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There’s Room to Grow

by West Wind

For 2022 Big Moxie Q3 Challenge
Warnings: Violence-Canon-Level, Kidnapping
Genre: Shifter, Crossover
Pairings: Tony DiNozzo/Peter Hale
Fandoms: Teen Wolf & NCIS       
Rating: PG-13
Words: 6,845

Summary: How Peter Hale, director of The Agency of Paranormal Disputes, becomes an alpha when saving his partner.

Author’s notes: This story is set in the same world as There’s Time to Change and nine months after the creation of the new agency. It was fun to revisit this world and flesh out an event referenced in Change’s epilogue – all thanks to the Moxie challenge.


Cast Page

Ian Bohen, Michael Weatherly
Vincent Tong, Kiara Barnes, Jane Levy
Dame Judith Dench, Steven Lang

There’s Time to Grow art banner

“This just came through from the FBI.” Vivian Franco, Tony’s acting administrative assistant and their in-house tech genius, handed him a folder. 

Tony accepted the folder on his way to the office he shared with Peter. He walked back to his desk while skimming the information. He closed and dropped the folder on his desk before sitting down. Peter looked up from his computer and raised a questioning eyebrow.

“There’s hunter activity in Maryland.” Tony spun to face Peter. “That’s the third hunter incursion in six weeks. You would think they would get the hint and pass the word around of the new world order after we took down the Holden family.” He finished with a huff.

Peter leaned back in his chair. “It’s not been a year, and they are slow to learn.” He twirled a pen between his fingers. “We are upsetting their centuries-long legacy.” He flashed Tony a smirk. “They just don’t see the writing on the wall yet. We have taken out major members of two families, but they are still limping along. They probably see it as a fluke instead of the beginning of a war.” Peter flashed his eyes and grinned at the prospect.

Tony steepled his hands in front of his chest. “I guess it’s inconceivable that someone will force them to heel.” He shook his head. “Do they not see the pattern? Gerard isn’t the only one we’ve put away because of illegal activities not directly related to hunting.” 

“Some probably do. However, until we topple several of the reigning families, we won’t be taken seriously.”

“We are close to neutering the Argents.”

“Chris and his wife are still free,” Peter said. “Kono is gathering more information against Victoria daily. We’ll be ready as soon as she makes the wrong… or right move. She’ll find herself behind bars for several years.” 

“With her history, she will.” Tony tapped his lip. “Chris… he’s a follower, but left to his own devices… seems to fall back on protocol.”

Peter snorted.

“I know, not that great, but I think there’s more than just lip service to their creed for him on some level. Down the line, he may be useful to us if he can see the hypocrisy between his family’s action and their mandate. But, that will take cutting him off from the herd.”   

“Possibly,” Peter slowly answered. “I’d rather not leave any of them free.”

Tony inclined his head. “I know, but we both know that’s an impossibility. We need to develop assets among them.” He turned his attention back to the folder on his desk. He tapped the page. “I wonder which family this group of hunters is connected to?”

Peter took up a position behind Tony. He placed a hand on his back and leaned over to read the file. “I didn’t know there was a pack in Thurmont.”

Tony flipped through the file. “I don’t know if it’s a pack of werewolves or not. Vivian said the FBI forwarded it. It appears to have come from one of the drakon data analysts versus an active case. They forwarded it to us based on the local police reports.”

Peter rested his chin on Tony’s shoulder and hummed. “Ariella can get us the information on what type of supernatural beings are there then.”

“The hunters are escalating. They started with property damage and have moved up to harassment.”

“Brazen to do it in front of the local deputy,” Peter said, reading the file.

Tony snorted. “Not surprising based on our past experiences… but I’d expect them to pull that move in front of someone on their payroll.” He tapped his finger against the file. “Do you think they are trying to bait them into making a move?”

“Depends on the type of supernaturals and who the hunters are.” Peter leaned down and pressed a kiss to Tony’s neck.  

Tony turned his head and accepted a kiss on his lips. “Hmm, true. We should call the team for a meeting on this. Head there tomorrow… maybe tonight depending on what else we find.”

Peter rested his forehead against Tony’s and made dissatisfied grumbles. 

“I know, but we’ve a job to do and people to protect. We can make out later.”

Peter stepped back and gave Tony room to get up. He followed Tony out to the bullpen. 


Tony passed folders around the conference table to their gathered team. “New case.” He sat down beside Peter.

Ariella Griffin read the first page. “Nick told me he was sending something our way.”

“Another of your cousins?” Kono Tadasu asked.

“Distant, but yeah.”

“Did he give you any information on the supernaturals in the area?” Peter asked.

She leaned back in her chair. “It’s a small mixed community with a family of werewolves at the heart. They run a large orchard. Have for three generations. I’ve got requests for additional information on them that I’m waiting to hear back on. I’ll have a report to you by this afternoon.”

Tony flipped the copies of the filed police reports. He tapped it. “Kono, I want you to see what you can find on the names listed in the reports.”  

“Will do. What’re the chances they are aliases?”

Peter answered, “Depends where they fit into the hunter families. If they are grunts, chances are low. But the higher up they are…”

“So is the likelihood of having good fake aliases,” Kono answered.

Peter nodded then directed the next comment to Tony. “Does that mean you are going to check for any similar cases?”

Tony nodded.

“I’ll reach out to my contacts and get things arranged for us to head out in the morning,” Peter continued. He clapped his hands. “We all have our assignments. Get to them, and we’ll touch base before the end of the day.”

They acknowledged the order and headed out of the conference room.


Peter automatically sniffed the air when they got out of the agency car after parking in the orchard’s parking lot. There was nothing unusual, and the smell of gunpowder was absent. He met Tony’s eyes over the top of the sedan and knew they were on the same page. He glanced back at the other two members of their team who were assessing the area around them.

“Stay with the cars for now. Tony and I will go in and talk with their representative.”

Kono scratched his chin. “I thought you cleared it with them yesterday…”

“Pack politics and manners,” Ariella said.

Kono’s face scrunched up. “I thought that had more to do with homes…”

“It applies to territory,” Peter said.

“Pack-run businesses count as pack territory as well,” Ariella jumped back in.

“Even ones that serve the public… that have lots of people passing through? What if Peter just stopped by to buy apples?”

“Since I’m not part of the community and if my intentions were to only patronize their establishment for its stated purpose, then I would not have to stand on protocol. However, acknowledging their claim to the area once I realized it was a pack-run establishment would be polite and expected,” Peter explained.

Tony continued to scan the area around them and track who was close enough to listen in. “But we are here on business regarding the pack and not only to buy apples.”

“So the supernatural etiquette guide is to be followed,” Kono said. He also kept an eye on those around them for signs of trouble.

“When in doubt, follow it,” Tony said.  

Peter headed to the building. Tony fell into step beside him. A flick of Tony’s finger indicated he noticed the lurkers watching them from the shadows of the store. A bump of their hands indicated his acknowledgment. He did admire Tony’s observation skills. He was better than many wolves he knew, and he was getting better as he learned to utilize his magic.

They entered the store. It took only a moment to locate the office and head that way. Peter felt eyes on them as they moved through the store. Tony smiled and nodded to those who obviously took note of their presence. The office door opened before they got there.

An older man, fitting the stereotype of a farmer in a plaid shirt and overalls, stood in the doorway. He gave Tony a quick once-over but focused on Peter.

“Mr. Banks?” Peter asked with deference yet not appearing subservient. It was a fine line he had to walk in his position and with opening relations with a previously unknown pack.

“Yeah,” Mr. Banks answered. He tilted his head inviting them in and stepped back.

Peter entered first. His attention was instantly drawn to the petite woman sitting behind the desk. Peter inclined his head in respect to the aura of authority that naturally pooled around her. He had only met a few alphas so rooted in their power and comfortable with who they were to radiate such a feeling. 

This was what Talia and many other alphas tried to emulate but failed. Some did so better than others, but the number of alphas that gave off the sense of power, control, and serenity as Alpha Banks was few. Peter suspected it was more a factor of time and understanding of self and the world than it was the amount of power. 

“Alpha Banks, thank you for seeing us.” Peter bowed his head.

Tony followed his lead with the grace his natural charm gave him.

“I’m Beta Peter Hale and this is my mate and work partner Tony DiNozzo.”

She studied them with hard unreadable eyes. Her husband moved to stand behind her. Peter stood respectfully as the supplicant he was to the ruler of the territory. 

“Sit,” she commanded, releasing them from her gaze, having found whatever she was looking for.

They settled into the two chairs before the desk. She folded her hands before her on the desk. She leaned forward.

“I did check up on you, Beta Hale,” Alpha Banks said.

Peter inclined his head and held his tongue. After meeting her, he knew she was the type of alpha who would gather information before meeting strangers. 

“What you are trying to establish is intriguing.” She tapped a finger on the desk. “I’m not sure of its efficacy and long-term benefit to the community.” She paused. Her eyes never left them. 

It was a test. Peter waited for her to issue the invitation for information. There was just a hint of a curve of approval to her mouth.

“Why do you think this will work in the long run and not just open our communities to greater threats?”

“Let me start with a question of my own… to gauge where to start,” Peter said.

She motioned for him to go ahead and ask.

“How familiar are you with what happened to my family last year?”

“I know several of the Argents are no longer an issue after being involved with Beacon Hills,” she said. She waved a hand in the air. “The rest is rumor and speculation.” She lifted an eyebrow requesting the information.

“Over a year ago, Kate Argent set her sights on my family,” Peter started. “She targeted my teenage nephew as one of the avenues to gather information on and access to the family. None of us realized it.”

“How did you find out?” Alpha Banks asked.

Tony lifted a hand in the air. “That would be because of me. I was on an undercover operation that got hijacked by three hunters that were very unhappy with Miss Argent and wanted to ruin whatever she was doing in Beacon Hills.”

Mr. Banks snorted a short laugh.

“I just have that kind of luck… really,” Tony insisted.

Peter reached over and squeezed Tony’s hand. “He does.”

“How did his luck bring down Kate Argent?” Alpha Banks asked.

Peter and Tony exchanged a quick conversation with looks. Peter nodded for Tony to proceed.

“The hunters believed I was going to help them, and I was biding my time for an opening to extract myself safely. If I managed to disrupt their plan in the process, all the better.”

“Did you know about werewolves before this?” Mr. Banks asked.

“No. They kept it on the down low until they captured Peter. Their main target was Kate because she messed up their hunts and got one of them thrown in jail. They knew her target was the Hales so they grabbed Peter to get her attention when they couldn’t locate her in town.

“I freed Peter, and we took the hunters out.”

“Because he was a federal agent, government agencies had to be involved,” Peter said.

Tony nodded. “I called my director at the time because of the uniqueness of the situation. It turned out that our government is not as naive about the supernatural as believed. He knew about it and sent a team led by a Kholkikos drakon.”

Both the Banks’ attention was caught by that name drop.

“I thought they were extinct or those few that remained were in hiding,” Alpha Banks said.

“They did go into hiding, but they also changed how they protect the supernatural communities once hunters started targeting them first when entering a territory,” Peter informed them. “They took up positions that would allow them to help facilitate minimization of exposure when things slip.”

“How?” Alpha Banks’ curiosity was evident in that one word.

“By taking up jobs where the worlds would intersect,” Tony said. “Jobs like teachers, law enforcement, judges, and even as politicians. Jobs where they could mitigate or hide slips made by supernaturals and where they could create networks to aid in keeping the supernatural world from the public at large.”

Alpha Banks leaned back in her chair contemplatively. “Are you an extension of their work?”

Peter wabbled his hand in the air. “Not directly. The creation of APD was spearheaded by the new director of Homeland Security Tom Marrow. He has distant family members in our world. He saw the injustice of the current system, as well as, the threat that the hunters are to the nation. He used that last point to create an agency to police both sides of the conflict in a more equitable manner.”

“You think this will work?” Mr. Banks asked. “This isn’t a cover for government experiments or something?”

“You have valid concerns,” Tony acknowledged. “I can offer reasons we are not what you fear, but only time and actions will prove our sincerity and commitment. So far, we only have nine months under our belt. In that time, we have prosecuted twenty hunters for a variety of offenses resulting in jail time.”

“What impact have you had on the supernatural community so far?” Mr. Banks asked.

Peter addressed that question. “There was one beta we helped find a new pack, but most of our efforts, at this point, are in tracking misbehaving hunters and inflicting consequences for their actions.”

“And that is what brought you to us.” Alpha Banks raised an eyebrow.

“Yes,” Peter said. “Your reports of vandalism and harassment fit the profile. My greatest desire is to prevent others from the fate Argent had planned for my family.”

“Which was?” she prodded since the conversation drifted from the topic.

“She tried trapping us all in our home and burning the house down around us… human and werewolf.”

Both Banks’ eyes flashed at that.

“After Tony’s case was wrapped up, he spotted Kate with my nephew on his way out of town.”

“Which raised red flags,” Tony added. “She was being too familiar with a fifteen-year-old.”

“An in-the-know team was sent in to investigate. They took her out before she could fulfill her plan.”

“There have been other packs that died in fires…” she slowly said as if testing each word. She lifted an eyebrow in inquiry. 

“We found several packs she took out that way during our investigation,” Peter answered.

“I knew hunters were code breakers… but that’s outright abandoning it,” Mr. Banks hissed.

“That is why we exist,” Tony said. “We don’t know for sure those bothering you are such, but we want to investigate to be sure.”

Alpha Banks nodded. “You have my permission. I’ll inform my pack of your intentions. Good hunting.”


From his seat, Tony slid the drawing pad over to the teen to look at.

“Yeah, that looks like him,” she said.

“You’ve been a big help,” Tony said. “Thank you for your time.”

The girl grinned. “Are you going to put him away?”

“I hope to.” He lifted the pad. “This is a step closer to that.”

She grinned and left with her father. 

Peter appeared behind him and rested a hand on Tony’s shoulders.

“Recognize him?” Tony asked.

Peter leaned over Tony’s shoulder. He took several moments to study it. “No… but he does remind me of… someone… maybe a member of the McPherson family.”

“I’ll send the two sketches to Vivian to run through facial recognition. Hopefully, that will get us a lead on who they are.”  

“Sounds good.” Peter slid his hand down, captured Tony’s hand, and pulled, prodding him to stand. “Time to pack it in and grab dinner. We can go over our findings back at the hotel.”

Tony stood and was pulled in close to Peter. “Mmmm… not all you want to go over, I bet,” Tony whispered.

Peter’s eyes danced with mischief. “I can be persuaded…”

Kono hefted his backpack over his shoulder and rolled his eyes at them. Ariella flashed them a grin.

“Don’t blame you,” she said in passing.

“Which of us do you think she was addressing?” Tony asked.

“Both,” she called back.

Peter grinned and stepped back. “Let’s go.”


Tony let Kono, carrying a tray of takeout coffees, into their room. Ariella was just behind him with the stack of boxes containing their breakfast. They headed for the small table the hotel provided to set the food on.

Peter swiftly sorted through the containers and handed one to Tony with a wink. He peeked inside to see an order of pancakes with fruit and chuckled. He had admitted to Peter last time they ate Sunday breakfast out that the fruit was his way of pretending to eat healthy when he splurged.

They settled down around the room with their food. Peter took the spot beside Tony on the loveseat. 

“Any names yet?” Kono asked.

“Yes,” Tony answered. “Vivian sent me names this morning. She’s still running a deeper background on them.”

“Ties with hunters?” Ariella asked.

“Yes,” Peter answered while Tony finished the last bite of his breakfast. “Josiah Hoffman. The Hoffmans are not large or as big as the Argents were, but they have been around long enough to have a ‘respectable’ reputation this side of the Mississippi. The other is Drew Parker.”

“Not any of the names given to the locals,” Kono said.

“Nope.” Tony placed his empty container on the coffee table.

Ariella pulled out her laptop to search through her database. “I don’t believe we’ve had any dealings with that family yet.” She typed and clicked while Tony passed out copies of the information Vivian sent him. “Let’s see what we have on the family.” By we, she meant the Kholkikos drakon network. She made a face at her screen. “Not a lot. I have basic family members, but not much on the extended family… they seem to run clean hunts and appear above board for hunters as Peter said.”

“Good that it matches what I learned,” Peter said.

“But that does not match what we are seeing here,” Tony pointed out. “So… what’s changed or what was missed before?” 

“Do we know what positions they hold in the family structure?” Kono asked.

Ariella glanced from the paper to her computer. “Josiah is a second cousin to the head… the other I don’t have anything on.”

“The other married in?” Kono asked.

“One possibility,” Tony said.

Ariella made a noise of success. “Or he’s from another hunter family with family ties. Josiah’s grandmother was a Parker and married into a Hoffman family. So Drew could be a cousin.”

“The Parker leanings?” Tony asked.

Ariella did more things on her computer. “More questionable practices than the Hoffman.”

“So Drew is leading Josiah around,” Kono offered.

“Not necessarily,” Tony cautioned. “Don’t make connections before we have all the facts. Consider their age…”

“Both young,” Kono said. “Young, brash, and stupid probably. So this could be them stretching their wings or orders from one of their families.”

Tony held his hands out in front of him. “We don’t know the motive without more information.” 

“Today’s assignments,” Peter said, “Tony and Kono will continue to talk to locals and chase down leads on our suspects. Vivian already knows to continue tracking where they have been. Ariella and I will follow up with our supernatural contacts.” 

With assignments distributed, they headed out.


Peter tried calling Tony once more, and it switched to voice mail.

“Still not getting through?” Ariella asked. 

He called Kono and got no answer.

“They out of range?” she asked.

“They should be in range as long as they stay in town like they planned.” He called Vivian. “Kono and Tony aren’t answering their phones.”

“I’ll check which towers they last pinged.” Typing could be heard over the phone.

Ariella studied Peter. “You think it’s more than just them not answering….”

Peter’s face said it all when he looked at her. “It doesn’t feel right.” 

He set his phone on the table and switched it to speaker so Ariella could hear.

“Their last location was on the north side of town,” Vivian said.

Ariella pulled the town up on the map on her computer for them both to see. 

“Last report they were going to check out the motel on that end,” Peter said. 

The rapid movement of fingers on a keyboard came through the phone followed by a chuckle of disbelief. “The car GPS is still on and active. I’m accessing the data now.”

Peter paced in the small area by the table.

“They were at the motel. They stopped at a hardware store and from there to a building on the east side of town.” There was more typing. 

“Would they have cell reception there?” Ariella asked.

“Based on the towers… yes, but there could be interference from other sources. Interesting.” Several interesting humms were followed by more typing.

Peter clenched his hands and forced himself to be patient while the fate of his beloved was in question. Barking at Vivian would not get him answers any faster. She was good at her job and would get them the information they needed.

“The building is not currently in use. The company went out of business, but it is owned by the uncle of Mr. Parker,” Vivian said. “The car appears to be inside the building based on the information I’ve pulled.

“Bet that’s where they’ve been staying,” Ariella said.

“And where they have our teammates,” Peter added. He closed his eyes and centered himself. “What else can you tell us about the building – internal and external?”


Tony forced himself to not groan as consciousness returned to him. Once again, he was tied up. This time to a chair. He was tired of being kidnapped. He cautiously tested his bonds and tried to get an idea of his surroundings through slitted lids. 

He could hear the murmur of talking but did not see anyone. He figured they were either keeping the volume down or in another room. Based on the line of what was probably mountain ash he could see encircling him, he was taken by the hunters they were looking for. This would make getting them thrown in jail a lot easier. Charges of kidnapping federal employees trumped harassment.

The bigger question was Kono’s location. Did they take him too? Was he here with Tony or someplace else? The last thing he remembered was opening the car door when something hit his neck. It was probably a tranquilizing dart. At least they did not overdose him.

He slowly lifted his head to get a better idea of the situation. Kono was watching him tied to a chair across the room, only he was tied to a post as well. He lifted an eyebrow questioningly. Kono shrugged the best he could. He then looked purposefully over Tony’s shoulder. Probably where their hosts were.

“Can they see us?” Tony mouthed.

Kono’s mouth formed a “no.” 

There was a line of ash three feet out around Kono. His line probably mirrored it.

“How long since we were taken?”

It took Kono a moment to correctly read his lips. “Don’t know.”

That did not help Tony with planning. Have they missed their check-in? Have the rest of their team realized they are missing yet? How long until rescue comes? Although based on the ash line, he suspected they were bait for Peter. Will whatever timeframe they give Peter give them time to bring in reinforcements? 

He sorted through the network of in-the-know agents they were building to determine who would be closest or have the quickest response time. Depending on support from the bosses, they could have a team on the ground in thirty minutes, but that would be overkill… but Peter might take the nuclear option depending on circumstances. Who was he kidding? Peter protected what was his with the tenacity of a wolf, and that doubled after Kate. 

The slam of a door thrown against a wall announced the entrance of their kidnappers. Kono’s attention went to them. Tony refused to try looking behind him and let them come to him. One of the men marched up to Tony and thrust a phone to his ear. He took a moment to identify the man as Josiah.

“Let ‘em know you’re alive!” he demanded.

Tony gave the kidnapper a sideways look. “Hello.” 

The phone was yanked away. “There’s your proof of life.” He huffed. He looked between Tony and Kono. He moved the phone back to Tony’s ear. “Tell ‘em you’re both alive.”

“We’re both tied up at the moment but alive.”

The phone was once more yanked away. “I’ll send you the address. Come alone!” The clack of plastic hitting plastic indicated he had closed both the phone and the call. “Timmy, watch them. Drew and I will finish setting things up.”

A boy shuffled into sight. The grip on the shotgun was tight. His focus bounced between Kono, Tony, and the door behind Tony. He was a kid. If he was older than fourteen, Tony would be surprised.

Tony relaxed into the hard chair. “Older brother?”

“What?” Timmy asked. 

Tony tipped his head back in the direction of the door. “The way he ordered you around… thought he was your brother.”


Tony hummed and nodded sagely. “Had many step-mothers, but never any step-brothers or sisters. Was never sure if that was a good thing or not…”

Timmy edged closer but kept out of grabbing distance. Probably did not want to disturb the ash line.

“What are your thoughts on the topic?” Tony focused on using his magic to loosen his bonds while he engaged the boy.

Timmy shrugged.

“Does he often drag you into situations that can get you twenty years to life in jail?”

“What?” Timmy jerked upright and tightened his hold on the shotgun. 

“But I’m guessing you’re a minor…. You are under eighteen?”

Timmy nodded his head.

“I doubt you were the one to drug us,” he tilted his head to indicate Kono, “or bring us here.”

Timmy shook his head.

“So you probably won’t be charged with kidnapping federal agents.”

“Federal agents?” Timmy squeaked.

“Kono and I are both federal agents. Didn’t you see our badges?”

“Drew said they were fake and that there wasn’t any such organization.”

“We are new, but we are a real federal agency. Do you know what our mandate is?”


“We are to police the supernatural…”

Timmy looked confused.

“We investigate crimes by and against supernaturals. That includes crimes committed by hunters.”

“But… but it’s not a crime….”

“You don’t seem sure of that,” Tony gently prodded. “In the eyes of the law, killing a person who is different from you is still killing and will earn you jail time.”

“But… in the past…”

Tony nodded his head. “A lot of people have turned a blind eye to hunter activity. But your way of life is a threat to national security. You have been deemed terrorists.”

“Terrorists,” Timmy squeaked and jumped back.

Gas canisters broke through several of the windows and tumbled to the floor. White smoke clouds trailed behind them and filled the room. Timmy was already coughing. 

The two hunters rushed from the back room with gas masks in hand.

“FBI!” was shouted as the door was forced open. 

Men in swat gear entered. Timmy set his gun on the floor and was swiftly escorted out. Drew did not get his mask on in time before the fumes got to him and allowed for his capture.

Tony identified Peter before being yanked up from the chair and having a gun held to his head.

“I’ll shoot him!”

Tony could not help but roll his eyes. When did he become so blase about having his life threatened? Maybe it was more he had confidence in his team and partner to get him out of the situation. He focused on getting free.

Peter motioned the others to hold position and marched up to the ash line.

“You can’t get to me,” Josiah taunted.

Peter placed his hands against the barrier and pushed. Blue light danced across the surface at the contact points. “I might not, but they can.” 

“I’ll shoot him if they come close!”

“Then you lose your bargaining chip,” Peter calmly said. His eyes were anything but calm. They glowed blue. “Then you’re mine,” he snarled. He put more pressure against the barrier.

“What are you doing? You can’t get through.”

“Doesn’t keep me from trying.” He continued to steadily push against the magical barrier.

Josiah sputtered and pulled Tony closer to him. The gun pressed against his temple. 

Tony was close to burning through the ropes. He was counting on the gas to cover the smell of burning rope. Peter purposefully looked down to Tony’s arms. He probably could smell the difference and knew what Tony was doing. 

Peter eased up and then pushed hard against the barrier. It was hard enough to make even his werewolf muscles strain. They looked into each other’s eyes. Tony could not help but make a small gasp. Peter’s blue eyes flickered red several times.

Josiah took a step back at the attack and pulled Tony with him. He stopped before breaking the ash line.

Slowly Peter’s hands came through the barrier shocking all involved. That small breakthrough drove Peter to push harder. The barrier vanished. Peter stepped through. 

Josiah loosened his hold in shock. The ropes broke. Tony grabbed the hand with the gun and swiftly disarmed him. Peter stepped forward, grabbed the hunter, and forced his arms behind his back ready to be cuffed.

One of the FBI agents handed Peter a set of handcuffs.

“I’ll take him,” the agent said once the cuffs were secured.

Peter handed Josiah off to him. 

Tony clasped his hands to his chest and fluttered his eyelashes. “My hero,” he said in a falsetto.

Peter stepped into Tony’s space. He slipped his arms around his waist and pulled him close. “Stop being kidnapped.” Then he kissed Tony. It was warm, deep, and possessive. It was also affirming and felt like coming home to Tony. 

It was over too quickly for Tony’s liking, but they were in the middle of a take-down. They rested their foreheads together to reassure that the other was safe. Tony sighed and leaned back. He paused.

“Flash your eyes!”

Peter gave him a questioning look but did as asked. Tony grinned.

“They’re red!”


“Your eyes are alpha red when you flash them. I noticed them switching between blue and red when you were pushing through, but…” He placed a hand on Peter’s cheek. His thumb stroked the skin under the eye that continued to glow red. “You got a power-up.” 

“I don’t feel…” Peter began but paused taking a self-assessment. 

“Something changed.”

Peter’s eyes were wide in wonder. “Yes. I don’t know how…”

Tony leaned forward and placed a quick peck on Peter’s lips. “There have to be other ways of becoming an alpha other than taking the spark from another alpha. Think about it… you told me last week about a story of an alpha giving up the spark to save a loved one.”

“That was just a story,” Peter objected.

“If there isn’t a way to create new alphas, then the total number of alphas dropped by one because of the sacrifice. The same principle applies when an entire pack is wiped out or the alpha is killed by another alpha. There has to be a mechanism for the creation of new alphas otherwise the number of werewolves would naturally decline as the number of alphas around the world decline. That would be the end of werewolves.”

“Point.” Peter took Tony’s hand and lowered it to his lips. He placed a kiss in the palm of his hand. Their eyes locked. More was said between them with the look than a page of words could express.

“Sorry to interrupt,” Ariella said.

“No, she’s not,” Kono said.

“…but they want Tony to be checked out medically before statements are taken.”

“They also want us out of the way so they can finish processing the scene,” Kono, now sporting a butterfly bandage on his forehead, said. “You can canoodle on your own time.”

“All right. I’ll stop cluttering it up,” Tony said. 

They turned to follow their teammates. Peter slipped his hand around so they walked out hand-in-hand.

“Canoodle?” Ariella teased. “What century were you born in? Who uses ‘canoodle’?”

“My mother, my sisters, my family,” Kono responded.

Tony bumped his shoulder against Peter’s and received a light squeeze of his hand in return.

There was an agent waiting for them on exiting the building to herd them to the waiting paramedics. Tony submitted to an examination and sat down where indicated when Derek’s ring tone sounded from Peter’s phone.

“Hi, Derek,” Peter answered. “I’m fine.”

Tony lifted a brow in question while answering the paramedic.

“I’m fine, and Tony is fine. We got into a bit of a pinch with work, but we’re good.” Peter mouthed the word ‘bond’ as an explanation. “Yes, I’m an alpha. No, I didn’t kill anyone or take over another pack.” Peter closed his eyes and breathed slowly. His voice softened, “Derek, you are always welcome into any pack I am a part of… How’s your bond with your mother?” 

Peter was silent, and it was times like these that Tony wished he had werewolf hearing.

“You are part of the Hale pack, just as you always have been. Don’t do something rash, and let’s keep my change between us for the time being. I’ll call you tonight and get into more details. Right now we have to finish a case. Bye.”

Peter slipped his phone back into his pocket. The paramedic finished checking him over and dismissed him with standard advice after being drugged for kidnapping purposes. Tony thanked the paramedic and went to Peter’s side.

“He alright?” Tony studied Peter’s face for additional clues to what was going on.

“He felt the shift in our bond but no one else in the family did.”

“He did spend the summer with us because of not feeling accepted at home. I’m not surprised that he felt the change over the bond.” Tony stroked his chin reviewing the conversation. “He wants to move out here with us permanently?”

“Yeah. Laura still gives him a hard time when she can. I know other things are better within the family for him.” Peter shook his head. “It would be a mistake for him to jump packs.”

“What does being an alpha mean for your relationship with your family?” The fact that the dynamic would now change pushed to the front of Tony’s thoughts.

Peter guided them away from the commotion and the gathering, curious locals. “Probably not a lot based on the existing dynamic.” 

Tony knew Talia was of two minds about Peter living on the east coast. On the one hand, it kept them from butting heads over Derek and other pack-related issues. On the other, one of her pack was not living in her territory for an indefinite amount of time. There were so many issues on many different levels in that relationship that Tony was not sure which side, alpha or sister, would come out on top. 

“It might be better because I’m no longer her beta. I am still family, but I am an alpha with my own territory.”

“Therefore, not a threat,” Tony said. “What about visiting?” He did not want Peter to lose what connection he had with his family.

Peter’s shoulders relaxed as he laid out the new dynamics. “I’d be treated like an allied alpha but the formalities would be quickly discarded because of the close relationship it’s based on. It is a dynamic that has historical precedence in packs.”

“So better for you.”

A smile curled the corners of Peter’s lip. “Most definitely.” He placed a hand on Tony’s lower back and directed him to the FBI senior agent on the scene.


Tony carried his mug of hot chocolate across the room and curled up on the couch. He picked up the remote ready for a night of watching movies. He was just waiting for Peter to join him. It was not long before Peter emerged from the home office.

“Was that the FBI?” Tony asked.

Peter picked up the bowl of popcorn off the coffee table and sat down beside Tony. “Yeah. They have a clear case against them.”

“The kid?”

“Released to his parents with warning and community service.” Peter pulled the folded blanket from the end of the couch and draped it over Tony’s lap.

“Do we know why they were targeting the Banks?” Tony leaned into Peter’s solid chest for warmth and support.

“To get us to come out, actually.”

“Really! Why?”

Peter snorted. “To take the ‘uppity’ group out before we caused more trouble.” 

“I can see the luring us out…we did go… but their execution of the second part was seriously lacking. We are a federal agency…” 

Peter set the bowl between them. “They didn’t think so.”

“What did they think we were a group posing as agents to… to… fight back at the hunters or something?” Tony knew he should not be surprised at how dumb people could be.

“Basically,” Peter confirmed. “Josiah and Drew heard about the hunters being put away and thought it was their chance to make names for themselves in the community.”

Tony tilted his head. “Ok, I can see their thought process… but…”

“Very cocky.”

“Definitely lacking reconnaissance and planning. They are young…” Tony rubbed his face. “The folly of youth,” he lamented.

“Their families aren’t too pleased with them either. On the plus side, it adds to our legitimacy to the hunters.”

“They are now on notice, and things are changing.”

Peter slid his arm around Tony. “We have also added to our legitimacy with the supernaturals with the Banks and with me now being an alpha. Word will spread on both sides about us and our mandate.”

“In the meantime, we will continue to bring more agents on board and grow our networks.” He leaned his head against Peter’s shoulder which got him a kiss on the top of his head. “I think we need to have a plan to loop more law enforcement personnel into our work…” He held up a hand. “We might not tell them all about the supernatural world, but let them know what sort of situations we are looking for.”

Peter hummed. “We can start there. Maybe tell a hand-selected few. Have to think about it and run it past the bosses. We need to be cautious with it. We could easily lose the goodwill we’ve gained in the supernatural community with that. They could see it as us taking control of their territory.”

“Would that be the same if we establish a branch in their territories?”

“Depends how we do it and who is stationed there. I have ideas on how to present it, but we need more things in place.”

Tony acknowledged the statement with a hum. “Those are tomorrow’s problems. For being up and running for less than a year, we are doing well.” 

He picked the remote back up and turned on the TV. The opening of the selected movie started. Tony relaxed into his mate’s embrace as the story unfolded on the screen.

Tomorrow would be a new day to continue building their legacy with the support of the team that had become his family in ways his previous team never had been. 

The End


5 thoughts on “There’s Room to Grow

  1. Thank you for writing in this world again. I got a big kick out of the first one and enjoyed this as well. Love how Peter and Tony are together.


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