Stiles squinted up at the wriggling body duct-taped to the flagpole. He didn’t recognize them - that mop of hair was definitely not familiar, nor were the eyes staring defiantly down at him. Well, trying to, at least. It was more like a puppy trying to stare down a much larger, much older dog; stubborn, kinda cute. A black bag of what looked like sports equipment sat vulnerable and unguarded at the base. Good thing Lydia and her gang hadn’t happened upon this scene before Stiles; they’d have enjoyed the opportunity to steal it.
With a put-upon sigh Stiles reached into his backpack and extracted a penknife. This was probably going to take a while.
After painstakingly pulling all the duct tape off his skin, the boy threw the crumpled mass into the trash bin and returned to where Stiles stood, picking bits of adhesive off the knife’s tiny blade.
“So, I’m guessing you’re the new kid, huh?” Stiles looked up from his task long enough to see the kid nod.
“Yeah. Scott. I’m Scott. McCall. My mom and I just moved here.”
“Welcome to Beacon Hills, Scott. Land of the rich and entitled. What the hell did you do to earn your little trip up the flagpole so soon?”
“I don’t know! I was checking the information sheets about lacrosse tryouts today, looking for somewhere to sign up? And all of a sudden these guys just grabbed me and —”
“Ahhhhh,” Stiles nodded, “that’s what did it. I’ll let you in on a not-so-secret fact: the lacrosse team here? Are like royalty. The crazy, incestuous, kill the peasants kind of royal family. And they really,really don’t like it when you try to weasel in on the bloodline.”
Scott’s face paled, but his featured hardened.
“That’s not fair. I’m a good player, I just want a chance!”
Stiles checked his watch.
“Well, then I came to your rescue just in time, because try-outs are starting, like, right now. If you run you can probably make it still.” Scott shakily pulled out his phone to check the time himself. In a flash of limbs he was throwing his bag over his shoulders and rushing in the direction of the field. “Hey! Hope you shove it up their ass!” Stiles yelled encouragingly at the retreating figure.
Scott stopped, turning with a smile and a wave. “Thanks!” He yelled. “Hey, what’s your name?”
“Stiles.” Dropping his cupped hand from his face, he turned and headed towards the parking lot to his Jeep.
Apparently, Scott had shoved it up their asses. Far, far up. Far enough to earn himself a spot on first line.
The news of the new kid and his talent at lacrosse hit the school like bomb, and quickly spread to Stiles. By lunchtime, all anybody could talk about was Scott, the new kid, the new poor kid, with a single mom and small house, but lots and lots of potential winning power, so that could be ignored for now.
Stiles couldn’t help the disgusted laugh that escaped him as he watched the kid stroll across the courtyard, lunch tray in hand, smiling broadly at the people who greeted him as he passed. Jackson, with Danny tucked neatly under his arm, grinned his shit-eating grin and motioned for Scott to join them. Even Derek deigned to look up from his plate and glance at him, and he didn’t even toss out one of his patented scowls or a threat to Scott’s life. Wow. Amazing. The kids who were no doubt were responsible for Scott’s predicament yesterday were already welcoming him into their folds with open arms.
Stiles definitely didn’t miss that part of it, the two-faced nature of their dealings with everyone.
He looked down and realized he was angrily stabbing at his mac n’ cheese. He didn’t stop.
“That bad, huh?” His head swung up wildly. Scott stood hovering next to the table. “Anybody sitting here?” Slowly, Stiles shook his head. His brows furrowed as Scott lowered his tray and slipped onto the adjacent bench, immediately applying himself to gobbling down his pizza.
“Uh, not to be rude or anything, but what the hell are you doing?”
Scott stopped chewing, but didn’t bother to swallow before answering, “Uh, eating?”
“Yeah, I can see that Wilbur, but why are you doing it here? Next to me? Didn’t Jackson invite you to sit with them? He is the captain of your new team, you know.” Scott did swallow this time, looking down at his half-demolished slice for a beat.
“I know that. I also know that he was probably the one who orchestrated my humiliation yesterday. Captain of lacrosse, King of the freaky incestuous royals, right? But you are the one who saved my ass when nobody else bothered to help me and allowed me to get on the team. So.” He stopped, that defiant puppy dog look coming into his eyes again. Oh, Laura would have liked him.
“That’s sweet and all man, but — did you like ask around…? Uh, wow do you have any idea who I am?”
“You’re Stiles.” Oh, wow, this one was gonna be a handful.
Pursing his lips, he jerked head at the tableau behind Scott, and Scott finally got the gist and turned.
The entire courtyard was full of people casting questioning glances at them, confusion clear on their faces. Jackson and his crew looked on mutinously. And oh, there was that scowl of Derek’s that Stiles and Laura had once been so fond of mocking, and it was leveled at full force on them. Stiles watched Scott shrink under the harsh scrunity.
“I’m going to regret this decision, aren’t I?”
Having solidly secured Scott’s position in the school as the ‘only tolerated for his talent pariah’, Stiles figured he at least owed the guy a little explanation. As he gave the kid a ride home that afternoon, he outlined the basics. Well, as basic as you could get for shit that sounded like a bad soap opera.
Stiles’ father was once the Sheriff of Beacon Hills, and Stiles was thus accepted as a part of the privileged crew. He dated Danny (“You’re gay?” “Yeah, so? Jackson and Danny are together pretty openly in case you didn’t notice man.” “Oh. Oh, okay then.”), and was best friends with Derek Hale’s twin sister Laura.
Laura was his constant. She was there for him when his mom died, and he was there for her after her own tragedy. In their sophomore year, a huge fire killed every member of their family but Laura, Derek, and their uncle Peter. Peter, however, was horrifically injured, and currently comatose, being cared for at the Beacon Hills Hospital.
Derek and Laura had inherited everything, which was a whole fucking lot because the Hale family was (or had been) huge and powerful, and they had their lawyers emancipate them as legal adults, allowing them to live without a guardian. They lived together in the rebuilt mansion that was their old family home, and refused to leave, no matter how much Stiles insisted that it was creepy and depressing for them to stay.
Stiles had been there for Laura through the entire ordeal, and he would have done the same for her grouchy ass brother had he let anybody in at all. Derek shut out everybody, including his twin for a time afterwards, retreating into himself. It made Stiles and Laura closer than ever.
Then, only a year later, Laura was murdered.
The only evidence found at the scene apparently linked back to a member of the Hale family, but with Peter comatose, the only option was Derek. Derek, who loved his sister more than life itself. He had an alibi, claimed that he was in the woods practicing for lacrosse, but there was nobody to back him up, and so was still considered a person of interest. Stiles refused to believe that Derek had anything to do with Laura’s death, but he also refused to believe his father was wrong.
Derek retreated even further into himself, living alone in that mausoleum of a house, before throwing himself into his new occupation of being full-time jackass and enforcer for Jackson’s crew. He refused to speak to Stiles after the Sheriff’s accusations, no matter how hard Stiles tried to get to him. Only Derek understood how much Stiles had loved Laura, like a sister he never had, and he still wished they could have helped each other.
When push came to shove, and the powerful families of Beacon Hills rallied around Hales, with all their money and lawyers, Stiles had stood by his father.
Sheriff Stilinski lost his job, forcing him into the private detective business. Laura’s case was never solved, and Stiles wound up losing not only his best friend, but his reputation, his boyfriend, and everything else he once thought mattered in his life.
“And so now all my old friends hate me, my ex-boyfriend is dating a douchenozzle, and Derek refuses to tolerate my presence without threatening severe bodily harm. I help my dad out with the agency, and I’m pretty damn good at it, too, if I do say so myself. But basically, you picked the worst possible friend to make, ever.”
Scott stared, jaw hanging open, stunned, as Stiles finally wound down from his heated explanation.
“Just. Wow.” He looked out the passenger side window of Stiles’ Jeep into his own front yard; they had been parked in his driveway for a while now. “But,” he turned again, eyes bright, “we are friends, right?”
Stiles couldn’t help the huge smile that spread across his face. He wished desperately that Laura could meet Scott, all puppy-faced and apparently just as loyal.
“Yeah, man. Of course. Friends.”