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You Can't Choose to be "Liked" by a Psychopath

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The first time Stiles had met him he was nine years old.


It's not so easy to remember how old exactly you have been at a certain event in your childhood. But this event was easy to remember for Stiles.

He knew he would always remember perfectly the moment he had met him for the first time in his life.

 

That crazy-as-fuck day, when a little, nine years old boy had met the big bad wolf.

 

 

~~~

 

 

Stiles was on his way home from school. Which relieved him extremely.
 These days he actually enjoyed being at school more than being home - Where his dad would treat him like an injured, helpless, little puppy. Stiles knew his dad only meant good; wanted to make sure Stiles was okay, but all Stiles wanted to do was to forget.
 To ignore.
 Deny.

 

School was his safe place. His classmates usually treated him like nothing had ever happened. His teachers often seemed a bit concerned, but tried not to show it too much. They probably wanted to help somehow, but just didn't know what else to do than to behave normal around Stiles.
 And that he appreciated a lot.

 

But today had been different. Too exhausting.
 He didn't even know why exactly, but everything just seemed to stress him out.

 

And then there was also this heaviness in his chest.
 Stiles had tried to ignore it, to focus on good things that had happened... But it wouldn't work.
 His thoughts kept getting distracted by that heavy pull he constantly felt in his chest. Like a big rock lying on his rip cage, trying to break through and squeeze so heavy against his heart, that all the blood would drain from it completely.

 

Stiles hated this feeling.

 

But - as it seemed - it had become his eternal companion.
 Since the day his mother had died.

 

Two weeks ago.
 Was it only two weeks ago? Stiles wondered. It felt longer to him. At least like a life time.
 But that was crazy, right? After all, he was only nine years old. Every adult loved reminding him that he hasn't even really lived yet. Way too young to understand life, humanity or even only himself, since his personality was still developing...
 But then, what did people think was Stiles now? Was he not a real person, not able to think, to feel, to understand and process life, because he didn't have a stable personality and didn't even start life yet??

 

He felt like he lived.
 That's all Stiles knew. He knew there had been times, when he had loved life, when he had been happy and laughing and enjoying his life.
 But when his mother had died, this had all changed.
 It didn't matter that it had been only two weeks ago. It didn't matter that he was still too young to understand life.

 

He did feel like, a life time ago, something had robbed him of his life. Or at least his happiness.
 Or was it maybe the same?

 

It didn't matter.

 

Stiles didn't want to think of that.

 

Focus on something else, Stiles, he thought, desperately trying to distract himself from the heavy sadness in his chest.
 He focused on his surroundings, trying to take it all in.
 It was raining. Heavily. Pouring, rather.
 He had forgotten to pack a rain coat that morning, so all he got was his red, cuddly hoddie. He pulled the hood over his head to protect himself at least a bit from the cool rain.
 His head was hanging low, only looking at the ground. That way his face didn't get wet. And he didn't really have to look up. There was no one else on the pathway. All of Stiles' classmates lived in other directions. Stiles always walked alone.
 And he could orientate perfectly by just looking at the ground. All he had to do was walk in the middle of a small pathway build of round stones, to avoid running into a lamp post. When the shape of the stones on the ground changed, he'd know he was only a few houses away from his home.
 That was usually the time, when he first looked up. When he concentrated on reality again and not on whatever thoughts he had been lost in.

 

But now things were different. These days Stiles couldn't afford losing himself in tons of thoughts anymore.
 Thoughts were his enemy. Time to think in general was his enemy.
 Thinking equaled remembering- Feeling the sadness again.

 

No, he couldn't risk that. He needed something to do at all times. So he would never have the time to think.

 

And so, today, Stiles looked up, while walking home. His eyes scanning the usual and yet completely strange neighborhood he lived in.
 Beacon Hills was 80% deep forest. Stiles and his dad lived pretty close to the outer edge of the city, which was why his school way also went past a wide stretch of dark woods.

 

Now, while it was pouring and the sky was covered in a blanket of dark grey clouds, those woods looked even darker than usual.
 A freezing wind tore through the trees, carrying the pleasant smell of pine needles and wet earth into Stiles' nose. But also turning his fingers into ice sticks.
 He wanted to put them into the pockets of his hoodie to warm a bit, but his backpack - almost as huge as his entire body - was so heavy, he feared he might fall backwards like a turtle if he didn't keep holding it secure.

 

Suddenly he noticed something in the corner of his eyes. Something dark and big, moving behind the trees on the edge of the forest.
 He turned his head into the direction, where he had seen the mysterious something, but couldn't see anything.
 When he turned forward again, wanting to continue his walk home, he froze to a statue.

 

Only a couple feet from him, right on the last line of trees, was sitting a large wolf, and watching Stiles.
 And by "large", Stiles meant large.
 The wolf was definitely larger than Stiles was, and - considering wolves were supposed to be not that much bigger than large dogs - that was freaking intimidating.
 Stiles had read about wolves the size of a lion, but having one this close...
 He really hoped the wolf had eaten already.

 

The predator had long, dark brown, shaggy fur. And that was pretty much the only normal thing about it. Without a doubt the most startling thing about the animal - besides its frightening size - were its eyes.
 They glowed in a deep blue like a super bright night light.
 And they were directed exactly at poor, little Stiles.

 

Slowly, carefully the kid took a few steps forward, watching the wolf cautiously for any sign of anger.
 But the creature simply kept watching Stiles. Not at all looking like he wanted a snack.
 So far so good, Stiles thought.
 He continued his track, trying to get home, into safety, but never letting the looming predator out of his sight.
 The closer he got to it, the more weird details he could make out. For example its paws. From afar - or even up close, if you didn't look carefully enough - looked like average wolf paws, but when you looked better, you could see that his "paws" were actually hands. They were weirdly elongated and had long, slender fingers, though it was hard to make out through all the fur.

 

Stiles was so confused and fascinate at the same time, that he didn't realize he had stopped moving midway while taking another step forward.
 He must have looked really ridiculous.

 

The wolf, apparently, thought so too. Because all of a sudden. It- He opened his mouth and started to talk.
 "Why don't you just walk like a normal person?" a rough, slightly amused sounding voice spoke.

 

Stiles was so sure he was completely losing it...
 Maybe he had slipped on the wet floor and hit his head? Maybe this was all just a hallucination or a dream?

 

The way the wolfs lips moved was so odd. Like something that was supposed to be completely impossible.
 Yes, it really freaked Stiles out.

 

But he was a curious kid, and there barely happens anything interesting in Beacon Hills.
 Also he didn't want to be impolite. His parents raised a good kid, after all.
 At least sometimes...

 

"Uh... I didn't want you to jump at me and eat me," he explained shyly.
 This seemed to amuse the wolf even more. The edges of his weird, illogical lips moved upwards, baring his scaringly long, glistening, white teeth a bit.
 A cold chill ran down Stiles' spine.

 

"Oh, well, why would I do that?" asked the wolf.
 "I mean look at you..." He moved his hand/paw so that his "palm" was looking upwards and waved it sidewards at Stiles, in a presenting gesture.
 Something that seemed so human, and yet completely out of the ordinary - Since a wolf was doing it.
 "It's not like there's really anything on your bones I could eat. Such a little, scrawny human boy..."
 He seemed to really think about Stiles' potential to serve as his snack.
 Though Stiles was pretty sure he was only joking.

 

The wolf seemed to sense Stiles' slight concern and looked into his eyes again.
 "Though, I gotta admit, you do look quite tempting in that blood red hoodie of yours..."
 Another grin. Okay, he really was only joking. Relief washed over the boys body, his shoulders finally relaxing.

 

"Now tell me: Why is a young kid like you walking, all alone, through the rain?"
 "I'm on my way home. Dad is still at work, so he couldn't pick me up."

 

Why am I telling him this?! Stiles wondered to himself.
 Didn't mom and dad teach me not to talk to strangers?

 

But somehow he liked the wolf. Felt like he could trust him.

 

"Now, I don't feel like a little kid should walk all alone. Even if your dad has to work... His work can't be more important than keeping his own child safe. In my family we'd never leave a young kid walk alone. Especially this close to the forest. Who knows what kind of dangerous predators or creepers stalk behind these trees?"
 Another full-body shiver hit Stiles.
 "No, no, my dad is the sheriff," he quickly explained; feeling he had to defend his dad. He was going through a really hard time, and was trying to be there and help Stiles as much as possible already.
 Often even more than Stiles liked him to.
 "His work is important. And I have no problem walking home alone."
 "Is that so?" the wolf questioned.
 "Still... Isn't there anyone else who could walk with you? Another family member, older siblings, maybe? Classmates?"

 

This stung a bit at Stiles' heart.
 "No... There aren't any other people, who could pick me up... A-And all my classmates live in other directions. But really! It's okay! I don't have to go far; I live right over there."
 He pointed with his finger into the direction of the street next to the forest, where many small family houses lined next to each other.
 "In the blue house on the right side."

 

Oops... He probably shouldn't have told this the super creepy, huge, talking wolf with the dangerously blue glowing eyes....

 

The wolf, though, didn't seem to care. He just looked unimpressed by Stiles' weak attempts of a defense for his family.

 

The whole scenario was just so weird.
 Seeing that wolf in front of him for a few seconds without talking, finally gave Stiles' brain enough time to process what was actually happening.
 It was so... weird. Yeah, that was the only adjective his mind could currently come up with.

 

Stiles took the short moment of silence between the two of them to get an even better look at the wolf.
 What Stiles hadn't noticed so far was the tail. Or to be more precisely, the missing tail. The wolf had none.
 Weird, Stiles thought again.

 

But this was definitely not the weirdest thing about him. And neither the one thing that interested Stiles most right now.
 There was something completely different about this actually pretty majestic and beautiful wolf, that caught Stiles' attention.

 

"You look bad." The words left Stiles' lips way faster than the young boy could have reacted.
 He regretted them immediately. After all the wolf was so huge, Stiles was sure he could easily kill him with a single slap of his enormous paws.
 "Thank you for telling me, I thought this look was suiting me, when I left the house this morning," the blue eyed predator answered sarcastically.
 This made Stiles feel even worse. He didn't mean to hurt his feelings. But he really couldn't ignore the painful view in front of him. The wolfs dark brown fur was only growing in patches, here and there. In between were many really bad looking rashes and deep, red and white scars.
 You didn't see this from afar, because the wolfs long, dark fur covered many of the bald spaces good enough, so they weren't too obvious.

 

But now, this close, Stiles could almost feel them. Feel the unbearable pain the wolf must have been in, when he got the scars.

 

Apparently, while thinking all this, Stiles' face must have been full of pity, because the injured wolf knew exactly what was going on in the kids head.
 "It's okay; it's not that bad. I just left the hospital and am on my way home now. The scars happened several months ago and don't hurt that much anymore."

 

This got Stiles' interest. You know, even more than his interest for the giant, speaking wolf with glowing eyes.
 "You were at the hospital? Like- Like the animal clinic?"
 "No not the animal clinic! An actual hospital! For human beings."
 Stiles preceded carefully.
 "But... You are not a-"
 "Yes, yes, I know," the wolf interrupted him.
 "I'm not a human. You got that right."
 "Good," Stiles cautiously answered.
 "For a second here I thought I was going crazy. But- So... Are you... like... a werewolf?"

 

The wolf only looked at him. His face unreadable.
 "I'm Peter," he stated after a few moments, startling Stiles with the sudden change of subject.
 "I'm Stiles."
 "Stiles," Peter repeated, seeming to like the ring of the name. Stiles certainly liked the ring of his name, when Peter said it with that low, rough voice of his. It sounded really good. Comforting, somehow...
 "So tell me, Stiles," Peter continued after a moment.
 "You don't happen to have seen a group of men, walking around these woods with rifles, today, did you?"
 "Hunters?"
 "Yes, you see, they and I- We're not exactly friendly towards each other. And I know they're in town this week, so if you saw some of them, I'd really appreciate it if you told me, where exactly you saw them."
 "I'm sorry," Stiles replied. And he really was sorry. He didn't want the wolf- Peter to get hurt by some stupid hunters.
 "I didn't see anyone. I'm not really cautiously, while walking home," he admitted.
 "I see," Peter hummed, empathetic.
 "Probably, you're not that focused on your surroundings, because you're hearts beating that heavy."
 "Well... I- Uh... Of course my heart is racing! I'm talking with a giant wolf! Talking with a wolf!"
 "Uh uh," Peter said, shaking his head.
 "I said "heavy", not "racing". Fear makes our heart race. But even before you noticed me, your heart has been beating steady, but heavily-"

 

Realization seemed to hit Peter suddenly, and Stiles felt more fear creep into him.
 He liked Peter. He didn't want him to find out and look at him like everyone else always did.
 Stiles wanted at least one person in his miserable life, that he could talk normal with. Someone who understands him, but without treating him with naïve pity.

 

"You're mourning," Peter finally voiced.
 "You lost someone?"
 "My mother," Stiles answered, against the warnings of his head.
 "She died about two weeks ago. At the hospital. She was sick."

 

The stone in Stiles' chest got heavier with every single word.
 But he wanted to be strong. He didn't want to cry.

 

"I lost my family too," Peter coldly answered. Almost emotionless.
 This made Stiles look up, into the dark, blue eyes of the surreal creature.
 "They were killed. By the same hunters, who now roam these woods once every couple months; looking for any survivors."
 "Survivors?" Stiles wanted to know.
 "Yeah, there was fire. Burned down my familys house," Peter simply said, looking annoyed and disinterested by the subject.

 

"Anyway... Thank you for your help, Stiles. I should go home now. As should you."

 

And so Stiles said his goodbyes to Peter the wolf. Still bedazzled by the whole scenario.

 

On the rest of his walk home, he wondered if this had really been real.
 But what really haunted through his endless thoughts was the question if he'd ever meet Peter again...

 

 

~~~

 

As coincidence had it, he did meet him again.
 Not all the time, but once in a while.

 

And Stiles absolutely loved every single second of every single encounter the two had.
 He really liked Peter, enjoyed being around him.

 

They usually only talked a bit, when they met. Catching up on each others life Getting to know each other a bit better.

 

Stiles was glad he hadn't just hallucinated Peter. Sometimes he'd met Peter and talk with him, when schoolmates or other people walked by and freaked out at the sight of a giant wolf.
 They always run as fast as possible.
 Some yelled at Stiles to run away too, but he never listened.

 

One time a schoolmate of his had asked him at school if he wasn't scared of the wolf, because he didn't run.
 Stiles simply answered he had read somewhere that you're not supposed to run away from wolves, because otherwise they might think you're food.

 

~~~

 

 

One time, Peter unexpectedly showed up at Stiles front door; hiding from hunters, who had gotten to close to him. Fortunately Stiles' dad was at work at the time.
 Otherwise he might have freaked out about a man covered by deep, bad scars asking if his young son was home.

 

And also maybe about the fact, that Stiles had told a stranger where he lived.

 

Oh, yeah...
 That was the first time Stiles had seen Peter in his human form.
 Stiles found him pretty attractive. Besides the scars.

 

He recognized Peter immediately - Not just by his scars, but also because of his eyes.
 And his voice of course.

 

But really... Seeing Peter in human form wasn't good for Stiles' health.
 And school grades.

 

He constantly got distracted, thinking about how good looking Peter was.
 How illegally charming his smile was.

 

And his poor heart kept racing in an excited rhythm, every time he met Peter.

 

Even more so, when they touched.

 

They had found out pretty quick that they both felt extremely lonely.
 Stiles still had his dad and Peter once mentioned he still had a nephew and a niece in New York, but it wasn't the same as the families they used to have.

 

So they were both incredibly lonely...
 And apparently also incredibly touch-starved.

 

They had noticed this by coincidence.
 Peter, one rough day, comforting Stiles by simply stroking his hand over Stiles' back.
 It felt so painfully good for both of them, that they continued.

 

Over time, they hugged and stroked each others backs and arms more and more. Wanting to drown in the sensation of each others warmth and the tingling and beautiful feel of skin to skin contact.

 

 

~~~

 

 

The older Stiles got, the more intimate and longing their touches got.
 At some point Peter finally - carefully - allowed Stiles to touch his scars. It's not like he could feel anything through the dead skin, but that's exactly why Peter didn't like people touching him on those spots.

 

With the time his scars became lighter and lesser in general, thanks to his hard working werewolf healing powers.
 But still it was a touchy issue for Peter. And Stiles knew that.

 

He absolutely appreciated Peters' trust in him.

 

He loved being able to make out more of Peters' body; get to know it better.
 The scars didn't bother him.
 He loved everything about Peter. Even those parts Peter hated.

 

 

~~~

 

 

One day, finally, Stiles got to discover Peters' beautiful body even better than ever before.

 

Usually Peter was really careful, when it came to intimacy between him and Stiles.
 As much as Stiles wanted to get closer to Peter and do more with Peter, and as much as Peter loved the kid...

 

Stiles was still that exactly:
 A kid.

 

Peter didn't want to rush anything. Didn't want to cross a border. Make use of Stiles' young and wild hormones.

 

But that one day, he allowed at least a small, teeny-tiny step closer to the border.

 

It was raining- pouring, like on the day when they had met for the first time.
 When they got home, after a trip to the cinema, both their clothes were completely soaked.

 

They were at Stiles' house, never Peters' apartment in the city - The older wolf didn't want to get into any trouble with the police.

 

Peter told Stiles to change his clothes, so he wouldn't catch a cold. Stiles obeyed, but wondered about Peters wet clothes.
 Of course, Peter - as a werewolf - probably didn't exactly have to worry about a cold, but all his healing power was still busy with his scars...

 

"Aren't you going to change too?" the sinister kid asked, with big innocent puppy eyes.

 

After a long unnecessary discussion - because, really, Peter didn't stand a chance against Stiles' determined mind - Peter let himself be talked into wearing some spare clothes of Stiles' dad, until his own clothes would have dried.

 

"As long as the Sheriff never finds out," Peter mumbled to no one in particular.

 

But then he noticed Stiles shaking, the cold of the rain still inside his bones.
 So Peter did something probably pretty dumb.

 

And pretty illegal.

 

He asked Stiles to climb into bed. And to spend the kid even more warmth - you know, because turning on the heater would simply take way too long - the wolf simply cuddled under the blanket too.

 

In human form.

 

It was one of the greatest days in Stiles still young life.
 Nothing really happened, they "only" cuddled, but to Stiles this meant everything.

 

As did it to Peter.

 

He held the kid close to his body, while Stiles stroke his hand through Peters' messy brown hair, soothing so much loneliness and pain from loss of pack out of Peters' exhausted body.

 

 

~~~

 

 

Peter felt like cuddling was okay.
 He needed it and so did Stiles, so how could it be wrong?

 

They did it more often.
 Simply lying in bed together - sometimes under the blankets, sometimes on top of them - doing nothing, but cuddling and enjoying each others presence, closeness.

 

The first time they both feel like they've finally reached a new point in their relationship was, when they had fallen asleep.
 As much time as they had spend in bed together already, sleeping in the same bed felt like something totally new. Something way more important.
 Way more intimate.

 

 

~~~

 

 

Not too long after, followed their first kiss.
 It wasn't special- No, wait. It was special. Definitely extremely special!
 For both, Peter and Stiles.

 

To them their first kiss was the best thing ever,

 

But the way it happened just wasn't like in those movies. Nothing super romantic you could tell people about and everyone would go "Awwww!".

 

It was a wonderful, perfect and intimate moment, only understandable for the two of them.

 

The only problem was that afterwards they both felt like they were a thing now.
 You know... Boyfriends?
 Officially dating?

 

But officially dating was kind of a problem, when one of them was still very underage.

 

People started to notice the looks the two exchanged, the subtle, but clearly understandable touches...

 

Obviously no one was too happy with it. Stiles was 15, Peter in his early 30s.
 It was a scandal.

 

People were freaking out, accused Peter of being a pedophile.
 "What else would a man his age want from a child?"

 

Stiles ignored the evil voices.
 They claimed Peter was the monster, a bad man. But in Stiles opinion the only monsters were them.

 

Because what else than a monster would try to separate two people, who were so crazy in love with each other, it hurt, when they weren't together even only for a few hours?

 

Peter wasn't a monster.
 Peter was Stiles' love of his life.

 

No matter how young he still was.
 He knew this was the truth.

 

So the man might be a bit of a creeper, and yes, he did went to Stiles' home, when Stiles had been home alone and still really young and all...
 But who cares?

 

Then Peter was Stiles' big bad wolf.
 Stiles loved Peter. And Peter loved Stiles.

 

Maybe he seemed like a monster to others.

 

But he wasn't in real life.

 

The rest of the world, though, of course, had a different opinion.

 

But no one could really do anything about it. A) Because Stiles would kill anyone, who even only attempted to part him and Peter, and B) because technically they didn't do anything illegal yet.
 The only thing that came close to a break of the law - or was it one already? - were the sweet, soft kisses they shared.

 

But those only ever happened in privacy, when really no one else was around.

 

So no evidence of anything that could get Peter into jail.

 

As hard as the Sheriff tried to.

 

And really: He had tried to.

 

Especially right after he had found out about the two.

 

 

~~~

 

 

That evening had been one of the most horrible, stressing, and yet, at the same time, most relieving times in Stiles' life.

 

In the end, Stiles knew it had to happen.
 It was long overdue, even.

 

Still he had always feared the day his dad would find out about his relationship with Peter.

 

Also it might have been nice if it would have happened a bit less provoking, towards Stiles' dad.

 

To think that that had all been a hunters fault.

 

 

~~~

 

 

It was actually a nice evening.
 Peter had come by to spend some time with Stiles, help him a bit with his homework - Even though Stiles was usually a lot better at most subjects than Peter.

 

But they both didn't know was that Chris Argent, one of the hunters who now lived in San Francisco, who sometimes came to Beacon Hills to look for stray omegas, had followed Peter to Stiles house.

 

Somehow the stalker had found out about Stiles being alone at home and also being the Sheriffs son.

 

Of course, the Argent, who - just like his whole family - had a special kind of affection towards the Hale family, had to call Stiles' dad and tell him, that is son was home alone with that creeper, who, as half the town already knew, had a special interest in his boy.
 And not only that. No! Of course, he also had to tell him about Peters' family history, about all the dead bodies. The potential of, maybe, Peter being the arsonist, who had let the fire.
 He told him about other people, who had gone missing in Beacon Hills since Peter had left the hospital, a couple years ago.

 

He told him the truth. Somehow proved the Sheriff, that werewolves were an actual thing.
 And that Peter Hale was the worst specimen.

 

All things Stiles knew himself.
 He was a smart kid. He knew about Peters other side.

 

Always had.

 

About all the madness, the grief, the revenge driven predator.
 Killer.

 

But Stiles didn't mind that side of him.
 As dangerous as it was.

 

The Sheriff went completely mad drove home and pushed open the front door to the house and literally ran up the stairs to his sons room.

 

Stiles and Peter were casually lying on Stiles' bed - on the blankets, bot under - and chatting, when Stiles' dad suddenly slammed open his door.

 

He pulled Peter of the bed with his fist, yelled a lot and threatened to kill the older man.

 

Peter could easily have gotten out of Noahs' grip, but didn't, because he didn't want to make the whole situation worse.
 Which Stiles really appreciated.

 

The boy tried to make his dad calm down and let him explain, but Noah wouldn't listen, too deep into his rage.

 

Peter looked at Stiles, searching for a sign, until Stiles nodded.
 Then he simply left the room and the house, ignoring the Sheriffs calls.

 

He knew Stiles could handle the situation himself.

 

Once the wolf had left, Stiles' dad really lost a bit of his fight will.
 Instead he turned around to look at Stiles; his face in complete disbelieve.

 

Stiles hated the look.

 

It was the look of pure and utter disappointment.

 

"What?!" he yelled frustrated at his dad.
 "No! Dad! Don't do this, don't look at me with this look, like I have done something wrong, because I haven't!"

 

His dad was startled at that statement.
 "Yo- You didn't do anything wrong?!" he yelled back.
 "Stiles! You let a complete stranger enter the house! You let him into your room onto your bed! An not only just any stranger! No, it wasn't just some kid from your scholl, but a grown - man!!" He emphasized the last two words.
 "And then," he continued, his voice growing more and more angry and frustrated at the same time.
 "I have to find out, that, apparently, my son is seeing said man since years already!!! Stiles, what have you thought!?! What in the world makes you think it's a smart idea to spend time, start a relationship with a man his age!?!
 "Did you ever think about what he actually wants from you?! Did you ever think about why an adult man would be interested in a child!?!"

 

This was all too much for Stiles.
 The horrible accusations towards Peter, the fact that Stiles' own dad was against his emotions towards the man he loved.

 

But his dad just kept yelling at him.

 

Saying all these horrible things that broke Stiles' already scarred heart.

 

"Stiles, he's a psychopath!"

 

"SO WHAT!?"

 

An eerie silence filled the room. Only the ticking of a clock - somewhere in another room - and the quiet buzzing of a light bulb above them was to be heard.

 

And Stiles' breath.
 His ragged, heavy, suffocating breath.
 Stiles was sure that not a single inhale he took brought any oxygen into his burning lungs. His heart was hammering against his ribcage; pleading to be let out - Pleading to be allowed to bleed to death, right here, on the carpet, to his fathers feet.

 

His entire body was hurting.

 

And his eyes... His eyes were stinging. Sore and itchy, like on those days, when he had barely slept after a night of intense researches about his latest obsession.
 Was he about to cry?
 No... No, Stiles noticed a single drop rolling down his cheek.

 

He was crying already. Not just about to.

 

His dad was still silent. Only staring at him in shock; stunned by his son yelling at him.

 

Though, it wasn't just yelling. Stiles had screamed at him. A guttural, painful scream, that Stiles hadn't even intended to let out.
 It just happened.

 

There were too many emotions within Stiles to hold back any longer.

 

It felt like an eternity before he spoke again; his throat sore and hurting, his voice quiet, rough.
 "He likes me."
Several seconds passed, before Stiles looked up at his dad. The Sheriff seemed not to understand, looking at Stiles for an explanation.
 "He likes me, dad. Do you know how that is? How that made me feel? Back then, when I was still young- Or... younger than now?
 "I'm not stupid, dad. No matter how young I was back then... I knew who he is... how he is."

 

Stiles needed a few seconds to breathe, to remind himself of breathing in general.
 "He told me he likes me." Another wave of tears burned in Stiles' eyes. He tried to fight them back - Though not very enthusiastically.
 "Do you have any idea how it makes you feel, when a psychopath tells you he likes you? Huh?! Becau- Because I was certainly scared, uh huh! I was out of my freaking mind! Dad, I thought I would die!"

 

Now he definitely couldn't hold back the tears anymore. With every impulsive sentence the volume of Stiles' voice rose more and more.
 Breathing seemed impossible now.

 

"Stiles..." His dad seemed to feel so sorry for his son. He had that annoying look of pure pity in his eyes.
 Though, of course, Stiles knew he only meant good. He was his dad. He was supposed to feel bad, when his own son got scared.
 "I'm so- Why didn't you tell anyone? If you're scared of him-"

 

"No, dad! You don't get it!" This, again, startled the older man.
 "I'm not scared of him. That's not what I'm trying to-" He sighs. Breathes again. Then, this time more patiently, tries to explain.
 "I love him, dad.
 "I really - Honestly and sincerely - love him. Yeah, I love Peter Hale, okay?" Stiles almost laughed at the last sentence. He couldn't believe he'd never said this aloud before. And now - the first time he finally did say it - he said it to his father.
 Of all people.

 

"Yes, I was scared, when he told me that he likes me. But that's not- I didn't tell you this-" Another sigh.
 "The reason why I told you about this is, because I knew that Peter isn't the most healthy guy. And, yes, I know you should never surround yourself with unhealthy people, but I don't care! Okay? Maybe I liked Peter too? Or maybe I was simply fascinated by that talking, giant wolf with freaking red glowing eyes! Who knows? But also: Who cares? I don't!
 "All I care about is that - no matter how crazy, deeply insane, absolutely unreasonable and, yes, maybe even psychopathic Peter behaved from time to time - he was always, okay? Always nice to me.
 "He always cared about me, always cared about what I cared about, he was always there for me! He never hurt me, never treated me badly. No, even the complete opposite!
 "Peter became my friend.
 "The reason why - back, when I was barely nine years old - was scared for my life was, because I knew he's a lunatic. Even though I didn't even know him yet.
 "And you know what? Even years later- Yeah, even today, still, do I think about it. About the fact that you can't choose to be "liked" by a psychopath.
 "About the fact of how obsessed Peter gets with things...
 "He always does, you know? He never just likes or doesn't like something. Peter always gets obsessed. Peter lives his life to its fullest, he lives with pure passion.
 "Peter Hale weather hates, or loves. Never anything in between.
 "So the moment he told me that he "liked" me, I knew he was obsessed with me. And that scared me. All those stories you hear on the news... About psychopaths stalking and murdering the objects of their obsessions... And Peter isn't even human. He's a predator...
 "But I was never scared of him directly. Of the annoying, rational thoughts my stupid subconscious sometimes comes up with... But never of him.
 "I always liked Peter. Pretty quickly came to trust him.
 "Sometimes even more than anyone else.
 "There were times, when I desperately hoped he would show up after or before school. Times, when I felt like I needed him, like no one could comfort me, understand me but him.
 "I know this might sound like he manipulated me... But, dad, trust me. I like Peter. I always did. And we became friends. Not because he forced or manipulated me to, but because it just happened. Because it works. And then, some day, I simply fell in love him.
 "Which - over time - turned to much more...
 "So much more. Dad... I love Peter. It doesn't matter what you'll do to try to stop me from seeing him. It doesn't matter what logical reasons everyone has for why I should never be near him.
 "I love him. I will not stop. No matter what anyone tries."

 

The Sheriff understood Stiles was right.

 

He definitely didn't like it.
 But he knew he couldn't stop Stiles from loving Peter.

 

And so the worst evening of Stiles life was over.

 

Or at least... so he thought.

 

But he had to suffer through one more night, until he could finally be with Peter in peace.

 

 

~~~

 

 

On the last day of summer vacation in 2011 - Stiles was 16 at the time - he caught a call on the radio frequency of the local police.
 Little did he know, that this police call would later mark the starting point of the most dramatic moment of his young life.

 

The police had gotten a call of two joggers, who had claimed to have found a body in the woods.
 As it turned out later, this had almost been right.
 Only thing was: They only found one half of a dead body.

 

Stiles had just gotten his mothers old jeep Roscoe for his 16th birthday. And he simply couldn't withstand his curiosity.
 He took Scott and together the two drove into the forest, in the middle of the night to find the other half.

 

And they did.

 

A young girl, probably in her twenties.
 Scott was shocked. And scared. But Stiles... Well, Stiles was too busy trying to get his suddenly heavy heart to keep beating.

 

The girl- The dead girl...
 She had a remarkable likeness of Peter.
 Especially her eyes.
 Her dead, cold, white-ish eyes. Somewhere behind all the chilling death lay something Stiles recognized from Peters' eyes.

 

But this wasn't the only thing about the dead girl that Stiles had recognized.
 And that reminded him of Peter...

 

There were also the deep and huge claw marks covering her body.
 Stiles knew exactly who had killed the poor girl.

 

Just not why.

 

 

~~~

 

 

The police and animal experts all investigated like crazy in this case. It was the most shocking and traumatizing thing that had happened in Beacon Hills since the Hale House Fire many years ago.
 The town was in full-on emergency mode.

 

Because of some rumors of wolf hair that had been found on the dead body, most people believed the monster to be a wolf.
 But Stiles knew better. First, because there weren't wolves in California since 60 years (or, at least, no normal ones), and second, because he knew very well that the real murderer was his boyfriend.

 

He confronted Peter about it as soon as possible, which took a while, because his dad was also investigating against Peter - considering he's a known psychopath in his eyes - and Stiles really didn't want to ask his boyfriend via text message if he had killed a young woman in the woods.

 

Stiles knew there had times, when Peter had done such things. He knew Peter had killed people, while the two were friends already.
 But he had never seen any of the bodies.

 

Seeing it with his own eyes made it a lot more real.

 

Also, maybe, somewhere deep inside him, Stiles had hoped Peter had stopped his killing spree a few years ago, when he and Stiles had gotten closer...

 

 

~~~

 

 

As it turned out the dead girl wasn't just any girl Peter had found and killed. But actually the girl was Peters' niece, Laura Hale. The daughter of Peters' older and also deceased sister Talia.

 

Yes, it was a hell of a night.
 All screaming and yelling. Even crying.
 Peter explained Stiles how he was still hurt and raging about what the Argents had done to his family, his pack. He talked about all this hate inside him, his endless thirst for revenge.
 It was the first time Stiles really noticed how hurt Peter still was over the fire. It had driven the poor wolf crazy.
 Like always, Peter got obsessed, but this time with a horrible desire for revenge.

 

Peter wanted to see blood.

 

But he knew he couldn't do that, wouldn't be strong enough to fight against the entire Argent family, if he was only an omega. He had needed to become an alpha and that was why he had killed his own niece.

 

Peter claimed to have loved Laura. Stiles wasn't sure about this.
 As psychopathic as Peter may be, but Stiles knew Peter would never hurt him. So if he really loved Laura, he wouldn't have killed her.
 Also Peter generally didn't have a lot emotions left for anyone besides himself and Stiles.

 

But Stiles wanted to listen.
 And so he did.

 

He listened to Peters' full story.
 About how werewolves are stronger in a pack - especially as an alpha - and how he had to do it.

 

About how broken and helpless Peter felt.

 

Peter told Stiles about all those exhausting thoughts in his mind, about his time at the hospital - officially comatose, but still at full awareness; his consciousness working perfectly. About how it all made him lose his mind, go completely crazy.
 But he also told Stiles about how his will to fight had ceased more and more after he got to know Stiles better and had started spending more time with him.

 

Peter explained how the only reason why he still went with his initial plan and killed Laura, was because of a single, bad moment, that had been strong enough to trigger all his madness and hurt again.
 A feeling Stiles was very familiar with from his depression. When he felt really good actually and not depressed at all, but then something happened - no matter how small - and all of a sudden Stiles felt horrible again.

 

But, because of this, Stiles also knew that such moments were only that: Moments.
 They passed.
 And that's why Stiles knew Peter was telling the truth, when the older man promised to never do this again. That he isn't a psychopath.

 

That he's much healthier now.

 

Stiles believed him.

 

By the end of the night, they were both cuddled together, spending each other as much comfort as possible.

 

And then Peter asked Stiles if he wanted the Bite.

 

Stiles refused with a thankful smile and a quiet and tired voice, explaining he didn't need to be a werewolf to be family with Peter.

 

 

~~~

 

 

Unfortunately, this still wasn't the end of this dramatic night, just yet.
 No, all of a sudden someone stormed into the apartment and attacked Peter. The two men got into a heated fight, and it became pretty soon clear that the attacker was a werewolf, too.

 

"Peter, you killed her!" the intruder yelled.
 "You killed my sister!"

 

"Derek, I'm sorry. Please, let me explain-"
 "Explain why you killed one of the few survivors remaining of our family?!"

 

The werewolf apparently didn't want to hear any explanation or excuse. Instead he went back to trying to kill Peter.

 

Meanwhile Stiles understood the situation a bit better.

 

The strange werewolf was Derek, Peters' nephew. Lauras' younger brother.
 He must've investigated in Lauras' case and found out just like Stiles that it had been Peter.

 

The fight between the uncle and nephew got worse by the second.
 They threw each other into walls, bit and clawed at every bit of flesh they could reach.

 

But after everything that had happened, Peter seemed not be very motivated in actually hurting Derek.

 

Which was really bad.

 

Derek almost killed him. He got extremely close.
 Too close in Stiles' opinion.

 

The boy was so captured by the fight, he didn't really notice, when the wolves got closer to him.
 Only, when one claws-covered hand harshly swooshed by Stiles' face, did the boy got aware of his sudden situation.

 

Stiles finally decided to run away, get himself to safety, but, when he turned his head around - looking back at Peter and Derek a last time - he saw how Derek was only nano seconds away from slashing Peters' throat.

 

Stiles acted.

 

He quickly moved closer to the fight and pushed Peter with all his strength backwards, away from Dereks' claws.

 

Unfortunately this also got himself directly in front of them.

 

Derek couldn't react fast enough.

 

His eyes widened in shock, when he realized what had just happened.
 Peter was frozen in terror.
 Though only for a second. Then he was on his feet, immediately, at Stiles' side.

 

The boy was lying on the floor, his hand covering his left shoulder, which was bleeding badly.
 Peter held him carefully, taking away his pain.

 

"I'm sorry," Derek said quietly, sincerely.
 "I-I didn't mean to-"

 

"It's okay," Stiles interrupted.
 "I know you didn't want to hurt me. Was my fault. Why did I have to run between two raging werewolves?"

 

Derek huffed a small laugh. Completely awestruck by the brave, young human.

 

"I'm Stiles by the way," he greeted.

 

"Nice to meet you, Stiles. I'm Derek," the wolf answered, obviously a bit irritated by the out-of-place politeness.

 

Suddenly the doors of the apartment slammed open.

 

It all happened so fast...

 

Only now did Stiles - and the wolves apparently too - notice the police sirens, outside of the building.

 

It happened so freaking fast. Stiles' brain had no chance to process quick enough.

 

There was the voice of his dad, calling something about found indications of Peter Hale having killed Laura Hale, some nurse called Jennifer Something, and about Peter having to be debriefed...

 

Then the Sheriff appeared in the room, his gun unlocked, in his hands, pointing straight forward.

 

Stiles saw his dads eyes widening at the view in front of him...

 

And Stiles knew perfectly how it must have looked for his dad...

 

Stiles lying on the ground, his blood all over the floor. Derek looming above him, Peter holding his injured arm securely in his hands.

 

"Da-" he couldn't stop him.
 He wasn't fast enough.

 

The bullet flew through the air.

 

It hit.

 

Stiles' heart was bleeding so fast, he couldn't hear anything but its loud thumping.
 He felt tears sipping through his closed eyelids.

 

Slowly noise reached Stiles' eardrums again.

 

His dad yelling at Peter to put his hands behind his head.

 

And Peter... Peter said something...

 

"Stiles. Stiles!"

 

He opened his eyes.

 

Peter was on the ground, next to Derek, who was bleeding from his chest...

 

"Peter Hale! Hands behind your head! I won't say it again!"

 

"DAD!"

 

All eyes were on Stiles, now.

 

"Dad, please..." A quiet, desperate plead, barely audible. Stiles was so exhausted.
 "Please, stop."

 

 

~~~

 

 

He listened. Noah listened to what Stiles was explaining. Later Stiles couldn't even remember what he had been saying. But whatever it was... It worked.

 

Noah left Peter and Derek in peace. Only standing by, watching. Refusing to leave without knowing his still bleeding son would be safe.

 

Derek wounds were too severely to for his healing powers to be fast enough.

 

Peter did something. Stiles was too tired, too exhausted to understand it all. But Peter did something with his Alpha Spark to save Dereks' life; not wanting to lose the last remaining relative he still had.

 

Afterwards Peter wasn't an alpha anymore. His eyes were cold blue again.
 Stiles had always found this colour to suit Peter way better than red.

 

 

~~~

 

 

Noah drove them all to the hospital. Derek didn't need it - thanks to his uncle.

 

He was still angry about Laura. Heartbroken, probably.

 

Understandably.

 

But, somehow, he managed to forgive Peter. Maybe he too didn't want to lose the rest of his family.

 

While the doctors stitched Stiles up, Derek looked at him with a weird look.

 

"What?" Stiles asked.

 

"Nothing," Derek laughed.
 "It's just... The way Peter looks at you, how he was at your side immediately, when you got hurt."

 

Stiles hadn't even noticed how Peter was looking at him. But he knew the look very good.
 It was the same look he always had for Stiles.

 

"My parents, Peters' sister and her husband... They shared the same look," Derek continued. Then he looked at his uncle.
 "You love him."

 

Peter moved his eyes from Stiles to Derek. Then simply nodded once.

 

"He's your anchor." Derek stated, like totally knowing what was going on.

 

While Stiles, on the other hand, had no idea what he was talking about.

 

Peter didn't seem to mind to explain, and simply nodded at Derek again.
 But he seemed happy.

 

And if Peter was happy, Stiles was too.

 

And right now, he really, really, really wanted to be just happy.
 After all the worst time of his life had just ended.

 

And now, finally, he and Peter could live on in peace.

 

Together.