Peter sat in his favorite chair by the window in his apartment, when it suddenly hit him. It felt like a whoosh of something, a power unlike anything else he’d ever felt before, rushed through him.
The book he’d been reading thumped onto the thick carpet at his feet, and he got up, walking to the closest mirror—the one over the end table by the front door. His eyes still flashed blue, but something had changed. The power wasn’t stronger per say, but it was… different.
Curiously, he felt around inside himself, touching the frayed, singed edges of the old pack bonds he’d had with his sister’s pack. None of them were any different than they’d been since he woke up from the coma. He felt for Derek and Cora, both alive and well, both betas and far away.
It wasn’t the Hales. Who, then?
The measly strings connecting him to the McCall pack, to the boy they called True Alpha, had never been more than the kind of thread his mother had used to sew buttons back on their clothes when he was a child.
Now, they were thin as a spider’s web.
“That’s new,” Peter murmured, standing there with his eyes half closed in concentration.
He concentrated more, and realized another change; the thread that had been different from any other from the beginning, ever since it appeared ages ago, was thick as a ship rope.
And it glowed vibrant red.
Peter’s eyes snapped open, and he stared at himself in the mirror.
Slowly, a smile crept over his features. It seemed like he had a new alpha.
Stiles stood over the bastard’s corpse and sneered. He’d vowed years ago, that if anyone ever turned him against his will, he’d take them down, no matter who it was. He’d probably even done it to Scott, if he was completely honest.
He didn’t want the alpha power now coursing through his already confused system, no. It was never about that. It was about retribution and fucking consent . But he had it now, and… yeah, he could trust himself with it, he thought. More than a lot of other wolves he’d ever met.
He’d been a wolf for three days, three fucking agonizingly painful, almost out of control days. And then on the fourth night, the idiot had come back for him. He’d been ready.
Stiles flicked the blood off his claws in an annoyed motion and looked around. He didn’t want to remember anything about the corpse at his feet, not his name, not how he’d tried to pick Stiles up at a bar the other night, not what he’d said, and certainly not how he’d looked as Stiles took his life.
He’d killed a lot of people, both when he was possessed and after that. All of them deserving. He’d thought he was over this shit storm, that his spark had gone from a hesitant flickering flame into something dormant once he’d decided he was done and left Beacon Hills.
College had been pretty good, but his graduation party—read: night at a gay bar—had turned sour because of that asshole wolf.
And tomorrow, he needed to travel back to BH to celebrate graduation with his dad and whomever might’ve still been in town after four years of being gone. He didn’t care, honestly. Scott… well, they weren’t in touch anymore, but he knew Scott and Kira had stayed in town.
Technically, that meant he had to ask permission to go to Beacon Hills. Ask permission. From Scott.
Stiles dragged the corpse into the nearby ditch and left it there. Then he called a problem solver he knew. The woman had made a lot of money by cleaning up other people’s messes. She agreed to take care of his, and wished him safe travels back to BH.
A couple of hours later, Stiles had eaten what must’ve been close to a small cow’s weight in meat, and felt better. More in control. It was almost funny how the asshole had turned him on full moon and he’d gone through all the shit in a crash course of horribleness. Then again, without him, Scott would’ve been put down real quick back in the day, and after studying the wolves, he’d known enough to keep himself—and everyone else—safe for the first few days.
Now that he felt more like himself and justice had been served, Stiles looked at his small, crappy-ish apartment and all the boxes in it, and felt… wistful.
It had been a good five years away from BH. He’d gone back total of six times after leaving for college. Each time, there had been less familiar faces in town, and now there were only a few. He didn’t really care about Scott’s new pack, whomever might be in it.
His dad was still the Sheriff, the only Hale in town was Peter, and Scott and Kira had three-year-old twins. Parrish still worked for the sheriff’s department, so that was nice. He’d always liked the guy. Everyone else who had survived their teens were either abroad or somewhere across the country from Beacon Hills.
It would be weird to be back, Stiles was sure. He was an alpha without a pack. The bastard who had turned him hadn’t had anyone, either. Luckily, because Stiles wasn’t in a place in his life where he could’ve taken care of someone else’s slack.
Sighing, he took his cell and called a number he hadn’t called in… Jesus, six months? More than that?
“Stiles?” Scott’s surprise was evident in his voice.
Not “Scotty” or “Buddy.” Definitely not “Bro.” Not in years.
“What’s up, man?”
“So, here’s the thing,” Stiles started, but didn’t quite know how to continue.
“I graduated, and so I’m coming back to BH.”
“That’s awesome! Congrats!”
“Yeah, but the thing is, I need your permission to enter your territory.” Stiles winced as he waited for a reaction.
“My perm—what do you mean?” Scott sounded so very confused. Then suddenly he inhaled, the sharp hiss hurting Stiles’s still fresh wolf ears. “No way !”
“Yep! Brand new. And an alpha to boot.”
Stiles waited for the freak out to end, then said, “It’s only been a few days but I’m fully in control and safe to be around. I figured it out. But I still need your permission as it’s your territory, right?”
“Uh… yeah, it’s mine… Uh….” Stiles heard someone, likely Kira, talking in the background. Then Scott cleared his throat. “You know, you’re always welcome here, wolf or not. We should meet. Figure out the whole two alphas thing. But other than that, come home, Stiles.”
“Yeah, okay. I’ll be in town tomorrow evening and give you a call whenever I’ve time to come by, okay?”
“Uh… about that. We could maybe meet at the clinic…?”
Something ugly in Stiles’s chest rose, and he tamped it down quickly. Scott didn’t trust him around his kids. If he was completely honest, Stiles wasn’t sure if Scott would’ve even if he’d just been a spark.
“Right. Well, I gotta go. I’ll talk to you in a couple of days.” He ended the call before he said something bad, something he should’ve said years ago but hadn’t out of nostalgia.
He took a fortifying breath and tried to center himself.
That’s when he felt the weird tug that seemed to awaken something inside him, where the wolf now resided.
Peter sat on the spiral staircase at Derek’s loft. Derek hadn’t been in Beacon Hills for years now, but since he owned the business, the place was cleaned monthly and it still had power and heat. Nobody used it, really, except when a disaster struck and they needed to get under the closest friendly roof they could. Luckily that hadn’t happened in almost a year, either. Beacon Hills was calm these days. No wonder something had to come and shake it up. Or someone.
And that’s why Peter sat there, theatrically as hell—he could admit as much—and waited.
So maybe he hadn’t been quite honest back in the day. Not to the person who should’ve been the only one that mattered. But he’d figured….
The door opened.
Stiles knew where to find Peter. It wasn’t hard. Hell, he could’ve gone to Peter’s apartment—he knew the man had to have one somewhere and Parrish would’ve known where—but he chose not to. Mostly, because he wasn’t sure how this would end.
His wolf was prowling beneath the surface, and he had to wear stupid sunglasses outside because his eyes kept flashing red every now and then, when the wolf pushed forward. The aggression he felt, the anger of being misled and lied to for years was all human. His wolf didn’t get it, it hadn’t been there. Stiles was glad, because he knew without a shadow of doubt that he would’ve been out of control by now otherwise.
He followed Peter’s scent to the top floor of Derek’s building. He didn’t know how he knew the scent was Peter, but he did, somehow. Gritting his teeth, he pulled open the loft door. Peter’s scent hit him like a hammer, making Stiles growl under his breath, and his wolf, well, his wolf squirmed and wagged his tail.
“Why?” he ground out when he looked at Peter, sitting on the stairs like he’d used to all those years ago.
“Would you show me your eyes, sweetheart?” Peter countered.
Stiles couldn’t help it. He moved forward, towards the stairs, snarling at the bastard while at the same time taking off the shades and throwing them aside.
“Is this what you were waiting for?” he roared, inches from Peter’s face as his eyes turned and stayed red.
To his surprise, Peter smiled, his eyes flashing blue, and then he tilted his head in submission.
The movement was graceful, natural unlike any other time Stiles had seen Peter submit to an alpha, not that there’d been many of those times anyway.
Panting harshly, he stood there, slightly above Peter, and held back a steady growl that was starting to confuse his wolf.
“You were too young,” Peter said simply. He turned his head and looked at Stiles. “Stiles, you were in high school. I was damaged as hell, I even thought I might be beyond repair. You… you deserved better.” He dropped his gaze then, looking ashamed, but somehow Stiles could feel the sincerity behind his words.
“Better without my mate ?” His tone was incredulous and full of hurt, but only because his wolf put the latter there.
Peter whined, the sound leaving him like he’d been punched.
That’s when it occurred to Stiles. That’s when he realized the agony Peter had caused himself.
“Jesus, Peter,” he breathed.
“You wouldn’t have felt it anyway.” Peter sighed and looked down instead of at Stiles.
The anger drained away, leaving hurt, yes, but nothing Stiles couldn’t handle. Something new inside him made him feel the urge to comfort and protect Peter. Without conscious thought of doing it, he leaned in closer and wrapped his arms around the beta.
It should’ve surprised him more, how Peter melted into the embrace, but the contact made both their wolves so fucking ecstatic, Stiles resigned himself to it.
He wasn’t human anymore. Sure, he needed to learn a lot more about being a wolf, not just about surviving as one, but more than anything he needed to figure out how to be the best alpha for Peter.
“It wasn’t meant to be back then, me being yours,” Stiles murmured into Peter’s hair. “But from now on, you are mine.”
They both knew Stiles would always take care of what he deemed his.