Stiles was drunk. Like, really drunk. Like, at least as drunk as that one time when he’d tried to get Scott drunk, before they’d known that they couldn't get Scott drunk because of his wolfiness. Drunk enough that one of the drag queens he’d come out with - Phoenix, maybe, or Ginger; he wasn’t sure - had taken his damned keys. Which, totally fair. Also drunk enough that trying to wheedle another drink out of Nick - his absolute favorite of Jungle’s many bartenders - wasn’t going well. He pouted, folding his arms on the edge of the bar and making wide, Bambi-eyes at the older man.
“Come on, please? Just one more?” He whined, pouting for real when Nick rolled his eyes. “Dude, come on. I just got rejected again. The least you can do is let me get drunk.”
“You’re already drunk.” Nick replied, shaking his head at Stiles. “And Ging told me you’re done, so you’re done. You know I don’t argue with her.”
Stiles sulked, kicking the bar in annoyance. “This sucks. What’s the point in finally being twenty-one if they’re still going to act like I’m a little kid who needs looking after?”
Nick reached over the bar to ruffle his hair teasingly. “It’s just cause we all love you so much, kid.” Stiles shot him a dirty look and he laughed. “Sorry, but it’s true. So, since you’re no longer being allowed to drink your way through the heartbreak, how about you talk it out with me?”
“Nothing to talk about.” Stiles jerked one shoulder awkwardly. “Once again, I managed to screw up a relationship before it hit the one-month mark. It’s not my fault that my life is chaotic and emergencies happen, like, a lot. And it’s not like I’m not completely honest about that fact. And yet, somehow, they’re never as understanding as they say they will be, when shit actually fucking happens.” He smiled self-deprecatingly and added. “You’d think I’d be used to it by now, right? Maybe I should stop dating people out of my league. Think that’d make them stick around for longer?”
“Stiles, babe...your league includes you and a handful of movie stars and models. And it’s the highest goddamned league there is.” Nick told him. Stiles scoffed, because bullshit, and Nick rolled his eyes again. “Fine, doubt me. The hell do I know, right? I’m just the one who’s been looking at you for five goddamn years.” He waved towards the dance floor, adding. “Go dance, then. Expend some energy. Maybe get groped a little bit. It’ll do that wounded ego of yours some good.”
And Stiles grumbled, but obligingly slid off the barstool and headed towards the dance floor. There wasn’t much point in taking up a seat at the bar if he wasn’t going to be allowed to drink, anyway. When he got close enough, the queens spotted him and tried to wave him over, but Stiles turned up his nose and stalked the other way to show them he was still pissed they’d interfered with his get blackout drunk plan. He’d forgive them tomorrow - he always did - but for tonight, he was unhappy and planning to prove it.
So he threw himself into the crush of bodies, and the driving beat of the music, and just moved. It wasn’t something he did often, but not because he wasn’t good at it. Actually, Stiles’ usual gracelessness somehow melted into something that had been described as pure sex when he was dancing. Which was why he didn’t do it often. As much as Nick had been joking, getting groped by random strangers while he was dancing was a thing that happened kind of a lot. And as much as Stiles was growing increasingly frustrated with his continued lack of a love life, random strangers didn’t really feel like the answer.
Because Stiles was twenty-one and finishing up his final year of college at UC Irvine and he was still a virgin. Not that he hadn't dated - he had, okay. And, surprisingly to some (though not to others), Stiles had actually dated both guys and girls. It was just that it was never more than a few dates and some heavy make-out sessions before it all came crashing down. Once because the girl hadn't been over her ex fully and had gone running back. Twice because Stiles had refused to hop into bed with the person on their second date. Once because there just hadn't been enough of a spark between them...and Stiles was still friends with that ex, anyway. And on no less than four separate occasions, because something supernatural had happened that had resulted in either Stiles missing a date, or something trying to kill him during a date, or something trying to kill his date, or - on one memorable occasion - his date trying to kill him. So Stiles remained lamentably a virgin, but the thing was...
The thing was, the longer he went without that whole first time deal...the more Stiles wanted to make sure that whoever it was with when it finally happened was someone really special. Which was why he eschewed things like tinder-hookups and drunken fumblings in the alley behind a bar.
So when someone - someone about his height or perhaps a little shorter, but seemingly made of solid muscle, who was putting off heat like a goddamn furnace - slotted themselves against his back and began to grind against his ass, Stiles was ready to tell a motherfucker off for invading his personal space. Stiles spun around and the bar spun sickeningly with him, and Stiles had to admit that yeah, okay, he was maybe a little drunker than he’d realized...and maybe Ginger and Nick had been right to cut him off. Then the world righted itself and Stiles opened his mouth to tell whoever the fuck Handsy-Mc-Grabberson here was to back off.
He stopped, stared for a moment, then sighed and decided, ‘Fuck it, why not?’
Stiles looped his arms around the older man’s neck and resumed dancing, earning him a raised eyebrow. “I was expecting to get a tongue lashing. Not that I’m complaining, mind you, but...I’m a bit surprised.”
“I’m drunk.” Stiles explained, closing his eyes and enjoying the way the werewolf’s body felt against his as he let their bodies press and grind together. His head fell back a little and he panted. “Like, really drunk.”
The older man chuckled darkly and Stiles opened his eyes, leveling him with a cool stare. “Drunk enough to dance, Peter. Not drunk enough that you can even try to take advantage of me.”
Peter Hale smirked, and it was just as devastatingly seductive as it had been the first time Stiles had seen him do it, back when he was sixteen and still sporting a fear boner around the various Hales that kept popping in and out of his life. “I wouldn’t dream of it, Stiles.”
“Uh-huh.” Stiles huffed skeptically, then rolled his eyes. “Look, just...shut up and dance with me. I’ve been cut off at the bar so I’m not exactly in a good mood here and I’m not on this dance floor for conversation.”
Peter hummed agreeably and Stiles closed his eyes, sinking into the beat again.
Stiles downed another shot, grinning dopily at Peter. Because Peter was the best. After they’d danced for a little while, Peter had guided him to a booth and disappeared for a few minutes. He’d come back with a shot glass and a bottle of something. Stiles wasn’t sure what - the label had gone all blurry - but it tasted acrid and horrible. It was making his head spin so nicely, though, that Stiles was willing to forgive the bad taste.
He rested his cheek on Peter’s shoulder and mumbled. “Thanks.”
“You seemed to need it.” Peter replied, sounding as placid as ever. Stiles wondered if he sounded that calm and level in bed, then giggled a little, making the beta ask. “What’s so amusing, then?”
“Nothing.” Stiles replied innocently, eyes closing as he yawned. “I need to order an uber, ugh. One of the queens took my damned keys.”
“A wise choice, as you shouldn’t be driving.” Peter agreed and Stiles opened one eye to watch his jaw move while he talked. “But no need for an uber. You’re staying with your father for the weekend?” When Stiles nodded, his cheek rubbing against Peter’s shoulder in the process, Peter offered. “I’ll take you home.”
And Stiles just...couldn't resist, okay? He leaned in just a little bit and dragged his tongue along the line of Peter’s jaw, enjoying the way the older man’s stubble scraped against his tongue with a faint rasp. Then he drew back and stood, stretching as he said. “Yeah, okay, then. C’mon, Zombie-wolf. Drive me home.”
Peter stared at him for a moment, but apparently decided not to comment on the random lick. Stiles was grateful, as he wasn’t really in the mood to explain himself. So he followed a silent Peter to his matte-black Ferrari and got in, praying he wouldn’t puke in the gorgeous car.
As luck would have it, Stiles passed out only a couple of blocks from Jungle...and woke up in his own bed, having been stripped down to his boxers. He squinted around the room, then picked up his phone and squinted at that, quickly scanning his missed text messages. A few from the queens - talking about his keys, and the jeep - and one from Peter.
Zombie-Wolf: I carried you inside and stripped you, but I promise your virtue remains unsullied.
Stiles snorted and shot back a quick text, thanking Peter for taking care of him when he was drunk. Because Stiles was courteous, dammit...and because he and Peter were both members of Derek’s pack...and because they’d saved each other’s lives more than a few times. The least he could do was say thanks for not leaving Stiles passed out on his own front lawn.
The whole pack was arguing about how to deal with the newest threat to Derek’s territory and Stiles had had enough, for fuck’s sake, because he had to be back at Irvine by 8am for a fucking test and it was already 2am and this was not how he was supposed to spend tonight, okay. He needed sleep, dammit, and he was clearly not going to get it, but he also wasn’t okay with any unscheduled hospital trips and that meant everybody needed to shut the fuck up and stop suggesting stupid shit long enough for Stiles to think. Because obviously he was the only one with a goddamn brain and that’s why he was their strategist, so just...just...
Stiles blinked as Peter’s hand covered his mouth. Apparently, he’d been shouting. Which...okay; fair. It had been known to happen, when Stiles was sleep-deprived and his temper was short and he didn’t always even realize he was doing it.
There was a pause, then Peter’s eyebrow winged up and he drawled. “Did you just lick my palm?”
Stiles shrugged and Peter lowered his hand, asking softly. “Are you calmer now?”
“Calm enough.” Stiles agreed.
Peter nodded once, then turned to Derek. “Clearly nothing is going to be done tonight. The best plan so far - as it was suggested by myself, Ms. Martin, and Stiles, albeit in slightly different ways - is to approach slowly and with caution and see if we can’t arrange a peaceful sharing of the Preserve with these Fae. So let’s shelve the whole thing until the weekend, yes?”
Derek muttered an agreement and Stiles slumped in relief, though now he was dreading the two hour drive back to his dorm. Peter’s hand on his shoulder had him looking up, blinking blearily at the werewolf. “Mmmm?”
“I’ll drive you.” Peter told him, and Stiles was too tired to argue. He just let Peter guide him out of the Hale House and down the front walk, to where he was parked.
It was only when Peter had buckled him into the Ferrari that Stiles protested. “Wait, my jeep...”
“It’s currently heinously early on Thursday morning.” Peter pointed out, rolling his eyes as he slid into the driver’s seat and started the car. “I’ll drop you off at your dorm and you can live without your jeep until Friday evening, when one of the pack - possibly myself, but we’ll see - comes to fetch you. You can drive your jeep back to campus when you head back after the weekend.”
Stiles debated arguing, but Peter had a point. There was nowhere Stiles really went that required his jeep, except the back-and-forth trip between Irvine and Beacon Hills. So rather than arguing, Stiles murmured his assent and closed his eyes and let the Ferrari’s soothing purr lull him to sleep.
“Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehhhhh!” Lydia screeched, dancing away from Jackson, who had just sprayed her in the back with icy water from the super-soaker he was holding, cackling all the while. “Oh, you asshole!” Lydia snarled, sprinting for the stack of water guns Erica had just produced from somewhere and was currently loading onto one of the picnic tables.
Jackson was smart enough to stop laughing and start running.
Stiles, for his part, had been armed the second Erica had rounded the corner of Hale House, pulling the little wagon with its precious, precious cargo. He’d already sprayed Scott - because duh - and Derek, because their esteemed alpha still needed a little help relaxing most days. He’d tried to shoot his dad, but the Sheriff was quick and had quelled that idea with a mere look. So now he was watching as Erica sprayed Boyd before whistling innocently, though she dissolved into giggles when Boyd caught her in his arms and kissed her fiercely in retaliation. Allison and Scott were teasingly shooting at each other from behind trees, looking like kids playing at being in an action movie. Lydia was still screaming at Jackson, who was managing to stay just out of her firing range, because he knew if he just took off she’d never let him hear the end of it. The banshee considered it the height of unforgivable if Jackson used his preternatural gifts against her, in any way.
Stiles had to admit, she had a point.
Stiles scanned the area again, taking in Isaac...and Derek...and Chris. He spotted Cora, who was sunbathing, delighting in the first really warm day of spring, which was good because she often bemoaned the loss of the heat she’d thrived in, in South America. He debated spraying her for half a second, but decided he rather liked his skin on his body, so it probably wasn’t a good idea. He scanned again, frowning when his intended target didn’t make an appearance.
“Looking for someone?”
Stiles yelped, spinning and spraying Peter in the face on pure reflex. As the stream died out and Peter stared at him, water dripping down his stupidly handsome face before he swiped his hand over it to catch some of the stray droplets, Stiles burst into laughter. “Yeah, you, actually.” He said, still chuckling.
He tapped the water gun against his thigh and admitted with a grin. “I was planning to spray you, but I guess I’ve accomplished that, so...”
“So you have.” Peter agreed. He considered Stiles for a moment, then - before Stiles could even guess at what he was going to do - he quickly poured his drink over Stiles’ head. “There. Now we’re even.”
Stiles sputtered, licking his lips as the sticky-sweet liquid ran down his face, then protested. “The hell we are! I used water, dude. This is like...lemonade. It’s all sticky!”
“You’ll wash.” Peter retorted dryly. Then, he raised an eyebrow and asked. “And why are you so certain Erica filled the guns with water? Did you check?”
And, to be fair, Peter had a point. “I...did not, actually.” So Stiles grabbed Peter’s wrist, then flicked his tongue over Peter’s damp palm, humming before saying. “Yeah, no. Just as I thought. Water. So we’re still not even.”
Peter yanked his hand back, scowling. “Why do you persist in putting your tongue on me?”
And Stiles really didn’t want to answer that question, so he shrugged and raised the gun, spraying Peter in the face again. The beta roared, eyes flashing blue as he bared his fangs at Stiles, and Stiles took off running, laughing like mad the whole time. He managed to get behind Derek before Peter caught up, and the alpha told Peter to stop acting like one of the children and do something useful, like man the grill.
When Stiles caught his eye, Peter flashed his beta-blues again and Stiles retorted by sticking out his tongue before making himself scarce. No sense in pushing his luck, after all.
The whole pack was a little tipsy, including the werewolves, because Peter had been kind enough to provide an anise-based liqueur that was known to do the trick. So there was giggling, and snuggling, and a few inappropriate remarks going around. Peter didn’t mind any of it. He had missed this sorely and he knew that both Derek and Cora had as well, though they’d been a bit young to fully understand everything that had been lost with the fire. The camaraderie and companionship of pack was something that had to be experienced in order to be fully understood. And now - with the group of young men and women that had been a band of misfit teens when Derek assembled them into a pack - Peter had it back. It was lovely, and he closed his eyes and let it wash over him.
The pack always gathered on the full moon and, when it fell on a weekend - like this one - it always turned into a huge celebration. In another week, the whole pack would return to Beacon Hills for over two weeks, for Spring Break...and in a few short months, it would be a flurry of graduations and homecomings. It would be odd, having everyone back in Beacon Hills at long last - no one staying on campus for internships, or summer programs - but it was long overdue, if you asked Peter. Granted, everyone had stayed fairly local with their college choices and they all visited frequently, but it wasn’t the same. Nothing was the same as actually having the whole pack in the territory would be.
Peter was startled from a light doze by the feel of a tongue dragging up his cheek. His eyes flared blue so he could see better in the dark and he took in the guilty, surprised look on Stiles’ face. “Can I help you?” He asked, voice sleep-warmed and husky.
“Ah...no. Nope. No help needed.” Stiles laughed, backing away with his hands raised in a placating gesture. The other pack-children - as Peter and Derek still called them, despite the fact that they were all very much adults at this point - were snickering nearby, but Peter ignored them. “Just...we were playing Truth-or-Dare. Sorry. I didn’t think that would wake you up. I just...I’m gonna...go. Back. Over there. Right.”
Peter watched Stiles go, turning the puzzle of the whole thing over in his mind. Scott dodged a smack that looked a little more annoyed than playful as Stiles passed him - ‘Scott’s dare, then.’ - and then Erica demanded a fist-bump as Stiles passed her. Cora had turned to meet Peter’s eyes, despite the distance, and she tipped her head towards Stiles as though asking Peter a question.
The trouble was, Peter had no answer. In large part because he wasn’t really sure what the question was. So, something to think about then, for sure.
Stiles imagined it was only a matter of time before Peter figured it out. And part of him dreaded the day it happened, no matter how many times Cora insisted Stiles needed to just tell him. Because Cora didn’t understand, okay. None of the pack understood. He was certain they all thought he exaggerated when he told them about why he was single again. Stiles had seen them roll their eyes; had heard their comments about how overly dramatic he was. And, okay, true. But also, no. Because, in this case, he wasn’t. It was just that, when it came to romantic matters, things always tended to blow up rather spectacularly in Stiles’ face. Once, he’d asked a girl out on a date and had gotten slapped. No explanation; no refusal. Just a gasp and a slap. It had hurt, too. Stiles still wondered what that had been about.
So Stiles minded his tongue around Peter. Or, well...sort of.
Actually, not minding his tongue was sort of the point.
Two days into Spring Break, they were having a huge pack-breakfast, and Stiles was eating chocolate chip pancakes slathered in whipped cream and chocolate sauce, and Peter was sitting next to him eating a very reasonable egg-white omelette while Stiles was teasing the older wolf about his healthy eating habits.
“Come on, Zombie-wolf. You’ve got a metabolism like nothing else.” Stiles cajoled, wagging a forkful of pancakes-and-whipped-cream at the beta. “What’s the good of having it if you won’t even indulge?”
“I am not trying your childish confection of a breakfast, Stiles.” Peter shifted away from Stiles, and Stiles chased him with the fork and, before he realized what was going to happen, a dollop of whipped cream landed on Peter.
“Oops.” Stiles laughed, then - without much thought - he leaned down and dragged his tongue over Peter’s bicep, scooping up the whipped cream.
Between one heartbeat and the next, the whole table went eerily still and silent. Stiles held his breath, then Peter huffed exasperatedly and asked. “Have you never heard of a napkin?”
Stiles shrugged, grinning unapologetically. “Waste not, want not, Peter.” He shoved the remaining bite of food on his fork into his mouth, then added. “And I still say you’re missing out, but whatever.”
Peter said nothing, only rolling his eyes, and Stiles counted it as a win.
The pack seemed to be grumbling - to themselves and each other - as they went back to their meal, and Stiles wondered if they’d placed bets. On when Peter would figure it out. On what would happen when he did. On just how badly it would break Stiles, when this all fell apart.
Pushing that worry aside for another day, Stiles focused on his pancakes.
The day he graduated from UC Irvine was exciting. And Stiles imagined graduation was a pretty exciting day for most people his age...but not like this. Because most people didn’t get into a drop-down, drag-out magical fight on their graduation day. But then, Stiles wasn’t most people.
And it wasn’t even the kind of fight where they’d geared up for it and the whole pack was a cohesive unit and everything went fairly smoothly, albeit with an injury or three to show for it. No, this was a surprise fight. Because the whole pack was celebrating the very large number of graduates that had come home over the course of the last week and they were loud and boisterous and there may have been a game of ManHunt being played in the Preserve after dark. Or, well...not ManHunt, but close enough. After-sunset Hide-and-Go-Seek, anyway.
And someone, who would remain nameless - though you’d best believe Stiles was going to burn some scarves in retaliation for this crap - may have stepped over the boundary separating the main portion of the Preserve from the portion Derek had set aside for the Fae who’d taken up residence over the winter. And that, of course, was a violation of the agreement that had been reached. So. There were some claws and fangs bared, and some pointed teeth gnashed, and some light fisticuffs engaged in. It wasn’t bad, honestly. Stiles was able to diffuse things fairly quickly, by promising some peace offerings come morning - when the stores would open - and the Fae thankfully accepted his offer with grace.
And a kiss.
Which, Stiles would not have accepted, if he’d realized what was going to happen. But the young Fae had darted in, wings flashing brightly in the moonlight, and pressed her lips to his cheek before he could do anything to protect himself or ward her off. She darted away again, giggling, and Derek had snarled and flashed red eyes, and the Fae’s Queen had pointed out that the wolves had started this altercation, not her people, and that a little bit of Fae-touch wasn’t going to hurt Stiles so maybe they’d all just best go their separate ways. Stiles had staggered a little as the Fae’s magic had swept over him, but he’d waved his hand at everyone’s concerned outcry.
“M’fine.” He slurred, feeling pleasantly fuzzy. He grinned, adding. “S’kinda like bein’ drunk. S’not bad. C’mon. Le’s jus’ go back t’the house.”
And the next thing Stiles knew, he had been scooped up by Peter and the pack was obligingly moving through the trees towards Hale House. Stiles’ head lolled against Peter’s shoulder and he giggled a little, feeling loose-limbed and relaxed. Peter glanced down at him, but said nothing, so Stiles nuzzled into the man’s throat happily. Peter rumbled a little, but the sound didn’t seem like a bad thing and anyway, Stiles wasn’t afraid of no big bad wolf. He giggled again, then dragged his tongue messily - wetly - up the side of Peter’s throat before resting his cheek against Peter’s shoulder again.
Peter asked something softly, but Stiles didn’t catch it because he was distracted by the way the air was dancing around them in such a pretty kaleidoscope of colors. He hummed to himself, enjoying the light show, and whatever it was must not have been too important because Peter didn’t ask again.
The entire Hale Pack was spending a couple of weeks at the Hales’ old lakehouse. After rebuilding Hale House, Derek had turned his attention to the cabin where his family had spent their summers and now the pack got to use it as a retreat of sorts. In this case, pack rebonding after the separation of college. Stiles loved it. Loved swimming in the lake, and hiking through the woods, and hanging out around a little bonfire making s’mores every night. And it wasn’t like they couldn't do most of the same stuff at Hale House, because they could. It was just that the whole atmosphere of the lakehouse was relaxation.
So Stiles was chilling out, right. Decompressing, as it were, after the stress of...well, of his life, really. And maybe he was a little too relaxed, because he didn’t think he would have said it otherwise. Was pretty sure he wouldn’t have even considered it otherwise. He had been damned careful lately, okay. For more than a year, in fact.
But Derek had run into town and picked up a wide variety of baked goods, for the pack. Because he was a good provider, or whatever. The whole pack liked to snicker about alpha instincts but honestly, Stiles was pretty sure it was just that Derek liked to take care of everyone. For such a big, muscly guy...he was kind of a mother-hen. It was adorable, really, and Stiles was never going to say that out loud because he liked breathing, thank you very much, but it was absolutely true.
So. Baked goods. And, among them, was a small container of meringue cookies. Mint chocolate chip meringue cookies, in fact. They were Stiles’ absolute favorite. And while he could bake most things with ease, meringues were just...exhausting, okay? Four hours worth of oven-time per batch was a lot. So he preferred not to make them, and that meant he very rarely got them. Because not a lot of bakeries sold them. Again, four hours of oven time. They just weren’t a very practical cookie to sell.
So Stiles spotted them and immediately decided they were his. “Mine!” He shouted, all but lunging for the container. Because if five years in a goddamn werewolf pack had taught Stiles anything, it was that food could disappear in a blink if you weren’t careful.
“Hey, I wanted some of those!” Erica protested, making grabby-hands in his direction. He glared, hugging the container to his chest, and she pouted, glaring back at him. “Don’t be greedy, Stiles. There’s a whole container of them and I only want a couple.”
“You say that.” Stiles retorted, not budging an inch. “But we both know that you guys all devour whatever you get your wolfy little paws on. So no. I claimed them. They’re mine.”
Erica opened her mouth - no doubt to protest further, or possibly to threaten to take them - so Stiles said the first thing that popped into his head...even though he really shouldn’t have. “I swear to god, Erica, I will lick every single one right the fuck now, if I have to. They. Are. Mine. Back off.”
Stiles’ whole body tensed up, because that hadn't sounded like a question but it was. It absolutely was. It was a question, and it was an answer, and it was the sound of the whole damned world crashing down around his head, because oh no.
Because, as Stiles turned his head to meet stunned blue eyes, he knew that Peter finally understood.
The plastic container made a sharp sound as it hit the ceramic tile that made up the kitchen floor. Stiles was out the door sometime between the moment the cookies slipped through his numb fingers and the moment they hit the floor. He didn’t stop once he was outside, instead heading right for the trees. The worst part, he figured out a few minutes later, when he leaned against a fallen tree to catch his breath...
The worst part was that he hadn't heard anyone follow.
And it wasn’t that he wanted an audience while he fell apart. While he faced the fact that his world was about to shatter around him, because Stiles was pack but Peter was blood and, if things got weird, it was pretty obvious which one of them would be given the boot. Especially since this was all sort of Stiles’ fault. He was the one who’d gone and spilled his messy-ass feelings everywhere, after all. He really didn’t need - or want - an audience as he tried to sort through the wreckage and figure out what, if anything, he might be able to salvage; to keep.
It was just that no one following him really seemed to drive the point home. Because pack took care of pack, and no one was taking care of him. It was like it had already been decided, just that quick.
Stiles sank down to the forest floor, drew his knees up to his chest, buried his face in them, and tried to remember how the fuck to breathe.
He also stubbornly told himself that the dampness seeping into his shorts from his cheeks was just sweat. He didn’t actually believe the lie, but then...did that really matter? It wasn’t like there was anyone around to see him cry.
Stiles wasn’t sure how much time had passed before he finally slunk back to the house. A while, anyway. It had gotten dark out, at some point, and Stiles was actually chafing a little at the fact that no one had come looking for him. It stung, in all of the worst ways. So he was a bit sullen when he stalked through the kitchen, only growing moreso when he noticed the container of meringue cookies was nowhere to be seen. He was just betting fucking Erica took them. Well, that was fine. That was just dandy, wasn’t it?
Stiles told himself he didn’t care. Told himself he’d stop into the damned bakery and buy the biggest fucking container of them they sold. Told himself he’d bake some, for that matter, and they’d probably be better than the stupid bakery ones. Told himself he didn’t need the stupid cookies anyway, because heaven knew he consumed more than enough sugar as it was. Told himself a lot of things, as he left the kitchen, because it was easier to focus on cookies than on the bigger picture.
As he walked silently up the hallway - not trying to be quiet, because there wasn’t much point in a house full of werewolves, but also not being purposely noisy either - he could hear the TV in the den playing what sounded like a Marvel movie. He heard Chris Evans’ voice, anyway, and Robert Downey Jr’s, so that pretty much screamed MCU to him. And that chafed a little, too; the idea that the pack was watching a movie he probably would have had to fight to get them to put on. But he wasn’t in the mood to fight, or confront them. He was just going to grab his things from the room he’d been assigned to and head the fuck home. Back to Beacon Hills, and his dad, which were about the only things he was certain the pack couldn't take from him.
And once he was home, he’d sort out the rest. What he was going to do next. If he even wanted to stay in Beacon Hills after this, when it would mean the constant risk of running into the pack...and Peter. It might be better to apply to some jobs elsewhere. See just how far he could go, if he put his mind to it. Maybe distance was the solution here.
It was worth thinking about, anyway.
He was staring at the floor as he entered his room, thinking hard, and it wasn’t until he’d shut the door behind him that he looked up.
Stiles’ stomach swooped and his heart jumped up into his throat, but he swallowed hard and forced his voice to be as flat and emotionless as he could manage when he asked. “What do you want, Peter.”
Peter quirked an eyebrow but said nothing, and Stiles sort of hated the way the beta was sprawled across his bed, because now he knew he’d be able to smell Peter there, on his sheets, all night. Then Stiles remembered he was leaving and decided it didn’t matter. So he turned away and jerked open the closet, grabbing his dufflebag and tossing it onto the spindly little chair in the corner. He’d have put it on the bed but, well...werewolf.
Stiles had just yanked open the first drawer on the dresser and grabbed the small stack of t-shirts he’d stored in there when Peter finally spoke. “Going somewhere, Stiles?”
“Yeah.” Stiles replied, and his voice was a little sharp - a little brittle around the edges - so he took a slow, careful breath and forced it back to that flat, empty place he needed it to be at right now. “I’m going home.”
Peter said nothing for a moment, then offered softly. “You should take these with you.”
Stiles’ brow furrowed and he turned to look at Peter, then his mouth dropped open in surprise even as his eyes widened. “W-what...I mean, why...?” Because Peter was holding out the container of meringue cookies, which had not been taken by Erica, apparently.
“They’re yours, aren’t they?” Peter asked, voice soft and dark and oddly soothing. “You did claim them, after all, even if you didn’t get a chance to lick them.”
He paused, then got off the bed. Stiles held his breath as Peter stalked across the room, then took the offered container with numb fingers. Peter studied his face for a moment, then murmured. “Which actually reminds me of something I need to do.”
“Oh?” Stiles asked, voice weak and breathless. He half-wanted to lean back against the dresser, but that would be a show of weakness he wasn’t sure he could afford. “What’d you forget?
“I didn’t forget, exactly.” Peter mused, and he was still standing far too close; he was well within Stiles’ personal bubble of space. “It’s more that it hadn't ever occurred to me that this was a thing I ought to do.”
Peter leaned in - just a little bit more - and Stiles’ heart was beating so hard and so fast, he thought it might just break through his ribs. And wouldn’t that be fitting? To have his heart land at Peter’s feet, thumping away as it pumped his blood - his life - across the floorboards.
And then Peter’s tongue was dragging along the edge of Stiles’ jaw, stopping when it reached the spot just below his ear. It was hot, and damp, and Stiles’ knees vanished. He’d have hit the floor except Peter caught him, chuckling softly, and Stiles would have been annoyed if he’d had the presence of mind to be anything other than really fucking confused. And, you know, just a tiny bit aroused.
“Wh-” Stiles tried, though he apparently no longer had enough brain cells to make words. “I...w-wha...y-you-”
Peter crossed the room with Stiles, laying him on the bed and then seating himself on the edge of the mattress, next to Stiles’ hip. “Was there a question in there somewhere?”
Stiles sucked in a sharp breath, then asked on a rushed exhalation. “Why did you do that?”
Peter’s lips curved up into a wicked grin. “Isn’t it obvious, darling boy?” When all Stiles could do was blink at him in confusion, he huffed out a laugh and explained. “You’ve claimed me half a dozen times now, haven’t you? I thought it only fair I do the same in return.”
He leaned in, pausing with the barest hint of space between their faces, and murmured. “I’m afraid you’re mine now, Stiles. Mine.”
And as Peter shifted forward that last little bit and caught his lips in a fierce, possessive kiss, the only thought in Stiles’ head was an echo of that statement; was the fact that, apparently, this - Peter - was something he’d get to keep, after all.
It was everything he’d never thought he could have. And it was his.
‘Mine. All mine.’
~ Fin ~