The worst part of being grounded is that she loses her car privileges. Her father holds out a palm for the keys when he’s finished remonstrating at her, and she thrusts them at him feeling betrayed. They had a brief moment of comfort and then his face had closed down, the lines on his forehead deepening, the light in his eye vanishing. Watching her father become the angry, disciplinarian she sometimes sees when he’s in hunter mode is something she never enjoys.
It was ugly.
Now she’s without a car and wants to go into town. She ponders her options for a moment and then makes the decision to take the bus. She grabs her purse and heads down the stairs. Chris pauses from where he’s reading the paper and beckons her into the kitchen.
“Where are you going?”
“Town,” she rolls her eyes. “I’m still allowed to leave the house, right?”
“Yes,” he says shortly. “Don’t go far.”
“I thought about catching a flight to Alaska but you didn’t have enough money in your account,” she snaps as she marches out the front door.
She knows she’s being unnecessarily hostile, she knows she crossed lines that are almost impossible to come back from; but she can’t help but blame her father just a little. She can’t help but wish he’d done more to drag her back.
She wishes even more that she’d dragged herself back.
The bus driver hand over her change uninterestedly and Allison sweeps over the seats, looking for an available spot. Her gaze catches on a figure halfway down the bus and she stills. Stiles looks like he was reading a comic but it’s lying forgotten in his lap as he stares back at her. The bus driver goes to shut the doors and Allison flees down the steps, heart racing. Stiles had a dark red cut across his cheek and his lip was still swollen. She can’t look up as the bus disappears over the hill. His eyes. Everything she’d been thinking about herself for a week written across his face as he looked at her.
She runs home, slams her door and ignores her father for the rest of the day.
When Allison was six she fell off her bike and grazed her hands. Her mother lectured her on her balance and her dad wrapped her hands in gauze and kissed them to make her feel better.
When she was eleven she got in a fight at school and was the only girl involved not punished by her parents. She was reprimanded for not controlling her temper but never grounded like the others girls were.
She was sixteen when she lost her virginity. It was awkward and uncomfortable.
Seventeen when she fell in love for the first time. It was still awkward, disconcerting, but it was also all sorts of wonderful and exciting.
Scott is a lot of things Allison is not. He’s an optimist. He has faith in her she feels like she doesn’t deserve, that she didn’t really earn. Scott looks after people, Allison’s never really been taught how. Her mother was never the soothing, caring sort. Her dad seemed like he wanted to be, was certainly more likely to give her a hug than her mom. But neither of them were ever overly loving. Scott was like the kind of boy she read about in books; with his floppy hair and his adorable smile. He looked at her like she hung the moon. He made her feel happy, loved, excited about things. His enthusiasm was infectious.
It wasn’t supposed to be like this.
She’s sick of feeling sorry for herself and in some sort of mini protest at the damsel in distress attitude she’s been trying so desperately to avoid she chops off some of her hair. It looks awful. She literally cannot go outside with it looking the way it does. She calls Lydia.
It’s stilted and awkward and everything she never wanted it to be with her friend. But they power through. Eventually Lydia interrupts the small talk and says Jackson’s gone to Europe to find himself and she’s bored as hell. Allison is instructed to meet her at a salon in town.
She clambers on to the bus, heart pounding and is relieved to see there’s nobody she recognizes anywhere.
Lydia’s deep in discussion with one of the stylists when Allison peeks her head round the door.
“You look terrible,” Lydia says aghast. “Did you use shears?”
Allison takes a breath to defend herself and instead, bursts into tears. Lydia sweeps over to her, hands soothing on her shoulders and brushing through her hair. “I thought it would help!”
“Oh, honey no. Didn’t anyone ever tell you going through dramatic emotional upheaval is simply the worst time to re-style?”
Allison snorts despite herself. “No, I grew up with real people.”
Lydia tweaks at one of her short strands of her and steps away. “We can fix this.” She waves a hand at the stylist and he sashays over, clucking his tongue in disapproval.
“Sit,” he pushes her into a nearby chair and Lydia hands her a glossy magazine. “You read, I will rescue your hair from this… tragedy,” he finishes.
Allison quirks an eyebrow at Lydia who shrugs, smirking. “It will help,” she mouths before following a young woman over to a manicure stand.
She falls asleep with the stylist’s gentle fingers dragging through her hair.
Lydia wakes her an hour later and she blinks in surprise at the sight of herself in the mirror.
“You look so much better,” Lydia says from where she’s standing behind her looking pleased.
“I—I’ve never worn my hair this short before.”
“Fresh starts all round,” Lydia says briskly and Allison catches her hand, knows what’s going unspoken.
“I’m sorry,” she says finally.
Lydia looks down at her hand and then up at her, blinking hastily against unshed tears. “You had a rough year.”
“So did you.”
“I wish you had talked to me,” Lydia says plaintively. “I wish—”
“I know,” Allison cuts in, squeezes Lydia’s hand.
Lydia flicks her own coiffed locks over one shoulder and smiles at her. “Let’s go and buy shoes; I have Jackson’s credit card for the summer,” she shoots Allison a mischievous look as she stands “It seems only fair we use it in an emergency like this.”
“I’m not sure this counts as an emergency,” Allison begins to protest but Lydia rolls her eyes.
“We were talking about our feelings, Allison.”
She clambers back onto the bus feeling much better. As she examines all of the shiny, pretty bags beside her she considers the phrase retail therapy and decides it has more credit to it than she’s ever given it before.
Her heart sinks, however when the bus stops outside the community gym and Stiles ambles onto the bus. His face is flushed like he’s been running and when he sees her the red deepens. Slowly, he makes his way down the bus, eyes flittering at the available seats before he sits down opposite her.
He’s much braver than she was she thinks.
He tosses his gym back on the floor and rests his feet on it. Her whole body is jittery with nerves as they sit in silence and though to an outside observer Stiles looks at ease; she can see the way his back is tense. His hands are twisting together like he’s stopping himself from lashing out and it makes her flinch. Stiles has just as much right to be angry with her as Boyd or Erica she supposes. She wonders if he hates her.
“Hey,” he says eventually.
Allison starts, glances at him. “Hi.”
Stiles’ lip curls ever so slightly and she bites her own.
“Looks nice,” he mutters, gesturing at her hair.
She smiles timidly and points at his own. “So does yours.”
He grins suddenly and runs a hand through it. “Can’t be fucked to shave it all off.” He shrugs and cuts a glance at her. “Coping right?”
Allison jerks her chin, horrendously awkward all over again. “Yeah. Where’s your jeep?”
“Oh,” his face falls and he rubs a hand over his face. “It’s taking a break for a while, kinda smashed it up, you know?”
She feels her stomach churn; she knows how much Stiles loves his jeep. “I’m—that sucks.”
“Yeah,” he glances out of the window and then visibly makes himself meet her eyes. “I’ve got someone lending a hand with fixing it, though, should be up and running again eventually.”
“That’s good,” she says, wincing at how stilted her voice sounds even to her own ears.
He gets off two stops before her, shoots her a small smile over his shoulder and she falls back against the seat, heart thudding hard against her chest.
“Break ups,” an old lady says consolingly from across the aisle. “They get easier.”
Allison doesn’t correct her, wants to laugh that from an outsiders point of view that was how the exchange looked.
Guilt, Allison discovers, is not something easy to live with. She wonders how Kate walked around with it for so many years; if she even ever thought about the amount of grief and destruction she caused. In her darker moments she thinks maybe Kate didn’t feel any guilt. It makes her feel worse.
Allison feels guilt. She feels remorse and resentment and anger and fear. She’s afraid of that person she became, what the strength inside of her was used for.
She rearranges her room, searches beneath her desk for all the papers she swept off in her rage earlier in the year. She goes through her trash bin and picks out the photograph of herself and Lydia. She reads through some of her school books, tries to put answers on a page for her summer work.
Discussing Hamlet and his motivations feels like she’s eating cut glass. Her chest hurts with it and she has to walk the length of her bedroom more than once to shake off her unease. It’s the worst sort of play to be reading when her own life so resembles a damn tragedy.
She thinks about Derek Hale and everything he lost. She thinks about everything she’s lost and wonders if he feels exultant in his vengeance; if her family have finally paid the price for their actions.
Eevntually, she writes that though Hamlet ended up destroying himself more than anyone else, and could have taken a lot less time making his decisions; there was something noble in his actions.
Though she feels Ophelia’s actions were the most powerful in the end.
She doesn’t want to relate to any of Shakespeare’s characters. She leaves her books in a pile by her bed and resolves to finish before the summer (she won’t) and goes for a run.
In July, Chris and several hunters gather in the living room and Allison sits on the stairs, listening to them talk. She catches words like Alpha pack, Gerard, protect, help; wonders what her father’s strategy will be if there’s a new threat in town. She wonders, briefly, if they’d be better off leaving Beacon Hills altogether; if their presence is making things worse for everyone.
Scott doesn’t call or text. She writes him a letter and then burns it. Nothing she thinks to say is good enough.
She’s almost prepared for it when she climbs onto the bus after having coffee with Lydia and sees Stiles. She’s not prepared for the pretty blonde sitting next to him. Allison falters, not knowing if he’ll want to acknowledge her when he has company, or if their previous conversation had been so damn awkward he’s going to pretend he doesn’t know her from now on.
But he waves a hand and she smiles faintly in return. The girl shoots her a dark look before turning to say something to Stiles that makes him laugh incredulously. He replies and the girl melts, leaning into him and Allison expects him to duck down, close the distance between them but he doesn’t. He pats her arm instead and when they get off the bus she glares at Allison from her seat by the front.
She’s less surprised when her dad yells up the stairs that she has a visitor an hour later. He and Stiles are involved in some sort of endless staring match when she races down the stairs and she rolls her eyes, elbows Chris out of the way and grabs at Stiles’ hand. She doesn’t totally know what it is but Stiles relaxes, lets her pull him up the stairs while Chris eyeballs them from the hall.
“Leave the door open!”
“Dad, for god’s sake, it’s Stiles!”
“Gee, thanks,” Stiles grumbles as he stands awkwardly in the middle of her room.
“You know what I meant,” she says rolling her eyes again.
“Still,” he clutches his chest. “Ouch.”
For a split second it’s like the last four months haven’t happened and they’re teasing each other the way they used to. The easy atmosphere vanishes as Stiles drops his hands and looks around her relatively bare room. “Wow, where’s all your stuff?”
“I threw a lot of it out, uh, a little while ago,” she says falteringly. Hesitantly she takes a seat at the end of the bed and slowly, Stiles shuffles to sit next to her.
“I don’t blame you,” he says quietly.
There’s a lump in her throat as she stares at her hands determinedly.
“You should,” she bites out finally.
“When my mom—” Stiles sucks in a breath and tips his head back briefly. “It was out of nowhere. If the guy who hit her had lived I would have killed him.”
“No, you wouldn’t.”
“You don’t know what I’m capable of,” he says, crooking a smile at her. “I would have, without regret. I mean, I’m just saying—we all do awful things for the people we love.”
“I hurt a lot of innocent people.”
“Yeah, and I’m not saying that’s ok,” Stiles digs his own hands into his thighs and then blows out a breath. “But we’re all fucked up. It’s not just you.”
“Thanks,” she says laughing despite herself.
“You know what I mean,” he tosses back at her easily and she grins again, swats at him with a pillow.
She’s still not sure what he came over for when they say their goodbyes an hour later but she sleeps better than she has in months.
Allison sleepily lifts a hand at Stiles as she arrives at the bus stop. “Why do you do grocery shopping so early?” she complains as she shivers in the cool morning air.
“Best stuff comes out first thing; you get all the fresh fruit and veg, duh.”
“You’re a sadist. It’s August; you should be sleeping, I should be sleeping.”
Stiles grins and Allison notices the cut across his cheek has all but faded. “You look better,” she says suddenly.
Stiles shrugs, cheeks pinking up. “I totally wanted a badass scar, to be honest.”
“No, you didn’t.”
“You’re probably right,” he says airily as they make their way onto the bus. “I look better with baby smooth skin, right?”
He looks like a grown man, Allison thinks as he runs a big hand against his cheek. She wonders if Scott’s been keeping up with shaving or if he’s grown out a beard. She wonders if he thinks about her. She wonders if he and Stiles talk about her in the past tense or if they even bring her up at all. She wonders if Scott knows she and Stiles are going grocery shopping of all things this morning.
“He doesn’t talk about you,” Stiles says softly, cutting into her thoughts like he can read her mind.
She flinches and wishes she hadn’t.
“I think he wants to,” Stiles continues. “I think he just doesn’t know where to start. Especially after,” he gestures at his cheek. “You know.”
Allison hunches up her shoulders. “Do you think it would be better if I left?”
Stiles snorts. “No, he’s got a ten year plan more complex than mine. You can’t go anywhere if his plan for next year’s anything to go by.”
Something unclenches in her stomach just a little and she rests her arms on the seat in front, buries her face in them. “You have a ten year plan?”
Stiles is quiet for a second and she turns to look at him. He fidgets, hands running through the condensation on the bus window.
“I did,” he frowns at his damp fingers and then licks his lips. “I’m regrouping.”
She closes her eyes for a moment and then nods, hiding her face in her arms. “Me too.”
They’re sitting in Stiles’ bedroom a week later listening to Something Corporate and bemoaning the lack of tours when Stiles gets a text. His whole body freezes up and slowly he slips his phone back in his pocket, looks over at her.
“What.” She can feel the tension growing thick in the room and in Stiles’ eyes, the way they’re huge and sorrow filled. “Stiles, what?”
“Say it,” she whispers breathlessly. “Just, say it.”
“She’s not coming back.”
“What, what do you mean she’s not coming back?” She stands and Stiles is in front of her in a second. “She wasn’t supposed to go anywhere! She was just—she just kept winding me up about Scott, and I wanted to scare her. Gerard—he said she was a monster and I was scared, I was scared she was going to hurt you, and Scott. I was scared she was going to hurt me! I—I didn’t think—Stiles—I—” he’s batting off her arms from where she’s shoving at his chest, but he doesn’t move. “I thought she was going to take Scott from me! I thought I was doing the right thing, I thought—Stiles—she’s not dead! She’s just doing this to mess with us.”
“She is,” Stiles says looking grief stricken. “She’s not coming back.”
“Stop saying that!” She hits his shoulder and he flinches but doesn’t stop her. “Stop letting me do this! Come on, Stiles, yell at me. I did this, right? It’s my fault.”
“It is, she’s dead. She was a person and now she’s not! I hate this, I hate this, please— stop it, get off me!” He catches her wrists, twists until she’s falling against him, crying. She can’t stop herself. She feels stupid for it; she’s cried so much this summer she’s embarrassed for herself. Stiles got beaten up by her own grandfather and she hasn’t seen him cry once.
“Don’t,” she says weakly. She’s not sure what she’s even saying no to. He goes to pull away but she clutches at his shirt and howls into it.
The door opens and she hears the Sheriff say Stiles’ name.
“It’s ok, dad,” Stiles says quietly. The door closes after a second and Stiles moves to sit on the bed, dragging Allison with him. She lets him rearrange them so she’s leaning against his shoulder and she cries.
She cries for Erica, the girl she didn’t really know but didn’t deserve this. Allison knew she was only trying to aggravate her, that she saw it as a game to taunt the humans who had spent their whole lives mocking Erica.
She cries for the fact they’re only teenagers and they’ve already lost so much. She cries for how much she misses Scott, how sorry she is she screwed up and how much she wishes she could fix things. She cries for her mom.
Stiles strokes her hair and murmurs quiet words until the grief subsides. She sits up and wipes her face.
“Oh, god, Stiles. What did I do?”
“You didn’t do this,” he says softly. “Gerard did this. And there’s—there’s some stuff going on you don’t know about.”
“The alpha pack,” she says suddenly and he nods, surprised.
“Your dad knows?”
“I think so; he and some of the other hunters in the area were talking about it a couple of weeks ago.” She sighs and bites her lip. “I think they’re here for the new wolves, not… not Derek’s pack.”
Stiles stills at Derek’s name and slowly unwraps his arm from her shoulders. “He won’t care. He’s not going to be happy about new hunters in town.”
“I need,” she shudders and shuts her eyes. “I have to go talk to my dad.”
“Ok.” Stiles stands and helps her up. “You want me to come with you?”
“No, I know you don’t really want to talk to him, ever.”
Stiles wiggles his shoulders, trying to smile; it falls short. “Your dad scares the crap out of me.”
“I think the only person that wasn’t scared of him was my mom.”
Stiles ducks his head. “Yeah, she was terrifying,” he says quietly.
Allison lets out a choked laugh and follows him down the stairs. On the door step she leans forward and wraps her arms around his waist. Stiles seems to freeze in surprise but then slowly pats her shoulder.
“The force is strong in this one,” he quips. She snorts into his chest and shoves at him. He smiles fondly, pulling away. “You know what I mean.”
“Yeah,” she waves a limp hand and heads to the bus stop.
She’s so exhausted she almost misses her stop. When she gets inside she can tell her father already knows. Every wolf in the area is being monitored and she doesn’t suppose the rest of Derek’s pack are thinking of etiquette tonight.
“We need to talk.”
She nods mutely, sitting down at the kitchen table and looking at him expectantly.
“One of Derek’s pack—”
“Erica,” Allison cuts in. “Her name was Erica.”
Her dad sighs and reaches for the whiskey, pours two glasses. “What else do you know that I don’t?”
Oddly, the alpha pack being in town doesn’t change anything. She’s still not allowed her car back—despite her argument that it would make for quick getaways—and Scott doesn’t talk to her.
Even when her father forbade her from seeing him, she still spoke to Scott every day. It makes her feel disjointed and jumbled up inside not to know how he’s doing, not to talk to him, to not see him.
Stiles is careful with what he says. Tells her Scott’s been spending a lot of time with Isaac, which he doesn’t too look too thrilled about and she doesn’t push it.
“Are you mad at him?” she asks casually as they sit on the bus out of town.
Stiles scrubs a hand through his long hair and then shrugs. “No, I mean, he’s my brother. I can hate him, be pissed at him, want to strangle him but I still love him, you know? And there was stuff he didn’t tell me, stuff we missed but—” he lifts his shoulders again and glances at her before looking away. “He’s my best friend.”
“Lydia was my best friend, is my best friend,” she says quietly. “I missed some stuff with her too, though.”
“Lydia is a fierce fucking warrior,” Stiles says easily. “She’ll outlive us all.”
Allison sniggers and then cuts a glance at him. “Do you still—”
“Nah, I think she has the whole love of her life thing covered,” he interrupts quietly. “She doesn’t really have room to see me.”
“Do you still want her to?”
“I’m,” Stiles makes a frustrated noise and shakes his head. “No? I think the way you feel about Scott is pretty different to the way I felt about Lydia and that, that made me realize a few things this summer. You know what I mean?”
“Yeah,” she replies faintly. “You deserve someone who sees you, Stiles.”
He grins crookedly at her and then the bus is stopping and they’re jumping down the stairs.
“My dad won’t be happy about this,” she muses.
Stiles laughs. “What he doesn’t know won’t kill him.”
“He would violently disagree.”
Stiles shudders. “Yeah, emphasis on the violence.” He shoulders the door open and gestures for Allison to head through in front of him.
“I am a true gentleman,” he sniffs airily.
Allison laughs, watches him sign them in and greet the staff at the desk.
Stiles leads her down a sparse corridor and into a locker room, dumps his hoodie in a locker and makes her get rid of her earrings.
“Trust me, you don’t want them digging into your skin.”
They head out into the open room and Allison shivers with anticipation. “Are you sure I’m allowed in here?”
“Special circumstances.” Stiles bustles around her. “You’ve used one before, right?”
“Yeah, my dad’s shown me how.”
“Awesome,” Stiles puts on his ear muffs, grinning wildly. He looks the most relaxed Allison’s seen him all summer. “Let’s go nuts,” he yells.
Allison watches as he shoots at the target ahead of them and each shot hits the middle of the board with dead on precision.
She can beat that, she’s sure of it. She sees the challenge in his eyes when he smirks over at her and she picks up her own firearm, considers the target. She takes a breath and pulls the trigger. The recoil isn’t bad but it still shocks her wrists. She gasps, tension seeping out of her with each shot. At the end of the round the buzzer goes and the targets swoop towards them.
Stiles crows when he sees his were closer to the marks then hers were.
“Again,” she says insistently.
“Alright, loser buys breakfast.”
It’s the strangest, best sort of de-stressing she’s ever done.
“It bothers me he’s still out there.”
Stiles rolls over on the bed and sighs at the ceiling. “Allison.”
“No, Stiles come on.” She fidgets from where she’s been sitting looking through Stiles’ extensive research on his laptop. “I think we should… find him.”
“You—you think we should find him? The dude that beat the crap out of me and manipulated you into becoming just a little bit psycho all spring?”
“Yes,” she spits venomously. “I want—I need to know why.”
“You already do, he’s—no offence but he’s totally deranged.”
“Don’t you want revenge?”
Stiles snorts, scrubs a hand across his face. “I don’t want anything but to get through senior year without more people I care about dying.”
Allison sighs. “But—”
“I want to tear the guy limb from limb, Allison. That doesn’t mean I’m going to, or that somebody hasn’t beaten me to it.”
She shoots him a look and realizes he’s suddenly extremely focused on his shoes.
“What do you know that I don’t?”
“Nothing,” he says quickly. “But, he’s not worth it, ok? And he’s still your—”
“Don’t say it.”
“Fine, ok, but no, we’re not going fucking looking for him. We’re kids, Allison. We don’t go looking for the crazy things that go bump in the night, they fucking find us!”
Allison stares at him; it’s the closest she’s seen him get to losing it all summer. She’s been wondering where his rage had gone, where his fire and his steel had been filtered to. She wonders if he’s bottling it up or if he has an outlet.
“Let’s go for a run,” she says suddenly.
Stiles blinks in shock. “A what?”
“Yeah,” she pulls her hair back and gestures at his shirt. “Get changed, we’ll go through the preserve.”
“It’s after midnight.”
“So? That just means no one will interrupt us.”
“Or we’ll get eaten by the goddamn swamp creature,” Stiles mutters but he heads for the bathroom despite himself.
She goes to the movies with Lydia and sees Stiles further up the auditorium with a brunette.
“I didn’t know Stilinski had a girlfriend,” Lydia comments.
“He doesn’t,” Allison says frowning and texting Stiles.
Halfway through the movie Stiles slinks down to their seats and collapses next to her.
“What happened to your date?!”
“She got mad when I wouldn’t make out with her,” he groans.
Lydia snorts and throws popcorn at him. “Chicken.”
“I’m not kissing my date for the first time in a movie theatre,” he whispers in a shrill voice.
Allison pats his hand understandingly whilst Lydia continues to tease him. Eventually Stiles throws up his arms and complains he doesn't know what he ever saw in her.
“Liar,” Lydia says easily.
“I hate you.”
“Oh, sweetie no you don’t.”
“Well, I’m not in love with you anymore either.”
“You never were,” Lydia rolls her eyes. “You were just enamored.”
“Well I’m not that either now so suck it,” he mutters.
Someone turns round and shushes them and Lydia waves a hand at them. “You shush. And stop being childish, Stiles; it’s very unbecoming.” She reaches over Allison and fluffs his hair. “Though this is working in your favor these days.”
“Thanks,” he grumbles before batting her hand away.
As dates go, Allison’s not had a better one in a while. They get coffee afterwards and Lydia tries to interrogate Stiles about his love life. He fends her off and eventually she gives up, disappears to flirt with one of the baristas.
“I just—didn’t feel it,” Stiles complains to Allison.
“It’s pretty rare these days,” she agrees wistfully.
“He really misses you.”
“And I miss him.”
Stiles smiles sadly at her and then suddenly falls off his chair. “Oh my god.”
Allison glances down at him in surprise and then to where he’s staring in horror. Derek Hale and Isaac Lahey have just walked past the window. Stiles is hiding behind Allison’s chair, muttering to himself. Allison absentmindedly pets his hair, eyes still on Derek’s retreating back.
Stiles lets out a breath and looks up at her sheepishly. “I—I have no explanation.”
“Do you talk to him much?” she tries to sound casual but her heart is racing. She hasn’t seen him all summer; it’s like seeing a very angry ghost.
“Yeah, sometimes,” Stiles fusses with his shirt sleeve. “He was helping me with the jeep.”
“He was? Why?”
“Because sometimes he’s an asshole, but so am I? I guess. I don’t know, he just turned up at the shop and said he’d help pay for it and,” Stiles flushes red. “I told him to fuck off. And then I went back the next day and my damn car was gone.”
“He stole your car?!”
“I think it’s his weird way of trying to be nice,” Stiles smiles almost fondly at his hands.
“Is he—” Allison falters and looks away.
“Stiles! What on earth are you doing on the floor?!” Lydia sweeps over, hands on hips as she gazes down at Stiles. He rolls to his feet, grumbling about her not being the boss of him.
“I always will be,” Lydia says sweetly and they’re back to bickering at each other as Allison loses herself thinking about Derek Hale, and his pack.
She wonders if Scott will ever have a pack. If she’ll be in said pack or if she’ll always be alone. Lonely.
Stiles flicks tea at Lydia and makes her shriek and Allison’s drawn back to the table.
Figures she’s maybe not as alone as she thinks.
“Here,” Stiles shoves a map down in front of her. “You said there’s been activity up north, right?” Allison nods, chewing on her marker pen and Stiles takes it out of her mouth. “Those are mine, chew your own.”
Allison rolls her eyes, is about to say something when the window snicks open and they both twist in surprise.
Scott falters, one foot inside the room and stares at them both.
She trips a little in her hurry to stand.
“I didn’t—” Scott pauses. “You smell different.”
“She finally showered,” Stiles drawls. “We’ve been waiting on it all summer.”
Allison forgets herself and shoots him a filthy look.
“Cool,” Stiles says beaming. “I’m gonna—be elsewhere for a bit,” he adds, pulling out his phone. “Don’t have reunion sex on my bed.”
“Someone should have sex on it,” Scott protests.
“Too mean,” Stiles yells from the stairs.
“I didn’t know you were here,” Scott says into the awkward silence. “I wouldn’t have—interrupted otherwise.”
“No, you weren’t—we were just looking at some things.”
Scott casts his eyes across the desk to where they’ve been tracking hunters movements and then back at her. “Allison, you shouldn’t be getting involved in this. It’s too dangerous.”
“I’m not a kid, Scott. I want to stay in the loop.” She balls her fists up, months of not seeing each other and suddenly he’s here and he’s lecturing her.
“I get that,” he takes a step towards her and then stops. “I just don’t want you getting hurt.”
“Too late,” she says with a bitter laugh.
Scott bows his head. “I’m sorry.”
“It wasn’t your fault,” she says firmly.
“I’m the reason you got involved, I’m the reason you lost so much.”
“It wasn’t your fault,” she repeats. “My family was screwed up long before I met you.”
He gazes at her for a long moment. “I miss you,” he says finally.
It’s a non sequitur, and it throws her but she sighs, looks up at him as she bites her lip. “I miss you, too.”
Stiles bangs back into the room, eyes covered and she rolls her own at him. “We’re not doing anything, you idiot.”
Stiles peeks through his fingers and grins. “Awesome, how’s the awkward reunion going?”
“Fine,” Scott says before frowning. “Do you have those notes?”
“Yeah, yeah,” Stiles fumbles under the bed and pulls out his school stuff. Allison snorts and Stiles glowers at her. “Hey, I was just leaving it under there for safe keeping.”
“Or trying to pretend it didn’t exist?”
Scott’s looking between them, face confused and a little hurt. Stiles shoves papers at him and starts explaining everything Scott needs to look through. Either he doesn’t notice Scott’s confusion or he’s blowing right past it on purpose.
Allison suspects the latter.
Scott leaves a few minutes later, casting her one last look over his shoulder before he disappears out of the window.
Stiles lets out a breath and rests his head against the door. “Shit, man.”
“Does he know we hang out?”
“Yeah, but I sort of leave out the details?”
“Stiles! He didn’t know we were looking for Gerard?”
“What was I supposed to say? Hi, your ex-girlfriend and I are bffs now and we’re searching for the psycho dude that once tried to kill you?”
Her lips twitch. “We’re insane.”
“He already knows that bit.”
She grins and when Stiles falls asleep on her shoulder half an hour later she feels happier than she’s felt in almost a year.
She jogs from the bus stop to Stiles’ a few days later, looking forward to teasing him about the girl she’d seen him with at the start of the summer being at the yoga class she’d just taken. Stiles would be most disappointed to know just how flexible that girl had been. She hasn’t seen him with any other girls recently, she wonders if he was just trying to get something out of his system, or if one them’s a keeper and Stiles just hasn’t told her yet.
She trips over her own feet when she reaches his front yard and takes in the scene. The Jeep is back, gleaming in the sunlight and soaked down with water. Stiles is wet and laughing manically at a very cross looking Derek Hale, who is also wet through. He rolls his eyes and tosses a sponge in Stiles’ face. Stiles yelps indignantly and kicks a bucket at Derek.
Derek catches the bucket easily, smirking, and Stiles tosses a rag at his head that catches him in the face with a wet thwap.
Derek pauses from removing the rag, looking like he was about to throw Stiles over his shoulder and dump him in the soapy water pooling at their feet, and looks straight at her. Stiles turns to see what he’s looking at and straightens, his whole body tensing as he moves in front of Derek. Derek doesn’t move, but he looks like he wants to be the one standing in front of Stiles rather than Stiles dong the protecting. It hurts, that she’s seen as something to be protected from.
She swallows, eyes still fixed on Derek.
“Allison—” Stiles starts.
“Why’d you do it?” she blurts out. She has to know. She’s spent so long not knowing, so much time in the dark, so many months loathing someone who looks so harmless standing on Stiles’ drive, covered in soapy water and apparently with the ability to smile when they think no one is looking. She needs a reason, she needs tounderstand.
“You need to talk to your father,” Derek says stiffly.
“I’ve been trying,” she cries. “All summer, please. I— I know she wanted to hurt you, I know what I did to you, to your—” she cuts off, ashamed and looks at the ground. It hurts to think about. She knows she and Erica had their differences, knows how violent it became but she never believed she had the capacity to hurt someone so much they’d leave town. She sort of despises that she’s the kind of monster her Aunt was to Derek, to his pack.
“She tried to kill Scott,” Stiles says suddenly.
“No, Derek she should know, dammit.” Stiles strides towards her and she takes a step back but doesn’t move any further. She owes it to Stiles to listen. He’s been her one constant all summer. She hates that she’s more than a little hurt he hasn’t mentioned Derek Hale is somewhat in his life still. She would have—
She doesn’t know what she would have said. She doesn’t know how to deal with all this; she’s seventeen. She doesn’t have any answers, she just has endless questions, a never ending list of mistakes; including putting the look of panic in Stiles’ eyes now.
“Tell me,” she says softly.
He relaxes, minutely, as if he was terrified she was going to push him away.
“The night you went to the rave with Matt, she—she took Scott.”
Allison bites her lips, feels tears springing in her eyes. “She did?”
“Yeah and Derek, Derek went to help him and she tried to kill him for it.”
Derek steps forward, stands beside Stiles, and Allison flicks her eyes up to look at him. “So you bit her?”
“It was instinct,” Derek says quietly.
“And you—she would have been a part of your pack?”
He shakes his head. “Scott isn’t; she wouldn’t have been either if she didn’t want to be.”
“Then why,” Allison looks back at Stiles. “Why did she do it? Why couldn’t she just have been a werewolf, too?”
“I don’t know,” he says softly, eyes apologetic and sad as he looks at her. “I guess, she couldn’t live with the idea of—of being a werewolf.”
“There’s nothing wrong with them!” Allison cries. “All my family have done is pushed them into becoming monsters when they’re not. Scott isn’t a monster!”
“I know,” Stiles says soothingly. “I know.”
She scrunches her eyes up and then sits down on the sidewalk. “I’m so mad at her, and I can’t even tell her.”
“Tell me about it,” Stiles says sadly, sitting down beside her.
Derek comes to stand in front of them both. “Stiles, I’m gonna—”
“Yeah,” Stiles blinks up at him and his face is suddenly fond. Allison finds herself raising an eyebrow at him even though he’s not looking at her. “You go do your thing.”
Derek nods and then gives Allison a long look. “I’m sorry, for what it’s worth. I didn’t—I would never have wanted to take that from you.”
Allison holds his gaze for as long as she can and then looks away, nodding. “Thank you.”
He goes to leave but she scrambles to her feet. “Wait!”
Derek stills, back tense and she knows he knows what she’s going to say.
“I know,” he cuts in gruffly.
Stiles grabs her hand, pulls her back down to sit next to him and they watch the sun sink behind the house opposite Stiles’.
“Of all the mythical creatures we deal with, I wish unicorns were a thing,” Stiles moans, picking at stray scratches still bleeding a little. Allison slaps his hands away, fusses with Band-Aids.
“They’re probably awful in reality, gore you to death with their horns,” she says glibly.
Stiles glowers at her, winces as she pushes his head to the side to examine the cut on his forehead. “Why do you insist on taking my dreams away from me?”
“They’re pretty placid, actually,” a voice says from the door and Allison startles, forgetting how quietly damn werewolves move. She swallows as she looks at Derek, nervous all over again. But he did just help them fend off two of the alphas outside the movie theatre; she supposes she’s safe in Stiles’ room with him.
Stiles full on beams at him. “Yeah? Really?”
Derek rolls his eyes. “No, they don’t exist, dumbass.”
“You suck, so much,” Stiles complains. “All of you are destroyers of dreams. What about leprechauns?”
“Got into a brawl with one once in New York,” Derek says idly, coming over to frown down at Stiles’ injuries. He grabs Stiles’ chin without warning, squints at the slash mark.
“Is it bad?” Stiles asks quietly.
Derek shakes his head. “’S’not deep enough to do any real damage. None that wasn’t already there in the first place, that is.”
“Oh, ha, funny wolf,” Stiles is strangely comfortable with Derek touching him, casually invading his space like he’s done it before, and Allison busies herself with putting away the well-used first aid kit in an attempt to not stare incredulously. She thinks maybe this is why there haven’t been any more girls.
“You win the fight with the leprechaun?” Stiles asks in a sleepy voice.
Derek snorts. “No, because again; they’re not real.”
“God, of all the stupid ass creatures I read about in fairytales the only ones we actually get stuck with are grumpy werewolves that boss me around. How is that fair?”
“Seems like we’re the only ones saving your life.”
“From other werewolves. And trying to kill me at the movie theatre? Not cool, I wanted to see that movie, man.”
“I’ll take you tomorrow.”
“Fine, but only if we get the pink popcorn.”
Allison feels her eyes going wide and amused as they stare at each other, Stiles narrowing his own eyes at Derek’s ever communicative eyebrows in a silent conversation. She clears her throat and Stiles startles.
“Uh, you wanna come to the movies too?”
“No,” she says, barely holding in a laugh. “I think you’ll be well protected without me. And I really didn’t care about seeing the movie that much. Not enough to risk getting maimed again, or seeing anything I really don’t need to,” she adds with a smirk.
Stiles pushes to a stand, elbows her hard as he does so and she grins. “I’m going to shower. Allison, there’s stuff in the closet if you wanna stay over.” He waves a hand over his shoulder, slams the bathroom door shut.
“I can walk you home, if you want,” Derek says awkwardly.
“It’s fine,” she says quickly. “Thank you, though, I can sleep here. I really don’t need an inquisition from my dad tonight. They came out of nowhere,” she says frowning suddenly. “What do they want?”
Derek looks conflicted and she realizes she’s probably not somebody he wants to discuss the inner workings of an alpha pack with. “Never mind,” she says hurriedly.
“I don’t know,” he cuts in. “We don’t know what they want.”
Stiles bangs around in the bathroom, swears at something, shrieks at the cold water. Allison looks at Derek pleadingly. “I don’t want him to do this alone.”
“He’s not,” Derek says firmly.
“I can—” she hesitates. “I want to help.”
She sees a muscle in Derek’s jaw twitch, then he glances towards the bathroom door before looking back at her. “I don’t— I’m not Scott’s ally, right now.”
“This isn’t about Scott! This is about my home being under attack, my friends; I don’t want Stiles to get hurt any more than he already has.”
“Neither do I,” Derek says plainly, he seems surprised by his own honesty but squares his shoulders, meets her eye regardless.
“Then please—let me help.”
Derek considers her for what feels like possibly the longest silence of her life and she tries to hold her own, to look back at him steadily. Finally he nods, before brushing past her carefully and marching into the bathroom.
There’s an indignant yell, and then muttering, and then silence. The kind of silence that leads to shoes being kicked off and the shower door clattering, Stiles laughing and it cutting off in an mmff. Allison goes downstairs to get milk, holds her palms flat against the cool metal of the fridge. After the stress of the attack, them barely holding their own before Derek arrived, seemingly out of nowhere, and the conversation with the alpha just, she’s feeling a little shaken.
Stiles ambles down sometime later in a loose tee and sweats, sits down next to her at the kitchen table. He’s smiling to himself; shoulder checks her as he helps himself to half her milk. Allison lifts an eyebrow in question and he shrugs, grins round the glass.
“So, you and Derek.”
“Yup,” he says determinedly. “Maybe, shouldda mentioned that?”
“You really didn’t need to,” she pulls a face. “And don’t give me details either.”
He sighs and bashes the unmarked side of his forehead against the table. “Scott isn’t going to want to hear them. You have to, otherwise I’ll have to share with Lydia and she’ll want too many details.”
“Fine. Some. He said I can help,” Allison says after a moment of the two of them grinning at each other.
Stiles nods against the table, eyes fluttering shut. “’Course you can help. You’re you.”
“But—with the alphas.”
“I knew what you meant,” he says softly, clearly drifting to sleep.
She drags him back to his room, texts Lydia and tells her to lock up properly. Lydia texts back telling her she’s acquired mountain ash from Deaton, and has no interest in allowing anyone on her property without an invitation.
She wakes up to Stiles leaning out of the window talking to someone sleepily. When she stumbles to lean over his shoulder and look outside, Derek’s sitting on a tree branch.
“Ugh, so cliché,” she grumbles as Stiles sighs, knocks his head against the window frame.
“I hate you.”
“Mhm, I’m going to get Cheerios.” She glances up at Derek, lifts a hand in hello and slowly, he lifts one back. Then she elbows Stiles in the side and tells him to use protection. His squawking indignation follows her out of the room.
Her father and the Sheriff are in the kitchen sipping whiskey. It’s bizarre. She texts Stiles and he appears less than ten minutes later to stare in horror with her from the stairs.
“What are they talking about?”
Allison shrugs, leans closer. “Guns?”
“God, it figures they’d bond over those.”
“You know what they say about becoming your parents.”
Allison shudders. “I hope not.”
“I think you’d work a beard,” Stiles muses. Allison hits him on the shoulder before dragging him up to her room. It’s the week before school starts again and Allison is nervous. Lydia was over earlier and has already decided on what Allison’s wearing for their first day back. Stiles snorts when he sees it on the bed.
“That woman,” he says fondly. “You really shouldn’t let her boss you around. What do I bring to the table if she’s got that covered? I’m supposed to be the one in charge.”
Allison jabs a finger at a hickey on his neck and tells him to shut up.
“He’s not the boss of me,” Stiles huffs crossly.
“I bet he is bossy, though.”
“Nah,” Stiles flops down on her bed, minding not to crease her clothes. “He likes to pretend he’s in charge, but I am really.”
Allison sits down beside his head, biting her lip.
“Are you—is he nice to you?”
Stiles scoffs. “Really? That’s what you’re going with? Does Derek Hale appear like he’d be nice, ever?”
“What’s the appeal then?”
Stiles picks at her comforter and shrugs. “He’s just… he gets it, you know?”
“And you’re safe?”
He groans and hides his face in her pillow. “Please, oh my god, don’t.”
“I’m just checking!”
“I’m not eighteen!”
“Neither were Scott and I!”
“We’re not doing that,” Stiles mumbles, the back of his neck going red. “He’s very insistent we wait.”
Huh. She sort of likes Derek for that.
“Don’t! Shut up! He’s nice in his own way, ok? And for whatever reason he likes me, and I like, like him or whatever so, don’t worry.”
“You know what I mean, though.”
“Yeah,” he shoves a hand out and pats her arm. “I do.”
Two days before they go back to school she sits down at a coffee shop with Scott. It’s a nice little place; she imagines they would have come on dates there if they hadn’t—
If things had been different.
He’s early, just like she is. And they both smile at the irony; they’re normally late to everything.
It’s not as awful, or as awkward as she thought it would be. It leaves her feeling hopeful. Scott is careful with her, cautious like he wasn’t before. He seems to have changed over the summer, hardened a little. But his unwavering faith in her is still there. It blows her mind, and makes her feel strong, that someone like Scott still believes in her.
She wants to be better; she wants to make sure the people she cares about don’t get hurt again. It makes her more determined than ever to find Gerard and put him down.
The Sheriff waves her into the house, smiling fondly at her and she bounds up the stairs, bursting into Stiles’ room and finds Derek lounging on Stiles’ bed, Stiles at his desk. The back of his neck is pink and Allison’s ninety nine per cent sure Derek heard her come in and they definitely weren’t sitting this far away from each other thirty seconds ago.
“Hi,” she says slowly.
Stiles spins in his chair, face ridiculously guilty. “Hello.”
His cheeks are red, chin scratched up and there’s a purple bruise forming on one side of his neck. Allison rolls her eyes. “You’re going to need to learn some neat tricks for school.”
“Shut up,” he huffs, glancing at Derek who smirks at his hands. “And you,” Stiles adds, scowling.
Derek holds up his hands, one eyebrow raised and Stiles flutters his own hands at him dismissively. Allison watches, curiously. Marvels at how oddly easy it is between them. If she had imagined it, of all the strange things to think about, she would have thought it would be rough, careless and sharp. But Derek’s looking at Stiles with fond, pointed amusement and Stiles is reluctantly smiling back, flicking a pen at him that Derek catches without effort.
She clears her throat and Stiles sighs. “Yes, princess?”
Allison kinks an eyebrow at him before heading to his desk, pulling out the maps from before. “I want to find Gerard. Now.”
Derek makes a noise and Stiles scratches at the back of his neck. “Ahh—you don’t need to worry about him.”
“What?” A complicated look passes between them and Allison straightens from where she’s been rolling out the papers. “What.”
“Gerard’s—not a problem anymore,” Stiles says finally.
“He’s dead,” Derek says flatly.
“I—how do you—” she shakes her head. “How can he possibly be dead?”
Derek shrugs. “I tracked him down, and I killed him,” he says, flexing his fingers into claws and back again.
Allison stares at him in total shock. “I don’t understand.”
Derek flicks his eyes up to look at her. “I know he was your—”
“Don’t,” she interrupts, holding up a hand. “If he’s dead, I’m glad. He wasn’t—I wasn’t—”
“It’s ok,” Stiles says quietly.
“I didn’t know him,” she says forcefully. “I’m not sad he’s dead, he deserved it. I’m just… surprised.”
“No one knows, outside this room,” Stiles says quietly. “Not even Scott.”
“Because we don’t know how your father will react,” Derek replies.
“You can’t tell him,” Stiles states suddenly, voice hard. “If you tell him, he might come after Derek and you can’t—I can’t—”
“I won’t,” Allison cuts in. “I promise.”
“I didn’t want you to have to lie to him,” Stiles looks at her, biting his lip. “I didn’t—shit, we already have so many lies, you know?”
“It’s ok,” she lets out a breath, feels her shoulders drop. “He’s dead; he’s like a hundred per cent dead?”
Derek nods wordlessly, and Stiles goes to sit beside him on the bed, twines their fingers together. Allison moves to sit at the end of the bed, cautiously. She crosses her legs, messes with Stiles’ comforter.
“Wow,” she breathes out. “I’m sorry,” she adds, glancing at Derek. “Sorry, that you had to do that.”
“He was a threat to my pack,” Derek hunches up his shoulders in a shrug. “I couldn’t risk him coming back, not with the alphas in town.”
Stiles picks at a hole in Derek’s Henley and sighs. “We’ve got our work fucking cut out for us this fall.”
“Tell me about it,” Allison agrees, chewing on her lip. “I’ve still got to finish my Hamlet essay.”
Both Stiles and Derek grin, Stiles’ is bigger, but Derek’s is there. She counts it as a win.
Derek leaves after the third episode of Parks and Recreation Stiles insist they watch. He leans forward and presses his mouth almost shyly against Stiles'. Stiles hums, pleased and grabs Derek's shirt, pulls him back again for a moment. Allison rolls her eyes, smirking and sets up the next episode. Derek mutters something that sounds like stay safe against Stiles' cheek and Stiles scoffs, makes a show of crossing his heart before Derek disappears out the door, ducking his head at Allison. She waves, turns to look at Stiles' who's busy smiling wistfully at Derek's retreating back.
"Gross," Allison remarks.
Stiles flicks her on the ear, bounces back onto the bed next to her. "Karma," he retorts.
"We were never that bad."
"Are you kidding? You were ten times worse! Derek and I would have to get half naked and do some serious frotting to get even with you guys."
Allison wrinkles up her nose as Stiles' eyes go distant. He snaps back a few seconds later and she snorts. "You lose your train of thought?"
"Little bit," Stiles throws an arm around her shoulder and clicks play.
Halfway through the episode, Allison shifts and peers up at Stiles. "Are you happy?"
"What, with Derek?"
"Yeah, and in general, you know, are you ok?"
He crooks a smile down at her, scritches a hand through her hair briefly. "As much as any sixteen year old who constantly lives life dangerously and isn't getting laid for his troubles can be."
Allison snickers. "It'll be worth the wait."
"It better be," Stiles says darkly. "He's all... broad, Allison, he's so broad. And I wanna like," Stiles bites his lip, waving his hands around. "Kiss his face and tell him he's good and stuff, it's ridiculous. He's annoying, too. He doesn't like being wrong," Stiles scratches at his chin. "But he's funny if you pay attention, catches the little stuff not everyone else does, you know?"
"Yeah, yeah I do. He likes you, too," she adds, grinning at him as he flushes, mumbles at her to shut up.
"Are you?" Stiles looks down at her seriously. "Happy?"
She shrugs, sighs against his chest. "It's like I'm learning how to be, all over again." She digs her chin in, reaches up to pat his cheek. "You helped, a lot."
"Always useful like that," he says easily.
"You know what I meant," she huffs. "I was saying thank you, jerk."
Stiles laughs, jiggles his knees. "Aw, shucks, I'm getting emotional here. Do we need to hug?"
"I'm never saying anything nice to you again," she scowls, turning the volume on the episode up. He squeezes her shoulder after a few moments, gets his phone out and starts texting Derek, muttering about how well he and Ron would get along. Allison settles in against his chest, listening to him type away, thinks that yes, she's as happy as she can hope to be considering the circumstances.
She takes the bus to school almost out of habit. She could ask for the keys to the car but she likes the bus, enjoys how no matter what else is happening in her life, people will always get the bus. It’s a mundane, nonsensical thing but she likes it none the less.
Stiles is loitering by the bus stop and he hip checks her as they walk into school, Lydia falling into step beside them.
“Don’t do anything stupid before lunch,” she tells them both.
Stiles snorts. “You are not the boss of me.” She narrows her eyes at him and he sighs. “Fine, I promise, no blowing up the chemistry lab, even if Harris deserves it,” he adds darkly.
Scott waves casually from his seat in home room and Allison waves back, watching Stiles fling himself next to his friend. Carefully, she sits down beside them, terrified she’ll be made to move.
Stiles tosses a pen at her and she glares, flicks it back, achingly relieved at how easily he makes sure she knows she’s safe, welcomed.
“So, buddy, how was your last night of freedom?”
“Fine,” Scott says before frowning. “Why do you smell like Derek?”
Stiles’ face is comical and he opens his mouth several times with no sounds coming out.
“The Jeep,” Allison cuts in. “He’s been helping fix the Jeep.”
“It’s not what you think,” Stiles says quickly.
“That was a lie!” Scott says incredulously.
“Oh my god,” Allison says flatly, they’ve been back in school less than an hour and already the boys are managing to make things dramatic.
“It’s really not what you think,” Stiles says again, wringing his hands. “We just—uh, I just—oh hey look, Isaac!”
Allison feels her stomach lurch as Isaac traipses down the classroom. He doesn’t look at her but she knows he can feel her eyes on his back.
“Nah,” Stiles catches her arm. “Leave it.”
“Leave it,” Stiles insists.
She does. But she wants to talk to him before the day is out. She hasn’t made any amends, she hasn’t paid her dues, she knows Isaac must be angry.
She finds him on the bleachers at lunch and he looks like he’s considering throwing her over the back of them. She straightens her shoulders and tries to meet his eye.
He looks caught off guard, the anger draining from his face to be replaced with sadness, confusion, regret. “Me too,” he says finally.
She blinks. “What.”
“We screwed with you, we—it was—” he cuts off and looks around sullenly. “It wasn’t just you, we pushed you. It was—we all fucked each other over.”
“Yeah,” she sighs, sits down before her legs give out and carefully Isaac folds up onto a bench a few feet away.
“Is Boyd—is he home?”
“Yeah. But he doesn’t wanna come back to school just yet.”
She picks at the plastic beneath her fingers. “I didn’t know whether or not to come back, I think—I guess I just wanted something normal again, though.”
Isaac nods, looking at his hands. She’s relieved to see his claws aren’t out.
“There you are!” She snaps her head up to see Stiles jogging up the benches, he trips and flails over a couple of steps and Isaac snorts.
“Shut up, not all of us have werewolf grace and strength,” Stiles says easily, tossing his lunch at Isaac’s head.
Isaac catches it easily, helps himself to half of Stiles’ sandwich, asks Stiles for a lift to Derek’s after school to which Stiles agrees to give, and then disappears across the lacrosse field.
“So,” Stiles sits down beside her, nudges their knees together. “How’d it go?”
“Alright,” she grips her knees and pulls a face. “I don’t think he wants to kill me?”
“Always a good thing,” he says easily, pointing his drink at her. “You never want werewolves baying for your blood.”
“Derek wouldn’t let him kill you,” Stiles continues, scratching his nose. “I’m too fond of you, and Derek’s pretty fond of me at the moment.”
“That makes me feel so much better.”
He scrunches up his face at her. “You know what I mean.”
He knocks his knee against hers, grinning up at her from where he’s lounging on the benches. “You wanna sing an inspiring musical number about how we’re all in this together whether we like it or not?”
She huffs a laugh. “Not right now.”
“We should watch Buffy later, get inspired.”
“You think any of the alphas are here?”
“Maybe,” he says thoughtfully. “But doubtless our own alphas aren’t far away. Besides, you and me? We got it covered.”
She smiles down at him, nudges her own knee back at him. “Yeah, I guess we do.”