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IBDC: Teen Wolf

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Work Song

 (steter, work song - hozier)

 

"When, my, time comes around

Lay me gently in the cold dark earth

No grave, can hold my body down

I'll crawl home to her..."

 

He dies. There isn't much else he can do, what between being lit on fire by molotov cocktails and then having his nephew rip his throat out. His last glimpse before the world fades to black is of horrified amber eyes and a tear sliding down a dirty, pale cheek.

He never meant to lose his mind.

It takes months. More time than he likes to admit. But he doesn't really have morals anymore, so using the banshee to facilitate his move back into the land of the living? Yeah, no qualms. He doesn't care that she's probably gonna be in therapy for years because of him.

She's the one that made the molotov cocktails... so even steven.

When it happens there's a blood moon hanging fat and low in the sky. There's a terrified, crying redhead huddled in the corner and his nephew is lying on the floor deathly pale and nearly dead and all he can do it smile.

He borrows Derek's clothes. they're a little ill fitting, but not too much. The jeans a little tight and the shirt a little loose, but they'll do. He knows he's a sight. dirt covered and barefoot walking down the side of the road, but he doesn't care. It's nearly dawn by the time he gets to his destination.

The light in the bedroom is still on.

It doesn't take much to get up onto the roof and to the window. He's weak, still feeling the effects of being, you know, dead. However, he is still a werewolf, so weak for him is still pretty damn strong. He crouches on the slanted roof and slides the window up.

He spins in his chair, eyes wide on the filthy man sliding through his window. Blue eyes clash with amber.

"Hello Stiles."

Stiles smiles.

 

Chapter Text

Go, read the fic that inspired this here.

Happy Ever After

 (stackson/steter, happy ever after - gin wigmore)

 

"It's been a long time coming

And this house is burning down

Don't know how I ever loved you

I was blind and running into what's in front of me

If I only knew

That happy ever after wasn't you..."

 

Nowadays things are always bad. They were happy... once upon a time. Stiles is hard pressed now to remember those days. They've always been like oil and water. Jackson is such a giant jackass and Stiles is too sarcastic for most people.

When they're on, they're really good. When they're off, well... Mt. St. Helen's springs to mind.

They're off right now. Which is why Stiles is slumped at the counter in a dirty hole in the wall bar with far too many motorcycles outside it to make any sane person anywhere near comfortable. Stiles picked it because it's the last place anyone will look for him, much less Jackson.

It's over. It has to be. Stiles can't handle it anymore.

He wants to be happy dammit.

Something gets set down on the counter in front of him and Stiles looks up from the scratches he's been following with his fingertips. The bartender is standing in front of him. He's got a towel over one shoulder and the sage green henley he's wearing is hugging his biceps in a manner that makes Stiles wish he was that shirt.

There's a tupperware container sitting in front of him, steaming, with a fork sticking out of the middle. It smells divine.

"Whoever they are, they're not worth it" the bartender says, tilting his head. Stiles' eyes rivet on the tattoo on the man's neck and he swallows.

"You're right."

The man smirks and nods at the tupperware "Eat. You'll feel better."

Stiles picks up the fork. He twirls noodles around it and lifts it to his mouth. The first bite is absolute bliss and he moans around his mouthful. He chews and swallows and looks up at the man. He swallows again. The man's eyes have darkened with want and he's smirking.

"Marry me" Stiles says, totally serious.

"Drop the loser and I'll think about it" he says.

Stiles pulls out his phone and dials Jackson without looking. When it gets picked up he says "Jackson, it's over. I hate you, you hate me. We were stupid thinking us trying to be in a relationship was a good idea. I've found the love of my life. He's covered in tattoos and feeds me. Goodbye."

He hangs up.

The bartender leans his elbows on the counter, leaning into Stiles' space "I'm Peter."

"Stiles" Stiles tells him. "I was serious about the marriage thing."

"I know" Peter nudges the tupperware closer to Stiles. "Finish your food and we'll talk about it."

Stiles happily takes up the fork again. The second bite is just as good as the first.

Chapter Text

Home

 (Steter, Home - transit, Marc Broussard cover)

 

"Could feel the sun about to rise

When I realized we had nothing to fear..."

 

It starts out as the road trip from hell. They go to get a book that will give them the spell they need to shut down a demon worshipping cult thing. The first time they stop for gas it's been two hours and neither of them has said anything. That changes when Stiles goes to the bathroom because he gets jumped by two of the demon worshipping flunkies and has to fight for his life.

Peter destroys a bathroom stall and snaps a neck and Stiles beat the other around the head and shoulders with the porcelain tank lid.

Neither of them checks to see if he survives the beating.

After that Stiles messes with the radio whenever it's Peter's turn to drive. Peter starts debates about obscure mythos because it's Stiles and he knows Stiles knows this stuff. Stiles throws Reeses Pieces at Peter to catch in his mouth.

Every time they stop they get attacked. Stiles stops getting out of the car without his baseball bat. Peter sticks to him like glue.

They get the book. It's dusty, old and the only known copy in the western hemisphere. Stiles treats it with kid gloves when he packs it up for transport. Peter thanks the weird voodoo priest they got it from and they head home.

They get attacked several more times on the way back to Beacon Hills. Somehow neither of them minds so much. It wouldn't be a roadtrip without mortal peril, right? They spend a couple hours curled up together in the back seat of the jeep for some rest and when they roll into town as the sun rises they've got all the windows open and they're blasting blues rock and holding hands.

The weird cult gets vanquished and the whole pack ends up at Derek's loft, exhausted. Peter made it to the couch first, and he's taking up his fair share of space. Stiles walks in after Scott and just flops bodily onto Peter, who grunts.

They shift around until they're comfortable and Peter digs around in Stiles' pockets for the rest of the Reeses Pieces and they lay there eating the candies and muttering to each other.

Neither of them cares about the stares they're receiving.

 

Chapter Text

Cryin' Wolf

 (Steter, cryin wolf - zz ward)

 

"I promise that I'll commit,
Vamoose to all of my old ways,
I'm done, I live today,
A full moon will never exist, I swear..."

 

Peter isn’t really evil per say… he’s more a self-serving douche. He has very few morals and is possessive to a frightening degree. He knows this. He embraces it. There are, however, certain people (certain person) that he will do anything for.

Give up anything for.

The joy of it is though, Peter knows that Stiles will never ask him to give up the things that mean the most. Stiles has a certain way of looking at the world and isn’t exactly a paragon of virtue. His first gut instinct to a problem is always, always to kill the source of the problem.

Scott serves as a moral compass and conscious for Stiles more than he knows.

This is why Peter knows that Stiles will never ask him to give up on his quest to become an Alpha again. To Stiles, Peter is Peter. Beta, Alpha, dead. Whatever. Peter is Peter.

Stiles doesn’t try to change Peter, and in return Peter worships the ground that Stiles walks on. Stiles grows to enjoy and even expect the loving, doting behaviour of a psychotic werewolf. It makes the others uncomfortable, but Stiles doesn’t mind. He likes having that edge. The one where everyone periodically wonders if he’s going to go on a wild killing spree (he’s not).

One day Peter comes back from a weekend away with ruby eyes and enough pointy fangs in his mouth that it starts a general panic. Everyone calls everyone else to make sure that he didn’t kill someone they know.

Stiles doesn’t. He greets Peter with a kiss and tells him he’s hungry and the psychotic Alpha takes his very human mate out to dinner and they talk about everything but the shiny new Alphaness Peter is wearing.

The nice thing is, Stiles doesn’t need an explanation. He already knows because he’s the one person that Peter never lies to. In return, Stiles never lies to Peter either. It works for them. They’re a team with a growing reputation for ruthlessness that is already making itself known outside of Beacon Hills.

If a terrifying reputation helps him protect his father, Stiles doesn’t mind it.

Isaac calls them psychos in love. Scott always looks a little constipated when he sees them being coupley. He never says anything though. Peter is committed to Stiles. And Stiles?

Well, Stiles is happy. So there’s that too.

Chapter Text

Howlin' For You

  (Steter, howlin for you - black keys)

 

"I must admit, I can't explain

Any of these thoughts racing through my brain

It's true

Baby I'm howlin' for you..."

 

Peter follows Stiles across the country when he goes to college. They aren’t even a them and Peter still follows him. Stiles is unsurprised. There is, after all, a reason they all call him Creeperwolf.

And it isn’t for shits and giggles.

Peter gets an apartment off campus and let’s Stiles have his space. In fact, Stiles gets all of campus as his space. It’s nice. Off campus though is free game. Stiles feels special because of all the new friends he’s making, Stiles is the only one that comes with his very own built-in stalker.

His roommate is pretty cool. He’s a little bit like the lovechild of Danny and Isaac. He’s pretty and tall and completely harmless until you rile him up. Then he’s hilarious. Everything normal is hilarious to Stiles.

It really is all fun and games until you’re running for life through the woods with werewolves at your side.

Anything less than that is disqualified.

Stiles knows that the people in his new circle of college friends have all noticed Peter following them at one point or another. The roommate (Blair) keeps track of all the gifts Stiles receives, but hasn’t put two and two together. No one else has asked.

It all comes to a head (as it’s wont to do) late one weekend just before Halloween when they’re all out at a club and Nikki notices Peter watching them from the edge of the dance floor.

“Who is that guy!?” she demands in a shout to Stiles.

Stiles looks around and grins “My stalker!”

“What?!” she looks seriously wigged.

“Don’t worry! He’s only dangerous if provoked!” Stiles yells, then flails his arms around some more.

Nikki leaves the dance floor to find the rest of their friends and explains that the dude that’s been following them around all semester is stalking Stiles. They all collectively decide that they should be worried about that because the guy is giving off some seriously creepy serial killer vibes.

Just as Blair and Tony and Jake all decide that they need to go out on the dance floor to bookend Stiles and protect him they watch in shock as Stiles turns with a truly wicked grin and beckons at his stalker.

Peter positively prowls across the floor, radiating predator from every pore.

He slides into place at Stiles’ back, hands on his hips and they finish the set close together and Mara notes out loud that they certainly haven’t left any room for jesus between them. When the set is over and the band takes a break, Stiles drags Peter over to their table. He drinks all of his bottle of water in one long swallow as Peter moulds himself to his side.

Stiles grins at them wildly “I decided to throw the dog a bone!”

No one but him appreciates his sparkling wit.

Chapter Text

Willow

 (steter, willow - jasmine thompson)

 

“I wouldn’t leave you,

I would hold you,

When the last day comes.

What if you need me?

Would you hold me,

When the last day comes?”

 

Stiles is diagnosed halfway through the summer between junior and senior years. It’s aggressive and the treatment is aggressive. Stiles goes at it like he goes at everything. Full tilt, no holds barred, with everything he’s got. He doesn’t know any other way.

Dad takes it with a healthy dose of fear and a healthy respect for the cancer riddling his son’s body. It was what killed his wife, and he wasn’t about to let it take her son. He becomes a pillar of support. It takes a lot out of him, so Stiles feels quite a bit of guilt over it. The Sheriff tells him not to, but Stiles can’t help it.

The pack shows support, but a certain amount of reluctance to be around him. Not that Stiles blames them. Between the sickness itself and the treatments he’s got to smell all kinds of wrong. It has been mentioned by several of them that he should just take the bite. Becoming a werewolf would cure him.

Stiles doesn’t even consider the option. Shuts them all down as quickly as possible whenever it’s brought up. He’s human, and he’s going to live or die as a human.

Peter remains strangely silent on the topic.

The day he starts treatment (chemo, to shrink the tumors enough to safely surgically remove) Peter appears at the hospital. He sits himself down next to Stiles as the nurse threads an IV connected to a sickly yellow bag to his arm. As the poison starts to trickle into his veins, Peter opens up a worn copy of The Iliad and begins to read aloud.

Stiles latches onto both the hand Peter offers halfway through the session and the words he speaks.

After that, Peter is there. He’s there for every treatment. Every sick, pain filled moment. He holds Stiles as he throws up his body weight and then some. Feeds him liquids and meds and closes blinds when the light becomes too much because of the migranes. Holds his thrashing forms as he screams in pain.

The day Stiles’ hair starts falling out Peter takes the clippers without a word and shaves all of his hair off for him. Then he holds him, right there in the bathroom surrounded by tufts of dark hair, as he cries.

The Sheriff is grateful, because he knows that he wouldn’t make it through this if he was the only one trying to help Stiles. There is the pain he feels for his son, meshing with the pain he still feels over Claudia. But John is there as much as he can be too.

After his hair falls out, Stiles stops going places. He’s too ill to travel in any sort of comfort, so anyone that wants to see him has to come to him. The others don’t mean too, but they don’t visit often. The house smells like sickness and the poison of his meds and their sensitive noses have them avoiding it instinctively, not on purpose.

Peter stays. He’s there for every single moment. They read The Odyssey and The Count of Monte Cristo and The Hunchback of Notre Dame and any number of others that Peter considers worthy of their time. Stiles convinces him to take a break from high literature to read Harry Potter.

They are halfway through book five when the doctors deem the tumors small enough to operate.

Stiles goes under the knife at 5:04 pm on a thursday afternoon in October. the operation is long and complicated. Peter alternates sitting and staring at nothing with pacing the room. The Sheriff keeps coming and going. He goes for coffee and then food and then to just escape. Waiting was never his strong suit.

When the sedatives wear off and Stiles finally comes to it’s to the sight of the Sheriff asleep in an uncomfortable chair and Peter holding his hand reading out loud from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. He squeezes Peter’s hand and the wolf falters. Their eyes meet and Stiles smiles at his wolf softly and Peter clears his throat, before he continues to read.

Stiles is declared in remission on a Wednesday in December. Peter is by his side, where he always will be.

Chapter Text

Budapest

 (steter, budapest - george ezra) 

 

“My friends and family

They, don’t understand

They fear they’d lose so much

If you take my hand…”

 

Scott puts his foot down. Or, well, he tries to put his foot down. Stiles has never really listened to what Scott tells him to do before, he’s not about to start now. True Alpha or not. Scott protests loudly and constantly even as he helps Stiles carry things and deliver things.

He starts small.

Flowers are a good way to start small.

Lydia catches him picking out flowers and demands to know what he’s doing, because if he’s decided to pursue her again she’ll beat him about the head and shoulders with her purse. Scott tells her all about Stiles’ plan with a pained (read: constipated) look on his face.

She’s horrified and hits Stiles just to tell him that when all this goes wrong she’s going to say ‘I told you so.’

Stiles has one bouquet of flowers delivered every day for a week.

Derek tells him that he’s not going to be held responsible when they find Stiles’ body mangled down some back alley. Stiles tells him that if he’s going to die, he’ll be kind and make sure that Derek is dead first.

Derek thanks him in a very sarcastic manner.

The second week Stiles boots his efforts up to things. Books, shirts, a belt that reminded him of the wolf in question.

He gets very excited when the pack gets together to deal with a peck (pack? flock? herd?) of pixies that Isaac pissed off, because he’s wearing one of the new shirts and the belt. He’s so happy about it that he makes blatant moon eyes all evening and Isaac threatens to throw up on him if he doesn’t stop.

Week three and Stiles doesn’t have a plan because he honestly hadn’t expected to live this long, so he improvises. He writes little notes (and several horrible haikus) and leaves them places to be found. Under the door, under the windshield wipers, inside coat pockets.

A few days after the horrible horrible poetry begins Stiles walks out of school to see Peter leaning on the jeep. He’s wearing another of the shirts that Stiles got him and he looks positively delicious.

Stiles stops in his tracks and behind him, Scott groans loudly.

After a minute Stiles trips his way down the front steps and over to his car and the man leaning on it. “Hi!” he blurts, just a little breathless. He’s wondering if he’s about to be murdered and he hopes Scott knows that he gets all his comic books.

“Hello Stiles” Peter says, straightening up. He looks at Stiles over the top of the aviators he’s wearing.

“Hi!” Stiles says again. Because apparently it’s the only word of the english language he can remember.

“I will go out with you on one condition” Peter tells him.

“Anything.”

“Never, ever write me another poem. Ever again.”

Stiles smiles sheepishly “They were bad?”

“Dreadful” Peter drawls.

“I can do that.”

Peter nods and then suddenly he’s inside Stiles’ personal bubble. There’s a brief moment of surprise, and then their lips meet in a soft kiss. Peter pulls away just as quickly as he moved forward.

“Good then” he says. “Pick me up at seven.”

Chapter Text

When A Heart Breaks

 (steter, sleeping, when a heart breaks - ben rector)

 

“I don’t need answers

I just need some peace

I just need someone who could help me get some sleep

Who could help me get some sleep…”

 

Peter gets his head messed with by a witch. He goes on a rampage, amped up on magic and blood and who knows what else. By the time they kill the witch and bring Peter down long enough to detox him, he’s killed four innocent people that the witch set him after.

He is not okay.

Stiles knows the feeling. He’s the only one who isn’t surprised when they don’t see or hear anything of Peter for over a week after everything is said and done. Stiles had wanted to hide down a hole and never come out when the Nogitsune was done with him.

The guilt he feels may be misplaced, but it was his hands that killed (or tried to kill) all those people. There is no taking away that association.

For Peter, Stiles figures, it must be compounded. After all, he was trapped inside his own head for 6 years. Not for the first time, Stiles wonders if there had been full moons where Peter’s body had healed enough to heed the call of the moon, but he hadn’t been able to control his actions.

Sometimes he wonders if that’s really how Laura had died. He knows that all Peter would do was stare at him unsettlingly if he asked. So he never does.

He gives Peter the week. Then he packs up his ‘so you’ve been possessed and killed a bunch of people’ comfort kit and makes his way to Peter’s apartment.

He picks the lock on the front door and wonders briefly if, as the Sheriff’s kid, he should be ashamed that he managed that in less than twenty seconds.

The apartment is a mess. So Stiles sets about cleaning up. He throws out take out containers and does dishes. Throws laundry in to wash, vacuums. He does a cursory sweep of the bathroom and finds Peter curled up in the bed, staring at the wall. The shadows under his eyes tell Stiles all he needs to know.

Peter hasn’t slept in days. Not for more than a few minutes at a time.

Stiles sighs and sits on the edge of the bed. He slips one hand into Peter’s hair and the wolf makes a pained noise. Stiles just sits there for a few minutes and then scritches his nails across the back of Peter’s scalp and says softly:

“C’mon, shower time.”

Peter lets himself be hauled up and into the bathroom by the hand. Stiles starts the water, strips Peter down and makes sure he gets into the stall. He tells him to wash, especially his hair.

While Peter is in the shower Stiles strips the bed and remakes it with clean linens and a new blanket that he found in the top of the closet. He opens up the bag he brought with him and changes quickly into comfortable pants and a loose shirt and lights a vanilla candle on the dresser.

He makes pancakes with bacon and then goes to retrieve Peter. He doesn’t bother trying to get Peter to shave, just gets him into pajamas. Gets him to eat half the stack of pancakes and a few slices of bacon and half a glass of orange juice before he bundles him back to bed.

Peter gets wild eyed at the prospect of sleep, but calms when Stiles climbs in with him. Stiles bunches up the pillows behind him so that he’s propped up and opens his arms to the wolf and Peter sinks gratefully into them. Stiles runs fingers through damp hair as Peter settles his head directly over Stiles’ heart.

Stiles hums a little and when the buzzer for the drier goes off a while later, Peter is asleep. Stiles will get to it later, for now he’s not going anywhere.

Chapter Text

Stubborn Love

 (steter, fighting, stubborn love - lumineers)

 

“It’s better to feel pain, than nothing at all

The opposite of love’s indifference

So pay attention now

I’m standing on your porch screaming out

And I won’t leave until you come downstairs…”

 

They don’t fight all that often. They’re too alike to really have that many differences. And where they are different they compliment each other. So, they just don’t fight all that often.

But when they do? Boy howdy.

Stiles throws things. Heavy things, things that break. Peter taunts, hits you right where it hurts. Peter being Peter, that means he knows right where to hit the hardest.

Eventually they both forget what they’re fighting about and are fighting about things that happened while they were fighting about the other thing. Stiles doesn’t let it show, but he hurts when they fight. Peter goes stone silent like none of it touches him.

The fighting wouldn’t be so epic if they weren’t affected by it.

Eventually one or the other of them will cave (usually Peter) and go about trying to find a way to make it better. It usually ends with a lot of ignored calls and Peter appearing on the Stilinski doorstep throwing rocks at Stiles’ window and yelling at him.

The neighbors are used to it, but they still call the cops. Every time.

By the time Stiles appears on the front porch, there are three cop cars in front of the house. One of the deputies is cradling a broken nose while three more try to convince Peter to go home so they don’t have to arrest him. The neighbors up and down the street are standing around watching the show in pajamas.

“Stiles!” Peter yells when he spots him on the porch.

“Are you sorry?” Stiles demands.

“Yes! Why do you think I’m out here!” Peter says. When they near the end of the fighting and he’s trying to make it up to Stiles, Peter loses all his dignity and doesn’t care one jot. “I love you.”

It always makes Stiles smile when it happens. Peter stares up at him mournfully with his arms behind his back and one of the deputies finally gets the cuffs on him. “I know you do” Stiles tells him.

“I’m sorry” Peter says.

“I forgive you” Stiles tells him with a smile.

Stiles lets the deputies haul Peter off. He’ll spend the night in the drunk tank as a punishment for disturbing the peace. The Sheriff will get him out in the morning and they’ll go to the nearby diner for bacon and eggs while the Sheriff stares uncompromisingly at him.

Peter will apologise to the Sheriff as well. Then, once the meal is over the Sheriff will drive him over to the house and Stiles will be waiting for him. They’ll have a long talk in the living room that will inevitably lead to couch snuggles as everything in their world rights itself.

It’s rare, but they do fight. And when they fight, it’s epic.

Chapter Text

‘Til the Casket Drops

 (steter, til the casket drops - zz ward)

 

“And so I answered

With only just one reply

‘Til the casket drops

‘Til my dying day

‘Til my heartbeat stops

‘Til my legs just break…”

 

Stiles is dangerous, so is Peter. No one notices until it’s too late that together, they’re lethal.

After the Nogitsune Stiles closes himself off from the others. Allison almost died, had for a few minutes. He had terrorized all of them for weeks. It struck him odd that no one had realized until it was almost too late that there was something seriously wrong with him.

Peter had, but no one ever listens to Peter.

Bully for them.

Stiles will not be a victim again. Not ever. Of all the people he knows, Peter is the only one he can think of that took on that attitude. Peter had decided after the fire that everyone else could be a victim, but not him. Never him.

So Stiles goes to Peter.

Peter listens to him. Listens to his reasons, to what he wants. He listens and he acts. He takes Stiles and teaches him everything he can. They study combat and magic. When Deaton continues to be mysterious and won’t give Stiles any answers about his spark, Stiles learns on his own. With Peter leaning over his shoulder.

The first time they sleep together it’s for a ritual. Blood and sex magic, the strongest they could find. Magic meant not just to protect their pack of two, but to bind and join.

The first time they run off a threat on their own without the others noticing, Stiles is high on the after effects of powerful magic and the idea that he didn’t need to be rescued. Peter is high on the feeling of power, that strain of Alpha he can feel in his blood calling back to Stiles.

They Mate right there on the ground in the woods.

Peter becomes an Alpha again that night through sheer force of will and power and the knowledge that Stiles considers him his Alpha. He’s not a True Alpha, not like Scott. But he had been an Alpha before, and some of that had lingered. It had been enough.

They continue on. Stiles doesn’t hide his relationship with Peter from anyone. They’re just willfully ignorant.

Stiles and Peter are in it together, no matter what.

By the time Kate Argent and her Berserkers come rolling into town, they are ready for her. Eventually they stand side by side surrounded by corpses of Berserkers and Calaveras. Kate Argent is a bloody, burbling mess at Stiles feet where he stands, bloody to his neck. Peter crouches over her, bearing read eyes and fangs.

It’s the last thing she sees before her head is ripped from her shoulders.

Chapter Text

Ballad of a Prodigal Son

 (TW, post-apocalypse!AU, ballad of a prodigal son - lincoln durham)

 

“We all wander through this shattered old world

Gettin’ more glass on our feet

Leavin’ bloody tracks everywhere we turn

Like a morbid hide-and-go-seek…”

 

The world ends. It’s not unexpected, but also not expected. No one drops a bomb so it’s not a nuclear holocaust. There’s no mysterious virus, so it’s not the zombie apocalypse (which would have made it more interesting). In the end it’s Global Warming.

Global. Warming.

The Earth’s atmosphere thins at just the right time that solar flares from the Sun’s surface bring to bear insane heat and solar radiation. The ocean’s literally boil, and with the thinner atmosphere, more moisture escapes than the system of evaporate-condense can recycle. Forests burn and suddenly there’s a lot more desert out there than there was before.

It’s not that the world’s governments collapse, it’s more like there’s too much chaos to contain and the system changes. Some countries close their borders, hoarding their resources and looking after their own. Some expand to envelop other nations. Some collapse. The US is one of those. It’s too big to keep an eye on every citizen. Between looting, and death and fire and uprising, the States become a hell of a lot smaller.

Anything west of the Mississippi becomes a no man’s land. Lawlessness rules. The US closes the border at the river, abandoning citizens stranded among the chaos on the other side, and coils up to lick it’s wounds. The only other countries to suffer such great losses are Canada, Russia and China.

China locks it down, deals with the uprisings with lethal efficiency and gets on with it. Russia takes each blow with a grunt and returns with an uppercut and consolidates its citizenry so that the northern Wasteland is nothing but barren land where no one wants to be anyway. Canada evacuates as many as they can East, it helps that the northwest territories aren’t highly populated.

The Wall goes up eight months after the flares begin. The Mississippi becomes a moat blocking the US and Canada from the Badlands. Gun turrets line the top every quarter mile. It’s No Man’s Land from five miles inland to the river.

Beacon Hills is one of the few places to rally. The Sheriff is a good, steady man with good, steady deputies at his back. As soon as the rioting starts he shuts it down. The town goes on lockdown and he deputizes every single Werewolf, Kitsune and Werecoyote his son recommends.

By the time The Wall goes up, Beacon Hills has it’s own walls and has become a fortress. The Sheriff is leading an army of former police officers that made their way north or west at the word of someone holding out. National Guardsmen who just want to protect their families. Even some regular servicemen that got stuck behind the line when the US closed the border.

It doesn’t take much for the world to accept the idea of Werewolves and more. Between the savage militants raiding the countryside and the Flares every two months, it’s just one more thing.

Scott gives up his Alpha Power to Peter willingly. He’s not prepared to do the things this new world requires of the Alpha. He’s too concerned with keeping his mother and Allison safe. He’s got too much of a conscious to be able to kill without consideration to who the person he killed is. Was.

So Peter takes on the role again. He rises up with Derek on his right and Stiles on his left and the rest of the pack arrayed at his back. The Pack becomes the leading edge of the blade the Sheriff wields. They are lethal, protective. The people of Beacon Hills know that between the standing small army the Sheriff has building and maintaining the city walls, and the Pack dealing with outside threats, they’re safe.

The Pack of Beacon Hills becomes legend very quickly. At it’s head stands a man who, at will can change form into a big black slavering beast with no regard of who it kills. Next to him stands a tattooed man who it’s said wields the very forces of nature themselves. There are many times when some warlord will get the notion to take on Beacon Hills to try and take the singular bastion of hope in the Badlands.

Most are shredded by the forces waiting within the walls. Those that leave battered and beaten are assessed. If the threat remains, The Alpha and the Emissary leave the city to cut them off.

No threat is left to gather and return.

Six years to the day of the first Flare, by popular demand, Beacon Hills declares its sovereignty with the ringing of a death knell. The Sheriff becomes President and her borders expand. As people who were left abandoned in the Badlands flock to a protective banner other towns become protectorates.

Shifters the world over rise up in the wake of the Pack. Many come to join up with the Pack. Leaving their own countries behind. Some help lead their countries forward in shifter rights. The steady and reliable are integrated. The ruthless and bloodthirsty are culled. Peter needs strength, not the unreliable.

Beacon Hills is a mighty force in it’s own right. The world watches as she rights herself, stands up and swings back.

As Beacon Hills brings it’s swift strong arm sweeping down on the warlords, the days of lawlessness become numbered. Rumors sweep the world that once she’s done creating order within her own borders, Beacon Hills will set her eyes upon what remains of the US. Some think this wouldn’t be a bad thing. The US is a wound trying to staunch the bleeding with threats of nuclear war.

Beacon Hills is the thing that the US should have rallied to become. The world hold it’s breath in anticipation.

Three years later, the US starts to rattle the cage. Forays are made out beyond the Wall. Attempts to see if they can get back the land they lost. Beacon Hills has not been idle. Her borders stretch from the what’s left of the ocean around Hawaii to The Wall, and far north and south beyond.

She is a coiled dragon, waiting to strike. She watches the teams and convoys the US sends and waits for a reason. She never strikes without a reason.

A small border town demands the soldiers leave. They aren’t US citizens anymore, and they can’t just take whatever they want. The first shot fired comes from the rifle of a twitchy US Army private.

Retaliation is swift. The dragon snaps the prodding finger off at the base and her army crashes down upon The Wall with a ferocity that makes the world tremble. She is a nation forged through war and lawlessness and blood. The US starts it, but Beacon Hills will finish it.

Nine years after the world collapses in the wake of global devastation it rights itself.

And the War begins.

Chapter Text

Up To You

 (steter, awkward morning after + teacher!au, up to you - echosmith)

 

“Don’t want to force you to be with me

I’ll tell you the truth

But if there’s too much to leave

I won’t hold it against you

It’s all up to you…”

 

Stiles wakes up with a vile taste in his mouth and very little recollection of the night before. He remembers a lot of drinking and dancing and a very nice body pressed up against his back. He remembers feeling precious and wanted.

The sex was amazing. He rolls over in the bed and buries his face in the pillow. It’s not his bed. His mattress isn’t nearly this comfortable and his pillows don’t smell like juniper and ocean. He likes it.

There’s talking in the other room, low voices too distorted to recognize. Stiles has probably overstayed his welcome, but he can’t help it. He feels awesome. Sore in a really pleasant way and warm and content.

His stomach rumbles and he decides he can’t put off getting up and facing the music any longer.

He’s going to have to go out there and confront his faceless one night stand with fuzzy teeth and clothes that smell a little funky because all the sweat from dancing the night before has dried into them. He rolls out of bed and dresses haphazardly and wanders down the hallway with his shoes and socks in one hand.

He reaches the end of the hall and gets a good look into the kitchen and freezes in horror.

Derek Hale is sitting at the bar counter, little feet swinging from his perch on a high stool. He’s wearing Buzz Lightyear pajamas and one leg is rucked up around his knee. His dark hair is messy and he’s watching his Uncle raptly. Like the pancakes will vanish if he looks away.

Derek’s older sister is sitting at the counter with her homework spread out in front of her. Unlike her kindergarten aged brother, third grade is serious business. She’s working on her math and blatantly ignoring the spelling list at her elbow.

Baby Cora, at two, is seated in her booster seat guzzling down a sippy cup full of milk in between asking if the pancakes are ready yet.

Peter is standing at the stove, griddle over two burners, wielding a spatula and bedhead so awesome that Stiles feels proud of himself for a second. Until he realizes that he’s been spotted. His eyes widen in panic as Derek beams at him with a grin, front bottom tooth missing.

“Hi Mr. S!” he chirps.

At the table Laura looks suspicious, but not necessarily like she objects. When she objects she’s very loud about it. Her teacher complains in the teacher’s lounge at the school. A lot.

“Hi Derek” Stiles says, hopeless in the face of his student’s joy. He’s currently regretting becoming a kindergarten teacher. Seriously, his life.

Peter offers him a soft smile that speaks a lot to the night they had. Stiles  is hopeless to that too. He sets down his shoes by the couch and migrates over to Cora, who has emptied her sippy cup and is looking to throw it. He intercedes and plucks it from her grip, pours a few more Fruit Loops onto her plate and moves to the fridge to refill it.

Peter’s fingers trail down his back when he passes him at the stove to reach the refrigerator. When their eyes meet Peter’s are concerned, but hopeful. Stiles knows that there’s a lot of baggage here. With the death of their parents, Peter was full time guardian to his nieces and nephew. It was a development less than six months old and everyone was still adjusting.

Adding Stiles into the equation was messy on its own, what with him being Derek’s teacher. Add in the grieving for their parents that was still going on and it made for one big headache.

The truth was, though, that Stiles liked Peter. He thought very long and hard about the possibilities as he refilled the cup and screwed the top back on. If he stayed for breakfast he would be entrenched in the lives of the Hales as more than just Derek’s teacher. If he took a pass he knew that Peter would let it go. It would be a one-off and life would go on as it had been for months now.

Did he want it to be a one-off?

When he turned around his question was answered. Derek was asking Peter for dinosaur shaped pancakes and Laura was feigning disinterest. Cora’s eyes were riveted on Stiles and her newly refilled sippy cup like it held all the answers to the universe. The look in Peter’s gaze when their eyes caught was breathtaking.

Stiles handed Cora her sippy, turned around and started serving out pancakes and bacon for children. He let his own fingers skim over the small of Peter’s back.

When their eyes met, Peter smiled, and Stiles smiled back.

Chapter Text

Kill of the Night

 (steter, red riding hood!au, kill of the night - gin wigmore)

 

“The street’s a liar

I’m gonna lure you into the dark

My cold desire

To hear the boom, boom, boom of your heart…”

 

The people of the village of Beacon Hills talk. There are rumors of wild, ferocious, slavering beasts in the woods of the Preserve. Stiles has never seen beasts in the far off trees. He looks for them often enough.

There must be beasts out there, because Papa comes home late some nights and he and Mama talk in hushed voices when they think that Stiles is sleeping. About people going missing, or someone being found savaged at the edge of town. Sometimes they catch him listening and chase him back to bed.

Mama has given him rules to follow. Don’t stray too far from the village. Never go out after dark, especially when the moon is full. Always hide his face in the hood of his cloak. Stiles tries to remember, but he can’t always.

Sometimes there is adventure and fun to be had. He and Scott play dare games. They giggle at each other and dare the other to see who will go the closest to the trees. Stiles pushed Scott once, and he got so scared he ran screaming for his mother and Stiles got in trouble.

Before Stiles leaves to follow Scott back home to defend himself, he swears he sees red eyes watching him from the bushes. But he’s eight, and Mama says he has a wild imagination.

Stiles is thirteen when Jackson, the mayor’s son, dares him to go into the woods. Alone. He dares him to take a basket and pick blackberries because it’s late enough in the season there must be loads of them ready in the patch they can see from the edge of the village. Stiles is enough of a hothead to take the dare. He comes back stained with berry juice and enough berries for Mama to make a pie.

He doesn’t tell anyone about the red eyes this time.

When he is fifteen Mama gets sick. She makes him his red cloak during that time and it is the last thing he has of her when she leaves him forever. Papa tries, but it is not the same, and Stiles knows that Papa is just as sad as he is.

Several weeks later Jackson hasn’t stopped teasing about the red of his cloak and Stiles gets so mad he leaves. He doesn’t stop walking until he calms down hours later and suddenly he realizes he didn’t follow the rules.

He had strayed from the village. So far he couldn’t even smell the woodsmoke.

The sun was low on the horizon and a big full moon was rising in the east.

His face was not hidden. His hood had been shoved down in a fit when he got caught in some briars.

He looks around himself, but there is no path. Of course there is no path. He turns around and heads back the way he came, though he knows it’s little use.

The sun sets. The forest darkens until the shadows have shadows. He jumps at every small noise until everything goes quiet. Then he hears it. Heavy breathing, like something is pulling in deep breaths to catch his scent.

Stiles raises his hood, looks around and catches sight of red eyes in the gloom. There is a low, rumbling growl. Stiles’ heartbeat picks up, rabbit fast. Should he run?

There is a second growling, and a second set of red eyes. Stiles is between both beasts, and that is what they are. Huge wolves, more monster than canine and Stiles remembers all the stories told around the fire in hushed voices. He swallows.

The monsters lunge.

Stiles throws his hands up, and it takes a moment to realize that the snarling and snapping doesn’t mean his bones are breaking. He looks around and what greets him is the sight of the two monsters fighting ferociously. Stiles gets the uneasy feeling that they are fighting over which one of them gets to eat him.

He decides that it is the opportune moment to flee. So he does. He runs. As quickly and as far as he can.

There is crashing behind him, and he knows that one of the beasts has won and is coming after him. The knowledge gives him an extra burst of speed. It doesn’t help because shortly after he hears his pursuer, he is brought to the ground with an unmanly yelp.

They roll in a tangled heap and Stiles in pinned beneath… a man?

A dirty, naked, muscular man that is so pretty it has a shiver going down Stiles’ spine.

The man leans in and drags his nose up Stiles’ neck with a deep inhale. A pleased rumble erupts from his chest and Stiles stares up at hooded blue eyes that flash bloody red and fangs that poke from between lips.

He wildly thinks he knows those eyes from somewhere.

“Tut tut, Stiles” the man purrs, drawling out the sounds of his name. “All alone in the woods at night. One might think you were looking to get caught.”

Stiles stares up at the man with wide eyes and he knows in that moment that nothing will ever be the same. That he will never see his father or his friends or his village again. As the man’s mouth descends to capture his he feels himself succumbing.

When he wakes up in the morning he is naked, spread across his red cloak with a monster at his back and a claiming bite mark on his neck. He runs his fingers through dark fur and meets ruby eyes and he smiles because he was right.

Things will never be the same again.

Chapter Text

A Night Like This

(steter, fem!stiles royalty!au, a night like this - caro emerald)

 

“How many times

Have I been waiting by the door to hear these chimes

To hear that someone debonair has just arrived

And opened up to see my world before my eyes…”

 

Stiles dislikes parties in general. The kind her father takes her to are more on the side of galas and balls than anything, and really, she can only handle so much taffeta and froufera at once. But royals don’t do anything by half, and as the sole heir to the throne of Beacon Hills she is obligated to attend.

She can only politely decline so many invitations before people would begin to talk, after all.

So here she is, in a dark emerald gown that has not a stitch of taffeta attached to it, glittering in the light from the chandeliers. She’s wearing long black gloves and her hair is done up with sparkling pins and she’s wearing the tiara her mother had given her to commemorate her very first grown up ball.

She’s standing near the chocolate waterfall watching her father mingle his way across the grand ballroom of the Hale Kingdom.

Queen Talia throws grand parties that are always the talk of the seasons. Careers, matches and fashion are of the make it or break it variety. It makes for an entertaining scene at least.

She is watching dear Scott fumble his way through a dance with the Argent heir when she becomes aware of a presence at her side. She turns slightly and her breath catches. She’s seen glimpses of him all night. He cuts a fine figure in his tuxedo. It has tails and he’s wearing the blue sash of the Hale Royal Family.

The difference between this blue eyed man she’s never met before and Derek Hale is that this man’s sash is covered in military insignia and he has a faintly amused expression on his face, whereas Derek has looked constipated all night.

He catches her looking at him out of the corner of his eye and offers her a dip of the head. Enough that she knows he knows she knows he’s there and that they are now in this corner together instead of separately, but not enough to make a fuss about it.

She likes that and she offers him a vaguely appreciative smile.

They silently make their way through a plate chocolate dipped fruit that he brought along with him. They both snort in amusement as the arrogant Lord Jackson of Whittemore makes a grandiose bow toward Laura as he asks her to dance. He is the heir of a Dukedom but his manners and arrogance lead one to think that he may as well be heir of the 12th Dynasty or something.

Stiles hides her amusement behind a strawberry and the man catches her eye. He rolls his very deliberately. She giggles in surprise and he hastily hands her a napkin. She collects herself and whispers “That was mean!”

“He deserved it” the unknown Prince responds.

Stiles smiles “I meant to me. You could have waited, you know.”

“Ah, but then the moment would have been lost” he tells her.

Stiles hums in reply and turns back to the dancers, clasping her hands together and swaying a little to the music. She catches her father’s eye and he seems to be watching her with avid interest. So does Queen Talia for that matter.

“It seems I’ve been idle too long” the man says. “My sister seems to have caught sight of me.”

Stiles breath catches. This is the elusive Prince Peter. The Queen’s brother and her Lord Marshall. She looks at him out of the corner of her eye. He’s rather more handsome than the troll all the stories make him out to be.

“My father as well” she says softly.

Peter turns to her and bows formally, offering one gloved hand “If you would do me the honor of this dance, Princess Slawomira?”

Stiles is impressed that he knows who she is. She is exalted that he pronounced her given name correctly. For that alone she would have danced with him, but as she catches his gaze she can’t lie to herself and say that that is the only reason.

She accepts his hand and he sweeps her out onto the floor just as a waltz begins. Stiles smiles as she picks up the edge of her skirt and settles the other hand on his shoulder. She loves the waltz. He smiles back at her as his hand settles on her waist and the other takes up her other hand and twirls her around the room.

They gaze at each other with small smiles the entirety of the dance, completely unaware of the sight they make. Tongues begin to wag and Queen Talia ungracefully elbows King John. John for his part just nods to himself. He knows Peter from the Wars and he knows that his daughter could do much worse for a husband.

When the dance is over Stiles sweeps into an elegant curtsey and Peter bows low to her. She takes his offered arm and he escorts her off the floor and they become aware that they have just become the talk of this year’s ball.

Stiles doesn’t mind. Neither does Peter it seems. They dance several more times and she remains on his arm for the rest of the evening. Before the night is over, hushed talk of weddings will have circulated through the royals of the world.

*

A few weeks after the ball John calls Stiles into his study. He’s holding a very formal looking letter decorated with the Hale crest.

“Father?” she asks.

“An offer of marriage has come to us from Prince Peter Hale” John says, getting right to it after she sits. He’s watching her very closely. “While I agree with the Council that Peter would make a good Prince Consort for you when you become Queen, I don’t want you to think of it that way.”

“You and mother married for love” Stiles says.

“We did, and I want you to as well” John tells her.

Stiles reaches for the letter and John gives it over to her freely. She reads it. It is a very formal letter, decorated with Queen Talia’s seal. Stiles knows that it wouldn’t have come without Peter’s approval.

“Alright” she tells her father.

“Are you sure, Stiles?” he asks.

Stiles smiles “I can’t say that I love him, but I know I could.”

John nods at her assessment “Alright. I will compose an acceptance. Do you wish me to say anything on your behalf?”

Stiles thinks about it for a moment and then pulls her handkerchief from her sleeve and gives it to her father. John smiles and takes it, promising to have the messenger make sure the Prince receives her token.

*

Six months later Stiles is attending another ball. This time in the Grand Ballroom of Beacon Hills’ palace and she is the center of attention. She is resplendent in her mother’s wedding dress and Peter is standing tall at her side in his formal military uniform.

They have been exchanging letters for six months, but this is the first time they have seen each other since Queen Talia’s ball. The second sight she ever had of him was him standing waiting for her at the altar.

Her hand is gloved in lace this time, and she clutches his arm as he leads her to the center of the floor for the traditional first dance. When they settle in position facing each other and the band strikes up she smiles. It’s a waltz. Not just a waltz, but the same waltz they had danced to that very first time.

She notices the second he realizes that her face has settled into an expression of love, because his eyes soften, and she can see it returned in his gaze.

Chapter Text

Geronimo

 (steter, mailroom!au, geronimo - sheppard)

 

“Can you feel it?

Now it's coming back we can steal it

If we bridge this gap,

I can see you

Through the curtains of the waterfall…”

 

It seems like a good idea at the time, but in hindsight probably wasn’t the grandest idea they’d ever had. But it was fun. It was the end of the day and most everyone had left the building and it was just Stiles, Scott and the twins in the mailroom getting caught up.

It’s Ethan that suggests it. They split the twins up and makes them be on different teams so that the playing field is even. Stiles is perched precariously on top of one of the rolling mail carts and Scott is perched on the other and Stiles thinks that this is probably going to end in pain but he can’t stop grinning.

Aiden sets his feet and grips the handle of the cart and Ethan starts a countdown. One. Two Three. Aiden takes off running and Scott whoops. They hit the halfway point and the twins let go. Stiles flails a little as the cart speeds up down the slight incline of the hallway and presses himself flat to the cart.

The air ruffles his hair and then Scott lets out a creative, surprised curse. Stiles looks around and flails. Scott’s arms are pinwheeling, the cart he’s on is perched precariously on two wheels and he’s heading right at Stiles.

They crash together and two carts and two recent college graduates crash to the floor in a tangle and slide to the end of the hallway. When they’ve come to a halt Stiles becomes aware of the pair of shoes under his nose.

They’re very shiny. And very expensive.

Stiles scrambles to his hands and knees and looks up. And up. At… Peter Hale. Shit.

Peter Hale, Co-CEO of Hale International is standing there with his hands in his pockets and a very bland look on his face. When Stiles meets his gaze he quirks an eyebrow. Scott scrambles to right his cart and Stiles does the same, flushing red.

By the time they have everything righted, Peter Hale has vanished and all four of them are dreading the next day. Peter is the ruthless one. They’re all convinced they’re going to be fired.

*

The only thing that happens the next day is Ms. Morrell, their supervisor, informs Stiles that he’s been reassigned. To the Executive Offices. He will be delivering Peter Hale’s mail.

He’s going to die.

The day goes okay. At lunch Scott gives him his cookie as a going away present. When the elevator dings and he pushes his cart out onto the executive level he carefully goes about his job. He’d double checked that everything was sorted properly so that no one will get the wrong mail.

He puts it off until last, but eventually he has to deliver Peter’s mail. He goes to set the stack of letters in the inbox on Peter’s secretary’s desk, thinking he might just get by without seeing Peter, but no joy.

“Come in please, Stiles” a deep voice calls from the office.

Stiles swallows hard and turns to look at the cracked door. He clutches the mail in his hand and goes in. Peter is sitting behind his desk. He isn’t wearing a jacket and his shirtsleeves are rolled up. He’s leaning back in his chair and if Stiles wasn’t so terrified he’d marvel at the beautiful figure the man cuts.

“Close the door, please” Peter tells him pleasantly.

Stiles does and shuffles awkwardly “I - uh, I have your mail, sir.”

“I see. Well, bring it here.”

Stiles crosses the distance between them in a few steps, but it might as well be an ocean for how long it feels like it takes. He reaches out and Peter takes the stack of letters from him. Their fingers brush together and Stiles swallows.

“Thank you” Peter says.

Stiles turns to go. He gets a few steps before Peter’s voice makes him pause.

“Oh, about last night.” When he turns around, there is a benign look on Peter’s face.

“I am so sorry about that” Stiles says.

“It was an unsafe and inappropriate use of company resources” Peter says.

“I know.”

“I -”

“I’m sure” Peter cuts him off. “That we can come to some sort of agreement so that this unfortunate incident doesn’t need to go any further.”

Stiles gets the suspicious feeling he’s about to be blackmailed. “Agreement?”

“Yes. I’ll pick you up at seven. Wear something nice.”

Stiles’ eye twitches. Did he just? Is he? “Are you blackmailing me for a date?”

“You can think of it that way if you it makes you feel better” Peter says airily.

Stiles leaves. He’s being blackmailed by Peter Hale. For a date. Unbelievable.

*

The date is nice. Actually, Stiles has the best time sitting across a fancy table from Peter Hale than he has on a date in… ever really. They eat at a place you have to call a year in advance in order to get a table. There are no prices on the menu and Stiles is so overwhelmed he lets Peter order for him.

The food is fantastic. The company is even better.

Who knew that Peter Hale was such a sarcastic dick? Stiles sure didn’t.

They take a walk after dinner and stop for ice cream at a cart and to watch little kids skate. Stiles lets Peter drape an arm around him and he feel wanted and precious. It’s a nice feeling. Peter’s car drives him home and Peter walks him to the door and Stiles wonders if he’s going to get kissed.

He does. And it’s amazing because Peter doesn’t do things by half and by the time Stiles makes it upstairs and into the apartment he and Scott share his toes are still curling.

Scott peers at him over the sofa and Stiles smiles at him doofily and says “I am in so much trouble.”

*

Two weeks later and they’ve been caught having hushed arguments in strange places. The mailroom, the bathroom, the breakroom. Once the janitor caught them angrily making out in the supply closet on the 25th floor.

Erica, Peter’s secretary and all-around bookkeeper starts taking bets. There are bets on how long they’ll last. How long they can keep it a secret from Talia. When and where someone with find them having inappropriate relations.

Stiles slaps at groping hands a lot because Peter can’t keep his hands to himself. Naughty touching is not for the workplace and he tells him so.

“But you love my hands on you” Peter tells him, smirking.

Stiles fumes for a minute and then kisses the smirk off of Peter’s face.

There are some late nights. Peter is a good CEO and Stiles actually does have a job. Peter gets so involved in the work that he barely notices Stiles in the room some nights. Stiles gets it, but that doesn’t mean he has to like it.

He likes having Peter’s possessive gaze on him.

Sometimes he wears the old skinny jeans he still has left over from college because he knows they hug his ass in all the right places. Peter loves him in those jeans. When Peter glances up at him briefly he does a double take and reaches out. Stiles lets the butt grabbing happen. Lets himself be reeled into the space in between Peter and his desk in the vee of his legs. Lets himself be drawn into breathless kisses.

Making Peter lose it is his favorite thing.

When it’s late and Peter is overworked and Stiles is in the jeans Stiles lets Peter bend him back over Peter’s desk and they make out for what feels like hours. They’re some of Stiles’ favorite moments because the room is always dim and it feels like they’re doing something forbidden.

Stiles lets Peter ruck his shirt up and he gets Peter out of his tie and he feels all wanton and delicious.

“Oh my god! My eyes!”

Stiles tilts his head back to look at the door and Peter looks up from where he was pressing open mouthed kisses to Stiles’ abs. Derek Hale, CEO in training and Peter’s nephew is standing in the doorway with a folder over his face, bright red.

“Never again!” Derek shouts. “Never again, Uncle Peter!”

He flees the room. Stiles snorts and looks back at Peter and Peter grins salaciously at him and returns to kissing his stomach and getting his hands on Stiles’ ass underneath the jeans.

Stiles lets his head flop back with a silly grin. Because of course scarring his nephew for life wouldn’t stop Peter. Of course not.

Chapter Text

The Stickup

  (steter, bonnie & clyde!au, the stickup - the filthy pillows)

 

“Hands out your pocket,

Got you reaching for the sky.

Hands in the air,

‘Cause I got things and time to buy…”

 

There are too many guns on the bed. Stiles stops walking and looks at the collection of rifles and handguns for a moment, confused. Then he turns to the man at the table in the corner who is sharpening a very large knife with an inordinate amount of concentration.

“Why do we have so many guns?” Stiles asks.

“I like to be prepared” Peter says, looking up with a sinister little grin.

Stiles blinks, shrugs and deposits himself in Peter’s lap. Peter abandons the knife to wrap his arms around the man kissing him.

They’re in a crappy motel. The carpet is orange and the drapes are red and neither of them are fooling themselves into thinking that the decor’s been updated since 1959. The decor isn’t why they chose it. It’s cash only, no questions asked and out of the way.

In other words, it’s perfect for their needs.

Peter is still faintly surprised over how well Stiles took to a life of crime. Especially after being raised by a Sheriff. He doesn’t look at it too closely, because it means that Stiles is with him. It doesn’t matter how many of their associates come and go, Stiles is always right there next to him.

“We’re going to need to switch cars soon” Stiles tells him after a few minutes of making out. He arches his back languidly and Peter latches onto his pulse point, gets his hands under Stiles’ thighs and lifts. Stiles locks his legs around Peter’s waist and lets himself be carried over to the bed.

The guns clink together in a rattle of metal when they hit the bed. Stiles snorts a laugh but is easily distracted.

They don’t talk again for a long while.

*

Special Agent Derek Hale exhales an exasperated breath and pinches the bridge of his nose. His partner, Agent Boyd appears at his elbow, offering a paper to-go cup of black coffee. Derek takes a sip, wrinkles his nose in distaste but drinks it anyway. He’s running on too little sleep over too long a period of time.

He needs anything that will keep him going.

Boyd offers him a 5 Hour Energy and Derek sighs, then dumps the whole thing into his coffee.

“Any luck with the local leos?” Boyd asks softly.

“There’s been no sign of them” Derek shakes his head. "Police Captain doesn’t believe they’re here. Won’t until someone’s dead and they’re driving off with a bag full of cash.”

Boyd offers a gallic shrug. He isn’t as easily rattled as Derek, but then it isn’t Boyd’s uncle that is going on a crime spree across the country with a man half his age.

“We should stake out the bank” Boyd says, unruffled by the glare that Derek sends his way.

Derek nods and they step off the curb to get in the car.

They’d put the pattern together fairly early on. Peter and his young partner always hit a branch of 1st National Savings and Loan everywhere they go. The problem with that is, it’s a national bank with at least one branch in every town. Multiple in most cities. The only nice thing is that Peter doesn’t like large cities, so the pair seems to stay clear of population centers.

Derek doesn’t like it, but he knows his uncle well enough to know why Peter’s targeted this particular bank. After the fire that had killed most of their family and put Peter in a six year coma, the bank had taken everything. From baby Jaden’s fledgling college fund to the Hale Family Trust.

The bank didn’t care that Laura and Derek had lived, that Peter was in a hospital. They had tried to fight it, but the CEO was a powerful man with his fingers in a lot of pies.

Derek was pretty sure Peter wouldn’t stop until he’d stolen back every single cent of their family’s money. Probably not even then.

There were too many bodies for stopping to be an option.

*

Isaac buys the overstock of weapons that Stiles brings him. He is so sick of their shit that he started shoving money and guns at them months ago just to get them away from him. Especially since Peter and Mafia Princess Kate Argent had gotten into it right there in Isaac’s basement.

Kate shot Peter and Peter cut her open from navel to nose.

Isaac hates burying bodies.

But he took the surplus stock and traded it for ammunition for their favorite weapons. Stiles liked his matching Desert Eagles, but Peter had a thing for automatic rifles. He said it made him feel like an old school gangster.

Stiles just thought it made him look hot, so he didn’t argue.

Isaac pushes them out of his workspace like he isn’t a criminal arms dealer and Peter leaves with a pleased smirk on his face. If he can’t make a body afraid of him, he’ll settle for pissed off and annoyed.

Stiles leads him out to the new car they had… appropriated that morning. He’s the driver these days. He’s good at avoiding police. Once they’re both settled inside the car Peter sets his hand on Stiles’ thigh and they smile at each other.

The anticipation is starting to build.

*

Erica likes opening the bank. It’s always quiet until around noon when all the people who do their banking during their lunch breaks start to trickle in. There’s another lull after two until about four and then she gets to go home right at five because she doesn’t have to close things out.

She likes this town too. She’s on her fourth transfer this year, and she’s really hoping this one sticks. She seems to have the unfortunate luck of working in branches that get robbed for some reason.

She’s starting to wonder if she’s jinxed when she sees them sweep into the bank.

It’s the two dudes. The cute lanky one that is totally her type (except for the gay thing, because he’s only got eyes for the other dude) and the older guy with the supervillain goatee.

She raises her hands as the one raises his assault rifle and points it around the room. The younger raises his handgun and says “Nobody move! This is a stickup!”

Monica in the teller booth next to Erica hits the silent alarm button on the underneath of her counter and Erica knows that the cops won’t get here in time. These two are a well oiled machine and are always in and out faster than the cops can respond.

Their faces have been plastered all over the news for months and they still haven’t been caught despite being at the top of the FBI’s most wanted list.

Cute guy raises his eyebrows when he stops at her counter with the money bag. He seems to recognize her too, if the amused tilt to his lips is anything to go by. He holds his weapon to her head for the fourth time and she fills the bag with everything from her drawer.

He wiggles his eyebrows and the older guy gives a hand signal and they're sweeping out of the bank swiftly just as the sound of distant sirens start.

Erica turns to the shaken bank manager and does the one thing she should have done after being held at gunpoint the first time.

She quits.

*

“Peter!” Derek yells, leveling his gun on his uncle.

Peter throws a smirk at his nephew over his shoulder as he slings the moneybag into the little blue car he and Stiles are using.

“Step away from the vehicle!” Boyd calls from across the street. His gun is aimed at Stiles, who is somehow already in the driver’s seat. Boyd is glaring at Peter. He’s personally offended that he’s been chasing these two all over the country for the better part of a year.

He wants to sleep in his own bed.

Peter snorts and levels his weapon at Derek, firing a single round. Derek goes down, howling. He’s bleeding from his shoulder and Boyd rushes over to help him.

“Until next time, nephew” Peter says out the window, and the car drives away.

*

It’s two in the morning when the doorbell rings. Scott rolls out of bed with a grumble when Kira shoves him. He stumbles down the stairs, rubbing sleep from his eyes.

Only one person rings his doorbell this late at night.

He flips on the porch light and opens the door. Stiles is standing there with a grin and Peter’s arm draped around his shoulders and the machine gun at his side.

Scott sighs “You know, you guys really should turn yourselves in.”

He lets them in anyway. He always does.

Chapter Text

Too Old To Die Young

 (steter, old west!au, too old to die young - brother dege)

 

“You got your reasons

And I got my wants

Still got that feeling

But I’m too old to die young now…”

 

There is fine sand in everything. It seeps through the wooden boards that make up the walls of the shack. It covers everything and gets into the smallest of crevices. Stiles is so sick of sand he could scream. He sighs, coughs and opens the door to shake himself off.

The land around the old shack is barren. There are some big rocks and a few scrubby bushes and a stubby cactus. Not a tree in sight. No water even further than that. Stiles takes off his sweat stained coat to shake the dust out of it as he peers into the distance.

He can still see the dark brown of the dust storm as it moves away. He squints into the sun, through the heat haze toward the east. There’s nothing there. He takes off his stetson, shakes the dirt off of it and out of his hair before he sits down on the porch to take off each boot and shake it out.

He’s been out here too long. Alone with just the snakes and buzzards. The magic crackles under his skin, itching. He’s cleaned his guns too many times to count. He’s waiting and he’s praying he’s not waiting in vain.

After his boots are relatively dust free, Stiles makes his way over  to the little lean to and corral to check on his horse. The big bay looks at him reproachfully, like he’s asking what they’re still doing in the ass end of nowhere.

Stiles sighs and starts to brush the horse down.

It had all started out innocent enough. Well, as innocently as it can when you’ve got a price on your head and a posse of US Marshals after your ass for shooting a guy. Stiles had tracked Ennis across six states until he caught up with him in Tucson. Ennis had laughed and Stiles had shot him in the face.

Six times with wolfsbane bullets.

No werewolf was coming back from that. Stiles thought it was fitting, seeing what the bastard had done to his father. There hadn’t been enough of the Sheriff left to justify a proper casket. Stiles had taken exception.

And revenge.

Now here he was, hiding out in some little shack, waiting for Peter Hale of all people.

Peter Hale who tracked Stiles and eventually caught up with him when he was chasing leads in Boulder. Peter Hale who hadn’t tried to deter him because Peter Hale understood revenge.

Peter rode with him after that. Helped him track the elusive Alpha. He was a better tracker than Stiles. Stiles needed blood in order to track anyone by spell, and since they hadn’t ever gotten close enough to catch sight of him, much less blood, Stiles had had to resort to more human methods. Peter had no such criteria, one good whiff of Ennis’ scent and Peter’s nose was better than any bloodhound’s.

They had slowly closed the gap.

After Stiles had shot Ennis, Peter had brought him out here to lay low. The werewolf had left a couple of weeks earlier, to see what he could do to get the Marshals off Stiles’ trail. Stiles was getting pretty damn sick of waiting.

When the horse was brushed down and fed Stiles headed back toward the house. The sun was starting to sink low on the horizon. The whole world was orange. Stils took one last glance to the east and paused.

Through the heat haze and dying light, Stiles could barely make out a figure on horseback coming toward the house. It had to be Peter, but it was better to be safe than sorry. He ducked inside quickly for his gun belt. Made sure the Colt he favored was loaded and stood on the porch, gun at the ready as the figure continued to come closer.

The haze of movement solidifies into man and horse and eventually Peter comes to a stop by the shack, dismounting off his gray and quirking a smirk at Stiles.

“Gonna shoot me, Stiles?” he asks.

Stiles lowers the gun and takes several strides forward. Peter smiles under the brim of his hat and opens his arm for the young man. The embrace is short, the heat driving them apart, but heartfelt. Peter goes into the shack and Stiles puts up the gray in the lean to. When he gets inside Peter has shed his coat and hat and his guns and is prying himself out of his boots.

“You get caught in the storm?”

“Yeah” Peter says. Watches in appreciation as Stiles pours clean water into a bowl and carries it over with a cloth for him to clean up a little. He sighs at the coolness of the water compared to his overheated skin and watches Stiles throw together a small meal for him.

“Please tell me we can get out of here. I’m starting to feel like all that’s left is the god-forsaken desert” Stiles sets down a chipped plate with beans and cornbread on it.

“Won’t be easy from here on out” Peter says. “We’re wanted men, now.”

“How are you wanted?” Stiles wondered.

“Someone saw me helpin’ you” Peter explains. “I’m wanted for questioning on your wherabouts. You’ve got a price on your head.”

“How much?” Stiles asks.

“Two thousand bucks” Peter says. He sounds put out and Stiles knows it’s because he’s worth a fair amount of money and Peter isn’t.

“So we’re outlaws?”

“Looks like. Think you can handle that?”

Stiles turns and grins “Never was much of one for the law.”

Peter returns the smile, and his eyes flash red. No, neither of them was inclined toward the law.

Chapter Text

I Bet My Life

(steter, i bet my life - imagine dragons)

 

“I’ve been around the world and never in my wildest dreams

Would I come running home to you

I’ve told a million lies but now I tell a single truth

There’s you in everything I do…”

 

As soon as high school is over Stiles runs away from Beacon Hills. He runs away from the Pack, away from all the death and pain and fear. He runs away from Peter who terrifies him (because he doesn’t terrify him). He goes all the way to Cambridge to get away.

The Sheriff gets it. After the last couple years of their lives, he doesn’t even mind. His son is safe away from all the chaos of Beacon Hills. Just because they graduated doesn’t mean that things quieted down. It just meant that most of them were commuting to school and living at home.

Everyone except Lydia, who left for MIT without looking back. She was the only one who didn’t hate Stiles a little bit for leaving. She understood all too well.

Besides, John gets all the phone calls. They skype and John spends four christmases in England with Stiles so win win. They take some time to go to Poland and visit family even.

So Stiles runs away from Beacon Hills, but every day is like a little weight coming down on him. He starts asking about the pack and what’s going on in Beacon Hills during his final year. He dives back into the study of magic halfway through and it isn’t until finals are over that he realizes that he’d been preparing to go back.

So he does what any self respecting emotional coward does and flees. He takes his shiny new degrees in anthropology and folklore and goes walkabout. He travels across europe with a backpack and map. He spends six months traveling from monastery to monastery in Tibet. The monks have interesting magic and he learns a lot.

He spends several memorable weeks fighting off actual Yeti in Mongolia and gets flown to Thailand for free after saving a guy who owned a plane. He takes a boat out of Singapore and treks across New Zealand and Australia, and then gets hired on as a translator for some scientists and spends several months taking pictures of penguins in Antarctica.

He's halfway up Africa and fighting off zombie hordes when he is struck by homesickness so bad that he can’t even imagine being away from home anymore. Because even after all the years and all the places he’s been, Beacon Hills is still home.

He starts to suspect that wherever Peter is is home. It’s not like he hasn’t been magically checking on the man all this time anyway. He checks on all of them, he just checks on his Dad and Peter more than the others.

So Stiles stops lying to himself and gets ready to go home. He flies out of Cairo two months later. He doesn’t tell anyone he’s coming. Not even Lydia, who made her way back to Beacon Hills and was teaching Applied Mathematics at Berkeley in her spare time while she tried to change the world with her brain.

He tries to get home before she finds out that he took a job at Berkeley, it’s not like he hasn’t been doing research and publishing papers all this time. He’s valuable in his field now.

When he lands it’s cold and rainy and November and a huge contrast to sunny Egypt. He takes a cab from the airport all the way home and the fare makes him wince. His dad isn’t home so Stiles drops his bags in the house, hunts down the keys to the Jeep and heads to the station.

Driving the jeep is a familiar joy he hadn’t known he was missing.

His dad grins wildly and they hug right in the middle of the station for what feels like forever. They go have lunch and Stiles tells him all about Berkeley and that he’s home. Dad is perceptive and asks if he’s done running away, because he’s gotten to know Peter over the years and he actually likes him.

All Stiles can do is nod.

Later, after dinner and an irate phone call from Lydia who had heard the new staff announcements at the university, Stiles finds himself walking into the loft with trepidation. Derek doesn’t live in the loft anymore, he’s long since rebuilt the house, but Liam does. Liam likes the high ceilings. He’s a baby architect now.

There’s a stunned silence and then an eruption of noise. Stiles eventually finds himself standing in front of Peter nervously. Peter’s face is blank as he watches Stiles. He’s guarded and Stiles can’t blame him. So Stiles does what he does best, he throws all of himself into it. Literally. He throws himself at Peter.

The hug is long and Stiles marvels at the feeling of home. He pulls away only enough to capture Peter’s head in his hands and pull him into a searing kiss that translates nearly a decade of suppressed longing and want.

Peter? Peter kisses him back.

Chapter Text

Cellophane

 (steter, time travel part 1, cellophane - sara jackson-holman)

 

“Wrap our hearts in cellophane

Keep them dry when it rains

And maybe that way we’ll keep them safe…”

 

Stiles gets blasted off his feet. His ears are ringing, but he can vaguely hear Peter and Scott yelling his name. Just as he makes it to his hands and knees there’s a yell that is more along the lines of ‘Look out!’ versus ‘Are you okay?’ and he is blasted through the air again. Now the world is a tilt-a-whirl and when Stiles gets to his knees this time Peter is groaning on the ground next to him.

Okay, so he wasn’t blasted, Peter got thrown at him.

“Dude” Stiles manages to pant out through the fading ringing in his ears. “The hell is that thing?”

Peter grunts and rolls onto his back and Stiles winces at the sight of him. He’s got a tree branch as thick as Stiles’ wrist protruding from his right side and his pretty blue werewolf eyes are scrunched up in pain and Stiles knows he’s gonna try to get to his feet again.

“Nuh uh” Stiles tells him and whips off his hoodie and pulls a baggie from his pocket. He presses Peter’s shoulders back into the ground and wraps a hand around the tree branch. “This is gonna suck.”

Peter’s gaze meets his, and even though they’ve been together for almost six months now, Stiles still marvels at the trust in Peter’s gaze. Peter’s hand comes up to brace on Stiles’ shoulder.

“Ready?”

Peter nods and Stiles yanks the branch out of Peter’s side. Peter bites through his lip to keep in the scream and grunts. Stiles presses his bunched up sweater to the wound to stem the bloodflow and uses his teeth to open up the baggie. The smell of the powder inside makes Peter sneeze.

Their gazes meet and Peter secures his grip and nods grimly. Stiles pulls away the sweater and pours the contents of the baggie into the wound liberally. He’s careful to spread it evenly to the edges, and then presses the sweater back down. It will take the magic powder a couple of minutes to work, and Stiles doesn’t want Peter to bleed out in the meantime.

“You take me such nice places, lover” Peter grits out. He’s pale and his wolf has faded.

“Well, I’ve gotta top that thing with the troll, ya know” Stiles tells him.

They gaze at each other and the silence around them filters into their senses. He can’t hear the others or the big tree thing they’d been fighting. He looks around cautiously. They’re still in the clearing, but none of their packmates are anywhere to be seen.

Peter grunts, he’s looking off to his left, eyes glowing brightly. Stiles follows his gaze and freezes. At the top of the shallow incline, between some big rocks and an even bigger pine tree is a black wolf. A black wolf with red eyes.

“Shit” Peter mutters softly.

Stiles checks Peter’s wound, it’s still bleeding sluggishly, so he gets Peter to hold the sweater down and Stiles rises to his feet slowly. He’s got the tree branch that Peter hand been impaled on in his hands like he would his baseball bat and he stands protectively over Peter.

“I don’t know who you are” Stiles tells the Alpha watching them. “But this is Hale land and you’re trespassing.”

Even though Scott is the Alpha of Beacon Hills, the territory is still known as belonging to the Hales. Since Derek and Peter (and even Cora sometimes) are in the McCall pack, none of them mind overmuch.

The wolf tilts its head at Stiles’ words and takes several steps forward. Stiles raises the tree branch in warning and the wolf stops. There is a momentary standoff and suddenly where the wolf was is a tall woman with black hair and dark eyes. She’s completely naked and Stiles looks at her face, cheeks warming a little.

“...Talia?” Peter’s voice asks, shock in every syllable.

Talia Hale looks at the wounded man that smells like her brother and the younger man standing over him protectively and she smiles softly. In a manner meant to reassure the wary young man. She meets the glowing eyes of the man on the ground and her own eyes flash red in response.

“You’ll find, young man, that I am the Hale Alpha, and that you are the ones that are trespassing.”

Stiles drops the tree branch in shock.

*

When Peter gets home from class with Laura and Derek in tow the whole house is in an uproar. He spent all morning listening to his Professor wax poetical about Tennyson, and then Laura and Derek were in the middle of an argument when he picked them up. If he hears one more word about the douche Laura is currently dating he’s going to bite someone.

By the time the three of them make it into the kitchen the scent of blood has reached them. It’s heavy on the air, but not fresh.

“What’s going on?” Derek asks, sitting at the counter next to Cora who is doing her homework and ignoring Matt next to her.

“Mom brought home two guys an hour ago. One of them smelled like Uncle Peter” Matt chirped, then blew more bubbles into his chocolate milk.

Peter’s eyebrows raised and he headed for the back of the house where Talia had her study. He was aware of Derek and Laura following him out of curiosity, but he didn’t pay them any mind.

“Come in Peter” Talia called through the partially open door before Peter could knock on it.

“All it’ll take is a few ingredients and the right transportation spell” there’s a guy sitting in a chair by the couch. He’s talking rapid fire and covered in dirt and old blood. There’s a man lying on the couch, around Talia’s age. His jeans are caked in dirt and blood and his torso is wrapped in gauze and he’s watching the other guy with the same look in his eye that Daniel looks at Talia with.

Peter doesn’t want to call it love, but it is.

“You need to recharge” the one on the couch says after his eyes flicker to the three in the doorway.

Talia is sitting behind her desk, watching the pair. Daniel is packing up the medical kit. Her eyes flicker over to her brother and her two oldest children before they return to the other two people in the room.

“Oh my god is that you?” the younger guy demands suddenly, his whiskey gaze pinning Peter in place suddenly. “You’re adorable!”

The man on the couch snarls a little and sits up. There’s a wince, but the younger guy rolls his eyes and helps. “I have never been, nor will I ever be, adorable” the man says.

“Peter, Derek, Laura, I’d like you to meet Peter and Stiles” Talia says, gesturing at the two men. “They’ll be staying with us for a few days until they can get… home.”

“She means the future” Stiles tells them with a grin.

Peter’s eyebrows go up and he exchanges an assessing look with… himself? What? He sighs, at least he’s good looking. And has good taste in younger men, because this Stiles guy is very pretty. He silently congratulates himself. Older Peter catches it though, and smirks.

“Nuh uh” Stiles says, nudging his Peter. “No conspiracies with yourself.”

“I would never” Older Peter says innocently.

Stiles snorts and changes the subject “Look at baby Derek, Peter. He’s so cute.”

Derek makes an indignant noise like an angry cat and Stiles grins pure mischief at the trio in the doorway “Don’t worry Sourwolf, I promise not to tell you I think you’re a cute, fluffy little puppy.”

Laura guffaws. Peter smirks. It’s going to be an interesting week.

Chapter Text

Shake It Out

 (stilinski family dragon!au, shake it out - florence and the machine)

 

“And every demon wants his pound of flesh

But I like to keep some things to myself

I like to keep my issues strong

It’s always darkest before the dawn…”

 

Stiles has no choice but to burn them down. Scott has been strung up between two trees and there’s a big frankenstieny monster ready to gut him at the Sorcerer’s command. Kira is unconcious, Isaac has a heavily bleeding head wound and Liam’s legs have been crushed under a very large rock.

The Sorcerer makes a gesture and a gout of flames goes flying at Allison and Lydia and Stiles won’t. He won’t watch them burn, not when Allison almost died just a couple of months ago. He’s flame proof, so he steps into the line of fire.

The Sorcerer cackles, the girls scream. Somewhere on the other side of the clearing Peter is fighting for his and Derek’s lives against a trio of bat like creatures with razor sharp claws.

The flames die down and Stiles wrinkles his nose at his torched shirt. He looks up at Scott, who knows what Stiles is about to do because when Scott was little and Stiles was barely out of his hatchling stage Stiles couldn’t not tell his new best friend. Scott has never seen it, but he knows.

Scott nods.

Stiles’ eyes flare amber gold and turn on the Sorcerer. He’s going to eat this guy, he decides. Then, with an earsplitting roar that shakes the trees, Stiles expands upward.

This Sorcerer is a guy who likes to capture mythical creatures and experiment on them for subservient minions. His ultimate goal is to bring back an age of chaos and magic and rule it all with an iron fist. If this guy wants magic and chaos Stiles will give it to him.

Bronze scales erupt from his skin as he lunges upward. Skin that had once been flecked with freckles and moles is now dotted with pure gold scales as Stiles’ front legs impact the ground, destabilizing the girls and knocking them off their feet. Golden and bronze horns spiral from his head and his spine and long tail are lined with heavy plating, ending in a razor sharp spike. Huge wings flap and blow up a gust of air before settling on his back.

The dragon known as Kazimierz, called Stiles by his friends, coils himself around Lydia and Allison protectively. He nudges them out of the way and then the bright heat of dragonfire travels up his belly as he rears back and white hot flames erupt from him.

When he stops to breathe in, the Sorcerer is surrounded by a glowing shield ala Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings. Stiles’ eyes narrow. And then the bat things come flying at him and he roars in pain and is forced to the air.

On the ground the pack watch as Stiles, the great bronze dragon, spirals into the air doing battle with several smaller forms in shock. Then Kira groans and sits up and they realize that Stiles has bought them precious time. Hopefully enough.

*

John Stilinski has gone by many names over the course of his life. He likes John, it suits him and is close enough to his true name as to be easy to remember. He’s a very old Dragon, he needs all the help he can get when it comes to remembering things. Stiles likes to joke that John has forgotten more things than any human living ever has.

It is probably true. John has lives fifty lifetimes of men and more and still finds new things to forget. In his defense, no one said raising a hatchling by yourself was easy to do.

He hears the roar, recognizes it for what it is (an angry adolescent dragon) and heads for the edge of town. If Stiles has transformed after nearly three hundred years in human form, something is wrong. Well, wronger than werewolves and banshees anyway.

He pulls his SUV off to the side of the road when he spots his son spiraling upward, the dying light of the day reflecting off his scales. There are several smaller, black things swarming around his son. He gets out of the SUV and breathes in. His eyes go amber as he uses his Dragon sight to watch his son do battle.

There is the heavy stench of blood magic on the air. Old, the like of which he hasn’t encountered since he was around Stiles’ age. He growls low because that kind of wild magic is the kind that takes a person and twists them into something else.

John starts to strip.

Another roar shatters the silence of the Preserve and Stiles is falling. He crashes into the trees and the ground shudders and birds erupt from the trees and fly away. John takes to the air. He is nearly twice Stiles’ size with nearly black blue scales flecked with broze. Stiles still has some growing to do, but he will never be as large as John.

He’s too much like his mother.

John is going to eat whoever attacked his son.

*

The pack is huddled around Liam protectively. Isaac, Derek and Peter are trying to lift the rock enough for him to be pulled out from under it. Scott is still being guarded by the giant thing. The Dragon crashes down from the sky with a pained roar and the earth shakes when he hits ground.

“Stiles!” Lydia yelps.

“I’ve always wanted a Dragon” the Sorcerer tells them in a conversational tone as he leaves his altar and walks toward the downed Dragon. “And he’s a firebreather too. They were rare even when Dragon were easy to find.”

There is a huge hole rent in one Stiles’ wings and tearing gashes up his side. He’s unconscious, but he landed on the bat things so they’re dead. The Sorcerer gets within striking range of Stiles and smiles “And it’s a juvenile. How nice. Juveniles are so much easier to break.”

He reaches out to touch Stiles and a roar comes from above. The roar is more powerful than any they heard from Stiles and blue-white flames rush down toward the Sorcerer in a firestorm. It cyclones around the magic user for several minutes, scorching the earth below him red hot as it searches for weaknesses in his shield.

Stiles is bathed in the flames as well, but they don’t harm him. Dragons breathe fire over their eggs before they hatch, and babies bathe in fire before they’re big enough to not be harmed by water. For Stiles, his father’s fire is like an old friend.

The Dragon that comes down from the sky directly on top of the Sorcerer and his magical shield is nearly twice the size of Stiles. His tail and wings and hind legs flatten trees. One glance around the clearing and the monster guarding Scott has been impaled on the new Dragon’s tail and ripped in half.

Beneath his claws, the Sorcerer’s shield is spitting sparks as it strains against the weight of the Dragon. John rears back and peers down at Stiles, who is awake and blinking up at him. He looks to the man below him and when he speaks his voice is a low, threatening hiss “You dare?”

“I wanted the wolves!” the Sorcerer shrieks. He is very obviously in pain. “I didn’t know about -”

He lets out a strangled choking sound as John presses down on the shield. He really doesn’t care. “Stiles?”

“I’m okay” Stiles says. He’s gotten to his feet and is gently lifting the rock off of Liam. “Mostly.”

“We’ll talk about this later” John tells him, and then looks down at the man trapped beneath him. Scott drops to the ground as he’s released from his restraints and Stiles pulls his good wing over all their heads to protect them as more flames erupt from John.

Chapter Text

Kathleen

(steter, overwhelmed peter, kathleen - david gray)

 

"Just close your eyes it won't take long

It won't hurt a bit

Telling myself I could be strong

Or some such brave bullshit..."

 

Peter is a capable human being. He pays all his own bills, owns his loft apartment. He does his own shopping, ties his own shoes. He is the CEO of a successful publishing house he built from the ground up. He does not ask for help, other people ask him for help.

There are consequences to being that painfully competent though. First and foremost is the loneliness. The feeling swamps him sometimes. Second is his inability to ask for help. It’s not that he doesn’t need help, he’s just been so self-sufficient for so long that he is incapable of asking for it.

The loneliness compounds this problem.

There are days and moments and hours and weeks sometimes where all he wants is for someone to notice how damn tired he looks and to care enough to say something. To care enough to act upon the observation.

Peter’s senses are heightened. It’s not much more than the human norm, but it is a side effect of the coma he was in for several years. Hearing, touch, smell. The doctors had told him it was his body trying to do its best for him while he’d been stuck in the dark in one place for so long. The results can be hard to deal with sometimes.

Sometimes, when he’s all stressed out or worried or tired, his senses are able to bring him to his knees. Everything becomes too loud and even the clock ticking is too much. The sun is too bright and everything smells awful because the scents are all too powerful. He gets irritable and wants to hide himself away for a few days until he can rebalance himself and things go back to normal.

But Peter is self-sufficient and competent and he doesn’t have the luxury of hiding away from the world without the feeling that everything is going to fall apart clawing at the inside of his brain.

It makes everything worse, so Peter doesn’t take the time he needs. He runs on fumes for days and weeks and months until he runs himself into the flu or a stomach bug or something else because he’s gone and compromised his immune system. Then and only then does he get to take a few days off and recalibrate.

Hypersensitivity is a bitch.

He’s running on fumes. Has been for weeks because there’s a bigger publishing house that’s sniffing around trying to absorb Hale Publishing into it’s faceless conglomeration of corporations. He’s got two authors who have fallen behind on their deadlines and are no longer answering their phones as they try to get the words out. His sister has called once a day for the last seven days trying to convince him that coming home to the family reunion this year would be an awesome idea.

Peter begs to differ, it is not an awesome idea.

He’s got a headache pounding at the back of his skull threatening to evolve into a migraine. He’s already pulled the shades on all the windows in his office and thrown away a perfectly good cup of coffee and then set the wastebasket outside the door of his office because he couldn’t stand the smell.

He is so done, he decides. He sits down, pulling his tie loose and sighing. The loneliness rushes up around him and swallows him whole.

*

Stiles likes working for Hale Publishing. He’s been working here for five years now and he’s finally made editor. He gets to read manuscripts from awesome up and coming authors. He’s got two writers on the New York Times Bestseller list. His life is awesome.

Well, mostly.

He just needs to buck up the courage to tell Peter Hale how he feels about him and then everything would be perfect.

He looks up from a manuscript entitled ‘Eyes’ by someone named Vernon Boyd just in time to see Peter set his trashcan down outside his office. Stiles watches Peter pace around his office, exhaustion and pain in every line of his body before the shades get drawn down and his view is blocked.

Stiles recognizes the signs of stress-induced hypersensitivity. His mother had been prone to falling victim to it. Stiles had it sometimes too when he was off his meds and trying to do too much.

He’s been watching Peter run himself into the ground for years. Enough is enough.

Stiles stands up and shoves the manuscript he was reading into his satchel along with several others and his laptop. He can work from anywhere really. It’s the great thing about the electronic age. He pulls the strap over his shoulder and makes his way over to where Erica is sitting.

“Hey," Stiles tells her. “I don’t care what he says, I’m taking him home.”

Erica’s eyebrows go up, then narrow as she smiles at him. “Good, he needs someone to look after him. I’ll hold all his calls for the rest of the week unless it’s really urgent.”

“Would you patch my office phone to my cell, and I’ll field any urgent calls for Peter too?” Stiles picks up the stack of papers in Peter’s inbox and it joins the manuscripts in his bag. “Who’s the lawyer dealing with the Hostiles?”

“Martin and Whittemore," Erica says. The publishing house attempting a hostile take over is never referred to by name. She grabs a sticky note and scribbles the lawyer’s name and phone number down and hands it over. Stiles sticks it to the back of his phone.

“Tell him to unleash the kraken," Stiles tells her. “I don’t care what he’s got to do to kill this merger, but I want it dead. Legally and totally bulletproof.”

“You got it," Erica says with a vicious smirk. She hates Argent International just as much as everyone else who works for Hale. “Anything else?”

“Peter’s address and the number of that awesome chinese place, the one with the soup," Stiles says. Erica spins through her rolodex and scribbles on another post-it. It joins its brother on Stiles’ phone before he shoves it in his pocket.

“Okay, here I go," Stiles straightens up, squaring his shoulders. He sets a hand on the doorknob and says right before he opens it, "Oh, hey, get Marin to light a fire under Deucalion and Blake. We need those chapters.”

*

Peter is vaguely aware of the door of his office opening and closing, but he can’t be bothered to care beyond an annoyed growl. A hand softly touches his thigh and he looks down from the ceiling into whiskey eyes.

“Hey," Stiles whispers at him.

Peter smiles a little. He likes Stiles, he’s funny and capable and nice to look at. “Hi," Peter tells him.

Stiles smiles at him, “Let’s go home, yeah?”

“Yeah, okay.”

Peter lets Stiles tug him out of his chair, and then out of the office. He waves at Erica when she tells him to feel better. When they reach the elevator he looks down at their clasped hands and the yawning chasm of his loneliness shrinks. He turns his head to look at Stiles. Stiles winks at him and bundles him out of the elevator and into a cab.

“How do you know my address?” Peter wonders after listening to Stiles rattle it off to the cabbie.

“Erica knows all," Stiles says wisely. Peter nods, because this is true. “I’m gonna call that awesome chinese place and order dinner, what do you want.”

“Soup," Peter says instantly because that place has the world’s best hot and sour soup. “And sesame chicken.”

“Good choices," Stiles tells him. Peter looks out his window and watches the buildings pass and half listens to Stiles place their order. He reaches across the space between them and takes Stiles’ hand in his own.

*

When they get to Peter’s, Stiles bundles him into a hot shower and hunts through his closet for the softest, most worn in clothes he can find and leaves them on the counter for Peter to change into when he’s done.

The food arrives, and Stiles takes a break from stripping the bed to pay the delivery guy. He puts the soft new sheets on the bed, and brings the food into the bedroom after hunting down utensils. He’s just in time because Peter emerges from the bathroom and crawls immediately into bed. Stiles finds him some painkillers and a glass of water.

“Stay with me?” Peter asks him while he’s sorting out the food.

Stiles looks up at Peter. Peter, who is sporting a few days worth of beard and giant raccoon eye bags. Peter looks like he’s one step away from making grabby hands at him, and he smiles and strips out of his clothes and crawls in next to Peter in his boxers and undershirt.

Peter wiggles around until his curled into Stiles’ side and using his belly as a table. Stiles reaches down and hooks his bag up off the ground and pulls out his glasses and Vernon Boyd’s manuscript.

“Eyes?” Peter asks when he catches sight of the coversheet.

Stiles smiles, "It’s a reverse werewolf story. It’s about a wolf that learns how to turn into a human. Pretty interesting so far. The guy is talented, but needs some polishing.”

Peter makes an interested sound around a mouthful of the soup he’s drinking right out of the big cup it was delivered in. Stiles flips from where he’d left off to the first page again and starts to read aloud between bites of sweet and sour shrimp.

*

The sun hitting his face is what wakes Peter the following morning. He’s lying on his stomach, one hand under his cheek and the other spread toward the far side of the bed. He’s got his legs spread out, one knee bent and he feels all heavy and well rested. A glance at the clock tells him it’s nearly noon.

Stiles is sprawled across him, adding to the heavy feeling. He’s using the space between Peter’s shoulder blades as a pillow and has one leg hooked between Peter’s. He’s lying draped all down Peter’s right side, half on the bed, and the hand that isn’t clinging to him is laced through the fingers of Peter’s far flung hand.

He’s never been more comfortable in his life.

A phone cuts through the silence and Stiles groans in protest and squeezes him before fumbling through the pile of papers on the corner of the bed. His cellphone appears and Peter closes his eyes as Stiles answers it.

“What?” Stiles demands.

“Morning Junior Bossman," Erica’s voice comes through the speaker tinnily.

“I said only urgent stuff, Erica," Stiles says. He rests the phone on Peter’s shoulder, his chin on Peter’s back and starts to stroke his fingers over his side.

“I thought you’d like to know that the Martin of Martin and Whittemore stomped all over Argent International with her pointy, yet stylish heels this morning. She said to say thank you for taking them off the leash and she’s sending you a gift basket.”

“Awesome," Stiles says. He presses his mouth to the skin of Peter’s shoulder. Peter wonders when he lost his shirt last night, but decides he doesn’t care.

“I put the twins on Deucalion and they’re driving out to the cabin to get the chapters today. Marin’s got the ending of Blake’s latest in her hands as of five minutes ago. Scott called to confirm your lunch, I cancelled it for you.”

“Thanks, I’ll call him later.”

“Mr. Lahey called, he’s got a new something in the works and wants to talk to you about it. He said it wasn’t urgent and if he didn’t answer when you called it’s because he’s learning how to fish for research purposes," Erica continues.

Isaac Lahey has four bestsellers and a habit of hands on research. Stiles grins into the skin under him and says “Tell him not to fall in. Anything else?”

“Yes, Mr. Hale’s sister has called three times this morning, apparently his phone is off.”

Peter groaned and pulled the pillow over his head. Stiles laughed at his reaction and smoothed a hand down his side and flank and Peter sighed and settled.

“It’s off until Monday, Erica. If she calls again tell her he’ll call her back when he’s made up his mind, but if she continues to badger him he’ll say no just because," Stiles says. Peter unearths his head and turns it so he can see the side of Stiles’ face. Stiles smiles and scrubs his face over Peter’s bicep.

“Then you’re out until Monday?” Erica confirms.

“Yes. We’re staying in bed until the shadows under his eyes disappear and then I’m going to cook a lot of things with high caloric content and feed him until he looks less starved.”

Stiles loves the little crinklies at the corners of Peter’s eyes when he smiles, pleased and surprised in equal measure. Peter rolls over completely and Stiles has to fumble for the phone before he settles down on top of Peter. Peter’s arms wrap around him and his hands crawl up Stiles’ shirt and he grins, pleased at the reaction.

“Sounds awesome, bring me leftovers," Erica says, then hangs up.

Stiles tosses his phone back to the bottom of the bed and smiles down at Peter, "Good morning.”

Peter’s eyes crinkle again, "It really seems to be that. We should sign that Boyd guy. He’s got something there.”

Stiles nods in agreement and kisses Peter lightly on the lips, “Is this a bad time to tell you I’m madly in love with you and you’re never getting rid of me?”

Peter laughs and kisses him back, "That sounds perfect.”

Chapter Text

Falling Slowly

(steter, coffee shop!au, falling slowly - glen hansard and marketa irglova)

 

“I don’t know you

But I want you

All the more for that…”

 

Stiles likes working the closing shift at Coffee O’le. There’s a rush between six and eight but it’s not huge and it usually only consists of the die hards. It usually means that until the shop closes at midnight he can spread his books out on the counter and really get some good studying in, and as long as he takes care of the customers first. Braeden, the owner doesn’t care if he studies on shift.

He’s crammed for more than one final this way over the last couple of years. Being a grad student is hard work and he needs at the help he can get.

He’s got several regulars. People who would rather sit around the shop doing whatever on their tablets or laptops so they don’t have to go home right away. There are a few he can expect to trail in at the end of the night as they get off their own closing shifts elsewhere. Mostly though it’s Stiles and his books and Peter.

Peter is some kind of business man. From what Stiles has managed to overhear he’s the president or ceo or something. As soon as it hits five o’clock Peter sweeps in to take over a table at the back of the room and mainline caffeine. He uses Coffee O’le to hide from his secretary, his sister and his sister’s kids who all have his home address apparently.

Stiles sometimes wonders what it’s like to have people in your life that are that invasive but then he remembers that he’s got Lydia Martin on speed dial and silently crosses his heart that he will never tell anyone where Peter hides at night, stick a thousand needles in his eye.

Peter is a workaholic, and even if he wasn’t he’s got one of those jobs that follows you home. There is no escape, so Stiles does what he can to make life a little less irritating. It isn’t because he’s been falling in love with the man for the last six months. Not at all. It isn’t like every little tidbit he learns makes him want to jump him.

Somehow Stiles doesn’t think that would be appreciated.

So Stiles does things like make him a sandwich and refill his cup without being asked. Stiles conned Braeden out of a special loyalty discount for Peter months ago even though they don’t even have a loyalty program. Peter never pays full price for anything anymore and doesn’t even know it.

Tonight Peter’s phone has been ringing every five minutes to his increasing consternation. Stiles refills his mug and sets down a plate with a gigantic s’mores cookie on it (he looks like he could use the sugar) when it rings again and Peter snarls.

Stiles doesn’t even think about it he just snatches up the phone, presses the button to accept the call and holds it to his ear. He does it for Scott and Lydia all the time, so it’s like second nature.

“Stilinski’s Roadside Bar-b-que, you kill it, we grill it” Stiles chirps into the phone, throwing Peter a wink. Peter actually huffs and sits back.

“Uh... Is Peter there?” a confused sounding male voice asks.

“I’m sorry, Peter quit two days ago. Poor kid couldn’t take the smell” Stiles says, lowering his voice like he’s telling a secret.

Whoever is on the other side of the line hangs up.

Stiles grins proudly and goes to set the phone down again when it shrills in his hand. Stiles looks at it with raised eyebrows before answering “Tilly’s Trinket Shop, Marco speaking.”

“I must have the wrong number” a confused female voice says, and then hangs up.

Stiles sets down the coffee pot and waits. The phone rings again “Beacon County Toilet Emporium, for all your plumbing needs!”

“What?” a voice growls. This one is gruffer than the guy from the first call. “Who the hell is this and why do you have my Uncle’s phone?”

“My name is Jamie, I just started” Stiles says, putting a frown in his voice. “If you’d like to talk to a manager I could get Big Mike… Unless you wanted to talk to Little Mike, in which case he’s on vacation until next Tuesday.”

The man doesn’t even say goodbye, he just hangs up. Stiles scoffs at the phone while setting it down “Rude!” He beams Peter a smile, says “Your nephew called” and wanders back to the counter.

Two days later it’s still fairly early in his shift and he’s refilling the creamer and sugar station when a rose appears in his line of vision. Stiles looks at the pretty pink petals and follows it to the hand holding it, then lets his gaze slide up to the face of the person holding it.

“For the rescue the other night” Peter says.

Stiles takes the rose with a smile “Thanks.”

Peter continues to watch him “Would it be presumptuous of me to ask if you’re single?”

Stiles manages to contain his jig for joy to the inside “Not presumptuous at all, and I am. Single that is.”

Peter smiled “Would you care to go to dinner?”

“Like as in a date?” Stiles asks for clarification purposes.

“Like as in a date.”

“I'm free tomorrow?” Stiles says.

Peter smirks at him and Stiles regrets how much like a question that sounded. Thankfully, Peter wasn’t feeling bitchy enough to pick at him for it. “Well, I’ll pick you up at seven then.”

Peter turns and heads for his table and Stiles stood there for a long minute before realizing Peter doesn’t have Stiles’ phone number. He fixes that by pouring Peter’s first cup of coffee into a to go cup and scrawling his name and number across it in big letters.

Cliche it may be, but it gets the point across when he sets the cup down in front of Peter and saunters back toward the counter. When he peeks at him as he’s standing over his textbooks Peter is watching him, eyes alight with amusement.

Thirty minutes later Peter texts him for a refill. Stiles does it because he’s full of win and his life is now a romantic comedy.

He can’t bring himself to care.

Chapter Text

Once Upon A Dream

(steter, once upon a dream - lana del rey)

 

“But if I know you, I know what you’ll do

You’ll love me at once

The way you did once upon a dream…”

 

The trees are bare, reaching dark spindly branches skyward. There is no wind. No breeze. No zephyr. There are heavy, deep charcoal clouds overhead. Weighed down with fat snowflakes that drift down toward the ground to join their brethren blanketing the earth. His footsteps crunch below him and his breath fogs out in front of him.

He knows this place.

His feet are bare, like they always are when he dreams. He knows his feet should be frozen blocks of ice, but the cold doesn’t affect him here like it does when he’s awake. His hands are shoved deep in the pockets of his red hoodie.

He doesn’t need them to maneuver, he knows where he’s going.

He likes these dreams the best. There is nothing in this place to scare him. Just the heavy clouds and the fat snowflakes he catches on his tongue. They taste like sugared cream. Here it is just him in the silence of the sleeping woods. Him and his protector.

As if summoned there is a flash of black in the trees and Stiles stops walking to turn in a circle looking for what he already knows is there. He kneels right there in the snow and there is a large wolf with black fur and blue, blue eyes in front of him. The wolf’s muzzle is pressed into his chest and Stiles buries his hands in soft fur and his face in his ruff.

His dream is complete.

*

Stiles has dreamed about his wolf for as long as he can remember. It used to be high spring in the dreams when he was small and he would play with his wolf. Hide and seek, catch. All kinds of games. He learned to track and to listen to the woods.

His wolf was there when his mother died and the woods became high summer.

Then the autumn came and with it the scent of smoke and charred wood and Stiles dreamt for so long and could not find his wolf anywhere. That was the time of panic attacks and screaming nightmares after his mother passed.

His comforter, his protector was gone.

And then the winter came, and with it the return of his wolf. It’s been years now and it is still winter, but Stiles has his wolf back, so he doesn’t mind the snow.

He supposes that that is why when Scott gets bitten in the woods Stiles’ brain immediately leaps to wolves. There is a part of him that is terrified and an even bigger part that wants it to be wolves so badly. He doesn’t know why, but something inside him is holding its breath.

And then Derek appears and though Stiles still dreams, his wolf doesn’t appear. For weeks he walks the silent woods without his companion and he has never felt more alone. Stiles associates Derek’s appearance with the disappearance of his wolf. He doesn’t like it and so he doesn’t like Derek. Face smashing aside, Derek is just mean. Stiles wants to let the hunters kill him, but apparently they save people now.

Whatever.

It’s Derek’s fault he’s at the hospital anyway. Stiles can vaguely hear his tinny voice screaming at him to get out because Uncle Peter is the Alpha and Stiles tells himself he’s never trusting Derek ever again.

“You must be Stiles.”

Stiles turns and there’s Peter Hale standing at the door of his room. He’s in a red shirt and a leather coat and half his face is badly scarred. Stiles lets the phone drop from his suddenly nerveless fingers as he stares.

Those eyes. He knows those eyes.

Then they’re a lot closer and Peter is standing right in front of him and slipping Stiles’ phone into his pocket. Stiles is aware of fingers brushing his cheek and he closes his eyes and then opens them. Peter is still standing there, this time with a soft little smile on his face.

Stiles reaches out and clutches at the fabric of Peter’s coat and says “Where have you been?”

Peter’s expression doesn’t change, but his eyes soften and he says “I’m sorry, love. I’m here now.”

Stiles doesn’t hesitate when he steps into Peter’s embrace. He has known this wolf nearly all his life, there is nothing for him to fear. Peter encloses him in his arms and he smells just like he always has. Like electricity and dandelions.

“Don’t ever do that again” Stiles says. He is vaguely aware of Derek crashing through the doors of the hospital.

Peter’s eyes bleed bright red and his fangs drop and the look on his face is three parts possessive and two parts furious as he gazes at his nephew over his mate’s shoulder. Derek has stopped moving and is staring at them in shock and Peter leans down to scent Stiles thoroughly. He knows the scent of the boy in his arms better than his own. Pine and rain with the medical scent of his Adderall.

“I promise” Peter tells him.

There is no need to break that promise as he looks up at his stunned nephew. He’s already won.

Chapter Text

I’m Not Your Hero

(steter to the rescue, i’m not your hero - tegan and sara)

 

“Sometimes it feels like the side that I’m on

Plays the toughest hand, holds the longest hand

Sometimes it feels like I’m all that they’ve got

It’s so hard to know I’m not what they want…”

 

Stiles is ferocious. Stiles is ferocious and when it comes to his pack, his first instinct will always be to kill it. Kill it dead. Preferably with fire or some other method of permanence. Stiles is a magical badass who has managed to research and set up an entire early warning system to let him know if anything supernatural with bad intentions comes within a hundred miles of Beacon Hills. All without the help of the local magical guru.

Take that Alan Deaton.

Of course, Stiles in not alone in his badassery. Stiles has Peter who has lent or given him books. He has answered questions and helped him track down ingredients. Peter has encouraged him to grow his spark and use it to defend their territory.

Because it is their territory. Scott may be the Alpha, but he treats it like a chore or a crusade to redeem the unredeemable. Derek stays because he has a pack here, but everyone knows he hates Beacon Hills. The others are occupied by teenaged drama and a reluctance to see anymore blood to defend it.

Peter? Well, Peter was his sister’s enforcer. He has always defended the Hale Pack territory and he’s not about to stop now. Psychotic break or no. Peter is, in many ways, far more dangerous now as a beta at the bottom of the totem pole of the McCall pack than he ever was as the Alpha.

No one looks too closely at what he does for fear of what they might find.

Stiles is spastic and human. He gets pushed out for his own safety, who is going to care what he’s studying so long as he’s got answers when the others come a knocking?

Nowadays they’ve got it down to a science. The two of them deal with five times as much supernatural crap than the rest of the pack combined. Sometimes when they’re all basking in the normality and calm between crisis Stiles wants to say ‘You’re welcome’ because it’s all due to him and Peter.

“Ouch” Stiles can’t help but say. He’s feeling a little singed around the edges.

Peter’s face appears in his line of vision, blocking the few stars he could see through the tree branches. His face is normal, but his eyes are glowing blue and Stiles makes a note that the alpha red sparks that have been growing steadily in his eyes the last few months have grown some.

“You okay there, princess?” Peter asks him, and hauls him to his feet.

Stiles pats himself down. He’s still smoking a little and he nudges at a fried Pixie with the toe of his shoe. “Think we got ‘em all?” he wonders.

Peter’s eyes flicker around the clearing and a satisfied look crosses his face. Stiles doesn’t know when he started to find that attractive. “Pretty sure we did. Your little light show would have attracted any stragglers.”

“And since we are not beset by tiny winged things with pointy teeth, we can safely assume” Stiles adds. Peter gives him a little sideways look and a leer. Stiles laughs and swats at him. “You’re the only ass here.”

When Stiles is doing big mojo he uses Peter as a conduit to keep him grounded and aware. It makes Peter get all affectionate because of the endorphins. Stiles likes endorphin stupid Peter.

Peter wraps his arms around Stiles from behind and tucks his nose into his neck to inhale Stiles’ scent “But I’m your ass.”

Stiles can’t help it, he grins and turns. He grabs two handfuls of Peter’s jacket and kisses him smack on the mouth. When he pulls away he chirps a cheerful “You sure as hell are.”

He doesn’t see it because he turns away, but Peter’s eyes flash in reaction to the kiss. His eyes are entirely red.

*

They hold the territory. The most exciting thing the pack has to deal with during junior year is the return of Jackson Whittemore and the Alpha Twins hanging around. Stiles and Peter deal with Harpies, a Troll, some type of weird bog monster and several Pixie invasions.

None of which the pack gets wind of.

Stiles gets strong enough that throwing lighting around no longer leaves him flat on his back and steaming. The red in Peter’s eyes steadily pushes out the blue until it’s all that’s left and he has to be very careful not to flash wolf eyes around the pack.

Not that he’s around them all that much.

Stiles waits until he turns eighteen to break it to the Sheriff that he’s kinda sorta dating an older man. Only it’s so much more than that. Stiles has become Peter’s Anchor, and Peter is Stiles’ Focus. It’s starting to become hard to find the lines where one of them ends and the other begins.

Things eventually come to a head. Of course they do. They’ve been walking a fine line and eventually something had to give. You can’t hide that kind of power without the cracks showing through at some point.

It happens on a Friday night. They’re having pack movie night at the Loft when Stiles’ magical alarm system goes off. There are differents levels to it. Low is like a warning ping on his internal radar. Medium is a quick flash of red ligh. High is a klaxon sound.

Naturally it’s a threat level high.

The klaxon blares out of nowhere and by this point both Stiles and Peter have a near pavlovian response to alerts from the system. Stiles is across the room shoving things off the table and Peter is pulling out a map with the city and most of the preserve on it. The others are shouting questions and Scott is flashing his eyes and demanding to know what’s going on.

Stiles centers himself and blows a handful of the herb mixture he keeps on hand over the map. A cluster of lights appears on the map in their location and get disregarded as the pack. A green light blips up at the clinic where Deaton is apparently spending his Friday night. There are two or three other lights that pop up, but Stiles and Peter sussed them out as peaceful ages ago when Stiles first got the system up.

There’s a cluster of angry red lights moving through the preserve from the east.

Peter slaps down a notebook and several crystals and cuts open his palm. Several drops of his blood splash over the crystals and he mutters something before he uses a claw to open Stiles’ palm. Stiles flicks some blood over the crystals and before he’s got the incantation Peter is using his abilities and his connection to Stiles to lick away the blood and heal the cut.

A foggy image appears on the paper, Stiles sways and the image solidifies.

“Damn” Peter says. He crouches and snatches Stiles bag. He pulls out his laptop and turns it on. It’s been an ongoing project to collect all the data they have onto the computer. It’s the sole reason Peter bought it and Stiles keeps it with him most of the time. When Stiles doesn’t have it, Peter does.

Peter takes a picture of the image and starts a search then looks over the map. “I’m counting six, no seven, hostiles.”

Stiles nods and the computer pings and he turns it to face him. “Erugh. The swamp things again. I was hoping it was like a suspiciously good look a like.”

“We never get that lucky” Peter says.

“True.”

“What the hell is going on?!” Scott finally explodes. Both Stiles and Peter stop getting ready for combat to stare at him.

“What’s it look like?” Peter asks.

“It looks like we’re being invaded and you and Stiles have some sort of system in place to deal with it” Lydia says. She’s studying the map and the computer and the wheels are turning in her brain. She looks up at them and demands in a soft voice “How long have you guys been doing this?”

“Since the Alpha Pack” Stiles says with a shrug.

“Wait” says Allison. “Are you telling me you’ve been running off threats by yourself?”

“No” Stiles says defensively. “I’ve got Peter.”

He can practically see the question marks floating over everyone’s heads and rolls his eyes. He pushes away from the table to collect his things and Peter decides to intervene in that way he has that just pisses everybody off and annoys them in equal measure.

“What, you thought all this peace you’ve been enjoying was because of you? That you being a True Alpha makes you somehow superior?” Peter huffs a laugh that makes the hair on the back of Scott’s neck stand up. “There is nothing and no one in this world that is scared of you, Scott McCall.”

“But what about that omega last month? And the thing with the Selkie?” Isaac asks.

Stiles snorts a laugh and puts his bag on the table with a clang. He’s got a mace for this one. It’s a really nice mace. “Small stuff sometimes slips past us when we’re dealing with bigger threats.”

“Small stuff?” Lydia says, her voice faint.

“They’re moving fast” Peter says, eyes on the map.

“Let’s go” Stiles says.

They are aware of the pack following. Stiles can’t stop Derek and Scott from climbing into the Jeep with him and Peter. So he just pretends they’re not there as they sling strategy around. Peter wants to split up at come at them from both sides. Stiles thinks a head on approach is a better idea seeing as they’ve got extra combatants with them.

Peter lets out a disgusted snarl when Scott tries to interrogate them and Stiles pulls over. Peter is out of the jeep before it comes to a complete stop and Stiles whirls around to pin Scott and Derek with a hard look “Just stay out of the way.”

He follows Peter. Stiles pulls out his mace and nods to Peter, who lopes into the trees with Stiles on his heels. He switches forms and his eyesight sharpens and the ozone smell of magic clouds the air as Stiles powers up and charges the mace with electricity.

The first creature looms up out of the dark, huge and menacing and covered in vines and Lydia scream in reaction. Peter targets the biggest one and bypasses the one at the front. It’s his job to take out the leader.Stiles deals with the monster in front of him like he does a lot of things. He smashes it with a magically charged medieval weapon.

As soon as Stiles’ mace impacts it becomes chaos. There’s snarling and screaming. Stiles’ mace gets eaten and Peter is thrown with enough force to snap a small tree in half. It pisses Stiles off enough that he rises with magic crackling around him as he summons bolts of lightning out of the clear sky.

Peter charges through the chaos wearing his Alpha form and takes one of the creatures down with claws and snapping teeth. Scott, Isaac and Derek gang up and manage to take one to the ground where Allison fills it with explosive arrowheads. Jackson watches Allison and Lydia’s backs as Lydia digs through Stiles’ abandoned bag for anything to use.

The pack is just getting into the swing of combat when they realize it’s over. Peter is in his hulking Alpha form, eyes glowing fiercely red, chest heaving. Stiles is on his knees in front of a charred bit of earth and there is nothing around save piles of rubble and mud and twigs.

Scott turns to demand answers just in time to see Peter move across the clearing, swiftly shifting back to his human form as Stiles rises to his feet. His eyes are still red as he cradles Stiles’ face in his hands and kisses him.

To everyone’s shock, Stiles kisses back.

“I’m okay” Stiles says as soon as they part. He’s clutching at Peter’s shoulders. “We’re okay.”

It seems to be just what Peter needs to hear because he calms and the Alpha fades from his eyes. They turn and head back toward the jeep, stopping long enough for Stiles to retrieve his bag. As the pack watches them walk off, hand in hand they realize they aren’t going to get an explanation.

Stiles and Peter owe them nothing, and they? They owe them everything.

Chapter Text

2 Heads

(steter, peter in suspenders, 2 heads - coleman hell)

 

“... I hope to god I’ll love you harder

I hope to god I’ll love you longer

If only I could live forever

If only I could hold you longer…”

 

Peter is exhausted. When the apartment door closes behind him he leans against is and loosens his tie. He undoes the button at his collar and already it’s better. His blue eyes open and he becomes aware of the beat seeping into his bones. There’s an awesome banjo in it and Peter knows that Stiles must have had a good day.

He straightens and shucks his jacket and wanders farther into the apartment. A cursory check of the front rooms of the apartment reveal the music blasting from their stereo in the living room, but no Stiles. He unbuttons his cuffs as he walks down the hall, rolling his sleeves up his forearms. He toes off his shoes in the bedroom and notices light spilling out of the open bathroom door.

When he gets there he can’t help smiling and leaning against the door frame. Stiles is in their giant tub up to his chin in bubbles. He’s fixed his hair into a soapy mohawk and he’s singing the lyrics to the song that’s playing into the loofah.

Peter can’t help the grin and chuckle he emits as he hooks a thumb around one of his suspenders.

Stiles jumps and turns to face him with wide eyes. He turns red and sinks beneath the bubbles and Peter laughs aloud. He enters the bathroom and closes the toilet seat and sits down. He leans forward and leans his elbows on his knees and watches the bubbles in the tub fondly.

The song switches over before Stiles surfaces and Peter realizes that the song is on repeat. Stiles surfaces, his hair plastered to his head. He wipes the water from his eyes and smiles sheepishly.

“Welcome home?” he offers.

Peter chuckles again and leans over the rim of the tub and plants a kiss on Stiles’ lips. When he’s done he grins and says, “Good to be home.”

“Bad day?” Stiles asks.

“Long,” Peter replies.

Stiles smiles innocently and before Peter can react he’s grabbed onto a suspender and yanked. Peter crashes headfirst into the tub and when he finally comes up spluttering across from Stiles the other man is laughing. Peter wipes a hand down his face and pries his socks off.

“Thanks,” he says.

“You’re welcome,” Stiles says cheerily, then he raises his loofah microphone and starts to lip-sync into it again. Peter stands up long enough to strip out of his soaked clothes and sinks back into the hot water with a sigh. He watches Stiles with amusement and settles in for a good long soak.

It’s good to be home.

Chapter Text

I Really Like You

(steter, for HookerStiles, i really like you - carly rae jepsen)

 

“Late night, watching television

But how’d we get in this position?

It’s way too soon, I know this isn’t love

But I need to tell you something…”

 

Scott belches and grins in satisfaction because he ate the whole pizza and he just finished off a two liter of coke. He slumps down on the couch and slips sideways into Isaac’s side and he doesn’t even care because his stomach is happy and so is the rest of him.

“You are such a giant idiot,” he tells Stiles happily.

Stiles stops eating to stare at Scott. He’s got a half eaten slice of pizza in his hand and cheese dangling from his mouth. “What?”

Isaac snorts and shifts around to drape his arm over Scott’s shoulders. Scott takes the invitation and snuggles into Isaac’s side. “You should just tell him you’re into him,” Isaac says, not taking his eyes off the tv.

Stiles scowls and he looks like he’s seriously considering throwing his pizza at Isaac. “Excuse you?” he asks.

Scott snorts and says, “You should pass him a note, ‘I really like you, do you like me? check yes or no’... Y’know really live up to the fact that you are five years old.”

Stiles gives in and throws the slice of pizza. It lands cheese down on Scott’s shirt. Stiles is happy with this because when Scott picks it up half the toppings and a bunch of sauce remain stuck to his shirt. He scowls and gives Stiles his best angry Derek face. Which mostly just makes him look like an angry puppy and has none of the desired effect.

Isaac grunts when he gets an elbow to the solar plexus when Scott twists himself around to get rid of the nasty slice of pizza and wiggle out of his shirt. He slumps back into Isaac’s side, shirtless. Isaac finally looks away from the tv to pin an I-am-disappointed-in-you look on Stiles. He is surprisingly good at it.

“Do something about it, Stiles,” Isaac says. “Or I will.”

Stiles stares at him in surprise for about five seconds before he decides that Isaac is faintly scary and whips out his phone. He taps away at the screen for a bit and then hits send.

(702) So I have a giant crush on you.

(507) Good.

Stiles doesn’t know what to do with that response. Does that mean that Peter wants him too, or does it mean that Peter is happily willing to string him along until he’s miserable and begging for scraps like he had been with Lydia?

(702) I don’t know what to do with that.

(507) Meet me at Nando’s tomorrow at six and find out.

“I - I think I have a date?” Stiles says, confused.

“Good,” Isaac says. “Now shut up, eat your pizza and watch the movie.”

(702) I’ll be there.

Stiles sticks his phone back in his pockets and turns back to the movie. He has a date. Tomorrow. With Peter Hale.

He grins. Nice.

Chapter Text

Bottom Of The River

(steter, witch hunt, bottom of the river - delta rae)

 

“The wolves will chase you by the pale moonlight

(Drunk and driven by a devil’s hunger)

Drive your son like a railroad spike

(Into the water, let it pull him under)...”

 

Stiles shifts in the darkness. The shackles rattle and he stills. He glances at the door and prays that the guard outside it didn’t hear anything. His whole body is one deep ache and he isn’t sure he can take another beating without showing that it hurts.

At this point all he’s got left is his stubborn pride.

He’s been accused of witchcraft. Not that it isn’t true, but he hadn’t been expecting Harris to have that much sway with the town council. He may be a zealot, but he’s out of favour with the Church. The villagers like Harris about as much as Finstock (the blacksmith) likes his apprentice. Which is not at all since Finstock is convinced he’s going to wake up on fire one morning due to Greenburg’s incompetence.

Stiles sighs. Was it really only last week that he’d been laughing with Scott and Isaac, watching Finstock yell with incoherent rage at Greenburg? It feels like a lifetime. Stiles’ body doesn’t show it, but he’s aged a lifetime in the last few days.

It’s not every day a body is sentenced to burn at the stake.

His father had tried to make Lord Argent see reason. He had some pull as the Captain of the citadel guard, but Gerard was old and far too angry to see much reason. He’d been raging against anything that even remotely spoke to the supernatural ever since his favorite child, Kate, had been killed by a wolf on the blood moon five years ago.

In the wolf’s defense, she’d tried to kill it first.

Scott and Isaac had tried to jailbreak him, but they’d been caught and would be spending the next three days in the stocks. Long enough to have a front row seat to the witch burning. Long enough to be unable to help. The only thing Stiles begrudges them is the fact that they’ll have a front row seat to it, unable to not watch.

God, he doesn’t want anyone to watch him burn.

The door rattles and Stiles tenses. Ennis enters the room with a sick grin on his face, “Daylight, witchy, time to go.”

Stiles doesn’t respond. He doesn’t move at all (not because he’s being difficult, but because everything hurts too much) until the twins walk into the cell and haul him up by his arms. They carry grim expressions as they carry him down the corridor, feet dragging behind him.

Stiles supposes that if he’s going to die, he might as well make himself a nuisance and stops trying to hold himself up. He goes limp and becomes dead weight. Aiden grunts and Ethan growls and Stiles feels a dim sort of satisfaction. He may be about to die, but he’s still annoying as hell. His legacy right there, folks.

Ennis opens a door with a clatter and the twins drag him through it into bright daylight. Stiles is blinded long enough by the sunlight splitting the clouds overhead that by the time his vision begins to clear he’s being tied to a pyre. His gaze focuses on the executioner, Kali, who is holding a torch and wearing a sickening grin.

He looks away.

The square is packed with people. Scott and Isaac are in the stocks off to one side. Melissa, Erica and Boyd have congregated there. His father is standing on the other side of the square, pale and stoic and surrounded by several of his men so that he doesn’t try to stop it. Parrish is at his father’s side, as always, loyal and waiting for his Captain’s word.

Allison, Lydia and Kira are sitting on the balcony with Gerard and stone faced Lord Chris. The have a pair of guards stationed with them as well. Stiles finds comfort in the fact that Gerard had had to force his remaining family to witness this.

“Does the accused have any last words?” Deucalion asks. He’s ready to write them down. He always is as Gerard’s trusted advisor.

Stiles forces his feet under him and he stands straight. The ropes are too tight and the muscles in his arms pull and his lungs burn with effort. He is Claudia’s son, and he will not be defeated even in death. His mother had been powerful. Powerful and beloved and Stiles was nowhere near her level, but he had enough strength inside him for his eyes to flare brightly green.

Overhead the clouds turn black and thunder rumbles as it starts to rain.

“You will burn for your sins, Gerard Argent,” Stiles intones. He congratulates himself because he sounds badass even if he doesn’t feel it.

Gerard snarls and his hand drops. Kali throws the torch on the pyre she had personally doused with accelerant not even an hour ago. Flames roar up around the witch and lightning crackles across the sky.

It’s an eerie sight to watch. No one leaves the square, by order of Lord Argent. Stiles makes no sound at all and the only thing anyone hears over the wind is the crackles of the flames as he burns. The smell of burning flesh rises into the air and eventually he slumps over, life gone.

When it’s over and the rain has put out the flames Gerard stands and his voice rings out over the silent crowd: “Sink the body in the river. A witch does not deserve a proper burial.”

*

The Wolf usually avoids the river this close to the citadel. Humans smell and it clings to the back of his throat unpleasantly. Hunters are common here, so he avoids it for the practical necessity of not wanting to get shot. The magic in the air draws him forward despite this aversion.

The water is shallow here, perfect for crossing the rapidly moving water or for fishing. The Wolf is not fishing, and he is not on a journey. When he reaches the water’s edge his bright blue eyes find what the magic is pulling him toward easily enough.

There is a young man washed up on the forest side. If he has seen twenty winters the wolf would be surprised. He is unconscious and covered head to toe in healing burns. The Wolf watches him for a long while, waiting. Eventually one of his arms moves and it is enough for the wolf to know he is alive.

He puts on his human skin before he leaves the treeline. The cold of early winter bites at him without his thick fur, but he ignores it. Upon closer examination the Wolf can see the magic dancing across the boy’s skin as it heals the damage done to him. When he scents it, the air smells of smoke and Argent.

He crouches on the riverbank and when he reaches out and turns the man onto his back he ignores the magic that dances across his skin at the contact. The man lets out a pained moan and his eyes open just a crack.

When whiskey meets with blue the whole world realigns itself.

The magic of the green man under his hands reaches for the Wolf’s own magic and they intertwine tightly. Warmth floods through the Wolf as his mind and soul are bound irrevocably to the green man’s. It is something he has been without since the Argent bitch had killed the vast majority of his pack. What pack bonds are left are faint, thin and stretched and far away. Deep in the woods where no human will ever find them again.

The man loses consciousness and the Wolf stoops low to lift his Mate into his arms. He lifts his fragile burden with care unused in many years. As the two disappear into the trees the Wolf begins to plan.

He will see to the healing of his Mate. He will grow strong and his magic will burn brightly again. The Wolf will see to it; and come spring the Argent Lord will burn for what he’s done. The Wolf will see to that as well.

*

In the years following the burning of the citadel at Beacon Hills. Since Lord Chris took up his dead father’s mantle and declared that no hunters were to cross the river into the forest; there have been sightings. Glimpses of a Green Man and his Wolf.

Some people in the village remember the witch from before. Some remember his name but they know that he has forgotten it himself. He would have come home otherwise. But for those that remember, that know; well the Green Man and his Wolf are certainly real.

They are not the spectre of the forest like so many claim. Stories told in the hush of night in back corners of inns. They may be made of the stuff of fairy tales and hokum, but they are flesh. Magic made solid.

They are the reason why the forest is forbidden, and they remind the villagers why when they are seen walking through the woods. They are rarely seen in the spring and summer, but the tale says that the flora and fauna grow thicker where the Green Man has walked. In the winter he is starker, clad in furs with that giant black Wolf at his side.

They are more frightening and real in the winter, it seems.

Some villagers leave offerings for them on the big stones by the river. Hoping that they will be appeased and never come to the village again. Others boast at their bravery and how they would kill them both should they ever be encountered. Both things are driven by fear.

For those who know? For the ones the Green Man left behind, they are content. They are safe to travel the forest, but they do not because they do not belong amongst the trees.

It is enough to know the Man survives.

Chapter Text

Love Is An Open Door

(young!peter/fem!stiles, for codenamescream, love is an open door - frozen)

“I mean it’s crazy...

What?

We finish each others -

Sandwiches!

That’s what I was gonna say!...”

 

Peter Hale is an idiot with a basketball.

Stiles turns her best angry eyes on him as he runs over to collect the orange ball of death that just tried to kill her. He gives her that grin. That smirky, better-than-you grin that churns her insides and makes her want to smack him.

“Really?” she demands.

“I wasn’t aiming for you, Stilinski,” Peter says, picking up the basketball and tucking it under one arm.

She wants to strangle him with his denim jacket. She ratchets up her look from Angry Eyes to Evil Eyes and he all out smirks at her. “I hope you trip on that smirk.”

“Oh, don’t worry, beautiful,” Peter says with a smarmy leer. “We’re still on for Prom.”

“You never asked me to Prom!” Stiles yells at his retreating back.

“I’ll pick you up at seven,” Peter calls over his shoulder and then he turns the corner and disappears.

Stiles sits back in her seat with a huff and finally notices the looks her friends are trading. Lydia is having an entire conversation with Allison via their eyebrows. Scott looks put out like he’s girding himself to hear this week's Peter Rant.

Isaac gives her a very deadpan look and says: “Just jump the guy already.”

Stiles lets out a protesting sound and Erica cuts her off with a flip of her hair. “Do not,” she says. “Everyone here knows that when we all come back for our ten year reunion you’ll be married to Hale with three kids and another on the way and so disgustingly happy we’ll all hate you.”

Stiles stares at Erica and she’s happy to note that she’s not the only one. Derek looks completely disgusted and he puts his burger down because he’s lost his appetite.

“That’s my uncle, Erica,” Derek says faintly.

“Oh, please,” Erica rolls her eyes. “You think they’d be adorable together too.”

Derek is shameless enough to shrug his shoulders and nod in agreement.

Stiles hates all of them.

*

“Stiles!” John yells up the stairs. He’s giving his best do-not-bullshit-me-I-am-the-Sheriff look to the boy in the suit on his front doorstep. “Your boy is here!”

There was a thump, and then Stiles descended the stairs. She was dressed in a pretty pale gray satin dress and her hair was piled up on her head and both John and Peter could tell she’d had help. She looked amazing, but she wasn’t allowed to touch the curling iron, she’d burned herself one too many times.

“You look beautiful,” Peter says, and offers her the rose he’s carrying.

Stiles takes it with a thank you, because her papa raised a girl with manners. John takes the obligatory pictures and tells her that if she’s not home by one he’ll set the entirety of the Beacon County Sheriff’s Department on her.

Peter opens doors for her. Lets her pick the music on the drive to the school. He’s behaving and it’s unnerving. She stares at him out of the corner of her eye the whole drive to the school. When they get there he makes her sit there while he runs around the car to open her door.

Halfway through the first dance and Stiles has had enough.

“Okay, what the hell?” she demands.

“What?” Peter asks.

“What’s with the stepford routine? This isn’t you.”

“I…” Peter looks around the decorated gym and Stiles knows that he’s hating this just as much as she is. “I thought this was what you wanted. Someone who fit that mold.”

Stiles sighs, reaches up and smacks him on the head, “I don’t like you because you fit the mold, you doofus. I like you because you’re smart and a douche about it.”

Peter grins at her and they stop dancing.

“What?” she asks.

“You like me,” Peter says.

Stiles rolls her eyes, reaches up and pulls him into a kiss. When they part she says, “Yeah, I like you. A little. Now get me the hell out of this nightmare.”

He does. He pulls her out of the prom by the hand and bundles her into the car. She steals his suit coat when he throws it into the car and pulls the pins out of her hair. He changes the station on the radio and slaps her hand when she tries to change it back. Stiles takes off the strappy heels Lydia forced on her and throws them into the back seat.

“Where are we going?” she questions.

“Not telling,” Peter has that stupid smirk on his face again.

When he pulls into the drive through of the place with her favorite curly fries and orders for her without having to ask what she wants, she decides she might just be a little in love. He drives them out into the preserve to lookout point and they eat burgers and curly fries on the hood of his car.

Looking at him in the moonlight, cheeks pouched out like a chipmunk with burger, Stiles decides that yeah, she might be in love with this idiot.

When he smiles at her she knows it. So she steals the rest of his fries and when he protests, she kisses him.

Chapter Text

Do I Wanna Know?

(steter, do i wanna know - arctic monkeys)

 

“So have you got the guts?

Been wondering if your heart’s still open and if so I wanna know what time it shuts

Simmer down and pucker up

I’m sorry to interrupt. It’s just that I’m constantly on the cusp of trying to kiss you

I don’t know if you feel the same as I do

But we could be together if you wanted to…”

 

Stiles slaps the book in front of him closed and shoves it away in disgust. In his effort to get that bit of uselessness away from his being, the book shoves a stack of other books off the table. Thud. Thud. thudthud. Stiles sighs. Of course.

Peter sits up from his sprawled position on the couch and arches his back in a stretch. Stiles does not stare. Not him. Peter catches his eye and smirks before her rises. He tilts his neck either way, getting a series of satisfying pops that Stiles sort of envies. He’s so tense, if he tried that he’d probably strain a muscle before anything cracked.

“Well,” Peter intones. He’s standing by the table looking at the fallen books and Stiles can tell he wants to pick them up about as much as Stiles himself does.

Meaning not at all.

“This is stupid,” Stiles decides out loud. Peter raises an eyebrow at him and Stiles scoffs and flaps a hand in his direction. “Put your eyebrows away. I’m a badass spark who don’t need no werewolf and you’re a badass werewolf who don’t need no alpha. Why are we stuck in the research corner?”

“We’re in time out.”

Which is… true. Sadly. After what happened last time something wonky was going on Scott had basically shoved both of them into the naughty corner. He kept staring at Stiles with Dissapointed Face. So Stiles and Peter had killed a pack of Red Caps. In their defense, the Red Caps had started it by trying to kill them first.

But noooo.

“Can we at least make out instead of pretending like we care?” Stiles wonders. Then his brain stops because he realizes what he said. He turns red instantly and carefully avoids looking at Peter.

Peter looks like he just got the canary, a gallon of cream and all the goldfish in the bowl. His gaze travels up and down Stiles and stops on Stiles’ lips. He steps around the corner of the table and physically turns Stiles, chair and all. Stiles squawks in surprise and flails.

“That’s the best idea I’ve heard all year,” Peter says. Stiles looks up at him, shocked; and then they’re kissing.

Holy wow. Peter is a good kisser.

It doesn’t take Stiles very long to get with the program. He surges up out of his chair and throws his arms around Peter’s neck and gives as good as he’s getting. The kiss goes from gentle and a little tentative to filthy and hot in two seconds flat. Peter gropes at Stiles' rear, then grasps his thighs and lifts.

Werewolf strength is nice. Stiles wraps his legs around Peter’s waist and then they’re moving. A dozen steps and Stiles is being lowered onto the couch with Peter above him. Stiles pulls away enough to gasp for air. He gets a glimpse of werewolf blue eyes before Peter latches onto Stiles’ neck.

Stiles runs his hands up into Peter’s hair and scratches at his scalp. Peter purrs in the back of his throat at the feeling and returns to Stiles’ lips. Stiles hikes his legs up a little further and Peter settles perfectly between his thighs.

“Mmmm,” Stiles murmurs.

Peter growls “Mine” into Stiles’ neck and Stiles groans in agreement. “So very, very yours,” Stiles says and then bites Peter’s earlobe.

The door to the loft crashes open, admitting the rest of the pack. Conversation stops as they spot the two on the couch. Stiles and Peter pull apart just enough to turn their heads to look at them. They’re all covered in mud and healing cuts and look like they’ve all been hit with a dictionary.

Except for Liam, who Stiles feels is a precious precious child and loves him dearly. He pushes to the front of the surprised group, grins at Stiles and Peter and says “I fell in a hole!” with bright enthusiasm.

“Good for you,” Stiles tells him. Liam falls in holes on a regular basis.

“Can I have pizza?” Liam requests. He toes off his shoes and tromps across the room, shedding his shredded sweatshirt and collapsing into the armchair.

“Use Derek’s credit card,” Peter says.

Liam nods and pulls out his phone. “Are you guys staying?” he asks.

“No,” Stiles decides. He lets go of Peter and allows the older man to get up. He takes the offered hand and gets up too. He twines their hands together. “We’re going home.”

Liam nods and dials the pizza place. “What’s with them?” he gestures at the still silent pack congregated around the door.

“They’re surprised about the kissing,” Stiles explains.

“Why?” Liam wonders. He looks genuinely confused.

“They’re a little slow on the uptake,” Peter says. He pats Liam on the head. “They need more time than you.”

Liam nods and Peter leads Stiles from the loft by the hand. When they get downstairs they make out against Stiles’ jeep until the pizza guy arrives and then Stiles drives Peter home.

Stiles texts his dad and stays the night.

Chapter Text

All Will Be Well

(steter, strangers on a bus, all will be well - the gabe dixon band)

 

“And a mess is still a moment I can seize until I know,

That all will be well.

Even though sometimes this is hard to tell,

And the fight is just as frustrating as hell

All will be well…”

 

Liam won’t stop crying and Stiles takes a moment to hate his life. The jeep just had to pick today of all days to break down. It doesn’t help that Liam isn’t crying because he’s throwing a tantrum, he’s crying because he’s in true distress and there’s very little Stiles can do to help relieve the pain he’s feeling.

They had a long night.

Malia is curled up under Stiles’ other arm, clinging to her stuffed deer and pouting dangerously. None of them got enough sleep last night, between the pain and the throwing up Stiles has questioned his decision to take on twins by himself. The kicker is that now that it’s morning and Stiles can get them to the doctor, they’re stuck on a public bus.

A bus that stops every few stoplights with a jolt that makes Malia whimper and Liam start to cry afresh. Stiles wraps his arm around the boy in his lap a little more. When they were babies the twins had been prone to ear aches. Now as toddlers it’s the first suspect whenever they are feeling poorly.

It takes him a minute, but Stiles finally realizes that the crying has stopped. He looks down at the two year old in his arms (two and a half, daddy), expecting Liam to finally have cried himself to sleep. His tiny, blue eyed little boy is smiling though. Stiles follows his gaze and spots a man sitting across from them.

The man is older than Stiles, wearing a dark suit and a tie with what looks like little yellow birds all over it. He’s got blue eyes and he’s painfully good looking and Stiles really needs to stop staring. The man doesn’t seem to be doing anything to have riveted Liam like he has, but Stiles is grateful that the crying has stopped.

Stiles looks down at his kids again and Malia is staring at the man as well. Stiles doesn’t get it, but Liam is no longer in danger of passing out because he’s too busy crying to breathe, so he lets it go. He doesn’t watch the man directly, but he watches out of the corners of his eyes as he pets Liam’s hair.

The handsome man on the other side of the bus is making silly faces at his children.

When the bus finally stops at their stop, Stiles heaves Liam onto his hip (he’s three and really too big for this kind of thing anymore) and takes Malia’s hand. When they pass the blue eyed man Stiles notes that the little yellow birds are actually Woodstock and friends from Peanuts. He mouths a thank you at him and gets a nod in return.

He’s too busy with his kids to notice the other man getting off the bus as well.

*

Stiles is always amazed at how much paperwork having children generates. His kids are curled up in a chair together as he fills out what feels like reams and reams of new patient forms. He hadn’t been all that fond of his last pediatrician, and Scott had told him that Isaac liked this Doctor Hale guy, so Stiles figured why not.

“Mr. Stilinski?”

Stiles looks up, startled because he’d allowed himself to get sucked into the Looney Tunes on the tv by accident. The nurse gives him a smile. She’s dark haired and pretty and her scrubs are covered in puppies.

“Doctor Hale can see you now.”

Stiles stands up and turns to the twins. Liam climbs out of the chair on his own, but Malia holds her arms up. It’s her turn to be carried apparently. Stiles doesn’t protest, just hefts her up into his arms. He knows she feels about as good as Liam, but she’s been such a trooper. He takes Liam’s hand and leads them after the nurse.

There’s a small table in the corner of the exam room with a puzzle and a couple of maze games on it for entertaining siblings of children being examined. Stiles sets Malia on the paper covered exam table and bends down to lift Liam onto it as well. The twins sit next to each other and let the nurse (who introduces herself as Laura) take down their vitals.

Stiles knows for a fact that if they didn’t feel like crap there would be no getting either of his kids to sit still long enough for their blood pressure to be taken.

Laura leaves them alone and Stiles takes the time to reassure the kids that after this they get to go home and Grandpa promised to make tomato soup for them when he got home from work. It does the job of lifting their spirits a little just in time for the door to open and the doctor to come in.

“Mr. Stiliniski?”

Stiles turns and stares. It’s the man from the bus. He opens his mouth and closes it because he can’t think of anything to say. Malia giggles and buries her face in Stiles’ side and that make Liam giggle.

Stiles sighs and smiles at the doctor, “Yeah, hi.”

Doctor Hale shakes his hand and introduces himself to the twins, telling them they’re allowed to call him Doctor Peter if they like. Malia latches onto his tie and looks at him with big eyes and says: “Our ears hurt.”

Stiles leans on the exam table opposite Peter. Of course Malia would make his being there obsolete. She’s not shy at all, tells it like she sees it and the only people she won’t willingly abandon if they can’t keep up are her brother, her father and her grandpa.

“They do?” Peter asks, sitting on a rolling stool and rolling it over to the table with his feet. Malia grabs his tie again as soon as it’s in range.

“Mine hurts more,” Liam says with a grumble, not to be outdone.

“Which one hurts?”

The kids each point to an ear and Peter goes about his exam. He hums and haws and makes the twins laugh. He checks nose and throat and eyes and ears. He uses special tweezers to extract big disgusting hunks of earwax from the infected ear of each child. When he’s done he gives each of them their choice of lollipop and then turns to Stiles.

“Ear infections.”

“I figured, but you know, antibiotics,” Stiles says with a shrug.

Peter grins and writes out a script for each kid. “Prone to them are they?”

“More when they were babies than now, but yeah. This isn’t our first rodeo,” Stiles replies. He takes the sheets from Peter and looks at his kids who are trading suckers so they can try the other flavor. “Also I’m paranoid.”

“You’re a dad, comes with the territory.”

“So my father keeps telling me,” Stiles says. He helps the twins down from the table and they lead both parent and doctor from the exam room. They feel better already for just having their ears cleaned out properly. The sugar helps some too.

They chat a little on the way back to the waiting room. Enough for Stiles to recognize that Doctor Peter Hale, pediatrician extraordinaire and bus entertainer is flirting with him.

“Oh, just ask him out already!” a voice calls and they turn to see Laura leaning over the reception desk with a grin. She winks at them in an exaggerated manner and sits back down.

“Why Nurse Hale,” Stiles says, fluttering a hand and putting on a falsetto. “What kind of girl do you take me for?”

“A classy one, apparently,” Laura laughs.

Stiles turns back to Peter, who is watching him with amusement. Stiles decides to throw himself out there just like he does with everything else. “I’ve got two kids and my work consumes me a lot, but I like rollercoasters, snow cones and good italian food.”

Peter grins, gives in and keels so that Malia can hug him when she demands a hug. Then he scrawls another script and hands it to Stiles. Stiles glances at it and it’s Peter’s phone number and he grins. He looks down at his kids.

“What do you guys think?” he asks them. “Think we should take Doc Peter here to the fair when you guys get better?”

“Yeah!” the twins cheer. Malia squeezes the hell out of Peter’s neck and bounces and Stiles almost feels sorry for him. He knows how uncomfortable that is. Liam throws his arms into the air, smacking Stiles in the thigh on the way. “Fair!” he exclaims. Liam has a close and personal relationship with cotton candy.

Stiles turns to look at Peter with a grin, “What do you say doc?”

“I gave you my phone number,” Peter says. “The fair sounds great.”

“I’ll call you,” Stiles tells him.

And he does.

Chapter Text

My Name

(steter, s1 alternate, my name - charlie winston)

 

“Stay right where you are;

Don’t be foolish to try any courageous moves

You won’t be saving lives

I didn’t do all I’ve done for you to put me to shame

Now in your final hour my legacy remains…”

 

There is a hand wrapped around his wrist. That hand has claws attached to it. He’s staring into blue eyes that make him wish he was the praying type. They’re filled with the sort of promises that never bode well for anyone or anything. There’s so much rage in that blue gaze.

“Well?”

The tone is cordial. Like he’s offering to pick up his dry cleaning or something. Stiles stares at the man who just an hour ago had been bent over Lydia on the lacrosse field with blood dripping down his face and Stiles can feel his chest tightening. His hands clench into fists and he can hear his heart pounding triple time.

Peter’s eyebrows draw together and his head tilts just a little and that isn’t helping because Stiles knows he can hear his heart tripping all over itself. His chest tightens, his breaths shorten, his vision tunnels and hello old friend. He’s having a panic attack.

He doesn’t resist when Peter pulls him forward. His legs no longer feel like they’re attached and his knees give out just in time for him to collapse into Peter’s chest. He can feel the vibration and he knows Peter is speaking, but the rushing in his ears and his own heartbeat won’t let him hear the words.

He clutches at whatever he can reach and if that’s Peter, well there’s no one around to call him on it except the dead nurse in the trunk of her own car. Vaguely he’s aware that he’s being told to breathe as deeply as he can, but it isn’t until he feels the chest under him start moving in exaggerated breathing that he understands the instruction.

He takes deep, gasping gulps of air and the world starts to swim into focus.

“Alright, that’s perfect,” the voice in his ear is saying. “Just keep breathing, just like that.”

Stiles lets himself sag completely into the other man. He grips tightly at the handfuls of jacket he’s got and turns his face into Peter’s neck with a whimper. Peter’s arms are around him, and his grip tightens. Usually, when the panic attack ends Stiles feels heavy, but also like he could just drift away because there’s nothing holding him down. Peter is locked around him though, and Peter is the strongest, scariest thing he’s ever encountered.

He feels anchored in place, like even if he drifts away he’s tethered and will drift back.

Stiles let’s his eyes drift closed. This has been building up inside him since he figured out Scott was a werewolf and Stiles had to chain his best friend to a radiator. Stiles is great under pressure, he handles stress very well… but everyone has their breaking point and Peter Hale just happens to get to be the lucky witness to Stiles’.

Peter’s nose drifts across Stiles’ hairline and he blinks his eyes open and tips his head back to look at him. They’re sitting on the dirty concrete of the parking garage and there’s real concern in Peter’s eyes.

“Sorry,” Stiles mutters.

Peter smiles, ghosting fingers over Stiles’ head and neck, “Nothing to apologize for. Feeling better?”

Stiles huffs out a grumpy grunt and turns back into Peter’s neck, “If I say no can we stay here?”

Peter chuckles. Stiles knows because he’s plastered to the man’s chest and feels it more than hears it. Peter’s nose runs along his temple, inhaling and Stiles knows he should be freaking out that Peter is apparently scenting him, but he’s too tired to give a crap.

“I think,” Peter says, tone conversational even as his arms tighten around Stiles, “I’m going to keep you.”

“Yay?” Stiles voice is a weak croak, a little on the high pitched side.

When he looks up Peter’s eyes are crimson and he’s smiling beatifically down him. Stiles feels detached from himself as he watches Peter’s raise his wrist to his mouth (suddenly full of razor sharp fangs) and press a kiss to his pulse. “Oh, I’m definitely keeping you,” he says, and then bites.

*

Stiles wakes up in his own bed the next morning. There’s a bandage wrapped around his wrist, spotted with blood. He sits up quickly enough that the room tilts as his blood rushes around. He unravels the bandage and stares at his unblemished wrist and he knows.

Peter bit him last night, and now Stiles Stilinski is a werewolf.

His skin feels too tight for a second, but he clamps down on the panic threatening the edges of his awareness. His world has shifted, again. He thinks about what happened and something inside him becomes sharply aware at the thought of Peter. It’s almost like he can feel him off in the distance and Stiles knows that he won’t be able to resist the call of the Alpha like Scott.

There is something intrinsically different in the bite that Scott received and the one that Stiles got last night. He needs answers and he’s only really got two options. Go to Derek who will probably do his very best to gruffly grump his way around Stiles and not actually tell him anything; or go to Peter. Peter who will be pleased as punch that Stiles came to him, and will answer his questions.

He doesn’t know why he knows Peter will answer him, but he does.

Choice made, Stiles rolls out of bed and into jeans and a shirt.

He drives around town aimlessly. Peter won’t have gone back to the hospital. His nurse is missing and he’s mysteriously healed. Stiles doesn’t know where to look for him so he stops to get coffee and a danish and finds himself driving across town. There are a few really nice apartment complexes in town. One boasts one and two bedroom lofts and that’s where Stiles finds himself stopping.

He doesn’t shrug to himself, but it’s a close thing as he lets his feet take him wherever they want to. When he stops in front of a door he knows instinctively that he’s in the right place and raises his hand to knock.

“Hello Stiles,” Peter says when he opens the door.

Stiles stares with wide eyes and asks, “Why is my bite different than Scott’s?”

If anything, Peter looks prouder. He holds out a hand and Stiles takes it and that seems to please him. Something in Stiles warms at the thought that he’s pleased Peter and he lets himself be drawn into the apartment. He’s led through a tastefully decorated apartment to a couch where both of them sit.

Peter leaves his side open in invitation and Stiles sinks into his arms, breathing in Peter and Alpha and he feels comfortable and safe. “Think, Stiles,” Peter tells him. His hand runs up and down Stiles’ arm as Stiles’ thinks through every possibility.

“Scott was bit on his side, and my wrist,” he holds up his wrist and stares at it. There’s a very faint, silvery scar around it. Teeth marks. Scott’s bite hadn’t scarred. “Where you bit me means something.”

Peter makes a pleased noise at the back of his throat, “What else?”

“I knew where you were. I could feel you when I woke up this morning.” Stiles picks up Peter’s arm, follows the veins on the underside with his fingers.

“Tell me, Stiles, what do you know about mating bites?”

Stiles’ fingers stop and he refuses to let himself look up. He knows that mating bites are supposed to go both ways. That both people are supposed to give and receive a bite. That most aren’t attached to the bite that changes a person. Stiles supposes that the bite strengthened the Alpha-Beta bond between them. He turns Peter’s wrist this way and that in his grip and realisation strikes.

Peter is letting him handle one of the more vulnerable places on the body. Peter trusts him not to try and kill him. Peter started a mating bond when he bit Stiles and that speaks volumes to how valuable Peter finds him.

Stiles looks up quickly, eyes glowing bright gold. Peter is gazing back at him with crimson eyes and Stiles knows what he wants. Peter wants him to complete the bond. Make the circuit two-way and not let it fade away unanswered. Peter wants him.

For the first time Stiles feels fangs in his mouth and he’s stunned (but not as surprised as he should be) that he wants this. He wants to be the center of someone’s world. That that someone is Peter Hale? Well, what’s a little sociopathy between mates? Stiles looks down at the wrist in his hands and leans down.

He bites.

The bond snaps into place with the tang of electricity and the copper of blood. The wound heals almost instantly, leaving a pale silvery scar in it’s wake. When Peter takes his head in his hands and kisses him, there is still blood in his mouth.

Everything is different. Stiles will make a good wolf and Kate Argent will die. Scott will never be normal again and Derek will probably never look him in the eyes. Stiles shifts around to straddle Peter as they continue to trade kisses. Stiles will go where his Alpha goes. He will help him get his revenge. Peter will limit the death count to those involved in the fire, for Stiles’ peace of mind. To those that threaten the thing between them. The thing that they’ll build once all of this is over. Those threats won't survive very long.

Stiles pulls away just enough to look Peter in the eyes and he doesn’t regret it. It’s the start of something dangerous.

They kiss again.

Chapter Text

Moments in the Woods

(steter, moments in the woods - into the woods)

 

“Oh, if life were made of moments,

Even now and then a bad one-!

But if life were only moments,

Then you’d never know you had one…”

 

“Liam! Don’t wander too far!”

Liam giggles and that’s enough for Stiles to know that his son is still close by. He’s uprooting weeds and clearing foliage in what must have once been a fabulous garden. He plans to replant it and he’ll use just enough magic to speed on the growing so that it’s well established in a few short weeks. Until then his range of spells is limited and they’re eating things they got at the farmer’s market.

The house is… structurally sound. Stiles did some magical repairs when he bought the place. There were still scorch marks all over the walls and getting the old Hale House ready for habitation had taken longer than he’d wanted, but it was habitable.

“Daddy!”

Stiles looked up and couldn’t help grinning. Liam was grinning from ear to ear and covered in mud and he had a gigantic wolf at his side. His eyes were glowing bright gold, an inheritance from his mother. Malia had been ecstatic when he’d presented as a werecoyote instead of a spark like Stiles. One glance at the hulking black beast and Stiles knows that it’s an Alpha, not a regular wolf.

“I fell in a hole!” Liam exclaims, letting go of the wolf and bounding forward to throw himself into his father’s arms.

Stiles catches him deftly, “You did?”

“The wolf got me out,” Liam informs him.

Stiles lets his gaze flit over to the wolf and can’t help but notice that he’s thin, rangy like he’s been living in the woods for years. Stiles figures that he’s a Hale. A survivor of the fire that killed the whole pack.

Stiles took great care cleansing the place before he moved his son in.

“Did he now?”

“Uh huh,” Liam nods. “Can we keep him?”

“Wolves aren’t for keeping, love.” Stiles watches the wolf lower his head and tilt his head wearily. He can probably feel the magic already saturating the house and the land around it. Stiles offers a smile to the creature, “But he can stay for dinner.”

“Can we have deer?” Liam asks.

Stiles can’t help the huff of laughter that request invokes in him. Liam loves deer as much as Malia had. “Yes, but you have to eat all your greens.”

“Aw, Dad!”

Stiles tickles Liam at the dramatic head roll and huff the six year old gives. He rises, child and all and heads for the house. They’ll grill venison steaks tonight and Stiles will do foil packets of vegetables to go with. The wolf follows carefully, wary and watchful.

*

It becomes almost routine for the wolf to visit several times a week after that. Stiles becomes less worried when Liam goes wandering in the woods on his adventures. He doesn’t want to repress the insatiable shifter spirit Liam possesses. He’s so much like Malia that every time he comes rambling home covered in leaves and mud with glowing eyes he can just hear her laughter in his ear. The wolf watches after Liam. Dogs his footsteps, steers him away from danger and pulls him out of holes.

Stiles trusts this Alpha that doesn’t seem to remember having a human form.

“Grandpa!”

John catches Liam with a grunt. He’s just off shift at the station and finally has the time to come out and check on his son and grandson. “How’s my favorite grandson?” John asks as he heads for the house.

He pauses for a second at the sight of the big black wolf watching them from the porch. Claudia had always had strange things about her, and Stiles was just like his mother, so John shrugged it off.

“I climbed some rocks and I fell in a hole!”

“Really?” John wondered. “How did you get down again, and up again?”

“My wolf,” Liam says. The wolf’s head comes up at the mention of him. Liam lifts one hand to hush his grandpa, “Don’t tell Daddy I said he’s mine. Daddy says our wolf belongs to himself.”

“You know, your Dad is probably right,” John says.

The wolf pads into the house behind them.

*

Stiles shoves Liam’s foot off his face and grabs the boy’s ankle to turn him right side up. Liam doesn’t even snort, he just tucks himself into Stiles’ side and continues to sleep. Stiles sighs and runs his fingers through Liam’s hair.

Nails clicking on the wood flooring has Stiles turning his head to the doorway. The wolf is standing in the doorway watching them and Stiles wonders when their household of two became a household of three.

“Come on,” Stiles says to him.

The wolf pads into the room and leaps up onto the bed. Stiles is grateful for the large queen size bed he’d invested in. The wolf settles onto the bed on Stiles’ other side with a grunt. Stiles stares up at the ceiling for a while until he finds himself drifting off again. His eyes flutter closed and he snuggles his son closer to himself.

The wolf sets his head down on Stiles’ stomach, watching the two people in the bed with him. Stiles has one hand settled in the wolf’s fur and Liam’s mouth is gaping open. Father and son look so much alike in this moment. The Alpha settles into a state of contentment he hasn’t felt since long before the fire.

As his eyes drift closed, the wolf wonders if maybe it’s time to be human again.

*

Stiles’ head shoots up at the sound of a piercing scream. His son’s voice is something he recognizes instantly. He’s up and running into the trees before he’s even registered that he’s moving. A flick if his fingers and a tiny green light is zooming out in front of him to show him the way.

When he arrives he’s stunned at what he sees. The wolf has one hind leg trapped in a steel trap and Liam is hunched up next to him, crying. There’s a hunter aiming a gun at them and the big Alpha is growling and doing his best to shield the small werecoyote from him.

Stiles reacts.

A flick of his wrist and a nearby log is whipping through the air to hit the hunter and knock him off his feet.Stiles is across the clearing and picking up the rifle. He sets the stock into his shoulder and aims it at the hunter. The hunter freezes.

“On your feet,” Stiles says coldly.

The hunter gets to his feet, eyes wary, “I’ve got no quarrel with you. I just want the wolf.”

The wolf snarls, Liam growls and Stiles bares his teeth, “Yeah well, this one’s mine.”

“That’s not a regular wolf, boy.” The hunter takes a step forward and Stiles lifts the weapon in reaction. The hunter stops, raising his hands, “Take it easy.”

Stiles ejects the cartridges from the rifle and tosses it across the clearing at the man. He grunts when he catches it. “Get out of my forest or I’ll show you just how not regular I am.”

The hunter backs out of the clearing and Stiles sends a spell after him. One to prevent him from ever entering the preserve again. Then he turns and kneels at the wolf’s side. Liam throws himself into Stiles’ arms and they hug for a long moment before they turn to the trap the wolf is stuck in. One more surge of magic and the leg is free. Stiles rips his shirt into strips and binds the leg tightly and then uses a little bit more magic in order to lift the wolf into his arms.

“Liam, lead us home.”

*

When Peter wakes it’s with a start. He looks around wildly until his eyes land on Liam curled up on the bed next to him. He feels disoriented for a second before he realizes that he’s in human form. He reaches out and runs his fingers through Liam’s hair.

This little boy, Peter thinks. This little boy and his father.

He looks around for Stiles and he picks up his heartbeat on the floor below him. Peter quietly gets out of the bed. He’s clad in a pair of sweats, one leg rolled up to reveal his bandaged leg. He limps out into the hall. Getting down the stairs is an experience. It reminds Peter that the teeth of the trap had gone bone deep and he’s got a lot of healing to do.

When he finally makes it to the kitchen doorway he’s a little out of breath and his leg hurts. Stiles is standing at the stove watching a pot looking like he hasn’t slept. Peter doesn’t even try to rein in his instincts. He limps into the room and wraps his arms around Stiles from behind.

Stiles jumps and turns. He stops and stares up at Peter for a few stunned moments before he collects himself and smiles. “Hey, you’re up.”

Peter leans in and scents Stiles in the way he’s been wanting to for weeks. Stiles lets him. He jumps and squeals a little when Peter licks him. He pulls away, “No licking without knowing names!”

Peter snorts and withdraws enough to meet Stiles’ eyes, “Peter.”

“Peter,” Stiles smiles and it makes Peter want to kiss him. So he does.

It takes Stiles a minute to catch up with what’s going on. When he does he clutches at Peter and kisses back. When they finally pull apart Stiles pats Peter’s chest and says: “Well, alright then.”

Peter’s head tilts, “The pup is awake.”

“He’ll follow his nose,” Stiles says and ushers Peter into a chair. He returns to the pot of oatmeal on the stove just as Liam tumbles into the room.

“Daddy!” Liam says, his voice urgent. “Poppa’s gone!”

Stiles pauses, but shakes off his surprise. He shouldn’t be surprised. Peter looks more surprised than Stiles feels like either of them should be. “No he’s not.”

Liam turns at Stiles’ gesture and spots Peter at the table. Liam pushes a chair as close to Peter as he can get and climbs up onto it. He cradles Peter’s face in his little hands and his voice is very serious when he speaks; “No more bear traps, Poppa.”

“Deal,” Peter says.

Liam accepts this answer and crawls into Peter’s lap, “Good. We need you around.”

Peter smiles because he can’t not. He looks up at Stiles and he knows that Stiles agrees. Peter hugs Liam close as Stiles goes about dishing out breakfast. When he sits down in the chair Liam abandoned Peter lets himself relax. Stiles squeezes his shoulder and presses a kiss to his cheek.

“Eat, both of you,” Stiles instructs.

They do.

Chapter Text

Leave While I’m Not Looking

(steter, leave while i’m not looking - paloma faith)

 

“If this is goodbye

Then you’re gonna leave me shattered

You’re gonna take away

Only everything that matters…”

 

Peter is sitting on the edge of Stiles’ bed when he gets home. His hands are braced on his knees and he just looks so damn lost that it makes Stiles forget words for a second. The fact that the werewolf hasn’t noticed him says more than words ever could anyway.

“Peter?”

Peter looks look up with a start. He stares at Stiles and then turns his head to look at the suitcases and boxes lining one wall of his room. Oh.

OH.

In all the craziness he forgot about Peter. How could he forget about Peter? Stiles walks over to the bed and sits down next to the werewolf. He reaches over and threads their hands together. Peter stares at their hands.

“So, I’m going to Columbia,” Stiles begins. “I’m gonna study awesome things and maybe get a Phd. And I’m never coming back to Beacon Hills on a permanent basis.”

Peter doesn’t bother trying to hide his flinch. For the last year it’s been mostly Stiles and Peter. They’re both on the outs with the rest of the pack for varying reasons. They had naturally gravitated together.

“I know it’s a long way,” Stiles continues, studiously not looking at the man sitting next to him. “And packing is the worst thing ever, but I’m kinda hoping you’ll tag along and help me pay my rent.”

Peter moves so fast that Stiles isn’t sure what’s happening at first. Then he registers the kissing and lets himself fall into it. He bodily throws himself forward so that Peter topples backward on the bed and Stiles follows him down.

When they finally part, Stiles asks: “So is that a yes?”

Peter looks up at him, his eyes glowing faintly, “That’s a hell yes.”

“Good,” Stiles replies, and kisses him again.

Chapter Text

Everything At Once

(red panda!stiles part 1, 100th drabble, everything at once - lenka)

 

"As warm as the sun, as silly as fun

As cool as a tree, as scary as the sea

As hot as fire, cold as ice

Sweet as sugar and everything nice..."

 

For the longest time, the only ones who know that Stiles is a were-anything are Scott and his Dad. It’s not that they tried to hide it, per say, it’s that in his were form Stiles is essentially useless. He’s small and fluffy and according to Scott, the cutest thing he’s ever seen. Stiles is the opposite of threatening, so he just doesn’t change.

His ADHD is partly because he’s Stiles and partly because he’s a were red panda with the attention span of one. He’s easily distracted, easily startled and only dangerous to three things really; fruit, roots and the occasional egg. He’s very good at climbing things, which makes for a good escape and evade tactic, but is virtually useless anywhere else.

So Stiles just never mentions it. Scott is so used to it that he never says anything either. Although, there were a few awkward moments after Scott first got bitten where Scott’s wolf didn’t quite know what to do with Stiles. They’d had several encounters full shifted until Scott got used to him again and they were once again, best buds.

So no one knows and it’s an accident that no one knows.

Stiles is asleep when the pack returns from their full moon romp. Derek and Peter had spent the summer before rebuilding the Hale house and that’s where Stiles spends the full moon nights when the pack goes running. It isn’t that Stiles is asleep that’s the surprise, it’s where he’s asleep and how he’s shaped.

He’s sprawled lengthwise across the back of the couch. Legs draped akimbo down the back, furry chin flat and ringed tail out to make him look twice as long as he actually is. Allison and Lydia are in the kitchen and must have missed him. The others don’t though. His scent is stronger in red panda form and they all notice.

“What the hell is that?” Derek demands.

“Is that Stiles?” Isaac wonders, bewildered.

“You guys didn’t know?” Scott asks, because he’s Scott and he’d forgotten that they hadn’t actually told anyone.

“What is he?” Erica asks inching closer to the couch. “He’s so fluffy! I’m going to pet him.”

“No, don’t!” Scott exclaims, but it’s too late.

Erica’s hand lands on Stiles back and it’s like he’s been electrified. He leaps a foot in the air in surprise with a yowl and is across the room and up the bookcase in seconds. He’s up on the exposed beams of the ceiling and curling up in the middle, tail wrapping around himself and his tiny heart jackhammering in shock.

Everybody stares.

Scott sighs and looks up at Stiles, who is staring back with big amber eyes. Scott knows from experience that there’s no getting him down without a lot of effort and possibly several broken bones. Unless he wants to come down, which he doesn’t.

“What is he?” Erica asks again. She has the decency to look contrite for startling Stiles at least.

“He’s a Red Panda,” Peter states. He’s looking up at Stiles with intense eyes and a faint smile. “They’re very rare.”

“Yeah,” Scott says. “So let’s not scare him to death, yeah?”

“Are we going to watch the movie or what?” Lydia asks, sweeping into the room with a tray and a put upon expression. She completely ignores the red panda in the room, drawing the pack’s attention away from it to her. Stiles is grateful and it makes him feel that just because no one else noticed doesn’t mean that Lydia didn’t.

That seems to be the end of it. Someone puts on The Italian Job and everyone settles down to eat and watch. It takes a while for Stiles’ heartbeat to calm down, but as soon as it starts to, his nose comes up because that smells wonderful and where is it coming from? His tail unwinds a little as he eyes the room.

Peter is watching him from the other side of the room. He’s got a bowl in his lap. It’s filled with grapes and he’s currently in the process of cutting an apple into slices. Stiles’ ears flicker indecisively. Peter looks away from him and Stiles takes the opportunity to make his way across the rafter beams to get a better look in the bowl.

Red and green grapes. Apple slices. Banana. Yum.

Stiles climbs down via the bookcase behind Peter and perches on the back of the armchair. Peter pretends not to notice, but they both know he does. He finishes slicing up the apple and sets the knife aside. Stiles’ nose pokes over his shoulder as he contemplates the bowl of assorted fruit.

Stiles makes an adorable enquiring noise softly in Peter’s ear and the wolf can’t help the slight smile it invokes. He chooses a large red grape and holds it up. One of the front paws Stiles has placed on Peter’s shoulder lifts and he reaches out.

Peter pulls the grape away at the last second and Stiles lunges after it, tumbling into Peter’s lap with a startled noise. Stiles gazes up at Peter above him reproachfully from where he’s now laying belly up in the werewolf’s lap. Peter gives him the grape and Stiles makes a happy noise and bites into it.

His whole body goes limp when Peter buries one hand into the soft fur on his belly and scratches.

After that nothing really changes. Well, nothing changes with the pack. Now that everyone knows, Stiles is more inclined to shift and play with the wolves when they do. No one really mentions anything, but he knows they all do a little bit of research on their own.

His relationship with Peter on the other hand? It changes.

Underneath Peter’s natural scent and the scent of wolf he starts to smell like fruit. He starts carrying around grapes and those little packages of pre-sliced apples. Stiles develops an almost pavlovian response to the sound of crinkling cellophane whenever he’s in Peter’s presence. His head comes up and he looks around for the noise.

Peter loves that he’s managed to get Stiles to associate him with good things.

One day, when Stiles is shifted and investigating the patch of bushes by the house for likely looking roots to eat Peter comes down the front steps and Stiles can hear it. The faint wrinkling of plastic and he’s off like a shot.

He’s quick enough that he startles Boyd and Erica who are dozing in the sun. It might help that he went over them instead of around. They decide they don’t care as they watch Stiles climb Peter. He climbs up Peter’s pant leg until he’s at waist height and then uses one of his dexterous paws to reach into his pocket for the apples.

He finds a grape, but no apples. He looks reproachfully up at Peter who raises his eyebrows and says: “You like grapes, Stiles.”

Stiles doesn’t care, he likes apples more. He puts the grape back where he found it for safe keeping then rounds Peter’s torso to reach the other pocket. His paw emerges triumphant with a packet of apple slices. He chitters excitedly and climbs up to Peter’s shoulder.

He deliberately rips open the plastic right next to Peter’s ear because he’s feeling a little vindictive.

“You’re lucky he’s only about cat sized,” Derek says from the door behind them.

Peter turns around and Stiles draped his tail around Peter’s neck while he concentrates on his apples. “I’m aware.” Peter reaches up and scratches Stiles’ ears and Stiles makes a pleased sound.

The look on Derek’s face says he’s jealous. Stiles doesn’t treat any of them but Scott like this. Like they’re trusted, loved family instead of friends. Stiles offers Peter an apple slice and Peter thanks him and takes it.

“You really should stop treating him like a pet,” Derek continues.

He gets a well aimed grape to the head for his effort.

The first time Stiles joins them on the full moon things change again. He’s a hyperactive spaz at the best of times, so running around the woods with his pack makes him excitable. He plays with Erica and Scott. He climbs trees and drops on unsuspecting werewolves’ heads (Derek, mostly). When he gets tired he goes to Peter.

Peter is still huge even though he’s not an alpha anymore. His wolf-form reflects that. Stiles scales him easily and plays with his fur for a while. Finally he settles, curling up on Peter’s back and wrapping his tail around himself.

When he wakes up he’s ensconced in a small space. Peter is curled around him, dozing lightly. Stiles wiggles and turns so he can see Peter’s face. The wolf’s eyes are open when he manages it and Stiles sets his chin on Peter’s paw so that their noses are touching. Peter’s tails wags once and they both fall back to sleep.

In the morning, when the whole pack is awake and getting ready to make the trek back to the house none of them find it strange that they find Stiles with Peter. It just goes to show how commonplace it’s become.

Somehow they’re all okay with the sight of a Red Panda hitching a ride home on a big grey wolf.

Chapter Text

Love Don’t Die

(steter, biker!peter part 2, love don’t die - the fray)

 

“If I know one thing, that’s true

It ain’t what you say, it’s what you do

And you don’t say much, yeah, that’s true

But I listen when you do…”

 

Stiles doesn’t marry his biker… right away. They table that option at the beginning because they’ve only just met. Stiles insists that he’s going to change Peter’s mind. Peter smiles and wonders where this adorable creature came from. Stiles tells him from an apartment four blocks west but they both know that isn’t what Peter meant.

Peter, it turns out, is not just a tattoo covered biker with a penchant for leather boots and wallet chains, he is also the owner of Hale Moon Brew Co. The bar is his baby, but he dabbles in the brewing of beer as well. Stiles thinks it’s sexy and flat out tells him so.

Their first real date (dinner three nights after they meet) escalates quickly to smashing things in their need to get up the stairs to the apartment over the bar. Peter utterly ruins Stiles for other lovers and Stiles knows he’s done the same to Peter when he wakes up early in the morning pleasantly sore and cradled in big tattooed arms like he’s something precious.

It turns out to be the start of something amazing.

Three months into this thing they’re building (because they are building something, not messing around) and Stiles has become a common fixture at Hale’s. He’s struck up a friendship with Erica, who hangs around because of Boyd. Boyd who is big and silent and about as dangerous as a teddy bear. Erica is Boyd’s entire world and she’s tattooing a huge back piece on him in his off hours from the bar.

Erica keeps trying to convince Stiles that he needs to let her tattoo him. He tells her very early on that it has to be the right tattoo and now she’s taken to shoving new drawings in his face every time she sees him.

And then there’s Ennis. Ennis is Peter’s business partner and best friend and for as big and scary as he is Stiles adores him. Ennis quickly becomes like a big, growly older brother. Peter hates it because that means they gang up on him. Ennis just grins with too many teeth and brews more beer than they can sell.

The fact that Stiles has met everyone in Peter’s life except his family doesn’t bother Stiles. Peter’s family is far away and Peter only interacts with them when forced. Stiles gets it. It’s not like Peter has met all of Stiles’ friends. Peter has met Scott. Scott who thinks Stiles is crazy and dating a psycho biker who is going to snap and kill them all. But Scott is an awesome friend and sets that aside because Stiles is happy.

Stiles and his Dad skype once a week. Peter becomes part of those calls and he and the Sheriff start swapping recipes and talking about beer. If Peter gets John to eat healthier just by getting him to cook and try new recipes, Stiles is fine with that.

“Dad,” Stiles tells John over skype on a Sunday in October just after John finishes telling them all about the teriyaki pork chops with grilled pineapple he made for Melissa the other day. “I’m gonna marry him.”

“I know you are, kid,” John tell him and laughs when Peter makes wet kissing noises and pinches Stiles’ cheek.

Stiles slaps Peter away from himself, laughing and says goodbye and then drags the biker he’s dating to bed when Peter gives him a scorching look and tells him to convince him.

A few nights later Stiles is sitting at the bar with his laptop open because he’s got a deadline coming up and he’s been putting things off to be with a sexy biker. He’s twirling a straw between his fingers when he looks up at Ennis and asks, “Would it be weird if I quit writing crime novels and tried my hand at steamy Harlequin style romance?”

Ennis doesn’t even stop drying the glasses that just came out of the dishwasher when he gives Stiles a very deadpan look and says, “Yes, but we’d read it anyway.”

Stiles grins. There is at least one copy of all three of his books in the bar and all of the regulars are reading them. “Thanks dude.”

Ennis shrugs a shoulder as Jean-Paul, a huge beardy fellow with runes tattooed along the sides of his bald head drops a large, tattered copy of Stiles’ first book on the bar with a grumpy look on his face. He looks at Stiles and enunciates clearly (so that his voice carries), “I hate you.”

“No you don’t,” several voices chorus, Stiles included.

Stiles grins at the art historian and glances down at The Shattering, “It was the ending wasn’t it?”

“Like I said,” Jean-Paul said. “I hate you.”

The big man stalks off and two minutes later has settled into the corner with Alley. Stiles feels a little proud of himself. Ennis catches his eye and grins and Stiles laughs. And then the Imperial March cuts through the bar and Stiles sighs. He pulls out his phone, “Yes Lydia?”

“Jackson is very drunk,” Lydia’s voice tells him, matter of factly. “He’s decided he wants to win you back.”

“I’m not at home,” Stiles tells her with a frown because that’s a horrible idea. He’s getting married to a biker with awesome blue eyes.

“You know that, and I know that,” Lydia says. “But he’s Jackson. Danny is with him, Allison and I are on our way. You’re at Hale’s?”

Okay, so maybe Stiles is predictable, but he likes it here. “Yes ma’am,” he says, and then hangs up.

“What’s up?” Ennis asks because the look on Stiles’ face says he might need to smash something.

“My ex is drunk and on his way.”

Ennis’ eyebrow twitches minutely, “The douche canoe?”

“Yep.”

Ennis doesn’t get to say anything else because the door crashes open and Jackson marches through it. Danny follows with a pinched, exasperated look on his face. He spots Stiles first and Stiles just shakes his head. Danny heaves a put upon sigh.

What none of them expect is for Erica to fairy in behind Jackson and nearly run him over in her excitement. “Stiles!” she screams, waving a folder in the air. “I did it! I have the perfect art for you!”

Stiles laughs, dodges Erica and watches in amusement as she bounces off of Boyd two seats down. Boyd steadies his girlfriend and she flips herself around and shoves the folder at Stiles. He opens it curiously. It’s a half sleeve by the look of it. A night forest scene with a huge black wolf with Peter’s blue eyes and a man in a red hoodie in the middle.

He loves it.

“I think you have, Erica,” he tells her. She whoops her victory, throwing her arms around Boyd to kiss him. “Now you just have to get Peter to sign off on it.”

“You need your boyfriend to approve your ink?” Jackson slurs, slumping against the bar. “I’d never micromanage you like that, Stiles.”

Stiles rolls his eyes hard enough to make his eyeballs ache faintly, “Yes, because I’m a wimp and he’s going to have to hold my hand the whole time.”

“You don’t need to change yourself to make me happy, Stiles,” Jackson says. Like Stiles is getting a tattoo to make Peter happy.

“Is he for real?” Erica asks.

“He is very drunk,” Danny says with a shrug, boosting himself up onto the stool next to Stiles. He nudges The Shattering away from himself grimly. “What is this doing here? I’m still traumatized Stiles.”

“See!” JP crows from the other side of the room. “See! I told you you suck, Stiles. I’m not the only one.”

“It’s not my fault you guys can’t handle a trick ending,” Stiles defends. Then he leans over and whispers, “JP is single and an art historian.”

Danny looks across the room at the giant man in question, “His beard is long enough to braid, Stiles.”

“Yes,” Stiles says with a nod. “He’s also got a tongue piercing.”

“Are we trying to sell your friend JP?” Erica asks, boosting herself up between Danny and Boyd. Stiles says ‘yes’ at the same time that Danny says ‘no’ and Erica grins and gives Danny very serious eyes, “Go say hi, he’ll rock your world.”

Jackson makes a noise. It’s a long whining noise that he denies that he makes, but does when he’s feeling ignored. Stiles turns back to him as Danny eyes JP. Jackson has slumped over the bar and is giving Stiles big puppy eyes. They are surprisingly effective, even with his cheekbones.

“Really?” Stiles demands.

“Looooove me, Stiles,” Jackson whines.

“Really?” Ennis asks because he can’t not.

The rear door opens and Peter rolls a dolly laden with beer into the main room. His eyebrows go up and he steers the beer around the counter so that he can stock it. He opens the top box of one of his own microbrews and pops the top off and hands it to Jackson, “It’ll be okay pal.”

“No it won’t,” Jackson says, and guzzles half the beer. He lets loose an impressive belch just as Lydia swans into the bar in her impeccable wardrobe and very high heels, Allison close behind her. “Stiles won’t take me back. He’s dating some loser biker now… This is really good beer.”

“Thank you,” Peter tells him, irony lacing his voice.

“I hate to interrupt your cloud of misery,” Lydia says, voice dry as the sahara. “But that’s the biker that stole Stiles away from you.”

Jackson peers across the bar at Peter and then cusses impressively. “Why?” he whines. “Why did he have to be good looking.”

Peter leans forward and says vindictively, “I’m also so good in bed Stiles keeps proposing.”

“You’re going to say yes,” Stiles says instantly.

“Yes, I am,” Peter says with the air of an old argument. “But not today.”

Jackson makes that pitiful sound again and Allison pats him on the shoulder, “Come on, let’s get you home. We can eat our weight in thai food.”

“Beer too?”

Ennis hauls a case of the house brew onto the bar and says: “On the house.”

“Great,” Lydia says and leads Allison and Jackson out of the bar. Ennis follows without complaint, case of beer on his shoulder. Stiles turns to look at Peter who is gazing back at him.

“Marry me.”

Peter looks at him for a long moment and then says, “Okay.”

The entire bar cheers as Stiles lunges across the bar to kiss him. Peter grins and kisses back.

Chapter Text

New York, New York

(steter, meet the neighbors, new york new york - frank sinatra)

 

“These little town blues

Are melting away

I’ll make a brand new start of it

In old New York…”

 

It’s a five story walk-up in Wiliamsburg, Brooklyn. They’ve rented one of the three apartments on the fourth floor. There are three little girls of varying ages playing a convoluted version of hopscotch on the front steps; and a couple making out in the doorway to the landing on the third floor.

Stiles loves it.

Stiles makes Peter carry all the heavy boxes. He helps move the furniture into their tiny one bedroom apartment mostly because of awkward sizes and not wanting any of their neighbors to start asking questions. Stiles mostly opens doors and carries small things and commentates. He’s good at it.

He doesn’t meet any of their new neighbors until Peter leaves to return the truck before they have to pay another day’s rental fee. He’s sitting in the middle of the living room area unpacking the books that will go into the large bookcases lined up to either side of the window. The door is propped open because it’s July in New York, and since they just turned on the AC the air in the hallway is actually cooler.

Go figure.

A woman with narrow, pixie-like features and long pastel, rainbow hair knocks on the door with a bright smile and a plate of cookies. Stiles stares at her for a second wondering if he’s hallucinating because he’s never seen hair like that before. Then he scrambles to his feet and over to the door. He manages it without killing himself by tripping on one of the boxes.

“Hi!” the woman says in a high voice and something in Stiles’ head pings because people aren’t supposed to sound like wind chimes. “I’m Elen, I live next door,” she tells him, holding out the plate. Stiles takes it, because cookies. “I just wanted to say welcome to the building!”

“Thank you,” Stiles tells her with a grin. “I’m Stiles.”

“Stiles?”

“Nickname. It’s easier to pronounce than my first name.”

“It is?” her eyebrows are purple and raised in surprise.

Stiles nods emphatically, “It’s Polish.”

Elen laughs and that sounds like tiny silver bells, “Alright. I was hoping to bring these by before your friend left, I guess I missed him.”

“Oh, he’ll be back,” Stiles waves a hand at her. “He went to return the truck. Also, he’s Peter. My boyfriend… Partner?”

Elen has the decency not to laugh at him, but Stiles can tell she wants to, “Well then, tell your Peter I said hello, and save him some cookies.”

“I will, and no promises.”

When Peter gets home Stiles tells him that he’s pretty sure their next door neighbor is a Fairy and that the cookies she gave them are good enough they have to have fairy dust in them. Peter laughs at him and helps him feng shui the furniture.

Two days later when Peter finally meets Elen for the first time he can’t help but agree with Stiles.

*

It turns out that the three little girls that were playing on the steps the day they moved in are Alisa (11), Milena (8), and Tatiana (6) and they belong to Dmitri and Svetlana on the first floor. Dmitri is very large and speaks loudly with a heavy Russian accent and Svetlana likes to heckle people in Russian.

Tatiana decides that she very much likes Peter and follows him around if she sees him outside of his and Stiles’ apartment. Stiles thinks it’s hilarious because Alisa and Milena have the task of looking after their little sister so it’s like Peter’s leading little ducklings around all the time.

It doesn’t take long for Peter to figure out that they’re all werewolves. Dmitri was bitten when he was younger, but Svetlana and the girls are all born wolves like Peter. They don’t have an Alpha but they get by just fine with each other. They’re very accepting of Peter’s blue wolf eyes and that earns them points in Stiles’ eyes.

Svetlana invites them over for dinner once a week and coos over Peter and his Emissary. Which is what both she and Dmitri call Stiles instead of his name. They both have great respect for Stiles’ abilities and the fact that he’s mated to a wolf.

None of them really say anything when they start coming to Stiles and Peter for aid with werewolf things. By the time Stiles notices anything they’re so entrenched in the Volkov’s lives that it’s not weird anymore. Peter’s got red in his eyes and it’s pushing out the blue and Peter is just as surprised as Stiles. Dmitri just laughs his booming laugh at them when they bring up the topic one night at dinner.

“Of course they are red!” Dmitri says, stroking his beard. “You have five wolves and an Emissary who look to you as Alpha. You must be Alpha, so you become Alpha.”

*

Rebecca lives across the hall from Peter and Stiles. She’s tiny, old with wispy gray hair and eight grandchildren (with one more on the way). She always has a lit cigarette dangling from her mouth that she’s very good at talking around it. She wears a sea foam green terry cloth bathrobe over her skirt and blouse and a rosary around her neck.

Stiles likes to watch her yell at the neighbors because she curses worse than a sailor on leave and treats everyone equally. They are all her babies and she must mother them in between curse words. Everyone in the building calls her Grandma and she doesn’t answer to anything else, not even her own name.

Stiles himself gets a telling off on their third day in the building. He trips over nothing and Rebecca sees his flailing save. This is how they meet. She scolds him and stuffs him full of meatloaf.

Even Peter is scoldable to Rebecca. She tells him very clearly that she doesn’t care that he’s a werewolf, she’s an old Banshee and if he doesn’t do what she tells him she’ll blow his eardrums out. Stiles and Peter laugh over it for five minutes and share the pie she sent home with the wolf.

*

Clarence lives directly below them. Clarence… well, Clarence is a Vampire. He has a huge hate on for Anne Rice and Twilight. Even the slightest mention of either one will set him off on a rant about horrible literature and the villainization of vampires. He does, however, quite enjoy Dracula.

The first time Stiles meets Clarence Alisa pranks him by telling Clarence that Stiles thinks Twilight is a good movie and Stiles is subjected to a forty minute rant in the stairwell.

After that it takes three weeks for the vampire to stop giving him dirty looks in passing and another three for Clarence to speak to him directly instead of through Peter. Peter finds it highly amusing because the first thing out of Clarence’s mouth when they meet is: “How can you be with someone that thinks Twilight is a good example of werewolf kind?!”

After Clarence stomps off Peter leans over and whispers: “You’ve never even seen Twilight, have you?”

“Nope,” Stiles says, popping his ‘p’.

Clarence finally lets it go when Stiles banishes a gremlin from his closet for free. Clarence works with computers which means he can work from home and write Stiles an archiving program for the Stilinski-Hale supernatural digital library.

After that they decide to be friends.

*

Walter lives directly above them. Walter is reclusive and irritating on the best days. He’s the kind of dude with shifty eyes and waxy complexion that makes you cross the street to avoid him. He’s tall, skinny and his teeth are far too pointy for Stiles’ liking.

Everyone in the building warns them about Walter.

The first time water leaks through the ceiling Peter calls the super and it stops so they don’t say anything. The second time it happens it happens in a different room and Stiles postulates that maybe they need new pipes. It is an old building.

Svetlana stares at them and asks if they’re joking when they bring it up at dinner one night. Stiles and Peter trade a look and Svetlana explains that Walter is a kelpie. Water is to Walter what water is to frogs.

They accept this and decide that he can’t help it and leave it alone.

Until late one night when so much water comes through the ceiling into their bedroom that they both make squelching noises when they leave the room. Peter stops upstairs with angry red eyes and pounds on Walter’s door until the kelpie answers it. There’s a lot of fangs and yelling, but in the end everything gets sorted out.

Walter has a specially built pool instead of a bed. While he’s okay on land most of the time, he prefers to sleep in his natural habitat. It turns out that while Walter is a nerdy, know-it-all he isn’t doing it on purpose.

The kelpie, it turns out, is prone to nightmares. When they get bad enough he thrashes which overflows the pool. He apologizes and offers to pay for a new mattress.

After the second late night drenching Stiles spends a week researching and then magically lines the floor of Walter’s room so that the water that sloshes out of the pool stays in the room instead of leaking through the floor. He explains this and gifts Walter with an industrial floor squeegee.

Now it isn’t unusual to see Walter dumping buckets of mopped up water out his window early in the mornings.

*

All in all, life in New York isn’t all that bad. Stiles has Peter and a bunch of very strange neighbors. He supposes that it’s true what they say. New York attracts all types.

 

Chapter Text

Home

(steter, time travel!au part 2, home - zz ward)

“I’m crazy, I get mean,

But baby, you adore me,

Shut it down, I get mine,

My soldier right by my side,

My fire, you feed it,

Give it to me when I need it,

I’m all yours, so take me,

Good god, this love’s amazing…”

 

Peter doesn’t quite know what to think of his older self. On one hand he’s definitely Peter, with his sarcasm and snark and knowledge. On the other he’s got bright blue wolf eyes that say that someday in the future Peter’s going to kill someone and he isn’t sure how to feel about that.

The other Peter isn’t giving anything away either.

In fact neither of them are. For all that you can’t get Stiles to shut up, he doesn’t actually say much. He won’t tell them his last name and he talks about spells and magic and anything supernatural but he won’t talk about much else. He knows Derek very well if the way that he treats Peter’s nephew is any indication. He thinks Cora is adorable but is respectful of her. She loves that because it means she’s a badass in the future.

Talia is strangely tolerant of their not being very forthcoming. The one time Laura asks flat out older Peter gets this pained, far away look on his face and Stiles smiles grimly and tells her that time travel is tricky and they can’t risk changing things. It doesn't take much for Peter to figure out that Stiles is terrified of making things worse than they already are when they’re from. His older self clutches at Stiles like he’s afraid he’s going to vanish.

“He’s worth it,” Older Peter tells Younger Peter very quietly and very seriously. “He’s worth all of it, he’s worth waiting for.”

Peter believes him. Believes himself.

It isn’t until three days into their stay in the past that any of them glean much else from their unexpected guests. It comes in the form of a giant raging tree monster attacking the littles from the treeline with a roar that rattles bones. Matt and the twins let Cora drag them away as the adults pour out of the house like ants.

Peter is surprised to see his older self station himself in front of Talia, crouched and ready to attack. He’s shifted into beta form and growling. Standing next to him wielding Daniel’s baseball bat is Stiles. Stiles whose eyes are glowing fiercely and has electricity crackling around his hands.

There’s a moment of silence and then Talia turns and yells for the kids to get back inside right as Older Peter launches himself across the lawn and into the creature. Stiles is on his heels, bat at the ready as he throws a bolt of electricity across the space between himself and the tree creature.

The creature ignites with a howl just as Older Peter hits with every ounce of force he can muster. He brings the thing down and manages to rip one of its arms off as it flings him away into a tree. He’s back on his feet before Peter can blink just as Stiles’ bat impacts the side of the creature’s head with a resounding crack!

Whatever Stiles has done to Daniel’s bat makes the monster howl is pain and drop. It rolls a few feet before Older Peter is on it, tearing into it with werewolf speed, reflexes, strength and claws. Stiles whispers something that gets lost in the cacophony of yelling and screams and the creature immolates. It goes up like a roman candle, Older Peter tossing it away from himself.

Everyone stops to stare with wide eyes as the creature writhes in pain before going suddenly, permanently, quiet. Older Peter stands, chest heaving and something pained and haunted in his eyes. Stiles slips into Older Peter’s hold and the wolf that Peter will become folds into Stiles.

Stiles takes his weight and lowers them to the ground, murmuring softly, careful of the many pairs of werewolf ears surrounding them. They hold onto each other for a few minutes while Talia, Mark and Daniel put out the burning creature.

“You didn’t even try to reason with it,” Talia begins, but stops when Stiles lets out a horrifying laugh.

“Reasoning with something trying to kill you usually gets you killed,” Stiles says after the horrible laughter stops. He gazes at Talia and she gets the impression that this, this is Stiles and Peter’s daily life. It isn’t the rare occurrence for them like it is for her.

She wonders what changed to turn Beacon Hills into a supernatural combat zone. She knows she won’t get an answer.

When Peter finally looks away from his sister to this older version of himself he meets glowing blue eyes that are watching him carefully over Stiles’ shoulder. The eyes are wary, carefully guarded, but Peter can still see the pain and rage banked inside them. Peter has a sudden moment of distinct clarity.

Stiles is worth it, whatever it is. Stiles makes it all be okay just by staying with him.

He's patient, he can wait.

*

*Several Years Later*

“You must be Stiles.”

The boy’s heartbeat spikes and his amber eyes widen even more. Peter breathes in the scent drifting down the hallway toward him. He knows this scent, will always know this scent. Stiles is painfully young, and Peter knows that there’s still more change coming before he’s going to find himself in those arms looking at himself over that shoulder.

Knows it’s going to take a lot of work to see the love in those whiskey eyes that he remembers seeing directed at another version of himself.

He lets a slow smile adorn his face as he steps forward and Stiles’ phone clatters to the floor.

He’s worth it.

Chapter Text

I Know That He's Mine

(steter, abominable snowman!stiles/jailbreak!au, i know that he's mine - caro emerald)

 

“The tracks of my tears keep on freezin’

I’m melting the cold in the hall

I feel like I’m drownin’

There’s no one around

And now I’m just climbing the walls…”

 

Stiles lets his fingers trail across the surface of the wall as he drifts down the dark hallway. He pays no mind to the frost that trails off his fingers, flaring out over the wall in spirals. Pays no heed to the white mist of his breath in the air. His feet are bare. His dark hair is frosted with ice, as are his eyelashes. His skin, while normally pale, seems almost translucent. The veins standing out starkly blue against the vellum white of his fragile skin.

A deep breath in as he rounds the corner rattles the window panes in their frames. When the orderly at the end of the hall catches sight of him, his typically whiskey eyes are an icy blue, like chips of ice.

“You can’t be here -” the orderly begins, but he doesn’t get to finish the sentence because Stiles is breathing out.

Wind howls down the hallway in an icy blast, snow and shards of ice obscuring anyone’s view. When it stops there are snowdrifts lining the walls and icicles hanging from the fixtures. The orderly is lying on the floor, shards of ice protruding from slices and cuts all over his body. A bright pool of red is expanding below him, mixing with the pristine white of the snow.

When Stiles reaches the door he sets a hand on the hard surface. Instantly every molecule of moisture in the door and its frame freeze; expanding exponentially. With a dull snap the hinges of the door give, and then the keypad. The door falls forward and hits the ground on the other side with a hollow boom.

Stiles steps into the room.

Gabriel Valack is pressed against the barrier separating the cell from the rest of the world, eyes fascinated. The grimy bandage usually fastened around his head is on the floor. Peter is curled up in the corner, arms around his legs and eyes vacant.

Stiles walks over to the barrier. The moment he steps into the room the temperature plunges and icy mist obscures the floor. A single touch to the lock on the door produces a similar result as the door behind him. The lock breaks, brittle in the cold.

Valack doesn’t get a chance to say anything, Stiles doesn’t let him. A single touch and the man with the third eye is frozen solid, skin icy and blue as he tips over and crashes to the floor. Water makes up seventy-five percent of the human body. That seventy-five percent is now solid ice.

Stiles crouches down in front of Peter as frost crawls up the glass barrier of the cell. The metal of the bed frames creak in protest of the rapid freezing. Stiles reaches out and places his hands on Peter’s knees.

Blue eyes snap up to meet Stiles’. Peter stares, wide-eyed and haunted. “Stiles?” It comes out as a croak, Peter’s voice harsh with disuse.

Stiles smiles, eyes warming a bit. He reaches up and cradles Peter’s cheek in one hand. Vaguely, at the back of his mind, Peter knows that the cold he feels radiating off of the teen in front of him should (at the very least) be making his teeth chatter. Peter swallows and shifts his weight. His own hand comes up to press Stiles’ harder to his face.

“I’m real,” Stiles tells him. “I’ve come to get you out of here.”

Peter’s eyes flare electric at that, his wolf surfacing. He shakes his head as his accelerated healing goes to work on the damage done by Valack. He tips himself over and up onto his knees. His hands cradle Stiles’ face, hands tipped in claws that would make most people flinch at having them so close to their eyes.

Stiles smiles instead.

“I’m yours,” Peter says. His voice is certain.

Stiles’ teeth show with his next smile, “You didn’t think you were the only one to stake a claim in that parking garage, did you?”

Peter’s grin matches Stiles’ at that. Far too many teeth and a ferocious kind of joy. It’s the kind of expression that broadcasts predator in all directions. He leans forward and presses his lips to Stiles’.

When they exit the cell, they do it hand in hand. If Peter steps on Valack instead of over him, there is no one there who would call him on it.

“Where are we going?” Peter asks when they’re in the the jeep and speeding away from Beacon Hills.

“Home,” Stiles replies. “We’re going home.”

*

Scott and Deaton arrive just as the Sheriff and his team are exiting Eichen house. The back doors where all the deliveries are made are on the ground, which is frozen solid. Ice and frost cover everything in a ten foot range. Their breath mists out when they step into the pocket of cold.

When Scott passes the Sheriff, Stilinski says with a gravity in his voice that makes Scott tremble, “Don’t look for them.”

They follow the path from the doors to the stairs leading down to the supernatural wing of the hospital. Great blocks of ice litter the hallway, which hasn’t warmed enough to start melting anything. The hole created is just big enough for a stretcher to get through. The ice, Deaton note as they go down, is over ten feet thick. It must have taken hours to get through.

At the bottom of the steps is what has become a triage area. Several gourneys line one side of the hall. There are a couple of patients sitting on them, bundled in blankets. Too cold and shocky to be a danger to anyone.

“What happened?” Deaton asks when they get into the cell that once held Valack and Peter Hale. His doctor friend looks up with a frown and both the Druid and the Alpha get a glimps of what is left of Valack.

“Hale is gone. Whoever, or whatever, broke in took him.”

“What about him?” Scott asks, gesturing vaguely at Valack.

The doctor grimaces, “Frozen solid. Even if we could dethaw him, his brain would be mush.”

He stands and leads Deaton and Scott out of the cell, “Over three quarters of the patients in this wing are dead. Most of them died of hypothermia before the crew got through the ice on the stairwell.”

“What could have done this?” Deaton asks.

“Don’t look for them.” rings in Scott’s head. He pulls out his phone and hits speed dial. Stiles’ phone goes directly to voicemail, and Scott knows. Stiles did this and they’ll never see Stiles or Peter again.

*

Somewhere in the Himalayas, Nepal:

Peter rolls over in the nest of blankets and furs that make up their bed, reaching out for the warm body that should have been there. When his hand finds nothing his eyes crack open and he glances around the den for his mate.

He’d been pleasantly surprised when they’d reached their destination. The village was small, maybe a hundred Yeti. All of the homes were carved directly into the mountains, disguised to appear as if they aren’t there. But the den is comfortable. They have running water and wifi and Peter’s mind boggles trying to figure that one out.

They’re far enough into the mountains and high enough up that the world is frozen and white year round.

Peter rolls out of bed, taking one of the furs with him to protect his modesty (not that he has much of that) as he heads for where he knows he’ll find Stiles. Stiles is sitting on a chair in the entrance to the den, reading a book and watching his Aunt’s little ones rolls around in the snow. Peter huffs a grunt and settles in next to him.

“It’s too early for this,” he grumps at his half-Yeti husband.

Stiles grins and leans over. Peter obligingly wraps them both in the fur and they sit there, watching the kids. Stiles has more color than the other members of the clan due to his human father. Peter is a werewolf, so that makes both of them novelties in the village. The children love them.

“Grandma came by earlier, there’s going to be a hunt tomorrow.”

Peter perks up at that. He likes Stiles’ grandmother. She’s the clan matriarch and nearly the sole reason why Peter had been accepted into the clan. Now he runs with the other clan warriors, hunting and protecting their territory.

“Good,” Peter says with a somewhat bloodthirsty grin.

Stiles laughs and kisses him, ignoring the disgusted shrieks of his cousins.

Chapter Text

The Show

(steter, red panda!stiles part 2, the show - lenka)

 

“I’m just a little bit caught in the middle

Life is a maze and love is a riddle

I don’t know where to go, can’t do it alone, I’ve tried

And I don’t know why…”

 

Stiles would like to lodge a complaint with upper management. He hops again and manages to grab onto the door handle, but he can’t twist it so he just hangs there uselessly, tail dragging on the deck. He heaves a sigh and lets himself drop to the ground, staring up at the offending object with resentment. He’s the one with dexterous paws, of all of them he’s the one that should be able to open doors.

The problem here is that he’s too short and can’t get any leverage to twist the doorknob when he’s hanging from it.

Stiles turns a circle and looks around the yard, wondering when everyone else is going to get back. He’ll admit that he could just shift back to human and go inside, but the whole point of being in red panda form today is so that he doesn’t have to speak words.

He pads over to the steps and flops down. He’s pouting, but it’s not like anyone will actually be able to tell by looking at him. He sets his chin flat on the ground and closes his eyes and waits. He starts to doze off after a few minutes, but that’s an accident and he doesn’t want to deal with the world, so he doesn’t try to prevent it.

By the time he hears a car pull up the drive Stiles is sun warm and mostly asleep so all he does is twitch an ear at the sound of a car door opening and closing. Listens to the sound of footsteps. The footsteps pause at the stairs and Peter’s scent wafts his way.

Peter is here. Good. Peter is the reason why Stiles came all the way out here.

Peter makes his way up the steps and crouches down beside the ball of red and black fluff splayed out on his front porch. He sinks one hand into the fur around Stiles’ ears and the petting is enough for Stiles to open his eyes and peer up at Peter.

“What are you doing here Stiles?” Peter asks him softly.

Stiles makes a distressed noise that instantly makes Peter scoop him up in his arms and hold him close. Stiles tucks his head into the crook of Peter’s neck and snuffles, rubbing his head there to scent mark him.

“Is this about the other night?” Peter wonders. “The Sheriff is going to be fine, Stiles. It was just a graze, he’s not even in a sling.”

It doesn’t matter, Stiles thinks. Dad still got shot. He makes the distressed noise again and digs his nails into Peter’s jacket.

Peter sighs, “Yeah, okay.”

Stiles is carried into the house and up the stairs to Peter’s room. He lets the older man deposit him on the bed because he knows that Peter will come back. In the meantime he amuses himself rearranging all the pillows so that he’s buried in them. When Peter returns dressed in sleep pants and a t-shirt all he can see is a tuft of Stiles’ ringed tail.

Peter shakes his head and climbs into bed after setting his glass of water on the side table along with his book. Stiles takes that as his cue to lift up Peter’s shirt and climb in. Peter huffs his amusement, but lets him.

He picks up his book and opens it to the first chapter.

Stiles is draped around Erica’s neck like a scarf. She’s very pleased with this. She’s got a bowl of mixed nuts in her lap and he’s crunching away in her ear, but she’s pleased as punch that he’s decided that she’s okay. Her smiles reflects her pleasure.

There’s a crinkling of plastic and Stiles shoots up into a sitting position, ears swiveling and eyes curious.

“Really?” Erica demands. “Do you have to?”

Peter smirks at her from across the room and lifts the little baggie of apple slices a little higher. They’ve all gotten used to Stiles’ love of apples. They’ve even managed to grasp that for Stiles, Peter is the best thing ever because he is the provider of apples. What they don’t like is Stiles’ complete disregard for his packmates when Peter has apple slices in his possession.

Like now for instance. Stiles places his front paws on top of Erica’s head to scent the air. His gaze is pinned on Peter and Erica knows what’s going to happen and braces herself for it. Stiles uses her head as a launching pad and flings himself from the sofa in Peter’s general direction.

He lands right in the middle of Derek’s stomach. He may not be much bigger than your average house cat, but he weighs twelve pounds and having that dropped directly on your stomach from high above cannot be comfortable. Derek lets out an ‘oompf!’ and flails, but Stiles is already climbing Isaac’s leg.

“Stiles!” Scott yelps when he gets a paw to the face because he had his head in Isaac’s lap. Stiles gives him a faceful of bushy tail and launches himself off the arm of the loveseat.

Peter catches him deftly and sets the red panda down in his lap. Stiles sits back so that his back is pressed to Peter’s chest and his back legs are sprawled forward and reaches for the hand that has the apples in it. Peter hands him an apple and Stiles makes his happy chirruping noise as he bites into it.

Peter pets his ears while everybody grumbles and shuffles around to rearrange themselves in the wake of Stiles’ chaos.

Stiles hums and rolls over, wrapping his arms around the warm body he encounters when he does. It takes his brain a few seconds to catch up, but when it does his eyes pop open. He’s human. He’s in human form and he’s wrapped around Peter’s bare torso. He’s in human form, he’s wrapped around Peter’s bare torso and he’s naked.

He blinks a few times as he processes this. He runs a hand across the chest he’s draped over and hums. It’s a nice chest.

“Stiles,” sounds from above him.

Stiles tilts his head back to look up at Peter. Peter is watching him with half-lidded eyes and his voice is deep with sleep, “It’s too early for this.”

Stiles makes a noise at the back of his throat that is very close to the noises he makes in panda form. Peter huffs and drags Stiles up so that they’re face to face. Then Peter kisses him and Stiles’ brain shorts out. Peter pulls away and Stiles makes a protesting noise, grabbing Peter’s face and pulling him back in.

Peter chuckles, “Stiles.”

“Kisses,” Stiles says. Peter indulges him and kisses him several times in succession. “Okay,” Stiles says, blinking his eyes open. “Why are we not freaking out.”

“You think I’ve been providing you with food, comfort and a place to sleep whenever you want for my health?” Peter asks him.

Stiles thinks for a moment and then hides his grin in Peter’s neck, “Have you been courting me?”

“Duh.”

Stiles looks up at him and Peter is gazing back at him with a fond (yet slightly exasperated) look. Stiles rolls them so that he’s on top of Peter, who huffs in amusement as Stiles peppers his face with kisses.

“I take it you’re okay with that idea?” Peter says, voice laced with deadpan irony.

“Yep,” Stiles says and then they’re really kissing and it quickly goes from innocent to wet and filthy and Peter rolls Stiles under him. When they pull apart, panting for breath Stiles says, “You’re stuck with me forever now.”

“Muhahaha,” Peter says, deadpan. “My evil plan is working.”

Stiles laughs until Peter cuts him off with another kiss. He can live with this development he decides, and returns it.

Chapter Text

I’m So Sorry

(steter, murder boyfriends part 1, i’m so sorry - imagine dragons)

 

“No lies and no deceiving, man is what he loves

I keep tryin’ to conceive that death is from above

No time

Get mine and no excuses waste of precious breath

No time

The sun shines on everyone, everyone love yourself to death…”

 

Stiles’ face is a rictus grin through the blood spatter. His head is tilted to one side, like a curious puppy. His white undershirt is red now, and the bat he’s clutching in one hand is red too. The forest is dark, the only light coming from the flashes of thunder and lightning overhead. It isn’t raining, not yet, but a dry wind is blowing.

Stiles takes a step forward, bat dragging on the ground, “Did you really think you had a chance?”

Theo is dragging himself along the ground. One of his legs is mangled, blood and bone fragments leaving a trail behind him. He’s desperate to get away. To live. The mangled remains of the dread doctors scattered about the clearing are indicating that there is no escape.

“Don’t touch my things,” Stiles says and lifts the bat.

The bat comes down and Theo shrieks in pain because there are nails embedded in it. It’s been dipped in wolfsbane so it leaves him smoking a little. Stiles brings the bat down again and Theo’s other leg is just as mangled as the first. He’s not going anywhere.

Across the clearing a figure rises off the corpse of one of the dread doctors. It’s Peter. His burns are back and the crazy in his eyes make an indication that sticking him in a cell with Gabriel Valack? Yeah, that was a bad idea. Peter is wolfed out, he’s covered in gore up past his elbows and as he stalks across the clearing toward him, Theo thinks he’s the epitome of Death come for him.

He should have been watching Stiles.

The bat comes down on Theo’s head with a sickening crunch and Theo won’t be bothering anyone any more. Stiles slings the bat up over his shoulder on the upswing and turns to meet the werewolf stalking toward him. Peter’s hands come up to cradle Stiles’ face and their lips meet in a bloody kiss.

Thunder booms overhead and they pull apart.

“We have somewhere to be,” Stiles says softly to the wolf licking the blood off his face.

Peter’s eyes flare bright blue and his head turns just a little, “Do we?”

Stiles drops the bat and buries his hands in Peter’s hair, pulling Peter’s head back with a harsh yank, eyes glittering. Peter is smirking at him and that’s enough to fuel Stiles into another filthy kiss.

“I have a bone to pick with a certain veterinarian.”

Peter’s brow wrinkles in surprise before a fanged grin splits his face. “Going after answers, are we?”

Stiles makes an expansive gesture around the clearing, “They came from somewhere and I’d bet my life on Deaton knowing more than he’s saying.”

“Mmm, no bet.”

“Come on, we’ll swing by Eichen House on our way.”

Peter grins and follows after Stiles.

Chapter Text

Say Something

(steter, hope, say something - a great big world)

 

“And I… will swallow my pride

You’re the one that I love

And I’m saying goodbye…”

 

Peter is silent. He’s been standing there for the entire argument wondering what he’s still doing here. His nephew hates him, so does True Alpha Scott McCall. The only person he’s really hung around for won’t look him in the eyes since the other day.

The other day.

He sort of wishes he could take the kiss back, but mostly he doesn’t. Because now he knows. His feelings are his feelings and they aren’t going to go away anytime soon, but at least now he knows. Those feelings aren’t going to be returned. It’s like a lead weight in the pit of his stomach at the same time as another weight is lifted off his shoulders.

Stiles didn’t kiss him back.

Peter isn’t used to miscalculating. He’s an expert in body language and manipulation. He’d thought that maybe Stiles had been interested, but Stiles had just frozen up. It was an innocent press of lips to lips and now Stiles won’t even look him in the eyes.

Peter stands up abruptly, cutting Scott off in mid-rant. Why is he still here? There is nothing for him here, no reason to linger. He grabs his jacket off the back of the chair and pulls it on as he heads for the door.

“Where are you going?” Derek demands, because he doesn’t trust Peter.

“Somewhere else. Anywhere else,” Peter throws over his shoulder, and then he’s gone.

*

Stiles spends three days not looking at Peter. If he does he knows he’s going to break down. He knows what he wants, he always has. He just also knows that he shouldn’t want what he does. Every time he closes his eyes he can feel Peter’s lips pressed against his.

He wants. Oh, how he wants.

He watches Peter leave the loft and he knows that “Somewhere else” and “Anywhere else” really mean as far away as he can get. Stiles isn’t okay with that. Not by any stretch of the imagination. He looks around the loft at these people that are his friends and makes a choice. He’s sick of not doing something just because one of them won’t like it.

He wants to be happy, not just invested in the happiness of his friends.

He tips his stool over in his haste to chase after Peter.

*

“Peter, wait!”

Peter pauses, lets the car door fall shut and turns, hope churning his stomach. He watches, clutching his keys in one hand, as Stiles dashes down the steps. He trips on the last one, flails a little, and then recovers. He dodges around his jeep and comes to a panting halt in front of Peter.

“I -” Stiles heaves in some air and then sets his hands on his knees and breathes for a second. Peter watches him fondly as he recovers his breath and straighten up. “Please don’t leave.”

“Why?” Peter asks.

“Because I don’t want you to,” Stiles says. “I want you here, with me. I love you.”

Peter blinks, opens his mouth to reply, but Stiles flaps a hand at him. Peter stays silent, because Stiles is probably about to regurgitate a convoluted mess that will, after some thought, resemble what he’s actually feeling.

“I love you,” Stiles says succinctly. “I shouldn’t, I know I shouldn’t. I shouldn’t want to hold your hand or talk to you. I shouldn’t miss you when you’re not around, but I do… I shouldn’t want to kiss you and -”

Peter cuts him off, because that’s enough. He leans forward, takes Stiles’ head in his hands and kisses him. This time Stiles returns it. With enthusiasm. Stiles wraps his arms around Peter’s waist and Peter lets one hand trail down to clutch at Stiles’ shoulder. When the kiss ends they stand there, foreheads touching.

“I love you too,” Peter says.

Chapter Text

CloveeD sent me this idiot sentence, complete with link, naturally: "---so.... tell me about how you hatched from an actual egg, Stiles..."

Click it, I dare you not to laugh.

 

Arsonist’s Lullaby

(stilinski family dragons!au part 2, arsonist’s lullaby - hozier)

 

“When I was a child, I’d sit for hours

Staring into open flame

Something in it had a power,

Could barely tear my eyes away

 

All you have is your fire…

And the place you need to reach -

Don’t you ever tame your demons

But always keep ‘em on a leash…”

 

By the time John is done blasting the Sorcerer’s shield to tiny bits and burning him to ashes, there is a blast crater fifteen feet wide and five feet deep. Stiles brings his wings back and the pack can see the damage done to the clearing. There are downed trees everywhere, many of them on fire. There are flattened bat creatures and the frakenstieny monster is in pieces.

“Holy shit, Stiles,” Scott gets out, looking up at his friend.

Stiles swings his head around and down to meet Scott’s gaze with one great golden eye. “I know, right?”

“You never said you could breathe fire!” Scott exclaims.

“You never asked,” the dragon replies primly.

John decides he’s done making sure the sorcerer that wanted to enslave his kid is very dead. He walks over to Stiles, the earth shaking a little under each step. Allison and Kira wobble a little and clutch at each other. Lydia tips sideways into Stiles’ side with a yelp.

If Stiles is the size of very large house, John is twice that. He’s all blackened blue scales and twisting horns and his blue eyes fixate on Stiles’ torn wing. “What happened?” he demands, because apparently now is later.

Stiles heaves, “He kidnapped Scott. He wanted to turn him into his undead minion.”

The werewolves look around at each other. Even Derek pauses in helping straighten out Liam’s broken bones for correct healing to wonder why he isn’t more weirded out by the fact that Stilesis apparently a Dragon.

“And this required changing?” all of them can hear the unspoken ‘because…’ at the end of the sentence.

“He threw flames at Allison and Lydia.”

John’s head swings around to peer down at Allison, who clutches at Kira hard enough to make the kitsune squeak. He blinks at her, and then twists his head around to peer over Stiles’ back at the banshee leaning against Stiles’ foreleg. “I see.”

“Aw, c’mon,” Stiles cajoles, his armor plating rattling a little in irritation. “Don’t do that. I’m not a hatchling anymore.”

John snorted a cloud of smoke, “I will treat you like and adult when you start acting like one.”

Stiles heaves a great sigh, his bronze sides heaving in and out, lifting Lydia (and now Scott and Isaac, who joined her out of curiosity) up and then back down. Lydia giggles a little at the sensation. “I get it, but I’m not a baby anymore.”

“No,” John says, irony lacing his voice. “You’re five hundred and two years old. You know, most kids would be leaving the nest right about now.”

“Not this again,” Stiles complains. Derek sits down next to Liam, who leans on his shoulder in exhaustion. They both crane their necks back to stare up at the dragons arguing above them.

“Dragons are a thing?” Liam asks. Derek shrugs because he can’t think of words currently, he’s just as surprised as Liam.

Derek thinks he’s more surprised that it’s Stiles that is a dragon and not the fact that dragons exist. Seriously, Derek is a werewolf, who is he to throw stones. But really, spastic, annoying, fragile Stiles is a dragon. Derek sighs, his life is so weird.

John shakes his head and rolls his great eyes and says: “You get to clean up the mess. I’m going home and I’m ordering meat lover’s pizza and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

John launches himself into the air and they all watch him fly a few 360s as he gains altitude before he wings his way back toward the edge of town. Stiles peers around to look at Scott and Isaac, who are both now pressing their ears to his side with grins on their faces.

“What are you doing?” Stiles asks, bemused. Both boys rise a little when Stiles breathes in and he huffs in amusement because - “Are you guys listening to the gurgling sounds my stomachs make?”

Isaac looks up, “Stomachs?”

“No wonder it sounds to weird!” Scott exclaims.

Stiles rumbles out a chuckle and white smoke ring. He holds carefully still as Lydia climbs up onto his foreleg and looks up at him expectantly. He lifts her even with his head and she latches onto one of his horns and pulls herself up onto his neck.

“Not a jungle gym.”

“You just turned into a scientific impossibility, you will endure this, and you will like it,” Lydia states.

“Yes ma’am.”

Peter catches his attention with a gesture at the crater. Stiles obligingly sets the corpses piled up inside it on fire for him. Scott and Isaac make exclamations at the sight of his underbelly lighting up with his fire. Allison has taken a seat next to Liam and Kira is walking around Stiles to look at him from all angles.

“This is actually kinda cool,” Liam finally decides loudly. When several of the others look at him funny he explains: “No, listen. How many werewolf packs out there do you think have a dragon watching their backs?”

“He makes a good point,” Allison says, watching as Stiles obligingly bares his teeth for Lydia to inspect. They’re razor sharp and range in length from three to six inches in length. They’re actually quite terrifying and Allison doesn’t understand how Lydia can be okay with being that close to them.

They go silent after that, watching the monster corpses burn in the crater. Most of the other small fires have gone out. It’s one if the benefits of dragonfire. It burns so hot that once released, without a steady input of heat, they die out quite quickly as they cool.

“Sooo…” Peter says, leaning against Stiles’ other side. “Tell us about how you hatched from an actual egg, Stiles.”

Chapter Text

I Like You So Much Better

(steter, texting, for karyssa, i like you so much better when you’re naked - ida maria)

 

“But I won’t mind if you take me home, come on take me home

I won’t mind if you take off all your clothes, come on take ‘em off

‘Cause I like you so much better when you’re naked…”

 

He’s a good looking guy. Older, but wearing it really, really well. They’re out clubbing because all of them have had the kind of week that makes one want to just give up. So Kira had suggested clubbing (read: dancing) to lift all their spirits. Scott and Isaac agree simply because they want to get their drink on. Malia comes to dance and Stiles is out to get laid.

And this guy looks like he’d be really good at it.

Stiles weaves his way across the crowded floor, dancing through two songs to get to the bar. By this time he’s caught the guy’s eye and that’s really gratifying. Stiles edges up to the bar next to him, panting and grinning and looks over at him, “Hi.”

The guy grins back. It’s a little sharklike, Stiles admits. It fits on his face, which is even better up close. “Buy you a drink?” he asks.

“A beer, please,” Stiles replies, angling his body toward him in a way that very clearly states he’s interested.

The guy signals for the bartender, places his order and then turns back to Stiles. Stiles doesn’t think he’s imagining things when he moves a little closer. He’s definitely not imagining the hand that settles low on his hip. He enjoys the brush of a thumb up under the edge of his shirt.

“I’m Stiles.”

“Peter.”

By the time Stiles has finished his beer, he’s settled into the vee of Peter’s legs, leaning against him. His arm is lying on the bartop and he’s playing with Peter’s sleeve. Peter is letting his hand drift from Stiles’ back and hip to up and down his arm.

He’s really enjoying himself and very, very ready to suggest they get out of here and go find someplace quieter. Preferably with a bed.

His phone vibrates in his pocket and Stiles jumps. Peter’s eyebrows shoot up and Stiles offers a sheepish grin as he digs the offending device out and looks at the screen. He’s got a new text from Malia and he opens it.

(303): STOP TRYING TO FUCK MY DAD

Stiles chokes on air, looks up at Peter and scrutinizes his face. He doesn’t see it, except for maybe in the eyes. He quickly taps out a reply, looking around for Malia. She’s about twenty feet down the bar and glaring at him over Kira’s head.

(1-303): THE HOT GUY IS YOUR DAD?!?!?!?!???

(303): YES! STOP FLIRTING IT’S DISTURBING.

(1-303): I CAN’T HELP IT. HE’S SO BEAUTIFUL

Malia sends him a sick face emoji and he looks back around at her and shrugs. She grimaces. Stiles turns back to Peter, who raises an eyebrow questioningly.

“Not gonna lie, this might make this awkward, but Malia is one of my best friends,” Stiles says. Peter’s other eyebrow joins the first and he looks around Stiles and spots his kid, glaring at them. She gestures for them to step away from each other.

Stiles takes the opportunity presented and bites at Peter’s neck. Peter growls. Stiles shudders, “That little fact isn’t stopping me from wanting you to take me home.”

Peter wraps his arm tightly around Stiles, sliding one hand into the back pocket of his jeans so that he’s got a handful of Stiles’ ass. Stiles retaliates by latching onto his neck. Peter takes Stiles phone, lifts it so that Malia can see that the next text came from him, and types out a response.

(1-303): DEAL WITH IT

(303): Really?

(1-303): Really.

Peter signals the bartender, pays down his tab and then leads Stiles off into the crowd. At the bar Malia makes a face that indicates that she just pictured something she really wishes she hasn’t. She turns to Kira and says: “I need all the drinks. Stiles and my Dad just went home together.”

Kira stares in surprise, then calls for shots.

Chapter Text

David

(steter, zombie apocalypse!au, david - noah gunderson)

 

“I keep kicking at the curb with my worn out shoes

and I keep running into strangers that say I know you

And I don’t wanna be a proud man, just wanna be a man.

A little less like my father and more like my dad…”

 

‘I don’t have time for this shit.’ Stiles thinks as he levels the .45 in his left hand and aims unerringly at the head of the man standing in front of him. The guy is unwashed (he can smell him from here), he’s missing a tooth in the front (it’s an unsettling gap), and he’s apparently the leader. The guys to either side of him defer to him, and the rest arrayed behind the three are cat-calling and heckling but not stepping up to the plate.

“Like I said,” the man says, grinning to show the unsettling gap in his very dirty teeth again. “You want past, you gotta pay the toll.”

Stiles thinks for a moment. The clip in his gun holds fifteen bullets. That’s fifteen shots so long as he doesn’t miss. The distance between him and the biker gang from hell is approximately twenty feet. If he’s lucky he might get ten rounds off before the gap is closed. There is one of him and at least thirty of them.

With the cargo Stiles is carrying, he doesn’t like those odds.

“And what’s the toll?” Stiles asks, curious despite himself.

The leader grins, this time all lips and that’s even more unsettling than the gap-toothed grin. Some of the guys chuckle. Stiles isn’t going to like the toll.

“Your vehicle, and all your supplies.”

Stiles’ grip on his gun tightens. He’s got a machete strapped to his back under his jacket, two knives in his boots and six extra clips for the .45. The rifle and the crossbow are in the car alongside his bat and his bag of magic tricks. Allison probably has the rifle aimed from the back seat, but it will be up to Stiles to deal with this essentially alone.

Allison can’t risk a physical altercation. Not now.

“Not happening,” Stiles says. His voice is steady and he flicks the safety off on the gun.

The motion causes several of the goons to straighten up and reach for their own weapons warily. Stiles gets the impression that they aren’t used to being refused by lone travelers on the road these days.

These days. Damn it all.

It’s been a year and a half since the world went to hell and stayed there. It had started as rumors on the internet at first. People getting sick, turning on their loved ones. No one believed the rumors at first. Until someone in Phoenix caught the cops shooting a guy sixteen times and the guy just kept coming. It was a headshot that took the guy down and youtube that made the video famous.

Stiles believed it when he saw it, but then, he had a leg up on the rest of the world. He already believed in the impossible. Scott, as alpha had put in a call, all pack members were to come home for the duration. He wanted everyone near if it all went to hell.

And it did.

Lydia made it to Oakland International the day the airports got shut down. She drove the rest of the way home to Beacon Hills. She made it out of the city just before the government bombed the place. The banshee was shaken after so much death, now she was fragile, stable but fragile. Zombies had a strange effect on her. She could feel them die, but she could also feel them coming back.

She never left the compound these days.

Jackson had been the farthest away when Scott sent out the call. His plane was grounded in Boston when they landed for a layover. He’d made it out of the city before cell service quit. It took him nearly six months to make his way across the country. When he’d arrived he’d arrived with five beta wolves who had no alpha and a cadre of humans that he’d taken in.

Scott had welcomed him home and accepted the betas.

Beacon Hills was now probably the safest place on the west coast. It had taken nearly a year to finish building the walls, but it had been worth it. During that time they had killed and burned enough zombies that they had all stopped having nightmares about it. Stiles had taken to Deaton’s training with zeal and was now fully active as a Spark.

They had lost people along the way. Agent McCall had been killed helping secure the hospital. Deaton was bitten and turned four months in helping bring a few survivors in from a nearby town. His dad and most of the cops had been taken down early on trying to contain the riots. Isaac was bitten in a skirmish with road gang they encountered. The virus (magical virus, Deaton had discovered that much before he’d died. There was no cure.) had a strange effect on the wolf. While not immune, the werewolf healing factor had a strange effect on the virus. It took longer for a person to change, a good thing, but also bad.

The virus had more time to do more damage.

A zombiefied werewolf with a hunting instinct magnified a hundredfold? Yeah, categorically not awesome.

But they had made it. Survived. Shored up their defenses, adapted.

The run had been a bad idea, but really there had been no choice. Allison had needs now that weren’t being met by the limited resources in Beacon Hills. The hospital was outside the walls and besides they’d already led several sorties into it and drained it dry. They had started going further afield for supplies. They had figured out farming and raising livestock. They’d just started their first real harvest. No, it was things like medical supplies and weapons that they couldn’t replenish.

You could only reload spent cartridges if you could retrieve them. Not something one really thinks about when running from zombie hordes.

“You really gonna try and fight us, boy?” the huge bald dude to Leader’s left demanded.

Stiles grinned in his most unsettling way. Scott often said that that grin reminded him of the Nogitsune, but that maybe these days it was a good thing. “I’ve got fifteen shots and perfect aim,” he informs the goon casually. “Let’s see how many of you make it this far.”

There’s a clicking noise behind him. The cocking of a rifle as quietly as possible. Allison is ready to back him up which means he’s actually got more than fifteen shots because the car is far enough away that even once Stiles is forced into hand to hand combat she can still fire from where she is.

It had been a stealth run. Two people, in an out. It was the best way to do things when heading into population centers. Allison had insisted she come along, and even in her condition she was terrifying and you didn’t tell her no. In this world everyone pulled their weight, there was no other way to live.

The run had gone smoothly, in and out of Oakland without stirring up the zombie natives. They’d come away with a trunk and backseat full of medical supplies. Beacon Hills needed those supplies. Stiles wasn’t about to give a bunch of goons that took advantage of the living those supplies.

“Give it up boy,” the leader said.

“Not happening,” Stiles returned.

Something pinged on the edge of Stiles’ magical awareness. He took the chance of taking his eyes off the group to glance around for a moment. Off the side of the road, slinking between the trees was a huge black monster of a werewolf. Stiles smirked at the sight of electric blue eyes meeting his own.

Then he realized that the wolf wouldn’t be here if there wasn’t a reason.

He caught sight of the first zombie just as it broke through the trees at the back of the group of men. He adjusted his aim and fired. The zombie collapsed and the guy it had been about to chow down on started cursing loudly. The sound of the shot Stiles had fired brought the rest of the small herd of zombies out of the trees.

The confrontation was forgotten as the gang turned to lunge for weapons and fight off the zombies. Stiles headed back toward the car and Allison. The huntress stepped out of the car just as he got to it. She had the stock of her rifle set into her shoulder over the bump of her six months pregnant belly and determination in her gaze.

“They may be murderous douches,” she said, “but still.”

Stiles nodded, because life was life these days, and retrieved his bag of tricks and his bat. Allison started firing into the mass of chaos as Stiles quickly started painting runes onto his arms. He really needed to rescue a tattoo artists, because this always slowed him down.

The wolf burst from the trees and down two zombies, crushing their skulls. One of the bikers screamed at the sight before Peter took down another zombie that was between him and his mate. Stiles dropped his paintbrush, stood up and with one word and a zing of power through the runes, launched a fireball into the fray.

It was chaos after that. Stiles waded into the fight with magic and his bat. Peter met him in the middle and the wolf shifted back to his human form and drew the machete from Stiles' back. Claws and teeth only went so far when you couldn’t bite your opponent for fear of swallowing their blood and being infected.

By the time it was over there were zombie corpses all over the road, some of them burning. The gang was down to maybe half-strength and Stiles was standing back to back with a naked werewolf.

“The hell?!” the leader demanded. Peter snarled, baring fangs and wolf eyes at him, making him back up a couple of steps in shock. “What?””

“You really thought zombies were the only things wandering in the dark?” Allison’s voice demanded.

She was awe inspiring. Her clothes were pristine and she was walking toward them, her rifle pointed toward the ground, her belly on display. The men started to whisper at the sight of her, at the sight of a woman willing to bring life into the world despite its dangers.

Stiles and Peter flanked their Alpha’s mate as she passed them. Peter feral and naked, all fangs and claws. Stiles with electricity sparking up his arms as he channelled the power he had called up back into the earth.

“How?” someone asked, faintly.

Allison smiled, “We’re from Beacon Hills, and you’re going to let us go without trying to stop us.”

“I’ve heard of Beacon Hills,” a stocky guy in glasses said. “Heard it had walls, protection.”

“It does,” Stiles replied.

“Is it true you take people in?” another person asked.

“We do, but you’d have to be prepared to live like a human. We’ve got rules and the first one is no harming of your fellow beings.”

“Unless they’re a zombie,” Stiles tacks on, getting a glare from Allison for his effort. He finishes his statement anyway, “Then by all means.”

After that it becomes routine almost. Allison takes the leader aside along with a couple of others to discuss the group going back to Beacon Hills with them. Stiles rallies the rest to start clearing the road. Zombies and the dead are piled into ditch at the side of the road and Stiles uses the last of his pent up magic to ignite them to set them burning.

Somewhere along the way someone offered Peter a spare pair of pants.

Stiles returns to the car and puts his gear away. Peter presses him against the door and scents along his neck before kissing him softly. Stiles doesn’t care about their audience, he just cares that they both made it through another fight intact and together. Stiles takes up fist fulls of Peter’s lengthening hair (makes note that he needs a haircut) and drags him back in.

Allison clears her throat to break them up, but her expression is amused. “Shall we, boys?”

“Let’s do this,” Stiles replies and helps her into the car. He can’t help himself and slaps Peter’s ass as he goes to get into the vehicle himself. Peter flashes a grin and wolf eyes in reply before he heads over to one of the now riderless motorcycles. The car takes point, the bikers falling in behind in pairs.

Peter takes the rear. He always takes the rear.

Chapter Text

Hey Ho

(steter, murder boyfriends part 2, hey ho - gin wigmore)

 

“It didn’t have to be this way

Playing games and lost one day

Have mercy on my lonely soul

It wasn’t me it was you ya know…”

 

They cut a bloody swathe across town.

By the time Scott or anyone else catches wind of something going on, they've completely gutted Eichen House. Gutted. Ironic, considering that's that they do to Valack and the orderlies and doctors of the secret supernatural wing of the hospital. Valack is hung from the ceiling of his cell by his large intestine and the walls are painted red with blood. Sheriff John Stilinski has never seen anything like it, and he's been trying to bring werewolves and kanimas and who the hell knows what else to justice for the last three years.

The doctors and orderlies are in similar states; many of them have crushed skulls. Some are shredded by what had to be claws. There are bite marks on several. If the staff was bad, the 'patients' were even worse. The worst of the worst of the supernatural world; most of them were torn apart. The Necromancer in the cell adjacent to Valack's is going to need identification via dental records there is so little left of him.

It's nothing compared to the state in which Scott finds Deaton.

By the time John and the sheriff's department are trying to sort out the bloodbath at the mental hospital, Scott has caught wind of it. His first stop most of the time is Deaton. Deaton has experience and knowledge and is usually willing to lend a hand... or at least point them in the right direction. So Scott goes to the clinic and Liam and Malia go to Eichen House.

John won't let them inside to check it out.

That doesn't matter much when Scott calls from the clinic and they get there in time to see Scott dry heaving up against the outside of the building with Kira rubbing his back and Lydia staring at the building in a daze. There's been enough death the last few hours that the banshee is practically useless she's been slammed so many times psychically.

"Don't go in there," she tells them when they arrive. Her eyes are red-rimmed and wide as saucers. Her skin is whiter than paper, nearly translucent she's lost so much color. Her voice is frayed from screaming, faint like she's not completely in the moment. "We should burn it down."

Scott pushes away from the wall, eyes glowing alpha red. He's sweating in reaction to emptying the contents of his stomach on the ground. He doesn't want to admit to himself that he has an idea of what happened here. Of who happened here. It's something he's always known could happen, but has always told himself he could prevent. Now it looks like he was kidding himself.

"Liam," he says hoarsely. He looks at his first beta, eyes distant, "Find Stiles.Now."

"What happened, Scott?" Malia demands. She's always defensive of Stiles. Always.

"I need you to go back to Eichen House. You don't have to go in, but I need to know if Peter is still there."

"Why? You think he has something to do with what's going on?"

"Malia -"

"No, Scott. I want answers."

Scott stares at her for a minute. The seconds tick by, feeling like hours. Then his shoulders slump and he waves a hand at the clinic before collapsing against the hood of Lydia's car. Malia looks from Scott to the clinic and back again. Liam catches her eye and nods. He'll go with her. Kira shakes her head grimly already knowing what they're going to find. She walks over to Lydia and leads her over to the passenger side of the car, opening the door to guide the redhead inside.

Malia leads the way into the clinic.

The lights overhead are flickering. As they pass through to the back of the clinic Liam notices the fuse box looks like it's been crushed. Malia pushes open the swinging door to the treatment room and stops instantly. The smell is horrific. She is intimately acquainted with that smell. Decomposition. Blood, guts and other unmentionables spread out to the open air. There's a faint buzzing.

Flies.

She doesn't want to look anymore, but it's like a train wreck, she has to see it. She doesn't want to, but she can't stop herself as she steps into the room. Behind her, Liam gags and darts from the room. She can hear him retching... probably into the trashcan. She pays it no mind. She's too horrified to care that Liam is in the room behind her losing every meal he's eaten for the past week.

There are splashes of blood on nearly every surface. There’s a river of it slowly circling down the drain in the middle of the floor. The metal exam table is cockeyed and dented. Alan Deaton is perched on the table, eyes open and staring unseeingly at the ceiling. Both of his legs have been crushed; bone fragments and muscle a pulpy mess. He’s got claw marks across his chest, but the one that killed him left his neck open and looking like someone had tried to decapitate him.

Someone had used Deaton’s blood to write ‘not good enough’ on the wall.

Malia knows that handwriting.

There’s nothing for it. All of them know it. It comes as a surprise to exactly none of them that Peter Hale is not counted among the bodies at Eichen House. The Sheriff is sad and grim, but he puts out the warrant for his son’s arrest anyway.

Between the two of them, Stiles and Peter have racked up a body count in the dozens… and they’re just getting started.

Agent McCall puts in a call to Quantico and three days after the Stilinski-Hale spree began, they’re at the top of the FBI’s most wanted list. Two days after that and some hikers come across the bodies of Theo and four other, unidentifiable men in the preserve. Estimates put time of death before the Eichen House massacre, which occurred before Deaton’s death.

There’s no sign of Stiles or Peter until three weeks later. Six bodies turn up outside of a small town in Idaho. For those that know what to look for, they’re all werewolves. Scott doesn’t even try to kid himself that they had attacked Stiles and Peter first.

Every indication points to the pack being for the sole purpose of making Peter an Alpha again.

They’ve crossed state lines, the manhunt is now nationwide.

Nothing is ever going to be the same again.

Chapter Text

Control

(alien!stiles, control - halsey)

 

“I’m bigger than my body

I’m colder than this home

I’m meaner than my demons

I’m bigger than these bones…”

 

Stiles is a monster. He’s the kind of monster that lurks in the dark with teeth and claws and enough horror burning in his eyes that most other monsters would avoid him. He’s born that way; taken in by human parents and raised to associate humans with more than just food… but Stiles is a monster.

The Nogitsune should have picked a different victim.

His mindscape is hellish, deep ravines and sharp craggy rocks. Shadows hiding things that writhe in anticipation. A mental link to his mother; and genetic memory that has him knowing the savage bliss of tearing flesh and blood pumping. Stiles knows things about how to kill other things that make the Nogitsune shudder. Stiles is an apex predator of the highest order.

The battle inside Stiles’ head causes destruction in the waking world. The Nogitsune is battling a creature it has never encountered before, and as a result Stiles loses his hold on his human guise. If Peter’s pre-death Alpha form was terrifying, then Stiles’ long limbed, shiny black carapace with rows of razor sharp teeth and knifelike claws are the thing that scares what Peter used to be.

Stiles has acid for blood and a bloodlust just as insatiable.

John, strangely is the one that figures it out before the rest. He isn’t a werewolf or a banshee. He’s not a kitsune or some other mystical being. He’s human. But he’s also the human that raised Stiles and knows exactly what he is. His protests against Stiles being involved in this world of monsters is not because he’s afraid it will kill his son, he’s afraid that one day it will cause Stiles to shed his human skin and become the ultimate monster.

Turns out he’s right.

Stiles manages to expel the Nogitsune, but doing so causes the Nogitsune to retain Stiles’ human skin. The body of a boy of seventeen with brown hair and pale skin. Stiles rises up in his true form, hissing audibly and rattling the spines down his back as he faces off with the thing wearing his human face.

Everyone else is so shocked by the revelation that Stiles moves without hinderance. In seconds he’s across the room and shredding his body. Rows of serrated teeth and burning green eyes. He sheds his humanity to shred the Nogitsune where it stands in his own skin. No part of the fox spirit remains when he’s finished. One glance at Scott, at Deaton, at Lydia and Stiles knows that they think that Stiles was just killed with his body.

Stiles rattles to his full height. Eight feet tall with armored plating and a skeletal visage somewhere between humanlike and catlike. He can operate on four legs as easily as he can on two. Scott makes an aborted move forward and Stiles snarls, rattling his spines. There’s no point saying anything, so Stiles leaves. He crashes through the front window and vanishes into the afternoon light.

*

Stiles retreats deep into the woods. He’ll never be able to take human form again; and even if he could, his human shell is dead. Kind of hard to explain away when your friends see said shell get shredded. He regrets that he’ll never see the man he calls father again, but some things can’t be helped.

He sets the code into the panel that he wipes the moss off of. There is a second of hesitation, then the door swishes open with barely a sound. Stiles steps into the dark hold of the ship that came to this planet with him. The door shuts behind him and the lights come on as he paces down the hallway.

The ship is dark, musty with disuse. But Stiles knows these halls, knows how the technology works. His kind are capable of sharing genetic memories between family members, and his mother had done so as soon as she knew she was going to die. Stiles would need what she’d imparted to live, to survive in a universe hell bent on the destruction of his race.

When he reaches the bridge and sits down in the pilot seat the ship really wakes. He’ll need to wait until dark to leave, it will take that long for the cloaking to charge. He takes the time to write a letter to John, a thank you and a farewell in one. He’s grateful to his human father for his love and his care. Then he turns his attention to choosing a course out of this solar system.

It’s past time, Stiles decides, for him to go and see what the universe holds. Perhaps he’ll find the one that sired him and get some answers. Maybe he won’t. What he does know is that his life is about to get a lot more lethal. For himself and for anyone he encounters.

The idea doesn’t stop him from guiding the ship out of Earth’s atmosphere. In fact, he’s looking forward to it.

Chapter Text

You Can’t have Everything

(steter, pretend not to be dating, you can’t have everything - jimmy durante)

 

“You just can’t have everything

So thank your stars above

For a song in your heart

A penny in your pocket

And someone in your arms to love…”

 

“Scott,” Stiles says, sighing because this is a conversation he’s had too many times. “I’m not letting you set me up on a blind date.”

“You need someone Stiles!” Scott exclaims over his drink. He’s drinking a gigantic strawberry daiquiri and he’s not ashamed. It’s delicious. He leans over to lick the sugar off the rim of the glass before he continues. “It’s not healthy, being alone all the time.”

“I’m not alone,” Stiles replies crossly, suddenly wishing he wasn’t the designated driver tonight. “I have people.”

“You don’t have sex people,” Scott tells him, eyes wide and earnest. “You need a sex person.”

Stiles sighs and sets his face in his hand as the waitress delivers their dinners with amusement all over her face. Scott is on his third daiquiri and nearly three sheets to the wind. This conversation, or some version of it, happens every single time Scott is drunk.

“I have a sex person,” Stiles tells his best friend. “You never believe me.”

“I have never met this person, therefore -” Scott pauses here to belch loudly “-this fabled sex person doesn’t exist.”

Stiles is impressed that Scott has enough sober brain cells at the moment to be able to coherently form the word ‘therefore’. Stiles nudges Scott’s plate toward him. He picks up his burger and takes a big bite, then says around his mouthful, unperturbed: “Besides, I found the perfect person.”

“You did?”

Scott nods vigorously, dips a few fries into a pile of ketchup and shoves them in his mouth. When the waitress swings by to check on them Scott orders another daiquiri, so Stiles feels comfortable telling him that okay, he can set him up on a blind date if he’ll shut up about.

He doesn’t actually expect Scott to remember.

*

“I’m setting you up on a date.”

Peter sighs and looks up at Laura, who is leaning around the door to his office with a grin on her face. He narrows his eyes at her, “Why?”

Laura takes this inquiry as an invitation to enter the room and flop down into one of the chairs in front of his desk. Peter refrains from rolling his eyes, barely. “Because,” Laura tells him, tone serious. “Maybe if you meet someone and get laid, you’ll stop taking your frustration out on all the little worker bees.”

Peter quirks an eyebrow at his niece, who (despite working with him every day) knows next to nothing about her uncle. “What makes you think I’m not getting laid now?”

Laura scoffs and flaps a hand at him, rising and heading for the door, “No one who is getting laid on the regular is that tense. Besides, maybe if you have a significant other you might let us go home on time a few days a week!”

“Don’t hold your breath.”

“Friday night, McMurdo’s, eight o’clock. Don’t be late.”

Peter heaves another sigh and pulls out his phone, shooting off a text. Apparently he has plans on Friday.

*

Stiles cracks up laughing the second that Peter sits down in front of him. He has to close his menu and take a drink of water to stifle his hiccups. Peter just watches him, amused. He’s got a fond smile on his face.

“Scott,” Stiles offers once he’s done giggling.

“Laura,” Peter replies. They’ve already talked about this, but it’s nice to figure out how two people that don’t really know each other set them up.

“Derek,” they chorus. Because Laura is Derek’s sister, and Derek is dating Braeden, who works with Scott.

Their waiter takes their orders, because they might as well enjoy a nice night out. Laura even offered to pay for dinner, so it’s practically free. Stiles nudges Peter’s foot with his own, “Why do you think no one believes we’re not lonely?”

“I never tell anyone I’m in a relationship and you only ever tell people about it when everyone is drunk so no one believes you.”

“Huh.”

 They enjoy dinner. They talk about their days and how to get back at everyone for this. Peter decides that he’s just not going to say anything, because that’s his usual method of dealing with people who pry into his personal life. Halfway through dinner Scott texts to ask how it’s going and Stiles replies with an ‘OK, I guess’ because he’s a little shit and doesn’t mind confusing Scott about his relationship status.

They share a cab to Stiles’ apartment. Peter walks him to his door and Stiles scuffs the floor with the toe of his shoe, “So, I had a good time. Maybe we could do it again.”

Peter raises an eyebrow at the barely contained mirth in Stiles’ eyes, “I’d like that.”

Stiles can’t take it and starts laughing. Peter captures his head in his hands and kisses him. Then Stiles unlocks the door and they both go inside. Peter lives here too, after all.

Chapter Text

Kill Kill Kill

(steter, neighbors stealing wifi, kill kill kill - the pierces)

 

“I asked you please to leave my heart

But you refused to go

I can’t take this pain much longer

You insist on teaching me what I already know

Absence made this heart grow fonder…”

 

Peter only knows that someone moves into the apartment next door by merit of seeing boxes stacked up in the hallway the day they move in. He can only hope that whoever the new neighbor is, that they’ll be better neighbors than Audrey. Not that Audrey had been a bad person… per se… She’d just come with Jacob attached.

When they weren’t yelling at each other and throwing things they were having very loud sex.

The first few days there’s some thumping and cursing from the other apartment. Peter lets it go as whoever they are prearranging furniture and unpacking. He gives it a week and the noises stop. After that the new neighbor occasionally plays very loud music in the afternoons. Peter sees him dancing around his apartment in his socks and underwear, singing into a wooden spoon.

He won’t admit it’s cute, but he staying seated in his comfy beanbag chair on the fire escape and watches the whole performance. The guy performing isn’t half bad looking either.

They pass each other in the hallways a few times. New Guy always looks like he wants to say something, but chickens out. Peter is a giant shit and spends all his time around him smirking knowingly. He knows New Guy thinks he’s good looking, he’s seen the all over eye ogling he does in the elevator.

Then, a few weeks after New Guy moves in and they start basically eye-fucking each other, Derek swings by to visit. He spends the whole time messing around with his phone, wrangles the wifi password out of Peter and then messes with everything before he leaves. He’s changed his wifi network to ‘UncleSerialKiller’ and changes the password. He screws around with the television settings and makes sure to crank up the volume on the stereo.

He claims it’s to keep Peter on his toes, but Peter knows that Derek is actually a little scared of what Peter can do to him, so he figures he lost a bet with Laura or Cora. Again.

He’s sitting in the middle of his living room, messing with the settings on the tv while the cable company has him on hold (his phone is on speaker and is pumping fuzzy, tinny muzak at him) when a knock comes on his window. Peter looks over to see Neighbor New Guy out on the fire escape holding a laptop and waving.

Peter hauls himself up off the floor and saunters over to the window and wrenches it open. “May I help you?” he inquires of the younger man.

“You changed your wifi password,” the guy says. Peter feels his eyebrows shoot up. New Guy continues, “Also, what’s with the Uncle Serial Killer thing? That’s kinda pedophiley.”

“You’ve been using my wifi,” Peter says flatly. New guy flushes red and Peter can’t bring himself to be mad, the guy is so damn cute. He turns around and heads back to the table and his phone.

“I’m Stiles,” Stiles introduces himself, climbing in the open window and following. He plops himself down on the floor next to Peter as the older man picks up the remote again to futz with the tv settings.

“Peter,” Peter tells him, and lets him take the remote. Stiles has the tv settings fixed in a minute flat. “You owe me chinese food and sex for the free wifi. Not necessarily in that order.”

Stiles flushes again and looks at him with wide eyes. Peter is smirking at him, but picks up his phone when the muzak cuts off. It takes Stiles about thirty seconds to shake off his shock, and swing himself up into Peter’s lap so that he’s straddling the older man. It takes Peter five seconds to get one hand down the back of Stiles’ pants.

It takes fifteen minutes, a lot of groping, and Stiles sucking an impressive hickey into the side of Peter’s neck before Peter’s user settings for his internet and cable have been restored.

“So,” Stiles asks after Peter hangs up the phone, “If I pay you in sex and kisses does that mean I can keep using your wifi?”

Peter laughs and kisses him. He’ll have to send Derek a thank you note. A thank you note and some poison ivy.

Chapter Text

Footprints

(red panda!stiles part 3, footprints - barenaked ladies )

 

“I stood and watched the lights go out,

While the snowflakes settled all around me,

And though it filled my heart with doubt,

Couldn’t move and this is where you found me…”

 

Stiles stretches his front paws out as far as he can, trying to grab onto a branch attached to the next tree over. Slowly he climbs across to the next tree over. The branches are bare leaves, brittle with cold. Snow is falling gently from the leaden gray sky. He’s not moving carefully because he believes the branches will snap under his sudden weight; no, he’s moving quietly because he’s trying to be stealthy.

Trying being the operative word.

The branches shake as he crosses them, sending flurries of snow to the ground. The grey wolf he’s tracking looks up under the onslaught, scenting the air to try to catch wind of him. Stiles stops, tucking himself into the space between where two large branches meet the trunk of the tree. He curls his ringed tail tight about him.

He doesn’t really blend in with his surroundings, not like Peter does.

Stiles’ red coat is a bright beacon against the white and brown backdrop of the woods. Still he has height to his advantage. Wolves weren’t made for climbing trees, which is a skill that red pandas excel at.

After a moment or two, he continues on his way. He follows the dark gray of the wolf that is Peter as it tracks its way through the woods. He’s not fooling himself into believing that Peter doesn’t know he’s there, but he’s having fun, so what does it matter?

Stiles shifts his weight on the tree branch, gathers his weight under himself and launches into the air. His paws are outstretched, and he can feel his long tail pinwheeling in the air. Then he lands, with a surprised yelp on the part of the wolf, and the flump of snow flying up around them. Stiles chitters his laughing noise as they roll around for a moment.

When they stop Stiles is on the ground with Peter over him, both of them covered in white powder. Stiles stretches up and licks the tip of Peter’s nose. Peter huffs, ears perking forward. His tail wags once. Stiles chitters again, and his own tail comes up in response.

Then he’s flying out from under the wolf, and the wolf is giving chase. He doesn’t try very hard to stay out of reach, and eventually Peter catches him. They tumble into a snow bank for a second time.

They rest for a while in the hollow of a tree and some bushes. Peter takes his time licking all the snow off of Stiles’ face and ears. Stiles grooms Peter’s fur, and snuggles into his side, content to watch the snow fall outside of their little shelter.

Eventually he gets bored. So he wiggles free and finds a pine cone. He chases it around for a while, much to Peter’s amusement. When he finally gets bored, he prods at the gray wolf to get him moving, and they head for home.

The snow starts to come down a little heavier, but neither pay much attention to it. Eventually, the snow is deep enough that Stiles climbs up onto Peter’s back for the rest of the journey.

The back door of the Hale House has been rigged to allow wolves to open them. When they clatter into the mud room, shaking off snow, and dripping on the rug, Derek yells: “Use the towels!” from the living room.

Peter shakes off vigorously as Stiles changes into his human skin and wraps himself in a towel. He holds one out for Peter, who thanks him with a kiss once he’s human shaped again. They snuggle up together for a minute, right there in the laundry room. Peter scrubs another towel through Stiles’ hair, and then his own.

Stiles turns to retrieve the sweats and t-shirts they stored on top of the dryer before they left.

Stiles has a dark green blanket draped around his shoulders like a cape. He nudges the bedroom door open with his foot and backs in, careful of the tray he’s carrying. It’s laden with two mugs of hot chocolate and a plate of cookies. When he makes it into the room, he nudges the door closed with his foot and smiles at the sight Peter makes.

Peter is sitting in the bed, bundled up in the blankets, reading a book. Stiles heads for him, and the older man obligingly takes the tray from him so that he can climb into bed with him. Stiles tucks himself into the curve of Peter’s side, sticking his cold toes under Peter’s blanket warmed calf. Peter hisses, but doesn’t try to dislodge said toes.

Stiles hands Peter his mug and takes up his own, blowing on it to cool it enough to drink from. Unlike Peter’s, Stiles mug is laden with a layer of mini marshmallows.

“Good day?” Peter asks him as they settle into the pile of pillows behind them.

“Great day,” Stiles replies, then looses a jaw cracking yawn.

Peter smiles, “Good.”

Chapter Text

I Will Never Die

(steter, empathic!stiles, i will never die - delta rae )

 

“Old heat of a raging fire

Come and light my eyes

Summer’s kiss through electric wire

But I’ll never die - but I’ll never die

 

You can bury my body but I’ll never die…”

 

Stiles is eight when he has the first dream. His mother is sick, so his dad just chalks it up to Stiles’ mind trying to process what is happening… But Stiles isn’t dreaming about his mother. He’s dreaming about someone named Peter.

His mother is sick and he dreams of burning alive every night.

Stiles is ten when he passes the New Age section in the library and a book about dreams catches his eye. The dreams only come about once a week now, but Stiles has always known that there is more to them than just dreams. He devours the book, but something doesn’t sit right. He dives head first into the New Age section of the library and doesn’t come up for air until he’s satisfied.

This is his first research binge. It’s not his last by far. He comes away from it with the knowledge that he has an empathic connection with someone named Peter.

And that means that somewhere, Peter is all alone and in pain.

Stiles is thirteen when he stumbles across the file on the Hale fire on his father’s desk at the station. He reads it because the case is five years old and still unsolved as far as his father is concerned. He becomes obsessed with it when he learns that Peter Hale was the only survivor to make it out of the house.

He learns to navigate the police database like he was born to it. The fire has been ruled an accident on the report all these years, but Stiles doesn’t believe that. Neither does the Sheriff if the case file has been sitting with all the other unsolved ones.

Unfortunately there is no trail to follow. Whoever set the house ablaze covered their tracks too well.

Stiles contents himself with keeping tabs on Peter, who is still in the hospital. He isn’t family, so he isn’t allowed to visit. That doesn’t stop him from keeping an eye on his medical records. For the time being, that will have to do.

Stiles is fourteen when his empathic connection to Peter is blown wide open and becomes straight up Empathy. The Sheriff gets shot in the line of duty, and receiving the news - the idea that his dad might die and leave him just like his mom, is enough to break him into tiny pieces.

He latches onto the only thing he feels he has left. His connection to Peter.

Suddenly the connection is a two-way connection; and Peter becomes aware of Stiles. He latches onto Stiles’ mind with claws and teeth and howling. Stiles is too busy being torn apart by every person in Beacon Hills (who he can suddenly feel now) to fight back. His mental screaming and pain is enough to make Peter pause. He can feel everything Stiles is feeling through the connection. His mental grip softens, he wraps himself around the boy and helps to shield him.

Stiles latches onto what Peter is offering him. He doesn’t know it yet, but this action links them even more thoroughly than before. Inexorably. Forever. When he does eventually find out, it is far too late to do anything about it. He can’t bring himself to care overmuch.

Stiles is sixteen the first time that Peter’s body is healed enough to answer the call of the moon. Peter stumbles around in the dark, controlled by instinct long denied, and incapable of controlling his own actions. Stiles wakes up so abruptly that it startles both of them into a state of sharp awareness.

This awareness, this connection between Stiles and Peter is the only thing that saves the night nurse from being savaged by a feral werewolf.

A month later, she opens his window and lets him out of the hospital for the first time.

Stiles is sixteen and trying to find a way for Peter to regain control of his wolf again. Stiles is sixteen and running after the one person aside from his father that he considers his. Peter is healing, but far too slowly. In this state he is dangerous. The bond between them is strong; strong enough to give him something to hold onto.

He is aware, but unable to do anything to stop himself the night he comes across Laura in the dark of the preserve. Betrayal and hurt flash across his psyche. They abandoned him. She was supposed to be his Alpha, was supposed to protect him now, but she abandoned him.

It’s enough for the wolf to act.

Stiles is sixteen when he experiences what it’s like to kill someone for the first time. He wakes up, breathing harsh and covered in sweat. He feels horrible that all he can be is relieved that Peter is still alive. That he didn’t have to feel him die. He claws at his chest, trying to get at the terrified burning sensation around his heart.

Peter feels it too. What had he done?

Stiles goes into the woods to look for the body out of some warped sense of responsibility. Peter is healing rapidly, but the scars will remain in his mind for the rest of his life. He has started to regain control with the aid of the power of the Alpha.

It isn’t enough to prevent himself from instinctively biting Scott. From instinctively trying to grow a pack. The fact that Scott is basically Stiles’ brother? It plays a part. Scott is essential to Stiles, so he must be essential to Peter as well. No one ever called the wolf logical.

“You must be Stiles.”

It’s said for the benefit of Derek, who is on the other end of the open phone line in Stiles’ hand. Stiles feels numb for all of five seconds. And then it strikes him. This is Peter. His Peter. He lowers his phone, shuts it off and shoves it into his pocket. This is the ghost that has been in the back of his mind since he was eight.

Peter walks toward him.

Stiles waits until he’s in range, and then he reaches out. His fingers brush against warm leather. Coil tightly into the lapel of a red shirt. An unwavering, strong grip. Peter is solid for the first time in Stiles’ life. Peter’s own wonder at finally seeing Stiles is humming at the back of his mind.

He leans into the hand that comes up to cradle his face.

“Hello, darling boy,” Peter murmurs into the skin behind his ear as Stiles curls himself into the Alpha werewolf.

Derek appears in the doorway, bent on protecting Stiles. Stiles, however doesn’t need protecting. Not from this particular monster. This is his monster after all. Peter’s grip on his tightens in response when Stiles’ arms wrap securely around him under his coat. He looks at his nephew, who is standing in the hallway staring in disbelief, and he smiles.

His eyes are red, and his smile is all fangs.

Chapter Text

The Last of the Famous International Playboys

(steter, murder boyfriends, the last of the famous international playboys - morrissey )

 

“And now in my cell

(Well, I followed you)

And here’s a list of who I slew…”

 

Stiles isn’t sure which is worse, the fact that their plane has been delayed, or the two teenaged dudebros sitting behind them, talking loudly. Every minute or so one of them rears back in their enthusiasm, making the back of his chair collide with Stiles’ or Peter’s. It’s probably the dudebros. It happens again, making Stiles cuss and clutch at his laptop so that it won’t slide off his lap.

Definitely the dudebros.

Stiles had had it with capitulation and adherence to Scott’s stupid moral code. His blind, everyone must have some good in them way of looking at the world. Sure, Stiles believes in second chances… to a point. A lot of people don’t deserve one, and most of the people who do only deserve one.

Well, that and Scott’s consistent unwillingness to believe him until he’s run out of options and he’s got no other choice.

To be perfectly honest, Scott is only part of the reason Stiles decided to take Peter up on his offer to run away together. His dad played a factor too. Stiles can’t take another disappointed look. Another cut off, angry conversation.

His stomach clenches at the thought.

The dudebros behind them agree that they need food and get up. Stiles sighs and mutters: “Finally.”

Peter excuses himself with a squeeze to Stiles’ shoulder, talking about checking on their flight. He’s done this before, so Stiles doesn’t find it odd, just agrees to watch the bags. Stiles is left in blissful silence for twenty whole minutes.

Then his phone chirps at him. He pulls the sleek new device out of his pocket. The shiny, top-of-the-line device was a gift from Peter. Peter is, in fact, the only contact in it. He is abandoning his old life entirely.

(303) I need you in the bathroom by the Chipotle.

It’s an odd request, but then, Peter’s as strange as they come; so Stiles shrugs to himself and puts his laptop away. He sends off a reply to let Peter know he’s on his way, then gathers up their carry ons and heads for the Chipotle they had passed on their way to the gate.

“Peter?” Stiles calls once he’s pushed his way into the restroom and set the bags down.

Peter emerges from the handicapped stall, cleaning something red from his hands with his handkerchief. His eyes are glowing faintly, and he’s smiling at Stiles indulgently.

“What did you do?” Stiles asks, eyes narrowed in suspicion.

If anything, Peter’s smiles becomes even more satisfied. He gestures at the stall behind him, “I got you a present.”

Stiles’ eyebrows go up, and he edges suspiciously around Peter, who gamely lets him go by, still smiling. Stiles pushes open the stall door and steps around it into the space. Peter steps in behind him, pressing up against his back. The stall door thuds closed.

“You shouldn’t have,” Stiles hears himself say, staring with a sort of detached fascination.

There is blood everywhere. Arterial spray across the back wall. Spattered over the floor. Even the toilet water is pink from the steady drip-drip-drip into it. Amid all the chaos are the two dudebros. One is slumped in a corner and very, very dead. The other is leaning against the toilet; the source of the blood dripping into it. This one is alive, though barely.

He should probably feel some sort of disgust at the display of psychotic violence, but he can’t bring himself to care. In fact, he finds it oddly sweet. A glance back at Peter’s pleased expression makes him consider that this is the most demented show of affection Stiles has ever heard of. Peter has just murdered two guys simply because they were annoying Stiles.

“I saved one for you,” Peter tells him generously, gesturing at the still breathing one.

The gesture is strangely sweet. Stiles feels flattered. He looks up at Peter through his eyelashes (hard to do when you’re the same height), “Thank you.”

Peter beams.

Stiles takes the sharpened piece of metal Peter got from somewhere when it’s offered. Stiles doesn’t have the convenience of built in claws like Peter does, so it’s a thoughtful gift. Then he steps across the stall and crouches down. He takes a fistful of blood-matted hair in his hand and tilt’s the guy’s head back so that their eyes meet.

“Believe me,” Stiles tells him conversationally, “This was all a lot more painful for me than it was for you.” Then he slams the spike into his temple.

Outside of the stall, a muffled voice sounds over the intercom. Peter listens to it while Stiles washes his hands and improvises an ‘out of order’ sign for the stall door. Then he slips the spike into the lining of his bag; there’s no point getting rid of it, they’re already past security.

“They’re calling our flight, darling,” Peter tells him.

Stiles takes one last glance back at the stall, then turns to the older man, “I’m coming, daddy.”

As they exit the bathroom, Peter’s hand settles low on Stiles’ back. Stiles can feel the remnants of his past life releasing their grip on him. There is no going back now.

He wouldn’t want to, even if he could.

Chapter Text

Cooling of the Embers

(steter, death!stiles, cooling of the embers - missy higgins )

 

“‘Cos death is slowly covering you

In galaxies of black and blue

And under your skin all his colors bloom

And you’re only half here

Like someone left a frail body and took the rest…”

 

He wakes. Breaths rattling wetly in his chest as torn and ragged muscle, bone and sinew knit themselves back together. The pain is flashes of white heat and dull bass throbbing; and then suddenly, it’s gone.

He’s awake. Why is he awake?

Peter sits up abruptly. His blood rushes around in protest, making him dizzy for a few seconds before it settles. He looks around blearily, peering into the darkness around him. To his left, the stump of the Nemeton stands, a silent shadow. Overhead, the moon shines full down on the clearing, bathing the woods in shadows. The air is still; so still it’s like the world is holding its breath.

He’s supposed to be dead.

He distinctly remembers being shredded by a Berserker. His chest caved in and left for dead. He had felt the life drain out of him. He has cheated death before, but his method of resurrection had been one use only. No takebacks and no repeats. Why is he alive?

“You’re not alive,” says a voice. “Not really. You’re not dead either.”

Peter blinks the grit from his eyes and the Nemeton and the figure sitting on it come sharply into focus. For a moment all he can see is a skull superimposed over a face he vaguely recognizes. Then he blinks, the skull vanishes, and all that is left behind is Stiles’ distinctive impish features and pale, mole dotted skin.

He gets carefully to his feet, measuring the distance between himself and the teenager sitting cross legged nonchalantly on the Nemeton. Like it isn’t a huge, supernatural beacon and source of power. Like it hasn’t caused each and every one of them pain and suffering.

“How?” he begins, then stops himself. He isn’t sure how to phrase the question, or even where to begin.

“I brought you back,” Stiles tells him. “Of course, having cheated me once, you belong to me now. You used up your freebie.”

Peter takes a few measured steps forward, showing his interest, but keeping out of range. He has the distinct feeling that Stiles isn’t entirely human. He switches from his normal, human eyes to his wolf eyes. Where Stiles’ face should be is the skull. Deep, black, fathomless eyes gaze back at him knowingly.

Peter is an intelligent man, the pieces start to click together rapidly. How a human boy could run with wolves. How he could face dangers innumerable and come away with nary a scratch. How a spirit like the Nogitsune could ride his body for weeks without utterly shredding him.

Peter stares at the boy before him. He stares into the face of Death. Death gazes back… and smiles.

“I thought you hated me,” Peter begins, walking closer to the Nemeton and the ageless entity seated upon it. “I thought you wanted me dead.”

“Hate you?” Stiles repeats. “No. I don’t hate you. You are far too interesting to hate. Do you know how many boring people exist in the universe? A lot.”

“So, you do like me,” Peter’s smile is slow and sly. He stops right next to the stump, facing Stiles.

“I thought we established that? What, with you being not-dead and all.”

“Not alive, either,” Peter returns, having caught that bit.

Stiles sighs and scoots forward so that his legs dangle over the edge of the stump. He reaches out and draws Peter close between his legs. Peter takes it as permission to touch him, brushing hands along arms and neck. There’s a long moment of silence, this one gentler than the last.

“No,” Stiles finally says, leaning into the hand Peter brushes against his cheek, “not dead, not alive. Mine.”

The last world falls heavy and final into the air between them. It rings with ironclad truth. Peter belongs to Death now. He exists outside of time to stand by him until Death tires of him and sends him on his way to whatever comes after.

“I shall,” Peter says carefully, “endeavor to remain interesting.”

In fact, he’ll take it as a challenge. He likes the sound of eternity. He likes the sound of eternity with Stiles even more. If the only price to pay for eternity is to spend it keeping Death entertained, he can certainly manage that; and gladly.

Stiles smiles beatifically at Peter. He has, over the eons, encountered beings he found interesting enough to keep around a while longer. In most cases, Stiles had lost interest after a few centuries and sent them on their way. In only a few, the person had grown tired and asked to be sent on. Living that long can be exhausting, Stiles knows. He has yet to find anyone that he thought could endure eternity.

Peter though? Peter has a fighting chance.

Peter draws Stiles into a kiss, and it hits him. The icy claws of Death sink into his soul and settle there comfortably. Power unlike anything Peter has ever felt before surges through him. He knows instinctively what Stiles has just awoken within him. That he has been restored to what werewolves once were.

Ages ago, before being hunted and the need to go into hiding had diminished them, werewolves had been truly something to fear. They had run in packs, each wolf capable of switching between wolf form and human form at will. Huge and monstrous, certainly big enough to take out an elephant on their own.

Peter can feel that power sliding through his veins now. Surging just under the surface. There is a flicker of familiarity, he’s an alpha again. He draws away from Stiles, and when he opens his eyes they’re glowing ruby and Death is grinning at him.

“Now,” Stiles tells him, “before we can see what the universe has in store for us, we have a little bit of unfinished business.”

“Kate,” Peter growls around a mouthful of fangs.

Stiles nods, expression darkening, “She has cheated me once, I would rather not be disappointed again. Find her, and bring her back to me in pieces.”

Peter’s answering grin to the order is absolutely feral. He steps back from Stiles and the Nemeton, throws back his head and howls . His bones shatter with a series of gruesome splintering cracks as his body shifts. He’s gigantic (big as a small car) and black as pitch.

He turns his eyes, red as blood to Stiles, who nods, and he’s off like a shot. He knows where Kate Argent is, can sense it. She too, has cheated Death. Yet, unlike Peter, Death has not looked on her favorably for it. He will bring her before Death, screaming and in pieces to answer for her crime.

Stiles watches the wolf go, then packs his power back into his body and settles onto the Nemeton again. The world settles back into the clearing. He takes in a lungful of night air, and smiles.

This is just the beginning.

Chapter Text

Back on the Chain Gang

(steter, moving on, back on the chain gang - the pretenders )

 

“The powers that be

That forces us to live like we do

Bring me to my knees

When I see what they’ve done to you

But I’ll die as I stand here today

Knowing that deep in my heart

They’ll fall to ruin one day

For making us part…”

 

By the time Stiles finds out where Deaton and Scott have put Peter after Mexico, it’s too late. He’s stuck in the basement of a mental institution that specializes in the supernatural. A basement the hospital claims to not have, with other patients they claim don’t exist. There is no way to visit, and no way to withdraw him.

The only people with that power are Derek and Cora, who have both vanished into the jungles of some South American country. Stiles’ minor aggravation at Derek grows into a full blown case of resentment and dislike.

He runs through all of the scenarios. Plans it out in every way he can think of; every iteration. Tries to get Lydia and his father on board when he figures out that while not impossible, breaking someone out of Eichen House is not a one man job. His father gives him disappointed-face and says nothing. Lydia purses her lips and tells him she hopes Peter suffers every day for the rest of his life.

Trying to persuade any of the others to help him is useless, so he doesn’t even try.

Eventually the threat of the Dread Doctors takes precedence. Then Theo arrives and no one will listen to Stiles. Theo is bad news. Stiles knows better by now than to take anything (anyone) at face value. It’s too late though, Theo does the job properly. He sets out to divide the pack, and he does it. In spades.

Stiles kills a man, his father almost dies, and still no one will listen. It doesn’t matter that in the end Stiles turns out to have been right all along. That it was Stiles that was telling the truth. The damage is done, there is no going back.

Stiles turns eighteen, and finishes senior year on his own.

He spends the summer trying to repair the damage with his dad. It doesn’t work as well as he’d like, but by the time the end of July rolls around, they can at least look each other in the eye and hold a conversation without second guessing anything. The guilt remains. They talk less than they used too; but it’s better than nothing at all.

By mid-August, Stiles has not only run out of time, he’s also figured out that he won’t be able to get Peter of that hellhole. Instead, he turns his focus to laying the groundwork for Peter getting himself out. Which he will, because it’s Peter.

Nothing can contain him for long. Not even death.

Stiles has never looked too deeply into why he feels that Peter should be free. Maybe it’s because Peter is the product of the destruction that been brought upon him by other people. If he follows the logical paths, Stiles knows he understands why Peter is the way he is. He knows that, given the right circumstances, Stiles is exactly the same.

After all, boiled down, Peter’s sole motivation is to acquire the power he needs to prevent anything like what Kate Argent did to him from ever happening again .

It’s that simple. Self-preservation.

Stiles can respect that. Even admires it, because Stiles would do (has done) the exact same thing to ensure his own survival. To ensure the survival of those he cares about.

So he plans. Money, supplies, transportation, information. Everything and anything he can think of that Peter might need to get the hell out of Beacon Hills. He sets everything up so that Peter will have a choice: go his own way, or find Stiles in Chicago.

Stiles has kept Chicago to himself. The only other person that knows is the Sheriff, who won’t say anything. He’s too relieved his son will be getting away from all the things that keep trying to kill him. The pack’s plan to go to college together nearby, to stick close to Beacon Hills? Stiles threw that plan out months ago. He’s got a full ride to Northwestern and he’s taking it with both hands.

He won’t be looking back.

So the week before his first semester in college begins, Stiles packs up the jeep, says goodbye to his father, and drives out of town. He doesn’t stop for gas until he’s crossed the state line. He has no plans to ever return to Beacon Hills.

*

Peter Hale has spent the last decade of his life biting, kicking and clawing for survival. He has no family (Derek and Cora no longer count), no pack (the idea that he was ever a part of the McCall pack is laughable at best), and nothing to lose. He’s alone, and he’s filled to the brim with the devastating fight of a cornered animal when he’s locked in a cell with Gabriel Valack.

Valack bites off far more than he can chew when he decides that Peter will make a wonderful plaything.

It takes time, but if Peter learned nothing else from his coma he learned the value of patience. His ability to protect and defend his mind increases with every attack Valack forces upon him. With that ability comes an awareness he had not had before, a sense he had not noticed.

He is not as alone as he thought he was.

In the back of his mind, where all the burnt and frayed ends are, is one shining thread. It is the warm sense and strength of a pack bond. It is newly fledged, leading off into the far distance. Peter doesn’t know who is on the other side of the bond, but whoever it is, they consider Peter theirs. He cradles the fledgling bond close, gives it his own strength to help it grow. His resolve doubles, he wants to know who wants him.

The next time Valack comes for him, Peter is ready. He strikes back.

Breaking out of Eichen House is not an easy task. The place was built to keep things like Peter in. He manages it by the skin of his teeth. The mental fight between himself and Valack escalates until Peter can actually physically do something. He lashes out, and cuts his opponent’s throat wide open. After that, getting out of the cell is easy.

After all, who wouldn’t move the catatonic patient in order to clean up the bloody ruin of his cell mate?

He lets several of the basement’s other inhabitants out to create a sufficient distraction, and then slips out in the chaos. Getting out of the building and off the grounds is amazingly easy once his upstairs.

He finds the supplies left for him by his mysterious packmate. He marvels at how they knew where he would go first, but it doesn’t stop him from taking what’s offered. The choices offered are very clear. His packmate wants him, but not against his will. Something that feels suspiciously like joy suffuses him.

The car left behind for his use is an older model Toyota. It has faded paint, but is otherwise in good working order. It’s nondescript; perfect for a man trying to slip away quietly. He doesn’t look back, and he doesn’t slow down. As soon as he crosses the state line, he points the car east.

There is someone waiting for him in Chicago.

*

It’s a large apartment building. It’s just off campus and caters mostly to students who don’t want to live in the dorms. Most of the units come furnished, which helps to attract the newly separated/divorced. In a city the size of Chicago, Willowbrook Apartments is a good place to be anonymous.

The apartment itself is small, clean, and practical. There’s one bedroom, one tiny bathroom, and a little kitchenette. Peter lets himself in with the key that had been left in with the supplies for him. He lets the door click closed behind him as he takes in the strong scent of pack and home. The tension leaks out of him. For the first time in years, Peter feels safe.

It hadn’t taken him long to recognize Stiles’ scent all over everything. He had been pleased that his packmate was someone he liked so well. After that it had been very easy to come to associate Stiles with the bond humming contently in the back of his mind. He latches onto the knowledge, calls the boy ‘mine’ , and sends possessive feelings down the bond. He gets amusement back mostly, but nothing to indicate rejection of the idea of Peter’s.

He locks the door behind him, removes his shoes, and leaves his bag by the door. He pads around the small apartment for a few minutes, investigating all the nooks and crannies. Leaving his scent behind to make the place smell more like den. When the wolf inside him is satisfied, he goes into the bedroom.

He’s asleep almost as soon as he lays down.

It’s hours later (it feels like days) when a noise wakes him. The sound of the deadbolt sliding free has his eyes opening to a room lit mostly by the streetlights outside. The apartment door opens, then closes and locks again. There’s a pause (he must have noticed Peter’s things), and the sound of objects being put down.

The sound of footsteps.

Peter remains where he is, lying face down on the bed. He knows who it is, can feel the bond humming as it’s other owner comes closer.

The footsteps pause in the doorway. Peter is facing the wrong direction, so he can’t see the other man. He let’s his eyes close, there’s no point in staring at the slats of light being painted on the wall through the blinds. More footsteps, and then the bed dips under the weight of another body. He can’t help the quiet noise of contentment that escapes him as that weight settles along his side.

Fingers card into his head. Familiar fingers. Fingers attached to familiar hands, attached to familiar arms, attached to a familiar body, which houses a beloved soul. Peter makes that unfamiliar happy noise again.

“There you are,” Stiles’ quiet voice nearly echoes in the silence of the room. “I knew you’d find your way here.”

The bond between them sings. Peter shifts around just enough to get an arm around the younger man. He turns his head to face him, opening his eyes when he does. Stiles’ whiskey eyes gaze back at him, his expression fond. Peter smiles, “I couldn’t disappoint you.”

Stiles’ smile gets a little wider. “It’s not much,” he begins. He’s right, this tiny apartment isn’t much; but it’s safe, and it’s theirs. “But it’s a pretty good start, I think,” he concludes.

Peter makes a noise of agreement in the back of his throat. He doesn’t want to speak; he hasn’t used his voice in months for anything but screaming. Understanding lights Stiles’ eyes as Peter pulls him a little closer. He makes a amused noise, not quite laughing at Peter’s expense.

“I’ll take that as approval.”

Happiness sings down the bond from both ends, creating a feedback loop. Peter’s half is content and relaxed enough to make Stiles go boneless. They lay there together, peaceful and sleepy.

Both of them know that reality will crash in around them soon. That they’re in for the fight of their lives as they try to get their little pack of two on its feet. It will probably be easier if Peter becomes an Alpha again. If Stiles will take his head out of the sand and finally learn to control the spark that crackles power under his skin. They’ll deal with it.

Both of them are willing to kill for their freedom. Neither will let the other one go. Stiles will never be content without his wolf at his side. Peter will shred anyone and everyone that tries to separate them. They’re in this together now.

For now though, they curl around each other, content to just exist. Peter breathes Stiles in, and Stiles lets the worry, anger and fear that he’s been carrying around for months drain away.

They are going to be just fine.

Chapter Text

Better Dig Two

(steter, obsession, better dig two - the band perry )

 

“So if the ties that bind ever do come loose

Tie ‘em in a knot like a hangman’s noose

Cause I’ll go to heaven or I’ll go to hell

Before I see you with someone else…”

 

There is a dark look in his eyes. A sinister heat and a mean tilt to the smirk on his face that has people instinctively getting out of his way. He’s dangerous. A predator. The set of his shoulders, the rolling gait of his walk, the glint in his eyes; it all combines to send a thrill of fear up the spines of those between him and his quarry.

The club is dark, with strobing lights and even louder, bass heavy music. It’s the perfect hunting ground. The perfect place to choose who to devour… And he’s picked a target.

He weaves between the crush of flailing, sweaty bodies. Bends and twists with the undulating of the crowd until he reaches the place where he wants to be. He plants his feet, sets his hands on narrow hips, presses up against wide shoulders and sways in time.

Nothing can move him now.

Sly blue eyes flash in his direction, preceding a slow, alluring grin. The man in his arms initiates a slow grind, slinging an arm back around his captor’s waist and dropping his head back onto the shoulder behind him, exposing the long column of his neck.

The hunter has no inclination to resist such a temptation. He bites.

A shudder flows through his target. His back arches, pressing them closer together. This time when he gets a glimpse of those blue, blue eyes, they’re glowing at him. Parted lips reveal the tips of fangs. A thrill of want courses through him, making his heart beat faster.

He takes the matter into his hands. He brings one hand away from a hip, sliding it up and around to clutch at the other. He runs his nose along that neck, breathing in sweat and musk. Presses kisses against the exposed flesh. Watches those glowing eyes dilate.

Oh, yes.

A hand slides along his flank, catching and then sinking into the back pocket of his jeans to grope at his ass. The other man’s head turns so that he can mouth at his captor’s jaw. Is gratified by the growling the other looses, feeling it more than hearing it. The bass of the music pulses in time with the blood pumping through his veins.

There is another growl. It comes from one or the other of them, perhaps both.

Whiskey eyes shutter, gazing into blue possessively. That gaze is returned with equal fervor. The heat between them is scorching.

“Mine,” the whiskey eyes hunter mutters into the skin behind the other’s ear.

The hunted one grins, dark and wanting, happy to be caught. They sway together. “Yours,” he says into his captor’s ear. “Yours.”

On the other side of the dance floor, Malia fans herself with her cocktail napkin, eyes riveted on the two men on the dance floor. “Does anyone else need a cold shower?” she asks.

Kira nods silently, mouth hanging open a little. Liam has gone completely nonverbal and is staring.

Scott looks particularly horrified that he’s even remotely turned on by what he’s watching. That’s his best friend and the worst person he’s ever met. “I think I need brain bleach,” he says faintly.

“Are you kidding?” Lydia asks, smiling. “You’d usually have to pay good money for a quality show like this.”

Isaac has his phone raised, recording the passionate dance their watching. “I’m sending this to everyone we know,” he states, grinning.

“I didn’t know Peter could dance,” Scott says. “I thought Stiles couldn’t.”

“Live and learn,” Malia offers sagely. “Live and learn.”

Out on the dance floor, Peter sways in Stiles’ arms. Their eyes are locked. The guy Peter had been dancing with stands forgotten. Not that he minds, the show is worth it.

“I don’t know about you,” Peter says into Stiles’ ear, “but I think you need to take me home, strip me down, and have your wicked way with me.”

Stiles’ grin gets wider, wicked with intention. He licks a stripe up Peter’s neck and bites at his earlobe, “Should I?”

“Oh, yes,” Peter says, grinding back with a smirk. “You should really make me feel it too.”

Stiles sets both hands on Peter’s hips and begins to slowly guide him off the dance floor. “I think,” he says as Malia and Isaac give them a set of thumbs up, “that we aren’t going to make it all the way home before I have you.”

“Ooh,” Peter says wickedly. “Do you promise?”

“I guarantee it.”

Chapter Text

Trapeze

(Steter, stiles in a coma, trapeze - did frampton )

 

“But if I could tell you one thing

I would tell you I’m not leaving

If I could show you one thing

All my mistakes have shaped me

Into who I am

And who I am just wants to make you home…”

 

Things go from bad to worse at the drop of a hat. The walls of Kate’s berserker making temple shudder with every impact in the fight against Scott. It’s inevitable that one of said walls comes down. It’s just bad luck that it’s Stiles that is under it when it happens.

Stiles goes down and doesn’t get up, and Peter no longer cares.

He doesn’t care about Kate. Doesn’t care about hunters. Doesn’t care about being an Alpha again. He certainly doesn't care about getting Scott back to normal. None of it matters when Stiles doesn’t get up.

The screaming, the snarls, the impacts of fists, the gunshots; it all sounds foggy and far away. He’s across the room in a trice. It doesn’t take long to dig Stiles out of the rubble. Peter is gentle when he lifts him into his arms. He cradles his head in his hand and drains away as much of the pain as he can. There is a huge lump on the back of Stiles’ head and blood in his hair and he won't wake up.

His eyes are horrified and electric blue when Lydia kneels next to them. She can’t hold his gaze for very long, and instead turns to gaze worriedly at Stiles.

Peter sits vigil at Stiles’ bedside. Everyone else leaves (to return to Beacon Hills or not, he doesn’t know, or care), but not him. Stiles is in a hospital bed in Mexico, and the hospital won’t release him for transfer back to the States without his father’s signature. So Peter sits vigil, alone with the beeping of the heart monitor and a boy who is far too still.

When John Stilinski arrives, it's to the sight of his son comatose in a hospital bed with a werewolf slumped at his side. Peter’s shoulders are hunched, and he’s clasping one of Stiles’ hands between both of his. The veins in his forearms are starkly black as he tries to take away whatever pain Stiles might be feeling.

The man is a pathetic, sleep deprived sight, and John can’t help but feel grateful that his child hasn’t been alone these past few days.

He steps forward and places a hand on the other man’s shoulder. Peter doesn’t flinch, he had known the Sheriff was there. Hadn’t cared one whit one way or the other.

“Come on,” John says softly, “Let’s take him home.”

So they do. Two days and one medical flight later, they’re settling Stiles into a bed in the long-term care ward of Beacon Hills Hospital. It’s a place Peter has never wanted to set foot in again, but he does; and he stays.

John is grateful, he has to work, so he’s grateful that someone is with Stiles when he can’t be.

The cleanup after Kate and the Calaveras is messy, but quick. The pack visits a lot, at first. But as the days fade into weeks and the weeks fade into months, life moves on. Stiles is a rock in the river that the others get carried away in, silent and unmoving. Peter braces up against it and refuses to be moved.

When the insurance runs out and stops paying the medical bills, Peter steps in. When John tries to protest, Peter just looks at him with those tired, tired eyes and insists. He's got all this money and what (who) else has he got to spend it on? Derek? Derek took off with Braeden out of Mexico and no one’s heard from him since. Himself? What’s he need it for? Malia? She’s got the man she calls dad for that.

No, the money is best spent where it’s needed most.

After that, John can no longer resent Peter’s presence at his son’s bedside. He hadn’t had much motivation to in the first place.

One month turns into two, turns into four, turns into six. School ends, and with it Scott, Lydia, Kira and Malia are graduating without Stiles. The lease on Peter’s apartment runs out and John insists that he move into the guest room at the house. He’s family now, he should be where family is.

Eight months. Ten. Peter reads to Stiles. Fiction, fantasy, mysteries. History and biographies, humor and poetry. There are pictures on the table, and the vase on the table is always filled with flowers. The drab teal hospital blanket has been replaced by a colorful quilt he saw in a sewing store window. Peter keeps clothes in the wardrobe and knows all of the nurses by name.

Stiles remains asleep.

Fall comes. Lydia, who is the only one who still visits, brings a pumpkin when she comes to say goodbye. She’s on her way to Boston and MIT. She makes Peter promise to call once a week. Makes John promise to replace the flowers she brings once a week.

A year. A year and a half.

Peter’s hair is longer now. It’s curls around the nape of his neck and ears like it used to when he was the one on the bed. He asks after the nurses’ families. They bring him meals and floral scented hugs. John eats dinner with him nearly every day and tells Stiles all about his day.

Peter reads him War and Peace and Anna Karenina. Shel Silverstein and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Books stack up along the wall and across the window sill in piles.

He learns how to give Stiles a proper shave the old school way. With a straight razor like you can still get in an old school barber shop. It becomes part of their routine, just like the exercises the physical therapist taught him to perform so that Stiles’ muscles don't atrophy.

Lydia returns for the summer. She brings book on art and architecture and a vase full of sunflowers. Jackson visits alongside her once, uncomfortable and sad all at once. He doesn’t come back, but Lydia does. She encourages Peter when he tells her he’s taken up writing. She goes out and buys him a top of the line laptop so that he can write at Stiles’ beside without cramping up his hands. Buys the best dictation software money can buy so that it’s more like he’s telling his stories to Stiles.

She brings another pumpkin when she comes to say goodbye and return to MIT.

Two years and Peter’s first novel is at the top of the bestseller lists. It’s a story about a man sitting vigil at the bedside of the person he loves. Most of the tale is disguised by fiction, but it makes the people who know him cry. Especially since the character on the coma stays that way until the very end.

There are talks about a movie. Peter knows that Stiles would love that, so he negotiates the contracts just like he does everything else these days: sitting at Stiles’ side.

The director that Paramount wants to have direct the film flies out to meet with him without knowing much aside from having enjoyed the book when she read it. She agrees to direct it the moment she steps into the hospital room and realises that the “S” the book is dedicated to is the one Peter is sitting vigil next to. She walks away from the meeting with the image of Peter holding Stiles’ hand seared into her brain.

She throws a fit when the studio tries to turn the character of Mark (who she now knows is Stiles) into Mary. She sends the writers upstate to visit Peter and Stiles as an explanation of just why she’s so against changing something so fundamental to the story. Peter stares at them flatly and then puts his mark all over the script by re-writing it.

The studio doesn’t ask again.

Three years. It takes several months and the combined efforts of Lydia, John and the director of the movie to convince Peter to leave for a couple of days to attend the LA premiere of his own film. He wears a tailored suit for the first time in years and feels out of place. The world has spun on without him and somehow seems to have sped up. It leaves him reeling and wishing he was back in Stiles’ room.

The film is a hit. Rumors of golden Globes and Academy Awards and other awards start flying around, but Peter doesn’t care. By that time he’s already back in Beacon Hills and back with Stiles.

He starts his second book.

Four years. Four years, two Oscars and Four Golden Globes later, Peter is ready to wait for the rest of his life. Yet, he doesn’t have to. It’s true what they say about people in comas. They can hear you. Are aware of you to a certain degree.

When Stiles wakes it’s a beautiful spring day. The breeze through the open window is fluttering the curtain. The room is silent. Peter is asleep, curled up next to him on the bed. Stiles’ hand twitches, his eyes flutter open, and he breathes in deeply.

Peter’s face is gentle in sleep. Stiles watches him for what feels like an eternity, but is really only minutes. He knows this man deep down in his bones. Far better than he ever did before.  Somehow he knows that Peter has been here ever single day. That they’ve read every single book stacked up around the room. And - are those Golden Globes lined up on the windowsill? They match the Oscars set carelessly on top of a stack of books nearby.

Stiles huffs, amused. Only Peter could win a bunch of prestigious awards from a hospital room.

Stiles brings his gaze back to the wolf asleep next to him. He knows that Peter is safe. He’s home and he’s his. It’s a very interesting, yet comforting feeling to wake up to. It takes him a little while to remind his arm that he knows how to use it. When he does, he runs his fingers through the soft strands of Peter’s slightly too long hair.

Peter stirs, snuffles closer into Stiles’ side. His grip around Stiles’ middle tightens. It takes a moment, but then Peter’s eyes pop open and he’s sitting up and meeting Stiles’ eyes and the little smile on his face.

“Hey there, wolf,” Stiles manages to force out through vocal chords no longer used to speaking.

Peter makes a noise in his throat, half desperate and half overjoyed pain. “Stiles,” he tips himself gently forward, wrapping his arms around the younger man, “Stiles.”

Stiles can’t help smiling and weaving his hand into Peter’s hair again. They stay that way for a long time, embracing each other and ignoring the world. Until Stiles can’t take it anymore, feeling the urge to move and asking for water. Peter fumbles for the pitcher and cup on the table.

Stiles manages to drink half a cup before he asks: “How long?”

“Four years, twenty-two days, nine hours,” Peter recites. He’s kept track.

“Who else?”

Who else stuck with him? Who else still cares? He doesn’t have to really ask the questions for Peter to know what he wants to hear.

“Lydia. Me. Your father.”

Of course Dad. Always Dad. Lydia is a surprise, but not an unwelcome one. Stiles smiles faintly at the thought that she stuck it out. Stiles reaches out for Peter, and the werewolf immediately sits on the bed next to him. Stiles tugs him in until he can situate himself in the other man’s arms and immediately starts to fall asleep.

Peter makes another noise in his throat, “I- I should let the nurse know.”

“Call button,” Stiles murmurs, unwilling to let go.

“Your dad.”

“Call him. My wolf is staying where he is.”

Stiles is out like a light after that. Being awake is exhausting. He doesn’t see the joy that suffuses Peter’s face at being called Stiles’ wolf. He marvels at the man in his arms for a second, then hits the call button on the remote attached to the bed to call in the nurse on duty. Then he stretches out his arm to snag his phone off the table. He sends the same text to both John and Lydia.

He’s awake.

There’s no room inside him for anything but happiness right now. He positively beams at Amanda when the nurse comes into the room to see what he needs.

“He woke up,” he tells her, joyous. “He woke up.”

Chapter Text

Till It’s Gone

(steter, hurricane, til it’s gone - yelawolf )

 

“I’m not the trash can. Not the last man at the finish line, now

I’m not the new kid on the block that you can just follow and push around

I’m not the fucking needle in the haystack that you finally found

This ain’t no free rent, come and pitch a tent

You ain’t tying me down…”

 

Stiles is quick. Quick like a streak of silver light. He leaves spots dancing behind the eyelids just like it too. A snap-boom that shakes the soul, but is forgotten moments later. Forgotten. Until it’s not. Until it strikes you and everything is burning. Burning.

Peter is roiling. Roiling like a hurricane. Swift and terrible and destructive. Funnel clouds that touch the ground and utterly destroy whatever they touch. Howling winds and tearing claws of rain. Deceptively calm in the center, but ever roiling on. Always raging. Always.

If Stiles is silver light, and Peter is a hurricane, then Stiles is the lighting that dances through him. He is the crack-boom of thunder that never touches ground. The flash and coil of pure energy. Peter is the thing that hides him. Hides the light in roiling clouds of rage and rain. Shelters it until it strikes.

Separately, they are wrath and rage. Together, they are destruction. Pure and absolute.

The thing is. The thing is, that no one sees it.The thing is that no one sees that Stiles is silver light. They think that he is a taser. Quick and painful, but contained and more often than not sitting harmless until provoked. No one sees that Peter is a hurricane. They see a fall rainstorm, wet and cold, but gone the next day.

The thing is that Stiles is not a tool to be used. The thing is that Peter does not denote the possible need for an umbrella.

The thing is that no one sees it.

Until it is far too late.

*

Gerard Argent should have had the wisdom to stay dead. Or maybe, Chris Argent should have had the wherewithal to kill his father. Or certainly, Scott should have finished what he’d started .

Either, or. If, and, but. It doesn’t matter anymore. Gerard’s alive, and that’s that.

He’s going to wish he wasn’t.

It’s weeks of cat and mouse. Hunter and wolf. Gerard and his cabal of hunters moving calculated circles around the pack. Weeks of close calls and threatening injuries. Weeks of Good, True Alpha balking at what they all know he’s got to do. Gerard isn’t going to stop until someone stops him (kills him)... And it’s Scott’s responsibility.

But Scott is Good, and he doesn’t want blood on his hands.

The thing is that Scott’s poor decision making, his reluctance to act. His black and white, my way or the highway view. His ‘everyone deserves a second chance’ policy. They all have casualties. His desperate need to be normal has gotten people hurt, gotten them killed. He just doesn’t see it because he’s not the one that did the hurting.

There are so many casualties. Friends, family, civilians. So many names.

So many ways things could have gone differently. All of them indirect, but still there. It’s not that Scott could have saved them all, but there had been chances to save some of them. He’s so desperate to be normal, he can’t see the target over his own head, much less those painted on the people around him. Can’t see how many people have been cut down by the villains just to get to him.

Stiles sees it. Sees the wake of destruction and bodies. Stiles won’t become one of them. Not him. Not ever. Not his father. Not Peter. Stiles protects what is his, and in return they protect him back. Peter only has Stiles, only cares about one thing. He also doesn’t care what he’s got to rip apart to protect it.

It makes them dangerous. Makes them burn.

Stiles has buried corpses six feet down with no remorse and not a single thought. He flashes and ignites and burns. Human or not, he doesn’t care. His father, his mate, his own self. So long as they are safe, what should he care?

And Peter? Peter stands at Stiles’ side. He guides the strike. Rains down terror and destruction with a single-minded need for blood. Insatiable, raging and hungry. Stiles is his . Nothing can stop him.

*

The thing about being dead is that being dead means you don’t have to witness what happens after.

*

They plan it out. They use Scott as bait, because Scott is who Gerard is after. Set it up to happen late at night. Or early in the morning, depending on opinion. The hunters think they are ambushing the pack, but really, they’re the ones walking into a trap. They just don’t know it, until it’s too late.

And it’s always too late.

Before any of them can figure out what’s really going on, it’s already over. Or, they think it is. There are bodies everywhere. Blood and gore and bits of bone. Gerard is a charred husk, still smoking for having been struck by Stiles. Stiles stands, back straight, expression defiant. Peter is a solid presence at his back, eyes gleaming and face bloody.

“What have you done?” The demand is loud, demanding, horrified.

“What you wouldn’t,” Stiles snaps back into the face of Scott’s righteousness.

And just like that, they eye of the storm has passed, and they are plunged into the torrent once again. Scott is Good, but ineffective. He is unable to contain the storm. Doesn’t know how. Some of the others are smart enough to know they shouldn’t try. Stiles and Peter don’t care either way.

Stiles feels no need to explain himself. He owes Scott nothing. He turns to leave, and when Scott moves to stop him, Peters roils up out of containment and puts him down. Hard. Broken bones and gashes. All the air pressed out of his lungs.

Peter has never not been dangerous.They should have remembered that.

“What happened to us?” Scott manages to call toward the retreating back of the person that was his best friend.

Stiles pauses, looks back. “You’re a good man, Scott,” he tells him, “and I’m not.”

Scott watches him walk away, blood soaked and guiltless. There’s a wolf at his side with gnashing, bloody teeth.

He thinks that maybe Stiles is right.

He won’t change, he’s a Good Man. Stiles won’t change either, because he’s not.

Chapter Text

Let It Be

(steter, hostage, let it be - labrinth )

 

“Baby this is Russian roulette

And it ain’t my gun

Hallelujah I ain’t dead yet

And I’m still going strong (oh oh oh)

I don’t know about tomorrow

But the bottle ain’t done…”

 

He’s being held at gunpoint by a guy with crazy eyes. He knows from crazy eyes, he runs with wolves , he knows from crazy. Don’t get him wrong, he’s feeling a proper amount of mind-numbing terror, but he’s been held at gunpoint by people with psychotic eyes, and cold, impersonal murder eyes. He’ll take crazy eyes any day.

Crazy eyes means dude-with-gun will make a mistake.

And Stiles is not above exploiting any and every mistake he can ferret out.

For survival.

He holds his hands up, palms facing out so that everyone present can see that he’s got nothing in them. It’s not indicative of him being unarmed though; not even remotely. The guy with the gun doesn’t need to know that though. Doesn’t need to know that he’s got spells he can activate inked into the skin of his arms.

Doesn’t need to know that Stiles is about as harmless as a sabertoothed tiger.

Stiles smiles pleasantly, both eyebrows going up. The expression is completely guileless, and to the untrained observer: innocent. Stiles is not innocent, he never has been. He’s been getting into things he shouldn’t since he could crawl. He’s always got plans and machinations. Plans within plans.

Chess is his game and he’s twelve moves ahead.

A slight tilt of his head, a spark of his magic and now he’s thirteen ahead.

Stiles looks straight into those crazy eyes and says, “I don’t know about you, but I think leaving here alive is a priority for the rest of us.”

“Shut up!”

And now the gun is pointed directly at him.

Good.

A twitch of his hand and heat sparks across one of his tattoos as the runes activate. The sound outside the convenience store dulls, even as several cop cars careen into the parking lot, lights flashing and sirens wailing. It doesn’t block the sound completely, it’s not supposed to. It’s an aid to stealth, not a motivator to start shooting.

“Yeah, okay,” Stiles says as the gun swings toward the windows as Crazy Eyes loses a little bit more of his shit at the sight of the cops.

“Who called the cops?!” Crazy Eyes demands, waving the gun. Aside from Stiles and the cashier there are three other hostages. A tall man in a biker vest and a woman with her middle school aged son. The woman clutches at her son when the gun swings toward them with the gun. “Gimme your phones! All of ‘em!”

Stiles retrieves his phone, making sure to lock it before he drops it on the counter with the others. No one needs to know that Stiles texted his Dad a mayday the second the gun came out and he realized that Crazy Eyes wasn’t just here for the money.

Stiles doesn’t really care what this dude wants (or what he might be tripping on), he just wanted reeses. Well, reeses and gas. He’s been up for two days binge researching the latest in a long succession of monsters. He hasn’t got the patience to just be a good little hostage.

And to be perfectly honest, he never had any fucks to give in the first place.

The phone behind the register chooses that moment to ring. Crazy Eyes backs up just enough to reach it over the counter. It’s an older, corded phone. This works in favor of helping to impede his movement. Stiles is all for that. He doesn’t pay attention to the conversation going on between the Sheriff and the gunman. He uses the distraction for what it’s worth.

(Never tell his father that Stiles contacted the cops to use them as a distraction.)

He takes a couple of steps back so that he’s right up against the canned goods. He uses the edge of the shelf to ruck up the sleeve of his plaid shirt. He sidles over to the corner of the shelves. A quick glance and… jackpot! It takes some fancy contortion and balance, but he manages to scrape his arm down the sharp corner of the shelf at chest height without lowering his hands.

He kind of wishes he’d gone ahead and gotten the runes he needed for this particular spell tattooed; but he’s got this thing about his tattoos being pleasing to the eye as well as functional. Peter calls it aesthetic with a smarmy grin. It usually makes Stiles want to hit him.

He sidles around the homeless looking guy long enough to dip a finger into the blood running down his arm. It takes two seconds after that to use it to swipe three runes on the back of his other hand.

The gunman didn’t even notice.

By the time the gunman is done screaming demands into the phone, Stiles is within arm’s reach. It’s so easy after that. The protective spells etched into his arms spark and flare as they go to work protecting the people around him. The drying blood gleams wetly as Stiles knocks the gun away from his face and locks that hand around the gunman’s neck.

50,000 volts of electricity surge up Stiles’ arm, through the runes on his hand and into the asshole with the crazy eyes. His back arches, and his knees give. Stiles follows him to the ground and makes sure he’s thoroughly unconscious before he lets go.

The cops crash into the little store right as he goes down.

“Really?” Sheriff Stilinski demands, lowering his weapon. Parrish and the other two deputies exchange looks.

Stiles grins at his dad, “I don’t have time for this right now.”

“How many volts, Stiles?”

“50,000.”

They both know that the department issued tasers the deputies carry deliver exactly that amount of voltage. The official report will probably say that one of them tased the guy. The medical information will corroborate it.

The Sheriff sighs and rubs a hand down his face, “Fine. Fine.”

Stiles grins.

Chapter Text

Bones

(steter, monsters, bones - ms mr )

 

“Dig up her bones but leave the soul alone

Lost in the pages of self made cages

Life slips away and the ghosts come to play

These are hard time

These are hard times for dreamers

And love lost believers…”

 

There are monsters; and then there are monsters .

A monster, if you tame it, becomes something else entirely. It becomes something you recognize. Something you care for. It is still capable of monstrous acts, but in the end it is no longer a monster.

A monster , on the other hand, will always be a monster . You can dress it up in all the trappings of domestication. You can give it a name, and a place to call home; but it will still try to eat you. No matter the disguise, a monster is still a monster .

Peter is a monster . Peter is the worst kind. He was made monstrous, not born. Everyone knows that a monster that is made is far more dangerous than the natural kind. Made means having known love, having known peace, and having it all taken away. Made means being put through such pain that one is twisted beyond recognition. Made means knowing what you’ve lost and doing anything and everything you can to prevent it ever happening again.

Stiles knows what he is. Has looked him straight in the teeth and smiled. Stiles has stood next to him, covered in blood he’s shed, and held out a hand for him to take. Stiles does not try to tame him.

Stiles knows the true value of a monster.

Peter is teeth, and claws, and blood. He stands, feet apart and knees bent, ready to spring into action. There is an eviscerated chimera at his feet and a rumbling growl in his chest. His eyes have pinned Theo in place on the ground. Theo, who has caused Stiles such pain.

Stiles, who holds Peter’s leash; not because he can, but because Peter chooses to let him.

Stiles, who broke him out of Eichen House, burning it to the ground in his effort. Stiles, who has been forced to kill, and as a result has been forced away from his friends. He’s lost his father… and his reason to stop.

“Stiles, what have you done?” Lydia asks into the horrified silence.

Stiles’ gaze flickers from the corpse at his feet to the Banshee he once upon a time fancied himself in love with. His face is flecked with blood. The smile he sends in her direction is tight and stomach curling.

“What I had to,” he tells her.

“This isn’t who we are, Stiles,” Scott tells him. “We don’t do this.”

“Don’t we?” Stiles turns, and Peter shifts to remain between Stiles and everyone else. “Isn’t getting people killed what we’re best at, Scotty?”

He doesn’t sound like he needs an answer, doesn’t care either way. Scott tries anyway, “Is this about Donovan?”

Stiles’ eyes are sharp, focused like laser beams, and cutting like glass. “No,” he states, “it’s about my father.”

“Stiles, your dad -”

Stiles cuts him off, “Is dead because you wouldn’t listen to me. Because you wouldn’t believe me.”

Scott flinches, and Stiles can’t stop the flash of vindictive pleasure that goes through him at the sight. He wants them to hurt. To feel a fraction of his pain. For Scott to finally learn the difference between right and good. He’s done playing by rules that no else seems to be playing by.

“This isn’t the way,” Scott reiterates. His face and voice are earnest.

Stiles doesn’t care.

Theo begins to crawl away from Stiles and the wolf (monster ) toward Scott. Toward perceived safety. He doesn’t get far. Peter moves forward so quickly that Malia (who is closest) yelps and flinches away. Peter seizes Theo around the throat and hauls him to his feet.

“Stiles!” Scott pleads sharply. There is warning in his voice now.

They all know there’s no use in trying to talk Peter down. Peter’s been burned too many times (literally and figuratively) to care. He’d sooner rip Scott’s throat out than listen to him. His only loyalty is to Stiles, and that is mostly because he owes him a debt.

For now.

For now all Peter can feel is an all-consuming rage. When it finally calms, his intellect will catch up with his instincts and he’ll know. He’ll know. He is Stiles’ as much as Stiles is his.

Man and monster. Monster and man.

It’s starting to get hard to tell which one is which.

“Don’t,” Stiles tells the pack, “It’s too late.”

Lydia makes a strangled sound in the back of her throat, and Theo is abruptly parted from his throat. Peter is sprayed with blood. There is silence after that. It is strained, and Stiles can feel the the hard thump, thump, thump of his heartbeat against his ribs.

It’s been too late for a long time.

Peter circles around to stand next to Stiles. He never turns his back to the pack. Stiles reaches down and tangles his fingers through bloodied claws.

“Do me a favor, Scotty?” Stiles asks, “Don’t follow us.”

And then he lets Peter pull him into the darkness.

Chapter Text

The Big Bang

(steter, pretend to be dating part 1, the big bang - rock mafia )

 

“The big, big bang, the reason I’m alive,

When all the stars collide

In this universe inside.

The big, big bang…”

 

Stiles knows he’s staring, but he can’t help himself. He feels like he’s got a red neon sign flashing above his head that someone put there declaring: Newly Single, Hit On Me! It was probably Scott, if the wildly amused grin on his best friend’s face is any indication. Stiles mouths ‘Shut up!’ at Scott, which only makes him grin wider and raise his beer in salute.

Stiles hates him.

He hates himself even more for letting himself be dragged out to a bar tonight.

“So,” a voice says in his ear, making Stiles flinch.

Leering guy took the opportunity to inch closer to Stiles while Stiles was glaring at Scott. Stiles presses his back and side into the bar top, defensively trying to put distance between himself and the guy unable to understand the word no. Stiles doesn’t even remember if he introduced himself before invading Stiles’ personal space like this.

He wishes Lydia was here, she’d decimate this guy for this kind of behavior.

“Look,” Stiles says, then clears his throat, “It’s not that I’m not flattered, ‘cause I am, it’s just that I’m very much not single.”

Guy Whose Name Stiles Forgot raises his eyebrows. He doesn’t believe him.

“No, really,” Stiles insists. He used to be really good at lying. What happened to being really good at lying? “I’m in a relationship.”

“I don’t believe you,” Guy says, reaching out to try and run a hand down Stiles’ bicep. Thankfully there’s still enough space between them for Stiles to dodge it, even if he does owe the guy behind him a beer for elbowing him in the back. “A pretty thing like you? Anyone in a relationship with you wouldn’t let you go out on a Friday night all by yourself.”

“I am not by myself!” Stiles exclaims indignantly.

The situation gets even more awkward when the dude he just elbowed turns around to confront him him for it. Stiles throws an apologetic look over his shoulder, and blinks. Then he swallows.

Eyes. Blue, blue eyes.

An arm sweeps past Stiles, corded thick with muscle, and coils around his neck possessively, the hand clamping down on the opposite shoulder. Blue Eyes presses along the line of Stiles’ back before Stiles has enough time to process what’s going on, and those laser eyes focus on Guy and a smirk slides across those lips slyly.

“Is there a problem here?” he asks, and Stiles can feel the vibration of his voice in his chest.

Stiles whimpers to himself. Blue Eyes’ grip tightens and releases at the sound. Stiles is close enough to him now to not only see the faint stubble on his jaw and the crinkles around his eyes, but he can smell him. He smells fantastic. It’s something woody, like dandelion root.

Stiles may have forgotten how to lie tonight, but he’s still lightning fast on his feet. Quick as a flash, he’s got his free hand up and holding onto the forearm wrapped around him, and he leans his weight back into that body. Holy muscles, batman.

“This guy seems to think I’m pathetic enough to lie about not being alone tonight,” Stiles tips his head back to tell Blue Eyes. They’re about the same height, so his lips brush against the skin by his ear when he talks.

There’s a clink as a bottle gets set down on the bar top and a second hand that doesn’t belong to Stiles rests on his hip. This one is chilled from the bottle it was holding, and the thumb wiggles its way under Stiles’ shirt to run back and forth across the patch of skin it finds.

Well, if he was alone before, Stiles decides, he’s certainly not now. He doesn’t even try to hide the shiver the touch causes.

“Oh really?” Blue Eyes says, and he focuses back on Guy after Stiles moves his face back toward him. “Well, I promise, he’s not alone.”

Guy Whose Name Stiles Forgot is gaping at them. He looks like he just got smacked with a fish. His eyes flicker between Stiles, whose posture had read as standoffish until just moments ago, to the man pressed up against him, who looks every inch possessive, and even more like a predator.

“Right,” Guy says faintly, and then takes himself into the crush of bodies in the bar.

Stiles tries to turn, but it takes a little bit of effort, because his blue eyed rescuer apparently doesn’t want to let go if the way his grip tightening is any indication. As soon as he realizes that Stiles is trying to turn around, not get away, he loosens his grip though. The arm that was draped around Stiles’ chest  drifts down around his waist, and Stiles lets it, letting his own hand drift to that bicep.

“Hi,” Stiles says.

The smirk on the other man’s face becomes more of a genuine smile at that, “Hello.”

“Thanks for the rescue.”

“You’re welcome.”

“I’m Stiles,” Stiles introduces. He sets his beer down and lets the now free hand clutch at the soft fabric of the other man’s shirt.

“Peter,” he says, and uses his grip on the small of Stiles’ back to pull him back up against him.

Stiles squeaks in surprise and flings an arm around Peter’s neck. “Holy shit, you smell good,” he blurts.

Peter laughs, and in the din of sound, Stiles more feels it than hears it, but he likes the way it lights up Peter’s face. Peter’s other hand comes up to cradle the side of Stiles’ neck and he looks him right in the eye when he asks: “Yes? Or no?”

“Yes!” Stiles says instantly, “Hell Yes!"

Peter’s smile gets a little wider, and then they’re kissing. It’s a hard press of lips at first, and then it transforms. It becomes heat and passion and shared breath. Somebody wolf whistles and they pull apart with a laugh. Stiles is pressed up against the older man from neck to knee, and it doesn’t feel close enough.

“Is this a one night thing?” Stiles asks. “I just need to know if I’m allowed to have expectations. ‘Cause you’re the kind of guy I could really have expectations about.”

Peter bites at the side of Stiles neck, then laves it with his tongue and says in his ear: “Have all the expectations you want, pretty.”

Stiles wants to moan loudly, but manages to bite it back to a whimper. This is probably a bad idea. A bad, bad idea. Stiles just got out of a relationship. He barely just met this guy. He knows nothing about him except his first name and the color of his eyes. A thigh that isn’t his own, thick with muscle, wedges itself between Stiles’, and yep, decision made.

“I’m gonna have your babies, and then we’re gonna grow old together,” Stiles blurts.

Peter is caught off guard for a second, laughing in surprise. “I appreciate the sentiment.”

“You’d better,” Stiles grumbles, ignoring his blush and blaming it on the heat of the bar. “You think I’d ruin my girlish figure for just anyone?”

If anything that makes Peter laugh harder. Stiles bites him on the neck, getting a grumbly growl in reply and a breathless: “You’re going to ruin me.”

Stiles grins, “That is going to be mutual, I think.”

“Let’s get out of here,” Peter says, and starts to push toward the exit.

Stiles has just enough time to turn and wave in his flaily excited way at Scott so that Scott knows he’s going and he’s okay, and then he’s being pulled out into the cool night air and onto a harley.

*

Peter tries to ignore the ringing sound. A single glance at the clock says it’s too early for anything. Especially with the late night he had. The ringing stops, then starts again. The beautiful creature in his arms whines, and he growls and pulls him closer.

“Make it stop,” Stiles mutters, rolling over and burying his head in Peter’s chest.

Peter feels fondness well up inside him. Last night’s prediction was right, Stiles has ruined him. If it had just been sex, he’d be fine. But it hadn’t been just sex. They’d talked about things between bouts. And not just mundane things, but the important things. Like how Stiles’ mother died, and how Peter sort of hates his older sister only not really. How Stiles prefers cinnamon toothpaste, but Peter likes the blue mint kind.

They’d laughed their way through that last round, exhausted and punch drunk, but happy like they’d been lovers for years.

The phone rings again, and Stiles pulls the pillow over his head. Peter groans and rolls onto his back, reaching over to grab at the offending object. He glares at it blurrily for a second before he recognizes Talia’s too perfect smile looking back at him. He hits the accept button and puts it on speaker, dropping it onto his chest when Stiles shifts down to use his stomach as a pillow.

“What?!” he demands.

“Good morning to you, too!” Talia chirps over the line.

Peter growls audibly at her, making her laugh and Stiles pinch his thigh. “It’s seven in the morning, Talia. On Saturday.”

“It’s the nineteenth, Petey.”

Peter hates it when she calls him that. Stiles knows that too, now. “So what?”

“Of June.”

Peter wants to growl again, but instead he rolls over, making the phone slide off his chest onto the mattress with a flump and scoots down under the blanket until Stiles is forced to allow him to reverse their positions with a laugh.

“Peter?” Talia’s tinny voice demands. “Please tell me you didn’t pick up another skank.”

“I feel like I should feel insulted by that,” Stiles remarks, awake now that there’s been talking. He fishes around in the bedcovers for the phone, making Peter clutch at him. Once he’s retrieved it, he holds it with one hand and cards his hand through Peter’s hair with the other. “But I’m kind of not.”

“Who are you?” Talia asks suspiciously. “And what happened to my brother?”

“He’s hiding,” Stiles tells her brightly, ignoring the first question. It’s Peter’s turn to pinch him. Stiles thumps his head gently in response as his eyes flicker around the room for some kind of clue as to what’s going on. There’s a very nice suit hung on the closet door and what looks like a wedding announcement on the beside table. Stiles stretches over to reach it, a quick scan reveals the information Stiles needs.

“The wedding doesn’t even start until four this afternoon,” Stiles continues, still not introducing himself. “What could you possibly need from Peter right now?”

Talia is silent in shock for a minute. Probably thinking about how Peter must be in a relationship with this stranger, and for a while if he knows about the wedding. And also about why Peter didn’t tell her, if the way her next sentence comes out is any indication. It’s a vaguely strangled: “You’re his plus one.”

“Guilty,” Stiles tells her. “So, what’s up? I shall relay all messages to the relevant party.”

Stiles feels several kisses being pressed against his side. Gratitude for playing interference for the man hiding under the covers. Peter really does sort of hate his sister, but it’s more like a years long festering resentment than true hate.

“Michael’s car broke down, so I need Peter to pick up the rings on his way here.”

Stiles doesn’t think he likes the way Talia just tells him what Peter’s going to do. Like he’s not a grown man that has his own life and things to do other than whatever his older sister wants.

“Rings? Aren’t there a million people there? Can’t one of them do it?”

“It’s on Peter’s way,” Talia snaps.

Under the covers, Peter growls and starts to emerge, but Stiles is made almost entirely of sarcasm, so he says, “Yeah, well, Peter’s got plans this morning, so send somebody else.”

“Excuse me?”

“You heard me,” Stiles says as Peter emerges from the blankets and crawls up Stiles’ front, intent on his face. “We have plans this morning.”

Peter growls again, this time possessively and surges up to kiss him. Stiles yelps and drops the phone in surprise, kissing back with enthusiasm. Several breathless kisses later, Peter pulls away enough to say: “You’ve ruined me. I think I love you.”

Stiles’ responding smile is sunny as he pulls Peter’s face back down to his own, “I think we’re both ruined in that case, because the feeling’s mutual.”

*

Across town, Talia Hale hangs up her phone in shock. Peter doesn’t love people. She’s never once heard those words come out of his mouth. How long has he been seeing this other man in order to be saying those words to him? And why didn’t Peter tell her?

“Mom?” Talia smiles at Cora, who looks at her worriedly from the doorway and asks, “Everything okay?”

“I don’t know, honey,” Talia tells her youngest daughter. “I don’t know.”

Chapter Text

Settle Down

(steter, pretend dating 2, settle down - kimbra )

 

“I wanna settle down

I wanna settle down

Baby there’s no need to run

I’ll love you so well…”

 

Talia Hale likes to think that she knows her brother fairly well. She does, doesn’t she? As she helps Laura slide jeweled pins into her hair, she starts to wonder how well she really knows Peter. Peter, who is snark and sarcasm and a certain amount of vindictive glee wrapped up in a designer suit. Peter who wears those suits and his law degree like armor.

Peter, who has never once that Talia can remember, ever told his older sister that he loves her.

“Okay, Mom,” Laura says, exchanging a look with Cora, who is wielding a mascara wand and an intense look in her eyes. “What’s going on? Your face looks weird.”

Talia blinks, and smiles at her two beautiful daughters, “I’m fine.”

Cora snorts, “Yeah, right. Pull the other one. C’mon, spill it.”

“Did you know your uncle was seeing someone?” Talia asks.

Cora and Laura exchange another look, this one of surprise. “Uncle Peter seeing someone?” Laura asks, disbelief in her voice. “As in, dating? Like a relationship?”

Talia nods silently.

Cora makes a noise in the back of her throat, “I wonder what’s wrong with him.”

“Cora Marie!”

“What?” Cora gives her mother a disbelieving look, like she can’t believe what she said warranted being middle named for. “It’s true. Uncle Peter’s not the kind of person you date. He’s the kind of person you cross the street to avoid if you know what’s good for you.”

“He’s not that bad,” Talia says, defending her brother.

“Okay,” Cora capitulates with a nod. “He’s not that bad, but he’s definitely the guy you don’t sleep with twice.”

“What’s this all about, anyway?” Laura interjects, trying to cut off the fight she can see brewing. The last thing she wants on her wedding day is her sister and mother fighting over anything. Especially if that something is Uncle Peter.

“I called him to ask him to pick up the rings, since your father isn’t feeling well-” she misses the look the sisters exchange. Talia hadn’t asked Peter to do anything, she’d demanded , just like she always does. “- and he had someone with him. A man that told me that Peter couldn’t because they had plans this morning.”

“Wait,” Cora raises the mascara wand again, and Laura dodges it to prevent getting a huge black streak across her face. “You’re telling me Uncle Peter’s got a boyfriend, and that said boyfriend told you where to stick it?” She looks delighted.

Talia gives Cora a very mom look, but the young woman is entirely unfazed, having been exposed to that expression from a very early age. “Yes.”

“That’s not your problem,” Laura observes, then stills as Cora gets back to applying her makeup. “There’s something else.”

“Your uncle told him that he loves him.”

Everything in the room seems to freeze as shock settles over the two young women who stare at each other in disbelief.

“What?” Cora croaks.

Before Talia can respond, the door opens and Derek walks into the room. He’s half dressed in his tuxedo. He’s not wearing the gray silk tie or suit coat, and his sleeves are rolled up. He didn’t shave, but almost nothing in the world could get the man to shave, so Laura had only given a token argument at the beginning. Best Man or not, brother of the bride or not, Derek had just given her his dead-eyed, deadpan stare in reply.

“You wanted to see me?” he asks, and quirks an eyebrow at the surprise on his sister’s faces.

“Uncle Peter said I love you!” Cora blurts.

“What? To you?” Derek asks, bewildered.

Talia clears her throat as a resounding ‘No!’ comes from Cora. “Derek, honey, I need you to go into town and pick up the rings.”

“I thought you were going to have Peter do it?”

“He had plans this morning.”

At the tone in his mother’s voice, both of Derek’s eyebrows go up, and he looks at both his sisters individually for an answer. Both of them shake their heads, he doesn’t want to know. “Yeah,” he drawls, and backs out of the room. “Okay.”

*

“That’s it,” Stiles declares, setting down his fork. “We’re getting married.”

This startles a laugh out of Peter, who is lounging back into his chair and watching Stiles finish his lunch. “We are, are we?”

“Yep,” Stiles replies with a nod. He grins at the man across from him. “You’ve already ruined me for other lovers. You feed me, you help me pick out suits that don’t itch. I’m putting a ring on it before you can get away.”

Peter is delighted. Hell, he’s been delighted all morning. Stiles makes Peter feel delighted. He’s definitely in love. He wonders if the expression on his face is half as love sick as he’s feeling, but then decides he doesn’t care.

Stiles is everything Peter didn’t know he’d wanted. He’s funny, intelligent and he gives as good as he gets. He can keep up with Peter, and it’s a novel thing.

“Ask me again after you’ve met my family?”

“What, are they werewolves or something?”

Peter laughs, “No, but they might as well be.”

Peter is a wolf, Stiles knows. Peter is a growly, territorial wolf who has had his sights locked on Stiles since last night when he’d been elbowed in the back by a flailing, panicked police detective. Peter is a wolf, and a little voice in the back of Stiles’ brain tells him very smugly at wolves are monogamous.

The voice sounds suspiciously like Lydia.

Peter’s smile gentles when Stiles blows out a breath after wiping his mouth with his napkin.

“We’ve ruined each other, haven’t we?” he asks. They’d already sort of discussed this earlier in the morning, but both of them are caught in the whirlwind.

“We have,” Peter replies with a nod. Then he stands, fishing out his wallet and leaving a couple of bills on the table. He holds out his hand for Stiles, and Stiles doesn’t even pause before he takes it and lets the older man help him out of his seat. Peter wraps his arm around Stiles’ shoulder as they exit the cafe, asking, “Is that so bad?”

Stiles tucks one hand into the back pocket of Peter’s jeans, “No, it isn’t.”

It isn’t until they’ve exited the cafe and are headed down the street that Stiles notices it. It makes him stop in his tracks and gulp. Peter stops, confused until he follows his gaze. “Ah,” he says succinctly.

Across the street is a Sheriff’s Department SUV, and Stiles’ father is watching the two of them from the driver’s seat. Stiles instinctively reaches for Peter’s hand, and Peter squeezes back when Stiles’ grip tightens.

“Ready for this?” Peter whispers. He’s not sure if he is, but for Stiles… well, there isn’t much he wouldn’t do for Stiles. At least, he hasn’t been able to think of anything since he woke up this morning.

Stiles looks away from his father over to the blue-eyed wolf and feels something settle inside himself. He’ constantly feeling surprised at how not surprised he is. It’s sudden, and way too fast, but it feels right. “Yeah,” he decides, “I’m ready.”

The Sheriff gets out of his vehicle as the pair crosses the street. Stiles has no compunctions over hugging his dad in the middle of the street, and John obviously doesn’t mind. It makes Peter smile, knowing how much Stiles loves his dad. It makes him miss his own parents just a little.

“Hey dad,” Stiles mutters into John’s neck.

“Hey kid,” John replies, scruffing the back of Stiles’ neck. When they pull apart he looks Peter up and down with an experienced cop’s gaze. “Who’s this?”

Stiles reaches out a hand and takes Peter’s, tugging him a little closer. “This is Peter. Peter, this is my dad, John.”

Peter holds out his hand, “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Sheriff. Stiles has told me a lot about you.”

“Funny,” John says, “He’s never mentioned you.”

Stiles sheepishly scratches at the back of his head, “We haven’t known each other very long.”

John gives his son a look, and Peter gets a sudden surge of relief that he’s in corporate law and not criminal law. Going up against this man would not be good for Peter’s overall well-being, and Peter is nothing if not self-serving.

“Dad,” Stiles says, a tone in his voice that speaks volumes.

John turns his gaze back to Peter, really studying him this time. Peter straightens up under that gaze. He’s about halfway between John’s age and Stiles’, but that look makes Peter feel much younger.

“You’ll come to dinner tomorrow night,” John decides.

“I will,” Peter agrees, a surge of something suspiciously like relief surging through him.

“Good,” John says; and that is that.

Across the street, Derek rubs at his eyes to make sure he’s not seeing anything. His uncle is standing on the sidewalk holding hands with a guy Derek’s never seen before and talking amiably with a police officer. He must be in the Twilight Zone.

*

Cora reaches out and snags the back of Derek’s jacket. He stops and turns and she points, “Do we know that guy?”

Derek follows her finger and winces. The guy he saw Peter with is looking at one of the giant flower arrangement with a look of bemusement as he eats little quiches off a small plate. “That’s Peter’s… whatever the hell he is.”

Cora’s eyebrows go up. She tilts her head a little and studies the guy. He’s about her age. “He’s… not anything like what I pictured for Uncle Peter.”

Derek looks disgusted, “You pictured the kind of person that would go for Uncle Peter?”

Cora shrugs. “Not until this morning, I didn’t.”

Derek nods. He’d gotten the full story out of Cora after he’d gotten back from picking up the rings. The siblings continue to watch the man across the room. He’s got gravity defying brown hair, pale skin and is wearing a tailored navy suit. The fit is good enough that both can sense their uncle’s hand in the suit. The guy has gone from studying the flowers to people watching with amusement.

“Talia, let it go.”

Cora and Derek exchange a surprised look, and peek around the corner to see Peter and their mother having what looks like a heated discussion in the hall. Talia is dressed in the plum dress that she’d gotten especially for the wedding of her oldest child. Peter is wearing a charcoal gray suit and looks impeccable as always.

Well, impeccable aside from the pissed off expression on his face.

“Why didn’t you tell me you were seeing someone?” Talia demands.

“Newsflash, sister dear, I don’t tell you everything!”

Both siblings can see the hurt flash across Talia’s face briefly. They are both uncomfortably aware of how much the fact that Peter resents Talia hurts her. She’s never been able to figure out why he does, but the kids get it. Talia Hale can be a very overbearing presence with exacting standards. It didn’t mean she didn’t love you, it just meant she had expectations and woe betide anyone that didn’t meet them.

Peter has always felt like he’s fallen short of those silent expectations.

“Peter -”

Peter raises a hand to cut her off. He looks very tired suddenly, “I know he’s younger than I am, Talia. We’ve had that conversation, he doesn’t care.”

“Peter, he’s half your age.”

“Twelve years,” Peter retorts. “I am twelve years older than Stiles. I’m not old enough to be his father.”

“That’s another thing,” Talia latches onto it. “How does his father feel about the two of you?”

“He seemed okay with it this afternoon,” Peter replies.

Derek feels a flash of surprise. That had been Peter meeting this Stiles guy’s father? Then a thought strikes him.

“Holy shit,” he hisses, getting a questioning look from Cora. “That guy’s dad is the Sheriff!”

Cora’s eyebrows climb for the sky in surprise.

“You’ve met his father?” Talia asks, unaware of her eavesdropping children.

“Yes. I’m going to dinner with the man tomorrow.”

Talia moves over to one of the chairs placed in the hall. She sits. “You’re meeting his family.”

“Yes,” Peter has turned bodily to face her. His expression is closed off.

“Were you ever going to introduce him to us?” Talia asks faintly. She looks like she’s come to some sort of horrible realization and now she’s looking at Peter like she’s hoping he’s not going to say what she thinks he’s going to say.

“No,” Peter’s voice is without inflection. He’s stating a fact. Cora and Derek exchange another look, hurt by the statement.

“Why not?” Talia looks like she’s dreading his answer.

“Because you’ve chased off every good thing I’ve ever had in my life, Talia.”

The statement is bald and painful. Derek and Cora have no idea what Peter is talking about, but Talia obviously does. Her mouth gets a pinched look about it as brother and sister study each other. There’s pain in Talia’s eyes, and nothing but accusation in Peter’s.

“Does he know?”

“About Corinne?” Peter asks. There’s something else in his voice. Something unspoken that weighs down the air between the siblings. “Yes, he does.”

“And?” Talia looks like she’s having trouble forming the question.

Peter already knows. “Yes.”

Talia swallows. “I see.” After a moment her expression hardens. “I still stand by my actions, Peter.”

“I know you do,” Peter replies, tone carefully neutral. “It’s why I hate you.”

Talia winces like she’s been struck. Derek and Cora exchange a shocked look. They have no idea what Peter is talking about, but whatever it is, it had caused a rift between their mother and her brother.

“You were too young for that kind of responsibility.” Talia says.

“I was old enough to make my own decision,” Peter rebuts. “You had no right to do what you did.”

A throat clearing behind them has the Hale siblings jumping on the spot and turning. Stiles is standing behind them, looking faintly amused with both eyebrows raised. Derek’s shoulders go up defensively and Cora bites her lip. Stiles just tilts his head and edges past them.

“Not a word,” he whispers as he passes them. He gives them a steely look that promises pain if they tell anyone about what they’ve overheard. “It’s none of your business.”

He doesn’t wait for a response. Instead he enters the hallway and walks right up to Peter. Peter reaches for him, and Stiles has no qualms about wrapping an arm around the other man. They lean into each other. Stiles turns to meet Talia’s gaze with steady eyes as Peter finally looks away, his shoulders relaxing.

“I’d say it was nice to meet you,” Stiles says, voice clear and loud in the silent hallway. “But we both know I’d be lying.”

Talia flinches, but somehow manages to ignore the man’s blatant hostility. She looks at Peter imploringly. “What’s done is done. I’m sorry you hate me for it, but it was the best thing for everyone. I hope one day you’ll be able to forgive me for it.”

“You know,” Peter says tonelessly, “you said that exact same thing the day you took her away from me.”

Talia blinks, and Stiles’ grip on Peter tightens.

“You were a child.” Talia states.

“I was twenty four,” Peter retorts. “In any country I was old enough to make my own decision.”

Stiles’ voice cuts through the escalating argument. It’s full of ice, and he’s speaking solely to Talia when he says, “Hypocritical much?”

“Excuse me?” Talia demands, standing.

Stiles raises both his eyebrows again, “You heard me. If I remember correctly, Laura was three when you turned twenty four. What right did you have to tell anyone they couldn’t have a child at that age? You were a lot younger when you had your first one.”

“I was married.”

Stiles snorts, “It’s the twenty-first century. Single parents raise kids all the time.” He waves a hand around, not letting Talia reply. “It doesn’t matter. I’ve already called in a favor. We’re going to find Malia and bring her home.”

An ugly look crosses Talia’s face. “You’ll do no such thing!”

“Why? Because you paid Corinne to take the baby and leave?” Stiles demands with a snort. “Corinne didn’t even want the kid.”

Talia’s eyes narrow, but Stiles isn’t finished, waving a hand around, “It’s not your decision. I called in a favor and we’ll have her location by this time tomorrow probably."

“Who the hell do you think you are?” Talia demands.

Stiles grins, viciously and holds out a deceptively congenial hand, “Detective Stiles Stilinski. I just transferred to Beacon Hills from Quantico.”

Talia looks like she’s been slapped, she turns her gaze on Peter, “You’re dating a federal agent?”

“Former,” Peter replies. “Former federal agent. He works with the Sheriff’s Department now.”

“Like I said, we’ll have a location by this time tomorrow,” Stiles says. “Now, I thought this was supposed to be a happy event?”

Talia closes her mouth at being reminded that they’re at her daughter’s wedding. She turns and walks away. Peter waits until she’s out of sight before sitting heavily in the chair she’d vacated. Stiles crouches down in front of him, taking both his hands.

“You okay?” he asks softly, voice gentle.

“Did you mean that?” Peter asks. “Can you really find her?”

Stiles smiles, “Only if you want me to.”

“Please.”

“I’ll make a call.”

Peter leans forward, pressing their foreheads together. They sit there, breathing each other’s air. Derek touches Cora’s arm and draws her away from the scene and into an alcove between two pillars in the reception hall. The siblings look at each other for a long time.

“Did you know?” Cora asks eventually.

Derek shakes his head. They have a cousin out there somewhere and they’d never known it.

“I think this is going to change a lot,” Cora says.

Derek nods, “Let’s hope Mom doesn’t decide to do something drastic.”

Cora agrees, but neither of them hold much hope for that.

In the hallway, two men who have known each other less than twenty-four hours can feel their lives irrevocably changing again for the second time. Their worlds have spiraled out into something completely different since Stiles agreed to go home with Peter. No matter if they make it as a couple, they’re now tied to each other in a way that goes beyond it.

Somehow, neither can ever see letting the other go.

Chapter Text

No Rest for the Wicked

(steter, old ghosts, no rest for the wicked - lykke li )

 

“There’ll be no rest for the wicked

There’s no song for the choir

There’s no hope for the weary

If you let them win without a fight…”

 

The floorboards creak beneath his feet. The old house moans with the wind as the bare fingers of the trees screech across the glass of the windows. His hand brushes along the banister, carving clean paths through the thick layer of dust. The scent of ash chokes the air, biting into his lungs as the black of charcoal stains his fingertips.

There’s nothing here. Nothing left of the life that once flourished. Just a blackened husk reaching for the sky and creaking with sorrow.

He reaches the landing at the top of the stairs and turns to look at the ruin behind him. The walls on the lower floor are still standing, but there’s a great hole in the upper floor where one wall and a great section of the ceiling have caved in under the weight of time and the pressure of weather. The glass in most of the windows is shattered, and what remains is jagged in its frame.

Down below, peering around the husk of a house, Scott looks frightened and disgusted in turns. He looks up at stiles, his nose crinkled against the smell of ash and moldering wood and asks, “What are we doing here, Stiles?”

Stiles paces across the upper landing and into the hall, his soot blackened fingers leaving dark streaks against the old, tattered wallpaper. He doesn’t know why they’re here. It’s not anything specific. Just a vague sense of something prickling at the back of his neck. His magic sparking through his veins.

There’s something… something here he needs. Or something here that needs him? He can’t get a real sense of it. It’s like an echo from far off. He can hear the cry, but he can’t make out the words.

“Stiles?” Scott’s voice calls from below.

Stiles ignores it. Scott only came because he insisted that Stiles not come alone. Stiles is perfectly capable of taking care of himself, but the Stilinski family curse makes Scott uneasy ever since he found out about it accidentally. It doesn’t make Stiles nervous. He already knows he’s doomed, why worry?

Stiles comes from a long line of witches. On both sides of his family. Stretching back hundreds of years. The family curse has only gotten stronger the longer it's held sway over them. No male born of the Stilinski line will ever find true happiness in life. If they do, that happiness is ripped away from them, usually in a brutal and exceptionally painful manner.

For Scott, it means that no matter what he tries, Stiles will always be miserable.

For Stiles, it means that three and half centuries ago, one of his ancestors had been the object of affection for the wrong sort of person. Stiles gets it, his ancestor was already in love. Happily engaged and unaware that he’d caught the eye of a woman with the power to do anything she wanted. She had decided that if she couldn’t have him, no one would.

She’d paid that sorcerer very well for his services. The only way to break the curse was for a Stilinski male to fall in love with a descendant of the Lady’s line.

Mostly it means Stiles is screwed, because as far as the Stilinski family’s meticulous records can tell, the Lady’s line died out almost twenty years ago now.

So Stiles does what he’s always done. He doesn’t let it bother him, he follows where his magic leads and gets on with it. Scott just hasn’t had enough time to come to terms with the witchy side of Stiles; the doomed side of Stiles, to be able to let it go.\

“Stiles?” Scott’s voice is more worried now.

Stiles sighs, and calls back the way he came, “Just… give me a few minutes, yeah?”

Then he turns and begins to walk again. His magic sparks against the wall the further down the hall he goes. Greenish-yellow purple sparks of light that flicker out like sparks from a fire, drifting lazily toward the floor. Something… something is tugging at that place right behind his sternum.

It’s actually quite uncomfortable.

Stiles stops in front of a door and reaches out to push the rotting wood aside. He steps into what used to be a bedroom. The bed in the corner is a ruined husk, springs and partially burned out frame. Burned bookcases lined with the desiccated corpses of knowledge and a blackened desk under the window. If it wasn’t for the damage of fire and time, it was just like any other bedroom.

Well, except for the ghost.

Stiles stops walking in the doorway as the faint, transparent figure turns to look at him. Sparks of magic run up his spine, making him go tingly. Ghosts don’t have eyes like that. Those eyes… those are living eyes. Brightly blue and glowing faintly. Sparks of ethereal blue magic drift lazily in the air between the witch and the ghost.

Whoever this person was before they died, they hadn’t been a regular human, that’s for sure.

Stiles lets out a breath and lets his hand drop to his side, sparks of magic trailing after his fingers and catching the attention of the specter. Knowledge dawns in those eyes. Knowledge of what Stiles is, what a witch might be able to do for a ghost stuck in a burned out house in the middle of the woods.

Stiles blinks, and suddenly the ghost is right in front of him. The air around him chills, frost curling around the toes of his shoes and across the floor. Ghostly fingertips brush along Stiles’ cheek, painting a bit of frost there in their wake. Stiles’ breaths puff out in little clouds of smoke. The magic in his spine coils up and rises.

The ghost is male. Around Stiles’ age, or maybe a little older. It’s hard to tell with ghosts. Sometimes they show the age they were when they died, sometimes the age they would be if they hadn’t. This ghost seems to be somewhere between the two.

The specter leans forward, really getting into Stiles’ space, making him shiver with cold all the way down to his toes. In reply, Stiles’ magic surges up, sparking heat along his nerves and flashing out to coil around the being whose very presence in the room could freeze Stiles solid. It makes the ghost balk and back off a few inches.

Something inside Stiles lurches as it leaves his space. It makes him reach out and deliberately try to grab onto the ghost… which he shouldn’t be able to do. His hand feels like ice as it connects, making both himself and the ghost freeze in place in shock. 

Magic surges up, arcing from the earth into Stiles and through Stiles into the Ghost. The howls in pain and Stiles can’t blame him. He feels like his blood is boiling as he doubles over in pain. His hand refuses to let go of the ghost, burned raw and red from the cold and from the magic surging through it. 

His soul writhes in its housing, stretching beyond his physical self and reaching for something. The cold in the room begins to dissipate. A hand clutches desperately at Stiles’ shoulder. Another soul meets Stiles’ in the air. Fire and ice twining together in the air. Stiles crashes to his knees, gasping for breath as his lungs seize.

Oh god. It’s not supposed to be like this.

The tears that roll down his face freeze on his skin as he’s enveloped in the arms of the ghost. Somehow he can feel the that the ghost is trembling. Shuddering with every wave of magic that moves through it as Stiles’ magic does… something.

Nearly as suddenly as it began, it stops. Stiles’ magic recedes, coiling up tightly at the base of his spine where it usually sits. The temperature in the room goes down, though the air is still cold enough for Stiles’ breath to fog.

Stiles begins to laugh. It’s not a pleasant sound. It’s pained and harsh as he looks up into blue, blue eyes. He reaches up to touch the ghostly cheek of his soulmate and mutters, “I really am cursed.”

Chapter Text

Burning Bridges

(steter, knowing where to run to, burning bridges (acoustic) – onerepublic)

 

“You and I were meant to be

Ain’t no doubt about it,

No way to hide that sort of thing

Now I’m waiting for something better

Ain’t nothing better worth imagining

I, I keep on running

I’m building bridges that I know you never wanted

Look for my heart you stole it away…”

 

There’s a set of keys in the little dish on the table when he walks through the door. He pauses in taking off his coat, staring. Then he finishes shrugging out of the navy wool and uses his foot to finish shutting the door. He toes off his shoes, leaving them to mingle with the rest just inside the coat closet. Then he pads down the worn floorboards on socked feet, already knowing what he’s going to find.

The TV is on, the volume low. It’s set on a baseball game; Mets versus the Rockies, bottom of the fifth. The blinds over the balcony door have been twisted open to let in slats of warm spring sunlight. The worn-in gray sofa that he had indulged in when he bought this apartment is occupied. The olive chenille throw he keeps draped over the back has been pulled over to cover the couch’s occupant.

He rounds the sofa, edges between the large piece of furniture and the coffee table and carefully perches on the reinforced glass top to peer at the sleeping man. Takes in the wild spikes of dark hair and the purple shadows under closed amber eyes.

Peter Hale sighs silently. A great heave of air that makes his shoulders go up and down. Then he stands and carefully maneuvers Stiles Stilinski up into his arms without waking the other man. He tows him into the bedroom, yanks down the covers on his bed with one hand and tucks the Spark into it. Stiles doesn’t wake, just rolls over and curls around one of Peter’s expensive pillows. Peter tucks the blanket around him, watches him for a moment, then quietly leaves the room, letting his visitor sleep.

*

When Stiles wakes, there’s a moment of disconnect. One he recognizes. He’s been moved. He’s not on Peter’s insanely comfortable sofa anymore. He rolls over on his other side, and cracks his eyes open. He’s on a bed. Peter’s bed. He inhales deeply, catching the scent of fabric softener and that earthy tone he recognizes as his favorite werewolf.

He luxuriates in the ability to wake as slowly as he wants. Stretches fully, lays abed for five whole minutes. He’s not in danger here. He feels safer than he has in months.

He knows he made the right choice.

Stiles blinks up at the ceiling. It’s gotten dark, but the door is cracked and there’s light coming through from the other room. He feels… rested. Weary and sad, but rested.

The last few weeks had not gone well. They’d basically just piled more crap onto the already steaming heap weighing him down. It had taken a concerned talking to from his Dad to make him realize that he was slowly killing himself. That he can’t spend his whole life running after Scott McCall, cleaning up after him. Scott’s a grown man, he should be able to take care of himself.

It’s not like Scott thinks Stiles contributes that much to the pack anyway.

Stiles isn’t a werewolf. Stiles is human. Stiles is squishy.

The thought makes him snort. He may be human, but squishy and incapable he’s not. Not for a long time. Not since Theo and his Dad’s almost death. Two years at Berkeley and enough training from a Witch he’d tracked down and he’s a fully-fledged Spark, thank you very much.

Stiles rolls out of bed. He stretches his arms over his head and his back pops satisfyingly. Then he pads to the door and heads out into the apartment. He made the right choice.

Peter is sitting in the armchair that matches the sofa. His shirtsleeves are rolled up and the collar of his pristine white shirt is unbuttoned. There’s a fancy blue paisley tie sitting on the coffee table and Peter’s got a slim laptop perched on the arm of the chair. When Stiles enters the room, he looks up, wolf eyes glowing faintly in the dim light coming from the lamp nearby.

Neither of them say anything as Stiles pads across the room toward Peter. Peter only moves the laptop to the table, shutting it with a faint clicking noise. Stiles climbs right up into the werewolf’s lap, curls up, tucks his face into Peter’s neck, and sighs, relaxing. Peter wraps one arm around Stiles, and lets the younger man take the other and trace the lines in his palm with his fingers.

After a few minutes, Stiles speaks, his voice soft in the silence, “I transferred to NYU.”

Peter hums in acknowledgement, but the way his grip on Stiles tightens at the knowledge means more. Peter scents along the crown of Stiles’ head, and Stiles lets his eyes fall closed, relaxing fully into Peter. When Peter speaks, his mouth his close enough to Stiles’ ear that Stiles can feel his breath on his skin.

“What about the Pack?”

“Not my Pack. Not anymore.”

 Peter hums again, this time sounding pleased. There’s a long five minutes of mutual silence and comfort. Neither of them speaks, they just bask in each other.

“I suppose being a pack of two would be ideal,” Peter eventually states.

Stiles hums an agreement, and turns his head just enough to press a kiss against the side of Peter’s throat. Peter growls, but it’s not threatening. The werewolf’s arms tighten around him.

“You’ll not be running to their rescue when they call,” Peter orders, that rumble still in his voice. They both know that eventually, Scott will call.

“Okay,” Stiles agrees readily. Because he’s tired of seeing the bruises all over his torso after he’s rescued Scott from some creature the Alpha managed to piss off.

Peter shifts them around a little bit, tilting Stiles head back so that their eyes can meet. Whatever he finds there makes him make a satisfied sound, and then they’re kissing. And Stiles is okay with that too.