A/N: Remember way back at the beginning when I jumped on the Steter bandwagon, I started off with Your Heart on Your Sleeve? That was the first fic I ever posted for the TW fandom, but not actually the first Steter fic I ever wrote. I dug Sick Days back up recently and reread it, and I think it's actually not too bad for something I haven't touched literally since I posted YHoYS. At 38k+ words, it's actually still not finished, but it amuses me to see how different my writing's become, and apart from fixing some grammar mistakes, I haven't changed anything, so I thought I'd post pieces of it here for ppl's enjoyment :)
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.
It’s been six days since the Pack’s impromptu fight against a coven of witches, and most of the werewolves have more or less recovered from the nasty surprise that said witches had hit them with shortly before the Pack tore them to pieces. A mix of mistletoe and magic had knocked the wolves flat with fever symptoms for days, and for a bunch of supernatural creatures that can’t get sick, it was more than a little worrying.
Still, they’re finally back on their feet, with only Erica and Cora still a bit woozy and lethargic (and very whiny) at times, so Stiles will gladly put this latest tussle down as a win. Nobody died; that’s a good day in his book.
But they're having a pack meeting right now, Cora and Erica commandeering the couches, and everyone’s least favourite uncle isn’t here. Stiles wishes that would be a cause for celebration, and for the others, it probably is, but for him, well, he’s a pragmatic guy, and even though he’s actually pretty okay with Peter these days, he still feels nervous around the werewolf on occasion. Still, Stiles acknowledges that A: Peter is Pack no matter how much most of them try to pretend he doesn't exist whenever they don’t absolutely need his help in life-or-death situations, B: in Stiles’ opinion, it’s always best to know exactly where Peter is at all times even if that’s not quite possible so he’ll settle for half the time, and C: out of all the werewolves, Peter was actually the one who got blasted with the biggest dose of whatever-downed-seven-werewolves-in-one-
And the fact that Peter isn’t at the meeting is telling: if there’s one thing Peter hates, it’s being left out of the loop. The guy likes to know things, likes to have the upper hand in all matters, is a religious believer of scientia potentia est, and even when he’s not invited, he still tends to turn up at pack meetings to add his snarky two cents to whatever Derek wants to discuss. At the very least, he’d come and lurk in the shadowy corners of the loft like the total creep he is.
But he isn’t here today even though Derek actually sent a text to Peter, ordering him to come because another Big Bad has rolled into town, and nobody knows what it is except that it’s been nabbing people off the streets and leaving traces of what seem to be strands of webbing behind, only like a thousand times stronger than your standard spider webs.
Deaton was about as helpful as usual when Stiles stopped by the clinic to needle the druid for information; that is to say, not at all, but what else is new? Even when he and Allison and Lydia – mostly him actually because Lydia isn’t used to running around catering to other people so she mainly fetched and carried medical supplies for Stiles, and Allison couldn't seem to tear herself away from Scott’s side for more than twenty minutes at a time – were running around taking care of six sickly packmates, all Deaton said was, “It will wear off in its own time; keep their temperatures down and wait it out.”
Yeah, Stiles could've told him that; he would've been grateful for a little more than that when he was holding back Erica and Cora’s hair as they puked into the toilet.
Fortunately, Deaton wasn't wrong at least, but that leaves the question of where Peter is, and hey, someone has to ask, and it may as well be Stiles even though it earns him weird looks from his friends and a particularly constipated one from Derek.
“Who cares?” Lydia throws out, checking her nails. She’s biased when it comes to Peter, not that anyone can blame her.
“He was hit by the fever too, wasn't he?” Stiles persists. He’s not worried per se because if anyone can take care of themselves, it’s Peter, but he can remember how pale Peter looked when he took off for his apartment immediately after the battle, and if a partial dose of the spell was enough to drop six werewolves for six days, Stiles doesn't really want to know what the whole of it can do.
Stiles doesn't fully trust Peter by a long shot but the guy’s lent a hand when it counts, he’s one of Derek’s only remaining family members, he’s Pack, and he’s the only one willing to help Stiles with mind-numbing research at three in the morning, offering bits and pieces of his superior knowledge in whatever area Derek has Stiles investigating at the time (though Stiles is under no delusions that Peter doesn't also withhold information, but then, Peter’s not stupid, he’s never going to make himself expendable to them). The two of them are... semi-friendly acquaintances at the very least, with a chance of betrayal on Peter’s part, but they have a tentative truce for now, so the least Stiles can do is make sure the guy isn’t dead (again).
“He’ll be fine,” Derek grouches out dismissively with a customary glower. Considering Stiles was pretty much his crutch to the bathroom for four days straight, it isn’t as threatening as the Alpha probably wants it to be. “He says he’s busy. Now can we focus?”
Stiles rolls his eyes. They've been focusing for the past two hours. Not counting the bitching from Erica and Cora about aches and pains, everyone has been discussing patrols and recon and who’s strong enough to go out and face an unknown threat so soon after the sickness passed (they all insist they're one hundred percent a-okay again; Stiles calls bullshit but nobody ever listens to him about these things anyway).
“I told you,” He grumbles, clicking through the open tabs on his browser. “I think we’re dealing with an Arachne. Or Arachnes. But – like always – I don’t know how much of this shit is real and how much is another episode of Supernatural, which is why I’d like to know where Peter is so I can get some confirmation.”
“Well he’s not here,” Derek growls. “Make do.”
“Alright, alright, but don’t blame me if the information turns out to be wrong!” Stiles retorted, scrolling down one of the Google pages. “Okay, well, if it is an Arachne, or Arachnes, which – knowing our luck – I’ll bet on plural because life just likes to fuck with us that way, they're basically humanoid spiders. I don’t know if they actually have a spider form à la Harry Potter but they can either look fully human, or mostly human with white irises and black pupils, and their skin should be all blotchy. They can create webs, I guess to capture their prey, which would explain all the white stuff they’ve been leaving behind, and they can infect regular humans with a bite so that they’ll turn into Arachnes themselves, so sort of like werewolves on that front, and it would explain all the missing people lately. Oh, and I found some stuff about mating and reproduction which is actually kinda gross if you think about it, did you know-”
“Stiles, shut up; how do we kill them?” Derek interrupts, eyebrows doing that up-down thing that signifies annoyance and rapidly depleting patience. From the sofa, Erica wrinkles her nose at him.
Stiles huffs at all of them. “Rude much? I'm the only one who’s contributed anything remotely useful today.” He hastily hurries on when Derek begins looking tempted to toss him into a wall. “Decapitation. That’s from three different sources so I’m pretty sure that’ll stick. Shooting them won’t do anything, might slow them down but it won’t kill them, and they're immune to fire, so stick to cutting their heads off. And remember, don’t let them bite you. I don’t know how it’ll affect werewolves but I’d rather not risk having any wolf-spider hybrids running around.”
“Okay,” Derek nods at Isaac, Boyd, and Scott, and they head off to try to pin down a trail. “Stiles, Lydia, Allison, you're staying out of this one-” Stiles, Lydia, and Allison all roll their eyes at each other. Derek expertly ignores them. “-I don’t want you near them if the only way to put them down is to behead them. Erica, Cora, you’re out too.” He glares at them when they try to protest. “You’re still recovering. It’s not up for debate.”
Stiles tunes out the ensuing argument and begins packing up. His job is done, and to be honest, he actually won’t mind sitting this one out. He’s tired from looking after high maintenance werewolves, and he’s fairly certain that Allison and Lydia are as well; otherwise, they would've objected, Allison especially since she actually does know a thing or two about decapitations. Come to think of it, Derek might actually be having one of his rare insightful-Alpha moments, telling them to sit out so that they can get some rest.
Stiles is halfway home when he remembers Peter. Derek says his uncle’s busy, but ‘busy’ can mean any number of things, everything from busy plotting to take Derek’s Alpha-ship to actually busy because protecting Beacon Hills from monsters unfortunately doesn't pay the bills (and believe it or not, people who come back from the dead do not automatically receive a portion of the family fortune, not to mention Peter will probably slit his own throat before asking Derek for money), and Stiles knows for a fact that Peter has a job as a consultant for an interior designing company. Not that Stiles is a stalker or anything but someone has to keep track of these things, and he’s just not comfortable with letting an only possibly reformed psychopath loose on Beacon Hills without at least knowing where his apartment and workplace are. Just in case. Stiles is the son of the Sheriff, and he has flexible morals when it comes to keeping his friends safe; he has no qualms calling in a few favours and doing his own fair share of snooping.
One phone call to the office building where Peter is employed at will tell Stiles if the werewolf’s been in to work lately. Stiles isn’t clear on the specifics but he knows that Peter’s job doesn't require him to be stuck in an office all day, and he only has to go in to turn in his projects or pick up new assignments or make a few house calls, but that still means he has to check in every few days.
Stiles makes the call when he gets home. As it turns out, when he deepens his voice and requests Peter Fenris (cute, not) to check out his living room for some good old redecorating, the lady who answers apologizes and says that Peter has called in sick for the entire week. Stiles thanks her, says he’ll call back another time, and hangs up.
Well, that makes sense. If the spell put Derek and Scott and the others out of commission for six days, then it stands to reason that Peter will be laid out even longer.
Stiles considers texting Derek, but all he has to say is that Peter is still sick, and that’s nothing new. Besides, the Pack is busy with the Arachne infestation, and Lydia and Allison will most likely laugh themselves to death if Stiles suggests... what? Checking on Peter? Lydia probably has her fingers crossed in the hopes that Peter kicks the bucket.
The apprehension gnaws at Stiles though, all through the rest of the day. He’s seen firsthand how bad the fever can get. Even Derek was completely down for the count for the entirety of the third day, never mind the others, and it makes Stiles kind of uneasy to imagine Peter alone in his own apartment dragging himself to the toilet and- god, how has the guy been feeding himself?
Stiles shouldn't care; he really shouldn't. He once set the man on fire (and at the back of his mind, he knows he picked fire deliberately, because it was the best – cruelest – psychological attack on a fire victim), and he doesn't regret it. Peter was the enemy back then, and anyone who lays a finger on Scott will always have to deal with Stiles, and Stiles can be vicious when he wants to be.
But Peter’s not the enemy anymore, at least not at the moment, he’s one of them no matter how many people resent the very idea, and Stiles has never been good at looking at sick people and not helping. They tend to remind him of his mother, and he can’t walk away from that.
Tomorrow, he decides. Tomorrow, he’ll stop be Peter’s apartment, knock and make sure the guy hasn't keeled over or something, and then he can stop worrying about it. Heck, when Peter answers the door, he’ll probably taunt Stiles for having a heart, and hold this entire incident over his head for as long as he can milk it.