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Nine People Looking into the Blackness of Space

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It's nine in the evening and there's a knock on Stiles' window. Of course there is. Because there's always a knock on Stiles' window. No one knows how to use a door anymore, even though it's perfectly acceptable now for any of the pack to just knock and come right in.

 

Whatever. It doesn't even startle him these days.

 

He pauses his game and walks over to peer out. When he sees who it is, he slides the glass up and shrugs.

 

“Scott's not here.”

 

“Huh?” Isaac wrinkles his nose and does that head tilt thing that seems to be a constant in all the werewolves. Stiles kindly refrains from making dog jokes.

 

“Scott. He isn't here. Did you check at Allison's?” They're still technically broken up, but there seems to have been a thaw in the ice lately, so Stiles figures it's only a matter of time.

 

“I was looking for you.”

 

“Oh. Oh.” Stiles steps back to give Isaac room. “Something happened, I take it? What is it this time? Vampires? Werebats? Wookiees?” He sits down at the computer and switches his tabs over to his favorite mythology site. He always keeps it open these days. “Give me a second and I'll see what I can find for you guys.”

 

Isaac climbs in the room and sits on the edge of the bed. When he doesn't answer, Stiles spins his chair around to face him. “Come on, dude, give. I still have homework.”

 

Isaac does the head tilt again, and really , is he trying to make Stiles take a dig? “Nothing's happened. Everything's good.”

 

O-kaaay...” He barely stops himself from doing his own head tilt, and holy cow, is it somehow contagious? “Then what are you doing here?”

 

What do you mean?”

 

What do you mean, what do I mean? What are you doing here?” He tries to curb the impatience in his voice, but yeah, he really does have a ton of homework/gaming to get to tonight. Big plans. Big.

 

Isaac looks confused at this point, his eyebrows crinkling down over his nose, which brings to mind the fact his eyebrows disappear when he wolfs out, and Stiles has been meaning to try to research why Isaac loses his, but Scott's just get bushier. Freakin' werewolves.

 

Why else would I be here? I came to see you. Derek's being mopey, Peter keeps giving me weird looks, and Erica and Boyd are way too much into PDA. So I figured we'd hang out or something.”

 

Stiles blinks at him for a minute. “Why?”

 

What do you mean why?” And oh my god, this is turning into some weird game of twenty questions. Stiles is so not down with that.

 

Um...because you and I -” he waves his hand vaguely between them, “ - we don't...hang out.” He air quotes the last bit, just because.

 

Isaac pulls his legs up underneath him and fiddles with the strings of his hoodie, all while giving Stiles an incredulous look. “Yes we do. We do stuff all the time. We went to that concert last week.”

 

Uh...yeah...because Scott was there. You remember him? Kind of short guy? Dark hair, crooked jaw? Used to be my best friend, but now he's kind of yours?” And oops, that last part just slipped out. He'd promised himself he wouldn't be pissy about it. He could be the better man here.

 

Which is totally cool, you know. I totally get it. You guys have way more in common now, what with the full moon thing, and the pack thing, and the lacrosse star thing. It's only natural, right? Scott and I, you know? Not so much anymore. I mean, what's ten years of history compared to werewolves.” He laughs, makes sure it sounds amused. Because, really, isn't all that amusing?

 

Isaac looks vaguely horrified, and Stiles maybe feels a little bad for the guy. He doesn't resent him. Okay, no, he totally does, but he tries hard not to, because it's not like the guy doesn't need Scott. He doubts Isaac set out to do it, so it's not really his fault Stiles kind of got left out of all the relationships that have shifted and formed since the whole kanima showdown. He's lucky if he hangs out with Scott once a week these days, and if they do, nine times out of ten, Isaac is there, too.

 

Hey man, it's cool. I'm not like mad or anything.” Lie. “Anyway, the point is, we don't hang out. We're not actually, you know, friends. Uh...more like...brothers-in-arms, right? Fighting together, got each others back against creepy supernatural things that want to kill us? I mean, that's pretty awesome, right? Right? And, you know, I'm always here for your one stop research needs.”

 

Isaac stares at his hands. “I thought we were friends.”

 

Stiles sighs. “No, no we're really not.”

 

Isaac's throat bobs as he swallows several times, and he starts yanking the strings of his hoodie back and forth. He's darting his eyes between Stiles and his feet, and Stiles can tell he's trying to work up to saying something. Stiles isn't actually sure he wants to hear it. He knows Isaac is kind of emotionally stunted, and when he does get around to sharing, it tends to be an avalanche of everything at once. But he's not fast enough to stop it.

 

I didn't, um...you know I didn't really have any friends before...with my dad, and...I mean, after, there was Derek, and he's not exactly...and I mean Erica...for awhile...but then Boyd...but I just didn't... I don't really have a lot of practice...I don't know the rules. And I didn't mean to...” He trails off and kind of squinches his face at Stiles.

 

Stiles forces a smile and rolls his chair over to pat him on the shoulder. “Dude, no worries. I told you it was totally cool. Not a problem.”

 

Isaac shrugs and ducks his head. “We could be friends.”

 

Come on, dude. Give Scott a call. I'm sure he'll wanna hang out. Howl at the moon, go practice your game, whatever you guys get up to.” Because Stiles really can't do this. He's just made peace with the whole “no more best friend” thing. The last thing he's gonna do is hang out with his old best friend's new best friend. He's just not there yet.

 

Isaac pulls his cell out and stares at it for a minute, then shoves it back in his pocket. He gets this stubborn look on his face and glares at Stiles with narrowed eyes. “We're going to be friends.”

 

Aww, there's the little psycho I know and love. I've been wondering where you've been since the last time you tried to kill me. Now, I know it's hard to understand, especially with Derek as your sensai, but just because you say it, doesn't make it so. Go see Scott.”

 

Isaac crosses his arms and doesn't move. “Just because you say we're not friends doesn't make it so, either. And I don't want to hang out with Scott right now. I want to hang out with you. Because we're friends.”

 

Oh come on, seriously? I have homework. And a campaign!”

 

Teach me.”

 

Teach you what?”

 

Isaac nods at the computer. “Your game.”

 

It's not a game.” Stiles is offended. “It's a lifestyle.”

 

Then show me.”

 

Oh my God,” Stiles says. “You're not going away, are you?”

 

Isaac shakes his head. “Nope.”

 

Fine. Jesus. Come on.”

 

Isaac grabs the chair by the bed and pulls it over to sit next to Stiles.

 

Just so you know,” Stiles grumbles, “this does not make us friends.”

 

Isaac looks at him doubtfully. “If you say so.”

 

Forty-five minutes later, Scott calls Isaac.

 

Isaac does not answer the phone.

 

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