Darcy panted as she ran through the neighbourhood, her senses locked onto two things only, the hunters chasing behind her, and the scent of wolf in front of her. Her side was aching, and she knew she was burning up with wolfsbane.
Panting she dropped against the wall where the scent of wolf was coming from, hope wheeling in her chest until she met the wide eyes of two tiny children, and that hope turned to horror when she realised that she had led a bunch of hunters right to the doorstep of a house with two pups. Now she was concentrating she realised that the scent of wolf was mingled with milk and sweetness, pups, not something she had smelt before, but something that her instincts said were the young of her kind.
To make it worse there was no scent of an adult wolf here.
And then the hunters footsteps slowed right behind her, knowing that they had caught her.
The neighbourhood was derelict and rundown, there was probably that much crime going on here that everyone turned a blind eye to what was happening. The fact that a group of 5 masked people were gathered around a bleeding woman slumped against a wall would be nothing to them.
She had a faint thought that once they killed her they might just run and leave the pups alone never realising what they were, but then her day just seemed cursed by bad luck. The kids took off into the house at superhuman speed wailing like banshees for their dad.
"Well well well looks like we are getting four trophies for the price of one here," One of the hunters smirked raising their gun.
Darcy closed her eyes, tears slipping down her face as she apologised for bringing the hunters to this place, to these children, she knew prayers would be hopeless, they would never be answered at this point.
"Is there something that I can help you fine people with?" The voice came from behind her, and she opened her eyes to see a man walking down steps that looked like they were as likely to kill him as the hunters in front of him. But he just walked down them and carried on walking towards them, uncaring of the guns now pointed at him.
He was tired looking, his eyes bruised with heavy bags, his skin so pale white it was almost grey, his clothes were hanging off of his thin frame, and had clearly seen better days. But there was a fire in his eyes as he looked at the hunters, and a set to his shoulders that said his bravery was not false.
"You wait your turn, we're not done with her yet," One of the hunters let out a cruel laugh.
"You are done with her, and you are not welcome here," The man said firmly.
"Sorry?" The hunter laughed.
"You're not welcome here, I suggest you leave, now," The man had reached the wall by now, and reached out to lay his hand on Darcy's shoulder.
"I am sorry, I am so sorry, I did not realise you had pups, I am sorry," Darcy managed to stammer.
"It is ok, it is going to be ok," The man smiled gently at her, his hand tightening on her shoulder.
"It is going to be ok, what false hope you offer her!" Another of the hunters laughed.
"I told you, you are not welcome here," The man repeated looking up at them.
"Tough!" The lead hunter growled lifting his gun and firing it. Darcy squeezed her eyes shut, expecting to feel the wet heat of the kind man's blood hitting her face from the bullet striking him. Blood did hit her, but from the wrong direction.
She snapped her eyes open in time to watch the lead hunter who had fired hitting the ground, a bullet between his eyes, she turned to man standing holding her shoulder still to see his eyes glowing molten gold.
"I told you that you were not welcome here, you may cause no harm on this ground. Now leave," The man said firmly, tugging Darcy so she rolled over the wall and into his garden.
"What are you?" One of the hunters hissed.
"Leave," The man said firmly, wrapping Darcy's arm over his shoulder and started leading her to the house, completely uncaring of giving their backs to the hunters. Darcy flinched when there was another crack of a gun going off, but the bullet did not hit either her or the man, and she turned in time to see another hunter hitting the floor.
"Honestly, they never learn the first time around," The man rolled his eyes before carefully leading her up the steps that looked even more lethal close up, and into the house.
He quickly led her to the sofa and eased her down onto it, helping her shuffle when she grimaced when something poked her sharply in the back, she quickly realised that it was a spring from the sofa.
"You have been hit with wolfsbane," The man said calmly after tugging up her top and looked at her side.
"I don't know what type," She sobbed.
"It's ok. I can deal with that, I just need your permission," He looked at her calmly, as though she wasn't bleeding out on his sofa and being poisoned rapidly in front of him.
"Ok," She nodded, now completely baffled and not entirely sure that she had not already passed out from the poison and that this wasn't some sort of hallucination from the poison.
The man nodded and disappeared for a few moments before showing back up with the strong smell of wolfsbane on him, holding a bag and a lighter.
"Ready?" He asked.
"Yes," She said, clearly meaning no. He just smiled and nodded before with efficiency stuffing her wound with dust from the bag and then lit it on fire.
When Darcy came too she was laying on a bed and there were four amber eyes gazing at her from the side of it. She blinked rapidly wondering if she was seeing double when two identical faces popped fully over the top of the mattress, only just able to rest their arms on the edge of the bed, and grinned widely at her.
She only realised that she was not seeing double when she realised that one of the children had slightly longer hair that was in bunches with blue ribbons tied neatly around them, and the other child had slightly shorter hair.
"Luke, Leia, what are you...oh you're awake," The man standing in the doorway as definitely the children's dad, and he smiled brightly at her.
"Yes, thank you," She coughed a little and found a chipped glass filled with water pressed into her hand.
"No problem, how are you feeling?"
"Better," She frowned a little. "I am sorry, so sorry I brought this to your doorstep!" She said quickly, looking to the pups again.
"Please don't, you would not be with us if you had not happened upon us," The man patted her hand.
"You're alive, and well, and that is all that matters," The man smiled gently.
"I don't even know your name," She shook her head.
"I am Stiles. This is Luke and this is Leia," He introduced the children who waved brightly at her.
"You're like us!" Leia said brightly.
"Wolfy!" Luke nodded happily.
"Oh, yes! Yes I am," She nodded.
"So cool, we have never met anyone like us before," Leia gave a huge gap toothed smile.
"Oh...erm…" Darcy glanced at Stiles who was definitely not a wolf, though she would not say that he was human either.
"Their other parent," He explained softly.
"Right," She nodded awkwardly.
"Ok, breakfast time!" Stiles clapped and the kids squealed excitedly. They raced ahead of the two adults who moved a little slower as Stiles led Darcy into a tiny kitchen. The whole house was worn and old, they only things in the place that was new looking and well cared for were the kids things.
But Stiles did not seem to begrudge her the food he placed in front of her, though she saw how empty the fridge was. And so she ate her breakfast with the family, the kids eagerly talking to her and asking her questions about wolves and her experiences. Stiles seemed knowledgeable about wolves despite not being one himself, and the breakfast was incredibly pleasant.
She called for a taxi using Stiles' phone once their breakfast was finished, but she was concerned about them and the hunters that knew where they lived.
"Are you sure you're going to be safe?" Stiles asked worriedly before she could ask the same question.
"My Alpha is a good one, he will look after me, and look into those hunters, they caught me completely by surprise, passing through here. But you and the children…" She frowned looking outside to where the blood of two of the hunters stained the pavement outside.
"We will be just fine," Stiles assured her, but she did not feel happy about it. She did get into the taxi when it pulled up, after Stiles had checked it out and given her the ok, somehow knowing that this wasn't a trap by the hunters, and she had no reason not to trust him.
But she did not feel right about it, and the first thing she did when she stepped into her Pack house and found herself was surrounded by her worried Pack who had been looking for her frantically was tell her Alpha all about Stiles and his pups.
Stiles sighed to himself as he lost the fight with the spring in the sofa for the tenth time in five minutes, thankful for the knock on the door that distracted him from his losing battle.
At least until he opened the door.
"Peter?!" He breathed out staring into those familiar blue eyes, eyes that felt as familiar as looking at his own in the mirror despite having not seen them for nearly ten years, not since they had been standing outside La Iglesia and Stiles had been defending Peter's decision to work with Kate, trying to get the pack to understand that he had taken such a horrible act to try and find out what it was that she had done to Derek.
But as ever none of them had listened, and the last thing that he had seen was Peter giving him a sad smile before he turned and left. And that had been the last time he had seen the other.
And now here he was, standing on his doorstep, his nostrils flaring as he breathed in Stiles' scent and the scent of his pups.
That thought had Stiles' cheeks burning bright red, Peter was standing here in fancy jeans that Stiles could see had cost probably more money than everything in his living room, a familiar henley, his car shining and expensive and oh so out of place in his shit hole of a neighbourhood. He was standing here on Stiels crumbling porch, breathing in the scent of mould and damp and disrepair, seeing the crumbling and mess of a house Stiles lived in, seeing his fifth hand clothes hanging off of him, and probably smelling his exhaustion.
"I am coming in," Peter said firmly, pressing himself passed Stiles.
"Course you are," Stiles huffed closing the front door and watching with shame as Peter looked around his house with obvious distaste and horror. "Why are you here Peter? How are you here?!"
"Darcy," Peter turned to him.
"The werewolf?" Stiles frowned.
"She is a member of my pack," Peter nodded.
"You're an Alpha again?" Stiles tilted his head.
"I could be a member of another Alpha's pack," Peter shrugged.
"Unlikely," Stiles snorted, dropping tiredly onto the sofa, and then yelped and moved off the damned spring, his cheeks burning even darker.
"She said you had pups," Peter said, his eyes taking in the childrens items dotted around the room, sucking in heavy obvious breaths for the scent of Stiles' pups in the house.
"They're sleeping," Stiles pointed to the back of the house where his pups were snoring, watching Peter's nostrils flare wider.
"There is no scent of their mother," Peter frowned sitting next to Stiles on the sofa, after carefully feeling for another spring.
"Never was a mother, not in the traditional sense," Stiles snorted.
"What?" Peter frowned deeper.
"I carried them, they had another father, but he wanted nothing to do with them,"
"That is a rare skill," Peter's eyes widened.
"And if anyone was going to be blessed with it, of course, it was fucking me," Stiles said darkly before shaking his head. "Not that I am not thankful every day for them, I love them more than anything else in this world, but it was more than a small shock, and of course something that Deaton had not made me aware could happen when embracing my spark,"
"There is a shock, him, not telling people things that are essentially important until you have already been caught with the consequences?!" Peter said dryly, managing to pull a smile from Stiles.
"Exactly, so no it's just us," Stiles shrugged.
"Where are the others?" Peter tried to ask as gently as possible but Stiles stood sharply from the sofa, his whole body tense.
"Not here, and that is it!" Stiles ground out.
"Ok," Peter held his hands up. "And you live here?" Peter looked around again.
"Fuck you, Peter," Stiles laughed, but it was bitter and wet, and when he turned to Peter tears were streaming down his exhausted face. "This is the best I can do Peter, I have two kids to look after, no education past high school and half a degree, no money, I have three shitty jobs to try and scrape together enough money to feed my kids, I go hungry most weeks myself, I try and get the things as best I can for them and keep a roof over our heads no matter how shit it is, so fuck you Peter, you don't get to judge!"
Peter was on his feet and in front of him before Stiles could blink, and then to his shock, had his arms wrapped around him and was hugging him close to his chest, holding him firmly when he thrashed in his arms and tried to push him away, holding on and holding on until Stiles sank into his hold and sobbed even louder, clinging onto him.
As Peter lifted Stiles from his feet, holding him close to his chest, when he had cried himself to sleep, the exhaustion that was hovering around him like a cloud finally taking hold of him, he turned and found two pairs of eyes watching him intently, eyes that were undoubtedly Stiles', so much so his heart lurched.
"Hello, you must be Leia and Luke?" He said softly, though he was fairly sure that Stiles would sleep through a bomb.
"Yes, you smell like the lady wolf who was here yesterday," Leia frowned, her eyes flicking from Peter to her dad and back again.
"Darcy, yes, I am her alpha, I think your daddy would have told you all about alphas, yes?" Peter smiled as gently as he could.
"Yes he did," Luke nodded firmly.
"I am Peter, an old friend of your daddy,"
"Peter Hale?" The two brightened and hurried over.
"Yes?" Peter answered more as a question, shocked that they knew him.
"Daddy told us about you, are you here to look after daddy and us? Will you be our Alpha?" Leia asked eagerly holding onto his jeans.
"He tries to hide it, but he is always tired and sad, he loves us but he is lonely, and he is sad he can't give us better," Luke nodded.
"Yes, I am going to look after you," Peter nodded firmly. "I need you to go and pack as much of your clothes and toys as possible,"
"Yay!" The kids beamed at him before hurrying off. Peter placed Stiles carefully into the armchair that looked safer than the sofa, before opening cupboard doors in the kitchen until he found bin bags, and hurrying after the kids to help them shove stuff into them.
While they chose toys to take with them once their clothes were packed, with a promise that the rest of their things would be collected, Peter quickly rolled up their duvets and went to Stiles'' room to throw his things into bags as well.
The difference between Stiles' clothes and the children's' was night and day, the difference between his room and theirs was night and day. He had clearly done everything that he could to give them as much as possible, and that had resulted in his going without.
It took him barely any time to pack Stiles' things and have them waiting at the door with the childrens. He went through the kitchen and living room collecting what looked important, mainly what was the children's plates, and sippy cups from the kitchen, before making the few short trips that it took to load everything into the car.
"Ok, we're going to need to get you guys car seats, but for now I am going to put your pillows and duvets around you, is that ok?" Peter asked the kids.
"Ok!" Leia nodded after she and Luke shared a quick look and held their arms out trustingly to Peter. He bent and picked them up, carefully installing them into the car and getting their belts on.
Then he returned for Stiles. The human was still sleeping and barely moved when Peter lifted him again, moving him from the chair to the car before going back to lock the house up.
Then he took the two-hour drive back to his Packhouse with a care he had never taken before, so aware of the precious cargo he was transporting in the car, all three Stilinski's fast asleep in their seats.
"Oh!" Peter's Pack all looked at him with wide eyes when they stepped outside, clearly having been worried about what took him so long after he had raced out the house once Darcy had finished explaining everything to him. Their eyes were locked on the pups in the back of his car and the adult male fast asleep in the front.
They exchanged looks before hurrying over to help him when he raised an eyebrow at them, quickly they gathered the bags belonging to the family, Peter had Stiles, Darcy had Leia and Charlie had Luke under Peter's watchful eyes, and then the Alpha led the way into the house to get the family settled.
Stiles woke slowly, still feeling exhausted, and more than that feeling beyond confused as to what had happened before he fell asleep. He had thoughts of blue eyes and a tightly stretched henley that he occasionally thought about when he was allowing himself to wallow, or when he actually had the time to.
He frowned and shifted a little, aware of giggling from his children and that he could feel them pressed against him, they were in his bed then, but it did not feel like his bed. And...when he breathed in the air smelt deliciously fresh and clean rather than damp and mouldy.
He snapped his eyes open, automatically tugging his children to his chest as he looked around the unfamiliar room with wide eyes. "What the…"
"Peter brought us here," Luke patted his hand comfortingly.
"This is his house! I think he wants us to live here!" Leia beamed excitedly.
Peter nodded to Charlie as he poured tea for him, flicking absently through the paperwork he had pulled together already on hunters in the area, the smell of breakfast was filling the kitchen making his stomach rumble. And then…
"Ah, he is awake," Peter said dryly as his pack all turned to look at him with wide eyes.
"Peter Hale! Where the fuck are you!"
"Daddy! You said a bad word!" Luke giggled.
"Yes I did and you don't repeat that, but if Peter Hale does not tell me where he is right this moment I am going to make sure that his beta form has a permanent perm!" Stiles snarled before storming into the kitchen with a child perched on each hip.
"Could you really do that?" Peter asked calmly flipping the page of the paper he was reading, aware of his pack looking between him and Stiles who was crackling with annoyed magic.
"Yes, I can!"
"Well, I am right here so there is no need for that. Did you sleep well?" Peter looked up at him with a smile.
"Did I...I obviously did consider you kidnapped me in my sleep!"
"I am glad you slept well, coffee? Would you like something to eat?" Peter waved to the table.
"You kidnapped me, Peter!" Stiles was becoming distressed and Peter couldn't have that, the pups were looking concerned now, and the humour he had been feeling swept away quickly.
"Stiles, please calm down, I will explain I promise, but please calm down," Peter was in front of Stiles in a flash and cupped the back of his neck.
He had hoped against hope that the Alpha in him would ease the anger, confusion and distress he could scent on Stiles, he was not at all expecting the human to slump fully into his hold in response.
"How about we all have something to eat, and then my Pack can take the children into the TV room while we talk," Peter offered gently.
"I…" Stiles' stomach rumbled loudly answering for him.
"This is Charlie, Matilda, James and you know Darcy," Peter drew Stiles into the room with the hold on his neck, carefully plucking the children from his arms and seating them on the chairs that had cushions strapped to them to give them some extra height, clearly already waiting for them.
"Hello," Darcy waved unsurely at Stiles.
"Hello, how are you feeling?" Stiles asked her concerned.
"Oh much much better, all healed now!" Darcy smiled at him.
"Here we are, you three must be hungry, it is nearly lunch time," Charlie fussed laying plates in front of the three of them first, then Peter and then the others.
Peter watched as Stiles poked at his food, trying to eat it slowly, before he practically inhaled it, clearly starving. It only strengthened his resolve for the talk that was to come.
The conversation was incredibly stilted at the table through breakfast, and it was with relief that the Pack took Luke and Leia to the TV room under Stiles watchful eye before those amber eyes turned to Peter.
"My study, it is just this way," Peter held his hand up when Stiles obviously went to snap at him. Stiles huffed but stood and allowed Peter to touch the base of his back to lead him to his study, the room as fancy and rich looking as he had expected. He blinked when Peter seated him in front of a fireplace, with a fake fire flickering away in it, before sitting opposite him, leaning his elbows onto his knees to bring him closer to Stiles, holding him in those blue eyes.
"I know that I should not have taken you without your consent, especially taking your pups as well, and I am sorry that I distressed you by doing that, but I won't apologise either. I could not leave you there Stiles, not you or the pups, when I can offer you something better, safer and more secure, especially not with hunters out there looking for revenge after you saved Darcy from them. You were exhausted and unconscious, and I could not, would not, just leave you there," Peter said firmly.
"I...offer something better? I don't understand," Stiles shook his head.
"I want you as part of this Pack Stiles, I can offer you all a home, safety, I can look after you all here and help you," Peter said.
"I know the last time we saw each other I was not Alpha material, but I have changed I promise, I have gotten better, much better, and I am a good Alpha, I can... You can talk to the other…"
"No, Peter I…" Stiles slid from his seat and knelt in front of Peter holding his hands and stopped the uncharacteristic ramble of the other. "Peter, I have no doubt you're a good Alpha, but I...I am not pack material."
"What?" Peter said the word so incredulously that Stiles snorted.
"Well, I am not! Scott made that more than clear, so did Derek! I was told in no uncertain terms that there was no place for me in their packs and I was foolish to think a hindrance like myself would have one. I was handy enough to keep pack adjacent, but my research and magic did not make up for my weaknesses. Then I got pregnant and…" Stiles cut off when Peter's hand gripped his chin, lifting it so that he had to look into Peter's Alpha red eyes.
"The only reason that I did not come after you to be part of my pack the moment I became an Alpha again was because I was sure that Derek and Scott would already be fighting over you, and I did not think that I would even have a look in, in that fight. They are idiots if they let you go, and just proves what shambles of Alphas they both are!"
"But...I am bringing pups into the pack,"
"You say that like it is a bad thing," Peter frowned and then rolled his eyes at the look on Stiles' face. "Stiles whatever those idiots said, forget it right now. Pups in normal packs are treasured and seen as good things, they are doted on and loved by all pack members. They are a future for a pack, and knowing that traditions and knowledge will carry on. It is difficult for wolves to conceive children, more difficult than it is for humans, which is why there aren't as many werewolves in the world, even when you add bitten wolves as well. I would be honoured, and the pack would be, if you and your pups joined us, and we would all be delighted to have pups running around,"
"But...I made such a mess of everything, and I have nothing to offer, you saw my house,"
"Stiles circumstances put you there because you were failed by those around you, that was nothing to do with you, you were clearly trying everything that you could to give the pups a good life. I can't leave you there, living like that, not when I can offer you better. I have money, you know that and I have invested it well, I can support a pack for generations, especially if my investments continue as well as they are. And you, your magic, your pups, that is more than enough to offer this pack," Peter shook his head.
"Just say yes Stiles,"
"I...I...I had a pack bond with them, Peter," Stiles blurted out in one go, saying out loud what he had never said before.
The snarl that Peter let out was furious andshook the room that they were in, a few books dropping off the shelves.
"They...I would never do that! Fuck Stiles! That is it, you're part of my Pack, and you're going to stay here, where I can make sure that...fuck," Peter was snarling to himself. But he stopped quickly when the scent of salt filled the air again, his eyes snapping down to where Stiles' eyes had filled again.
"Yes, I want...yes," Stiles sniffed dropping his forehead to Peter's knees, finally relaxing in what felt like the first time in years.
The feeling of warm hands on his back, soothing him patiently, the feeling of a pack bond weaving itself together, that was just heaven.
When they stepped into the TV room the others turned quickly to beam at them, they had clearly felt the pack bonds forming to Stiles, and to the children. They quickly hurried over and rubbed their cheeks gently to Stiles', growling happily deep in their chests.
"Welcome to the pack, oh so exciting, it has been so long since I have had children in a pack! And such a skilled young man, you are going to be so good for us all," Charlie beamed brightly cupping Stiles' cheeks.
"You have no idea," Peter smirked wrapping his arm around Stiles' shoulders and led him into the room.
"Are we really staying daddy?" Luke and Leia raced over as Peter and Stiles sat on the sofa.
"Would you be happy with that darlings?" Stiles asked.
"Yes! We really like it here, everyone is really nice, and Peter will look after you the way you look after us," Leia nodded enthusiastically.
"That I will, and I will look after you two as well," Peter smiled, blinking when Luke scrambled onto his knee while Leia did the same to Stiles, both of them glowing with happiness. Peter carefully wrapped his arm around Luke as though he were made of glass and not a werewolf child that could jump through a window without blinking.
Stiles felt a sense of contentment forming in his chest that he was not sure he had ever felt before. He just reminded himself not to allow himself to become too trusting in that feeling, not yet.