Fandom: Teen Wolf
Summary: When Peter gets sick, Stiles is the only one who cares enough to check on him. That’s where it all begins.
Four exhausting hours later, the bodies have been cleared out, the blood and gore cleaned up, Stiles’ dad and Parrish are off doing damage control so that everyone just thinks it’s a robbery on the Sheriff’s house gone wrong when Mr. Dunston and the recently identified Ms. Phillips turned on each other, and the back door that Peter broke down in his haste to reach Stiles is now covered with a large piece of cloth. The house really should be taped off as a crime scene but when the Sheriff and one of his deputies are on your side and in the know, strings can be pulled and lies can be spun, which means Stiles doesn't have to move all his books and study materials out of his room.
At the moment, Stiles is actually in his bedroom, and he would like nothing better than to go to sleep for the rest of the day, but he’s also hosting two werewolves so he can’t do that just yet.
“...Sooo,” Stiles begins when nobody says anything for a good five minutes, and his knee is bouncing up and down in the face of all the nothing everyone is accomplishing. “What can I do for you, Derek?”
Derek, standing in the most shadowy corner possible, scowls at him, arms crossed and eyebrows knitted together in a way that reminds Stiles of an oncoming thunderstorm.
He heaves a disparaging sigh. “Words, Derek, use them. Contrary to what you may believe, I cannot actually read minds.”
This just earns him the your sarcasm is not helping face.
“My sarcasm always helps,” Stiles informs him loftily.
Derek gives him the shut up, Stiles eyebrows for that one.
Stiles throws his hands in the air. “Well one of us has got to talk, and if you want me to shut up, then get to the point!”
Derek sighs gustily like Stiles is killing him here. And then, “Your room smells.”
Stiles is utterly speechless for several seconds before mentally running through a list of things that his room may smell like. He hasn't even had time to jerk off lately, for heaven’s sakes! And thank god for that since – apparently – his werewolf visitors possess absolutely zero tact. “I’m... sorry? No wait, what am I saying? I'm totally not sorry; it’s my room, and I can’t smell anything out of the ordinary anyway. If you think it stinks, leave.”
Derek glares irritably at him. “It doesn't... stink. It-” His nose wrinkles in distaste, and his gaze slants to the left in accusation. “It smells like Peter in here.”
Sometimes, Stiles honestly wonders if Derek was dropped on his head as a baby.
“Uh,” He flaps a hand at the man currently lounging in his desk chair and enjoying a bowl of Penne Bombay that Stiles whipped up for him only half an hour ago (apparently, murder makes him hungry). “I'm no expert on werewolves but that might have something to do with the fact that Peter is here.”
The Beta in question currently looks pretty blissed out over the pasta, and Stiles is secretly very pleased. His father is used to good food coming from him so the compliments have dwindled over time, not to mention Stiles always insists on healthy foods for the Sheriff nowadays, so besides Scott on occasion, he hasn't cooked a very wide variety of food for anyone to appreciate until now.
“You smell like Peter,” Derek grounds out like he’s trying to explain whatever he’s hung up on in a way that Stiles can understand.
Stiles doesn't understand.
“He’s been helping me with some translations lately,” Stiles explains. Come to think about it, Peter has been around a lot more recently ever since Stiles gate-crashed the werewolf’s self-imposed exile when he was bedridden. Maybe all these visits are some sort of convoluted payback? Ah well, Stiles can’t complain. Research is more fun with someone to bounce ideas off of, and Peter is a fountain of knowledge.
A fountain of knowledge that normally requires at least half an hour of needling from Stiles before giving any information away. A fountain of knowledge that doesn't seem to be living up to that reputation lately.
Stiles side-eyes the older werewolf suspiciously. Peter feigns obliviousness; Stiles knows this because Peter is never oblivious about anything, with the exception of when he’s indisposed.
“You shouldn't spend so much time with him, Stiles,” Derek growls at last, sounding fed-up with the entire situation. He doesn't seem to care that his uncle is right there.
Stiles stares at him for a long, incredulous moment. “Dude, you're not my dad, and I’m not a kid. I can spend time with whoever I want.”
Every line of Derek’s posture exudes disapproval like a deeply disappointed parent, which is both rich and kind of insulting because any mistakes Derek thinks Stiles has committed, the Alpha’s definitely fucked up at least twice as badly, so where does he get off acting like he has any room to judge? The dude is barely even a friend most of the time, and it’s times like this when Derek tries to hold some authority over him that irritates the hell out of Stiles. Stiles tries to keep an open mind because sometimes – all the time – Derek just sucks at showing concern, so you never know if he’s genuinely worried or just being an ass. Although admittedly, it’s often that he’s an ass.
“Stiles,” He starts again with a deep glower like he thinks Stiles is being difficult on purpose. “You're seventeen-"
“And turning eighteen soon!”
“-and you're spending all your time with a man twice your age. That’s-” His jaw works for a moment before he finally settles on, “That’s not healthy.”
Stiles rolls his eyes. “And exactly what do you think we’re doing together? It’s just research! And an occasional meal! We’ve been doing that for months now! You've seen us at your loft when we pulled all-nighters for the Pack. Heck, you've thrown us together more than once to do exactly what we’re doing now!”
“It’s not the same!” Derek barks out, frustration making his shoulder muscles bunch. He sighs again before sending a hard, warning glare at his uncle, one that Peter expertly ignores in favour of his pasta. “You can’t trust him.”
“I don’t trust him,” Stiles automatically assures, and then he flushes when Derek looks at him with something akin to horror, and even Peter deigns to glance up, eyebrows rising as he slowly swallows a piece of shrimp.
“I don’t trust him completely,” Stiles amends, and this time, his heart doesn't blip with a lie. He gnaws on his bottom lip for a moment, avoids Peter’s probing gaze, and then admits, “I trust him enough to call him for help. Like today.” He thinks about it some more, and then tacks on matter-of-factly, “I trust him to not want me dead yet.”
Derek looks at him like he thinks Stiles is legit crazy. Stiles doesn't hold it against him. Everyone and their dog have looked at him like that at least once.
“And when he does?” Derek’s voice oozes derision. From his peripheral vision, Stiles can see Peter smirking in a way that would ring alarm bells in anyone’s head, clearly provoking his nephew’s ire to Mount Everest heights (and succeeding), but at the same time, the expression seems a little forced around the edges, if only to Stiles.
Or it could just be his mind playing tricks on him.
“If he does,” Stiles corrects all the same.
Derek’s eyebrows reinvent disbelief.
“If he does,” Stiles reiterates, letting his gaze slice over to where Peter is still sitting in silence. “Then at the very least,” He bares his teeth in a cheap imitation of his usual joking grin. There are days when he thinks that he’s more wolf than human now. “I’ll take him with me when I die.”
Peter grins too then, a far more impressive display of lethality than Stiles will ever be able to pull off.
“And what a way we’d go,” The Beta purrs right back. “But I’ve told you more than once, Stiles – it would be a shame for you to die prematurely. I’d rather keep you by my side than see you dead.”
“Keep me by your side and you won’t,” Stiles shoots back, only half-serious now as the two of them relax back into their usual repartee. “Because it’ll be that much easier for me to gut you with wolfsbane.”
Of course, their version of usual consists of dancing a fine line between playful wit and genuine threats.
“So crude,” Peter summons up a moue of mournful disappointment that’s completely at odds with the gleam in his eyes. “I’d prefer a prettier death myself-”
“Stop,” Derek cuts off their banter, staring at both of them like they've grown extra limbs or something. They both blink back enquiringly.
“Derek, what is this really about?” Stiles prods when the Alpha looks like he needs some prompting (again).
But Derek only nails his uncle with a warning glower, and his fangs even begin to peek through. Peter is no help at all, smiling back with the sole purpose of giving his nephew a coronary. His expression is amused and too innocent to be real.
Stiles on the other hand has seriously had enough of this absurd posturing that makes no sense to him at all.
He’s on his feet and moving to stand in front of Peter before either werewolf can blink, and he even gets to snap his fingers to focus those Alpha-red eyes on him.
“Alright, Derek, as exciting as this staring competition is, I don’t even have popcorn to snack on while you're at it, so...” He makes a shooing motion with his hands. “Out. This is my bedroom; stop invading it like the place belongs to you.”
Derek’s eyes flash. Stiles arches an eyebrow, wholly unimpressed.
“Peter-” Derek starts. It sounds like the beginning of an order.
“-stays,” Stiles finishes with finality. “Peter stays.” He pauses, and then throws a glance over his shoulder. “If he wants.”
Peter’s still smiling from where he’s sitting, but his features are frozen in a way that makes him look a bit stunned at the same time.
The dual expression is wiped away in the blink of an eye though, certainly before Derek can peer around Stiles to spot it, and then Peter’s on his feet and sauntering forward, the pasta balanced in one hand while his free arm drapes itself over Stiles’ shoulders. The smirk is back, and Derek looks pissed again. More pissed. Whatever.
“Oh, I want,” Peter purrs with about a dozen different sexual connotations underscoring his voice. Now Derek looks torn between calling up the Sherriff to get Peter arrested and just going with the simpler route of tearing Peter’s throat out again.
Stiles only rolls his eyes because he is totally used to this by now. He jabs Peter in the ribs with an elbow (it doesn't affect the werewolf at all) which doesn't do a thing to dislodge the Beta’s arm, so with a long-suffering why-is-this-my-life sigh, he waves a hand at the window instead. “Go, Derek. I'm fine, Peter’s fine, everyone’s one hundred percent peachy. Go home.”
There’s really not much else Derek can do besides leave after that, but the look he shoots at his uncle promises a not-so-pleasant confrontation in the foreseeable future.
“Really?” Stiles ducks out from under Peter’s arm, entirely unsympathetic to the ridiculous pout that the werewolf attempts to imitate. “You had to goad him like that?”
The pout melts away, replaced by a lazy smirk again as he takes a seat on the edge of Stiles’ bed and returns to his pasta. “Oh Stiles, I can’t consider my week complete without goading Derek at least once every time I see him. You wouldn't deprive me of one of the few joys I have left in life, would you?”
Stiles throws up his hands. “You're a twisted individual who should find new hobbies,” He huffs at the Beta, who – surprise, surprise – isn’t listening. Well, he is, but Stiles will eat his physics textbook if Peter actually stops. And really, taunting Derek is better than – say – indiscriminate murder for a hobby. Perspective, right?
“Alright, scoot over,” Stiles grumbles around a yawn, kicking off his shoes before flopping onto his bed and momentarily suffocating himself with his pillow. “I'm gonna go to bed so you'll have to see yourself out when you leave.”
He’s actually pretty tired, from both the latest supernatural showdown as well as the hours of research and magical experimentation he was working on before that, so he’s nodding off within minutes.
That doesn't stop him from twitching when he feels Peter rest an almost proprietary hand against his upper back, fingers tapping possessively against the back of his neck. Stiles would roll his eyes if the action doesn't take more energy than he wants to expend.
He dithers for a moment, comes to the conclusion that he doesn't give a fuck right now, and rolls over sleepily until he bumps into Peter’s side. Burying his face into the recognizable smells of earth and night skies, and boldly throwing an arm over Peter’s waist for good measure, Stiles mutters, “There, have your fill, creeperwolf. Now let me sleep.”
The last thing he’s aware of is Peter’s hum of contentment from somewhere above him.
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