Jackson Whittemore hated the royal family.
Not because he was anti-royalist, far from it. He very much liked the idea of the royal family and what being in their circle could mean for his future. All in all, he had no complaints about them as people.
What he hated was that his family, despite being of noble blood and much richer than most people in the area, was not considered “noble.”
No, because they lived in Beacon Hills and were just below the five million dollar line, they were nobles, but not Nobles. Not the ones that warranted visits, anyway.
Which was complete and utter bullshit, in his opinion.
The royal family didn’t always go through Beacon Hills when they were doing their usual rounds, but occasionally they would pass through to head to their palace in Knoxton. Jackson often heard from his father—loudly, and at length—how insulting it was to be overlooked.
It had been happening for as long as he could remember, and he was sick of it. And, of course, if his father was sick of it, Jackson was, as well. Because he agreed that it wasn’t fair to be overlooked.
When the Prince’s limousine had been passing through town, all the residents out and excited, lining the streets for a glimpse of him, Jackson had been angry. Angrier than he’d ever felt before.
Because they were being overlooked. Again. Not to mention people had come out in hopes of seeing the Prince, and all they’d gotten was tinted windows and a motorcade. Not a single fucking hint that the Prince was even in that car. For all they knew, this was a decoy car and the Prince was already settling in over in Knoxton.
Jackson knew it was stupid the second the brick left his hand. He’d been so angry, so offended for his family, that he hadn’t been thinking. He’d picked up the brick, not even entirely sure where it had come from or why it was so readily accessible, and had hurled it at the car.
The moment he felt the heavy weight leave his fingers, he knew he’d fucked up. People began to scream, shots were fired, half the motorcade raced away while the other half stayed behind with guns raised and people shouting.
Jackson had bolted. He’d pushed people out of his way and raced as fast as he could to the safety of his Porsche. He didn’t get far, only having climbed into it, key barely in the ignition when there was a knock at his window and one of the deputies stood there, looking unimpressed and holding up a pair of handcuffs.
He’d almost driven off anyway, but he didn’t need to cause more problems for his parents, and while he did roll down the window to pull his usual, “Don’t you know who I am?” spiel, the deputy didn’t seem impressed.
And so, Jackson had gotten taken into the station. He knew his father would be beating down the doors to have him released, but that wasn’t the point. He was still in a jail cell, fuming and smarting over not only having been overlooked, but also fucking arrested.
He was Jackson fucking Whittemore, and this was unacceptable!
His father argued for his release for hours, and while normally it would’ve worked, the sheriff was out of the office dealing with the royal family and, as he was reminded numerous times by deputies coming in and out to check on him, he’d thrown a brick at said royal family.
At the royal family! It didn’t matter that it was only a brick. It didn’t matter that it had barely scratched the paint of their car. It didn’t matter that nobody had gotten hurt.
He had thrown what could be considered a weapon at a car that held the Prince. Because apparently he had been in that car.
And so, Jackson fumed, sitting on the cot and refusing to lie down because he didn’t know what had previously been on this cot and he wasn’t going to touch anything in this disgusting place.
It wasn’t until well past five that the door opened and the sheriff walked in. He looked like he’d aged thirty years since Jackson had last seen him, and when the cell was unlocked, he pushed past the older man with a snapped, “It’s about time!” and started to leave.
But he didn’t make it to the exit before he was told why he was being released, and the words made him freeze.
Because his Grace Peter Hale had decided that Beacon Hills had insulted the royal family for the last time, and as punishment, one of their citizens was going to be taken into their employ.
Jackson felt only a brief stab of fear for his freedom, but knew it wouldn’t be a punishment they enacted on him. They wouldn’t take the same person who’d thrown a brick at their car, but he still felt that trickle of fear, that small voice whispering, “what if?”
Still, he just walked out to where his father was waiting for him, and the two of them returned home. He wasn’t reprimanded by his parents for what he’d done. They understood his anger, they felt it as well, so they sat and ate dinner without bringing it up, all three confident that none of them would be the ones taken away.
When morning came, Jackson hadn’t wanted to go to school. After all, everyone knew he was the one who’d started this whole mess about employment with the royal family, so he wasn’t interested in having to defend his actions. His parents didn’t mind, telling him he could stay home and they’d call in sick for him.
The day progressed, and he was enjoying some quiet time at home playing video games and texting with Danny when a thought occurred to him. Lydia was extremely smart and beautiful, and Danny was extremely smart and attractive.
His girlfriend and best friend were prime real estate, so to speak. If the royal family wanted to take someone worthwhile, both of them were the perfect targets. And that thought actually scared him a little.
Not enough for him to admit it aloud, but enough for him to get dressed and climb into his car. He showed up at school close to lunch time, glaring at anyone who dared even look at him. When he found both Danny and Lydia well and where he expected them to be, he couldn’t help but feel relieved, and ignored how cold everyone was acting towards him, Lydia included.
Danny was just Danny, he didn’t have a mean bone in his body. He was sarcastic as fuck sometimes, but he was never mean. He just stuck by Jackson like he always did, and they made it through lunch and to their next class.
It was halfway through Theory of Knowledge that they heard the commotion. Their teacher froze at the front of the class and everyone turned to the door, hearing shouting and what sounded like an altercation.
Lydia was out of her seat instantly, and it took Jackson a few seconds to figure out why.
She had recognized the voice.
And now so did he.
Everyone crowded at the door, pushing each other out so they could exit into the corridor, lining the walls.
Jackson didn’t like Stiles Stilinski. He thought he was loud, obnoxious, disruptive and really, really aggravating considering his long-standing crush on Lydia. So, no, he didn’t like Stiles.
But he also didn’t hate him. And he didn’t think he deserved this, even if he’d never admit it aloud.
He definitely didn’t think the sheriff deserved this, and all he could think about was how broken he’d looked the previous day when he’d kindly let him out of jail so he could spend the evening with his family, just on the off-chance the person chosen was one of the Whittemores.
Instead it was his son.
Stiles looked pale while he walked down the corridor, being led away quickly by a group of guards. Scott was shouting after him, trying to fight his way forward, two guards holding him back.
Danny left Jackson’s side quickly and grabbed at Scott, trying to pull him away. Trying to help him avoid making a mistake he couldn’t take back. Lydia looked like she was in shock at first, but soon Jackson felt more than saw her shifting her weight forward, eyes blazing. Danny looked like he was trying to figure out how to get past the guards, even as he held Scott back from them.
Jackson turned to Stiles, and despite how much he disliked him, despite how much easier it would be without him around, he also didn’t know how to handle not having him around. Stiles and Scott had been best friends since kindergarten, and Jackson had been in the same class as them since that very first day.
As much as he didn’t like either of them, he’d also grown up with them. And Stiles didn’t deserve this. Lydia looked devastated. Danny looked pissed. Scott looked broken.
They could do something. There were only five guards, they could overrun them, take Stiles back by force. There were enough of them.
Jackson shifted his weight forward just as Stiles yelled, “Stop it!”
And just like that, the world around them froze. Stiles told them to stop, that he would be okay, and then he was walked right out the front doors of the school.
The other two guards left, the doors closed loudly behind them, and nobody said a word.
Scott broke down. Fell to his knees and began to sob.
Danny stayed with him, hugging him tightly while Kira raced to his side to comfort him. Lydia disappeared before Jackson noticed she was gone. She’d likely gone to grieve in peace, away from prying eyes.
The teachers looked horrified, sharing looks with one another, trying to console students who were starting to lose their composure. Nobody told them all to get back to class. Nobody told them to pretend this hadn’t happened.
Stiles was Stiles. Everyone knew him, and he was gone.
Scott was still sobbing on the floor, but he had his phone out, and Jackson felt his chest tighten when he heard him struggle to get words out, telling someone on the other end that the royal family had taken Stiles.
Jackson watched the fallout of his actions happening around him.
He didn’t think anyone would notice if he left.
So he did.
It wasn’t Jackson’s style to do a one-eighty and just be friendly to everyone, learn from his ways, be besties with Scott. So despite Stiles being taken because of him, he didn’t change who he was. He still bitched about stupid people, he still griped about being a noble who wasn’t noble enough, and he still acted like the pompous rich prick he knew he was.
The only thing he changed was that he left Scott alone.
He’d never been nice to him before, and he certainly wasn’t going to start now, but he just decided that the best course of action was to pretend he wasn’t there. It seemed to suit Scott just fine, considering the first school day after Stiles’ departure he’d tried to start a fight with Jackson.
That would’ve ended badly for Scott if Danny and a few others hadn’t intervened. So Scott told him he’d never forgive him, Jackson said he didn’t give two shits about him, and then they proceeded to ignore one another for the remainder of the school year.
He and Lydia broke up. It was bound to happen, and while he didn’t think it was entirely because of what had happened to Stiles, he knew that was a part of it. They had been friends, in a weird kind of way, and Jackson had noticed the change in her when she didn’t have anyone left to challenge her intellect.
He avoided the police like the plague. Most of them hated him, because he’d destroyed their boss. Their very kind, very honest, extremely likeable boss. He’d spent every day since Stiles’ departure trying to keep himself together, and Jackson knew it was his fault, so he avoided him.
Jackson wasn’t a nice person by nature, but he knew what the sheriff had lost. His wife had died, and then his son had been taken. He knew it was taking a toll on him. He worried that this kind person would become hateful and bitter like Jackson’s own father.
He never did. He did his job, he weeded out the few anti-royalists in town, and he kept the streets safe.
Half a year after Stiles was taken, he’d lapsed on his mortgage payments and he was going to lose his house. Jackson knew it was none of his business, but he’d overheard Scott at lunch speaking to Kira about it, and he’d gone home and asked his father to do something about it.
He still wasn’t sure how he’d convinced him. Maybe it was just because his father understood what Jackson had cost the sheriff. Maybe it was because everyone could see how the man was falling apart.
Maybe his father just felt bad enough for him.
The Whittemores paid off the sheriff’s mortgage. Jackson heard that he cried when he found out.
One day, Jackson went to school and noticed that a lot of Stiles’ friends were absent. They were back the following day, barring Scott, and he found out through the grapevines that it had recently been Stiles’ birthday and all of them had stayed home the day after because he’d called them all and they needed a day to get themselves back together.
Scott was absent for the whole week, and when he returned, he looked—not better, exactly, but more like his old self. Stiles was still gone, but Scott seemed to be doing better about it. He was coping more, and presumably, their conversation had gone well enough that he wasn’t worried about Stiles being mistreated.
Jackson would’ve asked if he cared enough to want to know. But he didn’t care. Not really.
Besides, he heard it all from Danny because Lydia had given him the cliffnotes. Jackson told him he didn’t care, but Danny seemed to know that he did and told him everything anyway.
Jackson worked harder not to care, but he was still kind of glad to hear Stiles was doing all right.
His last year of school didn’t turn out how he’d expected, but after a while people let what had happened go barring those directly affected, and he graduated like he knew he would and threw a massive party at his place.
It was during the summer that everything changed for him.
A loud, annoying buzzing sound forced Jackson unceremoniously out of his amazing wet dream. He couldn’t entirely recall it by the time consciousness overtook him, but he knew it was amazing as fuck, and screw the person calling and ruining his God damn morning.
Reaching out for the phone, he yanked it closer, the charger popping out the bottom from the force of his pull, and he blinked blearily at the name flashing back at him. Grunting, he tossed the phone back onto his nightstand, rolled onto his stomach, buried his face in his pillow, and tried to go back to sleep.
The buzzing of his phone died down, and five seconds later, it started up again. He just ignored it, since Danny should know better than to call him so early. When the buzzing died down again, Jackson frowned and let out a loud, angry exhale when the house phone began to ring.
It cut off abruptly, his mother likely answering it, and a minute later she knocked on his door and pushed it open.
“It’s Danny. He says it’s urgent.”
“Fucking better be,” Jackson snapped, rolling over and holding his hand out for the phone. It was placed into his palm and he heard his mother leave, shutting the door, but saw nothing since he’d kept his eyes shut.
He brought the phone to his ear, making sure to keep the angry growl in his tone so Danny would know exactly how pissed he was, and said, “Someone better be fucking dying, Danny.”
“Stiles is back.”
Those three words woke him up more effectively than if someone had been stupid enough to throw a bucket of water on him. He jerked upright in bed, eyes snapping open, and tightened his grip on the phone.
“What? When? How?”
“I don’t know. Kira’s mom said she saw him walking to Scott’s house. She told Kira, who told Lydia, who told me. I don’t know anything.”
“I’ll be there in five minutes.”
Jackson hung up, ignoring that it would take much longer than five minutes to drive to Danny’s, but he just jumped out of bed and hurried to his closet. He pulled clothes on, brushed his teeth, checked his hair, and then rushed out of the house. He was pulling into Danny’s driveway twelve minutes later, honking the horn insistently until Danny appeared at the door and raced to the Porsche.
“What exactly are we doing?” Danny asked while buckling himself in, Jackson backing out of the driveway and making his way to Stiles’ run down piece of shit home.
“If he’s back, I need to know what’s going on. He’s probably been talking his way into one of their beds, and he’ll be royalty in no time, and then I’m going to get on their shit list.”
Danny didn’t seem to agree, but at least he didn’t argue and just let Jackson drive them to Stiles’ house. They parked across the street, Jackson already nervous as fuck about his freedom given there was a limousine outside and guards walking the perimeter. He knew the Princess was currently staying at Knoxton, so he could only assume that she was the one in the house, and who Stilinski was boning.
Why anyone would want to bone a tiny little spastic twig was anyone’s guess, but Jackson just knew he was about to have his life ruined by that same spastic twig!
They were barely there for ten minutes when another car pulled in, the guards crowding around it, and Jackson’s heart pounded in his chest when the Prince exited, looking nervous and perfect. A woman was with him, but Jackson didn’t know who she was, just that she wasn’t a royal.
“Why is the Prince here?” Jackson hissed.
“I don’t know, but damn,” Danny said breathlessly. Jackson just punched at him without looking and scowled at the house.
What was going on? Why were both the Prince and the Princess inside Stilinski’s house? What horrible, awful things were they saying about Jackson?!
After a few more minutes of staring at the house, the door opened and a group of people exited. The guards were tense and looking around attentively while the small group headed for various vehicles.
Jackson frowned when he saw the Prince come out with Stiles, his arm over his shoulders and an endearing smile on his face.
“Oh damn,” Danny said quietly. “Stiles isn’t with the Princess, he’s with the Prince.”
Really, it made sense when Jackson thought about it. Sure, Stiles liked Lydia, but he’d been fairly open with his sexuality. And he’d been on the road for months with the Prince, so if a budding romance was going to start, it made sense it would be with him.
Scott was the one to notice the Porsche first and Jackson cursed, slouching in his seat, especially when he saw him motion it while speaking to Stiles.
Stilinski positively beamed while he hurried across the road, dragging the Prince with him and forcing a guard to scramble after them, looking alarmed and worried about the open space.
Stiles stopped right beside Jackson’s window and knocked. Gritting his teeth, Jackson stabbed at the down button to lower it, looking out at the two men. Stiles looked the way he always did: terrible. The Prince looked perfect in every way, not one hair out of place, and a very hard expression on his face that had Jackson worried about his freedom.
“Hey Jackson. Hey Danny!”
“Hey Stiles,” Danny said in a quiet voice, as if worried to speak too loudly.
Jackson didn’t miss the way the Prince stiffened when Stiles said his name, hard eyes glaring down at him. The man’s arm tightened around Stiles, pulling him further into his side, and it almost looked like he wanted to snap at the guard to arrest him, or murder him, or maybe both.
“I just wanted to come by and say thanks,” Stiles said, grinning at him.
Jackson stared, unsure of what else to do. What? What?!
“Thanks?” he managed to choke out through his very dry mouth.
“Yeah. For what you did. You know, the thing that you did.” Stiles winked at him and the Prince’s scowl deepened, pulling him even closer into his side, as if he were worried Jackson was competition.
Neither he nor Danny said a word, and someone shouted from across the street. Stiles turned to glance at them, but the Prince kept angry eyes locked on Jackson, as if he could make him spontaneously combust from his gaze alone.
“Yeah, yeah, we’re coming, you old fart,” Stiles shouted, and Jackson heard Danny let out a small whimper beside him, because Stiles had just said that to his Grace Peter Hale.
He had just called a member of the extended royal family an old fart.
What the fuck had happened while he was with that family?!
“Well, see you later!” Stiles waved and started to leave, but the Prince didn’t move.
When the veritable peasant turned to give him a confused look, the Prince glanced at him, and his expression softened. It was very easy to see in that moment that this man was madly in love with Stiles.
That was a weird thought.
“Go on, I’ll be right there.”
Stiles shrugged and walked off, the guard staying by the Prince’s side and looking around anxiously, clearly very aware of how many possible attack points there were.
Jackson tried to make himself smaller when the Prince actually bent down to get a better look at him, practically baring his teeth when he said, “If you ever come near Stiles again, I will have you thrown into the darkest, deepest, smallest hole I can find and leave you there to rot. Now nod your head and say you understand.”
“I understand,” Jackson said, nodding so fast he felt like a bobblehead.
“Good.” The Prince straightened and smoothed out his clothing. He gave Jackson one last look of disgust, then turned to walk away.
The guard with him was still stressed, but he looked amused, and Jackson very clearly heard him say, “I don’t think you need to worry about someone else stealing Stiles’ attention.”
He didn’t hear the Prince’s response, but whatever it was, it was scathing and there was a flush creeping up the back of his neck.
Jesus Christ, the Prince thought Jackson was competition for Stiles! Jackson wanted to scream from the rooftops that he didn’t like Stiles at all, but somehow felt like that wouldn’t be a good idea.
“Next time you ask me to come to Stiles’ house with you,” Danny said in a small voice, “I’m hanging up on you.”
Three days later, a bouquet of flowers and a gift basket showed up at Jackson’s house, complete with a thank you card and many little hearts around Stiles’ message.
Jackson burned everything in his backyard and asked his dad if they could move.
Only Stiles could get kidnapped by the royal family, and come home dating one of them.
Stilinski was trying to get him killed.