I've had a few comments that have warmed my feels so I'm posting tonight and Friday as well. ^_^ Thank you all for loving Peter.
Stiles woke up surrounded by warmth. He sighed, not opening his eyes for a moment, basking in the warmth. He blearily thought his dad had finally turned the heat up in the house so that he could get over his flu faster because it was warm and toasty all around him.
An arm curled around him more securely and Stiles sighed, rolling over a bit, thinking Derek was there. Though Derek wasn't so much a cuddlier, he was a great heater though. His eyes opened and Derek's skin was really dark in the fading sunlight. Way, way too dark. Oh, Boyd. Huh...
Stiles eyes popped open and he gasped sharply. Okay, not Derek. Boyd grimaced with the sharp sound but his eyes stayed shut, heaving a great breath out. Stiles coughed lightly, morning breath. Stiles looked to his other side, seeing Isaac curled into his other side, his arm curled over Stiles' chest and then there was a head of blonde curls were tucked into Isaac's neck; Erica. And someone was snoring with a hint of a whine and Stiles couldn't see over Boyd as of yet, so he couldn't be sure if anyone else was there.
Stiles looked back to Isaac, whose eyes were open and he had his index finger to his lips. Stiles nodded and Stiles slowly told his body to relax. Isaac still looked sleepy eyed and he didn't bother moving from Erica's grip. And it was clear just who had who.
"How'd I get here?" Stiles' mouth felt dry. He found that they were all huddled on a couple of old mattresses piled together.
"Peter brought you up." Isaac yawned, "You looked wrecked, so he put you here to heal." Stiles wriggled around a little, seeing how loose Boyd's grip was; and he found it was not, at all.
"How come you get the girl?" Stiles asked and Isaac bit down a laugh.
"Yeah right, she has me, and Boyd wasn't going to fight her over me. So he got Jackson." Stiles had to crack a smile and he guessed that was the whining snore that echoed in the room. With what wiggle room he had, he found his cell phone jamming into his hip and pulled it out of his pocket. Nearly 8 in the evening. He'd been there for well over 7 hours and he groaned, seeing lots of messages from Scott and a couple calls from his dad. He was so glad he set it to silent before going to see Derek. Derek had this thing with ringing cell phones, as Scott always told him. Derek...
Stiles locked his phone and put the warm plastic to his lips, remembering the broken feelings of... lots of things. Everything was a mess. One big, hairy, fur covered mess. Starting with the fact that it wasn't Derek he'd been sleeping with for the past few weeks. That fact made numbness spread through him like wild fire, making his mouth feel even dryer.
"You okay?" Isaac broke Stiles out of his head that was spinning into a downward spiral, "You're heart's going like crazy." Even Erica had lifted her head a little, looking over Isaac's shoulder. Oh geez, she looked like a mess, tired eyes, frizzy hair, and pale complexion. Sadly Stiles knew she still looked better than him when he went to the doctor.
Stiles didn't answer and instead, he looked up at the ceiling, telling himself not to get so worked up again. He'd cried in front of PETER of all people. Stiles didn't cry easily; he prided himself in that. But he had been so tired; he felt fractured, maybe even a bit broken.
"Can you get his arm off of me?" Stiles asked and Isaac had to try a couple times to pry Boyd's big fingers out of Stiles' hoodie. Stiles wiggled upwards, the weak floor boards creaked as he got to his feet, making everyone, including Stiles grimace. Stiles got dirty looks from Erica and Jackson, who was behind Boyd after all.
Stiles shrugged and headed towards the door, waving to the pack and Isaac waved back as Boyd rolled over to cuddle Jackson as the group converged in the middle where Stiles had been. Stiles stuffed his hands in his pockets, looking into the flame licked second floor landing, going to the stairs. It was only lit by the dying sun. Creepy.
Stiles tried to ease his way down the stairs and out the door before Derek caught him, but every fire eaten creak that he tried not to make echoed painfully through the whole house. Stiles was working up quite a cursing storm in his head until he got halfway down.
"Stiles." Peter spoke, leaning against the frame of the one room Stiles had tried to talk to Derek in. Stiles got a shiver up his spine because he hadn't seen Peter there when he was trying to sneak out. The guy was like a ninja or something. Now he knew where Derek had gotten it from. Stiles flushed with embarrassment, remembering Peter had been there for his panic attack. God, he hadn't had one for years, it was humiliating.
Peter gave Stiles a gentle smile and waved him closer. Stiles realized the jig was up and he walked down the rest of the stairs normally and they were unfairly quiet. Peter was out of his long coat and had a mug up something hot. Stiles could see the steam in the lingering light of the house.
"You look much better." Peter told him and Stiles shrugged, trying to not look too awkward.
"Yeah, well, compared to what?" Stiles asked, knowing that a few hours ago he was having the worst day of his life, on top of being sick. Peter smiles more.
"Your skin actually has color to it again." Peter said casually and this actually started to sound like a normal conversation to Stiles, "You have that caramel hue that I like in my coffee. Ah, Bisque." Okay, not so normal conversation now. Bordering on creepy. Peter rolled his eyes when he saw Stiles' brows rise, "It's not an innuendo. It's an observation. Would you like some coffee? It's decaf, just so you're warned."
"No, thanks." Stiles looked around, finding the room they'd been in was empty. The hall way was empty. The entrance to the other room next to the stairs was empty, "Where's Derek?"
"Not here," Peter said coolly, looking into his mug, swishing around the rest of the contents, "I thought it was better if you didn't see him." Stiles bit his bottom lip, breathing out sharply. It probably was for the best. He wasn't sure what he would say to Derek anyway. 'Sorry I was sleeping with a double of you because you are the hottest guy in Beacon Hills and your rapier dry wit and your slight pessimistic yet realistic outlook on life is pretty close to my own. And that also turns me on more than I'm comfortable with admitting out loud' didn't quite cut it. But it might make for a good opening to ask him out. Stiles grimaced; wait, not on the agenda anymore. Stiles held his head. He wasn't sure which Derek he was thinking of anymore, "How are you feeling?" Stiles glanced back up to Peter.
"That's a trick question, right?" Stiles asked and Peter shrugged, grasping the mug in both hands.
"I'm inquiring in any way that you feel comfortable. Directed more physically than emotionally." Peter reiterated, drinking the last of his coffee and Stiles tugged his sleeve of his hoodie.
"Better, I think." Stiles looked towards the door and then back up the stairs. Was Derek in the area or was he actually gone? He couldn't be sure, he didn't have wolf senses. Stiles breathed in the scent of musk, mold, and smoke. Funny, he didn't remember the mold or smoke smell on the Derek he slept with. He wondered if the real Derek did. He brushed off the passing thought, "Head's not that fuzzy." He felt his own head and it was warm, not feeling the pressure that had been there earlier. His belly betrayed him and gurgled. "Hungry I guess." Peter chuckled.
"We don't have much." Peter informed him, "But there is still some jerky and bread left if you'd like." Stiles thought hard about it. There was food at home, he was sure. He hadn't been eating much with his stomach churning with influenza. Peter held up his mug, heading into the kitchen, "We also have cream and sugar." Stiles caved.
"I can't stay too long." Stiles followed Peter across the hall. "And I have to let Scott and my dad know I'm alive." Peter set his mug down on the blackened marble table of the kitchen next to the portable coffee maker.
"Go right ahead." Peter told him, going to an igloo cooler on the floor and opening it. Peter wasn't kidding when he said they didn't have much. Half the cooler was filled with melting ice, then there were two jugs of dairy and literally a hunk of meat in the other half. Stiles' mouth fell open as Peter pulled out the cream. The water was tinted pink.
"I think I'll just have mine with sugar." Stiles plopped his butt down stiffly in a charred, but whole, chair, "Lots and lots of sugar." Peter shrugged, getting another mug from the cabinet and blowing out some dust. Luckily the cups and things looked fairly recent, or Stiles would have just said no. No way.
"It's not like it got into the bottle." Peter poured some into his own mug and when Stiles still declined, he shut the igloo lid. Stiles realized there wasn't much option for high quality living here, for any of the werewolves and that in itself was sad. No electricity, no heat, and no running water most likely. Peter pushed the sugar jar over to Stiles and Stiles placed both hands on the cracked white ceramic, which was half blackened from heat and the handle was broken, but there was something almost homey and sad about the letters "SUGAR" on the side. Stiles could almost imagine this being on a kitchen counter 7 years ago, in a normal, fire free kitchen. Stiles lifted the lid with a hollow sound and there was fresh sugar inside. Peter placed a mug of black liquid next to Stiles and the teenager realized he was just staring at the piece of kitchen wear.
"It was salvageable." Peter's voice was soft as he placed a spoon into the sugar crystals. And that was all Peter would say on the matter. Stiles used enough sugar to get past the taste of bitter coffee.
"You may want Scott to come get you." Peter advised, drinking his new cup of coffee.
"I can drive okay." Stiles said automatically and he checked his cell, finally replying to Scott was he was okay and one to his dad to let him know that his cell had died on him. He had a charger in his Jeep and all.
"I'm sure you can." Peter leaned his elbows on the table, continuing to stand, "I just want you with someone who you trust." Peter was giving him a lingering look and Stiles looked up from his cell, mouth parted in surprise.
"I'm not going to hurt myself or nothing." Stiles said quickly, he wasn't THAT heartbroken or depressed. Okay, maybe he wanted to be a bit antisocial after what just happened and never think about Derek Hale ever again but he was not so depressed to hurt himself. Peter chuckled.
"No, I never assumed that you would hurt yourself or that you were weak." Peter waved his mug slightly towards Stiles, "But there is still the matter that there is another Derek out there and Scott also needs to know because we are dealing with something very dangerous, and I'd rather only explain it once to both of you, because I have a theory, and I just need you to confirm a few things." Stiles blinked thoughtfully at Peter, his weariness faltering, "I have a feeling you'd want to answer these without Scott present."
"Oh, um..." Stiles flipped his phone in his hands, thinking, "Sure." Stiles sent Scott a text to come by the Hale house. "Won't take him long to get here."
"That's good." Peter nodded slowly.
From two rooms away, Derek focused his hearing, leaning tight against the wall, unmoving. If everything was silent he could also hear Stiles' steady heartbeat.
"It started 3 weeks ago?" Peter asked and Stiles heartbeat increased a hair.
"Yeah." Stiles was more or less speaking into the coffee mug rather than to Peter.
"May I ask how it started?"
"It just..." Stiles shrugged, feeling like he was back in the councilor's office. Peter didn't rush his questions, waiting for Stiles to continue, "He was just there one night and I don't remember why he said he was there. Then he uh..." Stiles' face reddened as he thought about it, "kissed me and well, touched me."
"It was consensual?"
"Well... yeah." Stiles' insides tightened and Peter raised an eyebrow because he didn't sound sure. Stiles drank a good portion of his coffee because his mouth went dry again, "He uh... he asked me, I said yes, that's consent." He'd been startled as hell that Derek was kissing him and touching him, but he also didn't say no to it.
Peter slowly nodded, "It is. Did you ever think it was not Derek?"
Stiles slid the mug on the counter top between his hands, making Derek and Peter cringe from the squeaky noise. Stiles saw the face Peter was making and stopped, "I didn't think... it was a possibility. I mean, reasonably, look like Derek, act like Derek, growl like Derek; it's Derek." Stiles frowned slightly, thinking back to the other night, "But uh... I guess he didn't dress exactly like him. He kind of avoided Scott. He... He didn't scare me."
"Derek scares you?" Peter smiled a bit.
Stiles shrugged, spinning the mug around in one place, watching the handle go around and around, "In that 'I'm going to rip out your throat with my teeth' kind of way, yeah."
"Understandable. So, you felt different with the other Derek. Did he act different?"
"No." Stiles said and the shrugged a little, "Well... yes and no. I mean, he was still a dick, still never gave a straight answer. But... he didn't make any moves to hurt me." Stiles touched his hand, the one that Derek had crushed and was surprised that it didn't hurt.
"Werewolves can heal humans to a degree." Peter offered as Stiles flexed and inspected his hand, "Isaac and Jackson have been doing a lot of healing on Erica and Boyd, so adding you to the pile wasn't too much trouble." Stiles turned on his flashlight on his phone and looked at his own skin for a moment, which did look like it had more color. It was too dark in the kitchen to tell colors apart now though.
"So, my flu..." Stiles prompted.
"Probably not cured, but you feel better, yes?" Peter asked and Stiles nodded. Why didn't Scott tell him these things? Stiles rubbed his arm self consciously, looking up at Peter.
"So... I started to get sick when I started sleeping... with the other Derek." Stiles volunteered and Peter held his chin, fingers scrubbing through the scruff on his face.
"I think you have a cambion attached to you and it's been taking your energy." Peter explained.
"A cambion?" Stiles asked, never hearing of such a thing.
"Yes, I'll explain in detail when Scott is here, but I think it's been taking your energy. And that could result in a lowered immune system, which would allow illness to follow." Stiles nodded slowly and Peter drank more coffee before asking one more question, "When did you fall in love?"
Stiles froze up, both of his hands on his coffee. Derek grimaced and glared. Why did Peter have to ask THAT question? Stiles pressed his lips together, looking into his coffee mug. He made no move to answer.
"Touchy subject?" Peter drank from his cup.
"Is it that obvious?" Stiles returned softly. His belly was twisting, letting out slow, deep breaths to calm his racing heart.
"Well, given that it's a cambion and that you came here to ask grumpy out. I'd say it's elementary."
Stiles' foot started tapping nervously on the chair rung, "It's stupid, I didn't know it wasn't the real Derek, okay?" His top teeth scraped his bottom lip, "I didn't know it was a big lie." Peter nodded slowly, finally knowing what Stiles had meant earlier. And so did Derek, who still remembered the broken note in the words. Stiles slid his empty mug on the counter towards Peter, "I don't want to talk about it." Peter nodded and poured another cup of coffee for Stiles and started opening a cabinet for the earlier promised bread and preserved meat. Stiles swallowed a swelling in his throat and happily stuffed a stale roll into his mouth when it was offered.
There was the loud sound of someone running up the porch and opening the door as Scott made it to the Hale house. Stiles noted the lack of knocking on Scott's part as well as he munched through half the roll. Peter offered Scott a cup of coffee and Scott was understandably weary of Peter's hospitality. Because Peter was serving coffee to Scott's best friend, and only a few months ago had Peter been stalking his mom. But once Peter started explaining that Derek had been bitten by a suicidal snake over a month ago and that he believes a cambion is impersonating Derek, Scott stole one of the jerky strips from Stiles and sat down to listen to what was going on. However, the real Derek slipped silently from the house, determined to make sure the number of Derek Hales in Beacon Hills was returned to one.