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Better Than Sex

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It started, as all good things should, with pizza. On pack night, which was every other Thursday night should their schedules allow, the pack all got together, had food, argued about what movie to watch for about half an hour, then just watched YouTube videos all night.

It was Peter's turn to provide food. He had brought pizza, which probably meant his suggestion to bring Mediterranean food had been vetoed. Again. Stiles like Dimassi's as well as any guy, but it wasn't the easiest food to divide amongst various supernatural creatures, a scary bounty hunter, and one forever hungry 20-year-old.

Stiles watched as the wolves picked through the boxes. He knew better than to go in with them. Last time he’d nearly lost a hand because he’d gone for a slice of Meat Lovers that Eric had had her eye on. He just sat in the armchair, a grimoire in his lap. There would hopefully be enough for him later. This spell about banishing dark spirits was more interesting anyway.

He was about to turn a page when a plate appeared over the book, startling him. He looked to the hand holding it, followed the arm up to the shoulder then the face. Peter’s face. Peter was bringing him pizza. He glanced down. That was his favorite pizza too: pepperoni, chicken, onions, and bacon. He looked back up at Peter, unable to think of something to say.

“I snagged these before Scott could eat the whole box, even though I got this pizza especially for you,” Peter said, looking very put out at having to do anything other than creep in the shadows.

“For me?” Stiles asked, his comprehension skills coming up a little short.

“For you,” Peter told him with the roll of his eyes. “Now move that $800 book and eat.”

Stiles shut the book and tucked it against his leg. He took the plate and opened his mouth to say ‘thank you’ or maybe ask ‘what the hell?’, but Peter had walked off already. Confused, he sniffed the pizza for poison then gobbled both slices down.

 


 

"In my defense, I wasn't aware accepting a flower from a tree sprite was kind of like accepting a proposal," Stiles told Scott, holding his phone against his ear as he juggled his grocery bags and stuck the key into his apartment door. "I'll figure out how to un-accept."

"I feel like this will end badly," Scott said, sounding tired. "Like that time that Lady in White ended up haunting Jackson's Porsche."

"Now that one was not my fault," Stiles said, pushing his apartment door open with his butt. "Leave it to Jackson to pick up a scary hitchhiker at the witching hour. I bet he wasn't even doing it to be nice. He probably just wanted to get laid." He walked toward his little kitchen with his bags, setting them on the counter. His salary at the bookstore plus was he made as a paranormal consultant didn't pay for much, but he was happy.

"I think he learned his lesson after we had to exorcise his car by setting it on fire."

Stiles gave a giggle of pure glee. Jackson having a total breakdown over his car was one of his most treasured memories. "Yeah. Maybe. I don't think Jackson is capable of learning." He shoved the ice cream he had bought whenever it would fit in his freezer. He had to stack all the frozen meals up more neatly to make room. How long had that bag of shrimp been in there?

"He's less awful these days," Scott said, apparently less than confident in his words because they sounded more like a question.

"Uh-huh," Stiles said, tossing his veggies in the crisper drawer before grabbing a can of soda and shutting the door. The other stuff could wait to be put away until later. "He'll always be Jackson, the Murder Lizard in my head."

"Stiles..."

Stiles chuckled as he walked into his living room, ready to bounce between Hulu and Netflix until he found something he wanted to watch. He popped the tab on the soda and lifted it up before he stopped dead. "Scott," he said in a deadly serious tone. "There's a scary ass plant on my coffee table."

It took a moment, but Scott finally said, "What? What do you mean?"

"It's a plant. Like. A carnivorous plant."

"You mean a Venus fly trap?" Oh, Scott.

"More like Feed Me Seymour. " Stiles couldn't stop staring at the weird ass plant. It was a deep magenta color, shaped like four buckets with popped lids facing in different directions. It looked like it had teeth! Was it grinning at him? It looked like it was grinning at him.

"I don't know what that means," Scott told him, mildly exasperated.

"God, how can you be my friend? You're supposed to get my pop culture references and think I'm super witty." He stepped toward the plant warily. "Little Shop of Horrors, cult classic, about a plant from space that eats people."

Scott sucked in a breath. "Is that plant going to eat you?!"

There were times that Stiles wanted to hug his friend until he popped. "No. It's a little plant." He squatted down to look at it. "I think it's a pitcher plant or something. I just don't know where it--" He noticed then, very belatedly, that the plant's pot was sitting on a folded piece of paper.

Carefully, he lifted the plant, not entirely sure it wouldn't bite him, be slipped the paper out from under it. He stood up and opened the paper, reading it quickly. He frowned. "Hey, Scott. I'm gonna call you back."

"Wait, Sti--" Boop.

Stiles scrolled through his contacts to the right number, hit call, then put it to his ear.

"Hello, Stiles," Peter said when he answered.

"The fuck is a weird ass plant doing in my living room?" he asked, gesturing at the little plant with the paper even though Peter couldn't see him. (He hoped.)

"You don't like it?" Peter asked, and he sounded like he was putting serious effort into sounding hurt.

"You broke into my apartment," Stiles grumbled at him.

"I thought you would like it."

"You broke into my apartment and left a death plant." Stiles was going to start yelling in T-minus 10...9...

"I left instructions for its care," Peter said as if that helped at all.

...1. "Peter, I don't want your crazy plant! What game are you playing right now? What could you possibly get out of this?"

Peter was quiet for a moment. "At a pack meeting, you were complaining about how you want a pet, but pets don't like you or are too high maintenance for you. Then, in almost the same breath, you managed to transition to how you have a fly problem because you like to leave the window open. I imagine it's partly due to the fact you are a slob, and there are food scraps in your garbage."

"Where else are they supposed to go?" Stiles asked, not sure how he got roped into defending himself.

"You have a garbage disposal, Stiles."

"I do?" Stiles asked. Was that why he had so many light switches by his sink?

"The point is, the plant is there for you to mother, and it will also eat your flies. It is an Australian pitcher plant, and it wasn't easy to get already grown and almost unkillable."

Stiles squinted down at the plant. "Is this plant illegal?"

"You're welcome," Peter said, and promptly hung up.

Stiles looked at the screen. "Fuck you too." He shoved his phone into his pocket and gingerly picked the pot. "You are one weird little guy," he told it, though its strangeness was kind of growing on him. He glanced at the care sheet. "Partial to full sunlight. Here, we'll put you in the kitchen window. All the flies are in the kitchen."

 


 

Somedays, Stiles wished that Beacon Hills was a booming industrial zone without a tree in sight, that way he wouldn't trip over every other root when running from something with way too many eyes in the forest. He flung his back against the trunk of a tree, covering his mouth and trying to control his breathing.

Why had he volunteered to be bait again? Why hadn't anyone talked him out of it? God, he had terrible friends.

He heard the crunch of leaves coming in his direction, getting louder. There was a snap of a twig, and he tensed up. He could hear it breathing, could practically smell it. Rotting eggs. He'd seen enough seasons of Supernatural to know that meant demon. God, demons were the worst.

He tore off, zigzagging through the trees, and the thing was hot on his trail. He hoped it merely wanted to crunch his bones, not something worse like absorbing his soul into its form. He hazarded a glance back. Yup, all those eyes were attached to a lot of heads. So it was a devourer then. That meant absorbing.

So, funny fact, Beacon Hills actually had hills. Stiles remembered rolling down these hills for ages with Scott. Sometimes his buddy had an asthma attack due to the excitement. The point was, he knew how to duck and roll down these hills. There was a trap at the bottom of one of these hills. It would work for a devourer. He just had to roll down, get the demon to follow him and hopefully not get a chunk taken out of him in the process.

He was coming up on the hill, ready to drop onto the ground, when his foot caught on a root, and his ankle rolled. Blinding pain shot up his leg, and he went down the hill, not in a controlled way but more of an ass-over-tea-kettle manner. Leaves flew, he cursed and cried out, unable to rein this in. When he did stop, it was because a tree stopped him.

His vision swam, black dots everywhere, and he was pretty sure there was blood in his mouth. He hoped it was blood.

The Devourer loped gracefully down the hill and advanced toward him, teeth of its many heads snapping and chattering. He stalked slowly right past the trap since Stiles had landed way off his mark and put it out of the demon's path.

When he died, he hoped that the coroner told his dad that all his injuries were from being eaten and not that half of them were from falling down a hill. He swallowed the blood in his mouth, in too much pain and far too dazed to make his limbs work so he could get up and run the slowly approaching demon.

He let out a whimper like noise as it stopped over him, all of its mouths staying their noise all at once. Its heads twitched this way and that before they all shifted, parting in the middle to reveal another face. Wait, no, this wasn't a face. It was a lipless maw full of teeth. It opened, revealing an abyss. The noise it let out wasn't like any beast. It was the terrified screams of trapped souls. Help! Help us!

Stiles couldn't breathe.

A whistle rang out, cutting through the terrible cries. "Over here, ugly!"

Peter? Stiles managed to look over at the man, standing on the other side of the trap. "You don't want that one!" Peter grabbed a stick and whipped it at the demon, hitting one of its heads. "He's too skinny! Come and get me if you want a meal!"

Stiles made a face, half of pain and half of insult. Why couldn't Peter do something good without being a jerk?

The demon withdrew its heinous mouth, turning toward Peter as its heads slid back into position. When Peter chucked another stick at it, all of its heads let out a displeased shriek. It lunged at Peter, eyes glowing and teeth chattering.

For a second, Stiles was worried that Peter was going to get hurt.

The moment the demon got close, lightning ripped up from the ground, engulfing it. It writhed, the maw appearing and letting out a cacophony of screams. Then it was gone, and in its place was a little black box, smoking lightly.

"Hm, that's very Ghostbusters," Peter remarked, looking down at the box. He lifted his eyes to Stiles. "Still alive over there?"

Stiles sagged, going boneless and letting himself feel all his hurts. He had a lot of them. "More or less." He closed his eyes, listening to his strained breathing and the sound of crunching leaves as Peter came closer. The crunching stopped, and all was quiet.

"Thanks for saving my life and shit." He cracked an eye open.

Peter was crouched next to him, elbows on his knees. "I guess I can live with you being forever in my debt," he said, flashing a smile of perfect teeth.

Stiles let out a laugh, and it hurt. A lot. He winced and shifted his hand to his ribs. That hurt worse. "Augh, fuck," he said, turning and looking at his arm.

"Your wrist is broken," Peter told him after they both stared at it.

"Gee, I hadn't guessed," Stiles grunted at him. His wrist was swollen almost twice its normal size. "I guess I should go to the hospital."

Peter tilted his head, and Stiles was reminded of a puppy. That was dumb. Peter was anything but cuddly and cute. Maybe all the pain was going to Stiles's head. "Need help, or are you an invalid now?"

"Oh, fuck off," Stiles said, wincing as he pushed himself up. He tried to get to his feet and almost immediately fell back onto the ground. "Okay, just bury me here."

"You're terribly dramatic," Peter said with a roll of his eyes.

Stiles was about to say something about pots and kettles when he was heaved up into Peter's arms. "Oh," he said, cradling his wounded arm against his chest and gripping Peter's shirt with his other hand. "I guess this works too."

Peter started walking. "Just don't die of internal bleeding before we get out of this forest. I would have to find someone to take care of your plant."

Stiles gingerly leaned his head on Peter's shoulder. He was tired. Peter was warm. "Her name is Audrey III."

That drew a soft laugh out of Peter. "I hope you haven't fed her any sadistic dentists."

Stiles smiled into Peter's shirt. "Of course not. She's not big enough yet."

Peter laughed a little louder. Stiles liked the sound of it.

 


 

Stiles had a sprained ankle, two cracked ribs, a broken wrist, and bruises all over his body. He almost wished he was dead. After a lengthy hospital visit, Stiles arrived at his apartment with his haggard-looking father. He hobbled over the couch and planned to stay there for many, many hours.

"You sure you're gonna be alright, kiddo?" his dad asked, helping him sit down.

"Yeah. I think I'm just gonna pass out," Stiles said, sagging into his couch. This was a good couch. He loved this couch.

"Okay," his dad said. "You get some rest. I'll lock the door on the way out."

"'Kay," Stiles sighed out, leaning his head back with a soft sigh. He smiled when he felt his dad's fingers in his hair, ruffling it gently before the hand withdrew. He listened to his dad open the door and leave, the deadbolt sliding into place shortly after that.

Sleep sounded really, really good. He didn't even care if he didn't have a blanket, or that he needed a shower. All he wanted was sleep.

"You look like hell."

Stiles was far too tired even to be surprised to hear Peter's voice. He didn't even open his eyes. "Did you copy my keys or something?" he asked with a sigh.

"You don't lock your windows."

"I'm on the third floor, Peter."

"Yes, but your building is easy to scale."

Stiles let out a breath through his nose. "What do you want?"

"Did they feed you at the hospital?" Peter sounded closer now.

"Nah, they were mostly concerned with making sure I retained full use of my arm." He lifted his arm with the cast, wiggled it, then lowered it again.

"You'll need to eat if you are to take this codeine I brought you."

That had Stiles opening his eyes. "You brought me painkillers?" he asked, watching Peter walk into his kitchen. It was separated from the living room only by a half wall, so he could still see him. "Why?"

"You are going to hurt like hell for the next week or so. I imagine your insurance doesn't cover the good stuff." Peter opened up the fridge, taking in the contents. "As I thought, you live like a college student. You know you're not supposed to put peanut butter in the fridge, right?"

"It helps it last longer," Stiles complained half-heartedly then smiled when Peter sent him an exasperated look. "And I am a college student."

"If I look in your freezer, am I going to find Hot Pockets?" Peter asked.

Stiles just looked away guiltily.

"That won't do. I'll just have to go shopping tomorrow," Peter said, pulling a yogurt and a soda out of the fridge and shutting the door.

"Shopping? Why?" Stiles asked. He would have articulated longer sentences if he weren't so exhausted.

"You need food to live. If you go on errands, you'll likely hurt yourself further," Peter explained, accompanied by the sound of him opening drawers. "Where are your spoons--ah." Stiles watched him paused by the sink, looking at the plant. "Well don't you look lovely, little Audrey III?" He hummed before he walked out of the kitchen and over to the couch.

"Why are you doing this?" Stiles asked as Peter opened the soda and set it in his hand. "Why do you care?"

Peter focused on the yogurt, pulling back the film and licking off the bit of yogurt that had clung to it. "Why shouldn't I care?" he asked in return.

Stiles didn't know how to respond to that.

Peter set the yogurt on the coffee table and reached into his jacket, pulling out a prescription bottle. The name and prescribing doctor had been blotted out with a sharpie. Stiles wondered how that bottle was acquired as Peter opened it and offered one to Stiles. Taking it with his cast-covered arm, he set it on his tongue and washed it down with a bit of Sprite.

"Good, you'll sleep better with that in your system," Peter said. He took the soda after Stiles had a few more gulps, then set the yogurt in his hand.

Maneuvering the spoon with a hand in a cast was a bit harder than Stiles had anticipated, but he managed to eat the whole thing as Peter watched him. He licked the back of the spoon one last time before he let Peter take it and the empty cup.

"Ready for sleep?" Peter asked, and Stiles nodded, leaning back and getting comfortable. Peter rolled his eyes and stood, urging Stiles up with him. Stiles whined in protest, and Peter just helped him toward the bedroom. "Come on, let's get you to bed. You don't want to add a stiff neck to your already wounded body."

"I have a question," Stiles started, leaning heavily on Peter as they walked. Peter let out an mm? in response. "Why is it that even when you're nice, you're still an asshole?" He did his smartass grin when Peter looked at him.

"If I were a true asshole, I'd drop you and let you sort yourself out," Peter told him, and Stiles clung a little tighter. "But I'm only a situational asshole." With that, Peter lifted him up and laid him down on the bed.

"It seems like every situation from my point of view," Stiles said, delighted to be horizontal. Sleep was about to come up and engulf him. He blinked a few times to try to stay awake, looking down as Peter loosened the laces of his chucks and pulled them off.

"Perhaps you aren't paying enough attention," Peter told him, tugging off Stiles's socks and tossing them to the side.

Stiles slow-blinked, his mind getting a little hazy now with the mix of painkillers and exhaustion. "I guess." He exhaled, watching Peter round the bed and sit by his side. "Hey, uh..."

"Yes, Stiles?" Peter asked, touching Stiles's face gently.

"Why were you there? I mean, when I came down the hill. That wasn't where you were supposed to be." Peter shouldn't have been clear across the preserve in case the demon went for Deaton, who had put up a barrier around the forest to keep the demon in.

Peter tipped his head to the side. "True. But I wasn't going to let you lead that thing alone. I wanted to be there, just in case."

Stiles's eyes fluttered shut as Peter's fingers slid through his hair. God, that felt good. "I would've been fine... if I hadn't've tripped." His whole body felt heavy like it was being pulled into the mattress.

"I know," Peter murmured, continuing to pet his hair. He seemed further away, slipping out of range of Stiles's consciousness. "Sleep, Stiles. You need your rest."

Stiles turned his head, nuzzling into Peter's hand, and fell into a deep, dreamless slumber.

 


 

When Stiles opened his eyes again, he had no idea where he was for a second. Once he had that sorted though, he then had to figure out what time it was. Like most people living in this century, he didn't have an actual clock anywhere. He had no idea where his phone was either.

When he tried to get up, his limbs did not want to cooperate. “Guh.” He wiggled then whined. "C'mon arms, cooperate." He managed to get over to the side of the bed after rocking back and forth like a tortoise on its back. When he sat up, everything hurt. "Augh, fuck!" he cried out, a bit loud.

The door to his room swung open part way, and Stiles squinted in the cone of light that shot across the floor and over the bed. "Good, you're awake," Peter said right as Stiles's eyes focused enough to see him. "I was about to come in and make sure you were still breathing."

"How long have I been out?" Stiles slurred, not spending any energy on wondering why Peter was (still?) in his apartment. He was devoting all his resources on gearing himself up to get up and go to the bathroom.

"Almost fourteen hours," Peter said, opening the door wider so more light flooded the room. "I figured you'd be hungry when you eventually rose from your slumber, so I made a pot roast."

After a moment of computing, Stiles said, "I don't have a crockpot."

"I brought over mine," Peter told him with an unspoken duh. "You good?"

"Yeah, I'll be there in a minute. Don't eat it all before I get there in some weird show of dominance." Stiles wobbled up onto his feet.

Peter snorted. "I'd rather you eat it and praise my cooking skills." He turned and left the room.

Stiles rolled his eyes, smiling in spite of himself.

After surviving the wobbly trip to the bathroom, Stiles managed to make it to the living room and landed on the couch. "That smells good," he said as he watched Peter move around his little kitchen like he owned the place.

"It does, doesn’t it?" Peter said without looking at him. Then he came out with two steaming bowls and set them on the coffee table. "You weren't kidding about the fly problem. I was almost worried one would land in the food, but it went to get devoured by Audrey III instead." He turned back to walk into the kitchen again.

"She's a good girl," Stiles said, looking at the food and wondering how easy it would be for him to slide down onto the ground and stick his legs under the coffee table. His ribs ached preemptively. "Did I ever thank you for getting her for me?"

Peter came out of the kitchen with a plate of bread and two water bottles hanging from his fingers. "No, but you're more than welcome to do so now," he said, a grin in place on his face. He set the water and bread on the table. "Hm, forks." He turned about.

"Thank you, Peter," Stiles said to his back. "For everything."

Peter stood still like he was surprised by Stiles's sincerity. That was sad. Finally, Peter looked at him and shrugged his shoulders. "Don't worry about it, Stiles." He went to fetch those forks.

They ate in silence. The roast was amazing. The potatoes and carrots were tender but not mush. The garlic wasn't overpowering. Stiles almost wanted to ask Peter to show Melissa how to make a pot roast, but he didn't want to upset his Other Mother and inflate Peter's ego to a bursting point.

After he was done, Peter took his bowl and all the other dishes to the kitchen. When he came back, he pulled the codeine bottle from his jacket pocket. "In pain?" he asked, giving it a rattle.

Stiles shook his head. "Sleepy," he said. It was embarrassing to be worn out just by eating. But he was full, and his body wanted to be on a flat, cushy surface again. He had no reason to be up, so why fight it?

Peter gave him a little smile, stepping over and helping him up. They moved into the bedroom, and Peter laid him down. "We'll have to see about a shower when you get up again." Peter wrinkled his nose. "You're starting to stink."

Stiles stuck out his tongue. "Get used to it. I plan on being an invalid for a while."

With a high roll of his eyes, Peter shook his head. "I'll give you a sponge bath if I have to."

Stiles snorted, ready to open his mouth and ask if Peter was going to turn this into a Misery situation. But then Peter leaned down and gave him a little peck on the lips, halting all of Stiles's thoughts and sending him straight into a 404 Error.

"Sleep well, Stiles," Peter said, pulling the comforter over Stiles and standing. He was out of the room before Stiles managed to recover.

But when Stiles did, he promptly whispered to the ceiling, "Oh no."

 


 

After waking up, Stiles let Peter wrap his cast in plastic cling and went to take a shower. He stood under the spray, staring with wide eyes at the tiles of his shower.

This was bad. This was very bad.

Peter was attracted to him. Peter. When did this happen? How did this happen? Did Peter not... know? Stiles supposed that of all the things about him he'd shouted to the world; he did have his secrets. Maybe Scott was the only one who knew. His friend was pretty ride-or-die when it came to secrets. Important ones, anyway.

Stiles needed to tell Peter why this would never work.

He got out, rubbed his towel through his hair then went out to get dressed. He hadn't done his laundry in a while, but maybe there was something he could Febreeze in his basket--where was his basket? He found it in the corner of his room, empty. Curious, he opened his dresser and found all of his shirts neatly folded inside.

"The hell," he mumbled. He pulled out his underwear drawer and found everything organized to utilize the space. "Oh, my actual God."

Quickly, he got dressed and opened the door to his room. Peter was on his couch, laptop on his legs and a look of concentration on his face. "You did my laundry," he said by way of greeting.

Peter didn't look up. "I did. You weren't about to do it."

"I might have," Stiles said, moving closer.

Peter gave him a look that was best suited for a librarian glancing over her glasses. "Uh huh." He looked back at his laptop. "How do you feel?"

Stiles sat next to Peter, gazing at his face. "Why did you kiss me?"

Peter stopped typing and looked over at Stiles. "Why do you think?"

Stiles shrugged a shoulder up and down.

Peter closed his laptop and leaned forward to put it on the coffee table. Then he shifted, pulling one of his legs up on the couch and putting his elbow on the backrest, cheek on his palm. "I like you, Stiles. I've always found you to be the most interesting person I've been forced to interact with on a regular basis."

Stiles snorted.

"And now that you're older enough to consume alcohol, I like you in other ways too." Peter said that like it was so very simple, and to him, maybe it was.

"I'm ace," Stiles told him without any preamble.

One of Peter's perfectly sculpted brows slid up his forehead slowly. "Okay."

"I--I mean, I'm asexual. Like, I wouldn't want to have sex if we--"

"I'm familiar with the term, Stiles," Peter told him, tipping his head to the side. "What's your point?"

Was Peter doing this on purpose? Did he get off on embarrassing people? Stiles felt his cheeks grow hot. "You kissed me," he said, curling his fingers on his thighs. "And you just said you like me."

Peter nodded. "I did both those things, yes."

Stiles blew a hot, angry breath through his mouth. "I'm trying to tell you that I won't have sex with you!"

"I realize that. That's why I said okay. "

Stiles opened his mouth and closed it again. He squinted at Peter. "I can't tell if you're fucking with me or not," he said, squinting harder.

Peter smirked in a way that was a little less malicious than Stiles was used to. "I'm not fucking with you, Stiles. I'm saying that I don't mind."

Stiles did an impression of a fish again. "Really? You're okay with this? You're not even surprised?"

"No, I was pretty sure you weren't a sexual creature already."

"How?"

Peter smiled. "Do you want an honest answer or one that won't make me sound like a creeper?"

Stiles's lips twitched as he suppressed a laugh. "Honest answer. I already know you're a creeper."

"Fair enough." Peter leaned more into the back of the couch. "You never smell horny."

Stiles's eyes went a little wide. He fought with his dignity and morbid curiosity a second before asking, "What the hell does that mean?"

Peter showed his teeth in his grin. "I mean, you never react to other people. Sure, sometimes you come to meeting smelling frustrated if you haven't had your daily wank--"

Stiles choked on his tongue.

"But, as much as you made noise about wanting Lydia or any other person, you never smelled aroused when they were around. Even when you couldn't stop staring at their chests, it was likely just because tits are just fascinating to look at, not because you wanted to shove your dick between them."

Stiles stared, unsure how even to respond to that. He went with, "Yeah. Boobs are cool."

Peter snorted.

Lifting his hands and swiping them to the side like he was pushing that topic away, Stiles tried to get back on task. "Wait, so, you're really okay with this? Like, really really?"

Shrugging, Peter said, "Sex isn't everything. You stimulate my mind, which is more than I could ask for in most partners." Then he straightened up and looked Stiles in the eyes. "The real question is: are you okay with this? Rather, are you okay with me?"

Stiles looked down. He hadn't really given that much thought. He'd been more concerned with the possibility that he'd deceived Peter somehow into thinking he was down to fuck. He pulled his lip through his teeth and considered everything. Sure, Peter was a jerk, but he was the kind of jerk that was relatable. He liked Stiles's sarcasm. That was a first.

He lifted his eyes to Peter's face, searching his eyes. All he found was openness, the kind that said he'd leave and never speak of this again if Stiles wanted him to. Stiles realized he didn't want him to leave at all. It was nice having him in the apartment, nice having someone around just for him.

Slowly, Stiles lifted his hand and gently touched Peter's face. "Will you cook for me all the time?"

The smile that crossed Peter's face was sweet. "Well, not all the time. If I did, you'd miss all the fine restaurants I want to take you to."

A little laugh bubbled out of Stiles. He stroked his thumb over Peter's cheek. The movement made Peter's eyes go half-lidded. "Okay, granted. Will you always do my laundry?"

Peter snorted, which was a surprisingly loud sound that had him self-consciously rubbing at his nose. (Cute!) Peter shook his head. "No, sorry, I'm definitely not your maid. That was a one time deal because you almost died."

Stiles scooted closer, sliding his hand around to the back of Peter's head, fingers in his hair. "Will you always take care of me?"

Peter leaned in a little further, his hand trailing along Stiles's cast then gripping his arm where it ended. "Yes, even if you're not hurt."

Stiles exhaled a breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding. "Okay."

Brows lifting, Peter licked his lips in a quick motion. "Okay?"

Stiles nodded. "Okay."

Smiling, Peter gently took the back of Stiles's head and pulled him in, so their foreheads touched. "Okay."