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.
Everything goes to shit six days later, and Stiles isn’t even surprised. Annoyed, disgusted, and the typical quota of scared, but not surprised.
“Holy fuck!” Stiles curses as he dives out of the way of a spray of webbing. It narrowly misses his head and takes out the lamp behind him. Well, no loss there. Stiles has always thought that lamp was butt-ugly but it was a gift from his late grandmother so his dad insisted on keeping it.
Ten minutes ago, Stiles was in the kitchen looking for a snack after three hours of translations and discussions with Peter over the political issues that the Unseelie Court deals with, and another three hours alone of traversing into a new branch of magic, codenamed Project Reversal. He’s keeping a tight lid on that for now (then again, it isn’t like anyone ever asks about the progress he makes in his magical education), just until he figures out whether or not the whole venture is even possible. It would be a dick move to get anyone’s hopes up only for him to have to let them down later.
Halfway through pouring himself some Lucky Charms, a trail of tiny spiders crawling into the house through an open window caught his eye. His first thought was oh those are gonna be a bitch to get rid of.
He doesn't make it to his second thought before two black blurs drop down from above his window and barrel inside, hurtling straight at Stiles. Lucky for Stiles, he’s used to dodging werewolves so throwing himself out of the way in time wasn't too hard. That was three minutes ago. Now Stiles is just playing cat-and-mouse with the Arachnes, internally sending up his thanks that at least his father isn’t home to get caught in the crossfire.
“Stay still!” One Arachne hisses, white eyes crazed as they track Stiles’ movements, and its additional legs waving grotesquely in the air. The creature was actually Mr. Dunston from the supermarket once upon a time if the face is anything to go by but there’s nothing human left in him now. The Bite’s turned him into an Arachne wearing a meat suit. The other Arachne is in the form of a woman whom Stiles has seen before at the library but he doesn't know her name. Both have skin that look a bit like they’re melting, and Stiles guesses that that’s a result of losing their Queen.
“Hell no! How stupid do you think I am?” Stiles snipes back, weaving behind his couch. Damn, he doesn't even have his baseball bat, and all his weapons are upstairs. He’s gotta start stashing at least a few knives around the house. “How the hell did you even find me? Spider noses aren’t that shar- Hey, hey! Easy with the goods!”
Stiles rolls out of the way as one spider leg comes down and almost stabs him through the face, it cuts a line down his left cheek anyway, and Jesus Christ, he is not paid enough for this. Mr. Dunston is now sticking to the ceiling like a demented version of Spiderman, and Stiles thinks he’ll give a pass on The Amazing Spiderman 3 when it comes out.
Thinking fast, he sprints out of the living room and away from both Arachnes’ line of sight for a precious few seconds, and he uses that time to blend himself into his surroundings, as well as mute the sound of his shallow breathing. He doesn't bother with his heartbeat or scent, doesn't have time (he makes a note to work on that) before both Arachnes are scuttling out into the hall as well, hissing in frustration when they don’t see any sign of him.
The problem with camouflage is that if you move too fast and someone’s staring right at you, you’ll be caught anyway, which is why Stiles has to wait until the Arachnes’ backs are momentarily turned – Mr. Dunston still on the ceiling while the woman is prowling back and forth several feet in front of Stiles – before easing out his phone.
He considers Scott for all of two seconds but let’s face it – it’s always a fifty-fifty chance of Scott picking up his calls or answering his texts unless they're from Allison.
So, instead, it’s Peter’s number he pulls up first, mainly because the Beta is who he’s been in contact with the most recently. Apparently, sickness draws people together, though to be fair, even before Peter fell ill, Stiles still spent the most time with him out of the entire Pack since Derek usually threw them together for work anyway.
:Arachnes crashed my place: He frantically taps in. :need help asap:
He freezes when the woman swings around to stare at where he’s standing with nothing but a hallway closet at his back, her head tilting to the side as if listening to something.
Stiles’ heart feels like it’s trying to hammer out of his ribcage.
And because his luck in life-or-death situations have never been what anyone would call dependable, his phone chooses that moment to buzz because he’s an idiot and didn't switch it to silent, and the noise is as loud as an explosion in the previously eerie silence of the house.
Stiles flings himself through the nearest open door – the bathroom – and slams it shut, the whole thing shuddering when the woman collides with it half a second later. Stiles grits his teeth and throws his weight behind it, digging in his heels as the Arachnes start trying to break the door down.
:On my way.: The answering text says. Stiles just prays that Peter will arrive before the Arachnes sink their fangs into him.
Another bang on the other side of the door makes Stiles’ concentration waver, and his illusion spell fell away as he’s almost knocked off his feet. The door is forced open a crack. Stiles hastily shoves it shut again.
“This is just not my day,” Stiles laments, scanning the bathroom for a makeshift weapon.
The sound of splintering wood makes him close his eyes in dread, and then he opens them again, exhaling shortly. He’s certainly not going down without a fight.
He jerks forward when a black hairy leg spears straight through the wood of the door, and without hesitation, Stiles springs forward, grabs the plunger, and swings it around just as the rest of the door shatters into little more than woodchips, and Mr. Dunston leaps through, pouncing towards Stiles with a deranged growl.
“Homerun!” Stiles taunts as the plunger connects with the Arachne’s face, punting him straight back out of the bathroom. And then the woman is there, and Stiles only gets in one good hit before the plunger is ripped from his hands and tossed aside.
“Or not,” Stiles mutters, wondering if he can break the window in time and crawl out. Probably not.
“You could be like us,” The woman leers, which, gross. “We need to rebuild our nest. You could be a part of it.”
“Yeah, no thanks, lady,” Stiles declines. “I'm fine with being just human, and what’s with all the supernatural creatures wanting to bite me anyway? Though to be honest, Peter’s offer was a lot more tempting than this frankly unmotivated proposi- hey!”
“If you refuse, then we’ll just take you by force!” The woman sneers as she hurls white webbing at Stiles, almost catching him this time if it wasn't for him dropping to the ground, except now there was nowhere to go, no weapon in sight, fire wouldn't do shit, and-
The sound of glass and more wood breaking interrupts them, and it distracts the woman long enough for Stiles to lash out with one leg, propelling the Arachne backwards a few steps, but then she’s back and hunched over him, pinning his arms against the floor and practically slavering over him as her mouth opens and her teeth lowers towards him-
“PETER!” Stiles shouts on reflex (How long does it take to reach the damn bathroom?!), legs kicking desperately even though he can’tescapecan’tfightcan’trun-
And then, abruptly, the Arachne is torn off of him with a high-pitched shriek, and Stiles is gasping with relief when he hears a familiar inhuman snarl echo from somewhere above him. Stiles looks up, and there he is, wolfed out and hovering over Stiles with cold rage casting an ominous shadow over his features as he hurls the female Arachne straight back through the broken doorway, the momentum sending her soaring through the air until she hits the far wall with a sickening smack.
Peter doesn't wait around, lunging out after the woman with single-minded intention, and Stiles hastily scrambles up as well, hurrying out of the bathroom after the werewolf.
They’ve tumbled back into the sitting room, both the woman – who’s lost half her spider appendages – and Mr. Dunston – missing one of his arms – circling Peter, Stiles forgotten in the background.
Stiles doesn't waste a second. He takes the stairs two at a time, tearing into his room and grabbing his best knife before dashing back downstairs at top speed.
He bursts back into the living room just as Peter brutally rips the female Arachne’s head off (Man, the upholstery’s never gonna be the same again.), but at the same time, Mr. Dunston is already bearing down on Peter’s unguarded back from above, obviously going for the kill, and Peter’s reaction is delayed because the woman seems to have managed to hamper the werewolf by gluing his forearm to an armchair with webbing right before she was killed.
Stiles doesn't stop to think. He takes two running steps forward and tackles the remaining Arachne from the left, using his weight to knock the humanoid spider to the side and away from Peter even as he raises his knife and plunges it into the Arachne’s neck.
Mr. Dunston’s screech of fury dies down to a wet gurgle as Stiles – head buzzing with adrenaline – slashes his knife mercilessly across the Arachne’s throat. They topple backwards, Stiles suffering the brunt of the fall but barely feeling it.
Decapitation, a clinical voice in his head reminds him, and without faltering, Stiles digs his knife deeper until he scrapes bone, and with a ruthless sort of efficiency, he severs the spine, simultaneously yanking the blade through muscles, tendons, and cartilage.
The Arachne dies with a last shudder, and Stiles toes the body off of him as soon as the head rolls loose, quickly shuffling away from both the mutilated body and the detached head.
It’s not like he hasn't killed before; he’s staked vampires and set fire to more than one supernatural creature, and that djinn from a month ago got on Stiles’ nerves to the point where he was glad to kill it. This latest one is just somewhat messier than all his previous deliveries of death.
Stile takes a breath. A very distant part of him thinks he may want to throw up but the rest of him mostly just feels... nothing. Indifferent satisfaction maybe, that this Arachne didn't hurt Peter and won’t go on to hurt anyone else. But other than that, nothing.
He wonders if that makes him a monster, but then, between him and Scott, it’s never been Stiles with the black-and-white ethics and entirely stable sanity. Scott is the nice one who shares cookies with other kids on the playground no matter how mean they were to him the day before; Stiles is the crazy one who remembers all the faces of the kids who try to bully Scott, and then retaliates by smuggling fire ants into their lunchboxes when they're not looking.
Stiles blinks and turns to the source of the voice. Peter is no longer wolfed out but he is splattered with blood (not that Stiles is any different), and he’s still stuck to the armchair, although most of the strands have already snapped, and the werewolf is absently pulling at the last ones.
Mostly though, Peter is watching him, blue eyes hungry and almost unnerving in their intensity, so when his voice comes out oddly gentle as if he’s trying to be consoling or something, the contrast is jarring. “Are you alright?”
Stiles swallows hard, rolling his shoulders before grimacing at the amount of blood soaking into his shirt, along with bits of body parts that he totally doesn’t want to think about.
“I'm fine,” He croaks out, tossing his knife onto the coffee table. “Not exactly the first time I've killed something, you know.”
“Staking a vampire isn’t quite the same thing as beheading someone,” Peter points out calmly, and then, with a last jerk of his arm, he wrenches himself free from the webbing.
Stiles wheezes out a humourless laugh as he peels his ruined shirt off. “Fire,” He reminds Peter with a pointed look in his direction.
“You didn't kill me,” Peter counters evenly as he strips out of his own shirt. “Derek did.” He cocks his head, considering Stiles with a thoughtful gaze. “You don’t agree.”
Stiles shrugs, heading to the kitchen for a garbage bag. “Yeah, well, let’s be honest here, in a straight-up fight between you and Derek, especially back when you were still the Alpha, you would win hands down. The Molotov cocktails played a big part. The others helped but...” He glances back at Peter without remorse. “It was my idea.”
Peter just quirks a smile at him, dumping his own shirt into the bag that Stiles holds out for him. “Of course it was,” He concurs. “I would've done the same in your place.”
“Of course you would've,” Stiles mutters, and he isn’t even being sarcastic. He looked at Peter a long time ago, and if he lingers too long on the thought of what he himself would do if some crazy bitch locked his father, Scott, and Melissa in a house and then lit the place up, he would always see himself staring back out of Peter’s eyes.
And Stiles is a down-to-earth sort of guy, okay? He sees no point in lying to himself in the privacy of his own head (though admittedly, he lies a lot to everyone else), so he knows that he has the potential to go as off the rails as Peter once did if he ever loses the people that mean the entire world to him, and about as much moralistic willpower to stop himself from going on a rampage as the undead werewolf had after being abandoned to rot in a hospital all alone. That is to say, none at all.
And judging by the man’s shrewd gaze this very moment, Peter knows it too.
Hell, maybe that’s why they get along so well. They're similar enough that they can understand each other in a way that even Stiles’ best friend and Peter’s remaining family members can’t.
He starts a little when Peter’s hand (bloody, ew) grasps his shoulder and reels him in, but he only rolls his eyes when Peter presses his face against the pulse fluttering in Stiles’ throat in a motion that’s fast becoming familiar. The werewolf’s taken to scenting him or sliding a hand across his shoulders or down his back at least once every time they see each other, and Stiles has given up on objecting after the first few times (his objections were pretty half-hearted anyway). He doesn't really mind; it’s not like it’s hurting anyone, and he’s been running with wolves long enough to take it all in stride.
“Shower,” Stiles grunts, head tilting almost automatically to nose briefly at Peter’s temple before stepping back and ushering the Beta towards the stairs even as he gropes for his phone. “And I'm calling Derek. We killed them so he can do the cleanup. ‘All gone’ my ass.”
“It’s a very nice ass,” Peter comments offhandedly, and Stiles almost chokes at the unexpectedness of it. “I wouldn't mind getting a closer look if you want to join me.”
Peter’s smirk is positively smarmy, the hunger is back in his eyes, and Stiles realizes a second too late that he’s followed Peter all the way to the shower stall. The werewolf even begins unzipping his jeans right there in front of him.
“I’ve seen you naked,” Stiles reminds him insistently even as he backs out of the bathroom post haste to avoid the strip show. Despite the bloodstains, Peter remains one of those unfairly attractive types. Not that Stiles will ever admit it. “You're nothing special. You're average.”
Peter’s laughter floats out after him, and there isn’t even a door anymore to slam behind him. “Nice try, Stiles, but I can still hear you lying. I’ll take that as a compliment.”
Stiles grumbles as he stalks off up the stairs. Pervert. At least coming from Stiles, who may or may not have taken a few extra glances at the Beta’s ridiculously perfect chest, it’s normal. He’s a teenager who bats for both teams, and Peter is a hot guy. Objectively. It’s pretty much expected of Stiles to check him out.
Still, that naked hunger Peter showed (apparently, murder does it for him, or maybe it’s just because Stiles never even hesitated – that seems like something the werewolf would approve of) serves to successfully distract him from the corpses downstairs. It’s somewhat disturbing but not altogether unexpected considering the fact that it’s Peter Hale in question.
And honestly, it’s a far better reaction than the horrified puppy-dog eyes that Scott probably would have smacked him with.