“Did you see the new teacher?” Isaac asked, piling lasagna onto his plate in the lunch queue. “She looks like Megan Fox.”
The room was bustling with people. Lydia pulled a face. “Megan Fox. In your dreams. The washed up version, maybe.”
Stiles smirked, and looked over the food there with an odd expression. “Isn’t that the current version?”
His best laughed like an idiot, and all the deep gashes in his face had healed up, and Stiles felt like they’d kind of been drawn into him instead. “Greenburg says she’s single.”
The dark haired girl next to him pulled a face. “And what would Greenburg know about that?”
And Scott like the puppy he is, tried to please her. “When she was writing on the board in English, back turned, he was all, ‘So Miss, Are you married?’ and she turned around with this gleam in her eye and said, ‘To whom it may concern, the answer is no. Back to Shakespeare, okay?”
Stiles started to laugh. “Oh my god, where do you go to change to your class for English?”
“The line forms behind me.” Isaac replied with a smug expression, dragging Allison over to a table, and away from Scott. Stiles took Scott over with them, his mind totally focused on saving the puppy dog eyes Scott was known for.
All seated, Stiles looked down at the salad he’d seemingly picked out in his hurry, and stabbed his fork at it mindlessy. Scott beside him was doing the same with the lasagne, eyes on Allison and Isaac.
“I can’t eat. I’m too nervous. What if I screw up and lose my glorious bench position?” Stiles said, jabbing Scott in the ribs.
Isaac laughed, and Lydia threw him an amused glance. “Everyone knows you’ll do it this time, Stiles. You’ve been running from baddies long enough.” Lydia went back to chewing on her salad, split neatly into a smaller portion.
“What’s that meant to be?” Stiles asked, watching her.
“On a diet.” She snipped back, glancing up. “My mother’s got this thing about flab.”
“You’re not flabby. You’re like the opposite of flabby, Lydia.” Allison leant round Isaac to frown at her.
“You’re not my mother.” Lydia retorted, chewing a tomato dispassionately. “But it’s okay, the rewards are terrific. I get five hundred shopping money for losing five big ones. Which is an add-on to looking even more fabulous in a short skirt.”
“I’d lose twenty pounds for that.” Stiles smirked, picking up a piece of cucumber to chew with between his fingertips. It felt cold and crisp and nice in his mouth.
On the field, Scott had just shot the goal past Aiden, and totally nailed it, getting a first line slip from Coach as he ran round to the bleachers. Stiles walked up next, finally coursing with a little concentration, and motivation. Maybe this year he could do it. He’d already done so much, what was this?
“Stiles Stilinski, trying out for first line because I’ve never really left the bench. Wish me luck.”
Coach counted down to one from three loudly, and the air was course, and cold, and for a moment, he knew he could do it. He could do this. He could do anything.
He ran, scooping up the ball, and feeling the weight balanced so easily. Dodging past the player in defense, knowing about his teeth and claws made that so much easier, Stiles jumped, and flipped the ball, and muscle memory aimed him right, and...there it was. In the net. Bouncing on the ground.
He’d done it. Like that. No problems…
Around him, seconds later, his friends started cheering. Like it was happening in slow motion, he grinned so wide, hands above his head.
And someone off to one side, some girl in a pair of dungarees, called out his name. “LOVE THE WAY YOU MOVE, CUTIE. PUT CUTE-ASS ON YOUR TEAM, FINSTOCK!”
Stiles stopped dead, turned around to stare out into the crowd, at the group of girls in the stands, laughing at him. Swallowing, red cheeked, he ducked his head, feeling shame well up in him. So he was goofy. Wow. He was goofy, and an idiot, and why did he even bother. Even Finstock was laughing at him, and despite everything, he knew that nothing would change. Stiles Stilinski would always be a loser.