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Stiles's hand shoots out before he can really think about it. "Don't leave." He can't believe he's saying this to Peter of all people. Derek and Isaac turn to look at him, and they seem just as confused as Stiles feels. Peter's the only one who doesn't look confused because he's Peter. Instead, he's got a smirk on his face like he masterminded Stiles's runaway mouth and this is all part of Peter's grand plan.

Stiles glances at the other two wolves, glad that Scott's already disappeared to moon over Allison. Derek seems to be waiting for some signal from Stiles, maybe a sign that Peter needs his throat ripped out a second time or just a reason why Stiles would voluntarily talk to Peter.

He blurts out the first thing that comes to mind. "I just... I wanted to apologize. For setting you on fire."

Peter's smirk grows wider. "Is that so?"

Stiles wants to let go of Peter's sleeve. He really does, but his fingers refuse to move. He's not sure why he's latched on to Peter instead of Derek. Derek he at least knows as more than a homicidal maniac but nope, his fear-driven mind wants—no, needs—Peter to stay. Because despite what just happened, Stiles knows Gerard Argent isn't dead and that thought scares the shit out of Stiles.

Derek gives Stiles one more backward look before disappearing out of the warehouse, leaving Stiles alone with Peter.

"Did you need something?" Peter asks. Peter's amused and Stiles hopes that he doesn't reek of fear as badly as he thinks he does.

Stiles nods. There are a lot of things he needs. "My Jeep's stuck."

Peter turns toward the warehouse wall that Stiles and Lydia had crashed through. "So it is. I'll clear the boards, you see if it will start?"

Stiles nods but his fingers won't move.


"I just..." A shiver runs through him. It's April. It's not that cold, but it feels cold here. The cement floor in the Argent's basement had been colder.

Peter's hand wraps around Stiles's wrist. He thinks Peter's about to pull Stiles off but instead lines of black crawl up Peter's veins and Stiles nearly sags in relief as his pain disappears.

"Shit." Stiles's eyes flutter closed.

"That's one way to put it." Stiles can't see Peter's smirk but he can definitely hear it.

He's not sure how long they stand there. Long enough that Stiles starts to waver on his feet, exhaustion hitting him in full force.

"Why don't I drive you home?"

Stiles nods. His fingers cooperate this time and release Peter's sleeve. Peter pats Stiles's hand and then moves in a circle around the Jeep, tossing aside the parts of the wall littered around the vehicle. Stiles sinks to the floor and watches. It's cement in here too. There's not much of a hole to get back out through, so Peter tears more boards away.


Peter is in front of him. When did that happen? He takes the hand that's offered and doesn't let go until he's sitting in the passenger seat. It's weird to be on this side of the Jeep. Scott and his dad are the only other people who've ever driven it, but Stiles's mouth doesn't seem to want to produce the usual nitpicking that he does when Scott drives.

Peter knows how to drive stick, apparently. The Jeep starts up for him without any of the fuss it usually gives Stiles. He almost thinks they're not going to make it back out of the warehouse but they do, no screeching metal or additional scratched paint.

"Do you want to talk about it?" Peter says once they're on the road. Those words seem so weird coming out of Peter Hale's mouth.

"Gerard Argent kidnapped me." Peter glances over at Stiles but doesn't say anything. "He had Erica and Boyd too. He was... I don't know, torturing them? There was electricity and... I couldn't help them. I couldn't even help myself against Allison's grandfather."

"To be fair, he's a pretty fit grandfather. He cuts people in half. With a broadsword. I wouldn't expect you to win that fight."

"Do you think they're still there?"

Peter takes his eyes off the road for longer than Stiles is comfortable with. Stiles is about to say something when Peter turns back. He signals a left. Stiles doesn't remember telling Peter where he lived but left is definitely the wrong way.

"Where are we going?"

"To check."

The words take a moment to fully process and when they do, Stiles sags back into his seat. He doesn't want to go anywhere near the Argent house ever again. Scott and Allison could be getting married in the backyard and he'd still not set foot on their property. But he also can't ask Peter to turn around. Not now. He needs to know Erica and Boyd are safe.

The lights are off when they stop two houses down. Peter turns off the Jeep and then stares. Stiles hadn't said where the Argents live, but he supposed he didn't need to.

"Two heartbeats," Peter says. "Upstairs and... well, Scott should be very glad Argent senior isn't home."

"They're not there?"


"And Gerard?"

Peter tilts his head slightly and inhales. "He hasn't been back. I assume that's where Christopher is."

Stiles stares at the house as if its shadowy form will reveal everything that happened in the last eight hours. "Do... do you think they're okay?"

Peter doesn't ask who Stiles is referring to. "Either they left, in which case they're better off than we are, or they went crawling back to Derek, in which case they're no worse than we are."

"Do you think..." Stiles trails off. It's a stupid thing to ask. He doesn't know why he's so fixated on Erica and Boyd. They tried to kill him a few days ago. Erica left him in a dumpster. He blames himself for that, partly. He'd been too wrapped up in how alone he felt with Scott chasing after Allison to consider that there were other people just as lonely as he was. He'd never stopped to look outside the bubble that was Stiles and Scott.

"I think a lot of things. You're going to have to be more specific."

Stiles blinks and looks over at Peter. "Do you think Derek knows?"

For a second, something almost like fondness crosses Peter's face before it's hidden behind his smirk. "I can ask." Peter pulls out a surprisingly modern-looking phone and taps out a message, then tucks his phone away. "Home?"

Stiles nods. Peter doesn't ask where to go and Stiles doesn't offer but Peter seems to know the way regardless. That knowledge is only a little bit creepy.

Peter parks the Jeep in the driveway and gets out first. He's around the side of the Jeep before Stiles can even get the door open, which turns out to be a good thing. Stiles's legs buckle as soon as they hit the pavement and Peter's sudden hold on his arms is the only thing that keeps him upright.

"Thanks," Stiles says as he pulls away.

Peter smiles and turns. He starts walking like he lives just around the corner instead of God knows where. Is he staying in the burnt out old house or the abandoned train station with Derek? Neither are pleasant options but Stiles can't exactly invite Peter in. Even if he wanted to, he couldn't. It would raise too many questions.

Stiles sleeps in fits and starts. He's going to have nightmares about that basement for a while. His dad doesn't comment on it, which is a small miracle, but Stiles will take it. He'll take anything he can get.

When he checks his phone after breakfast, there's a single text waiting. It's from an unknown number and all it says is 'They're safe.' That's all Stiles really needs to know.

He sits at his desk, swinging his chair from side to side. He has homework he should do. There are Tumblr and YouTube for distractions and a new MMO he wanted to try out. Instead, he opens a new browser tab and searches for ways to bring someone back from the dead. He could just ask Peter but he thinks this way will be a lot more fun.