When Stiles didn't understand something he researched it ---
--- which is how he first realized he was, well, he.
Stiles had never quite fit in. He never thought before he spoke and he was a bit of a nerd and there was the ADHD and how everyone thought ht was gay because of his massive crush on Lydia. He had tried to find out the technical term for being female but feeling like a boy and liking girls but also liking boys.
One link led to another which led to another.
It was four a.m. and he had ended up watching YouTube videos of drag queens singing Cher songs but he had his answers.
The next day he had discussed things over with his father and together they ordered his first binder.
That had been two years ago.
Before then Stiles had been going by his chosen nickname and had always worn his hair short so telling teachers as well as peers to call him Stiles and the buzz cut seemed to be the natural next steps to truly becoming who he was.
Most people were supportive or, at least, ignored it and left him alone.
Coach even let Stiles join the lacrosse team. He may be a little bit out there, but what was it that they say? Fine line between genius and insanity?
Well, he wasn't a genius but he was open minded.
The first practice Stile attended, Coach gave a talk to the team - with Stiles' permission, of course.
"Stiles here is being allowed to play because he is just like you guys, okay? We don't judge Danny for his orientation, right? So we won't judge Stiles. Now let's go kick the crap out of each other."
Stiles had mainly joined lacrosse because Scott didn't want to try out alone. His beautiful but naive best friend was clueless when Stiles was apprehensive.
"Dude, I can't join. I'm not a guy," Stiles had explained.
"Yes you are."
Just like that. Scott never questioned it. Stiles remembered why he loved the guy, so he tired out and made it.
He actually began to enjoy lacrosse even though he and Scott were usually on the bench - until Scott wolfed out and became the Beckham of lacrosse - but that didn't matter because it gave Stiles more time to stare at the new love of his life.
'Love of his life' was probably too dramatic but Stiles never did anything by halves.
"I don't think I ever saw you show interest in anyone other than Lydia," Scott said.
He sounded stressed but Stiles knew it was the whole werewolf thing and not his own tragic love life or, rather, lack there of. Lunch in the cafeteria definitely didn't help since all the noise Stiles heard was multiplied by ten for Scott. Clearly Stiles had to keep talking to get Scott's mind off of it all.
"Yeah, I figured it was time to move on to greener pastures. Though Lydia is still amazing but she obviously thinks I'm a freak and, surprisingly, she seems happy with Jackass Douchemore, the bane of our existences, so I couldn't possibly break that up."
"You're not a freak," Scott said smiling softly.
"And neither are you wolf boy," Stiles said fondly.
It still blew him away sometimes. Scott and how he handled everything, that is.
"So yes. I mean, Coach obviously thinks you're going to tap that but he's wrong. I am. I mean, if Danny wants to tap me back. Am I tappable?"
Scott groaned. "I can't say. You're my best friend, man."
"Which is bro for 'I totally would if I wasn't already enamored with Allison' so I'm definitely in. I should ask him in chemistry."
"That's a horrible idea. Harris already singles you out in class as it is."
"Okay, fine. I won't ask him then."
Stiles kept his promise - if it even was a real "promise" - but only for one day. That night Jackson and Lydia were attacked by the alpha and Scott wasn't doing much to find answers, playing hooky and everything, so Stiles took it upon himself to question Danny.
And if he added "Do you find me attractive?" to his list of questions it wasn't a big deal.
Like, that was just as important as what Jackson and Lydia saw.
Danny looked like he was thinking about answering and maybe he'd actually tell the truth unlike some people and ---
--- Stiles fell off his chair.
Stiles couldn't entirely give up on Lydia because he had been hopelessly in love with her - or the idea of her at least - since he could remember so he went over to see if she was alright.
"What the hell is a 'stiles?'"
"Oh, I've only been going by that since the fifth grade," Stiles muttered.
Lydia was too out of it on top of having been spoon fed answers so Stiles figured that their only possible problem would be Jackson.
Well, and the video, but Stiles didn't discover that until after Lydia face planted on his thigh.
It was all 'too close for comfort' and he tried not to even think about what was and what wasn't between his legs. It was bad enough being reminded every morning when he took a shower or in the locker room after lacrosse practice or once a month when he got his period. He waited for Lydia to make some joke but then she was begging Stiles to stay. Maybe she didn't think he was a freak after all. Maybe her and Jackson were over. Maybe ---
"We're done here."
She was fast asleep after that so it was easy enough to take her phone. He already had his cover story prepared too. It was debating what he should do that was difficult. He tried to call Scott, but he was still too busy doing God knows what with Allison.
So Stiles sat in his room playing with whatever was at hand. He glared at Lydia's phone like it could give him the answer.
"Hey Stiles," his dad said, poking his head in. "Time for your appointment."
"Yeah, just gimme a second."
Stiles looked at the video file once more and finally hit delete.
"So, please tell me I'm going to hear good news at this parent/teacher thing tonight."
His dad always insisted on driving Stiles to his therapy sessions even though he was perfectly capable of doing it himself. It was actually a bit of a nuisance since he then had to wait for his dad to come pick him up whenever he was done at a crime scene or something. Though today he might be better off not being behind the wheel because he was nervously tapping his foot and cracking his knuckles. His dad must have thought a little conversation might calm him down.
"Depends on how you define 'good news.'"
"I define it as you getting straight A's with no behavioral problems."
His dad looked dead serious but Stiles knew he always expected the best Stiles could do and not a miracle.
"You might wanna rethink that definition."
"Hey, you can talk to me if something's wrong. You know that, right?"
"I know. There's just... a lot on my mind right now."
"I get that. I do."
And it was enough.
It didn't solve anything, but Stiles felt better.
His dad pulled up in front of the office. "I have to go talk to someone concerning the animal attacks but then I'll be right back to pick you up. We can grab something to eat before the conference, okay?"
"Okay. I'll see you then."
Dr. Chance was a pretty cool dude. Stiles used to make fun of his name, like, 'by chance you were born with the wrong body so now you have to see me at the low price of five hundred bucks an hour.' After a year, though, Stiles realized he was kind of awesome at his job. He listened and offered unbiased advice and even talked through the hormone options Stiles could start once he turned eighteen plus where to go from there.
"How are you feeling today?" he asked once they were settled in.
"Overwhelmed," Stiles replied. Dr. Chance didn't push him and waited for when Stiles was ready to continue. "It's just the attacks going on. A friend, well a sort of friend, of mine from the lacrosse team got attacked along with his girlfriend. She didn't come to school so after I went to make sure she was okay. She's alright, I guess. She got really close to me because she thought I was Jackson, her boyfriend, though, and it made me uncomfortable. I should have mentioned she took some pills so she didn't realize what she was doing. Legally, that is."
"Well, in a situation like that, even if the person is under the influence of something, you need to remind them that they're invading your comfort zone. Did she understand and respect your wishes?"
"No. She just kinda passed out."
"Did you get her parents?"
"Oh, yeah. Yeah, she's going to be fine. I think."
"So how was school today otherwise?"
"Uneventful. Well, I did talk to Danny. He also plays lacrosse. He's gay and I might have asked him if he found me attractive. Stupid, I know, because I'm female and he never would so I wasted his..."
"Stiles? Remember what I told you about pansexuality?"
"Yeah, no I totally do but he's definitely 100% gay as in he's into real dudes."
"You are a real dude," Dr. Chance said and smiled.
"I know, but he wouldn't want to, you know." Stiles blushed as he gestured to himself. "Tap this."
"Some people are most understanding than you'd think."
That was the understatement of the year, Stiles thought. He went from somewhat-typical teenager to admitting werewolves and hunters were battling out in his backyard, so to speak.
Maybe Danny would understand this one small thing.
When his appointment was over, Stiles told his dad he didn't feel up to going to the parent/teacher conference. It was mostly true because it had been a long day between playing detective and some minor dysphoria, but he also had Lydia's phone to return while he apologized for grabbing the wrong one. Then he had more than enough schoolwork to catch up on since it was neglected due to werewolves and all that jazz.
Stiles could tell his dad how it would all go down anyway. All his teachers would have trouble finding his file because they'd forget they were looking for Galilani Stilinski, but that was cool because they called him Stiles since he asked. Then they'd say how he never paid attention and blah, blah, blah. Coach would probably also mention that essay he wrote.
So Stiles drove back over to Lydia's and caught her parents just as they were leaving. Then he settled down with his assignments and a highlighter.
For one night he was going to be a normal teenager.
"He just shot it?" Stiles would never admit how high his voice was when he was nervous, but right about now even he'd point out that dogs all over town would be barking. "Why did he even have a gun?"
"He has a license. I'm the sheriff here. Give me some credit. I checked all the paperwork."
Stiles grabbed his dad a beer from the fridge and brought it to him. As soon as he got home Stiles insisted he get right on the coach and not move. He put some ice in a towel and brought him everything he could possibly need and more.
"Yeah, and you should have let Jones do all that. You were injured."
"And now you're back to worrying about me. I'll be fine." His dad rolled his eyes but accepted the beer. "I'd be better off with pain killers, you know."
"Alcohol is a pain killer as in it makes you forget you're in pain. So I decided we are both taking the day off tomorrow."
"Oh, you decided?"
"Yeah. You need to rest and I need to make sure you rest. I'll have Scott bring over my work."
"I don't think so buddy. Scott's grounded after that stunt he pulled with Allison."
Stiles took the beer away from his dad. "You and Mrs. McCall need to stop being such bosom buddies. It's weird. And that works out pretty good, anyway. I didn't want to talk to Scott yet."
"Okay, time for bed. You're using terms like bosom buddies, so it must be late. Hey, don't be too angry with Scott. It was an accident." Stiles' dad pushed himself up and managed to only wince a little. "You can stay home tomorrow. We both can, I guess. But you have to find someone else who can bring you your work, okay?"
Stiles helped his dad upstairs and then headed right to his computer. He researched mountain lions until the sun started to come up. He decided to get a quick nap in before facing a new day and tugged his jeans and shirt off. He hesitated at his binder, but he knew he'd regret it if he kept it on twenty-four hours straight. He took it off carefully and pulled on one of his extra baggy tees and crawled into bed.
He woke to the smell of eggs and bacon.
"What part of rest don't you understand?" he asked as he wandered into the kitchen.
"We both know you'd eat junk if I didn't make something," his dad replied. "So, I think technically we should discuss your appointment and the parent/teacher conference."
"Boring. That's what normal families do." Stiles stole a piece of bacon from the pan. "How's the case looking? Mr. Argent shot the mountain lion, after all."
"Still not discussing it with you. Now eat your breakfast."
His dad ended up going in to the sheriff's department by the afternoon, but Stiles didn't pester him about it. He had to worry about finding someone from his classes who would come over with the day's assignments that wasn't Scott.
He wasn't successful.
Eventually he broke down and called Danny who, clearly, was the last person he wanted to talk to.
Even after Scott.
"I know you think I'm super annoying, but can you bring me my homework?" Stiles asked as soon as Danny picked up.
"Most people say hi first."
Great. He already sounded annoyed.
"Sorry. I was going to try not to piss you off."
"I'm not..." Danny sighed. "I'll bring you whatever you need. What's your locker combo?"
After Stiles hung up, he spent far too much time debating what shirt to wear. Then he tried to tidy the downstairs since it was painfully obvious his dad, or well, someone had camped out in the living room for most of the night. He was finishing up dusting, because he couldn't even remember the last time he or his dad had done it, when he heard a knock at the door.
Stiles leaned against the door frame briefly in an attempt to look calm but also cool at the same time and then he turned around, leading Danny into the house.
"I was just going to drop it off," Danny said. "I should get home."
"That's okay. I only need a minute of your time. I want to apologize for yesterday. I didn't think about how what I was asking could be offensive."
Danny shrugged, clearly uncomfortable. "It's okay."
"No, it's not. And my therapist said I should explain and then reinforce how that it still isn't okay. It's just that... I'm curious, right? Girls interested in dudes don't like me because I'm technically female. It's kinda been proven. I wondered if guys interested in other guys would feel the same way. And I'm sorry for throwing that at you without any warning. You know, shoving you in the spotlight. Making you uncomfortable... like you are now. Sorry."
"You can stop saying sorry."
Stiles nodded. "Okay."
"And I like guys and you are a guy."
Stiles nodded again, enthusiastically. "Well, yeah, but I don't have the body, so I thought it was a legitimate question."
"I do think you're attractive," Danny said and smiled. "Even if you do talk way too much."
"Yeah, I've been working on that... for the last sixteen years."
"Do you want to work on chemistry together?"
"That would be awesome."
Stiles led Danny to his room and they began to work. Stiles was able to concentrate most of the time and when he did start to ramble about something else Danny would calmly bring him back by asking a chemistry question. They were finished with their assignment and Danny was packing his things up when Stiles figured he should just, you know, go for it.
"So I've got a question for you," Stiles said and then quickly added, "and don't look at me that way."
"Okay. Answer's yes."
"Would you like to stay for dinner? I'm making spaghetti and I make some mean spaghetti." Stiles smiled hopefully.
"Yeah, I'd love to." Danny set his backpack down and pulled out his phone. "I'll call my parents to let them know."
"Cool. Oh, and, another question."
Danny laughed. "Answer's still yes."
"On a scale of one to ten, how likely would you want to go to the movies with me sometime? Like a date?"
"I know. Being stupid again. If you ever said yes you'd be the butt end of everyone's jokes and who would want that? Forget I even asked."
"Shut up for once," Danny said, but he didn't look mad. "I was going to say you should have just asked me... because my answer's yes. Anyway, I'm used to being the butt end of people's jokes. Not everyone is as cool as the team."
"Oh. That's good. Me too. Used to the jokes, that is. And you said yes. Oh man. That's great. Does this mean we're going steady?"
"Well, you're going to meet my dad already so we kind of are and we haven't even held hands yet. It's like the 50's except more tolerant since we're two dudes and everything."
Danny walked up to Stiles, then, and kissed him. It was short, only close mouthed, but Danny was still standing in Stiles' space - his hands resting on Stiles' wasit - and ---
--- Stiles wasn't freaking out.
"I don't usually let people touch me."
Danny immediately backed away. "I won't do anything you're not comfortable with."
"I said 'usually' dumbass. Get back over here."
Danny went back to holding Stiles as he was before. "Is this because..."
"Yeah. Like, it doesn't feel right because it's not the right body. But I'll get used to it."
"You shouldn't have to."
And Stiles had to hug Danny because that? The whole situation?
It was freaking perfect.
It was difficult not telling your boyfriend that your best friend was a werewolf and you were basically his keeper, but Stiles managed somehow. He figured if Scott could keep it from Allison then how hard could it be?
Yeah, Stiles was still a little mad at Scott, but they always worked things out.
Plus Stiles' dad was feeling better and Stiles had Danny.
Stiles was pretty damn lucky, he guessed.
You know, all things considered.