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It was the night of the full moon and Derek had decided the pack could train in the clearing to blow off some steam. Tensions had been rough lately — a rival pack had come to Beacon Hills with intentions to push the Hale pack out and claim the land for themselves. Derek had been negotiating with them with Deaton’s help, doing his best to avoid a physical conflict and reach some sort of compromise, but after weeks they still hadn’t arrived at a solution. Naturally, the rival pack’s presence had everyone on edge, but this training session was a good distraction. Sure, part of it was making sure the pack was ready for a fight, but more of it was a lot of messing around and just having fun. The wolves were in especially high spirits, reveling in the freedom and power they felt under the full moon. As a phoenix, you didn’t exactly feel the same benefits but being around the pack made never failed to bring a smile to your face. You had been cracking jokes with Isaac between sparring practice, lighting up when Peter overheard one and laughed. You felt your cheeks heat up when you caught yourself staring at the man for a second too long, resulting in Isaac knocking you flat on your back.


Isaac rushed to your side, helping you sit up. “y/n, shit I’m so sorry! Are you okay?”

“I’m fine, Isaac. I just got a little… distracted.” Your eyes quickly flitted to Peter and you forced yourself to tear your gaze away from the man before Isaac noticed. Stiles sent you a knowing smirk, not even trying to stifle his laughter.  You sent him a playful glare in response which only caused the boy to break out in laughter. 

“Stiles,” Derek chided. You furrowed your brow in confusion. Stiles was always joking around about your not so secret feelings for Peter, but it was certainly not important enough to warrant Derek’s abrupt defense. 

“Babe, c’mon, it’s absolutely hilarious, it’s not even subtle-” Stiles rolled his eyes, still grinning good-naturedly.

“Stiles, shut up,” Derek put a hand up to signal the pack’s silence, turning his head to the clearing’s edge. “I’m trying to listen.” That makes more sense, you thought to yourself. 

The pack’s chatter instantly ceased, the sudden sense of danger bringing them closer together. You strained your ears, completely zeroed into the sounds around you. You heard the faint rustle of leaves in the wind, the thrumming heartbeats of your pack, even the chattering of a distant squirrel — none of which was anything out of the ordinary. You figured Derek was just being extra paranoid, but then Scott’s head snapped up, letting out a low growl. The weres fell into defensive stances, and Kira unsheathed her katana.  

“Not everyone has super hearing, so can someone please tell me what the hell’s going on?” Lydia snapped, fear creeping into her annoyance. 

“Well I don’t want to state the obvious, but probably something dangerous.” Stiles scoffed, but his carefree tone was betrayed by the white knuckled grip on his baseball bat. Lydia glared at him, ready to shoot an equally dry humored retort his way, but the way you suddenly stilled stopped her in her tracks. You finally heard it. Snarls of others werewolves, at least twelve other heartbeats, rapidly approaching the clearing. 

“The rival pack, they’re coming. And it sounds like they’re done talking.” Your throat suddenly felt like sandpaper. Though you had been in enough fights to hold your own, you stiffened with fear and anxiety.

You felt Peter’s shoulder brush yours comfortingly, his breath tickling your ear as he spoke. “Stay close, y/n/n.” 

His presence alone managed to ease some of your nerves. It was something you suspected Peter had picked up on, considering he had made it a habit to appear out of nowhere anytime you felt even the slightest bit of anxiety. You nodded at his words, the back of your hand brushing his. 

The pack was ready, waiting for the ambush and you felt the adrenaline kick in as the snarls grew louder. Fiery power coursed through your veins until the flames were at your fingertips. Even in the seriousness of it all Peter turned to grin at you. “I never fail to be impressed by that.” You grinned right back, wiggling your fingers as the flames accentuated with your delight. And then, all hell broke loose. 

The rival pack tore through the clearing, hitting the Hale pack as hard as they could. Thriving from the power of the full moon, they were going straight for kill shots, fangs bared and aiming for the neck, claws tearing at anything within reach. They had completely given into their wolf side, determined to win the fight by any means necessary. 

You had just finished fighting a wolf off, knocking him back in a tree hard enough that he collapsed on the ground unconscious. Before you could even take a breath, another one launched herself at you, blood covered fangs bared at you, her icy blue eyes filling you with dread. Instinctually you put your hands up to create some distance between you two. You were almost surprised when she crumpled with a screeching howl as she collided with your flaming palms but the force of the impact sent you stumbling to the ground with a hard thud.

Scott ran to your side, eyes frantic with worry. “y/n hey, are you okay? Are you hurt?” 

“I'm fine, she just knocked me over,” You answered gruffly. Scott extended his hand and you gratefully took it, pulling yourself up. “I know it’s the full moon, but is it just me or are these wolves ridiculous strong? The betas are fighting like Alphas.”

“Derek says they have a witch on their side. I don’t see her yet, but I bet she’s hiding somewhere nearby in order to channel that much magic into the entire pack.” 

You followed Scott’s gaze to the edge of the clearing. “If we find her, we can end this a lot easier.” 

Before Scott could respond, you heard Malia’s screeching howl from the thick of the battle. You looked at Scott with panicked eyes, ready to rush to her aid. Scott grabbed your arm holding you back. “I’ve got her, y/n. You find the witch.” 

Before you could even nod, Scott had already sprinted off. You began to make your way towards the expanse of trees on the clearing’s edge, but stopped in your tracks as you heard Peter roar in pain. 

Peter was taking on two wolves at once, not too far from where you stood. You could see he had been wounded badly, the scratches on his chest staining his previously pristine white shirt a deep scarlet. Frankly, the sight was absolutely terrifying. You sprinted to his aid, your mission to find the witch long forgotten. You yanked one of the wolves off of him, not hesitating as you slammed a burning hand into the center of the wolf's chest, hard enough to feel several ribs crack at the impact. Peter made short work of the other one, a swift uppercut to the jaw dropping the wolf unconscious. The ease with which he did it should not have been hot, but it was and you mentally scolded yourself for noticing how his biceps flexed in the moonlight. 

Even in the heat of the battle, Peter paused long enough to raise an eyebrow at you. “Remind me to never cross you.” 

You snorted in amusement, ready with a witty response but stopped short when you saw Peter turn to the clearing’s edge, eyes narrowed in confusion. You followed his gaze and saw a figure walking towards you both. She was chanting something in a language you couldn’t even recognize, let alone understand. What you did understand was that it was some type of spell, and the golden orbs of energy in her palms were probably not something you wanted to get too close to. The witch met Peter’s gaze first. Realizing she had been seen she calmly raised her palm toward Peter, letting out a blast of energy headed straight for him. So naturally, you did the one thing you could think of. 

You practically tackled Peter out of the way, letting yourself fall in the path of what could very well be certain death. You collapsed to the ground in pain as the magic hit you square in the chest. The magic burned in way you didn’t think was possible and you could feel your skin charring where the impact had been. This is some twisted karma for being a fire-weiding phoenix, isn’t it? you thought yourself. The pain felt unbearable and though you were fighting to stay awake, you could feel consciousness slipping from your grasp. Dying for the man I love, isn’t a bad way to go, you thought to yourself as you gave into the darkness. 

 

***

 

You woke up to harsh, fluorescent lights and the smell of antiseptic, staring up at ceiling tiles you had become far too familiar with. A dull ache in your chest had you blindly reaching to feel the place of impact, groaning as the movement caused the pain to sharply spike. 

“Hey,” Peter pulled your hand away, gently settling it down by your side, “Stop that. Deaton said you need more rest.” You wanted to protest, but he started to lightly run his fingers through your hair, the soothing motion instantly calming you down. You were so tired, you couldn’t even care to feel flustered at the gesture.

“How… how long-” You coughed, your throat too dry to get the words out. 

“Take it easy, y/n/n, it’s only been a couple hours. You’re lucky you heal so fast. You’ve got some pretty bad bruising, but it should be gone in the morning,” Peter answered, reaching for the water on the table next to you. He helped you sit up enough in order to take a few sips, wincing at the sound of pain you let out. 

“Peter, is everyone ok? Did we… did we win?” You hesitated, almost afraid to know the answer. 

“The pack is fine, I took out the witch and after that it was basically over,” Peter reassured you. You looked about ready to ask more questions, but Peter cut you off before you could form the words. 

“Rest,” He said sternly, “...Please.” 

You laughed softly. “If you insist.” 

“I do.” 

“Okay.” Peter started to pull away from your side, and you instantly missed the warmth of his closeness. 

“Will you be here when I wake up?” It was something you normally never would have asked of Peter, but the way he was being so soft and careful with you had you feeling braver than usual. Maybe Peter had finally realized what you had felt all along. For a moment, Peter hesitated and all your previous warm and fuzzy feelings quickly turned into anxious doubt. 

“...If you insist,” Peter joked, cracking a smile. 

“I do.” 

“Okay.” 

Peter sat down in the armchair next to you, and you finally gave into the pull of sleep. 

 

***

 

Peter Hale was an absolute wreck. He sat in the dusty, old armchair across from your hospital bed, head held in his hands, wracked with an immense amount of guilt. His best friend had nearly sacrificed her own life for his and it felt so wrong that Peter felt sick to his stomach. The things he’d done in his past shouldn’t allow him to have this kind of kindness. This kind of love

Peter had suspected you had feelings for him for a while, but now he knew for sure that it was more. He wished he was a normal man, but he wasn’t and he had never tried to fool himself into believing anything otherwise. He was a monster that had been begrudgingly accepted into the pack on the sole basis that he was the Alpha’s uncle. He didn’t deserve his pack, let alone any of this. Yet, somehow, you felt you could throw yourself into the line of fire for him and Peter hated that. Hated that you thought that was a fair trade for the universe. Your soul was infinitely better than his and if it was a question between you or him, Peter would choose to die every single time. You shouldn’t even be in this room right now, he thought to himself bitterly. A part of him desperately wanted to be there for you, to greet you with a smile and some stupid joke when you woke in the morning, but an overwhelming part of him knew that everything would just get so much worse. He couldn’t keep delaying the inevitable. Peter was done making mistakes, and that meant he couldn’t slip up and get comfortable the way he did earlier. And so he did the one thing he could.

He got up and walked out of the hospital room, refusing to look back. It’s better this way, Peter told himself.

 

***

 

The next time you woke up, you were feeling a million times better. The lights still felt too bright and the hospital bed definitely didn’t do your back any favors, but you no longer felt like you’d been hit by a train — or well, a giant blast of deadly magic. You blinked the sleep out of your eyes and turned to the armchair where Peter had been before you dozed off, only to find Stiles in his place. You furrowed your brow in confusion, lips forming into a small pout. 

Wow,” Stiles dramatically raised his eyebrows as he leaned forward, elbows resting on his knees. “I don’t think anyone’s ever been that disappointed to see me before. Not even that one time Argent called Derek for backup and I was the only one that showed up.”

You let out a halfhearted laugh. “Sorry Stiles, I just thought Peter was still going to be here.”

“Hey,” Stiles started seriously, “I, too, was a scary, psychopathic, mass murderer at one point in my life. Now I’m no Peter Hale...but I’m not too far off.” 

Your forehead creased in genuine confusion. “I don’t know if I should laugh, hug you, or yell at you, Stilinski. That was at least six different levels of fucked up.”

“Then I guess I really am Peter Hale,” Stiles shrugged nonchalantly, leaning back in his chair. That got a laugh out of you. 

“Alright, alright,” You giggled, forcing yourself to settle back into some seriousness. “Time to fill me in, Stiles. What exactly happened after I knocked out?”

“After you uh,” Stiles cleared his throat,” ...went down, Peter took out the witch and once those assholes realized they didn’t have their magical steroids anymore, they were quick to retreat with their tails between their legs. Derek thinks that’s the last we’ll see of them.”

“I really hope so. That is not something I want to go through again,” You sighed. “What about the rest of the pack? Where is everyone?” What you really wanted to know was where was Peter? but you knew Stiles would never let you hear the end of it. You figured something important came up — he would never leave you hanging for no reason. 

“There were a couple of bad injuries on our side. Scott, Malia, and Derek got the worst of it, but everyone’s at the loft, taking a minute to heal up. We can actually head up there and meet them after Melissa gives you the okay to get out of here.”

“Speaking of which,” Melissa smiled, entering the room with her clipboard in hand. “How’re you feeling, sweetheart?

“Much better, actually!” You grinned, sitting up with ease.

Melissa approached the foot of your bed, pulling out a pen as she began her list of questions. “Any pain or aches?”

“Nope.” You popped the ‘p’, eager to be on your way.

“How’s the bruising?” 

“Good question,” You answered thoughtfully, having not yet checked up on it. You peeked down the front of your hospital gown and just as you suspected, there was not a single bruise to be found. “Completely healed.”

Melissa shook her head in wonder. “I can barely get used to the idea of werewolves healing within a matter of days, but all that damage completely erased overnight? As if it never even happened?  I can barely comprehend it.”

“Yeah, y/n,” Stiles leaned forward in the armchair and began gesturing animatedly, “I don’t want to freak you out or anything, but it was really bad, like really truly horrible and-”

“Stiles,” Melissa sighed, waving her clipboard in exasperation, “I think she gets it.”

“Right, sorry,” Stiles apologized meekly, retreating into the plush backing of the chair.

You waved it off, shrugging nonchalantly. “I always heal. It’s a phoenix thing.”

Melissa took a step closer to you, giving you her best Mom look. “Well, don’t let that stop you from being careful, healing powers or not, you have to be cautious.”

“I will, I will,” You agreed hastily. “Am I good to go?”

“Yes, please, when can we get out of here? I bet there’s tons of food at the loft and I’m starving,” Stiles jumped in. 

The corner of Melissa’s mouth quirked into a smile at both of your eagerness. “Just sign here and you kiddos can be on your way.” 

You hastily scribbled in your signature as Stiles dropped a bag of fresh clothes on the bed. “Peter brought you some stuff last night. I’ll wait outside while you get changed and stuff.”

You agreed and Stiles made his way out of the room. You had felt a slight — okay huge — tug of disappoint when Peter hadn’t kept his promise to be there when you woke up, but this had your heart fluttering and you broke out into an uncontrollable grin. Not only had he packed your favorite shirt along with your most comfortable pair of sweats, but he made sure to throw in your toothbrush and other essentials, including a Poptart in case you were hungry. This was not your standard I-should-bring-her-a-change-of-clothes type of situation — no, this was a full on Peter Hale care package. Who knew a freaking Poptart would have you falling even more in love with him?

 

***

 

Stiles drove the you to the loft, teasing you the entire way about Peter’s care package, only relenting when you told him wouldn’t share your Poptart if he kept it up. That had been the end of the teasing, but you’d be lying if you said you weren’t thinking about how utterly kind Peter had been since last night. You and Peter were close, and you might even dare to call him one of your best friends. You were the one person whose call he would always take, whether it be to vent about something, or just because you were bored. You were the one who he would always joke around with — and not in the sarcastic biting way Stiles and Isaac often seemed to be on the receiving end of. He always took you seriously, asked for you advice in matters, and made sure you were heard in pack meetings. You had never seen the man let his guard down or show affection unless it was directed at you and all of that had to mean something. Maybe he was just stressed because I was hurt, you pondered. But then you were hit with flashbacks of Peter holding your hand and stroking your hair the night before, and that doubt dissipated as quickly as it had arrived. 

“Earth to y/n,” Stiles waved a hand in your face. You snapped out of your thoughts, realizing you had arrived at the loft. 

“Sorry, just zoned out a bit there,” You looked down, trying to calm your anxiety when you realized you’d soon be facing Peter. 

Stiles worriedly looked into your eyes, tilting your chin up to better observe you. “You sure you don’t still have a concussion or something? You seem a little out of it.”

“Yes, Stiles.” You laughed, gently pushing his hands away. “I’m fine, now let’s get inside. I don’t know about you, but half a Poptart wasn’t nearly enough for me and I’m sure there’s food inside.

“Yeah, sure.” Stiles scoffed, unbuckling his seatbelt and stepping out of the car, “Assuming the wolves even left any for us. They eat like, well…like literal wolves.”

“Bold of you to assume they would ever forget to leave leftovers for their favorite pack member,” you replied matter-of-factly. 

Stiles put his hands over his heart, grinning. “Aww, you really think I’m the favorite? I mean I’m not surprised, Derek’s literally in love with me and I mean who can even resist-”

“I was talking about me, dumbass,” You giggled cutting him off and walking up the steps. Stiles nudged your arm pretending to be offended, making you laugh even louder. 

“Okay, okay fine,” You relented, pausing to turn to Stiles when you reached the door. “How about we take a poll? Loser pays for lunch next time we hang out.”

“It’s a deal, y/n/n,” Stiles agreed, throwing the door open with a mischievous glint in his eye.

“Hi everyone, we’re home!” Stiles announced in a sing-song voice. “Also, who’s your favorite? Me or y/n?” 

Isaac, Kira, Malia, Scott, Lydia, and Derek flooded the room and all — except Derek — chimed in with your name in answer. You grinned at Stiles in victory.

“Scott! My own brother betrayed me!” Stiles grasped his chest dramatically pretending to stagger backward. He righted himself and solemnly looked Derek in the eye. “Thank you, Sourwolf, for being the only loyal person in this room.” Derek lovingly rolled his eyes at Stiles, pulling him into a hug while you were bombarded with hugs and questions from the rest of the pack. Through it all, you did notice you had yet to see Peter. Maybe he’s still on his way, you told yourself.

After many hugs and many, many reassurances that you were in fact completely fine, you all finally settled down in the living room.

“Glad to have you back, y/n,” Derek said, handing you a plate of food as well as a bottle of water. 

You accepted the plate of food excitedly, nearly drooling at the sight of it. “Thanks, Der. You’re literally the best Alpha.”

“I beg to differ. I’m your boyfriend, don’t I get special treatment?” Stiles joked, poking Derek’s side and making the man jump.

Derek raised an eyebrow at the younger man. “I’m sorry, were you the one that almost died last night?”

“Fair point,” Stiles shrugged, walking off to the kitchen to make his own plate. 

“Okay, guys come on — it wasn’t that bad,” You insisted, taking a step back. 

“Actually, it was that bad.” You spun around from where the words had been spoken and found yourself face to face with Peter himself. You instantly felt your cheeks heat up, completely unprepared to only be separated from the man by a few inches. 

“Peter, really, I’m fine-” 

“Can I talk to you?” Peter glanced at the pack, all of whom were watching in barely concealed curiosity. “Privately.” You nodded and silently followed Peter back outside. For a couple minutes you walked in tense silence. You were going crazy trying to predict what Peter could possibly say to you, but knew he wouldn’t say a word until he was sure the pack was out of earshot. Eventually you two came to an abrupt stop. Peter spun around to face you, but refused to look you in the eyes. He looked conflicted and distant. 

“Peter,” You took a step closer to him, “you’re kinda freaking me out here. What’s going on?”

“You have to stop.” the words were cold, completely devoid of the warmth Peter usually had when he spoke to you. 

“Stop,” You echoed in question. “Care to elaborate?” 

“Don’t play dumb, y/n,” Peter snapped harshly, eyes flashing in anger. You stepped back in shock. Peter was known to be easily annoyed and even aggressive at times, but he had never been that way to you before and it was jarring to see him that way. 

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. If you have something to say then say it,” You challenged, gritting your teeth. This is not the conversation you thought Peter wanted to have and the hurt and confusion you were feeling was quickly turning into anger. 

“Your little crush on me? It has to end. Now. Before you go try and get yourself killed again.” You were not ready to hear that at all. Peter looked you dead in the eyes, challenging you to deny it. 

“It-It’s not, I don’t have,” You stammered, stepping back in an attempt to put more distance in between the two of you. You took a deep breath, trying to steady yourself. “I don’t have a crush on you. I saved you because you’re my best friend, because you’re pack .”

Peter scoffed, turning his back to you and taking a couple steps away from you. “y/n, don’t make this harder than it has to be.”

“I’m not lying!” You shouted in frustration, taking several steps towards him. “I would’ve done it for any member of the pack. I didn’t have any ulterior motives by saving your life!”

“You could have died!” Peter spun around to face you again, losing his careful composure as the anger began to bleed into his voice. “And for what? Because you’re in love with me? ” The words were accusatory, as if caring for this man had been some shameful deed. You felt like all the air had been sucked out of the atmosphere and you were in a nightmare you couldn’t wake up from. Peter was being cruel in a way you could have never imagined, and it was breaking your heart. 

You fought to keep the tears back. “I could take it. Magic like that would’ve killed any werewolf, but I had a better chance of surviving. It was an easy choice, and I’d do it again. For any member of my pack. I don’t know why you’re making this into such a big deal. If this is some twisted way of saying you’re worried about me then you have to see that I’m fine. I’m completely healed. Not even a scratch.”

“Are you really going to act like that your healing ability is the only reason you did this?” Peter crossed his arms.

“Yes.” You looked him in the eye defiantly. 

“Prove it. You can’t lie to me, I can hear your heartbeat.”

You shut your eyes, pinching the bridge of your nose. “Peter, this is so stupid. We’re adults-”

“Humor me.”

“You’re an asshole, you know that?” You said, finally unable to hold back the tears.

“That’s a lie,” Peter said softly. For the first time in this disaster of a conversation, Peter had started to feel familiar again. The anger from his eyes was gone, his agitated expression had been smoothed away. He looked and sounded like your Peter again and for some reason that made the tears come faster. 

“I’m sorry, y/n/n,” Peter took a step forward, hugging you. You pushed away, not wanting any kindness after that shitshow but he held you tight. You knew that if you wanted to you could easily break away from him, but you didn’t. When you stopped fighting him, he rubbed your back soothingly and you were more confused than ever. Peter’s drastic changes in attitude was giving you whiplash.

“Why are you doing this?” You whispered into his neck. Peter shivered, suddenly letting you go, looking guilt ridden and confused.

“I can’t do this.” He said, more to himself than you and began to make the trek back to the loft. 

You didn’t move, watching his retreating figure, the realization finally dawning on you. “You have feelings for me…don’t you?” Peter stopped in his tracks but didn’t respond. 

“So, what? You’re scared?” You pushed on as you walked right up to Peter, who was still unmoving. “Because that’s absolute bullshit, and you know it.”

For the longest moment Peter was silent, and you knew you hit a nerve. Finally he turned to look at you. “Why would I ever love you?” 

In the last ten minutes Peter had you on a roller coaster of emotions and this drop was the most sudden. It had felt like a punch to the gut that had you reeling. After you got over the initial hurt, you realized he was being too cold, too harsh. The Peter you knew would never act this way...but Peter from when you first met him might. 

“Why does this feeling like you’re trying to hurt me? You have never been this cruel, Peter! I know there’s something between us. How do you explain last night at the hospital, or the care package from this morning, or late night phone calls that go on for hours until I fall asleep to the sound of your voice? What about the thousands of other moments we’ve had that have always felt like more?” You shut your eyes pinching the bridge of your nose. 

“Stop trying to make me fit into this fantasy.” Peter sounded more annoyed than anything but you forced yourself to ignore your heart breaking, to recognize that this is Peter’s fucked up trauma making an ill timed appearance. 

“I guess we’ll take a page out of your book then.” Peter looked at you in confusion, before the realization dawned on his face. “You’re not the only one with supernatural hearing.”

Peter seemed to steel himself for a moment. He took a deep breath and turned to you. He had completely wiped his face of any emotion, but he couldn’t hide the sadness in his eyes. You knew he would try, but you also knew this facade was moments from falling apart.  

“I don’t love you. Not now, and not ever.” You felt tears sting your eyes at the how steady his voice was,  but ignored it in order to focus on listening to his heartbeat. Both of you seemed to hold your breath as you strained your hearing.

“I-I can’t hear anything,” You looked up at Peter with panic filled eyes. 

“What do you mean?” Peter asked, his voice laced with concern. 

You closed your eyes, steadied your breathing, and listened. You listened for cars driving down the nearby highway, for birds chirping, for trees swaying in the breeze, for Peter’s heartbeat. For your own heartbeat. All you could hear was your uneven breathing. You heard the dirt crunching underneath Peter’s boot as he took a step closer to you, resting a hand on your shoulder. You shook him off, and searched for the feeling of fire in your veins. You willed it to come forward, to bring the heat to your fingertips. Nothing happened. 

You looked at your hands in disbelief, tears welling in your eyes for a completely different reason this time. You looked up at Peter, not even attempting to shield the fear in your face. “I lost my powers.”

“No, no, no, that’s not possible, that’s-this is exactly what I didn’t want to happen-”

You cut Peter off with a bitter laugh. “Why? Because you care about me?”

“y/n, this is hardly the time, we need to get you to Deaton so we can figure this out,” Peter reasoned, instantly reverting to the gentle version of him that you recognized. He attempted to steer you back towards the loft but you pulled away from him. 

“You don’t get to drag me to the middle of the woods and pull this crap and decide when it’s over. I want the truth. And if I can’t listen for it then Scott will. He would never lie to me.” 

In truth, you couldn’t deal with the idea of permanently losing your powers and would much rather put off Deaton’s diagnosis as long as possible. If that meant choosing to have Peter shatter your heart more than he already had, then so be it. 

Peter could see the stubborn set of your jaw, and knew nothing he said would change your mind and so he agreed. You started the walk back to the loft in silence, Peter trailing behind you.

 

***

 

Peter felt nauseous from the guilt that seemed to expand throughout his body with every beat of his heart. All he wanted was for you to be safe and happy, but he had caused you so much pain. He had been cruel to you in a way that made him sick, had practically heard your heart break in two. He absolutely hated himself for it. Not only did you almost lose your life for him, but now you had lost your powers and Peter felt that it was undeniably his fault. If things had gone the way they were intended to, then the witch would have gotten him and he was sure he would have deserved it. 

Peter didn’t know if he could ever atone for any of it. Definitely not the way he’d made you cry. When you were upset, you rarely let it show. You held your head high and you kept your composure. So Peter couldn’t even begin to explain how he felt when you looked at him, face full of sadness and eyes shining, tears silently trailing your cheekbone. He didn’t think he could ever forget the way you looked at him when he said he didn’t love you. Part of him wanted to take it all back, to give you the answer he so desperately wished he could. Of course he loved you, how could anyone not?

Peter wanted to be with you as much as he wanted to breathe. You made him a better man, happier than he’s been in years, and for the first time after the fire he felt safe . Just being near you calmed him in a way he barely even understood, but all the love in Peter’s heart could not make up for the fact that he was dangerous. He had committed more betrayals and atrocities he cared to admit with enemies at every corner. Maybe Peter was a good person at one point in his life, but he didn’t feel the same could be said anymore. And yet you were willing to die for him and in Beacon Hills he knew you’d get the opportunity more than once. He didn’t know if you would heal every time and he certainly didn’t want to be selfish enough to risk it. If this was how Peter could love you then so be it. He would rather you be safe and hate him and that meant he couldn’t leave any room for doubt. You were the most understanding and forgiving person he had ever met and there was no room for that. So he forced himself to be as harsh as possible, the words feeling like acid on his tongue.

Peter only hoped that it meant something — that he could keep you safe. Safe from ever putting yourself in harm’s way for him again, but also from the undeserving mess he was. All that was left was to make sure Scott would understand and help him lie. 

 

***

 

After ten minutes of heavy silence, you both finally reached the loft. You began to make you way up the steps, but Peter gently grabbed your arm to stop you. 

“Let me get Scott,” Peter offered softly, “We don’t have to make this a scene in front of the whole pack.” 

“I’m surprised you would even care to be so kind,” You stated dryly, eyes downcast as you refused to look at him. 

“y/n, I care about you. You’re my closest friend. My family. Nothing has changed in that regard.” Peter’s eyes searched yours for some sign of acceptance. “I know you can’t hear my heartbeat but it’s true. I care for you deeply, even if it can’t be the way you want me to.”

You tried desperately to hear any hint of a lie in Peter’s words, but found nothing. It didn’t matter if you couldn’t hear his heartbeat. In that moment, Peter’s entire being radiated sincerity. 

“Fuck, that witch must’ve really messed me up, huh,” You huffed, sitting down on the step, dropping your head in your hands. “I mean, I guess I wasn’t ready for rejection, but who knew I’d take it that badly?” 

Peter sat down next to you, a hint of a sad smile on the corner of his lips. “To be fair, I didn’t have to be such an ass about it.”

“That too,” You laughed, feeling tears well up in your eyes. 

“I’m sorry,” Peter pulled you into his arms and held you tight, “I’m so sorry y/n/n, I wish it didn’t have to be this way.” Even after all of that, just being in Peter’s arms instantly calmed you down and made you feel a thousand times better. But these kind of gestures had led to these feelings in the first place. It was just too much to feel like Peter loved you, when you knew that was so far from the truth.

You reluctantly pulled away from him. “I need some space, Peter. I’m not… I’m not mad at you, but I need to be alone for a while. I can’t be around the pack right now either. I’m going to see Deaton about the whole powers thing, but I would appreciate if you would fill them in for me.”

“Alright,” Peter agreed, “But didn’t Stiles drive you here?”

“Shit, I completely forgot.” You whispered, mentally kicking you as you realized you couldn’t leave by yourself.

Peter reached into his pocket and tossed you his keys. You realized too late and jerked your arm out in a poor attempt to catch them, but they had already landed on the ground. 

“Turns out I have horrible hand-eye coordination without my powers.” You attempted to keep your voice light-hearted but your grim disappointment bled into it despite your best efforts. 

“I’m sure it’s just temporary,” Peter kneeled down to pick up the keys and dropped them in your palms. “Go see Deaton. He can fix this.”

You looked down at the keys in your grasp. The last thing you wanted was to take Peter’s car but you also couldn’t deal with Stiles’ inability to sit quietly and not ask questions, which didn’t leave you with much of a choice. After a long pause, Peter spoke up. 

“y/n, just take the damn car. I doubt you need Stiles talking your ear off right now,” He sighed, reading your mind. “I’ll be by to pick it up later tonight. I promise you won’t even know that I’m there.” 

You nodded, letting out a small thank you and headed back to Peter’s car. It was expensive and beautiful -- an accurate reflection of Peter himself. Normally you would’ve been thrilled that he let you drive it, but right now he was the last thing you wanted to think about. As soon as you got in the driver’s seat you realized just how hard that would be. Peter’s car smelled like his cologne, which was usually the first thing that alerted you of his presence. At least, it was when you still had your powers, but you didn’t need heightened senses to feel overwhelmed by the scent. It was almost as if he was right next to you. 

You closed your eyes and for a moment you pretended that today never happened. You went back to a fonder memory. One where Peter had picked you up to go out for lunch and you both sang at the top of your lungs as Peter drove down an empty highway just a little too fast, the wind coming in from the rolled down windows and tousling your hair. Soon enough, you felt tears burning your eyes and a lump form in your throat. You held yourself together pretty well up until now, but now that you were alone you could finally be a bit more vulnerable. You were replaying his words over and over again, sure you would never forget them and found yourself sobbing into the steering wheel. It wasn’t so much the fact that Peter didn’t love you, but more so about how adamant he’d been about it. Peter’s insistence that you had imagined everything and how he would never feel that way broke your heart in a way you didn’t even know was possible.  

Logically, you knew you had been through much worse. You had faced the alpha pack, ghost riders, covens, literal monsters and you were still standing. The fear from those battles and the losses they too often came with had put your heart through more pain than most people would ever experience in a lifetime. But this was a different kind of pain. Peter wasn’t your first rejection. Romantic partners had come and gone and you were no stranger to the ups and downs that were a part of love. Maybe it was the fact that he was your best friend, or that you felt you had lost something precious before you even really had it. Combine that with the loss of your powers and you started to ease up on yourself. Of course you were a mess, everything you thought was a constant in your life had just shifted in a way you were not at all prepared for. Breaking down in Peter’s car was not going to make the highlight reel of your life, but you couldn’t deny that you felt better.

Having somewhat processed things, you felt the tears come to a stop, your breathing hitching as it slowly started to even out. You straightened up, pulling down the visor and checking your reflection in the small mirror. You took a deep breath and sat up a bit straighter, smoothing your hair down, and carefully wiping the smudged mascara from under your eyes. Once you were convinced that you didn’t look someone who just had a breakdown, you put the car in drive and headed off to Deaton’s with a determination to fix what you could. 


***

“I’ve run all the tests, but I’m not seeing anything out of the ordinary Miss y/l/n,” Deaton squinted as he flipped through some papers. “When did you say you first noticed the lack of your powers?”

“Right before I came here, I was talking to Peter and that’s when I realized I couldn’t hear things the way I used to. I tried calling the flames but I didn’t feel anything. It’s like…” You swallowed, trying to get past the lump in your throat, “It’s like it was never even there to begin with.”

“When was the last time you recall having your powers?”

You scrunched your nose, trying to recall the moment you had woken up. “I remember in the hospital I could still hear everything; monitors going off down the hall, the nurses talking in the cafeteria a floor up from me. After that, I went to the loft with Stiles to see the pack and I don’t remember feeling any different throughout the rest of the day. One second everything was normal and then it just wasn’t.”

“That is strange,” Deaton agreed. “All of my tests have proven to be negative in regards to any residual magic in your system so I have no reason to believe the magic you were hit with is still affecting you. My best guess is that this is something psychological.”

“So I’m doing this to myself?” You scoffed, with a laugh that was only slightly bitter. “Self sabotage seems to be my forte.”

Deaton smiled sadly, noticing the hurt undertone of your voice. “Often times, when we are overwhelmed our body undergoes sensory overload. For the average human, this can be extremely disorienting, but for a supernatural being it can be excruciating. As part phoenix, your most powerful ability has been the ability to heal. It is possible your healing factor sensed you were in distress and has caused your powers to become dormant in an attempt to protect you.”

“Is there anyway to interrupt the healing factor? I’m physically in perfect health, and not having my powers is a huge source of distress — getting them back would improve the situation,” You questioned, excitement all over your face once you realized you may be able to fix this. 

Deaton shook his head and the hope all but vanished from your eyes. “Unfortunately, while the healing process can be induced, it cannot be stopped.” 

“So, how long do I have to wait this out? What can I do?”

“I’m afraid that’s up to you. Subconsciously you have created a block, thereby cutting off access to your abilities. You must first identify why you felt the need to raise these protective measures and then you must rectify the issue.” You thought back to what traumatic thing might’ve happened to cause this shitshow and mentally smacked yourself when you had come to the obvious answer. You grimaced, of course this all circled back to Peter. Deaton mistook your expression for frustration.

“I know this isn’t easy y/n, but I assure you this isn’t permanent. Even invisible injuries need time to heal.” You looked up at the wise man and nodded.

“Thanks, doc. I’ll let you know if anything changes,” you promised. 

“Take care, Miss y/l/n.” Deaton said and sent you on your way. 

 

***

 

You were laying in bed, watching an old episode of your favorite show in an attempt to get your mind off everything when your phone buzzed with a text from Derek. 

 

                                             Sourwolf: Peter filled us in on the situation. How are you feeling? Did Deaton figure 

                                                               anything out?

 

You contemplated telling Derek the truth; that Peter had broken your heart and your healing factor figured it was life threatening enough to shut down your powers for an indefinite amount of time. After all, he was your Alpha — he would support you without hesitation. Yet at the same time, it felt a little humiliating to be so deeply affected by something as ordinary as heartbreak.

 

                                             You: I’m okay. Turns out I’ve still got some residual magical from last night :( Deaton’s 

                                                       not sure when it’ll pass but it’s not permanent. 

 

It’s not a complete lie, you told yourself trying to push away the guilt. The important part was that you would eventually get your powers back and as far as you were concerned, the specifics weren’t significant. 

 

                                             Sourwolf: Hang in there y/n/n. I remember feeling so lost when I lost my powers for a 

                                                               while when I was transitioning to my full wolf form. Peter mentioned you wanted to be 

                                                               alone for a while but the pack is here for you when you’re ready :)

 

                                             You: Thanks, Der  <3 

 

You set your phone down and flopped back on your bed with a deep sigh, feeling a little more content with the knowledge that the pack had your back. It wasn’t a surprise, but it felt nice to hear nonetheless. You began to drift off to sleep when you heard your doorbell ring, the sudden noise causing you to jolt up in surprise. You made your way to the door, opening it only to find a remorseful looking Peter on your doorstep. The mere sight of him made the ache in your chest blossom tenfold. 

“Hey,” your voice was full of softness in a way that was reserved just for Peter. 

“Hey,” Peter repeated in the same gentle tone. For a moment he just stared at you, a mixture of emotions on his face that you couldn’t quite make out  before he adopted a neutral expression. “I know I said you wouldn’t know I was here, but I can’t exactly leave without the keys.”

You waved off his apologies. “It’s fine, Peter. Why don’t you come in while I get them?” 

Peter hesitated, looking unsure, starting to make excuses about not wanting to impose. 

“I know I said I wanted space, but I’m not going to purposefully avoid you,” You chuckled. Your light tone put Peter at ease and he smiled to himself, only looking slightly flustered as he came in, awkwardly shutting the door behind him. 

“I think I left them upstairs, I’ll just be a minute,” You said and then made your way to your room. As your searched your room for the keys you had to admit you were quite impressed with how you handled that situation. Did being around Peter make you feel like you were dying inside? Sure, but was that completely obvious? You didn’t think so, and you gave yourself a pat on the back for it. Maybe you’d get your powers back sooner than you thought. You finally found the keys which had fallen off your bed onto the floor. As you approached Peter, you saw that he was intently looking at a photo frame. 

“This was a fun day,” He looked up, trading you the frame as you handed him his keys. It was from a picnic the pack had hosted last year. Lydia had snapped a picture of Peter sitting down with his back against a tree, one hand holding a book, and the other holding you close as you had fallen asleep curled into his side. 

“Yeah, it really was,” You agreed, your voice thick with emotion. That picture had always reminded you of fond memories that brought a warm grin to your face, but now it felt bittersweet.

“I should go,” Peter looked down, avoiding your gaze. 

“Yeah okay,” You agreed, walking him to the door. “Drive safe.” 

Peter walked to his car, as you watched from the doorway. Before getting in the driver’s side he stopped and turned back to look at you. You held his gaze, watched as his opened his mouth as if to say something before changing his mind and wordlessly getting into his car and driving away. You shut the door feeling numb, walking back to your room. You collapsed on your bed feeling like the sadness might swallow you whole. You wished he had just let things be instead of forcing you two to acknowledge your feelings. You wished nothing had changed, but it was too late and this was reality you had to adjust to. One where you and Peter had to tiptoe around each other and overthink every gesture of kindness or affection. This reality sucks , you thought. You sighed, putting in your headphones and letting the music soothe you to sleep. 

 

***

 

It had been over a month since you lost your powers. You hadn’t made any progress and the pack was starting to worry. They were too afraid to bring it up, knowing you were having a hard time with it as it was. You used to love training sessions but they had quickly become something you dreaded. Before, training sessions allowed you to expend some much needed energy, work through your problems by working out, all while being surrounded by the people you loved. Now, everyone was too afraid of hurting you. At first, they had just sparred with you the way the human members of the pack did, but Isaac misjudged his hit and landed a blow on your ribs that left a splotchy purple bruise that took two weeks to heal. Ever since then, everyone was too afraid of accidentally hurting you, opting to treat you like glass instead. You felt weak and frustrated and the pack was all too aware of the fact. Knowing that time was the only thing that could heal you, they did their best to support you but to be honest, you were starting to feel suffocated by their concern and pity. 

After far too many awkward encounters, Peter and you had finally found a delicate balance. You two made small talk and did your best to never be alone together. It was easier to have Stiles or Kira fill the gaps in conversation, to pretend that you and Peter were simply getting to know each other for the first time rather than admit you no longer knew how to be friends. It worked wonderfully for a while. While you still ached for Peter in a way you couldn’t describe, you were no longer on the verge of tears every time you looked at him for a second too long. Eventually, it was no longer enough. Peter was becoming more and more withdrawn with each passing day and you couldn’t figure out what you had done to push him away. He was the one that said nothing had changed, that you were his family, and yet he was pulling away from you. 

You were currently at movie night with the pack and Peter had yet to arrive. You wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t come at all in an effort to avoid you. You pulled your knees to your chest, feeling your chest tighten with anxiety and sadness. You were so tired of feeling like this — you were always second guessing what was or wasn’t enough around your former best friend or if you were too much of a nuisance by carrying these feelings around, so much so that you couldn’t even use your powers. You felt useless to the pack, knowing that if something were to happen you’d be of no help. Stiles wasn’t the best fighter but he always came up with a plan, and when push came to shove he knew how to wield his baseball bat in a fight. But if your training sessions were anything to go by, you could barely hold your own for a few minutes.  

“Hey y/n/n, is everything okay?” You jumped at Scott’s voice, not having realized he’d come to sit next to you. Ever since you lost your heightened senses the pack was constantly catching you off guard. “Sorry, didn’t meant to scare you.”

“It’s okay. I’m okay,” You answered halfheartedly, not even bothering to look Scott in the eyes. 

“y/n…I know you’ve been having a tough time, but I’m here for you. We all are. You just have to talk to us,” Scott looked at you pleadingly, taking one of your hands into his own.

“I’m just tired of this,” you whispered, voice breaking. 

“Come here,” Scott held out his arm and you leaning into his side, squeezing your eyes shut to prevent any tears from escaping. “It’s okay to be sad and to be frustrated. You’re going through a lot.” You sniffled as Scott rubbed your back comfortingly. 

“How about we talk a quick walk? I think the fresh air would do us some good,” Scott suggested. 

“Okay,” You agreed, letting Scott pull you up from the ground. You made your way outside, a pleasant breeze brushing your cheek. You closed your eyes and breathed in the forest air, feeling a little more at peace. For a while you and Scott walked in silence. You came across a small creek and sat down on the grass, patting the space next to you. Scott followed your lead and sat down, looking at you expectantly. 

You took a deep breath, keeping your eyes trained on the water. “I haven’t been completely honest. There’s no residual magic.”

“Wait what? But your powers- what happened?” Scott asked, bewilderment all over his face. 

“It’s stupid,” You hid your face in your hands. “After I took that hit for Peter, he accused me of doing it because I loved him. And I tried to deny it but he knew I was lying, and long story short he didn’t feel the same way. He made it very clear that I was wrong to expect he would react any other way. Turns out if you suck at handling rejection like me, you block out your powers in order to heal and protect. So until I get over Peter, I’m just…broken.” 

Scott immediately hugged you. “y/n, that’s not stupid and you are not broken.” He pulled away to look at you. “When Allison broke up with me, I was such a mess. I still had my powers but I was barely in control of them. I almost killed Jackson like, four times.”

You laughed, swiping away stray tears that had rolled down your face. 

“Seriously though,” Scott continued, “heartbreak is no joke. It’s one of the worst pains in the world. I know that’s hard to believe considering all of the injuries we’ve faced, but I can heal from a stab wound in a couple of days. It took me years to get over Allison, and even though I’m happy with Kira, I will always love Allison. I will miss her for the rest of my life. This,” Scott placed a hand over his hand, “this heals differently. There’s no science to it or any definitive timeline and as much as you might want to, you can’t rush it. So take your time with it y/n/n.”

“Okay Scotty,” You looked at him, giving him a small smile, reaching for another hug. “I kinda feel stupid for keeping this to myself for so long. If I had known you were so good at this I would’ve dragged you out here much sooner,” You said, your voice muffled against his shoulder. You felt Scott’s chest rumble with laughter as he hugged you tighter. 

“C’mon, let’s head back. Malia is probably pissed that we’re holding up movie night.” Scott stood up, extending his hand to you. You agreed, taking his hand to pull yourself up. The walk back had you feeling more like yourself. You and Scott were joking around and you found yourself feeling optimistic for the first time in a while. However, like all good things, it didn’t last very long. 

“y/n, get behind me,” Scott grabbed you, moving so he was protectively standing in front of you. He had shifted and his claws were out, ready to strike. 

“Scott, I-I can’t hear anything, what’s going,” You asked, feeling waves of blind panic. 

“There are two werewolves from the rival pack nearby.” Scott growled threateningly, bristling as he scanned the woods in front of you, trying to pinpoint their location. This time you heard the responding growls, and you feel your hair stand on end as you realized you were completely screwed. Suddenly, one of the wolves jumped out from behind the trees, tackling Scott. They went tumbling sideways, their roars growing in volume. The second one emerged, slowly making his way towards you.

“Not so strong anymore, are you?” The wolf snarled. You felt yourself stiffen up with fear but fell into a defensive stance, trying to figure out your best move. 

“How about you come and find out,” You threatened. The wolf roared and ran at you,  swiping his claws at your face. You ducked, barely avoiding the blow. He twisted around, lunging at you again. You tried to sidestep the attack but he was too fast. You let out a scream as his claws dug deep into your side, feeling as if your insides had been shredded. You fell to the ground far too aware of the white hot pain spreading through your whole body. You anticipated the wolf to end it with a final blow and braced yourself, but the hit never came. Peter had come to your rescue, a murderous look in his eyes as his yanked the wolf away from you, slamming him into the ground. You could hear the fighting going on around you, but everything was starting to blend together. I’m bleeding out, you realized. 

You brought a shaking hand down to your side, trying to put pressure on the wound. The contact felt like a burn and you found yourself groaning in pain. The vicious feeling was all encompassing and you could feel yourself fading in and out, barely aware of Peter’s vicious growls as he fought off the wolf. Scott managed to get to you first, frantic with worry. 

“Shit y/n, hold on,” you faintly heard his voice. He gripped your forearm and you sighed with relief as he took your pain. Somehow you managed to hold onto consciousness long enough for Peter to rush to your side. 

He kneeled down next to you. “y/n, please, come on, talk to me. y/n, you can’t- you can’t die like this. Please. I’m sorry, I’m so sorry,” Peter was begging you to stay with him, taking as much of your pain as he could manage. You tried to say his name, to tell him it was okay, but your voice wasn’t cooperating. You gathered all the strength you could manage and brought a shaking hand up to wipe the tears from Peter’s cheek. I think I’m dying , you thought. You expected to be terrified when the moment came, but Peter was with you and you felt at peace. 

“No, no, no, you’re not dying, you’re going to be okay,” Peter stroked your cheek, moving your hair out of your face. You tried to hold on to consciousness, but it was getting harder by the minute. Surely, if you closed your eyes for a second it wouldn’t be the end of the world. 

“No, y/n, please wake up,” Peter begged, gently pulling you into his lap. “Please, I need you to heal, you just need to heal.” You knew you were dying but the warmth of Peter’s arms around you made you feel safe, as if you were just going to sleep. You could even feel the pain fading. You expected the world to quiet down as you reached the end of your journey, but instead everything seemed to be much more in focus. You could hear birds in the distance and the crunch of grass as Scott shifted. You could hear Peter’s heart racing so hard it must hurt. 

“Wait Peter, she’s healing!” Scott exclaimed, his grip on your hand tightening. 

“C’mon, sweetheart, open your eyes for me.” Peter’s voice was hopeful as you felt your strength coming back to you. You blinked, trying to adjust to the bright light, the world going in and out of focus until finally you were able to see Peter looking down on you. 

“Hey, Peter.” You tried to smile, but the effort of talking had you coughing and curling in on yourself in pain. 

“Hey, hi angel,” Peter’s eyes were brimming with tears as he smiled in relief. “Take it easy, you’ve still got a lot of healing to do.” 

You nodded weakly, shutting your eyes, and leaned against Peter’s chest. Overcome with exhaustion, you focused on the sound of Peter’s heartbeat to stay awake. You were vaguely aware of Peter gathering you in his arms and carrying you back to the loft.

“Peter, I can’t stay awake,” Your voice was small and weak and Peter’s heart was racing again despite knowing that you were healing. 

“It’s okay, I’ve got you y/n/n. You can rest now.” That was all you needed and you closed your eyes, instantly falling asleep.

 

***

 

 

The warmth of the sunlight on your face gently woke you from your restful slumber. You inhaled sharply, still blinking the sleep out of your eyes as you attempted to sit up. 

“Hey, hey. Slow down there,” Peter carefully pushed you back onto the bed. 

“This feels familiar,” You joked, the corner of your mouth twitching up in a small smile. You looked around, realizing you were not in a hospital room, but in the loft's guest bedroom. You shifted onto your side, tucking your hands underneath your cheek. “So what happened this time?”

“You and Scott were ambushed by some wolves from the rival pack. It wasn’t exactly planned — just wrong time, wrong place.” Peter explained. 

“Isn’t it always,” You scoffed, rolling your eyes. Peter chuckled, shaking his head. 

“Derek talked to the Alpha — well talk isn’t exactly the right word,” Peter shot you a mischievous grin, “but he made sure that they’re leaving Beacon Hills for good. So you’re safe now.”

“That’s good news,” You agreed softly. “Considering I don’t feel any pain, I either got my powers back or I’m on a shit ton of drugs.” 

Peter grinned, throwing his head back in laughter. You hadn’t seen him this happy in a long time and the warm glow you felt for him was a little warmer at the sight. 

“Yeah, yeah you did.” He said, not even attempting to conceal the happiness that graced his features at the thought. You pushed the blanket off of you and pulled up your shirt to see where you had been hit. The skin was fully healed, not even a shadow of a scar in the area. Peter gently laid a hand on the area, causing you to shiver in surprise. His thumb rubbed the spot soothingly and you were at a complete loss for words at his sudden affection. Peter’s gaze was focused on your bare skin, a look on his face you couldn’t quite recognize. 

“You know,” Peter’s spoke, voice so quiet you barely picked it up, “you’d think I wouldn’t be surprised at how fast you heal, considering I’ve been surrounded with werewolves my whole life. But this always amazes me. A few hours ago I thought you were going to die in my arms, and now it’s like it never happened.”

“It’s a-”

“Phoenix thing,” You both said simultaneously. 

“I know,” Peter laughed softly. “I know you’re practically the strongest one here. I know you can heal from almost anything. But I still worry about you in a way that makes my heart feel like it’s going to stop at any moment.” Peter finally looked up to meet your gaze. “I was an idiot before. I...I’m not one to admit when I’ve fucked up, but I don’t give a shit about my pride. Not in front of you.”

“Peter,” Your voice was thick with emotion. You sat up abruptly, unsure if you should get your hopes up or smother them right now before Peter could break your heart more than he already had. 

“y/n, I have to say this,” Peter took a hold of your hand, taking a deep breath as if to steady himself, his thumb brushing over your knuckles. “I thought I was protecting you. I thought that if I let myself be with you the way I so desperately wanted to, you would put yourself in danger for me. And if something were to happen to you, I don’t think I could ever forgive myself. I am the last person to be deserving of you. I have made so many horrible mistakes and it’s a miracle I’ve even been given the chance to become a better man.”

“You are a wonderful man,” You said fiercely, unable to keep the emotion out of your voice. 

“I will always be grateful for you being able to see me that way. I know I hurt you. I know I was selfish and wrong to make that decision for you. But I almost lost you yesterday and I’m done fighting this. I was such an idiot, but I-I need you. I love you, y/n.” Peter was full of certainty, unwavering as he declared his true feelings for you. You looked for any sign of hesitation but found none. 

“Say it again,” You asked Peter, your voice shaking. Peter nodded in understanding but he couldn’t hide the sadness in his eyes. He placed your hand on his heart and you closed your eyes, straining your ears when he finally spoke.

“I love you more than I’ve ever loved anything and I will regret hurting you for the rest of my life. If you let me, I want to be with you and I swear to be the man you deserve.” Peter’s voice was confident and unwavering. His heart beat steadily with every word he uttered. 

“You sure know how to make a girl cry,” You laughed, happy tears streaming down your face. Peter laughed, wiping the tears off your face.

“Is that a yes?” 

“Of course, Peter.” You squeezed his hand tight, unable to stop smiling. 

“Can I sit with you?” He asked, gesturing to the bed. You rolled your eyes, tugging on his hand until he stood up with an amused grin, sitting down on the bed in front you. You looked into his eyes, caressing his cheek. Peter closed his eyes, leaning into your touch. He brought his own hand up to cover yours, moving it so he could press his lips to your palm. You blushed at the soft gesture of intimacy.

“You know, you still haven’t said it back,” Peter said, breaking the silence. 

“What?” You tilted your head to the side in confusion. Peter laughed, and you found yourself thinking there wasn’t a better sound in the entire universe. 

“I love you.” He said simply. You smiled and crawled into Peter’s lap, a devilish grin crossing his face as his hands came around to rest on your hips. You placed your hands on his shoulders, trailing them up the sides of his neck and letting one hand cup his face, gently tilting up until his lips were a breath away from yours. Peter’s hold on your hip tightened and he looked up at you in anticipation.

Finally you closed the gap, practically melting into Peter as your lips met his. It was a messy kiss, one that was full of all the unsaid feelings that had been building up for longer than you could care to remember. Your hands were in Peter’s hair, fingers tangling in the brunette’s soft strands. Peter held you impossibly close to him, as if he was afraid this wasn’t real. He had spent so many nights dreaming of this that he could barely believe it was actually happening. 

You pulled away to catch your breath, looking Peter in the eyes. “I love you too,” You finally said. Peter grinned, capturing your lips in another kiss. He took his time with this one, assured that you weren’t going anywhere. It was long and slow, his lips moving against yours softly, pulling away to press smaller kisses against the corner of your mouth, your jaw, anywhere he could reach before coming back to your lips. You giggled against his mouth. 

“I never knew you could be so affectionate,” you whispered, fingers lightly scratching the nape of his neck. 

“I'm sorry angel, I can slow down if you’d like,” Peter said, pulling away to press kisses to your shoulder.

“No, no,” You answered quickly, “I don’t think that’ll be necessary.” You leaned back, pulling away just enough so you could look at Peter. “I could kiss you forever.”

“I can agree to that,” He smiled softly, looking at you in wonder. “I’m not entirely sure how I got so lucky.”

“You deserve this,” You leaned into him, burying your face in the crook of his neck and wrapping your arms around him. “You deserve to be happy.”

Peter hugged you back tightly, not sure how to express how much the words meant to him. 

“If you insist,” He said softly. 

“I do.”