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All things considered, it’s a rather simple plan.

Just some straightforward time travel to bodily fling himself into the past, a time-tethered ritual that will require insane amounts of power but in return will let him skip to the past by a few years for a limited time - just enough time for him to seek out his younger self and tell mini-Stiles about everything that is going to happen and all the things that need to be fixed - one full day down to the very second, to be exact. Before the inescapable pull of the ritual itself would slingshot Stiles right back to his own – hopefully by then fixed – present.

It’s so straightforward in fact that, if it weren’t for the truly ridiculous amount of magic he’ll need to power the required runic circle, he’d wonder why people don’t do the whole fixing-the-timeline-because-they-can more often.

Stiles found the ritual in one of the books he definitely isn’t supposed to have, having … borrowed it from the collection of that witch-on-the-verge-of-turning-darach he ran into by accident just two weeks ago, who had apparently been hunting him. The witch who promptly tried to leech his power off of him, trying to latch on to his spark and the power still left from the Nogitsune, the fox’s power crackling with darkness and lightning, still humming just underneath Stiles’ skin. Power that he has taken great care to keep secret from the pack, power that is turning out to be fucking catnip to every creature even the slightest bit magical.

The witch certainly wasn’t the first to try and get at the vast well power that lingers where the Nogitsune had once occupied such a large space within Stiles. Neither is she the first who Stiles taught a prompt, rather brutal lesson of just how bad of an idea it was to tangle with him these days, taught her that the Nogitsune left behind more than just power, that the possession - not being in control in his own body, his loved ones being preyed upon by the creature inhabiting Stiles, being so utterly, completely helpless - changed Stiles himself so very inherently. Including the brutal inflexibility with which he tends to handle threats to his home, his family, his territory these days, a sort of ruthlessness that he always had but used to hide, never quite willing to showcase it so freely before.

Mostly because he knows Scott would disapprove.

But that’s not really going to make much of a difference anymore anyway, is it.

Not after Allison died, not after Stiles had lost himself to a power so much stronger than anything he could put up to defend himself. He had tried, man, had he tried. But he failed. And the Nogitsune had delighted in his defeat, taunted him, tore at him, almost managed to destroy everything Stiles held dear in the process…

Scott hasn’t even been able to really look at him since the Nogitsune, since Stiles was something other, since Allison died. He knows that Scott blames him for Allison’s death, as much as his brother may claim he doesn’t. Stiles thinks that Scott might never forgive him for it either.

And Stiles is exhausted.

Everything is falling apart. So many things have gone wrong ever since that one night where Stiles decided to drag Scott with him on an adventure, dragged Scott to the preserve to search for a dead body. The night Scott came back a werewolf.

Scott used to be so angry about it – so, so incredibly angry – as much as he claimed to have ‘forgiven’ Stiles. Never mind that Stiles couldn’t possibly have foreseen what would happen at that point in time, back before they ever even knew the supernatural was far more real than anyone could realistically expect.

Scott who, to this day, has never really come to terms with being a werewolf, not even years down the line, who still sees himself as something of a monster, still so desperately tries to make up for his own supposed ‘inhumanity’, forever overcompensates by being as ‘good’ as he can possibly be, to the point of risking everyone else, their entire pack, just so he can practice goodness and wholesome forgiveness and never ever get his own hands dirty, no matter what it might cost the rest of them.

And Stiles has been playing along ever since that night. Because he knows that Scott already sees himself as a monster and Stiles honestly worries he might lose his brother to his own self-loathing if Scott ever looked in the mirror and saw a killer looking back.

Scott who never deserved a life of barely being able to accept himself.

Scott who took years to forgive Stiles for his part in him being turned at all, his resentment still boiling to the surface sometimes.

Scott who has fully bought into that whole ‘True Alpha’ ridiculousness Deaton keeps feeding him, his brother having made his peace with being a werewolf if it also means he is ‘special’ and ‘good’ as decreed by destiny itself.

Scott who likes to think himself magnanimous, even if Stiles – and everyone else who ever got on the wrong end of his double-standards – knows better.

Sure, Scott doles out forgiveness rather indiscriminately to people and creatures alike, gives everyone second and third and fourth and fiftieth chances, no matter their crimes, just as long as they make some vague promise to try and do better now.

But. That sort of all-encompassing forgiveness is also reserved for those who never dared trespass against Scott himself.

In that regard, his brother is the worst sort of hypocrite and holds grudges like no one else Stiles has ever met.

Case in point, Scott was sooner willing to forgive Gerard Argent for intentionally killing countless innocents, than he was willing to forgive Peter for just daring to turn Scott while Peter had been barely lucid.

It’s that one moment in time, the moment Peter bit Scott, where everything started going wrong. The moment Scott was turned and subsequently decided to turn himself into the epitome of unmitigated goodness in order to make up for that primal part of him he so hates, the wolf within him that Scott still sees as something other and less-than-human. A monster. So desperate to compensate that he’d rather damn those at his side with his actions than make any concessions on his own end, no matter how many of the pack and how many innocents elsewhere have died - directly or indirectly - due to Scott’s way of handling things.

All the while Scott pats himself on the back for letting yet another ‘redeemed’ creature go, never mind that their promises to change in the future do nothing to eradicate their crimes of the past. So very pleased with his own goodness for having shown forgiveness to yet someone else, never mind that that very forgiveness - for crimes committed against others - was never his to give.

And Stiles is sick of it. Sick of the double-standards and the hypocrisy and the utter mess that Scott is making of everything. Sick of things around them forever doing their best to fall apart and no matter how hard they are all fighting, no matter how much they all try, no matter how many what-the-fuck-even-is-that creatures they manage to defeat, there is always something new, some new threat, something forever-more-dangerous-than-the-last-thing-that-tried-to-kill-us gunning for them.

He is utterly convinced that so many lives could have been saved along the way if they’d just gone about things differently, if they’d doled out a little less mercy to those who didn’t deserve it, if they’d made Beacon Hills the sort of ruthlessly defended territory that any creatures bearing ill will would think twice about encroaching upon, if they’d put the pack first and everything else, all the various personal agendas and drama and romantic entanglements, second.

If Laura had never died, or if Peter had just stayed alpha, or if even Derek had gotten his shit together before things got so bad he had to sacrifice his alpha spark to save Cora. Any of those three would surely have made less of a mess of things than Scott ended up doing. Hell, they might honestly have fared better without any alpha at all.

Don’t get Stiles wrong, he loves Scott, loves him like a brother, and he has absolutely no interest in changing that either, couldn’t even if he wanted to.

Stiles is loyal before he is anything else. He is quite certain that there is nothing Scott could do to truly turn Stiles away from him, even if his loyalty hasn’t been repaid ever since that fateful night that got Scott bitten. But at least, they’d finally been good again. Scott settled into his role as True Alpha and Stiles doing everything he could to support him. They’d been good. Mostly.

Then, the Nogitsune happened.

And now they are right back where they started, with Stiles being pushed aside, his opinions discarded, being punished – as much as Scott claims that isn’t what he’s doing – for yet something else Stiles had no control over, and then Theo and then the Dread Doctors and then his dad getting hurt because Scott just will not listen to Stiles.

The only one who actually treats him as pack these days is Peter. Well, and Derek, even if his version of pack includes quite a bit more throwing people into walls than Stiles’ very-much-human ribs tend to approve of.

And Stiles is so tired of always giving his all, everything he can, everything he has, and it still never - not once - being good enough for Scott.

There had been another hunt and the pack putting everything they had into taking down the monster of the week, several of them – including Stiles – getting rather severely injured in the process. Only for Scott – once they’d finally managed to win, to come out on top – to decide to just let the creature go after extracting a vague promise to try and be better from now on.

And Stiles is angry and disappointed and so damn hurt.

Which is the exact moment when he’d come across the witch who’d apparently been trying to get him alone for a while now, pouncing on him while he’d been dragging himself home.

She’d quickly come to regret that decision.

But it’s also how Stiles had found the ritual, going through her belongings afterwards.

And it’s just… the idea of getting to fix things, getting to fix the past, getting a do-over, not only for himself but also for everyone, a chance to nudge things into a more palatable direction… it’s just too tempting for him to resist.

So, why not give it a try?

It’s a time-tethered ritual, anchored in his own present that will give him just twenty-four hours in the past to do what he will, before he’ll be sent right back to his own time. That’s what the book said and what the past couple of weeks of research he’s done into all of the mentioned elements of this ritual confirm as well. With how little he sees of the pack these days, most of them having easily assumed Scott’s method of treating Stiles in the aftermath of the Nogitsune, no one here will even notice him being gone for a day. And he is confident he’ll manage to hide his presence in the past for all of twenty-four hours as well.

It’s actually pretty perfect.

One day is more than enough time to find his younger self in the past, to convince his mini-me that he is in fact Stiles-from-the-future, and then tell him everything that went so very wrong the first time around. He has enough confidence in himself to rely on his younger self’s decision-making in fixing the future.

Because, honestly? Stiles is entirely sick of how things are turning out.

He’s come to the conclusion that if Scott were never turned, then his brother-from-another-mother can be with Allison without having to worry about the whole Romeo-and-Juliet element of a hunter heiress dating a newly turned werewolf. If Scott were never turned, then he won’t blame Stiles for getting him bitten for years to come, won’t use Derek for his various schemes, won’t put them all at risk while doling out mercy and condemnation to strangers as he pleases.

Stiles is convinced that if Scott isn’t ever bitten, then everything will turn out better for everyone involved. Including Scott. And maybe Stiles might even manage to find a better way to handle things as well, possibly even in a way that won’t have his dad unable to look at him with anything other than disappointment.

So, Stiles has a plan.

He will use the ritual to fling himself into the past, so he can tell his younger self everything he needs to fix about the future, and then let himself be slingshotted right back to his own – hopefully by then fixed – time.

That’s the plan.

It’s easy and straightforward and all the books say that’s exactly how it’s going to work.

So, maybe Stiles really shouldn’t be all that surprised when it very much doesn’t.

At all.

+++

Stiles had a plan. Emphasis on ‘had’. As in, past tense.

Sure, the ritual worked as in so far as it did get him to the past in one piece with all his body parts intact. So, that bit worked fine.  

It’s just that according to the book and all the research he had done, Stiles’ entire self should have traveled to the past, including his mind and his own future body.

However, instead, his body seems to have been left behind in the future and only his mind seems to have skipped a few years into the past, cheerfully settling into in his own younger body instead. Which kind of screws with everything.

Stiles doesn’t know what went wrong with the ritual and he is honestly less-than-enthused about it all.

All of his plans for this bit of insanity had circled around not actually interacting with the past himself, not changing a single thing beyond talking to his own younger self, wanting to restrict the source for any changes of the future solely to anything he himself would decide to do with the knowledge of things to come.

But instead of actually being here, able to talk his younger self through the details of the future, his mind seems to have simply replaced that of his younger self in his own younger body.

How is Stiles supposed to tell mini-him about the future if future-him has simply taken his place.

He huffs, spinning in his desk chair, head leaning back as he stares up at the ceiling, trying to weigh his options.

He’s already been here for a few hours, got here at exactly 3.47 a.m. this morning, jolting awake in his bed, and now it’s already past noon. So, he knows he is slowly but surely running out of time before the ritual will draw him back to the future.

Thing is, for all of his willingness to mess with the past a little, to nudge things towards something better, he also very much doesn’t just want to introduce random changes into the timeline by wandering the streets and screwing with who-knows-what. No sirree.

He knows just how disastrous that sort of thing could potentially work out down the line – butterfly effect, anyone? – so he had never intended change anything himself while in the past, only planning to pass on the knowledge of future events to his younger self.

For that same reason, he can’t just write it all down – at least not with any amount of detail – for mini-Stiles to find when Stiles himself is flung back to his own time, too much risk of someone else coming across those notes and who knows what they’d end up doing with that knowledge.

The future isn’t so bad that he wants to change everything about it. He is well aware that the pack, as shitty as their dynamics often are, does tend to come out on top in most of the challenges life cheerfully continues to throw at them. He doesn’t want to risk messing with that.

So, writing it down is out. Verbal knowledge only.

But he definitely can’t tell Scott, because at this point in time Scott doesn’t even know about werewolves yet and also because, boy, would his best friend make a mess of fixing the timeline, no matter how good his intentions would be throughout. Same for everyone else in their pack from school, since none of them know about the supernatural either. They’d either laugh at him – like Boyd or Danny – or punt him straight across the room – like Jackson – or straight-up claw his eyes out for daring to speak to them – like Lydia.

Derek is also out simply by virtue of the sourwolf not even being in Beacon Hills at this point in time, still hiding out somewhere with his sister, and Stiles doesn’t have enough time in the past to find Derek and tell him what he needs to know.

Parrish hasn’t transferred to Beacon Hills yet, Cora is still a couple of thousands of miles away, and who knows where Malia is at right now.

And his dad… Yeah, no. Stiles so isn’t putting fixing the future on his dad’s shoulders. One of his main wishes about changing the past is that the two of them might come out of it with a better relationship, not to make things worse between them.

Which kind of leaves him with only two options.

Deaton or Peter.

But telling Deaton, cryptic motherfucker that he is, about the future is plain pointless, since Stiles can’t imagine the druid actually actively interfering with anything. To the contrary, Stiles can absolutely see the druid use the knowledge Stiles gives him to make absolutely sure that the future comes to pass exactly as it did the first time around, citing some bullshit about balance or something along those lines, and then also making sure that future-Stiles doesn’t have the tools to travel through time at all.

Because Deaton is just that exact sort of hypocrite.

Yeah, the resident druid is definitely out.

Which leaves Peter.

Peter who is still in a coma at this point, still healing from the fire that took his pack, still stuck in the hell that is an awake mind and an immobile body, still a few months away from being able to run around Beacon Hills.

But. Stiles also knows from Peter’s own comments about his time stuck in a coma that the creeperwolf was rather aware of his surroundings for some time before he could ever actively move. Him being so utterly stuck in his own body, defenseless and helpless and hurting, betrayed by his alpha and all of his other pack bonds broken, with only his thoughts of revenge to keep him company, is likely one of the reasons why Peter went so batshit insane while in a coma the first time around.

Point is, unable to move or not, lurking insanity or not, Peter is still his best option. Or rather, his only option.

Stiles can only hope that there is enough awareness in Peter at this point that the creeperwolf will be able to retain at least some of the information about the future Stiles is about to pass on to him.

+++

Stiles waits until visiting hours are over, until the nurses will have finished their nightly round of checks on the patients, before he sneaks into the hospital, despite how little time it leaves him to actually talk to Peter before he’ll return to his own present.

But he also doesn’t want anyone to see him, to know he visited Peter, doesn’t want to invite too many questions being asked of his younger self once Stiles himself is gone again, and he certainly doesn’t want to bring any undue attention to Peter either while the wolf is still so very defenseless at the moment.

So, stealth mode it is.

Thankfully, he knows the long-term care ward and the nurses’ schedules well enough to easily navigate the hospital’s halls while also avoiding running into any of the night-staff.

When he finally slips into Peter’s room, he still finds himself pausing briefly in the doorway.

It’s just… He knew what he would find here, he did, and it’s not even the first time he’s seen long-term care patients, not at all. But it’s still somehow truly discomfiting to see to see Peter like this.

Peter is utterly still on the bed, too quiet, somehow seeming utterly immobile even though he is apparently breathing on his own, the monitor beeping quietly beside him with his heartbeat, and yet, somehow the entire room is too still, too quiet. Like there is no one here, like a room empty of any life and…

Stiles swallows, makes himself move, quietly closes the door behind himself before he makes his way over to Peter’s bed.

“Peter,” Stiles murmurs quietly in the too-still room as he reaches his bedside.

Sure, the wolf looks like he might just be sleeping, but there is something about him missing, his presence too far withdrawn into itself for Stiles to pick up on it at all. Usually, Peter’s presence has this way of filling an entire room, not necessarily oppressive but still everywhere, a threat in the background, forever-lying-in-wait, predator-still.

And now, Peter looks… Stiles doesn’t actually have a word for how disturbing it is to see Peter so lifeless and weak and defenseless. Those are three words he never thought he’d use to describe the wolf.

Ever since the moment he met the man, Peter has always taken absolute care never to be defenseless or weak again, always has a plan out, contingencies upon contingencies, at least to get out alive himself even if everyone else might end up dying in the process, always another ace up his sleeve. It’s honestly disturbing to see him like this, where Stiles could simply jam a dagger into his heart or even just smother him with a damn pillow, and Peter would be entirely unable to defend himself.

Stiles kind of hates seeing it.

Especially since he knows how much Peter himself would hate it, does hate it, considering he is likely aware for at least part of the time. No wonder he went insane at some point, stuck like this for six years. Stiles thinks he himself wouldn’t have fared much better in this situation.

But that’s the thing, isn’t it.

He has always gotten Peter, got his motivations, his goals, knew exactly how far Peter would be willing to go to get what he wanted. Same as Peter always just seemed to get Stiles, got even those parts of him that Stiles took such care to hide from everyone else.

Because they match in the things they value most, the things that make them who they are.

Loyalty and self-preservation and sheer ruthlessness while protecting what’s theirs.

They’ve always matched. And they both knew it pretty much from the moment they met.

“Peter,” he murmurs again, tries not to focus on the scars, on the way Peter lies so very still, the way he looks… empty, like there is no one in there.

Somehow, Stiles can tell that Peter isn’t actually present, that there is no awareness whatsoever in the wolf right now, withdrawn entirely into himself.

But from the man’s own comments about hearing the outside even before he was ever able to move, Stiles knows that Peter must have had at least patches of awareness at this point in time.

So, he pulls up the visitor’s chair, right next to the head of the bed, then leans in close, brings his head close to Peter’s own, enough to murmur directly into his ear, “Peter,” voice almost pleading now, leans yet a little closer, their cheeks almost touching. “Peter, please.”

A jolt.

Not so much running through Peter himself, but more like a jolt running through the entire room, like electricity, like a sudden draft picking up from out of nowhere. Like another presence joining Stiles in the room.

And somehow Stiles just knows that Peter is there now, even if there are no outwards signs of any sort. Even the heart monitor just keeps up its steady beeping, no elevated heartbeat of any kind.

Still, Peter’s presence is at least there now even if it is… well, odd is the only word that Stiles can come up with. The creeperwolf’s presence has never been particularly warm or welcoming, but it had always been vast, seeping into every little crack while impossible to quite grasp. Like mist, filling every little corner of a room he is in, everywhere at once, palpable but still intangible somehow. However, right now, the Peter is quite plainly nothing of the sort, mere wisps of presence in comparison, volatile and angry but so absolutely insubstantial it barely even pings on Stiles’ senses, likely wouldn’t even notice it if he weren’t so utterly, solely, exclusively focused on Peter right now.

Still, Peter is definitely there, present, aware. For a certain value at least.

“Peter,” Stiles finds himself sighing in relief.

He glances at the door, knows he’ll have until early morning before the nurses make another round to check on the long-term care patients. By then, Stiles should already be back in his own time.

So, better make the best of what little time he still has to actually try and change the future.

He already pinned a message to his computer screen in his room for his younger self to find once it’s just mini-Stiles in this timeline anymore. A message that should hopefully take care of the most essential thing he came back to change, the key event. Scott being bitten.

‘To the You not yet Me: If there is ever a dead body to be found in the woods, do not take your brother-from-another-mother along to seek it. Go alone or do not go at all.’

It’s a weird warning but it’s supposed to be. It’s supposed to be weird enough for his younger self to remember it, to get mini-Stiles’ attention, so when he hears about the dead body in a couple of months, he’ll remember it. And hopefully he won’t take Scott along on that particular adventure.

Not to even mention that ‘the You not yet Me’ is the code phrase he himself came up with when he was still a kid, an identifier in case he ever got visited by a time traveler of any sort, an identifier. Because you gotta be prepared for that shit.

Yeah, Stiles has always been a big fan of contingencies.

Which is also the reason for his presence at the hospital, visiting Peter, fully intending to tell the werewolf everything he had intended to tell his younger self but now can’t. Just to make sure things will actually go differently this time.

Sure, Peter with knowledge of the future is a truly terrifying thing to imagine. But, then again, even if Peter twists the future to benefit himself as much as he can, Stiles also knows the man will weigh his every action against potential outcomes. Peter may be a bastard, but out of everyone in the pack Stiles would only trust Peter, Lydia, and himself to be able to not entirely fuck up the future if given the chance.

Some of the pack would be more likely to unintentionally start World War 3 than they’d be to fix anything at all.

So, he makes himself focus, reminds himself that he doesn’t have much time left before the ritual flings his back to his own time. And he didn’t go through all of this to now waste this chance to makes things better.

He stays leaning in close, head next to Peter’s, knows that contact helps ground werewolves like nothing else in this world and, considering Peter’s current state, something to help him focus likely wouldn’t go amiss.

“Dude,” he starts. “I hope you are generally sane in there. Well, as sane as you ever get at least. But I don’t have much time left, and I’m kind of out of options and I refuse to have gone through all of this trouble just to go back without at least trying to fix things.” He tilts his head slightly, ever so gently lets their cheeks brush together as he murmurs in Peter’s ear. “So, here goes. Although, please don’t become some sort of evil overlord in the future or something. We already get to fight enough of those on a regular basis without adding you to the mix.”

He breathes out, gathers his thoughts, reminds himself of the exact list of future events he came up with before he performed the ritual of all the things he intended to tell his younger self.

He starts talking.

He tells Peter most of it, but definitely includes everything important, whispers all the things that went wrong in the past couple of years in Peter’s ear. He starts with Laura’s death, includes Peter’s murder spree across the wider Beacon Hills area, Scott being turned, Kate and Gerard making a mess of everything, Peter dying and coming back to life, Derek being an absolute failwolf as an alpha, Scott being even worse, the Kanima, the Darach, the Nogitsune, Eichen House, the Dread Doctors. So many things going as catastrophically wrong as they possibly could have along the way, even if most of them managed to get out of it alive. But ‘most’ really doesn’t seem good enough, does it. Not while he has a chance to fix it.

So, he talks.

And there is a certain stillness, an alertness in the air around him that has Stiles hopeful that Peter might actually be listening, might be aware enough to understand, to take at least some of what Stiles is telling him in.

He sticks close throughout, figures that even if Peter has any sort awareness right now, he is also still in a coma, so focusing might be a bit of a problem. He hopes that by murmuring the future right into his ear, the wolf will be able to pick up at least part of it.

He talks. And talks and talks and talks.

And once he is done telling Peter everything in detail, he starts right over from the beginning. Just in case he missed something in his first telling or in case Peter maybe didn’t get it all. He talks through everything again, this time including some extra emphasis on points in time where things could have been made so much better, the points in time Stiles figures would benefit most from some time traveler meddling.

And once he’s done, he starts on a third round, only the highlights this time.

He is leaning heavily on the bed by then, dead-tired and exhausted and so desperately hoping that when he gets back to his own time, things will already be fixed and maybe running for his life won’t be a near-daily occurrence in his day-to-day anymore.

And then again, a fourth time, only with the truly pivotal points.

And again, even more selective.

And again.

Until Stiles is murmuring a single three-word sentence into Peter’s ear, a plea, a mantra, their cheeks brushing.

“Don’t turn Scott. Don’t turn Scott. Don’t turn Scott.”

Because that’s the moment in time where everything started going so very wrong for everyone. Including Stiles and Scott and even Peter.

Well, that’s not entirely true, is it. It would be far more accurate to say that everything truly started going off-course when Peter killed Laura and became alpha in her stead.

However…

Call Stiles selfish, but Laura simply isn’t at the top of his list of things that need to be changed, of people he needs to save. He never knew her, has no loyalty to her, doesn’t even have an image of her beyond the few details he managed to gather from Peter and Derek so sparse comments about her.

And the main thing Stiles took away from those few mentions of her is that she had been a truly shitty alpha, possibly even worse than Scott if that is at all possible.

Even, Peter - who had been quite literally insane when he killed his niece and became alpha, when he bit Scott and when he went on a revenge-fueled rampage across Beacon Hills - had at least been loyal, always, always loyal to pack, had been murdering his way around town due to his loyalty to a pack he had already lost.

As much as Derek had clearly loved his sister, Stiles doesn’t think Beacon Hills will be much better off with an alpha who doesn’t even have the loyalty to take all of her pack members with her when she decided to flee her home town because it wasn’t ‘safe’ according to her, but not bothering to take her uncle to supposed safety with her, hadn’t even bothered to make sure that the number of bodies in the morgue matched the number of family members supposedly dead from the fire, an alpha so shitty she didn’t even feel that the bond to her younger sister, to Cora, wasn’t actually broken.

Of course, Stiles included her death in the more general list of things Peter should avoid in the future, should try to fix, if only because neither Derek nor Peter deserved the pain that her death caused them in the years afterwards.

But he also knows that Peter killing Laura had been as much about instinct, about challenging the alpha who left him, who proved herself unworthy of the title, as it had been about an actual wish on Peter’s part to become alpha in the first place. Stiles gleaned enough from Peter’s stories to know that he certainly hadn’t gone actively looking for her, hadn’t even expected her to be around at all, but when confronted with the alpha who had abandoned him, had simply reacted on instinct, challenging her and ultimately killing her.

Stiles simply isn’t sure whether Peter will even be able to stop his wolf from doing exactly that same thing this time around once he meets her again. Whether Stiles tells him to or not, whether Peter himself might even want to spare her or not. He suspects that Peter’s wolf will always challenge the alpha who betrayed them. Stiles suspects it’s inevitable.

So.

If Stiles can’t do anything about that, and if he has to pick only one thing to truly beat into Peter’s not-entirely-sane-at-this-point head, just one thing he can change, then he needs that one change to be that Scott never gets turned into a werewolf at all.

For all of their sakes.

“Don’t turn Scott,” he murmurs again, eyes barely open anymore, head pillowed awkwardly on his arms next to Peter’s head. “When you wake… Don’t turn Scott.”

And then, right before Stiles drifts off, being pulled under by his exhaustion, magic still depleted from the ritual, just one last whisper.

“Come and find me, instead.”

+++

When Stiles blinks awake again it’s already growing light out, he has a crick in his neck from the awkward position he fell asleep in leaning halfway across a hospital bed as he is.

And one of Peter’s hands seems to have found itself to Stiles’ wrist, loosely wrapped around it, the grip weak, so very easy to break if Stiles wanted to, but definitely there. Signifying that Peter might a bit further along in his recovery than Stiles had assumed last night, even if the wolf is clearly fully unconscious once more, going by the lack of tangible presence around the room.

Which, however, isn’t the point.

The point is that Stiles is still at the hospital at all, that he is still in his younger body, still in the past. Despite the sun already rising, despite it being way past the allotted time for the ritual to slingshot him back into his own time.

He glares sleepily at the fuzzy twilight around him, confusion mixing with a growing sense of exasperation at the universe in general in his gut. But there is also no panic or even actual surprise at this turn of events, as much as Stiles honestly hadn't considered this particular outcome. The ritual had been so clear on that part, that the time travel would only be temporary, that he hadn't really worried about that bit. Then again, maybe Stiles should have known better than to assume that the fancy, magical, supposedly-so-very-foolproof ritual he found would possibly ever work out exactly as advertised.

So, he thinks, blinking somewhat blearily at Peter's hand still wrapped loosely around one of his wrists. What now?