It was pack night and Peter decided to follow the invitation even though he was aware he was only being invited because Scott McCall was incapable of seeing himself as anything but fair and Peter was technically pack.
He decided to go because in order to stay pack he had to have at least some small amount of regular interaction with the other pack members. And since it had been suspiciously quiet the last three weeks he hadn’t seen anybody but Stiles.
And Stiles, no matter how stupid it was for Scott to let that happen, wasn’t actually pack.
Peter didn’t understand it.
Stiles kept the pack together, he balanced everyone out, he was the one who mediated all discussions and made sure they got shit done.
He also was the one to most often come up with the actual plan and the one who did a large part of the research.
Not to mention Stiles was a magic prodigy.
Not that Scott or the others were actually aware of that.
Peter only knew because Stiles was borrowing progressively more challenging books on magic from him and they chatted about his improvements and the general topic of spellwork and other kinds magic.
At this point Peter would think hard and long before considering crossing Stiles.
That boy wasn’t a weak little boy anymore at all, he was from everything Peter knew and also could smell and otherwise sense one of the most skilled and versatile magic users in the area.
On the continent.
Possibly in the western hemisphere.
And none of the others knew. Not even Derek recognized that distinct smell of ozone on Stiles’ skin or the slight tickling one got at the nape when Stiles was close to you.
And it wasn’t even like Stiles was actively hiding anything.
He often suggested a magical solution only for somebody to say that might be a difficult spell to pull off and they should ask Deaton if it can be done.
If Stiles then told them he was certain he had seen a spell for that and could pull it off he was dismissed, often outright.
Neither Scott nor Derek believed Stiles had any actual abilities and the rest of the pack followed their lead on that assumption.
Sometimes Peter wanted to knock their heads together and tell them how blind and thick they were being but then he reminded himself it was not his decision to make.
It was Stiles’ life and his choice if he told them or not.
So, pack night.
They decided to watch “Save the Last Dance”, a movie all of them could agree was enjoyable - which was a small miracle.
Through the entire debate which movie to watch Peter waited for Stiles to join them, but he didn’t and it made him sadder than he had expected.
Sure, Stiles was the one person Peter actually liked without any reservations. And he might be the one person Peter even remotely looked forward to seeing. But it wasn’t like it had been that long.
Stiles had swung by Peter’s apartment four days ago.
And yet Peter started to feel more and more bummed out the later it got and the more obvious it became Stiles would probably not attend this evening.
He was even slightly worried Stiles might be sick, and that felt like a very strange thought, but he did not feel like asking Scott or somebody else why Stiles wasn’t there.
Maybe he should just text him?
Yeah, if he had to suffer through this he wanted to know why the only bearable person of the group wasn’t here to sooth his starting headache.
Peter: Any excuses why you aren’t here and preventing me from tearing your little friend’s throats out for shouting at each other about what movie to watch?
He placed the phone on the armrest of his chair and looked at the starting movie.
A few minutes later it vibrated with an incoming message.
Stiles: What do you mean?
Peter: [Picture of the TV screen and Erica’s and Isaac’s heads in front of him] Pack night.
It wasn’t like Stiles to miss a preplanned thing. Maybe he was really busy today and just had not immediately realized what Peter was talking about.
His phone vibrated again.
Stiles: WTF! Nobody TOLD ME!!!!
Peter: Scott probably forgot.
He saw the dots indicate Stiles was writing. Then they disappeared but no message was arriving on his end. The dots appeared again and disappeared once more.
The movie was all but forgotten to Peter. He was way too focused on how Stiles was doing.
He heard another phone vibrate with a message and was about to dismiss it when he saw Scott reach for his pocket.
It obviously could be coincidence but most people who might message Scott were present so it was not all that paranoid to assume it might be Stiles.
He watched the young werewolf read the message, look around for a moment and type a very short response while his heartbeat sped up.
It was really embarrassing how transparent their ‘Alpha’ was when he lied.
Peter’s phone announced another message moments later.
Stiles: take a picture of scott
Peter complied and sent a picture of Scott sitting between Allison and Derek, watching the movie.
Derek looked over and raised one eyebrow in an unspoken question.
Peter ignored him and proceeded to take a few selfies so his nephew could file this under him being as self absorbed as everyone thought he was.
He waited and was about to pay attention to the movie again when he got another message.
Peter looked at the words and tried to decide what they might mean.
Short, polite but unpersonal...the spark was probably losing his mind right now.
He contemplated to not get more involved than he already was but in the end he needed to know Stiles was ok.
Peter: Please let me know if you are freaking out.
He waited for Stiles to read the message, but he didn’t.
Maybe Peter should leave and go check on the younger man.
Stiles had sacrificed big parts of his life for Scott and the pack.
Being left out and actively lied to probably felt like a sledge hammer to his already brittle self-worth.
He could not deny how much contempt he felt for Scott right now.
Of course the others were complicit, not even questioning why Stiles wasn’t there, but Scott was supposed to be Stiles’ best friend.
Scott did not deserve someone as fierce, smart and loyal as the young spark.
It felt like ages but finally his phone buzzed again and he tried not to seem too hurried to see what it was.
Stiles: Am not
Stiles: Ixm mad but not surprised
Stiles: Idk what to do
Stiles: Why did h just lie to me like that
Peter: You just assume I know you messaged Scott?
Stiles: That’s a stupdi wuestion
Stiles: *stupid question
Stiles: Needed emphasizantment
Peter: That’s not a word.
Peter: Try again.
Peter: Three tries. I assume you are drunk?
Stiles: Your in no position t judge me I kno where u hav ur wolfsbane scotch asshle
Stiles’ spelling was giving him a headache but he was more concerned than frustrated.
Peter: Fair enough. Are you going to do something stupid?
Stiles: s killing a bottle of whiskey in ma shower and contemplating my life choices smthg stupid?
Peter: I can tell you, it isn’t all that smart.
Stiles: Careful zombiewolf somone could get the idea u might cared
That stung a little, but he supposed it wasn’t entirely unfair. Except for the fact Stiles was one of very few people he did actually care about.
Peter: I might
It took Stiles a while again to answer and all Peter got back when he did was one word.
That was it.
Peter got up and went to leave.
Scott cleared his throat and let his eyes flare red.
“Where are you off to so suddenly Peter?”
The older werewolf rolled his eyes as he shrugged into his jacket.
“I’ve spent enough time here to extend my pack subscription for another moon or so and now something more interesting has come up.”
Lydia gave him a cruel smile.
“You’ll be missed.”
He smiled back just as charmingly.
“I wish I could return that notion.”
It took him twenty god damn minutes to reach Stiles’ flat.
He rang the door and was glad when he heard footsteps coming to the door after a few moments.
When it was opened Stiles stood in front of him, still in shirt and sweatpants but soaking wet.
The young man’s eyes widened in surprise and Peter pushed him back into the flat.
He was intentionally stepping into Stiles’ space and staring at him challengingly.
“Still calling me a liar Stiles?” he murmured somewhere between worried and threatening.
He saw the young man’s adam’s apple move as he swallowed and heard the click of his throat, how his breathing stopped for a moment.
He pushed the apartment door shut with one hand without breaking eye contact and then took another step towards Stiles.
“Still think I don’t care?”
His eyes wandered over the wet clothes clinging to Stiles’ tall and lithe frame.
He reached out to place his hand on Stiles’ neck, his eyes flashing beta blue.
“Stupid, stupid boy, of course I care.” he whispered even softer than he had intended.
Stiles stared for another moment but then silent tears welled up in his eyes and his lower lip started to quiver.
‘Fuck’ was all Peter could think.
Because in this moment, standing there, a crying, hurt Stiles in front of him all he could think was how unacceptable this was.
All he wanted was for Stiles to be okay and he realized he’d do whatever was in his power to achieve that.
He didn’t just care about Stiles, he loved him.
And wasn’t that fucking inconvenient.
He’d have time to contemplate his feelings later, right now Stiles needed him.
Hesitating a little Peter reached out and guided Stiles into a light hug.
Stiles accepted the comfort without question.
In fact as soon as Peter offered the hug Stiles was clinging to him like he was drowning, burying his face in Peter’s shoulder, his entire weight leaning against the werewolf, his body having lost most tension and apparently any will to move.
He didn’t mind.
Peter was strong enough to cradle Stiles effortlessly and carry him into the bedroom.
Whenever he spoke it was with a soft, caring voice.
“Darling boy, you need to change clothes. Can you do that?”
Stiles nodded and changed while Peter went into the bathroom to turn off the shower and bring the whiskey bottle he found in there into the kitchen for now.
When he came back Stiles was wearing new boxer briefs and a fresh graphic t-shirt.
“You should change too...I made you all wet when we hugged.”
Stiles mumbled hoarsely.
Peter was aware but did not know if it was a smart idea to wear something that had Stiles’ scent on it.
“I can’t get a cold, it’ll dry on its own.”
Stiles shook his head vehemently and then swayed a bit on the spot, prompting Peter to move closer to make sure he’d be there to catch him if necessary.
“I wanna lie down and I need you to stay...you gotta change.”
That made a surprising amount of sense for someone smelling so drunk but Peter could barely appreciate it because he was distracted by Stiles inviting him into bed.
Though it obviously made sense not to leave him alone like this.
“Okay” he agreed and started to take off his jacket, shirt, shoes and pants before putting on a pair of sweatpants and one of Stiles’ oversized shirts.
They climbed into bed and Peter furrowed his brows.
“It smells a bit like someone I don’t know.”
Stiles was lying on his back and turned his head away from the ceiling to look at Peter with mild confusion before he seemed to understand.
“Oh right...a bit over a week ago I had a one night stand. Is it bad?”
He couldn’t possibly explain how the smell of another man in Stiles’ bed made him want to wrap himself around Stiles and claim him with his hands, lips, tongue, teeth and entire body.
So he made a non-committal sound and then said “I’ll survive.”
Stiles looked back at the ceiling.
They lay like this for a while and Peter might have thought Stiles had fallen asleep if it wasn’t for his heartbeat not slowing down enough.
Eventually there were more tears, once again silent as before. Peter gently nudge Stiles’ hand and he felt long, thin and cold fingers being tangled with his.
“How are you, darling?” he asked softly and Stiles sighed deeply and frustrated.
“You were right…” Stiles murmured, still with some hoarseness to his voice.
“Drinking because I’m hurt was a stupid thing to do. I don’t even feel that drunk...mostly queasy...and kinda dizzy and terrible and confused...and sad...”
What could he possibly say to that.
He knew how bad it hurt to basically give your entire life to a cause, sacrifice more than you ever thought capable of, kill your dreams in favor of helping others fulfill theirs and then be left behind by the same people.
He knew there was nothing that could be said.
It hurt and it would continue to hurt.
“I can’t help with the confusion or sadness I’m afraid. But I’ll stay with you if you want me to and I can drain the discomfort you are feeling right now.”
Stiles turned onto his side with a little suffering groan and looked at Peter with still wet eyes and cheeks.
“Thank you Peter. I don’t think...no pain drain right now please...but could you like I dunno...hold me?”
He felt his heart skip a beat and hated it.
Stiles was wonderful and smart and hurting, he did not deserve to have to deal with any of Peter’s stupid feelings.
So he pushed away any thoughts of Stiles asking him something like that in any other context and smiled warmly.
“Of course sweetheart. Come here.”
He pulled Stiles closer and wrapped him in his arms.
Immediately Stiles was burying his nose in the crook of Peter’s neck and hummed.
“You smell really good...what cologne is that?”
Peter did not hide his smile.
“I can’t stand colognes.”
Stiles hummed and dragged his nose against the skin of Peter’s neck again.
“Anyway...I like it.”
“I like the way you smell too darling.”
Peter stayed up this night, making sure Stiles was safe and sound in his drunken slumber.
He dozed a little here and there but for the most part he kept watch.
Once he had to go to the bathroom and Stiles’ sleepy protest warmed his heart almost as much as the way he was pulled back into bed the moment Stiles felt the mattress dip down again.
Peter wished this was his reality.
Being wanted by Stiles like this.
He wished it wasn’t just drunk and hurt Stiles needing something to hold on to.
But he would not give himself over to any illusions this might be more.
It was already more than he had ever thought he’d get and he was grateful Stiles actually felt this comfortable with him.
He was grateful he was able to be that for the man he loved.
That thought still bothered him though.
He had known he liked Stiles for quite a while, and only someone blind or extremely misguided would not consider Stiles physically attractive.
But loving...it had been a very long time since Peter had loved anybody or anything.
It was a luxury he had been glad he wasn’t inclined to.
Things you loved were things that could hurt you.
Of course it also gave one a purpose, which was good.
But it made him vulnerable and even worse, if anybody ever found out it would make Stiles a target.
Around 9 am Peter decided to get up and make breakfast.
Luckily Stiles was passionate about cooking so Peter did find all the needed ingredients for a good hangover breakfast.
Sweet Omelette, fresh fruit and Ginger Tea.
He was almost done with the second Omelette when the door to the bedroom opened and Stiles stumbled out, blinking a few times at the soft sunlight falling through the closed, white curtains.
“Good morning Stiles” Peter said gently and pointed with the spatula at the set kitchen table while holding the pan in his other hand.
“Sit down, food is almost ready.”
Stiles didn’t say anything but did as he had been told.
Peter finished up the second Omelette, brought the plate over, then went to the sink and came back, placing a glass of water and an aspirin next to the younger man.
Once again Stiles did as he was told.
They sat there eating in silence for a while until Peter decided to see if he could get Stiles to turn into more of himself by engaging him in light conversation.
“I must say, if I had had to guess what kind of books you read on the toilet I would not have said encyclopedias. Any reason why?”
Stiles plopped one of the blueberries into his mouth and smiled hesitantly.
“Ever since the Nogitsune I understand pretty much all languages he did. So I try to expand my general vocabulary instead of my vocabulary in a specific language.
I’m currently at Onomatopoeia. It means when you write out a sound.
No idea when that could get useful, but then again it’s only what I teach myself when sitting on the toilet.”
Peter smiled at Stiles finally talking to him and tried to find something to keep the conversation going.
“If nothing else maybe for crossword puzzles.”
The younger man snorted at that.
“Yeah, when will I ever find the time to do that again...”
It was true of course, they rarely had time for anything as slow-paced as sitting around doing crosswords but who knew.
“We could always leave and find somewhere else. A place where we have the luxury of doing something as trivial as puzzles or watching a rainy day go by…”
Stiles raised a brow at Peter.
Had he said that? Apparently.
“Yes. We, you or I. I don’t mean to rub salt into the wound but we have a loose connection to the pack at best. Do you think I like to live like this? Making sure I don’t become an Omega is one of the main reasons I am still here. ”
Stiles gave him a quizzical look on that.
“You could always just find yourself an alpha to kill and leave.”
True but he also would have to leave if he ever became an alpha again. Scott would demand it and the rest of the pack would support Scott’s decision.
Killing someone for their power would also very likely be considered a fallback to his old evil ways and open Scott, Deaton, Allison and Lydia the door to even more fully condemning him and convincing Stiles to cease all contact.
Peter might be a masochist for wanting to spend time with Stiles even though he knew they’d never be more than acquaintances, possibly friends, but he was not masochistic enough to do anything that might mean he’d lose even that bit of contact.
“Like I said, it’s only one of the main reasons.”
That seemed to make Stiles even more curious.
“What other reasons are there?”
He had finished and stood up to start washing the dishes while Stiles still ate.
“My anchor is here.”
This was getting dangerous.
Stiles knew him well, better than most, he was one of the few people who were good at catching him in a lie. He was also one of the few people Peter had real reservations lying to.
But if Stiles asked the logical next question…
“What actually is your anchor?”
There it was.
You lead yourself into this trap Peter.
“I’d prefer not to say.”
Stiles stopped munching on the omelette.
“That’s okay of course. But you know I would never use that kind of information against you, right?”
And he nodded while scrubbing the plate.
“How is your hangover darling?”
With a look back he saw Stiles giving him a small, grateful smile.
“Not as bad as I feared it would be now. This is good food for a hangover. You really know a lot about human bodies for someone who never had one.”
Peter chuckled at that.
“Our pack had humans in it, family members that did not inherit the werewolf genes, human spouses too...I myself had human partners before...”
He felt something heavy and unpleasant grow in his chest.
God, remembering that time would probably always be more bitter than sweet.
So many innocent people he had not been able to safe.
Before he could drift too deep into the darkness of those memories he felt arms wrap around him from behind and a head being rested on his shoulder.
“I didn’t mean to wake any sad memories. I’m sorry.”
He closed his eyes for a moment at the lovely sensation of Stiles leaning into him from behind, holding him like this.
“It’s okay, it’s not like you can predict what topics will set it off. Not even I myself always know what might. You mention a dumpster fire and I’m fine but you ask about me knowing about taking care of a human and it sends me down a spiral of all the people that died…”
Stiles nodded and snuggled a little closer.
“Recovery is difficult. It’s amazing how far you’ve come Peter. And I am very thankful you came by last night to stop me from wallowing in my misery. I might not be pack to Scott, but you are pack to me.”
His heart skipped a beat at the idea.
Stiles as his packmate.
He loved that image.
“And you to me sweet boy.”
The dishes were all but forgotten when Stiles pressed his face against Peter’s neck and breathed against the skin there.
Was that instinctual? Was Stiles trying to imitate scenting behavior he had witnessed between the others? Was he aware of what he was doing?
“Maybe we really should leave Beacon Hills.”
Peter chuckled at Stiles joking about actually leaving with him, because thinking about how amazing it’d be if Stiles was serious was too painful.
But to Peter’s surprise Stiles continued.
“I could help you become an alpha again. And if you ever felt comfortable telling me about it I am sure together we could come up with a way to take your anchor with us.”
What was going on?
As lovely as this was Peter had to make sure Stiles was okay.
He turned in the younger man’s arms and cupped his face to look at his pupils, skin tone, veins and any other signs of physical or supernatural influence.
“What’s the problem Peter?”
Peter furrowed his brows.
“Please let me check your mouth.”
Stiles obediently opened it and Peter looked and felt for anything out of the ordinary while answering.
“The problem is, you just suggested to leave Beacon Hills. You didn’t even leave to study, even after I offered to finance your education. You said you couldn’t possibly leave your father, the pack or Scott…you even came back from Quantico after two weeks.”
Stiles reached up and pulled Peter’s hands from his face.
“That was over three years ago Peter. My dad has a very tight dietary regime now and Melissa to enforce it.
He has not had another heart attack ever since. Apparently the pack does not need me and Scott seems to agree with that.
And before you suggest I should find out first if there is another reason for Scott excluding me and lying to me, we both know that this isn’t a new development.
Yesterday was the final straw I needed to give up.
As it stands Beacon Hills mostly holds pain for me.
And as it seems for you as well.”
Peter let his hands fall and furrowed his brows.
“You can’t be serious. I mean, leaving Beacon Hills behind is the smart thing to do, in your case more so than most, because your talents are totally wasted in this crappy town. But…”
He did not know how to ask the question on his mind without sounding like he was fishing for compliments.
Why would Stiles want to keep him around of all people?
He felt Stiles’ finger tap his forehead where his brows almost met because of how he had them scrunched together.
“When you do this I suddenly see the similarity between you and Derek. I like that expression on you better though. Because having Derek look like that means I once again made a joke he didn’t get. With you it means for once I said something you actually have to think about. And it’s an expression that is almost exclusively mine.”
That only confused Peter more.
“You like seeing me confused?”
Stiles grinned at him, the cheeky bastard.
“I like seeing you being comfortable enough to no hide any hint of confusion behind a mask and a snarky comment. I like being someone special and valued to you.”
He still felt like he was missing something very essential in this conversation.
Then Stiles took Peter’s hands and Peter would have furrowed his brows more if it had been possible.
“If I am leaving anyway there is no reason to hide my feelings anymore. I mean if you don’t feel the same I won’t ever have to see you again and if you do, even better.”
“I like you Peter. A lot. I don’t know where things would lead over time, but I like the idea of being with you, in a domestic, romantic and sexual sense. Though if one of those aspects would not be for you I think we could come to an arrangement that suits both of us.
And I think neither of us is a person of complete solitude but we also don’t feel extremely connected to most people.
We would be good together, maybe…”
Stiles voice got very hesitant and shy at the last words, like he barely dared to consider the possibility.
“...maybe even happy.”
His hands felt numb in Stiles’ grip, his mind was swimming.
He blinked a few times.
If he didn’t know Stiles had made sure nobody would ever be able to possess him again Peter would seriously consider that a possibility right now.
But as it was Stiles apparently had actually said all that.
And while there was the slight possibility of Stiles lying Peter did not know why he would, it made no sense.
As it was though nothing here really added up.
“I...I should have sensed something...Stiles there was never any sign- nothing…”
As nice as this idea, this fantasy was-
Stiles shook his head with a sad smile and let go of Peter’s hands to take off the silver necklace underneath his shirt.
Peter knew it, knew it too well. The pendant was a triskelion. He had always thought Stiles was using it to show his connection to the pack.
So he was a bit confused when he now saw Stiles now placed it on the countertop.
“You stupid wolves always rely so much on your instincts. Senses can be lied to Peter. May I kiss you?”
Was Stiles mocking him?
“It’s an easy question Peter. Yes or No.”
Fuck it, if this was the one time it might happen and Stiles was actively offering he might as well savor it.
Stay cool Peter.
The smile on Stiles’ lips was amused but his hands were soft as he cupped Peter’s face and pulled him in gently.
Peter went willingly.
When Stiles’ tongue teased his lips to let it in he opened up and greeted with hesitant licks.
His other senses were automatically pulled into the experience and suddenly they gave him overwhelming signals.
Stiles’ heartbeat was up, he could smell adrenaline, excitement and anxiety in Stiles scent.
But also want.
Stiles reeked of it, and it only got stronger with each tender touch between their tongues and lips.
All Peter could fathom was a weak whimper of surprise.
He could feel the grin on Stiles’ lips against his mouth.
“Believe me now, idiot?”
It was hard not to.
“But-” Peter mumbled against Stiles’ lips.
“Why keep it from me so long?”
“I could ask you the same.”
Peter blinked and pulled back a little even though this was something he wanted to do all day long.
“I thought you had not interest. Now your turn.”
“Well” Stiles started and sat down on the kitchen table.
“I was afraid of the idea to have to see you all the time and work with you after you rejected me. I liked having your respect I did not want your pity. I was afraid of destroying the connection we have built.
But since I decided I will leave...what do I have left to lose?”
“I...still have to process that a little.”
Stiles smiled apologetic.
“Want me to convince you?”
Peter could not keep from smirking back.
“Would it involve more kissing?”
Stiles smirked back “And other things, if you are into those.”
Peter stepped closer, until he stood right in front of Stiles, between his legs, leaning in slightly.
“Tell me about those other things, beautiful.”
Peter was still lying in bed, absentmindedly twisting the ring, that kept him from healing, between his fingers. He was still sore from last night and loved it.
The last few months had been breathtaking.
They were working together on their plan to get him independant from the pack and to leave Beacon Hills for good.
When they weren’t doing that, hunting down threats to the area or participating in whatever dumb ideas the others were coming up with, they were mostly rolling around in bed or being increasingly domestic with each other.
The only reason the pack didn’t smell their involvement on them were Stiles’ inspired scent masking pendants. Incredibly useful, even though Peter’s wolf hated not registering his scent on the man he loved.
Besides minor unpleasantries like those though they were good for each other, amazing even.
They understood each others need for taking control sometimes just as well as the need to fully letting go of it, having it taken away even.
Peter particularly loved how quickly Stiles had taken to his masochism.
He had been worried Stiles might be freaked out by the idea, or maybe simply not into it.
But he needn’t be worried.
Stiles drew one pained and longing whine from Peter’s lips and fell in love with playing him like an instrument of pain and pleasure.
Also, while having lasting effects of being topped and dominated was a bit more difficult as a werewolf with supernatural healing abilities, being in a relationship with a prodigy mage helped a lot with that.
It still amazed even him how quickly Stiles absorbed any kind of magical knowledge that was handed to him.
Not even just that, he was making connections between different disciplines that Peter would never have guessed. He sensed which points in spells could or couldn’t be tweaked and even sometimes just created new spells to fit his specific needs.
He didn’t actually have the above average magical powers that were usually ascribed to people with such an instinctive understanding of magic. What he did have was a way above average affinity to how to use his magic though. And it made all the difference.
He loved seeing Stiles strive and loved being part of Stiles’ process to free himself of this place. Frankly, he just loved Stiles.
It was easy now to admit that to himself.
Admitting it to Stiles was a step he still hadn’t taken though.
Maybe he never would, he didn’t know if he was capable of baring himself to anybody like that.
His musing was interrupted by Stiles, a giant tome in his hands, walking into the bedroom and smiling excitedly.
“I think I found what I was looking for. It’s a spell for joined leadership. It can be done between an alpha and their mate. Which in this case means a marked partner, not a friend or something, just to be clear.”
With an amused smile Peter nodded ”I’m familiar with the concept of mating bonds. It’s always been considered a bit archaic among modern, cultured werewolves like our pack has been, but I have met a few couples who had done it.”
Stiles smiled back.
“Always fascinating what the modern day werewolf does and doesn’t do anymore. Reading old lore sometimes feels like being on MySpace when everyone moved on to Facebook and Twitter.”
Peter chuckled at the comparison while Stiles continued.
“Anyway. If we become mates, you turn into an alpha and we perform this ritual the alpha power should be split between us, making me not only the anchor to your wolf but also the balance weight to your alphahood.
It would mean I can take control should you ever feel like you are slipping, though I still don’t think you would, since you are a lot better now. Also with me as your bonded alpha mate you wouldn’t need any other pack members to stay stable. It’s almost perfect!”
That alerted Peter a bit.
It had sounded so great until now.
Stiles looked tortured.
“Yeah...we kind of both would need to get tattooed for this and since you’re a werewolf and all…”
Peter sighed deeply.
“It’ll require burning my skin to pull the ink to the surface…”
“So obviously I still need to find a different way to make the tattoo stick, but once that's done it's bye bye Beacon Hills.”
He loved the fact Stiles didn't even consider burning him as a valid option.
And he had full confidence his capable mage would come up with an alternative.
But he wasn’t just concerned for himself.
He got up to look at the spell as well and reached out for some soothing skin contact between them by placing his hand under Stiles’ shirt on the small of his back.
“And what about you darling? If I remember correctly even the sight of needles is making you extremely uneasy.”
Stiles leaned into Peter’s hand on his back and sighed.
“It does, but for one when I’m the one getting tattooed I don’t have to look at it, and secondly, you’ll be there to hold my hand.”
Peter smiled warm and caring.
Sometimes when he caught himself he was surprised smiling unironically came so easy to him around Stiles, but then again, if it was anybody it would be him.
“Of course I’ll be there.
I will drain your pain too if you’ll let me.”
Stiles smiled back with adoration.
“I love having a werewolf boyfriend.”
The mating bond was actually fairly easy to establish.
They mainly had to bite each other with the explicit intention to stand by each other from that moment on, put some magic into the bite and seal it with a kiss while still having the blood of the other in their mouth.
Afterwards Stiles complaint about how weird it had been to bite into warm, living flesh with his blunt teeth until he drew blood.
He continued a bit until he realized the wound on Peter’s inner forearm wasn’t vanishing like usually but instead quickly forming scar tissue.
In the end it was almost smooth but way paler than the rest of his skin and very clearly showed the pattern of human teeth marks.
“Will it stay like this?”
“Yes.” Peter answered simply.
He had seen it on others, this was the one scar he would never get rid off again.
He was okay with that.
Stiles grinned widely.
“Awesome! I’ll heal my own so it looks like this as well.”
It was a week until Derek saw Peter’s mark.
What happened was Peter got soaked in a wolfsbane solution by a group of rogue hunters.
Stiles and the pack had been able to find out what was going on before anything worse happened.
But Peter had to undress quickly and take a shower to get rid of any residue.
Luckily it seemed his body had not absorbed much and it would be out of his system soon enough.
After the shower Derek came in and handed Peter a shirt and jeans before awkwardly looking anywhere but his uncle and saying: “I uh...I saw the mark Peter...I know it can’t be that old so...care to tell me who...I mean, I guess technically it’s not my business but...I prefer to know what is going on around me.”
When Peter looked up with a questioning glance Derek blushed a little.
“Especially with the little family I have left…”
Wasn’t that sweet.
His nephew finally started to get around to the idea Peter might not be the eternal villain of his life?
Would you believe it.
He dressed in the offered clothing, not mentioning there wasn’t any underwear or shoes, or even socks but instead studying his nephew for another moment before smiling.
“That is definitely one of the few things, you, your mother and I have in common. The need to have as many information as possible. But I won’t tell you who it is.”
Derek crossed his arms.
“Let me guess then. It’s Stiles.”
He closed the button of Derek’s jeans, ignoring the fact it was too long on his legs, and then clapped Derek on the shoulder and said “Nice try nephew. Thanks for the change of clothes. I’ll go outside and burn my favorite pair of pants...again.”
Stiles’ tattoo was no fun.
He tried to control his breathing and Peter did hold his hand and drained the pain, but he could only pull physical pain.
Stiles had to deal with the mental toll of the fact he was getting stabbed by needles again and again on his own.
The tattoo had to be over their heart, of course, which also meant Peter needed to keep Stiles from looking down to his chest.
Several times the tattoo artist checked if Stiles was really ok with this and the young man reassured him this was still what he wanted.
Even more difficult was convincing the artist to use different ink for Peter.
That had been the only solution Stiles had found though. The ink had several properties that should make the burning afterwards unnecessary.
Of course it was untested but it was not going to harm Peter beyond a bit of additional pain during the tattoo process, so if it didn’t work it did not do much damage either.
The artist had stayed adamant on the fact he could not use unapproved ink so Stiles did something he absolutely hated doing and used his power to manipulate the guy into thinking it was regular ink.
They definitely wouldn’t sue him so there was no harm done except for the fact Stiles had violated the man’s mind by altering it.
It would not have any lasting effects, he wouldn’t remember it ever happening.
But Stiles would remember.
He would always remember how scary it was to have someone medle in your mind.
And he would always remember that he had decided to do that to somebody else.
It did work though, the ink didn’t disappear and instead settled under Peter’s skin.
Both of them now had a matching triskelion made up of murian runes.
Now everything was prepared.
All they needed was an alpha.
The day for Peter to get his alpha juice back came sooner than expected when they heard rumors of a rogue alpha making his way down from Oregon towards them.
It seemed like said alpha was headed for their town. Which made sense with the Nematon and the hunters and Scott’s pack having the dubious honor of becoming somewhat famous.
It was easy enough to intercept the alpha’s path once they had figured out where he was headed.
A bit more riskey was confronting him, considering he had already shredded a few hunters, four werewolves and a druid.
Frankly the dead druid should have concerned Deaton enough to alert Scott to the oncoming threat. But as always the shifty guy had something else to do.
Peter really could not figure out if Deaton didn’t understand, didn’t care or deliberately mislead everyone. And that in itself was a reason to be concerned by Deaton. A person who’s motives weren’t clear should never be trusted.
And that was what Peter thought of the man before taking into account the fact Deaton had lived in Beacon Hills during the fire and afterwards. He had lived here ater not properly maintaining the pack’s wards and letting the hunters slip through and without ever checking on Peter or maybe using some of that magic of his to help Peter heal.
Anyway, the Alpha had killed a few people before and Peter would have preferred to keep Stiles out of his reach.
But at the same time Stiles would be able to catch the alpha in case Peter lost his fight
And that would be admittedly useful.
The general idea they ended up with was for Peter to confront the alpha and kill him while Stiles stayed up in the trees, in relative safety until he was dead.
Of course that wasn’t what happened.
Yes Peter challenged the alpha and they fought.
It went on long and was frustratingly difficult. They seemed to be on pretty equal footing so it became a question of who could outlast the other.
Peter, Stiles and the alpha all knew Peter’s energy would eventually start to dwindle.
He might be strong and highly skilled but he was still a beta and that meant hits the alpha managed to land did not heal the way Peter’s did.
They were locked with each other, trying to choke the other one out when Peter heard a “thump” from behind him, a few light steps and then he felt how the alpha’s arms around his neck went limp.
He freed himself and turned around, watching as Stiles still had his hand in the werewolf’s hair and pulled his head up.
“I send him sleeping. Come on now, finish it.”
Peter took a moment to look at the scene.
The man he loved was holding the head of a big, sleeping, alpha werewolf, telling him to kill the guy.
Handing him alphahood, something he used to crave so badly, on a silver platter.
And he hesitated.
“Peter.” Stiles said understanding and reassuring him.
“You won’t lose control again, you won’t slip up again. I am right here with you.”
It was true.
Peter knew Stiles was convinced he wouldn’t slip up again because he was healthy now. Well, healthier.
But that wasn’t the point. It wasn’t what convinced Peter he would be able to be a worthy alpha this time around.
What really made the difference was Stiles.
Not his magic, not the bond they would use to share the power and the responsibility.
It was Stiles.
Pure and simple.
He would be Peter’s anchor till the day he died for the last time.
And with that image in his head he tore his claws through the sleeping alpha’s main artery.
The power rushed through Peter and he felt his eyes bleed red, his senses change.
He had felt a soft pack bond to Stiles for a long time but as an alpha he was able to claim it.
He had worried somewhere in the back of his head he’d have to fight with Scott’s claim on Stiles but there really barely was any.
That fucking idiot.
He got up and Stiles followed the motion, looking into Peter’s face with a smile that wasn’t triumphant or power hungry but soft and reassuring.
“Look at you” he mumbled and his voice sounded gentle, adoring “my big, bad wolf.”
And Peter was exactly that.
“Come on, handsome. Let’s complete this.”
Peter nodded and started to undress.
After a moment Stiles did the same.
Naked, a circle drawn around them, their right hands joined, they stood there and Stiles started chanting in the old almost forgotten murian language.
White gold and red strings of light started to emerge from the rune triskelions tattooed over their hearts and swirled around their joined hands, twisting themselves more and more until they were creating a rope that tied their hands firmly together.
Stiles’ eyes were glowing the same golden.
Peter had seen it happen before.
It was beautiful and entirely different to the yellow of a beta’s eyes.
Stiles’ eyes were two little suns, they were almost more light than a color, just the charge of his spark shining through his eyes.
That was all Peter saw at first, but then red started to creep into Stiles’ left eye at the same time as Peter felt a new kind of power pouring into him.
It was familiar and he welcomed it easily.
His mate, his emissary, his alpha.
The chanting stopped, the magic rope dissolved into glittering dust and they both stared at each other, bathing in this new formed bond.
“I-” Peter began and Stiles nodded.
It was incredible.
He could feel more than just their connection.
More than just their bond.
He felt Stiles’ emotions, could sense he was a bit exhausted from all the magic he had done.
Instinctively Peter send some of his energy over to his mate and Stiles wasn’t surprised because he already knew that was what Peter was doing.
They were still themself, but they were also a unit.
Letting go of each other’s hand felt almost impossible, but they did it at the same time.
The immediate connection broke, he could no longer feel Stiles’ concrete emotions, but some of that was still present.
And when he concentrated on that subliminal connection and send an emotion through it he got a clear response from Stiles.
“You are incredible” he said, knowing it was true and made a step forward.
Stiles closed the last inch between them and pulled Peter into an intense kiss.
The feedback loop was almost overwhelming, he felt like he had fallen into a prism of feeling what Stiles felt what he felt what Stiles felt.
He thought this might be the most narcissistic thing he had ever done. And while he thought that Stiles countered it might be the most selfless thing he had ever done and really maybe it was both.
He had lost himself in the sensation of knowing how much Stiles loved to kiss him.
There were so many layers of thoughts, feelings and sensations going on.
It became too much and just before their heads might explode both of them stepped away again and broke the skin contact.
“Fuck…” Stiles gasped and Peter nodded.
There appeared a sly grin on Stiles’ face.
“You think what I’m thinking?”
Peter laughed breathily.
“Considering we just had a very literal mind meld I would say it is likely.”
And Stiles was approaching him again.
“So BJs and then we go home and explore this thing further?”
How little Stiles cared about the dead body a few feet away from them was incredibly hot to Peter.
Almost as hot as the idea of feeling himself blowing Stiles through Stiles’ perspective.
With a responding sly smile he took Stiles’ hand and pulled him to the next tree.
Coming home was not the celebratory occasion they had thought it would be.
Still a bit drunk on the power rush and just general excitement to finally have all the pieces together to actually leave it took them until the front door of Peter's apartment to realize that there were three quite familiar scents lingering at the door.
The whole way back home Stiles had already made use of his newly heightened senses.
They were not as sharp as Peter's but more an echo of those.
They were still sensitive enough to realize what was going on once Peter had stopped in his tracks and sniffed the air.
He tried to convey with his face and through their bond the question if their visitors were still inside the apartment and Peter nodded slowly.
Even though they could not communicate literal thoughts they really started to get the hang of this bond thing.
They had three options.
Leaving and hoping those three would go back home so they could initiate the last step of their plan.
Leaving, taking the emergency suitcases they had packed and stored in their getaway car as soon as they knew they wanted to leave in case it became necessary.
Or walk into the flat and face Scott, Derek and Deaton.
Their conversation was entirely silent and just shared emotions and facial expressions.
Peter did not want to leave his shit in Beacon Hills but would have preferred not to have whatever kind of talk those three had planned.
Stiles would have considered just leaving, he'd just have to find out how to tell his dad not to give his new phone number to Scott. But he wanted to at least say goodbye.
Partly because he wanted Scott to realize what an idiot he had been.
Somehow, somewhere he still hoped his former best friend, the man he had considered his brother and in some ways still did would come to his senses.
But really, what were the chances?
Before they had made their decision the door was pulled open by Deaton.
The druid looked at both of them with his usual, unreadable expression and then stepped aside while saying “We need to talk.”
They looked at each other, Peter gently squeezed Stiles’ hand reassuringly and then entered his own apartment with a disapproving stare to Deaton.
He did not like the guy.
Inside Scott was standing by the TV and Derek was sitting on the couch, clearly the only one who felt comfortable enough in this space to touch anything - luckily.
Peter would have hated the idea of Scott and Deaton going through his stuff, even though all the sensitive things were magically protected and not even for Deaton easy to get to.
Still, the thought of them going through his stuff made him angry.
How had they even gotten in? None of them had a key.
And normally a magic alarm would have warned him and Stiles if someone broke in.
Only a powerful magic user could have circumvented that.
Deaton would have to hold a lot of hidden power in that case.
And it could not be his own considering Peter remembered Deaton as a novice.
He had always been mediocre at best, maybe, just maybe about as powerful as Stiles. Only not even half as genius and talented.
So, if not by magic, how had they gotten in?
Maybe he should think about that at a later point in time considering this seemed to turn into some kind of intervention.
Scott faced Stiles and ignored Peter.
So Peter in turn looked at Derek to see what his nephew’s thoughts on all of this were.
Derek mostly looked like he wanted to disappear, so clearly he was not fully on board with whatever this was.
Scott placed one hand on Stiles’ shoulder.
Peter could sense Stiles’ conflicted feelings about that gesture.
“Bro, I am so worried about you, are you ok?”
Peter sat down next to Derek, casually letting their legs touch to help his nephew to ground himself while he grabbed his book and pretended to ignore whatever was going on.
He had not invited them. Scott was not his alpha anymore. Scott also clearly did not want to talk to him. And Stiles was capable of ripping the puppy alpha a new one all on his own.
No, he had no reason to get involved unless he felt Stiles asking him to do so.
So from the sideline he listened and sometimes watched what unraveled.
Stiles took a deep breath but did not shrug Scott’s hand off.
“Worried about what?”
Scott turned his puppy dog eyes on Stiles and whispered.
“About Peter manipulating you into helping him become an alpha again. You can’t trust him Stiles, you should really know that by now. Even if he promised you something, he is a liar and a murderer Stiles.”
The idea Stiles could be manipulated and tricked by Peter so easily was incredibly insulting. Especially coming from the most gullible idiot in the entire county.
Peter thought about saying something but decided not to.
So Stiles reached out and placed his hand on Scott’s shoulder in a gesture of similar control and condescension.
“Scott, buddy, what the fuck are you talking about?”
He smiled and Peter felt the scathing anger inside his mate while his voice stayed so dangerously calm.
“Peter hasn’t promised me anything and he definitely hasn’t tried to manipulate me.
And you should really know better than to judge others too harshly considering all the things I had to do because you are too busy giving every asshole who hurts your pack and the town second chances and chasing after girls.
News flash Scotty, Peter is not the only one who has lied and killed to protect and revenge his family.
I said it before and the truth in it hasn’t changed.
Some of us have to get their hands dirty now and then. Partly so you can keep yours squeaky clean.
You never notice how everyone around you has been forced to kill to survive or to protect others? What do you think whose job it usually is to makes sure it doesn’t come that far?”
Peter had looked over the edge of the book to see Scott’s hand only loosely lying on Stiles’ shoulder and him looking clearly uncomfortable in Stiles’ grip.
Meanwhile Deaton was leaning at the wall across from Peter and observing the conversation with a neutral expression.
What a weird man.
Scott pulled himself away and looked very confused.
“It...it’s not an alpha’s job to keep people from killing each other. People need to just not do that. You are crazy. This is- this is Peter. He has put these things in your head, this isn’t you Stiles. This isn’t the Robin to my Batman. I need my Robin Stiles. I need my brother. I love you man.”
Stiles giggled at Scott’s words and shook his head.
“You fucking asshole. You’re really something you know.
Of course it is an alpha’s job to keep their pack safe. True Alpha my ass.
You didn’t even notice when Gerard beat me up as a message TO YOU.
You were too busy running after Allison.
You willingly sacrificed Derek’s mental health and used him, no you actually abused him to get to Gerard.
You condemn Peter eternally for going crazy after his entire family was murdered and he was left to rot in a hospital bright awake but give every fucking despicable evil bastard a second chance.
You believed Theo over me-”
Scott threw his hands up.
“Oh my fucking god Stiles, are you still bringing that up?!? I said I was sorry, there was no way I could have known!”
Stiles just sighed deeply and shook his head.
“How don’t you see all of this has nothing to with Peter and everything to do with you.
Yes I am still bringing that up.
Not only was I your best friend and Theo some guy who said he used to know you.
I have also proven time and time again I have good instincts and know what I am talking about.
I told you not to trust Theo.
I did so as a member of your pack, as your best friend, your brother and most importantly as the person who usually turns out to be right. And you didn’t just dismiss me.
You know, I got used to that.
I got used to the fact you constantly failed to listen to me. Because apparently my middle name is Cassandra.
But you also believed him, immediately, when he told you I killed somebody in cold blood. You did not check in with me, you did not even really second guess his claim.
You just confronted me, and were so quick to judge I was sure you were condemning me for defending myself.”
Peter was amazed how calm Stiles stayed but he could feel the waves of hurt and grief that were coming from him and tried to send back support, love and peacefulness.
“That is on you Scott. The same way as sidelining me is on you.”
Scott’s face turned angry.
“How is this not about Peter? Do you hear yourself? If he wasn’t remembering you of those details we would long be friends again. If anything he's the one responsible for me sidelining you. If it was easier to talk to you I would feel better about having you around. This isn’t my fault!”
And for the first time Scott turned to speak directly to Peter.
“You creepy asshole put all these thoughts into his head! He is my best friend! I am not going to let you do that! He might be an easy target because he has noone but me and has basically no powers to defend himself, but I will find out how to get him back! Like hell am I going to leave him with an evil asshole who kills his own n-”
Before Scott could say another word Stiles had stepped in between him and Peter, his eyes glowing, one alpha red, one sunlight golden.
His voice carried power as he spoke.
“Say one more word to my mate and I will show you how wrong you are about me having now powers. I am not your Robin. I am not your weak, lonely friend.
You were lonely before Peter bit you and made you popular.
I always had other friends and I never had difficulty making new ones. Which is what I will be doing since we already have the alpha spark.”
Scott still looked angry but also concerned and confused.
“I don’t know what this means but I am not going to let Peter use you to take over Beacon Hills.”
Stiles rolled his glowing eyes, Peter couldn’t see it, but he definitely felt it.
“We don’t want to take over Beacon Hills idiot. We are leaving. And I suggest the two of you do the same right now.”
Scott furrowed his brows “Leave Beacon Hills?”
Stiles actually facepalmed.
“No, idiot, the apartment, fuck off.”
With a push Stiles turned Scott to the door and shoved him towards it.
“I don’t care. Deaton you too.”
Now Deaton opened his mouth.
“I would actually like to have a short conversation with-”
Stiles shook his head.
“Definitely not. I don’t care for a word out of your mouth.”
Deaton cleared his throat.
“Leaving would not be good in my opinion.”
Stiles looked back at Peter.
“Babe, care to help me?”
And that was the cue, Peter got up, let the book fall onto the cushions and then politely but adamantly showed Deaton to the door.
“Why can Derek stay?” Scott asked but Stiles just shut the door, locked it and for good measure sealed it thrice.
They exchanged a look and took a deep breath together.
Alone with the two of them Derek looked even more like he wished he wasn't there, or at least invisible.
So Peter decided to start with the obvious question.
“How did the three of you end up here, dear nephew?”
“Yes, what happened?”
Derek sank in on himself even further, an act that looked rather strange on a man of his actual statue.
“Deaton called Scott and me to his clinic. When we were there he started to ask about the two of you. About if we had noticed some strange behavior, some recent changes.”
He looked up at Peter.
“I promise I didn't say a word about the scar.”
Peter nodded “If you had Scott would not have shut up about Stiles and me being mates. What happened then? How did you decide to pay us a visit?”
Derek dug his head.
“Scott also knew little, he said you Stiles were not willing to talk to him like a normal person and he was waiting until you finally came around again.”
Stiles raised a brow at that.
Derek showed a small smile “That's how I looked at him too. But Deaton told him Peter might have something to do with that. That he had a bad feeling about you planning something and using Stiles inexperience and eagerness to gain power again.
He suggested we should pay you a visit and tell you to stay away from Stiles.
Since I was already pretty sure you two were bonded mates I didn’t know what else to do but to go with them, hoping I might be able to keep Scott from going too far. But I can see the two of you handled it alright by yourself...I...I am sorry I-”
Stiles reached out, Peter felt the shared instinct but was glad it wasn’t him. Derek would probably react a lot better to Stiles as an alpha than to him.
Stiles let his fingers comb through Derek’s hair.
“It’s okay Derek. You did nothing wrong. I am sorry you got dragged into this.”
Peter saw his nephew wanting to lean into the touch and stiffening at the thought of being so trusting. He saw the longing and the conflict in Derek’s eyes as he looked at Stiles and then Peter.
Maybe the two of them weren’t the only ones that had to get out of this hellhole.
He send a question mark towards Stiles and received agreement over the way he felt about the situation.
“Derek, do you want to come with us when we leave?”
There was a part of him that broke when he saw the disbelief, hope and hesitance in Derek’s expression.
How had their family gotten to this?
He used to bounce Derek on his knee in their home’s living room while their large family was gathered around them.
Now it was the two of them, Cora, Malia and now Stiles.
And most of them didn’t even fully trust each other.
“You don’t mean that” Derek said.
He didn’t ask, he was certain they didn’t.
Stiles made a pitying noise in the back of his throat and then leaned forward to embrace Derek, still sitting on the couch.
“You big, frowny puppy, of course we mean that. Be part of our pack. No Nematon, no true alpha or cryptic druids. Come on.”
Derek looked between them, clearly still not sure if he could trust the offer.
Peter did not blame him.
So he did what he hoped would reassure Derek they meant it.
He sat next to his nephew and held out his hand.
“Big brother’s promise.”
Staring at him, tears that refused to fall in his eyes Derek shook his head.
“You fucking asshole Peter.”
Peter wiggled his fingers.
“Do you take the offer or not Derbear?”
“Huge fucking asshole…” Derek mumbled and took Peter’s hand.
“If this is some kind of trick there is no redeeming yourself ever again Peter, I hope you know that.”
And Peter knew.
He had never abused their little secret bond and he never would.
Stiles reached over to hug Peter too and pulled the three of them together.
“Great, we are a pack!”
After a few moments he let go and stood up again.
“We have to start packing together what we need though.
Neither Scott nor Deaton seemed happy with us leaving so we should not give them too much time to come up with ways to stop us.”
Peter nodded and got up as well.
“Derek, do you need one of us to come with you so you can pack? We moved most things into storage a while ago.”
Derek shook his head.
“After the fire I never really got used to caring about more than what I can pack into a duffle bag again.”
Both Peter and Stiles felt a pang of sadness at that statement but that was not the moment to discuss how to give his nephew an actual home so they just nodded and the three of them went to take care of their business.
Peter was surprised when it was the Sheriff’s car that came to a halt next to their minivan.
Of course he had been very tempted to buy a car that was anything but the epitome of a mom car, but they wanted to blend in and at least this was spacious enough to spend the night in if necessary.
Stiles and his father got out of the car and Peter opened the back of the minivan to transfer Stiles’ suitcase and two duffle bags.
Before he could help Stiles with that though John waved him aside.
“On a word Hale.”
The man looked conflicted and concerned.
“Stiles had told me he would leave Beacon Hills eventually. But until tonight he neglected to tell me he is leaving with you.”
Peter probably wouldn’t have told his father about running away with an older man either.
Well no, he would have, but mainly because his father had been an asshole and Peter a little shit.
“Derek is coming too.” he said because he did not feel like giving the man more informations than he needed to be ok.
That apparently had not been the right thing to say because the man’s face got hard.
“Don’t be a smartass about this Peter. You’re not fourteen and I’m not an arresting deputy. I am Stiles’ father and he is leaving with you. Derek is not the relevant factor here.
I know my son well enough for that.
So I am going to make sure you understand what it means to take Stiles away from here.
I expect you to make sure nothing happens to him, and most importantly I expect you to never be the reason he gets hurt. In any way.
If I find my son on my threshold one day because you broke his heart I will not hesitate to make use of those wolfsbane bullets he got me a while back.
Can I get a ‘Yes Sir’?”
He heard Stiles giggle quietly from the back of the car but ignored it in favor of nodding with sincerity and giving the Sheriff a clear “Yes Sir”.
And with that the man smiled and gave Peter a clap on the back.
“Good. Well then I hope I’ll see you two at Christmas.”
He left Peter and went to say goodbye to his son.
As the sheriff’s car left Stiles came to lean next to Peter against the minivan.
“He wouldn’t kill you, don’t worry.”
“Oh no, not for breaking your heart, but he might make me wish he did.”
Stiles hummed in agreement before tilting his head with a question.
“That thing with you and Derek back there, what was that about?”
Peter hesitated, but only for a moment, before deciding Stiles was pretty much the one person who deserved to know.
“When he was still a child, I think like six maybe, he started to really understand I wasn’t his brother. Since Talia and I had a huge age gap after our parents died I was more one of her children than her little brother. Derek was incredibly upset when he found out.
So I told him about how some people decide to be brothers through blood brotherhood.”
“After we became ‘real’ brothers he demanded I call him my little brother and he used to call me his big brother. But only when nobody else was there to hear it and tell us we were wrong. And promising something as brothers also became somewhat of a habit. The most sacred of all promises.”
For a while Stiles was quiet.
“So you calling him ‘nephew’...”
Peter took a deep breath.
“Was quite a petty move, I will admit that.”
Stiles nodded and intertwined their fingers as he saw the lights of Derek’s car approach them.
“Well hopefully things will change now.”
Everything went smoothly until they reached the part of the street out of Beacon Hills that lead through the woods.
Suddenly the engine of the car died and the three of them looked at each other.
This would be the craziest of all coincidences.
They left the car and Stiles investigated what could have killed the engine while Peter and Derek pushed the car to the side of the road.
Both werewolves looked at Stiles for further elaboration.
“Deaton has drawn a circle around the entire fucking town. I can sense it but not break it. It is specifically to keep us two from leaving. I can’t believe he was able to do that!”
Peter dipped into Stiles’ supernatural senses and started to understand what he meant.
The circle demanded a lot of energy. It had a wide range, specific targets and was not supported by a physical circle to send the energy through.
He could not really tell how ridiculous of a task it truly was but he was absolutely sure it exceeded the druid’s natural magical potential.
“I had the suspicion he might have gotten additional power somehow but I haven’t been sure until now. The more pressing question though is why on earth Deaton would put such an effort into keeping us here. We both second guess him constantly and it’s not like he ever valued what we bring to the table. We already aren’t pack anymore, it makes no sense.”
Stiles and Derek furrowed their brows at Peter’s questions.
“Well he must have some reason” Stiles said and Derek shrugged “Maybe he’s just really devoted to his position as Scott’s emissary?”
That suggestion made Peter scoff.
“That man didn’t move his pinky to safe our pack even though he inherited the position as the family’s emissary from his mentor and served my sister for years. Why would he suddenly become a devoted servant?”
There was a crackling in the air and suddenly Deaton and Scott stood in the middle of the road.
Deaton gave Peter a mildly disappointed look.
“I heard that Peter. And I really don’t understand why you don’t trust me. I have never done you any wrong.”
Scott chimed in “Yes Peter, you’ve got some guts doubting Deaton’s loyalty considering you probably can’t even spell that word.”
Peter raised a brow at that comment.
“Second guessing my spelling skills does not seem like a particularly hard hitting insult. What’s next, are you going to tell me your dad could beat up mine?”
Scott’s face turned red.
“I- that is not what’s important right now! We will not let you go!”
Stiles made a step forward so he stood next to Peter and their hands touched.
There was an immediate back and forth between them, they might not be able to speak but this worked well enough.
For now they both had to stay calm and assess the situation.
Stiles send him a clearer idea of how powerful Deaton had to be to keep a barrier up and teleport himself and another person.
And Peter saw very little exhaustion on the man’s face, if at all.
That was definitely concerning.
If they could avoid a fight they should.
The only thing he could come up with as a plan was weakening Deaton. And the only thing they could do to achieve that was making Scott denounce Deaton as his emissary.
Which was unfortunately basically impossible.
So really for now all they could do was stall.
“To what end exactly Scott?” he decided to ask.
“Deaton can’t keep that barrier up forever so if you won’t let us leave you will have to imprison us one way or another. We won’t just stay because you demand it.
You are not our alpha. If you try to imprison us we will fight too.
We aren’t hurting anybody and we aren’t breaking any law.
All we want is leave Beacon Hills.
Why do you want to keep us?
You aren’t the kind of person to take other’s freedom away now are you Scott?”
The young alpha started into yet another rant.
“Because Stiles doesn’t actually want to leave?! You brainwashed him into thinking that he wants that.”
Peter felt Stiles’ urge to argue with Scott again but both of them knew how well that had worked before.
They needed to stay calm.
To their surprise it was Derek who stepped forward.
“Scott. Think about this. Stiles is smart.
He was always the smartest one besides Lydia, he has figured out almost all our problems in the past. He survived an ancient old spirit that took over his mind.
You are being unfair to him, to someone you call your best friend by not even considering he might be leaving out of his free will.
And you are the only one who thinks he isn’t.
I absolutely understand why he wants to leave.
His father understood it.
The fact the rest of the pack isn’t here probably means they understand too, or am I wrong?”
Scott looked uncertain for a moment before he shook it off.
“He wouldn’t leave with him!”
His voice was dripping with disdain when he pointed at Peter.
And that was where Stiles stepped in.
“That is where you are absolutely wrong Scott. I would and I will.”
“Why?!” Scott asked, clearly genuinely not understand how that was possible.
And Peter had to admit it was a question he asked himself often enough.
“Maybe because he never underestimates me? Maybe because he cares about me and not just about what I can do for him? Maybe because he is the only one who showed actual interest in getting me educated on magic? Maybe because he always wanted me in his pack even before people like Theo decided it might be useful to have someone like me as their ally?
Because he values me as a person and as an intellectual equal. Because he respects me, my needs and my boundaries. Because he never talks to me like I am lesser than him. Because we are bonded and I feel what he feels and he feels what I feel. Not in a metaphorical sense Scott, literally.”
He pulled the collar of his shirt down a little.
“He got a tattoo for me and I got a tattoo for him, a sigil. We share our powers, responsibilities and feelings. He has no more control over me than I have over him, we are as equal as partners can get.”
Scott looked to Deaton in confusion.
“Is that true? Can people...I don’t know, connect like that?”
Deaton had his neutral face on but answered “I...think it might be possible but I would have to examine the sigils myself to be certain.”
Vague as ever.
Or at least Peter thought that until Deaton placed one hand on Scott’s shoulder.
“We still can’t let them leave. They belong in Beacon Hills.”
Scott’s eyes looked a little empty for a moment and then he nodded as he turned back to them.
“He is right, you belong here, I can’t let you leave.”
Stiles was outraged.
“He clearly just jedi-mind-tricked you man! You were on the right track Scott!”
And Scott actually shook his head a little and looked at Deaton in confusion.
Meanwhile the druid showed emotions for maybe the first time ever by angrily glaring at Stiles before placing his hand on Scott’s shoulder again, this time a bit more forcefully.
His voice had a clear magical twang.
“You can’t let Stiles leave. He needs to stay in Beacon Hills.”
Peter realized something about those words.
All four of them looked at him and he could not resist a short eyeroll.
“Derek and I don’t matter. You need Stiles to stay in Beacon Hills for some sort of reason.”
Deaton narrowed his eyes.
“That’s not what I meant.”
Stiles and Peter exchanged glances.
It sure sounded like that was what he had meant, even though he probably had not meant to reveal it to them.
They didn’t need skin contact to know what the other one was thinking.
If Deaton’s goal was to keep Stiles in Beacon Hills, their goal had to be to get Stiles out of Beacon Hills.
At least that way they changed the playing field, hopefully for the better.
They exchanged a short nod and then things started to go fast.
Peter went for Deaton and Stiles went for the barrier.
If they got Deaton distracted long enough until Stiles might find a little loophole to get through this might actually work.
The whole idea hinged on their hope Peter, and hopefully Derek would be able to keep Deaton busy, even though they probably weren’t able to defeat him.
Deaton pulled up a shield against Peter and commanded Scott to follow Stiles while Derek started to realize what the plan was and wisely decided to help Peter against Deaton.
Stiles would be able to handle Scott o his own.
Derek tried to help Peter penetrate Deaton’s shield but nothing worked.
Then suddenly Deaton scoffed and disappeared.
They looked around and saw him holding Stiles’ arm while Scott seemed to be knocked out somehow.
They hurried to help Stiles but Deaton created another shield before they could reach them.
“I really don’t want to force you to stay Stiles, but I will if necessary.”
“Fuck off Deaton, you have no control over me.”
Deaton smiled mildly and it looked disturbing.
“You really have no clue. I have had control over you life ever since you laid your first mountain ash circle.
It was child’s play to keep you in town.
A little meddling with your mail to make an acceptance to MIT disappear, a little squeeze to your father’s heart so you would come rushing from quantico to take care of him and his condition.”
Stiles’ eyes became huge with shock.
“Y...you are responsible for my dad’s heart attack?”
Deaton shrugged “Just the second one, the first one was real.”
Peter knew and felt the anger, frustration and pain within his mate.
This was enough.
He knelt next to Scott, grabbed his dark curls and held an extended claw to the neck of the unconscious alpha.
“Let go of Stiles Deaton or Scott here will die.”
“What the fuck Peter!” Stiles yelled while Deaton snorted and did not budge.
“Scott is nothing next to Stiles. I don’t need him. Do with him what you want. He is frustrating to work with.”
A part of him would have liked to kill the nuisance that was Scott but he had mostly - a little desperately - hoped since Scott had to be Deaton’s power source the druid would react differently to that kind of leverage.
Thinking about it though Scott didn’t have enough power to feed what Deaton was using and Deaton probably would not have left Scott lying on the ground like that if he was the power source.
He let go of Scott and got up.
There was something.
Some detail he was not fully getting yet.
Looking for help he seeked out Stiles’ eyes but his mate was staring at Deaton with an expression as if his mind was a million miles away.
At least until he opened his mouth and asked a question.
“So you need me. Why?”
Peter did not fully understand but he listened to Deaton’s heartbeat and that told him the question made the druid nervous.
“You don’t need to know that.”
Stiles’ eyes narrowed.
“Is it because your power is somehow linked to me?”
Oh that smart, smart, beautiful, perfect boy of his.
Now he understood.
It all made sense.
How Stiles had the instinctive understanding of magic that mostly accompanied highly gifted geniuses even though his powers seemed mediocre.
Why Stiles was such catnip for all kinds of supernatural creatures.
How Deaton had stayed under the radar with his powers.
“Stiles, he is either siphoning your powers or he somehow swapped them.”
Deaton turned to Peter with a deadly glare but when he spoke his voice was still just as chillingly neutral and musing as ever.
“I should have killed you while you were in that coma. I’ve always regretted that.”
Peter could not hide a small smirk.
“I’ll take that as a compliment.”
They might be finding out more and more interesting information about what things Deaton had had his hands in but they weren’t really any closer to finding out how to solve this situation.
“Why aren’t you attacking us? Why are you even here? Why didn’t you just command Scott like you did just now the entire time, told him straight forward I was kidnapping Stiles?
For that matter, a question I wanted to ask for quite some time; why are you always so annoyingly vague?”
And Deaton rolled his eyes again.
“You are one to talk about being annoying. But I guess since there is nothing you can do anymore to stop me I can speak freely.
I sacrificed the ability to lie when I became a druid. We all sacrifice something. I felt at the time like I could live without it.”
Derek murmured “I can’t believe there is a logical reason…”
And Peter had to partly agree.
He had considered quite a few answers but nothing as clear cut as not being able to lie.
“And I can’t hurt Stiles, but I absolutely can hurt you two. I just hoped I might be able to get this over without any bloodshed.”
Stiles pulled his arm out of Deaton’s grip.
“So you can’t actually keep me here then. You can fight Peter and Derek but I just have to wait until you run out of power to keep the barrier up until I can walk out of here.”
That actually got a frown from Deaton.
“Do you really think I would have gotten this far if I was an idiot?”
Stiles shrugged “Worked for the president.”
The druid pressed his lips together.
“That is not a fair comparison.”
Peter could not keep in a chuckle.
“Wow, a person we all despise. It does not give us any reason to not wait you out though.”
“Maybe not but the fact I can draw my power from Stiles until he collapses should. After his magic force I can and will switch to his life force. And I can draw from that for quite some time. It will take years off of him, maybe destroy his liver and cause some brain damage, but he will recharge like any mage does and I will be able to keep him close a lot easier if he’s not walking around unsupervised anymore. He wouldn’t live as long as he would otherwise though, so it is more of a last resort kind of action.”
Derek’s face had gotten pale.
“What the fuck is wrong with you?”
Peter shook his head.
“No, wait, the relevant question here is, why shouldn’t Stiles just do that with you?”
Very little ever sounded as unsettling as Deaton laughing in that moment.
“He can’t. It takes a lot of training to dip into someone’s life force. Subtractive magic is difficult to master.”
Peter just showed a confident, smirk.
“What do you think how his and my link to share our powers was created. Seems like you are an idiot after all. Stiles, blow your powers.”
“You will hurt Peter. Don’t do it Stiles.”
Stiles looked slightly concerned.
Peter shook his head “Even if, I’ve come back before. I wouldn’t ask you to do this if it could seriously harm me.”
With a nod and determination in his eyes Stiles reached his hand into the air and started to blast his magic out with a gold flaming light while his eyes glowed gold and red.
For a moment all three of them were stunned at the display but then Deaton grabbed Stiles’ arm to physically stop him and Peter and Derek leaped forward to keep him from doing that.
They were thrown back when Deaton threw a curse towards them but he had been distracted long enough for Stiles to at least shield himself with his other hand.
The shield would not keep Deaton away for long though so Peter got up again and charged at the druid while he was still changing into beta shift.
Derek was just a few steps behind him.
They could not reach Deaton or actually hurt him but they didn’t have to.
All they needed to do was distract him. Keep him away from Stiles.
And that seemed to work.
Deaton’s blows against the two of them started to actually weaken, so clearly he was losing power.
Only Peter realized it was in fact weakening him as well.
He saw Deaton’s face age and suspected the same might be happening to him.
He stumbled when he did not have the expected power for another charge and landed on his hands and knees.
He felt Stiles’ concern, his hesitancy to blow any more of his powers while Peter was connected to him as well.
“Don’t stop!” he yelled at his mate and Stiles didn’t.
Deaton pushed Derek away again and he flew into the tree line but the curse took his last powers.
And shortly after that the druid was sinking to his knees himself.
“If you kill me you kill Peter as well you dumb boy” he yelled.
And Peter knew that was true, he could feel ot.
So he forced himself to crawl towards Deaton even though he felt like he was turning a hundred years old in a few seconds.
When he reached the man he extended his claws.
“Who said he was the one to kill you.”
And with a last leap he slashed Deaton’s throat and then collapsed onto the asphalt just as the man’s blood started gushing.
It was their second Christmas away from Beacon Hills.
Peter saw Stiles sitting at the window, an old tome in hand and reading.
He looked at Derek who had a very serious look on his face while he decorated the Christmas tree.
He still didn’t smile all that often, but a lot more than the last years in Beacon Hills.
Christmas gifts from their old pack were lying under the tree already, even three from Scott who had worked hard to make amends and was still working on doing that.
The Sheriff should arrive at their little farm sometime this afternoon.
And Peter looked into the mirror in the hallway he was standing in, looked at the grey at his temples, the small signs that were left of his short lived trip into old age and he had to admit it felt worth it.
Maybe he would worry if Stiles ever showed any signs he was bothered by it but if anything it was the opposite.
“Peter, get that sexy ass over here, I am cold, I need my Daddy to cuddle me while I read up on the protection spell from the Yule Spirits.”
He smirked at his own reflection and went into the living room to swoop his mate off the chair and into his lap.
“You did it perfectly last year baby, I don’t think you have to worry.”