Peter comes home after possibly the worst day he's had in easily a good ten years. It's hot out--a blistering 100 degrees, and so dry for California, breathing feels like sandpaper is rubbing his throat dry and the sun is blistering his skin as efficiently as the flames that almost killed him in the fire.
It's his birthday and Stiles is out of town for a convention for the next three days giving workshops on instrumental design and creation.
He's been out all day running errands and doing small jobs around town for the pack. He's had to put up with Derek's incompetence and sniveling for the last four hours and he's done.
All he wants is to crack open a beer, put his feet up and bask in the air conditioning in his flat while hating the world.
What he doesn't expect is to be accosted by the sound of a burglar trying to squirm his way in through the window in the bedroom. He's already hyper vigilant from the long day and being uncomfortable, and if Stiles were around, he'd call Peter cranky or crotchety. Peter would vehemently deny it.
In any case, he vaults over the back of the couch and sprints to the bedroom, snarling like an animal, fangs and nails out for all the primal, throat-ripping goodness that's hardwired into his psyche.
It's only as his hand closes around the intruder's throat that the moles catch his attention and he's able to see through the haze of instinct clouding his judgment.
Stiles is pressed up against the wall, eyes wide and mouth open as he blinks up at Peter. It's not even two seconds later that he's pouting the surprise away and reaching for Peter.
"You weren't supposed to be home for another hour!" he whines petulantly, sticking his lower lip out like the brat he is.
Peter inhales once and lets the breath out slowly, keeping eye contact with Stiles until he's calmed down enough to respond like a decent human being. Coming out of a fugue state can take time, but Stiles makes it easier than being by himself.
"Came home early," he says after a moment.
Stiles, of course, interprets it for what it is and puts on his best bitch face.
"You mean you got tired of Derek and the yuppies nipping at your heels all day and came home early in a table-flipping rage."
Peter rolls his eyes but doesn't respond to that, instead, straightening up and finally removing his hand from Stiles's throat. He eyes the duffel bag where it's laying on the floor after knocking the bedside table over.
"If you knew I wasn't going to be home, why didn't you come through the door like a normal person?"
Stiles straightens out his shirt and sends him a roguish grin.
"Didn't want to take the chance of you being home. And it's been ages since I played ninja."
Peter pointedly eyes the damage.
"Oh, shut up," Stiles grouses, then quirks an eyebrow. "Where's my kiss hello?"
Peter pretends to heave a long-suffering sigh before complying, leaning in to press their faces together. He pulls away after a moment and watches Stiles's eyelashes flutter as he opens his eyes.
Stiles can't have been back for more than fifteen minutes, but Peter's already feeling much better about things.
"Hey, you—where do you think you're going?" Stiles asks when Peter makes to move away, looping his arms around Peter's neck and dragging him back by his scruff. "I haven't wished you a happy birthday yet."
"Mm," Peter says through another kiss. "Did you bring me back a present?"
Stiles pulls back a couple of inches to make a face at him. Peter indulges him by making one or two choice ones back that make Stiles huff out a breath of laughter.
"Yes and no."
"What does that mean?" Peter whines, tugging on the hair at the base of Stiles's neck.
"It's not a present in the traditional sense."
"Lame," Peter enthuses.
"What? I'm not good enough of a present for you?"
"You spoil me. Really," Peter replies deadpanned, making sure to exaggerate his eyeroll for full effect.
Stiles squawks and smacks him on the shoulder for that, but doesn't otherwise let go, so Peter figures he's probably still in the clear.
"Well, if it isn't you and it isn't a traditional present, what is it?"
Stiles pulls back, ducking under his arms to reach for the duffel.
"I had it just before I came back," he says over his shoulder, rooting around in the bag and pulling clothes and sheaves of paper out as he goes. Peter spends an obligatory moment bemoaning the fact that he'll have to clean up when Stiles is done. "I know I should have told you, but I didn't actually realize until just last week."
Peter watches as Stiles pauses to make a frustrated sound and scratch at his head before he's off again, standing like somebody lit a fire under him and leaning out the window. When he turns back, he's got his backpack with him and is already elbow deep in its contents.
He seems to find whatever it is he wants because he beams at Peter and his eyebrows do an impressive dance on his forehead.
"You have to turn around!" he enthuses, and makes little shooing motions at him until Peter relents and turns around. "Now close your eyes!"
Stiles is practically buzzing with energy and simply laughs when Peter grumbles at him but complies anyway.
There's the rustle of fabric and elastics being snapped, and then Stiles is hugging him from behind, bracketing him with his chest and arms.
"Open your eyes," Stiles mumbles, kissing him behind the ear. Peter represses the full-body shudder he has at that and dutifully obeys.
In front of him is a sonogram. Best Peter can tell, it's upside down, and his body acts on autopilot to correct it before his mind is even processing what's going on.
"What's this...?" he finally asks several long seconds later.
Behind him, Stiles laughs nervously.
"Who do we know that's pregnant?" Peter asks, bewildered. "Is this Kira's?"
"Come on, Peter, don't be dense. Of course it isn't Kira's. Why would I even have that? I'm not that big into shipping them. It was one time, okay? One time I made a forty year plan, you have got to let that go, dude, I—"
"Is this... is this you?" Peter interrupts him numbly.
Stiles is quiet for a second, and Peter can feel the puff of breath Stiles releases over his neck.
"Yeah. Yeah, that's what I've been trying to tell you, man.... We're gonna have a kid," he says unnecessarily when Peter doesn't respond immediately.
Peter can't say anything, though—he doesn't have the words or the breath to say anything. Since the fire, he's given up all thoughts about having a family.
Emotions are caught in Peter's throat, making it difficult to breathe, and, beyond that, think. He's only able to feel, and is dumb to the emotions that steamroll through him.
"Peter?" Stiles prompts quietly, wrapping his hand around Peter's and tangling their fingers together in a white knuckled grip.
His eyes are wet, and hot tracks are spilling down his cheeks, making the fire from earlier return as tear after tear rolls down his face. This fire isn't a bad one, though—it hurts, but in a way Peter thinks he might be able to stand with time.
"Peter?" Stiles says again, worry in his voice. "Peter, talk to me—tell me what's going on."
"Is it mine?" he chokes out, the words barely even there, and his eyes burn from keeping them open for so long, but he can't look away.
The hand gripping his squeezes tighter.
"Of course it's yours! We're going to be parents!"
The tears spill faster from his eyes, and he's such a whirlwind of conflicting emotions, all he can do is lean back against Stiles's chest and be propped up like a doll, Stiles's chin hooked over his shoulder and free arm snaked around his waist.
"We're going to have a kid," he chokes out past the lump in his throat.
"Yeah," Stiles says just as quietly, and Peter can feel the splash of tears against his neck. "Yeah."
They migrate to the bed after a while—Stiles rights the nighstand and Peter props the sonogram against the lamp and they lay there cuddled together, Stiles wrapped around Peter like Peter's wrapped around Stiles.
Neither of them says a word, but they don't have to.
It's a new beginning, and while it wasn't quite the birthday surprise Peter had expected, he can't say he isn't overjoyed anyway.