Stiles sighs, unlocking his phone. It’s 4:00 a.m. and this isn’t a call he wants to make, but between a lot of bad options, this one sucks the least. He presses call and waits for Peter’s grumpy growl.
“What do you want?” Peter’s voice is a displeased rumble.
"Where's your body dump?" Stiles asks.
"What?" Peter already sounds more awake.
"I know you have one, cough it up," Stiles says.
"I have no idea what you're talking about. I don't - "
"Oh my god, don't bullshit a bullshitter, come on. You fucked up my old one, you asshole," Stiles says.
Peter hums. Stiles looks down at the body of the hunter at his feet before glancing around. He’s in the preserve, but not deep, and even though it’s around 4:00, he isn’t willing to bet that some energetic jogger won’t be by on the path a few dozen yards away. Peter just keeps humming.
"I was just going to say what makes you think I have just one? That would be reckless."
"This is a bit time sensitive, Peter," Stiles says.
"Are you asking me to help you dispose of a body?" he asks, sounding delighted.
Stiles pinches the bridge of his nose, counting to ten in his head, reminding himself that he’s already committed one murder this morning, he doesn’t need to double that.
“Peter Francis Hale,” Stiles growls.
“Oh relax, Stiles, I’m almost to you,” Peter says.
“You’re what?” Stiles asks looking around in alarm. “How the hell do you know where I am?”
“I always know where you are.”
“Be there in a moment.”
With that, Peter hangs up, leaving Stiles staring at his phone in confusion.
“What...the fuck,” Stiles mutters.
“Well, isn’t this messy.”
Stiles grits his teeth, barely managing not to jump as Peter speaks from behind him. He turns, seeing Peter staring down at the dead hunter, bullet hole in his chest and his neck bent at a truly awful angle, since he didn’t have the good sense to go down with the shot.
“Please, it’s barely any blood,” Stiles says. “For a werewolf, you’re weirdly squeamish.”
Peter gives him a withering look. “Just because I don’t revel in filth like Derek doesn’t mean I’m squeamish,” Peter says.
Stiles takes a slow breath. It’s after 4:00 in the morning, there is a dead hunter at his feet, and Peter is busy being offended about his sensibilities.
“Peter. Do you want to stay here and get caught with a corpse by some overeager high school track jock, or do you want to be helpful?” Stiles says.
“There’s no one around for miles,” Peter says with only a slightly dramatic eye roll. “Fine, if you’re going to be all antsy about it.”
Peter picks up the hunter’s body easily, which would be kinda hot if it weren’t so fucking annoying, and jerks his head in Stiles’ direction, beckoning him to follow. He does, walking behind him deeper into the preserve.
“It’s not far, is it?” Stiles asks.
Peter stops, turning to look at Stiles with an exasperated expression. “Are you honestly complaining right now?” Peter asks.
“No, but I do have to go back when we’re done and deal with the leaves and dirt he bled all over,” Stiles says. “That takes time.”
Peter huffs and turns back around, starting to walk again. Stiles follows, cursing himself for not wearing better shoes. But in his defense, he wasn’t expecting to be out in the woods in the middle of the goddamn night.
After about ten minutes, there’s enough room for him to walk next to Peter instead of behind him. Thankfully, the corpse isn’t actively bleeding all over Peter. He’d never pay off that dry cleaning bill.
“Why exactly are you in the preserve now?” Peter asks, glancing over.
Stiles shrugs. “Couldn’t sleep. Had a bad feeling,” Stiles says.
Peter’s eyebrows fly up as he stops to stare. “You had a bad feeling...so you went to the woods, where we’ve routinely battled feral omegas and genocidal hunters and rabid wendigos…” he says slowly.
“Yeah?” Stiles says. “And?” Peter stares at him. “What?”
“It astounds me how much you’re willing to deny that spark of magic in you, even when it pulls you out of your home to stop a hunter from collecting a bounty on our heads,” Peter says.
“No, I don’t have - wait, what bounty?” Stiles asks.
Peter reaches up, tapping the side of the dead hunter’s head. “If I’m not mistaken, and I rarely am, this is one of the O’Hare boys,” Peter says. “I’ve been keeping an eye on them but they’ve been working on the east coast so I assumed we had some time.”
“They’ve been working on what?” Stiles asks. "We need to have a serious discussion about keeping secrets."
“Their hunter family patriarch is paying hunters for ‘purebred’ werewolves. Probably for experimentation,” Peter says, lip curling.
Stiles hums thoughtfully, looking at the hunter’s corpse. “How do you feel about a little road trip?” he asks.
Peter grins slowly. “What exactly do you have in mind?”
“I’m thinking it’d only be polite if we returned his son’s face to him,” Stiles says. “Arya Stark-style. Peel ‘n go.”
“I like it,” Peter says. He starts walking again before throwing over his shoulder, “There’s a wonderful magic shop in Louisiana we can hit on the way back.”
“I don’t have magic!” Stiles says, jogging to catch up.
Peter rolls his eyes. “Sure, and I don’t have claws, just long nails.”
Stiles would love to argue, but the terrain is getting rockier and steeper, and all his energy is going to making sure he isn’t going to fall on his face. It’s galling because he knows that means Peter’s going to think he’s won.
Twenty minutes later, they’re at the top of an extremely obnoxious hill, which Stiles supposes makes it a good place for body disposal. Only maniacs who like hiking would want to climb up this, and he doubts anyone would even be able to find this in the first place. The very top drops into a deep but narrow crevice that would be impossible to climb into unless you were a very small child. Peter drops the body to the ground, the dead hunter much bigger than a small child. Stiles looks at Peter with his eyebrows raised.
“Really,” Stiles says flatly.
“You may want to turn around. Unless you really want to see how squeamish I’m not,” Peter says. He doesn’t wait even two seconds before ripping the dead man’s arm off.
“Oh my god!” Stiles says, stepping away from the spray zone. “Some warning?”
“More than a second, please?”
“Who’s squeamish now?”
“Jesus Christ,” Stiles says. Peter effortlessly pulls off the other arm, dropping it down the crevice. “Where does that let out? It’s not a river, is it?”
“No, it’s just a cave. Nothing to be found down river,” Peter says. “What, do you think I’m an amateur? Please. I haven’t used a river since I was fourteen.”
“God, that explains...so much.”
“Oh, would you like me to stop?” Peter asks.
“Nope, no, thank you.”
“Then try not to whine so much.”
Stiles exhales slowly, rubbing his temples. Much better than if I called Scott, he reminds himself. Fuck, or my dad. Or Derek. Or fucking Liam.
He makes a point not to look away while Peter rips apart the body, because he refuses for Peter to see him queasy after calling him squeamish. Though if he starts gagging when Peter peels the man’s face off, he supposes the jig is up anyway. To think, just a few years ago he was balking at the thought of chopping off Derek’s arm.
Finally, Peter’s done, tossing the hunter’s feet down the crevice. Stiles squats down next to the pile of items pulled from the hunter’s pockets, Peter joining him a moment later. Stiles picks up the cell phone while Peter thumbs through the wallet. The phone is passcode-protected, not a shock, but the lockscreen shows a picture of the hunter and what looks like could be a brother. Stiles narrows his eyes, taking in everything he can before humming and tapping Peter’s wrist.
“What do you see?” Stiles asks, passing the phone over. “Because that looks a lot to me like dear old dad in the background.”
Peter grins. “Why, look at you, reaching your potential.”
“You may heal quickly, but it still hurts when I kick you in the knees,” Stiles says.
Peter rolls his eyes and flashes the ID from the wallet at him. “Fake, obviously, but especially when you look at their attempt at holograming,” Peter says.
“Shit, I could do better than that,” Stiles says.
“Mm, very likely,” Peter says, examining the rest of the wallet. “Lots of food receipts. What a slob.”
“A slob because he has receipts in his wallet?” Stiles says.
“Just throw them in the recycle! Why does he have them from a month ago? It’s lazy.”
“You are...perhaps the most particular person I’ve ever met,” Stiles says.
“Okay, Mr. Only-Eats-Half-The-Pizza-Crust.”
“I do not- I am not getting into this with you again,” Stiles says.
“Sure,” Peter says. “A Blockbuster card? I was in a coma for six years and I don’t have mine still.”
“Your apartment looks like an ad for a minimalist circle jerk, doesn’t it?” Stiles asks.
“You’re being very rude for someone who called me for help,” Peter says.
“Whatever,” Stiles grumbles. He picks up the hunter’s money clip, full of ones and fives, before tossing it down the crevice.
“Don’t get rid of the car keys,” Peter says.
“Of course I won’t throw away his keys, do you think I’m an infant?” Stiles asks.
“Well - “
They work in silence for a few more minutes but don’t find anything useful. They break the phone before tossing it down the crevice after the body parts. No need for them to be traced. They leave with nothing but the hunter’s keys with plans to search his car when they find it. The hike back down the hill is only marginally better on his thighs, thanks to the fear of falling face-first down half a mountain. He thinks Peter wouldn’t let him fall...maybe.
“Why me?” Peter asks when they’ve been walking for a good twenty minutes.
“Why you what?” Stiles asks.
“Why did you call me? Other than us being able to see this beautiful sunrise together,” Peter says.
“Shit, the sun is coming up,” Stiles says, thinking about how the hell he’s going to deal with the bloody murder scene. There wasn’t a whole bunch, but still… “I called you because Scott, Liam, Derek, my dad, and anyone else here doesn’t have a body dump. At least not one I would ever use.”
“Mm, that’s the truth technically. But there’s more, isn’t there?” Peter says, a smug, knowing look on his face.
“Look, who else would I call?” Stiles asks, stopping and turning to look at him. “You’re the only one, okay? You’re the only one who I know is capable of this and the only one I somehow trust to not get my ass thrown in jail.”
Peter’s grin is positively feral as he steps closer, his nose grazing Stiles’ jawline before he speaks, lips against Stiles’ ear. “Why Stiles, I’m positively flattered,” Peter says, his voice a purr. Stiles refuses to think about why that sent a shiver down his spine, or why his heart is beating faster when Peter pulls away. “Now,” Peter says, ignoring Stiles’ dishevelment beyond a smug little smile. “Come on, we have a road trip to plan.”