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Fools in Love

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Stiles felt his body wake up slowly.  His head was pounding and his stomach was on the edge of nausea.  With a few deep breaths, he decided he could probably keep his dinner down if he sat up, and tensed his stomach in preparation.  Without even opening his eyes he could tell it was Peter's broad hand on his back, helping him sit up.  Stiles' body swayed a little, but he managed to keep himself upright with Peter steadying him.  When he finally opened his eyes, it was to a very concerned looking werewolf who had pulled an armchair over to the side of the bed and was still holding one of his hands, face pinched as tight as his grip.  

“What, no guitar?” Stiles asked, rubbing the side of his head with one quivering hand.  Peter looked so confused by the question that Stiles had to laugh.  “I just meant that singing a song at my bedside seems like something you would do, you big sap.”  

“No, sorry, I've just been thinking,” Peter said distractedly, bringing his other hand up to clutch both of Stiles', a little lost.

"Well now you've got me worried," Stiles said, freeing one of his hands to hook a finger under Peter's chin, pulling it upward until Peter finally met his eyes.  The wolf's typical crystal blue was completely bloodshot.  Stiles knew he must have been crying, or at least on the verge of tears, but he couldn't think of anything that would warrant that kind of reaction, except— "I'm dying, aren't I?" Stiles asked, searching Peter's expression for an answer, in case the wolf wouldn't tell him the truth.  

"No Stiles, you're not dying," Peter assured him, wiping at his eyes and attempting to put a more cheerful look on his face.  "Why would you ask that?"

"Because you're looking at me the way my father looked at my mother when she was sick," Stiles told him, leaning forward until his forehead was pressed against Peter's strong shoulder.  As if he were pulled by a magnet, Peter's nose immediately pressed into the side of Stiles' hairline, calming himself with the scent of his mate.  

"It's not that, you're going to be fine," Peter said softly, lips brushing the side of Stiles' face with every word.  

"Then what's got you so upset?" Stiles asked, still trying to place Peter's worry.

"I know that you're only 18, but it's okay, we're going to take care of this.  I won't let it ruin your life," Peter said, confusing Stiles even more.  

"What's ruining my life?" Stiles had to ask, pulling back to look Peter in the eye again.  

"I got you pregnant," Peter admitted regretfully, like he was waiting for Stiles to start yelling abuse at him.  "But don't worry, we can take care of it."

"What do you mean, 'take care of it?'" Stiles asked, seriously hoping that Peter wasn't saying what he thought he was saying.  

"You're only 18, you're still in high school," Peter explained, waiting for Stiles to put the dots together.  "I won't blame you if you don't want to keep it."

"Babe, could you shut up and let me wrap my mind around this for two minutes?" Stiles pleaded with his mate, bringing his hands up to rub his eyelids.  Peter dutifully shut his mouth and waited for Stiles to come to terms with the news.  Stiles could tell that Peter was going to be holding his breath until he spoke again.  

It was completely surreal.  These kinds of things just didn't happen.  His dad had made a joke about it months ago and they had brushed it off.  Peter had sworn to him that he couldn't get pregnant, and now here he was, a walking, talking, teenage contradiction.  He was a cautionary tale.   Don't sit on your werewolf boyfriend's dick for too long or you'll get knocked up .  Where was the helpful pamphlet about that little nugget of information?   

Stiles surprised himself with his ability to keep his breathing steady.  He looked back up at Peter, who had fixed him with a worried and expectant expression.  It finally dawned on Stiles; Peter was waiting for the axe to drop.  Why was he so afraid?  Peter knew him.  He knew how much Stiles loved him.  And yet he still expected Stiles to kill their unborn baby?  Stiles couldn't let him live under that misapprehension for a minute longer.  

"You think I would abort our child?" Stiles asked softly, shock still present in his voice.  "Peter, you have to know that I would never do that to you, to us."  Peter finally raised his head, looking at Stiles with fresh tears in his eyes.  

"You don't have to do this," Peter told him, trying to make it perfectly clear that it was Stiles' decision.  "Now that we know it's possible, we can just wait until you're older.  Don't you want to go to college?" Peter asked, wondering how his mate could possibly want to give up his life for a child when he wasn't even out of high school yet.  

"I know it's not exactly what we planned.  I mean we haven't even really discussed having a family yet, I thought it was years away, a decade even," Stiles started to ramble, mouth finally having caught up to his mind.  "But to have something that's half me, half you?  That's amazing.  How could I not want that?"

"I want it too, Stiles, but not when you have your whole life ahead of you," Peter tried to get Stiles to focus on himself, but he was just getting more and more irritated the more Peter pushed the point.  

"Well what if this was just a one-time thing?" he shot back, hoping logic would prevail this time.  "What if we can never get me pregnant again and this is our only chance for a biological child?  Don't you want a baby that's ours?  One that could be a wolf?"  

"Yes, of course I do, but I'm trying to think about you here," Peter argued, pulling Stiles' hands into his lap once more.

"And I'm trying to think about you!" Stiles shouted at him as he pulled his hands back, trying to knock some sense into his mate’s thick head.  "Why do you not think you deserve this?  Why are you not allowed to have a happy ending?"

"Because it won't be a happy ending, Stiles," Peter told him candidly, standing up and turning his back on Stiles.

"If this is something I can give you, I want to," Stiles told him, lurching off the bed on unsteady legs, barely reaching Peter's shoulders before his knees gave out.  Peter caught him easily, turning immediately and lifting him up in two arms.  Stiles only had a minute to appreciate the way his face was tucked into Peter's firm chest before he was being placed back on the bed.  Peter made to back away again, afraid of what else Stiles might say.  

"Nu-uh mister," Stiles said, raising a tired arm to crook a long finger at Peter.  "Get over here, we are not done talking about this."

"You need to rest," Peter protested, eyes darting to the bedroom door.  

"And you can rest with me," Stiles said easily, rubbing his palm in a circle on the bed next to him.  Admitting defeat, Peter kicked off his shoes and laid down next to Stiles, keeping his interlocked fingers on top of his stomach.  He wasn't about to get distracted by Stiles' body before he had won their argument, even if the extra heartbeat coming from his mate had him longing to lay his head against Stiles' stomach.  

"It's dangerous," Peter told him, and it was no trouble for Stiles to hear the fear in his voice.  He turned over on his pillow until he was resting on his side, looking at Peter's profile.  “Men aren’t meant to carry pups.”

"Our lives are always dangerous," Stiles said, "at least this time we might get a gift along with the scars."  Stiles thought for a moment before adding, "I'm assuming we can cut this baby out of me through the wonders of modern medicine?"  

"Yes, I'm sure we can do that," Peter relented, turning over to look at Stiles.  "You really want to do this?"  Stiles could hear the with me that Peter had left out of his question.   

"I want everything with you," Stiles said honestly, bringing one palm up to rest on Peter's chest, and the other up to fiddle with his triskelion pendant.  "Now tell me more about our baby," he said, smile spreading across his tired face.  

Peter let out a long breath, trying to relax and feel secure in the fact that Stiles wanted to have a family with him.  He wasn't sure how long it was going to take him to really believe it, but right then he just wanted to forget about everything except the way Stiles' hand was slowly rubbing his body.  

"I don't know much about them," Peter said quietly, bringing his hand up to rest on top of Stiles', rubbing his thumb along Stiles' fingers lovingly.  

"Well you know more than me," Stiles said, taking a quick look at the alarm clock to check the time.  "You've known him or her for five hours longer than I have, so what do you know?" he asked, smiling softly and closing his eyes, relaxing into the sensation of Peter's soothing touch.

"Well they are about six weeks old," Peter said, humoring his mate.  "And their heart just started beating.  I didn't even notice it at first," Peter said, moving his hand from his chest to Stiles' stomach, slipping his palm underneath Stiles' shirt to press against his happy trail.  

"You can hear it?" Stiles asked, a little jealous, but mostly excited.  He had been walking around pregnant for six weeks and no one had noticed.  In a pack of wolves where everyone knew everything, it was kind of incredible that they had a secret for once.  He was sure it wouldn't last long, but there was a little bit of a thrill to having the information to themselves.  They could live in a happy little baby bubble for a few days before they had to deal with bringing anyone else in.  

"It's really fast," Peter told him, the wonder in his voice making Stiles smile even more.  "Nearly twice as fast as yours is when you're sleeping," He said, using two of his fingers to tap out the rhythm on Stiles' stomach.  It was clear to Stiles that his mate had been sitting up listening to it the whole time he was asleep.  

"That's incredible," Stiles said, wondering when the fear was going to set in.  As the planner of the group, he found it pretty worrisome that he didn't have any information about the situation.  He had never come across it in any of his extensive research into werewolf folklore.  "Has this ever happened before?" Stiles asked, wondering how they had even known what was wrong with him.  

"Deaton seemed to recognize it pretty quickly," Peter told him, tone still bitter like he was upset that the Druid had been able to detect his own child before he could.  "But I don't know that we have any other information about it.  It's based on your magic primarily, not my wolf.  I'm sure there aren't many Fire Mages out there mating with Alpha werewolves.  Maybe you're the first one ever."  

"Legendary," Stiles muttered, being lulled to sleep by Peter's gentle movements.  "Just like you always wanted."  He was so tired.  The baby really was taking a lot out of him already.

"I have everything I've ever wanted," Peter said, listening to Stiles' heartbeat even out as he fell asleep once more.  

 


 

Stiles was having the most amazing dream.  Hot hands roamed over his sweat covered body, leaving trails of fire on his skin wherever they moved.  He moaned as his body rocked forward, being pushed in a slow, even rhythm by Peter's cock thrusting in and out of him.  It was quiet in their bedroom, the light of day hadn't even made its way through the window yet.  There was nothing but the sound of their hot, heavy breaths and skin slapping against skin.  

"Stiles," Peter called out, breaking the silence.  Stiles just moaned louder, rocking his body down into the mattress, seeking friction. "Stiles!" Peter called again.  

Stiles woke abruptly, jerking off the bed when he felt Peter run a cool hand through his sweat-damp hair.  He moaned again, pressing into the touch.  Peter just chuckled, rubbing the back of his hand against Stiles’ flushed cheek.  "Peter," Stiles whined, letting his eyes fall open and then squeezing them shut again when the bright morning light hit his face.  

"Sit up," Peter requested, tapping Stiles' blanket-covered knee.  "I made you breakfast."  Stiles groaned, rolling his head on his shoulders like he was trying to roll his eyes at Peter but refused to open them.  "You need a lot of fluids and rest, and you need energy, so I made you an omelette." Peter told him, undeterred by Stiles' lack of enthusiasm.

"I don't want an omelette, Peter," Stiles whined again, voice low and scratchy from sleep.

"Well what do you want?" Peter asked him, setting the glass of orange juice he had picked up back on the breakfast tray.  "Do you want pancakes instead?"

Stiles opened his eyes just long enough to snatch Peter's hand out of the air and drag it down his hot, sweaty chest, all the way down to where his hard cock was tenting his boxers.  

"You need to keep your strength up.  You should really eat something first," Peter protested, trying to pull his hand back but finding Stiles' sleepy grip much more persistent than he anticipated.  

"Sex first, food second," Stiles argued, grabbing Peter by the wrist and yanking hard until his mate fell to the bed on top of him.  

"Careful," Peter hissed, worried about the way his body weight had fallen on Stiles' stomach.  "I don't want to hurt the baby."  

"Yeah, yeah, alright," Stiles agreed, pulling at the bottom of Peter's V-neck as if he could remove the garment through sheer force of will.  "Sex doesn't hurt though, does it?" Stiles needled him, pawing aggressively at Peter's torso until the wolf pulled back to take his shirt off.

"It shouldn't," Peter admitted, rubbing quickly-warming palms against Stiles' stomach as he pushed the sweat-damp shirt up and over Stiles' head.  

"Then fuck me," Stiles panted, shaking his head to free some of the sweat that had accumulated on his brow.  Peter wasn't sure if it was pregnancy hormones or if Stiles was delirious from fever, but either way he wanted Stiles to have another checkup as soon as possible.  “Been dreaming about you,” Stiles said, words cutting off on a moan.  “Then I woke up empty, it’s so wrong,” he mumbled.

Stiles felt his body get even hotter as Peter hooked his fingers in his waistband and slipped the boxers down Stiles' legs, freeing his erection.  The movement of his dick slapping against his taut stomach had Stiles tossing his head back and forth on his pillow, already closer to orgasm than he had any reason to be.  But Stiles didn't care how easy he looked, the phantom feeling of Peter moving inside him was enough to have him near the edge.  

Sensing Stiles' need, Peter left the bed to tug off his own jeans, revealing the fact that he rarely wore underwear when he was just hanging around the house.  He pulled a bottle of lube from the bedside table and knee-walked back across the mattress until he could settle between Stiles' parted thighs.  Peter ran a hand over Stiles' stomach, for now still tight and toned, but he couldn't help but imagine how his mate would look when he was full and round with his child.  The thought turned him on like he never could have imagined, and he could feel his dick twitching with anticipation.  

"Gonna fuck me, Peter?" Stiles asked, voice husky, breath coming out in hot pants.  "Already filled me up, fucked me so full of you.  Wanna stuff me full even more?  Breed me on your big, fat knot?"  

Peter knew he shouldn't be so turned on by Stiles' baiting dirty talk, but he couldn't help it.  Stiles knew just how to push his buttons and get him to give in to his wolf.  And his wolf wanted to do exactly what Stiles was saying.  It didn't matter that Stiles was already pregnant, it didn't matter that there was no way he could fuck another baby into him, it didn't stop his wolf from wanting to try.  

"Fuck yes," Peter growled, taking a deep breath through his nose to center himself when he felt his claws itching to extend.  No matter how strongly his wolf was fighting to pull to the surface, he couldn't give in, not if he was going to hurt Stiles or the baby in the process.  Too bad his anchor was the one who was taunting him, teasing the wolf to come out and play.  

A few deep inhales from the base of Stiles' neck, and he was finally able to see straight.  Stiles was all but purring, rolling his body into the touch with pleased little noises that went straight to Peter's dick.  

"Please Peter," Stiles asked him again, in no way deterred by the way his eyes kept flashing their Alpha red, "I need you to fill me up.  Want you to cover me in your come, drench me in it, paint me with it, please."  

If this was what Peter had to look forward to in the way of pregnancy hormones, he didn't know if he would survive the next nine months.  His fangs were dying to drop into his mouth and he was all but drooling at the way Stiles' body was moving, undulating on the bed in the most obscene way.  Peter didn't think he could take much more of it.  With one quick check of his fingers to make sure his claws weren't peeking out, Peter opened the lube and covered his fingers in it, not caring that he was probably staining their new sheets in the process.  

Seeing what Peter was doing through half-lidded eyes, Stiles immediately turned himself over, thrusting his ass in the air in invitation.  Peter almost choked on the saliva in his mouth at the sight.  He had never had the pleasure of seeing Stiles in that position, having only ever fucked the man once before, and what a sight it was.  Stiles inched up on his elbows and arched his back, pushing his ass even further into the air until Peter's slick fingers were right in front of his hole.  He was fucking presenting for Peter and it was the hottest thing Peter had ever seen.  He wiped his mouth with the back of his clean hand and groaned.  

Before he could get distracted again, Peter brought his fingers up to Stiles' hole, lovingly caressing it with his fingertips and then tapping on it.  Stiles keened, enjoying the sensation of a little roughness on his most sensitive place.  Reading Stiles' body language loud and clear, Peter tapped a little harder, all but smacking Stiles’ pucker with three stiff fingers.  

"Oh God, Peter," Stiles moaned, turning his face back to look over his shoulder.  Peter lost himself for a minute looking at that beautiful face.  Mole-framed mouth open and panting, eyes wide and bright, Peter's cock throbbed harder, reminding him of his own need.  He hoped his fingers would be enough to prep Stiles for his knot.  He had rimmed him for a good twenty minutes before this point the last time, and he wasn't sure how much Stiles' body really needed before he was ready to take everything Peter had to give.  Normally he wouldn't even assume he was going to be on top, let alone give Stiles his knot, but the way his mate had been begging for it, he doubted he would make it out of the room alive without making good on the request.  

"Shh, I know baby, I know," Peter told him, tapping on his hole a few more times before slipping his middle finger inside.  Peter longed to put his mouth there as well, but the artificial smell of the lube stopped him.  He would have to prep Stiles the old fashioned way.  

One finger quickly became two, but Stiles kept spurring him on, asking for Peter to just fuck him already.  Peter was dying to, but he knew he had to be thorough.  There was no way he was going to hurt his mate over sex, no matter how much they both needed it.  

Peter twisted his fingers and reached his other hand around to start stroking Stiles' rock-hard erection.  Stiles jerked in his hand like he had been electrified, back arched and head thrown back, just barely able to keep himself up on his elbows.  Peter could feel the way Stiles trembled with every flick of his wrist, getting closer and closer to bursting.  He couldn't decide if he wanted to let Stiles come like that, or if he wanted to make his writhing mess of a mate wait until they were tied.   

Feeling a bit evil after the way Stiles had been teasing him, Peter abruptly dropped his hand from Stiles' dick, smirking at the heart-wrenching whine that the action pulled from his mate’s throat.  He couldn't help but be pleased at the power he still had over Stiles' body, considering the way his mate seemed to be able to force his hand with a few well-chosen words.  It wouldn’t do for Stiles to have all the fun.

"Peter, please, can you just fuck me already?" Stiles pleaded with him, turning his head to look over his shoulder once more.  

"Not until you're ready," Peter shot back at him, smiling at the sassy eye roll his mate gave him.  Stiles hung his head in grim acceptance, waiting for Peter to get back to his prep-work.  Peter hurriedly added his third finger, spreading the digits wide in an attempt to stretch Stiles as quickly as he could.  

"Just a bit more, baby," Peter crooned, adding more lube to his hand as he attempted to slide his pinky finger into Stiles' body.  It was a tight fit, but he made it inside.  Peter knew he would have to get his mate’s hole a lot looser before he could stuff his knot inside like Stiles kept begging him to, so he slowly rocked his hand back and forth, grazing over Stiles' prostate with every pass.  He looked down at his own cock which was standing straight out from his body, as hard as he had ever been.  He gave himself a quick squeeze, trying to hold himself back from the edge.  In the future he would have to stretch Stiles out before he got himself so worked up.  

Peter felt like his whole body was burning.  He could feel the sweat dripping down his chest and off the back of his hairline, weaving through the creases of his back muscles.  Now he knew how Stiles felt, waking up so needy and desperate.   Why eat an omelette when you could have this?  The crazy, wild feeling that had you all but crawling out of your own skin, desperate to get inside someone else's.  Peter understood it, even if he thought Stiles was a little bit insane, he still understood.  There was something about the man that could drive him to the edge in the best way possible, and now he was carrying Peter's pup.  What had he ever done to get so lucky?

Peter slipped his hand out of Stiles' body, pulling a long, high-pitched whine from his mate.  He just needed to see how stretched Stiles was before he went any further.  Stiles' hole didn't close completely, but it wasn't as puffy and wide open as the last time Peter had prepped him.  He wasn't sure fingers would be enough.  When Stiles' whine got to a fever pitch, Peter dove back in, getting the first two fingers of each hand inside and pulling them apart.  He pulled one hand back just to get a bit more lube into Stiles' body and then went back in with the first three fingers of each hand, pulling and stretching until he could see inside.  

It was completely obscene.  He was looking directly into his mate's core, and his cock was one good thrust away from exploding.  Stiles looked wet and warm and so very pink, just waiting to be filled up.  Peter thrust and pulled with his fingers, stretching Stiles' hole as wide as it would go.  He looked down at his dick and pictured his knot, which he had never actually seen before, wondering if it would fit.  

"For the love of God, Peter, just fucking get in me already," Stiles moaned, rocking his ass up and down, wriggling to get a bit more of Peter's fingers.  "I can take it."

"Good," Peter said, hoping Stiles was telling the truth, "because I can't wait anymore."  

Without another word, Peter slicked up his cock and lined himself up, thrusting in with one long, slow stroke.  Peter withdrew just as slowly, watching the way Stiles' rim clung to his dick, shrinking down to fit perfectly around his cockhead.  The ridge was hot, red, and raw looking, pulsing in time with his frantic heartbeat.  He took a deep breath and thrust back inside, pulling a groan from Stiles, who was just barely supporting his weight.  

Peter gave a few more hard thrusts but realized he wasn't at the right angle.  He didn't want to just fuck Stiles, he wanted to rock his world.  Looking down quickly to assess the situation, Peter lowered his body down to the bed, easing himself slowly as to not pull out.  He settled in on his elbows, threading his arms under his mate and linking his fingers at the nape of Stiles' neck, pressing him down into the mattress.  

"Oh fuck," Stiles murmured, unable to turn his head to the side by the way Peter was holding him down.  Resigned to being unable to catch his breath, Stiles gasped in as much as he could as Peter thrust into him fiercely.  He built up a punishing rhythm, snapping his hips against Stiles' ass, angling them just right until he was nailing his mate’s prostate with every stroke.  Stiles cried out, voice still muffled by the bedding.  

Peter grit his teeth, trying to hold on a bit longer, but he could feel his orgasm approaching, dick beginning to swell at the base.  He thrust harder, trying his best to bring Stiles off before he completely lost it.  Stiles’ moans had given way to incoherent babbling.  Peter caught every fifth word, things like knot , and fuck , and harder , that only served to spur Peter on, hips driving faster and hands clenching tighter.  Stiles hissed when his dick rubbed harder on the comforter, giving him barely enough friction to get off.  He was dying for Peter to put a hand on him, but somehow, he knew his mate could get him there without laying a finger on his dick.  

Peter was loathe to leave his current position, but knowing Stiles needed something more, he unclasped his hands, keeping one on the back of Stiles' neck but bringing the other one up to take both of Stiles' wrists and press them down into the bed, abruptly taking any leverage that Stiles had away from him.  With a few more powerful thrusts, Peter could feel Stiles' hole clench and flutter around him as he reached his climax, all but screaming into his pillow.  Peter was thankful that he had put extra soundproofing in their bedroom as that noise might have brought Derek running if he had heard it.  

Stiles' hole squeezed him rhythmically with every rope of come he spurted onto the mattress.  He was going to need to do some serious laundry when they were finished.  The way Stiles clenched down on his dick had him worried.  He needed his mate to be more relaxed than that if he was going to take his knot, and the throbbing at the base of his cock told him that he was just seconds away from tying them together.  

Peter abruptly released Stiles' head and arms from the bed and pulled back up onto his knees.  Grabbing the lube that was just barely in reach, Peter poured a bit more onto his thrusting cock and brought his hand back up to Stiles' hole.  On his next thrust inward, Peter slipped two of his fingers in alongside his cock, pulling another scream from Stiles.  Thankfully his nose told him that it was a pleased noise instead of a painful one, and he continued stretching Stiles out around himself.  

"Come on Peter, I'm ready," Stiles panted, finally able to catch his breath by turning his head to the side.  "Knot me, fill me up, make me yours."

"Mine!" Peter growled out, feeling his eyes flash as he removed his fingers and buried himself in Stiles' ass, knot swelling at the slur of filthy words that fell from Stiles’ lips.  

"That's it baby, stretch me wide, I wanna feel you for days," Stiles said, heart rate ratcheting up a bit once Peter was pushing against his inner walls.  "Fill me up, Peter.  Until it's dripping out over my thighs.  Soak the sheets.  Make them smell like us."

Peter couldn't handle the words, they had his head swimming and his nose twitching, excited at the visual Stiles' description was giving him.  "Yes, fuck, yes," he answered, pushing his knot even further into Stiles, swiveling his hips when he was in as far as he could go.  With a deep exhale, Peter's body relaxed.  His knees felt weak, and he used his last bit of energy to pull Stiles' back against his chest and lay them down on their sides.

Peter whined high in his throat, enjoying the almost painful way his orgasm was pulled out of him, going on for long minutes.  He could tell when Stiles' breath evened out in sleep, and waited him out, rolling his hips in gentle motions as he continued to fill up his mate.  About twenty minutes went by before he heard Stiles’ voice again.   

"You know we're going to have to stop doing this once the baby is born," Stiles mumbled sleepily, pushing his ass back into Peter's thighs in a gentle motion.  "I don't think a condom is going to be able to stand up to what you have going on back there."

"Hmm, no I guess not," Peter agreed, rumbling his pleasure into the back of Stiles' neck as he continued to pulse his release into his mate's body.  “That and it’d probably be irresponsible of us to stay tied together while our pup was crying.”

"We'll just have to enjoy the fuck out of it for the next eight months then," Stiles told him, turning his head until he could catch Peter's face out of the corner of his eye.  Peter hummed in agreement, rocking his hips forward and grinding himself against Stiles' body, curving against him as tight as possible.  "How much longer you think you got?" Stiles asked, perking up a bit after his nap.  

"I'm not sure," Peter said through clenched teeth, "a few minutes maybe?"

"Sounds like a challenge to me," Stiles said, thrusting his ass back hard and bringing a hand up to stroke his own cock.  Peter growled, knocking Stiles' hand out of the way and taking his dick in hand himself.  Stiles groaned at the touch, having missed it earlier.  Suddenly at a loss with what to do with his own hands, Stiles stuck a few fingers in his mouth and sucked.  

The noise of Stiles' moaning around his own fingers had Peter grinding even harder, sharply spurting a few jets of come into his mate instead of the slow pulses that he had come to expect late into his knotting.  Stiles slurped on his fingers, getting them as wet as possible before reaching a long arm behind them both and rubbing against Peter's hole.  Peter jerked his hips at the sensation, not expecting it at all, but the dual pressure of Stiles' tight ass around his knot and his fingers pressing in had him groaning loudly.  

Stiles smirked when Peter buried his face into his neck, biting down hard on the tendon in Stiles' throat as he sped up his hand, stripping Stiles' cock as quickly as he could.  Stiles wanted to give as good as he got, so he slipped in a second finger and wiggled his hand, unable to reach Peter's prostate from the angle he was at, but eager to stimulate his rim to the best of his ability.  

Peter shivered at Stiles' touch, mouthing at the long line of his pale neck, running his tongue between the beauty marks as he continued to stroke Stiles' dick.  With one particularly hard thrust of Stiles' hand, Peter moaned low and long, spasming into another true orgasm instead of the weak spurts he was getting before.  The intensity of Peter's pulsing dick and the way he was flicking his wrist had Stiles orgasming as well, spilling his release with a long groan.  

Stiles felt the way Peter continued to fill him and trailed his free hand down his body to rest over the small bulge in his stomach.  Soon that bulge would actually be a baby like Peter had thought the first time they were tied, not a sperm baby like it was right now.   Ew , Stiles thought.  Best not to think about that too long.  It definitely turned him on, but he could still admit that it sounded gross out of context.

Completely satisfied, Peter felt his knot begin to go down, thankfully not tying them together for the entire day.  When it was safe to pull away, Peter let his dick slip out of Stiles' body along with a rush of wetness, which slid down Stiles' balls in a slow stream.  Peter couldn't help himself, he used his fingers to gather up as much as he could and then brought them to his lips, licking and sucking at the liquid.  He fingered at Stiles' loose hole a little more until his fingers were covered again and then brought them to Stiles' mouth.  A sleepy Stiles didn't even protest, just stuck out his tongue and let Peter rub his fingers back and forth there before closing his lips around them and sucking.  

Peter rubbed his nose along Stiles' throat, reveling in their combined scent.  "You can sleep for a bit, but then you have to get up and eat something," Peter murmured.

"Okay, then I guess we need to think about what we're going to tell dad," Stiles said, wriggling until he was in a comfortable napping position.  

"I think we should tell Derek when you get up.  He might be able to hear the baby once you leave the room anyway."  

"Okay.  Then we'll invite dad over after.  Derek can help ease him into it," Stiles said, pulling on Peter's arm until he could rest his head on a firm bicep.  

"I'm not sure how you think Derek is going to help, but sure," Peter said, stifling a yawn with his free hand.   

"Think he would take a bullet for you?" Stiles asked, smiling and letting his eyes close at the same time.  

"Unlikely.  Think we can make a ‘no wolfsbane in the house’ rule?" Peter countered.  

"Unlikely," Stiles said, pressing a kiss to Peter's forehead before falling asleep.  

 

Chapter Text

The next time Stiles woke up it was to soft strumming on the opposite side of the bed.   That’s more like it , Stiles thought.  He didn't need any more of Peter's worry and bloodshot eyes greeting him when he woke up.  A romantic interlude was much more welcome.  

He groaned and stretched his arms high above his head, but kept his eyes closed, just listening for a little while the rest of his body woke up.  Peter was singing to him quietly, voice warm and beautiful in the still of the afternoon.  

 

"They didn't have you where I come from

Never knew the best was yet to come

Life began when I saw your face

And I hear your laugh like a serenade

 

How long do you want to be loved?

Is forever enough, is forever enough?

How long do you want to be loved?

Is forever enough?

'Cause I'm never, never giving you up"

 

"Dixie Chicks, really?" Stiles asked, a smile making its way onto his face as he stifled a yawn.  He sat up slowly, popping the joints of his back as he stretched his arms above his head.  Stiles grimaced when he wriggled a little, noticing the sticky puddle he was sitting in.  As soon as the song was over, it was shower time.

"You love it," Peter said wickedly, smirking as he strummed a few bars in between verses.

 

"I slip in bed when you're asleep

To hold you close and feel your breath on me

Tomorrow there'll be so much to do

So tonight I'll drift in a dream with you

 

How long do you want to be loved?

Is forever enough, is forever enough?

How long do you want to be loved?

Is forever enough?

'Cause I'm never, never giving you up"

 

Stiles had to admit that he liked the sound of that, Peter never giving him up.  He hummed along happily as Peter finished his afternoon serenade, feeling the warmth spread through their bond.  It was exactly as Stiles pictured when he thought about what it would be like living with Peter; amazing sex followed by heartfelt musical numbers.  He snickered a little thinking about how he could feel Peter's presence in his heart and in his ass at the same time.  He was sore, but content, feeling the heat spread through his chest as Peter sang to him.   

 

"As you wander through this troubled world

In search of all things beautiful

You can close your eyes when you're miles away

And hear my voice like a serenade

 

How long do you want to be loved?

Is forever enough, is forever enough?

How long do you want to be loved?

Is forever enough?

'Cause I'm never, never giving you up"

 

Peter set his guitar aside and sat back down on the edge of the bed, rubbing a rough but warm hand across Stiles' abdomen.  Stiles knew there was nothing to feel there yet, but apparently Peter could hear it.  

"What does it sound like?" Stiles asked, pressing down on Peter's hand.  The wolf inched closer, removing his hand and placing his ear against Stiles' stomach instead.  

"It sounds like you haven't eaten in 18 hours," Peter said, looking up to smirk at Stiles.

"You know that's not what I meant," Stiles said, flicking Peter on his nose.  "What does the baby sound like?"  Peter rolled his eyes, but pressed his ear back to Stiles' body, listening for a few seconds.  

"It sounds like whooshing, a really fast drum beat, and lots of echoing," he told Stiles, pressing a kiss to his belly button and hoisting himself off the bed.  "Now you need to get up and have some lunch.  Can you walk downstairs?" Peter asked, holding out a hand for Stiles so he could pull the younger man out of bed.   

"Downstairs… maybe?  To the bathroom first though.  We need to shower," Stiles insisted, taking Peter's hand and letting his mate pull him into the large en suite.  

"I like the way you smell," Peter said, smiling at his mate.   

"You like the smell of sweat and buckets of jizz?" Stiles joked.

"You smell sweeter than you used to.  It's subtle, but it's more like a pear tart now, more sugar," Peter said, guiding Stiles with a soft touch.  He felt like a baby giraffe.  Stiles hadn't expected his muscles to feel so weak.  That couldn't be a normal pregnancy symptom, especially not so early.  

"Why do I feel so terrible?" He asked Peter, who had propped him up against the tile so he could get the water temperature right.  They waited for the bathtub to fill.

"Deaton said you used too much magic this past week.  And now that your magic is supporting the baby, you need some time to recharge," Peter answered, picking Stiles up and placing him in the tub without batting an eye.  Stiles figured he'd have to get used to the overbearing mate routine.  Peter was bound to be extra protective now that he was carrying their child.   

Their child.   

Stiles still hadn't wrapped his mind around it.  He'd been a bit distracted by Peter's reaction to really have one of his own.  He was excited, sure, but there was also a wriggling in his stomach that unsettled him.  

A father before he was even 19?  That was a lot of pressure.  He would at least make sure he graduated high school, but it looked like college plans were on the back burner for the time being.  He had been considering applying to the fire academy, now that he had a power that could be used to save lives, but he would need to do a bit of bulking up before he could pass the physical exam, and that wasn't going to be happening for a while.  Everything would have to be put on hold.  That was all.  

Just a year or two until things got settled , Stiles thought.  Peter could stay home with the kid.  He wasn't working anyway.  Everything would be fine.  All he had to do was survive the birth, and everything would be fine.  It couldn't be that hard.  Women did it all the time, all over the world.  Not that he wanted to make light of the pain, because he was sure it was horrible.  But he would be unconscious for that bit.   

"You're far away," Peter commented, rubbing Stiles' chest with a soapy washcloth.  Stiles hadn't even noticed that Peter had slipped into the bath behind him.  

"Miles away," Stiles agreed, humming in his throat a little bit as he continued on his train of thought.  "Will you stay at home with the baby if I want to get a job?" He asked, already sure of what the answer would be.  

"Of course.  It's not like we need the money anyway, but I want you to be able to do anything you want," Peter replied, moving to soap up his arms, all the way down to Stiles' long knobby fingers.  

"Maybe you should get a job eventually though," Stiles said, "you know, to keep up appearances."

"What, you don't dig the ‘reclusive millionaire with a huge house out in the woods’ shtick I have going on right now?"

"Sexy as it is, I think people might get a bit suspicious if we don't show our faces around town every once in a while," Stiles told him, picturing a Practical Magic situation where rumors of the supernaturally-inclined family started spreading through the PTA.  He laughed a little thinking about Peter outing himself as a werewolf to the snow day phone tree.

"I have been thinking about a career change, now that you mention it," Peter said noncommittally, squeezing his arm between Stiles' bent legs to wipe at his more intimate areas.  

"Like what?"  

"One of the foreign language teachers at the high school is dead," Peter reminded him.  Stiles didn't need a reminder.  He was all too aware of the recent reduction in school faculty since Jennifer had come to town.   

"You're not allowed to work at my school while I'm still there," Stiles said, putting his foot down immediately.  

"No, of course not, most teenagers are horrible," Peter said, bending forward to tap at Stiles' ankles until he pulled his feet within reach.  "But it did get me thinking that maybe I could apply to teach a language at the community college."

"Professor Hale?  I could get used to that," Stiles mused, leaning his head back against Peter's wet shoulder.  "Do you have any tweed jackets or sweater vests?"  

"Not yet, but I like where you're going with this," Peter said, reaching behind his back to grab a shampoo bottle.  He tipped Stiles' head back until his hair was wet and then set about washing it.  

"I could get used to this, too," Stiles hummed, keeping his eyes closed as Peter massaged his scalp.

"Well if you don't get your strength up, I'm going to end up carrying you everywhere.  So how about we rinse off and get you some lunch?"

"Okay," Stiles agreed, letting Peter get him to his feet and then pull the rinse head off the edge of the tub and spray the soap suds off them both.   

"And you have to call your father," Peter added, hearing Stiles sigh almost immediately.

"Can't we just skip that part?"

"He's texted you about a dozen times since last night.  Melissa told him that you were fine, but he saw you hit the floor at dinner and he's worried about you."

"Can we invite him over for dinner?" Stiles asked, letting Peter wrap him up in a soft, new towel.

“Of course,” Peter said immediately.  “This is your home too, you don’t have to ask permission.”

"You should wash these a few times," Stiles said absently.  "They don't really dry you off until you get the factory wax and junk off of them."

"Yes, dear," Peter replied, lifting him up again and carrying him into the bedroom to get dressed.  Stiles was outfitted in soft plaid pajama bottoms and one of Peter's oldest and thinnest V-necks, then swept off his feet once more for the trip downstairs.   

"When are you going to let me walk for myself?" He asked, taking the opportunity to rub his damp nose along Peter's throat on the way down the two flights of stairs.  

"When you've had something to eat and you’ve drank at least a gallon of water," Peter replied, rubbing his cheek against the top of Stiles' wet hair.  

Peter deposited him on one of the bar stools and set about heating up Christmas leftovers.  He got some gravy, stuffing, and turkey warming in a frying pan and then pulled two large Gatorade bottles out of the drink refrigerator.  Stiles had thought that two refrigerators was a completely ridiculous idea until he looked past Peter to see that the food fridge was entirely full.  Large slabs of meat and oversized bunches of vegetables filled every shelf, enough to feed an army, or at least a pack of teenaged werewolves.  

He smiled at the drink, wondering when Peter had determined what his favorite flavor of Gatorade was, but the thought was interrupted by Derek walking in through the back door.  

He stomped his work boots out on the doormat and pulled his leather jacket off to hang on a hook by the door.  Stiles smiled looking at it.  Even with the surly expression on Derek's face as he shook his damp hair out on the tile, it still felt like home, like family.  Peter served up a plate for him and added some cold cranberry sauce, the kind that slides out of a can, just how Stiles liked it.  

Derek pulled a water bottle out of the fridge and leaned against the counter, sniffing the air pointedly and then giving Peter a face.

"We just took a bath," Peter said, rolling his eyes at the pinched expression his nephew was giving him.  

"Next time try harder," Derek said gruffly, twisting his water bottle open with a bit more force than necessary, spilling some on his gray shirt.

"I soundproofed the bedrooms, I really don't know what else you could possibly want," Peter said, not backing down, no matter how hard his nephew glared.  "Plus, you know you're not supposed to mention that kind of thing in polite company.  Your mother taught you better than that."

"He's polite company?" Derek asked, pointing one finger in Stiles' direction.  

Stiles, who had cranberry sauce dripping out the corner of his mouth just snickered and continued eating his turkey.   

"Sometimes," Peter conceded politely, sitting down next to Stiles with his own plate of leftovers.

"Are you going to tell him?" Stiles asked around a mouthful of stuffing. "Or are you going to make him guess?"

"I was going to see how long it took him to figure out, but I suppose we could just tell him," Peter said, pressing a quick kiss to Stiles' temple.  "What do you hear, Derek?"  

Derek looked at his uncle with a bemused expression, like he wasn't sure what Peter was talking about.  "I don't hear anything over the way this one is talking with his mouth full," Derek said, folding his arms over his chest.  

"Stiles, love, be quiet for a minute," Peter requested sweetly.  Stiles put his fork and knife down on the side of his plate and gingerly lifted himself off the stool.  Derek came forward to lend a hand, just in case his wobbling gave way to an actual fall.  Once Stiles caught his balance, he opened his arms wide and motioned with his hands, beckoning Derek to come in closer.  Derek, who thought Stiles was asking for a hug, just raised one eyebrow and crossed his arms again.  

"Come on big guy, what do you hear?" Stiles asked, gesturing to himself with one flapping hand.  

Stiles could see the moment Derek heard it.  With a little quirk of his head to one side, his ears actually twitched.  Stiles waved him forward once more, letting him know it was okay to get a little closer.  Curious and still confused, Derek went down on one knee, bringing his face a bit closer to Stiles' stomach.  

"Is that what I think it is?" Derek asked inching even closer.  Laughing at the way Derek was pointedly not touching his body, Stiles pulled his tee shirt up and took a step closer to Derek until his ear was mere inches away from Stiles’ belly button.  

"I know you've heard that sound before," Peter said, smiling widely.  

"You're pregnant?" Derek said, pulling his head back in shock.

"Surprise?" Stiles said a bit timidly, letting his tee shirt fall back down to cover his belly.  

"How did this happen?" Derek asked, getting back to his feet, looking just as unsteady as Stiles had a few minutes earlier.  

"In the usual way," Peter said smugly, going back to eating his meal like he wasn't bursting with barely suppressed pride.  

"My dear nephew, Derek," Stiles began, hopping back up on his stool with a groan.  "I think it's time we had a discussion about Alpha knots and safe sex.  Because apparently you guys can knock up men just as easily as women."  

"That's not strictly true," Peter said, demurely wrapping his lips around his knife to chase a bit of gravy.  "You're only pregnant because you're a Mage."

"Okay, let me rephrase that," Stiles corrected, turning back to Derek.  "You can also knock up men with magic, so make sure you bring your prospective dates home for us to check out first, and always use a condom."

Derek winced.  "Not everyone in this pack is gay," he said, taking a big gulp of water and averting his eyes.

"We're not gay," Peter and Stiles said simultaneously.  Derek turned away.  Stiles thought he was going to head for the stairs and leave them, but he just went to the fridge and pulled two bottles of beer out.  He took the bottle opener magnet off the side of the fridge and popped the caps, handing one to Peter.

"Congratulations," Derek told him, holding his beer neck out for Peter to tap with his own.   

"Thank you," Peter said, taking a long sip of his own bottle.  

"I've been meaning to ask you," Stiles said, taking his last bite of stuffing, "why do you drink so much beer if you can't get drunk."  

"My father loved craft beer," Derek said softly, taking another swig, "he drank it all the time when he was human, and when my mother turned him, he kept drinking it."

"Said he liked the taste," Peter added, drinking another big gulp of beer.

"So once he was a wolf, he would use his enhanced senses to try to work out the recipes he liked.  He started brewing in the garage," Derek said, a small smile reaching his lips.   

"Talia hated the smell of hops, so she made him do it outside," Peter said, adding details whenever he thought of them.  If he could give Derek any information about his parents that he didn't already know, he would.  

"He said that was the one thing he hated about being a wolf.  He couldn't enjoy his beer the way he used to," Derek told him, smile twisting a little bit.  "So he started experimenting with herbs, trying to figure out how to make alcohol work on wolves."  

"Derek is going to grow hops and grain in the garden after the winter is over," Peter said, laying a warm hand on Stiles' thigh.

A little detail popped into Stiles' mind, something he remembered vaguely, pulling the memory out of its lust-addled cloud.  He leaned into Peter's space and whispered in his ear, "you said I smelled like hops."

"You do, but right now you also smell like sweet pears," Peter said smoothly, kissing his cheek.  Stiles sat back in his stool, smiling to himself.  He was happy to trigger a good memory in Peter when he knew the man had so few left.  He wondered if Derek caught the same scent whenever Stiles was around and if it upset him.  He was too afraid to ask.

"You want to make your own beer?" Stiles asked, excited that Derek was expressing interest in a hobby.  He needed something to occupy his time besides reading and brooding.  

"I've been thinking about it for a while, but I wanted to be able to grow my own ingredients," Derek said.  "It's starting to snow now, so it'll have to wait for the spring."

"It's snowing?" Stiles asked, getting off his chair to peer out the back door.  Peter followed him, keeping a soft hand on his waist.  He wasn't sure Stiles had enough energy to be up and around.  "Oh my God, Peter!  You let me sleep through snow!"

"I didn't know you liked it so much," Peter said, amused by Stiles’ sudden enthusiasm for basic weather.  

"Well I've lived in California all my life, snow is pretty rare!" He said, turning around in Peter's arms.  "Can we make hot chocolate?"

"If you want," Peter said, eager to take any excuse to get extra calories into Stiles' body.  

"Mmm," He said, pressing a soft kiss to Peter's lips, "I want."

"Want hot chocolate, Derek?" Peter asked, going back to the kitchen to grab a saucepan and the milk.  

"Sure," Derek said, surveying the couple with a quizzical expression.  "How far along are you?" He asked, bringing them back to the more interesting topic of Stiles' magical pregnancy.

"Six weeks," Peter said immediately, head shoved into the pantry looking for chocolate.  "So you'll need an ultrasound in two weeks or so," he added, emerging from the cabinet with a huge block of milk chocolate.  Stiles watched Peter work, grabbing a large chef's knife and cutting board to chop the chocolate into chunks.  He could really get used to living in the Manor with the Hales; such service!  

"I'm still not really clear on how this happened," Derek said, giving Stiles a bit of an awestruck look.  

"Well, Derek," Stiles joked, "when an Alpha wolf and a Fire Mage love each other very much—"

"Shut up, Stiles," Derek snapped, sitting down at another stool and dropping his head into his hands.  

"You asked," Stiles said, laughing.

"Magic," Peter said simply, adding the chocolate to the pot of simmering milk.  Derek looked like he was hoping for a bit more of an explanation than that, but he was interrupted from asking by Peter's phone ringing.  Peter wiped his hands on a kitchen towel, checked the caller, and then stepped outside to answer it.  A crisp dusting of frost had settled on the new grass outside the patio, and Peter crunched into it, stepping further from the house before he answered the call.   

"Yes?" Peter said, not bothering with niceties as he already knew who was on the other line.   

"I looked through as much of the pack's history as I could, everything I had at least, and there's no mention of another male pregnancy," Deaton said.  Peter could hear paper rustling on the other line like the vet was still searching through books.

"I didn't really expect there to be," Peter said, "if there had been a male pregnancy in my family I'm sure it would have been talked about.  We liked to gossip and pass stories down."

"I remember," Deaton said, reminding Peter that he was quite close to his sister at one point.  

"I've found references to it in a few magical texts, but not many.  I spent last night translating a few passages for you."

"Can you bring them over?" Peter asked, looking back over his shoulder in through the window to see Derek standing at the stove, stirring the pot of hot chocolate. 

"I'm not sure that is wise," Deaton told him, still flipping through pages.  "Not if you don't want anyone else finding them.  I'll give you the short version.  It's... not good."

"What do you mean by 'not good?'" Peter asked, already worried for his young mate.  

"I can't find any reference to a Mage who carried a pregnancy to term."

"They miscarried?" Peter asked, voice tense.

"They died."

Peter's breath left him in a rush.  He felt like someone had shoved his head into a bucket of ice water.  How was he going to tell Stiles that he couldn't carry the baby?

"Peter?  Peter?" Deaton was repeating on the other line.  He hadn't realized the vet had been calling his name for some time.  

"Is there anything else?" Peter asked, voice hollow and resigned.  

"I'll keep looking, but based on what I've read so far, termination is your best bet."

"Would Melissa do it?" Peter asked evenly, not letting his voice betray him again.  He coughed to clear the choked feeling from his throat.   

"I would recommend it," Deaton said, tone giving the slightest hint of sympathy.  "I don't have the equipment to put Stiles under anesthesia.  It would be best if she had blood on hand as well, in case something went wrong."

Peter didn’t respond to the insinuation.   

"Thank you," Peter said, pulling the phone away from his ear.  "I'll tell him."  He ended the call without another word, sliding his phone back into his pocket, straightening his shoulders, and heading back into the house.  He rubbed his shoes on the doormat and then slipped them off, going back to the counter to share his drink with the other two men.   

Peter tried to school his face into something resembling happy, but he could tell that he wasn't succeeding very well by the expression on Stiles' face.  

"Who was it?" Derek asked, pulling Peter's gaze away from his mate.  

"Deaton," Peter said tonelessly, directing his eyes back to his mug of hot chocolate.  

"What did he say?"

"Nothing," Peter said, taking another sip of his drink so he wouldn't have to elaborate.  Stiles caught his hand and pushed his cup back to the counter.  

"You guys always seem to forget that I'm tuned into werewolf FM." Stiles said, smiling sadly.  "Just tell me what it is."

It was true.  Peter did always forget that Stiles could feel their emotions through the pack bond.  For the most part it wasn't a problem, as Stiles didn’t usually need to pry, but it did make keeping secrets a bit difficult.  

A year ago his first instinct would have been to lie about everything.  There had been no detail too small to lie about.  He kept himself so distant from the pack.  He barely even spoke to Derek when they were living at the loft.  But now everything was different.  There was no hiding from his mate.  Even if he knew that telling Stiles what he had heard would break his heart.  

"Peter?" Stiles called softly, hooking a finger under his chin and pulling his face up to let their eyes meet.  "You're scaring me."  

"Just tell him," Derek said, reminding Peter that they weren't alone.  He wanted to ask Derek to leave, but he knew there was no point, really.  He was sure Derek would know something was horribly wrong the minute Stiles found out.  

"Deaton said the baby will probably kill you," Peter said, looking into Stiles' eyes, trying to keep calm.  "And that your best hope is to terminate the pregnancy."  

Stiles' eyes narrowed as he processed the new information.  Peter could see the gears turning in his mind, like he was looking for a way out.  Stiles could always find an angle.  There was always another way.  Except for this time, Peter was sure.  

"How did he find that out?" Stiles asked, needing as much information as possible before he could truly accept Peter's words.  

"He did a lot of research last night, translated some old texts," Peter said, reaching out to take one of Stiles' hands.  

Stiles pulled his hand out of reach and stood up, pushing away from the counter violently.  "And they just said that I was going to die?  That there's no other option?" He asked, voice rising in volume and in ferocity.  

"He couldn't find any record of a Mage surviving a pregnancy," Peter told him, eyes burning at the look of hurt and betrayal on Stiles' face.  It had been too good to be true.  Peter had hurt so many people, committed so many crimes against man and nature, he knew he didn't deserve a happy ending when he had found out about the baby, and now his fears had been confirmed.  

"Oh, so just because Deaton can't find it written down anywhere means it can't possibly be true?" Stiles yelled, not going down without a fight.  He rested a hand on his stomach, clutching his borrowed shirt in strong fingers, like if he held on tight enough, the baby would stay there.  

"Stiles, we talked about this," Peter said softly, getting up to stand in front of his mate.  "You know I want this too, but not at the expense of your life."

"And that's just something you get to decide?" Stiles yelled, backing away from Peter, eyes wide with fear.  "Going to knock me out and cut my kid out of me?"  

"You know I would never do that," Peter argued, reaching a hand out into the space between them, wishing Stiles would take a step forward and let himself be held.  Peter needed to know that they were still going to be okay after it was all over.  He'd seen enough Lifetime movies to know that couples usually didn't make it after they lost a child.  

"Do I?" Stiles whispered, backing up another step, eyes darting around the room in panic.  "How do I know that?  I know how much you love me, that you'd kill to keep me safe, so why wouldn't you kill our kid?" Stiles words were clipped and angry.  Derek's eyes were wide.  He had never seen Stiles so mad, not even when Jennifer had owned up to what she had done to Heather.  He could tell by looking at Stiles that he couldn't be argued with.  

"Don't follow me," Stiles said, all hope dying in his throat, and left the room, heading for the library.  

Peter collapsed into a kitchen stool, burying his head in his hands and taking deep, wracking breaths.  Derek had never seen his uncle cry, and he really didn't want to start.  He rubbed a hand on Peter's shoulder in a soothing gesture.  "I'll talk to him," Derek said, and followed Stiles out of the room, ignoring the soft whimpering noises that were coming from the kitchen.  

Derek tried the door, but it was locked.  Not wanting to break any part of the new house, he slumped down to the floor with his back against the door, speaking through the keyhole.  

"Stiles," Derek said, letting out a sigh.  He had never been good at comforting people, and it was an incredibly delicate situation.  "Stiles, I know you want to keep the baby.  We all want you to keep the baby.  But maybe you should think about this a little bit."  

There was no answer.  Derek didn't think there would be, but he tried to think his words through before he said them, offering as much comfort and support as he knew how to give.  

"We can't lose you.  Peter can't lose you," He said softly, remembering what Peter had been like when Stiles had been kidnapped by the Alphas.  "You didn't see what happened the last time you were hurt.  It was horrible."

"What?" Stiles called through the door, surprising Derek, who had assumed he was just talking to a wall.  "So I have to give up my baby just because Peter can't control his wolf?  Why is that my problem?  He's a grown man.  He should be able to keep himself from going on a murder spree without his boyfriend holding him back.  I'm not his keeper."  

"This isn't about grown or not," Derek explained as honestly as he could, "this is about giving up the only thing that you love just for the possibility of something more."  

"And what about what I want?" Stiles asked, anger still palpable even through the wood door.  

"If you want a child, you can wait a few years and then you can adopt," Derek suggested, still not sure he was even going in the right direction.

"I don't want just any child, I want this child," Stiles said honestly.  A soft thumping noise told Derek that Stiles had sat down with his back against the other side of the door.  It was silent for a few minutes.  Derek couldn't blame Stiles.  He wanted the baby himself.  Adding to the pack pleased his wolf, and knowing that it would be a Hale baby, his family's blood running through its veins, he was sure it was all Peter wanted too.  

"Then we'll do everything we can to help you keep it," Derek said finally.  "If you think Peter won't support you, then you're crazy.  He wants you safe, but more than that, he wants you happy.  It’s just going to take him a bit to get used to the idea."  

A change in scent and the sound of the bolt sliding in the lock told Derek it was time to get up.  Once he had gotten to his feet, the library door swung open, revealing a tearstained Stiles, barely staying up on his feet.  Without even thinking about it, Derek went to him, wrapping strong arms around his Emissary and scenting the top of his head.  Stiles didn't protest.  All the fight had gone out of him.  He let Derek lead him over to the window seat, steadying him with a warm hand on his shoulder before he left the room to go get Peter.

"Stiles wants to keep the pup," Derek told him.  Peter may have been able to hear their entire conversation, but that didn't mean he had the presence of mind to have actually been listening.  "He's afraid you won't support him.  So you are going to walk in there, and tell him that you will do everything in your power to keep him and that baby alive.  Do you hear me?"

Peter nodded, straightening up his back and getting off his chair.  Derek watched him walk away, head held high, and felt proud.  Maybe he was getting the hang of being chief Alpha after all.

Chapter Text

The Sheriff stomped up the front steps of Hale Manor and knocked his heels on the doormat to get the snow off his boots.  It had been a long day and he was looking forward to seeing his son and getting a home-cooked meal out of Peter before he went home for the night.  Before he had even raised his fist to knock on the door, Derek pulled it open, ushering him inside.  John shook Derek's hand and then followed him through the kitchen.  He saw Peter draining pasta with a pleasant smile on his face, and then walked into the dining room to find his kid.  

Stiles jumped out of his seat when he saw his father and pulled him into a tight hug.  The last time the Sheriff had seen his son he had been unconscious in Peter's arms, so it was a relief to see him awake and on his feet.  

"Hey kid," John said, still hugging his son, "feeling any better?"

"Yeah, I'm fine Dad," Stiles assured him, sitting back down in his seat and chugging half a bottle of pink Gatorade.  

"Going to come back to the house with me tonight?" he asked, taking a seat on the other side of the table so he could get a good look at Stiles.

"Well I think we're going to have to talk about that when Peter's finished," Stiles said, not sure how he was going to break the news to his father.  It was already a touchy subject.  He knew his dad wasn't happy about the way Peter had been taking up so much of his time, and he didn't even know the whole story yet.  

"I'll concede to sleepovers on the weekend, but you can't spend all winter break here.  At least give me the nights that I don't work," John said, giving Stiles a sharp look.  

Peter came through the door with Derek, each holding two plates of spaghetti and meatballs.  John's face perked right up at the smell of marinara sauce.  It wasn't a steak dinner again, so he knew he hadn't walked into an ambush at least.  John dug into his pasta like he hadn't eaten an entire Christmas dinner the night before, but that didn't mean he wasn't paying attention to the rest of the room.

Stiles and Peter were whispering to each other, but John could still make out what they were saying.  Stiles had never been good at keeping quiet.

"When are we going to tell him?" Stiles hissed, taking a bite of spaghetti and smiling at his father like he hadn't said anything.  

"At least let the man finish his dinner first," Peter whispered back, delicately slicing his meatball into tiny pieces before beginning to eat.  John had never seen anyone eat so cleanly.  Peter was always very precise, like he had an urge to prove that he had perfect table manners despite his ability to rip an animal apart with his teeth.

"Out with it," John said, slurping down his last bite of pasta and pushing his plate away from him.  "You didn't give me a glass of whiskey first, so it can't be that bad."

"Oh, it is that bad," Derek chimed in, smirking down at his plate like he was a younger sibling waiting for his older brother to get into trouble.  

"We were trying to fake you out.  You're starting to notice our patterns," Stiles said, eating a meatball whole so his mouth would be too full to speak.  

"Well tell me what it is already," John insisted, taking a gulp of his ice water and leaning back in his chair.  

"Remember how we told you that Peter couldn't get me pregnant," Stiles said, and John narrowed his eyes at his son, daring him to finish the sentence.  "Well it turns out, that wasn't exactly accurate."

"Are you fucking with me right now?" John asked, turning to Peter, who had never heard the Sheriff use that particular word before.  If he hadn’t been afraid when he sat down at the dinner table that night, he certainly was now.   

Peter cleared his throat, wishing he was anywhere else, but answered the question.  "No, it's true.  Stiles is pregnant."  

John smacked himself in the head with his own palm, rubbing through the creases in his forehead before he looked up again.  "Seriously?  How does that even happen?"

Peter gave Stiles a pointed look when he opened his mouth.  He wasn't going to let Stiles give his own father the same dirty answer he tried to give Derek earlier.  "Magic," was what he settled on.  

"Magic," John repeated, rubbing his palm on his scruffy jaw.  "Why am I not surprised?"   Between werewolves, Fire Mages, and evil Druids, what’s one little supernatural male pregnancy?

When had John’s life become such a circus?  He was seriously regretting leaving his gun belt on the hook by the front door.

"Look Dad," Stiles said, waving his hands around as he explained.  "It wasn't like we knew this could happen, okay?  It was an accident."

"You're 18, Stiles," John said wearily, "how many times have we had the safe sex talk?"

"There were special circumstances that made it impossible to follow the typical safe sex rules," Stiles said, biting down on his bottom lip.

"Do I even want to know what that means?" John asked, looking between the three men.

"You really, really don't," Derek replied, getting up from his seat and collecting their plates to bring into the kitchen.   

"Deserter!" Stiles called after Derek, who casually flipped him off behind his back and kept on walking.  

“I don’t have a bullet in my chest, so does that mean you’re not going to kill me?” Peter asked, looking at John with honest curiosity and a healthy dose of fear.  It didn’t matter if he would heal a gunshot wound, he didn’t want Stiles’ father and him to be at odds.  “Or are you just waiting until Stiles leaves the room?”

“I’m not going to shoot you.”

“Thank God,” Stiles sighed, smiling broadly at his father.

"So you're keeping it, I assume," John said.  Stiles and Peter shared a telling look and then brought their hands together, clasped on top of the table.  It had apparently been a difficult decision for the couple to make, and John really didn't want to ask why.

"Yes," Peter said, looking back to Stiles with a smile on his face, "we're keeping it."

John sat back in his chair, puffed out his cheeks and let out a long, slow breath through loosely closed lips.  He rubbed hot palms back and forth across the thighs of his olive green uniform pants and idly fidgeted a rough thumb against his well worn wedding band.  "So when is your due date?" John asked, weary, but resolving himself to be supportive.  Stiles had to make sure his dad got an amazing Father's Day gift that year, he was truly a God among men.   

"Sometime in October, I would think," Peter said.

"What?" Stiles asked, counting backwards on his fingers.  "That can't be right."

"Oh, didn't you know?" Peter asked with a smirk, "werewolf pregnancies are typically 12 months."

"What?!" Stiles repeated, much louder the second time, and he could hear Derek laughing from the kitchen.  "Don't you think you should have mentioned that?"

"Why?  It's not like I knew this was ever going to happen.  I figured you had read it somewhere at some point," Peter explained, and while that made sense, it didn't make it any easier for Stiles to swallow.  

"How can you be sure the baby is a werewolf?' John asked, a little confused about the whole situation.  

"Our genes are dominant, it's just a prediction," Peter said, squeezing Stiles' hand a little tighter.  He could tell that his mate was still in shock, but the worried expression on Stiles' face told his father that there was something more that the couple wasn't telling him.   

"What aren't you saying?" John asked, looking between the two men.

Stiles and Peter shared another pointed look, like they weren't sure what they were going to say, so neither of them wanted to speak first.   

"The pregnancy will probably be very difficult for Stiles," Peter said softly, patting Stiles' hand in a comforting gesture.

"What do you mean by difficult?" John asked, unhappy that he was still not getting a straight answer out of the couple.  

"It takes a lot of magical energy to make a baby, so I'm going to be really tired and run down all the time," Stiles explained, completely glossing over the true danger.  "Deaton said he would be able to make me some sort of potion that should help, but it will be a long ten months for me."

"But you're going to finish school, right?"  

"Yes, I plan to finish school," Stiles told him, wanting to at least be able to give his father some positive news.

"And what about college?" John asked.  It wasn't enough that his son was 18 and practically married, but to also be a teen father?  He had wanted so much more for his son than that.  It felt like the beginning of the end.  John wanted to be happy about the idea of being a grandfather, but he didn't feel as good about it as he wished he did.  He sighed heavily.   If only Claudia could see us now, John thought.   She’s probably laughing her ass off in heaven .

"I was thinking about joining the local fire department," Stiles said.  “Once things are settled with the baby, of course."  

"Of course," John echoed, still struck dumb by the entire conversation.   

"I think Stiles should stay here, when you're on night duty," Peter said, pulling John out of his thoughts.  "I don't like the idea of him being alone if he's not going to be feeling well."

"I think that's fair," John said, surveying the couple.  There was more to the situation than what they were telling him, he just knew it.  But he also knew his son, and he wasn't going to get any more answers out of Stiles before he was good and ready.  "I'll get you a copy of my schedule and you can stay at our house too, if you prefer, though I’m sure you’re more comfortable here," he said, glancing around the expansive dining room.  

"Thanks, Dad," Stiles said, standing up and walking around the table to give his father a big hug.  "That means a lot to me."

"I'll protect Stiles and our pup," Peter said, coming up behind Stiles to wrap his arms around the younger man's stomach.  John heard the unsaid with my life , and knew his son was in good hands.  There were a lot of things going bump in the night that he wouldn't know how to fight if they were to go after his son, so he had to take help where he could get it.  

“Why do you keep calling it a pup?” John asked, hooking his service weapon back around his waist.  “It’s not going to come out a puppy, is it?”

Peter laughed, squeezing Stiles and nuzzling at his neck.  “No,” he said, “that’s just what we called the kids in my family.”

“Must be a born wolf thing,” Stiles said, stifling a yawn.

John watched as Stiles laid his head back on Peter's shoulder, fatigue clear on his face.  "Why don't you go on up to bed and I'll walk your father out," Peter said, pressing a kiss to the side of Stiles' face.  

"Yeah, okay," he agreed easily, heading for the staircase, "sleep sounds good."  With a bleary eyed look, Stiles turned back, raising his eyebrows at his father.  “You’re not just waiting for me to fall asleep before you shoot him, are you?”  

The Sheriff rolled his eyes, letting his right hand fall to his hip to pull his service weapon from his belt.  With quick, weathered hands, John ejected the magazine and briskly racked the slide twice, catching the loaded bullet and then checking the chamber before holstering his weapon and sliding the magazine into his pant pocket.  He raised his eyebrows right back at his son, wordlessly holding the caught bullet between thumb and forefinger out for Stiles to take.  

“Lead,” Peter said flatly, pinching the bullet out of John’s fingers before the Sheriff could drop it into Stiles’ outstretched palm.  “Bad for babies,” he warned, handing the round back to John, who took it and fitted it back into the magazine.  “We’ll be fine.  You can go to sleep,” he assured his exhausted mate, rubbing his hunched back and nudging him toward the staircase.

Peter waited until he heard Stiles' footsteps on the stairs before heading back to the kitchen and pulling a bottle of Jack out of the pantry.  He led John out to the porch.  The two men sat down on the wooden swing and Peter uncapped the bottle, handing it to John without a word.

"What isn't Stiles telling me?" John asked immediately, taking a swig of the amber liquid and handing the bottle back to Peter.

"Male pregnancy isn't just difficult, it's dangerous," Peter told him, staring straight ahead, taking a big gulp of Jack and passing the bottle back.  “Deaton thinks it will kill him.”

"And he won't let you take the baby?"  

"No," Peter said solemnly, leaning forward until his elbows met his knees.  

"You have to convince him," John said, words strict with determination.  It was the same tone of voice he used when he was ordering around his deputies.

"I tried.  Derek and I both tried.  He won't listen."

"You have to try again," John pleaded.  "He’s too young for this.  I can't lose my son."

"I can't lose him either, but you know how stubborn he is.  We got in a huge fight about it earlier.  He accused me of planning to knock him unconscious and kill our child."  Those words had cut Peter the deepest.  Peter had killed a lot of people, but to say he would murder his own child?  That really hurt.

"We'll figure something out," John said, taking another swig of whiskey.  If he kept drinking at that rate he was going to have to freeze out on the porch for a few hours before he could drive home.  

"He's not going to make it.  Deaton said no Mage has ever survived, and I can't...I can't—" Peter trailed off, pulling the bottle out of John's hands and downing half of it in one gulp, throat convulsing as he chugged.

"It'll be alright, we'll talk him out of it," John said, rubbing a cold hand over his eyes.

"No you won't," Stiles said, opening the front door and stepping outside.  Peter was up in a flash, grabbing Stiles' hands and pushing him back toward the house.  

"It's freezing out here, and you should be in bed," Peter pleaded, trying to open the door and steer Stiles back inside.  

"I could feel you talking about me, and I knew what you were going to tell him," Stiles said, crossing his arms over his chest and planting his feet.  "But you guys are forgetting one thing."

"What's that?" John asked, raising his hung head to look at his son.   

"I'm the most powerful Fire Mage in California.  Maybe in the world.  You have no idea what I'm capable of," Stiles said, back straight and defiant.

"The baby is going to feed off your magic, Stiles, you won't be able to help it," Peter said, dropping his hand to grab one of Stiles' wrists.  Stiles pulled his hand away, and Peter winced.  That was the second time that day that his mate had refused his touch, and his wolf didn't like it.  He could feel a whine trying to tear itself out of his throat.

"I have enough power.  I'm strong, and determined, and I can do this," Stiles said, leveling Peter with a serious expression.  "And I'll do it with or without your help."

"Of course we'll help you, Stiles," John said, getting up off the bench and setting the bottle of Jack on the porch railing.  

"It didn't sound like it just then," Stiles said, angry, but controlled.  "It sounded like you were teaming up against me."

"We're just worried," Peter said honestly, looking between father and son.  "We don't want to lose you."  

"You won't lose me.  I'm not going anywhere," Stiles said with finality.  "This is supposed to be a happy occasion.  I'm excited about this baby, and you guys are ruining it.  So get your fucking acts together!  I know you want a family," Stiles said, looking at Peter.  "And you can't tell me that you don't want a grandchild," he said, turning to his father.  

"I just don't want to lose my own child in the process," John said, stepping forward to wrap Stiles up in a hug.  

"I know the feeling," Stiles said, smiling broadly, incandescently happy.  He kept smiling at both of them until they cracked and mirrored his expression.  Stiles could feel a weight lift off of his mind.  He knew Peter was finally with him.  No matter what it took, his mate was going to have his back.  "Now get your asses inside, it's fucking freezing out here."

"Yes, dear," Peter said, holding the door open for the other men to file inside the house.  


Stiles was dying to tell the pack, but Cora had let them know she would be home for New Year's, so he was doing his best to hold it in until they were all together.  Derek assured them that the younger wolves wouldn't notice the heartbeat in the next week, so they would hopefully be able to keep it a secret until then.  

Late afternoon on New Year's Eve found Stiles sitting in the little cushioned nook of the library, alternating between a few different volumes he had found in Peter's collection.  He had learned a lot about not only hanging on to his anchor, but werewolf pregnancy and childbirth.  Peter's great grandmother had kept a pretty detailed journal of her young life, including her four pregnancies, and Stiles felt better and better about his chances after reading her thoughts.  The woman was fierce, and Stiles knew he could be fierce right along with her.  He thought back to the way Peter had called him the Pack Mom only a few short weeks earlier and smiled.  If he was going to be a mom, he was going to be the most badass, hardcore mother of all time.  

"Cora's here," Peter said, poking his head into the room and gesturing for Stiles to follow him out on the porch.  Stiles looked outside and didn't see anything.  Peter could probably hear her coming a mile away, so Stiles figured it was going to be a few minutes.  He wrapped his arms around Peter's neck and nudged his nose under Peter's chin, pressing a kiss to his jawline.  

"Enjoying your book?" Peter asked, turning around in Stiles' arms to steal a kiss.  

"Great-grandma Ruby is a complete badass.  I want to be her when I grow up," Stiles said, leaning forward for another searing kiss.

"Knock it off," Derek said, coming through the front door to wait for his sister.  Stiles ignored the Alpha, taking another kiss and letting his tongue slip into Peter's mouth.  The last week had been so heavy with the fear of losing the baby, and coming to terms with their decision to move forward with the pregnancy.  It made Stiles crave a little normalcy.  He continued kissing Peter until he heard an engine roar at the end of their long gravel driveway.  

When he turned back to the road, Stiles saw Cora speeding toward the house on a motorcycle that dwarfed her, long brown hair flying in the wind out the back of her helmet.  What was with the Hales and leather?  She looked incredible, turning the bike in a wide arc and killing the engine.  Cora hopped up the front steps and pulled the helmet off her head, shaking her hair out as she threw her arms around Derek.  

"Miss me?" She asked, pressing a kiss to her brother's cheek and then releasing him to give Peter a hug.  She gave a quick nod to Stiles, and then took a minute to take in the vastness of the new house.  Looking back at Peter, Cora smiled, more than a little excited to see what was inside.  

"We've definitely got a lot to talk about," Stiles said, grabbing one of Peter's hands and leading the group inside.  "Tell us who you met," he prompted, flopping down on one of the couches and pulling Peter close to him.  After learning he was pregnant, Stiles had become a lot more tactile, craving Peter's touch, needing it to ground him when the fear started to creep back in.  It was driving Derek crazy, but Stiles couldn't help himself.  Their sex life had amped up and there was little that would stop Stiles from jumping Peter whenever possible.  

"Well the Wilkes pack in Oregon was gigantic.  There were at least fifty wolves living in a compound out in the woods.  Their Alpha was getting on, about 70 years old, but still kicking ass.  The guy had 12 children, it was ridiculous," Cora rambled, filling them in on her travels.  

"Sounds excessive," Derek said, giving Stiles and Peter a look.  

"Four, tops," he heard Stiles whisper in Peter's ear, biting down on his earlobe and then pressing a kiss to it.  

"Then I spent a few weeks with the Ulrich pack in Washington.  They're amazing.  They have a 20 year old Alpha and it's like a fucking frat house in there.  15 dudes and almost no girls, it was so much fun," Cora said, getting her phone out to show off a few pictures of a 3D beer pong tower and a complete series of a dozen guys doing body shots off her stomach.  Stiles could feel Derek wincing, but he put on a happy face for his sister anyway.  

"Anyone who wants to get together in a pack agreement?" Peter asked, wondering if Cora's trip had yielded any fruit.   

"Those two, yes, but you definitely want to stay away from the Smyth pack, a couple hundred miles north of here.  Those guys are crazy," Cora told them.  

"Crazy how?" Derek asked, sitting up a little straighter in his seat.  "Anything we need to be worried about?"

"Let's just say they don't exactly play by the rules mom taught us."

"Animals or people?" Peter asked.

"Animals.  If it were people I would have called you.  We can't let crap like that happen, not so close to home," Cora said.  Stiles really didn't think he needed to know what unsavory werewolf packs did to fluffy animals.  His stomach was already a little rough as it was.

"Do you think the Wilkes and Ulrich packs would send some people here to negotiate?" Peter asked, already drawing up the agreements in his head.

"Probably.  I have their numbers, so we can contact them after the holidays," Cora said.  "The Ulrich pack will be hung over until Valentine's Day, so I wouldn't try them too soon.”  

Footsteps on the front porch told the wolves that more of the pack was arriving.  Allison, Lydia, and Jackson came in the door, hanging up their coats on the rack and joining the rest of the group in the living room.  Hearing the noise, Erica, Isaac, and Boyd came downstairs, filling up the remaining seats.  

"Did you make apple pie?" Allison asked, sitting down on the arm of one sofa.  "It smells amazing in here."

Stiles laughed, but Peter choked a little on the beer he was drinking and headed for the kitchen to get a towel.  Stiles followed him, raiding the refrigerator for drinks for the rest of the group while Peter took a few deep breaths, hands spread flat on the countertop.  

"Get your shit together," Stiles said, still laughing as he piled sodas into his arms.  "We're not saying anything until Scott gets here so stop being all obvious about it and make some snacks."

"Yes—"  

"Don't you 'yes, dear' me, just do it," Stiles said, walking quickly out of the room so he could make it to the coffee table without dropping anything.

Peter busied himself with getting chips into bowls and chopping up some vegetables for a few minutes, taking deep, steady breaths until he was sure he could handle another comment about how amazing his pregnant mate smelled.  He reentered the room with a smile on his face, and Stiles stuck out his tongue at him, like he knew the smile was the fakest thing on Earth.  

Not twenty minutes later the snacks had been demolished and Boyd was asking what was for dinner.  

"Homemade pizzas!" Stiles yelled, extremely excited about the prospect of a community style meal.  "Peter made pizza dough this afternoon!"

"Oh God," Allison moaned, "that sounds amazing.  Can it be dinner time now?"  She was still adjusting to her Alpha-sized appetite.  Lydia smiled at her knowingly, pursing her lips in an affectionate expression.

"I don't see why not," Peter said, hopping off the couch and holding his hands out to pull Stiles out of his seat.  He seemed to have regained a lot of his energy over the past week, but Peter wasn't convinced that Stiles was actually drinking enough water.  He couldn't help it if his wolf demanded to be close enough to catch his mate from a fall at all times.  

"Oh, I almost forgot," Peter said, dragging Stiles over to the corner of the kitchen by the front door where an electronic panel was hidden in the wall.  "You can plug your phone in here and the music will play all around the first floor."

"You are amazing!" Stiles crowed, pulling his phone out of his tight jeans pocket and connecting it to the stereo system.  He spent a minute picking out an upbeat playlist and then pulled Peter into a searing kiss, hearing a chorus of yells with one wolf whistle mixed in.  Stiles looked over and saw Lydia with two fingers in her mouth.  It was funny to think how that image would have gotten him going a year ago, but at that point it was just a playful gesture between friends.  

He knew Lydia was happy for them, and Stiles was really glad to see her with Allison.  As much as he had come to love Jackson, he never really saw them together for the long term.  He knew Lydia was still on edge as she didn’t know anything about her Banshee powers yet and their research hadn’t turned anything up.  They were all hoping there wouldn’t be any supernatural-related deaths before they could figure out how to control her voice.  

Stiles felt like Junior year was miles away when he looked at Peter, getting a good shot of his ass rocking to the beat of the music as he pulled ingredients out of the fridge.  Stiles did a full body shimmy and grabbed Allison's hands, dancing ridiculously and laughing.  

 

"Come out Virginia, don't let me wait

You Catholic girls start much too late

Aw but sooner or later it comes down to faith

I might as well be the one

 

Well, they showed you a statue, told you to pray

They built you a temple and locked you away

Aw, but they never told you the price that you pay

For things that you might have done

 

Only the good die young

That's what I said

Only the good die young

Only the good die young"

 

When he looked up in between verses, Boyd had a pair of dark sunglasses on and was vigorously playing air piano.  Derek, Cora, and Jackson looked like they were embarrassed to be related to the rest of the group, but Stiles wouldn't stand for that kind of attitude during the holidays.  He shot a quick look at Erica who followed him over to Derek, each taking a side and wriggling their butts all over their Alpha, cackling madly.  

Derek crossed his arms and glared, but that did little to deter them.  He didn't want to admit it to himself, but he loved the song Stiles was playing.  It brought him back to late night food runs at the diner in Queens with his sister.  Laura liked to play Billy Joel on the little table-side jukeboxes, telling him that's what real New Yorkers listened to.  He pushed Stiles and Erica off of himself with minimal force, suppressing a smile.

Stiles saw Lydia pull her phone out to take a video and changed course, grabbing Erica and Isaac's hands, they boxed her in on all sides until she screamed in laughter.  Erica's tits were distracting, bouncing as she wriggled all over Lydia and then made her way back to Boyd, pressing her body up against his strong frame and pulling the glasses off his face, placing them on her own nose instead.  

 

"They say there's a heaven for those who will wait

Some say it's better but I say it ain't

I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints

The sinners are much more fun

You know that only the good die young

I tell ya

Only the good die young

Only the good die young"

 

Peter continued chopping vegetables, handing Cora a cheese grater and a several blocks of full fat mozzarella, patently ignoring his mate in favor of making food for the pack of hungry wolves.  

Stiles didn't like the serious expression on Peter's face and wanted to do something about it.  When the next song came on, he pulled the knife out of Peter's hand and laid it carefully on the counter.  Stiles spun him around in his arms, grinding against his body, singing the words into Peter's ear, changing the pronouns whenever necessary.  

 

"Boy you got me trippin' on sunshine

God knows you just made my day

Since you came around, I just can't slow down, no

I wanna see you walkin' my way, yeah"

 

Stiles got down on his knees, looking up at Peter who just rolled his eyes and stifled a laugh.  He danced on his knees, spinning and sliding on the smooth tile floor.  He leaned back, shoulders almost to the floor, in a move reminiscent of Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing .  

 

"Boy you got me thinkin' 'bout diamonds

And gettin' down on one knee, maybe two, yeah

People may stop and stare, but I don't even care, no

Just as long as I'm with you

 

You got me running on sunshine

And ain't no clouds getting in my way, no

I must be running on sunshine

Ain't no rain getting in my way, no, yeah"

 

He crawled toward Peter, making grabby hands as Peter backed away, laughing.  Stiles could be a sexy dancer when he tried, but he didn’t try terribly often.  His over the top theatrics made the movements look ridiculous.  To aid in his madness, he pulled Erica off Boyd's lap and acted out the lyrics of the next verse with her, complete with crude hand gestures.  

 

"Boy you got me actin' real crazy

Chasin' tail like some old dog

Ooh, I got this rocket in my front left pocket

Ready to explode like a bomb

 

Something tells me your name is Lucy

'Cause everything keeps shaking around, yeah

We can cop a room, make these walls go boom

We can do this right here and now"

 

Willing and eager to play along, Erica leaned over the counter, resting her breasts next to Peter's cutting board and sticking her ass out in Stiles' direction.  Stiles play swatted at her ass, movement finally getting Jackson to crack a smile.  Content in the current mood, Stiles moved back over to Peter, coming up behind him and resting possessive hands on his waist.  He pulled until Peter's ass was flush with his crotch, swaying them back and forth to the chorus.  

 

"You got me running on sunshine

And ain't no clouds getting in my way, no

I must be running on sunshine

And ain't no rain getting in my way

 

You got me running on sunshine

And ain't no rain getting in my way

I must be running on sunshine

Ain't no rain getting in my way"

 

The group startled when they heard the front door open, Scott making his way inside, pulling a scarf from around his neck and hanging it on a peg, wiping his shoes on the mat before he entered the kitchen.  Stiles couldn’t help but notice the way Isaac ducked his head when Scott revealed his tan throat.  He filed that information away for later.

"Did you make apple pie?" Scott asked, excited smile spreading across his handsome face.

"It's pears, you dilettantes!" Peter yelled, slamming his knife down on the counter and throwing his hands up in the air.

"What did he call us?" Isaac asked, looking between Peter and Stiles.

"Honestly Derek, did you even train them to track scents?" Peter asked, exasperated.  Derek rolled his eyes, sharing a look with Stiles.

"I guess now is as good a time as any," Stiles said, stepping forward to grab Peter's hand.  

"What are you talking about?" Erica asked, clearly amused at the way Scott had angered Peter.  

"We're having a baby," Stiles said, smiling broadly, clutching Peter's hand tightly, waiting for the inevitable explosion.  

"Like you're adopting?  Dude you're still in high school," Jackson told them, picking up a bag of pepperoni and popping a slice into his mouth.

"No, not adopting," Stiles explained, "I'm pregnant.  That's what you're smelling."

"Pregnancy smells like pie?" Allison asked, wondering what other werewolf lessons she had missed.  

"On Stiles it does," Peter said, nuzzling into the side of Stiles' face and pecking him on the cheek.  "It's more that it exacerbates the sweetest note of the person's scent.  In Stiles' case, that's pears."

"How are you pregnant, I mean, you still have all your parts right?" Scott asked, mouth hanging wide open after he finished speaking.  A blush crept across his cheeks as the rest of the pack looked on.  

"In the usual way," Stiles said, having come to realize that was the politest way of getting his point across.  The confused look on Isaac and Boyd's faces told him that he probably needed to give a bit more explanation.  "I'm magic, I don't have a vagina!" He yelled at them, causing Erica and Allison to cackle with laughter.  

"Then where is it?" Scott asked, looking down at Stiles' stomach.  

"You don't carry babies in your vagina, Scott," Lydia said, giving Allison a look that said, how did you ever date him?  

"Yeah but, he said he still had all his parts!" Scott said, voice growing louder and more hysterical.  Isaac shook his head fondly, blushing but still smiling at Scott’s naiveté.  He patted Scott on the shoulder, but didn’t even get a glance in response.  Scott was too focused on wrapping his mind around Stiles’ magical pregnancy.

"I do have my parts, plus some extra magic ones, I guess," Stiles explained, making a mental note to get Scott an anatomy textbook.  

"There's seriously a baby in there?" Jackson asked, surprising everyone in the room when he stepped forward and stopped right in front of Stiles, hand outstretched.  "Can I?" He asked, raising his gaze to look Stiles in the eye.  

"Um, yeah, sure," Stiles agreed, grabbing Jackson's hand and pressing it below his belly button.  

"I can feel the heart beating," Jackson said, look of awe on his face as he glanced back at the group quickly, and then brought his eyes back to Stiles' stomach.  Completely dumbfounded, he brought his second hand up to meet the first and rubbed his thumbs across Stiles' tee shirt.  Without any more prompting, Jackson dropped to his knees and pressed his ear to Stiles' stomach.  "I can hear it.  Is it supposed to be that fast?"

"Yeah, it's completely normal," Stiles assured him, he had read as much in Ruby's diary.  

It was as if Jackson's quiet wonder had broken the ice.  

Erica came forward next, smacking a big kiss on Stiles' cheek before giving Peter a quick hug.  "Nice going, Daddy," she joked, poking Peter in the ribs and then inching a hand onto Stiles' stomach.  

Jackson didn't look like he was going to be dislodged any time soon, so the rest of the pack moved around him, offering their congratulations.  Lydia looked skeptical, but pleased, like she would wait for a better explanation when she and Stiles were alone.  Stiles was sure she wanted all the dirty details about how the little miracle had come to be.  He blushed just thinking about it.  Getting knocked up the first time you had sex was such a cliché, he kind of wanted to keep that detail to himself.

"Alright Jackson," she said, pushing her ex out of the way, “let Auntie Lydia get a turn!"

Cora came up to give her uncle a hug, looking a little less shocked than the rest of the pack.  Growing up as a werewolf must have made it pretty difficult to be surprised by the wonders of the supernatural.  The rest of the pack came forward to hug Stiles or lean down to listen to the baby until it was just Scott left who hadn't said anything  

He stepped toward the couple, noticing absently that the rest of the pack members had backed away to give them some space.  Everyone began topping their pizzas as Scott talked to his best friend.  First he shook Peter's hand, clasping his shoulder and smiling.  "Congratulations, man," He told Peter, a lot more benevolent than Peter would have expected under the circumstances.  He did knock up Scott's best friend, after all.

"You're going to be the best dad," Scott said, wrapping Stiles in a huge hug.  Scott gave the best hugs, tight and soft at the same time, making Stiles feel like his brother was really back by his side for the first time in several months.  

"You're going to be the best uncle," Stiles whispered in his ear, ignoring the tears that were welling up in his eyes.  

"I'm so happy for you.  I know how much this must mean to you and Peter," Scott said squeezing Stiles one more time before backing up a step, still with his hands on Stiles' shoulders.  He moved one hand lower, resting it on Stiles' stomach and laughing.  "This is incredible."

"Yeah, it's definitely not what I expected was wrong with me when I passed out at Christmas," Stiles admitted with a chuckle.  

"Are you alright now?" Allison asked, voice tinged with worry as she sprinkled mushrooms and spinach onto her pizza crust.  

"I will be," Stiles said, going for reassuring.  "It's not going to be easy.  The baby will drain my magic and most of my energy, but I'll be fine."  

Peter came back to the group, passing beer bottles around until everyone had one.  Once Stiles knew the story behind why the Hales always had a stocked beer fridge, the gesture meant that much more to him.  Peter handed Stiles a mini red Gatorade with a smile, and raised his bottle into the air.  "To Stiles," he said, looking on happily as the pack toasted his mate.  "And to pack.  I know you will all look out for Stiles and the pup when he’s at school, or I will come into your rooms at night and kill you.  Slowly and painfully.  Are we clear?"

"Cheers!" Erica called out, ignoring Peter’s threat, shotgunning her own beer, and tossing Boyd a wink all in the same movement.  

"When are you going to work out that werewolf liquor situation, Derek?" Cora asked, taking a sip from her own bottle.  

"I'll get back to working on it this spring.  We're probably going to have our hands full until then anyway."

"Oh right, Uncle Stiles, when are you due?" Cora asked with a joking lilt, sneaking an arm around her new relative's waist.  

"November," Stiles groaned, leaning back into Peter's embrace.

"November?" Allison asked skeptically.  

"That's right boys and girls," Stiles said, slipping into his lecture voice.  "Always use a condom because werewolf babies take a bit longer to cook than human babies."

"Seriously?!" Erica yelled, smacking Boyd upside the head like the new information was entirely his fault.  

"Yeah, this kid’s not fucking around," Stiles laughed, rubbing his stomach lovingly.  

Hours later when the pack was crowded in the living room watching the ball drop, Stiles snuggled into Peter's lap, pressing dry kisses to his broad throat.  Peter hummed happily, running a flat tongue over Stiles' mating bite and reveling in the sharp spike of arousal in Stiles' scent.  When they kissed at midnight, Stiles' only thought was that it was really going to be his year.

Chapter Text

It was absolutely not Stiles' year.  Every morning like clockwork, Stiles was on his knees in the men's room, vomiting up his breakfast between first and second period.  He appreciated the help, really he did, but the pack was suffocating him.  He couldn't even take a piss without one of the wolves following him into the bathroom to make sure he didn't brain himself on the edge of a sink or something.  

He fainted one time!  Once!  It wasn't his fault Coach had them running laps in gym class and he couldn't keep any calories down.  Deaton's magic bug juice kept his magic at a pretty steady level.  As long as he didn't try to start any fires, he could stay on his feet, but in terms of his regular human physiology, Stiles was struggling.  

They had learned pretty quickly that Stiles’ pregnancy related aches and pains were immune to the werewolves’ magic touch.  Deaton had said that the pain was part of the miracle of life and his body needed it to be able to signal any potential issues.  Stiles cursed the sadistic motherfucker who thought up that rule.  Morning sickness was not a goddamn miracle, it was torture.  

He was so fucking hungry, but didn't feel like eating.  Even the slightest whiff of onions had his stomach turning.  Stiles had been spending his lunch hour in the library, getting ahead on school work, or outside, trying to catch some onion-free air.  The chance to get some sun on his face, even when it was snowing, was enough to have Stiles looking for a little time out on the bleachers.  Some days Deaton’s potion was the only thing that made it into his stomach.

All he wanted was a little solitude, but ever since Jackson had found out about the baby, he had been following Stiles around like a lost puppy.  He seriously could not shake the wolf.  Stiles didn't want to be mean when they were all just trying to help, but his back hurt and he was ready to scream.  Their wing in the Hale Manor was like a safe haven to Stiles, allowing him long hours alone in the bath without a wolf trying to surreptitiously stick their nose into his belly button, like it was a completely normal thing to be doing.  It wasn't.

Even Peter was getting to him.  He loved the man, he really did, but there was only so much snuggling a person could handle when they always felt like vomiting.  Stiles refused to kiss Peter if he had thrown up in the last hour, which meant practically zero kissing for the affectionate werewolf.  He relished the few nights a week that he spent alone at home with his dad.  He could tell that Peter was anxious every time he saw the Jeep leaving his driveway, but Stiles needed that time.  His father was the only one who wasn't baby crazy, tending to avoid the subject if at all possible.  Stiles enjoyed the way he and his father could just watch an action movie and eat a pizza without anyone mother henning him.   

After the panic Stiles had felt before revealing his pregnancy to his father, he was surprised by how chill his dad had been about the whole thing.  Maybe he could tell that Stiles could use a shred of normalcy in his horror show of a teenage experience.  Even if part of him was rolling his eyes, every time his dad asked him to do a load of laundry or vacuum the living room, he felt a little bit of tension ease away, like he was just a kid again for those few minutes he was doing chores.

Derek and Cora had also been surprisingly stress-free companions.  Derek would sit and read in silence for hours, content to bundle Stiles up with him on the porch swing and watch Cora work on her bike.  Peter tried to give them space, he really did, but his wolf cried every time Stiles went out of his sight.  Stiles could hear the nerves screaming in his mind whenever Peter got that way, and he couldn't deny his mate the little bit of reassurance he needed.  So he submitted himself to being scented several times a day, and as long as Peter didn't squeeze his stomach when they spooned, he managed.  


Tuesday morning he woke up, retching into the garbage can by his bed like he had every morning that month.  He choked down a vial of Deaton's disgusting magic juice and headed to the bathroom to shower.  Stiles heard his dad call up the stairs that he was going to be late, but Stiles was moving slower than normal that morning.  He pulled off his boxers and stood in front of the full length mirror on the back of the bathroom door, sucking in a breath when he took a closer look.

There was a bump.  It was small, but definitely there; a subtle roundness where there used to be toned muscle.  Stiles ran his hand over the bump in soft circles, turning to the side to see how far it was sticking out.  From that angle Stiles could see his full profile, and it did not look good.  

His hip bones were sticking out much farther than he could ever remember, and his face looked gaunt, like he had lost some of the fat that usually rounded out his cheeks and jaw.  He was pale and when he turned around he could see a few more knobs of his spine than he was strictly comfortable with.  

He stepped on the scale and winced when he saw a blue blinking “130” shining back at him.  He had lost over 15 pounds.  Wasn't he meant to be gaining weight?  There was a clear bulge in his stomach where the baby sat, but the rest of him was edging toward skeletal.  He must not have had sex with Peter in the last week, otherwise the wolf would have mentioned the change in his appearance.  

Stiles felt horrible.  He had started shying away from Peter's touch the last few days, stomach roiling whenever he got too close in his sleep.  He wasn't sure that Peter had even laid a hand on his belly in the last three days, and Stiles couldn't really blame him.  He suddenly understood every single woman who had ever feigned a headache when she didn't want to have sex.  Stiles had turned away every time Peter had tried to initiate any intimacy.  How had he let it get so bad?

Well that stopped immediately.

He was going to put on a brave face and let Peter snuggle the crap out of him.  He knew the wolves were tactile and he had been denying his mate the use of his anchor.  No wonder everyone had been so on edge.  They were all walking on eggshells around him because he had been snapping at everyone the minute they got too close.  It was just a phase, he told himself.  It wouldn't always feel that way.  He loved Peter, he just needed a break sometimes.  That was okay, wasn't it?

Tired and frustrated, Stiles stepped under the spray of the shower and washed himself quickly.  He would fix it.  He would drive over to the Manor after school and climb into Peter's lap and make it right.  He was such an idiot.  

Rushing to school, Stiles sipped on a bottle of orange juice as he stumbled out of his Jeep and headed to first period.  Classes had been incredibly disjointed since Jennifer's killing spree.  They had three new teachers appear after winter break, and the new English teacher didn't even know his name.  After three weeks of being called Simon, Stiles had stopped raising his hand.  He just continued reading his Atwood in silence as the guy droned on about gender roles, making the most thought provoking novel he had ever read for school sound stale.  

Stiles was reading ahead, as usual, but when Offred was raped by the Commander and his wife, all for her ability to bear children, he felt his stomach turn.  He kept telling himself that it wasn't real, that the book was a social commentary.  It didn't really happen, it was fiction.  But it felt real, and the words made him want to vomit.  He skipped forward, flicking through the pages until he found a passage the previous reader had highlighted.   

"But this is wrong, nobody dies from lack of sex.  It's lack of love we die from."

Stiles' mind immediately jumped to Peter.  If he concentrated hard enough he could feel his mate through the pack bond.  He didn't know what Peter was doing, but he could feel the emotion.  There was tension, worry, and heartbreaking fear, it squeezed his heart and stomach at the same time.  Stiles abruptly left his seat and ran from the room, letting the door slam on his way out.  He headed for the locker room, mouth watering the way it always did when he was close to losing his breakfast, or in this case, his lack of breakfast.   

Stiles fell to the floor, crawling the last few feet until he was kneeling in front of a toilet, lifting the seat and taking a deep breath.  He fell forward on the exhale, retching into the bowl, unable to catch a breath before his stomach heaved again.  His throat burned.  He hadn't even eaten anything that morning, so the orange juice came up with bile, causing him to cough and gasp at the searing pain.  

He heard the bathroom door creak open, but didn't look up.  He knew who it was.  Stiles also knew from recent experience that it was unwise to move out of range of your chosen vomit receptacle until your stomach stopped contracting violently.  

"Stiles?" Allison called, rushing into the locker room, paying no mind to the "Men's" on the door.  "Are you alright?"

Her voice was quickly joined by Lydia's.  The girls kneeled down on the tile behind him.  A soft, cool hand went to rub his back, but he flinched away.

"Don't touch me," He gasped out before throwing up again.  His stomach would not settle down.

"Stiles," Lydia said softly, "it's okay, it's just us."

"I know it's just you, but just you and just everybody else keep putting their hands all over me and I can't handle it anymore."

"We won't touch you," Allison said immediately.  "What do you need?"

"A gun?" Stiles asked, heaving into the bowl again.  There was nothing left in his stomach, but that didn't stop it from rolling every twenty seconds.  Stiles chanced a look into the toilet, knowing there couldn't possibly be any food in there.  He was right.  There wasn't food, but there was blood.  Not a lot of blood, but really, his bar for how much blood was too much was pretty high, so it was still plenty.  

"I'll get you some water," Lydia told him, heels clicking on the tile as she exited the bathroom.  When she came back, her footsteps were joined by the sound of sneakers squeaking on the damp floor.  

"Stiles?" Scott called, windmilling his arms as he slid forward.  "Are you alright, your heartbeat is all crazy."

"All crazy?" Lydia asked, "is that a technical term, wolfboy?"

"Well it's not good," Isaac said, stating the obvious from the door, getting a wounded look from Scott which caused him to duck his head in apology.

Jackson sprinted into the room, nearly knocking Isaac over as he rushed toward Stiles.  "What is it?  Is it the baby?" He asked frantically.  

Stiles just continued tearing up his esophagus with each heave of his stomach.  "Guys, just shut up," he rasped when he could catch a breath, "you're all giving me a headache.  Wolves with loud emotions on the other side of the door, please!"

Isaac steered Jackson out of the locker room before he could protest, letting Boyd and Erica step in.  Stiles leaned back, thinking he was finally done, but he was wrong.  He lunged forward, hearing his pendant tinkle against the porcelain as he hung his head into the toilet.  He grabbed it in a fist, not wanting it to get dirty as he continued to spew bile.  

When his stomach finally settled down, he leaned back and accepted a bottle of water from Lydia, sipping slowly, soothing the burn in his throat.  He coughed a little, but managed to keep the sip of water down, sitting back on his heels, priming himself to stand up.  

Stiles got to his feet, and his head swam, making the room shift 30 degrees to the right and flash brightly, fluorescent lights burning his eyes.  He didn't notice that he was stumbling until Boyd caught his arm, steadying him.  

"I think we should get him to the hospital," Scott said, peering speculatively into Stiles' bloodshot eyes.  The more he inspected his friend's face, the more he noticed.  Stiles had bags under his eyes and broken capillaries all over his cheeks.  He had burst a blood vessel in his left eye from vomiting so violently.  None of that seemed normal to Scott.  

"Alright fine," Stiles conceded, knowing he wasn't going to be able to sit through the rest of school anyway.  "Boyd gets me to the car and Lydia takes me to the hospital.  The rest of you go back to class."

Stiles could hear Jackson protesting from where Isaac had him in a headlock in the hallway.  It was a kind of tension that he'd never gotten from the wolf before.  Stiles tried to concentrate on the emotion, but only got a vague outline that he would need to analyze more seriously when his head didn't feel like it was exploding.  "I'm sorry, but you wolves are thinking too loudly and I need some peace and quiet.  Come find me at the Manor later if you have to."

"Okay, come on," Lydia said, pulling her keys from her purse and leading them out of the room.  Stiles threw his keys to Scott on the way out, knowing his friend would take his car home for him later.  

"One of you call Peter," Stiles whimpered when he stumbled into the overbright hallway.  "I'm going to need him."


Lydia snuck him into an exam room at Melissa's insistence once she saw the pallor of Stiles' face, and then quickly headed back to school when he was settled.  He was just changing into a rough cotton gown when Peter strode purposefully into the room.  The worry on his mate's face made Stiles squirm in his seat, wringing his hands.  Peter sat himself on the edge of Stiles' bed and took his face into gentle palms, searching with roaming eyes and saying, "You had me so scared."

Peter pressed a truly impressive kiss to Stiles' lips, making him wonder just why he had been avoiding his mate for the past two weeks.  Peter went to run his tongue into Stiles' mouth and then pulled back, grimacing.  Oh right, that was why.  Vomit.  That couldn't be easy on the werewolf nose.  

Melissa came in holding a sleeve of crackers and a can of ginger ale, passing both to Peter as she walked around to the other side of the bed, taking Stiles' pulse with a cool, comforting hand.  She looked at Stiles' face and took out her stethoscope.  Thinking twice, she moved to lock the door before going back to checking his vitals.  

"Your pulse is high, but your blood pressure is through the roof," Melissa explained.  "I'm going to have to do a blood test to confirm hypertension."

"What does that mean?" Peter asked, grabbing Stiles' hand and clenching down on his fingers tightly.

"It means you're probably going to have swollen feet and hands earlier on than most other people, and we'll have to monitor the baby carefully from now on, to make sure it's getting enough blood."

Seeing the panicked look on Peter's face, Melissa kept talking, "it's more common in someone's first pregnancy, especially if you're as young as Stiles is.  We'll get him some medicine, and with proper monitoring, it shouldn't be a problem."

"I've been dizzy, and throwing up so much, my throat is killing me," Stiles explained, knowing he should be as honest as possible, even if it worried Peter.  "There was blood in my vomit this morning, and I lost over 15 pounds."

"What?" Peter asked, shocked at the admission.  He wasted no time in laying a hand on Stiles' baby bump, rubbing in a soothing motion.  Stiles lifted his gown and exposed his hip bones and the long scars on his stomach, courtesy of Kali.  Eyes wide, Peter pulled it up even further, fluttering light fingers over the outline of the ribs he could see through Stiles' skin.  

"Well let's see," Melissa said gently, pulling a tongue depressor and flashlight out of her breast pocket.  "You have some inflammation in your throat, that's probably due to excessive vomiting.  More importantly, you may have bleeding in the esophagus, but that's probably a symptom of the hypertension.  So once we get that under control it shouldn't be a problem.  But you will let me know if it happens again," Melissa said, levying both men with a stern expression.  

Stiles nodded, swallowing with another wince.  None of that sounded good.  But he put on a brave face, not wanting Peter to worry any more than necessary.

"We're going to put you on an aspirin regimen," Melissa explained, setting up the ultrasound machine.  "You should have already been taking prenatal vitamins, but on top of those we'll get you some extra calcium.  And you'll need to avoid salt and caffeine.  Also, I think you should stop taking your Adderall."

"Okay," Stiles said, not wanting to argue with sage medical advice.  

"If that becomes too difficult for you, we can discuss going with a smaller dose, but I'd prefer you wean off and stop altogether if you can."  

Peter patted Stiles hand, eyes still fixed on Melissa like she was speaking scripture.  

"Now let's see what's going on in there," Melissa said with a smile.  She squirted some gel onto Stiles' abdomen and brought out the wand.  Stiles winced at the cold and stifled a giggle when Melissa tickled him, but then brought his eyes to the flickering screen.  

A whooshing noise echoed through the room, and Stiles immediately began to cry.  That was his baby.  After listening to the wolves go on and on about it for weeks, he could finally hear it for himself.  He was awestruck.  "That's our baby," He whispered to Peter, grabbing one of his broad, tan hands.  

"Well," Melissa said smiling, "that explains the hypertension.  It's much more common in women carrying multiples."  

"Excuse you?" Stiles said, snapping his eyes back to Melissa's face. "Multiples? As in more than one?"

"Two, in fact," Melissa said, pointing at the blob on the screen.  Stiles had no idea what he was looking at, but if Melissa said there were two babies in there, he wasn't going to argue with her.  

"Two pups?" Peter asked, dumbstruck.  "I can only hear one."

"Well it's kind of like listening to a radio tumble around a dryer in there at the moment.  The echo is probably throwing you off.  They're just beating in sync, that's all."  

Melissa stood up to point at the screen.  "There's baby one," She said, pointing at one amorphous blob, "and there's baby two," she said, pointing at the other side of the screen.  "Let me get a photo for you guys."  

She hit a button on the side of the machine a few times until several copies of the ultrasound came out the side.  "Now I'm just going to need some blood and urine, and probably to flash some cleavage to the guy in the lab to get those test results."

"Two babies?" Stiles said again, not hearing anything else Melissa had said since then.  "What are we going to do with two babies?"

"The same stuff you do with one baby, just twice," Melissa said, smiling softly and patting Stiles on the hand.  She grabbed a few damp paper towels to wipe his stomach off and then left the room to get what she needed for the tests.

"Oh my God," Stiles said.

"I know."

"Peter—"

"I know."

"I love you."

"I know, Przemysław."


"Two babies?" John asked on the other line.  

"Yes," Peter hissed into the phone, looking quickly to the door to make sure Stiles was still in the bathroom.  

"Is that going to make everything worse?"  

"I can only assume the danger doubles," Peter explained, rubbing a weary hand across his eyes.  

"Well don't panic," John said, letting out a sigh.  "You know he can tell when you're freaking out."

"Yeah, what I wouldn't give for a non-magical mate," Peter lamented.  He wasn't sure when he and John had gotten to the point of whispered telephone conversations, but it seemed they were already down the rabbit hole as far as that was concerned.  

"He wouldn't need magic to tell that, he can read you like a book," John said, chuckling.  

"Yeah well, you raised him," Peter said, knowing where Stiles' keen sense of observation had come from.

"Yeah and you married him," John said, still laughing at the way Peter was practically gossiping with him about his own son.  

"Not yet, but I will," Peter replied, ending the call and distractedly running a hand through his hair.

Stiles came up behind him, wrapping spindly but strong arms around his torso.  "Feel better?" Peter asked, leaning into the touch.  

"Much," Stiles said, smacking his lips together.  A clean mouth really did wonders for the human condition.  

"Do you want to lie down?"  

"I'm not dying, you know," Stiles muttered, pressing a minty kiss to Peter's throat.  

"I know," Peter said, turning his head more to give Stiles more access to his body.  

"I'm not sure that you do," Stiles said, "come on, let's sit and talk for a minute."  

"Okay," Peter said, all fight leaving him as he collapsed onto the bed.  

Stiles laid down next to him and pillowed his head on Peter's stomach, rubbing his scent into the wolf's body.  

"I missed this," Peter told him, bringing a hand up to comb through Stiles’ hair.  Stiles pushed into Peter's hand like a cat, pretending to purr when Peter scratched at his scalp.

"I'm sorry I pushed you away."  

"It's alright," Peter said, content to continue petting his mate.  

"No, it's really not," Stiles argued, lifting his head so he could look at Peter properly.  "I acted like a whiny bitch, I just felt so off, like I wasn't wearing my own skin anymore."  

"No, you acted like a pregnant male teenager," Peter countered, not letting Stiles treat himself too harshly.  Stiles huffed, but kept his eyes on the wolf, so Peter carried on talking.  "This is a big change for all of us, and we're not going to get everything right the first time around, but we love each other.  Everything will be alright.  I just have to know that you will talk to me when you're upset."

"I promise," Stiles agreed easily.  "I won't do that to you again."

"And I need you to tell me when you're not feeling well," Peter said, trying not to get angry, but still pretty ticked off about it.  "I can't keep you and the pups healthy if you hide when something's wrong."

"Okay," Stiles said, laying his head back down on Peter's chest, pressing an ear to Peter's heart.  "Do you want to hear about how I'm starving but I can't eat any curly fries because they make me want to hurl?"  

"Yes," Peter admitted, rubbing a palm against Stiles' back as they settled deeper into the bed.  

"How about how I need to pee every 20 minutes like clockwork."

"That too," Peter said, smiling down at his mate.

"What about when I start getting hemorrhoids, because I hear that's a thing?"

"Yes Stiles, I want to hear about everything, even the hemorrhoids."

"Okay."

"Okay."


Jackson burst into the kitchen, out of breath and carrying two bags from the local CVS.  "I got your text," He panted, tossing the bags to Peter and then going over to Stiles who was munching on a slice of buttered toast, the most he'd probably eaten in a week.  

Peter deftly caught the bags and started unloading them onto the counter, popping open several bottles of vitamins and distributing them through a pill case.  

"I'm turning into my grandma," Stiles said, eyeing the pills and rubbing his lower back.  He had a feeling that now he knew he had hypertension his feet would be swelling in no time.  

“You can’t forget Deaton’s tonic either,” Peter warned him.  “I’m going to make sure you take that every morning too.”  

Stiles groaned, rolling his eyes at his mate.  “That shit is disgusting.  You don’t even understand, it’s like polyjuice potion.”

“Well it’s keeping your magic from getting so low you keel over, so you’re going to have to suck it up,” Peter told him, pressing a kiss to his forehead.  

“If I must,” Stiles sighed, turning back to his toast.  

With a little food in his stomach and less pounding in his head, Stiles could finally concentrate on what was tumbling around inside Jackson's mind.  The tension he was feeling was fear, but it was years past, buried down deep, like Jackson might not even know what it was.  The more he pulled at the feeling, the clearer it became.  He thought back to the library detention they were serving when the Kanima attacked.  Erica had told them what had happened to Jackson's mother, how she had died before she could give birth.  He was sure that Jackson would do anything to make sure that Stiles delivered the twins safely.  

Jackson inched over to Stiles, hands twitching like he was itching to make sure Stiles' baby bump was still there.  "Alright," Stiles told him, unable to deal with the worry storm brewing in Jackson's resident corner of his mind.  There was more in there than just the memory of his mother's death.  "I'll give you five minutes of bump time, then you're going to tell me what's going on with you.  Deal?"

"Deal," Jackson agreed, dragging Stiles into the living room and setting him up on one of the couches.  Jackson sat down on the middle cushion and patted his lap.  Stiles laughed at the suggestive gesture, but laid down anyway, settling himself so his butt was in Jackson's lap, giving the wolf full access to his stomach.  

Jackson caught Stiles' eye and raised his eyebrows, asking a wordless question.  Stiles smirked and sighed dramatically, like it was an incredible hardship to pull his tee shirt up and expose his happy trail.  Jackson's hands immediately came up to rest on his belly, tapping out the babies' heartbeats.  Stiles wondered if anyone had told him yet.  

"It's twins," Peter said, coming in through the kitchen with a can of ginger ale and a straw.  His eyebrows crept upward at the position he found his mate in, strewn across another man’s lap like a cat.  Apparently the pack didn’t have any boundaries anymore.

"Twins?" Jackson said, eyes wide in disbelief.   

"Double the trouble, double the fun," Stiles said, crossing his arms behind his head and closing his eyes.  “Isn’t that right Fred and George?” he said, patting his belly.

Jackson smiled broadly, scootching in his seat until he could get his ear closer to Stiles' belly button, trying to separate the noises coming from the pregnant man's stomach.

"It's hard to hear," Peter said, understanding Jackson's trouble.  "They kind of overlap, so it just sounds like an echo."

"Yeah I can't tell the difference," Jackson agreed, looking up at Peter.

"I assume at some point they'll fall out of sync," Peter explained, almost smiling at the way Jackson was reverently caressing his mate's pregnant belly.  The Beta used to be so angry, and the scars were such a blow to his ego that he wasn't sure he would ever see him smile again.  Not that he cared, obviously.

Stiles had told him that Jackson was still withdrawn at school.  All the other students gave him a wide berth, unwilling to tempt his wrath.  It seemed that the only thing making him happy at this point was the pack and their newest additions.  Thankfully his nose told him that Jackson didn’t have any desire for his mate, otherwise he wouldn’t be so lenient.

"So are you going to explain what's up with you?  Why are you so baby crazy?"

Jackson's face fell, and Stiles instantly regretted his words.  He didn't want to make Jackson embarrassed, but the sudden change in his personality was absurd.  There had to be something very serious behind it.  Jackson took a deep breath and schooled his face, pinching his lips together as if he was steeling himself for battle.  

"I think I'm gay," Jackson said, eyes on the blank television.

"And you want my babies?" Stiles asked, trying to bring a bit of levity to the room as he pulled himself out of Jackson’s personal space.

"No, I just—"

"You met someone?" Peter asked, wondering if it would be better if he left the room, but Jackson had already made his confession to the both of them.  He figured everyone saw them as a team, like they were the parents you could come to for advice, so he stood his ground.  Jackson would ask him to leave if he wanted to.

"Well..." Jackson started to say.

"It's Danny," Stiles said, like it was the most obvious thing in the world.

"Well, yeah," Jackson agreed, lips quirking into half a smile.  

"And you want to have babies with him?" Stiles asked, still not understanding what his baby bump had to do with anything.

"Well not exactly, but—" Jackson started to say, searching for the words, "It's cool to know that it could happen.  Sometime in the future maybe."

"We'll talk to Derek about letting him in on the big secret," Stiles assured him, knowing Derek would need a good convincing.

"It's not all that easy, Jackson."  Peter hated bursting his bubble, but it was better to know the reality than to live in delusion.  "You would have to be an Alpha, and your partner would need to have some sort of magic.  We think.  It's not like it's an exact science, and it’s really rare."

"There's probably a spell somewhere though, I mean it has to be possible," Jackson protested, looking for any loophole he could find.  

"Maybe, but aren't you getting a little ahead of yourself?" Peter asked, as gently as he could.  “I'm 38 and we're just having our first children now.  Wolves live longer than humans, generally speaking."

"And I wouldn't suggest teen pregnancy," Stiles added, closing his eyes again when Jackson started to absentmindedly rub his tummy.  "Wait!  I thought you were 37!" Stiles said, eyes jerking open as he processed Peter's last statement.   

"My birthday was in August," Peter said easily, like it was an unimportant detail.

"Why didn't you tell me?"  Stiles asked.  "We didn't do anything!"

"We had just started dating and I really didn't think bringing it up was going to do me any favors with your father, so I just let it pass," Peter said.  He brushed it off easily, like he hadn't had a memorable birthday in a long time.  And it was easy for Stiles to believe that he hadn't.  He had been in a coma for six years.  He probably didn't even feel his true age.   

"Well next year you're getting a party," Stiles promised, sitting up to get a better look at his mate, ignoring the noise of protest that came out of Jackson.  

"Next year you'll be nine months pregnant," Peter reminded him, passing over the ginger ale that Stiles hadn't touched yet.  "Come on," He said happily, taking Stiles' hand.  "I'll make us some dinner."

Chapter Text

After a few weeks on the vitamins and medication Melissa had suggested, Stiles was almost feeling back to his usual self, if you ignored the persistent back pain and constant need to pee.  Certain smells still set him off, and he hadn't yet returned to the school cafeteria, but he wasn't starting every morning with his head in the toilet.  

Peter had taken over all cooking duties, letting Stiles work on his homework while he prepared dinners.  Stiles watched over him, ready and willing to make his mate throw out anything Luke and Leia didn't like the smell of.  So far he had nixed all types of fish, most cheeses, and eggs.  Peter had also banned all salty snacks and had been cooking less red meat, so most of what was left was chicken and vegetables.   

Upset that he had been denied the fun of celebrating Peter's birthday, Stiles had made plans for Valentine's Day.  It was the first year he had anyone to spend the day with, and Stiles intended to take advantage of it.  It wasn't anything special, just dinner and a movie, but Stiles was really looking forward to it.   

Stiles slid into the hallway on argyle socks, straightening his tie in the mirror on his way to the door.  He slipped on his nice pair of loafers and pulled the cuffs of his plaid shirt down so they peeked out of his coat sleeves just right.  Lydia had helped him with the outfit, dragging him to several stores under the excuse that he wouldn't be able to fit in anything nice a few months from then, so he should enjoy it while he could.  He had to admit, she had done a good job.  His hair was long enough to gel nicely and the charcoal gray jacket looked amazing with his crisp black slacks.  

Spying the Audi out the front window, Stiles checked his pockets for his keys and wallet and skipped down the steps, pulling the door closed on his way out.  Peter was leaning against the side of the car, ready to take Stiles' arm and open the passenger side door for him.  Stiles slid onto the smooth leather seat and turned on his butt warmer.  He had found that the heat helped loosen his back a bit whenever he and Peter took a ride.  

"Where to?" Peter asked, getting back behind the wheel.  

"Antonio's," Stiles said, warming his hands in front of the air vents.  It had been much colder that winter than usual, and Stiles didn't have a nice coat to go with his outfit.  

"Sounds great," Peter said, making a right at the end of the block to bring them downtown.  "They have the best seafood risotto."

"I know you like it," Stiles said, wondering why he was feeling nervous.  It may only have been their second date, and only their first one going somewhere nice, but they had been mated for three months.  There was nothing Stiles could do that would make Peter leave him, so what was he so worried about?  Drying his sweaty palms in front of the air vents, Stiles turned back to Peter.  He took in the smart three piece suit and smiled.  

"You look amazing," Stiles told him, laying a hand on Peter's thigh.  He hoped he wasn't rubbing sweat through his mate's slacks.

"You too," Peter said, appraising Stiles out of the corner of his eye.  "Did Lydia take you shopping again?"

"Yeah," Stiles answered, "the next time I go shopping it will probably be for maternity clothes, so it was kind of a last hurrah for her."

"I like your hair like that," Peter told him, smirking as he pulled into the restaurant's parking lot.  

"Why are we acting so weird?" Stiles asked out loud, rubbing the side of his face with a sweaty palm.  

"I was just following your lead," Peter said, turning off the engine and shifting in his seat until he could look at Stiles.

"My lead is a sweaty, anxious mess," Stiles admitted, wiping the back of his palm across his forehead.

"Is this because we're going out somewhere nice?" Peter asked, taking one of Stiles' hands into his.

"Maybe?" Stiles said, not able to put a finger on what he was feeling.  "I just—I feel ridiculous."

"Well let's get rid of this then," Peter said, pulling Stiles' collar up so he could free his tie.  

"Leave it unbuttoned," Peter he, fingering the chain of Stiles' pendant that was now visible.  "Your collarbone is sexy as hell."

Stiles laughed nervously, but grabbed Peter's hand, bringing it up to the side of his face.  He took a deep breath and then leaned forward, giving Peter a sweaty kiss.

"Feel better now?" Peter asked, licking the salt from his lips.

"Yeah," Stiles said, exhaling heavily.

"Ready for dinner?"

"Yeah, let's do it," Stiles said, opening the car door and taking Peter's offered arm.

The hostess seated them at a small table for two with several tea lights on it.  Peter pulled out Stiles' chair and Stiles tried to keep himself from laughing at the gesture.  When Peter ordered a glass of wine, Stiles blushed furiously, voice cracking when he asked the waitress for a Coke for himself.  If he only had one, Melissa couldn’t possibly know.  He hoped Peter wouldn’t lecture him about the caffeine.  It was a special occasion, after all.

"Do you think everyone here thinks you're my uncle or something?" Stiles asked nervously, looking around the room at the other cozy looking couples.

"At a romantic restaurant on Valentine's Day?  No, I don't think they do," Peter said, taking Stiles' hand across the table and squeezing it lightly before going back to his menu.  

After appetizers and salad, Stiles was beginning to feel a bit more like himself.  Losing the tie had definitely loosened him up a bit, to the point where he was laughing and smiling, chewing on a breadstick and finally enjoying a night out with his mate.  

"I think we should talk to Derek about Jackson later," Stiles said, liking the fact that he and Peter were alone.  It was so much easier to collect his thoughts when there was only one wolf in his head.  

"Maybe not tonight," Peter said, taking a sip of his wine.  Stiles watched him lick a drop of red liquid off his bottom lip and mirrored the gesture unconsciously.  This was perfect.  He was out on Valentine's Day with his sexy boyfriend, no one else was listening in, and the food was amazing.

"Why not?" Stiles asked, eying the way Peter's fingers trailed up and down the stem of his wine glass.  He shook his head to keep his mind out of the gutter, knowing Peter would start to tease him mercilessly if he smelled Stiles’ budding arousal.  

"I just don't think it's a good time," Peter told him, draining the rest of his wine.  Stiles watched the way his throat convulsed.  The way his Adam's apple bobbed made Stiles bite down on his bottom lip.  

"Jackson asked two weeks ago, I really think we should bring it up soon," Stiles argued, wiping his mouth with his cloth napkin.  "Why not today?"

"Because today is Derek's birthday."  

"What?  What is it with you Hales and hiding your birthdays?" Stiles asked incredulously.  

"Derek probably hasn't celebrated his birthday since the fire," Peter said, rubbing a hand across the neatly trimmed hair on his chin.

"Well neither have you," Stiles said, waving his hands around emphatically.  "And that stops now.  I'll text the pack, we're having cake when we get home."

"Okay, we can pick something up on the way back, let's just enjoy dinner first," Peter told him, reaching his hand across the table so all Stiles had to do was reach out and grab it.  Before Stiles could take the offered hand, the waiter arrived with their food.  Stiles was excited to see his veal parmigiana, but the second he got a whiff of Peter's seafood risotto, it was all over.  He couldn't get his hand over his mouth fast enough.  Within seconds, the contents of Stiles' stomach was covering the table, Peter, and his own shirt.

Peter pushed his chair back from the table, but it wasn't much use.  "I'm so sorry," Stiles mumbled, wiping his face with a clean corner of napkin and looking sheepishly up at the waiter.  

"This should cover it," Peter said, pulling a few bills out of his wallet and leaving them on the table.   

The waiter took the bills, giving Peter a small smile and said, "I hope your son feels better.  Happy Valentine's Day."

Stiles could see Peter's fists clench, his jaw tight.  He knew that his mate was inches from punching the guy in the face, only the desire to take Stiles home trumping his rage.  "I'm taking my husband home," Peter growled, pushing the waiter with his shoulder as he took Stiles’ hand and pulled him out of the restaurant.  Sick as he was, Stiles liked the sound of that.

"I'm sorry," Stiles whimpered, sitting down halfway into the Audi, hunched over into the parking lot, coughing liquid onto the pavement.  

"You didn't do anything wrong, Stiles," Peter said, rubbing a palm on his mate's back as Stiles continued to heave out the car door.  

"I ruined our date," Stiles cried, looking for something to wipe his mouth on that wasn't his new jacket.

Peter handed Stiles a pile of napkins and said, "That waiter ruined our date."  Stiles shook his head, wiping his tongue with a napkin and then tossing it out of the car.  When his stomach stopped turning he swung his legs back inside and closed the door.  

Peter started the car, turning the air on for Stiles so he wouldn't feel so overheated.  He laid a comforting hand on Stiles' knee and then turned toward home.  

"We were going to get Derek a birthday cake," Stiles said quietly, resting his head against the cool glass of the window.  He felt hot and sweaty all over, and he really needed a shower.  They both did.  The smell of his own clothing and skin was making him queasy all over again.  

"I'll make him something after I get you home," Peter promised, driving as smoothly as he could as he sped back to the Manor.  It would probably take a dozen car washes to get the acrid smell out of the Audi.

Peter carried Stiles upstairs, not taking no for an answer when Stiles insisted he could walk.  He stripped them both, supporting Stiles until he could get them in the shower.  After a quick wash and shampoo, Peter went downstairs to start baking while Stiles texted the pack.

Group date at the Manor.  It's Derek's birthday and we're having cake.  Bring your Valentine and a smile.  No excuses.

Stiles put on his comfiest pair of pajamas and met Peter in the kitchen.  The wolf was sifting cocoa powder and flour together and melting chocolate on the stovetop.  Stiles could smell that there was coconut toasting in the oven, and luckily, the scent didn't make him want to vomit.  Before Peter could nag him, he went to the fridge and grabbed a Gatorade, taking small sips and letting his stomach settle.

"German chocolate?" Stiles asked, sniffing the air thoughtfully.  The pecans and coconut gave it away.

"It's actually German's chocolate," Peter corrected, getting that smug look on his face when he got to explain something to Stiles.  "It was invented in 1852 by an American named Samuel German."

"That's fascinating," Stiles muttered, taking a swig of his drink and rolling his eyes.

"Architects do it with accuracy," Peter said, winking as he stirred the chocolate over his simmering pot of water.

"I believe the saying is 'architects do it with models,'" Stiles corrected with an answering wink.  

"You could be a model, darling," Peter said, pulling the coconut out of the oven when it was just perfectly toasted, another good use of a werewolf nose.  

"Yeah, I'm sure pregnant male models are all the rage at Milan fashion week," Stiles drolled, coming up behind Peter to stick his finger in the warm chocolate.  "There's a very stylish line of muumuus coming out this year."

"You're beautiful," Peter said swatting his hand and gesturing for him to chop up the pecans as they waited for the rest of the pack to arrive.  

"If I can make it out of high school before anyone notices I've swallowed a beach ball, I might even believe you," Stiles said, using the side of his knife to scoop the nuts into the mixing bowl Peter held out.  

The front door opened, Scott, Jackson, and Isaac stomped their shoes on the mat before entering the kitchen.   

"Ah," Stiles said happily, mixing the bowl with a plastic spoon, "if it isn't our single Betas."

"Shut your big mouth, Stilinski," Jackson snapped, perhaps not over the fact that his and Scott's ex-girlfriends were currently dating each other.

"Hey," Stiles shot back, placing protective hands on his belly, "any more talk like that and there's no tummy time for you today."

"Sorry," Jackson said sheepishly, inching closer to Stiles until he was pressed into his side.  

“Speak for yourself, Whittemore,” Isaac said, smirking as he pulled Stiles to the living room so they could pile together on the couch.  The pack had become even more interested in cuddling since they learned Stiles was carrying twins.  He had noticed that if he gave each Beta five minutes of time scenting his stomach, he could save himself a lot of moody werewolf angst.  “I was on the receiving end of a rather enthusiastic blow job when you insisted I get over here,” Isaac pouted, looking at Scott out of the corner of his eye, trying to catch his reaction.

“Good for you,” Jackson shot back gruffly, words muffled by the way his face was pressed into Stiles’ stomach.  

"Don't mind me," Peter called from the kitchen.  "I'll just finish up in here while you guys shamelessly grope my mate."

"Thanks, Peter," Isaac called back, snuggling into Stiles' left side a little deeper, ignoring the confused expression on Scott’s face.  Stiles had come to accept the fact that he was basically a glorified teddy bear, and submitted himself to an evening of excessive pack affection.  

Peter muttered, “Heathens,” under his breath and crossed his arms.

Lydia and Allison arrived next, looking like they had been enjoying a nice evening out, holding hands until Allison had to separate them to remove her leather jacket.  Stiles had to admit, they were a very attractive couple.  They fit together like they had been both missing a small piece of themselves until they found each other.  They exuded an ecstatic energy, like they had finally found the perfect fit and wanted the world to see.  The girls sat down on the other couch, whispering and giggling as they watched the three men plaster themselves to Stiles' stomach.  

Completely oblivious, Jackson just leaned over and pressed his ear into Stiles' belly button, trying to separate the fetal heart beats.  "I can hear your stomach rumbling," Jackson said, raising a curious eyebrow.  "Didn't you have any dinner?"

"I had a bit, but then it made a reappearance," Stiles admitted just as Peter entered the room with a turkey sandwich.  He sat up, dislodging Isaac and Jackson, and accepted the sandwich, taking a weary bite.

"You need to be healthier," Scott said, eyeing Stiles as he tentatively chewed his sandwich.  "We're starting you on prenatal yoga tomorrow."

"You've got to be kidding me, Scotty," Stiles said around a mouthful of sandwich.  

"You think you nag your dad?" Allison said giggling.  "You haven't seen anything yet.  Scott's a mother hen."  

"Well doesn't mama wolf trump mother hen?" Stiles asked, gesturing at his pregnant stomach.  

"No," Scott and Jackson said simultaneously.  

"It sounds like a good idea," Peter admitted, sitting down on the arm of the sofa nearest Stiles.

"I don't do yoga," Stiles argued, still talking with his mouth full.

"It will help with your flexibility and keep your muscles strong," Scott told him, nudging him in the side with an elbow.

"I can think of some benefits," Peter said lasciviously.  

"Ew," Isaac protested, turning his face into Stiles' side so he wouldn't have to see the eye fucking happening between the mated pair.  

"Can someone tell me what the fuck I'm doing here?" Erica asked, stomping into the room on platform stilettos.  Boyd followed her, shrugging out of his leather jacket as he entered the living room.  He stayed one step behind his girlfriend, uninterested in stepping into the line of fire.  

"We're celebrating Derek's birthday," Peter said, hopping off the sofa to check that his cake rounds were cool enough to ice.  

"And that couldn't have waited until after Boyd ripped this dress off with his teeth?" She asked, waving a manicured hand at her outfit like she was a game show prize.  Stiles didn't want to picture it, but he couldn't help himself.  Erica was gorgeous, and her breasts were just barely contained in the sweetheart top of her strapless leopard print dress.  

"Sadly no," Stiles said, pulling his eyes away from her cleavage to answer.  He didn’t feel much of anything when he looked at her anymore, but he still had eyes.  He assumed it was the magic that tied him to Peter after their mating.  Stiles couldn’t find any reason to be upset about that.  "Our Alpha hasn't had a birthday since the fire, and we're going to give him one."

"Where is our fearless leader anyway?" Lydia asked, twirling a high heeled ankle.  

"Reading in his room," Stiles said, jerking his head toward the stairs.  

"Well someone should go get him," Peter said, coming in from the kitchen.  "Cake's ready."

Isaac peeled himself away from Stiles and jumped up the stairs while Peter lit the candles and brought the cake into the living room.  Erica hit the lights and the minute they heard Derek's boots on the stairs, the whole group began to sing.

"What is this?" Derek asked, arms crossed across his chest as he quickly walked down the wooden stairs.

"Blow out the candles, and we'll tell you," Stiles said, rubbing his back with one fist.  He could see the way Peter was eyeing the movement like he was itching to drop the flaming cake on the floor just for the chance to do it himself.   

Derek stomped across the room, stopping in front of Peter.  He rolled his eyes at his uncle, reading the inscription Peter had written in white chocolate, and blew the candles out.  

"I'm resisting the urge to make a joke about huffing and puffing," Stiles muttered, patting Derek on one shoulder as he snaked his arm around the other and squeezed affectionately.

Peter left the room, heading to the kitchen to slice up the cake as Derek asked again, "What is this?"

"This, my friend," Stiles said, grinning widely, "is a honey roast."

"A what?" Isaac asked, taking the opportunity to herd Stiles back onto the couch, stealing the seat next to him.  

"A honey roast!" Stiles said gleefully, steepling his fingers and wiggling the tips.  He didn't care that he got the idea from an episode of The New Girl where the host was dressed as the man of honor's cat, it was a good idea.  "We're all going to sit in a circle, and everyone has to say something that they love about Derek."

"Ohh, me first!" Erica crowed, taking a seat on Boyd's lap even though there were several open couch cushions.  

“We really don’t need to do this,” Derek groaned, already anticipating a quick defeat once he saw the look on Stiles’ face.

"Oh yes we do,” Stiles told him, “you need to hear this stuff.  Pregnant Dude says so, and you can’t argue with Pregnant Dude.  Take it away," Stiles said with a smile, gesturing widely for Erica to take the floor.  Derek rolled his eyes, but sat back against the sofa with his arms crossed, ready to accept his fate.

"Derek never treated me differently than the boys," Erica said, shamelessly adjusting her breasts in her dress as she spoke.  "And his bite cured my epilepsy."  She tapped her chin, pretending to think hard about a third thing.  "And he's got an ass that just won't quit."

"Erica!" Derek snapped, growling at her like he was offended, but Stiles could see the way the tips of his ears reddened in embarrassment.  

"She’s not wrong," Boyd said, smiling broadly.  Derek huffed out his nose and turned his head away from the group, doing his best to ignore the situation until it went away.

"Just for that," Stiles said, sighing heavily when Isaac started rubbing his belly, "you're up next, Boyd."

"Alright," Boyd agreed, easily picking Erica up by the waist and plopping her back down in his empty seat.  He walked over to Derek and squared his shoulders, staring at the top of Derek's head while the Alpha looked down at the floor despondently.  "Derek gave me a family," he said, holding out his hand to shake, "And he basically introduced me to Erica. So he also helped me find my mate."

"Your mate?" Derek asked, raising his eyes until they came level with Boyd's outstretched hand.  "You're sure?" He qualified, taking Boyd's hand and squeezing tightly.

"Well we're not going to do anything about it until we're done with college or whatever, but yeah," Boyd told him, pulling on Derek's hand until he had the Alpha wrapped up in a firm hug.  "We don't want to end up like Stilinski," He joked, pulling out of the hug to give Stiles a smile.

"Very funny," Stiles said, sitting up straight when Peter came into the room with several plates of cake balanced on one arm.   

"First slice goes to the birthday boy," Peter said happily, handing a plate to Derek and pulling a fork out of his back pocket. "Happy birthday, nephew," he said, shocking Derek into silence when he leaned over to press a kiss to the man's cheek.  

"I'll go next, shall I?" Peter said, passing the plates around the room and holding out his handful of forks.  

"Go right ahead," Stiles said, waving his fork around in a circle, humming happily around a bite of cake.

"You forgave me and let me back into your life," Peter said with stark honesty.  "You helped me when I wanted to date Stiles and you protected him when I couldn't.  Thank you," He finished, holding out a hand for Derek to shake.

"You're welcome," Derek replied, a little taken aback by his uncle's testimony.  It had taken him a long time to come to grips with what Peter did to Laura, but even he had to admit that Peter's remorse was genuine.  Derek had precious little family left.  It wasn’t worth it to stay angry.  He had to hold on to what he had, not stew over the past.  At least that was what he was trying to do.  It was a work in progress.

Peter just smiled, raising his fork in a salute and nudging Isaac until the Beta left his seat.  Stiles was glad for a break from the pregnancy police and settled into Peter's side, pointing at Isaac to go next.  

"Derek saved me from my father," Isaac said, not meeting anyone's eye.  He looked small, the way he always did when he thought back to how helpless he used to be.  It was easy to forget that everyone in the pack had a past.  Stiles knew the Hales, and he had been friends with Scott long enough to know everything there was to know about him as well, but the other Betas, they had pasts nearly as tragic as the fire.  They never spoke about it, but there was a reason Erica, Boyd, and Isaac all called the Manor home.  Even Jackson had been spending more nights in his new bedroom than he did with his parents.  

"You gave me the power to stand up for myself, and you gave me a new home," Isaac said, finally looking up at Derek.  "Even if you're a crap dad sometimes, we still love you." He smiled, shrugging his shoulders.

Derek leaned over in his seat until he could ruffle Isaac's hair, smiling at the way his Beta finally felt comfortable enough to joke with him.  There had been a time when Isaac had been afraid of Derek.  He battled Peter and the rest of them with sass and sarcasm, but he had always wanted to please Derek the way he had never been able to please his father.  

Derek looked proud, and Stiles could feel it in his bones, the way the pack bond thrummed.  It was healthy, and for the first time since he became Emissary, he wasn't afraid that they were about to fall apart at the seams.  He leaned further into Peter, enjoying the moment while it lasted.

Allison got out of her seat without prompting, turning to Derek to give her input.  "Derek forgave me the sins of my family, and helped me to learn how to control my wolf," She said confidently, smiling at Derek as she did so.  "I also admire his fighting style."  

"You're kidding, right?" Jackson said, licking the icing off his fork.  "Derek gets his ass kicked every time we get into a fight."

"He gets his ass kicked because he takes all the hits that are meant for you," Allison snapped, looking critically at Jackson.  "How many times has he told you to run and save yourself?” She asked the rest of the pack rhetorically.  “Derek knows he heals faster than you do.  He always puts himself between danger and the rest of the pack.  That's why he's always hurt," Allison turned back to Derek and leaned over, pressing a kiss to his forehead and then wiping the smudge of lipstick she left on his skin.  "He's a survivor."

"Thank you, Allison," Derek said, rubbing at his forehead until there was no sticky residue left.  

"You're welcome," Allison said, pulling Lydia out of her seat to go next.  

Lydia eyed Derek skeptically, pursing her lips as she looked Derek up and down.  Derek seemed amused by her appraisal, turning his face up to look at her, smiling while crossing his arms.  

"Derek speaks fluent Spanish and reads Latin.  Even though he hides it, I can tell," Lydia said, putting her hands on her hips and waiting for someone to contradict her.  "He has horrible taste in women, but he's getting better," she carried on, stunning them all into silence, "and he still believes in love.  Which, after his history, is really saying something.  It's inspiring."

"Thanks?" Derek asked, sitting back in his chair and raising his eyebrow at the redhead.  

"You're welcome," Lydia said, flipping her hair around one finger.  "You're up McCall," She said, sitting down lightly in Allison's lap and crossing her legs.  Scott followed the movement, but didn't say anything.  Stiles could feel the nerves rolling off Scott.  Not only was he uncomfortable seeing Allison be affectionate with Lydia, but he also didn't feel like he belonged in the pack the say way the rest of them did.  Stiles would have to work on that.  

"I don't know what to say," Scott said, rubbing the hair on the back of his head as he turned in a circle in the middle of the group.  

"It's okay Scott," Derek told him easily, "you don't have to say anything."

"Scotty," Stiles said, pulling himself off the couch to reach for his friend's arm.  "You're part of this pack, and Derek is your Alpha, there must be something nice you can say about him."

"He saved my life," Scott said, turning back around to look at Derek.  "You saved my life," he repeated once he was looking Derek in the eye.  "You didn't even like me, and you saved my life.  That's all that matters, isn't it?" He said, turning around to gage Stiles' expression.  "You always seem to want to save people."

Stiles clapped Scott on the shoulder and steered him back to the couch to sit next to Isaac.  "Saving the best for last," Stiles said, threading his fingers together and stretching his arms out in front of him.  "Let's see, what is there left to say about our fearless Alpha?"  

Stiles took a second to look at Peter.  He was leaning back against the sofa, fingers steepled on his chest and satisfied look on his face.  This wasn't exactly how he pictured his first non-single Valentine's Day going, but giving Derek some positive attention?  It felt better than he thought it would.

"You're incredible," Stiles said simply, and then paused, like that was the end of his speech.  Then he took a deep breath and rattled off several other qualities in one long, continuous stream.  "You're infuriatingly simple really.  You're harsh, you don't trust easily, you growl at everyone, you don't like most of us on a daily basis, and you're generally surly."

"I thought this was a honey roast," Derek protested, standing up to tower his extra inch of height over the pregnant teen.

"You didn't let me finish," Stiles argued, "you're a sarcastic pain in the ass," he said, holding up a hand when Derek opened his mouth to argue some more, "and you make us a family.  We're lucky to have you.  You're going to be a great uncle.  Happy birthday."  

Stiles stepped forward and wrapped his arms around Derek.  He stood there, still, until Derek finally hugged him back.  One day Derek would get the hang of the hugging thing, he was sure of it.   

"Also, you do have an ass that just won't quit," Stiles whispered into Derek's ear, squeezing him tightly.

"I will kill you," Derek muttered, tapping Stiles on the back a few times and then pulling away.  

"You wouldn't dare," Stiles said, smiling.  "The pack would rip you apart before you laid a hand on me anyway."

"True," Derek agreed, sitting back down in his seat to continue eating his cake.  "You made this?" He asked, looking at Peter.

"I know you liked when Talia made it," Peter said, licking his fork.

"Is there any more?  I haven't thrown up in hours," Stiles said, patting his stomach thoughtfully.  

"I don't think that's the best idea," Peter answered.  "I've already been thrown up on once today, and that was once more than necessary.”

"Spoilsport," Stiles said, sticking out his tongue at his mate.  He plopped himself down in Peter's lap, hitting him harder than he really needed to, but he felt bitter.  He wanted cake.  Peter groaned, trying to squirm away from Stiles' weight but finding nowhere to go.   

"You'll thank me when you're actually sleeping tomorrow morning instead of puking your guts out."

"Maybe," Stiles said, "but I'd thank you more for a slice of cake right now."

"You're impossible."

"I'm willing to offer an appropriate amount of sexual favors."

"You guys know we're still here, right?" Lydia asked, pointing a pink-painted fingernail between the two of them.  

"Shh, we're negotiating," Peter said, nuzzling into the side of Stiles' face.

"That's our cue," Boyd said, grabbing Erica's hand and heading upstairs.  

"We're going to the movies, anyone want to come?" Allison asked cheerfully, nudging Lydia until she stood up, freeing Allison's legs.  

"Sure," Jackson said, following the girls right out the door.  

“I’m going back to Jungle, in case anybody needs me,” Isaac said, eyes lingering over Scott’s face, searching for any glimmer of interest.  Finding none, he huffed and marched out the door alone.  Scott stood up next, clapping Derek on the shoulder on his way out of the room.  

"I'll come over tomorrow for your first yoga session," he called as he pulled on his coat.

"Sounds amazing.  Can’t wait," Stiles said sarcastically, pushing himself off Peter's lap until only his feet were left there and listening to the front door close.  

With only Stiles, Peter, and Derek left in the living room, it was quiet, much quieter than usual.  

"Where's Cora?" Stiles asked, just noticing her absence.  

"She went back up to Washington," Derek said, talking as he went to the kitchen for another piece of cake.  "She doesn't like to stay in the same place for very long.”

"Does that bother you?" Stiles asked, wriggling his feet in Peter's lap but looking at Derek.

"She'll come back when she's ready," Peter said thoughtfully, rubbing Stiles' ankles.

"She probably isn't used to being around this many people.  She's been on the run for a long time," Derek told them, leaning back and crossing his arms behind his head.  "I guess I'll be going to bed now."

"Wait," Stiles said, swinging his legs back onto the floor.  "We wanted to talk to you about something."  

"Do we have to?" Peter asked, flopping as far into the couch as possible.  

"Yes, we have to," Stiles told him, flicking him in the arm.

"Spit it out Stiles," Derek said, eager to leave the room.  He'd had about as much family bonding as he could take for one day, and Stiles knew it.

"Jackson is gay," he blurted out.  It wasn't necessarily the best way to open such a sensitive conversation, but it certainly caught Derek's attention.

"Is everyone in this pack gay except for me?" Derek asked, dumbfounded by the new information.  

“We’re not gay,” Stiles huffed.

"Actually," Peter started talking in what Stiles had started mentally referring to as his patronizing professor voice.  Stiles wanted to find it annoying, but really at this point, it was just a turn on.  "Werewolves do exhibit a higher propensity for homosexuality than normal humans.  Since we can turn humans through a bite, thus propagating the species, we don't have as strong of a reproductive instinct that would require a heterosexual relationship."

"That actually makes sense," Stiles said, looking at Peter with a wondrous expression, "in a really weird way, it makes perfect sense.  Though you could have fooled me about your lack of reproductive instinct.”

“Mates are different,” Peter said softly, getting a small quirk of the lips from Stiles as he fought back a smile.  

“You're sure you're not bi?" Stiles asked, looking back to Derek before he got distracted by his mate again.

"I'm sure," Derek said, sighing like he was ready to go to sleep just to avoid the rest of the conversation.  "So what's the deal with Jackson?"

"He wants to ask out our friend Danny, but he doesn't think he can without telling him about the pack," Stiles explained, "so he wants your permission to let Danny in on the secret."

"Why didn't he ask me himself?" Derek asked, never knowing Jackson to keep quiet about anything.

"I think he's still afraid of you," Peter said, rubbing the side of his face the way Stiles knew meant he was thinking about the way he had been burned in the fire.  He and Jackson seemed to have nothing else in common besides the burns, unless you counted killer cheekbones and a heavy dose of narcissism.  Jackson had a tragic past just like the rest of them, the way his parents had been killed?  He didn't blame the guy for wanting to expand his new family, the one he had chosen for himself.  

"I haven't done anything to him," Derek argued.  Then he saw Stiles' eyebrows and amended his statement, "Recently."

"I think he's less afraid and more nervous that you'll say no," Stiles said.

"How does he know I'll say no?" Derek asked, a bit offended at the insinuation.

"You're not exactly the most welcoming of wolves," Peter said.

"Like you are?" Derek shot back.

"I'm a fucking delight," Peter said with a wicked smile.  

"Boys, can we focus?" Stiles asked, wanting to actually get an answer for Jackson before the night was over.

"What do you know about this Danny kid?" Derek said, humoring Stiles.  

"He's been Jackson's best friend for years," Stiles said, patting his grumbling stomach, "nice, funny, sarcastic, smart, I think he could be a good addition."  

Derek didn't look convinced.  There were already ten people in the pack.  That was a lot of teenagers to keep an eye on.  He wasn't really interested in taking on any more charges.  

"You've met him before actually," Stiles told him, sensing Derek's hesitation.  "Tan, handsome, Hawaiian guy who watched you get changed that one day in my room?"

"Did he?" Peter asked, leaning forward until he could catch Stiles' attention.

"I've already apologized for trying to pimp him out," Stiles pointed out, knowing it was a touchy subject for the Alpha.

"I don't recall that happening," Derek said, not at all amused.

"I so totally said I was sorry about that," Stiles protested, thinking back.  "Okay, maybe I didn't, but Danny was just my gay barometer.  I used to ask him if he found me attractive all the time."

"Why?" Peter asked, looking his mate up and down like he didn't understand the implication.

"I wanted to know if I was attractive to gay guys."

"How would being attractive to gay guys be any different from being attractive to women?" Peter asked.

"Well I wasn't getting dates with women either, so it didn't hurt to ask."

"You're attractive to everyone," Peter told him, causing Derek to cough pointedly, trying to pull their attention back to him.  

"He never answered me, if that makes you feel any better," Stiles said quietly, ignoring Derek until he was done making his point to Peter.

"Maybe a little," Peter admitted, smirking as he side-eyed Stiles.

"If I say yes, will you both shut up and let me go to bed?" Derek pleaded with them, having long since lost interest in the conversation.

"Only say yes if you really mean it," Stiles said, not wanting to tell Jackson yes if he would only have to disappoint him later.  

"Tell Jackson he can tell his boyfriend," Derek said, heaving himself out of his seat and turning for the stairs.

"You should probably be the one to tell him," Stiles told him, "it'll mean more coming from you."

"We’ll tell him together," Derek relented, not bothering to turn around to look at the other men before he headed upstairs.

"I'll have Jackson invite him to dinner sometime next week," Stiles said.  "Now go, have fun reading alone in your room."

"Thanks," Derek grumbled, trudging up the stairs.

"Happy birthday!" Peter called to his retreating back.

Chapter Text

Peter was exhausted.  He had never felt this way before.  Sure, there had been fights, broken bones, puncture wounds, and falls, but it had never been so bad.  His body hadn't felt so terrible since his coma.  There were aches and pains, twinges when he moved a certain way.  He hadn’t experienced chronic pain in years, and he had to say, he wasn't a fan.   

Stiles was going to kill him.  As a wolf and a man, he had a healthy libido, but it paled in comparison to that of a pregnant, hormonal teenager.  The sex had been nearly constant, at least four or five times a day ever since Stiles had stopped vomiting on a daily basis.  It was like once Cobalt Blue and the Flash were finally getting enough nutrients, Stiles was blissfully free to meet his own needs—and he was certainly demanding.  

Stiles was insatiable and Peter was... chafed.  He didn't know how human boys managed to make their way through adolescence without their dicks falling off.  His skin was raw, his back and arms ached from holding Stiles up in various positions, and other areas were decidedly less tight than he was strictly comfortable with.  He'd never experienced what a repetitive stress injury felt like, but his knuckles were beginning to swell from finger fucking his mate so hard.  Usually, he would be proud of an injury like that, but things were getting ridiculous.

Stiles had jumped him in nearly every room in the house, and it was becoming a problem.  They had been walked in on at least three times.  Once, Stiles was sitting on Peter's knot on the couch and the Jackson and Isaac had come in after school to find them there, unable to move.  The second time, Derek had come home to find Stiles eating Peter out on the staircase.  He backed away before Stiles even noticed he was there, but Peter had been horrified.  The third time, Erica, Boyd, and Isaac had come through the back door to find Peter on his knees, giving Stiles a particularly sloppy blowjob.  Boyd had covered Isaac's eyes and Erica had flat out refused to leave.  Boyd had had to carry her back out the door over his shoulder, kicking and screaming.

Peter had even gone to Melissa, asking if Stiles' behavior was normal.  He didn't have terribly much experience with pregnancy, even that of the female variety, but he was pretty sure his mate was exhibiting an extreme reaction to the hormones.  Melissa told him that it was his own fault for knocking up a teenaged boy, and he should suck it up, metaphorically speaking.  He couldn't bring himself to ask anyone else for help, but he was getting desperate.  He was sure that Derek at least could tell he was hurting.  He winced nearly every time he got up off the couch, not a typical reaction from a werewolf.  He was barely even middle aged by wolf standards.  

He did his best to tone Stiles down, trying to watch more movies and spend less time going to bed early for sex, but it didn't seem to help very much.  Scott had still walked in on Stiles bending Peter over the drafting desk in the library, gripping hard enough to put bruises on his hip bones that didn't actually fade for several hours.  

Apparently, that had been the last straw for the pack.  Not a week later found Stiles grinding into Peter's lap, facing outward.  He had found a new position that gave Peter much better access to his dick, not having to contend with his pregnant belly, and Stiles was utilizing it every chance he could get, the couch being his favorite location.  Peter didn't have much room to focus, considering his knot was wedged tightly into Stiles' body, so he didn't hear the front door open and several pairs of feet enter the house.  

"What the fuck are you guys doing?" Stiles screamed, wincing as his movement made Peter's knot pull at his rim.

"This is an intervention," Lydia said proudly, pulling a roll of paper out of her purse and handing the loose end to Allison.  The other woman walked a few steps away, allowing the paper to unfurl, revealing a sign that said “Stiles’ Sex Intervention!”  Stiles had enough wherewithal to cover his dick with his hands, but otherwise, there was nothing he could do to preserve his or Peter's modesty.  "And since we know you can't get away without ripping yourself apart, you're a captive audience.  So sit, watch, and listen."

Lydia elbowed Jackson in the ribs until he pulled a scrap of paper out of his back pocket and read aloud, "when I see Stilinski's dick, I feel gross and uncomfortable."  Stiles huffed, exasperated, but didn't say anything.  He knew they were trying to avoid looking at his junk, but that just made it all the more obvious that Jackson and Scott were staring at the scars on his chest.  He suddenly had the desire to cover more of his body.  

Scott stepped up next, reading from his own scrap of paper, "I think seeing Stiles and Peter have sex in common spaces is disturbing and they should keep it to their own bedroom."

"Thank you, Scott," Lydia said, acting as the ringleader of their moral circus.  "You next, Boyd."

"Erica seeing Stiles and Peter having sex makes her ask me uncomfortable questions about sexual acts and considering threesomes, which I do not appreciate."

Isaac and Allison went next, Isaac doing very little to hide the fact that he was eyeing Stiles' naked body.  Peter stretched to the side, wincing as he reached for a throw pillow, plopping it into Stiles' lap and giving Isaac a surly expression.  Stiles wished he had more hands.  Only Peter had seen the scars he had gotten from his time with the Alpha Pack, and he had been really hoping to keep it that way.

"Watching these two go at it makes me horny, and then Boyd gets pissy with me and withholds sex," Erica said, hands on her hips, stance set wide and authoritative.  

"You're the one who wouldn't stop watching!" Stiles yelled, incredulous.  

"You're the ones who were fucking in the kitchen!" Erica hollered back, unwilling to admit guilt.  "It's not my fault I've seen you both naked."

"She does have a point, darling," Peter pointed out, clasping his hands around both Stiles and the pillow in his lap.  "You're very distracting."

"Derek," Lydia said, snapping her fingers and pointing in front of her, "you're up."

Derek shuffled forward, clearly uncomfortable with the proceedings, and hung his head as he pulled a piece of paper from his back pocket.  The shadow of the writing on the back of the paper told Stiles it was written in Sharpie.  Derek turned back to look at Lydia, who raised her eyebrows aggressively, snapping her fingers once more, telling him to get on with it.

"I think Stiles is well past the point of decorum when living with others.  This isn't a frat house.  And he needs to think about the way he’s hurting Peter," Derek said simply, stepping back to hide behind the paper sign, taking himself out of the line of fire.  

"I am not hurting him.  I’m rocking his world," Stiles protested, gesticulating wildly with his hands, dislodging the pillow that was hiding his still-present erection.  Most of the group winced while Erica whistled shamelessly.  Stiles' sudden movement pulled a pained groan from Peter's throat, neck muscles tightening visibly, pulse throbbing.  

"I'm not sure how you missed it, Stilinski, but the man is clearly in pain," Jackson said, shielding his eyes with one hand.

"How would you know," Stiles shouted, upset with the implication that he was consciously causing his mate harm.  "You're not even looking."

"We don't need to be looking, we can smell it," Scott said earnestly, pleading with Stiles with his big puppy dog eyes.  

"Why can't I tell through our bond then?" Stiles asked, trying to turn his head to such a degree that he could see Peter's face.

"I'm pretty sure you had other things on your mind," Allison told him, as gently as possible, dimpled cheeks flushing as she spoke.  

"Your mind completely fogs when we're having sex," Peter admitted quietly, trying to keep the words between themselves.  "Also, you usually pass out when we're mostly through."

"You pass out?" Erica asked, once again very interested in the two men locked together in front of her, even if Boyd was trying to physically stop her from looking at them.

"You try having a huge werewolf knot stuffed up your ass, then we'll talk," Stiles snapped, letting his eyes roll to the back of his head in frustration.  He could see Erica whisper conspiratorially in Boyd's ear, for him to shake his head in fond exasperation.  "No," Stiles yelled, sensing that he knew what she was saying even if he was probably the only one in the room that couldn't.  "You're not allowed to try it!  It's totally mine!"

"I think you mean he ," Peter said, leaning forward until his lips were right up against Stiles' ear.  " He is totally yours.  I'm not a sex object."

"I never said you were," Stiles said, placating his mate.  "I just meant that your dick is a part of your person and your person belongs to me."

"You're not really helping your case here, love," Peter said, voice growing a bit louder and much more terse.  

"I think you're missing the point, Stiles," Lydia said, tapping her toe on the wood floor in impatience.  "You and Peter need to have a talk, and we are all leaving."

"Do we have to?" Erica said, spreading her red painted lips in a wolfish grin.   

"Yes!" Most of the men called back at her, pushing each other back out the front door in their haste to get away from the drama that was about to happen in the living room.

"Are you okay?" Peter asked, hooking his chin over one of Stiles' shoulders when the last of the pack had left the porch.  

"Shouldn't I be asking you that question?" Stiles countered, voice tinged with worry.   

"I'm fine Stiles, it's okay," Peter told him, pressing kisses to his mole spotted shoulder.

"I don't want it to just be okay, I want it to be good."

"It is good, it's just—" Peter hesitated, not wanting to use the wrong words and exacerbate the situation.  

"Just what?" Stiles asked.  "You can tell me.  I can take it."

"It's good, it's just a lot," Peter muttered, lips still pressed to Stiles' skin.

"Me?  I’m a lot?" Stiles asked, worried that Peter was having second thoughts about their mating or the babies.  He didn't know what he would do if he was the problem.  Stiles was pretty sure that werewolf matings were non-reversible, not that he wanted to reverse it anyway.  And there was no way he wasn't keeping the babies at this point.  He couldn't believe Peter would even consider going down that road with him again, not after they had such a serious fight about it.

"Stiles, I need you to breathe," Peter said quietly, placing a warm palm against Stiles' bare chest.  "It's not what you think.  I need you to calm down."

"Whatever it is, I can fix it, just tell me and I'll fix it," Stiles gasped, unwilling to let Peter talk to him so sweetly when he was probably about to break up with him.

"It's not you, or us, or the pups.  I love all of you," Peter said steadily, hoping Stiles was getting a clear sense of what he was feeling through the pack bond.  He wasn't lying, that much Stiles could tell, but then what was the problem?

"Look, it's not something that I'm proud of, so I didn't want to say anything, but I just—can't keep up with you," Peter sighed, rubbing his hands up and down Stiles' arms, trying to pull him back from his mental cliff.  Sensing Stiles was still not clear on what he was talking about, Peter had to clarify, as much as it pained him to do so.  "Sexually."

"You... what?" Stiles said, taking a deep breath and craning his neck until he could get a better view of Peter's face.  

"You've been jumping me five times a day for the last two weeks, and I'm... tired," Peter admitted, hoping that was all he would need to say.  He was suddenly glad Stiles couldn't see his face while they had this conversation.  

"Are you telling me, that I, Stiles Stilinski, with the painfully human body, wore you out?" Stiles asked, the smile making its way onto his mouth brightening his tone slightly.  

"You're not allowed to laugh about this," Peter said sternly, feeling the blush rising to color his chest and face.  "I feel bad enough about it already."  

"Can you tell me where it hurts?" Stiles joked mildly, not knowing if it was safe to tease Peter, but unable to help himself.

"Everywhere," Peter sighed heavily, "but mostly my back and my arms."

"Do you really think your back hurts more than mine does right now?" Stiles asked, suddenly suspicious of what Peter was feeling.  Didn't werewolves heal?

"I don't know about more, but it's definitely lingering and unpleasant," Peter admitted, feeling a bit guilty now that he thought about the pain Stiles must be in, trying to magically carry his unborn children.  Great.  He felt like a huge dick all of the sudden.

Peter fell silent, unwilling to make any more complaints that might anger his mate.  Stiles was right.  A little sexual discomfort was nothing compared to what he was going through.  

Stiles took the next few quiet moments to focus on his pack bond with Peter.  Usually cool and collected with an overarching sense of self-assuredness, Peter's mind felt tired and unsure.  The only word Stiles could properly attribute to it was weary .  He had made Peter weary.  Stiles had never known the werewolf to be physically tired unless he was actively bleeding from a stab wound or healing a broken bone.  The situation was much more serious than he had realized.  And now Peter was downplaying it, like his own comfort didn't matter.  

With a heavy sigh, Peter's knot finally went down and Stiles was able to ease himself off Peter's lap and onto shaky legs.  "Come on," he said, holding a hand out to Peter.  

"We are not going again for at least an hour," Peter groaned, bringing a hand up to the small of his back and rubbing at the sore muscles.  He used a lot of his core to keep his back straight while Stiles was riding him, and he was starting to feel it now that he could move his body.

"No," Stiles assured him, shaking the hand he still had outstretched, "we're not doing that.  We're taking a bath."

"Oh thank God," Peter muttered, squeezing his aching abdominal muscles until he had enough strength to get himself off the couch.  He followed Stiles up the stairs, pointedly not looking at the way his come was leaking out of Stiles' hole and down the back of his thighs as he climbed the two staircases.  His only hope was that they made it to the bathroom before Stiles left a trail of fluid from the couch to their door.  Derek wouldn’t appreciate the smell, especially not after they had just been given a lecture on propriety from the surly Alpha.   My own nephew; how embarrassing.

Stiles led him into the en suite, filling the bathtub with steaming water and rustling under the sink for some bubble bath.  Stiles had rolled his eyes when he had first seen Peter's toiletry collection, but he didn't seem to mind the frivolity just now.  Squeezing a healthy amount into the running water, Stiles held out his hand and pulled Peter into the tub.  He sat down first, letting Peter sit down between his legs, the opposite of how they usually bathed together.  

"I don't want to hurt the pups," Peter protested, sitting down with his back stiff, refusing to lean his bodyweight on Stiles' stomach.

"Mary-Kate and Ashley are fine.  It's you I'm worried about," Stiles admonished, pulling on Peter's shoulders until his head was settled in the crook of Stiles' throat.  With the tub only half full, Stiles began to knead strong fingers into Peter's shoulder blades, sweeping his hands down to give his back a few soft strokes every couple of minutes.  

Peter was too tired to even acknowledge the sensation.  He just kept his eyes closed, head thrown back against Stiles' body like he was already dead asleep.

"Lean forward a bit?" Stiles asked, adjusting his body until he could turn off the tap and then moving his hands lower to massage more of Peter's back.  When Stiles' reached a particularly sore spot, Peter hissed, moving his body away from Stiles' hands instinctively.   

"I'm so sorry baby, you really are hurt, aren't you?" Stiles murmured, going back to knead at Peter's body as gently as he could while still working the muscles.  "You should have said something."

"You were finally feeling better," Peter said, eyes still closed, like he was drifting in and out of sleep.  "I didn't want to jinx it."

"This isn't just about me," Stiles said, wondering when he had let Peter believe that it was.  "Just because I'm carrying the babies doesn't mean that you have to carry everything else.  We should work together."

"Yes, dear," Peter whispered, like it was the only response he could muster at that point, no matter what Stiles said.

"You're going to communicate with me, even if you think I might get mad."

"Yes, dear."

"And you're going to let me take care of you sometimes too."

"Yes, dear."

"And you're going to make me chocolate chip pancakes for dinner," Stiles added, wondering how far he could take it.

"Nice try," Peter said, smiling and craning his neck to kiss under Stiles' chin.

"Well then.  You're going to sing me a song and then we're going to lie down so I can get to your legs."

"Yes, dear."

Stiles smiled broadly, confident that he and Peter had worked out their differences.  He hadn't realized they had ramped up their sex life so much until his friends pointed it out.  They were still in the honeymoon phase, basically living together, but even so, he was a bit embarrassed for himself.  

Pulling the stopper out of the drain, Stiles nudged Peter until he stood up and rinsed them both off.  He handed Peter a fluffy towel and rubbed his own through his hair before tying it around his waist.  He had started growing it out, and it was probably time for a new cut, but Peter seemed to like it long.

Peter left the bathroom, dressing in a soft cashmere sweater and a pair of Stiles' plaid pajama bottoms, matching the colors perfectly, of course.  Stiles followed him into the music room, settling himself in the squishy pouf seat and watching interestedly as Peter set up his new guitar and amp.  Stiles had never seen Peter play electric before, and the way his broad fingers fluttered over the knobs on the amp was kind of turning him on.  He averted his eyes, knowing there would be no more sex for at least a day or two.  Stiles’ mate needed to recover without his pregnancy hormones pressuring him to perform.  

Peter put the tasseled strap over his head and checked the tuning before starting to strum.  The noise filled the entire room.  Stiles had never heard Peter play so loudly before, and the way his fingers moved so quickly over the strings, Stiles was struck completely dumb.  

Peter could really play.  

There were beautiful little riffs between lyrics and an impressive intro; much, much, more than he had ever heard Peter play on any of the acoustic guitars.  He was suitably impressed, staring at Peter's hands with his mouth hanging open, so proud of his mate.  

 

"I didn't see it coming, the kiss was so unpredictable

And maybe it's the mystery i n you that I'm addicted to

It's overrated knowing somebody s o well it takes away the fire

It's funny when you tell me you don't think you're all that interesting

I beg to differ, with you I'm out here on the edge of my seat

And every minute guessing, holding my breath, you're fueling that fire

 

And baby you're my wild card

My perfect little twist of fate

You're my first spark, shot in the dark

Favorite part of everything

And baby you're a sweet surprise

Lucky like a shooting star

You're a strong, free, just what I need, wild card"

 

The sound was completely different than what Peter usually played.  The chords were short little strums that made the entire song sound staccato and sharp.  It was exhilarating, listening to Peter sing about him like that.  He was singing so many words, so much faster than Stiles had ever heard before.  The way Peter's wrist flicked every time he strummed a chord was getting Stiles kind of hot again.  This time he really was blaming it on the babies.  He couldn’t help himself.

 

"I'm an unsuspecting dreamer j ust marching through my every day

You don't follow any leader, you make your mark, make a change

You could see that I was living, oh b ut baby now I'm living the life

 

You can blame it on the gravity, the reason that I'm falling

But the truth is I was jumping, boy you're everything I wanted

It's a revelation, that kind of elevation, learning to fly

And baby you're my wild card

My perfect little twist of fate

You're my first spark shot in the dark

Favorite part of everything

And baby you're a sweet surprise

Looking like a superstar

You're a strong, free, just what I need, wild card

 

Oh baby, all I need, all I need yeah

You're my wild card, baby you're my wild card

You're my wild card, baby you're my wild card"

 

Peter looked up when the song was over.  He strummed his last chord and held it, wriggling his left hand in a prolonged vibrato and letting the sound ring until it died on its own.  Stiles was pretty sure he died right along with it.  His mate was standing there, hips thrust tight against his instrument, drop dead sexy, and now they were supposed to take a sex break?  What kind of crap was that?

"I don't know, Peter," Stiles teased, shaking his head, "I don't think it's really your style."

"Oh really?" Peter asked, stalking forward until he was standing right over Stiles, making the younger man crane his neck to look at his face.  

"Yeah I think maybe you should stick to the soft romantic crap," Stiles said, unable to hide his smile.

"Noted," Peter said crisply, lips pursed in amusement, pulling the guitar strap over his head and setting it back down on the rack.  He shut off the amp and unplugged the wire, coiling it neatly and placing it on the bookshelf.  Stiles continued to watch his hands, fascinated by the many different ways he had seen Peter move his fingers that day.  Peter grabbed his trusty twelve-string and left the room, leaving Stiles to scramble after him into their suite.  

Peter had removed his sweater and was sitting cross legged in the middle of the large four poster bed, twelve-string guitar cradled gently in his lap.  Stiles couldn't stop himself from thinking how Peter would look cradling a baby in his lap instead.   Two babies , his mind quickly amended.  There would be two babies.  Sometimes Stiles found himself forgetting what was actually going on inside his body, especially when other, baser needs took the forefront.

He climbed onto the bed to meet Peter, facing him and matching his pose, hands resting lightly over his baby bump.  Stiles closed his eyes, settling in to listen instead of watch as Peter began to strum.  He didn't want to let himself get distracted by Peter's physicality again, especially if they were meant to be taking it easy.  Instead, Stiles stilled his mind so that he might listen to Peter with his heart instead of his ears.  

 

"Le ciel bleu sur nous peut s'effondrer

Et la terre peut bien s'écrouler

Peu m'importe si tu m'aimes

Je me fous du monde entier

Tant qu' l'amour inond'ra mes matins

Tant qu' mon corps frémira sous tes mains

Peu m'importente les problèmes

Mon amour, puisque tu m'aimes"

 

Stiles hoped the sensation would never get old, the way Peter's emotions echoed in his heart along with his voice.  Listening to Peter sing in another language was an interesting experience.  He didn't understand any of the words, but he found himself understanding what Peter was telling him anyway.  Stiles opened his eyes to see if Peter's expression matched what he was picturing only to find that Peter's own eyes were closed.  

He had a serene expression on his face, lips moving around the French in a way that was completely alien to Stiles.  Peter's head was tipped to the side, the way it usually was when he was listening intently for something in the distance.  Stiles wondered what he heard when he played, if he could feel the vibrations run through his body, rippling out from the sound hole of his guitar and reverberating through his fingers on the fretboard.  His strums became quick, passing through almost every word, drawing Stiles' gaze to the claws on his right hand.

 

"J'irais jusqu'au bout du monde

Je me ferais teindre en blond

Si tu me le demandais

J'irais décrocher la lune

J'irais voler la fortune

Si tu me le demandais

Je renierais ma patrie

Je renierais mes amis

Si tu me le demandais

On peut bien rire de moi

Je ferais n'importe quoi

Si tu me le demandais"

 

He closed his eyes once more, and lost himself in the tone of Peter's voice and the way the strums had evened out again.  In English it was always smooth and rich, but in French it felt almost languid.  Like Peter held the words a second too long in his mouth before releasing them, giving them a soft fullness.  It was sensual.  Stiles kept his eyes closed and allowed the lyrics to flow over him, like Peter's lips were actually touching his skin.  It felt exquisite.  

 

"Si un jour la vie t'arrache à moi

Si tu meurs que tu sois loin de moi

Peu m'importe si tu m'aimes

Car moi je mourrais aussi

Nous aurons pour nous l'éternité

Dans le bleu de toute l'immensité

Dans le ciel plus de problèmes

Mon amour, crois-tu qu'on s'aime?

Dieu réunit ceux qui s'aiment"

 

Peter ended the song, opening his eyes and giving Stiles his sweet, closed mouthed smile.  He leaned over the side of the bed, setting his guitar down on the floor, leaning it against the bedside table.  Once he was back in reach, Stiles grabbed his hands, holding them along with his in a pile on top of his stomach.  "What did you say?" He asked, knowing the lyrics must have been meaningful, the way he had felt them through the bond.  

Peter pulled on Stiles' hands until they were lying down, and then placed his head on Stiles' chest so that he could speak to the babies without pressing on them.  "As long as love floods my mornings.  As long as my body shivers under your hands.  Problems don't matter to me, my love, because you love me."

Stiles exhaled, wishing he could hear the heartbeats that Peter could, wishing the babies could hear the way their father was professing his love to him, to all of them.  It was quiet for a little while, long enough that Stiles thought about taking a nap, but then Peter spoke again, translating a bit more of the song for him.   

"If someday life takes you away from me.  If you die, if you are far away from me.  It won't matter to me as long as you love me.  Because I will die too.  We'll have eternity to ourselves.  God reunites those who love each other."

Stiles thought back to what Peter had told him a few months ago, that singing to Stiles was what he imagined going to confession would be like.  His last thought as he fell asleep was that if Peter needed absolution, he would gladly give it.

Chapter Text

The next two months passed pretty easily.  The pack still followed Stiles around, touching him incessantly.  He'd had to lecture them a few times, even threatening another intervention if they didn't back off, but Jackson at least, could not be swayed.  He still walked a few steps behind Stiles wherever he went, one hand hovering a few inches away from Stiles' back like he was just waiting to catch his fall.  Stiles was getting a reputation.  Sure, he had a few more panic attacks and fainting spells than your average teenager, but he still didn't appreciate the constant policing.   

After a very convincing doctor's note from Melissa, he had been excused from gym class indefinitely, citing chronic kidney disease and hypertension.  Stiles was uncomfortable with the excuse, feeling like he was tempting fate by giving himself more imaginary illnesses.  Even if the hypertension was legitimate, he still felt uneasy about it.  Either way, he had an extra period to work ahead in the rest of his classes, keeping his head down in the library and blaming his ailment for any changes in his appearance or behavior.  

By April, Stiles couldn't fit in his jeans anymore.  He had been putting off any baby related shopping, getting by as well as he could by supplementing his wardrobe with Peter's tee shirts.  Unfortunately, Peter wore pants nearly as tight as his own, and at four months pregnant, there was no getting around it anymore, which was how he found himself in the men's department of Target with Lydia, Peter, and Allison on a Tuesday afternoon, avoiding as many people as possible.  

"Just try these," Allison suggested, holding up a pair of Wranglers that looked like his dad's from the 70s.  "I think they should fit you," She said gently, shaking them in front of him until he pulled his hands from his pockets and took the hanger.  

"Can't I just get like 20 pairs of yoga pants and call it a day," Stiles whined, glaring at the jeans like they had personally offended him.  "Isn't that what all the cool pregnant teenagers do these days?"

"What kind of cool pregnant teenagers are you associating yourself with?" Lydia asked icily, pursing her pink lips at him.  

"I don't know," Stiles complained, "the ones on MTV?  They just wear like velour tracksuits and stuff."

"You are not allowed to go through the rest of high school in sweatpants," Lydia told him flat out.  "If you can make it another couple of months in jeans, then you'll graduate and you can wear whatever you want lounging around the house all summer."

"And fall," Stiles muttered, reminding them that he was dealing with a neverending multiple werewolf pregnancy.  "Nothing about this is normal."

Peter was noticeably keeping his mouth shut, one hand rubbing a thumb across Stiles' hip bone, supporting him in silence.  Stiles knew Peter was itching to dress him up in designer clothing, but he just couldn't see the point, not when he would grow out of whatever they bought him in a matter of days.  He had already vetoed a trip to the mall, worrying that he might see actual people there.  Lydia had not been pleased, but begrudgingly agreed to Target.  The store was a step up from Walmart in her lofty opinion.  

"I hate to say this," Allison said, dimples twitching as she bit down on her lip, "but I think maybe we should consider actual maternity clothes."

"I am not wearing maternity clothes," Stiles protested, "I am not maternal ," he said, gesturing at his body.  "All male here, thank you very much."

"Just try it," Allison said sweetly, "we can pretend we're shopping for me."

"No one in this God-forsaken, supernaturally-fucked-up world is going to believe that you have a baby in there," Stiles said, pointing at Allison's flat stomach.

"Here," Lydia said, pulling a small throw pillow off an end cap and shoving it under Allison's tunic.  "Happy?"

"I'm doing a tap dance in my heart, you harpy," Stiles muttered, allowing Lydia to grab his hand and pull him toward the women's section.  Allison flipped through the racks, pulling out the least girly jeans, a few pairs of dress pants, a few pair of corduroys that looked like they had a straight enough leg for Stiles, and a pair of khakis.  She hoped they would do.  Lydia strode through the racks like a woman on a mission, grabbing a few plaid shirts with empire waists in blue and red and some sweatpants, knowing Stiles would need things for around the house as well as school.  

Stiles walked away, Peter close behind him, absentmindedly running his hands over the fabrics, imagining he was anywhere but shopping for pregnancy clothes.  He paused when his fingers passed over a particularly nice fabric, it was silky and smooth, whispering over his hand.  When Stiles took a closer look, he realized it was a silk nightgown, not exactly his style.  On closer inspection he realized that it was made for nursing, the straps unhooking from the front of the dress to allow easy access to the breasts, at least that's what the informative tag was telling him.  

Like a bolt of lightning, Stiles dropped the handful of fabric, backing up several steps until he ran into Peter's chest.  Warm hands grasped his wrists, holding him steady.  

"What is it?" Peter asked, hearing the way Stiles' heartbeat sped up, seemingly for no particular reason.

"Am I going to grow breasts?" Stiles asked, completely horrified, looking down at his chest and then across to Peter's hard pectorals.  

"I can ask Deaton, but I really have no idea," Peter admitted, raising a hand to cup Stiles' face, mentally willing him to calm down.

"I can't have breasts.  I am a man.  One hundred percent male over here," Stiles protested, waving a frantic hand in front of his crotch.

"Pregnant male," Peter corrected, chuckling a bit under his breath, sound mostly blocked out by the hangers Lydia was flicking back and forth behind them.  "I can't imagine your magic would get you pregnant and then not give you a way to feed the pups, or get them out of your body for that matter."

"Ohhh no," Stiles said, shaking his head furiously, "we decided these kids were coming out via C-section, nothing natural about this childbirth, no sir, absolutely not."

"Why don't we just wait and see," Peter told him gently, not wanting to press his mate's temper any further.  "Your body may change on its own."

"I'm already not fitting into any of the pants in our dresser, and you want my body to change more ?" Stiles whispered frantically, looking around the maternity section hurriedly to make sure no one was going to overhear their argument.

"It's not about what I want, you know I'd love you no matter what," Peter muttered into his ear, pulling Stiles back to rest against his chest, letting his hands fall to their natural place around Stiles' bump.

"You guys need to stop doing that in public," Allison said, dimples quivering as she giggled at them.  "It's so obvious."

Peter reluctantly let his hands fall away from Stiles' stomach, mentally promising himself that he would get all the tummy time he wanted when they got back to the Stilinskis' house that night. "Sorry," Peter mumbled sheepishly, "I don't even notice that I'm doing it anymore."

"We should take some paternity pictures once your belly pops," Lydia said, grabbing Peter's arm and draping a pile of clothing over it.  Lydia never carried her own bags, and she wasn't going to start with Stiles' clothes when his mate was around to carry them.

"Oh God, that could be any day now," Stiles sighed, laying a hand on top of his stomach and rubbing slightly.

"It will not," Allison told him.  "I doubt it will get that bad before the summer hits."

"You're not the one carrying two werebabies in your stomach," Stiles hissed at Allison, already completely done with the conversation.  

"I'll get some props and we can do it out in the yard," Lydia kept right on planning.  Stiles could already see him and Peter with professional looking pregnancy photographs hanging in the hall, courtesy of Lydia and her time spent trolling The Bump online.  

"We'll revisit this discussion later," Peter said, sensing Stiles' aggravation.  "Let's try some of this on, and then we'll get you and the pups some pizza, okay?" He said in that soft tone like he was talking to a disgruntled toddler instead of his pregnant mate.

"Extra meat on mine," Stiles said, grinning as he grabbed the pile of clothes Allison was holding and went for the changing rooms.  

"You're not supposed to be eating red meat," Peter warned him, trailing along after his mate.  Lydia pressed him into an armchair outside the row of stalls and followed Allison and Stiles into a changing room.

"Salami isn't red," Stiles called from the handicapped stall, "it's purple at best."

"Not the point, Stiles," Peter called back, settling in to wait.


Several hundred dollars and most of a meat lover's pizza later, Peter was half-carrying Stiles up the porch steps of the Stilinski house.  He dropped the bags by the door, knowing most of them would end up at the Manor anyway, and followed Stiles into the living room.  An open jeans button and a few episodes of The New Girl later, Stiles had finally had enough time to digest a pound of cheese and salty meats and was feeling human again.  He shut off the TV and started climbing the stairs at a noticeably slower pace than usual.   

The babies were only four months along and Peter could already see the subtle changes they were making to Stiles' body.  He bowed his back when he walked, his center of gravity having shifted forward with the added weight.  His hip bones looked further apart, widening as his pelvis changed shape.  Peter wondered if Stiles had noticed those things, or if he was only concentrated on the added weight that was straining his body.  

Peter stripped him gently that night, removing his too tight jeans and pulling them slowly down his legs, revealing one inch of skin at a time.  He found the hem of Stiles' stud muffin tee, stretched tight across his expanding stomach and peeled it up over his mate's head.  When he was down to his boxers, Peter laid him out on his twin bed, ghosting his lips over every inch of Stiles' body.  He worked his way from the bottom up, starting by running his nose from Stiles' anklebones upward through the soft hair on his thighs.  He stopped at every scar, tracing the pink lines with his tongue in silent reverence.  

Peter worked his mouth up over his mate’s rounded stomach, nuzzling his cheeks into Stiles' newly formed stretch marks, pulling that sweet pear smell into his nose.  When he licked his way into Stiles' belly button, he noticed a sharp, bitter note overtaking the sweetness.  While it might have been normal on Stiles pre-pregnancy, it just smelled wrong here, like his mate was uncomfortable.  Peter was kissing the scars and silver marks on Stiles' stomach when he noticed the muscles twitch, pulling away ever so slightly.  

"What's wrong?" Peter asked, moving his face away from Stiles' stomach and looking up.  Stiles’ eyes were closed, but his face was tense, like he was bracing himself for something unpleasant.   

"Nothing," Stiles whispered, but Peter could hear the catch in his voice, like there were unshed tears hiding behind his closed eyelids.   

"It's not nothing," Peter told him, pecking a kiss to his nose and waiting for Stiles to open his eyes.  "Do you not want this?" Peter asked, forcing himself to pull away from Stiles' body, ready to give him space if he needed it.

"I want you, I always want you," Stiles reassured him, moving a hand to Peter's head to run long fingers through his dark brown hair.  "I just—"

"You're feeling self-conscious?" Peter guessed, judging by Stiles' reaction, it seemed the most logical answer.

"I just don't feel like myself anymore," Stiles confessed quietly, distracting himself by combing through Peter's hair.  "I look down and there's so many marks, I just don't see me anymore."  

"Do you think Jackson's any less attractive now that he's marked?" Peter asked, hoping he could make his point without making Stiles even more uncomfortable.  

"No, but he was always handsome," Stiles said.  "Now he just looks older in a rugged kind of way, like he's faced more danger."

"That's what I see when I look at you," Peter said, pulling his head up enough that he could catch Stiles' eye without dislodging the fingers in his hair.  "You are brave and strong, and you've overcome so much, and now you're doing something even more selfless.  You're giving me children.  I don't think you really appreciate how incredible that is."

Stiles closed his eyes, but Peter could see a faint blush rising in his cheeks, like he wasn't used to the praise.  Well.  Peter would have to fix that.  "This," He said, pressing a hand to Stiles' stomach, "is something I never thought I could have.   You are something I never thought I could have.  You are everything."

Peter leaned back to get a better look at Stiles' face.  He still had his eyes squeezed shut, unable to see the earnestness in Peter's expression.  If Stiles wasn't going to look at his blind devotion, he was going to feel it instead.  Peter lowered his head, tracing a nipple with his tongue and then bringing it along the claw marks still present on Stiles' chest.  He knew they were never going to go away, just a few more battle wounds on Stiles' already battered body.  

"They tried to break you," Peter whispered, as he kissed each mark, moving back down to Stiles' stomach to press his lips to the gashes on his lower abdomen and the marks around each wrist.  "But you couldn't be broken," he said, running his tongue up Stiles' stomach, back over the claw marks on his chest, and up the side of his neck to his forehead where the last major scar from the Alpha Pack was half-hidden in his hairline.  

"You're the most amazing person I've ever met, and these marks show me that.  You have so many scars that you didn't want, that you never chose to have," Peter said, pressing a kiss to his forehead before trailing down the other side of Stiles' throat.  "And then there's this one," he said, licking over the mating bite.  "The one you chose, for me."

"Look at me," Peter requested, pulling back, waiting patiently until Stiles finally opened his eyes.  He was met with a warm brown gaze, a little red around the edges, but still bright with emotion.  "I love you.  I love every inch of you, and that will never, ever change.  Even if you breastfeed our pups and keep this beautiful baby weight."  

Stiles laughed brokenly, wiping his eyes with the back of a mole-dotted hand, but smiling through the tears.  "I love you too," he said, wrapping his arms around Peter's neck and pulling him down for a kiss.  

"Do you feel better now?" Peter asked, pressing open mouthed kisses to Stiles' throat and shoulders, ramping back up for a memorable evening.  

"I'd feel better with your mouth on my dick," Stiles said, pulling a smirk onto Peter's face.  "It's one of the only places on me that's scar free."

"As you wish," Peter told him, lowering his head to take his mate into his mouth.  


Peter woke up with a smile on his face.  He was still warm and sticky, practically glued to Stiles' ass, making him vaguely regret falling asleep while knotted into his mate.  He rolled over to a thankfully dry spot of the sheets and felt his smile grow when Stiles followed his body, sleepily rolling down the bed and mouthing at his soft cock.  

"I love you," Peter muttered, having trouble imagining a better way to wake up.

It was wet and so, so warm, the way Stiles licked around him, pulling a sleepy, contented rumble from Peter's chest.  He could feel himself start to chub up, just knowing that Stiles was busily cleaning come from his lax body, humming like it was the best morning ever.  "I love you too," Stiles’ hoarse voice answered quickly between licks, eager to get his mouth back on his mate.

A few more minutes of Stiles' ministrations and Peter was completely hard, itching to thrust up into Stiles' mouth, but respecting the light pressure of Stiles' hands gripping his hip bones.  Then the heat was gone and Stiles was suddenly flipping him over, spreading his ass cheeks and licking into his hole.  

He could get used to this, his sleep-warm mate waking him up with a thorough rim job.  Peter sighed, relaxing into the pillows and enjoying the moment.  Then Stiles started talking, in between deep licks and sucks.  "Look at you, pushing into my mouth," Stiles mumbled, voice still thick with sleep, "your body is just begging for it."  

Peter groaned, knowing he was in for the ride of his life when Stiles started up the dirty talk.  There was nothing that got him going more than Stiles’ sexual narration.  It was like an obscene book on tape made especially for him.  Fingers entered him, just on the right side of rough, telling Peter that Stiles couldn’t wait to get inside of him.  

"You're so tight, just pulling me in," Stiles said, pressing his mouth back to Peter's ass, meeting the fingers at his rim. "Your greedy little hole is asking for more.  Is that what you want?  Should I give your slutty little hole what it wants?" Stiles asked, voice raspy, making him sound much older than his years in the dim morning light of his childhood bedroom.

"Yes," Peter answered, thrusting his ass onto Stiles' fingers and arching his back.  Peter barely had time to hear Stiles spit into his hand and run it over his cock before Stiles was pushing into his body.  He cried out, completely surprised by how rough his mate was being.  It wasn't that he was opposed to minimal prep as a general rule, but he would have liked to have had a little more warning.  He knew he would heal despite the pain, so he ignored the harsh sensation of tearing he felt going through his body and tried to relax.  

"God you feel incredible," Stiles growled, biting harshly at the side of Peter's neck, teeth catching more skin than usual.  Peter didn't have any breath in him to protest.  Stiles had found the right angle and was relentlessly pounding into his prostate, pushing all other thoughts out of his mind.  "I bet Savannah never fucked you like this.  She could never fuck you like I can."  

Peter's mouth dropped open.  Something was horribly wrong.  

He didn’t think Stiles would ever say something like that.  He had never once heard an ill word from Stiles toward his late wife.  Peter gasped in a breath, ready to ask Stiles what the hell he thought he was doing when long, deceptively strong fingers closed around his throat, cutting off his airway.  He was shocked into immobility, Stiles continuing to talk as his fingers squeezed even tighter.

"Did you knot her like you knot me?" Stiles asked, vicious words cutting through Peter like a knife.  "Did she like it?  Did she like being called a whore?  I bet she begged for it like a bitch in heat."

Peter threw his head backward, knocking it into Stiles' skull.  Peter felt a sharp pain as Stiles’ erection tore free of his body.  The fingers fell from around his throat, giving him his breath back.  When he turned around, he saw blank, dark eyes.  That wasn't his mate.

"What did you do with Stiles?" he asked, furious and terrified, reluctant to make another move in case Stiles was still in there somewhere.

"Oh, he's still in here," the monster said confirming his suspicions, tapping his temple sharply in a crude imitation of how Stiles usually signaled their pack bond.  

"What do you want?" Peter growled, eyes searching over Stiles' body, looking for any inconsistencies that could tell him it was just a body double, not a villain wearing his mate's skin.  

"Just having a little fun," it said, rough voice rumbling over the words in a way Stiles’ tenor never would.  He should have known it wasn't him.  The way that thing had just said “I love you.”  He should have known that wasn't Stiles' voice.  Long pale legs stepped backward, inching away from Peter until the man was in front of the window, pulling it open and leaping out before Peter could catch his arm.  

Peter thrust his upper body out the open window and searched frantically for the monster wearing his mate's skin, but it was no use.  He was already gone, out of sight around the tree line before Peter could even exhale.  

 

Chapter Text

Peter threw on his pants and ran at full speed back to the Manor.  He found Derek in the library reading a mystery novel, and rallied the troops.  It was early enough on a school morning that the Betas were still asleep in their bedrooms.  Derek didn't even bother walking up the stairs to get them, just opened up his mouth and let out an Alpha roar.  Erica, Boyd, Jackson, and Isaac came running, still in boxers, or an over-large tee shirt and pair of lacy underwear in Erica's case.  

"What is it?" Isaac asked, blearily running a hand through his curls.  "We were sleeping."

"Stiles has been possessed," Peter snapped, cutting to the chase.

"Possessed by what?" Erica asked, still rubbing the sleep out of her eyes.

"I don't know that yet, first we have to catch him," Peter told them.  "Go get dressed, we need to check the preserve."

"Can you feel him through the bond?" Derek asked as the rest of the group trudged back upstairs.  

“I don’t know, Derek,” Peter snapped, taking a menacing step forward, “can you feel him through the bond?  He’s your Emissary!”

“He’s your mate!”  Derek shouted back, eyes flashing red, angry at himself for never taking the time to expand the connection with Stiles until it was fully reciprocated.  He could usually get general feelings from Stiles when he was nearby, and he provided a noticeable level of mood stabilization in the pack, but Derek didn’t bother to focus too hard on the bond for fear of Stiles prying into his thoughts and lecturing him about his guilt complex.  Derek definitely wouldn’t be able to locate Stiles with his side of the connection as thin as it was.  He took a deep breath and tried to block out the rest of the room, closing his eyes and drawing his focus inward.  

"Don’t bother.  The bond is gone," Peter said grimly, rubbing at the mating bite on his neck thoughtfully.  "I should have realized this morning, but I was distracted."  He was thankful for once that Derek wasn't much for conversation.  Anyone else would have asked what he had been doing with Stiles that morning.  He couldn't bear to admit that he had been sleeping with the enemy.  He’d been sleeping with a demon without even noticing.  A shiver ran down his spine to the faint ache in his body where the imposter had pushed into him.  He felt sick.

"We'll need to split up and search for his scent then," Derek said, clapping a hand on Peter's shoulder in an attempt at a comforting gesture.   

"Should I call the rest of them?" Peter asked.  "It will take us a while to cover the whole preserve.  He's moving fast."

"Let them go to school," Derek told him as the Betas reentered the room.  "Let's not put anyone else in harm's way until we know what we're dealing with."

"Okay, Jackson and Isaac go North, Erica and Boyd go South, I'll go West, and Derek goes East," Peter ordered, opening up the back door.  "If you find him, howl, and don't get too close."

The group separated, running with their noses in the air, not even finding a trace of Stiles’ sweet pear scent.  About twenty minutes in, Derek's phone rang.  "I thought you were told to howl if you found him," Derek snapped into the microphone.  

"I don't think Peter should see this.  I don't even want to see this," Isaac said, not giving Derek any more details.  

"Fine.  Where are you?" he asked, flaring his nostrils in case he might be able to figure out what direction they were in by scent alone.  

"About a mile north of that big clearing in the pine trees by the stream, you know where that is?"

"Yeah, I'll be right there," Derek said, setting off at a run.  "Call Boyd too."  He snapped the phone shut mid-stride and rushed to where Isaac had directed him.  

Derek could already smell blood by the time he got to the clearing and picked up the pace.  It didn't smell like Stiles' blood, but he wasn't sure if Stiles' scent had been muddled by whatever was possessing him.  If Peter couldn't feel the bond, it was possible they wouldn't be able to smell him either.  He slowed down when he caught sight of Jackson, walking over to his Betas with determined steps.  When he saw what Isaac had been hinting at, he was instantly glad they hadn't called for Peter.

It looked like Stiles, but it couldn't be him.  Completely naked except for his triskelion pendant, covered in blood, was whatever had stolen Stiles' body, sitting cross-legged under an old pine tree with half a body at its feet.  Derek had to say half a body, because the other half was nowhere to be seen, bits were strewn around Stiles' lap, but not enough to account for what was missing.  Erica winced, hiding her face in Boyd's shoulder when the monster leaned forward, grabbing a handful of viscera out of the body and bringing it to his mouth.  

Blood dripped down its face, as it pulled a chunk off with its teeth, chewing sloppily, mouth half open.  The rest of the group averted their eyes, not knowing what to do, but Derek couldn't drag his gaze away.  He could see Stiles' moles and scars under a thick coating of mud and dark red blood.  It was him.  It had to be, and yet, there was nothing human about the way it feasted on its prey.   

Derek had seen wolves hunt before.  Had taken down a deer or two himself on a full moon, but it was nothing like this.  A pack was playful.  They shared meals with their family members, they didn’t tear apart human beings.  Stiles' hands reached back into the body, this time cracking a few ribs with unnaturally-strong fingers before he emerged with a human heart.  Derek flinched at the sound, but kept his eyes steady, watching with morbid fascination as the monster sunk blunt, human teeth into the tough muscle and ripped.  

Footsteps came up behind him, and Derek couldn't think of a single thing to say.  Peter stopped dead, a look of grim determination on his face as he took in the scene.  "Well come on… we need to get him back to the Manor," he said, voice flat and unfeeling.  The only way he was going to get through this was by pretending that the monster was not Stiles.  It was just a demon in a Stiles suit.  He had to keep the suit intact, but otherwise, it was just another trespasser killing on Hale land.  "Be careful,” Peter warned, utterly defeated, “he nearly choked me to death this morning."

Derek nodded and stepped forward, crouched low like he was going to sneak up on a particularly dumb rabbit.  Peter shook his head, running straight over to the bloody scene.  The rest of the Betas followed, circling around the monster, drawing its attention.  Derek straightened up, wasting no time in bringing a heavy fist down on the top of man's head, knocking him unconscious with little effort.  Stiles' body fell forward, face landing in the open body cavity.   

With as little emotion as possible, Peter grabbed both of Stiles' wrists, pulling until he was lying face down in the mud and leaves of the forest floor.  He rolled Stiles' body over and picked him up, turning toward home without another word.  Derek called in an anonymous tip to the Sheriff's station and followed the group back to the Manor.  


Erica grabbed some wet towels and a change of clothes, letting Peter clean and dress their Stiles impersonator before binding him to a chair in the dining room.  They sat around the table in silence for over thirty minutes before the cannibal came around.  A very Stiles-like groan came out of its throat, pulling a suspicious look from Peter and Derek.  But when it opened its eyes, there was no doubt in anyone’s mind.  It wasn't Stiles.

"What are you?" Derek asked as soon as it looked like the monster was capable of giving a coherent answer.  

"Is this how you greet new people around here?  Hit them over the head and tie them up?" it said, voice a bit more gravely than Stiles'.  "A bit kinky, but I'll take it," he said, winking at Peter, who growled loudly, flashing his eyes and teeth at the monster.  "They call me Tim, and you are?" it asked, smiling and turning toward Derek.

"Tim?" He asked, "what kind of a name is that for a demon?"

"Demon?" Tim asked, chuckling, "I think the word you're looking for is Átahsaia.  Maybe you should brush up on your reading."

"Alright, Tim," Derek relented, not wanting to piss the demon off any more than necessary.  For all he knew he could be out of the ropes and terrorizing the town the second their backs were turned.  "What did you do with Stiles?"

"Stiles," Tim said, rolling the word around in his mouth like he'd never spoken it before.  "What's a Stiles?"

"Stiles is my mate," Peter ground out, "the body you're currently wearing."

"Oh sure," Tim said, "he's still in here with me.  Really loud though, thinking about shutting him up soon."

"Don't touch him," Jackson growled, pulling the demon's attention to him.

"I'm not technically touching him," Tim said, laughing at his own joke.  "I am him, it's very different."

"What do you want from him?" Erica said, becoming angry at the glib answers Derek was getting from the demon.  

"Well, I was possessing someone else, but I've been on the run for a while.  It's best to hop around pretty frequently… keeps people guessing."

"Who are you running from?" Peter asked, wondering if it would be helpful to find them and get them to perform an exorcism of some kind.

"Hunters," Tim said blithely, looking around the room as if he were taking in the décor, expecting to be served a cup of tea any minute.  

Peter snapped, unwilling to be ignored.  "Why Stiles?"

"I heard you talking about his pregnancy in Target last night, and he seemed like the perfect candidate, so I just slipped in your window, and here we are."  Peter ground his teeth.  That wasn’t all.  He hoped the demon wouldn't let the others know that he had been fucking him that morning.  He didn't want Stiles to ever find out that he hadn't noticed he wasn't with his mate.  

"Why?  Do you want children or something?" Jackson asked, immediately thinking about the welfare of the babies.  Peter was ashamed that he hadn't been thinking about what the possession was going to do to their children, having been so focused on getting his mate back.  Stiles would be ashamed of him.  Or at least he would be if Peter ever got him back.  

"I have no interest in your spawn, wolf," Tim snapped.  "I just needed someone who was well protected.  Even a hunter might think twice about killing someone who was carrying a child.  I'm sure you would have something to say about it as well."

Peter wanted to yell TWO CHILDREN at the demon, but didn't want to give up any information unless he was sure Tim already had it.  There was no telling what the thing would be capable of if it knew all the details of their life.  It could go to school, to dinner with the Sheriff, all while wearing Stiles' skin.  Peter wanted to be sick just thinking about it.

"What do we do with him?" Boyd asked, sounding like he had even less patience than usual, like whatever had possessed his Emissary wasn’t worth his time.  

"Keep him like this until we can figure out how to get him out of Stiles," Peter said, walking briskly into the library and slamming the door behind him.  Derek went out to the back porch to call Deaton, leaving the Betas to watch over the demon named Tim.


After two days of frantic searching, Peter had come up with nothing.  His library and the internet had failed him.  Deaton knew nothing more than a Google search, and while he appreciated the fact that Tim had told them exactly what kind of demon he was, he wasn't any closer to figuring out how to remove him from Stiles' body than he had been two days ago.  All he had to go on were a few Southwestern Native American myths, and while he was glad Tim hadn't taken the form of a giant Sasquatch who wielded an axe, they hadn't told him much.  He had also learned that legends described Átahsaia as pathological liars, so he had been trying to tune out as much of Tim's ramblings as he could.

"Peterrrrr!"  

Trying was the operative word.   

"Peterrrrr!  I'm so hungryyyy!" Tim wailed from his throne, still tied to the kitchen chair with a length of rope from the basement.  Peter was considering gagging him.

"I gave you a sandwich a half hour ago," Peter sighed, not looking up from his book.  

"I can't eat sandwiches!" Tim cried again.  “Are you insane or just stupid?”

"Well I'm not untying your hands, so I can make you a smoothie if you prefer to use a straw."

"I can't eat any of these nasty human foods."

"Why should I care?" Peter asked, frustration getting the better of him.  

"Because if you don't get me something to eat, I'm going to start eating bits of your boyfriend," Tim threatened, shooting a look of utter contempt, "starting with his brain."  

"If you kill him you won't have anywhere else to go," Peter warned the demon, hoping he was right.  He really had no idea how Tim’s movement between bodies worked.  

"I don't have to kill him," Tim said, smiling through his words.  "I can just start snacking on his memories, until there's nothing of him left."

Peter didn't want to show fear, but he wasn't sure he was going to be able to keep the emotion off his face for much longer.  "Well what do you want to eat then?" Peter asked, assuming it was going to be something horrible judging by what they had caught Tim doing in the woods a few days ago.  

"Blood and flesh, what else?" Tim told Peter, grinning Stiles' toothy smile back at him.

"And I assume a trip to the butcher shop won't do," Peter said with a sigh, knowing it couldn't possibly be that easy.  

"Nope," Tim said, popping the p like Stiles always did when he was being playful.  Peter cringed, wondering what else of Stiles Tim had access to.  "People only."

Setting his jaw, Peter walked over to Tim's chair, stopping right in front of him with their knees almost touching.  He pulled up the long sleeve of his henley, exposing his forearm and held it in front of Tim's face.  All the demon would have to do was lean forward and sink his teeth into Peter's arm.  

Peter set his jaw and waited.  

"Humans," Tim clarified his earlier statement.  "I can't digest werewolf meat, it's hell on the stomach."  Peter growled, thrusting his arm forward further until his arm hair was brushing Tim's lips.  

"It’s the same thing.  Just bite."

"No can do, oh mate of mine," Tim sing-songed, finding delight in Peter's ire.  "I'm going to need some human flesh.  Or do you want your werebabies to starve?"

"Fine," Peter reluctantly agreed, pulling down his sleeve and backing away.  "I'll think of something."

“Marvelous,” Tim said, grinning, “can’t wait.”


Peter waited on the front porch for the Sheriff to arrive.  It was already dark, the only light coming from the small porch lamp.  Peter preferred it like that.  Artificial light diluted the effect of the night sky.  He wasn't sure if it was the wolf in him or not, but he liked the moon and the stars to be the only light visible from his bedroom window.  It was more peaceful that way.

Derek had the Betas out for a run, letting off steam.  Derek had tried to explain to Peter that Stiles' possession had left a hole in the pack bond, but he was so distracted by the loss of his mate that he couldn't even tell the difference.  The Betas were on edge in a way Derek had never had to deal with before, and he was having to stretch his Alpha traits just to keep them under control.  Several scuffles had broken out already over inconsequential things, and he didn't want to think about how bad it would get if they couldn't get rid of Tim.  

Judging by the rumble of the cruiser's engine, it would be another three and a half minutes until his pseudo father-in-law arrived.  He struggled with how to break the news to John.  There wasn't an easy way to say your pregnant son has been possessed by a sarcastic, cannibalistic demon, but he knew he had to say something.  He couldn't just let John walk in and see that monster wearing his son's face.  Peter was pulled out of thoughts by the Sheriff's boots on his front steps.

"What was it that you couldn't tell me over the phone?" John asked, hands on his hips.  

"Something is wrong with Stiles," Peter told him bluntly, hoping the Sheriff wouldn't jump to conclusions, though really, how much worse could it be?  On the scale of horrible things, there wasn't much beyond your son being possessed by a demon, even in their world.  

"Are the babies okay?" John asked, eyes flicking to the door like he was about to run inside.  

"For now, but I can't be sure for how much longer," Peter told him, rubbing his creased forehead in an act of deep exhaustion.

"Okay, now you're scaring me," John said, taking a step closer to Peter until he could lay a hand on the wolf's shoulder.  "Just tell me what it is."

"A demon has possessed Stiles," Peter said, internally wincing at his own lack of tact, but he didn't know if there was any better way to put it.  

John was quiet for a beat, letting out a slow, even breath through his nose.  "And how are we going to get rid of this demon?" John asked, much calmer than he had any reason to be under the circumstances.  

"I don’t know yet," Peter admitted, embarrassed that he hadn't been able to come up with anything after over two full days of searching.  

"So what are you trying to do now?" John asked, much gentler than Peter expected.  After seeing the way Peter had reacted when Stiles had been kidnapped that spring, John had been gentle with Peter, more so than he thought he deserved.   

"He keeps telling me he's hungry," Peter said, breathing heavily, glad there were no other wolves around to hear the way his heartbeat had begun to race in fear.  "I've been trying to find something for him to eat without resorting to murder, because he keeps threatening that he will snack on Stiles' brain if we don't feed him human flesh."

"Let me talk to this asshole," John demanded, and Peter couldn't think of any reason to deny him access to whatever was left of his son, no matter how horrifying it might be.  Peter opened the door and let John into the warm, golden light of the kitchen.  He turned left, stepping into the dining room and then stopped dead in his tracks.  

Tim was gone, a broken chair and a few tattered pieces of rope left in his place.  Peter hadn’t heard a thing.

"Where would he go?" John asked, kneeling down on the wood floor to examine the chair and how the ropes were frayed at the edges.  

"Literally anywhere he could find a person to eat.  He said he couldn't eat werewolf, so he would have had to leave the house to find someone."

"It's late, where could you find a lot of bodies in an enclosed space?  The movie theatre?" John asked, thinking out loud, letting Peter follow his train of thought.  

"Maybe," Peter said, pulling his smartphone out of his pocket and group texting the pack.  "We can head there and see if I can catch his scent.  It's off because of the possession, but I should still be able to find it if we get close enough."  

The pair of men hopped in the cruiser and sped off.  John even turned on the siren at Peter's insistence.  He explained that every lost moment could mean another death.  John raised his eyebrows, but didn’t question him.  Plausible deniability was important in his line of work.  

When they reached Main Street, Peter saw Erica and Derek waiting on the corner.  The rest of the Betas were checking inside, but Peter could tell without even getting out of the car that Tim wasn't anywhere near the center of town.  

He ducked back inside the cruiser, turning to face the Sheriff.  "He's not here," Peter said, exhaling heavily in disappointment.  "Where else would he go?" he said out loud, pondering internally and not expecting an answer.  

"On a Friday night?" John said, not sure whether he should be thinking like a demon or thinking like his 18-year-old son.  "He'd probably be at that gay club."

"We're heading to Jungle," Peter shouted out the car window just as the rest of the pack was coming out of the movie theatre.  "Meet us there."  He heard a few whistles as he rolled the window up, realizing too late that it probably wasn't the best idea to be shouting the Sheriff’s desire to hit the gay club to the greater Beacon Hills area.  

It was nearly eleven o'clock when they made it to the club and the line was around the block.  John didn't hesitate at all to show the bouncer his badge and lead the group of underage kids through the rope line and inside.  It had to be a theme night, because the dance floor was packed and it was nearly impossible to see through the dense clouds the fog machines and the strobe lights were creating.  

"I think it's 80s night," Allison yelled over the noise, flashing her red eyes into the crowd to try to find their quarry.  "There!" she called, pointing at one of the dance cages where a completely uninhibited Tim was grinding between two oily men wearing nothing but tight briefs.  

Peter saw red, figuratively and literally, partially shifting right there in the middle of the dance floor.  "Woah," Scott said, pushing back on Peter's chest, "you need to calm down."  Peter did no such thing.  He knocked Scott down, sending him flying across the floor into a group of scantily clad men.  

Derek and Boyd surged forward, grabbing the back of Peter's henley, which was minutes away from being torn off his body by his expanding muscles.  Even the two biggest wolves had trouble holding Peter back, needing the help of the Sheriff, Jackson, and Isaac to make a path through the crowd to pull Peter outside.  The last thing they needed was to catch the attention of the bouncer when Peter was unable to control his shift.

"You know that's not him, Peter," John said forcefully, trying to reason with the wolf who was continuing to struggle against Boyd and Derek's hold.  They had backed him into a wall, getting him as far away from the door as possible while he was still shifted.  "He wouldn’t do that to you."

Peter could not be contained, he roared loudly, breaking free of his pack mates' hold and attempting to rush back inside.  Jackson took a running leap and landed on Peter's back, causing him to stumble a few steps.  That allowed the rest of the wolves to catch up and tackle him to the ground.  It took one wolf holding down each of his four limbs to stop Peter from getting away again.  

John leaned down, resting his hands on his knees and sighing loudly, "Peter, come on," he pleaded, not knowing what else to do with a half-shifted, angry son-in-law.  "It's just Tim in there, not Stiles.  The girls will get him out of there and everything will be fine."

His words made Derek's head snap up, red eyes flashing at what John had said.  "The girls are not safe with him.  You haven't seen what he's done," Derek argued through clenched teeth, still holding Peter down with a knee pressing his shoulder into the concrete.  Derek waved Scott over to take his place and then ran back inside, John hot on his tail.

"What’s he done?" John asked, scanning the crowd for any sign of Tim or the rest of the pack as he mentally prepared himself.  Any minute someone was going to tell him that Stiles’ face was attached to a murderer, and even if he already knew it was true, he didn’t want to hear it confirmed.  

"You don't want to know," Derek replied, thinking it was probably not the best time for John to learn that his son had technically killed that hiker they found in the woods the other day.  Nothing said Friday night like having to book your own son for murder.  "We just have to find them," Derek said fiercely, pointing his nose in the air to try to pull out Allison's scent.  

There were too many people in the club.  Sweat and alcohol along with dozens of different colognes filled his nose, making it impossible to pick out one particular scent, even the rotten fruit stench that hung around Tim.  Instead Derek just ran into the middle of the dance floor and scanned the room, hoping no one would notice the way his eyes were glowing red in the flashing disco lights.   

Several hopeful suitors had already come up to Derek, trying to catch his attention.  John sighed heavily and followed him onto the dance floor, grabbing his shirt by the neck and pulling him away.  "This is so not the time for you to be getting hit on," John muttered, dragging Derek toward the hall that led to the bathrooms, looking for any dark corner Tim might have hidden himself in.  "Now I look like your jealous boyfriend," John carried on, talking under his breath as they searched the stalls in the men's room.  "The things I do for you kids."

As they exited the bathroom, Derek heard a faint yelling coming from the back alley and ran for it, John following close behind.  It wasn't the death warning that Lydia usually gave them, more of a frightened yelp, but either way, it couldn't be good.   

Derek kicked open the emergency exit and entered the alley, eyes taking a second to adjust to the darkness.  Lydia was lying face down on the ground, a bit of blood on the back of her hair telling him that someone had thrown her against a wall.  Allison was kneeling next to her, trying to roll her over and shield her girlfriend’s body from the rest of the mayhem.  

Erica was crouched down on the ground by the dumpsters, poised to attack but hesitating.  When Derek finally saw what she was looking at, he understood why.  Tim was sitting on the cold, damp stone of the alley, cradling the unconscious body of one of the guys he was dancing with, teeth sunk into the man's arm, pulling bites off with swift jerks of his head.   

"I didn't want to just knock him unconscious again," Erica said, pulling up from her crouch.  "I don't know how many blows to the head he can take before he gets permanent brain damage.”  

"It's okay, Erica," Derek said, inching closer to the group, eyes never leaving Tim.  "You did the right thing.  But we need to get him off that guy before he loses an arm."  Tim didn't pay any attention to them, licking the blood from his lips and diving back in for another bite.  Derek crept up behind him, hoping his meal was enough to hold his attention for a little bit longer, and then lunged, wrapping his large hands around Stiles' neck and pulling him to his feet.  

Luckily Tim didn't know how, or wasn't inclined to use Stiles' powers.  He just made irritated grabby hands at the drunken boy and whined, unhappy to be dragged away from his meal.  

"This is what you didn't want to tell me about?" John asked, looking deep into Tim's eyes for any sign of recognition.  

"You must be the pops!" Tim said excitedly, thrusting out a hand for the Sheriff to shake.

"Don't call me that," John snapped, continuing to stare into Tim's face like Stiles might snap out of it any minute.  He looked and looked, but those honey brown eyes that were usually full of mirth and affection held nothing.  They were cold and empty, almost gleeful in their destruction.  John tried to imagine what Peter would have felt after looking into the void of those eyes for days, and suddenly the wolf's outburst didn't seem so ridiculous anymore.  The monster was taunting him, and he had finally snapped.  

"Is she going to be alright?" Derek called over Tim's head at Allison, noticing that Lydia was just starting to stir.  

"I think she's fine.  You guys go," Allison said, brushing the hair of out of Lydia's face with a trembling hand.  

"No, you should go," John said, helping Allison get Lydia off the floor and leaning against her shoulders.  "I need to call this in, hopefully play it off as drug related.”  He took off his jacket and wrapped it around the boy’s arm tightly to staunch the bleeding.  

"Come to the Manor when you're done at the station," Derek ground out, having to keep adjusting his grip on a now squirming Tim.  Jackson, Isaac, and Scott sprinted into the alley once the action was over.  Derek motioned for them to take hold of Tim so he could check on Lydia.

"Where's Peter?" Derek asked, ducking his head to make sure the color was coming back to Lydia's face.  

"We locked him in the cruiser," Isaac said gleefully, smiling as he wrestled with Tim.  "Don't worry, Boyd’s guarding him."

"Get him out of there," John sighed, rubbing his forehead as he looked back at the unconscious boy partially cradled in his lap.  "I need to take this kid to the hospital."

"Will do," Scott said, helping Isaac steer a pouty Tim back to the parking lot.  

The group piled into their cars, and headed back to the Manor, ready and willing to lock Tim up in one of the basement cells, something they should have done in the first place.   

"We still need to figure out how to feed him," Lydia whispered, hand gripped tightly around Allison's as they drove back to the Manor in the back of the Camaro.

"I know," Derek sighed, unsure of what options they had left.  "Will you help Peter research when we get home?  I think he could use a distraction."

"Of course," Allison said, reaching a hand over the front seat to pat Derek's shoulder.  "Whatever you need."

"I don't know what we need, but whatever it is, we need it fast," Derek said, shifting gears as he sped back through the preserve.

Chapter Text

Another two days of research, and the pack still hadn't come up with anything.  Luckily it was the weekend, and the Betas were home to help take shifts watching over Tim in the basement.  The demon needled them constantly, dropping subtle comments to try to get them fighting with one another.  It was obvious that Tim could access some of Stiles' memories, because he was able to give every insult the ring of truth that had everyone on edge.  Jackson’s neediness, Scott’s unreturned love for Allison, Boyd and Isaac’s family histories, Allison’s mommy issues, Erica’s hidden insecurities; everyone’s dirty laundry was on display, causing the wolves to snap and growl at the drop of a hat.  Derek avoided Tim like the plague, unwilling to sit and listen to the demon spill any of his secrets to the rest of the group.

Peter was locked up with Allison and Lydia in the library.  They were doing their best to come up with some way of either exorcising the demon or at least giving it something to eat that wasn't human flesh, but not having any luck.  Lydia had suggested just feeding him some raw meat from the butcher, insisting that it couldn't be any different than human meat, but Peter was wary of trying anything that might end up harming Stiles or the pups, so Tim just went hungry.  Peter hoped his little snack at the club and a few pints of blood Melissa had brought over from the hospital would be enough to hold him over for a few days.

Tim whined and screamed, his obnoxious commentary echoing up through the stone basement walls into the rest of the house.  Derek decided the Betas needed a break and took them all out for a run that Sunday afternoon.  Allison and Lydia ended up on Tim duty while Peter continued researching, eyes going bloodshot from all the time he had spent staring at his MacBook.  

Derek had set up a tracking exercise in the woods, a bit disappointed in how long it had taken the pack to track down Tim once he had gone missing.  He knew that it hadn't been a fair test since Tim had obscured Stiles' natural scent, but his frustration was mounting.  He couldn't think of any better use of their time that would also exhaust them, both physically and mentally.  Derek was worried that his own feelings were rubbing off on the rest of the pack, making them irritable and more likely to snap at each other.  

Derek stood on the porch, waiting to see which wolf would be the first to make it back.  He had taken a piece of each Beta's clothing and hidden them throughout the preserve, assigning each person the scent that they were least familiar with, and waiting for them to track each other down.  The scent of each person also running around the woods would provide an added challenge, and Derek hoped it would keep them occupied and take their minds off Stiles for a few hours.  

Erica was hot on the trail.  She had followed Jackson's scent all the way around the preserve in a circle before she came upon the man himself, making it clear that she was nowhere near what she was actually looking for.  Wanting a fresh try, she had gone back to the Manor and started over, this time able to tell the difference between the subtle smell of the clothing mixed with Derek and the stronger scent of the person.  She was just running up a wide path when she heard a rumbling noise heading straight for her.  

Before Erica could fully comprehend what was happening, she was hit in the back with a huge weight and knocked down.  Head swimming, she looked up at the leafy canopy and heard two voices arguing a few feet away.  

"Got it," the first voice said, not bothering to kill the engine before getting out of the car.

"Are you sure?" The second voice asked, coming around the other side, peering over until his face swam in front of Erica's yellow eyes.  

"Of course I'm sure, Sam," the first voice said, offended.

She's just a girl," Sam responded, leaning down closer until Erica could see him clearly.  He was cute, with long, floppy brown hair and a pleasant face, but that didn't stop her from growling at him.  He had knocked her off track and it was going to take her forever to find the scent of Jackson's shirt again.  Derek had promised a pie to whoever got back to the Manor first, and while she was sure he hadn't even asked Peter if he would make the pie yet, the offer was still tempting. 

"That's not a girl, Sammy," the other man said, laying on the charm.  "That's a lady," he said smoothly, holding out a hand to help Erica up.  "Dean Winchester, at your service.  This is my brother, Sam."

"Erica Reyes," she replied, tilting her head to the side and flashing her white teeth, eying both men up and down.  "You're trespassing on Hale land, what do you want?" Erica asked, remembering that these men were driving on private property.  Derek had always warned them to identify themselves when they met strangers in town, and look for recognition.  Most supernatural creatures would have heard the name, especially if they were looking for trouble in their part of California.

"Hale land, you say?" Dean teased, smiling and raising his eyebrows.  "Is that supposed to mean something to me?"  He had barely gotten the words out before he was falling forward, hitting the underbrush with a loud thud.  A whir of motion flew past Erica and then Sam was on the ground too, legs having been taken out from under him by her Alpha.

"Yes," Derek said gruffly, face shifted and flashing red eyes at the trespassers, "it should."

Dean got up quickly, diving into his car and coming out with a handgun.  Derek only had enough time to push Erica to the ground behind him before an earsplitting crack went off, hitting Derek in the shoulder.  He was hurt, but he stayed on his feet.  Derek had been shot one too many times.  He was better at taking a hit than he used to be.  It was a through and through.  It would heal.

"What the fuck?" Erica yelled, pressing a small hand to Derek's shoulder to staunch the blood.  "What did you do that for?"

"Why didn't he go down?" Sam asked, looking worriedly at his brother.  

"I don't know, silver is supposed to work on werewolves," Dean answered, looking down at his gun like it had betrayed him.   

"You guys have a lot to learn about werewolves then," Derek growled, head a little light, but otherwise healing quickly.  "You come to my woods and you try and shoot my Beta?  You're in trouble,” he warned.  “Tell me what you want, or I'll send my entire pack to run you out of town."

"How many wolves in a pack?" Dean asked, like he was interested in weighing his chances against a bunch of supernatural creatures.  He looked down at his gun and then back to his black car, thinking about what other kind of ammunition he had with him if silver bullets didn't work.

"Enough," Erica replied, letting her teeth drop and flashing yellow eyes at the two men.  

"We're looking for a guy, goes by the name of Tim," Sam said, choosing diplomacy over his brother's typical violence.  "Have you heard of him?"  

"I think you should come with us," Derek said with a heavy sigh, giving the men a serious but somewhat understanding look.  "Leave the guns in the car.  Don't make me tell you twice."

The brothers shared a look and then turned their backs to the group of wolves, Dean checking over his shoulder every few seconds while he hissed, “I’m not leaving the guns in the car.  They look like they could eat us alive.  Especially the blonde one!  Not that I’d mind terribly if it was her…”

“It’s fine, Dean,” Sam muttered, flashing a reassuring smile back over his shoulder at the wolves.  “Clearly bullets don’t do them much damage.”

“You idiots know we can hear you, right?” Derek pointed out, rolling his eyes.  Erica cackled, letting her face shift to show off her pointed ears, flashing her fangs menacingly at the brothers.

“Clearly we have a lot to learn,” Sam said, elbowing Dean in the side until he acquiesced, popping the trunk to stow his shotgun and reluctantly following Erica and Derek back to the house.  

When they were still a half mile away, Derek threw his head back and howled, loud and clear, signaling the end of the training exercise to the rest of the pack.  They waited a few minutes in complete silence, Dean eying Derek like he had never seen a wolf before.  It was becoming painfully clear to Derek that these hunters were amateurs and probably wouldn’t be any help in their struggle to get rid of Tim.

Leaves began to rustle as the rest of the Betas emerged from the woods, jogging over to Derek and Erica, giving the brothers a wide berth.  

"Who's this?" Jackson asked, never one for subtleties.  

"Who won the pie?" Scott asked happily, jumping into the conversation before Derek could answer Jackson's question.

"These are the Winchester brothers," Erica said, leaving Derek's side to press closer to Boyd.  "They shot Derek."

"And they're still alive because…?" Isaac asked, not knowing Derek to play nice with others, especially when they were shooting at him.  

"They're looking for Tim," Derek said, narrowing his eyes at the Betas, trying to silently communicate that they shouldn't give anything away.  

"Do you know how to get rid of him?" Scott asked, completely missing the message.

"Sort of," Sam said honestly, like they hadn't quite come up with a solid plan yet.  

"Let's get you guys inside.  Peter will want to talk to you," Derek said, leading them all the last half mile back to the Manor.  Dean whistled when he caught sight of it.  

"This is quite the den you got here," he said, nodding his head in the direction of the front porch.  "Your little wolf pack is loaded."

"That tends to happen when hunters burn your entire family alive," Derek said threateningly, wanting there to be no doubt in the brothers' minds that he would end them if given a reason.  “Lots of blood money.”

The group headed inside, Derek following the brothers and closing the door behind him.  "Wait here," he said, leading them into the dining room.  

He went looking for Peter in the library, finding him at the drafting table, nearly vibrating out of his own skin, flipping aggressively through the pages of an old magic tome.  Derek knew it wasn't in English, and he could practically hear the gears whirring in his uncle's brain as he translated as he read.   

"Hunters are here for Tim," Derek said simply, walking over to get a better look at his uncle.  He hadn't wanted to notice it before, but Peter was visibly breaking apart.  Tim's possession of Stiles hadn't just taken away his best friend, it had taken away his mate and his anchor, leaving Peter completely adrift.  Derek had heard about it before, how being away from their mate for too long could drive a wolf mad, but he'd never seen it happen.  He had almost forgotten about it since Stiles was always around, it hadn’t seemed like a concern.  How wrong he had been.    

Peter had purple bags under his eyes and his usually tan skin was turning a stark shade of white.  When Derek stepped closer he could tell that Peter's heartbeat was through the roof and that his scent was off.  He was in pain, but not a pain Derek could take from him.  They needed to get Stiles back or Peter was going to die.  He was sure of it.  

Derek thought back to the way Peter had reacted when the Alpha Pack had taken Stiles and then multiplied it by ten in his mind.  They were mated now, there was no way Peter would ever get over losing Stiles, only his fervent desire to find a solution kept him going.    

Deaton had warned him that a pack’s Emissary was essential to its stability, but he hadn't really understood what that meant until just now.  He could feel his own mind unraveling after only a few days.  That bright presence in the back of his consciousness that Stiles filled with his warmth was gone, and it was a much bigger loss than Derek had ever expected.  Derek hadn’t realized how Stiles’ mood had buoyed them all until it was missing from his mind.  The Betas were counting on him to keep them all together, and he was falling apart.  Derek was so angry at himself.  The claws of his left hand extended into his own palm, setting his teeth on edge.

"Come talk to them," Derek said softly, stilling Peter's shaking hand with his clean one, trying to be careful with his uncle while his claws were out.  "They might know how to get rid of Tim."  Peter nodded, silently following Derek out of the room to meet the group.  They were all sitting around the dining room table, staring at each other like an awkward dinner party.  

"Is this him?" Sam asked, looking over Peter with a critical eye.  

"Doesn't seem like Tim to me," Dean said, shifting in his chair when Peter flashed red eyes at him, clearly not impressed with the hunters.

"This is Peter," Derek said, leading him to the head of the table and sitting down next to his uncle.  "His mate Stiles has been possessed by Tim.  We have two people guarding him in the basement."

"Your mate?" Sam asked, not understanding the terminology.

"His husband," Derek clarified, wondering how little these hunters really knew about the supernatural.  "Soulmate, if you will.  They're connected by magic," Derek winced internally at how trite that sounded, but he didn't have any better descriptors.  Even though he hadn’t experienced it himself, he knew that the mating bond was sacred.  He could see the difference between Stiles and Peter and didn’t want to belittle what they shared.  

"He's also the pack Emissary," Jackson said, trying to impress upon the brothers the severity of the situation.  

"What's an Emissary?" Sam asked again.

"You guys are the worst werewolf hunters ever," Erica huffed, tossing her hair back and glaring at the two men across from her.

"We're not just werewolf hunters, we're more like supernatural evil hunters," Dean said, offended by the insult, just as Erica had intended.

"Well you don't know shit about werewolf culture," she argued, ready to throw some more shade at the brothers.

"Erica," Derek growled, flashing his eyes at her, "this is not the time."

"Like that," Sam said, pointing between the two of them with his mouth open.  "What is that with the colored eye thing?"

"I'm the pack Alpha," Derek said, showing them his red eyes and gesturing at the rest of the group.  "I bit the rest of these idiots and made them werewolves."  

"And him?" Dean said, pointing at Peter.  "Why are his eyes red too?"

"This is my uncle," Derek said, patting Peter on the back in a gesture of camaraderie.  "He is also an Alpha, and he's mated to Stiles, our Emissary.  An Emissary is like a magical advisor.  Stiles holds us all together and anchors our power."

"He can also shoot fire out of his hands, so don't even think about messing with him," Jackson warned, narrowing his eyes at the brothers and setting his mouth in a firm line.

"Noted," Sam said, mouth agape.  He schooled his features, lacing his fingers together and laying his hands out on top of the table.  

"So we need you to do a little exorcism and get Tim out of Stiles, because we can't have him running around town trying to eat anybody else," Isaac chimed in, bringing their conversation back to the real problem.  

"It’s harder than it sounds," Dean said, cutting right to the chase.  "Trust me, we've tried.  He’s fast.  He just hops right into the next available body before we get the chance to do anything.  By the time you start the incantation he could have hop, hop, hopped miles away."

"Then how have you been hunting the demon?" Derek asked, not understanding why the brothers were there at all if they hadn't been able to successfully exorcise Tim.

"We can’t just let him loose.  Dozens of people have been eaten from here to Nebraska,” Sam said.  “And we just figured out what we were missing.”

“You have to kill whoever Tim is possessing to trap him inside the body.  Then perform the exorcism to make him corporeal and force him out, while catching the visible spirit in something," Dean stated, not realizing how he had silenced the entire room.  Everything was quiet for nearly a minute while Dean's words sunk in.  Peter was the first to speak.

"You have to kill him?" he asked, voice cracking over the words.

"You can exorcise him all you want but you’ll never be able to catch the spirit without first disabling and then killing the host to trap him inside and keep him from jumping," Sam said, the look on Peter's face telling him all he needed to know about Stiles' importance to the pack.  

"But he's pregnant," Jackson whispered, eyes wide like he was unable to believe what the brothers were saying.

Pausing for a moment to take in that information, Sam’s eyes dulled slightly.  "Then even if you exorcised this Stiles person, Tim's spirit wouldn’t even have to leave his body to find a new host," Sam said as gently as possible, "the baby would be next."

"Babies," Jackson said roughly, blue eyes flashing as he pushed his chair back from the table and stormed out of the room, shaking with anger.  

"It's twins," Scott said, face open and completely wrecked by the hunter’s words.  

“Well then he could just hop between the three of them over and over again every time you tried to do the exorcism.  It would be useless unless they were all dead,” Dean said, seemingly unaware of how his words had sucked all the air out of the room.  

"You will not touch him," Peter growled, pressing both of his palms to the table and hunching his shoulders as he stood up, looming over the hunters, chest heaving.  "We will find another way."

"There is no other way," Dean argued, looking at Derek because he didn't want to meet Peter's eyes. “We’ve tried everything.”

"You will not touch him," Derek growled, readily agreeing with his uncle.  "There's a motel on the edge of town you can stay at.  We'll let you know when we've figured it out."

Sam and Dean got up from their seats and headed to the door, Derek following them out.  "We really are sorry, but we can’t just let him keep possessing people..." He trailed off, not knowing what else there was to say.  

"We'll hold him here until we think of something.  You will not come back until you’re called.  You will not lay a hand on him or anyone else in this town.  Are we clear?”  Derek asked, waiting until he got a nod from the brothers before speaking again.  

“You can go," Derek told them, holding the door open and letting the brothers walk back to their car.  "And stop driving on my grass!" He called after them.  “Dicks,” he muttered as he went back inside.


Peter went down to the basement, red eyes watering.  He refused to cry.  He wouldn’t give Tim the satisfaction.  He just wanted to threaten him a bit, make the monster fear for his own mortality.  Even if Peter had no idea how to get rid of Tim, he still was going to lie.  He wanted to let him know that his time was near.  He wanted Tim to feel even half of what he was feeling.  

When he reached the cell, he found Tim sitting on the floor, playing solitaire with an old deck of cards Lydia had thrown to him earlier that day.  He looked up when Peter entered the room, face bright like he was excited to have a fresh victim for his mental torture, and Peter’s resolve broke.  

"Get out," he growled at Allison and Lydia, who scurried back up the stairs immediately.  Peter sat down in one of their empty chairs and looked through the bars at Tim.  He was leaning back on his palms, moving his feet from side to side in front of him like an amused toddler, taking great joy in Peter's pain.  

"I'm going to kill you," Peter said quietly, so quietly that Tim would have to strain to catch every word.  He spoke slowly, wanting what he said to sink in and plant itself in Tim's brain.  "I'm going to kill you, and I'm going to get my mate back.  I'm going to catch your pathetic excuse for a spirit and lock it up somewhere.  You are never going to do this to anyone ever again.  I swear it.  Because you have taken something from me, and it was not yours to take."

"Tsk-tsk, Peter," Tim said, shaking his head back and forth.  "Shouldn't call your mate a thing," he lectured, then put his finger on his chin, tapping it in a thinking pose.  "Although maybe you should.  That's all that will be left once you get me out of here.  An empty shell.  There'll be nothing of your dear Stiles left.  I'll make sure of that."

Tim looked into Peter's eyes and brought Stiles' long fingers up to tenderly cup his baby bump.  He teased Peter, pulling up his shirt to show off his stomach, spreading the fingers of both hands out until the bump was entirely covered, fingertips pressing into his skin until Peter could see ten deep dents in Stiles' belly.  Peter froze, inhaling through his nostrils and holding his breath.

"One good squeeze, Peter," Tim warned him, looking down at his stomach and then back up to Peter with an evil grin.  "That's all it would take.  Don't forget that."

Peter stood up abruptly and kicked the chair he was sitting on so hard that it flew against the bars and shattered, breaking into several splintered pieces.  Tim didn't flinch, just continued to sit there, smiling broadly at Peter as he watched the wolf’s entire world fell apart.  Peter turned toward the stairs, taking a few heavy steps before he heard Tim calling back to him.

 

"Fools in love

Are there any creatures more pathetic?

Fools in love

Never knowing when they've lost the game"

 

Peter stopped mid-stride, rooted to the stairs.  He would not turn around.  He would not let Tim think he’d won.  Tim smirked.  Peter could hear it in the way he manipulated Stiles' voice.  It was dead inside, but still amused by its own macabre humor.  Tim was taking the one thing that was most special to Stiles and Peter’s relationship and defiling it, sullying it with it’s foul rasp of a voice.  

Swallowing down the sour taste in his mouth, Peter tried not to think about how it sounded like his mate was calling to him from the depths of hell.

 

"Everything you do, everywhere you go now

Everything you touch, everything you feel

Everything you see, everything you know now

Everything you do, you do it for your baby

Love, your baby love, your baby love, your baby love"

 

That's not Stiles, Peter reminded himself, clenching his fists at the way the words grated on his ears.  It couldn't be.  He stomped up the stairs, shutting off the light as he went.  "Someone go watch him," he growled at the group of Betas in the living room, marching up the rest of the stairs to his bedroom and slamming the door so hard it cracked near the lock.  

He leaned against the back of the door for a minute, breathing heavily to keep the tears at bay.  He would not cry over that bastard.  He would not let Stiles' memory be tainted by the monster locked in the basement.  Peter pushed off the door and went to his dresser, trailing a dry hand over the woodwork in a longing caress.  He went to his sock drawer and dug around the fabric to the back, pulling a wooden box out.  

Footsteps muffled by the carpet, he walked over to the bed and sat down against the headboard, on the left side, unwilling to dilute Stiles' lingering scent with his own.  He smiled wanly, remembering how Stiles had insisted that he be closest to the bathroom because the pups always had him peeing in the middle of the night.  Peter had laughed, but agreed easily.  He hadn't told him, but he had wanted the left side anyway.  He wanted to be between Stiles and the door, able to protect him from any danger that might break into the quiet haven of their bedroom.  

He released the box, realizing a little too late that he was squeezing it too hard, breaking a few shards off the edges with the inside of his fist.  Peter lifted the lid and pulled out Stiles' pendant.  He had removed it from Stiles' body when they had brought the unconscious Tim back from the woods Wednesday morning.  

Had it really only been five days?  Five days since he had last felt his mate's lips on his.  Five days since he had felt that little tug in the corner of his mind that was Stiles saying hello when he was at school.  Five days since they had gone maternity clothes shopping at Target and let Tim hear them talking about the babies.  

He should have known better.  He should have never let Stiles out of the house.  

No.  

Stiles would never had stood for that.  But he should have been more careful.  A little slip.  A possessive hand around Stiles' waist while they were out shopping and everything had gone to hell.  Peter pulled the necklace out of the box, holding it gently and turning it over and over with the fingertips of both hands, feeling the metal warm from his touch.  He had cleaned the blood off it as soon as he could, but it still smelled off.  It belonged around Stiles' neck, hanging between his collar bones, rubbing against his skin and being infused with his scent.  

Peter wiped a tear from the corner of his eye, telling himself it didn't count if it didn't fall to his face.  He slipped the chain over his own head and reached for the only other thing that was left inside the small box.  Rubbing the rough metal with his thumb, Peter pulled out his wedding ring.  It had melted into his hand during the fire, but the hospital had been able to remove and clean it, leaving it on a chain around his neck while he was in his coma.  It was rough around the edges, a little warped, but still intact, which was more than he could say for himself at that moment.

He had planned on proposing to Stiles with it.  

Peter wasn't sure if that was weird or not, giving Stiles the ring that he had married Savannah with, but it had felt right to him.  It felt like Stiles would be connected to him, the person he was before the fire, some might say the real him, the better him.  He had planned on asking the Sheriff about it when the time came, wanting his opinion on the matter.  The last thing he wanted was to make Stiles uncomfortable, but the ring felt like it was a piece of him.  The only piece left that hadn't been completely burned away, and he wanted to give that to Stiles.  He hoped he would still get the chance.  

Peter put the ring back in the box, returning it to its hiding place in his sock drawer and curling up on top of the covers, still on the left side of the bed.  He closed his eyes and begged for sleep to take him, inhaling through his nose deep enough to get a hint of Stiles' scent off his pillow.  Silently, he let his tears fall.

Chapter Text

Lydia was beyond frustrated.  It had been nearly a week and they still hadn't come up with any way of getting Tim out of Stiles' body safely.  Allison had closed the library door, but they could still hear the deranged wailing of a hungry Tim echoing up the basement stairs.  Boyd had been studying down there with noise canceling headphones blaring Metallica, but he wasn't happy about it.  The wolves had only been able to take Tim in small doses before they needed to run into the woods and smash something.   

Lydia got up off the floor, leaving Allison in their nest of pillows in the reading nook.  She paced the floor frantically.  Lydia knew there was something they hadn't tried yet, some angle she hadn't seen.  Running an angry hand through her red hair, she walked between the bookshelves, wracking her brain for some kind of answer.  Even Lydia could feel the tension coming from the wolves, Allison especially.  She may have had fantastic control, but she was still a new Alpha under an incredible amount of stress and the other wolves’ emotions were rubbing off.

Peter had locked himself in his bedroom and hadn't been seen since the night before.  She didn't know what Tim had said to him, but whatever it was had turned Peter practically catatonic.  Lydia scanned the bookshelves, waiting for something to pop out at her.  Her eyes caught one of Stiles' pregnancy books, and she was hit by the overwhelming fear that the babies couldn't survive much longer without food.  They were running out of time.  

She walked to another shelf, slippered feet sliding on the well-polished wood floor, and read every title.  This bookcase must have been Peter's collection of the classics, because she saw most of the Greek narratives and Beowulf before finding several shelves of Shakespeare.  Peter had multiple copies of the majority of the plays, some much older than others, probably collectors’ items.  Lydia pulled an old, battered copy of Romeo and Juliet off the shelf and thumbed through it, seeing Peter's juvenile handwriting marking up the margins.  It must have been his copy from high school.  

If anyone’s life were an example of a Shakespearean tragedy , Lydia thought, it would be Peter .  Burned alive and forgotten, pulled back from death by an ancient spell, falling in love with the forbidden fruit, and then having that love torn from him when he was just on the brink of happiness.  If not Peter, then Derek.  Both of the Hales had been beaten down more times than she could count.  

Tragic didn’t even begin to cover their current situation.  Lydia swore she could hear Peter’s heart shattering, more little shards hitting the hardwood with every passing minute.  

Peter needed Stiles and Stiles needed her.  They were the ones that always figured it out.  Lydia and Stiles, always one step ahead of everyone else.  Then Peter had come along, and he had always been three steps ahead of them , finding the answers where they couldn't, pulling obscure details out of thin air.  And now he was locked up in his tower, withering away, felled by a broken heart.  

Lydia's eyes caught one particular scribble, Peter's cramped handwriting wedged in next to the scene with the apothecary.  All it said was “check garden.”  She snickered, hand over her mouth, almost delirious with exhaustion as she picturing a teenaged Peter looking through his mother's garden to find poisons to use on his unsuspecting enemies.  

But Juliet hadn't been poisoned.  She had only been sleeping.  

Finally, something clicked.   

"Ally!" Lydia screamed, even though her girlfriend was sitting not five feet from her.  "I figured it out!"  

"What is it?  A spell?" Allison asked, pushing herself off the floor and rushing to Lydia's side.  

"No!  He doesn't have to die!" Lydia said excitedly, waving the old book around as she spoke.  

"We just need Tim to think that he's dead."  Allison moved her head around until she caught the title of the book and finally understood.  

"Oh, we just need to stop his heart," she agreed, brushing a few flyaways behind Lydia's ear.  “You’re a genius!” Ally said, grinning.  She pulled Lydia in for a fervent kiss and then retreated far enough to take a good look at her girlfriend.  

"Come on, we need to go tell Peter," Lydia said, pulling Allison along by the hand.  

The girls ignored the constant wailing from the basement and went up to the third floor, banging on Peter's door with unbridled excitement.  He didn't respond, but Derek immediately pushed away from his desk and came out to meet them.   

"He's not going to answer," Derek told them, shaking his head slightly.  "What's going on?"

"We figured out how to help Stiles, but Peter is being a mopey defeatist," Lydia called through the closed door, banging on it with her open palm until it unlocked.   

"What did you find?" Peter asked, hair askew, smelling and looking like he could really use a shower.   

"This!" Lydia said, thrusting the book into Peter's chest and holding it there until he took it from her.   

"You want to poison him?" Peter asked, looking at the page Lydia had the book open to.

"No," Lydia huffed, rolling her eyes.  "Honestly you guys are such idiots.  We want to stop Stiles' heart and trick Tim into leaving."

"You would have to stop the babies' hearts too," Derek reminded her, remembering what the Winchesters had said about the demon.   

"Is that safe?" Allison asked, giving a voice to what everyone was thinking.

"I'll call Deaton.  He probably knows some herbs or a spell that we could use to do it safely," Derek said hopefully, heading back into his room to get his phone.

Peter didn't want to get his hopes up, but he couldn't stop himself from smiling at Lydia, pulling both girls into a hug and pressing kisses to their heads.  "Thank you," he said roughly as he felt something deep within his chest partially unclench.


"For the record, I just want to say that I think this is a bad idea," Isaac whispered, following the rest of the Betas into the back room of Deaton's clinic where they were setting up what he could only describe as a ritualistic triple murder.  He sounded tough and disinterested as usual, but the way his hand twitched when Scott brushed past him gave his anxiety away.  “Colossally bad, momentously bad.  It’s possibly the worst idea anyone has ever had in the history of the universe.”  

Tim had been knocked unconscious, with drugs, not another blow to the head, and wrapped in gauze like a mummy, giving him no chance for escape.  The Winchesters stood by silently, watching as the pack laid their friend’s body in a large tub and proceeded to fill the tub with ice.  Melissa and the Sheriff sat on stools in another corner, hands clasped together tightly as they looked on.  

Deaton had been unable to come up with an herb that he could be sure would lock Tim inside of Stiles' body, but had another suggestion.  He had convinced them that a spiritual ritual would give them a better chance of trapping Tim so the brothers could perform the exorcism.  Peter was less than certain of Deaton's expertise on the subject, but he was desperate, so he had reluctantly given his consent.  

“Shut up, Isaac,” Derek growled.

"I don't think you should all be here for this," Deaton said, looking around the room at the terrified faces.  They looked so young, so unprepared for what was about to happen.  

"I'm not leaving," Scott said, Jackson stepping up beside him, nodding in solidarity.  

"You should go," Derek told the rest of the pack, looking at the way Lydia was already on the brink of tears.  "We'll call you when he's back," he said with as much confidence he could muster.  "Just go have dinner or something."

"Come on guys," Allison said, leading the rest of them from the clinic with a small smile to Peter and the Sheriff.  “Let’s give them some space.”

Melissa had offered to be present to help bring Stiles and the pups back, and the Winchesters were ready and waiting to capture Tim's spirit the moment it left Stiles' body.  Melissa had brought everything she thought she would need to revive someone who was suffering hypothermia, and also agreed that it was a terrible idea.  

Medically speaking, it was at only ten minutes of no blood flow that cells began to die, though she knew that theoretically , with effective CPR, someone could come back after almost an hour of no pulse.  But as she watched Deaton explain the ritual, she knew that Stiles was going to be without oxygen as well.  There had to be magic involved, because there was no point in even doing CPR after ten minutes with no breathing and no heartbeat.  

"Gentlemen," Deaton called, catching John's attention from where his head had been hanging, staring at the floor.  "It's time."  

Derek, Peter, and John stepped forward, having already been briefed on how to anchor Stiles' body.  

"What's going to happen?" Scott asked, going over to sit next to his mother, eyes never leaving his best friend.

"They are going to act as tethers to this world," Deaton explained.  "Derek for pack, John for blood, and Peter for soul.  They will hold him down until their hearts stop and his soul leaves him, and then Tim should leave his body."  

"Then we'll lock him in this," Dean said, holding up an ordinary Tupperware container and shaking it.

"Really?" Melissa asked, not believing a piece of tomato-stained plastic was going to be able to hold an evil spirit for very long.   

"It doesn't have to be fancy, we're going to bury it afterward and ring it in salt, say some magic words, do a little dance…don’t worry.  He won't be getting out," Dean told them, leaning back against the wall to let the pack get to it.

"Okay," Deaton said, turning back to the three men surrounding the tub.  "I need you all to use two hands to hold him under the water."

Derek and John went first, waiting for Peter to join them when Stiles' eyes snapped open.  "You really don't want to do this," Tim warned him, eyes fixed on Peter.  "If you kill these babies Stiles will never forgive you.  He'll hate you forever.  He’ll leave you."  Tim thrashed and flexed his body, splashing freezing water and herbs all over the floor in an attempt to get out of the tub.

"Don't listen to him," John said holding Tim down and nudging Peter with his shoulder until the wolf looked at him.  "Everything is going to be fine."  Peter could hear the lie.  None of it was fine.  He was about to kill his mate and his children.  It was Savannah all over again, except worse, because this time it would be his hand that lit the fire.  Suddenly he understood how Derek had felt all those years, believing that he was responsible for their family's death.  His hands shook.  He couldn't do it.   

"Come on Peter, don't you want this?" Tim said, looking down at the rest of his tightly wrapped body.  "I'll even let you fuck him if you want to.  We both know that you can't even tell the difference."

Spirit breaking, Peter growled, "fuck you," and thrust his arms into the water, pressing down on Tim’s shoulders with all his might.  He saw Tim take one last desperate breath before his face slipped under the water, immediately obscured by ice and bits of mistletoe.  Tim continued to fight, nearly dislodging John with one particularly hard squirm, but they held firm.  

"How long will this take?" Derek asked, gritting his teeth against the cold.  He was already in pain and he wasn't sure how long John would be able to hold on.  

"It could be twenty minutes until his heart stops," Deaton said, "but once he's unconscious you should be able to let him go."

After only a few minutes of struggling, Stiles' body went lax and John immediately pulled his arms out of the freezing water.  

"Ahh, God that's cold," John cursed, letting Melissa wrap his arms up in a towel and rub the feeling back into them.

"What now?" Jackson asked, staring in silent horror at the sight of his friend unconscious in a tub of ice.  

"Now we wait," Deaton said, pulling another couple of folding chairs from the back room.

"We wait for him to die," Peter said coldly, sliding down to the floor with his back pressed against the metal tub that held his mate and children.  He felt the cold seep through his tee-shirt, chilling his skin.  He kept his breathing quiet and even, listening intently to the trio of heartbeats in the tub, waiting for them to start slowing down.  

It was torture.  Deaton said it could be hours, hours of him sitting there, waiting for his mate to die.  He couldn't bring himself to look at John, knowing he would cry if he saw the man’s expression.  

Jackson's wolf was whining incessantly, driving him slowly insane.  Derek wasn't sure why Jackson was always the worst off whenever something went wrong with the pack.  It was like the burns he sustained had peeled off his protective shell, allowing everything to hit him that much harder.  Jackson’s reaction set Scott off, causing them both whimper in a series of pathetic little noises that echoed in the otherwise quiet room.

Sensing how close Peter was to losing it, Derek spoke up.  "Jackson," he said, as gently as Peter had ever heard him speak, "this is going to be a while.  Maybe you and Scott should go meet up with the others."

Jackson immediately began to whine out loud.  Peter wasn't sure he was even aware he was doing it, his wolf was so close to the surface, crying out for Stiles and the pups.  "Jackson!" Peter growled, eyes flashing red, nowhere near as kind as Derek had been.  "He's my mate, not yours!  Shut up or get the fuck out of here!"

The room fell silent, even Jackson's wolf quieted down, cowed by Peter's tone.  Even though Peter wasn't his Alpha, part of him wanted to obey.  Scott made the first move, throwing a companionable arm around Jackson's shoulders and pulling his body close.  

"There's nothing we can do here," Scott whispered, squeezing Jackson's shoulder and leaning in to speak into his ear.  "We should leave Peter alone."  Peter heard to grieve after Scott's words, even if he hadn't said it aloud.

"You call the minute he's back," Jackson warned, setting his jaw and leveling Derek with a serious look.  Derek just nodded, crossing his arms and raising his eyebrows toward the door.  It was going to be hard enough on Peter without an even bigger audience.  He had already forgotten the Winchesters were even in the room.  They didn't know Stiles, they weren't invested.  They didn't get to feel sorry for him.  If they said a word, Peter was prepared to rip their throats out with his teeth.  

With a deep breath, Peter settled in to wait, and the room fell silent once more.  

In the end, it had taken no time at all.  In the space between breaths, Stiles' heart stopped beating.  Peter scrambled to his feet, unable to let Stiles die without having a hand on him.  He thrust his arm into the freezing water and cupped his mate's cheek, holding his breath for the few more seconds it took for the pups' hearts to stop.  First one, then the other.  With the flick of a light switch, all the goodness left Peter's life.  

Peter felt a tearing in his chest.  It was like he could feel his children gasping for air, struggling to reach the outside world.  He almost thought he could see Stiles' stomach moving, but he knew it was just his imagination.  Stiles' body had been wrapped too tightly.  There was nothing there but stillness.  An aching stillness that stole all the breath from his body.  

As soon as Derek heard the last heartbeat, he signaled Dean, who stepped up to the tub, pointedly not looking at Peter.  He opened the Tupperware container and waited, eyes fixed on Stiles' face, ready to act the moment the demon left his body.  

Not a full minute later, Peter fell back, as water unexpectedly splashed everywhere.  Stiles' body lurched out of the tub, revealing pale, almost blue skin.  He was still limp, but his body spasmed as if it were wracked with seizure.  

Sam pulled an old, tattered diary out of his jacket pocket and began to chant.  Peter didn't have the mind to listen to the words.  He only had eyes for Stiles, who was flopping around like a fish, splashing great waves of water over the side of the tub, but still unconscious, eyes closed.  Still dead.  

Horrified, Peter backed up even further as his dead mate's mouth opened in a way that was half gagging, half screaming.  Putrid yellow smoke emerged from his open mouth in great plumes.  Peter wasn't sure how Dean was ever going to get all of it into his stupid Tupperware.   

Peter closed his eyes.  He wanted to think it was because the smoke was starting to irritate him, but really he just couldn't bear to watch Stiles' animated corpse choke any longer.  

As if pulled by a vacuum, the smoke began to dissipate, being called into the Tupperware by Sam's words.  When it felt like the air was mostly clear, Peter opened his eyes.  He did so in time to see Dean close the lid on Tim, who was now just a swirly mass, beating against the walls of what would hopefully be his final resting place.  

"Is it done?" John asked, looking to the brothers for confirmation.  

"Yeah," Sam said, closing his book and putting it away.  "We'll just be on our way."

"Thank you," Derek said, unwilling to extend more of an olive branch without knowing if Stiles would survive the exorcism.  Taking the dismissal for what it was, a blank faced Dean just saluted Derek and left, taking Tim with him.  

Sam hesitated for a moment, wishing there was more he could do.  Taking a step forward, hand outstretched, he made to pull Stiles out of the freezing water.  

Peter growled, lunging toward him, teeth bared.

"We need to start warming him up," Melissa said over Peter’s posturing, getting up to unload a cooler that she had stocked with heating blankets and warm IV fluids.  

Seeing that Sam had backed off with his hands up in surrender, Peter wasted no time in reaching into the tub, pulling Stiles' body out in a bridal carry and bringing him over to an examination table.  Deaton appeared with a pair of safety scissors and began cutting the bandages off of Stiles.

"You need to get the clothes off of him too," Melissa instructed, setting up a dry station on another exam table.  Frustrated with Deaton's lack of urgency, Peter unsheathed his claws and slit Stiles' clothes from neck to pant leg, unwrapping him quickly but gently.  When his body was free, Peter picked Stiles up again and brought him over to Melissa.  

“I’ll just…” Sam said, face drawn into a pained frown as he forced himself to back away further.  “Good luck,” he said sadly, opening the door.  Recognizing he could do no more to help, he left the family to themselves and shut the door behind him.

Barely casting a glance in Sam’s direction, Peter took a warm towel from John's hand and began to dry Stiles' hair, smoothing it down against his head when he was finished.  Peter was shocked by how pale Stiles was, the entirety of his body taking on a sickly blue tinge.  His lips were completely purple, but Peter pressed a quick kiss there anyway.  If anything, Stiles' body felt colder under his lips than it did under his fingertips.

Peter stepped back to let Melissa work.  She expertly found a vein and hooked up Stiles' IV while John wrapped him in heating blankets.  "Should we shock him?" John asked, looking down at his son, completely lost.   

"Not until he's warm," Melissa said, getting a few needles out of her bag and setting them aside.  "As the saying goes, ‘you're not dead until you're warm and dead.’  This will just take some time."  She pulled a thermometer out of her medical bag and ran it over Stiles' forehead.  "He's only at 80 degrees."  

"So now we just wait some more?" Derek asked, rubbing his forehead with an unusual level of distress.  

"No," Melissa said, pushing down on the exam table to test its stability, "now you big werewolves use your muscles to do compressions."  Derek stepped up immediately, looking to Melissa for instruction.  "A bit higher up his chest," Melissa told him, "the babies will have shifted his organs up a bit.  There you go, nice and steady."  

She rustled around in her bag again and pulled out an ambu bag, pressing the mask over Stiles' face and beginning to squeeze.  "This could take a long time, so we're going to take turns.  If you start to get tired, tap out," Melissa ordered.  Peter appreciated how in control she seemed to be.  He imagined that with her help, he was as hopeful as he could possibly feel given the circumstances.  

"Ideally I'd have a warm respirator and be able to run warm fluids through his organs, but I couldn't exactly fit all of that down my pants at the hospital, so this is the best we can do," Melissa said, squeezing the balloon of the ambu bag at a steady, even pace.  Peter pulled a stool over to Stiles' side and placed a hand on his knee.  He would have liked to have held his mate's hand, but his limbs were wrapped up in the warming blankets.  He settled in to wait.  

Two hours later and Derek was finally willing to admit defeat.  Melissa, Deaton, and John had been passing off the ambu bag every ten minutes, but Derek had been determined.  He didn't want to make Peter do the compressions.  The last thing his uncle needed was to feel his mate's heart not beating firsthand.  With a quiet, "Peter," Derek stepped back and allowed his uncle to take his place.  

He answered several frantic texts from the pack, but there was nothing more he could do.  Every two hours, like clockwork, he and Peter would switch positions, one of them compressing Stiles' chest and one of them pacing the room, stretching out their tired muscles.  

Sometime in the middle of the night, Melissa did a temperature check and announced that Stiles' was 96 degrees, officially not hypothermic anymore.  She felt safe to give Stiles' some epinephrine and try the defibrillator.  Normally she would think twice about using high voltage on a pregnant person, but as they were all dead already, they had nothing to lose.  

John thought it was unnerving, to watch his son be shocked, body arching off the exam table, but unable to hear the long, electronic beep of an unbeating heart.  He had to look between Derek and Peter's faces every time Melissa backed away with the paddles to see if they could hear anything.  Derek gave him a small shake of the head every time, so he wouldn't have to ask.  Peter was staring at Stiles' face with a tight jaw and damp eyes, hopes falling a little bit each time Melissa failed to revive him.  

Melissa grabbed another few needles, adding them to Stiles' IV, doing everything she could to bring her son's best friend back from the dead.  She turned the defibrillator up, having to admit to herself that if it didn't work at the highest setting, there was no hope for Stiles.  After another three attempts, she stood back, looking between John and Peter and shaking her head.  "That's all I can do," she said quietly, dropping the paddles back into the case and placing a warm hand on Stiles' forehead, smoothing his hair back.  

"No," Peter said, staring at her with wide eyes.  "There has to be something else."

"I'm sorry, sweetie," Melissa said, walking over to Peter with careful steps, and placing a small hand on his shoulder, tears streaming down her face.  "He's been down for eight hours.  There's nothing else I can do."  John choked on a sob, moving forward to place a hand on Stiles' chest, having been afraid to touch him until then.  He had to admit, with the color back in his cheeks, Stiles looked better, peaceful almost, in death.  One hand held to his mouth, John continued to sob, prompting Melissa to leave Peter's side and rub at his back as tears fell down to dampen her scrub top.  

"If I might make a suggestion," Deaton said, melting out of the shadows before them.  "While the ritual did stop Stiles' heart, it was also a magical extraction to get rid of the demon."

"Just spit it out Alan," Peter growled, wishing the vet would leave them be.

"Perhaps you need to call Stiles' soul back to his body before he can be revived."

“Why didn’t you tell us that before we started all this?” Derek yelled back at the veterinarian, gesturing around his body to the detritus of Melissa’s first aide.

Peter’s eyes flashed red, a chest-rattling roar pouring from his throat, causing Derek to wince and shake his head.  

John held his hand up, the gesture surprising Peter into lowering the volume of his growl.  “Wait, Peter,” he said, lowering his hand as the wolf settled down.  “There might still be hope.”  He turned away from Peter and looked back to Deaton, wet eyes dark and serious.  "How do you do that?  Bring his soul back?" John asked, voice shaking slightly, almost afraid of the answer.

"You would have to ask Peter that question," the man said, cryptic as ever.  "He is the man's soul mate, after all."  Deaton exited the room, leaving them all to ponder his words and search for whatever meaning they could.  They were silent for a few minutes, no one moving except to breathe.  Peter searched Stiles' face for any sign of recognition, like he thought his mate’s soul would speak to him, tell him what to do.

"You should sing to him," Derek said, breaking the silence with his soft, clear voice.  

"Would that work?" Melissa asked, fingers twirling the cross around her neck.  

"It can't hurt," Derek answered, looking to Peter for some sort of response.  Peter just reached under the neck of his tee shirt and pulled something out.  He leaned over Stiles' body and raised his head gently, slipping a chain over his hair until the triskelion pendant was laying on Stiles' chest, where it was always meant to be.

Derek went over to John and Melissa and nudged them into movement, bringing them a bit further into the corner.  He knew John wouldn't want to leave his son, but he could also feel that Peter would need some space if he was going to get any words out.  

Peter leaned down over Stiles' body once more, pressing a kiss to the pendant and then to Stiles' forehead.  Then he drew back, falling to his knees until his head was level with Stiles' body.  He gripped the edge of the table until his knuckles turned white and took a deep breath.  

John figured he was just going to sit there and cry, judging by his body language and labored breathing, but Peter surprised him.  Laying it all on the table, Peter began to sing.  

 

"Love of mine

Someday you will die

But I'll be close behind

I'll follow you into the dark

No blinding light

Or tunnels, to gates of white

Just our hands clasped so tight

Waiting for the hint of a spark

 

If Heaven and Hell decide that they both are satisfied

Illuminate the ‘No’s on their vacancy signs

If there's no one beside you when your soul embarks

Then I'll follow you into the dark"

 

Derek stood stock still, watching in awe as Peter bared his soul.  He had seen his uncle sing for Stiles a dozen times, but it had never felt this way before.  Through the pack bond, Derek could feel the way Peter's soul literally called out for Stiles to answer.  He sang quietly, but with conviction, like a prayer.  Melissa cried openly, clutching John close as they watched the wolf fall apart.  His voice was surprisingly even, but in between words, Derek could hear Peter's heart break.

 

"You and me have seen everything to see

From Bangkok to Calgary

The soles of your shoes are all worn down

The time for sleep is now

It's nothing to cry about

Cause we'll hold each other soon

In the blackest of rooms

 

If Heaven and Hell decide that they both are satisfied

Illuminate the ‘No’s on their vacancy signs

If there's no one beside you when your soul embarks

Then I'll follow you into the dark

I'll follow you into the dark"

 

Peter lowered his head, pressing it to Stiles' body, letting the blanket scratch his forehead as he shook his head back and forth in grief.  He let himself cry.  It was over.  Tim was gone, and it was just him and Stiles, here with their children for the last time.  In a violent, frustrated movement, Peter threw the blankets off of Stiles, struggling to reach his skin.  

He removed the IV as gently as he could, tears flowing freely down his face, and clutched at Stiles' body, pulling it to himself.  Hindered by the exam table, Peter slipped his arms under Stiles and lifted, taking a sheet with him as he collapsed to the floor, clutching Stiles' body to his chest and sobbing.  With shaking hands, he brushed his hand over Stiles' head, involuntarily repeating the nervous motion.  The other hand fell to Stiles' stomach, fingers spread wide to hold as much of his children as he could.  

Derek watched Peter come to grips with his mate's death and couldn't stop himself from crying with him.  Something in the pack bond had snapped right along with Peter, and it was an overwhelming feeling of loss.  He could practically hear the Betas screaming at him to do something more; to fix it.  As loud as those voices were in his mind, nothing could drown out the sound of Peter’s anguish.

John shook his head, watching a scene that he never got to have with Claudia.  Stiles was alone with his mother when she had passed, and for the first time in his life, John was glad.  He couldn't imagine having to do this himself, clutching his wife's dead body and wailing, feeling a part of himself die along with her.  It dawned on John that he was witnessing the second time Peter had done this.  Even his own pain at his son's death was dwarfed by what he felt rolling off of Peter.  

He searched Peter's face and the way his eyes were squeezed closed, like if he opened them it would all become real.   There had to be more than this.  It didn't end like this .   

"One more," John said.  

Peter carried on crying and rocking Stiles in his arms like he hadn't heard John speak.  Melissa gasped on her tears, but quieted down at the sound of her boyfriend's conviction.  "Peter," he said, calling the wolf's attention to him with a commanding voice.  "Sing one more," he said, those familiar words that often came from him in much happier times.  

Peter shook his head muttering "no," over and over again under his breath.  His body moved in jerks, like his muscles had been paralyzed and then shocked right along with Stiles’.  

"Peter," John pleaded with the wolf, getting down on his knees to join him on the floor.  "I need you to try one more time.  Please."

Peter opened his eyes and looked at Stiles' father, face completely drenched.  His eyes were red and swollen.  John didn't want to push him, but he knew they wouldn't survive like this.  There had to be something more.  "It doesn't end like this," John said, letting one of his hands reach out to Peter and then fall, landing on one of Stiles' ankle bones instead.  

Peter searched his face with broken blue eyes.  All the life had gone out of his face.  At that point, John thought he looked worse than Stiles did.

John nodded at Peter in encouragement.  There was nothing left to lose, he had to try.  Peter nodded and let out a shuddering breath.  He closed his eyes and sang for Stiles one last time.

 

"Over, I can't believe it's over

I can't believe the love I've left

To show some other day

 

Listen, I hope that you can hear me

As I kneel down and pray

With the love I meant to say

 

Shadows, you took away the shadows

Before you, life was black and white

Though tonight the room's gone gray

 

Golden, all the love you gave was golden

Gold that I would gladly pay,

To show the love I meant to say"

 

Derek held on to Melissa's hand, watching Peter call to his mate one last time.  He couldn't help but feel hope.  Peter's words gave him hope, and he clung to that feeling, pushing it through the pack bond as forcefully as he could.  Derek closed his eyes and focused on the pack, desperately calling on his Betas to lend Peter their strength.  

Then he heard a change.  

Peter's voice went high, higher than Derek had ever heard him sing before, and it was beautiful.  It was clear and sweet and it echoed throughout the room, like angels had joined him to lend their aid, even if he didn’t think Peter believed in that sort of thing.  The sound made something in his chest feel warm and bright.  It was love and devotion in its purest form.  If anything could bring someone back from the dead, it would be this sound.  

 

"Oh, music you made me hear, such music

Without you here to guide me,

I fear my soul will fly away"

 

Peter's falsetto fell down on a heartbreaking run of notes.  Derek had to smile.  It was going to work.  Somehow he knew.  It was going to work.  He squeezed Melissa's hand and listened to Peter finish the song, his voice breaking as he croaked out the final line with his last ounce of breath.

 

"Sorry, that's the word I want to sing to you

The other word is 'stay'

To hear the love I meant to say"

 

Peter dropped his head, closing his eyes and letting his tears fall freely to the floor, meeting Stiles' body along the way.  A wet patch hit Stiles’ forehead, trickling down the edge of his nose and settling in the curve of his upper lip.  Derek watched intently as a pink tongue darted out to clean it away, a slow thud accompanying the motion.  Peter's eyes flashed open in wonder, lighting up Stiles' face with a red glow as Stiles’ lips parted slightly.  

"Pet'rr?" He mumbled, causing the wolf to flinch, jostling Stiles' body so hard that his arm flopped to the floor.  

"Stiles?" Peter asked, voice broken but hopeful.  "Baby, can you hear me?"

"W'r you sngn?" Stiles slurred, eyes still closed and mouth slack on one side.  Peter hoped the loss of control would be temporary, while he mentally prepared himself for the possibility that it might be permanent.  He didn't care.  It wouldn't matter if Stiles could never speak clearly again, at least he would be alive.  

"Yeah, Stiles," John said, words coming out watery and shaking, "he sang and you woke up for us.  We're so glad to see you, kid."

At that comment, Stiles eyes snapped open, warm honey brown meeting crisp blue.  "Why can't I move?" Stiles asked, voice a bit clearer once he had something to focus on.

"You've been dead for about twelve hours," Peter told him, smiling down at his mate's upside-down face.  

"Only mostly dead?" Stiles joked, quoting another one of those classic comedies he liked to force the pack to watch.  Peter was not laughing.

"No," Peter said warily, "definitely all dead."

"He took mom," Stiles whispered, looking pleadingly to his father.  John didn't know what Stiles was talking about.  Claudia had been dead for years.  Maybe he was still a little bit out of it.  

"It's okay," John said, rubbing his hand around the ankle he was still clinging to.  "She'll come back to you."

"No," Stiles insisted, eyes flashing red in suppressed rage.  "He took mom.  All the good parts of her.  He took them."

Peter looked at John, completely horrified at Stiles' words.  Tim had said he would start eating parts of Stiles' mind, but he hadn't said what or how.  That must have been what he meant.  Peter had hoped they were idle threats, but he had been wrong.  So wrong.

"That bastard said he was going to pick at Stiles' mind," Peter said, resolutely keeping eye contact with John.  "He must have taken his memories."

John blinked, a skeptical look on his face as he turned Peter's words over in his mind.  It was impossible.  Stiles was probably just going to need some time to recover, like a coma patient.  They would come back.  

"We'll figure it out Stiles," John said, not wanting his son to worry about something that was outside his control.  "Let's just focus on getting you back on your feet.  Then we'll figure out the rest."

"It'll probably be a few days before you regain feeling everywhere," Melissa said, coming over to meet the men on the floor, testing Stiles' pulse and taking her stethoscope out to check his breathing.  "You were out with a long time."

"The babies?" Stiles asked, leaning his head back against Peter's chest and letting his tired eyes fall closed.  

Derek strained his ears, searching for the fluttering heartbeats of the pups, but he didn’t hear anything.  He was just about to shake his head when Melissa spoke up, pulling the bell of her stethoscope from Stiles’ stomach.  

"I hear them," she said, pulling a watery smile from Stiles.  

"You should probably call Jackson," Peter said, letting the tears flow down his face and into the grin that he couldn't help but share.  "He was really upset," he added, leaning down to explain the situation to Stiles.  

"I've got it," Derek said, leaving the room to let the pack know that they were in the clear.  He let out a heavy breath.  That had been way too close for comfort.  It was a miracle that Stiles was alive, let alone the babies.  By all accounts he should have been severely brain damaged from going that long without oxygen.  He let the warmth of Stiles' presence flow through him, taking enough time to appreciate their good luck before he made the call.  Derek wanted the pack to know from the sound of his voice that everything was going to be alright.  He owed them that much.  

 

Chapter Text

After a heartfelt reunion with the rest of the pack, Peter insisted that Stiles needed some peace and quiet to heal.  The wolf carried his mate up the stairs to their bedroom, laying him down in on his side of the four poster bed.  "I thought I'd never see you there again," Peter said, pulling the covers down and lifting them back over Stiles' legs.  

"You can't get rid of me that easily," Stiles smiled, patting the left side of the bed until Peter stripped down to his underwear and got in beside him.  When Peter slipped his arm under Stiles' neck, bringing their bodies close together, his wolf started to sing.  Stiles' scent was slowly returning, and all he wanted to do was wrap himself up in that warm smell of home for days.  

"Sleep, Przemysław," Peter whispered into his mate's ear, rubbing the tip of his nose along the skin behind Stiles' ear, reveling in the scent that was filling the hollow of his chest.  

Peter slept like the dead.  He didn't wake up until he heard the slam of the toilet seat and water running in the bathroom.  Looking to his right, Peter saw that Stiles was gone.  

"Stiles?" He called, getting to his feet and shuffling into the bathroom.  "You're not supposed to be out of bed.  How did you even get in here?" Peter asked as he pushed the bathroom door open to find Stiles retching into the toilet.  "I thought you were through with the morning sickness," Peter said gently, kneeling down on the floor to rub a cool hand across the back of Stiles' neck.  

Stiles flinched away from him, shrugging and rolling his shoulders until Peter removed his hand.  

"He's still in here," Stiles voice echoed into the bowl of the toilet.  "I can feel it."

"Who, Tim?" Peter asked, wishing Stiles would turn his head so he could see his face.  "I can guarantee you that he is long gone.  I saw it myself."

Stiles fell silent, wrapping his arms around the toilet and resting his head against the rim.  "Do you remember what happened?" Peter finally asked, hoping he wouldn't be pushing Stiles too hard after a horrible week.  

"Every minute," Stiles told him, voice broken like he was crying into the toilet.  

"None of that was your fault," Peter assured him, reaching out once more to rub Stiles' back.

"I killed that man," Stiles whispered, raising red, watery eyes to look at Peter.  "It was my hands that killed him.  Me."

"It wasn't you.  Tim did that," Peter said, encouraged now that Stiles was accepting his touch.  

"Then why do I know what human flesh tastes like?  How warm and wet it is when you bite into it.  How it sounds when you break the bones with your bare hands," Stiles said, visibly shaking now.  "You can't forget that.  I won't."

"You don't need to forget," Peter told him, knowing all too well what it felt like.  "You just need to understand that you aren't responsible, and move forward.  And I'll help you.  I promise."

"I'm sorry," Stiles sobbed, almost throwing himself into Peter's arms.  "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry," he repeated, almost pathologically, as he rocked into Peter's body, face pressed into the skin of his throat.  

"Shhh," Peter soothed him, pulling him close, letting him feel that he was safe.  "You have nothing to apologize for."

"What I did to you... all those things I said," Stiles muttered, voice muffled by Peter's body.  Peter closed his eyes.  He was trying to block out Tim's words, but they kept creeping back in whenever the room fell quiet.  The way he had taunted him, used Savannah against him, used his love for Stiles and their children as a weapon, it was going to stay with him forever.  He just had to make sure that Stiles never knew that.  

"Already forgotten," Peter lied, leaning back and hooking a finger under Stiles' chin so he would meet his eyes.  "It's alright.  It's going to be alright."

"I love you," Stiles said, closing his eyes and letting Peter wipe the tears off his cheeks.  

"Come on," Peter said softly, lifting Stiles like he weighed nothing and carrying him back to bed.  "I'm going to make you something to eat.  You need to keep some food down for the pups, okay?"

"Okay," Stiles nodded, letting Peter tuck him in before leaving the room for the kitchen.  Stiles lay there with his eyes wide open, staring at the ceiling.  Maybe if he never slept again he wouldn't hear Tim’s words in his head.  If he became a vegetarian, maybe he would never have to be reminded of the way that heart had felt in his mouth, rubbery with sinew.  If he never let himself sleep he wouldn't be plagued with nightmares of his mother, the way she had feared him, the way she hadn't recognized him in the end.  The way she struck him.  

Stiles wept.  He let himself cry for long minutes, searching his subconscious for any rooms that might have been locked away, any compartments that might hold his mother's smile, or the sound of her singing voice, but there was nothing.  All he could remember was the look on her face as she smacked him, the screeching sound of her screaming at him to get away.  

He heard the door open and quickly schooled his expression, wiping hurriedly at the tears on his face.  Peter didn't need to see him like that, especially not after he had just spent ten minutes comforting him.  

"How does chicken noodle soup sound?" Peter asked lightly, carrying a tray into the bedroom and kicking the door closed.  If Stiles were being honest, it sounded terrible, like slippery bits of skin making their way down his throat, but he smiled anyway.

"Sounds great, babe," Stiles lied, tensing his stomach until he could make himself sit up against the headboard.  Peter opened the legs of the breakfast tray and placed it in Stiles' lap.  When Stiles made no move to start eating, Peter got into bed next to him, picking up the spoon and siphoning off some broth, holding it up to Stiles' mouth with a shy smile.  

"You'll get your strength back in a few days," Peter said, watching Stiles intently as he ducked his head and slurped the soup into his mouth.  "Until then, no extraneous movement.  Melissa wants you in bed."

"I'll just kick you next time I need to throw up then," Stiles said, giving Peter as much of a smile as he could manage.   

"A few more months and you won't fit under this anymore," Peter said, gesturing to the breakfast tray as he dunked half of a roll in the soup before bringing it to Stiles' mouth.

"Don't remind me," Stiles groaned, as bit of mischief flickered through the mate bond.  "You like that, don't you?" He asked, giving Peter a forced sly smile.  "Seeing me all round with your children."

"Very much," Peter told him, ducking his head and dunking the rest of the roll in the broth.  "But no sex for a while.  I already got a lecture from Melissa about letting you heal."

"Spoilsport," Stiles teased, winking at Peter even as he felt his stomach roll at the thought of having Peter touch him like that.  The last time they were in bed together Peter had woken up with a different person than the one he had gone to bed with.  Peter may have said that it was already forgotten, but he would never forget.  There was no way he could forget the horrible things he had said about Savannah.  It made him want to vomit just thinking about it.  He smiled around the piece of roll in his mouth and struggled to swallow.


Days passed and Stiles never left the bedroom.  He let Peter bring him books and his laptop but never touched them.  He barely spoke.  He could feel Peter’s rising panic through their bond, so he made himself choke down whatever food he could manage, but other than that, nothing.  

Stiles could feel the other wolves through the pack bond, knew they were worried about him, but he couldn’t summon the energy to care.  He wasn’t going to pretend to be happy for their benefit when he could barely do it for Peter.  His mate ran interference for him, telling Scott and Jackson and the others that he needed his rest and would be better in no time, but they knew it was all lies.  Stiles had flat out refused to let his father visit, but he knew that wouldn’t keep the Sheriff away forever.  

One night, when Peter had gone out for a run, Jackson came to the bedroom door, knocking quietly, and then louder, demanding to be let in.  “I’m not kidding here Stiles, you know I can knock this door down,” he called through the wood desperately.  

“I’m not ready to talk,” Stiles called back, voice croaky from disuse.

“Well I can’t make you talk, but I can make you listen,” he grumbled.  Stiles heard a soft thumping that must have been Jackson setting his back against the door and then sliding down to the floor.  A minute passed before he spoke again.  Stiles clutched the comforter tightly between pale, bony fingers, preparing himself for Jackson’s words.  He wasn’t ready.  He didn’t even want to hear someone else talk about it.  He might never be ready.

“I know what it’s like.  None of the others will understand, but I do,” he said, voice soft but still carrying through the door clear as day.  Stiles opened his mouth to argue and then stopped himself, letting his lips snap closed.  He said he didn’t want to talk, so he wasn’t going to.  Jackson could lecture the wall for all he cared.  “I know what I did when I was the Kanima.  I remember everything.  And it blows.”

Stiles almost wanted to laugh at Jackson’s glibness, but the sound never made its way out of his throat.   Blows was the understatement of the century.

“But I think you would be the first person to tell me that it wasn’t my fault.  Matt used me.  But even though I was seeing it through yellow snake eyes, I was still there.  I may have been a world class douche last year, but I never would have killed anyone.  I’m not a murderer.  But that’s what happened.  I couldn’t control it and I couldn’t stop him, and it was all because I wanted what Scott had.  I wanted power.  I asked to get bitten, begged for it even.  I did that.  You didn’t ask for anything Stiles.  You didn’t .

“So you can sit up here and cry and be angry at the world and at yourself, but remember, it wasn’t you.  Tim did those things, not you .  He was an evil motherfucker but he’s dead and buried now, so all you have to do is let him be dead and buried.  You didn’t kill that man, Stiles, because if you did—” he paused for a beat, swallowing before he spoke again.  “If you did, then I killed Isaac’s father.”

Jackson went quiet after that, breath soft and even on the other side of the door while Stiles sat frozen on his bed.  A few patting noises and the movement of the door told Stiles that Jackson was getting up to leave, letting his words sink in as Stiles’ thoughts spiraled.  

Stiles flopped down on the mattress, more exhausted than he thought was humanly possible.  Objectively, he knew Jackson was right.  Stiles didn’t blame him for the storm of death Matt had rained down on them.  He didn’t even think Isaac blamed him, and his own father had been one of the Kanima’s victims.  

Sighing, Stiles resigned himself.  He would try.  Everything still felt awful, but he would put a smile on his face and interact with the pack.  They needed their Emissary, and Stiles needed to be reminded that he wasn’t a pariah.  He would get out of bed and go downstairs.  He would.  Right after Peter got home and carried him down there.

Thankfully Peter arrived not twenty minutes later, and that hadn’t been quite enough time for Stiles to talk himself out of leaving their room.  

“Are you hungry?” Peter asked softly, sticking his body partway into the room.  “I can bring you something,” he offered timidly, expecting Stiles to refuse food again.  “I bought you some Reese’s,” he tempted, not knowing how far he should push.  

“No,” Stiles said, shifting on the mattress until he could get a bit closer to the edge.  

“Come on, Stiles,” Peter pleaded, stepping further into the room, dripping with sweat from his much needed run, “you need to eat something.  For the pups.  I’m begging you.”

“I don’t want you to bring me something,” Stiles said, pushing himself up on his arms until he could swing his legs over the side of the bed.  “I want you to help me downstairs.”  

“Really?” Peter asked, moving forward swiftly until he could help Stiles find his balance.  “You’re sure?”

“As sure as I’ll ever be,” Stiles confirmed, panting with the effort of getting to his feet.  He was a lot weaker than he expected, and as much as he had hoped to get downstairs to the rest of the pack under his own steam, it didn’t look like that would be possible.  

“Let me help you,” Peter said, expression brightening at the sight of his mate’s determination.  As gently as he could, Peter wrapped his mate up in his arms and lifted him, pressing his face into Stiles’ neck as he pushed the door wide open and carried him down the stairs.

The quiet chatter in the living room stopped abruptly when the wolves heard the pair moving slowly on the staircase.  Stiles took a deep breath, steeling himself for the group’s reaction to his presence.  He hoped they wouldn’t jump all over him immediately.  He didn’t think he could handle any overt cheerfulness from Scott or Allison when he was barely keeping it together.  

“Hey Stiles,” Erica said softly from where she was curled up on one couch with Boyd.   “It’s really good to see you out and about.”

The rest of the pack smiled and nodded, giving him some quiet reassurance before they turned back to the TV where they were partway through Iron Man .  Stiles bit his lip when no one spoke again.  Scott gave him a sideway glance every few seconds, but otherwise, the pack seemed to go about their business, commenting on the movie and eating snacks.  Peter must have told them to act normal, because there was no way that soft, silent support would have been their immediate reaction to his reappearance.  

He was glad for it.  He didn’t want to talk, and no one forced him to.  A wary sense of calm was running through the pack bond, and while Stiles could tell they were all worried about him, it was just as obvious that they were relieved to have their Emissary back, evening out the mood and stabilizing their instincts.  With a small smile, Peter set him down on the couch between Jackson and Scott and headed to the kitchen, leaving Stiles to settle in.  

It was good.  Well maybe not so much good as simple, to let the packs’ emotions wash over him and drown out the nagging voices of his own circular thoughts.  He allowed Peter to ply him with comfort food and tried to relax, losing himself in Iron Man 2 and 3 in turn.  Maybe the pack was pandering to him, but even if they were, it didn’t bother him as much as he thought it would.  Stiles curled into Scott’s side and just let himself be.

As the night wore on into the early morning hours, the Betas drifted upstairs or home in the case of Allison, Lydia, and Scott, but Jackson remained, a steadying presence by his side.  When Peter got up to clean the kitchen and lock up, Stiles let himself roll into Jackson’s embrace, hiding his face in the jagged edges of the wolf’s scarred throat.  

“It gets better?” he asked softly, tears prickling the corners of his eyes.  

“I promise you that it does,” Jackson assured him, snaking an arm around Stiles’ waist and rubbing his back with a firm hand.  

“How?” Stiles muttered, letting out a shuddering breath against Jackson’s shoulder.

“With friends like you,” Jackson said, “time, patience, pack, and family.”  The wolf pulled his brother in even tighter, smoothing down his dirty hair with one marred hand.  

When Peter reentered the living room, drying his hands on a kitchen towel, he found his mate pillowed against another man, both of them dead asleep.  Jackson had one arm around Stiles’ shoulder and the other draped across his waist, hand cupping the twins gently.  Peter moved quietly, pulling a blanket out of the closet and draping it across the two men, silently thanking Jackson for finding the words his mate needed to hear when he couldn’t.


After Stiles had been out of school a full week, Melissa faked him a doctor's note, explaining that Stiles had gone into kidney failure and needed to be home for daily dialysis.  Stiles felt like that was really pushing it, since he was already dealing with actual hypertension.  With his luck, his kidneys would start to fail just to spite him.  Stiles knew that karma was just getting ready to kick him when he was already down.  John signed off on the idea, assuring Stiles they could tell people he had a successful kidney transplant once he was ready to rejoin society.  He worked out assignments with all of Stiles' teachers to allow him to graduate with his class.

When Stiles was on his feet again, Peter snuck him into the hospital for another ultrasound.  Melissa had him back on his vitamins and medications as soon as he was awake, but he was a bit nervous that he hadn't felt the babies move yet.  He was nearing the 24 week mark, and still not so much as a tickle or a flutter.  Peter held his hand, patient and gentle as always, and while it would usually calm him, he just felt like his skin was crawling, like Tim was still in there with him, scratching his way to the surface.  

"Well you look good," Melissa said cheerfully as she slipped her way into the room, locking the door behind her.

"Being brought back from the dead will do that," Stiles joked, but it fell flat.  Melissa's expression faltered, but she pushed a smile onto her face quickly and flipped on the ultrasound machine.  "Getting carried everywhere and being hand fed also does wonders for the complexion," Stiles added, trying to bring the brightness back to the room.  

"Peter's been waiting on you hand and foot?" Melissa asked, winking at Peter as she pulled her stethoscope from around her neck and fitted it to her ears.  She pulled the blood pressure cuff out of the basket on the wall and fitted it to Stiles' arm.  "Your pressure is still high, but not as bad as it was before.  I want to do urine checks every time you come in so I can see what your protein levels are like.  If there’s a problem, we want to catch it before it turns into preeclampsia."

"Is it bad that I haven't felt them kick yet?" Stiles asked, ignoring the terrifying medical speak and looking for his own answers.  

"Not necessarily," Melissa said, still smiling lightly.  "Most first time mothers can't tell the difference between the baby moving and general stomach movement."

"He's been vomiting again," Peter said, looking to Melissa for a response.  

"Morning sickness can last through the whole pregnancy for people with hypertension," she said, giving Stiles a sympathetic look.  

"It's not morning sickness," Stiles muttered, ducking his head and putting his hands on his bump.

"He's right," Peter agreed readily, "it's really more like all day sickness."

"No.  It's not the babies," Stiles clarified, looking at Peter with wide eyes.  "It's nightmares... flashbacks."

"Why didn't you say something?" Peter asked, taking one of Stiles' hands in his own and squeezing it lightly.  

"I don't want to talk about it right now," Stiles said quietly, looking over at Melissa to change the topic.  "What else?"

"You're looking a little small for 24 weeks, so I'm going to need to check the babies' growth," she said, pulling out the tube of jelly and the ultrasound wand.  She turned the speaker on so Stiles could hear the whooshing lub lub of the babies' hearts as she took some measurements.  Stiles chanced a look at his mate.  He found Peter with his sparkling blue eyes stuck to the screen, completely transfixed.  Melissa didn't look quite as pleased.

"Is something wrong?" Stiles asked, feeling Peter squeeze his hand a little tighter at his words.  

"Well your twins are quite small for their gestational age," Melissa said, eyes on the screen.  "I think you have low placental blood flow, probably due to the hypertension.  That's probably why your bump is small and you haven't felt them move yet."

"So what do we do?" Peter asked, waiting for Melissa to give him more instructions.  Stiles rolled his eyes a bit, not at all pleased at the extent Peter was already restricting his movement.  He didn't want to deal with another six months of house arrest.  Stiles had already been pulled out of school, he was hoping for just a little bit of normalcy.

"Mostly rest and making sure your body is getting enough nutrients.  You need to be really careful with your diet.  Make sure you get lots of protein and low salt," Melissa told them, waiting until she had Stiles' full attention before continuing.  "I also want you to keep a diary of all movement you feel from the babies.  We want to make sure your hypertension doesn't slip into preeclampsia."

"So just rest and diet, that's all we can do?" Peter asked, worry sneaking into his words.  

"Constant monitoring is your best bet.  We want to keep those babies in as long as we can," Melissa said, flicking the machine off and handing Peter a printout.  "Any bleeding, swelling, discolored urine, headaches, difficulty breathing, you call me."

"Okay," Stiles said, placing a possessive hand across his stomach.  He hadn't realized how small the bump really was, having had nothing to compare it to.  Not eating for the better part of ten days probably hadn't helped.  He felt huge, but when he really thought about it, he realized that his stomach did not look particularly round like he had usually seen on pregnant woman.  It was more of an uneven looking protrusion between his hips than a convex bump.  

"Now for the fun part of the day where you pee in a cup for me," Melissa said, holding out a plastic container for Stiles to take.  "I'll get you some testing strips you can use at home.  If you get any abnormal readings, you let me know."

"Thanks Melissa," Stiles said softly, giving her a bit of a smile.  He didn't feel like smiling.  Picturing six long months of overbearing werewolves and the same four walls of the Manor looming over him, Stiles couldn't muster up any excitement for the babies anymore.  He already wasn't sleeping and couldn't keep down any food, he didn't need any more reason for Peter to be breathing down his neck.  Peter's touch was still making him cringe, and he didn't know how to get over it.  Every time he closed his eyes he was bombarded with images of his mother and Tim, nibbling around the edges of his memories, ruining his life.  Every time he said “I love you,” Peter changed the subject.

With a sigh, Stiles slipped off the exam table, taking the cup to the bathroom and sitting down for a minute on the closed toilet seat.  Going to the bathroom was basically the only alone time he got at that point, and it was a welcome relief.  "This isn't your fault," he whispered, rubbing over his stomach.  He wondered if he was talking more to the babies or himself.


Cranky and getting madder by the minute, Stiles followed Peter back into the Manor, letting the door slam closed behind him.  He walked into the living room to find Isaac, Jackson, and Scott all sitting on the couch, nearly vibrating with anticipation and excitement.  Stiles didn't know how long they had been sitting there waiting for him to get back, but suddenly the sight of his friends made him want to scream.  

He made his way to an empty couch, rubbing his lower back on his way to his seat.  Jackson and Isaac were already pushing off the other couch to come join him.  Stiles held up one finger and shook it at his friends.  "Nuh uh," he warned, gritting his teeth as he tried to find a comfortable position.  "You're not getting any belly time today, I'm not in the mood."

Stiles could almost hear the happiness go out of the room, like he had huffed and puffed and blown their fun down.  He closed his eyes, not wanting to even look at the disappointed expressions he was sure were on his friends' faces.  So tired, but unwilling to nap, Stiles let out an exhausted sigh.  He rubbed at his stomach, picturing a round belly and a smiling Peter, a normal, happy couple that was excited to be taking pregnancy photos with Lydia.  Nothing was turning out how he had envisioned.  He was doing his best, but his best was just barely getting through the day without breaking down in tears.

Peter reentered the room, carrying a bowl of salad with grilled chicken on top.  He knew his mate was just trying to take Melissa's suggestions to heart, but part of him just wanted to knock the bowl out of Peter's hands and let the salad hit the floor.  Peter sat down next to him on the couch, stabbing some lettuce with a fork and holding it out for him to bite.  Stiles looked at him with raised eyebrows, silently asking him if he was serious.  Jackson had taken Peter's presence next to Stiles as a signal that it was fair game to be touching the pregnant Mage and was now smushing into his right side, reaching a hand out to rub his stomach.  

Stiles stood up abruptly, overturning the bowl in Peter's hands and knocking Jackson over in the process.  In a fit of rage, he scraped his shoe on the floor, mindless of the way he was probably scratching the wood, and pulled flames into his hand, red eyes flashing dangerously.  "The next person to touch me is getting lit on fire," Stiles warned, mouth set in a harsh line.  

"We're just trying to help," Isaac muttered sadly, utterly dejected.  Stiles didn't want to feel bad about what he was doing.  He needed space, and he needed it immediately.  He clenched his fist, squeezing the ball of fire into his hand, letting it cut into his palm like it was a solid object.  Jackson drew in a breath.  When Stiles finally looked away from his hand back at the faces in the room, he faltered.  

Jackson was terrified, Scott looked like a kicked puppy, and Peter looked frustrated with himself, disappointed that he couldn't seem to get anything right.   

Meeting Jackson's eyes, he immediately felt guilty.  But he didn't want to feel guilty.  He was his own man.  Just because he was pregnant didn't mean that he was suddenly public property.  "I'm going home," Stiles said angrily, trying not to be bothered by the way Peter flinched at his use of the word.  "No one follow me."  He grabbed his keys off a hook by the door, got in the Jeep and sped off.


An hour later Stiles was curled up on his side on his father's couch, wrapped tightly in an afghan that he had to assume his mother had made, but he couldn't remember.  He was utterly exhausted.  That had been the first time he had tried to use his powers since he found out he was pregnant, and the effects on his health were stark and worrying.  Feeling like he had just ran a marathon, muscles jiggly and head pounding, Stiles panted, doing his best to steady himself.  He was lucky to have made it home without crashing the Jeep.  

He had tried to watch some TV, but the noise just grated on his nerves, making him feel even more like something was trying to scratch its way out of his skin.  Instead he listened to the rain hitting the roof and rushing down the drainpipe, imagining the water was washing away all the bad memories of the last two weeks.  

It wasn't working.  

Stiles had considered meditating, but he didn't think he could control his power if he let his mind clear like that, remembering when he set Derek’s coffee table on fire.  He was already feeling horribly guilty for the way he had scared Jackson, and he didn't want to make himself feel any worse.  He was also more than a little afraid to open his mind, remembering that Tim had been able to slip in while he was sleeping.  What if he meditated to empty the rooms in his mind and something else just walked right in and took over again?  

He had done such hurtful things to Peter while he was possessed by Tim, awful, unforgivable things.  Stiles was pushing his mate away when he should have been pulling him closer.  It wasn’t beyond his notice that Tim had sexually assaulted his mate, with his own body no less, but if Peter was going to ignore that fact, he wasn’t going to be the one to drag it out of the shadows.  Peter was quick to offer comfort and a cuddle, but it hadn't been hard to notice the way his expression darkened whenever he thought about what had happened.  He schooled his face quickly, but Stiles could still tell when he was hurting.  Their bond was frail, but still functional, passing him half-aborted emotions from his suffering mate.  

All they did was lie to each other.  It was particularly ridiculous for a couple who could tell for a fact when the other person was lying, Peter with his ears and Stiles with his mind.  They both knew it, but neither wanted to speak up, too afraid to call each other out.  Instead they just shuffled along, both living in denial, ignoring the Tim shaped elephant in the room.

Tim had left his body, but he hadn't left their lives, not really.  Stiles wasn't oblivious to the fact that Peter hadn't said “I love you” since he woke up.  Peter told him it would be alright, that they would get through it, that he didn’t blame Stiles for what Tim had said and done, but that was not what he needed to hear.   

What if Peter never said the words again?  

They were mated, and Stiles was going to have Peter's babies, but that didn't mean he had to be happy with him.  They could be mated and still be miserable for the rest of their lives.  In truth, Stiles was scared.  They were broken and he could think of no way to fix their relationship.  Everything in his head was telling him that he had ruined it.  He had let a demon into his mind who had abused his mate and nearly killed his children—actually— actually killed his children.  And when he had finally gotten his body back, he had still snapped at his pack.  

Everyone was afraid of him.  Even his mother had been afraid of him.  

"Stiles?" John called as he came in through the front door.  Stiles heard him hang up his gun belt and kick off his shoes, flicking the living room light on to reveal his son, curled up on the couch with dead eyes staring at the wall, barely blinking.  "Where's Peter?"

Stiles didn't answer, just pulled the afghan up around him until it was wrapped around the top of his head, almost hiding his body from his father's gaze.  "What's going on?" John asked, realizing Peter wasn't around.  It had been a long time since he had seen Stiles' Jeep in the driveway.  

"Everything is falling apart," Stiles mumbled, wrapping the afghan over his face and curling up into as small a ball as possible.  

"What are you talking about?" John asked, "Is it the babies?  Peter?"

"It's everything."

"Come out of there and talk to me," John said, pulling on one corner of the afghan and trying to get it out of Stiles' steely grip.  Finally Stiles relented, letting his father pull him into a sitting position, wrapping an arm around him tightly.  Stiles hadn't felt that kind of touch in a long time.  It wasn’t cloyingly sweet or needy.  It was strong and real, grounding in a way he hadn't realized he was missing.  

"Peter is trying so hard to make everything alright, and it just… isn't."

"He loves you so much, kid," John said, understanding how Peter could be driving him a little bit crazy.  "Just let him get used to having you back again.  Then he'll ease up.  I'm sure of it."

"It's not that," Stiles told him, crossing his legs under him and leaning back into his father's embrace.  "He's just going through the motions.  It's like he looks at me like he can't tell if it's really me or not.  It's artificial.  He's afraid."

"What are you afraid of?" John asked, not realizing things had gotten so bad at the Hale house.   

"I'm afraid he's right," Stiles said simply.

"That was not your fault," John told him, squeezing his shoulder tight.  "Nothing he did was your fault.  You don't have to feel bad about any of that."

"I feel like he's still poking around in here," Stiles said, tapping his head with an afghan covered hand.  "It feels like nothing will ever be the same.  I'm not sure of my own mind anymore.  I don't know if what I'm feeling is me, or if he just screwed around in there so much that I’m a lost cause.  I still feel evil.  It’s all dark and twisty and I want out."

"These things change you," John said easily, rubbing his free hand along his stubbled chin.  "Watching you die?  Watching Peter watch you die?  That was the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.  I’m sure it was the worst thing that’s ever happened to him , and there have been a lot of horrible things in that man’s life.  Things aren't going to be the same after that.  Things will be different, but they can also be better than they were before.  You can get through it and it will make you even stronger than you were before, both of you, together."

"He took all my good memories of Mom, and if feels like I'm trapped in my head, repeating all the horrible things that have ever happened to me.  It's like nothing will ever be good again."

"We'll figure it out," John told him, pressing a kiss to his son's temple.  "Everyone wants to help you.  I’m sure that crazy veterinarian has some magic spell that could fix you up."

"Maybe," Stiles said, wishing that was true.  Right then everything just felt dark and painful, like he was constantly being followed by horrible memories, like a dementor was stalking him and pulling the happiness out of everything.  

The men were quiet for a little while.  Stiles let his father rub his arm, taking a little strength from his warm presence.  He leaned his head onto his father's shoulder, letting John rest a cheek on the top of his hair.  Stiles realized that he should have spent more time with his dad after he came back.  That couldn't have been easy.  Stiles couldn't even imagine what it would feel like to lose his children, and both Peter and his dad had felt that when he and the twins had died.  

Maybe his dad was right.  Maybe he was being a bit too hard on Peter.  

"Can you tell me something about Mom?" Stiles asked, craning his neck to look at his dad, but still keeping them huddled together on the couch.  "Something good.  Something real."

John thought for a minute, and then caught Stiles' eye, asking for permission.  When Stiles nodded, he let his hand fall to Stiles' stomach, rubbing a thumb back and forth over the skin that held his grandchildren.  

"She really wanted kids," John started, closing his eyes as he thought back.  "A lot of them, a whole brood.  But we had a lot of trouble.  She lost four babies before we got you, but she never gave up.  She had so much love to give.  Every time I would tell her that it was okay, I would be fine with adopting, she didn't have to put herself through that anymore, but she never listened.  You were our miracle.  She loved you with every breath in her body.  I know you can only remember the bad parts, but she was wonderful.  She was everything good about you and me wrapped up in one little blonde package."  

"What else?" Stiles asked, smiling at his father's words and just wishing he could remember her the way he was describing.  

"She sang to you all the time," John said, happy to see Stiles' hand coming to join his on his stomach.  "When you were crying, screaming from teething pain, she would carry you on her shoulder, bouncing you for hours, singing everything.  I don't know how she did it with you screaming in her ear like that, but she was determined.  She said you were just in the wrong key, and that one day you would sing with her."

"Did I?" Stiles asked, searching for any scrap of memory that he could get.

"All the time," John said, laughing lightly.  "You remembered all her favorites, and you would put on little shows for her whenever she asked.  We were convinced you were going to go into theatre or something, the way you goofed around with her.  She brought you to church every Sunday for years.  She loved when you sang hymns with her."  

Stiles closed his eyes, picturing the woman who kept screaming, throwing angry, weak fists at him in his dreams, smiling and singing with him.  He let a tear fall from his eye as he struggled to superimpose the imagined reality on top of the only one he could remember.  

"She sang to you before you were born too," John said, patting Stiles' hand and rubbing around his belly again.  "Every night, like she was trying to influence your music taste before you even had ears."

"Peter does that," Stiles said fondly, thinking about how he had left Peter and the Betas back at the house.  “I need to apologize to him, but I don't really know how.  I was horrible, especially to Jackson."

"What is with that kid lately?" John asked, having missed the way Stiles used to come home and gossip with him about the kids at school.  A lot had changed in just a few months.  

"He's gay and he wants to bring Danny into the pack," Stiles explained.

"Is that why he looks like he's going to become a baby snatcher?"

"Sort of," Stiles said, not knowing how to explain.  "His wolf is really sensitive, and the way his mother died… he's just really attached."

"Well you'll think of something for Jackson," John told him, "but what you really need to focus on is working things out with Peter.  You don't need to feel bad about what happened with Tim, but what you do have to feel bad about is the way you're treating your mate right now."

"What are you talking about?  He's driving me crazy, they all are!"

"He's trying to love you, and you're not letting him," John said.  "I know he can be a little overwhelming sometimes, but you just need to give him a chance to get back to normal."

"I guess," Stiles offered, shrugging his shoulders in ambivalence.

"You weren't there son, not really," John said, continuing to stroke Stiles' belly.  "We had to sit there and wait for your heart to stop beating, and then these little guys..."

"Merry and Pippin," Stiles filled in, meeting John's gaze with a weak smile.

"Sure, Merry and Pippin," John echoed, laughing at his the way Stiles was finding humor in the situation when he had been crying not ten minutes ago.  "We had to wait for you to die, knowing that we killed you, and then we couldn't get you back.  You have to remember what Peter just went through.  He's going to be clingy for a while."

"I could handle the clingy if that was all it was, but it's not affection, it's unbridled terror.  He won't talk to me," Stiles muttered angrily, thinking about how Peter had been following him everywhere and yet was still somehow absent in his heart.  "He hasn't told me he loved me since I woke up."

"Maybe you should talk to him about that," John suggested.  "That man is over the moon about you, we all know it, he's just a little lost right now."

"I don't know that talking about it is going to help," Stiles said, already defeated.  "He's already doing that nervous cooking thing that he does."

"Then maybe you should sing about it," John said, patting him on the knee and smiling while shaking his head fondly.  Stiles may not have been awake to see the power Peter's music had, but John would never forget how the man's voice had literally brought his son back from the dead.  There was something special about the way they sang to each other, something otherworldly about it.  He didn’t understand it, but he respected it.

"Now how about I order us a pizza?" John asked, pulling himself up from the couch.

"I'm not supposed to eat anything with sodium," Stiles grumbled, looking down at his babies like they had betrayed him.  Who didn't like pizza?

"What Peter doesn't know won't hurt him," John said, pulling his cell phone out of his pocket and going into his office.   

Peter picked up the phone on the first ring, voice rough and panicked.  "Sheriff?" He asked frantically, lots of rustling noises in the background.

"Where are you?" John asked, not able to place the background noise.

"Out for a run with the Betas," Peter said, barely out of breath.  

"Okay good," John said.  "I just wanted to call and let you know Stiles will be home with me tonight."

"Is he alright?" Peter asked, only one thing on his mind.

"He's fine, just pretty broken up about his mom.  I think we need to talk to Deaton and come up with some sort of way to fix that.  It's tearing him apart."

"I think I have an idea about that.  Meet me at the Manor with him tomorrow?" Peter asked, voice already hopeful.  

"Noon alright?" John asked.  "I want to let him sleep."

"Noon is fine.  Make sure he takes his tonic and his vitamins, please.  He used his powers today and I’m not sure what kind of toll that took on him."

"Will do, see you tomorrow then.  Goodnight," John said, ending the call so he could place a dinner order.  Noon would probably be long enough for the pizza smell to have dissipated.  It wouldn't do to get Stiles in trouble with his mate when they were already in a fight.  

Chapter Text

The Sheriff could feel the tension in the room when Peter and Stiles first saw each other.  They didn't kiss hello or touch at all.  Stiles just shuffled into the room, eyes down as he took a seat in the dining room.  Peter looked defeated, like Stiles had already rejected him.  It really was heartbreaking to watch.  Whatever Peter had come up with to get Stiles’ memories back, it definitely wasn't going to work with all this tension between the couple.  

John looked down at his radio, faking a groan as he looked at the blank screen.  "I've got a call," he said, reaching for the doorknob.  "You guys sit tight for a bit and I'll be back as soon as I can."

"He's such a bad liar," Stiles muttered as he listened to the door close behind his father.  Stiles looked at Peter, really looked at him.  He didn't look much better than he had when Stiles had first been revived.  Maybe he wasn't the only one not sleeping, running things over and over in his head until it drove him crazy.  "I think maybe we should talk," Stiles said, running a hand through his already messy hair.  

"I don't want to talk," Peter said quietly, feeling like he had already screwed everything up.  "Can't we just forget everything and move on?"

"No Peter," Stiles said, getting angry.  There was no way that Peter could expect things to just go back to normal, especially with the way everything felt so stilted, like they were walking on eggshells around each other.  It was only a matter of time before one of them snapped and said something they couldn't take back, and Stiles definitely didn't want it to be him.  

Stiles couldn't think of any way to get his point across.  He was angry and hurt and upset all at once, and the feelings just tumbled around inside his chest in a depressing spin-cycle.  Why couldn't Peter just use his words?  It was like being married to a kindergartner, the way he had to pull and tease the emotions out of his mate.  By this point in a prolonged miscommunication, Peter would usually sing Stiles a song, and everything would be understood.  But he wasn't doing that.  Peter was too afraid to even sing for him.  

Well then, Stiles would just have to take his father's advice and turn the tables.  

Without saying another word, Stiles began climbing the stairs.  He moved slowly, but with determination.  His body may have been weak, but his convictions were strong.  He made it all the way to the third floor and entered the music room and still didn't hear Peter following him.  Running a hand over the silky wood, grasping the fall and pulling it up to expose the keys, he caressed the piano.  He hadn't had enough practice to really get through a whole song, but desperate times called for desperate measures.  

He pulled out the bench and sat down, ghosting his fingers over the keys without pressing them, getting his hands in what he hoped was the right position.  With the first chord, he felt his chest start to ache, like the strings were vibrating inside his body, ringing through the muscles of his heart in an almost painful way.   

Fingers a little clumsy, he played the introduction, wincing a little every time he hit a wrong note.  He fumbled for a minute, hitting one too many keys each time he pressed his fingertips down, but eventually he caught the rhythm.  There were only five chords, why was it so hard?  Boyd made it look so easy, like it could be learned in an afternoon.  Stiles hated him a bit at that moment.

 

"All of the lights land on you

The rest of the world fades from view

And all of the love I see

Please, please say you feel it too

 

And all of the noise I hear inside

Restless and loud, unspoken and wild

And all that you need to say

To make it all go away

Is that you feel the same way too"

 

By the time Stiles got to the first chorus, he could hear Peter's feet on the stairs, quiet compared to the ringing of the piano in the small music room.  He didn't look up when he heard the door swing open behind him, not wanting to lose his nerve.

 

"And I know

The scariest part is letting go

'Cause love is a ghost you can’t control

I promise you the truth can’t hurt us now

So let the words slip out of your mouth

 

And all of the steps that led me to you

And all of the hell I had to walk through

But I wouldn’t trade a day for the chance to say

My love, I’m in love with you"

 

Peter had to be able to feel that.  It was already making Stiles cry and he wasn't even the one the song was for.  The bond was strained, pulled taut with their desperation to understand each other, but even still, somehow Stiles knew that Peter was feeling the way the words vibrated out from his body, calling to him.

 

"And I know

The scariest part is letting go

'Cause love is a ghost you can’t control

I promise you the truth can’t hurt us now

So let the words slip out of your mouth

 

I know that we’re both afraid

We both made the same mistakes

An open heart is an open wound to you

And in the wind of a heavy choice

Love has a quiet voice

Still your mind, now I’m yours to choose"

 

Usually, Stiles was really proud of the way Peter could make himself vulnerable for him.  He opened up for Stiles in a way that he never did with anyone else.  It was as easy as breathing, the way Peter sang.  There was no hesitation, no fear, only cool confidence and wry smiles.

But this time he wasn't doing it.  He was holding it all in and doing what he thought Stiles would want instead of just asking.  Stiles hoped he had chosen the right song.  That was usually more Peter's forte, Stiles was more often than not just a bystander in the musical revue that was their relationship.  Still, he sang on.

 

"And I know

The scariest part is letting go

Let my love be the light that guides you home

 

And I know

The scariest part is letting go

'Cause love is a ghost you can’t control

I promise you the truth can’t hurt us now

So let the words slip out of your mouth"

 

Stiles was just beginning to play the outro when sparks shot up his fingers.  When he opened his eyes and looked down, he saw Peter's hands fitted right over his, playing the last few chords with him.  Peter's fingers were much shorter than Stiles', so his wrist pressed down on the top of Stiles' hand as they played the last notes.  

Peter's hip nudged Stiles until he scooted over, giving him room to sit down next to his mate on the bench.  He turned a bit until he could look at Stiles instead of the wall holding the piano and raised his hands.  Peter's broad palm cupped Stiles' face, letting their eyes meet.   

"I thought I was doing what you needed," Peter said guiltily, mouth open in a very uncharacteristic way, like he was at a loss for words.  "I thought I was helping," he said quietly, almost shocked, like he couldn't believe how stupid he had been.  

"You were trying," Stiles said, feeling himself get a little teary at the way Peter was almost shaking with frustration, "but what I really needed was something else.  I’ve been through hell and I need you to really be there, not just running around making sandwiches.  I need you to say the words."

Peter took a deep breath, and then let it out slowly, air brushing Stiles’ face as he settled himself.  

"With everything that I am, Przemysław, I love you," Peter said, crystal blue eyes moving around Stiles' face so quickly, searching for understanding and acceptance.

"Then get your head out of your ass and act like it," Stiles muttered, letting the tears fall from his eyes as he laughed, pulling Peter close and fitting his face into the older man's neck, lips pressing against his mating bite.

"I’ll do my best," Peter promised, laugh a little cracked as he rested his cheek on the top of Stiles' head.

"Good," Stiles murmured into Peter's skin.  Realizing they still hadn't talked through the problem, Stiles pulled back so he could look at his mate.  "Why did you stop saying it?" He asked, taking one of Peter's hands and holding it in his lap.

"The last time I said it," Peter said, closing his eyes and exhaling heavily, "you said it back, but it wasn't you."

"Oh," Stiles said, the word feeling so small in his mouth.  He remembered what Peter was talking about, as much as he wished he could forget, but he also had another question he needed answered.  "Why couldn't you tell it wasn't me?"

"I don't know," Peter said honestly, "everything happened so fast, and I just thought you woke up horny again.  I hate that I didn't realize it."

"You're afraid it will happen again," Stiles said, finally understanding.

"It's not your fault," Peter told him, letting his eyes fall closed in frustration.  "I just—I should have known, but I didn't.  And now I don't trust myself."

"That is not your fault,” Stiles said firmly, hearing Peter and Jackson and his father’s words coming out of his own mouth.  “He used you.  That was rape and I hate that it happened to you, but it was not your fault.”  Stiles let those words hang for a while.  He knew Peter wouldn’t want to admit it, just like Derek didn’t, but he didn’t feel comfortable letting it go without addressing it.  

“You took care of yourself and you stopped it, and I am grateful for that, not upset.”  Peter was still angry, he could feel that, but he didn’t know how to help.  He wasn’t sure anything would help.  In the end, Stiles decided to work with what Peter told him.  Peter needed reassurance, and he would find some way to give it to his mate.

“There must have been something different about him," Stiles said, reluctant to think back to what he was now mentally referring to as The Dark Days .  "I mean apart from the shitty personality."  Peter almost chuckled, and Stiles counted that as a big step forward.  Maybe someday they would be able to laugh about it, be able to tell their kids, oh one time when Daddy was pregnant with you, he got possessed by an evil spirit named Tim.  It was oodles of fun.

"The bond was gone," Peter said finally, not knowing why he hadn't thought of it before.  "I didn't notice it at first, and then once I realized it was gone, I was sort of glad.  I didn't want him to have control over that part of us.  This is only for us," Peter told him, rubbing a thumb across Stiles' mating bite, trailing a finger down the dip of his collar bone.  Stiles had almost forgotten how good Peter's touch could feel.  He had been avoiding contact for so long that every brush on his skin felt like lightening.

"Then do this," Stiles said, giving a sharp tug to the place in his mind where his mate had taken up permanent residence.  "Check on the bond.  Every day, every time you have to, until you can trust that it's me."  

"You won't mind?" Peter asked shyly, still embarrassed that he couldn't tell when the person he was in bed with wasn't his mate.  

"No.  I need the reassurance just as much as you do.  Most of the time it still feels like he’s there.  It would make me feel better too, knowing that it's just me in here," Stiles said, tapping at his temple with his free hand.  "Just give me a little nudge every time we wake up.  Whenever you need to."

Peter did just that, tugging on that little corner of his mind where Stiles' usually sat.  He felt a light tap in response, like Stiles was flicking his shoulder from inside his own body.  Peter retaliated by using his mind to tug on one of Stiles' earlobes.  Stiles laughed, loud and warm, like a balm to Peter's soul.  He never wanted to stop hearing that sound.  He was rubbing a thumb across Stiles' cheek, smiling broadly when Stiles tackled him.  

Landing on a few cushions, Peter let out an oof as Stiles landed on top of him, all but attacking his mouth.  It had been too long, far too long since Stiles had felt Peter's mouth on his, and he was ready to make up for lost time.  Peter wrapped his arms around Stiles' waist, smiling into the kiss when he felt Stiles' baby bump press into his abdomen.  It was what life should have been like all along, the two of them happy, enjoying Stiles' pregnancy like any other normal expectant couple.

Pushing forward just as Peter was catching his breath, Stiles slipped his tongue into his mate's mouth.  Things were finally starting to get interesting when a male voice cleared his throat from the doorway.

"Looks like you two got things straightened out," John said, smiling with his hands on his hips.  Stiles struggled to pull his body off Peter's but the babies were weighing him down and he couldn't quite manage it.  Peter laughed, watching Stiles flail around for a few seconds before he helped him out by sitting up, bringing Stiles' body back up with him.  

"So," John said, rubbing his palms together, "what have you and the crazy vet got cooked up for us this time?"

"I already knew what I wanted to do, I just wanted to check with Deaton first," Peter said, pulling Stiles to his feet and leading the men downstairs to the dining room.  He pulled two chairs out and turned them around so the backs were up against the edge of the table side by side.  

"What do we have to do?" John asked, a little worried considering the last time they had gone with one of Deaton's suggestions his son and grandchildren had died.  Even if they were back now, it still made John wary of performing any more magic while Stiles was still pregnant.

"Well without going into too much detail," Peter said, smiling encouragingly, "I'm going to use my claws on the back of your neck, and transfer memories from you to Stiles."

"And that's safe?" John asked skeptically, looking at the sharp claws that Peter had just released from his fingertips.

"If you stay very, very still, yes."

“Great,” John sighed, looking sidelong at his son.  “Staying still has always been one of Stiles’ special skills.”

Peter snorted, but then shook his head when Stiles elbowed his father, trying to get back into the right mindset.  

"Okay, do I have to do anything?' John asked, straddling the back of one chair, as Peter helped Stiles into position on the other one.  He leaned with his head bowed and nudged Stiles until his son mimicked him.  

"Just try to concentrate on your wife," Peter told him, coming up behind the two men.  "Focus on the things you want Stiles to see.  It's helpful to only pick memories that he was actually in.  Those will be easier for him to get to."

"Alright.  Here goes nothing," John said, closing his eyes and letting his head fall to the back of the chair.  He heard Stiles gasp when he felt Peter's claws slide into his skin, but then everything went black and then blindingly white.  

Memories flashed across his vision so fast they were almost blurred together.  It was like someone was flipping through a very high quality photo album, where the people in every photo were moving like in a Harry Potter movie.  Every once in a while the images would stop, resting on a particular moment for a few seconds, letting Stiles focus on his mother's face, her laugh, her voice.  There were birthdays, Christmases, quiet nights at home, everything that made up a life together.  All of it was from his father's point of view, but at least it was real.  

It was over almost as soon as it began.  The last thing Stiles saw was his mother and father walking down the aisle on their wedding day, then things went blurry and his vision faded.  Peter pulled his claws out of their necks and caught Stiles and John with his hands as they fell backward, carefully leaning them against their chairs.  

"Don't move," Peter said gently, walking quickly out of the room.  He went to the hall bathroom and pulled some gauze and tape out of the medicine cabinet.  He cleaned the claw marks on John and Stiles' necks and bandaged them within a minute or two.  

"Well that was something," John said, looking between Peter and Stiles as he got up from his seat.  "You staying here tonight?"  

"If that's okay with you," Stiles said, still looking a little out of it, rubbing the back of his head like he hadn't quite wrapped his mind around what he just saw.  

"Sure," John said, smiling as he looked between the two men, glad they had managed to work things out.  He was sure they could use a little more time together to solidify things.  "I got you last night.  Walk me out son?" He asked, holding out an arm for Stiles to come closer so he could steer him out to the porch.  

John closed the door behind them and turned right to sit down on the porch swing.  Stiles raised his eyebrows, wondering what his father wanted, but went to join him anyway.  

"Are you guys going to be alright?" John asked, nodding his head back toward the house.  

"I think we'll be fine," Stiles said, smiling fondly at his sneakers.  “We have forever to work it out.”

"Well then," John said, twisting his wedding band around on his finger.  "I don't know what your timeline is," he said, removing the ring and holding it out to Stiles, "but I want you to have this."

"Dad, I can't take that," Stiles said, even as his father took his hand and placed it on his palm, curling his son’s long fingers around it in a delicate gesture.  The metal was warm against Stiles' skin as he looked back up at his father in confusion.

"It's about time I took it off anyway.  Melissa and I have been seeing each other for a few months now," John said, looking down at the line of pale skin the ring had left on his finger.  "So whenever you're ready, you can give it to Peter."

"You're serious," Stiles said, dumbfounded.

John just laughed and leaned back against the swing, stretching his arms out.  "You're having children with the man, Stiles, of course I'm serious," he arched his eyebrows and looked at his son.  "Unless you're not."

"No," Stiles said, turning the ring over in his fingers, "I'm serious, it's just, a lot to think about.  I'm 18 and pregnant.  Things move fast around here."

"I get it," John said, twisting his lips into a smile.  "I never thought I'd be the one encouraging you to get married while you were still in high school, but it doesn't hurt to be prepared."

"Why?" Stiles asked, suddenly suspicious, "what have you heard?"

"Nothing concrete," John told him, patting Stiles' shoulder as he moved forward to get up off the swing.  "But what I do know from talking to your mate is that the ring he has waiting for you is special.  You can't just buy him a new one.  It needs to mean something.  So I want you to have the one your mom gave me."

"Thank—thank you," Stiles stammered, throwing his arms around his father, clutching the back of his uniform jacket in gratitude.   

"You're welcome," John said, pulling out of the hug and walking down the front steps.  "Now you go get those babies something good to eat."

Stiles choked, coughing out a laugh.  "That's not what I meant!" John yelled from next to his cruiser.  "God, you guys are horrible."

Stiles just continued to laugh, waving at his father before heading back inside.


Stiles was quiet that evening.  Peter had made him a healthy dinner of grilled chicken and three different types of vegetables.  Stiles smiled, and said thank you, but was still a little distant.  Derek sat with them in the living room as they watched TV after dinner, and thought it was odd that he was the least stiff person in the room.  He shrugged it off, chalking it up to Stiles and Peter just getting used to each other again, and headed off to bed with a solemn “goodnight.”   

Peter climbed the stairs, trailing after Stiles.  His mate was moving slower than usual, hand pressing against his lower back like it was still aching him, and Peter reminded himself to always let Stiles walk ahead of him in case he needed someone to catch his fall.  He watched Stiles peel off his jeans, having a little trouble with the tight legs, balancing on one foot with a hand on the mattress to steady himself.  When he was left in just his boxers and one of Peter's tee shirts, V-neck hanging low to expose his collar bone, Stiles crawled into bed.  

Stripping quickly and slipping under the covers, Peter snuck an arm under Stiles' pillow and brought his body close, fitting himself against Stiles' back.  "Is this okay?" Peter asked, a little wary of showing too much affection.  He thought he and Stiles had worked everything out that afternoon, but something still felt off.  Knowing that they both needed to work on their communication, Peter decided to just ask the question directly.   

"What's wrong?" He asked, pulling his chest a little bit away from Stiles in case his own proximity was the problem.  

"It's nothing really," Stiles mumbled, bringing his left arm up to punch his pillow, searching for a comfortable position.

"You said we needed to talk more, and I'm trying here, but you need to meet me halfway," Peter said, almost pleading with his mate.  "Did I do something?" He asked, not knowing if he would ever be sure of himself again after what had happened between them.  

"No, it's not you," Stiles said, flipping over with some effort, one hand on his stomach.  "I was just thinking about my mom."

"You want to talk about it?" Peter asked, putting a warm hand on Stiles' belly now that he was sure his touch would be welcomed.  

"It's just—" Stiles started, but couldn't find the words.  He already had more memories of his mother than he expected to get back, but it just wasn't the same.  "The memories are great," he said, looking up at Peter, lacing the tan fingers on his stomach through his own.  "It's just that they're all Dad's.  Everything that I had with just me and her, it's gone."

"I'm sorry," Peter said, lowering his eyes.

"Don't you dare be sorry," Stiles told him, lifting himself up on his elbows to get a better view of his mate.  "It's only because of you and Dad that I have anything at all."

"I just wish I could do more for you," Peter said, stroking Stiles' hair with his other hand.  

"I know," Stiles muttered, pushing his head back into Peter's touch, "but there's nothing left to do."

"There is something I could show you," Peter said, prompting Stiles to sit up fully, dislodging Peter's hands.

"What do you mean?  Did you know my mom?" Stiles asked, wondering why he hadn't thought of it before.  Peter had lived in Beacon Hills most of his life, it was possible that he had run into his mother at some point, probable even, considering how small their town was.   

"Not directly," Peter said cryptically, stroking the back of Stiles' neck as he looked into those honey brown eyes that he loved so dearly.  "Do you trust me?" He asked, flicking his fingers until his claws extended.  Stiles gasped when they scratched his skin, pulling at the bandage Peter had applied earlier that day.  

"Of course," Stiles said, putting one hand on Peter's shoulder and squeezing.  

"Then don't move," Peter said, barely giving Stiles time to widen his eyes before his claws were slipping into his mate’s neck once more.  

This time it was different.  Peter was with him.  They were just standing in a too-bright room, looking at each other, the scene not moving at all.  Stiles grabbed Peter's hand, confirming that what he saw was real.  They were together, in a memory they could see and touch and feel.

Once he had grounded himself, Stiles took a look around the room.  It looked to be some sort of hospital, but the style of the room looked familiar to him for some reason.  He looked out the window and saw red and gold leaves, telling him it was sometime in the fall, though he had no idea what year.  

When he turned to look at Peter, his mate's eyes were stuck open, and his body was still, frozen in fear.  Stiles followed his gaze and finally noticed that they weren't alone in the room.  There was a man sitting in the chair in the corner, facing out the window.  Stiles could see the back of his head, long brown hair a little oily and unkempt.  He went to walk around the chair so he could see who it was, but Peter wouldn't budge.  If Stiles wanted to move, he was going to have to let go of Peter's hand.

While a bit worried about leaving Peter to himself, Stiles’ curiosity got the better of him.  He squeezed Peter's hand and then dropped it, moving slowly and carefully around the room until he could see who was there.  

It was Peter.  A younger, burned Peter, the way Scott had described seeing him before he had become the Alpha the first time around, but worse.  His eyes were open, but empty, staring out the window with a blankness that was unnerving, the scars on his face bright red and shiny.  Stiles flicked his eyes back up to the real Peter, who had closed his eyes, like he could shield himself from the memory if he didn't have to see it.  

"Oh Peter," Stiles said sadly, feeling the pain and despair rolling through his mate's mind through the bond.  "We can leave if you want," he said, going back to take his Peter's hand again.  

"No, it's okay," Peter said, opening his eyes to give Stiles a small, broken smile.  "It just never gets any easier to watch."

"Do you dream about this a lot?" Stiles asked, wondering when Peter would have seen his own burned face during that time in the hospital.  Six long years.  It was easier to just pretend those years hadn't existed.  Peter looked young enough.  Stiles had no trouble believing that he was 31 instead of 37.  Even as he thought it, he hated himself.  Why should he get to forget this part of Peter's life when Peter had to live with it?  Day after day, no visitors, no family, just his own thoughts.  It must have been horrible.  

Peter cleared his throat, pointing to the door that led to the hall when voices started speaking.

"Hi Mom."

"Hi baby, how was school?" A soft female voice asked.  Stiles inhaled sharply, running to the door and peering his head around the corner.  He took a step back when he realized the memory didn't go much past the doorway of Peter's room.  He could only see a few feet in either direction before the world seemed to blur, floor tiles swirling into darkness.  

"Fine.  I shared my lunch with Scott.  I think his dad was supposed to pack it for him, but he forgot," he heard himself answer as he reentered the room and sat down on the edge of the bed with Peter.  "How are you feeling?"  His voice was so small.  Stiles tried to figure out what year it was, how old he would have been at that point in his mother's illness.  Maybe Peter knew.   

He listened to himself recount his day, smiling at the simplicity of it.  His mom tested him on his multiplication tables for a few minutes before she lost her breath, coughing out a request.  "Sing for me, Przemysław," she said, and Stiles' eyes flicked to Peter, who was smirking at him like he was so proud of himself.  Peter had told him that he would one day reveal how he knew Stiles’ real name.  Listening to his own mother say it in a magical walk down memory lane was not at all what he had been expecting.  He had no idea how Peter had remembered and internalized what he had heard that day, so many years ago.

Stiles listened to himself sing to his mother, voice high with youth, ringing clearly through the halls of the hospital, all the way to Peter's room.  Peter grabbed his hand, rubbing his thumb back and forth across the soft heel of his palm, lending as much emotional support as he could.  

Stiles choked back a laugh when his mom asked him to sing something less morbid.  He felt tears prick his eyes as he began to sing Songbird , one of his mother's favorites.  Peter narrated for him, telling him when his younger self crawled into bed with his mother and kicked his shoes off.  Sometimes he forgot that Peter had enhanced senses.  He wondered if Peter always had his powers in his dreams.  

Peter remembered the last time he had visited that memory, when he had first heard Stiles singing to the baby they had found in the woods.  He knew that if he got up and went over to his past self, he would see tears falling down his face.  It wasn't necessarily a happy memory to give Stiles, but at least he would have something.  

Stiles heard himself finish singing the song and let out a contented sigh.  He had no recollection of that day.  He had been gifted with family memories from his father, but nothing of their time alone together.  But now he had something to hang on to, the sound of his mother singing and her soft laugh.  The room seemed to get brighter, bright enough that Stiles had to squeeze his eyes closed.  When he opened them again, they were back in their bedroom, Peter pulling his claws out of Stiles' neck.  

Peter gave him a small smile and then hopped off the bed to get a washcloth to clean the blood dripping down Stiles' neck.  He dabbed at the claw marks, gently wiping away the blood until the wound was clean.  After the bandage was reattached, Stiles scratched the back of his neck until Peter swatted his hand away.   

"Thank you, Peter," Stiles said, pulling Peter's hand to his lips.  "I really needed that."

"You're welcome," Peter told him, leaning forward to fit their mouths together.  

"How did you even remember that?" Stiles asked, still only an inch from Peter's face.

"Remember when we found that baby in the woods last year?" Peter asked, pulling Stiles to lie down facing him.  "When you started singing to him, I started dreaming about music.  I dreamed about Savannah first, we were singing for the family, and then the second time... I think you were singing Fire and Rain and I had a dream of that day you just saw."

"You sang for your family?" Stiles asked, a little hesitant to talk about Savannah after the hell Tim had put Peter through.  But Peter had brought her up first, so he figured it might be safe.

"All the time," Peter said, smiling at the memory, face so close to Stiles' that he could feel the warmth of his breath on his face.  "A lot like what we do now... except the family at large was a bit more receptive to it than Derek and his Betas are.  Talia loved it, Bitsy too."

"How old was she?" Stiles asked, having practically no knowledge of the rest of Derek's siblings.

"Almost six," Peter said, closing his eyes as he thought back.  "Tyler was eight I think.  He thought the music was lame, kind of like a mini Derek."

A smile twitched at Stiles' lips, pleased with the way Peter was being so open with him, offering up painful details with apparent ease.  Stiles inched forward, wriggling his shoulders closer to Peter until he could reach his mouth.  He captured Peter's lips, humming with contentment at the way Peter just opened up for him, so happy to have their lives back.  

Peter stripped the tee shirt off of Stiles, fingers of one hand spreading out to grip Stiles' bump while the other one reached around his back to keep him close.  Within minutes they were rutting against each other, pressing wet kisses to every inch of skin they could reach.  Stiles sighed heavily when they finally lost their underwear and could feel skin slipping against sweat-damp skin.  He felt a little tug in the corner of his mind and smiled, knowing that once he tugged back, Peter would finally let go.  A handful of thrusts later had Stiles coming all over Peter's thigh, biting into Peter's neck as he reached the peak.  Peter came as soon as Stiles' teeth breached his skin, groaning heavily into Stiles' ear as his hips stuttered.

They fell asleep tangled together, damp and sweaty.  Stiles didn't care that he would have to get up to pee in twenty minutes, they were going to be the most blissful twenty minutes of his recent memory.

Chapter Text

"Just where do you think you're going?" Stiles asked from his seat at the breakfast bar, bowl of unappetizing oatmeal sitting in front of him.  Derek stopped dead, halfway through slipping his boots on by the back door, and turned around to look at his Emissary.   

"Out for a run?" Derek asked, like he already knew it was the wrong answer.

"Nuh uh," Stiles told him, shaking his head and making a clicking noise with his mouth.  "You're not going anywhere.  Jackson is bringing over Danny any minute now and you're going to need to be present for the big reveal."

Derek rolled his eyes and sighed, looking out the window of the back door with a longing expression.  

"If you didn't want to do the parenting, you shouldn't have run around making so many werewolf babies last year," Stiles lectured, swinging his spoon around in a circle as he spoke.

"I think it's you that's making the werewolf babies, not me," Derek argued, pointing at Stiles' growing stomach.   

"Ha fucking ha, Sour Wolf.  Keep talking like that and Ursula and Phoebe here are going to think you’re a delinquent Alpha,” Stiles said, looking down at his stomach.  “You can go tend the garden for a bit, but don't go far," he ordered, smiling as he watched Derek make his escape out the back door.  "They should be here in twenty minutes."  

"Fine," Derek huffed, heading outside and closing the door behind him.  Stiles laughed, turning his attention back to his lukewarm oatmeal and berries.  Peter had been avoiding the basement ever since they had been holding Tim down there.  Stiles put his foot down when he ran out of underwear, ordering his mate to do a few loads of laundry.  Peter had disappeared, muttering something about adding a laundry room to the third floor.  Stiles had to agree with his architectural ramblings.  Once the babies were born, he wasn't going to want to walk down three flights of stairs just to wash the poop off of something.  

Stiles choked down the remainder of his oatmeal, hoping he could convince Peter to make something a bit more appetizing for dinner.  His mate's dedication to restricting his diet was almost making him want to rethink his approach with his father.  Almost.

Fifteen minutes later there was a knock at the door.  Stiles was a bit surprised.  The door was unlocked.  Everyone knew the door was unlocked.  There was no one in the Hale Manor that couldn't defend themselves against an intruder.  Stiles had even seen Melissa smack a handsy patient or two when they got a little too fresh.  And she had definitely threatened him and Scott with a baseball bat on occasion.  

He got off his stool anyway and went to open the door, his most absurd hostess smile splashed across his face.  "Hey Jackie!" Stiles said, grinning wickedly at Jackson and Danny as he swept his arm backward, inviting them inside.  "Did you forget your key?  You live here, dude.  Danny, my man, welcome to our humble abode."

"Looks real humble," Danny said, taking in his surroundings and pointedly ignoring Stiles' obviously protruding stomach.  

"What can I say?" Stiles joked, "I married rich."

"You're married?" Danny asked, wondering how much had happened to Stiles since he had last seen him at school a few weeks prior.  

"Well not yet," Stiles heard Peter's voice call from downstairs.  His mate appeared in the doorway, laundry basket on his hip.  "But it's only a matter of time."

"Danny, this is my boyfriend, Peter," Stiles said, taking the basket from Peter so he could go to shake Danny's hand.  The word “boyfriend” felt so inadequate, but he couldn’t really call Peter his mate until Danny knew what it was.  The word “mate” had weight, and he wanted Danny to understand it when he heard it.  

"Pleasure to meet you," Peter said, leading the men into the living room.  Stiles stuck his head out the back door and called for Derek before following them through the house.  

"This is your boyfriend?" Danny asked, looking Peter up and down in an approving manner.  "I thought he was your sexy uncle or something."

"I get that a lot," Peter said, smirking and taking a seat on the couch, leaving room for Stiles to snuggle in next to him.  

"So what are we doing here?" Danny asked, "besides taking in the scenery," he said, catching sight of Derek entering the living room.  "Long time no see, Cousin Miguel," Danny said with a questioning look.  

"This is Derek," Stiles said, poking Derek in the side until he offered a hand to Danny.  "Peter is actually Derek's sexy uncle.  Derek is sort of the head of our little family here."

"So that's what we're here to talk about," Jackson said nervously, looking to Stiles for help.

"Derek is sort of like... Jackson's sponsor," Stiles said, hands waving in circles as he found the words, mouth open a bit like he wasn't sure where he was going with the explanation.  

"Like you're an alcoholic?" Danny asked, looking at Jackson with sympathetic disbelief.  "I knew it was something," he muttered under his breath, eyebrows furrowed like he was disappointed in himself for missing the signs. 

"I think maybe the better word is... sire?" Stiles said, his eyes widening at his own words.  Peter laughed as Derek let his head fall into his hands in exasperation.

"Like vampires?" Danny said, cocking his head to the side as he questioned Stiles’ sanity.

"Ohh, close!" Stiles said, making an excited gesture with his flailing hands.  "Only except more like werewolves."

"Werewolves," Danny repeated, deadpan.  

"Yes!" Stiles exclaimed, happy that Danny seemed to be catching on.  "Most of the Hale family were born werewolves.  Derek and Peter are Alpha wolves."

"You're trying to tell me," Danny started, a little more than skeptical, "that these two are werewolves?"

"A little help here guys?" Stiles asked, looking between Peter and Derek.  Derek huffed out an agitated breath, but flashed his red eyes anyway, looking at Danny but rolling his eyes in Stiles' direction.

Danny's eyes widened as he leaned back a few inches in his seat.  He looked over at Jackson for more explanation, and found his friend staring at his feet, hand rubbing over his long sleeve, massaging his scarred arm.  "Jackson?" Danny called, trying to get him to look up.   

When Jackson finally opened his eyes, they were glowing blue.  Danny leaned forward again, getting a closer look as Jackson allowed his face to shift, letting Danny see his ears and fangs.  "Derek bit Jackson last year.  And now he's a Beta wolf," Stiles said, giving his words a minute to sink in.

"Why didn't you tell me?" Danny asked, rubbing his fingers together like he wanted to reach out for Jackson.  Peter followed the movement, wondering if maybe Jackson's crush wasn't as one sided as he feared.  

"This life is dangerous," Derek said, taking over the explanation.  "Stiles was kidnapped by another pack a few months ago.  That's how Jackson got hurt."

"Are you a werewolf too?" Danny asked, taking the news a lot better than the Sheriff had, if truth be told.   

"No... Lydia and I aren't wolves," Stiles said, wondering how much information he should give Danny in one day.

"He's a Fire Mage," Peter said, tone conveying how proud he was in his mate.

"A what now?" Danny asked, tearing his eyes away from Jackson to look at Peter.

"A Fire Mage, and pack Emissary," Derek told him, like that was clearing anything up.

"Basically I'm magic," Stiles said, flashing his red eyes and hoping that would be enough of an explanation.  

"And he's pregnant," Jackson said, smiling haughtily like he was the father.

"Jackson!" Derek and Stiles yelled at the same time.

"I was going to ease into that," Stiles said, a bit quieter now, shaking his head.

"That's a baby?" Danny asked, pointing at Stiles' stomach.

"It's twins," Jackson said happily, grinning at Stiles like the Mage wasn't a minute away from punching his handsome face.

"Twins?" Danny choked out, brown eyes blown wide in shock.  "I thought you had kidney disease."

"Well that's the excuse we're going with," Peter said, rubbing a palm fondly around Stiles' stomach.  "He can't go to school looking like this."

"Hey," Stiles said, offended, smacking Peter lightly on the back of the head.  "I look damn good for someone who's growing two werewolves in his stomach."

"Of course you do," Peter said, running his nose up Stiles' cheek in an affectionate gesture.

"You have two baby werewolves in there?" Danny asked, pointing at Stiles' stomach again.

"Well you can't really tell until they're born, but it’s very likely that at least one of them is probably of the werewolf variety," Stiles said, rubbing his belly with a gentle hand.

"Do you know their sexes yet?" Jackson asked, always excited to find out any details about the pups.

"No," Stiles said, tilting his head as he pondered the question.  “I guess we were so distracted by the potential complications Melissa was telling us about that we didn't think to ask."

"Well at least one of them will be a girl," Peter said, prompting an odd look from Stiles.  "Hale firstborns are always women," he explained, looking to Derek for support.

"He's right," Derek agreed, arms crossed over his chest as they usually were when newcomers were in his territory.  "Hale Alphas are always women—until the women die, that is."

"So we have three Alphas in our pack, which is very unusual," Stiles explained.  "Normally there would be a fight for power and dominance, but Peter and Allison have ceded their control to Derek, so he's the Head Alpha."

"Wait," Danny said, holding up one hand, "Allison?"

"Yeah she was nearly killed by a monster Alpha a few months ago," Jackson said.  "He bit her and then she killed him, so she got his Alpha power."

"She killed someone?" Danny asked, tone half surprised, half impressed.

"We usually leave the killing to the Alphas, so we don't end up with a dozen Alpha werewolves running around, but I can't say I'm blame free," Stiles said, ducking his head as he remembered not only the hiker that Tim ate but Jennifer.

"I meant it when I said this life was dangerous," Derek warned Danny, giving Stiles a significant look.  "It's not just the scars you can see."  

Stiles looked thoughtfully at Jackson and Danny before pulling at the neckline of his borrowed V-neck until the claw marks on his chest were visible.  

"Werewolves heal, but some things still leave marks," Peter explained, sharing a serious look with Jackson.

“I get it,” Danny said, letting his eyes roam over Jackson’s puckered skin.  “I have scars too.”

"So now you know," Jackson said, hoping Danny wasn't quite as overwhelmed as he looked.

"We don't need to have the Fight Club conversation, do we?" Stiles asked, narrowing his eyes in Danny's direction.

"No," Danny said, holding up both his hands in a defensive motion, "I think I've got it."

"Good," Derek said gruffly.  "You don't want to know what happens when outsiders learn our secret."

"Understood," Danny agreed seriously, offering his hand for Derek to shake.  Derek took it, giving a Jackson a nod, a silent acceptance of his friend into the pack.

"Do you have any questions?" Stiles asked generously, leaning into Peter's embrace, content in a job well done.

"Of course I have questions," Danny said, flashing his dimples at the room.

"Shoot," Stiles said, answering his smile.  


Stiles was ready to snap.  He was starving.  All he'd had to eat for the last three weeks was grilled chicken, fruit, and vegetables.  He begged, pleaded, offered sexual favors, anything and everything he could think of to get Peter to go out and get him some curly fries.  Peter had flat out refused, citing Melissa's strict diet restrictions and guilting Stiles into thinking of his children, but that had only worked for so long.  Stiles had been withholding sex for two weeks, and Peter thought he might die.

His mate had taken to wearing his own clothes instead of borrowing Peter’s, it was mostly tight graphic tees that stretched across his pregnant belly that drove Peter crazy with lust.  Stiles had also finally gotten his maternity clothes out and had been strutting around the Manor in rather revealing yoga pants for the better part of the week.  Scott had been coming over after school to coach Stiles through a prenatal variation of the Sun Salutation, and Peter was at his wit's end.  

They had rolled out their mats in the middle of the living room.  Scott had removed his shirt, tanned abs on display as he spread broad hands across Stiles' lower back, supporting him as he maneuvered himself into Downward Facing Dog.  Peter sat on the couch, getting a direct view of Stiles' pert ass as he balanced on his toes.  When he shifted his weight to one side to greet the sun, Peter got a clear shot of the outline of his dick pressing against the inseam of the soft grey yoga pants.  

"Alright, alright, I give up," Peter said, running from the room, pulling his keys off the hook on his way out of the house.  

Not twenty minutes later he was rushing back into the house, triumphantly dropping a gigantic, grease-stained brown paper bag on the coffee table in front of a reclining Stiles.  He sat up with a grin, making grabby hands at the bag, then his face fell.  Once the salty, oily scent hit his nose he was gasping, covering mouth with his hand and swallowing down a heave.  

"Get that out of here," Stiles said, but he was too late, just as he got the last word out, he projectile vomited all over the room, spraying chunks all over the couch, table, carpet, food, and Peter.  The wolf jumped back, trying to get out of the way, but Stiles was too quick for him.  Peter grabbed the disgusting bag off of the coffee table and ran to the back porch, tossing the food into a trash can along with his shirt.   

Grabbing some damp paper towels from the kitchen, Peter found Stiles hunched over the coffee table, heaving and trying to catch his breath as he supported himself with one hand on the table, the other massaging his lower abdomen.  

"Are you alright?" Peter asked as he began cleaning up everything he could.  He looked up at Stiles and saw how pale his mate looked, like he was going to fall over any minute.  "Why don't you go lie down while I get this place cleaned up?"

"Okay," Stiles mumbled, pushing himself upright and heading for the stairs.  Peter grabbed some cleaning supplies from under the sink and donned a surgical mask, filtering out as much of the smell as he could.  He was on his hands and knees, scrubbing at the living room rug with some carpet cleaner when he heard Stiles scream from upstairs.

"Peter!" Stiles called, "Peter!  Get your fuzzy werewolf ass up here!"

Peter went running, partially shifting with worry as he took the stairs three at a time.  When he reached the bedroom, Stiles looked perfectly fine, sitting with his back against the headboard, glass of water on the nightstand next to him.  

"What is it?" Peter asked through his canines, shaking his pointed ears until they shrunk back down to their normal size.  

"They're moving!" Stiles exclaimed, waving Peter over with one hand while the other one was spread over his stomach, pressing against different quadrants of his bump to follow the movement.  

Peter grinned broadly, "really?" He asked as he crawled across the bed to get closer to Stiles and the babies.  He reached out a hand, staring down at Stiles' stomach in wonder as he fitted his hand to the curve of the skin.

"That's amazing," Peter said, looking up at Stiles' tear-streaked face.  "I love you so much, Przemysław."

"I love you, too," Stiles replied, watching his mate's face as they felt their children move for the first time.  

They sat there for almost an hour, giggling at each other as they tried to keep count of the kicks for Melissa's medical journal.  Eventually the movements slowed down and then stopped, pulling a frown onto Stiles' face.  

"They're fine," Peter assured him, knowing a worried look when he saw it.  "I think they just fell asleep."

"Okay," Stiles said, a little disappointed that the kids didn't want to keep playing.  

"I'm sure they'll be hopping on your bladder in no time."

"You really think we're having a girl?" Stiles asked, running a gentle hand over his belly button where he had last felt movement.  

"Yeah, I do," Peter said, getting off the bed to grab his guitar.

Stiles wondered what song Peter might play for him as the wolf pulled out his capo.  He hadn't heard his mate sing for him since he'd been dead, and he could honestly say that he had been missing it.  The sensation he got whenever Peter spoke to him through their mating bond, it was something he never quite got used to.  Every time was different.

"I miss being able to go outside," Stiles whined, even as he looked down at his stomach fondly.  "I can't believe there's six more months of this."

"I'm sorry," Peter said, strumming a C chord to check his tuning, "I know you didn't exactly sign up for a year of pregnancy."

"I didn't sign up for pregnancy at all," Stiles corrected him with raised eyebrows.

"But you're happy?" Peter had to ask, not sure if Stiles' possession had made him feel any differently toward the pups.

"Of course," he replied, settling in as Peter began to strum an introduction.

 

"Settle down with me

Cover me up

Cuddle me in

Lie down with me

And hold me in your arms

 

And your heart's against my chest, your lips pressed in my neck

I'm falling for your eyes, but they don't know me yet

And with a feeling I'll forget, I'm in love now"

 

Stiles could feel Peter's words like they were touching his skin, and wasn't that an interesting development.  He couldn't help but think of how he could explore the possibility of turning Peter on with some particularly raunchy rap lyrics.  What if he could make Peter orgasm just by singing to him?  Did rap work the same as singing regular music?  There were so many experiments he could run.  

 

"Kiss me like you wanna be loved

You wanna be loved

You wanna be loved

This feels like falling in love

Falling in love

We're falling in love

 

Settle down with me

And I'll be your safety

You'll be my baby

I was made to keep your body warm

But I'm cold as the wind blows so hold me in your arms

 

My heart's against your chest, your lips pressed in my neck

I'm falling for your eyes, but they don't know me yet

And with this feeling I'll forget, I'm in love now"

 

It was incredible, the way he could feel the warmth of Peter's body even though he was sitting on the opposite side of the bed.  He could feel the roughness of Peter's stubble on his throat as soft lips caressed his jaw.  It felt like falling into a warm bath, the way Peter's words flowed over his body, teasing and arousing him in equal measure.  

 

"Kiss me like you wanna be loved

You wanna be loved

You wanna be loved

This feels like falling in love

Falling in love

We're falling in love

 

So kiss me like you wanna be loved

You wanna be loved

You wanna be loved

This feels like falling in love

Falling in love

We're falling in love"

 

Peter finished the song and leaned his guitar against his bedside table and crawled back into bed, stalking toward his boyfriend like a wet dream.  Stiles smirked as Peter crawled over his body, leaving a few inches between their stomachs, but pressing his chest against Stiles', arching his back impressively.  

"You're just falling in love with me now?" Stiles teased, tipping his head up to capture Peter's lips in a sweet kiss.

"Not with you," Peter said, kissing back with a bit more pressure, "with the pups.  I've been in love with you for years."

"Years?" Stiles asked, smile growing as Peter trailed kisses down his neck, stopping to suck a mark on top of his mating bite.

"Mmmhmm," Peter hummed.  He thought back to that day last summer when the Sheriff had asked him how long Peter had been in love with his son.  The only answer he had been able to give had been, “from the start.”  And now he knew that to be true.  There was something about Stiles.  He was electric, lighting up every neuron in Peter's body whenever he caught his eye.  He was the luckiest man alive.

Peter worshiped Stiles' body that night, licking over every mark, every scar, every stretch in his skin.  He pulled at their mating bond, reassuring Stiles and himself that this was real, it was just them, two halves making a whole.  As they lay together panting an hour later.  Peter listened to Stiles' breathing even out.  He let the pitter-pat of the babies' heartbeats lull him to sleep as he wondered if maybe that had been the right time to propose.

Chapter Text

Peter hadn't felt the urge to kill in months, but he was nearing the edge.  Stiles was crying uncontrollably, clutching his pillow and using it to muffle his wet sobs.  His mate was heartbroken and he was impotent, completely useless to fix it.

"I just—" Stiles wailed, voice wet and rough, "I just want them so badddd!"

"I know baby, I know," Peter soothed, patting Stiles' back gently.

"What are you doing to me, kids?" Stiles yelled, looking down at his stomach with anger and frustration.  “Come on Romulus?  Remus?  What did I ever do to you?”

"It's not their fault," Peter said, not knowing what else to do beyond what he was already doing, which wasn't much.  "I'm sure they just want you to be healthy."

"Are you saying I'm unhealthy?" Stiles asked, clutching his pillow even tighter and drawing away from Peter's touch.   

"No, no, of course not," Peter backtracked, knowing he had already stepped in it.

"You think I'm FAT!" Stiles cried, voice broken off with messy sobs.  "I knew it!"

"I do not think you're fat," Peter said with a sigh, already so over the conversation.  "I think you're beautiful and amazing and carrying my children."

"I'm deformed and ugly," Stiles said, flipping over to give Peter a good look at his stomach, but Peter wasn't even looking at his body, he was staring into Stiles' bloodshot eyes, worried.

"You can't even look at me!" Stiles wailed again, clutching at his stomach to hide it from view.  "I hate you, I hate you, I hate you!" He screamed, lunging off the bed, kicking at the air in front of Peter, who quickly dodged out of the way.  

Peter fell backward off the bed, not expecting Stiles to react so harshly.  When he made it back to his feet he was immediately hit in the face with a damp pillow.  Peter took a step back in shock and got another pillow in the face.  Stiles took every pillow off their large bed, pelting Peter in the face until he backed himself right out the door.  Then he waddle-stalked forward like a deranged penguin, slamming the door in Peter's face.  

Satisfied with the way he had driven his mate from the room, Stiles dove back onto the bed, settling in to wallow in peace.  Dejected, Peter made his way down the stairs and out the back door, thinking he might go for a run.  There he found Derek, raking a hoe through one of his raised beds.

"What's the matter?" Derek asked, wiping the sweat from his forehead with the back of his arm.  "Did you get in another fight with Stiles?"

"He wants curly fries," Peter sighed, rubbing the side of his face in exasperation.   

"So buy him some damn curly fries," Derek said, with an easy move of his hand, like the solution was painfully obvious.

"I tried!" Peter shouted, scraping his knuckles against the stubble on his chin.  "First he threw up every time he smelled them, and now he thinks he’ll die without them.  He kept saying they were too cold and gross to eat by the time I got them home.  I tried reheating them, the microwave, the toaster, the oven, I even tried re-frying them once, and he just cried, said they weren't the same.  Now he's in the bedroom, sobbing, because he's convinced I won't give him the curly fries because I think he's fat."

Derek tried not to laugh, he really did, but he couldn't hold it in.   

"It's not funny," Peter complained, giving Derek a less than friendly punch in the arm.  

"It's a little funny," Derek croaked, still laughing at his uncle's misfortune.  

"What am I supposed to do?" Peter pleaded, running an agitated hand through his hair.  "If I go back in there without curly fries he is going to rip my dick off."

"Then wear a cup?” Derek suggested, only half serious.  “This is what you get for knocking up a teenager.  They're drama queens," Derek said, chuckling a little bit more at the look on Peter's face.

"I'm being serious here," Peter said, looking at Derek with such honest and pleading eyes that the humor Derek had found in the situation died.

"Have you tried making them yourself?" Derek asked, wanting to offer up some sort of suggestion.

"He's just going to tell me that they're not the same and throw them at my head."

"It's worth a try," Derek said, patting Peter on the arm.

Not feeling particularly confident, Peter went back into the house, grabbed his keys and drove into town.  First he hit the supermarket, knowing at the very least he would need potatoes.  When he got to the produce section, he was a little overwhelmed.  There were too many potato varieties.  How was he supposed to know what kind of potatoes made the best curly fries?  In a fit of pique, Peter took handfuls of every kind of potato he could find and threw them in his cart, the metallic rattling noise drawing the attention of all the other shoppers.

He grabbed two gallons of peanut oil in each hand and headed for the cashier.  The old woman manning the third checkout station raised her eyebrows when she saw the mishmash of potatoes in Peter's cart.  Eager to get away from her judgmental gaze, Peter grabbed armloads of the potatoes and dropped them on the belt.   

"What are you making?" The woman asked as she began sorting the potatoes into piles to weigh.

"Potatoes," Peter replied irritably, giving her a sarcastic smile.  

"Right, right," she muttered, bagging up Peter's groceries and taking his payment.  "Have a nice day?" She sent him off with the question, a little dumbfounded as Peter took his bags and left the store without a second glance.

Once he was back in the car with his loot, Peter sat, unmoving.  Curly fries, curly fries.  How did one make them... curly ?  He had a mandolin and dozens of knives back at the Manor, but he couldn't picture how he would manage to make the requisite shape.  He needed to get the potatoes right, he was pretty sure his life, or at least his manhood, depended on it.  Rubbing his forehead, Peter sighed, then dragged his hand down his face, pausing when his fingertips hit his lips.  He smiled, tapped at his lower lip and drove to the hardware store.


Peter rushed back to the Manor and dropped his bags on the counter.  He pulled out his Dutch oven and thermometer and started heating up a gallon of peanut oil.  Going to the third drawer, he pulled out a peeler and slammed it shut, frantically peeling the skin off every potato, sending sticky brown flecks all over the cabinets.  Once the potatoes were all cleaned, he opened his Home Depot bag and pulled out a DeWalt case.  Peter fitted a long drill bit to the tool and slid it into the center of a Russet potato.

"What are you doing?" Derek asked.

Peter looked up to find a shirtless Derek nonchalantly eating a cup of Greek yogurt, leaning against the side of the refrigerator.  

"How long have you been there?" Peter asked, nearly dropping the power drill in shock.

"Since you got home," Derek said, smiling widely, showing off his overlarge front teeth.  "So I'll ask you again, what are you doing?"

"What the fuck does it look like I'm doing?" Peter asked, incredulous.  "I'm saving my relationship."

"With potatoes?" Derek asked, raising one eyebrow at his uncle.

"YES!  WITH GODDAMN POTATOES!" Peter exclaimed, holding the base of the drill against the countertop, pressing his claws to the free end of the potato, and squeezing the trigger.  Derek flinched as bits of wet potato starch went flying.  Peter cheered, encouraged by the sight of the tight potato curls he was producing.   

"Is that sanitary?" Derek asked, giving Peter a disgusted look.

"Oh come on, you know I could perform surgery with these," Peter joked, rolling his eyes and flexing his fingers in an approximation of jazz hands.

"Whatever you say," Derek said, heading for the living room while Peter continued to work on his pile of potatoes.   

An hour later and Peter was convinced that he had done all he could do.  He had five plates of curly fries, all browned and salted to perfection.  He piled them on the breakfast tray and headed for the stairs, walking carefully.  Kicking at the bottom of the bedroom door, Peter called, "Stiles?  Can I come in?"

"No," Stiles called, voice ragged and a bit muffled like his mouth was covered.

"I'm coming in anyway," Peter called, pressing down on the door handle with his elbow and pushing it open.   

"I don't want you here," Stiles muttered, lying flat on his back, pillow pressed over his face.

"Oh darling, come on, I think you want what I’ve got here for you," Peter cooed, using one hand to waft the scent of the food toward his mate.  Flinging both arms up over his head, Stiles pulled the pillow off his face, sitting up abruptly.

"What is that?" Stiles asked, upturned nose twitching as he smelled the air.

"Curly fries," Peter said, lips twisting into a self-satisfied smirk.

"They smell hot," Stiles said, starting to salivate.  

"They are hot, not unlike yourself," Peter replied, fitting the breakfast tray over Stiles' lap.  

"Where did you get those?" Stiles asked, a little bit suspicious.  "Who did you have to kill to get steaming hot curly fries?"  He demanded, leaning forward until he could reach the tray.

"No one," Peter told him, "I made them."

"You made these?" Stiles asked, mouth already stuffed full of curly fries, a few strands hanging out and trailing down his chin.

"Yes, anything for you, my love," Peter said, pressing a kiss to Stiles' temple as his mate devoured every last bite.  He watched Stiles lick the grease and salt off his fingers with rapt attention, mouth partway open as he focused on Stiles’ hollowed cheeks sucking on his ring finger.  

Stiles finished licking his fingers and smacked his lips together, wetting them.  Peter stared some more, eyes fixed on the salt-plumped lower lip of his mate's perfect pink mouth.  Stiles hummed, finally sated and so, so happy.

"Marry me?" Stiles asked, voice dreamy and light.

"Are you serious?"  

"Curly fry serious," Stiles replied, pushing the breakfast tray off his lap and lunging off the bed.  He hung over the side, rummaging around in his bedside table for something.  When he pulled back to sit up, he held up something small, waving it around so fast Peter couldn't tell what it was.  

"What is that?" Peter asked, catching Stiles' hand and holding it still in front of his face.

"It's my dad's ring," Stiles said.  "He gave it to me so I could give it to you when I was ready to ask, and now I'm ready."

"Are you sure?" Peter asked, bringing his hand up to cup Stiles' face fingertips lightly tracing over the scars at the back of his neck.  He gave a tiny little tug to their bond, wanting to let Stiles know that he was there, present in the moment.  

"Of course I am," Stiles said, pressing his face into Peter's palm, relishing in the sensation of the cool fingers against his neck.

"I love you so much," Peter muttered against Stiles' lips, kissing him tenderly.   

"I love you, too," Stiles said, dropping his father's ring into Peter's free hand.  Peter turned the ring over in his hand, feeling the weight of it.  "We'll have to get it resized," he mumbled, only able to slide the ring partway down Peter's finger.   

"We've got some time," Peter replied, kissing Stiles again.  "We don't need to wear them until the wedding anyway."

"Wedding," Stiles repeated, liking the weight of the word in his mouth.  "Wow."

"I have something for you too," Peter said, hopping off the bed to go to his dresser.  He retrieved his ring and knee-walked back over to Stiles, still holding it in his closed fist.  "I'm not sure if you'd feel weird wearing it... but this is the ring Savannah gave me.  I had it on during the fire."

Peter held up the ring between his thumb and pointer finger, letting Stiles get a good look at the blunt, melted edges.   

"I'd be honored," Stiles said softly, taking the ring from Peter and slipping it on his own finger.  He turned his hand upside down to test the fit and it slipped off immediately, falling to the mattress.

"You're sure?" Peter asked, picking the ring back up and placing it in Stiles' palm.

"Yes," Stiles said, looking closer at the ring to see if there was an inscription.  He couldn't find anything, metal worn down from long term use.  "Yours is from my mother and mine is from Savannah.  They should both be remembered.  It's fine with me."

"This is the only thing I have left from my life before the fire," Peter said, running his finger across the metal in Stiles' hand.  "I was someone else then.  Maybe someone better, but I'm not sure, things are turning out pretty amazing.  You make me feel happy to be alive."

"I love you," Stiles told Peter, needing to say the words one more time.  

"I love you, too," Peter muttered in his ear, running his nose up the skin of Stiles' throat and rumbling happily.  Stiles relaxed into his touch, taking both rings and sitting them together on his nightstand before lying down with his hands on his belly.  His stomach rumbled loudly and he let out a loud belch, eliciting a disapproving glare from Peter.

"Maybe you shouldn't have eaten all of those at once," Peter told him, rubbing one hand on his upper abdomen.  

"Skids and Mudflap are pressing on my stomach," Stiles complained, pressing his hand on top of Peter's.  "I'm running out of room for deliciously fried goodness."

"You've got five months to go, so maybe you should pace yourself," Peter admonished, pulling up Stiles' shirt so he could press a handful of kisses to Stiles' belly.  

"Sing for us?" Stiles asked, closing his eyes and smiling softly as Peter continued kissing the skin stretched over their babies.  

"Yes, dear," Peter said, pulling himself off the bed to grab his guitar.  He quickly checked the tuning and stared at Stiles' stomach, deciding what he was going to sing.  He licked his lips and extended his claws, softly picking at his twelve strings.

 

“I listen to the wind

To the wind of my soul

Where I’ll end up, well, I think

Only God really knows

 

I’ve sat upon the setting sun

But never, never, never, never

I never wanted water once

No, never, never, never”

 

Stiles smiled, eyes still closed as he listened to Peter's voice light him up inside.  He pressed his palms to his belly where the babies had begun to kick, making a mental note to write it in his journal when he got up.  He imagined what life would be like once the babies were born, two little people, living outside in the real world, no longer protected by his own body.  

Peter's words were thought provoking.  It piqued his interest whenever Peter mentioned God.  Stiles didn’t know if his mate believed in any higher power apart from his own abilities.  He didn’t know if Peter believed the words, or just liked the song.  Stiles still had a lot to learn about his fiancé.

Fiancé.  

Smiling to himself at the sound of the word in his own thoughts, Stiles rubbed his stomach, letting Peter’s words flow over him.  His voice was low and gruff, rasping on the low notes that were Stiles’ favorite part of the familiar tune.

 

“I listen to my words

But they fall far below

I let my music take me

Where my heart wants to go

 

I swam upon the devil’s lake

But never, never, never, never

I’ll never make the same mistake

No, never, never, never”

 

Peter had said he thought he was a better man before the fire, but when he looked into his heart, Stiles knew that wasn't true.  He was a different man, surely, but a better one?  Stiles couldn't believe that.  He couldn't believe that Peter had ever been better than he was now.  After all they had been through, Peter had proved himself time and time again.  He had made mistakes, countless mistakes, and yet Stiles was sure that he had learned from them and emerged a more attentive and empathetic person.  Once the babies were born, Peter would finally have everything that he had lost.  He would be whole again, fully actualized.  As terrified as Stiles was that something else would go wrong, he couldn’t wait to give the world to the man sitting beside him.

The song was short, so Peter repeated it, playing beautiful interludes on his guitar between each verse.  Stiles listened as Peter's raspy singing voice lulled him to sleep, wishing he could hear the babies' heartbeats keeping time with the plucking of his mate's fingers.  


It had been Peter's idea to institute a weekly pack dinner.  Most of the pack members were over every day anyway, with Isaac, Erica, and Boyd living there pretty exclusively, though Isaac had been disappearing more and more frequently, coming back most mornings smelling like sex, if Peter was to be believed.  The dinner was mostly for the Sheriff, Melissa, and Chris to get a chance to see their kids and have a good meal.  Stiles also thought it was a good idea for Danny to be exposed to the pack in a fairly low-key way.  The less magic and dead bodies involved, the better.

Stiles’ stomach had been feeling a lot better and he wasn't as easily set off as he used to be, so he was happy to help Peter in the kitchen.  They made a truly gigantic Greek salad and their approximation of gyros for the pack.  Stiles was just mixing up a batch of tzatziki when his father arrived.  

"That smells amazing," John groaned, coming up behind his son to grab a piece of roasted lamb off a serving platter.  

"I can't tell you how glad I am to get a break from Peter's healthy diet plan."

"Now you know how I feel," John agreed, going to the fridge to grab a bottle of beer.  The rest of the pack trailed in over the next twenty minutes.  Boyd helped set the table, seating himself directly in front of the tray of meat.  Chris gave the rest of the wolves a wide berth, putting himself across from Stiles and between John and his daughter.  Stiles was impressed with how well he had accepted the changes in his life.  His daughter had revealed that she was both attracted to women and an Alpha werewolf in the same month.  That was enough to drive any father up the wall.  

Once the meal had been cleaned away, Peter stood up, drawing everybody's attention.  "We have some news," he said, leaning over the back of Stiles’ chair to put a hand on his shoulder.  

"We already know about Peter's dick," Scott grumbled, getting a slap upside the head from his mother as the rest of the wolves muttered in agreement.  

"I so don't want to know," John said, hanging his head with a shake.  

"You really don't," Derek agreed, pinching his mouth shut.

"I'd kind of like to know," Danny muttered, flashing his dimples as he smirked.  Jackson elbowed him hard enough that he gasped.  

"We're getting married," Stiles said, rolling his eyes at the rest of the pack's antics.  

"Congratulations," John said, eliciting excited words from everyone else present.  He got up to walk around the whole length of the table, clapping Peter on the back and embracing his son.  "When is the big day?"

"I was thinking sometime after the babies are born, so I can maybe be seen in public," Stiles said, patting his belly, which was fully round and too obvious for him to even be able to go out and get his own curly fries.  

"Umm," Allison said, deciding whether she wanted to burst the happy bubble.

"What is it?" Jackson asked, sensitive to the shift in the Alpha's mood.

"We also have an announcement," Lydia said delicately, smiling at Allison, who nodded her encouragement.  "We're moving to England," she told the group, holding Allison's hand as she did so.  

"What?" Scott asked, completely shocked, "Why?"  

“Lydia's been accepted by Cambridge," Allison said, smiling broadly at her girlfriend, proud to tout her accomplishments.  "And my dad and I have decided to move there as well."

"That's incredible," Peter said, always the tone of surprise when one of the teens did something impressive.  Usually only Stiles was able to impress him, but Lydia was a close second.

"What are you going to do there?" Erica asked Allison, not sure why the Argents would willingly leave Beacon Hills just to follow Lydia across the world.  

"Dad got me a spot at a prestigious archery school," Allison said, smiling at her father.  "And I’d like to brush up on my French, maybe learn to paint."

"You're going to kick all sorts of ass!" Stiles exclaimed, smiling broadly at the girls.  "I'm so proud of both of you!"

"Thank you," Allison beamed, moving a lock of hair behind her ear, blushing.

"Might I suggest that you get married this summer?" Lydia asked, already knowing she was going to get her way.  "That way I can plan everything and it can be a bit of a final sendoff for everyone after graduation?"

"That sounds fine with me," Stiles agreed easily, seeing no reason to put off being married to the father of his children.  "But pack only.  I can't let anyone else see me looking like this," he said, pushing his chair back to show off his protruding stomach.  

The Sheriff made a disappointed noise, drawing Stiles' attention as he leaned back in his chair.

"What's wrong with that?" Stiles asked, not knowing where his father's reluctance was coming from.  

"I was hoping to be able to invite a few people from work," John said, tapping his fingers against the tabletop.  "You know how it is, young son gets married right out of high school, older fiancé... I'd like to be able to dispel a few rumors if I could.  Plus everyone’s always asking about you.  The Sheriff’s son is kind of famous in a small town."

"Where are you going to tell everyone the babies came from?" Isaac asked, digging an even deeper hole for Stiles and Peter to crawl out of.  

"We can say that they're Peter's and then I can adopt them," Stiles said, looking behind him to gauge his mate's reaction.

"I don't think that's a good idea," John countered, tilting to one side as he contemplated the situation.  "As your older husband Peter would have a much easier time gaining custody."

"So you're going to have knocked up a runaway girlfriend," Erica said, raising her eyebrows in Stiles' direction like she was picturing who he could possibly have gotten in the family way. 

"I really don't like the sound of that," Peter said, scrunching up his face in a disapproving expression.  

"I really don't think you have a choice," John told him, looking apologetic but firm.

"Pretend girlfriend it is then," Peter agreed reluctantly. Stiles knew they would need to talk about it later, but he couldn't help that he was a little pleased knowing how seriously Peter cared about being recognized as their children's father.  

"I think you boys are forgetting one little detail," Lydia said, bringing the conversation back around to her earlier point.  

"And what's that?" Peter asked, losing patience with the topic, especially since they were discussing it in front of the whole pack.  His wolf growled with the desire to show the world that the pups were actually his—biologically.  “Are you volunteering to be the twins’ fake mother?”

“Never,” Lydia said easily.  “I don’t want any part of that little domestic knot.  I’m talking about the wedding.  I was born to do this," she said with a confident hair flip.  "I can plan everything, invite the whole town, and tailor Stiles' suit so that no one suspects a thing."

"Really?" Stiles asked, thinking that was almost too good to be true.

"You insult me, Stilinski," Lydia said, pursing her pink glossy lips with a pinched expression.  "Everyone pull out your calendars, we have a wedding to plan."

"How long do you need?" Stiles asked, pulling his phone out of his pocket to pull up his calendar app.  He didn't know why he was bothering, apart from graduation, he didn't have any plans.  

Lydia rolled her eyes, like he was still underestimating her.  Twenty minutes later they had a color palette and a backyard ceremony planned for the third Saturday in June.  The wolfish look on Lydia's face had Stiles already regretting his decision.

 

Chapter Text

Stiles was nearly done with his schoolwork for the rest of the year, doing a little bit every day while Peter read and Derek tended his garden.  Every afternoon the pack would come back from school and swarm him, all trying to get their baby snuggle time in.  Jackson was by far the worst, attaching himself to Stiles like a barnacle.  Scott was only slightly better, still insisting that Stiles do his prenatal yoga routine.  He nagged Stiles until he submitted, letting Scott push him into position and help him stretch.  

Even with periodic yoga and meditation, Stiles could feel the tension building.  It made his whole body itch.  

Peter used to leave him alone to do schoolwork during the day, but that was no longer the case.  With every passing week, Peter’s patience with the Betas thinned.  Every time Jackson got too close, Peter would growl, placing possessive hands all over Stiles' stomach and crowding his mate until Jackson backed off.  The last time he had come home to find Jackson with his head resting on Stiles' belly, whispering excitedly to the pups, he had roared loud enough to shake the house, flashing red eyes until Jackson fled.  He was quickly followed by Danny, and the pair didn’t leave Jackson's bedroom for the rest of the evening.

After that particular incident, Peter stuck to him like glue, never more than an arm's length away.  Normally when Peter got clingy, Stiles would just hop in the Jeep and head to his Dad’s, but as his pregnancy wore on, he was often too nauseous or tired to drive.  He was a little scared he would try to get into the Jeep only to find that he didn’t fit behind the wheel anymore.

Stiles was ready to snap.  He was curled up in the window seat in the library, slowly making his way through his last novel for AP English when Peter nearly climbed into his lap, inserting his face between Stiles and his book.  Peter began to purr, burrowing his face into Stiles' belly, nearly shoving his entire head under Stiles' tee shirt.  

"Okay, that's it!" Stiles shouted, pushing Peter back out of his lap.  "Off, off," he called.  Peter was so focused on nuzzling Stiles' baby bump that the sudden movement sent him to the floor.  He landed in the pile of cushions in the reading nook, nearly obscured from Stiles' view by the fluffy fabric.  

"What's wrong?" Peter asked, looking like a kicked puppy.  Usually Stiles would find that expression on Peter's face amusing, but right then it just looked a little too much like Scott to work on him.   

"What do you think is wrong?" Stiles asked loudly, waving his book around in the air in agitation.  "You're smothering me.  I thought we talked about this."  

"I—I just," Peter stuttered, unable to come up with a passable excuse for his behavior.  Stiles was confused.  Peter was always well spoken, never tongue tied, it was odd for Stiles to watch him struggle.  

"I think you need to get a job," Stiles said, looking down at Peter who was now propped up on his elbows in a pile of ostentatious poofs.  The view was utterly ridiculous.   

"A job?" Peter asked.  Stiles wondered if he was going to repeat everything he said until his brain caught up to the conversation.

"Yes, a job," Stiles said, "you know, one of those things where you go to a place every day and perform some kind of task in exchange for a regular paycheck?  One of those things that normal people have?  A job."

Peter just stared at him, mouth open in an uncharacteristic gape.  When he hadn't said anything for a full minute, Stiles started talking again.   

"Remember how you told me you were thinking about teaching a language at the community college?  Why don't you try doing that?"

"We don't need the money," Peter argued, like he still didn't understand why Stiles wanted a little alone time.

"No, but we do need distance.  At least enough to protect my sanity," Stiles said.  Perhaps he was being harsher than he should have been, because Peter's face fell at his words.  "It's not that I don't love you or want you around, but between you and the pack, I could use a break.  Give me the chance to miss you."

"I suppose," Peter tried to agree, eyes still on the floor.  If Stiles wasn't mistaken, he was clawing at one of the pillows in frustration.  

"It would be easier for a judge to grant you custody of the babies if you had a steady job," Stiles said, thinking it might go better if he went for a more logical approach.  "And I would love for you to have something of your own, something you're good at and enjoy.  It's sexy thinking about you commanding a classroom, riling up all the coeds."

"You just want to see me in a pair of glasses and a tweed blazer," Peter said, smirking at his mate with that cocky expression Stiles had come to know and love.  

"Do you have a pair of glasses and a tweed blazer?" He asked, already picturing the role play.

"I might," Peter said, getting up off the floor to straddle Stiles' lap, book forgotten on the floor.

"So you'll think about it?" Stiles asked, words muffled by Peter's lips pressed against his.

"I'll start boning up on my German," he replied.

"I've got something else you can bone up on," Stiles quipped.  Peter rolled his eyes, but kissed Stiles even more fiercely, not in the least bit deterred by his mate's bad joke.  He really had it bad.


A few days later, Allison and Lydia came over to finalize some more wedding plans.  They had a trip to Europe planned for later that week to find an apartment and set up house, and Lydia insisted there were a few things they needed to get done before then.  

"Rings?" Lydia asked, trailing a finger down the list of her planner.

"We've got that covered," Stiles told her, pressing a kiss to Peter's hand that was linked with his.

"Flowers?  Do either of you have a preference?"

"No?" Peter said, sure that he had absolutely no opinion on the subject.  "Stiles?"

"Lily of the valley?" He said, a bit sheepish.  Most men probably didn't have preferences about flowers when it came to wedding planning.

"Isn't that a weed?" Allison asked, looking to Lydia for confirmation.

"It's also poisonous," Peter chimed in, smiling at his mate like Stiles had nefarious intentions and he was just a little bit turned on by the thought.

"There were my mom's favorite," Stiles said quietly, squeezing Peter's hand even tighter.

"I can work with it," Lydia said, flipping her hair as she scribbled something in her notebook.  

"Ceremony," she said next, flipping to a blank page.  "You need to decide on attendants, officiant, and any readings and vows you want included."

"Okay," Stiles said, "Scott is my best man, obviously."

"Derek," Peter said easily.

"Then can we just split up the rest of the pack on either side?" Stiles asked, feeling like he was drafting a kickball team.  "I'll take Jackson."

"Cora."

"Erica."

"Boyd."

"As fascinating as this is," Lydia said, lacing her fingers together.  "Aren't you forgetting somebody?"

"Oh, right," Stiles said, ducking his head.  "I'll take Allison."

"That is so not what I meant, Stilinski," Lydia said, crossing her arms over her chest and raising her eyebrows.

"Oh well, we were hoping you would officiate," Stiles said easily.  "Did we forget to mention that?"

"Yes," Lydia said excitement cutting into her offended tone.

"Well then," Peter said, taking Lydia's hand and holding it up in a gentlemanly manner.  "Ms. Martin, would you do Stiles and me the honor of marrying us?"

"I accept," Lydia said coolly, pulling her hand back and picking up her pen again.  

"Great, then I'll take Danny and you can have Isaac," Stiles said, counting on his fingers to make sure he hadn't forgotten anyone.

"That's an uneven number," Lydia complained, pursuing her lips.

"Does that matter?" Stiles asked, not seeing a problem.

"It throws off the esthetics," Lydia said, searching her mind for another attendant.  "Deaton?" She asked, looking at Peter for his decision.

"I'd rather die," he said blandly.

"Chris?" She asked again, running out of options.

"No."

"Melissa?" Stiles suggested, as she was the only remaining pack member.   

"You think she'd say yes?" Peter asked, mind going back to that one time he had asked her out.  He hoped she wouldn't hold it against him.  It felt like eons ago.

"I don't see why not," Lydia said, "Scott could walk her down the aisle, I'm sure she would love that."

"Okay then, we're good.  Can my dad walk me down the aisle?" Stiles asked, thinking his father would appreciate the gesture.

"Sure," Lydia said, scribbling down a walking order in her journal.

"Would you accompany me?" Peter asked, not liking the mental picture he had of Derek giving him away at the end of a red carpet.

"Of course," Lydia replied readily, smiling softly as she continued writing.  "So that leaves Derek with Cora, Erica with Boyd, Allison with Isaac, and Jackson with Danny."

"We really need to help him make that relationship happen," Stiles said, thinking it might help relieve some tension between Peter and Jackson if the Beta had someone else to focus on. 

"The way he's always crawling into your lap can't be helping," Allison said, giggling quietly.

"He can't help it," Lydia said, still looking down at the notebook in her lap.  "The babies are his anchor."

"They’re what?" Stiles asked, mouth hanging open.

"Of course they are.  Why didn’t I notice that?" Peter asked blithely.

"How can you tell?" Stiles asked, looking between the wolves for some kind of explanation.

"I know him," Lydia said, meeting Stiles' eyes.  "He's incredibly easy to read."  When no one spoke for a minute, she elaborated.  "When we broke up he was feeling rejected and adrift, so he clung to the only people that could give him unconditional love... the twins."

"But Mario and Luigi aren’t even born yet!" Stiles said, rubbing one palm around his stomach in confusion while Lydia rolled her eyes at the nicknames.

"That doesn't matter," Peter said, understanding the situation completely once Lydia had planted the seed.  "In fact it sort of helps.  There's no way that the pups could possibly reject him from inside the womb.  We better hope they don't mind being snuggled within an inch of their lives once they're actually with us."

"Oh God," Stiles said, hand going to his forehead, "this isn't some sort of creepy Twilight imprinting thing is it?"

"No, nothing like that," Peter said.  Stiles believed him, there was no way Peter would be okay with Jackson being anywhere near him if that was a danger.  "He's just emotionally attached.  It would be helpful if we could get him together with Danny.  That relationship would distract him and actually be supportive of his wolf.  A baby can’t do much to really anchor someone."

"When did that even happen?" Allison asked.  "One day he was straight as an arrow and the next he was pining for Danny?"  Lydia laughed at Allison's choice of words.

"More like straight as a boy scout troop," Lydia said, pulling a laugh from Stiles.  "He was so far in the closet he was handing me my shoes in the morning.  He's always had a thing for Danny, it's just a lot more obvious now."

"It's not like it's surprising," Stiles agreed.  "Danny's hot."  Peter growled low, getting a playful slap from Stiles for his cheek.  "Oh please, I'm just stating the obvious.  I've obviously got the sexiest wolf already."

"It's not just that," Lydia said, never one to walk away from gossip.  "Everything changed after the Alpha Pack.  Jackson was so ashamed of his body, he wouldn't let me touch him anymore."

"But he let Danny?" Allison asked, wondering when she missed that.  Her wolf nose may have been new, but there was no way she could miss a smell like that.

"No, he just made Jackson realize that it was okay to have scars," Lydia explained, taking Allison's hand as she looked meaningfully between Peter and Stiles.  “He would never have let me in enough to help him get to that point.”

"It's true," Stiles filled in.  "He has huge surgical scars on his chest and stomach from when he was sick as a kid.  Danny must have made him realize that if he could still be hot with scars, so could Jackson."

"That's a pretty indelicate way of putting it, but I think you got the right idea."

"We'll help him," Stiles agreed, excited to find a new avenue for Jackson's abundance of affection.

"Are we done with the wedding plans for today?" Peter asked, feeling like afternoon sex might be called for.

"Yes.  Now comes the fun part," Lydia said, running around the side of the house to her car.

"What's that supposed to mean?" Stiles asked, a little nervous.  It took a lot to get Lydia so excited.  

"You'll see," Allison said cryptically, going to help her girlfriend carry in several shopping bags.

"What's in there?" Peter asked, slipping his hand into the bag closest to him.

"Props!" Lydia squealed, tugging a canvas bag over her shoulder.  "For your paternity photo shoot."

"You're kidding," Stiles said, looking down at his belly with trepidation.

"Stop that, you look amazing," Peter said, lifting Stiles' chin and giving him a heartfelt kiss.

Allison pulled out everything from chalkboards to baby blocks while Lydia assembled a fancy looking camera.  "This one is for you guys," she said, pulling a Macy's bag out of the pile and handing it to Peter.  "Go upstairs and change."

"You're dressing us?" Peter asked, looking suspiciously into the bag.

"Well not you so much as Stiles, but yes.  Now go change," she ordered, pointing a polished fingernail at the staircase.

Peter emptied the bag onto the bed and pulled out a green cashmere sweater and charcoal slacks that had to be for him.  Stiles had a sharply pressed plaid button down, and suspenders with soft gray twill pants.  He was going to look amazing.  They got dressed in silence, giving each other shy, sly looks whenever they caught a glimpse of skin.  Stiles zipped up his pants with his back to Peter, winking at him over one shoulder.  Peter laughed and grabbed their wedding rings and ultrasound photos off the nightstand, thinking Lydia might want to incorporate them somehow.

They met the girls on the back porch where they had set up everything, props spread out all over the grass behind them.  The first few photos were easy, they kissed and snuggled, Peter's hands on Stiles' belly.  They took a walk in the woods, letting Lydia get some shots of the light filtering through the leaves of the trees, always holding hands.  Then it came time for props.  

Allison wrote cute sayings on the chalkboard and made them hold it up, they spelled out twins in baby blocks and balanced them on Stiles' stomach as he laid on the porch steps, Lydia grumbling that the couple hadn’t named the pups yet, so she couldn’t incorporate them into the photos.  

Then Lydia brought out two teeny pairs of Chucks, and Stiles lost it.  He started to cry, staring down at the tiny shoes on his stomach like they were the most beautiful things on earth.  Peter knew better than to laugh at that point.  He just smiled, fitting the shoes to his fingers and dancing them around on Stiles' stomach while Lydia continued to snap pictures.  

They held up Stiles' ultrasound photos and stacked their rings up on Stiles' belly.  They hung a laundry line and hung up several onesies with cutesy sayings that Allison had ordered online.  Just when Stiles thought they were winding down, Lydia let the camera fall against her stomach and asked.  "Would you do some without your shirt on?"

Stiles stared at her for a minute, unsure.  Peter came up behind him and wrapped his arms around the babies, whispering in Stiles' ear.  "Would it help if I took mine off too?"

"It absolutely would not," Stiles said, unbuttoning the top of his shirt anyway.  Once he was shirtless he pulled the suspenders back up on his shoulders, liking the way they framed his stomach, even if his scars were exposed.  It felt a little odd, standing there half naked while everyone else watched, but Peter distracted him by running his hands all over his body, pressing kisses everywhere he could reach.  Lydia clicked away, content to watch the couple interact naturally.  Allison brought a few of the props back over, redoing some of the earlier shots.

Once Lydia had exhausted every position she could think of, Peter pulled Stiles' suspenders down and gave him his shirt back, watching wistfully as Stiles covered up his triskelion pendant once more.  

"There's just one more thing we have to do," Allison said, running inside the house while the rest of them stood around, not sure what she was talking about.  A minute later she came out, carrying Peter's twelve-string guitar and handing it to the wolf.  Stiles sat down on the steps with Peter, smiling as his mate tuned the instrument.  

"What do you want to hear?" He asked, looking at Stiles, but side-eyeing the girls.  They all knew who was really running the show.  

"A duet, please," Lydia said, checking the lighting as Peter flicked his claws out and began to strum.  Everyone recognized the song instantly, and Stiles smiled knowingly.  He didn't know if anyone else realized how whenever Stiles sang Peter a song, he would look up the artist and learn the rest of their music to surprise him with later.  His mate was such a goober.  

 

"Do you hear me, I'm talking to you

Across the water across the deep blue ocean

Under the open sky, oh my, baby I'm trying"

 

Lydia raised her camera again, checking the framing before setting it to record.  She let the boys think she was just taking photos, but she knew the twins would love to see their daddies being huge saps with each other one day, so she recorded a video, catching a few stills every once in a while.

 

"Boy, I hear you in my dreams

I feel your whisper across the sea

I keep you with me in my heart

You make it easier when life gets hard"

 

"Lucky I'm in love with my best friend

Lucky to have been where I have been

Lucky to be coming home again"

 

Stiles swayed to the music, closing his eyes every once in a while to concentrate on that warm feeling he always got when Peter sang to him.  When they sang together, Stiles could feel it reverberating, coming from his heart and his lungs simultaneously.  The babies starting rolling around in his stomach, making him press down on his belly in surprise as the song went on.

 

"They don't know how long it takes

Waiting for a love like this"

 

"Every time we say goodbye

I wish we had one more kiss

I'll wait for you, I promise you, I will"

 

Lydia smiled at Allison, raising her eyebrows at the men who were putting on a quite lovely show for them.  Ally came up behind Lydia, gently hooking her chin over one shoulder so she could see what her girlfriend was seeing through the camera.  

 

"Lucky I'm in love with my best friend

Lucky to have been where I have been

Lucky to be coming home again

 

Lucky we're in love in every way

Lucky to have stayed where we have stayed

Lucky to be coming home someday"

 

"I think I'm going to throw up," Allison whispered in Lydia's ear, hopefully quiet enough that the camera wouldn't pick up her voice.  Lydia just leaned back into her body, fitting her shoulders against Allison's breasts until she squirmed.  

"You know you love it," Lydia whispered back, turning her head to press a pink kiss to Allison's cheek while keeping the camera steady.

 

"And so I'm sailing through the sea

To an island where we'll meet

You'll hear the music fill the air

I'll put a flower in your hair"

 

Stiles got up so he could sit behind Peter, stretching his legs out on either side of his mate's body and wrapping his arms around Peter's waist.  He continued the song, singing in Peter's ear, pressing kisses to the side of Peter's face whenever it wasn't his turn.

 

"Though the breezes through the trees

Move so pretty you're all I see

As the world keeps spinning round

You hold me right here right now"

 

Peter cocked his head to the side, giving Stiles more room to inch his face into his personal space, mouth brushing Peter's neck with every word he sang.

 

"Lucky I'm in love with my best friend

Lucky to have been where I have been

Lucky to be coming home again

I'm lucky we're in love in every way

Lucky to have stayed where we have stayed

Lucky to be coming home someday"

 

Peter was glad for the song to be over, he all but threw his guitar away from himself, reaching behind his body to grab Stiles' arm and pull him into his lap.  Peter wrapped his arms around Stiles' bump, attaching his mouth to Stiles' mating bite as Lydia snapped a few parting shots.  When it was clear that their presence was no longer required, Allison and Lydia gathered up their props and made their way out of the yard, leaving Peter and Stiles to continue trading wet, impassioned kisses on the back steps.  


"What's going on?" Stiles asked late one evening when the pack seemed to be particularly high strung.  They were running around the Manor, throwing on coats and shoes like they were about to all leave in a rush.

"Your dad called," Derek said, pulling his work boots on in a fairly aggressive manner.  "There have been reports of a few people drowning in the lake, so we're going to check it out."

"Well that's terrible and everything, but it doesn't exactly scream supernatural to me," Stiles said, flicking his eyes around the room as he watched Erica throw her hair up and Peter slip into his leather jacket.  As fond of that jacket as Stiles was, he didn't see why everyone needed to go out right then, it was nearly midnight.

"There's also been reports of animals being drowned at the same place," Peter explained, zipping up his jacket and pressing a kiss to the top of Stiles' head and then his belly in quick succession.  "It's probably a water fairy that's been drowning everyone.  We're going to go take care of it."

"Okay, just let me get my sneakers on," Stiles said, lifting himself off the couch a bit unsteadily.  His seven month pregnant stomach was making his back ache constantly and the weight of it had him even more off balance than before.  

"Oh no, you're staying here," Derek said, pressing a hand back on Stiles' shoulder until he fell back to the couch.  "Fairies do all sorts of nasty things to babies, and we don't need another magical incident involving those two,” he said, pointing at Stiles' stomach.

"Jackson and Danny are going to stay here with you," Peter said, looking around the room to check that everyone was ready to go.  "We'll be back in an hour.  I'll bring you some ice cream, okay?"

"I don't need a babysitter," Stiles said, looking at Jackson with a hurt expression.  "No offense."

"None taken," Danny said cheerfully, walking over to the bookshelves to check out Stiles' DVD collection.  

"Plus, don't you guys know anything about elemental magic?  If it's a water fairy, you're going to need fire, ergo, you need me," he said, struggling to push himself off the couch again.

"Please, Stiles," Peter said, grabbing Stiles' hand and pressing it back against his belly.  "Just sit this one out, for me?"

"Fine, fine, see if I come running when you're getting your asses handed to you by Tinker Bell," Stiles said, crossing his arms and letting himself fall back to the couch, stretching out in an effort to ease the twinge in his back.

"We'll be back before you know it," Scott said happily, following the rest of the wolves out of the house and slamming the door closed.  

"So?" Danny asked, settling back on the couch, remote in hand.  "Movie?"

"Fine," Stiles said, still disgruntled as Danny turned on the first Bridget Jones .

Bridget was just realizing that she was not, in fact, at a costume party when Stiles felt a flicker of panic ripple through the pack bond.  He sat up abruptly, chasing the sensation into the back of his mind.  

"What is it?" Jackson asked, straightening his body in reaction to Stiles' movement.

"Do you guys hear that?" Stiles asked, trying to distract Jackson from the distress signal he was getting from Peter.  

"Hear what?" Danny asked, looking to Jackson for confirmation that there was nothing happening.

"I think there's like a scratching noise, coming from the basement," he said, getting up off the couch and heading for the kitchen.  He opened a drawer, pulling out a small vial before the other two followed him.  Stiles stood at the basement door, pressing his ear to the wall.

"You guys don't hear that?" He asked, motioning for them to come closer.  

"I don't hear anything," Jackson said, inching closer to the heavy metal door.

"Well can you check?  It's sort of freaking me out," Stiles said, rubbing one hand up and down his arm in an uncomfortable motion.

"Yeah okay, but you're acting like a baby," Jackson said, stepping past Danny to go down the stairs.  

"Man carrying babies here," Stiles said, gesturing to his stomach as Danny went to follow Jackson downstairs.  "Humor me," he said flatly, smashing a vial of mountain ash on the floor until it formed a line on the threshold and putting all his weight behind the heavy safety door, pushing it closed behind them.  He locked the door as Danny and Jackson began to bang on it, yelling for him to open up.  Stiles grabbed his coat and the keys to his Jeep before running out of the house.

He pushed the seat all the way back, just barely fitting behind the wheel as he sped off through the preserve.  Jackson was screaming at him through the pack bond, but he ignored that corner of his mind to focus on the problem at hand.  Peter and Derek were distressed, and he could feel the rest of the Betas almost… slipping away?  They were fading from his mind in a way he had never experienced before.  He shifted up, getting to the lake as quickly as he could.

His headlights were overbright in the darkness of the forest, reflecting off the water of the lake as he kicked the door open and yanked himself out of the car.  When his vision adjusted, he saw a figure on the end of the dock, lit up in its own ethereal glow.  He scanned the lake, searching for the rest of his pack but couldn't find them in the darkness.  

The figure stretched out its arms, waving them in what looked like an overly dramatic beckoning gesture.  Stiles rolled his eyes.  It just figured that Derek would find himself seduced by the man-eater of water spirits.  Scanning the lake once more, he found Erica and Boyd, the tops of their heads barely visible, but nothing more.  If he was right, the others were already under the surface of the lake, being drowned by the siren of a fairy.  

"Hey bitch!" Stiles screamed, waving his arms until the figure turned in his direction.  "Don't you want a piece of this?" He teased as the fairy stalked forward, flashing deadly looking teeth at him as she eyed his round stomach.  Stiles wasted no time in diving back into the driver's seat and gunning it straight for the dock.

He floored it, saying a little prayer for Roscoe as the Jeep lurched forward as fast as Stiles could push it.  When he hit the fairy with the grill, he barely had time to notice that the figure basically broke in half before he was flying through the air and into the lake.  Icy water hit him like a ton of bricks, pulling a gasp from his throat as he swam out of the open driver's side door and escaped the car as it began to sink.  

"What the fuck were you thinking?" Peter screamed, emerging from the water not twelve feet away from Stiles.  He was scratched and muddy as all hell, but he was alive and well, already lecturing his mate.  

"Steel is mostly iron!" Stiles yelled back, smacking his hands against the surface of the lake to splash some water at his mate.  "Claws are useless against fairies!  You would have known that if you had taken two minutes to talk to me before you ran out here!"

"He's got a point," Isaac said, shaking the muck from his curls like a wet dog.  

"Shut up, Isaac," Erica growled from a few feet away, shirt clinging to her curves as she flung her body out of the water.

“I had an iron knife,” Peter argued, rolling his eyes at his mate, “I’m not a complete idiot.  I just lost it… somewhere,” he said, peering down into the water around him.

"I think the words you're looking for are 'thank you, Stiles!'" he called across the lake as he began to swim for shore.  

"Thank you, Stiles!" Scott called back, already sitting on the edge of the lake, wringing the water out of his tee shirt.

"You're welcome, fuckers!" Stiles yelled, as he flailed out of the water, one hand on his lower back, one hand waving around, helping him regain balance in his squishy shoes.  

"Let's just get you home," Derek said, pulling Stiles into a wet one-armed hug.  "Let Peter stew in his stupidity for a little while."

"It's your collective stupidity," Stiles corrected, as Derek steered him toward the Camaro.  

"How did you give Jackson and Danny the slip?" Peter asked, reevaluating the way he had trusted the Beta to keep his mate out of trouble.  He was going to have to get a better babysitter next time there was a fight.  

"Locked them in the basement," Stiles said, grinning as the pack broke out in laughter.  

After a damp car ride in which Derek grumbled over the state of his leather seats, the pack dragged themselves back into the Manor.  Stiles headed straight for the basement door, ready to apologize to Jackson for tricking him, though really, he should have been able to hear the lie, so it was more a testament to their need to up the wolves’ training than anything.  Peter stopped him with a hand on his chest.

"You don't want to go in there," he said, pulling on Stiles' arm to drag him upstairs instead.  

"What?  Really?" Stiles asked, looking between Peter and the basement with a shocked grin.  

"Yeah, I would give them at least a half hour," he said to the room at large as they ascended the stairs.  “Maybe a whole hour.”

"It's about damn time," Erica said, yawning as she trailed after them.  

Chapter Text

Now that Stiles was done with his schoolwork and graduation was only a few days away, he had significantly less to fill his time.  Peter had been out for hours, interviewing at the community college.  Stiles had been waiting by the phone, expecting an excited text message telling him that Peter had gotten the job, but so far, nothing.  He had taken to wandering around the house and the mile surrounding it, stretching his legs until his back protested and contemplating how he wanted to decorate the nursery.

"Honey, I'm home," Peter called a few hours later, coming in the front door with his briefcase.  He looked like a wet dream, grey trousers and a checked button down with a tie worn under a sapphire blue sweater.  He even had a pair of thick rimmed glasses hooked over the V of the sweater.  Stiles knew there was no way he would actually need to wear them, but he appreciated the way his mate was playing into the fantasy.  He expected a steamy role playing session to commence later that night.  

"How did it go?" Stiles asked excitedly, waddling into the kitchen to meet him.  Derek was puttering around in the kitchen, stirring a pot of boiling water, waiting for Peter to come home and make some pasta sauce.   

"You're looking at the new adjunct professor of the Beacon Hills Community College Foreign Language Department," he said, holding out his arms for Stiles to give him a hug.

"I knew you'd get it," Stiles muttered into his neck, enjoying the feeling of soft cashmere on his cheek.  

"Seeing as most of their professors have never actually been to Europe, it wasn't a particularly difficult interview," Peter told him, squeezing as tight as he dared.  At seven months pregnant, Stiles' belly kept a good foot of distance between their lower bodies.

"I think this calls for a toast," Derek said, smiling at his uncle as he went to the fridge.  He pulled out a green bottle with a flip top and held it out to Peter.  

"You finished it?" Peter asked, taking the bottle and inspecting it as Derek pulled a pint glass from the cabinet.  

"Yeah, my first batch is ready for testing.  Care to do the honors?"

"Did you try it yourself first?" Peter asked, a little suspicious of anything that had been homebrewed with wolfsbane.  As much as he trusted his nephew, it never hurt to ask.  

"Yeah I tried it," Derek said, watching Peter pop the top off the bottle with a hiss of carbonation.  

"If anything it's a bit weak, but I can always up the recipe if it doesn't do anything."

"I'm sure it'll be great," Stiles said, encouragingly.  It was really good for Derek to have a hobby and Stiles didn't want to do anything that might discourage him from his project.  He could see how having something to focus on had helped Derek come back to himself over the past few months.  

Derek's garden was quite prolific.  He had even planted the flowers Stiles had requested for the wedding, and planned on decorating the backyard himself.  Lydia had been Skyping with him throughout her entire apartment hunting trip, making sure everything would be on track for when she returned for the wedding.  

Peter took an experimental sniff of the bottle and then held his glass at an angle, pouring the brew and placing the glass on the counter, taking a picture of Derek's first beer with his phone.  

"It's hoppy," Derek said, raising his eyebrows at Stiles as he spoke.  "Just the way you like it."

"Very funny," Peter said, bringing the glass to his lips to take a deep sip.  He smiled at Derek, peered into the pot and gave it a stir.  "What's for dinner?"

"I was hoping you would make some pesto," Derek said, going to the fridge to pull out the basil and lemons.

"If you insist," Peter said, taking another swig of the beer and sharpening his knife as the other two men took their seats at the breakfast bar to watch.  

Stiles saw him dice up garlic and then use the blender to make a pesto sauce, expertly toasting the pine nuts in a small skillet on the stovetop.  Peter was like magic in the kitchen, moving with an easy grace that mesmerized him.  Stiles had never been able to successfully toast nuts without setting off the smoke alarm, but Peter did it with ease, tossing them in the skillet with an elegant flick of the wrist.  But as he grated cheese into the blender, Peter started to slow down, fumbling with the utensils and nearly blinding himself when he squirted a lemon half directly into his eye.  

He giggled, twisting the lemon around until it was actually pointed into the blender and dumping the nuts into it as well.  Peter took another sip of his glass and pulled his phone out of his tight dress pants, nearly dropping it into the sink when he fumbled.  "Need some tunes!" Peter exclaimed, thumbing through his phone, squinting at it like he couldn't quite make out the text.  He even pulled the fake glasses from his shirt and fit them to his nose, moving the phone closer and further away from his face like the Sheriff often did while reading case files.  

Finally finding what he wanted, Peter sat his phone in the dock on the wall and pressed play, letting music blare from the house's speakers.

"It's a little loud Peter," Derek said, wincing and looking at his uncle quizzically.  

"It's just right," Peter said, shoving handfuls of basil into the blender and going to turn it on.   

"Wait!" Stiles yelled, tossing Peter the lid of the blender before he sprayed pesto all over the kitchen.  Peter fumbled it, dropping the lid on the floor and then going to his knees, crawling around until he could find it again, shaking his ass in the air as he did so.  Stiles tilted his head to the side, taking in the view as Derek shot him a disgusted look.   

Smirking, Stiles concentrated on his bond with Derek and mentally flicked him on the nose.  

“What the fuck was that?” Derek asked, shooting Stiles a disgruntled look.  

“Just testing a theory,” Stiles muttered, turning back to his fiancé.  

Finally finding the lid and jumping back up to his feet, clutching it triumphantly in one hand, Peter continued to shimmy his way around the kitchen, mouthing the words to “Bootylicious” as he did so.   

"What the fuck did you give him?  Wolf nip?" Stiles asked, staring at his mate with his mouth wide open,  

"It wasn't that strong, I tested it myself," Derek said, watching Peter blend up the pesto with his ass stuck out, flinging his head back and forth with the beat of the music.   

"Did you test it before or after you bottled it?" Stiles asked, narrowing his eyes at Derek as Peter downed the rest of the beer in one gulp.  “Do you even know how fermentation works, Sourwolf?”

"This stuff is the best!  It tastes like when you lick Stiles all over," Peter babbled, going to the refrigerator and sticking his entire upper body inside.  "Do you have any more?"

"Ohh no," Derek said, getting off his stool and pulling Peter away from the fridge.  "You are cut off."

"Oh come on!  We're supposed to be celebrating!" Peter protested, flailing around in Derek's grip, trying to get back to the beer.  "I got a job so I won't be around all the time bothering Stiles.  Distance makes the dick grow fonder and all that," he said, waving his arm around his head in a circle.  

"Maybe he's right, Derek," Stiles said, "we're not doing the whole bachelor party thing because I can't go out in public too much.  He should get to blow off a little steam."

Derek rolled his eyes, wondering why he always had to be the responsible one, but finally relented.  "Okay, one more, but you are taking care of him if he gets sick."  He pulled another beer out of the fridge and handed it to Stiles while he gathered the rest of the batch up in his arms and started emptying them down the sink.

Peter pouted as he watched Derek pour his fun juice down the drain, but immediately brightened his expression when Stiles handed him his full glass.  "Yay!" He cheered, making grabby hands at the drink while Stiles chuckled at him.  It was kind of nice to see Peter so carefree.  They had been through a lot in the last year, and if a little wolf nip could give him a night of frivolity, he wanted Peter to take advantage of it.  Peter had taken care of him when he got trashed on his birthday, so he owed his mate a night of sober babysitting.  Plus he was sure Peter would return the favor once the babies were born.  

Derek drained the pasta before Peter could get the bright idea to dump boiling water all over himself.  Stiles watched as Peter added the pesto to the pasta and began heating up some leftover chicken to go with it.  He was looking forward to the day He-Man and She-Ra were born and he could go back to eating burgers and curly fries.  Melissa had assured him that the hypertension would probably resolve itself after childbirth, and he was counting down the days.  

The song changed and Stiles got to enjoy the view of Peter snapping the kitchen tongs, dancing around to the beat of a Kelly Clarkson song.  Stiles watched him shake his ass, nearly humping the front of the stove as he flipped the chicken.  Derek was mortified and Stiles could tell that the promise of dinner was the only thing keeping him in the room.  Peter took another gulp of beer and started serving up the food.  He didn't make himself a plate, content to spin in circles in the kitchen singing “My Life Would Suck Without You” in a register Stiles did not know he possessed.  He was kind of tempted to record the performance for posterity, but common sense took precedence.  

"You should really have something to eat," Stiles told him, chewing on some pasta as he filled a plate for Peter.  "You'll thank me later," he said, thrusting the plate and a fork at Peter.  Derek laughed at the wounded expression on his uncle's face.  Peter didn't want to eat, he wanted to dance!  A fierce look from Stiles made him pout, but he gave in, taking a few bites of pasta, slurping the penne into his mouth.  

Figuring that was as much as he could reasonably expect, Stiles ate his own dinner, giggling at Peter who was now whistling through the holes of the pasta he had clenched between his lips.  Stiles smiled watching him, wondering if that was what it would be like to have a pair of kindergarteners running around the house in a few years.  It was a feeling he could get used to, especially if Peter would look this happy playing with their kids.

Peter sucked the pasta into the back of his throat and almost choked, coughing and laughing in equal measure.  When he got his breath back, he resumed dancing, gyrating in such a way that Derek had to excuse himself, grabbing his plate and glass of milk and high-tailing it up the stairs.  Peter gulped down the rest of the beer, looking forlornly into the bottom of the glass.  "Empty," he said, sticking his lower lip out.  “Sad.”  

"Might I suggest you switch to water?" Stiles said, grabbing a bottle from the fridge and passing it to his mate.  Peter didn't open it, just continued dancing, tugging his sweater up over his head, getting it caught on his prop glasses on the way.  Stiles had to laugh, especially when Peter started singing and dancing around the kitchen, looking for Tupperware to pack up dinner.  He didn't know where that playlist had come from, but it was pure gold.

 

"Got a little boom in my big truck

Gonna open up the doors and turn it up

Gonna stomp my boots in the Georgia mud

Gonna watch you make me fall in love

 

Get up on the hood of my daddy's tractor

Up on the toolbox, it don't matter

Down on the tailgate

Boy I can't wait

To watch you do your thing"

 

Peter tipped an imaginary cowboy hat at him and shook his ass while he loaded the leftovers into the plastic container.  He spun the spoon around in the air like a lasso, nearly painting the walls with cold pesto.

 

"Shake it for the young bucks sittin' in the honky-tonks

For the rednecks rockin' 'til the break of dawn

The DJ spinnin' that country song

C'mon, c'mon, c'mon

 

Shake it for the birds, shake it for the bees

Shake it for the catfish swimmin' down deep in the creek

For the crickets and the critters and the squirrels

Shake it to the moon, shake it for me STILES!"

 

He screamed the last word, flinging the container of food into the fridge and pulling Stiles off his stool, spinning him around the room with complete abandon.  Stiles had never seen him that free before.  Even during sex he was more controlled, a little too overwhelmed with the sensation and their bond to be quite so unbridled.  

 

"Aw, country boy, shake it for me

Boy, shake it for me

Boy, shake it for me

 

Country boy, shake it for me

Boy, shake it for me

Boy, shake it for me"

 

They had only really danced once before, on his birthday at Jungle, and that had been nothing like this.  Peter had been tense, all too aware of the fact that he was the oldest one in the room, dancing with his barely legal boyfriend.  This time he was completely wild, hands clamped down hard on Stiles' ass as he ground into his mate.  Stiles wasn't sure when Peter had gotten so far into country music, but if the slow grind of Peter’s hips was what came of it, he couldn't say he minded.  

Peter spun Stiles across the room, freeing him to start taking care of the dishes.  Filling the sink with hot soapy water, Peter pushed his glasses back up his nose and pulled the sprayer off the faucet, using it as a microphone as he finished the song.  Stiles didn't know where Peter had learned all the lyrics to these songs he had never heard before, but it was quite impressive and just a little bit sexy.  

Stiles pulled his focus away from Peter when he felt his phone vibrate in his pocket.  "Hey Daddio," he said, greeting his father with a smile on his face.  "What's up?"

"Would you care to explain to me why my officers just pulled your Jeep out of the bottom of a lake?" John asked.  Stiles could almost hear his forehead crinkling as he closed his eyes in frustration, reclining in his desk chair.  

"No?" Stiles said, eyes flicking back to Peter who was still singing into the faucet and gyrating.  

John sighed heavily, wondering what he did in a past life to be saddled with such a problematic child.  

“Fine.  Look, is anyone hurt?" He asked, focusing on what was really important.

"No, everyone's fine," Stiles assured him, looking Peter up and down as he removed his belt and tossed it over Stiles' head, buckle clacking loudly on the wood floor.  "A fairy was trying to drown them all, but I took care of it."

"By driving your Jeep into the lake?"

"By driving my Jeep into the lake."

"Alright fine, just— don't do it again," John said.

“Only had the one Jeep, Dad,” Stiles muttered, listening to his father tell him he'd be over for dinner the next night before hanging up.  Stiles slipped his phone back in his pocket as the song changed again.  Peter began hopping up and down like he was in a mosh pit, waving the soapy blender around as he sang to Stiles,  

They had never sang like this to each other.  It always had some deeper meaning behind it, serious feelings flowing through the mating bond as they sang the words, but this, this was something different.  Peter was so happy .  The feeling was infectious.  It filled up his chest, making him want to get up and join in.  He had never gotten the chance to see his mate like this.  There was always the threat of death hanging over their heads.  He wondered if this was what Peter had been like before the fire, when he was traipsing around Europe in his twenties.  

Peter rinsed the blender and the rest of the dishes but kept Stiles in his view, practically eyefucking him as he sang along.  

 

"It started with a whisper

And that was when I kissed ya

And then he made my lips hurt

 

I could hear the chit chat

Take me to your love shack

Papa’s always gotta back track

When everybody talks back"

 

It was fascinating to Stiles how Peter could change the lyrics on the fly.  Every time he opened his mouth, he was speaking directly to Stiles, and in this case, it was a blatant proposition.  Peter had soap up to his elbows, winking at Stiles behind thick-rimmed glasses, teasing him into action.  

 

"Hey honey you could be my drug

You could be my new prescription

Too much could be an overdose

All this trash talk make me itchin'"

 

When Stiles finally got off his stool again, going over to dance with Peter, he immediately wished he hadn't.  Peter pulled the sprayer off the sink again and began hosing himself down, soaking his checkered shirt.  Drunk enough to not have particularly good aim, Peter was getting Stiles wet as well, spraying his borrowed V-neck with water until his peaked nipples were visible.  

"Peter!" He gasped, sputtering as the water hit his face.  "Cut it out!"

Peter just smirked and pointed the sprayer straight up into the air, shaking the water off his hair and using his free hand to grope his own body.  Once his glasses were wet enough that he couldn't see, Peter stopped the water, removing the frames with a dramatic flick of his head, sending a smolder Stiles' way.  Stiles laughed at the ridiculousness of Peter's drunken seduction techniques, but once both his hands were free, things got a lot less ridiculous.  

Peter put both palms on his own chest, dragging them down his body until they ran over his crotch, but he didn't stop there.  He let his hands travel over his legs, falling to his knees and arching his back, humping the air in a move Stiles had only seen in porn or performed by Channing Tatum.  Peter rolled his head on his neck, unbuttoning the top two buttons of his shirt and loosening his tie to reveal his throat.  He got back to his feet and looped the tie around Stiles' neck, reeling him in until Stiles' face was pressed tight against his neck.

Could throats be slutty?  Because Stiles was pretty sure Peter's was asking for it.  His Adam's apple throbbed seductively, drawing Stiles' attention and making his skin prickle with heat.   

The song changed again and Peter bounded from the room, nearly skipping in excitement.  Stiles had no intention of leaving Peter to his own drunken devices, so he followed his mate to the living room.  Peter popped out at him from behind the doorway and gently tackled him to the couch, arranging him in a comfortable position with a few pillows before he got up again.  There was a sparkle in Peter's eye that Stiles followed, wondering what he had planned.

Apparently it was an impromptu table dance.  

 

"I'm so addicted  

To the loving that you're feeding to me  

Can't do without it.  

This feeling's got me weak in the knees  

Body's in withdrawal  

Every time you take it away  

Can't you hear me calling  

Begging you to come out and play"

 

Stiles watched Peter mouth the words, hands moving all over his body as he slowly pulled his shirt out of his pants and started on the rest of the buttons, trailing his fingers over each inch of skin he revealed.  

 

"So baby come to me  

Show me who you are  

Sweet to me  

Like sugar to my heart  

Oooh baby  

I'm craving for you  

I'm missing you like candy"  

 

Peter danced along to the words, mouth over annunciating everything so that Stiles had to tear his eyes away from his lips to watch what the rest of his body was doing.  He was making gimmie gestures with both hands, kicking his feet out and then moving his arms like he was trying to mime choo choo train .  Stiles crowed in laughter, recognizing the moves from the music video.  He had an excuse, he was a 90s kid, but he had no idea why Peter would have committed the choreography to memory.

 

"Sweet sweet loving  

Got me going to the extreme  

Won't go without it  

This vibe has gotta hold on me  

Satisfying baby  

Let me show what I'm made of  

No doubt about it  

Got me feeling crazy can't get enough"

 

With oddly dexterous fingers for how drunk he was, Peter flicked open the rest of his buttons and undid his cuffs, still mouthing the ridiculous lyrics and staring at Stiles with unbridled, albeit comedic, lust.  He shrugged out of the shirt, whipping it around his head a few times before tossing it at Stiles, who hollered at him in encouragement.  

 

"So baby come to me  

Show me who you are  

Sweet to me  

Like sugar to my heart  

Oooh baby  

I'm craving for you  

I'm missing you like candy"

 

Peter continued dancing, moves so 90s it almost hurt to watch.  He was kicking his legs and flapping his arms like a deranged bird who was desperately trying to do a sexy jumping jack.  Stiles laughed some more, a little disturbed by the fact that he was still finding Peter’s dancing arousing.  He hoped Peter wouldn't be hungover tomorrow, because they had some work to do in the bedroom.  You could celebrate life accomplishments with sex, right?  That sounded like a normal, adult couples’ practice to Stiles.

 

"So baby come to me  

Come ,come, come to meee

Sweet to me  

Ohh so sweet  

I-I-I-I "

 

"I thought we talked about this," Jackson said from the foyer, making Peter freeze mid dance move, his pointer finger halfway across his chest.  "You're not supposed to fuck in the living room."

Isaac peered around the doorway with his fingers over his eyes.  "Are they naked?"

"We're not naked," Stiles said, rolling his eyes as he sat up a bit straighter.

"Erica, darling!" Peter called, still dancing on the coffee table.  "Come dance with me!"

"What the fuck?" She asked, following Isaac into the room.  "Is he on drugs?"  

"Derek finished his first batch of beer and it was a bit stronger than he was expecting," Stiles explained as Erica started manhandling his mate, taking the dance out of the 90s and into present day.  Peter had started to undo his slacks, the fabric slipping a little further with every movement.  Erica eyed Peter predatorily.

"Is there any more?" Jackson asked, looking at Peter with cautious interest.

"Derek poured the rest down the drain," Stiles told him, seeing Scott's face fall.  They had all been so disappointed when they realized they couldn't get drunk like normal teenagers.  "This was just a celebratory drink for Peter.  He got that teaching position."

"That's great," Danny said, eying the way Erica and Peter were currently hopping around to the tune of “Thank God I'm a Country Boy” like he was itching to join them.  They were doing a horrible approximation of a square dance, linking their arms and turning in a circle, slapping their knees and stamping their feet.  Boyd sat down on the couch next to Stiles to watch his girlfriend dance.

"Please," Stiles said, motioning from Danny’s body to the table, "give me a show."

Smirking at Jackson, Danny hopped up on the table with Isaac.  "What happened to the bad pop music?" He asked, bouncing to the beat.

"It's coming back," Peter said over his shoulder as he spun Erica around, mouthing the words at his mate.  Stiles wasn't sure how many werewolves that coffee table could hold, but it was starting to creak ominously whenever the group landed a jump at the same time.  

A minute later the song changed and Danny got his wish.  “The Middle” started to play and they all jumped to the beat.  Stiles lost himself for a minute watching Erica's breasts bounce up and down, but they couldn't hold his interest for too long because Peter was… head banging?  Maybe you could call it head banging.  He was shaking his head around like he had much longer hair than he actually did and playing the worst air guitar Stiles had ever seen, especially coming from someone who actually played the guitar.  Isaac took that moment to join in, thrusting his hips against Danny while looking at Scott, who was still hiding in the corner, averting his eyes away from Peter.

Danny mouthed the words, jumping and swinging his hips, flashing his dimples in Jackson's direction.  When they got to the guitar solo, Peter was air strumming so exuberantly Erica thought it would be a great idea to jump on his back and swing her arm around like a lasso.  It only lasted a few seconds before there was a loud crack and the coffee table broke into splinters, causing the dancing wolves and Danny to fall to the floor in a disgruntled pile.

Well at least Isaac and Erica were disgruntled, Peter was giggling incessantly, eyes closed and shaking his head back and forth on the rug, still listening to the song.  Scott ran to the kitchen to shut off the music as Derek stomped down the stairs screaming, "what the fuck is going on down here!?"

The room was silent except for Peter's giggle.  If Stiles wasn't mistaken he was actually starting to snort in glee, picking up handfuls of table shards and letting them fall back to the floor.  "I think we're going to need another table, nephew!"

“You think?” Isaac grumbled from the floor, picking splinters of wood out of his palms.

“Oh shut up Isaac, you’re just mad because no matter how many pretty boys you fuck down at the club, the one you really want doesn’t want you back!”

The room fell silent.  Isaac eyes involuntarily flicked up to Scott, whose own brown eyes began to bug out of his face when he realized what Peter was saying.  

“Fuck you, Peter,” he said sharply, pulling himself up off the floor and storming out of the house, slamming the door behind him.  Usually the first one to laugh at someone else’s misfortune, even Erica looked a bit sheepish after that outburst.  Clapping his hands together, Stiles broke the silence.

"Alright, Mister," he said, getting up from the couch and stepping around the bits of table to take Peter's hand and pull, his other palm against his lower back as he struggled to get Peter upright.  "Stop antagonizing the wolves.  You realize Derek is going to need to buy a third coffee table now."

"Hey," Peter slurred, body finally starting to slow down, "the last time wasn't me!   You set it on fire!  I was the one that put it out."

"Sure, sure," Stiles said, unable to get Peter off the floor.  "A little help here guys?" He asked the room at large.  Boyd stepped forward, heaving Peter over one shoulder and heading for the stairs.  Stiles followed him, patting Derek on the shoulder as he passed saying, "he’ll clean this up in the morning."

Peter giggling the whole way up the stairs, playing Boyd's asscheeks like bongo drums.  Boyd dropped Peter heavily on their bed.  "You owe me, Stilinski," he said, closing the door on his way out.

"You are so lucky this isn't the day before our wedding, baby," Stiles said, voice still light.  He really had a good time watching Peter enjoy himself, despite the evening’s stilted ending.  He had been so free, it was illuminating.  Stiles made a promise to himself to get Peter to laugh like that more often.  

"Yes, dear," Peter replied as Stiles pulled off his shoes and pants, leaving him in his boxer briefs to sleep.  Stiles peeled off his own damp shirt and kicked off his sweatpants, hefting himself into bed and hoping he wouldn't need to pee for a good three hours.  He really needed the sleep.  

"Love you," Peter mumbled, already snoring.   

"Love you, too," Stiles smiled, letting sleep take him.

 


 

Taking a deep breath, Stiles finally raised his head to catch his reflection in the mirror.  He swallowed down the urge to throw up in the sink when he saw his own face.  His lips were chapped and raw, probably rebelling after all the upchucking he had been doing during his pregnancy.  His skin was pale and there were dark bags under his eyes.  Stiles did a double take.  He could have sworn he saw a hollow blackness where his brown irises should be.  

“No,” he muttered, snapping his eyes shut and leaning closer to the mirror before opening them again.  His normal honey brown stared back at him, but they were duller than usual.  Stiles’ hand shook as he brought it up to rub his cheek.  He let his eyes flash red, just to be sure that there wasn’t any residual darkness from Tim.  

Opening the medicine cabinet and grabbing some mouthwash, Stiles attempted to remove the lingering bite of bile and the phantom taste of flesh.  He had been back in the woods again, tearing into the hiker’s chest with dark, bloodied fingers.  Stiles pumped some soap into his hands and set about washing them with hot water, eager to wipe away any scrap of sense memory from his body.  

He had cracked that man’s chest open.  Heard the ribs snap in his own ears before he tore big chunks of muscle and sinew out of the heart with his own blunt teeth.  

He had ended that man’s life and he didn’t even know his name.

The tear that fell to his cheek felt like it was made of fire, steaming hot drops rolled down his cheeks but he didn’t make a move to wipe them away.  He was a monster.  He deserved the pain.  That man’s family would never know it was a stupid, pregnant teenager who had ripped their lives apart.  

Somehow he felt that the babies would know.  They were there too.  They would grow up and look at him and see nothing but a burned out shell of a man with darkness in his eyes and they would hate him.  The twins would never forgive him for what he did while he was supposed to be keeping them safe.  

What kind of father would a cannibal make?  They would hate him and he would deserve it.  He didn’t know how they would find out, maybe one of the Betas would get mad at him and blurt it out like Peter had just done to Isaac and that would be it.  He would be Daddy, the teen father who ate a man alive while he was pregnant with—

“Stiles?” Peter called softly from the doorway, pulling Stiles out of his mental downward spiral.

“Were you sick again?” he asked, eyes still mostly closed as he ran a hand through his sleep-mussed hair.  

“It’s nothing,” Stiles choked, not meeting Peter’s eyes.  “Go back to sleep,” he pleaded, not wanting Peter to comfort him.  He didn’t get to feel better about this.  He was a murderer now, and he had to deal with it himself.

“It’s not nothing,” Peter whispered coming up behind his mate to hook his chin over Stiles’ shoulder.  “You don’t look like it’s nothing.”

“Speak for yourself, McBoozy,” Stiles shot back, busying himself with getting Peter a glass of water.  He wasn’t sure if werewolves got hangovers like humans did, but Peter sure didn’t look like his normal self.  “Drink up.”

“Yes, dear,” Peter said with a quirk of his lips, taking the glass and draining it in one gulp.  “Now come back to bed and tell me what’s bothering you.”

“It’s nothing, really,” Stiles protested, but let Peter pull him back to bed all the same.

“You really think I can’t tell when you’re lying?” Peter huffed, flicking their bedside lamp on and leaning back against the headboard.  “Sometimes I just let you get away with it.  Come here,” he said, patting the space between his thighs until Stiles settled against his chest.  “Even if I couldn’t hear your heartbeat, our bond would still tell me something had you spooked.  So just tell me what it is.”

Stiles sighed heavily and let his head fall back against Peter’s shoulder.  He knew his mate was right.  Once he pulled himself out of the throes of his flashback he knew he was being ridiculous.  Babies didn’t know what was happening to their parents before they were born.  Even werewolf babies weren’t psychic.  But he still felt the worry lingering in the back of his mind.  

Peter nuzzled the side of his face, soft stubble rubbing against Stiles’ chin.  A minute passed before Stiles could sort through his mind and find the right words.  “Do you think the babies will be disappointed in me?”

“What do you mean?” Peter asked simply, pressing a kiss to Stiles’ cheek as he waited for clarification.

“Do you think they will find out that I killed all these people, and they’ll hate me for it?”

“That’s what has you worried?” Peter asked, squeezing Stiles a little tighter around the belly.  “You don’t think that your own kids would understand that you were protecting the pack?  That you were saving their favorite Uncle Derek?  If anyone has to be worried about being a bad example to the twins, it’s me.”

“But it’s not just Jennifer and the Alphas,” Stiles said, letting his eyes fall closed as he remembered the way Jennifer’s skin had melted right off.  It was a visual he would rather forget.  “It’s the hiker and the guy at Jungle.  I hurt people when I wasn’t protecting anyone.  When it was just for funzies.”

“Sweetheart, you know that none of what Tim did was your fault.  I’ve told you this a thousand times and if you need me to say it every single day, I will.  You were just along for the ride.  An innocent bystander.  No one blames you for that.”

“It still feels like I did it.  No matter how many time you say it, no matter what Jackson says.  It still feels like I did it,” Stiles protested, “I remember everything.  My hands are not clean.”

“Stiles, please listen to me,” Peter pleaded, lacing his fingers between his mate’s.  “There is nothing in this world you could have done.  Tim must have possessed dozens of people before you.  Do you blame them for what they did while they were trapped inside their own bodies?”

“I guess not,” Stiles said, still questioning himself.  He started playing with the pads of Peter’s fingers, head hung down in shame.

“Do you forgive Jackson for what he did?”

“Yes.”

“Then why wouldn’t you forgive yourself?”

“Do you forgive yourself,” Stiles asked, honestly curious, “for everything you’ve done?”

“Well I think Derek and Cora and Lydia have forgiven me,” Peter mused, cheek pressed to Stiles’ temple, “so why would I continue to torture myself if they’ve already let it go?  It’s their decision, not mine.”  

Stiles didn’t understand what Peter was saying, so he was glad when the older man kept talking.  

“Forgiveness is a gift that other people give you, and when the gesture is freely given, you should respect it.  Dwelling on the past doesn’t make them feel any better, and if you’re really sorry about what you did, then they’re who you should be worried about, not yourself.”

“I just feel like I’m going to be a terrible father,” Stiles admitted, squeezing his eyes shut as he forced himself to say the words.  “I mean, my dad is the most honest and moral person I know, and I am never going to be like that.  He must be wondering where he went wrong with me.”

“Let me tell you a little story about disappointing your parents,” Peter said, thankful that he didn’t have to look at Stiles as he spoke.  He hadn’t told this particular tale in years.

“When I was eight, my aunt died.  She was the Alpha and she’d never had children, so the power went to my father and just like that, everything was different.  His temperament changed completely.  I had always been the problem child out of the four of us, playing pranks and telling tales, but suddenly what used to be part of my boyish charm became unacceptable.  

“My mother was kind.  She wanted to let me get away with everything, but now her husband was the Alpha and he always got the last word.  I was a terrible kid, always fucking around and getting into trouble.  Talia was the golden child, class president, prom queen, just perfect.  Marty and Joanna were star athletes and great students, and I couldn’t do anything right, so I just stopped trying.  

“I lied and stole and spread rumors all over town.  I just generally caused all sorts of mayhem.  I never got caught, of course, but my father always knew it was me.  One day he got a call from the principal, asking if I knew anything about how all the water fountains at school had miraculously started producing Bud Light, and he snapped.  He got all quiet with suppressed rage and just when I thought he was going to storm out, he hit me.  He beat me bloody.  It took a day or two of me hiding in my room, but I healed.  No one ever had to know.  He never said anything, and I never said anything, and life just… went on.

“From then on he ignored me.  Didn’t trust himself I guess.  I would have done anything to get his attention, to get even a sliver of what Talia and the others got from him.  So I acted out, tried to ruin his reputation with the people in town, anything to make him mad, anything to make him look at me...but nothing worked, so I left.

“When I got into Stanford I took one of the old cars out of the garage and never looked back.  He would call and leave angry messages on my answering machine, demanding that I come home for some stupid pack function or nagging me about how I needed to get the brakes fixed on the car before I got myself killed.  I never listened.  As far as I was concerned we weren’t pack anymore.  Pack didn’t lay hands on each other… not in anger.

“One day Talia called, begging me to come back and visit.  My mother missed me.  It had been nearly a decade of screaming matches and she hated that Dad and I were ripping the family apart.  Our parents were getting older and Talia was preparing, ready to become Alpha when the time came.  She didn’t want her pack to have a hole in it.

“We went out for coffee to talk and when we got back, my father was dead.  

“He was taking the car to the shop because I was too stubborn to get it fixed.  A drunk driver in a truck ran him off the road, the brakes failed, and he went flying off an overpass, and he died.”

Stiles was frozen.  He had never heard Peter speak for so long at once before.  He hadn’t wanted to interrupt, but he never expected the story to end like that.  Stiles didn’t know what to say.  Before the fire, before everything else that had gone wrong in Peter’s life, his father had died in a car crash.  His abusive Alpha werewolf father.  It must have been a gruesome death to take out an Alpha wolf.  They could heal almost anything.  He swallowed heavily, trying to come up with something to say, but all he could think of was, “then what happened?”

“Talia became Alpha.  I finished college and fucked off to Europe.  I didn’t step foot back in that house for another ten years.  I came back to town a few times to see a dance recital or to catch one of Derek’s games, but I never went home.”

“Peter, I—”

“So my point is… was that my fault?”

“What?” Stiles stuttered.  “Peter, what?”

“Was. That. My. Fault?” Peter repeated, waiting for Stiles to catch up to him.  “I wasn’t really there, but I did sort of cause his death, tangentially speaking, so, did I kill him?”

“No, of course not!” Stiles said loudly, turning around in Peter’s arms until he could look into his eyes.  

“So you say,” Peter said, a sad little smile twitching at the corner of his mouth.  “I believed I did for a very long time, and it wasn’t until I let it go that I finally went home and met Savannah.  

“So, my dear Stiles, whenever you think about blaming yourself for what Tim did, please remember the lesson that I spent ten years learning.  I don’t want you lose ten years to guilt.  That’s ten years too long.  Understood?”

Stiles looked at his mate, a little dumbfounded.  He wanted to say he was sorry, that he knew what it was like to lose a parent, but in his heart he knew that it wasn’t nearly the same thing and it definitely wasn’t the point of the conversation.  Peter had come to accept what happened, and wanted it to be left in the past.  There was nothing left to say.  

“Understood,” Stiles told him, laying down on his side and letting Peter wrap his arms around their children.  It took a long time, but eventually they fell asleep with the bedside lamp still on.

Chapter Text

“I’m going to need you to apologize to Isaac,” Stiles said the next morning while Peter was making him egg whites for breakfast.  He hated egg whites, and he hated gigantic horse-pill vitamins, and he hated Deaton’s stupid magic juice.  He kind of hated everything that morning, and felt like making everyone just as miserable as he was.

“I don’t think so,” Peter said, sliding the disgusting pile of wet mush onto a plate for him.  

“You outed him to Scott and the entire pack!” Stiles groaned, looking around for a salt shaker, only to find that Peter had put them all away.

“I told the truth, and brought focus to an important issue that has been harming the pack dynamic, and you want me to apologize for that?” Peter argued, eyebrow arched high.  “I don’t think so.”

“You didn’t have to do it like that,” Stiles shot back, digging into his breakfast with aggressive little jabs of his fork.

Peter crossed his arms and squared his shoulders, ready for a fight.  “First of all, I was drunk on Derek’s evil beer, and as a grown man who has never been drunk before in his life, I think I did a pretty decent job.  Second of all, Isaac is a sarcastic pain in my ass and I don’t owe him anything, and third of all,” Peter listed, “it’s not my fault that Scott is literally the worst werewolf I’ve ever met.  You could probably smell the arousal on Isaac a mile away and you’ve got a human nose.”

You bit him!” Stiles yelled back, wondering if he was getting a glimpse of Peter’s parenting skills.  “Why don’t you train him better instead of making him look like an idiot all the time?”

“Derek’s his Alpha now,” Peter told him.  “Babysitting is his job, not mine.”

“Is this how you’re gonna be with the twins?  Pawning them off on Derek all the time because you don’t want to take the time to teach them?”  Stiles asked, glaring at his mate.

“Of course not,” Peter said, dropping his arms and moving toward Stiles.  “You and the pups are my number one priority.  I think you know me better than that.”

“Prove it,” Stiles ordered, raising his eyebrows, challenging him.

“And how do you expect me to do that?”

“Fix it.”

“Fix what?”

“Scott and Isaac.  Fix it.  I’m not having them be all weird around each other at the wedding because you can’t man up and do the right thing.”

Peter’s mouth dropped open, wanting to argue, but for once in his life, he didn’t have a defense.

“Fix it or I’m naming these kids Sunstreaker and Sideswipe and you won’t be able to do a thing to stop me.”

“For the love of God!  Stop it with the Transformer names already!”  Peter yelled, narrowing his eyes at his mate, waiting for him to back down.  After a minute-long staring contest, Stiles casually went back to eating his breakfast, ignoring him.  “Fine!”  Peter said, throwing his hands up in defeat and leaving the house.  “I’ll talk to them.”

“Love you, boo!” Stiles called after his retreating back.

 


 

Later that evening Stiles was curled up in the library with Ruby’s journal when Scott flopped down on the cushion next to him.  

“Where’s Peter?” Scott asked, covering his face with both hands and massaging his eyelids.

“At the grocery store with Derek.  Why?  Did he talk to you?”

“Yes.”

“Did you punch him?” Stiles asked, smile spreading across his face.

“Would you be mad if I did?”

“No,” Stiles said, marking his place in his book as he struggled to sit up.  Scott leaned forward to help, hand cupping Stiles’ belly fondly once he was seated.  “He was being a dick.  If he gets punched, it’s his own fault.”

“I didn’t punch him,” Scott admitted, mouth twitching into a smile as he rubbed Stiles’ bump.  “I wanted to, but I didn’t.”

“That was very big of you,” Stiles laughed, leaning his body weight into Scott and resting his head on his shoulder.  “This is nice,” he said after a few quiet minutes.  “It hasn’t been just you and me in a long time.  Well if you don’t count Professor X and Cassandra Nova here,” he said, patting the hand Scott still had on his belly.

“Peter said you told him if he didn’t talk to me you were going to name the babies after cartoon characters.”

Stiles’ body shook in silent laughter, “I’ve been doing it since we found out we were having twins, trying to get him to suggest some real names.  It took him six months, but I think he finally snapped.”  Scott laughed, smiling at his friend.  “Thank fuck he did because I’ve been running low.  I had to look up obscure super hero twins the other day.  I’ve got a list hidden in the bedroom.”

“Do you have any real names picked out?” Scott asked, wondering how long Stiles and Peter were going to wait before they finally discussed it.  

“Not really,” Stiles admitted, sighing contentedly as his best friend massaged his tummy.  “I mean, Deaton said my pregnancy was dangerous, and it hasn’t been a walk in the park, but nothing has really gone wrong yet, and I didn’t want to jinx it.”

“You know,” Scott said, pulling Stiles back down to cuddle with him on the cushions, “losing the babies won’t hurt any less if they don’t have names.”  Stiles wanted to argue, but he couldn’t, not when Scott had put his feelings into the perfect words.  

“I know.”

They laid in silence until Stiles was just about to slip into sleep, then Scott finally spoke up.  

“Stiles?”

“Yeah, buddy?”

“How did you know you were gay?” He asked sheepishly.

“I’m not gay,” Stiles said for what he hoped was the last time.  Seriously, how hard of a concept was bisexuality?

“You know what I mean.”

“Yeah, I know.”

“Well?” Scott prompted.

“I don’t know Scotty,” Stiles began, eyes still closed as he spoke.  “I guess I always thought guys were attractive.  I liked both kinds of porn ever since I learned how to Google, but no one ever found me attractive, so it really wasn’t much of an issue.”

“Erica said she liked you,” Scott reminded him, always the optimist.

“Yeah well I didn’t know that at the time, and I was so hung up on Lydia I don’t know that I ever would have done anything about it if I did.  Then Peter and I kissed and nothing else seemed to matter, you know?”

Scott hummed thoughtfully.  “Yeah, that’s how it was with Allison.”

“And now?” Stiles asked, hoping Scott would finally be ready to open up.

“Well, I never thought about guys before.  But I love Isaac, I just don’t know if I love him like I loved Allison,” Scott said, summing up pretty much what Stiles expected.  

“You know,” Stiles said, turning to face his friend, “you don’t have to love them the same way.  You can love Allison like you love Allison and love Isaac like you love Isaac.  Just because it’s different doesn’t mean that it’s wrong.”

“I guess…” Scott trailed off, thinking it over.

“Let me put it this way,” Stiles offered, “do you think about kissing Isaac?  Or running your hands through his hair?  Or doing other things with him?”

“Sometimes...” Scott said, blushing and breaking eye contact.

“And when you think about it, does it feel good?  You know, like good ?”

“Yeah…”

“Then that’s all that really matters,” Stiles said, smiling at Scott’s progress.  “You don’t have to put a label on it.  You don’t have to be bi, or pan, or gay, or straight, or any other thing.  You can just be used-to-be-Allison-but-now-it’s-Isaac .”

“When did you get so good at this?” Scott asked honestly.

“At what?” Stiles asked, massaging his lower back with a tired hiss.

“All this,” Scott replied, waving a tan hand between them in a circular motion.

“Probably about the time I found out I was going to be a father,” Stiles said, then paused for a beat before amending his comment.  “Or maybe after my resurrection ,” he said, word cold and bitter as it left his mouth.  “Death gives you perspective.”

“Don’t say that,” Scott said softly.  Stiles closed his eyes with a nod and a thoughtful twist of his lips.  They were silent for a few minutes, neither man knowing how to bring the conversation back around.  Eventually Scott raised a questioning hand to Stiles’ stomach, and after a quick nod of affirmation began to rub soothing circles into his friend’s skin.  Another minute passed before Scott spoke again.

“What if I say yes and then it turns out I was wrong?  I don’t want to hurt him.”

“Well Scotty, I hate to break it to you, but I don’t think it could get much worse.  That guy is head over heels in love with you.  At least if you try and it doesn’t work out, he won’t always be wondering,” Stiles hoped he was saying the right thing.  “You could let him down easy and he could find someone else, knowing it was never going to happen with you.”

“You think?” Scott asked, voice perking up a little.

“I think,” Stiles agreed, patting the top of Scott’s thick brown hair.  

“Okay,” Scott said, moving to leave, “I’m going to do it.  I think we could be good.”

“That’s great,” Stiles said, rolling onto his back, “but help me up before you go or I’ll be stuck down here forever.”  Scott bent down to duck under one of Stiles’ arms and pull him to his feet before pressing a kiss to Stiles’ forehead and then his belly.  “Bye babies!” he called on his way out of the room.  “Wish me luck!”

Stiles shook his head, waddling to the kitchen to see if he could find any hidden snacks before Peter got home.  He told himself he’d make up for it later with extra yoga with Uncle Scott.

 


 

The girls were back in town, just in time to convince Stiles that they could doctor his graduation gown to hide his pregnancy so they could attend the ceremony as a pack.  Stiles wanted to argue, but really, he wanted his father to be able to see him walk across that stage and he was dying to get out of the house.  Even the thought of all the stares would be worth it just for a few hours outside with people.  

College wasn't a foregone conclusion for him, and he wasn't sure when he would actually end up finding a job.  He wanted to make his father proud, and attending graduation seemed like the best he would be able to do for the foreseeable future, so he agreed to go, even though he thought he looked like a maroon blimp.

The ceremony was quick and painless with a generic speech from Lydia as their valedictorian that only had any meaning for their group.  She had made a few secret references to the supernatural that only they would understand, pulling a few laughs from the wolves while the rest of the crowd yawned.  

Stiles was getting a lot of pitying looks.  Apparently his weight gain was thought to be a side effect of his kidney failure and many of the other students were whispering behind their hands about him.  He didn't need werewolf hearing to know that every one of those people was talking about him.  Nevertheless, moving that tassel to the other side of his hat while Peter, Derek, and his dad cheered him on made the entire thing worth it.

After taking a few group photos, the pack headed back to the Manor for a celebratory BBQ.  Peter fired up two grills and cooked nearly a whole cow's worth of beef for everyone present.  Stiles and his dad were even allowed to have a few burgers for the special occasion as long as they promised to stick to their diets for the remainder of Stiles' pregnancy, apart from the wedding.  

The pack had a great time, playing party games in the backyard and dancing as Peter played a few songs.  These were the nights that Stiles would think of whenever he needed a reminder of the good things in life.  There had been so many hard times, it was important to remember that there had been a lot of fun along with the suffering.  

Peter slid onto the picnic bench next to Stiles, placing a slice of cake in front of him and slipping an arm around his shoulder.  "Have I told you lately how much I love you?" Stiles asked, moaning as he dug into the chocolate peanut butter cake Peter had made for the occasion.  

"You could always tell me again," Peter said, pressing a kiss to Stiles' temple as he continued to eat.  

"I love you so much," Stiles mumbled around a mouthful of cake.  

"You're going to love me a lot more after you see your gift," Peter said, taking Stiles' hand and leading him away from the party.  

"You got me a gift?" Stiles asked, following Peter to the garage.  They almost never went inside.  Most of the time everyone parked in the gravel in front of the house.  Only Peter's Audi lived there full time.  

"Think of it as a graduation slash wedding combo gift," Peter said smugly, flipping the lights on and stepping aside so Stiles could see. 

"Oh my God Peter, is tha—" Stiles stopped talking, mouth hanging open as he looked upon his precious Jeep, fully restored.  Roscoe looked sleek and shiny, not showing a hint of damage from her unexpected swim in the lake.  "How did you—" he asked, counting the days on his fingers.  "I totaled this car six days ago.  How did you get it fixed so quickly?"

"You can get a lot done when you can tell people that money is no object and actually mean it," Peter said, leaning against the doorway with his arms crossed, looking incredibly self-satisfied.

"Jesus Peter, how much did you spend?" He asked, running a loving hand over his baby's blue hood, supporting his back with the other hand.

"It doesn't matter.  I know how much this car means to you," Peter said, coming up behind Stiles to wrap his arms around the younger man's waist.  

"How would you know?" Stiles asked, turning his head to the side so Peter could kiss up his neck, pulling a contented hum from his throat.

"You forget that I grew up here," Peter told him, lips moving against his skin.  "I saw your mother drive it before you were born.  It's a very distinctive car."

Stiles refused to cry.  Peter had seen his mother, at least in passing.  That wasn't sad, it was beautiful, something that connected them before they had even met, like Peter’s memory of them in the hospital.  He needed to treasure the tidbits he could learn about his mother long after her death, not be defeated by them.  He took a deep breath, leaning his weight against Peter's body, letting himself be encapsulated by the wolf’s warmth.  

"Thank you so much Peter," Stiles whispered, hugging the arms that were wrapped around his waist.  "It's incredible, but I didn't get you anything yet."

"You don't need to give me anything," Peter said, kissing the side of Stiles’ face, giving him a little scratch with his facial hair.  "You're already giving me two incredible gifts, right here," he said, squeezing Stiles' belly softly with both hands.  "I couldn't ask for anything more."

"Good," Stiles said, chuckling, "because once these babies are out of me, you might not be getting any more gifts for a long, long time."

"Understood," Peter said, agreeing easily with his mate.  If Stiles only wanted two children, that would be enough for him, especially since he wasn't the one carrying them.  They would be lucky if Stiles was able to deliver the pups safely, but that was a thought for another night.  “As long as you promise never to put the pups in this thing,” Peter said, patting the side of the Jeep.  “I know you love Roscoe, but she’s a death trap.”

Stiles faked a gasp, turning to pull his fiancé back inside the house, “you take that back!”

“Never,” Peter told him with an evil grin, dodging out of the way when Stiles poked him in the stomach.

Chapter Text

Stiles woke up late the next Saturday, content to ease his body back against Peter's chest and catch a few more minutes.  At seven months, the twins were actively pressing on his bladder no matter what position he was in, causing him to have to get up several times every night.  He rarely got more than two hours of sleep in a row these days and it was starting to grate on him.  Every inch of him was constantly aching, not to mention the way he had noticed his feet beginning to swell if he stayed upright for too long.  

Peter groaned, kissing the back of Stiles' neck as he woke up slowly, grinding his hips forward.  Stiles moaned in response, thrusting his ass backward into Peter's body, wondering idly if they would have enough time for Peter to knot him before they needed to start getting ready for the ceremony.  

After a few more rolls of Peter's hips, Stiles decided that he didn't care.  The ceremony could wait for them, he needed Peter inside him yesterday.  "Peter, babe," Stiles moaned, throwing his head back until his fiancé could mouth at his mating bite.  "I need you to open me up."

"Mmm-hmm," Peter agreed easily, latching his mouth onto Stiles' throat and sucking hard, worrying the flesh with his teeth.  

"Peeeterrrr," Stiles groaned, grinding his ass backwards to get a feel for how hard Peter was.  "I need you to do it, I can't reach anymore."  Instead of answering, Peter gave a little tug to their mating bond and shimmied down the bed until his face was level with Stiles' ass.  He hooked his thumbs into the waistband of Stiles' boxers and pulled them down his body, letting Stiles kick his legs until the fabric flew across the room.  Taking two handfuls of Stiles' ass and pulling his cheeks apart, Peter blew a stream of hot air across his hole, relishing in the quiver he followed down Stiles' back.  

He trailed his index finger from the nape of Stiles' neck all the way down his spine to the top of his crease.  Peter pressed his mouth to every stretch mark that his fingers found, kissing every silver line with his tongue in silent reverence.  His mate's body was amazing.  Not only was it covered in marks that spoke of his bravery and resilience, but it also held evidence of his capacity for love.  Not many eighteen year old boys would accept the changes to their bodies that came with pregnancy, but Stiles had done it with grace.  

Peter was going to marry this man today, and he had never been more in love with him than he was at this very moment.  

"Get on with it," Stiles said, shifting his hips until his ass was shoved into Peter's face, his nose pressed into the crease.  

"Yes, dear," Peter murmured, voice muffled by Stiles' body.  He pointed his tongue, prodding at Stiles' entrance gently until he mewled in pleasure.  Peter spent long minutes working Stiles open, getting him as wet as he possibly could and then pressing in with a wide finger.  Stiles' body clenched down on the intrusion, not quite ready for the stretch, so Peter removed his finger and went back to lapping at his hole.  

Determined to make that morning one to remember, Peter licked and pushed until he could work his whole tongue into Stiles' body, teasing the rim with broad strokes until Stiles panted heavily, begging for more with the curve and push of his body.  Ass growing plush from the twins, Peter cupped Stiles' cheeks and pulled them apart, appreciating the new weight of his mate's body.  Every inch of stretched skin made him grateful for the transformation Stiles had gone through to make their children possible.  

Peter rolled his tongue, pressing in as far as he could go, desperate for the last inch he needed to reach Stiles' prostate.  For a brief moment he imagined what it would be like to do that as a wolf, long canine tongue plunging to depths he couldn't quite reach as a human.  He had never attempted a full shift since becoming an Alpha, and if he was perfectly honest with himself, he was a little afraid of making an attempt.  There was too much to lose, if he got stuck and went feral, he could never be with Stiles or his children again.  That wasn't something he was willing to risk.

Stiles lunged off the bed, rummaging around in his nightstand and tossing a bottle of lube at Peter.  "I'm ready, just come on—" he said, pressing a palm to his stomach as the babies began to kick.  "Not now," Stiles hissed at his belly.  "Can't you tell Daddy is busy?"

"Why do you get to be Daddy?" Peter asked as he slicked up his fingers, knowing how much Stiles would need to be stretched to be able to take his knot.  

"Are you saying that you want to be called Daddy?" Stiles asked, looking over his shoulder with raised eyebrows.  

"I wouldn't mind if you did it," Peter smirked, bringing his fingers to Stiles' hole and spreading the lube around.  He went right in with two fingers that time, smirk growing wider when he heard Stiles gasp, throwing his head back to show off his wet, parted lips.  Peter longed to use that mouth, to see the lips spread wide around his knot, but he had other things to be doing at that moment.  

"I'll keep that in mind," Stiles gasped, pushing backward to get Peter's fingers as deep as he could.  Peter pulled at his rim, separating his fingers to spread Stiles as wide as he would go.  He added a third finger, curling them so he could ghost over Stiles' prostate.  

Stiles jerked and spasmed around his fingers.  If he hadn't been able to see the younger man's face he would have thought he had already orgasmed.  Stiles whined deep in his throat, begging Peter for more.  "Please," he panted, arching his back and throwing his head backward to look at Peter, "just get inside me already."

"You're not stretched enough," Peter argued, bringing his other hand up to rub his thumb around where he had three fingers stuffed into his mate's hole.  "I don't want to hurt you."

"I don't care if it hurts a little," Stiles whined as Peter slipped his thumb in alongside his other fingers, pulling at his rim as he circled Stiles' opening.  

"You'll care when my knot pops in before you're ready," Peter warned him, grinding his dick against the back of Stiles' thigh as he continued to stretch him out.  

"Whatever you say, just hurry up," Stiles complained, turning his head back around to face forward, bringing his hand up to his stomach to press back on the babies' kicks.   

"Pushy, pushy," Peter muttered, pulling Stiles' apart as carefully as he could, stretching him until four fingers and a thumb went in easily.  He leaned forward to bite at the nape of Stiles' neck, running his tongue around to lap at his mating bite.  Removing his fingers from Stiles' body, Peter traced Stiles' collarbone in a loving gesture, bringing his other hand down to join Stiles' on his belly and thrusting his hips forward until the head of his dick caught on his mate’s rim.  

He pushed deep in one smooth movement, burying himself to the hilt.  Stiles groaned heavily, pressing one palm down to the mattress to keep himself from traveling across the bed every time Peter thrust.  "Feel better?" Peter asked, chuckling a little as Stiles panted heavily from his slack mouth.  

"So, so much," Stiles agreed, rocking backward into Peter's hips.  He picked up the pace, getting a hold on Stiles' hip bone and pounding into him as quickly as possible.  Stiles took his free hand and began to stroke himself, eager to reach his peak in case he blacked out.  "Fuck, Peter," Stiles gasped, flicking his wrist on every upstroke, "harder!"  

Peter ducked his head, flexing his glutes as he pulled Stiles backward as quickly as he could.  With every slap of his balls against Stiles' ass, Peter let out a rough grunt, feeling his orgasm build as the base of his dick began to swell.  "Are you close?" He gasped out, licking down Stiles' neck and nipping at his ear with distinctly human teeth.

"Fuck, yes," Stiles moaned, reaching back to pull Peter in for a kiss as he came all over his stomach, panting into Peter's open mouth.

"Thank God," Peter groaned, thrusting in deep as he could to lock them together, orgasm ripping out of him when Stiles clenched down on his knot.  Panting into his mate’s neck, Peter pressed on Stiles' chest until their bodies were nestled tight together.  He mouthed at Stiles' nape, letting his teeth graze over his sweat-slick skin as his dick continued to pulse.  

Knowing they would be stuck together for some time, Stiles reached for a pillow, pulling it to his stomach.  He lifted his belly with one hand and shoved the pillow underneath with the other, taking some of the weight off his back and his overstretched skin.  "Are you comfortable?" Peter asked, words staggered by little thrusts of his hips as he spurted more come into Stiles' body.

"As comfortable as a seven months pregnant man could possibly be," Stiles said, nuzzling into Peter's cheek.  "I know how you could make me more comfortable," Stiles muttered between kisses, grabbing at Peter's right hand and bringing it down his body, wrapping the fingers around his shaft.  Taking the unsubtle hint, Peter tightened his grip, savoring the low groan that escaped Stiles' mouth at his touch.  He stroked slowly, licking into Stiles' mouth in a filthy kiss.  

"You better not be doing what I think you're doing," Lydia called from outside their bedroom door, banging on the wood in frustration.  Stiles cursed as Peter continued to stroke him, smirking wickedly as he sped up his hand, circling his hips and pulling back ever so slightly, just enough to tease at Stiles' rim with his swollen knot.  

"Fuck off!" Stiles yelled, cutting his words off with a gasp as Peter teased the tip of his dick with a wet thumb.  

"So help me if you're not in the shower in the next five minutes I'm coming in there after you," Lydia yelled back, not at all deterred by the knowledge of what they were doing.  

"We'll be faster if you stop talking!" Stiles screamed at her, shoving his knuckles into his mouth to muffle the groans Peter was pulling out of his throat.

"Couldn't you just wait to have sex until after the ceremony like a normal couple?" They heard Lydia mutter as she paced back down the hallway to her own room.

"Remind me to trip her as she's walking down the aisle," Peter muttered into the back of Stiles' neck as the younger man came violently, biting down hard on his hand as he reached his peak.  Peter looked down at Stiles with a self-satisfied smirk, proud of what he had accomplished first thing in the morning.  His mate was satisfied and he was still nestled deep inside, pulsing come in a slow, steady rhythm.  

"I want you showered and shaved in twenty minutes!" Lydia screamed from right outside their door again.  Stiles could almost see her strawberry blonde hair bouncing in time with her frustration, hands on her hips, glossy lips set in a thin line.  

"If you don't leave us the fuck alone I'm going to wax rhapsodic about the beard burn Peter just left on my ass!" Stiles threatened, grabbing the pillow from under his stomach and chucking at the door as hard as he could.  He head Lydia huff and stomp away, wondering exactly how soundproof the bedrooms were if he and Lydia could still bicker through the door.

"That might not be the deterrent you think it is," Peter muttered, licking the sweat from Stiles' hairline with broad swipes of his tongue.  

"I like your goatee.  You're not shaving.  I don't care what she says," Stiles told him, turning his neck to give Peter better access.  

"Yes, dear," Peter replied, sighing as he felt his knot deflate, Stiles' hole clenching around him and forcing him out of his body.  Wrapping hot hands around Stiles' shoulders, Peter trailed his palms down his mate's back, following them into the curve of his lower back and over the ridge of his cheeks, cupping them and pulling them apart to get a look at his well-used hole.  

"Don't you dare," Stiles said, looking over his shoulder at Peter who shot him an innocent expression.  "Lydia is going to barge in here any minute and I am not going to be the one to look at her while she watches you eating come out of my ass."

"Spoilsport," Peter muttered, kissing Stiles' ass cheeks and giving each one a loving squeeze.  

"Yeah of course, you're the one that wants to forego showering before our wedding in favor of tongue bathing, and I'm the spoilsport," Stiles chided, attempting to push himself off the bed with noodle arms.  Peter laughed, slipping an arm underneath Stiles' legs and standing up, lifting his mate off the bed and heading for the bathroom.  Stiles wrapped his arms around Peter's neck and buried his nose in his throat, content to lap at his mating bite for the entire trip to the shower.

They showered thoroughly, Peter helping Stiles reach the bottom half of his body.  He massaged Stiles' hair and scrubbed his skin, paying special attention to Stiles' lower back where he was holding most of his tension.  

"Are you ready for this?" Stiles asked as Peter dried him, gently rubbing his hair with a soft towel.  

"Of course," Peter replied easily, taking his time while shaping his facial hair and brushing his teeth, styling his hair a little more carefully than he would on a normal day.  He was determined to get a pass from Lydia without her manhandling him until he was primped to her liking.  "Are you?" He asked as he threw Stiles a new pair of boxer briefs, pulling on his own and then opening the bedroom door.

Lydia and Allison barged in immediately, looking radiant in purple and blue respectively.  

Allison had her hair draped over one shoulder in a long fishtail while Lydia had an intricate crown of braids and strawberry curls.  "This is for you," she said, holding up a garment bag and laying it down on the bed to unzip.  "And that one is Peter's," she said, pointing at the bag draped over Allison's arm.   

Stiles pulled his triskelion pendant over his head and donned his undershirt, unclipping the dress pants from the hanger and whistling appreciatively.  Lydia had worked some magic with the tailor.  The pants had a stretchy maternity band and extra elastic designed to hold his belly as tight to his body as possible.  He zipped them and went to the mirror, spinning around until he got a view of his ass.  "Not bad," Stiles said, twirling a few times to give the room a look.

"Never underestimate a motivated woman with an expert tailor," Lydia said brightly, holding out Stiles' dress shirt and a pair of cufflinks.  By the time he had his vest on, Peter was fully dressed, adjusting his royal blue tie in the mirror and checking his hair.  

"How do I look?" Peter asked, smiling broadly and winking at Stiles.  

"Like the hottest werewolf groom I've ever seen," Stiles said, letting his eyes trail from the top of Peter's head, to the long line of his charcoal suit pants, all the way down to the shiny dress shoes.  His mate looked incredible, filling out the suit with his broad shoulders, vest and suit jacket highlighting his trim waist.  

Stiles looked down at his own body and found he was quite pleased.  His stomach didn't protrude nearly as far as he was expecting.  He looked like he had gained a fair bit of weight due to illness, but not like he was gestating a pair of werewolf babies, or at least he hoped so.  "Just one finishing touch," he said, going to the closet and pulling out the red Chucks that Peter had given him for his birthday.  

"No," Lydia said, crossing her arms over her satin covered chest.  

"Yes," Stiles replied, sitting down on the edge of the bed and struggling to pull one foot up on his knee.  "A little help here babe?" He asked, waving the shoe in Peter's direction.  True to form, Peter kneeled down without hesitation, slipping the shoes onto Stiles' feet and tying them snugly.

"Stiles," Lydia protested, raising her eyebrows and pointing at his feet in agitation, “you can't be serious."

"Lydia," Stiles sighed, pushing off the mattress with more than a cursory amount of effort.  "I'm a pregnant male teenager who is getting married today and those dress shoes hurt.  There is no way you are going to win this fight."

"Fine," Lydia huffed, spinning around until her hair flipped over her shoulder and grabbing a flower box from the dresser.  "At least they match," she said as she pulled out a boutonniere and pinned it to Stiles' lapel.  Stiles trailed a finger over the curve of the sprig of flowers, smiling as he remembered bringing bunches of them to his mother when she was in the hospital.  Sometimes he and his father still brought them to her grave.  

Lydia pinned an identical flower to Peter and then sat Stiles down in the bathroom to style his hair.  "Everyone else is downstairs," Allison told Peter, leading him down the stairs while Lydia finished up with Stiles.  She took a few steps back and put her hands on her hips, surveying her handiwork.  

"All set?" Stiles asked, starting to lift himself out of his chair.  

"Not quite," Lydia said, getting her clutch off the dresser and poking around in it until she came up with a compact.  "Want me to cover that?" She asked, gesturing the applicator at his forehead.  Stiles brought a hand up to trace the scar that cut jaggedly across the right side of his face to his temple.  He shook his head, biting his lip as he reminded himself where the mark came from, how he had to fight tooth and nail to get back to Peter.  

"I don't have anything to hide," Stiles said seriously, hefting himself out of his seat and heading to meet the rest of the pack in the living room.  If Jackson couldn’t hide his scars, he wouldn’t either.  Solidarity.

He clung tightly to the banister on his way downstairs, feeling the weight of the babies hindering his movement.  Their due date couldn't come soon enough as far as he was concerned. 

"Aww look at you!" Erica called, clacking over on her stilettos to take his arm and pull him into the room.  She looked incredible, blonde hair flowing over her bare shoulders in shiny curls.  Lydia had the wedding party color coded by which side of the aisle they would be standing on.  Ruby red for Stiles, and royal blue for Peter with Lydia in a bright amethyst color as she would be officiating.  "You look amazing!" Erica gushed, pinching Stiles' cheeks just to bother him.

"I am the second best looking groom in the room," Stiles said cheerfully, glancing around the room to get a good look at all of his friends in their Sunday best.  Lydia had truly outdone herself.  He stared at Melissa and his father for a good two minutes, taking in their broad smiles and Melissa's halo of ringlets as she straightened his dad's tie.  

"Not true," Peter told him, coming up behind Stiles to wrap his arms around his round belly.  "You're so beautiful," he muttered, pressing a kiss to the red line on Stiles' temple.  

"How much longer do we have?" Scott asked, rolling his shoulders like he was already itching to peel his suit off and go running naked through the preserve.  

"Just two seconds and we'll start the processional," Lydia informed them all, peeking out the back door to check that the guests were all sitting in their seats and that everything else was still in place.  "We're all set, so everybody line up," she said, moving people around until they were in the proper order.  

"You ready?" John asked once he was standing next to his son.  "Because it's not too late to sneak out the back and start your life of crime."

"I think it might be just a little too late for that," Stiles said, rubbing his stomach with a small smile.  "And I don't need to go anywhere.  I want to be here," he told his father.  The butterflies in his stomach had nothing to do with doubt and everything to do with the anticipation of spending the rest of his life with his mate.  He had no problem professing his love to Peter, but he usually did it in the privacy of their bedroom, not in front of a hundred people, all eyes on him.  Taking a deep breath, Stiles shook his head, clearing the thought from his mind.  

Peter caught his eye from his place on the other side of the room and beamed at him, bright eyes twinkling, set off by all the blue fabric in the room.  He looked incredible, and Stiles smiled back at him, all at once completely ready to be the man's husband.  

"It's showtime," Lydia announced, waving at the musicians who began to play a stylized version of “I Will Wait” on strings.  Stiles smiled, remembering the first time he had ever felt Peter sing to him through their mating bond.  That day hadn’t started out well, but it had ended in one of the best nights of his life.  

Jackson and Danny led the processional, followed by Isaac and Allison, and then Erica and Boyd.  After a few minutes the song changed to Michael Buble's “Everything” and Stiles watched as Derek led Cora out of the house, followed by Scott with his mother.  

"My turn," Peter said, grinning at Stiles and pecking him on the lips before leading Lydia down the aisle.  Finally, it was Stiles' turn, and he linked arms with his father and followed his future husband out of the house.  

The backyard looked like a fairytale.  Derek must have done so much work to get it looking like an enchanted forest for them.  There were archways of ivy and white flowers denoting the beginning and end of the aisle.  Over a hundred guests were sitting on split logs that had been decorated with something that sparkled and even more white flowers.  Lanterns hung from tree branches, giving the afternoon a magical glow.  Vines were wrapped around nearly everything else that was visible, including a small table with a candle that Lydia was standing behind.  In the distance, Stiles could see a large tent set up for the reception, even more lanterns hanging from the curved fabric.

He brought his eyes away from the crowd and back down the aisle to look at Peter.  The light set off his hair in a warm glow that made his smile shine that much brighter.  The cut of his suit made Stiles bite his bottom lip and think dirty thoughts.  John poked him in the ribs with his elbow, forcing the air out of his lungs.  He hadn't noticed that he was holding his breath until he was face to face with Peter.  His father gave Peter a hug and a clap on the back, kissed Stiles' cheek and took his seat in the front row, wishing Melissa was next to him to hold his hand.  

Peter took Stiles' shaking hands in his and smiled, doing his best to calm his mate through the bond.  Lydia cleared her throat and began to speak.  

"Family, friends, and honored guests, we are gathered here today to join these two men, Stiles and Peter in marriage.  All of us here today have our own love stories," she looked over to Allison, and then paused to turn her attention to John and Melissa.  "Some are short, others long.  Some are yet unwritten, while others are just getting to the good part.  There are chapters in all of our stories that are sad or disappointing, and others that are exciting and full of adventure.  Stiles' and Peter's story has had all of that and more.  Together they have faced great struggles, but also shared great joy," Lydia let her gaze fall to Stiles' body, letting the crowd believe that she was alluding to Stiles' imaginary illness, when the pack knew she meant his pregnancy.  

"They weren't meant to fall in love, but the universe brought them together, and music kept them there.  Today we help Stiles and Peter write their own song, in their own words, and with their own melody.  We all know a love song when we hear it, and today, we will hear a new one for the first time, written by our friends, Stiles and Peter."

Stiles smiled at Lydia, wondering how she had come up with such a wonderful description.  She had warned him not to underestimate her, and he should have known better than to worry that their wedding would be anything less than perfect.  

"You fell in love by chance, but you are here today because you're making a choice.  You are both choosing each other.  You have chosen to be with someone who challenges you, who makes you think, makes you smile, and makes every day brighter.  Today you make promises to each other that you intend to keep, no matter how your partner may test your resolve."  The crowd chuckled a bit at that remark, but Lydia carried on.

"Now Stiles and Peter will exchange vows.  Peter, please repeat after me."  Stiles locked eyes with Peter and became fixated.   Lydia's voice faded away.  When Peter spoke, his was the only voice that Stiles heard.  

"I Peter, take you Stiles, as my lawfully wedded husband.  I make a commitment to you today, to love and serve you, to honor and protect you.  I am choosing today to spend the rest of my life with you.  I will walk with you when life is good, and through every storm.  May my heart be your shelter, and my arms be your home.  May you feel deeply loved, for indeed you are.  I give you my heart, for I have no greater gift to give.  I feel so honored to call you my husband.  I feel so pleased to call you mine.  I will be true to you in all things, your willing accomplice, all the days of my life."

Stiles was not crying.  He was not.  But then he had to say the same words, and okay maybe he was crying a little.  But if he was crying, so was Peter, and Scott definitely was, because he could hear his brother sniffling behind his back.  He caught a glimpse of his dad out of the corner of his eye, and he too was dabbing at his eye with a handkerchief.  Apparently there wasn't a dry eye in the house.  When he finished his vows, he smiled at Peter, grasping his hands just a little tighter.  

Nearly there, they were nearly married and it already felt amazing.  

"The couple will now exchange rings," Lydia said, gesturing for Derek and Scott to hand over their precious cargo.  

"Dearest Stiles, wear this ring, as a symbol of my love and fidelity," Peter said, slipping his ring onto Stiles' slim finger. He pressed a kiss to it and give Stiles a wink, smirking at the awestruck look on his mate's face.  Lydia waved at Stiles indicating that it was his turn.  

"Peter, please wear this ring, as a symbol of my love and fidelity," Stiles said, wriggling his father's ring onto Peter's finger.  He smiled broadly, eager for the ceremony to end so he could kiss the smug look off of Peter's face.  

"By the power vested in me by the American Marriage Ministries and the State of California, I now pronounce you married.  You may—" Lydia didn't even bother finishing the sentence as Stiles and Peter were already glued together, laughing and smiling between open-mouthed kisses.  The crowd clapped and Scott whooped for joy as they continued to kiss, pressed together from head to toe, hands linked together.  

The musicians began to play again, but Stiles didn't hear anything.  His entire world had narrowed to the space between Peter's lips.  He sucked in Peter's breath like he was trying to taste the promises Peter had just made.  A few minutes must have passed because Scott had to pull the back of suit jacket to get his attention.  Peter and Stiles separated and he finally noticed that everyone was waiting for them to recess down the aisle.  

"Ready to go, husband?" Peter asked, putting a gentle hand on Stiles' lower back and leaning in close to whisper into his ear.  

"I could get used to that," Stiles muttered back, letting Peter lead him back to the house for group photos.  It was a testament to how distracted Stiles had been before the ceremony that he hadn't noticed the photographer at all.   

"You're going to have to," Peter said, "because I really like saying it."

After a half hour of posing in front of the house and around the ceremony arch they were able to meet their guests in the party tent.  Lydia had hired a band for the reception and Stiles was happy to know they wouldn't have to suffer through the emceeing of a moronic DJ.  They walked out onto the dance floor hand in hand and waited for the band to start playing their first dance song.  

Instead John stepped up to the microphone and began to speak.  "Stiles and Peter chose my late wife Claudia's favorite song for their first dance, and I know it played a part in bringing them together... but this is their love story, not mine, and I think it should start that way.  So let's give the Stilinski-Hales their first dance!"

The crowd cheered as the band began to play something that was definitely not “Annie's Song” and Stiles leaned in to whisper in Peter's ear.  "Stilinski-Hale?" He asked, turning Peter's body so the crowd wouldn't see him nipping Peter's earlobe.  "Didn't you want to discuss the last name thing?  I would be proud to be a Hale."

"I know you would," Peter said, putting one hand on Stiles' waist and clasping their other hands together.  He knew slow dancing would go better if he was leading.  "That's why I wanted to hyphenate.  I have as much reason to want to be a Stilinski just as you would to be a Hale."

"Dad tried to adopt you, didn't he?" Stiles asked, putting his right hand on Peter's shoulder and looking back to his father who had taken the microphone off the stand, holding it in one hand and tapping his foot to the beat of the guitar introduction.  "Oh God, what is he doing?" Stiles said, mouth gaping as his father began to sing.

 

"And in the middle of the night

I may watch you go

There'll be no value in the strength

Of walls that I have grown

There'll be no comfort in the shade

Of the shadows thrown

But I'd be yours if you'd be mine

 

Stretch out my life

And pick the seams out

Take what you like

But close my ears and eyes

Watch me stumble over and over"

 

"He's giving us a new song," Peter said, pressing his cheek against Stiles' and spinning them around.  

 

"I have done wrong

You built your tower

But call me home

And I will build a throne

And wash my eyes out never again

 

But love the one you hold

And I'll be your gold

To have and to hold

A lover of the light

 

Skin too tight

And eyes like marbles

You spin me high

So watch me as I glide

Before I tumble homeward, homeward"

 

Stiles had no idea that his father even sang.  It was always his mother who sang along to the radio and bopped around the kitchen, dancing with Stiles as she made dinner.  His father had made sure he got to see those lost memories.  Stiles wondered if maybe it was something he had only done for her, a lost art that had died when she did.  His voice was gruff but clear, ringing out through the band's speakers, only slightly off key.  It felt like it not only filled the party tent, but the rest of the preserve too.  

 

"I know I've tried

I was not stable

And flawed by pride

I miss my sanguine eyes

So hold my hands up

Breathe in, and breathe out

 

So love the one you hold

And I'll be your gold

To have and to hold

A lover of the light"

 

Peter led him in a simple box step, circling the dance floor like he had been doing it all his life.  Every time they turned Stiles got another look at their guests.  He recognized all of his father's deputies and their families as well as the pack's parents, but there was also a huge group of people at one table that he didn't know.  "Did Cora bring the other packs down with her?" He asked Peter, keeping his voice at a normal volume, knowing Peter would hear him over the music.

"I think she did mention something about that," Peter told him, spinning them again to get a better look at who Stiles was talking about.  "And I think that's Paula and Marty with their family, and over there is—no," Peter said, peering over Stiles' shoulder at the crowd.  "Who invited the Winchesters?"

"I'm guessing that was Lydia," Stiles said, stifling a laugh at Peter's ire.  "Come on," Stiles implored, pressing a kiss to the corner of his husband's mouth.  "They helped save my life.  You can't hate them after that."

"They caught some smoke in a tomato-stained Tupperware," Peter scoffed, leaning his body into Stiles' to bring them closer together.  "I don't think that counts as saving your life."

"Well I'm alive, aren't I?" Stiles countered, peeking around Peter's body to see Jackson and Danny chatting with the brothers.  Several other couples joined them on the dance floor, and Stiles was glad to see Scott leading a blushing Isaac around the tent.

 

"And in the middle of the night

I may watch you go

There'll be no value in the strength

Of walls that I have grown

There'll be no comfort in the shade

Of the shadows thrown

You may not trust the promises

Of the change I'll show

But I'd be yours if you'd be mine"

 

"Alive and perfect," Peter conceded, capturing Stiles' lips in a kiss that he didn't break until John finished the song.  He kept them close, a possessive hand on Stiles' lower back kept their hips pressed together as he turned their bodies.  John looked on with a smile as he repeated the chorus, hands cupped around the microphone.  He felt a tear prickle his eye as he thought of how happy Claudia would have been to see this.  Their hyperactive, beautiful whirlwind of a child was married and about to have children of his own.

 

"So love the one you hold

And I will be your gold

To have and to hold

A lover of the light

 

So love the one you hold

And I will be your gold

To have and to hold

A lover of the light"

 

The pack whooped and catcalled as the song ended, applauding John and the happy couple along with the rest of the guests.  Peter and Stiles took their seats at a small table in the center of their guests as Derek and Scott gave toasts.  Dinner went by in a blur.  Stiles was so happy to be able to eat whatever he wanted that by the end of the night, he barely remembered what anything tasted like.  They danced for hours, Peter content to keep Stiles' body as close to his as possible, nose pressed into his mating bite.  

When it came time to cut the cake, Stiles spied a blonde woman from Paula's pack lean in to speak into Derek's ear, one manicured hand gripping his shoulder.  He narrowed his eyes at the woman and checked his connection with Derek.  There wasn't much discomfort there, and Derek had a bit of a smile on his face.  He was politely interested, if not actually so.  Stiles figured there was no harm in a little flirting if Derek felt comfortable with it, so he left them alone and allowed Peter to feed him a bite of cake in his usual precise way.  

Stiles smushed icing into his facial hair and licked it off as the guests groaned, or cheered in Erica’s case.

He sat down at their sweetheart table with a second slice of cake, rumbling in enjoyment and doing his best not to rub his stomach when he realized that Peter wasn't joining him.  Instead he had crossed the dance floor and took to the stage, grabbing the microphone stand and lowering it until it lined up with his mouth when he sat down on a stool.  

Most of the guests had left before the cake was cut and Peter had removed his jacket and tie, leaving his throat exposed.  His vest was highlighting his shoulders and waist, and Stiles licked the frosting off his lips, wishing the party was over and there was something else in his mouth.  Peter flashed him a knowing smile and moved forward in his seat until he was as close to the microphone as possible.  

"It's been a long standing tradition in our family for a groom to toast his spouse," Peter said, glancing around the crowd and letting his gaze stop on Derek and Cora.  "And while there hasn't been a Hale wedding in a good many years, we're finally gaining a member, so I'd like to toast my new husband the best way I know how."  He reached behind his back and pulled out his twelve-string guitar, slipping the strap over his back and pulling a pick out of the strings near the pegs.  "With a song."

Stiles dropped his fork and wiped his mouth with a napkin, sitting up straighter in his seat so he could get a better look at his first post-marriage serenade.  It was the largest audience Peter had ever played in front of, and Stiles knew how hard it was for him to express himself in public.  Yet here Peter was, about to do it twice in one day.  Using the pick instead of his claws, Peter began to strum, winking at Stiles over the microphone as he sang.  

 

"There was a time

I had nothing to give

I needed shelter from the storm I was in

And when it all got too heavy

You carried my weight

And I want to hold you

And I want to say

 

That you are all that I need

For you, I give my soul to keep

You see me, love me

Just the way I am

For you I am a better man

 

I said you are the reason

For everything that I do

I'd be lost, so lost, without you"

 

Stiles had never considered recording Peter when he played for him, but this particular performance had him wishing he had the forethought to take out his phone and take a video.  His entire body felt warm as he watched Peter play.  The man was telling him that he was the most important thing in his life, at least until the babies were born, and it was beautiful.  Peter struggled a little bit to keep the rhythm without being able to use his claws, and Stiles thought that made it all the more captivating.  The music felt weighty, tangible as it hung in the air, buoyed by Peter’s obvious effort to nail each chord.

Peter's tone was low and gravely, giving Stiles that bit of rasp that he loved hearing in his mate's singing voice.  He could never really get over how different it was from his confident, usually sassy speaking voice.  This was Peter at his most vulnerable, and it was almost too much for Stiles to handle.  The babies started kicking like they wanted their other father's attention, wanted to be included in the moment.  

 

"Under the stars

At the edge of the sea  

There's no one around

No one but you and me

We'd talk for hours

As time drifts away

I could stay here forever

And hold you this way"

 

The babies were really moving now, requiring Stiles to lower a hand to his stomach, rubbing out the ache as they pummeled his organs.  He caught Peter's eye over the microphone, smiling broadly and mouthing "they like it" at him, letting his eyes fall to his stomach so Peter would get his meaning.  He finally got them to settle enough that he could enjoy the rest of the song, Peter's voice going raspy and broken as he poured everything he felt into the lyrics.  He got louder and louder, nearly pleading with Stiles to hear him, to truly believe what he was trying to say.  

 

"'Cause you are all that I need

For you, I give my soul to keep

You see me, love me

Just the way I am

For you I am a better man

 

I said you are the reason

For everything that I do

I'd be lost, so lost without you, no no no

I'd be lost, so lost without you"

 

Tears prickled Stiles eyes as he pushed back from the table, struggling a little to get to his feet.  He crossed the dance floor and wrapped himself around Peter, crying softly into his neck.  Peter handed his guitar off to someone from the band so he could pull Stiles in close.  He pressed kisses all over Stiles' face, smearing his tears around as Stiles mumbled "I know, I know, I know," into his body.

The remaining guests were clapping, but Peter didn't care.  His entire world narrowed down to the family that he was holding in his arms.  Peter let Stiles cry himself out, chalking it up to pregnancy hormones when it took Stiles quite a few minutes to even out his breathing.  "I love you so much it hurts sometimes," Peter whispered into his ear, smiling when Stiles hiccuped in response.

"The hurting is just the babies kicking me in the kidneys," Stiles replied, letting Peter pull his face up with a gentle finger under his chin and smiling when Peter threw caution into the wind and put both hands on his stomach, trying to catch the movement.  "They stopped," Stiles told him, laying his hands on top of Peter's and giving him a watery smile.

Peter's face dropped when he looked down at Stiles' stomach.  "Your hands," Peter said, taking one and pulling it up to Stiles' face.  It was completely swollen, his usually long, bony fingers looking like chubby sausages.  "You need to rest.  Come on, let's get you inside," Peter said, looking around to realize that everyone was gone, apparently leaving them to have their private moment.  Seeing no reason not to indulge himself, Peter bent down and lifted Stiles into a bridal carry.

"Really Peter?" Stiles said, clasping swollen hands around his mate's neck as Peter carried him up the back steps.  "Going for the cliché?  You're such a softie."

"No," Peter protested, knowing full well that Stiles was completely right, "I'm just saving your feet the extra stairs.  They're probably swollen as well."

It turned out that Peter was right, too.  Once he got Stiles up to their bedroom and laid out on the comforter, he peeled him out of his suit and eased the sneakers off his swollen feet.  Even his calves looked to be double their normal size.  "Maybe I should call Melissa," Peter said, worriedly looking over Stiles' body.  His wedding band looked to be painfully cutting into his ring finger.

"She did ask us to tell her if this happened," Stiles said reluctantly.  He didn't really want to invite his sort-of step-mother into his and Peter's marital bed, but he also didn't want anything to jeopardize the babies.  He didn't need to think too hard about it though, because Peter was already on the phone, calling Melissa back to the Manor.  

 


 

Melissa pulled the stethoscope from her ears and placed her hands in her lap, serious expression on her face.  "What is it?" Stiles asked, anxious to hear that his babies were going to be okay.

"You're showing more symptoms of preeclampsia," Melissa explained.  "Your blood pressure is high again and you've developed proteinuria.  That along with the sudden swelling of your hands and feet has me worried."

"What can we do about it?" Peter asked from where he was perched on the edge of the bed, one hand laying over Stiles' stomach.  

"The only cure for preeclampsia is delivery, and as your little werewolves aren't done cooking yet, that's not going to be an option for a while."  Melissa had brought the portable ultrasound and given them another look at the babies.  They were sure they had a little girl in there, but the other baby was turned away, keeping their sex a secret for the time being.  "Most people recommend bed rest, but it's really unclear whether that actually helps.  You should stay off your feet until the swelling goes down, but after that you should try to keep active with light exercise so you don't develop blood clots."

Peter longed to grasp Stiles' hand, but he didn't want to cause his mate any pain.  He kept his hands to himself, breathing deeply to make sure his claws didn't make an appearance as Melissa continued laying out the details.  

"I can up your blood pressure meds and give you something to decrease the risk of seizure, but other than that, there's not much I can do.  I'd offer you a fetal heart rate monitor, but I don't think that's really necessary in this house," she said, giving Peter a soft smile.  "If you have a seizure, or start bleeding, we're going to need to get the babies out immediately, no matter what."

Stiles’ hand flapped around the bed, searching for Peter's.  His eyes stayed locked on Melissa, almost frozen as he watched her pull a syringe from her medical bag.  "What's that?" He squeaked, squeezing down on Peter's hand until he rumbled in pain.  

"Celestone.  It will help speed up the babies’ lung development in case we need to deliver them early," Melissa told him, knowing how much Stiles hated needles.  "Now flip over and show me your tush," she said, raising her eyebrows at the couple.

"Seriously?" Stiles asked, scrambling backward until he nearly fell into Peter's lap.

"It'll hurt less if you don't see it coming," she said, patting the mattress in front of her until Stiles crawled over and kneeled, pulling his sweatpants down to expose the curve of his mole spotted ass.  He buried his head in his crossed arms, neck flushed red.  Peter was proud of his mate for only putting up a modicum of protest.

"Little pinch," she said as she stuck him, giving his butt a little pat in apology.  "You're going to need another one in twenty four hours," Melissa said, handing Peter a syringe and alcohol wipe.  

After a quick goodbye and a promise that Stiles would get some rest until the swelling went down, Melissa left the men to the remainder of their wedding night.  Stiles felt completely drained.  He curled up on his side and waited for Peter to wrap himself around his body.  A warm hand came up to cup the curve of his belly as Stiles fell asleep.

 

Chapter Text

 After a few days of lazing around the house, Stiles’ hands and feet were down to a normal amount of pregnancy swelling.  They had already decided to postpone their honeymoon until well after the babies were born, so there was not much left to plan except the nursery.  Allison and Lydia had gone back to Europe to put together their new apartment and get settled, but they promised they would be back to throw him the “best baby shower of all time,” in Lydia’s words.  

Late Wednesday morning Stiles woke up alone.  Peter was setting up his office at his new job and putting together lesson plans for the fall semester, and had kissed him goodbye hours ago.  He squirmed a bit, wondering why he felt so uncomfortable, besides the usual.  His chest felt tight, but even more than when the babies were pushing on his diaphragm.  Sitting up was difficult.  Peter had joked that he was going to attach a rope to the end of the bed so Stiles would be able to pull himself upright when he wasn't home.  While that had earned Peter a good smack, Stiles couldn’t help but think it would have been useful this morning.  

He rubbed his belly, tensing his stomach until he could finally sit up, groaning with the sudden need to pee.  With two hands on his lower back to support the extra weight, Stiles waddled to the bathroom with his eyes still closed, wondering how long it might be before he would be able to see his dick again.  Lowering his boxers until he could pull himself out, Stiles looked down and screamed, nearly falling over backward.  He swore it was a very manly scream.  

He had breasts.  And they had just appeared overnight.  He jerked himself back over the toilet, grumbling that Peter was going to have to clean the surrounding area when he got home, because there was no way in hell he was bending down to do it himself.  How had this happened?  There were B, maybe C cup sized breasts on his chest.  No wonder his chest hurt.  His nipples were even sore, poking out from his chest, raw and angry looking.  He shook himself and flushed the toilet, waddling back into the bedroom to get to the hall as fast as he could.  Then he stopped short.

Lydia and Allison weren't home, and this definitely wasn't something he wanted to do over Skype, that left only... oh no.  Erica.  She was going to be horrible.  Stiles contemplated calling Melissa for a few seconds before schooling his face, throwing on a tee shirt, and stomping down the hall to Erica's room.  He wasn't going to ask his pseudo step-mother to help him with something like this.  That left only one choice.  

Stiles knocked softly on Erica's door, hoping she was alone.  He really didn't want to have to explain his situation to Boyd too.  "What do you want, Stilinski?" Erica asked, opening her door to show him her long bare legs and revealing nightgown.  "It's too early for your baby-mama drama."

"I need your help," Stiles muttered angrily, arms still crossed over his chest in a defensive manner.  

"What's wrong?  Need me to call Peter?" She asked, casually leaning against her doorframe and yawning.

"No!" Stiles yelped, taking a step back.  "Definitely no calling Peter."

"Well what is it?" Erica questioned once more, perking up at the realization that she might be in on a secret.  Eyes on the ground and face red, Stiles lowered his arms, exposing his chest.  Erica gasped, unable to miss the new addition to Stiles' pregnant body.  "Get in here," she said, stepping back into her room and closing the door behind him.

"How did this happen?" Erica asked, jumping onto her bed like Stiles was coming over to gossip.  "Is that normal?"

"In the way that a man carrying twin werewolves is normal?" Stiles asked, voice high and squeaky.  He lowered himself into Erica's desk chair and then turned to her.  "I don't know, I just woke up and they were there.  Poof.  Magic!"

"Well what do you want me to do about it?" Erica asked, grinning broadly, clearly still finding humor in Stiles' misfortune.

"Do they always hurt like this?" Stiles muttered, looking at her with honest desperation.

"Sometimes, when I have my period, or just when it's been a long day.  They're heavy," she answered, shrugging.

"I feel like my chest is on fire," Stiles complained, tossing his head back and closing his eyes.

"I'm sure your skin is really angry, stretching so fast like that, plus I think they always hurt when they're full of milk."

"Oh God," Stiles gagged at the thought, "milk?"

"Well yeah," Erica said, gesturing at his chest, "I don't think they just popped up out of nowhere for no reason.  You're probably supposed to nurse the babies."

"Sorry kids," Stiles said, looking down at his swollen abdomen, "you're not getting anywhere near these nips."

"You should really consider it," Erica pointed out, "it's supposed to be a lot better for them than formula.  Plus if they're wolves, they're going to be able to smell it."

"Smell it?" Stiles asked, eyes snapping open to look at Erica.  

"Yeah it's really sweet, like caramel," she said, twitching her nose slightly.

"Oh great, that's just great," Stiles whined, wanting to cover his chest again, but not interested in feeling the pain when his skin stretched and pulled.  

"You're going to need a bra," Erica informed him, standing up to get a better look.  "They need support when they get heavy or your back will hurt even more than it does now.  Plus the fabric might feel better on your nipples if they're sore."

"I hate my life," Stiles complained as he watched Erica move to her dresser.  

"Here," she said, holding out a soft pink bra that looked way more comfortable than the bondage devices Erica usually wore.  "Take your shirt off and try this on."

"Can't we just do this over my shirt?" Stiles asked nervously, pushing on Erica's desk to help himself stand up.  

"I'm not going to know what size to get you if I can't see how it fits," Erica argued, shaking the bra at him until he conceded.  Stiles gingerly lifted his arms and pulled the tee shirt off over his head, turning his back to Erica to give himself a modicum of privacy.  He took the bra from her and slipped his arms through the straps, blushing furiously.  Stiles nearly jumped out of his skin when Erica came up behind him and helped him with the clasp.   

"I think some of the maternity ones close in the front, so you won't have to stretch so far to put them on," she offered gently, changing her tune now that the novelty had worn off.  Stiles turned around, eyes still closed, not wanting to see Erica's expression.

"Wow," she said, turning Stiles' body so she could see him from every angle.  "Nice rack, Stilinski."

"I hate you so much right now," Stiles muttered angrily, looking skyward like he was asking a higher power for strength.

"You'll need a C cup for now, but I'll get you bigger sizes too," Erica mused, lifting Stiles' arm to check the fit from the side.  

"Why bigger?" Stiles asked, more than ready to put his shirt back on.  Erica unclasped the bra in the back and helped him get it off, just to get a glimpse of Stiles' naked chest.  

"Well I'm not an expert or anything, but I think more milk will come in," she said easily, like Stiles' predicament was already old news.  Stiles flipped her off when she turned her back to put the bra back in her dresser.  He slipped his tee shirt back on and waddled back to his and Peter's room, Erica following.  Opening the top drawer of the bedside table, Stiles pulled something out and offered it to her.  

"Here's my copy of Peter's credit card," he said, dropping it in her hand.  "This is totally his fault."  Erica cackled and then went back to her room to change before going shopping.

 


 

She returned a few hours later with several bags and a gigantic white plush thing that looked like a seahorse.  "What is that?" Stiles asked, grabbing one end of the object and pulling it from Erica's grasp.  

"It's a snoogle!" She called happily, dropping the rest of the bags onto the bed for Stiles to go through.  "It's a pillow specially designed for pregnant people," she explained, wrapping a curve of the pillow around Stiles' neck with a grin.  "It should help you sleep better.”  

"Wow," Stiles said, pulling a few simple, nude and black bras out of the bags with trepidation.  Dropping them as soon as he picked them up, Stiles grabbed the snoogle and wrapped it around himself, clutching it tight in his long fingers.  He looked up, already overwhelmed.  

"There’s more,” she told him, unloading a few bags onto the mattress.  "I got you cream for your stretch marks.  It's supposed to help your skin feel less tight.  Then there's a breast pump and some other stuff in there too."

"That's great," Stiles said, eyeing the breast pump with suspicion.  “Thanks, Catwoman,” he said with a weak smile.

"You’re welcome, Batman,” she said, rubbing her fist on the top of his head like he was her little brother.  “I'm going out with Boyd, let me know if you need me to return stuff, receipt's in the bag," she said before leaving the room.   

Stiles got up slowly, closing the bedroom door and moving back to the bed to go through the rest of the bags.  He found one that was particularly heavy, and when he dumped it out, a huge book hit the mattress.  It was called The Breastfeeding Bible and the title alone was enough to make Stiles throw it in the bedside table and slam the drawer closed.  With a heavy heart, he hid the rest of the stuff in the bottom of the wardrobe, save for one nude bra.  He pulled his tee shirt back off and removed the tags, sliding the straps over his shoulders and snapping the front closed.   

Waddling over to the mirror, Stiles looked back at someone he didn't recognize.  Full pregnant stomach, heavy feeling breasts, Stiles winced at the way his scars had stretched out over his expanding frame.  The claw marks he had gotten from the Alphas last year were jagged and red, being pulled in every direction by the weight of his stomach and chest.  He traced down the ones on his sternum, scraping his nails across his body like the Alpha twins had.  Stiles imagined holding his children to that chest, letting them feed off him, little faces pressed against his scars.  

He barely had time to lift the toilet seat before he was vomiting, completely disgusted with himself.  That was where Peter found him, hours later, curled around the toilet and sobbing.  He could feel that Stiles was unhappy through their bond, but it was so much worse than he was expecting.  Peter didn't know how to handle it.  Stiles was balled up on the floor, arms wrapped around his chest as tight as he could get them as he wept, whole body shaking with the force of it.  

As gently as he could, Peter scooped up his mate and brought him to the bed, laying him down and then heading back to the bathroom to clean up.  He filled a glass with water and brought it over to Stiles' side of the bed, almost afraid to ask what was wrong.  "Baby?" He began, pushing the sweaty hair back from Stiles' forehead.  "What's going on?"

Stiles jerked away from his touch, turning over on the bed until Peter could only see his back.  "Can you talk to me," Peter begged, completely lost, "please?"

Stiles just shuddered out a wet sigh, wiping the tears away from his face as he struggled to sit up.  Peter went to help him with a soft hand on his back, but Stiles snapped.  "Don't touch me!"

Peter pulled his hand back, wolf beginning to whine at the way his mate was rejecting his touch.  When Stiles sat up, Peter could finally see what was upsetting him.  He stared at Stiles, dumbfounded, as he took in the change.  How had that happened in under twelve hours?  Of course Stiles was freaking out, he suddenly had a chest to rival Erica's.

"It'll be alright Stiles," Peter soothed, moving forward to take his husband's hand.  Stiles pulled away immediately, causing Peter to take a step back and try to comfort him with just his words.  "You're just getting ready for the babies to be born.  No one will think of you any differently."

"I think of myself differently," Stiles muttered, keeping his eyes closed, unwilling to look at Peter's sympathetic face.  There was only one thing that still made him feel like a man, and he couldn't even see it over his pregnant stomach.  He felt horrible, his whole body was alien, tight and sore and painful all over.  Stiles wanted to rip his own skin off, it felt so wrong.  "Just leave me alone," he whispered, lying back down on the bed and turning his back on his mate.  

 


 

Distraught, Peter turned to Derek.  He wasn’t sure when his nephew had become the person he went to when he was having relationship troubles, but there really wasn’t anyone else he was remotely comfortable talking with.  On a different occasion, Peter may have considered the Sheriff, but he wasn’t about to go whining to Stiles’ father about his son’s magical breasts.  

“So what do I do?” Peter asked, arm thrown over his eyes as he lounged dramatically on one of the living room couches.  “He hates me.”

“He doesn’t hate you,” Derek sighed, passing Peter a regular beer.  He still hadn’t worked out the kinks in his own recipe yet.  “He’s just upset.  Give it some time.”

“How much time?” Peter whined, lunging forward to grab the bottle from Derek.  “I can’t touch my mate.  I’m kind of going crazy here.”

“Yeah, well think of how he feels,” Derek said, raising his eyebrows in his uncle’s direction.  “How would you handle it if you were practically turning into a woman?”

Peter wanted to argue that Stiles wasn’t, and would never be a woman, but Derek’s words set off a completely different thought.  “Speaking of women,” he said, tone turning conspiratorial.  “I saw you getting cozy with that woman from Paula’s pack at the wedding.  Anything happening there?”

“No,” Derek said simply, clearly hoping to avoid the topic.  

“She looked like she liked you,” Peter prompted, quirking his head to the side as he waited for Derek’s response.  

“She was just being friendly,” Derek argued, getting off the couch and heading for the kitchen, like being in a different room would make Peter drop it.

“Well did you want to be friendly ?” he asked, following his nephew into the kitchen, speaking to Derek’s back as the Alpha rummaged in the pantry for something to eat.

“Look, it wasn’t like that,” Derek said, letting out a heavy breath.  “She’s a psychologist.  We were talking about both being single at a wedding and she could tell I had baggage… asked if I needed a therapist.  Are you happy?”

“Are you?” Peter asked, eyes going wide with shock.  Stiles had suggested therapy a dozen times, but he didn’t think Derek would ever actually consider it.  At least if this woman was from a wolf pack Derek wouldn’t have to speak in euphemisms all the time.

“Sort of…” Derek mumbled, trailing off.  “I’m not sure I know what happy is anymore.”

“They’re from New York?”

“Boston.”

“But you want to try therapy?”

“Maybe,” Derek admitted, eyes cast down at the floor.

“You need me to teach you how to use Skype, don’t you?”  Derek growled, flashing his eyes at Peter who chuckled and downed the rest of his beer, wondering if things worked out for Derek, maybe Stiles would talk to the therapist too.  “I’ll get my laptop.”

 


 

It went on for days.  No matter what Peter said, that he didn't care about the changes to his body, that it was only natural, that he was still attracted to Stiles, nothing made the slightest bit of difference.  Stiles was miserable and avoided the pack whenever possible.  Peter was lucky he was still allowed in their bed.  The way Stiles had been rejecting his affections, he was expecting to be relegated to the couch any minute.  It was hard enough that Stiles was ignoring him, but he had a whole other problem to contend with.

Peter was horny.  So very horny.  He couldn't help it that every time he caught the scent of Stiles' breastmilk he got an erection.  His wolf was very interested in expressing his appreciation for the way his mate was going to be able to provide for their family.  Peter knew that breastmilk was the healthiest option for pups, and his mate's body had found a way to make that a reality.  It was beautiful and incredible and sexy as hell.

His body ached for it.

Every night Stiles would sneak into the bathroom with his jar of lotion, massaging it into his stomach and breasts, trying to soothe the tight skin that was stretching around his growing body, and every night Peter would wait in bed and whine.  He longed to be able to do that for his mate, to ease the aches and pains that he felt and press his nose into Stiles' chest, lapping at the wetness that sometimes leaked from him while he was sleeping.  It was torture, sweet, sweet torture.  

A week and a half went by, and Stiles' breasts continued to grow.  They were heavy with milk and so sore he wanted to cry.  In an act of desperation, Stiles crept out of bed one night, pulled the book from his nightstand and went into the bathroom.  He sat down on the closed toilet lid and flipped through the table of contents.  He read through Chapter 10, Your Milk Supply and learned that most women didn't produce enough for one baby, let alone two.  He looked down at his chest and thought that he definitely wouldn't be having that issue.  Stiles had enough milk in those bad boys to feed an army, or so he thought, at least.  Apparently magical werewolf-induced pregnancies didn’t play by the normal rules.  Chapter 14 caught his eye, so he skipped ahead to Breastfeeding and Sex , hoping to find some answers.  

"Some people will be very interested in your breast milk, while others will shy away from it completely.  If your partner seems overly interested in your breasts while you are producing milk, don't worry, it is a completely normal response.  Nipple play and fondling of the breasts can be enjoyable for both partners, and there is no reason to refrain from these activities.  As long as both parties are comfortable with it, a couple may find a lot of enjoyment in the woman's milk production.

“Your partner may find your breast milk erotic or want to nurse from you during sex.  This is also a healthy response and can help bring you closer to your partner during the later months of your pregnancy and after birth.  If your partner wants to feed from your breasts, you can allow this without worry.  They will in no way take food away from your child.  You will continue to produce milk no matter how much you allow your partner to drink.  Some people find this extremely pleasurable, and breastfeeding in the bedroom can be an exciting addition to you and your partner's sexual repertoire."

Stiles snapped the book closed, breathing heavily.  He had never thought about it like that.  It felt dirty and wrong for Peter to be attracted to his breasts.  They were for feeding the babies, and nothing else.  He hated them and he wanted them gone.  

But didn't he like breasts as well?  He certainly used to, when he was still looking at women.  Erica's breasts still distracted him on occasion, even if he only had eyes for Peter.  Maybe he had been denying them both the pleasure of a new area of sexual exploration.  

Stiles left the book on the toilet tank and pulled his boxers down to pee, only to find that he couldn't.  He was hard.  Reaching down with one long-fingered hand, Stiles stroked himself, closing his eyes at how good it felt.

He hadn't touched himself in at least a week, too wrapped up in the changes in his body to realize that he was wound as tight as a spring.  Stiles slipped his underwear and shirt off and headed back to the bedroom, stopping dead in his tracks at the sight before him.   

Peter was squirming on the bed, eyes squeezed closed in pleasure.  He was panting heavily, back arched off the mattress as he gasped, one hand closed tight around his dick.  Stiles’ jaw dropped when he heard his mate start to mutter.  "Oh God, Stiles," Peter breathed, squeezing the base of his cock in one strong hand, the other pulling on his own hair in frustration.  "Please baby, please!  Need you..."

Stiles wrapped a hand around his own dick, inching forward as quietly as he could to get a better look at the way Peter was stretched out on the bed, a feast of flushed skin and sweat laid out against damp sheets.  A high pitched whine escaped Peter's throat as he pulled his hand out of his hair to join the one on his cock.  Stiles honestly couldn't tell if Peter was awake or if he was having a particularly vivid sex dream.  Either way, it was one of the hottest things Stiles had ever seen.  It was like his sex drive had just woken up from hibernation and was ready to devour the first thing it came across, luckily that was his husband.

Getting closer to the bed, Stiles could hear the way Peter's breath was coming in short gasps.  He wasn't even stroking himself anymore, just squeezing, as tightly as he could, judging by the way his bicep was flexed.  "Stiles, please," Peter whined, voice coming out high and broken as he arched off the mattress and came, white ropes spurting from his body and spraying all over the bed.  

Stiles' dick jerked in his hand at the sound of Peter saying his name like that, like Stiles had made him come through his thoughts alone.  Instead of relaxing against the bed when he was finished, Peter's body seemed to wind even tighter, his mouth hanging open in a silent scream.  Thick come continued to pulse out of him, creating a puddle on his chest that dripped down his sides and settled in the creases of his abs.  That's when Stiles realized that he wasn't going to stop.  Peter wasn't just orgasming.  Peter was knotting his own hand.  

Stiles dropped his dick with a whine and walked around the side of the bed until he was standing at the footboard, giving himself a full view of his mate.  "Peter?" He called, as he lifted his knee onto the mattress and hoisted himself onto the bed with great effort.  Peter's eyes snapped open immediately, a low groan escaping his open mouth when he saw Stiles kneeling between his legs, completely naked.  His cock was jutting out from underneath his stomach, but that wasn't what caught Peter's attention.  It was the first time he had been able to see Stiles' chest.

He stared, transfixed at Stiles' breasts.  They were so full and heavy, almost painful looking as they swayed with the movement of Stiles' body.  His nipples were still as perky as ever, but now they were also puffy and swollen, begging to be bitten and sucked on.  Peter moaned like a man dying of thirst.  His whole body shook as he continued to orgasm, spurts of come leaving his body with even more force, nearly reaching his chin as he struggled to sit up, anything to get closer to his mate's bare body.  

"Stiles?" He asked, voice soft and raspy, free hand outstretched like he was still unsure if he was allowed to touch. 

"Yeah, baby," Stiles said, laying his palms on Peter's knees as he crawled forward, letting his breasts hang freely, swinging slightly until they were inches from Peter's face.  "They hurt so much," Stiles whined, cupping his breasts with his long fingers, letting his pointer finger brush over one nipple.  He arched his back, pressing his chest even further forward until he could feel Peter's wet breath tickle his delicate skin.  "Can you help?" Stiles asked, biting down on his bottom lip in what he knew was one of Peter's favorite teasing expressions.  

"Fuck," Peter cursed, body spasming once more as come continued to flow out of him.  He was so turned on by Stiles' body, it showed no sign of slowing down as usual.  Even the cool breeze of the air conditioning hitting his knot was enough to keep him at his peak, sticky fluid continuing to pulse out of his dick.  Stiles scooted his knees forward until they were pressed right up against Peter's balls.  He dropped his breasts and leaned forward, planting a palm on either side of Peter's head and leaning forward until his belly pressed against Peter's still pulsing dick and his chest was covered in Peter's release.  

"Stiles," Peter groaned, barely able to keep his eyes open as he lunged forward, arms wrapping around Stiles' back as he brought his face up to his mate's chest.  Just that slight brush of stubble against his newly sensitive skin set Stiles off.  He could feel his nipples start to leak, wetness smearing Peter's face as he nuzzled into Stiles' chest.  Peter lapped at the skin between Stiles' breasts, mouth open as he canted his eyes upward, asking Stiles if it was okay.  Stiles nodded aggressively, worrying his bottom lip with his teeth as Peter stretched forward, mouth open obscenely, tongue stretched out like he was waiting for communion.

Knowing what Peter wanted, Stiles pushed back off his hands until he was upright again.  He brought one shaking hand up to his chest, cupping his right breast and bringing it to Peter's mouth.  Using his pointer finger and the side of his thumb, Stiles squeezed until warm, thin milk spurted from his nipple, hitting Peter's tongue and dripping down his chin, catching in his stubble.  Peter moaned like he had never tasted anything so amazing, licking his bottom lip and dropping his mouth open again like a baby bird, waiting for Stiles to feed him.  

Stiles watched him in awe.  The breastfeeding book was right, it was incredibly erotic and pleasurable.  Ten out of ten, would feed Peter again.  He had read enough to know that most women didn't produce real milk until after childbirth, so this experience was just another wonder of his magically enhanced pregnancy.  He watched Peter pant, hot mouth barely an inch from his nipple, and visualized covering his mate in the liquid.  His cock throbbed in response, slipping in the puddle on Peter's chest and drawing a gasp from Stiles.

Mouth open in a mirror of Peter's stance, Stiles squeezed again, feeling some of the tension leave his body as the pressure in his chest decreased.  Milk spurted into Peter's mouth.  He watched Peter's eyes roll into the back of his head in pure bliss.  "Come on," Stiles said, slipping one hand around the back of his mate's neck to pull him closer.  "I want you to."

With Stiles' permission, Peter caught one of Stiles' pert nipples in his mouth and began to suck.  Stiles groaned in appreciation.  He'd never felt anything like it before.  His nipples were so sensitive, but Peter was being gentle, nursing softly and bringing his hands up to massage the aches out of Stiles' chest.  Keeping Peter away from his breasts had definitely been a mistake.  Stiles' dick throbbed as Peter continued to suck, bringing a tingling heat through Stiles' tired body.  It had been far too long.  Stiles needed to come.  

With one hand still keeping Peter's head against his chest, Stiles reached the other one down to strip his cock but couldn't reach all the way around his belly.  Their lower bodies were practically stuck together, pressed tight, spreading come everywhere.  

Stiles ground down with his hips, urging Peter to help him out.  He had a limited range of motion in that position, and he needed an orgasm.  Thankfully his mate got the message, and thrust upward, rubbing his lower body over Stiles in slick, scintillating strokes.  With a particularly hard suck and a nibble to his nipple, Stiles came, panting harshly against Peter's neck, letting his release join the lake that had pooled in Peter's lap.  Pulling back just far enough to see that Peter was still hard, even if his knot had gone down, Stiles gathered up some of the come off his mate's body and reached behind himself, barely able to get two fingers inside.  It would have to do.  Stiles was too impatient and Peter was too blissed out to do any serious preparation.  

Peter switched to Stiles' other breast, moaning in contentment as Stiles removed his fingers and sunk down onto his cock.  It burned, and Stiles' eyes started to water in pain, but it passed quickly.  Somehow Stiles felt that his body knew it needed this, needed to reconnect with his mate after far too long apart.  

With a lewd pop, Peter pulled off Stiles' chest, gasping at the tight heat that had engulfed him.  "Keep going," Stiles insisted, pulling Peter back to his breast while he rocked in tiny movements on his lap.  "They're still sore."  Stiles smiled as Peter moaned around his other nipple, eyes rolling to the back of his head as he drank his fill.  

Stiles couldn't do much more than rock gently in Peter's lap.  It was soft and relaxing, letting Peter take care of him in a way he hadn't known he needed.  Peter's arms were still wrapped tight around Stiles' waist as he nursed, pulling little mewling noises out of Stiles with every twist of his nipple.  

When Peter finally came up for air, he was panting, white milk visible in his open mouth and dripping from his lower lip.  Stiles thought he might be able to come just from looking at the blissful expression on his mate's face, but he really needed a little more attention to be paid to his prostate.  Getting the message from the way Stiles was whining at him and barely managing to circle his hips, Peter laid down on his back and brought his knees up behind Stiles, giving himself the leverage to thrust up into his mate.  

"Oh God, Peter," Stiles moaned, finally getting the stimulation he needed.  He squeezed down on Peter's dick, increasing the pressure until Peter was panting again, gripping haphazardly at Stiles' hips with sex-clumsy hands.  "I need more," Stiles told him honestly, trying to lean back a bit in Peter's lap to get the angle that he so desperately needed.  Peter locked his eyes on Stiles' open mouth, surging forward in harsh thrusts until his mate produced the noises he was looking for.  

Stiles felt the pressure in his lower abdomen increase as he got closer and closer to his peak.  Frustrated that he couldn't really reach to stroke his own dick, and Peter was busy supporting his lower back as he pounded into him, Stiles sought out any stimulation that could push him over the edge.  Smirking wickedly at Peter's open face, Stiles leaned back a bit further and brought his hand up to cup his breasts.  Liking the visual very much, Peter sped up his strokes, pistoning his hips feverishly until Stiles squeezed.  

Milk spurted from both of Stiles' peaked nipples, spraying in every direction, some landing on Peter's chest, warming his already blood hot skin.  He arched his back and aimed for Peter's mouth, not quite making it, but painting his mate with liquid anyway.  It trailed down his chest and into the hair above his groin in a pornographic way that Stiles would have loved to get a picture of.  Peter groaned loudly, watching the milk continue to dribble out of Stiles' chest as his mate brought one hand down to rub and massage it into his skin.  The sweet caramel scent overwhelmed him, and Peter gave one last thrust before climaxing, feeling his knot swell for a second time that night as he pulsed his release into Stiles' body.  

Stiles felt the pressure increase in his ass as Peter spurted even more come.  He continued squeezing his breasts, feeling the last of the tension leave his chest as Peter's knot put that last bit of exquisite pressure on his prostate and sent him over the edge.  "Fuck, Peter," Stiles moaned, feeling the sweat drip off his lower back and over Peter's broad fingers.  "Fuck."

Peter didn't answer for a minute.  He just let his eyes rove over the scene before him.  Stiles' mouth was open in a heavy pant, sweat beading on his forehead.  Milky whiteness trailed from his perfectly puffy nipples down his chest and over his belly, pooling in his navel and on Peter's chest.  His pregnant mate was sitting on his knot, clutching it tight within his body as he continued to fill him with come.  Peter couldn't imagine anything better.  If Stiles weren't already pregnant, he would have been actively trying to knock him up again, the visual was just too amazing.  

Apparently he had been babbling out loud because Stiles answered him.  "Not until we have these two safely out of my body," Stiles muttered, rocking down in Peter's lap until Peter was forced to close his eyes and just let his body jerk from overstimulation.  "You're so knot-dumb right now.  I bet I could get you to agree to anything," Stiles told him, voice playful.  "How about next time you carry the babies?  I bet we could find some spell to make that happen."

"But you look so good like this," Peter countered, hips twitching as he continued to pump Stiles full.  

"You don't even have your eyes open," Stiles argued, smacking Peter's chin lightly.

"If I open them and look at how sexy you are right now, I'm going to be knotting for the third time tonight, and I don't think my body can take it," Peter said, rocking his head back and forth against the his pillow, practically wiggling in contentment.

"I guess I look okay," Stiles heard himself agreeing, trailing his long fingers over his hard belly and back up to his breasts.  He tweaked one nipple, getting only a small dribble of milk out that time.  Peter seemed to have drained him properly.  

Peter's eyes snapped open, nostrils flaring as he caught the scent of fresh milk escaping Stiles' body.  "You really like this, don't you?" Stiles asked, voice full of wonder as he cupped his right breast and leaned back on Peter's knot, running his free hand through his sweat drenched hair.  

"You have no idea," Peter moaned, dick giving a valiant twitch as his knot began to deflate.  

"You can't knot as long the second time, I see," Stiles teased, pushing on Peter's chest until he could raise his hips a few inches and let Peter slide out of his body.  A rush of come left him and trailed out over the back of his thighs, adding to the mess of Peter’s previous orgasm.  Stiles watched Peter's body practically chase after his, dick pulsing one last time as the wolf watched his release slip out of Stiles' puffy hole.  

"I guess not," Peter told him, turning onto his side to get a better look at Stiles' face, paying little attention to the lake of fluid that dripped off his chest and stomach when he changed positions.  "I just—"  

Stiles smiled, loving the way Peter was fucked dumb.  A few minutes of silence passed, Peter bringing a hand around the side of Stiles' neck to play with the sweaty hair at the back of his neck.  

"Thank you," Peter said finally, his bottom lip sucked into his mouth in that shy look that was usually on Stiles' own face.  

"For what?"

"For giving this to me," Peter said quietly, running a finger over Stiles' collar bones and between his breasts.

"I've got a long way to go in this pregnancy," Stiles said, closing his eyes and pushing his head back into Peter's other hand until he continued massaging his scalp.  "There won't be babies for me to nurse for a while, so I can only assume this milk is meant for you."

Peter stared at his mate, completely dumbfounded.  Stiles was right.  There was no reason for his body to be expressing actual milk so early in his pregnancy.  Peter had been so drawn to his mate ever since it had happened, like Stiles' body was luring him in, showing him how well he would be able to provide for their pups.  It was driving Peter's wolf crazy, being able to smell the sweetness but unable to touch.  The fact that Stiles understood and was okay with it, that was more than Peter could have expected from his mate.  

"I love you," Peter said, letting his hand trail around Stiles' collarbone to brush over his mating bite.

"I love you, too," Stiles answered, rolling over onto his back in an attempt to get closer to the edge of the bed.  "Now help me to the shower.  We are disgusting."

"How about a bath?" Peter suggested, rolling off the bed and going around to Stiles' side to help him up.   

"A bath sounds perfect," Stiles agreed, letting Peter lead him to the bathroom with a supportive hand on his lower back.   

Stiles allowed Peter to wash and dry him, humming in appreciation of the soft, gentle touches he had been denying them both for the last week or two.  He hadn't realized how much he had been hurting their bond by not allowing Peter to touch or scent him.  The little corner of his mind where Peter usually resided pulsed brightly once more.  It was like a balm to raw skin the way Peter soothed his body and the ache in his chest at the same time.  Speaking of raw skin, Stiles pulled a jar of skin cream out of the medicine cabinet and handed it to Peter.  

"Can you help?" He asked sheepishly, knowing Peter had been dying to get his hands on Stiles' body for some time now.  "I can't reach everywhere."

"I thought you'd never ask," Peter said smugly, letting Stiles sit on the closed toilet seat while he changed the sheets.  

“We should put a couch in here,” Stiles muttered, worn out.  “It’s not like we don’t have the space.”

“Yes, dear,” Peter said, leading Stiles back over to the bed.  He opened the jar, scooping out a handful of lotion and rubbing it between his palms to warm it up.  

“And I want to get my desktop from Dad’s so I can play WoW again.”

“Yes, dear.”

Stiles sighed the minute Peter touched his belly, enjoying the way his mate rubbed soothing circles into his tight skin.  Peter rumbled deep in his throat in response, gently massaging the cream into Stiles' body until he fell asleep.   

Chapter Text

By early August, Stiles was passing what would be considered full term for a human pregnancy, but seeing as how God hated him, his little pair of werebabies still had another eight weeks to go.  Melissa had been over to check on him and while things weren’t getting worse, they weren’t necessarily getting better.  Even though Stiles felt huge, Melissa insisted that the babies were quite small and they still needed to be very careful.  They had finally found those male pregnancy risks that Stiles had been so adamant about overcoming in the beginning.  Melissa had been able to sneak over the portable ultrasound again, but baby number two continued to be uncooperative, and they were still in the dark about the sex.  

As he was the size of a house and sporting D-cup breasts, Stiles hadn't been out in the world in quite some time, not willing or able to be seen in public without raising questions.  The California heat was so strong that Stiles hadn't even been outside in the last week.  Pacing the house and a bit of prenatal yoga with Scott had been the only exercise he could get.  With the girls in London, Stiles was resorting to Skype, bitching to Allison and Lydia about his sore back and aching feet until they were ready to fly back across the pond just to strangle him.  

To pass the time, Stiles spent a few hours a day in the music room.  Boyd taught him a bit more on the piano, enough that he was able to fumble his way through a few pieces of sheet music at least.  He also spent a lot of time on YouTube teaching himself to play the drums.  He thought the noise might be a bit too loud for the babies, but they actually seemed to like it, kicking against his stomach along with him whenever he practiced.  Stiles could only sit on the stool and grip the sticks for a little while at a time, but he thought he was getting pretty good.  

Peter was teaching a few summer courses in German and French, and most of the Betas had found summer jobs, leaving Stiles to his own devices.  His husband had divulged that he had enough money to give each of them a million dollars and still not even make a dent in his savings, but he and Derek decided that letting them think they had to pay their own way through college or whatever they planned on doing would be a good learning experience.  Stiles laughed, wondering when Peter had turned into such a dad.  He wouldn’t have given Scott or Erica the time of day a year ago, and now he was willing to bankroll them if they couldn’t pay for school.  Stiles’ pregnancy had turned him into a bowl of mush, and Stiles couldn’t really find it in himself to mock his mate for it.

Scott was going to BHCC hoping to get his grades up enough to transfer somewhere better and get into veterinary school.  Jackson had turned down Stanford to go pre-law at Pepperdine instead, only an hour from where Danny would be at Caltech.  Boyd and Erica had picked up a few odd jobs at a mechanic and sex shop, respectively, but planned on also starting some classes at BHCC in the fall.  Peter made them promise never to take any of his classes and not to step foot in his office.  Isaac worked at a coffee shop and started writing after his shifts.  None of them knew what he was working on, but he seemed content to tap away on an old laptop whenever he found the time.  

With everyone doing their own thing, Stiles ended up alone a lot, puttering out to the garden to see what Derek was up to or submitting to a good snuggle session with Jackson whenever the Beta wasn’t holed up in his room with Danny.  His dad had even started hinting that Derek should join his police force, which had Stiles wondering if he was going to have any babysitters left at all once the babies arrived.  It wasn’t like he could put his werecubs in day care.  He started thinking that if he wanted a to get a job, Peter’s teaching career would be rather short lived.  

Bored as hell and looking for ways of keeping the group together, Stiles roped some of the Betas into learning a special song with him and Peter, and after a few rehearsals, he figured they were as ready as they were ever going to be.  Stiles set up his laptop on the far side of the music room and Skype called Allison and Lydia.   

"What's all this?" Lydia asked, pointing between Boyd at the piano and Erica who had perched herself on top of a pouf in front of the drum set.  

"We miss you guys," Stiles started, breathing heavily to keep from tearing up.  His emotions were all over the place.  He blamed the pups.  "So we learned a song for you."  He smiled and twirled a drumstick between his long fingers.  Counting out a beat, he let Peter start the song on his twelve-string.  His mate's low, gruff voice rang softly through the room.

 

"A year from now we'll all be gone

All our friends will move away

And they're going to better places

But our friends will be gone away"

 

The laptop was across the room, but Stiles could make out the way Allison and Lydia had gotten closer on their couch, snuggled together and holding hands as they watched Peter sing.  He knew Lydia had more than one reason for getting out of town.  Learning she was a banshee had sufficiently freaked her out, and she was eager to leave the hellmouth, hoping a little peace and quiet would help her focus on research and finding out more about what her powers might be.  Stiles missed her presence, but he could tell that she and Allison were happy and finding their calm.   

 

"Nothing is as it has been

And I miss your face like Hell

And I guess it's just as well

But I miss your face like Hell"

 

Stiles came in for the last line, singing a high harmony with Peter, his cheeks crinkling as he smiled at his mate.  He started a quiet beat on the drums and Erica came in also, building on their harmony as they sang an interlude.   

 

"Been talking 'bout the way things change"

 

Right on cue, Boyd started banging on the piano, matching his chords to Stiles' drumbeat.  Isaac and Jackson stayed on the sidelines, moving their bodies along to the music in small sways.  Erica eyed up Boyd; apparently she found his piano playing a turn-on.

 

"And my family lives in a different state"

 

Isaac smiled broadly as he began to shake the percussion egg that Stiles had given him, curls bouncing with the movement.  Stiles couldn't help but smile back, the joy he felt from Isaac at being included in a family moment filled his chest and brought out the best in him.  He stopped playing the drums for a few bars, letting Boyd accompany Peter until he heard his cue.

 

"And if you don't know what to make of this

Then we will not relate

So if you don't know what to make of this

Then we will not relate"

 

He and Peter started the interlude again, rocking along to the beat of Stiles' bass drum and Boyd's beautiful piano playing.  Isaac started banging on a drum in his lap, adding another layer to the music.  Soon it was Stiles' favorite part, where he could bang on the cymbals, bringing the song even higher as Erica joined them again.  

Jackson began playing the tambourine, rolling his eyes as he did so, but Stiles wasn't fooled.  He could feel how much Jackson was enjoying it.  Boyd trilled on the piano keys, giving the group just a glimpse of what he could really do.  Just as quickly as they began, the instruments faded out, allowing Erica's bright and surprisingly skilled voice take over.  Peter strummed softly, giving her the perfect background.

 

"Rivers and roads

Rivers and roads

Rivers 'til I reach you"

 

Stiles spun his drumsticks, closing his eyes and letting the music wash over him until he had to play again.  Boyd and Jackson followed him, bringing the song to a new height.  

 

"Rivers and roads

Oh rivers and roads

Oh rivers 'til I reach you"

 

Peter and Stiles joined back in, singing background for Erica to layer over.  Stiles rolled his drumsticks, showing off all that he had learned on YouTube that month.  He fumbled and almost lost his stick when the door opened, catching his attention.  Peter’s head shot up, and he was about to tell whoever it was off for ruining the acoustics of the sealed room when he saw Derek in the doorway, arms crossed and leaning against the frame.  The Alpha didn’t say anything, but the small, satisfied smirk on his face said it all.  He was proud, and happy to see his pack bonding through music.  

 

"Rivers and roads

Rivers and roads

Rivers 'til I reach you"

 

This time even Jackson and Isaac joined in, letting their voices echo Erica's lyrics.  He hadn't known his pack was so talented until he had approached them about learning a group number.  The guys had been surprisingly enthusiastic about getting to be a part of the music that usually surrounded their pack's most heartfelt moments.  It really wasn't fair for them all to be beautiful and talented, Stiles smiled as he played, wondering if maybe they should take their show on the road.  

He caught Peter's eye, giggling when Peter waggled his eyebrows, clearly enjoying Stiles' drum performance and not the way the twins seemed to be attempting to punch their way through his stomach.  

 

"Rivers and roads

Rivers and roads

Rivers 'til I reach you

 

Rivers and roads

Rivers and roads

Rivers 'til I reach you

 

Rivers and roads

Rivers and roads

Rivers 'til I reach you"

 

Stiles knew that most of the song was just a repeat of the same words, but every time someone sang them, they felt different to him.  When the rest of the instruments cut out and it was just him playing a beat on the bass drum, their voices sounded so full and rich.  It was almost magnetic, the way the Betas locked eyes and opened their lungs, matching each other.  He felt it like a pulse in the small room, bringing the pack together, even though Allison and Lydia were so far away, the walls in his mind broke down and it felt like everyone was together again.  Stiles could feel Derek’s pride and joy swell through the pack bond, buoying them all.  

 

"Rivers and roads

Rivers and roads

Rivers 'til I reach you

 

Rivers and roads

Rivers and roads

Rivers 'til I reach you"

 

Stiles stopped playing and closed his eyes, allowing everyone to sing the last few lines a cappella.  The last note rang through the room and pulled goosebumps onto Stiles' arms.  

 

"Rivers and roads

Rivers and roads

Rivers 'til I reach you"

 

When he opened his eyes and looked around the room, he saw only smiles, and Jackson's smug expression, but when he crossed the room to his laptop, Stiles found that Allison was crying and Lydia wasn't too far off.  Derek started a slow clap, smile broadening as Stiles, Boyd, and Peter left their instruments and inched toward the laptop.

"Oh Ally, don't cry," Stiles said, raising his hand to the screen like he was trying to pet her head from across the globe.  "If you cry you're going to make me cry and it's not pretty," Stiles told her, watching Lydia reach over to wipe away Allison's tears.

"It's true, it's not pretty," Isaac said, snickering from his spot on the carpet until Jackson smacked him upside the head.  

"I swear to God, Ally, you need to stop, or I'm going to—" When the sweet smell of Stiles' milk hit Peter's nose.  He ushered Derek and the Betas out of the room with a stern look and firm hand, closing the door behind them.  

"Stiles are you …?" Lydia asked, pointing downward at her computer screen.

"Leaking?" Stiles asked sharply, still not comfortable discussing it with anyone but Peter and sometimes Erica.  "Yes I am, thanks for asking."

"Are you okay, darling?" Peter asked, sinking down to his knees on the carpet to get a look at Stiles' face.

"I'm fine, I just need to change," Stiles told him.  Usually it wasn't a problem, but maybe it would be a good idea to start wearing those stupid nursing pads sooner rather than later.  

"We'll let you go, but we wanted to tell you one thing," Allison said, smiling even as she wiped under her eyes.  "It was supposed to be a surprise, but I want you to know we're coming home to throw your baby shower next weekend."

"No way," Stiles said, grinning through his own tears as Lydia squealed in delight.

"We'll be there Saturday morning, so look pretty," Lydia told him.  She blew him a kiss and then ended the call.

"I have the best friends ever," Stiles sniffled, burrowing his face into Peter's neck.

"I know, beautiful," Peter replied, rubbing his hand along Stiles' baby bump until he calmed down and could be led to the bedroom to change.  

 


 

Stiles was restless.  He had been cooped up in the Manor for far too long and Derek and the Betas still refused to let him into the nursery, going on and on about paint fumes and sawdust and how disappointed they would be if Stiles snuck a peek before it was perfect.  Didn't they know it was dangerous to keep a pregnant person from nesting?  Stiles was pretty sure he was losing his mind.  He desperately wanted to fight them, but he couldn't see his feet anymore and there was no way he was going to sneak past any of the wolves and into the nursery at his current size and weight.  He probably sounded like a stomping T-Rex to them.  

He had taken to mentally flicking Derek whenever he felt the slightest twinge of annoyance.  At first, Derek came running to him whenever he felt a tug at the pack bond, but after a while, it became clear that Stiles was just fucking with him, bored out of his mind.  Derek desperately wanted to retaliate, but he felt bad bothering the pregnant man when he was already miserable, so he just put up with the mental sparring and brought Stiles a snack every fifth time he got a poke.  

There were a few days left until the girls arrived for the baby shower, and Stiles was ready to snap.  Allison and Lydia had assured him that he would be getting everything the babies could possibly need, so Stiles had tried to content himself with only purchasing a few super nerdy onesies off Etsy to add to the collection Allison had given him after the pregnancy photos.  He knew Lydia would be shooting for fashion over humor and wanted to find some nerdy things to go with whatever she picked out.  Still, nothing felt right.  He had never been a big shopper, but he was dying to go outside .  Stiles hated the fact that he had to rely on the others to prepare for his children when all he could do was sit around and gestate.  He hated that fucking word.   It made him think of cows and fat sows for some reason.

Stiles and Peter hadn’t had sex in almost a week, quite the dry spell for them, but Stiles had just been so tired and sore, unable to move his body in the way he wanted to.  Peter hadn’t minded, just gave Stiles a back rub and didn’t even pout too hard when Stiles’ snoogle ended up between them while they were sleeping, preventing the wolf from spooning his mate.  Feeling like a blimp, Stiles didn’t have the energy to do more than peck Peter on the lips and check off another day on his due date countdown before passing out.  He couldn’t get any real rest and needed to pee constantly.  That winning combination was making him incredibly irritable.  

Without homework or supernatural threats to research, Stiles fell back on his old vice; video games.  Peter bought the couch Stiles had been bitching about and set up Stiles’ desktop on a table in their massive bedroom.  He was grateful, but even Call of Duty and WoW couldn't hold his attention for more than an hour at a time.  Whenever he felt one of the babies kick, his mind was pulled back down the hall and to the mysterious door of the nursery.  

In his boredom he was getting really good at honing in on Peter's emotions while the wolf was at work, poking at the bond every hour or two to let his mate know he was thinking of him.  Peter's amusement tugged at his mind whenever he did so, and it made him feel a little less alone.  Stiles and Derek had also spent long hours together until Derek was sure he would be able to track Stiles through the pack connection, should he ever disappear on them again.

Late one afternoon Stiles was messing around on the piano when he heard Peter come home, greeting Derek and Boyd before heading to the kitchen to start dinner.  Looking down at his breasts that were heavy and sore from Stiles and Peter’s lack of sexual attention, Stiles figured it was time to end the dry spell.  Let Derek and the Betas make dinner for a change.  

Flipping back to the beginning of the sheet music Stiles had been working on, he got his swollen fingers into position and began to play.  Stiles could tell by the little tug he got from Peter that he was already reeling his mate in, and he hadn’t even started singing yet.  Peter was such a sap.  Once a monstrous killer, his wolf had been tamed.  Stiles’ mouth twisted into a smile at the thought of music soothing the savage beast.  When Stiles started the lyrics, he could already hear Peter climbing the stairs two at a time, the wood creaking in his haste.

 

“Like a flower, waiting to bloom

Like a lightbulb, in a dark room

I’m just sittin’ here waiting for you

To come on home and turn me on

 

Like the desert waiting for the rain

Like a school kid waiting for the

 

Peter didn’t need to know what the school kid was waiting for.  The second he got into the music room, he had Stiles up in his arms, carrying him into the hall.  “Missed you,” Stiles muttered against Peter’s throat, letting his mate scent him in return.  

“I’ve been gone five hours,” Peter said, laughing as he kicked their bedroom door open.  

“I meant this,” Stiles said, leaning in to give Peter a much more serious kiss than the wolf had been expecting.  Peter’s eyes widened and then slipped closed, his throat humming in pleasure.

“I’ve missed that too,” Peter said against his mouth, parting Stiles’ lips with his tongue as he gently laid his pregnant mate down on the bed.  “Are you feeling well enough?” he asked, trailing a finger down the length of Stiles’ pendant chain, tracing the triskelion that hung between his breasts.  Stiles raised his arms so Peter could slip his tee shirt off and expose his soft cotton bra.

“For sex?  Absolutely.  For your knot?” Stiles said, trepidation in his voice.  “Maybe not so much?”  Peter held in a whine.  He didn’t need his knot to make love to his mate, as much as his wolf wanted it.  “I just don’t think I can stay in one position that long.”

“Are you in pain?” Peter asked, pulling his hand away from Stiles’ chest to cup his belly gently.

“I’m 42 weeks pregnant, what do you think?” Stiles groaned, pushing into Peter’s touch and wishing that just once he would be able pull the pain away.

“I wish I could do more for you,” Peter said, tapping on his now convex belly button and then giving it a quick kiss.

“Women get pregnant all the time, and their partners don’t have magic pain draining powers.  I’m managing.  But I really can’t wait for this to be over,” Stiles said as he slipped his hands into his sweatpants and underwear, attempting to wriggle them off.  Thankfully Peter was there to help him undress, or it may have taken forever.  The wolf pulled back, shucking his clothing as quickly as possible before climbing back on the bed and slipping between Stiles’ thighs.  

“I don’t blame you,” Peter agreed, “we don’t have to do this again if you don’t want to.”

“Let’s see how these two turn out before we make any decisions about that,” Stiles told him, able to lean forward just enough to run his hands over Peter’s biceps.  

“May I?” Peter asked, nudging the clasp on the front of Stiles’ bra.  

“Yes please,” Stiles told him, eager to get a little relief.  “They’re all yours for the next six weeks, might as well get your fill before the twins are here because I can’t promise I’ll be letting you anywhere near them after that.”  Peter smiled broadly, unwrapping his mate’s breasts and then moving in to lap at his nipples.  

“Fuck, fuck, fuck,” Stiles muttered between bites of his bottom lip.  Peter massaged his tender skin, pulling out the tension almost as well as if he were using his wolf powers.  Stiles melted under his touch, eyes rolling backward as Peter switched sides, drinking his fill and then surging upward to lick into Stiles’ mouth.  “Peter,” Stiles whined, attempting to throw his weight to the side.  “Can you?  I can’t reach— can you grab—”

“I’ve got it, lay back down,” Peter ordered, exasperated look on his face as he pulled out a nearly empty bottle of lube and grabbed Stiles’ humongous pillow.  “Here, let me prop you up,” he offered, taking all of his mate’s weight in one hand and arranging him with his hips raised.  It was clear that Stiles would no longer be able to hold his legs up, so Peter hooked one of his knees around his own elbow and set about stretching Stiles out with his free hand.  

“You’re so tight babe,” the wolf groaned as he slipped inside.  

“It’s been a while,” Stiles said, huffing out a laugh.  “And I can’t reach anymore, so it’s all you.”

“It’s my pleasure,” Peter purred, sucking marks onto Stiles’ soft inner thighs while he rushed through preparing him, not needing as much time if Stiles wouldn’t be taking his knot.

“Come on Peter,” Stiles whined, “I need you to fuck me.”  He did his best to push down onto Peter’s fingers, but couldn’t get any leverage.  “Goddamnit Peter, I’m like a helpless whale here, you’re going to need to step it up.”

“You are not a whale,” Peter said, rolling his eyes.  “Don’t talk about my mate like that.”

“Well your mate is dying for an orgasm, so chop chop.”

Let it never be said that Peter couldn’t take direction.  Pushing his hips forward, he slid his cock into Stiles in one smooth thrust, watching his face for any hint of pain.  Finding none, he set about pounding into the plushness of Stiles’ ass.  With a shameless squeeze, Peter filled both hands with his mate’s flesh and went to town, silently hoping some of the extra weight wouldn’t go away once the pups were born.  His husband was so beautiful like this, round and full and perfect.

“Touch me,” Stiles’ panted, eyes squeezed shut so tight a little crinkle was forming between his eyebrows.  

“You can come without it,” Peter said with a smirk, steadying himself with one hand on the mattress and the other curled around Stiles’ thigh.

“Ahh fuck!” Stiles screamed, lunging forward so fast he almost head-butted Peter.  “Ow!”

“What did I do?” Peter asked, pulling out in shock so that only the head of his cock remained in Stiles.

“Nothing!” Stiles said quickly, reassuring him, “Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch just kicked me in the liver!  Motherfucker!  Ow!”

“What did you call them?  I actually liked that one.”

“What?  Quicksilver?”  Stiles huffed, chuckling a bit.  “You’re a werewolf babe, we can’t call our baby Quicksilver.”

“No the other one,” Peter clarified, “Scarlet.  I like that.”

“You want to name our daughter Scarlet?”  Stiles asked, eyebrow arching as he considered it.

“Red is your color.  It’s perfect,” Peter said, grin breaking out across his face.  

Matching Peter’s smile, Stiles nodded happily.  “Did we just name our daughter while your dick was in my ass?”

“No?” Peter said quickly, pulling out completely.  “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”  

“Oh God,” Stiles laughed so hard tears leaked out of the corners of his eyes.  “We are never telling her that.  That goes down on the list of secrets we never tell anyone.”

“You have a list?” Peter asked, thrusting back inside Stiles so quickly his mate practically choked when he tried to answer.  

“Yes!” Stiles said, moaning as he tried to get the words out.  “Number one?  My name.  Number two, that you pop a knot whenever my breasts leak milk.  Number three, what just happened.  Number four—” Stiles groaned loudly when Peter started nailing his prostate.

“What’s number four?” Peter chuckled, speeding up his thrusts until Stiles’ breasts started to bounce.

“What?” Stiles gasped, completely missing what Peter just said.

“Tell me what number four on your list is.”

“That thing you do with your tongue that makes me black out,” Stiles said, eyes rolling into the back of his head as he neared his peak.

“You want me to do some of that right now?” Peter asked, freezing as he looked up Stiles’ body to see that milk was streaming out of his unstimulated nipples.  Well that just wouldn’t do.

“Don’t you dare stop,” Stiles ordered, eyes snapping open.  

“Oh, I’m not stopping,” Peter purred, snapping his hips as hard as he could and leaning forward to catch one of Stiles’ bouncing nipples in his mouth.  When his teeth bit down, Stiles came, hot and hard between them.  Peter swallowed his mouthful and let Stiles’ breast fall from his lips, milk streaming down his chin as he pulled out completely, jerking his cock quickly and curling his other hand around his knot.  Come quickly started pooling on Stiles’ belly, streaming down the curve of his body until it soaked the sheets.

Stiles reached down, long fingers catching what they could as he rubbed his mate’s release into his skin.  Peter whined high in his throat, the force of his orgasm doubling at the sight of Stiles painting himself with his come.

“That’s number five,” Peter groaned, knot pulsing wildly in his hand.  Stiles smirked, cupping his hand to gather more of his come.  He dragged the fluid up his chest, mixing it with the pool of milk between his breasts.  He continued to trail his fingers up his neck, bringing the fluid to his mouth and smearing it across his lips and chin.  “Definitely number five.  No one gets to see that but me,” Peter moaned, falling to the mattress beside his mate, completely spent.

Chapter Text

 “I can’t believe I missed your birthday again!” Stiles groaned, one hand supporting his back as he struggled to get a shirt out of the closet.  Lydia had said “look pretty,” but that was a little easier said than done when you were roughly the size and shape of a hot air balloon.  

“You didn’t miss it,” Peter shushed him, pulling the oversized gingham button down off the hanger Stiles was holding and helping him slip it on.  “The day’s not over yet.”

“Well no, not technically, but I didn’t plan anything like I said I was going to,” Stiles grumbled, giving Peter an exasperated look as the man patiently buttoned his shirt for him.  It billowed around his body, but he’d rather wear something baggy than uncomfortable.  

“You’ve had enough on your mind,” Peter said, bending over to press a kiss to his husband’s belly.  Pregnancy brain was a real and present danger, and Peter honestly wasn’t surprised Stiles had forgotten.  “I’m not upset.  I’m not big on birthdays anyway.  I’ve had enough of them.”

“But you haven’t had a Stiles Stilinski birthday extravaganza!  That’s totally better than whatever other crappy birthdays you’ve had that made you not like birthdays in the first place.  Just ask Scott, I’m the king of epic birthdays.  One year the fire department showed up to break Bobby Fincher out of our wooden pirate ship.”

“We’re already having a party today, I don’t see what the big deal is,” Peter countered, setting Stiles’ slippers out in front of his feet for him to step into.  He had long ago passed the point of fitting into normal shoes, but putting something on his feet made him feel a little less like he was in pajamas while everyone else was nicely dressed.  

“A baby shower does not count as a birthday party!”  Stiles argued, attempting to cross his arms over his full chest.  “You stupid Hales and your not believing you deserve nice, normal things!”

“Stiles,” Peter said softly, slipping behind his back and wrapping his arms around Stiles’ waist, turning them toward the mirror, “you’re my husband and I love you, but you are also a man pregnant with twin werewolves.  I know it’s my birthday, but what do you think I’d rather be celebrating right now?”  Stiles huffed, rolling his eyes at Peter’s reflection.  “We passed the threshold for normal about ten and a half months ago, and really, I don’t miss it.”

“I guess...” Stiles trailed off, rubbing his cheek against Peter’s and letting his eyes fall closed.  His belly had been hurting on and off all night and into that morning.  That along with the resident pain in his back had him more than willing to snuggle into his husband for a few minutes.

“I don’t need to be the center of attention.  But if you really want to focus on me, next year we’ll get someone to watch the twins and we’ll go away for the weekend.  Just you and me in a nice hotel suite,” Peter muttered, pressing open mouthed kisses against Stiles’ throat, “and you can give me whatever you want.  Alright?”

“Alright,” Stiles complied easily, tilting his head to the side so Peter could continue his ministrations.  

“I better not find you two fucking in there!” Allison called as she pushed the door open, one hand partially covering her eyes, cheeks pink.

“Ally A!” Stiles grinned, rushing forward to get a hug.  “You brunette goddess!  I missed seeing your beautiful face around here!”

“I missed you too!” Allison said, kissing his cheek and letting her hands fall to cup Stiles’ stomach.  “I can’t believe how big you’ve gotten!”

“Don’t remind me,” Stiles mumbled, squeezing her as tight as he could with the twins in the way.  “I have a new appreciation for women.  Pregnancy is awful.”

“Yeah well, I’m sure it isn’t a walk in the park, but at least our bodies are actually somewhat prepared to do it, you’re just a medical marvel,” Allison said, squeezing Peter’s arm by way of a hello.  

“I think you mean freak of nature,” Stiles grumbled but still looked fondly down at his stomach.  

“She means gorgeous,” Peter purred into his ear, sliding his hand down Stiles’ arm until he could twine their fingers together, wedding rings clinking with a satisfying metallic noise.  “Now let’s go see your surprise.”  

Allison squealed in delight and clapped her hands together.  “You’re going to love it!  Come on!”  She gushed and led them down the stairs.  

Stiles had to stop immediately.  Hung all along the wall of the staircase were photos from their wedding interspersed with their paternity photos.  Peter smiled broadly, trailing his finger along the bottom of one frame.  Stiles followed his finger to stare at a picture of their wedding kiss, bodies pressed tight together while the rest of the pack cheered and clapped.  Scott was actually midair, having literally jumped for joy.  Stiles’ breath caught when he continued down the stairs to find a photo of Peter wrapped around him, tan hand spread out across his bare bump, his stomach framed by red suspenders.  Lydia had done something amazing with the lighting, his throat and chest cast in a shadow that barely showed his scars.

“These are beautiful,” he whispered when he reached the bottom of the stairs and flung himself into Lydia’s waiting embrace.  “Thank you.”

“That’s nothing, just wait until later when you get to see the nursery,” she said, pressing a sticky kiss to his cheek.  

Peter put a steadying hand on his lower back and led him into the living room where everyone was waiting.  Everything was decorated in shades of blue and green and soft grey colors, and when he took a closer look he saw that there were wolves interspersed throughout.  A little felt wolf propped up against the cake stand, a blue watercolor of a wolf howling at the moon leaning against a rustic looking window frame.  “Congratulations Stiles & Peter” was strung up in ribbon across the fireplace.  It looked like Pinterest had thrown up in his living room, but somehow it was perfect.  Of course it was, Lydia had planned it.  

“It’s— oh God— guys!” Stiles gasped, overcome with emotion all of a sudden when he saw Melissa sitting on his father’s lap in one of the armchairs in front of the fireplace.  He hadn’t seen his father smile like that in years, and it was a little overwhelming.  After all that had happened during his pregnancy, it seemed like things were finally falling into place.  His family and his pack had morphed into one cohesive unit, and it made his heart ache just to look at them all smiling together.

The pack all took turns giving him hugs and patting Peter on the back from where he still stood behind Stiles, steadying him.  He got a particularly tight squeeze from Jackson and a huge smile from Danny.  Stiles tried to take in everything, from the furry little wolf ear headbands Lydia had put on all the humans’ heads to the gigantic mound of presents piled up in the corner of the room.

“Let’s get this party started!” Scott beamed, dropping Isaac’s hand so he could help Peter sit Stiles down on the loveseat they had decorated for the fathers-to-be.  Glad that Peter was being honored just as much as he was, Stiles settled into his seat and allowed the others to ply him with food.  They laughed over the stupid little games Allison had cooked up including one that had the men race to see who could change the diaper of a fully dressed doll the fastest.  Erica called foul when Boyd seemed to win every game.  The afternoon went on, light hearted and freeing, especially for Stiles who hadn’t seen the group all together since the wedding.  

“Present time!”  Lydia called, clapping her hands together as she directed Scott and Isaac to hand the brightly wrapped packages over to the happy couple one by one.  

They really had gotten everything they could possibly need.  Well, two of everything they could possibly need.  There were strollers and car seats along with piles of toys and clothes.  Peter practically lost his shit over a bright pink tutu that Erica had given them.  The wolf may or may not have been wiping tears out of the corners of his eye while he petted the puffy fabric.  Stiles had a similar reaction when his father handed over his own baby blanket his mother made before he was born.  

“This is so amazing.  I’m actually speechless,” Stiles said, giving Peter’s hand a squeeze while he looked around the room to give every single one of them a smile.  

“All it takes to get him to shut up is a bunch of baby clothes?” Boyd muttered under his breath, “Who knew?”

“Well that or Peter’s dick in his mouth,” Isaac added under his breath.

Peter stared him down as Allison hopped up to announce, “Everyone into the other room, we have another surprise!”  Stiles groaned, not at all excited about having to get up.  His belly had been twinging for the past half hour, sharp little pains to his upper abdomen, and he had just finally gotten comfortable.

“It’ll be worth it, I promise,” Scott insisted, standing up to help Peter usher Stiles onto the couch in front of the TV.  Everyone settled in around the room, whispering excitedly to one another.  Just when Stiles was going to ask what they were waiting for, Lydia turned on the DVD player and started a video.  

Stiles began to blush immediately.  

Lydia had apparently been filming them secretly for months and Allison was a closet film editor who had masterfully spliced the clips together.  They had taken every good moment over the span of Stiles and Peter’s relationship and made a music video out of it.  There were shots of them snuggling on the couch, hugging after Stiles’ graduation, pressed close to each other on the piano bench, all interspersed with snippets of Stiles and Peter singing “Lucky” together on the back porch.  Their voices carried over through everything, including pictures of the entire group.  

There they were, piled up outside after they first saw the new Manor, passing dishes across the dinner table, watching Stiles and Peter exchange wedding vows, rolling their eyes at the way Jackson was wrapped around Stiles’ pregnant belly.  

Peter ducked his head when he saw that Lydia had captured his toast to Stiles at their wedding reception.  Stiles clutched tightly at Allison’s hand as he listened to his husband sing, pressing his lips to Peter’s throat while the music echoed through the living room.  Bright little lights floated in his vision as he watched Peter serenade him under the lantern glow.

Then things loosened up.  Lydia had given Scott a newscaster’s microphone and let him interview everyone about Stiles and Peter.  The couple watched as each member of the pack left a message for their unborn children, welcoming them to the family and teasing them about how disgustingly romantic their fathers were.  

The last person to speak was Derek, a little more subdued than the others, but no less sincere as he told the camera, “your parents have worked so hard to bring you safely into this world.  So I think it’s about time you put them out of their misery and get here already.  We can’t wait to meet you.  We love you so much.”  

Derek waved goodbye to the camera as a bunch of fake credits began to roll on the screen, Peter’s voice singing “Unpack Your Heart” in the background.  Tears prickled in the corner of Stiles’ eyes as he grabbed Peter’s face and pressed an exaggerated kiss to his lips with a loud “MWAH.”  Peter was smiling softly when Stiles pulled away, a shy but grateful expression on his face.

“I can’t believe you did that,” Stiles said, turning to Lydia and then the entire group.  “I just— thank you.”

“I’m not sure whether to kiss you or smack you for stalking me and my mate,” Peter told Lydia pointedly, eyebrows raised.

“It’s not stalking if you knew I was there,” Lydia argued, standing up and smoothing out her skirt.  She held a hand out to Stiles, who definitely didn’t want to move again.  “One more thing before cake!”

The twins had started kicking halfway through the video and hadn’t stopped since.  Ripples of movement were radiating out of his stomach, and that combined with his aching back was enough for him to ask, “can’t the nursery just come to me?  It’s probably easier to move than me at this point.”

“No can do, Mr. Mom,” Erica said, white teeth gleaming as she grinned at him.  “That’s what we’ve got big werewolf muscles for.  Up you get.”

Peter stood up immediately, but somehow Boyd got there first, hooking a massive arm under Stiles’ knees and lifting him off the couch.  Peter rolled his eyes, but followed as Lydia led the group upstairs.  When they got to the third floor, Boyd set Stiles down on the floor and stepped back.  Derek pushed forward and pressed down on the door handle, letting the door swing wide so Peter could help Stiles inside.  

Stiles gasped.  “You did all this?” he asked, trying to take everything in at once.  “It’s so—” He was definitely crying.  There was no denying it.  He was practically sobbing as he looked between the room and his pack who were all crowded around the doorway peering inside.  

A white crib stood on either side of the room, little felt wolves hanging over them from thin mobile strings and plush grey blankets draped over the sides.  A huge glider and footstool sat in one corner with a pile of poufs and cushions settled around it.  Between the two windows was a matching changing table.  The other corner held bookshelves and a toy chest, filled to the brim with books and toys even though there had already been given a whole library downstairs.  Lightsabers were crossed over the door, framing the words “We are Jedis, like our fathers before us,” and the diaper pail had been painted like R2-D2.  There was even an AT-AT rocking horse tucked in beside it.  Stiles tried to squeal, but it came out a little wet.  Peter held him the whole time, his small smirk giving away his hidden approval.  They hadn’t had the chance to explore it properly, but Stiles knew his husband was a closet nerd.

Sunlight streamed in the windows, lighting up the most amazing part. A full mural had been hand painted on the walls.  Little wolves roamed around huge green mountains littered with evergreen trees, rocks, and streams.  In one corner a circle of wolves howled at the moon that practically filled the entire sky, tiny little stars painted everywhere.  Stiles could make out a few constellations and even a teeny tiny Death Star and Tatooine.  The wolves must have been living in the snowcapped mountains of Alderaan.  Stiles snickered at the implication and hoped the kids would never notice that their wolf friends were doomed.  

Once it looked like the couple were done taking everything in, the pack pushed forward, curling in around them and babbling about all the tiny details.  

“Derek made all the furniture,” the Sheriff explained, pointing at the intricate design of the toy chest and the sleek lines of the cribs.  Derek ears reddened at the praise, but he was still smiling as he ran a gentle hand over the rocking horse’s head.  “Danny helped him carry the lumber and sanded everything.”

“It’s incredible,” Peter agreed, clasping Derek on the shoulder with a strong squeeze.  

“And Isaac and Boyd painted the walls,” Erica chimed in, squeezing her boyfriend hard when he tried to melt into the background.  

“You painted these?” Stiles asked, dumbfounded as he got closer to the wall to look.  “I can’t believe you can paint!” he said, looking between Isaac and Boyd.  He hugged each of them in turn, giving Boyd an extra-long squeeze.  He really needed to make sure he hugged Boyd more, even if the stoic wolf shied away more often than not.  

“I did the diaper genie,” Erica boasted, patting the top of the droid like it was her greatest accomplishment.  

“It’s the cutest shit bucket I’ve ever seen,” Peter teased, laughing when Erica punched him hard in the shoulder.  

“Melissa and Scott made the mobiles and the Sheriff did the lighting,” Allison said, pointing at the lit up lightsabers over the door that had no visible wiring and a Boba Fett shaped lamp.  

Jackson was leaning against the door frame, not willing to enter the room.  “I didn’t do anything,” he admitted, twisting his mouth into a grimace.  

“Not true,” Stiles insisted, waddling forward to pull the Beta into a hug.  “You kept me sane.  And that has not been an easy task these past few months.”

“I guess,” Jackson muttered against his shoulder.  

“That’s not nothing,” Stiles told him forcefully, backing up a little to give his aching stomach a break from the pressure.  Jackson gave a sheepish smile, but let Stiles go, patting his back when they separated.  “This is incredible guys,” Stiles said, wiping underneath his eyes and beaming at the same time.  “Now I believe it’s time for cake.  Someone get me downstairs.”

“I’ve got it,” Peter said, stepping between Jackson and his mate.  He kissed Stiles deliberately before scooping him up and taking him downstairs.  Stiles’ head swam with the movement.  He made sure to ask for a glass of water when they got downstairs, but the feeling persisted.  

Once the group was settled back in the family room, Allison came out carrying a cake shaped like a tree stump with a pair of fondant wolves sitting on top.  

“One piece, then it’s back on the healthy diet for you,” Scott said, handing out slices as Lydia sliced, licking chocolate from her fingers as she did so.

“If he gets a piece, I get a piece,” John piped in, handing a plate to Melissa and keeping one for himself.  

“This is lovely Lydia.  Thank you all for making this a special day for Stiles and myself.  We are lucky to have such a wonderful pack supporting us,” Peter said, only a hint of a smirk on his face.  

“You’re very welcome,” Lydia said, a genuine, warm smile on her face.  After growing to respect and even like Peter over the last year and a half, she could tell when he was suppressing real human emotion and took the thanks at face value.

“We didn’t sing for you,” Stiles muttered into his ear, pressing his forehead against Peter’s shoulder blade and resting his eyes for a minute.  Everything hurt, but he tried to breathe through it.

“There will be no singing,” Peter whispered back, kissing the top of Stiles’ head.  

“Fine,” Stiles grumbled, trying to push out of his seat.  

“Do you need me to get you something?” Peter asked, already standing.

“Not unless you can take a piss for me,” Stiles said raising his eyebrows and heading toward the bathroom.  “I’ll just be a minute.”  

Stiles only made it one more step before his vision blurred completely and he fell to the floor.  

“Stiles?” Peter shouted, sliding across the floor on his knees in an attempt to break his mate’s fall.  “What’s happening?”  He asked, panic stricken as Stiles began to convulse in his arms, eyes rolled into the back of his head and eyelids twitching.  

“He’s seizing,” Melissa said, rushing across the room.  “Don’t hold him down, you could hurt him.  Erica?  Help him,” she ordered, grabbing her bag from the door as Erica helped Peter turn Stiles on his side and prop up his head with a throw pillow.  

The others looked on, frozen as Stiles continued to convulse.  The wolves winced as the acrid smell of urine hit their sensitive noses.  Lydia held a pale hand over her mouth, utterly terrified for her friend.

The room was still for another 60 seconds.  The rustling of Stiles’ shirt against the hardwood was the only thing that broke the silence.  It may have been the longest minute of Peter’s life.  But sadly, it was not the first time he had held his unconscious mate in his arms, fearing for his life and the lives of their pups.  They were never having children again.  His heart just couldn’t take it.

“How long will he—” John started to ask, empty paper plate crumpled in his clenched fists.  But just as quickly as it began, it was over.  Stiles’ muscles relaxed and he gasped in a breath, still unconscious, but breathing.  Melissa checked his pulse and put on her stethoscope, listening at his stomach and chest.  

“He’s eclamptic and he may be unconscious for a while.  I’m going to give him something that will hopefully stop him from seizing again, alright?” She asked Peter, calmly and rationally.

“Do we need to deliver the babies?” Peter asked, nodding as Melissa took out a syringe and pulled down the waistband of Stiles’ pants.  

“How long have these bruises been here?” She asked sharply, revealing a few fingertip shaped marks on Stiles’ hip and thighs.  They were dark purple, stark against his mate’s pale skin.  Peter’s stomach lurched at the sight.

“I— we—” Peter was pretty sure he was going to have a heart attack.  They had sex earlier that week, but he had been gentle.  He didn’t squeeze Stiles much.  At least he didn’t think he had.  They were having a good time.  They had even named their daughter.  Had he done this?

“Breathe,” Melissa said patiently, deftly injecting Stiles with magnesium sulfate as she spoke, “it’s okay.  You didn’t do anything wrong.  I’m just worried Stiles is having trouble clotting, so a C-section could be dangerous for him right now.”

“So what do we do?”  Scott asked, reminding Peter that there was a room full of people looking at his mate’s exposed body.  He pulled the waistband of Stiles’ pants up higher and hunched over his prone form protectively.

“I’d like to take him to the hospital and deliver the babies once Stiles wakes up,” Melissa said, looking up to gauge Peter’s expression.  

“How are you going to sneak him in and perform surgery without anyone noticing?” John asked, stepping forward and crouching down on the floor with Peter, Melissa, and Erica, who was still combing through Stiles’ hair with her fingers.

“I don’t know.”

“Can Deaton help?” Isaac asked, looking over to Scott for an answer.

“Clinic is closed this week.  He’s visiting his sister,” Scott said immediately, setting his jaw as he struggled to come up with another option.  “This wasn’t supposed to happen for another six weeks.”

“He’s waking up,” Erica alerted them from her perch by Stiles’ head.  “Stiles?  Can you hear me?”

A minute passed, everyone focused on watching Stiles’ tongue peek out of his mouth to wet his lips.  

“Catwom’n?” He asked, speech slurred but still understandable.  

“Yeah, it’s me,” Erica said, running a cool hand across his forehead.  “Can you open your eyes?”

“Do I have to?” Stiles grumbled, squeezing his eyelids shut even tighter.  

“Yes,” Melissa said, shuffling forward with a penlight in her hand.  “I need to check your vision.”  Pleased at least that he had come around so quickly.

“What happened?” Stiles asked, eyelids fluttering open and then shut again when he was blinded by Melissa’s light.  

“You had a grand mal seizure due to your advancing eclampsia,” Melissa explained as she had Stiles follow her finger with his eyes.  “Your babies are in distress and we need to deliver them as soon as you’re feeling ready.”

Stiles nodded as Erica and Peter helped him sit up.  Was he ready?  “I guess I’m as ready as I’m ever gonna be,” Stiles groaned, hands coming up to rub his stomach when it clenched painfully.  “Why am I wet?”

“You umm…” Lydia muttered, making a circular motion with one finger in the general area of Stiles’ crotch.  “You know…”

“Huh,” Stiles said with a soft laugh, trying to get his bearings.  “That makes sense.”  He smirked, even though there was nothing funny about the situation.  Everything seemed to move in slow motion, his head still a bit foggy.

“Help me get cleaned up?” He asked Peter, who glanced over to Melissa for her permission to move the patient.  

“How about we all give Stiles and Peter some privacy?” Melissa said with a smile, looking around the room to the rest of the pack, making a shooing motion with her hands.  

“Uh… Stiles?”  Derek asked, nose scrunching as he got closer to Stiles and Peter while the others were heading in the opposite direction.

“Yeah, yeah,” Stiles groaned, “I know I stink, no need to rub it in.”  

“No, it’s not that,” Derek said, hand gripping Stiles’ arm as Erica and Peter got him standing.  “I smell blood.”

“What?”  Melissa asked, eyes roaming over Stiles’ body to find what she had missed.  “Where?”   She circled the group until she was standing behind Stiles and spotted the problem.  “Oh honey, you’re bleeding.  We need to examine you.”

“I’m what?” Stiles asked, craning his neck over his shoulder to see what she was talking about but couldn’t bend far enough.  He reached a hand back to feel the dampness and it came back dark red.  “Oh fuck.  That’s not good.  Why is my ass bleeding?” He babbled, mind suddenly a lot sharper.

“I’m not sure, that’s why we need to examine you,” Melissa said, voice tinged with panic but still calming to Stiles and the wolves.  “Erica, you get towels and boil some water.  Boys, you get Stiles up into bed.”

“What is this?   Gone With the Wind ?” Stiles asked, flabbergasted as Peter scooped him up one more time and Derek led the way upstairs.  Melissa grabbed her bag and followed.  

“Scott?”  Melissa called down the second floor hallway until her son’s head popped out of an open door.  When Scott and Isaac got to the stairs she said, “run to the hospital.  Grab equipment; gowns, gloves, clamps, suture kits, fluids, drugs, anything you think we could possibly need.  Be quick and be sneaky.”  They turned to head out when Melissa pulled Scott back by the arm.  “Get blood,” she said quietly, eyes conveying the seriousness of the request.

“B positive,” John said gravely, appearing behind Melissa on the stairs.  

Scott and Isaac nodded and ran.

When Melissa and John got to the master bedroom, Stiles was laying down on a pile of towels, a sheet draped over his lower body.  “Are we really gonna do this here?” Stiles asked, waving his hand around where his junk was covered with a 5,000 thread count sheet.  “With the blood and the guts and the other nasty... stuff?”

“I’ll buy a new mattress,” Peter said promptly, crossing his arms and raising his eyebrows at his petulant mate.  

“That’s so not the point, babe,” Stiles grumbled as Melissa stepped forward to lift the sheet and assess the situation.  “What do you think you’re doing?”  He shot at Melissa, who stopped in her tracks and put her gloved hands on her hips.

“I have to see where the bleeding is coming from,” Melissa insisted, giving Stiles her best motherly glare.

“I think it’s pretty clear that the bleeding is coming from my ass, so how about a big no to that idea,” Stiles said, squeezing his knees closed to preserve his modesty and clutching at the sheets as another contraction wracked his body.  Derek chuckled but John shook his head at him, clearly unimpressed.  “Peter is the only one that’s getting anywhere near that situation,” Stiles insisted.  “You two,” he said, pointing at Erica and Derek, “Out.  Take the others, and leave the house.”  Erica cackled, but Derek pushed her out of the bedroom and closed the door behind them.  “I can still hear you!” Stiles called after them, massaging his temples, “tell your subconsciouses to fuck off!”  

“Stiles,” John said, stepping closer to the bed, “I really think you should let Melissa handle this.  She’s the only one with medical training.”  

“She’s also practically my mother, so no offense,” he said, looking at Melissa, “but no.  Fuck no.”

“It’s fine,” Peter said, stepping forward and pulling a pair of gloves out of Melissa’s bag.  “It’s nothing I haven’t seen before,” he said, prompting John to smack a hand to his forehead, “just tell me what to do.”

“I need you to assess the area.  Feel for any tears or thinning.  See if the bleeding will stop on its own or not,” Melissa instructed.  “Use the wet towels to clean so you can see better.”

“Umm…” Peter said, unable to find the right words.  “Things are open… and wet?  And not where they usually are?”

“What do you mean?” Melissa asked critically, frustrated that she couldn’t see for herself.

“I think maybe Stiles’ body is preparing for natural labor?” Peter said as gently as he could, eyes landing on his husband’s tight and determined face.  

“Are you fucking kidding me?”  Stiles groaned, flopping back on the pillows as far as he could with Peter’s hand still in his body.  “Remember how we agreed on a C-section?  The non-ass-babies route?  The less emotionally scarring and painful way?  Why can we not just do that?  A little slicing, a little dicing, and hello babies?”

“Firstly, I don’t have the proper equipment,” Melissa began listing on her fingers, “second, I think you have compromised liver function that’s stopping your blood from clotting, which would make cutting you open a very, very bad idea, and most importantly,” she crouched down next to the bed until she was level with Stiles’ face, “I think your body is trying to do the right thing here.”

“The right thing is not squeezing two werewolves out of my ASS!” Stiles yelled at her, dislodging Peter and gasping at the pain of another contraction all at the same time.  

“Maybe one of the babies is human, and that’s why things are so messed up,” John offered from his spot in the corner of the room, eyes slightly averted from where Stiles was being probed by his husband, definitely something a father didn’t need to see.  “If there’s a human baby in there, it’s long overdue, but the werewolf is going to be premature if it comes out now.”

“It’s possible, but very unlikely, if Deaton’s research is correct,” Melissa said, grasping for straws.

“When has Deaton’s research ever been correct?” Stiles groaned, hand clasped tight in the sheet as his muscles began to relax.  “Why did no one think of that before?  I hate you all!  I hate you like Wolverine hates Cyclops!”

“Really Stiles?” Peter scoffed from his perch between his mate’s legs.

“I am fatally pregnant right now, don’t fuck with me,” Stiles growled, an animal sound escaping his mouth as he huffed through another contraction.  “I will rip your sideburns out one hair at a time, I swear to God.”

Melissa looked at her watch and back at Stiles, eyes flicking back and forth until the man relaxed back against his stack of sweaty pillows.  “Your contractions are only two minutes apart.  You’re already in active labor.  I don’t think there’s any turning back at this point.  How far do you think he’s dilated?” She asked, looking to Peter.  

“This much?” Peter said, holding his gloved fingers an inch or so apart so Melissa could see.

“That’s about four centimeters.  You’re going to need a few more hours to get to ten, and that gives me time to get you some fluids and pain meds.  And antibiotics.  Definitely antibiotics,” she added, glancing critically at the completely unsterile environment.

“No!  NO, NO, NO!”  Stiles shouted at the room at large, red eyes flashing menacingly with barely suppressed magic.  Peter was beyond thankful that there wasn’t an open flame in their bedroom.  He was pretty sure if some genius had decided to light a candle to soften the mood, he’d already be burnt to a crisp.  

“I do not have a vagina!” Stiles continued, shouting himself hoarse, voice cracking.  “I am a man!  I am not squeezing these babies out of my butt, it is NOT HAPPENING!”

It was definitely happening.  

After several hours of pacing, crunching on ice, napping, pacing some more, and cursing Peter’s name with a wealth of words John had never even heard before, it seemed that Stiles was finally ready to push.

“I’m not ready,” he said immediately after Melissa gave him the go-ahead.  He looked down at Peter, wild panic in his eyes.  “Either my ass is never going to be the same or I’m going to die, and I’m really not comfortable with either of those things.”

“You’re going to be fine,” Peter assured him, “I’m right here, and the pups’ heartbeats are strong.  Melissa has plenty of blood if things go wrong.  You just have to breathe and everything will be alright.”

Stiles rolled his eyes and clutched the sheets as another contraction took him, “we didn’t practice this!  I don’t have a soothing mixtape.  I don’t know any of those breathing techniques,” he whined, quickly becoming hysterical, “and we didn’t even name our second kid yet!  We are NOT READY!”

“How about we just wait and see what sex it is at this point, since they’ll be here in a few minutes anyway,” Peter reasoned with him.  “Just grab your dad’s hand and squeeze and start pushing.”

John backed away from the bed immediately, not sure he even wanted to be present for the actual birthing process.  He had barely wanted to see Stiles being born, and that had been his own wife.  “How about I go get you some nice, self-healing werewolves for you to squeeze?  Who do you want?” He asked, backing towards the door.

“Derek,” Stiles said immediately, knowing he’d be able to handle the gory bits.  That man had seen more blood than the rest of the Betas put together.  His second choice was a little harder to make.  Stiles was sure Jackson would jump at the chance to be involved, and Scott would be terrified but ultimately willing to help him out, but he just couldn’t stand the thought of either of them seeing him do what he had to do.  “And Boyd,” Stiles decided quickly, knowing the somber Beta would never speak a word of what he saw to any of the others for fear of Stiles’ fiery wrath.   

“Good luck kid,” John said, pressing a kiss to his son’s sweaty forehead as he slipped from the room.  

A minute later, Stiles was screaming and Derek and Boyd were standing in the doorway, frozen in fear.  “Get your furry little asses in here!” Stiles yelled through clenched teeth as Melissa patted his forehead with a wet cloth.  “I need muscles.”

“You what?” Derek asked, eyebrows practically hidden in his hair they had risen so high.  His eyes were dutifully locked on Stiles’ face, completely ignoring the other end of the bed where his uncle’s head was hidden under a sheet between his Emissary’s legs.  

Stiles’ eyes flashed their burning, orange red, shocking Derek enough that he took a half a step backward.  “I need some leverage to get these babies out and you are going to provide that leverage,” Stiles ordered, face stern even as sweat trickled down his red cheeks to settle in his sideburns.

Ever the reliable one, Boyd stepped forward, climbing onto the bed behind Stiles to take the place of his pile of sweaty pillows.  “It’s going to be fine,” Boyd said, fierce loyalty apparent in his soft voice.  It was exactly what Stiles needed to hear at that moment.  If Boyd thought he could do it, he could do it.  Boyd never minced words, but he also never spoke unless something needed to be said.  “It’s just like Grey’s Anatomy.  You be Miranda, I’ll be your George, okay?”

“I love you so much right now,” Stiles groaned, hand flapping around the bed until Boyd caught it and held tight.  “I’d tell you I’d have your babies but I’m a little busy having Peter’s right now.”

Peter growled from his perch at the end of the bed, cradling one of Stiles’ legs while Derek reluctantly took the other, ready and able to act as his stirrups.  

“Just kidding, boo,” Stiles mumbled gruffly as he readied himself to push, “no more babies for you either, though, just so we’re clear.  We’re doing this once and only once.”

Peter’s eyes flashed red in agreement as Stiles simultaneously let loose a scream and broke Boyd’s hand.  

 


 

Stiles wished he could say that he didn’t remember much after that point, but he remembered every agonizing second.  The memories had burned themselves onto the insides of his eyelids when he scrunched his face up, tensing every inch of his body in an effort to bring his children into the world.  

He remembered breaking Boyd’s hand for the second time.  He remembered kicking Derek in the face in frustration, pulling a satisfying amount of blood from the Alpha’s nose while Derek roared in protest.  He remembered Peter’s soothing words pissing him off more than usual, prompting a string of threats that he couldn’t possibly make good on.  He remembered breaking Boyd’s hand for a third time.  

But most of all, he remembered Peter kissing the top of Scarlet’s head before passing her off to Melissa who smiled broadly while laying her red, squirming body down on Stiles’ chest.  She immediately rooted around for a nipple and latched on through Stiles’ tee shirt.  Stiles cried openly, running a long finger down her perfectly chubby cheek even as he started pushing again.  

He remembered that Derek had cut the cord the second time, Peter’s eyes shining with unshed tears as he handed off the surgical scissors.  “It’s a boy,” Peter said proudly, grinning up at his husband, who made grabby hands at him, wanting both babies in his arms at once. It was a bit of a challenge to juggle them both, but Boyd lent him a soft palm, cupping a slimy head with one hand to keep the boy upright.  

“What are you calling them?” Derek asked, pulling out of his crouch and stretching his back out with a groan.  

“Well this is Scarlet Joanne,” Stiles said easily, lifting his right shoulder slightly to indicate which baby he was talking about.  Bright yellow eyes flashed in his direction through partially closed, sleepy eyelids.  “And this is…” he trailed off, looking up to Peter for an answer.  

“Luca,” Peter said, smirking as he came around the side of the bed to sit next to his family.  

“Luke Skywalker Stilinski-Hale?” Stiles suggested with a full smile, eyes bright with mischief as Peter shut him up by tilting his chin up for a heartfelt kiss.

“Luca,” Peter held firm, feeling he had given Stiles a cross between Luke and Lucas and that was as far into the realm of Star Wars as he was willing to go.  Peter reached for his son, giving Boyd a look that had the Beta scampering off the bed and away from the Alpha’s mate, cradling his broken hand.  He exited the room swiftly, calling for Allison to come reset his fingers.  

“Luca John?” Stiles asked, knowing Peter would agree since Stiles had already conceded to naming their daughter after Peter’s sister over his mother.

“Luca John Stilinski-Hale,” Peter said fondly, taking a damp washcloth from Melissa so he could wipe the babies’ faces.  “Think your dad will cry when we tell him?”

“I’ll take that bet,” Stiles said easily before he drifted into an exhausted sleep.

Chapter Text

“They’re so little,” Isaac said in awe, rubbing Luca’s toes between two fingers with a doofy smile on his face as Danny swayed the baby back and forth in his arms.  

“They’ll be heading off to kindergarten before you know it,” John warned from his seat in the glider, lazily rocking his granddaughter while Stiles took a much needed shower with his husband.  “Enjoy it while it lasts.”

“I can’t believe I missed them being born,” Cora said from her spot on the floor, arms wrapped tight around a wolf plushie as she watched the men interact with the twins.

“You should be glad you weren’t there,” John told her, Isaac nodding in agreement, eyes wide, “it wasn’t pretty.”

“But still,” Cora protested, running a frustrated hand through her hair, “it’s my pack, my family.  I should have been here.”

“Then stay,” John suggested, thinking that having another set of claws around could only help the pack.  “Derek and Peter would love for you to be here.”

“Maybe I’ll stick around this time,” Cora said, lips twisting into a small smile as she looked up at the way Scarlet was snuggled into John’s chest.  “Do some babysitting.”

“They’re cute, but I like that you can give them back at the end of the day and go home,” Danny said, dimples twitching as he made silly faces at Luca.

“You better watch out or Jackson will have you adopting before you know it,” Lydia said from the doorway.  She leaned against the frame and took in the view, Cora, three men and two babies giving the new fathers a much needed break.  Allison came up behind her, brushing the strawberry blond locks off her shoulder so she could lean her chin there.  

“It’s true,” She agreed, pecking Lydia’s cheek, scenting her subtly.  “I wouldn’t be surprised if Jackson was already poking holes in your condoms.”

“I can’t get pregnant,” Danny protested easily, rolling his eyes.  Then he caught Isaac’s skeptical expression and turned back to the girls.  “I can’t, right?  I’m new to all this supernatural stuff.  Stiles only got pregnant because he’s magic, right?  Right?” he asked again when no one answered immediately.  

“Right,” John said, a little unsure, looking back at Lydia for a second opinion.  

“We think,” Lydia told a now pale looking Danny.  “Stiles is a Mage and Peter is an Alpha werewolf.  Jackson’s only a Beta wolf.”

“And I’m not magic,” Danny added, still looking for a more solid answer.  

“That we know of,” Allison said, eyes flashing red as she flared her nostrils, searching for any unusual scents she may have missed in the months since she was bitten.  Even if she was the newest wolf in the pack, she was already an Alpha, and her senses were second only to the born Alphas.  

“What do you mean, that you know of?” Danny asked, incredulous.

“Well Stiles wasn’t a Mage until he was,” John said, head tilted to one side in contemplation.  “He never did a single magic thing until Deaton told him he could and he started trying.  It can lie dormant until it’s needed, I suppose,” John shook his head in contemplation.  “Thank God.  Stiles as a kid was enough of a handful without being able to shoot fire out of his hands.”

“This town does draw in the supernatural,” Isaac added, lifting Luca out of Danny’s arms and against his own shoulder, giving the confused human a break.  The baby began screaming immediately.  

It had become clear very quickly that Isaac was the twins’ least favorite pack member.  Nevertheless, the Beta had become desensitized to the screaming within the first two weeks and was now determined to win their hearts, offering to put them down for their naps and feed them their bottles while Stiles rested.  Jackson was constantly pulling the pups out of Isaac’s arms, insisting that he needed to get his baby time in before he and Danny left for school.  

“I’ve seen weirder things happen in Beacon Hills,” Cora added absently as she went over to the glider where John sat with Scarlet, getting a closer look at her baby cousin.

“But— “ Danny stammered, not believing for a second that he would turn out to be a merman or a fairy or something equally ridiculous.  

“I know how you feel,” John said, lifting himself out of the glider with Scarlet still sound asleep in his arms.  He leaned in to Danny’s personal space to mutter, “but I’d still use the condoms if I were you.”

“How are we doing?” Peter asked cheerily, feeling like a whole new man after a much needed shower.  Stiles hooked his chin over Peter’s shoulder to see into the nursery, checking that both of their kids were still present and accounted for.  

“We’re ready for a feeding, I think,” Isaac said, holding a screaming Luca out for Peter to take.  John passed Scarlet off to Stiles and ushered the rest of the group out of the room to give the new fathers some privacy.  

“We need to leave for the airport in an hour, and I demand a proper send-off,” Lydia said, poking her head back in the door before closing it behind her.  

“It’s going to be so quiet around here when everyone heads off to school,” Stiles complained while settling down in the glider with his squirming and fussing daughter in his arms.

“I think quiet is a strong word,” Peter said, rocking Luca against his shoulder in an effort to subdue his constant cries.  

“Different then, at least,” Stiles said, gesturing to his mate to hand over his son so he could feed both pups at the same time.

“I don’t think I’ll ever get over how incredible you are,” Peter said dreamily, perching on a cushion in front of his husband, watching in awe as Stiles fed their children from his own body.

“Well it doesn’t feel too incredible, I can tell you that much,” Stiles said with a grimace, even as he looked down fondly at the soft, content faces of the twins.  “It was much better when you were doing it.”

“I know, I’m sorry,” Peter said, reaching up to run a comforting hand through Stiles’ still damp hair.  “It won’t be forever, and you can stop any time you want to.”

“You say that like a year of raw nipples won’t feel like forever,” Stiles quipped, rolling his eyes at his husband while pushing his head into Peter’s hand for more relaxing head scratches. 

“Well just think of it this way,” Peter said with fake enthusiasm, “you’re still not technically old enough to drink anyway, so that’s one less thing to be upset about missing.”

“Yeah okay,” Stiles glared, “that’s only fair if you promise not to drink any more of Derek’s wolf brew until I’m done breastfeeding.”

“Deal,” Peter said, taking Scarlet from Stiles when he held her out so they could trade sides.  “It’s not like I’ve ever had the option before anyway.”

“God Peter,” Stiles groaned when the twins latched on again, “at least make it sound like you’re making a sacrifice, you smug bastard.”

“Are there any other sacrifices you’d like me to make instead?” Peter offered, a wicked smirk twisting onto his face.  

“How about a blowjob a day and you take all the middle of the night feedings?” Stiles asked, eyebrows raised at his mate.  

“Blowing you isn’t a hardship Stiles,” Peter said, “and I think you might need to get up at least some of the time if you have too much milk, so try again.”

“Dishes, laundry, one pie per week, and daily blowjobs,” Stiles countered as Peter turned toward the door a few seconds before the Mage heard a knock.

Allison opened the door a crack and stuck her face into the nursery.  “You guys just about done?” she asked as Stiles passed the pups to Peter and righted his clothing.

“Not now Ally,” Stiles said, eyes still on Peter’s face.  “We’re negotiating.”

“Yeah, I heard,” Allison said, nose scrunching in amused embarrassment.  “Now pass me my niece,” she ordered, stepping fully into the room and making grabby hands at Peter.

“Deal,” Peter said to Stiles, agreeing to the terms, as he lowered Scarlet into Allison’s waiting arms.  

“Why am I not holding a baby?” Jackson asked immediately as he stepped into the room, the rest of the pack not far behind him.

“Because you don’t have breasts?” Stiles said cheekily as Peter passed Luca over.  “If you want to be present for feeding time, you’re going to have to grow a pair.”

Jackson looked genuinely disappointed with himself as he said, “I wish,” rubbing his nose up Luca’s chubby little cheek.  Peter looked on, wondering if Jackson would ever get over his baby fever or if it would only get worse with time.  The Beta flashed electric blue eyes at Luca who just blew a spit bubble back at him, being human and unable to reciprocate.  Peter rolled his eyes.  The twins both still had newborn blue, but Peter was secretly hoping at least one of the pups would end up with Stiles’ whiskey color.  

“No,” Stiles said with a grunt, letting Derek help him out of the glider, body still sore in places, “you really, really don’t.”

Jackson huffed, but continued making silly faces at Luca like he had never heard anything so amusing in his life.  “Danny and I leave this afternoon.  I need to get my pup time in before it’s too late,” he cooed, pressing a kiss to Luca’s forehead.

Wrapping a supportive arm around his mate, Peter led the group out of the nursery and into the music room, knowing he would never hear the end of it if Lydia didn’t get a farewell song.  “You feeling up to playing drums?” he asked Stiles as the pack filed in behind them, arranging themselves on cushions and the floor, already a captive audience.  

“I think I can manage it.”  Peter raised his eyebrows at his mate and tugged on their mating bond, silently asking for Stiles to tell him the truth.  “I’ll take it easy,” Stiles assured him, sitting down behind his set while Peter grabbed his twelve-string and slipped the strap over his head.  “We need you for this one,” he said to Boyd, who dutifully took his seat at the piano, taking a quick look at the music Peter had left there for him.

Stiles counted it off and Boyd started to play bright, staccato chords while he clapped his hands, waiting to pick up his sticks until Scott and Isaac caught the rhythm and the group began to clap along.  

Stiles tapped one stick against his tambourine as he began to sing.

 

“We’re on top of the world

We’re on top of the world now darling so don’t let go”

 

Peter joined him in a low harmony, strumming along with careful claws against his guitar strings.

 

“Can I call you mine?

So can I call you mine now darling for our whole life time

My heart finally trusts my mind”

 

Stiles looked between Peter and the rest of the group, feeling his heart swell at the sight.  The pack was a bright, warm light in the back of his mind, growing just that little bit stronger from the addition of Scarlet.  They expected that Luca might develop an ability at some point in the future, but for the time being, he was missing from the pack bond along with Danny and Lydia.

Peter and Stiles tried not to be disappointed by his absence.  They were lucky to have two healthy children at all.  After all that had happened during Stiles’ pregnancy, Peter was glad his mate was alive, let alone well enough to care for their children and play music for the pack.  Stiles stopped playing for a beat, letting Peter strum without him and sang.

 

“And I know somehow it’s right”

 

Coming back in with a cross-stick beat, tapping his bass pedal lightly, Stiles shot Peter a wry smile, knowing his husband’s voice would be there when the chorus came around.  He wasn’t disappointed.  As Peter sang, he looked between his mate and his pups.  Sleep deprived but smiling through the bruising under his eyes, Peter watched his daughter.  Scarlet was propped up against his nephew’s chest.  She wasn’t able to hold her own head up yet, but her wide curious eyes stared at her parents while Derek clapped her tiny hands together to the beat.  Luca was leaning against Jackson’s shoulder, the Beta rubbing his scarred cheek back and forth against the baby’s fuzzy head.  His pack felt whole for the first time in decades, and he felt his eyes prickle with unshed emotion.  

 

“And oh, we got time, yeah

Darling just say you’ll stay right by my side

And oh, we got love, yeah

Darling just swear you’ll stand right by my side”

 

Stiles brought one of his sticks back to the tambourine, grinning broadly as his gaze met Peter’s.  The instant they locked eyes, Stiles could feel their mating bond sing.  They hadn’t had the opportunity to play for each other since the pups were born, and Stiles hadn’t realized what his soul had been missing.  Peter harmonized with him, eyes never leaving his mate, letting the rest of the room look on as they reacquainted themselves with the warmth of their bond and the tingling they felt in their fingers whenever they played for each other.  Stiles’ tenor and Peter’s baritone wove together, words twining like satin ribbons in his chest.  

 

“We’re on top of the world

We’re on top of the world now darling so don’t let go

Mmm, I got something to say

You’re perfect in every way, I’m gonna shout it out

I wanna tell you now

‘Cause I know somehow it’s right”

 

Over the last few weeks, exhausted and sore, Stiles had woken up several times in the middle of the night to find his mate wasn’t in bed.  Needing to pump or stretch his back, Stiles would go padding through the hall looking for Peter.  He didn’t have to look very far.  The light sound of finger picked strings led Stiles to the nursery every time.  Stiles would creep in, even though he knew Peter would hear him.  Even though Scarlet could probably hear him, he still didn’t want to disturb the quiet contentment of his little family.

Long toes gripping the soft like-new carpet, Stiles would stand in the doorway, leaning against the frame for a minute to take it all in.  Scarlet and Luca were nestled together in an electric rocker.  It wasn’t technically safe, both of them in the one seat, but Scarlet would heal if she got hurt and they had decided early on that the more pack contact the twins had, the better they would connect to the wolves.  

Peter was singing a lullaby.  Stiles was pretty sure it was in Italian, but he still didn’t understand the lyrics.  He wasn’t focused on the words, but on the tone.  Peter’s voice, so soft and sweet was keeping their pups asleep, floating on a cloud of paternal affection.  Stiles’ breath caught just thinking about it.  He’d never seen anything so beautiful in his life.  

Stiles played a fill, a little less exuberant than he would if he hadn’t pushed two watermelon-sized children out of his body earlier that month, but his head still bobbed with the beat, eyes closing as he felt the pulse of the song.  Peter and Boyd followed along, much more professional and polished with their instruments than Stiles would ever be.  Locking eyes with Peter, he sang with his mate.

 

”And oh, we got time, yeah

Darling just swear you’ll stay right by my side

And oh, we got love, yeah

Darling just swear you’ll stand right by my side

 

Be my forever, be my forever, be my forever

Be my forever, be my forever, be my forever”

 

When Peter looked back at the group, Stiles’ attention followed.  Melissa had just walked in, waving shyly at everyone as she took a seat on the floor next to John.  Grabbing a cushion and plopping it in front of him, the Sheriff patted it until Melissa took a seat between his legs, her back against his chest.  Seeing his father cozying up to another woman made Stiles’ heart ache, but only a little.  He wished his mother could be there, but the pain of her absence was overshadowed by how happy he was that Scarlet and Luca would have a grandmother in Melissa.  

With a fond look at how Luca had fallen asleep on Jackson, Peter sang.

 

“You’re my bright blue sky”

 

Stiles answered, flashing his eyes red as he watched Lydia tickle the bottom of Scarlet’s feet, Allison and Cora laughing along.

 

“You’re the sun in my eyes”

 

He looked back to Peter, unable to keep the smile from his face when they sang together.

 

“Oh, baby you’re my life, you’re the reason why”

 

Boyd and Peter stopped playing, Stiles clicking his stick against the rim of his snare drum a few times before leaving his seat and walking over to his husband.  Together they sang a cappella.

 

“We’re on top of the world

We’re on top of the world now darling, so don’t let go”

 

Stiles kissed Peter on the cheek as he pulled a spare tambourine from the bookshelf and tossed it at Isaac, who caught it deftly.  Backing up behind Peter, Stiles wrapped his arms around his husband’s neck, pressing a quick kiss to his mating bite before counting the instruments back in.

 

“1, 2, 3, 4”

 

Stiles let go of Peter so he and Boyd could start playing again, and sang along to the rest of the song together with his mate.  Getting down on the floor with a small hiss of pain at the stretch, Stiles went over to Derek to snuggle his daughter.  He grabbed Scarlet’s hands and clapped them together, eyes brightening when she gave him a toothless grin.  

“I think she’s smiling at me!” Stiles exclaimed, punching Erica in the shoulder to get her to look.

“Babies don’t smile until at least six weeks, Stiles,” Lydia said promptly, rolling her eyes.  Melissa nodded in agreement.

“Maybe she’s a smile prodigy!  Peter, we have the smartest daughter in the world!”

“Can we finish this song?  My hands are getting tired,” Boyd protested from his seat at the piano where he was vamping until Stiles got his ass off the floor.  

“You’re a werewolf, your hands are not tired, you liar,” Stiles argued, but caught Peter’s attention to finish the song anyway.  

 

“And oh, we got time, yeah we got love

Darling just swear you’ll stay right by my side”

 

Pecking Scarlet on the cheek and then doubling back to ruffle Derek’s hair, Stiles took his seat back at the drums and picked the beat back up.  Derek glared at him, but there was no heat behind it.

 

“And oh, we got love, yeah

Darling just swear you’ll stay right by my side

 

Be my forever, be my forever, be my forever

Be my forever, be my forever, be my forever”

 

Danny had pried Luca out of Jackson’s clutches and handed the sleeping baby off to Scott so he could dance with his boyfriend.  They were leaving that afternoon along with the girls, and Danny was determined to get a little bit of Jackson’s attention before they had to separate for school.  He hoped Jackson’s obsession with the twins would subside so they could focus on classes and each other, but something told him that Jackson wouldn’t do well being apart from the pack.  Danny expected that Jackson would transfer closer within six months, and Stiles couldn’t help but agree.

Pulling his eyes away from the way Danny gripped Jackson’s scarred hand, Stiles looked at his husband, his mate, the father of his children, and beamed.  With just a few words, a simple melody, he felt Peter’s heart swell through their bond.  

 

“Will you love me forever?”

 

Peter answered, as Stiles knew he would, with the obvious reply.  

 

“I’ll love you forever”

 

Stiles wasn’t sure if the rest of the pack had caught on to how their mating bond worked, or if they just thought Stiles and Peter were crazy for constantly breaking into song, but when he felt the warmth in his chest as they finished the song together, he knew it didn’t matter.  Even if the rest of the world never understood, Stiles would always have his mate and the love that they now shared with their children.  

 

“Be my forever

Be my forever, be my forever, be my forever”

 

When the song finally came to a close, Melissa started a round of applause, John clapping his hands together around her waist.  Stiles twirled his sticks with a broad smile on his face, letting Peter put his instrument down before he stood up and leapt onto his mate’s back, long arms wrapping themselves around Peter’s neck, catching a scratch of stubble along the way.  

Chris Argent appeared in the doorway as Stiles busied himself with scenting his mate’s throat, rubbing his smooth cheek back and forth with a contented rumble in his chest.  He had finally gotten the chance to shave that morning, and it had been a long time coming.  Chris coughed roughly to announce his presence.  Stiles pulled his lips away from the pulse in Peter’s throat and raised his eyebrows.

“Girls?  We have to leave now if we’re going to catch our flight.”

Stiles could almost hear the whine of the wolves through the pack bond.  Even Erica was sad to see Allison and Lydia go.  It had been hard enough when they were abroad for a few weeks, but now Jackson and Danny would also be separated from the pack.  It would be a difficult transition for all of them, but Stiles was particularly worried about the day Peter would go back to work and he would be left alone with the twins.  Derek and the rest of the Betas would help out, but ultimately, Stiles would be in charge of two little lives.  He wasn’t too proud to admit that he was terrified.  

“I guess it’s time,” Allison said, pulling Lydia off the poufy cushion they were sitting on and smoothing down her skirt.  

“Walk us out?” Lydia asked the room at large, eyes darting between each member of the pack before they landed on Stiles, who was still wrapped around Peter, mouth agape as he searched for anything he could say that might make them all stay a little while longer.  He had no words.

“Of course,” Peter said after a beat, kissing Stiles on the cheek before standing and taking Scarlet out of Derek’s lap.  “We’ll all come say goodbye.  Let’s go sweetheart,” he said to the baby, rubbing his cheek across the top of her head, getting a bit of a high pitched babble in response.

A few minutes later Chris and Jackson’s cars were packed and the group was gathered in the gravel in front of the house, ready to say their goodbyes.  “Just one last thing,” Lydia said, pulling a digital camera out of her purse and handing it to Chris.  “We need a new pack photo.”

Chris took the camera and waited for the group to assemble on the front steps, Stiles in the middle, cradling one twin in each arm, hiding his breasts from view while Peter sat on the step behind him, strong arms wrapped around his family.  Everyone else gathered around them, Derek with one arm thrown across Isaac’s shoulder and the other around his sister, Scott tucked in close to his mother and the Sheriff, Erica hanging off Boyd’s back like a spider monkey, and the other two couples pulled in tight on either side.  

“One, two, three,” Chris counted out, not at all surprised when Stiles and Peter kissed right as the camera went off.  Erica had shamelessly copped a feel, making Boyd yelp and nearly drop his girlfriend on her ass.  Lydia’s head was thrown back in laughter at the ridiculous face Cora had made, never one for tradition.  “Okay guys, take a serious one this time.”

After a few more clicks, Stiles was even more convinced that the first photo would be the one that he would frame and put up on the mantle next to their first pack photo, taken when they first saw the new Manor house.  In less than a year, his entire world had changed, shifted on its axis, his whole existence narrowed down to the two fluttering heartbeats he now held in his arms instead of his stomach.  His mate was wrapped around his back, strong thighs bracketing his hips, arms wrapped tight around his waist, lending support to his tired body as it held their pups upright.  A wisp of breath tickled the back of his neck, the camera snapping again while Peter whispered in his ear, “I love you Przemysław.”

“I love you, too,” Stiles said, twisting his head to the side so he could rub his cheek against his husband’s temple.  “You happy?”  Stiles asked quietly as the group dispersed, everyone taking a turn hugging Allison, Lydia, Danny, and Jackson.  

“Are you kidding?” Peter asked, squeezing Stiles’ waist tighter as he hooked his chin over Stiles’ shoulder.  “This is so much more than I ever thought I would get,” he said, untwining his arms so he could rub a callused palm across each of his children’s foreheads.  “It’s so much more than I deserve.”

“That’s not true,” Stiles said, passing Luca to Peter so he could stand up and face his husband.  “I love you, and the pups love you, and we want to give you everything you’ve ever wanted.  You don’t get to decide what you deserve.  I do.”

“Why?” Peter asked honestly, eyes wide as he looked between Stiles and the baby in his arms.  

“Because I know you,” Stiles said, crouching down until his eyes were level with Peter’s, “and I know what you’re capable of.”

“Murder?” Peter asked with wolfish grin on his face, blue eyes dull and harsh in the afternoon sun.

“Change,” Stiles said, balancing his weight on the balls of his feet before cupping the side of Peter’s cheek and leaning in for a kiss, Scarlet pressed between them in his other arm.  He pulled away slowly, lips twisting into a soft smile as he straightened up and went to bid his friends farewell.