and your friends?’ Would that even mean anything to you?”

Peter tilts his head. They’re so close that Stiles can smell Peter’s aftershave. Stiles kind of wants to put his hand on Peter’s thigh, where it’s nearly brushing his under the table, and squeeze. He shuts that thought down. That way lies psych evaluations and padded rooms.

It takes Stiles a second to realize Peter is still speaking, “I don’t know how to apologize for Scott, for you, for Lydia, for Laura. If you figure out anything I can say to remotely make up for those things let me know and I’ll say it. But I’m not leaving, and if you can’t deal with it I’ve got the number for a great therapist.”

Peter snatches back his paper, lifts the paper over the lower half of his face, and goes back to reading.

“This isn’t over.” Stiles promises darkly.

Peter rolls his eyes condescendingly, “Really, Stiles? Really?”

Stiles grabs the sports section as he leaves. He’s petty like that.

***

That night Stiles picks up a man at the bar. He’s tall, blonde, and Stiles doesn’t remember his name after the first few drinks. They go back to his place and Stiles fucks him, fast and hard. The man’s a moaner and he clutches Stiles as he comes. Stiles makes sure to groan extra loud during his orgasm and he goes to work the next day without showering.

Peter’s having lunch with the guys from IT. They laugh at some sarcastic remark he’s made, and Stiles is in such a bad mood that even Sanchez avoids him.

The next night he brings home Stacy. Because he can. Stacy is a bartender and doesn’t mind that Stiles never calls her. She’s pretty clear the she’s not interested in anything serious, and Stiles appreciates that about her. He also appreciates her long legs, blue eyes, and perfect breasts.

Stacy rides him, gasping as Stiles thumbs her clit. After she comes, Stiles flips them and pins her wrists against the mattress, thrusting so hard that the headboard slams against the wall. Afterwards, he eats her out until she shoves him away.

“What was that?” Stacy pants after Stiles slides off. “Not that I’m complaining.”

“Work’s got me a little tense.” Stiles says, wiping his mouth.

The following morning, Stiles has to be in court, Boyd passes him in the hallway and gives him a disapproving look, obviously judging Stiles' life choices. Slut shamer.

When Stiles meets Scott at the bar for lunch, Scott sniffs the air once and gives Stiles the most wretched sad eyes. Derek leaves a message on his phone, which he forcefully deletes, asking Stiles if there’s anything he needs to talk about.

Peter leers at Stiles at work. Stiles leers right back.

After about a week of this, Erica knocks on his door, holding a chocolate pie. “I hear you’ve fallen off the wagon.”

“Oh, honestly?” Stiles tries to shut the door in her face, but she kicks it back out and walks inside.

“We all remember what happened after Kyle broke up with you. The whole town remembers.” Erica says, shoving past him into the kitchen. “Derek had to ban you from the house because Amy kept asking why you smelled like that video store on Second Street.”

Erica places the pie on the counter and reaches in the drawer for some forks. Stiles watches her with weary long- suffering. “So what’s got your panties in a twist this time?”

Stiles grimaces, but he accepts the fork Erica hands him. “This isn’t like that. I don’t know why everyone’s freaking out all of a sudden.”

“Sure.” Erica says, eyeing him sideways.

"It's frightening when you do that," Stiles informs her.

Erica grins. They eat the pie in silence and Stiles magnanimously doesn’t say anything about Erica eating most of it.

“How much longer does Isaac say you have left?” Stiles points at Erica’s stomach.

“About three months.”

“You gonna take maternity again?”

Ercia shakes her head, “No, Derek says he’ll take care of the baby when we’re at work. Principal Howard’s offered to cover me the week I’m out.”

“Principal and Vice Principal? That’s gotta blow.” Stiles says stealing the last bite of pie. Erica glares at him.

“It’s easier than training a temp. I did it when she was on maternity. We have an understanding.”

Erica was offered the principal position a few years ago, but she likes dealing with bullies too much to give up being a Vice Principal. Beacon Hills High has one of the lowest bullying rates in California because Erica still has some issues about how she was treated in high school. The students that get sent to her office come out pale, shaking, and rethinking their lives.

Before she leaves, Erica turns to Stiles, “I don’t understand what’s going on with you, but deal with it before you start reeking of sex and desperation again.”

It doesn’t end there.

When Stiles goes to the hospital for a routine follow up on a hit and run, Isaac stops him in the hallway and, after a long lecture on STDs, hands him a bag of condoms and lube. There’s something wrong about a man in pink scrubs giving you condoms.

Derek literally corners Stiles in the grocery store with his cart and tells him this long story about how Peter once, after finding his girlfriend cheating on him, had sex with her brother. Then he keyed her car. With his claws. This doesn’t tell Stiles anything except that Peter was a bit of an asshole even before the fire.

It finally gets to the point where Stiles does what he always does when he can’t deal with other people’s bullshit.

Lydia picks up on the third ring, “Do you have any idea what time it is?”

“Well, good evening to you Madam President.” Stiles will never admit how much that turns him on.

“Stiles,” Lydia admonishes fondly. “I’ve got negotiations between Israel and Palestine tomorrow. This had better be good.”

“Please, I saw you make the Prime Minister cry on CNN last week.”

Lydia sniffs, “True as that might be, I can’t go in front of the free world with dark cycles under my eyes, thank you very much, so spit it out.”

Stiles sighs, “Peter’s back in Beacon Hills.”

 “I know.” She doesn’t even have the decency to pause before saying it.

“You know!”

“I’m the most powerful person in the world. You don’t think I had that creep tracked down the minute I had access to the Secret Service?”

Stiles sputters, but she steamrolls right over him.

“I know he moved to Pasadena 20 years ago. I know the name of his therapist, who is Alpha of the Vasquez Pack by the way, every job he’s ever had, every person he’s slept with, and his grades from Caltech.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?” Stiles demands. “Or at least have his legs broken?”

 Lydia coughs delicately. “Remember when my dad died?”

How could Stiles forget? That was the year Cuba voted in democracy out of self-preservation, and five of the FBI’s Most Wanted were on the news with bullets in their heads. That was the year the British Prime Minister went gray and always looked like he was on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

“I might have gone a little crazy,” Lydia admits. “And I didn’t even like the guy that much.”

“So you’re saying we should, what, give Peter a Get Out of Jail card? Because he’s had a shitty experience?” Stiles scuffs. “Plenty of people’s families die, Lydia. And they manage not to go on a killing spree!”

“What if it happened now?” Lydia says sharply.

Stiles actually sees red for a second, “Don’t compare -”

 “Listen to me,” Lydia orders. Stiles clenches his jaw, but doesn’t say anything else. “What if today someone went over to Derek’s and Scott’s and killed everyone inside in the most brutal way imaginable? What if they made you watch?”

“I’d -”

“You’d burn Beacon Hills to the ground.” Lydia interrupts sharply, “Don’t even try to pretend you wouldn’t.”

Stiles feels something inside him deflate, “Yeah.”

“I’m not saying Peter gets a free pass,” Lydia says, kindly. “But when he went to therapy he at least got my hit called off.”

“Jesus, Lydia!”

“And, don’t get me wrong, Stiles, I had a plan. And it was good. Real good. Crimes-Against-the-State-and-Abuses-of-Power Good.”

Stiles is sufficiently terrified and more than a little horny. He hears Jackson’s voice complaining in the background.

“Is that the First Lady?” Stiles grins as Lydia laughs loudly.

“Good night, Stiles.” She hangs up on him without waiting for a response.

***

When Stiles tracks Peter down the next day, he finds him bent over the mainframe muttering to himself. Stiles stares at his ass (and can he take a second and say wow), unsure of how to proceed.

“What do you want, Stiles?” Peter asks without look up. Stiles jumps and wastes a few seconds flailing around. He’s come to think of flailing as a survival skill.

“Um, I just wanted to see how your first week went?” Stiles fiddles with some paperclips on a nearby desk. Peter turns and stares at Stiles, incredulous.

“I mean, no one’s giving you a hard time? Having any trouble adjusting?”  Stiles asks, almost despairing.

Peter just continues to stare.

“How about those Dodgers?” Stiles squeaks.

“Baseball season’s over,” Peter says like he’s talking to a small child. “It’s winter.”

“Oh,” Stiles bits his lip. “How do you feel about that?”

“Are you actually attempting polite conversation with me?” Peter mocks. “Because that makes me nauseous.”

 “What are you doing Monday night?” Stiles blurts.

Now Peter just looks angry. “Stop fucking around and say what you want to say!”

Stiles throws his hands up. “Jesus fucking Christ, I’m trying to take you out to dinner to apologize for being an asshole!”

“Fine!” Peter slams a panel on the mainframe back into place. “It had better be someplace nice. Don’t think I don’t know about how you tried to get HR to fire me.”

“Oh, it’ll be nice! It will be so nice you’ll want to put out after!”  Stiles shouts.

Peter freezes, if Stiles didn’t know better, he’d say he looked stunned.

“I’ll pick you up at six.” Stiles snarls and stalks out. That gives him the whole weekend and all of Monday to think about how much of his foot he put in his mouth.

***

Monday morning Adam Cabral, Rachel boyfriend, arrives. Stiles shakes his hand and politely ignores his dark cycles and blood-shot eyes. He recognizes the signs of grief and knows sometimes it’s kinder not to say anything.

“Mr. Cabral, please have a seat.” Stiles gestures to one of the chairs opposite his desk. Adam sits, bent in on himself. Stiles hates this part of the job. He could probably have Sanchez do it, but he doesn’t feel like this is something he can pass down the line.

“Rachel had you listed as next of kin.” Stiles states.

“Yeah. She didn’t have any family and we’ve been… we were together for ten years, the only reason we weren’t married is because the piece of shit refused to sign the divorce papers until recently.” He covers his eyes with his hand and his voice starts to shake, “I should have known when he wrote to her that something was wrong. We didn’t know he’d been released early. She thought he was still in prison for another month.”

Stiles causally slides a box of Kleenex closer to Adam, “I know this sucks, Mr. Cabral, I know this sucks a lot.”

Adam looks up, grinning humorlessly, “I didn’t know police were allowed to use that type of language.”

“I’m the Sheriff,” Stiles says, leaning back in his chair. “I can do whatever I want.”

Stiles has Adam sign the necessary forms. He asks Adam some questions about Kevin Williams, but Adam can’t tell him anything that might help them track him down.

“I’m sorry,” Adam says, frustrated. “Rachel wouldn’t talk about him. I didn’t even know what he looked like until you showed me his picture.”

Stiles tries to be understanding and not let his disappointment leak through. There’s still no sign of Williams, and the trail’s so cold it’s practically dead. Stiles even had Derek sniff around, but he said that he couldn’t get a clear scent. Whatever that means.

“That’s fine,” Stiles reassures. “We’ll get him.”

He hates lying.

Adam finishes signing the paperwork, and Stiles walks him out.

“We’ll schedule the cremation as soon as possible,” Stiles says as they leave the building and walk towards Adam’s car. And that’s the last thing he remembers before something hits him, hard, on the back of the head. There’s a second of blinding pain and sense of falling before Stiles goes unconscious.

“Officer down in the parking lot! I repeat, officer down!”

Is that Sanchez? Stiles opens his eyes, and immediately closes them again, swearing as the pain hits.

“Sheriff Stilinski? Sheriff Stilinski can you hear me?” Sanchez asks leaning close.

“Of course I can hear you.” Stiles groans, “You’re shouting into my brain trauma.”

A guilty grimace passes over Sanchez’s face, “Sorry, sir, I’ll be more quiet.”

The front doors to the station slam open and every single member of Beacon Hills’ police force comes screaming out of the building, responding to the ‘officer down’ screamed over the radio. In a matter of seconds, Stiles is surrounded by about fifty confused officers and they all have their guns out.

“Where’s Adam,” Stiles demands, trying to control the situation for it escalates. “I was escorting him to his car when I was attacked from behind. Where is he?”

Now everyone’s shouting at once. Stiles winces and the piercing throb that sends through his skull, but at least people are putting their guns away. Stiles spots Peter, pointing at a nearby security camera and talking to a girl from the technical department. She’s nodding rapidly and waving her arms around.

Finally, a paramedic comes over and leads Stiles away. While he’s getting poked and prodded, he gives Sanchez his statement.

“No, Sanchez, I can’t give you a description because I was hit from behind. Ow!” Stiles hisses as the paramedic jabs at his ankle.

“It’s sprained,” says Nurse Ratched. “You must have fallen on it when you went down.”

“Wow, thanks.” Stiles exclaims as insincerely as he knows how, grabbing an ice pack for his head.

“Officer Stilinski,” Eve Nyland, the girl from tech he’d seen earlier, knocks lightly on the door. “We think we have something.”

Using Sanchez as a brace, Stiles hopples over the tech department where Peter’s sitting at a desk processing the security feed from all the parking lot cameras. Peter briefly watches Stiles ice the lump on his head before turning back to his computer, frowning.

“Nyland said you found something.”

Peter nods, and his fingers fly over the keyboard. A recording pops up of Stiles walking Adam to his car. The camera is angled behind them, so Stiles gets a great view of a muscular man come up behind them and whack Stiles on the back of the head with a makeshift baton. Sanchez winces in sympathy. Adam turns around after Stiles collapses (yep, there goes his ankle). The assailant lunges at Adam, covering his mouth with a cloth. Adam trashes his fists, trying to get a solid hit, until the figure slams Adam against his car. Adam’s obviously stunned, struggles growing weaker until the stop all together.

“Chloroform?” Sanchez asks.

Stiles nods, “Probably.”

“There’s one more clip I want to show you,” Peter says and his fingers move over the keyboard again. Stiles hasn’t ever noticed how big Peter’s hands are. His fingers are long, thin until they widen out near the knuckles, with neatly trimmed nails. Pianist’s hands. Stiles remembers the burned out piano that sat in the corner of Derek’s living room until the construction crew knocked it down and carried it out in pieces.

 A different feed starts playing. The angle is from the camera around the back of the building. After unceremoniously shoving Adam into the van, the assailant faces directly into the security camera and smiles. Stiles isn’t surprised to recognize Kevin Williams, but it’s nice to know they have direct evidence of assault and kidnapping.

Peter freezes the screen as the van drives away, so that the license plate numbers are clearly displayed.

“I ran the plates,” Peter says. “They belong to Martin Wheeldon. He reported the van stolen three weeks ago.”

“Why didn’t you show us that clip first?” Sanchez demands.

“You were going to have to watch it anyway.” Peter smirks, “Why ruin the dramatic narrative?”

“I want everyone out looking for that van,” Stiles tells Sanchez. “Everyone.”

The County Commissioner appears in the doorway, “And I want you off active duty until you’re checked out by a doctor.”

Stiles flinches. Apparently someone finally remembered that it’s protocol to alert the County Commissioner if the Sheriff’s been compromised.

“Commissioner,” Stiles starts.

“Don’t ‘Commissioner’ me young man. The on-scene paramedic tells me you have a sprained ankle and a probable concussion. You can go home or I’ll drag you to the hospital myself.”

Whatever protest Stiles has dies in his throat at the look of the Commissioners face, “And Sheriff, if you try and pull any of the same crap you did with the Stripes case I swear I’ll have you suspended again. That kind of behavior’s a liability and I’m sick of it.”

Stiles had the flu when Victor Stripes raped three women. The Commissioner had forced him to take sick leave, but Stiles crawled right back out of bed and bullied Scott into helping him track Victor down. It ended with Victor in the hospital and Stiles suspended for a week. The only reason he wasn’t fired was because he could claim temporary illness. And no one liked Stripes.

“Sanchez,” Stile mutters, “you lead the team until I’m returned to active duty.”

Sanchez frowns, “You shouldn’t drive yourself home.”

“I can drive him,” Peter offers, ignoring Stile’s dismay. “I’ve done all I can with the security footage.”

And that’s how Stiles ends sitting in the passenger seat of his cruiser as Peter Hale drives him home. They drive in relative silence, Peter’s fingers drumming rhythmically on the steering wheel. At the apartment, the elevator has an ‘out of order sign’ on in because Mr. Jacobs is a shitty landlord. Stiles looks at the stairs in despair, his ankle throbbing.

“Have your mace on you?” Peter asks. Stiles shakes his head. He doesn’t see what mace has to do with this, unless Peter’s planning on threatening Mr. Jacobs into fixing the elevator right here and now.

Stiles squawks as Peter lifts him, automatically throwing an arm around Peter’s shoulders for balance as he carries him up the steps bridal style,  Peter’s fingers pressing firmly against his rib cage and knee.

“This is undignified.” Stiles complains, but leans in Peter’s chest. From this angle, Stiles has a fantastic view of the Hale Cheekbones.

“Don’t worry.” Peter drawls. “I’ll tell all the boys and girls at the station about how you hobbled heroically up three flights of stairs on your own.” 

“You’d better,” Stiles grumbles.

Peter sets Stiles back his feet at his front door. He isn’t even breathing hard. Werewolf bastard.

Stiles yelps as he puts weight on his ankle. He throws his arm back around Peter’s shoulders and leans heavily into Peter to take the weight off. Stiles can feel Peter’s body heat where their sides are plastered together, but he’s in too much pain to focus too hard on that.

“Where are your keys?” Peter asks softly.

“Left pocket.” Stiles says, closing his eyes and breathing hard. Christ, his head hurts. Long fingers slide into his pocket, and Stiles feels them against his thigh before they find the keys and slip back out. Peter unlocks the four locks, raising an eyebrow.

“Shut up, I’m a kidnapper free zone 18 years and counting.”

Peter takes most of Stiles’ weight all the way to his couch. Stiles tries about the fact that a man he once set on fire is in his living room.

“I’m calling Derek,” Peter says after he eases Stiles down on the couch. “He’ll want to know what happened.”

“Great,” Stiles says wretchedly. “You take care of your nephew’s overprotective issues, and I’ll take care of my dad’s.”

“I can’t ease anyone’s pain,” Peter says in practiced air of nonchalance. “Not since the fire.”

Stiles shifts uncomfortably, “Just call Derek.”

Peter dips his head in acknowledgement, closing the door behind him as he leaves the apartment.

Stiles sighs as he pulls out his cell. Between Derek and his dad, Stiles is lucky to be left alone if he sneezes, much less gets attacked.

“Stiles?” his dad picks up. “What’s wrong?”

“Don’t freak out, but I got jumped by Kevin Williams today.”

 “I’m coming home,” says his dad, obviously freaking out.

“No, Dad, I’m fine.” Stiles interrupts quickly. “He wasn’t after me, but if you come back he might be going after you, and then I’m going to have to put myself and a few others in between you guys.” Stiles breaths out heavily. That was a low blow, but he wants his dad right where he is, which is nowhere near Kevin Williams.

There’s five long seconds of silence on the other end. Stiles hears Melissa’s voice, muffled and concerned.

“You call me,” his dad’s voice cracks over the line and Stiles is such as bad son he can’t even believe it. “You keep Derek near you and you call me if anything else happens.”

After repeated promises and a short conversation with Melissa where she orders him to eat lots of protein and have someone wake him up every few hours, Stiles hangs up. He throws his phone on the coffee table, rubbing his temple with the heel of his hand.

There’s a soft knock at the door.

“Come in, Peter.” Stiles says, not bothering to shout. Perk to hanging out with werewolves.

“Derek’s coming over as soon as someone else gets home to keep an eye on the kids.”

Stiles nods. Derek, as the only unemployed member of the pack, has taken it upon himself to take care of pack kids. Stiles is pretty sure that it has more to do with Derek’s obsession with safety then it does about training the werekids to control themselves. That kind of life would drive Stiles crazy, but Derek loves it. Stiles sees the look in his eyes every time one of the kids presents him with a new crayon drawing or report card to put on the fridge.  

Peter leaves the living room. There’s some shuffling going on in the kitchen, but Stiles can’t bring himself to care. After a few minutes, Peter comes back with a plate of crackers and peanut butter, a glass of water, and some aspirin.

“Let me guess,” Stiles says, face carefully blank, “Derek told you that I wasn’t to be left alone under any circumstances.”

“He did threaten me using pretty graphic, and frankly over the top, descriptions of violence,” Peter replies, putting the food, water, and pills on the coffee table next to Stiles’ phone. “I’m shocked he used such words in front of children. Also I can’t believe this is the only thing in your kitchen that isn’t microwave ready.”

Peter says ‘microwave ready’ like a cop might say ‘repeat offender.’

“I’m a single man.” Stiles protests, “Only God can judge me.” Peter’s face gets this pinched look, like he’s trying not to laugh at him. Stiles realizes that he’s seen Peter smirk, sneer, leer, grin, and smile, but the man has never laughed, not once, in his presence.

“Quit looming. That’s Derek’s thing,” Stiles points to the armchair across from the couch. “Have a seat.”

Peter sinks into the armchair gracefully, and glances around the living room. His long fingers start drumming against the armrest while Stiles downs the aspirin. This, Stiles realizes, is Peter’s version of fidgeting. Stiles watches in fascination for a few minutes before taking pity on the guy.

“Want to watch some Buffy?” Stiles asks reaching for the remote. “I’ve got every season except six downloaded to my television.”

“Six was a travesty.” Peter leans back in the chair, twitchy fingers at rest.

“I know,” Stiles agrees. “Don’t even get me started.”

They settle on season two. Every time Stiles feels his eyelids start to drop, Peter starts fighting with him about whether Spike really had a genuine love for Buffy or just her power, or if Joyce really was, as Peter claims, ‘a terrible mother.’

And that’s how Derek finds them when he lets himself in two hours later. Derek places his hand on the back of Stiles’ neck, and Stiles sighs as some of the pain leeches away.

“You okay?” Derek asks.

“Shush!” Peter and Stiles hiss together. On screen, Buffy blows up the Judge.

“You’re okay.” Derek says and sits at the other end of the couch, hand resting on Stiles’ shin for his own reassurance. Later, Stiles will find the normality of this bizarre, but for now he just watches Buffy kick Angel as hard as she can in the nuts.

***

Derek and Peter take turns waking Stiles up every two hours throughout the night. Derek asks Stiles the boring questions, like ‘who’s the president of the united states?” (ha!) or “what year is it?” Stiles finds himself enjoying Peter’s questions a bit more, like, “when and why was Harris finally fired from the high school?”

 In the morning, Derek goes home to help get the kids ready for school while Peter drives Stiles to the hospital. Isaac finds him while he’s filing out his forms in the waiting room and tows Stiles into his office where he can fret over him.

“Well, your brain’s as normal as it can be.” Isaac states after shining a light in Stiles’ eyes.

“Are you even qualified to be doing this?” Stiles asks, swatting his hand away. “Shouldn’t you be off delivering babies?”

“Not enough people having unprotected sex. Maybe I should stop passing out condoms at the high school.”

Isaac’s office is covered with pictures of babies he’s delivered. The only exceptions are the three pictures on his desk: one of the whole pack in front of the Hale house, one of his father holding Isaac as a baby and smiling proudly, and another of his girlfriend, a beta from Oregon. They don’t see each other very often, but Isaac dotes on her and there’s talk of forming a marriage treaty between the two packs.

“Stay off your leg for a few days,” Isaac says handing Stiles a lollipop. “Alternate ice and heat.”

“Yeah, yeah, this isn’t my first rodeo.” Stiles unwraps the lollipop and shoves it in his mouth.

Peter glares at the lollipop, but helps him back to the car without saying a word.

Stiles grumbles about overprotective friends, parents, and co-workers all the way back to his apartment. The elevator is working again – Stiles vaguely remembers Peter having a dangerously polite conversation with Mr. Jacobs on the phone last night.

Peter walks Stiles to his door, “Well, some of us aren’t under boss’ orders to stay home.”

Peter turns to leave, but Stiles grabs his hand. Peter glances down where Stiles’ fingers are wrapped around his.

“Thank you.” Stiles says and means it.

Peter narrows his eyes, “Don’t think this means you’re off the hook for dinner.”

Stiles makes a rude sound and goes inside.

The next day Stiles gets called in because they find Adam’s body in the park. He was stabbed to death.

For four days straight, Stiles organizes sweeps of every abandoned piece of property in Beacon Hills. He has teams searching the words, caves in the mountains, RV parks, and even knocking on doors. Peter creates a facial recognition software to run through all the security cameras in town, but only finds the one angle that shows Kevin Williams dumping Adam’s body in the park.

Stiles interviews Kevin’s cellmates and his parole officer, who can’t tell him anything besides what a crazy fucktard Kevin is. He orders a curfew, calls Adam’s next of kin, and doesn’t sleep because a man he asked to come into town is on a slab in the morgue until his parents can pick him up.

Scott tells him it isn’t his fault when he drags him out to lunch and shoves a sandwich down his throat. His dad tells him it’s not his fault over the phone.

Then, Peter expands his facial recognition program and spots Kevin Williams holding up a gas station in Oregon and suddenly he’s the U.S. Marshall’s problem. Stiles throws such a bitch-fit when the Marshalls come over to take his evidence from his case that the County Commissioner orders him to take the next two days off.

Stiles gets drunk and wakes up on the couch at Derek’s house with Amy poking him in the chest.

“Why does mom say you have a delicate constitution?”

“Amy, Amy, please, for the love of all that is holy, not so loud.”

Boyd comes in drinking a cup of coffee, “You’re not wearing that outfit to school.” Amy looks down at her leggings and sweater.

“Dad!”

Derek walks in, holding a pair of Nick’s shoes, “Uncle Derek! Tell Dad he’s totally overreacting.”

“Leggings aren’t pants. When you go upstairs either put on jeans or a longer shirt, and give these to your brother.”

Amy grabs the shoes and stomps out in a huff. Stiles groans and sits up, rubbing crust from his eyes. His mouth tastes like something died in it.

“How did I get here?” Stiles asks. The last thing he remembers is drinking in his living room with the blinds drawn.

“Peter called me.” Derek says, “He said that you were trying to drown himself in bottom-shelf vodka and he couldn’t sleep over the sound of your man angst.”

Stiles coughs and feels a wave of nausea roll over him. “That sounds like something Peter would say.”

After waiting for his stomach to settle, Stiles heaves himself into the kitchen for a glass of water. Isaac’s eating breakfast while Erica’s packing lunches for the kids. They both wrinkle their noses when Stiles walks in.

“Not one word from any of you.” Stiles says, pouring himself a glass of water and a mug of coffee.

They let him suffer in silence until Isaac offers to drive Stiles home on the way to work. Erica waits until he’s almost out the door before she shouts.

“Make sure you shower! You smell like road kill!”

Stiles hides his face in his hands, and Isaac pats him on the back sympathetically.

“You did all you could.” Isaac says on the drive home.

Stiles watches the woods through his window, “Yeah, but that doesn’t mean much to Adam’s parents.”

They don’t say anything else after that.

At home Stiles showers and drinks a gallon of water. Scott sends him a text of sad faced emoticons. Stiles ignores them in favor of passing out face down on his bed for twelve hours.

***

The next week is Christmas. Stiles takes the morning and afternoon shift at work, so people with kids can have the morning to open presents and the afternoon the stuff their faces with turkey. The pack always has Christmas dinner around five, giving him enough time to change and pick up the presents before he heads over.

His computer malfunctions in the middle of filing some paperwork. Stiles tries all the usual fixes before cursing and paging the on-call tech support.

Five minutes later Peter’s leaning against the doorframe and holds up a pager, “You rang?”

Stiles stops shaking his computer, “I thought you broke kneecaps if someone asked you to debug their computer.”

“Normally, yes, but today I am the tech department so I thought I’d make an exception.” Peter gestures at Stiles to move.

Peter sits in Stiles’ chair and starts typing in code that’s beyond Stiles’ basic hacking skills. After a few minutes of watching Peter’s fingers move over his keyboard the file he’d been working on pops back up.

“You are a god,” Stiles moans. “A god among men.”

The corner of Peter’s mouth tugs up. “Next time remember that those update reminders actually mean something.”

He’s halfway out the door when Stiles calls after him, “Hey, I’m on call consistently until after the New Year, but what are you doing on the third?”

Peter pauses, “The guys in IT and I have regular poker nights on Thursdays.”

“Oh,” Stiles is floored by the image of Peter playing poker. “I bet your poker face is terrifying. How about Friday? Doing anything?”

Peter shakes his head, a guarded look on his face.

“Fine. Six still good for dinner?” Stiles frowns at his report – he swears he already filled out this section. Or was for the other B&E?

“Six is fine.”

“Good.” Stiles says, attention still on the form. “See you then.”

A thought hits Stiles after Peter leaves. He pulls up the rotation form and sees that Peter volunteered to cover the IT department from 7am until 8pm. That’s… a little sad, actually.

Christmas dinner is the usual chaos. Amy and Nick are out in the back playing hide and seek with the twins. Stiles can hear Lizzy shrieking about “No werewolf powers!” as he pulls up. Isaacs’ cooking the turkey because he’s the only one who hasn’t set fire to the kitchen yet. Derek’s setting the table, arguing violently with Erica about whether the wine glasses go to left or right of the water glass. Allison and Scott are making out on the sofa, and Boyd’s outside yelling about someone loosing an eye.

Stiles wouldn’t trade this for anything.

Hours later he drags himself home with a whole dish of pie for himself. He managed to sneak it past Erica while everyone was arguing about whose turn it was to do the dishes this year. He kicks off his shoes, lies down, and groans as his muscles relax into the couch. He reaches for the remote and pauses. Stiles bites his lip and checks the time before pounding on the floor three times with his foot.

“The door’s unlocked! I’m watching season three and there’s pie!” He shouts.

He turns on the TV and waits. The front door opens and closes.

“What kind of pie and what episode?” Peter asks. He’s still in his work clothes, but his shirt’s untucked and it looks like he ran a hand through his hair a few times during the day. It’s starting to curl around his neck and ears.

“Pumpkin and Faith, Hope, & Trick. Pie and forks are in the kitchen.”

Peter leaves for a minute, coming back with the whole pie.

“Were you raised in a barn?” Stiles asks, not sure if he’s impressed or disgusted.

“No,” Peter sticks his fork right in the middle of the pie. “In a mansion. By a pack of wolves.”

“Hilarious,” Stiles raises the remote. “You ready for some homoeroticism?”

That, ladies and gentlemen, is the sound of Peter Hale choking on pie. Stiles wins forever.

“I’ll take that as a yes.”

They watch Buffy until Stiles gets a call to come in because of a drunken family fight. Peter manages to eat most of the pie, and Stiles can’t help but admire that kind of determination.

“Asshole,” Stiles says, not really meaning it. “That was my pie too.”

“Yeah, well, consider us even for the times you had really loud sex right over my bedroom.” Peter looks right at Stiles and licks his fork clean.

Stiles flees.

***

The New Year breezes past with only a few drunken turds making a scene. Stile’s dad calls from Belize and says that he and Melissa are going to extend their vacation and do some cross country hiking. Stiles gives his dad a bit of shit because, as his son, he‘s legally obligated, but he’s happy enough for his dad that it sounds fake even to his ears. Thursday rolls around Stiles spots Peter in the bar, surrounded by poker chips and a bunch of depressed nerds from IT. Peter sees Stiles laughing at him from across the room. He grins, shark-like, and raises his drink in salute.

The IT techs are still staring at Peter in awe the next day, but otherwise nothing out of the ordinary happens. After work, Stiles comes home, showers, shaves, puts on a pair of nice slacks, and irons the shirt that Lydia sent him from her “diplomatic summit” in Italy. He’s in the middle of brushing his teeth when he realizes he’s treating this like a date, and promptly loses his shit.

‘I tink I’m d8ing Peter!!! WTF!??’ Stiles texts Scott as he sits on the floor and hyperventilates.

There’s a brief pause and then ‘Seriously? U didn’t knO?”

There’s another ping from his phone, ‘you’ve alwys had a weird thng 4 scary ppl.’

‘WHAT!’

Deciding Scott is no help, he phones Derek. Derek will talk sense into him, remind him about all the terrible things Peter did.

“No details ever.” Derek says and hangs up on him.

Allison. Allison has his back, “He’s trying really hard to work things out with Derek, so…  Be careful with him, Stiles.”

“Really,” Stiles hisses furiously. “You’re giving me the ‘Be Careful with His Heart’ speech.”

“I remember the last time you went on sexual rampage. People cried, Stiles. Lizzy and Mark had to change teachers.” And then Allison hangs up on him.

Stiles hates them. He hates them all.

At 6:05pm, Stiles knocks on 2A. Peter answers wearing gray slacks and a white button down.

“Ready?” Stiles asks. Peter nods and follows Stiles to his car. Stiles unlocks the door and holds it open for Peter who raises both eyebrows and gives Stiles a look. Gritting his teeth, Stiles stands his ground until Peter gets in the car.

They drive in silence to the restaurant. Stiles chose a nice Italian place that has excellent wine and waiters he hasn’t slept with. That’s a mistake you only make once.

Peter holds the restaurant door open, bowing slightly so Stiles knows he’s being mocked. Stiles bristles a little, but stops when he feels Peter’s hand at the small of his back.

“Um, Stilinski?” Stiles tells the hostess, heart pounding wildly. “Party of two.”

The hostess smiles widely, and lends them to a table near the window. Peter’s hand stays on Stiles’ back until they’re seated. The hostess leaves them with their menus, winking at Peter as she walks away.

“That girl smiles too much.” Stiles mutters reaching for the wine list.

Peter pulls it away from him, “You survive on microwave dinners and cheap vodka. I’m ordering the wine.”

“I don’t drink cheap vodka all the time.” Stiles protests but leaves the menu in Peter’s hands. Peter orders a red wine Stiles has never heard of, but, judging from the pleased look on their server’s face, it’s probably because it’s not the kind of wine they sell at the local grocery store.

“So, Peter,” Stiles says casually after the wine arrives and they’ve ordered their food. “Why’d you leave Beacon Hills twenty years ago? We were all convinced you were planning to Pull a – I mean, kill us in our sleep.”

“You’re subtlety is something I like best about you, Stiles.” Peter sips his wine, “I was going to kill Derek.”

Stiles is glad he’s not holding anything in his hands because his fingers are suddenly numb, “Oh?”

“And anyone else who got in my way,” Peter says like he’s discussing the weather. “I blamed him for the fire. For leaving me to rot in that hospital with that crazy nurse. You know she’s the one who released me into the woods on full moons? She thought it was funny. I hated him. Have you ever hated someone, Stiles?”

Stiles feels Peter’s gaze burning into his. He shakes his head.

“It was the only thing I felt from waking up to falling asleep. I hated him more than I hated Kate or the others because, in my mind, he betrayed our family.”

“So why didn’t you? Kill him, I mean.” Stiles asks because the day he stops asking horrible questions is the day he stops breathing.

“There was this moment. It wasn’t anything special. Derek was trying to fix that ridiculous car of his, and he ran his hands through his hair. It was something he used to do as a kid when he was frustrated. His hair was constantly sticking up in these stupid tuffs.” Peter shakes his head and looks out the window, “He looked so young. And I realized that if I killed him…”

Peter trails off for a moment, “I left the next day.”

There’s a long pause where Stiles honestly can’t think of anything to say. Peter studies him, blue eye intense in the candlelight.

“Lydia says she planned a covert hit on you.” Stiles blurts out.

Peter smiles, delighted. “Did she?”

“Yes. Isn’t she terrifying? Remember that time when she made the Representative from Arkansas apologize on National Television for being a douche bag?”

Peter has this fond look on his face, “Or when the GOP leader called her a bitch and the next day he was arrested for solicitation?”

Stiles snickers, “I knew this would happen. You should have seen the prom elections.”

Leaning forward, Peter whispers, “I especially like the stories about how Jackson has taken on issues of education and obesity in his spare time.”

Stiles bursts out laughing, “Jackson is such a trophy husband. It’s amazing.”

The appetizers arrive and they eat in silence. A bit of cheese drips onto Stiles’ hand and he licks it off without thinking anything of it, but, when he glances up, Peter is staring at his mouth, fork limp in his hands.

Stiles clears his throat and Peter resumes eating, “So, uh, Caltech. Why’d it take you twenty years to get your Doctorate?”

“It didn’t take me twenty years,” Peter sneers. “I had to take some of my undergrad courses again. A lot changed while I was in a coma.”

“You know,” Stiles says, chewing thoughtfully. “There are only so many times you can use the coma excuse and get away with it.”

“And,” Peter continues as if Stiles hadn’t spoken. “I was paying for college as I went. Sometimes I had to take a leave of absence to raise money for the next semester.”

“Still, twenty years?”

Peter sounds exasperated, “I did it in eight. I just stayed in Pasadena after.”

Stiles grins, and shoves another stuffed mushroom in his mouth.

“Why’d you become a Sheriff?” Peter asks after a while. “Family business?”

“I don’t really know,” Stiles shrugs. “It was sort of an accident. I kept sticking my nose into dad’s work and the next thing I know I’m putting on a uniform.”  

“Does your dad know?” Peter asks curiously, and they both know what he’s referring to.

“Oh, he knows.” Stiles says darkly, admitting it out loud for the first time, “We’re both just pretending he doesn’t.”

Eventually, their main course arrives. Between eating Peter regales Stiles with celebrity encounters in Los Angeles, and Stiles tells him about the time he got kidnapped by hunters and his dad arrested them for human trafficking. When the bill comes, Stiles snatches it.

“I’m the one that asked you out, remember? Check your Guidebook to Dating. Them’s the rules.” Stiles refuses to freak out. He refuses.

Peter, for his part, wipes his mouth with a napkin and looks amused.

The drive back is tense. Peter drums his fingers against his thigh and Stiles finds himself licking his lips nervously.

“Did you ever sleep with Derek?” Peter asks, voice oddly calm, but his fingers are still drumming away.

“What?” Stiles’ mouth drops open. “No. God, no. I mean, of course I – Derek hasn’t ever – I don’t think after Kate he… Shouldn’t you talk to him about this?”

Peter shakes his head, “I didn’t want this to be something else I took from him.”

“Yeah,” Stiles says, face scrunched up. “And it’d be gross.”

“Super gross.” Peter agrees.

They take the stairs. On the second floor, Peter unlocks his door and leaves it wide open after he walks in. Stiles follows, toeing off his shoes in the entryway and placing them next to the row of shoes against the wall. When he stands up Peter’s right there watching him, eyes dark in the low light.

“I’m older than you.” Peter says softly, stepping closer.

“Have you seen yourself in the mirror?” Stiles asks. “Peter, I look older than you. I have gray hairs!”

Peter reaches out and traces Stiles’ lips with his forefinger. “I want to do things to you.”

His voice is rough and low. Stiles shivers and tries to wet his lips – tongue accidently catching Peter’s finger. Peter’s breathe hitches.

“Show me,” Stiles says, tilting his head and leaning in. His lips brush Peter’s once, twice. Peter cups the sides of Stile’s face with both hands and pulls him in. The kiss is brief, a short meeting of lips, but, when Stiles looks up, Peter’s eyes meet his and burn.

Stiles shoves Peter into the wall and presses his body against him. Peter’s hands fly to his hips, pulling Stiles in until they’re flush together. The next kiss is deep and wet, Stiles’ hands curling in Peter’s hair and tugging until his mouth is wide and perfect against his.

One of Peter’s hands slides down to palm Stiles’ ass. Unable to control the shudder that runs through him, Stiles licks the inside of Peter’s mouth. Peter’s tongue meets his, and, wow, the kiss gets filthy.

Their lips move urgently together, sloppy and desperate. Peter shifts, trying to bring Stiles closer, to press their mouths tighter together. Someone’s groaning between them, and Stiles is pretty sure it’s him. Peter’s hard against Stiles’ hip, and suddenly Stiles want nothing more than to see Peter’s dick, hold it in his hand, his mouth. That’s probably why his hands move down, working on the fastening of Peter’s slacks. The sound of the zipper makes Peter draw back, mouth red, wet, and wrecked. His eyes are wide, pupils blown.

“Stiles.” And the sound of his name said like that, with that much need, is too much for him. Stiles drops to his knees.

Peter’s cock is long and uncircumcised. Stiles’ traces the underside of it with his finger and all the muscles in Peter’s stomach jump. He licks the same path with his tongue. Peter gasps, loud in the tiny space, and that’s it. Stiles takes him into his mouth.

He starts by swallowing down Peter’s length. Stiles can’t quite take it all in (he doesn’t have that much practice no matter what any of his friends say), but he can take most of it. Breathing out through his nose, Stiles sucks until his checks hallow, using his tongue to stroke underneath the head of Peter’s dick. Peter’s taking big, shallow breathes and watching him, eyes hooded and lips parted. Stiles closes his eyes and flicks his tongue against Peter’s slit. A hand buries in his hair, just shy of painful, and Peter’s hips jerk forward.

“Sorry,” Peter quickly releases his hair and the thought of him finally apologizing to Stiles, for this, is hilarious. Stiles eyes flit up to Peter’s and he grins.

Peter’s eyes turn electric. He pulls Stiles up and starts dragging him toward the bedroom. His apartment layout is exactly the same as Stiles’, but Stiles can’t help glancing curiously around at the tasteful furniture and spotless kitchen.

Reaching the bedroom, Peter throws open the door and flings Stiles down on his bed.

“Manhandling,” Stiles gasps after he lands. “That’s hot.”

“Do you have any idea what you do to me?” Peter growls, and, yep, there’s a hint of fang. “The amount of things you put into your mouth is criminal.”

“Ha!” Stiles laughs as he tugs on the buttons of his shirt. “’Criminal.’ See what you did there?”

Peter ignores him, eyes focusing on the skin Stiles reveals with every button worked loose. Slowly, he lowers himself on top of Stiles, inserting a thigh between where Stiles’ are spread on the duvet. Stiles abruptly forgets what he’s doing and slides his hands under Peter’s shirt, feeling the firm, smooth muscle shift against his palms.

Lowering his head, Peter traces the edges of Stile’s collarbone with his lips. He bites and sucks marks on to Stiles’ chest until Stiles is wreathing underneath him. When Peter bites down gently on a nipple, Stiles grabs Peter’s hair and thrusts helplessly against his thigh.

“Peter, come on.” Stiles groans, pushing at the waistband of his slacks. “Off now.”

Peter moves off the bed and starts yanking his clothes off. Stiles leans up on his elbows, watching as Peter kicks his slacks away (oh, hey, commando) and pulls his shirt off over his head. He’s gorgeous, obviously, Stiles tries not to drool as he stares at the way Peter’s abs move as he breathes or the way his cock juts up between his muscular thighs. God, he’s never going to get any work done, knowing that this is hidden under Peter’s clothes all the time.

Stiles looks up. Peter’s eyes are inhuman, glowing bright blue.

“Take off your clothes.”

His dick twitches at the sound of Peter’s voice, and Stiles locks eyes with Peter and slowly slides his shirt down his arms. When he unzips his slacks, Peter’s nostrils flare and he reaches out, hands shoving Stiles’ aside as he pulls off Stiles’ pants and boxers himself. Peter stares at Stiles, naked on his bed, before opening the side drawer and pulling out lube and a condom.

Peter sits between Stiles’ thighs and yanks him up for a kiss. Stiles clutches at Peter’s shoulders, his hips, his neck, anywhere really. He just wants to put his hand all over the man.

Then, between one breath and the next, Stiles is flipped, holding himself up on hands and knees, and there are big hands cupping his ass cheeks and spreading them.

“Mother fucker!” Stiles shouts when a tongue licks softly at his hole. There’s a huff of breath, like Peter’s laughing at him.

When Peter speaks, Stiles can feel the words vibrating against him, “Has anyone done this to you before?” The question is punctuated by another slow lick.

“N-No.” Stiles gasps when the tip of Peter’s tongue pushes inside him. He always found the idea a bit gross, but now he’s definitely going to have to rethink his policy on rim jobs. Peter hums and his tongue fucking flutters. Stiles starts making these high, breathy noises, fingers clawing the sheets as he tries not to hump the mattress.

He’s doesn’t remember ever being this turned on in his life. Not even that time Lydia took the oath of office. His dick is hard and leaking pre-come all over the covers. Christ, he must smell –

“Peter, I can’t, please, I need you to fuck me,” Stiles is practically sobbing, he’s such a trembling mess.

Peter gives his hole one last filthy lick before he nips a trail of stinging kiss up Stiles’ spine. There’s a soft click and then Peter’s lubed up finger is tracing his opening. As the finger pushes in, Stiles’ moan chokes off and his head falls foreword, exposing the long line of his neck.

“I’ve wanted to do this for such a long time,” Peter whispers, trailing his teeth over the junction of Stiles’ neck, and, yeah, he must be a little fucked up because this is Peter Hale and, therapy or no therapy, he’s dangerous. But instead of doing something rational, like asking Peter to keep his fangs to himself, Stiles arches his neck to the side and offers himself up.

Peter makes a noise in his throat that definitely isn’t human. He presses in another finger and Stiles keens, spreading his thighs as wide as they can go.

“Every time I caught you staring at my ass in the office, I could smell it on you.” Peter hisses in his ear and that should not such a turn on, but Stiles is rubbing his dick against the bed and shoving his ass back against Peter’s fingers. Who is he kidding? He’s totally the slut everyone accuses him of.

A third finger stretches Stiles, making it burn a little until the fingers shift and, oh, Stiles’ back is arching and he’s about five seconds away from coming.

It’s been a while from this end, okay?

The fingers pull out, leaving Stiles empty and desperate. For a second, Stiles is afraid he’s done something wrong, but then there’s the sound of foil tearing and lube cap clicks again. Then Peter’s back, gripping Stiles’ hip with one hand as he uses the other to push in slowly.

Too slow. Stiles can feel every inch of Peter as he presses in. He writhes back uselessly against Peter’s dick, trying to force him to go harder, faster, but Peter just holds him still. He twists his neck, glancing back. Peter’s eyes are screwed shut, biting his lip in concentration.

“You're so tight,” Peter says breathlessly, rolling his hips forward until his balls hit Stiles’ ass. He’s motionless, breathing heavily until Stiles braces himself on the bed and pushes back. Peter’s eyes shoot open, and they’re right there, boring into Stiles as he starts to move, thrusting his hips at a brutally deep, slow pace, and Stiles is gasping out in broken, wanton sounds. Stiles has to look away – focus on holding himself up against the strength of Peter’s thrusts.

Peter leans over him to bite at the muscle of Stiles’ shoulder. Peter’s mouth closes around Stiles’ jugular and he sucks, hard, at the same moment that his hips snap foreword at just the right angle. Stile curses and his voice sounds absolutely wrecked.

He really hopes Ms. Simmons isn’t home.

Then Peter fucking growls, grips Stiles’ hips hard enough to bruise, and starts slamming into his prostate over and over. Stiles stops worrying about Ms. Simmons.

Stiles loses track of time for a bit. He knows he’s muttering senselessly and begging shamelessly because he can’t stay quiet even in bed. But Stiles doesn’t know how long it takes until he’s gone, crying out against the white, hot pleasure that’s making his toes curl and back arch.

“Fuck,” Peter groans, reaching down to pump Stiles’ cock. It’s too much, and Stiles is coming in hard pulses that splatter all over his chest and the duvet.

Peter eases him through his orgasm, and then pushes Stiles’ down until his shoulders are flat on the bed and his ass is up in the air. From this new angle, his thrusts go impossibly deep and it’s only a few more thrusts before Peter tenses up and comes, trembling violently as his hips jerk.

“Holy shit,” Stiles wheezes. He collapses sideways, bringing Peter down with him. Peter’s panting hard, nuzzling at the spot behind Stiles’ ear, catching his breath before pulling out.

“That was definitely unprofessional,” Peter agrees, pulling off the condom and throwing it across the room. Gross.

Stiles isn’t sure what he expects next, but it isn’t Peter to lean over, cup his jaw, and kiss him soft and sweet.

“Stay,” Peter says, eyes open and earnest.

Stiles swallows nervously, “I talk in my sleep.”

Peter smiles, and it looks so uncalculated that it makes Stiles’ heart thump. “Of course you do.”

***

The next morning, Peter lets Stiles fuck him in the shower. It’s just as good as the omelet Peter makes him for breakfast afterwards. Stiles has the afternoon shift so he doesn’t have time to do much besides straddle Peter on the sofa for a heavy make out session that leaves them both a little dazed.

Work crawls by. Nothing more exciting happens than some speeding tickets. By the time Stiles’ shift ends he’s ready to jump out of his skin.

Stiles goes into his bedroom, puts his gun in the safe, and walks back towards the kitchen before he realizes the living room window is open. That’s when Kevin Williams steps out from behind the couch holding a gun.

“Stiles Stilinski,” Williams grins. He’s muscular in the prison workout sense, and he probably hasn’t showered in a week. He smells like a farm house – that’s probably what confused Derek’s scent.  “Your dad and I go way back.”

Adrenalin hits Stiles hard and he feels his muscles start to shake. He takes a calming breath, “Oh? I think he’s mentioned you a few times.”

“Yeah? Well, I’ve got a message for the Sheriff. You’re lucky; this isn’t as personal as the others.” Williams gestures at the gun.

“Here’s the thing, I am the Sheriff,” Stiles says slowly. “How about you just write in down for me?”

Williams is between him and the door. To get his gun he’d have to turn his back on Kevin and make a run for the bedroom. There are knifes in the kitchen, but, what’s that saying? ‘Never bring a knife to a gun fight?’

 “Smart ass,” Williams sneers.” I think your dead body on the couch will tell your dad everything he needs to know.”

“And that is?” He’s stalling for time now.

“That no one fucks with me or my girl!” Williams yells and his eyes go full crazy.

Stiles has a split second to react before the gun fires, using it to throw himself behind the kitchen counter. If he can get something to throw at Williams then maybe he can distract him long enough to take the gun by force. It’s an awful plan, but it’s all Stiles has.

Except Stiles doesn’t have a chance to do any of that. Because the door bursts open and Peter storms in, claws, fangs, glowing eyes – the whole deal. Williams behaves rather rationally, screaming and pointing his gun at Peter, but too late. Peter breaks Williams’ hand and slams his head, face first, against the wall. Blood spatters from Williams’ nose, getting all over Peter’s shirt, and the gun flies halfway across the room.

Peter’s hand raises, claws sharp and ready to tear out Williams’ throat.

“Wait!” Stiles shouts, lunging over the counter and grabs Peter’s wrist. Peter turns slowly, and his eyes glitter in a way Stiles hasn’t seen since that night on the lacrosse field, Lydia’s body bleeding between them. Fear pulses through Stiles and he has to fight his reflex to step back. Peter’s nostrils flare and his eyes fade back to their normal blue. His claws and fangs retract, and Peter, well, Peter sort of hunches in on himself.

“I - Derek’s on his way.” Peter chokes out, looking anywhere but Stiles or Kevin Williams, who’s a bleeding, sobbing mess on the floor.  Then he runs into Stiles’ bathroom and slams the door.

“Shit,” Stiles mutters. He handcuffs Williams to the radiator and calls the station. After he finishes reporting in, Stiles texts Derek, ‘Kevin Williams’ handcuffed 2 d radiator. Peter’s locked himsLf n d BR. pls advise.”

The response comes immediately, ‘2 min away.’

Stiles sighs, double checks that Kevin’s secure, before knocking lightly on the bathroom door. “Peter? I’m coming in.”

He opens the door. Peter’s braced over the sink, rocking back and forth while he takes deep, regular breaths. His bloody shirt is crumpled in the corner, and as much as Stiles wants to appreciate the sight of Peter’s naked torso now isn’t the time.

“Hey,” Stiles says softly, raising his hands to show no threat. “You okay?”

Peter shakes his head and laughs. It’s a terrible sound, hollow and empty. Stiles never wants to hear it again.

“Backup’s on its way,” Stiles says leaning his hip on the counter. He’s careful to not crowd Peter’s space. “We’re going to tell them that you heard the gunshot and came up to help. When you opened the door you distracted Williams. I used that to disarm him, breaking his hand and nose in the processes. Your shirt is bloody because you helped me restrain him, got it?”

Peter nods, closing his eyes.

“Peter,” Stiles whispers, slowly reaching out to touch his hand. When Peter opens his eyes they’re wet and vulnerable. “It’s okay. Listen to my heart. We’re okay.”

Peter places his other hand over Stiles’ and squeezes his fingers gently.

“Do you need anything?” Stiles asks.

“Can I borrow your phone? I’d like to call Dr. Vasquez.” Peter sounds better, less shattered. Stiles hands his phone over.

“I’ve got to take care of Williams. Come out and give your statement when you’re ready.”

Peter nods, already dialing from memory. Stiles shuts the door behind him.

Derek is kneeling over Williams, talking in a soft, violent tone. His eyes are glowing blood red and there’s full on fang happening. Williams is nodding frantically, and it looks like he wet himself. Derek walks over to Stiles, checking him over visually as he approaches.

“I’m fine, Derek,” Stiles says, holding his hands out. “See? Not a scratch.”

“I overheard your cover story.” Derek says, eyes flicking to the closed bathroom door. “I made sure Williams will agree to it.”

“Uh huh.” Stiles glances over at Williams, who’s curled himself into a ball.

“How’s Peter?” Derek asks softly.

Stiles exhales through his nose and runs a hand through his hair, “A little fucked up. But… he stopped, Derek. He was ready to tear Williams’ throat out and he stopped.”

Derek looks relieved. “I asked him to hunt with me once, but he said that if he started he didn’t know if he’d be able to control himself.”

“Well,” Stiles says as sirens wail outside. “Now he knows.”

The police come tearing in. Williams practically jumps into the police cruiser in his haste to get away from Stiles’ apartment. Derek claims he was on his way over to take Stiles out to the bar, only arriving after everything was over. He puts on his best earnest expression and says that he stayed for emotional support. Sanchez coos, and Stiles rolls his eyes so hard they practically fall out of his face. Peter, still a bit shaky, comes out of the bathroom wearing his bloody shirt, gives his statement, and leaves. After everyone on the force triple checks that Stiles is fine they tell him his apartment is a crime scene and kick him out.

In the parking lot, Derek hugs Stiles for a bit too long before driving away, but Stiles knows that’s Derek’s way of reassuring himself that Stiles is okay – that he’s still here.

When he’s finally released, from both Derek and his co-workers, Stiles calls his dad and tells him that Williams is in police custody, leaving out the part where Stiles had a gun pointed at him. His dad figures it out anyway, with that weird blend of sheriff/dad sixth sense, and he yells at Stiles for about ten minutes before saying he loves him and that he and Melissa are flying home next week. Stiles tells his dad he loves him too, promises to be safe, wear his vest, lock his door, etcetera, etcetera, oh by the way werewolves are real, and hangs up to his dad yelling at Melissa that he owes her twenty bucks.

At 2A he wavers, debating with himself for a minute before knocking on the door. Peter answers dressed in clean clothes, hair wet from the shower.

“Hey,” Stiles grins. “My apartment’s a crime scene. Can I stay with you?”

“You’re such a sweet talker.” Peter says, stepping to the side so Stiles can come in.

They don’t really say much. It’s late, and Stiles is happy to crawl into Peter’s bed for the night. Peter shoves him over, lying down between Stiles and the door. Stiles sighs, because now he has yet another person in his life who’s going to be obnoxious about his personal safety, but he wraps his arm around Peter’s waist and relaxes.

Just before Stiles falls asleep Peter whispers, “Thank you.”

“For what?” Stiles mutters.

“For stopping me.”

Stiles yawns, burying his head between Peter’s shoulder blades, “You stopped yourself.”

***

Almost a year later, Stiles is driving the car over to Derek’s for Thanksgiving with Peter in the passenger seat, clutching his mashed potatoes like a lifeline. Stiles would tell him to calm down, but it’s the first time Peter’s been invited to the Hale house while the kids are around. Everyone’s going to be there, and if Stiles is nervous about it then he can’t imagine Peter’s mental state.

They haven’t exactly made official announcements about their relationship, but everyone knows. After February’s full moon, Allison and Scott find Stiles wandering around the supermarket with a stunned expression on his face.

“First full moon together?” Allison grins, staring at the large mass of hickies peeking out from under his collar.

Stiles blushes bright red. There’s no way Allison can know how Peter held him up, fucking him against the wall until Stiles had come twice, clawing red welts into Peter’s back that faded almost instantly.

“Why didn’t any of you tell me about this?” Stiles whines as Scott laughs at him. “You’ve all been having kinky full moon sex for years!”

“Some things you can’t share.” Scott says exchanging gooey eyes with Allison.

Stiles fake vomits. He has terrible friends.

As the car turns down the dirt road, Peter’s fingers start drumming against the mashed potato bowl. Stiles doesn’t say anything, but he reaches over and puts his hand on Peter’s thigh. The drumming stops.

Stiles parks the car around the side of the house, and he and Peter walk up to the door together.

“Ready?” Stiles asks.

“Of course, it’s just a of couple kids.” Peter says in a causal tone that fools no one.

Stiles snorts and rings the bell. There’s a pause, and then four young voices shrieking “Door!” in unison. Peter doesn’t hide behind Stiles, but Stiles can see that he wants to.

Allison opens the door, and that’s gotta be weird for Peter, seeing an Argent open the door to the Hale house.

“Oh thank God,” Allison says grabbing Peter’s arm and yanking him into this house. Peter shoots Stiles a surprised look but he lets himself be dragged. Allison and Peter have been around each other plenty of times now, with only a few of episodes ending in shouting and crying, but she’s never exactly touched him before.

“It’s Derek’s turn to cook and he’s already set fire to the turkey,” Allison explains as she hauls Peter after her into the kitchen.

“You let Derek cook?” Peter sounds incredulous. “He blew up the microwave when he was thirteen!”

Derek is standing over the turkey, covered in flour, and Stiles swears he sees a bit of red leaking to Derek’s iris. The twins are in the kitchen shelling green beans with Scott. Then Amy and Nick run in shouting at each other, and there’s a moment when everyone freezes. The kids stare at Peter, eyes wide and curious.

“What?” Peter asks in the voice he reserves for people who come to him with computer trouble and times when the password is also ‘Allison,’ pointing at the Giants’ shirts the twins are wearing. “Is that?”

Scott smirks meanly, “The Giants are their favorite team.”

“No they’re not,” Lizzy says. “I like the A’s.”

“Dad made us wear these.” Mark plucks at his shirt in disgust.

Then everyone’s yelling again. Derek yanks Peter over to the turkey and orders him to ‘fix it’ in his Alpha voice. Peter ignores him, still yelling at Scott that he’s a traitor, a dirty, filthy traitor for dressing his kids in those atrocities. Amy’s trying to talk over all of them about the Padres while Nick steals bits of food. Isaac walks into the kitchen and then immediately turns around and walks back out.  The baby starts crying in the next room and Erica runs past, looking frazzled and sleep deprived. Boyd glares at everyone as he grabs a bottle from the counter and runs after her. Derek and Scott make the kids go outside and run laps around the house while Allison helps Isaac set the table.

Peter works on the turkey still muttering snide comments under his breath. Stiles goes over and stands behind him, resting his chin on Peter’s shoulder.

“That wasn’t so bad,” Stiles teases. “At least no one’s an Angels fan.”

“Don’t start with me,” Peter snarls, but he’s relaxing into Stiles as he works culinary magic.

They’ve only been dating for a few months, and things aren’t perfect. They get into awful fights about dumb things, like picking wet towels off the floor or who ate the last bit of whatever. There are terse conversations about Stiles’ job and Peter’s past that usually drives Stiles to the bar and Peter into his meditation room. Yeah, the guy mediates. Stiles would give him shit for it, but Peter always looks so calm afterwards that Stiles can’t say anything.

It’s not perfect, and it might not last forever. No one’s even thinking the L word yet, but sometimes, in moments like now, when Stiles has his hands on Peter’s hips and Peter’s breathing evenly against him, he feels it.

Give him time.