“Cool,” Scott says. He’s standing on a sidewalk in downtown Beacon Hills, hands stuffed into the pockets of his jeans, his best friend’s arm slung over his shoulder.
“Super cool,” Stiles agrees.
Scott looks over to see that Stiles is grinning at him. He smiles back.
Scott never really had any concrete plans for what he was going to do with his life. It was always living day to day, basically, helping his mom out around the house, working whatever part time jobs he could wrangle to earn more money to help her, hanging out with Stiles on his downtime, trying to improve at lacrosse despite his debilitating asthma, trying not to fail out of school, and then suddenly high school was over and people were asking him what he was going to do next.
He had no clue, but, as always, Stiles was the one with the plan.
The plan, in this case, was starting up their own business in town--a coffee shop, because, according to Stiles, everyone loves coffee shops. It was kind of an ingenious plan, Scott had to admit. It meant he could stay in town and look after his mom and Stiles could stay in town and look after his dad, and the cherry on top was that it meant that Stiles wasn’t going anywhere.
Scott had always dreaded Stiles going to university (but he’d never admit it to anyone, ever). There was something about losing his best friend to some big city school and big city friends that made him feel simultaneously like he needed his inhaler and like he needed to puke out the entire contents of his stomach.
He’s pretty sure that was at least mostly a normal reaction.
In any case, he doesn’t have to worry about it anymore. Stiles is here, with him, standing in front of their just opened coffee shop, and he isn’t going anywhere.
“I’m going out,” Stiles announces.
Scott turns around from where he’s been fiddling with the espresso machine. It’s barely even been a month and the damn thing is already acting funny. “Going out where?”
“Grocery store,” Stiles says. “The apartment needs food and it’s quiet in here. You okay?”
“Yeah, yeah, I’m fine,” Scott says. “You go, I’ll hold down the fort.”
“Don’t burn it down,” Stiles says cheerfully. “That wouldn’t be good for our rep,” and then he’s gone.
Scott has given up on the espresso machine for the time being and is in the kitchen trying to make sense of the ingredient order forms Stiles has stuck a post-it note reading ‘FILL OUT AND MAIL BY THURSDAY’ on when he hears someone calling out from the front of the shop.
“Sorry!” he blurts out, skidding into the front area in his haste. “Sorry, we meant to get a bell, we should probably do that--oh. Um, hi.”
A seriously pretty girl with long wavy dark hair and a sinful jawline is standing by the cash register, mouth quirked like she’s on the verge of laughing. “That’s okay,” she says.
“Oh. Uh, good,” Scott says. “So, um, what can I get for you?”
“What would you recommend?” she asks, leaning against the counter.
Scott is stuck. He has no idea; Stiles made up most of the menu and is way better at communicating with people than Scott. He turns to look at the menu hanging above his head and the girl giggles. “I think people like the stuff that’s in the Roman section best,” Scott says. “Um, do you like mint?”
“How about Fortuna, then? It’s pretty good. Latte with mint flavour and chocolate garnish.”
“Okay,” she agrees. “I’ll get a medium of that. For Allison,” she adds when she notices Scott picking up a Sharpie along with a cup.
Scott scrawls Alyson on the cup and sets about brewing her drink.
“So, why are all the drinks named after myths?”
Scott rolls his eyes. “That’s Stiles. He’s really into mythology. He’s even taking an online college course about it.”
“That’s really cool,” Allison says. Scott looks at her over his shoulder and sighs.
“You’re totally into that stuff, too, aren’t you,” he says. “That is exactly the look that Stiles gets on his face when he thinks he’s found someone that will listen to him talk about it and not fall asleep.”
“Do you often fall asleep when he starts talking about it?”
“It’s almost automatic by now,” Scott says. “As soon as he says a word I can barely pronounce myself, let alone understand, bam, I’m asleep.” He snaps a lid onto Allison’s cup and pushes it across the counter to her. “You should definitely come back in some time and meet him. It would give me a break.”
“I think I will,” Allison says, flashing a smile. “How much is this?” She holds up the cup.
“Oh, uh, two-fifty.”
Allison hands him the correct change. “See you, Scott,” she says, pushing the door open. “I’m looking forward to meeting your boyfriend.”
Scott smiles and waves. It takes him a good minute after she’s left to register what she said.
“He’s not my boyfriend!” Scott tells the espresso machine, eyes wide. It doesn’t respond.
It takes a week and a half--a very long, confusing week and a half in which Scott goes over his conversation with Allison about a million times in his head, trying to figure out what he said to make her think that--before Scott gets up the nerve to actually mention it to Stiles.
“Hey, you know Allison?”
“Yeah,” Stiles says, distracted by measuring ingredients for whatever pastry he’s making today. “She’s cool to talk to.”
“I think she thinks we’re dating. I mean, she referred to you as my boyfriend, the, uh, first time we met.”
Stiles looks up from the recipe book. “Weird, what’d you say to make her think that?”
“I don’t know,” Scott says, frustrated.
“Huh. Well, whatever, it’s not like that’s a problem, right?”
Scott thinks about it for a second, then shrugs. “No, not really.”
“Unless you want to date her. She’s pretty. All you’d have to do is point out that we’re not dating, it would be fine.”
“Hm. Uh, maybe, yeah,” Scott says.
“Can you get me the milk?” Stiles asks, and that’s the end of that conversation.
“Scott, Derek Hale is in our coffee shop.”
“Derek Hale. Tall, brooding, slightly terrifying, almost entire family died in a fire at his childhood home.”
“And I need you to go serve him and his sister because I am afraid,” Stiles says urgently.
“Is his sister tall and brooding, too?” Scott asks, grinning teasingly.
“Shut up, shut up,” Stiles says, pushing Scott out of the kitchen.
“Hey,” Scott says to the two--wait, no, three--people standing at the register. “What can I get for you guys?”
“Fury for Derek, Lucretia for Erica, and Vedas for me. Laura. All large, please,” the girl with the straight dark hair that Scott assumes is Derek’s sister orders. She’s more friendly looking than tall and brooding, Scott observes while writing on their cups.
“And some of those cookies!” Erica adds, gesturing to the display case.
“Sure thing,” Scott says. “That’s, um, twelve--”
“Erica?” Stiles asks from behind Scott. Scott raises his eyebrows at him. “Reyes?”
“One and the same, Stilinski,” Erica purrs, suddenly leaning across the counter, blonde hair brushing against Scott’s arm. Scott backs away.
“What happened to you?” Stiles asks.
Something like surprise flickers across Erica’s face. “Not much. Made some friends, is all,” she says.
“Uh, twelve dollars?” Scott interjects into Stiles and Erica’s staring contest. He would have gladly let that just go on for awhile, but there are actually more customers in line behind the Hales plus Erica.
“Here,” Derek says, handing Scott a ten and a five. “Keep the change.”
“Thank you,” Scott says, ringing it up. “Stiles will bring your drinks over there.” He gestures to the right.
“And the cookies,” Erica says, still staring at Stiles.
“And the cookies,” Stiles agrees.
“What the fuck was that thing with Erica earlier?” Scott remembers to ask later, when they’re in their apartment above the shop, eating ramen and watching TV on the couch.
“Dunno,” Stiles mumbles. “She’s changed since we graduated.”
“I don’t remember the lipstick,” Scott muses. “So, you want to date her now or...”
Stiles looks at him funny. “No,” he says. “I guess I just wanna figure her out.”
Scott has no idea what that’s supposed to mean. He’s not sure he wants to.
Scott’s not sure when the bi-monthly pseudo-family dinner thing actually became a thing, only that every second Monday they--he, Stiles, his mother, and Stiles’s dad--all meet at Sheriff Stilinski’s at five to make and eat dinner together.
This week they’re all even more lazy than usual and therefore dinner is microwavable vegetables and chicken they stuck in the oven without much thought, and it’s at least trying to be the healthy that these dinners are meant for.
“So, boys, how have you been? How’s the shop?” the sheriff asks.
Scott chews on his chicken and tries to figure out what the answers to those questions even are.
“We’re good,” Stiles says. “Shop’s good, too. Which you know, because you come in at least every other day to get coffee.”
“I’m trying to have a conversation, here, Stiles,” the sheriff says mildly.
“You two know how proud of you I am, right?” Melissa says.
“We both are,” the sheriff interjects.
“And we love you both no matter what happens.”
“You can tell us anything. Even if you think it’s going to make us mad.”
Scott exchanges a confused look with Stiles. “This conversation is going somewhere that I don’t understand,” Scott says.
“And that’s not saying a whole lot, but I’m a bit lost, too,” Stiles adds. “Are you two saying you think the shop is going to totally crash and burn sometime soon? Because that is really pessimistic and I thought we all agreed that this was an optimistic endeavour.”
Melissa and the sheriff both sigh.
“What?” Scott asks.
“Nothing, honey,” Melissa says. “Eat your vegetables.”
“Allison, can I ask you something?” Scott says, sitting down across from her. It’s mid-morning, so the shop is mostly empty, and Stiles has taken the day off to go hang out with Erica (Scott isn’t asking). Allison spends most mornings sitting at a table by the window, working on something Scott knows isn’t schoolwork but hasn’t got up the nerve to ask about further.
“Yeah, Scott, sure,” she says.
“Why did you think I was dating Stiles?”
Allison tilts her head. “You mean you’re not?”
“What? No! I thought I told you that?”
Allison shrugs. “I thought you were hiding it from the sheriff or something and were warning me not to mention it.”
Scott thinks back, remembers that the sheriff had in fact been in the shop when Scott had told Allison they weren’t dating, and groans. “I was serious.”
“That’s awkward,” Allison says.
“Why? He’s my best friend. And I’m pretty sure we’re both straight.”
Allison looks almost sympathetic now. It’s driving Scott insane. She flips her pen over and over between her fingers, thoughtful. Finally, she says, “It was the look on your face as soon as you mentioned him. Like he was the best thing to ever happen to you.”
Scott thinks back to when he first met Stiles, an enthusiastic six year old with a weird name that didn’t think Scott was weird for being poor and not smart, who never thought that even when they got older, kept helping him with his homework and sharing his lunch when Scott forgot to make his, joined the lacrosse team and sat on the bench just to support Scott, went to prom with him because neither of them could find dates, automatically made a life plan that included Scott without even asking, because why would he even need to?
Last night Stiles had gone out to the store to get Scott’s favourite kind of ice cream because Scott was watching a movie that Stiles was sure was going to make him cry, and he’d been right, and God, Scott hates that and loves him. He loves him.
“He kind of is,” Scott realizes aloud, and promptly hits his head against the table.
“Oh, Scott,” Allison says quietly.
So, Scott is a bit (read: a lot) in love with his best friend. Whatever. No big deal, no need to freak out.
He’s freaking out.
“Derek and Laura and Erica are all werewolves,” Stiles says, flopping down on the couch where Scott is having a breakdown, thank you very much, stop talking, leave him alone--wait. What?
“They’re werewolves. Laura’s the alpha, since their whole pack died in that fire. Erica figured it out and asked if she could have ‘the bite’ or whatever, which I can’t blame her for because if I had seizures I’d probably want to be the undead, too.”
“Don’t worry, I’m not a werewolf. And neither are you, which is good because I don’t think you’d be that great at it.”
“No problem, buddy. What’s on TV?”
“I’m in love with you,” Scott says, because in the wake of ‘the people I’ve been hanging out with are mythical supernatural creatures’, it doesn’t seem like a huge deal.
Stiles squints at him. “Is that a movie or something?”
“No,” Scott says. “I’m serious. I’m in love with you.”
He’s quiet for a long moment before he says, “...oh. Can we... revisit this topic later? I, um... I need to think about how to... respond to that.”
“Yeah, okay,” Scott says. “I just thought I’d tell you, I guess.”
“I, uh, thanks.” Stiles gets up and Scott listens until he hears the apartment door slam shut.
He calls Allison and yells about how scared he is that Stiles is going to never talk to him again until she finally gets him to breathe properly and just go to bed.
“Scott. Scott. Wake up.”
“Mmmmph, whatsit...” Scott blinks his eyes open, rubs at them and peers blearily up at Stiles. “Stiles? It’s three in the morning, what the fuck.”
“It seemed poetic to wake you up in the middle of the night to have a discussion about our feelings. Very romcom.”
“We don’t live in a romcom, Stiles,” Scott says, sitting up.
“Shhh, Scott, I’m trying here. Erica glared at me, Laura looked at me sadly, and Derek said that I’m the stupidest human he’s ever met. Apparently we smell like we’re mates or something? But, well, I thought about it, and you’re my best friend, you know? You’re the one that never made fun of my name when we were little, you were there when my mom died, you listen to me rant about whatever I feel like ranting about and you only fall asleep like a third of the time, which is pretty good. And, well, I already love you as my best friend, and I guess I never really considered that you could love me in any other way because dude, I thought you were so straight, but if you want to do making out or having sex or both, I am down with that.”
Scott stares at Stiles. He’s still half asleep, but he’s pretty sure what Stiles just said means that he loves Scott back.
“This is the part where you kiss me, Scott,” Stiles says.
“Oh,” Scott mumbles, and grabs onto the collar of Stiles’s shirt, pulling him closer. He misses Stiles’s mouth by a fraction, but Stiles corrects for it, slots their lips together like they belong there, and it’s probably the best kiss Scott’s ever had in his life (not that he has much for comparison) even though it gets a bit awkward and messy when Stiles licks at Scott’s lower lip and Scott opens his mouth to let him in.
“Cool,” Stiles more breathes out than says when they finally break apart, resting their foreheads together.
“Super cool,” Scott manages before Stiles is kissing him again.
(The best part of getting together, Scott and Stiles agree, is that they don’t have to tell anyone about it. Everyone already assumed.)