It’s the look that changes history.
There is this look on Peter’s face as he is preparing to bite Stiles, who has yet to voice either a yes or no to the man’s offer. Eyelashes flutter as his eyes close, face relaxing into something almost content, nuzzling briefly against the soft skin of Stiles’ wrist, cheek lingering against the frantic beat of Stiles’ pulse like it is music to his ears.
Stiles is starting to tense, preparing himself to rip his arm out of the wolf’s grasp, knowing even as he does so that unless Peter wills it, he isn’t going to be able to escape. But something about that look on Peter’s face stills Stiles, makes him actually ponder his choice instead of giving into the instinctive knee-jerk reaction of ‘hell no’. It strikes Stiles as he stares down at a contently nuzzling alpha werewolf that Peter is asking.
For Stiles’ consent.
Peter isn’t forcing the bite on him, the way he did Scott. He isn’t mauling Stiles, the way he did Lydia. He isn’t silencing the mouthy teenager whose dad is the Sheriff and could really throw a kink in Peter’s plans for AFTER should Stiles decide to spill the beans. This is truly the man’s idea of a gift, given freely, to be spurned or accepted as Stiles wills.
Peter Hale will let him go, if Stiles rejects this. He won’t hurt Stiles, won’t punish him, and won’t bite him anyway. He will truly let Stiles go, if Stiles wants.
And he wants. Oh, does he want. But not to be let go. The longer he stares at Peter’s semi-blissed out expression, the more he thinks back to his interactions with the man this night, the more he realizes that Peter has never once intended on actually harming Stiles. He’s bantered and snarked with Stiles, hauled Stiles around like a particularly errant pup, conceded to Stiles’ wish to get some form of aid for Lydia. He’s been patient and oddly gentle when previous records shown him to be particularly brutal and short-tempered and not-so-happening with the consent-thing.
And then that look on the field, calculating and curious, all the feral strength and passion of an alpha burning through him, softening back into too-pretty blue as Stiles first challenges and then – if reluctantly – submits. And those looks while they were in the jeep, when Peter obviously thought Stiles wouldn’t notice: full of concentration and intent, pursuing every little facial twitch Stiles had with laser-like focus.
Peter opens his eyes, a slow, wry smirk curling his thin lips. “Well, Stiles?” he practically purrs against Stiles’ wrist, and Stiles can feel every movement of Peter’s lips against his skin, every soft exhalation of warm breath.
And, just now.
Peter is currently looking at him like Stiles is the answer to everything, like if he has Stiles, he wouldn’t need Scott or Derek or anyone else because Stiles is it. No one has ever looked at Stiles like that; no one has ever wanted him like that.
That look is the main decider, really, but the gentle, loose way Peter holds his arm, allowing for Stiles’ possible rejection, and the way that – even as teeth elongate and eyes burn crimson – Stiles’ heartbeat doesn’t race in fear, also helps. Because he wants right back. Of course he does. He wants to know what it would feel like, to belong to someone, to be someone’s most important person, to be someone’s reason for moving on. He thinks it may be a little fucked up that it’s a thirty-something-year-old man he really knows nothing about that wants him, but he’s pragmatic, he can work around that.
“If I say yes, can you please leave Scott out of this?” he asks, because he may be curious, and he may want, but not enough to throw his brother in all but blood under the bus. “He’s not –“ like us, like me, he wants to say, because he’s self-aware enough to know that he could easily become like the very people his dad puts away for life if he’s not careful, “He’s too good, for murder.”
Peter smiles. No wry smirks or half-grins. It’s a full-blown smile. And it’s like the sun breaking out from behind clouds, the way it lights up Peter’s face. Stiles’ breath catches at the way Peter’s smile makes his crimson eyes sparkle, the way it melts off years of pain and hate.
“Such a loyal boy,” Peter murmurs, almost absently, still smiling at Stiles. “If I let Scott go, would you? Say yes? To me?” His fingers – thicker and stronger than Stiles’ own – flex against Stiles’ wrist, momentarily tightening, letting Stiles feel how easy it would be to hurt him, to force him, before relaxing again into their loose hold.
“Yes,” Stiles breathes out before he even has time to stop and consider what it is he’s really agreeing to. He’s not dumb, a little oblivious and naïve at times to be sure, but he’s not stupid. There is something special about his consent, something important. There is something about the way Peter is looking at him, the way he is actually considering throwing away a perfectly good beta (once Peter can get Scott to submit, which, admittedly, might be more trouble than it’s worth) for Stiles, something about the strange inflection in which he spoke that last question…. Peter isn’t just asking about the bite. Stiles doesn’t know for sure what it is Peter’s asking for, but he also doesn’t care.
There is nothing he would not do for the safety and happiness of those he loves, which makes it a particularly good thing in many people’s book that Stiles loves very, very few. Scott is the second most important person in Stiles’ life, and even if he didn’t actually want this, he would do it anyway because it would give Scott freedom from his deranged alpha.
And Stiles does want this, wants it badly, badly enough that he doesn’t care what is so significant about his consent. He doesn’t care that grown-ass men should really not be looking at sixteen-year-old-boys like that. He doesn’t care that Peter Hale is only a thought away from Bad Touch territory, and has been almost all night. He doesn’t care that he very strongly suspects that Peter is going to have sex with him sometime soon, if not tonight, and that it might not be a one-time thing. He doesn’t care that whatever this is might actually be a for-life kind of thing. He doesn’t care that his dad is literally going to flip his shit if he ever finds out about this – and Stiles knows he will, because Stiles a) can’t lie to save his life, and b) something tells him Peter isn’t going to be exactly the King of Subtle about any of this, either.
He wants this, and by doing this protects his brother. How could he possibly loose?
“Yes,” Stiles says again, and Peter doesn’t hesitate.
He pulls Stiles close, closer than should even remotely be appropriate, tilts his head to the side as he pulls Stiles’ arm closer to his mouth, and bites.