“Hey, creeper wolf, come here and help me with this,” Stiles called through the loft, but Peter didn’t react.
He was clearly calling out for Derek, so Peter didn’t even so much as bat an eye at this.
“Peter, I said come here,” Stiles suddenly said, leaning over the back of the couch, and taking a peek at what Peter was reading.
“What?” Peter asked, surprised, because first of all, no one ever called him any nicknames, and second, clearly Derek was more of a creeper than he was, with how he continuously broke into teenaged boys’ bedrooms and followed them around all day.
“I said, come here and help me,” Stiles repeated, and from the corner of his eyes, Peter could see how Stiles rolled his eyes.
“I think you got me confused with Derek,” Peter gave back, turning his page with every intention of going back to reading.
“I don’t think so, but I can see how you would think that, actually,” Stiles mused and then shrugged. “Fine, zombie wolf it is. Come help me,” he said again, knocking Peter’s book out of his hands like the most annoying cat.
“Zombie wolf, really?” Peter sighed, but he did get up to help Stiles with whatever it was he needed help with. “It’s a bit obvious and on the nose, isn’t it?”
“I’ll need some time to come up with another one. Just give me a few days,” Stiles promised, and Peter already dreaded the new nickname Stiles would come up with.
He steadfastly ignored the warm tingling in his chest.
“I brought your book back, big bad,” Stiles called out as he entered Peter’s apartment.
“Big bad, really Stiles? I haven’t even done anything remotely evil in the last few months,” Peter complained, though he felt a helpless fondness rise in him.
“Whatever,” Stiles said and dropped the book on the table before he flopped down on the couch next to Peter, pressing their shoulders together. “I’m still trying stuff out. I’ll find something you won’t complain about,” Stiles promised, and Peter huffed though he knew Stiles would keep going until he stopped complaining.
“Maybe I just don’t want to be called anything,” Peter said, and Stiles actually laughed at that.
“Unlikely. Everyone likes nicknames. It makes you feel loved and like the person actually cares about you.”
“Did no one ever tell you you’re not supposed to lie then?” Peter mildly asked, heart hurting when he remembered how Cora called him ‘wolfy’ for almost a year after she saw him in his full shift for the first time and how Derek had called him Pete almost until middle school because he once said he didn’t like how harsh Peter sounded.
Peter was most definitely not telling Stiles any of that.
“Who says I’m lying when I call you big bad?” Stiles wanted to know, and Peter sighed, because Stiles might mean that, but he definitely didn’t mean the fond connotation that came with a nickname.
“Right,” Peter scoffed, and Stiles got this contemplating look on his face, that always meant trouble.
“I’ll get you used to it,” Stiles promised, although he said it so lowly that Peter wasn’t sure he was meant to hear it.
He didn’t comment on it and instead just leaned a little bit more into Stiles’ shoulder. Peter certainly did not like how Stiles’ scent went all warm and pleasant at that.
Stiles did not stop. He no longer called Peter creeper or zombie wolf, but the big bad stuck around, sounding fonder every time Stiles said it, and Peter was sure that Stiles was gearing up for another nickname, though he couldn’t even imagine what Stiles would come up with.
But whenever Stiles was alone with him, Peter found himself tense in anticipation of Stiles’ next attempt and going by the smirk on Stiles’ face he damn well knew it, too.
Peter was just putting food down in front of Stiles when he came out with the next one.
“Thank you, sweetheart,” Stiles said, and briefly tilted his head back, baring his neck for Peter.
And Peter. Peter just froze on the spot. Because he was providing for Stiles, his mate, who accepted his food with beautiful submission. And while the nickname warmed Peter’s heart and made him feel precious, he really couldn’t take this from Stiles.
“Peter?” Stiles asked, concern obvious in his voice and Peter continued to be frozen.
“You can’t do that,” Peter told him, taking a step back and turning around, unwilling to let Stiles see just how affected he was by that nickname.
“What?” Stiles wanted to know.
“Saying that. We talked about this, you’re not supposed to lie,” Peter gave back, and Stiles sighed.
“Peter,” he started, and Peter was surprised how much it hurt that Stiles used his name instead of one of the nicknames Peter had grown so accustomed to. “Sweetheart is not even a nickname anymore. It’s an endearment for people you love, and I really don’t know how I can make it any clearer than that.”
There was a brief silence in the kitchen, because Peter really didn’t know what to say to that. He hadn’t seen this one coming. He had accepted his own feelings a long time ago, but he had never accounted for the fact that Stiles might feel the same, so he was somewhat at a loss here.
“You’ve been providing for me, haven’t you, sweetheart?” Stiles asked, as he got up and walked up to Peter, sliding his arms around Peter’s chest and resting his forehead on Peter’s neck. “And I’ve been accepting everything.”
“Yeah,” Peter mumbled, surprised to find it to be the truth. “Yes, you have, darling.”
“So it’s really not a lie, my wolf,” Stiles muttered, pressing a kiss to Peter’s nape and making him shiver.
Peter knew he would get addicted to the endearments almost embarrassingly quick. He couldn’t really find it in him to mind.