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Fidelity, Honesty, and Joy

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Stiles sat on Derek’s couch, one leg bouncing in place, and tried not to bite his lip or clench his teeth as he looked across the room at his dad. He checked his watch. Five hours to go.

“Let me get this straight,” Noah said, looking at Derek, who was standing by the window, arms crossed. “A fairy--”

“Fae,” Stiles interrupted.

“The terminology is not important,” his dad said impatiently.

“It really is,” Peter murmured.

Lydia shot him a glare. “Not helping, Peter.”

“A fae,” Noah broke in, staring all of them down, “took a liking to Stiles and is going to whisk him off to fairyland,” Stiles winced but didn’t correct him, “at moonrise tonight unless Stiles gets married before then.”

“Essentially, yes,” Derek said.

Noah looked around at the pack. “I’m guessing from the looks on your faces that he can’t get married today and divorced tomorrow.”

“The fae don’t recognize human marriages,” Kira said apologetically. “It has to be a bond that they consider valid, and those are… much more binding.”

Rubbing a hand over his face, his dad gave Stiles a long-suffering look. “How binding?”

“Lifelong, okay?” Stiles said, bouncing to his feet and running his hands through his hair. “Permanent, no take backs, til death do us part except death doesn’t actually do it, either.”

“What are the other options?” his dad asks.

Stiles dropped back down onto the couch and looked his dad in the eye as seriously as he could, given how jittery he felt. “There are no other options. The fae already put a mark on me, and fae magic is different from human magic--there’s no protective circle that can prevent the mark from transporting me into faerie when the time goes. The fae doesn’t even have to be here, so we can’t argue with them, and we can’t fight them. We’ve been researching this,” Stiles waved a hand at the books and computers still sitting open all over the loft, “for three days and this is it. We have,” he checked his watch again, “four hours and fifty minutes and the fae ceremony is going to take at least two hours and it has to be finished by moonrise.” Stiles forced himself to stop and take a breath. “I’m sorry, dad, but we don’t have time for you to freak out.”


“Dad. Please.”

Noah took a deep breath, closed his eyes for a moment, then opened them again. “So who are you supposed to marry?”

“We hadn’t actually figured that out yet,” Scott admitted. “Once we saw that Stiles’ family was a required part of the ceremony, we figured we better get you involved right away.”

“Well, tell me about this ceremony, then,” Noah said.

Allison scooped up one of the copies they’d made and leaned over to hand it to him. The others all looked down at their own copies while he read. All of them except Stiles. He’d read it so many times while waiting for his dad that he practically had it memorized.

In a lot of ways, it was pretty standard. Speech from the priest--or druid, in this case--clasp hands with spouse, say vows, receive blessing, and, uh, consummation. Ba da bing, ba da boom. Except for the part where they’d be doing it all in a spell circle and the blessing would forge a permanent psychic and emotional bond with his partner.

“The ceremony part sounds pretty straightforward, but this magic bit...” Noah said, unknowingly echoing Stiles’ thoughts.

“Basically, it checks our intentions,” Stiles said, leg bouncing again. “If either me or my partner doesn’t fully commit to the vows, it won’t work. And the blessing creates a, uh, a kind of bond between us.”

“Not metaphorical,” his dad said dryly.

Stiles grimaced. “No, not even a little bit. It’s not full on telepathy, but we’ll be able to sense each other’s feelings. Maybe get some images, too, if the bond is really strong.”

“It has to be one of us,” Derek said, nodding at the gathered pack. “Anyone else couldn’t possibly understand what we were asking even if we could find a good option in the next couple of hours.”

“That makes sense.” Noah looked around, his gaze settling on Lydia. Stiles dropped his eyes to his hands, selfishly grateful his dad was going to ask for him. “Lydia…”

“I’m sorry.” The words burst out of her. She’d known the question was coming, of course. “I’m sorry, Stiles, I like you, I care about you a lot, but…” Stiles looked up and Lydia waved her hands helplessly. “I don’t think I could make this vow and mean it. I’m not ready to be regular married, nevermind permanent magical bond married.”

“I get it,” Stiles said, voice rough. “I get it. It’s okay.” He wanted to say I’m not ready either, except that he thought maybe he could be. The kind of devotion written into the ceremony appealed to him on all kinds of levels, even if he’d planned to wait years before actually going for it.

“Allison?” his dad ventured. “Kira?”

Stiles swallowed hard. “Uh. No need to limit ourselves to the girls, dad.”



Noah rubbed a hand over his face again. “I’m gonna have to think about that later,” he admitted. He looked around at the pack. “Well?”

“I’m with Scott,” Kira said quietly, biting her lip.

“And Allison’s with me,” Isaac jumped in, taking her hand. She shot an apologetic look at Stiles.

Noah looked around at them, outrage replacing the overwhelmed look on his face. “Listen, I understand that your relationships are important to you,” he said sharply, “but we’re talking about my son being dragged off to-- to-- to some other dimension, never to be seen again. Is a damned high school romance worth losing your friend? His life isn’t enough for you to pledge,” he shook the paper at them, “fidelity, honesty, and joy and mean it?”

“I would if I could, sir,” Scott said, wide eyed and so damned earnest. “I really would. It’s not the promise that’s the problem for me. It’s the, uh…” He trailed off. “The... consummation part.”

Noah looked pained. “The intentions spell--”

“Applies to that, too,” Stiles finished for him. He looked around at the pack. “Should I start saying my goodbyes?” He tried to ignore the tight feeling in his chest as, one by one, Scott, Isaac, Lydia, Allison, Kira, and Derek failed to meet his gaze. “If none of you can marry me and mean it--”

“I can.”

Stiles froze.

“Excuse me?” his dad said, tone deadly.

“I can marry Stiles and mean it,” Peter replied, his voice just as even as Noah’s. Slowly, Stiles turned to look at Peter where he sat on the staircase, mostly removed from the group. He looked completely serious. Stiles was weirdly torn between being flattered that Peter--gorgeous, smart, ambitious Peter--was willing to bind himself to Stiles and being afraid of what being bonded to Peter would mean. The fact that he couldn’t trust Peter had always been the shield he’d used to stop himself from kind of liking the guy the rest of his friends hated, and with good reason. If he knew, if he could feel that Peter wasn’t working against them...

“Stiles is seventeen,” his dad said, jabbing a finger at Stiles. Then he pointed it accusingly at Peter: “You are thirty-four. You are literally the least appropriate possible person here.”

“The spell doesn’t care about ‘appropriate’, only about intentions,” Peter said. The God of small mercies must have been smiling on them, because he didn’t smirk even a little bit as he said it.

“And you expect me to believe your intentions are noble?” Noah demanded incredulously.

“Not noble, just honest,” Peter shot back. “I know you may have difficulty believing this,” he looked around at the pack, then caught Stiles’ gaze with his own, “but I like you, Stiles. I’ve liked you from the beginning. I respect your contribution to the pack. I have no issue with promising fidelity and honesty to someone who will give me those things in return, and--” he paused for the shortest moment, a muscle jumping in his jaw, “I would like very much to have more joy in my life.”

“Even if we believed you,” Derek snapped, “Stiles couldn’t make those vows to you.”

The words tumbled out: “Actually, I think I could.” Stiles could feel the weight of everyone’s stares land on him and couldn’t help hunching his shoulders defensively. “If they required obedience you’d be out of luck,” he said to Peter, and now Peter smirked, “but fidelity, honesty, and joy? I can do that.”

“Stiles, he’s a murderer,” his dad said quietly. Stiles bit his lip. How the hell could he tell his dad that he understood why Peter had killed those people?

“After what he did to me,” Lydia said, and despite the horror in her voice, Stiles was grateful for the interruption, “and to Scott, you can make that kind of vow to him?”

“To save my life? Yeah, I can.” He raised his eyebrows. “Unless you’re offering to step up after all?” She looked away. “That’s what I thought.” Stiles turned to his dad. “I don’t expect you to like it. But I need--” His voice broke and he stopped and swallowed hard. “I need your support on this, dad. I have to do it, because I damn well plan to be around to make sure you get old and gray, and it’s going to be hard enough without you getting angry over it.”

“Stiles...” For a moment his dad looked heartbroken. Then he stood and held out his arms. Stiles launched himself off the couch and fell into the hug. “You’ll always have me, no matter what.” Stiles just nodded, eyes closed, hanging on. “And you,” Noah’s tone hardened, obviously addressing Peter, though Stiles didn’t look up to see. “You are going to be the best spouse on the face of this planet, because divorce may not be an option, but widowing sure as hell is.”

“I’d expect nothing less in defense of your family,” Peter answered steadily.

Stiles carefully pulled away from his father and took a slow, deep breath. “Okay,” he said, looking at the pack, and then back at Peter. “Let’s get this show on the road.”


Out in the Preserve, Stiles stepped away from his dad and made his way over to Peter, who stood watching Deaton as he prepared the spell circle for their bonding. They were both barefoot, as required by the ceremony, and dressed in Peter’s silk pajamas, because the ceremony didn’t permit anything “unnatural” within the circle. Sure, some of Stiles’ clothes were 100% cotton, but the prints and stitching weren’t. Peter, on the other hand, was enough of a snob--“hedonist”, he’d said--that even the thread in these pajamas was silk, and the buttons were bone. Stiles supposed he should be grateful; if they hadn’t found anything, they’d be naked.

“You ready for this?” Stiles asked quietly. He wasn’t wearing a watch anymore, but the others were keeping track: three hours until moonrise.

“Oh, yes,” Peter said.

Stiles took a long moment to study Peter. He didn’t look nervous, or resigned, or determined. He looked… anticipatory.

“You know,” Stiles said, “up until you volunteered, I was sure that you were just waiting for an opportunity to become an alpha again.”

Peter chuckled and shot Stiles a proud look. “I was.”

“Then why agree to this?” Stiles waved at the circle Deaton was laying. Or circles. Maybe a figure eight? There were two of them, anyway. One for the vows and a larger one around a kind of tent made of cotton sheets for… after. The tent wasn’t in the ceremony, but Deaton had said it’d be okay. “There’s no way you’ll get away with anything like that, after.”

“I won’t need to,” Peter said. He arched an eyebrow at Stiles.

Stiles thought about that for a minute. Peter wasn’t going to get any power out of bonding with Stiles, which meant that it must be the bond itself that he wanted, even more than he wanted power. Maybe… maybe Peter had wanted to be an alpha more because alphas could make their own pack than because of the power. “Knowing I’ll know if you’re up to something isn’t gonna make them like you any better,” he said.

Peter snorted. “My family didn’t like me, either,” he said. “I’ll live.”

Deaton finished the circles and started directing the pack into their places. Derek and Noah were placed facing each other, with the others spaced evenly around the outside. He’d be calling Stiles and Peter over soon. “Could you do me a favor?” Stiles asked quietly. Peter looked attentive. “Once we start, could we forget about why we're doing this and just focus on the good parts? Getting married is supposed to be, you know. Joyous.”

“Of course, Stiles.” Peter sounded more gentle than Stiles ever thought he could.

Deaton waved them over and Stiles took a deep breath, straightened up, and strode over to the circle, Peter following.

The ceremony took forever. Derek and Noah had to give their blessings; both of them sounded pained, but they did it. Deaton had to invoke a dozen different spirits, each one accompanied by a sprinkle of herbs or a waft of smoke or something. They were lucky none of it included wolfsbane or mountain ash. Then there was a long speech about the impact that their union will have on faerie. They tried to cut it out--neither of them had even the remotest connection with faerie, so the answer was “none”--but Deaton had eventually decided that figuring out how to remove it would take longer than just reading it out, so it stayed.

Finally, it was time for Stiles and Peter to say their vows. Peter held out his hands, palm up and crossed at the wrist. Stiles crossed his wrists own before clasping Peter’s hands so that their arms made a figure eight. His heart pounded and his nerves made it hard to breathe deeply. Shit, what if he fucked up the vows because his voice was shaking?

Then Peter started speaking and Stiles looked up from their clasped hands and met his eyes and… Peter was smiling. Not smirking, just smiling. “Mieczysław Stilinski,” he began, and somehow he pronounced it perfectly, “I pledge to you fidelity. I will have no lovers but you. I will fight no battles that are not also your battles. I will hold no vow above the vows I make to you.” As Peter spoke, Deaton began winding a length of plain leather around their crossed wrists.

“Mieczysław Stilinski, I pledge to you honesty. I will speak no lies to you, nor show you lies with my body, nor give you lies with my actions.”

Peter’s voice was warm and there was no hesitation when he spoke. Sure, Stiles had asked Peter to focus on the good parts, but he was doing such a good job that Stiles started to wonder if he was happy. Not just willing because of what the bond would get him, but happy because it was Stiles.

Any other time, Stiles would have forced himself to crush that thought, to remember all the reasons it was impossible. Tonight, he wanted, maybe even needed, to believe that it was true. So instead of running through all the reasons why the idea was ridiculous, he let himself relax. Let himself believe it. He was awesome, and it was about damn time that someone saw it.

“Mieczysław Stilinski, I pledge to you joy,” Peter began the last vow. Stiles swore the leather had grown warm as the final loops were laid. “I will share with you my moments of joy, I will celebrate yours as if they were my own, and when we find joy together, I will hold nothing more precious.”

There was a beat of silence. Stiles took a breath to steady himself.

Peter smiled and squeezed his hands, and the last dregs of anxiety fled. Stiles smiled back. “Peter Allen Hale, I pledge to you fidelity...” he began. Deaton continued winding the leather as he spoke, and it was growing warm. “Peter Allen Hale, I pledge to you honesty...” Or maybe it wasn’t a physical warmth at all. Something about the glow that radiated off the leather binding them together felt familiar. “Peter Allen Hale, I pledge to you joy...” Maybe it was the look in Peter’s eyes, or the curve of his smile. Whatever it was, “...and when we find joy together, I will hold nothing more precious.” Stiles could feel it, soft and beautiful and good.

Deaton laid his hand over the leather wrapped around their hands, from Peter’s crossed wrists to Stiles’, and spoke the final blessing. Stiles almost didn’t care, except then the leather was being removed and Deaton was waving them towards the tent. His anxiety spiked, only to be met with a flood of reassurance and calm. Stiles’ head whipped around to look at Peter.

He didn’t speak--they weren’t sure if anything but the vows were permitted in the first circle and it seemed safer not to risk it--but Peter put his arm around Stiles, his hand palming the small of Stiles’ back. It felt solid, grounding. Together, they stepped over the boundary between the first circle and the second. Stiles ducked inside the tent first, Peter following.

It was quiet inside, a charm blocking all noise from either entering or leaving. Alone at last. Sitting on the thick pile of blankets that had been laid over the ground, Stiles let out a long, noisy breath. Peter sat next to him, their shoulders and thighs bumping together. “I think you might have burst if you’d had to be quiet any longer,” he said, chuckling.

Stiles snorted. “I have a lot to contribute, okay?”

“You certainly do,” Peter murmured. He turned and lifted a hand, stroking the curve of Stiles’ jaw and the length of his throat.

The relief of being out from under everyone’s eyes fled. “Are you even attracted to me?”

Peter raised an eyebrow. “You tell me. There’s a bond between us now, even if it isn’t fully anchored yet.”

Thinking of what would go into anchoring it, Stiles flushed with heat--not entirely of embarrassment. Peter smirked, half smugness, half challenge. Stiles shuffled around so that they were facing each other directly and thought about that core of warmth from before. It was still there, but there was a tight, hot thread of something else woven into it. “Is that--”

“Desire? Yes.” Peter cupped Stiles’ face in both hands. “Why are you so surprised? You’re magnificent, Stiles.”

Stiles blushed. “I’m a seventeen year old human with nothing to contribute but the occasional research binge.”

Peter scoffed, his thumbs stroking gently over Stiles’ cheekbones. “You know better than that. You anchor this pack. You’re pragmatism when Scott needs it and optimism when I need it. You’re the one who makes the plans, and the one who brings us back together when we’ve run off in a dozen directions.”

“I need you to kiss me now,” Stiles breathed, because that was too much.

Peter didn’t hesitate, leaning in and bringing their mouths together. It was slower than Stiles expected. Gentler. It wasn’t his first kiss, but he still felt clumsy kissing back. Peter didn’t give him a chance to doubt, though, just kept kissing him while Stiles figured out how to reciprocate, how much tongue was still sexy, how much he could move his head. Peter kept kissing him as Stiles’ desire rose and he leaned forward, hands coming up to grip Peter’s thighs for balance. Kept kissing him until his heart was pounding and his cock was hard.

When they finally broke apart, it didn’t seem strange anymore to see the heat in Peter’s eyes, to feel it in their bond. Peter started unbuttoning Stiles’ pajamas, but any self-consciousness was swamped in the ever growing anticipation that Peter felt. Undressing Stiles seemed to feed his eagerness, rather than satisfying it.

Stiles shrugged off the top once it was open and forced himself to sit back so that he could lift his hands from Peter’s thighs and return the favor. Peter’s clothing was often pretty clingy, but Stiles hadn’t ever actually seen him without it. He was in good shape, but not so much that Stiles felt out of his league. Not so hard-bodied that being tangled up with him would be uncomfortable.

“Come here,” Peter murmured, casting his top aside and taking Stiles’ hand. He slowly eased down, pulling Stiles with him until he was laying on his back and Stiles was kind of braced on hands and knees above him.

“What are you doing?” Stiles asked. His voice did not squeak.

“What does it look like?” Peter stroked his hands down Stiles’ sides until his fingers caught on the waist of the pajama bottoms.

“I, uh,” Stiles struggled not to stutter as Peter picked apart the knot in the drawstring holding the pants up. “I thought this was going to go… differently.”

The knot came loose and Peter slid his hands under the waistband, his palms hot on Stiles’ hips. “You thought I’d insist on topping.” Stiles nodded jerkily. “Hmmm. I do enjoy that,” he said, low and heated. “But I also very much enjoy it the other way around, and as nervous as you are, I don’t think you could relax enough to make bottoming feel good. Another time,” Peter went on, voice growing rough, “I will take my timing working you open and teasing you until all you can think about is how desperate you are to be filled,” Stiles stared down at him, wide-eyed, mouth dry, heat rushing through him, “but tonight, you are going to fuck me.”

“Oh my God,” Stiles squeaked. He wasn’t even embarrassed. “Pants,” he blurted. “We need to lose the pants.” He didn’t wait for Peter to reply, just focused on scrambling out of his own and then--oh God--pulling Peter’s pajama bottoms down, over his hips, over his--fuck--over his cock and off.

For a moment Stiles could only stare. Peter was all laid out for him, naked and gorgeous and hard. Stile has seen dicks before--locker rooms were locker rooms--but not like this. Peter was hard for him. Half of him wanted to pounce and half of him wanted to run screaming, and he honestly wasn’t sure which half would win until Peter held out his hand. Stiles didn’t even take it, just crawled back up over top of him and pretty much fell into a kiss.

Peter returned it, teasing Stiles’ mouth open for a deeper kiss this time. His hands cradled Stiles’ hips for a moment, then slid around to the small of his back and gently encouraged him to ease down off of his hands and knees. Stiles had to break the kiss, leaning his head against Peter’s should and panting as he tried to absorb the rush of sensation from all that all that skin against his. Skin and the prickle of hair and the hot line of Peter’s cock pressed between their bellies next to his own.

“You feel good,” Peter muttered roughly, hands sweeping up and down Stiles’ back.

Stiles had to laugh. “Thought that was my line.” He lifted his head from Peter’s shoulder and propped himself up enough to look Peter in the eye. Peter was flushed and his lips were red from kissing and his perfect hair was a mess and Stiles did that to him. It was a rush, and it gave him a boost of confidence, enough to rock his hips a little, grinding them together. Peter moaned, eyes closing for a second, and then he was pulling Stiles into another kiss, hot and messy this time. It was so good that Stiles thought he could come just from this, kissing and grinding and hearing the noises that Peter didn’t even seem to realize he was making.

But eventually Peter pulled away from the kiss, hands forcing Stiles to still. “As good as this is,” he said, “I don’t know that we’ll have time for you to get hard again if you don’t fuck me first.”

“You never know, recovery time is pretty good at seventeen,” Stiles offered, but they both knew he wasn’t serious. They couldn’t take that kind of risk.

“Something to test out another time,” Peter said. It’s the second time he’d talked about doing this again. The bond may be permanent, but there was no reason they had to keep having sex after it was formed. Maybe Peter’s assumption that they will should piss Stiles off, but it didn’t-- he liked that Peter was planning for this to be more than a necessity. “But for tonight…” Peter reached out, found the bottle of lube that Stiles had stashed there when they were setting up the tent, and held it out.

His heart was beating so hard he was almost worried about it, but Stiles forced himself to carefully shift until he could push himself into a kneeling position just below Peter’s hips before he took the bottle. Then he looked down, realized there was no way Peter could spread his legs, and cursed his own awkwardness.

“One leg at a time,” Peter suggested, and okay, he was kind of swallowing a laugh, but somehow Stiles didn’t feel like he was being laughed at.

Together they shuffled around until Stiles was kneeling between Peter’s legs instead of across them, and Peter pulled his knees up, feet flat on the blankets, to give him more room. Stiles got the lube open and slicked up two fingers and that was when it hit him that he was going to be putting his fingers inside another person. Fuck, inside Peter. He looked up at Peter, who was propped up on one elbow to watch him, and some of his panic must have shown on his face because Peter’s expression softened. “I promise, there’s nothing you can do that will hurt me.”

“Just because you heal doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt,” Stiles argued.

Peter smiled. “I appreciate the thought, but what I meant is that I’ve done this quite a few times. Sometimes with not much prep, not much lube, or both. I know how to relax, and how to move if you accidentally hit a bad angle. You’d have to be trying very hard to hurt me, and you won’t be.”

Stiles made himself take a breath. “Good, that’s good. Is it weird that I am really glad that we’re not both total newbies here?”

“Not weird at all,” Peter promised. He bumped a knee against Stiles’ hip. It’s not exactly a prompt, but Stiles took the point anyway. He put a little more slick on his fingers and carefully reached down.

It wasn’t like fingering himself at all. It took him a minute to work up the nerve to press hard enough to get a finger inside Peter, but once he did it seemed like it slid in way easier. Is that because he wasn’t on both sides of it, or because Peter knew how to do this? Stiles looked up, halfway to asking, but the words died in his throat because while Peter was still propped up, his head was tipped back a bit and his eyes were closed, his face full of pleasure. The rush of satisfaction that went through Stiles at the sight startled him a little, but he let it carry him along as he got Peter ready for a second finger and then eased it inside of him.

Peter hummed, a low, languid sound, his eyes still closed. “That’s good,” he said. “Keep going.”

Stiles kept his eyes on Peter’s face as he slowly thrust and twisted his fingers. The changes in Peter’s expression as Stiles stretches him were mesmerizing. If you’d asked Stiles before, he’d have said that the prep was something you did to be a good partner, not something you did for yourself. He was changing his mind now--hearing Peter catch his breath, seeing his eyelids flutter and his tongue flick out over his lips, feeling the way his body opens up, Stiles almost didn’t want to stop.

“Okay,” Peter said, a little breathless. He opened his eyes and his pupils were blown wide. “I’m ready.”

Stiles hasn’t been at three fingers for long, but Peter was the one who knew what he was doing, so he pulled his fingers out and slicked up his cock. He wiped his hand on the sheets next to him and put one hesitant hand on Peter’s raised knee. Stiles looked up, but Peter had laid all the way down and Stiles couldn’t see his face anymore. “Okay, here we go,” Stiles muttered, taking a breath.

It wasn’t exactly graceful--he had to shuffle forward a bit and steady his cock with one hand--but he got inside on the first try. “Oh, fuck,” Stiles moaned. It was so tight. And hot. And he wasn’t even all the way in yet. “Can I--?”

Please,” Peter gasped.

Peter sounded like he wanted it just as much as Stiles did, so he just leaned forward, moaning helplessly as he slid the rest of the way inside. Peter cried out and a flash of worry went through Stiles, but then Peter’s hands were on him, pulling him closer, so Stiles went with it, almost grinding. He was leaning forward over Peter now, could see the ecstasy on his face and the sweat rolling down his temples, could feel the hot, wet tip of Peter’s cock against his abs.

It felt impossibly good being buried inside Peter, but something deep in Stiles wanted, needed to move. His first thrust was uneven, but Peter’s high, sharp gasp sounded like Stiles felt, so he did it again.

More,” Peter demanded raggedly.

Stiles wasn’t sure he had the breath to both speak and move, so he focused on fucking Peter. He sucked in breath when he could and lost it in gasps and moans, but he got something like a rhythm going. Peter urged him on with hands and words, his voice breaking over “more” and “harder” and, best of all, “Stiles”.

That’s what broke him in the end--Peter crying out his name. Stiles stuttered through another thrust before climax tore through him, a wave of pleasure that made him shout and his cock throb and pulse. He leaned against Peter’s still-upraised leg for a wrung out moment before he realized Peter was reaching down to stroke himself. “Let me,” Stiles said, stunned at how hoarse his voice was.

He got his hand around Peter’s cock, hot and slick with pre-come and sweat. There was something almost overwhelming about being inside Peter, slowly softening, and having Peter’s cock in his hand at the same time. It only took a few strokes before Peter was coming with a long, deep moan.

For a while there was only the sound of their panting as they caught their breath. When Stiles felt like he wouldn’t fall over if he moved, he carefully withdrew from Peter, both of them hissing, the sensation much after the endorphins had faded. They hadn’t left any towels inside the tent, so Stiles made an attempt at cleaning them both up with a fold of the sheets before giving up and crawling out from between Peter’s legs so that he could lie down next to him instead.

“So,” Stiles said, turning to look at Peter. He was a wreck. It was a good look on him. “Did it work?”

Peter turned to look at him and smirked. “If you’re not sure--”

Stiles smacked him. “I meant the bonding, asshole.”

Peter snickered. “Yes, it worked. The bond is fully anchored now. It’s strong.” The smirk gentled into a smile that was a bit more open than Stiles thought Peter really intended. “Stronger than I’ve felt in… a long time.”

Closing his eyes, Stiles hardly even had to search to find the connection between them. It leapt to his attention, bright with something that he thought might be their recent pleasure and warm with... Opening his eyes, Stiles grinned. “You like me.”

Peter just laughed. “That isn’t news, Stiles.” Then his smile turned smug. “You like me, too.”

Stiles sobered. “It’s easier, now that I don’t need to worry that you’re going to turn around and screw us some day.”

Peter turned onto his side and reached out to stroke Stiles’ cheek. “I promise.” Then he smirked. “The only person I’m going to be screwing is you.”

Stiles rolled his eyes even as he snorted a laugh. “That was terrible.”

“You laughed,” Peter pointed out.

“Doesn’t mean it wasn’t terrible,” Stiles said, smiling. For all that they’d bonded because Stiles had to, despite the parts of his future that he didn’t get to choose anymore, he couldn’t help feeling like this was going to be more than making the best of a bad situation. Maybe, it could be good.

Really good.