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How to Bag a Werewolf

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“Okay,” Stiles says, sliding his hands up over Derek’s shoulderblades. “Free pass, friends and family edition.”

Derek twists his head around to glare over his shoulder, though he doesn’t stop for an instant plumping his ass back onto Stiles’ cock. A quick ten-fingered rake over his tattoo glazes his eyes over and his hands push out, then drag back in, kneading desperately at the bed.

Jesus,” he moans, rocking heavily. His head drops back and he mouths at the pillow, nursing it with stretched lips, wet flat tongue. “What, now?”

He looks so fucking good like that, all prime male werewolf sprawled out and taking it, but Stiles is not to be deterred, damn it. One doesn’t become a Tier Five sex mage just by falling for fratboy porn technique like that. “Yeah, come on, I spent half this week pickling in antifungals after your woodland fantasy weekend, now give.”

Stiles cants his hips forward on that last word. Derek shudders, pushing his face up the pillow, vulnerable nape arching up so the little stiff hairs on it prickle Stiles’ fingers. His buttocks push and rub up against Stiles’ scrotum and Stiles draws in his breath sharply, then grins. Puts his hands behind him, hooks down and digs his nails into the bottom crease of Derek’s ass, hauling up both buttocks so his cock jams that much deeper into the other man.

Fuck,” Derek whines. He shreds the discount top sheets, then gets his claws stuck in the proper canvas under them. Doesn’t notice, just keeps blindly tugging till another thrust makes him go limp. “Okay, okay, fuck, uncle.”

“Seriously, Derek, stop dicking around, I’m starting to hurt here,” Stiles sighs. He lets go of Derek’s ass and gets one hand on the back of Derek’s neck, the other arrowed down past the suck of Derek’s ass around his cock, up into the absolutely straining perineum.

Derek stiffens, then hitches up in alarm. “No, wait, damn it, I’m—”

Floored out, completely floored out, all four limbs plus head spasming out as Stiles stabs those fingers up, works it back and forth while pushing firmly down on Derek’s neck with his other hand. Forced into the pillow, Derek’s roar still has enough to rattle the bed frame, even if it kind of croaks out at the end.

It’s pretty damn good on Stiles’ end, too, even if, like the roar, the grip of Derek’s ass doesn’t quite last. But hey, Stiles doesn’t mind doing his own work once in a while, and finishing up in a raw, stretched hole too worn out to grab tight, just able to flutter weakly around his cock, well, that’s got its attractions.

Stiles lets his last shiver flow to its natural conclusion, flopping down over the top of Derek. “Wow.”

“Uncle,” Derek mumbles. He stirs enough to get the pillow out of his mouth, then twists his head and rolls his eye back, and somehow, despite the awkwardness of that and Stiles’ cock still in him, looks irritated. “I mean, that’s your answer. My uncle.”

“What?” Stiles says. Then he rolls his eyes, gives Derek the light skritch on the hips the man’s really looking for with those glowers. “Oh, yeah…oh. Oh. Oh, well, okay…I kind of meant we’d do each other’s friends and family, but hey, no judging.”

“You really think I want to fuck anybody on your side?” It’s both amusing and annoying to see Derek fighting to get that brow up, despite being so fucked-out he can’t even keep his eye focused.

Stiles shrugs. Lets his hands run up Derek’s sides, maybe gives that tattoo a little lick. His mouth is there, the sweat’s running into it, it’s inevitable, really, and has nothing to do with taking advantage of species-specific triggers with social grooming and possessive kinks. Nope, not at all. “You kinda have a vibe with Jackson.”

Jackson kind of has a vibe with me,” Derek snorts. His eye closes. He twitches his hips a few times, but when Stiles doesn’t move, he just grunts in resignation and yanks at the sheets till the wet scraps are out from under him. Then he pancakes out again, still wedged firmly back on Stiles’ cock. “Anyway. Is he actually your friend?”

“Point,” Stiles says. He turns his head so he’s lying on his cheek and idly traces a couple whorls of Derek’s tattoo. “All right, then, your uncle…”

“Peter.” Derek whuffs contentedly into the bed a couple times. Nice thing about werewolves, really, they fuss some and then get used to it, and then they just cuddle up. “Is this just an excuse to come meet the rest of my family?”

Stiles drums his fingers against Derek’s back. “Well, you don’t have friends, and at the moment the only relative I’ve met is your sister Cora, because we happened to go to school together—”

Derek snarls. So Stiles rolls his eyes, because seriously, and cranes up to nip the back of Derek’s neck, and Derek stops snarling and lets out a very, really very, nice little whimper.

“Sorry, instinct,” he mutters. “Anyway. You really want to meet them.”

“Sure,” Stiles says. He listens to Derek trying to not get worried, then sighs and pushes himself up and out of the other man. Gives Derek a couple seconds to hiss and knead at the bed again and nuzzle his ass up, like maybe second round, and then sits astride Derek’s waist. “I mean, yeah, you’ve met all mine—”

“—because the only one who knows what a closed door means is your dad—”

“—and it’s not like yours don’t know, dumbass, I’m already getting Facebook friend invites from Laura,” Stiles finishes.

Derek grimaces. His face is still buried in the bed so Stiles is just getting his hair and his shoulders, but that’s definitely a grimace-y kind of shoulder lift. Then he shoves himself over, grunting, with a casual one-handed lift of most of Stiles’ body weight so they can face each other.

“It’s not, you know, what you do,” Derek says, with a manfully awkward jerk of his hand. He’s all scowling brows and stiff lip, and in between those, big soulful eyes, God, as if the cheekbones and the abs weren’t enough of a natural advantage. “It’s just the last time I brought somebody home, Peter got Kate so mad she tried to set him on fire.”

Stiles pauses. “Kate as in Kate the serial black widow pedophile arsonist?”

“Well, yeah, but we didn’t know that till later. He did end up saving all of our asses chasing her out of there, but at the time it was definitely just about making fun of her insisting on well-done steak,” Derek says. He chews his lip and stares up at Stiles. “And honestly, looking back on it, I’m not sure why it was him that set her off, and not Laura mocking her push-up bra, or Mom wanting to know why she was hanging around the high school anyway.”

“So you know I like my meat bloodier than you, my bras are custom order, and neither of us are in high school now,” Stiles says. “Also, I don’t set people on fire, that’s way too obvious.”

Derek makes a face at him. And puts his hands on Stiles’ hips. “Yeah, that’s what I mean.”

“Oh, my God, I’m not going to declare war on your family. They’ll give me the fifth degree, whatever, can’t be as bad as explaining those severed toes last month to the state police,” Stiles says, though okay, he’s kind of leaning down. And propping his arms on Derek’s chest. And getting a nice grope in at those pecs while he’s there, because no point in missing a chance that easy. “So you have a crush on your uncle.”

“I don’t have a crush on him—” Derek mutters, tilting his head up. He slides his hands to Stiles’ back, then back down to Stiles’ hips as Stiles gets a double fistful of the man’s hair, turns it from a kiss to a full-on make-out. “—just—want to—fuck—”

Stiles pushes himself up on one elbow, needing a better angle for eating out his boyfriend’s mouth, and happens to scoot his ass back into what is definitely round two rubbing up, go werewolf refractory times “—‘kay, whatever—meet them—”

“—just—shit, Stiles—” Derek drags his mouth off, protests when Stiles just sucks his throat instead “—damn it, just don’t—start into it with them—please—”

“Yeah, yeah, whatever,” Stiles says, grinding back into Derek’s half-stiffy. He laves his tongue deep into the furrows of some tight neck muscles. “Be good, blah blah, just check out your uncle, see what’s the fuss—”

“Wait, what, Stiles, we’re not—” Derek manages enough willpower to take his hands off Stiles “—I didn’t mean actually try and pick him up—”

So Stiles grabs his hands and pins them to the bed, and uses them for leverage to really, deeply suck some damn hickeys onto Derek’s throat. Sure, they don’t last for more than a couple seconds, but damn, does Derek like it. “What, you don’t want to fuck him?”

Derek pants up at him, pupils blown. “No.”

Stupid stubborn werewolf, he has to be able to keep up with—wait. Stiles looks at him again. “You want him to fuck you? Hey, hey, no judgment in the least here, but I don’t even know what he looks like and I think that’d be pretty fucking hot.”

“Fuck. What? No, just—goddamn it, Stiles,” Derek says, half-exasperated, half extremely fucking turned on. He twists his wrists free, pushes himself up part of the way and then just throws his arms back over his head, flopping down with a resigned sigh. “Fuck. Fuck. You’re totally going to—”

“Well, you wanna, don’t you?” Stiles says.

He doesn’t pressure the guy or anything. Just says that and then lets it air out while he gets comfortable again. Curls down over Derek, reaches back to push Derek’s cock out of the way and then hey, just…holds onto that. Not torturing the guy or anything, just a loose grip, feeling it get hotter and harder, watching Derek try not to feel it too. Gets his other hand up, lets the fingertips trail over Derek’s neck, dabbling in the spit he’s left on it.

Derek shifts around. Looks at Stiles, then lets his head fall back. “Okay. Yeah. I do.” He closes his eyes and starts purring when Stiles gives him a reward bite on the throat. “But it’s not happening. Look, just meet the guy, you’ll see.”

“Cool,” Stiles says. “I’m there.”

* * *

Derek’s family is hot. Also, straight up nasty, and that’s before they remind you they’re werewolves.

“Hey, Stilinski,” Cora says, opening the door. “I hear you’re an incubus these days. How’s the health benefits with that?”

“I’m a sex mage, actually, and they’re pretty fantastic. Full dental and vision, and I can deduct sex toys as work expenses,” Stiles says, stepping inside.

He greets Derek’s mom and hands her a bottle of wine. “Why, thank you, how thoughtful,” she says. Then she gets a good look at the label and a little respect gets in there. “My, I’m not sure my cooking deserves this. I do want to say, it’s so nice to finally meet you. Derek’s mentioned you quite a bit and I have to admit, I was beginning to wonder if you were real.”

Derek takes Stiles’ coat and sticks it and his head in the closet like he’s trying to suffocate himself. His older sister yanks him out by the collar, grinning broadly, and comes forward to shake hands with Stiles. “Sex mage, huh. Is that counseling work?”

“Well, it can be, but what I specialize in is arable land revitalization,” Stiles says.

Laura nods solemnly. “So you fuck land back to normal.”

“Sometimes fertilizer and crop rotation just don’t cut it,” Stiles says, just as solemnly. “It’s California, after all.”

“Derek says you two met because of your work,” Talia says. She gives a grimacing Derek the wine bottle and tells him to just put it in the cellar, Peter’s already opened up a bottle, and then leads the way to the dining room.

To give Talia credit, she does dismiss Cora as well, to go check on the oven, but Laura slides up and tucks her arm into Stiles’ before Talia can get her. “Actually, what he says is that you were looking for partners because you were wearing out yours,” Laura says. “So you were advertising for werewolves.”

“Well, not werewolves, specifically, but they do tend to handle it the best,” Stiles says. “You know, since when it’s for work, I knot.”

Laura actually stutters in the middle of her smirky comment about handling. “What?”

“Knots. You know, bulbus glandis. It’s a physical manifestation of the spellwork, because you’re concentrating all your life-force at the conjunction of the bodies. I’ve worked with a lot of different species, but it’s hard to get people who stay professional about it,” Stiles goes on. “I mean, there’s the rest of the spell to do, because most fertility spells actually have to be completed after the act of climax, and then there’s usually at least three pieces of monitoring equipment you need to be checking regularly, and it just gets really awkward when I’m doing all the work, you know?”

“Sure,” Laura says, blinking rapidly.

“So Derek’s been really great. He has the educational background, obviously, and it’s hard to find ecologists who want to just stay and look at American agriculture, everybody wants to go off and study in the Amazonian jungle or whatever. And he has better handwriting than I do.” Stiles shrugs, then moves over so she can go into the room ahead of him. “Fine with me, he can take the notes, I can read off the numbers.”

Talia smiles warmly at Stiles, pushes her gaping daughter aside, then gestures at the table for him to pick a seat. It’s already set with some appetizers, which Stiles has to admit look absolutely delicious. Derek can’t cook anything past omelets and pancakes, so maybe there’ll be some benefits to the night besides Derek’s undying gratitude and a bunch of in-law stories.

Of course, then a man walks out of the kitchen. He’s in a suit, no coat, tie undone and just slung over his neck, shirt unbuttoned to show a vee of collarbone. Sleeves rolled up to his elbows because he’s been tossing salad, apparently, and there’s still a couple drops of dressing glistening on his very muscled forearms.

“Well, that’s a relief to hear,” he says, setting down the salad bowl. “I have to admit, when I first heard, I was wondering whether we should report the university for running an illegal trafficking ring. Oh, by the way, I’m Peter.”

He takes Stiles’ hand, smiles, and his teeth are big and creamy and his eyes are bright blue and a curl of his hair’s dropped over his left brow. “Stiles,” Stiles says, blinking. “And…I guess as much as I resent being compared to a pimp, I can see your point.”

“Oh, now, Stiles, with that face, nobody would ever take you for the pimp,” Peter says. He draws back, shaking his head, and pulls his other arm around to put an opened bottle of wine on the table. “The university must be downright grateful to have such a fresh-looking young thing to be the poster child of their agri-magic program. I imagine that you’re very in demand for fundraising.”

Stiles blinks at him. Because this guy cannot be for real. And if he is—

“I think we should have all have a seat.” Talia pulls out a chair and smiles around the room like she’s going to cheerfully take chunks out of anyone who doesn’t. “Dinner’s ready, let’s not let it get cold.”

* * *

“Your uncle is an asshole,” Stiles says to Derek.

Derek looks at him, and the man has the temerity to look bored with Stiles, as if he’d been expecting better.

“He’s also attractive, I’ll give you that, but…okay, honestly? Derek, I just sat through a two-minute, completely historically inaccurate comparison of what I do to ancient Greek temple prostitution!” Stiles jerks his hand out, then slouches into the other man. “I said no judging, but I think I gotta judge this one. He’s not that—”

They’re outside, hanging out on the Hales’ back porch with mint lemonade and a distinct lack of sisters (because Talia at least seems to care whether her son’s relationship survives the night). Peter had disappeared after dessert, saying something Stiles didn’t hear because he was busy trying not to turn the cutlery into torture implements, but the bushes at the treeline rustle and then Peter steps out of them.

He’s ditched the suit completely for a pair of tight jeans, and nothing from the waist up. The underbrush whips across his chest as it parts, leaving a couple cuts that seal up immediately, so there’s just the bright drops of blood dotting his skin, and some swipes of dirt that outline the nice set of muscles he has. His hair is that kind of frothy muss hair gets when it’s been dunked but the product hasn’t come completely out, and he’s got something squishy and bloody in his left hand.

“Oh, boys,” he says, clocking them. He pauses, then walks over and starts digging around in a bin by the porch steps, so the light slants over his smooth, broad back. Then he pulls up a plastic bag and he bags the…heart. “Did Talia leave already?”

“Yeah, she said the neighborhood watch called another meeting,” Derek says. Outwardly he looks and he sounds bored, but his hand is pressed to Stiles’ back like it wants to melt into it. “Something about some old bear that keeps eating people’s pets?”

Peter grins. “Yes. That. Well, I thought I’d get that out of the way so the weekend’s not cluttered up with chores. Let her know for me, would you? Stiles, good to meet you, best of luck with your clientele. I’m sure it’ll continue to be satisfying for both of you.”

He nods at them, then walks up the porch. Politely scuffs the dirt off his feet onto the doormat, then goes inside, still carrying that heart.

“Okay,” Stiles says after a second. “Okay. I can kind of see it. I mean, I guess at least he’s not just some jackass city lawyer who screams when he sees a mouse.”

Derek bumps his head against Stiles’ temple. It’s semi-affectionate, in that Derek’s kind of solid rock and could really whack it if he wanted to, but is just settling for tooth-rattling. “Stiles, he’s a werewolf.”

“So is this his weekend thing? Just go out in the woods and rip shit to pieces?” Stiles says.

“Sometimes he does it at home,” Derek mutters. “We’re all pretty sure he got a law degree because he thought he could do better at making it legal than the guy we were using before.”

“That is…such an asshole thing to think,” Stiles says. “And yet—yeah. Okay. I’m seeing it.”

Derek rolls his eyes. “Called it.”

* * *

“So why don’t you think it’s going to happen?” Stiles asks later, wrapping his arm around Derek’s waist.

Derek opens his mouth, then sucks air hard into it as Stiles crooks his fingers inside the other man. He humps his hips up and back, holds it, shivering, and then groans lowly, relaxing into the stretch. “Goddamn it, do we always have to do this when we’re fucking?”

“Well, we fuck an awful lot, I don’t think it’s really doing it while we’re fucking as happening to be fucking while we’re talking,” Stiles says, adding another finger. “I mean, seriously, I’m not really trying to ambush you. Not much. It’s just, I wanna ask and this is the first chance I got tonight, aside from when I came out of the shower and you were taking a piss. But it seems even weirder to do it when you’re actually using the toilet for its intended purpose.”

Panting and twisting, Derek bucks against Stiles. His ass doesn’t like that new finger, and then it really, really does, clamping it in up to the knuckle. He arches his head back and then whimpers as Stiles lays down a line of nips along his hairline, keeps their bodies flush together with a hand splayed low under his bellybutton. Those abs of his might look like steel but when he’s like this, trembling and whining, they feel like the softest, silkiest goddamn putty ever.

“Because—asshole,” Derek finally grits out.

Stiles sets his thumbnail to said body part, the rim of it, anyway, and gives it a very light flick. Then he catches the up-jerk of Derek’s nape with his mouth, taking his time teasing every one of those little stiff hairs to attention. “Um, yeah, but it works for him. I thought you were the one cheerleading on that one.”

“What, no, he—thinks I’m—” Derek moans roughly, his legs trying to spread against gravity. “—doesn’t like—”

“Well, you are an asshole, yeah, but I refuse to believe that that’s a deal-breaker for that guy,” Stiles mumbles, working his way across the back of Derek’s neck and onto the edge of his shoulder. “No way is he in the point zero zero one percent that actually is immune to your—holy shit, I love werewolf healing, your ass.”

They take a time-out so Stiles can double Derek up against the headboard and fuck him till they’re both jelly. Much as Stiles loves his multi-tasking, some things require complete and undivided attention.

“He did grow up with my ass, I think he’s used to it,” Derek says, once they’re rearranged in less spine-contorting ways. He noses under Stiles’ chin, hiding from Stiles’ just…utter outrage, sheer utter outrage, how dare his boyfriend get his snark back on faster than him…then nuzzles stubble rash all over Stiles’ chest. “Stiles. He doesn’t like me. Trust me on this one.”

Stiles opens his mouth, looks down at the werewolf snuffling at him, all sky-high untouchable model cheekbones and one hand curled loosely over his wrist, thumb rubbing into the center of his palm, and just sighs. “He might like me. He sure as hell likes pissing me off, anyway.”

Derek grunts. Then drags his head up to look at Stiles, and does that damn thing where he pretends to be stoic and calm and really he’s just the best-looking patch job coming out of an early traumatic relationship with a psychotic, serial killer older woman ever. “You really want to fuck him?”

“Uh, you do. Well, okay, you want him to fuck you, but whatever, let’s not get hung up on semantics here,” Stiles says. He pushes at Derek till the man lets go of him, then rolls them over and plasters all over the other man before Derek can do more than make a twitch towards curling up away from him, yes, let’s sacrifice my physical affection needs instead of ever ever mentioning them. It’s a good thing werewolf intimacy usually comes down to square footage of firm pressure because Stiles is intuitive, not subtle. “So, free pass and open minds shouldn’t mean empty hearts and damn it, Derek, I’m kinky, not an asshole.”

“Yeah,” Derek says after a second. His hands skim Stiles’ sides, hesitate, and then come up to wrap over Stiles’ shoulders. He rubs them a few times, then tugs lightly. His breath breaks when Stiles immediately bends down, and then he cups Stiles’ jaw as they kiss.

Just slow, lazy, taking their time because they damn well can. Stiles has to crook his neck weird in order to get his arm around and prop himself up, but he does because all blathering aside, he does mean it with Derek.

“Yeah.” When Derek finally breaks the kiss, he presses their foreheads together, then lets his head drop back. He stares up at Stiles, all huge tender eyes, and then he goes and smirks. “Though you are one.”

“I’m not that kind of asshole,” Stiles says dismissively. “So.”

“So yeah, fine, I really want him to fuck me while you knot the hell out of him,” Derek says, like he’s just doing his usual grumbling about having to do all the gutting, God, he’s the werewolf. He smirks again, and when Stiles hits him, does his brick wall shit and doesn’t even grunt. “But Peter’s never, ever going to go for it. One, knotting. Two, he’ll flirt, but just to lure you in so he can tick you off. He doesn’t like me and he really doesn’t like anybody I have ever dated.”

Stiles raises his brow. “You sound like you’ve tried this before.”

“I haven’t.” Derek shrugs, makes a face, totally does not look convincing. “Okay. Once. Years ago, and he laughed in my face and kept laughing for most of the rest of the year. He hasn’t acted any different since. He doesn’t like me.”

“Derek, please,” Stiles says. “You weren’t dating me back then.”

“He’s not a student loan company, Stiles, you can’t just hack his files and then threaten him with tax audits,” Derek says. He pushes himself up so he can rumple his hair, then sighs. Tilts his head into the hand Stiles is stroking over his cheek. “You really want to try?”

“Well, you want it, and I want you to get what you want.” Stiles grins, keeps his hand under Derek’s chin so when the man tries to duck, he can’t. He smooths his thumb across the reluctant curve of Derek’s lip, then bends in for a nibble on that plump lip. “Besides. That shit with the bear? That was so staged. That guy is a sucker for a live audience, and if he’s pitching a show at me, well, then, I’m going to take him up on it.”

* * *

Step one, because Stiles is not a neophyte, thank you, is research. Peter Hale is thirty-four, has a successful legal practice and a slightly shady reputation, and a very nice downtown loft. He orders his suits from London and drives a BMW, and he has two speeding citations to Derek’s fifteen, both of which were dismissed after he contested them in court. Past relationships include men and women, mostly other weres, and none of them lasted more than six months.

Also, he really likes the kouign amann at a café that’s near the municipal archives, and Stiles is currently spending half his days there anyway, checking out surveying maps for his latest job so they don’t accidentally explode pioneer-era piping again. Stiles is not so into Breton pastries himself, but he does appreciate the lattes and the quiche Lorraine is fucking amazing.

“Ah, Stiles, hello again,” Peter says, popping up over Stiles’ shoulder. He leans forward so the butter and sugar on his breath wafts into Stiles’ face, then touches the screen of Stiles’ phone. One showy finger-flick later, he’s just won the stupid level Stiles has spent the past week bashing his head at. “A little out of your way, isn’t it? Although the pastry case is divine, I would understand if you strayed from the beaten path just for that.”

“Not so much, I’ve got stuff to do in there.” Stiles hooks his thumb over his shoulder, at the archive building across the street, and then swings himself around in his chair to look at Peter. Drops his head back, cocks his chin up at the other man, forks up a piece of bacon and sucks it in over his lip. “I needed a break, my eyes were starting to cross from trying to figure out this city’s pre-war sewage system layout.”

Peter makes a sympathetic noise while his eyes fix on the slight smear of grease on Stiles’ mouth. “I never would’ve thought your line of work would involve delving into the sordid past. Sex magic’s always seemed so…of the moment,” he murmurs. “Did you find what you were looking for?”

“Still working on it. I mean, it’s more like looking till you think you’ve looked at everything there is to look out, right?” Stiles says. He takes a second to appreciate the way Peter’s dress shirt pulls flat over his belly, then shrugs and looks around. “So anyway, what are you doing around here? I thought you said you didn’t sue people?”

“Oh, no, we’re transactional specialists, but most of the law firms congregate in this area, birds of a feather, I suppose,” Peter says. He drinks some coffee, then leans down and puts his fingertips on Stiles’ right cheek, lightly pushing till Stiles turns his head to face a shiny office building a block down. “I’m over there.”

Stiles makes the appropriate approving noise, and also wiggles his shoulder so his shirt, which is usually stretched over Derek’s broader frame, sags to show some collarbone. He does not grin when he hears Peter sniff discreetly. “Convenient. So this is your usual coffee spot or what?”

“I admit to a weakness for their house roast,” Peter says, more like anybody who disagrees with him should be immediately exiled. He takes his hand off Stiles’ cheek and puts it on the back of Stiles’ chair, still leaning close enough to flutter Stiles’ hair with his breath. “And why does my nephew not come on these research trips with you?”

“Because he breaks a lot of scanners, and I don’t want to keep getting thrown out of libraries?” Stiles says. Tilts his head back, both so he can see Peter and so he can crook a little throat the man’s way. “Also, he’s busy getting soil samples. Divide and conquer.”

Peter smiles at him. “Yes, I’m familiar with that.”

“So, outside family dinner you don’t mind mixing with the fringe element?” Stiles says. He tilts back a little more, so they’re almost facing each other. “You’re a lot friendlier all of a sudden.”

“Well, Stiles, I don’t think I was actively hostile,” Peter says. His eyes go sleepy and slow, taking their time looking Stiles over, while his voice is pleasant with a hint of lightning. “I suppose I was a little too interested in your profession, but Derek is family, and he’s had some…less than kind experiences. I simply wanted to make sure that you weren’t in this for, shall we say, inappropriate reasons.”

Stiles grins. “If that’s passive-aggressive from you, I’d like to see what you look like when you’re really worked up. Derek says it’s pretty spectacular.”

Peter smiles again, cocks his head, flicks his tongue against his barely-parted lips, but suddenly it’s all mechanical. He’s heavy-lidded because he’s reviewing contracts or whatever back there, not paying a damn bit of attention to Stiles. “How kind of him. Sadly, I do think I’m a little old for dramatics. And the inbox is calling, forgive my boring sellout ways.”

He stands up, gives his suit-jacket an absent tug, smooths down his tie. His feet are already angled towards the door.

“Derek’s picking me up for dinner,” Stiles says, blinking.

“Oh, tell him hi for me,” Peter says. He’s picking up his briefcase.

“You want to come along?” Stiles says.

Peter looks sharply at him. He’s still appreciating, for sure; his eyes were definitely clocking the little wrist-swivel Stiles makes, but it’s like he’s admiring Stiles on TV, no intention of follow-through whatsoever. And more than a little judgment on little things like dirty nails and ripped jeans and shoddy sneakers. “I doubt Derek will appreciate that,” he finally says.

“Derek’s idea,” Stiles says. Then he makes a face, because okay, even he can’t sell that one. “Well, not specifically dinner tonight, but anyway, he wouldn’t mind seeing more of you.”

“Stiles,” Peter starts. He pauses, considers something besides the nearly worn-out knees in Stiles’ jeans (and he is not nearly as lascivious about those as he should be, with that voice), and then sighs. “Stiles, are you trying to proposition me?”

“I’m pretty sure it was a mutual try,” Stiles says, blinking again. Then he shakes himself, because okay, blunt is unexpected but he can roll with it. “But yeah. As in, me and Derek. How about it?”

“As the one with the law degree, I assure you that mutuality requires a meeting of the minds, and sorry to say, but I’m not of the mind to enter into that particular type of amusement with either of you,” Peter says dryly. Then he finishes his coffee. He takes one step over, sets his empty mug on the receiving tray, doesn’t look back. “Not that you aren’t charming, of course, and I do hope you enjoy dinner with my nephew. Have a good afternoon, Stiles.”

And then he walks out.

* * *

“I told you,” Derek says.

And then he slumps back and gouges little chunks of concrete out of the wall because Stiles is teasing all the precum out of the slit in his cock head. Stiles gives Derek’s thighs, which are threatening to fall down and smash his shoulders, a pointed shove, then swallows down Derek’s cock and gets the guy off so they can talk about this properly.

“I mean, I told you, I show up and he goes in the opposite direction,” Derek says a couple minutes later, once they’re out of the bathroom. He slings his arm over Stiles’ shoulder and steers them back into the booth, then obediently rocks his pelvis up so Stiles can slide a hand into his jeans’ back-pocket. “He doesn’t like me.”

“Look, I know he’s your uncle, but I honestly wasn’t getting that vibe off him. It wasn’t, ‘ew, Derek.’ Wasn’t even ‘ugh, Derek.’ If anything, I’d say it was, ‘hmm, Derek and his boyfriend, tasty, but I really shouldn’t.’ Which is not the same thing as all,” Stiles says. He wedges his hand a little further into the pocket, so he has a good grip on Derek’s ass-curve, and then kicks back to help himself to the bacon-wrapped dates. “When’s the last time you hung out with him? Like, not a family thing, just…I don’t know, showed up at his work and randomly lost your shirt.”

Derek stares at him. Across the table, Scott puts his head down and then locks his arms over it and moans. “Can’t we just eat?” Scott says.

“You ate through every relationship I’ve ever had, including that Tantric conference in Vegas two years ago, and that had an orgy on the buffet table,” Stiles says. “You said you’d never look at fruit baskets the same way again, and then Allison got you that Edible Arrangements thing and you ate it in one sitting. And speaking of, your girlfriend wants freebie growth management help, I’ll squeeze the consult in when I have time, and now’s the only time that’s free.”

Scott adjusts his arm to look irritably out from under it. “That’s…okay, fine, just can’t I get the drinks or more wings while you talk about your stuff?”

“Why are we talking about it in front of him?” Derek asks.

“Because we need another werewolf nose, you’re gonna be distracted,” Stiles says, just as his phone buzzes.

He checks it, then climbs onto Derek’s lap and goes to town on Derek’s mouth. Gets his hands all up in the man’s hair, rakes and tugs and scrunches it till it’s sex-mussed within an inch of its life. It’s a testament to his oral skills that Derek doesn’t even raise a token protest, busy as he is with moaning and groping up under Stiles’ shirt.

Stiles laps at some of the fangs pricking out, then grabs his boyfriend by the jaw and pushes up so he can bite and suck his way down Derek’s neck while keeping an eye on the parking lot outside. Werewolf healing limits what he can do—well, that and the fact that they’re in a decent restaurant, although so far nobody seems to be in a hurry to interrupt—but he manages to go deep enough to draw a little blood, and then he keeps worrying at the spot to keep the skin torn, right up till he sees Peter.

“Okay, up, come on, the meter’s going to run out!” Stiles yelps, yanking at Derek’s arm. He slaps a quarter into Derek’s hand, gives the dazed man a cheek-nuzzle and then a good push on the ass, and then watches Derek stumble out of the booth, around the corner, through the little entryway and out onto the sidewalk just in time for Peter to see the last part of Stiles’ bite-mark heal up.

Peter’s on his way to some business dinner at the restaurant down the street, courtesy of his very bribable receptionist. He’s on his phone and he dodges Derek like Derek’s some drunk, turning with an irritated look on his face. Then he sees who it is and his entire face recalibrates. He goes stiff and Stiles spots claws coming out, nostrils flaring, even a hint of eye glow.

“So, did you really need me along?” Scott sighs. Because, like the awesome friend he is, he has come over by Stiles and is sniffing the air.

“Well, third-party confirmation never hurts—shit!” Stiles yanks Scott down just as Peter swivels towards their window.

Scott grunts as Stiles’ knee and a couple other joints take him in the gut, but he instinctively covers Stiles. He also tries to peek up over the top of the booth, which is not helpful at all. “I don’t think he saw us. He’s walking towards that other place.”

“We’re not parked at a meter, and Peter wanted me to remind you that he categorically doesn’t bail out family, for any reason,” Derek snaps, storming back in. He pauses when he sees them, then rolls his eyes. Climbs onto the bench, pulls Scott off Stiles, and then levers Stiles up so he can glower while smushing into Stiles’ side. “Now he’s going to give me hell about my juvenile record again. I just got him to stop.”

“He also was checking you out,” Stiles says.

Derek glances at him, then snorts. Slouches around and starts prodding at the basket of fries.

“He was,” Scott sighs. Without Stiles kicking him, even. “Did you see that other guy come up behind you two? He kind of licked his lips at you and your uncle smelled all pissed off on top of turned on, and God, there’s gotta be a time we can meet besides this. I don’t even have any wings left.”

“Wait, what? I missed that,” Stiles says. “What guy? Shit, I knew we should’ve set up cameras.”

Derek looks at him. Then looks at the table. After a second, without any change in his angry gloom face, he shoves what’s left of his wings over to Scott. “Don’t even,” he mutters, and Scott politely closes his mouth over his surprised thank-you. He looks at Stiles, then tips his head onto Stiles’ shoulder as Stiles sticks his hand back into Derek’s back pocket. “Really?”

“Totally really,” Stiles says. “So hey, good news is, we’re not dealing with total lack of interest here. We just gotta figure out what’s the hold-up and we’re home free.”

* * *

Not being stupid, Stiles books Derek and himself on inspection trips to outlying farms for the next couple days and makes sure they detour around Peter’s office for now. He also sucks up to Derek’s sisters for more information, since Derek genuinely doesn’t seem to know what’s up beyond Peter not liking him.

Laura’s easy. “Well, Peter babysat all of us and Derek was kind of clumsy as a kid,” she says, pawing through the box of local, organic game and veggies Stiles gets from a regular, very grateful client. Snark all she wants at what Stiles does, he eats a hell of a lot better than her with her film editor gig, and he never has to worry about his work getting lost on the cutting-room floor. “Took him forever to learn how to kill something properly. I’m pretty sure Peter is still annoyed about it, Mom always has to drag him over to hunt with us.”

When reminded of it, Derek makes a face and then tries to suck Stiles off to get out of talking about it. Well, okay, Stiles does let the blowjob happen, but then he sits on the other man and jerks Derek off three times in a row. Superhuman stamina also means superhuman sensitivity, and Stiles ends up cuddling Derek for a couple minutes while he gets his voice back.

“I didn’t think I was that bad,” he rasps. “I just—maybe Peter got a little mauled by this wild boar one time, because I jumped at it and missed. It wasn’t that bad, he was madder that he lost his shoes.”

Stiles stops petting Derek’s hair. “The last time you said something was a ‘little’ mauled, I came home to only half a car.”

Derek grunts and burrows into Stiles’ collarbone. His hands are still a tiny bit shaky and after a couple failed grabs at Stiles’ waist, he just presses them to Stiles’ hips. “It’s not like I meant that to happen. I just fucked up.”

“Okay, okay, let’s not get into the ol’ swirly-pool of despair and guilt,” Stiles sighs, prying the man back. He pushes his head into Derek’s neck and nibbles on a tendon, then rubs the back of Derek’s head when the other man pushes into it. “So you gotta show up and show out as far as hunting’s concerned. Easy-peasy.”

* * *

Regular romcom-watching morons would pull something stupid, like staging a scene where an escaped wild tiger tries to eat Peter and Derek heroically appears at the last second, and either they’d end up being eaten by said tiger, or being eaten—in a completely non-sexual, definitively unpleasant way—by Peter. Who is, after all, a guy who kills bears for his aperitif. It’s a total waste of time to go straight up head to head with him.

Stiles and Derek drive up to Oregon to deal with some over-logged land, and while they’re at it, they bag a moose. Derek skins, guts and sections it, and then they wrap up some of the nicer bits, stick them in a cooler, and present it to Talia for the next family dinner. Talia is naturally thrilled and serves it up instead of the pheasant Peter had brought.

“We’ve got a bunch more in the freezer back home if anyone wants some,” Derek mutters, upon receiving Stiles’ elbow in the side.

Everybody takes him up on that offer, even Peter—though he sends his assistant to pick it up, thus spoiling the three hours Stiles spent on tidying up the apartment and pulling out all his and Derek’s textbooks in an attempt to make it look intellectual. Not that they aren’t, it’s just Stiles is very much a digital person and if it’s not text-searchable, he throws it in storage.

Anyway. Next time Peter brings elk and Stiles and Derek bring a string of quail. The elk does make it to the table in appetizer sausages, but Talia spends a good ten minutes gushing about how wonderfully neat the quail were, necks simply broken instead of the usual mashed heads. Since werewolves aren’t exactly known for their restraint and finesse and all.

“I didn’t even think you liked quail,” Peter says, looking suspiciously at Derek. “You refused to touch them when you were younger.”

“Because they shit all over your hands,” Derek mutters, picking up his glass.

Stiles passes Cora the roasted veggie platter and steps on Derek’s foot at the same time. Derek burbles his wine, much to Peter’s amusement, and then shoots Stiles a glower and tucks his feet up under his chair and tries to surreptitiously wipe off his mouth. He only manages two out of three, and only because Stiles is pretending to care about Laura’s issues with her landlord, so Stiles remains the multi-tasking lord of their relationship.

“These taste a lot better than I remember,” Derek adds, finally noticing that Peter’s still looking at him. He shrugs and fiddles with his cutlery, then picks up a quail drumstick.

The things are two bites, max, and that’s for a regular person. Derek sticks the whole thing in his mouth, pulls out the bone, then licks at some fat running down his fingers, all the while angling his head so the lighting throws dramatic shadows over his cheekbones and the hollows of his neck. Because Derek might not be a multi-tasker, but Stiles does not date complete incompetents, thank you.

“It’s a pretty cool estate, too, they’re also involved in fish restocking. Which isn’t really my specialty, but we’re going to be out there a couple more times this month and they were so happy with our work so far that they said help ourselves,” Stiles says. “I mean, I don’t know if you—”

“Oh, we love fish!” Talia says, her eyes sparkling. “Peter, you should lend them some of your equipment. His firm hosts a partnership retreat upstate at a fish and hunt lodge every year.”

Stiles stuffs his mouth full of food, looks wide-eyed at Peter, and then chews and swallows slowly to get full mileage out of his throat movements. Then he grins at Peter, who looks very badly like he wants to deny everything. “Wow, really? That’d be great, ‘cause we don’t have anything, not even a stick with a string tied on. I’ve never even gone fishing before.”

“I don’t know that I have anything suitable for beginners,” Peter says. His eyes are narrow and he’s checking out Stiles’ swallowing, but also, looking kind of bloodthirsty about it. And not really a sexy euphemistic thirst, either.

“So just go with them,” Talia says, blithely pouring herself more wine. “Your office is closed next week anyway, you might as well get out for some fresh air. And come to think of it, a nice roasted fish would be perfect for my women’s association luncheon. Would it be trout or—”

“Trout,” Derek says. He’s starting to get into it, too, and leans back to loop his arm around Stiles’ shoulder as he drinks some more wine, without the burbling. “Your favorite, Mom.”

Talia beams at him, then turns to her brother. “I know you love them, too, but I don’t suppose you could save me a few?” she says.

Peter presses his lips together. He’s holding up his knife and his fork like some Norman Rockwell painting, all spotless successful businessman sitting down to a home-cooked meal, except for that faint hint of overlong canine. Then he sighs and puts down the cutlery.

“All right,” he says, reaching across the table. He grabs the wine bottle and also pins Derek with his eyes at the same time—Derek’s arm tenses over Stiles’ neck—and then he…smiles. “Well, I suppose I can’t turn down some time with my one and only nephew, can I? It’s been so long since we’ve caught something together.”

“Yeah, gotta keep up your social killing routine,” Stiles says. “The urban environment kind of represses your natural instincts, need to get out and release that once in a while. Right?”

Peter’s gaze flicks to him. It’s hard and watchful, and goes oddly well with the buttery, extremely toothy smile the guy has. “Of course, Stiles. You sound like you’ve educated yourself very thoroughly on werewolf needs. I look forward to seeing the fruits of your research.”

“Well, gonna do our best to show you,” Stiles says, leaning over and giving Derek’s cheek a kiss.

“I wouldn’t expect anything less,” Peter says dryly, and then he pours himself a nice full glass of wine.

So fishing. Stiles and Derek have to be out there at the crack of dawn, especially if they want the two-to-three hour lunch break, so Peter drives out to meet them at the fishing hole. It’s a really pretty spot, a little pond bubbling off one of those meandering rivers. Probably it was once just a bend in the stream, but the two inner corners wore down till it all turned into one stretch of water. There’s a small hillock with a few trees overlooking it, which gives some shade and some falling plant matter for the fish to nibble on, and a pile of boulders dragged from elsewhere on the property, which give something for Derek to hold onto while they fuck.

Then they get dressed, obviously, because the whole naked-surprise thing is beyond stupid, but it’s not like they’re going to wash off where they’re about to get their food. So Peter gets out of his car, breathes in to say something and then pauses with a very fixed look on his face, and Stiles smiles apologetically and comes over to offer him a water bottle.

“Sorry! We’ve been working all day, and it’s hot as shit out. I think we ran out of the baby wipes after the second round,” Stiles says. “The wind’s blowing down over that hill anyway, if it really bothers you I figured we could just stand upwind and watch you show us how it’s done?”

“I…well, hazards of job, it’d be rude of me to be oversensitive about it.” Peter takes the water bottle, still blinking a little fast, and then shuts his car door. He’s casual, in that he looks like he walked off a Calvin Klein billboard instead of a GQ cover, in jeans and a tight short-sleeved cotton shirt. “I am surprised you don’t require them to provide a washing facility in your contract.”

“Oh, we do, but there isn’t exactly a plumbing hook-up here, and anyway, Derek and I have to go back to work after lunch,” Stiles says. “No point in washing up when we’re getting down and dirty all over again.”

Just then Derek wanders up from where he’s been half-heartedly typing up reports in their SUV. Whatever his bitching, Stiles always has to remind him to put his shirt back on, and since Stiles didn’t do that, he’s showing exactly how many fields they’ve fucked over since last night’s shower. The bites and the bruises might not last, but damn, do grass and mud stains pick out his muscles.

“Hey,” he says. He stops a little short of Peter, rocking slightly on the balls of his feet. “So, um, you came.”

“Yes, Derek, and I brought the gear,” Peter sighs, as if they’re just dragging him to some over-strobed nightclub. Then he steps forward and he crooks his head.

They’re just scenting each other, brisk and comfortable like you’d expect from family, but it’s a little different when Peter’s not in his suit and Derek’s, well, half-naked. Okay, it’s a lot different, what with how that shirt of Peter’s doesn’t just hint but damn well cuddles each muscle as his back flexes, and how Peter totally spares a glance down Derek’s back to check out his nephew’s ass.

Then Peter steps back and Stiles slides up next to Derek, who hitches a little, coming out of his post-scenting haze. Stiles tucks his arm around Derek and slouches in so he’s slightly looking up at Peter and jiggles his leg. “So, you know, I’m not the kind of guy who pushes for full-fledged inner circle—”

“Don’t be ridiculous, Stiles, you’ve eaten twice with us,” Peter says, pressing their cheeks together. He smells like he just shaved, minty aftershave sting with a little bit of blood under that. And he’s taking a good, long whiff at Stiles, too.

When they pull apart, Stiles catches Derek staring out of the corner of his eye and bounces into his boyfriend, dragging him around to the back of Peter’s SUV to give him time to pull in the very not metaphorical hanging tongue.

“So how does this work?” Stiles says. “I mean, I know theoretically you have the rod as a lever and your hands are the pivot, and—”

The back of the SUV opens out and all that’s sitting in it is a small cooler, a reel of fishing line, and a flat case that turns out to hold knives. Sure, they’re really nice kitchen knives, German steel, but they’re just knives. No rods, no flies, no kooky weights plastered with sports team logos.

“I am so sorry, I realize you were expecting something else, but when I looked up the river’s layout, I realized line-fishing just wasn’t going to work in our timeframe,” Peter says, carrying it all out towards the pond. “Besides, angling is really more of a meditation, you know, where the results are less important than the effort you put into it. And you do seem like a results-oriented type, Stiles.”

“But—Mom—” Derek starts.

Peter toes off his shoes, then strips off his shirt. He folds it up and sets that down on the cooler, then looks over his shoulder. “She’s going to get her fish, Derek,” he says. He’s got a slight edge to his voice. “And besides, I need a good work-out, and I think Stiles would be interested in a demonstration of old-fashioned werewolf fishing. It might not be what you were expecting, but I do think you’ll get a decent lesson out of this.”

And then he wades into the pond, which is just deep enough to reach a couple inches below his waistband. Peter makes his way to where the pond flows into the rest of the river and stoops over so his ass sits right on the surface of the water, like a perfect bubble, and frowns down at the water. Then, just when Stiles’ brain is shaking itself back to life, Peter’s arm flashes down and back up, and a silvery thing goes flying through the air, right at Derek’s face.

“Don’t squish it, Derek,” Peter calls back at them. “They’re not good for anything but meatballs and dip that way.”

Derek doesn’t answer because Derek is getting bitch-slapped by a fish tail. By the time he gets it around so he can stick a claw in its head, he’s got another fish sailing at him. Stiles has to scramble to catch the first one as he drops it, and it goes downhill from there.

They do get enough fish for both a quick fry and for Talia’s meeting. But Peter insists on scaling and gutting the fish right then and there, for maximum freshness or whatever, so then they have fish guts all over them, and that’s not really an odor or a touch Stiles finds appealing. Although Peter keeps going on and on about how great it is to get out of the office and not have to smell stale coffee and whatever candy bars his paralegals have dropped behind the cabinets, and to just breathe in the natural aroma, and he has this smug fucking grin on his face the whole time.

By the time they’re done, the whole area around the pond is covered in scales and guts, so they get into the cars and drive to the nearest ranch-hand post to wash up. When Stiles gets out of the showers, Derek is moodily picking at his fried fish. “Peter took his to go,” he says. “Something about his afternoon call being moved up.”

“Fuck,” Stiles says, sitting down. He eats his fish, then grudgingly nods, since at least that is good. “We got played.”

“He did say it was nice to see that you aren’t squeamish about killing things. And that I did a good job with the last fish,” Derek says. He leans into Stiles, then pulls back and frowns. “Stiles. Stiles?”

“We got played, Derek. That smug son of a bitch.” Stiles eats more fish, then stares at the little white bulgy eyes on the thing. “Okay, fine. It’s just the first try, we probably had bad intel. We’ll just do some more research.”

* * *

Cora takes a little more work, which seems to be just sheer orneriness on her part—Stiles was nice to her in school, for fuck’s sake, does she not remember what happened to most of the lacrosse team—but eventually she agrees to give them the lowdown in return for help with her social life. Apparently, in her grad studies program, it’s frowned upon to wolf out, even if it’s at obnoxious drunken dumbasses who deserved it, and she’s been dealing with snippy comments about beauty being the beast from the resident clique. She doesn’t want to bring it to the rest of her family for the obvious reason that she still needs a program if she wants to graduate, and the Hales aren’t exactly great at proportional responses. Or ones that don’t end up gossiped about from one end of town to the other.

Stiles calls up Lydia and offers her some of the wine piling up in his closet (vineyards are the best clients ever). Lydia, being Lydia, scoffs that she’d do it just for the chance to show those dimwits how it’s done, but she picks out a twelve-bottle case’s worth. Then she puts Cora through the usual closet make-over, hooks the girl up with an extreme-sports star who, loyal as Stiles is to Derek, does have pretty killer guns, and makes Jackson’s firm take on Cora’s complaint under the university’s anti-bullying policy pro bono.

“Gotta say, Stilinski, for a guy who’s turned screwing my big brother into steady employment, you know how to make a girl happy,” Cora says, flopping out on their couch. She texts a selfie of herself in a new, cleavage-showing top to her arm candy, then rolls her eyes at Derek and pulls a hoodie on over it. “Okay. So it’s not that Peter doesn’t like you, Derek, it’s just that you really irritate him.”

Derek’s still cranky he didn’t get to maul any of the bitches ragging on his sister and he just grumbles into Stiles’ side as they cram together in the armchair. “That’s what Laura said.”

“No, she said Peter resented you for getting him bashed up during your wolfie-in-training days,” Stiles says.

Cora rolls her eyes again. “Peter resents all of us for that. Like it’s our fault he and Mom can’t agree on hunting technique, and he can’t resist the chance to lecture a small child to death even when it ends up ruining his clothes. No, I’m pretty sure with you, it’s more that you’re an uncultured barbarian.”

“Uncultured barbarian,” Derek says.

He deploys what Stiles is rapidly coming to understand is the family drawl of ultimate sarcasm, which Cora counters with the family smirk of deep and lasting entertainment. “Derek. You never listened when he tried to teach us history, even when it was pack history. You fell asleep the one time he took us to the theater and snored so loud we got kicked out. You leave coffee stains on his books, you make fun of the art in his place, and you keep wondering why his suits all look alike.”

“Because he’s—he’s so annoying about all that,” Derek says defensively. “He acts like if you don’t already get it, you’re an idiot and you never get time to actually figure out what it is, and—and anyway, he makes fun of my everything.”

“Hey, I’m just saying,” Cora says, shrugging. “Take it or leave it.”

* * *

“You don’t have to brainwash yourself, you know,” Stiles says as they step into the building. “This isn’t My Fair Lady.”

“What?” Derek says.

Stiles sighs and empties out his pockets for the metal detector, then refills them on the other side of the x-ray machine. He watches that the guards don’t dick Derek around much for the little crescent moon next to his name on his driver’s license, then gathers his boyfriend back in for the walk to the rare books room.

“What I’m saying is, there’s two of us, and I’m totally happy to be the geek in the relationship,” Stiles says. “You want somebody to squee over a complete edition of the Wicked Bible or a rare Necronomicon fragment in the original Arabic, I’m there. As for all the other stuff—well, look, if I’m not using it in a spell I’m not really an art guy either. We’re not here to make ourselves into little perfect sexbots for your uncle, okay, we’re here to figure out what makes him tick.”

“I think it’s basically blood, evil, and those croissant things,” Derek says.

“Kouign amann,” Stiles says. They’re coming up to the room, which has a separate checkpoint, so he pulls out his researcher ID and lets them scan it. “Okay. So you like those things too, because I know the mice didn’t eat the other three because my runes vaporize mice. So just learn how to say the damn thing so you can order it, Derek.”

Derek glances at him. “Kouign amann.”

Stiles elbows him, so Derek side-steps them into a little alcove, and then they make out. They’re not touching anything but each other, so Stiles doesn’t feel bad about not having his sterile gloves on yet.

“You’re an asshole,” Stiles says, once he’s had his hourly quota of Derek’s tongue in his mouth. He hooks his hands into the front pockets of Derek’s pants but keeps enough space between their groins to keep it kosher. Or at least reasonably deniable. “Also, try to remember we’re not just here to help you sex up Peter with your sudden and inexplicable knowledge of seventeenth-century—”

“You’re not just doing this because you think I want it, are you?” Derek says. He curls his hands over Stiles’ shoulders, brushes his thumbs just short of Stiles’ neck. His scowl looks a little brittle, and he’s angling his head and shoulders like he thinks it’s actually feasible to fold himself into shorter, slighter Stiles body. “I mean, yeah, okay, it’s…it’d be nice…”

“It’d better be a fuckload more than nice,” Stiles says. He gives Derek’s pockets a jerk, pushing his head under the other man’s chin. Derek’s stifled gasp riffles his hair as he leans up, presses his mouth into the side of Derek’s throat. “I mean, I’m sharing, here.”

Derek swallows, slow, with a long, sucking inhale. He turns into Stiles’ face, his hands loose on Stiles’ shoulders. “Yeah, I know, that’s what I mean.”

Stiles nuzzles him for a second, then pulls back. “You kind of sound like you want me to fall in love with the guy.”

“Hah,” Derek says. He’s still a little breathless, and his eyes are searching Stiles’ face as he pulls his head down. He’s thinking about smirking or scowling his way out of it, and then he just shrugs. “Well, look, he’s my uncle. Whatever happens, I still have to see him once a week afterward. He’s an asshole, but he is family.”

“Oh, my God, we’re trying to get him in bed, we’re not selling him out,” Stiles says, though he slides his hands out of Derek’s pockets and up around the other man’s back. “No. Seriously. I’m not doing this to be mean to him. Even if he kind of deserves it. No, he really deserves it. That shit with the fishing?”

Derek looks at him for a second, like he isn’t sure whether he’s worried or scared of Stiles. Then he snorts. Dips forward and snuffles at the hair over Stiles’ temple, just as Stiles grips the back of his neck. “Just checking. Because—”

“I am totally into this for the chance to fuck that smug, smarmy, quarter-bouncing ass,” Stiles says. “Along with getting you your dream family fuck. Believe me, my motives, while genuinely meant to do you a solid, are shot through and through with selfish glee.”

“Just checking,” Derek says again, pulling back. “Because if you like him, I know what that means.”

“It means we’re booked for a straight two hours of looking up obscure legal precedents in European estate magic,” Stiles says, rolling his eyes. “Now come on, let’s get started.”

* * *

“Derek?” Peter says, looking faintly confused. He glances at the papers on his desk, then puts his pen down and pushes away his iPad, and gets up and comes around to greet them. “Stiles, of course, and…what brings you here?”

“We had a legal question,” Derek says. Well, blurts out, really. He makes a face at himself and then runs his hand over the top of his head, which drops the air of suspicion from Peter faster than any detailed, well-researched alibi probably would’ve. “Don’t kick us out, it’s for work, we can pay you and do the—paperwork stuff, it’s just—”

“—we kind of have three hours to conduct a seisin in deed ceremony per Burgundian laws before shit starts to catch on fire, and I can do the ceremony that fast but my permits don’t cover it and blah blah blah, I can take the fine if I really have to, but Derek says your firm works a lot with the city engineer,” Stiles says.

Peter’s brows shoot up, but not because he’s dismissive or uninterested. On the contrary, his hand goes back behind him and starts groping for his iPad. “Who’s stupid enough to be using the Burgundian code?” he says.

“Um, client confidentiality and all, but let’s just say newbie vineyard owner takes terroir way too seriously, thinks he’s literally gotta recreate medieval France,” Stiles sighs. “Anyway. My contract does give me the right to subcontract out without their permission in emergencies, so…”

“Oh. Oh, well, can’t have raging fires, can we, does terrible things to property values and people’s sanity,” Peter says. He gets his iPad up and starts swiping at it. “And I have to admit, this sounds a damn sight more interesting than what’s on my desk. Burgundian, really? I’ve seen a few Basque ceremonies—there was a migration in the area a century ago, I don’t know if you know—”

“Sheep-herding, yep,” Stiles says.

Peter glances up. The corners of his mouth turn up, and then he goes back to his iPad. “Well, that’s my calendar cleared for the day,” he says. “Now, we’ll stop at my assistant to get the retainer letter for you to sign, and then I think we’d best just go across the street and see who’s around in the city engineer’s office.”

The city engineering team is almost disturbingly helpful once they see Peter. Permits that took Stiles three months, four hearings, and a small forest’s worth of paper filings are happily granted variances in twenty minutes flat, and that’s including time to grab a coffee on the way. The retainer letter Peter shoved at Stiles doesn’t offer a family discount but the sticker price is worth it just for the way the engineers don’t even blink when Stiles mentions potentially borrowing a fire truck and a backhoe.

So it doesn’t go nearly that far, because Stiles damn well does know what he’s doing, but they do have to scramble a bit in order to get back out to the vineyard in time. And Derek’s car, although awesome and sexy and fast, is also a low-riding sports car that doesn’t really off-road. And Stiles had to lend his rental SUV to Scott, because he’s a good friend too, even if Scott was the one who finally did in his poor jeep.

“Well, you’re hired now, client confidentiality means you gotta keep your mouth shut, too. Right?” Stiles says as Peter pulls up to the half-buried boundary stone. “I’m pretty sure I saw that on a lawyer show somewhere.”

“Truth in television, what modern educational wonders we have,” Peter says. “Yes, Stiles, I will keep the identity of your ill-advised client a secret. God forbid anyone find out that their Pinot Noir grapes are being grown by fools who can’t distinguish between Occitan and Burgundian when their lives literally depend on it.”

“Yeah, well, idiots keep us in business,” Stiles says, handing Peter a candle. “Okay, stand here, you’re the witness, don’t make faces and throw off Derek’s chanting.”

Peter blinks big, innocent eyes over his grin, but he does as he’s told. Seisin rituals are actually pretty boring and unsexy—when Stiles has the time, he prefers to outsource them completely, they use up a lot of costly herbs and aren’t any fun—but Peter watches the whole thing with the kind of intensity most people save for the reveal scene of the play, or something like that. And he doesn’t make faces at Derek.

He does make little hissing noises whenever Derek mangles a word, which, much as it’s annoying, is also kind of cute. And the tiny sighs whenever they get a tricky phrase right, well, that’s just icing. Stiles has to kick Derek in the heel a couple times to keep him on point.

“That was probably really boring,” Derek says to Peter, as they’re cleaning up the casting circle. “This isn’t what Stiles and I usually do.”

“Oh, no, it’s always interesting to see variations on property transfer,” Peter says. He dusts off a candle, but a crust of dirt around the bottom isn’t bulging. So he wraps his hand over it and starts jerking off the candle. Seriously. So much for that geek coma, his fuckery’s back and then some. “And anyway, if it’s medieval European, I’m in.”

“Uh, right,” Derek mutters, staring at Peter’s hand. Then he grimaces and twists away before Stiles even has to poke him. Which is great for one second and then Stiles notices that his shoulders are hiked up. “Yeah, you were always fucking around with that weird-smelling shit in the basement.”

Peter’s eyes cool. When Stiles comes up he hands over the candle without looking, and then just cleans the next one off by slapping it against his palm. “They’re called poultices and elixirs, Derek. Not that you’ve ever shown much of an interest.”

“I know what they’re called, we use them too,” Derek snaps. “They just smelled like crap.”

“And yours don’t?” Peter says. He glances over the half-erased casting ring, then nudges a bundle of pretty pungent herbs with his toe. “I can’t imagine that such a successful mage doesn’t get his hands deep into the literal shit once in a while.”

“Well, I—” Stiles starts.

“They aren’t as bad. Stiles came up with some substitutions that work just as well, and don’t make the whole place smell like somebody emptied out a moose colon,” Derek says. He glances at Stiles, then makes a little dismissive twitch with his hand at the what-the-fuck face Stiles is giving him. Then he bends over and starts scuffing his claws through the dirt, cutting up the outlined circle. “I mean, I know you spent a lot of time down there, but you’re the only one who could do that without passing out.”

The scuffing is making Derek’s ass jiggle. And he has an absolutely spectacular ass, no doubt, and those jeans are doing exactly what they need to in supporting it, but there’s no way that alone is going to smooth over Peter’s hackles.

But…well, Peter’s still irritated with Derek, but he’s looking thoughtful, too. He takes the odd glance at Derek’s ass but mostly he’s frowning at the…the probes Derek is pulling out of the ground, and the vials Stiles is packing back into the carry case, and the random smears of paste over both Stiles’ and Derek’s hands. “Substitutions?” Peter finally says.

Derek, who’s just gone to hands and knees, crawls by Stiles so he can pull up a half-buried cable, and also so he can give Stiles a poke. He totally does not have poking privileges, but Peter is looking over so Stiles just makes a note on the to-revenge list and pastes on a bright smile. “Yeah, I’ve been experimenting a little bit. My favorite professor was the guy who taught cross-cultural herbalry, and you know, now that we have online shipping, we can get a lot of herbs they couldn’t get in the old days. I just figured, since Derek’s permanent these days, it might be nice to come up with stuff that doesn’t make him sick. I’m pretty open-minded but staying knotted in a puking guy for a half-hour isn’t really my idea of a great time.”

“He’s got a couple papers on it up for publication, actually,” Derek says, grunting and yanking on a particular stubborn cable.

“And Derek’s been really helpful with letting me try out stuff on him,” Stiles says. He snaps the carry case shut and sticks it under his arm, then squats down to give Derek a rub over the back of the neck and a quick kiss. “I was actually kind of surprised when I found out he nearly failed chem-magic lab in college. So he’s not primary mixer, but he can lend a hand, which is more than what I can say for half the people I worked with before him.”

Peter starts to say something, then stops. Backs up a step, not because he’s threatened, but because he wants a better, more expansive, showing-all-the-angles view of them. His eyes narrow and he folds his arms across his chest. “If you’re leading up to something, just spit it out,” he finally says. “Bribing me with rightfully archaic property rituals only suspends my disbelief for so long, Derek.”

“You sound like we’re holding you hostage. You’re the one with the car,” Stiles says, blinking.

“Forget it, Stiles, I told you he’d just get irritated,” Derek mutters. He’s wrapping the cable up around his hand and therefore totally missing the way Peter’s cheek tics. “He hates it when people aren’t as stupid as he thinks they are, and he doesn’t really care that I actually learned a couple things from somebody not him.”

“I—” Peter says sharply. Then he catches himself. He glowers at his nephew as if he sees exactly what they’re using his pride to back him into…and then he unfolds an arm to jab his finger at Derek. “I taught you what little you know about runes and wolfsbane, you little shit. If it wasn’t for me beating otherwise into your head, you’d still think you need to smoke wolfsbane to cure yourself.”

“Then you’ll come over and watch us mix up a new version of desalination powder this weekend?” Stiles says. Because okay, he is very lost in all this family history and all, but he knows an opportunity when he sees one. “Because Derek’s helpful, sure, but something like that, I could use another trained compounder.”

Peter actually jerks a little when he turns to Stiles. He opens his mouth, closes it. At least pulls his accusing finger in. He still looks like he knows what they’re doing, but he’s clearly drawing a blank on acceptable excuses.

“Or if you don’t want to, okay, fine. No pressure,” Stiles says. “My colleagues mentioned this other guy who’s local, what’s his name—Deaton, right. They said he might not mind collabor—”

“Alan Deaton wouldn’t know salt burn from frostbite, judging by the nonsense he spouts off at the zoning hearings,” Peter snaps. He glares at Stiles, then at Derek—still coiling wires—and then just stalks back around to the driver’s door of his car. He yanks it open and then does something in there, his arms and back stiff, and then he twists around to face them again. “Very well, Stiles, I suppose I should ensure my family isn’t being inadvertently poisoned by some amateur. Send my assistant directions and a time.”

And then Peter gets in his car and drives off. His wheels kick up some dust and Stiles sneezes a couple times, then bats off Derek, who’s trying to pound his back. “I’m not choking, dumbass.”

“So that worked,” Derek says. He’s staring after the car. “Huh.”

“Yeah. Yeah, it worked,” Stiles says. He wipes off his nose, then glances at the other man. “Although, you know, I’m starting to see Cora’s point. You are kind of an asshole to him.”

Derek looks offended, and then scowls while looking at the ground. He rubs at the side of his face. “Yeah, I…don’t know, we just always end up like that.”

“And I kind of see your point, too,” Stiles says. When Derek looks up, he grins and tugs the man over by the arm. Then he drops his hand so he can slip it under Derek’s waistband, because yeah, okay, he’s kind of accustomed to sex while working, and Derek…definitely isn’t saying no. “Amateur poisoning, his ass. He’s lucky it’s such a good view when he’s going off in a snit. Anyway, good job.”

“You think?” Derek says.

Stiles grins and gropes his way into Derek’s crotch. He teases the man’s cock a little, and then, when Derek’s arching into it, wedges it out of the way so that he can scratch his fingertips at Derek’s balls instead. Derek’s pants are so tight that’s about all that he can do, and the waistband is halfway to cutting off his circulation with it, but he slaps off Derek’s hands when the man tries to undo his fly.

“Oh, absolutely,” Stiles says over Derek’s whimpering. “I think this is gonna go well.”

* * *

Peter shows up promptly on Saturday morning, with a bottle of apology tincture in hand. “I have to say sorry for my behavior the other day, Stiles,” he says, passing it over. “Of course you’re not poisoning Derek with magic.”

“I think there’s a caveat in that, but this is a really good vintage and I’m not giving it back,” Stiles snorts, checking out the label. Five years’ aged angelica cordial, nice. Still not worth softballing it. “So, there’s coffee and tea in the kitchen. The antidotes are in the left-hand cabinet above the fridge and the poison detecting strips are in the drawer to the right of the stove.”

He lets the other man in, then shuts the door and puts the masking runes back up. Not that he’s about to commit a murder or anything (first rule of anything, do not shit at home), but it’s hard to find a landlord who’ll be okay with unauthorized magicking on-premises so…Stiles doesn’t mention it. And offers his neighbors complimentary painkiller samples and the occasional relationship counseling talk on the roof patio, because yeah, he did have to take mandatory training in that even if it’s not how he earns his bucks.

Peter laughs like they’re tight like that and waves Stiles off. He spends a couple seconds checking out the framed quipus above the couch, then moves on to browsing the stack of Breton folklore references on the coffeetable. Which Stiles is using, although normally he’d just order digital scans instead of the actual books themselves. “I’m sure you wouldn’t go through the trouble of killing me just when you’ve got me where you want me,” he says, flipping through a book on weather-casting. “It’s been a while since I ventured into the area, but I believe necromancy falls under an entirely different branch.”

“Yeah, well, sex and death are two sides of the same coin, as they say,” Stiles says. He watches Peter’s pause, then grins and flops down on the nearest chair. “I’m kidding. Derek would be very mad if I hurt you.”

“I’m sure,” Peter mutters. He lingers over the book a second longer, then puts it down and looks around. “And where is my wayward neph—”

Give him credit, he only stiffens a little when Derek crosses the silencing threshold. Then he smiles and goes over to examine the runes Stiles has carved into the baseboards. Derek looks at him, then at Stiles, then resettles the bowl under his arm.

“So it turned blue a couple seconds ago,” Derek says. “It still smells like roadkill.”

Stiles sighs and pushes himself off the chair to go look. The hallway’s kind of narrow, and Peter’s so interested in those runes that he’s actually gotten down on one knee, so Stiles sort of has to lean his shin into Peter to peer into the bowl. “Damn. I bet it was the mandrake, day before the new moon probably doesn’t—oh, wait, I wonder if maybe we didn’t use a good fish bladder to strain it…”

“The bladder should’ve been fine, it smelled right, didn’t spring any leaks when I tested it,” Derek mutters. He sniffs at the mixture, then stifles a snort into his shoulder. “You know, it kind of smells like urea, too.”

“Oh. Maybe it’s the vegetable lamb pressing,” Stiles says. “That shit goes rancid like nobody’s business.”

“Did you use cold-pressed?” Peter says.

Derek moves the bowl so they can look down at him; he seems genuinely curious, though Derek’s still tensing up. “Well, it’s out of season, you can’t really get cold-pressed. Unless we go to that one—”

“We’re not going to that asshole again, I don’t care if he’s got a fucking flock of veggie lambs growing in his greenhouse,” Stiles says. “He tried to roofie us.”

“I didn’t say we were going to ask him,” Derek says, rolling his eyes. “Also, yeah, about that, why didn’t we just—”

Stiles hisses at him. Derek hitches his head back, completely confused by it, and then snorts. Looks down at Peter, who shrugs and spreads his hands. “I’m not in criminal law,” he says.

“But don’t you take an oath to uphold the legal system?” Stiles says.

“Well, yes, and I suppose if that ever catches up with you, I will uphold your rights to a full and vigorous defense,” Peter says, smiling winningly. “Benefits of an adversarial system.”

“Yeah, right. Sure. Billed in six-minute increments, I bet. Anyway…” Stiles backs up and looks at Derek “…go dump out that batch, and remember to not use the cleaner in the green bottle, that’s the only copper bowl I’ve got right now. I’ll go—oh, um, Peter, did you want to see the lab or the—”

“The drying rack’s on the balcony across from this old lady who keeps asking Stiles to come over and try her biscuits,” Derek says.

Amused, Peter glances towards the sliding doors, and then at Stiles. “If I remember correctly, you were a quiche man,” he says. He gets up, waits a beat so Derek scowls over his disappointment, and then shrugs. “Well, I’m not a fan either, so I suppose we’ll wait for you in the lab. Derek?”

Who’s well-trained enough at this point to blink once, grimace, and then gesture for Peter to follow him back down the hall. And then he looks over his shoulder at Stiles.

He looks less than happy and maybe a little nervous when Stiles shrugs, but hey, much as Stiles agrees that that was way too easy, it’s not like they can have Peter over and then kick him out. Talk about mixed signals. Anyway, the apartment’s not that big and the silencing runes don’t keep Stiles from hearing something life-threatening, so Stiles figures he can just leave them for a couple minutes while he gathers up more fish bladders. Worst comes to worst, he walks in on one of them storming out.

Actually, he walks in on them massaging each other’s hands in the big copper bowl. At least, that’s what it looks like from just outside the doorway: they’re standing on either side of the work-table, both hunched over so they can put their whole upper body weight behind whatever they’re kneading. Peter’s rolled up his sleeves and his hair’s fluffed enough out of his product that a couple curls almost bounce into Derek’s forehead when they both lean forward.

They haven’t noticed Stiles yet, and Stiles rubs over a couple of the doorway runes to keep it that way. Also so he can reverse the soundproofing wards and hear what they’re saying.

“…surprised, you never seemed interested before,” Peter is saying. He glances up at Derek, then lets out a dry, very resigned chuckle. “Don’t glare at me, Derek. You weren’t. I don’t know why you kept wandering down to the basement, but it certainly wasn’t because you cared what I was doing.”

“I didn’t know what you were doing. It reeked and you did it all day and then you’d come up with weird shit in beakers that you wouldn’t let anybody touch,” Derek mutters. He picks one hand up and sniffs at it. His fingers are covered in a dark red fluid, too thin and purplish to be blood—oh, they’re deseeding the vampire pomegranates. “But…okay, yeah, I didn’t get it back then. I still don’t think I want to be locked up all day doing it, but with Stiles it’s kind of cool.”

Peter lifts his hands and shakes some seeds off his fingers. One is persistent and he finally has to scrape it off with a nail. Then he pokes at that finger, frowning, while the tiny little puncture wound seals up. “He does seem…unique,” Peter says. He sounds weirdly tight. Then he lifts his head and he gives Derek a butter-smooth smile. “Well, however he’s done it, he’s clearly made you see the light. I applaud him for that.”

“Why don’t you like him? He likes all the stuff you do,” Derek says. He pulls his hands out of the bowl and absently licks a smear of blood on his wrist, then wipes his hands on a towel. “What is it with you and the people I date, anyway?”

“Derek. Dear nephew.” Peter takes out his hands, too, but doesn’t wipe them off. He just sets them carefully to either side of the bowl and then leans forward, head tilted to the side, expression the quintessential bearer of bad news. “You dated a genocidal pyromaniac and a darach. Forgive me if I’m being a little cautious.”

“I didn’t do that on purpose!” Derek snaps. “And you barely even met Jennifer, and Kate—goddamn it, I was sixteen, Peter. I didn’t know my ass from my—is that what you want to hear? I mean, I don’t even know. I’ve tried everything I can think of and you’re still pissed at me for her.”

Peter’s eyes flick briefly heavenward. “Well, she set me on fire.”

“And you don’t think I was upset about that?” Derek says. He rakes at his hair, and hard enough that he catches himself with a claw. Then he scrubs at the blood over his cheekbone. “I dumped her and cut her brakes and helped you get her and her crazy dad committed to a prison where the werewolf gangs would jump them within the week.”

“You also stopped even looking at me for a whole year,” Peter says after a long pause. He shifts back on his hands, frowning and staring at Derek and generally looking a little taken aback. “You wouldn’t say anything that couldn’t be said in words of more than one syllable, and any time I asked you what you wanted to do, you just told me to fuck off.”

“Well, I knew Mom was making you hang out with me,” Derek says. He looks down into the bowl. “You didn’t really want to do it, and—it was weird to make you. I didn’t get that. You did have a good reason to not like me right then. I don’t get her sometimes.”

Peter purses his lips a few times, taps his fingers on the table. He reaches up for the bowl, then puts his hand down—Derek glances at that hand, then resumes bowl-gazing—and stands back. He almost wipes his hands on his pants before catching himself. After a look around, he grabs another towel and slowly starts to clean off his fingers.

“Derek, Talia wasn’t making me,” Peter says. His mouth twitches at Derek’s snort. “Well, all right, in the beginning she was. But I didn’t hate you for Kate. I thought you were a complete idiot, and yes, I resented you for a while. I liked that shirt. But you were such a pathetic little black hole of misery—you obviously took it the hardest, there wasn’t really anything to add to that. And you’re still family. It’s an insult to all of us to let a predatory nutjob like her ruin your life.”

“I wasn’t that pathetic,” Derek mutters. He looks up at Peter, then makes a face and pushes the bowl aside. Tosses his towel in the refuse bin and then reaches for the racks of tincture bottles. “Shut up.”

“Anyway, I assumed from your behavior that you didn’t want to spend time with the man who showed your true love for what she really was,” Peter says. He’s all airy and amused, but his eyes stay on Derek as he gets rid of his towel. Then he turns around and pulls over a stool. “At any rate, Derek, Stiles at least seems reasonably rational about his psychoses. I’m sure you’ll be very happy together.”

Derek’s still a little stuck on that first part, says his wide eyes. “Peter, she set you on fire.”

“Yes, Derek, I know. I was there, I lost a good tie as well, and had a terrible haircut for two months,” Peter says dryly. Then he sees Derek’s expression. He pauses, then sighs and gets off his stool and goes around the table. Takes Derek by the arm and looks deeply into his eyes. “Derek. I don’t hate you. Now, can we stop with this little farce about trying to get me into bed with your boyfriend? It was amusing at the start, I’ll admit, but I think the joke’s gone on long enough.”

Derek goes from surprised to disbelieving to really disbelieving, and then to annoyed. “It’s not a joke.”

Peter opens his mouth, then turns his head aside and sort of coughs out his laugh. “Look, clearly, Stiles’ sense of humor is—”

“It was my idea,” Derek says. He pulls his arm away from Peter, not roughly, just so he can step back and look at the man. “No, seriously, we really want you.”

He also clocks Stiles in the doorway. A flash of irritation goes over Derek’s face—not because Stiles is eavesdropping, Derek expects that, but because Stiles took so long—and then Derek makes a little hurry-up-do-something jerk with his hand. Stiles flips the privacy wards so he can be heard, then clears his throat.

“Yeah, Derek’s idea. Although I’m open to enthusiastic about it, depending on your daily fanservice-to-insult ratio,” Stiles says, leaning against the doorway.

Peter doesn’t jerk around. His shoulders hitch up, hold, and then he very deliberately, very slowly turns so he can take in both of them. He’s smiling but it’s brittle and sharp and icy as a Nordic hell.

“You.” He points at Stiles. “I knew it. I knew there had to be some—” he slews around and actually snaps at Derek, werewolf teeth-gnashing that makes Derek’s claws pop out “—and I had honestly started to think you’d grown a backbone, Derek. I’m so sorry, my mistake, clearly I’ve mistaken you for someone who doesn’t just enslave themselves to whoever shows them the slightest bit of kindness—”

Derek’s eyes light up like blue high-beams. His arms snap out and back, splaying a double handful of claws, and he crouches into a ferocious snarl.

Which is semi-wasted since by then, Stiles has bent down and triggered the waste disposal ward, so Peter should now be somewhere in their building’s basement. Not that Stiles doesn’t appreciate the effort and all, but he’s never seen the point of taking shit when there’s not a gun to your head, and definitely not in his own apartment. Asshole.

Also, okay, fuck. Just a little. Because Peter was kind of likable for a second there, and not just in a wolfpile sex fantasy way.

Stiles is halfway through grinding up rodent bones with a mortar and pestle when a heavy, warm weight settles at his back. Derek lays his hands over Stiles’ knees and puts his head between Stiles’ shoulderblades, and just curls up quietly, letting his body ride the movements of Stiles’ arms.

“Well, that’s not where I thought he’d go,” Stiles finally says.

“Sorry,” Derek mutters, grimacing into Stiles’ back.

Stiles pulverizes some miniscule femurs, then lets go of the pestle and sighs. “Not your fault.” He pushes a bone fragment off the mortar rim and back into the hollow. “Um, so, just so we’re clear, you don’t have to challenge him or whatever. I really don’t give a shit if he ever gets smart enough to sincerely apologize. My ego does not depend on his validation and really, just, fuck him.”

Derek nods. He also huffs a little irritably at Stiles, but that’s just his usual reflex at being denied an opportunity to avenge Stiles’ nonexistent honor. For a guy who sees nothing wrong with running around all night in the rain and then rolling himself soaking wet into bed with Stiles, he’s strangely solicitous about getting into stupid fights that don’t achieve anything meaningful on Stiles’ behalf.

“Also, we’re still going to family dinner,” Stiles adds. “I’ll just…bribe your sisters to sit between us or something. Whatever, okay, I am not scared of your asshole uncle and I refuse to deny myself your mom’s cooking because of him.”

“Okay,” Derek says. He cuddles up for another second, and then slides his hands up Stiles’ thighs.

Stiles turns and looks at him over one shoulder. “I said it wasn’t your fault. You can’t have apology sex if you’re not the one who owes the apology.”

“I know, but sex would make you feel better.” Derek dips in, keeping his head lower, and licks at Stiles’ jaw. Then he moves back just enough for Stiles to see his big, wistful eyes. “It’s, I don’t know, I have asshole family sex.”

“I feel like that’s apology sex in a different overcoat. Still the same flasher underneath,” Stiles says. Then he shrugs, and shoves away the mortar. “But yeah, you know, it would make me feel better.”

* * *

Once Stiles’ legs work again—the sex mage gig does come with certain enhanced healing traits, but nowhere near werewolf, damn it—he crawls over to his laptop, logs in, and cuts Peter’s law firm a check for those permits early. He doesn’t even have the money in from that client yet, but his business account can cover it and he just wants to get rid of that thread as soon as possible.

He also thinks for a couple minutes about sending a note with the payment, but ultimately doesn’t. Because one, like he told Derek, he knows when somebody’s wronged him and he doesn’t need to rely on their reaction to dictate his actions afterward. Two, he’s pretty sure Peter would expect something like that, and damned if he’s going to give the man an inch now. “Three, that’s just grade school, Scotty. If I was going to waste the time and thought on that bastard, I wouldn’t send a note.”

Scott looks skeptical. “So you’re really not going to go after him. Not that I think you should, Stiles, but…it’s you.”

“Yeah, I know.” Stiles shifts around, then swings his legs up so he can prop his feet on the railing around the café’s outdoor seating. He maybe pulled something in his back, probably when he was fucking Derek’s mouth in the laundry room, but it’s just that annoying persistent niggle kind of pulled muscle, which won’t let him stretch it or get comfortable. “But he is Derek’s uncle. And Derek said he doesn’t want me to get Peter back on his behalf, either, so I guess we’re not going to.”

Now Scott’s pinching his arm.

“And if you throw holy water on either of us, I’m not helping Allison with her gardening problems anymore,” Stiles says. “Look, Derek might laugh at you a lot, but that doesn’t mean he’s vindictive—”

They’re at that café with the kouign amann and the quiche, because Stiles is not giving up a damn thing because of Peter, and they’re sitting there at ass o’clock in the morning because Stiles and Derek are coming off a night gig and Scott is working overtime at the clinic around the corner to earn up for Allison’s birthday. So why the fuck Peter is crossing the street is beyond Stiles, since the man normally shouldn’t be in the office for another two hours.

Peter clearly has seen them, and even more clearly, is targeting them. He looks a little tense under the polite smile, but he steps up onto the curb on the other side of the railing. And then Derek, who’d gone off to feed the parking meter (for real this time, damn crappy downtown parking), suddenly pops back up.

He catches Peter off-guard, which says something about how focused the guy was on Stiles. Peter jerks sideways, blinks, and then starts to smarm something, except he’s got Derek’s tongue in his mouth. Like, all the way in, and Stiles can tell that because Derek’s just kept walking till he and Peter are smashed up against the railing, and actually, Peter’s tilted halfway over it, and Derek has Peter by the shoulder so they’re angled perfectly for Stiles to see the way Derek’s tongue bulges out Peter’s cheek.

Peter’s wide-eyed and denting the wrought-iron railing around his fingers. He tries to say something again, and Derek twists his head a little and makes this lewd wet sucking sound leak out of their joined mouths. Sticks his other hand between them, rocking it down till Peter jerks.

And then Derek pulls off. He hops the railing, wipes off his mouth, and then plops into the empty half of Stiles’ chair. It’s not really enough for him, but Stiles obligingly hikes up onto Derek’s lap and then grins as Derek proceeds to give him a tonsil-licking greeting, too. Hell, he twines his fingers into Derek’s hair and then returns the favor, and adds a quick nip at Derek’s throat while he’s at it.

“Hey,” he says. “How long’ve we got?”

“Ten minutes. I just had a quarter,” Derek says, shrugging. “Did you still want to get that slice to go, or I can see if they’ll give me change at the counter?”

“Ah.” Peter’s still hanging onto the railing. He turns around, keeping a firm grip with one hand, and absently bats at his tie, which is flipped up over one shoulder, so it falls down and then catches on his vest, which is rucked up so his shirt-tails are out. “Derek. Stiles. Glad I caught you, we should t—”

Derek cocks his head at Stiles, who was totally on board the second he saw that hell-or-high-water set to Derek’s jaw. “Eh, let’s just go,” Stiles says. “Scott, you can drop off the rest of my quiche at my place, right?”

Scott, mumbling about never eating with them again, spares a moment from huddling with his face buried in his diagnostic charts to wave an affirming hand. He really is an awesome friend.

So Derek hefts Stiles up by the thighs, and Stiles gives Peter a friendly wave as his boyfriend carries him off.

Three hours later, Peter calls Stiles. Actually, he gets one of the other partners at his firm to call Stiles and pretend the city engineer’s office has contacted them about the permits, and then he gets ‘called in’ to help explain. Stiles tells them something’s come up at work and he’ll need to call them back, and then switches the phone to speaker instead so he can really concentrate on play-by-playing the shit out of plowing Derek’s ass. Which, honestly, is legit—it’s still a half-hour till lunch break and they’re on a job. And the benefit of being an independent contractor is being able to set up his workplace however he wants.

“They stayed on an extra fifteen minutes,” Derek says after, checking Stiles’ phone. “Can he bill for that?”

“I gotta say, he writes up a good description of the work he accomplished, I’ll be tempted to pay it,” Stiles says, snuggling up on top of the other man. “So, hey, that was fun, but what are we doing, exactly? Proving that we really did want to fuck him, showing what he’s missing out on, or just frustrating him? ‘Cause I’m down, I just wanna know how far to go.”

“All of the above,” Derek mutters. He flexes under Stiles, hisses a little as his ass tugs around Stiles’ knot, and then relaxes the relax of the blissed-out. “Because he can be as shitty as he wants to me, but he should’ve left you out of it.”

“So much for you not being vindictive,” Stiles says after a second.

Derek cranes around and looks at him. “Did you seriously?”

“Honestly, nah, I’m the one dating you,” Stiles says, and bends down for a kiss. “So, what’s next?”

Family dinner. Peter is perfectly polite to everyone, to the point that Talia starts asking, very seriously, if he’s feeling all right. Then he lets Stiles volunteer to do the dishes before cutting in front of Derek and offering to help, too. Derek gets dragged off by his sisters to set up some party game in the living room.

“You bribed your own nieces,” Stiles says.

“Nothing you’re unfamiliar with,” Peter says dryly. He at least takes up the washing without even a token protest. “Stiles. Look, about the other day, I’d like to apologize.”

Stiles looks over at him, then settles back against the counter. Takes the dishtowel and starts swinging it from two fingertips, still looking at Peter.

“I was—out of line,” Peter says. He sounds a little like he’s gritting his teeth, but the obvious discomfort means he’s not faking it. He fiddles with the plate in his hand, then gives it a scrub that damn near takes off its glaze. Hands it over while taking a deep breath. “Just because Derek has historically had certain failings doesn’t mean that you should be blamed for them.”

“Thanks, it’s so nice to know that I’m not responsible for the doormat I’m apparently seeing,” Stiles says, drying off the plate. He racks it and then flicks out the towel. “Incidentally, he’s not. And it really was his idea. I don’t know why you can’t believe it, but it was. And I just want it to be clear, I’m mad at you because I don’t appreciate you basically saying that I brainwashed him like his other fucking exes. I know about them, I know exactly what they did to him, I live with Derek, after all. And I am not even close to being like them.”

“I realize that,” Peter says quietly. He gets through a couple cups, then takes his hands out of the water and puts them on the sink rim. Suds drip down the counter and get on his pants, but he doesn’t seem to notice. “I didn’t mean—well, no, I did say that, more or less. I’m sorry.”

Stiles dries a cup. Sets it down, picks up the next, and then looks at Peter. “Okay. Fine.”

“And for what it’s worth, Stiles, I like you considerably more than anyone else he’s dated,” Peter adds. He lifts his hand like he’s going to start washing again, then puts it back down. Laughs under his breath. “My disbelief in this entire situation has nothing to do with any lack of attraction, believe me. To either of you.”

“Because obviously, I’m gonna be so flattered you find me fuckable that I’m gonna forget the other asshole shit you said,” Stiles says. “You owe Derek an apology, too. It’s not like it was just something he pulled out of thin air, you know.”

“And how do you know that?” Peter abruptly turns around. Even takes a step towards Stiles before pulling back. His voice is still smooth as silk but he’s starting to look frazzled, incredulous smirk a little frayed at the corners, hand clenching at the sink rim. “I can believe that he’s developed skills beyond just beating things to a pulp. I can believe that you’ve gotten him interested in actual spell mechanics, and I can even believe that he’s for once managed to find someone who isn’t trying to kill him. But that? You might be dating him, Stiles, but I’ve known him since he was born.”

“Yeah? Yeah, well, I’m not going to play that game. I’m just going to point out that I was fucking him raw when your name came up, and he tried to play it off, he really did, but his ass would close down on me every time he talked about you.” Stiles laughs, seeing Peter’s pupils blow out, and starts walking forward. He’s only got a step before he’s up against the other man, and one more before they’re pushed into the counter. “It’s so fucking tight, you know, and then it wasn’t even your name, it was just ‘uncle,’ he’d say that, and he’d bear down on my cock, over and over.”

Peter sucks in his breath. His hand slips off the sink rim and he staggers for a second, like his body got fooled into thinking that was all that was holding him up.

Well, obviously Stiles is going to shove up against Peter’s legs. Can’t have the man falling over, that’d just be embarrassing. “And I didn’t ask, but I bet he was thinking it was your cock in him. Because that’s what he was telling me he wanted, your cock, his ass, my cock, your ass. As the guy fucking him, that is not what he’s like when he’s just dicking around.”

And hey, Stiles might as well add his hands, too. Can’t be too careful. He doesn’t want to break Peter, after all, just wants him to keep stuttering his breath like that, staring back like he’s half-in Stiles’ head, seeing what Stiles is thinking. So he slips his hands around Peter’s hips, pushes them flush to the cabinets. Rocks his thumbs up along the groove in the front, between hip and pelvic cradle, drawing double lines on the edges of the man’s groin.

“And I gotta say, that sounded pretty damn fun to me, so I didn’t mind. Don’t mind,” Stiles says. He’s a little taller than Peter and he arches his neck to use that, gambling on that little hitch Peter makes into his hands.

And he guesses right, because Peter bends his head back so pretty, keeping their eyes locked, lifting his chin so Stiles can breathe the words right at his throat.

“Because he’s really fucking hot, but also, he’s really fucking good to me, and I like it when he’s happy. And he really, really thinks you’d make him happy,” he says to Peter. “So yeah, you know what, I wanna be kind to him. I wanna be nice. I wanna take your cock and stuff him full of it, till you’re both so fucked you can’t even get up, and then I wanna fuck you so he can feel me filling you up. Lock your ass up on a thick knot, make you scream on it so your cock’s shaking in him. How does that sound to you? Sound good?”

Peter rasps in a breath. He’s half-hard and still going against Stiles, his pupils so wide they can’t hold it, their edges jiggling as they contract and then bloom again. “…yes.”

“Oh, good.” Stiles steps back. Dusts himself off and then reaches into the sink for a plate. It’s been sitting so long in there it doesn’t need a scrub, just a hard wipe. “So you and Derek are going to go talk about why you’re always so jackass-y to each other that we never seem to get there, right? Great, good talk, Peter. Let’s go play Catchphrase.”

Then he tosses the towel on the counter and walks out. Most of the dishes are still in the sink, but he doesn’t look back and Peter doesn’t call after him.

Actually, Peter doesn’t leave the kitchen the whole rest of the night. “Did you do something?” Derek asks Stiles.

“We talked,” Stiles says. He glances around to check that they’ve got the whole back porch to themselves, then shrugs into his boyfriend. “Also, so I think the whole getting him in bed might be back on? I mean, I’m not that mad at him anymore. Are you?”

Derek shifts up so he can look at Stiles. “You did something.”

“We talked,” Stiles says, exasperated. Then he pushes his face into Derek’s shoulder. “And I maybe managed to figure out whether he’s cut or not without his clothes coming off. But no actual sex. You know I’m waiting for you on that.”

“Yeah,” Derek says. He sinks back down. He still looks a little dubious, but he’s nudging his knee into Stiles’ leg. “Yeah. And…honestly, I don’t know if I can be so mad at him I don’t want to.”

Stiles grins. Gives Derek’s thigh a rub when he feels the suspicious look on the top of his head. “Calm down. It’s just…called it, totally called it, this is a thing for you.”

“It’s not a crush,” Derek mutters. He kicks at the porch floor, then slouches down so he can breathe through Stiles’ hair. “Okay. Whatever. Anyway. It’s back on?”

“Pretty sure,” Stiles says. “I’m betting he’s going to at least consider it seriously, when he comes to talk to you like I told him to.”

Derek nuzzles Stiles’ head. He pushes off on his foot so the swing rocks gently back and forth, then lifts up his leg. Then he pulls himself into the corner of the swing so they can both stretch their legs out over the rest of it.

“Though I’m still a little mad at him,” Stiles says.

“Okay,” Derek says. Then shrugs off Stiles’ look. “Doesn’t mean I mind seeing him work for it. He was a dick to you.”

“You are an asshole, and an awesome boyfriend,” Stiles says happily, leaning into him.

* * *

Instead of talking to Derek, Peter invites them over for dinner. As in, he sends a courier over with an extremely rare first edition of Agrippa’s treatise on geomancy, with a menu tucked inside. Stiles hands the menu to Derek, who hands it right back, so Stiles sighs and crosses out the fava beans in the appetizer—he doesn’t mind the taste or is allergic to them, they just do weird things to his breath for some reason—and sends the menu back over. And then they show up at Peter’s apartment a couple days later.

It’s nice. Most of the statuary is just plain shock value, but Peter has a couple funky fertility idols Stiles hasn’t seen before, and he has a neat set of LCD screens in one hallway that are set to rotate between leaves from medieval illuminated texts on herbalry and witchcraft.

Peter’s also nice. He welcomes them in, barefoot in slacks and a clingy v-neck shirt, and makes light conversation about the local government and the drought over their very tasty, fava bean-less meal. Actually talks to Derek, instead of snarks at him, about some other werewolf pack that’s being a pain about prey migration management, so Derek stops mumbling and contributes more than one sentence at a time. Asks Stiles how the sex magic business is being affected by new regulations on food labeling for agri-magic treatments. It’s all very civil and nice, and by the time dessert is served, Stiles can’t help but slip some holy water into the wine.

“He’s not possessed,” Derek says, grabbing Peter’s glass.

Stiles rolls his eyes before he even looks at Peter. “It’s holy water, not poison, unless you’ve got demon in your family tree that you forgot to tell me about. And how do you know? I told you, we’ve been in a really weird lull but normally this comes up a lot for me.”

“No demons, although great-grandmother Isabella was excommunicated five times,” Peter says slowly, looking between them. He sets his spoon down, then his napkin. Then he sighs and pushes back slightly from the table. “All right. Let’s try to be rational about this. Derek. Why do you want to sleep with me?”

Derek looks at Peter. Then at the wineglass in his hand. He swirls it, sniffs it, and then leans over to set it down so it’s the closest thing on the table to Peter.

“Don’t be ridiculous. I’m not insulting you, I honestly want to know, and it’s a valid question,” Peter says. He’s starting to look ruffled again. “You spent your whole life except for these past few weeks completely ignoring me—”

“I never ignored you,” Derek says. He sits up and then slouches back and then sits up again, disbelief putting an itch in his pants, apparently. “Are you kidding me? You never let me. And on top of that, you never listened to me, ever. I mean, right now, you’re not listening to me. See—I want you to fuck me. And it goes right over your head.”

“It’s…not. Not that I’m an unbiased observer or anything, but,” Stiles mutters, grabbing Derek’s thigh.

Peter’s eyes dilate and glow a little. Then he presses his hands against the edge of the table. “I’m not joking, Derek.”

“Well, neither am I,” Derek snaps. “I wasn’t the last time, and considering how you took that, can you blame me for not bringing it up again?”

“What last—” Peter suddenly makes a sharp, guttural noise. He gropes for his wineglass, nearly knocks it over, and then drains about half it in one swig. Then he puts it down and stares at Derek. “You were twelve, and you gave me five dead chipmunks in a shoebox with Hershey kisses in their paws.”

Stiles…has to check his boyfriend on that one. Especially when Peter doesn’t start screaming and melting into unholy ash. “You asked him to fuck you when you were—”

“What? No! I just—I liked him, okay, and it was Valentine’s Day and I was kind of an idiot,” Derek says, hunching up and staring at the table. Then he snaps an angry look up at Peter. “But you laughed and you shoved the box back and told me to go find some little princess to give them to.”

“Because again, you were twelve. I have standards, and anyway, back then you looked like somebody had brought a Precious Moments statue to life and then added fangs and claws. My type is not cherub.” Peter drinks the rest of his wine. “My God, Derek, have you really been holding a grudge over that? That was years ago.”

“Um.” Stiles puts up his hand. “So, this is you two’s moment and all, but…have you met Derek?”

Both of them snarl at him, though Derek’s kind of furtive about it, and when Stiles squeezes his leg, Derek winces and rubs his foot against Stiles’ ankle in a placating manner. Then Peter brings his elbows up onto the table and drops his head into his hands. He starts muttering to himself, sounding mostly frustrated, with this little edge of something else.

“Yeah, well, no, okay? No, never got over it.” Derek sinks further in his seat and stares at the table like he’d like what’s left of his tiramisu to spontaneously melt into a tarry black portal to hell. “I know you don’t like me, but do you have to be such a dick about it? You’re even a dick to Stiles and he hasn’t really done anything to you.”

Peter looks up, brows raised, and Stiles kind of has to give him that one. With caveats, which Stiles is going to be the one providing. “So yes. We did stalk and harass and manipulate you, and publicly humiliate you a little bit. But before that, you called me a prostitute. With seventeen references to Classical Period sexual practices, nine of which have either been disproven within the last decade or are just flat-out misquotes.”

“I…yes. All right. My Greek is a little outdated, I haven’t really bothered since law school, it comes up so rarely,” Peter mutters. He rubs at his temple, then puts one arm down and leans his head hard into his other hand, twisting his fingers into his hair so the skin at his hairline pales, it’s so taut. “But it’s not because I don’t like you, Derek. You’re my favorite, you know that.”

“Your favorite who you don’t like anything about,” Derek says. He stares at the other man, eyes narrowed. Then he slaps his hand on the table. He gets up, huffing in exasperation. “You know what, fuck it, Stiles, let’s just—”

Peter gets up and grabs Derek by the arms, with a strangled noise that…gets strangled by his eating out Derek’s mouth. He backs Derek up against the chair, then more or less over the chair, and then the two of them hit the far wall. Derek grunts and his hands fall off Peter’s shoulders, then grab Peter’s waist and buttock, respectively, hauling their hips in and up as Peter sucks and licks and then sucks Derek’s bottom lip some more.

“You complete idiot,” Peter mumbles. He rakes up Derek’s shirt till he runs out of it, then jams his hands into Derek’s jeans. “You idiot, I hated your stupid exes because they were stupid and you had to like stupid, didn’t you, had to when I was right there, I don’t know why I didn’t just take—”

Stiles scoots his chair back so he doesn’t have to hop over the overturned one, then takes a last bite of the tiramisu, which is really damn good. Then he moves the chair out of the way, walks up behind them, and grabs the back of Peter’s neck.

At the same time, Derek whines real low in his throat and rubs his cheek and jaw all over Peter’s mouth. Peter pops his claws and Derek gets a little scratched, but conflicting reflexes keep Peter too busy to actually lash out. And it’s nothing that doesn’t heal by the time Stiles gets his other hand down the front of Peter’s pants and has a firm grip on the man’s cock.

Not that that will keep an enraged werewolf down, but the paralysis rune Stiles has just licked over Peter’s nape will. “Hey, hey, calm down, just—wanted to point out I’m not stupid,” Stiles says, and then scrapes the spit rune off with his teeth. “Bedroom?”

Peter snarls as soon as he’s able. His back and thighs flex sharply against Stiles. He twists his head around like he’s beginning to turn and Derek whines again, noses at Peter’s bent neck and then buries his face in Peter’s chest, head twisted aside so Peter’s looking at his naked nape. Stiles can feel Peter’s shudder and then some, all the way down the spine and then a little quiver through the cock he’s holding.

“Or, you know, Derek and I can go,” he says. He licks Peter’s neck again, a long flat press of his tongue. Still has his hand up there too, rocks the heel of his hand across Peter’s spine. “He’s gonna be disappointed but we’ll deal. I’ll just tie him down, fuck the shit out of him, he’ll be better by morning—” ripples his fingers along Peter’s cock “—guess this might be a little put out too, but hey, you say no touch, okay.”

“You absolute shit,” Peter breathes. It’s not really clear who to, he’s sliding back and forth between them, jerky, like he’s lost control of anything below his waist. He yanks at Derek, smacks him a little against the wall, and then moans and drags his legs open as Stiles works a couple fingers down past his cock to prod at his balls. “I should—fuck—”

“Bedroom’s first door on the left,” Derek mutters, nuzzling up Peter’s chest. Something flips past Stiles’ hip, and then Derek pulls Peter’s belt all the way out and drops it. His other hand joins Stiles’ hand at Peter’s groin, except on the outside, knuckles rubbing in as Stiles digs his thumb at the base of Peter’s cock.

Stiles grins, gives Peter’s neck a nip as Peter gives his head a heavy shake, then lets it drop to Derek’s neck and shivers. He starts pushing at their feet, inching them along the wall towards the doorway. “So, hey, Peter. You like me, right? So I can fuck you like we talked about?”

Peter drags his hands up and down Derek’s sides, sending blood-spotted bits of clothes to the ground as they shuffle along. His ass rubs back into Stiles, who takes that wonderland and rides it into the hall, and keeps it going by biting all over the bottom of Peter’s nape, where it flows into his back. He feels for the bunch of the muscles with his tongue and when he finds a tight one, snaps down.

“For God’s sake,” Peter finally manages, panting, shredding off Derek’s jeans. “Are you trying to put me into heat?”

“Well, you’re a good three months off so that’d be a crazy trick even for a sex mage,” Stiles says. He needs at least one hand free to steer them—that statuary does get irritatingly in the way—and he goes with letting go of Peter’s neck. “But I said I wanted to knot you.”

“We talked about it.” Derek’s pretty breathless himself, and he drops little throaty noises whenever Peter presses into him, but he absolutely is on purpose canting his throat at Peter. “I want to watch.”

Peter goes at Derek’s mouth, bypassing the throat, but just for a second. Then he ducks in and latches on and that gets them into the bedroom.

He and Derek go over onto the bed. It’s kind of awkward for a second, pants tangling shit up and even werewolves can’t claw them off if their hands are busy jacking off their uncle, but then Derek gets one foot up on the bed. He hooks his other leg around Peter’s waist and then scoots them towards the headboard, hand working between Peter’s legs the whole time. A little bit of blood is dribbling down from where Peter’s mouth is sealed over his throat, but Derek seems okay about it, in that he’s making noises like a champ porn star, so Stiles pries off of them.

Not that he wants to, but Stiles needs to get their pants off. Then his clothes off. And then find supplies. He turns up lube immediately, and tosses it over to Derek—spit’s okay for a couple strokes, but even super healing doesn’t get rid of how nasty friction burn feels—and then goes back to the drawer. Because there are boxes in it. Unassuming, dark grey, steel boxes, with antique lock puzzles on them.

Stiles has seen both before and gets them undone in a couple seconds. He flips up the lid, then hears a stifled snarl and looks over just in time to see what Peter’s orgasm face looks like.

It’s good, for the second it’s showing. Then Peter flops over the top of Derek, gasping. His head happens to be turned Stiles’ way and he stares blankly at first when Stiles holds up one of the locks. Then his eyes widen. He looks impressed and alarmed and honestly, really fucking turned on, even though he’s still shaking through the comedown.

“I thought you wanted him to fuck you,” Stiles says, putting the lock puzzle back in the drawer. He takes in the contents of both boxes, nodding appreciatively. Clearly, Peter invests his money where things could get sensitive.

Derek’s still under Peter, but he squirms till he’s half-leaning against the headboard. Then he pulls his knees up and to either side of them, angling his hips so he can get his hand underneath himself. Peter helps out by propping himself up on one arm, though his head’s still lying on Derek’s belly.

“Getting there,” Derek grunts. He stiffens, then lets out a slow, long breath. His eyes half-close and he and Peter stare at each other for a hot, shimmering second, like summer heat off the road. Then his head tilts back and he sighs again. His hips sink down.

Peter shakes his head, then crawls up Derek, licking and nuzzling along the way. He puts one hand on Derek’s thigh, then slides it down out of sight. When Derek hitches up, he catches the underside of Derek’s chin in his mouth and sucks, then drops his head back. Shakes it again, then looks back at Stiles.

“You got two of them, I’m debating, don’t rush me,” Stiles says. “Is one the bad but in no shape to return box?”

“Ah, no,” Peter says, laughing a little. He still looks dazed, but he’s starting to settle into it. At least, he damn well looks like he wants to see where this is going. “The one in the front is what I use on my…my company, and the other’s…what I use on me.”

Stiles blinks, then looks back at the boxes. Then grins.

“Okay, then,” he says, digging into them.

Peter cranes like he’s going to peek, but just then Derek grabs him by the hip and the cock, and hauls him down so roughly that Peter loses his balance. He catches himself on his forearms but Derek’s clearly seating himself and all Peter manages is to just hold himself up and pant, watching the other man twist and inch down under him. Then Derek jerks his chin up, croons a little, and Peter makes this tight, catching noise and then flat-out plows into Derek, pistoning up and bowing so his head goes back into Derek’s neck.

By the time Stiles gets onto the bed, Derek’s come, raking his claws through what’s left of Peter’s shirt, and Peter’s just getting there, hips jerking as he seizes up with the start of his climax. Derek groans and twists, pretty out of it, and then, just like he does for Stiles, goes slack for Peter to ride into him.

Once he gets his breath back, he arches lazily, then begins picking off pieces of Peter’s shirt. Peter shudders and hisses, clawing Derek’s shoulders some, and then shudders again when Stiles slaps his ass. Then he twists his head around.

He also starts to lift his hips, which, no, Stiles slaps his hand down again, on the small of Peter’s back, and Derek gets himself together enough to clamp his knees to either side of Peter’s waist, too. Stiles leans down on his hand while smearing lube all over the fingers of his other hand. And the little oval vibrator.

“Stiles,” Peter gasps. He squirms, claws Derek again, and can’t quite resist when Derek shrugs off his hands and then drags them down to the bed. His hips keep hitching and Stiles is pretty sure Derek’s clenching around Peter’s cock. “Derek. Stiles. What—”

So he’s looking at the vibrator, so Stiles sighs and bends over and pushes his face between Peter’s buttocks. Peter freezes and Stiles seals his mouth over Peter’s hole, sucks so he makes a nice loud pop. It’s just sound, maybe a whiff of moist air, but Peter starts like Stiles slapped him again. His hole practically spears itself on Stiles’ tongue, and that’s when Stiles goes to work.

He rims the hell out of Peter, tracing out every little flat fold of skin, working his tongue down as far as it’ll go, wedging in so his teeth are grazing Peter’s ass. Derek’s doing something too, sometimes Peter doesn’t jerk in time with Stiles’ tongue-fucking, but more often than not, it’s Stiles’ mouth that’s pulling Peter’s strings. Peter hisses louder and louder, and then his voice just cracks. And this vicious shiver goes through him, right as Stiles is licking at his perineum, and then he just flattens out and he moans like he’s throwing all of himself into it. His hips cant shakily up and he holds them there, still moaning.

Stiles pulls back as Peter comes a third time. Turns his head, wipes his mouth on his shoulder, and then looks up to meet Derek’s half-glazed, half-burning eyes. Derek grins, looping his arms over his uncle. “I thought you were gonna fuck him?” he says.

Peter’ s head tilts a little. His eyes are squeezed shut but his hips twitch. “Yeah, working on it,” Stiles says, bending down again.

He puffs at Peter’s hole, and then, as the man inhales in anticipation, slides two fingers and the vibrator into Peter, letting the power cord trail back over his knuckles. Then leans over and nuzzles at Peter’s back as Peter clenches down, eyes flying open. He turns on the vibrator, just on low and rocks it till Peter suddenly arches up and cries out. Then nudges it a little further before pulling his fingers back, because he can’t squeeze in another one with those two that deep.

“So, my knot, it’s magic-induced so it’s…well, large,” Stiles says. He lets his chin ride on Peter’s shaking back, twisting his fingers around. Peter’s pretty fucked-out, but also, he’s really goddamn tight. “Sorry, this is gonna take a couple.”

“Oh.” Peter hikes up so Derek groans, then falls back to snap lazily at Derek’s neck. His hips ride up onto Stiles’ fingers, then drop as Stiles adds the fourth. “Oh. Oh, well…very considerate of you, and…it would be insane to not—see for myself at this point—”

“He’s still kinda talky,” Stiles mutters, looking at Derek.

Derek shrugs, and is totally more interested in starting up a slow, sliding rhythm with Peter. “Werewolves.”

“Oh, my God, shut up, three orgasms and I could probably stick a cucumber in you, you’re so fucked-out,” Stiles says. Then he laughs at the face Derek makes. “Come on, no, I wouldn’t, those gigs pay fuck all, I told you that—”

“You—actually—what godawful ritual is that?” Peter gasps.

Stiles gropes around for the lube again, because it’s taking so long that the stuff on his hand is coming off with sweat. He gets it and squeezes a bunch over the back of his hand, turning it and tucking in his thumb, and he isn’t even trying but Peter does this liquid fucking hip thing and he’s in just over his knuckles, and then Peter’s sucking air in through his mouth and his ass is goddamn sucking too. And Stiles is all the way in. Vibrator buzzing up against his fist, controller swaying over the back of his forearm to bump against Peter’s buttocks, a tighter-than-skintight rim of whitened flesh stretched around his wrist.

Peter’s making sounds like he’s dying, and like he’s being squeezed into heaven. He presses down so hard onto Derek that Stiles is surprised Derek isn’t wheezing. He’s not even fucking into Derek, much as Derek’s trying, with the growling and the pushing, he’s just twitching his hips. A little into Derek, a little back onto Stiles, trembling the whole time.

It’s a good fucking thing Stiles is trained for this, or else he’d probably be losing it, too. As is, he has to not look at Peter’s ass and pretend to admire the bedsheets for a couple seconds. They do feel nice, upwards of four-hundred count at least.

“Weird vegetarian cultist rituals,” Stiles says. When Peter makes a bleary inquiring noise, Stiles flexes his fist and then laughs at the whimper that gets. “Your question? So, Charlie Brown, Great Pumpkin, actually could be real if you wanted to get that personal with your gourds? Which, no. Like you said, I have standards.”

“Oh,” Peter breathes, very slowly and very softly. And then he humps a little at Stiles. His breathing actually stops for a second. “Oh. Oh, fuck.”

He shivers hard, and then his head drops into Derek’s shoulder. His ass relaxes, too, as much as it can. Stiles slides out his hand and the vibrator, then can’t help but climb up the bed to check.

“He came again,” Derek says, kind of irritably. He wriggles around some, then flattens his head back and pushes down on his shoulders. “Fuck it, come on, I almost—”

“You know, I almost thought about grabbing his nipple clamps, too,” Stiles says. Then he grins as he climbs back down, listening to Derek’s apologetic whine. He lines up with Peter’s ass, shifting the man by the hips, and then pushes in. “But—first time, I’m—not a fucking counselor, but let’s not overdo it—”

Peter’s slack, too slack, so limp he’s not tightening up, but the moment he feels the knot, he comes back to life. His head and his ass hitch up and his claws rake into the bed, then stick as he strains on his hands, so far past gasping that the thready noise coming from him sounds fucking inhuman, it’s that high.

Then he collapses like somebody dropped him. Derek’s heaving under him, working on his cock, and he’s just letting it roll him into Stiles. Roll in, then drag back, till the knot catches him and then he’s clamping down, little begging pants coming out. His head turns back, bumped up by Derek’s shoulder, and his eyes are rolled up.

Derek lets out a harsh, cut-off cry, then slumps down. His head lolls back, lolls forward, and then tilts so he and Stiles are just about looking at each other. He’s so hazed out, he can’t even focus, but he knows it’s Stiles, he knows and he shudders and he makes himself flash throat even though his eyes won’t stay put, he’s so tired. He makes that crooning sound, giving in, and Stiles comes like it’s a brick wall he’s smashing through. Sex mage or not, some shit you should pass out for.

He wakes up God knows how many minutes later. Somebody’s making small, aching noises, pleased but restless, like the kid who can’t stop picking at his scab and checking how it’s doing, and they’re tugging at his cock, too.

“How long is it?” they—Peter murmurs.

“Whatever the ritual says,” Derek says. Then he grunts. “What? That’s what it is.”

“Again, magic, not nature,” Stiles mumbles. It’s been long enough for the sweat on him to get tacky. He’s not sure what kind of runework Peter’s got on the bed, but he’s pretty sure they’ve broken it. He probably should’ve grabbed some towels from the bathroom. “So it’s not tied to orgasm. I think it up, I think it down.”

Peter goes very still. Then he shivers, neck to ass and beyond. “Good God.” He doesn’t exactly try to get up. “Derek, what I said about your landing an easy berth, I—”

“Well, it is kind of easy,” Derek says. He’s in his sluggish asshole stage of afterglow, all nuzzles and sticky cuddling. “Once you get used to it. Anyway. I’m good, did you want to get out of me?”

“No,” Peter says after a long pause. His ass clutches at Stiles’ cock and then he lets out a very low, very tired, very satiated sigh. “And Stiles. I admit I…badly misinterpreted your work. And you.”

Stiles puts his arm across Peter’s back and rests his head on it. He can hear wet soft sounds and he finally tracks them down to Derek and Peter lapping at each other’s jaws and throats. “Yeah, most people do. I never get that, you know. I mean, seriously, I make the land fertile. So I can make it infertile, obviously. Or I could make it good for some ecosystems but not others. Or I could just flat out say fuck it and tie all the ley lines into me while I’m screwing my way around the county, so nobody can do a goddamn thing without me knowing about it.”

Derek pulls his head back and looks sharply at Stiles. Then he tenses, seeing Peter’s head lift. His eyes track over Peter’s face and then he relaxes. And tenses up again, though it’s more of an aggravation thing than a worried thing.

“What?” he says. “What, don’t tell me you don’t like the sound of that.”

“No, not at all. Just, well, a thought.” The back of Peter’s head is giving off a vague air of sarcasm. “You might have led with that, and gotten here a little quicker.”

Stiles shifts his hips. Waits till Peter’s head is on Derek’s chest again, and Peter’s done with his moan, and then glares at Derek. “Okay, so you didn’t mention that nefarious plans get him hot because…”

“…nefarious plans get you hot?” Derek offers.

Which leaves Stiles’ mouth hanging for a second. He stares, coughs out a surprised laugh. Gets around to closing it and just grins. Forgets he’s buried in Peter and tries to get at Derek for a kiss, then gives Peter’s shivering back a pat as he settles back and laughs again. “I knew you loved me.”

“Yeah,” Derek mutters, looking a little embarrassed. He lays his head back and catches something in Peter’s face, and then still looks embarrassed, but also, sort of pugnacious. “Yeah, well. Yeah. So?”

“Gotten here sooner,” Peter says a second later, very quietly. He moves his hand and puts it so just his fingertips are touching Derek’s neck. Then he takes a sharp breath, and looks over his shoulder at Stiles. “Well. I admit I was wrong about both of you, and am very pleased about that. And…if it’s not too late, I’d like to make amends.”

“I hope you’re not expecting me to say no worries, I fell in love with you already, blah blah blah, because you’ve called me a prostitute, a poisoner, and a brainwashing abusive psycho, and I’m not any of that but I damn well am Derek’s boyfriend,” Stiles says. And then he rolls his eyes, because God, for such a sarcastic bastard, Peter jumps to the resignation quick. “But I like you, when you’re not calling me names, and it would be helpful to have a lawyer and another mage around. And you like me, right?”

Peter blinks twice, then laughs. He puts his head down and nuzzles into Derek’s throat, then catches Stiles’ eye. Arches up his chin, gives Stiles the bend of his throat.

“Stiles,” he says warmly. “You turned my nephew into a competent schemer. Of course I like you.”

“Cool,” Stiles says. He stoops over Peter, pauses to let them both adjust, and then lays down the rest of the way. Works his hand up so he can toy with Derek’s hair, chasing off the last bits of worry from the other man’s face, and then gives Peter a nice hard bite on the neck. Chews a little, just because it tickles pleasantly, how Peter’s moaning vibrates his throat against Stiles’ teeth, and then lets go.

They’re all quiet for a couple minutes after that. It’s…a little gross, sure, but they’re indoors in a very roomy bed and Stiles puts up with way worse on a daily basis. And more than that, it’s nice and complete, them all tucked into and around each other. Werewolves aren’t the only ones who go for that sort of thing.

And then Stiles’ phone rings. Because he is responsible and always takes it out and puts it on the goddamn bedside whatever.

“I think we should just let whatever it is die,” Derek mutters.

“That’s Allison’s ringtone,” Stiles tells him, grumping over Peter and scrabbling till he gets the phone in hand. Over Peter asking if that’s Allison Argent and Derek grunting a pissed-off affirmative, Stiles hits the ‘answer’ button and then lets out an annoyed sigh. “Allison, listen, I told you, you gotta wait forty-eight hours and then—”

“It’s not Allison, it’s—this is Chris, her father.” Chris sounds embarrassed. “Listen, Stiles, I’m sorry, she told me you don’t like strangers calling you but I…have a geomancy problem and it’s urgent and—”

Peter’s head goes up. “Is that Chris?”

“…are you with Peter Hale?” Chris says. Now he sounds sort of horrified. And curious, in a very irritated way. “Shit. Look, I don’t—he doesn’t—it is really an emergency, and it’s kind of private, can you—”

“Call you back in a minute,” Stiles says, and hangs up. Then he looks at Peter and Derek, because the one sounds strangely intrigued and the other is looking dubious but a lot less upset than you’d expect for somebody who got fucked over so bad by Chris Argent’s little sister. “You’re on a first-name basis?”

“We helped him out with the paperwork to get Gerard stripped of all his assets,” Peter says. “He’s a little stiff-necked but he’s by far the most tolerable member of that family.”

Derek shrugs, because he knows exactly where Stiles is going. “Well, it’s not like I care when he shows up with Scott and Allison, do I? And he’s actually done a couple things for us. I guess it’s not his fault he’s related to Kate and Gerard.”

“So, what, free pass, enemies edition?” Stiles says.

Derek looks at Peter, who looks like he is readjusting his opinion of them again and it is going way, way up. “He is very good in his field,” Peter says, very mildly, absolutely not forcing his opinion on them, not at all, just a mere suggestion. “And if you’re going to know everything that happens around here, sometimes it might be nice to have some firearms to back up your legal groundwork.”

“Also, you think he’s hot,” Derek says. And shrugs at Stiles. “What? It’s your turn.”

“Oh, my God.” Stiles shakes his head. Then grins. He wills down his knot, then carefully slides out of Peter. Gives the gasping, hissing man a pat on the ass, and then slides to the edge of the bed. “Oh, my God. Just stay there, okay, I gotta make a call.”