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“You’re cute,” Danny says without thinking, and that’s basically where it starts.

Or maybe it really starts when Danny comes out, or when he notices that Scott is hot for the first time, or when he first comes across gay porn on the internet, or, hell, when he was born, for that matter.

But Scott compliments Danny’s goalkeeping skill and then starts rambling about something to do with a video he watched on YouTube about lacrosse and how Danny is totally good enough to, like, go pro, maybe, and Danny laughs and says “You’re cute,” because Scott is being pretty much the definition of the word.

He really wasn’t thinking about it, and he certainly wasn’t expecting Scott to stop talking and stare at Danny and then look away (is he blushing?) and mutter “Thanks,” before flashing Danny a genuine smile and ducking out of the locker room.

All in all it’s just a very confusing reaction, because while Scott is one of the most supportive guys Danny knows, he is also one of the straightest guys and should not, in general, be reacting to Danny complimenting him by blushing and running away.

“Huh,” Danny says to himself, wandering toward the shower. Maybe Scott’s not so straight after all.

If he’s honest with himself, that sounds an awful lot like wishful thinking.

-

Danny is sitting in the library, working on a paper, when Scott flops into the chair beside his at the table.

“Hey,” Danny says, surprised. “What are you doing in here?”

“I was walking by and saw you sitting here by yourself,” Scott says. “Man, I am so tired.” He lays pretty much his entire upper body down on the table, arms sprawled out so that one of them covers Danny’s papers effectively.

“Stayed up too late?” Danny asks.

Scott turns his head so that he can see Danny, one cheek still pressed against the table top. “Too many nights in a row,” he says. “My mom’s working night shifts and sometimes I get paranoid and end up just lying in bed listening to every little noise for hours. And that’s after I’ve spent too long watching TV.”

Danny winces. “That sucks.”

“Yeah,” Scott agrees, closing his eyes. “What are you working on?”

“A paper for chem class,” Danny says, tactfully not mentioning that he actually can’t right now because Scott’s got his arm on top of all Danny’s research.

Scott frowns. “We have a paper for chem class?”

“Yeah, it’s worth twenty-five percent of our grade.”

“Oh, shit,” Scott says, but there’s none of the actual freaking out in his tone that his words imply.

Danny considers Scott for a moment, then says, “Do you need help with yours? I could, maybe...”

“Yeah, yeah, that’d be good,” Scott agrees, yawning.

“Okay, so we could probably do that at my house, if you want, or yours, or just stay after school in the library, but that’s only for so long before we’d have to leave. What do you think?”

It takes Danny a moment to realize that Scott isn’t responding because he’s asleep, and then he sighs, because he’s going to have to move Scott’s arm now. He carefully lifts it and moves it over, and Scott, thankfully, does the rest of the work for him by tucking it up around his head. Danny looks at him for a minute, catalogues the way his hands ball into fists in his sleep, his eyelashes flutter over the incline of his cheekbones, his lips part the tiniest bit, and shit, Danny has now crossed the line into creepy staring.

Creepy staring never ends well.

-

“Jackson, I need to ask you something.”

“Yeah?” Jackson says, slamming his locker shut and leaning against it, spinning his car keys casually around his pointer finger, one eyebrow raised. He looks like he’s going to judge Danny so hard no matter what comes out of his mouth next. Probably because this is a constant and true fact.

“Do you think that--” Danny pauses and backtracks. “You know what, never mind.”

Jackson rolls his eyes. “Out with it. Who’s your latest hopelessly straight crush?”

When he puts it like that it sounds like this happens to Danny often, which it doesn’t, okay, that’s why he goes to gay clubs--there is minimal risk of crushing on the wrong guy there. (The fact that he actively worries about that, however, is telling.)

“Scott,” Danny says mournfully.

Jackson laughs, and Danny doesn’t really blame him. He’d think it was funny, too, if it wasn’t happening to him. “You could do so much better than McCall, Danny, seriously.”

“Shut up.”

“But you’d totally be a catch for him, dude,” Jackson says. “Go for it.”

“So you think he’s not one hundred percent straight?” Danny asks hopefully.

“Nope, I definitely do not,” Jackson says, starting to walk away backwards. “But he’s never had a girlfriend, right, so who knows? I gotta go, though, Lydia’s waiting for me. Lemme know how that whole McCall thing goes for you.”

“Yeah,” Danny says, watching Jackson walk down the hallway. “Sure.”

-

“After practice?” Scott says to Danny in the middle of a scrimmage. He’s hanging around the goal, being a bit of a cherry picker, and if he were anyone else Danny would have told him off for it by now, but it’s Scott and Danny still remembers the time Scott had an asthma attack so bad he nearly blacked out on the field before Stiles managed to get his inhaler to him. It had been terrifying, and Danny had felt useless the entire time.

“After practice what?”

“You can help me with my paper?”

“Oh,” Danny says. “I didn’t think you remembered that.”

Scott looks at him sideways through his helmet. “Yeah, I do. My place?”

“Sure,” Danny agrees, and pretends it isn’t a huge deal.

-

Scott flips the kitchen light on and drops his backpack on the table before turning and looking at Danny. Danny puts his backpack down carefully next to a chair and says, “Nice house.”

“Thanks,” Scott says. “Want anything to drink? Or eat? I’m actually kind of starving.”

“Um, sure, whatever you’re having,” Danny says.

Scott busies himself with pouring milk into glasses. Danny stands awkwardly, tucking his hands into the pockets of his jeans and rocking back and forth from the balls to the heels of his feet. Scott holds a glass out to him and grins a little. “You can sit, you know?”

“Oh, right,” Danny says, taking the glass and sitting down. Scott drops a package of Oreos on the table and sits down across from Danny, pulling the package toward himself. “So, do you have any idea what you’re writing this paper on?”

“I don’t even know what the assignment is,” Scott says around a mouthful of cookie. Danny sighs and takes an Oreo when Scott holds out the package to him. He’s going to need the sustenance.

An hour and a half later, the Oreos are all long gone and Danny is pretty sure Scott will never understand the principles of organic chemistry, but they’ve at least got a good outline started, if not fleshed out to the point where Scott will be able to string together something that at least resembles a proper essay.

“I think we’ve probably done enough for today,” Danny says. “Your brain’s probably fried.”

“I dunno, can you see smoke coming out of my ears?” Scott asks, grinning.

Danny squints. “Oh, yeah, I think I do.”

“We’ll definitely stop, then,” Scott says. “Thanks for this, by the way.”

“No problem. I offered.” Danny shrugs. “I guess I’ll--”

“Want to stay for supper?” Scott interrupts. “I’m cooking, which I realize might sound like a threat to you, but I’m actually not bad at it. You can ask Stiles, even.”

Danny studies Scott. He looks sincere and a bit desperate, like if Danny says no he’s going to cry. “Sure,” Danny says. “I just have to text my parents and make sure it’s okay.”

“Yeah, no problem. You allergic to anything?”

Danny shakes his head and takes out his phone.

→ 5:23 PM Dad
Is it all right if I stay at Scott’s for supper?

← 5:28 PM Dad
Sure. When are you going to be home?

→ 5:30 PM Dad
Dunno. Maybe a bit late.

← 5:33 PM Dad
Not too late.

→ 5:34 PM Dad
Don’t worry too much.

← 5:39 PM Dad
It’s my job to worry.

Danny scoffs and rolls his eyes at his phone. Scott looks up from whatever it is he’s making in the frying pan. “Who are you texting?”

“My dad,” Danny says.

“Oh, good,” Scott says. “I thought maybe you actually were asking Stiles if I’m good at cooking.”

“No, but I should do that.”

Scott groans and turns back to the stove.

→ 5:42 PM Stiles Stilinski
Is Scott good at cooking?

← 5:45 PM Stiles Stilinski
Yeah. Why?

→ 5:46 PM Stiles Stilinski
He’s making me supper.

← 5:51 PM Stiles Stilinski
Tell him I said he’s an idiot.

“Uh, Stiles says to tell you that you’re an idiot?” Danny says. “But he also told me you’re good at cooking.”

“Don’t even respond to him, oh my God. This is pretty much done. You ready?”

“To be poisoned? Yeah, I think I’ve got my affairs in order.”

Scott snorts. “Very funny. Even if you don’t like it, it’s definitely not poisonous. I like you too much for that.”

Danny tries to pretend his heart didn’t just start beating double time at that.

Scott puts down two plates of spaghetti with sauce on it on the table and sits down. Danny eyes the pasta--even he can make this, so Scott can’t have messed it up too badly, right? He takes a careful bite, chews, swallows, and holy shit, taste bud explosion. “Whoa. You’re, like, amazing at this, what the hell.”

Scott smiles a practically face splitting smile at him. “I told you. It’s about the one thing I’m not absolutely horrible at.”

“Is this all you can make?”

Scott looks affronted. “No, it’s just the easiest.”

Awesome. I want to eat at your house for the rest of time, okay?”

“Sure,” Scott agrees, still smiling.

They spend the entire time they’re eating cracking jokes and making fun of each other, talking about other people at school, new movies coming out that they want to see, their favourite movies of all time--anything and everything.

“You’re kidding me--that’s your favourite movie?”

“Yeah, why?” Danny asks.

“Because it’s mine, too. Stiles hates it. This is awesome, do you want to watch it? I have it on DVD.”

Danny pauses, thinks about it for a second, then nods. “Yeah, sure.”

“Awesome,” Scott repeats.

Danny insists they wash their dishes, which escalates into splashing water everywhere, so then they have to clean that up before they even make it to the living room to watch the movie. It’s almost ten when the movie ends, and Danny turns to Scott, intent on saying goodbye and going home, but Scott is asleep, his head lolling backward onto the couch.

Danny takes a moment to reflect on how this is becoming a pattern quickly, then stands and carefully pushes Scott down so that he’s actually lying on the couch, lifting his feet to place them on the couch. He finds a blanket folded on an armchair and spreads that over Scott.

He leaves the TV on with the DVD menu muted so that if Scott wakes up it won’t be totally dark and texts his dad to let him know he’s heading home. “Night, Scott,” he says at the door.

Scott snores softly in reply. Danny kind of thinks it’s adorable.

-

From there, it only seems natural that Danny and Scott start hanging out more. They spend almost every afternoon working on Scott’s paper at his house, and for the first while Danny always lets himself be convinced to stay and eat, and usually to watch a movie or something on TV, too, because Scott’s puppy dog face is a force to be reckoned with. Danny is pretty sure his mother is going to stage an intervention at some point, so he starts resisting by staring at the floor until he’s safely away from a place where Scott can look at him soulfully.

Even when Scott’s paper is finished and handed in, Danny still keeps finding reasons to spend time with Scott. He continues hanging out in Scott’s house doing next to nothing, even going so far as to kind of make friends with Scott’s mom in the times that he sees her between shifts. He goes bowling with Scott and Stiles one night, and convinces them it’s safe to go on a group outing to the movies with Jackson and Lydia another, during which Jackson shoots Danny constant knowing looks, Stiles uses him as a barrier between him and Lydia, and Scott smiles more than is entirely healthy for Danny’s heart.

Danny is lying on his living room couch on a Tuesday afternoon, his feet propped in Scott’s lap. He’s watching a sitcom while Scott reads a book for English class, an adorable crease between his eyebrows and one thumbnail being slowly chewed off.

“Hey Danny,” Scott says suddenly, poking at Danny’s feet.

Danny twitches and kicks at Scott’s hand. “What’s up?”

“There’s a new comic book movie coming out on Friday. You want to go with me?”

And Danny, thinking nothing of this request, says, “Yes.”

-

They go to the movie. It’s not bad, as movies go, but it’s not great, either, and Scott and Danny spend a good hour after the movie walking around Beacon Hills discussing what would have made it better.

They eventually get around to walking down Scott’s street and stop in front of his house. They had been laughing about something a side character in the movie had said, but now they’re standing in silence, laughter carried away by the late night summer breeze. It’s dark, because night time in Beacon Hills falls early and falls fast, and all that Danny can see of Scott is a deep blue silhouette, framed by the yellow light from the porch.

“This was fun,” Scott says.

“Yeah,” Danny says, swallowing. His throat is suddenly really dry.

“See you tomorrow?”

“What are we doing tomorrow?” Danny asks, surprised.

Scott shrugs. “Hanging out. I’ll come by your house, yeah?”

“Okay.” He’s expecting Scott to start walking away, but Scott doesn’t move. “Um. Good night?”

Scott starts a little, backs away a couple feet. “Good night,” he says.

Danny is left feeling a bit like he’s missing something.

-

The feeling continues into the next day, when Scott arrives at a way too early time and wakes Danny up by jumping on his bed. “Come on, dude,” he says enthusiastically. “We’re going on a road trip. I checked with your dad and we are free to take your car and be back tomorrow.”

“What,” Danny asks into his pillow.

Thirty minutes later he’s dressed and packed and still utterly confused. “Where are we going, exactly?”

“I don’t really want to tell you,” Scott says. “It’s times like this that I wish I could drive.”

“Well, uh, dude, I’m driving, so I kind of need to know.”

Scott sighs. “Just head west out of town.”

It only takes about thirty minutes of Scott directing Danny for him to finally give in and just tell Danny where they’re going--namely, a nearby state campground, not often targeted by tourists and almost definitely next to empty this time of year.

“We’re going camping?” Danny asks, amused.

“What, did you think that we were going to stay overnight in a hotel?”

Danny makes a face. “In the car, maybe.”

“I brought a tent,” Scott says, and he looks so proud of himself that Danny has to laugh.

They roll into the campground early and have their pick of literally any spot. They decide on one near the back of the campground, nicely enclosed with trees, and get to work pitching the tent Scott brought, which is considerably harder to do than Danny thinks is entirely fair for such a small tent.

“So, uh, Stiles and I used to camp in my backyard with this tent when we were like six,” Scott says sheepishly. “It seemed a lot bigger at the time.”

Danny eyes the tent. It looks, pretty much, like they’re going to be squashed right together all night. Danny isn’t all that opposed to that idea, to be honest. “It’s fine,” he says. “What are we going to do now?”

Scott’s face lights up. “We are going to have ice cream for lunch,” he declares, and then grabs Danny’s hand, dragging him down the gravel road.

“What kind are you going to get?” Danny asks when they’re standing in the tiny on site convenience store. Scott is still holding his hand and Danny is casually not mentioning it.

“Cookies and cream,” Scott says. “You?”

He scans the names in the front of the freezer, then shrugs. “Strawberry, I guess.”

“Classic,” Scott says, nodding approvingly. He drops Danny’s hand when he steps forward to order and Danny pretends it’s not a big deal.

Scott gets their ice cream and pays for it. Danny tries to protest and gets shot down soundly. They find a bench outside to sit on and Danny leans into the side of the building, stretching his legs out in front of him.

They sit in silence for a few minutes before Danny notices that Scott definitely isn’t eating his ice cream fast enough. “Um, Scott,” he says, gesturing at his ice cream cone. “You’re dripping.”

“Shit,” Scott says, catching the drops around it with his tongue, and Danny isn’t thinking too hard about that. “There.”

Danny looks at Scott and stifles a laugh. He reaches out his hand without thinking about it. “You’ve got it all on your nose,” he says, resting his fingers on the side of Scott’s face and wiping at his nose with his thumb. “Got it,” he says, and abruptly realizes that he’s pretty much holding Scott’s head, kind of like he would if he were going to kiss him. He feels his face heat up and drops his hand to wipe it on his jeans, staring resolutely at the ground.

“Thanks,” Scott says.

Danny chances a glance up. Scott is grinning at him, seemingly unbothered. “You’re welcome,” Danny mumbles.

-

“I brought the ingredients for s’mores,” Scott says.

Danny looks at him from under the towel he’s trying to dry his hair off with. He even looks attractive upside down, Danny thinks idly. “Yeah?” he says out loud.

“Mhm, so we are going to use this awesome fire I managed to start to roast marshmallows and make s’mores out of them.”

“Sounds like a plan,” Danny says.

It is a plan, though how good of one it is is questionable. Scott loses the first marshmallow he tries to roast in the fire, and Danny sets his first attempt on fire and dares Scott to eat it anyway. Scott spits it into the bushes while Danny laughs.

They finally manage to get a marshmallow just perfect, and Danny holds out a graham cracker with a piece of chocolate precariously balanced on it while Scott carefully guides the marshmallow to it. Danny manages to pull the marshmallow off using the other graham cracker and then somehow manages to get his finger in the marshmallow, which fucking hurts.

“Fuck!” He shoves his finger into his mouth.

“What, what did you do?” Scott asks, tone scared.

“Got my finger inside the marshmallow,” Danny says. “It hurt.”

“Did you get an actual burn?” Scott asks. “Are you okay? Let me see.” He grabs Danny’s wrist and pulls it toward him. The skin on his finger is a bit pink, but it doesn’t seem too lethal. Scott smacks a kiss on it. “There. Kissed it better.”

“Oh,” Danny says, letting his hand hang in the air in shock.

-

Scott flicks on a flashlight, shining it on his face from under his chin. “Should we tell ghost stories? I know some really great ones from when Stiles was having his ghost story phase.”

Danny winces. “How about no.”

“Why? You scared, Mahealani?”

“Out in the middle of the forest? Why would I be?” He grabs for the flashlight and pulls it away from Scott, aiming it at the wall of the tent. He sticks his fingers in front of the light, twisting them into shape. “Look, a bunny.” He makes it hop and Scott laughs.

“Here, I’ll hold it, you make a bird,” Scott says, taking the flashlight back. Danny complies, folding his thumbs together and fluttering his fingers, making sound effects for drama and so that Scott will keep laughing.

“That’s pretty much all I know how to do,” Danny admits.

“It’s great,” Scott says, and flicks the flashlight off. There’s a quiet moment, and then Danny feels Scott lean his head against Danny’s shoulder. “This is cozy.”

“Yeah,” Danny agrees, trying not to think about how there are literally only inches of space between them and their makeshift bed is entirely comprised of too small sleeping bags unzipped and spread out with a ton of blankets piled on top of them.

A few minutes, in which Danny pays particular attention to not moving a muscle and breathing evenly, pass and then Danny hears rain start pitter-pattering on the tent, and the soft sound of Scott swearing and then Scott is pressed up against him.

“There must be a tear in the roof,” Scott mutters, pressing his cheek into Danny’s shoulder. “The rain is getting in.”

Danny makes a noise that might be assent or sympathy or something entirely different, and when Scott wraps his arm around Danny’s waist, he puts his own arms around Scott and closes his eyes. They lie like that for barely thirty seconds before Scott starts rearranging himself, and then Danny’s got an entire freaking octopus sprawled across him, legs tangled together and arms tucked around him, his face pressed into Danny’s neck.

“You smell nice,” Scott mumbles.

“Armani,” Danny says, flailing his arms in an attempt to decide where they’re supposed to go. “My cologne is.”

“S’nice,” Scott repeats, and it shouldn’t even be possible for him to cuddle his way closer, but he somehow succeeds at doing it.

Danny finally decides on just wrapping his arms around Scott, one around his waist and the other one higher up, and Scott makes a noise of approval.

If Danny thought he was paying particular attention to his breathing before, he is now learning a whole new definition of the word attention. He kind of feels like he’s going to crawl right out of his skin and possibly into Scott’s, where it seems to be a lot calmer.

Eventually Scott moves again, and Danny has a brief moment of worrying that Scott is going to move away, but then his face is right by Danny’s, his nose tucked in next to Danny’s like it belongs there, and Danny can feel Scott’s fingers tangle in his hair, and he doesn’t move a muscle, so sure Scott is about to kiss him. He doesn’t, though, just stays there, breathing the same air as Danny. It’s strangely intimate, and then Scott is moving away and Danny definitely does not approve.

“No, come back here,” Danny mutters, and Scott freezes. “You can’t just do that and have there be no kissing.”

“I didn’t know you wanted me to,” Scott says, and presses his lips to Danny’s, just briefly. Danny strains his head upward in an effort to follow Scott’s lips, and Scott moves back, kisses like he means it, lips almost bruising, and Danny responds in kind, biting at Scott’s lip and then running his tongue over it soothingly. They eventually slow it down, Scott sucking lazily at Danny’s lips until Danny groans in protest and licks his way into Scott’s mouth, pushes at him until he rolls over and nearly takes the entire tent with him.

“Shit,” Danny says against Scott’s lips, and Scott starts laughing. “No, come on, stop laughing, more kissing.”

“Just a minute,” Scott says between laughter. “Okay, okay, come here.” He wraps his hand around the back of Danny’s neck and pulls him in, and Danny follows it easily, thinks that he would gladly spend the rest of his life here, kissing Scott while the rain pours outside and drips steadily into the other side of the tent.

-

Jackson is leaning against Danny’s locker when he gets to school on Monday morning. Danny raises his eyebrows at him and Jackson mirrors it back at him. “How was your weekend away with lover boy?” he drawls out, rolling his eyes.

“Uh, I guess we’re dating now,” Danny says.

Jackson looks at him funny. “Yeah, I know,” he says. “Do you have the homework from last Friday for me?”

“Yeah, it’s in my locker, so move.”

He rolls his eyes and takes his time shifting over so that Danny can open his locker. Sometimes Danny really doesn’t like his best friend.

-

It occurs to him in chem class, when he’s staring at the back of Scott’s head and failing at trying not to daydream. He catches Scott by the arm when they’re asked to partner up for a lab assignment.

“How long have we been dating?” he asks under his breath.

Scott shrugs. “A couple weeks?”

Danny stares at him. “...oh.”

“Did you not notice or something?”

Danny avoids eye contact. “...or something,” he says casually, pretending he’s not blushing.

Danny is way too good at pretending, in retrospect.

Scott laughs at him. “You’re cute,” he says, and that’s basically where it ends.

Or maybe that’s where it actually starts.

Whatever.

-

put down your sword and crown
come lay with me on the ground